Learning about the Early Days at the REA Plant

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press trip disclaimer Learning about the Early Days at the REA Plant #FranklinCoHarvest #travel #review donnahup

Learning about the Early Days at the REA Plant #FranklinCoHarvest #travel #review donnahup

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to hang out with some amazing bloggers for the #FranklinCoHarvest One of our stops over the weekend was to the REA Plant in Hampton.  The REA Plant is a building full of history literally.  I got to learn about how Franklin County first had electricity and the farmers would call up to tell them what time they were going to milk the cows or need electricity for other chores.

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They have a museum of all the old machinery they used. They also had rooms with tools and machines from the past.   It was so interesting to see everything.

Learning about the Early Days at the REA Plant #FranklinCoHarvest #travel #review donnahup

A History of the R.E.A. Museum

In the early 1930’s only 10% of the farms in the United States used electricity for home and farm purposes. 90% labored the hard way.

  • May 1935 – President Franklin Roosevelt created and signed the Rural Electrification Act. This money provided money to help farmers build distribution lines only.
  • March 1936 – First publicity in Hampton Chronicle: “Are you interested in Rural Electrification?”
  • February 10, 1937 – Federated REA (six counties: Franklin, Hardin, Wright, Butler, Grundy and Hancock) and Central REA (Pocahontas) were each incorporated at Ft. Dodge.
  • February 15, 1937 – Due to prohibitive power charges by electrical plants, Federated asked for a loan of $222,000 from the REA fund. This was a new approach for farmers to build their own generating plant. This loan was granted.
  • March 1938 – Federated (Reeve) lines were generated. “First Coop in the nation to put farmer-owned generated electricity out on farmer-owned lines.” The first diesel engine is still in the plant. There were a total of four engines when the plant was in full operation (the last engine foundation being poured the day of the infamous November 11, 1941 blizzard). The other three engines were removed before the plant was given to the Historical Society.
  • May 1938 – Central (Pocahontas) lines were energized. They had borrowed power from the Reeve plant from March to May.
  • 1948-1950 – Peak period of operation and Reeve Federated then became one of 14 Coops to create Corn Belt Power at Humboldt. Reeve was used as a sub-station for several years.
  • 1988 – Don Yadon of Hampton donated the plant to the Franklin County Historical Society.
  • 1989 – The REA Power Plant Committee under the auspices of the Franklin County Historical Society was formed to renovate the Power Plant. They worked to get it on the National Register of Historic Places, extensively cleaned the structure, and installed new windows, a new roof, painted the interior and opened with an “Open House” in the fall of 1990. Funds for the restoration were from a REAP Grant, donations from the six counties in the original Federated group, Corn Belt Power, and other interested groups and individuals. Over 1800 hours of work was donated by individuals from the community. Since that time the committee has done much work to display what life was like before and after the advent of electricity to rural areas.
  • 2002 – The REA Power Plant Museum was selected as a Point of Interest in the Silos and Smoke Stacks National Heritage Area

Learning about the Early Days at the REA Plant #FranklinCoHarvest #travel #review donnahup

History Begins Here

The Museum is open from January 15 through November 15: Monday – Friday, 1 to 4.

From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the museum is also open Sunday 1 to 4.

Franklin County Historical Museum is located at:

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Cooking Poached Eggs with National Geographic’s Kids Cookbook

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Cooking Poached Eggs with National Geographic’s Kids Cookbook

Cooking Poached Eggs with National Geographic's Kids Cookbook #review donnahup

Jayden loves learning new things. He is always helping out and he really enjoys cooking. He was excited when we got the National Geographic Kids Cookbook.  He found several recipes he wanted to make. We started with the Poached Eggs.

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Jayden is 11 and was able to cook this completely on his own.  We did supervise but only to see if he needed help and of course to take pics of his creation.

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He probably wished he could do all the cooking without pausing for pictures, but he was a good sport.  He had no problem following the directions and making everything.

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I’m pretty sure his favorite part was eating what he made.  Hear what Jayden thought of the cookbook.

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I really liked the cook book. It was easy to follow the directions and I really liked the poached eggs. They were fun to make and I will make them again.  I am going to try the other recipes. I think parents should buy this cook book for their kids because they will have a lot of fun cooking.

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A Sweet Fall Treat at Baskin Robbins

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A Sweet Fall Treat at Baskin Robbins

A Sweet Fall Treat at Baskin Robbins #review donnahup

The weather might be cooling off but no matter what the temperature is outside it’s never too cold for ice cream!  In fact, our family is always up for a sweet treat.  In fact just the other day we enjoyed a family outing to Baskin Robbins to enjoy some ice cream together.

A Sweet Fall Treat at Baskin Robbins #review donnahup

Their Flavor of the Month, Pumpkin Cheesecake, offers a twist on two classic fall flavors and features pumpkin and cheesecake-flavored ice cream, ginger snap cookie pieces and a cinnamon cream cheese ribbon.

