There’s a square of a room sandwiched between the kitchen and the living room with a window the size of a wall and a staircase wrapped around the backside, once covered in neon green carpet, with just enough space to cozily seat 6 people around the table and 2 at the nearby countertop. I’d love to take you on a walk through The Minne Stuga Cabin Dining Room and tell you more about the flooring that we thought about and fraught about for months. It’s finished.
I’d love to walk you through my next favorite room of the cabin—the great room, the living room. Are you sensing a theme here? How can all the rooms be my favorite room? Kev says I’m easily excitable and sometimes speak in hyperbole. He’s not wrong. But his childhood friend, Blake, who feels comfortable enough to be honest with us (a straight gift I tell you), said the same thing on his visit up. Every room ushers you to sink in and cozy up and unwind, with lake views and evergreen views out every window. It’s impossible to pick a favorite. Either way, let’s take a walk through the Cabin Living Room. Read more
I don’t know about you, but I always save the best for last—the cookie dough balls at the bottom of the soupy ice cream bowl, pizza after salad, lunch then a Justin’s Dark Chocolate Almond Buttercup. But I’m going out of order in sharing rooms of The Minne Stuga, showing you the cabin kitchen way before I share the rest of the spaces. It’s a cookie dough first kinda day because the kitchen might just be my favorite spot in the cabin. That is until I show you my next favorite spot and the one after that. I have so many favorite spots that take me to the deepest of cozy places, but the kitchen just might be at the tippy top. Read more
Life seems to come in waves, in seasons. And after a long season of construction (and other hard things), we’ve made it to the other side of this big idea called The Minne Stuga. When we, Kev and I, took on this idea, we weren’t sure we’d be able to pull it off. I mean, we thought we would, we hoped we would, but it felt a little risky. And then we found out we were pregnant 4 days after putting in our offer on the cabin. And then COVID hit right as we were finally about to start construction, at the same time Linnie was born. (Construction didn’t start for another year.) And then the sky kept falling, for everyone, not just us. Read more
I’ve had it on my list for years, along with printing pictures of my kids, to work on a really good vanilla cake. A simple yet delicious vanilla cake that comes together easily with a tight sturdy crumb, maybe even skirting the line of dense. A vanilla cake that comes together from the humble remnants of the pantry yet yields something memorable and flavorful. This vanilla cake is that, thanks to the simple reverse creaming method. It’s reliably good every time, even when you run out of all-purpose flour and have to swap in a little whole wheat pastry flour. I can attest. Read more
Raise your glass! After a couple years of dreaming and working and fretting, The Minne Stuga is finished (mostly) and open for rental. Getting there, to the finish line, was one of the harder things we’ve done. In the thick of it, I kept recalling a board book we often read Hal and now Linnie—Going on a Bear Hunt. “We can’t go over it,” they say at the sight of every obstacle. “We can’t go under it. Oh no, we’ve got to go through it. Stumble trip! Stumble trip!” Those words turned into wisdom because, after so many obstacles during this project, I wanted out. I couldn’t see a way through the fog and the brush and the mud and all the details I’ll leave offline. But, as Adele says—hello from the other side. I’m still a little disoriented, but I think we’ve made it through. Either way, let’s cheers with a Northern Sidecar. Read more
Hello? Hi! Is this thing on? It’s me. Melissa. I’m still here, over on the other side of the screen. I just haven’t been here, at my desk, pecking away at the old dirty keyboard like usual. I’ve been everywhere else—up and down the north shore and back again, to the doctors, to the vintage store, back to the doctors, to Target and Target and Target. I wish I could write that we’ve been living our best summer, tending to the tiny garden, relaxing and splashing, and going on summer adventures, but… Read more
When I take Hal to swimming lessons, Mr. Noah always asks, “What’s your favorite ice cream.” (He teaches them to swim by scooping ice cream through the water.) Hal always responds with, “Vanilla.” And Mr. Noah always waits, even after the vanilla proclamation, expecting a new ice cream flavor. A less, you know, vanilla flavor. No, not from this family. We love a good old-fashioned homemade vanilla ice cream. One that’s creamy and super scoopable straight out of the freezer with no trace of ice. That’s this recipe. Read more