14 September 2014

Rockin' Back To School With Sol Republic Deck

Have you ever fallen in love with a product from the first time you used it? This is what happened when I had the opportunity to review the Sol Republic Deck. The Deck is a wireless speaker which has great range and incredible sound. I have used this every day once it arrived in my hot little hands. It goes in the car with me because the car system sounds terrible. I use it every morning for the getting up, showered, dressed, and out the door routine. I use it with my notebook computer because the speakers on it barely make noise. It is my workout buddy while I'm walking on the treadmill at home. We take it to the kitchen to make cooking into a giant family sing along and dance party. I listen to it while typing blog posts and singing about along about not knowing what to do with myself. Anyhow, it has many uses and I like versatility.

It's a hit with the teenagers too. I know this because it frequently misplaces itself, going from the corner of my desk upstairs. I keep being assured no one knows how that happens, but I'm confident it's not moving on it's own. Teenagers. Anyway, the Deck scores high points with them not only because of the amazing sound. Two things stand out with my teens; Heist Mode and outdoor mode. Heist Mode allows up to five mobile devices to control the Deck with the simple slide of a button. You can have multiple DJs this way. I swear Heist Mode kept us from having all out musical fits of "But, I don't like that song!" last weekend because all three of us had control. Mom likes it for that very reason. Outdoor mode gives you a sound boost that is awesome. The first time we tried the Deck was at the pool and the sound was clear even among splashing and chatter. Pretty cool if you ask me. 

The final verdict is Sol Republic's Deck is honestly one of my favorite things. I think it would be great for high school or college students going back to school who enjoy music while studying. It produces great sound without being obnoxiously loud, a fact that this mom who says "turn that that down" to the man child's big clunky system completely appreciates. I like everything about it, from the cool features I've already mentioned to how it gives you verbal battery status updates. So cool! The only thing I was not happily about was the inability to connect using the NFC on my phone, but it says it's possible and it could have easily been user error on my part. Connecting via Bluetooth worked just fine. My opinion is the Deck is a great product and would make a fabulous gift. 

You want one for yourself now, don't you? Of course you do! You are in luck too, because one lucky reader will win one of their very own!
a Rafflecopter giveaway Ramblings of a Texas Housewife Product Review and/or Giveaway Disclosure- I have received no compensation other than the offer of free product to review and/or giveaway. Any opinions expressed on Ramblings of a Texas Housewife are my own. My reviews are never reviewed or edited in any way by sponsors.

12 September 2014

Celebrating Five Years of TexasHousewife.com

Picture of shampaige
Picture of shampaige (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
TexasHousewife.com is five years old this month. Though I've been blogging longer than that, it was five years ago I took the leap to my own domain name and it's been an adventure. In that time I've helped people learn to coupon, introduced people to blogging, tried out fabulous products, and most importantly met some amazing people.

Blogging has been an unexpected journey for me from the start. It all started way back when all my friends wanted to learn to coupon. Writing it all down and posting in one place was far more simple than emailing or explaining it to everyone and so it began. My first ever review was for The Couponizer, I remember because I had no idea people even did blog reviews. It makes me laugh now. Though the site has evolved over the years right along with my life, I don't see giving up this domain name anytime soon. I may not be a housewife or even a wife anymore, but this has always been mine, something I created and was proud of. Things have slowed down on the writing front here as single motherhood and a full-time job entered the mix, but I am still incredibly proud of what I've done here over the years. I am also incredibly thankful for each and every reader.

To celebrate this five year milestone, I am going to do five different giveaways, all of which are five of my favorite things! The first giveaway will go up soon, so be sure to keep reading. This is a way to thank all my loyal readers and friends who make me want to keep doing this. Each and every one of you brings a smile to my face! Cheers!

29 August 2014

Pizza Night! DiGiorno Design A Pizza Kit Review

DiGiorno's pizza creations kit allows for you to customize the pizza your way. The packaging is bright and eye appealing, allowing you to see what you should expect from the product.

The directions, turning your oven on to preheat at 400°, gives you time to do the easy prep work and create a masterpiece that is drool worthy to your specifications. I chose the red onion, tomato, spinach and pepperoni product. The portions are perfect, from the size of the pizza to the different toppings, and even the herb mixture to be sprinkled on top. An added bonus, it came with extra cheese! I had to placate the kiddos, and hide the vegetables, so I added a little bacon and some store brand cheddar cheese. 

A quick turnaround is important in this day and age, a whopping 20 minutes on my timer, and I was smelling pizza in the air. Cutting it up was a breeze, then came time for the taste test. Did DiGiorno soar over the chain pizza places and the boxes of others next to it in the freezer section? That was the question of the hour.

It by far surpassed the likes of Tombstone and Red Barron. The flavors blended well together. The sauce was zesty, the onion and tomato were perfect for crunch, the spinach didn't seem to have that soggy out of the freezer taste and texture. The cheese (and extra) melted smoothly. The biggest worry for me was the crust. Too many times the crust is like cardboard or its still a little doughy under the sauce and toppings. This wasn't. The bottom was crispy, offering a small amount of crunch, and there was still a bit of chewiness to it too! It wasn't tough and felt like you were chewing rubber. It had cooked perfectly in 20 minutes. It was a satisfying product for a reasonable price. Especially against the competition and big pizza chains.

