Giveaway Archives - Why I Left My Job

Adults Only Night at the Minnesota Children’s Museum + Ticket Giveaway

{I am an ambassador for the Minnesota Children’s Museum, and I received two complimentary tickets to the event in addition to two complimentary tickets to share with one of you. All opinions about the museum are 100% my own. Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you!}

What was your favorite thing to play as a kid? When I watch my kids play in the backyard with their friends, I can’t help but feel nostalgic as I think back to my childhood days. I lived in a neighborhood that had five or six families with kids all around the same age on one block, so we would spend our weekends and evenings playing kickball in the street and running from one yard to the next. I remember some of those moments like it was yesterday. I can feel the warmth of the late-afternoon sun on my cheeks, the gravel in my knee after a trip and fall, and the stickiness of a Popsicle that had melted and dripped down my arm. I can taste the salt of my tears when I was upset that it was time to go inside for dinner. I can hear the steady squeaks of the neighbor’s swing set and a barking dog. I can see the faces of my childhood friends, their houses, and the chain-link fences that separated our yards. And now I watch my kids play with their friends outside, and I am thankful that they get to have this experience too because those years on Banfil Street with the neighbor kids were some of my favorite childhood days.

Do you still enjoy playing? Do you still make time to play? I think it’s safe to assume that we all work hard. Whether you have a job to support your family or you stay at home to support your family, we all work hard. We have many tasks on our to-do lists, and the lists never seem to get shorter. Our lives are scheduled. We have meetings, activities, drop-off and pick-up times, events, family gatherings, birthday parties, sports games, etc. It’s difficult to make time to play, and sometimes it feels like we have to try to pencil in playtime with our own kids. “Sorry kids, mom can’t play right now because she has to make dinner.” You know how it goes. Sometimes we stare at the clock while we are playing with our kids wondering how much longer we have until it’s time to switch the load of laundry from the washer to dryer. Even when we do have time to play, it’s not always easy to feel relaxed enough to play without worrying about all of our adult responsibilities.

Wouldn’t it be great to take a break from adulting to play for a whole evening? Wouldn’t it be fun to do this with your best friend, your spouse, or a group of friends? Play is important for kids, but it’s important for adults too. We can get so caught up in what we have to do and easily forget that we are not tethered to work. One reason why I love the Minnesota Children’s Museum so much is because the exhibits encourage parents to engage in a variety of playful activities with their kids. The museum gives adults a space to imagine, tinker, and create right alongside their children. And while I have always visited the museum with my children, I am super excited that the museum is offering an adults-only night coming up on September 28th!  Let me clarify, the event is 21+ because there will also be adult beverages available at the event!

The Adults@Play 21 + Museum Takeover event will feature a cash bar, interactive improve with The Theater of Public Policy, and make-and-take art projects with Can Can Wonderland. And of course, guests will get to explore the museum without having to keep track of their kids because the adults get to be the kids for the evening (just don’t forget your socks for the slide)! The event is coming up on Thursday, September 28 from 6 – 10 PM at the Minnesota Children’s Museum in St. Paul. Come and make a date night out of it, or get some friends together to relive some of your favorite childhood memories of playing without a care in the world!

You can purchase tickets for the event here. I am also giving away TWO FREE TICKETS to the event, so make sure you enter the giveaway below! I’m going with my college roommate, and we are so looking forward to a night out! I hope to see you there too!


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Minnesota Transportation Museum + Family Admission Giveaway


Sunshine. Sweet, glorious sunshine and warmth. Oh, how I have longed for you and the day when I could stuff our winter jackets back in the dark and rarely perused closet where they belong. Oh, sunshine, my muse. I have dirt under my fingernails, my pale legs are exposed, and my children are gleefully running around outside wreaking havoc instead of destroying the inside of our cozy little home. Oh, sunshine, my savior. I haven’t felt this strong and peaceful in months. Welcome back.

