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Sept/Oct 2016


Lifelong Learning The colors of


National Cheeseburger Day

Brain Teasers September/October 2016 Chicz




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Inside this issue

Keep learning, keep growing

September/October 2016 It’s all about learning! This issue of our Chicz magazine focuses on lifelong learning, and we have filled it full of wonderful articles for you on learning at any age. From articles on how sleep and exercise affect your learning abilities to brain teasers and food to help you learn, you’ll find something just for you. And, if that isn’t enough, we’ve topped it all off with our Real Chicz of Douglas County, Nancy Kiger, who returned to school at the age of 40 to become a psychologist. This issue also inWellness cludes many of our Catch up on your zzz’s • 4 favorites as well, inFeed your brain • 6 cluding Eric Morken’s Brain teasers • 7 A Guyz Perspective, Exercise your neural plasticity • 9 as well as 10 uses for pencils, Al Give your brain a workout • 10 Edenloff’s column on wine, Mommy HENRY FORD and Me Crafts by Melanie Danner, As Seen On TV with Jamie Kakach and Family Kathleen Pohlig’s Great Reads. Lifelong learning is lifelong discerning• 5 We’ve made sure to include some fun Halloween-inspired Learning never stops • 8 Pinterest crafts for you and have added tips on fall decorat10 uses for old pencils • 34 ing ideas for your home and dorm room, foods to power Puzzles and horoscopes • 36 your brain and a salute to National Cheeseburger Day! So many fun and interesting articles are waiting for Food & Drink you. Pick up our Chicz magazine and enjoy! Brain food •12

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or at 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.”

DRINK Brain healthy non-alcoholic drinks • 15 WINE National Cheeseburger Day • 16 How to reduce sugar in school lunch boxes • 20 How to harvest and store fall produce • 35


Lori Mork, Chicz editor



Join us online for bonus content, things we find amusing, and other fun stuff!

Pet owners: Tips to keep floors in tip-top shape • 24

To advertise in Chicz call 320.763.3133 Jody Hanson, Publisher Lori Mork, Editor/Designer Raeshel Betterman, Designer

Chicz is a publication of

Echo Press, 225 7th Ave. East Alexandria, MN 56308 ©2012 Echo Press Send your feedback to:

As Seen on TV 11 Real Chicz of Douglas County 18 A Guyz Perspective 21 Mommy and Me Crafts 30 Great Reads 33



Take pumpkin carving to the next level • 25 DIY porcupine costume • 26 Decorating pumpkins without carving • 27


Give your home a fall facelift • 22 The colors of fall • 23 Must-have mom gear for back to school • 28 Tips to make a dorm room a home • 29

Fashion & Shopping

How to wear high heels all day • 32 The history behind October’s birthstones • 38

Front cover –

September/October September/October 2016 2016 Chicz Chicz

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Catch up on your


By Jessica Sly

Are you feeling sleepy? Do you feel as though you could nod off at any moment during the day? Then I hate to break it to you, but you might be sleep deprived. Some people believe that they can learn to get by on little sleep without adverse effects, but research shows that’s not the case. Without enough sleep, you could develop long-term problems in decision making, remembering things, focusing and more. According to a survey by the National Sleep Foundation, 60 percent of adults have problems sleeping a few nights each week. Did you know that there’s such a thing as sleep debt? For instance, if you lose an hour of sleep, you will have a sleep debt of seven hours after a week. And it keeps accumulating. The first step to catching up on sleep is allowing yourself the time to sleep. That may seem silly, but sleep is one of the first things busy people cut out of their schedules. It will also help to start going to bed earlier each night. Try keeping a record of how long it takes you to fall asleep, how long you sleep and how rested you feel in the morning. Here are other strategies for sleeping well: • Develop a regular sleep/wake schedule and don’t deviate by more than an hour, even on weekends. • Limit artificial light and strenuous exercise an hour before bed. • Avoid smoking, alcohol, caffeine or heavy meals at least a couple hours before bed. • Stay active and spend time outside during the day. • Keep your bedroom cool, dark and quiet. • Take naps, but limit them to no more than 20 minutes for adults.

If you can conquer sleep deprivation, not only will you do away with those nasty side effects, but you’ll gain many benefits. Improve memory: While you’re sleeping, your mind prepares for the next day by committing new information to memory. So if you’re trying to learn something new, you’ll do it better after sleeping. Stay healthy: Sleep loss can weaken your immune system. Sleep deprivation is also linked to increased risks of heart disease, diabetes and stroke. While you sleep, your body repairs heart and blood vessels. Maintain a healthy weight: Sleep deprivation can affect the way that your body stores and processes carbohydrates, significantly affecting the way that you gain or lose weight. More sleep contributes to a higher metabolism. Lower stress: Enough sleep can put you in a better mood by decreasing stress and irritability. Not enough sleep can make you too tired to do the things you enjoy. Avoid accidents: In 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that sleepiness accounted for the highest number of fatal single-car run-off crashes. Getting enough sleep keeps you alert and focused. Sources:,,,

Jessica Sly of Alexandria is a writer/proofreader and has a passion for art of all kinds, whether it be music, writing, drawing or Disney.


4 Chicz September/October 2016




DISCERNING By Mayor Sara Carlson

Lifelong learning can really mean lifelong discerning in the world of politics. Let me try to explain that for you. One of the nice things about being mayor is that you are non-partisan, which means you don’t take political sides or parties. It is and was set up that way for a reason. Years ago if there was a dispute and it had to be settled by the local board and it didn’t go your way, it wasn’t because of the political party you belonged to, it was because it was what it was. Nowadays, politics is all about your party, which one you belong to and if you support them or the other. As you watch the news you have to not only figure out what party you want to belong to but you have to discern (that is determine, detect, distinguish and try and recognize) who is telling the truth and whom you believe! Then you have to decide who will do a better job of leading our country and helping it into the future. Whew! It is a hefty job for all of us and not an easy one as we watch the news and the debates to come. I hope that we can move through the coming months as learners and discerners and get the facts and make up our minds about what is best for ourselves, our families, state, and country. So, if you think that you are not a lifelong learner, think again. All of us day to day go about our business interacting with people. This year, especially this fall, we will turn our talk to what is happening in the world of politics. Make sure you are informed when you go to vote. Make sure you vote. Every vote does count. Get the facts as best you can and make an informed decision. Me? I don’t know yet. So far I am having a hard time discerning!








ed Technician Factory Certifi place Dealer e Authorized Fir Claims Warranty Parts Replacement September/October 2016 Chicz


Feed your Brain

Increasing mood, memory and Intelligence

By Amanda Schueler Did you know that the brain is the body’s number one priority for survival over all other organs? As a dietitian, I truly believe that food is medicine. Fruits and vegetables do play an important role in keeping the brain healthy. Of course, nutrition is just part of the equation. Some brain-related disorders (e.g., Alzheimer’s and dementias) do have a genetic component. However, when the body is fed with the right kind of nourishment, risks for certain diseases and other health conditions can decrease, especially as we get older. Memory Boosting Super-Foods Vegetables, especially leafy greens: spinach, kale and turnip greens, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are linked to lower levels of cognitive decline in older age. Salmon and other cold-water fish: halibut, tuna, mackerel, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Other omega-3 fatty acids include beans, some nuts, flax seeds, and healthy oils like olive oil. Berries and dark skinned fruits are rich in antioxidants: blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, plums, oranges, red grapes, and cherries pack the most punch. Coffee and chocolate are surprisingly good for you: The caffeine and antioxidants in these two tasty treats may help to ward off age-related memory impairments. Enjoy a handful of walnuts for heart health and brain health: Walnuts are rich in Vitamin E, which may help to protect brain cells from free radical damage. Exercise Helps Too! Nutrition included, there are other ways to improve brain health. In fact, consistent exercise throughout a lifetime can help to increase production of neurotransmitters and hormones that promote brain cell repair. Beyond that, exercise can help to promote growth of new nerve cell connections as well as increase blood flow and oxygen to areas of the brain involving memories. Aside from physical activity, adequate sleep can help the nervous system function properly. Aim for 7 to 9 hours to improve mood, memory, mental health. Protect Your Marbles: All in all, it is very important to keep your mind and body healthy through all stages of life. To improve brain health, eat well, move your body, choose berries, eat fatty fish, include walnuts, and make sleep and relaxation a priority.

