Hello there! I thought I’d pop in today to give a recap of my favorite things from this summer that I want to share with you. Coffee shops, restaurants, breweries, weddings, workouts, books, AN ENGAGEMENT. It was truly one for the books. I’m so sad that it’s coming to an end, but hey! We have pumpkin spice lattes and Christmas to look forward to.
Without further adue, here’s an overview of my summertime favorites!
Even though I spent a good portion of my summer taking a class and writing my thesis, with some good time management I was able to do some fun things. And I got a little enjoyment out of school work by working at multiple different coffee shops throughout the Twin Cities. Here are a few of my favorite finds:
Cafe Astoria: The cutest little cafe on West 7th in St. Paul with delicious coffee and a yummy menu. Who could say no to smoothie bowls and crepes?!
Penny’s Coffee: located in downtown Minneapolis and Linden Hills, this place is simply adorable. They have an amazing almond milk latte that’s sweetened with dates – a definite must have! Their food looks amazing, too, and apparently they just started serving ice cream!
Spyhouse Coffee: I love the vibe of this coffee shop – and they have a reallllly good lavendar latte that everyone must try.
Vicinity Coffee: You can’t go wrong with this place! It’s a great shop whether you need to get some work done or enjoy a coffee or breakfast with friends.
Studio 2 Coffee Shop: This one is hands-down my favorite. They have live music every weekend, AND garage door windows that they can open if it’s nice out. Really good food, obviously really good coffee, and yummy treats including a weekend donut sundae 🙂
Claddaugh Coffee: Another downtown St. Paul shop with an awesome vibe and delicious lattes!
I try not to eat out super often – of course it’s expensive, but I also just enjoy making my own food at home! But every once in a while Joe & I go out for a meal, or I get to try a new restaurant with friends. Here are my favorites from this summer:
Brasa Rotisserie: Joe & I first tried Brasa for my 25th birthday dinner and I’ve been obsessed ever since. Their menu is inspired by southern U.S., Caribbean & Mexican cuisine, and is full of locally-sourced products and organic ingredients. I’ve tried the yellow curry bowl & pork + over-easy egg bowl (yep, I have a thing for food in bowls). AND they have delicious fried plantains and macaroni & cheese. Last but not least, they always have kombucha on tap and locally-brewed beers on their menu!
The LynHall: This is a new market inspired cafe that has a fun menu including sandwiches, salads and rotisserie meats. They also make a few delicious-sounding cocktails (check out their homestead sangrias). I went there for lunch with a friend and got the grilled vegetable sandwich, which was perrrrrrrrfect for a summer day! It’s located in a really cute part of town so it’s definitely a must-try.
French Meadow Bakery & Cafe: French Meadow will always be one of my favorites. It’s a farm-to-table restuarant, that stemmed from being the first Certified Organic Bakery in the US! I’ve been there for breakfast, lunch and dinner and have never been disappointed. They use lots of locally grown & raised ingredients, and also focus on serving many different dietary needs + preferences including gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, organic and natural.
Sonora Grill: This place is really close to my work and I’m so glad I discovered it! They honestly have the best margaritas I’ve ever tasted. And the best tacos. Can’t forget the tacos (I’ve tried almost every one on their menu! The roasted mushroom taco and shrimp tempura taco are mmmmmmm). They’re located on East Lake Street & I highly recommend you check them out if you’re on that part of town.
Red Cow: One of the best places in town to enjoy a burger, and they have THEE best ketchup. They’ve got a burger to fit everyone’s tastes & preferences, including a tuna burger, turkey burger and homemade veggie burger. Plus the best sweet potato fries. They basically have the best everything. If you haven’t tried Red Cow yet, you’re missing out!
I was only able to completely finish one book this summer: Body Kindness by Rececca Stritchfield. YOU GUYS. This book is amazing, especially for anyone who has struggled with body image issues and chronic dieting. But really, it’s good for anyone who needs a little more self-love and self-care in their life. What stuck with my from the book is Rebecca’s “spiral up” concept. Basically, she teaches you how to make decisions that align with your values, that will help you “spiral up” instead of down. Not only did Body Kindness change my outlook on my relationship with food, it changed my outlook on a lot of different things, including relationships, work and how I spend my time. You have to read it to figure out what I mean 🙂
Of course I’m going to mention beer in this post: it played a big role in my summer! Which is funny because if you would have asked me a year ago if I wanted a beer, my answer would have been NO. I don’t know if it’s my age or what, but I suddenly have a taste for beer. Not just any beer, of course, but trying craft beers from local breweries has become my specialty. I had the chance to go to a couple breweries in MN this summer, including Surly, East Lake, and Bad Weather, and I also tried a couple when I ventured out to WI to visit my friend Chelsey.
Staying on top of my workouts is a priority all year long. When I look back on my habits this summer, I think I’ve had more of a variety in my workouts in the last few months than ever before and I LOVE it. I go for runs and walks along the Mississippi River in our cute little downtown neighborhood. I take yoga, barre & YOD classes at Longevity Studio, do DailyBurn workouts in the comfort of my apartment, and do home workouts made up by some of my favorite bloggers, Fit Foodie Finds and Nourish Move Love. What I love about my exercise routine is that it’s BALANCED with my entire lifestyle. I fit in workouts when I can and when I feel like it. If there’s a day when I’m just not feelin’ it, I don’t force myself to run or do anything really difficult. The end goal is to get some type of movement into every day, whether it be a 4 mile run or a 5 minute flow on my yoga mat.
I was even able to cap off my summer fitness routine with a 4 mile hike up & down Eagle’s Peak in Colorado Springs, CO on Labor Day! Here I am refueling after the intensity:
The Big Engagement!
Last but not least…the event that made this whole summer was mine & Joe’s engagement. It happened on June 24th, so just about 2 months ago. He popped the question while we were on a walk (after I went to lunch & got my nails done with his sister “for my birthday” AND after convincing me to go for a walk in the rain) in one of my favorite places in St Paul: Harriet Island (which is basically my home). The day was topped off with a birthday/engagement celebration with friends & family at Sociable Ciderwerks. It was truly one of the best days ever! I can’t wait to get married to the guy I’ve literally been “doing life” with for longer than a decade and successfully raised a corgi with! And we’ve even managed to get a little planning done. We have the venue picked out (MN Harvest Apple Orchard) and date set for October 13, 2018. It’s all very exciting and I can’t wait to start getting even more of the planning done (but seriously, how do people find time for this stuff?!). As stressful as everyone always says wedding planning is, I’m going to try my best to keep it cool and enjoy the process so that our whole year of being engaged doesn’t just fly by.
That’s it! I hope to start writing more of these types of posts to give you all a peak inside my lifestyle…to learn what life as a 20-something, St.Paul adventuring dietitian is really like!
I’d LOOOOVE to hear from you! What was the highlight of your summer? What’s your favorite coffee shop in the Twin Cities? How do YOU stay active during the summertime?