Monday, December 13, 2010

Busch Gardens' Christmas Town Review

note: be sure you don't miss the amazing video of our time at busch gardens at the bottom of this post! it's the best part! :)

A couple of weekends ago, my future husband and I had the privilege of visiting the wonderful Busch Garden's Christmas Town Social Media event.

First, there's something you should know about me. From the time I was a little girl, I have always been enthralled with Christmas lights and Christmas has always been my favorite time of year. As soon as I'd see those colored bulbs twinkling in front of homes and businesses as I rode in my mom's car, I would be overcome with joy.

I am just as enthralled with Christmas lights and displays now as I was then, so when I walked into Christmas Town, it took my breath away. Never in my life have I ever seen such a magical, magnificent display of lights, sounds, scenery, etc. Never ever! I felt like a kid again and the joy rose up in me, bubbling over just as it did when I was a child.

When you enter Christmas Town, you feel like you've entered another world. And not just the "Old Country" other world you may be used to if you've been to Busch Gardens before. This is a place where ornamental snowflakes dangle and sparkle above your head, while real ones fall softly on your shoulders from snow machines.

A place where millions of lights illuminate every area, some reflecting into the river while a large "Peace on Earth" sign sits majestically above it all...where one tree alone shines with over 100,000 lights:

A place where real-life entertainers enthrall you with bagpipes and caroling and music themed to each country plays soothingly all around you:

A place that celebrates the true meaning of the holiday with a heartwarming nativity scene:

The shows are just as dazzling and the heartfelt messages give you the warm fuzzies which helps fight off the chill of the winter air. (But if that's not enough for you, there are heated seats and standing heat lamps throughout the park...not to mention plenty of delicious hot chocolate and mulled cider!)

Being roller coaster enthusiasts, we made sure to stop by the one coaster that was open...The Griffon:

But after one ride, we decided that strolling along the peaceful pathways was more to our liking. Christmas Town is about the scenery and shows, and not the rides, in my opinion.

In addition to walking, you can also check out the views from the Christmas train or the "Flight of Lights" (the sky ride), both of which are decked out in lights themselves. The aerial view of the park at this time of year is astounding. You definitely don't want to miss it!

What visit to Busch Gardens would be complete without animals? Here's Matt and me posing with the gorgeous Clydesdale Dusty:

There are also penguins that we somehow missed but will be sure to look for next year.

We were fortunate enough to meet some of the faces behind the event. This is me with Virginia, who runs Busch Gardens' Twitter account:

And this is Matt and me with Carl Lum, president of Busch Gardens:

Matt and I are definitely visiting again next year, and we plan on bringing our kids next time. It makes for a perfect family outing! But this year, it was just the two of us, which was more romantic than words can describe:

Matt put together a wonderful video that captured all the beauty and splendor of the evening. Watch it here:

And then make every effort to get to Christmas Town this year if you haven't already! It will be open EVERY day from the 17th to the 31st, so hurry over and enjoy the magic yourself!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Marry Me!

As someone who is soon-to-be engaged, I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to screen Lifetime's upcoming miniseries "Marry Me" starring the fabulous Lucy Liu!

From Lifetime's website:
Lucy Liu stars as Rae Ann Carter, a single aspiring-artist-turned-social-worker who always wanted a fairy-tale romance — to fall madly in love and live happily ever after. But when her two-year relationship falls apart, Rae unexpectedly falls for a new man, Luke (Steven Pasquale), who asks her to marry him after a few short dates. Just as everything seems to fall into place for Rae, her ex-boyfriend Adam (Bobby Cannavale) suddenly re-emerges into her life with a proposal of his own. Things get even further complicated when a third man (Enrique Murciano), smitten by Rae, enters the picture and asks for her hand in marriage, as well. With three men after her heart, who will be Rae’s Prince Charming?

