Monthly Archives: May 2015

Radisson Get More Offer

Radisson Hotels has a new early summer offer out valid through July 25th.  Stay two nights get 50% off later on a future stay.  There is a list of participating hotels.

Get More with Radisson®

Stay with Radisson this summer and get more
. . . more summer, more family, more freetime, more adventure.

Now through July 25, 2015 at participating hotels, when you book a 2-night stay with our Get More offer, you’ll receive an E-Certificate for 50% off a future stay.

Book today and we look forward to seeing you soon.

Eligible Stays must be booked using the Promotion Rate code (H-GETMO*) between May 26, 2015 and July 25, 2015, and Eligible Stays must be completed by August 31, 2015. The Best Available Rate each night may vary. Guest who complete an Eligible Stay will receive an Electronic Certificate (“E-Cert”) valid for 50% off the Best Available Rate for a minimum two night, maximum four night stay at a Participating Hotel between September 1, 2015 and January 31, 2016, excluding December 31, 2015. E-Certs are delivered via email approximately 10 business days after check-out from an Eligible Stay. In order to receive an E-Cert, a guest must provide a valid email address

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Follow Hotels on Social Media

This has become one of my no-brainer tips, follow hotels on social media.  Why?  Sometimes you will see an unadvertised deal.  Sometimes they offer a give-away.  Sometimes you can get upgraded by talking with them.  Hotels want you to brag them up. Tell your friends what a great time you had, or the great room you had and they want you to follow them.  Be active!

I started following some of our favorite hotels a couple of years back on facebook and twitter.  If I am visiting for the weekend I comment on their page.  No need to be specific and give the world your dates.  Something like “looking forward to my stay soon!”  Worst case scenario you hear crickets.  (But most properties have a social media contact now.)  Often I am messaged asking when my trip is and wishing me a great stay.  Sometimes I get a nice note in the room with a little treat. Sometimes we get a nice room upgrade.  You never know what can happen!

Also sometimes they offer contests.  Free dining at their restaurant or win a free night!  I have won a free night at a hotel I was following, it was a great surprise!  Be social, be active!


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Southwest Airlines Fare Map Fun

So maybe only travel geeks would find a fare map fun?  I have a couple of times searched for a weekend away on the Southwest Airlines Getaway Finder.  The map lets you enter your starting airport, dates and price range.

Voila! The locations under $236 round trip from Minn/ St Paul airport.  Philly at $176 looks like a great getaway!

You can play with the map here:


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Slacking a little but it was Fair Trade Friday

Where is the time going! Between school stuff, kids stuff and my stuff I am running behind! While I was a few weeks behind we had another Fair Trade Friday pass.  May had some beautiful items that I love using!.

Fairtrade Friday May

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My items arrived hidden in this fabric… Was it a scarf, a bag or something else?

It was a great bag that will be perfect for taking a book and a few items to the beach.  I grabbed it already for toting a few of my Mother’s day items around that weekend.

Fairtrade Friday May

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I also received a yellow bead wrap bracelet and a handy jar opener.  The jar opener is hanging on my fridge because I never seem to have the grip to open anything.

Fair Trade Friday is a great way to shop and positively influence a life.  Chain stores make enough money and most fail to do much positive in their communities.  Shop for good!

They also offer an earrings of the month club and you can find more information here:

More information here about Fair Trade Friday:

And a few of my prior posts here:

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Kilwins South Bend

As you can tell I like sweets, cupcakes, and all that good stuff.  There happened to be a Groupon for Kilwins which is located right across the street from Notre Dame.  How convenient!

We were in town to tour Notre Dame anyway so I snapped up two pounds of fudge for $18 through Groupon.  The store is located in the Eddy Street complex across the street.  We easily found parking and picked up our fudge after walking the campus for a while.

Kilwins Southbend

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We were able to pick out 4 slices. Daughter did her two of Chocolate and Kilwins mud. I went with Sea Salt Caramel and a slice that had everything under the sun included.  I cannot recall the name but it was extra good!

Kilwins Southbend

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They also offered caramel apples, ice cream and other sweets.

More information here:


1044 E. Angela Blvd. #101

South Bend, IN 46617




Mon–Thurs: 10am – 9pm
Fri & Sat: 10am – 10pm
Sun: 10am – 9pm

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Sweets in Downtown South Bend

We swung into Southbend around 5:30 on a Friday night.  There was a cupcake place I wanted to try before they closed at 6.  The shop is called Yummy Cupcakes and its across from South Bend Chocolate Company.

Yummy Cupcakes Southbend

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First stop was Yummy Cupcakes of course! As you can see they had a busy day with a few choices left.  Classic cupcakes are $3.25 – $3.50 each.  I had a hidden raspberry and Daughter went with Old School.  They were good, the frosting was a little too sweet for me.

Across the road was South Bend Chocolate Company so we had to stop in there. We were parked right in front of it so whats a few extra steps….

Southbend Chocolate Company

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We bought a few truffles to take home to Husband.  He likes a little bit of chocolate once in a while.

More information:

Yummy Cupcakes® South Bend
119 S Michigan St.
South Bend, IN 46601
574.289.8669 (28 – YUMMY)
Mon – Sat: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday: Closed


More information on the chocolate here:

Chocolate Café – Downtown South Bend
122 South Michigan
South Bend, Indiana
1.5 blocks South of the Morris Performing Arts Center

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Country Inn and Suites Mishawaka Lukewarm Stay

We had made reservations a few weeks in advance to stay here on Saturday night. We chose to head out a day early to South Bend but the hotel was booked for Friday night.  I paid a AAA rate of $80.10 plus tax for Saturday night in a two queen room.

