Minnesota Women's Press | St. Paul, MN

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home : features : featurestory April 28, 2016

What Women Want!
You told us your favorites. We tell all.
by Nancy B. Olsen

Eat & Drink
Favorite farmers market
Minneapolis Farmers Market

The market has occupied its three signature red sheds on Lyndale Avenue N. since 1937, although its roots date to 1876. You'll find about 170 vendors here on weekends and about 60 vendors at the Nicollet Mall Market on Thursdays, in season. Listen to the Fresh & Local Podcast for weekly tips.

St. Paul Farmers' Market
For more than 150 years, the market has offered fresh, locally grown produce directly from the grower to the consumer. You'll also find such staples as meats, flowers, baked goods and honey at the main location year-round in the Lowertown area and at about 20 seasonal locations.

You also like to smell and taste the goodies at the Midtown Farmers Market and the Mill City Farmers Market.

Favorite independent bakery

Named one of the 10 best in America by Bon Appétit in 2011, the owner-occupied neighborhood bakery in Calhoun Village prepares specialty breads, pastries and dessert tarts-made by hand with no shortcuts. Try daily bread choices such as egg braid on Fridays and Sundays or the Cañadas de Azúcar flatbread on Wednesdays.

Wuollet Bakery
You praise Wuollet for its lavishly decorated wedding cakes created by a special team of consultants and designers-as well as its cakes and cupcakes for other celebrations. This operation, family run since 1944, also tempts you with breads, buns, tortes and pastries at six Twin Cities locations.

You also satisfy your sweet tooth at Sara Jane's Bakery, Franklin Street Bakery, Salty Tart and Finnish Bistro.

Favorite co-op or green grocer
Mississippi Market Natural Food Co-op
Consumer-owned since opening in 1979, Mississippi Market is a full-service natural foods grocery store and deli offering you local and organic produce, sustainably raised meats, and minimally processed foods and packaging. Mississippi has two St. Paul stores, both certified organic retailers and offer delivery.

Wedge Community Co-op
Formed in south Minneapolis in 1974, the Wedge has grown to more than 15,000 members like you who shop for local, sustainable, organic food at this certified organic retailer. Besides classes and catering, the co-op runs a farm, delivers food and works to protect organic integrity.

You also source fresh, natural ingredients at Hampden Park Co-op, Linden Hills Co-op, Seward Co-op and Valley Natural Foods.

Favorite Minnesota winery
Alexis Bailly Vineyard
At Minnesota's first winery, Nan Bailly continues as the second-generation owner and winemaker. Pick up ABV's signature Voyageur full-bodied red or the ISIS ice wine to serve chilled with desserts. Have a picnic in the vineyard near Hastings or attend special events like "Wine and Wag" (bring your dog) or Jazz in the Vineyard (summer Sunday afternoons).

Cannon River Winery
Award-winning Minnesota wines are handcrafted on-site in a century-old limestone building. Drop by for tastings of Gunflint Red, the estate-grown Sogn Blanc or the 2012 Riverside International gold-medal winner Irene's Blush. Visit the vineyard on select dates or attend the annual wine-tasting dinner each May. Catch live music on weekends.

You also like to swirl, sniff and sip at Carlos Creek Winery and Saint Croix Vineyards.

Favorite independent restaurant
Lucia's Restaurant
Award-winning chef and cookbook author Lucia Watson's small menu changes weekly and features locally sourced foods. You seek out this neighborhood restaurant in Uptown for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, and also for its Wine Bar and Lucia's To Go takeout menu.

Wise Acre Eatery
Nearly all of Wise Acres' meat and produce comes from Tangletown Gardens' 100-acre farm west of the Twin Cities. So for a pure farm-to-table meal, order an E.I.E.I.O. whole plate "like granny used to make," such as the "Royal Brie & Bacon Burger"-farm-raised Scottish Highland beef, wild rice slaw, kwik pickles, farm fries and apple balsamic ketchup. The brunch and takeout menus also feature from-scratch cooking.

You also champion local foodie talent at Birchwood Cafe, Blackbird, Cafe Maude, Everest on Grand, Hazel's Northeast, the Highland Grill and True Thai.

