A City Girl at the state fair & what we did and ate.

Not eating meat makes going to the state fair challenging.  If you want to read my post of what I was looking forward to doing at the state fair you can access it here.  


Going to the state fair has always been a tradition. It’s HUGE  so it’s appropriately called “The great Minnesota get together”! But, after asking a few people they say they never go. Maybe it’s just the people living in the city who just know it’s crazy and expensive, or they never established the tradition of going to the fair. Each to their own, I say. But a lot of people from all around Minnesota drive to the State Fair Grounds each year.  I talk more on that here, this post is all about what we did, what we ate, how much was spent, hours in line, and what it was like for someone who gets overwhelmed in large crowds and could probably have had a culture shock. Here is a Pinterest/printable check list for you! 

The Ground we covered:

Depending on what gate you come in you’ll end up in a section of the fair. This time we got to go through the main gates, the more iconic entrance. The fair grounds cover a pretty big area and we covered EVERYTHING. There is definitely a lot of things to do, from rides, to shows, to free music, to big-name performers at the Grand Stand. There are booths with things you can buy, from random stuffed animals, cow boy boots, to hot tubs. We were there in the evening and tried to see all of it, but we didn’t get to see as much as we usually do since the dairy barn closed at 10 pm. But we went to the animals of course to see the largest boar and the baby pigs. We caught a horse show, too. And of course we went to the birthing barn, headed to the education building to get our free pens and walked around the Eco Building. Something new we did was watch a glass blowing demonstration near the Blue Barn.

What we ate:

There are the specifics you always eat when going to the state fair. And eating food is the most important part of the fair, there are new add-ons each year. They even give you a list of new food, food locations, a discount book, and a list of the food on a stick because that’s what it’s all about. Deep fried, of course. I always get my little stuff but try to have a “meal,” something larger than something on a stick. But, since I am not eating meat (I’m still eating fish and cheese) it seemed much harder. I did get walleye on a stick, $5 bucks at a stand in the food building. We then went for the usual Milk Shake at the dairy barn near the farm animals, the only place to get your milk shake! Of course, we get mini doughnuts, especially if you going in the morning. Don’t miss a pickle on a stick from the Fried Pickle stand (it use to be in the food building) now moved down near the French Fries stand (those are a must too). We went to the blue barn because we heard the food is more meal like however there are not many options for none meat eaters so I just picked at my mom’s beans and rice as she ate the pork. This year we did go for the Sweet Maratha Cookies, it’s all the rage at the state fair, buckets full of cookies that a lot of people take home and eat for days. However, as I ate the cookie it wasn’t as good as I remembered, or what I thought would be so good considering the length of the line since EVERYONE gets them.

How much will you spend…

You will be spending money when going to the state fair, especially if you do all the extra things like the rides, the games, buying the carnival stuff, or things from the little shops; plus all of the FOOD. But I brought about 40 and I had 20 left so that was pretty good. There is a lot of free things you can get at the fair, trust me. For me it always was about the free stuff you can get!


When asking people if they were going, if they said no a lot of time it was because of the crowds of people. There are some interesting people you will notice at the state fair, and there are TONS of times where you’re basically inching along when walking. I even ran into a guy because we both were looking a different direction. There are plenty of strollers you’ll likely get hit by, too. But, for me, even though I get easily overwhelmed when there are lots of people around I still like to go. I don’t know why but the state fair is one place where it doesn’t happen, maybe it’s because I’m so focused on where I want to be or staring at the ground so I don’t step in cow shit. I remember when I was younger I always was telling a story in my head when we walked around the fair grounds. So, for those of you who don’t like crowds, take a chance and wander over to the fair. Look around and let your imagination run wild.

Pinterest/printable check list for you BELOW!



Usually we go near the end of the state fair (it goes on for two weeks) and this year I’m going twice! Usually once is all we do, some people do go almost ever day! Like I said, MN State Fair is something you should see and experience.

