It’s A New Day! | Day 3 of 90

Guys, I slept for 8.5 hours last night and I felt like a new woman. My cold symptoms are gone, my period is no longer wreaking havoc on my system, and I actually had the energy required to do this Thursday some justice.

Praise Jesus!

Since I didn’t go to my normally scheduled doubleheader of Pound class followed by Bodypump yesterday, I looked up what classes were available today, and it turned out there was one at 9:30 am at the gym location that’s easier for me to get to. Truth be told, while I enjoy my doubleheaders on Wednesday, I don’t feel like I enjoy them enough to make them worth trecking out the other Y location. Not to mention having my 2 classes at 11 and noon really messes up my day. A lot! I might end up changing my schedule up a bit to try and find what might work a little bit better for me.

Today, this class worked well. It was jam-packed with people, which is less than ideal, but I really enjoy the teacher, so it’s worth it. The other issue was there is a “woo” guy in this class. Some man ends up doing a crazy “WOO!” Every time things get a little harder in class. It’s a weight lifting class…the whole thing is supposed to be hard. During one track this guy “WOO’d!” Six times. SIX! and that was just during 1 track. There are 9 working tracks in Bodypump. I wanted to knock him out with my weight. I couldn’t actually figure out which guy it was, but that’s probably for the best. We’ll see if “Woo guy” is there next week…

Anyway, after Pump I spent about an hour on various elliptical machines (one standing, one seated) and got to 10,000 steps. Only 7.5 more to reach my Power goal on my Step Bet.

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Well…That Sucked… | Day 2 of 90

Well, for as amazing as things went on day 1 of my magical journey to the best shape of my life, day 2 went to the same level in the completely opposite direction. 😫😖

Allow me to elaborate with a bunch of excuses.

First, I had to get up early to take my husband to the bus for work so he wouldn’t have to bring his car since he was headed straight from the office to the airport. Usually, getting up at 5:20 am isn’t a problem and is close to my new normal wakeup time, however, since we got back from Thanksgiving vacation I’ve been trying to get my body to feel normal, and usually, that means more sleep. Well, I don’t know how it got to be so late, but it turns out I ended up getting 4 and a half hours of sleep. This girl needs at least 6.5 to even consider functioning. Awesome.

Then, to top it all off, the day I have been anxiously awaiting finally came and I got my period. 🩸(why yes, I did just use the blood drop emoji). My natural cycle always, without fail, comes a day or two after my app actually says it will. Well, this month was an extra special month and while PMS and all of its glorious symptoms came right on schedule, the event that comes to relieve me of said symptoms came especially late and hit me like a brick wall.

I was beyond exhausted. A trip to Target and to my PO box took literally all of the energy I had in me. I managed to get to my step goal by discovering a new season of Younger on Hulu and told myself I could watch it only if I was stepping. I ended up binge-watching the entire season!! Yes, I got to my 14.5k steps, by I also sat on my butt a lot. I didn’t vlog, I didn’t write up this blog post, heck I didn’t even go upstairs more than twice the entire day because my legs were so tired. UGH!

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Here We Go! Day 1 of 90

Date: 12/3/19

Well, here we go. Day 1 of this whole laser-focused effort on getting into the best mental and physical shape of my life. Yes, mental plays a huge part in this, and while I have definitely made some huge strides even in recent months, consistency of mental strength and health in this journey is equally as important as the consistency of tracking and working out. Thus, I am focused on both.

I wrote my intro post this morning, but I want to go into more detail now. Today I took new before photos and measurements. Oof that felt like a wakeup call. I give myself major kudos for deciding to take pictures and measurements in the height of my PMS symptoms, which guarantees I bloat up like a balloon. Oh well, it means there will be a better looking transformation, right??

Here are my starting measurements (in inches):

  • Smallest part of waist, just below ribs: 33.5
  • Belly Button: 36.5
  • Love Handles: 40.5
  • Hips: 44
  • Right Thigh: 25
  • Left Thigh: 25
  • Right Arm: 12.5
  • Left Arm: 13 (seriously? Couldn’t keep it symmetrical??)

