Milwaukee Events – September 2016

Milwaukee Events - September 2016 | https://www.roseclearfield.com

One of the best events in Milwaukee, Doors Open Milwaukee, takes place in September!

U. S. Bank Building in Milwaukee, WI | original photo by Rose Clearfield

the U.S. Bank Building, one of many buildings open to visitors during Doors Open Milwaukee

The 2016 event is Saturday, September 17 and Sunday, September 18, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. both days. It’s a rare opportunity to explore a wealth of really neat sites around the city, including churches, historical downtown buildings, theaters, local businesses, local breweries, and much more. I’ll have a full preview post later this month, but make sure to put it on your calendar now.

Bristol Renaissance Faire | original photo by Rose Clearfield https://www.roseclearfield.com

I love watching the torch glass artist at the Renaissance Faire.

Also, Labor Day weekend, September 3, 4, and 5, is the final weekend for the 2016 Bristol Renaissance Faire. You don’t want to miss it!

Sept. 1-5: Milwaukee Rally
Sept. 3: The Color Run Night 5K
Sept. 4: Big Gig BBQ
Sept. 8-11: Indian Summer Festival
Sept. 9-10: Tosafest
Sept. 10: Brewers Mini Marathon
Sept. 10-11: Frank Mots Kite Festival
Sept. 12-21: 10 Days in Tosa
Sept. 14: NEWaukee Night Market
Sept. 17: Milwaukee River Challenge
Sept. 17: Bay View Bash
Sept. 17-18: Doors Open Milwaukee
Sept. 17-18: Cedarburg Wine & Harvest Festival
Sept. 22-Oct.6: Milwaukee Film Festival
Sept. 24: Fromm PetFest
Sept. 24-25: Harvest Fair / Maker Faire
Sept. 26-Oct. 2: Milwaukee Cocktail Week
Sept. 29: Zoo Brew

Ongoing Fall Events

Cafe Live @ The Plaza Hotel: Friday and Saturdays, 5:00-9:00 p.m., late May through late September.
Friday Night Live in Waukesha: Fridays, 6:30-9:00 p.m, June through October
Jazz in the Park: Thursdays, 5:00-9:00 p.m, early June through early September
MKE Oktoberfest: September 29-October 2. Thursday 9/29: 4:00-11:00 p.m., Friday 9/30 and Saturday 10/1: noon-11:00 p.m., Sunday 10/2: noon-6:00 p.m.
NEWaukee’s Lunar Series Presented by Penrod @ the Milwaukee Athletic Club: Fridays, 6:00-11:00 p.m., early July through early September.
Oktoberfest: September 9-10, September 16-17, September 23-24, September 30-October 1. Fridays 5:00 p.m.-midnight, Saturdays, noon-midnight.
Sunday Sounds: Sundays, 2:00-5:00 p.m, late May through early September.

Are you looking for even more free music?
Check out Free Music Milwaukee and county.milwaukee.gov.

Farmers Markets

The greater Milwaukee area is home to dozens of fabulous farmers markets, including one of my personal favorites (and one of the biggest in the area), the West Allis Farmers Market. Many Milwaukee farmers markets operate through mid to late fall.

Beer Gardens

Milwaukee is home to four fabulous beer gardens, all of which operate through October. It’s not too late to enjoy a brew and a giant pretzel in a gorgeous park setting. The Landing at Hoyt Park features live music on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays (see event calendar for times), and the South Shore Terrace features live music Wednesday evenings from 5:00-8:00 p.m.

Are you looking for even more things to do in Milwaukee on the cheap?
Check out Free Things To Do In Milwaukee WI.

[Disclaimer: I do not work for the city of Milwaukee. I am not paid to promote any of the events listed on this page. I’m simply a resident of southeast WI who loves Milwaukee and enjoys attending and generating exposure for events in Milwaukee.]

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Tropical Green Smoothie With Pineapple, Mango, and Coconut

Tropical Green Smoothie with Pineapple, Mango, and Coconut | https://www.roseclearfield.com

I am inherently wary  of trends, and green smoothies are no exception. Plus the idea of blending spinach with fruit sounded pretty gross. Wouldn’t it taste like a salad in a glass? I know that I’m not alone here. For the record, I still don’t make green smoothies with kale. Ever. But I have come around to spinach and am still always pleasantly surprised by how little you can taste it in the smoothie.

