Tuesday, April 25, 2017

THE AUSTIN TEXAS BREATHTAKING STATE CAPITOL BUILDING

Hello all,

This week I am vacationing in awesome Austin, Texas. If you have never been, you should go. There is so much to see here. They have the bats at Congress St.. chicken shit bingo, beautiful parks, great shops, and an abundance of history. The only thing they don't have an abundance of though is parking. It seems like finding a place to park anywhere here is always a chore, so be forewarned. Yesterday My daughter and I decided to check out the Texas capitol building in Austin. It was very crowded when we went, and there were many school kids there taking tours. The capitol building, in case you didn't know,  houses the seat of government, where Texans meet to make laws for the great state.

Le me start by saying this place is HUGE. It was a lot bigger than I was expecting. The building was rebuilt in 1888, when the original burned down. The building anchors four blocks on Capitol Square, It measures 566 ft. by 288 ft. and cost more than 3.7 million to build.



AUSTIN TEXAS BREATHTAKING STATE CAPITOL BUILDING

The building is beautiful, even though we were fist met as we came in by metal detectors and Texans with really big guns.  The south foyer has marble statues of Sam Houston and Stephen  F. Austin that greet visitors upon entering. It also has 2 large 19th century paintings by William Henry Huddle. This also is where their tours begin. My daughter and I found the tour very informative, but decided to slip away and do some exploring on our own.



AUSTIN TEXAS BREATHTAKING STATE CAPITOL BUILDING


There are 13 sections in all in this massive building. The south foyer where you enter, the treasurers business office, which houses two antique business machines. Then the rotunda and dome. The terrazzo floor on the first level shows the Great Seal surrounded by 6 the seals of countries whose flags were flown over Texas in 1936. It also displays many portraits of past governors and busts. The building in all displays portraits of all the past governors. The tour guide said they would only have enough display room left for 24 years of portraits.  Located in the dome, there is a massive star that was installed in 1958 and measures 8 ft. point to point.



AUSTIN TEXAS BREATHTAKING CAPITOL BUILDING



AUSTIN TEXAS BREATHTAKING CAPITOL BUILDING



Next they have an agricultural museum which displays the state's old agricultural products. Then there is a secretary of states private office, a senate chamber, governors public reception room, house of representatives chamber, legislative reference library, supreme court courtroom, court of criminal appeals courtroom, a ground floor rotunda, and a capitol extension.

While we didn't get a chance to see many of these things, we still enjoyed our look around. The building is truly breathtakingly beautiful and a sight to see. The grounds were equally beautiful with many statues to see. There were many people out picnicking when we went.

Across the grounds from the capitol building, we ventured into their visitors center. They had many fun hands on exhibits. They even had ones for the kiddos where they could play dress up in old time vintage clothing. Of course my daughter and I did partake in this. They also had several movies you could watch about the history of Texas. One room in particular we found interesting was the artifacts room where kids could pretend to dig. The visitors center proved to be a lot of fun, They even had a great gift shop where I finished a lot of my souvenir shopping. The capitol building is definitely one place you should stop at if you're ever in Austin. Our next stop, Barton Springs.



AUSTIN TEXAS BREATHTAKING CAPITOL BUILDING


Wednesday, April 19, 2017

5 FASCINATING FUN ANIMAL TOURS IN FLORIDA

Hello all,

As with most children, they love seeing animals. My granddaughter included, shes loves any and all animals. There are so many types of animal viewing parks and tours I thought I'd post some so you can keep your little ones entertained. Enjoy:

1. Safari Wilderness - This place looks awesome. They have 4 options for viewing their animals, the vehicle safari, llama trek, kayak safari and camel expedition. This one is a little pricey, anywhere from $25 to$180 depending on what you choose. The tours are given from 9 am - 1 pm. It is located
at 10850 Moore Rd., Lakeland. 813-326-1458.



5  FASCINATING AND  FUN ANIMAL TOURS  IN FLORIDA  - SAFARI WILDERNESS





2. Dade City's Wild Things Zoo Tours - They have guided tours here so you can get close to the animals. They also have a variety of animal encounters so you can interact with the animals, such as swimming with baby tigers or alligators. The encounters are priced from $11.99 to $19.99 per person. They are located at 37237 Meridian Ave. and 17th St,. Dade City. 352-567-9453.