Vlog of the State Fair:


My Weekend Up North plus a traveling guide to North Minnesota

There are not many guide books about Minnesota so I hope these will be great guides too. 

coverfornorthvk.jpgI did not go camping, I wouldn’t even glamp. Maybe. We stayed in a local AmericaInn Hotel in Silver Bay, MN. If you follow my instagram and saw my story of my trip you would have seen the “room tour” of “that’s where we sleep, thats the bathroom and that’s the door”. But, it was the perfect stay for being close to everything we want to do and right off the road. Our first day was just to get there, a stop over in Duluth for food and walk the boardwalk. I’ve been to Duluth a lot, my grandmother lived in Duluth. We ate at one place I new of called Grandma’s. I like it, its local, its fun, the staff are lovely and the food is great. Because I’m not eating meat while state side I had a wild rice burger which I liked A LOT. It is actually a popular thing up here. Wild Rice is an important food  for the Native American’s.  While in Duluth we saw this sign that read “I’m reading for an adventure” and we were.Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset


We drove on State highway 61 up to Grand Maria, a small tourist town, an hour south from the Canadian boarder. You enter above with a great view of the town that was below right on the lake. Don’t be mistaken that is a lake. We parked in a lot that’s right next to the lifeguard house. And walked up, our first stop was “World’s Best Doughnuts” we were going to see if they were the ‘best’. It was a 15 minute line, there is a second window but you don’t get to go inside to see the donuts and I wanted to see them. They are under 2 dollars, have a variety of flavours. But are they the world’s best? I went for Chet’s Best which was plane one with chocolate and sprinkles. It was good the only thing me and my friend both said it was very sugary. There was a chunk of frosting on it, they said “like eating cake”.

We headed onto the shore and did some walking on some rocks. It was almost like the Irish shore in Gtown, but I new I wasn’t because  Pine trees.  Grand Maria is a cute little town, I liked if for it wasn’t commercialises, sorry no Starbucks. There is this cute little library next to the doughnut shop.  If you are going to head this way definitely stop in Grand Maria, you’ll see a lot that you really don’t expect to see.

IMG_1503We headed back south out of Grand Maria, we weren’t going to Canada, and began our journey to the state parks. We got a weekend pass at Temperance State Park, our first stop, it cost 14 dollars. The ranger in there was very helpful when we told her were we were heading. She told us the best way to get there (exactly what google said) and what we needed to see. And were to park. At Temperance was a quick little bridge walk above this small little off high way water fall. A walk down and a climb onto rocks we ended up on this small little tiny rock beach ( i wouldn’t call it sand) were we again climbed some rocks then headed back up, across 61 to the other side were we adventure under the bridge to get a little closer and cooler view of the water. DON”T GET CLOSE! We moved on for a half hour drive, most on a dirt road to George Crosby Manitou State Park. Where we walked around the lake, we weren’t close to the lake, but it was a nice cool walk in the woods. Our next and longest stop was at Tettegouche State Park.  We were so glad we ended here first, cause there was a lot more to see, a lot more to walk, and we wanted to spend our time here.

Once we got to the top, we decided to go to the lower falls which was about 10 minutes walk over and 5 minutes down A LOT of stairs. That you will have to walk up eventually. We went over to the rocks and sat in front of the water looking straight at the waterfall. Taking the shoes off and dipping our feet in. We sat for awhile, not wanting  take on those 150 stairs. But when we did, we adventured to the other one, across the shacky bridge, down some more stairs (going to walk back up these) to the shore and this large water fall–its not big but it’s pretty big. I quickly took of my pants-my swim suit was

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underneath and went in. I was so hot. I also always wanted to swim near a waterfall-the water is not deep enough to swim I basically skinned my knees and was ankle deep. We were so happy to end there and headed back to figure out food. Since there was no place around the hotel, we weren’t camping, I had the restrictions and seemed everything closed at 7. But the one place that didn’t was in Two Harbors, a small town, half hour away. Which wasn’t bad and got us onto another evening adventure. To some boat watching, iron rage exploration and more rocks. There is another beach spot to swim in Lake  Superior but how can you beat swimming in a waterfall?


I love climbing rocks! 


