Introducing Bedsider.org

19 May

All thoughts and opinions are my own. I am so thrilled to share with you a new, excellent for women everywhere in this sponsored campaign with Bedsider.

Bedsider, bedsider.org, birth control options, birth planning, women's social network, birth control support, birth control reminders

Hey girls – have you heard about Bedsider? It’s an awesome resource for ladies everywhere to educate themselves about birth-planning and know their birth control options. Bedsider is operated by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, a private non-profit organization, which is not funded by the government or any pharmaceutical companies.

Bedsider’s tag line reads: “We believe knowledge is power. We believe babies are best when you’re ready. We believe in you.”

This campaign is all about building awareness about this great resource for girls packed full of non-biased information on birth control methods and planning. I’m very excited to introduce you to such a great network.

The website offers such tools as the Method Explorer which helps you find the right birth control method for you.

You can even set up reminders which help you to remember to take your birth control and make sure you don’t forget any of those important routine visits to your gyno. With our crazy busy lives, we can all use a little help remembering these important details!

Enter the Bedsider Pinterest

Contest to Win Awesome Prizes!

ikea nightstand, bedsider, my bedside drawer, nightstand

As a part of this campaign, Bedsider is hosting a really fun Pinterest contest. You can create your ideal bedside drawer and pin everything you’d love to have in there. For fun, I thought I’d share what I’ve got in my nightstand.

What’s in my bedside drawer right now?

  • EOS strawberry sorbet lip balm (LOVE this stuff & currently obsessed)
  • LEAN IN by Sheryl Sandberg
  • iPhone charger

You can check out my entry board here.

Here’s how to enter yourself in this fun Pinterest contest to win some very nice prizes. They’re giving away $200 giftcards to places like the Apple Store, Bloomingdale’s, Etsy, and more!

Every girl has that bedside drawer that holds the bedroom essentials: their Kindle, a pair of reading glasses, sexy lingerie – whatever fits their personality. No matter what your drawer says about you, there’s birth control that will fit right in. Find the best method for your routine and style at Bedsider.org.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bedsider.org.

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Comicpalooza Hits Houston This Weekend

19 May

comicpalooza, texas comic con, comic con 2013

The Texas International Comic Con, also awesomely referred to as COMICPALOOZA, hits Houston this Memorial Day weekend, May 24th-26th.

This power packed, three day comic conference will be held at the George R. Brown Convention Center in the heart of downtown Houston, Texas.

The three day comic and sci-fi conference has a number of insider panels, speakers, film screenings, autograph sessions, and tons more fun events to offer.

For more event details, as well as a schedule download with descriptions, head over to the official Comicpalooza programming page.

What I’m Most Excited About at Comicpalooza 2013

This will be my first year attending the convention and I couldn’t be more excited. My husband is really into sci-fi and Transformers, so I’m sure that we’ll have a blast!

I was also raised by a Trekkie. I have distinct memories of sitting in my Dad’s lap watching Star Trek: The Next Generation on tv and watching laserdiscs (remember those?) of the classic Star Trek movies.

Captain Packard, Star Trek, Patrick Stewart

One of this year’s special guests is Captain Jean-Luc Packard himself, Patrick Stewart!

I am also a HUGE X-Men movie fan! Meeting Professor X would be a really, really cool thing.

Being a late 80’s baby, and growing up in the 90’s, I was a HUGE Mighty Morphin Power Rangers fan! The original series, not all these next generations that have come about.

I’m super excited about Zach and Billy (the black and blue rangers – Walter E. Jones and David Yost) being at this year’s conference.

Ok – fun little story about just how big of a Power Rangers fan I was as a child. For my 7th or 8th birthday party, my parents hired a green ranger impersonator to come and entertain at my party! (If that’s not hardcore fandom, I don’t know what is.) The home videos and photos of this are PRICELESS.

Plus, I had all the action figures and 3 of the cuddly, stuff ranger dolls. I loved those guys!

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, classic power rangers, houston comicpalooza, comicpalooza 2013, comic con, texas comic con

Now, just to be clear, Kimberly (the pink one) was always my personal favorite (I totally wanted to be her) but meeting Zach and Billy  would be just as awesome!

Walter will even be teaching a salsa class as a fun Comicpalooza workshop! Learning to dance some salsa moves with Zach as your instructor? Sign me up!

Head over to the official Comicpalooza Power Rangers page to find out which other characters will be attending.

Other awesome Comicpalooza 2013 guests include: Danny Trejo (of Machete fame), Michelle Rodriquez (Fast & Furious, Lost, Machete, Avatar), Sam Huntington (Fanboys, Veronica Mars), Kris Holden-Reid (The Tudors, Lost Girl), and so many more!

Get Social with Comicpalooza 2013!

The official hashtag for all things Comicpalooza is #CP2013 so be sure to tag all your tweets and instagrams to share your experience with others.

