Issue 1, 2023 - GRAND Lifestyle magazine

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ISSUE 1 2023 Printed in USA BBI INTERNATIONAL PUBLICATION DOWNTOWN Destination 17 Years of Unique Culinary Creations The HOME & DESIGN It’s Not a Party Without Balloons // Surgeon of the Six String // ART & CULTURE HEALTH & FITNESS A New Chapter in Self-Care //

EAT & DRINK // 6


The story behind Grand Forks’ most popular appetizer, the restaurant’s unique name, and the people who have made the Toasted Frog the icon it is today



Making everything better with balloons



From the OR to the workshop, Kevin Muiderman talks about his passion for guitar-making





A first-hand account of Chapter Aesthetic Studio



A ride along with the GFFD reveals the crew is more than what meets the eye 3
6 22 14 Issue 1:23 FEATURES //

Why Do I Live Here?

As I write this editor’s note, I’m looking out my office win

dow in downtown Grand Forks at a fresh five inches of snow.

The below-zero temperature has returned and I’m asking myself the same question that goes through all of our minds at least once every winter… “Why do I live here?” But then I look around the office and see the best bunch of colleagues I’ve ever had the privilege of working with, I think of the friends I’ve met here who have become more like family, and I reflect upon the Greater Grand Forks community that I’ve called home for nearly 23 years. Suddenly the winters don’t seem that bad, summer doesn’t seem so short, and I’m not even thinking about whether or not I’ll need flood insurance this spring. I think most of us can agree that it’s the people here that make the Greater Grand Forks region a place that we choose to call home.

In this issue of GRAND, we chat with a retired surgeon with a love for music who uses his skill set in an unlikely way, a mother who built a business out of a fun hobby and also passed her entrepreneurial spirit on to her children, get a behind-the-scenes look at Grand Forks’ newest aesthetic spa, and visit with the crew at arguably Grand Forks’ most iconic restaurant.

The Community feature story in this issue is some of Grand Forks’ finest – the Grand Forks Fire Department. These are the men and women that we hope never show up at our houses, but that we’re thankful always have our backs.

So, grab a cup of coffee – or whatever warm beverage helps you get through these cold winter days – sit back, and enjoy more of the stories of the people and places in our GRAND community.

As always, please reach out with any story ideas or potential contributions. We love hearing from our readers! And be sure to check out our latest “The Art of…” podcasts on GRAND Lifestyle magazine’s website and Facebook page.

PUBLISHER'S NOTE // //////////////////////////////////////



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Please recycle this magazine and remove inserts or samples before recycling 5
COPYRIGHT © 2023 by BBI International GRAND LIFESTYLE TEAM CEO Joe Bryan President Tom Bryan Vice President, Operations, Marketing & Sales John Nelson Vice President, Production & Design Jaci Satterlund Editor Tami Vigness Account Manager, Circulation Manager &
Editor Jessica Tiller Staff Writer, Account Manager, and Marketing & Advertising Manager Marla DeFoe Content Coordinator & Marketing Danielle Piekarski Social Media Coordinator Tessa Frederickson Photographer Manstrom Photography Insta: @manstromphotography | FB: @manstromphotography | Twitter: @ManstromPhoto ADVERTISERS Advance Chiropractic Clinic 40 Alerus Center 2 Avant Hair & Skin Studio 39 Choice Health & Fitness 27 Country Financial 40 Elle Interiors 44 Gerrell's Sports Center/ Hockey World 43 King's Walk 21 Norby's Work Perks 13 United Way of Grand Forks, East Grand Forks & Area 35 Wall's Medicine Center 13


Photos by Manstrom Photography


The Toasted Frog

Continues to Bring

Creative Food and a Hip Atmosphere to Downtown Grand Forks

Ask anyone from Grand Forks where you should go for dinner on a Friday night, and many will respond, “The Toasted Frog;” and it’s always followed by “and try the cheesy pickles.”

The inviting casual atmosphere, colorful art, friendly service, and creative food choices have made The Toasted Frog a destination for nearly 17 years.

Nestled in downtown Grand Forks, The Toasted Frog is located in a building that was built in the 1880s. The eclectic ambiance and historical features combine for a unique dining experience. Colorful art by local artists line the original exposed brick walls, including paintings by manager, Jessie Thorson.

