Category Archives: Minnesota

2014 HAMMS Event Set For May 3rd!

Disclosure: I received complimentary event passes to the HAMMS Event in exchange for this post.Hamms Event Minnesota 2014Think back, if you will, to this time last year. I shared some fun details about the 2013 local Minnesota market event that my little family attended, called the HAMMS Event. It takes place at the Old Hamm’s Brewery shipping docks in Saint Paul, Minnesota – which is a big, open 25,000 square foot venue that is so perfect for the event!

When is HAMMS Event 2014?

I’m glad you asked! Although you probably noticed in the title of this post, that this year’s event is scheduled for May 3rd, 2014 and runs from 10:00am to 4:00pm.

hamms event vendorsWhat happens at this event?

This is the wonderful part. At the HAMMS Event, local Minnesota Makers get together to offer their products to us, their local market! It’s a one-day, dog-friendly shopping and crowd funding extravaganza that the whole family will enjoy. Last year, we brought our pup, Luna! She was about 6 months old at the time, and she had an absolute blast meeting other dogs (and people) all day. We made sure she had some trips outside occasionally too so that we didn’t have any potty issues along the way… :)

hamms vendors #shopThe event itself originated from the idea of shopping local and supporting small businesses, along with the belief that small businesses need to stick together. Last year, they gave away $5,000 (from ticket sales and donations) to one Minnesota maker to help them take their business to the next level.

… and FOOD!

Beyond all the awesome shopping, you also have a chance to taste some great food (both from vendors and food trucks) and sip some local brew and wine! That was one of my favorite parts of last year :)

Vendor List

Last year, there was a ton of vendors that were completely new to me! But we loved walking around to all the different booths and seeing what unique things each one had to offer. Here is this year’s list of HAMMS vendors who will be there:

  • StormSister Spatique
  • TowelTopper
  • 3waybeauty
  • Elixery
  • Ella’s Heavenly Hunks
  • Worker B
  • Moss Envy
  • UrbanUndercover
  • Tess + Tricia
  • Z Art
  • redshoes26
  • Aprilierre
  • Connie Singer Photography
  • heim-made
  • BurntOut BBQ
  • Lolligobs
  • The Red Pig & Truffle Food Truck
  • Droolin’ Moose
  • Epitome Skincare
  • Kokoon
  • MAI
  • Painted Stuf
  • Belle Vache
  • Belles
  • Post-
  • i Luv Coffee Minnesoota
  • Tot Boss
  • Larissa Loden Jewelry
  • Nelli Designs
  • MBMB
  • Jules Loft
  • Drew’s Homemade Caramel Corn
  • Julie Swenson Beauty
  • Bodylish
  • Zen Healing
  • Vandalia Street Press
  • Got Knot
  • Bruno Press
  • Momentum
  • … the list is still being updated periodically :)

Attend HAMMS Event 2014!

Apply to be a vendor or purchase your tickets! Right now, tickets are $10 per person if you purchase them online. This closes at 10:00pm on May 2nd, at which time you can purchase tickets at the door for $15.

And while you’re there, be sure to say thank you to the founders of HAMMS, Becky Sturm (of 3waybeauty and StormSister Spatique) and Sairey Gernes (of UrbanUndercover and TowelTopper). They’ve put this great event together and it is really something special!

I hope to see you guys there this year! We’re already looking forward to it :)

Sarah

Sponsor Spotlight: Introducing Fashion Fix!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. Fashion Fix LogoI must introduce you guys to my latest addition to my sidebar: Fashion Fix! I am so excited to have them on board :) They specialize in one of my favorite things in the world, fashion! Let me give you the scoop on who Fashion Fix is and what they do.

What is Fashion Fix?

Fashion Fix is a local business run right here in Minnesota! The owner, Lindsey Kuhn, is a style expert whose goal is to help women “be the best version of them selves, so the can live their best life!” And that’s just what she does. She helps her clients to use what they already have in their closet to re-style their wardrobe and mix and match your pieces to give you multiple, versatile looks.

lindsey at fashion fix #shop

What Services Are Offered?

