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Fun Family Weekend Getaway in La Crosse Wi

La Crosse Wi is very fun weekend getaway for families, girlfriends, and couples. If you’re looking for a city with delicious food, lovely accommodations, and fun outdoor activities for adults and kids, consider Lacrosse! You won’t be disappointed.

Fun family weekend getaway to la crosse wi

*This post is sponsored by Explore La Cross CVB and includes affiliate links to brand partners. If you purchase through our affiliate links, we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

sunset at two beagles

Spend a Fun Family Weekend Getaway in La Crosse WI

La Crosse, Wisconsin is perfectly situated in the Driftless Area of Western Wisconsin along the Mississippi River. A three and half hour drive from my home in Eastern Iowa, it’s also two and half hours from Minneapolis, three hours from Milwaukee, and four hours from Chicago. One of the things I love most about travel blogging is the ability to explore lovely cities and La Crosse is one city we really enjoyed visiting this spring.

Eastern Iowa Hula-hoop tree in Jones County

The drive to La Crosse from Eastern Iowa is absolutely stunning. If you can, I highly recommend a drive up the Great River Road Scenic Byway. It meanders through quaint Iowa towns all along the Mississippi River and is absolutely stunning. We saw fun sights along the way like the Hula-hoop Tree in Jones County!

It’s also a great ride on motorcycles I learned from my father-in-law, an avid motorcycle explorer. I sometimes take the Mississippi River for granted since I live 15 miles away from it and see it on an almost daily basis, but it is a beautiful sight to behold and this trip reminded me that!

biking in la Crosse wi

Family Friendly Things to Do in La Crosse

If your family likes active adventures, La Crosse offers up lots of options. From bike riding to boating, to hiking and exploring, your family will find something to make everyone in your family happy! Keeping kids happy outside {and off electronics} is a not so secret goal of mine – and you can do that in La Crosse. No problemo!

Great River Landing La Crosse Wi

Our family loved biking on the Great River State Trail through La Crosse and Onlaska. This gorgeous mixed-use trail along the Mississippi River is easy biking on well-maintained paths. Make sure to stop in at the Great River Landing so your kids can play in the music park and swing in the giant swings! If you don’t want to haul your bikes from home, rent them from area shops! You can also sign up for guided tours like the one we took.

The Ghosts of Historic La Crosse Walking Tour

We enjoyed walking through downtown La Crosse at dusk learning about some of the haunts and shadier secrets of the area. Now I will disclose that the adults enjoyed this walking tour more than the kids, but the kids had fun too. We even asked several restaurant workers about the stories we heard on the walking tour and every story was corroborated! Since we have our own mischievous barn ghost, we really enjoyed this hour long stroll. Learn more here.

canoe rental at Island Outdoors La Crosse WI

Boat rentals from Island Outdoors

Take a turn on the water with a kayak, canoe, or hydro-bike rental! Even though the weather was bad, we enjoyed going out for a quick 30 minutes on the river. My kids were a little disappointed they didn’t get to try out the hydro-bikes, but we did enjoy the canoes and kayaks in the rain. Had the weather been nicer, I’m sure we would have had to fight quite a bit get the kids out of the water. Check out Island Outdoors for all the deets!

downtown la crosse wi

Downtown Shops in La Crosse

We’re suckers for quaint downtown shops and La Crosse does not disappoint. My personal favorite was Duluth Trading Company. I could have stayed there all day! My younger kids loved the independent book store Pearl Street Books and my eldest daughter (the pianist) was in heaven at Leithold Music – such a neat old store with room after room of pianos and more!

giant hamster ball from Shenanigans at the Driftless Sports Convergence

Other things my kids would really enjoy doing include the Children’s Museum of La Crosse, taking a pizza dinner cruise on the La Crosse Queen, and playing in the arcade and more at Shenanigans Entertainment Center and Sports Bar. Unfortunately, we just ran out of time on this trip, but I hope we are able to make it back and experience more of the fun things that La Crosse has to offer!

Enjoy this silly little video we made about some of our favorite things in La Crosse! 


Where to Stay in La Crosse WI

Wisconsin Cabin at Neoshonic Lake Campgrounds

There are lots of great options for places to stay in La Crosse. We opted to glamp in a lovely cabin not too far from La Crosse at the Neoshonic Lakeside Camp & Resort. We loved our little cabin and the campsite offered many kid friendly amenities including playgrounds, swimming pools, guided activities, and more!

Read about our wonderful Wisconsin Cabin at Neoshonic Lake Campgrounds here.

the castle la crosse bed and breakfast

If you’re looking for other options, my friend Nicky from Little Family Adventure stayed at this amazing B & B in La Crosse called The Castle La Crosse. Read about her adventures at the B & B here. And my friend Kim from Two Kids and a Coupon stayed at the AmericInn La Crosse with her family. Her family enjoyed the water slides and more. You read about her adventures here.

Delicious food in la crosse wi

What to eat & drink in La Crosse

From delicious coffee to craft beer to wood fired pizza and homemade ice cream, you’ll find the perfect restaurant in La Crosse WI. We enjoyed a wood fired pizza dinner and drinks on the roof of the lovely Charmant Hotel, spinning the bike tire for a brew at the Bodega, eating appetizers at the Red Pines Bar & Grill on the River, and eating ice cream at the Pearl Ice Cream Parlor. Find even more delicious La Crosse restaurants in this post.

fun family weekend in La Crosse, Wi

We enjoyed our time in La Crosse Wi and the FAM trip to the Driftless Sports Convergence. Thank you Explore La Crosse for the fun filled weekend. What are you waiting for? Book your La Crosse weeekend getaway now and go explore.

Want more Fun Family Getaway Ideas? You might like these posts too!

