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A Survival Guide to Parenting Teens – Book Review & Giveaway

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As a mom of a 6-year-old and 3-year-old, you might be wondering why I’m reviewing a book about parenting teens. After all, don’t I have enough to deal with today like toys all over the house and potty training? Well, YES! However, while my kids are still years away from the teen years, I’m still

Free & Low-Cost Sunday Events Sept – May: Landmark Center’s 2014-2015 Schedule

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Now that summer vacation is coming to a close, are you looking for free and fun activities to do with your kids throughout the school year that are also educational? The Landmark Center in St. Paul has announced their 2014 – 2015 season schedule of heritage festivals, musical performances, and holiday celebrations. Sundays at Landmark

Sovereign Grounds Coffeehouse & Indoor Playroom in Minneapolis

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I visited Sovereign Grounds Coffeehouse & Indoor Playroom in Minneapolis this week with my kids and a friend. I had heard it was a popular coffee shop in the Twin Cities for parents with young kids to visit together, and I needed to find a good, kid-friendly place to go in Minneapolis with my friend

Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium at the Mall of America and 6 Ways to Save on Admission

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Sea turtles, stingrays and sharks – oh my! Our family was invited to visit the Sea Life Aquarium at the Mall of America with complimentary passes in exchange for my writing an honest review. Needless to say, our kids were super excited to visit, especially Thor, our 3-year-old, who couldn’t wait to see the sharks!

Grocery Savings & Couponing Guide for the Twin Cities

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A while back I wrote a popular post called “Three Myths about Couponing and Why Anyone Can Do It!” This is a follow-up to that post with details about grocery shopping in the Twin Cities, how to begin, and all the ways you can save at each major grocery store in the Twin Cities area!

Arc’s Value Village’s NEW Thrift Truck in the Twin Cities

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Food trucks have been growing in popularity for foodies, and now there’s a new kind of truck for thrifty fashionistas. A THRIFT truck!

Arc’s Value Village here in the Twin Cities is introducing the Twin Cities only thrift truck — Village on the Go!

Village on the Go features hand-picked fashionable selections from Arc’s Value Village and will travel around the Twin Cities and park at community events for shoppers to explore.

Some upcoming community events where you can find the Village on the Go truck include:

Sunday, September 21st, Noon to 4 p.m.: Penn Fest, 66th & Penn Ave S., Richfield.

Saturday, October 11th, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Midland Shopping Center Community Celebration, Winnetka at Medicine Lake Road, New Hope.

Thursday, October 23rd, 4 to 9 p.m.: Pop Up Minneapolis, 514 N 3rd St., Minneapolis, http://www.popupminneapolis.com/

Considering how popular thrift store shopping has become, I think this is a great idea and I hope to shop at a thrift truck soon. If you get to see the Village on the Go truck, let me know what you think!

Coupons and Freebies – Week of September 19

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Coupons and Freebies

Here is a compilation of this week’s great printable restaurant and retail coupons, most of which are available in the Twin Cities area.

Top Restaurant Coupons:

Blimpie - Free Regular Sub When You Buy Regular Sub & Drink (exp: 10/30/2014)
McDonald’s – FREE small coffee during morning breakfast hours from September 16 – 29.
Olive Garden - Buy 1 Entree Take 1 Home Free + Free Redbox Movie Rental (exp: 12/31/2014)
Outback Steakhouse - 10% Off Entire Purchase (exp: 9/21/2014)
StarbucksBuy any fall drink between 2-6 pm and get one free to share. (9/17-9/21 participating US stores).

» Read more..

Eat at Chipotle Tuesday, Sept. 23 & 50% of Proceeds go to Como Zoo

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chipotleHoly guacamole! If you’re looking for a excuse to break from your admirable frugal routine and eat out one day instead of bagging your lunch, here’s a good one that supports a great cause.

This Tuesday, September 23, 2014, all Minnesota Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants will donate 50 percent of the day’s proceeds to Como Park Zoo Conservatory in an effort to assist in the Zoo’s mission to inspire the public to value the presence of living things in their lives.

Customers must mention Como Zoo from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. at any Minnesota Chipotle restaurant for the contribution to be made.

Last year this fundraiser helped to ring up more than $13,000 in donations for Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, the most successful fundraiser Chipotle has ever seen in the state.

Chipotle will give Como 50 percent of all sales made in Minnesota, as well as Hudson and Eau Claire, Wisconsin up to $35,000.

Red Gold Slow Cooker Recipes & Promotion

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The weather is getting cooler now as fall approaches, and schedules are super busy, making it an ideal time for simple, frugal and comforting slow cooker meals!

