12 Days of Christmas [Day 6]

I love holiday stamps and that simple bit of art on the envelope~

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xo, Shirina

❄️🌲❄️🌲

Every year, I take a day off from work and we head over to Lake Street in Minneapolis to a store called “Ingebretsen’s”.  It’s a Scandinavian store that has been in the same spot since 1921.  It’s always filled shoulder-to-shoulder with the descendants of the Scandinavian immigrants who helped make Minnesota into the state that it is today.

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They still hand out numbers over on the food side of the store… and no matter what time or day you go, the place is packed. Everyone buzzes about, deciding on what to get before their number is called.  They have lutefisk, meatballs, lefse, lots of specialty meats and sausage, candy and sweets, cheese, drinks and on and on………………..
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Piles and piles of lefse!!!  They bring it in in huge boxes and it doesn’t last.  Yum! : )
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I loved to just watch and listen… excited shoppers getting all their delicacies for Christmas day.

And after we finish our shopping, we go to our favorite coffee shop over in St. Paul and just relax and visit.  It’s always one of my favorite days in December.

xo, Michele

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12 Days of Christmas [Day 4]

In these crazy busy days of running around with all that we are trying to squeeze into our days it’s good to take a moment or two to treat ourselves with something delicious and also a soft blanket to wrap ourselves in during the chilly days~ comfort

hope you’re finding comfort in your days

xo, Shirina

Soft blankets, warm wood burning fires, candles, hot drinks, yummy treats, snuggling… cozy weekends. xo, Michele

12 Days of Christmas [Day 3]

Leave a little sparkle wherever you go.

“I think it’s beautiful the way you sparkle when you talk about the things you love.” ~Atticus

xo, Shirina

❄️🌲❄️🌲

I don’t think it’s possible to love each other too much. Hugs and kisses and a whole lot of “I love you’s”… maybe even some of those under the mistletoe. : )

“Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.” ~ Peg Bracken

xo, Michele

12 Days of Christmas [Day 1]

Shirina and I have decided to do an end-of-year photography blog together. We’ve both struggled a lot this year with creating (or lack of, I should say)… for me it’s mostly been a time issue and for Shirina it’s been lack of inspiration. To help us break out of this rut, Shirina asked me if I wanted to do a “12 Days of Christmas” blog and my response was a definitive “YES!”. We both love Christmas and what better time of year to slow down, to reflect, to think about loved ones and memories and the joy and light that Christmas brings… and to get our cameras out again.  So here is day 1 of 12… we would love it if you’d come along.

Day 1… slowing down with a warm cup of tea. Taking time to breathe, to reflect, to sit beneath the twinkling lights and ornaments on our tree… each ornament holding a memory of a person or a place. Here are some of my favorites… my childhood dog, my camera ornament from my M&D, my Hope angel from a dear friend during a difficult year, a colorful antique bauble that belonged to my great-grandma, a paper star that my niece made when she was a little girl and a bamboo rice basket brought back from our trip to SE Asia to visit Mike’s family.  Every ornament on our tree tells a story.

Wishing each of you time to slow down… as we all countdown to Christmas day.

~ Michele

❄️🌲❄️🌲

“Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.”

~Shirina

[52:52]

Our final post… week 52 of 52. What a year it’s been… A year of adventure. And change. And growth. And new. And good-byes. And laughter. And tears. And friendship. And so much more. 

Here are some of my favorite photos from this 2016 blog journey. I am so grateful that my dear friend Shirina agreed to do this with me one year ago. It has been such an honor. I have laughed, cried, sang, danced, screamed, whispered, climbed, experienced and grew over these past 52 weeks, all with my amazing soul sister cheering me on. 

Greeting the day… New Years Day 2016
A gift from miss Shirina… my soul sister
My gratitude jar… I just read all my 2016 notes ❤
Nature’s treasures… the sweetest gifts
Soul searching
Practicing a little Danish Hygge… finding life’s simple pleasures
Hiking Zion’s Narrows… a dream come true
My great-grandma’s 1920 flag… going back to my roots
And again… back to my roots at my grandparents farm
Our sweet tree… ‘Charlie’. A whole lotta love.

Wishing everyone a very Happy New Year. I hope it is filled with love, laughter, new memories, good health and then more love. 

Every year, several of my friends pick a word for the new year. I have yet to pick one, as nothing has really come to me yet. Normally I will dream of something and it will bring me my word. Or I will wake to a word. Or it will just make an appearance, in a really strange way. Nothing yet. I think the Universe brings us what we need, if and when we need it. So for now, I’m patiently waiting…. 

xo, Michele

🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆

Loosely based on the movie ‘New Years Eve’ but I like what she said, so sharing it here:
Stop and reflect on the year that has gone by

remember our triumphs and missteps

Our promises made and broken

The times we opened ourselves up to great adventures or closed ourselves down for fear of getting hurt

Because that’s what New Years is all about … getting another chance

A chance to forgive

to do better

to do more

to give more

to love more


And stop worrying about what if…

and start embracing what will be…..


Let’s remember to be nice to each other

 kind to each other 

not just on New Years Day 

but every day 


Wishing you all a wonderful New Year as we move from 2016 to 2017…. I’m looking forward to what will be


xo, Shirina