Lil’ Punks and Rocker Babies: Edgy Kids’ Clothing From TotTude

TotTude is the cure for cutesy kids’ clothes burnout.

Designer Tera Christianson creates clothing for little ones with attitudes, a line of cool onesies, Ts, tutus and accessories for infants, toddlers and kids who want to stand out in a sea of baby pink and powder blue.

Stud Muffin T from TotTude

Tera works out of a studio in her in West Fargo, ND home where she raises four little ones and operates both Blessings Photography and TotTude. She’s obviously much better at multi-tasking than I am, because just reading that sentence is making me tired.

And all her hard work is paying off. She sells her designs on her website, her Etsy store and her boys’ clothing is featured on the deal site Zulily.com through tomorrow, April 17.

There’s lot of tattoo imagery running throughout the collection (especially the boys’ line) along with nods to punk, rockabilly and hot rod style, which look unexpectedly sweet on little ones.

Red Onesie by TotTude

I mean seriously, isn’t this onesie adorable? And I’m not just saying that because my baby is wearing it. Although it did take some discipline not to title this post “Eeeeee, My Baby is a Model”…

And I love, love, love that she gives little girls options that are both cute and powerful. It’s nice to see an alternative to all the pretty-pretty princess nonsense out there.

Girls GreenTutu from TotTude

TotTude’s color palette — lots of blacks and grays mixed with bold blues, reds and the occasional blast of purple, neon pink and neon green — is a nice break for parents like me who are totally sick of a closet full of pastels.

And frankly, this stuff just makes me smile. I mean, wouldn’t it be fun to watch someone open up a tattoo sleeve onesie at a baby shower?

Kids Accessories from TotTude

Don’t forget to shop Zulily.com until tomorrow, April 17.

Learn more about the shops, people, events, art, parties and food that make the Upper Midwest unique; Follow Prairie Style File on Facebook, on Twitter @PrairieStylFile or subscribe via email on the right side of this page.

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Tera Christianson

Win Early Bird Tickets to the Eco Chic Junk Market

The Eco Chic Junk Market is back on May 10th and it’s bigger than ever!

You can still find vintage, repurposed and handmade treasures from dozens of local vendors, but this year it’s all indoors at the Hartl Ag Building on the Red River Valley Fairgrounds so you can shop rain or shine.

Early bird tickets are sold out — but not if you read Prairie Style File!

One lucky winner will score a pair of Early Bird tickets (worth $20 each!) and receive two hours of shopping (8 a.m. – 10 a.m.) before the doors open. You’ll be snacking on coffee and donuts while the rest of us are still waiting in line!

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Here’s how to win:

Just comment below this post and tell me why you want to go.

You can double your chances of winning if you like or share this post on Facebook or retweet it on Twitter.

The contest closes at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, April 19th. I’ll announce a winner on Easter Sunday.

This event is in West Fargo, but we can mail the tickets anywhere. So if you can’t make it, but you know someone who can, feel free to enter for them. If you win, we’ll make sure they get the tickets.

If you’re not from the area, you should totally come to town on May 10 — its the day to be in Fargo. The Fargo Marathon celebrates its tenth year (and it’s an amazing event to watch), I’m hosting a new event in the afternoon that I’ll tell you about on Thursday (ooh, the suspense!) and you’ll have plenty of time to shop and meet other junkers at the Eco Chic Junk Market.

Sounds like a perfect day, don’t you think?

Learn more about the shops, people, events, art, parties and food that make the Upper Midwest unique; Follow Prairie Style File on Facebook, on Twitter @PrairieStylFile or subscribe via email on the right side of this page.

Eat Local. Go Now.

A landmark restaurant in my old neighborhood closed this week. It was a locally owned original and I miss it already.

But this post isn’t about that.

It isn’t about the restaurant’s famous beer cheese soup (although local foodies are already in mourning) or the magically strange basement location where you could hear a ball game playing in one ear and the hypnotic gurgle of a bubbling fountain in the other. It’s not about the tangled knot of factors that lead to its closing.

This post is about the future.

It’s about what we do now.

Drinks at Unglued

This post is for everyone who has ever watched a restaurant in their neighborhood close.

It’s for the people who lined up on closing day to try their favorites one last time, for the food enthusiasts bemoaning the death of another locally owned place online. And more than anything, it’s for the person who never took the chance to stop in and try something new.

This post is about how we move forward through sadness and regret and take action to support other locally owned restaurants.

So this is what we do. Are you ready? The solution is breathtakingly simple.

Eat local. Go now.

