Target Dino Nuggets

You always need a plan B. Especially for dinner. We ALWAYS have dino nuggets stashed in the freezer. These nuggets are from Target and are safe. The Mickey Mouse nuggets from Costco are also nut-free. We have tried the Market Pantry version of chicken tenders by Target and have been 100% safe. Most Tyson brands are OK, too, but I honestly prefer these Dino nuggets. Not only are they DINO’S, the first ingredient is chicken breast white meat. 
I also love making dino adventure land because deep down we are all 6.

Happy plan B dinner day! #tgit

The Rest of Vacation

I was so wrapped up in having fun, I didn’t blog the rest of our vacation. Here are the highlights:

Two days in Chicago.

Six days in Milwaukee.

Three days in Green Bay.

You heard about Chicago already. So Milwaukee. We love Milwaukee. It has so much to offer. It’s grown so much in the past 10 years. And every time we visit, we say we’re going to do XYZ, then never do it because we are busy doing something else. This was kind of a “stay-cation” for us. It was great.

  • State Fair
  • Paddle Boats on the Lagoon
  • Visited with all our family
  • Hosted Packer Party
  • Dined out at favorite places
  • Played choo choos
  • Watched construction of new railway
  • Beer Gardens
  • New parks
  • Gillies Frozen Custard
  • Brewer Game
  • Brewery
  • Splash pad
  • Ballet camp + performance
  • 1898 Milwaukee Central Library Visit
  • Summer reading program

Lastly, Green Bay is such a family friendly place to visit. The kids actually chose this destination and asked Uncle Oreo to come along, too. We stayed at Tundra Lodge Resort + Waterpark. This resort is in desperate need of some “love” and I will not stay the night here again. We will definitely visit the indoor waterpark and arcade again, however. The waterpark was very clean and worth the time we spent there.  The resort itself is just getting old and things need updating and staff needs to learn how to properly make a bed with sheets that do not have holes in them. Our room was not in good shape, and for the money we spent, it should have been nicer. We did visit the new Lodge Kohler hotel + spa, and we will stay there next time. It’s amazing. The staff is overly friendly and the amenities are five star.  Getting good sleep is important to me on vacation! If i’m paying to stay somewhere, it better be comfortable! Green Bay included:

  • Lambeau Field Tour
  • Lambeau Hall of Fame Museum Tour
  • Lunch at 1919
  • Visit the Packer Pro-shop
  • Waterpark x 2 days
  • Arcade + Games x 2 days
  • Distillery
  • Endless laughs

Knock on wood, nobody got sick, nobody cried, we all had fun, made some awesome memories, laughed a lot, didn’t set an alarm clock, had no real plans, had no reservations and just went with the flow. It was amazing. For a planner, it was very difficult for me to let go of planning, but also very freeing since there was never any pressure to be anywhere or do anything. If we were tired, we took it easy, if we were bored, we found an activity to do. We did a lot in a short amount of time and the kids were amazing troopers and problem solvers on the go.

Now for the next adventure…..

Veggie Burrito Bowls


I can’t believe school starts next week?! It has been an AMAZING summer, but I’m still holding on tight to these looooong summer days.

Today, we picked a bunch of great tomatoes from the garden, and we made veggie burrito bowls. They were amazing, fresh and very flavorful.


Veggie Burrito Bowls

  • 1 cup of your favorite rice
  • 2 tbsp evoo
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 garlic cloves minced (or powder is fine)
  • 3/4 tsp salt divided
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 tbsp chopped chipotles (I left these out – too spicy for kids)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes chopped – or more
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1 and 1/2 fresh lime juice dividied
  • 1 jalepeno, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 and 1/3 cups very thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 3 ounces queso fresco cheese or cotija
  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled and sliced
  1. Cook rice accordingly. And add evoo, cumin, and garlic.
  2. Drain the black beans. put into small sauce pan. Stir in chipotle if you like plus 1/4 tsp salt. simmer for 10 minutes. (if you don’t like chipotle, add a shake of garlic, onion, oregano for flavor).
  3. In a separate small bowl, combine chopped tomatoes, 1/4 tsp salt, onion, cilantro and 1 tbsp lime juice (just squeeze 1/2 a lime in) and jalapeno. toss to combine.
  4. In a separate medium size bowl, combine 1 +1/2 tsp evoo,1 +1/2 tsp lime juice and cabbage, toss well. I flavored until it tasted well, using more lime juice.
  5. Divide rice, beans, cabbage, avocado and cheese evenly among bowls.
  6. Yield: 4-5


Orange, Red Onion and Cilantro Salad (YOU WILL LOVE THIS SALAD)

  • 1 tbsp evoo
  • 1 tbsp grated lime
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup very thin sliced red onion
  • 4 medium navel oranges peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in bowl. Add onion and oranges. Toss to with cilantro.
  2. Yield: 4


GF Gluten Free at WI State Fair

Just a quick post to let you know there are GF menus available at State Fair. You can get them at the information booths with a map of the fair grounds. I post this because many times things that are GF are also nut free, and we used the GF map as a guide as to where to go with food requests.

If you’re a nursing mamma, there are very nice and clean nursing stations set up near the entrance of Spin City, the games + rides area. 

Wisconsin State Fair

Yesterday we tackled the fair. It was a last minute choice after dance camp.