While chatting with co-owner Shawn Clapp, I asked him about the history of the iconic restaurant, specifically the unique name. “Kim Holmes, who I consider a mentor, and my dad were sitting around a campfire with me, and we were chatting about fun names for res- 7

taurants. We all claim that we came up with the name,” he laughs. “But I’m pretty sure it was Kim who came up with ‘The Toasted Frog’.” I told him one day I was going to use that name, and I filed a copyright the next day. Ten years later, the Toasted Frog opened.

Shawn considered Kim Holmes to be his mentor and friend, and he considers Kim’s influence to be a big part of who he has become as a restaurant owner. Shawn’s first experience in the food service industry was as a busboy at Holmes’ Sanders restaurant. “He always expected me to work hard, and I still do,” says Shawn.

So what makes The Toasted Frog so special? “The people who work here drive this place,” says Shawn. “They truly are a blessing.” Shawn considers all his employees a big extended family, and all have contributed to the success and uniqueness of The Toasted Frog. While talking about the food, Shawn mentioned the revamped Butcher’s Board, a collection of meats, cheeses, and other seasonal accompaniments. “Louie, one of our servers, wanted to try his hand at updating the appetizer. Now he comes in once a week and orders the items that will be featured on the butcher board,” says Shawn.

Jessie says that the same staff creativity can be found while exploring the cocktail menu. “We are known for our martinis, and there are so many different choices here,” she says. With over forty different martinis on the menu, ranging from the standard gin martini to unique creations such as the Ribbit and the Banana Cream Pie martini, there is a cocktail for every taste, and they are very popular with the customers.

“Our bartenders have the best forearms in town from shaking martinis,” laughs Jessie.

Beyond the extensive martini menu, The Toasted Frog also offers over 100 bottles of wine, unique liquors, local and non-local beers, and the popular “Temperance Drinks,” which offer all the fun of a cocktail, without any of the alcohol.

When talking about the food served at The Toasted Frog, you cannot ignore the most popular appetizer on the menu, the cheesy pickles. Dill pickle spears wrapped in Havarti cheese and wonton wrappers, fried to crispy golden perfection, are a can’t-miss menu item. 9

Shawn tells the story of how the cheesy pickles came to be a mainstay of the menu. “I was playing around with ingredients in the kitchen, and I passed a plate of the pickles to a few tables around the restaurant. Everyone enjoyed them, but said it needed a spicy sauce. So we added the sriracha dipping sauce.” Word spread, and everyone wanted them. So they became a permanent addition to the menu.

Other popular dishes include the fish tacos, woodfired pizza, and wasabi mashed potatoes. Daily specials include a steak dish, a seafood dish, and a pasta dish. “Our seafood is flown in fresh overnight,” says Shawn. “It’s not often that living here people are able to order a fresh seafood dish.” Their daily pasta specials feature pasta from Three Farm Daughters, a locally founded pasta company. Their tomatoes and microgreens are sourced from Meadowlark Garden out of Park River, North Dakota. “We try and work with local growers whenever we can,” says Shawn. “Our herbs, mushrooms and other ingredients are all locally sourced whenever possible.”

Since opening its doors in 2006, The Toasted Frog has opened additional locations in Bismarck and Fargo. The menus at each location vary somewhat, but the theme remains the same. “American eclectic fusion,” says Shawn. Taking fresh ingredients and giving a twist to local American favorites has helped The Toasted Frog become the place for meeting friends, celebrating birthdays, first dates, and everything in between.

Jessie says, “We are so fortunate to have the most wonderful regulars. They thank us whenever they leave, which is so different than most restaurants.” Shawn adds, “The people, one hundred percent, are the reason we are so successful.”

While the regular customers drive the neighborhood feel of the place, new customers are welcomed daily, most by recommendation of locals and rave reviews online. “We love the new faces and new stories,” says Jessie. “We are super popular for 21st birthdays. Parents want their kids to have a good meal before they head out on the town to celebrate,” she laughs.

What defines The Toasted Frog are the people who walk through the doors. From the casual farmer looking for a pizza and a cold beer after a long day of work, to

the couple dressed to the nines looking for a special meal to celebrate an engagement, The Toasted Frog caters to all. “The beauty of this place is that you can make it whatever you want,” says Shawn. “What you are doing defines who we are.” Customers are sure to find something familiar, and something a little more eclectic, with every visit to The Toasted Frog. Creative. Consistent. Approachable. Customer-driven. All words that define this icon of Downtown Grand Forks. Stop in for a martini and some pickles. You won’t be disappointed. 11 EAT & DRINK //


I had a chance to chat with the staff to find out their favorite food and drinks at the Toasted Frog.

