Mint Madness

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 🍀

Even though I’m not even a little bit Irish, I love this holiday for one primary reason: MINT! All the delicious minty treats take over this month, and I’ve done my best to find (and sample) them all this season.

Without further ado, here are all the minty treats you can try today!

Shamrock Shake

McCafe Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s: The St. Patty’s Day staple. With a cherry on top.

Chocolate Shamrock Shake from McDonald's

McCafe Chocolate Shamrock Shake from McDonald’s: You read that right! This year, McD’s introduced a full line of Shamrock goodies, including this cool half-chocolate, half-mint shake. I like to call this one the #ShamChocShake.

McCafe Shamrock Chocolate Chip Frappe from McDonald’s: A Shamrock Shake with caffeine! Yes on so many levels.

McCafe Shamrock Hot Chocolate

McCafe Shamrock Hot Chocolate from McDonald’s: A warm cup of cocoa with a burst of mint.

McCafe Shamrock Mocha from McDonald’s: A hot alternative to meet your caffeination needs, similar to the wintertime peppermint variety.

Arby's Mint Swirl Shake

Mint Chocolate Swirl Shake from Arby’s: Yep. It tastes just as good as it looks.

Mint Oreo Blizzard from Dairy Queen

Mint Oreo Blizzard from Dairy Queen: This Blizzard of the Month is one of my all-time favorites, second only to Christmastime’s Candy Cane Oreo. Can one EVER go wrong with a Blizzard?

Mint Shake from Culver’s: A smooth, refreshing shake without all those unnecessary bells and whistles.

Mint Chip Shake from Culver’s: A twist on the classic mint shake with a chopped Hershey bar mixed in.

Mint Concrete Mixer Made with Oreos from Culver's

Mint Concrete Mixer Made With Oreo from Culver’s: Perhaps the most decadent treat on this list, creamy custard meets crunchy Oreos and smooth minty goodness right here.

Burger King's Oreo Mint Shake

Oreo Mint Shake from Burger King: One of the most affordable – and tasty – mint desserts to be found! Dare I suggest that this may even rival the Blizzard? 😮

And an honorable mention goes to Caribou Coffee’s Mint Condition (available hot, iced, or blended). It’s available year-round but still meets our minty St. Patrick’s Day requirements. 😊

Did I miss any must-try mint treats? Let me know in the comments below and I’ll add them to my list! 🍀 Continue reading Mint Madness

SALE at Patina Marquet!

I have some good news and some bad news…

The GOOD news is that our favorite home decor store is having a fabulous sale all weekend! Everything – yes, everything – at Patina Marquet is on SALE today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday)! Discounts range from 10-30% off and increase with purchase totals. Now is the time to save big on the beautiful handcrafted furnishings and home accessories you’ve been pining after…

Not that I would know.

{Lies. I totally know. Let’s just say I was in the 30% range…}

I should also mention that Patina is the perfect place to find a Christmas gift for that person that has everything. It’s hard to go wrong with an original creation! You can see some of these creations on the Patina Marquet Facebook page.

The BAD news…and possibly good news…is that Patina is also FOR SALE. Sad face! I love this specialty store full of friendly faces and one-of-a-kind pieces. I can’t even tell you how many little accessories I’ve made room for in my own tiny living space! Serving trays, kitchen towels, vintage signs, and the sturdiest ottoman I’ve ever seen top the list. BUT the Patina Marquet crew is holding out hope that the perfect buyer will come along and snatch up this cute little shop.

So heads up, all you crafty people! This place is gold!

Patina Marquet, we consider you a major #Willmarwin and we hold out hope that this is just a “see ya later” before the right buyer makes the decision to continue on with the charming shop you’ve created!

New London’s Ladies’ Night Out This Thursday!

Mark your calendars, ladies! This Thursday night, downtown New London is hosting its fall Ladies’ Night Out event. Several local businesses from Middle Fork CafĂŠ to The Happy Sol will feature deals, prizes, and treats. Gals can stock up on cute fall outfits, join friends for a yummy dinner or dessert, find seasonal accessories for their homes, and just have a fun night out!

The event begins at noon for those of you who plan to skip out on work early, and for the rest of us, the shopping will continue until 8:00 p.m.