Favorite place for the ultimate healthy dinner
Birchwood Café
Birchwood's dinner menu includes such entrees as rotating cuts of Peterson Limousin beef, a black bean quinoa burger, a veggie pizza with sheep's milk blue cheese and a fine house salad. Serving you since 1995, Birchwood also creates fresh, healthy food for breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch, mostly sourced from local, sustainable, organic producers.

You also order plant-based or hormone-free entrees at Ecopolitan, French Meadow Bakery & Café, Lucia's Restaurant and Wise Acre Eatery.


Support Your Independents

Favorite independent gift shop
Bibelot Shops
You frequent the Bibelot Shops, opened in 1966 and now in four Twin Cities neighborhoods, for their assortment of gifts, jewelry, clothing, paper goods, home décor and kids' items-all beautifully arranged. You fancy the many Minnesota-made items and the ever-changing selection.

You also find cool stuff at i like you, Patina, Shop in the City and Ten Thousand Villages.

Favorite independent shop for tech emergencies
Messed-up hard drive on your MacBook Pro? Need more memory? Data recovery? Longtime Apple reseller FirstTech provides Apple certified parts, and on-site and carry-in repair, whether your Mac is still under warranty or not. Or just call if you need a little phone support for basic troubleshooting.

When your system crashes, you also call Chipheads.

Favorite independent place to get your new specs
With stores in both Minneapolis and St. Paul, Eyedeals sells "uncommonly cool eyewear at common sense prices" from U.S. and European designers such as Alain Mikli, ic! Berlin or l.a. Eyeworks. You can easily schedule exams or appointments online.

You'll look like a celebrity with designer Robert Marc frames from InVision, since his styles are worn by the likes of Mariah Carey, Lindsay Lohan and Susan Sarandon. Or pick up a pair of eyebobs, the Minneapolis-based funky readers, at one of InVision's three locations.

Spectacle Shoppe
Anyone for frames covered with snakeskin, eel or mink? The Spectacle Shoppe touts its unique antique and retro frames, as well as exclusive designer lines. If you can't find the perfect frame, they'll custom design them.

You also make sure your new glasses fit at Look + See Eye Care and Specs Appeal.

Favorite independent toy store
Creative Kidstuff
From humble beginnings in Minneapolis in 1982, Creative Kidstuff grew to six hands-on stores bursting with classic developmental and educational toys for babies up to young teens-from dolls and plush toys to puzzles and games to craft supplies to the latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Lego set. Their mission: "We help families play."

Peapods Natural Toys and Baby Care
You seek out family-owned Peapods in St. Paul for items made from natural or environmentally friendly materials like wood, cotton, silk or recycled plastics. Shop in store or online for wooden toys and puzzles, baby slings and cloth diapers, as well as music, puppets, trains and books. Be sure to take advantage of the free gift wrapping or consult the baby gift registry.

You also thoughtfully choose children's gifts at Choo Choo Bob's Train Store, Hub Hobby and Pacifier.

Favorite independent clothing store
Bibelot Shops
You shop the Bibelot Shops' four locations for distinctive women's clothing such as sweaters, separates and shoes, and accessories such as scarves, purses and jewelry. And you like hunting for bargains in the REWEAR collection of gently used, high-quality clothing at the Como Avenue store.

You also update your wardrobe at Cliché, Hot Mama, Lula Vintage Wear and Via's Vintage.

Favorite independent jeweler
Innsbruck Jewelers
In business since 1982, Innsbruck specializes in one-of-a-kind, unusual styles, whether rings, pendants or necklaces, as well as jewelry design, manufacture, repair and even changing that watch battery.

You also sparkle in selections from Arthur's Jewelers, Emil Gustafson Jewelers and T Lee Custom Designer Jewelry.

Favorite independent consignment or thrift shop
Arc's Value Village Thrift Stores
You find great deals on gently used and new clothing and household items at the four Value Village stores, especially during their many sale events. You can even consult with a personal thrift shopper! It's a good feeling knowing that all proceeds go to Arc's work supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

You also rummage through the racks at the Assistance League of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Elite Repeat, My Sisters' Closet, Turn Style Consignment Stores and Unique Thrift Stores.

Favorite independent bookstore
Common Good Books
Garrison Keillor moved his St. Paul store from Selby and Western avenues to the more visible corner of Grand and Snelling avenues in 2012, with space for more books and author events. His motto: "Live local, read large." Check the calendar on the store's website.

