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It’s Prime Day!!!

July 10, 2017

It’s Prime Day, that’s just like Christmas in July, or Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa or having your birthday in July if you normally don’t have a birthday in July. Prime Day is an awesome way to get amazing deals on all the things you want. Amazon offers huge discounts on all the cool stuff, the kinky stuff, the toys we want for our pets, and on the stuff we need

The deal is, you have to be a Prime member to get the deals. Sign up for your Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial now!! That’s right, you can try it free for 30 days and if you don’t like it you can quit and never pay a dime!! Already have Prime but want to give it as a gift to someone else? You can Give the Gift of Amazon Prime too!

What do you get with Prime? All kinds of great things, but mostly you get the opportunity to do a little drunk online shopping without much guilt the next morning because on Prime Day, everything is discounted.

Here’s what you get with Prime – free shipping on everything you order. Not just that but usually two day free shipping. You can also get free same day shipping in eligible zip codes. Prime Now offers FREE two hour delivery for things you just have to have right now – you know like this and this. You also get Amazon Restaurants – they’ll bring the food to you!, Prime Video – unlimited streaming of movies and videos, Prime Music – unlimited streaming of millions of songs, Prime Photos – unlimited photo storage. Got a Kindle? You get stuff for that too!  And, there’s so much more! You can see all of what you get with Prime here

So what are some great things to get on Prime Day? 

If you don’t have one already get an Instant Pot. You won’t regret it, I promise. Go get one now, you’ll thank me. 

Books:

the princess saves herself in this one

Adulthood is a Myth: A Sarah’s Scribbles Collection

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth

You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

Get Your Sh*t Together: How to Stop Worrying About What You Should Do So You Can Finish What You Need to Do and Start Doing What You Want to Do (A No F*cks Given Guide)

The Big Life: Embrace the Mess, Work Your Side Hustle, Find a Monumental Relationship, and Become the Badass Babe You Were Meant to Be

The Warrior Goddess Way: Claiming the Woman You Are Destined to Be

The Secret Life of Fat: The Science Behind the Body’s Least Understood Organ and What It Means for You

Beauty:

The Lux Puff

100% Natural Arabica Coffee Scrub

Flat Top Kabuki Brush

Bath Bombs Gift Set

For the Home:

Amazon Echo – Black

Wood Grain Essential Oil Diffuser

Smart Plug Outlets

Amcrest Full-HD Video Security System

And that’s just a sample of the fun stuff you can shop for late at night after a few too many glasses of wine. I’m speaking theoretically, of course. I’ve never been so irresponsible. 

Events Minnesota People

LANDMARKS TO TURN PURPLE IN HONOR OF PRINCE

April 17, 2017
Paisley Park logo

MINNEAPOLIS LANDMARKS TO TURN PURPLE

IN HONOR OF PRINCE AND

PAISLEY PARK’S CELEBRATION 2017 EVENT

 

Paisley Park Encourages Cities, Landmarks and Fans

Around the World to Join in the Purple Tribute

 

Chanhassen, Minn. (April 17, 2017) – As the world marks the first anniversary of Prince’s passing, Minneapolis landmarks will join Paisley Park in celebrating the life and legacy of Prince by turning purple on Thursday, April 20 and/or Friday, April 21.  Starting on Thursday, April 20, Paisley Park will welcome fans from around the world to Celebration 2017 to enjoy four days of live music, panel discussions and special presentations highlighting Prince’s tremendous talent, influence and importance as a composer, musician, producer, live performer and filmmaker.  

Buildings and landmarks scheduled to turn purple include the I-35W Bridge, Hennepin County Lowry Avenue Bridge, U.S. Bank Stadium,IDS Center, and Target Field.  Paisley Park encourages cities and landmarks around the world to join in this purple tribute by lighting buildings, bridges, and landmarks purple on April 20 and April 21!  Fans are also encouraged to wear purple on April 21 and upload pictures to social media using #PaisleyPark.

Tickets to Celebration 2017 are nearly sold out, with limited general admission still available. Fans interested in attending are encouraged to visit OfficialPaisleyPark.com now to secure remaining tickets while the supply lasts. Attendees to Celebration 2017 can access special promotional rates at hotels surrounding Chanhassen. Full details and promotion codes are available at OfficialPaisleyPark.com.  

The Prince4Ever Tribute Fence, built in the interior grounds of Paisley Park along the grass adjacent to the north parking lot, now displays archived fan-donated memorial messages and artifacts originally attached to the exterior perimeter fence in the weeks following Prince’s passing last year. Visitors who have purchased tickets to Celebration 2017 and scheduled tours throughout April will also have the opportunity to view the Prince4Ever fence and add personal tribute messages as part of their overall Paisley Park tour experience. 

​​​

ABOUT PRINCE

Prince sold over 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. He won seven GRAMMY® Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and an Academy Award® for the film “Purple Rain,” all of which are displayed at Paisley Park. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, the first year of his eligibility. Prince was born in Minneapolis and resided in the Minneapolis area throughout his life

ABOUT PAISLEY PARK

Paisley Park, Prince’s private estate and production compound in Chanhassen offers fans of the late music icon the unprecedented opportunity to tour the legendary, 65,000-square-foot complex that served as the center of Prince’s creative universe.  Operated by P Park Management, guided tours take visitors throughout the extensive main floor of Paisley Park, including recording and mixing studios where Prince recorded, produced and mixed most of his biggest hits, exhibit spaces that chronicle films such as Purple Rain and Graffiti Bridge, Prince’s private NPG Music Club, and a massive soundstage and concert hall where Prince rehearsed for concert tours and held exclusive, private events and performances.  The tour also features thousands of artifacts from Prince’s personal archives, including iconic concert wardrobe, awards, musical instruments and concert memorabilia.  