Casey Neibauer, Bar Manager

Favorite Food: Blackened Brussels

Favorite Drink: If he had to pick just one, he goes for a good Bourbon

James Boone, Server

Favorite Food: Jamaican Jerk Chicken


Favorite Drink: The O.C.

Anna Boppre, Manager

Favorite Food: Bianca Pizza

Favorite Drink: Sauvignon Blanc

Brittney Dandurand, Server

Favorite Food: Blackened Brussels

Favorite Drink: Orange Pull-Up or Shrubs

Jozie Jagow, Host/Server/

Social Media Manager

Favorite Food: Bianca Pizza

Favorite Drink: Seasonal Shrubs or Rosé

Hannah Marshall, Server

Favorite Food: Buffalo Wings

Favorite Drink: Ocean Blue martini

Jessica Allen, Server

Favorite Food: Filet Mignon

Favorite Drink: Oaxaca Old Fashioned

Louie Hodgson, Server/Manager

Favorite Food: Steak or Seafood special

Favorite Drink: Stella

John Ferguson, Executive Chef

Favorite Food: Grilled Curry Wasabi Tuna

Steak Sandwich

Favorite Drink: Casey’s Old Fashioned

Joe Schneider, Sous Chef

Favorite Food: Big Bad Wolf Pizza

Favorite Drink: 1919 Root Beer

Arie Azure, Line Cook

Favorite Food: Frog B.L.T.

Favorite Drink: Temperance Strawberry

Almond Breeze

Austin Sime, Lead Cook

Favorite Food: Portobello Mushroom Philly

Favorite Drink: Craft Beer

Conor McEvoy, Lead Line Cook

Favorite Food: Margherita Pizza

Favorite Drink: IPA Specials

Cody Simmons, Line Cook

Favorite Food: Elk Burger with Sweet

Potato Fries

Favorite Drink: Temperance Smash-Up G

11 S. 4th Street | Grand Forks | | 701-746-9441 Workplace Interiors by Design Profe s sionals VOTED BEST PHARMACY Wall’s Medicine Center Your Family Pharmacy

It's Not a until the balloons arrive Party


by Misti Spreads Joy to Others Through Colorful Balloon Arrangements

are one of the simple joys in life. Just hand a child a bright red balloon on a string and watch their face light up. There is something magical, yet simple, about that floating orb. Balloons are often tied to celebrations of the best things in life: a birthday, graduation, wedding, baby shower, or any holiday.


Misti Kauffman is a proud mother of six children. Looking for ways to get more involved in her kids’ school activities, she once volunteered to decorate for the end-of-school picnic with balloon flowers. The PTA thought that was a great idea. “I thought to myself, balloon flowers can’t be that hard,” Misti laughs. She spent the evening searching the internet for directions to make balloon flowers. All the kids and adults loved the decorations. Misti kept finding more and more reasons to learn how to make additional entertainment out of balloons. “When you have six kids, it’s always a party,” she says.

Misti was soon making balloon arrangements for birthdays, her kids’ sporting events, school and church celebrations. Her work did not go unnoticed. In 2019, while decorating for one of these events, a fellow mother said to her, “You should start a balloon business.” But Misti wasn’t sure anyone would pay for her services.

Not even sure how to start a business, she created a Facebook page, and Balloons by Misti was born. “It just kind of took off from there,” she recalls. Soon she was making all sorts of balloon creations for customers. “Word of mouth is how I found early success,” she says. Then when the pandemic hit, she had a request for a birthday celebration balloon display for the yard. “During that time, when people couldn’t gather for celebrations, yard art became a huge craze. Everyone wanted them to help make their family birthdays feel special.” 15 HOME & DESIGN //
Photos by Manstrom Photography & Balloons by Misti

Misti gets her inspiration, creativity, and skills from many different avenues. There are countless hours spent looking through Pinterest for fun ideas such as balloon arches, bouquets, sculptures or twisted balloon creatures, and décor. Misti was able to participate in several online balloon conventions during the pandemic. “I had spent hours trying to figure out how to do certain things with balloons, and those amazing conventions helped me learn and gain golden nuggets of simpler ways to do things I had been muddling through for years,” she says.

Misti has also attended several conferences, which offer hands-on learning opportunities. Last year she participated in Balloon Wonderland in Orlando, Florida. She worked with 350 other balloon professionals on The Big

She spreads smiles and joy wherever her balloons go.

