Old Fashioned Holiday at Holz Farm


Although our ground isn’t quite white yet, tomorrow is still a great time to enjoy an Old Fashioned Holiday at Holz Farm.  Located in Eagan, it’s a free event for the whole family.  It takes place tomorrow December 4th, from noon-3:30.

Old Fashioned Holiday at Holz Farm Today

Celebrate the Christmas Holiday at this old fashioned, 1940’s era event at Holz Farm. There is no admission fee, all events are free. You’ll enjoy experiences such as hayrides, a bonfire, s’mores, carols, live reindeer and a visit by Santa. Also, enjoy holiday cookies as they were prepared on the farm with hot cider and a warm heart. Santa is anxious to hear from those that are naughty or nice, bring your camera! Most activities are held outdoors and in the barn.

Anoka Hometown Holiday Events December 3rd


It looks like Anoka is the place to be tomorrow (Dec 3rd).  With a variety of hometown holiday events to choose from, there’s bound to be something for everyone to enjoy.  There will be events happening throughout the day, head to Anoka and join in some of the holiday fun.

An authentic Hometown Holiday with hayrides, carolers, Santa, special events and the kind of friendly customer service that you won’t find anywhere else.

Anoka Tree Lighting Event from 3pm–7pm at Anoka City Hall Plaza (1st Ave N) Join in as we all c-o-u-n-t-d-o-w-n to light-up the City Christmas Tree and enjoy horse-drawn trolly rides, music, bonfires and even Santa! Food and merriment will abound to bring back memories of an old-fashioned Christmas


Photography by Melissa Peifer Photography.

Photography by Melissa Peifer Photography.


9 DESIGN: Hot Cider, Treats & In-Store Specials; Register to Win: Pick a Present Under the Tree

10K Brewing: Beer & Yoga 10:30am; Live Music: Kevin James 7pm

Amore Antiques: Enjoy Treats

Antiques on Main: Enjoy Hot Apple Cider & Cookies from 9-7

Chema Malu: Meet Local Author Richard Dahlberg from 11-2. Richard wrote I Love You More Than More PLUS Find the Elf & receive a FREE pair of Earrings with any purchase.

Emerald Isle Antiques: 20% off select items storewide, candy canes & Christmas stickers for kids; Hot Apple Cider & Cookies

It’s About Sleep: BOGO Pillow 1Ž2 off of lesser or equal value; Free pillow fittings

Jenson’s/I. Appeal: Kids Craft hour at Jenson’s Kids from 10-11; 20% off sweaters in all departments

Made You Look: Holiday Open House begins at 10; Decorate ginger cookies & ornaments; Apple cider, raffles & prizes too!

Minnesota Company: All T-shirts $5 off; Free wood slice ornament with $50 purchase

Monica’s Closet: Find the Elf & take 20% off one, regular-priced item

Peterson Shoes: Enjoy treats!

Pucci Pet Career Studios: 9am – Green Egg Breakfast w/ Santa Claus and Mrs. Paws; 11-4 Photos w/ Santa Paws; All day Howliday Stocking Bar, MakeRovers and Pawdicures; 10% off all treats, toys and Howliday Gear

Buy Visa Gift Cards at Hy-Vee and Get a Bonus! + Reader Giveaway

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Now that we have passed Black Friday and Cyber Monday we are definitely in the BIG holiday shopping season! Did you start tackling your holiday shopping lists already? Or are you more of a last minute holiday shopper? Do you spend Christmas Eve racing to the store to grab last minute gifts? I admit I have spent plenty of December 24ths shopping myself. At this point it has almost become a tradition for me and my sister to race about doing last minute shopping on that day. But it doesn’t have to be that way. This year I vow to get things done early so I can enjoy the last days before Christmas celebrating rather than shopping.

By starting holiday shopping NOW we can also get a great deal buying gift cards Visa Gift Cards at our local Hy-Vee Stores. Not only will you get your holiday shopping done early, but you will get a bonus Hy-Vee gift card to use toward your groceries or for buying some yummy holiday treats.