My fellow Minnesotans, I know you hear me. I see it in your faces and in the extra hop in your step. Warmer, sunnier days have finally arrived. So tell me, what are you going to do now? Are you getting down and dirty in the garden? Are you scrubbing the grass stains off of your kids’ knees? Are you exploring our city and all of the events, museums, parades, patio dining and trails it has to offer? Do you feel more alive? I certainly do. And now I have a bucket list that is growing faster than I can raise the roof and say, “Holla!”


I love exploring everything St. Paul has to offer with my kiddos, and a couple of weekends ago we finally put our adventure capes on and made a visit to the Minnesota Transportation Museum‘s Jackson Street Roundhouse Museum. Like almost every other kid, my kiddos are fascinated by trains. And like almost every other parent, I am fascinated by anything that grabs my children’s attention for more than five minutes. I didn’t know what to expect during our visit. From the outside, the Jackson Street Roundhouse Museum doesn’t look very big, but as we all know, looks can be deceiving. The roundhouse boasts one of the last few operating turntables of its kind in the entire U.S., visitors are able to walk through locomotives and explore the history of trains in our city and country, and children have the opportunity to interact with many of the exhibits and stare in awe at the amazing train models chugging around the tracks.


My children spent most of their time playing at the train tables and walking through the old locomotives pretending to be conductors in the museum. Riding the caboose was one of my favorite things to do during our visit, especially since I’ve always wanted to take my kiddos on a train ride. Although my son was extra spritely during the 10 minute ride, it was still relaxing to look out the window and see some other trains up close. If you plan on visiting the museum, please note that caboose rides are only offered on Saturdays. The museum also offers classic bus rides on Saturdays, taking visitors on a tour of Saint Paul. On most Saturdays, food trucks are also available at the museum so guests may fill their bellies during their adventures.


Visitors of the Jackson Street Roundhouse are certainly able to explore the many exhibits the museum has to offer, but guests are also encouraged to check out tours of workers restoring historic rail cars in the shop. Danielle, the outreach coordinator for the Minnesota Transportation Museum, gave us a tour and it is pretty amazing to see what goes into restoring these locomotives. My kids were in awe of the size of some of the tools that are used.

Visiting the Jackson Street Roundhouse is truly an adventure for the whole family. During our visit, I had a chance to chat with Danielle and learn more about all of the work the museum is doing to make their exhibits more interactive and educational for everyone from little wee ones to train buffs. Currently, the museum offers preschool learning programs to college-level educational programs. In addition, more exciting programs are coming to the museum, including World Art Series, Fly Course Wednesdays, Sunday Sessions and a bicycling program.

The World Art Series, which is scheduled to begin in May, will feature local artists who will perform and lead workshops for children and adults who are interested in dance and music from American, European and Latin American cultures. Toward the end of May, the museum will be turned into a paper airplane obstacle course for Fly Course Wednesdays. Local musicians are invited to “busk” in the museum for Sunday Sessions. The museum will offer a “café” setting for those who want to enjoy a cup of coffee and entertainment during their visit. For those who are interested in performing on Sundays, please contact Danielle at for more information. The bicycling program will offer bicycle safety tips, helmet decorating workshops, and information about local bike trails.


While there are many educational programs and fun events going on at the Jackson Street Roundhouse Museum, one of the most exciting events of the year is coming up next weekend. On Saturday, May 9, the museum is celebrating National Train Day. Visitors will enjoy live entertainment, face painting, blacksmith demos, free vintage bus rides, scavenger hunts, food trucks and many other activities. The museum will also unveil its new exhibit BNSF Railway Legacy –An Illustrated History Tour.

Thanks to the museum, two of you will receive a free family admission pass to the museum to use on National Train Day or any other visit of your choosing. These passes are valid for two adults and up to 4 children (a $35 value). I will notify the two winners immediately so I can mail the passes out to you to use in time for National Train Day. To enter the giveaway, simply click on the Rafflecopter link below:
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My family plans on heading back to the Jackson Street Roundhouse for National Train Day, and I hope to see some of you there!

