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Why Vacation on the Texas Gulf Coast?

Every year, according to Texas government figures, the Lone Star State gets 72.5 million visitors. Tourists flock to Texas for the sunshine, tasty and flavorful barbecue, cowboys, enormous landscapes and the beautiful coastline. Yes, it's not just plains and cities, but the beach too! 

Plenty of places to stay

Many people choose to buy their own holiday home on the gulf coast, and there is plenty of Texas land for sale if you want to set up your own vacation residence that you can visit time and again. It means you can build somewhere that is tailor-made for you.

Along the coast, you will also find some magnificent residences you can stay in that are pure luxury. There are numerous multimillion-dollar homes, but there are also plenty of charming and quirky beachside houses on the stretch where you can tumble out of your front gate and onto the shoreline. 

The gulf coast is driven by tourism, so you will find no shortage of hotels, B&Bs, and inns suitable for every budget too. There are also numerous places offering camping on the beach - just imagine waking up in the dunes with the fresh gulf breeze on your face!

The joy of the beach 

The Texas gulf coast, which is also known as America’s third coast, stretches 367 miles all the way from South Padre Island right along to the Louisiana border. This beach paradise meanders through wonderfully unique beach towns and charming seaside cantinas. You could easily spend the whole summer enjoying the coastlines and the soft, sandy beaches.

One of the most wonderful things about the Texas gulf coast is seeing wildlife in its natural habitat. If you head to North Padre island in the summer you can watch baby sea turtles hatch from their shells and make the epic 40-minute journey down the sand into the ocean. You will find fiddler crabs and blue crabs nestling in the tidal lands and muddy beaches and the majestic spoonbills. 

The sea is jacuzzi-warm in the summer months - the temperature will often be in the mid-80s. If you love watersports, the gulf coast is the perfect place to learn and practice, without worrying about getting cold. You will find plenty of kayaking and windsurfing options too. Fish, surf, or build a sandcastle at Bob Hall Pier. This beach spot features a parking area, car-free zone and picnic tables.

Great food and hospitality 

Bigger is always better in Texas and when it comes to hospitality, the gulf coast is the place to be. 

South Padre Island is home to the biggest beach bar in Texas - Clayton’s. If you want to sample a Pina Colada and some fresh seafood, then make sure you stop by for the grilled fish tacos. Shrimp ‘n’ stuff in Galveston is another great place for food - their po'boys will rival any Louisiana restaurant. The Texas gulf coast is famous for the delicious redfish, which is plentiful all year round. Freshly cooked, straight from the barbecue is the best way to eat it, with a squeeze of lime.

The Texas gulf coast is the perfect place for a vacation all year round. You will find the crystal-clear ocean, beautiful beaches, great food and a very warm welcome. Yee-haw!

Why Vacation on the Texas Gulf Coast?


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You can also experience more Southern Charm & Family Fun in Alabama's Gulf Coast.

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5 Pieces of Travel Tech Worth Taking on Vacation


Whether you’re going on a cruise holiday or jumping on a plane halfway around the world, traveling doesn’t always go smoothly. Like with so many other aspects of life, technology is helping things go a tad more smoothly in recent times, though. It’s the world we now live in. 

As is the case with most other facets of society, the travel industry has had a technological facelift. Modern innovation has made its mark, with travel tech now flying off the shelves. Much like the gaming scene, where the variety of gaming options is humongous with casino games like casino.com/ca/slots/mega-moolah/ proving popular on mobile, alongside console releases like PUBG, Fortnite and the like, the options are endless for the modern-day traveler too. Parents are taking tools to help their children sleep in foreign surroundings, backpackers are investing in navigation devices to help find the best spots, and campers and the like have new gear and gadgets capable of making their stay go so much better. It’s a great time to be alive, really. 

With innovation continually coming to the fore, here’s a look at five of the best pieces of travel tech at the moment.

5 Pieces of Travel Tech Worth Taking on Vacation

PowerCore 20100 Power Bank 

There’s nothing worse than being heavily reliant on your mobile phone only for it to run out of battery at a crucial point in the day. To avoid failing to contact your tour guide or missing a friend at a local landmark, consider purchasing a portable external battery like the PowerCore 20100 Power Bank. This particular battery is small, it looks slick, and with two USB ports, you can charge up to two devices at the same time. 

Osmo Mobile 2 Handheld Smartphone Gimbal 

Being tasked with capturing memorable holiday moments on camera is a tough ask, especially if all you’re using is a mobile phone. To improve your chances of taking professional-looking photos, give the Osmo Mobile 2 Handheld Smartphone Gimbal a go. Thanks to its built-in controls that rotate it in one sweeping motion, this nifty little device will keep your phone steady and stable as you aim to capture some perfect holiday snaps.

