Crave West End Breakfast

We had the opportunity to try breakfast at CRAVE West End last weekend.* They just started offering it this month, and let me tell you, we weren’t disappointed!

Currently Markus and I are doing a gluten-free trial, and I asked at the host desk for a gluten-free breakfast menu. They said they didn’t have one, but I had been told that they would have options for me, so I asked my server. He was SO helpful and even went back to talk to the chefs to see which options on the breakfast menu could be made gluten-free (which was quite a few of them). This happened at another restaurant that day, too, so my one hopefully helpful tip to restaurants: Make sure your hosts/hostesses know that even if you don’t have a specific gluten-free menu available, your chefs are able and willing to meet those needs. Otherwise you’ll lose customers simply because of miscommunication! 🙂

Anja got the S’mores waffles. Um, ice cream and marshmallow for breakfast? Kid heaven! I got the Eggs Benedict without the English muffin. The eggs were perfectly poached, and the hash browns are cheesy and amazing. Markus got the Mashed Potato omelet, which he loved. I was surprised how much of it he ate (but we all took bites to try it). Husband got the Steak and Eggs. He was shocked by the amount of steak he got and the tenderness of it, especially for the price. A success!

Other points: The location is clean, the bathrooms are clean (I’m sometimes surprised at how awful upscale restaurants let their bathrooms get…not the case here), and there are lots of other shops to peruse at West End. You could definitely make a Ladies’ Morning Out of it or do brunch with friends. We will definitely be back, and I see they have a special Mother’s Day brunch coming up, too, so make your reservations now! More “official” info below the pictures.


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Kaskaid Hospitality Announces Breakfast At Twin Cities Restaurants

CRAVE West End, UNION Rooftop and Salsa A La Salsa Uptown Feature New Offering


MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., (April 1, 2015) – Kaskaid Hospitality is launching a new breakfast and brunch program at select restaurants in the Twin Cities. The breakfast and brunch offerings will be available at CRAVE West End, UNION Rooftopand Salsa A La Salsa Uptown starting in spring 2015.

The CRAVE West End breakfast and brunch will launch on Saturday, April 11 with dining available on Saturdays and Sundays between 8am-2pm. CRAVE’s team of five executive chefs created the all-new menu offerings. Signature items include Crab & Shrimp Cake Benedict, Braised Short Rib Hash, and the CRAVE Stack of buttermilk pancakes layered with brandied peaches and apples, and S’mores Waffles. Prior to the CRAVE West End breakfast and brunch program launch, all CRAVE locations in Minnesota will offer an Easter Brunch Buffet on Easter Sunday, April 5 from 9am-3pm.

UNION Rooftop has offered brunch on Sundays from 11am-2pm for just over a year, and recently began offering breakfast starting at 8am. UNION breakfast and brunch menu highlights include bottomless mimosas available on Sundays until 2pm, Portobello Benedict, Mascarpone Stuffed French Toast and UNION’s signature hash browns.

Brunch is now available at the Salsa A La Salsa Uptown location. Breakfast is served Saturdays and Sundays between10am-3pm. Authentic Mexican menu offerings include Chilaquiles, Southwestern Omelet, tortilla casserole, Huevos con Chorizo with home made chorizo, and the Bloody Maria which is a Mexican take on the Bloody Mary.

“We are thrilled to introduce breakfast and brunch to CRAVE West End, UNION Rooftop and Salsa A La Salsa Uptown. Saturday and Sunday mornings are in high demand for great breakfast and brunch options in the Twin Cities, and our restaurants are well-equipped to enter the weekend morning scene,” said Kam Talebi, CEO of Kaskaid Hospitality. “Our teams of chefs have created exceptional breakfast and brunch dishes that we’re really excited to share.”

The breakfast and brunch menus for CRAVE West End, UNION Rooftop and Salsa A La Salsa Uptown are available online through each restaurant’s website. For more information on the CRAVE Easter Brunch,

*We received a gift card to pay for our meal at CRAVE, but all opinions are my own.


A couple weeks ago, I was offered a chance to let my kids purchase a YOXO toy.

YOXO® (yock-so) is the sustainable, recyclable, made-in-the-USA, invent-everything-you-can-imagine toy company that’s now available at your local Target and specialty toy retailers. YOXO creative construction kits use interchangeable chipboard connectors in Y, O, and X shapes to construct infinite creations, including the YOXO Heroes.

Possibly the most uncommon element of YOXO is the fact they are manufactured in the USA, something less than four percent of toys sold in the United States can claim. This fact, along with the sustainable manufacturing process, use of recycled materials, and recyclability of the connectors themselves makes YOXO undeniably eco-awesome.