Magers & Quinn Booksellers
One of the Midwest's largest independent bookstores, the eclectic Magers & Quinn in Uptown area of Minneapolis sells both new and used books and holds many author events. Categories include children's; food and cooking; gardening; literature; religious studies; sociology; Minnesota; and rare and collectibles.

Micawber's Books
A neighborhood favorite, the quaint Micawber's in the St. Anthony Park area of St. Paul celebrates its 10th anniversary under the current ownership this year. Fun fact: Micawber's noted that of the top 20 titles sold in one recent month, 13 were by women.

You also discover new authors at Birchbark Books, Red Balloon Bookshop and Wild Rumpus.

Going Places

Favorite resort for a girlfriends' road trip
Breezy Point Resort
Escape to the Brainerd area for girlfriend specials at this 3,000-acre resort on Pelican Lake. At Breezy, you're entertained with two 18-hole golf courses, a marina, pool, tennis, dining, cocktails and, of course, beaches-not to mention the "Elvis" or "Sinatra" performances on summer Saturday nights.

Hawks View Cottages and Lodges>
Take advantage of a bottle of Seven Hawks Vineyards' award-winning wine at this getaway spot overlooking the Mississippi River along Wisconsin's Great River Road. Choose from among two lodges, two suites and five distinct cottages for exploring the quaint Fountain City area.

Lutsen Resort
Quilters, scrapbookers and knitters-not to mention skiers, hikers and golfers-find their souls refreshed summer or winter by the magic of Lake Superior's North Shore. Lutsen's affordable girlfriend packages pamper you with massage, champagne, dinner in the resort's historic log lodge and more.

You also revel in well-deserved time away at Bluefin Bay, Cragun's Resort, Madden's Resort and Sundara Inn and Spa.

Favorite day-trip destination
There's so much to do in this historic St. Croix riverfront city that "Ladies Night Out" events even have their own Facebook page. You check out the spas, wine-tasting, dining options, river cruises, and boutique and antique shopping. For fun, take a tour by trolley or pedal on the BierCycle.

You also briefly escape the urban bustle by heading to Duluth, Lake Pepin, Red Wing and Taylors Falls in Minnesota and Stockholm, Wis.

Favorite women-friendly bike shop
The Hub Bicycle Co-op
Find everything you need for biking at this worker-owned operation, along with a women's bike maintenance class; women's group rides; and an open shop night with the University of Minnesota's Women's Student Activist Coalition (at the Oak Street location). You salute the Hub's community initiatives, such as hosting the PBS TV show "SciGirls" filming a segment called "Pedal Power."

You also choose your cruiser, commuter and mountain bikes at Erik's Bike and Board Shop, Freewheel Bike and Penn Cycle.

Favorite car dealership
Luther Hopkins Honda
You like Hopkins Honda's female-friendly atmosphere, where about half of the staff-from new car sales to service advisers to management-are women, many of them long-term employees who make your visits personal. Plus, you avoid haggling with Luther's fair-value price policy. Nationally, 60 percent of Honda buyers are women, with the sporty CR-V ranked as one of the top 10 vehicles chosen by women.

You also take your test drives at Buerkle Honda, Buerkle Hyundai and Maplewood Toyota, and the six Walser Automotive Group dealers around the Twin Cities.

Favorite women-friendly car repair shop
This full-service car-repair facility, which has earned your votes for 10 years, has been earning women's trust with its honest, professional approach since 1975. Autopia fixes nearly any model from Acura to Volvo-even your Rolls or Ferrari. You love the customer perks such as a cup of Starbucks, Wi-Fi, free vacuuming and car wash, and a shuttle ride.

You also get those annoying pings fixed at Bobby and Steve's Auto World, Fixtrite Auto Repair & Tire Center and Lloyd's Automotive.

Just for Fun

Favorite art festival
Powderhorn Art Fair
The 22nd annual Powderhorn Art Fair on Aug. 3-4 will feature more than 180 artists and a community showcase with booths spread across the bucolic, 66-acre park around Powderhorn Lake in the heart of Minneapolis. You also enjoy the food and music at this multicultural, family-friendly event.

Uptown Art Fair
This award-winning art fair-second only in event attendance to the State Fair-will celebrate its 50th anniversary on Aug. 2-4. Join nearly 400,000 visitors to view the works of about 350 fine artists in sculpture, painting, ceramics, jewelry, mixed media and more, as well as sample entertainment, youth activities and wine-tasting.

