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August 29, 2016

56 places to visit in minneapolis

56 Places to Visit in Minneapolis, MN
I moved to Minneapolis about a year ago, & while there are areas that are unfamiliar to me, it definitely feels like home here. My brother & his wife are coming to visit soon (yay!), & I'm extremely excited to "show off" the new stomping grounds. I still feel like a tourist in my own city, but over the past year Heather & I have tried to do lots of new things - not to mention eat lots of good food - so I feel like we can do a decent job taking the fam around town. If you're new to Minneapolis or planning on coming over for a visit, here's some places to check out. There are a handful of places on the list I haven't visited yet, but are definitely scribbled on a list that hangs on the fridge!
56 Places to Visit in Minneapolis: Freewheel Bike, Mississippi River, Stone Arch Bridge, Midtown Greenway

| EXPLORE |

1. Go pedal boating on one of the many lakes
2. Visit Minnehaha falls (even better in the winter)
4. Rent a Nice Ride bike to tour the city
5. After sight-seeing, bike the Midtown Greenway
6. Visit the Stone Arch Bridge
7. Take a stroll in Loring Park (make sure to visit the Dandelion Sculpture)
9. See the city from atop the Foshay tower
10. Ice skate at the Depot (winter only)
12. Play skyline mini golf at the Walker Museum
56 Places to Visit in Minneapolis: Chef Shack Ranch, Spoon & Stable, The Bachelor Farmer

| BRUNCH |

11. Aster Cafe (best quiche in town)
12. The Bachelor Farmer (adore)
13. Birchwood Cafe (vegetarian biscuits & gravy whaa?)
14. LUSH (because of the endless mimosas!)
15. The Local (Irish delish - also a bar)

| LUNCH & DINNER |
16. Chef Shack Ranch (also a food truck!)
17. World Street Kitchen (I have literally never had anything bad here)
18. Spoon & Stable ($$$, but so good)
19. Salsa a la Salsa (authentic Mexican food)
20. The Nicollet Diner (perfect if you're craving a milkshake at 3 in the morning)
21. Dancing Ganesha (hands down the best Indian food in the city)
22. Trieste Café (open during the week - right off the skyway. AMAZING FALAFEL)
23. The Hi-Lo Diner (haven't been yet, but Adele has, so it must be good. Right?)
56 Places to Visit in Minneapolis: Mill City Farmer's Parking, Loring Corners, North side of the river, Lake Harriet

| SHOPPING |

24. Crafty Planet (STILL have yet to visit this adorable craft store what is wrong with me?)
25. Mill City Farmer's Market (Saturdays!)
26. The Herbivorous Butcher (vegan butcher - no lie)
27. Freewheel Bike (a bike shop / lunch spot that is literally on the Midtown Greenway!)
28. Find Furnish (they always have super cute furniture)
29. I like you (nifty gifts)
30. Patina (also cute gifts / stuff I need want)
31. Pharmacie (home goods, pretty things)
32. Askov Finlayson (men's apparel - also want)
56 Places to Visit in Minneapolis: The Bachelor Farmer Cafe, Peace Coffee, Spyhouse, One on One

| COFFEE HOUSES |

33. Spyhouse (potentially the hippest coffee houses in town)
34 . The Bachelor Farmer Cafe (home of the most adorable tile work)
35 . Dunn Bros. (a local company - try the iced caramel macchiato)
36. One on One Bike Shop (get your bike fixed & have one of the best mochas in town)
37. Peace Coffee (convenient if you're downtown - you don't even have to leave the skyway)
38. Common Roots Cafe (their cold press is the best press)
56 Places to Visit in Minneapolis, MN: Brit's Pub, The Local, Salsa a la Salsa, Spoon & Stable

| DRINKS |

39. Brit's Pub(very British, very chill)
40. Rosa Mexicano (margaritas & endless guac)
41. Up-Down (on our "yet to go" list - arcade games & beer!)
42. Prohibition Bar at the Foshay tower (a speakeasy with some of the best views in town)
43. Spoon & Stable (I know - this is their second appearance on the list. I almost put them in the "brunch" section too! They can do no wrong)
44. Marin (had drink that tasted straight up like licorice)
45. Butcher & the Boar (lovely beer garden - dog friendly Mondays!)
56 Places to Visit in Minneapolis: Path to the Walker, Mill City Museum, Cherry on a Spoon, Bob Dylan Mural

| ART |

46. Browse paintings at the MIA
47. See the Cherry Spoon at the Walker Sculpture Garden
48. Visit Walker on the first Saturday of the month & get in for free
49. View the Bob Dylan mural off Hennepin
50. See contemporary work at MCAD
51. Pose in front of the quintessential Minneapolis mural at 515 1st Avenue
56 Places to Visit in MPLS: Bread & Pickle, Bogart's Doughnut Co., Milk Jam Creamery, Izzy's Ice Cream

| SWEET TREATS |

52. Glam Doll Donuts (hands down the best donuts in town)
53. Milk Jam Creamery (ice cream & donut sandwiches whaaa?)
54. Bogart's Doughnut Co. (this is basically a list of donuts)
55. Angel Food (delish chocolate croissants)
56. Izzy's Ice Cream (yumm-o. They have mad waffle cone skills)

All the pictures are from Instagram, either the @wecanmakeanything feed, or Heather's account, @hbomb.mpls

xoxo,
-m.e.

