Favorite Co-op or Healthy Grocer
Mississippi Market

The vegan pumpkin chocolate-chunk scones got you. Or maybe the clincher was the famous deli and cheese department that caters and fills special orders, or the fairly priced natural health and body department. At Mississippi Market, it's the organic food that's artisan, not the plastic packaging. And this consumer-run market's commitment to local family farms means your feast is always fresh. 
622 Selby Ave., St. Paul. 651-310-9499; 1500 W. 7th St., 
St. Paul. 651-690-0507,

Seward Co-op
Savory quinoa soup, a thick slice of multigrain Thuro bread and Almond Dream frozen dessert ... all gluten and dairy free. Seward caters to special diets. Its website keeps you current on available food products and savory recipes exclusive to your dietary choices. But Seward fuels more than just your body. Take a class. Learn how foods build happy, focused kids, or tour the coop while learning how to stretch your wallet, not your pantry. 2823 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis. 612-338-2465,

The Wedge
You are what you eat-and you eat nothing less than the best locally grown produce, grains, proteins and dairy from The Wedge. This coop also indulges in the how-to's of preparing organic foods in its weekly "What's for Supper?" recipe program, and during a variety of cooking classes. Shop with your own bag and donate the 10¢ bag credit to a charity, because the community should be as healthy as you. 2105 Lyndale Ave S., Minneapolis. 612-871-3993,

You also stay healthy by shopping fresh at Eastside Food Co-op, Hampden Park Co-op, Linden Hills Co-op, Local D'Lish, River Market Community Co-op, Trader Joe's, Valley Natural Foods and Whole Foods.

Favorite Farmers' Market
Minneapolis Farmers Market

Sample the world at the Minneapolis Farmers Market. Shop foreign spices and fruits, or buy local: honey, breads, heirloom tomatoes, the sweetest corn on the cob. Bike to Lyndale and peruse the crafts before stuffing your backpack with kohlrabi. Or wander Nicollet Mall, where meat vendors hawk charcuterie, and bold-colored flowers overflow buckets at every corner. The finds here are as varied as the locales they're grown in. 312 E. Lyndale Ave. N., Minneapolis, 7 days a week, 6 a.m.-1 p.m. May through 
December; Nicollet Mall (between 11th and 5th streets) every Thursday, 6 a.m.-6 p.m., April 28 through November 10, 2011. 612-333-1718,

St. Paul Farmers' Market
Once in a while, a girl's gotta treat herself to a big bouquet of color. Or dill French bread. Or cave-aged cheese made nowhere else-in the world. You've found it all at the St. Paul Farmers' Market since 1853. Meander among 167 growers' stalls lining brick paths while musicians strum guitars and farmers indulge the uses of fennel. The rich produce in this year-round market is farmed only locally, so you're always in season. 21 metro locations including 290 E. 5th St., St. Paul. 651-227-8101,

You also stop and smell the roses at Bloomington Farmers' Market, Kingfield Farmers' Market, Maple Grove Farmers' Market, Midtown Farmers' Market, Mill City Farmers' Market, Shoreview Farmers' Market, St. Croix Falls Farmers' Market, and White Bear Lake Farmers' Market.

Favorite Neighborhood Coffeehouse
Amore Coffee

At Amore Coffee, your steamed mocha is a work of art: the baristas create creamy swirls of hearts, rosettes and other elaborate designs. You can sink your teeth into the large gluten-free selection and plentiful vegan options; Amore Coffee looks to Luci Ancora in St. Paul for all its fabulous quiches, breads, cookies and pastries, so lunch stays fresh and local. But you love its famous hot chocolate. 
879 Smith Ave., West St. Paul. 651-330-0570,

Blue Moon Coffee Cafe
You come to Blue Moon Coffee Café every third Friday to hear poetry read out loud. You nibble on homemade biscotti, sip what could be the best cold-press coffee, and enjoy a round of Trivia from the game selection. This family friendly coffeehouse also offers your youngest scribblers crayons to make their own art-which might someday hang amidst the brightly colored, art-deco-like interior. Outside, a sign reads Everyone Welcomed ... and they mean it. 3822 E. Lake St., Minneapolis. 612-721-9230,

Nina's Coffee Cafe
You come to Nina's for the coffee, but stay for the chili. Sink into an easy chair nestled in an alcove, beside a piano stained with coffee rings. Sample a plate of Leslie's home-cooked nut goodies and brownies. Or play it healthy with a variety of veggie options. The brick walls, wood floors and vaulted ceilings lead downstairs to Common Good Books ... linger awhile. 165 Western Ave. N., St. Paul. 651-292-9816,

You also top off your mug at Common Roots Cafe, Fireroast 
Mountain Cafe, J&S Bean Factory, May Day Cafe, Riverview Cafe, Spyhouse, Swede Hollow Cafe and Wilde Roast Cafe.

Favorite Wine Shop

The only competition for Surdyk's wine collection is its cheese collection, which hails from as many countries as its bubblies do. Surdyk's offers pricier wines, AND the best bottle collection under $30, but you stock up on the 4 for $40 on Thursdays. Every wine and spirit purchase made using your Heart Healthy number contributes to Surdyk's donation to help fight heart disease. You can drink to that. 303 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis. 612-379-3232,

The Wine Thief
You're often caught lurking around the unique, budget-friendly wines at The Wine Thief. You're lured in by the lusty Sicilian Red, exceptional Sake collection, and bimonthly discount evenings featuring sampled goods. You don't need to bribe the in-house sommelier for the 411 on pairings with apple brie tart. And the shelf labels describe the wines so aptly, even amateurs know exactly what they're getting. 1787 St. Clair Ave., St. Paul. 651-698-WINE,

You also shop the bottle collections at Haskell's, Solo Vino, 
The Little Wine Shoppe, Trader Joe's and Zipps Liquors.

Favorite Place to Splurge on a Special Dinner
128 Café

Tucked into a subterranean alcove lit by candlelight, the famous tiger shrimp in a piquant sauce or the renowned Friday ribs at 128 Café are a special occasion in themselves. The fare is organic New American, fresh, and so local you're offered Izzy's ice cream for the last act. And with a three-course dinner for $25 on selected evenings, you can afford to splurge more often. 128 Cleveland Ave. N., St. Paul. 651-645-4128,

You celebrate a birthday at Lucia's under the glowing outdoor lanterns with the bison roast, the wild rice herb pancake, or the pappardelle in alfredo butter (although the bread basket alone is enough to celebrate.) Dinner comes from local farmers and suppliers, and the menu changes frequently, based on seasonal appetites and flavors ... so you find yourself inventing an occasion every week. 1432 W. 
31st St., Minneapolis. 612-825-1572,

Restaurant Alma
A special someone and a window table at Restaurant Alma emboldens you. You work up courage over pan-seared scallops and radicchio grapefruit salad. The made-from-scratch meal is organic, local, seasonal. Each plating is a work of art. You nervously eat through Chef Robert's award-winning prix-fixe three-course meal without uttering a word ... until the last bite of brown butter almond cake melts on your tongue, and it's now or never. 528 University Ave. S.E., Minneapolis. 612-379-4909,

You also splurge on that special someone at al Vento, Barbette, 
Cafe Maude, Nicollet Island Inn, Red Stag Supperclub, St. Paul Grill and W.A. Frost.