When you purchase Visa gift cards at your local Hy-Vee store now through 12/14, you can take advantage of this special offer. Here’s how it works:

  • Buy $125 or more in Visa gift cards and receive a $10 Hy-Vee gift card to use toward any Hy-Vee purchase (or to give as a gift)!
  • You can try the new Five Back Visa Cards for even greater savings. (More details about that below)
  • The Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers 1.5% cash back.

If you choose a Five Back Visa gift card, it can be used anywhere Visa debit is accepted. Then, when you shop at select stores, you get up to 5% of your purchase price added back to your card! That means more savings for you if you choose to use the card yourself or a bigger gift for your recipient if you chose to give the card as a gift!


Looking for some fun ideas as to how to present your Visa gift cards as a present under the tree this year? Try one of these ideas:

  • Place the card in a mason jar and fill the remaining space with wrapped candies.
  • Use a small Christmas stocking to hold the card and decorate with a candy cane sticking out of the top.
  • Tape the gift card to a square candy bar or to a pack of gum.
  • Place in a cardboard takeout container (you can get them at the craft store for under $1) and fill the remaining space with ribbon shreds.

However you choose to present your gift card it’s sure to be a hit. Plus, you’ll have the added gift for yourself of spending your bonus $10 Hy-Vee gift card.

Reader Giveaway: We have teamed up with some other great blogs to host this giveaway where one lucky reader will receive a $50 Amazon e-gift card! To enter, just fill out the form below by 11:59pm ET on 12/13/16. Good luck!

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Afton Village Holiday


It’s time to see the town of Afton, transformed into a beautiful village holiday.  There might not be snow for it to be a winter wonderland, but there’s bound to be holiday cheer.  Taking place tomorrow and Saturday (December 2-3) there will be:  holiday shopping, horse & wagon rides, strolling carolers and much more.

The charming St. Croix River town will be transformed into a winter wonderland. Candlelight night Friday: 5- 9pm: tree lighting ceremony, horse & wagon rides, strolling carolers, artist gift market, food specials, wine tasting & more. Family Day Saturday 9am – 4pm: join Santa for breakfast, visit the festive photo booth, children’s treats & crafts, holiday shopping specials, and more.


Christmas in the Village at Dakota City


It’s time for Christmas in the Village, at Dakota City.  Located inside the Dakota County Fairgrounds, in Farmington.  It takes place the first two weekends in December.  Some of the activities:  Holiday lights, Demonstrations, Trolley Rides, Silent Film, Make and Take Ornaments, Children’s Castle Theatre Performance of A Christmas Carol.  Fun for all ages at this historic village.

(Weather permitting)

Dec. 3, 4, 10 & 11, 2016
Hours: 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm – Saturday & Sunday

$6.00 – 13 and up
$3.00 – 4 thru 12
Free – 3 and under
Trolley rides are free with paid admission.
Dakota City Heritage Village
4008 220th Street W
Farmington, MN 55024

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens will be the theme throughout the village this year. The horse-drawn trolley will transport you through the village streets as you explore the traditions of Christmas 1900s style. Join in the caroling, warm yourself by an inviting wood-burning stove, delight in the demonstrations of woodworking, blacksmithing, printmaking and holiday cooking as our villagers prepare for Christmas. As a special treat, a presentation of A Christmas Carol will be featured in the Fire Hall by Children’s Castle Theater. Two performances each day will be given at 4:30pm and 6:30pm. Before you leave, don’t forget to visit St. Nicholas!

Christmas in the Village is a community favorite, an annual event you won’t want to miss!

You are welcome to drive through the Village any evening during the month of December to enjoy the buildings illuminated with holiday lights.

For more information contact the Dakota City Heritage Village office at 651-460-8050, or email info@dakotacity.org.

Dakota City

Fantastic Funtabulous Cinderella at the Children’s Theatre


Photo Credit: Dan Norman

Cinderella is back at the Minneapolis Children’s Theatre.  Two words that fully describe this zany show, fantastic and funtabulous! A show that’s great for the whole family.  Yes, bring the grandparents, bring the kids of all ages. or just go with some friends. It really truly is a show for everyone.  Even the sometimes hard to please middle-school age group will love this one.  It might not quite be your Grandmother’s version of Cinderella, but it will loosely follow the original story.  There’s still Cinderella and a Prince, oh and we cant forget the Stepsisters and Stepmother, all of which are quiet memorable characters. It’s difficult to say, just who steals the show more.  Lot’s of fun music, and memorable moments rolled into this show.  This is also a show with just the right amount of audience participation, you won’t want to get too comfy in your seat.

