Breaking the Stereotypes

Image by Lin Pernille PhotographyWhen people first meet me, they usually try to segment me one way or another. I’ve heard things varying from, “Oh, you’re so quiet! Are you shy?” to “You are so outgoing, I love it!” How do those things even match up? Why do we have to be one thing or another?

Let’s go into this further, shall we?

People after they get to know me will say, “You are so not what I expected” or something to the extent of that. They have often said at first, “I don’t know what to think of you!” and when I ask what that means (because honestly, what is that supposed to mean??), they say that they just don’t know how to categorize me… Whaaaat? Why do we need to categorize people? Very rarely have I met someone and they fit a stereotype to the exact description. And why do they have to? They don’t. But it makes life easier for us to stereotype people or judge them just by looking at them.

Many times have I thought something about someone when I first looked at them, and they turned out to be something completely different. So hey, I’m guilty too! But when you stereotype someone, you don’t give them a chance to show you who they really are.

Study Kids

Image by woodleywonderworks on FlickrPut ten kids into a classroom with a few toys and leave them be. They all start to talk and work together amongst themselves with the toys and play together.

They’re too young to judge or know stereotypes. They just go about their ways and find common interests. Let’s picture that with adults.

Study Adults

Put ten adults into a classroom with a few toys and they won’t move. They’ll look around and create ideas of the other people in the room. They might say something to their neighbor about what’s going on, why they’re there, but probably not.

Follow Up Lesson

What’s the difference between the kids and adults? It’s plain to see that we learn as we grow to judge people. We look at what they’re wearing, what their hair looks like, what their face looks like, how they act. Then we choose what stereotype they best fit. We best categorize ourselves, and then we talk to those who we think are most like us. Bam. True story!

Who Cares?!

Why am I doing this post? Mostly because I’m so tired of being judged as one thing or another. Why can’t I be everything that I am and not have to be grouped into one stereotype or another? I fight with this battle as a blogger because I want to be so many things to you guys, but I don’t want to confuse you. “Oh I thought she was a MOM blogger, but she like doesn’t even have kids!” Yeah, I’m aware. “Then how does she even know what kids like?” Really? I have to be a mom to know what kids like or how they think? I don’t have any nieces or nephews, neighbors, or youth that I mentor? Why do I have to be a mom to be able to write about kids? That’s just stupid.

“All she wears when I see her is yoga pants and baggy tops. She knows nothing about fashion.” Really? You’re right, a person can’t ever get out of jeans and bedazzled tops or else they are not stylish. I can’t imagine what Rachel Zoe wears to bed if this is the case.

Anyways, I’m getting carried away. The main point is, try to be less judgmental. Am I saying to stop stereotyping and just befriend everyone? No. I’m not. If you see a man running at you in a black ski mask and his hand in his front coat pocket, you have my permission to stereotype him as a crazy man and get your pepperspray ready.

What I am saying, is that just because you think someone might be one thing, give them a chance to show you whether you are right or wrong. Doesn’t that sound easy enough? Then why don’t we do it?

Food for thought.

Hearts,
Sarah

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Lessons I’ve Learned From My Dog

luna lessons

When life gives you dirt and water, make mud!

You guys have heard all about my puppy over the last couple months. Some good things, and some of my frustrations (okay, let’s be serious here, most of them frustrations lol) But I’ve learned a few things from her believe it or not… Let’s take a walk down puppy lane.

1) Everything is exciting. No seriously. That tennis ball? Whoooop!! Throw that sucker, let’s see what happens!!

2) Never lay down when you can be doing something. Why lay down and relax when there are garbage cans to get into, shoes to be chewed, rugs to poop on… Get up, get moving!

3) Life is too wonderful to walk. We gotta run! We gotta sniff! Live life to the max. Yolo. No really, my dog said ‘Yolo’ right there. She’s really hip.

4) Exercise every day. Okay this one, for real. All that energy has got to go somewhere! Do you want it to go into running and jumping on the furniture and chewing up pillows? Or would you rather it be that half hour walk that we all should take anyways? Get your butt in gear.

5) Be social. Big dog, little dog, heck even that cat down the street is fair game. I want to talk to all of them!! I need to meet them. Now! Do you smell that? I smell a new friendship blooming.

6) Wear your heart on your sleeve. Or your fur, or wherever you want to wear it. If you love something, wag that tail! If you love someone, show them. If something upsets you, bark! Dogs don’t hold their feelings back. Neither should we (most of the time).

7) Never underestimate the power of sleep. Dogs get more rest in one day than I probably do all week. We don’t take time to rest our bodies, and give ourselves the break we need. Take a moment to relax. You’ve earned it.

Lessons courtesy of my dog, I’m merely the translator.

Hearts,
Sarah (and Luna)

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 😉 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)

Minnesota Spring, Look on the Bright Side

minnesota winterOkay, we’re all guilty of whining that we’re tired of winter and why do we have snow in the spring time? But I was thinking tonight during yoga, we actually have a few things to be thankful for even despite this weather. At this point, you’re probably thinking, “Nope! Can’t think of anything.” Let me share with you a few things I came up with.

1. We don’t have mosquitoes right now.

2. We currently don’t have to mow our lawns.

3. Had any peeling sunburn lately? Nope, me either!

4. What better way to hide a few extra pounds than four layers of clothing?

5. No mosquitoes.

6. You don’t have to deal with poison ivy or wood ticks! Yuck.

7. You can have a fire in your fireplace and it’s cozy not crazy.

8. You can breathe when you step outside right now with no humidity.

9. Seasonal allergies? You’re probably loving this long winter.

10. No mosquitoes!! That’s good enough for me 🙂

Am I right? Did you at least enjoy a couple of these things? I told you that you’d be thankful, didn’t I?

