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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

My experience with eosinophilic esophagitis


Disclosure: Let me preface this by telling you that I am not a medical professional.  I have no medical training. My story below is about me and things that I believe may or may not be accurate since I do not have medical training.  You should always visit a doctor and follow their medical advice. If you want, take my story to your doctor and ask what they think, but please never use the internet as your source of medical knowledge and care.  That said, these are my personal thoughts with my experience with eosinophilic esophagitis.

My experience with eosinophilic esophagitis has been a challenge, but I am now doing better than ever. It started as a child that I used to always feel like things were getting stuck in my throat.  I guess that I thought that it was part of life and didn't realize that others didn't have this same problem. However, around 30 years old, I was having a really tough time when I tried to swallow things like carrots.   Something wasn't right, so I visited my doctor and had a referral to a gastroenterologist. He scheduled me for an endoscope.

I was sedated for the procedure and remember some music playing when I went into a room, but don't remember anything during or shortly after the procedure. My family picked me up and said that I was quite loopy and said some crazy things due to the sedation drugs, but I don't remember any of that either.   


What happened during the procedure is that my doctor used a scope and identified the eosinophilic esophagitis.  He also widened some area of my esophagus with a balloon.  He also had me take a prescription.  I took this prescription for two years and it was expensive.  Very expensive.  I talked to him about the price and he said that I could try something less expensive instead and see how it goes.  I then switched to a relatively inexpensive OTC and everything was fine for me. (I purchased in bulk at Costco to save over local drugstore prices.) Well, as time went on, I guess that I became more relaxed because I became as bold as to even buy the store-brand instead of name-brand version of the medicine.  Still, everything was fine.   I then went through a period where I because more athletic and health conscious, building muscle, improving my heart healthiness, and losing all of my fat.  I now run almost an hour each day now.  Well, after my health kick, I stopped taking my medicine all together.  And I am fine. No problems with my eosinophilic esophagitis.   I think that the procedure that my doctor did in combination with my new weight and healthier lifestyle made a big difference. 


There is so little known about eosinophilic esophagitis.  My siblings who live in different states and see different doctors were also diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis.  That's weird, right?   I hope that it's not a genetic thing that my children will not have eosinophilic esophagitis.  In any case, I'm glad that my experience spurred a major lifestyle change for me to lose weight through a healthier diet and exercise. It has been 9 years since my initial diagnosis and I'm doing great!
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Sunday, February 23, 2020

Recipe: Shamrock Shake in Pot of Gold Tumblers (Zak Fractal Barware)


St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner! In today's post, I'll share a recipe for Shamrock Shakes that are fun to serve in Zak Fractal Barware. After all, everyone loves Shamrock Shakes and a Pot of Gold theme on St. Patrick's Day!

Recipe: Shamrock Shake in Pot of Gold Glasses (Zak Fractal Barware)
Ingredients
  • 1 pint of vanilla bean ice cream
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of mint extract
  • 4 drops of green food coloring
  • 1/4 cup of chocolate shavings or Oreos (We used chocolate shavings in the photos.)

Directions
  1. Allow the ice cream to sit at room temperature for approximately 10 minutes.
  2. Add all of the ingredients to a blender.  Blend until thoroughly mixed.
  3. Pour into your favorite barware. Personally, we use Zak Fractal Barware in gold for a fun Pot of Gold theme. I absolutely love the Zak Fractal Barware that is stylish with the reflective color and surface design.  The whimsical designs are a modernized version of the popular metallic style of glasses that I used in my childhood. The Zak Fractal Barware in gold is available in different shapes and sizes, including the 13oz DOF tumbler11oz Wine tumbler9oz Flute tumbler, and 25oz Stein.  

