Showing posts from 2021

Best Craft Breweries (That Serve Food) Near Lakeville, MN

Craft breweries are a fun destination when travelling and a great way to get out of the house a little closer to home. Minnesota has a ton of craft breweries scattered all over the state.  I have been to a lot of them because I've tried to make it to all of the Minnesota breweries in the Minnesota Hop Passport .  The Hop Passport is a small book which is filled with 100 craft breweries all throughout the state. Each brewery will stamp their page in the book when you go there and that will get you one free beer with your first beer purchase (a Buy One, Get One Free deal, but just on your first round). If you are in the Lakeville, Minnesota area and seeking a great brewery nearby, then this article is just what you are looking for.  The below list is a collection of the best breweries in the area. And below that is a second list of breweries and bars that serve food.  Lakeville Brewing Company Lakeville Brewing Company is my favorite craft brewery in Lakeville and the surrounding ar

Best Wine Slushies In Lakeville, MN

 Wine slushies are awesome! They are good anytime, but especially on a hot summer day out on a patio. The first time I ever had a wine slushie was at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival in Shakopee, MN. It was wine in a bag or a pouch that looked like a Capri Sun juice pouch that they kept frozen.  I'm not sure if it had to do with a special ingredient or maybe it had something to do with the alcohol, but it wasn't a frozen block of solid wine.  It was a fluffy, slushie consistency. It was great, and I was hooked! I wanted to order them whenever I went out to bars and restaurants, but unfortunately, most places do not sell wine slushies. I had them once at a small winery in Wisconsin. Theirs was delicious. But in the suburbs south of the Twin Cities, it was a struggle to find somewhere that served them. I did eventually find somewhere. Where To Get Wine Slushies in Apple Valley / Lakeville Barley & Vine Kitchen/Bar is a restaurant and bar that is technically located in Lake

Top 5 Best Beers at Lakeville Brewing Company

Lakeville Brewing Company is a both a craft brewery and a restaurant located in downtown Lakeville, Minnesota . They are located right across the parking lot from Angry Inch Brewing . They offer many beers on tap that were brewed right there on-site. Their beer menu has many staples that never change, and there are usually a couple new experimental batches available on rotation. Lakeville Brewing Company has a sister brewery in Inver Grove Heights, MN called Inver Grover Brewing Company, and sometimes they will have beers available in Lakeville that were brewed in Inver Grove's facilities. You can view their current beer selection on the Untappd page for the brewery .  If you are already at the brewery, either in their taproom or their backyard patio area (which is dog-friendly) , you can check out what is available on tap on their beer list chalkboards. Lakeville Brewery is one of my favorite area craft breweries and I have been there enough to have tried all of their beers. The

Bardstown Bourbon Company Review | Bardstown, KY

 Kentucky certainly has a lot of bourbon distilleries. Lots of the big names in American whiskey that you would recognize from your local liquor store shelves are distilled in Kentucky. In fact, that is what drew me and my wife to Kentucky for vacation in the first place. We traveled to Kentucky for 5 days specifically to go to the distilleries on the famous Kentucky Bourbon Trail. In addition to the big, nationally recognizable names in bourbon that you surely will find in Kentucky, there are also smaller craft operations. Bardstown Bourbon Company falls into that category. It is by no means a small operation. It had a campus and equipment big enough to impress anyone. Sure, it wasn't as big as Buffalo Trace or Maker's Mark, but it still had a "factory" size to it. Not being from the area (and not being over-the-top obsessed with liquor), we had never heard of Bardstown Bourbon Company before. We actually had BBC recommended to us by a local tour guide. We were han

Scout and Scholar Brewing Co. Review | Bardstown, KY

 My wife and I traveled to Kentucky for the Kentucky Bourbon Trail . We spent the majority portion of each of our days on vacation in Kentucky driving to different bourbon and whiskey distilleries to take tours, view the grounds, and taste the bourbon.  That was a ton of fun and we don't regret a moment of it, but we reached a point where we needed a break from the taste of liquor. We also love breweries , and beer just sounded more refreshing at that time. While we were hanging out at Limestone Branch Distillery in Lebanon, KY, we met a tour guide named John who drives for a tour company called Mint Julep Tours . We had seen their Mint Julep tour buses all over as we traveled through the area in Kentucky. We figured that these tour guides had probably seen all of the best parts of the area and would be able to give a very good recommendation . We started chatting with John about the area and other things to do while we were there. John was really friendly and very knowledgeable. H

Should You Donate Plasma?

 When I was going to college in my late teens and early twenties, I was always short on cash. I worked while I was going to school, but it never seemed to be enough. In my search for ways to make extra money that didn't take up a lot of time, I found the opportunity of plasma donation. The basic arrangement is that you give them your plasma, and you get money. The time commitment is pretty low - a typical donation appointment lasts around an hour, but could be anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour and a half. You can usually go twice a week, or 8 times per month. Different donation centers offer different rates, but the one I went to offered a new donor bonus of around $200, and then it was $20 for the first donation in a week and $30 for the second donation in a week. If you didn't miss any opportunities to donate and made it there 8 times a month, you could make $200! That isn't a ton of money, but considering how easy it is to donate plasma (you basically lay down and watc

Is Fresh Thyme Farmer's Market A Good Place To Work?

