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Okay, there’s not much better at least to me than an ice cold Diet Coke.  Except I just heard of having a Coke in a bottle made of ice.  Ummmm, yeah.  It would be ice cold down to the last sip!!  What a brilliant idea!!

Frozen Coke Bottle


And it would be eco-friendly too!  No glass to recycle (or end up in the trash if folks didn’t recycle it–grrr….)…. I LOVE IT!!  Now to get Coke to sell them in the US….  Currently, they’re just for sale in Colombia (yes, the country!), but we can hope, right?!?

Want more details…. or to convince Coke to try it here?  Here’s their website.  And in the meantime, love this video promoting the Frozen Coke Bottle!!


You know, I’ve been to Paris twice….. and would go back in a skinny minute!  Loved loved loved Paris!!  The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the pastries, the crêpes, the bread!  So many good things in Paris!!

When I found this giveaway, I knew that I needed to tell you about it and encourage you to enter the giveaway.  Wouldn’t it be fantastic if one of my readers won?!?!?  SQUEEEE!! Win a trip to Paris!


Here are a few of the important inclusions of the prize:

*** Roundtrip Airfare for two to Paris

*** Five (5!!!) nights at the Banke Hotel Paris

*** 1,000 Euros

*** Guided Tours

Winners must be from the contiguous US (excludes Hawaii and Alaska).


Interested in entering?  Visit here.

The giveaway ends July 29, 2013, so do it now!  Good luck!!

This giveaway is sponsored by LD Products.  LD Products is a leading provider of discount printer ink and toner for virtually every inkjet or laser printer on the market.  They carry a full line of printer inkjet cartridges, inkjet refill kits, laser toner, fax toner and countless other printer supplies that allow you to save money, without sacrificing quality.

Disclosure - NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.  The contest is void where prohibited by law.  Only legal residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older at the time of entry are eligible to enter.  See the official rules before entering.  This is a sponsored post.  All opinions expressed are honest and our own.  This is not affiliated with, nor sponsored by The Tween & Me.  Sponsor will be responsible for prize fulfillment. 

This is a sponsored post for Review Wire Media.  If you would like to participate in events like this one, sign up to be emailed about future events.

Be sure to enter all of our current giveaways!!

$20 Amazon Gift Code

Jaybird BlueBuds X Headphones

Cariloha Bamboo Sheets

$15 Amazon Gift Code


Wet Ones Event at Six Flags Over Georgia!

Ariel and I were recently invited to join a group of bloggers for a special event hosted by Wet Ones at Six Flags Over Georgia.  There really was no way that we could turn that opportunity down, right?!  :)    We brought along Ariel’s cousin, Aurora, to share in the fun.  Neither of them had ever been to Six Flags, so they were thrilled to have the chance to visit.

Mindbender roller coaster at Six Flags

As soon as we pulled into the Six Flags parking lot, the squeeeing commenced!!  First thing we noticed was the green framework of the Mind Bender roller coaster.  {I remember when it was installed!  Eeek!}  The girls were sooo excited!!  And so was I!

We joined the other members of the group (and Rock Star Mom Central CEO Stacy DeBroff, who completely mesmerized my girls with her sincerity and awesomeness, as I fully expected she would, since she always does that to everyone!!) near the front entrance where we snapped pics with all the fun Looney Tunes characters, especially showering love on favorite Bugs Bunny.

girls with Bugs Bunny at Six Flags

Park President Dale Kaetzel regaled us with tales from Six Flags’ proud history…. and I was sure to note that Six Flags is celebrating its 50th year anniversary in 2017.  That’s going to be a huge party we won’t want to miss!!

 Six Flags Park President Dale Kaetzel and Tweety Bird at Six Flags

Loved seeing Dale interact with Tweety Bird!  Notice what Dale has in his hand—a garbage grabber…. to help keep the park clean!  How many CEOs do you know willing to pull trash duty?  Not many, I’m betting.  Count me impressed.  (And obviously it worked, too, because the entire park was super clean and the few times I did spot a piece of debris, there was always an employee chasing it down!)

