PLAYMOBIL Space Rocket with Launch Site

I received the following product for review purposes, all opinions are my own. The links below may contain affiliate links.  During this era of flashy, digital toys it's important for parents to make sure to purchase toys that can captivate the imagination of children. I've long been a fan of PLAYMOBIL toys for inspiring creative play for my boys. Through the years my boys have enjoyed a variety of different thematic toys from this quality company. There is just no beating our personal favorite the Pirate Raiders' Ship Playset.  One of the newest sets to be … [Read more...]

A Visit to LeDuc Historic Estate

Hastings is a quaint little town hugging the shores of the Mississippi River just southeast of the Twin Cities. Through a couple of visits I have managed to explore the town, but there is definitely more to discover. I'll have to highlight some additional sites in another post, but first on my list to share is the historic LeDuc Estate.  Built during the Civil War this mansion was part of the ultimately folly of owner William G. LeDuc. As a businessman without a lot of business common sense, he created this magnificent home only to be house poor for the rest of his days. Because of … [Read more...]

FREE Window Decal from COUNTRY Financial

This post was created in partnership with COUNTRY Financial. All opinions are my own.  I own a thoroughly unoriginal vehicle. It's practical. It's dependable. It has a lot of room for three growing boys. Apparently lots of other suburban moms think the same thing, because we see our exact same vehicle {model and even color} everywhere.  I've attempted to add a little distinction to my conventional car with some unique decals on the back windows. It's probably the only thing that keeps me from unknowingly trying to actually enter a vehicle that isn't my own. In a … [Read more...]

Cinnamon Pecan Baguette Bites Recipe & a Giveaway

This post was created in collaboration with Disney-Hyperion in support of Nanette’s Baguette. All opinions are my own. Nanette is very excited to eat her first baguette. But when she eats it.....uff da. Too much bread! This quirky book could be written with my youngest son in mind. In anticipation of a delightful treat he is giddy, excited and over-the-top thrilled. However, once he has devoured most of it, his glee has turned to gloom. Perhaps it's not just a mistake made my the young? I know I have had the same experience as well..... Full disclosure this book is a tongue twister … [Read more...]

Hotel Bruce Prize Pack Giveaway

Thanks to Disney for sending me a copy, and for providing a prize pack! Continuing the Mother Bruce story those lovable geese and crabby bear are back! Hotel Bruce is the newest book from Ryan T. Higgins. My boys really enjoyed the picture book Mother Bruce, but I was truly stunned at what happened when Hotel Bruce arrived at our house. I cuddled up with my youngest son to read him the book. Not too surprisingly my 3rd grader came on over to listen as well. While he is an accomplished reader in his own right, he still enjoys a good picture every once in a while. … [Read more...]

Strawberry Chocolate Hazelnut Mini Toasts

The following post may contain affiliate links. Sometimes desserts don't have to be heavy and in large proportions. These appetizer-sized treats make for a quick and delicious dessert option. It really doesn't get any easier than this.  Three ingredients- fresh strawberries, mini toasts {I used a French brand-Esprit De Liberte} and a chocolate hazelnut spread. I purchased this Justin's spread to give it a try. It's definitely not my favorite variety from the brand. I think I might be addicted to their Maple Almond Butter . It is literally one of the best things ever. But I … [Read more...]

Candy Corn Thanksgiving Turkey Lollipops

I have the solution for candy corn overload this coming holiday. Take those Halloween treats and turn them into Thanksgiving turkeys! Through a little bit of trial and error I was able to perfect this recipe to turn candy corn into Thanksgiving turkey chewy lollipops.  I'm not normally cutsie creative, I don't know what came over me. But my littlest son was delighted by these colorful turkeys. Of course, he was more excited about the prospect of a sugared treat. This guy is all about dessert, all the time.  I did a little experimenting with the baking the candy corn to … [Read more...]

