Weekend Snapshots: A Bear Sighting…..Come On, Seriously????

This weekend started out very strangely to put it mildly. Friday I received a call from a friend that I should keep a look out because there was a reported bear sighting on the corner our house is located on. Now, even though I am an avid hiker and have always assumed I would come across a bear on a trail somewhere, I never thought living in an urban community I would have to deal with such a possibility. Not 30 minutes after hanging up from this phone call, local news stations started showing up and knocking on doors asking for interviews.


I did not grant them any interview because first of all, I was busy with three kids, and second, I did not see any bear so I had nothing to say in regards to this sighting. However, this did not stop them from hanging around for hours searching and taping for upcoming news broadcasts throughout the day. It was quite an amusing Friday on our block;)


Saturday then arrived and we were on the road bright and early headed for Milwaukee, WI for a visit to my two favorite stores. I had received an email about REI having a garage sale event for members only. And then also knew that nearby they had recently opened a Trader’s Joe’s which I will never pass up an opportunity to make a visit. First was REI, and upon arriving we were shocked to see how long the line was.


This was our first time to a garage sale event so we were not sure what exactly to expect. Despite this announcement upon opening the doors, “that there will be NO RUNNING and NO FIGHTING because if two people fight neither person will be allowed to purchase said item,” neither of these two rules were followed. People ran and fought and honestly it reminded me of black Friday shoppers. These outdoor enthusiasts were fearless and on a mission for a deal. (I would not put it past any of them to have bear spray in their pockets to ward off others in their pursuit of a great item at a great price…HAHA) My husband and I were also hoping for a lucky find, but clearly not quite as desperate as some of these individuals. Don’t get me wrong, we did end up with our fair share of good buys since our hands were full while standing in the LONGGGGG checkout line.


Although not all our items were garage sale deals we did fairly well. He found some boots, a pair of hiking pants, water bottle, and two new freeze dried meals for us to test. I needed rubber ends to put on my trekking poles for hiking rocks/mountains, a water bottle cleaning kit, and finally I found a replacement for my backpack that I needed to return after our Michigan hiking trip. I struggle with backpacks since many have wide bulky shoulder straps that I don’t care for. This time I am trying a Gregory pack which I bought a bit larger than my old pack since I seem to be carrying most of our supplies at the moment until my husband’s back is fully recovered. It very comfortable and hopefully will meet our needs well. I should find out in a week or so how it carries on the trail.


Our next stop was a new Trader’s Joe’s. Milwaukee has two locations now, and let me tell you, this one is so much nicer in regards to the parking situation. Both stores a great but this is by far the location I will be back to. IMG_2740

We stocked up on all our favorites and are fully prepared for a winter of fabulous meals thanks to some of our favorite Trader Joe’s additions.

After this we headed home. We had spent enough money and were satisfied that the trip was worth the long drive. Idealy, it would have been in our best interest to keep driving until we passed by a new store right off the highway that we have never been to before. Grafton,WI has a Meijer now….which is pretty cool since Green Bay is also due to get one of these retailers soon. So of course we exited and had to check it out. I was pleasantly surprised although, it does remind me very much of a Walmart in some ways. I am not a fan of Walmart, or maybe I should say not any Green Bay Walmarts at least. However, this Meijer was not bad, prices seems good and it was nicely arranged and not overly packed with items. I think Green Bay will benefit when it makes it’s arrival here in the near future.


With a bit more money spent here, it was really time to head home. No more stops and no more money to spend. We arrived home with a full trunk and tired from a full day of shopping.

Sunday was our “get it done day.” My husband and son worked outside storing the boat for winter, doing leaves(again), and other winter prep chores. I spent time indoors baking pumpkin muffins/bread, laundry and cleaning.


Later in the afternoon my husband got away for some hunting, I made a trip to the gym for a workout, and our son did something with a friend. It was a great way for all of us to end our weekend.

What brand of backpack do you prefer?

Have you ever seen a bear hiking or in an urban environment?



Monthly Health Challenge: October 2015

Three more months to go before we again start a new year….can you believe it? As September comes to an end and we being October you sure can feel the cool, crispness in the air. Which for me means walking outside is coming to an end. My husband and I used to walk outside year round, in snow, on ice, and in freezing temperatures. That all ended about three years ago when I had a bad fall and needless to say, it was not my first fall outside during one of our winter walks. (I am not a good ice walker and WI has a lot of ice) After this we now rarely will walk outside after the first few snow falls. It’s just too risky and stressful for me. Which brings this months health challenge to be one of the most important ones of the entire year in my opinion.

October Health Challenge Is: Walk outside 1 mile 5x’s a week.

This is not a lot to ask. Your body will thank you for the exercise and the fresh air. And almost anyone can walk one mile without much effort. So this is the minimum I want you to try and walk….if you feel like you can walk further, by all means go ahead.

Good Luck!

Let’s Talk P’s: Preschool,(Green Bay) Packers, Planning and Photography

As we slowly adjust to our new daily schedule of walking the four year old I care for to and from school everyday, we have really surprisingly been enjoying the few hours we are a threesome instead of four. The two boys I care for are 6 weeks apart and play very well together (at the moment) which is so fun to watch. At first they seemed to miss her presence, although now they seem to know that eventually we go back and get her.

IMG_1378Another fun thing I have been taking full advantage of lately is the Green Bay Packer season has officially begun. You all know I am not a football fan which means when the GB Packer season begins and everyone (and I mean everyone) in Green Bay lives, sleeps, breathes, dreams, schedules vacations, plans births, and even shits according to the GB Packer schedule, I take full advantage of the moment and I go shopping!!!! You can get in and out of Costco with a full cart in under 20 minutes with no lines to stand in, literally. I know because I did this on a Monday night game recently and it was incredible. So even though I don’t care to watch the GB Packers, I sure take advantage of the their schedule and get lots done in a very little amount of time in the city.