5  FASCINATING AND  FUN ANIMAL TOURS  IN FLORIDA  - DADE CITY'S WILD THINGS





3.Croc Encounters Reptile Park and Wildlife Center - This center is a wildlife sanctuary for unwanted reptiles. They offer personal and self guided tours.Tours are from $45-$99 for families, or $5 on Saturdays. You can have parties here, or watch an alligator wrestling show, and learn all about reptiles. It is located at 8703 Bowles Rd., Tampa. 813-217-4400.



5  FASCINATING AND  FUN ANIMAL TOURS  IN FLORIDA  - CROC ENCOUNTERS





4. Big Cat Rescue - This is one of the world's largest sanctuaries for exotic cats. They currently have lions, tigers, bobcats, cougars, and servals, lynx, and ocelots. It sits on 67 acres in north Tampa. They have many types of tours such as feeding tours and photo tours. Tours for kids are $19.00, adults $36 and up. They are located at 12802 Easy St., Tampa. 813-921-4130.



5  FASCINATING AND  FUN ANIMAL TOURS  IN FLORIDA  - BIG CAT RESCUE






5. Wildlife Survival Sanctuary - I have been here many times. This place provides sanctuary to many exotic animals. They have tigers, leopards, cougars, deers. emus. ostriches, a pot bellied pig, and lemurs. They take donations for their tours that you have to call and set up in advance. All of the donations are used for the care of their animals. A great place to go with the kids! You need to call (352)797-4785 to schedule a tour. They are located at 18212 Booming Rd., Springhill.



5  FASCINATING AND  FUN ANIMAL TOURS  IN FLORIDA  - WILDLIFE SURVIVAL SANCTURAY

Monday, April 17, 2017

KIDS NEED TO BUCKLE UP FOR SAFETY

Hello all,

This issue is so important I have a beautiful grandchild I want to always be safe while in a car.
Every 33 seconds a child under 13 is involved in a car crash in the United States. For younger children, car seats can dramatically reduce the risk of fatality or injury – but over half of car seats are either installed or used incorrectly. For older children, buckling up is critical. A full 50% of children age 8-14 who were killed in car crashes from 2011-2015 were not restrained.

That’s why we want parents and caregivers to know about the importance of making sure their child is safely restrained—whether that’s selecting the right car seat for their child’s age and size, or making sure that older kids (8-14) always buckle their seat belts and sit in the backseat.

As parents, we all want to do the right thing to keep our children safe and sound.  This spring, the Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are unveiling new PSAs to address these important issues.  First, is the up to date car seat safety information like the tips found in the fun new video series “The Wide World of Car Seats.”







The right car seat can make all the difference in a motor vehicle crash. And car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old.  But despite their best intentions, many parents may not realize their child isn’t in the right seat.  For example, many parents move their children to the next restraint type (car seat, booster seat, seat belt) too soon. To make sure you have the right seat for your child, visit SaferCar.gov/TheRightSeat.

And just when you think you’ve got this parenting thing down, your child becomes a “tween” and you enter a whole new world.  To help with travel safety, the Ad Council and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are unveiling new PSAs featuring characters from Fox’s upcoming summer road trip adventure Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul. The PSAs remind parents and caregivers that even if kids argue and plead, parents should stand firm and always insist that their kids buckle up and sit in the back seat (the safest place for kids under the age of 13).




https://youtu.be/XQ2xmV4rf9Y - Wimpy Kid PSA link


Per data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 69,000 tweens are injured every year in car crashes and 61% of 14-year-old children killed in 2015 car crashes were unrestrained at the time of the crash.  Even though life as a parent is full of compromises, seat belt safety should never be up for negotiation. That’s why the new PSAs encourage us to: “Never give up until they buckle up!”

For more information or if you need more tips to convince your tween to buckle up, visit SaferCar.gov/KidsBuckleUp.  If you have a great tip, join the conversation on social media using: #KidsBuckleUp.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

13 AWESOME INCREDIBLE FLORIDA CAMPGROUNDS YOU NEED TO TRY

Hello all,

Who wants to go camping?! Now that the weather and humidity are cooler, there is no better time than the present to go camping before the heat of summer sneaks up on us.  Who doesn't love being one with nature and enjoying the outdoors? But camping can get downright expensive. I found some awesome  cheap or free campsites in Florida that won't break your budget. Enjoy:

1. Flying A Myakka SF -  A  $10.00 pass or permit is all that's required to camp here. There are 16-29 campsites available. There is wildlife viewing, picnic tables, restrooms, a fire ring, and a grill. These are primitive campsites and water is not provided. You can get a permit at the ranger station or at campsite #6. It is located at 2000 S. River Rd. , North Port. Fla 34223.  (941)460-1333.



