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...]

Outdoor Play Ideas for Kids in Winter

This post is brought to you by Kamik, all opinions are my own.  {photo credit: Everlasting Love Photography} Minnesota is blessed to produce it's own innate since of fun in the winter months with typically an abundance of snow. It is cold outside. And it does get dark early. But winter is a great time for kids to still play outside.  As a kid I have found memories of making elaborate snow forts and of the countless hours I spent sledding with my cousins. Sometimes in our modern digital age I think we forget how important it is for kids to play with no embellishments. Let them create … [Read more...]

Reach to the Stars with Ready-to-Read Books!

This post has been created in partnership with Simon & Schuster, all opinions are my own. My two oldest boys have always been advanced readers. When tested at school, their lexicon scores always surpass their grade level. The understanding of words just comes to them naturally. It's almost effortless.  Then, there is my youngest. Reading has not come naturally to him. He has had to work hard to hit averages. Thankfully, he is a hard worker and is staying with the pack. My sense of mom guilt likes to take blame for his reading challenges. For sure, I didn't read to him as a … [Read more...]

I Come From Arizona with the Children’s Theater Company in Minneapolis

While our tickets were complimentary, all opinions are my own.  It has been quite a while since the boys and I have visited the theater, so we were excited to see the newest feature from the Children's Theatre Company- I Come From Arizona. The theme of this play is such a great way to engage with children on this important and timely topic. The gist of it is this, Gabi, a Latina teen from south Chicago, tests into one of the top high schools in Chicago. A global perspectives class forces her to confront her mother about their entry into the US. Gabi has always been told by her … [Read more...]

The Storm Runner {a New Middle School Novel} & $50 Visa Gift Card Giveaway

Disney Book Group is partnering with me for a giveaway! The cozy fall days of the season are upon us. There is nothing better than getting snug by the fire with a good book! My eleven-year-old son recently discovered the new book The Storm Runner. It's a hit! Get the full synopsis below.  About the Book How can one boy with a limp stop the Maya god of death, disaster, and darkness from destroying the world? Zane has always enjoyed exploring the dormant volcano near his home in New Mexico, even though hiking it is challenging. He'd much rather hang out there with his … [Read more...]

Halloween Sprinkle Marshmallow Pops

These Halloween Sprinkle Marshmallow Pops are such an easy way to add some fun festive color to a seasonal party. Or if you are looking for an easy treat to make with little ones this is also a great option.  The process is pretty obvious. I stuck large marshmallows on {paper} straws. Then I heated some candy coating chocolate and simply dipped the marshmallows in the chocolate and sprinkled with the toppings.  … [Read more...]

A Cozy Fall Look with prAna

This post is in partnership with prAna, all opinions are my own.  And just like that fall is back in Minnesota. Last weekend I took the boys to an apple orchard and we sweltered in the 90+ degree heat. This week is a different story. I'm pulling out all of the clothing that involves layers. And I'm especially snug thanks to my new organic prAna sweater and pants.  This outfit is not only cozy, it's also made from organic cotton. Ethically-made clothing should be the standard in the apparel industry.  prAna considers the impact of their actions and lets their … [Read more...]

5 Tips to Help Make Selling Your Home & Moving Easier

This post is sponsored by Opendoor, all opinions are my own.  Selling a home is a rite of passage most people experience at some point. The process can be stressful, frustrating and exhausting. Even the mere thought of preparing your home and packing all your belongings for a move can be overwhelming for some. Of course the key to any large task is to breakdown the process into concrete steps that can be achieved one-by-one. But where to do you begin? I've previously sold two homes and I'm currently in the process of selling my third. Through these experiences I've picked up … [Read more...]

10 Best Things at Great Wolf Lodge in Bloomington

While our stay was complimentary, all opinions are my own.  The new Great Wolf Lodge in Bloomington is just a hop, skip and a jump from my house. What this close proximity means is an ideal and easy way to have a fun staycation. I knew the water park was going to be a hit with my crew. It's a no brainer. What I didn't understand was all the other amazing, fun things that this specific Great Wolf Lodge has to offer. I felt like a kid myself experiencing this magical place specifically designed to maximize joy.  Great Wolf Lodge in Bloomington, Minnesota is a destination. … [Read more...]

Inspiring Perseverance with Fiona the Hippo & a Giveaway

Zonderkidz is partnering with me for a giveaway!  As a parent it's important to guide your children through their life. As they grow this guidance can come in different forms as the challenges they face are more complex. But for young children providing inspiring and uplifting picture books is a simple way to create an environment of positive messages. Reading with your children and discussing large picture perspectives on life creates a stage for communication that lets them ponder and develop a personal narrative on who they are as a person.  In the cute and … [Read more...]

Doo Good with Scooby-Doo & Help in the Fight to End Hunger

Thank you toWarner Bros. for sponsoring this post. Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Inc. Gang have teamed up with generationOn, the youth family division of Points of Light, to inspire, equip and mobilize kids, parents and Scooby-Doo fans to create meaningful change in their communities. {picture courtesy of Warner Bros from the MOA event} One in six kids in the U.S. may not know where they will get their next meal. It might seem impossible to most Americans that children, right in our own country, are hungry. It doesn't inherently make sense to me, yet it's true. And that's why … [Read more...]

Best Places to See in Oahu

Hawaii, in general, is a top destination within it's own right. But as most people know Hawaii is composed of eight different and distinct islands. I've only had the opportunity to visit Oahu {twice}, therefore my post is dedicated to some of sites I've found to be well worth a visit that are specific to this popular island.  Most people have limited time on the island so honing in on those destinations and activities that are the best fit for you are key. Quite obviously my list is skewed to my favorite activities. If you are a regular visitor to this site you'll know I prefer hiking, … [Read more...]

How Car Seats Work

This important post is sponsored by Parenting Pod.  Car accidents are slowly becoming one of the leading causes of death in the world, so we need to do everything we can in order to protect ourselves, and especially our children, from injury in the event of a car crash. The sad reality is that when it comes to car safety, adults are generally better equipped than kids. We have seatbelts and airbags to protect us, but a child's small frame can't benefit from such devices so a different solution is needed. One of the best ways to keep your kids safe in an accident is a … [Read more...]

Blue Velvet Mini Cakes for the 4th of July

First things first, this recipe is not a made by scratch story. This entire post was inspired by a box of blue cake that my youngest sweet-loving son spied in the grocery store.  The box in the picture above lead to the picture below...... No, you can't stuff these entire mini cakes in your mouth, but he sure did try.  If you are looking for a relatively easy recipe to bring to a picnic or family gathering this 4th of July, these cakes make for a pretty way to decorate a table. Rather than baking the cake in a normal cake pan, I used a cake sheet pan. I forgot to … [Read more...]

Best Things for Kids in Myrtle Beach

This post was created in partnership with the Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce, opinions are my own.  Since we live in the Minneapolis area it might not seem that Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is a go-to destination for family fun. But Spirit airlines has a new direct flight to this coastal town and within a couple of hours snowbound Minnesota residents can be at the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. This April my crew and I explored this vacation town. Myrtle Beach Bound!  This was our first time in South Carolina so I had no previous level of understanding of the area or … [Read more...]