There is a lot that goes into Lindsey’s work for you! Here are the many different styling services that she offers:

1. Style and/or Beauty Consultations

Lindsey uses her knowledge and expertise to help in numerous different ways. Beyond re-styling your wardrobe, she also takes the time to explain what cuts, colors, and styles work best for you so that you can put your own looks together on your own after meeting with her!

Every client gets their own Personal Style File; which includes a Wardrobe Analysis, Style Catalog (which is photos of all the outfits she made for you), Style Board (examples of styles that are good for you), and a Shopping Guide (a collection of pieces to add to your wardrobe).

before and after styling #shop

2. Attend a Styled Right Workshop

As one of Fashion Fix’s clients, you can attend one of her Styled Right Workshops. You can find a schedule of her fashion and style classes here. All workshop attendees get a style workbook to take home with them. This is a great way to get the info and at a budget price!

She also holds presentations and speaking events for groups if you want to get a group of friends or co-workers together to learn how to vamp up your style!

Attend a Fashion Fix workshop #shop

3. Closet Re-Organization

Fashion Fix will come into your home and re-organize, re-style and help you create your best wardrobe. She will also give you tips on what you could add to make your closet even better.

4. Personal Shopping (Retail or Thrift)

If you’ve always wanted to shop with a friend who knows just what you need in your wardrobe, then this is the solution for you. She will go shopping with you and help take the overwhelming factor out of the equation for you. This can be either in a retail setting or in a thrift setting if you want more budget-friendly options!

before and after style fix #shop

Get Stylish!

If you want to contact Fashion Fix about making your wardrobe work for you, talk to Lindsey about getting started. Here’s how to get in touch:

Email: lindsey@fashionfixmn.com
Phone: 612-916-5340

She is even offering my readers $50 off purchases over $150! So be sure to mention that when you speak with her. That’s a huge savings to get started on your dream wardrobe :)

multiple looks from basic pieces #shop

I know she would love to chat about making your style work for you.

Oh, and if you have a friend or family member with a birthday coming up, why not purchase a gift certificate for them? It’s a great gift for anyone! You can find those at the bottom of her style services page.

I am so glad to have Fashion Fix on board as a sponsor! If you have a moment, be sure to go check out her site and see even more of her awesome work!

I could just talk about fashion and style all day :)

Hearts,
Sarah

J. Hilburn: Custom Men’s Wear – Review and Giveaway!

I was given a complimentary product in order to write this review. All opinions are 100% my own. J Hilburn mens clotheir #shopMy husband’s wardrobe is made up of about 85% of items that I’ve bought for him, and the other 15% of it is items he’s had for over 10 years. So when it comes to finding new items for his wardrobe, it’s usually me that picks it out. But this month, I flipped the script on him a little bit! I brought the shop (J. Hilburn) to him and let him pick out his own dress shirt! He loved it because he didn’t have to walk aimlessly around the mall, and I loved it because I knew it would be something he would really love, not just something that I happened to pick out.

I had never heard of J. Hilburn before Lynn Hoffman contacted me through my blog. She introduced the brand to me and summed up what it was that she did. In short, J. Hilburn creates custom “made to measure” men’s wear that is fashionable, practical and dapper. They have been featured in Men’s Health, Esquire, The New York Times and more!

How It Works

Lynn made a personal visit to our home to meet with us and get my husband’s measurements. Every J. Hilburn garment is custom made to fit the man that orders it. And beyond that, every inch of the garment is chosen by you so that it is made exactly how you want it!

j hilburn custom dress shirt #shopAfter she got all of his measurements, we grabbed a cup of coffee and started going over patterns and designs. My husband wanted to look at their Spring designs and pick out a new shirt for Easter. They have some very handsome Spring designs to choose from! And I couldn’t believe how many fabric patterns (over 250!) there were as well. Their dress shirts are made from 100% Italian fabrics too, it doesn’t get more fashionable than that!

j hilburn dress shirt patterns #shopI could tell immediately that my husband was more comfortable shopping this way than going to a mall. He was actually smiling! I think it helped that he didn’t have to shop a million different stores only to settle on a shirt that fit ‘okay’ and that he would like but not love. This time around, he got to pick out the fabrics, the style, everything down to the thread color on the buttons!