La Crosse Restaurants Your Family Will Love

Family Weekend Getaway in Omaha, Nebraska

Family Spring Break in Colorado

3 Reasons to Visit Heber Valley Utah this Winter

Kid Friendly Activities in Philadelphia


Best Chicken Marinade for Quick, Easy & Delicious Grilled Chicken

If you’re looking for the best chicken marinade, here you go! We’ve been using this quick, easy, delicious, and healthy grilled chicken marinade for a long time and I know you will love it. Made with yogurt, garlic, fresh herbs, and a hint of citrus, it’s perfect for hot summers and beyond.

the best chicken marinade for greek grilled chicken

Best Chicken Marinade for Quick, Easy, & Delicious Grilled Chicken

I’ve shared this recipe on the blog before. You can find it here in my recipe for Greek Panko Chicken Sheet Pan dinner. But it is also delicious as a stand alone recipe for simple grilling. In today’s installment of Tuesdays in the Garden, I’m sharing this the best chicken marinade for delicious grilled chicken! If you haven’t tried it yet, you must!

grilled chicken made with best chicken marinade for greek chicken flavors

Today, my gardening friends and I are sharing our favorite farm to table recipes using ingredients we’ve grown ourselves. My chicken marinade recipe features garlic and fresh herbs from my garden. If you don’t want to use fresh herbs, you can use dried herbs, but since it’s so easy to grow your own kitchen herbs, I really encourage you to try growing a kitchen herb garden. There are lots of options for growing herbs in your kitchen even throughout the winter. And it’s so worth it to be able to snip your own fresh herbs in the dead of winter.

Let’s make this easy chicken marinade!

To make the marinade, all you need to do is mix all ingredients in a glass bowl, or a ziplock baggie if you prefer. I use organic whole milk yogurt. You could use a lower fat yogurt if you want, but there are a lot of health benefits to whole milk yogurt, so I recommend using it!

the best chicken marinade made with yogurt, citrus, and fresh hebs

Fresh herbs result in the best flavor, but you can also use dried herbs if you want. And finally, the recipe calls for lemon juice, but I know from experience that lime juice works just fine in this recipe too. Lemon and lime aren’t always interchangeable, but they both work in this recipe.

Tools I used to make this recipe:

I have found that having the right equipment makes all the difference when you’re cooking, even when you’re making something as simple as this best chicken marinade. Through a lot of trial and error, I’ve come up with a list of indispensable kitchen tools. I’m not a person who wants all the kitchen tools, but I have a core set of a few things that I use almost every day. Here’s a few of them! The following links are affiliate links which means I earn a small commission should you make a purchase.

  • Microplane – I’ve tried a lot, but this one is the best! I have it in green. 🙂
  • Garlic press – I’ve also tried a lot of garlic presses, and this is hands down my favorite.
  • Nesting bowls – be careful when choosing nesting bowls. I like these best because they don’t chip and break like others I’ve used in the past.
  • Meat Thermometer – You’ll want a meat thermometer to test doneness!
  • Chicken Pounder – also helpful for consistent grilling times

grilled chicken on a pan

Chicken grilling tips

Want perfectly grilled chicken every time? Make sure to follow these tips! I can guarantee we’ve done each and every thing wrong over the years and have learned a lot about the proper way to grill amazing chicken.

  • Pound boneless skinless chicken breast to get them the same thickness. The unevenness of chicken breasts makes the challenging to grill.
  • If you use a gas grill, make sure you have enough fuel in the grill so you don’t run out mid-grill.
  • Rub a little oil on the grill before adding chicken so it doesn’t stick.
  • Cover your grill by lowering the grill  lid while the chicken is cooking, or use a foil pan upside down to help keep the heat on your chicken while it’s grilling.
  • Use a thermometer to make sure you chicken is thoroughly cooked to 165 degrees.



429 cal


35 g


23 g


10 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

Yields 1

Best Chicken Marinade for Quick, Easy & Healthy Grilled Chicken

Quick, delicious, and healthy chicken marinade perfect for grilling.

5 minPrep Time

30 minCook Time

35 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe
Recipe Image


  • 1 cup Whole Milk Plain yogurt
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon, plus zest if you want
  • 1 tsp REAL salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 TBS finely chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tsp dry)
  • 1 TBS finely chopped fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dry)


  1. To make your marinade, simply combine all ingredients in a glass bowl and stir well.
  2. Add chicken and cover with marinade.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to grill - a minutes of 30 minutes, but up to 24 hours!


Marinate chicken in fridge for at least 30 minutes, but up to 24 hours.

Want more farm-to-table recipes from SimplifyLiveLove?

Greek Panko Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner

Roasted Farm-to-Table Veggies & Kielbasa

Farm-to-Table 15 Minute Beef & Zucchini Skillet Dinner

Creamy Roasted Garlic Salad Dressing

Tuesdays in the Garden

And now it’s time for recipes from my friendly and amazing Tuesdays in the Garden bloggers. I’m looking forward to trying each and every idea. From homemade muffins to raspberry chicken marinade, to cucumber salad, to chicken and tomato nachos, and growing your own tea garden, I love all of these delicious ideas! Please click on each link to check out the recipes.

honey sweetened blackberry muffins

From Jami @ An Oregon Cottage – Honey Sweetened Blackberry Muffins

raspberry chicken marinade Diane @ Homemade Food Junkie – Grilled Chicken with Raspberry Marinade

easy cucumber salad

Shelly @ Frugal Family Home – Easy Cucumber Salad

tomato chicken nachos

Patti @ Hearth and Vine – Tomato Chicken Nachos

angie the freckled rose

Angie @ Angie Freckled Rose – 5 plants you need to grow an herbal tea garden

Better than Take Out Beef and Broccoli Instant Pot Recipe

Better than takeout and healthier too! This easy beef and broccoli instant pot recipe is ready in 20 minutes! Treat your family to healthier Chinese food with this family friendly recipe.Beef and Broccoli Instant Pot Recipe

Better than Take Out Beef and Broccoli Instant Pot Recipe

Inevitably when we’re trying to pick a restaurant, one of my children votes for a Chinese buffet. I don’t know about you, but I’m not thrilled with Chinese buffets. Everyone ends up eating too much food, and it’s never healthy.

