July 31

Sunny’s Bath Time

Every single dog gets smelly once in awhile, and sometimes you don’t have an option to wash your dog at home. It could be for several reasons including not having a bath tub, hose outside, or are worried about the hair clogging the drain. I have always been a bit skeptical about taking my dog to a place where you self-wash the dog. I keep saying that I could do all of this at home on my own. However, a nice lady at Pet Valu (not sponsored)  gave me a very nice coupon to try it out. I found out that it may actually be safer and cheaper in some instances, to take your dog to a self washing bath. So, I decided to take Sunny and try it out!


This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see the Disclaimer on the Promotion Page. 


I don’t wanna bath!

Pet Valu provides several things for Sunny’s bath time. First, they have a fairly deep bath area for your dog to get into either by using the steps, or in my case, picking up the dog and placing her inside the tub. They have a restraint to put your dog on while you take off their harness or their collar so you can make sure they get all clean! They have sprayer that you control the temp and the pressure. They also have an actual dryer, towels, about 10 different choices on shampoo, and towels. All of this being provided is worth it to me, but that’s not all because your pup will also get treats while they get their bath! Normally the cost of this service is $10.00. You don’t have a time limit on your bath, but it’s nice to aware of the people around you who may be waiting to also take a bath.

Poor Sunny was very afraid when we started the process. The lady who works at Pet Valu went and got a calming spray to help with her fear. That as well above and beyond what they normally do, and I can tell you that it worked. Even though Sunny looks scared, she really did calm down and eventually she enjoyed herself. First, I got the proper temp for the water, and slowly sprayed her down. Sunny didn’t like this part of the bath. Next, my friends read off all the shampoos they had ranging from ones that were good for shiny coats, shedding, or even itching. I decided to use one for Sunny’s bath that had tea tree oil. This is a great essential oil that helps will everything from itching, to any skin problems. It also smells really good and this made her coat very soft.

I massaged Sunny with the shampoo, and let it sit for around five minutes. During those few minutes, I was able to reach over and pick up some lovely complimentary treats to feed Sunny while she had her bath. Sunny did try to get out a few times, but that is pretty normal. Once the shampoo settled, I then sprayed her off, and grabbed the dryer. Sadly, there wasn’t any instructions that told me how to turn this on or off, so it was a lot of trail and error before I got it to work. It is at least cool air, so it won’t hurt your dogs, and it has 3 settings to help with the drying process. This was too scary for Sunny, so I switched to using a towel. The whole bath process took around 15 minutes.


So, here is what I learned about taking your dog to have a bath at a self-washing station. First, walk in and see the place before every taking your dog. I did this the day before, and it was important for me to feel the place out and make sure everything was safe. Always ask for instructions, even if there are posted. They may tell you some tips that are not listed anywhere. Wear clothing you don’t mind getting some dog hair on, or possibly that will get wet. I didn’t realize until it was too late, but they had an apron that I could have put on while I was giving Sunny her bath. I was covered in dog hair and went home to change. Be relaxed yourself, because your dog may feel your anxiety and it could make bath time a lot harder.

Is this worth it? I think it really is, especially if you don’t have a space to clean your dog. Again, I encourage you to check these places out before walking in with your dog, ready to give them a bath. Some places require a reservation, or some take walk-ins only. I only have experience with Pet Valu, so this is the only one I can give an opinion on. I really had a great time giving Sunny her bath. It was cheap, and a simple process. Sunny was afraid, but then started to relax as it went on. I think that’s pretty normal for most dogs who don’t like bath time in general. I would take Sunny here again. I give it a 5 out of 5 stars!

What do you think? Have you ever taken your pup to get a bath at a self-wash station. Leave your comments below using the hashtag: #dogbath

June 26

Barnes and Noble Snacks

There is nothing that I love more than spending a day at the bookstore, especially Barnes and Noble. On any free day that I have, I like to spend it pouring over any awesome and fun books that I can put my hands on. I grab each book and magazine that I wanted to check out, and then go get a coffee and a snack at the cafe. Next, I would read and take my time to decide which book I wanted to take home with me! It would be an awesome day! I even ended up working at Barnes and Noble for a short time. The only reason I left was it just wasn’t enough to pay the bills. The job itself was great. That being said, I was able to try out many of the great foods that the cafe at Barnes and Noble has to offer. However, these snacks change while some staples remain the same. I tried out two of these snacks and decided to write a short review. I encourage you to go enjoy a day at the bookstore and try these out for yourself. Really enjoy your time there and feel what it is like to hold pages in your hand again.

