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After what felt like an endless winter here in North Dakota I am so excited we are finally warming up enough to open up the windows even for just a couple hours each day. If you don’t live somewhere where you basically hibernate for multiple months of each year because the air can kill you then you let me tell you, the air gets stale in your house. You don’t totally notice it as it happens over time but man when it gets warm enough to get some fresh air in there you better believe our windows and doors fly open so we can get that fresh air running through the place. I’m not normally a big cleaner, I honestly just don’t enjoy doing it at this point in my life and make 1,001 excuses to put it off. When I was in college it was my favorite way to…

Now I am by no means coming to you with some elaborate cleaning plan to fix your whole living space or even some Marie Kondo type hacks for you. I also don’t want you to think I have some impeccably clean home that is just spotless and everything has a place because that’s definitely not how my house ever is. However, I know for a fact that I work better and feel more relaxed when I at least keep my house somewhat clean. As someone who runs multiple businesses, a nonprofit, and is involved in other things I know first hand that homemaking for the busy boss lady can be a CHALLENGE!! And as much as I would like to pretend that my spouse and I are capable of sharing the housework equally I do live in the midwest and that’s just not quite how things work here(no offense to…

So I’ve been running this blog(while inconsistently) for over a year now I’ve never taken a few minutes to introduce myself and share a little about me. So Hey! I’m Nicole and here are a few fun facts about me: 1. I live in North Dakota. Born and raised in the same town and living here still. My husband and I have a house with our 4 year old fur baby, a shiba inu named Elsa. While I have loved living here we do sometimes talk about moving but we can’t quite decide where so we travel until we find the place that feels like home. 2. I love watching movies. My husband and I own over 500 movies plus we go to the movies fairly frequently. We are getting signed up for the AMC A-List this month so we can see 3 movies each week for only $20/month. Check…

As we were coming up on our final days at the park I wanted to get in as much as I could. We typically only do about a half day in the park and just buy passes for more days because it’s seriously exhausting trying to run around and do all the things. Seriously when we tap out at about 2pm/3pm we already have a good 20,000 steps on our Fitbit each and our feet are killing us! My favorite part each morning when we get there is walking through the empty park. Sure there are people lined up to get in but during this very slow time of the year you kind of feel like you get the park to yourself. Plus it makes for much better photos when there aren’t a ton of people in the way. 🙂 I don’t normally stop for pictures with characters around the…

Back to Universal Studios we went to check out the other side this time! The “Studios” side is just that, more about the studio things and movies but there is a ton of fun to be had at this side as well although I will say Islands of Adventure if my favorite. Shrek 4-D is an awesome ride to check out really close to when you walk in. There was only about a 5 minute wait so we got in right away. However they have soooo much space for lines in there I can honestly say I never want to be in a line that long, it could seriously be a 6+ hour line with how much zig zagging they have going on. Back to the Harry Potter area we went and straight to Gringotts. The dragon on top the bank does breath fire about every 15 minutes so be…

Finally it was time to hit up Universal Studios and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter aka my home. The whole reason we planned the trip for January is because after checking out some tourism sites they predicted this time to be the LEAST busy time of the entire year and holy crap it was so quiet and for someone who doesn’t love to be around people it was really freakin nice. We got there and Volcano Bay was closed(not that we planned to go) due to “weather”. I use that term loosely because I’ve really never laughed so hard in my entire life. People looked at us just bewildered that we were in shorts and it was 35 degrees out(just for an hour or so and then it was in the 60s/70s). We had literally just come from -70 degree weather in North Dakota, yes you read that right…

One of my favorite days of the month is Helix Wine Club Night! The 2nd Thursday of every month Helix Wine & Bites hosts a wine club from 5pm-8pm and it is always a great time. I usually show up early to save a table for my friends and myself since the place is PACKED on wine club night. With $5 glasses of house wine and 20% off all appetizers and small plates I tend to have dinner there each time and get a little head start on the wine 🙂 The house sweet white is a Moscato(my fav) so needless to say I love it. I noticed some newer menu items this time around so I tried out the Firecracker Shrimp flatbread and it was seriously amazing. Jumbo shrimp, layers of cheese, and some spice made this flatbread come together really well. However, I will say far too much…

The hubby and I are out of town for a god chunk of July, living it up in Minneapolis from June 30-July 10. We come to Minneapolis a few times a year just to get out of town and explore. We wanted to focus on trying some new places and doing new things instead of the same old Mall of America and ValleyFair the entire time. Saturday July 1st We started the first full day in Minneapolis with a trip to Glam Doll Donuts. We had heard good things and had to check the place out as I love me a good donut! I ordered a basic raised donut with chocolate glaze and sprinkles, named the Chocolate Starlet, just as you would expect it to taste. Light, fluffy, with the perfect amount of icing. Tony had one called Night Moves, which was a cake donut with blackberry hennessey icing &…

At this point I’m pretty comfortable calling myself an expert on this topic. We did 3 big road trips with our dog over the last year: North Dakota to Florida and back North Dakota to Vegas and back North Dakota to Ohio and back Add in numerous trips from North Dakota to Minneapolis, MN and we did well over 100 hours of driving with our fur baby. We also aren’t the type of people who stop for the night on our road trips which adds its own special challenges when traveling with a dog. So how do we make sure we don’t have a wild pup jumping around or even having accidents in the car? Make Lots of Stops The longer the trip, the more stops to plan to make, especially as you get to the end of the drive since your pup will be more restless. Tire them out BEFORE…