We pulled into the hotel and it was obvious right away that construction was going on. They were doing a major rehab.  Carpet rolls in the hall, construction equipment and ladders. This hotel needs it!

We checked in and the front desk girl pretty much cared less that we were here. No welcome, no breakfast time information, nada… Our second floor room was quiet but very worn.  No welcome gift for being a club carlson member here! And no upgrade obviously.

The location is very close to the University Mall where we did a quick lap to see what stores they offered.  Also did a Whole Foods check (never been until now but wowza expensive!) and shopped at a few more stores.  The hotel is also near Culvers where I used a Groupon to get a couple of cones for dessert.

Country Inn Mishawaka

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The bathroom was large with plenty of counter space. But we kept having this weird fish smell if you kept the door shut for a while.  I don’t know if their water caused it or what but it was especially strong in the morning after keeping the door closed all night.

Country Inn Mishawaka

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We had the usual TV, fridge and microwave combo.  The fridge was great to hold our BBQ from Pitts we had picked up to take home.  Our carpet was stained and our room really needed an update.

Country Inn Mishawaka

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I had been reading on the bed before I remembered to take room pictures, oops!

Breakfast Sunday morning was quiet which was nice. You could also see the pool while you ate. We tried to visit the pool the night before but the noise drove us away. Breakfast was the usual eggs, bacon, french toast, cereal, fruit and juices.

Country Inn Mishawaka

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Upon checkout we had a nice young man who asked about our stay. We did ask about the fishy bathroom smell, he did not think that was normal and was going to check on it.  The big question, would I stay again… I don’t know!  IF it was really cheap again maybe.  There are several hotels in the area and a bed and breakfast we love.  It would have to be really, really cheap.  I know you are only fifteen minutes from Notre Dame but the experience just was lukewarm.  Front desk check-in might set the tone for the stay more than I had previously thought.

More information here:

120 West University Drive
Mishawaka  IN  46545  USA

Telephone: +1 (574) 271-1700

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Birch Box!!!!

This months Birchbox was very pretty. I loved the floral spring design!

Birchbox April 2015

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I had made a few tweaks to my profile to try and change my sample selection.  Seemed to have worked well for this box.

Birchbox April 2015

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Things that make you wonder….

I ran across this review for a hotel I was looking at, a Country Inn and Suites on Tripadvisor that made me shake my head…. (Bolding is mine)

2 of 5 stars Reviewed 5 weeks ago

First off this review is specific to anybody who is lodging at this hotel when attending a hockey tournament in Holland (which are very common). As an out of town team there are four hotels that the tournament hosts have partnered with in which the various teams are placed. This by a long shot is the worst. To begin with the pool area is tiny and can hardly handle seating for a few parents while 20 kids try to swim in a pool that is more suitable for 3-4 (the other three hotels have much larger and open pool areas). That isn’t the real problem though. The staff have little patience for kids as they roam the hotel and make noise, try to play hockey in the halls, etc. Seriously what do they expect when signing up as a host for team of kids ages 7-10. From talking to teams at the other better hotel options I heard that the staff provided the kids conference rooms to have fun, play floor hockey, etc. This hotel however is much to small and has no such room for anything like this. The other complaint is there is very little room to host any team functions like nightly pizza parties and if you do you will be fighting with the other teams in the hotel for the minimal amount of space they have. Then as it gets later they will tell you to go to your room because of noise reasons, which I understand, but it is just clear this facility is incapable of hosting. Our whole team was highly disappointed with this hotel and cannot believe it was over $130/night. If we ever decide to come back to Holland we will be praying to get the DoubleTree or Hampton which are the same price.

  • Stayed February 2015, traveled with family

At first I thought maybe they were being sarcastic but I think they are serious…  No, please don’t, just don’t think this is acceptable in a hotel with other paying guests.  I am glad the hotel did not allow this behavior and I will stay with them in the future because of this.

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Fiddler’s Hearth South Bend

While staying at the Oliver Inn we took the opportunity to walk the quick few blocks to Fiddler’s Hearth.  Daughter and I love to attend the Irish Music Festival in Muskegon Michigan so we were hoping for good reels and jigs!

I had asked before hand what the policy is for minors as each state has different laws when the establishment has an alcohol license.  I was assured that Daughter being in the place after 9pm would not be an issue and no one blinked an eye on our visit.

I had planned to arrive around 8:30 and get a little dessert before the band started.  But then I misplaced our room key and that panic ate up a bit our time before we walked over.  It was a few minutes past nine when we arrived and located some open seats.  (Its group tables and seating here so everyone is a new friend.) The band was already playing and a few were dancing up front.

We were quickly served and still able to order dessert.  I was not very hungry but wanted to try their Creme Brulee.  Unfortunately it was sold out already! Daughter had the Fighting Irishman Sundae and I went with Chocolate Oblivion.  I washed it down with a great cider while we enjoyed the band.

Fiddlers Hearth

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We stayed a little over an hour before deciding to beat the rain back to the inn.  Its a short quick walk but I would rather stay dry as I go.  We had a great time here and plan to be back again to try dinner.  They have live entertainment almost everyday as you can see here:

More information here:

South Bend at 127 N. Main St.
Telephone: (574) 232-2853
Sunday 11:00am – 9:00pm
Monday & Tuesday 11:00am – 11:00pm
Wednesday & Thursday 11:00am – Midnight
Friday & Saturday 11:00am – 1:00am

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