Al Fresco Dining: From downtown patios to neighborhood hangouts

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Written by Nicole L. Czarnomski

Because summer is in full swing, we wanted to find the best places for you to hangout and enjoy the perfect summer sip. We found 11 restaurants with patio and rooftop seating that offer fabulous happy hour specials so you and a friend or two can enjoy the warm summer air, along with a cocktail.


Victoria’s Ristorante and Wine Bar

Centrally located downtown, Victoria’s has patio seating for 50-60 people. Their house wine is La Terre, which includes merlot, cabernet, Chianti, Lambrusco, white zinfandel, chardonnay and pinot grigio and is about $7 per glass. On Wine Wednesday, you can indulge in a bottomless glass for $8. Their daily happy hour is from 3-6 p.m., and house wines are only $4.50 per glass.


Bonita and Steve Patton’s double islands are indoors—surrounded by kitchenware. They also are just a few steps from the Pattons’ private beach on Bamber Valley Lake. The kitchen islands and the beach are both are eye-catching features of last year’s renovation of their house. 


In the late 90s, the young couple purchased their property in the Salem Sound subdivision and built a home largely with their own hands. Working from a starter design, they provided labor to construct their home. “It took about a year to build the house,” Bonita says.

The home’s layout worked well for many years, but as their family grew and their sons got bigger, they made changes. “About 10 years ago, we started to tinker with the kitchen,” she says. “Finally, we decided to gut it all and start over.”


The kitchen was contained in a single room with a half-sized wall looking out one side and a full wall with door on the other side. In spring 2016, the walls at each end were demolished as the work got underway. Once the walls were down, the original kitchen was extended into what was a formal dining area. 


Minnesota summers are fleeting and before you know it, we’ll descend back into the deep-freeze of the arctic tundra. However, during that ever-so brief span of sun-soaked, balmy weather, we hardy northerners like to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible, knowing we’ll be banished indoors again soon enough. Make memories—of glorious evenings dining al fresco, enjoying cocktails and laughter with friends or simply snuggling quietly, hand-in-hand with that special someone, watching the glowing embers of a crackling fire as the evening draws to a close.

If you’ve been thinking about refreshing your backyard, adding a deck or patio or giving your yard and landscaping a do-over, now is the perfect time to make your dreams a reality. Investing in your backyard space is really an investment in you and your family. A functional and comfortable backyard living area can become the backdrop for numerous social gatherings, quality family time and a place of solitude and tranquility—because it’s your very own one-of-a-kind outdoor living area.  


To get started, you will need a design so you know how to realistically proceed. Jeff Feece, a landscape architect with Jeff Feece Designs, works with clients to make their outdoor design dreams a reality. He likes to “focus on the broader picture to find out needs and wants—to see the size of space they (clients) want.” 



Safety Tips for Your Home: Leaving for Vacation or Home Alone

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Written by Catherine H. Armstrong

Before you pack the car for that trip up north to your cabin on the lake, make sure the things you leave behind are as secured and safe as you can make them. 

Rochester Police Department’s Advanced Crime Specialist, Darrel Hildebrant, offers suggestions to make your home more unfriendly to home invaders.


An empty home can be a welcome sign for crooks, so the most important step when leaving for vacation is to make your home look occupied, Hildebrant says. Setting timers for lights is a relatively inexpensive first step. “We want you to have your house look like there are still people living there, so (using timers) you might have the living room lights go on at sunset and go off around 10 or 10:30 p.m., and the bedroom lights go on around a quarter to ten so it looks like someone is in the home,” he explains. 


Let’s talk about weight, a touchy subject. Before we dive in let’s talk about self love. In the last issue we discussed happiness and how to cultivate it. The same is true of loving and accepting ourselves as we are at any given moment.

While you may not be okay with the number on the scale, the process of change can be much easier if you appreciate your body for what it can do for you and not just what it looks like.


It is true that many people are carrying around too much weight, and we see the consequences of that frequently in the rise of metabolic disorders, as well as an increase in back and joint pain.



Yeast Infections: A quick guide to caring for yourself

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Written by Caitlin Summers

Women are becoming more comfortable talking about subjects that used to have a great deal of stigma behind them, such as periods and sex. However, there are still some topics we women would prefer not to talk about. 

Let’s discuss yeast infections. Don’t blush yet because it’s something an estimated 75 percent of women will have at least once. It may be that we are uncomfortable to talk about it because yeast infections are uncomfortable. I’ve had some painful cramps, but having an itch that we wouldn’t want people to see us scratch in public could be worse. Yeast infections happen, and there are ways that you can treat them right away and even prevent them. 


Yeast infections aren’t an STI. According to Judith Devorak, APRN, CNP of Olmsted Medical Center, “The yeast that causes it is a fungus named candida. This fungus normally lives in the gastrointestinal tract and sometimes in the vagina.” When bacterial changes happen, an overgrowth of the yeast can occur causing what’s known as a yeast infection. 



Rowing: Girls growing in all areas of life

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Written by Holly Galbus

High school girls are discovering opportunities for physical, mental, social, and academic growth in the sport of rowing through the program at Rochester Rowing Club of Minnesota (RRCMN).


Founded in 1990, the RRCMN was originally a program for adults but has grown and expanded over the years, and in 2001, they added a Juniors program. During the last season, there were 10 high school girls on the team. Although their numbers are small, they have a fierce devotion to the sport of rowing and say the academic and personal growth opportunities have made it their sport of choice.


Access to natural healing techniques such as meditation, hypnotherapy, energy healing and reiki is on the rise. Here are highlights of a few local establishments available for holistic healing services.


A Beautiful Soul is a healing center, complete with healing boutique, created and owned by Brinn McManus. For the past two years in the Design District at Cooke Park neighborhood of Rochester, McManus has amassed a broad range of clientele. “We have seen such a diverse population,” McManus begins, “from clinic visitors looking for additional healing to children learning about crystals.”


Whether you’re wearing sparkling glass slippers, designer flats or walking sneakers, a proper shoe fit can alleviate or prevent many foot problems. Several factors play a role in how comfortable a shoe will be. 

According to local experts, important considerations for women are that their shoes or shoe products fit properly and provide appropriate arch support. Their knowledge and services can be your “bibbidi- bobbidi-boo” to having healthy, happy—and sometimes bare—feet.


Why are supportive shoes and products so important? “Supportive shoes will appropriately distribute the weight and pressure created by your body over the entire plantar, or bottom of your foot,” says Loring Stead, DPM, an expert in podiatric medicine and surgery at Olmsted Medical Center. “Without appropriate support, many people may develop foot pain.”



Women Veterans: Community Events Honor and Support

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Written by Brittney Marschall

Women are an essential part of our armed forces and our community of veterans. Throughout history, women have served in various capacities in the military. The first American female soldier, Deborah Sampson from Massachusetts, cross-dressed as a man, disguising herself in order to fight alongside men.


Women have served in America’s conflicts and wars throughout history, including America’s War of Independence, also known as the American Revolution. Wives, mothers and daughters followed their male loved ones into battle serving as cooks, seamstresses, launderers and nurses. 


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