Easy Hazelnut Instant Iced Coffee

Normally iced coffee isn't my thing. There is something comforting about a hot cup of coffee. But once in a while, obviously during the summer months, an iced coffee can be refreshing. This instant coffee recipe is a fast and easy way to whip up an iced coffee without making hot coffee first.  This recipe calls for equal parts sugar and water, but it can be tweaked depending upon your particular tastes. This recipe is more like a hazelnut latte, my favorite! Visiting a local Starbucks or equivalent coffee shop might not be as high on everyone's list thanks to the pandemic, but … [Read more...]

Matcha Strawberries

Yum In full confession I snapped these pics quite sometime ago. They've sat in a folder on my computer waiting for post creation. It's nearing ten years since my very first blog post. And I've worked professionally in the industry for the last eight years. Finding time for the creative inspiration and direction on my own site has been lacking. I guess I can thank COVID-19 for providing me a silent moment to pull together this post, but I'd prefer not to thank this virus. I hope you are spending this quarantine time with those you love and hopefully everyone is well. My oldest son … [Read more...]

2020 Minneapolis Boat Show Ticket Giveaway

This post is in partnership with the Progressive Insurance Minneapolis Boat Show #mplsboatshow, all opinions are my own. {photo courtesy of the Minneapolis Boat Show} It's that time of year again- the January doldrums. The holiday season is past and the days in January and February can seem rather long and dark. Thankfully this year, at least, it hasn't been horrendously cold......yet. But we do have many more winter days ahead of us.  A fun weekend outing is a visit to the Minneapolis Boat Show! My youngest son actually asked me randomly if we were going to go see the boats … [Read more...]

The Fowl Twins Prize Pack Giveaway

Sponsored by Disney Book Group Fans of the Artemis Fowl series, here is your chance to extend the adventure! Artemis Fowl author, Eoin Colfer, returns with the new spinoff adventure, The Fowl Twins, which delves into the life of Artemis' younger brothers - Myles and Beckett.  Recommended for kids ages 9-12, this 320 page book could make for a great Christmas gift this season {it's available in stores now}! Winter is imminent in Minnesota, and it's the perfect opportunity to get snuggly with a good book! My fella dove right into this hilarious and exciting read. Being an … [Read more...]

Best Waterfalls in Minnesota

Minnesota is home to some amazing waterfalls. Yes, of course they freeze in the wintertime. But the summer and fall months are delightful times to explore some of these falls. Take a hike and explore the local area to better understand how some of these falls came to be formed. But if you are in a rush, almost all of these destinations can be viewed without a big time commitment. Gooseberry, Vermillion, Minnehaha and St. Anthony Falls just require short walks to see the amazing rushing waters.  Gooseberry Falls Gooseberry Falls is an easy favorite for many. Located along Lake … [Read more...]

6 Ways to Make Your Family Getaway Simple

Planning a family getaway is a great way to gather the family and keep them engaged with age- appropriate activities. A beach family getaway, for example, offers breathtaking views of the ocean while the family gets quality time and enjoys some fun. Every trip has its challenges however. Traveling with your family is particularly challenging when trying to contain every member into the trip while ensuring they get fun. But with a few tricks, some of which are logistical and others attitudinal, you can set your family on course for a wonderful vacation. 1. Take advantage of the … [Read more...]

Keeper of the Lost Cities Giveaway

Simon & Schuster is partnering with me for a giveaway!  Summer is here at last! This past school year seemed to fly by, but my crew is definitely ready for summer relaxing. And part of our summer chill is reading, of course! I'm so delighted that my youngest son has finally caught the reading bug and it isn't unusual for me to find him quietly sitting in a chair reading a book. I consider that a huge parenting victory point considering all of the technology distractions available these days.  What I love about the Keeper of the Lost Cities series is that it is a great … [Read more...]

Best Historic Homes to Tour in Minnesota

{James J. Hill house}  The state of Minnesota has many beautiful historic homes that can be toured. Preserving these architectural landmarks and allowing new generations the opportunity to take a momentary peek into the past is important. The grandness of some of these prior residences is intense. Displaying wealth and status never seems to go out of style for some and while most of us live a more moderate lifestyle visiting this type of place can make for a fun afternoon outing.  James J. Hill House Pictured above, the James J. Hill House is a Gilded Age masterpiece. Located on … [Read more...]

