Lifestyle * Travel * Food

Mar 31, 2014

Marco's Pizza Review #MarcosFreshSpinach

This is a sponsored post in partnership with The Niche Parent Network & Conference and Marco’s Pizza. All opinions are my own as always.

Do you and your family love pizza, but get tired of the same old traditional varieties? Marco’s Pizza has come out with two great varieties that are sure to please your taste buds. Introducing the new Grilled Chicken Florentine Pizza. This pizza has tender grilled chicken, Parmesan garlic sauce, four cheeses, fresh spinach and sliced tomatoes, with chopped red onions on dough made daily. I really love the Mediterranean flavors including my favorite cheese, Feta! The crust is really light with the perfect chewiness. I judge all pizza by the crust and Marco’s certainly passes with flying colors! My whole family enjoyed the crust right down to my picky six year-old. I love that all of the vegetable toppings are fresh. The tomatoes are sweet and ripe, the red onions still have a bite to them and the spinach is my favorite! I very seldom find spinach as a topping choice, much less fresh spinach.
Speaking of spinach, the Marco’s Cheese Pizza topped with fresh spinach was the family favorite. It was perfect in every way. It almost reminded me of cheese bread since there was no tomato sauce on it. That is the way we like our pizza on occasion. Even my husband enjoyed it. He is a very traditional pizza eater. He goes for either cheese or pepperoni. This made me so happy that he liked the spinach. At least now I can get what I want and please him as well as the kids at the same time. This pizza should be hashtagged: #youhadmeatfreshspinach 
It’s funny, I have heard of Marco’s Pizza before and we just got two new locations in my area. The newest store is still in the grand opening stage and the other one has an actual dining room for if you want to eat in. The ordering process is simple with the option of making your order online or by phone for delivery or carryout. 

I feel like we have been missing out for too long. I did a little search to see if there is a location in our favorite beach town, Myrtle Beach and I was thrilled to see that they have a new store opening soon. My daughters have already said that they want Marco’s Pizza when we visit the beach next time. To find a location near you, go here. Be sure to connect with Marco’s Pizza on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for product updates and promotions. 

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Mar 21, 2014

Smartfood® Delight Popcorn Review

For many years since my daughters were little, I remember them always being a big fan of Smartfood popcorn. They often took their extra money and would buy a bag from the "treat lady" at lunch time. Now Smartfood has come out with a lighter version of their delicious popcorn called Smartfood Delight. It comes in Sea Salt and White Cheddar flavors. 
What makes this version different from the original? This lighter version has only has 35 calories per cup. The best part? They taste is just as good as the original. It's nice to know that you can feel good about snacking with fewer calories. I guess this means it's okay to have a beer or glass of wine with a cup of this snacking goodness! My teenagers are so surprised that the white cheddar popcorn is a lighter version. They love it. My husband is a big fan of the sea salt. It's not too salty and it satisfies that snack craving.

Smartfood Delight contains no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, is gluten-free, 100% whole grain and is air-popped. 

Smartfood Delight Sea Salt popcorn: Sea salt brings out the delicious air-popped popcorn taste, making Smartfood Delight Sea Salt popcorn a great snack any time of day.
Smartfood Delight White Cheddar popcorn: With the right combination of delectable white cheddar cheese and a satisfying crunch, this classic flavor has 50 percent less fat than regular Smartfood White Cheddar popcorn.

Smartfood Delight Sea Salt popcorn is available in 5.5 oz bags for a suggested retail price of $3.99 and Smartfood Delight White Cheddar popcorn is available in 6.5 oz bags for a suggested retail price of $3.99. Be sure to stay connected to Smartfood on Facebook and Twitter for product updates and promotions.

I received complimentary samples in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are 100% my own. 


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Mar 19, 2014

Helpful Tips for Introducing a New Pet to Family or New Baby

To answer questions every pet owner should be asking when it comes to preparing for a new pet or for baby, Heidi Ganahl, CEO and Founder of Camp Bow Wow, North America’s largest and fastest growing pet care franchise and INC 5000, has some very helpful tips.



Tips for Introducing a New Pet to Family

1. Get everyone in the family on board – It is important that all of your family members are ready for the responsibility of a dog. Prior to bringing your new dog home, determine who is responsible for walks, feeding, etc., so once your pup is in the home, you are ready to get started on the right paw.

2. Head to the store – You will want to purchase items you will need for your pet prior to them coming home. You will need food, dishes, toys, cleaner for accidents, a leash and collar and more. You want to ensure that you have as much as you need.

