In With the Bookends

When I see my friends post pictures of their young kids in matching outfits, I think it’s pretty adorable. I imagine one of the most fun parts about having kids is making them wear ridiculous things. Want to know what’s less fun? Being part of the sibling pair that has to wear a matching outfit. 

Sissy and I weren’t immune to this. Attending a wedding and wearing a dress that shared a flower pattern with my sister’s dress may be my earliest memory of my independence being under attack. 

As we got a little older and developed our individual style, we’d sometimes share clothes, but would never dream of getting ANYTHING that matched. “Don’t copy me!” with a “Don’t boss me!” retort were common mid-90s refrains – set to a Luscious Jackson soundtrack – that I can still hear in my head today.

Here’s the thing about matching with your biological sibling, even if you’re not wearing similar clothes, you’re wearing similar DNA. Whether you like it or not, you’re matching. You can’t get away … Read the rest

Chasing the high in Mankato

I love getting out of town. I always stumble onto something unexpected and unforgettable. Escaping my usual surroundings refocuses my perspective, amplifies my curiosity and makes me feel brave. My addiction to this feeling keeps me irresponsibly booking vacations across the country and globe. But I’m becoming increasingly aware, it doesn’t matter what distance I travel, the magic of any new surroundings gives me the high I need.

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I write this high on Mankato, a city in the Minnesota River valley an hour and a half southwest of the Twin Cities. After learning Mankato Ribfest was happening, Sissy and I embarked on a bakery/BBQ road trip fueled by Sirius XM’s 70s and 80s R&B station, The Groove. It always delivers.

We started at Friesen’s Family Bakery and Bistro, which opened just over a year ago and has exploded with popularity. We entered to find squishy bags of fresh rolls scattered on tables throughout the store waiting to be stocked. We walked slowly and admired each package as if in a museum, restraining from … Read the rest