Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Orlando LBV is an Great Place to Stay! #Disney Good Neighbor Hotel!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.

We shouldn't have been so late, and it was entirely no one's fault but my own. The kids were antsy, they wanted to go to Orlando. ;)  We left home so late that it was very much the p.m. by the time we arrived the Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Orlando / Lake Buena Vista.

We do not live super close to Orlando. In fact, it is a few hours away, so when we did finally pull in, the hotel was in 'relax' mode. It was still grand though, even with the 'careful, it's wet' fold outs strategically placed around the entryway. 

Then to make matters worse (for the kids), I started poking around to see what they offered. The kids wanted to go right to the room. They both love exploring hotel rooms. It's like being on an adventure! I get it, but I knew the room would keep. 

The first area I discovered was the information room. Oh how I loved this room!

Not your average brochure room, this one had a table that wrapped around the walls, and chairs so you could sit down and do some planning. If the kids weren't already in a hurry, I could have spent some time in that room, let me tell you!

There was a stamp machine in there too, which I thought was a nice touch. It's always more fun to send postcards from the destination and a stamp machine meant you didn't have to go to the post office to do so.

I wanted to look around more, but the kids assured me I could do so later. ;)  I obliged and took them to explore the rooms. Inside we found a bedroom with two queen-sized beds. Very comfortable beds, I might add too.

The next morning we decided to 'close Disney down!"

Close it down we did, but oh our aching feet!! These beds were amazing for getting some much needed rest, for our bodies and our tootsies!!

There was a chair at the end of one bed, and a flat screen TV on the bureau. We didn't use this, but it was nice to have the option if we had wanted it. There was a closet in the room too, with an iron and an ironing board.

The bathroom had two rooms with closing doors. The dressing area and the bathroom itself. This was nice because it meant showers could be taken while my teen did her make-up. Otherwise little man and I might have been waiting forever and day to get our respective turns in that bathroom...and that would not have been cool at all, we had Disneying to do!! :)

The living room area of the suite, and know that ALL of the rooms at the Hawthorn are suites, had seating , a coffee table (with more information on display about the area) and another flat screen TV.

The dining area was small, but perfect for our needs since it was just the three of us for this trip. 

The room service menu was extensive.

The menu for room service was extensive and chock full of delicious options. There were kids meals available too. Had we been staying longer than the weekend, we might have used the room service. We weren't in the room much though, since we did a double day at area amusement parks. 

A full-sized refrigerator, counter-top stove, microwave and all the utensils you
could possibly need were inside of the suite.

The room had a countertop stove, microwave, full refrigerator and freezer, and all of the items you might need to cook. If you look carefully, you can see the coffee pot in the right-hand corner there too.

There were dishes, glasses, paper towels, and more. There was also a dishwasher to use if we needed it. We did use the kitchen a couple of times. I rinsed our dishes and put them in the sink to load the dishwasher later. When we came back from the park the first full day we were there, housekeeping had done the dishes for us. Woohoo, delightful. I could get used to someone else doing our dishes. ;)

There was plenty of silverware for serving and eating.

There were specialty items and gadgets too. Really everything you could need to make a meal in the kitchen. 

The Complimentary Hot Breakfast Options Changed Daily!

While we're discussing food, let me tell you there was a complimentary huge, hot breakfast each morning. The items were different each day too. I like that they switched it up. Above you see but a small sampling of all that was offered. I'm partial to pancakes and my daughter likes sausage, so we were both delighted. There were also eggs, potatoes, cereal, bagels, fresh fruit and more...lots more!

The coffee never ran out.

The hot coffee was replenished often, and when you're running on restful (but not a lot of) sleep, this hot beverage is a necessity, not a bonus. ;)

This was the oatmeal station (yum!)

There were so many choices on each and every table (there were several tables), including this sweet set-up for my oatmeal. We were all happy to have the hot breakfast. It was a leisurely way to start our soon to be very busy day.

Seating just outside of the breakfast area
The lobby area was full of seating options. which was nice if you finished your breakfast first in the adjoining, open room. 

