Area Woman June/July '24

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A Life and Career That Go Beyond Boundaries

nt en ts on theCover

jun jul 48 2024 [ aw ]

Paige Tollefson

Erin Foley

Erin Foley

14 10 14 26 30 64 38 46 20 42 22 40 44 58 60 62 features Revved Up & Polished The Unstoppable Torey Fischer by
Molding A Brighter Future Interview with Kelsey Williams of Rising Dawn
A Beautifully Sweet Heart by
Nourishing Good Spirits by
On The Rise - She Ascends
style Kitchen Refresh Summer Inspired Colors Area Style + Shop Local recipes
Devin Joubert
Devin Joubert Homemade Granola Bars by Stephanie Disse
wellness From Kitchen Staples to Healing Elixirs by
Miracle Delivered by
life We Welcome You - To Enjoy Our Art by
Books She Loves by
Events Calendar Alumni Named Fargo & Moorhead Public Schools Teacher of the Year by
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Crispy Chickpea Snack by Stephanie Disse Devin Joubert
Caitlin Pallai
Jacki Maethner
Megan Elgin
Jennica Bakken


are the voice of Area Woman Magazine. They bring to life the Fargo-Moorhead area and the incredible stories of the women we feature. These are the talented contributors showcased in this issue. Learn more about these and our other contributors at

MEGAN elgin

Megan grew up on the family farm in small town North Dakota and graduated from MSUM. She is an artist and graphic designer who loves all things creative. She is passionate about reading as many books as possible and loves discussing them with others. Megan lives in Horace with her husband and teenage son.

ERIN foley

Erin is a retired business owner with a degree in Graphic Design. She lives her free-spirited, ‘Be real, not perfect.’, life in Detroit Lakes with her cat, The Dude. More often than not, will answer in movie or tv quotes and is a lover and advocate for all animals. She is an Artist for Lakeshirts and loves to garden, write, paint, and cook and bake for others. You will often find her at the local yoga studio, behind the apron, elbow deep in dirt or on the lake.

PATRICE peterson

With a degree in journalism, Patrice continues to pursue her passion for writing by creating articles for various Midwest publications. She left behind a corporate communications job to find her own version of a perfect work-life balance. That includes spending plenty of quality time with friends and family, including her husband, children, and two young grandchildren. It also allows time to pursue her other passion for outdoor activities. Besides biking and skiing, she loves kayaking and spending time at her “Happy Place,” their cabin on Big Pine Lake in Perham.


Stephanie Disse is a Certified Yoga Teacher and the owner of Time to Fly Healthy Living. Her passion for fitness and nutrition fuels her coaching business, helping clients to develop and sustain healthy lifestyle habits. She is a native of Detroit Lakes, MN and a married mother of two, grandmother of three, and consummate adventurer! You’ll find Stephanie cooking up new recipes in her DL kitchen, traveling around the country, enjoying live music shows, experiencing the outdoors, and spending time as a student and teacher of yoga.

[ aw
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PAIGE tollefson

Paige Tollefson is a freelance writer who seeks to find beauty in the world around her. Her passions include citizen science, bird watching, taking pictures of cats, and getting lost in the woods. Find her out canoeing one of Minnesota's many lakes, flying kites with her husband, or looking at moss with a magnifying glass. She followed her heart from North Dakota to Minnesota in September, 2023. Though she occasionally misses the city, she's found her home in a lovely town situated amongst three major ecosystems.

DAWN duncan

Dawn is driven by creativity and sharing her passion for writing, art, and healthy living with the masses. She is from Fertile, MN and now calls Detroit Lakes her home, after living in Colorado several years. She's a UND graduate and lifelong entrepreneur who is also a published children's book author. You'll usually find her hiking in the woods, kayaking, teaching dance, making art, sweating in the yoga studio, or spending time with her husband, Michael, and their German Shepherd, Reva. Dawn is a writer, artist, creativity coach, and class facilitator, specializing in teaching art as therapy. Follow her

DEVIN joubert

Devin Joubert (pronounced "yo-bear") is a freelance writer and also a fiction author of all things romantic comedy, humor, and true love. Stories have always been at the center of her heart, believing they change lives. She lives in North Dakota with her husband and mini zoo, where the prairies and forests collide. When she isn’t writing or wrangling her pets, she loves going on road tripping adventures with her husband. You can find out more about her at

See more of our article on Nikki Berglund page 30

publisher / art director



AMBER BROCKOPP | 701.715.2488

RENEE REDENIUS | 701.212.7227

JERRY SHEA | 218.205.7454

REBECCA HAARSTAD | 262.994.8744

TERRI JO PEERY | 320.491.5618



managing editor DAWN DUNCAN



Area Woman is a proud member of the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce. It is published bimonthly by Area Woman Publishing, LLC and printed in the U.S.A. ©2023 Area Woman Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from AW. Area Woman is a trademark registered at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Area Woman Publishing assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs and does not necessarily agree with content or advertising presented.

celebrating 40 years

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area LIFESTYLE 10 ::

orey Fischer races at FM area tracks and speedways. She's a kind and compassionate entrepreneur who credits her success with her detailing business which services the racing community. Not only that, but she’s a role model for young women–a testament that girls can do anything they want, even compete in male-dominated sports. She hopes to encourage young girls to believe that they can achieve their dreams, no matter how difficult. With every lap she completes, Torey encourages many to pursue their aspirations.

A Little Behind The Wheel

“Racing has been a major part of my life,” said Torey. “My grandpa dabbled in racing, my dad raced for a bit and my uncle did too. One day my dad picked up an old go-kart and threw it together for me.” After this, her dad got that for her, they went out and tried it together and ever since that first moment, she’s been hooked and hasn’t looked back. It’s been a part of who she is.

When asked more about the beginning of her racing journey, she mentioned how she was only seven when she first started racing go-karts. “They go pretty fast. I’d been used to running around at the lake with mini bikes and little go-karts so I kind of had an idea what racing would be like, but it was a distinct feeling. Being in a go-kart, you are close to the ground. I’d get this feeling… like butterflies in my stomach. A good nervous. And to tell you the truth. I still get butterflies when I race today. I don’t know how else to describe it other than it takes your breath away. Now, this will be my 24th year of racing. I race a sport modified (IMCA sport mod) locally here at the Red River Valley Speedway, at Norman County Raceway, and also the Buffalo River Speedway.”

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There are special meet and greets that are held at the race tracks. “They are set aside for special nights where everyone comes out to meet the drivers and see the cars up close and personal. Some people even get a chance to sit in the cars,” said Torey. “It’s fun to be able to bring something like this to the community. Racing speaks to a certain type of people but if you’re looking for something to do Friday nights in town here or on a Sunday evening if you’re coming back from the lakes, it’s a fun experience. There’s an adrenaline rush and it’s a fun way to hang with friends. Once people check it out they get hooked.”

Torey mentioned that many people think that with racing you just go in a circle and wonder what’s really interesting about that. “But once you’re in the grand stands you can see for yourself that there is a lot more involved. Plus, it’s a family-friendly atmosphere with kids activities, raffles, giveaways, and candy tosses. We really try to keep the kids involved so we can keep the sport alive. Because kids are the future,” said Torey.

Besides the local tracks, Torey has raced in other places as well. “The other day, I think I counted that I’ve been to 22 different tracks throughout ND, MN, SD, and IA. It was a blast. I mainly stick close to home now, but this summer we have some other tracks we’d like to visit as well.”

Sparking Dreams For Kids & Young Women

“I know that being a female in a male-dominated sport, there are a lot of people who think it’s different being a girl out there competing with the guys. For me I don’t see anything different,” said Torey. She mentioned how all of her competitors treat her the same and that she doesn’t feel like she gets treated differently because she’s a woman.

A huge part that radiates through Torey’s excitement was inspiring kids, young girls, and women alike–that they can do anything they dream. “It’s important to have a passion for something, to work hard to reach goals. I want to give something to people that they can cheer for. And for young girls, it also shows them that they can do anything that the guys are doing, no matter how hard. I know that goes for a lot of other sports too. But for motor sports, it seems like there really aren’t as many females. So I love connecting with kids and letting them learn more about the cars.” said Torey.


- A Little Behind The Name

As a kid, Torey’s parents always called her Bird. “Probably because I might have been a picky eater,” said Torey. “So my family nicknamed me Birdy. That was the inspiration for my business' name. And actually once I looked up that my name means "bird" in Japanese, so it’s quite fitting.”

Torey started up her detailing business on May 1st, 2022. Prior to having her business, she’d had a little experience at a local auto auction. “But, I eventually wandered out on my own,” said Torey. “Starting up my own business, the racing community really helped me out and propped me up. My business really flourished with help from them.” She does specialized interior, shampooing, and also hard surface cleaning. In the next few years she’d love to expand into some buffing and hand corrections. “But I haven't quite gotten there yet. I started this business from the bottom up.”

Torey's gratitude runs deep as she acknowledges

the racing community for turning her entrepreneurial dream into reality. Their passion, generosity, and unwavering support helped her to launch and flourish. “Tying my love for racing and cleaning into my work and lifestyle has been awesome. Getting to meet people and clean their vehicles and see them satisfied makes me feel really good. I love being able to provide that to our community. It’s amazing.”