If you’re planning on going to the fair, pack the following in your backpack for allergy kids:

  1. Extra clothes 
  2. Container of wipes, sanitizing hand wipes
  3. Bottled water
  4. Complete backup allergy meal / protein bars – I like Luna bars, the s’mores and lemon flavor are the two safe ones.
  5. Sunscreen
  6. Epi pens
  7. Chewable benadryl

We started off by getting a few ears of corn near the entry way. The very nice woman confirmed they used soybean oil plus plain butter on their corn. The various salt options were on a table for me to check th labels. We found plain salt and my daughter thoroughly enjoyed her safe corn. Although it was tricky, no front teeth!

My hubs had a brat and we decided to attempt the cream puff line. It moved surprisingly fast!

The woman in line confirmed they were made in 100% nut free facility. However, the building they are sold in also sells roasted nuts about 100 feet away. My advice is to eat outside on a clean table (here’s where your wipes come in).

We did that, also washed hands right before eating.

Next, GIANT YELLOW SLIDE. For $2.50 per person, it was well worth the laughs. We had a resounding ” Do it again!” From the kids.

We saw some cows, the Wisconsin Made Barn, then headed to Spin City for games and rides. $50 doesn’t get you far. Each ride is about 4 tickets per person and each game is about 6 tickets per person. When the tickets run out, it’s time to go home. The kids had a ball. We had no cross contact issues, and everyone kept their hands clean. 

On our way out, we had pork chops on a stick, poutine and fresh lemonade. 

None of the stands were safe for us, just the actual bars and restaurants. Even our go-to pizza truck idea was NOT safe. They couldn’t guarantee the processing facility for the crust.

Anyway, overall we had a ball. Tons of laughs, lots to see and the prizes for the games were worth the smiles on the kids faces.

If you make it to the fair, enjoy! We did.

Family Vacation – Day 2 Chicago

Chicago has been very allergy friendly. They have to be. With how populated the city is, and the crazy number of tourists on a daily basis, it’s a must. 
This morning we woke up (after a restless night of sleep, had to put my R.A. skills to go use, again. Noisy Lollapalooza neighbor!) And decided to head over to Grand Luxe Cafe. 

The decor at Grand Luxe was fun to look at. Very opulent and whimsical. We were seated in the round room, floor to celing windows with a giant floral Chandler in the middle. Huge murals above. It was quite striking and made for great conversation with the kids. They were very helpful with handling food Allergies, and had sticky stix for the kids to play with, a clever alternative to plain old crayons and paper. 

Pancakes were deemed “safe” and we really enjoyed our brunch. 

Next, we decided to check out the Museum of Contemporary Art on Chicago St. The featured artist, Murakami, has an install called “An Octopus Easting it’s Own Arm.” It’s supposed to be a metaphor for life post-war in Japan + survival. The octopus knows when a tentacle is injured and will eat it’s own arm in order to grow another one. The same was shown in various art form in this exhibit about life and mortality. It wasn’t a dark exhibition, I would call it true to life. 

The use of the mushroom was symbolic of the cloud after major bombing. 

The piece that stood out most to my kids is also one of my favorites. 

It was a small TV mounted with a video on a loop. The video showed a woman building a few layers of drywall then trying to break them down with her arms, legs, heels, whatever it took. The artist was depicting life for women and the struggles they face, not always easy to get through to the next level or layer, but so gratifying once you do. I really enjoyed talking about this with both kids because they understood the concept.

We are way off the topic of Allergies…

After the museum we were next to the John Hancock building so we went to the 95th floor to the observation deck and got a 360 view of Chicago. It was amazing. 

Lunch was an easy find after it began to rain, we ducked back into the John Hancock to eat lunch at Cheesecake Factory. I usually avoid this restaurant due to their high nut usage in salads, and dessert, but was pleasantly surprised with their menu, specifically stating Allergies and double checking on things for us anyway. The kids enjoyed an oversized portion of spaghetti and meatballs and the hubs and I had white chicken chili. It was wonderful.

We decided to move our train ticket back to 3pm rather than 5. Kids were tired and getting punchy. Wise choice. It was a low key train ride home with both kids sleeping in their own beds!!!!!

Highly recommend the Ivy Boutique Hotel in Chicago. It’s in the Gold Coast and walking distance to all the goodies 🙂

Fun time in Milwaukee ahead! 


Family Vacation Day 1 – Chicago

It’s our annual summer vacation and since we haven’t had the greatest luck traveling with the kids (influenza x2 at Disney, among others) we decided to follow the good old KISS principle. 
Keep. It. Simple. Stupid.

We are keeping simple this time. We aren’t far from home and if we need anything, we can buy it. Our trip consists of a few days in Chicago, a week in Milwaukee and a long weekend in Green Bay to visit those Packers!

This vacation has no plan. 

I’m a planner.

This is challenging me in new ways.

We literally are making plans on the fly.

In many ways this is amazing. We do whatever we want when we want. My hubs has a crazy work schedule and so unscheduled time is a great thing for him. On the other hand, we may not get dinner reservations or appointment times for services we want. 

Either way, what matters most is that we are together.

Today did not disappoint. We took the Amtrak from the MKE Intermodal station to Chicago’s Ogilvy Station and that was very exciting for both kids. The Uber rides were another adventure for them. Checking into our hotel was another big deal. They find joy in the smallest things, and I find joy in watching them. My kids are also very friendly with others, chatting with hotel guests and waving to boats and passengers. 

After check in, we went to American Girl at Water Tower Place where we shopped for Back to School and had our dolls nails painted, ears pierced and hair done. Lego store was a huge hit for my hubs and son. They had  a ball. 

Just a quick shoutout to Starbucks for having nut-free boxed drinks for my kids, American Girl Cafe for nut-free cookies to go, and MBURGER CHICAGO for allergy free chicken! 

The adventure continues……….