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
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