Friday, November 30, 2012

Kalahari Resorts in Wisconsin Dells: The Ultimate Family Vacation {1-Night Stay & Indoor Theme Park Passes Giveaway!}

Kalahari logo
It might be just my own personal opinion, but I think that here in the Midwest, we appreciate water and theme parks a little more than much of the country.

I'm sure all you Floridians do as well, but let's face it, you don't spend half the year wrapped in hats, scarves and boots, so the idea of being able to throw on a swimsuit and go screaming down a waterslide or relaxing in a lazy river just manages to bring a little more excitement and interest to folks up here.

Therefore, as well as taking advantage of the outdoor fun that we can during our short summer months, we also take our indoor options pretty seriously. After all, it's pretty easy to do when we have 125,000 square feet of wet and wild indoor waterpark joy and over 100,000 square feet of indoor theme park family fun and adventure right here in Wisconsin Dells at Kalahari Resorts.

Kalahari Resorts Wisconsin Dells

No matter the weather, the time of year, nor your taste in water and theme park attractions, Kalahari Resorts has indoor and outdoor fun that will leave your family anything but bored from morning until night. In between the plethora of waterpark options and theme park activities, you can enjoy their many restaurants, relax in the spa, paint your own pottery, win big in the arcade... and recharge for the following day in your comfortable room (amongst many, many other options).

We're talking hair-raising, jaw-dropping, scream-inducing experiences for big kids and adults, and interactive, playful, entertaining, laughter-causing fun for the younger crowd. It all adds up to a wet and dry mini-vacation that won't soon be forgotten!

First, discover Kalahari Resorts and Wisconsin Dells outdoors.

While Kalahari is renowned as being an incredibly fun indoor destination, it is an extremely fun outdoor destination for the summertime as well, as guests can head out into the sunshine for water fun at the Zambezi Outdoor Water Park.

A 77,000 square foot zone of fun, there are outdoor attractions galore for the entire family. Bigger kids can head down the Extreme Rush, a two-lane slide that features rolls and drops throughout the 420-foot ride, the Swahili Swirl, a trip down the zoomin' flume into a vortex that shoots out into the cool waters below, or the Anaconda, where guests hang on to their raft as they experience sharp turns and high-speed plunges.

Kalahari Wisconsin Dells outdoors

For the younger crowd, there are activity pools, an outdoor lazy river, and the Splashdown Safari — a structure full of climbing, kid-size slides and a huge tipping bucket that sits atop the play feature that drenches guests with 1,000 gallons of water every two minutes.

kids outdoors Kalahari

Along with the on-site activities, a short drive from Kalahari Resorts offers even more attractions to enjoy.

Golfers of all levels can experience Trappers Turn Golf Club, an award-winning 27-hole golf course designed by two-time U.S. Open Champion Andy North and world renowned golf course designer Roger Packard. With all of its beauty and features, many consider Trappers Turn to be the ultimate type of course!

Guests can also experience Wisconsin Dell's premiere concert venue, Crystal Grand Music Theater, a newly renovated, technology-filled location that takes live performances to the next level. From Rock 'n' Roll greats to Classic Country, Comedy, Family Shows and everything in between, this venue has something for everyone!

Next, discover the Kalahari Resorts Indoor Waterpark.

Kalahari Resorts in Wisconsin Dells features Wisconsin's largest indoor waterpark, so no matter what it looks like outside, you know you will still be able to jump in and experience summer fun in the water!

The indoor waterpark features America's first indoor super loop slides, with all three slides presenting a near-60 foot drop. The Super Loop Sahara Sidewinder slides even take guests on a 250+ foot journey from high above the roof of the waterpark to the water below! Yikes!

super loop slides

If you're like me and think that the super loop slides might require a little more bravery than you can muster, there are more than enough other attractions that will provide thrills of all levels.

From the FlowRider for indoor surfing, the lazy river for kicking back, the wave pool for beach swimming and floating, the Tanzanian Twister for a swirling, whirling good time...

Kalahari indoor waterpark

As for me, I prefer to spend as much time as possible on the Master Blaster, as this incredible slide is like a combination roller coaster and waterslide in one! Love it!

Kalahari Master Blaster

Of course if all of that is too big for your tots, there is still plenty to keep them occupied. If the climbing, splashing sliding fun of Crocodile Cove and Leopard's Lair wasn't enough before, Kalahari Resorts in the Dells recently installed a state-of-the-art Kids Play Zone named Tiko's Watering Hole.