Foods To Limit & Why: Sugar: Overworks the adrenals and contributes to stress. Processed flour: Contributes to stress and hormone imbalance. Can elevate blood glucose and triglycerides. Partially hydrogenated oils: Code for trans-fats. Can increase risk for obesity and heart conditions, as well as cause serious brain damage. Diets high in trans-fats can increase beta-amyloid (a peptide “plaque”) deposits in the brain that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Processed foods with sodium: A diet high in sodium can be linked to brain fog. High systolic blood pressure can be associated with cognitive decline. Amanda Schueler is the registered dietitian at Elden’s Fresh Foods in Alexandria.

Other Nutrients for Brain Health

Food Sources

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Fish (salmon), flax seeds, krill, chia, kiwi fruit, butternuts, walnuts


Tumeric (curry spice)

Saturated Fats

Butter, ghee, lard, coconut oil, cottonseed oil, palm kernel oil, dairy products (cream, cheese), meat

Vitamin D

Fatty fish, mushrooms, fortified products, milk, soy milk, cereal grains

Vitamin E

Asparagus, avocado, nuts, peanuts, olives, red palm oil, seeds, spinach, vegetable oils, wheat germ


Egg yolks, chicken, veal, lettuce, peanuts


Chicz September/October September/October 2016 2016 6 Chicz

Brain teasers

FOR MENTAL SHARPNESS To test your mental acuity, answer the following questions:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Johnny’s mother had three children. The first child was named April. The second child was named May. What was the third child’s name? A clerk at a butcher shop stands 5 feet 10 inches tall and wears size 13 sneakers. What does he weigh? Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world?

How much dirt is there in a hole that measures 2 feet by 3 feet by 4 feet?

What word in the English language is always spelled incorrectly? Billie was born on December 28, yet her birthday always falls in the summer. How is this possible?

In British Columbia you cannot take a picture of a man with a wooden leg. Why not? If you were running a race and you passed the person in second place, what place would you be in now?

Which is correct to say, “The yolk of the egg is white” or “The yolk of the egg are white?”

Do You 001283745r1


Answers 1. Johnny. 2. Meat. 3. Mt. Everest. It just wasn’t discovered yet. 4. There is no dirt in a hole. 5. Incorrectly (except when it is spelled incorrecktly). 6. Billie lives in the southern hemisphere. 7. You can’t take a picture with a wooden leg. You need a camera (or iPad or cell phone) to take a picture. 8. You would be in second place. You passed the person in second place, not first. 9. Neither. Egg yolks are yellow.

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September/October 2016 Chicz


By Jessica Sly

You’ve probably heard that old adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Well, that statement couldn’t be any more false. No matter your age, it’s not too late to learn something new, find a new hobby or enter a different career field. For instance, I’ve been playing the piano since first grade, and after a musician devotes that much time to an instrument, it’s hard to imagine starting over from scratch, especially once you get comfortable and it becomes second nature. But that’s what I did. Learning the violin has been a big dream of mine, so last year, I thought, “Why not?” So I signed up for lessons and the rest is history. You might be thinking, “It will take too much work” or “It’s too late to try something new.” Yes, it might take some work, but it is absolutely not too late to start something. Just take a look at these famous people who weren’t afraid to try something new, no matter their age. Stan Lee created his first comic, “The Fantastic Four,” at 38. Now 93, he is one of the most famous comic book writers in the world.

Julia Child didn’t start learning French cuisine until she was about 30 and published her first cookbook at 49. Vera Wang had never worked in the fashion industry before age 40 and is now a premier women’s designer. Henry Ford created his revolutionary Model T car when he was 45. J.K. Rowling struggled with her writing for years, unable to publish a script, until she finally published the first Harry Potter book in her mid-30s. Harland Sanders, otherwise known as Colonel Sanders, didn’t franchise Kentucky Fried Chicken until he was 62. He would later sell it for $2 million. Anna Mary Robertson Moses, best known as Grandma Moses, didn’t learn how to paint until she was 78. One of her paintings sold for $1.2 million in 2006. Though you probably won’t become rich and famous when pursuing a new career or hobby, this just goes to show that if you have a dream, you should follow that dream, no matter how big or small. Jessica Sly of Alexandria is a writer/proofreader and has a passion for art of all kinds, whether it be music, writing, drawing or Disney.

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Learning never stops

Exercise your

‘neural plasticity’ By Dr. Pete Pfeffer

When is the last time you did anything for the first time? As humans we crave a balance between new and routine. Too much change and we become overwhelmed, too much structure and we drop in to depression brought on by monotony. Some of us thrive in change while others thrive with routine but we all live on this spectrum. When it comes to learning, neuro-scientists used to think we developed static learning patterns during childhood that persisted throughout our lives. They thought this permanently affected our ability to learn. Recently this thought process has been turned on its ear with research showing we create and destroy neural pathways as regularly as road construction during the Minnesota summer. This is called neural plasticity. What it means is we are constantly creating new links in our brains. The links used frequently become deeply entrenched,

others are created then abandoned due to disuse. I experienced this recently as a chaperone on a youth mission trip to San Francisco. As a van driver for five days, I effectively navigated the hilly one way tangled streets of the City by the Bay. Despite the ruckus of 12 teenagers in the van, each day I became better and more efficient at locating various sites and destinations. The interesting part, is now two weeks later, the street names that were second nature are fading. If I continued to use this new skill, San Francisco would be as second nature to me as the Lake Geneva Channel or the neck of my guitar. Sadly, I won’t use this skill for a while and the San Francisco pathways will be abandoned. We all have friends who are constantly trying something new or cooking up a new dish. Or maybe that describes you. The trick is, this is how we challenge

and develop the skill of learning not only when we are young but throughout our lives. The good news is we all have this skill. When I asked, “When was the first time you did anything for the first time?” I was really challenging you to exercise your neural plasticity. So experience some assagiare, the Italian word for taste it. Taking a different route to work, changing up your coffee order or trying a new recipe challenges and develops our neural fitness and bolsters our lifelong learning ability!

Peter Pfeffer is a doctor of chiropractic and functional neurologist with HealthSource Chiropractic and Progressive Rehab in Alexandria.


September/October 2016 Chicz


Give your

BRAIN a workout

By Erin Hevern

Life with a toddler is an adventure. It’s busy, exhausting, but it’s great, too. Some mornings, though, my brain just feels mushy. I call it “mommy brain.” I’ve forgotten laundry in the washer – again – and who knows where my son’s fire truck socks have disappeared to. After all, they are just about the only ones he wants to wear. My mind still a bit mushy, I arrive at work, a small business that sells school uniforms, educational aides, and toys. I have a lot of different responsibilities, but the best part about my job is that I get to play with toys meant to enhance toddler learning, challenge minds of all ages and games great for family bonding or friendly competition. A set of IQ games from Smart Games helps me to clear the fog. These brain teasers are tough, but have recently played a part in helping me focus first thing in the morning. There are a few different games, but I enjoy the IQ Link set of brain exercises the best. There’s 120 total challenges ranging from starter to wizard. Pick a challenge on any level – although, I’d recommend starting on an easier one – place the puzzles pieces as shown and complete it with the remaining pieces. They’re different shapes, angles and colors and the puzzles test one’s logical thinking skills and spatial perception. Coggy, a handheld, shape-shifting brain teaser from FatBrain, takes some serious brain power, too, if you challenge

yourself with one of the harder levels. There are easier levels for kids as young as 6, too. It’s a connected collection of gears – one side colored, one side black and white – that you click, shift, or bend into place to match an image on a challenge card. Just when I think I’m about to solve one of the challenge cards, I’ll come across one or two gears that will in no way go where it’s supposed to go. It’s like the last few minutes of a workout. Your muscles are sore, and you’re out of breath but you hit a high that pushes you to finish. In a way, we have to treat our brains with the same care as the rest of our body. If you aren’t keeping your mind engaged in new ways, it can become weak. As a mom to a busy toddler, I need all the brain power I can get it. Enough, at least, to find the missing socks. Erin Hevern, a native of Alexandria, loves all things made in America and is a sales/marketing professional in Southwest Florida.