Favorite Clothing Consignment Shop
Elite Repeat

You stretch your paycheck at Elite Repeat by browsing designer labels in the new Elite Boutique. You appreciate the meticulous organization: Finding that red checkered blazer featured online is a snap. But you don't shop empty handed; you're armed with fantastic fashion tips and information gleaned from the website: from Hosiery 101 and Bra Basics, to the history of haute couture. Call for an appointment to consign your own fashions. 1336 Randolph Ave., St. Paul. 651-699-2315,

Nu Look Consignment
You sustain your bank account at Nu Look Consignment. Begun as a maternity shop, Sally Beaudet's love of arts, crafts and antiques has become 6,000 feet of chic for the whole family. You earn a little cha-ching consigning your fashions and keeping track of the sale and profits online. Subscribe to the newsletter to stay current on featured items and deals, then meander through the labyrinth of sizes, colors, and labels to design a Nu you. 
4956 Penn Ave. S., Minneapolis. 612-925-0806,

Turn Style
You don't need a million bucks to look like it. You browse Turn Style's upscale selection for that perfect after-dark cocktail dress, the beaded bracelet, dressy pumps and a clutch bag. You'll grab a lamp and throw pillows with the extra cash. Turn Style has it all, designer duds for you and your home. Bring your spring cleaning here, too, because turning clothes into income is always in style. 11 locations in Minnesota.

You also dress to the nines with bargains from Clothes Mentor, Everyday People, My Sister's Closet and Rodeo Drive Consignment Boutique.

Favorite Independent Clothing Store

You're a legend-and Bibelot can dress you like one. You shop the Como Ave., Grand Ave. and Linden Hills locations for independently designed clothing that's classic but still up to date. Wrap up in that earthy wool sweater or those bold knit stripes. When in the mood to save a little green and still look distinctive, you head to ReWear at Bibelot on Como. New or consigned, you know Bibelot chooses its clothing with the same care as its other gifts. 3 metro locations for clothing. 651-222-0321,

Slip into a silky Ivan Idland, weave a feathery Zoby around your tresses and slide an Andrea Oseland over your arm. You find them all at Cliché. You're trendy, edgy, unique and you demand nothing less from the jeans, tees or little black dresses sold here. Cliché features the best local designers and tomorrow's fashion. Dressed up or dressed down, you're worth every thread. 2403 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis. 612-870-0420,

You also stand out in a crowd with fashions from Hot Mama, Lillian's, Lula, Picky Girl, Stella.blu and Trade Winds.

Favorite Independent Place to Get Your New Specs
Northwest Opticians

You find frames from designers all around the world at Northwest Opticians. Roger Schultz travels international expos, bringing back the best trends, so even if you never cross the ocean, you'll still see in style. You also love the online services (ordering contacts from your iPhone) and the Dunn Bros. Coffee nestled inside. It also boasts an in-house lab with same-day service, so you don't wait long to see the world. 367 N. Wabasha, St. Paul. 651-224-5621,

Specs Appeal
You frame your individuality at Specs Appeal. Begin with an exam by Dr. James Buchli, then buy local from the collection of homegrown designers. Thanks to thin lens specialists, you don't worry about your prescription not fitting those frames you fell for. The staff here isn't afraid to steer you past your inhibitions either, towards the collection of unique, colorful and funky frames. 844 Grand Ave., St. Paul. 651-291-5150,

Spectacle Shoppe
You're one of a kind, and David Ulrich at the Spectacle Shoppe will design a frame fit for your personality. Or you can browse the unmatched collection of vintage and retro frames, and Ulrich's exclusive designer lines like Eight Below Zero. Peek at the exotic frames, try on a horsehair-covered pair. Or bring in Grandma's cats-eye, diamond-studded ones and modify them into a shape that will fit you. 5 locations, 888-797-EYES, You also find groovy glasseswear at i ware-Northeast, InVision, Look + See and Rose Fashion Optical.

Favorite Independent Shoe Store
Schuler Shoes

You don't sacrifice fashion for sensibility and health at Schuler Shoes. Here, you find thousands of soles that fit your style, budget and feet, along with products for your overall foot health. You take full advantage of the free foot evaluation and expert information about healthy feet. Or save your toes the trouble and shop online. 8 locations. 763-494-0011,

You also treat your feet at Bay Street Shoes, Nokomis Shoe Shop and Shu.

Favorite Independent Store to Buy a Gift

You find the perfect gifts at the Bibelot: a wooden journal and recycled bamboo paper pencils to scribble down dreams, an irresistible recycled cotton scarf or handblown Kitra Art glass ornaments. After 40 years of women ownership, the Bibelot still offers cards, soaps, jewelry, candles, books and home décor as unique gifts-so that one-of-a-kind tiki pepper grinder doesn't just tell them I says, there's no one else like you. 4 metro locations. 651-222-0321,

She understands your wicked sense of humor and so does Patina. You come here for that singular gift that will tickle you both while broadening your perspective. You could shop online, but why miss the bold colors, varied textiles from satin to leather to metal, and the racks of clever cards and witty magnets? You find organic gifts from unique children's books, to "hopside" down drink glasses, to cupcake bath bombs. 
5 metro locations. 612-823-9700,

You also share gems found at CorAzoN, Gypsy Moon, I Like You, Kathie's Finds and Ten Thousand Villages.

Favorite Place to Buy Fun, Funky Jewelry

You find everything shiny, chic and colorful for your wrists and neckline at the Bibelot. The vintage green glass earrings are whimsical, the funky teal paisley locket holds your secrets and you adore the eco-friendly jewelry line by Anne Garrison. Her vintage-inspired pendants and their classical sayings remind you that jewelry doesn't just shine ... sometimes it can speak. 4 metro locations. 651-222-0321,

Patina offers you a distinctive array of original baubles. You love the pendant collection-with organically inspired designs made of recycled materials, natural stones or sterling silver that offer words of wisdom. You add splash to your black jumper with Patina's mosaic bead cuff, or a little funk to your jeans and tee with paua shell peacock earrings. Pick up the Map of Minneapolis pendant and you'll always know where to find fun and funky. 5 metro locations. 612-823-9700,

You also find your flair at I Like You, Kathie's Finds, Lillian's, Sacred Paths Center, Ten Thousand Villages and Walker Art Center Gift Shop.