Catered specifically for your tiny tots, this 5,000-square-foot, interactive play area features 12 slides, a 200-foot-long lazy river made just for young kids, and a variety of activities that inspire parent and child interaction, while peaking their curiosity and imagination. No matter which spacious area your child chooses to play in, there is more than enough to keep them entertained throughout your stay!

Kalahari Dells kids area

If your child ends up falling in love with Tiko's Watering Hole, Kalahari Resorts has made it possible to bring the fun home with them... in a much smaller and drier way. The storybook Are We There... Yet? was inspired by this new installation and tells the tale of a baby elephant who is making his first trip to Africa's Great Kalahari Desert with his family.

The story parallels the experience a child would likely have during their first trip to the Kalahari Resort, taking particular notice of the family's baby, Tiko, as he experiences this journey for the first time – bringing to life his excitement, challenges and achievements throughout this great adventure.

All of the illustrations within the book are actual recreations of Tiko's Watering Hole, from the trees to the mountains to the many fiberglass animals that make up the play features, fountains and decor. Sitting down with your child to read this book will always remind them of their amazing time in the waterpark!

The first book in a five-part series, the 11-page Are We There... Yet? is currently available for purchase for $12.99 onsite at Kalahari Resorts in Wisconsin Dells and Sandusky, Ohio.

Kalahari Tiko's Watering Hole

After all of the water fun, you've got to check out the Kalahari Resorts Indoor Theme Park.

With over 100,000 square feet of family fun with a ton of indoor attractions and activities, you will be amazed at all of the options available. While other hotels simply include an arcade, Kalahari takes things about 500 steps further with so much more.
  • A six-story Ferris wheel located inside a glass enclosure to take families to new heights of excitement
  • A ropes course to test your balance and coordination
  • Rock climbing walls for strength and endurance
  • Laser tag to work off some energy before bed
  • 24 lanes of bowling
  • Carousel
  • Golf Simulator
  • Mini golf
  • Go-karts
  • And much more!
Again, if you're used to a single room of arcade games as your extra entertainment, you haven't seen anything until you've visited the Indoor Theme Park at Kalahari Resorts!

Kalahari Resorts Theme Park

If the amazing indoor and outdoor attractions and accommodations at Kalahari Resorts in Wisconsin Dells aren't impressive enough on their own, the lengths that Kalahari goes to in order to be as green and eco-conscious as possible definitely are the icing on the cake.

In fact, as the winner of the 2006 Partners for Clean Air Recognition Award, Kalahari Resorts continues to lead the hotel industry in energy conservation and reduction of their carbon footprint with innovative initiatives.

Since Kalahari Resort boasts the world's largest indoor waterpark, they make it a priority to maintain eco-friendly practices to help reduce water and energy consumption. They feature low energy consumption water pumps throughout the parks, use low-flow dishwasher spray heads and low-flow showerheads that reduce water consumption by 2.46 million gallons per year.

Kalahari Resorts in the Dells also uses rooftop solar panels, which heat more than 50% of the hot water for the resort's facilities, and have installed massive fans in the waterpark to lower heating costs by pushing warm air near the ceiling to floor level.

Even better, the resort has partnered with the Clean The World organization, the largest global recycler of hotel amenities. This collaboration has resulted in the collection and recycling of resort soaps, shampoos, conditioners, lotions and gels to help prevent the millions of deaths caused by hygiene-related illnesses every day.

On top of all of that, Kalahari Resorts is also upgrading to digital thermostats in the guest rooms and has the most advanced lighting control system in the industry. They are transitioning to energy saving fluorescent light bulbs, motion sensor lights in public areas, and are upgrading exit signage to LED displays.

I'm just not sure that I could be more in awe of everything that Kalahari Resorts is doing to provide fun while also being friendly to the earth!

Whether you live here in Wisconsin, are going to be driving through or are just looking for a unique family vacation spot, Kalahari Resorts in Wisconsin Dells is not to be missed. You just haven't experienced a resort that offers this much to thrill the entire family!


And, thanks to their extreme generosity, one person will be prepared for their own family fun in the upcoming year as well, because...

One lucky person will win a 1-night stay in a Hut or Desert style room* and Indoor Theme Park passes at Kalahari Resorts in Wisconsin Dells!

