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Nikki Steele Style empowers through inclusive fashion

PINE APPLE E X PRE SSION How to Hygge Danish lifestyle concept is perfect for Minnesota winters

Soup’s On


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CONTENTS

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14

“Without Valentine’s Day, February would be ... well, January.” Jim Gaffigan

FEB/MAR ’21

2 | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021


A DIFFERENT KIND OF FIRM, A DIFFERENT KIND OF WEALTH MANAGEMENT

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Experience: Josh has been a money manager in the Twin Cities for over 40 years. Judd spent almost 20 years on Wall Street at 3 of the largest hedge funds in the industry

10 DWELL

How to Hygge

Danish lifestyle concept is perfect for Minnesota winters.

12 ENLIGHTEN

Making a Connection

‘… technology can’t get in the way of student learning …’

Performance: Since 2016, our proprietary client portfolio has generated net returns of +230.4% compared to 80.6% for the S&P 500 1

14 DOING GOOD

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Former pastor works to increase accessibility to clean drinking water through a communityfocused company.

features 16

Creative Exercises

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Flex your DIY muscles with these fun projects.

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Nikki Steele Style empowers through inclusive fashion

PINEAPPL E EXPRESS I ON How to Hygge

On the Cover

Nikki Steele Style page 20 Chris Emeott

Danish lifestyle concept is perfect for Minnesota winters

Soup’s On

PHOTO BY TATE CARLSON

It appears we find ourselves in a peculiar time of year. Though its bluster is waning, February remains committed to holding onto its wintery relationship. While March stands conflicted—“Our life is March weather, savage and serene in one hour,” writes Ralph Waldo Emerson. Whatever happens outside my windows, I’m sticking with cozy or hygge if I want to be on trend. In this issue, editor and writer Angela Johnson explains some of the ins and outs of the Danish lifestyle concept. On page 10, Johnson writes, “According to Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and author of The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living, hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience that promote intimacy and coziness via candlelight; a comfortable corner or nook; relaxed, casual clothing; blankets, pillows along with vintage style décor; steamy and delectable comfort foods and warm sips of tea, coffee or mulled wine; books; nature; and most importantly, togetherness.” Interested? The article also includes suggestions for local retail shops where you can pick up some hygee-inspired items to help make your home just a bit more cozy! You’ll note that comfort food also falls into hygge territory, and we all know that Minnesotans know a thing or two about serving meals that feed a hungry soul. Turn to page 30, where editors from our sister publications and I offer some of our favorite soup recipes, perfect for serving up a hyggelig vibe. Until next time,


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NOTEWORTHY LOCAL TIPS, TIDBITS & INSIGHTS

SIP

Scoop up a delicious cocktail. February 13. A Saturday. Galentine’s Day. Here we

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have the perfect mix for a weekend brunch celebration (Zoom or otherwise) with your favorite gal pals. We’ll handle the opening cocktail for you. Who doesn’t love ice cream? What about Champagne? They say opposites attract, so let’s make a match with a sweet, sparkling touch to a brunch cocktail classic. Rosé Mimosa Floats • 2 oz. orange juice • 1.5 oz. rosé Champagne • 1-2 scoops vanilla ice cream or non-dairy ice cream or sorbet In a Champagne glass, add 1-2 scoops of vanilla ice cream or sorbet. Add orange juice and rosé Champagne. Garnish with a rose petal. Cheers! —Inspired by thebeet.com

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N OT E WO RT H Y

VIEW

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Title: Heart #44 original mixed media on canvas Artist: Stephanie Dillion of Minneapolis

For more information about this or similar artwork, contact the Art Girls at artgirlsmpls.com; hollie@artgirlsmpls.com Art Girls Minneapolis @art_girls_mpls

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Flowers aren’t just for Valentine’s Day. There really is something to flower power—when it comes to expressing love and relieving stress. Since Valentine’s Day is days away, let’s start there. Did you realize that, according to the Society of American Florists (SAF), 250 million roses are produced just for Valentine’s Day? Who is buying all these buds? The organization notes that in 2019, 28 percent of American adults (37 percent of men, 19 percent of women) bought flowers or plants on the big day. Men, typically, are giving the gifts for romantic reasons, and women do, as well, but they are more likely than men to honor their mothers on the day. Naturally, Valentine’s Day takes the top spot for dollars spent purchasing flowers, but what holiday or special day is in second place? If you guessed Mother’s Day, you’d be— wrong. Christmas/Chanukah is the correct response. We all know that flowers are uplifting, but there is science behind the fact that they do more than that. “Research from the University of North Florida’s Department of Public Health shows that living with flowers significantly reduces our stress,” notes SAF. “That is good news considering 68 percent of people report experiencing stress weekly and 32 percent feel stress daily.” (Raise your hand if you think 2020 and beyond served an uptick in those statistics.) “A simple solution to help relieve your stress is to have flowers on your nightstand to see when you first wake up, on your desk to provide a breath of fresh air while you work or on your kitchen counter or coffee table to help you unwind after a hectic day.” —Renée Stewart-Hester

SOCIETY OF AMERICAN FLORISTS aboutflowers.com @about_flowers @FlowerFactor safnow.org

ARTWORK BY STEPHANIE DILLION

Artist offers ‘what the world needs now.’