 

Paisley Park is located at 7801 Audubon Road, Chanhassen, Minnesota, approximately 30 minutes outside of Minneapolis. For more information about Paisley Park, visit OfficialPaisleyPark.com.

Paisley Park online:

Facebook – www.facebook.com/OfficialPaisleyPark

Instagram – www.instagram.com/officialpaisleypark

Twitter – http://twitter.com/paisleypark

#Celebration2017 

Advice Blogging Events People Things I Really Like

Best Valentine’s Day Gifts – Ever!

February 8, 2017
Best Valentine's Day Gifts - Ever!

If you’re looking for ideas for the best Valentine’s Day gifts – ever, then you’re in luck. I’ve been writing about Valentine’s Day gifts for as long as I’ve had a blog and I know all there is to successful gift giving for this blasted holiday. 

Click here to learn about the Top 5 Worst Valentine’s Day Presents? Or click here for past Best Valentine’s Day Presents.

And if you’re considering one of those 4 foot bears you need to read Size Matters But A Hunka Love Bear Will Not Get You Laid.

“But Jen, how can you know about something like Valentine’s Day when you’re not involved with anyone and you’ve been divorced twice? Clearly, romance is not your strong suit?”

And you would be right to ponder that conundrum. Except, because I have been in so many bad relationships, I know what not to do for Valentine’s Day. Trust me, you won’t go wrong if you use this handy Valentine’s Day gift buying guide.

Here’s the thing. Most people who actually care about the gifts are either young, madly in love, trying to find love or stay in love. For everyone else, the day is sort of a non holiday. It might be a reason to drink and eat chocolate, but that could just be a Tuesday for most people.

Chocolates and wine are always good gift ideas, you simply can’t go wrong with those – unless your significant other is a diabetic or recovering alcoholic, then probably not a good idea. 

A night out is also a safe bet, usually. I don’t know you partner so ask – some people hate crowds. As far as I am concerned, a night out at a decent restaurant is a wonderful gift because I don’t have to clean, cook or clean up after the meal. And by decent I mean anyplace that serves food. I’m not that picky. The bar has been lowered for decades.

Anyway, getting back to gifts. If you’re looking for something special but won’t break the bank, doesn’t force a commitment neither of you are prepared for and is something your Valentine might actually like — read on.

Best Valentine’s Day Gifts – Ever!

InstantPot

I know, I know, in the past I have scolded you for giving appliances. I still stand by that for the most part, but the InstantPot is different. Whoever you give this to – man, woman, and everyone in between – will love it. You cannot go wrong with an InstantPot. I prefer the Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Multi-Functional Pressure Cooker because it makes yogurt, that’s just cool, but they have a less expensive model, the standard Instant Pot IP-LUX60 V3, and it’s awesome too. While you’re at it, get the Instant Pot Glass Lid you’ll be glad you did. 

InstantPot Cookbooks

Does your love already have an InstantPot? Probably, since everyone has been talking about them for the last couple of years. If that’s the case, you can always get them a couple InstantPot cookbooks. Here are some of my favorites:

The Instant Pot® Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook: Easy Recipes for Fast & Healthy Meals – This is pretty much the bible of InstantPot cookbooks. It’s a great place to start if you’re new to pressure cooking and it’s got some super easy and wonderfully tasty recipes in it. The French Onion Soup is to die for!

Paleo Cooking With Your Instant Pot: 80 Incredible Gluten- and Grain-Free Recipes Made Twice as Delicious in Half the Time – I just got this one the other day because I’m doing the paleo thing again. It’s got some great recipes that are surprisingly satisfying and really easy to throw together last minute. If you’re doing paleo you’ll want to try this one out. 

Instant Pot Ultimate CookBook – 2nd Edition: The Complete Pressure Cooker Guide – Delicious and Healthy Instant Pot Recipes

Great Food Fast (Best of the Best Presents) Bob Warden’s Ultimate Pressure Cooker Recipes

Other Practical Valentine’s Day Gift ideas

Car Safety Hammer, ARCHEER 6-In-1 Emergency Rescue Kit Car Safety Hammer Seatbelt Cutter Window Breaker Auto Rescue Disaster Escape Tool, Built In Flashlight, Whistle, Magnet&Alarm Lamp

Nothing says I love you like a car hammer/window breaker device. Seriously, this thing belongs in every first aid kit, or at least vehicle safety kit. It cuts the seatbelt, breaks the window and has a built in flashlight, magnet, alarm lamp and might even make coffee. 

How to Traumatize Your Children: 7 Proven Methods to Help You Screw Up Your Kids Deliberately and with Skill – Parents of the world rejoice! Knock Knock’s bestselling How to Traumatize Your Children has been revamped with all-new totally dysfunctional illustrations. This groundbreaking instructional volume teaches you how to give your children the lifelong gifts of mental and emotional damage. Whether you employ the same ruinous techniques your parents used or try out an entirely new approach, you are bound to succeed!