Kalahari Resorts gift card
*Terms: NOT VALID: Friday and Saturdays. Blackout dates include November 21-22, 2012, December 21-January 5, 2013, January 20, 2013, February 17, 2013, March 17-31, 2013, April 1-4, 2013, May 26, 2013, June 23 - August 18, 2013, September 1, 2013, and October 13, 2013. Please call (877) 525-2427 for availability. No cash value, expires 1 year from date of issue.

Enter using the Giveaway Tools form below — simply enter your name and email address and click on each entry that you would like to complete. Follow the directions for each individual method, entering in the necessary information when asked. If you have any questions or problems, feel free to let me know.

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A big thank you to Kalahari Resorts for hosting my family as a part of the Kalahari Kamp Out as well as for providing a 1-night stay and theme park passes for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.

A Deliciously Good Time at Scooops Kid Spa Salon {Now Open in Madison, WI!}

Scooops Kids Spa logo
While having a household with two girls has its hardships at times (hello, Drama Queen x 2!), it also has some fun perks. Reliving the tea parties and doll playing of my youth, teasing my husband about being wholly outnumbered, and having built-in pals that are lucky to go to the spa with me, just to name a few.

However, the tides have turned now.

Now that Scooops Kid Spa Salon has arrived at Hilldale Mall here in Madison, Wisconsin, it's not that I have pals that are lucky to go to the spa with me. Considering the place was designed and created to pretty much match their dreams, it would be more accurate to say that I am the lucky one who gets to the spa with the girls!

Scooops Kid Spa Salon

Offering a place for girls to "chill" on a giant banana split, receive ice cream-themed manicures and pedicures, enjoy picture perfect hairdos and just have fun, Scooops Kid Spa Salon has taken the spa experience and made it perfectly kid-size.

The girls and I had the extreme pleasure of attending the grand opening event for Scooops this week and I'm not sure which one of us was the most excited about it. As soon as I told them that we were going to a spa that was inspired by ice cream, they were more than ready to go!

We were barely in the front doors before their eyes were the size of saucers as they raced from the banana split bench to checking out all of the adorable items for sale to making a celebratory ice cream sundae of their own.

Scooops Kid Spa Hilldale

While the girls happily enjoyed their ice cream...

ice cream at Scooops
Thanks to Scooops for this adorable photo!
...I took in all of the amenities and offerings that Scooops has for its pint-size customers.

With three main areas of the salon, girls are in for the hair or nail experiences of their dreams. First, in the hair station, guests choose their personal cape "flavor" (chocolate, vanilla or strawberry), and get to enjoy the yummy flavors of organic products used during the haircut and/or style.

From cuts to styles to up-dos, hair feathers, braiding and much more, girls sit in salon chairs that are just their size to enjoy their pampering! Big Sister E was a big fan of the chairs and it was great to see the enjoyment that all of the girls displayed throughout the evening.

Scooops kids haircuts

Further on in the salon, there are two designated manicure and pedicure stations with room for multiple kids to participate at once.

We couldn't believe the huge number of nail polish colors to choose from and the girls definitely couldn't wait to don their tiaras and plush pink robes and have their nails painted by someone who knows how to do a better job than Mom!

Scooops kids spa

While the girls enjoyed their Mouthwatering Manicure (their hands were even wrapped in warm towels and softened with ice cream-scented lotion!) I took a peek into the two party rooms that Scooops has to make their spa a perfect birthday party or special day celebration location.

With a variety of packages available, girls can have a party with 6 - 10 guests that includes a variety of spa services, swag bags, goodies and more. And, when the attendees aren't lounging in the mani or pedi areas, you'll have plenty of space to spread out cake, ice cream, presents and more.

Scooops has even formed a perfect partnership with Gigi's Cupcakes (right down the block) to create their own signature banana split cupcake that would be a perfect party treat. Seriously amazing!

Scooops birthday party

From Neapolitan-imagined spa experiences to deliciously adorable haircuts, Scooops Kid Spa Salon is the perfect place for girls to do it all.

We had a wonderful time visiting, seeing so many yummy and unique products, participating in a little pampering, and cheering on the owners and staff as they cut the pink ribbon to officially open this Madison location.

Scooops grand opening

Considering how much the girls both loved it at Scooops, I have no doubt that we will be visiting again for their future haircuts as well as just to have a way to make our day a little extra sweet!

