Laguna Ink Spot

While in the San Diego area, I stopped by Laguna Ink Spot and Gallery. My friend, Sara, had gotten some work done from the wonderful artists here. It's so nice to meet people who have made a career from their passion. Thank you, Evie, Will and Renee- you're truly lovely (and extremely talented).

I'll be back and have plenty of room for some new work!

Victor's 1959 Cafe

When posed the question: 'Where should we eat?', the response I most often give is 'Victor's.'

Victor's 1959 Cafe is a quaint (and delicious), Cuban eatery. 

This post is an ode to my favorite eating establishment in Minneapolis. I'm not versed in the world of restaurant reviewing, but there are many reasons why I love this place: blazing colors, musings written on the interior walls from years of customers, friendly staff and of course, the food.

Ah yes, the food. Cuban scrambler, mango pancake, pan con lechon and the cubano are just some of the gloriousness available. Check out this gem for yourself!

She's baaaaack!

Is this really happening?

My dearest friend, Jenna, has returned to Minnesota! We set off on our Thai adventure three years ago, and I couldn't have asked for a better partner. Now we find ourselves together in Minneapolis, and I'm excited to make more memories with this beauty.

Here's to bike rides, coffees, dance moves and daydreaming!

Camp O Cannon

A few years back, I was invited to join some friends on a camping trip. They've been getting together for many summers and have this whole tenting, food making and beer drinking combination down to a science. I rejoined them this year, and am so glad I did.

The member-owned campground, Mesaba Park, is 240 acres of natural beauty. Gasoline motors are not allowed on the lake and the grounds are well cared for (partly due to Wilfred- the older fella with the sweet hat).

The history of Mesaba Park adds to the overall amazingness. In the 1920's, Finnish settlers were stereotyped as "anarchists" and "drunks" (just to name a few). They decided to organize and develop cooperatives as a way to empower the working class and create a welcoming environment for those that were considered outcasts. Security and survival were nutured through family ties and community relationships at Mesaba Park. The campground still serves as a place to gather and enjoy a slice of paradise.

Thanks for inviting me, friends. I needed a weekend escape with some fantastic human beings. 


MayDay Parade

Finally! Summer has found its way to Minneapolis. One of my most favorite things is the MayDay Parade in the Powderhorn neighborhood (it just so happens to right around the block from my house as well). The word 'eclectic' comes to mind when picturing all the puppets, bikes, kids, pets, masks and dancers. Its a beautiful gathering, and made me proud to be part of this community. It seems everyone in the city was out to help usher in summer. We've made it through the winter, now it's time to reap the benefits!

breakaway

This part of year in Minnesota is a time when no major life decisions should be made. So, I hopped a plane to Seattle.

The goal was to relax, reevalaute, and rejuvenate. I did just that. Seattle is a very comfortable city for me. Each neighborhood is unique, and I always find something new with each visit. Time was spent drinking copious amounts of coffee, having an IPA here and there,  park walking and cherry blossom smelling, watching Mickey Mouse with my niece and catching up with my sister and brother-in-law.

I'll be seeing you soon, Seattle- like next week. 

Yess Yoga

March has been one of the most restless months. Some days, the snow and cold have me glued to the couch. However, there are days when the sun makes me break out the bike and head to the lakes. People are slowly coming out of hibernation, and I'm once again reminded of how great Minneapolis can be.

Once gem in the city is Yess Yoga. Lucia and Claire welcomed me here with their warm hugs and contagious smiles. These ladies help bring me to a state of focus, awareness and relaxation. If you need some 'calm' in your life, I highly recommend checking out Yess!

Wonder Valley

The mountainous desert area of Wonder Valley, California is ruggedly beautiful. It's unlike any place I've been in the United States. The stark contrast of colors between the bright blue sky and tanned rocks is stunning. However, what sparked my interest most were the shanties sprinkled throughout the Joshua trees. They are everywhere- at least 2,500 abandoned settlements still stand amongst the desert floor.

In the late 1930's, the federal government dispersed land to accommodate those searching for a homestead. At the rate of approximately $125 for five acres, many took advantage of the deal and set out to make a life in the desert. However, resources were few, and jobs were scarce. Migration to cities steadily increased, leaving only remnants of its inhabitants.

There is ongoing debate about whether to demolish the dilapidated buildings or preserve them as a piece of history. The once occupied homes add to the beauty of the landscape and shows how nature continues to prevail- regardless of human intrusion.  

Home for the Holidays

Food was consumed, family visited, presents were opened, more food was eaten, and plenty of playtime was had. For the first time since 2010, I was able to spend Christmas at my parents farm outside of Wood Lake, MN.

The winter here is plenty cold, so most of the time was spent by the fire and playing with my sweet niece, Charlotte. I am constantly amazed at her growth, and she has taken on the task of learning to walk (still in progress!). I feel very thankful for this time with my family and having the comforts of home. To my Phuket family- I miss you loads, and wish you the merriest of days. 

Here's hoping you and yours are having a most excellent holiday season!

Dog Party!

puppies + dogs of all sizes + cakes + hats = pure amazingness

Last weekend, my heart melted. I had the pleasure of photographing a session for ErnieCakes. Specializing in making dog cakes and cupcakes, ErnieCakes hosted a little party to show how much fun can be had when you get a bunch of dogs in a room and set them free amongst the party favors. The dog friends had their own agenda- there was no telling them 'can you stop right there' or 'look this way.' Nope. They could care less. I got quite a workout chasing these cuties. 

Ernie knows how to party! More information on ErnieCakes can be found here