Favorite Thrift Shop
Arc's Value Village

Every hunt ends in a bargain at Arc's Value Village. You shop the 99¢ clothing specials on Sundays, navigating easily among the organized displays: Household appliances are neatly labeled while clothing hangs sorted by gender, size and articles. You even bid for selected items on the eBay online store. Every treasure purchased goes to support children and adults living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 4 locations.

Goodwill/Easter Seals Minnesota
Buying a sweater from Goodwill could just mean a job, a class or assisted technology to someone else in need. You browse the used household goods, clothing, music and books to stretch your own budget. You also shop the website for a wealth of information on job training, business solutions and online learning programs. But the real bargains are the services your purchases support for diverse immigrants, seniors, veterans, the disabled and youth. 23 locations,

Unique Thrift Store
Unique Thrift Store has done the treasure hunting for you. This for-profit secondhand store buys large portions of merchandise from local and national charities, providing them with critical streams of revenue, while providing you with not just affordable clothing, but one of the finest selections of gently used books, games and toys in the thrift industry. 
5 locations.

You also hunt for treasure at Buffalo Exchange, Hope Chest for Breast Cancer, PROP Shop, Savers and Steeple People.

Favorite Dating Service

While the happily-ever-after is up to you, your once-upon-a-time begins at This pioneer of online dating allows you plenty of photos, preference selections and written individual expression while safeguarding your anonymity. And because love is universal, so is 24 countries and seekers of all orientations, religions and races.

Your fairy tale also begins with eHarmony and It's Just Lunch.

Favorite Spa Salon
Fenelon Sanctuary

Fenelon Sanctuary is your paradise. Located in residential St. Paul, you're offered a quiet garden, private decks and a crackling fire. This sanctuary cares especially for your unique needs and encourages consultations to ensure your specific desires are met. Your choices include everything from relaxation and deep tissue massage to polishes and wraps, for head-to-toe aromatic ecstasy. 1798 Hewitt Ave., St. Paul. 651-221-0970,

Juut Salonspa
As the original Aveda salon, Juut Salonspa offers you the world in organic skin, hair and body care. Arrive early and enjoy an organic beverage. Your appointment begins with a consultation to listen to your needs and design the service to compliment you. Staff members consider themselves "Daymakers," or those who perform acts of kindness with the intention of making the world a better place. They live that out through their Sanctuary for Survivor program where people actively receiving cancer treatment can receive a complimentary head shave, wig styling, makeup touchup and one of the following: mini facial, manicure or pedicure. 7 Twin Cities metro locations. 612-332-4438,

Spalon Montage
Between those muted taupe and sage walls, peace awaits you. Spalon Montage balances perfectly the frenetic energy of a hair salon and the tranquility of a spa. It offers a spa concierge just to navigate the wide array of services. Try the popular cleansing detox wraps with scalp massages and exfoliating scrubs for entire body bliss. 3 locations, 952-915-2900,

You relax, renew and replenish yourself at Bella on the Bay, Estetica Salon, Kalla Lily Salon & Spa, Moxie Salon, Riverstone Salon Spa and Sundara Inn & Spa.

Favorite Local Place to Get Chocolate
Chocolat Céleste

One nibble from Chocolat Céleste's Star of Maracaibo Bon Bon plunges you into the lush South American forests, or savor the Far East with the Asian Pear Pecan Truffle. Mary Leonard combines European chocolate from first-cut cacao beans with local cream and butter to create an artesian delicacy. Window shop online for parties and personalized gifts, host a tasting party, or indulge in person. 652 Transfer Rd., Suite 16A, St. Paul. 651-644-3823,

You also sweeten your tooth at Just Truffles and Regina's Candy.

Favorite Summer Camp for Kids
YMCA Camping

They'll learn to respect Mother Nature and each other at YMCA summer camps for kids. These camps offer 4- to 18- year-old children day and overnight camps that build self esteem, teach new skills and practice the core values of the YMCA: honesty, respect, responsibility and caring. Children can explore leatherwork, basket weaving, and candle/butter/ice-cream making, or ride horseback, draw an arrow and learn to canoe. Financial aid is available so all children can make unforgettable memories. 612-822-CAMP,

These camps also enrich your young people during summer 
vacation: Concordia Language Villages, Mounds Park Academy Summer Program, Northern Clay Center, Science Museum of Minnesota and SteppingStone Theatre.

Favorite Women-Friendly Place for Tattoos 
and Piercings
Saint Sabrina's

Saint Sabrina's lets the individual within you out. This women-owned business has revolutionized the old-fashioned parlors with a comfortable living room, a gas fireplace and LCD television, a second-floor deck and private rooms spacious enough to accommodate supportive friends. Talented artists and piercers guide you through the entire experience, whether a butterfly on the ankle or a more challenging piercing project. 2645 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis. 

Tatus by Koré
Koré at Tatus by Koré respects the ancient beliefs of tattooing. Since 1990, Koré has offered only custom work, believing tattoos should reveal only your individual soul. You come here for a supportive atmosphere and a spiritual work of art, mindfully placed where the energy is best. Here, every tattoo symbolizes healing and empowerment. Whether from breast cancer or broken hearts, Koré's ink-stained masterpieces give you the strength to recover and conquer. 
611 W. Lake St., Suite C, Minneapolis. 612-824-2295,

You also express your individuality through the talent of Art With A Point, Electric Dragonland, Fluid Ink and The Ink Lab.

Favorite Women-Friendly Hardware Store
Diamond Lake Ace Hardware

You've been left helplessly wandering the aisles of big box stores too long. Diamond Lake Ace Hardware doesn't have customers, this independently owned store calls them neighbors and friends. You find your paint, your 2 x 4s, that rubber thingy that fits inside the faucet, all here. And in this City of Lakes hardware store, you'll even find live bait. You're so into DIYing, you'll even fish for your own dinner. 5425 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis. 

Grand Avenue Frattalone's Ace Hardware
You know the drill ... and where to find it: Grand Avenue Frattalone Ace Hardware's two stores. DIYers average three trips for that plumbing project. Between having everything you need and the knowledgeable advice, you'll save yourself two at Grand Avenue. The Frattalone stores offer a unique range of services: repair your snow blower, sharpen your push mower's blades, or custom-cut glass for that vintage window. 1676 Grand Ave., St. Paul. 651-698-3826; 650 Grand Ave., St. Paul. 651-292-9800.

