Monday, June 30, 2014

Fotor Photo Editor is FREE and it's Awesome!

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

I'm not one to play with photos much. I have one photo that I can remember editing, and that was of my daughter sitting on the floor of a glass box in the Willis Tower. A man's legs were behind her, and I cloned the city view to delete those legs. That might all change now that I've found Fotor online photo editing.

The editor is free, and you can create an account or sign in with your Facebook. There is also a free mobile app, if you want to this on your phone.

To start playing around, I put a random photo in, just to experiment a bit with the site.

This is the original, plain picture that I took just because I thought it was cute.
My son took his 'wolfie' to the airport and loved that little stuffed doggie all the way from Detroit to Orlando. ;)
Here is the original picture. This is just a normal 'mom snapping her child's picture' that I took at the airport. Nothing extraordinary (except for the sweet little boy in the photo, he's pretty extraordinary to me ;) ). I randomly selected it to put it Fotor's free online photo editor, and went to work to see if I could spruce it up a bit.

My first attempt at using Fotor's free online photo editor.
The crop was as simple as a drop and drag.
Once I aligned my square to eliminate the 'busy' in the picture, and lightened everything up a tad,
I hit 'apply' and ended up with this photo. Much nicer. I saved it to my computer to print later.
That was so easy to do that I decided to explore a little more, and I went to the Fotor Montage option.

I selected (7) pictures from my computer and let the montage place them randomly.
You can put them where you want too, and reposition them as you like.
The montage was fun! You could select a good number of photos to create your montage, and then you could have them randomly filled, or you could put them where you wanted. You could resize and move the pictures too. I selected seven random pictures from a folder on my computer and let the random selection place them.

I then selected the 'funky' category on the montage.
There was one with a heart so I randomly filled it in & think the results are so cute.
James Joyce, on the bottom left, could be scooched over a bit,
and the castle could be moved down and to the right, but you get the gist.
This option is awesome. And there are a good number of montage layouts to choose from too.
To make the montage even more fun, I selected one of the (many) cool options on the sidebar. This option was 'funky' and there was a heart in that category. I chose that, and I love it!

Playing with the tilt-shift category
My daughter helping her little bro. down the slide
when they were both much younger. ;)
There are so many options on Fotor, that I couldn't help but play around just a little bit more.  The above picture is created from one of the many options in the Fotor tilt-shift category. You can see on the left side bar (of the top picture) some of the other ways I could have made the picture appear.

There was a 'Beauty' option on the Fotor site too (under the tilt-shift category), and I played around with it a bit to see how it worked. I selected a photo of my two youngest...the one on the left being the original and the one on the right being the re-do. You can see the kiddie tattoos on my son on the left (his mustache under his lip, and the tatts on his arm). I think the fake tattoos add to the charm of the photo ;)  but I was just testing options out, and a quick couple of clicks (and if I took time I could make it better) took the tattoos right off.

I've just started to explore this site, but I can tell it's going to be fun to learn more about it.  I saw an option to make cards, and I love photo cards, so I'll be exploring that some time soon, I'm sure.  The things I've shown you are really just the tip of the iceberg. If you're looking for a many-options, high quality, cool photo editor, that's 100% free, I suggest heading on over to Fotor. You can use it for photos on your computer, or you can use it for photos that are on your Facebook, Flickr, Dropbox, or Picassa (to name some of the other options). You can also use webcam effects to edit photos! In short, I can say I love this site, and I think I'll finally be jumping on the photo editor bandwagon, because some bandwagons are really fun to be on. :)

Open Jelly Does Not Go in the Cupboard

Hubby's been on vacation for two weeks. That means our schedules are all messed up. I don't even sleep in, ever, it just doesn't happen, but I have been sleeping until 7 or so every day this past week!! This morning my husband woke me up to make his breakfast/coffee/packed lunch. I was so tired doing it, that I started to put the open jelly away in the cupboard (instead of returning it to the 'fridge). -_-   #MorningRoutine

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Reviewing Florida Towncar Service

Disclosure: We received complimentary car service to help facilitate the review. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.