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ORGANIZE

THINK OUTSIDE THE (PLASTIC) BOX. Organizing can be both decorative and thematic. Think outside the (plastic) box. Creating themes based on things you love personalizes the process and even makes organizing fun. Do you have a penchant for travel? Utilize luggage tags, hard-sided luggage or antique travel trunks. Place luggage tags on baskets and bins. Snap a picture of the bins’ contents, and place it where the address normally goes. Attach the tag to the bin or basket. This is helpful for toys and pantry items. If you have small children, start with a picture of the contents, and graduate to words when they start learning to read. Trunks are perfect for storing bedding and blankets and are handy inside by an exterior door to store shoes and use as a seat to put on/take off shoes. Stack the hard-sided luggage to create a side table and use for hidden storage.

Kira Vanderlan operates Zestful Design, an organization and interior design company, focusing on mindfulness. zestfuldesign.com

READ

CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH WITH CHILDREN. Books can be powerful tools in educating and enlightening children about diversity and encouraging conversations at home. PBS.org offers a list of books that are great family reads. Some of them include:

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• Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o is a Coretta Scott King award-winning picture book, which highlights self-esteem and beauty within. • Whose Knees Are These? by Jabari Asim offers interactive ways to embrace diversity. • Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry explores what happens when a little girl needs her hair styled for a special occasion, and her father steps to the plate. • The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, a National Book Award winner, pens a book about the power of sharing stories and how they can bring us together. —Renée Stewart-Hester

18

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D E PA R T M E N T S

|

DWELL

How to Hygge

Danish lifestyle concept is perfect for Minnesota winters.

BY ANGELA JOHNSON

LIGHTING Candles are central to much of hygge because their

10 | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

soft glow creates a sense of intimacy and calm. Electric lights can emit a similar effect if chosen specifically to provide lower pools of light. Scandinavian lamp designs by Poul Henningsen, Arne Jacobsen and Verner Panton are particularly popular with hygge enthusiasts. If eyestrain is an issue and you occasionally need brighter light, consider installing dimmer switches, so you can lower your lights for those special hygge moments. SNUGGLING Minnesotans know how wonderful a warm fire can be after a day on the slopes or snowshoeing. Extend it to an outdoor firepit or fireplace, a steaming hot tub or patio heaters for outdoor gatherings. For indoor types, stock up on lap blankets, soft pillows and reading materials. A basket of cozy socks is an incredible treat for guests, who’ve removed their shoes.

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THESE DARK, cold winter weeks set the perfect stage for living a more hyggelig (hygge-like) life. Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is a Danish lifestyle concept. Its Scandinavian origins and our northern climate make the hygge model especially appealing to Minnesotans. We’re on board. Here’s how you can be, too. According to Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and author of The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living, hygge is about an atmosphere or an experience that promotes intimacy and coziness via candlelight; a comfortable nook; relaxed clothing; blankets, pillows and vintage style décor; steamy comfort foods and warm tea, coffee or mulled wine; books; nature; and togetherness.


Shop Hygee

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Local shops have you covered. Abode & Co

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Bachman’s

10050 Sixth Ave. N.; 763.541.1188; bachmans.com Blankets, candles, indoor

plants and flowers, pillows and more The Buzz Coffee and Café

187 Cheshire Lane; 763.208.0567; buzzcoffeeandcafe.com Bakery goods (made

from scratch) and hand-crafted beverages The Foursome

3570 Vicksburg Lane N., Suite 100; 763.473.4667; thefoursome.com Wigwam

socks and cozy sweaters (for him to own and you to borrow!)

Honey and Mackie’s

16725 County Road 2, Suite 106; 763.225.6682; honeyandmackies.com

Ice cream!

Lunds & Byerly’s

3455 Vicksburg Lane N.; 763.268.1624; lundsandbyerlys.com Bakery goods and

ready-made comfort food

Robinson Lighting Center

151 Cheshire Lane; 763.476.9555; robinsonlightingcenter.com Lighting

(more bright ideas)

(Due to COVID-19, be sure to confirm the businesses’ availability.)

“What Crown made possible for us was to survive.” John puckett, co-founder, punch pizza

CLOTHING Casual is key to the hyggelig life, something many work-from-home folks have become accustomed to. Keep it minimalist with an emphasis on layers. Add a variety of cardigans, scarves, wraps and warm socks, and you’re set. EATING Minnesotans know comfort food. Cooking hygge meals is about taking time to create a warm dish and enjoying the process—a type of mindfulness. Turn off the TV, ignore social media, light some candles, light a fire in the fireplace, sip a glass of wine or a cup of tea and savor creating a nourishing meal. (Turn to page 30 for soup recipes—perfect for savoring a hyggeinspired meal.)

