Top 10 Minnesota Picks

Ahhh Minnesotahhh! The land of 10,000 lakes, walleye pike, wild rice and 10 other things that are my personal faves. My mom is from Minnesota so I’ve been visiting family there for years and wanted to share some of my personal fave things about the great state.

 

10. The Saint Paul Hotel & The St. Paul Grill – I make sure to schedule a Sunday into any trip to MN I take so I can head to The St. Paul Grill for brunch which is located in the Saint Paul Hotel. My favorite item is their sausage gravy and biscuits. It is out of this world! The gravy is a spicy cream sauce that is to die for. They also provide a little pastry tray for the table which has chocolate croissants, sticky buns and more.

 

9. Cheese Curds – Fried cheese curds to be exact. The first time I ever had cheese curds was at the Mall of America, although you can usually find them at their State Fair. During a recent trip to Minnesota I was pleasantly surprised that the hotel we stayed at (Ramada MOA) offered fried cheese curds at their restaurant. Score!

 

8. Mall of America – How could I write about Minnesota without including the largest mall in the US? Not possible! Not only is this the one stop spot for shopping cause ever store known to man is there, but there’s a theme park, shows, LEGO Land, restaurants galore and more. Plus as I mentioned above the location of my first cheese curd experience.

 

7. Illume – Minnesota is home of Illume candles. They have the most amazing fragrances and their diffusers last forever. I adore them. You may read more about my love for Illume in my previous blog post HERE.

 

6. Bridgeman’s – The famous ice cream locale for Minnesotans. A chain throughout the State that has been slowly diminishing unfortunately. They have the best Butter Brickle ice cream ever! Plus they make a mean Turtle Sundae. Now if only they would open in NJ or ship to me.

 

5. Bakers Square – If you want pie, and who doesn’t want pie, then Baker’s Square is the spot. The Caramel Pecan Supreme is my absolute fave.  Their Candy Cane holiday pie sounds delish though.

 

4. Patina – I love love love this store! They have the cutest finds. They sell everything from bridal bingo to kids toys, cookbooks and lotions to purses and tee-shirts. I never walk out empty handed in this store. Such a cute store. I frequent the Highland Village location but they have a few stores scattered throughout the State.

 

3. Your Best Face (YBF) – Another great brand based in Minnesota. I came across them on Twitter and fell in love with them. You may read more about them in this previous post I wrote about them HERE. Great skincare, super moisturizing and smells like homemade biscotti. Yum!

 

2. The Lexington – You’ve got to go to “The Lex” when you’re in St. Paul. Established in 1935 they are a classic! Any occassion is a good occassion to be at “The Lex”. I personally love their Filet Mignon and they make a mean dirty martini. It’s very reminiscent of the “The Oak Room” in New York City.

 

1. My Grandma – I saved the best for last! No hyperlink here. 🙂 My grandma will be 95 this February and she is a total rockstar. Enough said.

 

From food to family and shopping in between, Minnesota’s got it all.

 

 

 

 

Illume Balsam & Cedar Ceramic Candle – Product Review

Ok I’ve been completely obsessed with Illume products ever since my visit to the Red Door Spa. At the Red Door Spa I came across Illume products for the first time and wrote about my love for them HERE.

Recently Illume was having a holiday contest on their Facebook page. Of course I had to participate. Needless to say I won and received a Balsam & Cedar Ceramic Candle. The scent is amazing. It smells like the holidays but at the same time has a really clean scent to it. It’s not overly piney like many pine/holiday scents tend to be. It’s clean, fresh and holidayish and I adore it. Plus I can totally reuse the ceramic jar it came in once this scent runs out. Perfect!

 

Make sure you like Illume on Facebook and check out their website http://www.illumecandles.com/.

 

*Disclaimer – I was not required to write this post. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.

Love Giving with Land’s End

I’ve been a Lands End shopper for years. My mom introduced them to me years ago. My mom is originally from Minnesota but is a New Jersey transplant. She knows cold! And so do the folks over at Lands End. Need a waterproof warm winter coat? Call Lands End! Or tweet them for that matter @LandsEnd @LandsEndPR and follow the #LandsEnd conversation.

Which is exactly how I was able to score the amazing chenille throw, candle holder and $50 gift card as pictured above. I’m completely obsessed with this throw. It is soooo comfy I can’t even tell ya. The candle holder is super cute and I cannot wait to spend my gift card. I’ve been eyeing up the LBD’s (Little Black Dress) on their site for a few weeks now.