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see the Disclaimer on the Promotions Page. 




Pink Lemonade Cake:

What an interesting take on a summer time snack.  I really wished that it would have worked! I used to love lemonade, but as I got older, it stopped loving me and it I would get a belly ache any time that I tried to drink that tasty summer time treat. My friend bought this cake so I was able to try a few bites and not have to worry about any waste or any sickness. This is a layered white cake between a sweet and sour layer of cream. While this is a very pretty cake, it sadly isn’t very tasty. In fact, there isn’t much taste at all. The cake itself is your run of the mill white or pound cake with little flavor. If there was any flavor put into the cake at all, I couldn’t tell you. The cream does have a taste, but it doesn’t mean it’s good. It is very sour with a hint of sweetness. There is nothing about this cake that would make me think it’s pink lemonade. Do I think it’s a good cake no matter what it’s called? Sadly, it’s not. Barnes and Noble, this was a nice attempt and a fun concept. It looks very pretty, but it falls flat. I give this a 1 out of 5 stars and I don’t recommend it.




Chocolate Cupcake:

If you have been a Barnes and Noble fan, then you know that cupcakes have been around for several years. However, they have been updated and improved with different ingredients since they first hit the shelves. I never liked the original cupcakes. They were dry and tasteless. (Sounds like the pink lemonade cake, so there is still hope!) I decided that I should go ahead and try out the cupcake again to see if it actually had improved like the lady told me. She was correct. The cake itself is soft and has a lot of flavor! The frosting is sweet, and has a bit of the bitterness of dark chocolate. The shavings are milk chocolate and also yummy. I know people have very different feelings about frosting, so it may be too much for some people. However, I feel like compared to cupcake shops, this isn’t a whole lot. I loved this cupcake and would get it again. I give it a 4 out of 5 stars.



What is your favorite Barnes and Noble treat? Do you still spend time in a bookstore? I think it’s good for everyone!

June 12

Summer Coffee

Underdogs, you all know how much I love coffee! When the summer comes, you will find some interesting coffees that you can find in several places. I tried a few of those for you, and for science! Of course I need to say that “Summer Coffee,” contains affiliate links. For more information, please take a look at the disclaimer page! Take a look at some of the fun Summer Coffee that I have tried out for you! They will be described, and then rated on a scale from one to five stars. One star will be the lowest on the scale, while five stars will be the highest score!



McCafe Frappe Caramel Coffee Beverage:

This is something that I have been seeing in my local Kroger for the past few weeks. However, it was around $3.00 and I know you can actually purchase this real drink at McDonald’s for around the same price. I didn’t want to bother paying that price when I could get the real one cheaper at the source. It went on sale for $1.50 which is the only reason that I ended up trying it out. If you don’t know, a Frappe is a blended drink that is normally coffee, milk, flavoring and ice. I’m not sure what makes this bottled drink a Frappe since there is no ice, nor does it say to add ice and blend to drink. It is very strange to me because this is basically a latte. I usually look for drinks like this if they aren’t anywhere close to where I can purchase them. However, there are McDonald’s almost everywhere in driving distance, so I’m not sure why you would want this at home. Anyway, this Frappe was honestly terrible. It tasted nothing like coffee and all sugar. I couldn’t even distinguish between the overwhelming taste of sugar verses any flavoring at all. I actually ended up throwing this away because it was so bad and I hardly ever do that! I give this a one star because there is no reason to get this terrible mess of a drink. Go get the real thing or skip it altogether! It’s not worth it!



