make a wish

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The great debate in my apartment is whether dandelions are a flower or a weed.  I think the persistent ‘flower’ makes massive fields look like blooming gardens, but Jon thinks the white and yellow ‘weed’ needs to be picked and pulled, stat.  
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The good news, for me, is that I don’t have to feel guilty about plucking and pulling to make a wish or two or three.  Maybe even four? I’ve plenty to be grateful for this summer, but it never hurts to make an additional request or two, right?
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Aside from the great flower debate, we’ve also been discussing the pros and cons of biking vs. hiking.  Jon likes to escape the city for a hike through the woods, but I can’t think of anything happier than hopping on a bike and finding a new spot to brunch.
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I guess if weeds vs. flowers and biking vs. hiking are the great debates, life is pretty good.  Hemingway said that, “When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest.”  He spoke those words in Paris, but they are ringing true here in Minneapolis.

Hope y’all had a lovely three day weekend 🙂

fallababa disaster

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The great acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing acts of kindness. – Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

A lovely thought from a fantastic novel.  We don’t need fancy dinners or diamond rings to show someone that we love them.  One the contrary, we need less tangible things like consistency, loyalty, and, hopefully, laughter.  What matters is that your friends&sweethearts understand you, appreciate your quirks, and remain by your side (come what may).

In an effort to remain habitual/consistent with my rah rah rah experiments, I decorated the Minneapolis bike trail with a ‘happy fall’ banner.  The simple banner was made by painting burlap and then stringing the letters together on a ribbon. Happy fall, y’all:
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When the experiment ended, I met up with Lauren for thrift store shopping.  We didn’t find any clothes, so we bought non-prescription glasses for fancy dinners, baby showers, and hot dates.
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I got home feeling pretty optimistic about the day, but wishing my sign had ended with “y’all.”  I made a pretty graphic to make up for it:
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Fallababa:
what you say when you fall out of bed
opps!! i just fallababa!

public apology to pedestrians everywhere

ImageI named my first bike Wanda because I thought we would spend years “wanda-ing” around together.  We’re all wrong sometimes, right?  I bought Wanda right after I moved to Chicago, and I was more than a little nervous about riding alongside “late-for-a-date singles”, “pressed for time business executives”, and “every-minute-counts cabbies.”  

I figured I would risk being one of those people that everyone hates, and simply ride on the sidewalk. Next to the pedestrians.  Well well well. That was my first mistake.  Sure enough, just two weeks after riding Wanda I ran smack-dab into a hand-holding couple as they were exiting a restaurant.  I actually only crashed into the girl, but it felt like I had hit them both when her boyfriend started yelling about the importance of riding in the street.

Lesson learned & point taken.

Wanda and I began biking alongside the multitude of drivers in Chicago.  We were nervous, sure, but I also figured that we would be pros before long.  Everything seems tricky until it’s easy, right?  Besides, I made a solemn vow that I would never make another person sprawl out along the sidewalk. I had to commit myself to the city streets.

Can you guess what happened on day 3?

That’s right.  Wanda and I got hit by a car.  We were crossing the street when a car blew through a stop sign: Wanda went left and I went right.    

Two days later Wanda was stolen in the night during a particularly noisy Chicago rainstorm.  I didn’t look for her.  I figured it must be a sign.  From that point on, I relied on my two feet and the bus for all transportation purposes.

I met Jon two years later, and he took me bike riding around Lake Michigan on one of our first dates.  He loved riding, and he told me dozens of stories about how his bike had gotten him to every class at Madison for 5 years.  I rented an old beach hopper, and slowly told him the story of Wanda.   A couple weeks later, we went to the bike shop and he picked out a new bike for me.  He told me it was time for a new beginning. 

I’m happy to say I’ve been accident-free for 3 years now, and I’m learning the rules of biking on the road.  Luckily, Minneapolis is an extremely bike-friendly city, and there are dozens of trails and paths (even in the downtown) specifically for people riding two wheels.

Anyway! That was just a long story about what I was thinking during the rah rah rah experiment today.  For my project, I decided to make custom water bottle labels and then place them on bicycles around the city.  Maybe this was my small way of making amends for all the trouble I’ve caused on my bike over the years.

Below is the label I made. I know, it’s pretty awful and slightly embarrassing.  If any graphic designers are looking to make a new best friend, contact me.
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flower children riding bicycles for maple syrup

alright, the title is a bit misleading, but there really isn’t a surefire way to find a linkage between today’s events. it all started with a call from a friend, asking if i wanted to spend the morning biking the greenway (a trail running through minneapolis). since my favorite things about minneapolis are 1) the lakes 2) the dog parks) and 3) the bike trails, i was up for it.

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she wanted to meet in ten minutes, so i put my hair in a bun, grabbed a flower from the the table, and hopped on my bike:

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tobin (our friend who lives across the street) invited us to a bbq when i returned from the bikeride. he asked me to bring a cocktail, and i figured that it was about time jon and i had a signature drink. since the only person who loves maple syrup more than i do is buddy the elf, i decided on a maple leaf concoction:

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that’s buddy, but to make the drink, you mix 4 parts bourbon, 2 parts lemon juice, 2 parts water, and 1 part maple syrup (or more maple, if you’re buddy):

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shake it all up:

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then, if you’re anything like me, take the last flower in your house (the one not in your hair) and use it to stir:

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delicious:

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then off to the bbq — the drinks were a hit! note jon drinking with the flower stir…. 🙂

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biking 10,000 lakes

the incredible number of bike paths and trails that wrap around the city and the lakesvery make for adventurous weekends.  jon and i have taken to hopping on the bikes immediately after coffee, and then riding around to see where we end up.  the first saturday we tried this, we saw the secluded and lively lake harriet, and decided that we wanted to have a house near there — the lakes, the trails, the baseball fields, the outdoor concert arena — it all just felt right.

feeling inspired by our successful outing, we did the same thing this past saturday — except we adventured to cedar lake.  while cedar lake isn’t quite as visually stunning, it’s connected to the kenwood trail, and that make for some scenic riding.

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to plan your own trip, check out this map of the minneapolis bike trails: http://www.minneapolis.org/sites/default/files/u7/pdfs/Mpls-Trails.pdf