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October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween

 Happy Halloween! 
The best excuse to dress up your dog.
Love: Ken, Kait and Peugeot

October 20, 2015

Drinking the Kool-aid

I am falling in love with Minnesota and bought a cute shirt to prove it. Today marks three weeks since our move and I can confidently say we are completely unpacked and settled in. With the extra free time I've had since moving in, I have been exploring Minneapolis and getting to know the city. As I try to familiarize myself with Minneapolis and the culture here, I've created stereotypes to help me explain to Michigan friends what this city is all about.

Here's a list of my first impressions / stereotypes of Minneapolis:

1. Walk / Run the Lakes: Find a local lake and walk or run it daily.
-As I explore the lakes around Minneapolis, there is one thing always in common, there is constantly people walking around these lakes at all times of the day. The walking paths here are completely designated to walkers / runners so you don't have to worry about for bikers, skaters, rollerbladers, etc. passing you. So be sure to walk or run in a beautiful, peaceful lakes.
*Minneapolis was voted #5 Most Walkable City in the U.S.

2. Bike Everywhere: Take advantage of the incredible bike-friendly city.
- You truly don't need a car in this city because of the interact and well-designed city bike system. You can get anywhere in the city quickly and safely by biking to it. Since I moved here, I have spent more time learning the bike lanes than the highways because of how thought-out this bike system / bike community is. Invest in a great city bike, you will use it every day.
*Minneapolis was voted #2 Most Bike-Friendly City in the U.S.

3. Must Love Beer: Drink local and drink often.
-Leaving Grand Rapids, A.K.A 'Beer City USA' I thought I was leaving behind some of the best breweries in the states. However, the beer scene here is quite a bit better than Grand Rapids' beer scene. There are many local breweries here and they are so damn good! The only down fall is they are always packed. But, the delicious brews are always worth the wait.

4. Eat Out: It's funny, when I ask locals what their favorite thing to do around Minneapolis, they will simply say, 'eating'. Going to local eateries is more than just a means of survival here, it's a way of life. But hey, how can I blame them? The streets here are lined with local restaurants and there is even a famous street called, Eat Street properly named for the numerous local eateries. Ken and I have designated every Tuesday night to Date Night so we can eat our way through Minneapolis.

5. Wear Active Wear: If you're a lady, active wear is your daily outfit.
- Minneapolis is filled with the active-outdoorsy type of folks. It's great to see everyone so out and about. Before the move, I did see Minneapolis was voted the healthiest city in the U.S. Must be because of stereotype 1 and 2. Regardless if these gals here are always as active as they look, they are always dressed for the occasion. I will let this video sum up the rest for you.

6. Find a Good Group of Friends: Rule number one, find a good group of friends before you hunker down for winter.
-I have obviously not yet experienced a Minnesota winter, but from what it sounds like, you will need a core group of friends to survive the bitter cold winters. I am slightly worried about this considering how close to winter we moved here. I am working hard to find this group.

7. Join a Co-Op: Your fancy grocery store and club all in one.
-I didn't know what a Co-Op was when I moved here, but seeing them all over the place I had to ask my real estate agent for the deets. Turns out, it's like a locally-sourced Cost-Co where you have to pay a yearly fee but you're shopping local and joining a network / group by shopping there. Along with fresh, locally-sourced food, you get to meet locals and do events with them at your Co-Op. I'm sold on the idea and think I am going to join one soon.

Those are my stereotypes so far. Either way, I think I fit in pretty well and am loving being a Minneapolis Local.

Adorable Minnesota Shirt:
Primp Boutique: Locals Love

October 18, 2015

Farmhouse Hard Cider

Today, Ken and I took the van to Minnesota's original farmhouse hard cidery, Sweetland Orchard. It's a quaint and quiet family run orchard made perfectly for adults (and dogs). The craft cider is a delicious blend of homegrown apples that is smooth / balanced without the sugary residue that ciders can leave in your mouth. Sweetland has been voted a top hard cider here in Minnesota and their ciders are featured on tap at many Minneapolis fine drinking establishments - it defiantly didn't disappoint us.
We walked the orchard and enjoyed hard cider & donuts without the crowds and chaos orchards typically bring and fell in love with a new family of ciders. It was a peaceful afternoon for the three of us and our first true family outing together since the move. Truly, a perfect afternoon getaway!

October 15, 2015

A Sudden Burst of Inspiration

Maybe it's because of the move or maybe because I have too much time on my hands but I am all of a sudden inspired to do more, learn more, read more, see more, blog more and so much more! As F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote: "Life starts all over when it gets crisp in the fall",  perhaps this is the fuel of my sudden inspiration. All I know is I want to enjoy the last of my free time before my new job starts and I fall back into a routine and don't have the time to do this.

