Category: Moving

02
Sep

Welcome to Our Mankato Apartment!

Happy September, Everybody! It feels SO good to be back! We are now officially moved into our new apartment, and I can’t wait to show it to you.

So far, Mankato has been MAGNIFICENT! I am loving my new job as a Children’s Librarian, Shane is rocking is new position as sports anchor/reporter, I’m writing again, unpacking is DONE, and we are having fun discovering the area (which is gorgeous, by the way. I had no idea! All rolling hills, which is nice after the FLAT adventures in Northern Minnesota).

To share our new apartment, we’ve created a digital tour just for you! Shane is manning the camera this time, so the video is a little smoother. To be honest, though, I used my computer camera and the quality just isn’t all that great. You still get to see us, hear me banter, and see our place. What’s not to love?

See you soon!!!

Happy Monday!

19
Aug

Celebration Coconut Banana Cream Pie!

I’m a real librarian!

There aren’t enough exclamation points in the world to accurately convey how freakin’ excited I am!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I got the job! I got the job!

I can’t believe it!!!!!!!

On Monday afternoon, I got a call from the library I interviewed at on Thursday. The director had told me not to expect a decision until later this week, so when I saw the number on my phone, my heart jumped into my throat. When she offered me the Children’s Librarian position, I was so excited that I accepted before she told me how much I’d be making or the fine details of the position.

Honestly, I wasn’t even thinking about that. After working for and volunteering at the BEST library in the world during my days in Brainerd, I knew that becoming a Children’s Librarian was what I wanted to do with my life. I LOVE creating programs and helping kids love reading, exploring, and learning. When I found out we were moving to Mankato, I started job searching right away, applied to what is essentially my dream job, and crossed my fingers.

I couldn’t believe my luck in finding an open Children’s Librarian job, but when they called me in for my interview, I was over the moon. A chance to actually be in the running for a professional librarian position?!

Deep breaths

I cannot express how completely and utterly grateful I am for this opportunity. I cried. Real tears (after I got off the phone, fortunately. You can ask Stefania). I will be the best Children’s Librarian I possibly can be, and work my butt off to make the library programs absolutely amazing. My heart is 110% in this job, and I cannot WAIT to begin!

In the meantime, LET’S CELEBRATE! And what better way to celebrate than with PIE?!

I love pie (you may recall my Key Lime Pie recipe). I choose pie over cake, brownies, cookies–pretty much anything besides ice cream (because, why choose between the two? Just do ala mode!).

This Banana Cream Pie recipe changed my life. It was the first time I really tried making a raw dessert, and MAN is it good. This recipe is Shane’s favorite and most requested dessert. The flavor is out of this world, and as a bonus it is made with 100% whole food ingredients. Chia seeds act as the thickener to turn the coconut milk into pudding, and are packed with so much nutrition they are know as a “super food.”

Top this delicious pie with coconut shreds or homemade coconut whipped cream. Either way, it is healthy enough to have for breakfast. Trust me. I’m a librarian. 😉

Julia’s Best Ever Coconut Banana Cream Pie

Cool, Healthy, and a Total Treat!

For the Crust

For the ingredients & directions for my Super Easy Oatmeal Crust, check out my Key Lime Pie post!

For the Filling

1 can Coconut Milk, either full fat or light
1 cup Shredded Coconut
1 cup Chia Seeds
2 tsp Vanilla
4 Tbsp Maple Syrup
2-3 ripe Bananas

Directions

Make the crust according to directions. Set in the fridge.

In a large bowl, mash up 2-3 ripe bananas. Once they are good and creamy (a few chunks is fine), whisk the coconut milk, shredded coconut, vanilla, chia seeds and maple syrup.

Pour the banana mixture into that delicious pie crust. Lick the spoon. Heck, lick the bowl.

Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes or until the pudding has thickened enough so it doesn’t wobble when you shake the pie tin back and forth.

Top with shredded coconut, coconut whipped cream, or more sliced banana. Whatever sounds good to you.

DEVOUR!

