12/14/13

Christmas Elf Texas Style Day 14

Sting The Scorpion needed a strong caffeine boost this morning!

Follow all Sting's adventures HERE!

12/13/13

12/12/13

Universal Orlando Resort CityWalk Announcement

Today Universal Orlando Resort announced a historic expansion to the CityWalk entertainment complex with eight new venues! 

The new venues include Hot Dog Hall of Fame, featuring iconic hot dog creations from some of our nation’s most famous ball parks. Universal partnered with Steven Schussler, the global culinary concept creator behind popular restaurants like Rain Forest Cafe, Backfire Barbecue and more, to bring his Hot Dog Hall of Fame concept to CityWalk. They also include CowFish, an innovative and trend-setting concept out of Charlotte, North Carolina with a signature dish called "Burgushi" and popular frozen treat spots Cold Stone Creamery and Menchie’s. Original concepts include Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food, a unique tapas-style restaurant, Bread Box, a home-style sandwich shop; A new modern Italian kitchen concept, where guests can watch as the culinary team handcrafts their pasta from scratch; and Red Oven Pizza Bakery – Universal’s first-ever Neopolitan-style pizza bakery, which is now open.

With two incredible theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, three magnificently themed on-site hotels and a nighttime entertainment complex, Universal Orlando is the only place where you can turn spending time with your family into spending time as a family. Together, you can soar above Hogwarts with Harry Potter, swing above the streets with Spider-Man, become a Minion in the hilarious and heartwarming Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride, and join Optimus Prime in the fight to save mankind on the new mega-attraction, TRANSFORMERS: The Ride – 3D.

Are you excited? Me too!
Vacation like you mean it!

Christmas Elf Texas Style Day 12

Sting The Scorpion is rockin' round the Christmas tree!

Follow all Sting's adventures HERE!

Sol Republic Tracks On-Ear Headphones - Review

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Here's a super gift for the techie in your life! The Sol Republic Tracks On-Ear Headphones are both affordable and incredible. With bass-rich V8 sound engines, they deliver a fantastic sound experience. They are stylish enough for everyone, from the teenager that wants the newest in style to those of us who are more interested in high sound technology. These are by far the best headphones I've ever used!
Tracks have an inline 3-button mic + music control that is compatible with most Apple, Android and Windows devices. Sol Republic even offers interchangeable Tracks headbands in an assortment of fantastic colors so you can match your mood or your clothes. The Sonicsoft speaker pads ensure your ears stay ultra-comfortable through hours of use. They are virtually indestructible and even come with a zipper pouch to store everything together. I highly recommend Sol Republic Tracks!
Grab a pair today for just $99 at Sol Republic and get free shipping for the holidays!
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Tom and Teddy Swimwear for Boys and Men #Fashion #Travel

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
If you're dreaming of warmer climates, now is the perfect time to plan a tropical vacation. It's only cold in half the world right now, so grab a new pair of swim trunks for your favorite guys from this fabulous new collection by Tom and Teddy! Outfit your man (and the little men too) in great designs featuring penguins, sharks, turtles, fish, or the eight-legged octopus. Tom and Teddy even caters to the not-so-playful crowd with solid colors and striped designs.
Available in boys' sizes 1-12 years and in men's sizes from small to xxl, these high-quality swimwear designs feature two side pockets and a back velcro pocket, durable double-stitching, elastic waistband with ties, and rear eyelets for air circulation. They are made of quick drying microfiber with a 100% cotton mesh lining, plus they are saltwater-resistant and chlorine-resistant, and are UV protected. Even my discerning husband approves of Tom and Teddy swimwear! Maybe now I can get him to take me somewhere warm.
Stuff a stocking with new swimwear