13 AWESOME INCREDIBLE  FLORIDA CAMPGROUNDS YOU NEED TO TRY - FLYING A MYAKKA SF



2. Wood Lake Hunt Camp -  This is a free, first come first served campground.  You can stay up to 14 days here, except during gun season when it's used as a hunting camp. It is primitive camping with restrooms, picnic tables, and a boat ramp. It sits on the Ochlockonee River. It's located in Sopchoppy, Fla., (850) 643-2282.


13 AWESOME INCREDIBLE  FLORIDA CAMPGROUNDS YOU NEED TO TRY - WOOD LAKE HUNT CAMP



3. Babcock Webb  WMA - The camping is free here but there is $3 cost for a day use permit. Camping is only permitted on the weekends and in the designated camping areas. They have a boat ramp, a fire ring, and picnic tables. This one is near water. The address is 29201 Green Gulf Blvd., Punta Gorda, Fla. 850-4884676.



13 AWESOME INCREDIBLE  FLORIDA CAMPGROUNDS YOU NEED TO TRY - BABCOCK WEBB WMA



4. Fore Lake Campground - This is a pay campground at $12 a night. It has 30 campsites and each has a picnic table, grill, and lantern pole. It has a shower house and restrooms. It boasts a beautiful beach for swimming and has a fishing pier. There is a camp host on site and gates are open till 8 pm. If you get here after late, you can call (352)652-6312 for a gate code. It is located on SR 314, Silver Springs, Fla. (352)236-0288.



13 AWESOME INCREDIBLE  FLORIDA CAMPGROUNDS YOU NEED TO TRY - FORE LAKE CAMPGROUND



5. Matanzas State Forest Primitive Camp - This is a pay campground at $10 a night. It is open year round, but only has 5 campsites available. It has a grill, picnic tables, a fire ring, bathrooms and is near the water. You need to contact the Florida Forest Service at 386-585-6150 before 7 pm for the combination for the gate lock and a permit. The address is Double Gate Rd. at US 1 South,  St. Augustine, Fla. (386)446-6786.



13 AWESOME INCREDIBLE  FLORIDA CAMPGROUNDS YOU NEED TO TRY - MATANZAS STATE FOREST




6. JB Starkey Wilderness Park - There are 16 tent camping sites. They have restrooms with showers and a small shelter, a fire ring, grills and drinking water.  Primitive camping is $5.00, regular tent camping is $10 nightly. Reservations are required. There are about 15 tent campsites. It is located at 10500 Wilderness Park Blvd. , New Port Richey, Fla. (727)834-3247.




13 AWESOME INCREDIBLE  FLORIDA CAMPGROUNDS YOU NEED TO TRY - JB STARKEY PARK



Now these next few campgrounds  cost a bit more. But they are considered well worth the money. Take a look:


7. Fort Wilderness Campground - 4510 Fort Wilderness Trail, Orlando. I am dying to go to this one! It has dinner shows, character sing-a-longs, movies, hayrides, carriage rides, horseback riding, and fireworks on 750 acres of pine and cypress forests. It has exactly what you'd expect from a Disney campground, including the high price. For a family of four for a weeks stay at a preferred campsite it's $534.00, less if you have your own RV.


13 AWESOME INCREDIBLE  FLORIDA CAMPGROUNDS YOU NEED TO TRY- Fort Wilderness



8. Florida Caverns State Park -3345 Caverns Road, Marianna. This park is home to the only open air caves in Florida. It costs $5 per vehicle, and only $20 for overnight camping. It also has hiking, biking, boating and fishing. Cave tours are extra. It also features a nine hole golf course.


13 AWESOME INCREDIBLE  FLORIDA CAMPGROUNDS YOU NEED TO TRY- Florida Caverns State Park



9. Silver River State Park - 1425 NE 58th Avenue, Ocala. This park is the home of the glass bottomed boat tours. If you camp on the weekends, you can also enjoy their pioneer cracker village, and their Silver River Museum. It's crystal clear water is great for canoeing. It has a full facility campground and 10 luxury cabins. Camping is $24.00 a night.


13 AWESOME INCREDIBLE  FLORIDA CAMPGROUNDS YOU NEED TO TRY-Silver River State Park




10. Bahia Honda State Park - 36850 Overseas Hwy., Big Pine Key. This state park is known for its beaches, sunsets and snorkeling. you can also swim, fish, kayak, and boat. It also has a nature center and a full facility campground and cabins. Campsites are $36.00, cabins are $120-160.