Participating businesses are listed in the photo above.

Ladies, see you in downtown New London this Thursday!

Kandiyohi County Fair Opens Today!

It’s county fair time!

The Kandiyohi County Fair opens its gates today (Wednesday, August 5th) and runs through Saturday, August 8th.

Prepare yourself for cotton candy, carnival rides, and deep-fried overload! (Or maybe it’s just me that goes solely for the food?)

A full schedule of events can be found here, and be sure to take advantage of the free shuttles to save yourself all the hassle of parking and walking!

Check out for detailed info. See you at the fair!

Caribou Caffeination: August Edition

How is it already August?

It’s hard to accept that summer is slowly coming to a close and that our remaining lake days are numbered.

But summer’s not over yet!

And Caribou Coffee has the perfect plan to keep you cool and caffeinated over the next few weeks of warmth.

Caribou Perks has introduced an August rewards plan that gives opportunities for special deals each Thursday in August. All you do is check in at Caribou each Monday, and each Thursday you’ll get a special Caribou Perk!

If you check in each week, you’ll also earn a bonus Perk at the end of the month – a free medium coffee of choice!

And we know it’s all about the freebies around here. 🙂

Happy Monday, friends! Grab your coffees and let’s get to work – it’s going to be a good week! ☕️

Willmar Fests Week!

Our annual Willmar Fest celebration is nearing to a close, but the fun isn’t over yet!

Tonight, while the Stingers played on the west side of town, The Goodness hosted a free concert in the heart of our downtown area. Folks young and old came to hear season six American Idol contestant Sean Michel perform out in the sunshine following a short-lived thunderstorm, and Michel was joined by Dan Israel and Martin Devaney.

A friend and I stopped by the Folkfest to grab some coffees and check out the event. I ended up staying almost the whole time, enjoying my very delicious blended matcha latte and chatting with other friends who were there. A pretty neat event for Downtown Willmar!

Tomorrow night marks the end of our festival week, going out with a (literal) bang as Works Over Water takes place at Robbins Island at 10:30 p.m. Before that, though, there’s the parade, the coronation, the ski show…a whole day of community events to choose from.

I, for one, won’t miss the impressive fireworks display! I love how Q102 makes it extra fun by syncing the show to music. Whether you’re at Robbins Island in person or pulled over to the side of the road with your radio tuned in, it’s a fun night for the whole family and a tradition I’ve looked forward to since I was a kid. See you there!


Ninja Warrior comes to Spicer!

Ever seen the show American Ninja Warrior on NBC?

Admittedly, I haven’t, but I’m told it’s a show full of strength and athleticism, featuring contestants that compete against each other as they maneuver challenging obstacle courses.

This weekend, the Spicer area gets a glimpse of the popular show right on Saulsbury Beach!

Today (Saturday, June 13th) and tomorrow (Sunday, June 14th) only, teams and individual competitors have the opportunity to try out slightly milder versions of their favorite American Ninja Warrior obstacle courses for themselves. From running steps to maneuvering an unstable bridge, participants will compete in our own local Ninja Warrior event.

Non-competitors can also be nearby to watch the competition all weekend. There will be food vendors, inflatables for kids, and a dunk tank on property for this family-friendly event, as well.

The best part? 100% of the proceeds go to Grace Place of Willmar.

Grace Place, founded in 2014, is a home for women who have been incarcerated, fought addiction, and struggled with poverty, among other hardships. The women receive encouragement, spiritual guidance, and training to help them develop healthy habits and learn important life to overcome whatever situations they may face.

You can learn more about Grace Place here and its Ninja Warrior event here. Be sure to check out this fun event this weekend and support a great cause!

Hwy 12 Dairy Queen: NOW OPEN!

I have officially been granted permission to announce what Willmar’s been waiting for since last fall!

Drumroll, please…

The newly-constructed Dairy Queen on Willmar’s Highway 12 is open for business as of TODAY!!

I’m super excited to share this news with my fellow ice-cream-loving Willmarites. (Soft-serve, if we’re being specific.) The brand new Highway 12 location has all the classic DQ favorites – cones, Blizzards, Dilly Bars, and MooLattes – plus a wide selection of savory meals, too. Whether you’re in the mood for a burger, buying chicken strips for your kids, or wanting to try one of the new buffalo chicken wraps, there are all kinds of entrees to choose from!