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Are you in love with the Zak Fractal Barware that we featured in this post? Let me share some more details about this line of trendy barware:

The Zak Fractal Barware line gives drinks a little extra flair. Are you tired of diluting your drinks with melted ice? A vacuum insulated tumbler is the perfect solution--it keeps your drink cold for hours and as a bonus, prevents condensation from forming as well. This one also includes a press-in lid with a silicone gasket, which will protect your beverage from splashes during travel. The 13-ounce tumbler is made of stainless steel and completely BPA free. It should be washed by hand, though the lid is dishwasher safe. Do not microwave.

Here are some other highlights:
  • Vacuum insulation keeps drinks cold and prevents condensation
  • Press-in lid with silicone gasket prevents splashes
  • 13 oz capacity
  • Made of durable stainless steel
  • BPA free - committed to safety
  • Lid is dishwasher safe, tumbler should be hand washed
  • Do not microwave

We hope that this delicious recipe and the gold Zak Fractal Barware will add to your fun St. Patrick's Day memories. Plus, while we featured the Zak Fractal Barware for St. Patrick's Day, the entire line is perfect for you to use throughout the year! 
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Thursday, February 20, 2020

Visit Chuy's for National Margarita Day on February 22nd!

National Margarita Day is on February 22nd. The best place to celebrate is Chuy's!  In today's post, I'll tell you about this authentic Tex-Mex restaurant and the specials for National Margarita Day. You won't want to miss this special day. Chuy's has the best made-from-scratch dishes and fresh-squeezed lime juice margaritas. You will love their eclectic atmosphere and generous portion sizes of freshly prepared meals and drinks. Plus, you will appreciate the special deals on Saturday!


One of my favorite things about living in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is that we have the best Tex-Mex food, especially at my favorite Tex-Mex restaurant -- Chuy's!  Of course, Chuy's does not disappoint when it comes to National Margarita Day!

Let's start with the basics: 
Event: National Margarita Day at Chuy's (use a restaurant locator here) 
WHEN: Saturday, February 22 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. 
WHAT: Chuy’s invites all margarita fans to Live Grande. On Saturday, February 22 for National Margarita Day the Tex-Mex restaurant will serve up margaritas and all-day drink specials. For just $2 extra make any regular House or Frozen Rita a Grande and keep the commemorative cup. Chuy’s will also offer $1 Floaters to kick your margarita up a notch with an extra pour of tequila or orange liqueur. The perfect pairing with any margarita is an order of Chuy’s limited-time only Taco Fries – seasoned fries with queso, taco meat, jalapeƱos and more, available exclusively on National Margarita Day. 
WHO: Chuy’s is an authentic Tex-Mex restaurant that was founded in Austin, TX in 1982 and is known for its menu of made-from-scratch dishes, fresh-squeezed lime juice margaritas, large portions, and a fun, eclectic atmosphere. 
WHERE: Chuy’s has 100 restaurants in 19 states. To find the Chuy’s location closest to you visit here.

If you aren't familiar with Chuy's, this decades old restaurant is something that pops into many Texan's minds when they hear the phrase, "In the heart of Texas." After all, Tex-Mex is popular everywhere, but it is a staple for most Texans.  We have a high bar for what passes as Tex-Mex food.  Chuy's rocks it when it comes to Tex-Mex food! In fact, Chuy's is so good that when people move away, many put Chuy's at the top of their list for where they want eat when they return for visits.  Whether this is your first visit or 100th visit, you definitely won't want to miss the National Margarita Day deals that I mentioned above! Visit the Chuy's website to learn more here.


Learn More
Visit the Chuy's website
Follow Chuy's on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
Follow the hashtag #ChuysRitaDay.
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Recipe: Easy Rocky Road Pancakes



Recipe: Easy Rocky Road Pancakes
  • 2 cups Original Bisquick mix
  • 1 Tablespoon of cocoa powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup of miniature marshmallows (cut into halves or fourths)
  • 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts
Directions   
1. Stir the Bisquick mix, cocoa powder, milk, and eggs with whisk until thoroughly blended.

