Friday, October 24, 2014

Younique 3D Fiber Lashes: Do They Really Work?

I was recently sent a gift of the new Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes kit and asked to try them out.  I'll admit, I've been intrigued by all the hubbub and talk there has been about the product that instantly makes your lashes look thick & long.  I have no eyelashes to begin with, so of course I was excited to try them out.  

So I tested them out for you guys to let you know if they really worked. Your welcome. 

What are 3D Fiber Lashes?

What was this stuff I was going to put on my eyelashes???  Here's the scoop directly from the website:

3D Fiber Lashes, is a three step process of first applying the Transplanting Gel, then the 100% Natural Green Tea Fibers and then sealing the fibers with a final coat of Transplanting Gel. This adds 300% more length and volume to your natural lashes without the high cost, maintenance, messy glue, and damage caused by false lashes and eyelash extensions. The Transplanting Gel has collagen in it which contains antioxidants, and may help add volume and shine to the appearance of eyelashes.  The 3D Fiber Lashes are water resistant but easily wash off with warm water and facial cleanser at the end of the day.

Are 3D Fiber Lashes Hard to Use?

The mention of artificial lashes makes me think back to the time to my daughter's dance recital days and the fighting over mascara and the false eyelashes.  It was such a pain, that I was turned off to ever wear them myself - unless someone else put them on.  So without reading the product description and instructions on how to use it, I didn't think I would like it based on the application process. I assumed it would take 10 minutes PER eye and I wouldn't be able to get it right.

Ya'll, I couldn't have been MORE wrong. The application is simple - Use your mascara for a quick coat. Add the transplanting gel.  Brush on the fiber lashes evenly.  Add another small coat of transplanting gel.  Easy. Took me just as much time as putting ton 2 coats of mascara would. And if you are a little nervous about applying them, check out all the videos that show you how. 

Do 3D Fiber Lashes Work?

Just as I was amazed at how simple it was to put them on, I was even more impressed at how natural they looked on me.  I have always wanted darker, thicker eyelashes and with Younique, it's an easy application to have them.  Some pictures you may see online show a much more dramatic look, but with my short eyelashes,  I felt this was a natural addition.  They didn't have a "fake" appearance at all.

When I first added them on, I initially felt like something was different on my eyes, but that sensation quickly faded.  I wore them all day and even by evening, I had the same look.  The lashes did not fall off throughout the day on me (I think the 2nd coat of gel helps with that), yet they easily came off with soap and water.

Here are the shots from my first application of the lashes, I have since become more proficient and can put multiple layers on to make them even more dramatic. 

Are 3D Fiber Lashes Worth It?

At the cost of $29 for the kit, I feel this is a relatively inexpensive way to change your look.  I have paid more for mascara than this before.  It seems that the kit would last a good 2-3 months (maybe more depending on how often you use them).  I think it's a great investment. 

Younique Moodstruck 3D Fiber Lashes are sold by individuals in the community.  I love to support local people and I would love if you are interested in trying the lashes for you to contact my representative - Allison Florence.  I don't get a commission or sales credit, she just graciously sent me a kit to try and I would love for her to get the benefit of my review.  Thank y'all.  Enjoy your new look!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Halloween Party on the Plaza at the Domain ~ Austin, TX

In Austin, there tend to be many different ways to celebrate Halloween, but none quite so family-friendly as the Halloween Party on the Plaza at The Domain on Saturday, October 25, 2014 from 3 pm to 5 pm.

Free to everyone, you are encouraged to dress in your best Halloween costumes (moms & dads too!) and join an afternoon of family fun and thrills when The Domain hosts its annual Halloween party and the first event on the new Plaza.

Bring the whole family for trick or treating, face painting, Halloween crafts and a cake walk to live music by Superband.   There will even be a mini pumpkin patch for a photo!

The Domain recently just added play elements in The Domain II. There are three one-of-a-kind play areas that feature interactive designs and climbers, slides and individualized storyboards appropriate for children of all ages.

The Halloween Party on the Plaza has a Facebook Event Page to follow for updates. And make sure to Follow The Domain on Facebook & Twitter for all their upcoming holiday events.

Dude Ranch Vacation: 9 Reasons to Book One as a Family

Last weekend, my family and I had our very first Dude Ranch experience.  I am, after all, a born & bred Texan, (my kids are too) - they needed to experience a vacation on a Dude Ranch - and a Texan one at that.

