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Blogging Contests Events Minnesota

Enter to Win Tickets to the Minneapolis Home and Remodeling Show

February 8, 2018
Enter to win tickets to the Minneapolis Home and Remodeling show

I’m giving away 4 pairs of tickets! You can enter to win a pair of tickets to the Minneapolis Home and Remodeling Show by leaving a comment below and guessing how many Almond Joys (leftover from Halloween) are in this wide mouth Mason jar. It’s actually a Ball jar but no one knows them that way.

The Minneapolis Home and Remodeling Show takes place February 16th – 18th, 2018 at US Bank Stadium. So, if you didn’t make it to the Super Bowl, this is almost as good and you get to see the stadium (that I will forever refer to as the Dome until someone comes up with a cute nick-name for it. Calling it by the place I built with stupid overdraft fees doesn’t make me happy at all). 

If you’re thinking of doing any remodeling, DIY projects or just want to see the latest in home technology, then you’ll want to check out the Minneapolis Home and Remodelers Show. 

Minneapolis Home and Remodeling Show

Shop, compare and save with more than 350 experts in remodeling, kitchen & bath, décor, flooring and more!

  1. Get renovation & décor tips from Karl Champley, winning carpenter of HGTV’s Ellen’s Design Challenge Fri- Sun. on the main stage sponsored by Slumberland Furniture.
  2. Get attainable & aspirational design tips from John Loecke & Jason Oliver Nixon the masterminds behind Madcap Cottage on Fri & Sat. on the main stage sponsored by Slumberland Furniture.
  3. Tour three unique Designer Rooms to see the latest trends in both indoor and outdoor living spaces.
  4. Discover how to transform your backyard with a Pool Renovation, sponsored by Outdoor Innovations.
  5. Sit & relax in the Welcome Lounge, sponsored by Plants & Things USA, where you can grab a beverage & test out the latest in outdoor furniture.
  6. See how chairs get a second life in this year’s Upcycle Challenge and bid to take home your favorite! Proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
  7. Want to test drive your next project? See the Demo before you Reno exhibitors to find innovative products you can try out at the show.

Hero Day: Fri., Feb. 16 all active & retired military, first responders and teachers receive free admission with valid ID.

Feb. 16 is Public Servants Day: all government employees receive free admission with valid ID.

Enter to Win Tickets to the Minneapolis Home and Remodeling Show

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Enter to win tickets to the Minneapolis home and remodeling show

Guess how many “fun size” Almond Joys, leftover from Halloween, are in the jar. Leave your answer in the comments and the four guesses who are closest and followed me everywhere, will win a pair of tickets to the show. The tickets are good for any day of the show. 

*There are now 2 fewer “fun size” Almond Joys in the jar. 

Blogging Contests Dumb Shit I Do Events Minnesota Minnesota Nice People Recipes Things I Really Like Winter

An Invitation to Dinner for Jimmy Fallon

February 1, 2018
Tater Tot Hot Dish

So apparently Jimmy Fallon is inviting himself to dine with some Minnesotans while he’s here for his live Tonight Show following the Super Bowl. He’s not from here so he wouldn’t know that we don’t just invite ourselves over to someone’s house for dinner. In fact, we have to be invited a minimum of three times before we can accept anything. 

However, this is a special occasion and all so it’s probably okay to overlook this faux pas. 

The daughter and I were watching the news last night when we heard about this. Her immediate response was “why would he want to come here for dinner?”.

Which is a typical Minnesotan thing to say.

With that in mind, I decided to send Jimmy Fallon an invitation to dinner at our house. Of course in Minnesota dinner takes place at noon and lasts until late evening – with half of that taking place at the door trying to say goodbye. 

I did not link to my recipe for tater tot hot dish in the email but am here for those of you who want to know what hot dish is all about. 

I’m a little worried the folks in California won’t understand Minnesota Nice. 

I do have a signature in my email, linking to this blog, and I’m hoping I don’t end up in junk mail. So if you wouldn’t mind tweeting this post to Jimmy, that would be greatly appreciated, unless you have something better to do of course.

