Meredith Holt is a features/business reporter for The Forum who covers topics in health, mental health, social issues, women's issues, arts and entertainment, food and more. She also writes a column on health and wellness, body image and media representation. She was a copy editor/page designer for six years prior to joining the features team in March 2012.
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When I started tracking my food intake and exercise last year, I had no intention of continuing the habit for a year. I just wanted to see if I could make it part of my routine again and if it'd help me control my overeating and lose weight. But as MyFitnessPal kept reminding me, my log-in streak kept getting longer. I eventually made it to 365 days. Now I'm on Day 397. A year is a long time to stick to anything, as I know all too well. But once I got used to it, it just became part of my day.
FARGO — Hairstylist Chloe Benz was shocked to learn the impact salons have on the planet. According to Green Circle Salons, North American salons generate more than 400,000 pounds of waste a day, including hair clippings, hair color, foils and color tubes, as well as paper and plastics. To help reduce that number, Benz enrolled her salon, Salon 3|5 in downtown Fargo, in the organization's recycling program. So far, it's the only salon in North Dakota to participate.
FARGO — Tanna Hill and Steph Marshall have been busy nesting — not at home, but at their new tattoo and art studio, The Bee's Nest. With the help of their husbands, Dusty and Kyle, as well as family and friends, they quickly transformed the space at 14 8th St. S. from a clothing boutique into a spacious tattoo studio with plenty of room to display local art. The two met at Dead Rockstar, and after working together for a few years, Marshall asked Hill, "Hey, would you ever want to start our own shop?"
GALCHUTT, N.D. — Low hums rumble across the Ten Seven Acres alpaca farm here on a hot afternoon in early May. Dirk and Jessie Monson's herd of 15 alpacas and one llama, plus another group of nine from a farm in Kindred, are unknowingly awaiting the arrival of Marty Hofmann and his helpers. They anxiously pace their pen.
FARGO — Tim O'Brien gets so many letters he can't read them all. Most come from the wives, girlfriends, children and siblings of veterans, but some come from the veterans themselves. O'Brien, an author who served in Vietnam with the U.S. Army, says he hears from soldiers currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, soldiers who carry with them copies of the books he's best known for, "If I Die in a Combat Zone, Box Me Up and Ship Me Home" (1973), "Going After Cacciato" (1978) and "The Things They Carried" (1990).
FARGO — Trina Hoffelt and Marrah Ferebee say they're polar opposites when it comes to their personal style — Hoffelt's is more "girly," Ferebee's more "tomboy." But their personalities are compatible, and they share the same values and goals. That's what makes their business, an online women's apparel and accessories boutique, work. After two years of careful preparation, Ashwood West launched in February, while the North Dakota State University fashion grads were in Vegas for market.
FARGO — I use the music-streaming app Spotify almost every day. As soon as I switched from Pandora to Spotify, there was no going back. I use it at work to help me concentrate while I'm writing (I'm using it as I type), I use it at home to help motivate me to do chores, and I use it at the gym to help keep me moving on the treadmill.
MOORHEAD — In her 67 years, Barb Schramm has had three professions. Her first, as a choral director. Her second, an opera singer. Now she's a boutique owner specializing in the German "lagenlook" (layered look), which she picked up and grew to love in her 20 years in Germany. The lower level of her Moorhead home is devoted to The 3 Bees (Barb's Basement Boutique). Rows upon rows of European garments, shoes and accessories fill four rooms, each outfitted to provide a unique home shopping experience for her customers, whom she attracts through word of mouth only.
FARGO — With a lime-green wall as a backdrop, joefitness bootcampers do wall-sits, planks, box-jumps and more. Joe Ketterling uses Instagram to give followers an inside look at his Fargo gym, located at 4201 38th St. S., Unit F, and the group exercise classes he runs there.
MOORHEAD — Heather Murray has always had a keen sense of smell and enjoyed burning candles, but traditional scents like apple cinnamon and lavender didn't cut it. She wanted to fill her home with scents like campfire, mowed lawn and dill pickle. "I'm not a peaches-and-herb kind of girl," the 38-year-old Moorhead woman says. "I'm a leather-and-lace kind of girl." So she decided to make them herself.