Saturday, December 28, 2013

Austin's Park n' Pizza Celebrates 10th Anniversary

Have you heard of Austin's Park n' Pizza?  If you live in or around Austin, you probably have but I want to tell you that they have been seriously upgrading their facility this last year and they aren't done yet!  Our family recently attended a local blogger event there to check out all the changes and I wanted to share a few of them with you as well.  We had unlimited wrist bands and ended up really making a day out of it!

So what's new?

Inside Changes Include
 - New Laser Tag System
 - All new prize and video games
 - Two new party options (XTreme Glo Parties and Tie-Dye Shirt Parties)
 - New Audio Visual Equipment
 - Swings in the park for younger guests
 - Food: Fresh, made from scratch pizza buffet, pasta stations, salad/dessert bars (90% of their food is made in house, this is so impressive)

What's New Outside?
 - The Fiesta Roller Coaster
 - The Crazy Fire Chief Bus Ride
 - The Samba Balloons Ride
 - New Slick-Track Go-Karts

 Some of the games and rides inside the facility

 Super clean environment for food and fun.

Look Who's Tall Enough for the swings!

That face says it all!

Family Skee Ball

 Want a Glo Party?  They can do it!

 Two Go-Kart tracks - family friendly and the all new slick-track

 Some fun rides for the littler ones.

A well deserved award - 2013 Top Family Entertainment Center in the World

In short, Austin's Park n' Pizza has been upgrading everything.  Their food was tasty and we were really impressed with all the rides and games that our kids (ages 2-9) could participate in!  I love the layout and the way that various rides were staggered inside the facility.  For example, the swings (D on up could ride these) were next to the rock wall (A, B and C did this) and then a bouncy house for littler ones (D and E loved this - spent hours here) was on the other side.  This layout made it that much easier to watch your kiddos of various ages participate on different things while maintaining on eye on them and watching out for safety.  I hugely appreciate this!  The day we were there it was rather cold but the older kids made sure to get a turn on the bumper boats and go-karts.  If you are looking for something to do with the whole family I would highly recommend checking out Austin's Park n' Pizza.  They have something for everyone!

Sunday, December 22, 2013


Disclosure: I participated in a Blog Blast program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Kidoodle.TV. I received a promotional item and a free trial as a thank you for participating.

Have you heard of Kidoodle.TV?  Kidoodle.TV is designed specifically for the use and navigation by kids (ages 12 and under), ensuring an age-appropriate viewing experience.  It has an easy-to-use interface and allows for customizable kid profiles for up to 5 kids (perfect for A, B, B, D and E).  I love that there is no adult content and parental controls.  

I easily downloaded it onto our iPad and set up profiles for the kids (there is an age category as well as de-selection) that allows parents to tailor available content for each of their children.  I started with the appropriate age categories for each of my kids and then deselected content I wasn't sure of or thought would be a bit much - love that I could do this!  Not only can I control the content of each child but I can also control the time screen, one child can have 30 minutes, one can have an hour and so on.  So in short, I really like the "Parents Room" for monitoring the content my kids can watch.  Oh and another biggie, Kidoodle.TV is free of advertising within the service.

There is a large variety of viewing selection.  Above are some of the options that A can watch.  So far we have enjoyed watching National Geographic Crittercam, Paddington Bear, Strawberry Shortcake and Hurray for Huckle.  I think it will be awhile before we get through all the programs and the kids can pick a favorite.  Mine so far are for sure the National Geographic episodes, I am a sucker for those!

Guess what?  Right now, Kidoodle.TV is running a Holiday Giveaway.  Try Kidoodle.TV for FREE and enter by December 31, 2013 to win 1 of 10 tablets or 1 of 10 Kiddodle.TV year-long subscriptions!  To enter the giveaway, go to Kidoodle.TV to sign up for a free trial.  Follow the on-screen directions and submit.  Good luck!  And I would love to know what you think.