Other new flavors they had include:

  • German Chocolate Cake: Swiss chocolate ice cream with coconut, walnut pieces, fudge brownie pieces and caramel ribbon.
  • Peanut Butter ‘N Jelly – Peanut-butter-flavored ice cream with grape jelly and peanut butter ribbons.
  • Quarterback Crunch: Vanilla-flavored ice cream with rice crunchies in a chocolate-flavored coating, and a caramel ribbon.
  • S’More the Merrier – Marshmallow and graham cracker flavored ice cream that features milk chocolate chips and a crunchy graham cracker ribbon.

A Sweet Fall Treat at Baskin Robbins #review donnahup

I thought the Pumpkin Cheesecake was okay because it tasted more like cheesecake. It was hard for me to taste the pumpkin. I always like ice cream though and there are lots of flavors to choose from.  We like going to Baskin Robbins. You should bring your kids there because you can spend time with them and eat good ice cream.

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Relax on the CA Beach at SeaCrest Hotel in Pismo Beach

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Relax on the CA Beach at SeaCrest Hotel in Pismo Beach #California #travel #hotel #review #sunsetsavor #savorcc

It’s October and I’m not sure what the temperatures are like where you are but here in North Iowa we hit the 30’s.  It was 31 when I woke up this morning. It’s not cold enough for heavy winter jackets but it’s definitely not shorts weather. While I love the cold weather and where I live I would head back to California in a heart beat.  I had the opportunity to visit the central coast of Cali for the Sunset SAVOR the food and wine festival last month.

Relax on the CA Beach at SeaCrest Hotel in Pismo Beach #California #travel #hotel #review #sunsetsavor #savorcc

While I was in California I stayed at the SeaCrest Hotel in Pismo Beach.  It was beautiful!  My room was bright yet peaceful complete with a standard amenities, a fridge, a microwave, and my favorite – a balcony.

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Yes, this was my view.  I could walk right out and see the beach.  In fact, at night with the breeze coming off the ocean I was able to keep my sliding glass door open.  There was something so peaceful about falling asleep listening to the waves crashing against the shore.

Relax on the CA Beach at SeaCrest Hotel in Pismo Beach #California #travel #hotel #review #sunsetsavor #savorcc

 

The SeaCrest is not just a hotel, but an experience.  It’s everything you think of when you think of California.  They had breakfast every morning for us and you could eat outside.  There was something very refreshing about starting the day with breakfast on the beach in the sea breeze.

Relax on the CA Beach at SeaCrest Hotel in Pismo Beach #California #travel #hotel #review #sunsetsavor #savorcc

 

We were just down the beach from the Pismo Beach Pier and within a few miles of multiple restaurants and shops. We were also very close to the highway making it easy to visit up and down the coast.

Relax on the CA Beach at SeaCrest Hotel in Pismo Beach #California #travel #hotel #review #sunsetsavor #savorcc

 

If you’re thinking of a trip to CA you simply must go! I also highly suggest staying at the SeaCrest while you’re there. Where do you like to travel?

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Wishing Will – Another Fantastic Read by Daniel Harvell

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Wishing Will – Another Fantastic Read by Daniel Harvell

Wishing Will Book Cover Wishing Will - Another Fantastic Read by Daniel Harvell book #review

About a year ago I shared with you how much I enjoyed The Survivors by Daniel Harvell.  I was so excited to get the opportunity to read his newest book, Wishing Will. It was a great read. It may be about a middle schooler, but as an adult I really enjoyed reading it. I love the way that Harvell develops his characters.  There were some surprises and twists in the story line that I never saw coming. I really enjoy reading a book where I can’t figure out everything.

Outcast middle schooler Will Cricket wants a new look, popular friends, cool parents and enough coordination to dribble a basketball – but he never actively pursues any of it. Instead, Will makes wishes. When the magical wishing corporation known as the Sky Castle Network and Enterprises (a.k.a. the SCENE) agrees to grant him his ultimate wish to be someone different, he must work for his reward. Becoming a super-powered agent for the organization, Will teams up with a celestial wish agent with delusions of Hollywood stardom, a shape-changing half-Genie, a narcoleptic Dreamweaver and a stick-in-the-mud wish lawyer. Together, they grant the wishes of Will’s classmates and family members, helping the same people who pick on Will every day. As if these challenges weren’t enough, there’s a mystery surrounding his peculiar grandmother and a malevolent force bent on enslaving humanity. Will might have to fight not only for his wish but also for the entire world!

I found that it held my interest and was a great read.  I recommend it for both adults and young adults.

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The Pure Pantry Chocolate Cake Review

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*I received a Pure Pantry Chocolate Cake Mix to facilitate my review. All thoughts are 100% honest and my own.  