2. Stir in the chocolate chips, miniature marshmallows, and walnuts.

3. Add 1/4 cup of batter to a hot griddle and cook until edges are brown on each side.

4. Optionally serve with extra chocolate chips and marshmallows on top.
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Recipe: Thin-Cut Sweet Potato Fries Baked in the Oven


Recipe: Thin-Cut Sweet Potato Fries Baked in the Oven
Ingredients:

  • 2 large Sweet Potatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Salt
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon of Paprika
Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 425-degrees.

2. Slices the sweet potatoes into thinly sliced fries that are approximately 1/8" thick.

3. Toss or brush the sweet potato fries in olive oil.

4. Sprinkle the sweet potatoes with the salt. (The helps to draw the liquid out.)

5. Optional: Sprinkle with paprika.

6. Bake single layers on cookie sheets for 25 minutes or until desired.
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Our Visit to the Sea Turtle Rescue Center at SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium


If you follow regularly, you know that we were looking forward to visiting the SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium to check out the Sea Turtle Rescue Center, a new interactive rehabilitation experience.  The exhibit opened today and we absolutely loved it!  Let me share a quick overview and then some personal photos. 

The new permanent exhibit lets guests of all ages learn about the threats turtles face in the wild and experience first-hand the process of successfully rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing sea turtles.  Upon entry, guests will become a bonafide turtle rescuer as they collect a mock turtle from the beach, name and weigh their patient, then begin a virtual rehabilitation journey.  After using an x-ray machine to diagnose and remedy injuries, guests nurse their turtle back to health at the feeding and hydration station then release them back into the wild.



When you enter the exhibit, you select a little sea turtle doll.  




Each sea turtle doll is each unique, even weighing different amounts!





You'll go through four steps to simulate saving a sea turtle. I won't spoil the surprises for you, but here is just one photo that shows an example of simulating an x-ray on a sea turtle.  Each step includes a hands-on exercise for educational fun.


While my oldest son took his job of saving a sea turtle very seriously, my 1-year old loved hugging his turtle and then playing too!



Part way through the rescue process, you come around the corner to see a tank with rescued sea turtles.  Each sea turtle has a unique story that you will want to learn about. They are quite mesmerizing to watch!




Toward the end of the exhibit, there is a window where you are able to look behind the scenes.  I really like the transparency and education that SEA LIFE Grapevine offers. 



Finally, while the photo below is not from the sea turtle exhibit, I have to share it because it's adorable. My 1-year old had a hands-on experience. We enjoyed a lot of baby giggles on our visit!



While we focused on the new Sea Turtle Rescue Center in today's post, there is a lot more to the SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium.  We love this local attraction that has created many happy memories for our children. The opportunity to learn and connect with sea life is amazing for them!




Visit!

SEA LIFE Grapevine is located at 3000 Grapevine Mills Parkway, Grapevine, Texas 76051.  For more information visit www.visitsealife.com/grapevine or call 469-444-3050.

About SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium:
SEA LIFE Grapevine transports you into the amazing underwater world.  Prepare for astonishingly close views of everything from humble starfish and seahorses to graceful rays and powerful sharks.  With an amazing 360° ocean tunnel, 30 display tanks and thousands of sea creatures the aquarium is the perfect stop for family fun.  To get any closer you would have to get wet!  Admission is $20.95 for adults, $16.95 for children ages 3 to 12.  For more information visit www.visitsealife.com/grapevine.  SEA LIFE Grapevine Aquarium is located at 3000 Grapevine Mills Parkway, Grapevine, TX 76051. Phone: 469-444-3050. Follow us on Facebook: @sealifegrapevine Twitter: @sealifegrpevine and Instagram: @sealifenorthamerica.
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Recipe: Pickled Red Onions (2 ingredients)


Recipe: Pickled Red Onions
Ingredients

  • 1 red onion
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
Directions
  1. Slice the onion and place in a small glass dish.
  2. Pour the white vinegar over the onion so that it is thoroughly covered.
  3. Soak for one hour or longer.
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It's Summer Year-Round at Epic Waters in Grand Prairie!