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It was check out day but more adventure a head! Our first stop was the light house, Split Rock. The parks open at 6 am but the lighthouse wasn’t opening until 10. And us not in any hurry ended up there at 9 am! That’s what happens we you don’t set a schedule you really ended up a head of the game. Which really paid of in our favour cause the gates were open, we didn’t have to pay to go to see the lighthouse and ended up walking the 2 mile walk that we took off the path and on the rocks near the shoe, a head of everyone else. Walking the path is free, seeing the light house is going to cost you.

After Split Rock and Pebble beach, which was the end point of the trail, we headed back to the car to head to our final stop; Gooseberry Falls State Park. There was a LOT of people there, which we soon found out was because this was an easy simple spot; also a swimming whole for kids to play on. Me not wanting to be near people, headed to this little top of rock area were you could walk through some stream of water and sit close to the edge. The one thing I had was we were sitting chatting enjoy outselfes, me with my camera and a drown came above us. It’s agents the law to fly them in the state park, but I hated cause its such a public place and there was some stranger videoing me. I’m fine for when your in like the middle of the ocean but not were children are running around. But we continued out, adventuring across the rocks, water, seeing a few more smaller waterfalls, going into the water to get some cool shots–my long hair ends barely touching it. I think this spot is really cool, but there are just too many people everywhere there is no like relaxing, someone is going to get in your shot not the biggest deal but you kind of don’t want a kid in your photograph you know?

After that we headed back south home, stuck in an hour of traffic, which I LOVE (sarcasm) But this weekend was great, I always need a weekend away especially when things get too much. I always would escape to the beach and my secret spot in Gtown. And this was my three hour drive escape. I didn’t really realize I needed this weekend until after, I felt good, I felt like this was the happiness I’ve been needing. And it brought on this new form of confidence and inability to focus come Monday. But Wednesday morning, reality hit again. Don’t you just hate that? But, I know that happiness and confidence is in me!Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

I do recommend if you ever in Minnesota go up North, there is really nothing like it and you really don’t expect it to be in Minnesota because in the city it is truly city life; then you get back of nowhere to farm land, to nothing again. But up north you get this woods, lake, and beautiful scenery. It had to be the lake for me, cause I finally saw the Horizon end, it’s what I’ve been looking for!

If you want to see more photos & I have lots check out the FB page (like it!) and instagram all at A City Girl Story 


What I wore: living out of a suitcase outfits

Today’s post is all about looking stylish while living out of a suitcase for more than just a weekend away. Here are the outfits I put together while traveling on my Back in Ireland trip. Not in order of how I wore things.


Birthday Outfit:  Probably my favorite outfit and my favorite night. You can’t go wrong with a little black dress. Cause it was my birthday night out I went big. My oh, so lovely birthday dress I wear every year-Topshop like more than 50% off I got it the first time in there for 45 euros. DEAL! So I wear it often. The necklace was new from TopShop it is rose gold and thought it went well with being a chocker and long with the nice v cuts in the dress. My hair I did in braids and un did them this is what happen. My makeup was alright not my best work, but lately, it’s been suffering. Tan on was COCO brown. I felt like it was my birthday in this outfit!
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This shirt makes a popular appearance on my road trips, it’s easy going, has a message and kept me warm during my hikes. I am really loving T-shirts with a message, it allows my outfit do the talking. The Jeans are black Jamie jeans from Topshop, the jacket is Northface and my shoes are Toms. Which by the end of the trip were destroyed.

Similarity on my hike in Edinburgh I wore basically the same thing just my old pair of Jamie ripped jeans, my fish tights, and a scarf I got at Primark (Penny’s) in Edinburgh. Here are the details…

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Processed with VSCO with hb1 presetMy graduation dress: I got this violet pink dress from Francesca’s, it’s a bit different from what I usually wear but there were cutouts that were covered with lace. The shoes were Steve Madden. I thought I was the coolest girl in high school with my Steve madden boots. I still think so 😉






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On rainy days. I was wearing my waterproof booties that had good grip at the bottom for the stone streets. When it rains those streets are the death of you. I was wearing my black Jamie jeans with my river island belt. That my sister likes to call my “cow girl belt”. I had on my nice maroon bomber and a crop top sweater I got from Target. Target is really upping their game, I’m finding some trendy pieces there.


