Friday, August 29, 2014

Fitness Friday: Go Hiking with Your Kids

This Labor Day Weekend, I encourage you to get outdoors with your children or by yourself and go hiking. This nature center that I went hiking at with my kids is the Richardson Nature Center in Bloomington, MN of the Twin Cities.

Please scroll through the pictures and see some of the amazing sites my kids were able to experience. This particular nature center is part of a park district, but you can find other non-profit nature centers, state parks, state trails, national parks just with a few clicks of the button.

You can see from this trail map that there are miles of trails to cover that view a variety of different water features, plus it also includes an ampitheater and a kids outdoor play area.

Some locations you might find will have trails for hiking but others may also have camping and swimming, playgrounds, and many other activities.

Every one is very different in it's landscape and offerings, and those differences will change with our seasons and just what nature has had in store for us that year.

The wonderment and amazement you will witness in your children when you take them out in nature will be so worth the minutes or hours you may drive to get to your destination.

Don't be afraid to get up close and explore. Slow down and really look at things. It's not a race to see nature, you have to experience it.

Some places may even have indoor interpretive centers with other activities to help teach them about nature in other ways. My children continue to surprise me with how well they can get along together when I get them away from the toys and the screens and in to nature. There is something about fresh air and dirt and creatures that brings them together.

Let your children have fun, and join in on the fun. Those memories will stick with them long after all the toys you bought them have broken

You never know what you may find, so keep you mind and your spirit open.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Review: Paradise Coconut Oil

My Thoughts:

I love using coconut oil and was thrilled to be able to review TheraVita Paradise Coconut Oil. Below you can see a list of 8 different recipes that I have shared on SGBG in the past that I used coconut oil in, plus a link to see all the recipes that I have used coconut oil. It is such a wonderful oil that add a very slight coconut flavor and makes a baked product moist and more palatable. Coconut oil offers wonderful health benefits including being a source of fatty acids, helping increase your energy, are ketogenic, make help lower your risk for heart disease and help you lose weight.

To see more benefit from coconut oil, you need to consume more that just in a few baked goods here and there, so I thought I would try a teaspoon in my coffee every morning. It melts very quickly in hot coffee (see picture at the bottom) and can easily be consumed in your coffee. It does float on the top (since oil and water separate) but as you drink it you do get some of the oil and coffee.

I plan to start trying to make my own beauty products using coconut oil, so check back with me later as I share some recipes and thoughts with you on that.

Product Description from TheraVita:

Paradise is a 100% natural coconut oil that can be used for hair, skin, eating, cooking and smoothies!

Our coconuts are hand-picked by local farmers in Fiji! We put an incredible amount of care to ensure that EVERY single coconut we use remains in its natural state and is derived in its most nutritious form.

--Pure and Unrefined
--Cold Pressed
--Gluten Free
--Low Carb

It has no gross tastes or smells and, no side effects.

Here are a sampling of some of the recipes on Save Green Being Green that I use Coconut Oil In:

Or look at all the recipes with coconut oil on Save Green Being Green.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Review: Ultimate Dino Dig

I was so excited to be able to share with my son that we were going to be reviewing Ultimate Dino Dig. We have done a couple of other dino digs type activities before, but this one is different. This one has 3 REAL DINO FOSSILS! My son has been saying for almost a year now that he wants to be a paleoentologist and so we have been fueling that interest by taking him to see dinosaur exhibits at both the Science Museum of Minnesota and Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in the past few weeks and just yesterday, we did our own dino dig with the Ultimate Dino Dig Kit.

Please watch the video below as I tell you all about the product there and show you everything included, plus you get to see both my kids at work on it. My daughter wanted to participate as well because she thought digging for real fossils is pretty cool!

The pictures above and below both show the real fossils that were in our Ultimate Dino Dig Kit, including poop, bone and a tooth.

