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Showing posts from September, 2014

Jimmy Dean frozen entrees are terrible

With coupons from Jimmy Dean, I bought two Jimmy Dean frozen meals to try, Golden Roasted Turkey and Southwest Style Grilled Chicken, for free. Both had pretty enticing box photos and I know Jimmy Dean is well-known for their meat products, so I figured it had to be at least as palatable as a Stouffer's or Marie Callender's meal.

Reading about a few options on BzzAgent, they actually sounded pretty decent. Imagine a grilled steak bowl with "savory grilled steak, golden potatoes..." or a pulled pork sandwich that's "pulled pork covered in chipotle BBQ sauce on a pretzel bun."

Good marketing, I guess because the reality was so disappointing!

Both meals look pretty lovely on the box, with nice portions of meat and just a touch of sauce for flavor. What's actually in the package is mostly sauce with a little of everything else. With the chicken meal, there was a reasonable amount of meat, but again, so much sauce! I really hate when a frozen meal is ju…

A review of FURREAL FRIENDS®: Get Up & Go-Go, My Walkin' Pup™

Hasbro sent me the FURREAL FRIENDS®: Get Up & Go-Go, My Walkin' Pup™ to review for free. My daughter is almost 5 and has a neighborhood full of friends her age she plays with outside nearly every day. I expected her to drag the toy out each afternoon and share it with all her friends, walking it around the block, pretending to feed it and telling it to sit and stay.

The first time she played with the dog, she quickly figured out how he works, getting him to walk and sit. After I loaded it onto my phone, she also played quite a bit with the FURREAL FRIENDS iPhone app. One neighborhood kid came by and joined the fun, but they quickly began to argue over the dog and sharing issues, which we've never had with her friends before. For a short time, they worked it out with one walking and the other sticking twigs in the dogs mouth like a bone.


I thought the sharing issues meant my daughter wanted more time with her dog, but after that first day, she really hasn't shown any in…

Covering an office chair

I have this old office chair I got on sale several years ago. Honestly, I hate how traditional office chairs look and those that are nicer tend to also be much more expensive or simply too big for little me. So I end up with those rolling task chairs that never hold up or are boring gray or black when I yearn for a pop of color.

This was my task chair. My husband took the back off since I don't really use it, but it was still kind of blah.




This was my task chair. My husband took the back off since I don't really use it, but it was still kind of blah. In my stash, I found a yard of striped home decor fabric, which looked to be more than enough to cover the chair seat.



Now, there are plenty of proper ways to cover or reupholster a chair. My way is not the most durable or neatest, but it's quick!

1. Set the chair upside down on the fabric. Since it was a wavy stripe pattern and I knew I wouldn't get a perfect straight across doing this quickly, I set the chair on the bias…

Helping butterflies and bringing back the prairie

I live in Minnesota. Those of you who live elsewhere may think of us as cold and snowy, but there's much wonderful green and beautiful parkland to enjoy during the warmer months. Minnesota's prairie is what sold me on moving here, but less than 2% of the native prairie is left! Farming, like in many states, has taken a toll on natural landscapes, as has city expansion and housing developments. In the early 20th century, preserving and restoring the native landscape became a "thing," but it takes far longer to restore than it does to destroy. Farming is necessary and critical to our livelihood, but there are steps that everyone can take to help the environment and keep certain species from becoming extinct.

We have a tiny plot of land that is mostly house with a steep hill and tiny front yard. When we bought the house, there were a few simple plants, but most weren't a good fit for their location and either died off or aren't thriving. We need to do a good dea…

Best stylist in Southern Minnesota

Ok, so I didn't take a survey to find out who is the best stylist, but I've certainly been to several and with really difficult hair to style, when I find someone awesome, I stay loyal. Since moving to Rochester and finding Kristan I haven't been anywhere else. She always gets my hair smooth and healthy, understands the craziness that is my texture and thickness, and suggests products without being pushy.


A year ago, I started taking Penny to have her hair done by Kristan because it's rather thick for a kid her age and most cuts we would get at the chain salons looked kind of blah or inappropriate for her face shape. Kristan gives Penny the real grownup experience with a kid-like twist (see the cute apron).


 I usually bring a giant sucker or other treat to distract from the less fun stuff like hair washing and sitting still for the cut. We don't have a kid-focused salon in our area, but the big lollipop usually works out well.


Penny's latest appointment was sch…