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Aimee Blanchette

Reporter | Features
phone: 612-673-1715
Aimee Blanchette is a digital content reporter and lifestyles writer in the Star Tribune's Variety section. She began working for the Star Tribune in 2004 and has covered real estate, business, education and fashion. She helped launch, produce and anchor NewsBreak, the daily webcast on startribune.com. Aimee has a deep affinity for all things Minnesota.
Recent content from Aimee Blanchette
Freya Nafziger, 9, and brother Linus, 11, read as they waited for the Richfield pool to reopen. “Summer is a unique time to not have to live by a sc

Why some Twin Cities parents are giving their kids a 'boring' summer

Some Minnesota parents are fighting the pressure to overbook their kids and opting for the laid-back summers of yesteryear.
Becca Kufrin meets one of her potential suitors on “The Bachelorette.”

Auditions for ABC's 'The Bachelor' coming to the Mall of America

Producers from the ABC reality show will be looking for eligible men and women June 30.
Katie Steller finds different ways to honor people who go the extra mile, such as giving Katie Naughton, above, a makeover.

A Minneapolis salon owner's kindness project honors beauty within

Last fall, Katie Steller launched the Steller Kindness Project to share the stories of local people who lend a hand to others.
Jason Segel, left, and Ed Helms in "Jeff Who Lives At Home."

'Dad bod': Our abs are squishy and we like 'em that way; so do many women

How slight beer bellies, a side of man boob, and a smattering of chest hair suddenly became the ideal.
Steve Peterson of Minneapolis bought a lot on Lake O’Brien in 1968. “I built the cabin in a series of weekends the next summer, and have been tink

Love it or loathe it? Minnesotans weigh in on cabin opening ritual

Some folks go all in on "dock-in weekend," while others just want to get to the part where they can relax.
Tired parents lying on floor and their romping kids

End of the school year pushes parents to the limit

Everyone is aware of the demands placed on students before the academic school year ends. But what about the parents?
Anagret and Kyrkja Rydland with their birth mothers Greta Guldseth and Jenna Yentsch.

Honoring birth moms: 'We wouldn't be a family without them'

As attitudes about adoption have shifted, celebrations the day before Mother's Day -- Birth Mother's Day -- honor the women who made families possible.
Jacob Olavson

Jacob Olavson, Coon Rapids boy whose bucket list inspired many, dies at 7

It's Jacob who taught Kari and Kirk Olavson, and many others, to look for what they call "sparks of joy."
Deleting Facebook is harder than you might think, technically and emotionally.

For some people, Facebook is a hard habit to break: 'It took weeks'

Logging off the ubiquitous social media network may be harder than you think.
Housekeeper Jennifer Kraskey dusted at the Minneapolis home of U cancer researcher and Ph.D. student Emily Pomeroy, who used the time to catch up on e

Busy millennials confess: We hired a house cleaner and it's worth it

Millennials are hiring house cleaners to help achieve a better work/life balance.
Hope Shores Bible Camp

Parents on the art of summer scheduling: 'The stress I feel keeps me up at night'

For many parents, planning their kids' summer break is a mind-boggling affair.
Newly crowned "The Bachelorette" Becca Kufrin appeared on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

On 'Ellen,' Minnesota's 'Bachelorette' reveals her celebrity crush

Prior Lake's Becca Kufrin appears on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" for her first sit-down interview since "The Bachelor."
Lindsey Christianson, the "Elderberry Queen," makes batchs of elderberry syrup in her home kitchen in Ramsey.

To fight flu, more Minnesotans on the hunt for elusive elderberry syrup

During this brutal flu season, a growing number of people are turning to elderberry syrup as a natural remedy. But does it really work?
Minnesotan Becca Kufrin on "The Bachelor."

A Minnesotan has never won 'The Bachelor' — but that could change tonight

Will fan-favorite Becca Kufrin bring home the Neil Lane diamond engagement ring?
Patrick Peifer lifehack for cutting his dog’s toe nails went viral with this Twitter photo by daughter Kendal.

