Shoes Shopping and Mill Valley Kitchen

Shoes are a big problem for me. From running shoes to just regular sneakers, it’s always a struggle for me to find shoes that will 1) fit my orthotics, 2) give me enough support outside of the orthotics, and 3) meet my high standards for comfort. I’ve had several attempted and failed shopping trips to try to find a nicer looking shoe that meets all of my requirements. Currently, whenever I go somewhere that calls for a nicer pair of shoes I either wear my Ugg boots, suffer miserably wearing uncomfortable shoes, or give up altogether and just wear my sneakers. On the recommendation of someone at my office, I decided to check out Schuler Shoes in St. Louis Park.

photo 1(63)

I was told that Schuler’s had a wide selection comfort shoes and staff members who would help you find what you were looking for. The selection of shoes available was pretty impressive. They had an impressive selection of pretty much every comfort brand I’ve heard of.

Keen and Choco:
photo 4(51)

Dansko:
photo 3(60)

Naot (an Israeli brand!):

photo 1(64)

I tried on a couple Naots and a pair of Danskos. The Naot shoes were a little too narrow for my orthotics to fit quite right. The Danskos were a little wider and felt pretty comfortable. My heel did seem to come out a little when I walked, but the salesperson told me that is standard with Danskos since they have the hard rocker sole. The Dansko model were called Arden Black Nappa:

photo 5(46)

I’m wearing them today, and so far things are going pretty well. I started the day without socks, but that was a little uncomfortable and I felt like they were rubbing. Once I put socks on, I’ve been feeling a lot better. The only issue now is might need some non-white socks.

For lunch yesterday, we went to Mill Valley Kitchen. It’s in St. Louis Park, and they boast healthy and well-proportioned meals. I’ve wanted to try it for a while, and – given that it’s my own personal restaurant week – this was the perfect opportunity.

photo 4(47) photo 5(42)

The inside was very classy! I was expecting a cafe of sorts, but it was a lot more formal.

photo 2(61)

From their bathrooms, I could also tell they are into the environment and all that good stuff. Telltale sign: REAL TOWELS!

photo 1(62)

My dad and I both got salads for lunch. I got a butter leaf salad with asparagus, new potatoes, and skirt steak:

photo 3(59)

My dad got a house salad with chicken, and we shared some house made pita bread:

photo 5(45)

The lunch didn’t quite fill me up (there was very little meat on the salad). If I went back, I would definitely order something else, but I’m not desperate to return soon. I wasn’t too impressed and would go back to a lot of other places before I go back here.

Advertisements

We love to shop (?)

I don’t think of myself as a big shopper. Nonetheless, I sometimes get a hankering to go to stores. This past weekend, Noah and I had the shopping itch, so we visited Nadeau and Ridgedale Shopping Center.

Nadeau is a furniture store at 28th and Hennepin. I’ve driven by it many times, and always thought, “their windows are full.”

We decided to look inside and see what it was all about. Turns out the inside gave me the same impression as the outside:

photo 1(38)

Very full.

photo 4(28)

Very, very full. The furniture was stacked on top of each other with narrow rows for customers to walk through. Most of the stuff seemed to be of a more vintage style, and I found this gem of an armchair:

photo 2(37)

oh yeahhh. I also like this blue cabinet:

photo 5(23)

I guess I would characterize their selection as ‘funky, faded furniture with a twist.’ All of the furniture in the store is handmade – not mass produced – which contributes to the slightly rough-around-the-edges feel. If I were looking to furnish a house, I would consider going back here.

After Nadeau, the shopping itch was not satisfactorily scratched, so Noah and I went to Ridgedale. This excursion had a real purpose though since both of us were looking for shoes. I wanted some walking shoes and some dress shoes that would be comfortable and accommodate my orthodics. Unfortunately, I was only successful at finding the walking shoes.

When we first got to Ridgedale, priority #1 was food since we were both hungry. I got a fruit and yogurt parfait (chunky strawberry topper version) from Jamba Juice. It had strawberries, bananas, yogurt, peanut butter, and granola blended together and then topped with more granola and banana.

photo 5(26)

Noah got a chicken philly sandwich and fries from Charley’s Grilled Subs.

photo 4(31)

I didn’t try any, but Noah said it was yummy. After eating, we were ready to look for shoes!

Appropriately, I got my walking shoes at the The Walking Company (where, by the way, I received great service and got a lot of useful information). I got a pair of Dansko Elise in grey.

shoe

Noah was looking for a mid-level shoe, meaning something that falls between a sneaker and a dress shoe. He found what he was looking for at Clarks.

photo 2(40)

The shoes are Clarks Saranac in tan leather. After trying a few different varieties, these ones were the perfect fit.

photo 3(39) photo 1(41)

While I was waiting, I found this gadget:

photo 4(32)

That’s a shoe horn with a long handle. For some reason I thought it was hilarious – maybe the concept that people would want a tool to avoid bending down to put their shoes on? Or maybe I just liked it since I originally thought it was a backscratcher.