Victoria Justice Totally Me! Jewelry and Crafts Collection

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Here is a fabulous Toys R Us exclusive that your girls will go crazy over this holiday season! The Victoria Justice Totally Me! Jewelry and Crafts Collection offers dozens of fabulous kits. From charm bracelets to necklaces, message rings to friendship bracelets, the Totally Me! line of products lets your girls be stylish just like Victoria Justice the actress and musician.
Each kit comes with everything needed plus simple step by step instructions, but of course your girls can take the initiative to make their fashion statement any way they choose. Grab a couple of these affordable jewelry kits and mix and match for even more excitement!
Besides these fabulous jewelry kits, there are also craft kits including the Totally Me! Deluxe Pottery Wheel, Paint Your Own Tea Set, Create Your Own Hair Accessories and Hair Chalking Kit. These Toys R Us exclusives are a great way to get your kids away from the screens and into creating masterpieces they will be proud to wear.
Check out all the fabulous Victoria Justice Totally Me!
Crafts and Jewelry Kits at Toys R Us HERE

*note - Instead of a giveaway, I opted to donate the giveaway items to the holiday toy drive
for Healing Our Heroes Project, to bless little girls in military families.

Destruction Board Books - Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
If you have little boys, you know they are all about DESTRUCTION! This great new set of four Destruction board books is made just for them. Including Crush It!, Shred It!, Knock It Down! and Blow It Up! these books are full of lift-the-flap and pullable tabs so your boy can destroy to their heart's content.
Your boys (and girls too) can follow along as a building is imploded, a car goes into the crusher, a wrecking ball destroys a wall and tires are shredded to bits. It's a great way to engage young readers and spark a love of reading. The sturdy board books will hold up to many destructive readings.
You can purchase the Destruction Board Book Gift Pack at a great discount HERE by entering the code DESTPACK at checkout. Be sure to visit Capstone Young Readers for more great gift ideas and follow them on Facebook. Plus, one lucky reader can win all four books, plus a bright yellow hardhat, by entering below!
Win all four Destruction Board Books plus a yellow hardhat!
To enter, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. You must be a US resident, ages 18 and up. Only the first entry is mandatory; bonus entries increase your chance to win. Giveaway ends at midnight on 12/16/2013. Good luck!

The Gourmet Grilled Cheese Cookbook - Giveaway

Disclosure: I received this book at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
When it's cold outside, there is nothing that warms my stomach (and my heart) more than a grilled cheese sandwich. Thanks to The Gourmet Grilled Cheese Cookbook by Kit Graham, I can now make more wonderful adaptations of my favorite stand-by. This full color cookbook features 20 original recipes plus the recipes for add-ins.
There are vegetarian options, meat options, and seafood options to melt in your mouth. Try the Jalepeno Popper Grilled Cheese or the Lobster Grilled Cheese! This beautiful hardbound book would make a fabulous holiday gift for anyone who loves a grilled cheese sandwich. You can also get the kindle version if you prefer an online cookbook. Two lucky readers will win a hardbound copy of The Gourmet Grilled Cheese Cookbook, a $20 value! Just enter below!
Two Winners - The Gourmet Grilled Cheese Cookbook!
To enter, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. You must be at least 18 years old and reside in the US. Only the first entry is mandatory; bonus entries increase your chance to win. Giveaway ends at midnight on 12/19/2013. Good luck!

Teleidoscope - Kaleidoscopes to You - Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
When someone says "kaleidoscope" I generally think of one of those cheap paper and plastic contraptions from the dollar store that break within a month. Kaleidoscopes To You has totally changed my perception with their stunningly beautiful high-quality hardwood creations. I literally gasped when I took this Teleidoscope out of the box! The craftsmanship is absolutely gorgeous and it comes with it's own hardwood stand, making it the perfect conversation piece for a fireplace mantle or a coffee table.
This artistically designed Teleidoscope measures 5 3/4" long and 1 1/8" in diameter, perfect for a stocking stuffer. The base measures 3 1/2" long and 1" tall, and Kaleidoscopes To You will even engrave a brass plate for the base if you like. If you need a gift for someone who is hard to buy for, this would be the perfect present, no matter how old they are.
One of the neatest things about this Teleidoscope is that there are no lose parts inside of it. Whichever direction you point it, a new kaleidoscope picture appears. I took these pictures in my own house. The first one is of my family room! The second one is looking out of the window that my work desk faces.
The third picture is looking up at my ceiling fan. In a world full of electronic toys, a teleidoscope or kaleidoscope will provide hours of delightful entertainment and will become a treasured gift to pass down through the generations.
Shop now at www.kaleidoscopestoyou.com and follow them on Facebook, then enter below to win this beautiful Teleidoscope!
Win this 5.5" long Laminated Solid Woods with Padauk
and other Hardwoods Teleidoscope by N and J!
To enter, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. Only the first entry is mandatory; bonus entries increase your chance to win! Open to US residents, ages 18+. Giveaway ends at midnight on 12/19/2013. Good luck!

