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!

Hearts,
Sarah

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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

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 πŸ˜‰ 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.

Enjoy!!!

Hearts,
Sarah (Ruby)

All Plant Diet Lifestyle – Testing it Out

tomatoes plant dietSince we cancelled our cable a couple months back (though it feels like a couple years at this point) I really haven’t found too many great shows that I like to watch. So this weekend, as I browsed Netflix for something to watch, I came upon their Documentaries section. I’m kind of a nerd when it comes to learning, so I browsed to see if there was anything that piqued my interest. Sure enough, I actually found a few!

Now my husband and I had already watched Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead (which I would recommend!) but there was one similar to that as well called Hungry for Change. I sat back and enjoyed the bits of information this program provided me with, and I’d definitely say check it out if you are interested in learning more about your nutrition and dietary needs. They made an interesting analogy in this documentary, they said, and I’m quoting loosely, “Imagine if we were put in a zoo, much like they do to chimpanzees. What would they feed us? What would they give us each day to sustain us?” It sure wouldn’t be pizza, cheeseburgers, french fries and pop, would it? No. Makes you think now, doesn’t it?

Here’s a clip from Hungry for Change:

What I really took away from it is that we really are eating just a bunch of crap and engineered ‘food’. Your body is made to store fat to burn later, but we’re eating so much fat and we’re not burning it later. So here’s my task that I’d like to try, and I’m not saying this is going to be a permanent thing because I know it’s going to be hard, but I’m going to try eating a strictly plant diet. So far today, I’ve had an orange for breakfast, lots of water, and a big salad with iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, and carrots for lunch. Surprisingly, I was full after lunch. That doesn’t usually happen when I eat salad! And the calorie count on that lunch was 112 calories – for a big plate full of food! Real food.

Another great documentary that I had the pleasure of watching was Forks Over Knives, and no surprise here, I would recommend this one too! There is so much quality information out, and so many studies that have been done, that there’s no excuse to not learn a little bit about the foods you put inside your body every single day. Not only that, but into your children’s bodies too!

One last tidbit for you guys, because I know this is an object of desire for many of you! Here it is: Diet Coke. If you’re drooling right now after reading those two words, then I have some bad news for you. The combination of the ingredients in Diet Coke, including aspartame and caffeine can be an exciting but horrible combination. It’s actually causing you to lose brain cells due to the over-stimulation (in less words than I’ll explain) as explained in this article by Livestrong.

So, today is day one of the all plant diet. I’m going to hold onto it as long as I can because I would love to share the results with you guys and have them be positive πŸ™‚

In the meantime, do you or have you seen any of these movies? If not, are you going to check them out? I love hearing your feedback!

Hearts,
Sarah (Ruby)

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! πŸ™‚

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

Hearts,
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

Preparing for Baby: Freezer Meals

freezer-m

Photo courtesy of SouthernLiving.com

As many of you know, I am expecting my second little girl any day now! I have been a busy little bee preparing for her impending arrival! I thought I would share with you all some ideas on what you can do in the last couple weeks leading up to baby! First on the list, stocking your freezer with some great meals you have prepared! Why do this? Well, you will be busy, busy, busy with the new baby and most likely won’t feel like cooking. Prepare a few meals ahead of time, freeze them and just heat up the amount you would like to eat! Trust me, it’s worth it πŸ™‚

Easy 10 Freezer Meals:

1. Lasagna

  • 1 Box Lasagna Noodles
  • 1 Lb Ground beef
  • 1 Large jar Spaghetti sauce
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 24 oz Cottage cheese
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Lb Mozzarella cheese

Cook noodles until soft. Brown beef and onion in pan. Add spaghetti sauce. Combine cottage cheese, egg and Parmesan cheese in separate bowl. Layer noodles, then pasta sauce mixture, then cottage cheese mixture then mozzarella. Repeat 3 times, ending with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

2. Chicken and broccoli alfredo – Grill 2 Large Chicken Breast. Cook one bag of broccoli in microwave. Cook one large box of penne noodles (or whatever type you prefer). Mix all together in large bowl with one jar of alfredo sauce. Pour in disposable baking pan. Cover with foil and freeze.