Cirque du Soleil’s Toruk – The First Flight in Minneaoplis & a Giveaway

This post is in partnership with Cirque du Soleil, all opinions are my own.  This September 28th - October 2nd, Cirque du Soleil's show, Toruk – The First Flight will be performing at the Target Center in Minneapolis. If you've never seen a Cirque du Soleil show before I definitely recommend attending a show. The performances are a visual feast with beautiful movements, colorful costumes, and phenomenal acrobatics. Each performance tells a story and this new creation is inspired by James Cameron's Avatar.  {photo courtesy of Cirque du Soleil} TORUK – The First … [Read more...]

Cinnamon Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies & a Giveaway

This post was created in collaboration with Disney-Hyperion in support of the new series Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! All opinions are my own.  This year is such an important school year for my youngest son. Both of my older boys became what I call "super readers" after completing the first grade. I'm hopeful the same will happen this year for my six-year-old fella. At this point he can read, but it's rough. The best solution to shape an awkward reader into a super reader is practice. Or at least that's been my experience.  While parents need to take the time to … [Read more...]

14 Best Things to Do at Honey Creek Resort State Park

My visit to HoneyCreek Resort State Park was complimentary, however all opinions are my own. I've lived in the state of Minnesota for 16 years. During this time my exploration of Iowa has been fairly limited. Yes, we made a short trip to Decorah to embrace all things Norske. And we also visited Burr Oak so I could visit the lesser-known Laura Ingalls Wilder site. I've also been camping at Pikes Peak State Park, along the Mississippi River, which is a must-see destination during the fall. But my recent visit to Honey Creek State Park Resort was my first true adventure into Southern Iowa. … [Read more...]

Steel-cut Oats with Fresh Peaches & Brown Sugar

In addition to avocados and pickled jalapeños, I have an equally strong obsession with steel-cut oats. I don't know what's come over me. But avocados, steel-cut oats, pickled jalapeños and craft beer are my thing. They say your tastebuds change as you get older and that must certainly be true, because as I closely approach the fourth decade of my life these items are my favorites.  The fresh peaches that are available this time of year are so decadent. I couldn't resist adding some to my recent bowl of cooked oats. My youngest son and I greatly enjoyed this filling breakfast. … [Read more...]

It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play at The Saint Paul Hotel & a Giveaway

This is a sponsored post on behalf of It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play at The Saint Paul Hotel, all opinions are my own. {image courtesy of The Saint Paul Hotel} The number of days until school starts is dwindling in Minnesota. I realize many students across the country have been hitting the books for a while, but in Minnesota we savor our summers, not starting school until after Labor Day. But once school starts here, the last few months of 2016 slip by very quickly. Football season, autumn weather, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are here before we know it. This … [Read more...]

Candy Coated Peanut Butter Fudge

I'm not necessarily a big fan of fudge. The except to that thought is this peanut butter fudge. It's rich, decadent, delicious and like any fudge best indulged in small doses. The surprising ingredient in this recipe is marshmallow creme. It does add a bit of lightness, at least in density. Though it's quite obvious that with with the marshmallow addition this recipe is sugar overdose. Be prepared for an official state of sugar coma.  Technically there is no need for the candy covering on this fudge. It's perfectly yummy without any type of topping. But in order to add a little … [Read more...]

Exploring Minnesota: A Visit to Historic Fort Snelling

Fort Snelling is one of Minnesota's most iconic historic sites and a visit makes for a great way to spend an afternoon with kids.  This fort {located where the Minnesota & Mississippi Rivers merge} has been a sacred area for Native Americans for centuries and the MN Historical Society does a great job showcasing the vast array of stories from the fortress and the location. At our recent visit we learned about the complicated Native American association with the fort, the unfair and sad history of Dred Scott and other slaves that lived within it's walls, and gained understanding … [Read more...]

Easy & Healthy Avocado Toast

In my continuing obsession with all things avocado I thought I'd share my favorite avocado toast recipe. Yes, it's really more of a guacamole toast recipe. I just prefer my avocado with a few ingredients that make it more guacamole-like. That being said, one can not eat chips all the time and that's how I switched this into avocado toast. I imagine at some point I might tire of this recipe and start pairing the my avocado with something else. Stay tuned:)  … [Read more...]