Newest (and Sweetest) Minneapolis Summer Hotspots (as seen all over Instagram)

New food places nowadays have Instagram to thank (or not to thank) for making their businesses go viral, literally.  While visual presentation has always played a big role in the appeal and popularity of food, social media has moved its importance to sky heights, making it crucial for “popular” food joints to make, for lack of a better word, beautiful food.  Food trends are also more prevalent than ever thanks to the rise of social media, especially Instagram stories since everyone wants to prove and brag to the world that they eat well and some-what healthy.  As for trendy Instagram-worthy places in the Minneapolis area, two new places stand out as being the definition of this; cool, hip, and delicious.

MNice Cream (NE Minneapolis):  The name might be cheesy, but MNice Cream is the new “It” ice cream spot for the summer.  Serving up crazy over the top soft serve creations, the original food truck and shop inside a northeast warehouse has been gathering quite the line.  The concept is classic and simple.  You order either vanilla, chocolate, or vegan/dairy-free soft serve, then choose a creation (a mixture of toppings) from the menu or create your own masterpiece.  The toppings are over the top (think eatable glitter, churros, and homemade donuts, along with the traditional and every variety of candy), and you have the option to get a colorful cone and/or a flower which is purely for the Instagram aesthetic.  The homemade soft serve itself is really delicious as it is perfectly creamy and flavorful, but the toppings truly make the place an experience, one that is perfect for a hot sunny Minneapolis day.

Above are some examples of amazing creations at MNice Cream brought to you from their Instagram.

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My MNice cone was the dirty worms creation (oreo, gummy worms, chocolate sauce, and sparkles) with an added churro donut and flower on a waffle cone.

Nautical Bowls (Minnetonka):  On the other side of the health spectrum (or at least we hope) is Nautical Bowls, a concept cafe that solely sells acai and such bowls which, if you live under an Instagram-less rock, are breakfast-like parfaits with a base of acai sorbet.  While this might sound sweet, the bowls are more like a tangy super thick smoothie topped with fruit, nuts, and seeds.  At Nautical Bowls (the name is derived from being near Lake Minnetonka), you have the option to create your own (see a trend?) or order from a couple of pre-designed creations.  Acai isn’t the only base available.  In fact, it’s probably the least exciting.  There are 5 options which you can choose multiple of per bowl: the classic acai (deep purple), pitaya (beautifully pink dragonfruit), matcha (green tea), coconut with activated charcoal (a deep grey color), and chia seed pudding.  Once you choose your base which is arguably the most exciting part, you choose 4+ toppings.  They have a huge variety of “superfoods” such as bee pollen, goji berries, hemp hearts, in addition to fresh fruit and butters such as peanut butter and almond butter.  The result is a colorful bowl chock full of nutrients and yumminess.  The experience is literally amazing, as the taste of the bowls is super unique and satisfying.

Above are two bowls that a friend and I ordered at Nautical Bowls.  I had a base of pitaya, coconut and chia seeds with banana, strawberry, bee pollen and coconut on top.  I was in heaven.  My friend had a similar thing, but with acai instead of chia seeds.  The colors were so vibrant.

The cute interior of Nautical Bowl is supposed to reflect a nautical theme which feels really fresh and cheerful.  It might seem kind of random, but if you were boating on the lake, the shop would be a perfect place to stop by after!

Don’t wait, and adventure to these spots for the amazing food and photos waiting to happen!  It will be totally #instaworthy!

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May Picks- Summer Style Must-Haves

Summer has “officially” started (finally), at least for me as I’m back home and enjoying some incredibly warm weather ahead of what’s going to be a steamy Memorial Day Weekend.  Happily, summer means the end of a crazy last month of school, the start of summer jobs, and more time which makes me able to write more!  Leading into June, here are some summer “must-haves” and trends that will be all over the place soon.

Block Heel Sandals

  • Block heels, along with tiny kitten heels, have been seen all over the streets with good reason since they are super stylish and can work perfectly for a variety of occasions (casual to formal).  What’s also fun is that the trend is super broad, meaning that many different styles can have and are having a fun and bold block heel.  For summer, opt for a bright colorful pair to make any outfit stand out.