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Keeping it causal in my disco pants- I had these disco pants for the longest time. Toms sneakers, a crop top I got at Nordstrom’s in the Topshop sections. With a knit jumper that kept me cool and warm. Sunglasses from The Loft and necklace from Topshop–it’s my golden feather necklace. I like keeping it casual but cute.






Those were few of the outfits I wore. I had more then these, but these are the ones I photographed. Can you tell what my favourite things are?  What’s your favourite outfit? Do you have a birthday dress?


Like the post if you enjoy this kind of thing, it’ll let me know what I can keep doing and what doesn’t work. xx

City Girl Guide: What’s new in Cork City

If you like a larger City Girl Guide of Cork comment below. OR an even Larger City Girl Guide to Ireland–that is something I love to try but would take a lot of time–comment below letting me know what you would like to see.


I always say a lot can happen in a day. I also said how Cork needed a doughnut shop well in my 5 months away from Cork not only did a lot happen they got a doughnut shop–TWO! You could prob hear my frustration. There was not much new in Cork, my favorite places were still there and it still rained a lot. It’s Ireland. But no worries I saw that the door changed, I saw the new sign and I noticed the new menu in Silly Goose. Because details and little things are what I pay attention to.

First, lets talk about the doughnuts. There are two: Huckleberry’s Doughnuts & Oh My Donut. I kept hearing about them because I kept telling people about my frustration “the IMG_8720minute I leave they get doughnut shops”. And I have gotten not so happy reviews on them–there over price, the doughnuts are all the same, and one places get their doughnuts made by one of the grocery stores. It’s like walking into the English Market and buying over price fruit they got from Tescos (true). So, I wasn’t too keen on wanting to spend 4 euros for a doughnut that wasn’t even made in the shop. But, after having a doughnut-themed cake in Silly Goose –the ice cream really helped, and need food the next morning; me and my bet friend bit our stubbornness (mine lets be honest) and went into Oh My Donut.  I’m a classy girl who just wants a plain chocolate doughnut–which they didn’t have so I went with a plain doughnut to my surprise had jelly in it–I wasn’t pleased.IMG_8569

Local doughnuts are a trend, even here, there are some popping up–and I wouldn’t call myself a doughnut girl–I usually get doughnuts when I’m starving for food. So, I couldn’t be a doughnut review person–what I will say if it’s going to be a hype thing it better be worth it.


The next new thing are the shops . The new building around the English market and Patrick’s Street, is getting close-to being finished  No one really knows what’s going to be in there for businesses or shops. Can definitely say Forever 21 is not coming to Cork? Which to be fair, I’m over the cheap, not even well-made, bad ethics shop anyways. I’d stick with Penny’s. I am getting really into ethical fashion and buying lasting pieces. Another shop which is across the way from the new high-rise building (it’s probably 10 floors), is Sostrene Grene (the sisters Grene). Which is a little bit like Tigger but I say a little bit more for the mid-twenties and mothers. This place is like  IKEA without the furniture. Look at the pictures below to see more:

I love shops like these, they make me want to buy a loft and just go nuts!

Building being built is on the left in reflection

Having all these new things pop up in Cork is always a good thing, so many abandon buildings and Cork is a great city that deserves it. These new building and business coming to Cork hopefully means a vibrant, things to do, variety, kids have places to go and things to do, and maybe outside of homes will look nicer (because if you ever walk around Cork, or really any city in Ireland you see outside of homes are no flower gardens–and that has a lot to do with housing and renting laws they have–I don’t know much but I’ve listened and experienced.)