 

On Cyber Monday they held the Land’s End 12 Hours of Twitter Event aka #12hrsTwitter. For 12 hours they gave away prizes upon prizes ranging from their adorable holiday collection, to warm coats and more. Say what you didn’t know they carried home goods? Um they totally do. They also carry some treats that sound insanely delectable like their Sea Salt Caramels.

 

Visit www.LandsEnd.com throughout December to view their St. Nick’s Picks. They offer daily deals on great products with exceptional values.

 

What’s that? You want to win a Land’s End Twitter contest too? Well ’tis the season! On Friday, December 16th Land’s End will be holding another Twitter party. Follow @LandsEndPR, @LandsEnd, @LEprMolly, @LEprMichele, @LEprMariella and @LandsEndPRAdam at #LandsEnd for all the deets!

 

*Disclaimer – I was not required to write this blog post. Opinions expressed here are my own.

Take 2 – QVC’s Testube Beauty – Product Review

As you know from my previous post about  QVC‘s  and their New Beauty Testube as posted HERE, I love my quarterly testubes.

 

This time my New Beauty Testube consisted of Supersmile professional whitening toothpaste, Algenist anti-aging moisturizer, Perricone firming neck cream, Philosophy’s snow angel 3-in1 shower gel, Mally’s evercolor starlight eyeliner in black, Laura Geller’s baked eyeshadow in Sugar Sky/Blueberry, Josie Maran’s 100% pure argan oil, and WEN’s winter vanilla mint.

 

I was not a huge fan of the Supersmile toothpaste. I didn’t really like the flavor or feel like my teeth were getting cleaned. I also have very sensitive teeth and gums so that could be my problem. The Algenist, Perricone and Josie Maran products were all nice and went on well. But my faves and standouts are the following.

I loved the Philosophy snow angel body wash, but I’ve been a huge Philosophy fan for years so maybe I’m just biased. Who knows? Their 3-in-1’s always lather so well and rinse well too. Plus they all smell divine. I especially love their Strawberry Milkshake.

This was my first opportunity to try a Mally product and I was pleasantly surprised. Her eyeliner went on super smooth and easy. Sometimes with an eyeliner pencil I find them stiff and hard to work with. Her pencil was very easy to use and pliable. Love it!

 

I also really liked the Laura Geller eyeshadow. The colors look great seperate but I prefer to use the lighter blue as a base and highlighter and the darker blue on my lids to give more of a smokey eye look. The shadow stays on very well but I love the color options it comes in the most.

Ok so my fave fave fave product from this whole testube has to be hands down the WEN winter vanilla mint conditioner. First of all it smells like what I think heaven smells like. A little goes a long way and rinses out very nicely and doesn’t make you feel sticky or weighed down. It’s very light. But the smell is what gets me. I want to eat it! I was surprised but happy to find out that WEN is owned by Chaz Dean the fab hair stylist. Some of you may recall the name as he is a regular on “Flipping Out” on Bravo. I’m a fan of the show so when I saw this I was even more excited.

 

Stay tuned for my next edition. As soon as I receive my next testube I will let you know. In the meantime should you purchase any of these products let me know what you think.

 

While looking at the QVC site to get these links I noticed many of the products I mentioned are either having a great sale or are giving away a bonus with each purchase. So make sure to check out these great products on the QVC site for more deets.

 

Disclaimer *I received this product as a gift from my mother. I was not required to write a blog post. My thoughts are my own.

 

Roasted Garlic Fettucene Alfredo Recipe

For my holiday gift to my dear friend Khurt Williams, I’ve decided to finally post my recipe for my Roasted Garlic Fettucene Alfredo. Really it’s a gift to all of you. The first time I made it for my hubby he said it was better than the alfredo he had in Italy. And he wasn’t just saying it. It truly is out of this world. If you make it, please drop me a line and let me know what you think.

 

What’s needed:

 

1 cup Grated Parmigiano Reggiano (Buy a block of it and grate it yourself)

1 lb. Fettucene

2 Heads of garlic

1 cup Heavy cream

Olive oil, salt & pepper

 

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice the tops off of the garlic heads. Place them on foil and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap foil around the garlic and roast in the oven for 45 minutes. Let them cool and then squeeze the flesh out of the cloves and mash into a paste. Add the paste to a pot over medium heat with the heavy cream and whisk. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until the contents reduces by 1.2. Boil your pasta. Add cheese to your pot with cream. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Drain your pasta. I like to throw the pasta directly into the sauce and mix together and let sit for a second so the pasts absorbs the flavor.

 

Last but not least…. dig in. Enjoy!