Whenever I’m asked what my last meal would be, I always answer the same way: Thanksgiving.

(Note: I don’t think anyone has ever actually asked me this question… it’s just one of those things I have stored away in case anyone does.)

But then I start to get nervous. What if I’m held at my word and never get to eat cereal again? Or french toast? Or huevos rancheros? No one should have to live their final moments without huevos rancheros.

So, in my head, I change my answer to breakfast.

And then I think about sweet potatoes. And stuffing. And macaroni and cheese.

(If you ever see me staring off into space, this is what is going through my head.)

I figured it was high time someone combined the two, so for our version of a friendsgiving, we went with Brunchgiving. 

Pumpkin bread pudding muffins. Pear thyme mimosas. Breakfast stuffing with a “fried” egg on top. Cinnamon biscuits with pumpkin gravy.

It was — to use a very Minnesotan adjective — delightful. 

(And yes, I do like to make logos to commemorate things that happen at my house. What do you do while you watch TV?)

when your dog eats a chicken bone

It all started because I thought there was fried chicken on the ground.

You have to understand that in Louisiana, where I lived for most of my life, finding discarded fried chicken on the ground is not uncommon. So when Ike grabbed something off the sidewalk the other day, I was sure it was yesterday’s chicken, ready to rip up Ike’s insides and cause internal bleeding that would lead to his untimely demise.

(I’m a very glass-half-full kind of person.)

I made a snap decision that I was going in. And by that I mean that I stuck both of my arms in his mouth — one hand held his top jaw open, the other held the bottom — and shook his head, hoping the chicken bone would fall onto the ground.

It’s important to note that when you stick your hands deep down the throat of a dog who is in the process of chewing something delicious, he’ll probably bite you. That happened. Right on that soft piece of skin between my thumb and forefinger. I never realized how crucial that part of my body is to, well, function. I will never take it for granted again.

Anyway, I persevered, determined to get the chicken bone to freefall out of Ike’s mouth.

And it did.

Except it was a granola bar, not fried chicken.

Lesson learned — in Shreveport people litter leftover fried chicken. In Minneapolis, they litter granola bars.

Ashcroft: The Carols Visit a Ghost Town

Let me preface this post by saying that I always knew what a ghost town was.

We all did. But when the five of us started talking about visiting Ashcroft, drunk on the simple fact that we were together (and maybe a few mugs of apple cider + salted caramel vodka), somehow the concept lost all meaning and then someone suggested we wear white sheets and walk around going OOOooooOOOOoooo and that was it: We had somehow convinced ourselves we were going to visit Casper. (In the back of my mind I might even have pictured Devon Sawa whispering Can I keep you?). 

And then I got out of the car and all hopes of Devon Sawa vanished from my brain. “Oh,” I said, rather disappointedly, trying to hide the confusion from my face. “This is… I mean, I knew..”

I looked around at my friends, who also looked like they wanted to slap their foreheads and yell DUH. (90s habits die hard)

“Good thing we didn’t wear our sheets,” said one.

DIY Pumpkin Air Freshener

I sometimes feel like I spend every waking hour out of my house, so on the weekend, I love to sit at our house and just enjoy the little home we’ve created. And in the fall, well, if it doesn’t smell like pumpkin… what’s the point?

I just had to share this 2 ingredient, $2.50* DIY for a pumpkin scented house. 

First you’ll need to buy a box of pumpkin spice tea. I went with the Celestial brand, on sale at Target for $2.50.

Leave the tea, unopened, on your kitchen counter. Leave the house.

Here’s where your second ingredient comes into play: your dog, who apparently has a zest for fall akin to that of a blogger.

Your house will smell like a pumpkin explosion. And you’ll need to buy more tea.

*I said $2.50 but I really meant $2.50 plus adoption fees, yearly shots, food, treats, emergency vet bills, and other various canine accessories. So I kind of lied. 

It’s sunday. Here’s what I’m doing.


C  U  R  R  E  N  T  L  Y  .  .  .  

R E A D I N G 

I lied to you last week, and I feel terrible about it. (No I don’t.) Just as I started reading Lowland, I got an e-mail that a book was ready for me to download from the library: The System. It’s about college football. I’m on a nonfiction kick. 

