Our #BeachHoliday at Schlitterbahn Beach Resort & Waterpark South Padre Island

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Schlitterbahn via my blogger affiliation with U.S. Family Guide. I was provided with a three night stay for my family and a $25 meal voucher for social media coverage and review of the resort on my blog. All opinions and photography in this post are my own.

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Last weekend, Hubby and I were very excited to head south for a #BeachHoliday road trip to South Padre Island to check out the Schlitterbahn South Padre Island Beach Resort and Waterpark. We LOVE amusement and waterparks, so this was right up our alley. Plus, anytime we have a reason to head to the beach, we take it! I’m happy to be sharing my review with you today as a part of my #TravelTexas blog series.

Highlights from our stay at the Schlitterbahn South Padre Island Beach Resort & Waterpark:

The Resort is conveniently located very near to the Queen Isabella Causeway island entrance. Upon our arrival, we were greeted with a very friendly face. Fabian welcomed us to the hotel and made sure we were all set at check in.

We enjoyed a number of features at the resort like the heated pool and swim up bar, friendly staff and great customer service, nice room accommodations and more – but here are a few of my favorite things about our stay:

The best room keys ever.

One of my absolute FAVORITE things about our stay at the resort were the ingenious, hassle-free room keys! Not your typical room key card, these are actually waterproof wristbands that scan and unlock your room door. We loved not having to worry about carrying around or misplacing our room key. This came in so handy going to and from the waterpark. You can literally run from your room to the water rides and pools and not have to worry about carrying anything.

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I have never seen this before at anywhere that I’ve stayed. I REALLY wish other hotels, especially casino resorts, would adopt this room key technology. I cannot tell you how many times I find myself freaking out because I think I’ve misplaced our room key. Kudos to Schlitterbahn for making our lives easier while on vacation. They totally get the point!

We had the beach all to ourselves.

We took full advantage of the white sandy, beautiful South Padre Island beach located directly behind the resort. We really enjoyed our evening walks on the beach (bring a flashlight!) and daytime strolls. The water was too chilly to swim in but lovely all the same. During December, you literally have the beach all to yourself and we loved it.

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The super comfortable beds. 

I love traveling and staying at hotels. Bed quality is something I’m super serious about, especially, when reviewing hotel properties on my blog, Yelp, or Trip Advisor.

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I’m happy to be able to rave about the comfortable beds and amazing pillows we got to enjoy during our stay! Hey, it’s a resort.. this sleep stuff is important! They were so awesome that they even inspired a couple of restful naps which I am so grateful for.

Schlitterbahn Beach Resort dining & event options:

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The Schlitterbahn Beach Resort has a total of four restaurants to choose from. The most well known and largest of the four is the Shrimp Haus Restaurant that’s located inside the waterpark. It’s open daily and offers a wide variety of fresh Texas gulf coast shrimp specials.

We visited on Sunday for lunch. During football season, they offer great drink specials and a free nacho and enchilada bar. We requested to watch the Texans game but majority of the other guests were “snowbirds” from up North and the Green Bay Packers game was in high demand. They had plenty of flat screen televisions and a projector screen to meet everybody’s football watching needs.

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For beach front dining, located directly on the path down to the beach, is the Seaside Grill. They are open daily serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks.

The sea4ever rooftop bar and grill is open seasonally and offers spectacular views of South Padre Island.

The Loblolly Grill is the resort’s casual grill offering breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.

The Resort also offers many event spaces for your parties, family get togethers, and weddings. When we arrived on Friday, a vow renewal was taking place on the beach and the couple and their family were staying at the resort. So sweet!

Overall, a really wonderful resort option for families with kids.

While my husband and I don’t have any kiddos of our own just yet, I really recommend this resort for families with children for the ease of having everything you need for a really great beach vacation, even in December!

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Families are able to take it easy from arrival to departure and enjoy their Beach Holiday without having to stress about anything. You get great accommodations, entertainment, dining options, beach access, and location on the island. Kids will love the indoor waterpark attractions to enjoy. Also, I loved seeing so many lifeguards on staff, keeping a watchful eye on everyone. Safety first!

Get Social with Schlitterbahn!

For all the latest news on Schlitterbahn, connect with them on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook! Schlitterbahn does family fun very well and captures this perfectly on their social media. I’ve always enjoyed their Texas waterparks! It was a pleasure getting to experience their resort in South Padre and I look forward to more visits soon.

Other Schlitterbahn locations include:

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Huge thank you to Schlitterbahn and U.S. Family Guide for sponsoring this post! Stay tuned for another follow up travel post coming soon about this road trip and our time in Corpus Christi and South Padre Island. Safe travels!