Cold Foam Cascara Cold Brew:

This is a brand new drink from Starbucks. I just found out there are two different kinds by reading the website. One is called Cold Foam Cascara Cold Brew Nitro.  So, I went back to Starbucks 2 days in a row and had a vastly different drink. Let’s just say, I was confused. I didn’t like the one that said Nitro, but the cold foam is awesome! There is a huge taste difference between the two of them, and I thought someone had made the drink wrong. Basically, this is a cold brew coffee, with lightly sweet cold foam. There are hints of vanilla and even a bit of chocolate. This one is iced, and has super smooth foam. I wish I could see how they make the foam because I keep missing how to do it! The best part is this drink comes in an adult sippy cup! Meaning, it comes without a straw. Many companies are trying to get ride of the huge waste from straws and I like seeing this start to finally go away! Anyway, the actual taste of this coffee is great. It’s bold with a hint of sweetness. This is how I like my coffee. If you aren’t fan of plain coffee, or even more bitter coffee, then I would skip this. However, due to the huge confusion with the names of the drink almost being exactly the same, it could be hard to get what you really wanted to order. For this reason, I give it a four out of five star rating.  The adult sippy cup gets a 5 out of 5!


Java Momma Victorian Caramel: 

This is shameless self promotion time! I am a Java Momma rep, and I honestly enjoy the product or I wouldn’t say anything about it. I like to order the trial sizes first so I can test them out. If I didn’t like them, I wouldn’t pass along the information. This one was called Victorian Caramel. Man, did this not only smell good, but taste really good as well. Since it’s summer, I put a bit of a summer twist by adding ice, soy milk, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. This is ground coffee, so it’s something that you make at home, and take with you where ever you wish! Since it’s something that you can personalize, and this is such a great base to make your coffee, you can pretty much have whatever you want! Because I sell it, I will give it a 4 out a 5. However, the flavor of this coffee is amazing and I hope that you end up trying it for yourself!

Check out my site here: https://javamomma.com/?u=LTebrinke


Those are the 3 summer coffee drinks that I have tried so far. What are your favorites? Leave your comments below!






May 22

Thirty One:Large Utility Tote

The post “Thirty One: Large Utility Tote,” contains affiliate links. For more information see the disclaimer on the Promotions page. 


Underdogs, as you know, I am a Thirty One Independent Consultant. I have been working with this company for over a year now, but have been a customer for years. I absolutely love Thirty One because it’s more than just a bag! This is an opportunity for me to have my own business and do something that I love to do, outside of blogging. It’s been a struggle at points, like everything. However, it means enough to me to keep on trucking and keep moving forward. It is easy to say that you like a product when you sell it. However, I really stand behind these items. You see, I made a choice to take the huge risk and start my own direct sales business. It wasn’t about making money for someone else, it was about being my own boss, and doing something that I love with a product that I love. It was something I invested in because I believe in it. This is not a job that I took in sales and had to learn to like the product. This is a product that I already love that I get the opportunity to sell.

Large utility tote for only $10 in May 2015 with any $35 purchase!!!

Each month, Thirty One has a customer special. This month is the most popular, which is the Large Utility Tote for only $10.00 when you purchase $35.00 worth of product. The cool thing is, you can get several of these specials. It’s for every single $35.00 that you spend. So, if you spend $70.00, you can get 2 customer specials for $10.00 each! It’s a lot of fun! Since the Large Utility Tote is one of the best sellers, this is a very awesome month! I want to take a few moments to talk to you about what the Large Utility tote is and what you can use it for! It is a wired tote that is collapsible. It holds it’s shape, which is a huge help. It is very easy to clean and it can hold up to 50 pounds! Of course with almost any product from Thirty One, you are able to personalize the bag to your liking!

I want to give you some real world ways that I have used the Large Utility Tote. While there are lists that are out everywhere on how to use these, I want to give you examples from my real life. You can see for yourself why this is not only one of the most popular items, but why it’s so essential for every day use. Don’t forget to check out my website to see all the options that you have! https://www.mythirtyone.com/us/en/ltebrinke


*Hospital Stays: As a caregiver, I am always in the hospital. I took 2 Large Utility Totes with me to carry everything home including clothing and flowers.