I just hope that they aren't too disappointed when Violet from Great Wolf Lodge isn't there all the time!

Scooops review

If you have a girl in your life that would have a blast having an tasty good time at a spa designed just for kids, then you've got to check out Scooops Kid Spa Salon! Visit their website to find out all about their services, parties, gift cards (what a great present!), locations and more, and be sure to connect with them on Facebook and Twitter as well.

My family was invited to the grand opening event by Scooops Kid Spa Salon in Hilldale and received complimentary services and gift bags. However, all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own and were not required. We just had such a great time that we had to share!

Grandoe Homespun Cozee Gloves {Review}

Grandoe logo
Although I'm glad that my kids can get so excited about bundling up and heading out in the cold winter weather, it's just not my favorite season. The icy winds, the freezing temperatures, the dry air that leaves my skin and lips cracked... give me a sunny beach any day.

Since I'm not going to find that anywhere here in the Midwest, at least I can improve my mood about the season by turning to high quality, stylish accessories to keep me warm, comfortable and fashionable.

Which is just what I've discovered with the Homespun Cozee Women's Gloves from Grandoe.

Homespun Cozee Women's Gloves

Available in four unique patterns — Moose Tracks, Snowflake, Rainbow and Lavender — at first glance the Homespun Cozee gloves looked to me like simple, cute, colorful knit gloves that are similar to any other.

However, when the Snowflake pattern arrived, it only took me touching them as I pulled them out of the package to realize just how soft and cozy they truly are.

Homespun Cozee gloves review

The backs of these gloves are a well-constructed, tightly knit polyester design that not only shows off the cute black and white patterns, but ensures that they are not thin or feel cheap.

On the flip side, the microsuede palm is extremely soft and water resistant, so there is no worry about damage or water seeping in from water or snow. Combined with the whipstitch detailing, these glove have an overall homemade appearance with a very cuddly feel.

waterproof women's gloves

However, once you slide your hands into the snowfleece lining, it's hard to want to ever take these back off. With the feeling of a fuzzy shearling, I love the way that my fingers are encased in the softness as these gloves form to your hands as you wear them.

Even better, Grandoe has included the unique feature of including Aloe infused in the lining, so not only do your hands stay toasty warm and comfortable, but they get a bonus Aloe hand softening treatment!

fleece women's gloves

All in all, these are easily the softest gloves that I have ever worn. The lining extends slightly so that your wrist is covered and kept warm, or it can also be turned down to create a small cuff for a different, trendy look.

fashion gloves

Retailing for $35, the Homespun Cozee are available in women's sizes S-XL and, from what I can tell, are cut just a tad on the small side. I have typically a medium-sized hand and foot and the Medium gloves are just the tiniest bit snug.

While the price tag is higher than any old pair of gloves that you'll find on the racks of every store, the high quality and durability does make me think that these will last much longer than others. At the same time, the unique water resistant palms are great for everything from playing in the snow to scraping the ice off of your car and the ability to have my dry hands softened by the Aloe infused lining is such a fun addition!

If you're looking for a great gift (or need a new pair of gloves for yourself) this holiday season, find out more about the thickness, softness and impeccable quality of the Homespun Cozee on the Grandoe website and by connecting with them on Facebook.

Other than the Homespun Cozee gloves that I was provided by Grandoe to facilitate my review, I was not compensated or enticed to do this review in any way. This post is solely my honest opinion of this product.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The iXO Vivo: First-Ever Power Corkscrew from SKIL Tools {Review & Giveaway}

SKIL logo
Once in a while I stop and realize just how much technology and inventions make my life easier.

I don't want to think of how much time I would have spent over the years washing dishes if I didn't have a dishwasher. I can't imagine how long it would take for my carrier pigeon to get a message to my husband if I couldn't just call his cell phone. And don't even get me started on my life without a computer.

But another area where I enjoy using less effort and energy is with tools. While I can wield a traditional screwdriver with the best of them, why would I when there are power screwdrivers that only require me to press a button?

And when it comes to the very best in lightweight, versatile, easy to use cordless power screwdrivers, there is no need to look any further than the iXO from SKIL Tools.


Whether you’re changing batteries in a toy, installing blinds or replacing a taillight, this handy screwdriver is equipped to handle hard to reach spaces, is innovative in design and concept, and can generally just make life easier for small or large projects.