Processed with VSCO with a5 presetThe one thing that worries me about all these new things is losing what I love about Cork which is how Irish and true Irish it really is. There’s a few tourist shops and pubs that are gear towards tourist but that’s it, I’m also worried about having it become Americanized, no TGIF or Hardrock cafe’s please. This also means its up and coming people will want to live there–meaning rent will go up, which I am experience in Minnesota to be a real pain in the bum of economics. And you know a lot of this is just how life works and how countries evolved. But, don’t forget your roots.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 presetOverall I was quite excited for all the new things Cork had, the new menu at Silly Goose, to the new art around, and the shops. I will say the big advertising and selling point for things is to make it “Instagram able” and me being 25 years old knowing how far we come, cringed yet gets excited towards that word.

I’m excited about the things Cork had and I wonder what they well have when I come back as long as Monday club is still there, the drinks are still good I’ll be happy and there is no TGIFs.



A City Girl Guide: Wicklow National Park

I went on a road trip through Wicklow National Park.  And here is my guide to the Park.

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Coming from Dublin going towards Bray heading are way towards Glendalough. We were going to go the faster route to Glendalough, but of course, I got mixed up with directions and way to go. The thing about Ireland signage you really need to know what direction you are
heading and what the town’s you want to hit–like for this we could have taken both roads. It’s confusing but it all works out for the best.

Once you’re off the major road and heading in the direction of Glendalough keep going, the road will run right into it.

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Glendalough: ‘the valley of the two lakes’ it has a lot to offer from learning about the history and cultural to a nice walk through the woods or around lakes, and a waterfall. Find out more here: http://www.glendalough.ie/

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We kept driving through Wicklow National park Our point of destination was the Sally Gap then to the Guinness lake.

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Sally Gap: one of two east-to-west passes across the Wicklow Mountains. Basically, it’s a four-way stop sign, with incredible views of the Wicklow Park.

As we drove further down the mountains towards the lake, we pulled over to get different views not only of the lake but the area as well.

Processed with VSCO with hb1 presetLough Tay: also known as Guinness Lake for the owners are the Guinness family, it’s private property so only way to see it is above, which is the best way to see it.

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Next stop was the Powerscourt Gardens.

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Powerscourt Gardens is a large country estate which is noted for its house and landscaped gardens. The Powerscourt is pretty cool despite that it was winter and there were no flowers. The view and the amount of garden and history you got were worth wild. There is a tea room that is a must try (we didn’t but we were told we should have–next time).

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Then we headed towards Bray.

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Bray: having it be so close to Dublin it is a popular tourist destination and holiday home area. A lot like Kinsale but a lot bigger and diversity I think. We got there pretty late but made it just in time to do the walk seeing the little train between the towns go by and walked the beach and the town. We didn’t stop in anywhere since we wanted to get back before it was even later. But, when looking into Bray I found lots of pubs, cafes, and places to eat however we never went except to the McDs. For more on Bray click here for lovin.com has 45 things! 🙂






Hidden Places of Cork

If you are someone who likes to find the hidden places you never really see, the places that are not always all over Instagram. Someone who needs a  place to just sit and be this post is for you. I am someone who just loves to wonder, I’m very adventures and I find myself in the most random places. I also am someone who just needs to take a moment and while living in Ireland for two years I found that really helped me.

hiddenplacesofcorkSo, if you are ever in Cork and want to see some unusual and off-beat places in your travels or if you live there and want to just know of a place this list is for you!  Most are in Cork city others are on in the county of Cork but I say exactly where they are.

IMG_3793Jumping the fence: I found this place when I was living in college buildings on my walk to the gym, the walking path near the Kingsley hotel. There is this fence that you can easily jump that takes you right by the river, and near a small little damn. There are other people around fishing. I usually liked going there in the evening to sit watch the water move and take some time to myself.

Processed with VSCO with t1 presetSecret places of Gtown: In Garretstown is a beach outside of Kinsale, through Ballinspittle and it is a pretty cool beach, one to walk. But there are a lot of hidden, or open places. There is this small patch of a “cliff” don’t really know what to call it but it’s way up high with open space all around it, and its right near the staircase, you just climb up to get there. There is also hidden staircase between the two beach. That takes you down to another beach which during high tide is not there, but if you climb on some rocks off the side of the staircase you are able to sit. there is also this little grass patch on a “peace” of land where I use to lay in the sun with Scruff after our walks. I found a lot of hidden places in Garretstown, some are harder to explain exactly where. So, if you ever make it down there, go exploring, especially during the low tide.

