About Us

Meet Michelle, Josh and Little J Hagen.

Beach to Prairie is about blending and celebrating two cultures.  The American prairie of North Dakota is my new home and I love it but my upbringing was a bit different than what my son will experience here.  I hope I can impart my Caribbean culture to my son. This blog documents my attempts to do that. It’s my hope that if you are in a similar situation this blog can help you.  It’s an entertaining, light hearted snapshot of my life here in North Dakota. If you ever wondered what living in North Dakota is like, this blog is an attempt to answer that question. Along the way I’ll share my love of the arts, fashion, food and the good life. But this isn’t meant to be a one sided conversation. I want to learn about you too. I very much love to share information but I also love hearing other peoples stories. You can look at Beach to Prairie as an attempt to start a conversation with you that I very much hope will benefit us all.

Michelle Hagen

I moved from Barbados in the Caribbean to the United States to attend college. I attended the Savannah College of Art and Design and graduated with my degree in Media and Performing Arts. I met my husband Josh in College and our journey began.  After living in Los Angeles for several years my husband and I decided to make the move to North Dakota. I’ve lived here for over ten years now. I’m now a citizen of the United States. Our son Josh was born in 2013. We are so proud and happy to be parents to Little J. (his nickname for the blog.) I’d always wanted to start a blog and a youtube channel as I have always enjoyed reading and watching other content creators. I finally got the courage to write. Maybe some day I’ll start a channel but for now I’m just thrilled to be able to put myself out there and share a bit of my culture and my life with you. I hope you will share a bit of your experience with me too.

Tidbits

I am a total chocoholic. I love music, television, reading, writing and singing.  Sometimes I find time to paint and there’s always time to dance (though I’m not great at either.)

Josh Hagen

How did you end up in North Dakota?  Thank this guy. My husband Josh is North Dakota born and raised. Josh is a storyboard artist, illustrator, writer and sculptor. He’s got a great sense of humor which is one of the many reasons I love him so. He’s a great cook and one of the most patient people I know. Josh and I share of love of film and television. He loves all things Sherlock Holmes, horror, the 80s and Rock and Roll. You can check out his art on his blog.

Little J

Little J is what we chose to call our son for the purposes of our blog. He’s not a baby anymore. He’s a toddler. Time seems to be flying by when it comes to our son. He’s learning how the world works and how he fits into it. He brings more joy to our lives than we’d imagined possible.He has delayed speech though it’s improved quite a bit of late and he’s becoming more social recently. Little J also enjoys doing puzzles, writing and discovering new words. He loves Mickey Mouse and Super Why.

Miami Beach Barbados

Barbados

Barbados is the Caribbean Island I called home. It was wonderful place to grow up and I will always take pride in my “Bajan” (a person from Barbados) roots. About 166.4 square miles. Barbados is a part of the Lesser Antilles and sits just outside of the usual hurricane path.  It was a British Colony until 1966 when we gained independence.  Home to approximately 287,535 people the island maintains a stable democratic government, good education system and a wealthy economy in the region. Its friendly people, beautiful beaches and a relaxed atmosphere has made Barbados a popular tourist destination.

Tidbits: Barbados is a Tropical Island with an average of 30 degrees celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit) People from Barbados are known as Bajans.  English is the official language of Barbados but Bajan is the accent of the people that bares (in my opinion) an Irish similarity. 

North Dakota

North Dakota, the 39th State in the union, is now my home and it’s a beautiful place to live. We live in the country allowing me to appreciate the view of the natural world around me. North Dakota (ND) is 70,762 mi² and populated by approximately 739,482 people. North Dakota is a large agricultural state and one of the least populated states in the US. It took me a while to get used to the quiet but I now enjoy being able to hear my own thoughts. North Dakota experiences winter with temperatures often well below zero so getting used to the weather also took time but I’m acclimatizing well. Summer weather is not unlike that in Barbados however where we’d worry about hurricanes in Barbados from June to October; in North Dakota the concern is Tornadoes with a seasonal peak in June. I have found North Dakotans warm friendly people who tend to be incredibly polite. North Dakota is a great place for all but may appeal most to the outdoor enthusiast, artist, sport lovers and historian visitors.

Tidbits: North Dakota is capable of getting quite hot with a record high for the summer at 121degrees Fahrenheit. North Dakota winters however tend to dip below zero with the record low in the state being -6o degrees recorded in 1938.
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