 

Cage Bags

Wide Leg Pants

Matching Sets

Slide Sandals

Spoon University- The National College Foodie Network

I would like to apologize in advance for my lack of content lately.  It’s college finals season, and I have a lot on my plate.  Believe me, I would much rather be writing fun articles for this blog right now.  Anyways, one thing that has kept me busy of late has been this club called Spoon University.  For those of you who don’t know, Spoon U is a nationwide blogging network of college students who write and publicize all things food ranging from fun recipes, restaurant reviews, random food hacks, and healthy lifestyles.  Everything is related to the college experience, and it’s a great way to get support about writing something that I’m passionate about.  So far, I’ve written 3 articles, but I’m hoping to write a lot more soon and will try to incorporate them into this blog.  I’ve learned a lot through the process about how internet publishing works, so it’s been great for this.  I would love if everyone were to check these articles out!

  1. The 10 Best Chobani Flavors Ranked by Taste– Greek yogurt is my go-to breakfast every morning since it is full of energy and taste delicious.  Read about what flavors I love the most!Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 11.13.33 PM.png
  2. Everything You Need to Know About Post Workout Snacks– I’m a workout junkie, and because of my competitive athlete background, I know a lot about workout nutrition.  Here is what I have to say about what to eat after a workout.  Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 11.13.08 PM.png
  3. Where to Find the Best Fried Chicken in Every State You can never go wrong with fried chicken!  Check out 50 great places to find bomb chicken everywhere across the country!Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 11.12.37 PM.png

Honestly, whether you’re in college or not, Spoon is a great site for any foodie to check out!  You’ll learn a lot and there is so much more content and info than the typical food blog.  They have a Facebook and Instagram page too which are totally cool and worth it!  And stay tuned for more of my articles which I hope to share here soon!

April Picks- 10 Tips on Surviving (or almost surviving) Finals

This time of year is always crazy, whether it be high school, college or life.  If you are like me, you have a boatload of work piling up, finals looming, have finally some nice weather to distract you, and the stress of moving out of a room and getting everything back home.  That’s April, and it’s crazy.  However, throughout school, I’ve learned a few things here and there about managing stress, time efficiency, and optimizing performance which has helped a lot, especially now that I am in college.  In school or not, these are some tips to help anyone get through this time of year.

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Some sunny tranquil motivation to get you through finals, and to help you remember that college can be beautiful

  1. Managing what and how you eat
  • It might be cliché, but you really “are what you eat”.  I find that if I control what I’m eating and make sure I get a lot of nutrients, my mind is more alert and productive.  Also, eating well makes your body feel better all around, putting you in a better mood and thus, making you more willing to study.  I’m not saying you have to go on some sort of strict diet, it just a matter of being mindful and controlling yourself.  Stress-eating is not the answer to solving stress, but eating a little something sweet is good to reward yourself while in the thick of finals.

2.  Exercise

  • Another way to ensure that your mind is in tiptop shape for exams is to exercise.  Many people find that they don’t have the time to hit the gym while studying, but I find that doing only 30 minutes of cardio is just as beneficial for me as studying.  Not only does it trigger endorphins in the brain, but working out also provides for a great little break in the day.  I personally can barely get through a day without working out since it motivates me and keeps me going.  If you are really stressed about time, you can also watch review videos or read notes while running on the treadmill.  There are many ways to study and exercise at the same time!

3.   Take mini breaks from whatever you are doing

  • To ensure that I don’t get restless while working on something or studying, I always make a point to get up every hour or so and walk around.  I might just go to the bathroom or maybe I’ll talk to some friends, but either way, I find that I always need a little bit of a break to keep me focused and concentrated on my task.  Even now, as I write this post, I’m taking breaks every so often to keep my mind fresh!  Going off of the exercise thing above, your mind needs you to move, so walking around is a great choice and a great way to procrastinate!

