Monthly Archives: January 2012

Out and About: Sovereign Grounds

On Saturday I spent two hours at Sovereign Grounds with Dieter, my mom and future SIL, Laura.  I don’t know if you caught the TWO HOURS part so I’ll repeat it.  Have you ever spent two hours at a coffee shop with a toddler?  I don’t think it’s even possible…unless you hit up a place with some serious entertainment for the little one.  Sovereign grounds is located in South Minneapolis (around the corner from Turtle Bread Company if you know where that is).  It really reminds me of a neighborhood hangout since it seemed like almost everyone new each other.  One half of the shop is furnished with tables and chairs and the other half resembles a living room where kids have completely taken over.  There are large couches and TONS of toys…and a little turtle sitting in his aquarium.  Dieter had a lot of fun and didn’t want to leave because another little guy had just joined him.  I had a great time too because I could chat away without worrying too much what the munchkin was getting into.  And to top things off a large coffee was only $1.45!

So, yes, I would definitely recommend Sovereign Grounds.  Good atmosphere, kid-friendly, and good coffee (and treats).

Someday my pictures will improve 😦


I just stumbled across a really cool knitting/crocheting website that I wanted to pass along!  They have a ton of free patterns in both English and Norwegian (just in case you’re bilingual).  Here are a few that I’ve put in my “would love to make” file.

Perfect for Dieter to sit on when we read stories.

Great for all types of storage but especially my current projects!

I’ve been wanting to revamp the lamps in our bedroom…

Way too cute…they have some great baby sweater patterns.

So what do you think?

Out and About Winter Edition

Dieter is getting to the age where the more steam he can run off the better off we ALL are.  So with that in mind I am creating a list of activities to do in the Twin Cities area.  Some of it is free and some costs a little money but all are toddler-friendly and are indoors.  My goal is to do all of these and write about our experiences (including pictures which will be the harder part!).  If you have experienced any of the activities let me know how it went for you and if you haven’t, well we always love to have friends along!

Skyzone  Plymouth, Minnesota

Every Tuesday and Friday is Toddler Time at Skyzone, an indoor trampoline park.  Jumping is from 9:30-11:30 for ages 5 and under.  It’s a little pricey (starts at $8.00 for 30 minutes) but you can order your tickets online to guarantee a spot on the day of your choosing.  They say to call ahead to make sure there are no cancellations or time changes.

Como Zoo Lil’ Explorers Thursdays  St. Paul, Minnesota

Through April little ones can meet animals and plants, see story time, and take part in other activities.  There is a different theme every week and they are listed on the website.  The best part is it’s free!  The fun starts at 10 and goes until noon in the visitor’s center.

Choo Choo Bob’s  St. Paul, Minnesota

Many of my friends with toddlers rave about Choo Choo Bob’s and their story time.  Story time is on Saturdays and Tuesdays at 10 am.  They also have train tables that kids are welcome to play at with no obligation to spend money.  Since Dieter loves his friend’s train tables I have a feeling this place will be a hit with him.

Wild Rumpus Minneapolis, Minnesota

I have the fondest memories of this little bookstore.  My mom would take the three of us there when we were little and we could pick out a book from their used bookshelf (I think she got away with a pretty cheap outing).  They have animals roaming the aisles and cages of other furry friends.  There are even some critters peeking out of the floor!  Story time is every Monday at 10:30 am.

Midtown Gobal Market’s Wee Wednesday  Minneapolis, Minnesota

There is an indoor play area at Midtown Global Market with weekly kid-friendly activities.  A quick glance at the calendar showed a variety of events including some kid-friendly bands as well as a cooking class (for the older kiddos).  Wee Wednesday takes place from 10:30-lunchtime and if you do stay for lunch you can get a free lunch for the kiddo with purchase of an adult lunch.

Adventure Park  Ham Lake, Minnesota

The most appealing thing about Adventure Park is that it’s so close to home!  It’s an indoor playground that is family-run and looks like a really great place to blow off some steam.  It costs $6 per child and they don’t accept credit cards or checks so bring cash or use their ATM.  There is also a coupon tab on their homepage but no coupons at this time but I would check before you go, you never know!

Minnesota Children’s Museum  St. Paul, Minnesota

I think this is one of the places that you would want to invest in a membership.  Everyone pays $8.95 (unless you’re under one) and memberships start at $89.  But either way this place is interactive, stimulating, and educational.  Dieter will love it and I can’t believe I have never taken him there!  Every 3rd Sunday is free but they don’t recommend bringing strollers in so you can just picture how crazy it gets!

Underwater Adventures at MOA  Bloomington, Minnesota

The last time I was at Underwater World was in 4th grade for a field trip and I remember thinking it was the coolest thing.  So if a 4th grader is impressed I’m guessing an 18 month-old will be too.  Buy your tickets online for a weekday discount ($12.99 for adults, $9.99 kids 3-12,  kids under 3 are free).  There are touchpools too where you can touch a starfish or hold a crab.

Library Passes

Did you know that the local library has free passes for tons of museums and other attractions around the city?  I check these every once in awhile when we’re at the library and they change fairly regularly.

Toddler Tuesday at MOA  Bloomington, Minnesota

Every Tuesday there are a variety of special character appearances, arts and crafts, story time and more from 10 until noon.  They have a calendar you can look at to find out what is going on any particular Tuesday including “Llama, Llama, Red Pajama” (2/7) and Dancercise Kids (2/14).  A huge number of restaurants also offer free toddler lunch with the purchase of an adult lunch.