Here’s his Twitter @jimmyfallon

An Invitation to Dinner for Jimmy Fallon

Hi Jimmy,


I heard you were looking to invite yourself to a Minnesotan’s house for dinner while you were here for the Super Bowl. I guess you do that sort of thing in California. My daughter doesn’t think you’d want to come to our house because we live way over in St. Paul and nobody in Minneapolis ever comes over here but I told her you put your pants on just like everyone else and why wouldn’t you want to come for dinner?


So yeah, we’d love to have you come for dinner. It’s a little short notice and all, but it’s no trouble.


You said you wanted to try out the local cuisine – whatever that is – but I can pull a Tater Tot Hot Dish out of the basement freezer for you. You said you don’t want a salad, and that’s fine. I’ll still have one for you if you want to try it. I made a lovely Lime Jello Salad, you’ll love it. I can make some bars too, I know I have a box of Betty Crocker somewhere.


I’ve been told I make a fair Tater Tot Hot Dish. It’s not as fancy as Margie’s down the street, but that’s because she uses both peas and beans in hers. That’s too much green for me. I prefer peas and corn. Margie also puts that paprika on top of hers, but she’s originally from Wisconsin so what do you expect?


Don’t tell Margie I said that about her hot dish, we still have to work together at the Booya this summer and it would be awkward if she knew how I really felt.


When would you like to come over? Anytime is good for us, but we got bingo down at the casino on Friday night so we’d have to wrap up supper at about 5:30. Will that work for you? Otherwise we could do dinner on Saturday or Sunday. That’s noon in case you don’t do dinners out in California.


Sunday would be nice, we could watch the game. I mean it’s not like the Vikes were gonna win if they got in anyway.


Will you be bringing your friend Justin? It’s no trouble if you do, I’ll just have to get my son Alex to come over and get a folding chair out from the garage. It’s really no trouble at all, just let me know.


Are you allergic to cats? If you are we’ll put the cats in a room. They don’t get along very well so if you know that cat whisperer maybe you could bring him along instead of your friend Justin? We could really use his help with these dang cats. You must know him right? He’s got all those things in his ears, so he must be from California.


Oh, my that was rude of me. You can bring both of them but let me know so I can have Alex get another chair from the garage. It’s really no bother.


Well I look forward to meeting you, even if it is on such short notice.


Jennifer Brown

Blogging Contests Dumb Shit I Do Minnesota

Vikings Playoff Giveaway

January 13, 2018
Vikings Playoff Giveaway

*Update – Since no one even guessed, and there is no way anyone could have guessed the outcome of the Saints vs Vikings game, we’re gonna do it again….

Just for shits and giggles I’m doing a Vikings Playoff Giveaway. If you can predict, guess or speculate the score of next Sunday’s game against the Eagles, you will win some cool Vikings memorabilia.

I’m not trying to jinx it, I won’t speculate on who I think will win, though historically this is where the Vikings start to fold, but I am hopeful. What would be more awesome than the Vikes in the Super Bowl in their own stadium? Although, I understand they would not be the home team if this happens. Anyway, it’s too exciting not to do something in honor of the great season both teams have had (but especially the Vikes!!).

I’m gonna have two winners, whoever gets closest to the score has their choice of either this cool as shit beer glass or this retro Purple People Eater t-shirt. The glass is offical NFL Merchandise, but I peeled the sticker off. If that’s a problem let me know and I’ll get one with the stick on it. The t-shirt is upcycled from Ragstock so not official NFL, but still cool as shit (not sure why it looks blue in one photo and purple in the other. It is purple).

Vikings playoff giveaway

Vikings Playoff Giveaway

Here’s what you gotta do to win:

Follow me on Facebook

Follow the official Redhead Ranting page on Facebook

Sign up for my newsletter (don’t worry, I haven’t actually sent out a newsletter in years and If I do you can unsubscribe, though I think there’s an auto response when you sign up. I’m not really sure anymore….). You can fill out the form on the right sidebar over there –> –>

You can, but don’t have to, follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest (I’m not particulary active on any of those platforms but need to up my numbers so it’d be doing me a solid but that seems like a lot of work for a t-shirt or a beer glass). 

Leave your prediction for the game in the comment section. The two closest guess will win and whoever is closer to the final score gets their choice of prize. 

Good luck to all, and especially good luck to the Minnesota Vikings!




Blogging Contests People Things I Really Like

Wizard World Comic Con – Minneapolis – Ticket Giveaway!

