Category Archives: Minnesota

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.

———————-

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

Making a Pizza at Papa Murphys

My Papa Murphy’s Experience: Exclusive Sneak Peek in the Kitchen

This experience was provided by Papa Murphy’s. All opinions are 100% my own.

Behind the scenes at papa murphys

I recently had the opportunity to take a behind-the-scenes tour of Papa Murphy’s in Blaine, MN and I really did learn a lot and it was a lot of fun too! I also get to share my experience with you and you can get a look behind the counter!

First thing when we got there that morning, they served up a delicious Cinnamon Wheel for breakfast, I had never had one of these from Papa Murphy’s before, but it was super delicious and the kids in the group absolutely loved it too.

Cinnamon Wheel Breakfast

Once we had out tummies filled with deliciousness, it was time to continue on the tour.

Next up, was a look at how all their toppings are prepared, which is fresh and in-house. I had always heard that they had fresh toppings but doesn’t everyone say that? So I figured they were about as fresh as the next guy, but they’re actually so much more. Their fresh produce was delivered and right away it was washed and ready for prepping. They sliced and diced everything right there in front of us and I was amazed that it all was actually THAT fresh, I would have never guessed that was really even possible in this day and age.

Fresh Cut Produce at Papa Murphys

Fresh tomatoes are my absolute favorite, so seeing those there was enough to make my mouth water. They looked delicious. They were also cutting up fresh peppers and green onions as well in the photo above.

You know what else is fresh? Their pizza crust. They also make their crust in-house and let it rise for a day, and then it is made and served the next day! We got to watch the whole process that day and it was really neat to see.

Making Pizza Crust at Papa MurphysIt is a really fun process to watch, and they are so good at it that it goes so fast. It’s kind of like the old saying, the good ones make it look easy.

Once the crust was ready to roll, (no pun intended, really) we all got to create our own signature pizzas! It was a blast, and we all created some really delicious masterpieces :)

Making a Pizza at Papa Murphys

I am boring when it comes to pizza, so that half with just the cheese is mine. Don’t judge. The other half is for my hubby who enjoys sausage, mushrooms, and one more ingredient that I think you will all love – bacon! It seems to be a fan favorite these days.

Are you ready to see my finished artwork?

Real Housewives of Minnesota pizza

Fun Facts

Now here are some fun facts that I learned that day! And there was a lot to learn.

  1. This summer, Papa Murphy’s has $5 faves on Monday through Wednesdays – you can order a large pepperoni, cheese or sausage for only $5.00!
  2. Papa Murphy’s loves helping out their community. They offer fundraising programs to local community groups, such as selling Peel-a-Deal cards to family, friends and neighbors to ‘raise some dough’.
  3. Papa Murphy’s offers five different combinations of pizzas and crusts:
  • Fresh Pan – thick, buttery crust that is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
  • Signature – their famous crusts on which their signature pizzas are made.
  • Delite – packed with flavor, thin on the crust. It has 25% less fat, and 35% fewer calories than their original crust.
  • Stuffed – loaded with two layers of fresh dough stuffed with fresh and yummy ingredients.
  • CYO (create your own) – make it your own and add your favorite items!

I also learned that you can call during the day to place your order and then pick your pizza up after work! How easy does that make meal planning for your family?

Coupons and Savings

You guys know that I’m all about using coupons and saving money, so I also wanted to share that you can visit papamurphys.com/couponsandeclub for special offers and savings!

Minnesota Bloggers at Papa Murphys

And there is one last photo to share of some more local bloggers and myself. Let’s play ‘Where’s Waldo’, can you find me? Haha! I just loved meeting these lovely ladies, they were a blast to sit and talk with.

The pizza was pretty divine that night too :) We threw it on the grill and cooked it on low until the crust was crisp and the cheese was melted. Definitely a delicious summer twist on your pizza. Try it next time, I think you’ll like it!!

Bon appetit!

Sarah

HAMMS event 2014

2014 HAMMS Event Recap

I was given complimentary tickets to HAMMS Event however this post is not sponsored, and all opinions are 100% my own. I did receive a couple samples from vendors throughout the day.

HAMMS Event Recap 2014

I mentioned in a previous post that my little family would be attending the HAMMS Event in St. Paul, MN at the beginning of May. Well the day was an absolute blast and I just had to write up a little recap and show you what was all there! Mind you, I wasn’t able to get a photo of every single thing there, but I still got some good ones and I think it will show a good selection of what they had at HAMMS this year.

Here are some fun shots from the day:

Hosannah Handmade at HAMMS

The above photo is a shot of the Hosannah Handmade booth at HAMMS. She uses aromatherapy to make wonderfully scented products for bath, beauty and skin care. She gave me a sample of her ‘Happy’ body scrub and it smells soooo yummy! Plus, it’s perfect for my dry skin in the summer, I feel like I’m always in need of exfoliating.

No Whining Designing at HAMMS

This fun store shown above was No Whining Designing. She makes jewelry and other items out of wine corks! Her designs were super cute and fun, I had to get a picture because it was just so fun!

And before I get too far, I should mention the two extraordinary ladies who came up with the whole concept of the HAMMS event: UrbanUndercover and StormSister Spatique! They are so nice, and so sweet but beyond that, they are two entrepreneurs who’ve put a lot of work into getting their locally-made products out there.

I didn’t get a chance to grab a photo of StormSister Spatique, but what she offers is lotions, potions and serums for hair, skin, nails and your body!

UrbanUndercover creates cute, comfortable and convertible underwear to go with you wherever life takes you. You can pack them in your purse, suitcase, gym bag, or wherever you wish!

Vandalia Street Press at HAMMS

Vandalia Street Press produces letterpress infused with nature, simple ideas and subtle humor. They had a lot of cute little greeting cards on display that day!

Tess and Tricia at HAMMS

The above photo showcases a few items that Tess+Tricia had on display at HAMMS. They specialize in jewelry, especially Antler Tip necklaces!

HAMMS art vendor

This awesome art vendor was so much fun to browse. Painted Stuf creates handpainted canvases, journals and cards too.

And like I said, I couldn’t get a picture of every single vendor there, but there was plenty to see! Here is a few more photos I captured that day…

HAMMS 2014 HAMMS event 2014 HAMMS photos from 2014And after we had done all of our shopping, we made sure to check out the food trucks that were waiting outside with some delicious goodies. This is the only time I usually get to try food trucks, so it’s always fun to do so!

Food Trucks at HAMMS Event

One of the best parts was that my pup, Luna, got to come with too! She had a blast meeting all the other dogs there and of course she always loves the extra attention she gets too ;)

Luna at HAMMS

Did you attend HAMMS this year? Leave a comment below with your favorite purchase of the day! If you missed it, make sure to keep an ear open about their 2015 date :) I’m already looking forward to it!

Hearts,
Sarah