• Gardening

    A July Free of Plastic (I hope)

    The danger of plastic is everywhere right now; National Geographic had a whole issue on it, experts left and right are warning us that we are strangling the oceans, and most stores have some sort of a program rewarding you for bringing in your own bags.  But wow, in the last few weeks, as I have been more aware of this issue than ever before, I am flabbergasted by how much plastic is used on, well, everything. The toilet paper I buy at Costco has 4 packs wrapped in plastic, then the whole case of it wrapped in more plastic.  Trying to find dishwasher detergent that isn’t in plastic is…

  • Food

    Easy Summer Dinners

    Every year I have the same problem – summer cooking.  Minnesota summers can get really hot and humid and I am not interested in using the stove or oven!  Add in a kids’ activities and busy days running around having fun, and boom, look who never cooks!  We end up eating out or getting takeout way too much and I really want to put a stop to it.  So this year, I am making a list of ideas that are easy for me to make and won’t heat up in the house in the process.  Some of them I can throw together in the morning and then run around all…

  • Denise

    Father’s Day Gift Guide

    I don’t know about you, but guys are the WORST to buy for!  My husband rarely has any idea on what he wants, or if he does, he tells me about them the day before a holiday!  Too late, buddy!!  And my own dad is at an age where he has everything he wants, or if he doesn’t, he just buys it!  Men. I do have a workaround, though.  I keep a list on my phone, where I add ideas my husband gives me, or if I see something randomly, I will add that, too.  On that note, let me share with you some of those ideas I am looking…

  • Gardening

    Summer Plans for Teens and Tweens

    I don’t know how it happened, but summer is 7 VERY short school days away, and I don’t know about you, but I am not ready.  With three kids home for a lot of days, plus a husband that works from home, this mom has to have some sort of a plan in order for this long break to run smoothly.  And I don’t know if you have tried looking at the holy oracle (aka Pinterest) for help, but there is not a lot out there once your kids pass the age of 10.  I don’t know if it is because a lot of moms have gone back to work,…

  • Gardening

    A Micro Orchard in the ‘Burbs

    I love gardening in theory, but I am fairly terrible at it in practice.  I am all raring to go come March, April and May…but once the temps and humidity start soaring, my interest plummets.  Add to this kids being home for the summer, an increase in activities, gatherings and just plain socializing, and any lofty goals I have quickly fall to the wayside. Enter my love of fruit trees.  Growing up, our parents had several apple trees, and I loved picking them in the fall and all the different pies and bars my mom would make with them.  It also seemed like an unusual thing, since not many of…

  • Denise

    Puppies for Spring!

    Ahh yes, springtime is upon us here in the wicked tundra (FINALLY!!!) and with that comes a little bit of madness, dontcha think?  At least, for those of us who suffer from varying degrees of vitamin D deficiency, anyway.  So, what with all of the normal chaos that comes with this season (for me particularly it includes: seedlings, garden planning [and buying!], school wrapping up for the children, and girding my loins for the summer ahead) I decided to spice it up a bit and add a PUPPY!! Yes, yes, she is deliciously adorable, is she not?  We over here are incredibly excited, as one can expect.  Let me give…

  • Drinks

    Best Oranges for Mimosas

    Spring is here (ok, maybe not in Minnesota, where some of us are currently battling a winter storm, but SOMEONE must be experiencing a little spring…) and the warmer weather brings light, levity and….brunches!  And what is our favorite thing to drink at brunch….mimosas!  Well, it is my favorite thing to drink at brunch, anyway.  And what if you are hosting a smaller little soiree and want to fancy things up a bit?  Which orange would be the best option to serve to your guests?  Luckily, I took one for the team, juiced up some oranges and tried it out!  And to keep it scientific, I had my kids join…