4.    Find an environment that motivates you whether that be with or without other people

  • Everyone studies differently, and everyone has different ways of studying the best.  I find that I like being around people, but people who are not talking since it motivates me to study alongside everyone else.  Some people need to be alone and some people need to talk, but it’s important to find what works best for you.  I also love going to different environments such as coffee shops since it keeps my work interesting.  One place I can’t get anything done: my dorm room as I associate it and my bed with sleeping and watching tv which means that I am not as productive.  Figure out what works for you, and it will make a huge difference.

5.    Listen to energizing music while studying, preferably classical or instrumental

  • You’ve probably heard of the Mozart effect, the theory where listening to classical music makes you smarter.  While that might not be totally true, there is a lot of scientific evidence that listening to classical music helps with focus and relaxes the mind, therefore, making it perfect and beneficial for studying.  I personally cannot do any work without music, and I find that for studying and reading, I need something a little more upbeat.  I like “Epic Classical” on Spotify for this, or I’ll listen to full dramatic symphonies.  Although classical music might seem dull, it keeps studying interesting.  Over time, you learn to rely on it and appreciate it.

6.    Reward yourself for motivation (you deserve that 1 Netflix episode!)

  • This goes for what I said before about treating yourself to a little dessert during finals.  You are working super hard, and you are doing fabulous- so you deserve something to take your mind off of finals, at least for a little bit.  I find that putting an hour aside the night before a final to watch a tv episode and eat a small dessert is a great way to relax and make myself feel at ease for what is ahead.  With that being said, however, don’t get distracted and don’t reward yourself too much!

7.    Review any notes or study material right before going to bed the night before an exam or test

  • After I “reward” myself, I quickly skim through my notes right before going to bed which makes sure that the material is fresh in my mind.  A lot of people swear by this strategy, and although it could be the placebo effect, I really think it does work.  Plus, it’s easy and rather mindless to do!

8.    Drink a lot of water!!!  And try to limit excessive caffeine!

  • You’ve probably heard this one before, but drinking as much water as possible keeps the brain hydrated which, in turn, makes it able to function better.  Caffeine, on the other hand, dehydrates you, making your brain less optimal.  While caffeine can be definitely a necessity (I’m guilty, especially while studying for finals), it is best to not consume a lot.  If you cannot help yourself, drink even more water to substitute the liquid lost from the caffeine.  I rely on water to get rid of any junk food cravings while studying and to keep me concentrated (water works, it seems,  in a similar and healthier way as caffeine).  I tend to “stress drink” water instead of “stress eat” which is super effective and helpful.

9.    Put away your phone and take “phone breaks” every once and awhile

  • I might sound like a parent here, but we waste so much time on our phones; time that could be put into studying.  I’m guilty, but I’m trying much harder to limit my access since I get distracted easily by my phone.  Put it on do not disturb, turn it off, whatever, but it really does make a difference.  And, every once and awhile, reward yourself by letting yourself spend time on your phone.

10.    Most importantly, try to sleep!

  • What might be the biggest study cliché of all, but hands down the most important- sleep.  We all need it, even if we think we don’t, and we’re much better off getting a full 8-hours the night before an exam than staying up to study even more.  I’m a stickler for sleep, and I definitely feel the effects of being tired versus the effects of being well-rested.  I believe that to do well on finals, you have to get sleep to stay focused!  I know everyone’s different, but we all need it.  I often will take melatonin before a test, so I sleep well and am not kept awake by stress.

Hope that helps!  And good luck to everyone taking exams right now or later this spring!

 

March Picks

Hi there!  This month…

What to wear:

