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Friday, August 16, 2019

Houston: Fandemic Tour 2019 is Back

The new convention experience that hit Houston last year is back this year with even more celebrities, panelists, and guests.  Fandemic Tour is coming to NRG this October 18, 19, and 20. 

Disclosure-This post is in collaboration with Fandemic Tour as a brand partner.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

My family and I had a great time last year at Fandemic Tour.  There was so much to see and do and this year there is so much more that has been added to the programming.

Whether you are a comic fanatic, a superhero nerd, or Cosplay geek, you will want to check out this year's line up, guest list is still growing by the way.  You can check out the celebrity list here.

Who here is This Is Us fans?  We are huge fans of Milo Ventimiglia, Jack from This Is Us.  Also from Gilmore Girls, Heroes and the cutie in Second Act will be available on Oct 19 and Oct 20.



Fandemic Tour is a family affair.  We like to check out the exhibitors and artists. 

My husband and kiddo are both ready to meet Charles Martinet the Nintendo voice actor for Mario, Luigi, Wario, Waluigi, Toad, Baby Mario, Baby Luigi and more.


Tickets are available for purchase now at Fandemic Tour.

General Admission

$40 — Friday Pass
$50 — Saturday Pass
$45 — Sunday Pass
$75 — Full Weekend Pass

• Each paid adult may bring up to two children (aged 10 or under) at no charge. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
• All general admission ticket sales are final. No refunds will be given due to any particular guest's need to cancel an event.

Don't forget to the join the conversation on October 20 for your chance to win tickets. Follow me @independentmami and @moneysvgparent on Twitter and join the discussion using #FandemicHouston.
Must be 18+ to participate and eligible to win prizes.


Grand Prize is Fandemic Fan 3-Day VIP with access to the VIP lounge, swag bag, and so much more...

Prizes include a 3-Day general admission, a Fandemic Swag lunchbox, a signed copy of Jane Two by Sean Patrick Flanery, and autographed photos from:

Charisma Carpenter
Sebastian Stan
Bella Twins WWE
Milo Ventimiglia

Be sure to RSVP "going" on the event page, follow @moneysvgparent on Twitter at - https://twitter.com/MoneySvgParent

To be eligible for prizes!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Tips to a Better Massage - Pure Vichy

Are you getting massages?  How frequent and what kind?  Everyone's talking about self care nowadays.  We are being encouraged to take time to focus on ourselves a little more.  Massages are not to be treated as a luxury.   They should be a part of our routine self care maintenance.  I mean, who is going to take care of you, if it isn't you scheduling it in.  I choose me, so should you!

Disclosure-I was invited to Pure Vichy for a complimentary massage.  All opinions stated are my own based on my own opinion.

Now that you have chosen you, time to schedule a massage.  But wait - there are things that you need to know before scheduling your visit.  

Here are my tips to a better massage:  

1)  Aches of Interest  - Medical history matters.  Did your therapist talk to you before your massage?  It is important that your therapist knows why you are needing or wanting a massage.  You have body aches that are in need of healing and need assistance.  Is it a muscle, is it a nerve, whatever is bothering you; be upfront.  The more they know, the better they can assist the area or areas.

  

2)  Be in the Moment - I have gotten many massages in the past where I felt as I walked in and nothing happened.  I am the type of person that gets on the bed and will try to relax the entire time.  But before I even get to get my massage, I am not shutting down.  I am go, go, go.  So when I get to this peaceful, relaxing place - I am not able to unwind.  This happens a lot.  Find a good time to schedule your massage, when you are less likely to be full speed ahead.  Don't just squeeze it in.   Whether you realize it or not, the therapist can tell if you are relaxed or not.  Get to your appointment early, unwind, relax, turn off the your phone, and you may be able to see better results on the table.



2)  Preventative Maintenance - A massage should never hurt or leave you in discomfort.  Do your research about pressure you want?  Every body is different.  Your tolerance can change over the years.  Listen to your body.  Do not be afraid to let the therapist know if you are not appreciating a certain technique.  You may need follow up visits for continued after care.    




3)  Location - Find a place that can take care of all your needs.   I was recently invited to Pure Vichy.  It is a day spa offering many services including massages.  I had a wonderful experience and learned some valuable information.  I did not feel like I was just another person they were running in and out of the door.  The best thing was that I felt like I was at home.  Every room was very inviting.  



