Fall Color Updates

Another fall color update!

Whoosh! Those fall colors are in full swing! The early memo tree is pert near naked, while all the others are celebrating in their best colors. From Paynesville to St. Cloud the colors are yellows and oranges, with the streets of Richmond sporting some bold reds too!

I don’t see the color in the morning (6:30 am and its pretty darn dark out still) so it’s delightful to drive home and see the difference a day makes for fall colors. Tuesday evening the colors were rather charming. I may have to bring out Blue for some epic fall puppy pictures!

BAM! Here’s today’s color map:

The northern part of the state is in FULL COLOR with a couple of touches of past peak (typically brown or leaves have dropped). If you didn’t get out last weekend, make some plans for this weekend. The temps should be autumn-like in the 60s. Perfect weather for all types of pups to enjoy a hike or stroll in the fall colors. 

Really random that St. Cloud is in a low percent, typically that “island” of slow peak color occurs around Minneapolis & St. Paul. Gives Blue, I and the rest of St. Cloud a little extra time to enjoy the fall colors!

We’ve had a busy week and managed to pull off a garage sale yesterday – and hardly lost items to the grips of the breeze! Not a ton of sales, but there were plenty of things that found new homes and a bulk of items that got dropped off at Goodwill as it was their time to be set free. 

I’m wearing ample orange and Halloween stuff as it is October and I rather enjoy Halloween. Additionally I’ve been doing some slightly obsessive research into the history of Halloween via very old newspapers. 1800s it was a time of charms & attempts to conjure up … one’s lover. Indeed!

Halloween was a celebration of the harvest and a time when witches, goblins and the like strolled the streets while apples and nuts (esp chestnuts) were ways to foretell of a future lover to be. The charms started to transition out of favor in the 1880s, while parties tended to be the in thing (taffy pulling parties were really common!). Young boys were tricksters – unhinging gates, pulling doorbells, relocating everything that was movable while raiding gardens for cabbage to throw at doors. No mention of the classic trick or treating, though I’m only to 1888. 

Classic trick or treating could have been running the background as many of the old newspapers merely reference the history of Halloween or the trickery that had been performed about the city. More notions of parties in the papers started to show up around 1885 (the layouts of the newspapers started to change as well – many more advertisements started to occupy the space around articles.

Its really cool that these newspapers have been archived for anyone to look & read through. If you’d like to gander: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/ you can search any term you’d like or just read about what happened 100 years ago!

Blue is continuing to grow & get smarter. He’s at least 24 lbs (per the last vet visit) and a whopping 14.5 weeks! He doesn’t settle well when he’s tired, but he naps like a pro in his crate. Biting is starting to lessen and it can be redirected quickly with me, though I think he still is a bit too heavy on the landshark role with Kris. 

Puppy classes are continuing to see Blue blossom! His main goal still is to eat all the treats tossed on the floor BEFORE he engages with any of the other puppies haha! He did start to engage in play with a few of the puppies, I think he does better in a 1 on 1 play session vs having the group pursue him. 

We’re embracing the lovely temps & colors of the fall and looking forward to Halloween! If you can, visit one of the parks in your area or take a day trip to soak in all the fall colors this weekend. 

Another fall color update! Read More »

Fall Colors Update #2

Hot dang, summer is doing its best to hang on knowing that tomorrow is the official start of fall. Pert near 90 yesterday! 

I’m not one to argue with warmer temps, especially since there is a prediction that this coming winter will feature many subzero days and just be a bitter season to live in Minnesota. Sucks for snowboarding, skiing and for Blue’s first winter. Though it is merely a prediction (though if you’ve ever read a Farmer’s Almanac there is some crazy voodoo in those predictions…) so the hope is always loads of snow and temps in the 20 to 30 F degrees range. 

Who wants to talk about winter now? Not this girl & her puppy!
Instead, let’s talk fall, colorful leaves and Halloween! 

I saw a picture on one of the socials and it looks like the colors are arriving up around the North Shore! Classically peak leaf colors start up north, then trickle down to the southern parts of the state. Minneapolis and St. Paul sit in a neat pocket, with fall colors showing up later in the season (mid October). And of course there’s always the eager beaver trees like the one in the park near our house – it is already pushing into its golds & oranges! 

The current map from the DNR:

Here comes the color! 

Remember there are only two fall color sessions left:
– Sunday October 2nd
– Sunday October 16th

If you’d like to snag either of these sessions, email, call or text!

What to do until the spooktacular arrival of Halloween?