We spent 3 full days at the Mayan Ranch in Bandera, Texas.  While we were there, I was overwhelmed with all the reasons why every family should take a dude ranch vacation at least once.  And I was kicking myself for not taking one sooner.  Here are all those reasons - and I hope they will convince you to book a Dude Ranch trip as soon as possible.

9 Reasons to Book a Dude Ranch Vacation

Dude Ranches Encourage Unplugging 

While on the Mayan Ranch, I was compelled to not be on my phone.  I wanted to breathe in the quietness and completely unplug from the world.  With the exception of taking a few photographs, we all stayed off our phones.  The kids left their electronics in the cottages (without mom asking) and we took advantage of the time we had, not distracted by gadgets in our hands.  We barely even turned on the TVs in our cottages, as we wanted to be out exploring the ranch.

Dude Ranches Specialize in Family Time

One of my favorite parts of our weekend, the 5 of us got to "play" together.  We rode horses, played shuffleboard, learned how to line dance (yes, even Dad!), shot BB guns, and took hayrides together.  One evening, the Ranch put together "Family Games"  with some of the most creative group games we have ever played. Our time together wasn't forced, at any time we could have relaxed back in the cottage, but we were having so much fun together, no one wanted to.  It was good, quality family time together - and that seems so precious now a days.

Dude Ranches are All Inclusive

When you stay at a dude Ranch, your cost includes meals,  drinks, activities, and overnight stays.  It is nice to pay one fee up front and not worry about hidden costs throughout the vacation. Most dude ranches have activities and amenities (pool, hot tub, game room) and snacks as well.

Horseback Riding is King at a Dude Ranch

Most people visit a dude ranch to experience life as a cowboy.  What better way then in the saddle on a nice mosey around the property.  Wranglers at dude ranches will match your horseback riding experience with the perfect horse and will offer daily (sometimes more) rides.  We found this type of horseback riding was the most relaxing and enjoyable we had ever experienced.

Unmatched Hospitality at a Dude Ranch

Most dude ranches are working ranches, owned by families who invite you to share their property with them.  Everyone is kind and patient and there to make sure you are having a wonderful time.  We encountered people who were passionate about the Mayan Ranch, as they had grown up there, and were so friendly and unpretentious.

Try Something New at a Dude Ranch

Dude Ranches offer you the opportunity to try something you new that you never have before.  On our trip, we took a few hayrides, learned how to shoot a BB gun, learned archery and ate almost every meal outside.  You can find working dude ranches, where you get put to work and can see what it takes to be a cowboy.  

Dude Ranches Serve Hearty Food

I didn't quite expect to be as blown away by the food as I was this past weekend.  And from what I hear, dude ranches offer hearty meals 3 times a day.  From amazing cowboy breakfast cooked over a fire under a grove of trees to an amazing t-bone steak meal under the stars, this family ate very well at the Mayan Ranch.  Everything tasted delicious and was made from scratch.  I can't vouch for other dude ranches, but if they have experienced chefs in the kitchen, you know the meals are going to be delicious.

Meet New Friends at a Dude Ranch

We loved meeting the other guests who were staying at the Mayan Ranch with us.  All meals and activities are done together, so you get to meet people from all over the globe.  We met a sweet family from Denmark who was on a 2 week fall holiday and a high-speed train engineer and his wife from England.  It was fascinating sharing meals with people from other parts of the world who were just as curious about your lifestyle as you were about theirs.

A Dude Ranch = Quiet

And my favorite thing about the Mayan Dude Ranch.  The quiet. No road noises, no obnoxious video game sounds, no phones ringing, nothing.  Except laughter - my children's sweet laughter as they play with their Dad.  And I could listen to that "noise" all day.

We truly had a special experience this past weekend at a Dude Ranch.  I was sad to leave and return to the real world, that says it all doesn't it?

I haven't been to any other Dude Ranch but the Mayan Ranch - I can't say enough good things about it!

Disclosure: The Mayan Ranch invited my family to stay for 2 nights.  I was not paid to write this article. All opinions (especially the mushy ones) are my own).

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Texas Book Festival in Austin, TX October 25-26, 2014

October 25-26, 2014
Texas State Capitol Building
Austin, TX

The 19th annual Texas Book Festival is a free event that celebrates authors held over 2 days on the Texas State Capitol grounds.  This year, it has over the largest number of authors in it's history, over   280 authors at book readings, signings, and panel discussions as well as exhibitor booths, live music and themed events.  