Want to connect with Kiddodle.TV on other platforms?  You can follow them on twitter here and like them on facebook here.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Fun Candy Sleds/Sleighs

I saw this amazing idea and knew that the kiddos and I had to do it - candy sleighs (or sleds as some people call them).  I first saw the idea over here.  I changed it up slightly but it is the exact same concept.  Hope you enjoy these as I have.

First step is to gather the supplies.

We used holiday packaged Kit Kats, Hershey's miniatures (Mr. Goodbar, Krackle, Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate, peppermint candy canes, gold and silver ribbon, an assortment of miniature bows, Boogie Wipes and scrapbooking tape to secure it all together.

 Bottom View

Next we secured a Kit Kat to two candy canes and added a Boogie Wipe to help with the clean up after enjoyment!

Top View

Then we began our candy pyramid.  Originally we were going to use 4, then 3 on top, then 2 on top and 1 but we thought that the 3, 2, 1 arrangement looked great and allowed us to make more sleighs!

Sleigh with bottom layer of pyramid

Next layer

Pyramid complete

Add ribbon on both sides and a bow on top and voila!

What do you think?  I love them :).

When Calls The Heart Movie Review

I have a great movie to tell you about, When Calls The Heart by Michael Landon Jr. based on the book by Janette Oke.  My friend Maura introduced me to Janette Oke books years ago and I absolutely adore them.

I really enjoyed this movie for a number of reasons.  It was clean, wholesome and just a pleasure to watch.  I know that sometimes when I watch made for television movies I expect the acting to be subpar but not so in this wonderful film.  I was pleasantly surprised with the cast, the actors did a great job filling their roles nicely.  I also liked the two complimentary story lines that unfolded - young Elizabeth and her desire to teach (even with a harder assignment) and her Aunt Elizabeth serving as a teacher on the frontier years ago (discovered through her diaries).  I liked how the young Elizabeth was able to receive encouragement through her aunt's past adventures in her diary and ultimately take a leap of faith and trust God with her future.

This movie was encouraging, refreshing and enjoyable just as Janette Oke books have been to me as well.  There is a little bit for everyone - adventure, romance, comedy and drama.  I hope if you get the chance you will watch this movie and enjoy it as I have.

This movie originally aired on the Hallmark Channel and recently released to video last month (November 19th).

Read more about this movie below.

When Calls The Heart
Directed by Michael Landon Jr. and based on the best-selling books by Janette Oke, this film tells the story of a young, high society teacher receiving her first classroom post in a prairie town in the Western Frontier.  Determined to prove to her family that she is brave enough to live on her own, Elizabeth (Poppy Drayton) struggles with her own fears and doubts until she discovers her late Aunt's diary.  Her aunt (Maggie Grace), also named Elizabeth, had set off on a similar adventure as a teacher into the frontier, where she struggled with prairie life and eventually met and fell in love with a Royal Canadian Mountie (Stephen Amell).  Reading her aunt's words, the young Elizabeth decides to put her future in God's hands and embark on her own adventure where she uses the diary as her guide as well as Edward, another Mountie (Daniel Sharman), sworn to see her arrive.

When Calls the Heart debuted on the Hallmark Channel to more than 3.2 million viewers, making it the No. 1 movie of the week on ad-supported cable.  Distributed by Word Entertainment, the DVD became available for purchase in Christian retail last month on November 19th, 2013.

Michael Landon Jr. - Director
Michael Landon Jr., son of the late television legend Michael Landon, has been in the film business for over 25 years.  With two of the highest rated films in the history of the Hallmark channel, and several top ten releases targeted to the Christian market, Michael has become known for creating heartfelt, inspiring films that connect to the family.  He has developed and/or produced, directed, and written screenplays for Fox, CBS, NBC, Disney, Sony, Lifetime, and others.