I've been complaining about the cold weather, but something EPIC just happened -- I found an 86-degree oasis in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro where it is summer year-round.  This fabulous oasis is called Epic Waters and is located in Grand Prairie, TX.  Epic Waters completely understands me -- this indoor waterpark is 86-degrees (right now - in November!) and includes a combination of energetic activities such as the Flow Rider where you get to boogie board on an everlasting wave and more relaxing activities such as a lazy river. There is something for everyone! Let me share an overview.


I think that the term oasis is appropriate here, because the Epic Waters facility is the largest indoor waterpark under a single retractable roof in North America. 


During winter, the interior is climate-controlled. For instance, I learned that it was 86-degrees today. It hasn't even been opened for a full year yet, but the park has garnered accolades from the Travel Channel, USA Today, and the World Waterpark Association, as well as visitors from around Texas, across the nation and around the world.  


As a Boy Mom, I was excited to start Thanksgiving break with activities to promote physical activity. My children played hard and then came home and took a nap. It was sweet to see them exhausted from their fun day!  Here are some of the fun water attractions.

Let's start with the Rio Grand - a 600-foot lazy river which happens to be the longest indoor lazy river in Texas! My children went around the lazy river multiple times. It was fun to hear them exclaim, "Let's go around one more time!"


The Rascal's Round-Up is a children's area that is equipped with an aquatic fort, geysers, a giant tipping bucket, water guns, slides, and more.  Racal's Round-Up rocked my toddlers little world!


There are plenty of water slides for older kids and adults. Epic Waters offers three "first in industry" slides, including The LassoLoop, the Yellow jacket Drop, and the Aquanaut. Thrill seekers will have a blast!


We had a blast (pun intended!) on the FlowRider® surfing simulator. It was a good workout and a lot of fun.


We enjoyed lunch in our cabana. They have a variety of items at the Hungry Wave Cafe. For instance, our meals are shown below. We recommend ordering a few different meals and sharing with each other in order to enjoy the variety.  There is also a full-serve bar - Longboards.


Everything was delicious, but the pulled pork was my favorite.


After lunch, we enjoyed the 45-game arcade. It was the perfect ending to our visit!


While we visited as a family, Epic Waters is also available for birthday parties, church youth group events, overnight events, corporate events, and more. Holiday activities are planned throughout November and December - including a Breakfast with Santa and a family-friendly, all night New Year's Eve party! 


Now that I shared our highlights, let me share a few more details with important things that you will want to know before you visit.

Epic Waters is located at: 2970 Epic Place/Grand Prairie/75062. You can find driving directions here. Nearby landmarks include a Restoration Hardware distribution facility and a police/fire facility.  Epic Waters is owned by the City of Grand Prairie - learn more here.


Parking is free: that's right - FREE! In fact, an enthusiastic employee drove us from our car to the facility in a golf cart. He also picked us up to return us to our car.  


It's free to borrow life jackets and inner tubes: parents are sure to appreciate that there aren't hidden fees!





Cabanas are available for rent. We had a lovely cabana that overlooked the lazy river!


Lockers are available to rent. They are a generous size. 


No hotel stay is required. Most indoor waterparks in Texas are at hotels and require you to stay overnight at the hotel in order to use the waterpark.  Those of us North Texans who can't take the cold anymore are in luck because Epic Waters allows day pass visitors!  They even sell season passes for locals.  Of course, if you are from out-of-town, there are also nearby hotels.

