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Connie Nelson

Senior editor | Lifestyle
phone: 612-673-7087
Connie Nelson is the Senior Editor for features coverage at the StarTribune. During the growing season, she produces how-to videos and is part of the Greengirls and Homegirls blogs.
Recent content from Connie Nelson
Looking to lose weight? Here's how a nutrition assessment can help

Looking to lose weight? Here's how a nutrition assessment can help

You needn't be an elite athlete to get your goals, diet and activity evaluated by the EXOS-Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center in Minneapolis.
Woodbury's CycleBar spinning workout tones your arms and your legs

Woodbury's CycleBar spinning workout tones your arms and your legs

Boutique gym offers spinning combined with upper-body exercise.
Mpls. meditator helps Stillwater prisoners find moments of Zen

Mpls. meditator helps Stillwater prisoners find moments of Zen

For the past 17 years, Patrice Koelsch has been bringing quiet to a chaotic world.
New Minneapolis rowing gym delivers 'one-and-done workout'

New Minneapolis rowing gym delivers 'one-and-done workout'

There's a revival in rowing. We tried out a class, and here's what we found.
Snow? Cold? Now? What should Minnesota gardeners do?

Snow? Cold? Now? What should Minnesota gardeners do?

Coaxed by way-too-warm weather (we've been running 10 to 20 degrees above normal), buds are breaking and tulips are popping out of the ground. Now cold and snow are in the forecast.
New Twin Cities gym offers aerial fitness. Yes, you can do it.

New Twin Cities gym offers aerial fitness. Yes, you can do it.

What it is: A new kind of aerial fitness class that uses hammock-like slings to provide support and resistance and get your workout off…
Accidental historian: New Brighton teen captures Minneapolis in the '70s

Accidental historian: New Brighton teen captures Minneapolis in the '70s

It was 1968 and Mike Evangelist was 14 when the self-described nerd from New Brighton hopped a bus with a buddy and headed to downtown Minneapolis. The 11-mile trip changed his life.
Twin Cities area kids show how they're making our world better

Twin Cities area kids show how they're making our world better

Essays by Twin Cities area elementary school students reveal all the many things they're doing to make a difference.
New York Times now dissing Minnesota's beloved Honeycrisp apples

New York Times now dissing Minnesota's beloved Honeycrisp apples

In 2014, the New York Times christened the grape salad a quintessential Minnesota Thanksgiving recipe. Now the paper has dissed the darling of the apple world — the Minnesota-developed Honeycrisp.
Star Tribune weekday comic pages will replace 'Stone Soup' with 'Big Nate'

Star Tribune weekday comic pages will replace 'Stone Soup' with 'Big Nate'

Hang onto your hat: There’s going to be a change in the Star Tribune’s daily comics. Jan Eliot, creator of the comic strip “Stone Soup,”…
One Day University in Minneapolis offers college-level classes without the cramming

One Day University in Minneapolis offers college-level classes without the cramming

Brian Little has had a distinguished career, teaching at Harvard, Oxford and McGill. Still, he loves what he calls “professing” so much that his postretirement…
Review: 'The Dust That Falls From Dreams,' by Louis de Bernières

Review: 'The Dust That Falls From Dreams,' by Louis de Bernières

FICTION: The dramatic life of an English family unfolds during World War I.
Canoeing through historic lands, Montana's Missouri River Breaks

Canoeing through historic lands, Montana's Missouri River Breaks

A guided trip through the Missouri River Breaks of Montana offers adventure and history in an unspoiled landscape.
Minneapolis shirt designer wants guys to lift their style game

Minneapolis shirt designer wants guys to lift their style game

Jason Hammerberg grew up in a typical Duluth family, the youngest son of an engineer dad and nurse mom — who loved to shop. That,…

A wet spring sets Minnesota gardens up for growth – and potential problems

As a Minnesotan, I feel a tad guilty for complaining about the weather — unless it’s 20 below. But I have to admit that our…
Day trip to Pepin, a star on Wisconsin's 'West Coast'

Day trip to Pepin, a star on Wisconsin's 'West Coast'

Pepin offers a day's worth of adventure — from four-star food and wine to quaint museums and art-inspired stores. Though it's less than 70 miles from the cities, the Wisconsin village can seem a world away.
Twin Citians, grab your rakes and go to it

Twin Citians, grab your rakes and go to it

Knowing when to rake is part art, part patience. “If you rake too early, you can harm the tiny grass plants,” said Sam Bauer, a…
Architects: Invest wisely in your nest

Architects: Invest wisely in your nest

Who doesn't want to feel at home in their home? Regional architects weigh in on how to make choices you'll be happy with for the long haul.
Couple display the art of gardening

Couple display the art of gardening

A creative couple rely on a unique form of organic design to turn their front yard into an award-winning destination.
Back-yard bounty

Back-yard bounty

A passionate, learn-as-you-go gardener reaps the fruits of many years of labor in his Edina yard.
St. Paul city garden is front and center

St. Paul city garden is front and center

A learn-as-you-go gardener transformed a small city lot into an imaginative, innovative garden.

