Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Toast Wine Bar: A Neighborhood Gem

Toast Wine Bar Minneapolis Review
Enjoying a glass of wine on the patio!
For any Minneapolis friends, if you are ever looking for a great night out head over to Toast Wine Bar! Truthfully, it is hard to write this review because there is nothing bad to say about Toast. It is one of my favorite places, whether I am headed there for a casual glass of wine, a quick snack, or an entire evening.

As far as wine goes, Toast offers around 30 wines by the glass and over 60 bottles of wine. Most of the wines are smaller family productions, so while you may not see the big names; you will find great taste and sustainable wine producers. If you aren't big into wine, that's OK too- Toast has specialty cocktails, sake, and several beers available!

Toast Wine Bar review
The meat and cheese plate I love!
Toast Wine Bar
Nick's favorite pizza
Looking at the food menu, it is perfect for a casual night. My personal favorite is the meat & cheese platter, which usually comes with several different choices of meat, cheese, olives, and fruit. If you just want specific cheeses, you can order those separately. Toast's food menu also features specialty pizzas, soups, salads, and crostinis. To date, everything that Nick and I have tried at Toast we have loved!

Another huge feature of Toast Wine Bar is that they are super dog-friendly. Whenever Lily needs an exciting evening out on the town, we take her here! They have several dog bowls outside on the patio, and friendly pups are always welcome.

To check Toast out, head over to their website or go there in person!

Toast Wine Bar Minneapolis
I even stopped at Toast during my Bachelorette Party for a quick glass!
It really is perfect for any night or event.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Trip to the Minnesota Zoo

On Saturday, Nick and I headed down to the Minnesota Zoo for the day with a couple of our friends. Here are just a couple pictures from our time there!

my favorite, the beautiful & regal leopard! 
Probably my favorite part, giant snakes!

Crazy looking 'sea dragon'- there are 3 there!

You can't really see him- but here's one
of my favorites, the tiger!

This was my first trip to the zoo in as long as I can remember (probably haven't been in almost 20 years!) but it was a good one nonetheless. It was amazing to see the vast difference in how animals here were treated versus some of the animals we saw (or chose not to go see) while in Thailand. A great day overall spent relaxing at the zoo, and then with some dinner at home! Anybody reading do anything fun over the weekend?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

"Looking for Alaska" Quotes & Review

For those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile, you know I have a list a bucket list of sorts for the next year- the 30+ before 25 list for me. One of the items on that list is to read 50 books, and I think I have made pretty good progress on that. Most recently, I read a book by John Green called "Looking for Alaska". John Green is also the author of "The Fault in Our Stars" which is how I was introduced to him.

Looking for Alaska was a great book for anybody! It was a really easy read, but still had a good storyline. I will say that personally I was disappointed with how the book turned out, and was expecting a different ending. Nonetheless, it was a great book with a lot of great insights and quotes.

There were many times throughout the book where I highlighted passages/sections of the book to remember later. Today, I'm going to share some of those great quotes/passages, and I hope you enjoy them! I feel they are quotes where when you think about them, you can derive your own meaning and apply them to your life or various situations. Whats the last great book you read? I'd love your recommendation! 

Looking for Alaska Quotes

Looking for Alaska quotes

Looking for Alaska quote

Looking for Alaska quote

Looking for Alaska quote

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A "feel-good-about-yourself" Post

go the extra mile, it's never crowded

Yesterday, after I got off work, I was messing around on the internet and came across two great articles that really made me feel good about myself. So today, take the time to feel good about yourself and check these articles out!

The first article is "25 Signs You're Succeeding At Life (Even If It Doesn't Feel Like It". As I read this, I felt I connected with almost every single point- or had at least made some progress in each area over the last several years! I'm not perfect, and I don't think anybody is. But I have made great progress in my relationships with the people I choose to surround myself with, and continue to work on that. In the last year, I've ended relationships with people that aren't beneficial to me. A couple of the points that hit closest to the heart for me were #3 and #4, "Where you live feels like home" and "You're not afraid to ask for help and support."This past year was tough! I moved to another country, and was able to adapt to a new home. In just six weeks, I will be starting that new adventure over again! That experience greatly helped me in realizing that I am in need of support from my friends and family at times- and I got much better in asking for it. So to my friends, family, and even the blogging community- thank you!