This might not sound like a lot, but it is. I cannot tell you the amount of time we have spent sifting through piles of dress shirts at department stores to find the style that he likes (no buttons on the collar, a long length but the correct size neck, etc.) With J. Hilburn, he got exactly what he wanted without wasting time. It was awesome, and I think he’s hooked.

custom made dress shirts j hilburn #shopTo give you a feel for the choices you have in customizing the clothing, here’s a peek at the options my husband had for designing his one-of-a-kind dress shirt:

j hilburn dress shirt options #shopIt might be silly, but my favorite part about these shirts is the fact that each shirt comes with the man’s initials monogrammed onto the back of the inside of the collar. It’s a subtle but really cool touch to each shirt and I just think it’s so neat! They do this free of charge, just because! I just love it, but I’m a sucker for a monogram :) Here’s a few samples of the collar monogram:

custom monogram dress shirt #shopI never would have thought it’d be so much fun to pick out a shirt for my husband but as you can tell, we really enjoyed ourselves with this experience! Lynn just blew us away with how well she knew the products, and she went above and beyond to make it a personal, high-end buying experience. She made a point to have the shirt dry cleaned and pressed so that when she presented it to us, it was absolutely perfect. My husband was amazed when he put on his custom-made shirt too, because it fit him perfect! That was a first for him, and he is now treating his new shirt like gold! He said, and I quote, “I’m going to take good care of this one, I want it to last me a LONG time!” and I’m sure it will.

spring j hilburn mens dress shirt #shopDoesn’t it look so dashing? I think he looks incredibly handsome, but I might be a little biased too ;)

J. Hilburn is so much more than dress shirts though, they offer custom pants, sweaters, outerwear, denim, luxury tees and more. They also offer ready-to-wear accessories like ties, scarves, cufflinks, belts, socks and more. You could get a complete wardrobe for him!

j hilburn mens clothing #shopIf you’re looking for a gift for the man in your life, just imagine how well a custom piece of clothing would go over! Most men have never worn a garment that is made just for him. It will fit better than anything they have ever tried on before. How’s that for an experience gift ;)

Notable Facts

Some interesting information about J. Hilburn:

  • There is no middle man, just your personal style consultant.
  • They were voted “Best Dress Shirt” by Esquire magazine.
  • All ties are made of 100% Italian silk.
  • Custom doesn’t mean expensive, their fashions are actually affordable!

Becoming a Stylist

lynn hoffman j hilburn #shopLynn Hoffman has been a stylist for J. Hilburn for almost 2 years and loves the freedom that it gives her to run her own business but yet still spend time with her family. She’s also been able to provide an amazing wardrobe for her husband along the way, which doesn’t hurt! Here are the details on becoming a consultant for J. Hilburn:

  • It costs $79 to start, and you’ll receive between 10-30% of your sales.
  • You’ll receive training to work and succeed your business.
  • Once you become a Managing Partner, you can receive $600 to $1,000 in a monthly car bonus to use toward the Lexus of your choice!
  • Each year, stylists can earn a luxury trip to an exotic location.

Contact Lynn

Whether you want to set up an appointment with Lynn or you’re interested in becoming a consultant, Lynn is there to help! Here’s how you can get in touch:

Win a Garment From J. Hilburn!

Lynn has graciously supplied TWO $100 gift cards to use at J. Hilburn! Though she is located in Minnesota, she doesn’t want to discriminate so she is opening up the giveaway to anywhere in the U.S.! What an awesome Valentine’s Day gift for you to present to the man in your life! The giveaway ends February 12th at midnight CST to allow time to get you your gift card in time for Valentine’s Day!