  • With warmer weather on the horizon, a good transition coat is essential.  Just the thought of peeling off winter layers makes me feel nice and cheery, and a good light jacket will do just that.  A great pair of little booties or statement booties are also perfect for this time of year to fill the gap between boots and sandals or sneakers.  As for me, I cannot wait to be able to walk around wearing any kind of shoe and not worry about getting snow on them.  Here are my suggestions for this month in terms of what to wear.
    • A wax or quilted Barbour Jacket: A classic brand and a classic style, these jackets are perfect for that in-between weather.  I know I have talked about them before, but that is just because I love the style so much.  You really cannot go wrong with one of these jackets since they go with everything.
    • Hunter raincoat:  Just leave it up to the classic boot company to have you covered during a spring downpour.  The Hunter brand might be associated with rain boots, but they also have a great selection of rain jackets.  They come available in an array of bright colors and styles that are super classic and fun.
    • Light Blazer or Bomber jacket:  Spring calls for light layers especially for nicer occasions.  Blazers pair perfectly with dresses.  They up the sophistication of a style and are totally appropriate.  For more casual looks, bomber jackets work well to keep warm from the fresh spring air.
    • Chelsea Boots:  These little booties seem to be the shoe of the moment right now, and it isn’t hard to see why.  They are perfectly sized for milder weather, stylish and easy to wear.

What to Watch:

  • Lately, I have been in a bit of a stump with Netflix, but I did just discover “The Great British Baking Show” (finally) and I love it.  I am not sure there is anything that is more British in personally, so it just makes me so happy to watch it.  Plus, I have learned quite a lot about baking and desserts!Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 9.41.10 PM.png
  • I spent a snow day a couple of weeks ago watching random movies and came across  “The Boy who Made Shoes for Lizards” which is a new documentary on Manolo Blahnik, the legendary shoe designer.  I was enthralled by his life and how his shoes are made, and highly recommend it to anyone interested in fashion.  Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 9.42.23 PM.png
  • I finally got to watch “I, Tonya” which I have wanted to see for months since I’m a figure skater.  Totally met my expectations, and I found it to be a real roller coaster of drama mixed with great acting!

Campus Tip:

  • I recently subscribed to a snack subscription box called “Try the World- Snacks“.  You sign up to get a box of snacks each month from around the world which is absolutely perfect for a hungry college student.  The snacks are all natural, vegetarian and a lot are gluten-free making it accessible to everyone.  I have loved everything that I have gotten, and the snacks are very great for a late night of studying pick me up.  For just 15$ a month, it is super convenient and worth it!Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 9.44.45 PM.png

That’s all!

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7 Trendy Essentials for a Stylish Spring Break

Spring Break- otherwise known as escape week… to a sunny hot destination with a beach where you can relax, recuperate and get very sunburn (the inevitable).  To prepare for the beach, a destination for most spring breakers (especially college kids), here are 7 essentials to bring on vacation to ensure a great and stylish week.

  1. A favorite trendy and fun swimsuit
    • Swimsuit styles are all the rage this year with many brands branching out to create fun and different trendy styles.  One of the most popular brands is Solid and Stripe who are making a splash with their bold styles and cool vibe.  One-pieces are huge all of a sudden, along with high-waisted bottoms, ruffle tops and off-the-shoulder sleeves.
  2. The perfect beach-proof scandals
    • I absolutely love my Jack Roger Boat Jacks which are a casual take on the classic Jack Roger flip-flops.  The sandals are waterproof, super light and can easily muster sand and dirt.  They look super cute and can even be worn outside of the beach or pool.  For me, they are much better than the typical plastic flip-flops since they offer a dose of color and style to any beach get-up.
  3. A  stylish straw hat
    • The sun can be merciless, especially if you are not used to it (like me) which means that you need to protect yourself as much as possible.  A hat is a great way to protect your face and head from the sun while looking stylish and beachy.  Straw hats are super trendy and make for a much more enjoyable (hopefully sunburn-less) vacation.
  4. Salt spray for hair
    • I swear by Lush’s Sea Spray to keep my hair from looking too rattled at the beach.  The spray makes my hair have that beach wave look but helps keep it together.  I spray it on before spending a day at the beach to create texture and embrace the inevitable.  Screen Shot 2018-03-20 at 8.59.19 PM
  5. An Insta-worthy pool float
    • Big colorful pool floats are taking over Instagram (you know, the pictures of blow up donuts and unicorns), and you can get them too from Sunny Life, an Australian lifestyle brand that sells all sorts of blown up shapes.  Who doesn’t want to relax on top of a blown up pineapple?

