Cupcake at Mall of America

We seek out cupcake stores whenever possible.  I love the little cakes and their variety of flavors.  And the cost is usually $3-$4 so a cheap indulgence.

The cupcake is located on the third floor of Mall of America on the west side.  It was pretty late on Saturday night but they still had several flavors left for us to choose from. I went with the Key Lime Pie and Daughter had the Betty Crocker.

cupcake Mall of America

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Her cupcake was $2.50 and mine was $2.95. Not too bad for the mall prices.  We took them to go back to our room for a later snack.

cupcake at Mall of America

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These were not my favorite cupcakes.  The cake part tasted great and like key lime.  The frosting on mine was not a good match for the key lime.  Tasted too much like plain cream cheese.  Daughters cupcake was really good.

More information here:

Address: Mall of America, West Market, Minneapolis, MN 55435
Phone:(612) 378-4818
Monday 10:00 am – 9:30 pm
Tuesday 10:00 am – 9:30 pm
Wednesday 10:00 am – 9:30 pm
Thursday 10:00 am – 9:30 pm
Friday 10:00 am – 9:30 pm
Saturday 10:00 am – 9:30 pm
Sunday 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
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Tucci Benucch at Mall of America

We wanted to have a nice dinner while at the mall.  Our day had not gone quite as we had planned or hoped but we did learn from the failure.  We could not decide what we were in the mood to eat so we chose the closest sit down food location.  Tucci Benucch was the winner.

We were given a pager and had not quite half an hour wait.  Being in the mall we had many places to look while waiting.  We had an interior table in the dining room, it was a little dark.

Our service was fast and we were given hot crusty bread with rosemary olive oil while we waited.  Daughter ordered Fettuccine Alfredo with crispy chicken and I ordered the baked spaghetti with mozzarella on top.

Tucci Benucch

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Tucci Benucch

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Daughters dish was very good. The chicken was parmesan coated with bread crumbs.  My baked spaghetti was too dense.  Packed layers of noodles and cheese with marinara over the top.  It really needed some meat to break it up or even sauce between the layers.  I like our local baked spaghetti but this one was too bland and dense.

Tucci Benucch

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The service was good but the food did not meet the price.  Both of our dishes were $18 each and sodas were $3.  For almost $50 it just was not worth it.

More information here:


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Radisson Blu Mall of America

We used some of our Club Carlson points for a weekend at the Mall of America.  We had to be in the area for a meeting anyway so why not combine fun into the weekend?

We arrive at almost 9:30pm from our Chicago flight. The hotel shuttle arrive promptly after our call and it was a quick 15 minute drive to the hotel.  A very pleasant front desk clerk told us we were upgraded to a junior suite for the weekend. Staying on points any upgrade is really appreciate!

We found our way to our seventh floor room and I like how a room key is needed to use the elevator at the Blu hotels.  I know people can still try to step on with others but I appreciate the security effort.

Radisson Blu Mall of America

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We loved these lobby seats.  The standard long fireplace made it very cozy. Daughter wants one of these pods in her room!

DSCN2312 DSCN2311

Our junior suite had a couch and chair on the right side of the room. The king bed, desk and large tv are on the left.

We had the usual mansion bathroom with black sparkle.  The differences with the suite were a beautiful soaking tub and our shower had a seat in it.


We had a great stay.  Pretty much the hotel was the highlight of our trip.  We did some looking at the Mall of America and it was nice to have the direct access.

The third floor pool area had several chairs around the pool. And surprisingly there are two screens on the end of the pool showing kids movies.  Finding Nemo was on when we popped in.  Great for the kids!

Radisson Blu Mall pool

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Our welcome gift was blue M&Ms with Radisson on the other side, Daughter made them her bedtime snack.  And a couple of bottles of water.

Rates at the Radisson Blu Mall of America start at $169 for a king or $239 for the junior suites.  We used 44,000 points for our two nights with the second nights redemption free.

More information here:

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Buying Beef by the Quarter

We have in the past purchase half a pig at a time.  This works well for our family and we eat off it for a long time.  The price is much less than paying store retail!  I visited the butcher planning on purchasing half a pig again.  Pork was priced at $1.99 a pound, up a bit from time.  They had a sign up for beef hind quarter at $3.59 a pound.  Hey now!

For the extra bit I would rather have a freezer full of beef!  So I made a phone call to my husband to see what his thoughts were and he was on board.  They were going to cut it the next week so I had a little time to figure out a freezer strategy!

The butcher went over with me how I wanted it cut.  How many steaks in a pack and how thick to cut the steaks.  How many pounds of ground beer per pack? Did I want hamburger patties?  Did I want soup bones?

The hanging weight of our quarter was 185lbs.  I weighed my bags of meat when we came home and I had 108lb of meat.  Almost 30 packages of ground beef that will last us a long time!  And bunches of steaks, that is what husband is happiest about.


So the cost was $664.15 for my 108 pounds.  We will see how long it takes us to go through the beef.  It will be a refreshing change from pork this summer.  And I will admit that you don’t want to try to get anything from the freezer right now…. Its in there like a puzzle and I don’t want to admit how much I was sweating if it would all fit! We might have had to pull out the next couple of nights meals to make it go.

Here is a link to my post about buying Pork:

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Eggy’s Chicago for Breakfast

Unfortunately this past time at the Radisson Blu we did not upgrade and have breakfast in the lounge while in Chicago. I do love their chocolate croissants but it was time to try something new.   We could see Eggy’s Diner from our hotel room to the lower right and we wanted to try it for breakfast.


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It was a short walk around half the block to the entrance behind the hotel.  And I thought the menu looked cute. They also look to have a great lunch menu and shakes!


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Daughter was wooed by the cinnamon roll pancakes.  And I went with the red velvet french toast special.