3. Let your pet settle in – When you bring your dog home, give them time to settle in and relax, especially if you have child. It can take a new dog a few days to acclimate to their new surroundings, so give them time to de-stress.

4. Get your pup on a schedule - Dogs are very schedule-oriented, so ensuring that you get them on a routine as quickly as possible will help them understand potty times, feeding, walks and more. This will help the transition of having new pets in your home easier for the dog and your family.

Tips for Introducing Pet to Baby

1. Get started right away – Start working on helping your dog get prepared for the new little one’s arrival as soon as you know you are pregnant. If you wait until the last couple of months, you will have less time to devote to helping get your dog ready for the baby’s arrival. It will also help your dog by not overwhelming them with too many changes at once.

2. Take a training class- If your dog has not been to training in a while, it is important to take a refresher course. There are many commands that will be extremely helpful for you to use when the baby arrives. You want to ensure that your dog is able to understand your requests and respond in a timely manner once your baby arrives, so a refresher course will help both you and your dog.

3. Put the baby gate up now - You want to start teaching your dog boundaries, especially at the door of the baby’s room. You want to ensure that your four legged family member starts getting used to not being able to come everywhere with you. Practice going into the baby’s room and closing the baby gate so your dog can’t come in with you so they get used to seeing that behavior before your baby arrives. By the time your baby arrives, your dog will see it as a normal behavior and not something that is occurring just because of the little one.

4. Put baby items around the house – Start bringing in items that will be around the house when the baby arrives. Put a bouncy chair on the floor, bring in a high chair and other items. This will allow your pup to get used to seeing them. It is also a good idea to get a CD of a crying baby and baby noises and have your dog get used to hearing those.

5. Let Fido adjust to new smells – Dogs have a very keen sense of smell so it is important to bring in items that are going to be used on the baby. Purchase baby powder, some diapers, and any other items you know you will be using that have a distinct scent. Your pup will acclimate to them and they will be part of their everyday experience before the baby even arrives.

6. Quality time - Spend a minimum of 10 minutes a day doing something with your dog that they enjoy. Play fetch in the back yard, go for a ride in the car, or simply spend time petting them.

7. Buy a baby doll - You will want to practice having your dog respond to commands and displaying good manners when you are holding the baby, so there is no better way to practice than to carry a baby doll. Sit on your couch and hold and talk to the baby doll and make sure your dog sits on the floor and doesn’t try to jump up, put the baby doll in the bouncy chair and get your dog to lay down next to it. Getting your dog practicing manners right away is a must.
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Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts "Mother’s Day Girlfriend Getaway Package"

My family will be headed away to Grande Shores Resort in Myrtle Beach very soon for a much needed getaway. I wanted to share the latest promotion from Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts.

Spring is finally here! The sun is shining and the flowers are blooming, which means Mother's Day is right around the corner.  Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts is offering the ultimate "Mother's Day Girlfriend Getaway" package including oceanfront accommodations, shopping and dining on the world-famous Grand Strand.


Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts (MBSR) – operator of the area’s premier oceanfront condo-hotel and vacation rental properties – announces the “Mother’s Day Girlfriend Getaway Package” featuring oceanfront accommodations, daily breakfast, dinner and a Tanger Outlet coupon book.

Starting at $279, the ultimate vacation for mom includes two nights in an oceanview room at any MBSR property, a daily Southern breakfast buffet for two, dinner for two at one of the resort’s acclaimed onsite restaurants, as well as a welcome wine and fruit basket. The package also includes a coupon book valued at up to $1,300 in savings to the area’s premier shopping center, Tanger Outlets.

Rates are based on double occupancy in a one-bedroom suite over Mother’s Day weekend. Price includes all taxes and resort fees. Additional nights and guests can be added. Package is available May – December 2014.

Myrtle Beach is within a half-day’s drive of population centers like Washington D.C., Raleigh, Charlotte and Atlanta. Moreover, Myrtle Beach International Airport (MYR) is conveniently located to all Seaside properties. Serviced by Delta, Continental, Spirit Airlines and US Airways, it features daily, nonstop flights to over 25 destinations including Philadelphia, Baltimore, Newark and Chicago.

All lodging options provide easy access to dining, shopping, sugar sand beaches and other area attractions on the world-famous Grand Strand.

For additional information and reservations: Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts, 888.571.4104


About Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts

Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts is a collection of six oceanfront and ocean view condo-hotels in North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Avista Resort, Prince Resort, Horizon at 77th, Grande Shores, Seaside and the Towers at North Myrtle Beach all provide the comforts of full-service resort hotels with the space and luxury of condominiums.

