Straights Houston - Delicious, Chic and Unforgettable.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Heather

Easy

Recently I did a press trip to Houston sponsored through the GoHouston! Travel Campaign hosted by New Creative Writing and Social Media Marketing. As always all opinions are my own.

While on our amazing trip to Houston we were invited to dine at STRAITS Restaurant.

STRAITS menu unites the four major culinary influences of Singapore-Malaysia/Indonesia, Chinese, Indian and Nonya

I wasn't familiar with the cuisine from Singapore and I was afraid it wouldn't be quite to my liking. Wow if I had only known how narrow minded and wrong I was.

If it weren't for this opportunity, my husband and I on our own probably would have chosen a different restaurant and missed out on such a wonderful dining experience.

As soon as we walked in we were greeted by an incredibly friendly staff and seated outside in one of their lovely cabanas.

The air was a perfect temperature and City Centre had live music across the way... it was starting to feel like a scene from a romantic movie.

My husband and I looked at the menu for a few minutes, but we were stuck between a few different options.

Vladimir our waiter suggested we choose the Tender Braised Asian Pork Pot Roast with Chinese Spinach & Pineapple Chutney.

To say "he knew what he was talking about" would be an understatement, but before I get ahead of myself I can't forget to tell you about the Roti Prata.

I can't believe I have been missing out on this my whole life. Do you see those crispy layers? That's heaven somewhere in the middle there.

It's no secret that I am a carb fan, but this is on a whole other level that any other bread, pastry I have ever had.

The Roti Prata comes with a curry that is also top notch, and you don't want to miss it.

I loved this so much that I have now found a recipe online and plan on making this at home.

Unfortunately we don't have a STRAITS Restaurant in Utah or you would find me there every week eating one of these.

I will be sure to let you know how my homemade version turns out.

This was our main course; the Tender Braised Asian Pork Pot Roast with Chinese Spinach & Pineapple Chutney. My mouth is watering just thinking about it right now.

Doesn't it look amazing, my pictures don't even do it justice. The combination of the Chutney and the Pot Roast flavors were heavenly.

I swear they must have had this baby roasting all day, because it was a challenge for it not to melt before it even hit my tongue.

I have never had such succulent and soft pork.

And if you are looking to spend a little less, they encourage ordering dishes to share; family style.

My husband and I shared this, and it was definitely enough for the both of us.

Don't skimp out on dessert! Your sweet tooth will never forgive you...

CHOCOLATE LAVA CAKE - I savored every last bite. The perfect complement to an amazing dinner.

Slightly crunchy outer shell and rich warm chocolate on the inside that comes pouring out once you dig in for that first bite.

If you prefer something with less chocolate (I will try not to judge) you could try the Cheesecake Egg Rolls, like my husband did.

Super moist and rich cheesecake filling wrapped up and dusted with sugar.

I would highly recommend sitting outside, I don't want to sound really old lol, but the music inside was really loud and nothing beats eating incredible food out in the fresh air.

To give you an idea of how friendly they are STRAITS, the manager John came over to our table to make sure we were enjoying our meal, not because I was doing a review on the food, but because it's what he does.

He lives for this restaurant and he genuinely wants to make sure every customer is happy, but this motto doesn't stop at the Houston location this is a huge part of the STRAITS every day.

STRAITS is owned and operated by noted restaurateur, Chris Yeo. “It has always been my dream to have a restaurant to make people happy! Food is my passion and through food I make people smile!” he says.

STRAITS Restaurant Group strives to leave a memorable impression by meeting every guest’s individual needs through great food, environment and genuine service.

Few people know that Chris Yeo began his career as a hairdresser and was once more familiar with cutting hair than steaming dumplings.

Had he not given up his blow-dryer for butane burners, foodies across the country wouldn’t have him to thank for bringing authentic yet modern Singaporean and Chinese cuisine to today’s dining landscape.

So if you happen to be near or pass by Straits Restaurant take a lesson from me; step inside, meet some incredibly friendly people and open your palate to some of the best cuisine you will ever have.

You can also check out their Facebook page for all their latest events and news.

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Planning A Trip To Florida? 7 Reasons Why Our Trip Wouldn't Have Been The Same Without Kissimmee Guest Services

Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Heather

Easy

When we planned our recent trip to Florida I was so excited thinking about all the fun things we could do and then shortly afterward I realized I was lost.

I had never been to Florida and didn't know what we could fit in our budget and what were the best attractions or events to go to.

It can get a little overwhelming, Florida has so much to offer but you can't possibly fit it all into your vacation.