In the pursuit of her dreams, Torey has not only conquered the racetrack but has also polished her path to success as an entrepreneur. Through her unwavering dedication to racing and the establishment of Birdy’s Detailing, Torey is a beacon of inspiration for all. [ aw ]

Follow Torey and Birdy's Detailing at

13 [AW] June / July 24 ::

ave you ever wished you could take a piece of the sun and hold it in your hand? What may first sound like an impossible task doesn’t seem so far out of reach after taking a look at the pottery created by Kelsey Williams of Rising Dawn Ceramics. Her durable creations will add a simple yet beautiful touch to whatever space you bring them into with pieces boasting warm tones, intriguing textures, and inspiration taken right from the sky (and the Earth!).

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Kelsey Williams, a 31-year-old Fargo resident, artist, and business-owner, started out by selling her goods on Etsy as a hobby before transitioning to her official website where she established her brand in January 2020. It was around that time that her future really began taking shape. Kelsey, who has taught art at Davies High School in Fargo for seven years, was ready to throw caution to the wind.

“It was time to take the jump and figure out how to make [my dream] possible,” she replied when asked to describe how her goals might have changed over the years. “And it’s very scary. It’s scary walking away from the stability of teaching.” Despite the undercurrent of fear, Kelsey persisted with following her gut. “Before Covid, I would go to the Red River Market in Fargo and I always thought ‘it would be so cool if I could sell pottery here!’” Now she has her own brick and mortar pottery studio on Main Street in Fargo, and she recently hosted her first class on crafting with clay. Kelsey admits that even though she will miss her students, she remains focused on following her dreams.

So how did she find her passion working with clay in the first place?

“I’m kind of the black sheep of my family when it comes to art,” says Kelsey. “I actually didn’t have art classes in high school. My school was so small they didn’t exist.” That certainly didn’t deter her from finding ways to express herself anyways. “It’s not as much art but doing something with my hands has always been very important to me.” To this day she enjoys hobbies such as cooking and photography. She even handles the graphic design for her website and social media pages.

As a result of not having access to art classes while growing up, Kelsey didn’t touch clay until she attended her first semester of college at MSUM while pursuing a degree in Art Education. She was 21 at the time. “It’s been a decade of clay,” she remarks. “As you take those classes you start to focus [in] on the ones you’re most drawn to, and that was clay for me.”

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Even with everything she’s accomplished so far, Kelsey still feels there is much more to do. When asked how she typically measures her success on a personal and business level, her reply was, “I don’t know that I do.” She laughed, then clarified, “I’m always thinking multiple steps ahead and I have a hard time relishing in achievements.” She admits that allowing herself time to live in the moment is something that she could work on — a task many of us may find relatable in this day and age. It’s easy to feel like you’re not doing enough in a world where your success is readily compared to the success of others. There are times when it takes someone on the outside to make you appreciate all that you’ve done. For a career-driven individual like Kelsey, that someone is her husband Edward Hentges.

I’m always thinking multiple steps ahead and I have a hard time relishing in achievements.

Kelsey Williams

“We got together in 2019. It is not a coincidence that my business started January 2020. He definitely cheers me on and supports my ideas,” she says, adding that Edward will frequently remind her to pause and breathe when she needs it most. Kelsey also credits her father, Shawn Williams, who has always encouraged her to make “smart jumps” and continuously pushes her to follow her dreams. With the support of her family and friends, she has been able to strategize effectively and find imaginative ways to make her vision come to life.

That vision usually begins with a sketchbook. “I found the exact Prismacolor colored pencils that match the glazes that I use,” she says. From there, Kelsey creates sketches of mugs to test designs, patterns, and develop her color palette before turning her vision on the wheel. However, there are still plenty of days when she finds herself working as inspiration strikes. “Honestly, a lot of the time I just have all my blank mugs in front of me,” she says. “And I just go for it.” A significant turning point for her creative vision happened in 2021 when she began to use speckled clay. The material was unique enough on its own that adding color through glaze became more of an accessory than a focal point. The effect was an elegant, minimalist look that enhanced the raw beauty of the clay body. Her customers quickly saw the appeal.

“That’s when things really took off for me.”

Much of Kelsey’s inspiration comes from nature. Together with her family, she indulges her love for camping and has slowly checked off popular destinations around the states of North Dakota and Minnesota. Recently, her travels have needed to take a back-burner due to the new business, but her experiences continue to shine in the pottery she creates. “Being under the open sky – that’s something about North Dakota. With all the flat we have, you really learn to appreciate the sky,” says Kelsey. She even draws inspiration from different stones she’s found as well as the various environments she's explored roaming the wilderness around her. This has helped her in developing another goal: “I would love to find wild clay. I know it’s out [there]. Most of the clay in North Dakota is used for making bricks, but I so badly want to go down to the river and dig out clay, filter it, and make something using ‘North Dakota’ clay.”

Kelsey’s stylistic tastes are deeply rooted and she is not afraid to express her personal preference to her clients. “I guide people into the aesthetic that already exists in my brand,” she says. “When it comes to those glazing days and putting the designs on, I have the stripes and the suns that I’ve done for years, but I find that everytime I sit down to glaze I’m doing at least one new design.” She credits this to her passion for exploring. “While staying in a style, I just think that there is an endless amount of designs or color combinations that you can do to keep things fresh.” The desire to keep her work relevant blends well into an artistic scene where rapid changes in trends can quickly flip the public’s demand. “I fully think I follow those [popular] trends and I try to keep up with them,” she says. Kelsey doesn’t just keep up, she enjoys the challenge of making sure her artwork properly reflects her vision while continuing to stand out in the market. She’ll even step back when necessary, referring customers to fellow artists if she feels the end product isn’t within her wheelhouse.

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“This business has allowed me to meet so many people. Not just customers at markets, but also other small business owners,” she says. Kelsey takes pride in collaborating with other artists and crafting connections to the people in her community. “The longer I’m doing this, the more I’m discovering how much there is to do here.” Interestingly enough, she still considers herself a pretty introverted person.

“This has been a business challenge for me,” she confesses. Putting herself out there has proven to be somewhat of a difficult task for Kelsey. Though teaching always seemed to come naturally, she admits that she struggles with promoting herself professionally. “Walking up to someone and giving them my business card – things like that are hard for me.” She continues by saying that the people in her community have made it much easier by showing her kindness and compassion, especially her fellow small-business owners. “They see what I’m doing and they have taken the time to get to know me and crack me open a little bit at a time. Some great friendships have happened because of that.” Kelsey has been living in the area since 2013. Since then, she continues to cement her place in the community she loves and faces all challenges head on.

I love downtown. I love the Farmer’s Market, I love Broadway Square, and I think some of our best food is downtown.
Kelsey Williams

Currently, her number one obstacle is keeping the balance between teacher and creator. “Making my own work is very, very important to me. But getting the community involved and getting people to touch clay is also very important to me.” She hopes to continue to mold future potters out of the citizens of Fargo/Moorhead while continuing to bring her own artistic flair to the art scene. Kelsey also invites everyone to enjoy downtown and encourages people to explore their local small-businesses.

“I love downtown. I love the Farmer’s Market, I love Broadway Square, and I think some of our best food is downtown.” So be sure to keep that in mind the next time you’re in the area and planning something to do. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out Rising Dawn Ceramics at 307 Main Avenue. If you take pride in your community, pull inspiration from the world around you, or are even thinking about exploring your own small-business opportunity, then you'll probably find a piece of yourself in Kelsey’s work. Until then, she wants everyone to know it’s never too late to try something new. [ aw ]

make a snack

[ aw ]


If you use a larger pan, your bars will be thinner and if you use a smaller pan, they will be thicker. Since this is a no-bake recipe, it really doesn’t matter what pan you use. Try it!

homeade Granola bars



Don’t feel like making bars? Feel free to roll these into balls instead. They should hold together just the same.

Line a square 9x9-inch pan with parchment paper and spray it very lightly with non-stick baking spray. Add the peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil to a large, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for one minute. Stir together the peanut butter mixture until it is smooth and thick. Add the vanilla and stir to combine. Add the oats and fold them, making sure to get the oats evenly coated with the wet ingredients. When the oats are almost fully incorporated, add chocolate chips and the peanuts. Continue folding until they are fully combined. Transfer the mixture to your prepared pan and spread it out evenly with your spatula. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the granola bars and press them into the pan. You want to pack them very tightly so they stay together! Transfer the granola bars to the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours-- make sure to leave them covered with the parchment paper on top! Remove the granola bars from the pan, slice, and enjoy. Store the granola bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.  [ aw ]


9x9” Pan • Large Spoon • Spatula Measuring Cups / Spoons • Knife Parchment Paper • Airtight Container ..........................................................................................................


1.5 cups all-natural creamy peanut butter*

1 cup honey

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups rolled oats*

1.5 cups quick cooking oats*

½ cup mini chocolate chips

½ cup chopped peanuts


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SERVINGS 8-16 ................

Olive oil and balsamic vinegar seem to be a natural fountain of youth that has a variety of health benefits. Christine Conrad of Reese & Riley’s has been in the restaurant industry for many years and never thought she liked olive oil or balsamic vinegar. “I thought they were disgusting and I wondered why anyone would want to eat it. Then I came across an article that said that our country is the only one in the world that has zero regulation on extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. That’s why I hated them. I had store bought olive oil and vinegar,” said Christine. But when she tried the premium olive oils and balsamic vinegars, she loved them. Both olive oil and balsamic vinegar are good for you and it’s a bonus that they taste good too. “So why wouldn’t you consume a product to help improve your health? Plus there isn’t anything synthetic about it. Our oils are not processed, filtered, or chemically heat-treated.”

Her journey with olive oil began when one of her family members had blood pressure that kept going up every year and doctors wanted to put him on medications. “So I started researching alternatives to blood pressure medications with natural foods and exercise and stuff like that–olive oil kept popping up,” said Christine. He never had to go on medication.