May 1, 2017
Wizard World Comic Con Minneapolis

Wizard World Comic Con is this weekend at the Minneapolis Convention Center!

When: May 5th – 7th, 2017
Where: Minneapolis Convention Center
1301 2nd Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Get your geek on and see Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman of Doctor Who, Nichelle Nichols from the original Star Trek, John Barrowman of Arrow and Torchwood and – sound the trumpets – Charlie Sheen from Platoon, Two and Half Men and the most epic, tiger blood meltdown of all times!!!

Oh, and my personal favorites – Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork from the Monkees. Seriously this is a 1st grade dream come true!

And I have two pairs of tickets to giveaway!!!

Sheen and Capaldi will attend Saturday and Sunday, May 6-7; Barrowman and Nichols are scheduled for all three days; Coleman will appear on Saturday only.

Wizard World Comic Con Minneapolis will also feature non-stop live entertainment throughout extended evening hours, Kick off the Con and After Parties, gaming, exclusive Q&A sessions with top celebrities, movie screenings hosted by stars and directors and more.

Other celebrities scheduled to attend Wizard World Comic Con Minneapolis include the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” trio of James Marsters, Charisma Carpenter and Nicholas Brendon (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), Barry Bostwick (Rocky Horror Picture Show, “Spin City”), Marina Sirtis (“Star Trek: The Next Generation”), and Gregg Sulkin (“Wizards of Waverly Place,” “Pretty Little Liars”).

Wizard World is the home of the most creative comics artists and writers on the planet. Artist Alley in Minneapolis will feature Guy Gilchrist (“Muppets,” “The Pink Panther”), Jordan Gibson (“Howard the Duck,” “Where is Jake Ellis?”), Phil Ortiz (“The Simpsons,” “Muppet Babies”), Danny Fingeroth (“Spider-Man,” “Iron Man”), Victor Dandridge (“The Samaritan,” “Origins Unknown”), Jim Mehsling (“Star Wars” fan films, “Into the Void”), Bob Camp (“Ren and Stimpy,” “G.I. Joe”), Clinton Hobart (licensed Disney fine artist), Victor Dandridge (“The Samaritan”) and many others.

Win Tickets!!

I’ve got two pair of tickets to give away.

If you’d like to win a pair of tickets (plus 2 kids 10 and under!!) simply leave a comment telling me who of all the guests you’d like to see. For extra chances to win follow me on Twitter, follow me on Instagram, and follow me on Facebook.

Hope to see you there!!


Contests Dumb Shit I Do

Bad Moms Contest – What’s Your Bad Mom Moment?

July 14, 2016
Bad Moms Contest - What's Your Bad Mom Moment?

In honor of the upcoming movie Bad Moms, I’m hosting a #BabMomMoment contest! Share your Bad Mom Moment in the comments for a chance to win tickets to an advance screening of Bad Moms on Thursday, July 21st at AMC Southdale.

Sorry, the tickets are for MN Bad Moms only, unless you feel like making a road trip which could turn out to be another Bad Mom Moment in the making.

Dads, feel free to share your Bad Dad Moments too.

As for me, I have too many Bad Mom Moments to count but not enough of the bad mom moments like the ones in the movie. However, my son would tell you that one of my Bad Mom Moments was when my BFF Stella came to town several years ago and we all got to drinking and such and the next thing you know I’m in the basement with Stella play Garage Band. Nothing really bad happened, unless you count embarrassing the heck out of my son and daughter, and Stella’s kids. To this day he loves to share that story with anyone willing to listen.

Of course I tell my son that he had it easy. I grew up in the 70s, with a gay day who was in the closet until he had a few drinks. You’ve haven’t been embarrassed until your dad and his two friends do YMCA in their Speedo’s in front of you, your brother, his friend and of course Stella.

Bad Moms Contest – What’s Your Bad Mom Moment?

Share it in the comments below. The top five stories will win a pair of tickets to see Bad Moms at the AMC in Southdale on July 21st.

About Bad Moms

In this new comedy from the writers of The Hangover, Amy has a seemingly perfect life – a great marriage, over-achieving kids, beautiful home and a career. However she’s over-worked, over-committed and exhausted to the point that she’s about to snap. Fed up, she joins forces with two other over-stressed moms on a quest to liberate themselves from conventional responsibilities – going on a wild, un-mom-like binge of long overdue freedom, fun and self-indulgence – putting them on a collision course with PTA Queen Bee Gwendolyn and her clique of devoted perfect moms.