The Pure Pantry Chocolate Cake Review

Pure Pantry Chocolate Cake #Review #Giveaway #GlutenFree #dairyfree #caseinfree #soyfree #nutfree donnahup

Fall is here and that means the holidays will be rolling in one after the other.  Holidays are great for bringing together people and food. Lots and lots of food.  I’m always thankful that it’s cold and we can bundle up because the winter is when I usually pack on a few pounds.

Pure Pantry Chocolate Cake #Review #Giveaway #GlutenFree #dairyfree #caseinfree #soyfree #nutfree donnahup

I’ve mentioned before that I’m gluten free and that usually means eating before I go to functions or bringing my own dishes.  I had the chance to try a chocolate cake mix from The Pure Pantry.

Pure Pantry Chocolate Cake #Review #Giveaway #GlutenFree #dairyfree #caseinfree #soyfree #nutfree donnahup

It was so easy to make. Just add a few ingredients and bake.  The cake mix itself is gluten free, dairy free, casein free, soy free and nut free.  I did use eggs in the mix but they give you options to keep it gluten free, dairy free, casein free, soy free and nut free.

Pure Pantry Chocolate Cake #Review #Giveaway #GlutenFree #dairyfree #caseinfree #soyfree #nutfree donnahup

I put chocolate chocolate chip frosting on the cake and it was amazing.  The cake is very moist.

The most deliciously moist gluten free chocolate cake you have ever tasted is now available from The Pure Pantry.  Made with sucanat and maple sugar, both natural unrefined sweeteners, and quinoa, sorghum, and brown rice – who would ever guess that a cake that tastes this good would also provide fiber, protein, and anti-oxidants!

  • Unbelievably delicious!
  • Gluten free, dairy free, casein free, soy free and nut free
  • Made with a unique blend of wholegrain flours
  • Free of refined sugars

Start your day with NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto®

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*I received a Dolce Gusto to facilitate my review. All thoughts are 100% honest and my own.  

NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto® Review

NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto®  #Review

Fall is here and the temperatures are dropping. I love this time of year. I prefer to have the heater on and stay warm rather than the air to stay cool.  I start drinking a lot more tea this time of year too. It is so good. My hubby is a huge coffee fan.  We especially like the specialty drinks like lattes and expressos.  That is why I was so excited to get our NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto®!

The NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto® is an award winning single-cup coffee machine delivering up to 15 bar pressure to make the perfect cup of coffee and milk froth every time. It prepares each drink in less than a minute. Our machine combines the expertise and history of NESCAFÉ® coffee making with De’Longhi superior engineering and technical know-how. It’s a match made in coffee-heaven!

dolce gusto in action NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto®  #review

 

I love their chai tea.  It’s a perfect cup of tea including steamed milk! It’s so incredibly easy to use too.  My husband is a fan of both the cappuccino and the espresso.  I love that you can make one cup at a time and it’s so fast.  We love it!

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What did you do last week? I lost 10 lbs with the help of the Plan Z Diet!

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donnahup Plan Z disclaimer What did you do last week? I lost 10 lbs with the help of the Plan Z Diet!

The month of September has flown by.  I have been incredibly busy and usually have a hard time telling you what I did yesterday let alone the past week.  This week is different though, there’s something that’s made my smile a little bigger and has me walking taller. I have lost 10 pounds! Yes, they’re gone and I’m not looking for them. I do not want them back.

One of the reasons that I’ve been so busy is there have been a lot of fall festivities and group outings. While we’re out my friends and I love taking pictures of each other and the fun we’re having. I was looking at the pictures and had a hard time accepting what I looked like.  I look in the mirror every day when I get dressed and I guess I had convinced myself I wasn’t “that fat”.  Fat is such an ugly word in my opinion, but it’s the truth.  I had to admit to myself I was fat and I didn’t like it.

I started thinking about how I was out of breath when I walked up and down the stairs when doing laundry.  I seemed to be having more back problems too lately.  I know it’s not healthy for my body to have all this extra weight.  I am tired of looking and feeling fat. I decided I needed to do something about it.

I started the Plan Z Diet and it has been amazing! Yes, I have been on diets before and they seem to work in the beginning and then I seem to end up right where I began.  This is completely different because it’s more a lifestyle change.

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This is what I had for lunch the other day.  I love Mexican food and this had so much flavor. I was full at the end of lunch also.  Every diet I have ever been on has had me eat their food or take a pill.  I really love that I am able to eat real food and learn. Yes, it’s great to lose weight, but my issue has always been after the diet when I say “what do I do now?”

This past week along with my weight loss I have learned about portion size.  I have also made some amazingly delicious meals.

