Lake Jeanette Camping Part 2

25 Oct

I know this campout was a while ago but I have pictures from the weekend so why not do a blog post about it, right?

Camping is such a wonderful way to detach from reality and get in some real forced family activities, aka FFA =)

I love this picture of Jared and Hudson eating breakfast together as the sun is rising.

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While Hudson took a morning tent nap, Jared took the girls out fishing and they caught two northerns.

While Jared was cleaning the fish, Sophie kept saying, “Dad!  You are being so mean.”  And then she would go on to make the northerns kiss each other and demand that Jared cut its eye out so she could play with it.  Yeah, she is one interesting little lady.

I bet you didn’t know a northern could be worn as a belt:

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We had a delish lunch of fresh fish, thanks to the brave fishermen and ladies.

Sometime during that day Aleah took a three hour nap and boy was she a new person when she woke up.

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We even got some “school” in as the girls learned the names of some tree and did leaf rubbings.

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At the end of the day we climbed up a cool lookout spot and the girls found a tree that they scampered up as well.

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I am sad that camping season is over but looking forward to future outings with my family.

And the Winner is…

25 Oct
ElizabethOctober 22, 2014 at 1:56 pm Edit #

Your dress looks fantastic and I LOVE your fabric choice! This book looks like a really great way to learn how to make unique alterations to thrifted clothes. :)

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Please e-mail me your address and the Magic Pattern Book will be on its way!!!

thanks

The Magic Pattern Book Giveaway

21 Oct

I made a dress! Pretty excited about it too. The pattern for this dress came out of the book that was sent to me for FREE =) sometimes I love being a blogger. The general idea for this book is you can redo your wardrobe or at least 36 outfits based off of Amy Barickman’s 6 patterns.

I chose to make the Camilla:

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Here is the finished product after a few nights of sewing in my living room watching some of my favorite DVRed shows.

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I love my boy.

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Yeah I don’t know how to take these things seriously. Jared kept telling me to stop being awkward. Yeah, like that is going to happen when I am in a fancy dress with him taking pictures of me walking around, ha.

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The one major problem I had with this book was the patterns were not included on that tissue paper like stuff. Instead it came with a CD were you had to print off the pattern. Doesn’t sound like a problem right? Wrong. I set the printer to print and then walked away. About ten minutes later I came back and it was STILL printing! It took 48 pages to print off the pattern. Holy moly. I cannot imagine doing that again for a different project I would want to do in the future. I think the CD is a good extra idea since the pattern tissue paper can get worn or torn after many uses, but it should not be the only option.

Oh yeah and this happened during the course of making the dress, arg.

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Other than that I was pleasantly pleased with the ease of directions and pictures included. I am so honored to be a part of this book tour and blog giveaway. In order to get your hands on this beauty, all you have to do is comment on this blog post or like facebook page.

Head over to Chic Steals to continue viewing the blog tour!

Popsicle Recipe

12 Oct

I know we are headed out of popsicle season but since my kids love these so much we will be making them for a few more months.  I experimented with yogurt, fruit and different juices but this ended up being the biggest hit.

Get ready for a very complex and time demanding recipe:

2 cups orange juice

2 cups vanilla coconut milk

Mix these together and then pour into a popsicle holder or a cup with a stick taped to the middle.

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I promise you, these will be a hit.  I believe these are the most delicious frozen treat I have ever tasted and the kids love them just as much as those sugar infused, dye loaded popsicles you can pick up at the grocery store.

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In the above picture this is Aleah in the middle of saying, “Woah! This tastes good!”

Fall Camping

27 Sep

On Sunday Jared and I were realizing how exhausted we were from the previous week and yeah the house was a mess as well.  Any respectable, responsible person would have stayed home, taken a good nap and cleaned the house BUT that wouldn’t be any fun now would it?  We packed up our camping tubs that are stocked with pots, pans, headlamps, shore lunch and everything else you would need for a successful camping trip and headed out.

We decided to try a new spot, yikes.  Trying a new camping spot is always nerve wracking.  What if you waste your last camping trip on a subpar spot while you could be camping at your favorite spot.  Yes, quite dramatic- I know.  Anyways, we decided to go to a new spot on Lake Jeanette and we could not have been more pleased.  After loading all of our supplies into the boat we headed across the lake, speckled with a few quiet fishermen.

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We pulled our boat up to what we ended up calling “the rock dock.”  We unloaded our goods as the sun was slinking down past the trees.  We quickly set up the tents while the kids poked sticks at the fire and worked on their golden brown mallow skills.  Yes, did I forget to mention that the three little people were with us?

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I was in a tent with Huddy Bear and Jared was in a tent with the little ladies.  Needless to say- I think the other tent had a better nights sleep.  Hudson started out in the pack and play and then I went out to hang out at the fire with the rest of the fam and eat far too many s’mores.  We tucked the girls into their cozy sleeping bags a while later and I am SO glad that Soph brought her dream lite bug that was their happy night light that kept the tent aglow.

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Jared and I were able to have a couple peaceful hours to ourselves.  No TV. No laundry pulling at me.  No dishes to do.  No computer.  No lights.  No distractions.  Just Jared and I on the edge of the Boundary Waters.  And let me tell you, the stars were phenomenal.  The night was so peaceful that we could see the reflection of the stars in the water clearly.  It was as if you could jump into the water and into another universe.  Jared and I stood at the waters edge on the rock dock and were silent as the beauty of the wilderness surrounded us and made us feel small.

After Hudson woke up around 10pm, he was a bit confused about where he was so I ended up snuggling with the little hot water bottle in my sleeping bag all night long.  For a portion of the night (I have no idea what time it was) we got to hear one pack of wolves howling to another pack.

