A New Take on a Classic Family Dinner: Mom’s Mexican Lasagna

Happy Cinco de Mayo tomorrow everyone! I hope you have the opportunity to celebrate the rich culture and heritage of Mexico. Perhaps I’ll be able to sneak in a little siesta. ūüėÄ This week I wanted to make something delicious and easy not just for Cinco de Mayo but for any day. I wasn’t sure what to do so I did what I always do. Called my mom and asked for her opinion. My mom is the best cook I know. I might be biased, but she did¬†have¬†her own catering business. Just saying, seriously delicious family dinners. She is amazing¬†and so generously sharing one of her recipes: Mexican lasagna.

Mom's Mexican Lasagna

This is seriously simple and delicious. Full of cheesy goodness and not spicy for all those true Minnesotans like myself. Using tortillas instead of noodles is brilliant. This recipe is fantastic for dinner, whether it’s Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, or Tuesday.

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Gift Ideas for Your Christmas List

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you are having a fantastic day with family and friends. While you enjoy delicious food, you might already be planning your Christmas shopping. I try to avoid the crazy crowds on Black Friday and shopping on Thanksgiving is not an option. That’s why I enjoy online shopping so much. No near crashes or parking lot mayhem. Heartland America is a great place to start your online shopping. While I was planning my list, I put together some gift ideas for your Christmas list.

First of all, I’m sure you have some kids of all age who have electronics on their wishlist.
Playtek Quadcopter Drone with WiFi and Camera, Dell Duo-Core 14″ Laptop Computer, iLive DVD Player/Boombox, Bell+Howell Cinema HD Digital Camcorder, Fisher 37″ Surround Sound Bar

Remote control drones are still a hot gadget, and they keep getting better and better. This quadcopter from Playtek comes with a control to plug a smartphone into. So you can experience the flight right from your iPhone¬ģ or Android¬ģ.

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Sweet Potato Muffins with Toasted Marshmallow Icing Recipe

Thanksgiving is just one week away, and I’m so excited. It’s always lovely to gather with friends and family to enjoy the day. When the extended family gets together, it’s a big group. Everyone brings a dish or two to share. This year all of the main dishes have been assigned so I decided to make a dessert. But I still wanted the dessert to be inspired by Thanksgiving. Sweet potato casserole is a¬†Thanksgiving essential on many tables, especially in the south. Taking that as my inspiration, I created a delicious and unexpected dessert that everyone will enjoy: sweet potato muffins with toasted marshmallow icing.

sweet-potato-muffins-with-marshmallow-icing

The mellow sweetness of the sweet potato is a perfect harvest flavor. The slightly toasted marshmallow adds a bit of sweet whimsy to these muffins. There have already been rave reviews from my family for these sweet potato muffins. I am certain they will be a big hit at any Thanksgiving gathering.

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Warm and Cozy Products for the Coming Winter Chill

October just flew past, and it’s nearly November. It has officially turned chilly out. Perhaps more than chilly as the weather heads toward the frigid cold of Minnesota winter. Frankly it’s more frightening that winter is nearly here than the fact that Halloween is just a few days away. While I’m prepared for Halloween, I’m not as prepared for winter. Here in Minnesota you do have to actually prepare for winter. Blizzards are not uncommon on Halloween, so I checked out¬†Heartland America to put together a great assortment of products to keep you warm and cozy this winter.

A winter coat is an essential in style and warmth when the cold weather hits.

Coats and Jackets to Keep You Nice and Warm
Womens Leather Coat, Men’s Remington Peacoat, Hawke & CO Black Down Puffer Jacket, Hawke & CO Navy Blue Down Puffer Jacket, Hawke & CO Loden Green Down Puffer Jacket, Womens Genuine Tan Suede Leather Coat, Men’s Sherpa Lined Denim Jacket

There is nothing more classic than leather coat. This Black Leather Coat by Vintage Leather is tailored from fine napa leather. It also has diamond quilted lining for warmth and comfort. You should have at least one leather coat, and this one is stylish and cozy.

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Monster Trick or Treat Bag DIY for a Kid Friendly Halloween

Halloween is right around the corner. I hope your family’s costumes are ready for trick or treating. I was thinking of a cute way for kids to collect candy. Many people use those plastic pumpkins, but those are just asking to be spilled all over the road. I want to avoid the tears and candy carnage; so I decided to make a better treat bag.¬†Your kids will love feeding candy to this friendly monster treat bag, and it is perfect for keeping candy safely inside.

monster-treat-bag-diy

This treat bag is cheap, easy, and quick to make. You can even involve the kids in making this little cutie. But I recommend you apply the hot glue for obvious reasons. ūüôā This also makes a¬†great kids project for a Halloween party.

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Enjoy Memorial Day with a Scavenger Hunt

It feels like summer has already arrived here in Minnesota, but the unofficial start of summer is this weekend, Memorial Day! While I can’t wait to enjoy the day off with my family, I know it’s important to remember the true meaning of this important American holiday.

What started as Decoration Day after the Civil War didn’t become Memorial Day¬†officially until after World War II to¬†honor all the fallen men and women of America’s Armed Forces. In cemeteries all across the nation, graves will be decorated with flowers and flags to honor those who gave everything to protect the freedom we all enjoy. Flags will also fly at half-staff to remember the sacrifice of those brave soldiers and raised at noon to remind us all that it’s up to us to make sure that their sacrifice wasn’t for nothing.

