TCMB Favorite Things 2016

{Disclosure: This list is brought to you by our line-up of favorite local brands. Every last one of these recommendations are truly favorites of Twin Cities Moms Blog, and we personally solicited all companies for inclusion.}

It’s here! This list of featured local items and businesses is truly one of our favorite features each year. We spend months scouring social media and local vendors for some amazing local items from businesses we find inspiring. Every business is local, many are mom owned and these are our ten favorites of the year. Without further ado – here is our 2016 TCMB Favorite Things list!

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Dill & Izzy | Lilac Candle

2016 TCMB Favorite Things List: Dill & Izzy | Twin Cities Moms Blog

Dill & Izzy is a local micro-business run by a mother-daughter duo with hearts to create sustainable products. We are head over heels for their soy Lilac candle in their beautifully simple glass tumblers, which are intended to be reused. The fragrance of this candle is subtle and light but so fresh, and we love how they give back a portion of their profits to local groups doing good in the community.

Faith & Finn | Boss Lady Tank

2016 TCMB Favorite Things List: Faith & Finn | Twin Cities Moms Blog

Faith & Finn is run by a mom who’s inspiration for her apparel line came from her son “Finn The Fighter,” who was born prematurely. She quickly found that being a mom isn’t always a glamorous job, and wanted to create a line that comfy, functional, washable, yet made you feel cute. We love this Boss Lady tank and how it can be paired with your yoga pants on the way to the gym, or dressed up for a night out.

Mademoiselle Miel | SHINE Honey Bon-bons

2016 TCMB Favorite Things List: Mademoiselle Miel | Twin Cities Moms Blog

Hidden among tall buildings in the heart of St. Paul is a perfect little shop full of honey and chocolate. You can see how we fell for these bon bons. This season’s specialty collection of honey bon bons, called SHINE, includes the Peace Coffee Crunch, sweetened with their rooftop honey and local Peace Coffee nibs Lemon Tumeric, with their signature black chocolate encasing creamy honey, lemon oil, fresh lemon zest and finished with pure gingery turmeric, and Sourwood Honey Bon-bons, with North Carolina Sourwood honey noted as the best in the world, floral notes, pear and vanilla. Everything about this business has our hearts singing.

Mara Mi | Coptic Bound Journal

2016 TCMB Favorite Things List: MaraMi Store | Twin Cities Moms Blog

Mara-Mi started when two friends, Marilyn and Mimi, decided to create stationary for all of their friends with colorful, creative, trend-right design. For years now, the Mara Mi Store and Cafe in Stillwater, one of our favorite shops in the Twin Cities, has held the Mara-Mi aesthetic along with amazing treats, coffee and local ice cream, and their design studio is right upstairs.

The “Never Stop Exploring” coptic bound notebook is just one of many of their items and we especially love the quality, design and spirit put into this one.

Minne Momma Designs | "She Believed" Print

2016 TCMB Favorite Things List: Minne Momma Designs | Twin Cities Moms Blog

After more than a decade as a graphic designer for corporate America, Becca of Minne Momma Designs decided to stretch her creative legs, doing graphic design from home, founding her business on the principal that everyone should be able to pursue what they love. We love this inspirational piece that captures female strength and an entrepreneurial spirit, and the whimsy woven into it as it portrays that determination is no stranger to creativity.

Minne Momma Designs can be found in local stores as well as in her online shop. She manages all quality control herself and the products come straight from her local home to yours. Be sure to check out her site for this print as well as a fun new line she recently launched!

Paisley & Sparrow | Necklace

2016 TCMB Favorite Things List: Paisley + Sparrow | Twin Cities Moms Blog

After an overseas missions trip, Jen of Paisley + Sparrow came home inspired by the work she’d seen in organizations working with women and girls who had been formerly sex trafficked. She was so moved by these organizations that she decided to do something to help them out. She created a way to sell their products in order to allow them to continue helping women who desperately needed help. That business is now Paisley + Sparrow.

The Linked Shapes Necklace is the perfect necklace for anyone who loves the layered necklace look without having to think about it! Each layer has a simple, geometric gold toned brass pendant. This necklace is handcrafted at a fair trade artisan cooperative in India.