Each property features modern décor that reflects a coastal lifestyle and breathtaking views of the pristine northern region of the world-famous Grand Strand. Elegant yet affordable, units are spacious one to three bedrooms with fully-equipped kitchens, washer / dryer, and private balconies. Most hotels have fitness centers, an array of indoor and outdoor pools, on-site dining and access to world-class beaches.

For additional information: Myrtle Beach Seaside Resorts, 888.571.4104
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Mar 12, 2014

Fun & Stylish new baby gear from Little Tikes® from Diono® #ad

If you are familiar with the brand Diono, you know that they are all about safety. They make premium car safety seats and travel items for babies and children. Introducing a new line of baby gear from Little Tikes from Diono that combines fun, safety and style. 

First up is the Sit & Play Bouncer 
This bouncer has such a fresh, modern look with bold color. It is unisex which I think is nice. Sometimes couples that are having a baby choose to not find out the gender of their baby until it is born so this would be a great choice as a gift. This bouncer will keep baby entertained with all of the fun features. It's always a plus that the cover is machine washable since babies have a tendency to spit up without warning. 

Next up is the super cute Cozy Coupe® Bouncer. It has many of the same features of the Sit & Play except for the fabric print inspired by the popular and iconic Cozy Coupe toy. Most children (including my own) have taken a "drive" on one of those fun coupes! 


Last, but not least, here is the Cozy Coupe® Doorway Jumper. How adorable is this? This would be the perfect addition to the matching bouncer. This doorway jumper is sure to provide entertainment for baby while encouraging exercise. It is easy to assemble and is great for travel. It retails for $49.99. 


It even has a play dashboard with steering wheel, music, horn, mirror and more. 
Additional features: 

Any of these items would make a great baby shower gift. My favorite is the Cozy Coupe Bouncer and Jumper. You can purchase them at Walmart or Babies R US. Prices range from $14-$54 and are suitable for ages newborn-4 years old. 

Be sure to connect with DionoUSA on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube for product updates and promotions. 

Disclosure: Items were received in exchange for sharing information on the newest baby gear from Diono. No additional compensation was received and all opinions are 100% mine as always. 
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ROBIN THICKE SET TO PERFORM ON JUNE 7 AS PART OF UNIVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT’S 2014 MARDI GRAS CELEBRATION

The excitement of Mardi Gras now continues through June 7 at Universal Orlando Resort, with a live performance by GRAMMY nominated musician Robin Thicke (performance rescheduled from Feb. 22). The summer of 2013 marked the debut of Thicke's highly anticipated new studio album, Blurred Lines. The release quickly took the music world by storm and landed at #1 on Billboard's Top 200 while, “Blurred Lines,” the single, set records around the world. It went to No. 1 in more than 100 countries and had a record-setting 12-week reign in the US at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. Robin continues to receive accolades for the album and single, including three GRAMMY Award nominations and four NAACP Image Award nominations.                                          
Along with the live concert, guests can experience the spirit of the legendary Bayou bash during the dazzling Mardi Gras parade, featuring 12 vibrant floats, including three new additions celebrating Jules Verne’s novel, “Around the World in 80 Days.” Guests can also visit Universal Studios Florida’s very own French Quarter Courtyard to enjoy delectable Cajun cuisine and see performances by bands pulled straight from Bourbon Street.

The excitement of Universal Orlando’s Mardi Gras celebration is included with admission to Universal Studios Florida. For more information, visit www.universalorlando.com/mardigras.

2014 Mardi Gras Talent Line-Up
Mardi Gras Event Dates
Headliners
(performing in the Music Plaza)
March 14
Cody Simpson
March 15
Foreigner
March 21
A Great Big World
March 22
Gavin DeGraw
March 28
Kelly Rowland
March 29
Weezer
April 5
Skillet
April 12
Lynyrd Skynyrd
April 19
Kool & the Gang
May 3
Nelly
May 10
The Wanted
May 17
The Roots
May 24
Cher Lloyd
May 31
Huey Lewis and the News
June 7
Robin Thicke






















Robin Thicke – Saturday, June 7, 2014

                        4:00 p.m. – French Quarter Courtyard Opens

                        8:15 p.m. – Mardi Gras Parade Starts

                        9:00 p.m. – Concert Begins

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Whish Three Whishes Body Butter Review

I received a complimentary product sample for review purposes. All opinions are my own as always. 