Of course you just can’t go wrong with the Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition, probably even better than the InstantPot. 

Roses are always nice. This Red Rose of Passion Bouquet (One Dozen Long Stemmed) – With Vase is sure to please.

And you can’t go wrong with chocolate in a heart shaped by from Godiva Chocolatier

Advice Blogging Dumb Shit I Do Events People politics Send Jen on a Vacation Things that piss me off WTF?

Taking a Social Media Break

January 23, 2017

I’m going to be taking a social media break. Mostly from Facebook since that is where I waste most of my time. I’m doing it for many reasons, the above mentioned wasting time is a big one, but I’m also doing it because it’s not fun anymore. Social media has turned into the Mean Girls table in 7th grade and I hated it then and hate it even more now.

Taking a Social Media Break

Twitter has always been a clusterfuck of negativity, and I am sure Instagram, and Pinterest are getting filled with just as many negative memes if not outright status updates. 

For the most part I have kept my sadness and anger under control when I peruse the status updates of friends and people who update publicly. I’m not a troll and it isn’t my job to educate anyone on the ways of persuasion. I’ve simply had enough.

Stop Being Such Douchebags to Each Other!

People are upset and I appreciate and respect that, but oh my god they are also so very rude, childish and just plain mean. 

This negativity, this aggressiveness, this unpleasantness has been going on for well over a year now, but since the election it’s gotten worse. Since the inauguration, it has gotten out of hand.

“I don’t care who started it!”

Yes, I know, I sound just like my father. 

I know there are important issues that need to be discussed. I get that people are scared and want to do whatever they can to change something… The thing is, I’m not listening anymore. And I’m really tolerant! 

This past weekend I saw women tearing at each other because the appropriate response was not given with regard to the women’s march this Saturday. According to many if you didn’t go you are considered a Trump supporter. That’s quite a leap. I had no idea my lack of desire to participate in an event would lump me in with the deplorables. 

Bittersweet

Social media, especially Facebook, is my socializing. As a single mom, I don’t get out much. Spending some time on Facebook and chatting with friends has always been a welcome way to start the day and wind it down. My time on Facebook was something I looked forward to. Now, it just makes me sad or angry, lately enraged.

And I love you people, but you are being really mean to each other right now and I’m scared. I’m afraid to leave a comment, to engage with other people, because I am afraid my inability to concisely sum up an issue with a pithy comment that is regarded by the majority as correct is lacking. That I can’t say what I want to say without pissing someone, everyone off. 

It Used to be Fun

Listen, I know that social media has never been a place to discuss issues in any sort of meaningful or deep way. Social media comments are like romance novels, you will get down and dirty by page six, or the 6th comment as the case may be. But sometimes, respectful discussions did take place.

These discussions may not have changed any minds, but when respectful they were at least enlightening. Now, it’s just a race to see who can work Hitler or the Nazis into the conversation first. No one actually expects discourse, they just want to get their clever comeback in and then wait for their tribe to hit the like button so everyone knows how influential they are.

And That Pisses Me Off

I’ve tried to reason with social media to no avail so for the time being I’m removing myself from the negativity. Unfortunately, I manage social media for many businesses so I still have to show up. However, I won’t be engaging for a while and as much as possible I will automate my presence there.

That said, I will still be hanging out at my blog and with all the free time I expect will be able to visit those blogs that are actually still blogging. I hope discussion about these interesting times can be had with less snark. If you see me on Facebook – I’m playing Candy Crush or updating a client’s status. I will automate the promotion of any posts here on Facebook and other social media. 

See, I’m explaining myself!! How stupid is that?

I’m sure I will not be gone for too long, probably until TWD returns and all has been righted in the world. I just need to get away from the negativity for a while. Life is simply too short for all of the mean girl bullshit. 

I love you all and I will miss you, but you piss me off too much to stick around right now so I’m disconnecting.

Blogging Events politics

Live Blogging Inauguration Day

January 20, 2017
Live Blogging Inauguration Day

Today I’m going to be live blogging Inauguration Day. Today we will witness the peaceful transfer of power, a pretty amazing thing that you don’t see in many western democracies. Knowing how divisive this election has been and how many rallies are planned, I suspect there might be a few blips, but I don’t expect anything horrible to happen. In fact, in just watching a few minutes of the morning news show I am encouraged at how respectful most pundits are of President Elect Trump.

Live Blogging Inauguration Day

3:30 PM CST

Barron seems to be getting the hang of this…

President Trump Melania and Barron Trump Inauguration Parade

2:42 PM CST The parade is just getting underway. One side of the street is filled with supports, the other protestors, and then there are bikers there doing whatever it is they are doing. #GodBlessAmerica! split screen of Donald Trump and Barrack Obama 12:09 PM CST Obama making a “brief” statement. (Paraphrasing) “When we started this journey we did so to change things. Change happened from the bottom up….” Split screen with Obama saying goodbye and Trump about to sign some executive orders.  And NBC totally just cut off Obama as he was speaking…. How quickly he has become old news to the media. Everyone keeps telling Trump to use multiple pens. 12:02 PM CST Meanwhile anti-Trump protesters are throwing a fit….