You also browse for one-of-a-kind treasures at Art-A-Whirl, the Grand Marais Art Festival, the Loring Park Art Festival, the Minnesota Women's Art Festival, No Coast Craft-o-Rama and the Stone Arch Bridge Festival.

Favorite independent art materials or craft store
Crafty Planet
Are you itching to stitch? You've come to the right place for fun and funky fabrics, patterns, needles and yarn. Learn to sew, knit, crochet or embroider in workshops and classes here. Or grab a group of girlfriends and schedule a private project lesson at this Northeast Minneapolis fiber-friendly creativity center.

Wet Paint
Whether you're a beginner, hobbyist or pro, you'll find a knowledgeable staff and a wealth of art supplies from among more than 30,000 products at this store on St. Paul's Grand Avenue. You also shop Wet Paint for pens, supplies for the book arts and its huge variety of paper.

You also scratch that creative itch with supplies from Art Materials, Beadhive, MCAD's Art Cellar, Paper Source, the Textile Center and Yarn Garage.

Favorite book by a Minnesota female author
Louise Erdrich
It seems you love everything she writes. The Twin Cities resident and owner of the independent Birchbark Books in Minneapolis is the author of 14 novels-including her latest, "The Round House," which won the 2012 National Book Award for fiction and her 5th Minnesota Book Award in April 2013-as well as poems, short stories and children's literature.

You also curl up with these books and authors: "The Scent of God," by Beryl Bissell; "Tilt" by Ellen Hopkins; "Early Candlelight," by Maud Hart Lovelace; "Memory of Trees: A Daughter's Story of a Family Farm," by Gayla Marty; "Summit Avenue," by Mary Sharatt; "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail," by Cheryl Strayed; "The Late Homecomer" by Kao Kalia Yang; and anything by Lorna Landvik and Kate DiCamillo.

Favorite spa salon
Juut Salonspa
When you need to let go of stress, you can zone out at Juut with a hot stone massage, the cold-then-hot Polar Wrap or the floating Vichy Treatment. Choose a master stylist to style and color your hair, then complete the makeover with waxing, a manicure, a pedicure and a facial.

For pampering, you also make appointments at The Marsh, New Reflections Spa Salon, Sabai Body Temple, Spalon Montage and Sundara Inn and Spa.

Let's Party

Favorite caterer
Chowgirls Killer Catering
Amy Lynn Brown and Heidi Andermack started Chowgirls in 2004 and quickly won rave reviews for their local, organic and seasonal ingredients for everything from comfort food to vegetarian selections for dinners, corporate events, art openings, weddings and more. They also offer bar service and the Chowgirls Parlor, an occasional venue. You also plan smashing parties with D'Amico Catering, The Deco Catering and Lucia's.

Favorite florist
Want to brighten someone's day? Pick Bachman's for blooming floral arrangements for any occasion. You also get the convenience of a same-day delivery option and several locations around the Twin Cities, including in Lunds and Byerly's stores. Or order online. They'll deliver across town or across the country.

You also stop to smell the roses at A. Johnson & Sons Florist, Fleur de Lis Fresh Flowers, Spruce Flowers and Home, Toni's Flowers and Wisteria Design Studio.

Favorite reception venue
St. Paul College Club
You find there's no address more elegant for parties, fundraisers, reunions, weddings and events than this renovated Georgian Revival mansion on St. Paul's historic Summit Avenue. Owned by the St. Paul branch of the American Association of University Women, the 25-room house bills itself as the Twin Cities' "premiere wedding and event venue for more than 60 years."

University Club
St. Paul's neighborhood club since 1913, this Tudor home on Summit Avenue prides itself on hands-on wedding planning that ensures no two ceremonies are alike. Your event very likely could take place in the wood-paneled Summit Room overlooking the downtown skyline and Mississippi River Valley.

The Woman's Club of Minneapolis You choose this 1928 Italianate mansion-designated a Minneapolis Historic Treasure-for signature wedding receptions, meetings and corporate events. The building's 66,000 square feet include event spaces such as a ballroom, dining room, library, theater and a bonus: the lounge and the rooftop patio offer unparalleled views of Loring Park. You also wow your guests with receptions at the Semple Mansion.