That is why I started searching for someone that could help me with this dilemma and I found Kissimmee Guest Services.

You wouldn't think it would be that hard to find an honest company to help you plan your activities, but it is!

Don't be shocked when you get to Florida and find a million little stands saying how they can get you free or really cheap tickets.

These "companies" will want you to go to a timeshare in order to get these discounts and unless you have unlimited time and want to fight with a salesman I suggest you don't bother with them.

Thankfully Kissimmee Guest Services is not like that.

Here are the 7 Reasons Why Our Trip Wouldn't Have Been the same without them and why they will be necessary for your next trip to Florida:

#1 -  Kissimmee Guest Services is all about helping you have the best vacation possible.

KGS employees are NOT commissioned sales people pressuring you to purchase more tickets than you will need or pressuring you into activities you don't even want to do.

#2 - FREE delivery of your tickets

I know right? How awesome is that?!! They will deliver your tickets to your vacation home, resort or hotel for FREE!!

You have enough to worry about on vacation so this is a lifesaver!!

 

#3 - Kissimmee Guest Services is the most trusted name in tickets since 1997!

KGS didn't just pop up yesterday for the purpose of making a quick dollar from naive tourists, they are a honest company with an amazing staff.

experienced team members are passionate in helping guests get the most out of their valuable vacation time.

These are employees that care about their job and want to see your vacation be awesome as if it were their vacation.

They also visit all the parks and attractions on a regular basis so they are extremely knowledgeable. 

#4 - All the resources you could possibly need.

No matter what you need while in Florida they can probably get it for you, from discounts on golf to cheap meals for you and your family.

The first thing I picked up once we arrived was a KGS coupon booklet. It had tons of amazing coupons for our family to save money.

The first coupon we saw was for $2.99 breakfast buffet at Sizzler. This was awesome!! I mean how often do you get to eat at a buffet for only $2.99?!!

#5 - Low price guarantee!

KGS always has a low price guarantee which insures you’re getting the best prices that you can! This is crucial considering how fast costs can pile up while on vacation.

It's nice to know that you are getting the lowest price possible and you don't have to spend hours searching around doing price comparisons.

#6 - You can count on them to help guide you to activities you may have not even thought about.

I wanted to experience more than just Disney or theme parks on our vacation, but I was unsure what we should do. So I contacted KGS and they set us up with one of the best experiences our family has ever had!

They showed us the real Florida by pointing us toward Boggy Creek Airboats. An experience our family will never forget!

#7 - Need I say more?

When it comes down to it, Kissimmee Guest Services is like having your own personal concierge while on vacation. Could there be anything better? 

So if you want someone making sure your vacation is every bit as fun as you planned (and more) make sure you head to Kissimmee Guest Services for your own personal ticket concierge!

Be sure to check out their facebook page too! They will keep you up to date with everything that is going on in Kissimmee, Orlando and more! 

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Was It All Just A Dream? A Not So Ordinary Day In The Life Of Me...

Monday, June 24, 2013
Heather

Easy

My alarm buzzed loudly at its usual time... by the way my alarm is 4 years old and she has no volume control. Haha!

I threw the covers over my head and tried to pretend like I wasn't there, the voices in my head (aka my hubby) told me to stay in bed.

Just then two little giggling monkeys broke down my king size fortress of sleeping solitude and made it into a castle for a little prince and a princess.

I decided to give into the prince and princesses demands and head to their room to turn on cartoons.

My little girl wanted to watch Dora, but luckily it was my little boys birthday so it was his choice and he wanted to watch SuperWhy.

I know a kids show shouldn't get under my skin, but she does!

I mean she's multilingual at a young age and somehow she can't find things right next to her and can't figure out how to cross a bridge on her own! lol

I think this graph pretty much sums it up.

Once the kids get me up in the morning it's hopeless to go back to bed, but I thought while they were happy watching cartoons I would take a relaxing bath in our awesome garden tub.

After getting dressed, it's time for breakfast!

Since it was my little boys birthday I decided to make chocolate chip pancakes to sooth their rumbling tummies.

My kiddos pulled up a bar stool and started to help me mix.

They started putting all the ingredients into the bowl, but unfortunately my little girl completely missed the bowl when she was putting in the flour.

I turned around after getting milk out of the fridge

and you can imagine my surprise...

flour was covering the counter top and coated the whole floor!

I was way to busy freaking out to take a pic. sorry to those who want proof that their kid isn't the only one who makes disasters. Laughing

Luckily it wasn't wet flour and I just grabbed the broom and the vacuum out of the hall closet and it was cleaned up in no time.