Eagan dog owner's clever nail-trimming hack for pup goes viral

Like most dogs, Oliver is not a fan of having his nails trimmed, so his owner devised a viral-worthy plan.
A Girl Scout cookie-themed doughnut at Hi-Lo Diner in Minneapolis.

Hi-Lo Diner wants you to vote in its Girl Scout cookie competition

The contest submissions are as sweet as the cookies.
Sting loves when children read to him.

Lonely Minnesota therapy dog goes viral after nobody showed up to read to him

A Facebook post showed the dog waiting for someone, anyone to come read to him at a White Bear Lake library.
Stitch in time changes lives
Michelle Ooley and her Mobile Menders do more than fix clothing for free — they help boost self-worth for people in nee

St. Paul woman's 'Mobile Menders' repairs clothes and community

The volunteer group heads to homeless shelters, and senior and low-income housing complexes with sewing machines several times a month.
The cake in question that went viral on Nadia Cakes' Facebook account.

This bakery's cake goes viral after people mistake it for female body part

The winner of Food Network's "Cupcake Wars" called it a geode cake.
Carly Zucker is hosting a new KFAN show, "Overtime."

Carly Zucker's new KFAN show is station's first female-led program in a decade

Zucker's "Overtime" will explore the personal lives of pro athletes.
John Gantert was Dayton's longtime special events director, in charge of coordinating painters, artists and prop designers to bring the department sto

John Gantert, the 'wizard' behind Dayton's 8th floor auditorium shows, has died

During the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, the creative wizardry of John Gantert lured thousands of people to downtown Minneapolis for Dayton’s famed…
At top, Herbanae Scott with her 3-month-old son, Odell. She said he liked sleeping in “the cozy and confined space.”

Twin Cities agency gives teen moms boxes for newborns – just like in Finland

A new Twin Cities nonprofit is providing teen moms with starter kits to parenthood, including a cardboard box for their babies to sleep in.
Allison and Robert Scepaniak II of St. Cloud got married Jan. 3, 2015, at northern Minnesota’s Bear Skin Lodge. “It was magic, like a snow globe,�

More Minnesota couples saying 'I do' to winter weddings

Getting married in the offseason means a beautiful wintry backdrop for photos, and some cost savings, too.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell gave 99-year-old Vikings fan Millie Wall two tickets to Super Bowl LII.

Fans push 'Millie to Philly' for 99-year-old-Vikings fan; she settles for Super Bowl

Ninety-nine-year-old Millie Wall, now considered the best Vikings' good luck charm of all time, is going to the Super Bowl.
Screen grab from the Facebook event titled: "Dress up like a bird and run into the glass at U.S. Bank Stadium."

Facebook event calls for people to dress up like birds, slam into U.S. Bank Stadium

A Facebook event calls for people to dress up like birds and run into the glass at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Vikings surprised Millie Wall by sending her some tickets to her first playoff game for her upcoming 100th birthday.

Vikings surprise 99-year-old with tickets to her first playoff game: 'I've been a fan forever'

Will one of the Vikings' oldest fans help them bring home the victory on Sunday?
Gretchen Carlson is returning to the Twin Cities this week to empower underprivileged women.

Gretchen Carlson in the Twin Cities to 'inspire women to know that their voice matters'

The former Fox News host is urging underprivileged women to speak out in the fight against sexual harassment and domestic violence.
Minnesota-style — according to Red's Savoy — is a thin-crust, square-cut pizza with loads of cheese and toppings and a signature spicy "passive ag

Twitter war erupts over whether there's a Minnesota-style pizza

"If your slice is shaped like a triangle, it's not Minnesota-style pizza," said Red Savoy's president Reed Daniels.
KARE 11 reporter Lindsey Seavert, with basket in hand, met with Jon and Jenny Tichich of Apple Valley in the antepartum unit at University of Minnesot

KARE 11's Seavert delivers baskets of hope to Twin Cities moms on bed rest

The local TV reporter is helping high-risk mothers have a more comfortable long-term hospital stay.
Screen shot from video posted to Ryan Flores' Facebook page of "Santa" throwing cash down on Mall of America shoppers.