The care I received from all of the staff was from check in to check out, excellent.  My massage therapist was very knowledgeable.  She explained body care, stretches, and after care techniques.  She took the time to listen to what my concerns were, asks relevant questions, and gave me good feedback prior to and during my massage.  



I had a wonderful, relaxing massage.  Extra thanks to the wonderful staff at Pure Vichy.

This hidden gem is located at 2128 Welch St Suite B, Houston, TX 77019  For more information or to schedule your next massage call - Phone: (713) 429-9582 or Email: hello@purevichy.com.

Friday, August 2, 2019

BetterBody - In Search Of

I'm in search of a better body.  One that is healthy inside and out.  I know that what I put in my body matters and it affects my body.  I have to make better choices with the foods I put in my mouth. 

Thanks to BetterBody Foods for sending sample product.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

Let's be honest for a minute.  I have fallen into the slump.  After my busy day or busy week, I do not want to go into the kitchen.  Who wants to slave over the stove?  Our schedules have been extra full that it has been easier for us to grab a bite to eat while we are out.  And keeping it real, we are foodies.  Summer, vacation, travel, and road trips have brought on a few extra pounds on top of the ones that were already there.  With the passing of my birthday and back to school around the corner, I would like to refocus what we are putting on our plates. 

Small changes can make a difference.  I have decided to try clean eating with the entire family again.  This can be hard at times.  So I decided selecting better ingredients for the meals I make is the way to start.  I am starting small with some of my favorite recipes. 

I like to meal prep on Sundays.  This helps get our week started on the right foot.  I try to make a couple of meals to offer a variety.  Usually when I use the family packs of meat, I have leftover after measuring out our meals.  I have to get creative to use all the leftovers.  One of my favorites to make with leftover chicken is Chicken Salad.  Chicken salads are not hard to make and you can add your favorites like nuts, dill, vinegar, etc...  My family likes to keep it simple.


Chicken Salad

-shredded chicken
-dill pickles
-BetterBody Foods Avocado Mayo
-mustard
-hard boiled eggs


I am not one to write down recipes or measure ingredients.  A sprinkle of this, a dap of that, and a small taste here and there.  BetterBody Foods sent me a bottle of their avocado mayo.  I was excited to try it in one of my recipes.  Playing in the kitchen and getting creative with ingredients are some of my best meals.   Clean eating is a little intimidating to me.  You have to look at the nutritional facts, count calories, and balance your plate.  This is why small changes can help me stay on track, keeping me focused, and ultimately being successful.  This is why choosing good ingredients and replacing the bad ones are important. 

Avocado Mayonnaise by BetterBody Foods offers:

· Cage Free Eggs
· Non-GMO
· Doesn't contain soybean or canola oils
· Dairy-Free
· Gluten-Free
· Paleo & Keto diets approved
Check out their recipes page that offers ideas, clean eating, and does the counting everything for you.  CALORIES, FAT, PROTEIN, CARBS, etc...  These can make a big difference in your progress.

Now I can take a bite out of that.  And so can my family.  By the way, my recipe swap was a success.  The avocado mayo took my chicken salad to the next level.  It was enjoyed by all. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Planning the Perfect Playdate Party

I love to host parties.  Something about opening your home to friends and family brings me lots of joy.  I had taken a break from hosting parties because there is so much that goes into throwing a party.  Preparing for the party can be so overwhelming.  Trust me, I have been in tears the night before a party.  Hosting and greeting everyone, now that is the fun stuff.  Through trial and error I have learned how to do things better and more efficient, it's kinda my cheat sheet to planning a party.


Disclosure - I was selected to host a #NowMoreThanEver Disney Playdate Party.  Thanks to the sponsors of our #NowMoreThanEver party kit which included Disney, Jakks Pacific, Michael Angelo's, Popped Passion Popcorn, and Pillow Pets.  All opinions stated are own based on my personal experience.

Planning the perfect playdate party can be as easy as 1, 2, 3....

1)  Theme - A theme can drive the party.  So picking the right one could be key to your success.  Go with a theme that makes sense to you.  If you are throwing a party for a family member, pick something is true to them, something that makes them happy, and brings them joy.  Themed parties are so much more fun.  The theme will bring the decorations together. 


Personal Tips-Once you pick a theme, look around your house and see if you have any items that will go great with your theme.  We had plenty of Mickey Mouse items that we used as decor. 

