Jul 5, 2021

Discover the Beauty of Normandale Japanese Garden and The Charm of Mizu Sushi Bar

 

Normandale Japanese Garden

Would you like to take a casual walk to explore traditionally groomed gardens, peaceful ponds or find a place to sit quietly to immerse in the landscape and untangle the mind? The perfect destination and ideal place for that would be at a Japanese garden. 

These elements and more can be found here at the Normandale Japanese Garden located in Bloomington, MN.  It’s not large in size, but contained in its 2 acres as you pass through the traditional entrance is a gleaming jewel that beholds the eye. It’s almost a magical feeling as you enter and feel the outside world fall away. 

Jun 2, 2021

Lebanon Hills Regional Park at Jensen Lake: Using the PERMA Model To Find Pleasure In Nature

 


I've been trying to include and live the PERMA model in my daily life. The PERMA model was brought to my attention by author and podcaster, Peter McGraw, which was originally based on the work of Martin Seligman that suggests and highlights the five paths to a good life.  PERMA is an acronym with each letter defining a meaning that can be used as life's navigating guide to wellbeing and positive emotions.
  

May 5, 2021

Monticello, MN: Sunflower Fields Begin With Seeds of Stories

 

The next best thing to feeling the warm sunshine on your face is immersing yourself in the glorious warmth of a sunflower field. If this doesn’t lift your spirits, I don’t know what will. 

I highly recommend walking among acres of sunflowers that sometimes reach as tall as 14 feet. Something about it brings out the child in you and you can’t help but to smile and set any anxieties aside. If you really pay attention you’ll notice how the yellow-petaled bonnet, which surrounds their flower head will shift with the sun revealing a little bit of their personality. Some pose proud and tall while others drift off showing their shy side. 

Apr 11, 2021

Hastings, MN Has Much to Explore: Vermillion Falls and Old Mill Park


Explore Love and Mystery at Vermillion Park

People of all ages will find something interesting or even feel the positive effects in the way they carry themselves while kicking around in this nature's playground at Vermillion Falls.  It certainly helped to have a pleasant spring day in April where the waterways have thawed and the snow is (hopefully) a chilly winter memory.

It's pretty cool to see frozen waterfalls in the winter, but the rushing sound of a waterfall in the spring really does something to lift your spirit and soul.  On this day I visited Vermillion Falls in Hastings, MN.  It's located just 30 minutes south of St. Paul off of Hwy 61 and 21st St East.

Mar 22, 2021

St. Petersburg, Florida: Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, Waterfront and Sunshine

 


A Few Morsels On Why to Visit St. Petersburg

If only I had more time, I would have seen and done far more in what this resort-town had to offer.  St. Petersburg is known as the City of Arts and its beloved 244 miles of shoreline along the Gulf of Mexico.  On this trip, I ended up focusing my discoveries at a nature preserve, experiencing their downtown waterfront and soaking up the beachy vibes.  

Thank goodness for smartphones and GPS directions, as I navigated this area with ease and put 160 miles on my rental car exploring and getting familiar with this area.  With a couple of extra days, I could have easily enjoyed more of this "Sunshine City."  When visiting, be ready for a steady flow of traffic on the main roadways around the city and pack your patience at traffic lights.  Driving around the beachfront and tourist locations can creep at a "no one is in a hurry" pace and, of course, why not take on the same attitude.  After all, it is St. Pete, so capture the coastal beachy mood.

Feb 11, 2021

Graceful As A Swan


💕For the Love of Swans 💕 

I'm a bird nerd dabbler, which means I am NOT a walking encyclopedia of bird knowledge, but rather I love watching bird activity as they flutter about in nature or when they arrive eagerly to feeders. 

So, when I was told about the Trumpeter swans that gather at an area Minnesota lake, the anticipation of seeing these graceful swans was very alluring.

To me, swans remind me of a fairytale vision as they gracefully and elegantly glide across the water, often in pairs, which adds to their special love language. 

Jan 29, 2021

The Hard Path Quote


When you find yourself on the hard path that life often brings, do you frame it with a "poor me" narrative or do you discover the lessons and growth within the struggle?  The hard path kind of sucks when you're in it.  But, take time to reframe the struggle and embrace the new knowledge and strength that comes from it.

I climbed the stairs to the top of an observation tower to get this view.  As the cool crisp breeze grazed my cheeks, I took a look around at the wintery scene and I found it exhilarating.  I recognized how following new paths, experiencing new adventures and rethinking the struggle is absolutely empowering. 

The effort it takes by truly participating in your life is better than sulking as a bystander from the sidelines. 😎

Laurie


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