Welcome to TwoCowgirls, the blog about our crazy life in Downtown Saint Paul!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Summer's Almost Here! Boredom Busters!

With Summer fast approaching (only 12 days of school left!), I've started thinking about what I'll do with the girls to keep the entertained throughout the Summer months.  One of the down sides of living 15 floors above ground level, is that I can't say "go out in the yard and play!"  Everything we do has to be intentional.  While doing a search a few minutes ago, I came upon this blog from www.TheFrugalGirls.com.  It's the most comprehensive list of Summer fun I've ever seen!  Read it :)

Here are some local ideas:

The St. Paul Public Library has amazing FREE programs for kids!  I've already got many of them in my calendar.
Music in Mears is a great way to blend kid time with grown up time, while listening to great live music, relaxing, and enjoying one of my favorite city parks
The tot pool by Minnehaha falls is a great way to cool off.  I think Millie might be too big to play there this year.  I'll check it out once to find out.  It's great for small kids though!
The Minnesota History Center has 9 Nights of Music that runs Tuesday evenings throughout the summer.  Admission to the museum is free.  It's a great place for the kids to hear different varieties of music (Salsa, Motown, Irish, Cajun, etc)
The water feature at Upper Landing is SO much fun.  I couldn't find a link to it.  It's on the intersection of Shepard and Eagle St. right outside Downtown St. Paul
My girls are nature girls, so they like getting out in the woods.  Our favorite places to go are Blackdog Trail in Eagan, Fort Snelling (the woods accessible from the town of Mendota), any of the parks along Mississippi River Blvd, and of course trips down to the farm.  We're planning on scheduling LOTS of those this summer!!

That's all I can think of for now, although there are TONS of parks and historical sites around.  My list could go on and on...  If you can think of something to add to my list, please put it in the comments!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Millie always has her most creative moments during her downtime.  I love finding the things she creates while the rest of the family is sleeping! 
One of reasons I'm really looking forward to homeschooling Millie next year is that she'll have more time to be creative and express herself.  As it is now, she comes home from school at 4, unwinds, does homework, has dinner, and by the time her food has settled, it's time for bed.  Next year, she'll have downtime "scheduled" into her day!

Friday, May 20, 2011

While Millie's Away, A Week In The Life Of Elise - Thursday & Friday

Ooops, I'm falling behind here!  This is a week long series detailing Elise's life while Millie is at school:


I work on Thursdays, and Elise goes to her babysitter Kelly's house.  Kelly has two boys (2 and newborn), who Elise asks about daily.  The great part about going to Kelly's house is that she gets some backyard time, which is something she doesn't get 15 stories up in our condo!

This week, the weather was gorgeous so they ate lunch outside, had a nap, and played outside again.  Elise stayed dry the entire time she was there.  She's a potty training pro!  (Now, if we could just get her to go #2 on the potty, we'd be in business)


Friday is normally just a play day.  We might go for a walk, run errands, do house work, etc.  Today we had a garage sale at Kims house!  It was pretty cold in the morning, and Elise was so cozy on my lap that she fell asleep.  I can't remember the last time that happened!!  So sweet.  When it warmed up, we sat outside in the sun.  In case you're wondering, I made a whopping $7 (after paying for lunch) from the sale.   Soooo worth it!  Here are Elise and Patrick hamming it up:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

While Millie's Away, A Week In The Life Of Elise - Wednesday

This is a week long series detailing a typical week during Elise's life, while Millie is at school.

Wednesday is storytime day at the library! 

Storytime is very stressful for me because Elise doesn't sit still.  Today, she actually stayed in the storytime area the whole time, and participated a bit, which was an improvement.  If we continue going on a regular basis, I figure she'll eventually learn to sit still.  Right?!

We arrived early today so I could pick out books ahead of time.  Elise picked out a few books herself, and then played with puzzles while I picked out the rest.

At 10:30, everyone gathered around to listen to stories about trains.

Afterwards, the librarian brought out toys for the kids to play with.  Elise put on a puppet show for a few minutes (can you see her behind the puppets?!).  She also played with the doll house and grocery store set. 

I had the opportunity to chat with another mom who is quite knowledgeable about homeschooling.  It's nice to meet other moms raising children in Downtown! 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

While Millie's Away, A Week In The Life Of Elise - Tuesday

This is a week long series detailing a typical week during Elise's life, while Millie is at school.