W R I T I N G 

The cold weather not only tames my crazy hair and ensures that maybe, for once, I won’t be the palest person in the room, but I think it also makes me more creative. Suddenly I have pages and pages of blog post ideas and first lines and funny anecdotes jotted down in my little notebook.

L I S T E N I N G 

I’m spoiled for choice of audiobooks right now– what should I listen to first? A biography of Jim Henson, a [43 hour!] biography of the Beatles, the latest by Rainbow Rowell, or The Shining Girls, which I hear is about a time traveling serial killer?

T H I N K I N G 

Texts and e-mails have been flying around about an impromptu (sort of) trip to Vegas to see Britney Spears. I think it needs to happen. I CAN’T HELP IT I’M FROM LOUISIANA SHES’S LIKE FAMILY.

S M E L L I N G 

Pumpkin. Stay tuned for an earth shattering DIY post about how to get your entire house to smell like pumpkin


One of the things I miss the most about Shreveport is that before noon on Sundays, the grocery stores were virtually empty. It was amazing to be  able to speed, uninterrupted, through Kroger and Super Target and get my shopping for the week done in 15 minutes. I wish everyone here would just go to church on Sunday, is that so much to ask?!

 H O P I N G 

Right now I’m wearing an adult onesie and a snuggie. You do what you gotta do when it’s cold. I hope you still love me. 

my favorite photobomber

W E A R I N G 

Well, I just told you what I’m wearing right now, but earlier today it was stripes and polka dots, because… why not?


The video is the new photo album. Okay, maybe not, but I do love making videos of things that happen. The latest: the “official” Carol Convention video. On deck: summer in Minneapolis. I like to do things out of order.


Back to the topic of Vegas. If we go there, I have some unfinished business I want to take care of: retaking all of the photos I took when I was 21 — without the faux tan, horrifying gaucho pants, and (shudder) the shrug. 

me in Vegas at 21. Note the wifebeater, hot pink bra, and the spray tan that would make Lindsay Lohan cringe. 

N E E D I N G 

I should probably get cracking on my holiday shopping/making. I have all these great ideas that never come to fruition. And Chanukah starts, like, tomorrow. I need an elf. 

F E E L I N G 

I feel like we need to talk about spaghetti squash. First of all, cutting a spaghetti squash is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Was I supposed to use a saw? Secondly, whichever one of you food bloggers told me it could pass for spaghetti was LYING. I mean, sure, it was delicious. Sure I could see it being a less delicious substitute for spaghetti. But my neurons were firing to the tune of THIS IS NOT SPAGHETTI the entire time I was eating. (That’s how science works, right?)

(linking up with Lauren at Siddathornton!)

adventures up the Mississippi

In one of my first memories of the Mississippi River, my dad dropped off a few of my friends and me at a music festival downtown. We saw Better Than Ezra for the first of countless times, then went home to discuss important world matters such as who we had a crush on. I was wearing a hat that said “Oh my God, they killed Kenny.” We were 14.

From then on the river was a constant in my life — tentatively driving down River Road as part of driver’s ed, photography field trips to the New Orleans Riverwalk to try out our fancy cameras and taste fudge, powdered sugar covered nights at Cafe du Monde, runs and bike rides on the levee from LSU to downtown Baton Rouge, overpriced sushi overlooking the river, our first dance as a married couple with a view of the Mississippi River Bridge. 

Lately, whether hiking, biking, or running, I’ve been spending a lot of time at the Mississippi River… 1300 miles north. Things are different.

For one thing, there is no more South Park apparel in my life.

The giant barges on Louisiana’s Mississippi are replaced with kayaks and fall foliage cruises. Oh, and there’s fall foliage. 

There are hiking trails and biking trails and on any given moment, the area is packed with people getting exercise and enjoying the scenery. Even when it’s three degrees outside.

I don’t go home and talk about my crushes; rather, I go home and watch Netflix with Y and then we fight over who gets to use the toothbrush first.

15 years, one unfortunate headwear choice, and 1300 miles ago, I had no idea I’d be here. 

But I’m definitely glad I am.