While this is a sobering holiday, it’s also important to enjoy the freedom that American soldiers have been protecting for over 230¬†years. Awesome¬†parades and family fun will be happening¬†all over America. ¬†Even if you don’t have a big parade near you, it’s always great to get outside with your family. Have a picnic,¬†play some games, and enjoy the day off.

If you need an idea for a fun Memorial Day activity to do with your family, why not have a scavenger hunt?

I have¬†two scavenger hunt options for you. ūüôā

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Road Trip Essentials for Traveling with Kids

Summer’s nearly here, and that means it’s time to plan for…road trips! I have many fond memories of road trips, mostly heading up to the north shore of Minnesota on Lake Superior. This is a nice three hour road trip, but my family has also made the big road trips to places like Yellowstone National Park and Orlando, Florida. Those trips involve at least a couple of days when you have kids in tow.

Family road trips can be wonderful, but also quite challenging with kids. But planning ahead and being prepared can make all the difference to make your travel time as smooth as possible. I want to share with you some of my tips and tricks for surviving the long car ride together.

Road Trip Essentials for traveling with Kids

Long or short road trips can be tough on kids, but these easy and inexpensive tips can make the time pass as smoothly as possible.

First things first, make the car as comfortable as you can.

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DIY Backyard Scrabble

Although the weather has turned a bit chilly here in Minnesota, spring is coming…I just know it! So despite the cooler temperatures, I want to keep¬†the outdoor theme going with a DIY to enjoy in the backyard with family and friends. Honestly I would love to have a huge chess board in my yard with four foot tall pieces, but I don’t know where I would put it. But the idea did direct me to other games that could possibly¬†be enlarged for outdoor fun. I saw an awesome backyard Yahtzee game, but my family is more into word games than dice games. So a big¬†backyard Scrabble¬†set is¬†the perfect DIY project.

It turned out great and the tiles weren’t difficult to make just time consuming. You need¬†100 Scrabble tiles for a game so this turned into a weekend project.

I’ve seen some backyard Scrabble sets out of ceramic tile, but I decided to make the Scrabble tiles out of wood fiber board for a couple of reasons. First, wood fiber is much lighter than tile so it’s much easier to play with. Also the wood fiber tiles won’t break as easily as ceramic, which makes them much more kid friendly. They are also cheaper to make. But you will need some workshop tools to make these wood Scrabble tiles.

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Ideas for Enhancing Your Backyard

Hello Spring! Ok, so spring officially started March 20th, but it’s really starting to feel like spring here. This means that it’s time for spring cleaning my home inside and out. I’m really looking forward to enjoying the outdoors, especially my backyard.

But before I can really enjoy the outdoors, the weather needs to warm up a bit more, and my backyard needs some enhancing to make it the oasis that I want to enjoy all summer long. I’m hoping to make it not only a relaxing sanctuary but also make it great for entertaining. I might also need some new tools for cleaning up my yard.

After looking through HeartlandAmerica.com, I have found some great things to make any backyard a beautiful and fun oasis that can be enjoyed all spring and summer. If you’ve got spring fever as well and hope to enhance your backyard, I hope this will inspire your backyard dreams.

The person who will be spending the most time in your backyard is you, so why not make it into your personal oasis?

Create a Tranquil Backyard Oasis
Portable Sprinkler System, Collapsible Rain Barrel, Coach Style Solar Lights Р2 pack, Green and White 15ft. Privacy Netting

Keep both your lawn and garden green with a portable sprinkler system. You can move it around to the places you need and each sprinkler head has an adjustable spray so you can water plants: from shrubs to tiny seedlings.

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Happy Thanksgiving from Home with Heartland

If you wish to make your own word art head over to Tagul.com

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you are spending today surrounded by family and friends enjoying this wonderful holiday.

I would like to take a moment to share some of the things that we are thankful for here at Heartland America. I asked my co-workers and here are some of their responses:

“I’m thankful for my beautiful children and grandchildren. Also for all of the dogs and horses on this planet. They make life worth living.”

“I am thankful for having a job and waking up every morning to a wonderful family.”

“Everyday is a gift. I’m thankful for friends and family and the time I got to spend on this earth with my parents who are now in heaven.”

“I am thankful for my job.”

“I am thankful that we still have our freedoms and live in America where we can still say “God bless you” and raise our children according to our beliefs.”

“I am thankful for my amazing wife and beautiful 8 month old healthy baby girl celebrating her 1st Thanksgiving.”

“I am very thankful I still have my mom and family. I am thankful I get to meet my fiance’s brother and family that is coming up for Thanksgiving since their mom passed away few years ago and see family all reunited.

Ps. I am also thankful that¬†everyone can get together as a family and celebrate good memories and time together.”

I want to thank everyone who contributed!

What I am thankful for? I have so many blessings to to grateful for this Thanksgiving: my wonderful family, my awesome friends, my sweet kitty, and the amazing job that lets me bring this blog to you.

I also want to thank you, our readers and customers. You make what we do possible. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

All of us here¬†at Heartland America wish you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving and safe travels whether it’s across the country or across the street.

Please let me know what you are thankful for by leaving a comment. Remember you are always welcome at Home with Heartland.