Blogging Contests Writing

Flash Fiction

November 16, 2015

This may or may not go anywhere, but this weekend on Facebook I read about a lot of my blogging buddies from days gone by who miss blogging but never take the time to write anymore (maybe because we spend all our time on Facebook?). I learned that a few blogging friends had given up their blogs and that just made me sad. I don’t expect to singlehandedly restore the glory days of blogging but it would be nice to visit that community again. This month is Nanawrimo, something I have never done and don’t expect to any time soon, or even next year for that matter. Writing 50k words in a month is an amazing feat and my hat is off to anyone who can do it. The thing is for many writers it’s just too daunting so they don’t even try. So I figured why not do a little flash fiction (or non fiction), even just a few words worth, to stimulate the writer in all of us?

These are the rules today but they’ll probably change as I take a little more time to actually think this through. Think of this like that scene in 8 Mile where Eminem just jumps in and starts rapping. Basically, don’t think too much about your story, just start telling it and see where it goes. It may not go anywhere, and that’s okay too.

I’m going to leave a prompt at the end of this post. If you want to participate just start telling your story in the comment section. Don’t worry about punctuation or grammar, just tell your story. Ideally I’d like to limit it to an hour and then close the comment section but there’s no way to tell when people get notified of the post so I’m going to leave it open all week. I would just prefer people not spend time preparing and just get to the writing. If enough people participate we can do some kind of voting and maybe even have a prize.

Feel free to share this post with other writers or people who would like to give it a shot.

Good luck and here’s your prompt:

The plane was delayed….

Blogging Books Contests Dumb Shit I Do Minnesota People Things I Really Like Writing

I Saw The Bloggess!!

November 5, 2015
The Bloggess, Jenny Lawson at U of MN bookstore

I saw the Bloggess!!

(an unintentional homage to Jenny Lawson)

I don’t mean to be a name dropper but I’ve seen my share of celebrities over the years. When I was 16 my parents sold our house to Garrison Keillor. I had no idea who he was but my grandfather sure thought he was the shit! I used to babysit Nick Swardson of Grandma’s Boy and Reno 911 and bunch of other movies. I ate lunch in the same restaurant as that woman who sang the song Downtown…. what’s her name*??? And, I stood behind Kevin Garnett or maybe it was Kevin McHale** at the Giant Slide at the MN State Fair once. So, I’ve rubbed shoulders with some pretty well known celebrities, I don’t get star struck very easily. At least I didn’t until I learned Jenny Lawson was coming to town to promote her new book Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things.

From Amazon:

In Furiously Happy, #1 New York Times bestselling author Jenny Lawson explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? 

I learned she was coming a couple of months ago and immediately put it on my calendar. She was going to be at the University of Mn Bookstore in Coffman Union – a place had I spent maybe less time in I might have actually graduated after 7 years. Maybe. Anyway, I know Coffman, I could do this.

And at the time it seemed so simple. How can attending a book signing be a challenge you ask?

Because, like The Bloggess, I also have a fair amount of anxiety. It isn’t crippling but it gets in the way of a lot of things and makes them much harder. It’s gotten much worse over the years as I’ve isolated myself more and more. At the end of the day, 7pm for this event, the last thing I want to do is go out, even if it’s for something I really want to do.

Does that even make sense?

So, by 7pm the idea of getting in the car, driving to campus, finding a place to park and then walking in late to the event (because I will be late, trust me) doesn’t sound like fun to me no matter who is there.

I even tried to justify not going by telling myself that of all people, The Bloggess will understand. She knows what it’s like to take to bed for a couple of days (I don’t, I’m a single mom and my kids still expect me to feed them and drive them to school and yell at them for not changing the toilet paper roll. If I were to take to bed I’d have to call one of their dads and there’s no way either of them would step in. In fact one of them would probably threaten to seek custody if I were to ask.) so she’d be totally ok with it if I didn’t show up.

No, she doesn’t know me (though she did wish me a Happy Birthday on Facebook last year because, you know, we’re FB friends), she had no idea that I was going to be there so why I felt bad for not going to her event I really don’t know. I’d already bought her book (and you should to, you can get it here)  so what more could she want from me?