Florida Towncar Service Delivered us Safely and Promptly
Friendly Owner, JC, met us at the airport and took us to our hotel
For my last Orlando area vacation post, I thought it would be fitting to write about our transportation to and from the airport.

We didn't need a ride from and to the airport, we had offers from family/friends to pick us up (Florida is our old stomping grounds) but I thought it would be a great thing to write about for the blog. And I was curious too, how it would work out compared to the public shuttles or hotel shuttles we normally use (we've never used a service domestically).

The owner of Florida Towncar Service, JC, was waiting for us when we arrived (holding up a sign with our name on it, at the point before you reach baggage). He kindly loaded our luggage, put on the Disney Radio for our little one (exciting!), and gave us an overview of the company while we were driving.  He was informative, very kind, and we enjoyed the ride.

Setting the appointment was a piece of cake. I simply pulled up the reservation page on their website, and put in my contact and flight arrival/departure information. An e-mail was returned to me the same day to confirm

The cars that transported us each way were spotless, cooly air conditioned, and very comfortable. The drivers each way, (we were in good hands with driver Jeffery on the way back to the airport at the end of our stay) were knowledgeable and polite, and most importantly they were expert drivers (they knew where they were going, and how to drive safely to get there).  It was a nice change from the crowded shuttles (you know, climbing over someone's lap to get to the empty seat in the back) we've experienced, and it felt far more relaxed/enjoyable. A huge stops along the way!

There is a flat rate fee for the car (you're not charged per person). You pay your driver once you reach your destination, and then you receive a 'do not lose this' card that represents your paid return trip. Cash and travelers checks only (so plan ahead to have the payment on you).

The only word of advice I have when using a personal service is to remember to call the morning of your ride back to confirm pick-up. Even though it's a secured reservation, it doesn't hurt to call to confirm and be sure. You don't want to be late for your return flight home, so even if you don't need to call, it only takes a second to do so, and it's good to exercise a 'better safe than sorry' motto here.

Florida Towncar Service offers far more than just rides to and from the airport. Someone we were talking to at the hotel, while waiting for our ride to the airport, told us they wanted to secure them for a ride to a neighboring attraction (The Holy Land, which I didn't realize until then was so close to our hotel!), they briefly spoke to our driver when he arrived, and he told them they absolutely could do so.

So, the next time you're in the Orlando area, and you're going to need transportation to and from anywhere, check with Florida Towncar Service to see if they offer a proper fit for your traveling needs. Chances are high that they do.

You can learn more by visiting their website.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Domino's to the Rescue: Feeding my Hungry Crowd

Disclosure: I received a gift certificate to help facilitate the review. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.'
A Domino's Pizza ordering kiosk was right in the hotel of the lobby!
On our recent vacation, the hotel had this great Domino's Pizza kiosk where you could order your pizza on a touch screen. It was sitting right in the main lobby, and it had the entire menu on it. It was easy to use, and I saw many a person utilizing it during our stay. I'd never seen one before, and I thought it was an awesome idea.

Hand Tossed Cheese for the kids
Those are boneless wings in the background, and they did not last long
We haven't had Domino's in years because they are no longer located in our city. I do remember loving them as a kid, though! The one big difference I noted immediately is they have a lot more choices than they did when I was a little one. There were five crust types alone, including a Gluten-Free option.  There were a handful of cheese options including Asiago, Feta, and Provolone. And the regular toppings included great things like spinach! They also had quite a few types of chicken, including cool things like Specialty Chicken-Crispy Bacon & Tomato.

Sausage is popular with the guys in our family
Because there were quite a few of us, we ordered traditional toppings like sausage, and just played around with the crust types.

Brooklyn Style Crust and Robust Inspired Tomato Sauce
This was the room favorite!
You could select your own sauce too, and one of the pizza combos we made was a Brooklyn Style Crust and Robust Inspired Tomato Sauce. That one, with its slight kick in the sauce, and foldable crust, was the room favorite.

The men in the family just look like ravenous cavemen in the picture (they did it on purpose ).
You can see from the picture my crew was happy, and hungry.  They just look like ravenous cavemen in the picture...from the oldest to the youngest, the males are definitely the decided hams of our family (no pizza pun intended).

