Category Archives: Minnesota

Kemps photo contest

Kemps State Fair Photo Recreation Contest Starts Today!

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Kemps. All opinions are 100% my own.

Kemps photo contest

Growing up in Minnesota, I have been able to attend the State Fair a few times. In 2013, I even had the opportunity to help out with Kemps’ flavor contest there (you can see that post here). Now this year, I’m excited to help share the word about their “Then & Now: Kemps State Fair Photo Contest“!

What I’ve learned about Kemps over the past few years, after being able to tour their facility, learn about their brand, and help with some of their outreach; is that they are all about family traditions. And this new contest really demonstrates that as well. Here’s the details on the contest…

Then & Now: Kemps State Fair Photo Contest Details

From July 13th to August 9th, 2015, Kemps fans can submit their favorite photos of friends or family from the Great Minnesota Get-Together for a chance to recreate their photo at the fair. But wait, there’s a lot more!

In August, Kemps will be choosing their three grand prize winners to receive a YEAR’S SUPPLY OF KEMPS ICE CREAM along with an expenses paid trip to the state fair. They will bring up to 10 people photographed in the original photograph to the fair, and will pay for all expenses including airfare and accommodations! (So save the date on your calenders, you will have to be available between August 27th and September 7th.)

This is a great opportunity for your reunited group to recreate your photo in the same spot that the original was taken! It’s a fun way to get in on the ‘then and now’ photo recreation that you may have seen all over social media lately.

And speaking of family traditions, I would love to get a photo of our growing family at the fair this year. In fact, it’d be fun to get a photo of our little family ever year at the State Fair to watch it grow! In the meantime, I may have to dig out my old family photos from the State Fair and get in on the contest fun.

Do you have old photos from your visits to the Great Minnesota Get-Together? Submit them for your chance to win! Simply submit your photos at www.kemps.com/promotions/state-fair!!

Visit Kemps at the State Fairkemps logo

Beyond the contest, you can also have fun with Kemps at the Minnesota State Fair (located on Machinery Hill). Stop by and taste some yummy ice cream products, tour their Mooseum (and learn how Kemps has been a prominant leader in the industry for 100 years!) plus other fun family activities. Kids can even participate in the Kemps-sponsored Little Farm Hands Exhibit, located in the Dairy Barn outside of the Kemps booth.

Join in the fun! And don’t forget to submit your photos for your chance to win!

Kemps on Social Media:

CRAVE Breakfast Brunch Review

CRAVE West End Launches New Breakfast/Brunch: Review

Disclosure: I received a gift card to sample the breakfast mentioned in this post. All opinions are my own.

CRAVE Breakfast Brunch Review

My husband and I are huge breakfast people. We love going out and having a nice bite to eat with some coffee and just get a good start to the morning together. This weekend, we got to try out the new breakfast menu at CRAVE West End (in St. Louis Park, Minnesota).

Kaskaid Hospitality (the parent company of CRAVE West End, UNION Rooftop and Salsa a la Salsa Uptown) recently launched a new breakfast and brunch program at select restaurants throughout the Twin Cities.

In case one sounds better to you than another (or one is just closer to you than another… that is usually our deciding factor) here are the offerings and details of the different restaurants:

CRAVE West End

CRAVE West End Minnesota

They have breakfast and brunch with dining available on Saturdays and Sundays from 8am to 2pm. Some of the delicious options on the menu include Red Velvet Pancakes, S’mores Waffles, Crab & Shrimp Cake Benedict (um, yum!!!), Braised Short Rib Hash, and some amazing gourmet donut holes which we just had to sample as a breakfast appetizer. They were Ahhhhh-mazing and came with a size of Nutella dip which brought me back to my trip to Italy last year. These were divine, I wish I could have them made for me every single morning!

