Xtreme Air Trampoline Park

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Time for Spring Break and if you aren’t traveling someplace warm and exciting, finding something fun for your kids can be a bit of a challenge. Well, recently, we had a trampoline park open up in our area (Appleton, WI) called Xtreme Air. I went there yesterday for the first time and I must say, it was a good experience from a parent perspective (this is key for me).

Now, the reason I say a pleasant experience for the parent is, well, because fun for the kids can be at the expense of the parent. Let me paint the typical picture: Kids having fun screaming and yelling and noise [Read more…]

Outlander – A Starz Original Series

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Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon, is one of the most popular book series from the 20th century.  Her first 7 books in the Outlander series have already sold more than 20 million copies.  I wrote two prior posts about the first two books, Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber, which were both terrific and resulted in my continuing to read the rest of the series.  I have read 7 of the 8 books so far.  In June 2013, the cable station Starz, announced it was going to pick up the TV series of the first book, Outlander.  Ronald D. Moore is the producer and he has done a terrific job taking a very complex storyline, with beloved characters, and turned the book into a TV masterpiece (now I am a little biased because I love the storyline, but I love the actual actors/characters that are perfect in this TV rendition). [Read more…]

The Way to a Man’s Heart – The Settlement Cook Book

The Settlement Cook Book CCTNT
I like to go to antique stores and just look at all the cool things that were important to other’s lives – it’s kind of like a treasure hunt where you never know what will catch your eye and tug at your purse strings…literally!  I hadn’t been to any of the antique stores lately but I had a hankering a couple of weekends ago, so off I went.

I found a few things that caught my eye – a glass flower frog (I had never heard them called that), a yellow Melamine bowl, and an old cook book.  Now, I have scads of cook books and the last thing I really needed was another one.  For some reason this one caught my eye.  I think it was the catchy title….”The way to a man’s heart – The Settlement Cook Book”…when I opened the front cover, the original owner had printer her name and the date she received it:  Myra Goetsch…8-7-51.  My grandma always put her name in her books too – it makes every book a little treasure because it has her signature in it forever. [Read more…]

Glazed Carrots

Glazed Carrots with CCTNT

This recipe is super easy to make and delicious.  My family has been making these carrots for years for holiday get-togethers.  But really, they’d be good to have with any meal. [Read more…]

Touching Up Painted Metal Door Frame

Painted Metal Door

I’ve been doing lots of little home improvement projects recently.  Our house turned 20 at the end of last year. That has inspired me to look around and see what improvements are needed.

One area I noticed that needed to be touched up was the metal door frame on the interior side of our exterior door in the laundry room. We have metal doors that were painted to look like they are wood-grained stained doors. Because this door is in a high-traffic area in the house, [Read more…]

Butterfly Snack Bag

Butterfly Snack Bag

Where was Pinterest when my kids were little?  Of course, when my kids were little we could send cookies and candy to school and didn’t have to worry about this healthy snack stuff :)

Recently at work, my friend Jennifer and I were talking about what we did on the weekend.  She shared that her and her mom had made some butterfly snack packs for her kids to take to school.  As she was telling me about I asked what every good friend asks, “do you have pictures?  That would be a great post idea!”  That is what a good friend would ask, isn’t it?

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Lamb Kofta with Pistachios and Herb Salad

Lamb Kofta

After the first of the year I decided to try one of the services that provide a “meal in a box” to add some diversity into our menu as well as to try and eat healthier.

The service that offers meals that most closely matches our food choices is a company called Plated. The gist is that you select three different meals of two “plates” each. The meals are then delivered on the date you choose ad contain everything you need to make the meal.

Overall we absolutely love it, I’ll be writing more about in in-depth later but I did want to share one of the recent meals that I made and absolutely loved!

This Lamb Kofta reminds me a bit of a gyro but not quite. It has a fairly mild but flavorful taste. There are a number of ingredients but overall it was pretty easy to make and took 30 minutes from start to finish.

[Read more…]

The “Wet” Brush

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My hair tends to get very snarly when I wash it. I definitely do not have a full, thick head of hair. In fact, just the opposite. My hair is very fine and thin. This means when I wash my hair, it snarls like crazy. My hairdresser, Jess, told me about the hairbrush called the Wet Brush® that proclaims to be the best detangling brush ever! After a lifetime of ridiculously snarly hair especially after washing it, I was willing to try anything.

Well, it really does work very well! In an effort to understand why, I read the back of the package and it says that the brush has Intelliflex® bristles. These bristles are thin, strong and very flexible. The [Read more…]

Family Fun Time–Sledding!

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It’s winter and, well, that isn’t always fun, but sometimes there are great days when you can get out there and enjoy some fun in the snow. We recently were able to do so and we went sledding on a local hill. At first, I wasn’t going to go, but my son really wanted me to, so I relented. You know, push myself.

Well, I had a blast! This was after I got through the initial panic of going down a hill on a little sled. It has just been such a long time. As soon as I went down once, I was hooked. I definitely would have gone more times, but I was getting exhausted climbing back up the hill. No need for a workout if you are walking up a hill numerous times, especially with no tread boots!

This is a reminder to get out there and have fun and spend quality time DOING something with your kids. Not watching them, but playing WITH them. Did I feel like going? Not really. Did I think I should do laundry or go to the grocery store? Yes, but it can always be done later. Spend that time with your kids and make some memories. My son even said, “Mom, you are still young.” That made it all worth while.

Make life fun and remember to take the time to enjoy moments with family and friends. We never know what tomorrow brings…

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Red Pepper Tomato Basil Soup

 

Red Pepper Tomato Basil Soup CCTNT
When going out to dinner, one of the more popular soups on the menu in the last couple of years has been a tomato basil or red pepper tomato soup.  If this is on the menu, I just can’t pass it up because it’s something I have never made at home so it’s a special treat…but no more!!  I found a couple recipes that looked delicious, and I combined them into one – Red Pepper Tomato Basil Soup….now if peppers bother your stomach, then this soup is not for you!  But if you love a peppery, creamy tomato soup on a cold winter day, then this soup is for you.  We paired it with homemade Panini sandwiches – I will post a recipe for these next month. Give this soup a try – it will soon become one of your favorites!

[Read more…]