We have started looking at our next vacation destination. Both my son and husband requested Alaska….like this would ever truly happen. SERIOUSLY!!!! I can hardly get through winter in WI, why would I choose to go to Alaska. I am all for traveling the road less traveled but no snow covered roads for me during vacation….sorry boys. I offered for them to go their direction and I would head to my happy place (south) but they both agreed to join me in my next adventure….how thoughtful they are. For now I am working out all the logistics, which is extremely time consuming. We don’t typically go on your normal beach vacation where we sip umbrella decorated drinks on the ocean side. Our vacations take hours of planning, permits, and it looks like this time we will be needing a high clearance rental vehicle. Ohhhh, what fun we will have….


You all know our son is working on becoming a professional photographer. This has been his passion for many years and he is enjoying every second of it so far. One of his recent classes gave a final project of creating a 3-5 minute video using the techniques they all were taught in class. Of course he wasted no time getting this together and roping in a friend to help create this project. One Sunday morning they woke up bright and early(4 a.m.), loaded up the car with all their photography equipment, and headed to Sturgeon Bay, WI to capture the sunrise on the pier near one of our favorite lighthouses.  IMG_0745

His friend is the musician and our son did the camera work…..enjoy.

Here for Me – Ian Sutherland from Dockside Productions on Vimeo.

Our upcoming few weeks look a bit sketchy to be honest. We have our anniversary coming up in about a month and no real plans quite yet. We are hoping to join our son and a friend in a Devil’s Lake hike before winter. I have one more bus trip scheduled and I am hoping to make a day trip to Trader Joe’s and REI before November. And to top all this off, we are still awaiting my father-in-laws heart surgery date to be set. If we pull all this off we will be doing good. I am feeling the pressure to get in every second I can outside before our lawn, streets, and trails are covered with snow and ice. I’d say it’s a bit like controlled chaos and honestly, I love every second of it. Busy is good.

Warrens Cranberry Festival With The Girls….

I had the pleasure of escaping for an entire day and attending Cranberry Fest  in Warrens, WI Saturday with two friends of mine. We very rarely escape for a girls day and I really think we need to do something about that because we had a wonderful time. We boarded the tour bus from DePere, WI at 7a.m. and were off for a day of fun.

We arrived at the festival about three hours later and the grounds were already swarming with loads of people eager to spend some money. As far as you could see up the street it was shoulder to shoulder festival goers and we wasted no time jumping right in.


At Cranberry Fest you will find just about anything and everything you can imagine. From farmers market veggies,  IMG_2716

to flowers,  IMG_2715





good food, IMG_2719

and the best thing we found the entire day, frozen wine!!!!  Heaven in a cup I tell you:-)IMG_2725

It was a gorgeous day. After 7 hours of walking, shopping, eating, drinking, and laughing our way through tons of craft vendors, we again boarded our bus for a relaxing trip back home.


We already have our fall destination picked out for next year but hopefully we can work in one more girls day before then.

Have you ever taken a bus trip anywhere?

Have you ever tried frozen wine? I highly recommend it!

Join Us In Participating In The 52 Hike Challenge

You all know winter is not my favorite time of year…..it’s cold, dreary, snow covered, and just plain miserable here in WI. Now, I know some individuals love winter as it brings skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ice fishing and so on……however, I am not one of those individuals that enjoys these activities. So recently I was searching for something to keep me motivated through the winter months and came across this very awesome challenge.


52 Hike Challenge was created by a couple whom, for each their own reasons, felt the need to inspire others to get out and be active. Which just so happens to be my goal of blogging, since I also found happiness after I figured out that good vibes come from being active. So I signed us up after researching the challenge and have already started logging hikes we take in our area. I have no doubt we will accomplish this goal of 52 hikes in one year. I think this is exactly the motivation my body and mind need to get out in the winter months and be active.

Take a look and read over their website. It was easy to sign up, fun to read where others have hiked, and maybe, just maybe we will meet some new people that also enjoy the outdoors as much as we do.

Weekend Snapshots: We Are Almost Done….

This weekend we completed another big chunk of the Ahnapee State Trail. We have been working on hiking this entire trail for two years now. It is 48 miles from Kewaunee, WI to downtown Sturgeon Bay, WI and since we always have to turn back to reach our vehicle we technically will have completed this trail twice. Our goal is to finish the last stretch before the snow flies….which if all goes well should be no problem.

Here is a look at our weekend

Saturday morning homemade sconesIMG_2676

Ahnapee State Trail bench


Trail snackIMG_2693

A trail map I will never utilize….brrrr!   IMG_2688

Logging a few more geocachesIMG_2687

Fun on the trail



IMG_2707 IMG_2708 IMG_2709

Almost 6 miles today and not a single snake….yehhhh!


It was a great weekend here in Green Bay. Weather was sunny and cool, great for hiking. Sunday our son went hiking with a friend, my husband lent a hand to his parents with fall cleanup, and I accomplished many things around the house that have been neglected over the summer months. I can’t believe the chores I can accomplish when I am home alone.

After all these things were completed, I ended my Sunday with a workout at the gym and some relaxing time on my porch. I know these moments are quickly coming to an end, so I have to savor every second of warmth I can to enjoy sitting outside.




Our Prayers To The Utah Hiking Community


A few short weeks ago my family was enjoying the beauty of the Utah area.


As I watched and listened to the numerous stories online and on television about the flash flooding and deaths that came to those hikers in Zion National Park this week I couldn’t help but wonder what they went through.

This area is where I find true happiness. It fulfills my passion for hiking and living large. I can only pray that this group of men and women were doing something they loved, in a place they loved.

This is simply heartbreaking and our prayers go out to their family and friends.