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.

Everyday Adventure: Miami Spring Break

Anyone no longer in school gets hosed come spring break. Did I really need a week-long break in college? No way! College was like a four-year party. As I approach my ten-year anniversary of entering the workforce, I’m really wishing spring break for adults was a thing. Just one more thing wasted on youth.
 
Man, I sound old. 

Last month, I was fortunate enough to ditch the polar vortex for Miami. Hot, humid and full of people in tiny swimsuits, South Beach offered the two of my favorite things: a natural source of vitamin D & excellent people watching. Plus, there are two convenient airport options, which often means you can score a decent deal on airfare.
 
I started my trip out with dropping my bags at The Raleigh Hotel. An Art Deco beauty right on the beach, it’s like time hasn’t touched this place since 1940 (except for in all the good ways… like wi-fi). As you walk up the drive, the craziness of Collins Avenue magically disappears and it’s like you arrived in mid-century Cuba.

The lobby boasts a cute coffee shop and an absolutely glamorous, intimate martini bar fit for, I dunno, any member of the Rat Pack. However, the pool steals the show. Made famous by Esther Williams, take a dip and perfect your synchronized swimming skills… or just sip a cocktail and read a trashy book in a lounger (or hammock).
 
Restaurant Michael Schwartz, a poolside eatery situated beneath the property’s stunning cypress trees, is a fantastic and convenient dining option for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Order the ceviche or, if they have them, the shishito peppers. Side note: I’ve never been there and not seen a celebrity; be sure to wear your sunglasses and/or a hat so you can gawk discretely. 

Photo courtesy of Yardbird

Speaking of food, all I ever want to do on vacation is eat. Two of my favorite dining options are within walking distance of the hotel: Yardbird and Khong River House.

You can’t beat brunch at Yardbird, an homage to traditional southern food, with amazing chicken and biscuits and shrimp and grits (who cares if you have to put a swimsuit on later! You are on vacation.)  Khong River House does some of the most authentic Thai cuisine stateside.  Start out with Burmese noodle wraps, a chili-peanut-lemon-cilantro-soy-Srirracha flavor bomb wrapped in one neat little package. Then move on to Panang curry with short rib; stir-fried eggplant; or Vietnamese-style crispy prawns.

Photo courtesy of Yardbird

Photo courtesy of Khong River House

Unlike my college spring break days, I attempt to incorporate some healthy stuff into my vacay routine. Throw on your sneakers, workout gear and sunglasses, then hoof it down to Jugofresh, the best cold-pressed juice bar in town. It’s about a 25-minute walk from the hotel, and worth every step. For people craving more of a scenic walk/run/bike (Miami now has the Deco Bike Share program), hit the seaside boardwalk and cruise to South Pointe Park. It’s about a two-mile trek each way. Bonus: Jugofresh is opening a South Pointe Park location in April, which means those of you with a later spring break can kill two birds with one stone.

About Molly Mogren:
The daughter of a flight attendant and a hippy-turned-real estate developer who toured Europe in a Volkswagen bus, Molly Mogren came into this world with an undeniable sense of adventure. From hiking the Antarctic Peninsula, to outrunning a hyena in South Africa and even driving a street-legal monster truck through Des Moines, Iowa—she never turns down an opportunity to do something crazy. She’s worked as Andrew Zimmern’s right-hand lady since 2007; they’ve co-written three books together and  co-host a weekly podcast called “Go Fork Yourself.” Her latest project, Hey Eleanor!, chronicles her year-long journey of tackling one thing that scares her every day.  She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her fiancé, dog (Patsy) and kitty, Bogart. She likes to drink coffee, do crossword puzzles and is very good at parallel parking.