A glimpse of our experience on the trail

Hello all,

We have been home from our trip to Nepal for a month; this hardly seems possible.  Getting to Everest Base Camp was the last physical challenge/adventure on my bucket list.  Added in the late 90's, you can imagine what it feels like to cross this off my list.  The experience has exceeded all expectations.

I was in awe every minute of every day. From simply standing in the Himalaya's, to drinking in nature's beauty, the local life, and feeling the Buddhist faith.

It's surreal to think I have been to Base Camp.  A month later its still all we talk about (at home).

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The dessert everyone asks for when visiting Pioneers Lane

Hello friends,

Do you remember life before Pinterest? When you had to be invited to join? It was like entering a secret society. I was SO excited when my invitation arrived. Today it's my go-to place for recipes, design ideas, and travel inspiration.

About a year after moving to Pioneers Lane I became friends with someone who inspired me to try baking from scratch. She suggested starting with a crumble, 'they are easy enough.' It was the push I needed to leap into making vs. buying from the local baker. 

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A day I will never forget

I have so many stories to share from our time in Nepal, both on and off the mountain. Meeting Sanjay and getting to visit his home is a story I have to share with you. 

After spending a long weekend in Istanbul, we had two days to explore Kathmandu before flying to Lukla and hiking up to Base Camp.  We checked into our hotel and started walking to Thamel to find a trail map of Everest, and explore the city. 

Thamel is a tourist neighborhood in Kathmandu, with narrow streets and alleys crowded with shops and people.  Described online as a ghetto and most mountaineers first stop. In my words, it felt like I was in the movie 'Mad Max'! Not just the dust, pollution, and garbage lined streets with buildings forgotten over the years.  It's a neighborhood holding on by a thread yet thriving.  People flock to Thamel, for shopping, lodging, and food.  

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Everest Base Camp: We did it!

Hello Friends,

We crossed off one of my last BIG dream adventures last month, hiking on Everest.

I have been daydreaming of Everest for twenty years.  My friend, Eleanor, inspired me to summit Kilimanjaro a few years ago and Everest seemed like a natural next adventure.  A trek to Base Camp was the thrill of the lifetime.

Every day I found myself thinking "I can't believe I'm here."  I often stopped on the trail to take in the view, the beauty of the ecosystem, so SO thankful for the experience.  

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Finding inspiration in a digital world

I'm surprised to tell you that most of my magazine and book reading happens on my iPad or iPhone.  Long gone are the days when I was excited to find a copy of a favorite magazine in my mailbox.  I have fond memories of devouring every page of a new magazine while curled up on the sofa, or in my reading chair.

These days, I follow favorites publications on social media and receive updates in my inbox - this lets me slowly roll into the day, or taking a few minutes at the end of any day...  saving a recipe or finding myself inspired by a travel story. I'm always adding to my Pinterest board.

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18 day countdown: I'm looking for book recommendations

We leave in less than twenty days! I'm busy getting the house ready for guests, preparing food, gathering our trek gear, writing a list of last minute items we need to procure, and most importantly.. finding a few books to bring with me. 

Searching for a great book

I climbed Kilimanjaro with a copy of The Odyssey in my pack.  I didn't even open the book but... I did listen to Rob Lowe's autobiography and a few other books while spending hours on the dirt, back roads of Tanzania (reading wasn't an option). 

For this trek, I am planning to load my iPhone 7 with books, a mix of audio and written.  Have you read any great/must reads worth recommending? 

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EBC Series: Packing and the Weather

Can you believe we begin our travels to Nepal in five weeks? Thirty something days.  Soon this will be a collection of memories in which to reflect. Photos, videos clips, and stories.  

Last weekend we walked the aisles of REI, trying on hiking pants big enough for layers under while not too big that they fall off on warmer days. I have spent time researching/reading online sources to help us finalize the packing list.  

It doesn't matter if you are packing for a beach vacation or a rugged trek,weather is always a wildcard.

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After the party, a recipe

Hello friends,

I want to share one of my favorite go-to recipes with you today.  Simple yet full of flavor, a Creamy Christmas Stew. 

Why a hot stew in summer?

Well... I have a pantry FULL of produce.  A farewell dinner for thirty in our home resulted in a few pounds of potatoes and other vegetables waiting to be eaten. A day later, we cleaned up, and I drove to DC for a professional commitment. A busy week.