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PLYMOUTHMAG.COM | 11


ENLIGHTEN

| D E PA R T M E N T S

Making a Connection "… technology can’t get in the way of student learning …"

BY MADELINE KOPIECKI PHOTO BY CHRIS EMEOTT

BEFORE ONLINE LEARNING became a pandemic necessity, Christine Kudelka, professor emeritus, (MBA faculty, College of Business and Technology) has been teaching remotely for over a decade as part of Concordia University’s online education initiative. While she taught online, on campus and a hybrid of both practices for many years, Kudelka has been exclusively teaching online for the last year.

12 | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

“The bottom line is the technology can’t get in the way of student learning, so we spend a great deal of our time ensuring the education still becomes that vehicle for a transformative experience,” says Kudelka, who lives in Plymouth’s Trillium Woods, senior living community. “And our goal is always to transform the life of that student.” After a decades-long corporate career in executive


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sales and marketing, Kudelka made the switch from teaching part-time as an adjunct professor of the MBA business program at the University of St. Thomas to a full-time teaching opportunity at Concordia. Kudelka’s students are predominantly working professionals in their early to mid-career and are looking for a path forward. “Technology has impacted all of our lives, and education is no exception to that,” she says. “It becomes extremely important for you to see that the technology allows you to give the student more options for flexibility.” Online courses give professionals working a 9-to-5 schedule options to advance their education and opportunities without putting their careers on hold. “Concordia University actually pioneered online education, especially in this area, about 12 or 13 years ago,” Kudelka says. Kudelka says she and her colleagues have spent years refining the syllabus and developing the program to teach skills, including critical thinking, adaptability and the evaluative process. “… even though you’re teaching online, you still have to make the connection to the students. And how you build that connection and the engagement with them is vital,” Kudelka says. Her program focuses on an applied, real-life and case-based teaching strategy, working in concert with the discussion boards, online chats, readings and virtual classroom lectures. Cases are a useful way to apply current events to a business management lens. Though the recent pandemic didn’t affect the day-to-day logistics of the already virtual program, Kudelka says other aspects did change. “How do you lead teams in a virtual environment? What does that look like now? How has your work environment changed?” Although she began her path to retirement in December of last year, Kudelka continues to teach until she’s seen all the students enrolled in the cohort groups she started in the MBA program complete their capstone thesis projects. 

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PLYMOUTHMAG.COM | 13


D E PA R T M E N T S

|

DOING GOOD

Fight for Something Former pastor works to increase accessibility to clean drinking water through a community-focused company.

Mitch and Steph Reaume

14 | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

WHEN PLYMOUTH NATIVE Mitch Reaume

founded his first company, Fight for Something, roughly six years ago, his objective was to create a company that looked beyond profit. “Our goal is to take social business goals from being a niche to a norm,” he says. Reaume is throwing down the gauntlet for all companies to care about community engagement. “Our goal is to see every company, in order to be competitive, have to exist for something beyond just profit,” he says. “Care about your community. Care about a cause. Care about something.” To this end, Reaume has been developing several cause-oriented brands under his Fight for Something umbrella company. One of those brands—Northern Glasses—has been providing the Twin Cities area with drinkware that, in turn, slakes others’ thirst. “Northern Glasses was specifically born while I was a pastor and taking groups to Haiti,” Reaume says. “I saw what life without water was like every day; that was a big part of Northern Glasses being born.” Through the Glasses for Gallons program, Northern Glasses donates a portion of all proceeds to charities that fight for clean water in various ways. But with his company and brands starting to take off, Reaume had a difficult decision to make. “I had two jobs that I really loved, but I knew I couldn’t do either of them as well as I wanted to if my attention was split,” he says. A year ago, Reaume made the full-time switch away from serving as a pastor and toward running Fight for Something and its affiliated brands. “We’re in the process of

PHOTOS COURTESY OF NORTHERN GLASSES

BY MADELINE KOPIECKI


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broadening our scope; fighting for clean water specific to the Great Lakes. And we’re looking at building out a part of our giving that’s specifically towards conservation efforts around the water specific to Minnesota,” he says. It’s not difficult to find other nods to local elements within the Northern Glasses brand. From pint glasses celebrating Minnesota’s rich outdoor life at its numerous state parks to posters mapping out the best breweries in the Twin Cities, everything on Northern Glasses’ online store carries hints of home. Part of the call to be a socially-conscious business, in Reaume’s view, is offering opportunities for other companies to follow suit. “We’re in the process of opening a warehouse that will be creating jobs for homeless youth, doing storage and fulfillment work,” he says. “It’s a quickly growing industry, so part of the hope is that, if we can offer this service, it can help create opportunity for some of these disenfranchised populations right here in the Twin Cities.”

