Gilmore Girls Netflix Revival !!! SPOILER ALERT !!! 16 Things

After the agony of trying to binge-watch over a holiday weekend, sharing one Netflix account with my husband (and in doing so, having to wait patiently) I've made it through a year in the life. If you're reading this, I hope you've made it through all four seasons as well. Cuz if not, you're about to get the "gist" of it all in the next paragraphs.

No matter what was flubbed, what I adored, and whatever else I have to say about anything Gilmore Girls related, the revival was way better than I expected and all it did was leave me wanting more!! You hear me, Netflix? MORE!

Here are some of my thoughts, I'd LOVE to hear yours too! Feel free to disagree, agree, add-on, or whatever else you might want. All opinions are welcome here as long as they are Gilmore Girls related and somewhat family-friendly. 

1. HATE Logan and Rory's relationship in this, BUT I'm still in love with Mr. Huntzberger.

2. LOVE the return of the life and death brigade.

3. I'm sorry, but the Stars Hollow Musical overstayed its welcome. It was almost like Seth Macfarlane paired up with the Palladinos for that chunk.

4. Kirk and Petal. Yes. Just yes!

5. The Wild thing - so overdone. I'm sure in the making of the revival they didn't realize how thru hiking would be the new thing to do -- or maybe they did? But we're all sick of hearing about the long haul hikes. This was also an area that I thought drug out far too long.

6. The "park ranger" in the US Forest Service uniform. Oops. And, neither agency stands there to patrol and permit-check.

7. Lastly on the PCT bit -- the hills of LA and the surrounding area do not equate to the start of the PCT.

8. Emily telling the DAR to take a flying leap was THE BEST. I honestly thought for a bit that she was having a stroke in the "Fall" episode and that they might kill her character off too... Though you do not interview in or marry in to the DAR--it just doesn't work like that--I found her leaving them so satisfying.

9. Poor Paul. Though it was funny at first -- he could have been written out entirely and it wouldn't have made a bit of difference in the revival.

10. Jess could have had a bigger part, but they left it wide open for that to rekindle, should an additional Year in the Life be added to Netflix!

11. I really wanted to see Odette.

12. I love that Luke and Lorelai eloped last minute. To have had a wedding with a handful of minutes left in the last installment would have been too quick, too forced.

13. Awesome that Luke just happened to know Keifer Sutherland all those years.

14. Rory not having "roots" and being a traveler was lovely. I wish they'd gone past three chapters in her new book though and ended with her last chapter being tied in with being pregnant.

15. All is right in the world after I got my Netflix binge out of the way. For all the flaws and the perfectly perfect moments, I'm left wishing Stars Hollow were a real place I could go to vacation. I want to have bottomless coffee at Luke's and sit in on a town meeting. The festivals -- I'd bid on a basket in a heartbeat!

16. Lastly... I cannot be left not knowing what Rory and (probably) Logan's baby would look like. Adorable!

What did YOU think of the four-part revival? Did you sit down and watch it in a single night? Did you throw a Gilmore Girls party with friends? Did you cry? Laugh? Want to "do" Wild?

Door County Coffee and Tea Co. - Your Holiday Shopping Just Got Easier

Coffee -- it's what makes the world go 'round. At least my world. My first taste of coffee was had the way every first should be experienced -- it was perfect. Epic. Fairytale trimmings.

I sipped my first cup of coffee in January, in Costa Rica, in the tasting room of Tilawa Coffee Company. It was surprisingly sweet.

Until that time, I'd only known Folgers. No wonder I didn't like the stuff!

In the years since, I've come to enjoy a good (emphasize GOOD) cup of coffee. I like small batch, small business, and fresh. Good beans. Sustainable practices. Fair trade is fantastic, but not a deal breaker. Pretty packaging, as stupid as that is, does matter. In a pinch, I'd rather have Cameron's from the local grocery store than a Keurig cup anyday.

This holiday season, knowing my love of some seriously sippable joe, I have decided to share with you all one of my favorite small town (with big flavor) coffee companies in hopes you'll enjoy it as much as I do, and perhaps add it to
Graphic courtesy of
Door County Coffee and Tea Co. 
your holiday shopping list to spread the love across the land.