So, while the SKIL iXO isn't new, SKIL Tools has come up with a way to make it even more useful — particularly with all of the holiday entertaining happening from coast to coast — by introducing their new version. Taking convenience to the next level, SKIL Tools has recently debuted the first-ever power corkscrew, the iXO Vivo.

SKIL iXO vivo

Yes, that's right. The iXO Vivo offers all the handyman features of the original iXO Cordless Screwdriver while also including a unique corkscrew attachment that safely and securely removes a wine bottle cork in under 10 seconds.

Sure, opening a bottle of wine isn't actually as difficult as doing Calculus... but, you know, sometimes it sure feels like it! The last time I host my neighborhood's wine night here at my house, I was highly embarrassed by the fact that I could only dig out an old-fashioned corkscrew that seemed to barely work.

Knowing that my turn will come around again before I know it, I couldn't wait to check out the iXO Vivo to see just how much more advanced my wine opening skills would soon be.

SKIL iXO vivo review

Containing the 4-volt lithium-ion power iXO itself, one five-piece bit set, the innovative corkscrew attachment, a foil cutter, a wine bottle stopper and a charger, the iXO Vivo has everything you need to do some DIY around the house or impress your friends and family at your next gathering.

One peek into the sleek storage box and I already had a mental list of people that I know who would love to receive this as a gift!

SKIL Tools iXO vivo review

This really couldn't be much easier and truly, if you can tighten a screw (with a power screwdriver), you can use the iXO Vivo to open a bottle of wine. It's just done with the press of a button!

First, use the included foil cutter, if necessary. Second, simply place the corkscrew right onto your bottle, attach the palm-sized iXO, flip the switch next to your finger, and voila! Quick and efficient opening of your bottle of wine literally only in seconds!

When you're ready to close up your bottle, the included stopper is a sleek, modern way to save your remaining wine without any worry about crushing a cork back into the top. Easy peasy!

iXO Vivo review

Lest you think that you would only reach for this SKIL iXO Vivo when you have company coming over or when you're enjoying a relaxing glass of wine after the kids have gone to bed, don't forget that the five-piece bit set makes this an exemplary power screwdriver all in itself.

I love the way that it fits easily in your hand, can easily be switched from forward to reverse, includes an LED Work Light so that you can see what you're doing, has a Battery Fuel Gauge so that you aren't surprised when it stops working, and includes a high quality battery that holds a charge for up to 18 months.

Whether you're reaching for the iXO Vivo at your next dinner party or to tighten a loose doorknob, it will be charged, ready and just the tool that you need!

SKIL Tools power screwdriver

For all of the wine drinkers (or the handyman who would get a kick out of the novelty aspect of pulling this out for friends) on your holiday shopping list, the SKIL iXO Vivo Power Corkscrew is sure to make the perfect gift. This handy gadget has a retail price of $79.99 but is currently on sale on Amazon and elsewhere for around $49.99.

Find out more information about SKIL Tools' iXO at and connect with them on Facebook and Twitter as well.

And, thanks to the generosity of SKIL Tools, one person will be prepared to keep their home in tip top shape as well as their wine glasses full and their guests entertained in the New Year, because...

One lucky person will win a SKIL iXO Vivo Power Corkscrew!

SKIL iXO Vivo giveaway

Enter using the Giveaway Tools form below — simply enter your name and email address and click on each entry that you would like to complete. Follow the directions for each individual method, entering in the necessary information when asked. If you have any questions or problems, feel free to let me know.

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A big thank you to SKIL Tools for providing an iXO Vivo for me to review as well as for one lucky giveaway winner. The opinions shared are my own and honest and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.

Travelpro Crew 9 Carry-On Expandable Hardside Spinner Suitcase {Review}

Travelpro logo
While flying on an airplane is still far from one of my favorite things, I'm proud of myself for the confidence that I've gained over the years.

Having dealt with motion sickness and a considerable fear of all things airport-related, these days I'm actually able to make it through the stress of getting to the airport on time, dealing with security, finding my gate, and not hyperventilating during takeoff, landing and at every bump of turbulence.

Among the other things that I've learned along the way to becoming a decently competent traveler (even by myself!), one aspect that makes everything easier is the importance of having high quality luggage that works for your situation. No broken zippers, wheels that don't spin or pieces that are falling apart, because the last thing anyone needs to deal with during a trip is seeing their suitcase cracked open and their unmentionables on display for the whole airport to see.