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Northern Glasses drinkware, apparel and more can be found at northernglasses.com and at Rose & Loon, Rosedale Shopping Center.

northernglasses.com Northern Glasses @northernglasses fightforsomething.com Fight For Something @fightforsomething

Visit us online for even more about Plymouth. plymouthmag.com

PLYMOUTHMAG.COM | 15


CREATIVE EXERCISES FLEX YOUR DIY MUSCLES WITH THESE FUN PROJECTS. Written by Editorial Staff

16 | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

Photos by Sarah Dovolos


We’re relegated to staying home a lot more these days, so why not put that extra time indoors to good use? You know there are lots of projects you’ve been meaning to do and oodles of Pinterest board ideas and Instagram posts you’ve been meaning to try but have always just been too darn busy. Well, now’s your chance. Our editorial staff compiled a list of four delightful projects you can create—a chunky knit throw, bookmarks, door décor and faux pottery—to help get your wheels a-spinnin’ and your creativity a-flowin’.

BLANKET BLISS We all love cozy blankets and throws to help keep the chill away during these cold

winter days. When you make said cozy blankets and throws with your own two hands, well, they just feel a whole lot snugglier. So, grab some yarn, find a flat surface on which to work (preferably a table or kitchen island), and let’s get hand-knitting—no knitting needles required! (Contributed by Nancy Eike)

Materials:

• 4–6 skeins of 7 mm yarn (I used Yarn Bee’s Chunky Knit Yarn in ivory.) • Tape measure

Method:

Create a four-inch loop using a slip knot. Leave approximately 12 inches at the end (this is called the “tail”; the rest of the skein is called the “working yarn.”) Reach your hand through the loop, grab the yarn, and pull it through to make another four-inch

loop. Continue creating the loops until you’ve made 20, which will resemble a chain stitch. (This will make a throw of approximately 50 inches by 60 inches.) Turn the 20th loop up (this becomes your first stitch of the new row) and put your finger underneath the top “hill” of each loop thereafter, and pull the yarn through to create another loop. Continue going back and forth until you’ve reached your desired length. To finish the blanket, put the first two loops in the last row together, reach your hand through both loops, grab the yarn, and pull it through to create a new loop. Use the new loop and next loop in the row until you get to the end of the row. Cut the yarn, leaving a 12-inch tail, and tie a knot in the last loop. Weave remaining tail through the blanket.

DIY BOOKMARKS I am typically not a “crafty” person, but I am an avid reader, and these DIY bookmarks seem like a wonderful way to repurpose old books. And, it looks easy! That’s an important project component to non-crafters like me. That is, if I can get past the idea of deconstructing something as venerable as a book. You may have old books on your shelves to use. If not, check thrift stores and garage and estate sales. (Contributed by Angela Johnson; inspired by familyhandyman.com)

Materials:

• Old hardcover books • Razor knife • Grommet maker, hole punch or drill • Assorted ribbon or leather strips

PLYMOUTHMAG.COM | 17


Method:

Simply use a razor knife to slice the covers from old books, and cut out the spines. Drill a hole (or use a grommet maker) in the top of the book spine. Thread a strip of leather or ribbon through the hole to accent these unique bookmarks that could make fun gift items for the bookworms in your life.

HAT’S OFF Who doesn’t love a craft project that repurposes some of what we already have on hand? With some greenery

18 | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

rescued from December and January’s wreaths, outdoor pots or home arrangements, a little floral foam, seasonal fillers and—an adorable winter hat—we have ourselves a cozy, cute door hanging. (Contributed by Renée Stewart-Hester; inspired by craftsbyamanda.com)

Materials:

• A sturdy knit winter hat with ties • Container, to fit into the hat • Floral foam • Hot glue gun and clear glue sticks • Greenery, dried or faux • Seasonal fillers, ideas

include mini bird houses or faux pine trees, pinecones, pompoms, seasonal ornaments, etc. (Switch up to highlight Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, a birthday, etc.) • Decorative picks (or bamboo skewers covered in floral tape) • Large safety pin and sturdy elastic band

Method:

Cover bamboo sticks with floral tape, and glue decorative items to one end. Using hot glue, secure the floral foam in the base of the container. Add larger greenery elements

to the container, making sure both sides are balanced. Fill in the arrangement with remaining items. Carefully, place the container into the hat with the ties facing forward and backward. Secure the ends of the hat ties with the safety pin, looping in the elastic band, which will be used to hang the arrangement on the door.

TRASH TO TERRACOTTA Most of us have glass vases and jars sitting around or stored away in boxes. Instead


The family that crafts together … If your or your family are itching to get into the arts and crafts zone, the Plymouth Parks and Recreation Department has the goods. Over the last several months, the department has been offering virtual classes (brush marker calligraphy, travel photography, water color painting and more). These skills and others can help you and your family create your own DIY projects.