*Youth Group Activities: I work with a youth group called Job Daughter’s International. For our last big event, I took SEVEN Large Utility Totes to carry everything. Trust me, I filled each one!

*Fundraisers: Speaking of youth groups, we do a lot of fundraisers. The most recent one was a Mystery Dinner. I took 4 large utility totes to hold food, prizes, cups, drinks, napkins, plates, and more.

*Vacation: I went to Disney World over Spring Break this year. Not only did we take 7 cinch sacks, 1 rolling cooler, 1 weekender bag, 7 mini zippers, but we also took 4 Large Utility Totes. I used them for everything from groceries to packing clothing.

*Big Grocery Store Trips: If you are like me, you hate going to the grocery store and avoid it as much as possible. This results in having to go on some big grocery trips sometimes. I have brought up to 8 Large Utility Totes with me to the grocery store. Mostly because it is so much easier to carry these inside than having a whole bunch of individual bags. It makes it easier on my back, and my arms!

*Carrying Books: I am part of several organizations, and I need to carry books. Not just a few books, but several and a laptop! While there are other options for bags to carry these items, the strength of the totes is the most important thing for me when I’m carrying all these books!

Thirty-One Personalization Ideas | ... personalized gifts for being in their wedding. Thirty-One has got you


These are just a few reasons to use your large utility tote from Thirty One! I know there are many other reasons, but I am constantly using mine! I use at least one every single day. I really hope that you take a look at my website, and take advantage of this huge customer special. The month of May is by far the most popular for Thirty One! See what you can create! Remember, you are helping a real person pay their real bills when you support a small, independent business. Try it out today! https://www.mythirtyone.com/us/en/ltebrinke


April 30

Corleone’s Italian Restaurant

The post, “Corleone’s Italian Restaurant,” contains affiliate links. For more information, see the disclaimer on the Promotions page. 

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Underdogs, one of my favorite places in the whole world, is Savannah, Georgia. I hope that I can retire there someday. In the meantime, I have to settle for a visit. However, if you ever get a chance to go to Savannah, make sure that you check out my favorite place to eat there which is called, Corleone’s Italian Restaurant. This little gem is just a bit off the beaten path. It’s not your typical tourist place to eat, but it is worth the adventure! Located on 44 MLK BLVD, this restaurant literally has some of the best food I have ever tried! I have never had to worry about reservations, but they do take them. Take a look at their website here and see about their hours and reservation options. https://corleones.com/


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I first went to Corleone’s with my two best friends back in 2010. It was by accident that we happened upon this place. We had missed our bus to get to the airport and had awhile before the next one would come along. Since we had already eaten our lunch, we thought we would try getting something sweet. We walked for a bit and saw Corleone’s and thought we would try it out. Why not because it was such an excellent name! We had such a wonderful experience! The moment we walked through the door not only were we treated like locals, but also treated like family! We all tried the deserts and were hooked! The atmosphere was awesome! It was laid back, and it was like we were in someone’s house with mama cooking the family recipes in the kitchen. We had such a great experience that we came back for dinner! When I left Savannah, I was so sad because I had fallen in love with the city. I also knew this place would be a staple for me anytime I came to the city!


I was able to come back to Corleone’s this last month and bring another friend! The atmosphere was just as awesome as it was the first time I walked through the door! We went for lunch, which makes the prices a bit cheaper. While I have never complained about the prices here, it is nice when you are on a budget. I got the lasagna which was around $8.00. The food tasted just as good as I recalled. The noodles were soft and the cheese was plentiful. The sauces was so good that I wanted to pick up my plate and lick every last bit! I would have done it if that hadn’t been so rude! Truly, it’s hard to describe how good this food is, and how at home this entire staff makes you feel!

I know that people go to Savannah and want to try other famous locations for food. However, I have found that going just a tiny bit off the tourist area, you will find places that short wait times, cheaper prices, and much better food. I don’t feel like fighting to get into a restaurant during my relaxing vacation, and there are many places in Savannah that are like this in the city. I think it’s much better to do yourself a favor and seek out other places that aren’t the super famous restaurants. Corleone’s is truly one of the best places in the city to eat, so don’t miss out! PS: They have some great merch as well! I highly suggest that you try out Corleone’s the next time that you are in Savannah!