Sovereign Grounds  Minneapolis, Minnesota

I have to admit this one is so appealing!  I am a huge coffee lover and am always disappointed when I take Dieter to Caribou.  Their play areas are pitiful at best and disgusting at worst.  Sovereign Grounds serves up Turkish coffee (roasted in-house) and has a nice big play area for the little ones.  Bring a friend who has a babe of her own and you could settle in for a nice cup of java while the kiddos play.  It has great reviews so my hopes are high.

In the Heart of the Beast  Minneapolis, Minnesota

This is a puppet and mask theater that has Saturday morning puppet shows for kids.  They suggest a $2 donation if you live in the neighborhood or $4 if you don’t.  There are also make-and-take puppet workshops after the shows based on that day’s performance for an extra cost.  The season runs October through March.  This is a great opportunity to support a local theater.

Feathery Headband DIY

I’m trying desperately to grow my hair out so to keep myself from chopping it off I’m trying to get creative with the accessories.  My mom bought me a really cute headband with fabric-covered buttons on it and my hairstylist and first-cousin-once-removed by marriage was sporting a fun feathered headband last time I got my haircut.  With these as inspiration I headed to Joann with coupons in hand and an idea in my head.

What you need:

  • Headband
  • Package of feathers (I bought pheasant feathers)
  • Unique Stitch
  • Felt
  • Button

The first thing I did was cut out a base for the feathers to be applied to out of the felt.  Then, using a lot of fabric glue, I placed the feathers in a shape that I liked.  Because the felt absorbs the glue pretty well you have to be generous.

Once the feathers were in place I cut out another piece of felt to put on top of the feathers.  This was mainly so that I could hide all the ugly stems (is that the right term?).  I got a little creative here and really you can go in so many directions with the design.

After I was happy with the look I let it dry overnight.  Oh but first I should tell you how I actually attached the embellishment to the headband.  For that step I cut out a piece of felt and put a big glob of glue on it, then stuck it on the backside of the headband and the feathers on the frontside.  Because the fabric glue doesn’t instantly hold everything in place super well I used a hair clip and some bobby pins to make sure nothing moved.  Then I perched it on the edge of a big bowl so it would dry in place.

Before I was finished I glued on a button, just because!  It felt like it needed a little something :).  And there you have it!  A headband for under 5 bucks (with the help of my Joann coupons).

S’more Tortilla

I’m not going to bother you with too many words in this post because you NEED to just try this!  I had a stomachache after I ate this because I didn’t think to share with anyone.  So make sure you have someone to share it with or you WILL eat it all and you WILL regret it.

Chocolate Chips
Peanut Butter
Mini Marshmallows

Layer one half of a tortilla with peanut butter, chocolate chips, and marshmallows. Fold in half. Warm up butter in a pan. Place tortilla in pan and brown on both sides. Once the insides are all melty devour this gluttonous delight.

Mixed Results

Jeremiah’s birthday cake was really yummy.  It was also really ugly.

Ugly is right.

I got a little panicky as I tried taking it out of the bundt pan and it started crumbling.  I should have taken a picture of how I salvaged it but I forgot to amidst all the Christmas and birthday celebrating we were doing.  Before I brought it over to my grandparents house I cut the cake into slices and then right before serving drizzled the delicious frosting on top.  It was so yummy! And even though it was a really tedious cake I would definitely make it again for a special occasion.

Bubbles, bubbles, bubbles!

What you need:

    • Dishsoap
    • Water
    • Large container
    • Stripped down toddler (they are going to get wet!)
    • Towel

Squirt some dishsoap in your sink and fill it with warm water until you get some really good suds. Scoop the suds into the container (themore the better!) and place the container on the towel. Dieter is fascinated by soap suds, I think it’s because when he touches them they disappear in his hands. One thing I learned is that I shouldn’t have put them in his baby tub since wanted to climb into it. I guess it didn’t really matter, just required a rinse off afterwards!

A Different Kind of Year

I’ll be honest, I’ve never understood the hype around the New Year’s Eve celebration. Hence the reason I went to bed at 10:30 on NYE. But this year I’ve been asked to look at the new year differently first with a devotion from The Upper Room and then our sermon at church.

LOVING GOD, journey with me this year

so that I may feel your presence,

abide in your forgiveness, grow in your strength,

and dwell in your love.

Give me an open heart,

an open mind,

and open eyes

so that I may sing your praise

and follow your path always and everywhere. Amen.

– Larry James Peacock

This prayer sums it up so well for me.  How different would my year look if I fervently pursued God in everything I did and glorified him through all of my actions?  I can tell you without a doubt that my family would notice!  And I pray that others would see a change as well.

One specific resolution I want to make this year is to eliminate all the favoritism in my life.  This was the subject of our sermon this Sunday and I have to say I had never thought about it before.  Favoritism, I think of a teacher showing more interest in one student over another.  But really favoritism can also be described as discrimination, judgement, and prejudice.  Whoa, convict me now because I am guilty of all these things every day.  Without even realizing it I know I place more worth on people that I feel deserve it.  But who am I to decide the worth of a person?  Especially a person that Jesus died for. All I am called to do is love…everyone.  Again, how different would my year look if I eliminated favoritism from my life?  Much different.

So will this year be different for me?  I sure hope so.  I know that I will fail, probably everyday, but thankfully I have a God who sees my heart and a Savior who died to make that heart pure.