 @AllAboutYouPort


Jetpack MiFi 8800L 

A strong wi-fi signal isn’t always guaranteed on your travels, which is why more and more people are taking their own personal network devices like the Jetpack MiFi 8800L with them on vacation. With the ability to host up to 15 different devices and with the option of using it as a charger too, this Verizon Jetpack has been hugely popular in 2020. If you need to stay online while you’re on your travels, then investing in one of these handy devices could be worthwhile. 

Digital Burrito Pouch 

Made by JanSport, this Digital Burrito Pouch is the perfect location to house all of those annoying cables, wires and headphones that you carry around with you while traveling. It’s no gimmick either, as this burrito-looking creation is capable of housing a lot of wires and the like, while also folding tidily away into a backpack or any other types of luggage.


Evolution S3 Travel Pillow 

Sleeping on a plane can be a nightmare. As a result, many travelers are bringing their very own travel pillows with them as they attempt to get some sleep in before they arrive at their destination. As a result, releases like the Evolution S3 Travel Pillow have been popular. Endorsed by the Textiles Director at Good Housekeeping Institute, this pillow attaches to any seat, it’s comfortable, and it will stop your head from falling sideways during a flight.



More Ideas: Chic Travel Essentials For Bloggers 

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2020 Holiday Toys for Active Boys

If you're a boy mom, parent or grandma, you know they have lots of energy and crave gifts that engage all their motor skills. 

Here are the must-have items according to my twin 8-year-olds, all parent-approved too!

Holiday Toys for Active Boys Gift Guide

Zax - The Foam Throwing Axe 


Axe Throwing is an increasingly popular activity, and now kids can join in on the fun with their own version that is safe to use! 

From Zing Toys this toy brings the trend of axe throwing competitions home safely with suction cups. These stick to almost any surface - indoor and out without leaving a mark. The handles are made of foam and are lightweight and easy to throw with accuracy. 

     


SWAGGER SK 1 Kick-to-Start Electric Scooter


Designed for ages 5 and up, the SWAGGER SK1 provides the excitement of an electric scooter, but with the control of a kick scooter. It's not as dangerous as it sounds, because unlike my adult electric scooter this doesn't start with an accelerator, but with a child kicking and controlling it like a traditional scooter. It only goes up to 6 MPH too, providing enough fun for them, but also safer than higher speeds. The simple control are also easy to use.

Another plus is that it grows with your child. Simply raise the adjustable stem so that their SWAGGER can grow with them. Available in a bright red or pink for $89.99.


Active Chairs



This line of bright-colored stools and storage will change the way your child sits. The Active Chair, often referred to as the wobbly chair, does just that -- wobbles with your child. This not only improves spinal positioning, muscle stimulation and better posture, but it helps keep their attention laser-focused which is vital for learning. Great seats for virtual learning or doing homework after school. My kids also sit on it to watch TV or play on their devices - way better than them slouching while doing so. 

Great for children with ADD, ADHD and short attention spans. Best of all, it comes in several sizes and colors for just $34.99+ each. 


Just Dance 2021 for Nintendo Switch



When my sons received Just Dance 2019 for their Nintendo Switch as a birthday gift, I was afraid it wouldn't interest them. I wrongly assumed it was just for girls. "Boy" was I wrong! 

They love playing it. In fact, we all do as a family, even Nana joins in. It's so much fun and it gets them us all up and moving and grooving. They will play it directly from the Switch console by themselves or we connect it to the TV for some big-screen action and family fun.


I'm so excited to see their faces when they unwrap Just Dance 2021 this X-Mas, especially since Logan's favorite song "Blinding Lights' by The Weekend is in this volume. Meanwhile, I'm excited to attempt Dua Lipa's "Don't Start Now." 


NASCAR Crash Circuit



From Far Out Toys this track system lets kids race, wreck, and rebuild! Get ready for insane speed and colossal crashes – where car parts fly apart on impact! Then, easily snap them back together for continuous racing. One charge provides enough power for up to 30 laps without needing to refuel as it zooms across the circular track. It comes with two cars, but additional vehicles and track pieces can be purchased. 

Kids do not have to be NASCAR fans to enjoy this set either. Mine have never watched a race, but they loved seeing the cards speed across the track. Available at Amazon and Best Buy. Age 5+ 




Travel-friendly Minecraft puzzle


How do you keep active boys busy while traveling? Easy thanks to this Minecraft magnetic travel puzzle game book.

My boys are obsessed with Minecraft. They seriously talk about it non-stop, which is why I was excited to learn about this self-contained game to play with 40 increasingly difficult challenges. The best thing about this toy is that it combines the STEM benefits of Minecraft, but also gets them off the screen at the same time. So, if you have a lil Minecraft fan they will be delighted with this logical deduction game set for ages 8+. 



