My Fall Weekend Adventure on the North Shore

Hello!! Welcome to Cup of Kenz! I am so happy you are here. I hope your week has been full of peace, love and endurance.

This week I am so excited to share about my trip last weekend up on the North Shore. It was full of camping, all sorts of hikes, outdoorsy adventure and the very best company and views. I knew I loved Minnesota oh so much for its seasons, people and the fact that it just feels like home whenever I return. I knew I loved Minnesota, but the North Shore made me fall in love with Minnesota all over again and my love grew even larger after this trip. There is nothing like this place. It is peaceful, it is secluded, it is serenity, it is quiet, it is simple, it is everything I could dream of in a getaway oasis. We adventured through all of Tettegouche State Park, and Bean Lake in Silver Bay, Minnesota.

Our trip stemmed from a 5-day trip my sweet boyfriend and I did over this past summer. We knew we had to bring some of our greatest adventure pals with us this time around for a fall excursion.

Our days began in the early morning as we all slowly rolled out of our tents, comforted in knowing we survived the night without any bear attacks (although, there was some spooky noises the first night near our friend’s tent – lol.) We would brew our french press coffee, cook up some eggs and have a nutritional and filling breakfast and head out for a full day of hiking!

Coffee Camping Trip Morning

Camping Tents Northern Minnesota North Shore

We arrived later afternoon on Friday which was perfect so we fit in a 2-3 mile hike to kick off our amazing weekend!

Fall Colors Autumn Leaves North Shore Minnesota Adventure

Fall Autumn Colors Leaves North Shore Minnesota Adventure

Hiking Views River Fall Colors North Shore Minnesota

Fall Friendship Waterfall Adventure Autumn North Shore Minnesota

The hikes we went on were all different types of challenging, atmospheres and aesthetics. We encountered fog over an entire lake which made it not so visible to us, but it was incredible to see it in a different way! We met so many kind people along the trails, ate many granola bars and trail mixes, and ended the nights with our camping stove, a bonfire and hot tea to soothe our already comforted and content souls.

Fall Colors Minnesota Fall Hiking Trip

Hiking Boots Adventure North Shore Minnesota

Bean Lake North Shore Minnesota Hiking

Hiking Cliffs Bean Lake Adventure North Shore Minnesota

Fall Colors Landscape Autumn North Shore Minnesota Adventure

North Shore Minnesota Palisade Head Fall Colors Autumn Adventure

Fall Adventure Leaves North Shore Minnesota

Fall Views Adventure Hiking Autumn Leaves Trees Lake Superior North Shore Minnesota

Waterfall North Shore Minnesota Adventure Fall Colors Rocks Leaves Autumn

I cannot fully explain how wonderful it was to experience the fall up here. I was in awe of the colors, and tender moments spend walking through the trees, remembering to look up to admire the landscape and the sweet conversations around the fire reminiscing on the day and the eager planning of our next trip ahead. I 10/10 recommend going camping in the middle of the woods with your friends over just about anything. You can unplug, be present, and truly enjoy one another’s company and get to know one another on such a precious level. It is one of my very favorite and very best things you could do.

Fall Adventure North Shore Minnesota Couple Adventure

North Shore Adventure Friends Camping Hiking Fall

Being up here reminded me so much of God and His presence was so alive and active. Our Maker meets us exactly where we are at. In whatever season of life we happen to be in. The North Shore meets people from all over exactly where they are, in the middle of the woods, for various reasons that brought them there, and He shows off His creation to all of us. Scripture reminds us that although His creation is so outrageously beautiful, He sees and values and loves His children so much incredibly more than that. He provides a place for us to belong, a refuge for us, and a perspective that can change our life. He intends life to be this way – slow, simple, full of adventure, deep, true friendships, and full of joy. Lets go forth and experience and continually live on Earth as it is is Heaven. You are His masterpiece.

Thank you for following along in this post and taking a peak inside something so very close to my heart. You are amazing.

Until Next Week,

Kenz

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Hey you! Thanks for stopping by! Today’s blog post is an extra special one. This past weekend I was nominated for The Sunshine Blogger Award through a sweet friend I met through the Instagram community! I am so incredibly humbled and honored to have been chosen for this. As I have said in all of my past blog posts already and I will say it again, this blogging journey has been more than I could ever ask for or imagine so far and all praise goes to Jesus! This passion is an answered prayer and answered call and I am so humbled.


