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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Those places you don't want to be at....

There are places all over the world that are no longer functional or desired. Abandoned and lost in time. Noted for being "haunted", "scary" or just downright creepy. But people flock there in curiosity anyway. There are places that should send shivers down your spine at the very thought of visiting, but people still go for the thrill and excitement that the fear of being there gives them.
Take for instance the Clown Motel in Tonopah, Nevada.

Clowns have an inexplicable phobia surrounding them. Personally, I find them creepy. Non-trustworthy. So why in the world, would I go to a place with a giant clown on the sign and the name being a place for or of them?
And get this, right next to this hotel is a graveyard of miners that died during a plague outbreak.
That's creepy times three, if you ask me. So why do people go there?! You couldn't pay me to go there and I don't believe in ghosts or haunted areas. I read the reviews. Gotta love 'em... 
And those gamers out there... 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

AdoramaPix promotion

Just in time for great holiday gift giving ideas! 

AdoramaPix helps people turn their digital photographs from abstract computer files into beautiful keepsakes designed to last a lifetime. Their contemporary metal prints capture memories in rich color and vibrant detail. Because your images are infused right into the metal, and not painted on the surface, their metal prints are extremely durable. Not only will your metal image be water and weather proof, but scratch resistant as well. You can even clean it with glass cleaner. Your memories deserve to live in true, archival luxury with AdoramaPix metal prints.

You can find all the fun gift ideas HERE: 

My readers get to save! 35% off all metal prints. Use code: pxusfam35m expires 12/15/2015

Where has the time gone?

My oldest just turned 7 years old this past weekend. Seven years old... Where has the time gone?! Its as if yesterday I was wheeled into the delivery room and now he's a walking, talking, little question-filled boy. Its been amazing, trying, tiring... a long journey that seems to have passed in the blink of an eye.
This year he wanted a Star Wars themed party. He loves watching the Star Wars Clone Wars cartoons on Netflix or the Rebels on cable. And with the new movie coming out soon, its a family thing all around. I didn't have the time or resources to do too much this year, but thanks to Pinterest, I was able to find ideas to decorate and make it fun with. 

I printed out this cool little certificate. 

Then came decorating cups and water bottles with R2-D2 labels. 

The cake was awesome though. HEB had this one with the Vader mask that makes that breathing sound we love so well. 
I hung Star Wars dangle decorations, had a table cover, and a few other things I had picked up on clearance at Target. While most of the people invited weren't able to join us as the weather wasn't cooperating, some of my ex's adult friends stopped by.
The kids enjoyed just having visitors for a change. 
The birthday boy got some fun gifts too. 
The following Monday, my ex in laws asked to take the boys out to Chuckee Cheese.
They had pizza and played games. 
So much fun! I treasure these moments I have with them. They are fleeting and pass me by so quickly. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Star Wars!!!

In case any of you are not aware yet, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has a new trailer out.
And with its release on Monday night during the Monday night football games, tickets are now on sale everywhere!

This newest trailer has raised my hopes and given me more excitement to see the new movie than before. So how many of you will be going to the midnight showing?! I want to, but sadly, thats during the blackout dates at my new job. 

America's Incredible Pizza Company review

We recently went back to America's Incredible Pizza Company to do a review for them through the US Family Guide. If you are around San Antonio, this place can offer lots of fun and a tasty buffet of pizza, soups, pasta, tacos, nachos, desserts, and salads. I love the set up. Its like a 50's theme with the time period music to boot. Really family-friendly dining experience. 

I still think they shouldn't have the dessert bar at the front... its rather backwards. Salads at the back... Yeah. Anyhow, food is good. Their dessert choices are limited and I didn't bother, but the kids loved the ice cream machine. Pizzas were good and there were several types to choose from for all your picky eaters. I loved making myself nachos and salads too. Plenty to pick from there. 

The game room is rather large.

They have laser tag too, but I didn't think my kindergarten-aged kids would do well in there. Other things like bumper cars are there and fun.
They have a little kids area with games and rides that are geared towards their speeds. 

There are so many prizes to choose from.

And I like the fact that they carry some that are Christian themed. 
Keep a lookout as they usually have deals and bundles that save you money. They host events as well.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Crazy deals

This week I had to run a couple errands and scored some amazing deals! I got all of this 
for exactly $15! I had coupons for the pop tarts, beans, refreshers, kandoo wipes, bacon, and pillsbury rolls. The kandoo and refreshers were the only items I picked up at Target.
The coupons and cartwheel offers got those for a little over $2.
Everything else came from HEB. Now, more than ever before, I'm having to watch my spending and be as frugal as I can. Time to catch those deals!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Bridge of Spies movie review