The idea here is that food is our medicine, a concept that dates back thousands of years, but that is now coming into the mainstream world. What we eat, we truly do become. It can be hard to find a way through the aisles at the grocery store when just starting out because of all of the hidden things on food labels: seed oils, additives, “natural flavors”, “unnatural flavors”, and food dyes. Plenty of those items increase inflammation and a plethora of other health issues, which is a good reason to add healthy food like olive oil and balsamic vinegar to your list of other health-increasing habits and activities.

“You go over to Greece and everything is fresh. They don’t do processed food. I didn’t see one fast-food restaurant while there. It’s no wonder they live forever. They move, they walk around, and they socialize. Everything in our country is automated. You push a button and you get your groceries brought out to your car. Instead, I think it's important to get out of the car and get your shopping done. I don’t want to be a robot. And everything is getting worse. Food shouldn’t come from a lab,” said Christine.

When it comes to adding olive oil and balsamic vinegars it’s important to research where it’s coming from and how they were created. Research really does give you knowledge. You can’t trust everything on the product’s wrapper. “In many

countries, it’s a federal offense to label it with something that’s not in the bottle. Our Greek supplier just won the award for healthiest olive oil,” said Christine. She also mentioned how the olive oil and balsamic vinegars on the shelves at grocery stores aren’t great quality, as the oil has usually gone rancid and the balsamic vinegars are not genuine. You can really taste the difference between premium olive oils and the store bought kind.

Benefits of Adding Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar To Your Diet

Olive oil and balsamic vinegar are two century-old staples known not only for their culinary versatility but also for their myriad of health benefits. With roots steeped in tradition and backed by numerous studies spanning decades, these kitchen essentials offer a wealth of advantages beyond flavor enhancement.

Health Benefits To Olive Oil:

• Reduces inflammation, cholesterol, and blood pressure

• Good for hair and scalp health

• Great to remove makeup

• Use as a moisturizer

• Can decrease ear wax, ear pain, and ear infections

• Has cancer fighting properties

• Protects against heart disease

• Helps fight weight gain and Alzheimer's

• Rosemary-infused olive oil is great as an insect repellant

• Use olive oil as a baby rash ointment

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Health Benefits Of Balsamic Vinegar:

• Detoxes the body

• Add it to water to encourage drinking more and staying hydrated; this is an excellent alternative to packets of flavored/sweetened powder (which often contain chemicals such as Aspartame)

• Can regulate your blood sugar

• May lower your cholesterol

• Helps with digestion and may also reduce acid reflux

Even if you don't cook often, an olive oil regimen is recommended, simply for health benefits. It’s just two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. “Measure it out in a shot glass. A customer came in and told me they lowered their LDL cholesterol 22 points by doing this. I do mine before bed, because there is a new study out that shows extra-virgin olive oil burns fat while you sleep and it also helps you sleep. It also helps people who snore by paralyzing the vocal chords,” said Christine. Besides all of the health benefits, it tastes amazing so they work wonders in your favorite recipes. “You can swap your butter for olive oil. People ask how I bake and I tell them I bake with olive oil. I haven’t used butter in almost 10 years. I use a butter olive oil when I want that buttery taste, when I make brownies I use blood orange, when I bake sugar cookies, I use a lemon olive oil. With this you know what’s in it. Unlike something like imitation vanilla. What is that? It’s chemically made in a lab to taste like vanilla. We are so acclimated to fake flavors we don’t even know what real food should taste like these days.”

High Smoke Points

Many people think you should avoid cooking at high temperatures with olive oil and to instead use something like a vegetable or canola oil, but that’s not true. The store bought olive oils can’t be, because the antioxidant has been chemically heat treated.

Since our olive oil isn’t filtered, chemically treated, or processed they have high smoke points which make them perfect for frying or sautéing at high temperatures.

There’s another reason you shouldn’t be using processed vegetable oils. They are made of saturated fat. “Olive oil has the exact opposite of even butter. Butter is 96% saturated fat and 4% monounsaturated fat. But olive oil is 84% monounsaturated fat. It’s been proven to even reverse clogged arteries. You are eating a healthy fat that won’t increase your triglycerides or cholesterol levels. I use it on everything,” said Christine.

What’s Going On At Reese & Riley’s

Following the pandemic, Reese & Riley's took over the space next door and it became Reed's Events Center. People can rent the space for weddings, showers, and much more. Reese & Riley’s also holds their events, brunches, and some of their cooking classes there. Every dish they create is completely centered around extra-virgin olive oil.

They also offer healthy grab-and-go lunches and desserts that change every week along with fresh teas, lemonades, and infused waters. Their olives are all imported from Spain. “We are really well known for our lasagna. We make our own pasta with a pasta machine from Italy,” said Christine.

All About Encouraging A Healthier Lifestyle

Christine's passion for what she does is evident and she is committed to creating a healthier world through adding olive oil to our lifestyles. It all comes down to making healthy choices because we only have one life. “There is more money in people being sick. It’s all big pharma and until people start taking control of their own health this is never going to change,” said Christine.

In a world where wellness often takes a backseat to profit, Christine's dedication to empowering others to prioritize their health shines as a beacon of hope for a brighter, healthier future. [ aw ] (218)

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935 37th Ave S, Moorhead, MN

n a world where more than once life has given Rosalinda Garcia and her family more than their fair share of lemons, they have made them into delectable sweets, bursting not only with flavor, but filled with kindness, overflowing with positivity, and packed with resolute strength.

Bella's Dulce will be celebrating their one year anniversary in their downtown Fargo location this July. Getting to this milestone was no easy feat. Rosalinda and Marco Garcia have three children, Bella, Matheo, and Leo with roots that trace back to Juarez, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas.

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Their Christmas event came to be when their family was going through a hard time. Rosalinda had a uterine rupture, where she almost passed away, and their youngest, Leo, was fighting for his life in the NICU. “Bella and Matheo stayed at grandma’s while I was recovering. On one of our drives to pick them up, Bella noticed a family sleeping in a tent. She was eight years old and had many questions, ‘Mom, but why?’, ‘It’s cold, they are hungry! Can they live with us?’ As parents, we didn’t have the answers to why. Instead, Bella said, ‘Let’s help them!’ We brought them a meal. A child’s mind has no limits to the changes they can make in our society.”

You can never have enough kindness, like you can never have enough sprinkles! But we will be taking a turn to help families going through medical issues like ourselves.
-Rosalinda garcia

Over the next couple of months, Bella began her entrepreneur adventure of planning lemonade stands to help raise funds to give gifts and stockings. In 2021, Bella was diagnosed with a vascular malformation, requiring surgery to remove. After multiple trips to the Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, the Garcias received news that her condition was more complicated and needed treatment at Mayo, and a new journey began. Marco had no more PTO, their savings was depleted after Leo’s stay in the NICU, Bella’s condition was longterm, and they found themselves short on funds for basic items. “We had to find a way to be able to provide for our family, so I started baking and making food to help support us. My daughter and I started baking together, for fun and holidays, then she wanted to bake to give to others as shelters, friends, and family!”

“We love donating treats to our local Gladys Ray, police and fire departments, and will hold an annual Christmas event that will start again in 2025!” Their mission will be the same: Spreading Kindness Like Sprinkles. “You can never have enough kindness, like you can never have enough sprinkles! But we will be taking a turn to help families going through medical issues like ourselves,” says Rosalinda. “Our point will be, no questions will be asked, we understand and want to help, as we have been there, and we know how it feels to ask for help and have to answer so many questions, and you feel like a broken record on repeat. We care, and we are here to help! No one should ever feel ashamed for asking.”

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Rosalinda teaches us all kindness by example, which is especially prevalent from her Southern roots. “In our world and generation nowadays, I believe people tend to forget about kindness. As I tell my children, it’s a ripple effect like dominoes. Imagine you hold the door for someone who’s having a very bad day. Most chances are you brought them a smile and you made a difference and they’re driving home with a different mindset.”

Being a woman in business is difficult, but being the owner, operator, chef, wife, and mother as well can present an additional set of challenges, and sometimes these challenges require taking a leap of faith. Due to Bella’s vascular malfunction reoccurring, the situation is something the family will deal with throughout her life, including surgeries and treatments. She recently had a procedure called Cyclotherapy that ended up in necrosis and left a big black hole in her arm. “We were going back and forth every two weeks to Mayo for treatment and care, and we have had to find a way that fits our life. Obviously with a 9 to 5 job we would miss so much work, and unfortunately that’s not for us. We took the leap and opened our shop. It helps so much, as we can close when we have to leave for Mayo, and pick our hours around our medical journey.”

Rosalinda lives by her daily prayer, as she is not the same woman she was a year ago. “I have grown so much. Not only as a mother who went through a very difficult period, after I had my son due to uterine ruptured and almost passing; him having a NICU stay; going home with no baby, and him having to stay broke me for a while; but as a wife, me and my husband, when our daughter was diagnosed that year, it felt like our world fell apart. Now we have put it back together and made our journey. Our story makes us! Not breaks us!

There are days Rosalinda is at the shop morning to night, and night to morning. Preparing orders, baking, cleaning and creating new ideas! Along with Bella by Rosalinda’s side in the kitchen, Marco has now mastered baking under her excellent tutelage and he has been taking over, helping to tag team. “He is my rock and has always believed in every single idea or creative thing that comes to mind, I give him so much credit!” Marco left a construction crane job that took so many hours and time away from their family. “He is now around 24/7, and a present father and husband. He is also the co-business owner. It's a great thing to have a team!”