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      Yup, you’ve seen these, everywhere.  They are from SunnyLife.com and are amazing durable floats that make any pool (or beach) fun!

  6. A cute beach bag to carry everything
    • To go along with the straw trend, find a casual straw bag to carry everything to and from the beach.  A great bag is perfect for carrying water, sunscreen, magazines, books, sunglasses, and snacks, all things that are needed for a day out in the sun.  Look cute with a fun and colorful straw bag!
  7. The perfect casual coverup
    • To top off any beach look, the perfect cover-up is needed!  Solid and Stripe has some cute ones that double as casual wear.  I have a blue seersucker dress from them which is perfect for the beach.  Lilly Pulitzer has a great collection of brightly colored elaborate cover-ups which scream tropical paradise (it is Lilly!), and you can always covert an oversized tunic or casual dress into the perfect beach look!

February Picks (Fashion Week Roundup)

It’s that time of year when fashion capitals around the world come alive in what would otherwise be dreary February.  Haute Couture might seem like a distant fairytale-like dream, but, in reality, following the avant-guard trends of supermodels can be super helpful in figuring out the ins and outs of upcoming seasons, and keeping up with the world of fashion.  I love looking at the design that goes into the shows and reading about what everyone is wearing, so I came up with a list of the most common and most crazy trends that have been appearing on runways for my February article.

  1. Mini bags

High fashion tends to draw in the extremes with mostly everything over the top and big, but, in this case, the extreme is tiny with the idea that something subtle can easily catch attention.  The trend of mini bags comes at a time when people don’t need a huge purse to carry their lives with them since all that is really needed nowadays is a smartphone and credit card.  It’s a crazy concept, but it’s also super convenient and easy.  Who really wants to tote around a large bag all day anyway?

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Gigi Hadid spotted walking in Milan with a mini purse.  Vogue.com

2.  Suit wear and blazers

A bit of a surprising revitalization, but professional wear has been getting a fashionable makeover with elaborate blazers and classy suiting skirts.  I personally love this trend since it is very sophisticated and shows that dressing up never goes out of style.  Oversized blazers and embroidery are really spearheading it and allowing suiting to be an edgier concept.

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A model in Gucci’s Milan Fashion Week show sporting a New York inspired suit that had a very classic retro feel.

3.   Fringe

This fun trend is perfect for spring and summer, and can really add a lot of character to an outfit.  Practically every kind of clothing can be found this season with fringe from skirts and formal dresses to sweaters, shirts, and purses with tassels.

 

 

4.   Athleisure

Athletic clothing is starting to move more into high-end fashion with the growing trend of athleisure style.  It is pretty much a cross between athletic clothing and fashion that can be sported both inside and outside the gym.  This growing trend is perfect for busy days and really helps to keep you motivated and fit.

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Leggings as apart of a gym ready groutfit were found at the Alexander Wang New York show.

5.   Bold Prints and Stripes

Floral print, animal print, stripes (you name it) are super popular with brands showcasing a ton of color and bright bold patterns on their clothing.  Shake off the winter blues with fuchsia stripes (yes, fuchsia is trending), or floral everything to start off summer on the right foot.

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A look from the Michael Kors NYFW show that shows all sorts of prints at once.

 

6.   Plaid

Plaid is all over the place right now, literally everywhere!  Many designers are carrying out collections of vintage plaid suiting, tartan, and even rainbow plaid.  Burberry turned to color during London Fashion Week, and Versace had what is being deemed a Cher Horowitz Clueless moment with 90s style colored plaid everything outfits.  Plaid is a great timeless style that can be worn anywhere.

 

 

7.  Big Sleaves and big shirts

Make a statement with big sleeves and wrap shirts this summer.  Last year, off the shoulder and cold shoulder dresses were all the rage (and expect that to continue this spring/summer), but this year, the shirts are going to get even bigger.  Abstract wrap shirts are the perfect way to look put-together and fashionable, as they stand out and look chic.

