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Showing posts with the label lifestyle

What to do in Duluth, MN for Three Days

Duluth is considered one of Minnesota's most beautiful cities for a reason. Located on Lake Superior, Duluth is a major port city and accessible to ocean vessels via the Great Lakes Waterway. It is home to one of the most scenic lake-front trails in Minnesota and one of it's more recognizable features is the beautiful aerial lift bridge that allows vessels of all sizes into the harbor.

While it continues to be a thriving port city, Duluth saw most of its growth in the late 1800's with iron ore mining. The expansion of the railroad and the boom in lumber kept the city on the map and today its population is estimated at around 86,000 - making it the 4th largest city in the state of Minnesota.

I spent my 30th birthday in Duluth and thus far it's been one of the most enjoyable three-day weekend trips I've ever taken. Everything listed below could easily be fit into a three-day period if you're as ambitious about sightseeing as I am. Otherwise, here are some great …

I Finally Made The Chickpea Stew

The Spiced Chickpea Stew with Coconut and Turmeric went viral earlier this year after it was originally published in the New York Times and I can recall at least five different lifestyle bloggers who made and raved about it.

Being the contrarian that I am, I wasn't one to jump on the bandwagon.

However, with autumn fast approaching and my desire to add to my cooking repertoire suddenly at 100% now that I don't have to worry about any rigid dietary preferences, I figured I would actually give this stew a try and see if I want to keep it on rotation this season.

Spoiler alert: It's pretty amazing.

There are a couple different versions of this floating around the internet, but the linked recipe from Epicurious was the one that made the final cut. D-man (referenced in this post - *wink wink nudge nudge*) was kind enough to pick up some ingredients needed for it on his way over my place last weekend.

I attempted to cast myself as a prep cook, but I'll be honest - I've …

List of Must Read Books This Fall

Autumn is the perfect time to settle down with a book - whether you're in a study hall with a required text or on the front porch with the latest cozy mystery from a beloved series. If you're like me, maybe you don't know what to read this year or your TBR pile is so daunting you'd rather not look at it. Goodreads is a little more forgiving than that stack on my bookshelf, so let's dive right in!

Here are the books that were recommended to me by respected Twitter followers.

House of Salt and Sorrow by Erin A. Craig
"In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls' lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—a…

My Autumn Bucket List

Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost is a favorite poem of mine and while it isn't exactly about autumn, the idea that those things which are perfect and beautiful are also the most fleeting seems fitting. The fall season is with us so briefly and we really only have a few short weeks to make the most of it while the weather is chilly and the leaves are vibrant.

I'm not the most active and outdoorsy person ever, so my Autumn Bucket List is probably nowhere near as exciting as yours might be, but these are a few of the things I would really like to do this year.

Attend a Fall Festival

Minnesota has no shortage of local and themed festivals during the fall months, typically kicked off with the MN State Fair and descending into a whole slew of Oktoberfests. I'd like to attend one this year!

Order a PSL

Ideally, I'd have my Pumpkin Spice Latte from a place that isn't Starbucks. It might be worth a trek back over to East Saint Paul to visit The Goat Coffeehouse.

Buy Scent…

5 Ways To Pamper Yourself This Fall

I am so ready for autumn - you have no idea. But I also recognize that this time of year can be stressful for a lot of people. It's the beginning of the school year, it's the end of the fiscal year and time to balance budgets in a lot of companies, illnesses like the flu ramp up again and Seasonal Affective Disorder rears its ugly head.

Those of you who can't fully enjoy the autumn season have my sympathy. This post is for you.

Well, it's for all of us really, but especially for you! 

Here are 5 relaxing ways you can pamper yourself this fall:

1. Start Dry Brushing

Not only is dry brushing great for exfoliating your skin, it also increases blood flow and stimulates the lymphatic system which can boost your immune system and your mood.

2. Paint Your Nails a Fall Color

Put away the creme polishes and the barely there pink and nude shades, autumn is the time to break out the vampy reds, purples, and blacks. Copper is a good choice for those wanting to stay in neutral territ…

The Indecisive Nature of Libra

Libra is said to be diplomatic, harmonious, and a lover of all things beautiful. They value intelligence, high art, and often have refined taste. Curiously, they are the only sign represented by an inanimate object (the scales) and they function best at moments of stable equilibrium or balance.

