Saturday, July 30, 2011

blueberry goodness

Last week we picked 23 pounds of blueberries.
There is nothing like fresh picked berries! 
And with 23 pounds of blue goodness, I could hardly wait to start using these beautiful berries!


I began with freezing 11 quarts of blueberries. This is always such a treat to pull out of the freezer for the rest of the year (especially in the middle of the winter) and use for blueberry pancakes, on top of cereal, or to make a pie.

Then I made one of Drew's favorites:
Granite Steps Country Blueberry Coffee Cake:
recipe from Paula Deen.
Recipe can be found HERE.


I made my Mom's Blueberry Sauce recipe,
which is amazing on top of vanilla ice cream or cheesecake!
Recipe is HERE.


I also made our favorite Blueberry Muffin recipe.
Recipe is HERE.


And I made a Blueberry Pie
(with homemade crust and all)!!
This recipe can be found HERE.


But I think my favorite way to enjoy the berries is on top of my morning cereal! Really, there is nothing better than fresh berries in your breakfast bowl!



Friday, July 29, 2011

parenting advice

Over at Kelly’s Korner people are sharing their ‘best parenting advice.’ Originally, I didn’t think I would contribute to this topic, but I thought about it some more and one thing kept popping into my mind over and over again this week, so I decided I would share.

I am a mom to 3 teenage boys, ages 13,16 and 19; and even as I type that, I can hardly believe that my boys are that old already. It really, truly seems like just yesterday when I was changing diapers, tying their shoes, brushing their teeth, walking them to school…. And the list goes on.

So my ‘best parenting advice’ to all the mom’s of younger kids is….to enjoy every moment! All the birthdays, all the games of Candyland played, all the ‘booboo’ kisses, all the times you have to get up in the middle of the night and give a big hug because of a bad dream, and even all of the temper tantrums…. And as they grow older, enjoy the time being chauffeur to and from events, the late night chats (even if it is way past your bedtime), the family meals (especially when everyone is home)...Because all of these moments go by way too fast! :)

The saying that the days are long but the years are short... is so very true!


{I am linking up to Kelly's Korner. Stop by there for more great parenting advice.}

Thursday, July 28, 2011

blueberry picking

A week ago today, we went on our annual blueberry picking trip. This is always a favorite summer activity and something we always look forward to. Drew and I left the house early in the morning and stopped to pick up our fellow berry picker, my mom. This is the 4th year we have made the trip to Rush River Produce in Maiden Rock, WI. It is about an hour and half drive, but is worth every second of the drive which is incredibly scenic and takes you through historic Red Wing and the beautiful Lake Pepin area.


Rush River Produce has over 9 acres of blueberries, and also have currents and gooseberries. But we go for the blueberries.


We picked the perfect day to berry pick, the weather was absolutely perfect, especially considering how hot it had been even just the day before.

We got busy right away picking the berries and picked for about 3 hours.

Drew busy picking.


My Mom.


And me.


The berries were so big this year and there were so many... which made the picking so much easier.


Drew and I picked 23 pounds of blueberries which is the most we have ever picked. Although, it always seems that come winter, we have never picked enough. :)


After we were done picking and we had paid and loaded the berries into the car; I walked around the grounds to take some pictures of the beautiful views.


The gardens and flowers are absolutely amazing.



I so wish this was my yard!! :)



We stopped in Red Wing on the way home to grab some lunch. We stopped at the same place we went to last year, the St. James Hotel. This is a neat little city to stop in and the hotel has a great roof top patio where we enjoyed our lunch.



The beautiful flower baskets that are all over the streets of Red Wing.



Another great summer day!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

wordless Wednesday

Video from the U2 concert showing what true and amazing entertainers they are playing in heavy rain through the entire show! The rain made the experience that much more memorable and magical!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

weekend lens

Picnik collage

baseball ttournament :: Harry Potter movie :: homemade blueberry muffins :: hockey tournament :: visiting with family from out of town :: big pull-tab win :: U2 concert :: double header baseball games

Monday, July 25, 2011

U2 Concert

Last week I won a ‘Mom’s Night Out’ give away on the Marketing Mama’s blog. The prize?? A ticket for me and a friend to the U2 concert, a pre-show dinner and drinks at the Hard Rock Café in Minneapolis, and transportation to and from the concert!!!! I really couldn’t believe I had won! I never win anything, and this was huge!!

I was able to choose a ‘mom friend’ to go with me and I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving than my friend Deb. She is a mom of 5 beautiful kids, ages range from kindergarten to college graduate; two of whom she adopted from India. She has the biggest heart of anybody I know and I was so honored that she was able to join me for the evening.


