HAMMS Event: Saturday April 20th

If you don’t have any plans for tomorrow (Saturday, April 20th) then you should check out the Hamms event going on at the old Hamms brewery shipping docks in St. Paul. The event goes from 10am to 7pm and is open to men, women, and DOGS! (The pup will totes be coming with hubby and I!)hamms event minnesota

What is it? The Hamms event is a “Minnesota Market with a twist”. You’ll find products for guys, gals and pooches alike. Plus, while you shop the 25,000 sq ft space, you’ll get to sip some wine and beer, enjoy some grub and check out some food trucks. Sounds awesome, right??

The founders of the Hamms event have pledged to give up to $5,000 to one of the vendors there to help them take their business to the next level. Your ticket sale will help make up the funds for this, so come on and get your tickets here! It’s $10/person and kids under five years old are free.

I know some of you are going to skim this post to see what’s up, so I’ll highlight the important details for you. Ready?

  1. Who: Local Minnesota Vendors
  2. What: 25,000 sq feet of shopping local products for men, women, and dogs plus wine, beer, and food
  3. When: Saturday, April 20, 2013 (10:00am-7:00pm)
  4. Where: Old Hamms Brewery Shipping Docks – 713 East Minnehaha Avenue, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55106 (top floor)
  5. Why: To feature some great products, and give up to $5,000 to one lucky vendor to help their business

I’ll be there, and I know lots of others who will be as well. As for the vendors, you will definitely want to check them out. Here’s a list of some of the awesome Minnesota brands and products you’ll find tomorrow:

  • Cocobear
  • Fidelis Co.
  • Urban Junket
  • Moss Envy
  • Mammaste (how cute is that??)
  • Epitome
  • Unrefined
  • Scrappy Products
  • Bodylish
  • Kedrin
  • Irely Intimates
  • Worker B
  • Nelli Designs
  • Jeanne Beatrice
  • And LOTS more…

Oh, and one last thing. You should check out the sponsors who helped make it happen.

That’s all for now. Hope to see you there!



Healthy Food Box, Bestowed: Review & Giveaway!

bestowed boxYou’ve heard my raves about Birchbox and how much I love getting little packages in the mail every month. That’s why I was so excited to try out another fun little box filled with goodies; this time it was healthy food!!

You also know that I love to try out healthy foods and snacks at any chance I get. Now, are you ready? Meet Bestowed.

What is Bestowed?


Bestowed is a company created by Heather Bauer, a nutritionist and author. Each month, you get a box sent straight to your door that is packed with five healthy food and snack product samples for you to try. Each item, hand-picked by the celebrity nutritionist herself along with her team of diet and health experts to bring you the best of the best.

What types of things can I expect in a Bestowed box?

What kinds of things can you expect to find in these boxes? Well, you’ll be wonderfully surprised with items such as nutrition bars, breakfast cereals, snacks and supplements (just to name a few!)

It’s always nice to be able to sample things before you try, I think we can all agree on that! This box is packed with several new things to try every month. And once you find that gem that you’ve been searching for, you can go out and buy a big stash! Less money wasted, more healthy and nutritious items for you; now that is a winning strategy!

How much is it to join Bestowed?

Well I’m glad you asked 😉 You can join Bestowed by purchasing a monthly or annual subscription. And, note that shipping is included in the price of subscription!

  • Monthly is $19 a month
  • Annually is $209 yearly

What if I just want to give it as a gift?

Well aren’t you just so thoughtful! What a good friend/family member you are to want to give someone the gift of health and nutrition samples! You can choose subscriptions in the lengths of 3 months ($57), 6 months ($114) or 12 months ($209). These are billed once.

What was in last month’s Bestowed box?

Aren’t you a curious one. Care to see a video of the grand reveal?

I’m so excited to show you guys what came in my very first Bestowed box! I’m always on the hunt for new and healthy snacks so this was totally up my alley (side note to self: need to find a new phrase to replace ‘up my alley’) and I was SO impressed with my box! Here’s the picture that I snapped of everything that was included.

Bestowed Healthy Snack Sample Box

And in case it’s a little tough to see or read, I thought I should probably break it down for you in order from top left to right, then bottom left to right. I’ll mention the middle item (the iTrain gift card) at the very end.

1. Happy Family-Happy Squeeze Smoothies – This little to-go pouch is made from organic ingredients and are packed with protein and fiber. Not to mention just around 100 calories! Perfect for little hands, lunch boxes or just for your purse for those ‘just in case’ moments. Love these!

2. Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts – This bag is filled with tiny little seeds that are packed with protein and vitamins. They will also help to add omegas to your diet, so now you have no excuse! This nutty crunch snack comes in a convenient pouch, and it is actually good for you! Forget the sugar-packed trail mix, this one is the one to grab for.

3. Nature’s Earthly Choice – Easy Quinoa Lentil Soup Mix – Okay this one totally sold me! I’m a huge advocate and believer in quinoa and now you’ve given it to me in a soup too?! I’m in heaven. Pair this item with a salad or some chicken for protein and you’ve got a meal, easy peasy!

4. Oloves Hot Chili Mama Olives – Num! If you like a snack that packs a little punch, then you will adore these habanero and lemon olives. Pit free and flavored, plus only 50 calories? This is one snack that you’ll definitely enjoy.

5. Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars – I could not get over how yummy these fig bars were, and the fact that they are Kosher, chocolesterol-free, dairy-free and vegan just totally won me over! Instead of reaching for the chocolate bar or preservative-packed granola bar next time, grab one of these and you will not be disappointed. I will definitely be purchasing these again!

6. Artisana Coconut Butter – I’ve told you guys before that I use coconut oil when I cook because it’s a lot healthier than butter or vegetable oil. Well this coconut butter is no different. This creamy product is made from coconut flesh and offers fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals too! An added bonus: This contacts no additives! Use this on crackers or in a smoothy for a yummy snack.

7. iTrain Gift Card $25 – Last but not least is this little gem! If you wish you could afford a personal trainer, then this might be just for you! You download the workouts right to your mp3 device and you can customize your workouts to fit what you need. Each workout provides you with your personal trainer’s voice giving you instructions, plus music and motivation throughout your whole session. Worth a try, right?

Purchasing the Products You Like

I. Fell. In. Love… with Bestowed. What a super neat concept and such wonderful products! After I tried them out, I quickly wondered, “Alright, now where can I get these for my family?” Well there is a Featured Products section of the Bestowed website that gives you information on each product and also tells you where you can buy them! I noticed that most of them you can find on Amazon – how great is that? It’s like you can grocery shop from your house. Taste it, buy it, serve it. Now that is easy!

One-Month Subscription Giveaway!

Bestowed has very graciously offered to give away a one-month subscription to one lucky winner!!! If you think you’d enjoy receiving all these wonderful samples, then enter to win today! Contest ends April 12th at midnight CST. Contest has ended! Congratulations Joan T, our winner of the giveaway!

Keep Up With The Brand:

  1. Follow @bstowed on Twitter
  2. Become a fan of Bestowed on Facebook
  3. Subscribe to Heather Bauer’s Channel on Youtube
  4. Check out Bestowed’s Featured Products and comment with which item you’d want to try!
  5. Like Real Housewives of Minnesota on Facebook
  6. Follow @MNhousewives on Twitter

AND – Even if you don’t win, I have a treat for you too.

They’ve given me an exclusive $5 off code to share with you if you want to try Bestowed anyways! So go onto their website, click on “Join Now” and enter code: 5OFFBSTOWED01 to save $5! Woo hoo! You lucky ducks!!

Contest Rules:

Maximum of 6 entries per participant. Open to US residents only. Contest ends on Friday, April 12th at midnight. Winner will be chosen randomly using random.org and will be announced by April 15th. Winner must respond within 3 days, otherwise a new winner will be chosen.


Sarah (Ruby)

Sweetheart Voxbox 2013 Sampler

Recently, I joined Influenster to be able to try out some new products. It was so fun to open up the box and find a bunch of new products that I’ve never tried! And as we all know, I love trying new products! Especially beauty products! So here’s what this Voxbox had in store for me:

Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant

Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant – Stress Response

Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Sea Salt Spray

Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Sea Salt Spray

Olay Shine Shine Go Away Cleanser

Olay Shine Shine Go Away Cleanser

The Secret Stress Response Deodorant smelled really good, and I already use Secret deodorant so that wasn’t a big change for me. However this one is supposed to react to your body’s stress. Did I mention it smells good too?

Next, Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray. I put it on my damp hair and scrunched for a wavy hair effect. It was cute and made for soft waves. Nothing drastic, just a little texture. I liked it!

voxbox blog influensterLast, the Olay Shine, Shine Go Away with the Facial Brush. This cleanser was nice and creamy and went on smooth. The brush was my favorite though. It’s bristles are soft, and the gentle vibration helps work the dirt and makeup off your face. Rinse with warm water and you’ve got a very clean face!

