#ItStartedWithHELLO: Introducing Lindt HELLO Chocolates + Sweepstakes

Rock Show Random HELLOs Turned Into Life Long Friendships – #ItStartedWithHELLO

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When thinking back about the best random “hello” stories – I remember the good ol’ days of the Houston music scene from about 2002 – 2008. During these times, I was in high school and some of my college years – all I did was live, eat, breathe, and even sleep music. I remember when MySpace was the coolest kid on the social media block and it was ALL about music. A simple “hello” message went a really long way when connecting with new friends with similar music tastes in your area.

Some of my favorite bands and the most memorable shows I’ve ever been to include: Further Seems Forever, Copeland, Acceptance, Jimmy Eat World, Underoath, Brand New, The Spill Canvas, etc.

My absolute favorite thing about the entire show experience was that you could always count on meeting new people who were all about the same music as you. While waiting in line for doors to open, a simple “hello” and “hey, I love your band tee” made me some of the longest lasting friendships of my life. To this day, I’m still friends with many, many of the people I met at shows back in the day. I really do miss the “good ol’ days” of the emo rock scene but at least, I have the friendships and memories to think back on – not to mention the music to relive those amazing times.

It All Starts with HELLO

You never know where a simple “hello” can take you or who you might be standing next to at your next concert, on the street, in the grocery store line, in the elevator, or at the mall. Maybe it’s your new best friend or your future husband or wife, even!

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I love the inspiration behind Lindt’s newest line of premium chocolates, Lindt HELLO – to serve as a simple, sweet conversation starter.

I was so excited to try these new chocolates and put them to good use. I took them to work and shared them with the whole office! Everybody appreciated the colorful, vibrant packaging and especially, the chocolatey indulgence inside. They really did bring a sweet smile to their faces.

Say HELLO to Latest Sweet Treats from Lindt

Ranging from variety pack mini-stick bags, candy bars, and chocolate stick versions – these chocolates are best when shared with friends, family, co-workers, guests, and especially, new friends!

where can i buy new lindt choclates, where can i find lindt hello, lindt hello reviewInspired by classic desserts, the NEW Lindt HELLO flavors include:

  • Caramel Brownie – smooth milk chocolate, hazelnut & caramel brownie filling.
  • Strawberry Cheesecake – rich milk chocolate and a light, fluffly strawberry cream cheese filling.
  • Crunchy Nougat
  • Cookies & Cream – crunchy chocolate chip cookie pieces & cream filling

lindt hello choclate, new lindt choclate, personal size choclate, lindt candies, the best chocolates Some of my co-worker’s comments about the chocolates included:

“These caramel brownie ones are amazing. They’re really rich for something so small. The caramel is really, really good. This flavor is the best!”

“The strawberry cheesecake kind is so tasty. I don’t think I’ve ever tried a chocolate of this flavor. If you’re a fan of chocolate covered strawberries and cream, you’ll love this flavor.”

The clear favorite was the caramel brownie kind and I’d have to agree.

Lindt HELLO is the new, hip, trendy brand of premium chocolate. I know, I know. Working on my weight loss journey, I really don’t get much of a chance to experience many sweets like this but these were a pleasure to try. Each piece of chocolate (mini-sticks from the variety bag pack) is 55 calories. If you’re looking for your chocolate fix, go for the best with Lindt HELLO.

The “It Started with HELLO” Web Series

chocolate treats, new chocolates, premium chocolate lines, what is the best kind of chocolateThe Lindt marketing team has launched a super cute YouTube channel with Ashley Tisdale. The web series is made up of cute, romantic comedy videos inspired by the new line of chocolates. I love the look and feel of the videos. Super adorable and pairs really well with the personality of the product.

Click here to check out the “It Started With HELLO” web video series.

Don’t Miss Your Chance to WIN!

Enter here for your chance to win in the Lindt HELLO Sweet Connections Sweepstakes! You have plenty of chances to win GREAT prizes inspired by the Lindt HELLO product line including some fantastic date nights!

Disclosure: Special thanks to Lindt for sponsoring today’s post and letting me be a part of the #ItStartedWithHELLO campaign!

