Monday, December 10, 2018

Weekend Getaway with Courtyard by Marriott

December is my daughter's birthday month.  Every year, we love surprising her and making her feel special.  As she is getting older it is getting harder and harder to compete with electronics and technology.  One of our favorite things to do is family getaways.  This helps us get away from our normal day to day and refresh from the routines and schedules.  Who doesn't need an escape?

Thanks to the Courtyard by Marriott for hosting our family over the weekend.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

To escape means to break free!  Isn't that what the weekend is all about?  Breaking free from the norm.  Sometimes you just need to get away.  Away from all of it.  The chores, cleaning, and chaos.  I know I love to leave it all behind, even if just for the weekend.  This time of year can be pretty hectic but isn't that the excuse we give ourselves all year long.  We make excuses to enjoy our lives the way they are meant to be.  All work and no play is not good for our minds, bodies, or souls.  Everyone needs refreshers.  You know what they say, "A family that unwinds together, stays together!"

Getaways are always fun.  Finding a place with all the comforts of home, that's roomie, and has all the amenities may be a little more of a challenge.  Challenge because with a family, you have to make everyone happy.  There are five things that are important to me when planning a great weekend getaway for my family.

1)  Comforts of Home-Traveling with kids can be hard.  I never want to be in a place where they are not comfortable or where we feel they can't touch anything.  Their stay should be as enjoyable as ours.  My daughter found her little spot and felt right at home, nice and comfy.

2)  Space-Kids are always dealing with finding their own space.  At home, everyone has their own space.  It should not be different when you go away.  With kids, times can get very trying.  Space is important.   

3)  Food-I know I get cranky when I am hungry.  Imagine a kid.  Getaways are about turning off the alarms and sleeping in.  Well, try to tell that to your hungry kid in the morning.  The best thing other than having two televisions in one room is being able to have breakfast available.  No matter how you like your breakfast.  No long lines, they make it how you like it, and you can even be a little carefree and do breakfast in bed!  Be that cool parent. 

4)  Pool-My daughter's requirements to any place we stay includes a pool.  Our smart girl is too smart for us because she specifically asks for an indoor pool.  Even when the weather does not cooperate, whether it is rain or the cold, the pool is a place where the entire family can have fun.  Always call ahead, check to make sure it is open and available.

 5)  Shuttles-After a long or even a short road trip who wants to continue to be the driver.  Leave the driving for someone else.  A complimentary shuttle can be great when packing the kids to your fun getaway.  No need to call an Uber or Lyft for a ride.   And the littles will be happy to see where the adventure continues!

Our stay at the Courtyard Marriott SeaWorld/Westover Hills was so comfortable that we did not want to leave.  After a scary drive in really bad weather from Houston to San Antonio, we were glad to be in a place where we felt at home.  We did not even want to leave our room.  Glad we were able to grab some food from Bistro with no need to leave the hotel.  We even enjoyed some warm Starbucks while watching movies.  It was the perfect getaway we needed!   

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Holiday Parties Made Simple with Punchbowl

This time of year can be chaotic.  December came so fast for me this year.  I usually am on top of my game.  Party planning is my jam.  I start planning my daughter's birthday party a year in advance.  And this year, I have yet to send out a single invitation.  Am I too late?

Disclosure-This is a compensated post.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

Nothing gives me more anxiety than running out of time.  I rather not throw a party, then not plan it correctly.  A party starts with an invitation.  You really cannot have a party without guests?  So before I start hyperventilating because this party is not planned, I need to get some invitations in the mail.  I do not have time for that though.  What I do have time for is, creating something on my phone and hitting the send button!

Where do I start?  logging on or downloading Punchbowl ® app

With so little time on my hands, the app works for me.  I can work on the invitation and it is at the reach of my hands.  I can search by theme, category, girl birthday, etc... 

There are so many of my daughter's favorite characters.  It was hard to choose one theme.  It is easy to play around with invitations and saving drafts to come back to.  

With a birthday so close to Christmas, we have decided on a Christmas theme this year versus her usual.  We are really into the holiday spirit.  We have a few favorites chosen but I think we may have a winner!  What do you think?

Now, that was easy!  Punchbowl ® is the gold standard in online invitations.  These invitations combine the look and feel of paper with the convenience of digital that can be delivered by text message, email or social media.  It is a simple, easy way to plan any unforgettable celebration.  Customizing the invite in minutes, delivers instantly, and trackable RSVPs, what else can a party planner ask for?  

Now let the party planning begin!

Monday, December 3, 2018

Stocking Stuffer Giveaway-Teen Titans Go! To The Movies

December is pretty special for us.  It is not only our favorite time of the year, Christmas, but also because our daughter was born on December 22nd.  Our daughter has been a gift to our family.  We are so blessed to be her parents.  She brings us so much joy and can make us smile when we really need it.  We want to share some of Lil Bit's favorites which will make perfect stocking stuffers.

Sponsored giveaway-Sample product was received.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

My daughter loves Teen Titans Go!  You can catch her watching every episode.  She waited for this movie to hit the theaters and enjoyed it!  

SYNOPSIS - It seems like all the superheroes are getting their own movies – everyone but the Teen Titans, that is!  Determined to be a star, Robin vows to change this.  If only they could get Hollywood director Jade Wilson (Kristen Bell) to notice them!  With a few madcap ideas and musical numbers (of course), the Teen Titans head to Tinsel Town.  But when Supervillain Slade (Will Arnett) messes
with their plans, the Teen Titans will have to become true superheroes to save the world!


“Teen Titans GO! to the Movies” Blu-ray Combo Pack contains the following special
 Lil Yachty Music Video: “Teen Titans GO! Rap”
 Sing-a-long with Silkie “DC Super Hero Girls: The Late Batsby” Mini-Movie
 Red Carpet Mayhem
 Teen Titans GO! To the Movies: WB Lot Shenanigans
 “Everything is Fake”: Exclusive song not in the movie
 “Teen Titans GO!: Translated”
 Storyboard Animatics:
o Storyboard Animatics: Time Cycles
o The Final Battle

I know I got you at the sing-alongs!  

Now to the giveaway.  Enter below:

1)  Leave a comment on your favorite character and why? (1 entry)
2)  Share this giveaway on any social channel. (1 entry/per share-come back and leave a link to your share in a comment)
3)  Leave a comment on any non-giveaway post. (1 entry/per comment)

Giveaway ends on 12/7/2018.  Open to US only.  The winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize.  Sponsor will handle fulfillment of prize.  Good luck!