Friday, October 30, 2015

Five on Friday: Looking forward to

Here's another edition of Five on Friday! It's been a while, so here. we. go.

One | Tattoos

My pal, carrie, and I are going to Fargo to get new tattoos next Saturday(!). How is it that we've already arrived at November 7th (next Saturday)?! It's been a long time in coming and Aubrey and I were supposed to get our next tatts together. My goal was to lose 20lbs before getting my next tattoo and we were supposed to go this last June when Aubrey was in town. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. I hadn't lost 20lbs and she was busy finishing her Master's and I was busy working. Hmmph. So. No tatt.

BUT! Then carrie mentioned that we should go get tattoos this fall. (I felt like a traitor to Aubrey...sorry!) And I've officially lost those pesky 20lbs. So tatts next Saturday it is!

Here it is!

Two | Deer Hunting

In my family, deer season is a holiday. For as long as I can remember, as many of us gather at Grandpa and Grandma's farm and we eat potato klub, drink coffee, tell stories, and laugh. Opening weekend of the deer season is November 7. Yep. The same day as the tattoo shindig. It's going to be a fun weekend!

As we've gotten older, it's been harder and harder for all of us cousins to get together at the farm. This year, Aaron and his family will not be able to make it (as far as I know), since they now live in Alabama. For many years, Josh, Aaron, and Aanders would tell stories about their adventures tracking, dragging, cleaning, loading, hauling deer. One year Aaron shot two deer with one bullet (!). This information has still not been corroborated, so don't shoot the messenger (ba dum tss). Sorry, bad pun. Another year, Josh was driving the jeep with Aaron and Aanders inside and apparently it was so rough, Aaron thought he was going to fall out. To that Josh replied, "Hold on and look savage."

It's even a great opportunity to take 
photos for your Christmas cards!
Three | Veterans Day

This year we have Veterans Day off! I think this is the first year since I've been teaching (I know...not many years, but still) that we've had Nov. 11 off. Not only that, but Kyle and I have the day off together. How awesome! Maybe we'll go have breakfast at our favorite diner and find a 11/11 service somewhere.

Four | Friends-giving

Friends-giving is a concept that I've been familiar with for a while now, but I've never participated in one. Kyle's sister invited us to a shindig that they're hosting with another couple friend of ours. When the six of us get together, we genuinely have a great time and I'm so thankful to have been invited. We asked what we could bring and she told us dessert. So now the question becomes cupcakes or pie? Who am I kidding, or both?

Five | Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving with my family is always a big deal. One year we are with my mom's family and the other we're with my dad's family. It just so happens that we only see my mom's family with the rotation we've been on for holidays. This year Thanksgiving is at my uncle and aunt's house and I've been asked to bring dessert. What do you think? Cheesecake? Mini cheesecake? Cupcakes? Pie? The options are limitless. Well...except that one aunt doesn't eat chocolate and two of my cousins can't have protein, so there's that.

What are you really looking forward to? Happy Halloween tomorrow!

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Second Chance Book Club: Revival?

Aubrey and I tried, tried, TRIED to get a virtual book club off and running this year and unfortunately it just. hasn't. happened. That being said, would anyone be interested in joining us if we revived TSCBC (what an obnoxious acronym...sorry!)??

We've decided that we want to revive, resurrect, rekindle, or any other synonym that you'd associate with bringing this Book Club back to life.

That being said, we're going to pick up with November's book, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.
From GoodReads: "Since his debut in 1951 as The Catcher in the Rye, Holden Caulfield has been synonymous with "cynical adolescent." Holden narrates the story of a couple of days in his sixteen-year-old life, just after he's been expelled from prep school, in a slang that sounds edgy even today and keeps this novel on banned book lists. His constant wry observations about what he encounters, from teachers to phonies (the two of course are not mutually exclusive) capture the essence of the eternal teenage experience of alienation."

Try it out. We'll discuss here on November 28...that's the Saturday after Thanksgiving. So, I know I'll be trying to finish up either my last few pages or my post on my drive home that week. Thank goodness for car rides to see family!