But we love Chinese food, so I have been making my own. Not only is it not that hard to make, I feel a lot better serving my creations to my family. Recently, I harvested a bunch of broccoli from my garden and knew I wanted to make beef and broccoli with it. Since the Instant Pot is my obsession this summer, I decided to try a pressure cooking recipe. I based my recipe on this one I found at ISaveAtoZ, but I made a few healthier ingredient swaps and used fresh broccoli instead of frozen broccoli.

The result is an easy recipe that the entire family loves. And it’s really on the table fast! 15-20 minutes is about all you need to make this recipe. Serve it up over rice or noodles – your choice. And then take it easy because dinner is served! Since it’s all made in the instant pot, cleanup is minimal.

Let’s get cooking – it’s easy to make this pressure cooker beef and broccoli recipesteps to make the beef and broccoli
To make this healthier beef and broccoli recipe:

First, cut your meat against the grain into thin slices. I’ve used both a chuck roast and boneless sirloin and they both work really well. Just make sure your slices are on the thin side. Then, prep your onions and broccoli. When that’s done, add oil to the Instant Pot and use the saute feature to heat it up.

When the oil is hot, cook the onions until translucent, 3-5 minutes. While the onions are cooking, mix up the sauce and pour it over the meat.

This post contains affiliate links which means I earn a small commission on your purchase at no cost to you. To make the sauce, I like to use Tamari Sauce.  Tamari Sauce is gluten-free and non-gmo. I think it also has a little bit richer flavor. If you want a lower-sodium sauce, get this one.

I like to use fresh ginger when I make Chinese food. I store ginger root in the freezer and then grate it very easily using my beloved microplane. If you don’t have one, you need a microplane! I also use fresh garlic which I love to grow myself. Fresh garlic is very good for your immune system (and keeping away vampires) and fresh ginger can help lower blood pressure.

Better than takeout and healthier too! This easy beef and broccoli instant pot recipe is ready in 20 minutes! Treat your family to healthier Chinese food with this family friendly recipe.

Pour the meat and sauce in the Instant Pot, cook on high manual for 8 minutes, the manually release the pressure. Carefully open the Instant Pot and add the broccoli, cook on high pressure for 1-2 minutes more, and one again, manually release the pressure.

The final step to making this easy beef and broccoli is to remove 1/3 cup of the hot liquid from the instant pot and mix it well with arrow root powder or corn starch. I prefer arrow root powder because it is non-gmo. Mix the liquid back in the instant pot and watch it thicken! Now you’re ready to eat. 🙂

Better than takeout and healthier too! This easy beef and broccoli instant pot recipe is ready in 20 minutes! Treat your family to healthier Chinese food with this family friendly recipe.

Want a printable beef and broccoli pressure cooker recipe? Here you go!



2833 cal


219 g


27 g


175 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

Yields 6

Try thi Delicious Beef and Broccoli Instant Pot Recipe Tonight!

Better than takeout and healthier too! This quick beef and broccoli instant pot recipe is ready in 15 minutes!

5 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

15 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe
Recipe Image


  • 2-3 lbs beef chuck roast, sliced thin across the grain
  • 3 TBS avocado oil
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup tamari sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 TBS raw honey
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 large bunch of fresh broccoli, cleaned and chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 2 TBS corn starch, or arrow root powder if desired


  1. Slice the meat against the grain in thin slices.
  2. Slice the onion in thin strips and cut the fresh broccoli into bite sized pieces.
  3. Combine tamari sauce, honey, beef broth, garlic, and ginger in a medium sized bowl and pour over the meat strips.
  4. Using the saute feature on you pressure cooker, heat 3 tablespoons of avocado oil and saute the onions until they are translucent in color about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add the meat combined with the liquid marinade to the pressure cooker and set it on manual high pressure for 8 minutes. When the time is up, quick release all pressure.
  6. Carefully open your Instant Pot and add the broccoli. Cook again on high for 1 -2 minutes depending on how soft you like your cooked broccoli. When time is up, quick release the pressure again.
  7. Carefully remove about a ⅓ cup of the hot juices and add 2 tablespoons of cornstarch or arrowroot powder. Whisk well to combine the powder, and then add the mixture back into the pressure cooker and stir. The liquid should begin to thicken.
  8. Serve over cooked rice or lo mein noodles. My kids prefer the noodles. I prefer the rice!


Use soy sauce instead of tamari if you prefer.

And that’s all there is to it! Would you serve this over rice or noodles?

If you liked this better than take-out Chinese recipe, you’ll like these too:

Shrimp Lo Mein
How to Make Homeamde Eggrolls from Scratch
Pulled Pork Asian Rice Bowls

Better than takeout and healthier too! This easy beef and broccoli instant pot recipe is ready in 20 minutes! Treat your family to healthier Chinese food with this family friendly recipe.