So, while it isn't hard to walk into any department store and find rows and rows of suitcases that all looks the same, being introduced to a luggage manufacturer that won't settle for anything less than top-of-the-line design, innovation and durability just goes to show how Travelpro can truly revolutionize how you travel.

nice luggage

Originally developed by a pilot, Travelpro luggage has all the qualities flight crews and frequent travelers look for. Amazingly durable construction, travel-tested features, premium fabrics, innovative design and quality material built to go the distance all come together to ensure effortless maneuverability.

Considering that my husband travels often for work, a high quality, lightweight suitcase is something that is constantly needed around here. When the Travelpro Crew 9 Carry-On Expandable Hardside Spinner arrived, it didn't take long before it proved to be just the thing. Even the packaging was high quality!

Travelpro Crew 9 review

As the Crew collection is a leap forward in innovation, lightweight durability and easy mobility, I had high expectations... that were met immediately.

Travelpro Crew 9 Hardside Spinner review

Measuring in at 14.5" x 10" x 21.5" and weighing only 8.6 lbs, right away I could tell that this Hardside Spinner would be perfect for keeping all of my husband's belongings safe and secure when wheeling this right on board.

Before I even had this suitcase opened, I was admiring all that went into making the outside as outstanding as it was.

The lightweight, durable hard shell is made from 100% polycarbonate with a textured finish to prevent scratching. Available in Black or the Titanium Gray that I received, this suitcase looks about 200x higher quality than any other that we have owned.

As I looked closer, I noticed that the strong Powerscope handle featured an extremely comfortable Contour Grip and was adjustable to three different height options so that users of every different height could find a comfortable fit. That's something that short people like me (who are married to tall people like my husband) can really appreciate!

Travelpro PowerScope Handle

This PowerScope Extension Handle is plenty strong enough to support a tote or briefcase and has even been tested to over 15,000 up and down cycles, so you never have to worry that it will fail when you're racing to catch your next flight!

Along the same lines, a major factor of the convenience of a suitcase is in the quality of the wheels — and the Carry-On Hardside Spinner definitely has that area covered.

Travelpro Crew 9 wheels

While wheels that spin 360° aren't new, I have truly never seen any that roll quite as smoothly and easily as these. Travelpro used only the toughest materials when creating these ball-bearing Spinner wheels and whether I've rolled this suitcase upright, pulled it behind me or pushed it in front of me, the wheels have been absolutely flawless.

As the finishing touch on the outside, this Crew 9 Spinner features molded side feet on one side to protect against scratching and scuffing during travel and an integrated TSA lock on the other. By simply hooking the super-strong zipper pulls right into the lock, you're able to know that your items are secure but that you aren't violating any TSA regulations.

TSA approved lock

I was already blown away by how much I liked the Travelpro Crew 9 Carry-On Expandable Hardside Spinner and I hadn't even opened it up yet!

When I did, the love only continued to grow.

Travelpro Crew 9 Expandable Hardside Spinner review

I absolutely love all of the space and the variety of ways that Travelpro makes it a snap to pack and access all of your items quickly and easily.

From the split case construction that provides an extremely simple way to store your contents in each half, as well as have a way to keep your clean and dirty clothes separated when you re-pack to head home...

packing tips the built-in zippered wet pocket that is perfect for packing up a wet swimsuit or storing your toiletries and knowing that they won't spill or leak onto your clothes...

suitcase wet pocket

...this is one suitcase that does it all.

From top to bottom, inside and out, it seems that every time I turn this Hardside Spinner over, I find a different smart feature that Travelpro had thought to include. This handsome suitcase meets carry-on size requirements, expands to provide 20% more storage capacity in seconds, weighs less than my purse, and has a pocket for everything. All I need it to do is pack my clothes for me and it would really be my dream come true!

This holiday season, whether you have plans to fly across the country or you just want a jaw-dropping gift for the frequent business, leisure or adventure traveler in your life, Travelpro has a huge line of innovative luggage and travel accessories that would be perfect.

The Travelpro Crew 9 Carry-On Expandable Hardside Spinner retails for $269.99, which is definitely a higher price tag than you might see elsewhere. However, I have never been so impressed with a suitcase before and believe that this truly will last for many years of travel to come. It has the ability to turn a regular flight into a luxury travel experience!

