Blog, Career, Family, Food & Drink, Friendship, Health and Wellness

Family Fun over Labor Day Weekend!

GOSH we had a blast this weekend!

Here is a recap of our Family Fun.

Thursday: Vikings pre-season game with the family!

Friday: Picked up the kids from school, showed Dad their classrooms, and we were off to Valley Fair! I was a perfect Friday evening to go – no lines, and beautiful and 75 degrees. There is such a great variety of thrills to mild-fun for the little ones. We also celebrated Addy’s first test in school, with the A-F grading system  – a spelling test in which she got an A+! #proudmomma

Saturday: Enjoyed a morning of food and fun at the fair. Was way too busy to snap any pics! Came home to a lovely nap, went to church, and then grilled out and had a campfire with friends. Perfection!

Sunday: The Apple Orchard (Aamodt’s!) with a childhood friend of Aaron’s, and his family – followed my lunch at Acapulco’s. We were early in the season but still enjoy Apple donuts and some fun pickin’ of Curtland Apples. The kids then went to Grandma and Grandpa’s house in WI for some last-bit-of-summer swimmin’ and a campfire. We got to enjoy a night out to dinner to celebrate a friend’s birthday! (Cravings – YUM!)

Monday: Helllooo work day! I love spending Labor Day catching up on fun, R&R, and also some work. Throughout the weekend, I have managed to go through and clean out and purge all of our 4 bathrooms and bedrooms of expired, old, unused items. It was fantastic! Today, Aaron is doing an outdoor fall clean up day, and I am catching up on some work projects along with brunch and a hike with a friend. Maybe we’ll head to see Jason Bourne tonight!

Whatever you are doing this weekend, I hope you take a moment to enjoy the weather, and the people you are with.



#perseverance, Beauty, Blog, Career, Faith, Family, Health and Wellness

Amazing Adventures

It seems that lately, adventures are around every bend. From small afternoon ‘errand adventures’ with the kids, all the way to life changing decisions and opportunities. I am fueled by adventures. I am fueled by ‘what’s next’. I have to work hard to be in the here and now – being present and loving the ‘current’. This year, specifically, I have worked hard at that – and it’s been so rewarding. Just enjoying a beautiful day, a relaxing nap, or time with friends and family.

And you truly get the best of both worlds when you do that – because I think the adventure actually ends up following you, ten-fold.


Cheers to a fall full of colors and adventures for everyone.


Blog, Health and Wellness


Sometimes I feel as though my house is a mess. When I really think about it though, it’s not too shabby. The truth is, we all do the best we can. Sometimes we feel ahead, most of the time – not so much. However, what really is “behind”, anyways?

For instance – I have this mess in an office off of my kitchen:


Although it will be sitting there, some of which until October; I need to remember I am actually ahead of the game; two kiddos with all their school supplies, a wedding shower gift, wedding gifts, and mail for the family out of the country!

Today, I commit to being gentler on myself, and realizing all the ways I am ‘ahead’. How about you?



Blog, Health and Wellness, Retail, Running, Shopping

Miles of Smiles

I am now six weeks into training for the Stillwater Half Marathon and today was a long-run day. Nine miles of smiles. All my mileage goals are mapped out in my planner so I can plan activities around what needs to be accomplished. In anticipation of this longer run I set out to find a really good pair of running socks. As it goes, I had two pair of “favorites” and I effectively lost one of each of the pair in the laundry last week. I’m not above wearing mismatched socks, but figured it was an OK time to invest in some additional pairs. I’m going to need them in the remaining six weeks anyway.

So- running socks are kind of expensive. Certainly I can get a 6-pack of general sports socks, from any discount retailer, but for long distance they just don’t prevent blisters or provide the compression I find valuable. After browsing the racks at Dick’s Sporting Goods, I discovered a brand called Feetures. They promised “High Performance” and “No Blisters.” Both very appealing claims. Cute colors and a moderate advertised price of $12.99/pair. (Though there must have been a signage mistake because they actually only rang up as $8.97- bonus!) I put them to the test today.


Happy to report that the fit was snug, and there was absolutely no slipping to be felt inside my shoe. The “no show” tab actually does show a little bit, but suited my needs as is because my Asics have a higher back than my Nike Free running shoes.

sock edit

Heading into the run I already had a soft callus from running earlier this week. The beginnings of a blister if you will. I didn’t feel any pain during my run today, but when I ended the blister was certainly there. Maybe their ad copy could be better written to state, “No NEW Blisters.” That would be totally accurate. All in all, I am very satisfied and would give 4.5/5 stars overall.

Now- on a totally unrelated note- today will be the last post I create as a writer for Balloons in the Sky blog. I was offered and accepted a new FT position that begins tomorrow. After nine years at my previous job and being totally comfortable in what I do every day, I am about to embark on a new adventure. I need to give it 100% of my energy and attention right now- well, what is left over after running miles of smiles anyway.

Heidi will keep this blog going so stick around for more travel, food, recommendations, and inspirations.  Thanks so much for reading! I’ll resume writing on my own blog at some point in the future and will definitely be seeking many of you out to follow. There are many talented writers I’ve gotten to know through this blog.

All my best!



Image Outtake. Features socks. Cats love’m.