10 Chicz September/October 2016




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By Jamie Kakach everything it says it does. It is quick and easy set up, keeps the bugs out and gave the cats a bit of freedom when deciding if they want to be inside or outside. The great thing about Magic Mesh is you can easily take it down during the winter months and pack it away until next summer. And, of course, house cats should always be supervised when outside. Jamie Kakach loves making crafts and trying out new products. She lives in Alexandria with her hus-


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September/October 2016 Chicz




Help keep your mind sharp with these recipes

By Lori Mork Berries, nuts, fish rich in omega-3s, whole grains, nuts, seeds, avocados, dark chocolate and freshly brewed tea – all are foods that are linked to healthy brain function. Here are a few recipes to help you incorporate some of these brain foods into your diet.

HEALTHY BLACK BEAN CASSEROLE INGREDIENTS: 2 cups cooked brown rice (any kind works) 1 15-oz. can black (or pinto) beans 2 cups frozen (or canned) sweet corn 2 Tbsp. milk 1/2 lime, juiced 1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced 1/4 cup red or purple onion, diced 4 oz. cream cheese, cubed

BALSAMIC-GLAZED SALMON INGREDIENTS: 2 5-oz. salmon fillets 2 tsp. olive oil 2 cloves garlic, minced 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar 2 tsp. honey 2 tsp. Dijon mustard 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. black pepper Chopped fresh parsley for garnish DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, then coat with non-stick cooking spray. In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium. Add the garlic and

12 Chicz September/October 2016

Chopped cilantro (fresh or frozen) 1 Tbsp. cumin 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika 1 Tbsp. garlic, minced 1 Tbsp. chili powder Salt and pepper to taste DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 425 F and prepare an 8x8 baking dish with non-stick spray.

cook until fragrant and beginning to brown, about two minutes, watching carefully so that it does not burn. Add the balsamic vinegar, honey, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk and simmer until the mixture thickens, about four minutes. Place salmon skin-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Brush liberally with the glaze. Bake for five minutes, brush again with the glaze, then bake five to 10 additional minutes, until the fish flakes easily with a fork and is cooked through. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve. Serves 2

Add all ingredients in large mixing bowl and stir until evenly combined. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving. Serves 6

FRESH GUACAMOLE DIP INGREDIENTS: 3 ripe avocados 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice 2-3 plum tomatoes, diced 1/2 medium onion (red or sweet), diced 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, if desired


DIRECTIONS: Cut avocados in half and scoop pulp into a bowl. Mash avocado pulp with a fork and mix in one Tbsp. lemon juice. Add tomatoes, onion and cilantro. Sprinkle with salt. Add cayenne pepper, if using. Sprinkle one tsp. lemon juice over the top. Gently stir to combine.

FRIDGE BREWED ICED TEA An alternative to sun tea INGREDIENTS: 4 tea bags or 4 teaspoons loose leaf tea 4 cups tap or room temperature water DIRECTIONS: Use a 1-quart Mason jar or pitcher. If using tea bags, hang tea bags inside pitcher or jar with strings hanging over the rim for easy removal later. Add water, making sure that tea is immersed, cover, and put in fridge for 6-12 hours. Remove tea bags and serve. If using loose leaf tea, add four teaspoons tea leaves to a tea basket, tea ball or tea filter bag. Rest over top of jar or pitcher so the tea will be exposed to the water, but it can easily be removed after the tea has steeped. Place in the refrigerator for 6-12 hours. Remove tea leaves, and it’s ready to serve. Use 1 teabag or 1 teaspoon of loose leaf tea per cup of water.

Lori Mork of Lowry is a mother, grandmother and dabbler in all things food, photography and decor related.

WHOLE GRAIN BLUEBERRY MUFFINS INGREDIENTS: Cooking spray 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats 1/4 cup packed brown sugar 1 Tbsp. white whole-wheat flour 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and divided 9 oz. white or whole-wheat flour (about 2 cups) 2 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. baking soda 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream 2/3 cup granulated sugar 1/4 cup canola oil 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 large egg 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 425 F. Place 12 muffin-cup liners in muffin cups. Lightly coat liners with cooking spray. Combine oats, brown sugar, one Tbsp. flour, and cinnamon in a bowl. Drizzle with one Tbsp. melted butter; toss with a fork. Weigh or lightly spoon two cups flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Place remaining two Tbsp. butter, sour cream, granulated sugar, oil, vanilla, and egg in a bowl; stir with a whisk. Add sour cream mixture to flour mixture; stir just until combined. Fold in blueberries. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle evenly with topping. Bake at 425 F for five minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 F; bake an additional 13 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool muffins in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on a wire rack. September/October 2016 Chicz


A lifelong learning tip:

Drink wine

It can improve your health and make you smarter

By Al Edenloff If you’ve never tried wine before, here’s something to sip on: It could make you healthier and smarter. Studies continue to show the benefits of drinking wine. According to reports published in webmd. com, wine appears to dilate arteries and increase blood flow, which helps lower the risk of the kind of clots that cut off blood supply and damage heart muscles. There’s also evidence that wine boosts levels of HDL, the “good” cholesterol, and helps prevent LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, from causing damage to the lining of arteries. In April, an article in Medical News Today reported many possible benefits of wine, based on latest research. According to the story, studies have shown that drinking wine may: • Reduce the risk of depression. • Prevent colon cancer. • Increase life span. • Prevent breast cancer. • Reduce the risk of developing dementia. • Offer protection from severe sunburn by reducing the damaging effects of ultraviolet light. • Prevent blindness. • Protect the brain from stroke damage. • Improve lung function. • Raise levels of omega-3 fatty acids (which helps protect against coronary heart disease). • Prevent liver disease. • Reduce risk of prostate cancer. • Prevent type 2 diabetes. Wine’s benefits don’t stop there. Although the studies are thinner, there’s some evidence that wine can make you smarter and more creative. A story in reported that a few drinks can relax a person’s brain, allowing him or her to think more clearly. The story cited a study that showed a bit of wine helped research participants not to overthink the solutions to a challenge, which allowed their brains to operate more quickly. The article also stated that moderate intoxication, a blood alcohol content of about 0.075, improves problem solving and leads to “sudden insights,” which the sober participants reported significantly less often. But don’t go out and drink bottles of wine in one sitting and expect Fountain of Youth results or Einstein insights. The medical findings are based on moderate consumption, a drink or so a day for most women and two drinks for men. Drinking too much wine can lead to depression, mental health problems, arrhythmias, stroke, hypertension, liver problems, cancers and other chronic diseases.

So when it comes down to the health benefits of wine, remember this quote from one of the greatest philosophers of all time, Aristotle: “Moderation in all things.” Al Edenloff of Alexandria and his wife, Celeste, were married in the heart of California wine country and enjoy sipping wine on their weekend date nights. Thinkstock

14 Chicz September/October 2016

brain healthy non-alcoholic drinks

By Lori Mork Looking for a brain healthy non-alcoholic drink? How about trying these two. The Pink Grapefruit and Pomegranate Soda is filled with brain and memory aiding antioxidants and folate, or vitamin B9, while the Cinnamon Hot Cocoa has brain-boosting aromas and flavanols, helping to improve your memory and attention span. Drink up! PINK GRAPEFRUIT AND POMEGRANATE SODA Makes about 6 drinks INGREDIENTS: 1/2 cup pink or red grapefruit juice (from about 1 small grapefruit) 1/2 cup pomegranate juice (from about 1 medium pomegranate) 1 cup sugar 2 star anise pods Ice Soda water Pomegranate arils for garnish (optional)

DIRECTIONS: Combine grapefruit juice, pomegranate juice, sugar, and star anise in a small saucepan over medium heat. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly to dissolve the sugars. Remove from heat and let sit 30 minutes. Strain and discard solids. Let syrup cool completely. To serve, fill an 8-ounce glass halfway with ice cubes, add 3 tablespoons of syrup, fill with soda water, and stir. Add more syrup for a sweeter or stronger flavor. Garnish with pomegranate arils.

CINNAMON HOT COCOA INGREDIENTS: 1 cup, plus 1-2 Tbsps. milk 2 rounded tsps. unsweetened cocoa powder 1 tsp. raw sugar, or sweetener of choice 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract Cinnamon for sprinkling DIRECTIONS: Place milk in a small pot over medium low heat. Place cocoa powder, sugar and extra Tbsp. milk in a small bowl. Whisk until a paste/ thick mixture forms and powder is absorbed. Whisk cocoa mixture into milk mixture. Heat until hot, but not boiling. Stir in vanilla extract. Pour into mug and sprinkle with cinnamon.