Donut Holes with nutella at CRAVE

I could not make up my mind between the Strawberry Cheesecake Stuffed French Toast or the Eggs Benedict… Ultimately, I went with the Eggs Benedict which was a delicious choice, though I have a feeling they both would have been. I am a little fussy so I asked for the eggs scrambled and the hollandaise sauce on the side – I know, I know… high maintenance.

Eggs Benedict Breakfast at CRAVE

My husband went with his unadventurous usual, which involves eggs, sausage, toast and hashbrowns. On the menu, it was called the CRAVE American breakfast and he was everything short of licking the plate he enjoyed it that much. And I don’t blame him, I may have snuck a bite or two – for review purposes of course.

Crave American Breakfast

The food was beyond scrumptious, and the prices here were really reasonable too! I was impressed when our total came to around $30 for two entrees, coffee and the ‘appetizer’ of donut holes. With the food aside, we also had a great waitress who was super helpful in helping us decide what we’d like best on the menu and she also gave us the run-down of her favorites which included the breakfast quesadillas and the banana pancakes. So much to choose from! I don’t know how we ever decided. If you’re interested, you can see CRAVE’s full breakfast menu here.

As we were leaving, I had to snag a picture of the outdoor patio. It was early (and a little chilly) when we were there so it wasn’t too busy yet, but it is so nice to find a cozy patio like this for summer evenings or afternoons. You can find CRAVE on Twitter, just search for @CRAVEAmerica!

Crave West End Patio

UNION Rooftop

This second option for breakfast or brunch is located downtown Minneapolis and they serve breakfast on Sundays from 8am to 2pm. Their menu has delicious options like Portobello Benedict, Mascarpone Stuffed French Toast and of course their signature hash browns. Oh, and did I mention part of their breakfast also features bottomless mimosas? If I weren’t 9 months pregnant, this probably would have swayed me to go downtown and try UNION instead of CRAVE but you know, details…

You can view UNION’s breakfast menu if you want to see what else they have to offer. They have an extensive menu as well! Have questions or comments? Be sure to follow @UNIONMpls on Twitter.

Salsa A La Salsa Uptown

Well the name kind of gives it away, but this third restaurant is located in, you guessed it, Uptown. They serve their new brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 3pm. Highlights from their brunch menu include authentic Mexican dishes such as Chilaquiles, Southwestern Omelets, Huevos con Chorizo, and to wet your palette, a Bloody Maria (bet you can’t guess what that might be!) Yes, you’re right, it’s a bloody mary.

You can view Salsa A La Salsa’s brunch menu to get all the juicy details. I’ll warn you, it’s going to make you hungry! Find them on Twitter as well, @SalsaALaSalsa.

If you happen to go out and try one of these amazing breakfasts, be sure to tag me on Twitter too (@MNhousewives) and use the hashtag #KaskaidBreakfast to let me know what you think! I’m sure you’re going to love it, we absolutely did.

Well that’s all for now! Let me know if you’ve tried brunch at any of these restaurants yet! I’d love to hear your feedback as well!

Hearts,
Sarah

MN Red Dress Event

Minnesota’s Red Dress Collection Event

There is a local event coming up that I just had to share with you guys. It’s called the Red Dress Collection and it pairs local designers along with local celebrities to give you a fun and exciting fashion show! There will be both male and female models, sporting great red garments designed by local talent. All proceeds from ticket sales, silent auction and donations will benefit the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” program. It’s a great event with no doubt, a great cause.

MN Red Dress Event

Image Credit: Red Dress MN

When: March 7th, 2015 at 7:00pm
Where: Loews Hotel (downtown Minneapolis) 601 1st Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55403
What: Black Tie Event/Fashion Show for a Cause
How: Get Tickets Here!

Beyond the fashion show (which is obviously the main event) there will be a cocktail hour with hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction, and some neat pop-up shops!

For the silent auction, come prepared to bid on some great packages like autographed sports memorabilia, tickets to Wild or Timberwolves games, private photography sessions, couples massages, a tour of Caribou Coffee Roastery, and lots more.

