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Local Crate – New Meal Delivery Service in Minnesota


You have no idea how excited I am about this! A few weeks ago my cousin and his wife were in town and they told me about this meal delivery service that they have in Milwaukee. They have fresh ingredients shipped to their home with recipes that they can make fairly fast. They like to cook like I do but since they have a new baby, time is not on their side. This is a quick way to get a healthy meal and still have the taste of a freshly cooked meal. All I thought to myself is— how do we not have this in Minneapolis?

I ran across Local Crate recently in my Twitter feed thanks to the awesome people that I follow.  It looks like they are trying to make a go of this same idea but are sourcing local Minnesota ingredients.

Local Crate is a delivery service that sends fresh, local, portioned ingredients, and chef designed recipes to Minnesotans weekly making it easy for people to cook locally. Now, this is an idea that I can get behind! I enjoy eating out at restaurants but it is not something that I can do everyday. This would be a great fill in for the weeks that I am craving a home cooked meal and when I have commitments that don’t allow me enough time to get to the grocery store.

I usually only cook for two people and you usually can’t buy the ingredients for only two portions. This is a great way to get only what you need for the recipe and eliminates that one jam you needed for that ONE recipe that you made a year ago and it is still sitting in your refrigerator (not from personal experience, nope, not here).


Local Crate was started by the Kitchen Ninja and the Baby Kitchen Ninja AKA: Mike Stalbaum and Frank Jackman. They both were working for a large food manufacturer and realized that they could create a business around helping their community by working with local farmers and providers. They are passionate about changing the way that people eat and want to give back to our community. I am super excited to see where Local Crate goes!

The meals look great with options ranging from Spaghetti Carbonara to Shakshouka. Each recipe on listed on their website is something that I would enjoy trying. Also, they have enough variety that I don’t think I would get sick of the options. Each recipe comes with detailed instructions and a picture (this always helps me).

Currently, they are doing a Kickstarter project to raise much needed, cash flow for packaging, ingredients, cold and dry storage, and photo equipment. They have some great thank you gifts available and if you are interested in getting Local Crate I would suggest that you help them raise the $7,000 that they need to make their goal. I am clearly a proud supporter of this great idea so I backed this project! He

CLICK HERE to help them reach their goal!

Because this is a great idea and I can’t wait to try it!


Support Local Kickstarter Projects!


I am a huge fan of this whole crowd funding movement. It just makes sense for me to be able to easily give money to products and causes that are important to me. Plus, it is really cool just to see all the awesome stuff that people are trying to do.

Here are a few local projects that need your help to become completely funded:

ENDING SOON Appetite for Change –  is a social enterprise that hosts community cooking workshops, builds urban farms and engages community to build a community-based food system. This money will go towards training youth in their job program. You obviously don’t need me to tell you how important this is!

They have some amazing rewards still available for restaurants like Spoonriver, Burch Steakhouse, the soon to open Brut, and even a unique experience with Andrew Zimmern and Gavin Kaysen available. I totally volunteer to come to any one of these dinners!

Help them fund their project HERE

Bark and the Bite- Artisan Barbecue Truck serving Minneapolis with world class smoked meats, craft sauces, scratch sides, great vegetarian and gluten free options. This is from the team behind Sapor this food truck seems like it will serve some awesome food.

I love food trucks and I love BBQ. Naturally, I think it would be great to have another one on the road.

Help them fund their project HERE

Crapola- Awesome high-fiber breakfast cereal, which is named by playfully combining the words cranberry, apple, and granola. (Smart)

They want to move to a larger production facility.  “We don’t want to have to hire someone else to make our granola – we prefer to continue making our products ourselves.” – I agree!

Help them fund their project HERE

Omni Brewing- OMNI means “all, every, of every kind.” That’s a perfect summation of their vision – a beer for everyone. They serve a wide variety of interesting craft beers at our inviting taproom in Maple Grove. No pretense here. Just beer.

They are trying to make their taproom a comfortable place to be.

They will be using the funds to:

  • Build a great bar
  • Renovate the taproom area
  • Buy tables, chairs, and bar stools
  • Stock the taproom with games and entertainment

Although, they already hit their goal they are offering a new perk if they hit their stretch goal of $40,000.

