So You Want to Go Camping?

Quarantine has been hard. We can’t go to our typical restaurants, breweries, or events. So you’ve decided you’re going to get out there one of the only ways you can…by braving the wilderness. But are you really ready? Do you know how to fight a bear, hike vertically up a mountainside, or turn a tree into a shelter? No? Okay, so none of those things are actually necessary, because if you’re like me, “camping” means driving your car to a campground, setting up a tent, and driving back into town for a delicious veggie burger. But even in that case, you need to be prepared for your weekend spent amongst the birds (or in Wisconsin’s case, the mosquitos). I’m going to lay out the basic items you’ll need, how to prepare, and how to be comfortable enough while sleeping in the outdoors.

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Grieving in the Time of COVID-19

My grandma passed away this last weekend, and while she didn’t pass away from COVID-19, my family is still dealing with the effects of losing someone during this time. When my grandpa passed away a few years ago, there was a finality in the funeral. It was extremely sad, but made better by being surrounded by family and knowing we were all in this together. We were able to share our favorite stories of him, drink his favorite beer, and drive his favorite car (not in that order!) and it gave all of us a sense of peace. Now, we’re all kind of on our own to deal with this. We can’t have a funeral or full family gathering until much later in the year in the best case scenario. Video calls and texts certainly make it easier to connect, but it’s definitely not the same. And while I don’t have all the answers for grieving in the time of COVID-19, I can share what has helped me, and hopefully help others as well.

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Work From Home Essentials

For those who are working from home, it can be a challenge to adapt your apartment/house/van to being your new office space. To help make that transition more comfortable, here are the items I’ve been using on a daily basis while #WFH:

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Washington DC Travel Recap

Since I knew I had to travel to Washington DC for work, I figured I would make the most of it! Tony joined me at the end of my trip so we could explore what we had time for on our short weekend trip! (Cut even shorter by Tony’s flight delay of three hours…thanks American Airlines)

Here are the notable things we ate, drank, and saw while in DC, along with a collection of Ferraris…pictures!

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Pixel 3a Review

Right as I was working on a blog about how it’s very shocking I haven’t upgraded from my OG Pixel XL, I got a notification that more leaks had come out about the newest Pixel and it looked…awesome! And so right in time for me to upgrade my phone, here I am, reviewing the Pixel 3a!

TL;DR: For $400, this phone is easy to justify with decent storage and a fantastic camera. Use code B-MSAEVELGQDV3ASO3Q0RFWT8 for $50 off your purchase of a Pixel 3a.

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A Definitive Top 10 Ranking of Twin Cities Breweries

I don’t care what anyone else says…this is it. The official, Lauren Kortbein approved ranking of Twin Cities breweries. In the time I’ve lived here, I’ve visited a majority of them, and these are the worthy ones (in order!):

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Why I Deleted Facebook

On December 31st, 2018, I finally made the decision to delete my Facebook account, and all related pages. I’m not talking about deactivating it so I could log back in again, I mean completely and totally trashing it. I say finally because it took me a long time to come to this conclusion. I had debated the decision for, honestly, years, before I finally decided I had enough.

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