Okay, there’s a starting point. My last weigh-in, was 173.0 so I’m going with that as my starting weight, but again, I won’t actually weigh in until my PMS has gotten under control and my bloating reduces a bit simply because I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life.

Food

Of course, the day I actually planned ahead was the day my eating didn’t go as planned in the best way possible. I ended up skipping lunch entirely. I’m not sure if it was because my breakfast was so filling or if the dose of decongestant I needed caused me to lose my appetite, but all of a sudden it was 3:30 and the only thing I had was an extra cup of coffee. Hooray!

Breakfast:

1 egg (2pp), 9 Tbsp liquid egg whites (1pp), a crap ton of kale (0pp), seasonings (0), Thomas’ Cranberry English Muffin (4pp), I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter (1pp) Total: 8pp/27

Dinner:

My original plan was to have the Trader Joe’s chicken potstickers (5pp for 7), but because I skipped lunch I added in 7 of TJ’s mini chicken cilantro wontons as well (2pp). The bowl is all cauliflower rice (0pp) and I used 3 different sauces: Reduced sodium soy (2 tbsp for 0pp), 2 tbsp Coconut Aminos (1pp), and 1 tbsp Soyaki (1pp). 9pp total. Daily Total: 17/27

Treats:

10 Points left for dessert. TEN!! I don’t remember the last time that has happened. I used it as the perfect excuse to dive into a sweet (literally) package from a subscriber who sent me a whole box of Canadian goodies to try. I’ve been waiting to film a taste testing video with my husband, but this was the perfect opportunity to try a treat, so I ate a Mars bar, as they came 2 in the package. 1 bar was 5pp, so I still had 5 to spare

This is how I used them. The sugar cookie Yasso bars are BOMB! They have real cookie dough bits in them and everything. 3pp

I ended the night with a Lindt truffle in the mint chocolate cookie holiday flavor. It’s perfect. 2pp. Daily total: 27/27

Not a single weekly used!!! That hasn’t happened in a really long time. I’m proud.

Fitness

The step goal is a bit tougher today, as I’ve been sitting at my desk working a lot. If it were a normal day, I’d have my step goal all done, but since I am in the middle of a Step Bet, I need at least 14,500 steps to not cost me my rest day. I still have 2,000 to go…it’s 9:21pm. Yikes.

I did end up doing a 20 minute Turbo Fire workout on Beachbody on Demand, so at least I did an official workout, but now I’m going to go make my herbal tea (apple cider flavor), turn on The Star (the movie about the little donkey who goes to the Nativity scene. Haven’t seen it yet and have heard good things), and get the rest of my steps in by walking in place.

Overall, it was a good day, and I am pleased with how this turned out. Day one is in the books. Only 89 to go!

Cheers!

BLOGmas 2019? | The Beginning of a New Journey

BLOGmas?! Yes, Blogmas!

I already knew I was going to start a new series on here (more on that in a second), but then I saw a blogger and Youtuber I’ve followed for years, Pretty Neat Living, post about Blogmas and I decided that was the just the thing I needed to help get this little project of mine started.

What’s the project? Oh just a little something fun: Going all-in on getting into the best shape of my life!

Okay, so it isn’t a “little” project at all, but that’s what I’m here for. I stumbled across a youtube video by another creator who I followed years ago but has sort of fallen off of my regular viewing, Cassey from Blogilates. She recently did a full video update on the results of her 90-day journey of getting into the best shape of her life both physically and mentally, and the results were great. Not only did her results catch my attention, but the way she did it is what inspired me. She went back to her blog, which she had lost touch with, and documented the entire thing every single day like a diary. How is that for accountability??