Eggys Cinn Roll French Toast

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Eggys Red Velvet

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Both of our breakfasts were amazing! We were stuffed for the morning and ready to hit the train to head back home.  We both want to go back to Eggy’s not only for breakfast but for a burger and a shake.

More information here:

333 E Benton Place, Suite 103, Chicago, IL 60601

Monday – Sunday 7:30am to 3:00pm

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Wyndham Spring Promotion

Wyndham has a new spring promotion for 2,000 bonus points at select hotels.  There is a listing on this website and it appears to be a very short list.

Earn Up to 2,000 Extra Points
Book now and get up to 2,000 extra points toward free nights, free flights, shopping and more!

More is always better, right? Now you can earn up to 2,000 extra points, on top of your regular points, the next time you stay with Wyndham Hotels and Resorts! Depending on offer availability at each individual hotel, you can book either the “Best Available Rate + 1,000 Points” or “Best Available Rate + 2,000 Points.”

How do you get your bonus points?

Wyndham Rewards members just need to book a qualifying stay at a participating hotel for their next trip and they can earn up to 2,000 extra points. It’s as simple as that. Plus, you can even maximize your stay by combining this offer with other great Wyndham Rewards promotions!

Not a member yet? Don’t worry! Membership is completely free! To take advantage of this Best Available Rate Plus Bonus Points, just click on one of the participating Wyndham Hotels and Resorts and you are one step closer to booking and getting your extra points!

Find the list here:|05|US|042015&reg1=em|WY|05|0415|N|US|02&stop_mobi=yes

Earn 2,000 Extra Points Each Stay

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Best Western Spring Promo $50 Gift Card

Need a jump start on extra savings for your summer vacation? Register now to get a $50 Best Western Travel Card® when you stay twice between April 6 and May 25, 2015.

Your Travel Card can be used through September 7, 2015 at any of over 4,000 hotels worldwide.  Just click the button below to register and you’ll be on your way.

Register here:

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New Club Carlson Promo and the Bad News….

I have been a huge Club Carlson fan for a long time.  They were my program of choice for many years, sorry to say it looks like that is changing….  Friday some bloggers discovered bad news from Club Carlson that made me rethink my travel plans.  The 2nd day free bonus on points ends May 28th.  :(

Now they have announced a new promo that offers triple points through June 28th.  I would normally be excited, but now that my one night in Chicago will be 50,000 points and not my two night weekend I am not feeling the love.  A new promo does not make me feel better.

And now I have a short window to plan my travel for the rest of the year when I do not yet have sports schedules, etc.  Not good times for the planner in me.  I don’t know right now where I want to spend Christmas or Daughters fall break.  So I am moving programs again, most likely back to Marriott for my earnings.

Register today for the Triple Points Time promotion and you’ll be on your way to earning triple Gold Points® on Eligible Stays at more than 1,000 Carlson Rezidor hotels worldwide. Plus, you can earn 1,000 bonus points on Eligible Stays booked through the Club CarlsonSM mobile app. Register today to take advantage of this rich offer exclusive to Club Carlson members.

You must be a Club Carlson member to participate in the “Triple Points Time” promotion (“Promotion”). Promotion is valid for Eligible Stays, as defined in the Club Carlson Terms and Conditions, between April 6, 2015 and June 28, 2015 (“Promotion Period”). To earn 40 bonus Gold Points per US. Dollar spent on Eligible Stays in addition to the 20 standard Gold Points per U.S. Dollar spent on Eligible Stays (“Triple Points”), you must register online for the Promotion at and provide your Club Carlson member number at the time of reservation or at check-in. Once registered, you will earn Triple Points on Eligible Stays at Quorvus Collection, Radisson Blu®, Radisson®, Park Plaza®, Park Inn® by Radisson and Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM hotels worldwide during the Promotion Period. In addition to Triple Points, once you are registered you will earn 1,000 bonus points for Eligible Stays booked on the Club Carlson mobile app. Stays or nights paid for by redeeming points or by using Points + Cash are not eligible for this Promotion. You only need to register once, but you must register before checkout of the Eligible Stay to earn Triple Points for that stay.

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Fair Trade Friday April 3, 2015

I just love Fair Trade Friday!!!!!  The month seems to fly past and then there is a new package in my mailbox!

Fairtrade Friday April 2015

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This bundle was in my mailer.  What could it be?  A great bag?  A table runner? A scarf?  Ends up its a beautiful spring infinity scarf. I wore it already and received complements.

Fairtrade Friday April 2015

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The rest of the items.   A great zippered makeup bag I am taking to Europe.  A handmade card to use for Mother’s Day.  English breakfast tea and my scarf.

I love Fair Trade Fridays!!!!

More information here:

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Rainforest Cafe in Chicago

I usually end up visiting Bubba Gump Shrimp or Rainforest cafe for my birthday, can you guess why?  The Landry’s Select Club birthday promotion.  The month of your birthday they place a $25 credit on your account.  Free lunch or dinner!

This trip we visited Rainforest Cafe for dinner.  It was a typical crowd when we arrived on a Saturday night.   But having the Landry’s club card allows you faster seating.  Show the hostess your card at the podium when you check in.  You will be seated promptly afterwards.  We have never had to wait more than 10-15 minutes from check in.

We were given a nice table near a fish tank and some animation characters.

Rainforest Cafe

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Rainforest Cafe

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Our service was great and everything came out hot and tasty. I had the burger and Daughter had the Philly Cheese Steak sandwich.

Rainforest Cafe

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Rainforest Cafe

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We also had a $25 Landry’s gift card I had earned through Mypoints.  I usually cash out a couple times a year with Mypoints for food gift cards.

More about Mypoints here:

More on Landry’s Select Club here:

And more on Rainforest Cafe here:

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