Yukon’s Amazing Landscapes

Untitled design-1Today I was getting a jumpstart on my new years resolution – to become more organized. So I took to my cluttered computer desktop and decided to sort and purge. After reluctantly deleting portfolios of wedding vendors (my wedding was 7 months ago!) and clearing my desktop from unneeded screenshots, documents and redundant folders, I felt a sense of accomplishment. And oh goodness, you wouldn’t believe the treasures I found! Josh and I have a ton of photos that I forgot we ever took.

So much of my afternoon was spent reliving the memories of years past, when we were vacationing in the north. And this lead me to realize that I have moved to one of the most jaw droppingly beautiful places on earth. I feel incredibly fortunate to have this virtually untouched northern wilderness as my backyard. 

The Yukon is my home now and it is kind of amazing. 

I have picked a few photos to share with you so you can see what I mean.


Continue reading

Living With Autoimmune Disease

Livng with Autoimmune Disease

If you are reading this, you probably know someone living with an autoimmune disease. I’m sure you’ve heard of the common ones – rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease or psoriasis. But what about the less talked about autoimmune diseases like systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjogren’s syndrome or Addison’s disease? What impact do these diseases have on everyday life? While I will not dive into the complexities of specific autoimmune disease types in this post, I will discuss the basics of autoimmune disease and some lifestyle strategies I have used to deal with my own illness.

Continue reading



Dearest family, friends and strangers,

Welcome to Refining the Rugged!

I’m Dana Korten. I’m a list making, tea drinking wife, puppy mamma and aspiring lifestyle blogger. Read more about me here.

This past summer, my husband and I found ourselves unhappy with the busy life that we were creating and decided to make some major lifestyle changes.  We quit our jobs, packed up our lives, said goodbye to city living and drove 6000km to a teeny tiny northern community in Yukon. Dramatic? Yes. But I believe in the saying “Go big or go home”. And there was no going back.

I have been adjusting to a much simpler, slower, stress free life in this beautiful mountainous community. Now, I can finally focus on the things that matter most to me without becoming distracted by the addicting desires from life in the fast-lane. My health, happiness, relationship with my husband and feeling of self worth have all increased dramatically. And I am able to spend a lot more quality time with the other love of my life, my dog Clifford. Life is good.

Refining the Rugged is a way to share my adventures in the north with family, friends and strangers alike. It is a collection of my thoughts and experiences with posts about northern living, recipes, places/products/things you will love and, of course, plenty of stories and pictures of my St.Bernard, Clifford.

Read, comment, share and enjoy!


Your northern novice,