I was rooting for romantic, good-guy Luke through the whole miniseries since he reminded me of my romantic, good-guy Matt. :) Is it true that "all romantic men cheat" as Rae's friends warn her? Not in my case! As for the miniseries, you'll have to watch to find out. ;)

Will Rae choose my favorite (Luke)? Or will she fall for old flame Adam?

Or maybe it's the suave and debonair Harry?

My favorite quote in the miniseries comes when Immy, one of Rae's foster clients (who happens to have captured her heart), is questioned about her belief in love and romance. Lucy Liu asks, "You believe in all that?"

"Yeah," Immy replies. "Why? Just 'cause I've seen a bunch of people get it wrong? That's just how you learn to get it right."

I left a marriage of 21 years and it was one of the hardest decisions of my life. That quote really hit home with me and I couldn't agree more. Having the courage to make a change and learn from the past has led me to be happier than I've ever been in my entire life. So I love this miniseries all the more for recognizing people who have been through my situation with a quote like that.

"Marry Me" is fun, lighthearted, and enchanting and it was a nice change of pace to see Lucy Liu shine in a comedic role. There are castles, private jets, romantic adventures, and more! But it's the lessons Rae learns about true love, romance, and following your dreams that will resonate most.

Check out the trailer here:

I had originally planned to host a viewing party to screen the miniseries, but due to complications with FedEx (nothing wrong on their end...I just wasn't able to be there to sign for the package), I received my kit too late. So I got creative and took the fabulous goodies that were sent to me and made them into gift bags to share with my neighbors and friends:

You can host YOUR own viewing party when the series airs, and Lifetime has some great ideas to help you be the hostess with the mostest right here!

Whether you watch by yourself or with friends, "Marry Me" will be sure to sweep you off your feet! <3 Tune in to Lifetime at 9 pm et/pt on Sunday, December 12 and again at 9 pm et/pt on Monday, December 13 to catch all of the fun!

Disclosure: I received a free preview copy of "Marry Me" as well as several gifts to help facilitate this review.

So A Blonde Walks Into A Review

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Stay tuned to my Twitter feed for tweets and Twitpics Friday night, starting at 5 p.m. EST for live coverage of Busch Gardens' Christmas Town celebration. I'll be attending their social media event that night and will be bringing you behind-the-scenes coverage right from the park, including comments from Busch Garden's president Carl Lum and Vice President of Entertainment Scott Gasparich.

I visited Busch Gardens during their Howl-O-Scream event and was VERY impressed. My family and I had an amazing time! I can't wait to show you all that Busch Gardens has to offer you at Christmas Town!

I'll also be posting follow-up videos here for your enjoyment after I return so stay tuned for those as well. "See" you Friday night from the park!

So A Blonde Walks Into A Review

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Serving in Style with Villeroy & Boch

With the holidays fast approaching, I've been scrambling to plan my family's Christmas party. And thanks to Villeroy & Boch, I will be serving food in style on my new Toys Delight serving platter:

Words do not do this platter justice, but elegant, classy, and stylish come to mind. Toys Delight is Villeroy & Boch's new holiday pattern. The platter is perfect for cookies, cakes and all of your other holiday treats.

The Platter has an MSRP of $100 and is currently on sale for $69.95.

Villeroy & Boch also has an adorable candle holder, "Apple Seller," that's part of their Nostalgic Market collection:

The candle holder has an MSRP value of $43 but is on sale for $29.95.

For everyday serving, Villeroy & Boch's Ceramicplus Lasagna Dish in French Garden is absolutely beautiful! Ceramicplus Bakeware is oven-safe, dishwasher-safe, microwave-safe and freezer-safe. It has a proprietary glaze that repels baked-on food, so you can clean it quickly and easily without scrubbing or scouring. The Lasagna Dish has a MSRP of $121 and is currently on sale for $60.50.