Food Truck Taco

That little Chinese place you pass every day on your way to work? Try it tonight.

That mom and pop cafe place that’s been around forever? Bring the family for Sunday dinner.

That sleek new place everybody’s buzzing about? That one that seems a little too much — too expensive, too fancy, too strange, too outside your comfort zone? Make a reservation and bring someone with a heart for adventure.

As diners, our part is easy. We just have to show up and eat. The restaurant business…well, now that’s where it gets hard.

Like any high risk, high reward endeavor, owning and operating a restaurant is a business of thrilling highs and sucker punch lows. Chefs, owners, managers and staff have to deal with a pressure cooker of stressors every day — rising operating costs, stiff competition, changes in population and demographics, unpredictable food costs, staff turnover, creative burnout, wage insecurity, bad tips, jerk customers and actual, bodily fatigue from the grinding demands of an often brutally physical job.

Sandwich at Moose and Sadie's

The restaurant business is a gamble. It always will be. Some restaurants don’t make it past infancy. Some of the best restaurants implode while others quietly waste away.

This is life. The consistently magical places are both a well-oiled machine and a celebration of the ephemeral, a buzzy cocktail of chemistry and energy and the sensory delights of flavors and textures.

Nothing lasts forever. It’s a mistake to take that kind of pleasure for granted. And it’s a tragedy to let it pass you by.

Pie from Tower City Cafe

So when you find a place that excites you on a primal level — that spot with the perfect pie, or the comfortable dining room or the most beautiful food you’ve ever seen — support it.

And tell your friends about it — or better yet, invite them along. Spread the word on social media. Suggest a local spot to visitors and show them what your town is really about.

Wave to the owners. They need to see their investment in the community is appreciated. Chat with the management. They hear too many petty complaints. Compliment the kitchen staff, both the chefs that drafted the menu and the men and women on the line. They never get a chance to look up and see how much you enjoyed your meal. Ask the servers and bartenders for their help and suggestions — and tip handsomely for a job well done. They are trained professionals with a wealth of knowledge and experiences and too often they’re treated like simple order-takers.

These are the people that keep the locally owned restaurants running. And the locally owned spots are what keep our communities unique and vibrant.

Eat local. Go now.

Dessert Tray at The Hotel Donaldson

Not every restaurant will make it. But if a restaurant closes its doors and we’ve never been there, we are partly to blame. We did nothing. We sat by and watched another local source of revenue go under, because we got complacent. We settled for warming up something good enough at home when we could have had something great.

We can’t do anything about most of the stresses that restaurant owners face. But we can show up and eat. And we can enjoy the magic while we have a chance.

Eat local. Go now.

Learn more about the shops, people, events, art, parties and food that make the Upper Midwest unique; Follow Prairie Style File on Facebook, on Twitter @PrairieStylFile or subscribe via email on the right side of this page.

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Catch The ‘Fargo’ on FX Premiere at the Fargo Theatre on April 15

Fargo is back in the news with a new series on FX and the Fargo Theatre is celebrating with a wink, serving up cocktails and plates of bars to snack on (it is the Midwest, doncha know) before the “Fargo” series premiere at 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 15.

The evening wraps up with a Q&A session with actor Tom Musgrave, who plays Bo Munk in the series. Tom has ties to the area — he’s from Valley City, ND and local theatre fans might remember him from his work on the MSUM stage and with the Straw Hat Players in the mid to late 90s — so the appearance will be a homecoming for him as well as a chance for audience members to learn more about the show.

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Image from “Fargo” on FX

Tom joins one of the most fabulously quirky TV line-ups in recent memory, including Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Colin Hanks, Bob Odenkirk, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele (yes, from Key & Peele) as well as Kate Walsh and Oliver Platt. Intrigued? Check out the behind the scenes footage here.

I’m told the series’ namesake city doesn’t actually appear on screen (the action is set in Minnesota and mostly filmed in Canada) but the namecheck is practically a guarantee that Fargo will be back on the nation’s radar next week. So kudos to the Fargo Theatre and sponsors Visit Fargo-Moorhead and Cable ONE) for having a little fun with it.

The Fargo on FX Premiere Party
April 15 at 8 p.m.

The Fargo Theatre
314 Broadway
Fargo, ND
Bus: Route 11
The event is FREE — seating is first come, first served

If you can’t make the event, be sure to check out “Fargo” on FX at 9:00 Central and let me know what you think!

Learn more about the shops, people, events, art, parties and food that make the Upper Midwest unique; Follow Prairie Style File on Facebook, on Twitter @PrairieStylFile or subscribe via email on the right side of this page.

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