Learning to Ski at Spirit Mountain in Duluth & a Ski Package Giveaway

This post is in partnership with the Midwest Ski Areas Association, all opinions are my own.  Duluth and the Lake Superior North Shore is such a great place to visit. Fall, spring and summer there are numerous trails for hiking and exploring. It's an outdoor lovers paradise! But what about winter? Recently my fellas and I visited Spirit Mountain and discovered just how much fun winter can be in Minnesota! Sometimes people assume that you need to travel to far off states in order to ski. But there is so much fun to be had close to home. According to the Midwest Ski Association, … [Read more...]

Air Fryer Orange Glazed Sweet Potatoes with Thyme

Air fryers are a new unique twist on some traditional cooking methods. I've had my air fryer for a while now and unfortunately I haven't had a chance to do much experimenting. But with the frigid temperatures and a very snowy February it is the perfect time to try some new recipes.  Sweet potatoes are such a healthy vegetable, but they do need quite a bit of "stuff" to give them some extra flavor. Of course, baking is a great option. But in the spirit of testing my air fryer I decided to modify a baked recipe into this version. It's worth noting that I did boil the potatoes ahead … [Read more...]

Cinnamon Jelly Heart Cupcakes

This post includes affiliate links. This past week we experienced what they call a polar vortex. Deadly cold temperatures, school canceled for four days straight. It was a good time to snuggle indoors. Luckily I had these cupcakes already prepared much to my youngest son's delight. The sight of sprinkles and candied Valentine hearts with frosting and cake immediately puts him in a good mood.  I used an ancient white cake recipe from one of my old church cookbooks. They can be so fun to look through and actually have some great recipes, especially those involving baked … [Read more...]

Easy Strawberry Angel Food Dessert

I've mentioned this several times, but my youngest son has an epic sweet tooth. Nothing delights him quite like a jar of Nutella and whipped cream. I don't typically plan desserts for my crew. Life is busy and dessert seems like an unnecessary extra. Of course, my youngest would definitely disagree with that statement, therefore I try to add-in some easy and simple desserts that I know will please him.  This dessert would be great to have on hand for easy entertaining as well. I purchased the angel food cake, but a step-up would be to make your own from scratch. I used Dolci Frutta … [Read more...]

Chicken Potstickers for Chinese New Year

This post was sponsored by Ling Ling, all opinions expressed in my post are my own. Chinese New Year is on February 5th this year.  Unlike Western society the first day of Chinese New Year is not a set date consistent every year, but instead begins whenever the new moon appears, sometime between January 21st and February 20th. Living in small-town Minnesota the Chinese culture is not at the forefront in our community. For me this is all the more reason to make sure that my fellas are exposed to and learn about this popular celebration.  As part of our … [Read more...]

Minneapolis Boat Show Ticket Giveaway

This post is in partnership with the Progressive Insurance Minneapolis Boat Show#mplsboatshow, all opinions are my own.  {photo courtesy of the Minneapolis Boat Show}  Progressive Insurance Minneapolis Boat Show is taking place again this year on January 24-27 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. To live in Minnesota is to love lake life. And in order to enjoy the lake at it's best you need a boat!  Whether you are a seasoned boat fan or new to lake life the Minneapolis Boat Show is a great way to to learn about all the newest models and technology. Leisure … [Read more...]

Artemis Fowl Inspired Rice Cereal Treats & a Giveaway

This post was created in partnership with Disney Book Group, all opinions are my own. There is sure to be Artemis Fowl mania with the upcoming release of the new major motion picture from The Walt Disney Studios. But before you see this new movie, spend some of the cold winter days rereading or getting caught up on this captivating middle-grade series about a twelve-year-old criminal mastermind and his discovery of the high-tech fairy world! The complete series is available now in stores in re-designed packaging and each book includes a sneak peek of The Fowl Twins, a brand-new … [Read more...]