August 26, 2016

life | links

Cold-brewed coffee
Instagram @wecanmakeanything | Twitter @wcmanything

It's happening. I can feel it. It's in the air. The cold, cold air. Anything over 85º has vanished from the weather report. All the pumpkin flavors are creeping back. Soon enough I'll be able to retrieve all my sweaters from storage. My coworkers are bemoaning the return of fall, but I'm feeling this meme so hard right now. Let's go, fall. I'm so ready.

HAPPY THOUGHTS

I'm getting a haircut this weekend for the first time in almost a year. It's embarrassingly shaggy, & I'm so ready for that liberating post-haircut feeling. Plus, this weekend Heather & I will be finishing up some vintage chairs we're redoing that we bought a few weekends ago. If you follow me on Instagram, I'll probably be posting a sneak peek on my Story. Fair warning: I mostly post about my cat Donut on my Story. Isn't that what social media was made for anyways?

HAPPY LINKS

xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. This chilly weather front has me itching to knit!

August 22, 2016

diy coffee caddy

DIY Coffee Caddy: Coffee date for two - to go!
On Sunday mornings Heather & I have this little routine. I'll get up a little early & take a walk down to our local coffee house, then stroll back with two chocolate croissants & two coffees. Mine is a mocha, hers a caramel macchiato. Then I'll crawl back under the covers & we'll sip & be lazy until one of us convinces the other that we should probably do something productive. It's like a weekly coffee date we have.
DIY reusable coffee holder for two
I've been trying to figure out how to make a coffee carrier for a couple of weeks. Mostly on my walks back with two coffees in my hand, then while I'm juggling with my keys trying to get back in the building. Also, let's face it: you can't catch Pokémon & carry two lattes at the same time. Priorities, people. 
DIY Coffee Caddy: What you'll need
Here's what you'll need to make this carrier:
  • Wood glue
  • Balsa wood sticks, 1/4 inch diameter
  • Basswood, 1/16 inch width (I used 3 pieces of 4x9" wood)
  • Masking tape
  • A saw
  • Sand paper
  • Foam (I'm actually using a drywall sponge)
  • Hot glue gun
  • A drill
  • Wood stain &/or paint 
  • Cord or straps
DIY Coffee Caddy: Cut the wood
To start, cut down your wood pieces. You'll need:
  • Three pieces of 8x4" basswood (two long sides & bottom)
  • Three pieces of 3.75x4" basswood (two short sides & middle divider)
  • Eight sticks of 3.5" balsa wood (braces for corners)
If you have a table saw to cut these pieces, that would be best. A handsaw also works. I am going to come clean about something here. I used scissors. Yep, you read that right. I used a pair of scissors that I don't really care about & cut both the basswood & the balsa wood. It worked really well, but definitely dulled my scissors. If you have a pair of junk scissors I'd recommend that, but a saw works just as well. Sand rough edges.
DIY Coffee Caddy: Assemble the box
Assemble the box by taping on the outside. Put it together one piece at a time. Once all pieces are in place (with the divider piece in the middle), apply wood glue to each corner on the inside of the box. In each corner place a 3-inch stick of balsa wood to act as a brace. Let dry completely (overnight recommended).
DIY Coffee Caddy: Drill holes for straps
Once dry, drill four holes, one on each top corner of the long side. This is where you'll thread the caddy's straps. Sand as needed.
DIY Coffee Caddy: Espresso stain
Paint or stain the box. I picked an espresso stain for the outside with white paint on the inside. Let dry completely. 
DIY Coffee Caddy: Add foam for cushioning
Okay, now to the foam (or in my case, a sponge). Cut the foam into small rectangles, then hot glue in place to each corner of the box. The point of the foam is to hold each cup in place. I painted my foam white too, just so it wouldn't stand out so much. 

Feed straps through the holes drilled earlier, tying a knot on the inside. These straps were made out of vinyl, folded in half & sewn down the sides. Done!
Coffee on the go in this DIY
Coffee vibes
I tested my new caddy this weekend. Worked like a breeze. Caught at least five pidgeys.

Did you notice this is the second coffee-themed post in a row? Am I that tired??

xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. How to make your own reusable coffee sleeves like the ones peeking in this post!