Get some awesome perks HERE

because it’s fun to help people with their dream


What’s the coolest perk you’ve ever gotten from a Kickstarter project?

Aromi – Matte Liquid Lipstick

Aromi Lipstick

I am not the type of person to normally wear lipstick. I am starting to get more into wearing lipstick after discovering the Aromi Matte Liquid Lipstick at Garden of Eden. I love the highly pigmented colors that you can get because it really pops.

The greatest thing about this lipstick is that is stays on! I call it my two beers lipstick because I can drink two beers without it all coming off. It is not permanently on your lips so it does come off with any makeup remover and if you are licking your lips a lot.

I wear the flamingo red which is more of a blue-red and cannot wait to see what new colors will be coming out.

Aromi is a local company that provides handcrafted cosmetics and fragrances that are formulated from scratch, handcrafted in their own laboratory, with great ingredients.  I first discovered them awhile back when I wanted to buy their solid perfume for travel purposes. It is also great and solved a problem that I had– I wanted to wear a fragrance but only wanted to bring a carry on bag. I ended up falling in love with their scents and I’ve bought many of the cologne solid fragrances for gifts.

The Founder Hannah, created Aromi out of a passion for chemistry and all things beauty products.  She is a chemist by trade and spent years working as a formulation chemist before finally starting Aromi. All the products are vegan too!

You can buy both the Matte Lipstick and women’s solid fragrances at Garden of Eden on Grand Avenue (Only some of the colors available).

Because it’s fun to wear lipstick


Have you tried Aromi? What is your favorite color?

Disclosure: I bought by own Lipstick at Garden of Eden. These opinions are my own and when I find something like this I feel the need to write about it to let other people know. Plus, supporting local small businesses is my thing.

MN Blogger Bash Recap!


I had so much fun last night! I hope you did too. Last night I helped host #MNBloggerBash with Linda from Garden of Eden and Alexis from myTalk 107.1 at Bread & Chocolate. It was just a night for bloggers to get together and talk. We rarely get to see the people we talk to on social media in real life and this was a great chance to do that. Plus, a few giveaways and a swag bag from Garden of Eden! Did you like your signature scent? I hope you were able to meet someone new that you didn’t know before and make this blogger community a little bit smaller. I think everyone did because there was so much energy in that room!

Screenshot 2015-06-22 22.29.26

It was really fun to get to catch up with friends that I met when I first started blogging (Life with Levi, Katie Looking Forward, and Being Zhenya). But, I also met new people (HappyShoeDay, A Pinch of Lemon, Champagne and Macaroons, Wool and Whiskey, Some of the Flock of Broads, and so many others). I wish I had a chance to meet every single person that I didn’t know!


The feedback that I received from the event is that we need to do this again! We need to do it again just because I wasn’t able to meet everyone that was there.

The Blogger Bash was born out of wanting to get together with my blogger friends to just have some time to chat. I feel like the only time we get together is if it is educational or being pitched. Rarely, do I have the chance to get together with a HUGE group of bloggers where I just get to hang out. It was amazing to FINALLY meet bloggers I know only from our twitter relationship (Twila Dang)!


I want to send a BIG thank you to Alexis Thompson from myTalk 107.1 and Linda from Garden of Eden for being excellent hosts. I hope you liked the wonderful swag bags from Garden of Eden. Linda wanted to pick signature scents for each of you! It also contained Aromi Matte Lip Stain, Aromi is a local company that can be found at Garden of Eden. You each got my signature color Flamingo Red! We are thankful for all of the great local businesses and non-profits that could come: Plush Pumpkins, Hope Chest, Invision, Ten Thousand Villages, and Vine Park Brewing.


If you loved this event make sure that you don’t miss out on the Minnesota Blogger Conference. It happens in the fall and is one of the BEST events for local bloggers. I saw a presentation from Lauren Melcher that changed my life.

Give me a little time to recover and I will start planning the next Blogger Bash! If you are a blogger and would like to get an invite to the next event comment below with your email address. We will be limited again by whatever venue we choose so only limited amount of invitations will go out. You know that whole fire code thing.