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The grilled steak and Balsamic Onions were so good!! The onions have become one of my favorite side dishes.  I even get to have dessert! Now we’re not talking sugary junk, but really good food. I had Apple Raspberry bake the other night and it was like eating warm home made pie. So. Good.

Not only are the recipes (that they give you) amazing, but they support you all along the way.  They want you to succeed and stand behind their Diet.  I receive daily emails with tips and encouragement.  It truly is a lifestyle change.

Are you ready to change your life and lose with me? Do you want more information? Head on over to Plan Z Diet and watch their  video to find out more.

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Fall Fun at Enchanted Acres

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Fall Fun at Enchanted Acres

Fall Fun at Enchanted Acres #NorthIowa #Iowa #midwest #Fall #northIowaBloggers donnahup #review

I am so excited that Fall is here! Growing up in south Florida we didn’t really have seasons. Okay, we had summer and hurricane season. We also bundled up when it hit 70 degrees.  Things have definitely changed for this girl.  I love that I get real seasons! Fall and Winter are my favorites.

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I love the smells of Fall and seeing the beautiful colors.  I was trying to explain to my 7 yr old nephew (who lives in FL) last year that the tree really did have red leaves. I sent him a picture and he could still hardly believe it. I also love the activities that come with this time of year. Last week the other North Iowa bloggers made a trip to Enchanted Acres.

Fall Fun at Enchanted Acres #NorthIowa #Iowa #midwest #Fall #northIowaBloggers donnahup #review

Where do I begin? There is so much to do! It’s a great place for families and there is something for everyone. I love the grounds. There is a beautiful red barn and so many picture opportunities, which I made sure to take advantage of. I want to give a thank you to Jeni from Jeni Eats. She was kind enough to take my picture all day. If it’s a picture of me, Jeni probably took it.

Fall Fun at Enchanted Acres #NorthIowa #Iowa #midwest #Fall #northIowaBloggers donnahup #review

There was a playground with huge tractor tires, a fire pit with benches to sit around it, and animals!

Fall Fun at Enchanted Acres #NorthIowa #Iowa #midwest #Fall #northIowaBloggers donnahup #review

They had goats and chickens. I got to pet the goats and even hold a baby chicken!  The baby chickens from Hoover’s Hatchery were adorable!

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Inside, Shannon explained to us the difference between types of pumpkins. I had no idea certain ones were better for baking!  She has a huge pumpkin patch too! I can’t wait to go back in a few weeks and get some.

Fall Fun at Enchanted Acres #NorthIowa #Iowa #midwest #Fall #northIowaBloggers donnahup #review

We had so much fun making Pumpkin Pie in a bag. It was surprisingly easy. Katy from Learning as I Go and Sara from All in an Iowa Mom’s Day are working on the filling here. I’m not sure if it’s a midwest thing, but I have never made it.  I also loved that everyone could take part. Val from Corn, Beans, Pigs, and Kids brought her two little ones and they were able to participate also.

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Amy from Modern Rural Living and I had a modified version (no crust) so we got extra whip cream. My favorite part was trying our creation. Our pumpkin pie in a cup was delicious! This is something I would totally do with my nephews and nieces!

Fall Fun at Enchanted Acres #NorthIowa #Iowa #midwest #Fall #northIowaBloggers donnahup #review

We also got to participate in arts & crafts! We used duck tape and modge podge to decorate pumpkins! It was so much fun.  Make sure to check out their Calendar of Events for the different projects and story times.

Fall Fun at Enchanted Acres #NorthIowa #Iowa #midwest #Fall #northIowaBloggers donnahup #review

We all made a few and mine are sitting on my dining room table now.  It was such a great day. I can’t wait to go back! I highly recommend it for a day of fall fun!

Fall Fun at Enchanted Acres #NorthIowa #Iowa #midwest #Fall #northIowaBloggers donnahup #review

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Have fun staying organized with Erin Condren Designs

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*I received a gift card to use at ErinCondren.com to facilitate my review. All thoughts are 100% honest and my own.  

Have fun staying organized with Erin Condren Designs

Have fun staying organized with Erin Condren Designs #Review donnahup

I love calendars and tools to stay organized. While I have all sorts of apps with calendars on my smart phone there’s something that I really love about my calendar. I like that I can open it and see it and write it down. Erin Condren makes organization fun!

The covers themselves and the look are so much fun, but they don’t stop there. They also include stickers and colored markers.

Have fun staying organized with Erin Condren Designs #Review donnahup

It makes it fun and easy for me to stay organized.  They carry quality items and my planner from 2014 is holding up like a champ still.

They carry all sorts of products and they’re all unique.

When I started this personalized stationery business from my home years ago, there really wasn’t anything online that thrilled me. Everything online seemed so static and I tend to think outside the box! I always loved creating my own unique Christmas cards, birthday invitations, thank you notes and more. After several home shopping parties, I decided it was time to offer my collection to the world.

