Cirque du Soleil’s AMALUNA is Coming to Houston February 12 – March 22

In Houston, we’re really lucky to have such a vibrant culture and arts community. We also get some very cool tours that come through. Speaking of which…

Cirque du Soleil is making their return to our awesome city with their new show, AMALUNA!

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Performance Dates: Thursday, Feb. 12 – Sunday, March 22, 2015

Venue: The Big Top at Sam Houston Race Park – 7575 North Sam Houston Parkway West, Houston, TX 77064

Amaluna invites the audience to a mysterious island governed by Goddesses and guided by the cycles of the moon. Their queen, Prospera, directs her daughter’s coming-of-age ceremony in a rite that honors femininity, renewal, rebirth and balance which marks the passing of these insights and values from one generation to the next. In the wake of a storm caused by Prospera, a group of young men lands on the island, triggering an epic, emotional story of love between Prospera’s daughter and a brave young suitor. But theirs is a love that will be put to the test. The couple must face numerous demanding trials and overcome daunting setbacks before they can achieve mutual trust, faith and harmony.

You will not want to miss this show! With such talented performers, multidimensional costumes, enthralling music and incredible visuals, this production is like no other! Talk about a unique Houston date idea… this performance will definitely amaze and awe.

Get your AMALUNA tickets here.

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WIN Your AMALUNA Tickets!

Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win 2 tickets to see Amaluna in Houston!

For an extra chance to win, be sure you’re following the xtine danielle Facebook page. I’ll be giving away another pair of tickets to the show before Feb. 12th! The more chances to win, the better… right?

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Giveaway ends 2/12/15. GOOD LUCK & enjoy the show!

Introducing Skinny Cow’s New Creamy Iced Coffee Drinks + Giveaway! #SkinnyIndulgence

So for a while now, I have been hoping and praying to the coffee gods out there, for a low calorie option for ready-made iced coffee. I admit, I am a huge fan of those Starbucks drinks that come at an oh-not-so-lovely 300+ calories per bottle! When I first heard about a new line of coffee products from Skinny Cow, I was thrilled.

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Skinny Cow recently unveiled their new line of Creamy Iced Coffee drinks and last night, I hosted a tasting party and girl’s night to celebrate the occasion, and needless to say, my coffee prayers have finally been answered.

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The Skinny Cow Creamy Iced Coffee drinks come in three different varieties to choose from:

  • Vanilla Latte
  • Creamy Cappuccino
  • Mocha Latte

Each of these creamy creations come at only 120 calories per 8 oz. bottle. You’re also getting 5 grams of protein per serving. If you’re counting your sugar intake, you’ll need to be careful because each bottle contains 18 grams.

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The feedback from my friends about these new coffee drinks was very positive.

I know I am super biased when it comes to coffee, especially, the iced variety – so I was pleased to hear how much my non-coffee drinking friend enjoyed these. It was her first time even trying iced coffee! After tasting each of the 2 oz. servings, she really enjoyed them, especially, the Mocha Latte variety. She described the taste as almost like a chocolate milk but with a subtle, and nice, coffee after taste. I think Skinny Cow may have even converted her over to the world of coffee-drinking!

All of us noted the light and refreshing taste that each of the coffee drinks had. Compared to the ready-made Starbucks’ frappacino bottled drinks, they are much less thick and chalky, which we each preferred.

If I had to choose a favorite from the three Skinny Cow Creamy Iced Coffee varieties, I’d go with the Creamy Cappuccino, although, I think they are all absolutely fantastic. My three party attendees all picked Mocha Lattee as their favorite.

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When working to make good choices and live a healthier lifestyle, sometimes you do have to indulge and Skinny Cow totally gets that.

I’m a big fan of Skinny Cow and all of their products – their low calorie ice cream, their candy, and now, their iced coffee. It truly is the perfect addition for their brand. I really appreciate a company giving us so many great options to get our yummy fix but yet not blow our calories!

These indulgent new drinks are available at your local grocery store.

Skinny Cow Creamy Iced Coffee Giveaway!

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I am giving away coupons for you to try all three of these great new iced coffees for yourself! Enter to win using the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway ends February 23rd at 12:00 AM.

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Giveaway Details: Winner will receive three Manufacturer’s Coupons to be redeemed for: Any (1) Skinny Cow Creamy Iced Coffee Drink 8 fl oz Single or 4-pack. Coupon value: (up to $6.99 each) – Winner will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter then notified via e-mail. Winner will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. Coupons will be mailed out by xtinedanielle.com within 2 days of winner confirmation and receipt of winner’s mailing address.

