Friends forging a course together through the unexpected

Traveling to New Places August 19, 2014

I took a business trip last week and while some people might not be excited about a trip to North Dakota and Minnesota, I was thrilled to visit a state I’ve never been to (ND) and have a chance to get out of the hustle of the big city and into the more relaxed small town life.  It took me 2 flights, a 2 hour layover at MSP { By the way, the MSP airport is honestly the nicest most up to date airport I’ve ever visited as far as my memory goes.  The bathroom I used when I got off the plane made me feel like I was at a spa.  Although compared to O’Hare, maybe anything would impress me?}, a 1 hour conversation with a terrified flyer, and a 1 hour drive before arriving at my hotel.  The hotel informed me that they didn’t have my room available {uh oh!} but they did have a nicer room and would that be a problem?  Oh, what a pleasant surprise!  The event that evening was a dinner held at Bagg Bonanza Farm.  I fell in love the minute I turned onto the ‘dirt’ road.

baggBy the way when I mentioned that once at the venue, the locals laughed at me and told me it wasn’t a dirt road but a gravel road.  I told them there is dust in the air with a bumpy ride so it seemed like dirt to me!  It’s a historic place with lots of history, so naturally I loved it. This was the perfect way to forget about the city and I was automatically relaxed.  We had a lovely home cooked meal there and caught up with a lot of people I’ve ‘met’ over the phone but never in person.  I had work to do the next day so didn’t see much but I was back on the farm for a bit and another home cooked meal for lunch.  I could get used to that…

My last day there I got a tour of our plant, shown around town, and took a quick trip to our nursery.  This is where the magic happens and was the coolest part of the trip for me.

Sunflowers as far as the eye can see!

Sunflowers as far as the eye can see!

How can you be stressed while you look at a field of these?  Right!  You can’t!  This was the perfect ending to my trip and made me want to go back as soon as possible.  California is next and hopefully it’s just as good of a trip.


Kate Dabkey Shoes – Clearance August 18, 2014

Filed under: Kate — Uncharted @ 11:39 am
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I have bittersweet news. As you may know from my bio, I started my own company in 2009 where I design and sell fabulous women’s shoes. They exude confidence, ambition and class and I am proud to have my name on them. The shoes are handmade overseas and use high quality materials to keep the shoes comfortable and clean. I’ve worn all four pairs around town for years and they are some of my favorite shoes.

So here’s the bitter part: Kate Dabkey Shoes is clearancing ALL Shoes. The inventory needs to move out and our doors are shutting. We’re in the process of updating prices on the website, but plan to get a pair in your size before they’re gone for good! It is always an honor to attend an event and see someone wearing a pair of my shoes and I hope you will love them as much as I do!

Here’s the sweet part: it’s time to start a new venture. Though I had a wonderful time designing shoes, it’s time to try something new and different. I don’t know what it is yet, but when I do, I will certainly let everyone know. Thanks for all of your love and support. It’s been wonderful!

Here is a link to the website: http://katedabkeyshoes.com. Look for pricing and inventory changes this week!



Summer Vacation Recap: The Northwoods August 13, 2014

Sorry for missing last week readers, but I was off the grid. Yes, there are still places where people choose not to have internet access. One such place happens to be my parents’ lake house in northern Wisconsin.

We spent a glorious week eating, drinking, relaxing and working. Matt’s best friend also came along for part of the trip. I love having the chance to show off my favorite little northwoods town. I’m pretty sure he had a good time, I know I did! Here’s my top ten list from this trip.

  1. Enjoying morning coffee on my parents’ new deck. It’s amazing how adding three feet can make such a difference!
  2. Picking out a new kitchen countertop and backsplash for the cottage with my mom at Home Depot.
  3. Porter jumping out of the boat in the middle of lake, successfully freaking out Matt and I. (We’re ordering his own PFD.)
  4. Rolling out of bed early to take advantage of a morning kayak trip around our lake.
  5. Catching a snowshoe baseball game.
  6. Winning a raffle ticket prize at snowshoe baseball…a delightful banana boat from the Korner Drive.
  7. Watching Matt’s face brighten with glee when my dad’s new tractor arrived.
  8. A delicious dinner at Little Bohemia. Order the prime rib, you will not forget it!
  9. Fishing off the dock.
  10. Hitting up our one of our favorites, Minocqua Brewery, for a sampler paddle of brews and appetizers.

35 more days until we’re able to go back. Not like I’m really counting or anything…


Fast Chicken Fajitas August 12, 2014

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 10:32 pm
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Tonight I had to make a super fast dinner.  As you may have noticed from my last post, I’ve been a bit stressed lately.  This week I have to travel for work, I still haven’t packed and Dave’s coming over for dinner.  I didn’t plan on going grocery shopping this week since I would only be home 2 days, but I did a quick stop by Trader Joes last night so we’d wouldn’t have to go out tonight.  I decided on chicken fajitas.  All I had to pick up was some chicken and some frozen peppers and onions.  I already had tortillas, cheese,  salsa, jalapenos, and greek yogurt (my new replacement for sour cream) at home.
photo 2Today while at work I remembered that I don’t have any seasoning packets at home.  I didn’t have time to grab anything on the way home so I Googled ‘homemade fajita seasoning’ once I got home and found a couple recipes.  I honestly wasn’t even paying attention to where it was from.  I just got excited because I found one that included a pretty unique ingredient….soy sauce!  It was too intriguing not to try so below is the recipe from About.com by Laura Dolson.  I didn’t exactly have time to marinade the chicken so I wisked it together and placed a pound and a half of cut up chicken in the mixture for 10 minutes.