Established in 1995 by First Lady Laura Bush, the Texas Book Festival has quickly evolved into one of the "premier literary events in the country."  It honors and features over 200 Texas and nationally-known authors.  The schedule is packed with events - from sessions discussion author's books to story time and puppet shows for little ones.

The schedule is packed full with fun events to attend, including some new ones.  Check out the Lit Crawl with R.L. Stine held on Saturday night at the Texas State Cemetery!!   There are authors from all genres featured - biography, mystery, cooking, politics, etc.  Click here to see the full schedule

I was most excited about all the fun for children that is scheduled at the Texas Book Festival:

Children's Read Me a Story Tent (13th & Colorado)
Every half hour, a new story will be read by the author, including some of the following:
  • Pumpkin Time by Erzsi De├ák
  • Ninja! by Aree Chung
  • The Princess in Black by Shannon and Dean Hale
  • Under the Freedom Tree by London Ladd
  • Blizzard by John Rocco
  • The Boy Made of Lightning by Barbara Renaud Gonzalez
  • Baby Penguins Love their Mamma by Melissa Guion
  • Attack! Boss! Cheat Code! by Chris Barton
  • I Love You Too by Ziggy Marley

Also, on Saturday at 3:00, be the first to find out who made the list of Texas Literary Association's Bluebonnet Master List. 20 books are picked each year to promote reading in 3rd thru 6th grade.

Children's Entertainment Tent (West Capitol driveway near Colorado St.)
Every hour features fun entertainment for little ones (and their parents!).  Here is just a few examples of the fun:
  • Magician Ken Cummins
  • Singing Zoologist Lucas Miller
  • Poetry Fun
  • I Knew an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly
  • Biscuit Brothers
  • Joe McDermott
Children's Activity Tent (Colorado St. between 12th & 13th)
Fun, hands-on activities for kids with various authors.  Here is just some of the fun:
  • Austin Dog Alliance - Meet the Bow Wow Reading Dogs and create your own book to read to your pets at home
  • All Over the Alphabet - learn how to make fun alphabet crafts
  • Create a Calavera
  • Create your own Texas Book Festival Souvenir 
Also, don't miss the Kid's Fashion Show, where they are encouraging kids to dress up as their favorite book character from 11 am - 12 pm on Saturday.
Please check the Texas Book Festival website for a full schedule - you will be amazed at how much there is to do!

This is such an awesome opportunity for kids to meet the authors behind some of their favorite books and learn about new favorite authors too.  We can't wait to go!

About the Texas Book Festival:

  • Sessions are FREE and open to the public, with a first come, first serve policy
  • When the sessions are full, no one will be allowed in, so come early to ensure a seat
  • No food or drinks allowed in the Capitol, but a food tent will be on grounds
  • Adult & Young Writers Authors book signings will be in the Book Signing Tent (Congress, between 10th & 11th)
  • Children's Book Signing Tent is at 13th & Colorado
  • Proceeds from book sales help fund the festival, therefore all books to be signed MUST be purchased at the Barnes & Noble Sales tents. (a receipt must be presented)
  • FREE parking will be available at the event at the following locations:
    • Granger Parking Garage (12th & Guadalupe)
    • Capitol Visitor Garage (12th & Trinity)
    • State Lots 8 & 11 (15th & Colorado)
    • State Garage A (14th & San Jacinto)
    • State Garage F (13th & San Jacinto)
    • State Lot 15 (9th & Colorado)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Cirque Dreams Holdiaze at Cedar Park Center December 29-30, 2014 - Giveaway!

It's hard to believe that we are already thinking about holiday shows in Austin, but I have a giveaway for Cirque Dreams Holdiaze coming to Cedar Park Center December 29-30, 2014. 

Cirque Dreams Holdiaze will light up the 2014 holiday season with its newest holiday stage spectacular at Cedar Park Center, December 29 – 30!  It’s a cirque show, Broadway musical, holiday spectacular and family show all in one.

Broadway director Neil Goldberg re-imagines the holiday season with over 300 costumes, 20 acts and 30 performers from 12 countries showcasing an endless variety of imaginative, heart-pounding and gravity- defying feats you have to see to believe. Experience gingerbread men flipping midair, toy soldiers marching on thin wires along with snowmen, icemen and penguins, balancing, jumping and spinning in disbelief.  The show celebrates the most wonderful time of the year with singers, choreography and exciting production numbers. 

