Friday, December 19

Product Review Weekend Link Up Party #ProductReviewParty #40

#ProductReviewParty is every Friday from 9am to Sunday 9pm EST
Link up to 3 Review Posts
Please don't link up and run!  Visit others and leave thoughtful comments.  If you like what you see, please share it on your social networks.  Thanks!

Attention:  Due to the holidays coming up, #ProductReviewParty will remain open from  12/19/14 - 1/4/15.  You can link up to 6 review posts new or old.  Everyone have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


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Thursday, December 18

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels

 Welcome to N'awlins Babay!

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via
 I was provided media rate at the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel in exchange for my review.  All opinions are my own.

Boy did I have the time of my life in New Orleans; it brought me back to my younger years when I use to party!  It was fun spending time with my family, especially my siblings I haven't seen in years.  I've been to New Orleans a couple of times before but this trip was my favorite one.

The reason for my travels there was because my father was celebrating his 50th birthday and threw a big party down on Bourbon St.

I was minus my girls on this trip so it was a weekend getaway for Mr. M and I.  It has been years that we took a trip without our daughters so it was fun to have some time together without them but I was missing them the whole time because you all know my girls are my sidekicks and always with me.  My girls spent their time with their grandmother and I checked in on them throughout our trip.

We left Atlanta about 2pm EST and got to New Orleans around 9pm CST.  It was Saturday evening and my father's party was in full swing so Mr. M and I arrived fashionably late.  Before we attended the party we checked into our hotel at the historic Omni Royal Orleans hotel.  The hotel is located close enough to Bourbon St. but far enough to be away from all the ruckus.

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

The Omni Royal Orleans is one of the most stunning hotels I've ever stayed in!  Marble floors and walls, gold trimmings, sparkling chandeliers, beautiful French style structure, I felt like I stepped into a palace and I was the belle of the ball.  I love how well they decorated for the holiday season.

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

Our hotel is known as "the place to see and be seen".  They've hosted top leading people like presidents, top leaders, and several celebrities. Rated a four-diamond luxury hotel, the Omni Royal is one of just three New Orleans hotels recognized on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Historic Hotels of America Registry.  The 345-room, seven-story hotel recently underwent a $15 million renovation that incorporates modern amenities with its classic design.

Valet gave us a warm welcome and quickly got our luggage out of our car for us, they offered to have our bags taken to our room but we declined since we didn't have many bags to carry.  Front desk got us checked in within minutes and told us we would be on the second floor with a room that had a balcony and queen size bed. Customer service at this hotel is phenomenal, great southern hospitality!

Our room was roomy, clean, and I love our bed spread, it went really well with the decor.  Our room was facing St. Louis St. and we had a nice view of the street.  There weren’t a lot of people walking up and down the street which was perfect because I felt safe and didn't have to worry about strange people going in and out of our hotel.

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via
Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via
Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

The highlight of this hotel is their roof top pool overlooking the river and streets.  The pool bar was closed for the season but will open back up for the New Year’s Eve celebration.

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via
Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

The Omni Royal is located in the heart of New Orleans, walking distance of everything!  You can walk to the river, various galleries are nearby, visit the St. Louis Cathedral, many restaurants to choose from, and of course Bourbon St and much, much more!

Mr. M and I put down our luggage, freshened up and headed up the block to Bourbon St.  Once we got to Bourbon it was barbaric out there!  Drunks, different Santa Clauses doing things that had me clutching my pearls (Santa needs to be adding himself on the naughty list), strippers wearing nothing but strings and leaving nothing for the imagination, homeless people with signs begging for money that had adult content on it that I won't share the picture here to keep my blog family friendly, and a group of people from a church huddled around praying for all of our sins.  I would not recommend Bourbon St. at all for children, not even during the day time.

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

We got to the party and my family were already eating, drinking and having a great time.  My dad had a balcony suite overlooking Bourbon and we got to throw beads to people.  It was great to see my siblings after all these years; they live in my home state California so I never really get to see them so it was a bit of a family reunion.