About Word Entertainment
A leader in the music industry for over 60 years, Word Entertainment, a Warner/Curb company, is a unique, comprehensive entertainment company comprised of multi-faceted artist service departments including publishing, merchandising, booking, and on-line initiatives.  Word Entertainment represents some of the top names and brands in music, including Meredith Andrews, Chris August, BarlowGirl, Francesca Battistelli, Big Daddy Weave, Jason Castro, Patrick Ryan Clark, Everfound, for KING & COUNTRY, Group 1 Crew, Love & The Outcome, Dara Maclean, Point of Grace and Sidewalk Prophets and is home to 25 Entertainment, Word Distribution (representing Curb Records and Big Idea/VeggieTales among others), Word Print, Word Films, Word Music Publishing and Word Label Group's Word Records, Word Worship and Fervent Records.

Check out the trailer here and let me know what you think!

Disclosure:  Thanks so much to Edify Media for providing me with a copy of When Calls The Heart on DVD to facilitate my review.  All opinions expressed are 100% my own.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Holiday of Surprises Giveaway Week #10

Another great week to partner with other blogs in the Holiday of Surprises Giveaway - this time for Week #10.  I hope you enjoy this event with some pretty snazzy prizes!  Good luck and let me know if you are a winner.

Holiday of Surprises Giveaway Week #10
Along With

Proudly Brings you Holiday Of Surprises Week #10

Grand Prize Package:
1- Buffalo Plaid Ice Scraper Mitten
1 - Country Bob's Sauces Gift Box
1 - 50 Movie SCI-FI "Invasions Classics" 12- Disk DVD Set
1- 2 Gallon Tin of Holiday Popcorn and Snacks

Second & Third Place:
1 - Buffalo Plaid Ice Scraper Mitten
1 - Country Bob's Sauces Gift Box

Here's a look at your prizes:

Remove ice and snow from your car with this trendy and comfortable Plush Fashion Ice Scraper Mitt.  The quilted, insulted fabric mitt with elastic cuff is very durable and will keep you warm on those cold snowy days.  This mitten is one of my favorite winter products that I have reviewed.  Not only is the mitten warm and cozy, it also gives you plenty of room to grasp the scraper within and hold it tight.

99.9% of Ice Scrapers that you buy at stores today provided no warmth for your hands on the bone chilling days. The last thing you want to do in the morning is wake up and venture out to your snow or ice covered vehicle and start scraping away, only to have to stop a few minutes later because your hands were freezing from no gloves or not enough glove protection. The Buffalo Plaid Scraper Mitten is made from a quilted insulated fabric with elastic cuff to keep you warm all winter long.

The absolute best sauces on the planet.  Each individual flavor is unique and will leave you wanting more.  The Barbecue sauce makes you meat nothing short of mouth watering. Check out Coutry Bob's website for new and mouth watering recipes that will make everyone wanting seconds.

Gift Pack Includes:
1 Bottle of Original All Purpose Sauce
1 Bottle of Apple Chipotle All Purpose Sauce
1 Bottle of Honey Habanero All Purpose Sauce
1 Bottle of Barbecue Sauce
1 Container of Seasoning Salt 
Great Gift for Family, Friends, Employees & Clients

Mill Creek Entertainment
Sci-Fi Invasions

From alien invasions to creepy creature features, this assortment presents the best of the bizarre, the evilest of extraterrestrials and the most out-of-this world movies ever assembled into one mega-special collection. Including films from such renowned filmmakers as Roger Corman (The Wasp Woman), Don Dohler (The Alien Factor), William Sachs (Galaxina) as well as such Hollywood stars including Vincent Price (The Bat), Dorothy Stratten (Galaxina), Mark Hamill & Bill Paxton (Slipstream), Klaus Kinski & Harvey Keitel (Star Knight), Franco Nero & George Kennedy (Top Line) and countless more!

Our Merry Christmas design, 2-gallon tin has something for everyone. Honey-roasted Peanuts, Triple Chocolate Cookies, Christmas Jellybeans, Gummi Tree Lights, Foil-wrapped Chocolates and four flavors of gourmet popcorn: Cheese, White Cheddar, Holiday Kettle and S’Mores.



This giveaway is not associated, endorsed or affiliated with Facebook.