September 21st celebrate:

  • National Chai Day
  • National New York Day
  • National Pecan Cookie Day (NO your dog can’t eat pecans, walnuts or macadamia nuts!)

September 22nd celebrate:

  • National States & Capitals Day
  • American Business Women’s Day
  • Car Free Day
  • Diary Day
  • Elephant Appreciation Day
  • Hobbit Day (The Hobbit was published September 21st, 1937)
  • National Centenarian’s Day
  • National Girl’s Night
  • National Ice Cream Cone Day
  • National Legwear Day
  • National Online Recovery Day
  • National White Chocolate Day
  • Autumnal Equinox

September 23rd celebrate: 

  • Bisexuality Day
  • National Dogs in Politics Day
  • National Great American Pot Pie Day
  • National Snack Stick Day
  • Innergize Day – Day after the Autumn Equinox
  • National BRAVE Day
  • National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

September 24th celebrate:

  • My sister’s 35th birthday! Happy birthday sister!

Want to celebrate more known & obscure national days? Pop over to National Day Calendar!

(BTW Halloween arrives in 40 days…EEEEEK!) 

Blue is getting bigger! 12 weeks! His legs are longer and his body is getting longer, making him a bit awkward to hold as we navigate Petsmart & Petco (no feet on the floor until after the last round of shots in October). Potty training has been going well with very few accidents. He crates easily, loves food, enjoys training and learns new things quickly, though keeping him from being so bitey has been taking a bit more work. We are working on bite inhibition & mouth manners as well as teaching him to be a cool cucumber and not a crazy ape (a good portion of the biting is arousal biting for over stimulation during play or from motion). 

Last time we did a weight he was 21 lbs!


The most common breed he gets confused for is a beagle or beagle mix… I guess I could see it in his ears? Perhaps in the his blaze too… but classically there is more brown/tan/red on the face on a beagle especially adult beagles (he’s the size of an adult beagle lol!)

Blue has also gotten Bernese Mountain dog (they are related – but Blue isn’t fuzzy!) and he’s even been asked if he’s a basset hound… his ears aren’t that big!!!

Do you think Blue looks like a beagle?

Puppy Kindergarten started last week on Wednesday and it was a good learning experience.  Blue was scared/shy of the new people (something I knew would happen). He was very shy & scared of the other puppies – hackles up, tail tucked, ears back and he’d sit when they approached so they couldn’t sniff him. All of the other puppies respected his shyness and by the end of the group play Blue was starting to join in. 

After play, we did training things. I feel like we’re rather ahead of the others in the class as we’ve been working on sit, lay, touch, leave it and other skills since he’s been home. Blue was only a little distracted and once I had his attention he did his touch & lay exercises easily. 

We needed a little work on touch as the only time we had practiced it was from a sit or laying position and Julie our teacher/trainer wanted him to move his booty in a bigger motion. Easy peasy and we’ve got it down solid, though sometimes I have to wiggle my fingers to entice Blue into the first touch if he’s sitting haha!

The fall series of blog posts are going to continue weekly as the fall colors transition into their peak colors. There will be updates about Blue, possibly recipes, national days to celebrate and tips & tricks for photographing your pup with fall leaves. 

Once the leaves drop, we’ll continue weekly with recipes, Halloween fun, Thanksgiving ideas as well as holiday ideas for gifts or photographing your pup with holiday lights. And anything else that comes to mind as the seasons transition from fall into holiday & winter season. 

Let me know if there’s anything you want to learn!

Fall Colors Update #2 Read More »

Fall is coming!

The season of fall formally arrives on September 22nd (a mere 9 days away!) then carries into the midst of December. Winter formally arrives just before Christmas on December 21st (yeah I think it is odd as well…). Fall is coming!

Though the pumpkin spice push arrived early in August, subtly creeping on the fringes of back to school supplies. Halloween also began to creep in throughout the early part of August, though its arrival was more delightful than overzealous as pumpkin spice can be. 

Halloween Baking Championship is on Food Network, Halloween costumes & treats are at the big box pet supply places, and Dairy Queen has launched their fall treat menu. Who’s excited for fall? Or at least Halloween? (It will be Blue’s first Halloween!)

And with the arrival of fall, that means fall leaf colors! Minnesota DNR has started the leaf color tracking (oogle it here) for the season and way way way up north is starting to head into the change. Found this cool typical peak date graphic too!

Now there are tons of variables that can affect the fall colors, such as drought & moisture, weather and temperature! Who knew trees changing leaf colors was so in depth!

