October 18, 2018

A Trip To Minnesota's Largest Candy Store

For our 6 year anniversary, we made a trip out to Minnesota's Largest Candy Store to celebrate as one of the traditional gifts for the 6th anniversary is candy/sugar. Despite having lived in Minnesota for 8 years, we have never been, so this was also our first trip, but it won't be our last!


Minnesota's Larget Candy Store is located in Jordan, MN and is seasonal, so it's only open Mid-May through November. You can find out exactly when they are open and their hours on their Facebook page, which is there only source of information. An important thing to note is that they only accept cash or checks, but there is an ATM on site. There are also bathrooms located at the front, near the checkout.

We chose to go on our anniversary, which was on a Saturday. We went in the morning thinking it would be so bad, but it was packed! I definitely recommend going on a weekday if you can! We had no idea it was that popular, but I guess when you have almost every type of candy you can imagine, you become a pretty popular store!

Besides the classic Hersheys and Reeses, there were all sorts of European and Japanese candy. We left with 6 little tubs of differently flavored taffy, ones I haven't ever even heard of like strawberry cheesecake, pumpkin pie, and carrot cake! They had classic flavors, like vanilla and blue raspberry, available too.


While candy is the main attraction, it's not the only thing Minnesota's Largest Candy Store sells. They also have the largest soda collection, over 1,000 different types, including the hard to find Japanese soda, Ramune! They have tons of puzzles, chips, and various other goodies as well. You can also find pumpkins, syrup, honey, and freshly baked apple pies. Everything you need for fall!

Prices are a little on the high side. I would skip on things you can get at Target, like pocky and American candy, and focus on the things harder to find, like the Kinder, Milka, and Japanese candies. Their taffy is reasonably priced at just under $2 for a little tub, but I would still focus on the flavors you can't find anywhere else.

Their pumpkins, however, are a steal at just under $5 and the cheapest we've seen so far, at least in our area. Totally recommend planning your trip around October for that reason so you can get candy and pumpkins for Halloween!

The building itself is worth seeing. The ceilings are beautifully decorated and you'll spy some of your favorite superheroes and other famous TV icons, like the Tardis from Doctor Who!


Our daughter was only 1, but she had fun looking around and was upset when we left, so I think it's great for all ages! There's so much to see!

Have you been to Minnesota's Largest Candy Store?

October 9, 2018

DIY Harry Potter Wands

Disclosure: Affiliate links are also used in this post. Read my full disclosure here. 

We made these as favors for our wedding, which you can check out in this post, but these would also be great for Halloween costumes and Magical/Harry Potter themed birthday parties!

What You Need:


Wood Chopsticks – You can find big bags of these at Asian stores for super cheap, or if you eat at Chinese restaurants a lot, you can stock up on the ones they give you. Otherwise, there is always Amazon!

Glue Gun & Glue Sticks

Acrylic Paint – I used three different shades of brown, black, and white. The black and white were for mixing with the browns to make even more shades, or I would paint with the brown first and then use a fine point brush with the black for cool streaks and designs.

Newspaper or Paper Towel


Step By Step:


1. Plug in your glue gun to get it warmed up. Your glue gun will probably come with instructions and it will tell you how long to wait, mine takes about 5 minutes.

2. While your glue gun is getting warmed up, set up newspaper or paper towel on your work surface. We had hardwood floors, so I had set up my crafting spot on the floor.

3. Once your gun has warmed up, take a chopstick, hold it sideways, your hand should be covering the pointed end, the part you will not be hot gluing, and start covering the big end (the end you are not holding) in hot glue.

BE CAREFUL! Hot glue is hot enough to burn; I still have a burn mark on my leg from when I made these and a little dripped, so make sure you are holding the chopstick over the newspaper!

If you feel the need to shape your glue at this point, use another chopstick; do not touch the glue until it has had some time to cool down. You can touch it once it has cooled down and do some shaping then too before it solidifies.

4. After the hot glue has cooled on the stick, you can rub it between your hands and shape it however you want! You can add more hot glue to make a thicker handle or you can make fun bumps and designs (that is how I got the raised swirls on my wands).

5. Wait until your wand completely cools and hardens before setting it down to do the next one, or your designs could become misshaped as the glue will flatten on the floor. You could also get a styrofoam block and stick them in upright if time is of the essence.

6. After you have finished with the hot glue, it is time to paint! Once finished painting, set aside to dry, and then you are done!

Wands Drying
Completed Wands

For more photos of the process, Majan on Deviantart has a very similar step by step tutorial, which you can check out here.


October 1, 2018

When Consent Isn't Really Consent - This Is My Story

When I was 18 years old I was pressured by an older guy to do things with him that to this day I have not forgotten.

I didn’t speak up during the #MeToo movement because I didn’t feel my incident counts and even now I feel I fall into some gray area because I did technically consent.

The reason I’m sharing my story now, almost 10 years later, is because of the Kavanaugh case. People claiming Ford is lying, that she can’t remember, that it was a different guy and that she should have reported sooner, or why didn’t she say anything when this and this happened. People saying she’s in it for the money, etc.