Villeroy & Boch offers a great selection of modern and classic dinnerware place settings, accessories, crystal stemware and gifts for any occasion, perfect for celebrating casual or traditional get-togethers. The company is 260 years old and still family owned. Its dinnerware sets the tables of the Pope, crowned royalty, and households of the rich and famous as well as renowned restaurants on every continent.

Even the box that my Christmas platter came in screams "elegance." Any of their products would make a perfect gift for a loved one during the holidays.

Isabelle von Boch is currently blogging at She wants to inspire people to use their good china every day, and she's offering a variety of simple recipes as well as decorating ideas.! Be sure to check it out!

Disclosure: I received a complimentary Toys Delight serving platter to facilitate this review.

So A Blonde Walks Into A Review

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Lunchables Winner

Congratulations to Steph! Her name was selected at random via as the winner of the Lunchables giveaway!

Stay tuned for more fun reviews and giveaways to come!

So A Blonde Walks Into A Review

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lunch Made Easy (and Healthy!) With Lunchables

With all of the changes and chaos in my life now, time is one thing that's hard to come by. As a single mom with school-aged children, I need fast, healthy choices when it comes to lunch for my kids and Lunchables has always come to my rescue! In fact, it will be the lunch of choice when I chaperone my daughter's field trip into DC on Monday.

Lunchables has come out with two new varieties of Lunch Combinations and an addition to one classic that my kids were able to try out: Chicken + American Sub Sandwich, Chicken Strips with DOLE Mandarin Oranges, and Deep Dish Pizza NOW with DOLE Mandarin Oranges.

My kids were thrilled to see mandarin oranges added into the Lunchables Combinations since that's their favorite fruit. And they loved each Lunchables Combination, both of them fighting over who got what combo (if they had their way, each one would've gotten to eat all three!).

~The Chicken Strips Lunchable is made with 100% white meat chicken and a the mandarin oranges provide a full serving of fruit.

~The Chicken + American Sub Sandwich Lunchable is made from rotisserie seasoned chicken breast and includes spring water and a bun made with 8 grams of whole grain per serving.

~The Deep Dish Cheese Pizza Lunchable has a crust made with 8 grams of whole grain, reduced-fat cheese and a full serving of fruit.

The new varieties feature clear, outside packaging so moms can see what they're giving their kids and is largely recyclable, including the sleeves, bottom trays and water bottles.

Want to try out these and other Lunchables for your family? I have six coupons for one free package of any Lunchables combination each (for a total of six combos)to give to one lucky winner!

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post letting me know what you love about Lunchables or why you would like to try them out.

Be sure that there is an email address for you that I can find, or your entry will have to be disqualified.

By entering, you automatically agree to all the rules and disclaimers listed here. Please also see my disclosure policy here.

You can receive additional entries by doing one or all of the following (one entry, one time, for each step):

~Twitter with a link to this post. Then leave a separate comment here with your Twitter link. Feel free to use the Twitter share button at the bottom of this site.

~Blog about this contest with a link to this post. Then leave a separate comment here with the link to your post.

~Follow this blog. Simply click on "Follow this blog" found near the top of the sidebar to the right (under "The Blonde"). Then, leave a separate comment letting me know you are following.

~Post the button below on your blog and then leave a separate comment here letting me know it's posted and where. Here's the code for the button:

So A Blonde Walks Into A Review

~Add So a Blonde Walks Into a Review to your Technorati Favorites (just click the button below and follow the simple steps). Then, leave a separate comment here letting me know you've added this blog to your favorites:

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Deadline to enter is 11:59 EST, Friday, November 12, 2010. Winner will be selected at random using Good luck!

Disclosure: I received complimentary Lunchables Combinations as well as coupons to facilitate this review.

So A Blonde Walks Into A Review

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Dinner With Disney!

If there is one place in the world that I will never be too old for, where the most magical memories are made, and where happiness lives, that place is Walt Disney World. I have always been a huge Disney fan and every time I walk through those gates, I feel like I am a kid again.