The second article is "27 Things You Won't Regret When You're Older". Wow, nearly every single one of these hit the nail dead on the head. Basically, this list told you to set goals, and go out and achieve them! Make yourself a better person. And when you do that, take the time to give yourself a little pat on the back and relax for awhile. Travel the world, establish new friendships, work hard, and enjoy life.

So today, I'm thanking the internet for making me feel like I've been doing a pretty good job lately at this whole life thing. How about you- did you read these articles and enjoy them? Are there any great "feel-good" articles out there I should read?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Chao Phraya River Dinner Cruise

Chao Phraya River Cruise review Bangkok
Nick and I in front of the Bangkok Bridge on the Chao Phraya River
After a relaxing couple of weeks in Koh Samui, Thailand for our honeymoon, Nick and I closed out the trip with a couple of days in Bangkok. In order to combine a romantic evening with some sightseeing, we decided to do a luxury dinner cruise down the Chao Phraya river. The cruise we were recommended to by our hotel picked us up and brought us to the dock in time to see the sun set across the river.

Chao Phraya Bangkok Dinner Cruise Sunset
watching the sun set along the Chao Phraya River
Chao Phraya Dinner Cruise Sunset
Nick enjoying our last night in Bangkok
After the sun had (mostly) set, we boarded our cruise and started to head down the river. Dinner began relatively quickly after being seated, which was good because we came with an appetite! The food was good, with a lot of great selections. As we ate, we were able to check out the sights outside the boat and take some pictures. Of course, we weren't in too much of a hurry because we knew we would be doubling back and able to see everything again!

Chao Phraya Dinner Cruise Boat Bangkok
our boat for the dinner cruise
As dinner concluded, we headed up to the roof of the boat in order to enjoy our cocktails, the sights, and the band the boat had on board. Some of the sights that we saw included: Wat Pratum Khong Ka, Wat Kanlayanamrit, the Royal Thai Navy Headquarter Buildings, Wat Arun, Wat Pho, the Grand Palace and Wat Phra Keaw (the Emerald Buddha temple), Phra Sumen Fort and the Rama VIII Bridge. All in all, the dinner cruise was a great way to catch some sights, relax, and enjoy our last evening in Bangkok! 

Chao Phraya Dinner Cruise Bangkok Bridge
the Bangkok River Bridge
Chao Phraya Dinner Cruise Bangkok
enjoying our last night with new friends!
Chao Phraya Dinner Cruise Bangkok Thailand
Beautiful temple along the Chao Phraya River
Bangkok dinner river cruise
Another temple all lit up

Thursday, June 12, 2014

How To Pack for a Year in Sweden

how to pack for study abroad

One of the major challenges for me last year at this time was deciding what to pack for the upcoming season in Sweden. After all, we would be arriving August 1, spending the remainder of the summer, all of the fall, all of the winter, and the beginning of spring- nearly an entire year- in Europe. How the heck was I supposed to pack for an entire year in Europe in one large suitcase (under 50 pounds, unless you pay extra charges for overweight bags), one carry-on suitcase, and my purse?! I know a lot of women in my position have been able to bring more than this- however, Nick and I were already going to have pretty full hands as far as luggage goes! We each had one large suitcase and a carry-on, in addition to a hockey bag and stick bag (each jammed full with 50 pounds of gear or sticks between the two of us). With just 7 weeks until we leave Minnesota, I feel much more comfortable and prepared to pack for our upcoming year in Sweden. Here is a long list of everything you will want to pack, or at least consider packing, if you will be spending a year abroad.

Being a woman, the first thing I thought of was clothes. Second, shoes; Third, jackets; Fourth, boots…you get the picture. Of course, there are so many important things I would recommend before even filling up your bags with any of those items! I'll start off by sharing each of those must-haves, that will make a year abroad infinitely easier. I will say, one of the things I discovered that the amount of room in your large bag does not truthfully matter- it is the weight limit that you have to abide by. After all of my rolling, folding, and vacuum sealing, I still had about half of my large bag left to fill- but no weight left! (of course, this is awesome for the smaller carry-on, because that doesn't have a weight limit!)