Forgot something? No worries, they have a store. :)
Hawthorn Suites took so many things into consideration for their guests. This little area to buy items was a handy touch. There were cosmetic, medical and food items. There were also cold drinks!

Game Room

the kids had a game room, 

Considerations Everywhere!

and there was even a pay phone!! I laughed but let me tell you, it was hard to get a picture of it because it was always in use.  Funny, right?!!

Business Center with Computer, Printer and Seating
The rooms had free WiFi, but if you needed it there was a rather large business area that had  a lot of seating, a few computers and a printer. It was very much like an office setting, and a great place to get necessary work done while the rest of the family played, if that was something that had to be done (thankfully that was not the case for me this trip, but...been there, done that).

Ample, comfortable seating.
Like I noted before, there was no shortage of seating. This little area here had a group of people playing a card game at one point, and I thought that was pretty cozy. They were laughing it up and having a grand old time too.

View from our Room
The pool area was full of thoughtful design and amenities too!! In addition to the awesome (heated) swimming pool itself, there was also a jacuzzi, ample seating...

Heated Pool with Drop-In Chair
a chair that lowered into the pool, a shaded (roofed) area, a gazebo, 

Pool Float for Guest Use
and they even had a float in the pool (kid not included, he's mine ;) ).

Grills for Cooking
Barbeque grills were placed in the shade,

Basketball Court in the Pool Area
and there was even a basketball court for the kids (or adults!) to play. I don't think I've ever seen a basketball hoop at a hotel. Such a grand idea!

Lots of seating by the pool that was shaded or not, your choice.
If you wanted seating in the sun, or the shade, everywhere you looked they had chaise lounges and umbrella tables and chairs.

Large conference room space
A conference room was just steps from the pool, and it had a high person capacity to be sure. Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham was a great option for our weekend family vacation. It would also be ideal for an extended vacation, and/or for hosting a business conference (def. a great spot for a blog conference or event! Just saying. :) ).

Hmm, there is something (actually two somethings) unusual about this poster.
Do you see what I see? :)

This stand-up poster was right next to the elevator. DO YOU NOTICE TWO UNUSUAL things about it? Hint, one is 17 and on the left, the other is 8 and on the right. ;) Silly kiddos. :)

Buy your Disney World park tickets on site!

And, speaking of posters, this large one was in the foyer. It was a good reminder that you could buy your Disney tickets on-site if you wanted to do so. There was also a complimentary shuttle you could schedule, if you didn't want to drive. Like I said... considerations galore.

Parking is Plentiful and Free!
In fact, if you wanted to, you could just park your car when you got there, and not need it again until it was time to leave!

We had a great stay at Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham in Orlando. 

If you are interested in learning more, the address is: 
Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Orlando/Lake Buena Vista
8303 Palm Parkway
Orlando, FL 32836

If you're headed to Orlando, the Hawhtorn Suites by Wyndham is close to everything!! Highly recommended: great for singles, couples, families and  awesome for business too! You can learn more by visiting the website. You can also follow along on Facebook

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Savings from Luvs and Ibotta! $100 American Express GC Giveaway! #ad #SharetheLuv

Disclosure: This review was made possible by iConnect and Luvs. I was provided compensation to facilitate this post, but all opinions stated are 100% genuine and my own. 

Luvs is one of those brands you cheer about when you discover it. Their diapers are every bit as effective as other quality brands, but they're less expensive!! 

Check your Sunday newspaper (5/29) for high-value coupon savings!

This Sunday, May 29, 2016, there will be high value coupon savings for a Luvs' Diaper Pack in the coupon insert of the newspaper. Woohoo, get your scissors ready ladies (and gentlemen), saving money on the price of diapers is good...very good! Saving money on Luvs, which already cost less than premium brands is even better, it is a double dose of awesomeness. :)

Luvs with NightLock protection have large, refastenable stretch tabs, ultra leakage protection and they often offer high value savings like you see in the above example. They are a top-quality product that sells for less, and that is something that makes parents very happy. You don't want to mess around with quality when it comes to something like a diaper. ;)

With leak barrier leg gathers, a leakguard core, and their largest absorbency area ever, Luvs is making life easier for busy parents by helping to keep leaks in the diaper where they belong, so baby stays dry and comfortable. Luvs also has a money back guarantee!

