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Showing posts with label Winter in MN. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Winter in MN. Show all posts

Monday, March 14, 2016

Adventures with Keegan: Ice Castles

This post seems like miles from where we are now. It has been so long since I've been here to write and this one has been sitting here for weeks. I started and never got around to actually posting it. We have been full on living life around here, enjoying our weekends together, feeling the spring warmth on our faces and just getting outside in the fresh air.

I'm sure there is much more of those times to come, but first, lets take a trip back to just a few short weeks ago, when it was still winter....

We took Keegan to visit the amazing Ice Castles that are built every year in Minnesota. I have never been before, but have seen so many pictures and post about it on Instagram. It was calling to my photographic eye and let me tell you, it does not disappoint. Everywhere you turn is another beautiful shot, even though we went on a day that was warmer than most and there where people everywhere. 

Our Hats (Love your Melon)

We even saw that Anna and Elsa where there from Frozen, stood in line to visit with them, only to have Keegan freak out and hide when it was pictures time. But hey, I remember being that was too when I was his age. Maybe next year.

We had a great time and can't wait to go back next year. They even have a night time walk through, so here's hoping next year it will be cold to make another castle. Check out this site for more info!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Adventures with Keegan: Minneapolis Institute of Art

Well, it's a total freeze fest up here in the great white north of Minnesota. Brrrr.

It always gets like this this time of year and I struggle on a daily basis to find things to get us out of the house that involve not being in the freezing cold. Luckily we live in a city that has many indoor activities and we are bound and determined to hit up as many of those as possible before the spring comes.

With Keegan not having school on New Years Eve, I took they day off and decided we would go visit the Minneapolis Institute of Art. But first we had to make a stop at Bogart's Donuts. We were gonna start the last day of 2015 with a decent breakfast.

We both loved the donuts, I dont think I have ever seen Keegan eat anything so fast in his life. We even brought some home for later. After feeding our faces, we headed over to the museum just a few blocks away. MIA has a gorgeous entrance with tons of stairs off of 24th Street, but they close it off during winter time due to all the ice and snow.

As we made our way inside, we had already found one of my favorite pieces hanging in the lobby, a Chihuly glass sculpture. I have seen his work three times now, in Milwaukee at the art museum there and in Las Vegas at the Belagio. This one is my favorite yet. It reminds me of flares coming off the sun.

I have been to the art museum before with Jared, but experiencing it with Keegan was something new. He loved wondering through the museum, looking at the sculptures, and he loved the photography wing. Keegan brought his donkey along and even let him get in on taking in all the museum has to offer. This will forever be one of those photos I keep near my heart.

Next, we are on to the Walker Art Museum for another fun adventure. I'm sure donkey will be along for the ride as well. But this time our day will start minus the donuts. Any more and we'll both be busting outta our warm winter coats!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Adventures with Keegan: Oh Christmas Tree

Sunday, after recovering from Friendsgiving, we ventured out to get our Christmas tree. We headed to little place down the street from us, decided to forgo the big stores and support small business this year, and hunted for our fresh cut Christmas tree. I was really hoping we would be able to go to a cut your own tree farm this year, but with just me and Keegan going, I was not going on that adventure by myself. Me, small child, saw, drag tree. Ah, raincheck on that one.

Snowflake Sweatshirt here

We brought our tree home, and started decorating. This year was a lot easier to get the tree in the house, last year I cut off the netting before I brought it in the house. #youliveandyoulearn

I am so in love with our tree this year, you can just tell the quality is great, no needles falling off yet and the tree is so full and smells fantastic. This why I just could not give in and buy a fake tree. My family always had a real tree growing up, it was a tradition we did every year around this time. It's just not Christmas to me without a real tree.

As I am sitting here writing this, I am watching White Christmas and having a glass of tea while Keegan is taking a nap. It's pure bliss, an afternoon doing nothing but putting pen to paper (or actually fingers to keyboard in this case). This time of year is my favorite, that it is a time of year that brings everyone together. That the snow starts falling, that everything is decked out in magic.

