Monday, December 22, 2014

Whole Foods Market for the Holidays! #Spon

**Complimentary products received in exchange for out honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone**

Getting ready for a holiday meal?  Whole Foods Market is your one-stop-shop for holiday goodies and staples!  Check out some of the great holiday offerings from Whole Foods Market.

Looking for sweets for your holiday treat table or a hostess gift?  You can't go wrong with a Greyston  Cookie Tins gift box!
This gift box contains 42 cookies in three flavors: sugar crisp, chocolate fudge brownie crisp, and ginger crisp.  Plus, together with Whole Foods, Greyston is donating 1% of the purchase price to the Whole Planet Foundation — a nonprofit organization that works to alleviate poverty worldwide.  We love gifts that give back and we love this crispy addictive cookies:)

Here are a couple of yummy ideas for stuffing those stockings...Madecasse chocolate bars!  These chocolate bars are made from fair trade, heirloom cocoa and are sourced and made in Africa from start to finish.  Their newest flavors are Orange Cranberry:

and Hazelnut:

Both are dark and silky and would be a really special treat! 

You can also find tasty meal helpers at Whole Foods Market like these Muir Glen Organic Tomatoes:

Muir Glen is a trusted name in the tomato business.  Their products are certified organic and are grown with sustainable farming methods.  They now offer Diced Fire Roasted, Diced San Marzano Plum and Crushed Arabella Select Plum Tomatoes.  These are perfect for making sauces, chili, dips...oh, the possibilities!  The tomatoes we sampled we exceptionally fresh tasting for being a jarred, so yummy!

Terra is known for their exotic vegetable chips and we were able to try out 2 different flavors...Heritage Blend and Beauregard Sweets.

The Heritage Blend is a mix of Chioggia Beets,Blue Potatoes, Yukon Gold Potatoes and Beauregard Sweet Potatoes. They are just beautiful and great for dipping.  They are also absolutely delicious and perfect for your holiday party table!

Whole Foods Market has these and many other fantastic products to help get you through the holidays!
Visit your local Whole Foods Market to check out the great selection!

Treat the Whole Family to a Vacation at Schlitterbahn South Padre! #BeachHoliday

**Complimentary products received in exchange for out honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone**

We recently had the chance to visit the Schlitterbahn Resort in South Padre for a fun #BeachHoliday!

Schlitterbahn South Padre has an over 200 room hotel and indoor waterpark open year round.

The Deluxe Double Queen room we stayed in was a pool view room and featured 2 queen-sized beds.  The rooms offer high def TVs, mini-refrigerators, in-room safes, microwaves, and complimentary coffee and popcorn. 

We were very comfortable throughout our weekend stay!

We arrived after the park was closed for the evening, but the next morning, the kiddos were raring to go:)

The indoor waterpark includes:

Blackbeard's Twister and Lafitte's Cyclone- both tube slides

B enjoyed the water slides, though the kiddos were a little too scared to try them:)

Los Rio Azul Torrent- a continuous floating river with big waves 

You can float this river in tubes or solo.  I loved that they provided double tubes so that two people could float together.  This was A's favorite attraction.

Pirate's Cove- A specially planned children's area with slides, raining mushrooms, a pirate ship and a submarine, all in shallow water perfect for littles!

D enjoyed this area, though his favorite thing to do was shoot the water canon at his sister and dad while they were floating around the Torrent:)

Both kiddos enjoyed the classic 1950s style Grand Carousel-

The Mega Blast was a lot of fun too.  It's an interactive, multi-level game activity for the entire family. It features hundreds of soft foam balls that your friends and family members can aim in your direction from air-propelled cannons.

Another favorite attraction was the heated Palapa Swim Up Bar.  This pool is perfect for kiddos and adults alike.

We also enjoyed the free football Sunday nacho bar at the onsite restaurant, Shrimp Haus.

As you can see from our pictures, if you are looking to avoid the crowds, this is the season for it!  We didn't have to wait in any lines and we didn't have to hunt down life jackets or tubes...there were plenty!  

Schlitterbahn South Padre is a great place to enjoy a relaxing time with the whole family this holiday season!

Start planning your #BeachHoliday today at Schlitterbahn South Padre!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Brighten Up Your Holiday Tables with Pepperidge Farms Goodies! #Spon

*Complimentary products received in exchange for out honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone*

Just in time to lend a helping hand, Pepperidge Farms has a yummy range of holiday themed goodies!  We love Pepperidge Farms year round, but really look forward to their holiday offerings.