Favorite photographer
Studio 2300, Ted Wentink
Whatever the occasion, you'll see stunning results from master photographer Ted Wentink's camera-whether for senior portraits, weddings or family groupings. And if you want to capture an image of a special pet or sporting dog, Ted's your guy.

You also sit for portraits with Mims Photography (Jim Mims), Patrick Nau Photography and Sarah Whiting Photographic.


Favorite summer camp for kids
Minneapolis Community and Technical College Career Exploration Camps
You discerningly enroll teenagers in these hands-on camps in MCTC's classrooms and labs so they can get a taste of such pursuits as architectural design, digital filmmaking, clothing construction, culinary techniques, and visual arts, including photography, graphics and Web design.

You also enrich young lives at camps offered by Circus Juventas, Concordia Language Villages, Science Museum of Minnesota, SteppingStone Theatre, Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, YMCA Camp Widjiwagan and the Youth Performance Company.

Favorite place to take kids on a rainy day
Minnesota Children's Museum
You agree with this family institution that "play is profound." You delight as small fry crawl around the Habitot, scramble through a giant anthill, serve up pretend restaurant fare or "drive" a city bus. Catch the traveling Dora the Explorer exhibit through Sept. 23.

You also keep little hands (and feet) busy at the Bakken Museum, Bell Museum of Natural History, Como Zoo and Conservatory, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota State Capitol, Minnesota Zoo, Science Museum of Minnesota, SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium and The Works.

Favorite young adult book empowering girls
"The Hunger Games"
You give two thumbs up to Suzanne Collins' gripping novel told in the voice of 16-year-old arrow-slinging Katniss Everdeen, whom Collins describes an independent survivalist who will endure hardship and hard work to preserve her own life and the life of her family. In this post-apocalyptic future set in the ruins of North America, one boy and one girl from each of 12 districts are to participate in a brutal and terrifying fight.

You also recommend "Anne of Green Gables," "Be the Change: The Paul and Sheila Wellstone Story," "Esperanza Rising" and "To Kill a Mockingbird" to the younger females in your life.

On the Home Front

Favorite architect
Kell Architect(s)
Meghan Kell Cornell's vision for the firm she founded in 2010 is to explore "how remodeling and new homes can support modern family life and strengthen the quality of neighborhood communities." You call on Kell for projects such as a retreat home, a dream kitchen or a two-story addition to your colonial.

Laurel Ulland Architecture
Laurel Ulland founded her firm in 2003. The firm's residential design and consulting work focuses on remodeling, reusing historic properties and renovating older homes in Minneapolis and St. Paul neighborhoods. You're pleased with how LUA can rework a rambler, freshen a foursquare or cozy up a cape cod.

You also pore over blueprints with Boyle Architects and Charlie & Company Design.

Favorite home remodeler
Castle Building & Remodeling
You hire Castle Builders for kitchen or bath makeovers or remodeling, as well as whole-house renovations, a front porch addition, or finishing off that dark or cluttered basement or attic. Castle's tagline is "The Best Value in Professional Remodeling," and its many awards and testimonials bear that out.

You also turn to Awad + Koontz, Building Assets, The Chuba Company, Ms. Greenjeans and Refined Homes for your home improvement projects.

Favorite garden designer or landscaper
Linder's Garden Center
Linder's designs and installs a full line of pavers, patios, boulders and retaining walls, as well as gardens, trees and shrubs, water features and lighting. If you live in an apartment or condo, you'll find inspiration in Linder's new Naturally Urban line of plants and décor for small spaces.

Tangletown Gardens
Taking cues from nature, Tangletown will collaborate with you and your space to design, implement and maintain your landscape project of any size. You can pick from more than 3,000 varieties of perennials and many hard-to-find woody plants. You also visit this urban oasis for heirloom vegetables, fresh produce, seminars and more.

You also consult Field Outdoor Spaces, Landscape Alternatives, Local Roots Landscapers, Masterpiece Landscaping, Mother Earth Gardens and Nature's Garden to beautify your outdoor living spaces.

In Our Communities

Favorite organization serving women or girls I'd like to write a check to
Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota
You are committed to supporting the clinics where women and girls get much-needed access to quality, affordable health care-whether for general health care, birth control, pregnancy, breast cancer screenings or other important services.

