Birthday Roses, Painted Toeses and Cakes That Sometimes Flop

It was my birthday last week and I had a very nice, laid-back, and relaxing day, spent with three lovely ladies who mean the world to me ~ my Mom, my Sister, and my Daughter.  <3

With no real specific plans for the day beforehand, we all just let everything unfold naturally, and it unfolded quite nicely.  I appreciate my family so much, and their willingness to just go with the flow, especially since they’re all more of “planner” types (myself included) when it comes to things like birthdays and special occasions.  I was feeling a bit indecisive about what I wanted to do for my birthday this year.  Sometimes I wish someone else would just plan everything all out and surprise me.  However, with my being a bit intuitive <insert family inside joke about me being psychic>, surprising me isn’t always the easiest thing to do.   Although… my daughter did surprise me with a few things… one of them was decorating the house with wonderfully festive crepe paper streamers.  When I woke up and went downstairs to get my coffee in the morning, I was so surprised to see the living room all decorated, I really was not expecting that at all, what a delightful thing to wake up to on the morning of ones’ birthday!  She’s such a gem!  <3

As I said, I was feeling a bit indecisive, I had several different things floating around in my mind that I might like to do for the day, but one thing I knew I wanted to do for sure was go out to lunch at my favorite restaurant.  So we did that, and of course it was delicious!  Italian cuisine… pasta… need I say more?  :D

Afterward I thought it would be nice to go over to Lyndale Park Rose Garden and be amongst the lovely roses there.  I had done that on one other birthday a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it, so off we went.

Here are a few photos I snapped there…






It was a bit too hot outside for all of us, so we didn’t stay long, but it was lovely there just the same, and the roses smelled absolutely heavenly!


One of the other things I thought I might like to do on my birthday was go and get pampered a little, it had been a while since I’d had a pedicure, so the four of us all went and had one together.  Here’s a picture my sister snapped of our painted toeses…


 And gosh, the massage chairs they had there were so amazing!


Not quite so amazing was the cake my daughter tried to bake for me.  Twice!  Ever since I was a little girl my favorite cake has been angel food, the kind with the pretty confetti sprinkles inside.  Every year my family attempts to bake one for me, and every year it usually flops.  I don’t know what the heck the deal is, how hard can it be?!  Pretty hard, apparently.  ;)



My daughter felt so bad and was determined to make me a cake, so she decided to make me a miniature angel food cake out of clay.  I was out on the patio in the morning writing in my journal when she came out there and surprised me (again) with this adorable little cake…


My actual birthday cake this year (an edible version, anyway) ended up being just one slice of Lemon Creme Cake (my 2nd favorite) that we picked up at Olive Garden…


Yep, just one slice, but that’s all I really needed, and it was sooo yummy!  :D


It was a bit of a different kind of birthday celebration for me this year, but in all it was a very nice one, and was filled with lots of love, with joy, and with beauty!  I’m thankful for another new year of life. <3

Oh, and I’m also thankful for the new bicycle that my family all pitched in together and bought for me as an early birthday present that I mentioned in an earlier post. I’ve been out riding it nearly every day, and loving it so much!  My sister decorated the handlebars of it with bows for me on my birthday just to make it extra festive and took this picture of me with it…


I’m actually off to go out and take a little spin on it right now…


Hope your week is off to a great start, may it too be filled with lots of love, with joy, and with beauty…


✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Detours & Dinos & Disappointments, Oh My!

I started writing this post earlier in the week, but time sort of got away from me this week. I’ve got another busy day ahead of me today too, but I wanted to try and finish this up before it’s old news and share a bit about our little misadventure to the Irish Fair last weekend.  It didn’t really go exactly as we had expected…

Gotta love unexpected road construction.  Especially when you’re chartering into unfamiliar territory.  The city of St. Paul may be Minneapolis’s sister city, but St. Paul is definitely the evil twin of the Twin Cities.  I know I’ve said it before, but I swear there’s no gravity over there!  Driving around in St. Paul, even when you have a good idea of where you’re going, is like being in the Twilight Zone, something is just off.  I don’t have GPS, but I’m pretty good at navigating, so when I get basic driving directions for somewhere one can be fairly confident we will reach our destination, but throw in a little detour and all bets are off!

