February! What I’m Reading and my Festive Family To-do List

Happy groundhog day! I’m really happy we made it through long, cold, dark January – it actually wasn’t a bad month at all. I especially loved my snowshoeing date with my husband and my zoo day with Cecy.

I want to tell you about a book I’m currently reading “Stuff-ocation“. Warning, it might make you want to sell all your stuff and move to a tiny cabin in the mountains. Or, maybe that’s just me!? I’m not all the way through the book yet, but I have started going through all my stuff and donating things to local charities or recycling.

I’m thinking how I can incorporate the less stuff – more experience message with Lent this year, which starts next week.

A couple of fun things I’m looking forward to this month:

  • making homemade Valentine’s Day cards with Cecy
  • dressing up for a black-tie Gatsby themed event for my husband’s work
  • celebrating Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday with a New Orleans themed dinner
  • a trip to Florida, we are ready for some sun!
  • cracking out our underused fondue set and melting some chocolate goodness


Discovering Nature Indoors – Museum at Prairiefire

It is pretty darn cold here in Kansas City! I can’t handle staying inside our house for too long, so I’ve been pushing myself to come up with fun activities that incorporate outdoors/nature even when we can’t spend a lot of time outside.

Last week we headed up to the Museum at Prairiefire in Overland Park, KS. The museum is stunning from the outside with colorful glass and a unique architectural design. I’ve never seen anything like it! The museum has a partnership with the Museum of Natural History, so we get to experience amazing exhibitions without leaving our neighborhood.

We started out in the Great Hall and admired the gigantic T-rex! IMG_3819

Next we made our own digital dinosaur (or dragon) in an interactive kiosk where we learned about where it lived and what it ate. We personalized our mythical creature with horns, scales, a white color and named it BB.  Then he came to life on a gigantic screen in the great hall flying over our heads.


There are several other interesting exhibits in the Great Hall and it’s all free. We also checked out the Discovery Room (ticket pricing) which is designed for kids ages 3-12. Cecy loved it! Her favorite part was brushing off the dinosaur bones and opening up discovery drawers to find fossils, feathers and other fun ‘treasures’.


Winter Day at the Kansas City Zoo

Who is out at the zoo on a freezing cold rainy weekday in Kansas City? Basically just us and a polar bear!

We parked our car in a nearly empty lot and headed inside. (Both parking and admission for children under 2 are free, so we spent less than $10 on our fun excursion.) First stop, we saw the polar bear passage. Earlier this month Nikita, our male polar bear, relocated to a zoo in North Carolina but you can still see Berlin, who is an older female bear. (local news story)

Next we went to Helzburg Penguin Plaza which is mostly indoors. My one-year-old, Cecilia loved watching the penguins swim and waddle around. I think they liked her too!IMG_3769IMG_3774

We headed to the Tropics which was nice and warm. Then we stopped by the Sea Lions to watch them practice their tricks. Finally we headed to the Discovery Barn for more indoor fun. IMG_3777

January Festive Family To-do List

How has more than a week gone by in January and I’m still struggling to come up with a fun list of things to do this month? Possibly because I find the month of January to be a less than inspiring this year. For some reason I’m not into dieting, organizing or any other traditional New Year’s resolution that I typically tell myself I need to make.

Before I start sounding really negative, I want to share my favorite December moments and how I checked off my festive to-do list last month:

  • Baking holiday cookies! We headed over to my parents house and we all made cookies. I made fun, tasty gingerbread cabins which I wrote about here.
  • Christmas lights. My favorite were the ones we saw on evening walks around our neighborhood. The lights made the walks we take Duncan (our crazy 2 year old golden retriever) on feel like an enjoyable and festive family event instead of a chore.
Duncan ‘helping’ my husband with the dishes at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Oh, Duncan!
  • Snuggling by the fireplace. We have a Cape Cod style home that doesn’t have the ‘open floor plan’ basically every couple on HGTV is looking for. We fell in love with the cozy (yes, wood paneled) living room with a traditional brick fireplace and I love (repeat love) sitting by the fire. I nearly sit inside it to get warm in the winter. Thank you to my husband for building me several fires last month.

January to-do list:

  • Take Cecy to see penguins at the Kansas City Zoo
  • Cheer on the Chiefs in the playoffs, woohoo
  • Participate in KC Restaurant week
  • Brave the cold – play outside
  • Make something with blueberries in it