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EBC Series: Staying healthy on the Mountain

Hello lovely friends,

Time is passing quickly. Summer has been filled with social events, dinners, and travel. During our downtime, we hike, research, and plan for October.  Just a few people have been privy to the research and planning phase of our Everest Adventure (which started last fall) - and this weekend marks the seven week countdown!

50 days until my Dad arrives, 54 days until we leave.  We have a lot to do. 

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Summer Days

July is starting with a bang. It's hot!

Since moving from Minnesota, I have become a winter gal, but years ago I preferred summer to the arctic freeze.

I have fond memories of my childhood summers.  Playing in shadows for hours, meadow picnics by Nine Mile Creek, climbing trees, and enjoying homemade ice cream on a blanket in the evening.  Days at Bush Lake, night games, and my dad with his telescope positioned just right, waiting for darkness to fall.

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Book Chat: The Nightingale

Over Memorial Day Weekend I announced a Summer Reading Series, reading and discussing one book a month. 

Friend and blogger, Amelia Bartlett, selected our June book. Published in 2015, I know most of you have read it already. If I'm honest, the subject kept me away, but I'm pleased I read it. Having traveled throughout France, and countries impacted by the Holocaust, I was able to imagine the landscape and villages. Written with elegance and care, I believe most approve of how the sensitive topics were documented.

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Creating a Quiet Home

I used to describe life as 'crazy busy.'  Waking up at 5:30AM, lights out around midnight. Packing 30 hours into 24. A happy, healthy family with dreams, a home, and good support network. Loads of clean laundry waiting to be folded and put away.

In 2002 we moved from Minneapolis to a tiny suburban town in Nebraska, now annexed into Omaha. We built a full life within five miles of our home. I remember our friends commenting on our decision, often perplexed. Moving from Minneapolis to Omaha gifted us with two hours a day, on the day we moved. It was enough time back that we talked about it, learning to embrace evenings.

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EBC Series: Training for Everest

Hello Friends,

I live in a hilly area, perfect for a weeknight power walk (with ten pounds in my backpack). A few days ago I was walking up a half mile hill when I passed Annie's house. Exchanging pleasantries, she asked why I was wearing a backpack and wondered why I wasn't running.  Her reaction to my explanation was priceless. I can't tell you how many people want to know why I want to hike Everest.


It's in these moments when it's clear I'm preparing to do something few have on their bucket list. I need to come up with a clever response!

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Summer Reading Series

Summer reading season has arrived, and I'm ready!  This summer I plan to read books by authors I have recently discovered, along with a mix of fiction, YA and will fit in a classic.   Is this a good time to sneak in a confession?  I started reading The Secret Garden months ago... I will finish it.  Much like Anne of Green Gables, I'm sure The Secret Garden is wonderful, but I struggle to read some YA classics. Still, I have never read it and will finish!

Are you interested to read with me?

Last month I was talking to friend and lifestyle blogger, Amelia, and asked if she might be interested in reading a book together.  She immediately said yes. 

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The lasting impact of a good book

Over the weekend I found myself standing in my local bookstore searching for a new cookbook.  One might conclude that I have an addiction since I can't stop reading and buying them.  I'm not worried, there are worse habits.

Modern day publications include personal stories, are filled with knowledge passed from author to reader, stunning photography, and let's not forget... recipes.  I'm happy to report I found a new book to add to my collection, IN THE KITCHEN.

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Bookworm with a View

Once upon a time, a much younger me challenged myself to read a book a month.  I was finishing up college, and missed reading for pleasure. 

I remember buying a small spiral bound notebook, and recording the books I read over the years. Eventually the notebook found a permanent home, in a drawer, by a favorite reading chair. 

Then the internet arrived and someone created GoodReads (thank you, thank you) 

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BooksMari PartykaComment
Malmo Sweden (Nordics Part V)

Malmo is our last stop before starting our journey home.  Overwhelmed with experiences and joy from reconnecting with family, if I can be honest... we are exhausted.

I am in a new city before 9 AM, with hours to explore while Bill has a day of meetings. I haven't found Kardemmome seeds yet so this is first on my list.  You can buy the spice ground in the U.S., but most of the flavor is gone.  I remember my Grandmother baking with Kardemmome pods bought in Sweden (they resemble the vanilla bean), opening the pods to gather seeds for baking. 

After I find a market and buy a year's worth of the spice, I will explore and see as much as I can in about four hours time.

Let's recap the last few days:

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