Balloon Build for the charity “Give Kids the World”, transforming an entire room into a fantasyland made of balloons.

Misti was a teacher and mentor at Balloon Boss Summit this past November and will be speaking at the convention again in Florida later this year. “Participating in these conferences is the best thing ever,” she said. “I get to be around people who are just as passionate about balloons as I am, and there is so much knowledge to gain.” Hands-on learning and networking have been a great way to expand her knowledge and talents.

As Misti’s business grew, she found herself needing help taking and fulfilling orders for customers. She asked her daughter, Rebekah, to help one day and she really took to it. “She was 14 when she started helping out in the store,” says Misti. “Rebekah enjoyed working with balloons and wanted to do more. She quickly started creating

her own designs and has developed into quite the balloon artist.”

When a customer calls about balloons for a celebration, they are always greeted with, “It’s always a party at Balloons by Misti.” They like to inquire about the customer’s vision for their celebration. “I always ask them if they have a color theme in mind, what the arrangement is for, and what types of things the recipient likes.” No two arrangements are alike. “We try to make 17

each and every arrangement special,” she says. “Each one is as unique and individual as the person who receives it.” She encourages customers to contact her early, so they have more flexibility to create that special one-of-a-kind gift.

“The potential with balloons is limitless, a bag of balloons can create so many different things” she explains. Giving the gift of a balloon arrangement has many benefits. “Our air-filled arrangements last a long time,” she says. Latex balloons are biodegradable and foil balloons are reusable. “There is very little trash in the balloon industry,” she says.

Misti offers countless options when it comes to arrangements. There are tabletop celebration arrangements, celebration stands for indoors or outdoors, helium bouquets, arches and more – the sky is the limit. They use tier level pricing for balloon creations so “we can work with any budget,” she says. “Every day and every occasion can be celebrated with balloons.”

Misti’s resume doesn’t just include birthday parties and baby showers. She


Before Balloons by Misti, there were some other creative businesspeople in the Kauffman family. Misti’s sons, Nehemiah, Micah, and Elijah discovered their love for lemonade stands when they were very young. But, they decided to up their chances at customers - and revenue - by selling shaved ice, using the family’s shaved ice machine instead.

“The boys came up with the idea themselves,” Misti explains. “They built a stand, mapped out an area within a mile radius of our house, and rode their bikes around placing signs directing traffic to their yard in the cul-de-sac, every morning.” They quickly found how popular shaved ice would be. They enjoyed the money they made, but instead of spending all the money they earned on toys or candy, they reinvested in their company. “They bought a second shaved ice machine with their profits,” Misti says. They have now expanded to the Farmers Market, private events, carnivals, and parties. They also added cotton candy and popcorn to their available products.

“The boys run the business themselves,” explains Misti. “They are constantly looking for ways to grow, expand, and improve.” They now run their business alongside Balloons by Misti and are available for booking through the Kool Kreations Shaved Ice Facebook page or the Balloons by Misti website. 19

has decorated for many community events, including business celebrations, the Altru Gala, Special Olympics, UND Welcome Weekend and Career Fair, monster truck rallies, and conferences, just to name a few. “I’ve done floats for the Potato Bowl parade, Santa’s Village, Knight for a Princess daddy-daughter dance, and the grand opening of the UND Student Union as well,” she says.

Misti also does a lot of charity work. While we chatted, she was preparing to create over 800 arrangements for Giving Hearts Day, donated to senior residents in the area. Through donations, senior residents at Valley Senior Living, Edgewood, Good Samaritan, Maple View, Hatton Prairie Village, and Lutheran Sunset Home in Grafton can all receive balloon arrangements created by Misti and Rebekah. “Just think of the joy and happiness that will fill those facilities,” Misti smiles.

Being able to celebrate milestones with her customers is Misti’s favorite part of what she does. “I love being a part of their celebrations,” she says. “Getting to see people’s reactions to the balloons will never get

old.” She has many repeat customers, and always enjoys helping celebrate all the good things in their lives. “It’s all a lot of fun.” And when it comes to her daily tasks, no two days are the same. “I feel lucky to get to be a part of some pretty special moments,” she says with a smile. And that’s why she loves what she does. She spreads smiles and joy wherever her balloons go. G



Six String of the

Photos by Muiderman Guitars

For many, it’s common things such as reading, gardening, or traveling. Others may gravitate toward playing music or creating things like new recipes, baked goods, pottery, and woodwork. And then, every so often, someone comes along that has managed to couple two interests into one hobby. This is a person like Kevin Muiderman, who has combined his love for music and woodworking into a craft that has transcended the traditional hobby – guitar making.