Welna Ace Hardware & Welna II
You save $10,000 on cupboard refacing with an $8 can of varnish from Welna Ace Hardware. Family run, these are genuine mom and pop stores. Welna on Bloomington provides window repairs and key copying, while Welna II is small but fully loaded. You'll be steered toward the eco-friendly, locally produced and most cost effective products. If you've never attempted a home project before, come here. Advice from the Welna family is so good, you'll walk in an amateur, but leave a DIYer. 2438 Bloomington Ave. S., Minneapolis; 
2201 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis. 612-729-3526,

Favorite Independent Store for Home Energy Efficiency
Natural Built Home

Natural Built Home helps you live large with a small footprint, offering unique, safe, earth-friendly products. Stride across bamboo floors, sponge off countertops made from recycled glass and save heat with insulation made of denim jeans. Founder and owner, Rachel Maloney, makes sustainability accessible for everyone. The website's "Green on a Budget" selection helps save more than just the environment. 4020 Minnehaha Ave. S., Minneapolis. 612-605-7999,

You also heat your home and not the earth with products from Linden Hills Co-op, ReUse Center and Sunny Day Earth Solutions.

Favorite Earth-Friendly Cleaning Service
EcoMaids of Minneapolis

EcoMaids separates your whites from your colors with its Truly-Green Wash and Fold Laundry. In addition to returning your wardrobe folded, hung or pressed within 48 hours, it offers a laundry list of in-home/business services for a deep clean or biweekly cleanse, all within your budget. Shop for bio-based products online between visits by trained technicians-who'll shine tiles using green products without wasting water or other precious resources, saving your time and the planet. 
7600 W. 27th St., Suite 220, St. Louis Park. 

You also get your home clean with Green Darlene, Squeaky Green and Two Bettys.

Favorite Garden Shop
Mother Earth Gardens

Mother Earth Gardens offers an excuse to get down and dirty. With sustainably grown plants, eco-friendly products, organic seeds and herbs and a selection of native trees and shrubs, it's hard not to. This women-owned neighborhood center stays open year round, so celebrate with organic pumpkins and natural, handmade wreaths. Those without green thumbs can enroll in free seminars and learn to build a terrarium, grow an urban vegetable garden or plan their own 
paradise. 3738 42nd Ave. S., Minneapolis. 

You also green your thumbs at Bachman's, Gertens, Highland Nursery, Linder's, Tangletown Gardens and Wagners.

Favorite Women-Friendly Home Remodeler
Castle Building and Remodeling

Castle Building and Remodeling is your knight in shining armor. It specializes in rescuing older urban homes, but also offers handyperson services to those in distress. Castle designs your dreams so thoroughly and confidently, that it guarantees upfront pricing, completion dates and lifetime warranties. You can add that dormer or bump out the kitchen knowing that behind your castle, stands theirs. 2600 Johnson St. N.E., Minneapolis. 612-789-8509; 362 Snelling Ave. S., St. Paul. 

When your bungalow is getting cramped, you also call in Otogawa-Anschel, Platinum Remodeling and Handyman Services, The Transformed Tree and White Crane.

Favorite Resort for a Girlfriends' Road Trip
Bluefin Bay on Lake Superior

Hike the Superior National Forest, re-orient your priorities against the backdrop of the Sawtooth Mountains, and discover tranquility at Bluefin Bay. In the winter, tie on some complimentary skates or snowshoes. In summer, join a naturalist and learn about the flora and fauna of the North Shore. Dine at the superb grill, then retire to your fully furnished townhome overlooking Lake Superior's edge. Curl up with your companion here, because even your furry, four-legged friends are welcomed. 7192 W. Hwy. 61, Tofte. 800-258-3346,

Kavanaugh's Sylvan Lake Resort
Kavanaugh's Resort in Brainerd offers 4,400 feet of trails, with more hiking opportunities in Pillsbury State Forest. When you find your way back, take out a boat, shop for antiques, or fish for dinner. Complete your escape in one of the hospitably-run cottages overlooking crisp Sylvan Lake and wooded shores. If your adventurous appetite is huge, there's always the Paul Bunyan Trail down the road. 1685 Kavanaugh Dr., East Gull Lake. 218-829-5226,

Lutsen Resort on Lake Superior
What some call tradition, you call Lutsen Resort. One of the state's oldest resorts, this nostalgic girlfriend getaway lacks nothing modern ... except the exceptional Superior view. Enjoy the romantic seaside villas or rustic family cabins. Kayak, ski, snowshoe, hike, even learn to fly fish. Begin every day with a massage and end every evening by a beachside campfire, skim pebbles across the waves, play catch with your furry companion who is welcome here, too, and reminisce with girlfriends over Jiffy Pop. 5700 W. Hwy. 61, Lutsen. 218-663-7212 or 800-258-8736,

You also make a memory or two at Cove Point Lodge, Gunflint Lodge and Sundara Inn & Spa.

Favorite Women-Friendly Bike Shop
Erik's Bike Shop

When you need reliable wheels, you ride the wind to Erik's Bike Shop. Once a backyard workshop with a homemade sign, Erik's passion soon took over the basement, then his family's dining room. Now there are 14 locations, so all your bike accessories, questions or rentals are only a short ride away. His staff will match you with the perfect bike for your needs, whether it's burning rubber or tooling about the parks. 612-869-BIKE,

.You also kick the tires at Freewheel Bike and The Hub Bike Co-op.

Favorite Women-Friendly Place to Buy a Car
Luther Hopkins Honda

The next best thing to buying a new Honda at Luther Hopkins Honda, is buying a pre-owned one. When you drive off with a hassle-free, fully-inspected certified Honda, you take a five-day/500-mile peace of mind exchange policy with you. But your savings continue long after you remove the price tag: You have a discount card for Super America's fuel and carwashes, and $500 worth of coupons hiding in your glove compartment for Luther services. 250 - 5th Ave. S., Hopkins. 952-938-1717,

Rudy Luther Toyota
Rudy Luther opened his first dealership in 1952 in downtown Minneapolis. Almost 60 years later, his dealerships' respect for customers, high standards of service and fair pricing have earned your respect. Join the rewards program and lock in Internet pricing. Or snag the Luther Advantage Card, so while gas prices climb, you still manage to save. Located 15 minutes west of downtown Minneapolis, it offers convenient shuttle service between downtown's surrounding businesses and your next car. 8805 Wayzata Blvd., Golden Valley. 763-222-2020,

Walser Toyota
Walser Toyota in Bloomington is an EPA Green Power Partnership member, an organization that voluntarily pledges to reduce its environmental footprint. At Walser, there's also a best-price pledge available on the lot or online. There are no negotiations, and all sales are commission free. With a three-day/300-mile return guarantee, you can't go wrong. So drive forward in confidence. Between your Prius and the 100 percent wind-powered dealership, you have only greener pastures ahead. 
4401 American Blvd. W., Bloomington. 612-294-0220,

Favorite Women-Friendly Repair Shop

It must be the free, hand carwash with every service. Maybe the included comprehensive maintenance inspection. Or shuttle service. It could be the socially and environmentally responsible work ethic. Or the Bill of Customer Rights, which treats all customers, even the clueless, equally. It's probably the belief that 'honesty is the best policy' really is a policy. But for one or all of the above reasons, Autópia is what you've wanted for an eighth straight year. 2 locations: 
2311 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis. 612-377-2886,; 9480 Lyndale Ave. S., Bloomington. 952-888-8885,

Check Engine Express
When you can't leave work no matter what that dashboard light orders, you call Check Engine Express to diagnose your vehicle onsite. But the convenience of this woman co-owned repair shop doesn't end at its diagnostics on-the-go. If your vehicle needs garage service, Check Engine Express will pick up your car, do the repairs, then deliver it back to you before the end of the day. The service is affordable. The convenience is free. 15031 Minnetonka Industrial Rd., Minnetonka. 952-937-0501,

Grand Wheeler Sinclair and Metro Automotive also service your automobile superbly.

