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Our Adventures at the Ice Castles MN

Ice Castles Minnesota

I first let you know about the Minnesota Ice Castles back in January. If you haven't gone to see them yet, you better hurry! They're only open for about another week and a half. They close March 7th. Thanks to US Family Guide, my family finally got a chance to visit them two days ago and we were not disappointed! One advantage to going so late in the year (and during the week) is that there wasn't a crowd at all. We got right in. I still say you need to check out the tips from MinneMamaAdventures and TwinCitiesFrugalMom. Both went earlier in the season but a lot of their tips still hold true. The girls LOVED the Ice Castles. So did Hubby and I. To be honest, Hubby thought they were going to be a bit boring because "they aren't real castles made with blocks, they are just a bunch of icicles." He admitted that he was wrong and that the "architecture was pretty cool." He's the one that took all the video below. I didn't ask him to take it, he just thought it was cool enough … [Read more...]

New Year, New You with Gordmans

New Year, New You

It's nearing the end of February. How have your New Year's resolutions been going? Are you still going strong or have they fizzled out? Gordmans wants to remind you that it's not too late to have a new year, new you. Back in August I partnered with Gordmans to talk about Back To School Shopping. In that post, I said that I had never been to Gordmans before but we'd definitely be going back. I didn't lie. Gordmans is now one of our favorite stores to shop! I've turned many friends on to the store too. Their styles are awesome and their prices are definitely reasonable. (Excuse the horrible dressing room selfies. I have yet to learn how to take full-body selfies and the lighting wasn't great either.) That brings me back to New Year, New You. If you made a resolution to lose weight this year and it's going well, you are no doubt in need of some smaller sized clothes by now. Gordmans is the perfect place to shop for those clothes. They've got a great selection of both casual … [Read more...]

Lego Marble Maze

Lego Marble Maze

I have to admit, the Lego Marble Maze is not my idea. I discovered it on Pinterest. You'll find the original idea on a French blog: de-tout-et-de-rien-caroline. I took one look at this maze and knew my girls would have fun with it. I just didn't realize how much fun they'd actually have. I had a Lego Marble Maze set up for them when they got home from school. My daughter saw it and said, "Oh cool! What is this?" After explaining to her what it was and how it works, she quickly set out to solve the maze. Then Tottie got to try it. I left some openings in the edges of the maze to make it a bit hard... Both girls solved my maze fairly easily. Both were determined that they could make a harder maze. They spent the next few hours building different mazes and testing them out. Yes, this simple Lego Marble Maze kept my girls occupied for at least two whole hours! Some of the mazes they made were better than mine! I thought it was fun to watch them work on their … [Read more...]

4 St. Patrick’s Day treats for adults with alternatives for kids

St. Patrick's Day treats for adults with alternatives for kids

We all know how adults like to party (ie. drink) on St. Patrick's Day. If you're anything like me and my family however, you'll be having a semi-family friendly party. I've come up with 4 treats that are sure to please the adults at your party with alternatives that the kids can eat! For the adults--Leprechaun Balls Made with both Irish Whiskey and Bailey's these little buggers can, and will make you loopy if you eat too many but boy do they look yummy! For the kids--Cake Balls Let's not make the kids loopy! These cake balls are made with lemon-lime soda and are sure to make the kids happy when they bite into them and discover they are green. For the adults--Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes Did someone say Guinness and Bailey's? Count me in! The amount of alcohol in these is minimal and most will bake off but I'd still reserve these for the adults. For the kids--Rainbow Cupcakes The kids don't have to eat these to have fun with them but I'm pretty sure they taste just … [Read more...]

Leprechaun Ice Cream Sandwiches

Leprechaun Ice Cream Sandwiches

For past St. Patrick's Days we've made Magic Leprechaun Pudding Pie and our version of Shamrock Shakes. Today we're making Leprechaun Ice Cream Sandwiches! These tasty treats are sure to make a great addition to any St. Patrick's Day celebration! To make these yourself you'll need: Vanilla ice cream (I used vanilla bean) Milk Mint extract (make sure it's mint and not peppermint) Green food coloring Graham crackers Chocolate A blender A freezable, flat dish Round or square cookie cutter (just smaller than 1/2 a graham cracker size) 1) Blend the ice cream, mint extract, green food coloring and milk in the blender. I admit, I don't measure when I do these things. It's really just per personal taste. Only use enough milk, however, to get the ice cream to blend. You do NOT want the mixture to be soupy, it needs to be just thin enough to pour or slightly thicker than milkshake consistency. 2) Once blended, pour the mixture in a freezable flat pan. I … [Read more...]

9 Practical Uses for the Philips Hue “Smart” Bulbs

Philips Hue

Have you heard of the Hue light bulbs by Philips? They are “smart” bulbs and are part of Verizon Wireless' Smart Home collection. I first saw Hue at the Verizon Destination Store at the Mall Of America and was blown away at what Philips Hue bulbs could do; but at almost $200 for a starter kit (3 bulbs and a bridge), I didn't think they'd be worth it for something that seemed to be more of a party item than a necessity. A month later, Verizon contacted me to try out the Hue smart lights so that I could learn what they could do for me and my family. Why not?? I could have fun playing with them and I wouldn't waste $200. Um...yeah...I AM returning the bulbs to my rep but I WILL be asking Hubby if we can buy our own once we get our taxes back. Worth the $200 cost? Every cent! The setup for the bulbs took less than five minutes connecting to our home internet and downloading the app to my smartphone. I wish I would have taken video of my girls (and my Husband's) reactions to the … [Read more...]

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