I use my slow cooker all year round. It saves us money and time and is always so inviting to come home to the aroma of a warm meal ready to eat. But at this time of year, like me you are probably looking for more recipes to use in your slow cooker that are simple yet flavorful!

Red Gold is focused on slow cooking this fall, and encouraging families to have a hot meal waiting after a busy school/work day. Getting back into the fall schedule is always busy, and slow cookers make mealtimes easier. Plus, in most families there’s usually some delicious leftovers to freeze and reheat on another busy night! » Read more..

Minnesota Lice Lady Review

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HOW IT ALL BEGAN

It all started at about 3:00pm on Friday, September 5th when I was working at my church and Thor, my 3-year-old, was at daycare down the hall from me.

The phone rang and it was one of the daycare staff. “Um, Lisa. You know Thor’s head-scratching that we noticed earlier today and mentioned to you? Well, we checked his head during naptime and found some creepy crawlies. We need to bring him to you – now.”

I was just finishing up working in the office that day and had 3 music rehearsals with musicians from my church scheduled back to back that afternoon. These musicians graciously volunteered to play with me for a special recital at an assisted living home the next day that I had coordinated weeks ago.

“No!” I thought – “Not now”! Not today! I don’t have time for lice!” My husband was at a meeting at the time and couldn’t be reached. So the musicians showed up but patiently waited as I frantically made calls (like our clinic) and researched info online to find out what to do. I had lice once as a kid, but my kids? No clue what to do! » Read more..

A Survival Guide to Parenting Teens – Book Review & Giveaway

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survivalguideteensAs a mom of a 6-year-old and 3-year-old, you might be wondering why I’m reviewing a book about parenting teens. After all, don’t I have enough to deal with today like toys all over the house and potty training?

Well, YES! However, while my kids are still years away from the teen years, I’m still curious about what issues parents are facing with their teenagers now, considering how much things have changed since I was a teen in the 90′s.

Seriously – Facebook, smartphones, and even digital cameras didn’t exist when I was a teen. Sheesh, I remember when CDs, caller ID, and giant cell phones first came out! I didn’t even use the Internet until I was in college.

Back then it was harder to share the daily details of your life with anyone else but those closest to you. But so much is different now, though of course, many of the core issues remain (drugs, sex, money) but in new ways.

asurvivalguideteens
A Survival Guide to Parenting Teens: Talking to Your Kids About Sexting, Drinking, Drugs, and Other Things That Freak You Out by Joani Geltman, MSW, is a valuable guidebook filled with humor and advice that all parents should read, regardless of how old their kids are. » Read more..

Coupons and Freebies – Week of September 12th

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Coupons and Freebies

Here is a compilation of this week’s great printable restaurant and retail coupons, most of which are available in the Twin Cities area.

Top Restaurant Coupons:

Arbys - Free Cinnamon Apple Crisp When You Buy Meal (exp: 9/16/2014)
Olive Garden - Buy 1 Entree Take 1 Home Free + Free Redbox Movie Rental (exp: 12/31/2014)
Quiznos - $5 Ciabatta Toastie and Drink (exp: 9/15/2014)
White Castle - Buy 1 Get 1 Free Castle Combo Meal (exp: 9/20/2014)

» Read more..

$35 for a Home Energy Squad Visit ($70 value) plus My Experience with this Great Service!

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Right now you can get a Home Energy Squad visit in your home for only $35 from Star Tribune Steals. It’s a $70+ value and is only available this week, so I highly recommend taking advantage of this deal (especially as the colder weather starts creeping in!). Note: You have to be either:

  1. A residential electric customer of Xcel Energy and an Xcel Energy customer OR
  2. A residential electric customer of Xcel Energy and a CenterPoint Energy natural gas customer

I purchased this deal earlier this summer and had the Home Energy Squad come to our home in August. This was one of the best deals I’ve purchased because I know we got WAY more than $35 worth out of it. Here’s what you can expect: » Read more..

Macy’s Ridgedale Gift Card Giveaway & Special Events – Wednesday, Sept. 10

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macysI receive information about local Macy’s events so I can share it with all of you and am excited about an event this Wednesday, September 10th at the Macy’s store in Ridgedale, plus several more events this Saturday, September 13th including a Family Fun Day!

Recently, Macy’s Ridgedale re-opened their new and improved Lakeshore Grill (here’s my review!).

Well, now Macy’s Ridgedale IS revealing a new, improved and expanded Macy’s store this Wednesday, September 10th with a gift card giveaway and fun events!