I will be posting the pictures on the Garden of Eden Facebook page later today! CLICK HERE!

Because we need to meet each other in real life!


What was your favorite part of MNBloggerBash?

Eastlake Brewery

LynLake Brewery

I’ve been meaning to go here forever and finally made it out to Eastlake Brewery! I am a huge fan of the Midtown Global Market where it is located. I think it holds some of the best food found in Minneapolis. If you haven’t been to The Rabbit Hole or The Salty Tart yet, go there soon.

When you go to Eastlake Brewery come with an empty stomach because you can get food from the market and bring it in to the brewery to enjoy. The space is fairly big and contains a lot of natural light. It is also family friendly. When I was there, there were several families sitting around and having a meal together.

EastLake Brewery

I wasn’t hugely impressed by the beers that I sampled other than their current sour brew Kirby Pucker and Belgian Pale Ale. They were a little too fruity and floral for my personal taste. I am the first to admit that don’t take my word on it. I love to drink beer. BUT– I think beer is such a personal thing that beers that I am not a fan of, others would like. Their current Saison with ginger and pink lemons was not my thing but I could see people who like fruity beers loving it.

Current Beers at EastLake

With all that being said, I would come back even though I wasn’t a huge fan of their brews I tried. I didn’t get a chance to try their IPA’s since I got their lighter flight. I will be back to give those a try sometime soon. I went lighter because I was looking for a great summer beer.

I loved the space and it’s fun to bring food from any of the places in the market. If you are going to eat at the Brewery try Hot Indian Foods or Manny’s Tortas. Both are wonderful!


Overall, I liked this place as a perfect place to hang out and I’m excited to try some of their heavier brews next time.

because a great hangout and great food make a wonderful night.

What’s your favorite brewery to hangout in?


Patina: My Gift Store

Patina Minneapolis

I love shopping at Patina. Every time I walk into this store I feel inspired and I know I will be able to find a perfect gift. Plus, they will wrap it for me.

Right now, they have a ton of great ideas for Valentine’s Day. I am not huge on giving gifts for Valentine’s Day but a nicely written card is some thing that I love. You’ll be able to pick up a really pretty card to write your own message in. Plus, they have a wide selection of jewelry. Many of the items are priced under $100 which makes them affordable and great as a gift.

I also enjoy their stationary section. I was able to pick up cute thank you cards that have quotes on them. They have a good selection of journals too.

Patina Minneapolis

I admire how many local products they feature in their store. I know if I am looking for a local gift I can find something that keeps me interested. I saw some great baby clothes that were made locally the last time I stopped in.

If you need a gift for someone and you are not sure what to get, you should try Patina. The staff is extra helpful and they will help you leave the store feeling like you’ve picked out the perfect gift.

Because gift giving is an art.


Where you do shop for gifts in Minneapolis?

Are people still eating there?

Quote Blog (1)

Where have you been eating lately?

I ask this because I was driving around the other day and spotted some chain restaurants with full parking lots.  I thought to myself about the last time I had eaten at one and why I ate there. I believe it was at an Applebee’s when I was meeting a group of people that I hadn’t seen in awhile.

Of course, they are much easier to go to if you have a large group, they will split checks, and you already know what is on the menu because they have burgers, sandwiches, salads, pasta dishes, and any other thing you could imagine under the sun to accommodate even the pickiest eater. And you know you are going to have to eat there when you are going out with coworkers or for meetings. (Yes, I know it’s a run on paragraph)

But, why not when you get to make the decision about picking a restaurant to go somewhere local with really good food? Not just a place where the microwave is the main form of cooking.

It can be hard to make that choice sometimes because what if one person doesn’t like the food choice? Or you don’t really know how to order at a tapas restaurant. Give it a try. Because what do you have to lose? You know you are not going to have the best meal of your life at a Buffalo Wild Wings. Although, maybe some people will disagree with me. I’m fine with that.

It’s okay if you like eating at chain restaurants. All I ask is that with all of the wonderful options there are out there, why would you choose to eat there? Why not go out and try something new? Take a chance. Go on an adventure. I am making a bet that if you try somewhere new, you will really like it.

