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Guest Room

Guest Room

Chuck’s grandparents made a trip up from Omaha a couple months ago and decided to stay with us. We knew that we had to get an actual bed for them to sleep on because 90+ year old grandparents shouldn’t have to sleep on an air mattress. Smile

So Chuck headed to Ikea to pick up a bed, some tables, a couple lamps and some bedding and he and his dad (with a little help from Alex), got to work building.



I’m really happy with how the roomed turned out. I’ll fully admit that it’s a huge mess right now with toys thrown all over the room and stuffed bears occupying the bed. But, it would only take a couple minutes to get it back in order.





I just took this picture a couple minutes ago. I couldn’t have you believing I lived in some pristine castle all the time or something. The room IS part of the kids’ playroom and occupies many of their toys.


So, if you were hankering to come stay at our zoo house, you now have a comfortable little place to sleep. There’s your own little bathroom down in the basement, too. AND, in even bigger news (if you know me), I have a coffee pot and coffee. So there’s a pretty good chance I’ll even let you make some (or make some for you if I’m feeling really nice). Winking smile


Maddie’s Birthday Weekend

Maddie’s Birthday Weekend

We had lots of fun celebrating our big 6 year old this past weekend.  On Saturday morning, Chuck and Maddie worked on making a birthday cake. She wanted to make and decorate her own cake this year. Chuck helped her bake and she did the decorating. (One was chocolate and the other cake was rainbow with white frosting.) She was so proud of herself!



Saturday afternoon, we had a girls outing and went to see Fancy Nancy at the Stages Theatre. It was a really cute show with lots of singing and dancing by kids. The girls loved it. We took my mom, my mother-in-law, sister-in-law and niece.





The amazing Grandma Linda made Maddie a Merida dress (from the Disney movie Brave). Now, here is a picture of the image she was modeling the dress after:File_000


I honestly think hers is even better than the ones you can buy in the stores. Amazing!

That evening we had some family over to celebrate and eat all the cake Maddie made. She also got a few other Merida accessories to go with her dress. So cute!



Then on Sunday she wanted to go to brunch. So we took her there and then we went to the Mall of America because she wanted to go to the Crayola Experience and spend some birthday money. We had also planned to ride rides, but since it was a holiday weekend, it was really busy there and we decided to skip rides.

On Monday, I had plans to meet a friend at the mall (we knew it would be a potentially terrible idea with everyone in town planning to be there, too). So we took the kids on some rides and had lunch. Since it was President’s Day there were some events going on and the kids got crowns and got their picture with some presidents. Winking smile







After lunch at the mall, we went to our friend’s house to hang out for the afternoon. It was a fun-filled day (and weekend) and we were all exhausted by the end of it. I think Maddie had a great birthday filled with fun, family and friends!

Now we are thankfully back to our regular schedule. Smile


Princess Awesome

Princess Awesome


My dear friend in Seattle turned me on to the clothing from Princess Awesome. I hadn’t purchased anything myself until recently because my friend has sent the girls dresses for a couple years for birthdays or Christmas. Here are some of the patterns we have. (Rockets, Dinosaurs, Robots, Pi and Ninjas.)






They have a new dragon pattern that I just got for my niece for her birthday (she’s adopted from China and the dragons were too cute!) I also bought a science one for Maddie (because she has been obsessed with science and women in science lately) and there’s a good chance that when their new bug one comes out I may have to get that, too!




Their company was started on Kickstarter by a couple of moms with a vision. They were unhappy with the clothing choices in the girls’ clothing department and decided to do something about it.

The dresses are really well made and can last for a long time if you buy a slightly larger size and wear them with pants as they get a little shorter. I love that all of Maddie’s dresses will be handed down to Dannie and then probably to our niece after that. They are a little spendy for one dress, but you get your money’s worth out of them.

As a nice bonus, they email you a coloring sheet to go with each pattern of dress you buy. The girls love coloring them. They also have some fun coloring kits you can purchase which have STEM themes to them. Their blog also has some coloring downloads from time to time (there’s a valentine’s day set you can download for free now).

I highly recommend these dresses for your girls. They are still girly, but have such fun, colorful, empowering patterns. Because not every girl like flowers, princesses, hearts and being pretty. Sometimes they just want a dress with dinosaurs on it.


(I am not being compensated for this post. I just really love their products and their company. Photos are from Princess Awesome’s website.)

High Tea

High Tea

My dear friend, Lauren, suggested that some friends try high tea at the St. Paul Hotel. It was such as fun experience. You get to drink tea served to you by cute men and women in their serving uniforms, sip champagne or wine if you choose, and snack on delicious food. It’s a fun experience that only costs a little over $40/person.


They have vegetarian options as well as caffeine free tea.


Those were all from our first tea visit. We had so much fun that we scheduled a second outing and invited a few more friends. This is definitely something we will continue to do. Maybe we’ll be old and grey and talking about how long we’ve been going to high tea with our girlfriends. 🙂 I’d love to take some other friends or family with me. It’s worth having the experience of high tea in this gorgeous hotel.