August 17, 2016

"but first, coffee" iphone wallpaper

Free iPhone wallpaper. But first, coffee!
You know those quizzes on Buzzfeed that ask weird questions & give you even weirder answers? Like you'll pick between a picture of a puppy in a sweater or a kitten in a sweater, & then they'll tell you what city you'll retire to (who even comes up with this stuff & where can I sign up? #dreamjob). Anyways, Heather takes these quizzes all the time, & the other night she was having me take one that was all about coffee. I don't remember the question exactly, but it was something like: "Pick a word that describes the perfect cup of coffee." The options were things like energizing, invigorating, or nourishing. I picked calming. Which I quickly realized was the opposite of what caffeine is supposed to do. Coffee = energy. The word "calm" is supposed to be associated with things like chamomile tea, or meditation, or petting fluffy cats.

But on further reflection, coffee is calming - for me anyway. It's my calming jam. It's the steadfast moment of my mornings. It's the delicious little guarantee of my day. I'm not a spiritual person, so the routine of that first cup is the closest thing I get to a ritual. I like it. I like that minute in the morning with my cuppa joe on my walk to work. It's my time. It's calm. 
Be amazing today. But first, coffee. Downloadable iPhone wallpaper.
Click here to download this wallpaper.

To use it, get on your phone & click the link above to open the wallpaper. Press down on the image until you're prompted to save it. Save & set as wallpaper!
Download this iPhone background. "Okay, but first - coffee."
What about you -what's your ritual? What's your steadfast moment in your day?

xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. Express-o your love of coffee (& cats & cardigans) with this free sampler template.

August 15, 2016

too cool | back to school

Must haves for the new semester
I've been out of school for a hot minute now. In fact, it was when I graduated that I began blogging. I don't think I started blogging because I missed school, but rather that I needed something to fill the time that school took up. I think it's important for a happy mind to have multiple passions. As we get closer to the start of a new semester, I'm reminded of all the joys & stresses that came with being a student. All-nighters, last-minute deadlines, & flash cards for days. If I were going back to school this fall, here's all the cute stuff I'd get. From left to right:

1. s'ip water bottle | 2. sugar paper planner | 3. pencil case (by my boy berkus) | 4. pencils | 5. "oops" eraser | 6. weekender watch | 7. backpack (presh) | 8. instal-film camera (because college goes by in a flash)

xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. Don't let your college budget get you down - decorate your dorm on the cheap with this DIY wall art.

Affiliate links are used in this post!

August 12, 2016

life | links

Instagram @wecanmakeanything | Twitter @wcmanything

Hello, Friday-loving folks. Welcome to the weekend. You made it!

I don't really have anything on my to-do list for the weekend. Not that there aren't things to do, but rather that I haven't written them down or thought about them. Which is a problem. I can't be alone in this: when I don't make an actual list of what I want to happen over the weekend, nothing happens over the weekend! To-do list, here I come. I know I need to start working on my wedding dress, but I'm feeling apprehensive. What if it turns out to be a total & utter disaster? I was lamenting to Heather about my anxiety over the situation, & she had the brilliant idea to make a "trial run." Basically use the pattern I have & make the dress out of muslin first to see if I even like the shape of it. She's a genius, & that's why I'm marrying her.

HAPPY THOUGHTS

Heather & I have officially secured a reception space for our wedding after-party. Happiest of thoughts, collective sigh of relief. It feels really good to get the bigger tasks of wedding planning accomplished so attention can be given to the fun little details. I'm puffing about this like I had anything to do with it - Heather is our wedding-planner extraordinaire & did all the grunt work on this one. I just get to reap the benefits. 

HAPPY LINKS

xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. Summer is almost over, but there's still time for some seasonal-inspired DIYs.

August 10, 2016

how to clean carpet by hand

What I Learned from Cleaning my Rug (BY HAND!)
There's an impulsive part of my brain that wants to buy things that are highly impractical. Like high heels, even though they make me look & feel like the 50 foot woman. Or tubes of lipstick that totally don't match my skin tone (shoutout to that Wet n' Wild hot pink I wore every day in the 11th grade). Or white rugs even though we have pets. Yeah. Guess who has heels, weird lipsticks, & a bright, white rug? Worth it though, because this rug is like my favorite thing about our living room.
Before & After | How to Clean Carpet by Hand
Heather & I both had serious reservations about getting this rug (I seem to remember having to sweet-talk her into it). If you're a fellow pet-owner you can understand my concerns with THIS MUCH WHITE on the floor. It's not as hard to keep clean as I thought it would be. I vacuum it once a week (a little less in the winter when the pets shed less), & rotate it every few months to keep the wear even. It's kind of hard to tell in the pictures, but after a year of use a thorough cleaning was definitely needed, especially the spots where we (the dog included) tread on it most often.
Cheapest rug-cleaning option - and totally doable
Rather than rent a carpet cleaner (gotta save for that honeymoon!) I decided to clean it myself. Like, by hand. With elbow grease, sweat, & tears. Technically it was with dish soap & a scrub brush, but let me tell you what, it was a workout. You can call me crazy (you're crazy!), but the decision to hand-wash our rug totally paid off. It was cheap, easy, didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would, & it actually worked. Here's what I used:
& here's what I did: First, I vacuumed the rug thoroughly. Then I moved it into a spare room (away from curious pets). I mixed 1 cup warm water to 2 pumps (about 1/2 teaspoon) dish soap together in a bucket, & set to work. I cleaned the carpet in sections, working my way across the carpet like you would read a page in a book. I would scoop a bit of the soapy mixture onto the carpet, aiming for somewhere north of damp but definitely not soaking wet. I then worked the brush in different directions, loosening the dirt. I worked in this manner across the entire carpet.