Cinderella runs now through January 8th, so plenty of options to find a date that works.  Keep in mind, this show is a popular one, so don’t delay in getting tickets.


Photo Credit: Dan Norman

Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) presents the back-by-popular-demand production of Cinderella. This rambunctious musical originally created by CTC brings together the heart-warming, classic story of Cinderella’s transformation, a Victorian Christmas party with lavish period costumes, grandiose sets and holiday carols, with brand-new, clever pop culture references, shameless physical comedy, audience participation, and gut-busting gags.
Cinderella is a favorite for Peter C. Brosius, CTC’s Artistic Director and Director for the show. He states, “This show absolutely has something for everyone – from the pop culture twists, to the surprising jokes told by our wild stepsisters and stepmother, to the tender story and holiday carols we all love – this is an experience unlike anything else for the entire family. I am also thrilled to have our entire Acting Company onstage delighting you in this production full of spectacle, heart and non-stop audience interaction!”
Hold on to your pumpkins! The magical, fantastical, and all-too-hilarious Cinderella returns to our stage for the holiday season. Freshly updated with all new songs, gags, and mayhem, you’ll jeer at the deliciously dysfunctional stepmother and sisters as much as you’ll cheer for Cinderella in her quest to attend the magnificent ball and fulfill her destiny. Put on your glass slippers, and join us for this spectacular and outrageous telling of our unique Cinderella, guaranteed to delight.
The entire CTC Acting Company, who have been entertaining CTC audiences for a combined 106 years, shines in this production that includes Traci Allen Shannon playing the role of Cinderella, Reed Sigmund and Dean Holt playing Cinderella’s stepsisters, Autumn Ness playing the Stepmother, and Gerald Drake playing Lord High Chamberlain. CTC’s 15/16 Performing Apprentice China Brickey will perform as the fairy godmother. David L. Murray, Jr (recently in Theater Latte Da’s Ragtime) will debut at CTC as the Prince.
Music direction is provided by Victor Zupanc, sound design by Sean Healey, choreography by Linda Talcott Lee (Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Choreography), scenic and costume design by Eduardo Sicangco (Lyceum Theatre, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Radio City Music Hall), lighting design by Paul Whitaker (CTC credits as Lighting Designer include The Wizard of Oz, Annie, Shrek the Musical, and more), and puppet design by Eric Van Wyk (CTC Credits as Puppet Designer include Alice in Wonderland, The Biggest Little House in the Forest, Busytown the Musical, and more).
Cinderella runs now through January 8, 2017 on the UnitedHealth Group Stage and is recommended for all ages. Tickets are on sale now starting at $15.  For more information, visit us online at childrenstheatre.org or call the Ticket Office at 612.874.0400. Cinderella is proudly sponsored by Delta.

Photo Credit: Dan Norman

$15 for $30 to Spend at Love From Minnesota Stores

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This is a great idea for a last minute Valentine’s Day gift, or just as a special treat for yourself. You can pay only $15 for $30 to spend at Love From Minnesota stores. They have seven different stores to choose from in the metro area:

Ridgedale – Love From Minnesota
IDS Center – Love From Minnesota
MOA – Minnesot-ah!
MOA – I Love Minnesota
MOA – Love From Minnesota
Apache Mall – Love From Minnesota
Roseville – Love From Minnesota

Their stores have lots of fun Minnesota themed gear, fun gifts, chocolates and more. Tuck one of these certificates into a Valentine and you’ll be all set for the holiday.

Fine print:

Limit 5 vouchers per customer
1 voucher allowed per visit
Entire value must be used in a single visit
Valid in stores only
No cash back
Expires February 28, 2017

Purchase your Love from Minnesota certificate HERE.

24th Annual Cheesecake Sampling and Toy/Pet Food Shelf Drive!

Tomorrow (November 29th) is a day to eat cheesecake for a great cause!  It’s time for the 24th Annual Cheesecake Sampling and Toy/Pet Food Shelf Drive at Muddy Paws Cheescake. There will be 35 different flavors to choose from, at least a flavor or two that everyone would like! Located in St. Louis Park, hours are from 4-9pm.