Let me conclude by telling you about EpicCentral. Epic Waters is only one part of a development known as EpicCentral Grand Prairie, which is also home to The Epic, a 120,000 square-foot fitness, arts and entertainment destination with programs and features for the whole family, including a million-dollar fitness facility, an interactive teen center, a theater (sponsored by Texas Trust), arts classrooms, a teaching kitchen outfitted by Ikea, private event areas and an outdoor concert space.  It just opened, so you'll definitely want to check it out. They offer both day passes and annual passes. 
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Easy Recipe: Pizza Casserole Bake with a Can of Refrigerated Biscuit Dough


Easy Recipe: Pizza Casserole Bake made with a Can of Refrigerated Biscuit Dough
This recipe is a variation of the original Pillsbury Grands recipe found here.

Ingredients

  • 1 can of refrigerated biscuit dough (We used Pillsbury Grands as shown in the photo below)
  • 1 1/4 cup of tomato sauce
  • 2 cups of shredded mozzarella 
  • 3/4 cups of small mozzarella balls
  • 4 ounces of pepperoni chopped into small pieces

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 375-degrees.

2. Spray an approximately 8"x12" glass pan with cooking spray.

3. Chop the biscuits into small pieces. We chopped each biscuit into 8 pieces.

4. Add the chopped biscuits, pepperoni, mozzarella balls, and 1 cup of cheese to a mixing bowl.


5. Add the sauce and stir.



6. Add the mixture to a glass pan and top with cheese.



7. Bake for approximately 22 minutes or until thoroughly cooked and golden brown on top.



8. Allow to cool slightly and then serve.





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Friday, February 14, 2020

The Best Valentine's Gift Ideas


Valentine's Day is on the horizon. This is one of my favorite holidays because we get to focus on love and family.  Our family has a tradition of spending Valentine's evening together. I'm sure that I'll miss our Valentine's evenings when my children are grown, so we really make the most of our time together. In today's post, I'll share The Best Valentine's Gift Ideas for Families this Year (2020)!


ASICS is the perfect store to visit if you are planning a heart healthy Valentine's Day date.  Personally, my husband and I try to incorporate healthy habits into our life as much as possible, including Valentine's Day. This is a great time of year to create healthy habits that also help you to bond. Whether you are an avid runner or are considering adding evening walks to your lifestyle and relationship, Valentine's Day is a great time to stock up on athletic shoes and apparel.  For instance, the ASICS GEL NIMBUS-22 shoes are our go-to running shoes.  We've been using this line of shoes for years. It's nice to have our go-to shoes that we know are comfortable and hold up for many miles. Since my husband and I are both fans of this shoe line, I thought that the ASICS GEL NIMBUS-22 LITE-SHOW shoes would be perfect for Valentine's Day. We have less sunlight in the winter, so I really like that our favorite shoes come with the LITE-SHOW feature that helps us to be more visible on early-morning and after-dark runs.  




These shoes have the same iconic GEL technology for extra comfort, cushion, and shock absorption that we've become accustomed to with the GEL-NIMBUS line of running shoes. The FLYTEFOAM technology in the midsole makes a big difference for extra spring in our steps. Of course, the good quality design and materials make a big difference in the life of the shoes too. The addition of the LITE-SHOW reflective details further improve these classic shoes. They are perfect for those of us in the Dallas/Fort Worth area where there are not enough sunny hours in the winter days. 


Teleflora has the most beautiful made-by-hand arrangements for Valentine's Day.  We love this iconic company that has been connecting customers with fantastic florists for 81 years. Teleflora has 12,000+ florists within their North American network and another 20,000 abroad.  They make it easy to send the best floral arrangements to almost anywhere in the country with confidence.  I received the trendy Ooh La Hombre Bouquet below.  It is gorgeous! I love the smell of fresh flowers when I walk into the room. Follow #Teleflora and #LoveOutLoud on social media to view other gorgeous floral arrangements. Visit Teleflora here!



The Eastern Standard Provisions Co. True Love at First Bite Gourmet Pretzel Box is perfect for Valentine's Day.  You may have heard of this brand as they were featured on Oprah's list of favorite things a couple of months ago.  Their gift boxes contain freshly made pretzels with gourmet salts in special flavors such as truffle salt, chili lime salt, rosemary lemon salt, everything spice, and large grain pretzel salt.  These pretzels taste amazing when you pull them out of the oven!  The True Love at First Bite Gourmet Pretzel Box is generously packed with pretzels and several packets of gourmet salt so that you are able to try a variety of options. Visit Eastern Standard Provisions Co. here!