I created a website that could showcase custom paper products that would include photo cards, address labels, gift labels, custom business cards, and even a personalized growth chart. As time went on and my company grew, I merged with a fine art printing company that opened the door to so many customizable possibilities…I truly felt like a kid in a candy store with all the digital printing equipment and fine art giclee printing capabilities. We were able to add wrapping paper, canvas enlargements with personalized borders, and soon we will be offering custom wallpaper and more! I am proud to say we design and print all products in house, with the exception of our custom iPhone cases.

Have fun staying organized with Erin Condren Designs #Review donnahup

 

I love all the “extras” that you are able to get like the tab dividers and stickers with quotes.  You can shop by color or collection. For me, choosing the pattern is the most difficult! There’s so many different ones to choose from.

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Signature Donna Have fun staying organized with Erin Condren Designs #Review donnahup

donnahup.com receives free products for review purposes, and may sometimes be compensated for posts. All opinions expressed are solely from donnahup.com. See donnahup.com’s Disclosure Policy for complete details. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. 

Fresh. Easy. Beautiful. The Bouqs Company: Bouquets, Simplified

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*I received a Bouquet of Flowers to facilitate my review. All thoughts are 100% honest and my own.  

Fresh. Easy. Beautiful. The Bouqs Company: Bouquets, Simplified

Fresh. Easy. Beautiful. The Bouqs Company: Bouquets, Simplified #review donnahup

There is something so wonderful about receiving fresh flowers. I love the fragrance they give off as well as how beautiful they are to look at. I love having a vase of fresh flowers on my dining room table. I live in Northern Iowa (right on the Minnesota border) so it’s not always easy to get fresh flowers. Even ordering them to be shipped can be interesting with below freezing temperatures. I had the opportunity to try out a bouquet from Bouqs.

Fresh. Easy. Beautiful. The Bouqs Company: Bouquets, Simplified #review donnahup

 Our flowers never sit in a corner store or a dingy warehouse (where they send you the oldest, most-dead flowers they have in the fridge), and they never show up in a van with a 1-800 number on the side. We ship straight from an active volcano or from the sunny surf of California, seriously – we’re putting a little romance back in the Bouq.

Fresh. Easy. Beautiful. The Bouqs Company: Bouquets, Simplified #review donnahup

I think one of the coolest things is that they are grown on an actual volcano in South America!  Their selection is gorgeous! I also love that they are a sustainable and eco-friendly. They source only from eco-friendly, sustainable farms that respect the environment and their workers.

Fresh. Easy. Beautiful. The Bouqs Company: Bouquets, Simplified #review donnahup

My flowers lasted about 3 and a half weeks! That’s unheard of, especially because I *might* forget to change the water as often as I should. They looked good at 3 weeks too. The picture below shows the flower then.

Fresh. Easy. Beautiful. The Bouqs Company: Bouquets, Simplified #review donnahup

So what’s the difference? What makes Bouqs better?

The first big difference is that they only cut what they sell. There is no wasting like some supply chains.  Across hundreds of thousands of bouquets a year, that’s a lot of wasted land, resources, labor and fuel. They only cut when you order, so they avoid the waste.

They also save energy through their direct-from-the-farm supply chain. The standard supply chain must keep stems cold for up to 2 weeks, meaning hundreds of hours of refrigeration and the associated energy use. They use cold storage for only 4 days from the Volcano, and not at all from California, resulting in a lot of energy savings.

Finally, their farms provide living wages, childcare, healthcare and adult education. And their growing business supports farm communities, so you can feel good about shopping The Bouqs Company’s flowers.

Another great feature I like about them is that you can add in birthdays and anniversaries to your account and they’ll auto ship flowers to them! You can also order a monthly service so you always have fresh flowers.

Shop beautiful volcanic flowers from The Bouqs Co. Click here!

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donnahup.com receives free products for review purposes, and may sometimes be compensated for posts. All opinions expressed are solely from donnahup.com. See donnahup.com’s Disclosure Policy for complete details. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. 

Your Family + Rollors = Making Memories

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*I received a Rollors Game to facilitate my review. All thoughts are 100% honest and my own.  

Making Memories with Rollors

Making Memories with Rollors #Review #Family donnahup

Some of my favorite memories from growing up are playing outside with my 3 sisters.  We often rode our bikes, played a game, or even played make believe.  We were always outside from morning to evening and only came in for meals. Although we ate plenty of them outside too. I don’t know about you, but I feel like there are so many distractions to keep myself and the munchkins inside.  I just have so much to do that I often forget about going outside or push it off. I will say that spending time together as a family is always a great thing and will always be my best memories.

Making Memories with Rollors #Review #Family donnahup

Who wouldn’t want to make memories with these faces?! We were able to try out Rollors. It’s like bowling + bocce ball + horseshoes all in one and a lot of fun.

