Archive for ‘minnesota’

December 27, 2010



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December 18, 2010

>attn: twin cities mamas!

>OK, so I should have posted this about a month a go and I really don’t know why I didn’t. A friend of mine introduced me to this little gem of a store out in Mound called “Mama’s Happy” and I gotta say that it makes this mama very happy!

This little store is only open one weekend a month (however, ’tis the season, they’ve been open the last couple of weekends) and sells only handcrafted, repurposed, vintage and upcycled items by local artisans. Every month the artists update their displays, so there is always something fresh. How cool is that right? And some how I’ve managed to make a few purchases in only a couple of trips.

So, Twin Cities Ladies, this shop is open this weekend! And won’t be open again until the new year! Get in your car (bring your kiddos – there is a small play area with  movies and things to do for them) and get down there!

Address: 2271 Commerce Blvd, Mound MN 55364
Open today, December 18th open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and tomorrow, December 19th noon to 5 p.m.

Hurry! Get down there! Now!

December 11, 2010

>a snowy minnesota saturday

>It’s almost blizzard like and I’ve never been in snow quite like this. So here I sit, at 3:20 in the afternoon, still in my pajamas. Babies playing in the next room. Cleaning and reorganizing. And watching Mother Nature unfold, in awe… Here is what we are seeing:

 Our back yard
The build up at our front door at 9 a.m.
October 27, 2010

>a new chapter

>Yesterday, the wind blew in. Just as I was thinking fall really didn’t feel much different in Minnesota than in California. Except for the fall colors, of course. But the wind came. And the clouds came. And the cool air came.

This morning, I flipped on our front porch light in anticipation and I was not let down. This morning, I watched snow flurries flutter to the ground, melting upon contact. And then I was reminded… I am not in California any more.

And while the weather is one clear marker in this huge change we’ve made in our lives, there are so many other larger changes. We left our friends. My family. Our support system. We put faith in the notion that all those that are important to us in California will still be there, just a little further away.

We uprooted our family from the things we’ve known and were comfortable with to move to a place we really don’t know, but believe that we can do better for our family there.

I’ve stretched my comfort levels and reached out to new people in hopes of making new friends. Longing for adult conversations and other children for my kids to play with. When that introverted person started to crop up, I pushed through into the uncomfortable to do this.

And our efforts have paid off…

Not only have I met some very nice women with kids Hadley’s age that I get along with, we have in fact already started doing better for our family. Financially, things are much easier. We have a home that is our home. A place where our kids can grow up. Meet friends. Attend school.

So, in essence, those snow flurries this morning remind me that we have in fact turned into a new phase of life. A much more grounded phase. Stable phase.

It’s the time of our lives…

October 4, 2010

>must have monday: club kid drop in childcare

>As many of my readers know, we recently moved to Minnesota with our two little girls. Far away from family. No support. So one of our first tasks was to find a baby sitter, which we found a wonderful one whom we lean on every so often to help us with both the girls. Which is super AWESOME!

The other thing we (or I) wanted was to find a preschool for Hadley. She has really loved going to the daycare at our gyms, so why not put some structure to it, right? The biggest challenge we are having is that most of the preschools that will take a child less than 30 months old are part of churches. And no offenses meant to religions or God or anything like that, the church part is simply not our thing. So we don’t think it’s right to send our children to a school run by a church. (I’m not looking for a debate here… I respect the church thing, I am spiritual, please do not judge with your comments. I do not judge those who enjoy church).

The preschool we are really interested in is run through the city school district, which is top notch. One of the main reasons we bought a house here. BUT, she needs to be 30 months (which she will be in January). So, we must wait, with fingers crossed that we can get her started in the Winter.

In the mean time, we discovered a local drop-in childcare center called Club Kid. It was totally by accident that we found it. We were looking for a specific store in the same shopping center and came upon it. Jonathan and I took turns taking a tour inside and immediately fell in love!

Not only were the staff super sweet, warm and welcoming, they had all sorts of great activities for kids. Slides. Play houses, Dolls. Crafts. Movies. They even have an area for the little kids. Tiny little potties for potty training (and yes, they will help encourage that). They will feed your kiddo. AND THEY CHANGE DIAPERS!

We were sold. And Hadley was, too. She asks to “play with kids” everyday, so there are times we drop her off for an hour or two just to do that.

Now you are probably thinking “sounds expensive.” Nope. $8 hour, $8.50 for kids under 30 months (they take kids starting at 16 months all the way to 10 years).  And they have great rates for those with more than one child. PLUS, if you forget diapers, they will use one of theirs for a small fee. And you can have them cook up a hot meal for your kid for a small fee too. It’s so easy!

But the biggest thing I can stress is the level of comfort I have in these women to make sure my child is safe. I feel good every time I drop her off. I know she has lots to do, kids to play with, nice people to comfort her when she is upset and yummy chicken nuggets to eat (she never ate them before she had them at Club Kid).

So, in a sense, I treat Club Kid like a preschool. I know there are some major differences, but the fact that she likes going somewhere without me is awesome. The confidence they are helping me instill in her is priceless. Not to mention it is so much easier to go grocery shopping without her in tow.

Now where is this place, you are probably wondering. Club Kid has two locations in the Twin Cities Metro (sorry to those of you out of state, I’m sure there is something like it near you): Minnetonka and a brand new center in Edina. Click here for addresses and phone numbers. And they have great hours, open everyday of the week, and in the evenings Monday through Saturday (which makes a date night possible for most – not us – we have a six month old, too).

Mom’s and Dad’s in the Twin Cities, be sure to check out Club Kid and tell them Minimal Mom sent you! You won’t regret it!

