Go-to gift to give: Maple syrup from L&R Farms near Kenyon, Minn., which is run by my high school friend Rae Rusnak. The farm is named after Rae and her son, Leo.
Favorite Twin Cities shopping destination: If I ever had a day to shop, I would start in St. Paul on Grand Avenue with a stop at Garrison Keillor's Common Good Books (at Snelling and Grand). Then I could visit the Patagonia that used to be Hungry Mind (the former bookstore was the site of the marriage proposal from my husband...non-fiction aisle of course). Then I would head to Northeast Minneapolis to my favorite Bibelot, stop for lunch at Brasa or the Red Stag and maybe end the day out at Ridgedale for nostalgia's sake and to check out their new remodel. Ridgedale is the mall where I spent a portion of my teenage years—including my senior prom!
Holiday Wish List: Christmas came early this year since we got a budget deal and look to be avoiding a government shutdown. But truthfully? My top gift wish is for someone (as in, maybe my husband) to bring our 1991 Saturn in for an oil change. Second? Jonathan Franzen’s newest novel “Purity” (he famously set his masterpiece “Freedom” in St. Paul). Third, the free time to read it.