I loved the idea so much that I am here to do the very same thing. I need that extra push; that extra missing piece to really get this thing moving in the right direction, and this might be just the ticket. I think it’s a combination of the fact that I feel absolutely no obligation to stick to some set of rules set by the general public for fear of feedback (Quite frankly while I do value constructive feedback, I have gotten to the point in my life where truly, other people’s opinions of how I choose to conduct my life really don’t bother me anymore. If you have a problem with me, that’s YOUR problem, not mine.) paired with the fact that this journal will be visible to the public is empowering me to be bold, honest, and laser-focused on this 90-day journey.

If we’re being honest, this is probably the absolute worst time of year to be starting a project like this because things are so up in the air with various travel obligations that many things will not be consistent, but I’ve decided because of that very fact, there is no better day to begin than right now. There will always be some sort of excuse for me to try and justify why now is simply not the right time and I will do it after our next trip or interruption of everyday life. I’m married to my husband….there will always be a trip or interruption of my everyday life. That’s the point. If I can’t figure out how to work around them, I won’t succeed in staying in the best shape of my life. Weight maintenance will be just an impossible dream that many long for but few achieve. I refuse to be held down anymore. It’s time to get serious.

Another reason to start now is simply that I am a deadline and reward-driven person, and the end of this challenge will put me finishing right when a fancy cruise to Mexico is set to happen. If I succeed, I’ll have even more energy and strength for excursions as well as a bit more confidence to rock some super cute summer clothes after the Minnesota winter has had me bundled up in 50 layers for so long. It’s a solid short-term “why” to help motivate me to get moving. We paid the balance on our trip yesterday, so it’s happening. How I show up for it a few months from now is determined by my actions from this point forward. Bring it ON.

So, here’s the plan: I am not going to set specific weight goals or anything just yet because this is simply an intro to my ultimate 2020 goal of being in the best shape of my life anyway, so more details on what that means will come with time. Right now, my goal is to basically log my day on here every single day. What I’m eating, how I’m feeling, etc. This website is going to be my diary for a while, and if any of you are choosing to come along for the ride, welcome! While this journey is for no one other than myself, my hope is that maybe one of you finds what you need out of my openness about this. Typically, my hope with every piece of content I put out is one person being impacted in some way. It means I did my job. Since this particular string of content is just for me, it will be an added bonus if this Blogmas/90 day adventure has any impact.

My last weigh-in was 173 lbs. I plan on weighing in every day that it’s possible (not sure of the availability of a scale on Christmas vacation, etc) but I’m waiting until my monthly friend shows up before hopping on the scale, because I just don’t need that sort of negativity in my life today, and I will take measurements a bit later today.

I have no idea what’s going to happen or what this will look like, but something major needs to happen, so here we go!

iTrackBites Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet

The holiday season is here! It’s time for joy, merriment, and food. Lots and LOTS of food. While this time of year is in fact (in my opinion) the most wonderful time of the year, the reality is the holiday season can strike fear into the hearts of anyone trying to lose weight. I am here to tell you that all it takes to make it through our holiday meals is a little bit of planning ahead. My friends, just because you’re on a diet does not mean you can’t have your favorite holiday dishes. I firmly believe in “everything in moderation.” The first major day of eating is right around the corner, and we need to get our hearts, minds, and plans ready to embrace the day feeling empowered to stay on track.

One of the most important things you can do is to have an idea of the Bites values of what you’re eating. Today I have a Thanksgiving cheat sheet for you which gives you the general Bites values for some Thanksgiving dinner table staples.

This next part is important: The values presented below are general guidelines and might not be completely accurate to the specific recipe that you are consuming. Obviously, if you want the most accurate representation of your Thanksgiving feast it is your job to plug in the recipes to the iTrackBites recipe builder, use the nutrition information from your specific ingredients, and measure your servings. If that’s what you want to do, that’s wonderful. Go for it! I do know for many people, the thought of putting so much work into tracking their Thanksgiving meal is pretty much the last thing they want to do. That’s where my cheat sheet comes in handy. While it might not be accurate down to the Bite for your dishes, having a generalized idea about the Bites values of your food gives you a much larger advantage than having no idea at all.