Last but not least, the night will end with a very special performance by Kat Perkins (as seen on “The Voice”)! I was looking through the list of designers and local celebrities and it’s a great-looking list! Here are a few of the ones that popped out to me:

Designers:

  • Christopher Straub
  • Thom Navarro of TIM+THOM
  • Laine Sou Weinberg of KOKOON

Local Celebrities:

  • Kat Perkins (The Voice)
  • Liz Collin (WCCO)
  • Falen Lambert (KDWB)
  • Todd Walker (FOX 9)
  • Stephanie Hansen (MyTalk 107.1)
  • Kim Pominville (Wife of MN Wild player, Jason Pominville)

I was fortunate enough to be invited to cover the event, so I’ll be live tweeting and instagram-ing the event as it unfolds! It should be a very fun time!! I hope to see you there :)

Hearts,
Sarah

xcel energy windsource renewable energy

Xcel Energy Wind Power – Renewable Energy

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Xcel Energy. The opinions and text are all mine.

xcel energy windsource renewable energy

Our energy bill is always one that I dread seeing. Especially this time of year when we’re running the furnace, fireplace, oven, etc. But I think I would feel a little bit better about the money we’re spending if I knew it was going to help support a cleaner, healthier community for me and my family someday. And with Xcel Energy’s Windsource® program, you can use wind power to do just that!

So what exactly is Windsource®? This is a program that Xcel Energy offers which allows customers like you to pay a little extra each month for energy from renewable resources – such as wind! This program is one of the nation’s leading voluntary green power programs, available in Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New Mexico and Michigan. It is certified through Green-e, which is the leading consumer protection certification for green power programs that gives a 3rd party verification of the programs.

One REC (renewable energy credit) is given for each MWh unit of renewable electricity produced. These REC’s contain details about the renewable energy generated including when, where, and what type of generation was used.

What is renewable energy? Many of us use the term or hear the term often, but what exactly does renewable energy mean? It is simply energy that we receive from naturally replenished resources such as the sun, wind, rain, waves, etc.

What are the benefits of using alternative forms of energy? You might be thinking, well that’s great but if I’m spending a little extra then what’s going to be in it for me? Well first off, you can rest easy knowing you are part of a growing community of environmentally-conscious consumers who support energy sources that utilize abundant natural resources for a cleaner living environment.

You’ll also help support affordable and domestic energy production that provides great electricity price stability for the future. Not only that, but it will help economic development in rural communities including things like jobs, income for the landowners and tax revenue.

For business customers, you’ll benefit by receiving LEED certification points, along with meeting environmental compliance targets.

Check out this infographic that shows how Windsource® has been working here in Minnesota:

minnesota windsource infographic

In our family, we try to make as many environmentally conscious decisions that we can. Namely using reusable bags when I’m shopping so that the plastic bags don’t end up blowing around in a landfill. I also found some great reusable mesh produce bags to save on those plastic bags as well. Every little bit counts!

In the summer, I try to bike or walk to places that are nearby instead of driving as well – it doesn’t happen all the time but when I’m able to, I do! Every little bit of saved pollution adds up, am I right? I try to bring the family with if possible as well to demonstrate to them how easy it is to be eco-friendly! And kids always love to learn new ways to do things, and of course they love to learn why!

If you want to learn more about Windsource® costs and enrollment, you can call them at 1-800-895-4999 or visit the Windsource® website. You can even take a Virtual Wind Farm Tour if you’re interested in seeing how it all works!

Hearts,
Sarah

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Alice in Wonderland 2

Giveaway: Royal Opera Ballet Tickets to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Do you want to take in the holiday season in a very special way this year? Well I’ve got just the thing. I’m giving away TWO TICKETS to the Royal Opera Ballet and their presentation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland!

This event takes place at the AMC in Eden Prairie theater. Rest assured you’ll be able to kick back and enjoy from some very comfortable seats, a fabulous show for you and a guest.