And whataya know… my exit was closed.  Detour…

I always try to make it my mission to be open to the “come what may,” to try to see life’s little detours as opportunities for new and interesting experiences (because hey, you never know, it could be fun), so although I panicked somewhat initially, I took this unexpected little exit closure all in stride.  But as that detour brought us farther and farther away from our destination and into a somewhat shady looking area of town, that positivity began to dwindle.  It was time to take navigational matters into my own hands, so I used those hands to turn the steering wheel down a road that I thought seemed like a better way to go than the one the Twilight Zone was directing us to take.  It turned into a lovely road that eventually led us along the river, and then low and behold… there was the Irish Fair!  Damn, I’m good!  Only problem… it was on the other side of the river.  Hmm, how to get over there?

We had to go and up over and through downtown St. Paul to find a bridge.  Traveling down one way streets galore in a city that already makes absolutely no sense was a challenge, but once again my inner optimist was saying “Hey, who knows, this could be a fun, new adventure.”  We happened to drive past the Science Museum of Minnesota and my daughter squealed “Omygosh the Ultimate Dinosaurs exhibit is going on right now, I wanted to see that!”  Me too!  We both love the Science Museum, and dinosaurs, so we made a mental note to be sure to look into finding out how long that exhibit is going on for and possibly go to it, and then continued on our way to find a bridge to cross to get to the Irish Fair.

Found a bridge!  Found the Irish Fair!  But then we found another problem… finding a place to park.  I had read online beforehand that there is no parking available on Harriet Island during the fair, but that many of the surrounding businesses offer parking in their lots for a fee.  Well, as we made our way along the streets near the Fair looking for a place to park, all we saw were signs saying… FULL, FULL, FULL.  Argh!  And the ones that weren’t full were either too expensive or too far away for me to walk.   We kept on, driving in circles around the area in clogged, congested traffic looking for suitable parking, and then it began to rain.  Sigh… Why is everything being so difficult?  Finally, my daughter said “Forget it, lets just go.  Lets go to the Science Museum instead.”  So we did.

We were really disappointed about missing the Irish Fair, but we couldn’t find a place to park and now it was raining, the Science Museum is indoors and we’d always had fun there in the past, so we switched our focus over to being excited about seeing some dinosaur bones.

Unfortunately, that excitement was short-lived.  Not only were the skeletons not even real dinosaur bones, but there were so many people there that we couldn’t even get remotely close to any of the exhibits, it was extremely frustrating.  Try as we might to keep positive and enjoy ourselves, we just were not having fun.  And whereas the Irish Fair was a free event, the Science Museum had cost us more than a good amount of spare change to get into.

This was how I felt about that…



Even as cool as it was to see and realize the massive size of these amazing prehistoric creatures that once walked our earth, I was so disappointed they weren’t real bones, and my heart just wasn’t in it.

And as I looked out one of the windows of the Science Museum, I noticed it had stopped raining, and I could see the tents of the Irish Fair across the river.  Beckoning.  That was where we both really wanted to be…


So we left.

We headed back over there to make another attempt at finding a parking place, and when I finally spotted one I took it, regardless of how expensive or how far away it was.  Ugh, and far away it was.  My knees were completely wasted and used up before we even got to the gates.  And I had to pee.

Enter one of the first dilemmas that we encountered at the Fair… no place to pee.  Well, there were places, but none of them had any toilet paper.  I checked at four different restrooms around the Fair and every single stall was empty of toilet paper.  Every. Single. One.  Now, I suppose that maybe if one is drunk enough, one might not care as much about drying themselves off after a little tinkle, and my goodness, lots of people were (even some of the vendors), and the beer was not only being consumed, but also being freely spilled all over the place, the entire fair reeked of it.  I even got kicked in the leg by some drunken lady, and had a vendor burp at me rather proudly as I paid her for a sundress I bought.  Hahaha geesh!  Now, I’m no stranger to being around a bit of carousing, the Renfest can be quite lively (omygosh I can’t wait to go!), but no one has ever burped in my face or kicked me there.  In the end, I had to laugh knowing they’re all just out to have a good time, the drunk lady who kicked me did apologize, and I gave her a little side-hug letting her know it was okay.  I never did find a place to pee though…

I also couldn’t find a place to sit anywhere.  And being a person who has severe knee pain while standing too long or walking long distances, I need to be able to sit frequently to alleviate some of that.  We noticed that many people were carrying around folding chairs on their backs, but because we had never been to the Irish Fair we didn’t know we’d have to bring our own seating with us.  I used to keep a couple of folding camp chairs in the back of my truck, but had taken them out because they were always in the way whenever I was needing to haul anything.  But heck, even if I had still had them, it wouldn’t have been worth the long haul back and forth to the parking spot that was a million miles away.