September/October 2016 Chicz




By Lori Mork September 18 is National Cheeseburger Day, so celebrate with America’s favorite sandwich. There are many theories about the beginning of the cheeseburger. One claims that the cheeseburger was created by Lionel Sternberger while working in his father’s sandwich shop in Pasadena, California in 1926. Kaelin’s Restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky claims it invented the cheeseburger in 1934, while a cheeseburger appeared on the 1928 menu at O’Dells, a Los Angeles restaurant. Cheeseburgers today are a staple at restaurants as well as backyard parties. In honor of National Cheeseburger Day, here are a couple of unique ideas to try in place of the traditional sandwich: Thinkstock

Lori Mork of Lowry is a mother, grandmother and dabbler in all things food, photography and decor related.





Alexandria 320.763.7677 Minimum charges apply. Not valid with any other offer or coupon. Valid at participating locations only. Certain restrictions may apply. Call for details. 16 Chicz September/October 2016


Cleaning Completed By 10/31/16

CHEESEBURGER DIP INGREDIENTS: 1 pound lean ground beef 8 oz. package of cream cheese, cubed 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese 10-oz. can of diced tomatoes with green chiles 6-oz. package of real bacon bits, divided. 1 tsp. dried parsley Assorted dippers

CHEESEBURGER QUESADILLAS INGREDIENTS: 1 pound ground beef 1 Tbsp. olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 2 Tbsp. Worchestershire sauce 1/4 cup ketchup 1/4 cup real bacon bits, or chopped bacon Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS: In a large skillet on medium high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and allow them to cook for about 5-7 minutes until they become translucent. Add the beef and break it up with a wooden spoon or spatula. Cook together for about 10 minutes or until beef is thoroughly cooked. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once beef is cooked, add the Worchestershire sauce, ketchup, bacon bits, salt and pepper, garlic and onion powder and stir until all is incorporated and allow to simmer on low heat for 5-7 minutes. On large baking sheet, place the tortillas on top.

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Spread half the burger mixture on tortilla, spreading it evenly on just half the tortilla. Sprinkle on about 1 cup of the grated cheese and flip the other half over on top of the burger mixture. Brush the top with vegetable or canola oil and sprinkle with red crushed pepper flakes. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the tortilla shell becomes crisp and the cheese is bubbly. Let sit for about 5 minutes to let cool. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to slice into wedges. Makes 4 wedges per tortilla.


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DIRECTIONS: Brown ground beef in skillet; drain. Over low heat, stir in cheeses, the can of tomatoes with the juice, and all of the bacon bits except for 2 Tbsp. needed for garnish. Cook while stirring frequently until everything is heated through and well blended. Pour mixture into a 2-quart crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. Stir in parsley and sprinkle with remaining bacon bits just before serving.

2 tsp. onion powder 2 tsp. garlic powder 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated 2 large soft flour tortillas Vegetable oil for brushing Red pepper flakes for sprinkling, optional.


Nancy Kiger of Alexandria is pictured with the certificate she received from the state of Minnesota certifying her as a licensed psychologist. Kiger went to back to school around the age of 40, after her three children were all in school.

Life is full of

possiblities By Celeste Edenloff

“You can have different lives within your same life,” according to Nancy Kiger of Alexandria. “And, they can be quite different.” 18 Chicz September/October 2016

Nancy Kiger, who is now semi-retired, has had several different lives within her life – wife, mother, teacher, student and psychologist She believes that no matter what age you are, you should pursue your dreams. “If you want to do something different or if you think you were meant to do something different, you should really look at all the possibilities,” said the mother of three. “If you are unhappy

doing something, try something else. It’s never too late.” Kiger graduated in 1970 from Northfield High School. In her family, it was a given that you would go on to college. She spent two years at the University of Minnesota-Morris and two years at Concordia College in Moorhead. “At that time, I really only thought about a nurse or a teacher,” said Kiger, adding, “It was still pretty stereotyped in those days.”

She graduated from college – for the first time – in 1974 with a degree in elementary education. She taught a year in Dunseith, North Dakota. The next year, in 1975, she got married and she moved to Prior Lake, where she was a long-term substitute teacher. She ended up teaching in Prior Lake for about five years. Then, her life changed. In 1980, her son, Jack, was born. “I took a year off and then I didn’t really see myself going back,” she said. Three years went by and in 1983, her son, Tom, was born. Shortly before that, the family moved to Alexandria. “There were quite a few women who stayed home at that time, which is very different from today,” Kiger said. “By that time, though, I thought about becoming a teacher again or a para.” That didn’t happen. In 1985, her daughter, Katie, was born and she decided she really didn’t want to go back into teaching. She thought that with her years of experience, it may be difficult to get a job. “I would have had a difficult time getting in at that point because people were not wanting to pay for years of experience,” she said. “I had this fear that I would never go back to work, which I didn’t think was a real good plan.” Kiger explained that she made a plan that when her daughter was in kindergarten, which was also about the same time she turned 40 years old, she would then try and find a job. “My husband and I talked about it and he agreed, but then he said, ‘You could go back to school.’” Kiger then knew what she was going to do.

“I thought, whoa! Go Most often, he would “People asked me back to school or get a drive back and forth, job? No problem. I’ll go although there were a what good it back to school,” she few times he would fly. exclaimed. When asked the would do because At about the age of question, So you just I would be old 40, Kiger then signed picked up and moved up for correspondence your family to Indiwhen I got it classes through the ana?, Kiger replied, (my degree). University of Minne“Yes. And that is when sota Extension Office. people thought I was I’m still going At that time, she did crazy.They told me I all the coursework at was nuts and that I to be old home and then she was too old to do this. if I don’t get it, would go to the pubPeople didn’t underlic library to take her stand.” was my thinking.” tests. She took the baThe Kiger family sics, along with some even sold their house psychology courses. because they didn’t She had decided she wanted to become know if they would be moving back. a psychologist. Kiger said people thought she wasn’t Her family and friends didn’t really being fair to her family. She said they notice that anything was different – would question her with disgust in their meaning that she was back in school voices. They questioned why she was – because she did everything from home making the move at “her age.” and it didn’t “interfere” with the rest of “It was a different time then,” she her life at that point. Her kids were a said. “People asked me what good it little older at that point, which she said would do because I would be old when helped. It took her about two and a half I got it (my degree). I’m still going to be years to finish her coursework. After she old if I don’t get it, was my thinking.” took and passed her exams, she applied Kiger noted that she had a very good to several graduate programs. She got scholarship that covered almost all of her accepted into one, but it wasn’t the right costs, including some living expenses. fit. The following year, she was accepted After three years, Kiger graduated into Indiana State University. from Indiana State University and then Her husband, who was a rural mail the family ended up moving back to Alcarrier, ended up asking his boss if there exandria, where she completed her inwas a way he could keep his job but ternships. take a leave of absence. An agreement In about 1998, Kiger said she was was reached and her husband com- hired on at the Douglas County Hospital muted from Indiana to Alexandria a few as a full-time psychologist. At the age of days per month and also worked during 46 – nearly 30 years after graduating Christmas and the summer months. high school – Kiger started her career as a licensed psychologist. She worked at the hospital for 13 years and then worked in the Alexandria school district Nancy Kiger back in 1995 when she was a for another five or so years, as a school student at the University psychologist. of Indiana, where she She “retired” in January of 2015. majored in psychology. However, that didn’t last long. She is now working part-time at Lutheran Social Services. Looking back at her career and her life, Kiger said, “I wish I would have known then that you need to enjoy each phase of your life. Soon it will pass and you’ll do something different. You never know what life will bring you.” She concluded with two pieces of advice: “Pick something that translates into something you can do as you get older,” she said of choosing a career path, and, “No matter what age you are, always try to be self-sufficient.”

