Monday, August 25, 2014

Jake & Maggi

Rick and I stopped at the Montana Grizzly Encounter yesterday. We were on our way home from taking Nicole back to school in Billings. The MGE is just outside of Bozeman, and we've been there a few times before. We usually see Brutus & Sheena, but yesterday we were fortunate enough to see Jake & Maggi. They are both eight years old. They were rescued from a wildlife place in Oregon that didn't have the funding to care for them properly. Click here to read their story. Maggi is the lighter one and Jake is darker and much heavier.

The lady working at the Encounter yesterday was really sweet and told us a lot of things about the bears. She even tossed out some almonds for them, which they seemed to like a lot. MGE has five bears at the moment — Jake, Maggi, Brutus, Sheena, and Bella. Bella is the newest and is just a cub. I figured she wouldn't be on display yet. We were told that she will be in about another month. When we drive out to get Nicole for Christmas, I'm hoping we can stop by and see her as well. If you join their Facebook page, you'll find lots of cute photos and videos of the bears, including little Bella.

If you're ever in the Bozeman area, it's worth stopping by to check out the bears. The Encounter is right off I-90 and visible from the road. You park your car and then walk up to the enclosure. I was really happy to see so many people stopping yesterday. I imagine it's expensive to feed and care for grizzly bears, so it was cool to see people stopping. The cost is $7 for adults and $5 for children. Click on the link below for more details.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

It's National S'mores Day!

Did you know today is National S'mores Day? My family loves S'mores. They're a staple for our camping trips. Neil is the only one who isn't fond of him. He likes catching marshmallows on fire, but other than eating the chocolate bars, that's about it. The rest of us have fun making them. As you can see from the photo above, even Yoda gets into the sticky festivities.

The Hershey Company has some interesting facts about S'mores. Click here to read more. Apparently, the first recipe for S'mores appeared in the 1927 edition of the Girl Scouts handbooks. My mother-in-law cracks me up every time she says the word. She says it like it's a French word—SaMoreAye—or something like that. I don't think she'll ever grasp the "some more" concept, even though she was a Girl Scout herself. 

Above is a picture of The Marshmallow Man that the boys and I made back in 2010. We modeled him after the character in my book of the same name. This particular guy was made on May 25, 2014. The book was officially released one day later. His icing was still wet when I took his picture, but he was smiling and happy to be inducted to our family. Well ... guess what! The Marshmallow Man is still alive and well. He lives in the wine rack in my kitchen. He is now over FOUR YEARS OLD! This is how he looks today ...

It does make me a little concerned that people eat these foods, and yet, they look untouched four years later. Even so, he looks pretty good for a four-year-old food product! His bowtie broke a long time ago, but the rest of him is still intact really well. He's even still soft in some places. As with all of us as we get older, he does have some wrinkles. But ... he's still smiling and still seems content to be here. 

Now you're probably wondering what The Marshmallow Man has to do with National S'mores Day, but you will just have to read the book to find out! :)

To get more information on The Marshmallow Man, click here.
To buy The Marshmallow Man book, click here.
To watch the trailer for The Marshmallow Man, click here.

Monday, August 4, 2014


Not too long ago I was in Target when I spotted PB2. I might have squealed a little. It's hard to say. I'd seen this online, but never in a store. I've always wanted to try it. I am a huge peanut butter addict. It's really, really bad. I've often said I wish there was a way to form an aversion to the stuff. So, when I saw this at Target, I was really happy. A serving has only 45 calories, verses the 190/200 of most regular peanut butters. That's a big plus to me.

So, how do you actually eat powdered peanut butter, you ask? It's simple. You just mix 2T of powder in with 1T water. You get the same exact consistency of peanut butter. It's made with real peanuts. In fact, the ingredients are simply roasted peanuts, sugar, salt. They press the peanuts to remove 85% of the fats and oils.

You might have already tried this—or maybe not—but I hadn't, so I was excited to see I could buy it locally and not have to order it online. I've only put it in my protein shakes so far. If it helps me to eat less peanut butter, then this will be a good thing for me.