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April 24

Kona Leashes

This post, “Kona Leashes” is part of an affiliate program, however it is not sponsored blog. For more information, see the disclaimer on the promotions page.

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As you all know, I have two awesome dogs, and my roommate has one awesome dogs! For the longest time, I only had 2 leashes for all 3 dogs because I didn’t have the money to purchase a new one. I also ran into a bit of issues with Sunny, my newest baby. While she is a smaller dog and only weights 15 pounds, she is very strong. She is kind of a box and can break leashes if she really wanted to. I have had them snap on more than one occasion because she is so strong that she can easily get the snap to come loose. I happened to be contacted by Kona Leashes https://www.konaleashes.com/ on my Instagram page, who asked me to consider being a brand ambassador. This meant that I got to try out one of their leashes which I desperately needed for Sunny.

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I was very excited for this chance, but worried about the price of the products. I understand that they aren’t cheap. However, they are specialty products and I have seen leashes priced quite high in chain stores. Please don’t get these confused with Kona Dog Treat items because these are not the same companies. These are “Durable Rope Leashes” for your pet! They come in several different colors and sizes, and you can choose to have a grip added if you would like. The best thing about Kona Leashes is that it is an investment that you can live with. First, they offer a lifetime warranty on all of their products. That is really important to me because my dog is a tough little cookie, and I can see her being a bit crazy and finding a way to fray the rope.

Secondly, but most important to me, is that Kona Leashes donates dog food to shelters. For every item that you purchase, they will donate dog food. There are several options for a donation place, but you can also email the company and suggest a donation to your local shelter. Since 2016, Kona Leashes has donated around 2000 pounds of dog food. This is a win-win situation because you are getting an excellent product with a lifetime warranty, and you get to help out other dogs in need!  All products are also made in the USA, and I believe they are made to order. I’m not 100% on that, but I ordered the smallest pink leash, which was 4 feet, and added a grip for comfort, and because Sunny is an evil little thing and likes to pull.

Pink Camo Knot Climbing Rope Leash

While this product is aimed at very active people and very active dogs, I believe it’s a great product for anyone. Kona Leash started off for a person who liked to take their dog hiking and running. That meant that they needed a strong leash to make this happen, so they created Kona Leashes with the durable rope, and the carbine which is the clip that  hooks onto the dog’s leash. This has proven to be very helpful for me because again, Sunny is very strong and with the clip, I never have to worry about Sunny breaking free. I got her the Pink Camo Knot Climbing Rope Leash that is 4 feet, and recommended for dogs under 30 pounds.  The grip was extra, but I am happy that I added this option since my hands are not hurting after walking her around.

I feel that I am an active person, but not a hiker or anything like that. I don’t think that Kona Leashes are “too much  leash”for my dog, but just perfect for this very curious little puppy! She really likes to run, sniff and play, and I like to pretend that I can keep up because I always take two dogs out to potty at once! Having a strong Kona Leash gave me a lot of confidence because I have never felt like it would break, snap, or the clip wouldn’t work. The pros are what I listed above, and the cons are the price. Everything is kind of a high price. However, if you look at it for an investment, with the confidence of the lifetime warranty as a backing, I think it will help you feel better about your choice to try out Kona Leash. Because of this, and how easily it handles my active Sunny, I give them 5 out of 5.



If it’s in your budget, I would recommend trying out Kona Leashes by going to the website listed below. https://www.konaleashes.com/ Since you are my readers, you will receive a 20% discount when you use the code: KL20 at checkout. I’m super excited to see that they now have light up collars! I’m also planning on getting one for Indy as soon as I can get him a new leash. You shouldn’t be purchasing a new leash every few months, and Kona Leash will help if you have that issue. I wouldn’t trust any old leash to my fur babies, so when I say consider them for yours, understand that is coming from a place of love for animals. I want them all to be as safe as possible, and I think Kona Leash could be for you too!








April 17

Disney Travel Tips: Part 1

The post, “Disney World Travel Tips,” contains affiliate links. For more information, see the disclaimer on the promotions page. 