Date Night

Date Night

I’ve been trying to plan date nights for Chuck and myself before he leaves for Seattle. We have done puzzle rooms, out for sushi, a cooking class, dinner with friends, adult night at the zoo, and the other night we went wandering around Minnehaha Falls and then met some friends at the Stone Arch Bridge Festival. It was such a fun evening. It was a really hot day, but with our summer weekends being numbered here in Minnesota, it was so fun to get outside and do something active instead of just going to a movie or something. It’s so nice to have time together without the kids and do things we used to do when it was just us.










Sushi Skills 101

Sushi Skills 101

Last month, for a date night, I signed us up for a sushi making class through Cooks of Crocus Hill. This class taught us all about sushi (which is the rice) and how to make it correctly. We also learned how to make nigiri and some rolls. There was a lot of great information and it was so much fun to try something new!


Their kitchen was so pretty!



We were given some recipes in our packet and the chef made the most amazing soy sauce mixture we have ever had. We wanted to drink it! We also got the recipes for sushi rice, and a few rolls.

We watched the chef demonstrate and cook a bunch of stuff and then he set us loose to try all the stuff he taught us.





I really like nigiri and found I liked the cucumber rolls. I didn’t think I would, but I was pleasantly surprised. I also liked the spicy tuna rolls the chef made.


At the end, while we were asking questions, the chef just continued to make rolls for us to pass around and eat. He got fancier as we neared the end of the class.


We had a lot of fun and Chuck wants to try making some at home. I usually say I don’t like sushi, but a couple weeks ago I finally had my first sushi craving. Apparently you just get hooked on sushi and want it all the time. I didn’t think that was possible, but it happened. So Chuck was happy to run out and get some for us for dinner!

I really enjoyed taking this cooking class and I plan to sign us up for another one sometime in the future. It was nice to go do something other than just dinner and a movie (which is wonderful). There’s just something about going out, learning something and making it that is so satisfying and perfect.

Have you ever taken a cooking class? Or done a fun activity or something out of the ordinary for date night? I love suggestions!


Woodland Park Zoo

Woodland Park Zoo

We have made a visit to the zoo here in Seattle many times. But on this visit, the kids were happy, the sun was shining and I just happened to take a bunch of pictures. So here are some pictures from a recent visit to the zoo this Fall.

We played at the park just outside the zoo for a little while before it opened. The zoo opens at 9:30, so when the kids are up before 7, it’s pretty likely that we are stir crazy before the zoo opens.



Next, the girls thought it would be fun to chase the jaguar. They don’t have much of a survival instinct. Smile


Up next were the gorillas. This one was so sweet and came to look at us right by the window.



Inside the zoo, there’s a really fun playground. They like to run around the path (over and over), stand on the ant hills, go down the rock slides and play in the spider webs.



One of their favorite places at the zoo is the farm. The animals were pretty silly when we were there.








More fun things to play in/on.



Dannie is starting to get the hang of standing on standing part of the stroller. For some reason Maddie wanted to sit in the seat.


The lions are kind of hard to see in this picture, but they were all out on the rocks which is something we don’t see very often.


We hadn’t visited the wetlands at the zoo in a long time, so we took a stroll through there. It was really pretty




The red panda (Firefox) is one of my very favorite animals. He’s so dang cute and fluffy!


We also saw the giraffes, hippos and zebras, but I didn’t get any good pictures of them. I love this zoo. The only thing I wish it had were more indoor areas. It rains here…a lot (in case you didn’t know) and it would be nice to have more options at the zoo for rainy days. But alas, it does not. I hope we can get a couple more nice weekend days to make another visit before it gets too cold (and rainy) for the season.

What is your favorite animal to see at the zoo?


Zoo Bathrooms

Zoo Bathrooms

So this may seem like a very weird post, but I can’t help myself. We go to the zoo fairly often and I made a bathroom stop one time and I was surprised to see all the doors to the bathrooms painted. I thought it was so cute.

They had a female lion painted on the women’s restroom door and a male lion was painted on the men’s restroom door.


And there was a lion family painted on the family restroom doors. It was so fun and so creative!


Now, here is where I show my true weirdness. Each of the stalls in the women’s rooms were painted with the front of an animal on them. And when I went inside, I was surprised to see the rear of the animal painted on the inside of the door. Since there wasn’t anyone else in the restroom, I decided to be a whack-a-doo and take pictures of each of the stalls….on both sides. So here you go, the painted stalls in the women’s restroom at the zoo. I’m sorry. And you’re welcome.













See….it may have been weird to take pictures of all of these, but they are really beautiful in person. It took a lot of time for someone to paint all of these. And they did a wonderful job. It’s such a creative idea and I haven’t seen it before. Well done, zoo. Well done.


Fremont Troll

Fremont Troll

We had some time one weekend and thought we would take a drive over to see the Fremont Troll. I had heard of it, but it was quite fun to see in person. It’s a huge sculpture under a bridge and the troll has a real VW beetle under his hand. It’s so whimsical and strange. I am glad we went to visit it.

If you look closely in the next photo, you’ll see a chuck and Maddie up on his shoulder waving to me. 🙂


Seattle Aquarium

Seattle Aquarium

We have been to the aquarium many times, but our most recent trip was a lot of fun.

We colored.

We pet animals.

We had our faces painted.

We stuck our heads in painted plywood.

We looked at the jellyfish. (This is the cutest picture ever, by the way!)

We looked at tropical fish.

Then we headed out. We weren’t there very long and only saw a small part of the aquarium. But sometimes a short trip is perfect!