How to shop the Home + Garden Show

  You’ve always been able to pick up a chili dog and, say, a bottle of hot sauce, some jewelry cleaner or a ShamWow at…
Meet the community builders

Meet the community builders

In their winning United Way-Star Tribune essays, Minnesota students show us the simple, often sweet ways they've changed their worlds for the better.
Winter's early arrival puts a chill on home chores

Winter's early arrival puts a chill on home chores

Winter's surprise arrival caught many of us with a "to do" list that wasn't quite "done." But there are very good reasons to tackle some chores, no matter how unsavory the thought of battling the cold, snow and ice might be.
In Phoenix, a hike a day

In Phoenix, a hike a day

The Valley of the Sun's many parks, preserves and peaks make for happy trails.
Spruce up your holiday table

Spruce up your holiday table

Set a fresh and family-friendly Thanksgiving table by using what you have around the house.
Star Tribune Greengirls host a plant swap May 18

Star Tribune Greengirls host a plant swap May 18

It's time for your plants to get growing: The annual Greengirls garden swap happens next weekend.
Greengirls are back online to talk about gardens

Greengirls are back online to talk about gardens

It's official: You can rake. Just ask the Greengirls, the Star Tribune's garden bloggers, who are making their season debut.
'Rhymes With Orange' comes to the Star Tribune's comics pages

'Rhymes With Orange' comes to the Star Tribune's comics pages

Starting today, "Rhymes With Orange" by Hilary Price will be featured in the daily paper. Her punchline-driven panels (which she refers to as a "gag strip") also will appear on Sundays.
Who needs these 20 things when you have a smartphone?

Who needs these 20 things when you have a smartphone?

The smartphone era has lightened our loads. Here's a quick look at 20 things we no longer need to lug around thanks to smartphones
Summer in the Cities: Heavens above

Summer in the Cities: Heavens above

A series exploring Minnesota's favorite season.
Dances with buffalo in South Dakota

Dances with buffalo in South Dakota

Once simply a tool to manage the herd, the annual Buffalo Roundup in Custer State Park has become a Wild West show.
Itching to be in the garden? Wait!

Itching to be in the garden? Wait!

Put down that rake. Walk away from the wheelbarrow.
Harriet: Jewel in the crown

Harriet: Jewel in the crown

It's the gem in Minneapolis' sparkling chain of lakes, mixing big-city splendor with small-town charm. An added bonus: It has its own little elf.
Do It Now: Rake those leaves

Do It Now: Rake those leaves

If you have a thick layer of leaves, don't let them stay on the lawn. They can mat down over the winter and cause your…

Living Green

What exactly is being "green?" And if it's so good, why aren't we doing more of it? Here's how we all can live greener -- and why we should.
The accidental prairie advocate

The accidental prairie advocate

With the publication of her fourth book, a local garden writer solidifies her support for growing native plants.
They dared to dream of a better world - and won

They dared to dream of a better world - and won

The students who wrote the winning essays in the "Dare to Dream" contest have big plans for improving their communities.

Record heat is putting on the growth

Some plants are loving the heat, even if you're not.
Bunnies aren't pestering gardens, yet

Bunnies aren't pestering gardens, yet

Early spring has spared the tulips, but given them plenty to eat.
Grab a rake, stow the sprinkler

Grab a rake, stow the sprinkler

It's probably not too early to rake, but hold off on watering.

What's in, what's out in kitchens and baths

A national trendspotter sees a resurgence in remodeling and a renewed focus on nesting.
Sex-up gardening? This Aussie is trying

Sex-up gardening? This Aussie is trying

Garden design has never been a sexy subject. But a horticultural hottie is poised to change all that. This year, he launched yet another venture: a new HGTV show, "The Outdoor Room With Jamie Durie."
Gardening for the general good

Gardening for the general good

A nationally known entomologist has become a vocal advocate for using our gardens as places to preserve biodiversity.
Before & After: Kitchen

Before & After: Kitchen

An outdated kitchen gets a contemporary update without adding square footage or moving walls.
Seeding the future

Seeding the future

George Ball is bullish on gardening. But then, he ought to be. Ball is the chairman of Burpee Seed, one of the nation's largest seed, plant and supply companies. We talked to Ball - in English with a smattering of French - about "catalog creep," our hunger for new plants and the explosive growth in gardening.

Como show features flowers on film

Denise Rouleau and Mark D. Roberts weren't intending to mark the end of an era. They just wanted to put together an exhibition of photos of Como Park's Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, one of their favorite places to shoot.
Dec. 2008: Minneapolis man double-decks the halls

Dec. 2008: Minneapolis man double-decks the halls

A Minneapolis man decorates his home with childlike glee, a well-trained eye and two, count 'em two, Christmas trees.
The end is near!