So I thought, maybe if I share my story even if it may not apply, maybe, just maybe, people will understand why women don’t speak about their assault as soon as it happens or in some cases, the secret dies with them.

I was a senior in high school when M (I know his name, I’ll never forget it, but I won’t out him, so he will be referred to as M) contacted me through Facebook messenger.  I knew M through work, so it wasn’t some completely random guy, but it wasn’t someone I talked to regularly. He was a supervisor. I’m not sure on age, but probably twenties as he was in college; it wasn’t a "huge" age gap. I worked there since I was 16, so I knew who he was and so I accepted his friend request.

What should have been a red flag at the start was that he was engaged, and he was messaging me, telling me I was pretty, sending pics, sexting. Yet, foolish teenage me, me who had never been with a boy, who was already self-conscious about how I looked, thought that maybe he liked me and the other woman didn’t matter. 

In the end, M got me to agree to meet him at his place after school one day. I don’t remember if he asked to touch me, but I also didn’t say no. I remember I wanted to stop, but I couldn’t find my voice. It felt as if I didn’t have one.  I was vulnerable and scared in that moment. I didn’t fully understand what was happening, but it didn’t feel right having him touch me. It wasn’t how the media made it seem.

When one of his roommates came home, we stopped and that’s when I left.

The odd thing was he never pressured for sex, and he never kissed me on the lips. It was purely all hand stuff and nothing more.  He knew ahead of time, from our conversations, that I was a virgin and that I had never been kissed, so maybe he was playing off the “friend” role or maybe those were things reserved for his fiancé’ and part of some open relationship agreement they had.

M messaged me again later, talked about our time together and brought up anal (apparently his fiancé’ wouldn’t do it at the time), which I said no to.  I asked him if his fiancé’ knew, but he kind of skirted around the question, said we were just friends fooling around. That there’s no harm in that, convinced me what we were doing was okay. He managed to sweet talk me into visiting him again.

The second time around not much happened as one of his roommates came home earlier than expected.  That was the weird thing about the second visit. We were in his room, door closed, but when he heard a car pull up, he stopped everything, and opened the door. He even left for a bit to talk to his roommate, then came back and convinced me to play a video game with him for a bit (probably to give off the impression that we were just friends).

It hit me then that what we were doing wasn’t right as it seemed he didn’t want to get caught with me and that is where things ended. I was leaving for college soon anyway, which he knew, so we never met up again. He never contacted me again, though I still saw him at work (very awkward and uncomfortable), and I eventually unfriended him on Facebook.

The main reason I haven’t shared my story, as I stated before, is because I consented. I never said no. I never said stop. However, I didn’t feel good. I didn’t enjoy it. I felt weird, confused, and humiliated afterward. I wanted to forget the whole thing, so I thought if I didn’t talk about it, then it didn’t happen, but here I am, almost 10 years later, and I still remember it like it was yesterday.

However, the law and others won’t see my inner turmoil. Putting myself out here now, I’m sure I’m going to have people saying “well you consented so…” or “you never said stop…” Both of which are true, but as I said, at the time I felt vulnerable. I didn’t feel I could say no. It just didn’t occur to me that was an option. 

I think consent can be a tricky thing for this reason. It’s great to teach our kids “no means no,” but sometimes, “no” isn’t always so clear and peer pressure can cause someone who is on the edge to say “yes” when they really don’t want to.

Had I been one year younger, he would have been labeled a predator due to the age difference, but because I was 18 when he chose to get in touch with me, I lost that defense.

So I don’t believe assault to be black and white. I think there is a gray area, which is where I fall into and I think many girls do, and I want them to know they aren’t alone.

I also never told anyone because I thought it was just a really big mistake. I was the one at fault, but now I’m not entirely sure that’s the case. I think this guy saw an opportunity. He found me, a girl who knew nothing about sex, nothing about relationships, and used it to his advantage. He manipulated me, made me believe that what we were doing was okay, and basically convinced me to say yes.  

So I totally understand why many women don’t speak up until years later. They blame themselves. They want to forget. They had strict parents, like I did, which is another reason I didn’t say anything until now.

I grew up with abstinence-only education, so what I learned was mostly from bad young adult novels, friends, and worst of all, porn. I really didn’t have anyone I could go to talk about boys or sex. If brought up, it was basically "don't do it" or "you'll get diseases and die." I lacked the education that may have saved me from this situation.

I was also somewhere without my parents’ permission, so if I told them, they would find out I was lying and I feared the punishment, so I chose to pretend it never happened, which is another reason why many women don’t say anything until years later because they were likely somewhere they shouldn’t have been, like a party or friend's house. Something bad happened, but they feared punishment or worse, that their parents wouldn’t believe them or even worse, their parents would blame them, so they choose to live with the shame instead.

In the end, I’m left with a bad memory and no words for it. I don’t feel it classifies as assault, but I don’t think he is innocent either. All I know is, he wounded me and the scars will forever remain.