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Author: Missy

Home/Articles Posted by Missy (Page 12)

How to Turn a Scarf Into a Vest

How to turn a scarf into a vest

How to Turn a Scarf Into a Vest: Our good friends Jacque and Jenni checked out a video we had posted a while back on how to turn a scarf into a vest in under a minute and they decided to give it a try.

We asked Jacque if it was easy to do and how long it took, “OMG, yes! It took under 30 seconds.” They sent us many pictures of Jenni modeling her new vest. We think it looks great!

How to make a vest from a scarf

You can check out the original video below.

If you decide to try it out, send us a comment and let us know what you think! Be sure to follow Jenni and Jacque and Team Howard on Facebook.


Natural Ways To Fall Asleep

Ways to fall asleep

Natural Ways to Fall Asleep: Every morning while surfing through social media we read about many people who are having trouble sleeping. Let’s figure out a good alternative to getting some shut-eye without having to take prescription sleep aids.

This is key. Get your body on a set schedule and stick with it. Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning. This includes weekends. This may be the most important tip out of this post. The routine of a set schedule will keep your biological clock steady which will result in better rest.

Take a bath right before you go to bed. Soaking in a tub will relax your body and mind and will raise your body temperature. When you get out of the tub your body temp will drop and mimic the natural body temperature drop that triggers your brain to fall asleep. Personally I have always slept better if I take a bath or shower right before going bed.

Melatonin is a natural hormone that I use from time to time and it works great. Melatonin has been said to help people fall asleep faster and stay asleep without experiencing restlessness. It can also help with ending daytime fatigue. You only need a very small dose. Start out with 0.25 mg or 0.5 mg and adjust it up from there. Taking higher doses, such as 3 mg, can make you feel more awake, adjust your dose accordingly. You can always cut the pill in half.

Oils for sleep

Use Essential Oils: Certain scents, such as lavender, chamomile, and ylang-ylang, activate the alpha wave activity in the back of your brain, which in-turn leads to relaxation and can help you sleep more soundly. Mix a few drops of essential oil and water in a spray bottle and give your pillowcase a spritz. Or you can always get an aroma steaming pot. I have one and love it. That story here.

Cut out your caffeine intake after lunch. Caffeine has lasting power, five hours after your last cup of coffee or pop, half of its caffeine is still in your system. Of course that number could be higher depending on how strong you make your coffee.

Turn off all the lights. Light sends a signal to your brain to stay awake. The glow from your television, laptop, iPad, phone, or any other electronics devices  may pass through your closed eyelids and retinas and into the part of your brain that controls sleep. The darker your room is, the more soundly you will sleep. I put my phone on silent and turn it face down so that I can’t see it light up.

Make a list. Staying up worrying about everything you have to do the next day will undoubtedly make you stress. Make a list before you go to bed so that you can forget it until next day. You will be calmer knowing you won’t forget anything and most likely get better sleep.

Turn on a fan to keep cool. Keep it at the low setting. Your body loses some ability to regulate its temperature during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Over-chilling your environment down to 60°F, could backfire.

Wear light pajamas that won’t tangle up in your sleep. There is nothing worse than waking up because you are uncomfortable in what you are wearing.

If you have a different way of falling and staying asleep, please leave us a comment below.


Crabby Girl Photo Caption Contest

Crabby Girl Weve Tried It 3

Crabby Girl Photo Caption Contest: Most people are familiar with Grumpy Cat. With a slight twist, we would like to offer up the concept of ‘Crabby Girl’ for your consideration.

Crabby Girl is my cousin and this sad, sad photo was taken 8 years ago when she was 5. Why so out of sorts? Crabby Girl’s mom was showing off her dance moves during Crabby Girl’s kindergarten Valentine’s Day dance. Suffice it to say, if you had witnessed her over-the-top parental antics, you’d have cried too.


Your caption must be added to the bottom of the photo in the designated area. The ‘Weve Tried It’ identifier must remain on the picture. Keep it clean or it will be eliminated. If you don’t already have a photo editing app on your phone there are many free ones available for download. If you are adding texting from you computer you can use picmonkey.com for free.

