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Discover Boating in Milwaukee #FieldTripFriday #DiscoverBoating (sponsored)

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With Lake Michigan practically in our backyard, it is kind of amazing how seldom we actually go out on it by boat.  Most of the time we are boating and fishing on the smaller lakes inland.  LJ and I were looking for something local to do on a hot Friday afternoon and decided that a boat trip was in order.  Since I am in no way qualified to navigate a boat out onto Lake Michigan, we decided to take a cruise on one of the boats that offers this as a service.

After calling around a bit, we settled on the Milwaukee Boat Tour line and bought tickets for a cruise and some lunch.  We headed down and found easy (and discounted) parking just steps from the boat.

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What a gorgeous day to be on the water!  The boat headed down the Milwaukee River. The tour was narrated by a tour guide who pointed out several landmarks and shared some local trivia.

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LJ wasn’t all that into the historic part of the cruise but loved being on the boat and looking around at everything going by. He was a little dismayed at the color of the river water.

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You really get a very different view of the city from the water!

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Before long, we passed the break wall separating the harbor from Lake Michigan.  You could feel the temperature drop about 10 degrees as we sailed out into the lake.  The breeze felt amazing on a hot day!

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This is a view of the Milwaukee skyline you can only get from the water!

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LJ really liked taking a tour on a bigger boat.  He usually spends time on my father-in-law’s motor boat whole fishing the smaller lakes in the area.  We saw the high-speed ferry take off for Michigan while we were out on the lake and he expressed an interest in giving that a try sometime as well.

Field Trip Friday: Wisconsin Humane Society #FTF #FieldTripFriday

This summer, we decided to take some time and explore our own state. Each Friday, LJ and I will take a field trip to a local attraction or place of interest and report back on our experience.  We hope you will follow us along on our Field Trip Friday adventures!  If you would like us to visit your establishment, please email Maureen
and put Field Trip Friday in the subject line.

wisconsin humane society

For our first Field Trip Friday, we visited the Wisconsin Humane Society in Milwaukee.  LJ has had an interest in the Humane Society since we adopted Roofus aka Wisconsin Doggy a year ago this past March. (We adopted Roofus from the Ozaukee County campus.)  We took a very informative behind-the-scenes tour but, unfortunately, pictures are not allowed in most areas.

inside cat shelter

The Humane Society Milwaukee Campus is also a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.  We saw a baby opossum, young duckling, and baby robin who were all spending time healing at the center.  The goal of the rehabilitation is  to eventually release the animals back into the wild.  If you find a wild animal that has been hurt or injured, they are the folks to call. (If you find a baby you think has been abandoned, let it be and watch for up to a day.  Many animals leave their young to go hunting for food and may just be waiting for you to leave.)

The rehabilitation center also has a house fasade that recreates many of the problems people face with wild animals such as birds flying into picture windows, building nests on light fixtures, or animals getting into garbage cans.  The house offers easy to implement solutions for each of these problems.

We also got a chance to peek into some of the exam rooms where the animals are given treatment for any ailments they might have.  Along the walls are the stories of several animals who were the victims of abuse and neglect.  It’s absolutely heartbreaking to hear of the  horrible treatment these animals suffered, but the story ends happily when the Humane Society found them forever homes where they could heal and be loved.

A few things we learned while we were there:

  • Children can begin volunteering at the Humane Society at the age of 13 with a parent present.
  • The Humane Society offers vet appointments and procedures to families in need of financial assistance.
  • They happily take donations of blankets and old towels as well as pet food coupons, which are passed along to families in need.
  • The Humane Society receives no money from the government – it is completely funded by donations, sales from their store, fees from adoptions, and fundraisers.

We had a great time at the Wisconsin Humane Society and appreciate the time they spent showing us around and explaining how they work!!

Follow the Wisconsin Humane Society on Facebook and be sure to check out all of the available animals on their website!

activities for kids

There are lots of ways for kids to get involved at the Humane Society.

Fun with Chef Boyardee Little Chefs

I’ve been working with Chef Boyardee over the past few weeks on some really cool projects.  They are all based around getting kids involved in the cooking process.  Personally, this is something I really believe in, as I know it definitely helps to get my picky eater to, well, eat.  I also love using time in the kitchen to reinforce the concepts LJ is learning at school.

My own Little Chef!

The first project was an e-book.  I got to contribute some ideas about how to support school lessons in the kitchen (and maybe even make them a little more fun as well.)  I’d love if you’d check it out and let me know what you think!! 

I also got to do some cooking with LJ.  I had plans to create some artichoke mac and cheese, but once LJ found out there was a make your own pizza option, he couldn’t be convinced to try anything else.  The make your own pizza at a local restaurant is a favorite treat, so doing it at home was super special.

I loved how easy it was!  The Chef Boyardee Pizza Kit comes with the crust, sauce and cheese right in the box.  You simply add warm water to the crust, let it rise for about 5 minutes and then create your pizza however you’d like it.