Former President Obama Leaves on Executive One 11:45 AM CST Barrack and Michelle Obama board Executive One. It strikes me how quickly this transfer of power takes place. Obama and Michelle are embracing President Trump and First Lady Melania as they leave.  11:37 AM CST Obama and Trump, Pence and Biden getting ready to send off Former President Obama and Former First Lade Michelle Obama as they board Marine One and go on vacation. 11:22 AM CST Rev Graham says rain is a sign of blessing from God.  11:12 AM CST Just popped by social media to see people complaining about the dress Kellyanne Conway is wearing and how there are few people of color in the audience. Um, the last several weeks we saw some very high profile and popular people of color receive death threats for meeting with Donald Trump, what do they expect? I mean seriously, the campaign to vilify anyone who met with Trump, not necessarily supported him but just met with him, especially people of color was incredibly successful. Want it both ways much?

11:03 AM CST It’s beginning to rain as President Trump tells the audience how the power is going back to the people of the United States. “Politicians have prospered but not the people of our country….” “What truly matters is not which party controls our government but how they serve their citizens (I’m paraphrasing at this point, will update when the speech is published). 11:02 AM CST  President Trump thanks past presidents and addresses the nation. “We will face challenges, we will confront hardships….”  Click here for the video and text of President Trump’s inauguration speechDonald Trump taks Oath of Office 11:00 AM CST President Trump has just taken the oath of the presidency. Former president Obama is shaking his hand and smiling. 21 gun salute and Hail to the Chief. Mike Pence take oath of office, Shit eating grin on Paul Ryan as Pence takes Oath of Office 10:53 AM CST Clarence Thomas is administering the oath to Mike Pence. Ryan has a shit eating grin on his face. 10:51 AM CST Stopped by social media to see those who promised not to watch the inauguration are, indeed, watching it. They are not happy about it, but can’t help but watch. 10:49 AM CST Chuck Schumer is talking about the peaceful transfer of power and how we are a forward looking country.  10:45 AM CST Missouri State Choir is singing. Split screen with other view on Trump looking rather Trump-ish. The music seems to be softening his demeanor. The crowd looks pretty big, don’t even notice all the democrat elected officials who are missing.  10:43 AM CST Trump will take the oath using the same bible that Lincoln used and Pence will take the oath using the bible Reagan used. 10:40 AM CST  Panning the crowd – most people have their heads bowed in prayer, a few not so much and aggressively glaring at the cameras.  10:37 AM CST Cardinal Timothy Dolan, I love him, is giving invocation. Give us your wisdom, we’re mere mortals and none of us is perfect….. 10:17AM CST  Hurrying back from my walk at the Mall of America and listening to the festivities on the radio as they start introducing President Obama, Michelle, Melania, and Mike Pence’s wife whose name escapes me. What is that clicking? Is that Melania’s heals clicking? Don’t know, it’s the radio. 9:55 AM CST  I’m getting a barrage of text messages telling me how beautiful Ivanka and Melania look, as well as some updates about some rather petty status updates on social media.  8:55 AM CST Heading out to do my walk, will be back in an hour or so. Hopefully nothing bigly happens. 8:42 AM CST Trump and Melania arrive at the Whitehouse and are greeted by President Obama and First Lady Michelle. Everyone is smiles, joking, Melania has a gift for Michelle from Tiffany’s. Obama tells Trump he will get used to the protocol and to not sweat it. 8:31 AM CST  Nicole Wallace calls Trump the originator of the birther movement. 8:15 AM CST Tom Brokaw is doing a montage of past presidents and the scandals that plagued them. Kinda ironic, I guess. Obama’s scandal is Benghazi – interesting. 8:08 AM CST Today Show is talking about who will be in attendance and what a thrill it is to be there. Barely mention the 65 Democrats who are boycotting the event.

Dumb Shit I Do Events How Did We Survive? People politics Things that piss me off WTF?

It’s the End of the World as We Know It

January 18, 2017
it's the end of the world as we know it

If you’re like a good chunk of the US population, and probably a large percentage of the rest of the world, you probably think that come Friday, it’s the end of the world as we know it.

Or maybe it will be the end of the world? Who knows, maybe shortly after Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, he’ll make a grab for the football and set off the nukes. 

Unless you’re living under a rock you can’t help but notice that people are losing their shit about the inauguration. Joe Biden is worried about the fracture of the “liberal world order” due to Putin, Glen Beck has seen the light and is now holding hands with Samantha Bee, Marc Lamont Hill is saying some of the most foul things and still no one is really covering it – let alone outraged by it (so I guess in that regard nothing has changed), and some dude actually lit himself on fire in protest of Trump

What the ever loving f*ck?

And it’s only Wednesday. I would imagine things are just getting started with regard to crazy and overly dramatic.

I don’t know if it’s the end of the world as we know it. It probably is. I mean, isn’t it always? Something comes along and changes the trajectory of things – whatever they may be – and things change accordingly. The same could have been said if Hillary was the person being sworn in on Friday. Things would be different. Though, probably not as different as they are with Trump win. 

Of course, that’s also why he won. 

But what about the Russians?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, they hacked us, and we are rightly outraged and are doing everything possible to make sure it doesn’t happen again, but there has been no evidence that anything they did actually changed the outcome of the election. So…..

I’m sorry, I got distracted by the auto arguments.

People wanted change, that’s why Trump won the election. Now, it might not be the change you wanted, but that’s why we have elections. We don’t let just one person, or one group, choose who the next president will be. Sorry, Rosie, not even you get to choose for all of us

My Facebook feed is filled with people so anxious about the peaceful change of power that they literally have “taken to bed”. 