This was quite an amazing story. Bridge of Spies taken from the pages of history, it gives us a glimpse at the types of lives lived during 1957 and the Cold War. Russia and America were at odds with one another. East Germany was trying to claim independence and recognition. Spies were heavy on both sides. Constantly seeking to be ahead of the other in the arms race. Scaring their citizens with the "facts of war".
Here we have a great lawyer. He's the best at negotiating. So his partners at the firm decide to throw him to the wolves when the government insists that an accused Soviet spy get a fair trial with competent representation from a respected lawyer. Tom Hanks plays the lawyer, James Donovan. He holds himself to higher standards even when his family is threatened and reviled for even thinking about defending a man who was accused of selling out America. He gets to know the accused, Rudolf Abel who is played by Mark Rylance, as a person. Never once does Donovan ask Abel if he is guilty. Even if Abel was guilty, Donovan merely wants the trial to be fair. The prosocution and the judge both want to turn blind eyes to proper procedures, but Donovan does everything he can think of to keep Abel from the electric chair. I loved the common phrase that Abel would respond with every time that Donovan asked about being worried. "Would it help?" Does worrying ever really help? 
As the story unfolds, Donovan becomes a secret messenger for the CIA. He is put in charge of going to East Berlin to negotiate a deal for a trade of prisoners. An American pilot on a secret mission was shot down.
Now the Americans want him back before he gives up secrets about the plane and missions involved. While he begins this negotiating, he learns of an American student who was taken prisoner on falsified accusations of being a spy. Donovan witnesses the horrors of life right after the Berlin Wall was built. It separated families, friends, and was used to esablish dominance by the German Democratic Republic. 
His story was amazing. It gives a strong meaning to what it means to be American. To offer the freedoms that even our criminals are offered to a non-American criminal. He stood by his convictions. He went above the call to do what he felt was right for the accused and his country. 
The movie itself is family friendly. With some intense action, it might be frightening for younger viewers. It sheds a great deal of light on a dark time though. Highly enjoyed this movie! 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Take time out to live and love

I recently made the choice to take a vacation. Alone. To another state. To visit someone very important to me. I spent 3 days there cooking up my Nana's favorites,
cleaning up her little house and otherwise enjoying the peaceful country. I saw the old family farm,
and traveled around her little town that doesn't even have a real Walmart. In all my years of going there, not very much has changed. Its so quiet, so peaceful. Everyone is friendly, even if they don't drive according to the same rules as the rest of the nation. I got to slow down for a while. And my Nana shared so many wonderful stories with me. 
My Nana is 81 years old. Her mind is sharp but her body has given up on her. She's outlived her only child, most (if not all) her ex husbands, and a huge chunk of her relatives. Her sister has the beginning of Alzheimers and lives in another town that is too far for either to drive to see the other. Nana's only companion now is a little kitten she adopted. 
My Nana has lived a full life. She's seen Europe, lived through WWII, worked so many different types of jobs, loved and been loved by so many... And now she's at the end of her journey. Her days of excitement are over. She sits, watching tv, and the most movement she has if taking a bath.  Its hard to see her like this, but it reminds me that life is fleeting. Nothing should be left undone. Live without regrets and get through that bucket list, if you will. You never know when your days of doing and being will be over. For some, it comes far too soon. 

So do something that is totally you. Like this guy, I saw at a gas station on my way home...

Clearance shopping on vacation

I went for a weekend trip to visit my Nana in Louisiana. No matter what store I vist, I look for deals. At the Target in Beaumont, I came across Zak lidded cups that were 70% off and picked up a Princess one for my daughter for only $1.78.
I had found a butterfly shaped foil balloon for $2.50, some minnie mouse napkins for $1.23 each. They also had some Star Wars rebels party supplies that I picked up for my sons birthday. Plates for $1.42 and a table cloth for $1.95. 
The local Family Dollar in Mamou had a 50% sale going on.
Tissue paper with designs on them were $1.50 a pack, party napkins were $1.20 each, table covers at $2 each, favor bags at $1.20 each, small paper plates at $1.20 each, kids washi tape party favors at .80 each, and even a party favor pack at $5. I also picked up a pack of stickers at .50. 
They had built a tiny walmart. Only sells groceries and a limited amount of other things.
I found some bubble wands for .50 a piece and grabbed some to take home to my kiddos. 
Coming home, the local Target had training pants on clearance.
 They also had some wrapping paper on half off. 
So if you are like me, stockpile party supplies now! I get various characters that I know my kids will enjoy later on. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Can we stop with the causes?

Yesterday I read an article about a prank that was well played by some users of 4chan. 4chan.org is a website that has a reputation for either being cool and fun for nerds or being awful and full of the bad things the Internet can offer. Plenty of adult references are sprinkled amidst the various threads. Its self description is: "4chan is a simple image-based bulletin board where anyone can post comments and share images. There are boards dedicated to a variety of topics, from Japanese animation and culture to videogames, music, and photography. Users do not need to register an account before participating in the community. Feel free to click on a board below that interests you and jump right in!"
I'm a nerd. I surf the web often. I write, read and share on it daily. I use social networking sites for some of the things I participate in. But what I'm finding on the social networks has me worried about the future of this country. The pranks that were played by 4chan, just show that women in the feminist community are gullible and will follow whatever looks good in the name of Female Power. *Imagine me doing a fist-to-the-sky motion* Some of these things include wetting and soiling their own pants and posting proof of such for the world to see. All for the cause of equality to rape victims. 

