Insight News

May 28th


Girls’ (budget) night out-$20 martini and mani

Girls’ (budget) night out-$20 martini and maniHave you been looking for a new idea for girls’ night out? If so, then look no further than the Minneapolis W Hotel. For only $20, you and your girls can receive a Martini and Manicure. I see you rolling your eyes and saying, “Can $20 really give me a girls’ night to remember at a swanky downtown hotel?” I too was a little skeptical, so of course I had to test it out. The girls and I went last Thursday and we had a great time! For several hours, we did just what girls of every age love to do-eat and drink, laugh and talk too much, share and solve each other’s minor personal challenges, and admire and encourage each other to be our personal best. If that sounds like your kind of night, then read this quickly because like all good deals, this fun and cheap offer is available for a limited time only!

The idea for this evening all started when my girlfriend opened an email about a $20 Martini and Manicure (or chair massage) Special happening at the Living Room Bar of the W Hotel. Knowing that we all could use a night out together, she emailed her group of girlfriends to see how many were interested and then made the reservation. In total, around 12 women showed up. We had such a great time that we’re already planning to go back next month!

Look and Feel Good at Aveda Institute

Look and Feel Good at Aveda Institute Right now, I am sitting in the reception area at Aveda Institute Minneapolis.  My ten-year-old daughter, Arianna, is having her hair washed, blow-dried, and flat-ironed.  No, I haven’t abandoned the straightening comb(s); they are all stored safely under my kitchen sink (exactly where my mama used to keep hers).  It’s just that sometimes this mama needs a break from doing all that hair, and at only $15 for the service-the price is right (you know that it’s always about getting that deal and I figure this was a good one).

Not familiar with Aveda Institute?   Briefly, it’s a high-end beauty school that offers hair care, facials, and massage treatments, using their own (really good) plant-based products.  Yes, their low-cost offering of the full salon and spa experience has only one small-ish catch: the stylists/students are practicing on you!  But wait; don’t let that tiny fact send you running in the other direction quite yet.  You just may find that (at least a few of) the students know their stuff!

A night on the Town-Unwinding with good Friends and Good Music

A night on the Town-Unwinding with good Friends and Good MusicDo you know Bruce Henry? Well you should-in the musical, sense, that is. I was just introduced to his talent about six months ago. He is this wonderfully versatile jazz singer who my husband and I --along with good friends-- had the pleasure of seeing a few Saturdays past at the Dakota Club. I wish you could have been there, too! It felt less like a performance and more like a party, where one of your dear friends just happened to be a world-class vocalist. There was so much excitement, anticipation, and love in the air as Henry had us singing, clapping and dancing in our seats right along with him. It was my idea of a perfect (and healthy) ending to a long and busy week; unwinding in the presence of soul-stirring live music, good food, and good friends.

Save $$ by Checking on your Sump Pump

Save $$ by Checking on your Sump PumpIt was late Monday morning and I was walking my husband outside to his car; he was headed to the airport for a business trip in St. Louis. I looked around the side of my house and noticed that someone had apparently left the outside water spigot on-all night. “I’m gonna get those kids!” I thought. I told my husband that we should go down to the basement to make sure no water had trickled in.

Before I got to the bottom of the stairs, it was clear that it was not just a trickle. The area rugs were floating in water. My mind could not figure out how this much water could be in our basement, but the only thing to do at that point was to grab a bucket and start bailing! Long story short, we found out that our sump pump in our less-than-two-year-old house was no longer working, which caused our basement to flood. Thankfully, we had not yet finished our basement, so our losses were not as great as they could have been. So here’s my question to you: have you checked your sump pump lately? If your answer is, “What’s a sump pump?” you probably need answers to the questions below; it could save you big bucks in the long run.

Home Grown Foods

Home Grown FoodsHave you been driving through your community admiring your neighbors’ veggie gardens and flower beds? Do you feel a twinge of jealousy because you would like a garden of your own, but don’t know where to begin? Are you coveting your neighbor’s cucumber plants?? That was my story last year. From my kitchen, I could see my neighbor’s rather large vegetable garden, and I wanted one, too. The problem was I was unsure about the best placement of the garden-out of the way of my kids and their balls, in enough sun, and in a location that didn’t make the back yard look tacky. Instead of allowing all those questions to overwhelm me this season, I came up with a suitable solution: I created a garden on my deck and you can, too. It’s not too late, really! In fact, this is the perfect time to perk up your porch, patio, or deck with flowers or vegetable plants. Especially in these tough economic times, you could save big by growing your own food. I have recently seen prices slashed by up to 50%. So grab your work gloves, some dirt, and let’s create something tasty and beautiful!

Keeping food fresher longer

Keeping food fresher longerIt’s true what they say about opposites attracting. I like my food spicy; my husband likes his bland. I like my fruit cold; he likes his hot. Well, not exactly hot, but at room temperature. The problem is that all day the fruit sits in our excessively warm house-he likes it that way-and it quickly goes bad. In the name of marital unity, I have finally convinced my husband that the jumbo bag of oranges from Costco can remain in the fridge and then be taken out to “warm up” one by one, on an as needed basis. I am also faced with the challenge of my three little blessings leaving the boxes of cereal and crackers open. By the time I reach for the crackers for my tomato soup, it’s usually too late. I have started hiding my own stash of crackers in a secret location. Aside from hiding your food, here are a few more ways to stop throwing money down the drain and keep food fresh longer.

Microwave Magic-If the cereal box at your house is left open, just pour it onto a plate and pop it in the microwave for about 30 seconds. It will be good as new!

Handout vs. Hand-up; Helping Others A Win-Win

Handout vs. Hand-up; Helping Others A Win-WinA couple of days ago I went over to the Minneapolis Habitat for Humanity office to complete my volunteer orientation. I’m so excited because within a week I get to start helping to build and rehab houses for needy families.

Before you start thinking that I am wonderfully compassionate and selfless, I want to let you in on a little secret; I am not just doing this to help others-there is something big in it for me. I want my basement finished, on the cheap, and I want to learn some money-saving construction skills. Do you want to stop waiting for your Honey to get started on that Honey-Do-List you’ve assigned?? A great way to learn how to tackle minor (and maybe a few major) home repairs is by becoming a volunteer at Habitat For Humanity. You will accomplish the perfect mix of helping others while learning valuable skills that save you big bucks.
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