Hearts,

Sarah

Real Housewives in the Media – Live!

If you are in the Minneapolis area, check out our segment on Twin Cities Live, Channel 5 at 3:00pm TODAY!!! I’ll be talking freezer meals – and as always, we’re talking quick, easy and inexpensive!

10 Affordable Spring Shoes to Sass Up Your Wardrobe

I’m obsessed with shoes. I’d say addicted but that implies that it’s a problem and I see no problem with loving shoes. With spring knocking on winter’s ugly door, I’ve been browsing spring shoes that would add some flair to any regular outfit. Isn’t that the best part of spring? That you can finally wear all those fun colors that would be too bold for winter?

So without further hesitation, here are my top ten spring shoe picks!

10 affordable spring shoes you can afford - and will fall in love with!

10. Restricted Just Dance Pump – These pumps scream ‘warm weather!’ with a bit of fashion flair. I’m predicting the gold toe is going to be popular this year on women’s shoes. Plus, I can’t resist this mint color! ($49.95 at DSW)

Image by DSW

9. Rocket Dog Chamay Floral Flat – Got love for florals? Who doesn’t in the spring! That’s what makes these adorable flats so swoon-worthy. ($36.95 at DSW)

Image by DSW

8. Mojo Moxy Cammy Pump – Could this floral print get any cuter on a pump? I love that the floral is toned down with the beige straps and buckle. ($64.95 at DSW)

Image by DSW

7. GC Shoes Karin Flat – Color block much? These are the epitame of spring this year. Color blocking, two tone toe, and even a spritz of gold and brown to make it all work together. ($39.95 at DSW)

Image by DSW

6. Restricted Mindy Wedge Pump – The flair of yellow is enough to pop, and wedges are always super easy to walk in. ($54.95 at DSW)Image by DSW

5. Jessica Simpson Reijo Patent Pump – As expected with Jessica Simpson pumps, these are adorable and have a perfect heel. The platform with the mint green is what won me over on these. It’s enough to be different, but nothing too bold or extreme. ($74.95 at DSW)

Image by DSW

4. Coach Pearl Rainboot – Spring means rain, am I right? So the question is, are you equipped for all that water and such? You could be, with these bright Coach rainboots. You’re welcome. ($89.99 at Macy’s)

Image by Macy's

3. Hego’s Bow Flat – The bow totally won me over on these. They’re so cozy-looking, but that pattern and that bow… *sigh!* ($119.95 at Nordstrom)

Image by Nordstrom

2. TOMS Gabriel Lacktman Women’s Light Red Damask Stencil – Yes, I know, I love TOMS too. They’re the most comfortable pair of shoes I have owned. And these include some of my favorite things; pink and floral. I rest my case. ($68.00 at Toms.com)

Image by Toms.com

1. Crown Vintage Chelsea Flat – I absolutely adore, love and need these comfy chic loafers. They’re the perfect mix of casual yet dressy and they take my number one spot on this list! ($44.95 at DSW)Image by DSW

Which shoe is your favorite? Leave it in the comments!!

Hearts,
Sarah

4 New Apps You Need to Download Today

If you know me, you know I’m obsessed with apps and finding ones that make life easier. I frequently (and very geek-ily) use the phrase, “There’s an app for that!” as ashamed as I am to admit it. Anyways, I’ve done some scouting and I’ve found some awesome new apps that you must check out. You can thank me later 🙂

Wunderlist

wunderlist app reviewThis is by far my favorite and most used app for productivity. This app allows you to make different lists and add things to them quick and easy. But there’s more to that. You can share lists with people. So I installed this app on my husbands phone as well and shared my grocery list with him. Now when either of us need something, we put it on the list. When we’re at the store, it’s easy peasy to find what we need. Never again will we forget the list at home!

Not only that, but I’ve made lists for our Youth Group, for the blog (duh!) and for other Shopping needs like socks or shampoo. And as a bonus feature, you can set your email preferences to let you know when things are added to the list or completed (so if hubby stops at the store and gets that chocolate ice cream, you won’t make a special trip to get it too!) Awesome.

SoundHound

soundhound app reviewThe other day I was at the store and I heard a song being played. (It doesn’t matter, but for those of you who are curious kittens, the song was “Piano in the Dark” by Brenda Russell)

Anyways, I couldn’t believe that the song has the same lyrics as “I Cry” by Flo Rida. I would have never been able to find out that the song was Piano in the Dark, if I didn’t have SoundHound. I just held up my phone and let it listen to the song. Within seconds, it had the title and artist for me. Winner!

Gravy

gravy appNow this app works better if you live in the cities. Specifically, Minneapolis. The app gives you the choice of what you feel like doing. You can click that you want to do: Whatever, Lively, Classy, Brainy, Playtime. From there it gives you a list of things nearby that fit the bill, on that given date. Fun, right?

Gym-Pact

gympact appThis app is one that me and my husband have been using for about 6 months now. We started setting a pact to workout 2 times a week. Now we are up to four! Anyways, you set your own pact for how many times a week you will workout and if you achieve that, you get paid! If you miss though, you have to pay. You’ll have to scrounge up $5 for each day that you miss of your pact. The goal of this app is to motivate you with money. And it works! I’ve got about $40 in my reserve, just for working out! Gotta love that. Let me know if you join! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Check out these apps, and let me know how you like them. If you have an app you adore, be sure to leave the name of it in the comments for others to check out too!

Hearts,
Sarah (Ruby)