Favorite Place to Volunteer for Women and Girls
YWCA of Minneapolis

You're an inspiration to the 25,000 women, children and men served annually by the YWCA Minneapolis. You sign up to coach softball, be a racial justice facilitator or mentor girls by volunteering as a discovery leader. But you donate more than time: You drop off unused Target gift cards, sewing materials and art supplies. Because of your commitment, "eliminating racism and empowering women" aren't just platitudes. Downtown: 1130 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; Midtown: 2121 E. Lake St., Minneapolis; Uptown: 2808 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis. 

YWCA St. Paul
Your dedication to YWCA St. Paul empowers others to make better choices. You give time to students struggling in school, you design leadership activities for boys, you lead girls in exploring science, you prepare teens for adulthood responsibilities and you share skills with homeless moms. Whether you're looking for an ongoing opportunity, special project or internship, YWCA St. Paul is your chance to gain experience, serve your community and broaden your own life by changing another's. 375 Selby Ave., 
St. Paul. 651-222-3741,

You also inspire others through volunteer work at Family Tree Clinic, Feed My Starving Children, Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys, Habitat for Humanity, Jeremiah Program, Junior League, Midwest Health Center for Women, National Organization for Women (NOW), Planned Parenthood of MN, ND, SD, Tubman and WomenVenture.

Favorite Women-Friendly Spiritual Community
Sacred Paths Center

John Lennon imagined it for all the people and you found it at Sacred Paths Center. This nonprofit organization blends healing, classroom space, a library, art gallery and community space in honor of all spiritual paths. While it focuses primarily on earth-reverent religions, each individual's spiritual path is celebrated. Sacred Paths works toward the day when crafters, musicians and healers become renowned for the wisdom in their arts. 777 Raymond Ave., St. Paul. 651-644-3727,

Unity Church-Unitarian
Believing that out of many comes one, Unity Church-Unitarian celebrates each individual's different religious traditions. This community works for diversity and focuses on community and social justice, beginning in its own congregation through an anti-racism initiative, LGBT welcoming ministries and earth-sustaining Green Sanctuary Ministry. Though rooted in Christian-Judeo values, Unity Church-Unitarian has no creed, believing that in the search for spiritual wisdom and maturity, there is no final answer. 732 Holly Ave., St. Paul, 651-228-1456,

Common Ground Meditation Center, First Universalist Church, Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church and Wisdom Ways are also stops on your spiritual journey.

Favorite Organization Serving Women I'd Like Most to Give $1,000 To
Family Tree Clinic

You donate the money for that daily cup of coffee to Family Tree Clinic instead. Founded in 1971 by Macalester College students and teachers, Family Tree Clinic serves 16,000 teens and adults neglected by the traditional health care system. It offers women health services on a sliding fee scale, brings sexual education into schools, colleges and youth correction facilities, and reaches out to the underserved Deaf and DeafBlind ... because health services and education belong to us all. 1619 Dayton Ave., Suite 205, St. Paul. 651-645-0478,

Planned Parenthood of MN, ND, SD
You've supported this organization for 80 years, and intend to keep it thriving for another hundred. Each year 64,000 people turn here: women for their affordable, confidential health services, youth to train as peer educators, African/Asian/Latinas to become lay health advisors in their communities, and parents and children to attend retreats focused on puberty, communication and family connection. With the risk of losing federal funding, every dollar makes a big difference here. 24 Minnesota locations. 800-230-PLAN,

Not every hero wears a cape-many simply donate to the Tubman Family Alliance, a leader in domestic/relationship violence prevention. Tubman's programs aid 50,000 
women, children and men each year struggling with relationship violence, substance abuse and mental health. They provide restorative justice, legal services, home-based support services, access to emergency shelters, 
and crisis hotlines. So that change in your pocket could just save a life. Five locations. Main site: 3111 First Ave. S., 
Minneapolis, 612-825-3333,

You'd also give the bank away to The Advocates for Human Rights Women's Human Rights Program, Alexandra House, Dress for Success, Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys, Jeremiah Program, Women's Foundation of Minnesota, YWCA of Minneapolis and YWCA St. Paul.

Favorite Minnesota Female Author
Louise Erdrich

You savor her every word, from the first line of "Love Medicine" to the closing paragraph of "Shadow Tag." Erdrich has written 13 novels, volumes of poetry, short stories and children's books. She owns Birchbark Books, a Native independent bookstore, and hosts writers' workshops on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation. Many of her works explore the lives of Native Americans and you discover the universality in each story-painfully, familiarly and beautifully told.

You are also passionate about the writing of Kate DiCamillo, Patricia Hampl, Ellen Hart, Pamela Joern, Lorna Landvik, Meridel Le Sueur, Jenny Pavlovic, Faith Sullivan and Kao Kalia Yang.

Favorite Minnesota Female Media Personality
Julie Nelson

You want TV news to be current and to transition seamlessly from local to national, from politics to gossip. You want it delivered in a smart, no-nonsense style, but still be empathetic. You want Julie Nelson of KARE 11. This Eau Claire native's Emmy-winning talents don't just end at your screens ... she contributes her writing skills to newscasts and the blog, digs deep in interviews, and anchors a monthly radio show.

Amelia Santaniello
From a childhood on an airbase in Japan to the frigid Midwest, 
Amelia Santaniello, once a shy little girl, has traveled a long way to your TV screen. Offscreen, she's involved with Big Brothers, Big Sisters; Cancer Kids Fund; and The Hope Chest for Breast Cancer. Onscreen, she's an anchor who lets you into the current events and, once in a while, her own life. You demand news that matters by someone who cares, and Amelia Santaniello of WCCO brings it to you ... personally.

You also stay current through the talents of Judy Corrao, 
Belinda Jensen, Mary Lucia, Kerri Miller and Cathy Wurzer.

