A Common Addiction 

Now, I may come off as a hypocrite since I am using my iPhone to write this, however I believe a majority of us may either be aware or perhaps not that we are addicted to our cell phones. And not only that, we are stealing moments from our own lives and literally throwing them away. To test this theory, I pose two questions for you to think about, and don’t worry, I myself am guilty of having my phone on too often, so if you are like me, you aren’t the only one. 

1) Could you do away with your social media for an entire week? Month? Year? Yes, you still need to be reached in case of an emergency, but could you disconnect yourself from Facebook, Instagram, all other apps and feel good about it? If your honest answer is no, then try to think about the reasons WHY you feel the need to stay constantly connected, and be honest with yourself; are the reasons healthy or unhealthy? 

2) Not to sound negative here, but one day, we all come to the end of our journey. That’s the truth, no one lives forever, and that is what makes life so beautiful and sacred. Each moment should matter because they are all limited and tomorrow is never a guarantee. So to pose my second question: if you keep your current habits throughout the rest of your life, what are the things you may wish you had done differently when that time comes when you reach the end of your journey? For me the answer would be I wish I would’ve spent even more moments chronicling my experiences, moments, children growing and learning without my phone for distraction. Among other things I wish I would read more books instead of watching television. Not saying these things are bad in moderation, but if I’m thinking about my current habits replayed years forward, I see so much precious time wasted. Here is my written dedication going forward that I am holding myself accountable to changing these habits now.

The technological world has evolved so much to make things incredibly easy for us to talk to each other without ever meeting up for coffee or actually seeing each other, to never leave the comfort of our home to go to the store, to make ourselves appear differently in a photo, to see what turmoil is happening in the world without needing to purchase a newspaper, etc. These things have caused us to become addicted to a life of only living part of it, being blind to what is actually happening vs what the left wing or right wing news pay to have shown online and cause biase and unnecessary uprising, and being unable to detach from our phones and enjoy a full conversation with another person. Many people don’t know this, but interactions with other people face to face is proven to prolong our life but also improve the quality of life. If you haven’t watched this before, I highly recommend it : 

https://www.ted.com/talks/susan_pinker_the_secret_to_living_longer_may_be_your_social_life/up-next

I pose a challenge to you, can you adjust how you use your phones/apps to add more moments to be productive, helpful, peaceful, whatever your reason may be? 

I find that within the first 5 minutes of being on Facebook, I see about 10 different pessimistic news stories, status posts or articles used to attract negative attention. I ask myself how those things make me feel, and little by little each of those negative things takes my energy. Imagine how much more energy I could have without that shit! It accumulates and I can put it to better use. Again, I’m using myself as an example. But think about your own perspective and how you feel about it. This is not meant to jab anyone, like I said, I’m being honest with myself and I’m guilty of being a phone addict too from time to time (it’s so easy to be sucked in sometimes!) So in posting this I’m looking to pose a potential new outlook or perspective. Reread the two questions above and watch the video from Ted Talks, it’s worth the time, and join in a personal challenge to yourself if you find it applicable! 

In a more personal challenge to myself, I want to go a whole week without any social media just to see what changes I feel mentally, emotionally and physically. If you want to join me, feel free!

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Giveaway – Make Your Entry!

Hello again! Here are the instructions on how to enter this awesome 😉 giveaway! Please note to subscribe, you have to enter an email address where the “Follow” link is shown at the bottom of my blog website (here is the website: https://itsalwayssunnyinminnesota.wordpress.com/ ) . You will need to tag a friend on my Facebook post sharing this blog entry. I will receive notification for those who subscribe and will keep track of entries on Facebook. If you have any questions, please let me know! Otherwise best of luck and thank YOU for helping spread some marvelous vibes! I will make a video to announce the winner, of which I will draw at random once I decide to close the giveaway. There is an opportunity for your name to be entered again, and you can do that by sharing my blog post on Facebook. Thank you again, as always, for all of your support!

-Sunny

Giveaway

Upcoming Giveaway – Power of Positivity!

Hey there readers. Thank you for taking the time to click into this blog entry and read! Much appreciated. I want to do something to throw some positive energy into social media to counteract some of the abundant negativity in the news, media sites, etc I seem to be coming across lately. I want to do a giveaway of one of my photos I have taken within the last year. I will ship it directly to you and will write a personal positive note on the backside of it as well. How do you have the chance to get this print? I will make another post on here with instructions. In the meantime, try to think positively in all things, the glass is always half full. I want to do this for some fun and hopefully to make someone’s day! Keep an eye open, I’m hoping to have my additional giveaway post up within the next day or two. 

