A World Full of Play at the MN Children’s Museum & a Giveaway

This post was created as a part of my ambassadorship with the Minnesota Children's Museum.  My children live to play. One of my five-year-old son’s favorite pastimes is to fight imaginary bad guys. They could be robots. They could be monsters. I have a hard time determining exactly “who” these guys are all the time. But what I do know is that he considers it an awful day if he doesn’t have the opportunity to play this imaginary game. At the heart of the MN Children’s Museum is a commitment to encouraging play. It seems so simple, right? Children love to play. But in today’s … [Read more...]

Power Up & Read this Summer with Scholastic!

This post was sponsored by Scholastic to encourage children to read during the summer months, all opinions are my own.  School is officially out for the summer. My boys were super happy to end another successful year of school. No more homework. No more worksheets. No more early mornings. But this relaxed time of year can onset the "summer slide". No, it's not an amusement park ride. The "summer slide" is learning loss that kids experience when they don't stay in school continually. Essentially some of that valuable information they learn gets tossed out of their brains during this … [Read more...]

Create Your Own Meal of Choice at Chipotle

I have been compensated for this post, all opinions expressed are my own.  I remember the first time I ate at a Chipotle. It was before kids, meaning it was a whole other world. Picky eating didn't really play a part in that experience. Fast-forward around ten years later and now I have three little boys. Eating out with children is an entirely different experience. As my boys get older their preferences are developing. For instance my 10 year old he becoming more distinct in his choices. He used to like fish. He used to like taco seasoning. Now he refuses to eat either. Such is … [Read more...]

Calling All Bloggers! SoFabUOTR Minneapolis 2015

Calling all bloggers in the Minnesota and Wisconsin area! SoFabU on the Road is coming to Minneapolis in August!  What is SoFabU on the Road? It's a one day blogging conference designed to inspire, educate and bring a sense of community to the somewhat isolated world of blogging.  What is SoFabU? This term refers to Social Fabric University, the social media influencer education component of Social Fabric. This online education community is full of amazing classes on a wide variety of topics- storytelling, SEO, photography and Instagram- the list just keeps growing. … [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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Back-to-School Rules for Being a Kid

This post has been created as part of my partnership with Popsicle®, all opinions are entirely my own.  After Labor Day weekend school begins in the state of Minnesota. During this first month the temperature is bound to be summer-like one week and chilly the next.  And just like the variance in climate, these first few weeks of school can create a mixture of emotions. There are first day jitters and the excitement of making new friends, and the sudden shock that school is EVERY day.  There is no more sleeping in, no more endless hours of play.  It's time to … [Read more...]