Before packing, think about a few things for each item:
  1. Circumstance- what will you be doing over the next year, and is this item appropriate? For me, this meant- my husband will have practices/games almost every day, and be away frequently. I probably don't need 12 nice going-out dresses. Some extra workout clothes (that double for the gym, or lounging around) are a good bet! 
  2. Weather- again, but what will the weather be like? How long will you need cool summer clothes and shoes versus warm layers for the winter?
  3. Convenience- How easily can you find this item in Europe, and is it an item you can take some time to find or will need immediately?
  4. Cost- What will it cost if you buy the item at your destination? 
  5. Personal Preference- What is your personality? Are you a makeup girl, and need the latest trends? Are you a shoe girl, a purse girl, whatever type of girl there is? Think about who you are and what you value the most- and bring that. The US (on average) tends to be cheaper than Europe for a lot of these items, so pick which ones you really need and love, and leave the rest at home. After all, you will only be gone for 8-9 months, in all reality!

Random Items You Will Want for your year in Europe
  • Slingbox- truthfully, this is not an item that you technically pack, but one you should invest in before your time abroad. The slingbox connects to your TV cable box at home, and you can then play it live via sling player. So useful when you are wanting to watch live sports, etc while abroad!
  • Apple TV- can go hand in hand with Slingbox. You simply hook the Apple TV to your TV, and can then live stream anything you'd like from your computer/phone/iPad to the TV via wifi. 
  • External Hard Drive- again, hand in hand with Apple TV. You can get a pretty small external hard drive that fits just about anywhere that will hold 1 TB of data. I'm fairly certain that the hard drive we have currently has over 100 full seasons of TV shows, and 500 movies. Plug that in to your computer, and you can play anything you'd like on your TV!
  • Medicine- anything and everything you may want over the next year. For us, this meant ibuprofen, cold flu & sinus pills, Neosporin, allergy medicine, and my birth control. Personally, the last thing I want to deal with when I am sick is having to run out and buy medicine- especially if that medicine label is in another language, or I can't even get it without a doctors appointment!
  • Vitamins- Much more comfortable to go with the brands you know & love from home!
  • Pizza cutter- seriously, the pizza in Sweden tends to come as a whole pie. Unless you feel like performing a constant battle with your pizza, throw in a pizza cutter for good measure. 
  • Reusable grocery bags- if you have a particular favorite! I love the bags from Lunds, because when you are not using them they fold up nicely and clasp together. When bagging groceries in Sweden, you either have to purchase paper/plastic bags, or use reusable bags. Definitely go the reusable route- you can save a ton of money (and the environment). 

Clothes to Pack:

Truthfully, I'm not going to say too much on the clothes to pack. We are girls- we know what clothes we will wear. I wear jeans & t-shirts almost every day, and layer those with sweaters, cardigans, and scarves- so this was the majority of what I packed. I would say to bring more workout clothes than you anticipate needing- I was surprised by how much I was able to hit the gym and that these were the clothes that got used the most. I had brought plenty of clothes and dresses for going out, and really didn't use these all that often- with the boys' schedule, you simply won't be hitting the town every weekend. Same thing with swimsuits- I brought 4 last year and have no idea why, as I wore exactly one of them.

For me, the majority of my time was spent in a hockey rink. With that in mind, each item I pack for Sweden is likely going to be something that will be worn to the rink and help keep me warm while I am there. Of course, there will be a few dresses and other such items that I will pack for the nights when we do have events, but otherwise I am going to be packing with the hockey rink in mind.

The "Of-Course" Items:
  • Cell phone- make sure it is unlocked!
  • Camera & memory card
  • Laptop
  • iPad/Kindle
  • Chargers
  • Personal medication
  • Adapters- bonus if you can simply bring the USB cords and purchase wall plugs in Sweden
  • A bag of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups- or, if for some crazy reason these aren't your favorite, your favorite chocolate or candy. For me, the first week of traveling, unpacking, getting settled, not having reliable internet/phone, et cetera was the worst. And I didn't have my favorite comfort food with. If you don't have a favorite comfort food, you can skip this- just know that this year I'm bringing two bags of Reeses :)

