Like a Virgin: Camping for the Very First Time

Like a Virgin: Camping for the Very First Time

I am an ‘indoor’ girl. As much as I like to imagine myself as being one with nature, I have definitely been conditioned (or conditioned myself) to be more in tune with modern comforts and amenities like food delivery, air conditioning, and flushing toilets. So, when our good friends, Dan and Ruthann, broached the subject of a group camping trip last year, I was hesitant to say the least; though, Logan had been slowly priming that pump for years. “Maybe you would like camping…”

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Kayaking Adventures: The Maiden Voyage

While it is currently 10 degrees outside, and the snow is knee-high, Logan and I can’t help but reflect on warmer times and our amazing summer. Here’s a look back at last spring, when the snow was gone, and we took our newly purchased kayaks on their maiden voyage…


It was late April, the ice was out, we had our gear, and it was 70+ degrees outside.
Let’s do this!

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Home Garden – Take One: Raised Bed on a Budget

I have always wanted to have a vegetable garden, but until our current house, I have always been a renter or lived in a condo. And since moving away for college, I have rarely stayed anywhere for more than a year.

Our current house is on a wooded lot with several large, old oak trees, which is lovely, but means shade. Lots and lots of shade.

There is one spot on the side of our house that gets more than six hours of sustained sun. Our first summer here, I planted a single Ghost Pepper plant straight into the ground which produced enough fruit for me to spice up all my food for a couple months and make about a year’s worth of pepper jam. This year, I thought I’d go further and build a raised bed so we could finally have a real garden.

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Octo Fish Bar

Octo Fish Bar

Superb seafood in landlocked St. Paul!

We don’t often splurge on extravagant date nights, but every once in a while, a special occasion or celebration marks the perfect time for some Twin Cities seafood! The Octo Fish Bar, located in the Lowertown neighborhood of St. Paul, has literally been on our eating wish list since before we left Colorado, and it did not disappoint.

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Fitger’s 5k 2019

Fitger’s 5k is an annual race in Duluth, MN. In 2018, it was on the list of races (USATF MN Team Circuit) in which my team competes. I assumed nothing would change in 2019 so I reserved us a room at Fitgers Inn over 6 months in advance thinking I’d hit two birds with one stone: I could participate in one of the team races for the year whilst Britt and I would get a little weekend trip to Duluth.

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Kayaking Adventures: Getting Started… in Winter?

Logan is a mountain boy. He loves the challenge of scaling a steep trail to the inevitable payoff of a spectacular panoramic view at the top. We knew when we agreed to leave Colorado that trading the mountains for flat land would present more than just a change of scenery. In Colorado Springs the mountains were literally at our doorstep. By leaving the endless miles of readily accessible hiking trails, we lost our most prevalent physical activity. And while there are parks and walking trails galore in the Twin Cities and beyond, Logan does not consider ‘walking’ and ‘hiking’ to be the same thing, and thus began the search for a new hobby.

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O’Gara’s 2019: One Year of Twin Cities Running

O’Gara’s 2019: One Year of Twin Cities Running

In March, when the snow is just starting to think about melting, the road running race season officially kicks off. USA Track and Field (USATF) Minnesota race teams compete in a series of races starting in Spring with O’Gara’s 8k and ending with the Twin Cities Marathon’s shorter option, the Twin Cities 10 Mile.

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That Damn Rainbow Bridge

I realize as a woman how lucky I am. I was there when that wonderful creature drifted into my life and I was there when she drifted out. It was the most precious moment of my life.

M’Lynn, Steel Magnolias

TISSUE ALERT! I may have used a tissue or two while writing this post… you have been warned. Also, this post talks in terms of ‘dogs,’ but these ideas are really interchangeable with any animal who has captured your heart: cats, guinea pigs, iguanas… we love them all the same.


Elderly dogs can be gross. (Puppies are gross too, but for different reasons.) Now when I say they are gross, it doesn’t mean I love them any less, but they do tend to develop that old dog smell, weird skin growths, and icky teeth. They tend to need expensive medication and food, more potty breaks, and have more potty accidents in the house.

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The Tea House

From 2013-2014 I taught English in Changsha, the capital city of Hunan Province in China, through an organization called WorldTeach. Hunan has a rich culinary tradition and, as with the rest of China, food is an extremely important part of daily social life. Everything is eaten family style, which is great for trying a huge amount of different dishes. Ironically, during my time, you know what I couldn’t find to eat? Anything you’d order off a menu in an American Chinese restaurant.

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