Using the list below you can roughly plan out your plate, add things to your tracker, and at least put a solid effort into staying on track this Thanksgiving. I firmly truly that some effort will always be better than no effort at all, so take a look, track accordingly, and have a healthy, balanced, and enjoyable Thanksgiving meal.

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2019 Christmas Card Exchange

Oh hey there! Don’t mind me while I take a few seconds and wipe the dust off of this old blog here. It hasn’t been used in awhile…

There, that’s a little better, isn’t it? Now, let’s start this blog resurrection off with something fun.

It’s time for my Christmas Card Exchange!

Yes, it might be the beginning of November, but Christmas music launched on the radio and we’ve got below freezing temperatures, so it just feels right, don’t you think?

Why a Christmas card exchange? With 98% of all our snail mail being bills, advertisements, and people trying to scam us, I wanted to bring a little bit of joy back to our mailboxes. You know that feeling you get when you see an envelope with a handwritten address on it? I want to fill as many mailboxes with that joy as possible. I did this exchange on a whim last year, and it was wildly successful, so I want to do it again.

I have all I need to get started and I can’t wait to start filling mailboxes with my beautiful cards with personalized notes for everyone. The Diva and the Divine community has grown so much this past year that I feel I know you all better than ever. I know names, I know stories, and it makes me feel so good to know we have such an incredible community.

So, here’s how it goes. Anyone who sends a holiday card my way gets one back. It’s that simple. You can be from anywhere in the world. I have international stamps at the ready! I only ask that you make sure there is a return address on your card somewhere so I know where to send my response. That’s it! It’s that easy!

And with that, consider the Christmas mailbox OPEN!!

How To Achieve Any Goal

I’m one of those people that can end up feeling overwhelmed by a daunting task rather easily. While it’s true in many areas of my life, where this overwhelm most often expresses itself is in homemaking tasks, specifically cleaning and home organization.

When we were unpacking our boxes after moving into our new house, there were many times where I simply looked at the utter disaster of boxes around me and rather than feeling inspired to get everything unpacked, I wanted to curl up on the couch and do none of it. For whatever reason, this is how my mind works. Any sense of overwhelm automatically results in my wanting to shut down completely.

The other day I was finishing up the cleaning and organizing of my office, and my technique was to take everything that was still out and put it on my desk. The result was everything else looked great, but my desk was piled high with a bunch of random things that still needed a home. Cue the overwhelm! I found myself wondering how I was going to actually accomplish this task, but then I actually said outloud “Just do one item at a time. Just one!”

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Just Write SOMETHING

That title is me literally convincing myself to write this post. It doesn’t matter what it is, Brianna. Just WRITE!

The mojo for getting back down to business has definitely not been here lately, I tell you what. Everyone thinks that working from home is super fun and easy, but guys I am here to tell you it is absolutely not. The fact is that because I work from home, it’s really easy to get distracted by everything else that needs to happen around the house.

As many of you know, we just moved. We’ve got a two-story house now and my office is upstairs, which in theory makes it a lot easier to separate work from life, since the kitchen, living room, main television, and bedroom are all on the first floor. Oh, how I wish that was the case. The problem is that we’re in that awkward stage of moving where all of the boxes are unpacked, but there is still clutter lying around and tasks that need to get done. Pair that with not having new routines in place and that is literally my recipe for “reasons Brianna can’t get any work done.” If I know the kitchen is a bit of a mess or my office still has things that need to be unpacked I am 100% completely unable to work. I can’t get inspired or motivated, and while I am all about doing things with discipline rather than motivation, it’s kind of hard to create any sort of content when words or ideas won’t come. Last week I literally spent 3 hours at the computer and could come up with nothing.

I know, I know, it’s all just one giant excuse and I should be able to have the self-control to not let that situation stop me, but be honest with me for a second. If you had laundry, clutter, a messy kitchen, and a home to-do list that’s a mile long, would you seriously be able to focus on content creation when you can see all of the things that need to get done?

I didn’t think so

Even now, as I write this in real-time, I have gotten distracted and done something else 4 times. FOUR! 🙄 Come on, Brianna. Get it together!