YOXO is the start of a creative revolution and maker movement that is powered by brains, not batteries. Those seeking to support the revolution can find YOXO at 389 Target stores, 27 Barnes & Noble locations, select specialty toy retailers across the country and online at

We were planning to buy the Original YOXO, but he was sold out at the Target we visited, so we settled on Doon.

Last week my kids could no longer stand waiting for me to help them, so they dumped out the box and went to work themselves.

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As you can see, they had a lot of fun. Some of the pieces fit tightly enough that they needed my help getting them all the way together. Anja lifted weights. The extra eye stickers have been used on their stuffed animals at times…haha! And Markus couldn’t even wait for me to finish taking the pictures before he started his car sound effects.

The thing I love about YOXO products is that even if they tire of Doon, all his parts can be used with other scrap cardboard, tubes, etc., to build new creations. Stay tuned! 🙂

*We received a gift card to purchase YOXO product, but the opinions expressed above are my own.

Markus, 5 years

Oh, little buddy, I think this is the most overdue milestone post I’ve had. You’ve been 5 for almost 3 months now, so I’ll try to remember back to when you just turned….

Markus, at five years old, you:

  • Are a force. Your intensity is one of the first things people see in you, that and the fact that you…
  • Never stop talking. For Christmas you received a book trying to teach you that others might have something important to say as well, but now you have started to realize that when I want to read it to you I’m trying to send you a “message,” so you don’t want to hear it anymore. You have a loud, low voice.
  • Like macaroni and cheese, fruit, sweets. You eat salad readily but it cannot have a single drop of dressing on or near it. You hate tomatoes.
  • Are still very fickle in your interests. One week it’s Transformers, one week it’s Ninjago Legos, one week it’s blocks, one week it’s cars, one week it’s Lincoln Logs. Whatever you’re currently into, you’re VERY into, and all your other toys can just go take a hike.
  • Are finally sleeping in a big boy bed. You got one for your birthday, and you fell out of it a few times, but now you just snuggle in and go to sleep better than you ever have.
  • Like to fight with Daddy (or any other man or boy who will fight you).
  • Love to hug and kiss. I usually get five kisses when I put you to bed. And I love that you always want to be touching whoever you’re nearest to. Other kids…well, they don’t always like it as much as Mom.
  • Listen to stories well, despite your inability to sit still and not interrupt. The Sunday School teachers and leaders at my moms’ group often tell me that you have many answers for their questions. I’m glad you’re paying attention, even if it doesn’t look like it. 🙂
  • Make awesome sound effects. I’m pretty sure it’s a boy thing. I’ve never seen Anja do any of those, and you can without practice.
  • Have a very active imagination. I love that you made an army of men out of TP tubes. You’re fine with almost anything as a toy, as long as you can project your wishes onto it. We’ve found you bore quickly of toys that have limited purpose.
  • Are gluten-free. We tried an elimination for both you and Sis in 2014 and still aren’t sure about gluten, so we’re giving you another trial.
  • Are starting to read. I saved Anja’s kindergarten phonics books, and you’ve been reading through all of those and sound out other words when you see them. You also write us notes and refuse to let us spell anything for you. “Don’t tell me, Mama.”
  • Have a large vocabulary for your age. Most of the time you know what you’re saying, but it’s awfully cute when you misuse a big word.
  • Love your big sister. You guys don’t always get along, but you can play together for hours. You’re starting to exert a little more of your ideas into your co-play, which isn’t always received well, but I’m glad you’re not letting her run over you.
  • Speak with sub-context, using a different voice for your parenthetical statements. “This is an island where the overlord (which is a pink ball) is, and he told…”
  • Are motivated by material things. You don’t get much satisfaction from cleaning your room or helping Mama, but if you are promised a treat or a toy pulled out of storage, you’ll be much more enthusiastic. I don’t like bribery, but sometimes….
  • Have a couple good friends and are quick to make new ones. You love your old small group buddies and are quickly getting to know your new small group friends. At co-op you seem to gravitate toward kids Anja’s age, and she gravitates toward kids your age. Funny.
  • Have an amazing memory. You still run circles around your sister with your CC memory work, which is frustrating for her. But we would love to see God use this gift He’s given you as a means to something great.
  • Love to draw. But your coloring sheet requests (when we print them from the internet) are so specific that you’re impossible to please. “Mama, I want a Ninjago skeleton army up on a ledge with no bodies touching each other.” I tell you almost daily that you have to pick from what ol’ Google has to offer, but you are not satisfied with that.
  • Have the best giggle. You love to wrestle, so when I have the energy to, I get you pinned and then tickle you just to hear your laugh. You make US laugh a lot, too, with your witty comebacks and funny personality.
  • Are in size 4T for most things. You have a couple 5T shirts that you swim in…hopefully they’ll fit next year.

Markus, you are a marvelous little creation. We are blessed to parent you and see what God has in store!

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