Houston Toyota Dealerships Serving As Toys for Tots Donation Drop-Off Sites

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For the last 11 years, Houston area Toyota dealerships have come together to serve as official Toys for Tots drop off locations. This year is no exception!

Toyota is passionate about giving back to the community and building a better tomorrow.

Toyota has set a collection goal of 3,000 donated toys for the Houston area. All new and unwrapped toy donations will be gifted as Christmas presents to underprivileged children in our local communities.

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Now through December 15th, you can drop-off your Toys for Tots donations at any of the following 14 Houston-area Toyota dealerships:

Autonation Toyota Gulf Freeway
12111 Gulf Freeway, Houston

Community Toyota
4701 Interstate 10 East, Baytown

Don McGill Toyota
11800 Katy Freeway, Houston

Don McGill Toyota of Katy
21555 Katy Freeway, Katy

Fort Bend Toyota
20465 Hwy 59 South, Richmond

Fred Haas Toyota Country
22435 S.H. 249, Houston

Fred Haas Toyota World
20400 I-45 North, Spring

Gullo Toyota of Conroe
5001 1-45 South, Conroe

Joe Meyers Toyota
19010 NW Freeway, Houston

Mike Calvert Toyota
2333 South Loop West, Houston

Star Toyota
2112 Gulf Freeway, League City

Sterling McCall Toyota
9400 SW Freeway, Houston

Tejas Texas
19011 Highway 59 North, Humble

Toyota of Alvin
3507 F.M. 528, Alvin

Introducing New #PostGoodness-To-Go Breakfast Bowls & Your Chance to Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card

Disclosure: This post and giveaway are sponsored by Post Foods. I have received free product samples and compensation for my work on this campaign via one of my blogger affiliationsSverve. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

On the go breakfast options, post goodness breakfast bowls,
 

We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day – at least according to most doctors and nutritionists, that’s what we should know and practice.

If you’re like my husband, breakfast happens once in a blue moon, maybe, on the weekends. Honestly, I don’t know how he does it! If you’re like me, you eat breakfast… religiously.

Mornings are busy and I totally understand being on-the-go but really, you’re doing yourself the biggest favor with starting your day of with a healthy, hearty breakfast. Today, I’m introducing the new Post Goodness Breakfast Bowls.

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These breakfast bowls are made with slow-cooked steel cut oats and come ready to heat then eat, all within 60 seconds. They are great for the on the go morning madness rush and are completely portable.

Each bowl provides at least 26 grams of whole grain and at least 8 grams of protein. If you’re counting calories, each bowl ranges from 200 to 220 which is perfect for a wholesome, hot breakfast option.

Post Goodness Breakfast Bowls are available in four savory and sweet varieties:

  • Maple & Brown Sugar
  • Apples & Cinnamon (200 calories)
  • Maple & Real Bacon
  • Real Sausage & Cheddar Cheese (220 calories)

Find this new breakfast option in the hot cereal isle of your local Wal-Mart.

Get a $1.00 off with this coupon!

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Head over to Coupons.com and click the “food” category. Your coupon will be clipped and ready for you.

Give-Away

Use the Rafflecopter below to enter for your chance to WIN a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

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 GOOD LUCK & thank you for reading!

Giveaway Details: Contest ends January 16th. Winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter. The lucky giveaway winner will be sent their $25 Amazon gift card sponsored by Sverve!

Thanks again to Post and Sverve for sponsoring today’s post and this awesome giveaway!

Our Bestfriends’ Wedding Weekend in Galveston

My, oh my, does time fly! Back in October, my hubby and I had the pleasure of standing in two of our best friends’ wedding. It’s wonderful seeing your friends get married – but it’s even more awesome when they marry each other!

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Photo Credit: Luis Licerio Photography

I’ve been friends with Napoli and Jeffrey since High School. Witnessing their love grow from friends to best friends to dating and now to marriage has been absolutely incredible. I am so grateful to have these two in my life. They’ve been there for me through everything, especially, my brain surgery and recovery. They are like brother and sister to me.

I was completely honored when my husband and I were asked to be a part of the bridal party. You might remember seeing Napoli’s Graduation Photos or their Galveston Engagement Photos.

We totally made a very special Galveston wedding weekend out of this lovely, once in a lifetime occasion!

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We stayed at the historic, Hotel Galvez & Spa.

I had ALWAYS wanted to stay here but never had the chance before. I found a great off-season deal on Expedia and booked it immediately. I’m so glad I did!