 

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12 Tips for Smarter Online Shopping

In this cyber-obsessed world that we live in, shopping has become completely associated with the internet.  Commercial malls are dying a painful death, department stores are suffering, and small businesses are loosing more and more customers as people become reliant on their screens.  What has flourished as a result, however, is online shopping.  With everyone connected to their phones and computers, buying clothing online is becoming easier and easier.  It’s easy to see why with the convenience and accessibility; every possible thing is available online right at your figure tips.

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It is truly amazing being able to shop all day long on your computer, but the kicker is how fast the prices of everything add up.  I live in a rural town which means I am constantly relying on online shopping for every need, and being a college student who enjoys splurging on clothes, it’s vital that I try to save every penny I possibly can.  Here are 12 ways to help save money while shopping online:

  1. Promo Codes are your best friend
    • One of the biggest benefits of shopping online is the existence of promo codes which are essentially online sales that don’t usually happen instore.  Brands will have them all the time, and they range from “free shipping” to “25% off entire store”.  Using them is definitely the greatest weapon when it comes to saving money online.
  2. Stay clear of buying things at full price (unless you absolutely love or need that item)
    • As a general rule, don’t buy anything at full price (including the price for shipping).  It does not take long for items to go on sale, and, unlike stores, it is much easier to find great “full price-like” clothing online.  I usually spot something that I like and then wait for it to either have a promo code discount or for it to go on sale.  For me, there is literally never a need to pay full price.
  3. Discover online retailers
    • With a changing fashion industry and the growth of online shopping, the “online retailer” has emerged as a new and very popular concept for shoppers.    Many sites focus on curating a great selection of well-known (as well as new) brands with an emphasis on style and quality.  Shopbop is a fabulous online retailer that specializes in both boutique designers and haute couture to create a trendy mid to high range priced vibe.  Net-a-Porter and Moda Operandi are both well known high-end retailers that, unlike physical stores, make buying designer couture more reasonable with generous sales.  Asos is a British brand that focuses on more fast fashion with great prices.  It is super convenient and has a wide variety of clothing.
  4. But also check out department stores online
    • Department stores have been steadily declining for years (tear), but some stores are adapting to the internet by offering an easy way to shop their stores online.  Stores like Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Ave are practically just other online retailers with great selections of trendy and classic clothing.  They too have great promotions and offer ways to save money online rather than going to the actual stores.  Both Nordstrom and Saks often offer quick free shipping and have super easy free return policies.  It’s practically like you’re trying on their clothes instore in the comfort of your own home!
  5. If you are a student, always try to see if there is a student discount
    • Some stores have great instore student discounts which serve as an incentive to travel to the closest mall, but recently companies are starting to allow student discounts online, too.  Both Topshop and Asos use an online British platform that you sign up for once and are automatically eligible for a discount.  This is perfect for us Americans who don’t have much access to these stores.  As online shopping becomes even more widespread, I imagine that more companies will start offering discounts.
  6. Sign up for Honey (literally the best thing ever)
    • Honey is a program that notifies you of any promo codes while you check out of a store.  It’s super easy and does it all for you.  What is even more amazing is that Honey will also practically pay you to shop online.  You can get 1-10% or 1-5% back on purchases with sites that Honey is connected to and then redeem that cash for various online gift cards.
    • Click here to join: joinhoney.com/ref/adofmeScreen Shot 2018-02-12 at 7.47.46 PM
  7. Become loyalty members at your favorite online stores
    • First of all, signing up to be on the email lists of stores is super helpful because you can get special deals and such, but some stores offer loyalty memberships that will offer you even more.  Sephora, for example, gives you points, free samples for every online purchase, and special free gift promotions for their members.  It’s perfect for any college student who cannot just get themselves to the nearest beauty supplier to restock on makeup, lotion, products, etc.
  8. Sign up for Shop It To Me (An AMAZING email service)
    • Shop It To Me is an email service that sends you daily emails of any items from your favorite brands that are on sale anywhere on the internet.  What is even better is that everything they show you on sale is guaranteed to be in your size since you give them all of your sizes when you sign up.  It makes bargain shopping extremely easy and accessible.  Screen Shot 2018-02-12 at 9.10.01 PM
  9. Download the app Keep
    • Keep is another great program that takes trending items from all over the internet and shows them to you in a feed.  You can then like or buy those items at the best price around.  If you like an item, Keep emails you whenever that item has gone on sale somewhere.  The app is essentially a social media platform for shopping and is literally addicting.  Screen Shot 2018-02-12 at 9.27.29 PM.png
  10. Subscribe to Cools (email publication)
    • Cools is another great fashion based email subscription that notifies you of big sales happening online, in addition to them constantly updating you on note-worthy trends.  They release emails every week or so, keeping you in the loop of everything fashion related going on online.
  11. Use Polyvore
    • Yet another great resource that can save you a lot of money online; Polyvore is a site that drawls in clothing vendors from all over the internet to show clothes categorized by the trend.  You can like a trend, and then get notified when items under that trend go on sale.  The site has a ton of other services that are amazing and very useful for online shopping, in addition to an email service that also showcases current trends from the internet every week.  Screen Shot 2018-02-12 at 7.50.12 PM
  12. “Like” items that you would buy at a lower price
    • Finally, a small but helpful trick to finding clothes at the lowest price is to simply “like” or “add to wishlist” an item that you would potentially buy if the price were to drop.  By doing this, many stores will then email you when that item is added to sale or its price is lowered.  They also notify you when that item is low in stock or when your size that they might have been out of comes back into stock.  Easy, but extremely useful!