Marthasville Railroad train at Six Flags

Our large group of bloggers and families boarded the train at Marthasville Railroad Station.  Being completely honest, the girls and I were not jumping up and down over the train–we really wanted to get to the roller coasters!  But, we all agreed later, taking the train gave us a great overview of the park, which was helpful in planning the rest of our day.  There were restrooms just outside the station AND {this is huge!} the station itself had strategically-placed air conditioning vents that were absolutely heavenly on this scorching hot summer day.  Just having a chance to sit for a few minutes on the train ride, which takes about 10 minutes, was so nice too.  The train’s route outlines the original footprint of the park, from its opening in 1967.  It has grown past those boundaries now, but the train ride was a nostalgic way to imagine the Six Flags of yesteryear.

I am a huge proponent of hand sanitizer, because I hate germs, but so many times your hands aren’t just germy, they’re messy.  ICK.  When you’ve been riding rides and touching everything in site and then you want to enjoy a park meal, most likely eating with your hands, you don’t want to do it without washing your hands first.  But often a sink + soap isn’t nearby.  Wet Ones to the rescue!!  It’s a damp cloth + sanitizer (but not the drying, alcohol-based stuff!) all packaged neatly and ready to roll!  Love my Wet Ones!!  So easy to take with you!

Tween Shopping at Six Flags

We shopped in so many cute boutiques throughout Six Flags as we made our way through to rides.  I was so glad to be able to offer my girls Wet Ones so they could clean their hands before browsing.  Because, of course, they both shop with alllll of their senses, but especially their tactile ones, touching every. single. thing. as they passed.  :D

(I know the shopkeepers were glad of the clean hands too!)

the caped crusaders at Six Flags

The members of our blogging group were all given their choice of super hero capes…. making us all very conspicuous crusaders as we strolled the tree-lined avenues.

even super heroes need misting sometimes!

And as we enjoyed the delicious misting stations!!  (And we were not the only ones!!  Those things rock!)

Overall, the Wet Ones event at Six Flags was an amazing part of our day at Six Flags.  At a scrumptious and informative lunch, we were given a sweet Wet Ones tote (and it came with a variety of Wet Ones products–perfect for a day at Six Flags!)  After lunch, we scooted around the park, creating memories!

Near the end of our day, the girls decided to brave the Mind Bender.  The first triple-loop roller coaster in North America, it debuted at Six Flags in 1978.  It was one of my first “big girl” rides way back then—and I was thrilled for Ariel and Aurora to have the opportunity to follow in my thrill-seeking footsteps.

Check out my video of them.  They’re in the very first seats!!


Staycation 2013

Yesterday we posted our best tips for enjoying the bounty of activities in Upstate South Carolina. Today, we’d like to showcase some of our favorite bloggers’ posts about their corners of the country! Enjoy!!

Mid Atlantic

NW (or all), Connecticut :: Parenting Miracles

Boston (or all), Massachusetts :: Maven of Savin

Central, New Jersey :: Our Good LIfe

Adirondak Mountains and Central, New York :: For This Season

Buffalo/Niagara Falls, New York :: Ann’s Entitled Life

Syracuse, New York :: I am THAT lady

Erie, Pennsylvania :: Growing Kids Ministry

Greater Harrisburg, Pennsylvania :: Family Balance Sheet

Hershey, Pennsylvania :: Good Deal Mama

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania :: Beyond the Cover

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania :: The Coupon “High”

Poconos, Pennsylvania :: Bucktown Bargains

Scranton, Pennsylvania :: Bucktown Bargains


Des Moines, Iowa :: Make the best of everything

Aurora, Illinois :: A Savings WOW!