More about the next day later =)

Magic Pattern Book

23 Sep

I get to be a part of a gigantically stupendous blog tour!  Check out all the action and make sure you stop back here on October 21st for your chance at winning this book.  My only problem at the moment is deciding which awesome outfit to make.  There are so many great choices!  I am leaning towards making a cute winter coat with a side tie made out of an wool army blanket- now I just need to find a wool army blanket…

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Not sure how I got listed with these talented bloggers who have their acts together WAY more than I do =)

Official Tour Stops on Amy Barickman’s THE MAGIC PATTERN BOOK Blog Tour:

October 6            AMYBARICKMAN.COM
October 7            WINDY LOU

October 8            MELLY SEWS

October 9            CRAFT GOSSIP

October 10          SEW MAMA SEW

October 13          ADVENTURES OF A DIY MOM

October 14          LILACS & LACE

October 15          FOUR SQUARE WALLS

October 16          PINK CHALK STUDIO

October 17          CITY STITCHING with CHRISTINE HAYES

October 20          CUT OUT & KEEP

October 21          HE SOWED, SHE SEWED

October 23          THREADS

October 24          INDYGO JUNCTION

Farming after the Fire

18 Sep

The Pajari Sisters Press On after Last Summer’s Tragedy

(Originally Published in the Cook News Herald; Sep. 17, 2014)

By Jared and Caitlyn

The question was never if the Pajari Sisters would continue to grace the Cook area with their friendly laughter and quirky entrepreneurship after the loss of the Cook Dollar Barn, but when. And now we know the answer. With roughly fifteen months behind us since the tragic loss of a historic Cook building containing two businesses and eight apartments, Lois and Laura Pajari are back at it – this time with a real barn and plenty of other animals alongside their two beloved Corgis.

The farm that hosts one of Cook’s newest businesses – Cook’s Country Connection – is actually one of the oldest places in the area. And even though they officially opened on August 28, 2014, the Pajari sisters’ family has been working that land since the beginning of the 20th century. The farm and homes of Lois (husband Steve Gams) and Laura (husband Paul Williams) sit on part of the original homestead of their Great Grandmother Augusta, just atop the hill north of Cook on County Road 24, and now a brand new sign welcomes visitors to share in the history and happiness of their beloved haven.

imgresOn June 17, 2013, the Pajaris experienced what experts refer to as “a life-altering catastrophic event” when flames and smoke filled the summer sky above Cook on an otherwise beautiful summer evening. Our town watched in horror, not just at the loss of homes and businesses, but at the thought of losing one of the truly charming places in Cook. Lois explains that after working through the mountain of paperwork post-fire, and hauling away the mountain of rubble sitting on 114 S. River Street, it was time to think about something new.

“It was time for me to find a job,” she laughs, “The problem is, I didn’t want one.” See, the sisters had always joked that they were not running the dollar barn to make money, but to make friends, and while the fire destroyed a building, it certainly didn’t destroy the spirit of the two ladies who had succeeded in making so many friends along the way. The sisters weren’t about to settle for just another job, they wanted something that could keep them woven deeply into the fabric of this community. As Lois explains, “I am so thankful that I took the time to heal and wait for the ‘right something’ rather than the ‘next something’”.

And it just so happens, this “right something” includes pygmy goats, giant bunnies, a rafter of turkeys, and plenty of other goofy critters and friendly livestock that’ll keep you grinning as long as your visit will allow.

DSC_0538As you turn at the sign off County Road 24 just north of Cook and head west along the beautiful, tree-studded drive, you’ll soon see the original homestead barn, a relic that has earned their home a “Century Farm” award from the Minnesota Farm Bureau. On one of our visits, someone from the gang of turkeys had just laid an egg in the middle of the road. “Yeah, turkeys aren’t too bright,” Lois jokes.

DSC_0506You’ll soon want to descend the hill and greet George and Ruby, a species of rare KuneKune pig who are sure to roll over along the fence for a belly rub as soon as you beckon. Keep some change handy and buy treats for the animals from the dispensers posted along the various pens like gumball machines.

DSC_0512The ponies and donkeys will shyly lick snacks from your hand, while the alpacas – Maddox and Madelyn – will have you wondering if the farm keeps a professional hairstylist around.

Anthony Vito, one of the many young people who help at the farm, saved up his money for two years and now is the proud owner of Lily, a miniature Scottish Highlander, whose long fur and cute horns always attract admirers. You might be lucky enough to catch Pixie and Pepper, the humorous pygmy goats, going headfirst down the slide on the plastic child’s play equipment in their enclosure.DSC_0516

DSC_0525A wonderful playground fills the grassy yard and can keep kids busy for hours, along with a giant sand box full of vintage dump trucks and excavators to spark imaginative play. Children and adults can also spend time in the new barn, with the kids coloring pictures or working on crafts while the older visitors investigate the impressive history of the old homestead.

When one considers the recent journey the Pajari sisters have been on, the story of this farm becomes all the more profound. A good home should always be a place where one can recover and heal from life’s toughest blows, and the old homestead has certainly been that for Lois and Laura. But now, the same ladies with whom we shared so many smiles and laughs at the Dollar Barn are now ready to share their home with us – helping us all connect better with the community and land that we love.

Cook’s Country Connection is open for businesses, welcoming guests Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays through October. The cost is $6.00 per person, with special group rates available. Children under two are free, so bring out the whole family this fall and enjoy the petting zoo and farm. Find out more at Cookscountryconnection.com.

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