We were going back and forth every two weeks to Mayo for treatment and care, and we had to find a way that fits our life. -Rosalinda garcia
28 ::
-Rosalinda garcia

As a working mother of a child with health care needs, Rosalinda conveys to others that you are never alone and to never lose faith! “I know the journey is so hard, and with so many unanswered questions, friends and family may not stick around; and that’s ok. Stay strong and never lose hope, your babies and family need you! God will provide! Remember to take time to breathe, to sit, and find peace. I tell everyone to give grace. Grace to yourself, grace to others, always!”

Rosalinda honors her Mexican heritage through her culinary creations that have been passed down through generations: Tres Leches cake, cheesecake, Mexican Flan, Empanadas, and Mexican Bolis Ice Cream. “Our children love to bake! So we include their ideas on cupcakes and treats!”

This is how Bella started her culinary adventure. “I started to bake at eight years old with my mom and auntie in the kitchen.” Among some of her favorite things to bake are cakes, cupcakes, and cheesecakes. “They are fun to make and take a lot of time and effort. I usually look through Pinterest or TikTok to find ideas and try them out.”

Bella would like to expand her knowledge of other cultures though learning different recipes and ways of baking. June - July, brings another round of surgery for Bella, so her summer will look a little different from most kids her age. She will be in

a cast, which will prevent her from outdoor activities such as swimming and play. Never one to let a bump in the road bring her down, she has decided to use this time to hone her culinary skills and take baking classes, specializing in the fine art of macaron making. She also has her own entrepreneurial mind for bringing in different merchandise into the shop, all with the ultimate goal of always being kind. “It’s important to be kind to people because you never know what someone else is going through. All it is to be kind is saying thank you and being respectful towards everyone, especially parents and friends.” Keeping an optimistic attitude when going through medical issues can be trying at times, but Bella works hard to always look at life through extra sprinkled lenses, by listening to music and thinking positively. “What brings me joy every day is talking with my friends and family and looking forward to another day.”

For Rosalinda, giving back to the community she loves feeds her soul. Though baking is very therapeutic for her, she always makes sure to take Sundays for herself and her family. “Seeing others smile, making a difference in the lives of others, and having my kids experience being a great person, these are the great lessons in life.” [ aw ]

experience being a great person. These are the great lessons in life.
others smile, making a difference in the lives of others, and having my kids
413 N Broadway Dr, Suite A Fargo, ND 320.212.4469 29 [AW] June / July 24 ::

Deciding to follow a different path, as we all do when we are 18 and fresh out of high school, Nikki moved and didn’t consider moving back until she was in her mid 30’s, to help run the family business, Bernie’s Wines and Liquors. “I spent many years in the bar restaurant business, both in Minneapolis, MN and Denver, CO, and ultimately put myself through college this way, with a degree in English Literature.” It was working in the restaurant industry that Nikki discovered her love of food, but also of food and wine paired. “After college I got into the wholesale side of selling wine, and this is where I received most of my wine education. I have pretty much only worked in the world of food and wine, minus the one job I had landscaping one summer.”

Luna Fargo was a concept hatched by Nikki and her father. The original plan was to turn it into a cheese shop, to enhance the growing wine selection next door. “Our inspiration was Syrdyk's Liquor in Minneapolis.” says Nikki. “This turned out to be illegal due to our North Dakota liquor laws which specify that no grocery type store can exist within 100 feet of a liquor store.” In the end though, this turned out to be serendipitous, as it led Nikki to being introduced to her chef, Ryan Nitschke, who eventually became her business partner. “Once we realized we couldn't be a cheese shop, we settled on a wine bar with a retail cheese aspect. Once I met Ryan and started to listen to his dreams for Luna, they sounded much more appealing, and the rest is history.”

Once we realized we couldn't be a cheese shop, we settled on a wine bar with a retail cheese aspect. Once I met Ryan and started to listen to his dreams for Luna, they sounded much more appealing, and the rest is history. "
31 [AW] June / July 24 ::

Nikki and Ryan were approached about opening a restaurant next to Junkyard in 2019. “It was to be the first restaurant endeavor that Ryan and I embarked on by ourselves as business partners. Since we didn't quite know how we were going to pay for this new restaurant we thought we would try something outside of the box, the story of our lives, and launched a Kickstarter.” They ended up raising $75,000 in one of the most stress-inducing money raising attempts of Nikki's life to date! Sol Ave. Kitchen opened in 2019 and then COVID happened in March of 2020. “Sometimes I look back and am still not sure how we made it!” During the COVID years Nikki and Ryan were approached by two separate brewery related businesses. “For some stupid reason, we thought, why not?” Nova Eatery opened inside Fargo Brewing Co. in 2022, then less than one year later Mångata Wine & Raw Bar, Unicorn Park Fine Foodery, and Luna Market opened inside Brewhalla. House of Noods + Buns opened its doors in winter of 2023. “People ask us if we have plans to open more and I start visibly sweating at the thought! When we look back on the craziness of the last few years though, I can say that besides having a ton more gray hair than I used to, and a new prescription for high blood pressure meds, I have never felt more fulfilled or more proud of what we have built. I could not have done it though without my super supportive husband, Paul, and son, Kayne, and my incredible friendship with my chef/business partner Ryan.”

It has always been the mission to provide the community with unique food experiences and flavors that aren't already being done around here. “I think Chef Ryan says it best when he tells people that we make the things we want to eat, which oftentimes means foods we can't find to eat anywhere else around here.” This is achieved by utilizing local food channels as often as possible and contributing in a positive way to the local food system. “We aren't ever going to be the cheapest in town, but we can always promise you that your ingredients are coming from places you can feel good about.” This includes ensuring the meats are always ethically procured and a large majority of the food put out is made from scratch.

"I think Chef Ryan says it best when he tells people that we make the things we want to eat, which oftentimes means foods we can't find to eat anywhere else around here.

No matter which establishment you are visiting, Nikki understands the importance of the employees coming first. “I don't think it is possible to provide a good experience for our guests if we are not taking good care of our staff.” Offering competitive wages, reasonable hours, a super inclusive environment, a strict intolerance of harassment, from fellow staff and customers alike, benefits to all full time staff, and a supplemental option for healthcare for our part time staff are all part of the employment experience. “We do all of this knowing that sometimes it might hurt our bottom line, but in the long run, it fosters a better work environment for everyone and less turnover.” As they have grown larger they are particularly proud of the opportunities they have and continue to provide for upward mobility and growth. “We don't need people to work for us for their entire careers, but do want to put them back out into the world as better, more educated humans than when they started with us.” One of the principal goals is to create an environment for the employees to see and embrace working in the restaurant industry as an actual career, rather than just a means of paying one's bills. “We have many staff members who have been with us for years, but may have moved a few different times between our restaurants.” A question Nikki always gets asked is how not one but both of our restaurants survived during COVID when so many did not. “I honestly think it had a lot to do with the fact that our staff trusted us to keep making the best decisions and therefore stuck with us through the worst of times. We could not still be there without them.”

Offsale liquor, especially in the Fargo community, has always been a very male dominated industry. When Nikki first took over Bernie’s Wines and Liquors, there may have been one other female owner in town. “It was VERY old school and male dominated. Let's just say I wasn't exactly welcomed with open arms.” Things began to evolve over the years and Nikki began to grow many great relationships with male peers whom she has become very grateful for. “For years, most of my employees were men. At first it was hard to get used to, especially when I had employees who had worked for my dad for a very long time. I even had a couple of employees whom I had known as a kid. I think these experiences truly did help to shape me into the fearless leader (hahaha) I am today.”

Owning and operating a business doesn’t come without its obstacles. But, as a female business owner, even in 2024, we women still tend to fight an uphill battle at times. Nikki and Ryan are 50/50 business partners in all businesses apart from Luna Fargo and Bernie’s Wines and Liquors. “There are times where you can really see the difference in how certain people react to each of us. This used to really make me mad, but at this stage in life, I can mostly brush it off. There are certain people we deal with, that we will even joke that are better handled by him than by me.” Ultimately, if it gets them the business in question, then whatever it takes to make it happen, Nikki has learned the art of collaboration. “I consider myself a direct communicator and in this ‘Midwest Nice’ society that we live in, this can be off putting to some, especially men. It is kind of amazing how women can be direct yet polite, and a man can say the exact same thing rudely and somehow the woman is seen as ‘aggressive and confrontational’.” At this stage of the game, Nikki has gained the understanding to see it for what it is, not allowing it to get to her. “I have much more important things to deal with.”

33 [AW] June / July 24 ::

One of the most beneficial pieces of advice Nikki has received over the last couple of years, and one she uses often with her staff, is the idea of ‘taking the emotion out of it.’ This concept can apply to anyone, men or women, but it is something Nikki stresses is especially great to share with fellow female leaders. “Don't take things personally or get visibly upset about work things. It isn't personal. The more you can present yourself in a straightforward manner, and not let your emotions influence you, the easier it is to deal with situations; especially ones that are less than pleasant.” Nikki emphasizes that this in no way means, act like you don't care. It means don't allow your personal feelings to influence your ability to be composed and professional.

Nikki’s passion for humans and kindness is evident in both personal and professional life. Being naturally pretty thick skinned when it comes to herself, she is a force to be reckoned with if you are her child, husband, any member of her family, friends, staff, or really any underdog who is being picked on or treated poorly. “My tolerance for this is pretty low, and my need to speak out about it has gotten me in hot water more than once in life. I've chilled out a bit over the years, but, man I hate bullies so much.” This is not only what makes her a good human being, but an employer whom people are proud to show up for and continually give their 100%, day after day.