When he was about nine years old, Muiderman started playing the guitar himself. As a kid living in Holland, Michigan, Muiderman would spend his free time hanging around the local guitar store owned and operated by the highly regarded guitar maker – or luthier – Del Langejans. The store sold familiar factory-made brands such as Gibson and Martin, but Langejans also kept a shop in the back of the store where he made his own guitars by hand. Hearing the difference in the sound quality of the factory-built guitars versus those crafted by Langejans, Muiderman was intrigued. “I wanted to find out why the instruments he was hand-making sounded so much better than those that came from a factory,” Muiderman recalls. And so began his lifelong journey of finding out “why.”

For 26 years, the recently retired plastic surgeon has devoted his free time to honing a skill few people possess or truly understand. Although for several years, Muiderman’s guitar-making took a backseat to medical school, work, and family, he never lost the deepseated desire to build custom acoustic guitars. While most people would take vacations to the beach or the mountains during breaks from school, Muiderman would instead enroll in courses at Leeds Guitarmakers’ School in Northampton, Massachusetts. There, he learned to make steel string and classical guitars. While guitar-making and surgery are two vastly different things, manual dexterity is a skill set that Muiderman applies to both these facets of his life. And because of his medical training and naturally inquisitive mind, Muiderman likes to apply the scientific method to his craft. Starting with the question of why the handmade guitars he grew up hearing and watching being made sounded so much better, Muiderman researched the process of guitar-making and observed what others in the field were doing. He also listened to the different sounds coming from the instruments as they were being played. Over the years, the musician and luthier has experimented with models, designs, materials, and non-traditional bracing methods to develop a sound quality that is clear, bold, and rich. 23
A hobby is defined as: an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time.
"I wanted to find out why the instruments he was hand-making sounded so much better than those that came from a factory."
Kevin Muiderman

The workshop attached to the Muiderman home is also a testament to his scientific mind. In fact, it is as much a lab as it is a workshop, but instead of the smell of formaldehyde and sterility, notes of cedar and wood glue permeate the air. Tools and equipment take up most of the space, drawers of notebooks filled with sketches and ideas line the drawers, and both finished and prototype guitars hang from hooks on the walls. Many of Muiderman’s guitars are fashioned out of exotic wood like Indian or Brazilian Rosewood, along with more familiar woods such as cedar and spruce, and each instrument features an inlaid “M” on the headstock, distinguishing it as a Muiderman guitar. Each of his custom-built guitars sounds as good as it looks.

The rest of the Muiderman home is just as special as the workshop. When Muiderman and his wife, Amy, moved to the Grand Forks area from Wisconsin, they knew they wanted to build a home that could also double as a small concert venue to host a variety of performances.


The home was built with acoustics in mind and has very few parallel lines. Instead, high, vaulted ceilings are built at an angle. Near the back of the home, a concrete fireplace curves out from the wall and stretches from floor to ceiling; its convex shape helps to diffuse or reflect sound in many directions allowing for musical sounds to blend and reduction of unwanted noise. An abundant collection of artwork and décor hangs from the walls, softening the room and helping to absorb noise. An open kitchen with beautiful warm wood cabinetry and a large island opens itself onto the rest of the main floor and is the perfect place for Amy, a chef in her own right, to impress guests with delicious made-from-scratch hors d’oeuvres, meals, and desserts. Perhaps the most interesting feature of the Muiderman home is the stage. Just inside the front door, a raised floor positioned in front of tall windows, serves as a performance stage for visiting musicians. Wood beams flank the stage area and serve not only as a structural element that supports the home’s upper level, but also as an aesthetically pleasing way to hold the home’s built-in sound and lighting equipment. Muiderman’s brother, 25

a sound engineer, lent his expertise to the final building plan, allowing Kevin and Amy’s dream of a home theater, to really come to life.