I always try and soak in as much as I can, enjoy the little things like watching the thrill in Keegan's eyes as we look at the lights, pick out our tree, and begin to buy gifts to share with loved ones. This year I plan on really trying to enjoy the season that was cut so short for us last year. As most of you know, last year at this time, my Dad was on hospice care and he passed away just two weeks before Christmas. I spent an entire week away from my son and by the time I got home, it just didn't really feel like Christmas. So this year, we are going to enjoy as much Christmas as we can have.

Advent Stockings here

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Friendsgiving 2015

Each year I host the same party and each year the party gets busier and more rowdy. That's right, Friendsgiving 2015 was upon us and this year was a blast. New friends, old friends, boyfriends, kids. It was an event like no other. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

If you have never hosted Friendsgiving before, I really think you should consider it. It is a great time for all your friends to get together over the holiday season and that short few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas seems like the perfect time. Every year the rule is, I make the turkey and everyone one else brings a side to share. So much less stress than cooking everything yourself and you get to try other peoples recipes. This year we had so much to pass: Turkey, Stuffing, Sweet Potatoes, Rolls, Pasta Salad, Crab Mac and Cheese, Homemade Applesauce. And we had some great drinks: Wine (11 bottles worth!) and homemade Old Fashions!

I use this recipe every year for my turkey and every year I get a complement on how amazing and moist the turkey is. It is fool proof, only difference is, I use chicken broth instead of water. I think it makes a huge difference.

There is so much to be thankful for this year.  I am so beyond blessed to have my son, who has grown so much in the last few weeks and continues to be an amazing light in my life every day. I am so blessed to have an amazing guy in my life, who treats me like no one else has, supports me and lets me be myself even when myself is slightly crazy.

I am also so blessed to have an amazing group of strong independent woman around me, all who each have their own unique personalities, and yet we do nothing but lift each other up and stand together for each other. I am so blessed to have my best friend Stephanie, who shows up every year for Friendsgiving, rain or shine, loves my son like one of her own and has been my constant support for these last 6 years.

Friendsgiving always shows me every year how blessed we are, we have each other, our health and food for our table. Some are not that lucky, so it is a constant reminder that we have all that we need and should be forever grateful. Happy Friendsgiving everyone!

Friday, December 4, 2015

The North Shore

I have taken my fair share of trips up to Duluth and the North Shore in the 6 years I have lived in Minnesota, but I have never spent time up there in freezing cold month of November. This year for Black Friday, our state parks where completely free to get in, so we decided to follow the #optoutside movement and take a trip up to visit some of our most beautiful parks in Minnesota.

We left early Friday morning and headed up to visit Gooseberry Falls and then headed to Split Rock Lighthouse.

After freezing ourselves to the core, we decided to head back to Duluth and get a few warm drinks. We decided to head to Bent Paddle Brewery to try a few beers and then headed to the Thirsty Pagan in Superior to get some of the best pizza I have ever had.

We woke up Saturday morning and headed to the tallest point in Duluth, Enger Tower. It had fantastic views of the bay, along with some crazy cold wind. After that we headed back up to visit two more state parks, Palisade Head and Tettegouche State Park. 

Palisade Head is by far one of the coolest places on the North Shore and if you blink while driving you will miss it. It is not very well marked, yet it is a place you can not miss seeing. It is a large rocky area with cliffs that look straight down to the water below. There are many splits in the rock (see above, scary!) and it is all a little bit unnerving to be so close to the edge. Anyway, it really was a beautiful place to see. 

After that, we headed over the Tettegouche State Park and hiked to the waterfalls that make this park so popular. We made our way across the suspension bridge and had lunch right next to the waterfall. 

Later we made our way to the waters edge of Lake Superior. The rocks on the shore line are unmistakable, the colors are such a unique mix. We finally where frozen to our core, so we decided to head back home. All in all, it was a great weekend up north. I have to say November is a better time to visit up there than I thought. Can't wait to hopefully get in a summer camping trip in for 2016!