Thank you to Skinny Cow for providing all the awesome swag and delicious product samples for the tasting party & giveaway!

5 Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

I know a lot of people out there are super cynical about Valentine’s Day and just consider it to be another “Hallmark holiday” but I’m one of those who love the idea of celebrating love. Sure, a lot of people may say, “Well, that’s what anniversaries are for” – which is true, too, but VDay is another super sweet day to celebrate the special person in your life. Today, I’m sharing a few date ideas for you on how to celebrate Valentine’s Day with your main squeeze.

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Cook Dinner Together

Enjoy a romantic date night in and cook dinner together. Enjoy the whole process of preparing the meal together. Get some ideas off Pinterest, print the recipes out, make a list of ingredients, and go to the grocery store together to get everything you’ll need in order to make your meal. Then get cookin’!

Dinner-To-Go & Enjoy Your Favorite Restaurant Meal at Home

Order to go from your favorite restaurant and bring the meal home to enjoy. Light some candles, put on your favorite music, and enjoy an evening in. You can always follow up to dinner with a cozy movie or game night, just the two of you.

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One of our favorite Valentine’s Days, just last year, was spent at home, enjoying one of our favorite meals from Carrabba’s with a great bottle of wine.

Take a Valentine’s Day Weekend Road Trip

Visit a nearby city and spend the weekend exploring a new place together. Weekend getaways are always romantic and so much fun to break away from the everyday norm of your busy lives. Enjoy the weekend and travel somewhere quick, this will give you guys the chance to focus on each other and enjoy some true quality time together. That, to me, is what Valentine’s Day is all about.

If you’re in the Houston area, I recommend a weekend road trip to Fredericksburg, San Antonio, Austin, Galveston, or maybe even the new Golden Nugget casino in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Go Out, Get Fancy, & Enjoy a Nice Restaurant

Special occasions are the perfect excuse to get fancy and indulge in a high-end restaurant which you may not normally visit. If you and your partner are in the mood to go out for a lovely evening on the town, start off with a reservation at a nice steakhouse, sushi place, or any restaurant you’ve been dying to try.

Houston is full of amazing restaurants! A few suggestions of the top of my head are: Fleming’s Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Brennan’s of Houston, The Original Carrabba’s on Kirby. I love the ambiance of these restaurants and the service and food are always impeccable. Over all, each visit is usually a guaranteed wonderful restaurant experience.

Schedule a Couple’s Massage

Pamper yourselves and schedule a relaxing couple’s massage.

However you and your honey choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day, remember to focus on each other and enjoy the quality time you have together. Happy Valentine’s Day and cheers to making some fantastic memories!

Brooklyn Bean Extravaganza: Breakfast Blend Giveaway #brooklynbeanroastery

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by The Review Wire, sponsored by The Brooklyn Bean Roastery. I was given a box of free product for review and promotion purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Today, I am SO excited to be a part of The Review Wire’s Brooklyn Bean Roastery blog hop. I am a huge coffee lover so when this opportunity presented itself, I jumped. I remember seeing a Brooklyn Bean Roastery k-cup in a variety box at work but I hadn’t yet tried any of their coffee for myself, until now.

The variety I was sent to review is the Brooklyn Bean Roastery Breakfast Blend Light Roast.

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Two words — SUPER YUM.

I’m a fan of light and medium blends so I was really pleased to try this one. It’s a very nice, smooth cup of coffee with great flavor. It also pairs really well with my favorite sugar-free hazelnut creamer from Kroger.

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I also asked my Dad to sample this coffee and he enjoyed it, as well. I was a little surprised being that he usually tends to opt for dark roasts but he said it was “a good cup of coffee” and I have to agree. He also took note of the pleasant “roast smell” and “nice taste” with “no bitter aftertaste” whatsoever.

None of the K-Cups are Keurig 2.0 Compatible just yet – but all the Brooklyn Beans Roastery coffee will be by the end of February 2015.

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Coffee Lovers, Win Your Own Box of Brooklyn Bean Roastery’s Breakfast Blend!

Brooklyn Bean Roastery has been kind enough to offer up a full size box of k-cups for one of my very lucky readers! That’s 40 single serve coffee k-cups for you to enjoy.