Central, Illinois :: The Homeschool Scientist

Chicago, Illinois :: Chicagoland Homeschool Network

Naperville, Illinois :: The Sensible Mom

Schaumburg, Illinois :: Ravings By Rae

Fort Wayne, Indiana :: Simplified Saving

Indianapolis, Indiana (Metro Area) :: In Good Cents

Muncie, Indiana (Central IN) :: the daisyhead

Northern Indiana :: So Dough Savvy

Kansas City Area :: Kansas City Mamas

Metro Detroit, Michigan :: Saving Dollars and Sense

Grand Rapids, Michigan :: Give Me Neither

Oakland County, Michigan :: Bargain Shopper Mom

Minneapolis, Minnesota :: Creative Couponing

Rural Minnesota (either Southern our Lake Country) :: Mommysavers.com

St. Cloud, Minnesota :: Frugal Finders

Kansas City, Missouri/Kansas :: Kosher on a Budget

Springfield, Missouri :: Getting Freedom

Cincinnati, Ohio :: Family Friendly Cincinnati

Columbus, Ohio :: Cleverly Simple

Dayton, Ohio :: Savings Lifestyle: Dayton

Mansfield, Ohio :: The Traveling Praters

NE Ohio :: Raising Lifelong Learners

Northeast Ohio (Canton, Akron, Cleveland) :: Sisters Shopping on a Shoestring

Black Hills, South Dakota :: Little House Living

South Dakota :: Moms Mustard Seeds

Oshkosh, Wisconsin :: Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom


Phoenix, Arizona :: Mom Endeavors

Scottsdale, Arizona :: Saving For Someday

Tucson, Arizona :: Desert Chica Ramblings

Colorado Springs, Colorado :: The Greenbacks Gal

Denver, Colorado :: Bargain Blessings

Helena, Montana :: The WiC Project

Omaha, Nebraska :: Mom Endeavors

Reno, Nevada – Lake Tahoe (Northern Nevada) :: Saving in Nevada


Fresno, California (Central Valley) :: NerdFamily Blog

Los Angeles, California :: Savings.com

San Diego, California :: Good Cheap Eats

San Diego, California :: Life as MOM

Portland, Oregon :: Frugal Living NW

Seattle, Washington :: Thrifty NW Mom

South Atlantic

Arkansas :: Discovering Arkansas

Washington, DC :: Kidventurous

Clearwater Beach, Florida :: Bargain Briana

Jacksonville, Florida :: Saving The Family Money

Southwest Florida (Ft. Myers area) :: Chaos Is Bliss

St. Augustine, Florida :: Simply St. Augustine

Tallahassee, Florida :: SwagGrabber

Atlanta, Georgia (metro area) :: Hodgepodge

Atlanta, Georgia (metro area) :: The Couponing Couple

Annapolis, Maryland :: The Happy Housewife

Hagerstown, Maryland :: Cheryl Pitt

Asheville, North Carolina :: Paradise Praises

Charlotte, North Carolina :: from our front porch lookin’ in…

Raleigh/Southeastern, North Carolina :: Upside Down Homeschooling

Upstate South Carolina :: The Tween & Me

Charlottesville, Virginia :: How to Have it All

Richmond, Virginia :: Teachers of Good Things

Smithfield, Virginia :: Walking in High Cotton

Virginia Beach, Virginia :: The Coupon Challenge

South Central

Coastal Alabama :: Meet Penny

Huntsville, Alabama :: The Traveling Praters

Northern Kentucky :: Simply Sherryl

Chattanooga, Tennessee :: Living Chic on the Cheap

East Tennessee (Smoky Mountains, Knoxville) :: Finding Joy on the Journey

Nashville, Tennessee :: Montessori Tidbits

Arlington, Texas :: Grocery Shop For FREE

Austin, Texas (Hill Country) :: Ponder the Path

College Station, Texas :: How to Homeschool My Child

Dallas, Texas :: Surviving The Stores

East Dallas, Texas :: Funky Faith Girl

Fort Worth, Texas :: Coupons & Freebies Mom

Houston, Texas :: MomsToolbox

Houston, Texas :: MyLitter

Katy, Texas :: Moms Confession

McAllen, Texas (Rio Grande Valley) :: iLoveMy5Kids

San Antonio, Texas :: Melissa’s Bargains


Staycation 2013


Welcome to our Staycation 2013 post!  Living in the Upstate of South Carolina, we’re lucky to have multiple free and low-cost attractions and family-friendly activities in our area, many of them within a short 1-2 hour drive.