With tasty twists on their already delicious cookies, it's easy to bring the flavors of the season to your holiday party trays!  

We pulled out our Pepperidge Farms goodies at a family gathering and they were gone within minutes!  Yep, they are THAT good!  My personal favorites were the Candy Cane Milanos and the Ginger Family cookies.  The buttery Chessmen and the chocolatey Peppermint Milano Slices were delicious as well.  Not only do these cookies taste good, but they are beautiful!

Pepperidge Farms also has you set in the stuffing department.  With yummy Herb Seasoned bread cubes, mouthwatering stuffing is only minutes away.  The Unseasoned cubes are great for those who like to add their own spices.  Both can pull double duty as a delicious coating for chicken breasts or pork chops after just a few seconds in the food processor!

For treats that are guaranteed to delight, check out Pepperidge Farms' offerings at your local supermarket!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Last Minute Gift Idea for Young Girls: Orbeez Body Spa! #Spon

**Complimentary products received in exchange for out honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone**

My kiddos LOVE Orbeez water beads!  These little beads are awesome...they start as tiny little balls, add water and within minutes they start to grow.  We usually make a batch for the kiddos to enjoy a fun sensory experience and just a few weeks ago A said "Wouldn't it be cool to have a whole bathtub of these?"  Well, it's not quite a whole bathtub, but the next best thing...the Orbeez Body Spa:

These beads can be dried and reused, so they are sure to provide hours of fun!  Plus, the inflatable spa chair can be used without the Orbeez:

I love gifts that have more than one use!

Check out the fun commercial for the Orbeez Body Spa:

Any young girl is sure to love this fun and unique gift this holiday season!

Last Minute Gift Idea for Young Boys: Xploderz Mayhem Blaster #Spon

**Complimentary products received in exchange for out honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone**

Take Care of Yourself this Holiday Season with a Nature's Bounty Optimal Solutions Hair, Skin and Nails Supplement! #Spon

*Complimentary products received in exchange for out honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone*

Nature's Bounty is a trusted name in the field of wellness.  We were recently given the chance to try out two bottles of Nature's Bounty Optimal Solutions formulas for Hair, Skin and Nails.

The Extra Strength softgels are infused with Argan Oil and are full of good stuff that supports healthy hair, skin and nails like high potency B vitamins, Biotin, and Vitamins E, C and A.

The gummies are a yummy way to get the same results.  They include all of the same goodness of the softgels, but in a tasty strawberry flavored gummy.  

If you are looking for a supplement to help improve the strength and shine of your hair, skin and nails, check out Nature's Bounty Optimal Solutions Hair, Skin and Nails products!

Mrs. Fields Partners with the USO to Send Cookies to Troops! @cookiemoment

**Complimentary products received in exchange for out honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone**

Get ready to tweet for a GREAT cause!

December 1st through December 31st, for every mention of the special handle @cookiemoment, Mrs. Fields will donate one individually-wrapped cookie to the USO (up to 250,000 cookies). The cookies will be delivered to troops abroad via the USO2GO program.

One month after B and I were married, he was deployed to Iraq for an 18 month tour, so I am acutely aware of how important care packages and treats from home are to soldiers deployed over seas.  

It couldn't be easier to brighten up the day of a homesick soldier with a Mrs. Fields soft-baked cookie than to tweet @cookiemoment and let the folks at Mrs. Fields take care of the rest!

These soft-baked chocolate chip cookies are absolutely delicious!  So hop on over to Twitter and spread the message!

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Sweets & Treats by Barb: Handcrafted Caramels and More! #Giveaway #HolidayGiftGuide

*Complimentary products received in exchange for out honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone*

We recently had the chance to review a fun gift basket from Sweets and Treats by Barb:

This sweet green plaid fabric gift basket is chock full with 1 1/2 total pounds of handcrafted yummy treats! Baskets are carefully packed and wrapped in a clear cello bag with a red ribbon ready for gifting!

This cute gift basket includes:

Box of Chocolate Dipped Sea Salt Caramels (6pcs) 
Box of 6 Peppermint Marshmallows
1/4 lb. of Vanilla Butter Caramels (10-12pcs)in a Holiday Treat Bag
1/4 lb. of Gingerbread Caramels (10-12 pcs) in a Treat Bag
1/4 lb. French Vanilla Coffee Caramels (10-12pcs) in a Treat Bag

The Dark Chocolate Sea salt Caramels were so yummy!  I love the balance between the sweet, buttery caramel, the bite of the dark chocolate and the saltiness of the sea salt sprinkles.