I would love to take to bed, but I have to work. I’m super thrilled however, that we live in such a wealthy nation that people have that option. I mean think about it… we have so much wealth in this nation that someone can “take to bed” for a day or more because they are simply upset about who won the presidency. They either don’t have any responsibility, or they are so well off that they have others to pick up the slack while they “take to bed”. 

What isn’t there to love about that? What a wonderful country we have that we have so much flexibility. Talk about first world problems.

Seriously, I am getting away from myself.

And I don’t even like Trump!

The thing is, I’ve seen this all before. That’s one of the great things about hitting the mid century mark, there’s not much you haven’t seen. I came of age during the Reagan years and I remember everyone freaking out that he was going to accidentally nuke Russia or some other unfortunate country. It didn’t happen then and it isn’t likely to now.

Will he make changes?

Yeah, duh. That’s why he’s getting sworn in and Hillary is not. I said that already, I guess.

He’s probably going to make a lot of changes, and all of them will be attributed to his sense of greed and desire for power, same goes for all the republicans. It’s going to be a long 4 years, possibly 8. 

To be continued….

Blogging Events Minnesota Minnesota Nice People

Movies You’ll Want To See: 20th Century Women

January 4, 2017
Movies You'll Want To See: 20th Century Women

File this under Movies You’ll Want To See: 20th Century Women. As a Minnesota blogger and influencer (yeah, I cringed just a little when I typed that last word) I get advance screening tickets to some pretty great movies including Moana, that last Star Wars movie and now 20th Century Women.

I’ll be honest, I hadn’t heard of this movie before I got the invite and I was hesitant pass on the info because the title doesn’t really do much for me. It doesn’t give me enough info about the movie which makes me suspect it’s trying to hide something.

That’s silly on my part because it has Annette Bening in it. 20th Century Women also has Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, Lucas Jade Zumann and Billy Crudup in it. Also, it takes place in 1979 which is when my story, Minnesota Nice, begins. 

As a single mom to a son, I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to relate to this story. The few minutes I saw of the trailer made it clear this is one of those movies that gets under your skin and stays with you for a while. I’m looking forward to seeing it next week.

If you’re in the Twin Cities and would like to attend an advance screening of 20TH CENTURY WOMEN  starring Annette Benning, Greta Gerwig & Elle Fanning  on Thursday, January 12 at 7pm at Landmark Lagoon, then download a FREE pair of passes by clicking on the link below (while supplies last). Please be advised that this screening is overbooked to ensure a full house. Seating is first come, first served, so arrive early to guarantee a seat!

Link to download passes: http://www.gofobo.com/qbVrn81486

Blogging Books Dumb Shit I Do Events Food Kids Minnesota Minnesota Nice People Pets politics Recipes Reviews Things I Really Like Things that piss me off Writing

Redhead Ranting 2016 Roundup

December 31, 2016
Redhead Ranting 2016 Roundup

For your reading pleasure I’ve put together my sometimes annual Redhead Ranting 2016 Roundup. Every other media outlet does a roundup so I thought, what the heck, I’ll do one too!

I’m actually surprised I wrote enough this year for a roundup. In fact, I actually wrote and published 60 posts this year, which is my third time high since I started blogging in 2007. It’s twice as much as I wrote last year.

There were basically 4 categories this year, the election, my mother, recipes, and Prince, and an outlier about Dini the cat. It’s a long post, and most didn’t bother to read it, but it’s one that harkens back to my early days of blogging, when I just told a story and enjoyed the journey.

No One Ever Said There Would Be This Much Cat Vomit

Blog Posts about the Election

I really didn’t think he’d win, and I might watch too much Walking Dead.

How to Survive the Trumpacolypse

How to Prepare for the Post Election Apocalypse

OMG Stop Unfriending Each Other!

Blog Posts about my Relationship with My Mother

My relationship with my mother is difficult at best, but it isn’t unique. I also posted a story from my book, Minnesota Nice. 

Life Isn’t Fair

I Made my Mother Cry… Again

Do You Know your ACE Score?

Recipes

I cook a lot this year, mostly because I got an Instant Pot – the most awesome thing ever!

Shrimp Alfredo in 7 Minutes

Cheesy Smoked Sausage Hot Dish Instant Pot Recipe

Authentic Minnesota Tater Tot Hot Dish Recipe – Seriously, if you try a new dish in 2017, make it the MN Tater Tot Hotdish, you won’t be sorry. 

Best and Worst in Books and Movies and Blogs

I saw and reviewed several movies this year, they aren’t worth sharing here except for one exceptionally horrible movie I really hoped would be awesome. It wasn’t.

Independence Day Resurgence Review

Life Changing Books

Bloggers who Blog

Prince and Jacob

2016 was a year of loss, but these two are still difficult for me to reckon with. 

Summer in Minnesota 2016: We Lost Prince and Found Jacob

On the Passing of Prince, from a Minnesotan

Events Minnesota Things I Really Like Winter

Family Friendly Things to do in the Twin Cities this December

December 5, 2016
Family friendly things to do in the Twin Cities this December

If you’re looking for family friendly things to do in the Twin Cities this December look no further than all these great events taking place this month. There’s really something for the whole family to enjoy this December. Head on down to the Landmark Center in Downtown St. Paul and get your skate on at the Wells Fargo WinterSkate arena. If you’d rather take a less physical approach to the season then put on some warm clothes and head out to the Holidazzle taking place now through December 23rd.

