The Minne Stuga

I have a big, little secret to share with you. Not just to tell you, but to share with you. An invitation of sorts. To a place and a space that’s become quite special to me, to us. A place they call “Up North” around here, known for its breathtaking beauty and superior shores with craggy coastlines and wild woods. If you’re from Minnesota, it’s a place you probably intimately know and love. And if you’re not from here, like us not so long ago, I’d like to invite you over or up or down, but especially away. Read more

how to put a dinner salad on the table everynight

When I mention that we eat a dinner salad almost every night, M-F, I get furrowed brows and lots of hows? No one asks why, because most of us know, because most of us are looking for simple ways to get more vegetables into our day and into the bellies of our tiny humans. But how? I once heard a simple vegetable wisdom. It goes like this: If you want to get more vegetables into mealtimes, especially with kids, start with them. Fill up on them first. Read more

Nordic Winter Wreath in dining room at the fauxhouse

If you walk by our house on any given winter night, the house flickers with wood-scented candles curated by our inhouse candle man, Kev, with hanging battery-powered candles curated by our inhouse mom, me, with the gas fireplace, too. If you read any articles or posts on how to hygge in the winter, how to cozy, they’ll tell you to light candles and drink something warm. Nighttime rituals. But what about the daytime? I’ve made it my job to add a little merry to our indoor winter decor this year with these wreaths and this Nordic Winter Garland. Maybe you need a little extra merry too? Read more

Indoor Winter Wire Wreath from The Faux Martha

It was the first week back at school, back at work, post-holidays, and I was on the couch nursing the bug I managed to get after dropping everyone off at the airport. I was in need of adding a bright spot to our house, for the rest of winter, in place of the downed Christmas decorations leaving bare walls, that could also stand in as decor for the Nordic Winter Party. Were we moving? No. In fact, we were just settling into our long winter lap, the most significant 4 months of winter. Let there be light by way of an Indoor Winter Wire Wreath, I wished. And there was.  Read more

Blueberry Spelt Pancakes with walnuts from The Faux Martha

I miss the good ole days, the days where I’d test a recipe over weeks, if not months, and post it when it was ready, when it was just right. I’d test it on Saturday mornings, when we’d eat it for breakfast, not 6 times in a row over the course of a Monday and Tuesday, a speed I learned when recipe testing for a cookbook. I started testing these Blueberry Spelt Pancakes with crushed walnuts on the underneath side sometime last year, like the good ole days, over slow Saturday and Sunday mornings.  Read more

Nordic Winter Party

Melissa, stay focused. I tell myself. Maybe just stick with recipes or design or writing. You’re all over the place. Or don’t. The or don’t seems to keep winning, as if I have no control over what I do. (I do.) Because we just threw a party, hosting the first annual Nordic Winter Party in the Twin Cities, hopefully the first of many. These parties have happened before on a very, small intimate scale, and the consensus after each is that we need more things like this in winter. More low-key, merrymaking gatherings to look forward to. Places to connect with something warm to drink and cozy to eat.  Read more

I’m pretty bad at goodbyes. I’m also the last one to leave every party or gathering. Wrapping things up isn’t my forte. I’m best at lingering. As I watch the cursor blink, blink, blink, bumming a desk space at the studio as I write this post, I’m having trouble wrapping up this project too. The Pinch of Yum Studio, a project that began 6 months ago, has come to an end. I’ve learned so much, mostly learning how much I’ve yet to learn. What is it they say—the more you know, the less you really know? And yet, I’m so proud of what we created. And proud, too, that I took my own advice, to play, and figure out where The Faux Martha is headed in the future. OK, without any further awkward lingering at the front door, come on in. I’d love to walk you through the Pinch of Yum Studio Kitchen and Dining Room reveal, where the magic happens, especially that magic green sauce. (PS—Here’s the office tour in case you missed it.) Read more

Toasted Golden Oatmeal from The Faux Martha

I fell in love with a little prepackaged turmeric oatmeal cup on a trip to Seattle. Kev and I ate it in our hotel room every morning to save money. He’d bring up filtered water from the workout room, 3 floors down, where I swear I heard weights dropping to the ground at 5am. Bump, bump. Bump, bump. Bump, bump. We were still on central time, awake before the hotel and the city, before the sun and the birds. Read more

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