January 2020 Calendar!

January! 2020! It’s the FUTURE! Start planning the first month of it with this handy-dandy January 2020 calendar (you can download the pdf here).  Happy New Year! XO, Inspire(d)

LOOKING FOR MORE DETAILS ABOUT EVENTS ON THE CALENDARS?
Check out these great January 2020 activities! In chronological order, each event’s number coincides with its number on the calendar!

8. January 11: Jester Puppets “Space Cadets”! Come travel through space with cadets of the Academy at Decorah Public Library –solve problems, overcome challenges, work together! 1:30 pm,  Pre-registration required. www.decorah.lib.ia.us

9. January 11-12: Vesterheim Folk Art School class “Reclaim Your Christmas Tree”, carving fun for all ages with Rebecca Hanna, Jan. 11-12. Register at vesterheim.org.

10. January 12: Leather ‘N Lace at the Concordia Ballroom playing popular dance music, old-time, country, and polka. Sunday dances weekly, 1-5 p.m. Facebook-Concordia Ballroom La Crosse. www.concordiaballroom.com

11. January 16-25: New Minowa Players presents “Winnie the Pooh” January 16-25, Decorah. Full schedule and tickets ($10/$5), available at Oneota Community Co-op and at newminowaplayers.org. Phone 563-382-5174

Read the Winter 2019-2020 Inspire(d) Online!

Winter 2019-2020 Inspire(d)

The Winter 2019-2020 Inspire(d) is all about winter fun and big ideas in the coming year! Inside, you’ll find:

Q&A with 5 Driftless Bakers: Sassy Baker • Fayette Sweets • Meringue Bakery • Newburg Vintage • Jo’s Coffee House – Jonah’s Hands, Paper Fortune Cookies, Big Ideas in 2020! Arthur Geisert, Organizing with Michelle Whitehill, Stay Active This Winter: Curling • Broomball • Sledding – & More!

A note from Aryn:

2020! What!

It’s the future, you guys!

It seems almost impossible that we’re approaching this new decade – and that we’ve been publishing this “experiment in positive news” for 12 years! But it’s not impossible…and, in fact, it never was. That’s always been one of our biggest goals: to remind you that big dreams start with that first step, a lot of hard work, and the willingness to jump in! Are you ready?! Let’s Make 2020 the Year of Big Ideas!

Of course, I just had to put a “Big Ideas” infographic together to give you some inspiration! Check it out on page 34.

We also want to share our infinite gratitude to all of our readers, and especially our advertisers, as we see our 60th issue of Inspire(d) roll out into the world. Woohoo! Time just keeps on slipping…so we’ve got to embrace every day.

This winter season, we hope that means embracing the fun, the cozy, and the notion that there is no bad weather as long as you’re wearing the right clothes.

One of our favorite things to do on a cold winter day is bake. In fact, we’ve got some of my chocolate chip cookies in the oven right now (see the recipe on page 26)! We loved reading Maggie Sonnek’s interviews with five Driftless Region bakers – Karin Sassaman from Sassy Baker, Kristy Donovan from Fayette Sweets, Jen Barney from Meringue Bakery, Irene Fishburn from Newburg Vintage, and Mikki Boyd from Jo’s Coffee House (pg 16) – and learning how things work in their kitchens.

Stay with the warm fuzzies while you read about Jonah Larson, an 11-year-old crochet prodigy from La Crosse, Wisconsin (pg 28). He has hooked the hearts of folks across the world with his beautiful crochet projects and kind heart.

Then get motivated for some winter adventures – you could head to the Dubuque Museum of Art to check out Elkader, Iowa-based children’s book author and illustrator Arthur Geisert’s work, on display through January 5, 2020. It’s a fun drive, and be sure to read all about Geisert beforehand in Kristine Jepsen’s story on page 38.

Or perhaps you’d like to add “try the sport of curling or broomball” to your adventure list! After reading about these sports on page 56, I really want to try both! At the very least, I’ll go sledding. It’s my favorite! Check out our tips for hosting a Sledding Party on page 64.

As we launch into this year of Big Ideas, a great first step is getting organized – read this issue’s Sum of Your Business, featuring Michelle Whitehill of Personally Organized, to get the de-cluttering ball rolling at your house.

Thank you so much, dear readers, for your support of Inspire(d). We couldn’t make this magazine without you! We wish you the happiest of holidays and the best New Year possible. You inspire us.

Looking forward,

Aryn Henning Nichols

Click here to read the Winter 2019-2020 Inspire(d) online!

Paper Project: Paper Fortune Cookies!

One of my favorite things to celebrate in the winter is the Lunar New Year, or Chinese New Year. It generally falls at the perfect time of year for a party – late winter, when the holiday season has passed but you really, really need some socialization.

I lived in China for a year in 2004-2005 teaching English, and honestly I never saw one fortune cookies there. But that doesn’t stop me from loving fortune cookies at Chinese restaurants here, and loving these paper ones filled with positive messages.

These would be fun to put together for Chinese New Year – it is Saturday January 25, 202 this year, the Year of the Rat – or just to give to your kids, your friends, your neighbors…pretty much anyone who would love to unwrap a bit of positivity (which should be everyone!).

Roxie and I had so much fun making these together, and writing our own positive messages too! So let’s get to it!

Supplies:

• Colored or patterned paper
Note: We got our awesome paper at Cardboard Robot in Decorah – it’s actually thick wrapping paper. Cardstock would be too think, but traditional wrapping paper would be too thin, so plan accordingly! Regular printer paper would likely work fine.
• Small bowl for tracing – we tried a cup, but we felt like it made too small of cookies
• Pencil for tracing
• Scissors
• Hot glue gun (adult supervision required)
Positive fortunes/sayings download

Cut out all the sayings (download the page here), or write your own

 

Trace a circle on the back of your paper

Cut out your circle

Place the positive “fortune” in the middle of the plain side of the circle

Fold the top over to the bottom, but don’t make a crease

Turn the semi-circle over and make a small “wave” at the opening

Hold the wave with one hand and grab the corners of the other “spine” of the semi-circle and place your pointer finger in the center

While still maintaining the wave, carefully push the center of the spine in while pulling the edges of the spine toward each other

Place a dot of hot glue in the crease (we found if you place it about halfway up the crease, it holds best)

Hold the crease in place for about 30 seconds while the glue dries and you’re done!

Hand these little presents of positivity all over! Happy winter! XOXO – Inspire(d)