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Month: April 2017

Weekly Highlights ~ m4w4y17

Weekly Highlights ~ m4w4y17

Reflecting on the happy moments in my life

Last weekend was great but I’ve been feeling bummed this week for a few different reasons.  That’s why it is especially important to me that I reflect on the good things that have happened.

 Here are my highlights from the week of April 21-27, 2017.

  1. Using a sick day to have a day off for Bretton’s birthday
  2. Taking the boys to the Sea Life Adventures Aquarium at MOA
  3. Rides at Nickelodeon World
  4. Hanging with visitors from California 
  5. Half-priced appetizers at Cowboy Jack’s
  6. Beautiful, warm sunny weather for a day- We will take it whenever we can get it! LOL
  7. A trip to Brainerd International Raceway for a private event
  8. Free stay in a pretty cool condo
  9. Breakfast at the old-fashioned 371 Diner in Brainerd
  10. Iced coffee
  11. GREEN leaves and grass everywhere
  12. Productive planning with my team
  13. Big, exciting things coming (see #9)
  14. A successful early childhood screening for Bretton (2nd attempt)
  15. Early sunrise
  16. Plans for Kristi & Kim’s Photo Hunt Challenge May 2017
  17. Listening to my boys sing along to songs on the radio
My 12th Blogiversary!!

My 12th Blogiversary!!

12 Years of Blogging.   That represents 30% of my life thus far. That’s kind of crazy, isn’t it??? My first blog post was on April 15, 2005. I had seen the blogs of a couple of my scrapbooking friends, Lindsay and Nicole (who are pioneers in everything they do!) and I wanted one too.  I had already had my own website for 5 years at that point, a place for me to post photos, but I did not have the ability to write blog posts with the platform I used.  I instantly loved the idea of blogging and knew it was perfect for me.  My motivation for blogging is to get my thoughts out, to have a permanent place to document what’s going on in my life, to be able to connect with others, to teach and inform, to write about the adventures of my little boys Dash & Bash, and to share a piece of myself with the world.  I am not doing this for fame or fortune. LOL

A lot has changed in twelve years and some things have stayed the same.  One of these days I am going to go back to the beginning and read every post.  I’ve met some amazing people along the way who I consider to be great friends.  I think blogging can be extremely intimate and personal (I know this one is!) as are the relationships you develop as you really get to know someone.  

A few stats after 12 years:

Thanks for being here and taking time to read or comment.  I love being able to connect with each of you, whether you are a new reader, someone who has been with me since the beginning, or a friend I have met along the journey.

Peace and love to all!

Do You Suffer From Seasonal Allergies?

Do You Suffer From Seasonal Allergies?

Are any of you suffering from the dreaded seasonal allergies??? Unfortunately, this spring has already started out roughly for many people.

Sneezing, itchy, drippy nose and itchy, watery eyes.  Sound familiar?? That darn pollen!! Benedryl and other antihistamines can definitely work to alleviate your symptoms, but they can’t fix the actual problem.  They can actually worsen your symptoms in the long term and make you more dependent on allergy meds. 

Guess what? Pollen isn’t the problem.

So what IS the actual Problem??? Allergies are actually a mild auto-immune disease.  When your gut health is out of balance, your immune system will malfunction. Pathogens will overgrow and produce toxins such as histamines. Getting your gut healthy is the key to freeing yourself of many allergies and other auto-immune disorders. I got my information from this article, Pollen is Not the Problem if you’d like to read more.

If you’ve suffered from allergies for a long time, isn’t it worth it to try keeping them in check by getting your gut healthy?? You’ll feel so much better when you do!

I had seasonal allergies for many years but I can honestly say I no longer suffer. It’s a miracle! LOL. Not really, it’s just science. I’ve been taking a high-quality probiotic from Plexus called ProBio5 as well as a magnesium supplement called BioCleanse for over a year now and since I’ve gotten my gut healthy, my itchy nose and sneezing have completely stopped.  Many other ailments I had cleared up as well and I also have a very healthy immune system.  ProBio5 is very affordable ($29.95/mo) and will work wonders for those with allergies. 

I’d like to share the testimony of my oldest and best friend, Bradie.  We have known each other our entire lives (well since 3yo anyway!) and she had some of the worst allergies of anyone I know.  Bradie had spring and fall allergies, and was allergic to every tree and grass known to mankind.  Huge, puffy swollen eyes every spring when the trees started budding.  Mold, dust mites.  So many fruits and vegetables I can’t even name them all.  Bradie was absolutely against taking medications and suffered miserably.  She found the Plexus products in December 2015 and started taking the ProBio5.  Last spring, after we had both been taking the products for a few months, I mentioned to her that I noticed my allergies weren’t too bad this year, how were hers? It was in that moment that she realized that she wasn’t suffering as usual, either!!! What the what?! She was so encouraged that she attempted to eat celery and sugar-snap peas, two food that previously made her throat start swelling.  I would not recommend this and told her she was crazy! But guess what? She ate both foods without any reaction and has continued to push the limits. No more allergies.  She has even been able to eat some nuts that she had previously reacted to.

I can’t guarantee that taking the ProBio5 will clear up your seasonal allergies, but I do think it can help immensely!! And Plexus has a 60-Day Money back guarantee.  Try it consistently for at least two months and you will be sleeping better, have a boosted immune system, and will likely feel better than you have in a long time πŸ˜‰ Gut health is the key. 

I believe in these products so much that I became an Ambassador to spread the word! 