Also in my box was a SkinnyGirl Daily bar but I have not tasted it yet! I’m on a strict fruit/veggie diet right now but I’m so excited to try it!! 🙂 Hoorah!

Sarah (Ruby)

Disclosure: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

The Real Housewives of MN Get Air Time!

wcco channel fourYou might have seen us pop up on TV last week on the night time news. We were so excited when both WCCO and KSTP contacted us to do a feature! Since I’m the die-hard couponer, I took on the challenge with WCCO to give the top 3 coupon apps for your smart phone. This was so much fun, and I had an absolute ball working with Liz Collin, she is such a wonderful woman!! We headed to Target to talk with shopper about coupon apps and to help them save on their purchases that day.

So before I explain it a little more, here’s the feature that I did with WCCO:

Play the Video Here!

The coupon apps that I recommended, are ones that I’ve downloaded for my iPhone. Unfortunately I don’t know if they’re available for Android.

The coupon apps that I recommended were:

  • Passion for Savings – find the weekly match-ups for ultimate couponing
  • ShopSavvy – scans bar codes and searches for best deal
  • Ibotta – take polls, learn facts, etc. to earn coupon points
  • SnipSnap – store coupons on your smartphone

On the article that WCCO wrote up, someone commented something to the extent of, “I would guess that she got paid to feature these apps!” Which couldn’t be more wrong (as nice as that would have been) lol I definitely didn’t make a cent off promoting those apps.

kstp channel fiveThe next feature that we did was with KSTP. They wanted to go over the 10 items that you shouldn’t buy at grocery stores. So I put together a list of where I typically bought those 10 items, and so did Macy. Then Ellen put them all together and hit the pavement to see how the prices matched up. Here’s the feature that aired:

Play the Video Here!

Some of our suggestions for where you should buy items for the best deals included some of the following:

  1. Canned Goods – Costco (bulk)
  2. Diapers – Costco or Amazon
  3. Greeting Cards – Dollar stores
  4. Batteries – Dollar stores
  5. Cereal – Aldi or Costco
  6. Magazines – Buy a subscription (don’t buy them on the newsstand!)

For the rest of the suggestions, be sure to watch the video! 🙂

Did you catch one (or both) of these savvy shopping segments?? What’d you think! We’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂

Sarah (Ruby)

PS – Since we aired our segments, you may have noticed that I’ve been using my real name with my old pen name in parenthesis. I figured the cat’s out of the bag, we probably don’t need to use pen names anymore. But I didn’t want anyone to get confused either! lol

The Best Birchbox Items – Sarah’s Favorites

I am obsessed with my monthly Birchbox packages. Each month like clockwork, I know that I am going to be delightfully surprised with some awesome beauty goodies to try. (Not a subscriber yet? Shameless referral link here: https://www.birchbox.com?raf=9n98r) Join and you will love it. I, for one, will never go back 😉

Over the past year, I’ve received tons of new samples to try out. Many of them, have been wonderful… Some, I’ve tried and weren’t my cup of tea, but there are a select few that I have fallen in love with. These wonderful honorable mentions, I am going to share with you today.

Here are the best Birchbox items that I’m now infatuated with.

best birchbox item winners

1. Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner – I’m obsessed. I’ve tried so many different liquid eyeliners and have never liked one. This one is a mild line, with no smudge. It’s just drastic enough to work, but not make you look too ‘dark’.

2. Mary-Lou Manizer theBALM Eye Shimmer – Need a little boost on the old eyelids? This golden/beige shimmer is perfect for any occasion. It’s not too out there, it’s just the perfect amount of shimmer for a grown woman. I adore it to pieces.

3. Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrè (24-Hour Miracle Cream) – I have been using this stuff everyday and absolutely love it. My skin is so dry in the winter and I’ve never found such an awesome moisturizer that could keep up with my dry, flaky skin. This stuff works way too good. I’ll definitely be using this for a long time.

4. Miracle Skin Transformer™ Vanish Instant Imperfection Corrector – Do you have any dark spots on your face from zits from Christmas past? This stuff is what you need. Place a dab of this cream on any dark skin spots and be prepare to see a difference. This stuff actually works. Love it!

If you have a favorite Birchbox item that you’ve received, post it in the comments. We’re all in the market for learning about great new products!! 🙂

Sarah (Ruby)

Digital Magazine Subscription Giveaway from Zinio: Great Last Minute Gift Idea!