The caramels were a fun treat that the whole family enjoyed.  They are chewy and sweet without being overly sugary.  Fresh caramels are super soft and silky and the flavors in this basket were perfect for the holiday season.

I've never been a huge marshmallow fan, but that all changed once I tried one of these Peppermint Marshmallows which were dipped in delicious chocolate.  The perfect texture combination and they were beautiful to boot!

A gift basket fromm Sweets and Treats by Barb would make a great gift for the office, the neighbors, the hostess of your holiday gathering...pretty much anybody with a sweet tooth!

Buy It:
Find this yummy gift basket and more at Treats & Sweets by Barb!  Get 25% off any $25 or more order with Coupon Code ABCD25 at Expires on 12/31/14.

Win It:
One lucky reader will win the Green Plaid Fabric Basket Filled With A Variety Pack of Caramels!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Kmart Makes Decorating the Tree Easy Peasy with Sandra Lee Trimming Kits! #Spon

**Complimentary products received in exchange for out honest review.  Survey information was provided by the sponsor.  All opinions are ours and ours alone**

Survey Says Decorating Marks the Start of the Holiday, Sweepstakes Rewards Consumers for Sharing Photos of Home Décor 
As soon as the first tree, light or stocking goes up – the holiday season has begun. According to a recent survey conducted by Kmart and Sears to gather insights about America’s decorating habits, 38 percent of Americans agree that putting up the first decoration signifies the official start of Christmas. And what is the most essential decoration for the holidays? According to those surveyed, it’s not strings of outdoor lights or even a nativity set. More than half (58 percent) said that the Christmas tree is the most essential holiday decoration.

In line with the importance of the Christmas tree, Sears has expanded its line of cashmere trees this holiday with sizes and options to fit any room. And in addition to the cashmere tree trend, this year, Sears is offering the exclusive Color Switch Plus™ 7.5’ Christmas Fraser Fir Pre-Lit Tree. It enables 7 functions - twinkling, firefly, pulsating, slow-fade, flash, steady and color changing; plus 8 colors - warm white, multi, red, green, blue, purple, yellow and amber. Color Switch Plus turns any living room into a light show with the touch of a button.

“This annual survey gives us key insights into the minds of our customers,” said James Alt, President of Seasonal and Outdoor Living, Sears Holdings. “Our survey results show that nearly half of Americans want to purchase their holiday décor in store, at a large retailer this time of year. We’re pleased to be that go-to retailer for their decorating needs with top celebrity lines, exclusive new products and the latest and greatest in holiday tree and lighting technology.”

Nearly 25 percent of Americans choose decorating as their favorite holiday activity, with listening to holiday music and shopping as other favorites. Ty Pennington, celebrity designer, suggests making decorating a family affair.

“Christmas is a time for togetherness, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than actually getting the family involved in the act of decorating,” said Pennington. “While the family may have different roles, there are always decorating tasks for everyone.”

For the outdoor decorator and dads, the new DieHard™ LED lights from Sears are a must; the lights come from the trusted DieHard brand and offer reliability and a five year warranty. Those with more influence over the indoor theme will enjoy the three different Donner and Blitzen tree décor lines from Sears, which come in red, gold and white.

Decorating styles and themes are also changing. Last year, the majority of Americans polled (45 percent) described their decorating style as “colorful,” while this year, the majority surveyed (41 percent) consider their 2014 style as “classic.”   When it comes to decorating, defining a personal style is important, according Kmart celebrity designer Jaclyn Smith.

“Before heading to the store to select your decor, decide on a theme that suits your family’s style. Whether you are going for a traditional or contemporary holiday theme, consistency with colors and styles can transform a home for the holidays,” said Smith. “In fact, I’ve even had themed trees in various rooms that fit the room décor, and it’s also important to add personal touches, such as your own keepsakes, to complete your style.”  