You can make a taco pizza with ground beef, Mexican cheese, and a few peppers.  You could add pepperoni or sausage or veggies.  Being a true Wisconsin boy, LJ decided he would make an extra, extra cheese pizza.  There was a lot of cheese involved!

Want to get involved in all the fun yourself?  Consider yourself invited to a Cook Along tomorrow!!  Here are the details: 

What: A virtual Cook-Along called Teachable Moments, part of The Little Chefs Project series on The Motherhood. 

The Little Chefs Project series consists of live chats called Cook-Alongs taking place every Thursday at 2 p.m. ET until November 15, and each Cook-Along covers a different topic around cooking with kids. Teachable Moments addresses how you can use the kitchen as a fun, practical classroom to teach anything from math to culture.

When: Thursday, October 18, at 2 p.m. ET.  It will last 30 minutes.

Where: The Motherhood – here is the link to the page where the class will be held:

About the class: 
Let your recipe box and cooking supplies help you make learning fun for your kids! And the best part: at the end of the lesson, you can all enjoy the meals you created together. Find out how you can work math, science, culture, and even history into kitchen time with your Little Chefs.

To participate, just click the link above, log into The Motherhood using your member ID (if you don’t have one, it’s easy and free to sign up), and chat away in the text-based comments. We’ll also have a video feed running during the half-hour Cook-Along, so you’re welcome to show up simply to watch if you’d like!

The Cook-Along is sponsored by Chef Boyardee, and it is hosted by The Motherhood.  You can visit Chef Boyardee online at or on Facebook at
I’ll be there with several other bloggers to co-host the class, and I hope you’ll join us!  The fabulous people who will be co-hosting with me are:
 Amee, Madame Deals Caroline, Smarty Pants Mama Janene and Christine, More Than Mommies Mel, MamaBuzz Monica, Mommy Maestra Tiffany, Sweet Phenomena 

This post was brought to you in partnership with The Motherhood and Chef Boyardee. 

Soundfreaq Soundstep Recharge Review

Remember those huge boom boxes from when we were kids?  (Okay, from when I was a kid…I may be dating myself here a bit –  think John Cusack in Say Anything.)  They were huge, clumsy, and the sound wasn’t even very good. And did I mention they were huge???

Nothing symbolizes how far technology has come more for me than to look at the Soundfreaq Soundstep Recharge System in comparison to one of those old boom boxes.  The Soundfreaq is very small considering the BIG sound that it creates.  It works with iPads, iPods, iPhones, or any bluetooth enabled device.  And by “works with”, I mean it will play music with amazing clarity AND allow you to charge your devices.  You can dock any of your iGadgets as well as plug anything into the USB charger for some juice as well. (Even at the same time – play your iPad and charge your phone simultaneously ) For extra versatility, there is also a sound jack (3.5 mm line in) so you can use any other devices you might want to enjoy.  It also has an antenna so that you can use it as an FM radio AND a remote, so I don’t have to get up to skip a song or turn it down when the phone rings.

The sound from the Soundfreaq Soundstep Recharge is so much better than what you would expect from a speaker this size.  The official website says that it: 

features a 2.1 speaker configuration with a dedicated sub-woofer and Soundfreaq’s proprietary UQ3™ spatial sound enhancement to deliver natural bass and stereo separation, unique for a compact speaker.

Not being a speaker expert, I’m not really sure what all that means.  BUT, being someone who loves to listen to music, I can tell you that all of that jargon up there comes together to create the best sound from a portable speaker I have ever heard.

And, in case all that wasn’t enough, it is also portable.  Once it is fully charged, you can place it anywhere for up to 6 hours of cord-free enjoyment.  That makes it perfect for patio entertaining, poolside listening, or picnics in the park.

When I first got my iPad, I had picked up a speaker/stand to allow me to watch and listen to it hands free.  The biggest draw back to that system was that the sound was pretty tinny and I couldn’t charge my devices on it as well.  The Soundfreaq solves both these issues for me.

If you are already thinking holiday shopping (I know!), this would be a great gift for anyone who loves their gadgets.  Or a great thing to hint about to your special someone as a gift for you!!  Either way, you’ll want to visit the Soundfreaq e-store and enter the discount code “momblog” to receive a 10% discount on the Sound Step Recharge and all other products in the store. 

I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Soundfreaq and received a product sample to facilitate my review.

Save Money on Gas *Giveaway*

It’s great to see the gas prices fall a little bit, even though we are still paying through the nose for each tank fill up.  How would you like to save a bit the next time you fill up your gas guzzler?  What if I could tell you I had a magic code that would take 50 cents a gallon off of your next fill-up?

Well, I can!!  The nice folks at BP have sent me a few codes to hand out to you.  When you are done reading, scroll down to the bottom of the post to enter.

In the mean time, hop on over to sign up for the free BP Rewards card – you will earn rewards to save big at the pump, even when you are paying full price!  Learn more and sign up at! (You can still sign up even if you aren’t in the Milwaukee area!)

Okay, okay – you want to know how to enter to win the $.50 off code, don’t you…Here you go!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was given a BP Discount code as a thank you for my time and effort.