Tag Archives: fun

Fall Fun at the Arboretum – Scarecrows!

Taking advantage of a gorgeous “Indian Summer” day here in Minnesota!

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum hosts an annual scarecrow display.  This year’s creations were submitted by local floral design professionals, and they did not disappoint!

Hobbit Hole (Nature Play)

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This willow structure reminds me of a Hobbit Hole

School is finally out!  Time to enjoy the beautiful weather – outside!

Alex and I ventured out to the Arboretum to see the Butterfly Exhibit and search for Father’s Day (gifts) at the gift shop.  The butterflies were very friendly and landed on us, but would not stand for having their pictures taken!  (Hence, no photos of butterflies on our heads, hands and shoulders.)

One of Alex’s favorite things at the Arboretum is the Nature Play area under a huge shade tree.  Complete with tunnels, forts, pinecone doll house and even a “kitchen sink”, it definitely sparks the imagination!

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Nature Play Area at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum – Chanhassen, MN

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King of the Forest

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Bear Den?

What a great place for kids to get some sun, fresh air, and re-energize.
More playgrounds should look like this!

Like Walking a Tightrope… or Trampoline?


Found this on Clearance at JM Cremps, Mall of America. Score!!

Look what I found at the Mall of America yesterday.  Yowsa!

Our backyard is “heavily wooded”, so we have lots of trees to choose from for this new summertime activity.  We could all use a little more balance – and FUN!

Mark Sisson is a HUGE fan of slacklines!  (Where else would I see such a thing?!)

Too bad it’s -14F today and we’re blanketed in snow and ice.  Can’t wait until Spring to try it!

Here’s how the Pros do it:

Hexed by the Bugs

Humor is a great Holiday stress reliever!
A good laugh to start the day:

Happy Halloween!

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Raven posing with the Pumpkin treat-or-treat bag

Happy Halloween!  This is a fun holiday for kids, as they can pretend to be anything.
(Not that they can’t do that any other time of year, but the costumes are better!)

When I was a kid, it was all about the candy.  Still is for most kids, I think – which is of concern to health-conscious parents like me.  What to do?

In past years our son would go trick-or-treating and bring home lots of junk.  We would sort out a few of the less yukky treats for him to eat and then offered him money for rest – a trade he happily made.  Said treats then went to Hubby’s office or the trash.  The boy got to have fun going around the neighborhood with his friends, participating in the fun without the sugar-coma consequences.

Other strategies to distract from the candy-coma frightfulness:

Focus on the costumes.

Make homemade Paleo-ized treats.  Less yukky stuff.
There might be some sugar – but not the chemicals, colorants, gluten and other nasties.

We made some copycat tootsie rolls from the Paleo Parents Halloween Round-Up.
Also enjoying some of the lollipops we’re handing out to the Trick-or-Treaters.


Play some music and have a dance party.



“It’s just a Thriller!”…
(click to see the video – it’s hilarious!)


Happy Autumn: the First Day of my Favorite Season

I probably should have been working, but the weather was just too perfect – sunny and cool.
Besides, the internet kept cutting out on me.  Read it as a SIGN to get outside!

The annual scarecrow exhibit at the MN Landscape Arboretum opened yesterday.  It’s been one of our favorite events through the years, so we headed over to see the entrants and walk the gardens.  This year “natural materials” were required for scarecrow construction.

Every year my husband carries on about how we should make one.  Until this year, we missed the registration dates.  This time I made sure I got the registration form and schedule ahead of time, but to no avail.  He did not pay attention.  Another opportunity missed. *sigh*

Alex and I walked the gardens and took photos of all the scarecrows, which sadly numbered fewer than in the past.  The mums and other fall flowers were still in bloom and the fresh-cut grass smelled fantastic.  We took a break at the waterfall and visited the gift shop.  They had a 2013 stash of my favorite Ames Farm single-source raw honey in sweet clover – SCORE!

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Resting at the waterfall

Alex loves playing in the Learning Center’s Natural Play area, so we went over.

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The pinecone dollhouse

We finished our excursion with a trip to the Arboreteum’s Apple House and selected two varieties of Minnesota apples to take home for lunchboxes, along with a half-gallon of fresh-pressed cider.  

I love Autumn/Fall: the cooler weather for walking, the changing colors, the fashion, the comfort foods…pumpkins…  too bad it doesn’t last longer.

We just have to enjoy it while we can!


My son has vacation from activities this last week before school starts.  He spent the first two days of it glued to the TV or playing games on the old cell phone.  Mamma was not happy.

So this morning before he woke up, I hid the TV remotes, the cell phone and locked the computer.  He complained loudly at first, but then re-discovered his Spoonerboard – a toy we’d gotten last summer that sat largely unused (due to lack of snow in winter) and then forgotten.  Boredom begets creativity…


Cucumber (Noodle) Salad!

Tested the Paderno vegetable spiral slicer on some cucumbers this evening.
Voila!  Cucumber Salad with a twist – literally.

Peeled the cucumbers, sliced off the bitter ends and ran them through the machine with the help of my trusty assistant Alex.  Salted generously and added snipped chives from the garden.  All done.  

This was really fun.  Some of the “noodles” were nearly 3 feet long!  Next up will be zucchini “zoodles” and sweet potato noodles.  Hmm…guess it’s time for a trip to the store…

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Looks like spaghetti! Check out the length on those cucumber spirals!

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Yup. Roll it up just like pasta. …Yeah…this is how we roll… *giggle*

What a Deal!

Facebook was alit with the news that the Paderno vegetable spiral slicer was 50% off.
Time to pounce!  Those zoodles were a hit!


Even though I wasn’t keen on more equipment to take up money and space, the price made it worth the bother.  I was surprised at how compact it is – much smaller than I anticipated.

I plan to make a variation on cucumber salad with it tonight, and some zoodles and sweet potato noodles this weekend.  This should be fun!