Basically, my goal for this post was to simply write something. Anything.

So you got a rant. If you made it this far, congratulations. That’s all I’ve got for now.

Don’t worry. Legit posts about action plans, goals, and how I’m adapting to life here in MN are coming, I promise. In the meantime, here’s a video about some things my community is working on.

I’ll Be There For You | 25th Anniversary of FRIENDS Merch

If you can even believe it, we’ve all been friends with Monica, Ross, Rachel, Joey, Pheobe, and Chandler for 25 years now. I’ll admit, I wasn’t into Friends when the show was originally airing, but to say I’m a fan now would be an understatement. I have watched the show on reruns time and time again, and since the complete series of Friends has been on Netflix I am in the middle of my 4th run-through of the entire show. Yes, fourth, and I have no shame about it either.

We’ve all spent years laughing at the antics of our 6 favorite sitcom friends, and now it’s officially time for all Friends fans to rejoice. With the 25th anniversary of our favorite show comes several retailers celebrating with special merchandise specifically for this momentous occasion. I plan on sharing some of my favorite choices from various shops with you over the next few weeks. Don’t be surprised if you do see a few of these items pop up in my new house. Today, we’re starting with a store that I love to browse and regularly want to spend a ton of money in: Box Lunch

Box Lunch is the perfect store for pop culture fans. With products ranging from Harry Potter and Stranger Things to Marvel, Toy Story, and your favorite Disney Princess, odds are if you’re a fan of something, you can find it in this store. While I was at Mall of America with my sister we wandered into Box Lunch because it’s a great place to browse, and when I walked in I came face to face with a giant center display filled with all sorts of themed goodies all centering around my precious favorite TV show, Friends. They had quite a few options, but I want to share a few of what I consider to be the highlights.

I am a sucker for cute zipper pouches, and this set of 3 Friends themed pouches need to be a part of my collection. They’re easy to clean, so makeup or liquid items aren’t an issue, and let’s be honest, they’re amazingly cute! These will definitely be a part of my new “Friends” collection that I didn’t know I’d be collecting.

The planner girl in me is giddy with excitement over this set of 3 notebooks (because you can never have too many blank notebooks) and this weekly planning pad. I mean, the detail of titling the weeks as “the one with…” before you see your schedule is just brilliant.

The apparel options are out of this world, but these were my two favorite choices. The socks set, while I’m guessing the quality isn’t as great as my athletic socks, is such a fun way to express your Friends obsession, all from the privacy of within your shoes if you so desire. There are many different t-shirt options, but this one stood out to me as unique, and I love when you can get a fun, feminine-looking pop culture T-shirt.

Is there anything more appropriate than a welcome mat for outside your front door that asks each guest “How you doin’?” before they step foot in your house? I don’t think so.

This “paper bag” lunch box is absolutely adorable. Don’t worry, it’s not actually a paper bag, but a reusable lunch box that can make your coworkers think you get takeout from Central Perk every single day.

If you want a few subtle details around your home, you could accent your living room with Friends quote coasters, or maybe hang a tea towel over your oven handle. These would make amazing conversation starters for your guests to casually notice as they spend time in your place.

Of course, no Friends collection would be complete without a good old Central Perk coffee mug.

This is just some of the Box Lunch Friends collection! So tell me, how many of these do you want in your home? I’m not going to lie, I’m tempted by more than a few. Have you seen any other Friends anniversary collection items out there? I know there’s a Pottery Barn collection (a post on that coming soon), but what else is out there?

A Weekend of Eating In Downtown Minneapolis

While I’m definitely not the live downtown type of gal, during the month that we are living in downtown Minneapolis before we move into our new suburban home, we are doing what we can to take advantage of the food scene that’s available to us, especially since we can walk to get to these places. The fact that we can walk and get a ton of steps definitely helps make up for all of the delicious treats we’ve been eating.