Coupon Organizing Albums and Portfolios - Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.
The best way to succeed at saving money using coupons is to be highly organized. An envelope of coupons just won't do it anymore. There are hundreds of coupons available online, in magazines and in newspapers, but just cutting them out won't save you money. Having an organizational system is the best way to ensure you save every penny you're entitled to save.
Ultra PRO International has all the couponing tools you'll need to start organizing your coupons. They have created these super-stylish albums in several different sizes so that you can save your coupons in clear sleeves, making them easy to spot for quick shopping and quick check-out.
The smallest coupon portfolio is great for the beginning couponer. The 4-Pocket Coupon Organizer Portfolio measures about 6"x8" and has 20 sealed in four pocket pages, which will hold 80 coupons. There are five different designs available so you can choose the cover that fits your style. There are also 2 inside pockets for your shopping list or larger coupons.
When you're ready to move up to your next stage of super-couponing, you'll want the 9-Pocket Coupon Organizer Portfolio. It has 20 sealed-in nine pocket pages, which holds 180 coupons in clear pockets. It measures approximately 9"x11" and comes in five fashionable designs, with two inside pockets for larger items.
Ultra PRO also includes a Coupon Terminology sheet with each portfolio purchase so you can learn all about couponing. Plus on the back of each album, you'll find a list of coupon categories to help you get started on your organizing.
When you're ready for the ultimate couponing experience, the 2" 3-Ring Coupon Album is ready for you. Measuring over 10"x11" this baby can hold up to 80 pages on it's rings. There are a variety of page inserts for this album, to fit a variety of coupon sizes. It comes with ten 9-pocket pages, ten 8-pocket pages, ten 3-pocket pages, five 6-pocket pages, and five 1-pocket pages. It also has the cover pockets for holding your shopping list and other large items.
All of Ultra PRO's coupon products are made with high-quality, durable materials that are PVC-free and acid-free, plus their products are made right here in the USA. I am so excited to get all my coupons organized and start saving some serious bucks this coming year! Visit Ultra PRO for more information and check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

12/11/13

Christmas Elf Texas Style - Day 11

Sting The Scorpion thinks no one will recognize him in his new sunglasses!

Follow all Sting's adventures HERE!

Make a LEGO Minifigure Family Holiday Card

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of LEGO for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

You can build virtually anything with LEGO! This holiday season you can even build your own family with LEGO. They have created an amazing online application called LEGO Minifigure Family, where you can create a customized holiday postcard that includes all of your family members, even your dog and cat. It allows you to add all your adult and child family members and their names, plus you can customize their skin color, facial expressions, hair styles and hair color, and even hats. Then you get to choose their clothes too. You can dress your family members in holiday themed clothing like a Santa suit or even as the abominable snowman. It's so easy to customize and you can do it again and again. Kids will love playing with it too!

I created my family with Johnny dressed as Santa (I'm sure he'll love that) and I'm wearing a merry holiday sweater. I had the most fun creating my kids, Heather, Ryan, and Johnathan, and I tried to match their facial expressions with their personalities. Johnathan ALWAYS makes a face when we do family portraits and I usually have to take a picture four or fives times to catch him with a regular expression. I even added a dog Minifigure for my pooch Buddy. 

