Follow Me

Friday, July 31, 2015


Last week my friend Todd and I attended Ren in the Glen, a small Renaissance festival near Glenwood, Wisconsin.  While we there, we had the opportunity to see chivalry in action.  After a completing a quest for beads and trinkets, youngsters were honored and rewarded with the glory of knighthood.

***What are the feats of chivalry in your area?

Thursday, July 30, 2015


I moved to Minneapolis fourteen years ago, and I think I have attended the Minnesota Renaissance Festival most of those years.  Minnesota has one of the largest festivals in the country and it really is spectacular and a lot of fun.

Entering the Festival grounds.

A dapper lad and his lass.

My friends Steve and Todd work at the Minnesota Festival but also help out at other festivals.  Last week Steve helped our friend Sheri work her booth at Ren in the Glen, a small festival near Glenwood, Wisconsin, and Todd and I visited it on Saturday. 

The fire jugglers were awesome.

It's always good to know where the privy is.

As I said the festival is very small, especially if you compare it to the Minnesota one, which takes up acres and acres of space.  But while I love the Minnesota one, there was something special and unique about Ren in the Glen.

Steve and Sheri working their booth.

A fashionable Lady.

"I am Groot!"

A beautiful formed leather fox mask.

The Minnesota festival always reminds me of a celebration that might be held in a substantial Elizabethan town, complete with city dwellings and a royal lodge.  It has everything that you expect a city to have like town squares, a jousting ring, and theaters for entertainment.  It really is a wonderful urban festival.

Guardian of the bridge.

An old fashioned lathe.

Ren in the Glen, on the other hand, is more of a festival that would be held in a small rural area.  The fair is housed in a small filed with vendor’s tents instead of permanent shops.  It’s the type celebration that the village locals would attend.  It was simple, and yet still incredibly fun.

Knights gathering  . . .

. . .  For combat games.

I love attending Renaissance Festivals, and really like how different, and yet similar, the Minnesota Renaissance Festival and Ren in the Glen are.  They present two very different communities of the Elizabethan period, while celebrating in similar ways.  This was my year attending Ren in the Glen, and I’m looking forward to going back.

***Are there Renaissance Festivals in your area, and do you attend              them?


It’s no secret that I love all things nautical.  From anchors and oars, to lobsters and crabs, if it is nautical themed in a classic way, chances are I will like it.  Having grown up on a farm in rural Iowa, I’m not sure where this love for seafaring things came from, but it’s definitely there.

I especially like wearing things that are nautically themed in a fun way, and one of the best ways I’ve found to do that is through the socks I wear.  Granted I tend to go sockless as often as I can in the summertime, but there are certain work days when that isn’t appropriate, so when I have to wear socks I like them to be fun.

While shopping last week I found three pairs of socks that combine both my love of nautical things and my love of fun socks, in the perfect way.  While stopping at G.H. Bass I found two great pairs of sea creature themed socks that I had to have.  The first is a pair of gray and navy socks with sharks that wish I would have had a few weeks ago for Shark Week.  The second pair, in a classic navy and red combination, boasted navy crabs on a red background. These two pairs of socks were the perfect additions to my collection.

The final pair of socks I found at Brooks Brothers.  They feature navy anchors on a yellow background (could you possibly be more classic than this definitive color pairing?).  This may sound silly, but I’m pretty particular about the shades of yellow I buy, and this was the perfect shade, plus the added bonus of navy in the anchors, just made them a must have item.

I really feel like I won the trifecta with these three pairs of socks.  They are fun, yet classic, and support my love of nautical things.  I may have been born on a farm in Iowa, but my heart turns towards the sea.

***Do you own any nautical themed socks?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


I’ve shared several times here how much I love sweaters vests.  In fact I wear them almost all of the time, especially from fall to early spring.  It all began a couple of years ago when I purchased four supima cotton sweater vests from Brooks Brothers, in wonderful shades of orange, yellow, kelly green, and periwinkle.  I love color, and these vests were the perfect way to add color on even the dreariest of winter days.

A beautiful cotton vest from Brooks Brothers in a lovely shade of pastel blue.

Last January I was able to take advantage of the post-holidays sales and quickly added two new vests from Polo Ralph Lauren, to join a pink one that I purchased last year, along with a navy Tommy Hilfiger vest.  With the post-holiday purchase this year, my sweater vest collection had officially doubled.

The classic red vest from Jos. A Banks is a foundational piece for every wardrobe.

While shopping last week I found two more sweater vests on sale at the Twin Cities Premium Outlets mall near my home, and couldn’t resist buying them.  The first is a light blue cotton vest from Brooks Brothers, and its pastel shade is versatile enough to wear in every season, ensuring that I’ll get lots of use out of it.  The second it a beautiful red vest from Jos. A Banks that is classic, and its perfect shade of red is a staple color for every wardrobe.  It is festive enough to brighten the holidays, yet simple enough to be a foundational piece throughout the year.

These two new sweater vests are the perfect additions to my growing collection, adding variety and flexibility to all of my outfits.  If you aren’t already wearing sweater vests, I strongly encourage you to give it a try.  They are the perfect pieces to revitalize your wardrobe and give it a fresh new look.

***Where do you purchase your favorite sweater vests?

Monday, July 27, 2015


Over the last year I’ve mentioned my shopping trips to the new outlet mall in Eagan, MN, several times, and so I thought I’d share a little bit about the mall and some of my favorite stores there.

Officially known as the Twin Cities Premium Outlets, the mall opened on August 14, 2014, and has been very well received..  The 409,000-square-foot outlet center is the only outlet mall located in the greater Twin Cities metro area, and I must say that I am really pleased with it.  Located just south of the Mall of America, the center boasts over 100 outlet and factory stores, many of them offering huge discounts on favorite designer and name brand stores.

One of the reasons I love this mall, is because I have been able to find some amazing sales on items from many of my favorite stores.  Here are just a few of the stores that keep me keep me coming back for more.  It’s so nice to have them all conveniently located in one area.

***Do you have a favorite outlet mall?