Tag: Beagle & Wolf


Author Fest & Backyard Drive-Ins or The Most Epic Weekend EVER

What do an author festival, an outdoor screening of The Sandlot, and big screen video games have in common? My weekend! It may have been the most epic weekend in the history of weekends, and I still can’t believe everything was so perfect.


Walking up to the beautiful Beagle & Wolf Books and Bindery

Let’s begin with the Beagle & Wolf Author Festival 2015! I arrived in Park Rapids, and seeing the bookshop for the first time was like stepping into a fairy tale. A cute little brick bookstore surrounded by an independent (and delicious) coffee shop and a bakery. Then you step inside: Beagle¬†& Wolf is eclectic, fun, and full of personality. I fell in love!


Karen Babine, author of Water and What We Know, reading from her book!


I talked a lot with Gordon W. Fredrickson and Nancy A Fredrickson, authors of farm life books & poetry!


Fellow YA author Margi Preus (Enchanted Lake) and Sue Doeden (Homemade with Honey). Awesome literary ladies!


Getting together with fellow authors is a BLAST!


My table was right next to Lin Enger, and I grabbed a copy of his latest novel, The High Divide

The wonderful people who work there did everything to make me feel welcome and comfortable–and gave me a table right in the front of the store! I was surrounded by 11 other authors, and soon began making new friends with my fellow literary enthusiasts. We traded books back and forth, talked about writing, and signed each other’s books. I was in author HEAVEN! I met SO many cool people that day–including William Kent Krueger!


William Kent Krueger! One of the nicest guys I’ve met!

This was as close as I thought I was going to get to him, but then he came up to my table right before his book reading and introduced himself to me! He said he kept seeing people walk around with copies of Seven Stones and had to meet the author. I was speechless, but tried to play it off all cool like I’d met tons of famous people and was completely unfazed. Ha. It was AWESOME!


I got to chat with author Tom Isbell and grab his YA novel, The Prey!


Cozy book nook


I just couldn’t take enough pictures!


Some of the wonderful staff behind it all!

I can’t thank Beagle & Wolf enough! If you haven’t been there, GO! And while you’re there, snag a copy of Seven Stones. ūüôā


Birthdays done right: Backyard Movie & Retro Video Games!

Then, there was the party. I don’t even know what to say except it was quite possibly the best birthday party of all time. For a week, we planned a surprise party for our good friend, Stefania. All of the Bemidji crew chipped in and helped to make this not only a birthday party, but THE birthday party.


Bonfire fun while we wait to surprise the birthday girl!


That’s what I call a party face


PERFECT weather for the perfect party!

At one point, I asked, “What do you guys think of doing our own drive-in? Does anyone have a projector?” Friends brought over not only a projector, but a screen, a speaker system, and an N-64 with multiple remotes and Mario Kart. Add in a bonfire, and you have one freakin’ epic night.


SURPRISE! Nothing says Happy Birthday like sweet potato brownies!


Setting up the projector screen!


SUCCESS! Thank you screen crew!


Mario Kart!


Oh, it is ON!


What would the first day of summer be without The Sandlot?

Happy, happy birthday, friend! Thanks to ALL our friends who came to the party and helped make the night truly fantastic. It was such a fun way to spend a day with people we love playing games, eating food, and celebrating! And yes, we are DEFINITELY doing this again!


What an AWESOME weekend! This one is going in the books as one of the best ever.

Happy Monday, everyone!

What movie would you want to watch on the big screen?


Friday Favorites: Beagle & Wolf Author Festival

Well, it is Friday and I am quite pleased to announce that I AM feeling fabulous! That Italian Wedding Soup really did the trick: I’ve been slurping bowls of it all week and am finally starting to feel like myself again. It got a little dicey there for a while. I lost five pounds in four days–yikes! But don’t worry, I am doing my very best to eat my way back to normal. My appetite has revved up and really am feeling great. Get ready, Park Rapids! Local author coming at ya!