In case you think I’m really behind the times, I wrote my first green smoothie article back in early 2014. I know many people would rather post about smoothie bowls and other more trendy food creations, but in mid-2016, I’m still sharing my go-to green smoothie recipe.

This green smoothie recipe has a tropical flare because I love all things coconut (anyone else?), and pineapple and mango is one of my favorite fruit combinations. Does it taste like a pina colada? No. But it’s a close second, which is pretty exciting when you want a delicious drink that’s also healthy and will keep you going for a few hours of the day.

I make my green smoothies using an immersion blender because it’s quick and requires minimal cleanup. It’s also a really greater blender solution for a single person smoothie. For me, blending 20-30 seconds with the immersion blender creates a texture I like. If you prefer a super well-blended smoothie, of course feel free to make it in a high-powered blender. (I really love the immersion blender model I use that I’ve linked above. Check it out.)

Tropical Green Smoothie with Pineapple, Mango, and Coconut | https://www.roseclearfield.com

If you’re using frozen fruit, thaw it in the microwave for 30-45 seconds. I thaw my fruit right in my immersion blender cup. If you’re using fresh fruit, chop up the fruit for your smoothie into large cubes. You’re going to be blending it so you don’t have to chop it particularly nicely. Add the fruit to the bottom of your blender or immersion blender cup. I add 3/4-1 cup fruit so I’m adding just under 1/2 cup each of mango and pineapple.

Tropical Green Smoothie with Pineapple, Mango, and Coconut | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Layer the fresh spinach leaves on top of the fruit. I add one cup of spinach leaves, loosely packed.

Tropical Green Smoothie with Pineapple, Mango, and Coconut | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Add the liquids. I add 3/4 cup soy milk and 1/4 cup coconut water. I only use soy milk at home, and as such, have not experimented with other types of milk for my smoothies. Feel free to use the milk of your choice for your tropical green smoothie.

Tropical Green Smoothie with Pineapple, Mango, and Coconut | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Finally, add a small handful of sweetened shredded coconut. I know that there is a huge stigma right now about adding sweetener, especially granulated sugar, to…basically anything. Personally, I don’t see how it’s any better to add a ton of honey or agave but no sugar. Anyway, if you can drink a green fruit smoothie with no sugar, more power to you. I need some sweetener, and I find that the sweetened shredded coconut adds that sweet while also taking the coconut flavor (and the texture of the drink) up a notch without adding lots of sugar.

Tropical Green Smoothie with Pineapple, Mango, and Coconut | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Using your immersion blender, blend the smoothie for 20-30 seconds, tapping the blender a couple times to make sure all of the fruit and spinach gets blended thoroughly. If you’re using a high-powered blender, you may need to adjust the blending time slightly.

Tropical Green Smoothie with Pineapple, Mango, and Coconut | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Enjoy! Usually I drink it right out of the immersion blender cup with a straw. But I put it in a glass and styled it a bit for the blog.

Tropical Green Smoothie With Pineapple, Mango, and Coconut

Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Beverages
Servings: 1

Ingredients

  • 1/4-1/2 cup mango cubed
  • 1/4-1/2 cup pineapple cubed
  • 1 cup spinach leaves washed and loosely packed
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut water
  • small handful sweetened shredded coconut

Instructions

  • If you're using frozen fruit, thaw it in the microwave for 30-45 seconds. If you're using fresh fruit, chop up the fruit for your smoothie into large cubes.
  • Add the mango and pineapple to the bottom of your blender or immersion blender cup.
  • Layer the fresh spinach leaves on top of the fruit, taking care not to pack them too tightly.
  • Add the milk and coconut water.
  • Add a small handful of sweetened shredded coconut.
  • Use your immersion blender or other blender of your choosing to blend the smoothie for 20-30 seconds. Pause to tap or shake the blender a couple times to make sure the fruit and spinach blend thoroughly. If you're not using an immersion blender, you may need to adjust the time slightly.
  • Serve immediately. Enjoy!

If you made this recipe or any other recipe on my blog, tag it #RoseClearfield on Twitter or Instagram, send me a snap on Snapchat (randomcreative), or post a photo to my Facebook page, and I’ll check it out! Thanks!