After breakfast I throw all the dishes in the dishwasher and it's time to head to the store.

(She's trying to skip ahead by 12 years! No thank you! Laughing)

The kids hopped into our Toyota Sienna from Karl Malone Auto Body and Paint and we zipped over to Target, I had a huge stack of coupons that were burning a whole in my pocket. 

Couldn't wait to get the weeks hottest Target deals!

Once we got back, the kiddos helped me fill up the pantry and fridge with all of our awesome coupon finds.

I moved on in my chores for the day by popping in a load of laundry into the washer.

After going to the store the kiddos needed a little bit of time to just run around and be kids, so we headed off to the park!

The park is just up the street and my kids LOVE this park!

It has a whole castle them that brings out the imagination in both me and the kids.

We spent at least an hour and a half pretending to be royalty and then pretending to be knights defending the castle.

The natives are restless and starving,

so it was time to get lunch going. Sandwiches, chips, yogurt and Sunny D makes for an easy lunch that I get no complaints on.

It was such a beautiful day it would be a shame not to eat outside.

As you can see they love eating outside and enjoying the sunshine, and I love not having a mess and crumbs all over the kitchen!

While we were eating we spotted a little lizard, so we used our $1 bug catching kits to get a closer look at it.

My little girl then wanted to jump in the pool and go swimming. Can you tell she loves her floatation toys?

I can't believe how much she loves water. Apparently I should have done a water birth when I had her. Haha!

While the kids were swimming my hubby and my nephews decided to enjoy our game room. Awesome place to have for the kids and the kids at heart.

You could find us in here anytime it rains and we can't be out swimming.

I don't have a pool, or a game room, or king size bed but it definitely feels like home! How can that be?

I realize the next morning that it wasn't a dream, a dream come true maybe... but this was a reality a reality made possible by Global Resort Homes.

I never could have imagined I could be on vacation and yet still feel like I was at home (granted a better home than mine) but I felt completely comfortable.

I didn't have to worry about my kids being too loud and disturbing the other hotel guest, because there weren't any other guests!

It was just us in an amazing home with all the same comforts of our own home plus more!

This was a vacation, this was the way to travel, not by being crammed into a small hotel room, but being able to spread out and really relax.

I mean who wants to share a pool with a ton of strangers when you can open your back door and jump right in your own private pool.

And as my husband put it... "your own private pool that you don't feel like you are being covered in chemicals with."

We each had our own room... our own room to watch our own shows on our own TV's after a long day playing at the theme parks, our own room to regrettably throw tantrums in if needed (I didn't get the ice cream I wanted Wink), our own rooms to feel just like we were at home.

That is exactly what you will get with Global Resort Homes, a home away from home. And a home that is conveniently located right next to Sea World, Disney World and so much more!

Global Resort Homes is... Luxury, comfort, affordability, convenience and more than just a place to rest your head after a long day of exploring while on vacation.

Check out Global Resort Homes to see how amazing your next vacation can be!

A huge thank you to Global Resort Homes for our home away from home at 2625 Daubly Street and for being such an awesome company! 

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Why We Chose To Go To LEGOLAND Instead Of DisneyWorld (Tons Of Pictures!)

Thursday, June 13, 2013
Heather

Easy

As most of you know last month we took a long road trip across the country to Florida.

Before we left we told family and friends about our trip and the question we heard most often was "are you going to Disney World?"

We had given it a lot of thought before we planned this adventure and we decided on no.

Now I know that might be shocking for some of you that a family would travel 2300 miles to Florida and not go to Disney World, but I believe it was the best decision we made!

The cost is considerably lower to visit LEGOLAND, plus they have amazing deals that come up all the time!

Especially for Florida residents, while we were visiting residents could get into the park for only $25!!

Be sure to check the LEGOLAND site and the KGS site for specials and deals!

My husband and I talk about it and decided that Disney World is something you do by itself, there is no time to fit in anything else and we had other things we wanted to do while in Florida.

Also I think our kids are way too young to really get the most out of Disney World. LEGOLAND was really the best option for them.

Here are 3 things to consider when thinking about visiting LEGOLAND:

1. The age of your children will make a huge impact on how much you will enjoy the park.

We had my two kiddos ages 3 and 4 and my nephews ages 10 and 12. LEGOLAND was perfect for my kids!

My little girl was tall enough to go on most of the coasters which I know would not be the case at Disney World.

LEGOLAND has rides that your kids can actually control and drive!

This gave them the opportunity to really be involved and to be independent. Also gave them the chance to drive in the wrong direction and run into others. Laughing

My nephews also had fun at the park but I really feel like LEGOLAND was meant for ages 3-11. If you are looking for non-stop thrill rides this is not the park for you.