Celebrating Kim’s Birthday

Celebrating Kim’s Birthday

My dear friend Kim is another year older! It happens to the best of us, every single year. LOL  A few of us girls, along with Kim’s parents, met for dinner last week at Welsch’s Big Ten Tavern.  I hadn’t been there before but they had decent food.  I also brought the boys.  Bashy and I shared a calzone and Bretton had a cheeseburger (big surprise!)

Mary, Sonja, Kim and Myself.  Missing Lanee

Kimmy and I

Sonja and I

It’s always nice to see my girls, even if I have to bring Dash & Bash with me πŸ˜‰

A Letter to My Oldest Son on his 4th Birthday

A Letter to My Oldest Son on his 4th Birthday

Happy Belated Birthday Big Boy! (Your birthday was on Friday 4-21 but we had such a busy weekend that I finally finished writing this and posting it today πŸ˜‰

Four years old.  When they say it goes fast, it is so true.  Four years now since I gave birth to you, my sweet boy, and became a Mother.

a mother and her newborn baby. heart overfilled with joy

At times, though, I feel like I have known you much longer than just four years. This past year of “being three” has been a big challenge for us.  You are such a smart, strong-willed child! You test my patience every single day.  I hope you are always able to use this to your advantage

Bretton, you can be the most thoughtful, sweet boy.  Most days when I get home from work you are there to greet me at the door.  I love when you give me a kiss and hug and then ask me, “Mama, how was your day?” You are very affectionate and ask for hugs and kisses several times a day, and tell each of us how much you love us.  One of your favorite lines is “I love you all the time”. Its especially sweet to see you hugging and kissing your little brother.  It is obvious how much you love each other.

Mommy with two boys so much love

As challenging as it is to have two young boys so close in age, I wouldn’t change it for the world.  You and Sebastian are the best of friends.  You are very thoughtful toward him and outright protective.  You get offended if you think he has been served any kind of injustice, sometimes getting mad at me for scolding him or putting him in a time-out when he has done something naughty.  I hope you always stay close and continue to stand up for him your entire lives.  There are also plenty of moments that you don’t get along as well and fight with each other.  I see you pushing Bash’s buttons and trying to get him worked up.  You often think it is funny, but watch out, Bretton! Bashy doesn’t put up with that junk and you never know… some day he might end up bigger than you. LOL. Right now that doesn’t seem possible, as you are nearly double in size.

Little boys looking at basket full of easter eggs

 

You were a big baby at 9 lbs, Bretton, and at four years old, you are a very big boy! I mean that both mentally and physically.  In the past year, you have nearly doubled in weight to 65 lbs.  Most people who look at you and talk to you, think you’re five or six! You’re a good eater with a big appetite if it’s a food you like.  Some of your favorites are cheeseburgers, chicken with honey mustard, peanut butter “swamiches”, pizza, burritos, apples, grapes, strawberries.  You aren’t a big fan of vegetables but we sneak them in by giving you mixed veggie/fruit “fruit pouches”.  You also have a taste for candy and junk food.  I sometimes catch you sneaking these things under the dining room table.

Some of the things you are really into right now include Ghostbusters, TMNT, Spider-Man and anything spider-related.  You’ve had a fear of spiders since you were two years old but I’ve seen you conquer that fear head-on.  Very admirable.  I’m sure glad spiders don’t bother me because you have an entire collection of creepy toy spiders.  You love taking one of your giant toy spiders with you when we go out in public and you love showing that spider to people to see their reactions.  I have noticed this as a trend!! You love to get a reaction out of people.  You are very funny and have a great sense of humor.  I love the sound of your laugh!

 

little boy being silly and making a funny face

One of your most favorite “toys” of all is your “green 4-wheeler”.  This was a gift from your Dad last year when you turned 3.  You put many-a-mile on this bad-boy!! You drive this thing whenever you get a chance and you sure have impressive driving skills!! You love to give Bashy and other friends a ride, but you always want to be the driver. LOL.  You are a back-seat driver when daddy or I am driving too.  I often hear you say fromthe baskseat, “speed up” “give it some gas!” “switch over” “slow down” or “wait for the green light, Mama, then you can go!” You pay attention to your surroundings and know the local area as well.  You know the names of many streets and towns.  You know you live in Hugo, MN.

Little boys driving and riding in the dune buggy power wheels

This fall you will be going to school for the first time and I look forward to you making friends and building a love for school like your Mommy.  We have a few challenges with your behavior to work through but I know the structure and guidance will be great for you.  You are a quick learner and have an incredible gift to infer and comprehend what is happening around you and in the stories we read.  Please know I will always be here to guide and support you.

I love you so much, Bretton.  This next year is going to be wonderful for you!

Love, Mommy

Weekly Highlights ~ m4w3y17

Weekly Highlights ~ m4w3y17

Reflecting on the happy moments in my life

Highlights from the week of April 14-20, 2017:

  1. Having Good Friday off of work- This was a professional development day without students.  My school chose to do our hours individually throughout school year so we didn’t have to report
  2. Hanging with Rich, Jackson and Jacob- We met Rich and the boys at the park and then we hung out at our house.  Pizza from Pezzo for dinner!
  3. Lunch at Tokyo Sushi- This is one of our favorite places
  4. Easter Egg Hunt @ Pat & Jess’s- We drove out to the country to hang with a family of friends.  The kids had a lot of fun and enjoyed their goodies!
  5. A visit from the the Easter Bunny- Treats and activities galore!!
  6. Easter Brunch with Brian & Michelle- A delicious meal followed by a fun egg hunt
  7. A last meal with our beloved friends Darrell & Denise- Our dear neighbors have sold their home and are closing on it today 4/21. We had meats on the smoker and enjoyed the company for the last time as neighbors
  8. Borrowing the book Thirteen Reasons Why from Krysten
  9. Dinner at Welsch’s Big Ten with my BFFs for Kim’s birthday- We don’t get together as often as we used to so when we do, our time is special. 
  10. A deep conversation with my girl Noemy.  I love that she keeps it real for me
  11. Discovering a new way of doing things for our team
Thoughts for Thursday: Pizza Topping Combos

Thoughts for Thursday: Pizza Topping Combos

Good Morning and Happy Thursday!

