To Be Seventeen Again: Celebrating Eryn Fjelsted’s 17th Birthday

Do you remember turning 17? Where did you live? Where did you go to school? Who were your friends? What were your hopes and dreams? What advice would you give your 17 year-old self today?


Rochester Women magazine helped Eryn Fjelsted celebrate her 17th birthday on Tuesday, February 7 with a makeover, pizza party and photo shoot at Pasquale’s Neighborhood Pizzeria. Imagine that kind of treatment for your 17th birthday party! 

Eryn and her mom, Cindy Fjelstad, went to Hair Studio 52 + Day Spa to get ready for the party. Jade at Hair Studio 52 added color and highlights to Cindy’s professional hairstyle. Lizzie Albrecht trimmed and highlighted Eryn’s hair to give her an easy wash-and-wear hair style for her busy, hockey-girl lifestyle. Her natural Norwegian blonde hair goes well with her light blue dress from Camy Couture. Her tall boots looked stunning on her long legs. Only a 17 year-old could get away with wearing a short dress, as if Paris runway model, on a chilly winter day in Minnesota. Teens don’t seem to have the same desire (or need) to be warm as their mothers.

Cindy also wore clothing from Camy Couture, an outfit that she can wear in the spring and throughout the summer. The fashionable necklace makes a statement and dresses up the otherwise casual outfit. Cindy’s mother, Jan Blattner, and other daughter, Kayla, came to celebrate with Eryn on her birthday and be part of the photo shoot, too. 

Eryn’s best friend, Payton Butterfield, and her mother, Kelly Miles, came to celebrate with them. Leah with Primp Boutique, located downtown Rochester, helped Payton and Kelly dress for the occasion. They got their hair freshened up for the party by Sara Neubauer at r!ah Hair Studio.


Eryn says what she loves most about being 17 is, “Friends and memories I’ve made while being in high school. I have found a group of people who never get sick of making endless memories and laughing until our stomachs hurt.” She likes to spend her free time with friends, studying at Café Steam or playing hockey. She plays on the Mayo High School girls hockey team and comments, “My team is super close. It’s really cool to be able to have a group of 25 best friends that I spend time with throughout the winter.”

Looking to the future Eryn says, “I’m most excited looking forward to college, figuring out where I want to go, starting to think more about a career and finally accomplishing my goals within my career choice.”


Cindy is a Rochester native–born and raised. She went to Holmes Elementary, Kellogg Junior High and Mayo High School and continues to cheer on the Spartans while her children participate in athletics there.  When she was 17, Cindy says she enjoyed, “doing what most 17 year olds today do–shopping with friends, going to high school football, basketball, hockey games, movies and just hanging out.” When she was in high school, the main “go-to” restaurant in Rochester was Waldo’s Pizza. She says, “I still have cravings for their pizza.” 

In high school, Cindy says she had a great group of friends–many of whom she is still friends with today. “I am pretty happy with the choices I made and the experiences I had. Knowing what I know now, I would have studied harder and applied myself more in my classes.” She would also tell 17-year-olds, “Don’t worry so much about what others think. Be yourself and if that’s not good enough for them, then too bad.”  Cindy says that she was pretty quiet and shy in high school and worried too much about fitting in. She tells her daughter and other teenagers, “Have fun. Enjoy these years. You have your whole life ahead of you to be an adult.  Enjoy that, too, but for now, just enjoy these years being a ‘kid.’”

Kelly grew up in Northfield, Minnesota and went to Northfield High School. When she was 17, she loved being with her family and being outside on their farm. She says, “If I was 17 again I would make sure to listen more to my mom and the role models around me. (Now I) know how much they are there to help me.”


Rochester Women magazine met with New Yorker Pasquale Presa, owner of Pasquale’s Neighborhood Pizzeria, to plan the menu for Eryn’s 17th birthday pizza party. We agreed on Bianca “White Pie” pizza with olive oil, garlic, ricotta cheese, mozzarella and fresh basil; a stuffed Sicilian pizza and garlic knots.

La Dolce Vita Pastry Chef Drew Casteel AKA “Tattoo Drew” offered to make mini canollis filled with pink frosting and designed the RW magazine birthday cake. He has worked around the country for high-end venues and events, including Victoria’s Secret fashion show in Orlando, Florida. 

Pasquale and Drew met at a resort in Wisconsin Dells. Last year, Pasquale invited Drew to come work with him here in Rochester. They opened pizzeria and pastry shop in November 2016. 

Fortunately, Pasquale’s is closed on Tuesdays, so we had the whole place to ourselves for Eryn’s 17th birthday party on Tuesday, February 7th. The party and photo shoot took all of about one and a half hours, but hopefully the memories will last a lifetime for Eryn, her friends and family.

 “I’m really thankful I got chosen for this photo shoot, having my mom and one of my best friends Payton with me. I’d like to thank everyone that made this possible. This is an amazing opportunity. I’m so thankful I got chosen for this,” says Eryn. 

Jorrie Johnson graduated from high school in Duluth, Minnesota, and is still friends with her best friend from high school, Maribeth.