Alice in Wonderland

Yes, for this trip to the opera, you can bring in your pop, popcorn, Junior Mints, Milk Duds, whatever makes you happy. Here’s the details:

When: Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 at 7:00pm

Where: AMC Eden Prairie

What: Two free tickets, valued at $18 for adults, and $15 for adults and seniors to see Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Program Length: 3 hours 25 Minutes

The program is broadcast live from London’s Covent Garden, The Royal Ballet, led by Director Kevin O’Hare. The event will also include 15 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage including exclusive interviews with the artists, along with rehearsal footage. How fun!

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Christopher Wheeldon’s full-length ballet based on Lewis Carroll’s book is an exuberant piece of storytelling featuring an instantly recognizable cast of characters, among them a tap-dancing Mad Hatter, a tetchy White Rabbit and a raucously bad-tempered Queen of Hearts. Wheeldon, along with composer Joby Talbot and designer Bob Crowley, have created a genuine family ballet in the spirit of Carroll’s much-loved children’s classic. While regular ballet goers can appreciate nods to other famous works – there’s a parody of the Rose Adagio from The Sleeping Beauty, for example, with jam tarts instead of flowers – the ballet is above all a brilliant realization of Carroll’s zany dream-world featuring stunning choreography, a colorful score and ingenious stage-magic.

Tickets can also be purchased at participating theater box office locations and online at:  http://www.fathomevents.com/event/the-royal-ballet-season-2014-15

Or…. you can win them right here! Only open to Minnesota residents ages 18 and up. Giveaway ends December 7th, 2014 at 11:59PM CST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fun Fall things to do in Minnesota

Great Fall Activities and Places to Go in Minnesota

Every fall, I get the urge to do all sorts of autumn-y things like wear big sweaters and sip pumpkin spice lattes. If you’re anything like me – and admit it, you all are a little bit, then you’ll probably love to hear about all kinds of different fall activities that are right here around the Twin Cities (Minnesota).

Fun fall places and activities in mn

Fall Activities Near The Twin Cities

1. Apple Orchards – There are seriously handfuls of apple orchards around Minnesota. I’ve visited quite a few of them and it’s always been a blast. One that our little family usually goes to is Emma Krumbee’s in Belle Plaine, MN. They have hayrides, pumpkin patches, apple picking, and even a scarecrow festival!

You can also find orchards near you with PickYourOwn.org – it’s a great resource!

A few more local orchards include:

2. Nathe’s 101 Market – This is another hot spot for those of you who have kids! Located in Otsego, MN, they have a great corn maze, a corn pit, and all kinds of fun activities for children on the weekend – including face painting, animal train, spider webs, jumping pillow, and pedal carts! Oh, and to make it even better, they have a $1 off coupon on their website :)

101 Market Halloween

3. Twin Cities Harvest Festival & Maze – This one is located in Brooklyn Park and has a lot to offer the whole family, including a corn maze (this year, with a Minnesota Wild theme), corn pit, straw bale maze, live music, petting zoo, hayrides, pony rides, gunny sack slides and tons more.

4. The Soap Factory (Minneapolis, MN) – This Haunted Basement tour is seriously famous throughout the state. I haven’t been to it yet because I’m a scardy cat and I hear it is terrifying! For real. And it’s so popular in fact that they actually end up selling out time after time, so if you’re interested in touring this ridiculously freaky Haunted Basement, you better start planning now! Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

5. ValleyScare (Shakopee, MN) – Yes, it’s ValleyFair but with a spooky twist. They’ve created a haunting setting for a very creepy evening of fright and surprise.

