Three Reasons to Replace Your Print Book with Kobo Glo HD

#koboereader

Disclosure: I am part of the PTPA Brand Ambassador Program with Kobo and I received compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own. Some habits are hard to break. I did not grow up in the digital age. I learned to type on a typewriter. This "thing" called the internet emerged when I was in college.  That being said, I now own tablets, computers and a handy smartphone. I even own a blog...as you might have noticed. But there are certain areas in my life that I have resisted technology. I still prefer to write my grocery lists on … [Read more...]

Tips to Keep Your Kids Reading During the Summer Months with Scholastic

greatgreeneheist

This post was sponsored by Scholastic to encourage children to read during the summer months, all opinions are my own.  The lazy days of summer are just around the corner. It's actually been warm enough in Minnesota to make me think it's summer already. My boys are getting anxious for the end of school and they have already asked several times if we can bring out the sprinkler. Frolicking in the spraying water is a sure sign of the season, but we haven't indulged in this pastime yet.  Since my boys are getting older their summer reading experience has evolved. While my … [Read more...]

SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium in the Mall of America® Giveaway

minnesotasealifeexperience

One of our favorite places to visit in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area is SEA LIFE Minnesota.  This aquarium on the bottom floor of the Mall of America is full of a variety of sea animals. My boys get so excited to see sharks, lots of varieties of fish, sea turtles, jellyfish, sea horses, and giant crabs.  The winter months can be long in Minnesota and it isn't entirely feasible to spend a great amount of time outside. Visiting SEA LIFE is a great way to spend a morning or afternoon. Since we have a membership we visit this nearby destination quite frequently. I highly … [Read more...]

Family Fun Awaits with Chuck E. Cheese’s New Decoder!

supersecretecodechuckecheese

I have been compensated for the following content, all opinions express are my own. The mere mention of the words- Chuck E. Cheese- erupt a squeal of excitement from my youngest son. In fact all three of my boys are super fans of this popular entertainment spot. Recently we heard about the new decoder glasses and how they can unlock a secret code. The chance to be a secret agent?! My boys were definitely on board for this sort of fun!  With the purchase of a value meal {includes pizza, drinks, & tokens} kids receive a pair of decoder glasses, a printed game piece and … [Read more...]

Top 5 Moments in Oahu

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If you follow me via Instagram you might have noticed my family recently traveled to Hawaii. It was an epic adventure to say the least. My brother-in-law and family live in Kailua a few blocks from the beach and our trip was guided by their knowledge of the area. I’ll be creating a series of posts to provide further detail on our experience. Without a doubt, Oahu was a unlike any other place I’ve visited. Hawaii is distinct and wonderful. There is much to see and do. Our eight days were jammed packed full of activities {thanks for all the planning Tracy!} to maximize our time on the … [Read more...]

Take the Yeti River Run on Chuck E. Cheese’s Skate Universe App

yetiriverrunskateboarduniverse

I have received compensation for this content, all opinions expressed are my own. Recently I downloaded the app Skate Universe by Chuck E. Cheese on our iPad and purchased the latest update "Yeti River Run" for a mere $.99.  Very quickly it has become my boys' new favorite app.  Yours truly gave the river run a test first. I'll just confess I must be game challenged. I crashed into the logs in mere seconds. Meanwhile my five year old took the reins and easily maneuvered his way through the race. Clearly I am not the target audience or the generation that excels at this … [Read more...]

Best 5 Things to See & Do in Duluth with Kids

gooseberryfallstrail

Duluth has been an endless source of fun for my family. With lots of options for outdoors adventures we have traveled to Duluth and the North Shore many times over the years.   The beautiful, sometimes serene Lake Superior is at it's finest in the summer sun.  And while this lake isn't ideal for swimming there are lots of ways to embrace nature. Whether you are staying at one of the many popular resorts on the North Shore, a hotel along Canal Park, or camping a Jay Cooke State Park here are my top recommendations for fun, kid-friendly sites in the Duluth and North Shore … [Read more...]