Bake Me a Wish has your decadent Valentine's Day cravings covered.  This New York based company has been around for over a decade and has the sweetest story. The founder had just moved to Manhattan and wanted to send his mother a Tiramisu cake. He searched all over town, but no one provided the service to mail a cake.  After realizing the need to for a hassle-free service to send delicious cakes to family and friends, he got together with friends and created Bake Me a Wish. As you'll notice in the photo below, this company was created by perfectionists who pay careful attention to details as they strive to provide a top quality service for sending cakes and other treats to loved ones. They use premium ingredients, amazing recipes, and neatly package each item so that your recipient feels special.  You'll love their Valentine's Day line up here. You'll find the Black and White Mousse Cake and Valentine's Heart-Shaped Cookies below. The decadent Black and White Mousse Cake is the ultimate dessert for chocolate lovers on Valentine's Day. I love the combination of soft cake, flavorful mousse, and rich frosting. They even added white chocolate shavings for a special touch that complements the frosting. Of course, the Valentine's Heart-Shaped Cookies are another fantastic option. My entire family loved these cookies, especially my children. Each cookie is moist and decorated by hand. They are amazing!  Visit Bake Me a Wish!   (While you are there, you may also visit here to enter for a chance to win a Bake Me a Wish Valentine's prize!)




LUSH Cosmetics is a brand that we love because their fresh cosmetics are handmade and 100% vegetarian from ethically sourced ingredients. We are excited that a LUSH Cosmetics store opened in Southlake Town Square. If you haven't visited, Valentine's Day is a great reason to visit because you'll be able to stock up on gifts for your family. Their products are truly lush with the best recipes and ingredients. Personally, we are obsessed with their handmade bath bombs. The photo below shows a few examples of their generously sized bath bombs in gorgeous designs with amazing scents. The Peachy Bath Bomb is perfect for southerners as it slowly fizzes, releasing juice grapefruit oil, fresh peach juice, and sweet davana oil. The Rose Butterfly is a soothing bath bomb that contains a soothing blend of rose and Sicilian lemon oils. The Love Boat Bath Bomb is perfect for kids who will love this fizzy yacht with groovy colors and a sweet lemon-orange scent!  The Love Locket is an oversized bath bomb indulgence that has a beautiful fragrance and swirl of color for your relaxing bath. Of course, many moms will appreciate the unicorn themed products, including everything from bath bombs to lip scrubs. The lip scrub was new to me and made me wonder why I didn't know about it sooner! The way that it works is that you scrub your lips with fine castor sugar to soften them up, and after you lick off the refreshing excess, you are left with a protective coating of organic jojoba oil!  Whether you plan to visit the Southlake Town Square location, another location, or order online, we highly recommend splurging on products at LUSH Cosmetics for Valentine's Day! 




Wine Insiders is perfect for Valentine's Day. This trendy company curates amazing wines with great pricing. You've probably heard of this company because they are very popular and have been featured in many outlets. They currently have thousands of positive ratings on Google with a coveted 4.9 out of 5 stars. (How often do you see high ratings like this from thousands of customers?!) The way that Wine Insiders works is that they 
provide expertly curated wines from 40 crowd-pleasing varietals and 15 top wine regions. They source high quality and low priced wines, saving you from typical markups association with marketing, advertising, and store operations. Have you ever visited a grocery store wall of wine and wondered how to choose a bottle of wine with limited information? If you buy something that you dislike, you swallow the cost both literally and figuratively. Wine Insiders understands the dilemma. That's why they employee a team of experts and strive to offer 100% satisfaction.  They also offer a Satisfaction Guarantee that you will love every bottle you try, and if you are not completely satisfied, they promise to make it right.  We recommend Wine Insiders for Valentine's Day. Plus, as a bonus, if you order 6+ bottles at a time, they offer free shipping with the wines delivered to your door or to a convenient pickup location. The photos below show my recent delivery.  It included three fantastic red wines that I paired with different dinners.