Instant Pot Pulled Pork Asian Rice Bowls

These Instant Pot Pulled Pork Asian Rice Bowls are a quick and easy way to serve a nutritious and filling meal on busy week nights. Simply make the pulled pork ahead of time in an electric pressure cooker, and serve with rice, shredded slaw mix, chopped peanuts, and cilantro. Your family will love this quick and flavorful meal!Instant Pot Pulled Pork Asian Rice Bowls

*This post is sponsored by Ken’s Dressings. All opinions are mine.*

Instant Pot Pulled Pork Asian Rice Bowls

In a third installment of my sponsorship with Ken’s Dressing, I’m sharing another flavorful yet quick meal. Missed the first two recipes? Check out how easy it is to make delicious Muffuletta Sandwiches and Beef Shish Kabob Greek Pitas. One thing we really love about Ken’s Dressings are their versatility. We used the Garlic & Basil Vinaigrette to make the Muffuletta and the Greek Vinaigrette to make the pitas. Today, we’re using Ken’s Simply Asian Vinaigrette to make a flavorful Pulled Pork Asian Rice Bowls.

Asian Rice Bowls made with Instant Pot Pulled Pork

This Asian rice bowl features Instant Pot pulled pork, Jasmine rice, pre-cut slaw mix, chopped peanuts, and fresh cilantro for a winning combination. The ginger, sesame, and soy sauce flavors in Ken’s Simply Asian Vinaigrette pull all of the Asian flavors together nicely and are a real winner with my children.

What I love most about this recipe is how little effort it take to make. Pulled pork is so simple when you make it in the Instant Pot! And, if you make the rice and the pork ahead of time, this meal is a snap to get on the table. Here’s how to make these Pulled Pork Asian Rice Bowls in a jiffy!pulled pork asian rice bowls deconstructed

Let’s make the Pulled Pork Asian Rice Bowls

It’s very easy to make pulled pork in an Instant Pot. Simply combine a pork roast, chicken broth, and salt and pepper in a 6 qt or larger instant pot. Cook on high manual for 45 minutes. Naturally release the pressure for 15 minutes and manually release the remaining pressure. The pork will fall apart with no effort at all.
Instant Pot Pulled Pork
Simply shred the pork with a fork, then transport to a large bowl. Add the pre-chopped slaw mix and Ken’s Simply Asian Vinaigrette. Combine well, then serve with Jasmine rice, chopped peanuts and cilantro. The fresh ginger, sesame, and soy flavors from the Asian dressing will transport you to Thailand. By the way, if you haven’t been to Thailand, you should go. Highly recommend!

pulled pork asian rice bowls bite on fork

The other great thing about this recipe is that it makes nice leftovers. I was a little worried about reheating the left-over meat and slaw mix. But it works fine to reheat! The cabbage is not ruined at all, in my opinion. After reheating, I do recommend refreshing the Asian flavors with a little more Ken’s Simply Asian Vinaigrette!



1629 cal


81 g


9 g


205 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

Yields 6-8 main dish servings

Serves 2-3 cups per person


Instant Pot Pulled Pork Asian Rice Bowls

A rice bowl made easy with shredded pork and Asian flavors. Makes a great meal and the leftovers are fabulous too!

10 minPrep Time

45 minCook Time

55 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe
Recipe Image


  • 4 lb boneless pork loin or boneless pork shoulder/butt
  • 1 tsp REAL salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup Ken's Simply Asian Vinaigrette
  • 3 cups Cooked Jasmine rice
  • 1 bag pre-shredded cabbage and carrots
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts


  1. Slice pork into 4 pieces and season with salt and pepper. Place pork in instant pot insert and top with minced garlic and chicken broth.
  2. Place lid on Instant Pot and seal. Cook on manual high pressure for 45 minutes.
  3. Once it's finished cooking, Let the Instant Pot naturally release for 15 minutes, then quick release for remaining pressure.
  4. Carefully remove pork to a large mixing bowl. The pork will be so tender that it may start to fall apart during the transfer, so beware. Shred using two forks and add Ken's Simply Asian Vinaigrette Dressing and shredded cabbage and carrots.
  5. To serve:
  6. Add rice and meat / slaw mixture in a bowl. Top with fresh cilantro and chopped peanuts to taste. If desired, add a splash more of Ken's Simply Asian Vinaigrette Dressing . Enjoy!


Use an Instant Pot to make this recipe super simple.

Do you love rice bowls too? Many thanks to Ken’s for sponsoring this easy Pulled Pork Asian Rice Bowl recipe. Please connect with them on their websitefacebookinstagrampinterest, and youtube.

pulled pork asian rice bowls with Ken's Simply Asian Vinaigrette

If you like this easy recipe, you’ll like these too:

Muffuletta Sandwiches

Beef Shish Kabob Greek Pitas

Company Worthy Balsamic Rosemary Instant Pot Pork Roast

IP Pulled Pork Asian Rice Bowls

Make Your Homestead More Productive with Organic Plant Food

 If you’re serious about growing more food this year, here are five ways to make your homestead more productive using BioFlora organic plant food lawn and gardening products.5 Ways To Make Your Homestead More Productive using organic plant food

*This post is sponsored by BioFlora. All opinions are mine.*

Make Your Homestead More Productive with Organic Plant Food

There are a lot of factors that go into a productive homestead, and making sure your plants get the proper nutrients is a big part of it. The tips I’m sharing for more productive homesteading today can be implemented at any point in the gardening season. While some of them are great to do early in the season, adding organic plant food to your garden and orchard at any point this summer will be a big help.

If you want to increase plant yields and help your crops be more drought resistance, then you need to feed them some kind of organic plant food. Here are five ways to use BioFlora products for a more productive garden or homestead this summer.helping seedlings survive transplating with bioflora seaweed creme

1. Use BioFlora Seaweed Creme when planting seedlings

One problem I have had in my garden is slow growing tomatoes and peppers that don’t yield much until the end of the season. To move things along a little quicker this year, I used BioFlora Seaweed Creme when I planted my seedlings.

planting seedlings with BioFlora Seaweed Creme

To help avoid transplanting shock, I added a small amount of Seaweed Creme to a gallon of water and then dunked my seedlings into the bucket for planting. After they were all planted, I used the remaining water to water them thoroughly. It’s still early in the season, but it seems to be making a difference. I’ve already harvested several peppers and my tomato plants are already flowering!

james the peacock

2. Increase seed germination with BioFlora Soil Source

Before I planted corn this year, I watered the ground with BioFlora Soil Source. I grow primarily ornamental corn, but I still want a nice yield. The corn germinated really well this year, but unfortunately, my peacock James has taken a liking to the baby corn and ate most down to nothing. I tell you what, every year I face different problems in my garden! I’ve been wanting a fence for a long time, and every year it’s getting more and more important that I get one.