My son was very gracious and was willing to let his sister participate in the digging and even keep half of the contents. My son is such a little boy, so his main concern was that he get the fossilized poop and let his sister have the bone and tooth.

Also in the dig are 19 plastic pieces to put together a T-Rex model, which is the other piece my son wanted. You can see from the picture above that he make it look like his little T-Rex model took a great big dino poop. LOL!

Here is the entire contents of the Ultimate Dino Dig kit spread out. Now that the dig has been done we will be reading the guide book (over & over I am sure!) and doing the activity book as well.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

GIVEAWAY and Review: Treasury of Bible Stories by Kelly Pulley

My Thoughts:

This new book (available next month) Treasury of Bible Stories by Kelly Pulley is a wonderful collection of rhyming bible stories with beautifully designed full color and full page pictures. My son loves to listen to bible stories and was looking over my shoulder when I was reading the email asking me to review the product and he said "Mom, let's get that! Can we get that?" I told him it was a review and that yes we could and he was very excited that he was getting a new bible story book to read.

We have been reading a handful of stories from it every night to him and the sing-songy rhythm is perfect for before bedtime because it helps lull him to sleep. In fact, last night he fell asleep while my husband was reading it to him. My son loves all the pictures and depictions of bible scenes and likes hearing familiar bible stories in a new way.

About the book: Featuring lyrical stories that will make you laugh, this colorful collection is perfect for reading out loud. Magnificent Tales are rhyming Bible stories with clever art and clear lessons the whole family will enjoy. The stories and illustrations are so engaging that you won’t grow tired of reading a Magnificent Tale night after night! From “The Salty Tale of Noah’s Ark” to “The Lasting Story of the Last Supper,” the rhyming tales in this book remind us that God loves His people—in the Bible and today!

About the author: Kelly Pulley has illustrated dozens of books in The Beginner’s Bible series and has authored and illustrated several other children’s books, including Ten Unusual Features of Lulu McDunn and The Cycling Wangdoos. He enjoys spending time with his four grown children and his beautiful wife, Vickie, in the Nashville area.

Enter Rafflecopter Below to Win Your Own Copy of 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification

Introducing One-Click Photo Book

Create a professional photo book with a single click using's One-Click Photo Book. Select photos of any size from Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, or your computer and they will instantly suggest a clean, professional layout that you can further customize.

 Deal: Use this link for 51% off a 20-page 11.5"x8" Hardcover Photo Book From

I will be getting the opportunity to review these books myself and will post a review for my readers. This has come at the perfect time because I recently came back from spending 9 days on a family trip to Oregon and you can bet that we have a lot of pictures to get printed.

So, come back in another month or so and check out what I thought, but you don't have to wait. You can order your own now!

GIVEAWAY and Review: Prospect Tea Individual Cups

I have jumped right in on trying out a variety of cups for my Keurig since purchasing it. I need to start thinking of craft projects to re-use them, but in the mean time I am enjoying quick hot beverages. I am a bit of a seasonal tea drinker and by that I mean I tend to drink hot tea when it is colder and iced tea when the weather is warmer. Now that the kids are going back to school and fall is upon us, I start switching over to drinking hot tea.

This Variety Pack from Prospect Tea is a great way to try out a lot of varieties for yourself and also have many choices to offer your guests. There are 12 different types of tea included in this variety pack, so you really get a sampling of many of them. You do need to read the labels on the top of each to see if they are caffeinated or not (if that matters to you) because they are all different and contain both caffeinated and teas contains no caffeine.

If you own a Keurig, you know just how simple these cups are to use. Here you can see a close up of the Vanilla Chai which does say that it contains caffeine. I really liked all of the cups I have had so far and the Vanilla Chai is probably my favorite. I have tried several so far and look forward to trying all of the rest of the varieties, which you can find listed below in the product description.

You can BUY the Prospect Tea Variety Pack on Amazon, or if you already have a preferred flavor you can buy individual Prospect Tea flavors on Amazon too!