In 'real life' they line up nicely and take their turn. ;)
In reality they line up nicely, and wait for their turn calmly, like they're supposed to do. ;)

We were all surprised to find out how many options Domino's Pizza has on their menu. You can make so many different flavor combos. They have a lot of great specials going on too.

It was a nice treat to order in, and enjoy Domino's Pizza, Chicken Wings, and Family Time.  Thank you, Domino's!

You can learn more by visiting their website (where they often have great coupons!).

You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and/or G+.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Our New Summer Outfit from!

Disclosure: I received an outfit from to help facilitate this review. All opinions stated are genuine and my own.

His new June outfit from

I posted about during the school year (if you're interested, you can find that post here). FabKids is an awesome clothing subscription service started by a group of moms that include famous mom, Christina Applegate. The service offers an outfit credit to you each month for $29.95. You don't have to use the credit right away, and if you let them know by the date designated each month, that you don't want an outfit, you can skip paying for the credit all together. It's all totally up to you!  If you do decide to use your credit, you can select any two pieces to form an outfit that you like (or agree to have the one shipped that they suggested-the outfit above is one that was suggested). Then all you do is sit back and wait for the pretty box to be sent to your door.

He's a very active little boy (who is also going through a phase of sticking his tongue out for pictures).
He needs high quality clothes that let him move.

When starting a service subscription with, you'll take a short quiz in order to get suggestions for your outfits. I have an active 6-yr old boy, and you can see from the photo above that they suggested the perfect outfit for him. A nice cool (haha, figuratively and literally speaking too, since it says 'Mr Cool' on it), soft t-shirt that gives him some room to move (and boy, does he move) was selected for his top. And some classy lightweight shorts that can be dressed up or dressed down were selected to finish the look. You can use your credits any time you want to get any two piece outfit, and it can be one they suggested, or one you like better instead.  For us it's a fabulous service because my son outgrew all of his summer clothes from last year!! All of them. With FabKids, there's no need to drag him to the store to try on outfits (something he's not overly keen on anyway) when I can just pick and choose what I like online, and have it delivered right to our front door (they guarantee easy returns too, though we haven't had to return anything we've received). 

'Mr. Cool' got to select some sparklers to help celebrate the upcoming holiday.
It was an idea that turned out to be particularly appealing to him. ;)

A couple of days ago, I took little man to the store in his new outfit.  Since the shirt says "Mr. Cool" on it, I thought we should do something cool. With the Fourth of July just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to let him pick out some sparklers (when you're 6-yrs.-old, that's very cool!). It turned out to be a great idea. ;)

My son is still in that mixed sizes stage (his shirt is a bigger size than his shorts), but that's okay, you can mix and match whatever you want (style and/or size) at has clothes for girls and boys, and they often have great sales going on too. Right now they have a $10 pants sale going on that I'm about to go check out myself. There's a $10 dress sale going on too, if you have a little girl. ;)

If you join now, the first outfit is just $15 + free shipping! Individual styles start at $9.95.  You can learn more about the fun (and very useful/convenient) service by visiting their website.

You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Paradiso 37 : THE Best Meal we've ever had at Disney Springs (Formerly Knows as Downtown Disney)

Paradiso 37 has become our FAVORITE place to dine at Downtown Disney (Lake Buena Vista, FL).

Paradiso 37 is one of those places that you know you're going to like the second you walk up to it. The atmosphere is indoor/outdoor festive (your choice), the view is amazing, and everyone who is a part of the establishment is very, very nice!

We're usually all about saving when we are on a vacation, but we do usually splurge on one excellent dinner because, well, because it's vacation. ;) We made dinner reservations at the Paradiso 37 ahead of time, which I highly recommend. It is located in Downtown Disney (Lake Buena Vista, FL.) where there are always a lot of people, and even on a week night it was very busy (after dining there we have no doubt as to why the crowds love this place).

Everyone at the table was pretty impressed with the flavor of the meat on the
Chorizo and Beef Skewers (appetizer).