 I worked at Fresh Thyme Farmer's Market for several years. When I first started with the company, it was still fairly new. I worked as a clerk in one of their retail store locations. Back then, I really thought it was a great company. Sure it paid too little, but what grocery retailer doesn't pay too little ? But it was a good place to work because it seemed like they genuinely cared about the employees. They did their best to make it a fun place to work and tried to recognize employees that were doing a good job. I felt like all of my coworkers were happy to be there and that sort of upbeat attitude made for a pleasant working environment. I also liked working for Fresh Thyme because of their mission. They were a niche grocery store which wanted to sell healthy and organic foods at reasonable prices. While they never said this, my impression was that they were trying to be like a cheaper Trader Joe's or Whole Foods. They had a list of ingredients which they wouldn't h

How To Use Autocomplete With Data From A Different Column In Excel?

 For work I enter names in different columns. Sometimes the names are the same. It would save me a lot of time if Excel were to recognize that I was typing a name I have previously typed and suggest a finished string of text that I might want. That feature is known as Autocomplete. If you are entering strings of characters (names, keywords, phrases, etc.) in every cell going down a column, then if you start to type the same string again, Excel will suggest to you something you've already entered in another cell. This feature only works within a single column and all the the cells must be touching. That means that you cannot get Autocomplete suggestions based on text entered in another column, and you can't skip a row or leave a row blank on your way down a column, or else the Autocomplete stops working. This is a really cool feature, but I can't make use of it because I want to have Autocomplete suggestions based on the text I've entered in EVERY other cell in the works

Best Chinese Food in Apple Valley, MN

 I love Chinese food! It is so delicious, and the style of cuisine offers so many different dishes to try. If you are looking to find the best Chinese food restaurant in the Lakeville, Apple Valley, Eagan, and Burnsville area, then I have a recommendation for you. Simplee Pho My favorite Asian food is from a restaurant called Simplee Pho . Simplee Pho is a Vietnamese restaurant which also serves Chinese food. As their name suggests, they sell Pho, the Vietnamese soup. I have never actually tried their Pho. They sell Banh Mi sandwiches also. Banh Mis are like Vietnamese sub sandwiches. I have had a Banh Mi before, though not from this restaurant, and it was really good! I'd really like to try them from Simplee Pho sometime. Chinese Food In addition to their core menu of Vietnamese food, Simplee Pho serves Chinese food. In my opinion it is the best Chinese food in Apple Valley. I often feel sick after eating Chinese food, but I have only ever felt good after eating food from Simplee

The Uncertain Hour

 I listen to podcasts every day. I tend to listen to podcasts which are educational and provide me with facts and information. I also particularly enjoy podcasts that talk about economic inequality. I recently heard an ad on another podcast for a podcast which combined everything I like to see in a podcast. The ad was for " The Uncertain Hour " by Marketplace . The Uncertain Hour focuses on obscure laws and policies which shape how the world works and explains some of the inequalities we see around us. The show just released its fifth season. I only listened to season 5. I plan to go back and listen to all of the rest of the seasons, but I was immediately interested in the content of season 5. Season 5 was all about workers who are non-employees. Independent contractors. Temporary workers ("Temps"). Gig workers. It seems like everyone who works a job should be an employee. It isn't even something I ever questioned before. It seems like the options are either th

Should I Manually Regenerate My Water Softener If The Salt Runs Out?

 I became a first time homeowner this year. It was exciting and fun, but also came with some home upkeep chores that I was not used to. One of those chores was to maintain the salt level in the water softener brine tank. I was told by the seller when we moved into the house that we should never let the salt run out, and that we should check it occasionally. If we ever see that the salt is getting low, we should add a bag or two to get the level back up. Well, I completely forgot about that and it did run out of salt. Our water started to taste minerally and we were getting white water spots on our shower door and our cups. I figured that had to do with the water softener, so I went in the basement and looked, and, yup, it was out of salt. I immediately ran to the hardware store to buy 3 bags of water softener salt. I got them home and poured them into the brine tank. Then I started searching Google for articles about what to do if the salt runs out in your water softener. There are loa

Is The Offbeat Life Podcast Any Good?

 I love listening to podcasts . Especially those that talk about digital entrepreneurship and making a full time living blogging or doing something creative on the internet. I love listening to success stories of people who are actually making that work and hearing their backstory of how they went from a typical life working a job to living a very uncommon life of making money by creating digital assets. I found some interviews with successful bloggers on podcasts like The Problogger Podcast with Darren Rowse and the Entrepreneur's Journey podcast with Yaro Starak. Not all of the episodes on those podcasts are that type of interview with a blogger theme, but the ones that are are my favorites. When I had finished all of those episodes I felt like I still wanted more. I looked for similar podcasts, but surprisingly there weren't all that many which provided that type of content. Or at least I had trouble finding them. One of the podcasts which did serve that sort of content w

Should You Use Soy Milk As Infant Formula?

 I am not a dietician, and I have no particular knowledge about what babies should generally eat. I am a regular consumer of Silk brand soy milk . I love to drink soy milk . But I am a full grown adult. The back of the Silk carton says that the products should not be used as an infant formula. They are very clear about that.  I'm not sure if they are writing that to avoid any potential legal troubles that might come of a situation where someone's baby is injured or dies and the parents believe it is because they fed their baby Silk soymilk. I'm not sure if they have that on there because they know for certain that babies do not do well when fed Silk soy milk. There could very well be a soy based product which is specifically designed as an infant formula, but Silk soy milk is not that product. I would not attempt to use a product for something it explicitly says not to use it for. In this case, that means not feeding Silk soy milk to your baby. Don't feed soy milk to ba