All entries must be added to our Facebook contest status post. That link is here. Whoever has the most likes on their photo at the end of the specified period wins – so feel free to lobby all of your friends to cast their votes. In the event of a tie, we will conduct a vote-off between those photos.

The contest begins 8/26/2014 and ends 8/29/2014 at 11:59 a.m. central time. The winner will receive a $50 gift card to Fleet Farm. Winner must send private message with address information. The prize will be mailed out no later than 9/2/2014.

See photo below. Caption away!

Crabby Girl Weve Tried It Contest

Photo Credit: Weve Tried It/Crabby Girl


Green Bay Packers Horse Collar Kielbasa Review

Lambeau Field Horsecollar

Green Bay Packers Selling Horse Collar Kielbasa: This isn’t just any ordinary kielbasa, it’s 22 inches long! If you are planning on catching a game at Lambeau Field this season you may want to try out this monster.

The 22-inch-long house-made kielbasa, called the ‘Horse Collar’ sells for $20 and is served on a freshly baked hoagie roll that is shaped like a horseshoe. It comes smothered with beer cheese sauce and fried sauerkraut.

Yesterday we set out on a quest to find someone who would be traveling to Green Bay to catch a game at Lambeau. As luck would have it our friend Lori Moore Dezern was in GB for the game last night and was more than happy to review the Horse Collar for us.

Green Bay Packers Lambeau Field

So what did Lori think? “It’s awesome! 6 of us tried it and LOVED it. A little messy but was expecting it to be worse.” We ask Lori if she would order it again and she said, definitely. She also added that the horse collar could be a full meal for 2-3 people.

I have never been to Lambeau and a part of me wants to go just to try this. Let us know if you have tried it yet and what you thought in the comments below.

Thanks Lori for all the pics and reviewing the Horse Collar for Weve Tried It!

Crave Review

Crave Mall of America Review Part Two

Crave MOA

Crave Mall of America Review Part Two: After a horrible experience at Crave Mall of America we posted a less than favorable review. Shortly after posting we received a tweet from corporate and then a call from the GM at the MOA location. After a great conversation with Jude, we decided to send in one of our food and product reviewers (@phatphood via instagram) to see if he would have the same experience at this establishment.

Please note that the management and staff were aware of the date this was to occur and that it was a gentleman with two kids to come in to review their service to see if it improves. So, naturally we went during lunch time and added another person to mix it up a bit.

PhatPhood: We arrived at Crave on Saturday afternoon. I had with me my mother and my two sons. We were all greeted from a female at the hostess stand and were seated in a booth very close to the main entrance within seconds. It was loud where we were sitting with the openness of the mall so near to us so we had to talk loudly to each other. It was also very busy for this time of the day, nearly all tables were full in the section we were seated in.

Our server came over to us promptly after being seated and introduced himself to us as Jeremy. He then asked if we wanted to started off with any alcoholic beverages. We declined and I said that “the three of us will have good ol’ tap water.” My mother ordered an ice tea and he ran off to get the drinks.

We studied the menu for a bit and my mother asked if I thought they had anything low sodium for her to eat. I said I’m sure they’ll have something being that my mother had just received doctors orders to watch her sodium intake because of her blood pressure. When Jeremy came back with our drinks “here is some of Bloomington’s finest” he joked and then he asked if we would like to order appetizers and I told him no and that we were skipping apps and going to order our meals instead.

My youngest son ordered first, he then politely moved onto my mother “and for the lady?” She then asked if there were any low sodium choices on the menu after seeing at the bottom it stated to ask your server if you have any dietary needs. His reply was “Noooo not really.” Keep in mind, he had no clue as to what my mother was intending to order. My mother just came back with an “oh, okay…I guess I’ll have the turkey club sandwich with fries” and Jeremy moved on to me and my eldest. My boys and I all ordered sushi and I also ordered their Beef Kogi tacos since I heard great reviews about them.

Jeremy came back with steamed towels, chopsticks and soy sauce for the sushi eaters. He ripped open the prepackaged chopsticks for each of the three of us as we removed the chopsticks and he held on to the paper which I thought was a clever way on not having to come back to clear the table of paper debris. He then poured each of us soy sauce and let us be.