No Disney vacation can be complete without experiencing the wonder of their cuisine, whether it's something as simple as a quick snack at a kiosk, or a delicious, sit down dinner at one of their 200 (yes...200!) restaurants on the 40-square mile property. Walt Disney World is a premiere, international dining destination, with something for everyone.

Craving a Mickey-shaped ice cream bar? Just swing by a kiosk while walking to your next attraction. Prefer to sit down in an adults-only, formal setting, with harps, butler service and personalized menus? Then the AAA 5 Diamond-rated Victoria and Albert’s is the perfect choice!

Right now is the perfect time to experience Walt Disney World's vast array of eating choices, as the park is offering a free Disney dining plan promotion! Book your Disney vacation today through the promotion and you will be able to:

(Regular Dining Plan) Choose meals and snacks at over 100 select Walt Disney World restaurants, including some with Character Dining. During your package stay, each person over 3 years of age will receive:
  • 1 Table-Service Meal
  • 1 Quick-Service Meal
  • 1 Snack


(Quick Service Dining Plan) Choose Quick-Service meals and snacks at over 50 select Walt Disney World restaurants. During your package stay, each person over 3 years of age will receive:
  • 2 Quick-Service Meals
  • 2 Snacks
  • Plus one Resort Refillable Drink Mug per person (refillable only at your Disney Resort Hotel)

Click here for more information on both plans.

I’m having dinner with Disney!

I will be attending a special "Dinner With Disney" event at Old Ebbit Grill in Washington DC on Thursday from 6 to 9 pm EST, and I will be bringing YOU along with me with live updates from my Twitter account. I will also repost information here in case you miss the live Tweets and Twitpics.

You can also follow along with other mom bloggers who are attending through the Twitter hashtag #DisneyDinnerDC.

Don't miss out as I will be sure to give you all of the behind-the-scenes info I can get on Disney dining and will let you know exactly what foods you'll want to try when you visit Walt Disney World! "See" you on Thursday!

So A Blonde Walks Into A Review

Monday, September 13, 2010

Even My Dishwasher Thinks I Work Too Hard!

First of all, I want to offer much thanks to the team at Mom Central for their patience with me in sharing my last posts about my beloved Frigidaire Dishwasher with you. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am going through some life changes that have taken up much of my time and the great people at Mom Central have gone above and beyond in understanding about me missing (that's putting it mildly) my deadlines.

I am back now and ready to blog away and have some exciting posts to share with you! But first, I want to bring you my final post in my Frigidaire Dishwasher series to let you know how very impressed my family has been with its performance.

Let me just say that this is one dishwasher that refuses to let you work too hard. I discovered this when I noticed a build up of soap on my dishes and didn't know why it was happening. It turns out it was my fault, not the dishwasher's.

Frigidaire's Professional Line dishwashers are both energy efficient and intelligent. It actually knows when your dishes are clean and when they are soiled. Having been used to pre-washing my dishes before loading them into the dishwasher (which requires a lot of effort and time), I was essentially telling my dishwasher, "Hey, here are some clean dishes for you to wash!"

Frigidaire's soil sensor recognized that the dishes were not soiled, and thus, ran fewer wash/rinse cycles. But I had been putting in enough soap for a full, soiled load.

I don't know about you, but I'm pretty impressed with a dishwasher that tells you, "No, REALLY! Stop working so hard! Let me do it for you!" :)

Now, we have a "just scrape" rule where we wipe off the big chunks of leftover food and leave the rest to our Frigidaire dishwasher to take care of. So now I'm saving even MORE time, which is something that I am definitely short on these days!

As if I hadn't already had enough things to rave about when it came to the dishwasher, I've found a new thing to love! (and if you've read my previous posts, you know that there is SO much to love when it comes to this dishwasher!)

Click here to see all that the Frigidaire Professional Line Dishwasher has to offer. Thanks again to Mom Central for allowing me to test drive this fabulous appliance!