Making Memories with Rollors #Review #Family donnahup

ROLLORS® can be played wherever a flat ground surface can be found. ROLLORS® is a game of skill that requires a modest level of physical activity. The components of the lawn game, rolling disks, (e.g. ROLLORS®) are basic in design and construction keeping the cost down. The difficulty of play of the lawn game using ROLLORS® can be quickly varied depending on the age and skill level of the players, the degree of challenge desired or other factors as decided by the players. When broken down, ROLLORS® is compact in dimension so that it can be toted and stored with ease.

Making Memories with Rollors #Review #Family donnahup

I know summer is over for a lot of us, but I highly encourage you to spend some time with your kids outside. Rollors is a great game to start with!

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Signature Donna

donnahup.com receives free products for review purposes, and may sometimes be compensated for posts. All opinions expressed are solely from donnahup.com. See donnahup.com’s Disclosure Policy for complete details. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. 

Sunset The Great Outdoors Cookbook: Adventures in Cooking Under the Open Sky

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*I received a copy of  Sunset Magazine’s BBQ Cookbook – The Great Outdoors Cookbook to facilitate my review. All thoughts are 100% honest and my own. 

Sunset The Great Outdoors Cookbook: Adventures in Cooking Under the Open Sky – Grilled Chicken with Whisky BBQ, Chili Lime Corn on the Cob and Spicy Slaw Recipe

Sunset The Great Outdoors Cookbook: Adventures in Cooking Under the Open Sky - Grilled Chicken with Whisky BBQ, Chili Lime Corn on the Cob and Spicy Slaw #Recipe donnahup

There is something about food – not only is it delicious and comforting, but it seems to bring families and friends together.  I love finding new and delicious recipes.  I’m beyond excited to be attending the Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast Food & Wine Festival in CA next month!  They even have a cookbook out.  Sunset The Great Outdoors Cookbook: Adventures in Cooking Under the Open Sky is a fantastic edition to any chef’s library.

Sunset The Great Outdoors Cookbook: Adventures in Cooking Under the Open Sky - Grilled Chicken with Whisky BBQ, Chili Lime Corn on the Cob and Spicy Slaw #Recipe donnahup

The book itself is beautiful to look at and the pictures are just as fabulous.  It may seem silly but I love good pictures in a cookbook. I am much more likely to cook with a book that has delicious pictures.  In fact I made the most fantastic dinner today and the best corn on the cob I’ve ever had!

The Chili Lime Corn on the Cob can be found on page 75 and the Grilled Chicken with Whiskey BBQ and slaw can be found on page 50.  This would be an amazing meal for the grill, but it was raining all day so I had to improvise.

Sunset The Great Outdoors Cookbook: Adventures in Cooking Under the Open Sky - Grilled Chicken with Whisky BBQ, Chili Lime Corn on the Cob and Spicy Slaw #Recipe donnahup

I started with the Whiskey BBQ sauce. I mixed together ketchup, tobasco, molasses, Dijon mustard, whiskey, worcestershire  sauce, cider vinegar, and garlic.  I heated it up and let it simmer for 45 minutes.

Sunset The Great Outdoors Cookbook: Adventures in Cooking Under the Open Sky - Grilled Chicken with Whisky BBQ, Chili Lime Corn on the Cob and Spicy Slaw #Recipe donnahup

It thickened up and smelled so good. When that was done I applied it to my chicken. I used chicken breast cutlets and just baked them.

Sunset The Great Outdoors Cookbook: Adventures in Cooking Under the Open Sky - Grilled Chicken with Whisky BBQ, Chili Lime Corn on the Cob and Spicy Slaw #Recipe donnahup

For the corn on the cob I started by preheating the oven to 35o degrees.  I made a butter and lime mixture with butter, lime zest, chili powder, salt, pepper, and granulated garlic.

Sunset The Great Outdoors Cookbook: Adventures in Cooking Under the Open Sky - Grilled Chicken with Whisky BBQ, Chili Lime Corn on the Cob and Spicy Slaw #Recipe donnahup

Then I coated the corn cobs with the butter mixture and cooked it for 30 minutes.  I turned it a few times while baking.

Sunset The Great Outdoors Cookbook: Adventures in Cooking Under the Open Sky - Grilled Chicken with Whisky BBQ, Chili Lime Corn on the Cob and Spicy Slaw #Recipe donnahup

While everything was baking I worked on the slaw. I’ll admit, I’ve never been much of a fan of coleslaw and this is nothing like coleslaw! It has cabbage, red peppers, red onions, and cilantro. I tossed it with a homemade dressing.