The Ibotta app offers cash back on items you're already purchasing anyway!

Be sure to check out your Ibotta app too, where you currently can get a limited-time $3 rebate off of any boxed variety of Luvs that are 54ct. or higher. If you haven't heard of Ibotta, be sure to check it out. The Ibotta app is unique because it lets you choose what products you want to save on. You simply download the free app, sing up for the free account, and then being your searching. Look for brands you want to save on, create a shopping list and get to buying. Once you're all done, you show proof of purchase via the receipt. When the receipt is verified, you'll get your cash back. It's just that as simple as that, so why not start saving by getting cash back on items you're already purchasing anyway!

You can download the free Ibotta app for iOS here: 
and for Android devices here: 

You can learn more about Luvs and Ibotta by visiting their websites. You can also follow them on social media:

Luvs Twitter:

In addition to these two great ways to save, There's A Giveaway!

One lucky winner is going to get a $100 American Express Gift Card to call their very own. US entrants only.

Monday, May 23, 2016

#ad #PurexPlusClorox2 Giveaway from #SocialInsiders! This Tough Detergent Works on 100 Stains!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.

I have an 8-year-old boy who attracts messes. Seriously, he's like his mother and he can't help it. If either he or I have on a white shirt, you can bet whatever it is we eat that day is going to land on it. I think it's a special sort of law of attraction.

So when he got out of the pool and started eating a chocolate ice cream cone, I should have known that even though half of his body had no clothes on at all, that he would drop chocolate, and it would end up on those swimming trunks. Like I said, we have our own special law of attraction with stains.

What to do? What to do? Well, that was easy. Purex now has Clorox 2 in it, which means I can use it to fight stains, even on clothes that have color.

A little pre-treatment on the shorts, just for extra measure, and into the washer it went. To be honest, I wasn't worried. Purex plus Clorox 2 combines the bright clean of Purex detergent with the extra powerful boost of Clorox stain fighters. This detergent works on 100 different types of stains.

And when all was said and done...the shorts came out good as new, with no stain at all. This is definitely a great detergent to have on hand this summer when kids are going to be at their busiest!

Purex® plus Clorox2 detergent is specially formulated with Clorox 2® stain-fighting enzymes to remove the toughest stains. Works with all washing machines, including High-Efficiency (HE).
About the Product
  • Works with 100 stains
  • Contains a powerful boost of Clorox 2® stain fighters
  • Safe for colors (contains no chlorine bleach)
  • Normal Use
    Follow washing machine instructions for adding detergent
    For Tough Stains
    Pretreat by applying some detergent directly to stains and rub into fabric. Allow formula to sit on stains for 5 minutes. For added power, use ¾ cap of detergent in wash.

You can learn more about Purex plus Clorox 2 by visiting the Purex website. You can also follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and/or Pinterest.

Two lucky readers get to test the detergent for themselves. Discover why this smart value, stain-fighting detergent with Clorox has become an instant favorite in our house. US entrants only. Free product coupon giveaway.

My New Litehouse Potato Salad Recipe #SeeTheLite FLASH Giveaway!

This review and giveaway was made possible by iConnect Influencer Management and Litehouse Foods. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% genuine and my own.

My family is full of potato salad-loving people. It doesn't matter if it's mayo or mustard-based, if it's on the table, and all the kids are here (some of them are grown now), it won't last very long. So when I received the request to create a Litehouse recipe with their refrigerated dressings, I was all-in and knew exactly what it was I wanted to do.

I took my youngest son and we headed out to the grocery store to pick up the necessary ingredients. The first thing on our list, the 'star' of the recipe if you will, was the Litehouse Homestyle Ranch dressing.

If your veggies could talk, they would say no to room temperature dressings. Fresh foods deserve fresh tasting dressings that are packed with ingredients like buttermilk and real blue cheese.