There are two different segments to ValleyScare: during the day, it’s Planet Spooky (for all ages) and at night, it’s the Halloween Hunt where you’ll probably want to keep it to the older ages. I’ve been there at night and I would not bring any children who get easily scared. Trust me, I went in college and I’m still maybe getting over it…

Halloween Haunt ValleyScare MN

6. The Pumpkin Train – Take an all-day adventure with this train ride to the pumpkin patch! Enjoy the hay bale maze, roast some marshmallows, eat some food, jump in a bouncy castle, the list goes on. You can get there via old-fashioned pump car, speeder or hay wagon! The kids will love it. (Osceola & St. Croix Valley Railway)

7. Como Zoo ZooBoo – Crafts, entertainment and trick or treating. Nothing scary about this one, in case you were wondering. I think this one is definitely kid-friendly and somewhat inexpensive as well.

8. Applefest & Catapult Contest (Alexandria, MN) – Enjoy the true fall festivities with this quaint and somewhat quirky festival. You’ll take part in catapult demonstrations, quilt show, auction, master pumpkin carvings, kids pie eating contests (yum!), bungee trampoline rides, fresh apples, and more. Oh, and did I mention horse-drawn wagon rides?

9. Enjoy the Fresh Air (Nice Ride MN) – Chances are that you’ve seen these fun (and highly colorful) bikes around the cities. You can rent them to take anywhere you’d like and then return them when you’re done. I think these are so neat and this fall weather is the best time for bike rides! There’s nothing quite like fresh air and exercise.

Nice Ride Image

Image by NiceRideMN.org

10. Go on a Wine Tasting – There are a plethora of local wineries that offer tours and tastings, all you need to do is find one that is close to you (or somewhere that you’d like to visit) and go for it! A couple that we have toured lately included Forestedge Winery, Northern Vineyards Winery, and Goose Lake Farm & Winery.

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As we all know, there are so many more that I couldn’t even start to touch on here today! Leave a comment with your favorite if you have one to share! I’d love to hear from you guys!

Until next time,
Sarah

Camille Albane in Maple Grove MN #shop

Camille Albane Paris Salon Opens in Maple Grove, MN

I was provided complimentary services to review this salon. All opinions are my own.

Camille Albane Paris Salon Maple Grove, Minnesota #shop

Fall is always a time where I go spruce up my locks. I think it dates back to my school days, where every fall I’d get a new haircut to prepare for the school year! Well this year, I got to try out a new place in town – it’s Camille Albane Paris Salon in Maple Grove, MN. This salon is only one of two in the U.S. (the other in Boston) as it originated in, you guessed it, Paris, France.

The salon has an upscale feel with some pretty remarkable features. For one, the shampoo bowls have massage chairs… I had to stop and think, is this real life? I just about fell asleep. In fact, I told Tami (my stylist) that if I fell asleep to just wake me up when we were done.

Hair Salon Camille Albane Paris #shop

Another thing I loved about the salon is their gorgeous, posh pink chairs. And they were comfy at that! Everything else was white. The counters, the walls, etc. This comes from the Paris founders, and helps to portray their large mission with is cleanliness.

Camille Albane in Maple Grove MN #shop
I had decided on a cut and color. My roots were definitely getting bad, and they needed some freshening up. My cut was out-grown and in definite need of a clean-up! Tami took on the challenge as a grain of salt and hit it out of the park. She did a truly Parisian treatment on me, which is called a balayage. This term in French translates to the phrase ‘to paint’, which in this circumstance is painting my hair! It didn’t require any foils or any hot heaters on my head. Instead it only took a little bowl of color and a little brush to paint on the color. Easy peasy and pain-free!

I made sure to take a little before and after photo to share with you guys…

Before and After photos at Camille Albane Paris Salon #shop

After my hair was done, she even touched up my makeup which was looking a little rough as it was after a long day at work! Doesn’t it look so much better?

I wish I could have a personal hair and makeup stylist everyday, I think that would really make my life easier :)

If you’re interested in checking out the new Camille Albane Paris Salon in Maple Grove, here is their contact information:

7808 Main Street North
Maple Grove, MN 55369

Phone: (763) 316-6957

Camille Albane Address Map #shop

You’ll find them located on the same side of the road as Noodles & Co. and Olive Garden (over by Sports Authority and JoAnn Fabrics) in the same strip that holds Allure, Five Guys Burgers, and Panera.

