Category: Reviews

The Barrel House & Ice Cream – Dubuque, Iowa

Supper at The Barrel House and a snack of ice cream set the tone for our outstanding trip to Dubuque, Iowa a few weeks ago!  While we were there, we grabbed 2 full meals and a snack!  Breakfast in the morning was a Caroline’s Restaurant which is in the Hotel Julien and we highly recommend!

The Barrel House

For supper when we arrived in town, we headed to The Barrel House and what a treat it was!  It’s location is super handy when you’re staying at the Hotel Julien as it’s right across the street, which is one of the reasons we selected it!

T’s selection at the Barrel House!


The Hotel Julien Dubuque: Making You Feel Special

T and I recently made an overnight trip to Dubuque and stayed the Hotel Julien Dubuque.  WOW!  The Hotel Julien knows how to make a person feel so special!  Not only do they have spectacular accommodations, but the small things add up to make you fee extra special during your stay!

Hotel Julien
The gorgeous lobby at the Hotel Julien Dubuque

The Hotel Julien Dubuque has been present in historic downtown Dubuque for over 130 years!  After a $33 million renovation, they are shining brighter than ever!  Between its historic attributes and modern finishes, the Hotel Julien Dubuque is the prime example of a sophisticated hotel!  Not many hotels can claim to be modern and historic, luxurious and comfortable, but yet the Hotel Julien does just that!


Eating & Drinking in the Twin Cities

T and I were privileged during our recent trip to Roseville, MN to enjoy some great restaurants and a brewstilary!  For me, because I love food as much as I do, the food can make or break a trip for me and thankfully Roseville and St. Paul now have a special place in my heart because of the good good we ate!

Bonfire Wood Fire – 850 Grand Ave, St Paul, Minnesota

If you’re looking for a great place to grab a bite in the St. Paul area, Bonfire Wood Fire won’t disappoint!  It is located in a fun neighborhood and the first thing I noticed when we came upon Bonfire was it’s appearance.  I loved the look of the building from the outside with its fun and brightly lit sign along with the piano and drum set that were being set up for entertainment.  How can you not love music on the street?

Once we entered, their decor automatically got me!  I loved the combination of modern and rustic.  The finishes were top notch and extra special.

With a small, but varied menu, you won’t be disappointed!  Meals like the Spit-Roasted Chicken and the Signature Walleye are sure to please.  The rustic, but modern atmosphere just adds to the delicious meal for an overall great experience!


Roseville, MN: Perfectly Positioned

Roseville, Minnesota boasts that it is Perfectly Positioned and after our (mine & T’s) trip recently, we’ve learned this to be very true.  It is 10 minutes from downtown St. Paul and 10 minutes from downtown Minneapolis!  How perfect is that?!  We had never heard of Roseville and we had no idea what they offered, but now we are ready to go back!!  Plus staying at the Courtyard by Marriott was super convenient, comfortable, and a great place to call “home” during our visit!

THAT Cooking School

Are you a “Chopped” fan like me?!  If so, then THAT Cooking School is for you!  THAT stands for Teaching, Heart, and Team Building.  This is a great place for taking your group (of any kind) for team building or if you have a new team and need to break the ice!  Heck, this would even be a fantastic place for a first date.  Not only do they challenge you to create together, work as a team, but also have fun!

Como Zoo & Conservatory – 

You will not be disappointed when you stop by the Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, a free zoo!  They have a wide variety of animals including penguins, seals, giraffes, and gorillas and there is also a Conservatory with extensive gardens!  The entire facility is quite impressive with it’s beautifully landscape and natural looking grounds and I can’t wait to explore it more in-depth with the entire family!


Courtyard by Marriott: Roseville – A Perfect Place to Stay

T and I recently had the privilege of staying at the Courtyard by Marriott in Roseville, MN for a long weekend!  I say privilege because this facility is top-notch and it was our honor to stay here!  We’ve started to travel and stay in hotels  more recently since we sold our camper. We have stayed at a variety of facilities and this was, by far, our best yet!