To find out more about this suitcase, the full Crew 9 line, and all of Travelpro's incredible products, visit their website at You can also find a great deal on their items in their Luggage Outlet store and connect with them on Facebook and Twitter so that you'll never miss travel information, new products, sweepstakes and more.

Other than the Crew 9 Carry-On Expandable Hardside Spinner I received from Travelpro to facilitate my review, I was not compensated or enticed to do this review in any way. This post is solely my honest opinion of this product.

Hot Wheels Wall Tracks Power Tower Track Set {Review}

Mattel logo
While I am sure to always praise my children and encourage their creativity in nearly everything that they do, I have to admit that there are times when... I'm bored.

There, I said it. But if you're a parent, I know you agree!

Because even though we love seeing our children come up with all sorts of imaginative adventures with toys of all kinds, I just know that I'm not the only mom to ever have to stifle a yawn when my daughter brings me my play shopping cart full of pretend food that I need to checkout for the hundredth time.

Which is why there is a small part of me that gets just as excited as they do when we open a toy and find something that is innovative, unique and can truly bring entertainment to all ages.

 And that's exactly what happened when the Hot Wheels Wall Tracks Power Tower Track Set arrived!

Hot Wheels Wall Tracks Power Tower Track Set

Providing nonstop, action-packed excitement for Hot Wheels cars, this wall-mounted racing set features a motorized elevator and thrilling danger zones for the ultimate in continuous stunts, speed, turns, and tricks! What fan of cars wouldn't be excited about getting to see their autos soar across the tracks while being attached right to the wall?

As both of my girls like to race and zoom their cars with the best of them, we couldn't wait to open up the Power Tower Track Set and put it to use.

Hot Wheels Wall Tracks Power Tower Tracks review

Right out of the box... I was a little intimidated by the number of pieces that this set included.

Hot Wheels Wall Tracks assembly

However, thanks to the clear, illustrated instructions, it didn't take too long to fit one piece into the next as I put the track together. After placing the background poster and attaching the brackets securely to the wall with the included 3M adhesive strips...

Hot Wheels Wall Tracks brackets

...I was able to simply place the Power Tower into place and put the finishing touches on connecting the whole thing together.

Hot Wheels Power Tower Tracks review


If I had any doubts about the action and adventure that this set would provide, they immediately disappeared as soon as we began playing. After installing the two D batteries (not included), the entire set is controlled by simply turning on the easily-accessible power switch...

power tower power switch

...and the fun begins.

The motorized elevator brings cars to the top of the tower, where there are different options for diversion. Go in one direction and your car heads straight down a slope, navigates a turn, and encounters a car-crushing monster with opening and closing jaws!

car monster

Or, to avoid the car chomper, move the diverter to take an alternate route that takes your car through an immediate turnout of the lift. From there, your car must pass a swinging saw blade that threatens to knock it off. This nonstop action is all about timing and strategy!

car saw

With so many exciting danger zones throughout this track set, this is definitely one way to keep the Hot Wheels energy level going strong. From the twists and turns to the wonder of if your car will survive its trip down the track and safely back to the Power Tower elevator, the action and liveliness is nonstop.

While the right speed and skill does play a part in keeping your car on the track (versus getting sent straight to the trash heap if your vehicle is knocked off or eaten by the car-hungry monster!) this toy has a way of providing thrilling go-rounds no matter how much a child has managed to be successful. In fact, seeing the monster chomp down on your car is nearly just as fun as seeing your ride make it back to the top of the tower!

This set includes one Hot Wheels car, but up to 12 cars can be loaded into the Power Tower elevator at a time, making it easy for multiple kids to play at once (or for one or two kids to have a whole fleet to take care of).

Easy to assemble and attach to the wall, not only is this track fun for kids, but what mom wouldn't love a toy that is permanently picked up and out of the way? No more stepping on random tracks or pieces when they're all hanging right on the play room or bedroom wall!

The Hot Wheels Wall Tracks Power Tower Track Set typically retails for $44.99 but is currently on sale from Mattel or on Amazon for $38.99. Check out this video to see the track in action and find out more information.

You'll also want to connect with Hot Wheels on Facebook and Twitter and see more about the whole Wall Tracks collection on As all of the sets can be connected together, this just might be the start of an interactive wall art masterpiece!

Other than the Hot Wheels Wall Tracks Power Tower Track Set that I was provided by Mattel to facilitate my review, I was not compensated or enticed to do this review in any way. This post is solely my honest opinion of this product.