You can also DIY items for your party, like creating a curtain with streamers.  This can transform a room and add a pop of color.  It can also be used as a good place for pictures.  Everyone loves balloons.  Take them to the next level by creating a balloon garland.  At the end of the party, you can hand out all the balloons to each of the kids.  What kid does not love balloons?



2)  Food - I love to feed my guests.  Any party I host, is a buffet of goodness.  If you are not hosting a charity gala or sit-down, bring out the good China dinner, then simple foods are my go-to.  Like I said, I have learned that less is more.  This way you spend more time with the guests and less time in the kitchen.  The menu should not stress you out or break your bank. 


Food that is convenient and affordable is always on my first choice.  Michael Angelo's makes it so easy with their frozen meals and party trays.  Cook in the oven or microwave.  Ready to serve. 


Personal Tips - Fruit trays are great for both adults and kids.  Sometimes kids do not like the food served at parties but they will munch on the fruit.  Save some money by creating your own fruit tray with some of your favorites, and don't forget to add some cheese squares.  Save time, take the stress out, and grab one from the store that is ready to serve.   


Another favorite is popcorn.  This can be fun.  Make bracelets or necklaces with popcorn.  All you need is a needle, string, and popcorn. 

Here is an easy to make Pixie Dust Popcorn:

Ingredients

  • Microwave Popcorn
  • Vanilla Candy Melts
  • Sprinkles
Directions

1.  Pop the popcorn according to instructions on package.
2.  Microwave candy melts in microwave-safe bowl, pausing every 20-30 secs to stir.  Repeat until melted.
3.  Drizzle the melted vanilla over popcorn and stir in sprinkles.
4.  Place in the fridge for 5-10 mins to allow the candy to harden prior to serving.

If you don't have time, I know that you will be a winner with a Popped Passion Popcorn Cake.  You can order a customize popcorn cake and have it shipped directly to your door ready to enjoy!

3)  Entertainment - You do not have to have a strict itinerary to have fun.  Games can keep a party going, make your guests have so much fun, and it keeps everyone entertained.  Find games that are appropriate for your guests.  You can make small game areas so that everyone can rotate and enjoy.


Personal tips - Plan ahead and try out the games yourself.  Troubleshoot things before the party.  If you have crafts that need extra supplies, you can prepare small kits for each guess with all the pieces already included.  These can also be taken home, if guests are too busy having fun at the party.    


Assign helpers to game zones.  My daughter tried out all the games and was a handy helper to all the smaller kiddos.  You can shoot the parents emails with instructions for the games ahead of time.  This way they can participate along with their kids.   


Communicate with parents to see what are some of their kiddos favorite games to play.  I have hosted game nights before and we ask each person to bring a new game for us to play.  This keep guests from getting bored and they get to share one of their family favorites.


Play it by ear, let loose, and enjoy your party.  Being a host should not be scary.  The next time a mommy asks for you to host the next play date, you will be ready. 

Do you have any tips that you have learned?

Friday, June 14, 2019

Candytopia Houston

Somebody's childhood dream has come true.  Remember that song, if all of the raindrops were lemon drops and gum drops....oh what a joy would that be?  Can you imagine candy everywhere?  Well Houston, no more imagining because Candytopia has dropped into our city. 


Thanks to the creator of Candytopia for making my little girl dreams come to life in this new experience.  My family received a special invitation to get a sneak peek at what is in store for Houstonians.  We were in for a really big treat too. 


From the creative mind of the Candy Queen herself, Jackie Sorkin brings our greatest wish to life.  Jackie and her team have created a Candyland in Houston that you will not want to miss.  Candy confections that are larger than life and sweet art that looks to die for.  Your senses will be on an overload.  From the minute you walk in, you will be immersed into a golden ticket kinda world.


Each room is unique.  There is a different experience to be had.  No matter your age, you will want to see, feel, smell, and of course, taste the samples provided.  The space is kid-friendly in every way.


A little someone did not want to leave.  Her favorite room had to be the underwater, under the sea room.  Make sure you look up, around, and enjoy the space.  Picture-perfect, instagramable pics, every time.  No filter.  And the staff is friendly and ready to capture those moments for you.


TICKET PRICES:
Adults: $28
Kids (4-12): $20
Children 3 and under: Free

Candytopia opens today at The MARQ*E entertainment center (7620 Katy Fwy, Suite 360 Houston, TX 77024).  For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit candytopia.com.

Don't forget to download the Candytopia app before getting there.  You will be able to use the QR code to see special affects and photo booth pictures will be sent straight to your email.  


How sweet is that!!