Visit plymouthmn.gov for current class listings and virtual/ in-person information

of collecting dust, upcycle old glass and ceramic pieces with house or acrylic paint and baking soda to make faux pottery. (Contributed by Hailey Almsted)

Materials:

• Glass or ceramic vessels, vases, jars, etc. • House, acrylic or chalk paint (just about any paint will do!) or liquid terracotta • Baking powder • Small container • Spoon or small stick • Large bristle paint brush

Method:

and ¾ part paint in a small container, and mix using a spoon until thick, textured paint is formed. (Add additional baking powder, one tsp. at a time, for a more textured look.) Laying out newspaper and using a clean paint brush, began to paint the mixture onto the vessel in large, sweeping strokes. To create a pottery-like feel, paint in horizontal strokes around the pieces instead. Let fully dry, and paint one or two more coats, depending on coverage. Textured or colored vessels may need more coats.

Put ¼ part baking powder

PLYMOUTHMAG.COM | 19


Written by Ava Diaz . Photos by Chris Emeott

Pineapple Expression Nikki Steele Style empowers clients through inclusive fashion.

20 | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021


With inclusivity as the forefront of her business, stylist and blogger Nikki

Steele has a unique business moto: Be like a pineapple. Stand tall. Wear a crown, and be sweet on the inside. As owner of Nikki Steele Style, she strives to empower and ignite possibilities for her clients through fashion, one garment at a time. “Fashion is an expression of who you are, and that’s what art is,” she says. “When you look good, you feel good and do good, and your fashion and style speaks volumes before you even say any words.” As a woman who has always loved shopping and sharing her retail finds,

Steele embraced style as a way for her to connect to herself and others around her. Styling for friends and family from a young age, she quickly gained a passion for making others feel good in an approachable way. “Before meeting with Nikki, I thought [stylists] just helped you shop/buy clothes, but I realized it’s much more than that,” Maple Grove’s Meredith Speier says. “A great stylist will help you get more out of your current wardrobe, find pieces to complement it, and really develop your own personal style. That’s huge! Not to sound overdramatic, but that could change someone’s life. The

image we put out into the world could be even better by investing in a great stylist. While you can always buy new outfits, it’s also really nice to discover your style and new ways to incorporate things you already own, especially those pieces that you maybe don’t wear as often.” For clients, Steele offers four styling packages, ranging from 30- or 45-minute in-person or virtual sessions to a customized-style package. She also offers group events and has held sessions at local retailers, including General Store of Minnetonka, Maple Grove’s Leela & Lavender and Winston & Co. Boutique, Medina.

PLYMOUTHMAG.COM | 21


22 | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021


advertise with The Ultimate Why

As part of her business, Steele curates handmade merchandise by women in Guatemala. Her son, Julio, was born in the Central American country, and Steele feels, while she can never fully thank is his birth mother, she is committed to helping other women like her. “Employing and empowering these women, so they can help take care of themselves and their [families], and ultimately changing the world is the best feeling on the planet,” she says on her website.

To get started, clients fill out a style form to analyze their day-to-day lifestyle and fashion needs. Questions revolve around, for example, preferred brands and styles, amount typically spent on clothing items, lifestyle and style metrics, color and print preferences, physical attributes to highlight or conceal, accessory preferences and more. From the survey, Steele develops style plans and encourages clients to utilize what they own and itemizes to-purchase elements to round out a wardrobe. She strives to keep brand options open to clients, so that they are not too restricting in terms of price points. “I look at my closet differently now and find so many ways to layer clothing and put outfits together,” Speier says. “It’s really liberating—when you think about it—to be able to fall in love with your own wardrobe again and refresh it all the time ... I own several [dresses] but didn’t wear them often because they seemed too formal. Nikki showed me how to style them in a casual, fun way, and I have worn them so much more often as a result …” When Kristi Piehl, formerly of Plymouth, was planning her family’s photo, she needed assistance. “When our boys were little, it was easy to put them in matching outfits for family photos,” she says. “When we decided to have a photo taken for our 2019 Christmas card,

PLYMOUTH MAGAZINE

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One-on-One

Steele worked with writer Ava Diaz, helping her rewrite her personal fashion story. Originally tuning in for a half-hour virtual session with Steele, the allotted time quickly doubled, as she took great care in reviewing my style profile and building a rapport to glean a full sense of my personality and lifestyle. After our initial discussion, Steele asked me to pull some of my favorite elements from my wardrobe, which needed fresh pairing ideas to allow for more versatile looks. Focusing on classic elements, such as a denim jacket, a navy blazer, tan Nike Air Force 1 sneakers, a white

24 | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

button-up blouse and a pair of high-waisted blue jeans, we culled at least three separate looks that can shift from day-to-night and work-to-play settings. Making a point to reinvent what I already had, Steele also asked me about my favorite accessories, including earrings, necklaces, bracelets and headbands. Pulling out my most unique pieces, I wanted assistance in styling my favorite hexagonal acrylic green hoop earrings and golden-brown floral pendant earrings. Obsessed with the statement that these pieces made, she encouraged me to incorporate them into my day-to-day fashion to level up my appearance and add a spark of personality to my outfits.