Collage.com Deal – Get 51% Off Your Next Photo Book Creation!

Today, I’m so excited to be sharing a great deal with you about one of my favorite topics: PHOTOGRAPHY!

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I’ve tried a number of photo book services before but they always end up being so daunting to use. What usually tends to happen is I’ll start my project then get frustrated with how difficult the software is to use then just give up entirely and keep my photos in their digital formats.

To be completely honest with you, a part of me misses the olden days of photo when you actually had to wait to go get your pictures processed. There was something special about “having to go develop” your pictures and pray you got some good ones. One thing you could always count on was the process of arranging your photos in an album. This was sometimes fun for people. If you ask my mom, it was probably a bit therapeutic.

Back to reality, and the digital age, we can still compile our photos and create amazing photo books — an upgrade to those classic, bulky albums.

Photo Book Deal from Collage.comRecently, I had the opportunity to learn about Collage.com – an online photography to print resource. You’re able create amazing creations utilizing your favorite personal photos, Instagrams, Facebook pics, pins, etc. Off the bat, I am already in major like with their website interface. Their website reminds of Pinterest (already a win) with lots of photo inspiration to add to your own photo book. It’s definitely unique and seems to bring something much more fun than the usual photo book services I’ve dealt with in the past.

I’ll be posting a product review of their services soon but wanted to take a moment and share this GREAT DEAL you can use to try it out for yourself!

Use this link for 51% off a 20-page 11.5″ x 8″ Hardcover Photo Book From Collage.com:

http://bit.ly/collagepbdeal

This is a great deal for your newlyweds out there to make a wedding photo book at half price of the normal cost!

Make those memories shine in hard copy! Here are a few other photo book ideas for you:

  • Bridal Books
  • Baby Books
  • Best Friends Books
  • Travel and Vacation Memories
  • Inspiration Book
  • Photo books also make really GREAT and super thoughtful gifts for people. Plus, you have so many photos to choose from on Facebook! The holiday season will be here in no time.
  • Personalized Coffee Table Book

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Happy Photo Book Fun!

5 Tips for Planning the Perfect Destination Wedding

I’m happy to welcome today’s guest blogger, wedding planning expert, Suzan Hall. Suzan hails from Long Island, New York and works on the marketing team for the gorgeous Leonard’s Palazzo banquet hall in Great Neck, New York. She has a passion for weddings and bringing your perfect vision to life.

As a travel lover, my husband and I thought long and hard about a destination wedding. We ended up getting married on a cruise ship in the Port of Galveston. For us, at the time, it was a perfect compromise within our budget. Galveston will forever hold a very special place in our hearts – not only because we got engaged on the beach there but we were married there.

Choosing your wedding location is such a big decision! It’s a big big world out there. So choose wisely!

I’m so happy to have Suzan sharing these wonderful destination wedding planning tips for all of you who may be thinking about getting hitched abroad. I say, if you can afford it, GO FOR IT!!

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Sweeping away from home to a far off place to tie the knot with your love in the presence of your near and dear ones is a dream of many. A destination wedding can turn this dream into reality in an exotic setting. If you are planning for a destination wedding, then here we have a few tips for you that can make this big event of your life absolutely perfect.

1. Decide the perfect destination and make advance bookings.

The foremost thing to do while planning a destination wedding is to decide a practical place where you want this grand event to be held. Once the destination is decided, you must book the wedding reception hall well in advance so that you get a plenty of time to plan for the wedding with unlimited choices. Along with that you must also send ‘Save the Date’ cards to your guests so that your guests can subsequently take leave from their work or plan accordingly to make their presence on your big day.

2. Hire a professional wedding planner to make the things work smoothly in budget.

It is always advised to hire a professional wedding planner or travel agent to make your dream destination wedding a reality. A professional will definitely recommend the best hotel or resort that will be suitable for both of you and the guests as well. Moreover, if you have a specific budget for your wedding then taking professional help is a must to find a venue that matches your desires and also fit your budget. An experienced wedding planner has the basic knowledge of how to make your destination wedding just the way you wanted it to be.

