Just Me & The Kiddos in Duluth!

The first thing we did was see the Lift Bridge. Parking early in the morning is super easy - we got there about 9:45, there were TONS of spots left in the lot. Stores and restaurants also open about 10/11am so it wasn't too crowded. 

This little thingy is right by the Lift Bridge. 

We stopped at the Great Lakes Aquarium. It wasn't exactly the best spot for my children. This is where they learned that I mean business when I tell them directions. And it wasn't very pretty. Both ended up in time out. Several times. Chewie was covered in water. Vacations with kids are not all fun. Sometimes it takes a few "breaks" and time outs to really let kids know that they're not in charge and that poor behavior isn't tolerated. In general my kids are really awesome but the excitement of a new place and being with just me was a bit more than they could take. 

So they learned how to throw rocks. 

Fish at the aquarium.

Kitchi Gammi State Park. This was an awesome place. We spent 2 hours here on the beach - looking for rocks and throwing whatever we could find. 

Scootering on the boardwalk in Duluth.

It's custom to bring a lock for your love for one another. I didn't bring one - I had one with me but it was the second lock that I'd bought in a month for the YMCA. Oh, well! Next time!!

Scootering for hours. That seemed to be the highlight of the weekend.

Looking at a cargo ship in the harbor. Those bitches are HUGE!!

You can walk out to the lighthouse and stand by it watching the ships come in. You can see the Lift Bridge is part-way up in this photo of The Monkey.

So many anchors! The city is filled with old shipping remnants and parts. They're just begging to be climbed on. 

Rock picking.

The city sign over the harbor. 

Chewie's dreams came true. He got to ride a train!

And I mean a real train. The Soo Line engine is right in front of us. We got to watch them hook up the engine to the cars. It was super cool!

Overall - Duluth is great for kids. We did skip going on the Vista Fleet harbor cruise because I didn't want to be stuck on a boat with a screaming 2 year old. but I knew with a train we could move around the train cars and see different areas, plus it was 1.5 hours long, not too long and just enough to entertain! We stayed at the Canal Park Lodge - great location! We walked/scootered everywhere and it was really easy to get to off of I35. 

If you have kids and are looking for an awesome place to explore for a weekend - go! You won't regret it and it's pretty budget friendly too! Happy exploring!


Meal Plan 8/21-8/24

I have none. We were in Duluth. I didn't have time to think of one. HA!!

I do know that I didn't freeze sweet corn in time from last week's CSA so that needs to be composted. I've got a few overripe tomatoes that I can make a small batch of tomato-basil soup.

I also have a bunch of Mint-Basil. I think I'm going to harvest that and freeze it in water so I can mix it into my smoothies in the morning. And I don't like kale in smoothies, I think it tastes weird but I know I have to mix up the greens - to give my body enough variety of minerals and vitamins so I don't get an overload of a single mineral/vitamin.

In the freezer I have both beef AND pork roasts - I also have a lot of Adobo seasoning which is currently the favorite of the kids and mine. I think that would be really good with the pork roast - along with some grilled corn and some sort of tomato/cucumber salad.

The carrots from the CSA this year are AMAZING. I need to shred some up to make some carrot muffins and also for a pasta salad. The princess pasta salad from the Disney cookbook is amazingly delicious and easy - I can make that for dinner on Friday to leave with the sitter (because I GET TO WATCH A BOXING MATCH! I'M SO EXCITED!).

And then we got a new delicious quark cheese in the CSA box too, spread over an english muffin is SO GOOD.

Oh, man. I definitely don't want summer food to end!

Husband Stresses Wife More Than Kids...

After reading this article (which is YEARS old, btw), I have to think...do wives just wait for their husbands to die so they can stop taking care of someone else?

From the article, when wives die first, the husband's health deteriorates whereas when the man dies first, the wife's health drastically improves. So really, are we just waiting for them to die so we can be healthier?

Ironically enough the most stressful thing happened to me yesterday. Bimmer Man got home from his vacation about an hour and a half before the kids and I did. But somehow...he couldn't take 30 seconds out of his time to order a pizza for dinner for the family - but he could browse Instagram which led to me getting frustrated and quite frankly, I didn't fucking make him dinner. He was acting like a child, which totally proves the point of the article. My husband stresses me out more than my children.

I know this has happened to so many women, probably all, and not just once in awhile, every fucking day - and it's because of the patriarchal society. When men think they're better than women, they think that their PARTNER should cater to them. I think that's bullshit. In no way do I want my daughter to marry someone that thinks she should cater to him (or her! Whomever she loves!). So no, I'm not going to make dinner for someone that thinks it's ONLY MY JOB to feed the family. It's his fucking job too.