Don’t want to wait to see if you’ve won? You can still purchase a J. Hilburn gift card here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

30 Cheap or Free Couples Date Ideas

It’s so nice to be able to still date your spouse, but sometimes you just don’t want to spend a lot of money to be able to have a unique night out with them. That’s what inspired this post. I wanted to share 50 creative date ideas that are either super cheap or free, so that you can focus on spending time together instead of worrying about how much it’s going to cost you!

30 cheap free date night ideas

  1. Find a new park that you’ve never been to and take a nice walk. You’ll be surprised at how nicely it allows for great conversation.
  2. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or food shelf. Here is a list of available places in Minnesota, sorted by towns: http://www.homelessshelterdirectory.org/foodbanks/MNfoodbanks.html
  3. Play bingo or trivia at a local restaurant or bar. Many places hold these games (free of charge) for customers on a weekly basis. Google your town and bingo/trivia to find a place near you!
  4. Hold a couple’s board game night with friends or family. Partner up as spouses and take on other couples in classic games like Sequence, Charades, Pictionary, Cranium, etc.
  5. Tour a brewery or winery. Many times, places will offer a free tour through their plant to show you how they make their delicious brews. If you live in Minnesota, here are a few places that offer free tours:
    - Surly Brewing Co. (Brooklyn Center, MN)
    - Summit Brewing (St. Paul, MN)
    - Flat Earth Brewing (St. Paul, MN)
  6. Go to a sporting event at your alma mater. This could be a high school football game, hockey game, baseball game, etc. Or if you went to college, attend their homecoming for a fun blast from the past.
  7. Visit your library and find a how-to book on something you’d both like to learn. This could be a self-help book, a computer or technology book, a hobby like sewing or pottery.
  8. Work out together. Whether you have a gym membership or not, you can lift weights, go for a jog, or take a ‘stroll’ on the ellipticals.
  9. Go for a bike ride. It can be around your neighborhood or at a nearby park. It’s a fun way to get some exercise and spend time together.
  10. Binge watch shows on Netflix or Hulu Plus. Find a series show and start from the beginning. Some suggestions are Desperate Housewives, Orange is the New Black, Mistresses, Pretty Little Liars, or Breaking Bad.
  11. Create a YouTube video of something you are both experts at. This could range anywhere from how to make the best omelette ever, how to repair an appliance, or even how to make your favorite drink. Get creative and have fun. You’ll enjoy watching it even a year later!
  12. Create custom mugs for each other. This is fun and easy, just pick up some plain white coffee mugs at your dollar store and use Sharpies to decorate a mug for each other, then bake at 350° F for 30 minutes to set.
  13. Go sledding (if it’s winter) or go skip stones (in summer). Pretend you guys are kids again!
  14. Make homemade pizzas together. This is so easy! You can purchase pizza crust at the store or you can make your own, there are tons of recipes online. Then use pizza sauce, cheese, and all the toppings that you could ever want!
  15. Make delicious ice cream sundaes together. Complete with hot fudge, caramel sauce, sprinkles, and of course a cherry!
  16. Go thrifting! Hit up your local thrift store and see what treasures you can find for under $10. It’s all about the hunt.
  17. Go out geo-caching! If you haven’t done this before, you’ll have a blast. Download a geo cache app on your phone and go out in search of caches near you! It’s basically a treasure hunt to find a hidden box or canister. You’re supposed to bring a little item to put in once you find it, and you can also pick one item to take with you. Then be sure to put it back right where you found it!
  18. Pick flowers and hand them out at a nursing home. You might also be able to stop at a florist at the end of the day and see if they have any flowers they are about to throw out. Let them know you’re going to be stopping by the local nursing home and handing them out. When you get there, don’t be afraid to stop and have conversations with residents there. You will make their night!
  19. Tour Open Houses. Even if you’re not in the market right now, it’s fun to check out open houses! It’s even more fun when you go to a luxurious town and tour big houses!
  20. Attend a free outdoor concert or movie. Many times in the summer, cities will put on free concerts in the park or free kids movies projected onto a big screen at the park. Check out your town’s website to see what kinds of events are being put on in your city.
  21. Go skating! Whether it’s winter or summer, you can go ice skating or rollerblading. Find a park that has an outdoor ice rink, or go rollerblading at a park that has trails.
  22. Attend a farmer’s market. Check out the locally grown, fresh produce and other hand-made products and maybe even bring some home for a very healthy dinner!
  23. Go to an amateur comedy night. You can find these usually on off-nights at the comedy clubs like Monday or Tuesdays. If you’re in Minnesota, Acme Comedy Club has Mondays as open mic night and it’s free to watch.
  24. Take a class together. Communities sometimes have programs that run classes one night a week for different skills or hobbies. This can include pottery, wine-making, or even a nutrition or fitness class. They typically last about 6 weeks and cost around $30/person.
  25. Go to a painting class. These seem to be popping up left and right around the Twin Cities, but basically you can attend a class put on by an artist, and you progressively paint a picture together. Many times they also provide wine and snacks as well. To do this on the cheap, keep a watch for these on sites like Groupon or LivingSocial.
  26. Do free yoga. Many men don’t realize that yoga is not just for women. It’s a great exercise to relax and rejuvenate your body and mind. Once a week, you can attend a free yoga class at a Lululemon store near you, check out their schedule here.
  27. Create a bucket list together. Write down a list of the things you dream of doing someday. Then make a goal of completing those one by one!
  28. Go rock climbing. The only cost associated with this is usually the entry fee. Find coupons online to save money and then have a fun adventure!
  29. Play cards with each other. You can play Go-fish, Uno, Cribbage, or any other 2-person game that you can think of. Here’s a list of popular two-person games.
  30. Make art together. This is easier than you’re thinking. Grab some magazines and a 8×10 piece of paper (plus a frame). Both of you can cut out pictures of things you love, things you want to do, or words that describe you as a couple. You can even include your faces on the pictures of people in the magazines. Get creative and have fun. When you’re all done, put your art in the frame and admire it!

