Monday, December 22, 2014

Because I'm happy....

Long time no see, I know, I know, I am terrible at this blogging thing but yet again here I am. The holidays and starting a new job has pretty much sucked all motivation from me to blog mostly because I haven't done much that is exciting enough to blog about. I mean I am sure that most of our lives right now consist of Christmas shopping, schedule juggling and house cleaning (YUCK!) so that's not really anything anyone wants to read about. But in the midst of the stress of the holidays I have found a beacon of light. I have been listening to an amazing audio book.

Its an amazing book that will flip your mind upside down. Its given me some very good ideas on how and why it is important to stay positive. I think we live in a fast pace world where often times no matter how hard we try we feel like we are never doing enough and that can be so incredibly draining. I haven't finished the book but everyday I listen to it I feel more inspired. Please check it out and tell me what you think!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Winter Is Here

Sorry for my absence lately, I started a new job, the snow arrived, and my motivation is lacking.

I've been struggling with finding new ways to get outside with Miles especially with the snow and the cold. My biggest issue was that I really did not prepare for the snow. That first day it snowed we got at least 6 inches. So of course like an idiot I went to Target thinking they would have all the gear, but they were totally sold out on all the gear I wanted; snow pants, boots, gloves, etc. So my online shopping began and to be honest I think I got better quality stuff than what I would have bought at target for almost the same price. I did a lot of review reading and found the perfect winter gear for my little man. The down side to this was we had to wait for the stuff to get here which meant MANY days inside. By the time everything arrived I think we were both a little stir crazy.

Lesson learned for next year... buy snow gear BEFORE the snow gets here. 

Here what I bought:
THESE snow pants: Nothing too fancy.. They were on sale for $13.59 (or something like that)...pretty reasonable!

I also bought some SmartWool socks for Miles as well. 
I used Retail Me Not and got a coupon code for 20% which basically made up for shipping cost
WARNING: If you are an outdoorsy person Sierra trading post may be bad news for your wallet!

I got these for right around $34 on Amazon

Now I know you might be thinking that that is a lot of boots that he is going to grow out of quickly but I ordered them a little bigger so they will last all winter *hopefully* and  I got his winter jacket for this year on clearance last year for about $15.00 last so I can take that money saved and buy him good warm boots. 

Also boots in Minnesota are an investment. I can also sell them on my local garage sale Facebook site once he out grows them and recoup a little of that money. 

So over all I would say I spent around $80.00 for all of his winter gear.

If you want to be even thriftier that I suggest checking Facebook to see if your area has a garage sale site. I often see great deals on snow pants, boot, winter jackets...

What kid gear did you buy for the winter that you can't live without!? 

Reviews of these products to come!

Happy snow gear shopping!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Get out and Hike!

Last week was my last week at my job, I am very excited to say that I am finally going to be working part-time. I am so excited I could scream, I can't wait to have more time with my family. Working at my last job was extremely difficult. I had a hard time managing family life because the hours were constantly changing, we were very short staffed, so I was working 12 hour shift on a regular basis and my husband and I never saw one another. So we made the decision that part time would be best for me until Miles is older. I am very blessed to have the option to work part-time and I can't wait to go on more adventures with my family and share them all with you.

My very first adventure with Miles since leaving full time work was visiting Westwood Hills Nature Center in St Louis Park, MN. I have a love for nature centers... Growing up my parents always signed my up for classes at our local nature center and I had a blast. It was actually the place where learned the nature and the outdoors is my passion and I went on to study Fisheries and Wildlife at the University of Minnesota.  Enough about that, let me tell you about Westwood Hills!

It is a beautiful piece of land right in the cities. It is sort of tucked back in a neighborhood in St Louis Park. As we were pulling into the driveway we saw a big Tom wild turkey with a big beard walking across the driveway. I really enjoyed checking this place out. They have a beautiful water garden next the the interpretive nature center and next to that they a live Redtail Hawk in a outdoor cage. It is very cool because the kiddos can get close, which Miles loved! They also have a path  that runs all the way around the lake. It is a beautiful 1.5 mile hike. To top it all off they have some live critters in the nature center for kids to check out too! Here are some photos from our trip.  Unfortunately I dropped my Nikon and screwed up the lens that day so all of these photos were taken with my tablet which doesn't take the best photos.

Miles and I out on the path

So beautiful 

 The Lake

Canoe Dock

Redtail Hawk


Mom, whats in there!?

Have you been to any other nature centers in the twin cities area!? Which is your favorite? Have you been to Westwood Hills, what did you think about it!? I would really love to heard for you!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Things I learned on a 4 day trip to Texas...

My little family recently took a short trip to Texas for a family wedding. And this is what I learned...

1. When carting your small child in the airport... Use a stroller or carrier. 
Miles looked like a ball rolling around on the moving sidewalks, and it is really hard to juggle luggage and a curious 1 year old.

2. In the hotel unplug your room phone, or your 1 year old will dial 9-1-1
Our hotel had an emergency button that went directly to 911... not only is it great to unplug it for that reason but also it doubles as a toy after its unplugged, after a good sanitize wipe down of course.

3. Snacks and movies on a tablet can save your life if your plane gets delayed
 I will live by this for the rest of my plane travels..