Here's a preview of what you can expect:

Tickets are available at the Cedar Park Center Box Office (512-600-5001), , by calling 800-745-3000, or click here ( )

Cedar Park Center is offering my readers the chance to win one Family Four Pack of tickets to the  opening night of Cirque Dreams Holdiaze at the Cedar Park Center December 29, 2014!   Easy giveaway using the rafflecopter below.  Contest begins Monday, October 13, 2014 and concludes at 11:59 pm Friday, October 17, 2014.  Winner will be drawn randomly on Saturday, October 18, 2014 and notified by email. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Making of Gone with the Wind Exhibit at Harry Ransom Center Austin, Texas

Are you a Gone with the Wind fan?  We are HUGE fans!  So I was thrilled to see the Making of Gone with the Wind exhibit was going to be at the Harry Ransom Center on the UT Campus for the next few months.

I took my mom as a surprise for her birthday last week.  This free exhibit is easy to get to, packed with history and so worth the visit......even if you have only seen the movie one time.  The back story of how the movie came to exist was absolutely amazing.

The exhibit is laid out on a time line, showing all the behind-the scenes work to get the movie produced - from getting approval from the book's author, Margaret Mitchell, to finding the perfect actress to play Scarlett (which took YEARS!).  There are over 300 articles that tell the story, including 2 dresses that have not been on display in over 25 years.

I'm sure you recognize this famous dress!
These gorgeous dresses are so much better in person - to see the amount of work that went into their intricate detail - it's amazing.

I don't want to give away all the fascinating things you will see at the Making of Gone with the Wind, but you will see scripts, actual audition tapes of the potential "Scarletts", fan mail, costumes, and producer David O. Selznick's memos.

It's a great exhibit that takes less than an hour to see.  While you are there, make sure to see the Gutenberg Bible and the world's first photograph.

There are several fun events that correspond with this exhibit in Austin, including this:

The Paramount Theatre commemorates the 75th anniversary of the December 15, 1939, premiere of Gone With The Wind. Tickets required and may be purchased online, by phone at 512-474-1221, or at the Paramount's box office.

Exhibition Galleries
Extended Hours for Gone With The Wind (starting Sept. 9):
10 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday
10 a.m.–7 p.m. Thursday
Noon–5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Noon Daily
6 p.m. Thursday
2 p.m. Saturday
2 p.m. Sunday

Gone With The Wind screentests will be shown in the Ransom Center's first-floor theater at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. on weekends, immediately following the public tour.

Closure Dates
The Ransom Center Galleries are closed the following holidays: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve Day, and Christmas Day.

21st and Guadalupe Streets - park in any of the nearby parking lots ($3-5)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Walking with Dinosaurs Cedar Park Center Ticket Discount November 14-16, 2014

The Dinosaurs are coming to Cedar Park - Walking with Dinosaurs that is, and we have a GREAT deal for you to get tickets this month!

Cedar Park Center is pleased to announce the The Walking with Dinosaurs Tour is coming to Cedar Park November 14-16, 2014.  The Cedar Park Center has offered my readers an Exclusive Discount and Walking With Dinosaurs Activity Book for the First 100 Purchasers:

This is your chance to  save $10 on select tickets to Walking With Dinosaurs The Arena Spectacular! Follow this link and enter promo code TREX in the "Offer Code" box to purchase your tickets. For the first 100 purchasers you will receive a Walking With Dinosaurs Activity Book for your family that you can pick up at guest services the day of the show!

Dinosaurs once again roam the earth when the spectacular production, Walking with Dinosaurs The Arena Spectacular, based on the award-winning BBC Television Series, returns to North America this summer. The show that critics have called ‘awesome’, ‘spectacular’ and ‘breathtaking’ will bring the new tour to Cedar Park Center November 14-16 for six performances only.  This updated production will showcase changes to the dinosaurs based on the latest scientific research including the likely feathering of some species. Worldwide, more than eight million people have seen this show in 243 cities and over 2,000 performances.

Don't miss your opportunity to get the $10 off discount and your activity book! 

*All tickets subject to additional fees. This offer is valid Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. – Friday, October 31, 2014 at 11:59 p.m.