Sunset The Great Outdoors Cookbook: Adventures in Cooking Under the Open Sky - Grilled Chicken with Whisky BBQ, Chili Lime Corn on the Cob and Spicy Slaw #Recipe donnahup

Serve it up and enjoy!! Yum!

There are so many other great recipes and they even give instructions for cooking on camping trips. This is the perfect cookbook for all outdoor (and indoor) occasions.

Two of the co-authors of the Great Outdoors Cookbook, Sunset food editors Margo True and Elaine Johnson, will be demoing recipes from the book at Sunset SAVOR the Central Coast! Here is the info:
Saturday, Sept. 27 & Sunday Sept. 28 @ 11:30 am

 

5.0 from 5 reviews
Grilled Chicken with Whiskey BBQ Sauce
 
Ingredients
  • Chicken
  • 1 and ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp tabasco
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 2 tbsp dijon
  • 2 tbsp whiskey
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
Instructions
  1. Make sauce: Combine ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cover and simmer 45 minutes to blend flavors, stirring occasionally with a long spoon (sauce splatters). Add a little water if sauce gets too thick to pour.
  2. Coat chicken and cook.

5.0 from 5 reviews
Slaw
 
Ingredients
  • 1 lb cabbage, cut into shreds
  • ¼ red onion, cut into long slivers
  • ½ red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp champagne vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • ½ tsp red chile flakes
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
Instructions
  1. Make Slaw: Toss vegetables in a large bowl to blend. Put remaining ingredients in a small container then pour over vegetables and toss.

5.0 from 5 reviews
Chili Lime Corn on the Cob
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp lime zest
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp granulated garlic
  • 6 ears corn in husks
Instructions
  1. Combine butter, lime zest, chili powder, ½ tsp salt, the pepper, and garlic. You can chill until ready to use then bring to room temperature.
  2. Pull back husk from each ear of corn without detaching from the bottom of the cob. Remove as much silk as possible. Spread evenly with butter mixture. Fold husks back over ears and tie in place with kitchen string or strips torn from outer husks.
  3. Grill (I cooked for 30 min at 350 degrees).

donnahup.com receives free products for review purposes, and may sometimes be compensated for posts. All opinions expressed are solely from donnahup.com. See donnahup.com’s Disclosure Policy for complete details. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Save the Barrel Drive In – Clear Lake, IA

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Save the Barrel Drive In

Save the Barrel Drive In - Clear Lake, IA Restaurant #SaveTheBarrel #NorthIowa #Iowa #SelfiesWithCooper donnahup

Beth, Katy, Donna, Seth, Amy, and Sara

I feel like we live in a world that is quick to throw away things that are broken or leave the past behind and move on to the new and exciting future.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for technology and advancements especially when they help improve the quality of life or make daily tasks easier.  I do believe that we got to where we are though because of our past and there are things from the past that are worth saving and remembering as well as handing down to future generations. I feel that way about the Barrel Drive In in Clear Lake, IA.

Save the Barrel Drive In - Clear Lake, IA Restaurant #SaveTheBarrel #NorthIowa #Iowa #SelfiesWithCooper donnahup

The Barrel Drive In in Clear Lake, IA

I am a newer Midwesterner and had to be schooled on the history of the Barrel Drive In, but everyone from the North Iowa area knew about it and had great stories and memories of it.

Save the Barrel Drive In - Clear Lake, IA Restaurant #SaveTheBarrel #NorthIowa #Iowa #SelfiesWithCooper donnahup

The Barrel Drive In came to existence in 1958 and was the place to be. We had a chance to talk with the current owner, Seth Thackery. He started working at the Barrel when he was 14 and now owns the place.  He showed us pictures of the restaurant in it’s “glory days”.  They were pictures of full parking lots and a crowded restaurant living up to the stories I had heard of it’s popularity.

Save the Barrel Drive In - Clear Lake, IA Restaurant #SaveTheBarrel #NorthIowa #Iowa #SelfiesWithCooper donnahup

Owner, Seth Thackery

Lately thought the Barrel Drive In has not been living up to it’s glory days. It’s been taking a toll os Seth also.  He has an amazing vision though and thanks to some amazing people in North Iowa we’ll be able to see those visions come to fruition in time.

Save the Barrel Drive In - Clear Lake, IA Restaurant #SaveTheBarrel #NorthIowa #Iowa #SelfiesWithCooper donnahup

Seth spoke at our social media breakfast about his vision for the restaurant and how he was going to restore it.  It was so inspiring to hear his story and catch his vision. It’s also amazing to see a community pull together to save and restore an iconic landmark.

Save the Barrel Drive In - Clear Lake, IA Restaurant #SaveTheBarrel #NorthIowa #Iowa #SelfiesWithCooper donnahup

Posing with Cooper

So, what can you do to help?  There are a few ways. Of course they need financial help as well as those who can contribute their skills in restoration.  You can still help though even if you’re not able to make a donation or help with the work.