IMAG0491-1-1

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo and Sausage Penne Pasta

3. Sausage penne pasta –Β Cook 12 oz turkey/chicken sausage/kielbasa. Cook one large box of penne noodles (or whatever type you prefer). Mix all together in large bowl with one jar of spaghetti sauce. Pour in disposable baking pan. Cover with foil and freeze.

IMAG0492-1-1

Store pasta dishes in disposable pan to reduce dirty dishes to clean and free up your other pans for every day cooking.

4. Chili –

  • 1 Lb Ground beef
  • 1 Can Green beans
  • 1 Can Chili beans
  • 1 Can Pinto beans
  • 1 Can Diced tomatoes
  • 1 Small Can Tomato paste
  • 1 Can of Water
  • Chili powder to taste

Mix all ingredients together in large pot and allow to simmer. Allow to cool and freeze.

5. Tuna noodle casserole (or ‘hot dish’ for all you fellow Minnesotans!) –

  • 1 Large bag of Wide egg noodles
  • 1 Can Cream of Mushroom soup
  • 1 Can (drained) tuna
  • 1 Can Peas (Optional)
  • Garlic powder and pepper to taste
  • Pepper jack cheese

Cook noodles until soft. Mix all ingredients in oven-ready bowl. Top with desired amount of pepper jack cheese (or preferred cheese). Bake until cheese is browned.

6. Pot roast fixin’s – I filled 2 – 1 lb ziplock bags with cut up potatoes, baby carrots and onion. Season to taste.

7. Fajita fixin’s – Cut up 2 large green and 2 large red bell peppers and 1 large onion. Separate in half and freeze in 2 – 1 lb ziplock bags. When ready to eat, grill fixin’s in a pan, add grilled chicken (See below) and 1/2 packet taco seasoning.

8. Muffins –

Apple Oatmeal Muffins(Let’s Dish)

Coffeehouse Coffee Cake Muffins(Chocolate, Chocolate and More)

Dark Chocolate Blueberry MuffinsΒ (The Kitchen is my Playground)

9. Energy Bits – See recipe Here!

10. Grilled Chicken – Cook several chicken breasts and throw them in the freezer. Add them to fajitas, salads, etc…

I hope you found this useful! Stay tuned for my “Nesting Check-List!”

Love, Macy

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! πŸ™‚

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!!

Hearts,
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.

Holiday Berry Nog Recipe (Eggnog Variation)

If you’ve hosted a holiday party, you know that planning the food and drinks can be tricky. The traditional foods are easy, and comfortable. But if you want something on the side this year that will delight and please, then you have to up your anti in the drink department. And, I know that we all struggle with those ‘holiday pounds’ this time of year, so why not make your sweet drinks also healthy? It is possible, and very yummy as well!

Here’s a recipe I wanted to share with you, provided by Driscoll’s Berries!

holiday berry nog

Holiday Berry Nog

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 package (6 ounces) Driscoll’s Raspberries, Blackberries or Blueberries
  • 1 1/2 packages Driscoll’s Strawberries, hulled
  • 1 cup purchased eggnog
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra for garnish
  • 4 cinnamon sticks

Directions:

Blend 1 cup berries, eggnog and cinnamon in a blender on medium speed until smooth. Pour eggnog mixture into glasses. Garnish with remaining berries, sprinkle with cinnamon. Place cinnamon stick into each glass and serve immediately.

Variation:

Before filling glasses, dampen rims and dip into mixture of cinnamon and sugar.

How cute are these? Find some cute little cups and you’ve got yourself a cute little treat for after dinner as dessert or as a little late night treat (depending on how long your family’s holidays last…)

Let me know if you’re going to try this recipe, and let me know how it goes!

Thanks to Driscoll’s for this recipe! πŸ™‚

Hearts,
Sarah (Ruby)