Favorite Minnesota Role Model For Women
Ann Bancroft
Who knew that a former special education and gym teacher from 
St. Paul would go from battling dyslexia and discrimination to 
battling the Arctic? The first woman to reach the North Pole and ski across Greenland, leader of the four-woman expedition to Antarctica, a National Women's Hall Of Fame inductee, and founder of the Ann Bancroft Foundation, Bancroft will go down in history for living her dreams, and for helping girls live theirs. Ann Bancroft Foundation, 808 - 14th Ave. SE, Minneapolis. 612-676-9484,

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar
The New York Times believes she's a likely candidate for the first female president. She just might be. Minnesota's first elected woman U.S. Senator, Amy Klobuchar spent half of 2009 shouldering all the weight of representing us as our only senator. But her independence, no-nonsense style and her refusal to sacrifice common sense for politics still prove equal to any task. From the Hennepin County 
Attorney's office to Washington D.C., she's paved the road for all our daughters. 1200 Washington Ave. S., Suite 250, Minneapolis, MN 55415. 612-727-5220,

You're also inspired by Julie Gilbert, Bernadeia Johnson, 
Elizabeth Kautz, Winona LaDuke, Marilyn Carlson Nelson, 
Lois Quam, Tracy Singleton and Patty Wetterling.

Favorite Minnesota Female Politician
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar
Minnesota's first elected female U.S. senator. Sen. Amy Klobuchar has been your champion of women's rights, health-care reform and consumer safety since her landmark legislation allowing you a 48-hour hospital stay after giving birth. More recently, she's supported re-examining the regulatory code to grow the economy, capping spending, reforming the tax code and building up private sector/small business jobs. Klobuchar is proof that every once in a while, you actually get what you vote for. 1200 Washington Ave. S., 
Suite 250, Minneapolis, MN 55415. 612-727-5220,

You also admire the efforts of Ellen Anderson, Tarryl Clark, Gail Dorfman, Kate Knuth, Betty McCollum, Erin Murphy, Sandra Pappas and Patricia Torres Ray.

Favorite Minnesota Male Politician
Governor Mark Dayton

You've put your faith in Gov. Mark Dayton. You like his opposition to federal restrictions on abortion funding, his support for GLBT rights, and his backing of Social Security and universal health care. He's honest about his battles with depression, and he's a man who walks his talk. You can trust that. 130 State Capitol, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin 
Luther King, Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155. 651-201-3400,

U.S. Representative Keith Ellison
Rep. Keith Ellison is your champion of women's rights. He stands up for female victims of violence. He believes the U.S. should ratify the U.N.'s Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). He also understands that although women have had the vote for 90 years, our equal rights are not yet protected constitutionally. He supports a constitutional amendment guaranteeing equal legal protection for women. As Ellison says, every day should be Women's Equality Day. 2100 Plymouth Ave N., Minneapolis, MN 55411. 612-522-1212,

U.S. Senator Al Franken
Record unemployment, high deficit, affordable health care, and climate change are no laughing matters. Because of his support for Planned Parenthood and women's health, renewable energy, sustainable jobs, GLBT rights, net neutrality, mentorship programs for teachers, expansion of the children's breakfast program and for his solutions to cut the deficit by ending oil subsidies and negotiating lower payments with drug companies ... you take Sen. Al Franken very seriously. 60 Plato Blvd. E., Suite 220, St. Paul, MN 55107. 

You also respect the work of John Marty, Tim Pawlenty, 
Michael Paymar and R.T. Rybak.

Favorite Place to Board Your Pet
Animal House

While you revel in me-time, your companions get a bowlful of their own at the Animal Humane Society's Animal House. Your companions indulge in sanitized dog runs, the indoor cat playground and quiet music, while you indulge in discounted services, like microchipping, and peace of mind with the onsite vet. Best of all? You know all that affordable play helps care for 40,000 homeless animals. 845 Meadow Ln. N., Golden Valley, 763-489-2222,

Now Boarding
Whether it's a weekend project you don't want their paws into, or a guilt-free tryst under a tropical sun, Now Boarding's overnight and daycare services (and airport shuttle) get even your tail wagging. This Animal Humane Society facility offers climate-controlled critter rooms for your smallest companions and the "suite" life for your biggest ones-with an exercise pool, pheromone treatments, and spa services. Your furry friends will actually be happy you've gone. 6002 - 28th Ave. S., Minneapolis. 

Pets Are Inn
Chickens aren't the only animals that should roam cage free, you love Pets Are Inn because there are no kennels ... just individual families who will love your Ralph or Mittens as much as you do. Your special snugglers will be matched with the perfect family, where they'll still get that soothing stroke behind the ear, a rollick around the neighborhood and a romp through the backyard with kids. It's home away from your home. 6 locations in metro area. 651-292-8933,

Your furry friends also get play time while you get down time at Downtown Dogs and There's Some Place Like Home.

Favorite Animal Hospital or Veterinarian
Grand Avenue Veterinary Center

There are 93.6 million pet cats nationwide ... you take yours to Grand Avenue Veterinary Center. You're not fooled by that Victorian home. Inside there's a modern in-house laboratory and dental suite for advanced care for all your animal pals. Pop online to manage your pet's health and medications, or pop by for pet nutritional/behavioral counseling. Adopted a homeless furry bed-warmer? Get a free first exam here. Say hello to the staff-who are just as dedicated as Dr. Ann Brownlee. 1140 Grand Ave., St. Paul. 651-224-3038,

Midway Animal Hospital
When it comes to nurturing a woman's best friend, Midway Animal Hospital is the cat's pajamas. You'll even bring your hamster here. Drs. Teresa Nolte and Peter Kelley's old-fashioned personal attention and patience put you at ease. They take extra time answering your questions, and won't push you toward a treatment. Their thoroughness before surgery and after, with follow-up phone consultations, gives your beloved pal a new leash on life. 
731 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul. 651-644-2100,

You also trot your furry and feathery friends to All Paws Animal Hospital, East Lake Animal Clinic, Nokomis Pet Clinic and St. Francis Animal Hospital.

Favorite Female Attorney
Elizabeth A. Cloutier

It's hard enough navigating the potholes, never mind the law. For all things legal, you trust Cloutier behind the steering wheel. And why not? With over 20 years of experience, she knows her way around, whether it's divorce, custody issues, domestic partnerships, pre-nuptials, GLBT issues, personal injury or employment discrimination. All you have to do is buckle up. Cloutier & Brandl, PA., 12 S. 6th St., Suite 510, Minneapolis. 612-332-5100,

You also navigate through the law with Gloria Contreras Edin; Priscilla Lord Faris, Lord & Faris; Shannon Fitzpatrick; Judith Langevin, Gray Plant Mooty; and Jane Prince, Weinblatt & Gaylord.

