Three Reasons to Replace Your Print Book with Kobo Glo HD

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

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

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!

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...]

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

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

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

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

 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

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

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

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...]

James Patterson’s Public School Superhero Prize Pack Giveaway

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...]

Top 5 Family-Friendly Memberships in the Twin Cities Metro

Since moving closer to the Twin Cities metro area this summer, my boys have been reveling in all the family fun destinations the area contains.  We lived in southeast Minnesota area prior to our move, so it's not as though the Minneapolis/St. Paul was a mystery to us. But our close proximity to so many fun places is a little overwhelming.  As we started to visit various museums and attractions this summer, it quickly became apparent that it made sense to purchase a membership.  Typically in as little as two or three visits a year, the membership will have paid for itself. … [Read more...]

THE ZODIAC LEGACY: CONVERGENCE Giveaway

Stan Lee presents a brand new, magical, super-powered adventure! When twelve magical superpowers are unleashed on the world, a Chinese-America teenager named Steven will be thrown into the middle of an epic global chase. He'll have to master strange powers, outrun super-powered mercenaries, and unlock the mysterious powers of the Zodiac.  Super-powered. Adventures. Magic. These words are at the heart of all that my little fellas love.  This new set of stories from comic book creator, Stan Lee, are an ideal fit for my oldest son {10 years old}. Check out the video below for a … [Read more...]

Bogeyman 101: A Guide to Bogeymen Around the World

Ghosts. Monsters. Vampires. Werewolves. Yeti. Bogeyman. I remember being fascinated by these mysteries of the universe when I was child.  There was a section of my school library that had a modest collection of books focused on these various topics. I was riveted.  Now, many years later, my eldest son is equally fascinated by these myths. Perhaps it is a rite of passage, or maybe it's genetic. Whatever the case may be Bogeyman 101 aligns with the current interests of my book-loving 10-year-old son.    With glimpses into the bogeyman myths across the globe, this … [Read more...]