I was nominated by Elaine, The Prodigal Daughter! Elaine is a super sweet blogger who writes from the heart about women’s ministry, humility, forgiveness, redemption and all things God-breathed. She is a lover, creative, kind and empowering. This award came in the midst of a busy weekend and it reminded me how much I love sharing the encouragement of the Lord. Thank you, Elaine, for this nomination and for being exactly who God created you to be!

For those who do not know…

The Sunshine Blogger Award is awarded to bloggers by other bloggers who believe in their gifts and talents. This award is given to those who excel in all that they do and go above and beyond to reach their dreams and goals. Your passion matters and we want to cultivate that passion within you!

Once nominated, the blogger is to write a post in which they:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated them and provide links back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated them.
  3. Nominate 11 other blogs and give them 11 new questions to answer.
  4. Notify your nominees and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.

My answers –

What book are you currently reading and why did you pick it up?

So, I am actually currently reading 4 books. I really love reading…Anyways, the books I’m reading! I am almost finished with Known by Dick and Ruth Foth, Dick spoke at River Valley Church a few weeks back and was selling his and his wife’s book outside in the lobby after service. I wasn’t planning on buying it, then I just went for it. I really felt the tug to pick it up because he shared that it was about authentic friendships and how important relationships are and how to develop those. The second book I am currently reading is Not Afraid of the Fall by Kyle James. I picked up this book when a good friend of mine told me she had just ordered it and how it was about a couple who quit their jobs to go travel and backpacking for over 100 days. It has been such a fun and inspiring read! The third book I’m currently reading is Simply Tuesday by Emily Freeman. I picked it up because since joining the adulting community, society tells us Tuesdays are ordinary, but they can actually hold a lot of purpose and be extraordinary if we don’t dread them. The fourth book I am reading is Twenty-Two: Letters to a Young Woman Searching for Meaning by Allison Trowbridge. I came across an image on Twitter of an inspiring message about the future God has for us and I sent it to one of my sorority sisters from college and it resonated with her an incredible amount so she proceeded to order it for herself and for me. Each one of these books are absolutely wonderful. I don’t want them to end!

Has your vision for your blog changed since you first started blogging?

The vision of my blog has not changed since I first started blogging! I started blogging about a month ago and it had been on my heart to share my passions for Jesus, coffee and donuts, social media and encouragement on a bigger platform and I am praying for this vision and living those out daily to the best of my human ability!

If you could create a product or service, what would you create and how would it benefit those around you?

I would create a devotional for college girls. This has been a call from the Lord on my heart lately. It would benefit these women to show them the truths of college, how I found ways to lead a Godly college lifestyle and reminders they may need throughout these important years!

What do you think YOUR purpose is in life?

This is an amazing question! I think my purpose in life is to be a light to others. A light of positivity, encouragement and joy. My purpose is to further God’s kingdom and by being a light to someone, they will hopefully someday encounter our Savior and life abundant!

What does your morning ritual look like?

Honesty time! I have to be at work at 7:30am everyday. That’s pretty early! I have been working on my morning routine and lately it has been waking up and working out, doing a devotional and reading my bible for 10-15 minutes while sipping a cup of coffee, making a smoothie, getting ready and heading out the door while listening to a podcast on the drive into work. Some days, I have time to workout in the afternoon and am just so tired, I sleep in, get ready and head out the door. I am valuing and appreciating the first routine a lot more. I feel 110% more refreshed and full when I start my mornings that way.

What quote/scripture has you currently looking at life differently?

“The only thing God will care about is the way we loved.” I have always known this. But, just wow. When it was worded this particular way and when I saw it this week, it just rocked my world. Love is the greatest gift of them all.

Tea or Coffee?

Coffee, absolutely! I love all sorts of coffee – the different roasts, flavors and the comfort of the smell of a fresh pot of coffee brewing. I also have always loved tea – green tea, flavored spice teas for fall and winter, chai tea and sleepy time or chamomile tea.

What is something that most people do not know about you?

I have suffered four concussions in my life! I don’t like to talk about those experiences, but they are a huge part of my past. I am thankful my health could be much much worse!