An overall review I would give it nine stars out of ten. The product itself was wonderful, but my only hang up was the ease of opening the toppings. While it is a pull apart plastic, it is tough to actually pull apart, and risks the toppings being flung around the kitchen.

Ramblings of a Texas Housewife Product Review and/or Giveaway Disclosure- I have received no compensation other than the offer of free product to review and/or giveaway. Any opinions expressed on Ramblings of a Texas Housewife are my own. My reviews are never reviewed or edited in any way by sponsors.

26 August 2014

What I Learned From The Emmys

English: Logo from the television program The ...
English: Logo from the television program The Big Bang Theory (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This may be the shortest post ever. I watched and enjoyed the Emmys last night. What I discovered is most every show that is popular, I've never watched. Watching Modern television requires staying awake. Most of my television viewing happens on Netflix, watching shows that have been on for a decade or so. My friends talk about new shows and I just stare. I was recently told I love under a rock. Anyway, I'm apparently really behind on what the "it" shows are.

Top Five Shows I Don't Watch

  1. The Big Bang Theory - I've never seen a single episode, pretty much everyone I know loves it. 
  2. Game of Thrones - See note from above. 
  3. Orange Is The New Black - Ditto on this one too. 
  4. Sherlock
  5. Dr. Who
Yeah, I get a lot of grief over this. 

What I Do Watch
  1. Pretty much anything on Investigation Discovery
  2. Sons of Anarchy
  3. The Walking Dead
  4. Glee
  5. Grey's Anatomy 
The last four are my idea of must see television. I just thing tv programming has changed a lot over the last say 20 years. I like reruns of sitcoms I grew up with. To give you an idea what we watch around here, my kids knew Robin Williams as Mork. New doesn't always mean better.

What are your must watch shows? 

25 August 2014

It's A New Era

High school students
High school students (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
My baby is starting high school. The man child is a junior. How did that happen? They were both babies just yesterday it seems like. People always tell you they will grow up before you know it, but I never really believed it. It's so true! Blink and they are nearly grown. I think I'm having some sort of they are nearly gone crisis. Eek! So, I'm going to go drown myself in a Nutella smoothie. Yes, I'll share the recipe later.

To my amazing Tristen and Ashley, I am incredibly proud of you and love you very much. This school year is going to be awesome for you!

11 August 2014

I wish to blow the negativity away!

Dandelion clock Fran├žais : Fleur de pissenlit ...
Dandelion clock Fran├žais : Fleur de pissenlit en gros plan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Lately I realize I hang on to grudges more than I ever would have believed. I am going to blame my Capricorn stubbornness for this. I think it's genetic too, but that's a whole other post. What I'm learning about grudges and my in general poor attitude about certain things is it's really difficult to be happy and peaceful when you are pissy about something. And no, this is not a post about being hacked off at someone, don't go all crazy on my Facebook. This post is a result of a LOT of not so great events crammed into a tiny window of time which left me feeling way more growly and out of sorts than I prefer. That's it. 

This means one thing. Let. It. Go. Three simple little words. If only it was simple to put into practice. Why can't I just let go instead of stewing on stuff until it drives me bonkers? I don't know, but I wish I was one of those people that could just toss away negative thoughts, breathe in, and move on. You people who can do that rock!  I can journal about it, talk about it, pray about it, but very rarely does it go away life I want it to. The end result is far from peaceful, it's more a constant state of gut churning and forced smiles. It drains my happy and makes my brain malfunction.

Instead of letting it go I have to analyze why, how, what could have been done differently, and beat it to death. I even have a friend I generally beat things to death with, especially lately. She and I are masters are pretending everything is fine. We are fine. We both pretend too hard sometimes. We are both Capricorns. Anyway, what we end up with is a lot of pretended to be fine when inside we go from fine to a wreck in .06 seconds, which could make anyone near us think we have perpetual PMS. Now there's a pleasant thought. 

Now that I've spent entirely too much time going on about how I spend entirely too much time beating things to death, what now? Well, my goal for the week is to actually LET IT GO. It can be done, I just have to remember a few things.
  • It's okay to feel it. Sadness, anger, bitterness, whatever the emotion, it's okay to fully feel it. 
  • It's okay to vent about it to, just not forever. Rant, rage, scream, or whatever, it's cool and can make you feel better. But, doing this for all eternity isn't the best plan.
  • So, once I'm done throwing a fit and feeling and possibly wallowing it's time to put the negativity in it's place. This is the let it go part. I've read all sorts of stuff from imagining throwing a ball away to scream to the heavens that you forsake the negativity. I'm leaning toward putting all my negative thoughts into a letter then torching it. Wait, maybe I shouldn't set things aflame. Anyway, still leaning toward writing it all out. 
  • Most importantly I need to remember that negativity is poison. Whether we are talking general negative thoughts and bad moods or all out bitterness toward another person, it's not doing us any favors. Anger hurts us, not the person or situation we are angry about. Giving it the shaft is truly a gift to ourselves. With it comes peace. 
How do y'all deal with negative thoughts and emotions? Are you one of the lucky ones who can just dropkick those things or are you like me and cling for no reason? I'm curious about this.