LEGOLAND has plenty of fun rides, but it'd not non-stop coasters.

2. If you want a relaxing experience LEGOLAND is the place you want to be:

Everyone knows the expression "Rome wasn't built in a day" well... Disney World wasn't built to be able to see in a day, but Legoland is!

Now that's not to say that Legoland doesn't have a lot to offer, it does, but it just means that you can take your time and relax at Legoland.

No need to run around getting a months worth of cardio exercise in on one day!

We did about 85% of the park in 6 hours. We went on a day when they had shorter hours, but we still didn't feel rushed.

3. Do you want to spend all of your time standing in lines?

I can't stand spending an hour standing in a line just to ride a ride for only a few minutes. If you hate it just as much as I do then you will love LEGOLAND!

We walked up to some rides that said the wait time was 15 minutes, but they all turned out to be only a couple of minutes!

We never had to wait more then 5 minutes to get on a ride! And if you do find yourself waiting to get on a ride LEGOLAND has you covered!

They have Lego building stations at every ride, so the kiddos can build something while you wait. How awesome is that?!!

One thing that I loved about LEGOLAND was all the different Lego statues all over the park that make for wonderful photo opportunities.

And unlike a museum or other parks you can touch them and the kids can play on them! My little girl loved the dinosaur.

If you have been to Florida then you know how hot and humid it can get. The day we went was no different! I felt like I was melting after only 10 minutes outside.

Thank goodness LEGOLAND had a solution! They have plenty of awesome activities inside where you can soak in all that sweet air conditioning!

My little boy's cheeks started to get really red and toasty so we went into the Lego building room pictured above.

They also have a movie theater that you can watch some really cool Lego movies! Also another great place to get out of the sun. (just make sure you plan enough time)

Everywhere we turned there was a play area for the kids to get out some of their extra energy and to get out of the hot sun.

My daughter was so excited when she saw the Forestmen's Hideout. She wanted to stay their all day!

If you find that you are there on a super hot day be sure to head over to the water park!

This was a pretty awesome water park, better than anything we have in Utah. My only issue... worrying about loosing my kids in this amazing water filled maze! Laughing

So be sure to pack your swimsuits and tons of sunscreen!

If you do forget something they have pretty much anything you would ever need inside the park.

I can't even begin to express how much I loved that they had free life vests for the kiddos.

With a 3 and a 4 year old this gave me more piece of mind that they were safer as they played in the water.

Now you know me and I will try to save a dollar anywhere that I can! Luckily LEGOLAND makes this task even easier by allowing you to bring in a cooler to the park!

So we packed up sandwiches and other goodies that we thought we would need for the day and saved a ton of money!

Plus they have little picnic tables all over the park and most of them are in the shade.

Also we found out really quick that we needed a lot of water to keep us hydrated and we were really glad to have our little cooler on wheels.

If you do decide to eat at the park instead the prices aren't as bad as I thought they would be. Kids meals were around $5 and meals for adults were between $7-$10.

You can also save money on souvenirs by heading over to the courtesy desk and picking up a FREE button! They have some for first time guest and for birthday guests!

If you decide to head into some of the shops you can still find some great frugal souvenirs. I saw quite a few items that were clearanced and little Lego people for only $2.99!

One thing I wasn't expecting at the park was how super friendly the staff was. They were so helpful and you could find someone pretty much anywhere in the park.

My little boy really wanted to do the Ford Jr. Driving School, but once he got on it he was a little confused on pushing the gas peddle.

I felt bad watching him sit there while everyone raced around him, but within less than a minute a super friendly staff member rushed over and pushed his car around the track for him!

How awesome is that?!

My little girl was also a little confused I think she thought is was like bumper cars and she started to chase everyone down. lol

You can see by her determined look, she was trying to get her brother in the picture above. Laughing

One of the last things you will probably see on your way out of the park is Miniland! I knew it would be cool, but I had no idea it would be as cool as it was!

I couldn't believe how amazing it was! The detail was unbelievable! We took so many pictures I unfortunately couldn't fit them all in this post.

Make sure you leave enough time to really be able to explore this area.

This was definitely the best place to take the kiddos, the ride lines were short, they were tailored to younger kids, and we could fit it all in one day.

If the cost and everything about Disney World seems just too overwhelming, I would highly recommend skipping it and heading over to LEGOLAND instead!

It's definitely the most relaxing park experience I have ever had, and I would go again in a heartbeat!

I want to give a huge thank you to LEGOLAND Florida and KGS for this awesome experience!