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Mini Home Tour: Kitchen Wall Art

Today I’m sharing a short tour of the wall art in my kitchen. In previous residences, I haven’t had the option to display art on the kitchen walls. Aside from space over the sink to hang a calendar, I’ve had very limited space for hanging art. My one big kitchen decor project in our Milwaukee house was my glass jars with flowers display. I still love these jars and flowers. Lacking a big display area now, I have them arranged in small groups throughout the entryway, living room, kitchen pass through, and my office. I’ll share photos of them again at some point. But today, I’m focusing on the wall art in the kitchen.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of most kitchen wall art. Chalkboard or chevron prints with cheesy kitchen related jokes or lines about the things you do when you’re hangry or lacking coffee don’t fit my style. At all. And most of what you see on Etsy and similar sites is along these lines. Search Etsy for kitchen wall art, and you’ll see what I mean. So it’s taken me a while to find tasteful pieces that fit my style and work in the existing space.

Kitchen Wall Art | https://www.roseclearfield.com

For many years, one of my trademark kitchen features was the refrigerator covered in photos and magnets. In Milwaukee, I could also display Christmas cards on the side. I left them up all year round because I love looking at the pictures people send. Now I have stainless steel appliances, which as I’m sure many of you know, are not magnetic. So I picked up the magnetic framed boards at Target. The white framed board was originally a really boring medium brown that didn’t fit my style so I painted it.

Then I had to pair down the photos and magnets I wanted to display. The boards have less than half of the items I had displayed in Milwaukee when we moved. I try to switch up / update my kitchen photos a couple times a year, but I’ve only swapped out one or two photos since we moved.

Kitchen Wall Art | https://www.roseclearfield.com

I’m not sure when or how it struck me that I wanted to display “Bless us oh Lord” in the kitchen. I couldn’t find a print with it that I loved so I made my own. I know it’s so simple, but it’s one of my favorite pieces in the house now.

Kitchen Wall Art | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Jake and I almost always serve a specialty cheese when we have people over, typically a local smoked variety. Plus we live in Wisconsin. Enough said, right? The cheese print fits us.

Kitchen Wall Art | https://www.roseclearfield.com

I never would have filled this space on my own, but the silverware print is on a hook that’s painted onto the wall. Until we re-paint the kitchen (which isn’t happening anytime soon), something has to go there. I spent way too long browsing silverware prints to find just the right design. The girl who made this print is the same girl who made the lighthouse print I have in our guest bedroom.

I displayed the 8″x8″ square frame in the entryway in our Milwaukee house, but it fits better in our new kitchen. I swap out the art periodically to fit the current season or holiday. I use a combination of catalog covers (I love Paper Source) and free printables I’ve found online. I have a full list of the free printable sources I’ve used thus far at the end of this post.

Kitchen Wall Art | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Finally, in our Milwaukee house, I had a large clothespin photo display between the living room and dining room. Similar to the mason jars, I don’t have a space in our new home for this exact display. I took most of the current photos from that display for some new frames in my office and made the new clothespins displays another rotating season / holiday / whatever else I feel like display.

This past month, I’ve had varying festival photos on the top display because we’re well into festival season here in southeast WI. The bottom display has postcards from the current special exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum, American Epics. (It’s there until September 5. Go see it.) For September, I’m planning to print a selection of my new Glacier National Park photos and create an all Glacier display with some new postcards I got while we were there.

Sources:

Magnetic boards: Target (unfortunately, the medium brown is the only style available now, but it’s very easy to paint or cover over it with fabric or scrapbook paper)
“Bless us oh Lord” – DIY design, printed with SmugMug
Cheese: Etsy, printed with SmugMug
Silverware: Etsy (background color – whisper)
The “Bless us oh Lord,” cheese, silverware, and rotating square print frames are all from Michaels. If you’d like more specific details for locating any of these frames, let me know.

Free printables for the rotating 8″x8″ square frame: Sandy Toes and Popsicles, Remodelaholic, Brit + Co, Tater Tots and Jello (this post has the pictured waves), and My Love for Words.  I cropped all prints to 8″x8″ and had them printed with SmugMug. I have some more free printables collected over here as well.

[Disclaimer: There are a few affiliate links in this post.}

How do you decorate your kitchen?
Feel free to leave links to favorite products!

