Happy Hump Day & a Painting the Town Party review


Oh yeah, it’s Hump Day everyone! Is this week flying by or is it just me?!

Yesterday was another beautiful day here in Bismarck! I think we might have topped out at a sunny 48 degrees! Glorious day for a run outside which is what I did after work before picking my little one up.

To top the day off, I had a “girls date” with my dear friend Jenna. We had plans to “Paint the Town” and I was pretty pumped for a girls night out.

The Paint the Town Party is an event put on by one of our local news stations, Towns Square Media. We were able to buy tickets through this really great site called Seize the Deal. Seize the Deal is one of those daily deal websites that offers discounts on local restaurants as well as tickets for activities around town. It sounded like a really great time! Admission got you one ticket to Painting the Town Party at Lucky Ducks which included class and instruction time, two adult beverages and a shared appetizer. And best of all, you get to go home with a canvas painting that you made!

I loved that the class was held at Lucky Ducks! It is a local restaurant and bar that has really unique and delicious sandwiches as well as other lunch and dinner items. My all time favorite is their Teal Sandwich, a delicious combination of sliced turkey breast, sprouts, cucumber, tomato, & a wasabi aioli. I usually get it on the wheat and have it toasted. Yummmmmmmm….


Anyway, back to the painting the town. I arrived at Lucky Duck’s a little late of course…story of my life! Jenna had gotten there on time and got us a spot. They had the upstairs section of the Pond, Lucky Duck’s Bar, sectioned off and had the tables already set up with canvases and paint when I got there. AND the wine was already being served. There are bonuses to being late. 🙂


After getting settled in and helping myself to a plate full of the awesome taco dip & tortilla roll-ups, we got to work.


Jenna getting in touch with her inner artist.

Adding some "snow" after completing my gray background

Adding some “snow” after completing my gray background

Jenna and I

Jenna and I


Almost finished!

Almost finished!







Our finished work!

Over all, it was a really fun event! My only critique would be the expense, $45 which included the above mentioned adult beverages, appetizers, art supplies & instruction. There are actually other classes like this available in town for $20 or less where you bring your own wine if you want and get to create an art piece and take it home.

I did love that the event was at Lucky Ducks, which is in downtown Bismarck. Had Jenna or I been able to stay out later, it would have been fun to go to some of the other downtown pubs to have a cocktail after our class.

Also, the instructor did a really great job considering how full the room was. Lots of ladies…and one lucky guy…enjoying tasty wine and good company make a noisy bunch. But she did a great job getting to each table to make sure we were keeping up and not butchering our work.

All in all, I would definitely recommend taking one of these classes if you live in Bismarck. They are on Tuesday nights from 6:30 – 8:30 at Lucky Ducks. You can buy tickets to the event here.

Hope you all had a fabulous Hump Day!


Emily’s Sweet Potato Bites

The sun was shinning, no wind and FORTY-FIVE degrees outside! It may be January in North Dakota but yesterday felt like a crisp spring day in May! I just love days like that! It was so nice to have a little break from the cold. Helps a person make it through those long cold months of a mid-western winter.

I absolutely had to take advantage of the beautiful weather and get Emily outside. So we went for a quick walk after work in Sertoma Park. Sertoma is a beautiful 3 mile long park that runs along the Missouri River on the West side of Bismarck. It has a great multi use path that keeps pretty clear through the winter…just need to watch for the flooded areas when all the snow melts after days like yesterday. 🙂


The Ferris wheel may be quiet and still this time of year but it’s still a unique feature in an otherwise lackluster winter landscape.

In the summer and nicer months of the year, Sertoma is a very popular park for family gatherings with its many shelters and play gyms, access to Dakota Zoo and we can’t forget about the awesome SuperSlide Amusement Park!

We ended up having a really great walk! It was crisp but warm enough to enjoy a 30 minute stroll and take a couple of pictures. Emily stayed content with a little snack and lots to look at!20150126_163336


There are many old river trees throughout Sertoma Park. I especially love this one. I’ve seen it used in many family pictures and even looks beautiful in its naked winter wear.

After we got home and enjoyed some leftover beef street tacos (recipe to come for that) and got Emily washed up and snuggled up in bed, I decided to get some sweet potato bites made for her for the week.