We started the evening on Saturday at the Hard Rock Café and had fun visiting with some other winners of the giveaway while we enjoyed dinner and drinks. After dinner, we loaded a party bus that would take us to and from the concert. This is really the way to go to a big venue like this- it was great not dealing with parking or traffic and we got dropped off right at the TCF Bank Stadium.


Our group at our seats before the concert began.


'The Claw' stage that cost $25 million to build.


This picture is from our seats and shows what a great view we had!


60,000 U2 fans!


The concert was AMAZING! U2 really put on quite the show and are true entertainers even through the downpours of rain. Luckily, we were all prepared and had our rain ponchos and we were able to enjoy the show and the entire experience, despite the weather.


The music was outstanding and they played so many favorite songs: Beautiful Day, Mysterious Ways, The Fly, Elevation, I Still Haven’t Found What I am Looking For, One; and they also did a tribute to Amy Winehouse, Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of; which was really touching.


Bono also sprinkled in some medleys about the weather: Singing in the Rain, Purple Rain, and Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head; which totally added to the atmosphere of the concert. Amazing!!!


This was such a great concert and was such a fun night! And since the concert I have downloaded some more U2 music and have been enjoying listening to the great music and remembering the evening!

Thanks Missy, for drawing my name in the giveaway and for organizing such a fun evening! :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tacos and a Heat Wave

We stopped at a new little place for lunch today. Rusty Taco in St. Paul has been open for a few months and we have heard a lot about this taco shop and couldn't wait to try it.

The menu  is very simple and is made up of 12 different kinds of tacos and they also have sides of chips with pico de gallo, guacamole, salsa and queso.


We stuck with the tacos today and tried the black bean taco, the chicken fajita taco, the roasted pork taco and the fish taco. The black bean was fabulous with a great combination of flavors and the fish taco was our other favorite. These are small tacos and you can easily eat 2-3 for a meal but at $2.50 each it is really pretty reasonable. This was a great little restaurant and one I know we will be stopping back at.

I other news, Minnesota (along with a lot of the country) has been under an 'excessive heat warning' since Saturday and it looks like we will have one more hot day tomorrow before we have a little relief. All I can say is that I am SO thankful that our old air condition broke when it did and we were able to get a new AC installed before this heat wave! This is a snapshot from my phone earlier this afternoon. Yikes!


As much as I don't enjoy this extremely hot and humid weather, my little garden seems to be loving it! I went out to peek at it this evening and I think my tomato plants grew a couple of feet in just a week.


Stay cool, everyone! :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

weekend lens

weekend collage
heat warnings :: Prior Lake Blues and Jazz Festival :: late night snack at BWW :: big boys playing with Lego's :) :: enjoying our new AC :: pizza and salad at Bucca :: new music :: mud

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Jazz and Blues

About a month ago, I saw an advertisement in our local paper about a Blues and Jazz festival that was coming to a town close to ours and that was headlining a musician that we have seen before in concert and really enjoy. The festival was a daylong event , to be held outside at a big park featuring many musicians, and the tickets were only $5!! We put the date on the calendar and were looking forward to spending a day outside listening to some great music.

Saturday the weather here in Minnesota turned hot and steamy and an ‘Excessive Heat Warning’ was issued from noon on Saturday until Wednesday evening. And Saturday also happened to be the day of the Prior Lake Jazz and Blues Festival. The high temps were to be in the 90’s with dew points in the 70’s and heat indexes in the 100’s. It was going to be hot but we decided we were going to go and just be very careful to drink enough water and really once we got there we were going to be just sitting-nothing too taxing. :)

We were so glad that we went! It was such a fun day and yes it was hot, but it wasn’t horrible.


We arrived around 4pm just in time to see a local musician, Tim Mahoney. I had never heard him play live before and was excited to see his performance. He didn't disappoint!


He was selling and signing a $5 CD after his act and so I had to get one. :)


The crowd was awesome. Everyone was so laid back and so nice; and as the day went on the crowd kept on getting bigger and bigger.


Next up was another local favorite, Lamont Cranston and Bruce McCabe.


Walking around between the live music was a bit of a challenge as it had rained several inches the night before left the field quite wet, which quickly turned to mud with so many people walking on it. (My favorite sandals are ruined, but it was worth it. :)



We stopped by the misting tent to cool off.


Then we heard Lukas Nelson (Willie Nelson's son). He was amazing!


Waiting for Buddy Guy to begin.



There were some sound difficulties to begin with, but he is always amazing and quite the entertainer.



7 hours of great music in massive heat and mud in great company equals an awesome day! :)