Along with the items I had in my closet, Steele suggested the addition of a pair of medium-todark wash skinny jeans, platform sandals, neutral-toned t-shirts and a silk tank top. Mixing and matching new items with old elements, these suggestions gave my wardrobe a well-rounded revamp and inspired me to break out of my comfort zone. If there is one thing that I will take away from this experience it was her reassuring nature toward outfit repetition. Emphasizing the importance of loving yourself and the clothing that represents you, Steele says that I should feel good in what I am wearing— regardless of how many times others see me wear it.


See all that your community has to offer.

Check out our Community Directory! All of the best resources at your fingertips. plymouthmag.com

it was more challenging because the boys are now teens. I wanted them to feel confident and comfortable while also coordinating. Nikki and I met, and she learned more about our family, so she could create a style board for each family member. It was so easy to look at the selections as a family and click on the links to purchase items.” Joy Szarke of Plymouth also used Steele’s expertise to get her family photoready for its Christmas card (Steele created a Pinterest board with shopping links to each item.), but she also used her for a special event. “Nikki has a wonderful understanding of body types,” Szarke says. “She is the only stylist I have ever worked with who doesn’t attempt to get me into things I know won’t/don’t fit or flatter my athletic build.” Perhaps, Steele’s most important mission is to encourage her clients to embrace who they are and what their unique beauty has to offer. Acknowledging all body types—apples, pears or bananas—Steele says that everyone should consider themselves to be a pineapple, standing tall with confidence. “The fashion industry has a reputation of being really exclusive, and my goal is to make it inclusive—to empower everybody to see their own personalities in style no matter their body type,” she says. In an effort to reach even more clients, Steele hopes to expand her brand by opening a fashion and gift boutique in the area. Nikki Steele Style styling@nikkisteelestyle.com nikkisteelestyle.com @nikkisteelestyle Nikki Steele Style

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PLYMOUTHMAG.COM | 25


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Ohana Family Travel to design your Disney experience, as it costs the same as if you booked it yourself. They do the work—you just show up and let the fun begin. But if your family longs for a little more adventure, in addition to designing the ultimate Disney getaway for you and your family, Ohana Family Travel can also create memorable vacations to Universal Orlando, Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean, Florida beaches and much more. Ohana Family Travel has been designated by Disney Destinations as an “Authorized Disney Vacation Planner” based on its strong knowledge in planning Disney vacations. And they’ll help you find the magic.

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ON THE TOWN T H I N G S T O S E E A N D D O I N A N D A R O U N D P LY M O U T H

February Festival ISTOCK.COM/ZOFF-PHOTO

City invites residents to attend winter event.

D

ue to the COVID-10 pandemic, the Plymouth Parks and Recreation Department has reimagined the annual Fire & Ice festival, which is traditionally held on Parkers Lake in early February. Many residents look forward to the annual winter celebration. “In the past, we’ve had

anywhere from 3,500 to 5,500 people at the program,” says recreation supervisor Dan Lauer. This year, like so many other things, plans have shifted. Instead of the one-day, in-person gathering, this year’s Fire & Ice features a broad range of activities throughout the season to celebrate winter. —Anita Stasson

For the latest information on activities, visit plymouthmn.gov/fireandice. City of Plymouth, MN @PlymouthMN_gov : @plymouthmn_gov

PLYMOUTHMAG.COM | 27


O N T H E TOW N

13 Pet Nail Trim Clinic

Tending to pets’ nail care is an important step to keep them healthy. Upper Midwest Great Dane Rescue volunteers will be trimming pets’ nails at Chuck & Don’s. Bring your dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs for all their nail grooming needs. $10 suggested donation. Noon– 2 p.m. Chuck & Don’s, 10160 Sixth Ave. N. Unit 110; contact@thegreatdanerescue.com; thegreatdanerescue.com

AREA EVENTS

FEBRUARY 20

Take your acrylic pour art skills to the next level with Vanessa Merry. Try the smoosh technique to create beautiful flowers, experiment with string pours and master the directed pour that looks like a traditional painting. Ages 18 and up. $59. 10 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Sandburg Middle School, 2400 Sandburg Lane, Golden Valley; robbinsdaleareacommunityed@rdale.org; rdale.ce.eleyo.com

