Category Archives: Uncategorized

Happy New Year!


My poor little abandoned blog… I haven’t forgotten about you! We didn’t deck the halls or get holiday cards out this year, but Shamrock said he still wanted to wish you all “Peas” on Earth. He got a new set of Peas in a Pod for Christmas. He loves to take the peas out of the pod and nibble on them.

Cheers to a Happy New Year!


Thirsty Thursday: HeadFlyer Brewing


We’ve taken a lot of out-of-town guests on our little NE Mpls Brewery Tour, but I had yet to hit multiple taprooms with my closest gal pals.

On a whim one rainy Saturday, Rob and I whisked them away to hit our faves.

We started a little later than usual, therefore our usual first stop at Dangerous Man was a bust after we found a line out the door.

“We’ll have plenty of available seating at our next stop!” Rob exclaimed.

I joked that he was going to jinx it.

Sure enough, there was a festival going on over at our usual brewery #2: Indeed. Even if we wanted to chance it, there was no place to park!

We rolled the dice and headed our way to our usual #3 taproom: Insight, pointing out the other breweries along the way that, through our “research”, were not worth the stop.

Here we were able to snag a booth and enjoy a nice variety of brews. Finally!

Rob was really hoping for his Doe Eyes, an ale brewed with cherries; but alas, it was not available.

But where to next? With our first two strikeouts, our taproom tour had just begun!

Then I remembered a dog-friendly promotional event posted a few weeks prior at a new brewery called HeadFlyer. I promptly looked up its location and beer styles and knew it was going to be our next stop.

They had so many beers on tap!

We opted to get two flights so that we could taste them all. Just look at the size of these flight pours!

I can honestly say I did not dislike one of these beers. But still, there was a very clear winner: the Vanilla Bean Porter. I took a growler home. I would come back for this beer alone.

Oh… and to pet Spaghetti:

Who else can say that they pet Spaghetti?!

Well, our friend Ryan can! He found out he had just been there as well when we ran into him, ending our tour South of the River at his new Shakopee Brewhall… which deserves a post on its own, soon!

Sometimes you discover something new and cool when things don’t go according to plan…



The Worst Toy in our BarkBox


Sophie & Shamrock Saturday!

Sophie and Shamrock got their June BarkBox last week… with a camping theme!


The always funny tidbits they offer for the hoomans:


All of the boxes are a bit different, based on dog size and availability. Here’s our contents:


Let’s Review:

  • S’mores Treats – The BarkBox treats are always a hit with Sophie & Shamrock. But they really smell like S’mores. So don’t be tempted to eat them yourself!
  • Granola Bites Trail Treats – We have not yet opened these, but I have no doubt they will be loved.
  • Etta Chew – always Sophie’s favorite
  • Giggle Buddy Bear – I like the giggle sound of this toy and the stretchy legs. Sham likes it, but it isn’t his favorite. He’s still obsessed with peas in pod, though!
  • Pawty Training Roll – Worst BarkBox toy EVER! Let’s delve into why…

When we pulled the Pawty Training Roll out of the box, we thought, “This is the dumbest toy ever!” The velcro unrolls the toy only part way. “How would you use this?” Rob and I thought maybe stuffing it with treats or something, but it still seemed weird.

I had the girls over for a puppy play date so that Rob could meet Kim’s new Shih Tzu puppy, Phoebe. I showed Jen and Kim the Pawty Training Roll and we all discussed what a stupid toy it was. Then I tossed it aside as we discussed other things.

Phoebe went right for it!

She loved the challenge of getting the velcro apart and the crinkly sound of the roll. Once unrolled, she used her paw to roll it back up. So adorable. This toy was designed for mid-size and big dogs; but this 2-lb, 11-week-old Shih Tzu loved it! {It went home with Miss Phoebe!}

Moral of the story:

All dogs are different and you’ll be surprised which toys they love!

That’s one of the things I love about BarkBox. We’ve discovered some great toys that Shamrock loves that we would have never bought for him otherwise. The ones I have bought him, he never seems to take much interest in…

If you’d like to try out some new toys on your pup, you can enroll in BarkBox. This link will give you an extra free box added to your subscription. {Full disclosure: Sophie and Sham will get a free box, too!}


Happy Saturday!

Go Around, Not Up, Uluru


Australia – Uluru… Continued…


When I was first planning our trip to The Rock, there were three things I knew I wanted to do:

  1. Sunset Viewing
  2. Sunrise Viewing
  3. Walking the approximately 10k perimeter of the base of Uluru

But then I found the perfect tour for us that included more than that and also more bang for our buck.


This tour included an “interpretive walk around the base of Uluru with an indigenous guide.” This wasn’t a walk around the entire perimeter, but it sounded like it would be far more meaningful.