Last, but not least, please take the following survey. You do not have to put your name if you do not want to. But please take the survey so we can start choosing books for next year! Wowza. How crazy is it that next year is only weeks away?! Uff-da.

As always, please add the button to the bottom of your post if you join in!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

What's Happening: Sick Edition

Yikes. Where to start? What do you all do when you're under the weather?

Kyle has been sick for much of the start of school (probably at least half of the first 8 weeks). I just got sick last week and I don't see the end of it until at least this weekend.

So to help us sleep at night and to hopefully help us feel better, I've been diffusing like crazy. It started with Young Living's Purification to help with the sore throats and to help keep the air in our house fresh.

I recently received my newest Young Living order and so now I've been diffusing Thieves right before we go to sleep and right as we wake up in the morning to help kill some of these cold germs floating through our house.

 I'm not entirely sure if it's working or not...but only time will tell. These have been my two go-to oils for the sickies in our house (both of us). 

But, what do you do when your house is sick? Help a sister out!

Friday, October 16, 2015

It's time for a party!

I know, I know. I've been slacking on the whole, "I'm going to blog twice a week" thing. It's already Thursday and this is the first you've heard from me. I am ashamed.

So, here we go.

Growing up, I remember many things vividly. Three such things are coloring Easter eggs at Grandpa & Grandma's house, carving pumpkins at Grandpa & Grandma's house, and Deer Hunting guessed it...Grandpa and Grandma's house.

I have many, many fond memories from that house and with those people. Once grandchildren started growing up and moving away, some of these events started being just memories. The two that turned into memories were Easter egg coloring and pumpkin carving.

Eventually, my parents started hosting a pumpkin carving party. It was a blast! My brother even put a pumpkin on his head. Here's photographic evidence to prove it.

The attendees usually changed from year to year. Some years we would have family friends, other years we would invite young families from church, still other years we would just have our friends and their parents over. We always had a good time and it was frequently pretty chilly in the garage.

As I've gotten older, I've longed to have a house where I could carve pumpkins and set them on our stoop. I've wanted to invite people to our house to carve pumpkins, eat snacks, and enjoy being together. Well folks, this is the year!

We are hosting the First Annual Entzel Pumpkin Carving Extravaganza!'s not that exciting, but it's the first pumpkin carving party we'll ever host. Hopefully it won't be the last...

I'm trying to figure out some sort of menu, but I'm not sure what I'll have time to make. What about chex mix and/or puppy chow, veggies (?), possibly some pumpkin bread, maybe some soup to warm everyone up, and beverages?

Help a friend out! What kinds of snacks would you like to see at a pumpkin carving party?

Happy Friday!

Friday, October 9, 2015

5 Items You NEED for Camping

As promised, I've got my second post up for this week. And here's the thing...since I'm on a camping kick lately, I'm going to share some of our camping secrets. I know, I know. Some of you are better campers than we are, but for those of you who don't backpack and who like to have a shower nearby, then folks--you're like me. So check this out!

Click on the photos for direct links for you to purchase each item for YOUR camping tote.

1 | Lantern
 Coleman makes a fabulous gas lantern. My dad had one while we were growing up and we couldn't wait to find our own lantern. I found one like this at a garage sale...for $5! This lantern on Amazon isn't that good of a deal, but this is a great one to have. If you're like us, you'll frequently get to your campsite after dark, so you'll need one of these bad boys.

2 | Coffee
If you've read this blog long, you'll realize how much we love our coffee. You could say it's one of our love languages. Even my post earlier this week talked about the horror of forgetting our coffee.
That being said, here's our sweet set-up for our camping coffee.

First, you need this sweet percolator. This particular one is from Amazon for only $12.00. I think we got ours from Walmart for $15.00?