Save the Barrel Drive In - Clear Lake, IA Restaurant #SaveTheBarrel #NorthIowa #Iowa #SelfiesWithCooper donnahup

#SaveTheBarrel #SelfiesWithCooper

Take a Selfie with Cooper!

There is a giant chicken named Cooper that stands in front of the Barrel Drive In and you can take a pic with him and post it their Instagram or tag them on Twitter or Facebook.  How does this help? It spreads awareness. We want others to notice The Barrel and come and visit too!

Save the Barrel Drive In - Clear Lake, IA Restaurant #SaveTheBarrel #NorthIowa #Iowa #SelfiesWithCooper donnahup

Eat at the Barrel Drive In

Since you’re already there taking your picture with Cooper, why not stop in for lunch or dinner?  The food is awesome!

Save the Barrel Drive In - Clear Lake, IA Restaurant #SaveTheBarrel #NorthIowa #Iowa #SelfiesWithCooper donnahup

Sara putting in our order.

I had the opportunity to eat lunch with some of my awesome North Iowa Blogging buddies. We had a great time hanging out and the food was delicious.

Save the Barrel Drive In - Clear Lake, IA Restaurant #SaveTheBarrel #NorthIowa #Iowa #SelfiesWithCooper donnahup

I had the 2 piece chicken dinner with dark meat. It came with a side salad and my choice of french fries, cole slaw or broiled potatoes. I chose the potatoes.

Save the Barrel Drive In - Clear Lake, IA Restaurant #SaveTheBarrel #NorthIowa #Iowa #SelfiesWithCooper donnahup

I also ordered their homemade Root Beer to drink and it was amazing. I am a huge fan of root beer and this is some of the best I’ve had.

Save the Barrel Drive In - Clear Lake, IA Restaurant #SaveTheBarrel #NorthIowa #Iowa #SelfiesWithCooper donnahup

So what are you waiting for? Head on over to and get some fried chicken! You can tell Seth that I sent you!

Save the Barrel Drive In - Clear Lake, IA Restaurant #SaveTheBarrel #NorthIowa #Iowa #SelfiesWithCooper donnahup

Hanging out with Cooper the Chicken and Set #SaveTheBarrel

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Have a Blast with Beach Bocce Ball

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*I received a Beach Bocce Ball Set to facilitate my review. All thoughts are 100% honest and my own.   

Beach Bocce Ball #review donnahup

I grew up in south Florida and spent a lot of time at the beach. We were always playing in the ocean jumping waves are soaking up the sun.  I specifically remember a group trip to the beach where my friend, Paula, said she brought Bocce Ball. I told her I was not interested because it was an “old person’s game.”  I was about 16 and had confused Bocce Ball with shuffleboard.  Don’t ask how, just remember I was 16.  I thought I knew more than I did and didn’t have a clue. After playing for the first time I was hooked.

fountain lake beach Beach Bocce Ball #review donnahup

 

Now I live on the Iowa/Minnesota border. Our beach is a small patch of sand on the lake. Don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely beautiful but it’s not the same as the ocean. Also, during the winter it turns into snow and ice and we have ice fishing tents on the lake.  I completely forgot about Bocce Ball until I found SeaTurtle Sports.

Our top-quality set of Beach Bocce balls is designed for fun and durability on sand and grass alike. These bright, beach colored balls are made from durable rust-, crack- and shatter-resistant synthetic polymers, injection-molded for a lifetime of bragging rights.  They deliver the best of bocce in the portable Petanque size (the French version of bocce, for you sport historians), 74 mm., or 3 in., in diameter so kids and adults of any shape, size or skill can play.  Hit the beach or park with a set of Beach Bocce balls and you’ll never have to worry about getting bored.

You don’t need to have a beach to play Bocce Ball (despite the name). It works great in the grass by the cornfield.  We have had so much fun playing it over the summer.  I love that the kit comes in a zipper carrying case so that you can easily bring it with you.  We keep ours in our trunk so we can play at the park or whenever we have some free time.

Features include:

    • Eight (8) balls in bright beach colors, made of tough synthetic polymers and injection-molded. Durable and shock resistant—won’t crack, chip or rust. Balls are Petanque size (the French version of Bocce), which is 74 mm., or 3 in., in diameter.
    • One (1) Jack (target ball) made from the same impact-resistant material.
    • One (1) string for measuring those ball placements too close to measure with the naked eye.
    • One (1) durable canvas carrying case designed with the great outdoors in mind. (We want your Beach Bocce set to last a lifetime.)

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Signature Donna Hup Beach Bocce Ball #review donnahup

donnahup.com receives free products for review purposes, and may sometimes be compensated for posts. All opinions expressed are solely from donnahup.com. See donnahup.com’s Disclosure Policy for complete details. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.