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Barley + Vine Restaurant Opened in Lakeville

Last week Hubby, I, and two of our friends had the opportunity to attend Barley + Vine Restaurant's soft opening. We were very much looking forward to checking out the new place in town as we live within walking distance from it and have seen the building change venues way too many times. We were not disappointed with our visit! Only the name has changed on the outside of the building, but the inside is better than the previous restaurant. Gone is the crazy blue tile behind the bar, replaced with a real copper penny backsplash and a subtle ceiling. The layout of the dining room seating seemed less crowded and the overall atmosphere was inviting. Our server, Emily, was knowledgeable on the menu and helpful in deciding what we wanted to eat. The staff we talked with seemed genuinely excited about working. As with all opening nights, there were a few kinks but I'm not going to dwell on them. The staff will get into their groove. The food was delicious! We started with a … [Read more...]

Free Printable Love Libs Valentines

My girls are all about being different for Valentine's Day. They don't like handing out store-bought Valentines to their friends so I'm always on the look out for unique free printable Valentines. While searching the web, I came across cute Mad Lib Valentines where people had torn out pages of Mad Lib books and rolled them into Valentines to hand out at school. I thought to myself, hey, I can make my own! So, Love Libs Valentines were created... My girls thought these were so funny and can't wait to use them with their friends. To print your Love Libs Valentines just click on the photos below. They are meant to print on a half-sheet of paper but can be printed full sized too. Roll them up, add a ribbon, a tag, and a pencil and you've got a fun and unique Valentine to give to friends! … [Read more...]

LG GizmoGadget Watch Review

Last month during my post about the Verizon Wireless Tech Bytes Lunch, I mentioned that Verizon loaned my family a LG GizmoGadget Watch to review for a month. Our month ended a few days ago and this weekend we're off to the store to buy one to keep! I honestly can't imagine life without it now. The LG GizmoGadget Watch is all the benefits of giving your child a phone without the distractions of a phone, the cost of a phone, or the risk of losing a phone. It's got calling, texting, a GPS locator, an activity/step counter, a to-do list, a voice changer, and some funny sounds. Everything you need, nothing you don't. It's exactly what I had in mind when I wanted something that I could use to communicate with my girls. I can't begin to tell you how handy the GizmoGadget is for communicating after school plans with the girls. Before we got the watch I would have to call the class room and disrupt the entire class in order to pass messages on to the girls. Now, I simply text … [Read more...]

Taking Care of Me

This post may seem a bit cliché...a new year and a resolution to be more healthy and lose weight. It seems like everyone makes the same resolution. But this is not a New Year's Resolution. I have long ago given up on those. This post has been in the making since October. It's not about losing weight, it's about taking care of me. This is me a year-and-a-half ago. I was 10 pounds lighter than I am now. I was on a mission to change. It worked for a few months. I lost some weight and gained some happiness. Then it got boring and became a chore to keep myself in check. I quit. Over the past year-and-a-half I simply lived life. I wasn't extremely happy but I wasn't depressed either. I went off of my Celexa (anti-depressant) because I thought it made me feel muted. Overall, I thought life was ok. In October I had a bit of a wake-up call. It started when I was told that they were eliminating my position at my job. I stressed and stressed some more over what my future held for … [Read more...]

Easy Salted Caramel Bites

Looking for a quick, easy addition to your holiday cookie tray? Check out these salted caramel bites. The hardest part is removing wrappers! To make these you'll need: Caramels Meltable chocolate (such as milk chocolate chips) Sea salt tooth picks microwavable bowl plastic wrap plate or platter 1) Start by unwrapping all of the caramels then set them aside. This takes the longest time and is the hardest part of the entire recipe. 2) Melt the chocolate in the microwave making sure not to burn it. For best results, microwave for short intervals and stir in between. We used fancier, more expensive, brand name chocolate chips to make our salted caramel bites taste better. 3) Lightly push a toothpick into a caramel and use it to dip the caramel into the melted chocolate. Cover the caramel completely. Hint: Do not push the toothpick too deeply into the caramel or you won't be able to get it out. 4) Use another toothpick to help remove the first … [Read more...]

Holiday Gifts from Verizon Wireless

Last week I had the opportunity to have lunch at the FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar at the Radisson Blu Mall of America compliments of Verizon Wireless. It wasn't a just because lunch, it was a “Tech Bites Lunch” showcasing the latest and greatest tech gear for the Holidays. As you know, I'm not a tech blogger but trust me, you'll want to know about these gifts (for the entire family!). First on the lunch menu for me was Gathered Greens, a salad with Amblu cheese, apples, cranberries, candied walnuts, and a sherry viniagrette. Yum! On the tech menu were speakers, wireless speakers to be exact. The Ultimate Ears collection, JBL Pulse 2, and the Bose Soundlink were the highlights for the starter course. I personally own a Bose Soundlink speaker that I received as a gift and can vouch for the sound quilty. My husband is a speaker snob and even he was impressed with this little portable speaker. Everyone at lunch was impressed with the JBL Pulse 2. It's programmable LED … [Read more...]

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