Mamas & Babes: Isobel Benesch and Holden

In celebration of Mother’s Day we asked each of the lovely boho beauties featured in our new ‘Mamas & Babes’ lookbook to share with us a few of their favorite moments of motherhood.

Isobel Benesch of Bel & Beau with son Holden

A perfect day together is spent…
Being outside, exploring. One of the most amazing things about having a little boy is their adventurous spirit. It must be something innate in boys or perhaps it’s just Holden’s always-on-the-go/curious personality, but we are constantly moving, exploring, imagining.

And there’s something about having a little boy that makes me want to put on a cape and mask, build blanket and pillow forts, splash in puddles, dig through mud, climb trees, and imagine that the maps we draw lead to the world’s largest treasure chest.

What’s the best part of being a mom?
Getting the opportunity to see the world through a child’s eyes.  As a mother, you realize that children are connected to the world in a way that adults are not, noticing all of the little things that make up our surrounding environment that adults have long forgotten how to notice, too busy with life to notice.  Holden’s childlike wonder at the most mundane fascinates me to no end.

A lesson I learned from my mother is?  
That I could be anything I wanted to be when I grew up. My mom always pushed me to follow my dreams and to think outside the box.  She has always supported and encouraged me.

What’s been the most memorable moment so far? 
Holding him in my arms for that first time, and then watching my husband hold him for the first time.  No one could have prepared me for that instantaneous bond I felt to that tiny little human.

What’s one lesson you’ve learned from being a mom?
To really live in and appreciate every single moment because time moves way too fast.  Before my son was born, life was rushed.  Life revolved around where I was going…getting to work, getting to the next meeting, getting home to my husband, getting to dinner, getting to bed…a ceaseless list of deadlines.  Of course, I enjoyed my life, but I failed to notice all of life around me and truly enjoy every minute.

Having Holden changed all of this.  He taught me to look at time with slow eyes.  I now swim in every minute of our waking hours, soaking up every last drop.  We take the long way home on our morning walks, stay at the park slightly longer than initially planned, and leave the light on a little past bedtime. The true urgency to self-imposed deadlines has been realized.  And through this slowing of time, I have discovered things about life that I never would have noticed if I hadn’t slowed down to be truly present in each and every moment.

Be sure to enter our giveaway for a chance to win a new pair of mocs for you and your babe this Mother’s Day!

Photography by Taryn Kent

Back Roads & Backstage with Nikki Lane

Since 1946 Minnetonka’s distinct style has been woven through the music scene of the moment. From the free-spirited style of the ‘60s Woodstock movement to the Urban Cowboy trend of the ‘80s, today Minnetonka is a fashionable fixture on the music scene.

Fusing our love of discovering new music and the adventure of hitting the open road (in our mocs of course!) we are excited to introduce our latest music series Back Roads & Backstage.

With Back Roads & Backstage we look forward to accompanying a few of our favorite musicians on tour as they navigate the back roads of America and provide a backstage glimpse of life on the road.

So crank up the tunes and hit the open road with a behind-the-scenes look at singer-songwriter Nikki Lane on tour now with her new album All or Nothin’.

Nikki’s sultry, honest and modern vocals combine with gritty old-school country and a splash of rock for a sound that’s 100% unique.   


Loving Nikki’s free-spirited album and sense of adventure, we met up with her for a behind-the-scenes look at life on the road.

What’s the inspiration behind your latest album All Or Nothin’?
All the life I’ve been living. There’s plenty that goes on in the life of a woman working her way through a career in country music. For me, the influence is all over my work.

Describe the story behind the song “Wild One.”
It’s funny because this is actually a song I wrote about being in a fight with the girl who is photographing the story for Minnetonka. A perfect example that as an artist you can go deep down a path to find a storyline much more dramatic than how it went in real life. After all, she and I are out here on the open road together as we speak.


Nikki’s passion for fashion is intertwined with her love of country music. She runs a pop-up vintage clothing store and uses her road trips to hunt for one-of-a-kind finds.
 
What’s your favorite part about being on the road?
The antiques. I stop as often as time will allow. And space. The band is always begging me to stop buying. After all, there’s only so much room in the van.
 
 
What are a few must-haves when you’re on the road?
I have a strict one bag policy for my band mates, simply because I need five. Comfy shoes like my Deerskin Soft-T mocs, as well as a good bag of toiletries and two or three t-shirts is all I really “must have,” but I seem to bring about a hundred other things. After all, who wants to be stuck without a sewing box, power drill or down pillow?



What’s your favorite city to play?
The small ones. Where music lovers flourish. The big cities have great venues, but often times the crowds barely move.

