German coffee (Eiskaffee)…it’s icecream…and coffee…!


german coffee drink.png Aren’t you jealous of our coffee model?  She just looks so bright and summery and lucky to be drinking whatever the heck is in that cup of deliciousness.  Not only does it have beautiful chocolate shavings on it…it has a straw.  Straws always mean good things.  Well, we’re going to tell you a secret.  A couple of them; you can put a straw in anything, she’s drinking German coffee, it’s delicious, and it’s 3 ingredients. (if you want that glass mug, go here.  Warning, though:  It’s adorable, but loses heat quickly.)

  • a straw, whipped cream, and chocolate drizzle can make the most ordinary hot drink feel special!

No steaming.  No espresso machine.  No weird ingredients.

Because we hate it when people show us gorgeous photos of food and then we not only have to get the ingredients (’cause they’re awkward things no one should keep around), but we are also expected to have kitchen gadgets.  In our tiny kitchens.  Seriously.  That’s just cruel.

So this recipe is different.  No gadgets.

Coffee.  Ice cream.  Whipped cream.

See…the Germans are absolute geniuses.  They found a way to combine the three best things in the universe into one heavenly cup of joe.

And yes, we hear you.  This coffee is bad for you.  It’s calorie filled.  But it’s worth it.  We’ll skip the cake and have this instead.  Because we can do that.  So can you (if that’s important to you).  Because something this delicious belongs in our world.

  • we are big fans of little bits of amazingness instead of a lot of normalness. A small bit of a gourmet dessert beats out a big bowl of ice cream, every time!

It belongs in our world…Often.

 To make German Coffee:

  1. Brew 8 oz of coffee and chill it in the freezer for 15 minutes.  You could also leave it in the fridge for a couple hours.
  2. Put 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream in a mug.
  3. Pour chilled coffee on top of the ice cream.
  4. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
  5. Enjoy!
  • We don’t own a drip coffee maker or espresso machine. We use a Chemex. Or a French Press. No need to have fancy tools to have fancy treats!

If you like this German coffee drink, you might also enjoy:

Mexican Coffee
Cambodian Coffee
Australian Coffee
Canadian Coffee
Italian Coffee
stovetop latte
homemade coffee syrups 

And if you’re someone who’d rather eat the cake than drink German coffee (you weirdos!)…might we recommend desert island chocolate cake?

Did you know we have a book out!?!?!?  We do!  It’s filled with great and easy Christmas gift ideas…you’ll love it.  It’s free for Kindle Unlimited users for a bit, and pretty inexpensive for everyone else (we didn’t want you to have to spend more on the ideas than the actual gift :)).  Go here to take a look!

Get Outside and Play: 8 Can’t-Miss Parks in the Twin Cities


If you are lucky enough to live in MN and have children you MUST be following MinneMama Adventures for great activities, reviews, giveaways, information, and more for families of the Twin Cities. She has fantastic info that you will find incredibly valuable. parks-mabel

Ahh, park season. The time of year when all the neighborhood kids gather for kickball and tee ball games, sliding and swinging until dusk, sipping lemonade and making the most of Minnesota’s brief but beautiful summer season. If your family is anything like mine, people who live around you know you as the “park people.” Your tiny neighborhood park is your automatic go-to when the sun is shining and the pent-up energy in your children has reached an emergent (borderline dangerous) level of ridiculousness. I swear by our neighborhood park.

But… seven days a week, two times a day…carry the one…do the math.

That’s an awful lot of visits to the same.tiny.park. 

Sometimes it’s worth a hop in the car and a short drive to go somewhere huge, exciting and different! There are a number of great outdoor play areas around the Twin Cities, and I’ve collected a short list of some of our personal favorites for you here. Your kiddos will thank you for trying something different – and (bonus time!) they’re sure to sleep realllllly well.

Get directions

maple grove elm creek park

Definitely an all-timer, this park! It’s relatively new, so all the equipment is in great shape and it just feels so safe. There is something for everyone here – from big slides and rock walls to a robust toddler area. The rubber matting and colorful umbrellas make it fun and welcoming for kids and parents alike. There is a sand pit with some dinosaur fossils, high-tech saucer swings, a rope climb, and plenty of seating for parents who want to take a break or enjoy a picnic lunch. 

This play area is tucked back in the woods of the Elm Creek Park Reserve. Just follow the signs to the Recreation Area. 

See full review here

TAMARACK NATURE CENTER  |  White Bear Township, MN
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tamarack nature center

Sometimes a park needn’t supply all the bells and whistles to still be considered one of the top play areas in the metro. Tamarack Nature Center is a natural play area for kids of all ages to get wet, built forts, climb rocks and run. Just run. The kid’s area is part of Bald Eagle-Otter Lakes Regional Park and includes an ankle-deep stream for kids to dip their feet, small waterfalls that are controlled by the push of a button, a hobbit house (that is awesome for the sole fact that it’s – hello – a hobbit house!), and a section with long sticks and twigs where kids can construct their very own tree forts…with a little help from mom and dad. 

See full review here

Get directions

minnetonka park

If you’ve got kids of varying ages and struggle to find a playground that will make all of them happy, try this one on for size. The two-level play area sits along Lake Minnetonka as part of the Three Rivers Park District and is enormous(-ly awesome) with slides that go from the top level to the bottom. Personally, I love that this place is swing-less, but it has plenty of bridges, tunnels, ladders and rock walls. The ground is safe and rubbery and the tables are shaded and plentiful. This park is a great destination for spending an entire morning climbing, hiking, enjoying a picnic lunch and maybe cruising to the chlorinated man-made swimming hole across the parking lot. 