Listed here are a few of our favorite places and spaces in the South Carolina Upcountry.

The Upstate of South Carolina can be defined in multiple ways, but I’m including six counties, based on the path of I-85 as it traverses South Carolina on its way from Atlanta, Georgia, to Charlotte, North Carolina.  Those six counties, listed alphabetically, are:  Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Oconee, Pickens, and Spartanburg.

This post focuses on Anderson County activities.  I’ll focus on a new county each day this week and will link them all together at the end of the week.  Stay tuned!!


Anderson County

Anderson County Museum


Anderson County Museum in Anderson, South Carolina

Discover Anderson County’s history with a trip through time at the Anderson County Museum.  Located in downtown Anderson, the museum hosts both permanent and temporary exhibits, as well as the historic Robert Anderson Memorial Fountain.


Anderson County Museum Store in Anderson, South Carolina

There’s also a South Carolina-themed gift shop for all your Palmetto product needs!

Details You’ll Need:  Admission is free.  The Anderson County Museum is located at 202 East Greenville Street, Anderson, South Carolina.  Phone:  864.260.4737.  Hours:  Tuesday 10 am – 7 pm; Wednesday-Saturday 10 am – 4 pm.


Anderson Arts Center


Anderson Arts Center in Anderson, South Carolina

Filled with rotating exhibits and activities that promote the creation and appreciation of the arts in Anderson County, the Anderson Arts Center also hosts a series of arts classes and a dynamic arts camp that involve locals of all ages.

Details You’ll Need:  Admission is free.  The Anderson Arts Center is located at 110 Federal Street, Anderson, South Carolina.  Phone:  864.222.2787.  Hours:  Tuesday – Friday 9:30 am – 5:30 pm.


Downtown Anderson


Downtown Anderson, South Carolina

What’s not to like about a quaint central shopping district replete with a variety of restaurants and family-friendly activities?  Locally owned coffee shops and charming bistros provide ample dining opportunities in downtown Anderson.


A Little Birdie Told Me Carolina wren scavenger hunt in downtown Anderson, South Carolina

Fun for young and old alike, A Little Birdie Told Me is a Carolina wren-inspired scavenger hunt.  We had a great time searching for 22 bronze sculptures–some were much easier to find than others!  Download a brochure for your hunt here.


Generator Park in Anderson, South Carolina

Be sure to take a slight detour off Main Street to visit Generator Park, where you can learn about Anderson’s nickname, “The Electric City,” and see a generator that once produced electricity for the Anderson area at the Portman Power Plant.

Details You’ll Need:  Admission is free.  Contact the City of Anderson for more details and more attractions.  Phone:  864.231.5933.  Downtown Anderson website here.


Town of Belton

South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame, Ruth Drake Museum, and Belton Center for the Arts in Belton, South Carolina

The charming Anderson County town of Belton is home to the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame, the Ruth Drake (local history) Museum, and the Belton Center for the Arts.

Details You’ll Need:  Admission is free for all three attractions.  The South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame and the Ruth Drake Museum are located in the historic Belton Depot building at 100 North Main Street, Belton, South Carolina.  Phone for South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame and Ruth Drake Museum:  864.338.7400.  Hours for South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame and Ruth Drake Museum:  Wednesday and Thursday, 9 am – 2 pm; Friday, 9 am – 4 pm; Saturday, 9 am – 1 pm.  The Belton Center for the Arts is located at 306 City Square.  Phone:  864.338.8556.  Hours:  Tuesday – Friday, 10 am – 5:30 pm; Saturday, 10 am – 2 pm.


Callaham Brothers Orchard in Belton, South Carolina

One of our favorite “refueling stations” in Belton is Callaham Orchards, where some sort of fruit or vegetable is almost always in season and ready to U-Pick.  And, ummm, the ice cream they serve there is really, really good too.  (yes, I know it isn’t free like most everything else listed here is, but supporting a local farmer is a good idea!)