{Disclosure: The Minnesota Transportation Museum provided me with four Family Admission Passes to give away to readers and to use for my family in exchange for writing this post about the Jackson Street Roundhouse Museum. Pretty sweet, I know. All opinions about the museum are 100% my own, and I am happy to share my family’s experience at the museum with you all.}

Moms Rock! Expo in Minneapolis + 4-Pack Ticket Giveaway



Okay, Twin Cities moms. Let’s face it. We all feel busy. We all feel exhausted. We all feel like there is more we want to do and not enough coffee to consume to do it all in one day. So what do we do? We keep pushing ourselves. Too often we think we can do it all on our own. And not often enough do we mark a “me” day on the calendar to get our hair done, write in a coffee shop, or meet a friend for a glass of wine. We keep pushing ourselves, searching for ways to do it all and to simply have a clean pair of undies for the next day. We push ourselves because we want to do what is best for our kids, we want to make our partners feel whole, we want to have conversations with our people (I’ve been watching too much Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix), and we want to pursue our dreams too.

It’s a lot. We juggle. We rearrange. We keep pushing.

Now, what if you could spend two days learning how to simplify your life here in our lovely state of Minnesota? What if you could spend two days learning about different options to enrich your life and the life of your family? What if you could even spend some time pampering yourself during those two days with a little shopping, fashion advice and lounge time with your besties? Doesn’t this sound pretty fabulous? Yes, yes it does.

So ladies, I am asking you to mark your calendars for the Moms Rock! Expo coming up on May 2nd and May 3rd. Gather some of your friends, your sister or your mom to head to the Minneapolis Convention Center with you, and spend those two days enjoying everything the Moms Rock! Expo has to offer. This two-day event is put on for you to celebrate everything you do as a mom and to give you access to countless tools, advice, resources and tips to enrich your life and to help you to continue giving your family the support they need.

The Moms Rock! Expo was founded by Sharon Smith-Akinsanya, a local Twin Cities mom and entrepreneur. Twin Cities Business Journal has named her one of the “Top 25 Most Influential Women,” and she is committed to helping women achieve their goals while also supporting their families.

This two-day event is jam-packed, ladies. I am especially looking forward to attending Tamera Mowry-Housley’s keynote presentation (any other Sister, Sister fans out there?). There will be several other local and celebrity moms giving presentations, including Lee Woodruff and Lisa Lillien. You will be able to attend panel discussions with topics including how to balance it all, blended families, divorce, money and education. There will certainly be time to shop local vendors and learn more about our local companies. You will even have the opportunity to watch some cooking shows, learn more about technology, and attend make-up demos. Fortunately, this event is kid-friendly so all moms can attend. There will be a Kids Corner that will include story time, face-painting, crafts, video games and other interactive activities for the kiddos.

I’m looking forward to attending this event, and I want to give a big shout-out to the Moms Rock! Expo for providing me with a couple of tickets for simply being a part of the Blogger Promotions Team. And guess what? The Moms Rock! Expo really does rock because they have provided me with four tickets to give away to one of you! Yes ladies, so enter the giveaway below and get your girls lined up for a weekend of fun, valuable information and some pampering to make your life a little easier.

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 {Disclosure: The Moms Rock! Expo provided me with two tickets to attend the event for writing this post. They also provided me with a pack of 4 tickets to give away to one lucky reader. All opinions about this event are 100% my own.}  


Check out the following information to learn more about Moms Rock! Expo and how to purchase your tickets to this event: 

When: May 2nd { 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.} and May 3rd {10 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.}

Location: Minneapolis Convention Center Exhibit Hall D

Purchase tickets here.  



U.S. Bank has teamed up with Moms Rock! Expo to create and sell this exclusive Military Moms Rock! T-Shirt! 100% of the proceeds benefit military families. The goal is to support Operation Shower; an organization that provides baby essentials and organizes group baby showers for expectant moms whose husbands or partners are or will be deployed during the pregnancy.  


Moms Rock! Expo is sponsored by 3M, U.S. Bank, Target, Medtronic, Microsoft, Truvia, KARE 11, myTalk 107.1, TPT and MSP Magazine. MR_Logo_Line_HR  

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