So this article is seriously still relevant YEARS after it's publishing and I feel like when it was published it seemed to be a running joke. But now I can honestly say...it's true...and that's pretty sad. I'm not sure what it takes to change someone's mind or turn the tide or anything that can change the patriarchal society other than raising boys to be humble as hell. To teach them how to cook, clean, freeze fresh corn, scramble eggs, do laundry, grow flowers, and clean toilets. Chewie will ABSOLUTELY know what his children's clothing and shoe sizes are, he will know how to buy tampons for his partner. I think this is really the only way to change the sexism in America. Both of my children will be sent to college with my recipe cards, know how to do laundry and how to hand wash dishes. They'll get cleaning supplies and I will hold them to high standards. And any roommate of theirs that doesn't know how to do these things...I will fucking teach them because knowing how to live and take care of yourself is basic living and any parent that doesn't teach these things is leaving their child with a disadvantage.

UGH. So I'm leaving you with a photo of my vegetables. Some day Chewie is going to know how to grow some fucking vegetables.



Kinetic Sand. It's entertainment for more than a few minutes in this house!

Find it on Amazon HERE

If you need some kid entertainment, this should certainly help you out to at least go to the bathroom alone for a few minutes!


CSA Meal/Food Planning

This year I've made super random stuff for the fridge and freezer -

I pickled some jalapenos which I thought sugar would take some of the heat out of... NOPE. Still super spicy! Delicious though.

Refrigerator Bread & Butter Pickles are always a hit.

Tortilla Soup

Tomato Basil Soup

Herb Pesto (made mostly with Sage, Parsley, and a little Basil)

Up next on my list - I planted multiple kinds of Basil so I need a few minutes to myself to gather up all the different Basil leaves, sort them and then make the pesto. I have a Ninja Bullet, so I'm thinking making 4 different pestos in an afternoon will be fairly easy (as long as I don't have to referee children!).

I also need to make another batch of Chimichurri - my jalapeno plant has EXPLODED. I need to find ways to use it up! I was thinking about doing a batch of cornbread with jalapenos too.

My Butternut Squash plants are doing excellent so I'll make a batch of soup and then probably some squash and black bean breakfast burritos too.

I've been going through a phase of getting make-ahead cookbooks from the library but I haven't really been too impressed. One from America's Test Kitchen had mostly meals and dishes that you made 3-4 days in advance and kept in the fridge. I need more freezer meal options - I feel like I need to do this before school starts so I can get back into the swing of things a bit easier. I've found transitions are pretty difficult in this house and everyone takes a few weeks to get used to changes. I do have a freezer meal cookbook, but that calls for bulk items and I'm thinking I just want a few meals instead of 30+ like I usually do. Or now that I type that, maybe I do want to do 30+ meals! That does make dinner and lunch super easy.

My herb plants have held up really well, but I have been consistently watering this year too (which children that love playing with the hose, I can usually bribe them to water!) but my little square foot garden I completely over (or possibly under) estimated - the brussel sprout plants took over and crowded out a yellow pepper and broccoli plants so...now that I know how big those brussel sprout plants get, I'll move those next year to over by the composter and keep the smaller veggies in the square foot garden - the peppers, two tomato plants, a foot of spinach, I'll route a butternut squash plant to go over the rabbit fence, and then I can grow garlic too. That should be a good little easy garden to water, pick weeds, etc...

That's all for now, friends! Have a great rest of your week!


This Summer Sucks

Oh, man. Summer has seriously kicked my ass.

Having two kids home at the same time is crazy. There's always someone talking AT me...not to me. There's always someone crying, screaming my name, or telling me they want a "SNACK." There are days when I threaten to go back to work.

Next year there will be way more summer camps.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love my kids but entertaining toddlers versus older children is freaking insane. I can send one kid outside but then the other one wants to follow and the house is a disaster. Summer parenting is absolutely no joke.

To top it all off I found out that I'm anemic, I'm severely deficient in Vitamin D and my Ferritin levels are below normal. So no wonder why I've been freaking exhausted for MONTHS. And I don't mean just tired, I mean 6-week-post-baby-worse-than-tired EXHAUSTED and I haven't had a baby in over two years. This has lasted for MONTHS. Bimmer Man pretty much has been non-existent in this house working on cars that are not in the garage located in our backyard so that means most things around home are left up to me. So I've been feeling pretty much run ragged. It hasn't been easy. It's to the point where I hired a cleaning lady because I just can't do it anymore. The next person on my list is to hire lawn/garden people because I can't even mow the lawn without taking a break, my body is just tired. There, that was a bit of truth for you.

So this summer sucks, much like the summer that Chewie was born.

On the other hand, The MONKEY is riding a fat bike and we've been mountain biking. Chewie has been scootering like a master. My flowers are doing freaking amazing and I've only had to water the pots and random veggies. We took a trip to Colorado that was fun. Bimmer Man and I went to France for 8 days - that was awesome. I'll share pictures at some point.

So not everything has been terrible. It's been fun, but I'm ready for school to get us back into a normal routine and not just me having to come up with ideas for things to do on a daily basis. I can only search Pinterest for so long before I want to stab my eyes out.