Summer Bucket List~ Part 1

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I can’t believe we’re already in the second week of August. *sigh It’s going by so quickly and we haven’t even covered half of our bucket list yet! Not gonna lie…at this point, the kids are driving me bananas more often than not but I’m just hanging onto the realization that the snow will be flying before we know it. We’re just going to do our best to enjoy the last of these summer days and check off the rest of our bucket list!

Today, I’m going to highlight some of the things we’ve enjoyed most this summer!

At the end of the school year, both of the older kids came home with summer reading challenges as well as some reading challenges from local bookstores. One of our favorite bookstores is Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis. The store is tucked away on a quaint side street near Lake Harriet, which makes taking a picnic lunch on your little day trip the perfect idea! From the moment you arrive, the uniqueness of this gem of a bookstore greets you at the door. There’s a tiny door for the kids to enter and a larger door for the adults, though you could also crawl through the dwarf sized door and you probably wouldn’t get any strange looks. Ha!  Inside of the bookstore, there is a HUGE variety of books for all ages as well as some novelty items. The staff is super helpful and friendly and can even order books to be delivered to your door if they aren’t currently in stock. My kids found titles in Wild Rumpus that they hadn’t come across before in other bookstores which is really fun! Perhaps the most unexpected part of this one of a kind bookstore is that there are actually several pets that call the bookstore home and roam the shelves freely. The kids love trying to see if they can spot all of the pets as some of them are fairly elusive. Ha! (I wonder why:)    I think my favorite pet would be either Caldecott the chinchilla or Neil the chicken. Perhaps yours would be the tarantula. #nothanks  If you live locally and haven’t been to Wild Rumpus, it’s a must see for sure!

 

 

Another one of our favorite places to visit in the summer is Como Town!  We haven’t quite mustered up the courage to take the kids to the Minnesota State Fair so when it comes to rides their experience is pretty limited and their exposure hasn’t been more than Como Town and a trip or two to ValleyFair. Como Town is located in St. Paul and is in the same vicinity as Como Zoo and The Como Park Conservatory. Entrance into all 3 destinations is free, however, a donation is encourage!  I love Como Town because it’s not very big and is super easy to check out most of the attractions within just a few hours. Being that my kids are between the ages of 2-8. I try to find things that all 3 would be interested in or entertained by and this stop fits the bill! You could easily checkout Como Zoo while you’re there too and make a day of it!

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This year, we visited Fawn-Doe-Rosa in St. Croix Falls, WI for the first time. I’ve heard about it over the years and had just never gotten around to making the trip and I’m so glad we finally got around to it! This place is so neat, upon entrance to the park you will be greeted by so.many.deer just lounging around, waiting for you to come feed them some of the food you purchased in the store along with your admission ticket. The park is huge and there’s a trail that winds it’s way through, you’re welcome to “offroad it” but I would not recommend it as there are lots of animal droppings for you step in, insert clenched teeth emoji here. I mean…unless you’re into testing your ability to determine which animal the “scat” came from?! Let’s just stop there and say stick to the trail. There were also chicken, goats, pigs, bunnies, racoons, etc. Laney and Camryn even enjoyed taking a ride on the ponies! There aren’t any real food options at Fawn-Doe-Rosa, so I would definitely recommend packing a picnic lunch. There are tons of picnic tables and a playground for kids to play on once their done!

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One thing we have not missed out on this summer is our share of ice cream!  We have made it to a few of our summertime favs and even added some new ones into the mix this year! Here are a couple of pics of our recent stops!

Knoke’s Chocolate and Nuts in Hudson, WI

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Valley Sweets Ice Cream in St. Croix Falls, WI

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Selma’s Ice Cream in Afton, MN

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Some of the other boxes we’ve checked on our summer bucket list are: campfire in the driveway with neighbors, sleepover with friends, annual family vacation (read more on our trip to Ohio here) , movie on a rainy, corn on the cob cookout (which I blogged about here).

What’s on your summer bucket list?1 I’d love to add some more things to our list and can’t wait to recap the rest of our summer in a couple of weeks. Should I be embarrassed by the fact that it will probably include at least a few more ice cream shops? Ha!

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO,

Melissa @ Finding My Mojo

 

Friday Favorites!

Friday Favorties Link-up picHappy Friday everyone! It’s been a really busy week, so unfortunately I haven’t been back to blog at all since my last Friday Favorites!  #oops Today I’m linking up with A Little Bit of Everything, Momfessionals and Grace and Love blogs to bring you this week’s roundup of favorite things.

Sur La Tab Multifunction Pot~

I know you’re thinking “what a super exciting favorite”! Ha! Last Sunday, we had a cookout on the driveway with some of our neighbors (also a favorite) and Jared went and picked up 4 dozen ears of sweet corn to throw on the grill. As a child, Jared grew up with his Grandfather’s perfect technique of buttering the corn. Jared said what he needed was a pot large enough to fully dip the ear of corn in and narrow enough that there wouldn’t be more liquid in the pot than necessary. Insert this multi-functional pot he picked up at Sur La Table! It was the perfect size for dipping the ears of corn.  Now, I’m sure you’re wondering what exactly the corn was dipped in. So, you fill the pot up with enough water so that the corn can be fully submerged if you dip it in with tongs. Then, add 1-2 sticks of butter and boil. Take the mixture off of the burner and the butter will have risen to the top. There you have it, corn on the cob dipping perfection.