Here is a list of my current inspirations:

1. Cleanse - You forget about how much sh*t you have until you have to unpack and place all this sh*t somewhere. It is a goal to simplify my life and rid my new home of the 'things' I don't need.

2. Read Every Night - Before I fall asleep at night I have a terrible habit of searching on Instagram or Pinterest and feel I waste so much time doing this. I would love to disconnect a bit and read more. I know this will be a healthy habit that will help me grow, learn and open my mind.

3. Cooking and Cook Books - Pinterest has totally changed the cooking game and I miss pulling recipes and ideas out of a cook book. It is my goal to cook more and try many different recipes and get out of the typically meal rotation that we are used to. I know Ken will love this too!

4. Paint - I want to start exploring a new type of art - something I haven't really tried before. I think oil painting is absolutely beautiful and and I would love to start here. My brother is a talented artist and loves to paint. Looks like I will be calling him for tips and ideas so I can get started.

5. Explore - I couldn't think of a better time to explore this city and state with the beautiful fall colors and without the crowds. I have made a list of all I want to see, eat and explore before I go back to work. I need to get moving on this one before it gets too cold.

6. Tighten Up - I'm ready to get back into a workout routine and drop the extra pounds I gained while I was eating out every night during my weeks of being homeless, traveling, living out of hotels and unpacking.

Let's hope the inspiration stays and that I follow through with all this.

October 12, 2015

Duluth and Confused

1, 2, 3! Yes, three lighthouses within feet of each other and a really cool bridge to top it off. My time in Duluth was too short but I did enjoy the time I was there. The city was much bigger than I had expected so I didn't leave myself enough time for exploration. I did, however make it to the bridge in time to watch a freighter trigger the bridge and see this iconic part of Duluth in motion.

Can't wait to go back to Duluth with Ken to sample the eateries and breweries and to see all Duluth has to offer. Duluth Part II coming soon!

October 11, 2015

Chasing Waterfalls

Only a few miles south of Split Rock Lighthouse, you will run into Gooseberry Falls State Park. This park provides you the freedom to walk and explore on your own, instead of ropes and paths that we are all accustomed to at state parks. I spent my time here walking along the falls and pools to get the best shot possible of the 5 cascading waterfalls. Had it been warmer out, I may have gone for a little swim. :) I brought Peugeot along with me to the falls and he spent him time walking in the water and drinking from the pools. We had a blast! This was a beautiful stop and a must see if you are "up north" in Minnesota.

October 10, 2015

Split Rock Lighthouse

So, I got a little restless and ditched my home full of tightly packed boxes and chaos to do a little exploring. Over the next three days I am going to breakdown my first trip "up north" and show you how you too can accomplish all these activities in one day.

As if I wasn't already in love with Minnesota  this mini road trip made me most excited about the beauty Minnesota has to offer and for upcoming adventures we will take.

Split Rock Lighthouse
About 200 miles north of Minneapolis in Two Harbors, MN lies the most breathtaking lighthouse I have ever seen. Located on a cliff of Lake Superior lies America's most visited lighthouse, Split Rock Lighthouse.

This lighthouse is a National Historic Landmark and a must see if you visit the state. It costs $9 to take a stroll on the grounds and climb circular stairs to the top of the lighthouse, but the views from the top are priceless. After your lighthouse visit, follow the guided hiking trail down to the shore of Lake Superior and see the lighthouse from a new perspective. It is so quiet and peaceful along the rocky beach and views are simply breathtaking.

Not sure if these photos do it justice, but here are a few of my favorites.

October 9, 2015

Minnehaha Falls

You may have seen a sneak peak on my Instagram feed of this beautiful waterfall in my backyard but I had to do a full blog post to show you how pretty it really is. Just outside downtown Minneapolis, south of the city lies a 53 foot urban waterfall. Surrounding the falls is a lovely park that you can spend hours in walking along the Minnehaha Creek and enjoying the vibrant fall colors.

Also in the park is a small seafood cafe that will blow your mind! It's called Sea Salt and has the best Mahi Tacos, other delicious seafood and local Minneapolis brews. If I go missing, come find me here! 

Check out this urban waterfall and remind me to take you here when you visit.

October 8, 2015

Window of Opportunity

Well, we made it! We're finally here in the Twin Cities and doing our best to settle in, unpack and get to know our new neighborhood. It's been just over a week since the big move and our home to still in shambles. I forgot how hard it is to move... The worst part about it is the fall weather has been perfect here in the city, and I am stuck inside all day working.

Otherwise, so far everything is going great. And to top it all off, I landed the best job in this whole city! I am most fortunate for this opportunity and cannot wait to get started. Life is good for Ken and I right now - Minneapolis has been so good to us. Feeling most blessed and grateful at this time.

Stay tuned for upcoming adventures I have up my sleeve!