Minifigure Family also lets you choose a background for the postcard and since we live in Texas we rarely get any kind of winter precipitation, so I was tempted to choose a warm-weather background, but opted for the snowy winter setting instead, just to make it more holiday-like. Then, with just a click of my mouse and I downloaded the postcard to my computer! Minifigure Family has share buttons right on their site too, so I shared it to my Facebook wall, my Twitter feed, and my Pinterest boards. 

Now it's YOUR turn to create your LEGO Minifigure Family! When you're done, share it to your Facebook wall and tag me with it so I can see your holiday postcard! Happy Holidays from me and from LEGO too!

Visit Sponsor's Site

12/10/13

Win a Rockin' Rider Brown Pony

Enter HERE!

Pac-Man and Ghost Plush from Goldie International - Review

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.
Here is one of my favorite "blast from the past" toy selections for this holiday season! Introducing Pac-Man and Ghost Plush from Goldie International...they even make their signature wocka-wocka and woo-woo sounds, just like on the original video games. They are perfectly sized for stocking stuffers and kids ages 8 and up (even my age) are going to love these. Available at your local Walgreens and Toys R Us, they are only $12.99 each and anyone who has ever played the game will recognize them immediately. Pac-Man is his bright yellow self and there are three colors of Ghosts available - pink, orange, and blue. Mine are perched on my desk and every time I look at them, I smile because it reminds me of all the great times I had playing Pac-Man with my sisters in the arcade. I discovered that even furry children love them!

Pixiwood Prints - Your Photo on Wood - Review (and coupon code)

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.
 
Here is a brand new way to display your favorite photos! Pixiwood Prints will print your photo on wood. The look is totally unique because when the ink is applied directly onto the wood grain. I love the way it softens the appearance of the flowers in my photo from my trip to Callaway Gardens in Georgia.
Pixiwood uses eco-friendly, fade-resistant inks and I'm so pleased with the beautiful piece of birch wood that was chosen for my print. Each wood piece is hand-selected and goes through a five-step perfecting process before the printing even begins. They even put a groove in the back of the wood so the print is ready to hang right out of the box.
Ordering is a simple process too. Just choose the size of the wood piece you'd like, or you can custom order a specific size, then you upload your print from your computer or digital device, then place your order. Your wood print will be delivered quickly and packaged carefully.
It's a fabulous and very unique holiday gift idea, and photo gifts are always a hit. It's a great way to memorialize a family portrait, a stunning travel portrait, or even something fun like a closeup of your favorite selfie shot. I put my Pixiwood Print on an easel stand on the bedside table because I really love the three-dimensional look of the wood.
Visit www.pixiwood.com to get started! You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest to see more of their wonderful wood prints and hear the latest news about Pixiwood Prints. Support small businesses here in the USA! Use Promo Code PB20 for 20% off your order!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

ToiletTree Toiletry Bag with #Travel Accessories - Review

Disclosure: I received product at no charge in exchange for my honest review.
Here is a great holiday gift for that traveler in your life! This Toiletry Bag from ToiletTree Products has loads of room inside for all those necessities that have to go with a traveler on a trip. There are two sections for storing all your goodies like makeup, razors, hair clips, deodorant, and more. Honestly, it's big enough I could probably put a pair of shoes in it too. The top zips open with a double-sided strap zipper with a velcro closure tab, plus it has a carry handle on one end.
The bottom section zips open to reveal even more storage. There is a zippered section made of mesh, plus loops that hold the included TSA approved accessories for a toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner and body wash. There is even a pop-up plastic water cup included where you can store your pills too. It's incredibly well-designed with the traveler in mind! I love this Toiletry Bag and will be using it over and over when we travel.
You can order the ToiletTree Products Toiletry Bag with Travel Accessories at the Amazon link below. There are over 80 five-star reviews on this product at Amazon!