Supporting your fellow female business owner is in Nikki’s opinion, “THE MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do!” “I do not take being a female business owner for granted and always want to do everything I can to be a good mentor and support system for any other women in my business. Even in the restaurant business, there are not a whole ton of women in this community so I try and make friends with all of them that I can!” For young women looking to start a career or business in the restaurant industry, Nikki suggests finding and getting a mentor or group of peers who are on a similar path. “Seek out groups, not just in your community but wherever you can find them, who can offer you support, insight, and even sometimes a shoulder to cry on. Don't just rely on your immediate friends and family to become your support system, especially if you find yourself in a field that isn't familiar to them.”

I do not take being a female business owner for granted and always want to do everything I can to be a good mentor and support system for any other women in my business.

Besides living the entrepreneurial life, Nikki enjoys sharing her life with her husband, Paul, and son, Kayne, on a quiet farmstead, out in the middle of nowhere. “When we decided to buy Luna, I promised my husband that I would never work standard ‘restaurant hours’ which often means nights and weekends.” For the most part Nikki was able to keep that promise. “For many years, I was an unpaid employee of Luna Fargo, so I was able to afford a General Manager instead of becoming one myself.” Over the years, Nikki has spent some time in that role, but only when going through stages of being short staffed. “I have always known how to do all of the front of house work just in case, but have been fortunate not to have to do it on a day to day basis.” Nikki is adamant that she could not have done any of this without the steadfast support of her husband Paul and his commitment to helping her realize her dreams. “I realize how incredibly privileged I was to have this arrangement as an option, and know that not all women can have this kind of balance.”

35 [AW] June / July 24 ::

For women struggling to find balance between being a mother and business owner or working mother, Nikki relays the importance of showing your sons and daughters that you can do both, fully understanding it doesn't mean it is easy, or for everyone. “It takes a very good partnership to make that happen, especially when both parents work and have a lot of respect for each other. It is important to find balance though, if you can't do that then you are going to be in a constant uphill struggle and miserable all of the time. I know this is easier said than done, but at the end of the day, if you are a parent providing for your child, the balance isn't nearly as important as putting food on the table or a roof over your heads.” Open communication with her husband and son are an integral part of their family dynamic, along with being involved with the businesses when they can. “I don't try to bring my work problems home with me, or any bad attitudes I may have acquired at work, but I definitely share what is going on with my family. I also have them participate in anything they can. My son already wants to start working for me and I have to keep telling him about child labor laws.”

Along with a few non profits that are especially near and dear to Nikki, she and her family are also open to helping the Fargo community in whatever possible ways they can. “My family has always been super supportive of our local arts culture. To me, art, in any form, not only makes life more joyful, but also contributes to a vibrant community.” They support everything from The Arts Partnership, to the FM Symphony, to small local artists whenever possible. “I am also a huge fan of Heart and Soul Community Cafe, Jeremiah Project, Great Plains Food Bank, etc. As we get more established and start to become financially stable, it is always our goal to help in more and more ways both in the local and national food community.”

One of the most important things that has happened in Nikki’s career, was to apply for and be accepted into the 2018 James Beard WEL (Women in Entrepreneurial Leadership) cohort, which included only 19 other women across the country. “To this day, I am the only woman from North Dakota who has ever been accepted and these women have truly changed my life.” Before that, Nikki had never had a real peer group of women restaurant owners to bounce ideas off of, commiserate with, and ask for advice and/or questions from. “They have inspired me so much and made me strive for more and more.” Nikki is currently also in a local group for women business leaders that is put on through the Chamber of Commerce. “I have thought about starting a local group for just women restaurant owners, but I just haven't had the time. The North Dakota Women's Business Center is doing some really great work and I have every intention of becoming more familiar with them in the future.”

Though Nikki’s menu to the rest of us may seem full, she still finds time for herself on her proverbial plate. She completed her yoga teacher training certification last year. “I do my best to bring yoga back into my life whenever I can. I am a huge believer in meditation and try to do it at least 3-4 times per week. In an ideal world, I do it daily, but I have not yet been able to make that work. Meditation truly has changed my life, and it is one of the only reasons I am (sort of) sane after the last five years.”

36 ::

In which direction does the compass point for the fearless leader of Luna Fargo, Sol Ave. Kitchen, House of Noods + Buns, Mångata Wine & Raw Bar, Unicorn Park, Nova Eatery, Luna Market, and Bernie's Wine and Liquors? “I have allllll the ideas but none that I am ready to share just yet!”

“When people ask me if they should open a restaurant, I first tell them, ‘Hell no!’, but then I mostly take it back (as I laugh awkwardly). I absolutely LOVE what I do but it is so hard.” With profit margins low, and food costs rising, there seems to be a lack of understanding regarding the importance small restaurants are in this current state of the society. “I am constantly worried that if people do not start understanding how important it is for your community to support small businesses, not just restaurants, we could just be left with all of the generic corporate companies

that do nothing for the vibrancy of our local culture.” You can’t have a yin without its yang, and with worry, also comes joy. “In my business, joy comes in many forms. When someone sends me a private message to tell me they had a life changing meal/experience at one of my restaurants. When someone tells me they tried a wine they had never tried before and now want to drink nothing else. When someone tells me that one of my staff members contributed to the best night of their life. When someone wants to propose to their future spouse in my restaurant. When my employee thanks me for the fact that they come to a job where they feel safe every day. When my staff member gets an amazing new job because they had an amazing looking resume. Going home at the end of the day to my family and feeling like I did my best. And waking up one day and unexpectedly looking in my email only to see that my business partner and I were nominated for one of the most prestigious food awards in the country. (James Beard Foundation Awards) Yeah, all of that.” [ aw ]

When people ask me if they should open a restaurant, I first tell them, ‘Hell no!’, but then I mostly take it back (as I laugh awkwardly). "


37 [AW] June / July 24 ::

We all feel it up North, the excitement of the snow melting and those first few spring days where you can roll down your windows and look forward to the excitement of Summer approaching and all that comes with it. Blue skies, lazy fluffy white clouds, bright colored flowers, greenery for days and the lapping of water hitting the pebbles on the shore at the lake. Nothing is better than that up North!

area HOME 38 ::

For this June/July edition of the magazine, Kitchen Refresh wanted to showcase some of our kitchens of color. Colored cabinetry allows individuals to customize their spaces and capture personality. Kitchen Refresh offers 40 stock colors and several hundred special order finishes and textures to appeal to all tastes. Be it a solid tone, a two toned or even a three toned kitchen – Kitchen Refresh is there to help clients reach their goals for their home!

39 [AW] June / July 24 ::

Dr. James Hocker Neonatologist at Essentia Health-Fargo

Erin Larsgaard remembers feeling nervous.

“I felt like she hadn’t been moving as much,” explains Erin, who was expecting her and husband Matthew’s first child – Amira Dorothy – in July 2022.

Erin visited Essentia Health-Fargo, where she had a biophysical profile (BPP) completed. A BPP combines ultrasound imaging with a nonstress test (NST), which measures fetal heart rate and reaction to movement, to assess the well-being of a fetus. The results were normal; Erin’s baby was reactive and moving.

Her next regularly scheduled appointment – 38 weeks – followed three days later, on June 30.

Another NST was performed. The results were immediately troubling. Amira wasn’t moving and her heart rate was decelerating with every contraction.

“When they told me that, I was immediately like, ‘No, I’m not having contractions. I don’t feel anything,’ ” says Erin. “But they explained (that) ‘You’re having contractions; they’re just so small that you can’t feel them.’ ”

Because Amira was struggling with such small contractions, it was unlikely she would be able to handle the ones needed to get her out. Erin was scheduled for an emergency C-section.

“That was scary and a bit surreal,” explains Erin. “I just went on autopilot and trusted the team taking care of us.”

Matthew hastily joined Erin at the hospital as an operating room was prepped.

Written by Caitlin Pallai Photographs Supplied by Bell's Photography
40 ::

“They jumped right in and moved fast,” says Erin. “We were blown away by how quick they were. We didn’t even have Amira’s name picked out yet!”

Less than three hours from when Erin stepped into the hospital that day, Amira was born. She needed immediate care.

“The first thing the nurse says is, ‘The baby is as white as a sheet,’ and she was,” recalls Dr. James Hocker, a neonatologist at Essentia present for Amira’s birth. “We knew right away that the baby needed blood.”

“I distinctly remember hearing her cry faintly, and I somehow knew she was going to be okay,” says Erin. “I had no reason, no medical knowledge, but knew that God was in control and He gave me the peace I needed.”

Amira was quickly transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit, which is designed to provide specialized care to critically ill and premature infants.

“For reasons we don’t really know, fetuses bleed across the placenta into the mom,” explains Dr. Hocker. “This is known as ‘fetomaternal transfusion.’ This can happen quickly; it can be large or small. This was obviously a severe incidence. The baby was in hemorrhagic shock and was anemic because she had been losing blood.”

A normal hemoglobin level for infants is around 15 grams per deciliter (g/dl). Amira’s was 3 g/dl. She needed an emergency blood transfusion and intubation.

“We didn’t have a whole lot of time left,” adds Dr. Hocker. “Thankfully the baby was in a place that had a blood bank that could respond quickly. Without red blood cells to carry the oxygen around, you can’t do anything. That was the key and getting it in a hurry.”

Multiple staff told the Larsgaards that a couplehour wait would have meant a very different outcome.

Erin credits the Essentia staff for playing such a vital role in saving Amira.