What to Leave at Home:
  • Hair styling tools- just buy these while you are there! The majority of US tools are only the correct voltage for the US- while you can use adapters, is a surge really what you want to risk? I was able to buy a blow dryer and curling iron for a reasonable price. One benefit of buying this items in Europe is (if applicable) is that you can leave them in storage over the summer, and not worry about hauling them back and forth. 
  • 95% of those summer dresses you are going to pack. Along with those wedges. Last year, because I was packing in the middle of July, my mind was full summer mode and I packed as many summer dresses and wedges as I could fit. Unfortunately, these were only good for really the first month- after that, Sweden cools down considerably! Take one or two dresses, bonus points if you can wear them with tights & sweaters in the winter, and call it good. 
  • Measuring cups- Originally, I had been planning on bringing these. Turns out, you get pretty good at the metric system pretty quick, or you can just convert your recipes. 
  • Bedding. Really, for us hockey ladies, the team will provide you. For other world travelers, just make a quick trip to Ikea- chances are, you will anyways!- and you will be set. As long as you are OK with having super cute (notice the dry, dripping sarcasm) bedding, Ikea will suffice.
Random Recommendations for Packing:
  • I can't stress how much the WEIGHT of your checked bag is key. I already said, my checked bag was only half-full before the weight was at the max. With this being said, before you place an item in your bag- make sure you really need it, will love it, and will use it for at least its weight in gold. Because thats what each item should be worth, is its weight in gold- especially if you are only allotted a small 50 pounds. 
  • While packing clothes, really think about what seasons you will be there for, and how you can potentially layer various articles of clothing to stay warm year round. I was fine with one main jacket last year, due to the ability of being able to wear a tank, sweater, and scarf with that jacket. Layering is key!
  • Regarding credit cards, if you've never been abroad you may want to let your company know you will be so they don't put holds on your account. Make sure to check if there are foreign transaction fees. The Delta Amex recently switched to having no foreign transaction fees, which is a huge bonus for myself!
  • Feminine products. Not going to lie, finding plastic applicators last year- went to about 6 different places. Don't wait, bring at least a small stash- and find what you want before necessary! 
  • Liquor drinker? Bring one of your favorite bottles. Liquor is extremely expensive in Sweden, so grab a bottle duty-free, or check one into your checked bag. We brought two nice bottles of Scotch as gifts, and were able to save a ton of money by purchasing them ahead of time. I'm a beer & wine drinker, so we didn't need anything special for me!
  • For items that you will wear a lot, such as socks & underwear, unless they are brand new replace them before you go. About two months into the year is when all of my socks decided to wear out- and purchasing them for 4-5 times the price hurt! They will wear out eventually, so just replace them ahead of time. Plus, then you get the brand-new feeling!
  • My last final side note- make sure any items that are a must-have within your first 48 hours are in your carry-on. Something will be lost. I wish I could be an optimist on this, but something will be lost. Last year, after checking 4 bags, only 2 of the bags made it to our final destination. Fortunately for me, one of those bags was mine. Unfortunately for Nick, his bag did not make it (then again, being a guy, it mattered to him much less than it would have to me). The hockey equipment made it, while the stick bag did not. Both lost bags showed up within 3 days!
And that is everything I can think of! Packing my carry-on was quite a different story- for a list of what I travel with, check out my post from our 26-hour travels to Thailand. Fortunately, anything you need and may not pack can either be purchased in Sweden, or shipped over to you by a loving family member. Anyone have must-haves for packing for a year in Europe that I missed?

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Recipe: Homemade Beef Jerky

A few months ago, I did my first ever recipe post for an Easy Berry Pie, which turned into a huge success! Because I am definitely not what I would consider a routine baker, today I'm going to share one of my favorite recipes for homemade beef jerky.

Step one (the easiest way to do this!) is to buy yourself a dehydrator. Personally, I like the Nesco American Harvest Dehydrator that you can find here. It comes with the dehydrator, fruit trays, a jerky gun, and a recipe book. You'll also want to buy some cure & seasonings, which you can also get from Amazon here.

Once you have the dehydrator, spices, and cure, all you need is the meat for the jerky- and some extra seasonings/spices if you'd like! I always buy 93% lean ground beef for the best jerky. Its more healthy, and much less greasy as you are cooking the jerky! Without further ado, here is my recipe and instructions for cooking some of the best jerky you'll ever have!