Hopefully you’ll find something above that speaks to you! If I missed any good ideas, leave a comment below. I love to hear your ideas!

Hearts,

Sarah

Minnesota Black Friday 2013 Store Opening Times

Every year, I head to the mall at an insanely ridiculous hour in the morning to score great deals. After all, isn’t that what life’s all about? lol okay maybe not, but it’s what I look forward to every year.

Minnesota Black Friday Store Opening Hours

It seems that each year, we move on to a progressively earlier time in the morning (or Thanksgiving night, depending on who we’re talking about). So it’s nice to have a list of when all the stores are opening on Black Friday. So to help out my fellow shoppers, I wanted to put together a list of opening times so you can be ready. Don’t you just love being organized? Me too. Here we go.

If I missed any that you deem important, leave a comment and I will add it to the list!

Albertville Outlets 8:00pm
Babies ‘R Us 5:00pm
Best Buy 6:00pm
Big Lots 7:00am
Cabela’s 5:00am
Dick’s Sporting Goods 12:00am
Gamestop 12:00am
Gander Mountain 8:00am
Herberger’s 8:00pm
Home Depot 5:00am
JCPenney 8:00pm
Joann Fabrics 6:00am
Kmart 6:00am
Kohl’s 8:00pm
Lowes 5:00am
Menards 6:00am
Michael’s 4:00pm
Old Navy 7:00pm
RadioShack 8:00am
REI TBD
Sears 8:00pm
Target 8:00pm
Toys ‘R Us 5:00pm
Walgreens 8:00am
Walmart 6:00pm

That’s all for now! I’m excited, less than a week to go!

Hearts,
Sarah