This contest has now ended! The winners for the 9 free subscriptions are as follows:

  • Sheri
  • Anne
  • Leah
  • Dani
  • Naomi
  • Shannon
  • Erica
  • Teresa
  • Donna

Thank you to everyone who entered!! If your name is listed here, please check your email! If we do not hear from you within 24 hours, we will have to choose another winner!

last minute Christmas giftIf you are a last minute gift shopper, you know that there is nothing worse than hitting the malls merely days before Christmas only to deal with crabby people, picked-over sales, and of course the total lack of anything really good.

The same can go with shopping online for Christmas right about now, because things will never ship to you in time to give them to your recipient. It’s a pain to try and find gifts at the last minute, but today I’m going to give you an AWESOME last minute gift idea that suits nearly any age bracket, and it’s not going to send you into debt either! Score! 🙂

cosmopolitanSo what is this great last minute gift idea? It’s a digital magazine subscription! They are the perfect last minute gift because you can buy it right online, and it is a gift that keeps on giving, every month! Magazine subscriptions are personal too, because you can choose the magazine based on their tastes, hobbies, interests, etc. Last year, I needed a little something extra to give my hubby for his birthday, I ended up giving him a year long subscription to Field & Stream and he absolutely loved it… and got to love it again every single month!

Zinio is Giving Away 9 Subscriptions!!

zinioSo today, our friends at Zinio are giving away NINE digital magazine subscriptions to nine lucky readers! These are the perfect gift for anyone with an e-reader, tablet, mobile device, computer, etc. Your friends and family can bring these magazines with them wherever they go, without being bulky and awkward. So perfect!!!

parentingHere are just a few digital magazine subscriptions from Zinio that you could give a woman like myself:

  • Green Ideas
  • Appetite
  • Food & Home
  • HGTV
  • Women’s Health
  • Runner’s World
  • O (Oprah)
  • Parenting
  • Family Circle
  • Real Living
  • Good Housekeeping
  • Cosmopolitan
  • US Weekly
  • Marie Claire
  • Vogue

mens healthAnd of course, they’ve got tons of magazines for men to choose from too. Some honorable mentions include:

  • Motor Trend
  • Car and Driver
  • Consumer Reports
  • Men’s Health
  • MuscleMag
  • Running Times
  • ESPN Magazine
  • Men’s Journal
  • Field & Stream
  • Outdoor Life
  • Popular Mechanics
  • National Geographic
  • GQ

Current Sale at Zinio

Before we go and give away the subscriptions, I just have to tell you that you can save big on Zinio’s website. They have 300 magazine titles that they have on sale today through 1/7/13 for 50% off! Shop here to get this deal!

AND – Better Homes & Gardens is also offering an awesome deal on some special holiday issues and are priced at 30% off! Shop before 12/31 and save on these neat issues that feature food gifts, party food and Christmas cookies! Shop Better Homes & Gardens issues here!

About Zinio

Zinio has thousands of the top magazines from around the world, available for access on any computer or mobile device. They allow you to purchase a single issue or a subscription of your favorite magazine instantly to read whenever or wherever you’d like! They also have an ‘Explore‘ section where you can read articles from magazines (even without a subscription) and share them with friends or family.

Enter to Win 1 of 9 Subscriptions!

So you want to win one of these digital magazine subscriptions!? Here’s how. As always, you must leave a separate comment for EACH task that you complete.

  1. Visit Zinio.com and leave a comment here with which magazine subscription you would choose.

This contest will end at Noon CST on Sunday, December 23rd! So check your inboxes and watch our Facebook page feed for our winner announcement!

Best of luck in entering!!

Sarah (Ruby)

Disclosure: I was not paid for this post. I was provided a magazine subscription from Zinio to compensate for my time. All opinions stated here are my own.

Free Personalized Calendar Offer :)

Vistaprint is currently offering a FREE personalized calendar!


“Personalize your own 2013 calendar with your favorite memories
and pictures from 2012: your family vacation, your children’s first day of
school, your birthday, and every other special event this year. Choose from over
250 custom design templates, add your own special events, and upload your
favorite photos from Facebook, Picasa, Flickr, or your own computer. Your
customized calendar will be the perfect holiday present for friends, family, and
everyone in between!”


Photo via Vistaprint.com

I just ordered mine! I’m so excited to get it in the mail!!!! Shipping was around $5.00.

They are also offering 50% off Holiday cards and Gifts!

Love, Macy