Sheesh, she’s demanding!

I forced myself to go anyway. As I said before I’ve been isolating myself for a while now and it’s getting old. I know I should go out and spend time with people my own age so I’m really thinking about making an effort. This seemed like a great opportunity a few months ago. Now that it was here not so much. Besides, even though I know I should get out more it doesn’t change the fact that I still don’t really like people that much so I’m not really sure where the payoff is. Anyway, I forced myself out of the house, into the car, on to the freeway, and into the parking garage where I thought I got a really good spot because it was right by the entrance to the parking garage and I could see Coffman Union just across a short walking bridge. The trouble was the parking garage is on sea level, or down by the river, while Coffman is on top of the hill. I had to walk  up about 15 flights of stairs (okay, 4) to get to the main level entrance of Coffman. By the time I got to the top I was so winded I was sure I was going to pass out and even had to fake a phone call outside before I walked in.

When I got to the bookstore (in the basement so I’ve basically come full circle but thank God they had an escalator) the event had already begun and there was no place to sit or stand. I made a beeline for the only spot I could find that was not going to get me called out for being late. I stood between a rather large Norwegian man with red hair and some women who looked as though they majored in Women’s Studies. I immediately dug in my purse to find my phone so I could take pictures but got distracted wondering if I left my keys in the car knowing full well I locked the car because my son gets upset with me for leaving it unlocked.

Now I had to find my keys.

Except when I tried to open my purse I got my sweater caught on the zipper and now I couldn’t move without pulling the thread out even more which happened to be right under my arm and the last thing I wanted to do was lose the arm of my sweater while trying to quietly and politely listen to Jenny Lawson talk about passing out at the gynecologist office. She kept repeating the word vagina which I don’t mind but while I’m at this event I’m composing this blog post and I fear using the word ‘vagina’ is just going to get more strange traffic here because believe it or not 70% of my traffic comes from people searching for the word ‘vagina’ and usually something really strange like ‘with teeth’. So, I’m worried about her excessive use of the word vagina and I still haven’t managed to free myself from my purse.

Of course I’m sweating at this point.

Everyone is laughing, the room us beginning to spin a little and I’m wondering how long do I have to stay here before I can leave without being obvious.

The answer is I can’t so I try to make the best of it and search for my phone again so I can get some pictures. I pull out my phone but realize no one else is taking pictures. I figure I must have missed the announcement about not taking pictures because there is no way a room full of younger women can resist taking pictures of anything.

And then I see one of the Women’s Studies woman pull out here phone and start taking pictures.

I take half a dozen grainy pictures (actually only three, and they all pretty much suck but I didn’t want to get busted for taking pictures when I wasn’t supposed to — though, I’m not sure if that was a rule or if people were just really polite) before I see the sign in front of me that says “This line for people who have already purchased a book” or something similar. In my haste to go unnoticed I got into the priority line for people who purchased the book in advance and bought a ticket to get first in line for a signing. I have purchased a book but not through the U of M bookstore. I got mine at Barnes and Noble and it was currently sitting on my dining room table, probably with a cat on top of it.

I have to get out of here. I already know I’m not going to stand in line for three hours to get the book signed (obviously, because it’s at home with a cat on it). I could buy a book and get it signed but I’m going to be last in line because I’m Minnesotan and even though I have budged into the first part of the line I’ll feel too guilty if I stay here (even though there isn’t any other place for me to go at this point).

I’m freaking out and now my phone is vibrating in my purse. It’s my 12 year old daughter who wants to know where I am and can I pick up some food on the way home? I tell her yes but feel bad that I am leaving even though I wasn’t really here, and am looking for an excuse to leave.

Something as simple as a book reading/signing should not cause so much anxiety that I need to go home (after picking up something to eat for the daughter, of course), but it does. I feel bad about it, again. This is not the first time I’ve left something because I started to sweat or my stomach started doing flip flops and my chest got all tight. It probably won’t be the last time either.

I’m upset with myself for leaving (though on the way out I purchase another book) but am actually pretty proud I even came out because I nearly talked myself out leaving the house.

If you’ve made it this far and would like a chance to win an unsigned copy of Jenny Lawson’s new book, Furiously Happy please leave a comment below.


