Portland Picks Website  
  life + style in the Twin Cities
December 5th, 2008

Against our better judgment we went shopping on Black Friday in hopes of scoring one of those ginormous plasma TVs—we know, garish—and we’d heard rumors about shopping on this infamous day. The sales, the shoving, the once-in-a-lifetime chance to snag cashmere for under $30, but we had no idea what was really going on!

Old ladies beating each other with their walkers over the last toaster oven? Mothers piling T-shirts on toddlers in strollers? Pa-leese! We love shopping, but not enough to brawl with a bunch of sleep-deprived Betties over the last pair of knee-highs at Sox Appeal. Next year we’re staying home… either that or we’re donning steel-toed boots for the combat.

Want a lovely bauble sans the fight to the death? Forward this issue to five friends and CC Picks@MinneapolisPicks.com and you could win a lovely pearl necklace from O’Day Cache.


Minneapolis Picks:


The Perfect Woman

One name: Martha Stewart.  ur feminist side screams, “Screw being perfect!” but the reality is that we’d love to pull off a Stewie-style dinner party (minus the insider-trading, jail sentence, and unfashionable ankle bracelet). The woman always manages to balance a festival-appropriate atmosphere and a scrumptious soufflé while looking effortlessly elegant. Yeah, not exactly how we roll.
The best kept-secret for our hostess affliction? Lavender Thymes, a one-stop shop for glitz, glamour and gastronomic essentials. Stocked with Republic of Tea, Barefoot Contessa and Stonewall Kitchen goodies, we plotted a dinner menu with Champagne Jam and chocolate-frosted brownies. (Okay, not exactly a complete meal and not made from scratch, but still sure to have our guests ooohing and aaahing.) Plus their impressive selection of Thymes, Caldrea, and Crabtree & Evelyn candles, soaps, lotions, incense, and potpourri eased our how-to-bestow-ambience questions and gave us spot-on hostess gift ideas!
The last piece of the party puzzle… fashion. The LT has a fun and sophisticated selection of Free People sweaters and shirts accompanied by a sexy grouping of Seven jeans. Yep, it’s altogether effortless! Martha, move over.
Lavender Thymes
512 2nd St., Suite 13
Hudson, WI 54016


Shopping Done Right
We love fashion with every fiber of our being. We pore over mags, diligently doggie-ear-ing all the lust-worthy looks we crave, but when it comes to actually hitting the shops and pulling said looks together? Well, we're a big, hot mess, and more times than not we leave empty handed. Or worse, we spend our hard-earned dollars on items that make us look stumpy, dumpy, or six months pregnant (the shift dress did a number on our psyche).
So rather than risk one more costly fashion faux pas, we decided to call the style gurus at Inspire Style. These uber-friendly fashion-forward coaches will honestly (and kindly) assess your body shape and help you to determine your unique personal style with their highly trained eye. They then expertly guide you through your dressing room chock-full of clothes they pre-selected specifically for you, and explain your do's and don'ts, effectively putting an end to the whole closet-full-of-nothing-to-wear dilemma.
By scoping out the best looks for your bod and lifestyle, Inspire Style saves you time and money, and in the end you'll look effortlessly chic—without a doubt turning heads at PTA meetings and dinner dates alike!


Gifty-Goodness Galore

We’re so over the holidays and they’ve barely begun. Between all the parties and entertaining our in-laws (even if we just order take-out), not to mention the economy plunging down further than Paris Hilton’s necklines—who has the time, energy, and the necessary funds to pick up a gift for everyone?
Luckily, we stumbled upon Inizio in Calhoun Commons. This charming boutique will cure your shopping blues faster than you can say naughty or nice. Picky best friend? Check out their eclectic jewelry selection. With unique, gorgeous and affordable pieces from Kevin N Anna Studio and designer Jane Diaz, she’ll be picking up the tab for the next three happy hours. Mom obsessed with smooth skin? Nab luxurious shea butter soap from Lepi de Provance. (It’s French. Ooh-la-la!) Pretty (and practical) day planners for your anal coworker and a hot pair of jeans for yourself will round out the mix.
And with all that shopping wrapped up in one fell swoop, you’re sure to shrug you’re bah-humbug ways. 
Inizio Gifts
3070 Excelsior Blvd.
Minneapolis, MN 55416

  Chick Picks:  

Icky Ingredients Be Gone

We’re notoriously picky when it comes to our skin and often study labels, scanning for no-good-nick ingredients known to wreak havoc. This involves a lot of time and energy on our part, so we were so stoked to find Nature of Beauty.

This local online retailer takes the guesswork out of beauty products by meticulously stocking the site with an extensive selection of makeup, skin, and haircare products that do right by our bod and work like a dream.



Let it Snow

Now that the snow has begun to fly in our fair city, we’ve been channeling a whole “walkin’ in a winter wonderland vibe,” complete with visions of snuggly sweaters and Peppermint Patties. So it’s no wonder that we found love with the Snowy Solitude pendant at Etsy.

This semi-translucent plastic pendant is emblazoned with a photograph of a winter-bare tree and gracefully hung from a delicate silver chain, making it both ethereal and utterly modern!



Sip On, Sisters

Winter begs for many things: big ole boots, wooly scarves, heavy-duty moisturizer, and bevvies that warm the soul. So as temps plummet we begin to fantasize about nooking-up next to a roaring fire and sipping tea. Very old-fashioned home-girl, we know—that’s why we love tasty tea haven Herb + Ginger.

From the heavenly Bollywood Star blend to the winter-crisp freshness of the yummy Mork and Minty, these folks masterfully infuse classic herbal blends with delish new flavors.



Hip Happenings:


Three Cheers for Free Stuff

We confess: we love a freebie, that’s why we’re stoked
about the swell giveaway at O’Day Cache. Now through the
end of December stop into this kitschy shop and receive a free pearl necklace just for spending $100 on regular priced merchandise. Cool and unique gifts for others and a sweet bauble for yourself? Score!
What: O’Day Cache Necklace Giveaway
When: Now–Dec. 31, or while supplies last
Where: O’Day Cache, 919 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
Call: 612.339.4177
Visit: www.odaycache.com


We’re Crafty
Embrace our shop local mantra by hitting the No Coast Craft-o-rama. Featuring loads of uber-talented designers, artists, and crafters, this spot-on event promises to be a shopper’s delight, offering up stylish handmade goodies ranging from cool clothes and handbags to fierce jewelry and kiddie-wares. 
What: No Coast Craft-o-rama
When: Friday, Dec. 5, 3–8 pm; Saturday, Dec. 6, 9 am–5 pm
Where: Midtown Global Market, Lake St.
and Chicago Ave., Minneapolis
Visit:  www.nocoastcraft.com


Stop, Shop, and Stroll

Mosey down to Grand Avenue for a full day of fun for you and the girls or you and the fam.  Tons of yummy food and bevvie tastings, photos with Santa, fun DIY workshops, movies, and of course, fabu shopping and sales at a bevy of their lust-worthy boutiques. 
What: Grand Meander
When: Saturday, Dec. 6, 8:30 am–5 pm
Where: Grand Ave., St. Paul
Visit: www.grandave.com


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