What’s the big deal about knowing when the fall colors are peaking?

For your photography session duh! Fall leaves add a ton of color and pizzazz to your images. Big bold reds, oranges and yellows make for epic and playful images. And if we happen to miss peak, or the trees have decided not to hold their leaves in display, then we’ll take advantage of the leaves on the ground!

Plus fall holds temperatures that are pleasant but not too hot or not too cold (though we’ve been a little closer to summer temps for the start of September…) which means dogs of all types will be comfortable as we adventure during your session!

That being said, when are the sessions that will land within peak leaf color?

The last two fall color sessions:
– Sunday October 2nd
– Sunday October 16th

We can still do a session after the fall colors peak and take advantage of the ground leaves, cool temps and possible dusting of s-n-o-w.  The only sessions available after peak colors are November 12th & 13th. Note, these sessions must take place in the St. Cloud area! This is also is the last time to order prints & product and to be able to get them in time for Christmas!

This fall season there will be weekly posts about the fall colors, fall adventures with Blue and there might even be some tasty recipes thrown in too! Heck I can even talk about tips & tricks if you want to attempt fall pictures yourself. Anything you’d like to learn?

Fall is coming! Read More »

The Last Monday of the Month!

Indeed! We are upon a Monday, 1 week before the goblins and ghouls will turn to the streets, chanting trick or treat! 

The weather has maintained mild, though the trees have mostly shed all of their lovely colored leaves. We camped in Sibley State Park this weekend and most of the trees were rather naked, with a few stands of birches blazing strong with bold, yet thinning, yellows. 

The map shows… 

PAST PEAK! Minus that Minneapolis & St. Paul are holding on to their colors, though by the end of the week they too may be in the past peak realm.

That doesn’t mean fall is at its end! (in fact it doesn’t actually end until December 20th!). Bare trees aren’t nearly as pretty as leaved trees, but pines will keep their colors and provide a fall into winter backdrop. Grasses are in golds, a perfect compliment to the golden hour of light. Fallen leaves are not only fun to jump into or kick about, but they provide a touch of color that reads fall. 

Sunset is around 6 pm for the rest of the month and a week after Halloween we hit the TIME CHANGE! We “fall back” an hour, which means sunset will now be few minutes shy of 5 pm! (And it continues to shorten, with sunset at 4:33  pm by the end of November!). 

Good to know when you’re looking to plan a session prior to the holiday season. Classically, your session will take place 1.5 hours prior to sunset. Which means by the end of November we’re meeting up at 3 pm to start your session!

Time will continue to decrease (December 5th to 14th we will be at our shortest days with sunset at 4:31 pm) until we hit the winter solstice and begin to gain light minutes by minutes. The end of December has gained 10 minutes of light! We start the new year with a sunset time of 4:41 pm!

If you do want to schedule a session for the fall / winter season there are limited dates available:


  • Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th / Last chance to get prints & products in time for Christmas!
  • Saturday November 27th & 28th **


  • Sunday 12th **
  • Winter Break! Monday 27th – Thursday the 30th


  • Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th
  • Saturday 22nd & Sunday 23rd


  • Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th
  • Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th


  • Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th
  • Saturday 19th & Sunday 20th
  • TIME CHANGE 14th! Weekday sessions resume!

(** = dates could change in availability according to winter markets & Atomic Collars!)

Today is: Sourest Day and National Greasy Food Day! 

Enjoy the week and the lovely weather to come! Stroll in the balmy weather, and spook out your house for Halloween. See you later this week!

The Last Monday of the Month! Read More »

Mid month Friday!

Fall seems to have happily arrived, with temps starting brisk in the morning and warming into classic sweater weather. The leaves have been in ample changes, with some trees now in the nude or half dressed, the wind and rain aiding in their undress, while other trees are slow on getting the memo.

Last weekend I was out antiquing and thrifting with the lovely Jen of This Woman Wanders (she’s from Maryland!).  The colors were quite stunning on our drive from Monticello to Buffalo. We found lots of awesome finds (cast iron, cook books and egg beaters for me!) and had a laughing great time. 

Speaking of fall colors… here’s where we’re at as of today:


Ladies and gents, we’re in the last bits of color for St. Cloud & Minneapolis, while St. Paul should be in a very happy place of color being at 50%-75% of peak color.  The southern most area of the state should be rather pretty especially on the Wisconsin & Minnesota border.

Get out and stroll with your pupper and enjoy the last bits of color as we head deeper into the fall. 60s for this weekend and 70s for the early part of next week!