The end is near!

You can see the end of the gardening season from here. Here's what with three top gardeners in the Twin Cities are doing to get their gardens ready for winter.
New film reveals the power of plants

New film reveals the power of plants

Writers cringe when you say, "I saw your story," because it means you didn't actually read it. But I can say -- with a clear conscience -- that I saw Michael Pollan's book, "The Botany of Desire," because his 2001 bestseller has been brought to the small screen in a two-hour documentary.
Explaining the forest through the trees

Explaining the forest through the trees

Jeff Gillman, a research scientist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, is known for his myth-busting books. His latest explores the complex relationship between trees and humans.
The fall five

The fall five

Instead of including the 40 or 50 things you should do, we've zeroed in on the five chores you really need to do to put your yard and garden to bed. Nightie night!
Subscribe to style

Subscribe to style

We all have our favorite shelter mags. But translating those glossy pages into real life isn't easy.
Guru busts organic myths

Guru busts organic myths

All that's organic is not necessarily green, says a University of Minnesota researcher and author.
Julia Cobbs: Sofa, so good

Julia Cobbs: Sofa, so good

Julia Cobbs has made a name for herself - well a first name, anyway - as one of the girls of gossip on the popular drive-time show "Lori and Julia." We talked with the impish, energetic and talkative talk-show host about her Sundays at home, why she downloaded Led Zeppelin and what's stuffed under her sectional.
Ash borer treatment is not yet necessary

Ash borer treatment is not yet necessary

Yes, you should be concerned about emerald ash borer. But don't grab for an insecticide yet.
Before & After

Before & After

A kitchen in St. Louis Park loses that '70s look and gets a stylish, same-size makeover.
Window dressing

Window dressing

Use the bounty of nature - and your own back yard - to create picture-perfect window boxes that will last from harvest to the holidays and beyond.
Read it & reap

Read it & reap

You don't need to wait until the harvest moon to start harvesting fresh vegetables, fruit and herbs. Our quick-hit guide will help you get the most from your garden.
'Pandora' frees power of story

'Pandora' frees power of story

A rip-roaring adventure story that moves from pre-World War I England to the Congo. Populated with eccentric characters, this lively novel is practically a parody of itself -- and that's a good thing.

'Freya' discovers self, Iceland

BOOK REVIEW The discovery of a family secret sends a reclusive Icelandic woman on a journey to the past. While well-written and entertaining, the book is not without flaws.

Set for plant swap? What to know before you go

Most of us get the bulk of our plants at garden centers. But you can save a few bucks and spice up your shopping by going to one of the many plant sales or swaps.
One of easiest ways to go green

One of easiest ways to go green

Compost keeps yard and kitchen waste out of landfills and makes one of the best natural soil amenders.
What not to do in your yard and garden right now

What not to do in your yard and garden right now

There always are plenty of spring chores to tackle. One of the most difficult? Waiting.
2008 show: Hot, hot, hot

2008 show: Hot, hot, hot

Hot. Hot. Hot. That's not the forecast; that's a description of 2008's Macy's-Bachman's flower show.
Project in a pot

Project in a pot

You can grow your own salad if you have somewhere to put a pot and at least six hours of sun a day.

A new version of 'house keeping'

In a sign of the times, a St. Paul home and garden show adds foreclosure to its workshop topics.

Home shows don't need big-name stars to draw DIY crowds

When the Minneapolis Home & Garden Show got its start 75 years ago, it featured beauty pageants, vaudeville acts and big-name stars -- Liberace, the Lennon Sisters, even Frank Sinatra.
Macy's annual spring flower show rises to occasion

Macy's annual spring flower show rises to occasion

The annual spring flower show will return to its home on Macy's eighth floor.
Mary will remain a mystery

Mary will remain a mystery

Even 130 years after her death, former First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln remains inscrutable.
A New York state of mind

A New York state of mind

Interior designer Andrew Flesher built his own Little Apple atmosphere in a converted Minneapolis hotel.

Inexpensive gestures are often priceless

Use old photos atop your traditional wrapping. Find an old photo (the kids with Santa, your parents kissing under the mistletoe), scan it and enlarge it to fit the package. (If you don't have a scanner, use the original photo.)

Readers share ideas for recycling cards, food or gifts

Penelope Johnson of Hopkins: When you receive an attractive greeting card, clip off the side of the card with the artwork, then attach it to plain cardstock. Just write your personal greeting on the inside, and you've made a beautiful new card.

Savings abound, from party wear to tableware

To get a new-to-you holiday outfit without spending a dime, invite some gal pals over and stage a temporary clothes swap.
Holidays on a budget: Here's how

Holidays on a budget: Here's how

Spending less on the holidays doesn't cheapen them. It can make your events more homespun and heartfelt.
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