I’m short on time this morning and I woke up really hungry.  You know what that means? That today I am going to blog about Food!! More specifically, pizza.  Doesn’t everyone love pizza?

Pizza is one of those foods that has so many different variables to it, that you could literally come up with thousands of combinations! Starting with the type of crust, then sauce, cheeses, and of course the toppings.  While I love a good ol’ pepperoni or sausage pizza, I have found that there are many other pizzas that I absolutely love.  I bet you do, too.  Last night at dinner with a group of friends, one of my BFFs was telling us that her favorite pizza has sauerkraut, pickles and sausage.  That’s a little weird, isn’t it? My theory is “don’t knock it until you try it”.  While I have never tried this seemingly strange combo, several other friends nodded in agreement that this was an awesome combo.

Here are some of my favorite combos that are a little out-of-the-ordinary.  Note: I love red sauce but these all feature a different sauce πŸ˜‰

      • Petso, Mushroom and Brie 

Mushroom and Brie Pizza at Freight House ~ Stillwater, MN

    • Pesto, shrimp and spicy sausage
    • Creamy dill sauce, caramelized red onion, roasted red bell pepper, grilled chicken
    • Tzaziki sauce, grilled chicken, sauteed red onion, feta and mozzarella, diced tomatoes with cool tzatziki drizzled on top
    • chive oil, fresh garlic, wild mushrooms and boursin cheese, topped with fresh sprouts.

Wild Mushroom Flatbread at Tria ~ North Oaks, MN

  • Pepperoni, pineapple, banana pepper and a splash of Franks hot sauce
  • Peanut sauce, mozzarella, spicy chicken, red onions, cilantro, carrots, bean sprouts, serrano chilies)

Thai Pizza at ZPizza ~ Roseville, MN

So, how about you? What non-standard combos have you tried that are really great together?

Beautiful Naples Beach and a Dolphin Cruise (Florida Day 2)

Beautiful Naples Beach and a Dolphin Cruise (Florida Day 2)

On our second full day in Florida, we made reservations to take a harbor cruise in Naples.  My parents live in Bonita Springs, which is about half way between Fort Myers and Naples, so it takes less than 25 minutes to get to either city. Perfect!!

After breakfast we drove to Naples.  First stop was THE BEACH!!!!! I have to confess that the water wasn’t quite this turquoise, this photo had a little help from a filter πŸ˜‰ It was beautiful though!

beautiful Naples beach gulf of mexico clear blue water

 

A Beach selfie!!

selfie at the beach!

Mi Familia

We didn’t stay at the beach too long because we needed to get over to Tin City to get on the boat.  The harbor cruise was pretty awesome! We got good seats in the front of the top deck.  The houses we saw, especially in Port Royal, were unbelievable!! Huge and mega-millions.


Port Royal Naples Florida million dollar homes

Hey Kids! How about sailing school? LOL.  We saw these little millionaires taking lessons.  It was pretty adorable!

We saw dolphins on a few different occasions which was really awesome too.

These photos just don’t do any of it justice!!!! I made a Florida Video that documents all of this and then some πŸ˜‰

After the cruise we took the kids to nearby Bonefish Grill and had lunch.  

The view from our patio table

Later that day we hung out on the lanai, had rotisserie chicken for dinner, and enjoyed our time together πŸ˜‰

Lunch at Ford’s Garage and Dinner on the Lanai (Florida Day 1)

Lunch at Ford’s Garage and Dinner on the Lanai (Florida Day 1)

Who’s ready to hear about our trip to Florida two months ago??!! LOL.  I made and posted this video of our trip  when we came home but I never posted any pictures and I haven’t written anything about it until now.  I’ve got a lot of catching up to do!  I apologize that this is a breakfast-to-bed type of post.  This is more for my benefit at this point πŸ˜‰

We arrived into Fort Myers late on a Thursday night and spent a few hours relaxing and catching up with my parents.  The kids and I sure have missed them. They built a house in Bonita Springs and moved there in November 2015.  They live there 7 months of the year and come back to MN for the summer.  Grandma and Bretton (aka Dash) are dressed like twinsies!! lol

The first real day that we were there was spent shopping and eating πŸ˜‰  None of us had sandals so we went to Beall’s and went on a mini-shopping spree.  We got a bunch of good stuff! Later we all went to the Miromar Outlets and had lunch at Ford’s Garage.

The boys loved the little pond that had a ton of turtles and koi

Ford Model-T at Ford's Garage in Estero Florida

This place is pretty cool!

A whole wall of beer taps!

Check out the sinks in the bathroom!! Have you ever seen anything like that?

Bathroom sinks made from tires at Ford's Garage in Estero Florida

Ford’s is known for their giant burgers. Yum. They brand their buns at Ford’s!