5 buck lunch from the Hwy 12 Dairy Queen in Willmar, MN

And, of course, there’s always the famed Dairy Queen ice cream cake. Enough said.

I had the privilege of attending a pre-opening event yesterday, and I was impressed by it all – the 5-buck lunch; the clean, modern design with retro accents; the warm friendliness of each staff member; and, naturally, the yummy soft-serve.

Just what the doctor ordered for a sunny Thursday! I’m sure of it.

The new Highway 12 Dairy Queen location in Willmar, Minnesota!

And I might have taken one of these incredible Cookie Dough Blizzard cake confections home:

DQ cookie dough ice cream cake from the Highway 12 Dairy Queen in Willmar, Minnesota

Possibly. I’ll never tell.

I, for one, am pumped about this new DQ location that’s accessible for both out-of-towners and those who live and work anywhere in between the 1st Street and Spicer locations.

You can find this new DQ next to the Best Western at 610 Litchfield Ave SE. Like the Highway 12 Dairy Queen on Facebook for more info and up-to-date posts!

Inside the new Willmar Dairy Queen on Hwy 12

Let’s be real: it’s gonna be tough to resist the temptation of a $5 lunch that includes ice cream now that summer’s (hopefully) here to stay! Lunch breaks just met a game-changer and so did my wallet. I’m a proud penny-pincher and this fits the bill…no pun intended. 😉

Hot eats + cool treats + a nice price = heaven right here in Willmar, Minnesota.

Don’t be surprised if you see me in the drive-thru tomorrow! Happy Friday!

DQ cookie dough ice cream cake from the Hwy 12 Dairy Queen in Willmar

Bring a Friend Day at the Kandiyohi County Area YMCA!

Good morning to all you fitness fanatics!

In case you haven’t heard, the YMCA in Willmar hosts “Bring a Friend Day” every third Thursday of the month. Today, Thursday, May 21st, is the day!

If you are a Kandiyohi County YMCA member, you can bring one guest with you today for free! Your guest must present a photo ID to be admitted.

And if you don’t have a membership but are interested in trying out the Y, find a friend who’s a member and stop by a fitness class or the pool today!

This event is a great opportunity to check out or get new friends interested in the local Y, and it happens every month! See you there!

Take your mom out this Mother’s Day!



Let’s face it: moms are pretty much rockstars. They cook, they clean, they care for, they cheer us on…

Moms are awesome. Just ask Kid President.

So how are you treating your mom today?

A suggestion? Take her out for a  meal. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, or anything in between.  It doesn’t matter which one or where, as long as it’s something that considers her tastes and doesn’t require her to do the dishes.

Here are my top picks in the Willmar area:
Applebee’s: Whether your mom’s craving surf and turf or the best salad in town, Applebee’s has it all.
Bello Cucina: Open especially for Mother’s Day if your mom’s in the mood for a meal with European flair. Brunch is $17.00.
Caribou Coffee: For the moms who need an afternoon pick-me-up. Extra whip, please!
Cherry Berry: A froyo break is the perfect afternoon snack to share with your mama…plus it’s on the healthier side!
Dairy Queen: Treat your mom to a classic cone or Blizzard this afternoon. Cotton Candy is the flavor of the month!
Green Mill: The most popular brunch in town! There’s pasta, seafood, prime rib, and something for everybody.
Hillcrest: Classic diner food draws families in every year when they want to give Mom a break from the kitchen!
LuLu Beans: A Willmar original with the best blended mocha in town!
McMillan’s: The place to go for a buffet that includes unlimited pie from the pie case. 🙂
The Oaks: An elegant place to dine for brunch or dinner.
Perkins: Let your mom enjoy French toast, French silk pie, a Mammoth Muffin, or the Tremendous Twelve!

Still uninspired? Try that special place your mom loves but rarely treats herself to. Whether it’s ice cream or steak, Chinese or coffee, treat your mom today. She deserves it. ❤️

Happy Mother’s Day, moms! We love you!