Last day to enter to win a Pea Wee Baby Swaddle Buddy Suit. All who enter will receive a 20% discount code in addition to being entered to win. Click here to enter the giveaway.
September 16, 2010

>decorate my kitchen + csn stores giveaway

>As many of you know, we moved into our new home in June and have been in the midst of decorating our 2300 square feet of space into a place we can call home. We bought all new furniture – beds, couches, console tables, tables, lamps – painted walls, shopped for art… You name it. And if you can believe it, we have more decorating to do.

My current project is getting the “eat-in” part of our kitchen decorated. My mom recently painted one of our walls a yummy taupe, and I purchased some oversized silverware art that we hung on the wall, but the room is still looking sad and empty (though, well on its way to being cute and cozy).

As you can see, we have French doors at one end, a kitchen on the other. We have a small table to seat four, though we dropped a leaf and pushed up against the wall to give us more space for our toddler who runs around like a maniac.

What you don’t see is that we are accenting our entire main level with red accents. Perhaps you’ve seen them in previous posts of our dining room and bathroom. I am trying to maintain this through the kitchen, too, with maybe a vintage country twist.

OK, so enough about my kitchen (well, maybe there is more to come).

The people over at CSN Stores are giving another one of my readers a $45 gift certificate! CSN has over 200 online stores and you can buy just about anything for your home, including cloth diapers and baby gear! All you need to do to enter to win is comment on this post and tell me you want it (be sure to include your email address).

For those of you who really, REALLY want to shop at CSN Stores on them, here are ways that you can get extra entries (after you complete the main entry):

* Using a CSN Store, tell me what you think my eat-in kitchen area needs. Leave a link. You may do this once daily for an additional daily entry.

* Follow Minimal Mom on Twitter. For those of you who already follow, lucky you! All you have to do is comment on this post and leave me your Twitter handle. Otherwise, follow and leave a comment with your handle – I will follow back!

* Like Minimal Mom on Facebook. For those of you who already like me, lucky you! All you have to do is comment on this post and leave me your Facebook name. Otherwise like me and leave your Facebook name.

* Tweet:  Enter to #win $45 to CSN Stores @MinimalMom. #giveaway  You may do this once daily for additional daily entries. Leave a separate comment for each daily tweet.

* Vote for Minimal Mom on Top Baby Blogs. It just take two clicks. Click here to vote. You may do this once daily for additional daily entries. Leave a separate comment for each daily vote.

Contest ends Thursday September 23rd, 11:59 p.m. I will announce a winner on Friday September 24th. Good luck!

August 22, 2010

>playroom progress

>We have a lovely, finished basement with another bedroom. We went round and round about how to use the space and we ultimately settled on a playroom that could double as a guest room when we need it to be.

I picked up a futon at Ikea with a slip cover that is easily washed or inexpensively replaced, if needed. After all, I have a grubby two year old and one that will be grubby as soon as she is able. But it’s cute, was very affordable and works nicely as a couch or a full size bed (we are putting a mattress pad and topper to make it even more comfy for guests).

The side table, for now, is a little table and chairs set we picked up for Hadley at Babies R Us. She tends to tote the thing around the basement, turning it upside down, stacking the chairs oddly. I put a lamp on it in hopes she will leave it in place, but I suspect that will not be the case. My next run to Ikea I think I will pick up a white side table as we have a very cute white cube shelf we have yet to assemble for the other side of the room.

The metal letters were a bit of a splurge at the Minnetonka General Store. I love them and thought they were a cute touch for a room we are trying to encourage learning and creativity. I considered putting them in our living room, but the playroom just seems the right home for them.

Before we moved into the home, I bought a toy caddy from Target that has removable storage bins. The unit has been annoying as Hadley tends to empty them on the floor, then make a pathway with the upside down bins to walk across. I have tempered this behavior some by putting the bin in the closet, as well as her two toy baby strollers and toy pack and play. She brings them out when she wants them, and they go back in (at least we try) when she is done.

Like I mentioned above, we purchased a cute Ikea cube shelf that we will lay on it’s side to house the many children’s books we have accumulated. They are all over the house and even a few boxes have yet to be unpacked. I can’t wait to get this together.

What do you think? What do you think the room needs?

August 19, 2010

>hayden’s nursery progress

>I’ve been a bad mom. I’m finally getting to this poor kid’s bedroom and she is nearly five months. My excuse? A helpful two year old,

So, per the usual with two many ideas in my nugget, I’m going in a direction I didn’t think I would, but it’s using some cute Ikea things I picked up for Hadley and now all she cares about is Dora and princesses. But I think it’s turning out cute, even though there is much more to do.

Check it out and leave a comment with ideas! Thanks in advance.

I plan on painting some stem leaves on the flowers. Thanks HGTV for the idea.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

August 19, 2010

>dining room decor progress

>I just realized that I never thanked everyone for their design tips during the CSN Stores giveaway. Thank you!

I’ve done a couple things in the space and I thought I’d share them. Still a work in progress…

The mirror I purchased from Home Goods for $59.99, as well as the runner for $12.99. The plate and candle centerpiece is from Ikea and in total cost about $20.

Would love a wine rack, but I have wee ones. But if I find something great at a bargain price I may jump on it. And maybe a rug. And window treatments.

What do you think?

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

June 16, 2010

>wishful wednesday: a house on gray’s bay (lake minnetonka)


Minnetonka Baby Moccasins Giveaway ends Thursday June 17th at 5 p.m.
Be sure to ENTER to win.
I found this area just five minutes from our new home. Some of the most picture perfect, charming lake living I’ve seen outside of a magazine. I wouldn’t mind living right on this lake. But am thrilled to be a few short minutes from it.