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IKEA Hemnes Dresser

This dresser is one of my favorites this week, I love it so much that this is actually the second one we’ve bought to have in one of the kid’s room. I love it because it’s large enough to really hold a lot the kids clothing and extra linens. You also can’t beat the price, only $249. The drawer pulls that come with it are pretty basic, so I ordered my own off of Amazon to dress it up a bit. If you’re familiar with IKEA, then you know that you have to put the furniture together yourself.  We found this to be a pretty easy assembly process too! Hemnes Dresser

Magnolia Journal

I LOVE when the Magnolia Journal arrives at my house! There’s just something about Chip and Joanna that totally fills my cup and warms my heart. I think 2 journal issues ago is when she featured a delicious Banana Chocolate Chip Bread recipe that the kids loved. This time, I’m not sure if she had me at Crème Brule or S’mores first…either way I’m totally making this! Yumm!! I don’t know about you all but I never subscribe to magazines any more, I think the Magnolia Journal is the only one. What magazine subscription do you still receive? Comment below if you think I’m missing out on any great mags!

 

Chalkboard Paint

A couple of years ago, Jared put his handyman skills to work and spruced up our back mudroom area. One of the things I asked for was a chalkboard area above the kid’s backpack and coat hangers to write their names or special messages on. He did a GREAT job but one of the first times I wrote on the wall I had used a chalk marker. It didn’t do any real damage but I think the paint was too porous for the chalk marker and you could always kind of see where the marker had bled through the chalk paint. So….after years (not exaggerating), I finally got around to repainting the area with chalk paint. Part of me was nervous that it wouldn’t turn out for some reason…it’s chalk paint though which is pretty forgiving so I’m not sure what I thought could go wrong. Anyway, I gave it a fresh coat of pain and everything looks good as new. If anyone has any suggestions on a better chalk utensil to use on this type of pain, I’d love to hear it!

Final and Most Fabulous Favorite

I’m loving checking off summer bucket list items with these three!

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Thanks for reading along this Friday and for stopping by my page. I hope you have a wonderful and blessed weekend!

XOXO,

Melissa @ Finding My Mojo

Mojo Travels- Summer family road trip.

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A couple of weeks ago, our family of five took a little mini road trip from Minnesota to Ohio to visit family.  I had never been to Ohio before or driven further than Chicago, so we were really unsure of where to stop along the way. Through my research, I use that term loosely, of our route I discovered Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, which is just 45 minutes of north of Chicago. The pictures of the lakeshore were beautiful and had me very interested in checking it out more but when I looked into where to stay, the options were pretty slim. We decided to break the trip up by stopping in Wisconsin Dells first, followed by Indiana Dunes and then finish our journey on the 3rd day by reaching our destination in Ohio.

 

We love to visit Wisconsin Dells both during the summer and winter months and we always stay at the Wilderness Resort. They have many different lodging options to accommodate a wide variety of group sizes and events. There are 3 outdoor pools on property, as well as 2 indoor ones so no matter the weather you’ll find entertainment for the kids! Being that we only had one day in the Dells, we spent out entire day at the pool and just ordered pizza to our room to keep it easy. When we have more time to spend in the Dells, we enjoy going to see the Tommy Bartlett Show, ride the Army Ducks and spend an afternoon walking around downtown. We’ve also eaten at Ishnala many times. The meal is served  old school supper club style but my favorite thing about this restaurant is it’s location. The restaurant is actually build into a cliff and one side of the restaurant is completing covered in windows allowing you to see a beautiful view of Mirror Lake.

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Day 2

Our kids are early risers so we were on the road and headed to Indiana Dunes by 8am and reached the Dunes visitor center by noon.  Indiana Dunes is on the northern part of Indiana along the Lake Michigan shore.  I would totally recommend stopping at the visitor center before you go anywhere else to find out more about the area if you aren’t already familiar. There are many hiking trails, beaches and other ecological points of interest in the area.

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There are several beaches in the area but we enjoyed spending our time at  Ogden Dunes and West Beach the most. If you forget your beach chairs and sand toys they sell them at their little canteen. We ate lunch at The Port and were sadly not impressed, the food was just not good but we loved the old fashioned diner concept!  We ate dinner at El Salto in Chesterton and unfortunately that was not very good either. Our dining experiences in the Dunes were a total bust, so if you’ve been before and have some insider recommendations on where to eat, where to stay and what to do send them my way!

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Side note, just before the trip I got Camryn some Keen sandals. I my opinion either these or Native shoes are THE BEST SHOES for kids, you can get them wet, they stay on your feet well and they clean up easy. I’m so glad she had these on the trip! As for me, I lived in my Athleta shortsAthleta shorts and Birks!

 

Day 3-5

On the third day we woke up and hit the road early again, with the time change we didn’t end up getting to our destination until mid afternoon. The kids really enjoyed spending time with their cousins and practically lived at the pool during our stay!

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I love to get my morning coffee from local establishements and got a delicious mocha from the Fox in the Snow, it was delicious and so was their blueberry galette. I would totally recommend treating yourself if you ever find yourself near a Fox and the Snow!

 

Before we headed out for the day, we had lunch at Hot Chicken Take Over. My sister-in-law thought we had to stop there because Parker LOVES friend chicken and let me tell you, this place did not disappoint! So. Good!!

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All smiles after an amazing lunch! Gimme all the chicken! HA!

Next we visited Legoland Columbus and although the kids love legos and enjoyed their time at Legoland I don’t think I would go again.

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After Legoland, we went to Johnson’s Ice Cream. It was amazing, so good that the kids devoured their cones so fast I didn’t get a chance to take a pic!

On our last day we once again spend the day at the pool until late afternoon when we packed up and headed for home. The drive was a bit too long for our youngest, she just couldn’t find a comfortable way to sleep…I don’t blame her after a 12 hour drive. Next time, we’d probably break the trip home up too!

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Thanks for stopping by and reading about our little trip!  I always enjoy having some type of adventure on the calendar, where is your favorite place to take your family or what have been your favorite road trips? I’d love to hear!

Happy Monday!

Melissa @ Finding My Mojo