Do you treat yourself? As a busy mom, I often forget about myself with all the tasks I juggle on a daily basis. School drop-off/pick-up, sports, housework, cooking, managing the home... I am almost always last on the list when it comes to pampering or treating myself. One nice way to get that in is often through simple things like beauty products. It is amazing what a new lipstick or nail polish can do for me.
I received a luxurious bottle of Whish Three Whishes Body Butter to review. The packaging is so pretty. The antioxidant-based formula contains organic aloe, organic Shea butter and organic raspberry butter. How delicious does that sound? I couldn't wait to pump some out of the container to experience this body butter for myself. It has a very creamy feel, but not heavy like your typical body butter. The lavender scent was very rich and feminine. I applied it to my entire body and it left me feeling so soft and pampered. It gave the heavy moisturizing you expect from a body butter without the oily feel.

Whish Three Whishes Body Butter is available in a 5 ounce container for $24 and can be purchased at Nordstrom.com. It comes in 6 gorgeous flavors: Almond, Lemongrass, Pomegranate, Lavender, Coconut and Blueberry. I see the coconut and almond in my future! I truly deserve this type of luxury in my life.

With Mother's Day coming up, this would be a great gift idea. I promise, this is a gift any mom would love. After all, doesn't mom deserve the best? Stay connected socially with Whish on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for products updates and promotions.
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Mar 11, 2014

eos evolution of smooth Everyday Hand Lotion review

I received a complimentary product sample to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own as always. 

I am sure that no matter where you live in the U.S. (except for Miami) you have experienced the most disrespectful winter season in many years. Oh man, the winter weather has been brutal even in South Carolina. The freezing temperatures have been so harsh on my family's skin. We are in repair mode now since the temperature is starting to rise a bit. One part of my body that I do a quick check before I head out the door is my hands. With all the housework and cooking I do, my hands tend to be very dry and scaly. 
I was really looking forward to testing out the everyday hand lotion from eos (evolution of smooth). I received a very cute and modern hand lotion in Berry Blossom scent.
My first impression was the unique shape of the bottle and how convenient the size is for your purse. I tried some and also let my older daughter try it as well. We both loved the feel and the fragrance. It absorbed quickly, had no oily or greasy feel and left our hands soft and smooth. The fragrance was slightly strong initially, but faded not too long after applying it. I was impressed with the fact that I didn't have to reapply hand lotion multiple times like I am used to. Check out some of the product facts below:
eos Everyday Hand Lotion can be found at major retailers including: Kohl's, Ulta, Drugstore.com and evolutionofsmooth.com. They retail for $1.99 each and come in 3 scents: Fresh Flowers, Berry Blossom and Cucumber. I think I will be looking for the Cucumber next time. I highly recommend this hand lotion if you are looking for something effective, yet affordable. I think they would make great gifts for any occasion. I am keeping them in mind for my kids' teachers as a "just because" gift.

Be sure to connect with eos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for product updates and promotions.
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Mar 6, 2014

Eatrageous- A fun and healthier way to snack #wgc #crunchthenumbers

I received a complimentary box of Eatrageous snacks for review. All opinions are  my own as always. 

Are you a big snacker? I know I am. I find that I always need a quick snack in the afternoon when it's time to pick the kids up from school. I do my best to go for healthy options. I was so interested in trying out the new snacks made by Eatrageous. They are supposed to be a "twist on chips". 
Eatrageous chips are very unique. They use all natural, non-GMO, and gluten-free ingredients in all of their products. What sets them apart from traditional chips is their Clean Cooking Technology. This cooking method uses a thermal flash process to cook their chips to perfection without grease, eliminating virtually all fat and reducing calories. The end result is cleaner, healthier, super crunchy chips.
You're probably wondering how they taste. If you look at them, they resemble an angled tube. I think I was expecting a light crunch with a melting texture (if that makes sense). Turns out that they are very crunchy and addicting. I tried all 4 flavors and wasabi ranch is my top pick. The flavor is so intense without being salty. The crunchy mac n' cheese, sweet & smokey bbq and original sea salt all tied for second place. They are ALL delicious! They are perfect for when I am on the go. I think the crunchiness satisfies my snacking urge and at only 100 calories, this is truly guilt-free snacking! Warning: Your loud crunching may annoy others around you. Crunch with caution :)

Eatrageous chips can be purchased directly from their website or you can see if any local stores carry them with their store locator feature.

Be sure to connect with Eatrageous on Facebook and Twitter.
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