Fun Fort Building Kits 


Fun Forts Building Kit from Power Your Fun has earned the STEM.org Authenticated Trustmark from STEM.org and it's easy to see why. Put together the connecting rods and spheres to create imaginative shapes. It comes with a building guide too for inspiration. They have a glow-in-the-dark version too! 

Throw over a blanket to transform your Fun Forts into a tunnel, tent, or playhouse. Best of all, it's easy to assemble, and also easy to clean up too. While the creations can be large, it easily comes apart and fits in a slim box with a convenient carry handle.

My boys love building and creating hideouts and secret spots, so this is the perfect indoors, hands-on activity to keep them busy for hours. 

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Holiday Gifts for Her 2020

It's that time of year again! 

For many the stress of finding the perfect holiday gift for her can be stressful. No need to stress, here are approved, stylish and trendy ideas for the women in your life. 

Holiday Gift List for Her


A Stylish, Insta Worthy Hat 


Even if our gatherings look different this year, it’s still so refreshing to step out looking and feeling our best. One of the easiest ways to create a finished look is through accessories - like hats. 

Tenth Street Hats have hundreds of designer hats, "made the old way, sold the new way." 

Besides being stylish, hats are also becoming a decor must. We've all seen that insta chick with hats hanging up on her walls and in her closet like it's a work of art. 


Not sure which hat to select? They have a handy style quiz that you can use to pick a hat that matches her vibe. Don't worry, there’s really no way to go wrong with 375+ styles to choose as a gift. I went with the hat named Mystery in black, but am loving all of their Fall Hats options. 


Gift Cozy with the PediPocket 


It's time to up her blanket game. This plush blanket is extra long, super soft and has a brilliantly designed foot pocket to keep her toes toasty. Genius! 

With all of us spending more time at home this is the perfect gift...especially to Netflix and Chill, lol. Available in 21 colors/patterns, I went with the dark red, but now am now eyeing the leopard print. It's lightweight and plush too. PediPocket can be purchased online, as well as on Amazon and select stores nationwide.


A Tiny Succulent Garden


Meet Lula’s Garden, a succulent gifting company. Their eco-friendly succulent gardens arrive potted in a self-sustaining gift box that is uniquely designed to serve as a planter. Perfect for an office or home, plus improves overall wellness and air quality. Pricing starts at only $27 and works for anyone on your list. 




An Ornament to Match Her Passions

 



Pizza, Red Wine, Coffee, Books, Sushi, Travel, Avocado's you name it, there is a Old World Christmas ornament for it. With over 1,5000 unique glass ornaments, you can find ones related to a profession, destination, animals, etc. 

These beautiful glass ornaments are carefully mouth-blown into a finely crafted mold. Then a hot solution of liquid silver is poured inside. Finally, the ornaments are delicately hand-painted with glitter added. They are a gorgeous addition to any tree or collection. $12.99-$21.99 each. 

Recycled Plastic Turned Into a Luxurious Kimono


Nuno is a luxurious brand of wearable art that she can feel good about. Nuno collaborates with up-and-coming artists ensuring each earth-loving piece is one-of-a-kind wearable art.

My mind was blown to discover their silky fabric is made from 100% recycled plastic water bottles. Plastic bottles are washed, shredded and turned into small pellets. These pellets are then melted and spun into yarn. The yarn is then woven into this fabric with a luxurious feel. Unlike the silk robes that are dry clean only, Nuno’s NeoSilk fabric is machine washable and will still stay as soft as silk. 

I particularly loved the bright fun colors of their "Luscious" design. It also has pockets and their one size fits about 0-16, making it a fashionable gift for all women. $95


A Romantic Holiday Novel  


If she likes Hallmark Channel Christmas movies, she'll love Mine to Five! This award-winning, feel-good holiday office romance has a dash of humor and spice to put her in the holiday spirit and to deliver all the feels.



Dry Nail Polish Strips
  



This has been a game-changer! Blow her mind with dry nail polish strips for at-home manicures in minutes, no smudges, no chipping, no tools needed.

There are holiday colors perfect for stocking stuffers, solids, glitters and trendy designs great for all year round too. Also, it's buy 3 get 1 free, just add 4 sets to your cart and the price will automatically be deducted. $11-13 each set of 16 strips. 


Board Games for Fan Girls


Tap into her nostalgia and fandom for her favorite show or movie. USAOPOLY has board games themed around popular shows from Disney, Harry Potter to Game of Thrones

I was gifted CLUE®: The Golden Girls edition and it still has me smiling. Solve the "crime" of WHO ate the cheesecake, WHAT they left at the scene of the crime, and WHICH room they did it in. 