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

After playing catch up with my family, Mr. M and I, my siblings and a few cousins decided to walk to Canal St. and go to the night club in the Harrah’s Casino.  I tell ya, I haven't partied like that in years!  I'm so reserved so letting loose on the dance floor with my family was so much fun, this will be a time I'll always remember!  Mr. M was in shock I knew every word to the ratchet songs the DJ was playing, LOL!

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

We left the night club when it ended at 3am and started walking to Cafe Du Monde to try out some beignets, a fried powder fritters that resembles powdered donuts.  Before we got there, we made a pit stop at Coyote Ugly bar for more drinks.  Now, I already was drinking at the night club so once I started drinking again I was pretty much hammered.  Here I am walking the streets and stumbling- thank goodness there are no pictures of that.

It quickly became 5am, we ate our beignets and went back to the Omni for a peaceful night rest and my family returned to their hotel.

Around noon, my family started leaving to go home and one of my brothers stayed behind for a few hours since his flight left later in the day, so he hung out with Mr. M and I.  My head was spinning and my stomach was hurting from the night before so I wasn't really feeling well when we started walking the streets together.  We found a spot to have lunch called ACME Oyster house and I'm so glad we went there because they have some of the best oysters I've ever tasted!  If you ever go to New Orleans get their charbroiled garlic oysters, you will not be disappointed.   Their Seafood Etouffe was scrumptious but I took two bites and my stomach just couldn't take it due to the alcohol that hadn't wore off yet, so I gave my dish to Mr. M- you know you can't let good food go to waste.   I sat there watching Mr. M and my brother eat while I was filling myself with water to rehydrate.

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

Once lunch was done, we walked around and visited a couple of bars to listen to the live bands play.  I was done having drinks for the rest of the trip but Mr. M and my brother kept chugging them down like water.

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

The time had arrived that my brother had to start leaving so we took him to the airport and wished him farewell.  Mr. M and I were all alone in the Big Easy and we decided to visit a movie theater to watch Top 5 ( terrible movie ) and return back to walking the streets of New Orleans.

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

It wasn't the same without my family there.  There were less people on the streets because it was Sunday.  We both found ourselves back at Harrah’s, this time to grab a burger and then walk back to our hotel for the night.

Monday quickly came and I hated to say goodbye to our hotel.  If we're ever in the French Quarters again The Omni Royal Orleans would be our hotel of choice for sure!  The hotel is 4 stars but it seriously needs to be 5!

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

Although New Orleans is known for their nightlife, there are things to do for a family with children like the New Orleans Museum of Arts, Audubon Aquarium, Audubon Zoo, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, and take a paddlewheel boat tour along the Mississippi River.  The Omni is also family friendly hotel and kids get a gift pack of goodies and served milk and cookies during their stay.

Weekend Getaway in New Orleans #OmniHotels via

Omni Royal Orleans is offering a holiday "Stocking Stuffer" package, available for stays of two-nights or more through Dec. 30, 2014, which is a 15 percent discount off regular room rates plus a "surprise" gift- a $10 gift card to Starbucks, iTunes or Omni Hotels & Resorts.  If you do visit New Orleans this holiday season make sure to visit Omni's The Rib Room which is serving a special Reveillon Dinner Menu.

Website and Social Media

Have you ever taken a trip to New Orleans?

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Wednesday, December 17

Holiday Makeup Tips

Holiday Makeup Tips via

There are a thousand ways to look great for the holidays.  Not only can you add shimmer and shine, you can also tone down the makeup and spice up your outfit with chunky and fun statement jewelry.  Read on to find the best holiday makeup tips for this holiday season!

Don’t Overdo It


Be careful of having your clothes and your makeup match in intensity.  If you have got on an outfit that is flashy and beautiful, there is no need to make your makeup compete.  Instead, tone it down and show off your gorgeous outfit.  Great toned-down looks include properly executed smoky-eyes and understated lips and cheeks.  For bright, bold colors or prints, go with neutral-toned touches and keep your look classically beautiful.

Shimmer and Shine


If your outfit is not the star, your holiday makeup needs to be!  Add a shimmery sheen to your eyes and cheeks with creams or powders in shimmering shades.  If you are going with shimmer, do not be heavy-handed; you will need to keep your shimmer confined to just a few spots to have the best effect.  If you are going with shimmery eyes and cheeks, for example, refrain from having shimmery lips or additional shimmer on your d├ęcolletage or elsewhere.