It’s a busy month with family and friends, parties and commitments, and let’s not forget shopping, just be sure to take some time to enjoy all that this wonderful season has to offer.

Family Friendly Things to do in the Twin Cities this December

Holidazzle
When: Now through December 23rd
Where: Loring Park
Minneapolis, MN

As downtown Minneapolis’ premier holiday celebration, Holidazzle has delighted residents, visitors and downtown employees for years. Now, in 2016, this tradition is bringing family-friendly programming to Loring Park completely free.

Rice Park Powered by Xcel Energy
When: Now through December 23rd
Where: Rice Park
St. Paul, MN

Make downtown Saint Paul your family holiday destination and enjoy the beauty of Rice Park as it sparkles with thousands of twinkling lights! The festive tree will be up through January 1, 2017. The other lights will stay up and illuminate the park through the end of the Winter Carnival.

Wells Fargo WinterSkate
When: Now through February 5th
Where: Landmark Cetner
St. Paul, MN

Skaters are invited to experience the unique urban setting of downtown Saint Paul. Located in the heart of the city, Wells Fargo WinterSkate creates a fun, winter experience for visitors of all ages. The historic Landmark Center creates a beautiful backdrop for the outdoor rink, showcasing Saint Paul’s charming European architecture and old-world ambiance.

Christmas at FlyOver America
When: Now through January 2nd
Where: Nickelodeon Universe at Mall of America
60 E. Broadway
Bloomington, MN

FlyOver America will transform into a magical winter wonderland this holiday season. Guests will have fun helping Santa search for his missing elves during an exhilarating flight across America and onto the North Pole.

St. Paul European Christmas Market
When: December 1st – 4th, December 8th – 11th, 2016
Where: Union Depot
240 E. Kellogg Blvd
St. Paul, MN

The European Christmas Market in St. Paul is based on the traditional, charming, and festive open air Christkindlmarkts that spring up in Germany, Austria and other countries during the Advent season. Shop for unique, handmade holiday gifts and decorations from local vendors, drink Glühwein (spiced mulled wine), and taste European inspired food and delicacies during the first two weekends in December.

Black Nativity
When: December 1st – 23rd, 2016
Where: Penumbra Theatre
270 N. Kent St.
St. Paul, MN

This is a timeless holiday tradition treasured across the Twin Cities! Today, kids who grew up with Black Nativity are returning with their own families. Under the direction of Lou Bellamy and the musical direction of Sanford Moore, our homegrown Christmas show returns featuring exceptional lead vocalists, the outstanding Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church Choir, and the stirring choreography of Uri Sands of TU Dance. Join us for an experience full of joy, community, and spirit.

Summit Avenue Artisan Festival
When: December 3rd, 3026
Where: St. Paul’s United Church of Christ
900 Summit Avenue
St. Paul, MN

Join St. Paul’s United Church of Christ as we celebrate the season with our community. We are a proud Saint Paul Grand Meander event! Shop handcrafted jewelry, pottery, food items and more from our 30 local artisans. Take a photo with St. Nicholas! Enjoy a cup of Fair Trade coffee or tea and specialty Christmas items at our bake sale!

Grand Meander
When: December 3rd, 2016
Where: Grand Avenue
St. Paul, MN

Grand Meander is a St. Paul tradition that captures the charm of historic Grand Avenue and the cozy communal spirit of the holidays! Pick out your Christmas tree, have breakfast with Santa, hear carolers meander from store to store, and hop on a classic trolley and ride the 20-block length of Grand Avenue.

Minnesota Zoo Santa Saturdays
When: December 3rd, 10th, 17th
Where: Minnesota Zoo
13000 Zoo Boulevard
Apple Valley, MN

December is a great time to visit the Minnesota Zoo. If you’re looking for that perfect holiday photo, bring your family and camera to the Zoo on Saturday, December 3, 10, and 17 and meet Santa. He’ll be available for photos from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze
When: December 9th – 11th, 2016
Where: Northrup at the University of Minnesota
84 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN

Cirque Dreams lights up the 2016 holiday season with its critically acclaimed holiday stage extravaganza, Cirque Dreams Holidaze, a new cirque show, Broadway musical, and family Christmas spectacular all in one! Hailed by The New York Daily News as a “delicious confection of charm, sparkle and talent by the sleighload & so full of energy it could end our dependence on oil!”

Winter Solstice Celebration
When: December 18th, 2016
Where: Lake Hiawatha Recreation Center
2701 East 44th St.
Minneapolis, MN

Let’s welcome the return of light! Nourish your heart’s longing for renewal by tapping into the seed of potential that begins every year. This contemplative, participatory and embodied evening enters the fertile embrace of darkness as the starting point for new life. Individually and collectively it is an opportunity to shed what diminishes us. The community experience of music, meditation, and movement helps us tap into a deeper experience of connection. We gather on the solstice to remember our interconnection and access a wellspring of life that is ultimately joyful and liberating.

Bruce Munro: Winter Light at the Arboretum
When: Now through December 31st, 2016
Where: Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
3675 Arboretum Drive
Chaska, MN

Winter Light At The Arboretum, the first large-scale light installation at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, will illuminate the winter landscape after dark.  This ticketed exhibit makes its Minnesota premiere with a series of five outdoor and two indoor installations that have inspiration and connection to Munro’s visits to the Arboretum, his imagination and life experience.