Sweet and savory at the same time, these sweet potato bites are probably Emily’s all time favorite finger food. They were one of the first recipes I made for her and she’ll still eat them cold or warm. And they are SO good for her! These little morsels are a very good source of vitamins like B6, A, & C,  low in Sodium, and a great source of Dietary Fiber. (Nutritional info.)


To get these tasty treats ready, I take one medium sweet potato, wash and scrub it clean of all dirt, and peel the skin off with a veggie peeler. DSC_0003

Once you get it prepped, use a sharp knife to slice and dice the potato into cubes about the size of a large pea.


Once you finish slicing & dicing, coat a medium-sized baking dish with cooking spray and toss in the bites. Drizzle no more than 1/2 tsp. of olive or grape seed oil over the bites & 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Mix it all up until the bites are coated and glistening.


Bake the sweet potato bites in the oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes or until they are soft but not soggy.  Let them cool to room temperature…try not to eat them all while you wait. 😉 Once they are cool enough, I portion the bites out into 4 plastic baggies and put all the baggies into a labeled freezer bag and toss into the freezer for use later in the week.


These bags are great to grab and go if you’re out and about or to use as a backup veggie for dinner or a snack.


I hope you and your little one enjoy these tasty sweet potato bites as much as we do!

Until next time 🙂


Sweet Potato Bites

  • Servings: 4-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 Medium Sweet Potato
  • 1/2 tsp. Olive or Grape Seed Oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon


Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wash and scrub sweet potato of all dirt, and peel the skin off with a veggie peeler. Slice and cut it into bites a little bigger than a pea.

Coat a medium-sized baking dish with cooking spray and toss in the bites. Drizzle no more than 1/2 tsp. of olive or grape seed oil over the bites & 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Mix it all up until the bites are coated.

Bake about 30 minutes or until the bites are soft but not soggy.  Let them cool to room temperature. Once they are cool enough, portion the bites out into 4 plastic baggies and put all the baggies into a labeled freezer bag for later use.


Hello and welcome to Northutopia!

About the blog…


Bismarck Street Art

Northutopia is a little blog I began as a fun little place to share my love of living in North Dakota, of traveling, cooking, reading, running, and being a mom.

I love living in the mid-west! Many people may wonder why I would choose to live in a place where the temperature varies from -30 degrees Fahrenheit (before the wind chill) to 100 degrees! Well that is what Northutopia is all about! I love finding the beauty in the little things and ways to have fun through our long, freezing winters.

Northutopia is also about FOOD! I love food. I love eating it, making it, talking about it…did I mention eating it? Here, you will find healthy, affordable meal ideas that will feed your whole family, including your little ones!  I firmly believe in the value of sitting down together as a family EVERY night and work hard to make that happen. Finding a healthy meal that everyone will enjoy, including my little ones, is a challenge but I love seeing them try new things and I love spending a few minutes being able to chat with my husband about his day over a nice family dinner.

You’ll also find reviews on books, local eateries & cafe’s, & travel destinations…where to stay, where to eat, what to do. My husband and I loved to travel pre-baby and are making it a point to still make a couple of trips a year now that we are Four instead of Two.

A little more about me…

River Day!My name is Angie Miller, proud wife and mother to 2 beautiful little girls.  I work full-time outside of the home as an Account Executive at our local NBC affiliate. I love living in North Dakota, most of the time. 🙂 It admittedly gets trying come January when its negative 30 degrees out most days but I always try to find ways to keep busy and have fun through those long winter months.

I love food! I love finding fun healthy recipes to try as well as working to perfect our favorites. We love Mexican food and pizza in our house so I’m always trying to find healthy alternatives so we can enjoy our favorites without feeling guilty. I’m a big fan of organic and natural products and try to use those in my cooking as much as possible.

Running is my stress relief. I love the way I feel after finishing a good 6 mile run! Ahhhh…so tired and yet rejuvenated! I finished my first full marathon in October of 2012. I’ve ran three 1/2 marathons so far and am running my first 1/2 marathon since having my babies this May.  I’m also a huge Pure Barre fan! I fell in love with the Pure Barre method last fall and have loved the way it has changed my body and helped with my running. I love helping people find the joy of running and being active so please let me know if you have any questions in that area or would like a training plan!

Thanks for visiting! You can contact me at northutopiablog@gmail.com with any questions, advice, or comments.