Pink Linen Designs | Minnesota

Pink Linen Designs | Twin Cities Mom Collective

Pink Linen Designs started when this husband and wife team started trying out some large machinery they had access to. She was drawing designs, and he was cutting them. With color and minimalism, these products add something really fun and unique to each space they inhabit. Kait hand draws each design adding the perfect touch of character. They love doing this business together and allowing their girls to see them trying out a dream and working for it.

We of course fell for their Minnesota design, the first one they made, in every single color. The best part is that they make other states as well, making these great decor for your home, or the perfect gift.

raindrop paperie | Hot Pink Hello Card Set

2016 TCMB Favorite Things List: Raindrop Paperie | Twin Cities Moms Blog

A true believer in snail mail, Abby of raindrop paperie believes it’s important to know that giving a card to someone really can make a big impact in their life. Celebrating milestones is great, but it’s also so much fun to send a handwritten message to someone to say “Hello” even where there isn’t a specific occasion. raindrop paperie cards are designed to be blank inside so that you can choose what you want to say. Messages inside don’t need to be long: it’s the act of taking the time to write a sincere handwritten note on the inside that can mean the world to someone.

The “Hot Pink Hello” set of four cards is fun, spunky, and adapts to a number of occasions! We love the contrast of colors that catch the recipient’s attention as they open the card.

sota Clothing Company | Diner Mug

2016 TCMB Favorite Things List: sota Clothing Company | Twin Cities Moms Blog

Sota Clothing started as a graphic design project for founder, Spencer Johnson, while he was attending the University of Minnesota – Duluth. The goal was to create a fictional company, but Johnson received such a large amount of support from his classmates that he decided to turn the fiction of making Sota Clothing a reality.

Sota Clothing is a passion project with a deep love and respect for Minnesota and the people that live here. They strive to create classic, clean graphics that Minnesotans can take pride in. We’re crazy for their classic diner mug with its simple design. It’s so versatile, it easily fits the office, home or cabin up north. Beyond this mug we love so much is a full line of apparel you can use to show your love for Minnesota.

Villa Bellezza Vineyard | Award Winning Wine

2016 TCMB Favorite Things List: Villa Bellezza | Twin Cities Moms Blog

Passing on the blessings of hospitality they felt in the midwest and in Italy, Derick and Julianne, the couple behind Villa Bellezza, were inspired to create a retreat for visitors and a destination for local wines. Designed to evoke a small Mediterranean village, the buildings of Villa Bellezza surround a charming central piazza (plaza) where friends can gather and relax.

The idea of an Italian Tuscan retreat on the Mississippi’s Lake Pepin region may sound romantic – and it is. But they’re serious about making great wines, which have won numerous international wine competitions.  Located in Pepin, WI, this winery is just a short day-trip from most metro locations, but will feel like that European escape you’ve been dreaming about.

Our Favorite Things wines this year are:

  • Cotes du Pepin, Red 2013: A dry, full-bodied red wine has a red fruits aroma, rich blackberry flavor, and hints of spice in the finish. It has been moderately oaked and pairs well with red meat.
  • Tavola White, 2014: This popular semi-sweet white expresses tropical fruit and apricot with a hint of roasted almond.

Our Host | Amy's Cupcake Shoppe

2016 TCMB Favorite Things List! | Twin Cities Moms Blog

Amy’s Cupcake Shoppe is a big favorite of our entire team. Her macarons made our first TCMB Favorite Things list in 2014 and we’ve so enjoyed seeing this local, mom-owned business grow over the past few years. Amy’s recently taken her baking business to the next level and opened a brick and mortar on Main Street in Hopkins, and we were thrilled to have her as the host for our team’s gathering last week. Be sure to carve out some time to head over to the new shop this week for the Grand Opening celebration on July 14th!! We love it all, but highly recommend her pistachio macarons!

Our Photography Sponsor | Everbranch


Emily of Everbranch was our photography sponsor for this year’s feature and we highly recommend her! Her business began as she grew into motherhood, wanting to take daily photos of her daughter. From there it grew (and grew!) and with candids and daily moments as her specialty, she easily captures the feel of an experience and moment in time. She’ll spend some time with your family, or you can reserve a session in her studio in Minneapolis.

***All photos in this feature were taken by Everbranch Photography and cannot be used again without permission Twin Cities Moms Blog.

Check out our past Favorite Things Features!


TCMB Executive Team

2016 TCMB Favorite Things List! | Twin Cities Moms Blog

***All photos in this feature were taken by Everbranch Photography and cannot be used again without permission Twin Cities Moms Blog.


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