Now I'm not making light of rape and the victims that suffer from an attack. I know for a fact that its not pleasant. That there is pain and embarrassment. That sometimes the victims are made out to be instigators that brought it on themselves. Rape is a serious issue. No doubt in my mind about it. However.... How is wetting my pants and posting a picture of it on Twitter or Facebook going to help anyone? "Bring awareness" to the issue? Yeah right... I rarely pay attention to Facebook. I post to Twitter, but never check it otherwise. Unless I'm tagged or have some other kind of notification, I could care less what's on there. Sadly, I'm required to have both for blogging and review purposes. But who really pays attention to these networks these days? Busy bodies? People with such a miserable life, that they use it to feel better about themselves? People seeking attention? Its not really used that often for movers and shakers in the world of progress. And even more rarely does it improve the social lives of the people using it. I will tell you how I see this particular activity being detrimental. You know who likes such images? Rapists. Why? Rape isn't the reason they get off. Its the reaction of the victims. The pain, the terror, the defecation of themselves, the invasion of something private. That's what makes them a monster. So posting pictures like these, would be a treasure trove for them. Its like visual reminders of what they enjoy. 

The other thing that makes this stupid? Let's examine what happens when something like this starts... First you have the original post. You might never know where it came from, who posted it, or what their true intent was. That post goes on the news feed of all their friends and followers. They share it. That posted meets new people and like a ripple in the pool, it spreads. Causes are shared often. It doesn't matter how old it is, how often you've seen it, or if its something you feel strongly about. Chances are you will get tagged or someone you are close to will share it with you. I did the Ice Bucket challenge. It was for the ALS awareness and has now been made into an annual thing. Every August you can fill a bucket with ice water, take a video of you pouring it on yourself, post it online, and then tag friends you want to do the same. It puts out awareness and lets people know where to go to donate towards a cure. But you couldn't pay me to pee my pants and post with a hashtag of #PISSFOREQUALITY... Now, if this were a true cause started by someone who really cared, don't you think the hashtag would be family friendly? Its vulgar. And stupid. And if I caught a friend of mine pulling something like this, we would have a talk. If they didn't take it down, I think I'd have to unfriend them... 
The other prank mentioned in this article? Free Bleeding.
What the heck is wrong with you women?! I get some cultures follow a religious background of not using feminine hygiene products. But in the 21st century, people! Its there for a reason. Having blood running down your legs isn't healthy. Its gross. Unsanitary. It has nothing to do with what men think of the Crimson Tide. Sure, they make up names to talk about it since there's a stigma about saying menstrual cycle or period. Aunt Flo, Cousin Red, get your redwings, red tide, that time of the month... I use some of these terms myself. Who cares what you call it? You know what you're talking about. 
So at the end of my rant, whether you care or not, I just think women, or people in general, should think twice before jumping on the bandwagon. You want to let the world know what you believe? Do something special or unique to yourself! Forget the norms. Forget the hype. Come up with your own idea. And if you absolutely must follow something radical... at least find out where it was generated so that you don't look like a fool. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Time to tailgate!

Football season is in full swing now. Tailgating has begun. But we don't want to start packing on those pounds with the snackage. So here's some great snack ideas to keep you on the right path as you cheer on your favorite teams. 
My family has always been a fan of Mediterranean Snacks. Especially their new Bean Stalks. Add hummus or a fat free dip!

Peanut butter and crackers is another one we love. Its easy and doesn't require refrigeration. 
Even better is that you can add in other flavors by melting a little chocolate or white chocolate morsels to sweeten the taste just a touch. 

Nuts.com inspired me to post about my favorite snacks that were healthy and light.
But they also shared some of their great suggestions. So check them out by going to their Healthy Snacks Page and see what they have to offer. Nuts are high in protein, encourage a healthy digestive system, and can be so many styles! 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Walk movie review

Ever had a dream that everyone else believed was just impossible to achieve? They told you to give up and move on to reality? Or maybe they tried to help you accomplish it even though they never really wanted you to even go the distance? Phillipe Petit had the craziest of dreams. And in 1974, he made it come true. 
The Walk is based on the true story of Petit's journey as a tight rope walker. Absolutely amazing story that followed this artistic Frenchman carry through his dream to entertain the masses by walking a rope in places that were more often than not illegal. His greatest feat? Walking the wire between the World Trade Center Towers. It took years of planning. Practicing for hours on end. Drafting in accomplices to help him reach his lifes' goal. And he beat those odds. Those "impossible" odds! 
His story gives you courage to never give up on your dreams. Don't listen to the masses who shoot down your ideals. Believe in yourself. And remember that sometimes, listening does help.
 But only to those you know love you most and will be there with you to the bitter end. 
Joseph Gordon Levitt played a great Petit. 
The actual Phillipe Petit was arrested after his stunt but it was turned around for good. 
This is a movie that kids might not understand, but didn't seem too bad as far as family ratings go. There may have been foul language though quite a bit was in French.