What:        The first 300 customers through the west doors at Macy’s Ridgedale at 10AM will receive a $10 Macy’s gift card with TWO lucky winners each receiving a $500 Macy’s gift card! Customers will enjoy an afternoon special event programming of gifts, prizes, demonstrations, fashion, music, and of course shopping. » Read more..

Just Between Friends Eagan Children’s Consignment Sale: September 12 – 15!

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Just Between Friends Eagan – Fall Children’s & Maternity Consignment Sale this weekend: Sept. 12 – 15, 2014!

Download a printable FREE admission coupon good for opening day!

It will be located at High Performance Academy, 2950 Lexington Ave.
Eagan, MN 55121.

Sale Hours: 
Friday, Sept. 12th, Opening Day, 10am-7pm  $2 Admission
Saturday, Sept. 13th, 10-7
Sunday, Sept. 14th, 10-7  Grandparents Day, Grandparents get 25% off items without a star.
Monday, Sept. 15th, 10-5  Half Price Day, 50% off items without a star today.

Coupons and Freebies – Week of September 5th

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Coupons and Freebies

Here is a compilation of this week’s great printable restaurant and retail coupons, most of which are available in the Twin Cities area.

Top Restaurant Coupons:

» Read more..

Free 2014 Entertainment Coupon Book with All You Magazine subscription through Sept. 19th

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Get 3 Issues of All You + a Free Coupon Book with HUGE Savings For Only $5! Offer ends 9/19.

All You Magazine is the one magazine I subscribe to because of the great money-saving tips and coupons inside, plus so much more. Plus now you can get a free 2014 Entertainment Coupon Book with a subscription:

Get a FREE Coupon Book When You Subscribe For Just $5!

Ends: September 19th

Get 3 monthly issues of ALL YOU for only $5 plus receive a FREE Coupon Book with savings from The Gap, Best Buy, Regal Theaters and many more. The coupon book includes hundreds of dollars in savings that last through December 2014 - plenty of time for these great offers!

In the pages of ALL YOU, your shoppers will find smart shopping tips, easy and healthy recipes and lifestyle and beauty advice. Coupons, savings tips, and a FREE coupon book, what could be better? This offer won’t be around long so be sure to take advantage of this special subscription price and free coupon book while it lasts!

Easy Back to School Snack Ideas from FamilyFun Magazine

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Kids are back in (or starting!) school this week and to make it more fun, here are some some creative and tasty recipes from FamilyFun Magazine! Turn an ordinary sandwich into a school bus inspired treat, and use tuna fish to create protein-filled celery sticks for after school fun!

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School bus sandwich

Park this friendly bus in front of your child to celebrate the start of the new school year. Cut a slice of bread (we used pumpernickel) into a rectangle, reserving a strip of crust. Trim a slice ofyellow cheese to fit the bread as shown. Cut another slice of cheese for the hood. Use the reserved crust for a fender. Cut headlights and grill strips from white cheese and set them in place. Use the pointy end of a grape tomato for each red light. Slice more tomato into a stop sign and smile. Finish with black olive tires, trimmed to lie flat, and pupils (we cut ours with a straw). Now that’s a snack worth stopping for!

Cucumber roll-ups » Read more..

FREE Library & Community Center Events in Minnesota offered by COMPAS

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I am pleased to share information about a local organization I just learned about called COMPAS (Community Programs in the Arts) that offers FREE library & community center events in Minnesota for all ages!

Emma, Arts Development and Marketing Assistant for COMPAS, reached out to me to explain the organization and how it benefits the community:

COMPAS is a statewide, non-profit arts organization that sparks students’ imaginations, brings creativity into the lives of older adults, and inspires people to create. » Read more..

The Story of Frozen: Making a Disney Animated Classic / Hosted by Josh Gad, the Voice of Olaf – 9/2 on ABC!

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Frozen fans! I received a cool announcement (no pun intended) about a special show coming up on Tuesday, September 2nd on ABC at 7:00 – 8:00 p.m. Central Time, all about Disney’s Frozen movie:

“THE STORY OF FROZEN: MAKING A DISNEY ANIMATED CLASSIC”
Hosted by Josh Gad, the Voice of Olaf

This all new exclusive ABC special features Interviews with Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad as well as John Lasseter and the Frozen Filmmaking Team.

It’s a behind-the-scenes look at the making of a modern movie based on a timeless tale, with a look toward the next chapter for Anna, Elsa and friends. (I’ve been wondering if they’re going to make a sequel…) » Read more..