3. Decorations and styling of the venue.

You would definitely have some specific things in mind when it comes to decorating the wedding venue. You might be looking for a theme wedding or anything special. Instead of looking for the arrangements yourself, you should directly tell the wedding planner about the specific decor that you want for your wedding like the flowers to be used, the particular color scheme, the kind of music to be played, etc. and he/she will make sure that you get exactly what you pay for.

4. Take care of your guests.

A destination wedding will definitely be a costly affair than an at-home reception. However, you can easily keep costs in check even in a faraway locale. This can be done by keeping your guest list short by inviting your very close relatives and friends, whom you want to be present by your side on your fabulous event. The wedding planners or travel agent can again help you scoring great deals on airlines and wedding venues. As the guest will be travelling abroad and they might not want to drive to the venue, make sure that the flight connections are good and a favorable transportation mode is available from the airport to the wedding location.

5. Take advantage of the concierge services to entertain your guests.

Since the guests for your wedding have taken a lot of efforts to travel and spend money on this travelling, so it becomes your duty to make them feel welcomed and appreciated. For this, however you don’t have to be their personal travel agent to entertain them. Many hotels and resorts offer concierge services to ensure that your guests are welcomed and have a comfortable stay. You can entertain your guests with additional events like throwing a welcome dinner party before the wedding and the next day, you can arrange for a relaxed brunch or a pool party.

Looking for a beautiful destination wedding in New York?

Destination weddings are counted as the most romantic types and certainly are a great choice for those looking for an exciting alternative to the chapel. If you are planning for a memorable wedding celebration in Long Island’s wine country, then you can pick from the various Long Island wedding venues that will provide the perfect backdrop to allow your reception party to shine. You can find a number of reception halls in Long Island where you can treat your family and friends with a fine dining experience they will remember for years.

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To check out all that Leonard’s Pallazo has to offer, visit their official website here.

Happy Wedding Planning!

Our Week at Sea Aboard Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas

For our very long-awaited vacation this year, my husband and I decided to take our second cruise together – this time with Royal Caribbean aboard the newly renovated Navigator of the Seas. Back in 2012, we got married aboard the Carnival Magic and honeymoon cruised to Key West & The Bahamas. We love cruising.

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Ports of Call

This time around, we traveled to three new ports and explored places we’d never been before. We set sail out of Galveston (our home port) and traveled to three ports along the Western Caribbean:

Cozumel, Mexico

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Cozumel was absolutely beautiful. I snapped this photo from the cruise ship. It was a day filled with perfect weather. We bottom fished and then visited Casa Mision restaurant for an authentic Mexican meal for lunch. Delicious, fresh food in a gorgeous atmosphere. This property also does tequila tours and tastings on their grounds. They also provide free wi-fi, as well, and a really, really great margarita.

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Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

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This was my absolute favorite stop due to all the amazing things we got to do! On our excursion, we visited the incredible and world-renowned Sting Ray City and swam with tons and tons of sting rays. This was a little scary for me, since they aren’t exactly my favorite animal, but it was SO beautiful and such a cool experience. I highly recommend doing this if you’re ever in the Cayman Islands!

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We also got to swim with the dolphins at Dolphin Cove in Grand Cayman. This has been a LIFELONG dream of mine that had never been fulfilled until this vacation. It was SUCH an incredible experience. We got to meet, swim, dance, and mingle with Sally, the dolphin. It’s an experience that I’ll never ever forget. This is one thing off my bucket list that I am so grateful to be able to check off!

Falmouth, Jamaica

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In Falmouth, we took a bus tour through parts of the island then sailed on a beautiful catamaran to a coral reef off the coast and snorkeled. This was my husband and I’s first time snorkeling and it was absolutely amazing. We both love the water so being able to explore the ocean floor of Jamaica was quite the experience! Again, another adventure we won’t be forgetting anytime soon!

Another wonderful cruise vacation!

I have to say, Royal Caribbean provided us with wonderful treatment and customer service throughout our trip. We really enjoyed the headache free excursions which took care of everything from transportation to and back without any problems whatsoever. The crew and staff are absolutely awesome and come from all over the world. It’s always so nice to get to know them a little bit and learn where they call home. Everyone has a very unique story and you can get a little taste of what life is like in different places all over the world.