September/October 2016 Chicz


lunch boxes

At a time when even yogurt has come under scrutiny for its sugar content, it’s hard to know what constitutes a healthful lunch anymore. Any way you slice it, too much sugar can be harmful for your health. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends no more than 16 grams of sugar daily for toddlers and a maximum of 32 grams of sugar per day for teens. Some foods that you may not consider “sweet” have more sugar than you may think. A yogurt cup and a granola bar contain about 25 grams of sugar. That’s an entire day’s worth of sugar in one seemingly nutritious snack. Add a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a juice box, and your child may have consumed more than 50 grams of sugar before afternoon snack. What’s a parent to do? You don’t need to replace your child’s favorite food. You don’t even need to say goodbye to any individual lunch item. However, you can moderate the total amount of sugar that’s being consumed on a daily basis by replacing just one sugary food with a savory one. With this goal in mind, here are some great ideas for savory swaps. • Replace yogurt with hummus and carrots.

Source: StatePoint

How to reduce sugar in school

• Swap out a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for a cheese and mustard sandwich. • Replace fruit cups with black olives. • Replace a juice box with water and a twist of lemon. • Instead of a granola bar, add a serving of almonds or walnuts. • Other savory items to try: hard boiled eggs, cubed cheese, cheese sticks, different varieties of olives, peanut butter and celery, sliced pickles and air-popped popcorn. • For fun and flavor: Pack a put-together mini pizza kit: small pita, shredded cheese, a tablespoon of sauce and sliced or whole black olives. • For dessert, swap out cookies for some blueberries or strawberries. Sugars in whole fruit enter the bloodstream slowly and don’t cause the same spikes in blood sugar as does junk food. Ask your children for their input, too. This is an opportunity to talk to kids about making good food choices.

320-763-3126 • Toll Free: 888-479-6479 20 Chicz September/October 2016


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Getting ready for

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Many families are in the process of sending kids back to school at this time of year. In my family, we’re dealing with sending our oldest daughter off to school for the first time. Our 3-year-old has gone through Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) programs up until this point. That kept us busy for a couple hours a day about twice a week. Now she heads to preschool four days a week – two mornings through First Lutheran Church and two more at Woodland Elementary School in Alexandria. Tuesdays mean music class for Aubree. Gymnastics will fall in line somewhere. Even Sunday school is offered on Wednesdays at First Lutheran to give families an option, which we’ll take advantage of. Then Fridays, our 6-monthold, Kyla, will start in ECFE. I always marveled at the busy lifestyles of parents with young kids. Now my wife and I are living it, with a lot of help from our parents and in-laws.

Kids have every option on the table for them. Educationally, athletically, musically – there are classes and programs offered that start, for some, from the time they are a baby. Aubree was 5-months old when she joined ECFE and a little older than 1 when she began music classes. She was almost 2 when she tumbled through her first gymnastics session. It’s been good in helping her learn how to soEric Morken cialize with friends and teachers, and in preparing her for when she’ll be without us at school this fall. But a child can’t benefit fully from any program if the learning doesn’t start at home. That was clear after Aubree played t-ball at the YMCA this summer. She never seemed to enjoy it. That’s my fault. I didn’t play enough catch with her

or hit off the tee in the back yard before we entered her into the class. We can already see her enjoyment in music. That started from the first few weeks after we brought her home when we sang to her and surrounded her with music. Everyone knows the importance of reading to their children. For us, that means a similar routine before bed. “Just two books tonight. Then it’s time to snuggle in,” I’ll tell Aubree. “Just one more, Daddy. A short one,” she says after those two are read. Three years and thousands of books later, she’s off to preschool. Aubree is excited. We’re hopeful we’ve done enough right to prepare her. Eric Morken of Alexandria is a husband, father, sports editor and outdoor enthusiast.


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Give your home a


eady to give your home a facelift? Check out some of these fall trends:

NEUTRALS. Rather than color and contrast, how about trying to blend your room with a palette of whites using texture and shape, such as corduroy and chunky knit pillows or a faux-fur throw in varying shades of white, beige and tan. GALLERY WALL. Try combining the pictures and objects you love together as a gallery wall, giving your room a centerpiece attraction. MIX AND MATCH. Gather together some of your more unique pieces and group into sets of three to five. Sometimes just changing up the pieces that you already have can give you a new appreciation for them. You can even check out flea markets for some great finds. TELL A STORY. Instead of putting together a room using matching pieces, tell a story about your life with special photos and collectibles such as books or art by grouping them in a room. It not only adds your personality to a room, it can be a great conversation piece. HIGH CONTRAST. Try painting a wall black or dark gray, then add some bright accent colors to give your room some life. TEXTURED DETAILS. Hand-carved wood, hammered metals and textured glass are a wonderful way to inject life into a room. Handmade pieces can give your neutral room a strong focal point. ADD AN ANTIQUE. Old toys, quilts and kitchen items can give your room an inexpensive, but one-of-a-kind touch.

22 Chicz September/October 2016


fall facelift

The colors

fall of


Family & Community


Bright white, neutrals such as cognac, mauve and light gray, or cheery tones like orchid or light yellow are all part of the fall palette when decorating your home.


NEUTRALS A glamorous brown, cognac gives a room warmth. Use it on walls, headboards or bedding. If you want to go with a cleaner, cooler look, work with a bright white to give your room a Scandinavian feel. It will reflect the available light. If you’re looking for a neutral with some color, the pale pink-purple of mauve can be accented with deep purples, whites or even natural wood tones. Paint your room gray, then add in some bright accents such as red or yellow. Soft yellow that leans a little toward green can add some cheer to your living room, kitchen or dining room. BOLD A puple plum color can make a dining room or entry pop. Adding muted accents can tone down the feeling. A bright orangy-red color gives the room a true feel of fall, especially paired with deep reds, yellows or gray-browns. Cobalt blue is still a favorite color and can be brightened up with some orange and white accents. DARK An earthy dark green hedging toward brown can give your home a feel of fall. Pair it with purples or other earthy colors like brown or gray. Royal blue is also a great fall color with a little brighter feel than navy. Add in white or light wood colors. TRADITIONAL FALL Bright fire engine red, paired with white or warm gray will let fall into your home. Or use burnt orange on your walls, then pair with navy blue and metal accents. Dark teal is a great color behind accents of red, orange and yellow, giving your room a vibrant look.


320-763-8050 805 1st Ave E Alexandria, MN 56308 September/October 2016 Chicz


Pet owners:

tips to keep floors in tip-top shape

Whether you share your home with dogs, cats, birds, turtles or anything in between, you are probably aware of the challenges of protecting and cleaning your floors. To make this chore as easy for you as it is for your non-pet parent peers, consider the following tips: Pets in Boots Outfitting pets with boots before going outside will protect their paws from pollutants, hot and cold surfaces, and potentially sharp items on the ground. It will also keep their feet and your floors cleaner. There are many brands and styles available, so shop around for a design that your pets will enjoy wearing. Post-Walk Clean-Up After walks or other trips outdoors, check your pet’s fur and feet. Keep a cloth by the door for a quick clean-up before animals settle in and get cozy on carpets. This will make maintaining floors easier as you go.

Prevent Accidents Prevent pooch accidents by getting your dog on a regular walk schedule. The knowledge that the next trip outdoors is on the horizon will make pets less likely to use the living room carpet as a toilet. If need be, you may want to consider employing a day-time dog walker to make trips outdoors a more regular occurrence. If you have litter box issues, keep the box clean to encourage dedicated use. Regular visits to the veterinarian can help ensure there are no health issues at play. Choose Flooring Wisely Until now, even the best prevention of stains and accidents has offered no guarantees. And shedding of fur, feathers and dander is hard to avoid. However, innovations in flooring are making it easier on those who love their pets but are not interested in forfeiting a clean, stain-free and odor-free home. Source: StatePoint

Alexandria Area Arts

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A Kevin Lee Adaptation of the Charles Dickens tale

Holiday Show December 2-11, 2016

Fall Musical October 14-23, 2016 Roald Dahl’s

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24 Chicz September/October 2016

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Take pumpkin carving to the

next level



PUMPKIN ALTERNATIVES Rather than sticking to the same-old pumpkin, use some of these for your next carving project. • Sweet potato • Squash • Zucchini • Apple • Watermelon • Turnip • Potato • Pineapple

doing the right thing, even when no one is watching!