Burger at Ford's Garage

This green, tropical drink was fruity and delicious.  Very refreshing! I think it was probably called Antifreeze but I might have made that up! LOL

tropical green fruity cocktail

After lunch we ran to Winn Dixie to grab a few things. Bashy insisted on wearing his shades. LOL. He’s wearing his Darth Vader “You Don’t Wanna See My Dark Side” shirt.  No kidding.  This kid has a Temper!! We drove around for awhile until he fell asleep.  That’s how we roll πŸ˜‰

child from the dark side, star wars kid, future darth vader

Later that day we hung out on the Lanai at my parents’ house.  It is so peaceful hanging on the lanai, enjoying happy hour.  I’m not a big drinker but while on vacation, why not?! The following day I saw an alligator swimming across this pond in their backyard!!

The kids can’t get enough of Grandma πŸ˜‰ 

We  had pizza for dinner, followed by a fire in the fancy fire-pit-table.  More snuggles with Grandma πŸ˜‰

Ahhh, recounting our trip has me yearning to go back.  Thank goodness my folks come back to MN next week and will be staying for the summer! 

I have a few more days worth of Florida pictures to blog about and will be posting those soon πŸ˜‰

A Busy & Fun Easter Weekend

A Busy & Fun Easter Weekend

Now that I am blogging regularly again, I want to post about things going on while they are still fresh in my memory (instead of months later). I hope everyone had a nice weekend, whether you celebrate Easter or Passover.

We had a very busy, action-packed weekend and I want to recap it all here.

I had the day off on Good Friday.  Well actually, I should say that it was a professional development day for teachers in my district, no school for the kids.  My school opted to put our hours in over the course of the year so we could have Friday off.  I am so glad we did!! It was a really nice afternoon; the sun came out and the weather warmed up.  Our friend Rich (who lives like 40 miles away), also had the day off so he brought his boys up to our neck of the woods.  We met at the park and let the boys run around, swing, climb, dig, etc for about an hour.  After the park we all went back to our house where we continued to hang out, let the boys ride on Dash’s “4-wheeler” (as he calls it), and then we ordered Chicago deep-dish style pizza from Pezzo.  Best Chicago pizza in the Twin Cities!

Little boys driving and riding in the dune buggy power wheels

On Saturday afternoon we drove out to East Bethel to celebrate with a family of good friends.  The adults got to hang out and the kids got to hunt for Easter eggs.  Bash and Dash had never done an egg hunt before! Here they are checking out their stash of eggs!

Little boys looking at basket full of easter eggs

They also each got an easter basket full of goodies like these musical instruments NOISE MAKERS. Ay carumba! Now they think they’re each the next Mozart, blowing on these god-forsaken things for 15 hours a day. LOL.  These might be the first toys I’d gladly let the dog chew on and destroy!! Hahaha

One of the gifts in that basket were these eggs that you put in water and they hatch the next day! The first set of eggs didn’t fair well after Dash started smashing them on the counter to get them to crack.  He didn’t realize how they were supposed to work and I didn’t catch him until it was too late!!! Good thing we had two sets so we could try again.  We put one egg in water late Saturday night and on Sunday we woke up to a dinosaur hatching.  Dash was mesmerized!!!

The Easter Bunny also came to our house Sunday morning and Dash was out of bed hours earlier than usual.  He proceeded to find both baskets sinch Bashy was still sound asleep.  Books, candy, trucks, tattoos, pencils, etc. Here is Bash checking out some of his new stuff

Later Sunday morning we went to my brother Brian’s house for Easter brunch with Michelle’s family.  We’ve been doing a variation of this for years! We had a nice spread followed by another Easter Egg hunt.  I didn’t take many pictures of the event because I was trying to help Bashy find all his eggs.  We also brought my nephew a present since we missed his party in March.

My nieces and nephew.  They are all getting so grown up! Ages 11, 10, and 9

Here Bretton takes a break

Michelle was taking pictures and I guess Bash decided to be camera shy! LOL

So much fun all weekend and this wasn’t even the last of it!!! Our beloved neighbors are temporarily back at their Hugo house (they’ve been living somewhere else the past year) as they pack up the last of their belongings before their house is officially sold this coming Friday.  They invited us over for one last hurrah.  Smoked turkey, rice and salads.  It was low-key and nice to spend time with them.  The boys will greatly miss Uncle Darrell and Aunt Denise but we know we will still see them πŸ™‚ More easter candy and goodies.

When we returned home on Sunday, our dog was acting very sick.  I was concerned maybe he had gotten into something he shouldn’t have (candy, toys), but there was no evidence of that and he was in the kennel all day.  It seemed to be short-lived though, thank God.  I was so worried, it made me realize that he has grown on me more than I thought πŸ˜‰ 

Whew! Busy but fun.  Now on to a great week ahead!

xoxo

Weekly Highlights ~ m4w2y17

Weekly Highlights ~ m4w2y17

Reflecting on the happy moments in my life

I have been posting these weekly highlights for several years now but I’ve always just made a list.  This week I wanted to expand on each thing and I’m glad I did! I hope to do this more often, it sure makes it easier to remember what was really going on in my life when I look back at these posts some day!