Chuck E. Cheese Partners with Big Brothers Big Sisters

chuck e cheese big brothers big sisters

I received compensation for the following content, all opinions expressed are my own.  This photo melts my heart. It was taken a few years ago and features my middle son in the midst of delight at a visit to Chuck E. Cheese. The amount of joy this establishment provides my children is amazing. As a parent it makes me pleased to see them so happy.   But what adds extra satisfaction to our visits to Chuck E. Cheese is that the company is dedicated to helping children's organizations.  For instance each year I would set up a fundraiser for our local nonprofit preschool. … [Read more...]

Hiking with Kids in Minnesota: Lebanon Hills

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 Minneapolis and the surrounding suburbs are full of great places to explore with children.  Our family just moved into the Minneapolis/St. Paul area in June of 2014 {from the Rochester, MN area}  and we've had lots of fun exploring all the local parks. Lebanon Hills Regional Park is a great place for families. We've visited this beautiful area a few times and every visit I'm stunned by it's size.  Surrounded by Eagan and Apple Valley this park is right in the middle of the south metro. You gotta love Minnesota for creating such an expansive park in the midst of the city … [Read more...]

Hiking with Kids in Minnesota: Whitetail Woods Park

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Dakota County has a new park. A new huge park.  How does this happen? I can't say that I have any idea, but I'm sure it's a complicated process. My understanding is that is has taken years to make Whitetail Woods Regional Park a reality.  I didn't even realize that new parks were still being created. Most parks have been around for a minimum of twenty years, it seems. Most have been around for much, much longer. I have to cheer a little bit for good ol' Minnesota once again.  A new park within 45 minutes to downtown Minneapolis. For sure, it's a good … [Read more...]

Beautiful Home Decor with Bachman’s Spring Ideas House

crystal

Bachman's is known for their amazingly beautiful flowers. But the Ideas House takes Bachman's style and inspiration to a new level. This past week I had the opportunity to tour the spring display currently showing at the Ideas House and I immediately wanted to make this cozy setting my new home.  If your home is in need of a slight decor uplift or if you recently moved {like me} and have an entire house to decorate, the Ideas House definitely delivers on its name. Located on the Bachman's historical family home {5936 Lyndale Ave. S, Minneapolis} the home is open seven days a … [Read more...]

2015 Macy’s Flower Show ~ Art in Bloom

beautifulflowers

Today is the official opening of Macy's Flower Show at the 8th Floor Auditorium of Macy's Downtown Minneapolis. I had an opportunity to preview the show last night.  I'll share some of the beautiful blossoms intertwined with art through pictures feature below. But what I can't share is the heavenly perfumed air within this room. It smells magnificent! While the Minnesota winter is a memory the dull brown and gray colors outside this time of year are definitely drab.  This flower shower is a way to truly embrace spring, with amazing colors and invigorating … [Read more...]

4 Simple Tips to Create Your Best Easter Meal

deviledeggs

I have been compensated for this content, all opinions are my own. In my early twenties I remember hosting some of my first holiday meals. It was an exciting and fun time, but it was also stressful. The only truly way to learn is through trial and error. You just don't know anything until you try it. So I dove headfirst into preparing Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving meals. Now, many years later {how did I get so old?!} I have quite a bit of experience. I'm no professional, but with time comes wisdom. Well, at least that's what I strive for.  Families have different customs and … [Read more...]

James Patterson’s Public School Superhero Prize Pack Giveaway

jamespatterson

Celebrated writer James Patterson has expanded his skills reaching into the middle school age group with his latest book, Public School Superhero. My not quite middle schooler was keen to check-out this new book!  ABOUT THE BOOK In this story about a good kid with a great imagination struggling in a less-than-ideal world, James Patterson brings his bestselling "Middle School"-style humor and sensibility to an urban setting.  Kenny Wright is a kid with a secret identity. In his mind, he's Stainlezz Steel, super-powered defender of the weak. In reality, he's a chess … [Read more...]

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes

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Happy Pancake Day! During this season of frosty snowflakes and chilly temperatures, I enjoy making waffles or pancakes for breakfast on Sunday mornings.  My youngest son is something of a waffle connoisseur. He would probably eat them everyday if he could. His affinity doesn't transfer to pancakes with quite the same level of enthusiasm, but nonetheless he is still a fan.  In an attempt to temper his passion for all things carb-induced I made these Whole Wheat Oatmeal pancakes. I feel a little bit better serving pancakes with whole grains, though of course they taste best cooked in … [Read more...]