3 lbs. 93% lean ground beef
3 packets cure
3 packets spice
1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. Cayenne pepper
2 tsp. Garlic Powder

Mix together the above ingredients, and then mix them again just to be sure the spices are evenly distributed throughout the jerky! Load the meat into the jerky gun, get it on the dehydrator, and you are set to go. 3 pounds will fill up around 4 trays. Mark which tray is which (I label them 1-4, so I can keep track) and every hour or so rotate the trays to make sure they all receive equal cooking. The jerky will take 6-8 hours to fully dehydrate, depending on how well done you would like it.

Of course, there are TONS of different ways to season your beef jerky! I like spicy jerky, which is why I add in lots of extra cayenne, black, and white peppers. Once you establish your first batch of jerky, you can definitely experiment with different ways. Soy sauce is a great addition to any teriyaki jerky!

homemade beef jerky recipe
Tried out 3 new flavors: Inferno, sweet & spicy, and teriyaki
homemade spicy beef jerky recipe
Pretty excited about my 3 new flavors and 6 pounds of jerky!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

First Bungalow Beach Resort Review: Koh Samui, Thailand

While on our honeymoon, Nick and I split the majority of our time between two resorts on Chaweng Beach in Koh Samui. The first resort (and today's review!) was First Bungalow Beach Resort. Chaweng Beach is pretty much one long strip, with First Bungalow located at the end of the strip.

On the taxi ride towards First Bungalow, Nick and I were slightly worried as we drove further and further from what seems like the main strip. However, looking back, it is only a 15 minute walk to the center of town, or a 100 Baht taxi ride (approximately $3 for both of us). The check-in process was smooth, and we were presented with a welcome drink while we checked in. After check-in, it was off to our poolside bungalow.

First Bungalow Beach Resort Review
First Hotel is currently (or at least, they seemed to be) in the process of upgrading and remodeling their bungalows. Above is one of the professional pictures from their website with a poolside bungalow- and a pretty accurate depiction of the bungalow we actually had! The poolside bungalows were just a few short steps to the pool, which was really nice throughout the day when running in and out for various items while lounging by the pool. 

First Bungalow Koh Samui Review
interior of our room
First Bungalow Beach Review
Poolside bungalow King Bed
Our room was really nice, and huge by European standards (big by American). We had a King-sized bed, a nice bathroom with bath tub, closet, and a good-sized sitting area inside. In addition to the interior of the room, we had our own private patio that led out to the pool area. The bungalow was a good size, and had everything that we needed for our 9-day stay.

beach in front of First Bungalow Beach Resort
early morning on the beach
First Bungalow Beach Resort review
a misty sunrise on the beach
First Bungalow Beach Resort sunrise review
Finally the sun broke through the clouds!
The beach at First Bungalow Beach Resort was beautiful, with white sand and clear blue water. There was a ton of room on the beach to run, play in the sand, walk around, and sun bathe. Each morning, Nick and I started off by going for a run around 8, and were usually some of the only people on the beach. The beach was never crowded, and because it was far enough from the main strip there were no vendors walking around trying to sell you things as you lounged. There were always plenty of lounge chairs on the beach to use.

First Bungalow Beach Resort pool
First Bungalow Beach resort pool review
the pool at First Bungalow Beach Resort
First Bungalow Beach Resort Poolside Bungalow review
another view of the pool
 The pool was where Nick and I spent most of our time while at First Bungalow. It was a very large pool, especially considering that there never seemed to be more than 10 people at the pool area all day! Next to the pool was a bar where you could get cocktails, sodas, water, and order food. The pool area was very quiet, and there was never an issue getting a lounge chair at any time of the day. Other people using the pool area were very respectful, and there were no screaming kids (bonus!).

Swan Towels- I was disappointed we never had them made for us :(
Overall, I can't say enough good things while reviewing our stay at First Bungalow Beach Resort. The room was a good size with everything we needed, the pool was wonderful and relaxing, the beach was beautiful and clean, and we had a great time. We had breakfast included with our stay, and there were always tons of options each day, with several rotating choices depending on the day. The staff was very pleasant and courteous, and the grounds were always clean. I would recommend First Bungalow to anybody looking at a resort in Koh Samui. The only negative part about staying at First Bungalow is the 10-15 minute walk into town or the $3 tuktuk ride (for two people). However, when you look at how much cheaper First Bungalow is, the tuktuk ride is a great deal. I really enjoyed the serenity at First Bungalow, and if/when Nick and I return to Koh Samui, this will be the place we stay at! 