The delivery also included three white wines that I paired with dinner and dessert. Each bottle of wine was fantastic and my guests raved about them. If you are looking for excellent wine at reasonable prices from a customer-centric company with high reviews, visit Wine Insiders!



Popcornopolis offers crave-worthy treats for Valentine's Day. They have something for everyone, including everything from savory to sweet varieties of popcorn.  We love the Valentine's 12-Cone Popcorn Gift BasketThis gift basket is perfect for families.  This set is customizable, but we love the default selection that includes: Caramel Corn, Cheddar Cheese, Cinnamon Toast, Cupcake, Jalapeno Cheddar, Kettle Corn, Pecan Caramel, Red Velvet, Strawberries & Cream, White Cheddar, and Zebra Popcorn. Personally, my husband and children each selected their favorite flavors and then we shared the rest with teachers. Everyone raved about the special varieties of popcorn that came in nice cones. They are perfect for Valentine's Day!  Plus, if you are searching for Valentine's treats for your children's classmates, Popcornopolis offers boxes of Valentine Hearts Mini Cones in a variety of quantities.  These are sure to be one of the most popular and memorable treats that pop up in Valentine's boxes this year!  Visit Popcornopolis here!





Universal Yums offers monthly subscription boxes that contain treats from different countries. February's box is perfect for Valentine's Day as the theme centers around French treats.   The France box is one of their most popular boxes of the year which makes sense since the contents are fabulous and the box coincides with Valentine's Day.  It's fun to sample French treats any day of the year, but doing so on Valentine's Day is extra special.  This box should satisfy your cravings for dark chocolate, truffles, savory treats, and more! Personally, I love this box for Valentine's Day because it comes with a nice booklet that shares trivia about the country and information about each item. My family enjoyed reading the booklet together and sampling the treats. My personal favorite was the Jacquot Almond Truffles. They are incredibly decadent and have a sweet almond taste. My husband was obsessed with the Sibell Tube a Grignoter Fromage. These are cheese flavored tube snacks that are designed to whet appetites for meals to come. My children both rave about the Fraisoo Bool. These chewy strawberry candies are delicious. The book that complements the snacks taught us about how King Charles V had 1,200 strawberry plants in his garden and other information about the history of strawberries in France. I won't spoil all of the surprises, but I will say that the curators of this box generously packed this box with delicious treats and set us up for a fun evening. This box is perfect for Valentine's Day -- you won't run out of conversation or delicious treats.  Visit Universal Yums here!



Happy Yummies Gourmet Gummies are a fun Valentine's Day gift that my husband and children love.  The Super Bear assortment is amazing because it includes 14 varieties that are packed with flavor. My children love all of the flavors and practice counting them. This is extra fun for my youngest son who is learning to count. Plus, the trendy gummy bear shaped bags make these an extra memorable Valentine's Day gift.  Visit Happy Yummies Gourmet Gummies here.




The Atari Flashback® X is a video game system that makes it fun to bond over old school video games. The Atari Flashback X is packed with 110 build-in video game favorites and includes an all-new mini console and wired joysticks.  You'll have a blast playing hit games such as Adventure, Asteroids®, Centipede®, Chopper Command™, Frogger, Missile Command®, Pitfall!™, Space Invaders™, Yars’ Revenge®, and so much more! You will also appreciate the high definition 720p video output with scanline filtering, an intuitive menu system, save and resume game functionality, and the ability to rewind a game in progress to recover from a play misstep. This system retails for $59.99 and provides hours of entertainment.




I hope that many of these Valentine's Day Gift ideas resonate with you and your family. Have a wonderful Valentine's Day!
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