When I got an email from these two, I couldn’t help but do a happy dance. They are getting married at a camp, very much like the one that Jackson and I work at in Northern Minnesota. Mallory told me – “we love your work, and we love your artsy shots, so do your thing.” From that moment on I knew it was meant to be. August can’t come soon enough!
This January wedding could have given us sub-zero temps but instead we were blessed with temps in the twenties and thirties. So happy to have been a part of their day. The love and fun between these two and their wedding party was evident, making for an incredible day.
As some of you may know, when I graduated college, I self-published a book called My Life as a Pun Star. I have spent the majority of my twenties being obsessed with what some folks refer to as the lowest form of humor – puns. My Instagram during this time consisted of images with captions that were written in pun form – always. The pressure to be punny got to me and I eventually moved away from EVERY single caption being punny. But – that didn’t stop me from meeting some amazing people that also really enjoy puns. Emmi B is one of them. She is the magic behind EB Visuals. We met up and formed a plan. She was the design guru, I had the puns, and we both had a love for enamel pins.
So together we created a coffee lovers pin. A dream come true! Although the pin is not much of a pun, puns are what brought us together and I will be forever grateful for that. I can’t wait to see what we will make next!
It has been two months since we settled in here in the middle of the woods. We can’t believe that we officially get to call this place home.
Today was our first day off together since camp started. We started the day off cleaning the Bungalow ( our cabin ) and then we headed into town for a lunch on a patio overlooking the lake. We stopped and got ice cream at the Thrifty White Drug Store and picked up a frozen pizza to eat for dinner. When we returned we took paddle boards out on the lake. It was as still as glass. I never thought I would be living on a lake and have these luxuries.
Above is the sauna here by the Lodge. I had my first ever sauna experience with some of my new friends here. Afterwards, we took a dip in the lake.
Our daily duties are as follows: Jackson is the Wilderness Director and I am the Creative Director. I teach photography and take photos throughout the day ( along with a whole slew of other duties.) Three meals a day we are in the dining hall singing camp songs. Evenings are spent at all camp activities where games are played and fun is had by all. We are on 400 acres, on a lake, in the middle of the Northwoods.
On Sunday’s we have Chapel. It is a time for everyone to come together and feel centered and think about a topic that is presented. This last weekend’s topic was acceptance. A counselor and a camper both speak on what that word means to them. I had the opportunity to speak during the very first Chapel at the beginning of the summer.
Frida is loving it here. From the boat rides to the acreage to roam.
We are finally getting to start harvesting the veggies and flowers of our labor from the beginning of our time here. The cucumbers, tomatoes, beets, snap peas, and herbs are delicious. I don’t know how we will go back to store bought once the harvest season is over.
This place has become home. I never thought I would find my ‘dream job’ so young. But I have, and I am holding on tight.
Thanks to Meg of nine56 Studio and the Simply, Lived In podcast, I can check being interviewed off of my bucket list! Meg interviewed me about everything from the bus to Jack and I’s mission to live a slower lifestyle ( and how that is going now that we are at camp.)
Follow this link to listen to the episode!
We are coming down to the wire. Only four short weeks until we pack up and move. Since we last posted, we have sanded the entire inside of the bus, after realizing that the kind of paint that we had purchased would stick much better after a good sanding and prevent peeling.
Just this week, we gave the inside of the bus two good coats of paint thanks to some heaters and two days in a row of 40+ degree weather.
Minnesota is now, as I type, in the middle of an April meltdown. 10 inches of snow predicted, which means another pause on the bus. In the meantime, my mom is working on recovering the seats that we saved that will be going back into the bus, and we are busy planning some layout things for the inside.
We are going to be re purposing some of the things we were looking to get rid of during our move, into pieces that will provide storage in the bus!
Impatiently waiting for another “warm enough” day to put that last coat of paint on the inside.
Who will be my first client to shoot in the bus?!
Photos by Emily Sims
This weekend we hosted a little St. Patrick’s Day gathering with some family. We tried out three new recipes! ( risky business, I know )
Our favorite of the three I found on www.healthyseasonalrecipes.com :
Cheddar Horseradish Colcannon
- 2 ½ pounds thin-skinned potatoes, (about 4 medium) peeled and cut into 1 ½ -inch chunks
- 1 cup milk, warmed
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted plus more for serving if desired
- 6 ounces shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 to 5 teaspoons freshly grated or prepared horseradish, to taste
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground pepper, preferably white
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or organic canola oil
- 3 scallions, sliced greens and whites separated
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small bunch lacinato kale, stems removed and finely shredded (about 6 cups)
- Place potatoes in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain simmer and cook until the potatoes are just tender when pierced with a fork, 15 to 18 minutes. Drain thoroughly and return the potatoes to the saucepan. Add milk and butter and mash with a potato masher or electric beater until smooth. Add cheddar, horseradish, dill, salt and pepper and mash until the cheese is melted and the potatoes are smooth. Cover saucepan with lid to keep warm if necessary.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallion whites and garlic and cook, stirring until softened and fragrant, but not browned, 30 to 90 seconds. Add kale and cook, stirring until wilted. Add 2 to 3 to 4 tablespoons water if necessary and continue cooking until the kale is bright green and just tender, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the kale to the mashed potatoes and stir to combine. Serve colcannon topped with scallion greens and additional butter if desired.
And here we are again, at another crossroads. We were approaching the end of our lease, I was finishing up my degree, and Jackson was up for anything.
We have met some incredible people in the last year that have shown big faith in the two of us. Thanks to some of these people we are going to soon be living a life we only dreamed of hopefully living some day when we were “retired”.
Come May, we will be returning to the Northwoods to work at an all girls summer camp as the Wilderness Director + the Media Director/Photography teacher // I bet you can’t guess who will play what role. After camp we will become the off season caretakers of the land (and the horses).
In our pursuit of slow – or perhaps a pace of our own, this opportunity came at the most perfect time.
Join us as we prep for this crazy move – a garage sale/ home purge is soon to come before we load up the bus and head north.
For now, my friends, it’s daydreams of barefoot summer days within the pine tree walls + the potential for goats + chickens.
Photos by Katie Kopan