When asked how much money participants planned to spend, more than one third (34 percent) of Americans expect to spend $100 or more on new holiday decorations this year. And a total of 82 percent of Americans plan to purchase new decorations in 2014. With the remaining majority of Americans planning to spend less than $100 this year, Kmart and Sears help make each dollar go further. Kmart’s designer lines from Jaclyn Smith and Sandra Lee continue to be desired and well-priced brands with a high-quality breadth in assortment. Jaclyn Smith’s Winter Wishes and Midnight Clear collections take on a classic look while Sandra Lee’s four themes more whimsical in nature. Decorating your tree is as easy as 1,2,3 with Sears’ themed ornament lines, which offer already created color scheme options to fit your theme for under $100. 

The survey asked what influences consumers most when decorating their homes, and more than one-third of Americans (34 percent) are inspired by neighbors’ decorations or friends’ social media photos.

“Look to your friends and family for ideas and inspiration, but add personal homemade touches to make your look unique,” said celebrity designer Sandra Lee. “Have fun mixing and matching old and new. I recommend anything from antique hand-me-down decorations to homemade ornaments from your kids to pair with the new in your home.” Her suggested picks from the “Sandra by Sandra Lee” line are the Gilded Gatherings and Winter Radiance ornament collections for extra special tree trimming.

Best Dressed Home Sweepstakes
To celebrate all the fun that comes along with holiday decorating, Kmart and Sears are asking people across America to showcase their “Best Dressed Home” by visiting and submitting a picture between now and December 26th. Uploading a photo of their personal decorating style enters participants for a chance to win points from Kmart and Sears through Shop Your Way, an interactive website that connects members with exclusive content, deals and social shopping. The Grand Prize Winner will win 1 million Shop Your Way Points (equivalent to a total of $1,000) and throughout the duration of the sweeps, 60 people will instantly win $50 in Shop Your Way Points. No purchase necessary to enter or win. Go to for official rules and details.

New Shopping Offerings Make the Holiday More Merry
When it comes to checking off items on the holiday to-do list, Sears has customers covered with a number of new integrated retail offerings. For starters, Shop Your Way members can take advantage of In-Vehicle Pickup, Return and Exchange in Five – where, through the use of a mobile app, members can coordinate services of their purchases for free, guaranteed in five minutes or less, without leaving their car. The new “Reserve It” service lets Shop Your Way members identify apparel and footwear items in-stock at their local store, place them on hold and then try them on in-store. And, members can also enjoy Expanded Free Store Pickup and Shop Your Way Member Assist, where members can talk to local store associates while shopping online. Kmart and Sears full selection of holiday merchandise is available in-store or online at and

About Kmart and Sears Holiday Survey
The Kmart and Sears survey was conducted by Wakefield Research ( among 1,000 nationally representative U.S. adults ages 18+, between November 7 and November 13, 2014, using an email invitation and an online survey. Quotas have been set to ensure a reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. adult population 18+.

Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

We recently had the chance to review a tree trimming kit from the Sandra by Sandra Lee line.  We opted for the Winter Radiance Kit:

The colors of this kit are warm and woodsy.  We love bringing a bit of nature indoors!  This kit decorates trees 6 to 7 feet tall with over 100 ornaments and trim.

 It includes:

  • 5 Faux fur bunnies
  • 5 Faux fur sleeping fox
  • 6 Bird nest with egg ornament
  • 30 Gold glitter botanical balls
  • 8 Gold plastic leaves (4 of each style)
  • 8 White plastic leaves (4 of each style)
  • 8 Flocked twigs
  • 14 Copper mercury glass ornaments
  • 12 Matte olive glass ornaments
  • 2 Linen ribbon (22" each)
  • 2 Brown satin ribbon (22" each)
  • Hangers
  • 1 Tree skirt
  • 2 Copper glitter tree toppers

The coppers, golds, browns and greens compliment each other so well!  The kiddos love the faux bunnies and foxes and the nests with little speckled eggs in them:)  This set kind of makes it feel like what an evergreen tree in the middle of the forest might look like at Christmastime with a little extra sparkle:)

I love the complete kit idea of these sets.  All you need to add is a tree, some holiday music and some festively wrapped gifts and you are good to go!  Ready to start the season in style!

If you want an easy way to get that professionally decorated appearance, look no further than Sandra by Sandra Lee tree trimming kits at KMART! 

Creekside Farms Wreath Make Decorating Easy! #Spon

*Complimentary products received in exchange for out honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone*

We recently had the chance to review a gorgeous Fall Wreath from Creekside Farms:

Creekside Farms is a family owned and operated home decor company that produces natural artisanal wreaths and garlands for every occasion.  All of their products are handmade in the USA. 