Describe your on-stage and off-stage style.
On stage I try to be a little dolled up. After all, we’ve probably been in the car since morning. So I’ll curl my hair and put on some boots and a skirt. On the road and just day to day I like to keep it casual, almost tomboyish. With a fitted t-shirt, high waisted jeans and a shoe that I don’t have to tie. That’s how I fell in love with Minnetonka in the first place.

Check out Nikki Lane on tour this summer! And kick off music-fest season in style by entering to win a pair of mocs and music autographed by Nikki!

 

Festival Hair How-To: Knotted Bun

Inspire your favorite festival look this summer with this rad knotted bun! It’s the perfect style to mix up your look for those evening festival shows or after a few “dry shampoo only” days.

Step 1: Remember, the messier the better. Start by knotting large pieces of hair on either side of the head, securing firmly with a few bobby pins.

Step 2: Start creating smaller knots, pinning at random and allowing the excess hair to poke out. Remember, the secret is to make your style look effortless. If it starts to resemble a prom-do, texture up a few strands by rubbing them together to create frizz, then add a bit of dry shampoo.

Step 3: And last but not least, hairspray it!

Styles in collaboration with Corinne Skala and Scotti Langely at Cheeky Strut Salon
Photography by Alessandra Myers

About Blair Badge:
Blair is a gal that doesn’t like to sit still. Communication and creative consultant, fashion blogger, (part-time) model and undercover nerd. She’s addicted to Instagram, eats vegan (mostly), is obsessed with almond milk lattes and listens to trance too loud. Currently residing in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her husband Ross.

 

Tucked Away Gold with a Side of Brown Bread

Her name was Evelyn Day Bruner. She lived in Brooklyn but was born in the Midwest.

While sorting through some boxes in my grandmother’s house, I found a tiny black book. And when I read the cover, I had to know more.

So I investigated, and discovered my great-great grandmother, Evelyn Day Brunner’s recipe book, my version of gold tucked away in an old drawer.

It’s frayed in all the right places, peeled and chipped to reveal the red under the black cover and gold script. I loved it immediately.

It has a tassel for marking your place.

And a proclamation that it was an “Elite” cooking recipe book. Not just an average one, in case there was any doubt in the 1800’s.

I had heard about this Brown Bread recipe in the family my whole life, but I had never tasted it.

And as I flipped I discovered she in fact had several Brown Bread recipes of various kinds.

I recognized other quirky family traditions within the pages, for example in a dessert of tapioca, she suggests no sugar at all, a particular habit of so many of her descendants, to eliminate sugar in order to accentuate the other flavors

On a page of Chicken Croquettes were the markings where she had dripped on the page while trying the recipe.

And from time to time there was an extra note slipped into the pages of the book…

Someone else’s Brown Bread, someone named Mrs. Core, had the most wonderful line of all: “Sometimes we cram as many chopped raisins and chopped nuts in as our conscience will allow.”

There were three more Brown Bread recipes I stumbled upon in the book that day.

And shortly after, on my doorstep, I received the latest edition of our modern family recipe book in the mail, a compilation of six generations of recipes from the family tree. Each new addition of the book keeps the recipes of the old books, and adds the new ones collected from all of the new family members born since the last addition. It had been over 25 years since the last edition and guess what was in it?

More brown bread.

It was then that I was seized with the overwhelming realization that I wasn’t a legitimate member of the family tree.

I had never tasted, let alone made brown bread.

It was time.

It was my destiny.

Brown Bread and Me would finally intersect in the history books.

I took a moment of silence to reflect on how good this was warm with butter…

And lemon curd…

Evelyn Day Bruner would approve.

Brown Bread

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 1 loaf

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat or graham flour
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

 

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Sift and mix the dry ingredients, except the baking soda.
3. In a separate bowl, combine the soda, buttermilk and molasses.
4. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well.
5. Stir in the walnuts.
6. Pour the mixture into a greased bread baking pan and cook for about an hour until well risen and browned on top.

 

About Georgia Pellegrini:
Georgia’s taste for simple food and outdoor adventure evolved as she grew up in the Hudson Valley. She followed her passion to the French Culinary Institute and then to Gramercy Tavern, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and La Chassagnette in France. Georgia is the author of “Food Heroes,” “Girl Hunter,” and the new book “Modern Pioneering.” She has appeared on Today, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Iron Chef, and much more, and her outdoor Adventure Getaways have been featured everywhere from the New York Times, to the Wall Street Journal, to HBO. She lives in Austin, Texas and chronicles her adventures on her wildly popular website GeorgiaPellegrini.com and her Facebook fan page.