When you put your checkbook where your values are, you also support Assistance League of Minneapolis/St. Paul; Domestic Abuse Project; Family Tree Clinic; Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys; Junior League of Minneapolis; Minnesota NOW; Pro-Choice Resources; Twin Cities Women's Choir; Women Achieving New Directions; Women's Prison Book Project; YWCA of Minneapolis and YWCA St. Paul.

Favorite place to volunteer for women or girls
Pro-Choice Resources
This grassroots organization offers education, advocacy, financial help and outreach for reproductive health access. You can work on special events like the Bowl-A-Thon, assemble mailings, do data entry, answer phones or staff an info table. Your volunteer time is valued, even if you can only be what they call a "one minute activist"-responding to a short email alert a couple of times per month.

You also share your time and talents with Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys; Jeremiah Program; Junior League of Minneapolis; Minnesota NOW; Minnesota Women of Today; Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota; YWCA of Minneapolis and YWCA St. Paul.,

Favorite women-friendly spiritual community
Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church
This congregation, dating to 1922, "does" worship differently, holding a Saturday evening service on the second and fourth weekends, followed by a shared meal and then observing that Sunday as an intentional day of rest. Regular Sunday morning worship is held on the first and third weekends. The all-female staff is led by Rev. Kara K. Root, who blogs about ministry and motherhood at http://kara-root.blogspot.com.

You also nourish your soul at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, Lake Harriet Spiritual Community, Pilgrim Lutheran Church, Plymouth Congregational Church, Shir Tikvah Synagogue, Sisters of St. Joseph, and Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality.

Animal Friends

Favorite animal hospital or veterinarian
Minnehaha Animal Hospital
You returned this woman-owned neighborhood clinic and perennial favorite to the top spot again this year. The clinic, providing gentle pet care for more than 25 years, offers a team approach for your pet's needs, and recently added acupuncture and chiropractic treatment.

You also entrust the care of your companion animals to The City Cat Clinic, Grand Avenue Veterinary Center, Lake Harriet Veterinary, Lyndale Animal Hospital, Nokomis Pet Clinic, St. Francis Animal & Bird Hospital and the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine.

Favorite place to board your pet
Pet Doctors
Heading out of town? You trust Pet Doctors to provide your cat with a deluxe boarding experience in a big, open room with kennels, beds, a cat tree and more. Pet Doctors is a partner clinic to Minnehaha Animal Hospital.

Your pets also have their own getaways at ADOGO Pet Hotel, Downtown Dogs, Minnehaha Animal Hospital and Now Boarding.

Learning all the Time

Favorite place to continue your career education
University of Minnesota
One of the nation's largest public research universities right in our back yard offers a wealth of undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. In the College of Continuing Education, you'll find individual and applied degrees for working adults; academic certificates in addiction studies, accounting and more; and professional development certificates in such fields as project management, communications and human resources. You also advance in the workplace by studying at Metropolitan State University and Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

Favorite women-friendly law school
William Mitchell College of Law
The private St. Paul law school offers both full- and part-time enrollment to meet the needs and goals of students who have family and career commitments. The curriculum aims to develop what the school calls "practical wisdom" so graduates can hit the ground running. Women form about half of the student body and benefit from alumni mentoring programs and a Women Law Students Association.

You also take your LSAT scores to Hamline University and the University of Minnesota.

Favorite women-friendly graduate program
St. Catherine University
You enroll here for graduate degrees in business, education, leadership, library/information science, nursing, occupational therapy, social work, theology and holistic health studies. Or you study for your doctorate in occupational therapy, physical therapy and nursing. Many grad programs also have certificate options. Scheduling is convenient for working adults including courses in St. Paul and Minneapolis, as well as online.

You also earn advanced degrees at Hamline University and the University of Minnesota.

Favorite leadership development program
St. Catherine University
In the St. Catherine's Leadership Institute, you benefit from professional development programs, events and resources for professionals from corporate, small business, government, education and nonprofit settings. The "Leaders of the New Millennium" program helps cultivate the potential of emerging women leaders in a cohort that meets throughout the year.

The Center for Emerging Leadership and Minneapolis Community and Technical College also help you increase your personal power.

Favorite place for a music class or lessons
MacPhail Center for Music
It's never too late to dust off that violin or flute! No matter your age or ability, you can study on 35 instruments and voice, with lessons offered in Minneapolis, Apple Valley, White Bear Lake and even live online. Join a Dixieland combo, vocal group or rock band, or pack yourself off to chamber music summer camp.