Over the years, the Muidermans have hosted numerous performances in their home on the outskirts of Thompson, North Dakota. The venue – dubbed The Muiderman Theater – is an intimate space, accommodating around 80 guests comfortably. But despite its size, the Muidermans have welcomed multiple worldrenowned guitarists like Pierre Bensusan, Michael Chapdelaine, Willy Porter, and John Doyle to grace the stage at The Muiderman Theater. These artists may not be familiar to everyone, but remain legends in the guitar world with long lists of song titles, albums, and accolades behind their names. At the top of the list of artists that have performed at the theater is a personal favorite of Muiderman’s, Leo Kottke. Known for the finger-picking style that you might hear in folk, blues, and jazz music, Kottke is a famed acoustic guitarist and master of both the sixstring and 12-string guitars. As you can imagine, there is probably no greater thrill than for a guitar maker to supply a custom, hand-built guitar for his idol. “I would bring prototypes to concerts and practically accost the performers,”

Muiderman chuckles while remembering his first encounter with Kottke. Muiderman managed to get past security and approach Kottke.

After a brief conversation, Kottke told Muiderman to come to his next show with some models for him to try. “He [Kottke] was looking for a smaller guitar to travel through airports and tour with, but that would still have the same big sound as his traditional jumbo-sized guitar,” Muiderman explains. And though it took about 14 years and 12 models of guitars, Muiderman ended up building Kottke the perfect guitar. Through this experience, the two have become more than just guitarist and guitar maker, they have become friends.

With Muiderman guitars sold around the world, it’s safe to say that what started as a hobby has morphed into a passion that extends far beyond his little workshop in North Dakota.

“I’ve sold acoustic guitars to customers in England, Australia, Scotland, and France…but not one in Grand Forks,” Muiderman jokes.

And while he may not operate in a hospital anymore, this retired surgeon will continue his practice in a different way: to “heal with steel.” G





It seems


energy into themselves and their appearance. Every other post in our Instagram feed shows the latest trends in beauty and skincare from our favorite influencers, followed by the familiar hashtag #selfcare. The fancy treatments and products we used to think were reserved only for celebrities, have now become commonplace even to “regular” people. When I was younger, the thought of getting a facial or skin treatment seemed like a splurge or an unnecessary luxury. Besides getting pampered for 30 minutes or so, was a medical-grade facial really that much better than anything I could do myself at home?

ing time, money,

The answer to that question is ‘yes.’ A facial done by a licensed aesthetician, using medical-grade products and state-of-the-art tools, is 100% better than anything you can do your-

Photos by Manstrom Photography
like now, more than ever, people

self at home. And with more and more people – myself included – looking beyond the face wash and skin care aisles at the local drug store, the need for medical spas and enhanced skin care studios offering these services has risen.

The newest medical spa in town, providing non-surgical and cosmetic treatments, is Chapter Aesthetic Studio. Opening its doors in April of 2022, the Grand Forks studio is one of 16 locations in the rapidly expanding brand. “What started as one studio in Fargo, ND, is now an exciting effort to make medical aesthetics accessible to everyone. We found prior to opening the Grand Forks studio, that several guests were traveling the hour to Fargo to visit the studio there, and we wanted to make aesthetics more accessible to those living in Grand Forks,” explains Melissa Rogne, founder and president of Chapter Aesthetic Studio. “When people think of medical aesthetics, they think of Los Angeles, Miami or New York City, and a certain look. That’s not what we’re doing here at Chapter Aesthetic Studio. We want women and men to have access to quality aesthetic treatments and to feel empowered to look and feel their best, no matter where they live. The company has aggressive expansion plans across the United States throughout 2023 and 2024, focusing on communities where medical aesthetics options are limited,” she continues.

For many, the idea of going to a medical spa can be a bit daunting. Even though the goal of these spas is to help people look and feel their best, the thought of a stranger analyzing our skin concerns and imperfections hits on a deeper level. Drawing attention to the things we feel selfconscious about can leave us feeling uncomfortable and vulnerable. Almost immediately after walking through the 29

doors of Chapter Aesthetic Studio in Grand Forks, any feelings of apprehension or nervousness I had been feeling dissipated. The studio itself is bright and colorful. Rich jewel tones found in the furniture and accent décor contrast perfectly with the bright, clean white you’d expect to see in a spa. The staff greeted me warmly and completely put my mind at ease even as I wiped off my makeup and discussed my current skin care regimen, which is basic at best, and any concerns I had. Then, I was ready for the MAP assessment. MAP, which stands for My Aesthetic Plan, involves a high-tech piece of equipment that essentially takes photos of your face from multiple angles and shows what is deep under the surface to reveal your skin’s true health and appearance. Wrinkles, spots, pores, texture, porphyrins (bacteria in the pores), and UV spots are all measured during the MAP assessment. The MAP assessment is a complimentary service offered at Chapter and is highly encouraged as a starting point for new clients, it is also done periodically on existing clients to assess how effectively products and treatments are working. “The beauty of the MAP consultation is that we really get to take that time with our clients and ease any fears or anxiety they might have about their upcoming treatment,” explains Gretchen Peters, a nurse practitioner with Chapter and the managing clinical director at the Grand Forks location. If you’re anything like me, I cringed thinking about how my results would expose what years of foregoing sunblock, in favor of baby oil, did to my skin. But, as Gretchen explained to me, getting a realistic picture of an individual’s overall skin condition and health helps the team at Chapter not