Enter for your chance to WIN using the Rafflecopter form below:

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Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Brooklyn Bean Giveaway Extravaganza for your chance to win more coffee and learn about all the other great varieties Brooklyn Bean Roastery has to offer!

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Disclosure: 

The Brooklyn Bean Roastery Event Bloggers are not responsible for shipment of the prizes. I was provided with product for this review. All views and opinions with regard to Brooklyn Bean Roastery or the company are my own and were not influenced by the company.
Companies and bloggers, if you would like to participate in group giveaway events like this one, sign up to be emailed about future events hosted by Review Wire Media.

Our Visit to Corpus Christi & The Selena Museum

Earlier this month, Hubby and I took a few days off to visit Schlitterbahn’s South Padre Island Beach Resort & Waterpark. Today’s post will feature a few other highlights from our South Texas road trip as a part of my #TravelTexas blog series.

The drive down to South Padre Island is nearly a good six hours, so we made it a point to stop a little more than half way in Corpus Christi. When I think of Corpus Christi two things come to mind: SELENA and Whataburger.

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I have been a HUGE fan of Selena ever since I was little girl. I completely idolized her and still do. So much to the point that I made a tribute video to her at the ripe ol’ age of 8 after she passed. If I can somehow get this video from the ancient 8mm tape to digital, I promise to upload it to YouTube and post on the blog! It’ hilarious and a total gem, trust me. My husband loves it.

I can talk about my love for Selena for ages (in future blog posts to come maybe) but back to the point of this post.

Corpus Christi, Texas = the land of Selena, always and forever.

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We had a chance to make a quick stop at The Selena Museum which is also Q Productions Studio, her family’s business, and where Selena filmed her final album. Jennifer Lopez also filmed the studio scenes in this building. It’s $3 to enter the museum, although, I would have probably paid lots more because of how much this meant to me.

It was an incredible experience to be in this place. I instantly felt Selena’s presence. This might sound really weird, too, but the aroma of the place smelled so lovely and sweet. If I could imagine Selena’s scent, it would be this smell.

Selena’s sister, Suzette, was working the reception desk and greeted us. Her husband, Billy, gave us a tour of the studio and led us into the museum area. It was so awesome to see them! Suzette has lost an incredible amount of weight in recent years and looks absolutely amazing! I follow her on Instagram (@SuzetteSYLD) and she is such an inspiration.

The Museum and Studio are, of course, family-owned and operated in true Quintanilla fashion. I’ve read of Mr. Quintanilla being there sometimes, too, and meeting fans, as well.

The museum was incredible and had every bit of Selena memorabilia you can imagine. Everything from her incredible outfits that she had designed, worn, and performed in at various infamous concerts, awards shows, and music videos to the actual awards she received, hundreds of beautiful and rare photographs, and so much more.

Here are a few of my favorites of Selena’s outfits on display:

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Also on display are the letters written to Chris Perez and the Quintanilla Family from Former President Clinton, Former President Bush, and Larry King. They were incredibly touching and so sad to read.

All the while in the background, Selena’s music is playing throughout the museum. They also have the Selena Biography episode playing on a television. You view it here in it’s entirety at Biography’s website.

Selena’s death was so tragic and it still breaks my heart 20 years later.

She was such a beautiful person, gentle soul, an incredible talent, and such a great role model for so many of us women. I am grateful for her music and the huge impact she left on the world, although, she was only here for 23 short years.

There are such evil people in the world (Yolanda Saldivar) and these senseless acts happen for absolutely no good reason. March 31st, 2015, will be the 20th anniversary of Selena’s passing. We miss you, Selena! Always and forever. #SiempreSelena

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As soon as we got home from our trip, I ordered To Selena, with Love (Commemorative Edition) from Amazon. This book is written by Chris Perez, Selena’s husband. If you’re a Selena fan, it’s a fantastic read. It’s amazing to get to know Selena through Chris’ eyes and learn his side of their love story and the events of their life together.

If you’re looking for Selena related things to do in Corpus Christi, here are a few of my recommendations:

For a full listing of Selena attractions and travel destinations, visit Love Selena‘s awesome website.

We wrapped up our stop with a quick visit to the very famous (in Texas), two-story Whataburger by the Bay just across the beach. My husband was really excited about this because he LOVES his Whataburger and come to find out, it was actually one of Selena’s favorites, too!

Visiting Corpus Christi was a wonderful experience and I can’t wait to go back and spend more time there.

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