Category Archives: SINI at Home

My Easter Weekend.

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This photo is a miracle. I don’t know that I’ll ever get her to both sit still and wear something on her head for longer than half a second ever again. Soak in the cuteness while you can…

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend! Ours was go-go-go but so much fun. We spent Saturday night celebrating my mom and dad’s 65th birthdays. April is a busy month for my family and birthdays. My dad’s was April 20, our oldest nephew’s is April 24 and my mom’s (Fun Fact: this is also my half-birthday) is April 26. It’s going to be another crazy week!

My sisters and I have been working for months to plan a surprise birthday party for them. All their friends came to celebrate with us – it was great.

I swear I did nothing but eat on Sunday. Brunch with Kyle’s parents, dinner with mine. Delicious, but I think I’m still full. Now that that’s over I feel like it’s time to hit the gym and the road to amp up for summer. So ready!

How was your Easter? Share some pics on our Facebook page!

xoxo
Andy

A reason to celebrate…

Happy Sunday, friends! Hope your weekend has been as fun-filled as ours. It was particularly fun because we got to celebrate a very special little girl, our niece Gabbi. 

Gabbi turns 1

It’s hard to believe she’s already been around a year, but she has so seamlessly fit in it’s also hard to imagine life without her. I have to give Kyle’s sister props – not only did she produce the world’s cutest little girl, she has also been one heck of a mama to this little chub. 

Always with the tongue

 

Loved my cupcakes

So happy birthday to our sweet Gabbi! May your next year be full of all of the love and happiness we all know you deserve. May you grow and learn and explore. May you learn about making friends, sharing and the joy of trying new things. 

My favorite things I learned about you this year:

1. You love food. 
2. You’re never afraid of a challenge – just like your mom. 
3. You love to dance. 

Love you! 

What’s next for Stuck in North Idaho?

That’s a good question.

It’s been a big couple of weeks here. Kyle and I have been talking over and over again about what we want Stuck in North Idaho to be, and really what it is now. We’ve got a fresh, clean new logo design, we filed for our business license (eek!) and have some really fun plans for getting our name out there this summer.

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This is really happening.

So what is this going to look like for you? Great question.

SINI is going to operate pretty much the same (but hopefully a little more efficiently and timely) as far as you readers are concerned. Especially for this next year. I hope to see our readership grow exponentially. There will still be posts about fun things to do, upcoming events and our general goings-on.

A couple new things in the works:

1. A SINI softball team
2. A weekly SINI bike group (all levels welcome! I’ll be on my beach cruiser) – we’ll go on little rides around town and then meet up at a locally owned restaurant or pub.

Not a lot of details yet, but If you’re particularly interested in either you can email me at stuckinnorthidaho@gmail.com. Please do!

Now, I really want to share with you all how Stuck in North Idaho came to be in hopes it will help you to understand our vision for the future. I hope it isn’t too long.

I’ve wanted to be a writer since the fifth grade. Mark Luhnow was my teacher at Hayden Meadows and I owe him everything for showing me what I was meant to do. There’s a quote out there that says, “The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you realize what you were born to do.”  For me, that day was very early on.

Every day we had to write in a journal. About anything. I chose to write stories about my dog, Snickers, and crazy adventures she “had.” Meeting dancing flamingos, exploring the world like a dog version of Indiana Jones. What can I say, she was a rad dog. Mr. Luhnow enjoyed reading my stories and often prompted me to think about the story lines more and go deeper into the plots. He talked with my parents about taking me to writing camps over the summer, which they did, and under his guidance I developed a love for the written word.

I was incredibly shy – and still am today. I hated meeting new people and felt lost in a crowd. Mr. Luhnow helped my find my voice – and I firmly believe writing saved me from being a wallflower and getting lost in the shuffle. On the blank pages of my notebooks, from elementary school on through college, I was free to express myself and say whatever I wanted. There I could be me.

How is this relevant? I took every chance I could to write. English classes, writing camps, school newspapers, you name it – I wanted to do it. Hell, I almost had my creative writing minor completed before I even started college. That’s passion.

It wasn’t until my internship at the Coeur d’Alene Press that I discovered my passion for our city and region. I wrote for the North Idaho Business Journal and eventually got a job there out of school. I loved connecting with local small business owners and hearing their stories. I loved exploring all Coeur d’Alene had to offer and slowly ventured out to outlying communities like Sandpoint, Post Falls and over to Kellogg.

After leaving the Press for my current job, I discovered I needed a creative outlet to get some variety in my writing. My job is amazing but writing similar stories over and over can get a little monotonous and I didn’t want to get burned out there.

Alas, Stuck in North Idaho was born. I have been using this space to document our adventures and my favorite places to visit. Because of SINI I’ve been able to grow new skill sets like photography and a little bit of design. This coupled with moving to PR with my new job has been the best thing for me career-wise. Not only am I a writer, but now also a communicator, promoter, media relations specialist and web content creator. I’ve learned to connect businesses with people via social media and learned about developing ad campaigns and structuring messages for specific audiences.

So now it’s time for me to apply these skills to Stuck in North Idaho. And as SINI grows, I hope you all will continue to follow me and my adventures in this area I love so much.

It wouldn’t be the same without all of you.

xoxo
Andy

New update for a new year

I don’t know about you but I’m ready for a change. Maybe it’s the new year, the weather or maybe it’s this annoying cold that’s been keeping me down for two weeks now. I don’t know. But what I do know is I woke up this morning after a long, Nyquil-induced slumber with a creative gusto I haven’t had in a while.