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Road Trip Across America: *Day 3* Tears, New Adventures and One Of My Favorite Things In Florida!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Heather

Easy

If you missed our day 1 or day 2 make sure you catch up! This is the story of our epic 4,500 mile journey across the country to and from Utah to Florida...

Day three turned out to be full of surprises, the day started with us thinking it would just be a pool day and it ended up being so much more!

We got a call in the morning from Kissimmee Guest Services and they wanted us to be able to experience the "Real Florida" to be honest I wasn't sure what that meant.

Then we were told that we would be able to ride on an airboat and see alligators and all sorts of Florida wildlife.

I was incredibly excited at this prospect, I have been on boats before but not one like this.

All 8 of us headed over to Boggy Creek Airboats for our new adventure!

The first thing I noticed was how friendly their staff was, you can tell they love their jobs and they want you to have the best experience possible.

While we waited to get on our boat they set us up with a funny photo opp.

My little girls head is inside of an alligators mouth.

Now normally I wouldn't find that funny, but it wasn't real (obviously) and she dug deep that day into her dramatic self, and really hammed it up. Laughing

(I haven't had a chance to scan it into my computer yet, but I will share it with you later)

After the photo my little boy started to get more and more reserved and I started to get a little nervous about how he was going to react about getting on a boat.

Unfortunately little 3 year old's can be sooo... unpredictable. Like I had predicted in my head as soon as he had to put a life vest on he started freaking out.

Then he continued to cry once we tried to put the ear protection on him. The last thing I wanted, was to have to sit out this adventure to sit on the sidelines with an unhappy 3 year old.

When you toddlers you have to prepare to miss out on fun activities, just part of being a parent. Tongue out

We decided to try and distract him and to keep things moving along.

We asked our awesome tour guide if he gets a lot of crying kids on the boats, and he responded yes, but most fall asleep within the first few minutes.

And sure enough he was out after 4 minutes!! If you need your kid to fall asleep, just get on an airboat! haha!

So beautiful!

I wanted my little boy to see all the wildlife, but to be honest it was must nicer to have a sleeping boy than a crying one.

I really didn't know what to expect from an airboat ride, but the few things that I was expecting were wrong!

You see riders wearing ear protection and you think that it's going to be extremely noisy, but it's really not that noisy.

One thing that does come in handy is sunglasses, I would recommend wearing a pair since it is a little windy when the boat is going.

The biggest surprise was how relaxing it was! It's so peaceful and calm even when the boat is going.

I was also shocked at how many alligators there are, the waters we were in were home to 8,000 alligators!

It was no surprise then when we instantly came upon several of them, what an awesome experience for a family from Utah that normally only can see them at the zoo!

We also saw plenty of beautiful cranes, wild cattle and more! My little girl was just soaking up the whole ride with a smile on her face the whole time.

Our tour guide had so much information for us, it was fascinating to learn about all the animals and about the area.

Once we are back on land (and I was wishing we could go again Smile) the fun didn't stop!

We then got the awesome opportunity to hold a baby alligator. I think that was my daughters favorite part.

I also joined in the fun, I mean how often do you get to hold a baby alligator?

I love how soft their little bellies are, can you tell I'm an animal lover?

Now if alligators are not your thing, don't worry you can keep you distance and still have a great time.

There was another mom on the boat with us who was terrified of alligators, but she absolutely loved the boat ride!

They also have 1 hour night tours that would be awesome to check out!

If you are looking for an adventure you will never forget, something that is both relaxing and thrilling you will want to visit Boggy Creek Airboats!

Must haves for your Airboat Ride:

:: Camera (beware that it could get a little bit of water on it)

:: Sunblock is a must anywhere in Florida! 

:: Binoculars

:: Tip Money - the tour guides work really hard to make this an awesome experience and tips are appreciated.

:: Bug Spray - I thought this would be a necessity, but I honestly didn't see very many bugs, but to be on the safe side Laughing

I want to thank Boggy Creek Airboat Rides and Kissimmee Guest Services for giving us this wonderful opportunity that our family will always remember!

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About Mamas Spot

We are a family of four that left it all behind to go travel the world. No, literally we left it all. We sold all of our possessions, packed what we could into four suitcases and said goodbye to suburban life. All we own is now pulled behind us as we travel to new and exciting destinations. Showing our kids the world and teaching them about new cultures, food, and ways of life is now our 9-5.

We love watching our kids learn, and learning along side them. Together we have now explored many new countries, visited family on the other side of the world, and made memories that will last a lifetime.

Welcome to our journey!