“I wrote this review while participating in a Test Drive Campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Frigidaire and received a Frigidaire Dishwasher to facilitate my review.”

So A Blonde Walks Into A Review

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Frigidiare Makes Dish Washing Fun!

One of the chores my kids help out with around the house is washing dishes. They've always hated it as much as I have. But ever since we got our new Frigidaire Professional Dishwasher, dish washing has been less of a chore. Utilizing the space-saving and time-saving features has actually been fun!

I asked my kids to tell me what they love best about the dishwasher and they both agreed that their favorite feature is how much space there is:

Natalie, 9 yrs. old: "I like the space. I like how many bowls can fit in the top part and you don't have to always put bowls on the bottom because of those little slot things. (she means the prongs that can be adjusted for more room)

"You know how they have those little flap things that hold the silverware? That's also something I think is cool."

Matthew, 13 yrs. old: "The space is good because with the old dishwasher, you couldn't fit as many cups into it, and the top is nice because you can fold down the prongs. And You can fit more silverware into the basket."

For me, choosing one feature as my favorite is hard. I love them all! The space, the many cycle options, the adjustable racks, the sleek, fingerprint-resistant stainless steel...I could go on and on!

In case you missed it, you can see an overview of all the fabulous features in my intro video:

Click here for more information on the Frigidaire Professional Dishwasher. You can also follow along with all of the Frigidaire Moms over at Twitter with the hashtag #frigidairemoms.

“I wrote this review while participating in a Test Drive Campaign by Mom Central on behalf of Frigidaire and received a Frigidaire Dishwasher to facilitate my review.”

So A Blonde Walks Into A Review

Monday, May 10, 2010


I wanted to offer an apology to my readers for the lack of posts/giveaways on this site. I am in the middle of making some very important life changes and have gone back to work as a freelance writer so I don't have the time to put into this site that I once had.

I do want to complete my series on my Frigidaire dishwasher and will be bringing you two final posts this month to let you know how it's been working for me. As for future posts on other topics...never say never. I will keep this site open and will consider hosting giveaways or doing reviews as time will allow.

Thank you to all of my readers for your loyalty over the years! My contact information can be found in my bio if you would like to keep in touch.

So A Blonde Walks Into A Review

Friday, April 16, 2010

Harlem Globetrotters 2010 "Magical Memories" Tour Review

Dizzy, Airport and Moose greeting fans backstage at the Patriot Center

Last Saturday, I got to experience the magic that is the Harlem Globetrotters for the first time with my kids at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, VA. We had such an amazing time that I want to make it a yearly tradition now.

We started out backstage before the show with a Meet and Greet. We got to meet Dizzy, Moose and Airport and they were so nice and gracious to us.

My daughter Natalie with Dizzy.

Me with Dizzy and Moose.

My son Matthew with Dizzy.

Everyone backstage got a free program for the players to sign and we got to take tons of pictures with them. My kids were in heaven!

After we were done with the meet and greet, we headed to our seats to watch the show. I've always heard such wonderful things about the Globetrotters but I never realized just how entertaining and hilarious they were until I saw them in person.

There were magic tricks, tons of audience interaction, gags and of course...amazing basketball stunts.

My kids had SO much fun and they, along with everyone around us, were laughing as the Globetrotters defeated their arch rivals The Generals. There wasn't a boring moment during the entire show. My oldest and I particularly liked the music that was played. Every song that came on we loved and she joked that she wished they had a soundtrack to sell.

It's very obvious that the Globetrotters care a lot about their fans and they go out of their way to show it. They handed out free basketballs and other gifts to people they pulled onto the court to interact with, and they took time after the game as they always do to sign autographs and meet their fans. It was pure, wholesome family entertainment at its best and I can't wait to bring my kids again!

To see if the Harlem Globetrotters are coming to your area, visit their website here.

Disclosure: I received free tickets and meet and greet passes to the show to facilitate this review.
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