Details You’ll Need:  Admission is free.  There are seasonal activities and product purchases that are available for a small fee.  Callaham Orchards is located at 559 Crawford Road, Belton, South Carolina.  Phone:  864.338.0810.  If you call ahead, there’s a message that will tell you special hours and product availability.  Hours: vary by season.  Call ahead for details and hours.


Town of Pendleton


Pendleton Square in downtown Pendleton, South Carolina

The entire town of Pendleton is on the National Register of Historic Places and features a charming village green as its centerpiece.  Antique shops, boutiques, several excellent restaurants, and two historic house museums offer a delightful variety of activities.


Woodburn and Ashtabula Historic House Museums in Pendleton, South Carolina

Pendleton Historic Foundation owns and operates two beautiful historic house museums, Woodburn and Ashtabula.  Both are available for touring during regular hours as well as rental for special events and private tours.  Admission is charged, but it is reasonably priced.

Details You’ll Need:  Admission per house is $6 for adults; $2 for children 5-10 years old; free for those under 5 years old.  Woodburn Historic House is located at 130 History Lane, Pendleton, South Carolina.  Phone:  864.646.7249.  Hours:  Thursday – Friday, 10 am – 1 pm; Sunday, 2 pm – 5 pm.  Ashtabula Historic House is located at 2725 Old Greenville Hwy (SC 88), Central, South Carolina.  Phone:  864.646.7249.  Hours:  Thursday – Sunday, 1-4 pm.


WOW!  That’s just a sampling of the wealth of family friendly activities in Anderson County, in the SC Upstate!  Join us tomorrow as we feature other great Staycation  ideas from around the country… and later on this week as we continue our tour through the South Carolina Upcountry!




Dog Bark Park Inn B&B


Looking for a unique place to rest your weary bones on your next trip to Cottonwood, Idaho?  You should definitely check out the Dog Bark Park Inn Bed and Breakfast!

(and truly, I am sure there would be a lot of us (Ariel included) that would veer out of her way to get to Cottonwood just to be able to stay at Dog Bark Park!!)

I mean, how often are you going to be able to say you slept in the world’s biggest beagle???   And, we are huge beagle fans in this household.  Remember the dog with the supersonic hearing?

Interested in learning more?  Check out Dog Bark Park Inn Bed and Breakfast’s website here for more details.



beautiful photography by Ralph Velasco

Sometimes the wanderlust gets to be too much.  I cannot travel as much as I’d like to…. sigh…. but I can take trips via my computer and the interwebs.

For those trips, I count on some of my favorite travel bloggers/photographers to take me away from my reality.

One of my newest discoveries is Ralph Velasco.  Not only does he beautifully capture the spirit of the places where he travels, he gives great photography tips!

Check out some of his work and be sure to pop in on his site and read his photography tips…. you won’t be disappointed!


beautiful photography by Ralph Velasco


Wouldn’t you love to travel in Ralph’s camera bag?  What talent!!


Walt Disney quote


No, not those padlocks.  I’m talking about the padlocks lovers leave on fences, bridges, and specially made structures to cement their love for all time.

Never heard of these?

I’m embarrassed to admit I hadn’t either.  But now I have…. and so have you!  Check out these love padlocks on the famous Pont de l’Archevêché in Paris:

Locks of Love from ParisInfo.com


Locks of Love from ParisInfo.com


What a romantic way to show your love!


(photo credit)




Want to find a light display that looks like this?


beautiful Christmas light display featured on ChristmasLightFinder.com


Or this?


beautiful Christmas light display featured on ChristmasLightFinder.com


Then check out Christmas Light Finder!  They have listings from all over the US, sortable by ZIP code.  There weren’t a lot in Upstate SC, but maybe your area will have more.  And hopefully, the more folks that know about Christmas Light Finder, the more folks that will list their own displays… and then there will be lots for all of us to go see!  We love to go “light ridin’” this time of year!


Christmas Light Finder logo

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