Marinade Ingredients:

¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup soy sauce {yes really!}
2 tbs olive oil
1tsp chili powder

I cooked the chicken in two batches in a bit of heated olive oil and then set the chicken aside.  I opened my bag of frozen fire roasted bell peppers and onions from Trader Joes and cooked those for about 5 minutes and then returned the chicken to the pan to heat everything together.  It was that simple!


photo 1


Cheering Myself Up August 5, 2014

Filed under: Kelly — Uncharted @ 11:22 pm
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I am stressed to the max!  It’s mainly all work stuff.   I know everyone gets stressed at work, but I don’t prefer that to be my norm.  Couple that with regular busyness and I feel like I’m running a race I can’t win.  Sorry to go all Debbie Downer on you but I think I’ll feel better if I just vent a little.  I know I should take care of myself during this stressful time, but I don’t quite have the motivation to come home from eleven hours at work and exercise and eat right.  Instead I want to curl up in pajamas and stuff my face with french fries and milkshakes.   Super lovely picture I’m painting huh?  Anyway today was particularly crappy because I had a icepick headache {Oh, you don’t know that term?  I’ll explain: the feeling that an icepick is being lodged into the back of your eye socket.  Sorry for the graphic terms, but honestly it’s how those headaches feel.}  In the midst of it all I forced myself to start thinking of things that make me happy so I could calm down.  I thought it might be a good list to share with you and perhaps you could contribute some happy thoughts too:cats



A fresh haircut

Favorite outfit is clean

Laughing so hard I’m crying

Receiving real mail that’s not junk

Belting out a song on the radio in the car

The moment I realize my headache is gone

Looking at the clock and seeing my birthday time

Posting an Instagram and it gets more than twelve likes

My FitBit starts vibrating indicating I reached 10K steps that day


Crabmeat Quiche August 4, 2014

Filed under: Kate — Uncharted @ 1:14 pm
Tags: , , , ,

So I don’t have a ton of time to write a long post today, but I did want to share one of my most favorite recipes from one of my favorite people. My Aunt Alie made this crabmeat quiche for a large group of my extended family years ago. Alie is quite the chef and I always love when she cooks because I know it will be delicious (and there will be plenty!) So when I tasted this absolutely unique but absolutely delicious quiche, I begged her to share the recipe. She has graciously shared it with me and I have since made it for as many people that will let me. So I’ve been asked to pass this recipe on… so now I am sharing it with you. It’s certainly become a staple in our household and I hope you enjoy it! (PS – don’t be weirded out that it’s crab meat in a quiche… it’s absolutely delish!)

It doesn’t get much easier than this!!!

1/3 cup chopped scallions (green onions), use white part only.

½ cup mayonnaise

½ cup milk

4-5 medium egges

10 oz or 1 package of shredded swiss cheese

1 can crabmeat

1 can sliced mushrooms

1 frozen deep dish pie crust (Pet Ritz or a store brand, but deep dish)

Mix everything altogether and put in pie crust. Bake on 350 for 45 minutes to one hour. It is done when you put a butter knife in the center and it comes out clean.


Garden Update July 30, 2014

Filed under: Karla — Uncharted @ 8:33 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

We’re almost coming to a close with summer. How did it go by so fast? August 1st is already this Friday! One way that I’ve been able to tell summer is coming to a close is all the growth in our garden.

In the south garden: we’ve reaped two jalapenos and there are more coming. The peppers did pretty well in their new location of our yard. The six plants have grown and are looking great! We hope to get at least another 6-8 peppers by the mid September. One obstacle in the new spot was the mulberry tree. It definitely blocked the sun and layered the ground with mulberries.



What I’m looking forward to the most from this garden area are the tomatoes. We lost three plants due to decapitation from Porter’s lead. But the other five plants are thriving. Within the next few weeks we should have about 3-4 tomatoes ready to eat and hopefully more throughout the end of August and September. The only question is who will get to them first – Matt or myself!



The last plant in the south garden is my basil plant. I cannot believe it’s almost as tall as the tomato plants! I’m wondering if there is a way I can transplant it to a pot to bring it in for the winter. Any gardeners out there with ideas on transplanting herbs? Suggestions are most welcome.



The west side garden is dismal. Due to a tree branch that punctured our gutter, I didn’t foresee an oncoming direct deluge of water into the garden. Needless to say there is a bit of a divot in the garden from all the water from the spring rains. Unfortunately, I lost the majority of the cucumber seeds and green bean seeds I planted there. But low and behold, I noticed about a month ago that it appears that a few green beans and cucumbers might actually make it. I’m thrilled that we might actually have a few. And yes, we fixed the gutter to the best of our ability for now so the plants have a chance.

Green bean!

Green bean!

It will be interesting to see what all we’ll end up with from our gardens by the end of the season. It’s been a good year, definitely better than the drought of last year. At least none of my plants died….well at least by my hand. Paws on the other hand….



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