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How to Stay Productive While Working From Home

Remote working has been appealing to many of us even before the pandemic forced us all to work in a home environment. It seems though working from home has been a blessing for some and hell for others. It is undeniable that being able to work from home has its advantages and disadvantages. The greatest benefit probably is the unlimited options to make serious income and become a successful freelancer in one or more of today’s lucrative fields. From digital marketing, working on the most popular webcam sites to direct sales, there certainly is no shortage of extremely profitable job options and side hustles even in times of pandemic.

Staying productive and motivating yourself to work, whether as your own boss or an employee, is not at all easy in a home environment. 

Therefore, here is some seriously helpful advice on how to achieve great productivity and stay on track when working from home.

5 Ways to Stay Productive Working From Home

Keep Regular Working Hours 

Not having to leave home for work sometimes makes us feel as if we have all the time of the day to start and finish the daily tasks. In most cases, this leads to procrastination until it’s too late to be productive enough. To help yourself with that, it’s important to have regular working hours, as if you would if you were working in the office. This way you will be more disciplined when it comes to sticking to a working schedule and strive to finish the daily tasks until the end of the working hours. Having a designated working time is very important if you wish to maintain a good work-life balance and still have the time to socialize, spend time with family, and finish other chores around or outside the house.

Organize Your Time and Tasks 

Having a to-do list with the task planned for the day and hours assigned for each task helps you stay organized and finish working on time. When you are at home, there is always a possibility of taking longer breaks, or stop working when you get overwhelmed and stuck with a problem. To avoid problems, keep your daily schedule on your desk and try to keep up with the hours assigned for certain tasks. This will keep you motivated and focused, as taking satisfaction from getting it all done on time will keep you on the right track. 

Maintain a Morning Routine

To achieve what was mentioned above, work only in the designated working hours of the day, it’s advisable to have a strict morning routine. Getting up at the same time each morning, finishing your daily workout, and starting the work after you’ve had your morning coffee will help you have a productive workday. On the contrary, if you do not have an established morning routine you might sleep until late or feel less motivated to start working, which will affect your productivity and limit your free time. Most successful people credit their success to strict routines for the working day. So, if you are working from home and you have a family, start the day early, spend one quality hour with the kids, have a coffee and breakfast and you will feel motivated to start working. Moreover, it’s possible that you would be very productive, looking forward to a lot more spent with your loved ones later in the day, once you have finished off all of your work.

Home office & morning coffee


Have a Designated Work Space 

Not all people can enjoy the luxury of having a separate room as a home office. However, this shouldn’t stop you from creating a special workspace for yourself. It is proven that our psyche is affected by the environment we are in and it can help or harm our productivity. So, make the best of the space you have available and designate a corner of the house where you “go to work”. This will help you achieve a deeper focus and eliminate distractions. Working in the same space where you sleep or leisure does not help your mind focus. Contrary to that, it will wander off thinking of relaxing and slack time.

Work on Your Concentration - Practice is Everything 

Although we’ve mentioned that the best way to stay productive is to have a specific place to call it your office, you should aim for immense concentration despite the environment. Especially if you have children around, if they are not too young of course, you can still be in the same room with them and work while they play around. It might be hard at the beginning but as with everything in life - practice makes it perfect.

Not all tasks can be completed in a noisy room or with people around, but start with something that is easier and does not require too much attention. Once you get used to multitasking, meaning doing some work while watching the kids, doing some work then finishing the meal in the kitchen, you have mastered working from home. Although this is not something you can do all the time, it certainly is a great skill that can help you achieve maximum productivity, and stay on track even when you have a lot on your plate regarding family, kids, or house chores.

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Host Your Own Mulan Family Movie Night

Disney’s live-action MULAN is now available on all major digital retailers and Disney+ with premier access.  

The perfect option for a family movie night, MULAN celebrates embracing your inner strength and being loyal, brave, and true even when uncertainties arise. 

I've always been a fan of the animated version and LOVED this new take on the fairy tale. Unlike previous live-action Disney films though, this is not a musical, but an epic adventure adaptation. While I missed the fun songs and humor, the scenery, costumes and sets are quite beautiful and the battle scenes were so enthralling that I'm glad they didn't break out into song. I did like hearing "Reflections" play though at the end. 

I also appreciated the feminist angle, and my boys were equally mesmerized by the battles and Chinese culture shared. They have just been studying Asia in school too, so the timing was perfect. 

Make it a Movie Night with Disney's Mulan - Now on Digital



If you are hosting your very own MULAN family movie night, here are some fun extra activities that you can do to along with watching the film. 




Host Your Own Mulan Family Movie Night - Free Printable & Activities

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