Crave Mall of America food

Our food arrived much faster than I had even expected. Two female servers were walking my way from the kitchen window with plates of food and I was actually amazed on how fast it was as they set down the dishes and new who they went to. I snapped photos of all of the dishes as I always do before anyone could touch them. My family loves to be put on pause while I do this. We then enjoyed our meals and conversation.  She said her turkey sandwich was very good, the turkey was very moist and delicious. Which is impressive with how picky she is, even prior to her recent visit to the hospital. She really could not eat the fries as she said they were heavily salted.

Crave sandwich

Both of my boys devoured their sushi and even some of mine. Hey, they are growing boys! My sushi roll, crunchy spicy tuna roll really wasn’t that good. In my opinion it lacked flavor and was quite boring. The tacos? Amazing. Would definitely order them again. Great flavors, tons of meat, very full and the kimchee was a great touch. That was the good.

Crave Sushi

The bad? We were never asked for refills or given them without asking. My mother had a quarter of a glass left when our bill came after we turned down dessert. I was in complete shock that they did not offer any type of low sodium alternatives. He did not even offer low sodium soy sauce. Is this not a standard in most sushi restaurants these days? He could have easily suggested that he could ask the cook to not salt the fries as well, but maybe I’m asking for too much as a concerned son.

After the bill came I did ask to speak to the general manager that was working, as instructed by my WeveTriedIt team. He came to the table and I introduced myself and told him which company I was representing and he said, “we were expecting you but thought it would be during dinner.” It was clear the staff was warned and on radar for my arrival.

I asked the general manager the same question my mother asked the server and how he would respond to someone that needed a lower sodium meal. His response was basically “our servers are not trained to alter the menu items but could certainly ask the cooks if it were requested.” He then asked my mother if she made a specific request which she did not. We get it. Overall, it was a good experience with them having a heads-up. I would not mind going back yet another time when it is not quite expected.

Cooking steaks

Cooking Frozen Steaks Vs Thawed Test

Frozen vs Thawed Steaks

Cooking Frozen Steaks Vs Thawed Test: Our ‘Weve Tried It’ team recently read a story about cooking a frozen steak compared to cooking one already thawed out. Which one tastes better and is juicier?

Naturally WTI wanted to put this to the test, so we brought in Chef Royal.  He prepared two New York strips side-by-side with a little grape seed oil and salt & pepper. The frozen is on the left in all pictures shown above, with the thawed on the right.

They were both seared and finished in a cast iron pan. Obviously the frozen takes several minutes longer to cook.

The verdict: The frozen did hold the juices better and was a tad bit more tender. The thawed New York strip steak held the flavor better as with the frozen it doesn’t hold and get absorbed.

We are considering seasoning one of them prior to freezing and trying this test again. Our foodie: PHATPHOOD was surprised at how much juicier it tasted and how tender it is. Even Chef Royal could tell while cutting it. Don’t knock till you try it…we were surprised.

This was the original video that got us wanting to try out this test – check it out!

Have you tried cooking a frozen steak? If so, what did you think?

Missy Germain

Restaurant Review: Crave at Mall of America

Missy Germain and girls

Restaurant Review: Crave at Mall of America: If you have been to MOA then you know that there are many different restaurants to pick from. Thinking sushi? Crave is a good choice! Or is it?

Last night I took my daughter and niece shopping. The girls wanted sushi from Crave. I can’t count how many times I have been to this restaurant. In fact, this was my go to place for a while for all my business lunches and group gatherings.

I will start out by telling you that all of us were in t-shirts and shorts – summer attire. At the hostess stand, a female employee gave us the once over and instructed another employee to seat us in the Americana Room. No bigger than a large walk-in closet, this separate space is likely intended for private parties, meetings, or when the place is packed.

While being led to this space, we noticed that there were lots of booths and tables open. Once seated I asked the host if we were seriously being seated here. She ignored me and walked away. We sat for a few minutes before deciding that this segregated seating arrangement was unacceptable.

My daughter told me it was because of all my tattoos and I assured her, in an attempt at humor, that it was the messy buns in their hair.

The waiter finally arrived as we were getting to our feet. I told him we were leaving and he asks if it is because of where we were seated. We confirmed that it was. He immediately offered to seat us in the open dining area but It was too late for that and we declined.