'Santa' drops $1,000 on shoppers from fourth floor, gets kicked out of Mall of America

The charitable stunt stunned shoppers, and angered mall security.
A screen shot from Chelsea Handler's appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

Chelsea Handler makes feminist fashion statement on 'Ellen' wearing Minn. T-shirt

The comedian appeared on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" touting female empowerment while wearing a shirt from My Sister.
The historic Grain Belt Beer sign on the Minneapolis riverfront.

Minneapolis' iconic Grain Belt sign to light up again — and you can buy bulb

The Grain Belt Beer sign has been dark for years, but is ready to shine again.
Mikayla Holmgren competes in the evening gown competition during Miss Minnesota USA.

First woman with Down Syndrome competes, inspires at Miss Minnesota USA pageant

Mikayla Holmgren widens the door for pageant inclusiveness, wins pageant awards for her spirit, courage and enthusiasm.
Gretchen Carlson, the former Fox News anchor who sued network boss Roger Ailes for sexual harassment, at the home of her lawyer in Montclair, N.J., in

'It's an epidemic': Gretchen Carlson takes on sexual harassment crisis

The Anoka native says America is at a tipping point for dismantling the culture of sexual harassment.
Chris Hawkey took a moment while talking on his KFAN radio show.

KFAN's Chris Hawkey opens up about depression

Radio star Chris Hawkey on his lifelong struggles with depression: "I'm a broken individual just like so many other people out there."
Debi Berger with her grandson, Jayson.

Moorhead woman writes own obituary: 'Forgive someone who doesn't deserve it'

She filled her own obituary with advice, and the Fargo-Moorhead community honored her by hanging their holiday lights early.
“He was right up there with one of the hardest babies I’ve seen. … He’s doing so well now. Everyone is," said Melissa Ellis, a doula for Kai S

Postpartum doulas are in high demand with millennial moms

They will plan meals, change diapers, walk dogs, run errands, tidy the house and care for babies at night so that new parents can sleep.
After getting overwhelmed and wanting to get off the plane, Andy Diaz, 13, found a comfortable seat in the first row with his mother, Linda Diaz.

MSP's 'flight to nowhere' helps people get comfortable with flying

Airport wants to take the fear out of flying for people with special needs.
The most oddly-named towns in the U.S.

Map shows weirdest town names by state — see which in Minnesota made the list

Little Canadians reject list of America's most unusual town names.
Roy Carlson and his pet pigtail macaque Mikee were on a stroll in St. Paul, July 2016.

Pet monkey who was 'kind of a celebrity' around St. Paul has died

Mikee, 'the last legal pet monkey in Minnesota,' dies at 19.
] Mark Vancleave - mark.vancleave@startribune.com * Local pumpkin master Jennifer Benke shared her advice for carving intricate designs. Her specialty

How to carve a pumpkin like a pro

A master carver dishes on her tips and tricks, and even shows us how to make a Prince pumpkin.
Former Vikings player Esera Tuaolo is competing on "The Voice."

Former Vikings player reveals he can sing, stuns judges on 'The Voice'

On Monday night, 300-pound retired defensive tackle Esera Tuaolo traded knocking over football opponents for stunning the judges during the season premiere of NBC's "The Voice."
Minnesota's Taylor Sieve has made it in the finals of "So You Think You Can Dance."

Maple Grove graduate makes the finals of Fox's 'So You Think You Can Dance'

Taylor Sieve, 19, wowed the judges on Monday night, cementing her spot in the final four.
The missing snake is five feet long.

5-foot boa constrictor on the loose in Princeton, Minn.

Due to cooler temperatures outside, the snake may not be doing well.
Back-to-school shopping: nostalgic or nightmare?

Back-to-school shopping: nostalgic or nightmare?

How one mom's effort to simplify her daughter's back-to-school shopping turned into a lesson for both.
Ed Mosiman hangs out at the State Fair campground.