Underdogs, I have made no secret in being dirt poor. So how did I end up in Disney World during the past few weeks? I was very lucky to have some family include me on the trip. I was still working as a caregiver during this trip, so this whole experience was highly meaningful. We were trying to pack in as much fun, and as much bargain as we could in order to make this whole experience count. I want to share with you a few things that I learned during this trip that may be either helpful, or could possibly save you money in the long run. It’s a long road to Disney, and I hope to return in another 4 years! Until then, here are some ways that can help you make the most of your trip. Things change at a rapid pace at Disney, so keep that in mind when reading this post at a later date. You may need to research to see if these things are still active.

  1.  Download the app!Image result for Disney World App There is a free app simply called Disney Experince that you can find in any app store. Even if you don’t think you need it, download it because it is so helpful to have. First, it is a map of the Magic Kingdom. They also keep a real time record of wait times for all rides and attractions. You can also find where characters are at for photo ops, and when shows start. This app will save you a lot of time and help you plan. You can decide if you want to wait in one line, or try another quicker option for a ride. The app also gives all dining options at Disney World. This will be very important in an upcoming point, but I recommend that you download this app at least 2 weeks before you leave and make yourself familiar with the features. I will tell you more about this app as we move along.
  2. See the source imagePlan for the simple things that you will need to take the park with you. This mans that you should purchase a personalized bag from my Thirty One page (We took 7 cinch sacks and used 6 every single day!) Check out my website here https://www.mythirtyone.com/ltebrinke I strongly suggest that you bring the following items with you to the park, reusable water bottles (glass will not be allowed in the park) for every single person in your party, a cooler, thermals, backpacks, small general first aid kit, and any medication that you need. I also suggest bringing sunglasses, hats, phone chargers and batteries if necessary. I require that everyone bring sunscreen! It doesn’t matter how you feel about it, you will need it and they do not provide it for you. Yes, you can purchase sunscreen in their shops, but at a huge markup. Bring your own! What you don’t need to bring or purchase is rain ponchos or umbrellas. Yes, it will rain, but it is rare that it will ruin your day. However, anything can happen so if you feel like you need these items, purchase at a dollar store before you enter the park and bring it with you instead of paying for them at Disney.
  3. See the source imageThink about food! It helps to know your plan of action for Disney World in advance in order to plan your food. For example, are you going to spend the entire day at the park? Are you hopping, or are you going to come during the morning and break for lunch, to be back for the night shows? Are you one of the people who gets to take advantage of the longer park hours? It is important to know this so you can have a realistic idea of your meal plans. I suggest to eat at the park but only when needed. It’s more realistic to eat one meal a day at the park, or pick out some park snacks to try instead of a meal. What we did was have a firm plan to eat breakfast every single day before we left for the park. Then, we had snacks packed in either the cinch sacks, back packs, or cooler depending on the day. A few of the days, we had a full lunch packed with us that included drinks and snacks. For the 4 days at the park, from open to close, we only ate 2 meals at the park, and I had one snack. However, I did spend money on coffee, which was harder for me to bring into the park. It’s not impossible, but hard. I will go over a full snack pack ideas for Disney in an upcoming post. This should go without saying, but you can’t bring any alcohol in to the park.
  4. See the source imageFast Pass It! It is worth the prices to purchase a fast pass. This is where you get a chance to “skip the line” in popular attractions, meet and greets or rides. You will get an assigned time to come and use your fast pass. This is cool for several reasons. One, you don’t have to wait in a long line. Two, you are linked with your party, so only one person has to scan their pass to get the time reserved. The other cool thing is that you can do this in advance through the app. I believe you can reserve your time for your 3 favorite or most wanted list up to a month in advance. This fun pass links to your magic card, or magic band which I suggest that you also invest in. This magic band has lots of features including being your ticket, your connection to your party, and in some situations your room key and your money. These all depend on the locations that you stay if those options are available to you . Get the magic bands if you go this route so you can take advantage of everything, including the photos that are taken by the park which are marked by your band, and uploaded on the app. Don’t go crazy and get the fancy magic bands, or the magic band buttons that you can put on them since this is something that you only will use during your visit to Disney World. My biggest problem is that these things didn’t double as a watch, which would be the only reason why I would recommend those items. Until then, don’t purchase any of these extras.
  5. Thinking of others! Want to bring back your friends and family something magically from Disney? Don’t limit yourself to the expense of the park since there are licensed Disney items all over the city! Keep in mind that Disney keeps this area running, so you will find great items at dollar stores or even Walmart. Many times, you will find the exact same items as you would at the park, but much cheaper. There are exceptions to this such as the Mickey ears and several specialty products. However, I was shocked at the amazing items you could find almost anywhere for a much better price. Share the magic by spreading it around as much as possible. This may mean that you don’t purchase a thing at the park, but instead, buy your souvenirs elsewhere. Here is a nice tip, if you want an autograph book for the characters to sign, get them at Walmart because there is no difference at what you can purchase at the park.  Take the money you saved and purchase some sharpie pens since they are also at the park, but at a much higher cost!