Suggested Pairing

A glass of bubbly to toast your awesomeness!

I’m a real librarian! I’m a real author! I guess this year has been pretty darn good, huh? 🙂

Mankato, here I come!

Happiest of Wednesdays!

17
Aug

Wine & Words, an Interview, and the First Goodbye

Don’t worry. I haven’t named a volleyball “Shane”…yet…

After my post on Wednesday, I fully intended to follow-up with a Friday Favorites detailing all the excitement of my trip to Mankato. Then, Friday came about with a coffee date, a drive back to Bemidji, a full day of work, volunteering, and Shane’s very last show at Lakeland. Needless to say, my best intentions of writing a blog post were quickly forgotten.

But now is the perfect time. It is Sunday afternoon and the Hobbit Hole is quiet. There are boxes waiting to be packed, dishes needing to be done, laundry to do. But I’m curled up on my couch with my laptop, a big mug of tea in hand.

Shane just left for Mankato. His very first day at KEYC is tomorrow (well, actually today for you guys reading this on Monday). I am so excited and happy for him. But it was hard to see him drive off. I know it’s silly, but I cried when he left. It’s only a  week-and-a-half, but I’m going to miss that guy.

Anyway, let’s talk about all the good stuff that happened over the last few days. First, the interview! As soon as I walked into the library, it felt like a place I could spend hours in. Though nervous, I brought my A-game to that interview. I felt good about my prepared program ideas, my storytime example, and I had fun talking with the library director and lead librarian. I loved the library and the staff. So now I just have to wait! Regardless of if I get the job or not, I am really grateful to be considered a candidate for my dream job. I did everything I could possibly do to prepare. Now, we have to see if I’m the librarian they’re looking for!

wine2

Hanging with my library friends!

After driving five hours down to Mankato and interviewing for an hour-and-a-half, I turned around and drove 3 hours back up north to Brainerd for Wine & Words! Even though I got stuck in rush hour traffic in the Cities (Ugh), my library friends took care of me–like always. I arrived late, but my friends saved my dinner (complete with a heat tray to keep it warm), a piece of chocolate cake, and (thankfully) a glass of wine! Huzzah!

wine

Ain’t no party like a LIBRARY party!

If you’ve never been to Wine & Words, it is the best book lover’s party EVER! There’s a fancy dinner, a silent book-theme auction, and authors from around the country come and speak about the importance of libraries. William Kent Krueger, Lorna Landvik, and Kathleen McCleary were among the speakers this year, and guess who was sitting next to me at my table? Nadia Hashimi, author of The Pearl that Broke it’s Shell! I JUST picked that book up from my library! I sat down, saw her name tag, and couldn’t believe my eyes. She’s an author, mother, AND pediatrician! Makes me feel like a major slacker. What an unbelievably good time, and the perfect way to unwind after all that driving.

Yummmm….

Friday morning came coffee with friends (and a melt-in-your-mouth scone from Stone House Coffee), MORE driving, work, and Shane’s last show at Lakeland. I got to come in and be part of it on prompter. Being in the station with our friends is when it really hit me: Lakeland has been a part of our lives for four years. And that was the last night we’d ever be there. I think that was the first time I realized we were moving. Not just to Mankato, but to another chapter of our lives.

The show was perfect, Shane got a great on-air send off from the News director, and afterward, our friends showed us a tribute video they made for Shane. It was AMAZING! Thank you to everyone who contributed to the video, especially Stefania, the mastermind behind it all. Having such amazing friends means more to us than you’ll ever know, and we are so lucky to know each and every one of you.

Which brings us to Saturday: Shane’s final day in Bemidji. It started with French Toast (the perfect way to start any weekend), a bit of packing, and then ended with seeing Ant-Man, making pizza, and playing games with friends until after midnight. It really was the perfect day, and a great last day in Bemidji for Shane.

Really, the last few weeks has just emphasized how lucky we are. Thanks to all of our friends who make it hard to leave the North Woods behind.

Phew! What a post! I’m off to pack!

Happy Monday!