See full review here

Get directions

french regional park

 Do your kids require a bit more of a challenge? If you’re up for something different, give French Regional Park’s play area a shot. This one is also part of the Three Rivers Park district, sitting at the northern shores of Medicine Lake, and is surrounded by gorgeous woods and a paved trail that would make for a great family bike ride. The play area is old-school wood with the metal slides we all remember from our childhood (you know, the kinds that would leave burn marks on your butt cheeks when you’d wear shorts on a hot day). The most unique element of this play area is the climbing nets. About half of the large playground is made up of netting that kids can scale up then down then up and down again. If you’re little monkeys are adventurous and game for something different, this park is the winner!

See full review here

Get directions

hyland chutes and ladders park

Chutes and Ladders Park is SO enormous, it’s actually pretty easy to lose track of your kids here. But – man, is it fun! This inventive playground – also part of the Three Rivers Park district – offers nets and chains to climb, a toddler section, two-level slides, tire swings, cushioned ground, tunnels, sand, and a large seating area to enjoy a picnic lunch. This place is perfect if you have children of varying ages. It’s honestly one of my very favorites because your kids can be entertained for hours and never do the same thing twice. Just be sure you put a bell on them. :)

See full review here

TEDDY BEAR PARK  |  Stillwater, MN
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teddy bear park

Just like the rest of Stillwater, Teddy Bear Park is clean, unique and completely adorable. The paved walk leads you through the park, which sits conveniently at the top of the hill just off of their equally-as-adorable downtown. With a small net spiderweb, a stone wall for little climbers, a tall treehouse, and a few trains with duel slides, Teddy Bear Park is a great adventure for preschoolers. And there is plenty of seating for moms and dads! Bonus: Right down the hill is Tremblay’s Sweet Shop, so your kids can gain back all the energy they just burned in sweet water taffy. 

CLIFF FEN PARK  |  Burnsville, MN
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cliff fen park

We recently discovered this one when hanging in the southern metro, desperately seeking a stop to burn off our sillies. It’s not huge and it’s nothing out of the ordinary, but it’s got everything that makes up a solid, standard park, with safe plastic equipment and plenty of space to run. With a rock wall, tire swings, regular swings, see-saw, toddler spot and bridges and slides for bigger kids, this woodchip-covered park is a great stop when cruising down south. 

Get directions

pirate ship park

As part of EXPO Elementary School, this community park is the real deal. An old, wooden play area shaped like a pirate ship, this playground was constructed by volunteers who wanted a fun and safe place for neighborhood kids to play. While it’s 100% wood (read: not 100% safe), it’s a total blast for kids who have creativity and an endless imagination seeping through their pores! It serves well for those who love a tricky game of hide and seek as well. It’s small, but unique. Bring a sword and an eye patch and you’re sure to be thoroughly entertained.

There. Now you have a metro-wide list of some pretty awesome playgrounds to enjoy when your neighborhood go-to is no longer entertaining your wee ones. No more excuses! Get outside and enjoy that sunshine. You’ll be glad you did when you hear the sound of silence come 8pm. Zzzzzzzz….ahhhhh….music to my ears.


Pizza Party at Nellie’s new house!

“This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and TONY’S® Pizza, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #BigPizzeriaTaste

Have a Pizza party! Keep it easy, fun, and pretty. No fuss. #BigPizzeriaTaste #Pmedia #ad It’s true, if you were to come over to my house anytime in the next couple weeks I would throw you a pizza party. Because when you are moving from one home to another pizza is the absolute BEST thing for feeding a crowd of helpers.

I do take the extra effort to serve my helpers pizza on real dishes, have fresh flowers on the table, and even serve the pizza from my aqua cake plate. You know how much I believe in the little things. And I swear these little steps make my helpers think they are getting a four-course dinner. You know, cheese pizza first. Then the pepperoni, sausage and mushroom, and lastly the supreme. Four courses :). Baha!  And TONY’S® Pizza is just a great go-to pizza for groups like I’ve had around.  They’re fairly big, crisp up well, are easy to grab at Walmart, and are also pretty inexpensive.  Score.

Tony's pizza party #BigPizzeriaTaste #Pmedia #ad The move to this house has been rather easy because the apartment we are moving from is only about a mile away. We have been able to take a load here and a load there, unload and put it away, and then get more. Helpers were only needed for the large furniture (yay for a real bed!). But, thank goodness for macho men that don’t think little women like me should be lifting heavy things. Yes, I realize there is a lesson in sexism that should probably be taught. But not when lifting heavy furniture versus drinking a lemonade and directing is concerned. Those are not the moments to argue women’s rights and equality and such. Those are the moments to say Thank You Lord for a Momma that taught you to lift heavy things for females :).

tonys-pizzza2Hey, there’s a peek at my itty bitty new kitchen. Do you see the star of the room, the dishwasher? We didn’t have one at the apartment and oh boy was that brutal! I thought I would be just fine and told myself it wasn’t that big of a deal to not have one. I was a liar. It’s a really big deal. Dishwashers save families and relationships.

tonyspizza2tonys-pizzaI’m so thankful for all the helpers that got us into our new itty house. I’ll be showing you peeks and glimpses of our new life in our 900 square feet house in the months ahead. Transitioning from a big ol’ house in the country with loads of space to an itty house in the city has been interesting, fun, and full of challenges. But there are important reasons we are working hard to make this transition. Reasons I will share soon. Hopefully our changes will challenge and empower you to make important, life-changing changes in your own life.

But first, have a pizza party! Pizza parties are always a good thing.

 Print out your coupon and SAVE $.75 off of any TWO (2) Tony’s Pizza (14.14 oz. or larger) The Walmart digital coupon is available until 6/30/15.” (While supplies last)