My husband went ahead of us to secure our table, and we were delighted to walk in and find him seated outside with a beautiful water view. It wasn't just the gorgeous view, the great staff, the live entertainment, or the fantabulous atmosphere that had us raving about Paradiso 37, it was the food that was the most impressive to us. That's exactly the way it should be when you're hoping for a culinary delight. For our starters, we ordered the Chorizo and Beef Skewers for the adults at the table, and the Mexican Dipping Trio (with corn nachos) for the kids. That was another thing about the restaurant that made us happy, the many friendly options for the kids (not always found in a restaurant with specialized food).

From the Land
Chicken Flautas, Grilled Skirt Steak, Black Beans and Cilantro Rice, & Spicy Chorizo Skewers

There were a lot of us, so I won't go through every meal, but I do want you to see some of the gorgeous selections that ended up on our table. The restaurant menu is described as the "Taste of the Americas" and features some of the best dishes found from the 37 countries in the Americas (hence the name). My husband got the 'From the Land' dinner that had more of those skewers he couldn't stop eating, grilled Skirt Steak, Chicken Flautas, and some tasty Cilantro rice.  The small Pita Bread circles that came with the plate were nice and soft, and the perfect accompaniment for the mixed flavors.

Laugh if you want to, but us vegetarians get mighty excited when our veggies
are roasted up so tasty good!

I got a beautiful salad and some delicious roasted veggies. I am the only vegetarian in the family, and that's fine by me. ;)  I thought my dishes were every bit as tasty as everyone was saying their meat dishes were to them.

One of the many burger selections on the menu.

My oldest was going to order a New York Strip until he found out he wasn't allowed to pay the bill. As soon as he heard that, he changed his mind and ordered one of the tasty Paradiso 37 burger selections. There was no changing his mind (he's getting nice like that in his 'old age,') but I wished he'd have gotten his first choice! It turned out okay though because he was making a lot of happy noises eating his burger when it came. ;)

Baja Fish Tacos
My daughter-in-law went frugal too (I guess next time we won't tell them we're treating? ;) ) and ordered the Baja Fish Tacos. She thought they were delicious; the best food we had the whole time we were in the Disney area.

In some places, it's just worth it to order the dessert. :)
Paradiso Chocoate Stack.

For dessert (yep, everything was so good we could not resist seeing what they had to end the meal) we asked our (very awesome and attentive!) waiter to choose several selections he thought we'd like. He brought out a Crème Brûlée that was hard to pry from my oohing and ahhing son and his wife (literally, I thought they went into a dream coma eating it ;) ), some mini ice cream cones (that the kids and my husband loved!), and the delicious Paradiso Chocolate Stack pictured above.

I love when you can actually see where the food is being cooked.

In short, the atmosphere was festive and amazing...and I loved that you could see where your food was actually being cooked.

Our outside table had a great view.
We also had a shelter above us (in case of rain) with fans, making for very pleasant seating.

The outside view of the water where we were sitting (with shelter over the top in case it rained) made us very happy.

When we first got there people were just starting to come in.
This entertainer went out later and was dancing with the children, it was awesome
and she looked as happy as the kids!

When we left there wasn't a seat in the house, and the line
to get in was significantly large.

The live entertainment was (great!) fun! The entertainer pictured above came around to the tables and was dancing with some of the children (who loved it!). 

And most importantly, the food was absolutely cooked to perfection and delicious! It was a very nice night out with the family, and if you are in Downtown Disney this summer (and I know so many of you will be), I hope you will take the time out to make a reservation and eat at the Paradiso 37. For us, it was an extremely wonderful dining experience.

You can learn more about the Paradiso 37 by visiting their website.

You can also follow them on Facebook, and/or Flickr. And they often show up on the Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World Twitter feed.

Enter to #Win Any Step2 Item up to $100

Disclosure: Mail4Rosey did not receive compensation to help promote this giveaway and is not responsible for prize delivery.

This is a super fast giveaway, sure to make any parent with a little one at home happy to win. My family has purchased Step2 products time and again, and we love them. I'm always happy to help promote one of their giveaways.

As Step2 Ambassadors Viva Veltoro and Thrifty Nifty Mommy love Step2 products and they're spreading the love with a FLASH giveaway and your chance to win ANY item from, up to $100!