By Jessica Sly

Have you always envied the pumpkin craftsmanship exhibited by your neighbors? Or maybe you are a hard-core pumpkin carver and wish it was an extreme sport. Either way, there’s always room for improvement, and this year is your year to shine. How, you ask? With these secret tips of course. by picking the best pumpkin. Look for a sturdy stem, 1Start no bruises and a flat bottom. Rather than cutting a hole in the top, cut one in the bot2 tom of the pumpkin. It’s easier to lower pumpkins over a light source. If you do cut the lid from the top, cut at an angle so it won’t fall inside the pumpkin.

A large metal spoon or ice cream scoop is ideal for re3 moving the innards. While scooping, thin the inner wall of the designated face area to making carving easier. the pumpkin while holding it in your lap for a better 4Carve angle and grip. a serrated knife or small saw to cut out the design, 5Use sawing straight up and down, not at an angle. your scraps to add character, such as creating a 6Use tongue out of a piece of pumpkin shell. To keep mold and dehydration at bay, cover the interior 7 and carved areas with petroleum jelly or add water mixed with a small amount of bleach to a spray bottle and apply to the pumpkin daily.


If you use a real candle, cut a chimney in the top of the pumpkin. You should also sprinkle some cinnamon on the inside of the lid, which will make it smell like pumpkin pie when the candle is lit.


Candles are great, but if you really want to push the boundaries, try Christmas lights, rainbow LEDs, strobe lights or battery-operated tea lights.

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220 22nd Ave E, Suite 107, Alexandria

(320) 763.3311

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porcupine costume By Lori Mork

SUPPLIES: Black, gray and/or tan sheets of craft foam 1 to 1-1/2 yards of fur, preferably multi-colored (black, brown and tan mix) White paint Needle and thread or hot glue Black shirt Black pants Black stocking cap DIRECTIONS: Paint lines across the foam sheets with white paint on its long side. Cut the sheets into strips about 1/2-inch wide at the base and tapering to a point. Each sheet should make up to 50 strips of quills.

26 Chicz September/October 2016

Cut a cape out of the fur material. This cape had the material sewn together to make armholes, but you could tie it on like a regular cape as well. You can be as basic or elaborate as you wish, possibly tapering the bottom down to a wide, rounded tail. Attach the quills to the cape with nylon thread or hot glue, then add quills in the same manor to the black stocking cap. When hot gluing quills to the fur cape, make sure to spread the fur apart to reach the material and not just glue the quills to the fur. Because this costume was for a girl, there was a large pink bow attached to the hat as well. She then wore a black top and a pair of black pants underneath the costume.

s n i k p pum


without carving By Lori Mork STICK-ON DECORATIONS. Using craft paper, cut out spiders and/or bats, then use glue dots to affix the designs to the outside of the pumpkin. If you’re a little more adventuresome, try adding stick-on jewels in swirl patterns for a little glam. USE CRAYONS. Using a variety of colors, unwrap the crayons and cut them in half. Using tacky glue, adhere about 16 crayon pieces to the top of a pumpkin in a design that looks like wheel spokes. After the glue has dried, place pumpkin on a tarp or garbage bag, and, using a hair dryer, melt the crayons so they drop down the sides of your pumpkin. This is especially nice when using white pumpkins. PAINT ‘EM. Try your hand at painting designs on your pumpkins to complement your holiday décor, or possibly painting on a fun face to delight the children.

We invite you to stop in and


Decorating with pumpkins for Halloween doesn’t mean you have to grab a knife. Here are some fun ideas to replace the messy carving. VINYL CUTOUTS. If you have a cutter for wall vinyl, you can design stick-ons for your pumpkins, creating one-of-akind designs especially for you. SHIMMER. Using some shimmery tulle, wrap pumpkins in the material, gathering at the top and securing with a piece of ribbon. TEXTURED PANTYHOSE. There is a use for those old pantyhose, especially if they have black designs. Slip a pumpkin into one leg of a pair of textured pantyhose, tie a knot at the top and cut off the excess. MASKING TAPE DESIGN. Cut up pieces of masking tape and stick them on your pumpkin, then spray paint your pumpkin black. Let dry, then peel away the masking tape for a mosaic design.

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September/October 2016 Chicz


e v a h t for back to school usgear Mmom Going from lax summer schedules to the hectic back-toschool season can put even the most organized moms on edge. Luckily, arming your family with key items can transform back-to-school season from super stressful to supremely simple.

Back in App-tion

From scoring deals to making homework manageable, great apps can make back-to-school season easier. Stay on top of assignments with tools like myHomework. This digital planner syncs across devices, so both kids and parents receive reminders when homework and projects are due. You can also be mindful of the entire family’s schedule with organization apps like Cozi, which allows family members to share activities and appointments in a daily breakdown, as well as keep track of chores, grocery lists and more. You’ll never forget snacks at the store or miss a soccer game again. Score!

Handwritten Helpers

Although technology has made life easier in many ways, sometimes the tried-and-true method is best. Students who write down notes rather than type them learn more, according to a study conducted by researchers at Princeton and UCLA. So instead of relying on laptops or tablets for class, go oldschool with pen and paper. Cut down costs by purchasing plain notebooks and encourage kids to personalize them with craft supplies like stickers or decals. 28 Chicz September/October 2016

While apps keep calendars close at hand, an in-home wall organizer displays the entire family’s schedule in one spot. To quickly and easily see who’s going where and when, use a giant piece of cardstock and Duck Dry Erase or Chalkboard tapes to create a reusable, large-scale calendar. Then, use a removable tape, like washi tape, to create labels and assign a color code for each family member.

School Supply Survival Kit

Kids have a habit of losing or abusing school supplies. Stock up on essentials so you’re covered when items are lost, damaged or run out. You can never have enough notebooks, folders, pens and pencils. Even if students don’t use them this year, they’re sure to be on next year’s list and can come in handy at home, too. For younger children or older students in art classes, keep markers, colored pencils and crayons at the ready. Make the most of seasonal discounts by hitting the stores after the back-to-school rush. Prepare for larger tasks, too. Keep materials like poster boards, construction paper, report covers and extra printer ink available for late-night, last-minute assignments. With preparation and organization, you can beat back-toschool stress this season.

Source: StatePoint

to make a dorm room a home

College bound? Dorm room comfort is crucial for health, happiness and academic success. Luckily, there are ways to create personalized, functional spaces within any budget.

Create Your Space

Students can showcase their style and make it home by adding an area rug, decorative pillows and throw blanket for extra warmth. Window panels, tapestries, artwork and mirrors pull the room together. Add string-lights for atmosphere, or try a floor lamp to provide extra light for studying. Ample seating is always good for when friends pop in: Consider chairs that fold when not in use to save space. Standard-issue dorm mattresses are often uncomfortable. Build a better bed with a mattress pad, memory foam topper or fiberbed. Then, guard against allergens and spills with a mattress protector. Most dorms require twin extra-long (TXL) sheets, which are 5 inches longer than normal twin sheets. Remember, students will need an extra set for laundry day. College dorm rooms are notorious for being small. Use storage and organizational systems under the bed, over the door and in the closet. For instance, an over-the-door shoe organizer can store rolled up T-shirts, cosmetics, toiletries and school supplies.

Use Free Resources

Some retailers provide a wealth of resources to prepare college-bound shoppers for campus life. Whether living on or off campus, a store-provided checklist is handy, breaking down essentials. High school graduates can create a registry online or in-store to share with family and friends, as well as with roommates in order to avoid duplicates. Power Up Staying powered is crucial these days. Multi-functional bed risers featuring an AC outlet and USB charger maximize under-bed space while providing a grounded charging station. Charge and protect electrical devices from voltage spikes with a surge protector. Source: StatePoint

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A National Historic Site and Destination Since 1901

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September/October 2016 Chicz


mommy & me crafts

Country Blossom Farms

adventure By Melanie Danner As a mother of two, I’m constantly on the hunt for fun outings for our family.  This Saturday was no exception and we were excited to attend the season opening for Country Blossom Farm.  If you are itching for a tasty treat, some shopping, or outdoor activities, this is definitely a place to visit.  We munched on everything from delicious doughnuts and cookies to honey-

berry muffins and sipped on coffee and milk.  After browsing the shop filled with crafts and goodies, several of which are locally produced, we headed outside for some energy burning fun.  After purchasing our wristbands, we headed over to scale Straw Mountain, and take several turns on the new tube slide.  Then it was time to bounce our way to the clouds on the amazing new jumping pillow.  A journey through the corn maze was next and then it was

time to play in the corn pit and practice making corn angels. Needless to say it was a fun filled morning and we enjoyed a lovely conversation with Troy Heald who owns the farm with his wife, Tracy.  We cannot wait until our next Country Blossom Farm adventure and encourage everyone to go for a visit. Melanie Danner of Alexandria is an at-home mother and craft lover.