Pick a Feature to Play Up


For fabulous holiday makeup, choose to play up a single feature such as your eyes or mouth.  If you are going to do your eyes in a fantastic smoky fashion, make sure your lips are understated.  Choose one feature to emphasize and let the others play back up with lighter, less intense looks.  
If you choose to play up your lips, keep your lipstick from wearing off or fading before the night is through.  Line your lips with a good lip-liner and fill them in with a corresponding lipstick.  Put a layer of powder over it and then apply a second layer of lipstick.  This will keep your lips beautiful late into the night.  Keep the rest of your face understated with just a bit of mascara and some powder.

Prepare the Canvas


It will not matter how great your holiday makeup is if your face is not ready for it.  The secret to outstanding holiday makeup is starting with a fresh, clean face and dry skin. Make sure you take the time to exfoliate your skin, especially during the winter, to prevent ashy, flaky or dry skin and then moisturize well in order to prepare your skin for makeup.  Make sure your eyebrows are properly waxed, tweezed or threaded, a few days before any parties, too.  Out-of-control brows can wreck your whole holiday look.

 Making a Statement


Statement jewelry is also a great way to accessorize a holiday outfit, too.  Less is more, though, so if you are wearing statement jewelry, choose only a piece or two and keep the remainder of your jewelry on the understated side.  Wearing flashy makeup with statement jewelry is a bad idea, too.  Choose one statement to make and keep it simple, elegant and beautiful.

Do you change up your makeup routine for the holidays?

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Tuesday, December 16

Teacher Christmas Gift Ideas #HolidayGiftGuide

Teacher Christmas Gift Ideas #HolidayGiftGuide via
 Post contains Amazon Affiliate Links

Every year teachers are plagued with receiving gifts they cannot use, have no idea how to use it, or have an abundance of them. This Christmas, surprise your child’s teacher (and yourself) with a gift other than empty coffee mugs or picture frames. They will cherish these gifts.

A Survival Kit


Think about how your child’s teacher comes into class much unprepared for the day. They could be faced with screaming children, piles of homework thrown on their desk, and dodging sneezy little children all around them. Help arm your child’s teacher this Christmas with a cute and handy survival kit. You can get as creative as you want, but the essentials are:
  •          Caffeine such as tea, coffee, or soda
  •          Sweets such as Twizzlers or chocolates

Put these items together in a gift bag or gift box with a pretty bow. The teacher is sure to be thrilled to receive such useful and wanted items.

Book of Poems   


If you have older children, you may grow tired of giving gift cards every year. You can still treat your teen’s teachers to something they can appreciate. English teachers, especially, would enjoy a book of poems. Ask your teen what authors their teacher talks about or quotes often.

Place the book in a Christmas cellophane bag and possibly add in that gift card that they are accustomed to receiving. Additionally, a card to the local coffee shop close to the school is a great way for them to grab a cup of tea or coffee as they head home to read. 


Gift Certificates for Help


Does your child’s teacher send notes home each week asking for help in the classrooms? If so, answer them with a homemade gift certificate this Christmas. You can volunteer time to help during class with reading to the kids or helping organize the classroom when the school year ends. Your older kids can stay after school to help organize as well. Create a certificate on the computer and turn it into a PDF, then email it to the teacher, so they do not lose it. This gift is not only thoughtful, but costs you nothing but time.

What gifts do you give to your child’s teacher? 


Disclosure- Post contains Amazon Affiliate links meaning, I earn a few coins if you click and make a purchase
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Monday, December 15

Small Businesses Holiday Gift Guide- Giveaway Ends 12/29 #HolidayGiftGuide

During the holiday season, you may see many campaigns that discuss giving back this holiday season. However, it is understandable that not everyone has the money to donate to each charity that comes his or her way. One great way to give back this holiday season is to shop with small businesses. Therefore, this small business holiday gift guide will allow you to give back this holiday season while also getting the Christmas presents for your loved ones that you need.