The company is Door County Coffee and Tea and the jury is still out on my absolute favorite flavor. I can tell you though, you cannot go wrong with Black and Tan, Costa Rican, Lighthouse Blend, Espresso, Sunrise in Door County, Guatemalan or Private Blend.

The line of flavored coffee is insane. For a smaller business in a super rural Wisconsin town, this company has an immense array of flavors and varieties. My mother-in-law, for instance, would probably go nuts for the Hawaiian Hazelnut kind, and she just may get it for her birthday or Christmas! There are five flavors that are limited time, special Christmas edition flavors -- including Door County Christmas!

I on the other hand, am a purist and I need my coffee black and strong -- I do like hints of sweet tones like chocolate or fruits and usually low acidity.

Is tea more your bag? (Get it?) Well, they have a ton of tea too! I'm pretty solidly in the Earl Grey encampment with tea -- I sure am stubborn in my ways, eh? If you happen to have a more open
minded outlook on what goes in your cup (and a more open palate) you'll find a respectable selection of loose leaf and otherwise, from Blueberry to tea that can get you some more Zzzz's.

We can't leave out Santa and the kids either -- gourmet cocoa is another option for those looking for a low-octane beverage with plenty of flavor but not quite the punch!

Use code: DCCHRISTMAS to save 30% on your order!

If there's one thing that is going to please the masses during the holiday family gatherings, toy opening, and late-night cookie nibbling, it's coffee. Make someones morning, which will make their day, and gift the taste of coffee this holiday season!

Disclosure: Consideration was provided by brands mentioned in this article. All opinions are my own.

Oats for All! Ways to Incorporate Oats in Everyday Choices Like a Ninja

I'm not going to try to kid anyone. I'd rather eat Kit-Kats and Oreos with a side of Chocolate Fudge Lava Cake than brocolli or eggplant or even bananas 'til the cows come home. In fact, in the last five or so years, my diet has included lots of sugar. However, in light of all sorts of health problems looming, that could be a future of doctor visits and a life shortened for no real good reason, I've been trying slow reform. It's not that I don't WANT to be healthy. I have a sugar addiction. My husband hid some Twix from me the other night and after seeing two gold wrappers hanging from my jeans pockets, he said: "You're like an alcoholic! I can't hide it from you. You find it."

Sad but true. So what have I done to start the process? Well, first off, I've been trying to stave off cravings with drinking more water. And moving more. After that, tackling my food demons comes next. When I can't eat something 100% fresh (like the carrots from our garden or at least the 90 pints of carrots canned from the garden), then I try to go with the next best thing. Here are some ideas if you're in the same sugar-laden rut as I found myself slipping into this year.

Share more ideas in the comments if you have super ninja ways to incorporate foods that are GOOD for you into everyday choices!

Cholesterol being a reasonable concern for me because of genetic predisposition and my love of all things fatty, fried and generally bad for your heart, I've been trying to combat the sticky culprit with more oats. And, since I'm working hard to get the good stuff IN to my diet, why settle for sub-par products even if they're better than Taco Bell?

I go for the stuff like Bob's Red Mill -- they have GOOD in the heart of their slogan and mission. I've been trying to sneak more oats into things like lasagna, muffins, and even on top of my Stonyfield Grass Fed yogurt in the morning.

The small crumbles of Steel Cut oats are good for more than just oatmeal -- since they are teeny they are easily combined with other food preps. I just found recently that I can add them to trail mix and I really don't notice much when I grab a handful! (They do tend to fall to the bottom corners of the baggie, so you have to shake it up. But, I think it would make great granola bars too!



Disclosure: Consideration was provided by brands mentioned. All opinions are my own.

Family Game Night - 3 Little Pigs

This has just been added to our Holiday Gift Guide! The whole family will have a ton of fun with the classic storybook tale as it comes to life!

Help the three little pigs as they build their houses and hope to avoid the huffing and puffing, Big Bad Wolf. The 3 Little Pigs game combines skill and a dash of luck. Kids will love the soft and squeezable Big, Bad Wolf that actually huffs and puffs the pig's houses down!