So I sat on the ground…


Apparently my daughter thought it was funny so she took a picture.  Yeah… this is what tired, exhausted feet look like.

And this is what the Altan concert looked like.  From behind the stage…


We had to watch them from behind, because there was no room in the front.  And no place to sit on the ground that wasn’t soaked in beer, not to mention everyone was standing so we wouldn’t have been able to see anyway.  I guess watching from the back, on a dry place on the grass was better than nothing, and they did sound lovely.

We didn’t end up staying to see Gaelic Storm perform because their concert wasn’t until late in the evening, and with no place to pee or to sit all day long…  we never would have made it until then.

But throughout the course of the time we were there, we attempted to try to enjoy ourselves and to take in some of the various festivities…  We tried to watch some of the Irish dancing, but the tent was full, and with it having tall bleachers all along the back of the tent, it blocked us from trying to view from outside the tent.  Again… it sounded lovely.  I really do love Irish music.

We watched a short portion of the sheep herding, and that was fun to see…


But only a short portion of it because the area around it was really crowded making it hard to get a good view, and it hurt my knees to stand there too long.

One highlight of it all though, was this awesome little silver dragon ring my daughter bought…


So cuute!   :D

And we did get a cute selfie of the two of us together while we were there…


Even though she chopped off the tops of our heads.


Although our day was filled with detours, dinos, and disappointments, we really did try and make the best of our misadventures.  Still remaining our happy little selves, in spite of it all.  <3

But if we ever go there again… we’ll definitely have to do a few things differently.  ;)


✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette


 When I saw in my reader that the Weekly Photo Challenge for this week was Silhouette, I thought of this photo that I snapped of my own shadowy silhouette a while back, and thought I’d share it…


I’m sure the idea of any weekly challenge is to look for opportunities for something this week that fits the theme, and not using something from the past, so I’m sorry if I’m sort of breaking the rules here.

But not really;)

In photography, as well as in life in general, I much prefer doing things while in the moment, experiencing them as they flow naturally, not purposely going to look for them.  I’m a huge fan of serendipity!  <3


Have a wonderful day, hope it’s filled with pleasant surprises and fortunate happenstances!


✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1


Oh, and P.S. the original story behind the photo is here… Shadows and Light

You Give Me Butterflies


You give me butterflies

my heart is aflutter in anticipation of your touch.

Fly here quickly to me, my love

my petals yearn for the relief of your gentle caress.


© Julie Rehnelt 2014




✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Beauty From My Bicycle

As I am always keeping an eye out for “all things bright and beautiful” no matter what I’m doing or where I go, I have stopped on several occasions while out riding my bike to snap photos of some of the lovely blooming things I’ve encountered along the way.   Here are just a few…











Thanks for letting me share a bit of the beauty from my bicycle that I’ve been seeing while I’ve been out riding.  <3

No biking for me today though, I’m off to the Irish Fair of Minnesota today to see what fun and festivities can be found there.  Some good music for sure, I’m stoked about seeing Altan and Gaelic Storm, among others in concert!  :D

Have a beautiful day!


✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Butterfly Kisses


Atop the blossom of a delicious treat

two hungry lovers share kisses sweet

Such delicate beauty, a captivating display

for one magical moment on a warm summer day.


© Julie Rehnelt 2014




✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1

Weekly Photo Challenge: Zigzag

I thought I’d participate in this week’s photo challenge since I just came across an interesting zigzag myself while out on one of my bike rides along the Mississippi River the other day…


It was noon on a bright sunny day, so I knew if I took a photo would end up being a bit over exposed, but this was such a wonderful little hidden path I’d found, I just had to try anyway.  :D

Sometimes as we travel along our way in life, we find our path has become a bit zigzaggy and may feel lost or frustrated.  But take heart… sometimes that twisting, winding road can lead to a beautiful place!  <3



✿~Peace & Love~✿

Peace and Love 1