Highlights from the week of April 7-April 13, 2017:

  1. Scenic drive around Lake Pepin- I didn’t take many photos of our drive because it was cloudy and kinda yucky out.  We did drive up the rustic mountain road in Maiden Rock, WI and stopped to pick a few mushrooms.  I looked through one of our new mushroom books and couldn’t seem to figure out wht they were.  I still have so much to learn!! Or maybe I discovered a new species. Hahaha
  2. Dinner at Smokin Oak in Red Wing- It is our tradition to stop and have dinner here when visiting Red Wing or after driving all the way around Pepin.  The first time we ever stopped here as a family (and got take-out) was when Bretton was just five days old.  I kid you not!!!
  3. Eating burgers outside at Wagner’s Drive-In.  We just love this old-school drive-in.  
  4. Amazing budget news @ work-  no cuts next year!!!!!! Ya know, for whatever reason I wasn’t that worried about this.  I just had a feeling it was going to work out despite the fact that our district is cutting 15 million.  Praise the Lord.
  5. Getting to know the bloggers of The Peaceful Posse better.  Thank you to those who link your blogs on the daily threads, it has been the easiest way for me to read your posts.
  6. Big Little Lies ( I watch the entire first season in a week)- Did you read my post about it?
  7. Finding the Rory Gilmore Reading List.  You probably saw my blog post about it, I’ve read 59/339 Rory’s books
  8. A very generous and unexpected token from a dear friend at work when it was desperately needed
  9. Chatting with my teammates– My best friend Bradie and I are power partners in the Plexus business.  We video chat a few times a week but have our teammates join us on Tuesdays as well.  Such an amazing group of women!
  10. Snuggles with my boys.  They both give the sweetest kisses and hugs.  I can still hold Bashy while sitting and rock him.  He’s 2 1/2 now and definitely not a baby anymore.  Makes me sad, I miss my baby. lol
  11. Catching up with my bestie Mary– We only connect via phone once or twice a month so when we do, we have a lot to catch up on
  12. Plexus Payday!– This extra income has been an absolute godsend. We are always paid electronically by the 15th of the month.  This check came on the 12th. Woot!
  13. G/T cohort training with Dr Karen Westberg– My school district has hired her to offer PD to our small group of Gifted & Talented teachers and program cooridnators.  Dr Westberg was one of my professors that I got to know very well while completing grad school back in 2000-02.  I helped her compile research for a study once upon a time.
  14. Finding my old Twice Exceptional program proposal I wrote for my MA 16 yrs ago!! and re- sharing it with Dr Westberg! Early in my teaching career, I had expertise in kids who had both learning disabilities or ASD but were also gifted.  There are very few teachers who specialize in both ends of the spectrum, I am one fo them πŸ˜‰ 
  15. Zoom video team training with Jaclyn Stanley– Jaclyn is a Diamond Ambassador with Plexus and did so in under two years.  That’s incredible!! She is a sideline and good friend of my sponsor’s sponsor and jumped on our weekly meeting with us to answer our questions.  I am also going to be a Diamond in a few years, making more money than I can dream of.  Such an amazing company and amazing products.  
Thoughts for Thursday: Business Cards

Thoughts for Thursday: Business Cards

Happy Thursday! The weekend is nearly here.  Hooray!

Many, many years ago when I was actively involved in blogging and had a long-time community of bloggers, many of us would use Thursdays to post about a social issue or various topic that we had on our minds or wanted to know what others thought.  We coined these posts Thoughts for Thursday (TFT).  It has been many years since I have written a  TFT, but today seems like a good time to get back into, especially after hearing a discussion this morning on my radio morning show.  The cast of the show was talking about BUSINESS CARDS.  Their theory is that people like to inflate their title on the business card, to show an inflated sense of importance.  They also believe that most people never look at business cards again after receiving them or they throw them away.

I am a teacher.  Never in 18 years have I had a business card, and I don’t know of any teachers that do.  I have seen them from many people who work in district-level administrative positions, but never from a teacher.  We write weekly newsletters and send them home with the kids.  Parents know how to get ahold of us πŸ˜‰

I also currently have a side-business as an Ambassador with Plexus Worldwide.  We are a health and wellness company if you haven’t heard of us. Many of my teammates have business cards, but even after a year now, I haven’t ordered any.  I probably should though! I’m sure it is much more professional when handing out samples. I better get on that, right? LOL

I have, however, had business cards for my restaurant review website,  Twin Cities Restaurant Blog.  Old news because I haven’t maintained the site in over four years now.  My business cards were bright and colorful and matched the logo from my site.  The only info they had was my website, name and email.  I would leave them on the table or with the check at every restaurant we visited.  I also passed them out to people frequently after telling them about my website or when people would start talking restaurants or food.  People were happy to take them and I think they must’ve used them too, website was very popular.

I rarely take or receive business cards from anyone.  I have a few from friends in my desk drawer, but I can’t think of any from strangers that I’ve kept.  I also do not actively use LinkedIn.

So here are my questions for you:

Do you have a business card? What type of job/business do you have? Who do you give them to? Do many people follow up with you down the road?

What do you do with the business cards people give you??

Books I’ve Read from Rory Gilmore’s Booklist

Books I’ve Read from Rory Gilmore’s Booklist

I love the Gilmore Girls and I’m also a big bookworm (let’s be friends on Goodreads!).  I was debating what I would blog about today but then I was super inspired by Tex Erin in Sydney’s post today about books, which then led me to her Book Challenge 6.0.  There is a list of specific challenges to fulfill, all related to books.  One of the challenges on BC6.0 is to “Read a β€œRory Gilmore” book.  The character of Rory from the Gilmore Girls was shown reading over 300 different books throughout the series. “.  I just finished watching the entire series of GG about 2 months ago and I’ve always been curious what Rory was reading.  I had to copy the list and compare which books I’ve read on this list!!

