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.





Always Put “Your Best Face” Forward

I was thrilled when my fellow tweep YBF (Your Best Face) reached out to me via Twitter to do a product review for them. I’ve been chatting with them for a while now and was very curious about their products. Plus one of the founding partners Darrell lives in Minnesota. I’m a bit partial to Minnesota as my grandma lives there, cheese curds are there and the cutest store Patina in the Highlands. So as far as I’m concerned some of the best things are in Minnesota. I was anxious to try out their line.


YBF was founded in 2004 by friends Darrell Owens & Kimberley Fristed.  You may find YBF at The Skin Care Shop and The Makeup Bar or you may order online through their websites. They were voted Best Indie Skin Care Line in 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards and celebrate their 4 year anniversary with The Skin Care Shop in May 2011. Products are priced between $15-$160(USD) and are only available through YBF’s retailers.


All the YBF products smell amazing and to me, that’s just as important as how they work. Here are the products I tried out.


Define is an anti-aging lip cream that brightens and contours while improving fullness. The peptides help fill any lines around the lips to increase the fullness.  


Quench is a lip balm (who doesn’t love lip balm) that is uber minty fresh and super moisturizing.  It seals in moisture and prevents future damage from stress and environmental factors.


Almost all the YBF skincare smells like almonds (except the lip care items). It’s absolutely delicious!


Defend is a serum that provides wrinkle prevention, balances oil & shine and hydrates & tones. This serum is a great product if you are in the sun a lot. It helps with sun damage, shine and onset of wrinkles. It can be used over the entire face or you may spot treat shine-prone areas.


Boost is a daily moisturizer that clarifies skin, tightens & tones and discourages blemishes. It smells incredible and makes your skin silky smooth. This product works great layered with other YBF serums. I loved how this product seeped into my skin so quickly, yet without making me feel like I was sticky.


I paired the Defend with the Boost and my skin felt amazing. The boost is really moisturizing and sinks into the skin quickly.


Restore is filled with Vitamin C, brighteners and top antioxidants to even pigmentation, diminish dark spots and reduce inflammation for a refreshed look. It brightens skin, soothers & refreshes and promotes healing.


Control is another great serum that helps to reduce deep wrinkles, sun damage repair and rejuvenates complexion.


Once I ran out of the Defend, I began pairing the Boost with Control. That’s my second favorite combination, but remember, it all depends on your skin type and also what you are trying to achieve.


Hydrate B Concentrate helps to draw moisture deeper into the skin. It is a clear gel that includes three forms of B vitamins which work to rejuvenate the skin, speed healing and improve tone and texture. It can also be used as a gentler alternative to toners.


Antioxidants Concentrate is a lightweight serum with loads of anti-aging skincare ingredients such as Ferulic Acid, Spin Trap, Lipochroman-6 and Vitamin E. You may use this serum on its own or in conjunction with your favorite moisturizer. The Antioxidants Concentrate also makes a great addition prior to or after spa services such as LED light treatments.


Correct is an invigorating eye cream that targets lines and puffiness and reduces dark circles. I’ve tried a number of eye creams in the past and this one is the most moisturizing of them all. YBF says it’s their “end-all-be-all” cream and I couldn’t agree more.


The YBF products are filled with great antioxidants, peptides, vitamins and botanicals to make you look and feel your best.  Check’em out.


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Follow them on Twitter! (They are super cool tweeps!)

To learn more about their products visit their website  To purchase their products click here.