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A Foodie’s Guide to US Bank Stadium-Home of Super Bowl LII

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The glass walls of US Bank Stadium reflect the glistening Minneapolis skyline in the background while entrapping the sheer excitement of fans.  Even on a normal game day, the atmosphere is one of grandiose amazement.  I can only imagine what the stadium will be like on February 4th.

While the newly completed stadium is a sight to behold, the experience of attending a game is not second best.  Local eateries and chefs have put in a great deal of effort to curate to fans for the ultimate game day experience; one that is still overpriced, but one that will not make you feel like peeling over from eating too many crappy nachos at the end of the game.  One thing is certain, the stadium and the NFL will be pulling out all the stops for the big game.

Most older stadiums tend to serve only overpriced deep-fried American “classics” which don’t always settle well in the stomach.  While chicken fingers and nachos are typical, and they are available at US Bank, most of the food in the stadium is thankfully pretty gourmet and tasty.  With changing eating habits and an emphasis on healthier foods, American fans are sick of the classic hot dog and beer combo.  Celebrity chef and Minneapolis native Andrew Zimmern, who is revolutionizing game-day food through his successful restaurant stands in Minnesota stadiums, said that “People expect better food these days” and “We put our best foot forward, not despite the fact that it’s a stadium, but because it’s a stadium” (The Star Tribune). It’s true.  The food is still overpriced, but I know that I’m personally much more willing to pay more for something that I’d actually like than something that I’d never eat out of a stadium.

Here are some of the best foods found at US Bank Stadium.

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The roasted chicken sandwich at AZ Canteen.  This booth is one of Zimmern’s ventures and serves up many different carnivorous options that are sure to delight any meat lover.  The chicken was juicy and tender while tasting great with cajun spices.

 

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Smoky Chicken Nachos from Twin Cities Foodie.  These serve as an upgrade to the fake cheesy classic nachos that seem to have embedded themselves into stadium fare.  They are spicy but flavorful.

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Fried Chicken Sandwich from Revival.  I guess that chicken seems to be a common theme, but it is so good at the Stadium.  Revival is a popular Minneapolis-based southern fried chicken restaurant that has transferred their well-known chicken sandwiches to the football stadium.  This was my favorite as the fried chicken was paired perfectly with mayonnaise, tomatoes, and pickles.  Also available in Tennesse-style hot (tasty but a challenge to finish).  Delicious!

 

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Frozen Hot Chocolate from AZ Canteen.  This unconventional desert is a must try for a chocolate lover.  I would describe it as a frozen chocolate mousse paired with white chocolate covered cereal on top.  It is sort of like ice cream, but better than what stadium ice cream is usually like.