GRAND LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE // ISSUE 1 2023 30 Health & Wellness // 31


• Botox®

• CoolSculpting®

• Dermal Fillers

• Dermaplane

• Exfoliating Peels

• Hair Restoration

• Hormone Replacement

• Kybella Non-Surgical Chin Fat Removal

• Laser Hair Removal

• Laser Skin Rejuvenation

• Laser Skin Tightening

• Laser Vein Removal

• Medical-grade Facials

• Medical-grade Skincare

• Microneedling

• PDO Thread Lifts

• Photorejuvenation

• PRF Skin Rejuvenation

• RF Microneedling

• Vitamin Injections

only identify any concerns, but also helps them develop a customized plan for their clients’ treatment or skin care.

One of Chapter’s aesthetic care specialists, Brittany Green, conducted my MAP assessment and reviewed the results in detail with me. Looking at 3D images of my 40-year-old face was fascinating. Areas of pigmentation caused by sun damage, breakouts, and age appeared darker in the images on the screen. Fine lines around my eyes and mouth appeared as squiggly lines in the next set of images. And, despite not becoming diligent with sunblock until sometime in my 30s, miraculously, my skin seemed to be in relatively good health. Based on the results of my MAP, Brittany was able to recommend products that would work well for my skin as well as other treatments to help my skin look its best.

Like many people, I have used ordinary skin care products most of my life. As I spoke with Gretchen, I asked if it was ever “too late” to get on the right path to better skin care, and fortunately, it’s not. The benefits of using profes-


sional skincare are that it’s developed to a better standard than drug store products, with higher concentrations of active ingredients leading to better results more quickly. “I really have seen big changes in skin with the pharmaceutical-grade products that we offer here at Chapter. When you think about buying a product over-the-counter, there is a chance that maybe you’re not buying the right product for your skin type or your skin concern, and that can lead to a lot of frustration,” Gretchen explains. “That’s why the MAP assessment is so crucial – we’re able to look at your skin, ask about your concerns, and really individualize your skin care plan just for what your skin needs,” she continues.

After discussing a new skincare routine with Gretchen and Brittany, and even trying some of Chapter’s skincare products on my face, it was time to head back to one of the private rooms for my SkinWave facial. The SkinWave facial is a combination of a classic hydrating and exfoliating treatment, but better. The SkinWave treatment infuses the skin with antioxidants, hydrates dry skin, helps to clear congested skin, and reduces redness and inflammation leaving your 33

face smooth and bright. For around 45 minutes, Brittany treated my face with solutions and serums tailored to my individual needs. A variety of applicators were used on my face to deliver the topical solutions and remove impurities. My facial ended with a relaxing shoulder, arm, and hand massage as well as my personal favorite, a scalp massage. I’ve only had a handful of facials in my life, but this one definitely took the cake. I left the studio feeling relaxed, yet invigorated, and with my skin feeling softer and looking more radiant than ever before.

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Health & Wellness //


Always READY Always THERE

GRAND LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE // ISSUE 1 2023 36 COMMUNITY // Photos Submitted by Grand Forks Fire Department

What comes to mind when you think of firefighters? Flames? Lad

ders? Perhaps a dalmatian or a big pot of chili? While you wouldn’t be wrong in your associations, there is much more than meets the eye when it comes to a firefighter’s duties. In preparation for this story, I had the privilege of riding along with some of our community’s firefighters to learn more about the Grand Forks Fire Department.

The Grand Forks Fire Department was established in 1879, starting as a small group of 15 volunteers, with a single 100-gallon fire engine. In 1882, following a tense city council meeting, the mayor decided to replace the volunteer department with a paid department. Nearly 140 years later, the Grand Forks Fire Department

remains a paid organization boasting 79 full-time employees. My time with GFFD began with a conversation with Fire Chief, Gary Lorenz.