This Giveaway will end at 12:00 AM (EST) 12/29/2013. Giveaway is
valid in the Continental USA Only and entrants must be 18+ years old.

Holiday received samples of the Scraper Mitten and Country Bob's Sauces for review purposes in this giveaway. The sponsors will be responsible for the awarding and shipping of the individual prizes. The winners will have 48 hours to reply to the prize notification email, failure to reply in that time frame will result in another winner to be drawn.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wholesale Party Supplies Ocean Party Decoration Kit Review

Have you heard of Wholesale Party Supplies?  They have tons of decorations, decoration kits, supplies, favors - anything you might need for a party!  I recently had the opportunity to choose an item of my choice for review.  I chose the Ocean Party Decoration Kit to use at the girls Mermaid party.

My Decoration Kit included 4 honeycomb centerpieces (turtle, seahorse, crab and clown fish), 10 dark blue balloons, 10 light blue balloons, light blue curling ribbons, 12 swirl hangers, polka dot confetti and 4 wall decorations (turtle, oyster with pearl, octopus, and shark).

I used this kit to compliment our Mermaid theme party and I think it did that very well!  Let me show you.

My Water Wall

I used dark blue and light blue streamers to create a water wall.  Then I used the balloons in my kit at the top of the wall, alternating colors along the way.  I hung the pink octopus and then attached the oyster and pearl below it for a fun effect.

I displayed the turtle over a net on one of my walls.

I used the curling ribbon to attach these fun party circles to the silverware.

Setting up the swirl hangers

Coming into our home

I love the way these turned out.  The swirl hangers are such a simple item and yet they have a huge effect.  Easy to unwind and easy to hang - great addition.

 Seahorse honeycomb

My favorite items in this kit were the four honeycomb centerpieces.  They are a nice small size and the honeycombs were easy to unwrap.  I thought they looked super cute set up on my tables and fireplace - nice accents here and there.  You could also use them as a collection to make a larger centerpiece if desired.

In summary, I had a great time using all the pieces in my kit in creative ways.  I think these items will work for a number of different themes making this kit very flexible.  I plan on saving my items for future parties as well!  Great kit for an unbeatable price.

Disclosure:  I was blessed to receive the Ocean Party Decoration Kit for review.  All opinions expressed are 100% mine.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

B and D's Mermaid Bash

We celebrated D's 4th and B's 8th birthdays over the weekend.  It was B's Biggie Birthday as she turned 8 on the 8th!  The girls wanted a Mermaid party and we had a lot of fun pulling it off.

We had a Face Painter come which was super fun!

 We had a Bounce House that took up half our yard!

And of course, a rainbow fish pinata

I had a lot of fun coming up with the decorations, party favors and the menu.  Pinterest is amazing!

 Chocolate Belgian Seashells

 An ocean of goldfish

Oyster Cookies

 The candy pearls were a huge hit.

Peppermint Dipped Starfish (pretzels)

Fresh Fruit of course

Seashell cupcakes

A closer view

 Mermaid Punch

We had two types of Mermaid punch.  In this photo we are still filling the right side right before the party.  The punch on the left was a blue color while the the punch on the right side had a greener blue color.

You can see what I mean here.

The Blue Punch on the left was a mixture of blue Hawaiian punch and 7-up while the lighter version on the right was a mixture of blue Hawaiian punch and lemonade.

Mermaid Silverware

Rachel over at Bubbly Nature Creations had a pretty sweet Mermaid party awhile ago and was kind enough to let me use her wonderful Mermaid graphic.  David changed up the hair so that we would have a blond version for B and a brunette version for D.  And then my friend (aka The Cookie Master) made party circles for me!  I used these circles on the silverware and accents pretty much everywhere.

D's strawberry cake

 B's two-layer chocolate cake

 B blowing out her candles.

 D blowing out her candles.

Starfish Wands Party Favors

All our guests left with bags of candy (from the pinata), their faces painted (if they wanted), and these fun starfish wands that the girls helped me make.  The party was a huge success and I am so thankful to everyone who came and contributed in some form or fashion!