Corn Music Shakers (Pinterest) SUPPLIES: Empty water bottles Corn kernels Ribbon Super glue or glue gun

INSTRUCTIONS: Fill each bottle with corn leaving plenty of empty space for shaking. Add some glue to the lid before screwing it on. Add some ribbon and ta dah! Instant music!

30 Chicz September/October 2016

Pumpkin Lacing Activity

(Pinterest) SUPPLIES: 1 sheet orange foam 1 sheet sticky foam (I used green) Yarn (I used black) Tape Hole punch

Halloween Play Dough (Unknown) INGREDIENTS: 1-1/2 cups water 1/2 cup salt 1 Tbsp. alum 2 Tbsp. oil 1-1/2 cups flour Food coloring

INSTRUCTIONS: Cut pumpkin shapes from foam sheet and decorate with eyes, noses and mouths from the sticky foam sheet. Hole punch around the pumpkin edges. Attach yarn with other end taped like a shoe lace for lacing. Have fun with lacing the pumpkin outline!

INSTRUCTIONS: Heat water until bubbles appear at bottom of pan. Add salt. stir and continue heating for about 1/2 minute to warm salt. Remove from heat and add oil and food coloring. Mix alum and flour separately. Add liquid and dry ingredients, mixing and kneading.

FUN, FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT Garden Center Lanes • 34 Lanes of Bowling • Full Snack Bar • Largest Arcade in the Area

Stop in to Fat Daddy’s Bar & Grill for • Appetizers • Sandwi ches • Burgers • Steaks • Pasta • Pizza & more !

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How to wear high heels

all day By Lori Mork

Work your way up. If you don’t wear heels on a regular basis, don’t start with a pair of sky-high shoes. Begin with a mid-height pair of shoes, getting comfortable with them before moving up. Platform soles give a lower feel. Even though they look high, platforms are much easier to walk in than non-platforms. A 4-inch heel with a 1-inch platform is actually like wearing a 3-inch heel. Wedges look like heels, but feel like flats. Wedges have extra arch support, will give you height, but will be more comfortable to walk in. They don’t require as much work to balance. Shoes should fit. Fit is especially important when wearing heels. Walking in heels is hard enough, but if they are slipping on your foot, it will be even harder. If you have shoes that are a little loose, you can buy heel grips to make them stay more secure. TRICKS AND TIPS Tape your toes. This may sound silly, but taping your third and fourth toes together can help take the pressure off the balls of your feet. Buy leather. Leather forms to the shape of your foot and will help keep your foot comfortable. Stretch them out. If your shoes aren’t leather, here’s a trick for stretching out the heels or the toes. Fill a plastic bag with water, put it in the shoe and pop it in the freezer. Use your blow dryer. Blow drying a pair of shoes that are a little too tight can help stretch them out.

Walk from heel to toe. High heels force you to walk differently. When you wear flats or sneakers, the front and back of your foot hit the ground at approximately the same time. In heels, you need to make sure your heel contacts the ground first. Practice. Walking in heels is not a natural move, so practice is the key. Even better, practice in front of a mirror so that you can see what you need to work on. Break them in. Just by wearing them around the house, your shoes will fit better and allow you to get used to walking in them. Take smaller steps. With high heels, it’s difficult to take longer steps. Instead, take smaller, slower steps than you normally would, not bending your knees any more than you normally would. The thicker the heel, the better. Thinner heels are harder to balance on, so select thicker, more stable heels to start. Relax. Walking in heels isn’t natural, so many women hold themselves stiffly when learning to walk in heels. Relaxing will look more natural and will also be more comfortable. Rough up the soles. Slipping is a big concern when first learning to walk in heels. Use sandpaper to rough up the soles of a pair of heels to give them more grip. 001454744r1


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Before The Fall by Noah Hawley

Can you think of anything that’s a better avenue to lifelong learning than books? Reading is the perfect way to expand your horizons, whether you enjoy reading purely fiction, selfhelp or inspirational books, history, biography or memoir, or other non-fiction. I came across a saying recently that I really liked and that says it well; “Birds have wings; humans have books.” You can travel anywhere with books, learn about other time periods, other places or cultures, other ways of thinking ... whatever catches your interest. A book I’ve been reading recently lets me in on a far different way of life than most of us live here in Central Minnesota. Before the Fall, a contemporary novel written by Noah Hawley, takes place on the East Coast and involves people of significant wealth, power and influence along with the main character, Scott, who is a struggling middle-aged artist Kathleen Pohlig who becomes an unlikely hero and center of unwanted media attention. (I should say that I’m listening to this book on CDs, rather than actually reading it. I have not yet come to the end so I won’t be giving away any secrets here.) The story takes off immediately and pulls the reader/listener in right away to what we know in advance will be a tragedy. Eleven people are on a small plane that crashes into the sea not far off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard; only two survive – the artist and a young child. Alternating chapters give details of the backgrounds of each character and where they came from and how they got to be who they are. Because of their wealth and social positions, there is huge media interest in the

crash and Scott is thrown into the middle of the mystery. Was the crash an accident? Was it intentional? If so, who was the target? We are able to understand the media frenzy and search for information; it’s just the kind of insatiable desire we have these days for immediate explanation of any tragedy. The story unfolds as a mystery as well as a study of human character, greed, desire for fame, and the power of hope. Reviewers have called it a “page-turner,” “a masterly blend of mystery, suspense, tragedy, and shameful media hype,” “an astonishing, character-driven tour-de-force,” “a smart, compellingly dramatic read,” “an intelligent and majestically paced thriller” etc. It is really hard to put it down/turn it off and the characters have remained in my mind in the days I have not had time to listen to more. I can’t wait to get back to it and see what will happen with Scott and the 4-year-old survivor, JJ, and if the mystery is ever fully explained. Noah Hawley, author of Before the Fall, is an award-winning author, screen writer (this book is surely headed onto the big screen) and producer who has written four previous novels. He certainly knows how to weave an intense story that will keep readers guessing until the end. No matter what, keep reading and growing always. There are millions of great books and I just wish I had time to read many more of them! Kathleen Pohlig is owner of Cherry Street Books in Alexandria.

Nicole Pfeffer ::

Alexandria Branch Manager

3 experienced in the financial world 3 wants to learn about your money goals 3 loves her job


Stop in and meet Nicole today and discover the ‘Credit Union Difference’.

Federally Insured by NCUA.

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33 33

10OLD PENCILS uses for

By Lori Mork


Remove crayon from walls. 

For many of us, the No. 2 pencil is a hallmark of our school days – used for test-taking and essay writing. Here are a few more ways this old standby can be used.

A regular pencil eraser easily erases crayon from the wall.


Fix a stubborn new key.  If your new key doesn’t want to slide into the lock, rub a pencil lead along the teeth of the key. It should help the key to insert more easily.

2 3 4 5 6

Repel moths.  Plagued by clothing moths? Place a small cloth bag of pencil shavings in your closet to keep them at bay. Erasers can replace earring backs.  If you’ve lost the back of your pierced earring, an eraser can be used as a replacement.


Roll a toothpaste tube. 

Use a shorter pencil and roll the toothpaste tube up from the end to get the last bit.


Clean keyboards and cell phones. 

Houseplant watering check.  Trying to decide if your plant needs watering? Slide a pencil into the dirt. If it’s dry, it’s time to water. Store sewing pins.  Use a pencil eraser to help store your pins and needles in your sewing box by inserting them into the eraser. Unstick a zipper.  Stuck zippers don’t need to be a problem. Rub the graphite lead along the zipper to unstick it.

PhotoCredit/Metro Creative

34 Chicz September/October 2016

Use a small eraser to get the stuck on grime off your electronics without harming them.


Remove sticker residue. 

Remove as much of the sticky paper as possible, then run a pencil eraser over the remaining gunk.

Lori Mork of Lowry is a mother, grandmother and dabbler in all things food, photography and decor related.