As we were walking out we again noticed all the open booths and tables. Once out of the restaurant, the manager stepped outside and invited us to come back in. We declined and told him they may want to refrain from seating guests in the Americana Room when the main dining space has ample seating available. It sends a very bad message.

I’m happy to report that this story had a positive ending. We opted to dine at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., where we were welcomed with smiles and great service.

Here is what Crave Restaurant website says: “CRAVE Restaurant was built out of a passion to create a dining experience unlike any other. A dining experience where quality, local and regionally sourced food, chic atmosphere, and diverse choices offer guests the opportunity to create their own unforgettable dining experience. The energy of the restaurant is all encompassing–the buzz of guests and staff, the warm and open design, the modern sushi bar, the fresh spin on American cuisine with seasonality, and the sense of discovery around every corner. A CRAVE guest will leave knowing they experienced just the right mix of sophistication, entertainment and service in what can only be defined as The CRAVE Experience.”

It is said that satisfied customers tell 3 friends about their experience, while angry customers tell everyone they know. Looks like Crave might want to do an immediate tune-up with a few of their employees before they offend yet another group…

Remove Gel Nail Polish

How to Remove Gel Nail Polish at Home

DIY Gel Nail Polish Removal Weve Tried It

How to Remove Gel Nail Polish at Home: Gel nail polish looks great when you go in and get it done at the salon. And yes, it does last longer than regular polish. The problem for me is that you have to go back into the salon to get it taken off.

As you can see in the photo above, I am not the best when it comes to nail upkeep. I simply do not have the time or for that matter care about perfect nails. I figured that there has to be an easier way.

Pinterest is my go to for DIY quick fixes and I came across this method to remove gel nail polish and it worked perfect!

1. Soak cotton ball with pure acetone polish remover.

2. Place cotton ball directly over the gel nail polish.

3. Cover with tinfoil and let sit for 20 minutes.

4. Lightly scrap off the polish.

5. Buff, clip and shape your nails. I rubbed my nails down with Vitamin E oil just to get some shine back in them.

It really is that easy! Here is another great post: At Home Remedies to Heal Dry Cracked Feet. If you have any great DIY health and beauty tips, leave us a comment below.

Computer stand

The Prop Laptop Stand Review


The Prop Laptop Stand Review: Does your laptop overheat? We have the perfect sleek and simple solution. Our good friend Jacque told us about ‘The Prop’ when we were talking about our laptops possibly bursting into flames.

The Prop is a lightweight, portable stand designed to let air flow underneath your laptop while at the same time providing a slightly angled work surface for comfortable typing and reading.

Justin Brouillette and Nicholas Pajerski came up with the idea during architecture school while working on computers that ran a bit too hot. When they couldn’t find an affordable and portable solution to help keep their laptop batteries cool and running efficiently, they designed the first Prop prototype in Adobe Illustrator and brought it to life on the laser cutters right on campus.


Translucent and minimalist in its design, The Prop blends in anywhere it goes. Made in Nebraska to accommodate up to 17″ laptops, The Prop consists of just two pieces that are as easy to snap together as they are to take apart and stow in your bag. So wherever you and your laptop go, your Prop can go too.

Jacque said, “The laptop stand is minimal and let’s air flow, so the laptop does not get hot. I have my laptop connected to my thunderbolt monitor so it is always closed…my old stand took up so much space.”


We love the fact that is can be taken apart and fits nicely in your laptop bag. The Prop can be purchased at TheGrommet.com.

Do you have a product you think we should review, leave us a comment below.

Photo Credit: The Grommet


Get Facebook Messages Without Downloading Messenger

Facebook Messages without Messenger

Get Facebook Messages Without Downloading Messenger: For those of you who are bucking the system and not downloading Facebook’s new Messenger application, we have a way that you can still see your private messages.

Go to Safari or whatever your web browser is and search for Facebook, open and and login. Save your password if you want it to stay open all the time.

Facebook WTI

Next go to the bottom of the screen and add the page to your home screen. There you go, you can now see your messages without adding another app. And for all intents and purposes you can get rid of your actual app, if you want.

No Facebook Messenger

We aren’t wanting to debate about whether or not Facebook is getting into all of your personal stuff with the new messenger app . For us it’s more of the principal of having to download an extra application when the first one works fine. This is just an alternative.