So if you need that new look this fall and want to try somewhere new, I’d definitely recommend trying out Camille Albane in Maple Grove. They even have espresso for their guests! How awesome is that?! :) Can’t beat it!

Until next time,
Sarah

CAER Food Shelf in Ford Van Contest

Take 10 Seconds Online and Help a Local Food Shelf

There is a local food shelf here in Minnesota (CAER Food Shelf in Elk River, MN) that needs ten seconds of your time. They are in the final four in a national contest to win a 2014 Ford Transit Connect for their organization! Right now they just took the lead but it is still super close and the contest ends tomorrow!!

Help them out by voting! It takes ten seconds and all you have to do is enter your email, name and zip code. Easy peasy!

I would absolutely love to see CAER Food Shelf win this vehicle, they are in dire need of finding a way to transport meals and pick-up donations and that would be a great way to do so!

So – if you have a moment to spare, please take a second and vote for the CAER submission video, it’s the 4th one! It will definitely count for your good deed for the day :)

CAER Food Shelf in Ford Van Contest

When you vote, leave a comment below and it will be like your little red “I VOTED” sticker :)

Oh and just so you guys know, I Voted. Woop!!

Good luck CAER!!! I’ll update this post Monday and let you guys know how they did!

Hearts,
Sarah

Sex Tape Movie Poster

Free Movie Pre-Screening For Sex Tape on 7/16!

 

Last night, my hubby and I were able to attend a free pre-screening last night for Sex Tape, featuring Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz. You may have seen previews for it on TV, that’s where I first heard about it. Though I was a little weary about what exactly I was getting myself into by going, I took the leap of faith that it would be great!

Here’s the trailer in case you haven’t seen it:

Looks funny, doesn’t it? It is!

That’s really all I can say for now… but I’ll note this film is rated R – and for good reason, there is nudity and obviously, sexual references.

That being said, now that I’ve seen it, I wanted to give you guys a chance to see it too! There will be a free pre-screening event happening next week near the Twin Cities. Here are the details!

Movie Screening Sex Tape

What: FREE Movie Pre-Screening for Sex Tape

Where: AMC Southdale

When: July 16 at 7:00pm

How: Sign up for tickets here: https://sonyscreenings.com/index.php/redeem and use code: MSPSEXTAPE to grab two free passes! But hurry, tickets are only available while supplies last and the screening I went to last night was completely sold out!

Note that seating will be on a first come, first served basis so it is recommended to arrive early. I usually show up about an hour early just to be safe.

IN THEATRES FRIDAY, JULY 18!

Hope you guys enjoy!

Sarah

earth to echo movie

Free Passes to “Earth to Echo” Pre-Screening on July 1st!

I received tickets to the Earth to Echo pre-screening for this post.

Earth to Echo Movie Minneapolis MN

I think it is a hot time to go to the movies right now, because there are some GREAT movies coming out. But even better than seeing a great movie, is getting a great deal on tickets to see the movie. Well you can’t beat free, can you??

Yes, that’s right, I said FREE! Because right now, I’m giving away FREE passes to a pre-screening of Earth to Echo!

  • When: July 1st at 7:00pm
  • Where: ShowPlace ICON in St. Louis Park, MN

You can snag up to four free passes to see this movie before everyone else!

Personally, I love doing that because I feel especially VIP for having seen it before it even came out for the public in theaters 😉

Here’s the trailer for Earth to Echo, in case you haven’t seen it:

GRAB YOUR FREE PASSES

Grab your passes to see this summer’s exciting new sci-fi adventure movie EARTH TO ECHO (http://callhimecho.com)! Go to http://relativityscreenings.com/redeem and enter the code ECHOMSP701 to download up to four free passes to see the screening (while supplies last). Note that seating will be first come, first served so it is recommended to arrive early!!

I hope to see a bunch of you guys there! I’m excited!

Hearts,
Sarah