My Medora Hit List

I really didn’t think there’d be anything in Medora for me.

I’m primarily an urban traveler, addicted to new passport stamps and exploring local shops, museums and restaurants.

I’d heard that the scenery around this little North Dakota town was beautiful (it’s nestled in the heart of the Badlands) but it all seemed so cowboy, so completely and unattainably western. It just didn’t seem like my thing.

I was totally wrong.

When my friend Liz and I set off on the very first #PrairiePeople, #PrairiePlaces road trip, we didn’t have a clue what to expect from North Dakota’s #1 tourist destination.

Would it be …

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Get Creative, Get Unstuck

I love working from home. A traditional office set-up has never been my thing and I don’t mind that there’s basically no separation between my work and my life.

I like having the freedom to pursue the stories and work with the clients that inspire me. Most days I’m able to balance my ever-increasing workload with the challenges of keeping up with my why-walk-when-you-can-run toddler.

I carve out time to write while he sleeps, before my husband comes home from work, while he plays with his cousin Sailor on the living room floor and during the weekends.  I return …

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Living The High Life at Lüft

The patio season in North Dakota is short, but the brilliant minds at Lüft in Bismarck have figured out a way to extend it all year long.

I spent some time there a few weeks ago and it was such a great introduction to the city.

The fully-heated rooftop garden serves fun, fresh cocktails, hot hoagie sandwiches and 16 craft beers (yay!) in a laid-back space overlooking the heart of downtown Bismarck.  It was cool and comfortable in the late afternoon sun and (since it’s dotted with garden lights and flickering candles) a little bit magical as night falls.

My …

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It Girls And Indie Guys

Summer clothes are tricky.

Dressing to beat the heat works great for the beach but the colorful, breathable, pared-down looks that work so well on vacation or for casual weekends at home can look out of place — or even sloppy — at work or running errands. Splashy prints and tropical colors are fun, but they don’t integrate into my (mostly black and gray) wardrobe very well.

That’s why Alexa Chung is my new summer style icon. The fashion editor, TV presenter, former model and English street fashion darling is always wearing something interesting.

But best of all, …

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The Gordmans Winner And A Coupon For Everybody

We have a winner! Somebody just scored a $25 gift card to Gordmans to get a jump on their fall shopping. Was it you?

Thanks to everyone who entered. It’s always fun to read your comments and get to know you better. Even if you didn’t win this time, you can print off the coupon at the bottom of this post for 20% off pretty much anything in the store, so it’s kind of like everybody wins something.

And don’t forget to check back on September 9 for your next chance to win.

We had a vote for BB …

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Sweet And Savory Milkhaus Ice Cream

There are very few things that make me do an about-face in the middle of the Downtown Fargo Street Fair with an overstimulated toddler in tow.

Bacon ice cream is one of them.

And so is dark chocolate lavender ice cream. And white chocolate lemon ice cream. And pistachio. And salted caramel. From the second I saw the flavor list from Milkhaus, a new line of artisanal, handmade ice cream, I knew I was gonna be hooked.

Photo from Milkhaus

Milkhaus specializes in creamy, savory, unexpected flavor combinations that push the boundaries of what we expect from ice cream. The …

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Win a Back To School Gift Card From Gordmans

Forget the New Year — fall is the season of new beginnings. The cool air brings visions of new books and new adventures, of cocoa and cozy sweaters and leaves crunching under foot on crisp mornings.

It’s already back to school shopping season (how did that happen?!) and even if you’re not actually going back to class yourself, it’s a great time to explore a new look.

A Jessica Simpson handbag

For this month’s giveaway, you could win a $25 Gordmans gift certificate to kick-start your shopping.

If you’re a regular reader, you know that I normally save these giveaways for regional boutiques, organizations and artists. But …

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What’s In A Name? Figuring It Out At Trendz Boutique

A confession — I almost walked right by Trendz Boutique because I’ve developed an aversion to creative spellings in retail.

Thankfully I didn’t, because this little shop in downtown Minot, North Dakota is one of my favorites in the state.

See, when I lived in the Twin Cities, shops with “fun” spellings catered to broke young things like myself who wanted something sexy and cheap to wear to the club.

On Friday nights, there we’d be, a rainbow of girls still in our maid’s uniforms, fast food caps and server’s aprons frantically digging through plastic bins and messy racks of …

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Small Town Tex-Mex at Azteca Mexican Grill

Grafton, North Dakota might seem like an odd place to find Mexican food, but that’s just one of the many surprises this little town has up its sleeve.

In addition to offering a surprisingly good retail scene (my sister and I have had lots of shopping adventures in town), Grafton has several locally-owned restaurants.

Azteca Mexican Grill is one of them.  It’s a local joint in downtown Grafton owned by David Carlisle.

It’s a rare bird in this Internet age — no Facebook page, just a smattering of online reviews and a completely incorrect link that …

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In Studio: The Dreamy Works of Lacie Van Orman

Lacie Van Orman’s work is whimsical and dreamy, a playful and quietly vivid look at landscapes she loves.

She showcases tranquil landscapes and downtown landmarks near her home in Bismarck, North Dakota by playing with color and texture. The resulting hazy Technicolor dreamscapes are somehow both cheerful and a little moody. And they make you look twice.

Lacie has always been a creative person, but she’s “officially” been creating since she started selling prints, laptop sleeves and pillows (so cute!) on Etsy under the name Loupine Design last August.

In today’s In Studio post, Lacie takes us inside …

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