But because we actually used the percolator system once and HATED it, we love our pour-over system. Thank you, Melitta, for the happiness! And for only $5.42, how can you go wrong?
But of course you can't forget the actual coffee! My favorite coffee of all time comes from The Coffee Company in Grand Forks, ND. Call Sarah on a Monday and if you buy one pound of coffee, you'll get the second pound 1/2 off! They'll even ship the beans/grounds for you.  
*No, I'm not being compensated for this plug*

3 | Cast Iron Skillet(s)

We have two that we bring with us every time. One is your standard, run-of-the-mill 12 inch cast iron skillet. Well seasoned.
Kyle has converted me to the cast iron skillet. Not only do we swear by them when we're camping, but we use them daily at home. We have the lovely 12 inch pictured above and we also have a 10 inch, more manageable one also. We always bring the 12in with us camping because it works well for everything. It easily handles 4 hamburger patties, many (8-10?) slices of bacon, a whole package of Brown-n-Serve sausage, or our favorite, a heavy duty breakfast skillet.

The second skillet we bring with us is by Le Creuset. They don't make the same skillets anymore, so we are grateful to have it. Kyle's uncle, David, selflessly loaned it to us last summer when we went camping on our summer road trip. Since we tend to be a little unprepared for our camping adventures, we left a skillet at home and Uncle David came to our rescue. He let us borrow one of his skillets and we love it. Here's a similar one by Le Creuset.

This is the current skillet/frying pan that you can buy on Le Creuset or on Williams Sonoma. What we love about this skillet/fry pan is that the handle is wooden so it's never hot to the touch. Okay...maybe never is the wrong word. It's only hot to the touch if you have the handle over the fire. It's the perfect size for one enormous pancake and since it's enameled, it's super easy to clean.
The enameled skillet we have looks like the one below.

Again. Love. Go get one for yourselves. You'll fall in love too. If not, you can come back and blame me.

4 | Coconut oil

Who doesn't love to cook with butter? If you're raising your hand, we can't be friends. Okay, I'm just kidding. But for real. We swear by butter. It's our favorite fat to cook with. Olive oil is good too. But what are the problems with butter & olive oil for camping?

Anyone? Anyone?


Okay, I'll tell you. The big problems with butter and olive oil are storage and transportation.

Butter needs to be refrigerated. And unless you're camping in the fall (like us), your butter will spoil and/or melt. Boo.

Olive oil? Have you ever tried to transport a bottle of olive oil? They're slippery little suckers. Uff-da. The seal on the oil tends to be weaker after it's opened and the bottle never stays clean. And if you're like us, your olive oil is in a bottle with a spout for cooking ease.

I'm sure you're thinking, "Well, what about coconut oil? That's like olive oil but just with coconuts." And I'd say, "You'd think so, wouldn't you?"

The thing about coconut oil is that it usually comes in a jar with a pretty decent lid and it is a solid until it reaches 76 degrees! Seriously, we always use coconut oil when camping. Sometimes the oil melts during the day, but if you have a cooler you can throw it in there. Or you can just leave it as a liquid because it tends to solidify through the night when the temps drop.

Plus, there seem to be some pretty good health benefits right now? Also, if you're like Kyle, you can put a little in your coffee too (and we all know that you'll have your coffee with).

5 | Pocket Knife

And last, but certainly not least--the handy dandy pocket knife. If you're Shawn Spencer you have a Swiss Army Knife and if you're Henry Spencer you have a larger Swiss Army Knife. And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, you need to drop what you're doing right now and go watch Psych from Season 1 Episode 1 through to the end.

But for real, we have found that pocket knives come in extremely handy when camping. They're handy for cooking, peeling branches for 'mallow roasters, cutting rope, opening packages, and really anything else you could ever need a knife for. 

Kyle has a SOG fixed blade that he loves and he bought me a Kershaw pocket knife that I love. *Links will be added as able* Seriously, check it out. 

And as much as you may doubt me, I'm serious about all of these items. They're super helpful and if you've got them, your camping trip is bound to be a success. Unless you happen to forget the tent. So, don't do that.

If you go camping and try any of these items, please let me know how it went. Did you like any of these items? Do you have anything to add to the list?