If you’re wondering about the BioFlora Soil Source, it’s a biologically enhanced, humic acid soil additive that provides beneficial microbes to help rebuild and restore the soil. It helps the soil to hold more water and nutrients by softening the soil and improving organic matter content.cherries on a cherry tree in the simplifylivelove orchard

3. Don’t forget to feed your fruit trees & berry bushes

Somehow, I always forget about my fruit trees and berry bushes. Maybe I’m so sidetracked by all the work in the garden, but my poor fruit trees are often overlooked. One easy way to increase the yield of your homestead though, is to have a larger fruit harvest! Your fruit trees will appreciate being fed every once in a while too. This spring, we fed our fruit trees and berry bushes Dry Crumbles. It’s really easy – just measure the tree trunk’s circumphrence to learn how much to apply, then sprinkle the slow-release, carbon-based granules around the base of your fruit trees.

lemons in containers

4. Add BioFlora Dry Crumbles to garden beds and container plants – 

I don’t have many plants growing in containers, but I do have three citrus trees that I added to my homestead last year! They’re potted in cute pots and the live outside in the summer. Before the first frost, I pull them inside and they live in my house. I’m very excited to have my very first fruit on these bushes! Check out those little meyer’s lemons! It’s amazing to me that I’m growing citrus fruit in Iowa!

When you’re prepping your garden beds and container gardens, add  BioFlora Dry Crumbles organic plant food to feed plants during the growing season and support the soil microbial ecosystem. It doesn’t take many crumbles – just be sure to mix up potting soil thoroughly. If you grow herbs in pots, don’t forget to prep that soil too. My citrus trees were already planted so I sprinkled dry crumbles around the pot in the same manner that we fed the fruit trees in our orchard.

keep weeds down for a green lawn

5. Keep weeds down in your lawn – 

A weedy lawn doesn’t bother me all that much, but it does bother my husband. One way we try to keep the weeds down on our homestead is to fertilize our grass. A thick grass can help choke out weeds to keep them from growing. And a great way to get a thick grass is to fertilize it. Not only do the BioFlora Dry Crumbles work well for trees and potted gardens, but they are also quite good for fertilizing the lawn.

bioflora organic plant food

BioFlora’s Lawn & Garden Line

BioFlora products have been available to commercial growers for the past 40 years and are now available to homeowners and homesteaders like us. I’m excited to try out products that work to enhance our gardens from the ground up. If you’re looking for an organic plant food to help you boost production of your gardens or homestead, I hope you will click here to learn more about this new line!

If you liked this post on making your homestead more productive with organic plant food, you might like these too:

7 Methods of Natural Weed Control

Hot Weather Summer Gardening Tips to Help Your Garden Thrive

What to Plant in Your Garden in June

How to Kill Cucumber Beetles Organically 

10 Practical Tips for First Time Gardeners

Can You Recycle Milk Cartons? Here’s What You Need to Know!

My kids ask me almost every day: can you recycle milk cartons? If you’re wondering the answer to that question too, here is everything you need to know about recycling food and beverage cartons!

Can you recycle milk cartons Here is everything you need to know about food carton recycling!

*This post was sponsored by the Carton Council as part of an Ambassador Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own. #RecycleYourCartons #IC*

Can You Recycle Food and Beverage Cartons? Here’s What You Need to Know!

I can’t tell you how often I see all kinds of food cartons in the trash instead of the recycling bin where they belong. If you want the 411 on food carton recycling, here are the answers you’ve been looking for! Don’t throw away those food and beverage cartons. They ARE recyclable and they do belong in recycling bin. How about juice boxes? Are they recyclable too? Yes, indeed! I have totally thrown away food and beverage cartons and other food cartons in the past, but today I’m answering the question, can you recycle food and beverage cartons cartons once and for all! Food and beverage cartons of all sorts are absolutely recyclable! Yes!

Can you recycle milk cartons in Iowa
You’d almost have to be living under a rock these days not to have heard about the huge problem we have with plastics. Sadly plastics are overtaking our oceans and wreaking havoc on wildlife. More and more cartons are used for food storage these day! I even saw a lot of water in cartons instead of plastic bottles when I was at Expo West back in March!

And the good news is cartons are a great choice. If you’re trying to reduce plastic use at your house, start looking out for food packaged in cartons. You might be surprised by all of the options.

Food and beverage cartons are an eco-friendly choice. They’re made mostly from paper with a thin layer of plastic or sometimes aluminum, they are lightweight and compact, and they have low carbon footprint. With an average of 93% product and only 7% packaging, cartons use the least amount of materials possible, helping preserve our Earth’s precious resources. The great thing about recycling food and beverage cartons is that they are made into other paper products or chemical free environmentally friendly building materials! It’s a win-win to use and recycle food and beverage cartons!

Learn more at Carton Council!

Can You Recycle Milk Cartons

What Types of Recyclable Food and Beverage Cartons are there?

A quick glance around my kitchen revealed a bunch of different types of food and beverage cartons. I have bought all of the following types of food and drink in cartons over the years and they are all recyclable!

  • soups cartons
  • broths carton
  • milk cartons
  • juice cartons
  • coconut cartons
  • wine cartons
  • cartons of 1/2 and 1/2
  • tomato cartons
  • cartons of beans

how to recycle food cartons

How Can You Recycle Food and Beverage Cartons?