13 AWESOME INCREDIBLE  FLORIDA CAMPGROUNDS YOU NEED TO TRY- Bahia Honda State Park




11. Fort Clinch State Park - 2601 Atlantic Avenue, Fernandina Beach. This park sits on 1400 acres on Amelia Island. It has a fishing pier, swimming. Shelling and shark tooth hunting are popular. You can also visit the historic Fort Clinch where they have re-enactments from the Civil War. The fort is open everyday, and costs $2.00. The park has 69 campsites at $26.00 a night.



13 AWESOME INCREDIBLE  FLORIDA CAMPGROUNDS YOU NEED TO TRY- Fort Clinch State Park



12. Fort DeSoto State Park - 3500 pinellas Bayway, S. Tierra Verde. This park has a 238 site full service campground . The campground has grills, electricity, washer and dryers, restrooms, showers,play area and a camp store. The park has a 7 mile waterfront that has fishing piers, hiking trails, canoe trails and swimming. Camping starts at $30.00.



13 AWESOME INCREDIBLE  FLORIDA CAMPGROUNDS YOU NEED TO TRY-Fort DeSoto State Park



13. Myakka River State Park - 13208 State rd. 72, Sarasota. This park has a natural wetlands area, a canopy walkway, and a tram safari. It sits on 58 acres and features swimming, fishing, canoeing and boating. The park has 82 campsites for tents that start at $26.00. Cabins start at $70.00


13 AWESOME INCREDIBLE  FLORIDA CAMPGROUNDS YOU NEED TO TRY- Myakka River State Park


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

DELICIOUS MOUTHWATERING EASTER TRADITION RECIPES

Hello all,

I love holidays and their traditions. I especially love Easter and the delicious tradition we have of cooking recipes handed down in our family. I am sharing 2 delicious Easter tradition recipes. One I have made every year for Easter and Thanksgiving.. I have used this recipe to make my kick-ass marshmallow sweet potatoes since my kids were small. I always get a lot of compliments on them. They especially go well as a side dish with ham and turkey. I think the secret is the addition of orange juice. They are very sweet. Here it is, Enjoy-

MARSHMALLOW SWEET POTATOES-

INGREDIENTS:
2 large cans of sweet potatoes ( I think they're about 23 ounces)
1/2 cup of butter
1/2 to 3/4 cup of orange juice
2 bags of mini marshmallows
1 tsp. cinnamon


DIRECTIONS:
Drain sweet potatoes into a bowl and smash with a potato masher.
Melt the butter and add it to the potatoes.
Add the orange juice.(I say 1/2 to 3/4 cup because you don't want them watery, but you want to taste the orange juice).
Add the cinnamon and stir.
Add a whole bag of mini marshmallows and mix well.
Spread into a  square 9 X 13 baking pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 mins.
Sprinkle the remaining bag of marshmallows on top of the potatoes and cook 5-10 more mins. until the marshmallows start to melt ( as many marshmallows as you like, I use half a bag).
Put the pan under the broiler for a few minutes if you want it browned ( I usually do for a few minutes).
Remove the pan, cool and enjoy. But be careful the marshmallows will be very hot!



DELICIOUS MOUTHWATERING  EASTER TRADITION RECIPES-MARSHMALLOW SWEET POTATOES





The second recipe I want to share is passed on through Italian families. It is for sweet Italian Easter pie. There are many variations on Italian Easter pie. Some are made with eggs, some with cold cuts, and some are like a pizza. The one I am sharing today is one you can make for a delicious Easter dessert. Enjoy:


Easter Pie- This is a real Italian tradition -(Taste of Home)


INGREDIENTS:


Crust-

1 2/3 flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup shortening
2 slightly beaten eggs

Filling-

15 ounces ricotta cheese
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp each of grated lemon and orange peel
Dash salt
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup citron
1/8 tsp cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg

DIRECTIONS:

Combine flour, sugar salt and baking powder in a bowl. Add the butter and shortening until it starts to crumble.
Add egg and stir until it forms a ball. Refrigerate 1 hour covered.
Roll out dough on floured surface to a 10 inch circle. Set in a 9 inch pie plate, flute and refrigerate.

For filling beat the ricotta, sugar, and flour in a bowl. Add the peels and salt and beat until smooth.
In a separate bowl beat the eggs until thick and slowly add to the ricotta mixture. Add the rest of the ingredients, add to pie crust, and bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes till knife inserted in middle comes out clean.