LOCAL EVENTS

6, 13, 20, 27 2021 Preparation Zoom

The Curie Learning Center of Plymouth is offering Zoom classes and coaching for students interested in joining the University of Minnesota Talented Youth Math Program. Middle and high school students will have the opportunity to earn U of M credits once enrolled in the program. Free. 10 a.m.–noon. plymouth.mn@ curielearning.com; curielearningcenter.com

11 Result Drivers Group 1 Guest Day

Looking to network and exchange business leads? Come to Guest Day at the Result Drivers Group 1 meeting to develop professional relationships with fellow business owners. $150/year for TwinWest Chamber members. 8– 9 a.m. Location varies, contact Jay Burian; jay@raysmithins.com; twinwest.com

Spring is soon to be in the air. Welcome the season with the Minnesota Orchestra’s Sounds of Spring. Listen to Delius, Debussy and Mendelssohn and be swept into the spirit of warmer days and budding life. All ages. Ticket prices vary. Thurs. at 11 a.m., Fri. & Sat. at 8 p.m. Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicolett Mall, Mpls.; 612.371.5600; minnesotaorchestra.org

6, 20 Winter Market

Enjoy fresh air and fresh produce all while getting some marketing done during the outdoor winter market. Shop locally produced eggs, meat, cheese, maple syrup and more. Free parking is available. Free. All ages. 9 a.m.–noon. Minneapolis Farmers Market, 312 E. Lyndale Ave. N., Mpls.; 612.333.1718; mplsfamersmarket.com

8 Virtual Book Club

Reading doesn’t have to be a solitary event. Join the discussion of new and interesting titles like The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead with the Minneapolis

To have your event considered email plymouthmag@tigeroak.com by the 10th of the month three months prior to publication. Due to the fluidity being experienced in the current environment, please note that some events/dates and even some business operations may have changed since these pages went to print. Please visit affiliated websites for updates.

28 | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

ISTOCK.COM/SHARONGUCKER

Acrylic Pour Beyond Basics

4, 5, 6 Sounds of Spring


Compiled by Samantha De Leon and Anita Stasson

FEBRUARY 5

VIRTUAL GALENTINE’S FLOWER NIGHT

Love and friendship is in the air! Gather your loved one or bestie to create your own flower arrangement. Flowers and containers for this class will be delivered to your door. A video tutorial will be emailed to you beforehand. All ages. Prices vary; register online. 6–9 p.m. ergofloral.com

Central Library. This online book club will have you reading and discussing with fellow book lovers. Free, register online. 7–8:30 p.m.; 612.543.5669; hclib.org

26, 27 The Mixtape Collective

Experience the heart of Street Dance and musical communities in the Twin Cities with The Mixtape Collective. This virtual performance is created to show vulnerability as strength and bring together diverse individuals. Tune in to this collaborative work anywhere you are. All ages. $25. 7:30–9 p.m.; 612.206.3600; thecowlescenter.org

27 Full Moon Snowshoe & Bonfire Picnic

If you can’t beat winter, you may as well join it! Get ready for a night under the stars with the Oakdale Nature Preserve and Discovery Center. Enjoy the trails at night with the moon and stars overhead, ice luminaries and warm bonfires for stories, hot chocolate, s’mores and more! All ages, $25/person. 6–8:30 p.m. Oakdale Nature Preserve, 4444 Hadley Ave. N., Oakdale; 651.747.3860; ci.oakdale.mn.us

in digital format! Never miss an issue of Plymouth Magazine with free, anytime access to our digital editions. Full screen viewing on your digital device allows easy cover-to-cover reading. You can zoom in on text or images as well as share your favorite Plymouth Magazine stories with friends and family.

Learn more at plymouthmag.com PLYMOUTHMAG.COM | 29


TA S T E M A K E R S Tortellini and Spinach Soup

Soup’s On

FILL YOUR BOWLS WITH A HEALTHY DOSE OF WARMTH AND COMFORT. BY EDITORIAL STAFF

30 | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021

PHOTO BY CHRIS EMEOTT


By now, even the most fervent cooks have grown a bit weary as the holidays and high entertaining season have faded into the distance. Cooking has its own seasons, including comfort cooking. Soup tops the list, soothing what ails us—one glorious spoonful at a time. Our editors celebrate soup’s restorative qualities by sharing some of their favorite recipes.

TORTELLINI AND SPINACH SOUP

Renée Stewart-Hester, editor of Lake Minnetonka, Maple Grove and Plymouth magazines

WHITE CHICKEN CHILI

Nancy Eike, editor of White Bear Lake Magazine

ROASTED CARROT AND GINGER SOUP

Hailey Almsted, editor of Woodbury Magazine, and Patrick Miehle

With the precooked chicken and minced garlic, this is about as easy-peasy as it

This is the ideal hearty, winter soup. It’s

gets. Serve it with a stack of warm tortillas

vegan, low-fat and pairs perfectly with a

to sop up some of that glorious just-the-

toasted sandwich. The gremolata adds con-

right-amount-of-heat chicken chili broth.

bitterness, brightness and spice, creating a tasty soup recipe you’ll be sure to love.