Apparently I have a fair amount of anxiety, and sometimes it wins. Also, book giveaway, leave a comment.

* Petula Clark

** It was Kevin McHale, though I had to google it to see which one he was.



Contests Things I Really Like

Assist by AOL, a New Twin Cities Service!

May 6, 2015
Assist by AOL

Assist by AOL Membership Service Provides US-Based and 24/7 Remote Tech Support

AOL, that’s right, the old “You’ve got mail”, purveyor of all those CDs that cluttered your desk and weighed down the mailman, America Online — that AOL, is proud to announce the Twin Cities launch of Assist by AOL, a single source solution that provides technical support for any number of issues on almost any device out there, no matter who made them, where they were bought, or how old they are.

Win your own Assist by AOL — look for the details at the end of the post.

I’m actually really excited about this and I bet my son will be, too, when I tell him about it. For $20 a month I can have all the tech support I need. That means if I get a virus on my desktop computer Assist by AOL will remotely clean it up. If I can’t get online because my wifi is acting wonky (a term my son is really tired of hearing) they can remotely attempt to fix it. It doesn’t matter where I bought my device or who I have internet service through, Assist by AOL is just like having my son living at home again except without the stinky bedroom, wet towels everywhere and all the food mysteriously vanishing at 2am each night. Plus, there’s no whining (from him or me). Assist by AOL is actually happy to help me fix what is broken.

Better yet, if they can’t fix it within 30 days they’ll help me get a new one.

Assist by AOL has a team of experienced, US-based tech experts to provide support 24/7 online or over the phone. Each tech expert possesses an extensive knowledge base that allows him or her to identify and address nearly any issue on almost any device. This would have come in handy when my pc crashed and I spent what felt like a year on hold with tech support in India. I could have saved myself over a week on hold and all the frustration that comes with talking to someone with a very thick accent who doesn’t understand me as much as I don’t understand them.

I had an opportunity to use this service last week when I had trouble hooking up a second monitor. For some reason I was unable to get the resolution correct. I called Assist by AOL and talked to a very friendly tech support guy. His first language was English which made the experience a pleasure from the get-go. He understood me and I understood him.

He assessed the problem and then took remote control of my computer. He checked all the settings, did some troubleshooting and talked with his manager. He never talked to me like I didn’t know what I was doing (though I didn’t). Sadly he was unable to resolve my issue though he tried his best. Turns out I had purchased the wrong monitor and had the wrong VGA to USB connector. There was no way he could have resolved my issues. I returned the product and got the correct one which worked beautifully.

Even though the tech was unable to solve my problem it’s really nice to know that I have a full on tech support team when I need it. As a freelancer this is incredibly important. Tech is one less thing I have to worry about because I have Assist by AOL.

Here’s all the deets about the service, and you can click here to visit Assist by AOL website to learn more, but the bottom line is for $20 a month you can make sure all your high tech devices are working smoothly. By connecting with Assist by AOL remotely or by phone you can make sure your devices in tip top shape.

Tech problems take many forms

Assist by AOL experts are trained to provide the best possible customer experience. They can teach a customer how to set up a new device or solve problems with products they already own. This includes all common devices, such as desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, printers, routers, smart TVs, digital cameras, gaming consoles, home automation systems and more. For software-related issues on both Mac OS X and Windows, experts can help customers who need to remove a virus, speed up a computer, install software or upgrade their operating system and provide other solutions to similar issues.

Assist by AOL also provides coverage for eligible devices that experience a break down, including accidental damage from handling for laptops, tablets, or smartphones. This service is offered through Assist Device Repair & Replace. Tech experts will attempt to fix a covered device, for a nominal fee, and will even provide packaging and a prepaid shipping label that will route a device to the tech support center. If the device is found to be beyond repair, it will be replaced or a check will be cut for up to $1000 to help buy a new one.

Support that’s easy and risk-free

Tech experts can establish a secure connection and remotely log in to a computer or device and solve the problem for the customer, who can watch their screen to see how things are done or just go about their day. For other devices, there’s no need to visit a repair store – tech experts are available to help at any time of day, online or over the phone.

The service also offers a money-back guarantee. If Assist by AOL experts can’t address a member’s technical issue within 30 days of initial purchase, the member will receive a full refund of any charges.