What is your favorite color and what does this say about your wardrobe?

My favorite color is gray. This says that A LOT of my wardrobe is gray. And neutral colors. And mostly all neutral except for a little mustard yellow or navy blue. 😉

If you could give one person advice about life, what would it be?

If I could give someone advice about life, it would be to know that you are loved and worthy and that the things that are bringing you down, they are not your identity. So, embrace life to the full that you’ve been given and live it extravagantly!

If you could ask anyone anything, what would you ask and to whom would you ask?

This may sound cliche, but I definitely would ask Jesus many questions. I would ask Him about love, about how He constantly showed grace to others, about seeing others as His children, the list could go on.

 

I nominate the following Bloggers:

Tiffany Barrett (Tiffany’s Korner)

Mattie Jordan (Mattie Marie)

Moriah Grace (Quintessentially Living)

Anna Jo Baker (Discovering Her Soul Purpose)

Michaela Lorren (Michaela Lorren)

Hannah (The Everything Enthusiast)

Brooke Wilson (Living Unshackled)

Candace (Casual with Candace)

Hannah Noland (Rose Lining)

Jamie Beckham (The Blonder Life)

 

My questions for you lovely ladies!

What makes you want to get up in the morning?
What brings you the most joy?
What are five things you love about yourself?
What do you believe God says about you?
What is the best book you have read lately and why?
What is the biggest thing you’ve learned as a Christian blogger?
If you could spend your day doing absolutely anything, what would you day look like?
What is your favorite way to worship God?
If you could tell someone only one thing about Jesus, what would it be?
What is the best piece of wisdom you have received?

 

This award means so so much to me! These women are absolutely incredible. They love like Jesus, work hard and for the Lord, and are so passionate and equally creative. Each of them are unique in their special way, and man, I’m sure lucky to have them in my corner. I hope they know just how much they have impacted my journey and how much they are impacting God’s kingdom!

Until Next Time,

Kenz

Snapshots and Espresso Shots at Mugshots!

Hello sweet friends!

I hope you all have had refreshing, intentional, and fulfilling weeks!! I want to tell you guys something. That is that, I have learned to love blogging on Friday’s. That was my intent going into this blog. But I am just reflecting, and it is so sweet to look back on my week and process everything and really send my prayers and praises to the Lord for what this week has held. So, I encourage you all to take time on a Friday, or a restful Sunday to reflect and dig into what God has spoken to you or taught you in the past week. It’s more than you’d know, is what I’ve learned so far. 🙂

This week I had the pleasure of going to Mugshots Coffee Company southwest of Minneapolis in Bloomington, Minnesota. Y’all, this place is a treasure. A rare gem. It is AWESOME. I want to live down the street so I can go here weekly. The vibe is simple, modern, open and full of passion and deep conversation. The baristas are incredibly kind. At Mugshots, they want every customer to be genuinely cared for and known! I am in love. For something as small as a coffee shop to have that as their mission, is something super special. They are impacting lives, for sure. My mug definitely mattered this afternoon. Thanks, Mugshots.

Interior Coffee Shop Bakery

Trendy Modern Coffee Shop Interior Bible Verse

Coffee Shop Vibes

Their menu was adorable, and side note: they have Nordic Waffles (basically a savory or sweet waffle sandwich *insert heart eyes*) on their menu which completely caught my eye!! I am currently on a 21-day meal plan and absolutely loving it!! I am learning so much about fueling my body with good things just like how the Lord teaches us to fuel our minds with such. It’s been a liberating and motivating experience!! It doesn’t allow me to have any cream or syrups in my coffee so I stuck with an americano with some steamed soy milk. I usually don’t get this type of drink, but I wanted to be obedient and I went for it! It wasn’t my favorite, but I got it iced and that is always more up my alley and that was a lot better! Mugshots, you betcha I will be back for a flavored latte and waffles.

Menu Coffee Shop Interior Trendy

Iced Coffee Americano Drink

What has been filling my cup this week is praises for our Maker. Life can get tough sometimes, but I thank and praise Jesus for the people and trials He has placed in my path the past few days. In times of disappointment, confusion or worry, I have found hope knowing He already has it all figured out. This week has held its handful of discouragements, but I’ve fought my worldly ambitions to trust that God is still on the move in those times. My cup is full knowing God can do more than we could ask or imagine if we present those requests to Him.