How to harvest and store Fall When harvesting vegetables, be careful not to break, nick or bruise them. The less that they are handled, the longer they will last in storage. Don’t select vegetables that are overripe or damaged. They cannot be stored for long and could spread disease to other stored vegetables. Different produce need different storage conditions. Temperature and humidity are the two main factors to consider and there are three main combinations for long-term storage – cool and dry (50-60 degrees F and 60 percent relative humidity); cold and dry (32-40 degrees F and 65 percent relative humidity); and cold and moist (32-40 degrees F and 95 percent humidity). If storing vegetables in basements, provide ventilation. Harvested vegetables require oxygen to maintain high quality. Also, protect them from rodents. Here are some suggested storage conditions:


BEETS: Harvest when 1-1/4 to 3 inches in diameter. Store in cold and moist conditions without tops. Should keep approximately five months. CABBAGE: Harvest when heads are compact and firm. Store in cold and moist conditions for approximately five months.

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ONIONS: Harvest when necks are tight and scales are dry. Cure at room temperature two to four weeks before storage; do not freeze. Store in cold and dry conditions for approximately four months. PARSNIPS: Harvest when roots reach desired size, possibly after light frost. Do not wax or allow roots to freeze. These sweeten after two weeks of storage at 32 degrees F. Store in cold and moist conditions for four months. POTATOES: Harvest when vines die back. Cure at 50 to 60 degrees F for 14 days before storage. Potatoes will sweeten below 38 degrees F. Store in cold and moist conditions for six months. Keep away from light. PUMPKINS: Harvest when shells harden before frost. Pumpkins are sensitive to temperatures below 45 degrees F. Store in cool, dry conditions for two months. WINTER SQUASH: Harvest when shells harden before frost. Store in cool, dry conditions for two to six months, depending on variety. From the University of Minnesota Extension Service

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1. Matter 5. Puzzled 11. Well wish 14. Frightened 15. Home of the Cowboys 18. Between the jejunum and the cecum 19. Founded the Union Colony 21. Read-only memory 23. Sorcerers 24. Female parents 28. Unexpected obstacle 29. Of I 30. Used to have (Scottish) 32. Patti Hearst’s captors 33. Rock TV channel 35. Revolutions per minute 36. Exclamation: yuck! 39. Be afraid of 41. Arizona 42. Red liqueur ___gin 44. More discourteous 46. Type of chef 47. Mother (Brit.) 49. Untidy in character 52. Inhibitions 56. Pains 58. Politician 60. Unofficial fighter 62. Type of Mustang 63. Branch of Islam


1. Satisfaction 2. Astragals 3. Egg-shaped 4. Nothing more than specified 5. Measures speed of wind 6. In the middle of 7. Actinium 8. The Master of Shadows

36 Chicz September/October 2016

9. Dutch cheese 10. Valley 12. A river between China and Russia 13. Masses of matter 16. They live along the Gulf of Guinea 17. George ___, actor 20. Lativa’s largest city 22. One thousandth of an ampere 25. Millihenry 26. Swiss riverw 27. Individually 29. Magnetomotive force (abbr.) 31. Without armies (abbr.) 34. Portuguese municipality 36. Old Marxist-Leninist state 37. Malicious satisfaction 38. Actress Julianne 40. Rural delivery 43. Bar or preclude 45. Unit of measurement 48. Peninsula in Greece 50. Bird genus 51. Releases gonadotropin 53. Racquets 54. Southwestern state 55. Town in Benin 57. Car mechanics group 48. Brother or sister 59. Woollen rug 61. Millite

HORORSCOPES for September ARIES Mar 21/Apr 20 A playful and generous spirit make you a favorite friend to have around, Aries. Many may be clamoring for your attention, and you do not know where to direct it first.

LEO Jul 23/Aug 23 Leo, a sudden burst of creativity will inspire you and others in the days ahead. Keep up the great work you’re doing, and don’t be afraid to take chances.

TAURUS Apr 21/May 21 Taurus, uncertainty has you wondering about the direction in which your life may be going. It’s a time for reflection. Look to a parent or trusted advisor for guidance.

VIRGO Aug 24/Sept 22 You are given to behaving selflessly, Virgo. But this week you can still help others and take your needs into consideration. Ask for help if you need it.

CANCER Jun 22/Jul 22 Cancer, do your best to overhaul your finances. Some recent purchases might have made you vulnerable, and now is a great time to regain control.

LIBRA Sept 23/Oct 23 Libra, resist the urge to overindulge in food or beverages this week. Good times are ahead and you want to be able to enjoy them to the fullest. SCORPIO Oct 24/Nov 22 Scorpio, you’re focused on furthering your career, but responsibilities at home must be weighed before making a final decision. Don’t give up; just reevaluate your timing.

Here, we’re all smiles.

AQUARIUS Jan 21/Feb 18 It’s easy to expect others to keep your pace when you have all of your ducks in a row, Aquarius. However, not everyone works on the same schedule that you do. Allow time to catch up. PISCES Feb 19/Mar 20 Pisces, promising more than you can possibly deliver at this time will not win you any admirers. Others will appreciate your honesty.

Fall is in the air……

You will be, too.

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CAPRICORN Dec 22/Jan 20 Capricorn, gifts might start coming your way and you don’t understand all the generosity. Accept what is offered and recognize that you deserve it.


GEMINI May 22/Jun 21 Romance may get in the way of logic this week, Gemini. This is sure to be exciting, but try to maintain your focus. Keep lines of communication with your significant other open.

SAGITTARIUS Nov 23/Dec 21 Sagittarius, rather than dreaming of faraway places, make a plan to travel. Establish a savings account or vacation fund and begin making your travel goals happen.


September/October 2016 Chicz


the history behind October’s birthstones By Karla Mikkelson

Tourmaline is a favorite gemstone for many because it’s available in a rainbow of beautiful colors. October is commonly associated with the pink tourmaline stone. People have probably used tourmaline as a gem for centuries, but until the development of modern mineralogy, they identified it as some other stone based on its color. Portuguese explorers, for example, discovered deposits of green tourmaline in Brazil in the mid 1500s, but they thought it was Emerald. Colors of this stone can vary from red to black, to pink, yellow, green, blue, orange, but pink, blue and red are most rare, thus producing the greatest values. Tourmalines come in a rainbow of colors. In fact, tourmaline has one of the widest color ranges of any gem species. It occurs in various shades of almost every hue, and there are a number of trade names for its color varieties. Pink tourmaline is one of the two birthstones for October.

Tourmaline’s made from hydrous minerals and often includes more than a half dozen elements. You’ll find lithium, aluminum, borate, silicon, potassium, nickel, iron, and manganese among others in the stone. Gem grade tourmaline most often comes to us from Brazil, but some other sources include the U.S. (mainly California and Maine), Madagascar, Tanzania, Burma, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Russia. Need to be inspired? Historically worn to help you understand yourself and others, tourmaline’s healing properties were known to promote self-confidence, reduce fears, increase inspiration, compassion for others, tolerance and increased prosperity. It also balances the right-left sides of the brain, was worn to help reduce paranoia, improve hand-to eye coordination and overcome dyslexia. One of its benefits is releasing stress and tension, making it helpful for spinal adjustments. It was also worn to balance male-female energy within your body and increase energy. Karla Mikkelson is a graphic artist and jewelry designer in Alexandria.

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release stress inspiration

world’s precious black and white opal but also offers many other varieties including milky opal, jelly opal, boulder opal, crystal opal as well as some fire opal. Many types of opals have been historically used for everything from easing childbirth to bringing strength in battle. Long known as the wish stone, it also promotes love and romance, is known to help grant wishes and bring personal happiness.


Born in the month of October? October babies have two birthstones; Opal and Tourmaline. Opal gemstones are very unique because each one contains a one-of-a-kind color combo. The opal is Australia’s national gemstone, as Australia not only mines 95 percent of the


Opal and tourmaline: the wish stone and the inspiration stone


September/October 2016 Chicz


Bountiful Blooms CELEBRATE


with lovely bouquets, plants and decor that showcases the beautiful colors of fall.

Open 8am - 8pm, Monday - Saturday 9am - 6pm, Sunday We Deliver! 707 Third Avenue East, Alexandria, MN 56308 40 Chicz September/October 2016 320.762.7292 | Like us on Facebook

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