To keep up with all the latest news, follow Comicpalooza on Twitter and join the Houston Comicpalooza Facebook page!

Comicpalooza Ticket Giveaway!

I’ll be giving away a pair of tickets on Twitter for this weekend’s events!

If you’d like to enter the contest, follow me on Twitter at @xtineds and tweet:

Hey @xtineds – I want to win tickets to @Comicpalooza #Houston! #CP2013

You have until midnight on Monday, March 20th to enter!

Spread the word to any friends who may be interested in winning.

Winner will be notified on Tuesday, March 21st!

Our Lake Charles Mini-Vacation

15 May

Hubby and I got back yesterday from a few days in our neighboring state of Louisiana. We visited the casino town of Lake Charles. It was both of our first times to this city.

I’m a huge advocate of travel and taking a break from your normal everyday environment to refresh, relax, and rejuvenate. We love to go on trips any chance we get. With or without special occasion.

This trip was just a major need of some quality us time, away from Houston.

We were also celebrating the fact that the semester is over and my husband earned straight A’s in all four of his classes! Mind you, he works full time, as well as full time school. He is just the biggest trooper and hardest working person that I know. (He has just two more semesters left and I am SO proud of him.) Not to mention, he’s absolutely brilliant.

While putting this trip together, I read reviews of the major places to stay, casinos to visit, things to do, and restaurants to try. We ended up staying at one of the Isle of Capris properties because of a really great deal we were able to snag. The price was right and the accommodations ended up being okay. Nothing special, nothing fancy, but we appreciated the good value.

Plus, as with any first time visit to a new place, you learn a lot about what to and what not to do.

We ended up checking out two casinos, which are the biggest Lake Charles has to offer. Here’s my comparison of the two.

Isle of Capris vs.

L’Auberge du Lac Hotel & Casino

HANDS DOWN, L’Auberge du Lac wins this battle for best hotel and casino in Lake Charles, in my opinion. L’Auberge is the most Vegas-like casino. The staff is very professional and super friendly. They are willing to give you as much helpful information as possible and do a great job of orienting you to their program and property features if you’re a first timer.

Not to mention, the L’Auberge du Lac properties are gorgeous and very well kept! We loved spending time here.

lake charles casino, lauberge, lauberge hotel, louisiana casino, lake charles hotel

I’m not sure if you’re much of a gambler but we like to try our luck, occasionally. We had relatively no luck at the Isle of Capris casino. As they say, the “slots were tight” and not showing us any love. This was not the case at L’Auberge.

My husband had all the luck this time around and did pretty well, but when gambling you should really go in with a set budget and expect to lose it all. If you end up coming home breaking even or winning more than you spent, well, lucky you! Unfortunately, we did neither this time around. Oops! We definitely had a blast, though.

Here’s one of my favorite Instagrams from our trip:

hello handsome, moustache, moustache logo, moustache love, l'auberge casino

This is one of the fun art pieces on the bake of the L’Auberge casino which faces the lake. Super cool!

Noteworthy Lake Charles Restaurants

Louisiana is known for their great cajun and seafood. Unfortunately, health food is not necessarily on this list. We ate out at two restaurants that I’d definitely return to on my next visit to Lake Charles.

Steamboat Bill’s at 1004 Lakeshore Dr., Lake Charles, LA 70601

Under recommendation from one of our friends, we gave this place a shot for a seafood dinner. My husband and I love gumbo, so we tried both their versions: chicken with sausage gumbo and shrimp gumbo. Both were super delicious!

We also shared their small seafood platter. Also, really delicious. We shared this dish between us. My favorite item on the plate was the stuffed shrimp. Yum.

This little place was really busy but has a very attentive staff full of friendly faces. It’s very family friendly and they do a great job of providing a fun atmosphere for their patrons.

O’Charley’s at 1780 West Prien Lake Road, Lake Charles, LA 70601

We stopped by this place for lunch one day before visiting the L’Auberge Casino. I have never been so impressed by such a friendly and attentive staff. They’re so welcoming and genuinely happy. Not to mention, you can tell they really want to provide you with the best possible dining experience. I was shocked to find out this place is actually a chain restaurant. We don’t have any in Texas so I had never heard of it before.

Shout out to our waitress, Meagan, for being so kind and awesome! O’Charley’s offers a variety of great food to choose from on their menu. I have to highly recommend a slice of their amazing peach pie. They’re known for it and I can absolutely understand why. Scrumptious!

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travel, travel quote, travel mantra, travel wordsIt may have been a quick trip but I’m so thankful for some uninterrupted quality time with my husband. Plus, it’s always fun to take adventures to new places together. One of my goals for us is to travel to at least one new place a year! Isn’t it the Dalai Lama that advises: “Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” I whole heartedly agree.

