Monday Randomness for Tuesday: Trip to MI and a New Cook Book Giveaway

Well we got back Saturday night from our trip to MI to visit my husband’s family.

We had a great time.

And it was my first long trip with my stepsons.

After the first four hours in the first of our  two 14 hour car rides, I started making mental notes of funny things that were said in the car.

“Jacob, don’t put your foot in your brother’s ear.”

“Don’t mash my bladder.”

“Did the roof bag just fall off the top of the car?”

“Only 7 more hours to go.” (insert sarcastic tone)

The list could go on and on.

We laughed  a lot.

Anyway, this was my first grown up trip to Michigan so I did lots of firsts.

A few of my favorites were the Meijer Gardens, a boat cruise on Lake Michigan (which I swear looks like the ocean!), and lots of shopping of course.

I picked up a new cookbook in Holland, MI called Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Recipes.


It’s my new favorite. I have already made two recipes from it, and I am loving it.

No weird canned soups or processed ingredients.

Just simple slow cooker recipes using mostly whole ingredients.

I purchased the book “for two,” but her other cookbooks look great too.

I love the one “for two” because the recipes are in small quantities unlike most crock pot recipes.

And I love it so much I am going to give one away this week.

But first let me bore you with some vacation pictures.


Someone was kind enough to give us free tickets to the Creation Museum in Hebron, Kentucky (right outside Cincinnati) so on our way to MI we stopped for about 4 hours to visit the museum.

Honestly, I was blown away. One of the nicest museums I have been too in a long time.

And we all agreed that Noah in the Ark exhibit looked a lot like Phil from Duck Dynasty.

If you ever have the chance you need to go visit it.

Well worth the time and money.

If you are interested, here is the website link.

Then we finished the last 7 hours on the road and spent the next 8 days with family.

Kalamazoo River/Lake Michigan boat cruise
River meet Lake
Oval Beach, Lake Michigan
We did a little pond fishing in the country
Transparent Apples (an old Danish variety)
Meijer Gardens
Cocoa Tree (no it’s not lemons, I asked :)

As we strolled through the desert plant exhibit, the kids spotted meercat sculptures and said, “Hey look it’s Poppi.”

The resemblance is uncanny:)

Meercat Chihuahua

Fly Fishing in the Muskegon River

Okay, on to the giveaway.

I will giveaway one cookbook from the Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker series on Thursday.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below or on my blog facebook page. 

I will randomly select one winner on Thursday morning and the winner can select the cookbook of their choice.

One entry per day.

You can enter until Wednesday July 24th at 8 pm.

Your email address will be kept private. No spam. I promise.


33 thoughts on “Monday Randomness for Tuesday: Trip to MI and a New Cook Book Giveaway

  1. Oh I would love a healthier crock pot cookbook. I can’t do most of the canned and processed stuff. :) Oh now for all the wonderful MI stuff…….yes the lakes it is like the ocean, you can see your feet in the water, it is beyond peaceful, the sand and sand dunes are amazing, and the pond :0 oh girl we all grew up swimming and fishing in them. My best friend had a huge willow tree by their pond. We would run jump swing on a long branch and drop in the water. So glad you had fun and saw so many things and yes so much of it I miss dearly!! Tell Joe sometime he has to take you to Sleeping Bear Dunes…….it is just amazing. I’ll stop now :)

  2. We have downsized to two in our home–would love some help with downsizing the food portions as well! Btw, love your blog, Rene!

  3. I have crockpotted for 31+ years and will never stop! It saved us from going hungry in small children/get home from work years and cannot say enough reasons WHY anyone should be using one..or two! Lol
    Could probably make a cookbook myself but always on the hunt for others ideas

  4. Looks like a good new cookbook. We will be driving to MI later this summer. Those transparent apples make the very best applesauce ever. Sometimes you can find them up around Ashville.

  5. I have a cat who does the “meerkat” thing. It’s always so cute!

    And, I would love the crockpot cookbook. I’m always looking for new slow cooker ideas.

  6. Beautiful pictures! I love using my crock pot and the ‘for two’ version of the cookbook would be perfect for hubby and me. :)

  7. Hi Rene’! I am came over from Young House Love after seeing a comment you left there. I would love to win the cookbook! You had me at “no cans of condensed soup!” Healthy, whole foods prepared in a crock pot sound like a match made in my kitchen-heaven. :)

  8. I look forward to reading your column every week. It is always light and cheery and full of good information.

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