Now Available at Amazon and Walmart



Disclosure: This announcement is brought to you by a partnership with US Family Guides. Please stay tuned for a full review!

Playskool Heroes Transformers Rescue Bots Brighten the Holidays by Hasbro Toys - Perfect Gifting Idea!

There was a time when I felt I was really "in the know" when it came to the trends of my son and his peers. That ended with Kindergarten. Every day I've been baffled by where he's been exposed to some new subject and when. Our lives used to be Octonauts and Disney Jr. -- it has changed to become very BOY. In all the change, one thing I've figured out is this: the child LOVES Transformers now! Being a child of the 80's, I can totally get on board with the resurgence of the rescue bots! I'm going to be mom of the year (or Santa will get some major street cred) when he unwraps the cool new play sets by Hasbro this year for Christmas!


Hasbro: A Time-Trusted Name in Toys

Hasbro has been around, like the Transformers, since I was a kid. Technically, they've been around since 1923, though founded under another name -- talk about street cred! Hasbro is a name that will become like a family member to you if you're a "boy mom." (But they make some pretty adorable girl toys too -- and a plethora that would make kids of all kinds happy.) They do
well with the boys though. My boys in particular.

I have a new vocabulary and Hasbro is on top of it. I know things like where one might find Griffon Rock. I know Bumblebee is not just tuna and it's not just a pollinator. I can tell you what characters are which colors and what they can transform into. Really. If I played Transformers Trivial Pursuit, I might give you a run for your Monopoly money. (Incidentally, also a favorite Hasbro game!)

What to Buy the Boys (or Girls!) 

Playskool Heroes Transformers Rescue Bots Griffin Rock Firehouse Headquarters and Transformers Rescue Bots Optimus Prime Racing Trailer are two TOP picks for kids gifts this year and I cannot wait to see the look of sheer delight on my kiddos faces as they open up their Transformer packages!

This will likely be one of the gifts that both boys remember under the tree for years to come. It's something they asked for (and will receive) which is part one for the nostalgia-making formula. The second part is going to be the family aspect of these toys -- both of us (the parents) grew up with the Transformers franchise. We'll be right there playing with both kids and Optimus Prime, Heat Wave, Bumblebee and Chase...among others that must have been introduced, since I have no memory of their extra-cool transforming powers! Yes, I do believe we've nailed it this year! Bring on Christmas! We're ready!

You can find these two toys from the Hasbro Transformers Rescue Bots line of merchandise at almost all departments stores, toys stores, and of course, online!

Have you started holiday shopping? Do you have a favorite toy from childhood that you remember vividly?










Disclosure: I was provided complimentary sample products to describe and try for my review process.

Pet Gift Box - A Great Gift Idea for Your Dog or Cat

For many people, pets are their fur babies. People like my parents. Two schnauzers that are spoiled beyond belief. For me, we have a blended family! We have kids and dogs and cats and chickens and a rabbit and we love them all. You can imagine that the kids love spoiling their pets and we do too! Pet Gift Box is a fun subscription box (ya'll know I love me some subscription boxes!!) that is made for the dogs and cats in your life. I'm not aware of a chicken box, but if someone knows of one...let me know!

PetGitBox is the perfect gift for your furry friend this Holiday Season. Jam-packed with only the best quality treats, toys and other fun goodies, your dogs and cats will be beggin' for more. Check out www.petgiftbox.com/holidaypet to save 50% off your first box for this holiday season.



Use code HOLIDAYPET at checkout! 


All pets deserve your love all the time--what better way to show Bowzer or Binky you love them than by splurging for a little extra fun? Treat your pet or surprise your friends and family with a PetGiftBox! My parents would LOVE this. We may just get it for their little dogs -- we got them toys last year and they were delighted. 

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by a partnership with US Family Guides. Compensation in some form was received. All opinions are my own. 