All of a sudden I’m wanting to decorate the house, be productive and have been doing a bunch of reading about creative writing, freelancing, blogging and intertwining all of that with social media. All skills I have, but haven’t been putting to use outside of work as of late. Shame on me.

I promised in my last post that I would give you an update on my lasts year’s resolution and tell you what my resolution is for 2014.

Juneau at Tubbs 2013

Well the 365 Challenge was a bigger hit than I’d ever thought! I took well over 1,500 pictures last year and it’s safe to say that at least 365 of those were halfway descent. (Insert self high-five) Doesn’t that picture of Juneau at Tubb’s make you long for summertime? Sigh…

Now on to my 2014 resolutions:

I’ve really been struggling on what my goals for 2014 should be. There are so many things I want to do and improve on. I still want to grow my photography skill-set, make more (both in quantity and quality) connections throughout North Idaho, grow my readership on SINI, feature more individuals, and finally, I want to explore more of our beautiful state with friends and family.

That’s kind of a lot, right? Especially since I also need to work hard at my day job and manage my personal life (family, pets, friends and home). So I narrowed my resolutions down to two areas of my writing/blogging life that I really need to develop.

  1. Confidence.
    This is something I’m really lacking. I’m new to the whole, “Can I take your picture and ask you a bunch of questions?” thing. I know that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense given I was a reporter and am currently a PR writer. Interviewing is a big part of my job. This seems different to me – maybe because I still view blogging more like a hobby than an actual responsibility or role. I want to (for lack of a better term) grow a pair and put myself out there a little more. How else am I going to develop my skills and gain readership? Answer: I won’t if I don’t take a chance every once in a while.
  2. Schedule.
    You guys (my readers) are suffering because SINI is kind of low on my totem pole of life. I don’t want it to be, but unfortunately that’s what’s happening. I want to train myself to get on a posting schedule so you guys know what to expect and when. I know it doesn’t sound hard, but there are days I get home from from work (where I also write, edit, post, and run social media pages) and sometimes (aka most the time) blogging ends up being the last thing I want to do. If I could get on a schedule maybe I can work it so most of my posts are written on the weekend and just one night during the week. Does two guaranteed posts a week sound fair? I would like to do three, but there are full time bloggers that struggle to do that, so that will be a future goal.

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How are those for resolutions? I think they’re both fair, doable and important for SINI to grow and be successful. What are your resolutions for this year? How do you decide what they should be?

Good luck and game on!

PS
Two weeks ago we made a trip down to California to see family (reason two why SINI’s been lacking in posts). Pics and a post coming soon!

Green Bluff, and parties, and my birthday – Oh my!

This past week has been sheer craziness. In a good way, not in a my-head-is-going-to-explode-from-stress way.

My birthday was on Saturday. According to my sister, it was my Golden Birthday because I turned 26 on the 26th. Kinda fun I guess. I love that my birthday is during my favorite time of year (or is it my favorite time of year because it’s my birthday?). There are so many exciting things to do that are particular to the season and we always manage to fit them all in to my birthday week. We did miss out on going to a haunted house or Scarywood this year (Scarywood is open through Nov. 2 I believe) – but we made up for it with a trip to Green Bluff last week and an amazing birthday/Halloween party this past Saturday.

Here it goes!

Green Bluff

This is number one on my list of things to do in the fall. One of my best friends, Clarissa, joined us this year and experienced the gloriousness of the freshly-made pumpkin doughnut. I love being able to share little treasures like this with people. So much fun!

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We bought pumpkins and apples (I’m making a whiskey apple pie this week!) as well as some fresh apple cider.

While I definitely suggest visiting as many farms as possible, one you aren’t allowed to miss is Knapp’s Farm. There’s a lot to do and it’s the only stop with Punkin’ Chunkin’. There’s also a lot of animals for kids to pet and feed – I love the goats.

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The pumpkin doughnuts are at the Harvest House. I waited in line for about 45 minutes and I heard that the line got even longer throughout the day. It’s amazing what people will do for cinnamon-sugar goodness.

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Birthday Loveliness

Last weekend was full of food, food and more food. I’m not complaining, I just hope this habit doesn’t continue through the holidays – if it does I will most likely weigh 200 pounds by January. It was so great to spend time with our families this weekend (hence all the wonderful food). Dinner with my family on Friday, party with our friends on Saturday, brunch with my parents on Sunday, and dinner on Sunday with Kyle’s family. Did I mention I ate non-stop?

Clarissa and Eric hosted a Halloween/birthday party on Saturday. So while all of you were battling crowds at the bars we were eating pulled pork, lots of snacks and Jell-O shots in syringes. We got creative this year.

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Jell-O in syringes was a fun Halloween treat. These ones for for adults, but non-alcoholic ones would be fun for kids too.

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Mike and Hilary won the costume contest (we got 2nd!) as Ron Burgundy and Veronica Corningstone from Anchorman. Love it!

We are so lucky to have such amazing friends, and loved that so many different groups of people were able to come together and have a great time.

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Kyle and I as Jordan Baker and Nick Carraway from the Great Gatsby

A GIANT thank you to the Mormans (Clarissa and Eric)! It was an amazing golden birthday party. Love you guys!

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Clarissa and Eric as Pocahontas and John Smith

What have you been doing to celebrate the fall? Anyone out there planning on trick-or-treating on Thursday? If so, where are the best spots? I know my sisters like taking the boys to the mall if it’s really cold, or to the shops along Sherman. I used to hit up the big neighborhoods and Snob Hill (do people still call it that??) in Hayden.

Happy Haunting!