It’s so easy to recycle food cartons! To recycle food and beverage cartons, all you have to do is empty them out and put them in recycling bin every time! It’s very easy to recycle since many recycling companies now accept straws and lids too. There’s no excuse not to toss your empty cartons in the recycling bin.

how to recycle milk cartons

Wondering how the food and beverage cartons are recycled and what they’re turned into? Watch this quick video for the answers!


Curbside carton recycling is available to more than 62% of U.S. households, which honestly seems low to me.  Use this zip code locator to find out if your local recycling center accepts cartons. My area in Iowa does accept cartons for recycling. I hope your area does too. If you want to connect with Carton Council, you can find them on facebook, instagram, and twitter.

Do your kids also ask if you can recycle food and beverage cartons? I would love to hear that recycling food cartons is an option in your area!

If you liked this post on recycling food cartons, you might like these posts too:

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Can You Recycle Milk Cartons? Everything You Need to Know about recycling food cartons!

Hot Weather Summer Gardening Tips to Help Your Garden Thrive

High heat in the summer can wreak havoc on your summer vegetable garden, but you can do things to several tings to help. These seven hot weather summer gardening tips will help your garden thrive even during high heat summers.Help your garden thrive in hot weather with these 7 must know hot weather summer gardening tips.

Welcome back to Tuesdays in the Garden! 

This Tuesday my gardening friends and I are sharing tips for summer gardening. From tips to help you keep your garden alive while you vacation, to summer blooms, and easy garden tasks to do this summer, make sure you click through the links at the end! tuesdays in the garden

Hot Weather Summer Gardening Tips to Help Your Garden Thrive

Every year it seems like some other issues arises to cause trouble in the garden and keep me on my toes. We’re only in early June but record high summer temperatures are already causing problems in my garden. I’ve read that we’re in for the hottest summer on record this year, and so far, it seems like the forecast might be right. To help my summer vegetable garden thrive during the hot summer weather, I’ve put together a helpful list of tips. Let me know what you would add!

1. Plant summer vegetables that tolerate high heat

It’s not too late to plant veggies now, but it will help if you plant summer vegetables that tolerate high heat. Not all veggies like the heat, but some really do. Here’s a list of summer vegetables that tolerate high heat. If you’re worried about a hot summer, make sure to grow veggies that will be able to handle it.

  • okra
  • corn
  • hot peppers
  • eggplants
  • tomatoes
  • watermelon
  • cucumbers
  • oregano
  • sage
  • thyme
  • rosemary

Also, if you plant vegetables later in the summer, stay on top of watering! They need water to germinate if you’re planting from seed, and they need lots of water initially to really grow. If you want to plant cool weather crops, it might be better to hold off until fall. Here’s a list of vegetables to plant in the fall.

watering the garden in hot summer

2. Make sure your plants get enough water

Most plants need around an inch of rain per week. While there’s nothing as great as a soaking rain for garden veggies, you can help them succeed during dry times by making sure they get enough water. If you have to supplement water, the best way to water your plants is with a soaker hose, but I’ve also had good luck watering individual plants only with a bucket and large tin can. Watering the plants only helps keeps weeds down too. And if you use a bucket and a tin can, you can also add a bit of food to the water to help fertilize your plants at the same time.

3. Keep the weeds down

Weeds are competition for water and soil nutrients so keeping them at bay will help your garden plants absorb the most water and nutrients they can get from the soil. I don’t know anyone who likes to weed, but it’s important to keep them under control one way or the other. Here are some helpful weeding tips you may find useful.

4. Mulch heavily

Mulch is one of your best friends in the garden. Not only does it help keep the weeds down, but it also helps keep the moisture in the soil. During the hot summer, you want as much moisture in the soil as possible. I can’t stress enough the important of mulching. Here are tips for how to use mulch and free places to find!

5. Shade cloth can help your plants

Shade cloth or netting can help your plants a lot in hot weather by protecting them from both the heat and the sun. I’ve read that shading your plants can help keep soil and air temperatures as much as 10 degrees cooler than the outside air which can make a big different on super hot days. For best results, hang the netting several inches above your crops by using hoops or wooden frames. Covering your crops has other benefits too – such as keeping pests at bay! Learn how to easily cover a raised garden bed here.

how to cover a raised garden bed

6. Pay attention to the weather forecast 

Paying attention the weather is a great way to be proactive in the garden. Knowing that the weather is going to turn hot and dry for time will let you take steps before the weather gets too hot. You can take a couple days to cover your crops for instance, or make sure that your garden has been fed nutrients ahead of time. Stay informed about what’s coming so you can prepare and protect your garden!

helping seedlings survive transplating with bioflora seaweed creme

7. Make sure your plants get enough nutrients

Another really important thing to do during hot weather is to make sure your plants get enough nutrients. Hopefully you have a nutrient rich soil already, but don’t forget to feed your plants a good organic plant food during the summer to help them out during the really hot times.

Tuesdays in the Garden

hearth and vineFrom Patti @Hearth and Vine – How to Care for Plants While You’re on Vacation

homemade food junkie

From Diane @Homemade Food Junkie – Vacationer’s Garden Survival Guide

an oregon cottageFrom Jami @An Oregon Cottage – Summer Flowers to Grow

From Shelly at Frugal Family Home – 5 Minute Summer Garden Tasks

From Angie the Freckled Rose – Flowers to Attract Pollinators

If you liked this post on helping your summer vegetable garden thrive in heat, you might like these posts too:

7 Methods of Natural Weed Control

What to Plant in Your Garden in June

How to Kill Cucumber Beetles Organically 

10 Practical Tips for First Time Gardeners

Hot Weather Summer Gardening Tips

Turn this Shish Kabob Recipe in an Easy Greek Sandwich Tonight!