This event is open to the public and FREE with donation of one or both of the following:
~ A New Unwrapped Toy (Will be donated to: STEP–St. Louis Park Emergency Program and Perspectives, Inc – Breaking Cycles Creating Hope. Ages 6-18 Especially Needed) **Gift cards accepted too.

~ An Unopened Bag of Pet Food (Will be donated to: STEP and People & Pets Together)

Sample the Twin Cities best cheesecake (maybe the best in the world!) (we’ll have 35 flavors out to choose from!) while shopping local goods, sipping tea, and listening to live music….all while helping a great cause! There will be a photo booth too! ALL AGES welcome. Stop in for a minute or stay all night!

Bring cash! Some vendors take credit cards but all appreciate cash! There will be cheesecake for sale too and we take all forms of payment. I guarantee you, you’ll see so many cool original items you’ll want to buy! 🙂

Musicians: Brian Peterson, Stephanie Winter (Ye-Ye Pow), and Duo: Paul & Adam. (What a great line up!!)

Sponsors MUDDY PAWS CHEESECAKE Co., Avant Decor, Mrs. Kelly’s Tea and Torke Coffee.

Address: 7600 W 27th Street, St Louis Park, 55426 (Commons B) (Note: we are in an industrial park just past Napa Auto. Use our website directions vs GPS. There will be lighted signs.)

Website: www.muddypawscheesecake.com

A Norwegian Christmas with tenor Jardar Johansen


It’s the time of year when there are some really great music events to attend.  Many of them are free, or very inexpensive, which we of course love since we’re all about being thrifty.  A Norwegian Christmas with tenor Jardar Johansen takes place tomorrow (Sunday, November 27th) from 5-7pm.  Tickets are on sale at the door for $10 a person.


Join us at the Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church (Mindekirken) on Sunday, November 27th at 5pm and ring in the holiday season in the most Norwegian way possible! Together with a pianist and bassist, Jardar Johansen, who hails from Tromsø in the far north of Norway, we’ll sing Norwegian Christmas classics and share stories about the holiday season as celebrated in Norway.

Presented by Mindekirken and Norway House.
Tickets on sale at the door. $10 per person.

Small Business Saturday 2016

Small Business Saturday

Hopefully you all enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving holiday, then perhaps will spend today shopping or hiking to burn off the calories.   Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday 2016. and although I try to support small businesses all year, tomorrow is a day to acknowledge them even more.  We all have small businesses that we love, perhaps you could comment and share them with us. The places can be anywhere in MN, cause its always enjoyable to find and explore new places.  I’m going to highlight just a couple of places that I have discovered.

Junket:  Tossed and Found, is located in Minneapolis on Minnehaha Avenue.  Junket is a store that specializes in high quality secondhand materials.  Some of the items are sold as is, and are simply second hand, while others have been re-purposed and given a new life.  There’s always something new each time I visit.  On my most recent visit I purchased some jewelry, an ornament, and a piece of artwork.  On occasion they also host classes and community events, check out their calendar.


A growing social enterprise, Junket’s mission is to make it easier for people to connect with good, used stuff – and to help connect beautiful, used things with people who appreciate and will use them. Our environmental solution: to markedly reduce landfill contributions by eliminating barriers to – and creating enthusiasm for – reuse.

Another place I would like to highlight that I just discovered this year is called Repair Laire and although they have a website, the Facebook page is a bit more current.   This business too, has a strong focus on saving things from the landfill, starting out as a repair shop for clothing and outdoor gear (tents, sleeping bags, bags etc).  The store also has a large assortment of consignment clothing and gear, much of it being high end brands.


At Repair Lair we specialize in fixing outdoor clothing and camping equipment. We believe that the greenest gear is the gear you’ve got. By choosing to repair you conserve materials, energy, and the environment. From sewing patches onto your favorite jeans to replacing a broken tent zipper, we can fix almost anything. And if we don’t know how – we know who does.

Please share your favorite small businesses here, either in the comment section of this blog post, or in the comment section of FB. We would love to hear about your favorite places so we too can find them and support them.  They are all over Minnesota, some have been around for many years and others have just recently opened their doors.  Please spread the word.