Right now, Step2 has a number of items on SALE so make sure you head over to check them out! They've got climbers, playhouses, kitchen sets, sand & water tables, and more! Also, make sure that you sign up for their Birthday Club where you'll get great coupons before your child's birthday plus other special offers and deals!

You can connect with Step2 on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

Open to the residents of the 48 contiguous US states, ages 18+. 
HURRY and enter - this giveaway ends 6/29/14 at 11:59 PM EST. 
Please enter using the Giveaway Tools form below. 
Good Luck!
Disclosures: This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with, Facebook. Thrifty Nifty Mommy, Viva Veltoro and the participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Giveaway is open to residents of the 48 contiguous US states, age 18+. Giveaway will close at 11:59PM EST on 6/29/14. One (1) winner will be selected randomly from all eligible entries. Winner may select any toy from the Step2 website that has an original price (MSRP) of $100 or less; shipping will also be provided free of charge. Please note, this is valid for ONE item up to $100 original price, not a suite of products. Thrifty Nifty Mommy & Viva Veltoro are Step2 Ambassadors. As a member of this program they receive compensation and products in exchange for sharing their honest opinions.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday: Character Breakfast

We decided to skip out on the character breakfast at Disney World this year, and get the one at our hotel instead (Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort). GREAT choice because we didn't have to drive to get there, there were no lines, there were a lot of great breakfast choices, and the characters (Pluto and Goofy) were very interactive with the children. The two little ones in our party loved it, and so did the adults. ;)

This was definitely a huge perk of our hotel stay, and the price was nice too.

He'd eat nothing but strawberries for every meal of the day if I'd let him. :)

Hubby utilized the omelet station (they make them while you wait).

The food selections wrapped around several long tables, and
the hot foods stayed hot (I know because I got the pancakes :) ).

We were too full to utilize the sweet stuff, but it sure looked tasty.

And the dads...

I mean the to pose with the characters too, for pictures. :)
Definitely a great breakfast, and a fun way to start the day with the fam.

Eli's Shocking Facts (in six words or less)

Eli's celebrating Lightning Day today by posting shocking facts from himself and other bloggers (in 6 words or less). I participated (thanks, Eli). You can see the post here.  You can add your own too, in his comments section. An easy way to have a little fun. :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Red, White, and Blue Roses! #Sponsored #BouqLove

Disclosure: I received a bouquet of beautiful red, white, and blue roses from The Bouqs to help facilitate my review. All opinions stated are genuine and my own. Usually I do not have affiliate posts, but for this campaign I will receive a small fee for anyone who places an actual order from a link on my page.

This just arrived today!
Today the delivery man showed up on my doorstep with a long box from The Bouqs Company (as seen on Shark Tank, O! Oprah Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, E!, The Today Show, and PopSugar), and boy was I excited. I already knew what was going to be inside, and that was one dozen red, white, and blue roses to help bring in the 4th of July with style!

The Bouqs bouquet we received.
It was very carefully wrapped in  cardboard and cellophane, and secured to the shipping box.

My first concern was packaging. When you're having flowers delivered, it is of the utmost importance that they be kept intact, otherwise there is no point at all in spending the money for them. A lot of shifting occurs during shipping & handling, so that packaging has to be sublime. If the package we received is any indication, The Bouqs has got it covered. Inside of the sturdy cardboard box was a bouquet of flowers very carefully wrapped in cardboard and then cellophane. The stems were banded together, and the cardboard wrapping was secured to the box with staples and a secure plastic tie. In short, those flowers were not going anywhere (and that's a good thing).

Who doesn't love to get long-stemmed roses delivered?
The second thing I was concerned about was the freshness of the flowers.

I love that the instructions are printed right on the delivery box!
Per the instructions on the box (and I love that they are printed very clearly on the box), I took them right out of the packaging and got to work on getting them arranged.

We cut off the stem tips to help the flowers absorb water.
We actually ended up clipping them once again so they would be even in the vase.
Once the stems were cut, my curious (flower-loving) little one and I put the water and flower food into a vase, and then took great care to remove any blemished leaves.

What a beautiful bouquet from The Bouqs.
I cannot wait for these to open up and bloom!
What a beautiful bouquet this is going to be. I cannot wait for these beauties to open up and bloom.