We reviewed the Fragrant Pod wreath.

This fragrant wreath is made with a combination of fresh fir and eucalyptus. A blend of natural toned elements artfully adorn this festive fragrant wreath. 

The wreath arrived in great shape and was easy to hang.  It smelled fantastic and looked beautiful.

What's most impressive though is that it still looks and smells great nearly 3 weeks later!  
Creekside Farms wreaths and garlands make decorating for the holidays easy!

Buy It:
Check out the great selection of holiday wreaths and garlands at Creekside Farms!  Use the code BANDA to get 15% off your order!

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Celebrate the Holidays With DVDs from Mill Creek Entertainment! #Spon #Giveaway

**Complimentary products received in exchange for out honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone**

We recently had the chance to review 2 great DVD collections for the holidays!

We can't wait until the new Paddington movie comes to theaters in January!  In the meantime, we'll be watching this Collector's Edition in anticipation:)

This DVD is full of TVs funniest holiday episodes.  What a great collection for a family movie night!  Make a big bowl of popcorn, snuggle up on the couch and get ready for some laughs!

Win It:
One lucky reader will win both of these DVDs!

Protect Those Little Eyes With Stylish Babiators! #Spon #HolidayGiftGuide

**Complimentary products received in exchange for out honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone**

We recently had the chance to review Babiators sunglasses:

Guess what!?  Babiators has launched a limited line of Holiday Sunglasses for the 2014 Holiday Season! 

The Holiday Babiators come in four fun seasonal colors and an awesome holiday-themed box, making them a perfect stocking stuffer or gift for under the tree!

We love Babiators!  They keep our kiddos eyes safe and are super durable and stylish.  These are the one pair of sunglasses my kiddos haven't managed to break:)  Babiators comes in several sizes and colors to fit every kiddo on your gift list and would make a fun stocking stuffer this holiday season!

Buy It:
Check out Babiators for a fun selection of sunglasses and accessories for your little ones!

Last Minute Gift Ideas from Mary Kay! #Spon #HolidayGiftGuide

**Complimentary products received in exchange for out honest review.  All opinions are ours and ours alone**

We recently had the chance to review several goodies from Mary Kay that would make great gifts or stocking stuffers this holiday season!

  • Limited Edition* Mary Kay At Play® Hail to the Nails Mini Nail Trio
Complete your holiday look with these party-perfect nail shades or give the gift of vibrant-colored nails to every woman on your “nice” list. (.17 fl. oz. bottles retails for $15)  

These colors are gorgeous!  Perfect for a holiday mani/pedi and fits in a stocking beautifully!

  • Mary Kay® NouriShine Plus® Lip Gloss (Available beginning November 16, 2014)
Mary Kay® is proving that moisture and shine can lock lips once and for all with seven new Mary Kay® NouriShine Plus® Lip Gloss shades: Silver Moon, Golden, Sun Blossoms, Sparkle Berry, Berry Dazzle, Shock Tart and Pink Wink (Retails for $14)

So many colors to choose from!  There's definitely something for everyone.  These glosses last and last and add a nice shimmer to your lips.  These also slip nicely into a stocking:)

  • Limited Edition* Pomegranate Satin Hands® Pampering Set
Renew, soothe and pamper your hands at home with the Satin Hands® Pampering Sets in Pomegranate from Mary Kay® – perfect for anyone desiring a spa-quality experience without the hefty price tag. 
Each set includes: Satin Hands® Hand Softener to smooth, Satin Hands® Satin Smoothie® Hand Scrub to cleanse and Satin Hands® Hand Cream to moisturize. (Retails for $35)      

Everybody loves Satin Hands!  This gift set would be a great gift to pamper someone on your list.  Makes a great Secret Santa or teacher gift, too!    

  • Limited Edition* Mary Kay® Winter Wishes™ Shimmeriffic™ Shower Gel and Body Lotion Gift Set
Gift the gift of glam with an alluring hint of shimmer and a tempting touch of fragrance featuring Snow Apple, Citrus Sparkle, Jasmine Petals and Cozy Musk.
(Set retails for $25)

These smell great and leave your skin so soft and moisturized!  Comes in a cute decorative tin...perfect for gifting and won't break the bank!

Mary Kay has a huge selection of great "giftable" products that the recepients are sure to love!