“The NICU was amazing, Dr. Hocker was amazing; they literally saved my baby’s life,” she says. “We were spoiled in the NICU. It was just awesome to be able to ask questions, learn the tips and tricks and all the nurses were so wonderful.”

Erin was also grateful that her midwife, Amanda Swanson, stopped by to visit.

“It wasn’t a scheduled visit; she took the time to come and see us,” says Erin. “We weren’t her patients at that time. I think that’s an easy way to sum up the kind of care she provided.”

Eight days later, the Larsgaards took their daughter home. “Amira made a miraculous recovery,” says Erin.

At almost two years old, Amira remains healthy. “You wouldn’t know that anything happened,” emphasizes Erin. “She’s the right range for height, weight, everything.”

Erin gave birth to their second daughter, Sophia Joan, in December 2023, also at Essentia.

Scheduled for a C-section, Erin gave birth naturally via VBAC – vaginal birth after cesarean. She was again impressed with her experience at Essentia and the staff’s commitment to honoring as much as possible the physiological birth she wanted.

“Many details I had in my birthing plan were standard at Essentia,” she states. “That isn’t always the case.”

“We kind of had complete opposite births,” adds Erin. “With Amira, it was scary and new, and the doctors and nurses had to take over to save her life. With Sophia, we had a much more involved birth. We did it together and were able to have those conversations around what I wanted. I felt completely supported.”

Having a baby can be an exciting time, but when complications or other uncertainties arise, trust Essentia Health to provide expert care and unmatched support for you and your baby.

If you are interested in embarking on your maternity journey at

Please call (701) 364-8900 or visit and take a virtual tour of the birthing center and NICU today.

Essentia Health-Fargo
41 [AW] June / July 24 ::

make a snack

[ aw ]

Chickpeas crispy

a backpack snack


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

2. In a bowl, toss the chickpeas with olive oil, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder until evenly coated.

3. Spread the seasoned chickpeas in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the chickpeas are crispy and golden brown, shaking the pan halfway through to ensure even cooking.

5. Remove from the oven and let cool before transferring to an airtight container for storage.

6. Pack the crispy chickpeas in a resealable bag or container for your adventure. Enjoy as a protein-packed snack while on the go. [ aw ]


- 2 cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed - 2 tablespoon olive oil

- 2 teaspoon salt

- 2 teaspoon paprika

- 2 teaspoon garlic powder - 2 teaspoon onion powder

Note: Feel free to customize the seasonings to your liking by adding herbs, spices, or even a dash of hot sauce for extra flavor. These crispy chickpeas are a great source of protein and make a satisfying and portable snack for all your outdoor adventures.

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Large bowl

Parchment paper

Baking sheet

Resealable bag or airtight storage container


................ 6 ................
43 [AW] June / July 24 ::

More than 400 pieces of art are displayed at Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Fergus Falls, but until now there was a danger that the stories of these works and the artists who created them would be lost.

Thanks to a grant from the Lake Region Arts Council, Fergus Area College Foundation has created a “tour” of 28 of the most-recognized pieces of campus art – “In Every Season” is a tour that can be taken on a walk about campus or virtually, making the collection accessible to art lovers everywhere.

“Students and visitors to our campus see our amazing collection of art every day, but until now much of the history of the college’s permanent collection has been a mystery,” said Jacki Maethner, FACF’s interim executive director. “With the new campus art tour and website, we are preserving those stories for everyone to enjoy.”

Research for the tour unearthed forgotten history: A large Charles Beck mural now in the campus library was nearly re purposed as a fish house; Spartan roamed from his original perch on campus; and a local businessman’s study in Mexico inspired statues displayed on campus.

M State’s art collection includes works of art in every medium. The inspiration for the collection dates back to the 1960s, when Beck began teaching art at what was then Fergus Falls Community College. Beck began the permanent collection by adding student work and purchasing the work of regional artists exhibited at the college. When he retired in 1987, long-time English faculty member Warren Olsen assumed the role of art collection curator, expanding the collection with commissioned works and public funding, along with gifts through FACF.

The collection is currently curated by Lori Charest, a member of the M State Fine Arts faculty, and includes nearly 180 pieces by Beck, making it the largest regional collection of Beck’s work.

area ART

Through the new walking tour, visitors to the campus will be able to scan a QR code adjacent to featured art to read about each piece’s history and its creator. Art lovers everywhere can access the info at:

This self-guided art tour is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from Lake Region Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage fund.

For more information about the project, contact Jacki Maethner at Fergus Area College Foundation: or 218-7361509

Jacki Maethner is Interim Executive Director of the Fergus Area College Foundation. After 20+ years in the financial industry, she decided her volunteer duties were the most rewarding and thus transitioned to working in the non-profit world. She is passionate about raising funds to enhance and encourage students to seek higher education.

45 [AW] June / July 24 ::

14K Yellow Gold Diamond Paper Clip Link Bracelet, 0.74ctw   ($2,490) available at GUNDERSONS, 5601 28th Ave S, Fargo, ND

area STYLE 46 ::

Sweet Bees Children’s Clothing (for the girls' dress, sandals, and sunnies), Level iii (for the "Support Live Music" outfit), North Pines Market (for the lake signs), North Threads (for the accessories wall), and Prairiegrass Home Décor and Gift (for the stationery set and "Chasing My Dreams" sweater).

cover STORY 48 ::

With a resilient spirit and a passionate outlook, Kathy Coyle has climbed to heights that many people might feel are beyond their reach.

Growing up in Moorhead, Kathy ran track in high school (finishing 5th in the nation in the 220 yard dash), ran track at the University of Minnesota, became the first primetime female TV anchor in the Fargo-Moorhead area, completed her Master’s Degree in Mass Communication, completed her PhD in Communication, taught Agribusiness at NDSU, worked for U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, and was a political campaign manager.

As far as her public persona, Kathy says she’s probably more sensitive and analytical than people think, describing her achievements as “eclectic.”

“I’m not just an old athlete, an old government person, or an old TV personality,” she says. “I feel like I’ve had a broad scope of accomplishments, including the honor to be called Dr. Coyle.”

I’m not just an old athlete, an old government person, or an old TV personality. I feel like I’ve had a broad scope of accomplishments, including the honor to be called Dr. Coyle.
dr. Kathy Coyle

Since her retirement, she has moved to the Detroit Lakes area and continues to impact the lives of others with her volunteer work and community involvement.

According to Deanna Sinclair, a realtor at Counselor Realty in Detroit Lakes, Kathy is a determined and community-minded woman who is willing to go 110% when she commits to something.

“She’s someone who immerses herself and gets other people involved as well,” says Deanna. “I think it goes back to her athletic training and the team concept, where she doesn’t sit on the sidelines. Instead of wishing something was better, she takes action, like getting on a plane and actually making something better. She’ll build a schoolhouse, fundraise for charities, or lead a children’s class in environmental education.”

50 ::
Moorhead High School Track


Back in Moorhead High School, Kathy ran track, with that national 5th place 220 yard dash finish coming at an AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) event. She says the members of the Moorhead Spuds women’s track team were trendsetters.

At that time, prior to Title IX, the Minnesota High School League had not yet recognized women’s athletics, so although they won state high school championships, it’s not in the record books.

”We had a terrific track coach, Paula Bauck, and we competed through the AAU,” Kathy explains.

“My dad would drive us all over the country to the different regional and national track meets. Both my parents were very supportive.”

51 [AW] June / July 24 ::
Kathy's late brother, Brian Coyle, created the first Spuddy in her family basement - so she considers herself Spuddy's aunt!

In 2019, Kathy was named to the Hall of Honor at Moorhead High School. “To be honored by the Spuds was huge for me. Once a Spud, always a Spud!! Plus, they’ve asked me to get involved on the selection committee for future honorees –hopefully more women will be included.”

After high school, she attended the University of Minnesota and ran track for two years in a newly developing women’s athletic program. She thought she wanted to be a high school guidance counselor and a track coach, but when she graduated there was a surplus of teachers. After 50 rejection letters, she changed direction and somehow ended up in the forefront of TV news history as the first primetime female anchor in the Fargo-Moorhead area on KXJB TV in 1979.

“While job searching, I met a woman at the YMCA who worked in mass media,” she says. “Jane Boler took the time to sit down with me and ask me about my talents and where I would fit in. She encouraged me to try television, which I knew nothing about at the time.”

After a rocky start in 1973, when her first news director wanted to hire her to read the weather in a snowmobile suit in the summer and a bikini in the winter, she turned him down. Not long after that, Kathy was hired as a news and sports

“To be honored by the Spuds was huge for me. Once a Spud, always a Spud!!
Kathy Coyle

reporter at KTHI, and later a co-anchor at KXJB. She also wrote, produced, and edited many of her own segments.

“My high school and college sports career in track helped get me hired in television, and then the television notoriety and public acceptance opened doors for other jobs,” she says. “When I started back in college at NDSU, working toward my graduate degrees, I thought I would continue in television while going to school. That lasted for

a while, but then people were shocked when I left the TV business after 23 years.”

Her first teaching job after television was at NDSU, where she was the first female on the teaching staff. She thinks the professor “may have” hired her because he knew her from TV. Getting that position teaching in Agribusiness, however, eventually opened the door for her to work for the federal government in USDA Rural Development.

My high school and college sports career in track helped get me hired in television, and then the television notoriety and public acceptance opened doors for other jobs.
dr. Kathy Coyle



53 [AW] June / July 24 ::
(and Kathy) were the first to broadcast live from locations in the Fargo-Moorhead area. They had a homemade dish on top of their van. They eventually graduated to more professional equipment.