4. Wake your child up about 10 minutes before your plane descends
On our way home Miles was out cold and woke up right as we started to descend, he was so groggy I couldn't get him to drink or eat anything. I am assuming his ears started to hurt and he FREAKED out. So for the 20 minute descend he was screaming and nothing I did helped.  Sorry to anyone who was on that flight with us.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Checking One Off the List

Well I got right down to business with the first item checked off on my 30 before 30 list! Visiting Minnehaha Falls, CHECK! To think, I have lived in the twin cities for about 9 years and I never been there. It is gorgeous. It is a beautiful piece of nature in the middle of the city. I suggest anyone visiting or living in the twin cities to go and check it out. It is worth the trip. I plan on going again in the spring to see it when everything is green and lush and maybe in the winter too. I have seen some VERY cool photos of the falls when they are frozen.

We didn't stay for long because we got out of the house late and of course that meant that we were rushing it a little before Mile's nap time. Regardless we made it there! I loved this park because it has some hiking trails, a beautiful picnic area filled with oak trees, a playground, and the falls. If I had to do it all again I would have totally brought our baby carrier so we could have hiked a little. The paths run along the creek so its nearly impossible to let Miles run free. But we did let him run in the picnic area since it is just a wide open space with oaks. He absolutely loved this, I think we spent 45 minutes chasing squirrels from tree to tree. Needless to say he took a long nap after that!

Minnehaha Falls

 Family Shots

Miles and I

Chasing Squirrels... Best activity to wear a little one out!

Guess where he went....

Have you ever been to Minnehaha Falls? Maybe in a different season? What was your favorite thing about it? Do you know of any other great places to spend time outdoors in the twin cities!?
Let me know I would love to hear about em!
I am always looking for new adventures for the family and I!

30 before 30

A friend of mine, Miranda told me about her 30 before 30 list about a year ago and I have been thinking about making my own since... I know, I know, it took a long time but cut me a break I had a lot going on in the last year.

My List
1. Get a Tattoo
2. Have Two Children
3. Run a Half Marathon
4. Take a Trip to Minnehaha Falls (DONE)
5. Start an Etsy Shop
6. Sew a Dress for Myself
7. Get in the Best Shape of my Life
8. Make a Quilt
9. Build a Booty
10. Read 100 Books
11. Make a Pie from Scratch
12. Get a Professional Massage
13. Make a Thanksgiving Dinner
14. Visit a Palm Reader/Psychic/Fortune Teller
15. Throw an Amazing Theme Party
16. Visit a Winery
17. Redecorate my Living Room
18. Go Pheasant Hunting
19. Catch a Sturgeon
20. Watch a Meteor Shower
21. Build a Butterfly Garden with Native Plants
22. Start a Mommy Nature Blog
23. Go Paddleboarding
24. Quit Drinking Energy Drinks
25. Learn to Drive a Stick Shift
26. Do a 30 Day Challenge
27. Learn How to Use my SLR
28. Make More Mommy Friends
29. Clean Out and Re-Vamp my Closet
30. Try Acupuncture

Do you have a 30 before 30 list!? I'd love to see it!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Quick Project

I saw this necklace hanger  and I loved it so I tried it out myself....

Martha's version

My Version

I decorated my dowel by wrapping Washi Tape around it just for fun!
My s-hooks don't look at dainty as Martha's but that is really the only options at Lowes.
This project was quick, easy and pretty cheap to do.
Grand total for supplies at Lowes $6.73 (thats with tax)

dowel: .85
hooks: .95 (for 4 of them!)
S-Hooks: .37 a piece totaling $4.44
(I got 12 s-hooks you could do more or less, what ever you need)
I had the Washi tape laying around so that was free for me.

Anyways I could probably make 2 or these because the hooks at the end come in a package of 4, the dowel was long enough to make 2...maybe even 3.

I love how mine turned out and it keeps all my necklace from getting tangled, saving me a lot of time and headache! 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Lets bike!

I am always looking for new ways to get outside with my 1 year old son Miles and my husband. In effort to give myself more options besides just a stroller I invested in a bike trailer for Miles. And let me tell ya I think I got one heck of a deal on it. I watched the garage sale Facebook sites to try to get a steal but I never seemed to catch them fast enough. Those bike trailers go fast! So when I saw Target selling a Schwinn bike trailer for $159 and then cartwheel had 20% off of it, I had a $20.00 gift card, and I got 5% off for using my Redcard.... so I think is cost me right around $100. And I will tell you it was worth every penny.

I have used my trailer a lot and Miles loves it. Just yesterday all of us went on a bike ride destination: DQ. Hey, it was hot out and a blizzard sounded amazing! Anyways we went and here in suburbia we saw a lot of wild animals for such a short bike ride. We saw a coyote, squirrel, and a rabbit.... who knew!?  I don't know if Miles noticed any them but I know I sure thought it was cool to see a coyote like 15 feet away... I wasn't expecting to see him!

Anyways here are a few pictures!

All of us together...Its hard to get a good one with all of us.

Daddy is the best!


What do you do to try to get outside more? Whether you have kids or not we all know this life gets crazy busy how do you sneak in some time outdoors!?