I'd love to hear from you!
You can find me here, here, and here.

And even though it was coincidental, I'm linking up with A.Liz Adventures for Five on Friday. Go say hi!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A Weekend Away: Camping Edition

Since I kind of fell off the bandwagon with my writing for Brave Love Blog's 2nd Annual Blogtember Challenge, I'm going to try my darndest to post two times a week this month! (Shhh...don't remind me that we're already a week into October...I know.)

Because of this new resolution to writing twice a week for a month, I figured I'd start with our most recent #k2eadventures--a camping trip to a state park! (Yes, it used to be #k2adventures, but then I saw so many other people were using that one...) If you follow me on IG or Twitter, you already saw a few pics, but I did promise a post all about it. So, here we go!

Bear with me...this post might get a little long.
Growing up, my family tried to camp a few times every summer. Usually we would tent and meet up with some friends. Our tent looked something like this:

Granted, this wasn't our exact tent, but it's pretty close. Once our tenting phase passed (it didn't take long), we upgraded to a pop-up camper. Since this is a pretty predictable progression, you're probably figuring out that we moved on to a hard sided camper. That being said, I wasn't a huge fan of camping.

Some things I don't love about camping...

...vault toilets.

You get the idea.

So after we were married, Kyle asked if we could buy a tent and go camping. I immediately thought about camping growing up. While I do have fond memories of those summer trips, I also remember the heat, bugs, vault toilets, dirt, get the picture. But...because we were just married and I wanted to make Kyle happy...I said okay.

Under one condition. We had to use the tent at least three times. Three.

And you know what? I didn't hate it. In fact, I really enjoyed it. Since that first camping trip together, Kyle & I have visited a few different sites. Most frequently, we visit MN State parks.

We've been to Lake Bemidji, Hayes Lake, St. Croix, and Lake Carlos. It's not an overly impressive list yet, but we plan to add to our list every year. We also stayed at a KOA in Maple Grove, MN and we tented in Montana a few times last summer. 

Once place we've visited every year since we've been married is Lake Bemidji State park. We love the location, the scenery, the convenient distance from home, and the town it's located in/near. Bemidji is a quaint little town--my old stomping grounds from my High School days. 

This year, Kyle and I did not have the opportunity to go camping by ourselves, so this last weekend we carpe diem-d. We took our "free-ish" weekend to spend a few days camping at Lake Bemidji State Park. And it was glorious!

Our sweet little set-up

But our wonderful little getaway wasn't without hiccups. As we were leaving my parents' house, we Kyle realized that he forgot our home! Oi. Thank goodness for my brother, we borrowed a tent and set it up in the dark. Doesn't it look cute?


Sometime soon I'll write a post about camping essentials. Maybe that will be my second post for this week. We'll see.

Not only did we leave our tent at home, but we left our coffee (!!) at home too. An awful crime! What did Kyle suggest? That we go to The Cabin. So cute. So tasty.

And my sweet husband let me go shopping too. I found a few gems at The Yellow Umbrella & 218 Gift. They're sister stores and only a block away from each other. If you're ever in Bemidji, stop by.

Yellow Umbrella Shop
218 Home + Gift
I adore this Minnesota necklace. I've been looking for one like this and even though I'm not a gold fan, this is absolutely darling. Paul and Babe on the other hand, are an iconic landmark in Bemidji. I've visited them many times and when I saw these dudes sitting on the shelf, I fell in love. 
Since we forgot our coffee, we needed to get our fix. So, we bought coffee at Dunn Bros and went back to camp to brew coffee in our new mugs from 218 Home + Gift.

And while our weekend wasn't as we planned, we definitely had a lovely time. Kyle and I were able to spend time together and really invest in each other. We had time to bike, read, and genuinely just be together. For that I'll always be grateful.

Lake Bemidji

Even though I live in North Dakota, Minnesota will always be my home. I love going back and spending time in the wonderful state I hail from.

Stay tuned for more photos & the Entzel's Guide to Successful Camping.
Follow along here, here, & here to see what we're up to.
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