Chief Lorenz started by breaking down how the department is organized. Of the 79 employees, 13 employees work on the administrative side and 66 employees work in the fire suppression division. The suppression division is divided into three battalions, which are distributed across the five fire stations in Grand Forks. These five stations are strategically placed around town to ensure the fastest response time possible. Each station is operational 24/7 and has a fire engine, dormitory style bedrooms, a workout space, and a kitchen.

Following our conversation, Chief Lorenz took me on a tour of Fire Station #1.

Throughout the tour, we shifted the topic of conversation to what a firefighter’s duties are. “Changing the outcome is what matters most,” said Chief Lorenz. “There are a number of different duties that we have to train for, and we must maintain proficiency in all aspects of the job,” he added. Continued training and education is essential to a firefighter’s work to ensure that they are prepared and equipped with the necessary skills to handle the multitude of situations they face daily.

A few days later, I returned to the Fire Department for the official ride-along. This time, I would be accompanying some of the firefighters on duty that day. We started by taking a closer look at the engine. On top of the newest engine was a 100-foot ladder and bucket, which Captain Francis offered me the opportunity to 37

ride in. Despite my fear of heights, I agreed, and we started suiting up for our assent. The engine was pulled out of the station, we climbed into the bucket, and rose above Grand Forks foot by foot Once the ladder was fully extended, Captain Francis pointed out the locations of the other stations and showed me the controls of the bucket. After the thrill (and chill) of a trip 100 feet above Grand Forks, we headed to the station’s call room.

We sat in the call room and patiently watched for a call to come in. In the meantime, the crew explained their schedules. Each shift is 24 hours long, starting at 8:00am and continuing until 8:00am the following day. Three 24-hour shifts are worked, with a 24 hour off-duty day in between each shift. Following the final shift, firefighters receive four consecutive days off. Captain Francis added, “Because we have all that free time, a lot of the department has second jobs.” I soon realized that I was not only in the presence of firefighters, but an accountant, a taxidermist, fathers, and husbands. In addition to having second jobs, the department is also a part of the Grand Forks Firefighters Local 242 Union. Community involvement is done off duty and is commonly performed in association with the Union.

Next on our schedule was a trip to Fire Station #2, home of the hazmat materials equipment. The GFFD suppression group is divided into two skill sets - technical rescue and hazardous materials. There are four regional response teams in North Dakota,

and GFFD covers the Northeast corner of the state. Emergencies that are included in the Northeast Emergency Management Region Response include hazardous substances, natural gas leaks, electrical hazards, biological hazards, weakened structures, and structural collapses. Due to the nature of these emergencies, consistent training and studying are again critical. Subject matter experts are needed within the department to ensure that situations are handled correctly, and equipment is maintained accordingly.

Our last stop of the ride-along was to Fire Station #5. Along the way, I asked Chief Francis some less technical questions. Starting with, “What are the most important traits that a firefighter can possess?” Captain Francis thought for a second before saying, “Integrity.” “There is no such thing as 9-1-2, we are trusted to do all things and have to be jacks-of-all-trades. We have to be trustworthy, charismatic, and have a good attitude to handle citizens in their most vulnerable times.”

I also asked Captain Francis what the most rewarding part of being a firefighter was. He said, “There are tons of rewarding parts of this job. It’s great to have a job where you help others, interact with the community, see the co-workers that you’ve trained receive promotions and grow, and educate local children.” Later in the week, I toured Fire Station #4 with Battalion Chief Marcott and asked him the same question. He said, “For me, it has changed over the years. Helping others has always been


rewarding, but it is nice to see those you supervise perform in action, be promoted, and succeed in their career.” Both expressed how proud they were of their colleagues.

Fire Station #4 is also the local training facility for the department. In addition to the annual physical agility tests that the department undergoes, there is an assortment of different training equipment located there. An interesting aspect of training as a firefighter is that they develop and build many of their own exercises. Chief Marcott added that this is just one of the elements that makes this career so unique and valuable.

In addition to the gratifying nature of the job, Battalion Chief Marcott added that “your coworkers become your second family.” “It’s a different lifestyle. We’re able to show up for our families, and the people you work with show up for you too.”

Throughout my time with the GFFD, there was an apparent closeness and respect among firefighters. Each person I met showed a remarkable amount of compassion and humility in their work. Firefighters are the ones who are called when no one else is left to call, and they take on that responsibility with honor and integrity. Firefighters are a vital part of our community, providing a critical service that saves lives, protects property, and ensures the safety and well-being of everyone. When you have the chance, thank your local firefighters! G

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