I wanted to test this method out before cleaning the entire carpet, & so I cleaned a small section of the carpet & let it dry overnight. I did one portion using the soapy mixture, & one portion doing soap plus a rinse in clear water. In the morning I vacuumed both spots & saw the same results. Cleaner, fresher, & the non-rinsed portion didn't feel or look any different than the rinsed portion. Win for me, because that's half the work. 
How to clean your rug & get a workout at the same time
After I was done scrubbing the heck out of the rug (this 5x7 took about an hour), I dabbed the entire thing with a towel to absorb as much excess liquid as possible. Then I propped it up so it was off the floor, & left it to dry - with the aid of some fans to expedite the process. If you have access to an outdoor space, I'd recommend letting it dry in the sunshine. Once it dried (overnight drying recommended), I vacuumed it again to remove any dirt agitated to the surface during the scrubbing process. 
Cleaning carpeting on a budget
Donut could care less if the rug is clean. I don't know if it's because I scrubbed it for an hour so I'm all proud mama about it, but I can really see a difference. The yarns aren't as matted down, the color is even again (a.k.a. the dirt is gone), & it doesn't smell like dog. 10 out of 10, would do again. I don't think its worth it to clean it more than once a year, but I feel like the longevity of the rug just went up in a big way.
Get rid of that pet smell with this cheap and easy carpet-cleaning method
So here's what I learned: Cleaning a rug by hand actually works. It saves money, & I'm pretty sure my biceps are now totally ripped as a result of all the arm-work. 

xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. Photobomb by this previous DIY.

This post uses affiliate links!

August 5, 2016

life | links

Beautiful donuts from Spoon & Stable in Minneapolis, MN
Instagram @wecanmakeanything | Twitter @wcmanything

Can you believe it's August already? Summer is almost gone. Soon we'll have to say goodbye to shorts, tank tops, mosquitoes, & constantly being sweaty, & hello to cozy sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes, and fiery colored leaves. Am I excited for fall? You betcha. In the meantime though I am certainly trying to soak up every minute of these lovely long days. I've been trying to be better about getting enough exercise/outdoors time, especially while the weather is still nice. We're still doing a lot of biking, and I've been able to take the dog on longer walks after work during the week. She definitely loves it more than I do, which is encouragement enough to get my butt in motion.

HAPPY THOUGHTS

Instagram is now Snapchat or whatever, which is great for me because I've been dragging my feet on creating a Snapchat account! So you may or may not see my pretty face live in action (okay let's be honest I'll probably just take video of my cat). Another happy thought: I'm alive in an era where a female can be nominated for US presidency (#itsabouttime).

HAPPY LINKS

xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. I'm almost out of pages in this shopping list printable I made a year ago! Time to print some more.

August 1, 2016

collective | part 1

The Collective | Part 1 (Buttons!)
Ever since I was young I've loved collecting things. As an adult, I try to only hold onto things that are useful. I'm pretty much always torn between two desires though. One: to collect material things for future use, & two: to not end up on an episode of Hoarders. I waver between the decision to collect & to discard, which means I end up having periods of purging where I just throw everything away & start from scratch. I love collections though. There's joy in seeing things grouped together - like a full library, or a group of flying geese, or clean dishes stacked in cupboards. I think it's nice to be able to appreciate things as much as it is to let them go.

I'm trying to improve my photo-styling skills, and photographing things I've collected over the years seemed like a good place to start. Today's collective pile consists of about 10% of my button collection. I'm not even sure where most of these buttons came from. I know some are probably from my mom, definitely some from my grandmother, and Heather's grandma too. I also have no idea what I'm going to do with most of them. Sometimes I'll let some go to make room for more buttons that come into my life.

I'd love to hear about some of the things that you collect - drop us a comment!

xoxo,
-m.e.

P.S. Things to do with buttons: decorate crocheted boot cuffs.
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