“Government work forced me to deal with many rules and regulations, which can be hard for a creative person,” she says. “It was so rewarding, however, to work with people in small towns on how to improve their situations with grant and loan applications. I felt I was impacting lives in those areas.”

In a different twist, running a state legislative political campaign as a volunteer was a true learning experience that broadened her knowledge and experience in a number of different ways.


These days Kathy immerses herself in community involvement in the Detroit Lakes area, where she now lives.

Although her family vacationed in Detroit Lakes for many years, making the permanent move there was still a major transition.

“After all,” she sighs, “in high school, Detroit Lakes was Moorhead’s biggest rival!”

What she did explore in her new home was her deep and complete love for volunteerism.

“Volunteering is important to me for many reasons,” she adds. “I wanted to be able to give back where I could, and there were so many ways I could do that. I like to be hands-on, and I also like to promote these projects and connect people through social media.”

Deanna names just a few of the many organizations where Kathy has made her mark on the community since moving to Detroit Lakes.

“She’s been thoroughly involved with Teach Haiti, founded by a Haitian woman who attended high school in Detroit Lakes. There’s also her participation at the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge, the Becker County Museum, the League of Women Voters, the Lakes Crisis Center for Women’s Shelter, and the Kiwanis Club,” says Deanna, who knew Kathy’s face and name long before she met her.

Volunteering is important to me for many reasons. I wanted to be able to give back where I could, and there were so many ways I could do that.
dr. Kathy Coyle

“You’d have to be over 40 to remember me, I thought” says Kathy with a laugh. “Just when I thought people had forgotten me, though, I met this lady at a church service recently who lived in rural North Dakota, and she looked at me and said, ‘You’re Kathy Coyle’.”

That church, the Congregational United Church of Christ in Detroit Lakes, is one of Kathy’s more personal involvements that is especially close to her heart.

“The faith community there is an uplifting, intelligent, intellectual, open-minded and loving organization,” she says. “I can’t imagine going through the loss of my entire family – mom, dad & brother – within a three-year period without that faith, love, and support.”

55 [AW] June / July 24 ::

TeacHaiti is important to Kathy, as she sponsors a little girl, whom she was able to meet in person .


A long-term affiliation with the Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority began when Kathy pledged as an undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota. Her involvement has continued through her career changes, her graduate degrees at NDSU, and her move to Detroit Lakes.

“I spent numerous decades in various alumnae positions – supporting young people, mentoring them, and helping them make quality decisions,”

she says. “I’m a promoter of others, and as always, I’m looking for ways to give back what others have given to me. I’m always focused, too – no matter what the job – on the people I’m serving, whether it’s an audience or customers.”

As a leader in the Alpha Gamma Delta organization, she also helped raise money and procure additional funding from the international organization to build a $3 million chapter house at NDSU.


Deanna realizes that Kathy might not think of herself as inspirational, but that others see her that way.

“While she may have had some setbacks and health obstacles to overcome, she is determined to see things through – whether it’s in the community or in her personal life,” says Deanna.

Kathy would call herself more of a survivor, and she actually found it remarkable how many people stepped forward to assist her when she needed transportation and assistance following unplanned open-heart surgery.

“I wasn’t expecting the outpouring of support, but as someone who was always so physically active, my goal now is to get back to where I was. I know I may have to tweak it to include other activities that aren’t as strenuous, but I can do that.”

With her career, all her accomplishments, numerous awards, and breaking those glass ceilings, Kathy says what she’s most proud of is being there for her parents when they needed her in their final years.

“My dad dealt with heart disease for 11 years, and my mom had Parkinson’s. Although my jobs, my career, and all those awards were important to me, being there for my folks was the number one accomplishment in my life.” [ aw ]

56 ::

Collegiate membership posing in front of the $3m chapter house. Kathy contacted their International AGD Housing Corporation a few years ago, offering to give them an old, much smaller house if they would build and pay for the new house on the same property.

I’m a promoter of others, and as always, I’m looking for ways to give back what others have given to me. I’m always focused, too – no matter what the job –on the people I’m serving, whether it’s an audience or customers.

Kathy with her heart surgeon, Dr. Bajwa of Sanford in Fargo.

The start of summer always has me itching to go out and find new experiences. Something about breaking free from all those months of cold winter into the warm sunshine encourages adventure. In these books you can fall in love on a road trip to Key West, stay in a dystopian near future as Florida sinks into the ocean, bicycle across three continents following the butterflies and set sail on the high seas looking for dragons.

Mrs. Nash’s Ashes

If your ideal summer adventure is a road trip, “Mrs. Nash’s Ashes” will be the laugh out loud but heartfelt romcom book you’ll want to bring along. A quirky romantic, a cynical writer and the ashes of an elderly woman take a road trip that might just upend everything they believe about true love.

Our quirky heroine, former child star Millicent Watts-Cohen, is on a mission to fulfill the promise she made to her elderly best friend before she died. With three tablespoons of Mrs. Nash’s remains in her backpack, Millie is determined to make it to Key West and symbolically reunite her friend with the woman she fell in love with over eighty years ago.

When a computer glitch grounds flights, Millie is forced to catch a ride with grumpy Hollis Hollenbeck, an acquaintance from her ex’s MFA

program who is also traveling to Florida. Along the way, they encounter peculiar bed-and-breakfasts, unusual small town festivals and deer with a death wish. Through it all, Millie begins to suspect that cynical Hollis might enjoy her company more than he lets on. And this journey might not be about Mrs. Nash’s love story at all — it might really be about her own.

Millie’s antics had me laughing out loud throughout this delightful novel. Moments of seriousness between her and Hollis — and Mrs. Nash’s own past — are skillfully interspersed with light and humor in all the right places.

Loved this?

You may also enjoy a trip to Scotland in “Kilt Trip” by Alexandra Kiley.

area BOOKS
58 ::

The Light Pirate

Set in a near future Florida, this is a hopeful story of survival, resilience and coming-of-age amidst a dystopian world deeply altered by climate change.

Florida is slipping away. Devastating weather patterns and rising sea levels wreak gradual havoc on the state’s infrastructure. As a powerful hurricane approaches, Kirby Lowe, his pregnant wife Frida, and his two sons Flip and Lucas are preparing for the worst. When the boys go missing right before the storm hits, Kirby goes out to find them leaving Frida alone when she goes into labor. Born during the catastrophic hurricane she was named after, unusual child Wanda grows up amidst a changing landscape abandoned by civilization.

As Florida continues to unravel, Wanda moves from childhood to adulthood. She loses family, gains community and seeks adventure, love and purpose in a place remade by nature. Told in four parts — power, water,

light and time — the story mirrors the rhythms of the elements and the sometimes quick, sometimes slow dissolution of the world as we know it.

This was a book I couldn’t put down. Wanda’s journey is filled with heartache but also with hope as she adapts to the world changing around her. It’s adventurous layered with caution for a future we would rather not see, but which feels all too real inside this novel. Perfect for fans of “Where the Crawdads Sing” and an excellent introduction to dystopian and cli-fi genres for all kinds of readers.

Loved this?

“Go As a River” by Shelley Read is another young woman’s epic journey of becoming set in mid-century Colorado.

Bicycling with Butterflies

10,201 miles on bicycle, three countries and countless monarch butterflies make up Sara Dykman’s incredible journey. She made history when she became the first person to bicycle along monarch butterflies on their annual migration from Mexico to Canada and back.

In this memoir, she recounts her nearly nine month journey with dramatic ups and downs. Cycling solo on a bike cobbled together from used parts, Dykman navigates unmapped roads in foreign countries, checks roadside milkweed for monarch eggs, and shares her passion with those she encounters along the way from eager schoolchildren to skeptical bar patrons.

The Last Mapmaker

Looking for something new to read with the whole family? This middle grade high-seas adventure set in a Thai-inspired fantasy world would make for a great family read along or audiobook listen during long car rides.

Twelve-year-old Sai works as an assistant to Mangkon’s most celebrated mapmaker. She plays the part of a well-bred young lady in a kingdom where the status of one’s ancestors dictates their social position. In reality, her father is a conman and she’s desperate to escape her past for a better place in society.

When the mapmaker, Master Paiyoon, is offered passage on a ship bound to explore the southern seas, Sai seizes the chance to join him. But this is a voyage filled with secrets and everyone, including Sai, seems to have one. Sai soon learns that the ship is heading for the

fabled Sutherlands — a land of dragons, dangers and untold riches — and her adventure could cost her everything she dreamed of.

This book is an action packed adventure from beginning to end. Soontornvat masterfully builds a fantasy world that feels rich and full while jumping from one escapade to the next. I appreciated the uniqueness of this Thai-inspired fantasy world that felt alive and the author touches on topics of family, colonialism and the cost of ambition in a way that feels fresh and fun to the reader. [ aw ]

Loved this?

For more family friendly adventure try “Black Bird, Blue Road” by Sofiya Pasternack, a middle grade historical fantasy novel with a life and death journey.

She learns as much about herself as she does about the monarchs during her journey, connecting with ardent monarch stewards who support her efforts, including citizen scientists, researchers and farmers. Dykman chronicles the issues threatening the monarch’s phenomenal journey with humor and humility.

I relished the adventure and Dykman’s spirit, one chapter at a time. She had me in awe of the monarch’s transformative migration along with her own. Told in a narrative style perfect for both fiction readers wanting to branch out and nonfiction readers looking for a new adventure, you’ll definitely want to add this one to your summer reading list.

Area Woman’s resident Bookista, Megan Elgin, serves you up with books worthy of spending your entire afternoon with. Search for Megan by name on Goodreads or @meganann on Litsy and find out what she’s reading now.