Here is the official list in ABC order. Many of them are classics and they are all at least ten years old (show ended in 2007), but there are some modern titles as well.  Titles that are BOLD are ones I’ve already read.  There are several others on this list that I own but have not read yet, or I’ve seen the movie but haven’t read the book.  I didn’t count those. Several have been on my TBR list for a long time, others I will now have to add. LOL.

Overall, I have read 59 of the 339 books.  

1. 1984 by George Orwell
2. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
3. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
4. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
5. An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
6. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
7. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
8. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
9. The Archidamian War by Donald Kagan
10. The Art of Fiction by Henry James
11. The Art of War by Sun Tzu
12. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
13. Atonement by Ian McEwan
14. Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
15. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
16. Babe by Dick King-Smith
17. Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi
18. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
19. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
20. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
21. Beloved by Toni Morrison
22. Beowulf: A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney
23. The Bhagava Gita
24. The Bielski Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Built a Village in the Forest, and Saved 1,200 Jews by Peter Duffy
25. Bitch in Praise of Difficult Women by Elizabeth Wurtzel
26. A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays by Mary McCarthy
27. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
28. Brick Lane by Monica Ali
29. Bridgadoon by Alan Jay Lerner
30. Candide by Voltaire
31. The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
32. Carrie by Stephen King
33. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
34. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
35. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
36. The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman
37. Christine by Stephen King
38. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
39. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
40. The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse
41. The Collected Stories by Eudora Welty
42. A Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare
43. Complete Novels by Dawn Powell
44. The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton
45. Complete Stories by Dorothy Parker
46. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
47. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
48. Cousin Bette by Honore de Balzac
49. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
50. The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
51. The Crucible by Arthur Miller
52. Cujo by Stephen King
53. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
54. Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende
55. David and Lisa by Dr Theodore Issac Rubin M.D
56. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
57. The Da Vinci -Code by Dan Brown
58. Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
59. Demons by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
60. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
61. Deenie by Judy Blume
62. The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
63. The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band by Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx
64. The Divine Comedy by Dante
65. The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
66. Don Quixote by Cervantes
67. Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhrv
68. Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
69. Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales & Poems by Edgar Allan Poe
70. Eleanor Roosevelt by Blanche Wiesen Cook
71. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
72. Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn
73. Eloise by Kay Thompson
74. Emily the Strange by Roger Reger
75. Emma by Jane Austen
76. Empire Falls by Richard Russo
77. Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol
78. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
79. Ethics by Spinoza
80. Europe through the Back Door, 2003 by Rick Steves
81. Eva Luna by Isabel Allende
82. Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
83. Extravagance by Gary Krist
84. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
85. Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore
86. The Fall of the Athenian Empire by Donald Kagan
87. Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World by Greg Critser
88. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
89. The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien
90. Fiddler on the Roof by Joseph Stein
91. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
92. Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce
93. Fletch by Gregory McDonald
94. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
95. The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
96. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
97. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
98. Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
99. Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers
100. Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
101. Gender Trouble by Judith Butler
102. George W. Bushism: The Slate Book of the Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President by Jacob Weisberg
103. Gidget by Fredrick Kohner
104. Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
105. The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
106. The Godfather: Book 1 by Mario Puzo
107. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
108. Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Alvin Granowsky
109. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
110. The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford
111. The Gospel According to Judy Bloom
112. The Graduate by Charles Webb
113. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
114. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
115. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
116. The Group by Mary McCarthy
117. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
118. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling
119. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
120. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
121. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
122. Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry
123. Henry IV, part I by William Shakespeare
124. Henry IV, part II by William Shakespeare
125. Henry V by William Shakespeare
126. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
127. The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
128. Holidays on Ice: Stories by David Sedaris
129. The Holy Barbarians by Lawrence Lipton
130. House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
131. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
132. How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer
133. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
134. How the Light Gets In by M. J. Hyland
135. Howl by Allen Ginsberg
136. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
137. The Iliad by Homer
138. I’m With the Band by Pamela des Barres
139. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
140. Inferno by Dante
141. Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
142. Iron Weed by William J. Kennedy
143. It Takes a Village by Hillary Rodham Clinton
144. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
145. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
146. Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
147. The Jumping Frog by Mark Twain
148. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
149. Just a Couple of Days by Tony Vigorito
150. The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar by Robert Alexander
151. Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain
152. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
153. Lady Chatterleys’ Lover by D. H. Lawrence
154. The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000 by Gore Vidal
155. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
156. The Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield
157. Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
158. Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
159. Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al Franken
160. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
161. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
162. The Little Locksmith by Katharine Butler Hathaway
163. The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
164. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
165. Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton
166. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
167. The Lottery: And Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
168. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
169. The Love Story by Erich Segal
170. Macbeth by William Shakespeare
171. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
172. The Manticore by Robertson Davies
173. Marathon Man by William Goldman
174. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
175. Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter by Simone de Beauvoir
176. Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman by William Tecumseh Sherman
177. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
178. The Meaning of Consuelo by Judith Ortiz Cofer
179. Mencken’s Chrestomathy by H. R. Mencken
180. The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare
181. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
182. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
183. The Miracle Worker by William Gibson
184. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
185. The Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion by Jim Irvin
186. Moliere: A Biography by Hobart Chatfield Taylor
187. A Monetary History of the United States by Milton Friedman
188. Monsieur Proust by Celeste Albaret
189. A Month Of Sundays: Searching For The Spirit And My Sister by Julie Mars
190. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
191. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
192. Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall
193. My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and It’s Aftermath by Seymour M. Hersh
194. My Life as Author and Editor by H. R. Mencken
195. My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru by Tim Guest
196. Myra Waldo’s Travel and Motoring Guide to Europe, 1978 by Myra Waldo
197. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
198. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
199. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
200. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
201. The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin
202. Nervous System: Or, Losing My Mind in Literature by Jan Lars Jensen
203. New Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson
204. The New Way Things Work by David Macaulay
205. Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
206. Night by Elie Wiesel
207. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
208. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism by William E. Cain, Laurie A. Finke, Barbara E. Johnson, John P. McGowan
209. Novels 1930-1942: Dance Night/Come Back to Sorrento, Turn, Magic Wheel/Angels on Toast/A Time to be Born by Dawn Powell
210. Notes of a Dirty Old Man by Charles Bukowski
211. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
212. Old School by Tobias Wolff
213. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
214. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
215. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
216. The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life by Amy Tan
217. Oracle Night by Paul Auster
218. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
219. Othello by Shakespeare
220. Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
221. The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan
222. Out of Africa by Isac Dineson
223. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
224. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
225. The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition by Donald Kagan
226. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
227. Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
228. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
229. Pigs at the Trough by Arianna Huffington
230. Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
231. Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
232. The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby
233. The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
234. The Portable Nietzche by Fredrich Nietzche
235. The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill by Ron Suskind
236. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
237. Property by Valerie Martin
238. Pushkin: A Biography by T. J. Binyon
239. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
240. Quattrocento by James Mckean
241. A Quiet Storm by Rachel Howzell Hall
242. Rapunzel by Grimm Brothers
243. The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe
244. The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
245. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
246. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
247. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
248. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
249. Rescuing Patty Hearst: Memories From a Decade Gone Mad by Virginia Holman
250. The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien
251. R Is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
252. Rita Hayworth by Stephen King
253. Robert’s Rules of Order by Henry Robert
254. Roman Holiday by Edith Wharton
255. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
256. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
257. A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
258. Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
259. The Rough Guide to Europe, 2003 Edition
260. Sacred Time by Ursula Hegi
261. Sanctuary by William Faulkner
262. Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Nancy Milford
263. Say Goodbye to Daisy Miller by Henry James
264. The Scarecrow of Oz by Frank L. Baum
265. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
266. Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand
267. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
268. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
269. Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette by Judith Thurman
270. Selected Hotels of Europe
271. Selected Letters of Dawn Powell: 1913-1965 by Dawn Powell
272. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
273. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
274. Several Biographies of Winston Churchill
275. Sexus by Henry Miller
276. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
277. Shane by Jack Shaefer
278. The Shining by Stephen King
279. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
280. S Is for Silence by Sue Grafton
281. Slaughter-house Five by Kurt Vonnegut
282. Small Island by Andrea Levy
283. Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway
284. Snow White and Rose Red by Grimm Brothers
285. Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World by Barrington Moore
286. The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht
287. Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia de Burgos by Julia de Burgos
288. The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker
289. Songbook by Nick Hornby
290. The Sonnets by William Shakespeare
291. Sonnets from the Portuegese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
292. Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
293. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
294. Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov
295. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
296. The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
297. A Streetcar Named Desiree by Tennessee Williams
298. Stuart Little by E. B. White
299. Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
300. Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
301. Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals by Anne Collett
302. Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber
303. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
304. Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
305. Term of Endearment by Larry McMurtry
306. Time and Again by Jack Finney
307. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
308. To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway
309. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
310. The Tragedy of Richard III by William Shakespeare
311. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
312. The Trial by Franz Kafka
313. The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson
314. Truth & Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett
315. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
316. Ulysses by James Joyce
317. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950-1962 by Sylvia Plath
318. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
319. Unless by Carol Shields
320. Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
321. The Vanishing Newspaper by Philip Meyers
322. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
323. Velvet Underground’s The Velvet Underground and Nico (Thirty Three and a Third series) by Joe Harvard
324. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
325. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
326. Walden by Henry David Thoreau
327. Walt Disney’s Bambi by Felix Salten
328. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
329. We Owe You Nothing – Punk Planet: The Collected Interviews edited by Daniel Sinker
330. What Colour is Your Parachute? 2005 by Richard Nelson Bolles
331. What Happened to Baby Jane by Henry Farrell
332. When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
333. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson
334. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee
335. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
336. The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum
337. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
338. The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
339. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