**All views expressed in this review are 100% my own opinions. I was not compensated for this post, just wanted to share my opinion with anyone looking at staying at First Bungalow!**

Thursday, June 5, 2014

I'm Jealous Of My Dog

I'm jealous of my dog's life
Lily taking a nap- the bed wasn't comfy enough (I guess!)

Yes, you read that right. I just returned home from my morning run (finally hit a 9 minute mile on a consistent pace for 3 miles!) and Lily (my dog) barely opened her eyes to see who was at the front door, and then flopped right back over to go back to sleep.

See, Lily has a pretty good life. She gets to sleep about 23 hours a day, and being the cruel owners that Nick and I are, we make her wake up a couple times a day to take her out and feed her. Most days, we even force her to go on a walk- pretty much around the block, but a walk nonetheless- and thats her exercise for the day. Lily can sleep 23 hours a day, only adjusting position when she needs a new spot, or to get closer to the air conditioning.

Lily never gains weight. Maybe its because her favorite foods are carrots, apples, and strawberries. She has a healthier diet than I do! Seriously, small parts of me wish my favorite foods were fruits and vegetables…but I consider chocolate a food group of its own.

Another reason I'm jealous of Lily? EVERYONE, and I mean everyone, loves her. Whenever we go on walks, or to the park, or even when I took her to Sociable Cider Werks in Minneapolis- Lily is a hit. Constantly showered with attention, told how pretty she is, how adorable, sweet, and pretty much a stunning person. (really? I wonder…)

In a dog's world, everything, and I mean everything, is the most exciting thing EVER. When we take Lily's kennel out, she knows its time for a car ride and road trip (woohooo!!!) When we get the leash out, its time for a walk. If the patio door opens, she gets to go lay in the sun! Anytime the fridge opens, she ASSUMES something in there is for her. When the footstool is pulled next to the bed, she gets to hop in bed with us! Gosh, life is just so darn exciting!!

Lily, you've got a good life. Don't get mad at me now when I wake you up to take you out and play with you for a bit!

Are you ever jealous of your dog or pets?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Be Present in Your Life

Happy June! I've said it before this summer, and I can almost guarantee I will say it again- I cannot believe how quickly time is flying and the summer is going! It is already June, and just under two months from now Nick and I will be back in Sweden starting another season abroad. Two months/eight weeks/59 days until we are likely on a plane. When you put it each of those ways, we really do not have that much time left here!

Back in December, I posted about how I don't believe in New Years Resolutions. I believe that if you want to make a change in your life, the time to do it is the moment that change pops into your head and you decide to go after it. With that being said, I'm making a little change in my life, especially over the next two months. I will be more present in my daily life, and really take it all in. The fact of the matter is that I simply don't have that much time left to spend in Minnesota with my friends and family here. There are only so many dinner dates, wine nights, and Twins games you can cram into one summer. Add all of that to a normal schedule of working, studying, working out, and daily life activities that pop up, and it becomes ever more important to be present in your daily life.

First step, I'm setting down my phone. Let's not lie, I'll still have it on me just about 90% of the time. But when I'm watching a Twins game, I'm going to enjoy the game and not be texting with a friend or checking Facebook and Twitter. When I'm with a friend, I'm not going to be texting somebody else and making plans. Whoever and whatever I am with is going to get my full attention- because the little amount of time I have, I think each activity deserves that full attention.

Even this blog post right now. The idea came into my mind, and I started typing. Thus far, it has taken me about 5 minutes to type out and organize my thoughts. 5 minutes for a post. Usually each post I type takes at least five times, if not more, that long- because my blog does not get my full attention. My attention is divided between the computer screen, eating breakfast, getting ready for work, watching TV, checking my Facebook and text messages, and whatever else comes into mind. By focusing and giving my undivided attention, I can be more productive- and therefor, get more out of my daily life. Is this post perfect? Is it my best post ever? Are there mistakes, or more cohesive ways I can communicate my thoughts? Probably. But I can spend the next hour perfecting this, or I can spend the next hour taking a walk before I head off to work for the day, and enjoy the weather and my surroundings. I'll take that option.

With that, here is my challenge to my friends, family, and readers. Be more present in daily life. Enjoy every second of this gorgeous summer that has started to pop up- especially you Minnesotans- because being honest, we don't have that much summer to enjoy. What will you do to be more present in daily life?
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