Milk Stout Nitro

milk stoutProcrastinating for a few minutes before starting my last paper of the week. And what’s on my mind?


When I finish this paper I plan to treat myself to a yummy Milk Stout from Left Hand Brewing Co….with peanuts….salted in the shell. Mmm.

Dillon introduced us to Milk Stout on our trip to Colorado in August. Oh my. It is so creamy and chocolatey and…well…just divine. I was so excited to find it in Duluth when we got home. I snag a 6-pack at Mount Royal Bottle Shoppe when I miss my Amy girl. (That is today, friend. Can’t wait to see you in a few weeks.)

I have a new appreciation for stouts this fall. I love the lightness of them. They look heavy, but really they are usually quite light…in calories too!

I also had a good oatmeal stout at The Brewhouse last weekend. Well done too!

If you like beer, give the Milk Stout a whirl. Oh! And serve in a glass and read the serving instructions on the bottle before you drink…you must to turn it upside down and pour hard! Trust me.

xo dina

Go-to cheater salad

I didn’t have a picture of my yummy salad so instead I included a shot of the perfect pairing: A cocktail from Duluth’s own gin distillery, Vikre.

I don’t think that I’ve ever posted my go-to cheater salad recipe. Since returning to school it has once again become a regular healthy option.

My special friend Kay made this for me eons ago. So simple, but tastes like it took a lot of work and the ingredients bounce together so well.

It is on the list this week. We may need to snag a bottle of Vikre gin so that we can make Stopping by Woods. Post studies, of course. ;)

Toss the following:

Greens (I prefer spinach or butter lettuce)
Roasted or toasted almonds
Craisins (or simple raisins if you don’t want the added sugar)
Blue cheese
Poppyseed dressing (homemade recipes here and here)

If you eat meat, shredded chicken is a great addition.


xo dina

P.S. Tonight we kicked off Soup Sunday with our favorite GKS’s Bean Chili with Walnuts & Chocolate. Oh my…

{Image courtesy of Five and Spice.}

“You can do anything you want…”

jackie kennedy

“…just not everything.

Wise words from my wise father-in law.

This afternoon I ran into two lovely St. Scholastica ladies and they inspired me to write tonight. (Thank you Nancy and Lesley.)

My to-do list has been pretty wild.

I took a day off to study and probably shouldn’t even be breaking to write, but will give in to this little fun pause before writing my second social justice policy paper.

I guess I did also sneak in a run on the Lakewalk and 15-minute NTC over the the noon hour…my first real workout in over a week. (Sigh.)

I LOVE my job and I LOVE my studies, but geez it is amazing what we folks will take on these days. Most of my classmates are piling it on as well…and many of them have children! I don’t know how they do it. I am in awe. (And, of course, envious.)

Anyway, the insane schedules reminded of this piece from NPR so I revisited it, again. Fascinating. According to Schulte (2014) “…working mothers today, even when they work full time, the time studies are showing that they spend more time with their children than stay at home mothers did in the 1960s and 70s…because they’ve given up personal leisure time and time with adults.”


Schulte’s book looks pretty good. I will add it to the holiday reading list. However, I don’t think her to-do list tactic is going to work for me in the coming weeks! Here is a run-down of what’s on the agenda this week. (In my chic planner.) No way can I do just one.


Has anyone read Schulte’s book?

xo dina

{Jackie & Daughter courtesy of gettyimages.}

Community Day

f183021b79c44eb28623ad04b17d6863Today more than 800 students, staff and faculty will take to the streets to provide community service to at least 40 organizations in town.

It is St. Scholastica’s annual Community Day!

Every year classes are out of session this one day to allow our Saints community the time and energy to give to others in our community.

My intern, Emilee, and I will be skittering around Duluth all day capturing photos of #SaintsInAction. The College even has a little photo contest for tweets and photos including our official hashtag. Should be a fun, meaningful day.

xo dina

{Image courtesy of Pinterest.}

What has been your most memorable birthday?


Hello thirty-seven! (Spelling out the number makes it seem a wee bit smaller. Ha.)

What has been your most memorable birthday?

Yesterday my sweet boss, Mary, incorporated this question into our weekly staff meeting. Since our agenda comes out well before our meeting time we had lots of time to reflect upon it.

I realized that I don’t really remember many actual birth DAYS. Instead I remember the years. I decided that the year of 30 was the most memorable. That is the year I visited Cali wine country, Sonoma and Napa. And that is the year I ran my first full marathon. I suppose I was very intentional about doing these things because I was turning the big 3-0. Hmm. I think that I’ll start doing the same for the big 4-0. Maybe French wine country? Or combining my love for wine and cycling with this amazing cycling adventure?

Honestly, my biggest wish for 40 and the years between: continued health of heart, body and mind. I want to keep learning. I want to spend even more quality time with my closest friends and family. And I want to truly embrace the process of building a family and home with my beautiful partner Mike. That is my birthday wish today.

I’m home this morning working on homework and enjoying the yummy birthday smoothie Mike made me before he left. Cute boy will return soon and we are going to enjoy a fun-filled weekend, starting with a run on the lakewalk. Then we’re heading to Minneapolis and I’ve been instructed to “…wear a cute dress for tonight.” Hmm. Where-o-where are we going??? :)

We’ve got a lot of fun things to do in the city. There are some big changes on the horizon for us, including some changes to the blog. I can’t wait to share them with you!

Have a great weekend. I’d love to hear your most memorable birthday…or year. And please twirl with me today…life is pretty darn lovely. :)

xo dina

{Image courtesy of Susie Pryor.}