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Summer 2016 Travel Essentials

Summer 2016 Travel Essentials | https://www.roseclearfield.com

Over the past five years, I have greatly improved my travel packing. I’ve learned what’s really important and what I can leave at home, maximizing my bag space so I’m carrying a limited number of items that are really useful. Today I’m sharing a few of the essential items I brought with me for my recent Montana trip.

Backpack: I’ve owned this LowePro backpack since late 2012. It’s my go-to carry-on bag for airplane travel because it can house a laptop and DSLR camera and because a backpack is more comfortable than a shoulder bag for long days of airport travel and walking while on vacation (I use this shoulder bag for day trips and shorter excursions at home). It has ample room for a large laptop (my current laptop screen is just over 15″) and all of the DSLR gear most hobby photographers will ever need on vacation as well as room to spare for additional carry-on travel items (i.e. Kindle, headphones).

Portable charger: Sitting at the airport chained to the wall outlet or worrying about your phone usage while away from the hotel all day is really lame. Portable chargers are so affordable and make travel with electronic devices much less of a hassle. I try to keep my RAVPower charger charged at home in case of a power outage or emergency, but I primarily use it for travel. It’s a lifesaver during long airport stints and any day you’re away from the hotel for 8-12 hours (i.e. at Disney World, on a day long bus tour to the Grand Canyon).

On a similar note, I also bring a charged spare camera battery or I use my DSLR battery grip while traveling. Canon cameras have amazing battery life. It’s extremely unlikely that I would run out of charge during a single vacation day. But it isn’t worth taking the risk.

Headphones: I bought my first pair of over the ear headphones a couple years ago and have never looked back. I can wear earbuds for short periods of time but over the ear headphones are much better for airplane travel, particularly landing. If you struggle with intense ear popping and pain during landing, I highly recommend headphones. The pair I own is not anything fancy and doesn’t have amazing sound quality, although I still think it’s better than earbuds. At some point, I may upgrade, but for now, this pair is getting the job done.

CPL filter: A CPL or circular polarizer filter is like sunglasses for your camera. When you’re shooting in bright outdoor conditions, a CPL filter helps reduce blown out areas and saturate colors. I use my CPL filters frequently, but they are a must on a summer vacation when you’re often shooting in mid-day under very bright conditions. They even sell CPL filters for Go-Pros.

I do keep sunglasses for myself with me at all times while traveling, too, but I’m an extremely boring sunglasses wearer who usually has a $10 pair of Target sunglasses. I don’t have any fun sunglasses links to share with you, sorry.

Camera rainsleeve: After putting my camera in rice for a few days following a bad rain soak (which does work!), I purchased this set of rainsleeves. I now keep one in my shoulder bag and one in my backpack. If you’re traveling with a high-end camera, it’s better to be safe than sorry. It doesn’t take long for a little sprinkle to turn into a full-fledged downpour and seriously damage or even destroy expensive camera gear. Having the sleeve means the difference between shooting in rain safely and not shooting at all or shooting and risking severe damage. I was very glad to have my sleeve during the Glacier trip where it rained off and on during the entire second half of the excursion.

The North Face Trail Sneakers

Finally, for the Montana trip, I purchased my first ever pair of trail shoes from The North Face. Generally I wear sneakers 90-95% of the time on vacation. For this trip, I needed something with a thicker tread than standard running sneakers offer. I have this pair of trail shoes (the cosmic blue / rocket red model) except I paid less than a third of the listed price at the outlets.

These shoes blew me away. I wear sneakers often, even when I’m not traveling. I’m pretty picky about what I wear, and I’ve never owned anything this comfortable. I really hadn’t worn them outside of the store before heading to the airport. They got me through two 10+ hour travel days, an afternoon outing to Lewis and Clark National Forest, a full 24 hours of camping (during which I slept in them because it was so cold), and a nearly 12 hour day for the Glacier Park excursion with NO blisters. It also rained pretty hard during the half an hour we spent at the top of Glacier, and they didn’t soak through. They aren’t the most padded sneakers I’ve ever owned, but my feet have never felt better during or after a vacation so I really can’t complain.

What are your essential travel items?

[Disclaimer: This post contains a handful of referral links. Using these links to purchase the mentioned products or anything else from Amazon is a simple way to support my blog. I do not receive any other type of compensation for mentioning specific products on my blog.]

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