Gingerbread Wonderland at Norway House
When: Now through January 8th, 2017
Where: Norway House
913 East Franklin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN

The holiday tradition of gingerbread houses, called pepperkake in Norway, has crossed the sea to Norway House. Create a special piece to display – a local Twin Cities landmark or inspired structure – or just come to admire, as dozens of creations are on exhibit for this multi-generational, magically festive event. Invite family and friends to join you in baking an exhibit piece, or spark a friendly competition for bragging rights. A winning entry will be selected by professional bakers, and a “People’s Choice” award will honor the structure most admired by attendees. Gingerbread Wonderland also includes special displays from renowned local bakers.

Night Trains
When: Now through February 25th, 2017
Where: Twin City Model Railroad Museum
668 Transfer Road, Suite 8
St. Paul, MN

Night Trains Season comes to museum layouts in a magical way, the lights are turned down, the buildings and street lights glow warmly, setting the scene for specially lighted models of vintage passenger trains. The make believe town of Matlin is buried in a blizzard, and throughout the Museum the layouts are adorned with miniature Christmas lights and decorations.

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How to Prepare for the Post Election Apocalypse

November 4, 2016
How to Prepare for the Post Election Apocalypse

It’s almost here, the day we’ve been waiting for a couple of years now – the end of the election. But wait, before you get too excited, have you figured out how to prepare for the post election apocalypse?

As bad as it is now with wall to wall coverage of emails and p*ssies, it’s only going to get worse on Wednesday morning when we learn  that Clinton won and she’s now the President Elect who happens to be under investigation by the FBI; or we wake up Wednesday morning to learn that Trump is the President Elect (I literally just shuddered as I typed that) and pretty soon we’ll be watering our crops with Brawndo because it’s got what plants crave (electrolytes).

Or worse than both of those scenarios – we wake up on Wednesday and there is no clear winner. The 2000 election will look like a cake walk compared to the mess we’ll be in if the election is close. Get ready to hear “hanging chads”, “pregnant chads”, and all kinds of new “chads” for the next three months.

No matter how it shakes out, we could be in for a rude awakening come Wednesday morning. If you aren’t a prepper now there’s not much time to prepare for the post election apocalypse. If you haven’t stored boxes and boxes of canned goods and freeze dried food you’re going to have to loot the nearest Target and Walmart like everyone else. So be sure to dress properly.

terrorwarning

Officials are warning of a possible terror attack on US soil this Monday.

For those of you who voted early, you have nothing to worry about. For the rest of us who put it off as long as possible – take comfort in the fact that at least it won’t be your fault if the wrong candidate wins.

While it is pretty late in the game to learn how to take care of yourself and your family, there are a few things you can do to prepare for the post election apocalypse.

How to Prepare for the Post Election Apocalypse

There are no Safe Spaces in the post election apocalypse – If you’re one of those people who needs a Safe Space, you’re probably screwed in the post election apocalypse.You may as well fix yourself into the fetal position and start rocking while sucking your thumb because people are not going to be able to keep their opinions to themselves in polite company anymore. Joseph de Maistre said – Every nation gets the government it deserves, so we have no one to blame but ourselves. It’s not about parties, or sides or left or right, we collectively made this bed and now we’re going to have to lie in it, all 318 million of us.

Get some decent boots – No matter what kind of apocalypse it’s always a good idea to have a really good pair of leather boots. If you’re vegan I don’t know what to tell you, but odds are you’re in a corner somewhere rocking back and forth so it really doesn’t matter. Boots are imperative because we’re all going to be walking through a ton of bullshit. Sandals, flip flops, Chucks or Uggs just aren’t going to cut it. While you’re at it, pick up some nice waders at Mills Fleet Farm.

Have a stash of good reading material – Recently, criminals have been emptying out Little Free Libraries and selling the books to used books stores. I’m not really sure how it’s a crime since it says free in the title of the library, but whatever. If people can sell all those second hand romance novels and knock off books of What to Expect when you’re Expecting… well, more power to them. Seems to me the books that end up in those Little Free Libraries were books that the used bookstores wouldn’t take. Anyway, hopefully you have some good reading material because when the shit hits the fan we’ll probably be under a much bigger DDS attack than we were a couple of weeks ago. This might not actually be a bad thing. After this election it might do us all some good to unplug and have a time out.

Food and Water – After Hurricane Katrina the government encouraged us to prepare for emergencies such as natural disasters, terrorism or political unrest. They created TV ads, websites, billboards and whatnot telling us how to prepare.  Sadly, most of us didn’t listen and the ones who did and actually prepared, were ridiculed. If you made fun of your neighbor for dragging cases and cases of bottled water into his basement while stocking up on months worth of beef jerky and taking lessons at the shooting range, he’s probably not going to do you a solid and share any of it with you. Ideally you should have a months worth of water and food for just this very thing. It’s probably just as well, we were over populated anyway.

Gold and Silver – For years William Devane has been telling us to buy gold in preparation for the end of the world. If you’ve followed his advice and are sitting on shitloads of gold you’re probably about to get robbed. This may be a wise investment, I don’t really know, but I can’t see society collapsing and those of us with gold or silver coins actually bartering. Odds are the things that will become valuable will be food, water, ammunition, guns and boots. Gold and silver are probably difficult things to lug around during the apocalypse.