That's what all these teen magazine astrology sections would have you believe, anyways, and there's probably some truth to it. I'm a Libra after all and while I can't mould myself to 100% of these so-called Libra traits...some of it is pretty spot on.

I try to see all perspectives and analyze or present them fairly. I am the least confrontational person you will ever meet. I have a particular aesthetic I am rather fond of and enjoy surrounding myself with the quirky things I personally find pleasing and yeah, maybe I spend just a little too much on Korean skincare products. 

Here's the thing about air signs though - we're flighty. And we're insanely indecisive. 

Do I …

What I Found Interesting This Wednesday

This is a cop-out of a blog post, I'm aware, but lots of other bloggers I follow and love post some kind of "list of links" piece once a week or I'm hopping back on that bandwagon as well. Because on ocassion I find interesting things I'd like to share and isn't it better to just include a bunch of links and let you peruse them at your leisure?

Thought so.

As I mentally prepare for a third date (Curse of the Third Date is totally a thing, by the way), I find myself wondering what happens if, afterwards, you're still not sure if you're really into a person. I know my issue is that I just take an epically long time to warm up to someone new and get comfortable around them...but how does it work for others?

Do you deal with a lot of anxiety or have a loved one who does? Worrying that your anxiety is a burden on others (or not knowing how to help relieve that burden from an anxious friend) can really add to your stress levels.

Turns ou…

Beer Wall? Beer Wall - Taco Libre Enters The Ring in Saint Paul

Taco Bell ain't got nothing on this place. 

Taco Libre - a fixture over in West Saint Paul - opened up its new location in Lowertown a few months back and when I heard they had a beer wall full of self-serve taps, I had to check it out. Don't get me wrong, I love a good taco place, but I really did come for the beer experience.

Located: Near Wabasha and 5th in downtown Saint Paul
Hours: 10am - 9pm
Menu: Click Here

Brick walls and exposed duct-work don't really set it apart from any other establishment in Saint Paul that's trying to be cool, but Taco Libre made up for the bare bones aesthetic by installing a tap wall with more than 20 options to choose from - much of it craft beer. You can also pour yourself a pint-size Margarita and after a few of those, who's going to complain about the decor?

They have a variety of tacos, burritos, bowls, and something magical called the Machete that I haven't tried yet - you'd have to tag team that monster but I'm game i…

52 Self Discovery Questions - Question #9

9. What's one thing I would like to do more of and why? How can I make that happen?

Since moving to the metro and settling into Saint Paul some three odd years ago, I've been pretty isolated within Saint Paul itself. Granted, there are a lot of fun neighborhoods here and a ton of quirky things to discover and explore - but I haven't seen much of Minneapolis.

And for someone who constantly rips on Minneapolis as the inferior half of the Twin Cities, I think I owe it to myself (and my Saint Paul neighbors) to know precisely what it is I'm defending them against.

Thus, one thing I'd like to do more of this summer (and year, really) is experience some of Minneapolis. I want to check out neighborhoods I normally wouldn't have bothered with. I'd like a tour of establishments that have never been on my radar. I want to compare their green spaces with our (better) ones. I want good reasons to take the Green Line past Snelling Ave.

If you're not local - shame, y…

Welcome to The Mystifying World of Modern Dating

Truth be told, I have no idea why I did this
To set the scene: I had recently gotten out of my last long-term relationship and was finally moving out to start my life anew on my own terms. My ex and I were on (mostly) good terms, still operating as friends and giving each other life advice (and maybe a little dating advice) so it felt like a good time to test out the dating app scene. He'd been perusing the waters of Bumble and Tinder, but I wanted to see for myself just how strange and difficult this land of online dating really was.

The Experiment:

The first dating app I installed was Hinge - their slogan is literally that they are designed to be deleted, they promise lasting results that fast. Within two hours of creating my profile and answering three conversation-hook questions, three different guys and one girl were trying to match with me.

1. Let's call this guy City Pages - since he's a freelance writer for this local publication. We spent a day or two chitchattin…