A unique approach to pricing

Unlike competitors with more complicated pricing structures, Assist by AOL pricing options remain constant, regardless of the problem at hand. There are two pricing options: one-time fix and monthly membership. A one-time fix gives a customer access to all services that address problems with nearly any issue on almost any device. Monthly membership provides the same level of service, but the member can call as often as they need to. In addition, monthly members can benefit from Assist Device Repair & Replace, in the event that a covered device fails or is accidentally damaged. The money-back guarantee applies to all customers.

For more information or to sign up, please visit

About AOL

AOL (NYSE:AOL) is a media technology company with a mission to simplify the internet for consumers and creators by unleashing the world’s best builders of culture and code. As the 4th largest online property in the U.S., with approximately 200 million monthly consumers of its premium brands, AOL is at the center of disruption of how content is being produced, distributed, consumed and monetized by connecting publishers with advertisers on its global, programmatic content and advertising platforms. AOL’s opportunity lies in shaping the future of the digitally connected world for decades to come. Follow us on twitter @AOL_Inc.

***Contest information***

If you are from the Twin Cities and would like to win a three month subscription to Assist by AOL please leave a comment in the comment section as well as like my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, and like my Facebook page for my upcoming memoir Minnesota Nice.

* The Assist by AOL product, information, and additional gift subscription pack have been provided by AOL.

Contests Kids

Where are You Going This Summer?

June 1, 2014
state magnets and map on the fridge

Hard to believe it’s already summer especially since it snowed a fair amount just a few weeks ago. But, Grand Old Day is today and that means summer has officially begun.

Last summer the daughter and I drove to Mount Rushmore. It was a hell of a trip taken during the hottest days of the summer. Don’t let South Dakota fool  you.

South Dakota might not be filled with sand and it probably gets some rain but there are no trees so all you get is the sun beating down on you all day long. It’s like a green desert (I’m aware that doesn’t make any sense). I actually ended up in the ER with heatstroke.

Mount Rushmore July 2013

We started the trip as a camping trip. We (I) put up and took down the tent each day by the third day it was too much and we hotel-ed the rest of the way. This was a great thing because the daughter doesn’t like bugs and spiders much more than I do and she really hates breathing in hot dust while she sleeps. Plus, the hotels had some pretty decent pools to cool off in.


This summer we’re visiting friends in Washington State. We’re not driving because the daughter doesn’t know how to drive yet. A drive over three days to Mount Rushmore is one thing but I can only do about 4 hours at a time in the car so a drive out to Washington State becomes a good 5 days and that’s a long time in the car talking to an 11 year old and listing to this summer’s version of Blurred Lines (please don’t let this summer’s version of Blurred Lines suck so much).

Dino on I 90 in SD

We started collecting those state magnets last summer. We had the magnets but then I got a map to go along with them and after putting it up on the fridge and putting the states on the map I realize there are a lot of states I need to visit. Many I’ve only driven through and some I was too young to remember anything about.

Crazy Horse Monument SD

So far the daughter has only been to three states so we’re hoping to add a couple more states this year and each year forward. How about you? Where are you planning to go this summer?

state magnets of MN WI SD

Leave a comment below telling me where you plan on going this summer (or where you’d like to go) for a chance to win a complete set of state magnets with the map.

Contests Minnesota Things I Really Like

Cirque du Soleil Amaluna at the Mall of America

October 5, 2013
Amaluna at the Mall of America, Cirque du Soleil Amaluna at the Mall of America


That’s the word I used over and over again as I watched my first Cirque du Soleil this past week. I saw Amaluna with my daughter, my son’s girlfriend and my friend the balloon guy. My son couldn’t make it because he had mid terms.

Amaluna is playing now through October 20th at the Mall of America. Click here for showtimes and ticket information.

My daughter is 10 and she loved it. My son’s girlfriend is in her early 20s and she loved it. I’m in the northern 40s and I loved and my friend the balloon guy is in his 50s and he loved it.

I think it’s safe to say that this show can be enjoyed by all ages.

The show in a nutshell:

Amaluna (ama is “Mother”, luna is “moon”) invites the audience to a mysterious island governed by Goddesses and guided by the cycles of the moon. Their queen, Prospera, directs her daughter’s coming-of-age ceremony in a rite that honours femininity, renewal, rebirth and balance which marks the passing of these insights and values from one generation to the next.