Guns and Ammunition – If you don’t have them now you’re probably not going to find any. Walmart, Cabela’s and other sporting goods stores were the first stores looted after the liquor stores. If you need to protect yourself from those with guns you can always demand to see their license to carry permit.

Hopefully it won’t go down this way. Hopefully the populace will remember that we are a civil society that values differing opinions (I just laughed out loud when I typed that) and that we will get through the next four years the same way we got through the last four years, the four years before that, the four years before that, the four years before that and so on.

But just in case it does go down that way, I’ll be over here trying on boots and eating beef jerky.

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Family Friendly Things to do in the Twin Cities this November

November 1, 2016
things to do in the Twin Cities this November

If you’re looking for family friendly things to do in the Twin Cities this November, then you’ve found the mother lode of stuff to do. The weather looks to remain warmer than usual so be sure to get out and enjoy all that this great town has to offer. From the Autumn Craft Festival in Shakopee to the a make your own bird feeder event in Maplewood, there’s something for everyone. Of course, you could always spend your free time raking the leaves.

Family Friendly Things to do in the Twin Cities this November

Build a Bird Feeder
When: November 5th, 2016
Where: 2659 7th Street E
Maplewood, MN

Build a birdfeeder with reclaimed cedar fencing and learn which Minnesota native winter birds will visit your feeder. Explore stations to learn about different beak types and more. Your backyard birdfeeder will be a joy to you and birds throughout the chilly season! Fee: Prepay $5/birdfeeder by Tuesday, November 1. To register, go to maplewoodnaturecenter.com and click on the Register Online Go button. Call 651-249-2170 if you need help registering.

Jitney at the Penumbra
When: Now through November 13th, 2016
Where: 270 N. Kent Street
St. Paul, MN

It is 1977, and in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, city officials threaten to level a makeshift taxi dispatch office where neighbors have gathered for years. At a time when safe and comfortable transit was not guaranteed for black customers, Becker’s car service provided mobility and a modicum of respect for the community. Now his building has been identified as prime real estate for redevelopment, and he might be forced out of business. Meanwhile, his estranged son has been released from prison and wants to come home. As pressure mounts, Becker is forced to reckon with powers beyond his control. Jitney is an “explosive” and “gripping” portrait of African American life from the pen of one of America’s greatest writers. Join us for a riveting production brought to you by the nationally-known and critically-acclaimed creative team at Penumbra Theatre.

Eagan’s Indoor Winter Market
When: November 5th and 19th, 2016
Where: Eagan Community Center
1501 Central Parkway
Eagan, MN

Stock up on market favorites for the Thanksgiving and holiday season. Thanksgiving recipes provided featuring local MN produce and products.

Autumn Festival, An Arts and Crafts Affair
When: November 10th – 13th, 2016
Where: Canterbury Park
1100 Canterbury Road
Shakopee, MN

Hundreds of the nation’s finest artists and crafters display and sell their handcrafted works. Our Arts & Crafts tour of shows are consistently ranked in the Top 100 Shows in the Country by Sunshine Artist Magazine. Stage entertainment, hourly gift certificate winners, plenty of food & drink, lots of family fun, and free parking!

Cardboard Gallery
When: Now through January 1st, 2017
Where: Science Museum of Minnesota
120 Kellogg Blvd W.
St. Paul, MN

The Science Museum is devoting 3,500 square feet of space to cardboard-inspired ingenuity. We’ve provided hundreds of cardboard boxes of all shapes and sizes and an assortment of tools and connectors, and visitors of all ages can turn their ideas into cardboard reality in a giant ongoing free build. Assemble forts, create creatures, design mazes, construct rocket ships—or build whatever you can imagine!

Hometown for the Holidays
When: November 18th – December 31st, 2016
Where: Historic Main Street in Stillwater, MN

Experience the holidays like you remember. Historic Main Street Stillwater is alive with Christmas decorations, lights, and traditional events for a month-long celebration from November to New Year’s Eve. Get in the old-fashioned holiday spirit! Downtown Stillwater’s independently owned unique boutiques and restaurants welcome you. Shop small and local throughout the season to support local businesses and Minnesota-made gifts. Find joy in shopping and dining during the holiday season with many free family friendly events in November and December.

Hip Hop Nutcracker
When: November 22nd and 23rd, 2016
Where: Ordway
345 Washington Street
St. Paul, MN

The Hip Hop Nutcracker is an evening-length production performed by a supercharged cast of a dozen all-star dancers, DJ, and violinist.Through the spells cast by the mysterious Drosselmeyer, Maria-Clara and her Nutcracker prince travel back in time to the moment when her parents first meet in a nightclub. Digital scenery transforms E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story of a palace of sugarplums into a romance set in 1980s Brooklyn. The dance work celebrates love, community, and the magic of New Year’s Eve.

Holidazzle
When: November 25th – December 22nd, 2016
Where: Loring Park
Minneapolis, MN

Holidazzle creates a community gathering place and holiday destination for people of all ages to come together and celebrate winter in Downtown Minneapolis. This year’s Holidazzle features stories highlighting local people, products and places that showcase the food scene, art district, park system, active lifestyle, local entertainers and community groups that make our city and our region unique and special.