Because it’s fun to eat new things.


Do you agree/disagree with me? Are there any good chain restaurants? I can think of a few. Best place for someone to go to try something new?

Vote LoLa

As a supporter of local business, I had to tell you what is going on in Wrenshall, MN. A business called the Locally Laid Egg Company is one of four small businesses in a contest with intuit to win an ad during the big game.

The only thing you need to do to support them is visit and click the vote button everyday until December 1st. Thank goodness, finally a contest where you don’t have to like anything, give any information, or sell your soul to help someone out.

I think you should support LoLa because they are local, sustainable, and they have a really awesome product. You may have had LoLa eggs if you have eaten at Duluth Grill, GastroTruck, or Surdyk’s Flights. You can find a full list HERE. Many of the local Coops sell the eggs too. If you have eaten the eggs at any of these places or in your own home you know how delicious they are. There is a different taste to eggs that are local and come from happy birds.

The Amundsen family wants to win to get people talking about different kinds of agriculture and encourage others to get into farming. Jason Admundsen started Locally Laid after his second layoff from a non-profit grant writing job and has invested everything into this business. You can tell just by looking at the Locally Laid website and blog that they truly care about what they are doing and want to do as much as they can to give back, including planting a tree for every delivery.

So, tell your friends, tell your family, tell your co-workers, and tell the person sitting next to you on the bus to VoteLoLa. It is even mobile optimized.

because happy chickens make yummy eggs


Minnesota Cheese Festival 2013

Minnesota Cheese Festival, MNCheesefest, cheese

Get your tickets for the Minnesota Cheese Festival that is going on this weekend at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

On both Saturday and Sunday there will be two sessions, one from 10-1 and another from 2-5 in order to keep crowds small and give you an opportunity to interact directly with the Cheesemakers.

During the event you will be able to sample the best cheeses from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. You can also attend demonstrations, seminars, and buy cheese from local Cheesemakers directly.

Redhead Creamery that I mentioned in my post yesterday about neat Minnesota Kickstarter Projects will  be there. A few of my other favorite Cheesemakers such as the Caves of Faribault, Ellsworth Creamery, Shepard’s Way Farm, and Singing Hills Goat Dairy will also be there.

Support the Redhead Creamery project :

You can get tickets: HERE

because I am not vegan anymore.


Support Local with Minnesota Kickstarter Projects

Kickstarter Minnesota,

Have I ever told you how much I love Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is a website where you can either go to fund a project that you want to see happen or try to get funding for your own project.

It is a great way to use your cash to fund a project that you care about.

Here are three current Minnesota Kickstarter projects that I think are really neat:

Travail: Democratizing Fine Dining:

Firstly, I am completely on the Travail bandwagon. The chefs who started Travail get it right, they know how to bring fine dining to a level where it makes people comfortable and they know how to have fun with it. This extra cash is going to help them be successful when they can open their new space. Plus it comes with some extras. One level of funding gives you the perk of being able to get a reservation at their restaurant where they don’t do reservations.

Help them reach their $75,000 goal! UPDATE: They are fully funded after only 6 hours on Kickstarter! On 9/11/13, they hit $140,000 which is way over their goal. Plus, they posted an awesome video on instagram find them at username travailkitchen.

The Rabbit Hole: A Korean Gastro Pub:

Brought to you by the crazy kids at Left Handed Cook, The Rabbit Hole is exactly where I want to spend a Friday night. What is a Korean Gastro Pub? I have no idea, but I know I am going to like it.

If you haven’t been to the Left Handed Cook in the Midtown Global Market yet, you need to give it a try. It is one of my favorite places to get a quick meal.

They are only looking to raise $10,000 and are almost to their goal. Help them reach it. They hit their goal on 9/11/13. Now let’s get Redhead Creamery Funded!

Redhead Creamery:

This farm to table creamery is exactly what I love about Minnesota. Plus, they are making cheddars. Yum! Help them build the space where they can create their food safely and right on their farm. Minnesota can always use more cheese.

They are on their way to their $35,000 goal but there are only 15 days left.

because when you back a Kickstarter you are telling that project we want you here.



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