Courtyard by Marriott: Roseville, MN


The Minnesota State Fair: A Must

This was not my first visit to the Minnesota State Fair! In fact, it was actually my 3rd or 4th visit. I do however consider myself an expert in fairs! Not only was I involved with the Franklin County Fair in my hometown for more than 10 years, T and I love visiting different fairs and especially the Iowa State Fair!

So, what’s so great about the Minnesota State Fair?

Things To Do

You will not, I promise, run out of things to do at the MN State Fair!  The choices are endless!  If you have small children, we recommend heading to Math On A Stick!  Created as a way for kids and adults to both enjoy mathematical skills without actually doing equations, there are several stations that challenge kids to use their logical and creative brains at the same time!  The stations can change each day as well!  The day we visited, there was  a station that used balloons to create different shapes, etc.  Even the big guys found it entertaining!

The creator of Math On A Stick explaining the concept to us!


Visiting the World’s Largest Toy Museum

Well, we did it! Family vacation has come and gone! We got back recently and as I’m going through so many of the pictures I took, the ones from the World’s Largest Toy Museum are some of the most fun!

This year, the Flints headed back to Branson, MO to finish what we started last year! 😉  We spent 3.5 action packed days exploring and doing more and different things than we did last year!  They’ll be a post about the rest of those, but on to the World’s Largest Toy Museum Complex!  world's largest toy museum


Jena Henry & The Golden Age of Charli

I was recently introduced to a new author, Jena C. Henry, thanks to my friend Beth Ann. She blogs over at It’s Just Life!  You should check her out, if you haven’t already!  At the time, I was looking for some new books to read as I had just finished the series that I was working on!  Jena was the sweetest and sent me the first three books in her “Golden Age of Charli” series to read.  Sadly, almost 9-12 months later, I’m finally done with all three!

Reading is something I’ve always loved to do and would spend hours as a child doing (even past the time that my parents told me it was “lights out” time)!  As I’ve aged, I’ve gotten away from reading for one reason or the other.  Either I haven’t found an author or series that can hold my attention or I don’t make/have time to do it.

When Beth Ann recommended Jena Henry as an author, I was ecstatic for a couple reason! I was super excited to experience a new author AND I usually like anything that Beth Ann recommends!

The Golden Age of Charli

So, what did I think after I dove into the world of Charli?!  Well, let me start by saying that the first thing I did was pass the books onto my mom, who passed them onto my aunt!  Charli is a fantastic lady that Jena Henry has developed very well!  She has written Charli in a way that anyone can relate to!  She is very “real” to me and yet has a life that those in the younger generation (aka those that are still working full-time) can admire and be jealous of!  I knew that my mom would enjoy reading these books as they are at the same point in life!  Through these three books, we follow Charli & her husband, Pud, through their golden age of life together!  It’s not all roses, but yet Charli continues to praise God for the beautiful days in her life!

Overall Thoughts

Now that I’ve ready all three books about Charli, I’ve come to the conclusion that I can learn a lot from her!  I need to be more go with the flow!  I also learned that while life doesn’t always take the turns you think it will.  We are all very blessed and need to be grateful for all that we have in our life!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading these books and can’t wait for Jena to write another in the series!  It’s easy to follow along.  They flow well together and are a great way to escape our reality!

A huge thank you to Jena C. Henry who sent me the books to read free of charge!  All my thoughts and opinions are 100% my own!  

Danna’s Bar-B-Que & Burger Shop: Branson, MO

Danna's Bar-B-Cue

Danna's Bar-B-Cue

Who doesn’t love some good barbecue?!  And who doesn’t love a quaint locally owned joint?!  That’s exactly what you get at Danna’s Bar-B-Que & Burger Shop in Branson, MO!  T and I recently returned from a 5 day getaway to Branson! Can you believe we haven’t had a vacation (just the two of us) since our honeymoon over 5 years ago?!  We decided it was time and Branson was an easy choice since we loved it so much last summer!

Picking where to eat when we are on vacation or going on a date can be the longest undertaking!  Usually I’m craving a specific cuisine or I can’t decide at all!  The first night we were in Branson, I left all the picking and deciding up to T!  This doesn’t happen often, so he took advantage of it!