You don’t have to dig deep into my blog archives to realize I really love Greek flavors! And this shish kabob recipe is another absolutely delicious and easy Greek inspired meal idea. Olives, feta, lemon, and oregano enhance just about any food, in my opinion and you’ll find these flavors and plenty more in this quick and and easy recipe for a Greek sandwich made with steak shish kabobs.

Easy Greek Sandwich Shish Kabob Recipe

*This post is sponsored by Ken’s Dressings. All opinions are mine.*

The weather is heating up in Eastern Iowa and that means we’re breaking out the grill. Grilling is a great way to keep the house cool. It’s also fun to involve my husband in the cooking. However, this recipe is so easy that even if you can’t get your husband out to the grill, you can absolutely make this quick Greek Sandwich yourself!

Turn this Shish Kabob Recipe in an Easy Greek Sandwich Tonight!

The first thing you need to do to make delicious steak shish kabobs is find the right steak. If you have an unlimited budget, the best beef cut for making tender shish kabobs is a filet mignon or a porterhouse. If your budget is a little bit tighter, I recommend using sirloin (it’s what I use!) To save time, ask the butcher at your meat counter to cut the sirloin into 1″ cubes. They should be able to do that for you for free, and having the butcher cut the meat will save you time.

Marinating is the next big key to getting flavorful steak shish kabobs. A super easy way to marinate your meat is to use pre-made salad dressing! While it’s not a lot of trouble to mix up your own marinade, using a pre-made salad dressing will save you time, and every minute counts when you’re trying to feed a starving family!

Beef Shish Kabob Pita Sandwich

We really love Ken’s new Simply Vinaigrette for marinating steak. The Greek version works very well in this recipe. And a quarter cup is all you need! If you’re using a more expensive cut of meat, you can marinate more quickly – about a half hour. If you’re using a less expensive beef cut, it’s best to marinate your steak overnight for best flavors.

The Simply Vinaigrette Greek is the perfect marinade if you love Mediterranean flavors as much as I do! Ingredients include cider vinegar, garlic, and lemon giving the grilled beef for this Mediterranean sandwich a nice tang. My kids said these beef shish kabob were some of the best kabobs I’ve ever made! And that’s a huge compliment coming from my children.

grill the beef shish kabobs and pita bread

How to Grill the Steak Shish Kabobs

Fire up the grill and get it nice and hot. We use a gas grill so I just turn it on medium and close the lid to let it heat up. When the grill is almost hot, skewer the meat on your skewers. We use reusable metal skewers, but you can use whatever you want. If you use wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes ahead of time so they won’t catch on fire. Now, put them on the hot grill and cook for about 2 1/2 minutes per side. That means you’ll flip the skewers about four times. Brush a little dressing on the pita bread and heat for 30 seconds per side on the grill.

Easy Greek Pita Sandwiches made with Beef Shish Kabobs
To assemble your easy Greek Sandwich:

Simply add steak, lettuce, feta, cucumbers, tomatoes and a drizzle of Ken’s Greek Dressing to taste! That’s it! Enjoy. Serve with olives, hummus, and fresh tabbouleh salad if you want. You can also skip the pita and just eat the ingredients deconstructed too!



3118 cal


201 g


110 g


203 g
Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

Yields 6

Make this Easy Greek Sandwich Shish Kabob Recipe Tonight!

Quick and delicious pita sandwich with Greek flavors. Made with grilled beef shish kabobs and loaded with veggies, this sandwich makes a great dinner or delicious lunch too!

10 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

20 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe
Recipe Image



    Grill the Beef Skewers
  1. Place steak cubes and dressing in an airtight container and marinate 30 minutes to 24 hours.
  2. Heat the grill up to a medium heat.
  3. Skewer the meat and grill for about 10 minutes, 2 1/2 minutes per side or until desired doneness is reached.
  4. Assemble the Sandwiches
  5. Brush a small amount of Ken's Simply Vinaigrette Greek Dressing on the pitas and heat on the grill for about 30 second per side.
  6. Cut the pitas and half and fill with beef and your choice of lettuce, feta, cucumber, tomato, and more Ken's Simply Vinaigrette to taste.
  7. Enjoy!

Do you also love grilling in the summer? What’s your favorite food to grill? Many thanks to Ken’s for sponsoring this beef shish kabob recipe post! Please connect with them on their websitefacebookinstagrampinterest, and youtube.

If you liked this easy Greek Sandwich shish kabob recipe, you might like these posts too:

Greek Marinated Pork Loin for quick sandwiches

New Orleans Muffuletta Sandwich 

Hot Oven Sandwich Perfect for the Freezer


7 Must Know Tips for Hiking with Kids This Summer!

This summer is supposed to break record high temperatures, but that doesn’t mean we should stay inside. Even if you aren’t adventurous, make this the summer to go hiking with kids. Here are a few tips to get your kids outside and having fun even when they’d rather be inside on electronics!7 must know tips for hiking with kids

*This post is sponsored by Merrell. All opinions are mine.*

7 Must Know Tips for Hiking with Kids This Summer!

1. Keep it fun

Your kids will enjoy hiking most if you find interesting trails for them to hike. My kids prefer trails in and around water most of all, so that’s what we look for when deciding where to hike with our kids. Trails that have interesting geologic features, vegetation, or wildlife will also be more fun for your kids so keep that in mind when looking for hiking locations.