Big Little Lies (No Spoilers!)

Big Little Lies (No Spoilers!)

Have any of you watched this mini-series yet?? I just finished watching it this morning so it’s at the top of my mind on this fine Tuesday morn’. No worries, no spoilers here!
The best new show on HBO is Big Little Lies with Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon

 I read the book Big Little Lies about a year ago and enjoyed it quite a bit.  I thought the series was done very well and stayed pretty true to the book from what I remember but of course some things were added and some things were taken out.  I actually think the story is easier to follow on the show.  The first season is seven 50-60-min episodes, and ends at the same place it ended in the book.  I thought this was just a mini-series but the author of the book, Liane Moriarty, has confirmed she is writing a 2nd season that will fill in a lot of the questions we have about the background of the characters.

cover for the book big little lies by liane moriarty

Have you watched or read it? Who are your favorite characters?

Adventure After Adventure During Spring Break

Adventure After Adventure During Spring Break

Is the title catchy enough?! I’m probably being a little misleading in what is termed as an “adventure”, but for my little family, adventure means getting out of the house on a day off and going on a scenic drive, destination unknown.  We didn’t spend much time at home at all during the day last week while I was off of work.  The kids are normally stuck at home with Daddy while I am at work, so we all enjoy the times we get out to do something different.  We love looking at homes on the water and stopping at various parks to let the kids and dog play.  The boys nap in the car a lot of the time as well πŸ˜‰

We went on so many drives to so many different places that I need to look back at my phone and the photos I took (thank you, location stamp and map!)