This past weekend we had our first visitor since we left the Chicagoland area. Having someone visit is the perfect excuse to go out instead of cook, so that’s exactly what we did. In one weekend we went to 3 amazing places and ended up with an exciting bonus stop simply because we were in the right place at the right time. Here’s how we ate our way through Minneapolis this weekend.

Kombucha on tap!!

Day Block Brewing Company

We started our adventure at Day Block Brewing. Hubby and I had stopped there for a drink the week before, and while we were there we read the menu. Their “snacks” section had a ton of different things on the menu that I wanted to try, so I knew I wanted to go back and order a bunch of them to share. That’s exactly what we did. Between the 3 of us, we ordered 6 different snacks off of the menu:

  • Garlic Knots
  • Pickle Flight
  • Bruchetta
  • Devils on Horseback
  • Grilled Asparagus
  • Pub Pretzels
Pub pretzels, garlic knots, pickle flight, and asparagas

What’s not to love about that list? 🤤 The garlic knots and the pretzels were pretty standard fare, but really good. The grilled asparagus was cooked in olive oil with shallots, garlic, and lemon, and topped off with flavorful balsamic glaze, which made eating a healthy vegetable taste oh so delicious. The pickle flight was different, as it’s not just pickles like we think of pickles. The flight changes daily and it’s 3 separate pickled veggies. On this particular day, we had dill pickles (which were more sour than I would have liked), pickled carrots in soy sauce and ginger, and kimchi, which I had never eaten before. Since we were there for happy hour, the flight was only $3 instead of the normal $6, which I am thankful for because it was okay to try for the reduced price, but not the full price.

The real showstoppers for me were the last two items. Devils on horseback were (get ready for this) bacon-wrapped, goat cheese stuffed dates with a maple syrup sriracha dipping sauce. If anything has goat cheese in the description, odds are I will order it. I’m obsessed with goat cheese. These little bites were absolutely delightful and if we go back I will order them again. I don’t love spicy food, but I put a few drops of the sauce on my bites and it took the flavor to a whole new level. The bruschetta was also a delicious and flavorful dish that left me wishing there was more than one piece for each of us.

The icing on the cake at Day Block is that they have kombucha on tap. Apparently, the owner or someone with status there loves brewing his own booch and recently started making it available to customers. In the two times I’ve been there I’ve had two different flavors (they change whenever his brew changes) and both have been absolutely delightful. Day Block’s atmosphere is casual, calm, and even on a Friday night, while it’s busy and bustling, you can still find a seat. This is apparently pretty normal in Minneapolis and something I am really coming to appreciate during our time living downtown. 10/10 would recommend a visit to Day Block Brewing.

Izzy’s Ice Cream

This ice cream shop is pure gold. With two locations (Minneapolis and St. Paul), Izzy’s Ice Cream shop changes homemade flavors so frequently that they have online flavor trackers that update every 3 minutes to tell you exactly what flavors are in each store. Some flavors are like magical unicorns that you don’t know if you’ll ever see again, like the flavor I got the first time we went. Izzy’s little signature is adding an Izzy sized scoop on top of most orders. The first time we went I got a salted caramel single scoop, and on a whim opted for the first chocolate flavor I saw (“chocoholic” was the name) as my Izzy scoop. Well, it turns out that I should have gotten that flavor exclusively because it was amazing. Every chocolate and cookie dough lover’s dream come true. I vowed to get it next time I was in.

Turns out, this past week there was no such flavor on the menu. Never fear though, because they actually have an app that will notify you when your desired flavor choices are back in store. How cool is that?! The joke is on me though, because it turns out that my beloved flavor isn’t an option on there either, which means it was a “mystery flavor” or a “test batch,” both of which are regularly on the menu, but you never know what they’ll be. Will I ever see my unicorn flavor again? I don’t know 😢

However, the ice cream scooper and I came up with a plan to sort of replicate my flavor with what was available. You can actually split your single scoop into two flavors. The result was a scoop of cookies and cream, a scoop of milk chocolate, and my Izzy of choice was a butter salted caramel which ended up being the best of the 3. Don’t get me wrong though, all of the flavors we all ordered ended up being delicious. Izzy’s is definitely worth a stop for any and all ice cream lovers.