0488F29E-4358-4F2B-8F5D-533B8ED2D3FDCave: I found this at the second beach in Garretstown. It’s on one of the cliffs walking paths, you just got to keep going until you see this open “beach rock” area that is “none existence” during the high tide. But when you go down there, it’s so LARGE and your voice echoes. It’s a great place just to be and feels so small.

Processed with Rookie CamRandom apartment building: When living in the college housing I kept seeing this old building–people said it’s hunted  that nothing is up there. So one day I took a long walk to the place to go see. Never realize this part of Cork excited I found that it was an apartment building, that still needed some work, but had a great view of the city.

09A195E7-045F-4EB3-8769-4CADCC167482White Bridge: Now in Fitzgerald park you might see this white bridge, it’s through the skate park and the walking path takes you right into the city. But there is this spot where you, of course, hop the fence and get closer to the river. There garbage everywhere and signs of people probably hanging out there at night, and a lot of these spots are probably that but I go during the day. So no issue.

A far drive
: This is outside of Bantry, in a small town called Glengarriff. There is this little woods park, that has boat tours taking you to the islands out on the water. When went it was off season so there were no boats, but it honestly felt abandoned little dock in the woods. I really liked this area because it reminded me of being a kid running around the woods. I felt like Peter Pan.

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Not So Hidden but great escape: Elizabeth Fort, on top of Cork away from the city sit the historical Elizabeth Fort. For more information about the fort check out there site. I like going there because its not only something to do, you get a great view of the city and sometimes you need to just sit back take in the view.


I found there are a lot of places in Cork that no one really knows of, or only locals know of. I found them while walking the streets, I could try to tell you them all but then it’ll get confusing especially if you haven’t been there before. I say if you are traveling, visiting a city, or going on a road trip stop and pull over to the side and adventure off. Spot the off beat path that only a few people have been willing to take and take it, it might lead you to the most amazing hidden places of the world.



Girl on adventure: Edinburgh

Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetEdin-burgh
There is just something about this part of the world that I love. I’ve been to Edinburgh before but I wanted to go again to see a friend who is studying there and also see the city again. The last time I visited I had just finished my study abroad, wanting one last adventure before going home. I was so happy for life and everything seemed so
untouchable back then. Now, I am a woman who knows that life can be one scary rollercoaster and know how to handle herself, flying by herself to Edinburgh.

And as I got off the bus too early because it would have taken me to the city center, but google told me other wise, I figured it out and ended where I needed to be, on North Bridge Street where everything began to feel familiar. 


Processed with VSCO with f2 preset Edinburgh is a very old city, older than America, and so it has a large history. I took the tours last time I was here, so this time I wanted to just walk around, hang with my friend, and experience the local areas.  I love how it’s such a big city but you don’t get the big city attitude. If you want to read about the places of Edinburgh I visited you can click here.
Processed with VSCO with hb2 presetThe Scots are not only hard to understand but they are so friendly and funny as hell. I was only here for two full days and then left on my 3rd day. When I got into the city I went to my Airbnb to drop off my suitcase,then I went around the corner to sit, charge my phone, and eat something because I was starving. Before the rain came I took a walk, remembering exactly how to go. I walked the whole royal mile then met my friend for lunch at this cute Indie taps place called Mother India’s Cafe. We then walked to the campus so she could show me her little places were we sat and talked until it got dark. The next day we took a sunny, muddy walk up Arthurs Seat.That was probably one of my favorite adventures I have been on, not only did we have great chats, but we laughed.Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset


Edinburgh is one of my top cities I’ve been to, it’s easy going, friendly, and the buildings are wonderful. I have been to a lot of cities but my favorite places are the cities where I can just take my time, not feel rushed, and there is a hill to climb to take in good views of the city.