Again, thank you for reading and for those of you who are fans of my photography! Much love! ❤️

-Sunny

North Shore

This place makes me incredibly peaceful inside and out. Maybe not necessarily the destination in full, but the combination of being able to see some new sites, taste delicious food, tip back a little scotch, and get some quality time with my guy, the whole picture…life is good! I have such an appreciation for Minnesota already as my home state, but if there is one place that is the shining gemstone of MN, it is the North Shore (a close second is our home😊) We have been to a few stunning places and have been fortunate enough to stay in rad accommodations as well. (Bluefin Bay and Superior Shores) We would recommend both to others, right off the water and in close proximity to landmarks, they both are beautiful places to stay. But nevertheless, each time we visit here or will visit, I have an overwhelming sense of nostalgia for our first roadtrip together to Tofte. It never fails that we have lots of laughs, in depth conversations (not all since we have some pretty goofy ones as well), and both have a genuine passion to admire the natural world and what Mother Nature has so kindly given us to enjoy anywhere we go, including our own backyard. In a world ravaged by negativity; we can so easily escape it and focus on what matters. Focus on all of the little things, find the beauty in what surrounds us, and be thankful for it. I’m overjoyed to have a partner to share in these joys and passions with. In the most recent trip, we stayed at Superior Shores in Two Harbors. The room was enormous and featured two fireplaces, a balcony, full kitchen, a jacuzzi tub, and a separate master bedroom. The view overlooked the Superior bay and was about 2 minutes from town. We both were able to kick back and relax with ease. The pool on site was great as well, it had an indoor and outdoor hot tub; perfect for easing the mind and body. They also had a large sauna which Branden insisted on booking me alive. Ha! We were able to get out and see the harbor, explore some local agate shops, and hike Tettegouche. I would suggest visiting Cascade National Park, Tettegouche, and the Split Rock Lighthouse if you pass through the area. Cascade offered plenty of hiking, waterfalls, photo opportunity and wildlife without being overcrowded with other tourists. Tettegouche was the same, we went on a weekday and didn’t share our view with anyone else while we were there. We also stopped by a marina near Two Harbors that had an extremely rocky jetty. That was also neat to see all the boats, the boys will enjoy seeing that one day I’m sure. And now we have some new, cherished memories to carry with us;  thanks to my phenomenal guy for surprising me and taking me for my birthday! And also a huge thanks to his brother and sister-in-law for watching Orion for the few days we were gone, we were able to catch some z’s and recharge! 
Grand Marias sounds pretty epic too, I have yet to venture that far North, but if anyone has places or suggestions that are must sees, or little slices of paradise you’ve found in your travels, do share! I hope we will take the boys up there next spring or summer for camping since Orion will be a little older. Can’t wait to show them some of our memorable spots one day! And what’s better than getting to know our home state even more and what it has to offer. 

5 Things I Learned On My Most Recent Roadtrip

Beginning of this week, Branden’s mom Charlotte, myself and Orion embarked on a roadtrip to Wisconsin for a few days. While driving and exploring, you see, hear, and learn of many new things. Here are 5 things I learned from my roadtrip:

1: I want to create a more concrete bucket list.  I have always had places in mind I’d love to go or experiences I wish to have in life, but I’ve never written them down on a legitimate “bucket list”. Going on this trip got me thinking that there are millions of places to go, but I need to define my destinations first. Where do I absolutely want to go and see before my time is up? Without a doubt Europe is on the list, I have an immense amount of genealogy that traces back to Europe and would love to embark on exploring it, Norway, Sweden, Germany, etc. One experience that is a must would be skydiving, which I have to give some credit here to Branden since he has gone many times and has piqued my interest; I plan to in the spring down in Florida, if I plan ahead, and this would be rad to cross off the list. Now to write more down! 

