Monday, February 13

Minneapolis Winter Trip


Minnesota is where this traveling cupcake was born and raised. I've since moved away and have been traveling since, however I still try to make it "home" several times a year. Fall is one of my favorite times to go back because there's nothing quite like home in the fall. Yet, don't discount the winter! It may be chilly but it's a gorgeous and refreshing time to visit Minnesota (and rather affordable). If you find yourself in Minneapolis for a little 2-day weekend, here's my suggested itinerary: 


Friday Night


Fly into Minnneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) airport




Getting into Minneapolis on Friday late afternoon, you should definitely go to Mall of America first. It's close to the airport (less than 5 minutes) and after all, it's the largest mall in the United States! You could spend an entire day here and still not see everything but definitely check out some of the unique sights:

- Nickelodeon Universe at MOA 
- Sea Life Aquarium 
- LEGO Land 
Grab a bite to eat at the touristy Rainforest Cafe or Crave or the Cedar + Stone in the JW Marriott attached to the mall.

After a few hours shopping, grab one of those great outfits you just bought and head out for a night out in the Westend.



Punch Bowl Social is a fabulous hangout on the weekends complete with retro-inspired bowling lanes, been bags, darts and multiple bars. Grab a table, put your name on the list for a bowling lane, have a few drinks and enjoy the night scene.


Saturday

Grab brunch at French Meadow Bakery which also has a wonderful gluten free menu! Get the blueberry cornmeal panacake or the GF griddle cake- yum!

After a filling breakfast and a few cups of tea, lace up your boots and grab your gloves to head to Minihaha Falls. There are several trails throughout the park but make sure you definitely see the falls which if you're there in a very cold winter month, should be majestically frozen over!




Next warm up at the American Swedish Institute. The stately manor is located in downtown Minneapolis and offers beautiful history and art of the Swedish culture. 




After a little culture and a history lesson head over to the Midtown Global Market. The Midtown market is an internationally-themed public market with great food, unique gifts, groceries and live music. So yummy!




End your day at the Minnesota Ice Castle which is an amazing sight to see! Bundle up because it's quite cold, but there is plenty of hot coco and bonfires to keep your toes toasty.





Sunday

If you have a little bit of time on Sunday morning before your flight, grab a Caribou coffee and walk around Lake Harriet! Full of wonderful walking paths and winter activities such as sledding and skating, Lake Harriet is a great way to end your trip.



I hope you enjoy your time in the land of 10,000 lakes!

Wednesday, February 8

Dear Single Friend



Is it just me or is everybody getting married? It's not a lie when I say almost every single one of my friends is married; anybody else in the same boat as me? Every Saturday from March-June was packed with a wedding, bridal shower, bachelorette weekend or dress fitting. Now that everybody is hitched or on their way to tying the knot, so begins a new season of life: the life of the single friend.

I love every one of my friends. I loved being apart of their special day in some way, whether it was as a guest or standing by their side. Each dear friend had such a different wedding, uniquely perfect for each woman. They say that after you get married everything changes. I know what they mean now. It's kind of like when you graduate high school and college; you say you're going to stay just as close as you were back in school...but inevitably life changes in different ways and things have to change..because that is life. If life stayed the same forever it would get boring and stagnant. They move. You gain new friends. They have to worry about in-laws. You worry about keeping your dog alive. They join a couples bible study and you're in a women's study group: these things aren't right or wrong, they're just the inevitable ticks of life that happen when people get married and you're still the single friend. 

That doesn't mean they love you any less. It doesn't mean you're not as good of a friend. It doesn't mean that you can't still find time to hang out with your friend. It means that you are both evolving, maturing and growing in your walk and in your friendship. 

Being the single friend in a sea of married friends has been a touch lesson inn offense. I've had to learn to not be offended. My friendships used to be a priority, and now they're not. Our coffee dates used to be a priority, and now they're not. I can't lie and say I've never been offended by a friend who suddenly goes MIA and completely checks out of my life. I constantly feel like I'm putting in 99.9% of the effort in most of my married friendships. I call and text and try to schedule times to meet only to be met by silence and "I'll check my schedule" texts. It takes two to make a relationship work and I get so frustrated when it constantly feels like a one-sided affair. However in my annoyance and offense, God reminds me of a little lesson: grace

I'm learning to have grace with my friends. I'm learning to have grace when a friend doesn't text me back for five days about getting together for dinner. I have to have grace when they cancel on me last minute because their husband is sick. I'm learning to have grace because I need grace. 

However to my married friends out there, don't forget about us. Yes, your priorities have changed and you may not have as much disposable time or income, but you still need us. You still need your girl time over a cup of coffee or glass of wine. You still need your mini getaways to invest in your friendships. You still need relationships outside of your marriage because God created us to be in community with one another. So don't forget about us. Don't neglect us forever. 

 So for those of you out there in this new season of life, the life of the single friend, don't stop reaching out to your married friends. Don't be offended by their new priorities. Love the moments you do get to spend with them. Rejoice with them at their wedding. Pray for them when they struggle and forget why they took vows. Don't be afraid to venture out and meet new friends. But always know who you true and deepest friendships are and continue to pour into those friendships.

You make time for the things you value. If you value a relationship, invest it in.