Favorite Place for Personal Banking
Affinity Plus Credit Union

You earn locally, spend locally and save locally. For 80 years, Affinity Plus has served members of the Minnesota community. You trust its straightforward advice-now dished over instant chat. The better your credit habits, the better the rates on your AP Visa Platinum. Best of 
all, this not-for-profit credit union invests 
90 percent of its profits back to you with lower loan rates, higher savings rates and free or low-cost services. So you really can afford to bank here. 800-322-7228,

Wells Fargo
You invest your hard-earned paycheck with Wells Fargo because it has worked hard to earn your trust. HSAs, college funds, retirement savings or old-fashioned checking, you trust them all to the bank that Diversity Inc. routinely ranks highly for its multicultural customer outreach. And between 6,335 branches and 12,084 ATMs nationwide, your money's within easy reach. You're one of 70 million investors, but despite its large size, Wells Fargo still believes the smallest individual matters ... you. 800-869-3557,

You also do your personal banking at Bremer Bank, Park Midway Bank and US Bank.

Favorite Place to Get a Small 
Business Loan
Bremer Bank

Bremer Bank listens to you. One way is that it is co-owned by the employees and the Otto Bremer Foundation, a nonprofit charitable trust. You come to this Preferred Small Business Administration Lender for your business loans. Bremer takes pride in its personal service-and you can use the online business calculator for guidance on questions like how much you might need to start your business and whether to buy or lease equipment. This bank's motto is "Taking Action: Our promise to you." 800-908-BANK (2265),

Park Midway Bank
You're unconventional, and so are your small business needs. Park Midway Bank is a Small Business Administration Preferred Lender and has received the SBA's Small Business Lender Award. Credit decisions are made locally by people immersed in the local business climate. Park Midway Bank offers longer terms, smaller down payments and more financial help to start-ups and risky industries than conventionally available. This community bank pioneered putting "social" next to "responsible." Through Socially Responsible Deposit Funds, this bank gets that your money matters to more than just you. 651-523-7800,

Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo is large-and so are your dreams. It offers business services specifically for minorities/women, and co-sponsors, along with NAWBO (the National Organization of Women Business Owners), the annual Trailblazer Award recognizing outstanding women business owners. Wells Fargo's expertise in international business (providing services, buying supplies, or shipping goods abroad) will help globalize your market. It offers Hands-on Banking: interactive online lessons about money management and small business start-up. Now you can afford to dream big. 800-869-3557,

You also build a better business with Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union, US Bank and Western Bank.

Favorite Independent Shop for Computer Emergencies

While it's all geek to you, FirstTech speaks your laptop's language fluently. It has partnered with Apple for 33 years, longer than any other Apple Reseller. It offers Mac repair service for all users, focusing on education, design, print, small business and enterprising customers. Avoid hauling in your hardware by scheduling regular maintenance with FirstTech. But if you do find yourself suddenly unable to access your electronic files, these pros won't make you feel foolish for not speaking Mac. 2640 Hennepin Ave. S., 
Minneapolis. 612-374-8000,

When your screen goes dark, you also SOS: Call That Girl, Chipheads, General NanoSystems and TPD Technical Solutions.

Favorite Clinic For Holistic Health Care
Cloud River

You discover harmony at Cloud River, where Christopher Hafner, L.Ac., dedicates 30 years of experience in Traditional Chinese Medicine to your well-being. At Cloud River you find more than just acupuncture, lifestyle guidance and education in this subtle, healing environment: you find peace through Buddhist meditation. So when you're next set adrift, you'll have all the wisdom you need to mind your way through. 2124 Dupont Ave. S., Minneapolis. 612-816-1959,

Crocus Hill Health Center
Crocus Hill Health Center offers you holistic recovery from auto, sports and work injuries. You also come to this woman-only group to learn from other compassionate women who've been where you are, from prenatal to menopausal. Your family matures here through lifestyle and nutritional counseling, infant massage instruction and pediatric care. Through gentle hands-on therapy, pain and stress fall away, leaving a wholesome you. 653 Grand Ave., St. Paul. 651-222-8517,

The Penny George Institute 
for Health and Healing-
Abbott Northwestern
Here, science plus art creates a better you. Come to the Penny George Institute for integrative health solutions, herbal consultations, mind/body/spirit therapies and energy healing. You learn alongside health-care professionals the secrets of aromatherapy, how to heal with touch or the art of drumming away stress. Complementary therapies are simply considered part of your hospital stay. And while here, you soak in the healing wall art and toast the featured artists at monthly receptions. 2833 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis. 

You also seek wholeness at Beyond Well Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine, Family Tree Clinic, Family Wellness Institute, Midwest Health Center for Women and Native American Community Clinic.

Favorite Gym or Health Club
YWCA of Minneapolis

After a workout of kettlebell, pilates or gladiator training, you'll be primed for the YWCA's Women's Triathlon. Can't make it in to the gym or just too far away? Get endurance sports coaching by phone/online. A cancer survivor? Find support through the Cancer Recovery Exercises for Women. Here, you not only empower yourself ... you empower all women. 3 locations. 

YWCA St. Paul
What are you made of? Find out with a body composition or metabolic assessment at the YWCA St. Paul. Flex muscles on the wide selection of equipment, slide through crisp pool lanes, build core stamina through pilates, yoga and tai chi, then sweat it off in the sauna. Seniors find a sense of balance through low-impact exercise classes. Children swim, dance and tumble. 
Families welcomed. 375 Selby Ave., St. Paul. 

You also flex your muscles at Life Time Fitness, Snap Fitness and SweatShop.

Favorite Female Dentist
Joan Jakubas, DDS, 
Jakubas Dental Clinic

Dr. Jakubas uses tomorrow's technology-from digital x-rays to VELscope cancer screening-
and keeps current on endodontics, implants and cosmetic dentistry. You feel courageous under her care, enough to nod off between the tooth-shaped pillow and available blankets. She'll even convince you to kick that tooth decaying soda habit. But she's more than your dentist: she's a heroic volunteer at Project Homeless Connect, Give Kids a Smile and the Ronald McDonald Dental Van. 4721 Hiawatha Ave. S., Minneapolis. 612-721-3012,

You also grin a little whiter at Anne Balfour, DDS, Park Dental Ridge Park; Bridget Fensholt, DDS; Holly Thompson, DDS, Sun Dental; and Karen Raleigh, DDS, HealthPartners.

Favorite Yoga Studio
CorePower Yoga

You find spiritual insight and tranquillity at CorePower Yoga. 
Escape into Vinyasa Yoga, Hot Yoga, Yoga sculpt, or other lifestyle programs that support your developing consciousness. Travel to the Rocky Mountains or Mexico on a yoga retreat. 
Detoxify yourself with the Wellness Cleanse. Best yet, participate in Karma Yoga, a program involving the spirituality of Karma, the yoga of action and the Seva of selfless service to your community. 10 locations. 612-375-9642,

Bikram Yoga, Embodied Health and One Yoga also stretch your mind and body.