It started with breakfast and visit to the Cultural Centre. Entry is free and definitely worth your time. The Centre itself has won numerous awards for architecture. Photography of the Centre is strictly prohibited, but you will still find some photos online because people, you know, are defiant.

The Centre is wonderfully set up to guide you through what Aboriginal life was like in this area. There are displays introducing plants and wildlife, as well as describing how Uluru was formed. {Like, did you know that the bulk of this sandstone “monolith” lies underground?!}

After our time wandering on our own, we gathered around a fire for a demonstration of Aboriginal tools.


There were two guides, one who was Aboriginal. At first, I thought this was because the Aboriginal guide didn’t speak much English. The other guide did most of the talking, translating what the soft-spoken indigeonous guide had to say.

The Aboriginal people ask that you do not take photos of them. This has to do with their culture and is very dependent on the customs of traditions of each group. I noticed in the Cultural Centre that some of the faces of the Aborigines in photos were covered. I believe this goes hand and hand with some Aboriginal groups’ practices of no longer speaking the name of a deceased person.

Our guide was young. He wore shorts, work boots and a Chicago Bulls hat! But he was very knowledgeable of how to use the resources in the area.

Right before our eyes he turned this spinifex…


into a powder!

It took several minutes and was meticulous work.


The powder could be used as a glue of sorts, when heated. He showed us how to create the end of a club, like the one you with the black nub in the picture of tools below.


While the guys had the opportunity to attempt to throw wooden spears, the ladies tried to balance this on their heads.


This vessel, made from the truck of a tree, is used to carry food and other materials.


I detest these photos, but you get the gist. Shout out to Fulton Brewery in Minneapolis!

At least I was able to balance it for a few seconds. Walking? That was another story.


Afterward, we boarded our coach to head to Uluru for our base walk. That’s when we saw the climbers. Ugh. I find it so disrespectful when you are asked not to climb!

Seeing the surface color and texture of the Rock up close was fascinating.


I just finished reading In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson and his description of The Rock on his visit was spot on:

Quite apart from that initial shock of indefinable recognition, there is also the fact that Uluru is, no matter how you approach it, totally arresting. You cannot stop looking at it; you don’t want to stop looking at it. As you draw closer, it becomes even more interesting. It is more pitted than you had imagined, less regular in shape. There are more curves and divots and wavelike ribs, more irregularities of every type, than are evident from even a couple of hundred yards away.

You realize that you could spend quite a lot of time – possibly a worryingly large amount of time; possibly a sell-your-house-and-move-here-to-live-in-a-tent amount of time – just looking at the rock, gazing at it from many angles, never tiring of it. You can see yourself in a silvery ponytail, barefoot, and in something jangly and loose-fitting, hanging out with much younger visitors and telling them, “And the amazing thing is that every day it’s different, you know what I’m saying? It’s never the same rock twice. That’s right, my friend – you put your finger on it there. It’s awesome. It’s an awesome thing. Say, do you by any chance have any dope or some spare change?”



Sometimes the rock is so red and smooth:


Then there are other parts of the rock….


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The indigenous guide pointed out resources from the land that have been used for thousands of years:

It didn’t feel like a planned tour, so much. It was more that he pointed out anything that he spotted along the way that had significance. He was quiet, but, at this point, he began speaking directly to us, in English. He identified the type of tree used to shape the container that I attempted to balance on my head earlier.  He pointed out bush foods. We tried some sort of berry, which I would not have had the courage to do if we’d have walked the base on our own!

We even found lizard tracks in the sand!


You can see the footprints, along with where the tail slid through the sand:


The more our guide spoke, the more confident he seemed to become. Maybe it was our obvious interest in what he had to say. But what I loved most were the stories! He told Dreamtime stories just as I imagine they were told from generation to generation.

The story that related to the vicinity where we were standing was of the Blue-Tongued Lizard Man.



There are many lessons from the story, one of which is not to steal. The other: Don’t Climb Uluru. There is nothing up there: no food, no shade, no water. You can die falling. Every week someone has to be rescued. Not joking. While it is unsafe, it is also discourteous.


No matter what, I’ve always found that it’s better to learn about a place from the locals. It’s often more enjoyable, too.

Have you ever had a local guide tell stories?

What was your experience?

Other posts on the on Uluru:

Other posts about our trip to Australia:


It’s Been A Week + Recipe Arsenal


It’s been a week since I posted. Where has the time gone?

But I did put together a new Recipe Arsenal on the site. Sure, many of these recipes are pinned, but I wanted to share them with you and introduce you to some of the places where I find recipes. These particular links are my tried and true go-to recipes.

And I really do need a list like that this week!


I don’t have anything planned for cooking this week because we are prepping for vacation. {No, it’s not time for Australia, yet! But I have been busy planning that, too!} This list will make it easy to pick things out of my pantry when I need to throw something together this week.

And as for fitness, we are still running.


What’s in your recipe arsenal?