Blog, Food & Drink, Health and Wellness, Uncategorized

Holy Shiitake

A couple weeks ago I broke out in a terribly odd rash. It was unique in design…almost as though I had gotten into a fight with a cat and had stripey claw-like red marks on my shoulders, neck, and torso. As anyone who has ever had a random rash occur, I wracked my brain trying to figure out the source. I put my money on a zinc supplement I had started taking a few days prior. But, I also thought perhaps it was blank lentils. Those were the only two abnormal things I could think of that I had interacted with in recent days leading up to the outbreak.

I told a dear friend of mine about the rash and she also got curious about the source. After trolling the internet looking at comparable photos (now THAT is a true friend) she sent me a text message asking if I had eaten Shiitake mushrooms recently. I responded that I had not. However, I totally spaced that I HAD actually eaten some on an Asian Chicken Salad three days prior to the outbreak.

My friend and I went out to lunch this past Monday to the same restaurant where I had initially consumed the salad. It was SO good that I decided to order it again. Halfway through the meal, my lovely friend suddenly says…”Aren’t those shiitake mushrooms?” Throwing my fork down on the table, I’m like, OMG. Yes.They.Are.

So, all I could do was wait and see what happened. Sure enough, about 28 hours later the rash started on the nape of my neck just where it had started before. I immediately started dosing on Benadryl and leftover Rx cream. About 16 hours later from the onset on the nape of my neck, the stripes appeared on the front of my neck.

I am allergic to shiitake mushrooms. It’s an interesting thing. Not many cases of it according to Google, so I feel sort of special. Mystery solved. Benadryl, Rx Hydrocortisone, and lavender essential oil helped take the itch away. The rash has now resolved after 4 days. (It lasted 8 days the last time, but then again, I did eat the whole salad instead of just half.) Isn’t it crazy how it all worked out?



Blog, Health and Wellness, Uncategorized

Allergic Reaction

On Monday night I started to get an itchy, spidery, crawling sensation on my neck. I put some lotion on and went to bed. Tuesday morning, I woke up at 6a and headed immediately to the gym. When I wake up, I usually get ready in the dark so as to not disturb my still sleeping family. After I returned home for a shower (yes, my gym has showers, but I have a “thing” about showering anywhere other than home) that is when I noticed something was seriously wrong. I peeled off my sweaty workout clothes and discovered that the itchy, spidery, crawling sensation from the night before had blown up into a full-fledged hive-like outbreak! One look in the mirror and I was like WHOA!!!

Red spider-webby stripey splotches all over my torso, neck, and shoulders. So weird! None of it itched and I felt totally fine. Post-runner high was in full effect. Mood was great…However, I certainly looked like I had just gotten into a tussle with a tiger. I’ve had hives before, maybe 15 years or so ago and knew enough to take some Benadryl right away. I recall that the last time I had a random outbreak like this it resolved within a few hours. I am now on day #3 and this crazy condition just keeps evolving. It’s fading on my torso and neck, but now my fingers and elbows are victims.  I’ll spare you any pictures. Don’t feel like you’re missing out. There are plenty of awful ones available on the internet if your Google searching of symptoms and causes ever takes you down that path.

I did visit the Minute Clinic at my local CVS on Tuesday evening, but nothing conclusive was determined to be the cause. No fever, O2 levels good, heart rate and blood pressure were stellar. Most likely it was an allergic reaction to something, but what that could be is still TBD. One benefit of having a pretty healthy lifestyle and a chemical free home is that I can rule out a lot of possibilities. It’s not my organic-free-of-everything laundry detergent, face wash, body wash, shampoo, lotion, or cosmetics!

Current theories include a zinc supplement that I took for a few days leading up to this outbreak, ironically, to boost my immune system. Perhaps I kicked my immune system into overdrive and now it is in combat mode! Another theory is black lentils. I’ve never had a legume/peanut allergy before, and I’ve had my fair share of hummus or other lentil soups, so I’m not convinced, but on Sunday I had black lentils for the first time ever. They were SO good I had them for dinner on Monday night too. I was almost going to post a recipe blog about it, but maybe I shouldn’t! (Well, it’s still worth a mention…roasted sweet potato, black lentils, scallions, and celery tossed with olive oil, honey, and lemon juice.)


Could this be the delicious culprit??

It is such a mystery! I’m probably just allergic to work. It’s been a stressful few days. Think I could get an MD note excusing me for the rest of my, um, life?

Here’s hoping I can run tomorrow! This girl has a half-marathon to run in a few weeks! I don’t have time for this craziness.

Here’s to your health!



Beauty, Blog, Family, Health and Wellness, Parenting, Uncategorized

Oh, Baby!

Baby powder that is. I have had some in my girl’s bathroom up until this very morning. I just did not know. The product seemed so innocent…I mean, it goes on babies for crying out loud! What is more innocent than babies?! This product was literally found guilty- and Johnson & Johnson had to pay up. Check out this article from Time Magazine, Johnson & Johnson Is Just the Tip of the Toxic Iceberg, dated March 2, 2016 to learn more about the need for tougher safety standards and informed choice about safety of products in the cosmetics industry. To learn more about the $72 MILLION dollar lawsuit, check out this article from Time, Jury Awards $72 Million to Woman in Johnson & Johnson Talcum Powder Cancer Suit, dated February 23, 2016.

If this information disturbs you, get curious! Learn more about product safety by visiting the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit dedicated to protecting human health and the environment.

If you want to take action, join a movement in asking Congress to Hold a Hearing on the Personal Care Products Safety Act. It hasn’t been updated since 1938!!

Your voice matters!