Prayers Needed Coffee Shop

Friend, whether or not this week has been hard for you or if it has been joy-filled, please remember this as you go into your weekend:

Your identity does not come from the trial you are in right now. You were made for more than the situation that is claiming your identity right now. It does not define your worth or have any authority over you. Your worth and identity lie in Jesus’ goodness and grace, and He already paid the most sacrificial price for you to believe that and hear that truth proclaimed!

Thank you so very much for stopping by Cup of Kenz. Be blessed!!

Kenz

Grab a Coffee and Gather Roundtable, Friends!

Hi sweet friends! I am overjoyed you are visiting my blog today. These past two weeks have been filled with so much support and true compassion for this vision!

This week I ventured to Roundtable Coffee Works in St. Paul, MN. My sweet coworker Sam so graciously joined me on my trip and I was so glad she got to experience Roundtable Coffee Works alongside me!!

Coffee Shop Exterior

Coffee Shop Sign

Coffee Shop Interior

Roundtable Coffee Works Coffee Mugs

Roundtable Coffee Works was in a pretty cool area, I thought. It wasn’t in a busy place at all, which is an unknown, quiet fear of mine. It was just off the road near some apartment buildings, and other industrial type shops. It was the most adorable little corner shop. It was smaller than I thought, and it only had two tables inside for seating, which I thought was unusual. But nonetheless, it was cute and I understand and appreciate now it’s also used for a quick grab and go stop for #goodcoffee and talking with the awesome baristas! And boy did their coffee sure prove the place its worth. (More on that to come!) I thoroughly enjoyed the interior of the coffee shop. It had its own unique style, I mean, there was an actual coffee grinder/roaster, which was super neat to see!!! Roundtable Coffee Works’ motto is “Good coffee stems from appreciation. Appreciation for a simple beverage, for grace & kindness, and for working with gusto. Roundtable Coffee Works is building a coffee culture around this appreciation.” What an incredible mission!

No donut for Kenz, today! I was completely content with the best vanilla latte I’ve ever had. The vanilla flavor was unlike any other. It was rich, smooth, and tasted like a slice of Heaven. It sure was a gift. Sam had an iced Done Well, a Roundtable Coffee Works original!! I cannot remember exactly what all was in it, but I know she mentioned maple and a few other ingredients! It was such a vibrant flavor, and she sure enjoyed it. It was really cool to see a coffee shop have drinks like this in addition to the usual lattes and and cold presses.

Coffee Drinks with Friends

Coffee Latte Art

What’s filling my cup this week is learning to be a peacemaker. I am learning that living God’s ways doesn’t mean all people will like WHO we are, but they will like WHAT we are, which is peacemakers. To always be striving for peace. You could be striving for peace in your home, in your workplace or with your friends. Any toxicity in your life can feel like an enemy. God commands us to pray for our enemies, to cover that in peace and confront it head-on and treat them as He would. If we feel the situation is getting too hard, we need to put the situation in God’s hands and let Him work it out, or ultimately, walk away from a situation if it is getting out of hand, just as Christ did when he withdrew himself from the Pharisees and Herodians who were plotting to kill Him. (Mark 3:6-7).

I want to share three steps I found to live out when striving for peace:

1. Tell someone about the situation you’re in

2. Recognize who you are (Say to yourself what God says about you!)

3. Trust God will bring you out of this

The Lord is with us and for us. He will not let us be destroyed by other people’s actions. Receive comfort in knowing He sees everything happening to you.

I am praying for peace. I am praying for hope in whatever situation you may find yourself in where you are feeling troubled, lost, alone or full of worry. I pray the ones that surround you fill you up with the love Christ fills us with. I am praying you are able to rest in knowing that God’s love for you is extravagant, far beyond our comprehension and the greatest love of existence.

Coffee Shop Wall Friends

Happy Fall, y’all!

Kenz

 

Donut Forget the Coffee, YoYo!

Happy Friday, friends!! I am so glad you are here! I have received so much love and support in this journey already and it has only just begun. I so strongly desire to be a light of Jesus and an inspirational and encouraging platform! Without further ado, let’s get started.

