Minneapolis For A Minute


Often, the mentality with work trips is “Sure, this may be a cool city I’m in, but I’m just in the airport, the bland hotel nearby, and some windowless conference room.”

It happens. In general, traveling for work is not glamorous. But I try really hard, even when I’m on a tight schedule and pretty fully booked, to squeeze in a taste of wherever I am. Such was the case on a 24-hour trip I took to Minneapolis this week to give group presentations (in one of those windowless conference rooms about six minutes from the airport).

I did a little research beforehand (mostly playing around on Instagram) and headed to an area of town that seemed fun. Here are some cool places I checked out (there were tons more in the neighborhood) in case you ever have a few extra minutes in Minneapolis:

I’m probably not cool enough for Spyhouse Coffee. Everyone inside this hip coffee shop had that laidback Midwestern vibe meets Brooklyn hipster thing going on. But the Spygirl Latte, which is made with lavender and honey, was creamy and perfect and I’d travel back to Minnesota just for one more warm mug of that.


Glam Doll Donuts seriously feels like you’re in a grown-up, pink-soaked dollhouse where donuts are served. It’s a fun spot and the made-from-scratch donuts are mindblowing. This “Night Moves” donut was made with blackberry hennessy icing and blackberry jam. Next time I’m trying the one with the dark chocolate bourbon filling.


Greater Goods gift shop was adorable. It’s a bright and cozy shop where they give back a portion of all their proceeds to a different local charitable organization each year. I loved their stationery and candles.


My favorite stop (predictably) was GYST Fermentation Bar. I want to pick up this restaurant and move it about one thousand miles to the southeast. Dedicated entirely to fermented foods, the modern and cheerful restaurant (pictured at top) features cured meats, artisanal cheeses, wines, pickled veggies, chocolates, breads… basically all of the world’s greatest foods. My dream meal would be ordering their “Motherboard” and a bottle of wine to split with friends.

Five Favorites Right Now

While I always prefer summer with its long, warm days, I do love the way fall invites you to indulge in ways you wouldn’t in other seasons. It makes me want to bake (and eat) things that smell like cinnamon and cuddle up under heavy blankets. Unfortunately, it’s frowned upon to just do that 24 hours a day. So here are some other things I’m doing these days to relax and soak in the season.


This candle from Bath & Body Works is $22.50 and worth every ounce of dignity you lose walking into a store for teenage girls. I’ve searched all over for a candle that smells like the season, but doesn’t make my house smell like a Cracker Barrel. This is the best I’ve found.


A few months ago I started re-watching The West Wing on Netflix because real life politics were bumming me out. I really can’t recommend this enough. I’m currently watching the final season, which is all on the campaign trail. I think that professionals would call what I’m doing “denial,” but it’s really working out well for my blood pressure.


Speaking of my health, this baked penne with radicchio and Italian sausage casserole is in no way healthy. But on a chilly autumn night, it’s the ultimate cozy, comfort food. It’s a mix of spicy and sweet, with enough creaminess to make you want to lick the plate.


And speaking of things that taste especially good on fall nights, I find this Leese Fitch Cabernet is best served under blankets in front of a fire with a dachshund in your lap. Oddly, the label doesn’t include this recommendation, but trust me, that’s the best way.


Man, I love a good podcast. And this one about a decades-old kidnapping case has sucked me in from the first episode. It just wrapped up the nine-episode series, so you’re coming in at a perfect time if you’re like me and prefer to binge listen your podcasts.



Loamy soil and lumpy bread

Last night I got to have dinner with two old friends in LA. We drank wine and shared funny stories and quickly tried to catch up on each other’s lives. I love that modern travel makes it possible to do this occasionally with people who live on the other side of the country. 

It was a Thursday night in a busy, tiring week for all of us. He’d been on a shoot for work all day. She’d been working in Chicago earlier in the week. Which made me all the more grateful that they came and lingered over crusty bread and salty charcuterie. 

I’ve been reading a book called Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist, and it’s a lot about prioritizing times like last night. I forget to do that sometimes. Sometimes the things that should be the most meaningful end up being things I do to check an imaginary box. Here’s a passage I read this morning that I especially loved:

If perfect is plastic, present is rich, loamy soil. It’s fresh bread, lumpy and warm. It’s real and tactile and something you can hold with both hands, something rich and warm.

My 4 AM wake-up call for my flight this morning felt a little extra hard. But totally worth it for last night’s loamy soil and lumpy bread.