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The Anti-Morning Routine

If you're a fellow blogger or you just read a lot of blogs (like I do) you'll have noticed the influx of "perfect morning routine" posts over the last few years. Quite often, they contain advice that no normal human could possibly adhere to all the time:

Wake up at 5 am every single morning and drink a giant glass of lemon water!Spend no less than 30 minutes meditating!Eat a nutritional breakfast - admittedly, this one is probably a good idea...Practice gratitude (spend 10 minutes journaling about what you're thankful for)!Go for a brisk walk or twist your way through an entire yoga practice!Read at least five pages of a book or newspaper!Style your hair and wear a full face of natural looking makeup!Check your emails and get a jump start on the day!
I'm not a morning person by nature and believe me, I've tried to change that several times. Weeks would go by where I tried desperately to stick to a prescribed morning routine and join the legions of other s…

Can You Change Your Attachment Style?

I feel like I could be one of the poster children for the Dismissive Avoidant Attachment type. I was a latch-key kid in a single parent home. I have a younger sibling who has a disability and required more attention as a child. My family didn’t display a lot of affection around each other, as that Scandinavian Stoicism was often present.  I wasn’t abused or neglected though. In fact, when I was the only child, I was lavished with attention, love and praise. But then my brother came along and it all kind of fell apart. The family dynamic changed – dad disappeared and mom was suddenly very busy.  I got used to self-soothing when I was lonely or needed something. I became very internal and quiet, preferring to escape into books or fantasy where things always worked out in the end. It was a refuge of my own design.  Attachment Theory in psychology attempts to explain how we form attachments to other people and how our upbringing can affect the ways in which we connect (or don’t) in adult re…

The Twelve Days of Yule

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...


Wait. That's not quite right. I don't celebrate Christmas.

The Twelve Days of Christmas, possibly one of the most annoying carols ever (definitely up there with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer), can be traced back to the late 1700's as a memory and forfeit game. At least, that's about all historians can agree on, though some believe it may be French in origin.

The carol itself refers to the oft-forgotten Christian tradition of the Twelve Days of Christmas - which begins the night of December 25th and runs until January 6th - spanning the supposed time of Christ's birth and ending upon the arrival of the Three Kings.

(Advent, on the other hand, is the number of weeks preceding Christmas. Advent has seen a surge in popularity in recent years with the interest in fun and festive advent calendars.)

Thanks to the Christmas Creep and the commercial calendar treating the 25th as the last day of marketing for the hol…

You go trick-or-treating for Halloween, I summon the dead.

I love Halloween. Even as a child, it was my favorite holiday.

To me, there's something comforting and wholesome about ghosts, zombies, monsters, black cats, and of course, witches. Metaphorically, they represent our darker sides...our hidden sides...aspects of humanity and existence that make us uncomfortable because they're shrouded in darkness. But darkness doesn't always have to be frightening. The dark can hide us safely away from prying eyes or those who would do us harm. The dark of night lulls us gently to sleep.

I guess I knew early on that this is precisely what drew me to the occult and witchcraft. A safe space to explore our darker sides, to draw our power from them, and to own them instead of letting them own us.

For many witches, Halloween is considered the most important of nights. It is the last harvest festival in many pagan beliefs, a final nail in the coffin to a year of planting, reaping, and sowing. A time of letting old things go and concocting plans…

Can I Carve a Pumpkin? Let's find out!

Carving a pumpkin for Halloween is a fun tradition - and the modern iteration of what we've come to know and love as "Jack O'Lanterns" has an equally interesting and fun history. The original Jack O'Lanterns weren't even pumpkins, they were actually turnips! Since turnips and potatoes were plentiful in Ireland, they were the vegetable of choice to be carved and illuminated.

The name comes from Stingy Jack, a folktale in Ireland about a wicked man who tricked the devil into not claiming his soul. Since he wasn't allowed in Heaven either, he now allegedly roams the earth as an evil spirit with only a piece of burning coal in a turnip lantern to light his way.

Hence the name...Stingy Jack....Jack of the Lantern....you see where this is going.

In Ireland and Scotland, people began carving frightening faces into turnips and placing candles within them to ward away Stingy Jack or other malevolent spirits that roamed the earth while the veil was thin. When Iris…

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.

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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 …