The Things I Love 5.5

things I love

A first this week, a themed things I love: The going home edition! I recently went home to Minnesota to visit family, which gave me a whole bunch of new things to love.

Check out my previous (non-themed) things I love posts.

The featured photo for this post? A wild turkey that decided to feast at my mom’s bird feeder. You don’t see that one every day.

Note: Some of these links are Amazon affiliate links where I may be compensated if you purchase items or click on the links. Read my full affiliate policy. I only link to items I have, use, or want and would recommend regardless of potential reward.

My personal affiliate link guideline: Would I recommend this to my mom?

Things I Love: The Going Home Edition


I have a pretty standard rotation of TV shows and movies that I watch in my everyday routine. But while traveling, all bets are off. In random hotel rooms, I’ll find myself watching hours of Forensic Files when my true-crime phase was something I grew out of decades ago. (The previously cited Casefile podcast is the exception).

While home, I stumbled across Boundless, a TV show starring 4 of the most accomplished endurance athletes in the world who travel the world and compete in the world’s toughest races.

They speak very eloquently about the mental and physical struggles that every person who participates in an endurance event struggles with. They are just doing it on a much greater scale.

I’ve only seen two full episodes (The Arctic Circle ski race and the 100 mile Atacama Desert run), but it’s now very high on my list to catch up on all the episodes from all three seasons.

Check out episodes on the Esquire Esquire TV website or on your cable on-demand service.

Peep Brûlée

I love marshmallow Peeps, especially when they are just a touch stale. Since Easter had just passed while I was home, of course I picked up some clearance Peeps!

While eating them, I vaguely remembered a tip I’d read years before: Peep Brulee. You take a Peep and toast it like you would a marshmallow for smores. Why not give it a shot?

It admittedly felt a little weird impaling and putting a Peep to an open flame (it was the first time I’d ever anthropomorphized a Peep), but so worth it!

The sugar melts and creates a little crust around the gooey marshmallow.


Peep Brulee
It may look a little funky, but charred Peeps are amazing!

Rake Hands

Thankfully, I live in a condo. I say thankfully because I have little skill in lawn maintenance and I have a black thumb. I have killed every single green thing I’ve ever owned.

But while home, black-thumb be damned, I helped with spring chores around the house, including bagging up a pile of leaves for pick-up. I thought I’d have to rake them into a pile, and then move them by hand into the bin.

But not this year! I discovered my parents have the coolest yard care tool I’ve ever come across – Rake Hands. I don’t know if that is the official name, but it is what I called them. They are part mitt/glove and part rake.

They made very quick work of the leaf pile and I felt like Edward Scissorhand’s little sister, Sara Rakehands.


Old Dutch Puffcorn is the best snack food in the world. It’s like popcorn, but without the kernels or husks. It’s crispy and also melts in your mouth (a tough combination) and tastes like butter and salt and I love it. It’s similar to Pirates Booty but without the terrible, fake, white cheddar taste.

Unfortunately, it’s not available in California, so I binge on it when home. My parents now know just to buy bags of it when I am coming.

Sadly, Puffcorn also does not seem to be purchasable an Amazon (get on that Old Dutch), but if you are in the Upper Midwest, it’s in every grocery store.

Little Free Libraries

Little Free Libraries are ‘take a book, leave a book’ installations people put in their front yards. They are a fun way to share books and I feel compelled to stop at them every time I pass one. You just never know what you may find.

They are becoming more common around me, but Minnesota seems to be a hotbed of them.

While home, I grabbed a Ready Player One (a book I loved) for my dad, and a 1951 US history textbook for me to flip through. I love old history books, seeing how skewed the presentation of history can be (the phrase ‘rose colored glasses’ comes to mind).

Little Free Library
A TARDIS shaped Little Free Library


Of course, I also left a few books to balance it all out.

Find one near you, or find out how to build one for your yard.


things I love


Sara is a runner, running coach, writer, blogger, and a lover of all things written.

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