Swim Safe!

Drowning is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. On average, 3,533 people die as a result of drowning each year, and most of those deaths are children under the age of four who drown in backyard swimming pools. The tragedy of these statistics is nearly all drowning deaths are preventable. However, if a drowning incident…

The Nest

Pregnant. That's what the digital screen on the test said. One word but when it's THAT word, it means so much. We had been hoping and praying for that word and it was finally here. That's when the whirlwind began to get our house in shape for our coming baby girl.

Hurts So Good

Some people collect shot glasses when they travel. I collect massages. Whenever I go somewhere, I get a massage, not at the fancy hotel spa, although I've had a few of those, but in the small locally-run places. I've been rubbed down by blind men in Cambodia, stretched into pretzel shapes during Thai massages on the beach in Koh Samui,…

Christmas Through Fresh Eyes

I am a very traditional person. I don't mean that I'm stodgy or old, but at the ripe old age of oh, let's say 21, I knew how the holidays should happen. My grandmother should magically appear at our house (someone had to drive six hours each way to get her, but it wasn't me). The tree should be set…

Travel Edit

travel at top- Steps of Style blogger, Amy Dreyer, brings a few local favorites along with her as she hits the streets of New York CIty.

Kansas City Beer: A History of Brewing in the Heartland.

Beer is more than a beverage in Kansas City--it's a passion. That passion led Kansas City author and frequent Northland Lifestyle contributor Pete Dulin to dive glass first into the history of the brew in his newest release, Kansas City Beer: A History of Brewing in the Heartland.

And Baby makes three

By the time many of you read this, I will be 38, 39, or 40 weeks pregnant. I'll be in a frantic rush to complete assignments so that I can have some time to devote just to my new daughter. I'll be washing and refolding impossibly tiny pairs of socks, onsesies and blankets. And my two dogs, Indiana Jones and…

Ghostly Tidings This Way Come

Fall’s ever-earlier darkening skies and the crunch of leaves underfoot may bring forth favorite ghost stories for most, but it was in the midst of the stifling summer heat that I found myself trapped in the most frightening of tales.

The Sunroom

This is not a story about travel. It's a story about the things that we put off in order to travel and what happens when we focus. My husband is a builder. He's one of those people that sees visions of greatness where none currently exist. That's how he bought his house in the Northland. He chose a home that…

Home Resides Within Us.

Much like love, home is a four-letter word deeply embedded in our culture and way of life. We expend so much time, money, and effort into finding, building, and caring for our home. It doesn’t matter if it is an apartment, condo, city dwelling, or four-bedroom, three-bath split-level dream residence in the suburbs, home is near and dear to us.

Foolproof Gardening Tips from a Not-So-Pro

I am a writer by trade. My forte is words but much of my job involves interviewing experts and learning all that I can about a subject. Sometimes that means increased mastery in a particular area. Sometimes it means better informed delusions of grandeur. As a gardening writer, I’ve had examples of both. So here are my tips and tricks…

The First Gig

There comes a time in each young person’s life when the ‘real world’ looms large on the horizon. As a young theater and film student, you can imagine the terror that that might invoke. But when I was a young, bright-eyed, bushy tailed intern at a video production company in my senior year of college, I thought that I had…

My name is Rachel and I have Advanced Dinner Party Delusion Syndrome

I have a confession--I have advanced dinner party delusion syndrome. ADPDS affects many in my age group, especially those that have cable and have watched anything on the Cooking Channel. ADPDS is when you have unrealistic expectations for what your home kitchen can accommodate and how many people are truly comfortable in your house. I have always loved entertaining. I…

Man in the Mirror

2016. If this year really was a baby wearing a top hat and sash, it should probably also have a comic conversation bubble that reads, ‘Hold on to your butts!” In an election year and in the wake of some pretty tumultuous world events, my resolutions are of a less aerobic nature this year. Of course, I will always use…

It’s All About the Tree

For me and Clark Griswold, the kick-off to Christmas is puttin’ up the pine. Big, small, fake fir or real – doesn’t matter. This quiet custom gives us permission to proceed with the magical month of December.  And no one is left out.  Rich or poor.  Young and old. Those who pledge allegiance to the real thing or people who…

The Forgotten 
Holiday

Christmas creep. That's what retailers call the race to take down Halloween decorations and put up Christmas displays. And I, for one, do not like it. This is more than just my natural inclination toward fist shaking and muttering the holiday equivalent of 'Get off my lawn' at overly eager merchandisers. Someone has to stand up for Thanksgiving and I…

The Fine Art of Getting By In Belgium

No one tells you that when you are a beer or wine lover, you may start to travel in pursuit of your chosen beverage. For a cult beverage, some can make specific trips out to festivals, wineries or distilleries. A couple of years ago, my husband, Aaron, and good friend, Jeff, and I decided to swing by Brussels, Belgium, while…

The Joy of Dakota

Family. Everyone has a different definition of the word. In the last seven years, our definition of family extended to include my new brother-in-law, Steve, and his two Chihuahuas, CJ and Dakota.

The Pen IS MIGHTIER

Back to school. This time of year has always harbored a bit of excitement for me. Now that I'm long past college and with no children of my own yet, it's a time of erstwhile sadness as well. You see, now I lack the justification to buy school supplies.

The Rest of the Story

I am, I recently learned, a part of the ‘Oregon Trail Generation.’ I remember the onset of technology as we know it. I remember the creaky sound of dial-up when we thought nothing of waiting for 3-5 minutes for a webpage to load. That was simply part of the process—waiting for the information to reveal itself. I’m also probably one…

Stepping Up to the Plate

The helmet wobbled around my head as I cautiously took my first steps to stand over home base. A not-so-confident 6-year-old, I tapped the plate with my bat, glanced over my shoulder to find my parents, and gulped air.

May 2015 Parting Thoughts

We threw a great party. Everyone said so. We had a garden wedding, complete with bubbles, late blooming roses in October and a perfectly sunny day. We danced to one of my favorite bands and talked to what felt like a million people. It was a blur; a beautiful, colorful, joyous blur. 

Of Melons and Memories

My love of gardening starts way back in my childhood when my mother decided to teach her children a little bit about where food came from. We lived in an urban area but had a sizable yard with a garden area already marked off with railroad ties which we suspected were simply a large condominium space for termites. But a…

Box-1, Actress-0

There comes a time in every young actress's life that you realize that maybe your current path might not be your long-term goal. Mine happened in Act one of the musical South Pacific as I battled the apple box that would be my undoing.