 

 

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Bomboloni from AZ Canteen.  Ok, this canteen place is really good.  I feel like anything there would be worth a try.  Before the game, my family shared these beignet-like donut holes for breakfast.  They are just as good as they look and sound!

Overall, the best places…

  • AZ Canteen:  Gourmet meat sandwiches and bbq along with unique desserts and drinks.
  • Revival Fried Chicken:  Fried chicken exemplar, enough said.
  • Minneapolis Foodie:  Focuses on gourmat food options that are targeted to more sophisticated fans.
  • 612 Burger Kitchen:  A classic burger stand serving well-made burgers with fries and tots.
  • Curds ‘N Cakes:  If you really want to pig out, indulge in some fabulous beer battered cheese curds.

Find out more here

 

January Picks

January can be one of the most un-motivating and dreary times of the year.  After the high of the holiday season, it can be difficult to decompress, detox, and move-on.  Here are 8 items, ideas, and inspiration to help with the mid-winter slump.  Disclaimer, affiliate links included.

  1. Hand Lotion- AHAVA Mineral Cream
  • The current cold weather is the WORST for skin, especially hands, resulting in me desperately putting on a thick hand cream every couple of hours to prevent the dreaded cracked and burning skin.  This Dead Sea sourced AHAVA cream is a great water-based formula that moisturizes well and smells great.
  • Find it on Amazon by clicking on the image.   

2.  Body Lotion- Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

  • Again, the dry and cold weather is dreadful for skin, meaning that a good body cream is a must.  This Bum Bum cream is amazing.  It’s nourishing, makes your skin shine, and smells like a legit beach.
  • Find it on Amazon by clicking the image, or at sephora.
     3.  Resurrect your hair with a nourishing hair mask- Nelson Argan Oil Mask
  • I find that during these crazy weather months, my hair suffers.  It becomes super staticy and I tend to develop more split ends that usual.  I recently found this product that infuses moisture into hair while helping to repair damage.  It is super easy to apply and does not take up much time.  My hair has been so much better since getting this!
  • Find the hair mask on Amazon by clicking the image.

4.  See an Oscar season movie in theaters

  • So many great movies come out in December, and while many plan on seeing movies around the holidays, they are still around after New Years.  This year was espically good with movies such as “The Darkest Hour” and “I, Tonya” which are both historical biopics complete with great acting.

5.  Get intrigued and spooked by the latest season of Black Mirror

  • Black Mirror has to be one of the most intriguing shows out there right now with its complicating plotwists, unique story lines, and disturbing themes.  Each episode of the show is entirly different, meaning that each episode has completely different characters, settings and even time periods.  They explore different distrubing realities and mostly focus on the dark side of technology.  While sometimes freaky, Black Mirror is so fascinating, and the new season on Netflix does not disappoint.

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6.  Shop for early Spring Break clothing on sale online

  • Ok, so you might think that it is too early for spring shopping, but Spring Break is coming up fast, and why not treat yourself to clothing you can look forward to wearing in a couple of months.  Many online retailers are having massive sales on Resort collections right now.  Find great deals at Shopbop, MyTeresa and Net-A-Porter.

7.  Invest in some stylish and durable winter boots to get you through the rest of the winter

  • I confess to really not liking typical winter boots.  I don’t mind the look; it is just that I feel bulky wearing them.  However, I finally realized my need for them, and found a great pair of Sorrel’s from Nordstrom that are cute and not too blocky.  I love them because they are unconventional and stylish.  There are so many unique options out there that help keep winter chic!

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8.  Discover winter’s newest late coming color trends

  • Black and White:  Fresh out of Paris Haute Couture Week, the classic combo is suddenly being revitalized and it’s bolder than ever.  The look is a great way to brighten up winter while still staying with darker tones.
  • Pink:  Millenial Pink is hotter than even with the subtle shade being wore all year round.  The sweet color looks bright and refined while still making a statement.

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    Skirt: See by Cholé.  Skirt: Milly.  Shoes: Schutz.  Sweater: 3.1 Phillip Lim

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