In the wake of a storm caused by Prospera, a group of young men lands on the island, triggering an epic, emotional story of love between Prospera’s daughter and a brave young suitor. But theirs is a love that will be put to the test. The couple must face numerous demanding trials and overcome daunting setbacks before they can achieve mutual trust, faith and harmony.

Your typical love story with lizards and Amazons all told while flying through the air on the flying trapeze or three.

There are several acts to this modern day rock opera and I don’t want to give any of it away. One of the best things about this show was how the amazing talent just sneaks up on you.

If you go you’ll catch yourself holding your breath repeatedly.

You might also find yourself experiencing a little sympathetic pain as the performers twist and bend and make their bodies do things that most of us can’t do.

It was almost distracting — how flexible and strong these people were. The younger ones in my group weren’t think it but the balloon guy and I were both feeling a little out of shape while watching this performance.

I’m not sure if this was on purpose (because we saw the show in Minnesota) or if it was due to my own bias (being a Minnesotan) but the show felt as if it had a strong influence from our own Prince. The musical performances sounded like they could have been lifted from 1999 and the musicians were even dressed in the infamous long purple coat made so famous by Prince. Even the hairstyles of the all female orchestra reminded me of Prince and The Revolution, so much that I wondered if they weren’t Wendy and Lisa.

Even one of the clowns had a distinctive scandahoovian accent.

It was an absolutely amazing event. If you’d like to attend the October 18th performance of Amaluna at the Mall of America please say so in the comment section. I have 4 tickets to give away for the 8 o’clock performance of Amaluna on Oct. 18th. For an additional chance to win you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter and like the fan page for my up coming book Minnesota Nice.


Contests Food Things I Really Like

Celebrate National Coffee Day with Gevalia K-Cups

September 27, 2013

National Coffee Day is this Sunday! If you have a Keurig (and if you don’t you should really get one) you can celebrate this day with a cup of coffee that tastes like you got it at the corner coffee shop. Gevalia Coffee has released a revolutionary two-step single-serve café-style coffee beverages – made from real milk – to empower coffee lovers to enjoy a Cappuccino, Caramel Macchiato or Mocha Latte from their Keurig K-Cup brewers at home.

The process is simple – you brew your coffee like you normally would but you add the contents of a packet included with your K-Cup before you brew. Simply add the contents of the packet to the cup and then brew as you normally would.

The first one I tried was the Mocha Latte. I have to admit I didn’t have high hopes for the actual coffee. I figured it would be powdery or grainy and was delighted to find it was neither. The Mocha Latte was actually as good, if not better, that the one I had at the big name coffee shop the day before. It was actually better, didn’t taste bitter at all and it was a whole lot less expensive.

I was surprised at how frothy the coffee was. It was rich and smooth, just like I’d expect if I paid $4 for it. And at 80 calories a serving it made a perfect treat without spoiling my diet.

The other two flavors Caramel Macchiato and Cappuccino were just as tasty, though my favorite is the Mocha Latte.

Taste for yourself — visit for more information and a free sample of Gevalia Mocha Latte starting on National Coffee Day, September 29.

Gevalia café-style beverages come in three delicious varieties, all made from real milk:Gevalia K-Cups

  • Mocha Latte — A creamy, perfectly balanced blend of cocoa and coffee topped with a velvety layer of foam
  • Caramel Macchiato — Creamy and smooth, with the indulgent flavor of caramel, topped with a velvety layer of foam
  • Cappuccino — Smooth, mildly sweet with subtle roasted coffee notes, topped with a velvety layer of foam

Gevalia café-style beverages are available for purchase in six packs ($8.49 SRP) and nine packs ($11.99 SRP) at grocery, drug and mass retailers nationwide, as well as online at

If you’d like a chance to win a free box of your favorite flavor of Gevalia café-style K-Cups coffee leave a comment telling my your favorite flavor and I’ll choose one at random. The winner will be chosen October 4th. Like my book Minnesota Nice on Facebook for an extra entry.

This post is brought to you by Gevalia Coffee from Kraft Foods and The Motherhood. I received a sample of Gevalia Coffee and I’ve been compensated for my time. All opinions are my own.