2. Bring snacks and water bottles 

You can bet your kids will be hungry and thirsty even if the trail is short and they just ate. Having water bottles and quick snacks can mean the difference between an enjoyable hike or an annoying time. So make sure you have a few things to ward off hungry and thirst when you go hiking with your kids!trusting kids to make good decisions is important when hiking with kids

3. Trust your kids 

According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, American kids are increasingly overprotected with little independence or autonomy. Unfortunately, overzealous parenting styles can cause real harm to our kids making them dependent and anxious. One way to help them be more independent can be on the hiking trail.

Trusting them to make good decisions on the trail can be hard as we watch them scramble up rocks and jump around, but it’s important to have a little faith that your kids will be just fine! Let them scramble. Let them choose their own path. Encourage them to be safe and trust that they will.

hiking with kids

4. Be positive

If your kids are anything like mine, they’re always yelling, “Look at me!” Don’t be afraid to tell them they’re doing a great job. Positive reinforcement makes all things more enjoyable. Smile at your kids and let them know how fast and strong they are. Help them have confidence in their hiking abilities even when you want to scream and look away.

waterfall at Malanaphy Springs in Decorah Iowa

5. Leave no trace

There’s nothing worse than trails covered with trash. Not only is it a great idea to teach kids not to litter, it’s awesome to take it one step further and pick up trash as well. We always make a habit of picking up trash on the way back. It’s not hard to do, especially if you stuff a small bag in your pocket before setting out on the trail.

It’s empowering for kids to know they can make a difference through very small actions. Pack it in, pack it out is a great motto your kids can embrace when hiking. There’s more to leave no trace than picking up trash though. Leave the vegetation alone, stay on the trail, and fill in any holes your kids may dig. All of these things are easy ways you can leave no trace when hiking with kids.

6. Be prepared for mishaps

While I don’t want to schlepp all the things all the time, there are a few things I try to have on hand when we hike. Bug spray. Sunscreen. Small first aid kit. We never know what will happen when we hike with kids, but rest assured something minor will happen almost every time. Being prepared for the inevitable makes hiking with kids much more enjoyable.

hiking with kids in streams

7. Dress for success

Make sure your kids are dressed properly. We like to have hats along always. Not only do they help protect from the sun, but they’re also good at keeping ticks out of hair. I know you don’t want your kids to come home with ticks.

The other big consideration for hiking is proper foot attire. Since my kids like to hike around water and climb more than anything, water shoes with good traction make a lot of sense. Why we love the Merrell HYDRO 2.0 for hiking with kids

Why we love the Merrell HYDRO 2.0

My kids prefer to explore water with shoes on, but they also like to climb, so we need a multi-purpose shoe for hiking. We found the Merrell Hydro 2.0 sneaker sandal to be a great multipurpose hiking shoe for kids. Not only is this cute sneaker sandal great for hiking trails, but it’s also fabulous for water exploring.  It’s made from lightweight recycled materials that dry quickly so feet don’t stay waterlogged. We also like the closed toe that offers more protection than an open toe sandal.  Plus it’s cute and comfortable! What more could you want in a kid’s hiking shoe?

I hope these tips inspire you to get outside and hike with your kids this summer. I know firsthand that the electronic struggle is real. But hitting a hiking trail with your kids can be a fantastic way to bond with the entire family. And keeping the kids off electronics for an even a couple hours is a very good thing.

Do you have a tip for hiking with kids? Please share how you plan to get out and about with your kids this summer!

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Natural ways to prevent tick bites

What to do if you are bitten by a tick

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Fresh Fruit Waffle Cones Make an Easy Summer Fruit Snack

Are you looking for easy summer fruit snack ideas that your kids will LOVE? Make them Fresh Fruit Waffle Cones and check out this the other great ideas to make eating fruit fun this summer!fresh fruit waffle cones - fruit in cone on a platter

Fresh Fruit Waffle Cones Make an Easy Summer Fruit Snack

Does anyone really have trouble getting kids to eat fruit? I sure don’t. In fact, I have to sometimes yell at my kids for eating too much fruit. They’re eating me out of house and home right now! It’s hard to get upset over eating too much fruit, but sometimes, enough is enough already.

sliced fruit for Fresh Fruit Waffle Cones

That’s one reason I love these fresh fruit cones. It stretches the fruit a little bit further! Instead of each kid eating one peach, one apple, a quart of blueberries, and a bunch of grapes, I can cut up a reasonable amount of everything and serve them a little bit less. They really don’t need to eat all day long!

My kids love fruit in waffle cones. Waffle cones make everything better, don’t you think? Maybe if I was a really nice mom I would get all fancy and dip the cone in chocolate and sprinkles, but I’m not really all that nice. 😉

fresh fruit cones

Aren’t they pretty? To make these, I just filled medium-sized waffle cones with blueberries, blackberries, grapes, strawberries, and peaches, kiwis, and apples.  Then we ate them with fresh whipped cream. So tasty! the sky’s the limit as far of what you can put in these fun fruit cones – and instead of whipped cream, you could also add ice cream. These fresh fruit filled waffle cones are totally easy and versatile.

I’m sure you don’t really need a recipe to learn how to make fresh fruit waffle cones, but just in case, here you go!

Easy Summer Fruit Snack
Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 1 cup grapes
  • 1 cup berries
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup apple, sliced
  • 1 cup peaches, sliced
  • Waffle cones
  • Fresh whipped cream, optional


  1. Clean and prep all fruits.
  2. Add to waffle cones.
  3. Serve with fresh whipping cream, if desired.
  4. Enjoy!

Looking for more summer fruit snack ideas? Here are several to enjoy!

frozen srawberry yogurt cupcakes

Strawberry Yogurt Cupcakes

Layered Fruit “Cake”

Healthy 4 Ingredient Fruit Dip

What fruits would you put in these delightful fresh fruit waffle cones?

Are you looking for easy summer fruit snack ideas that your kids will LOVE? Make them Fresh Fruit Waffle Cones and check out this the other great ideas to make eating fruit fun this summer!