Small Businesses Holiday Gift Guide- Giveaway Ends 12/29  #HolidayGiftGuide via

Sass n Frass is considered your one stop boutique. They have gifts for children, women, and even pets. You will find clothing, Frozen items, soy candles, and more. The best part is all of their products are affordable and of good quality. This is one of the newer businesses that originated during the middle of 2014 yet they are already off to a good start. You are bound to find some amazing products for almost everyone on your Christmas list when shopping at this online boutique. 

Abundant Faith has bath and body products, jewelry, clothing, pet items and more available in their online store. They also have affordable prices and the items the items that you will find available on their website are unique to them. They are a Christian faith based company and they originated earlier in 2014 as well.

Small Businesses Holiday Gift Guide- Giveaway Ends 12/29  #HolidayGiftGuide via

Perfectly Posh is the store that has you covered in the beauty department. The best part is all of the items that they sell are under $25. You will find facial masks, body masks, lotions, hair products, skin care products and more. If you have some beauty lovers on your Christmas list that you need to shop for Perfectly Posh is the small business that you will want to check out. The variety of items available is sure to amaze you. 

Avon is probably one of the small businesses that you are familiar with. Avon has perfect Christmas gift ideas for everyone. You can shop for men, women, and even kids at Avon. They also are known for their affordable prices and they are constantly adding in new products. Avon has something for everyone and they offer free shipping whenever you spend more than $35.

When you shop with small businesses, you are giving back while making sure that you get the products that you need too. Will you be shopping with any small businesses this holiday season?

Guess what!  Two lucky people will win Perfectly Posh product of their choice.  What you need to do is go on Perfectly Posh website and choose which beauty product you would like to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure- Must be 18+ and from the US to enter.  Sponsor is responsible for shipping winners their prizes, not the blogger that is hosting.  Winners will be notified via email and have 48 hours to claim their prize or new winner will be chosen. 
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Holiday Dress-Up Styles

It is a time to reunite with friends and family, to be thankful for all the blessings in life and celebrate the spirit of the season.  If you are heading out to parties and get-togethers this holiday season, you might find yourself in need of a few good holiday dress-up styles and ideas to perfect your look before getting the party started.  Holiday parties are arguably one of the best things about being a grown-up, so do not miss the fun.  Read on for some great tips and tricks for making your holiday style something to be remembered.

Start with the Hair

Holiday Updos via

If you have great hair, you are more than halfway to an outstanding holiday look.  Try a sleek up-do to keep your hair tamed and out of the way as you party all season.  A simple bun or even an elegantly styled ponytail will serve your purposes well.  Keep everything under control with a lightweight shine serum and your ‘do’ will look great, no matter how many friends you greet.

Get a Great Dress

Holiday Dresses via

The perfect holiday dress is more than just an expression.  It is more than that dress you have had your eye on all season but are not going to buy.  The perfect holiday dress has certain requirements, and you have to figure them out before you hit the store.

The best holiday dresses are dresses you do not have to feel bad about buying because you plan to wear them outside of the holiday party circuit, too.  It is a dress that meets your budget needs and makes you look gorgeous.  There are many great holiday dress-up styles to choose from, so pick something that really fits your personality.

Avoiding Sparkles and Shine

Velvet Dresses via

While you may automatically think of sparkly dresses for holiday parties, it is not necessary to go all holiday with your dress.  Try something different this year by selecting a velvet dress or one made of leather or lace.

Gorgeous, embellished velvet dresses are hot this season.  Velvet is showing its versatility this season and there are many great styles to choose from.  Long gowns with soft velvet full-circle skirts and patterned velvet are very popular options.

Lace dresses in classic holiday colors like gold and green are great choices for holiday dresses.  With so many different lace patterns, it is hard to go wrong with a soft gold lace sheath, strappy shoes and a classic up-do.

Leather is another frontrunner for this year’s best non-traditional holiday party dress.  Pleated leather skirts and leather sheath dresses are hot enough to scorch the tree, but you will be even hotter and more gorgeous than you ever thought possible in a supple leather holiday dress.

Dresses in bold, bright colors are another awesome choice for your holiday party wear.  Solid colors and fun designs combine to make this dress something to cherish long after the holiday parties are over.  Dresses like this can be worn repeatedly, with various accessories to mark different occasions.

What holiday outfit are you looking forward to wearing to parties this year?

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