The Bouqs is different from other flower shops because it works under a process that takes out the middle man completely. In owning their own flower farm, with soil rich from the active volcano it is next to, each bouquet is shipped directly to your door for a flat fee of $40 (with free shipping). I love the 4th of July Flowers - Red, White, and Bouq, and think they are going to be perfect to help ring in Independence Day. They would also make a great gift for someone who is hosting a celebration/BBQ/dinner at their home.

There are many different types and colors of flower bouquets for sale by The Bouqs. You can check out their website here. You can also follow them on Facebook and/or Twitter.  Won't you send a little #BouqLove today?

Disney World (and other fun stuff)

Cinderella's Castle: Disney World, 2014

Yesterday I posted about the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort, and part of the reason I loved it so much is because it was so conducive to visiting. Because we lived in Florida for so long, we have quite a few friends and family down there, and when they found out we were in Florida, some of them came a visitin', hurrah! I'm not going to lie, I love Disney World...but I love visiting family and friends more. So, we did go to Disney World (no way we'd miss it for my daughter and youngest son's sake), but even though we had multi-day passes, we did only end up going one day (the tickets we have don't expire). And a fun day it was...

Disney World knows how to do parades, and we saw two of 'em!

Waiting in line for The Haunted Mansion
We also all took a whirl on our favorite rides. Hubby likes The Haunted Mansion, so that was one of the first things we did.  I thought this guy in the picture above was funny. All of the sudden out of the blue he started blowing bubbles into the line while we waited (I guess he was a fun ghost ;) ).

My oldest and his family.  Baby girl's first time to Disney World!

It was a huge bonus that my oldest son got two weeks of military time off, and flew down with his wife and daughter (they're still in Florida, those lucky ducks!). They went to Disney with us (grandbaby's very first time!).

My 2nd oldest and his girl couldn't stay long but they had a good time while they were there.

My second oldest drove up from Palm Beach. He was only able to visit for the day (they did not get to go to Disney), and couldn't even spend the night because of his work. That was a big bummer because we'd have loved to see him longer, but any time with the kids is a good time for me. He did not get to go to Disney (he's been many times as a kid though).  His girl was fun...getting right out on the dance line at Downtown Disney, and jumping into my husband's selfies (he was bombing his friends' Facebook pages to be funny). Suffice it to say, we liked her instantly. :)

If all the kids are with us, no matter where we are, I'm a happy mama!
I like to spend time with any of my children, always, but when we're all together, I'm up there on Cloud 9.

My very good friend (who is also the kids' aunt) came up and we were oh so happy to see her!
The kids' aunt was also able to drive up, and she brought gifts for the two youngest kiddos. That super cool Lego Batman Clock is going to make a fine addition to my son's room. :)

Goofing around at Downtown Disney

We spent part of our vacation time exploring Downtown Disney, which was within walking distance of our resort, and that was fun. Even my baby girl (well, my daughter's not really a baby anymore ;) ) let me take her picture a few times without giving me 'the face,' so woot!

Hanging out with friends and family at the pool

The pools were great!
There was a couch section, tables & chairs, ceiling fans, and a restaurant/bar/snack area in the back.
We also spent quite a bit of time hanging out at the pools in the hotel. That was another one of the reasons I loved the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort so much. There were cabanas, a big covered area with couches, tables and chairs, ceiling fans, and a lunch/bar/snack type area. They had healthy food options on the menu too, which made me happy.

Even the baby loved the pools.
In fact, she might have loved them more than anyone else (and that's saying a lot!)!

Oh yes, he did (and she loved it!). :)
And besides the visiting, there was the swimming! Every single person in my family is a water baby, including the latest member who loved it every bit as much (and maybe even more!) as the rest of us. :)

The temperatures in Florida were so nice that we could even swim as it was getting dark.
If you look carefully you can see hubby creeping up on the kids in the background.
He didn't scare them though...they're used to his antics. ;)

I thoroughly enjoy the school year, the learning, the routine, etc., but everyone knows summer is more fun, and starting it off with a family vacation to Disney World (and Florida) was just fine by me. :)