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Our time at The Galvez was absolutely perfect from beginning to end. I can’t say enough good things about the excellent staff who truly provided one of the best levels of customer service that I’ve received at any hotel. Plus, it’s location is perfectly situated on The Seawall, very close to Murdoch’s, Pleasure Pier, and one of my favorite restaurants on the Island, Fish Tales.

From the moment we pulled up to the hotel, the valet guys were so kind to assist and hold doors open for us. Staying at The Galvez is a truly classic experience. You walk in and can tell what a beautifully historic place you’re in. It’s enchanting.

I love that the hotel even offers an app to download to learn all about the history of the Galvez, especially, the ghost stories which happened to take place on the floor above ours. (I may or may not of heard some eerie sounds in the middle of the night.) We were even able to enjoy The Galvez pool and swim up bar. Super fantastic.

This property is just so gorgeous. The staff is incredible and so centered around providing the highest quality of customer service. Their pleasantries mean the world to me as a guest! The weather was perfect all weekend long, too. We were really blessed! If you happen to find yourself visiting the Island, I highly recommend splurging on a stay at The Galvez.

I also visited the Hotel Galvez Spa for my wedding up-do.

Yvette was WONDERFUL and made all my Pinterest bridal hair dreams come true! I was SO pleased with her service and her talent.

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Hair by Yvette at the Hotel Galvez Spa, Make Up by Me, Bridesmaid Dress from David’s Bridal

Photos from the Wedding Day

Our friends were married at a beautiful waterfront property in Galveston, Texas, centrally located just off of 61st Street. The Waterfront Event Center specializes in weddings on the water. The back outdoor deck of the building, which is on the water, was lit up beautifully once the sun set. The atmosphere really added to this magical event.

I also have to give a BIG shout out to the wedding reception bartenders Sammy and Loretta with the Palace Party Beverage Co. These ladies were awesome and took really great care of all of us. I highly recommend them for your event bartending needs in the Houston/Galveston area!

Here’s a view of the open deck on the water where the ceremony took place. What a view!

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Photo Credit: Pamela Ignacio

Here’s us walking in the wedding:

Bridal party photos
 The gorgeous wedding on the water. What a beautiful back drop to this magical moment!

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Photo Credit: Pamela Ignacio

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Photo Credit: Luis Licerio

The most incredible money dance I’ve ever seen:

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Photo Credit: Luis Licerio Photography

The happy newlyweds cutting their beautiful wedding cake:

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Photo Credit: Luis Licerio Photography

Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Brai! 

Thank you to Luis Licerio and Pamela Ignacio for allowing me to feature some of your wedding photography for this post! For more of my photos from this weekend, head over to my Instagram account.

Thank you, Jeff and Napoli, for having us play a part on your special day! Wishing you a lifetime of love, happiness, friendship, and many blessings forever and always.

Collage.com – Online Photobook Creation & More Service Review

Disclosure: I was provided with two free photobooks in exchange for promotion of Collage.com and reviewing of their services.

Photo Book Deal from Collage.comBack in September, I brought you a great deal from Collage.com via US Family Guide. I’ve had the chance to use the service for myself and will be sharing my thoughts in today’s post.

Collage.com is an online resource that helps you make beautiful visual creations using your favorite images and personal photography.

There are a couple of things that set Collage.com apart from other photo creation websites.

1. The ease of using your social media accounts as a photography library.

I love that you’re able to sync your Facebook and Instagram accounts and very easily pull whatever photos you would like to incorporate into your projects.

2. The very unique products that you can completely customize.

Seriously, they have everything you can think of… even GIFT WRAP. How awesome would it be to wrap presents up in your favorite photos this Christmas season? So cool and very unique. Other really cool items include: BLANKETS, a wide variety of photobook, canvas, and poster sizes, tote bags, bamboo items, even shower curtains! They are constantly coming up with new products for you to make your own. Check here for their complete listing of product selection.

3. The usability and user-friendly interface.

My biggest complaint about many of these websites is how difficult they are to use. I usually get started on a project and am so frustrated by not being able to easily figure out what I want to do, that I end up giving up. That’s definitely not the case with Collage.com – my experience with the online work station was great. It’s so simple to use. Here’s what it looked like when I created my two photobook projects:

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Head over to Collage.com and create something special. Give it a try and see just how easy it is to create something amazing with your special photos and memories.

They have a number of great exclusive deals for the holidays, as well!

I am really happy with the way my two phonebooks turned out. I created a soft-cover book and hard-cover book. These are high quality products and you can tell that this company takes the time to make sure your photo project turns out just the way you want it.

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HAPPY C R E A T I N G!

Thanks again to Collage.com and US Family Guide for providing me the products to review for this post.

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