Tag Archives: Favorites

New Favorites

22 Mar

With being a work traveler, unfortunately my time in the kitchen is reserved for Thursday night – Sunday. And if I’m being realistic, Friday night – Sunday. Tonight as a prime example, I was just too tired to cook anything. I try to have leftovers ready to be thawed or reheated if possible on Thursdays – tonight was lasagna. 🙂 Not terrible, but there’s no time in the kitchen usually.

Thus – tonight’s post is dedicated to something else, some of my new favorite things that I encourage any readers out there to check out or explore. (Other than number two being a relative of mine, none of the folks below have any clue who I am. I just love their stuff and as a content consumer, want to share with the world how much I love them!)

1) Birchbox. I discovered this only a few months ago after reading about it on a few blogs. Birchbox is a great site for anyone who loves health and beauty products and trying new brands. I’m not too much of a high-end brand person, but I love the idea of trying sample sizes of different brands – plus, they’re travel size (which I need)! The way Birchbox works – you pay per month or per year, and you receive a box each month with usually 4-5 sample products. They vary from makeup to hair accessories to (and in the case of my first box) teas! You’re able to try out each of the items and you can rate them on Birchbox’s website to help earn reward points (which when you gather enough reward products, you can buy the full size versions). You can also decide you really enjoy XYZ nail polish and dang it, you want to buy more! You can go out to Birchbox and you can order the product in the full size version. Either way, in my opinion, it’s a win-win. You learn about new products and you may even find a great treasure. My first Birchbox came last week – check out the great items:

Items  in my box include:

  • Color Club Nail Lacquer (in He Loves Me)
  • Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint
  • Harvey Prince Ageless perfume
  • Orofluido Beauty Elixir hair treatment
  • stila Smoky Eye Card
  • Tea Forte Skin-Smart Teas

I can’t wait to try each of these products over the weekend! Maybe there’s one that I’ll end up buying more of…I’ll let you know how the experiment goes.

2) etsy. Etsy.com is FANTASTIC if you love finding unique items and getting ideas for things you could create yourself. Whether it’s art, clothes, food, gifts or my personal favorite, jewelry – etsy has many great shops with more products than you have time to look through. I love to get ideas from the great artists and crafters on there or even make some purchases! Two shops that are my current favorites:

My aunt has a great shop for anyone that needs some beautiful art on their walls: Gillyflower Cottage. Whimsical flowers, delectable pears and even some creatures with personality are currently featured.

Another one of my favorites is the Elisabeth Ashlie shop. They sell handcrafted jewelry that is right up my alley (and perfect for the earring chain). I recently made a purchase from their shop receiving these cute, springy pair of earrings:

3) The Pioneer Woman Cooks – Food From My Frontier. This I have yet to purchase but have been looking forward to it for months!! I am planning a trip to Barnes and Noble (or B&N as I fondly refer to it as) in the next few days to have a tasty chocolatey beverage and look through this new volume. I’ll then buy it. Go to the grocery store. Come home and make more food than I can consume by Sunday night. (This is a terrible pattern I fall into). But it means it’ll be a perfect weekend. 🙂

The post the above link brings you to on her website gives a little sneak peek and will show you, simply from her verbiage and pictures alone, why I love her blog so very much.

Those are the favorite items I needed…had to…couldn’t not share with you. Whether they’re interesting to you or not, perhaps one person out there is intrigued enough to learn more.

I found out about ALL of these items via a blog. (Serious.) I hope I can help pass along the great finds other blogs have provided to me, to anyone who happens upon this one.

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Favorite Minneapolis Spots

8 Mar

Everyone needs some places to go that just make your day better. For some it’s a coffee place, others, their favorite shoe store. I’m still discovering what my favorite places are to go in Minneapolis but here are a few that I encourage anyone in the area to visit. These are purely my own opinion about local spots that make me smile:

Punch Pizza: I cannot express enough how fantastic this pizza is. It’s authentic Italian pizza and just the smell of this place reminds me of Italy. Nothing beats the Margherita Extra pizza (don’t get me wrong, I LOVE pepperoni pizza…but this pizza is by far the best ever), but I’ve never tasted anything bad from their menu. Punch has a quite a few locations around the Twin Cities, and thankfully one of those is within a mile of my apartment. Next time you’re craving pizza, this is the spot to go!

Patina: This is the best store if you’re in the mood to just wander and window shop (or purchase!). If I  need a pick-me-up, this is one of the first spots I go. For anyone who enjoys unique home decor, bath accessories, cards and stationery, fun kitchen gadgets, (when in season) Christmas ornaments, coffee table books, gift ideas etc. – Patina has it all! I discovered one near campus while I was a student at the University of Minnesota and luckily, have one close to my apartment in Uptown now too. There are a few locations scattered around the Twin Cities and one even in Golden Valley. I promise you’ll love it!

yum!: Yes, this is the name of an actual place and it lives up to its name! This bakery and restaurant is on the outside cusp of Uptown and is one of a my favorite spots to eat out. I even went here on my birthday last year, when I was out celebrating with my lovely parental units. This place has delicious food – just check out the online menu for a peek. There’s wine and beer that are suggested as pairings for each main dish from the restaurant side as well. I have yet to try anything from the bakery but that is NOT because it doesn’t all look fabulous. I just don’t trust myself to stop after one of the delicious-looking sweets! If you’re looking for a unique, local spot to eat next time you’re in the Uptown area of Minneapolis, check this place out. They have just about anything you could be craving, so you’re bound to leave with a full, happy stomach. Great for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner…or even just dessert!

Mara Mi: This is not technically in the Twin Cities, but in Stillwater, MN. I found this place while on a mother/daughter weekend with my mama in early February. We were out stopping in all the fun antiques and boutiques on the main street in Stillwater, and then stumbled into this place. It’s hard to really describe the fun shop they have, but it’s part cafe (paninis, pizza, cupcakes, coffee etc.) and part store. Their store sells uniquely designed stationary as well as other fun accessories – desk/office supplies, home decor, home organization/travel accessories and more! There’s so much color in this store and great patterns everywhere, it’s hard to not be inspired. The really neat part is, the design studio for the company is just upstairs – where they design all their stationary/patterns! What a fantastic job – design, sell and bake. Love it!

I have many more spots I could list, but these are some favorites. I love to support local spots that are a unique piece of what makes Minneapolis and the Twin Cities overall such a great place to live. If you’re ever in town to visit or if you’re a local like me, I encourage you to stop by one of these spots!

I’m always looking for new spots around the area, so if there are any favorites among any of the readers out there – please share!

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