Product Description from Two Rivers Coffee

Prospect Park Tea is an escape from the daily grind, and our deliciously unique teas beckon you to immerse yourself in sublime serenity- if only for the precious moments it takes to savor a delectable cup. So find a quiet nook. Relax with our custom-crafted blends. Let the stress of the outside world melt away. When you find true tranquili-tea, our work is done. Variety is the spice of life and the theme of this assorted Prospect Tea package. You see, every box is truly a variety and almost no two boxes have the same assortment. Go ahead, be surprised. Contain and assortment of the following teas in no specific order or cup count: Duke Of Earl Grey, Golden Dragon, Chamomile Chill, Lemon Taxi, Graffiti Burst, Himalayan Spring, Peppermint Heights, Brooklyn Breakfast, Green Power, Prospect Park, White Bengal, Vanilla Chai.

Enter Below to Win Your Own 40-Variety Pack from Prospect Tea

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thrifty Thursday: Seek Out Fun Parks like the Chutes & Ladders Park

 If you look beyond your backyard, you might find that there are some really fun and awesome parks that are FREE to use. Ask your friends, look up park and rec pages for nearby towns, find lists on blogs. :)

All the pictures in this post are from the "Chutes and Ladders Park", as it is often referred to, which is part of the Hyland Park Reserve in Bloomington, MN. It is a hike for us (an hour drive each way) which we usually get to only once a year and combine our trip to the Cities with other things we need to do there so that we are getting as much out of one trip as we can.

We have been coming to this park for a handful of years now and it is fun to see how much the kids have grown and how much the park has expanded.

What parks do you know about in the Twin Cities that you recommend checking out?

Do you have an awesome park you like to go to that myself and others readers should know about if we are ever traveling near that area?

Other Awesome Twin Cities Parks
Kelly Park (Apple Valley)
Antler's Park (Lakeville)
Teddy Bear Park (Stillwater)
Rambling River Park (Farmington)
Caponi Art Park (Eagan)
Como Park, Zoo & Conservatory (St. Paul)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Mille Lacs Katio State Park

We are huge fans of state parks; if you have been a reader for some time you will have noticed we have visited quite a few and in several states too! This time I am going to share with you some fun we had at the Mille Lacs Kathio State Park in Minnesota. This was all fun during one afternoon! Imagine all the fun you would have if you were there camping for a weekend.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Try It Tuesday: Custom Charm Bracelets

This was a mother-daughter project. I thought it would be fun to make charm bracelets together this summer. We often make earrings, but I had not let her make a bracelet yet with my beads (of course she has made plenty of bracelets with kiddie supplies.) The larger bracelet with pink hues in the beads is my bracelet and the smaller bracelet with more blue beads is my daughter's.

To start out with, I bought already made bracelets from JoAnn fabrics. Her child-size bracelet was actually only $1. Mine is silver plated in hopes that the silver plate with hold up and protect me from my nickel allergy.

Here are the instructions as they are detailed on the back of my bracelet. You do need to have a fine round nose pliers to curve your head pins (you will need to buy head pins and beads as well.) A set of the 3 typical jewelry making pliers is relatively inexpensive. I bought mine for about $10 for the set of 3.

Here is a close-up of me wearing my bracelet.

Here is a close up my my daughter wearing her charm bracelet.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Make It Monday: Beefy Bean Dip

This is super simple! And super tasty! I made this and brought this for a Mexican themed family picnic and received several compliments on it.

Beefy Beef Dip

1 pound of ground beef
1 package of taco seasoning
1/2 C water
1 cans refried beans
1 C salsa
2 C Queso Blanco


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Brown ground beef
  • Make taco meat as per instructions (mine used 1/2 water)
  • Mix together taco meat, refried beans and salsa in a bowl until well mixed
  • Pour mixture into a casserole dish
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes
  • After 35 minutes, top with cheese and bake 10 additional mintues
  • Serve with tortilla chips.
  • Enjoy!