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Happy Hump Day!

Happy Hump Day! Yes, it’s Wednesday! We have made it through half of the week and I am looking forward to the weekend.

Have you made it out to the Iowa State Fair yet? If you have not, you have only 5 days left to check it out! You do not want to miss the “one and only”.

This week has been gorgeous out. The weather is hinting towards Fall and it is getting me more and more excited. Yesterday, I opened up our whole house and it felt so nice to get some fresh air. Monte is also enjoying the nice weather. He has been playing outside a lot!

If you look verrrry closely … Monte is down underneath the willow tree playing. He loves it under there!

Yesterday I worked on some Pinterest projects around the house. One project I have been working on since Memorial Day! I HAVE to get it done soon! I will definitely share them, when they are finished.

I also did some baking and cooking. I made Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins and Greek Marinated Chicken. They both turned out great!

I started with the muffins. I have been craving some baked goods in the morning, so I found this recipe to see if it would curb that craving. It is also healthier! So far, it has worked! They are delish!

The original recipe for the Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins can be found here. But, below are the small changes I made!

2.5 cups old fashioned oats

1 cup plain low fat greek yogurt

2 eggs

1/2 cup honey

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 TBSP ground flax seed

1 tsp vanilla

2 ripe bananas


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray tin with non-stick cooking spray or line 12 muffin tins with silicone or foil liners.
2. Place the oats in the food processor and pulse for about 10 seconds.  Add remaining ingredients to the food processor.

3. Process until everything is mixed together and oats are smooth.

4. Divide batter among cupcake liners, and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

I started by taking the oats and flax seed and placed the ingredients in my Vitamix (which I LOVE).

I pulsed it until it was a flour mixture.

Then I added all the ingredients INCLUDING dried cranberries! This made 18 large muffins!

I also made the Greek Marinated Chicken. I made a few changes to the recipe, which you can find below but the original recipe can be found  here.

I used Greek plain yogurt and I used only about 1 1/2 pounds of chicken. The recipe called for 3 1/2 – 4 lbs of chicken, but while I was making the marinade, I felt that if I added more chicken you would not be able to taste much flavor. I also did not marinade for 30 minutes in the fridge. I took everything, mixed it really well in a large bowl and made sure the chicken was coated. I then placed the chicken directly into a 9×13 baking dish and placed it into the oven.

Boy was I right! I am glad I only used 1 1/2 lbs of chicken because the flavor was wonderful! Our house smelled amazing too! We even had a little leftover, so I can put in a Flat Out with baby spinach and a laughing cow wedge! I definitely recommend this recipe!

What new recipes have you tried this week?

Blank Park Zoo

Travis, Monte and I  did not make it to the Clowns at the Carousel Sunday evening, but we did get another item crossed off our Summer 2013 Bucket List! We went to the Blank Park Zoo! I had never been to the Blank Park Zoo before and Monte had never been to a zoo before. We also had some close friends in town and their little girl had never been before either. So, it was a great outing for everyone!


The Blank Park Zoo is not super big, which makes it easy to get through it with an 18 month old. By the time we went around and saw all the animals and main attractions he was definitely ready to head home.

The first stop was to feed the giraffes …

 It’s hard to see Monte’s face in the picture, but he wasn’t too sure about that long necked, long tongued creature!

A giraffe’s tongue can be up to 18 inches long! And it’s black … I would be a little freaked out feeding a giraffe too!

Giraffe Tongue

There were plenty of strange animals for Monte to see which included and NOT limited to: Some creature with horns (cannot remember what they were called), sea lions, lions, tigers, monkeys, and penguins. The penguin exhibit was under construction while we were there. Hopefully, they will have it finished soon!

Zoo Animals

I would definitely recommend the Blank Park Zoo for anyone who has little kiddos and want to do something fun. They offer great season passes and great combination passes that you can combine with the Des Moines Science Center and Living History Farms.

Check out there website for more information and their hours here!

Have you ever been to the Blank Park Zoo? What is your favorite thing to see there?

Clowns at the Carousel

One fun attraction in the Des Moines area is The Heritage Carousel at Union Park. This is one item on Monte and I’s  2013 Summer Bucketlist. It looks like this Sunday may be a good day to get it crossed off!

Clowns At The Carousel

This Sunday, August 4th 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.

There will be balloons, carousel rides, inflatable rides, face paintings, entertainment, food and so much more! This is all free to the public!


Heritage Park Carousel

History of the Carousel 
The Heritage Carousel is an organization which is operated under the Des Moines Carousel Foundation, a non-profit organization. Volunteers, part-time director and other assistance are the people who keep the carousel up to date and funtioning from Memorial Day weekend until the end of September.

If you look closely at the carousel, the wood work and painting represent certain history and places in Des Moines.

J.C. ‘Buz’ Brenton was the master mind behind this great idea. He also helped gather private funds to purchase the carousel and assisted in choosing a spot for the carousel to be placed.

Union Park was the chosen place! This would be a place where families could gather and children could have fun at an affordable price.

To this day you can rent the carousel for various occasions such as weddings, birthdays, and other various get togethers.

Today, you can ride the carousel 50 cents a ride.

Union Park

If you are going to check out the carousel, Union Park also offers a bunch of attractions. They have the infamous rocket slide!


A wading pool, shelters, and other playgrounds are available also.

You can make a day out of visiting Union Park and The Heritage Carousel!

All this information can be found at Clowns At The Carousel and The Heritage Carousel of Des Moines

Have you ever been to The Heritage Carousel or Union Park before?