AdoramaPix - Holiday Cards That Are Easy and Inexpensive

Holiday card time is one of my favorite holiday traditions. I have a glittery red sleigh that I set out and fill with any of the cards that we get from friends and family, near and far. I've noticed that in the social media era, folks don't send as many cards anymore. Much to my dismay, I've even seen people use Facebook as a "blanket card post" venue. It's great to save postage, and I might even do the same for the 45 friends who likely do not give more than a passing glance to my card after opening the envelope. I may just use Facebook for that reason. BUT for the Great Aunt and Uncle in Arizona and the far-flung relatives that escape to Florida (and have no interest in Facebook) I will continue to make beautiful cards that I know are cherished.



This year, after using several card services in the past, we'll be trying AdoramaPix. We've worked with the company before for photo books and they are similar to many other photo sharing and creating sites. We've never tried their services for holiday cards though!

I've created my cards, now I just have to wait for the 12 pack of holiday greetings to come in the mail! I always save a blank card for the scrapbook...is that weird? At least I do not send it to my own address, right?!

Do you still use REAL cards? Do you mail them each year and anticipate holiday well-wishing from others you care about? I think it's a time-honored tradition that needs to be kept alive!!

If you do, you'll be glad to know that you can try AdoramaPix too -- Shop Now: http://bit.ly/2d7blyf 40% off greeting cards. Use code:. PXUSFAM40 Sale ends 12/20/2016 11:59 PM EST


Disclosure: This post was made possible by a partnership with US Family Guides and AdoramaPix. All opinions are my own. Some form of compensation was received. 

The Whittle Shortline Railroad - A Great Gift for Kids Who Love Trains

My sons love trains. I was never a big fan ... until they were. When we went to see Mount Rushmore, our toddler deemed the big, gray faces to seem more like something from the Island of Sodor than our own past Presidents -- as we first glimpsed the huge faces he said "Thomas!!" So, trains it is!



I'm really excited about wrapping up a Mixed Five Car Diesel Engine Toy Train set this year for the boys -- what's more exciting is the pieced-together train paraphernalia they've collected is likely compatible with the Whittle Shortline cars! Score! How much easier would our lives be if all blocks, cars, and kits were compatible!? 

The Whittle Shortline Railroad is a family owned, 20 year old, wooden toy train company. We hand craft realistic toy trains that are compatible with Thomas, Brio and Chuggington. Our toy trains are modeled after real trains you would see in your neighborhood. As a part of our 20th anniversary we released over 20 new trains in August of 2016. In December 2016 we will begin a program of releasing a new train each month and expanding our offering to trains around the world! Visit our website right now to watch video's and learn more!

My Readers receive 20% Off High Quality MIXED 5 Car Diesel Engine Toy Train Sets. Enter Promo Code: WeLoveWhittle! in comments section at checkout at https://www.woodentrain.com 

For Ongoing Special Offers Save This link to the Whittle Shortline Railroad online coupon: http://usfamilycoupons.com/coupon.php?regionid=75&bid=13138&dealid=3063





Disclosure: This post was brought to you by a partnership with US Family Guides and the other mentioned sponsors. It may have resulted in complimentary products and/or some form of compensation. All opinions are my own. 

Christmas decor clutter got you down? [discount code]

If you're like [my husband -- not me] you can't stand Christmas and holiday decor clutter. He is irritated by my FOUR totes of Christmas decor. The balls of lights from the tree and the outdoor scenes (think Christmas Vacation...the scene with Rusty carrying a 50 lb. ball of lights...) I thought I did well to jam everything into four labeled totes. Apparently, that was not what he envisioned when he said he would love to see the Christmas clutter disappear!

Sound familiar? I LOVE the holidays. So when I found out about Crab Pot Christmas trees and how compact and self-contained they are, I knew it was for us. I also like that they are very reminiscent of our time in Alaska (though they are actually from North Carolina.) They lay flat, are fully lighted, and are a pretty cool use of gear.

Check them out in this quick video:





My Readers $ave 30% Off  Crab Pot Christmas Trees that fold flat & sparkle from every angle http://crabpottrees.com/promo Code:USFG16

*Disclosure: I wrote this post in a partnership with US Family Guides and Crab Pot Trees. 
 

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