My adventure for this week was to YoYo Donuts & Coffee Bar in Hopkins, Minnesota, which is just outside of southwest Minneapolis! I was so thrilled walking into this place knowing it was my first of many trips on this endeavor.

I could not get over how simple, chill, and refreshing of an atmosphere YoYo’s was. It definitely had an at-home, small town feel right when I walked in, which I didn’t expect, but it absolutely made sense when I got there. There was only one other person in the café when I walked in, and walked around a little bit before I ordered anything or found a spot to sit for the afternoon. Once I finally stopped admiring (for a minute), I placed my order and began a conversation with the barista. I asked her how her day was going and how long she had been working there. She was so smiley, (which I loved!) and genuinely cared that I was attempting to have a conversation with her. She said she had been working there almost a year and really has enjoyed her time there up to this point! She thanked me for being so friendly and I thanked her for the awesome service and sweet delights!

Coffee Shop Entrance- Welcome

Speaking of sweet delights.

For coffee, I was unsure of what to order because their menu was very basic. This always troubles me, yet somehow at the same time leaves me at ease. I asked my new friend the barista what her favorite drink was. She was so happy. She said she loved the white mocha and the chai latte. She is speaking my language!! I proceeded to order an iced white mocha! It was SO good. A bit sweeter than what I usually would get, an iced coffee or Americano, but I was satisfied, none the less, and got to enjoy it over a few hour time span.

Coffee Shop- Coffee Roast

Coffee Drink-Iced White Chocolate Mocha

My donut!! It sure was awesome. I got a cake donut with white frosting and sprinkles. It was the cutest. I usually would choose the glazed donut type, but I was feeling this and it was a bit smaller and I wasn’t too hungry!! It was SO fresh. I didn’t want it to end. I would recommend this to anyone!

Coffee Drink and Donut Pastry

What has been filling my cup this week is that there is NOBODY like our God. I heard the song Nobody Like You Lord by Maranda Willis at a ministry leadership retreat this past weekend and hearing other servants of Him just pour out their hearts and sing “Nobody Like You Lord” really moved in me. In a society filled with an immense amount of constant comparison, it is an everyday refreshment to know that although Jesus is our perfect example, there is no comparison with Him, because He is perfect and there is nobody like Him, and there is no one besides Him. I think comparison can lead to not loving one another like He loves us, and as we all fall short of the glory of God with that piece of our hearts, we must remember He is our rock and HE is mighty over everything – not us.

‘O Lord GOD, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your strong hand; for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as Yours? – Deuteronomy 3:24

Portrait

Have a blessed weekend, lovelies!!

Kenz

Welcome to Cup of Kenz!

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Hello friends!! Welcome to my blog! I am SO excited to share this sweet space with you and what this adventure will hold. Cup of Kenz will seek to combine several passions of mine: social media, writing, Jesus and trying new things. It is my hope to go out every Friday to a new coffee or donut shop, share the details of that and what is filling my cup that week and what Jesus has been doing in my heart.

I wanted to introduce myself first. These are 10 facts I think you should know about me. 🙂

  1. I absolutely love encouraging others. If this was a love language, I think this would be mine of how I love on others.
  2. I am a big fan of simplicity. An evening walk, a good book, or frozen pizza and wine for dinner? I’m in.
  3. Jesus is my rock. If you want to have life chats and share testimonies and deep conversations, I would love to be your friend!
  4. My favorite coffee is either anything iced with caramel or vanilla or a soy caramel macchiato if I’m having a sweet treat!
  5. Whether it’s neutral colors, stripes, loose-fitting or in Target’s fall collection, that’s most likely what I’ll be wearing.
  6. I’m definitely an introvert, but will come out to play with the right company.
  7. The best donut out there in my opinion is a glazed ring donut with vanilla frosting and the cutest sprinkles available.
  8. With fall quickly approaching, I must admit it is my favorite season for many reasons. The cooler weather, football, candles, layers and the colorful views are just the beginning.
  9. I am the best at trying to fit so much into one day and be purposeful and intentional, yet sometimes I end up not wanting to do any of it.
  10. A perfect day for me would start with a morning cup of coffee, reading a devotional, going for a long hike, cooking a fresh dinner, and ending the night laughing with my loved ones maybe playing Settlers of Catan.

Be on the lookout for my first blog next week!

Until Next Week Friends,

Kenz