You also toot, pluck and strum at the West Bank School of Music.

Favorite place for an art or craft class
Community Education
You sign up for affordable and interesting arts and craft classes through local community education programs around the Twin Cities. Dabble in a traditional medium like drawing, painting, pottery or the needle arts. Or stretch your wings and try soap-making, bookbinding, working in stained glass or building a chair of bent willow.

You also indulge your crafty self at the Chicago Avenue Fine Arts Center, Crafty Planet, the Edina Art Center and The Loft Literary Center.

Taking Care of Business

Favorite female attorney
Elizabeth A. Cloutier
Practicing law for 24 years, Cloutier has extensive trial and mediation experience, and emphasizes personal injury law, family law, employment law, estate planning, general civil litigation and representing members of the LGBT community.

You also admire Davis Law Office (K.M. Davis), Kjellberg Law Office (Carla Kjellberg), Beatriz R. Menanteau (Advocatets for Human Rights) and Tarrant & Liska, PLLC (Karen L. Tarrant and Melanie A. Liska).

Favorite life or career coach
Freda Curchack Marver, Begin Again Coaching
Are you facing career burnout or re-entry? Starting a business or perhaps retiring? Going through divorce, loss or illness? Marver, who is certified through the Coaches Training Institute, starts off with a 90-minute introductory session so you can see if coaching is right for you.

You also seek out the coaching wisdom of Marcia Hyatt, Laurie Mattila, Mary Olk and Thea Sheldon.

Favorite Minnesota role model for women in business
Marilyn Carlson Nelson
You're in awe of the chairman and former CEO of Twin Cities-based Carlson Companies, parent of Radisson Hotels and T.G.I. Friday's. Carlson Nelson is a global business and human-rights leader recognized by Forbes as one of the world's 100 most powerful women. She was the first of Minnesota's Fortune 500 executives to speak out against last year's proposed marriage amendment.

You're also inspired by Kim Bartmann, Mary Ann Kowalski, Julie Gilbert Newrai, Joyce Tesarek and Lucia Watson.

Favorite financial planner
Catherine Holtzclaw, Holtzclaw Planning, LLC
You seek out Holtzclaw Planning for income tax preparation, financial and estate planning, retirement planning, business startup services, IRS audit representation and more-all with personal attention. The firm's website also offers visitors financial tools and links to resources.

You also gain investment advice from Ameriprise Financial; Nicole N. Middendorf, Prosperwell Financial; and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.

Favorite place for personal banking
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union
The member-owned Affinity provides simple checking accounts with as few fees as possible, such as the Free2BU Student Checking Account or Interest Reward Checking. Savers can choose basic, money market or CD accounts.

You also deposit your hard-earned cash at the Postal Credit Union, Sunrise Community Banks, US Bank, Wells Fargo and Wings Financial.

Favorite place to get a business loan
Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union
This not-for-profit cooperative's customers are actually members who are part-owners. Affinity also offers competitive rates on mortgages; home equity loans or refinancing; autos, boats and other vehicles; and student and personal loans.

Sunrise Community Banks
This group-formerly Franklin Bank, Park Midway Bank and University Bank-offers Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, working capital lines of credit, leasing and more. The group recently joined the Global Alliance for Banking on Values and it offers a Socially Responsible Deposit Fund.

TruStone Financial
TruStone, formerly the Teacher Federal Credit Union, counts a majority of its members as female. The not-for-profit offers "a full line of competitive banking products and services to meet the needs of empowered women"-especially since women make financial decisions in most households and they also own increasingly more businesses. TruStone also prides itself on transparency and customer service.

You also apply for commercial lines of credit at BankCherokee, Wells Fargo Bank and Wings Financial.

Healthy Directions

Favorite female dentist
Joan Jakubas
Jakubas Dental Clinic believes in building patient relationships and staying abreast of products and technology, for example, by offering digital X-rays to reduce exposure to radiation or using a special scope for early detection of oral cancer. The clinic plans to relocate to a larger space in fall 2013.

You also let Julia Garofalo, Adele Della Torre, and Uptown Dental keep your pearly whites pearly white.