I work on Tuesdays, so Grandma Susie comes over to watch Elise.  If the weather is nice, they'll usually go on an outing to the Childrens Museum or Macys.

Today the weather was nice, so Susie took her out to lunch at The River Room at Macys.  Elise ate her usual, Mac and Cheese (or Macky Cheese, as Elise calls it).  She was very tired, so they came home right away, and Elise took a nice long nap. 

Elise seems to be potty training herself!  Today she had two potty-successes.  Hooray!

Monday, May 16, 2011

While Millie's Away, A Week In The Life Of Elise - Monday

This is a week long series detailing a typical week during Elise's life, while Millie is at school.


Today Elise woke up with me, and had two pieces of peanut butter and sugar toast, two bowls of applesauce with cinnamon, and a big glass of milk.  Hungry girl!  Of course, she left the crusts...

After breakfast, she tugged on my leg a lot while I made our grocery list.  When I was finally done, we went for a walk (my typical 30 minute loop up to the Capital grounds, or The Castle, as Elise calls it).  When we were almost done, I let Elise out to pick dandelions:

Next, we were going to go to the grocery store, but the battery in our car is dead (?!), so there will be no grocery shopping today.

Instead, Elise washed the beautiful chunk of concrete rock she found on our walk, on the balcony while I made lunch.

Elise is interested in the alphabet, counting, and nursery rhymes right now, so before nap today I gave her 3 story choices.  She chose Dr. Seuss's ABC.

I love nap time.  Today I washed and folded the laundry, cleaned the bathroom, and picked stuff off the floors throughout the house, balanced the checkbook, paid bills, and made plans with my sister for this weekend.  Then, showered, drank coffee, and read my favorite blogs!

Elise is up now, watching Curious George.  When it's over, I imagine we'll play blocks until Millie comes home. 

That's a typical Monday in the wonderful world of Elise!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Amazing Cinnamon Rolls

After searching, trying, failing, and searching some more, I finally found a recipe for perfect cinnamon rolls.  I like that the dough isn't made with butter OR sugar!!  Here's a link to the recipe, the text for the recipe, and a picture of my rolls :)  (Next time I'll use a bigger baking pan.  They got a little squished.  Live and learn)

PPM: amazing cinnamon rolls

(This is copied directly from Jenny's website, Planner Perfect Meals.  It's an awesome resource)

Makes two loaves of white bread.

Combine in mixer:
3 cups warm water
2 pkgs. Of yeast
2 tbsp. Honey or sugar

Let your yeast dissolve and proof in your mixer, about 5 minutes.
While waiting, in large bowl combine:

7 cups of flour
¾ cup of dry milk
¼ cup bran
¼ wheat germ

Combine in mixer bowl on medium speed for 3 minutes:
4 tsp. Salt with 3 cups of flour mixture
When mixing is complete:
Add 2 tbsp. Vegetable oil with 3 more cups flour

Incorporate on medium speed, adding any remaining flour until it forms a soft ball. On floured surface, place your bread dough on the counter, and using the heel of the palm of your hand, knead the dough. Turning the dough each time to form a smooth ball, adding more flour if needed. Put into a greased bowl and cover with clean dishtowel. Let rise until doubled, about one hour. Punch down and let rise again for ½ hour.

Turn oven on to 350 degrees.

Punch down dough and lay on floured surface. Roll out dough until it is about 1/4 inch thick. It should be tall and wide for rolling. Spread about 1/2 stick softened butter on the rolled dough. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Begin with the dough that is closest to you and begin rolling up making tight rolls. Take your hands and work your way to the ends to ensure you stay even with your dough until the end. Once rolled up, make sure you pinch the dough end to the roll to keep tight and sealed.

Spray a non-stick baking sheet and set aside. With a serrated knife cut the cinnamon log into 1/4 inch pieces and place on baking sheet. I keep mine all snug in the baking sheet and let rise until risen, about 20 minutes.

Bake in the oven for for 15-20 minutes until baked through and golden brown.

To make the vanilla icing:
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tbs. vanilla extract
Combine in a large bowl and whisk until thick and creamy.
When rolls come out of the oven, spread thick icing all over the rolls. Don't even wait a second...dig in!

***Note:  I don't have a mixer, I used my regular hand mixer with the spiral-looking dough attachments***