Minnesotan born at 1954 State Fair, now dying of cancer, goes 'one last time'

With a birth certificate to prove it, Ed Mosiman is something of a State Fair legend.
If he's honking, he's probably not from here.

Minnesota driver's dilemma: To honk or not to honk?

When you're Minnesota Nice, honking comes with internal conflict.
David and Elizabeth Weinlick are renewing their vows 19 years after they were introduced and married at the Mall of America after David publicly recru

Aug. 16, 2017: 19 years after MOA marriage, wife and terminally ill husband will renew vows

A couple who got married at Mall of America after knowing each other for just five minutes are saying 'I do' again, this time amid a terminal cancer diagnosis.
In a Facebook video, Al Roker is seen wearing a Vikings shirt promoting his Minnesota State Fair appearance.

Al Roker of NBC's 'Today Show' to broadcast live from Minnesota State Fair

The TV personality is promoting his Minnesota appearance in a Facebook video wearing Vikings purple.
“Without Gene, Hope Creamery wouldn’t be open.” — Victor Mrotz

Eugene 'Gene' Kruckeberg, maker of Hope Butter, dies at 78

The head butter maker for one of the last independently owned creameries in the state died July 25.
Minnesota's Eva Igo competes in the "World of Dance" finals Tuesday.

Minnesota girl competes for $1M tonight on NBC's 'World of Dance' finale

Eva Igo, 14, is one of three dancers still standing in the TV competition — and will learn her fate tonight.
The St. Paul band Communist Daughter, left to right: Molly and Johnny Solomon, Al Weiers, Dillon Marchus, Steven Yasgar, and Adam Switlick. The band w

Minnesota musicians unite in the fight to destigmatize mental illness

A key event that makes the local support scene unique is HazelFest, a sober music festival taking place Saturday at Hazelden.
Three weeks before Justine Damond was fatally shot by a Minneapolis police officer, she rescued a family of ducklings from a storm drain.

Video shows Justine Damond rescuing family of ducklings in Mpls. weeks before death

The Guardian released video showing Justine Damond saving ducklings from a storm drain just weeks before her shooting death by a Minneapolis police officer.
Ken Brown was able to see his son graduate early from the University of Minnesota.

Father granted wish to see son graduate early from the U dies from ALS

Ken Brown wasn't expected to live until May so the U held a special ceremony in March.
Paul Bunyan and Babe in Bemidji.

From Paul Bunyan to a 65-foot fish, where to find state's giant roadside statues

We've rounded up the top 10 statues most likely to entice travelers off the Minnesota highway. Some are big, some are weird, but all are worth a stop.
Kelsey Poshusta caught a giant muskie on Lake Mille Lacs.

Minnesota woman's first muskie nearly breaks state record

The 23-year-old woman from southern Minnesota caught a possible record-breaking fish that was too big to properly document.
The Children's Museum in St. Paul has received a $30 million makeover.

New Children's Museum unleashes the power of play

When the Minnesota Children's Museum in St. Paul set out to renovate and expand, Barbara Hahn, the museum's vice president of learning innovation, wondered: "How do we create new exhibits to unleash the power of play?"
A company called Slide the City brings massive slides to different towns around the country, including this past one in Salt Lake City. The next will

Giant 1,000-foot slip and slide opening in northern Minnesota this summer

The Iron Range town of Chisholm, Minn., is planning to be the epicenter of summer fun for one big day in August, thanks to a 1,000-foot waterslide.
John Francis created "Father's Eve" as an annual tradition and way for dads to connect.

'Father's Eve' created in St. Paul garage is now a nationwide dad's night out

A casual get-together in 2012 has exploded into dozens of events around the country for dads to bond together.
A potential candidate for the mayor of "Kitty Hall."

Minneapolis City Hall will become 'Kitty Hall' to bring awareness to cat adoption

Get ready for to vote for the cutest, furriest mayor ever.
The remodeled Children's Museum includes a four-story vertical adventure area, including a climbing towers, spiral slide and netted catwalk suspended

10 surprises at revamped MN Children's Museum, including a 4-story slide

Officially open today, the museum's $30 million makeover gives kids a place to break the rules and explore their wild ideas.
Ivanka Trump wore a $35 dress from Target recently.