Of course, I’m going to close this blog post with the obligatory “back home” Instagram photo of the Houston skyline on our way back in to town.

Houston, Houston skyline, minute maid park, houston ballpark, houston buildings

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Where do you plan to travel this year?

What’s your travel philosophy?

Invisalign: Straighten Teeth Minus the Metal

11 May

Last weekend, I had the chance to attend a SITS Girls Mini-Bloggy Bootcamp and learn all about Invisalign during a #INVstraighttalk session. It was so much fun and I was really impressed with the technological advancements of ways to straighten teeth.

girls with braces, pink braces, invisalign, how does invisalign work

Here’s me on Halloween of 2009, rocking my matching pink braces.

Just a couple of years ago, I had braces as an adult at the ages of 22 and 23.

Now, I was a real special case because I actually enjoyed the process. I loved wearing my pink braces and showing them off at the right times. But you know, while wearing braces, you always learn to master that “I’m going to hide my metal mouth” sort-of smile.

Another weird fact about me is that I love dental care. Yes, I totally enjoy going to the dentist and getting those amazing cleanings that leave you feeling awesome with incredibly pristine, pearly  and super sparkly whites.

I actually look forward to it! Super weird, right?

Have you ever heard the song “Dental Care” by Owl City? (Listen here.) My now husband dedicated it to me all the time while we were dating.

I don’t think I’m the standard norm, though. Everyone I’ve talked to hated having metal braces and considered them such a drag. I agree. There are some major downsides to traditional, metal braces.

For example, eating and getting food stuck in between those brackets… not cute! Or the pain that comes with tightenings… not fun!

You get the idea, braces are not usually something that is welcomed but what other options are there?

You may of heard about Invisalign before – the clear solution to braces.

At the event, I learned so much about this alternative to traditional teeth straightening that I did not know previously.

The Invisalign treatment begins with an orthodontist taking scans or impressions of your mouth, jaw structure and teeth. Most Invisalign doctors use digital scans now, instead of the ooey-gooey stuff, which is awesome.

So how does Invisalign work?

Once your orthodontist has mapped out a plan, he orders your aligner trays. You get new trays every two weeks and they progress your teeth straightening.

While undergoing treatment, you wear your clear trays all the time. The only exception to this rule should be when you are eating and when you are brushing your teeth/cleaning your trays. Of course, the more you wear them, the better they work — kind of like wearing retainers nightly post-straightening.

By the way, Dr. Dennis Halford has the best simile I’ve ever heard about wearing retainers:

“Retainers are like pajamas for your teeth — never go to bed without them!”

That’s pure gold, right there. Best dental care quote ever!

Click here to find out more detailed information on how Invisalign works.

They say that not everyone is a candidate for this teeth straightening option but finding out is easy. You can take the Invisalign Smile Assessment from the comfort of your own computer.

If you’re interested in learning more, be sure to visit an accredited Invisalign doctor via the Invisalign Doctor Locator tool. This way, you are getting the best doctors Invisalign has to offer. They are the ones who are most up to date on this technology.

You may also be wondering how much these invisible braces cost. Invisalign provides a cost calculator tool on their website to make life easy and figured these things out.

I know for a fact that my husband and sister-in-law are super interested in Invisalign. Unfortunately, they had braces as teenagers but didn’t wear their retainers so their teeth have shifted. *wags finger* (shame, shame) But they now have this awesome option of not having to re-live their “brace face” years to achieve their desired smile. Hallelujah!

I think Invisalign is an awesome product and a true dental advancement and achievement. I’m so glad to be able to bring this information to my readers whether you’re a teen researching braces (check out Invisalign Teen), a parent of a teen interested in Invisalign, or an adult who’s looking to correct teeth shifting. Invisalign could be just what you’re looking for.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Did you have braces?

What are your thoughts on Invisalign?

Busy Bee

9 May

busy bee, cute little bee, bee design, im so busy

Who’s turned in to an extra busy bee?

Why, that’s me, of course. You can probably tell from my lack of blog posts lately. We’re almost in double digits dates this month (MAY, already!? Time is flying this year!) and I have yet to post. Not cool, Christine! 

One of the reasons is my post-grad school job search has finally come to an end! I’ve started working as an executive assistant and marketing manager for a small business here in Houston. It’s a very dynamic position that keeps me busy, busy. I’m sure I’ll be posting more about it soon. 🙂

More good news – My husband and I are SO excited. This weekend, we’re taking a little vacation to Lake Charles for some casino fun and a chance to just get away for a few days. We all need some time away from work, school, and the stresses of everyday life to relax and recharge. Not to mention, I’m a big believer in regular travel… it’s good for the soul!

This will be our first time visiting Lake Charles, Louisiana. I love traveling to new places and checking out what they have to offer. I can’t wait to share about our trip once we get back!

Where’s somewhere new that you plan to visit soon?

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