Favorite women-friendly clinic
Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota
Planned Parenthood provides reproductive health care services, education and advocacy programs for 64,000 people per year in Minnesota and the Dakotas, including eight Twin Cities locations. You choose Planned Parenthood for affordable, confidential annual exams; birth control; pregnancy or HIV testing; emergency contraception and more.

You also trust the health care professionals at Entira Family Clinics, Fairview Clinics-Uptown, HealthEast Grand Avenue Clinic and Park Nicollet.

Favorite gym or health club
YWCA of Minneapolis
The Y's three locations-downtown, Uptown and Midtown-offer complete fitness facilities and exercise classes. Be sure to look into the YWCA Women's Triathlon (the state's only all-women triathlon, to be held Aug. 18 at Lake Nokomis), the women's basketball leagues or Cancer Recovery Exercise for Women (CREW).

YWCA St. Paul
You may be among the more than 500 people per day who visit the Y in the Summit-University community for health and wellness support. Offerings include workout equipment, pool and aquatics program, and group fitness such as yoga, cardio kickboxing and water exercise. The Y is also respected for housing support services.

You also get your heart rate pumping at LA Fitness, Life Time Fitness and the YMCA Twin Cities.

Favorite personal trainer
Amy Bissonette, Spiral Pursuits
Bissonette's individual and group programs take into account nutrition, strength, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility and balance. Need a jump-start? Try her boot camp! As she says, "Fitness comes from several seemingly insignificant changes in behavior and lifestyle that add up to a new you, inside and out."

You also bend and stretch with Sara Tufvesson Doure of Bee Fit; Fawn Friday of Fawn Friday Kettlebell Training; and Cynthia Lamarucciola of the Reluctant Athlete.

Favorite elder housing
Presbyterian Homes & Services
You'll find an array of senior housing and care options for all budgets-from senior apartments and assisted living to memory care and nursing home care-at more than 30 facilities in Minnesota. Adult day care, in-home care and hospice services extend their mission "to enrich the lives of older adults."

You also trust The Kenwood, Lyngblomsten, Martin Luther Campus and Oak Meadows Senior Living to treat you or your loved ones with dignity.

Favorite independent pharmacy
St. Paul Corner Drug
In a hurry? This independent pharmacy, operating at the corner of St. Clair and Snelling avenues since 1922, brags that it will fill a new prescription in five minutes or do a refill in one or two minutes. While you wait, grab a stool at one of the Twin Cities' only old-fashioned soda fountains and order up a cherry coke or a chocolate float from the soda jerk.

Schneider Drug
You rave that Minneapolis pharmacist Tom Sengupta knows his customers by name as he dispenses health information along with the meds. Perhaps uniquely, he has found that business and politics can mix, as evidenced by the signs in his University Avenue windows supporting President Obama, Sen. Al Franken and others. He also holds regular community forums.

You also take your prescriptions to Blomberg Pharmacy.

Strong Voices for Women

Favorite Minnesota Champion for Women's Rights
Sen. Al Franken
You admire Sen. Franken for helping to finally pass the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, which included his two key provisions making it unlawful to evict a woman from federally supported housing because she is a victim of domestic violence and ensuring that survivors of sexual assault are never forced to pay for their own rape kits. And you appreciate his work to protect a woman's right to choose and to fight the trafficking of Native American women.

You also admire the dedication of Rep. Keith Ellison, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Kathleen Murphy.

Favorite Minnesota Female Politician
Sen. Amy Klobuchar
You remain proud and supportive of Sen. Klobuchar, who was re-elected convincingly in 2012 to her second six-year term with more than 65 percent of the vote. You're grateful for her efforts in support of middle-class families as well as her bipartisan initiatives on the national debt, local infrastructure, protecting children from dangerous toys and simplifying international adoptions.

You also respect these hard-working lawmakers: state Reps. Susan Allen, Karen Clark, Alice Hausman and Erin Murphy; state Sens. Kari Dziedzic and Katie Sieben; and U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum.

Favorite Minnesota Male Politician
Sen. Al Franken
In addition to admiring Sen. Franken's work on women's health and his dedication to ending violence against women, you applaud his support for same-sex marriage, his efforts to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and his help ending the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. You cheer his efforts on a broad range of issues from mental health coverage to the DREAM Act to diabetes prevention to keeping the Internet free and open.

You also stand behind Gov. Mark Dayton, Rep. Keith Ellison and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak.

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