So, besides the return of my good health, here are a few other things that made the Friday Favorites list this week!

Beagle & Wolf Books and Bindery Author Festival!

Next stop on my Seven Stones Book Tour: Park Rapids, Minnesota! This event is quite different than the regular book signing or reading. This is an all-day literary extravaganza! Over 30 other Minnesota authors will be at the festival, doing readings, and signing books! Come at 1:30 to hear William Kent Krueger¬†read from his newest book, and stick around to say hi to me at my table! I’ll be there from 1:30-3:30.¬†So stop by to grab a few books, meet authors, and have a grand time!

Apricot-Ginger Tea Scones

earl grey

When I started feeling better, I knew what I wanted more than anything else: a cup of tea and a chewy, fluffy scone. I whipped together a batch of my Earl Grey Scones with Lemon Icing, but added dried apricots and ginger to give it a little kick. Man, am I glad I did! This new version adds a lot of depth to the scones and really brings them to the next level of delicious. I’m definitely making them again and again! And for those of you who may not love traditional dry scones, these have moisture and fluffiness while being dense and not too sweet. They have Shane’s stamp of approval (who is a self-proclaimed scone hater). I only had powdered ginger at the time, but I will use fresh ginger next time! To make my Apricot-Ginger Tea Scones, follow my Earl Grey Scone recipe and add:

1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

2 tsp powdered ginger (1 tsp fresh grated ginger)

Book of the Week: Vegan Cookbooks!

I’ve been playing around with incorporating more plant-based recipes in our diet. We are really good at eating our fruits and veggies, but Shane and I (like most Wisconsinites) tend to go a bit heavy on the cheese and dairy. So, to mix things up and keep meals healthy, I’ve been checking out purely plant-based foods to mix into our weekly meals. The results have been some truly delicious, super healthy foods! Here are some of my favorite vegan cookbooks, along with the recipes we’ve been trying. Whether you are vegetarian, vegan, looking to eat healthier, searching for something new to try, or scrounging for a Meatless Monday recipe, these are my favorite vegan cookbooks:

Oh She Glows by Angela Liddon

The Oh She Glows website has been one of my go-to cooking blogs for a while. When Angela released her cookbook, I knew it would be a winner! Oh She Glows is without doubt the most used cookbook in our house. Here’s a few of our favorite recipes you’ll find inside: Mashed Cauliflower with Mushroom Gravy, Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas, Pumpkin Custard Pie with Coconut Whipped Cream, Grilled Portobello Salad, Roasted Beet & Hazelnut Salad, Gym Rat Smoothie, Pumpkin Pie Smoothie, Avocado-Basil Pasta.

YumUniverse by Heather Crosby

You ever come across a recipe that totally changes your life? That is the YumUniverse recipe for Pad Thai. Game changer. Another completely delicious and new favorite in our home is her recipe for Buckwheat porridge. Sounds weird, but it amazing and simple.

Detoxinista by Megan Gilmore

Usually, when I hear the word “detox,” I cringe. I don’t believe in juice-fasting or any other type of fasting. Your body craves nutrition, and that is exactly what I give mine. Meghan’s approach to “detox” is not what you think. Her cookbook is all about incorporating whole foods into your diet in very easy and tasty recipes. I have been following her blog for years and¬†just got her cookbook. Here are some of my favorites: Chocolate Breakfast Smoothie, Chinese Cabbage Salad, peanut butter cups (from her website), healthier–and tastier–Klondike bars (website).

And, of course, the Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a F*ck cookbook. There are just too many amazing recipes to list, but check out this post for that awesome soup recipe!

So, there you are: my top picks for cookbooks! They all have no-fuss, easy recipes that result in truly delicious food. What are you waiting for? Go check them out and have fun experimenting!

Word Count

2,248. HUZZAH!!!! Next week’s word count goal: 3,000 words!

Happy Friday!