The Bachelor Farmer Cafe

Saturday had us going out for breakfast. My husband has been coming home with plenty of recommendations from his new coworkers and this was one of them. The Bachelor Farmer is actually the restaurant, but attached to it is the Bachelor Farmer Cafe, which is where we went for coffee and brunch. To start, the coffee is delicious. I’ve become quite the coffee snob as of late, so my standards for a “good” cup of coffee have gotten higher. Their fresh coffee did not disappoint. There’s a very real possibility that I go back to the cafe and buy a bag of their beans once we move to the suburbs so I can enjoy a special coffee treat while unpacking in our new home. Delicious!

Now let’s talk about my breakfast sandwich. At 10 am on weekends only (which is a major bummer) they offer an amazing weekend brunch menu. I ordered the regular old breakfast sandwich, which seemed so simple, but it was the best breakfast sandwich I’ve ever eaten in my life. Not joking. The eggs were magnificently cooked, the prairie breeze cheddar and thick-cut bacon were amazing, and don’t even get me started on the brown buttered maple sea salt biscuit. I am a sucker for a good biscuit and this thing was incredible. Such a simple-sounding sandwich, but absolutely delicious.

Hubby ordered the savory buckwheat waffles topped with roasted ham, gruyere, maple butter, mustard crème, and an over-easy egg. His dish was epic. The mustard flavor took it from simply delicious to next-level awesome. Our friend had the strawberry chocolate waffles, which I didn’t try so I can’t have an opinion on them, but she enjoyed them greatly. 10/10 would recommend! Try to come for weekend brunch if you can.

Milk Bar Popup Shop

The last place I went to was totally not planned but allowed me to check a bucket list item off of my list. Christina Tosi is a chef I got to “know” thanks to my obsession with Master Chef and Master Chef Junior, as she was regularly one of the judges for a while. When Netflix released volume 4 (pastry) of Chefs Table, the first episode was all about Christina and her store creation: Milkbar. That’s the only reason I had any idea what Milkbar was. While we were having brunch, my dining companions commented on a “milk stand” being set up across the street. I couldn’t see it, so I had no idea what they were talking about. Once we were done eating and walked outside I looked at the pop-up and immediately recognized the “Milk” logo. This wasn’t a milk stand. This was Milkbar!

After our friend left, hubby was playing video games, so I decided to walk back and wait in the silly line to try Milkbar goodies. After 90 minutes in line (am I crazy? Maybe), I bought one of every food item they had to offer, including Milkbar’s signature cereal milk soft serve. The cereal they use is corn flakes, and while I’ve never really been a huge fan of corn flakes, the flavor of this soft serve was unique and out of this world tasty. Also in my haul was 5 different giant cookies, two flavors of cake balls, and their signature gooey butter cake pie. Slowly but surely, the Mister and I will be trying out all of these goodies this week.

They also offered merch, including all 3 of Christina’s cookbooks. I was going to buy one if she was there to autograph it, but since she wasn’t, I looked to see if they were on Amazon and sure enough, not only were they on there, but they’re cheaper (surprise, surprise). I fully intend on adding them all to my collection, as I want to start cooking and baking more (non-diet recipes) in our new home. She has 3 books: Momofuku Milk, Milk Bar Life, and All About Cakes. I fully intend on getting all 3 added to my collection in the near future. In the meantime, we’ve tried the “crack pie” (outstanding!), the birthday cake truffles (yum!), and the confetti cookie. All were so good and I can’t wait to try the rest of the collection. What a happy accident of being in the right place at the right time to see this pop-up shop!

It was definitely a full weekend of eating, and I regret 0% of it. There’s such a great food scene here, which we’re trying to balance with cooking at home and eating healthy while living downtown. Everything was so delicious that I had to share it all with you in case you needed some Minneapolis food suggestions. Do you have any suggestions for other places we need to try?