DELICIOUS MOUTHWATERING  EASTER TRADITION RECIPES- EASTER PIE







Saturday, April 8, 2017

MY REVIEW OF THE XCAR BRAND BREATHABLE DUST PREVENTION CAR COVER

I received compensation in exchange for writing this review. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.


Hello all,

I recently received a XCAR brand dust prevention car cover to try and review. I was very happy to give this product a try. I recently bought a new car and unfortunately have been having to park under a tree. The tree has been depositing a lot of debris all over my car and I have been wanting to do something about it. And voila! I have been blessed with this car cover.

When I took it out of the box it was in a bag, and came with a cord and a lock for locking the cover down in place. When we rolled it out, it looked to be rather large in size.



 XCAR BRAND BREATHABLE DUST PREVENTION CAR COVER














 XCAR BRAND BREATHABLE DUST PREVENTION CAR COVER





The cover was made out of a good quality material that looked like it would last awhile. I found putting the cover on with the help of another person easy. The cover slid on nicely, and cord and lock was easy to use. This is an awesome product and I highly recommend it. The price is only $21.96 on amazon through the following link  http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B019W2UAD8.

Check out the video of our unboxing below:




Wednesday, April 5, 2017

INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS EASTER RECIPES

Hello all,

I always cook a lot on Easter. I always do on all the big holidays. And who couldn't use a little help in the kitchen. A few days ago I posted a mouthwatering Easter ham that can save you time by cooking in a slowcooker. Today I have a few more  delicious Easter recipes I want to share for you to make with your ham. Enjoy:


Classic deviled eggs -(All Recipes)

INGREDIENTS:

6 hard boiled eggs
1/4 cup mayo
1/2 tsp dill
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:

Scoop the yolks out of the hard boiled eggs into a bowl.
Mix the yolks with the mayo, mustard,dill, garlic powder and salt.
Spoon mixture back into the egg whites and chill until ready to serve.
You can sprinkle a little with paprika for decoration.



INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS EASTER RECIPES-DEVILED EGGS





Easter Pie- This is a real Italian tradition -(Taste of Home)


INGREDIENTS:


Crust-

1 2/3 flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup shortening
2 slightly beaten eggs

Filling-

15 ounces ricotta cheese
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp each of grated lemon and orange peel
Dash salt
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup citron
1/8 tsp cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg

DIRECTIONS:

Combine flour, sugar salt and baking powder in a bowl. Add the butter and shortening until it starts to crumble.
Add egg and stir until it forms a ball. Refrigerate 1 hour covered.
Roll out dough on floured surface to a 10 inch circle. Set in a 9 inch pie plate, flute and refrigerate.

For filling beat the ricotta, sugar, and flour in a bowl. Add the peels and salt and beat until smooth.
In a separate bowl beat the eggs until thick and slowly add to the ricotta mixture. Add the rest of the ingredients, add to pie crust, and bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes till knife inserted in middle comes out clean.




INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS EASTER RECIPES- EASTER PIE












Saturday, April 1, 2017

MY REVIEW OF THE BANGRUI ELECTRIC CAMPING CAN OPENER

I received compensation in exchange for writing this review. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.


Hello all,

I love cooking, but I hate all of the prep works that goes into it. One thing I hate in particular is when I have to open up cans. I have a drawer full of the manual crank can openers. Usually the one I grab I can never get it to work. It is either not opening up my cans properly, or my hand starts hurting from doing all of that cranking. We've all been there before.  That's why I love the BangRui Automatic Electric Camping Can Opener.

It's called a camping can opener, but it can be used anywhere. I use mine in my kitchen. I find it very easy to use. I just put in batteries, and set it atop of the can I needed to open. I then push the button and watch it go to work. It has an auto-stop technology that immediately stops the opener once the can is all the way opened. It also cuts around the side of the can so it leaves a re-sealable lid with a smooth edge for easy storage. I love this can opener, it's so easy to use and is compact so it fits easily into one of my kitchen drawers. I highly recommend this can opener. It has definitely made things in the kitchen easier for me and it will for you too. Right now, this product is available for $29.99 on amazon with the link below. Take a look at the the video below to see the can opener in action!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01L5N3OEE


BANGRUI ELECTRIC CAMPING CAN OPENER
BANGRUI ELECTRIC CAMPING CAN OPENER





BANGRUI ELECTRIC CAMPING CAN OPENER