Political move or thrifty shopper? Ivanka Trump wears $35 dress from Target

Unlike the $51,500 jacket that First Lady Melania Trump recently wore, Ivanka Trump chose a dress this week that's less than $20 from Target.
Edina plastic surgeon Dr. Jess Prischmann injected a patient with Kybella, an FDA-approved synthetic acid that dissolves fat.

Minnesotans are melting away their double chins with new fat-blasting injections

It's part of a movement in cosmetic surgery toward cheaper, less invasive therapies targeting smaller areas of the body without going under the knife.
Cirque du Soleil new production is called “Crystal: A Breakthrough Ice Experience,” coming to Target Center in Minneapolis Nov. 9-12.

New Cirque du Soleil show — all about ice — coming to Target Center

Just days after Ringling Bros. performed its final show, Cirque du Soleil announced its latest high-flying circus production.
Flowers left for a loved one at Fort Snelling in 2016.

'We can never forget': Volunteers to cover Fort Snelling with 20,000 flags for Memorial Day

The volunteer group hopes to one day place a flag next to every gravestone, which would total 200,000.
A car is pinned between a semi and the median after a collision on Interstate 94 westbound near Hudson, Wis., on Saturday, May 20, 2017. The driver of

Semi pins car against median barrier, seriously injuring man on I-94 near Hudson

Troopers removed the injured man from the car by breaking out the back window.
A stash of marijuana was accidentally donated with a bag of clothes to Once Upon A Child in Maplewood.

Oops! Forgotten weed stash donated to Once Upon A Child in Maplewood

Maplewood police: "Hey genius, Once Upon A Child thanks you for the clothing donation, but you forgot something in your pant pockets."
A sand tiger shark's jawbone was pulled from the Mississippi in northern Minnesota.

Fisherman catches mysterious shark jawbone in Mississippi River

"When we saw it coming up, we had no idea what it was," said Joey Piskel, who watched his dad, Joe Piskel, reel it in. "We thought it was a sheep skull or cow jaw until we saw the teeth."
The bride and her parents posed for a photo near the Nicollet Island Pavillion.

After calling off nuptials, Minn. bride donates entire dream wedding to charity

When bride-to-be Jenna Yorkovich's fairytale wedding came to a screeching halt weeks before the big day, she turned her planned walk-down-the-aisle into a happy ending anyway.
Hiking at Amity Creek Falls along Seven Bridges Road in Duluth.

The fittest city in America? It's Duluth, actually

Surprise! Minnesota's northern city comes in at No. 1 on Fitbit's new list of rankings.
Minnesota's Largest Candy Store is expanding with a 60-foot-tall dome.

Sweet! Minnesota's Largest Candy Store gets even bigger with massive new dome

The beloved candy emporium on Hwy. 169 is adding an 85,000-pound, 60-foot space planetarium.
Jesse Larson performed "Human" by Rag'n'Bone Man on Monday night's episode of "The Voice."

Minnesotan singer advances to top 10 of 'The Voice'

The one-time Prince hopeful considered quitting music after his dad died of a heart attack.
A D-JOY Tri-Spinner Fidget toy, sold on Amazon.com

'Fidget spinners' are all the rage, but some Minnesota schools have had enough

Fidget spinners are the latest craze to hit classrooms, playgrounds and social media. But some schools say the spinning has gotten out of control.
Brett Kissel leads Canadian crowd in American national anthem.

Watch 18,000 Canadian hockey fans sing 'Star-Spangled Banner'

Oh, Canada. That was pretty cool.
Composite using images from Nordstrom.com.

Stunt or trend? Nordstrom under fire for selling $425 jeans covered in fake mud

Reminiscent of every child's elementary school playground days, the jeans appear to have been smeared with mud on the knees, thighs and crotch. But they will cost you.
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