Having cruised with Carnival, Royal Caribbean’s biggest competitor out of the Port of Galveston, I can honestly say – I have no preference between the two! We love cruising and are really lucky to be so close to port. Next on my cruising wish list, though, is definitely ALASKA!

For more travel photos from our cruise, please visit my Instagram account: http://instagram.com/xtineds

West University Massage Envy Spa® Review + Your Chance to WIN a FREE Massage!

Disclosure: I was provided with a free massage session for my blog work on Massage Envy’s Healing Hands for Arthritis campaign. This is my review of the West University Massage Envy Spa® location.

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I FEEL AMAZING.

Why? Well, I just finished a massage session with Bert of Massage Envy’s West U location in Houston, TX. I, seriously, owe this masseuse a HUGE thank you. I’ve been experiencing neck pain lately and a lot of tension due to everyday stress, I’d assume. After getting this massage, I’m highly considering signing up for a membership because physically feeling this good on the regular sounds like an investment worth making.

I’ve had a couple of massage therapy experiences before and this was by far, the best. Massage Envy takes care of you from the moment you walk in, until your last step out the door, their focus is your relaxation.

It had been a while since I’ve had a massage (2 years exactly) so I wasn’t really sure what type of massage or pressure would we best for me. I met with their delightful store manager, Justin, who was SO helpful. I let him know about my health background of having two vertebrae removed during my brain stem surgery a few years ago. He was very precise about asking all the right questions to help tailor a fantastic massage for a newbie like me who had no idea what to really ask for up front. My therapist, Bert, took all of this information and worked his MASSAGE MAGIC. Seriously, the guy has miracle hands as far as I’m concerned.

Aroma Therapy Meets Massage

Justin suggested trying their new aroma therapy massage treatment enhancements which are infused into your massage oil during your session. I’m really glad I did. I opted for the Lavender Garden scent which promotes restful sleep, reduces inflammation, and calms the mind. YES. PLEASE. I was so relaxed that – to be honest with you, at times during my massage, I found myself trying hard not to drool! The other scent, which I also got to smell, was Mint & Rosemary and it’s supposed to “increase circulation and enliven your body and mind” – next time maybe.

My massage session lasted a good 50 minutes and I opted for the full body, Swedish with a focus on neck, shoulders, and back. From start to finish, the massage was on point. Turns out, I like a quite a bit of pressure and Bert got it just right. On another note, I loved the ambiance of the massage room. The relaxing soundtrack of waves hitting the beach was perfect… it just so happens that I’m leaving for a cruise vacation in a few days and this was just what I wanted to hear. There’s also different levels of lighting and whatever your preference is – they will cater to you.

I was really pleased with my experience and if you’re in the Houston area, I absolutely recommend giving this location a shot! They offer a number of different massage options from sports massage and deep tissue to prenatal and geriatric. I was also surprised to find out that they offer Murad® Health Skin facials, too.

Just in case you need a little encouragement…

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7 Benefits of Massage Therapy

  • Stress Relief
  • Pain Management
  • Give yourself some “ME TIME” and RELAX. Let your mind wander.
  • Improves posture and circulation
  • It’s healthy for you & lowers your blood pressure
  • Great option for a creative date night!
    • The West University location offers couple’s massages. I love the location because it’s in a shopping center with plenty of great options. Grab a meal at one of my faves, Vietopia, or indulge in a sweet treat from Paciugo or Bite Macarons right next door.
  • Pamper yourself for a good cause, make an appointment for September 17th, & $10 from your one-hour massage or facial session will benefit the Arthritis Foundation. Learn more here.

Enter to Win a FREE Massage Envy Spa® Gift Card to Any Houston Area Location:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

For more information on Massage Envy, visit their official website. – Stayed tuned to all things Massage Envy Houston on Twitter by following: @MassageEnvyHOU & liking their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/MassageEnvyHouston – They are known for hosting many great Facebook giveaways for their fans. Thank you, Massage Envy, for giving this girl one heck of a great massage!

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