• 1 lb. of precooked rotisserie chicken, shredded (or 4 breasts)

For soup:

• 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil

• 2 lbs. carrots

• 3 Tbsp. minced garlic

• 1 Tbsp. roasted ginger

• 1 medium onion • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth

(more or less to taste) • 32 oz. vegetable stock

• 15 oz. white beans, drained This recipe is my go-to when I don’t have

• 4 oz. diced green chilis, with liquid

For gremolata:

the time or inclination to pull together a

• 1 tsp. oregano

• ¼ cup carrot tops, finely chopped

healthy, warm meal. The wine brightens up

• ½ tsp. chili powder

• 1 Tbsp. lemon zest, finely chopped

the flavor profile, and there’s plenty left in

• 1 tsp. cumin

• 1 Tbsp. raw ginger, finely chopped

the bottle to serve along with the soup.

• 1 tsp. salt

• 2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts, chopped

• 1 tsp. ground black pepper

• 2 Tbsp. olive oil

• Fresh cilantro, chopped

• Pinch of salt, to taste

• 1 Tbsp. olive oil • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

(I use a LOT of cilantro.)

• ½ cup dry white wine

Preheat the oven to 450° F. Peel and cut

• 3 – 15.75 oz. chicken broth

Add olive oil to stockpot; warm. Place

carrots to evenly-sized pieces; lightly coat

• 18 oz. cheese tortellini

onions and garlic in heated oil; cook until

them in olive oil. Spread out over a baking

• 1 ¼ cup tomatoes, chopped

onions become translucent. Add chicken

sheet. Bake for a total of 45 minutes—20

• 6 oz. baby spinach

broth, beans, chicken, green chilis, oreg-

minutes in, flip the carrots, and add chunks

• 1 Tbsp. butter

ano, chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper and

of peeled ginger; cook for remaining 25

cilantro. Simmer on low for at least 30

minutes. Add carrots and 1 Tbsp. of roasted

Over medium heat, heat olive oil in a soup

minutes. Serve with tortilla strips, Mexican

ginger to a blender, slowly add vegetable

pot. Add garlic, and stir for 30 seconds.

cheese and freshly sliced avocado.

stock (reserve 1 cup broth). Screen mix

Add the broth and wine, and bring to a

through mesh into a medium-sized stock

boil. Cook for 2 minutes. Add the tortellini,

Notes: Did you know that, according to

pot, heating up the soup to desired tem-

and cook for 6 minutes. Add tomatoes and

some health experts, cilantro is not only

perature. Add in remaining broth (if need-

spinach, and cook for 2 minutes or until

delicious, but good for you—it’s an anti-

ed), and salt and pepper to taste. Add all

the spinach is wilted. Add butter, and cook

oxidant, helps diminish sodium intake,

gremolata ingredients to a bowl, and mix;

until it melts. Serve immediately.

lowers blood sugar levels and more? Don’t

sprinkle on top of the soup.

like cilantro? Blame your genes! There is a Notes: Spinach offers loads of nutrients

genetic variant in some people that makes

Notes: Ginger has medicinal properties

and antioxidants, including Vitamin C,

cilantro taste like soap.

and is closely related to turmeric,

which promotes immune function. It also

cardamom and galangal. It’s used to

benefits eye health, reduces oxidative

calm digestion, reduce nausea and help

stress, helps prevent cancer and aids in

to fight common colds—amongst many

reducing blood pressure.

others ailments.

PLYMOUTHMAG.COM | 31


LAST GLANCE

January Moment ‘Be ready to spot those special moments …’ BY RENÉE STEWARTHESTER

THE TRANQUILITY OF WINTER WALKS, taken

by Matthew Prior, placed second in the Pets category for our annual Picture Plymouth photo contest. The photograph was taken on the ice of Gleason Lake. “It was a cold January afternoon at about 4 p.m.,” Prior says. “The wonderful thing about November–January is that most daylight hours are golden hours.” This photo was taken with a Sony mirrorless camera with a standard zoom, specifically, an a7riii with a Tamron 28-75mm, @ 1/400sec, 28mm and f11. While there’s much to appreciate about Prior’s photo, he points to “the joy of wandering on the fresh, clean snow fields that open up every winter.” Regardless of the time year, he recommends taking a camera on “normal” outings. “Be ready to spot those special moments of normal life that show its beauty,” he says.

PHOTO BY MATTHEW PRIOR

32 | FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021


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Plymouth February/March 2021  

It appears we find ourselves in a peculiar time of year. Though its bluster is waning, February remains committed to holding onto its winter...

Plymouth February/March 2021  

It appears we find ourselves in a peculiar time of year. Though its bluster is waning, February remains committed to holding onto its winter...

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