April Knutson is lifestyle-focused journalist producing stories for the Forum News Service about people, health, community issues, and services. She earned her degree in both English Literature and Mass Communications. After working as a digital marketing specialist and web design consultant for a few years, she joined Forum Communications in 2015. She grew up on a farm near Volga, S.D. Follow her on Twitter @april_knutson.
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FARGO — American online's messenger — known as AIM to its once-loyal users — says "G2G" (got to go) and takes its final bow today after 20 years of virtually connecting people. In 1997, AIM set fire to now commonplace practice of communicating via instant messenger. Before there was Facebook Messenger, iMessage, Skype, SnapChat or even MSN Messenger, AIM ruled the online communication world.
FARGO — As we age, the hastily homemade or purchased item becomes the unpopular and inappropriate gift. Instead, gift-giving requires thoughtful consideration and hours spent in search of suitable presents, strolling through endless big-box stores. Etiquette experts say these guidelines and communication techniques will help others to master the art of giving as an adult. "Let thoughtfulness drive your gift-giving. You do not want your gift-buying to be driven by pressure," says Sharon Schweitzer, a cross-cultural business consultant and international etiquette expert.
FARGO — Craving those dedicant holiday treats doesn't just happen because of enticing smells wafting from the kitchen. Area nutritionists say the stress hormone cortisol increases our body's cravings for high sugar and carbohydrates while simultaneously influencing overall mood. When willpower wanes, area nutritionists say that certain foods can sustain and reduce the physiological need for Grandma's sugar cookies.
Once thought of as loud, over-the-top colors paired with intricate Moroccan rugs — modern bohemian decor is now thought of as minimal, intentional and eclectic. Area designers share how this once-boisterous style has organically evolved into playful and vintage-inspired interior design . Leanne Seibold, owner of The Green Room, a full-service interior and event design firm in Fargo, describes bohemian home decor as comfortable, yet stylish.
FARGO — While some may be looking for an identity to steal, according to area fraud officers, other holiday shoppers are looking for the best deal. Before the holidays hit — and you start zipping around town or surfing the internet — you might want to evaluate if your personal information is at risk and decide how to protect yourself.
"Me too." But men too, us too, you too — not to be confused with Bono's U2, but also including them too. All of us have experienced a hollow but thick fog of disillusionment, similar to the fall chill in any northern climate. Regrettably, this fog of collective discontent stems from both jarring revelations about sexual abuse or indecipherable, destructive events. Atrocities come in many different forms.
FARGO — Fear not, Chip and Joanna Gaines fans. Even though the fifth season of "Fixer Upper" will be the last, locals can still find their repurposed farmhouse chic fix through local couple Audra and Matthew Mehl. Like other fixer-upper couples in the region, Audra and Matthew Mehl discovered their shared love of repurposing through happenstance when they had to renovate a house Matthew had formerly used as a rental property from 2012 to 2016. "We decided to stage and sell this house, and we wanted to make as much money as possible," Audra says.
During my 31-day No Drive Challenge, I discovered distance is both a relative and concrete term we use to create our cities and daily schedules. To discover how to live car-less, I researched alternative routes of transportation through public transit, area bike paths, ride shares and walkable routes. (Read the steps I took to live car-less at aprilknutson.areavoices.com.) Living car-less is not carefree. It does, however, add unexpected contributions and challenges to a daily schedule.
FARGO — Eating organic, vegan or gluten-free can help people become healthier, but their waistline may not be the only thing that's shrinking. According to a 2015 Consumer Report, organic food was 47 percent more expensive than food by conventional means, on average. The accessibility of these dietary options are increasing in the Fargo-Moorhead area, but the affordability can still be an issue.
Thanks Mom and Dad. Recent genetic studies suggest the early-riser or "don't talk to me before noon" mentality is heredity, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information and U.S. National Library of Medicine. Brain-specific markers called "human clock genes" affect when a person is awake and asleep through intricate, well-timed body functions that signal time for rest or work.