Read one of these books? Searching for something new to read? Tell us what you thought by using #areawomanbooks in your online review or send me an email with requests, thoughts or questions at

59 [AW] June / July 24 ::

JUNE 13/



The Dinner Detective invites YOU to join us for a night full of mystery and mayhem with lots of laughs along the way! Everyone is a SUSPECT and the crime could be happening right at YOUR table! No cheesy costumes, no hokey song and dance. Based on actual cold cases, prizes are available for the TOP SLEUTH. Get your tickets now before it's too late

TIME: 6:30 PM

LOCATION: Four Points by Sheraton Fargo 5064 23rd Avenue South, Fargo, ND. 58104

CONTACT: www.thedinnerdetective. com/fargo, com, 866-496-0535

JULY 27-28


The Fargo AirSho is thrilled to officially announce its return to the skies on July 27 and 28, 2024, promising an exhilarating experience for aviation enthusiasts of all ages.

After a brief hiatus, the Fargo AirSho committee is excited to introduce the next generation of leaders, Co-Chairs Steve Blazek and Darren Hall, along with a team of 70 plus volunteers, are passionate about bringing this beloved event back to the Fargo-Moorhead community. Their dedication and innovative ideas will undoubtedly contribute to the success of this year's air show and ensure a memorable experience for attendees.

The committee would also like to express heartfelt gratitude to founder Dick Walstad and previous co-chairs: the late Maj. Gen Darrol Schroeder (USAF retired) and Maj. Gen Mike Haugen (USAF retired), whose leadership and commitment have paved the way for the Fargo AirSho's legacy over the years. Their influential impact on the organization has created a strong foundation for the continued success of this iconic event.

As a preview of what's to come, the Fargo AirSho is proud to confirm the participation of two incredible acts: the US Navy Blue Angels and the premier performance of the F-22 Raptor Demonstration Team. These elite performers are sure to captivate audiences with their precision, skill, and breathtaking aerobatics.

The Fargo AirSho committee is excited to bring the thrill of aviation back to the community and looks forward to welcoming spectators from near and far for a weekend of excitement, entertainment, and a celebration of the rich history of aviation.

TIME: 6:30 PM

LOCATION: PO Box 607 Fargo, ND 58107

CONTACT: For media inquiries, please contact Helen O’Connor Executive Director:


[ aw ]

June 3


Rheault Fargo 2902 25th St. S., Fargo

Contact Children's Services at 701.241.1495

June 3, July 1, August 5


5:00 PM to 7:30 p.m.

Northport Library 2714 N. Broadway. Fargo 701.476.4026

June 4, 11, 18, 25, and July 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30


Main Library 101 4th St North Contact 701.476.5977

June 6, 13, 20, 27, and July 11, 18, 25 BEGINNER YOGA FOR ADULTS 6:00 p.m.

Dr. James Carlson Library 2801 32nd Ave. S., Fargo

Contact Lori at 701.476.5977

June 7, 21, July 5, 19, and Aug. 2


Dr. James Carlson Library 2801 32nd Ave. S.

Contact Robert at 701.476.5980

June 10 & August 12


Dr. James Carlson Library 2801 32nd Ave. S.

Contact 701.476.5980

June 10



Main Library 101 4th St North Contact Children's Services at 701.241.1495

June 13


BOOK CLUB 6:30 p.m.

Main Library 101 4th St North Contact 701.241.1492

June 17, July 15, and August 19

CASUAL CRAFTERS AT NORTHPORT 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Northport Library 2714 N. Broadway Contact 701.241.1492

June 18 and August 20


Dr. James Carlson Library 2801 32nd Ave. S. Contact 701.476.5980

June 26


Dr. James Carlson Library 2801 32nd Ave. S. Contact 701.476.5980

June 26


Dr. James Carlson Library Fargo Public Library Contact Amber at 701.241.1495

June 27 and July 25


NIGHT 6:00 p.m.

Main Library 101 4th St North Contact Amber at 701.241.1495

June 28


Dr. James Carlson Library 2801 32nd Ave. S. Contact Children's at 701.241.1495 or

July 1


Main Library 101 4th St North Contact Children's Services 701.241.1495 or

Fargo Public Library events are free and open to the public. A complete schedule of upcoming events is available at all Fargo Public Library locations and on our website at :

61 [AW] June / July 24 ::

There’s something so special about the peace and serenity you feel when you’re out in nature, taking in the new sights and the gentle caress of the sunlight on your skin. I also love listening to the orchestra of birds and frogs singing wilderness songs. I’ve always loved hiking so when I heard about the hiking group, She Ascends, I had to find out more.

In 2018, Mindi Jenson started She Ascends in Stearns County, Minnesota and since then, it’s been growing throughout the state and into North Dakota. “When the pandemic hit, Mindi’s family moved up to this area, which means She Ascends also grew into this area,” said Donna Kent who is one of the She Ascends Leads of the North Region. “Many women love the mission of She Ascends. It’s dedicated to empowering women through meaningful connections, nature experiences, and self-discovery.”

Donna Kent is a mom of five (four girls and one boy) who lives in Waubun-Ogema-White-Earth area with her husband, Tony, who she met in 4th grade. Besides getting outside and hiking, she really loves reading, being in her garden, or watching her chickens. “I absolutely love spending time outside with my family and friends,” said Donna. It was during the summer after COVID, that Donna ended up switching jobs. She was a coordinator for four childcare centers and then she switched to working at the Waubun-OgemaWhite-Earth School and that’s where she met Mindi Jenson, who is the founder of She Ascends. “We worked really close in the position I had and we got to talking about She Ascends and I felt like it would be something I’d really enjoy and I do,” said Donna.

What She Ascends Offers

She Ascends is the perfect opportunity for women to ground themselves in nature while meeting other like-minded women. “Many women have said to us that, they’d watched us for a long time and that they weren’t really hikers but that they liked the energy we had, so it inspired them to go on their first hike. When you become a member you can get into the member meet up hikes. In the north we have a hike about every week. You even have access to the other hikes in other areas. Like if you are in the Cities you can see if there is a hike somewhere near where you’re going to be in Minnesota,” said Donna.

They also offer adventure weekends which are held in the spring, winter, and fall. Donna did her first one this last winter in park rapids. “We all showed up and we didn’t have to do anything but pack our clothes. We did a morning hike and one in the afternoon. We also did a craft. It was a really great way to connect on a deeper level. Another one is coming up in May which is full, the Fall one is full too, but there are some spots available in the winter 2025 one. Those have become super popular. And when you are a member you can get special member pricing,” said Donna.

She Ascends Founder, Mindi Jenson

64 ::
Spring Adventure Weekend Samantha Rule

Then there are hike and learns, which is something new that She Ascends has been doing this year. A hike and learn was done in the Central Region, where they went to a print shop and learned about printing. They were able to print this custom She Ascends poster and then food was provided. After that they all went for a hike.

Wellness Weekends are another thing that She Ascends is doing. “During that time it’s just chatting with wellness practitioners and holistic wellbeing professionals. They just had a retreat here the other weekend and my sister-in-law went and she said it was amazing - with yoga, sound baths, the food was amazing,” said Donna. “And then in the summer we have a big adventure trip. Last year, they went to Iceland, and it was a phenomenal trip. This year they are going to Yosemite. We are partnering with Off The Beaten Path for that. The women that go actually get to stay in the park. I’m excited for the women who will be going on that hike.”

The Friend Connection

In your 30s and up, sometimes it can be difficult to find friends who are into the same things that you are. However, opportunities like She Ascends provides a supportive space for women to connect and explore. “What first attracted me to She Ascends, in my life I have 5 kids so I was in the baby toddler mode for so long so when I first met Mindi, it was such a hard time for me because I was struggling to find out who I was and it was hard to find that space for myself and that guilt I put on myself. As a mom and woman you wear all these hats and it can be hard to take them all off and to find that time where you can find who you are. With She Ascends it grounds you. It helped me connect myself to nature and women and myself,” said Donna.

Getting Involved

In the FM community, She Ascends has plenty of guides. “There’s a great opportunity to get involved to go on hikes. Any woman can be a part of it and there are no age limits. Some women might say “I’m not a picture of a hiker, though.” But, at She Ascends, it’s come as you are, find connections, and get involved. There’s no judgment or any competition. I feel like any woman could use that in their lives,” said Donna.

She Ascends has regions (North, Central, South-Metro) in Minnesota, the FM community in North Dakota, and is now just starting a region in Bismarck ND. Their mission is spreading. “Our big mission is empowering EVERY WOMAN. We want women to live happier and healthier lives,” said Donna.

She Ascends offers a supportive community where women can share their triumphs and challenges on the journey through hiking, fostering deep connections and mutual understanding. With a diverse range of activities, from hiking, trips to workshops, women have ample opportunities to explore their strengths and passions. Through shared experiences and encouragement, participants often find renewed confidence and a sense of belonging. [ aw ]

Why Hiking?

There are plenty of benefits to getting outside on hikes:

1. Improved mental health and wellbeing

2. Increase your vitamin D levels with sunlight, helping you maintain healthy bones and muscles as well as helping strengthen your immune system

3. You can enhance your physical health by getting outdoors

4. Boost your creativity and focus

5. You’ll feel more connected to nature

Winter Adventure Weekend Niesha Mancini Iceland Big Adventure MB Johnson Park Hike Kim Gilbertson Trefoil Park Hike Amy Stickinger Sunrise Hike
65 [AW] June / July 24 ::
Donna Kent

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