Here is a recap.  I think I am going to blog about each one individually because I have many photos to include πŸ˜‰

Saturday April 1st- Drive around Big Marine, visit to Marine on St Croix, Scandia

Tuesday April 4th- Mushroom hunting  along parts of the St Croix River

Thursday April 6th- Drive south along Mississippi River through Inver Grove (Pine Bend Bluffs, Spring Park, etc)

Friday April 7th- Drive down Hwy 13 with stops at Terrace Oaks Park West in Burnsville, and then we headed west and ended up in New Prague.  We spent time at Cedar Lake Farm Park in Helena and then went to the Fishtale Grill in New Prague for dinner.  I had a southwest chicken penne that was sooooo good! It was a huge portion of penne tossed in a spicy cream sauce and topped with grilled chicken, sauteed mushrooms and bell peppers, and caramelized onions.

Cedar Lake Farm

Saturday April 8th- Drive through Hastings and to Red Wing and around Lake Pepin.  Stopped near Maiden Rock to travel the “Rustic Road”.  Final stop of the day was at Smokin’ Oak.  Fajitas for me! Apparently, I didn’t take a single scenic photo that day but I got a few of my soon-to-be-4-year-old!

It was a fun week!

Weekly Highlights m4w1y17

Weekly Highlights m4w1y17

Highlights from the week of March 31-April 6, 2017:

  1. SPRING BREAK WEEK!!!!!!
  2. Our new TV was delivered.  Amen Hallelujah!!
  3. Watching movies on the big screen!!
  4. Moana & Secret Life of Pets from Redbox
  5. Blogging regularly
  6. Homemade dinners all week long: Lasagna & garlic bread, lobster bites, tilapia with green beans, grilled chicken drummies
  7. Lunch at Taco House
  8. Feeling great
  9. Lunch at Tokyo Sushi
  10. Daily excursions with the kids
  11. Looking through my brother Jeff’s (jeffsetter.com) unbelievably gorgeous travel photos from around the world (blog post about him coming soon!)
  12. Mushroom hunting
  13. Educator’s Appreciation Week at Barnes & Noble
  14. Looking through old photo and videos of the boys
  15. Sleeping in every day
  16. Having my kids sleep in even later than me!!!
  17. Team training with Melissa Darby! Wow!
Hiking Around, looking for Mushrooms

Hiking Around, looking for Mushrooms

I’m a Wannabe Mushroom Forager, and why not?!  We are out exploring nature so often anyway and we love eating different kinds of mushrooms, it only makes sense. Where to start? There are hundreds of mushrooms and many of them are extremely poisonous. Yikes, I better learn how to identify them! Lol.

This week is my Spring Break so I’m home with the family all week. Yesterday seemed like a good day for a drive and to get close to nature. First we stopped at Barnes & Noble at Maplewood Mall and bought these gems for 25% off during Educator Appreciation Week. Score!

Mushroom guidebooks

We were not on a serious mission to find mushrooms yesterday; but we did explore a few parks along the St Croix and did a little hiking with the boys.

We have had some rain this spring but the ground is mostly dry.  I think we need more rain and a soggy ground to get real good mushrooms but we did find some specimens.


I have yet to identify these, not sure if they’re mushrooms or lichens.  I still have so much to learn!

The boys had enough hiking after 20 minutes so I ended up carrying (or dragging?! lol) Bashy on the return hike back to the car. lol.  They’ll get used to the hiking soon enough. We all just need to build our stamina. Ha!

Hanging Out at the Mall and a Visit with Charlie Brown

Hanging Out at the Mall and a Visit with Charlie Brown

We had Lunch at Boca Chica’s Taco House on Sunday.  This statue is still on display after being part of the “Peanuts on Parade” tribute to Charles Schultz several years ago.Charlie Brown statue peanuts on parade
We ran to Maplewood twice in past couple of days. It is Educators Appreciation week at Barnes & Noble and there were some books I wanted to get at 25% off πŸ˜‰

The boys always insist on going on some kind of ride, the Carousel is always a popular choice!

I discovered a new smoothie stand that makes really delicious bubble tea.  Even Bashy liked it! This was green tea mango bubble tea with black pearls.

On a side note, I have noticed that all the photos I post on this blog look terrible.  Grainy, pixelated, blurry.  I have to look into this because this is unacceptable.  Anyone else who uses Word Press notice an issue?

Enjoying the Beautiful Spring Weather

Enjoying the Beautiful Spring Weather

Today was the first day of my Spring Break and we lucked out with a beautiful, sunny and 65′ day. After a quick lunch, we took the boys on a drive through Hugo and Scandia, and a trip around Big Marine.

A map of Big Marine Lake in Washington County

We stopped at the public access at the southern end of the lake and let the dog run around, he loved the water! We will have fun bringing him on these trips with us all summer long.

 

A young boy stands with his Bulldog by the beach
We found a new park we’ve never been to before a little while later; Shields Lake Park.   It is a smaller, mostly uninhabited lake and it has a nice public dock.  Other than that it is very small and very basic with just a single table and single bench.  The kids and the dog enjoyed it!

a young boy at the lake
Enjoying springtime!

Bring on more sunny days and scenic adventures! That’s how we roll πŸ˜‰