This is not your standard Ranch. It is far creamier and has just a tad less tang than what I'm used to in a dressing. It's also easily the most delicious ranch dressing I've ever tasted. I'm thinking that's probably true because it's not hopped up with preservatives (hence the reason it is in the refrigerated section of your grocery, and not on a shelf). It's real. It's delicious. And it was the perfect item to add to a potato salad to turn it into something new and special. Making this light, and very delicious potato salad is really easy. I'll share the directions below.


  • 5 Russet Potatoes
  • 1/4 cup LiteHouse Homestyle Ranch Dressing
  • 1/2 c Chopped Onions
  • 1/4 c. Juienne Carrots
  • 1/4 c. Peas (most people use frozen for their salads, I like the softer version)
  • 1/4 c. Fresh Paremsan Cheese (shredded)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • Bacon
  • Black Pepper
Boil a large pot of of water. Clean and peel (or not) your potatoes. Cut them into the size you like for potato salad and add them to the pot. Boil until they are tender but not mushy. I did mine 15 minutes. Drain and let cool.

Once your potatoes are cool, add everything but your dressing and  black pepper. Mix well. 

The final step is to add your dressing, make sure it's evenly distributed, coating your mixture thoroughly. Then you want to sprinkle with black pepper.

I'm telling you, it's the Litehouse Homestyle Ranch that makes all the difference with this one. The flavor it lends to the potato salad is absolutely perfect! Just right for summer entertaining too! 

You chop, you dice, you carefully peel. And to top off your vegetables or dress your salad, reach for a cold, fresh tasting refrigerated dressing from Litehouse, because real vegetables deserve real dressing.

You can learn more about Litehouse Foods by visiting their website. You can also follow on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and/or Instagram.

One lucky winner gets 2 free product coupons to try any of the Litehouse Food products. If you haven't tried them yet, now is the perfect chance to try to do so for free. If you have tasted it, you know this is a giveaway totally worth entering. US entrants only.

Create Crystals at Home with this Young Scientists Club Kit!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.

The Young Scientists Club ikts have been awarded (8) honors for their new Science-Art Fusion Series kits. We recently tried out the Science Fusion Crystals kit, and my youngest (and his friends) thought it was really cool. 

The kit comes with most everything you will need to create and grow crystals. The only additions you will need are baking soda, Borax, and water. All of the experiments suggested are easy to do, and will leave your kiddos curious to see how they develop. This kit would be great for anytime, but homeschooling and keeping your children occupied (and still learning) in the summer instantly come to mind for great ways to use it (and the others that are available). These kits are also a great way to get your little ones interested in STEM-centered activities, and help foster a love for all things science.

The instructions for different ideas you can do with the kit are written on a big poster. If you want to, you can take tape and secure each of your experiments to the squares...making your own art gallery of sorts.

For our first experiment, we opted to grow crystals on the pipe cleaners. My son twisted one into a heart, and one into a circle. We mixed the components needed and poured them into the provided dish. Then because we had neighbor friends over, we put it outside so everyone could monitor it whenever, to see how the crystals were forming. In the picture above, you can see how they are starting to appear on top of the shapes that are submerged in the solution we created. Definitely something the kids all loved to see.

Experiments like these are fun. I can't wait until we sit down and try some of the others that are suggested.

This kit on Crystals is a member of our Science-Art Fusion series which combines art and science to inspire creativity while at the same time introducing basic scientific concepts. We have included a unique Science-Art Fusion poster that has the instructions for each project placed in a framed space which can be covered by taping a photo of your final art piece to create a Crystal Art Gallery. Each kit comes with a customized art/science tray, introduction sheet, large 24 x 24 inch poster, and components to perform 10 exciting experiments and activities such as making a crystal flower, building a crystal sculpture, growing rainbow crystals, constructing a crystal mobile, developing sun catcher crystals, creating sponge crystals, and more. Embark on an exciting Science-Art Fusion Crystal adventure! (Ages: 5 and up) 

You can learn more about all of the Young Scientists Kits that are available, by visiting their website. You can also follow them on Facebook, PinterestYouTube, and/or Twitter.