Favorite Women-Friendly Hospital
Abbott Northwestern

You will find a world class Birth Center at Abbott Northwestern. Afterwards, you're treated to postnatal body therapy. Both are services of WomenCare, a program that treats the unique needs of women, from childbirth through menopause. You also find here the Penny George Institute for Health and Healing and the Virginia Piper Breast Cancer Institute. Healthcare isn't just a man's world after all. 800 E. 28th St., Minneapolis. 612-863-4000,

Regions Hospital has a Level 1 Adult and Pediatrics Trauma Center-the highest achievable ranking for hospitals. While some cross state lines for this level of care, you simply cross the street. Regions robotic-assisted gynecological surgery is on the forefront of women's health. Crave personal attention? Regions offers private rooms, pet/music/massage therapy, concierge, and even valet parking-so you don't spend visiting hours navigating the parking lot. 640 Jackson St., St. Paul. 651-254-3456,

Favorite Place to Get Birth Control Information
Planned Parenthood of MN, SD, ND

Planned Parenthood pioneered unbiased, confidential, affordable reproductive and healthcare services for women. Now it offers a virtual office visit at an Online Health Center where you can order birth control online. If you're strapped, living between paychecks, or without an income, the 4NOW program offers no-cost birth control, annual exams, testing and treatments ... because Planned Parenthood knows your health and your right to it matters. 1965 Ford Parkway, St. Paul. 1-800-230-7526,

You also get answers from Family Tree Clinic, HealthPartners Health Center for Women and Midwest Health Center for Women.

Favorite Resource for Elder Housing or Services
Minnesota Board on Aging Senior LinkAge Line®

The Minnesota Board on Aging Senior LinkAge Line® ensures the rights of your aging loved ones. It advocates for seniors to have a continual voice and contribution in the community. Services vary widely; consultants can: teach a senior how to surf the web, counsel seniors on subjects from health insurance to retirement, share senior housing resources, even support grandparents raising grandchildren. SLL will even provide you, the caregiver, with a support system. 1-800-333-2433,

Favorite Place for a Cooking Class
Cooks of Crocus Hill

Learn the secrets of Japanese Sushi or South African grilling, flatten Korean potato pancakes or raid your own rhubarb patch. Cooks of Crocus Hill teaches you the skills of international cuisine and how to make the most of your own garden. It offers classes (several kid-friendly) nearly every day and features appearances by famous chefs, such as local guru, Robin Asbell. The entrées might taste out of this world, but every ingredient comes from small, sustainable farms. 
877 Grand Ave., St. Paul. 651-228-1333,

You also glean kitchen secrets from Community Education, Grandma's House, Kitchen Window 
and Seward Co-op.

Favorite Place for a Music Class
or Lessons
MacPhail Center for Music

You study the world's most passionate language at MacPhail Center for Music. It offers Suzuki courses, early childhood music and private instruction for more than 35 instruments in styles from jazz to rock. A community partnership brings 4,000 children from inner-city and greater metro schools access to music education. Individuals with disabilities experience the passion through MacPhail's music therapy department-because Clara Schumann's music belongs to all of us. 3 locations. 612-321-0100,

You also fine tune yourself at Community Education, Cadenza Music, Homestead Pickin' Parlor, West Bank School of Music and McNally Smith College of Music.

Favorite Place for an Art Class
Community Education

Learn to hold a pencil, a paintbrush or a camera. Do all three for less than $100. Community Education inspires the Georgia O'Keeffe or Annie Leibovitz within you. Walk the stage or throw pottery on a wheel. Arrange those family photographs into one coherent album. You'll take home more than just your scrapbook-you'll take home friendships with individuals who live, work and play near you.

You also express yourself at the Edina Art Center, Minnesota Center for Book Arts, Minnetonka Center for the Arts, Northern Clay Center and White Bear Center for the Arts.

Favorite Place to Learn a Language
Community Education

When you find yourself lost in the Italian countryside, you'll be glad you took that Community Education course. Community Ed is the most affordable way to travel: Immerse yourself in French, Arabic, Mandarin or Farsi and learn from native speakers. Discover new communities across the ocean while supporting your own.

You also fancy the foreign language skills taught at Concordia College Language Villages, La Conexión de las Américas and University Language Center.

Favorite Place for Craft Classes
Community Education

Make your own lip balm, design a wooden toy, find your way around a sewing machine and turn yarn into a sweater. The craft classes offered through Community Education are so varied, the skills taught so useful, you might just begin a renaissance revolution.

Crafty Planet
Remember that childhood feeling when you opened a new box of crayons? Experience that again at Crafty Planet. Brilliantly colored yarns and patterned bolts of cloth loom over bamboo knitting needles, inspiring your imagination. Hang out every other Tuesday to knit, plan projects and chat. Take a class or design private instruction for you and friends. If you've never ventured into the galaxy of homespun before ... begin here. 2833 Johnson St. N.E., Minneapolis. 612-788-1180,

You also get crafty at Bead Monkey, Mosaic on a Stick and Textile Center of Minnesota.

Favorite Resource for a Career Change

So many people tell us we can, and WomenVenture shows us how. This nonprofit offers the loans, tools and support to help grow a business, find your dream job or change your career entirely. Get assistance with your business plan or help manage the career you already have. Coaches will identify your strengths, goals and choices, then guide you through the resources so you don't venture into the unknown alone. 2324 University Ave. W., Suite 120, St. Paul. 

You also explore your options at Metropolitan State University, University of St. Thomas Small Business Development Center and University of Minnesota Career Counseling & Assessment Clinic.

Favorite School to Continue Your Career
St. Catherine University

You're never too old to pursue your dream at St. Catherine University. This Catholic institution integrates liberal arts with professional education. From education to holistic health, from library and information sciences to organizational leadership, the co-ed post-graduate programs still maintain dedication to women's leadership. More than a graduate certificate, a master's, or a doctorate, you're acquiring the additional skills demanded of you: to question intellectually, reflect critically and act socially. 2004 Randolph Ave., 
St. Paul. 651-690-6000; 601 25th Ave. S., Minneapolis. 

University of Minnesota
Browse the bindings in the bookstores and it begins to dawn on you ... the University of Minnesota offers you any career you can imagine. It has 150 master's and doctoral programs spanning dozens of fields. Or design your own degree. Its worldwide presence makes the U of M a hub of today's career issues, such as climate change, social services and health care. You can complete your degree in-person or online, but you can't escape the personal enrichment. College of Continuing Education, 20 Ruttan Hall, 1994 Buford Ave., St. Paul. 612-624-4000,

You also expand your expertise at Hamline University, Metropolitan State University, St. Paul College and the University of St. Thomas.