Now one of the cast iron pieces I snagged last weekend was a… waffle iron! Cue all the archiving of all the vintage waffle recipes! 

Did you know that like doughnuts, waffles are classified as breads?!?! Crazy! Often found in the quick breads sections (no yeast involved) waffles are crisp, plump and perfect for holding assorted syrups in those classic square divots. Their close cousins are pancakes (aka griddle cakes) though the batters aren’t evenly interchanged. And waffles have ancient lineage going way way back to the Romans! (Roman waffles weren’t called waffles and were much thinner but they were the start of the evolution.)

How do you like your waffles? 
Blueberry for me! Or smothered in a blueberry syrup or a classic maple syrup. MMMMMM! 
(I’m def team waffles vs pancakes!)

In archiving 57 vintage waffle recipes and counting, I began to wonder if dogs could eat waffles and if there were dog friendly waffle recipes. Yes and yes! Dogs can eat any basic waffle as long as the batter doesn’t have nutmeg or chocolate within. Additionally, most waffle recipes have small amounts of sugar and the ingredients are mostly healthy (if your pup has allergies, swap out flours etc). All the waffles for all the dogs! 

Waffles / The Daily News 1896

  • 1 pint flour ((1 pint = 2 cups))
  • 1 pint milk ((1 pint = 2 cups))
  • 1/2 cup butter, barely melted
  • 3 egg yolks, well beaten
  • 3 egg whites, well beaten
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  1. Mix together one pint of flour and one pint of milk to a smooth paste.

  2. Add one-half of small cup of butter, barely melted.

  3. Add to this the well-beaten yolks of three eggs, then the beaten whites and just before baking one teaspoonful of baking powder.

  4. Beat very hard for two minutes and bake in very hot iron.

The original recipe (125 years old)

Waffles pg 324

Mix together one pint of flour and one pint of milk to a smooth paste; add one-half of small cup of butter, barely melted; add to this the well-beaten yolks of three eggs, then the beaten whites and just before baking one teaspoonful of baking powder. Beat very hard for two minutes and bake in very hot iron. This recipe is delicious and never fails. 

Breakfast, Luncheon, Snack
dog waffle, waffle

Prefer a dog friendly recipe? Here’s one:

Dog Waffle Recipe

Found on The Dapple https://www.thedapple.com/life/easy-healthy-dog-waffles-recipe

  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened All-Natural Apple Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Oil, Melted
  • 1/3 cup Plain Unsweetened Greek Yogurt
  • 2 Eggs, Separated
  1. Preheat your waffle iron.

  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. Set aside.

  3. In a medium bowl, mix apple sauce, coconut oil, yogurt, and egg yolks. Stir in dry mixture.

  4. In a small bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Gently fold into batter.

  5. This dog waffle batter will be a bit thicker than a typical waffle batter, so make sure to knife to spread it across the pre-heated waffle iron.

    Follow your waffle makers instructions to cook waffles completely.Allow to cool and then serve to your dog with the toppings of your choice!

Breakfast, Luncheon, Snack
dog waffle, waffle

Another dog focused recipe, made from only 4 ingredients!

4 Ingredient Dog Waffles

Found on The Homespun Chics https://www.thehomespunchics.com/simple-dog-treat-recipe-dog-waffles-for-my-dog-waffles/

  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 banana, very ripe
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • coconut oil to grease the waffle iron (optional)
  1. Heat waffle iron by turning it on and waiting for the light to turn green.

  2. In a medium size bowl, mix all the ingredients together except the coconut oil. Use a fork to mash the banana and the other ingredients will bind in.

  3. Once the waffle iron is heated, brush on a little bit of coconut oil to grease the plates. Scoop 2 Tbsp. of batter into the center of each section and close the lid to cook. Cook until golden brown.

Breakfast, Snack
dog waffle

And nothing says you can’t eat the dog waffles too!

Not one to dig out the waffle maker (or don’t have one) you can buy your dog waffles! Head to Chewy or pop over to Etsy (this seller has all kinds of tasty looking treats!)

Today is:
•  National I Love Lucy Day
•  National Grouch Day
•  National Cheese Curd Day

Fun things to celebrate! Is your dog more of a Lucy, grouch or cheese curd lover? (Bender is in the cheese curd camp!)

Enjoy the day and the weekend weather as we traipse into depths of fall and hit the time change (November 1st!). Catch you next Friday!

Mid month Friday! Read More »

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