2: The people of Wisconsin are called Wisconsinites. Maybe some of you already knew that, but I sure as hell didn’t. I’ve been calling them something different my whole life, call me mind blown…

3: The drive from St. Paul on 494 is INCREDIBLE! If you like seeing flowing rivers and creeks, rustic roads, vast rolling farm hills and farms consisting of alpacas, cows, and horses, then this route is for you. I found the drive stunning; something beautiful to look at around every turn. The leaves were starting to change too, dark reds and oranges appearing. The 3 1/2 hour drive felt like a short trip thanks to the scenery and my copilot Charlotte! I only hit the rumble strips once due to looking too long at the views from the road. 

4: Orion can roadtrip. Yes, babies sleep a lot…but Orion was a trooper on the road! He required minimal pit stops and barely made a peep the whole car ride. Talk about a proud momma moment. One of the best things we can do as parents is get our kids used to traveling to make it easier when trips do happen. I think he did better than I did (thank you GMC for making the hardest seats known to man in my 2009 Acadia). I must say I foresee many successful road trips in the future for our family of 5!

5: I genuinely appreciate where I live. I know this is more of a reminder to live where you love and love where you live than a lesson learned, but there’s something so comforting about returning home after being away from it. As much as I enjoy traveling, no matter the distance and discovering new places, I equally love coming back to home and my family. We live in the country on 15 acres and it is incredibly peaceful and quiet (except for the 3 boys 😉 ) and I can’t express my admiration and appreciation I have for this place and being able to call it “home”. To walk through the doors, unpack, sit down on the couch, exhale and have an overwhelming sense of relaxation sweep over your mind and body, that is a superb feeling. 

A huge thank you to Charlotte for organizing the trip and inviting me to go along! It was a blast to share new experiences and get to know a phenomenal woman as well. Quality time well spent on the road and in the land of cows and cranberries! These are just five take-a-ways I had from our trip; finding lessons or reminders is the reason we do travel. To learn about new places, things, people, even ourselves, that is the journey. 

I’m curious what trip(s) have impacted your life the most and in what way(s)?! 

Embrace new paths; don’t fight the inevitable 

Just over a year ago I had an abundance of changes and challenges happen. Consisting of both large and small hurdles and new beginnings, they all have placed me on a completely different path in life. To be brief, I got divorced, changed my name, moved, started a new relationship (my soulmate), had a baby, lost and made some friends along the way, but on top of all that, I have a whole new perspective on life and recalibrated focus to what matters, who matters, and where I want to go with it. It is short, and while many people disagree will disagree with choices I’ve made, I chose to take a new path; not because the grass looked greener, but rather I felt this absolute magnetism pulling me in a new direction. Instead of fighting it, and staying unhappy and indifferent, I chose to embrace this “pull” and tackle the challenges that came with it and not fight the inevitable, this strong, and ever present pull that was happening in to my soul and overwhelming voice echoing in my head telling me “everything happens for a reason”. I trusted myself and made some hard choices. May sound easy or rather cliche written in words, but it is true. Put in the face of judgment and criticism, those fears and factors were pushed aside and a new path blazed ahead.  And on this new, beautiful and epic journey began. While some of us are apprehensive to change, do not let it get in the way of life. Life will always lead you where you are supposed to be if you let it. That’s the trick, to let it you have to change and make some hard, or easy, decisions depending on how you look at them; sometimes many things within the course of a year. If we never take a step, how do we learn to walk, and then how will we ever learn to run? I can say from my own perspective that I have never been more jubilant and at peace and embracing of my life and where the universe may take me. And it all started with one step. Those nagging fears of judgment, criticism, negativity, losing possessions/relationships, money, etc can be wiped away with one easy decision too; pay that bullshit no mind. To this day those things don’t impact me the same way, they no longer penetrate my thoughts, opinions or feelings. I have grown stronger in my own identity. To wrap this, hopefully not redundant post, up for now, embrace your challenges, don’t fight the inevitable. And by inevitable, I mean life, when it tells you it’s time to make a change, don’t fear the difficulties, changes or anything, move forward and learn about yourself. I often think of our individual journies like a maze, the start would be birth, finish line would be death. Sometimes we make one choice and it leads us astray, but when we go back and begin again on a new way, it leads to a new fork in the road. Eventually coming to and end; but the point is: did we actually LIVE along the way? I’m living, not just existing, and again, it all starts with a step.

 

Since I decided to try my hand at blogging, I’d like to keep going. With that said, if you have any questions for me about what you’ve seen or read on here, Facebook, Instagram, etc please fire away! Hopefully I’ll be able to answer or give insight in return. Thanks for taking the time to read.