This is going to be the end of my first part of my Disney World Tips. There will never be enough tips to cover this whole experience, but I feel these are all pretty universal. Next time, look for more tips on how to save some sanity, and some money! It’s hard to plan a trip like this, but with some helpful suggestions, you may be able to get through it less broke and come out the other side with a magical experience!

Collection of Thirty-One productshttps://www.mythirtyone.com/ltebrinke

March 27

DNA Results Are In!

The post, “DNA Results Are In,” contains affiliate links. For more information, please see the disclaimer on the Promotions Page. This is not a paid post, all kits were purchases by me. 

The DNA Results are in, and I’m am not an alien. That’s kind of not cool, but what is cool is being able to take a DNA test and see some of my results for Ancestry. I purchased a DNA kit from Ancestry.com for Christmas since they were on sale. I got one for myself, and one for my cousin. However, I forgot about the test for a while and just took it in February. The cost is normally anywhere from $99 on down depending on any specials. Keep in mind shipping is around $10.00. These are actually pretty good gifts for those who are a bit unique in your life. I also suggest using EBATES to purchase this kit because at the time of this post, you will earn cash back. You can follow the link here to set it all up. https://www.ebates.com/r/LISATE83?eeid=28187

See the source image

You may ask why would I get a DNA test to find out about my ancestors? They are people who are dead, and have nothing to do with me and my life. Fair enough because I know a lot of people who feel this way. First, it is a link to these amazing people who had to line up perfectly in order for you to be here. If one thing was different, and one person didn’t meet another, and no children came from that line, you would not be here. It is amazing to think how many choices of people you never knew and will never meet made it possible for you to be born. At the very least, you owe it to them to learn their names. Second, it’s educational. Why not find out who you are and where you come from by educating yourself on the areas of the world and traditions that are from your people. It’s fun to find out who you are related to, and you may be surprised. You may also learn something very amazing about your personality that is traced back to your roots. For example, I make up songs and sing them all the time. Apparently this is a trait of the area of the world where my Dad’s family came from. It is recorded that the little village was full of voices of the people singing their own songs every day! That one little thing is something that I share with a group of people from hundreds of years ago. Lastly, if you don’t know who your family is, this is a great start to learn because DNA can’t lie.

The whole process for the DNA kit is pretty straight forward. First, after you get a kit in the mail, you will need to read all instructions and get your activation code that you will enter online. You may need to create a free account if you have not already. While Ancestry.com does charge for it’s membership, you don’t have to pay to create an account. You can take advantage of a few free options. There is also a free trial which I suggest you try out as well. I know this can be expensive, but if you sign up for the trail, set an reminder on your phone the day it ends and cancel if you don’t want to move forward. This saves you from being charged any money. After you create your account and use the activation code, it will give you examples of how to do the next step. I’m not going to lie, it’s gross. You need to spit into a container that they give you. You can’t eat or drink anything for a half an hour before doing this, so if you suffer from dry mouth, this can be a challenge. It’s a slipper slope because you can’t under or overfill. If spit grosses you out at all, then this will be especially changeling like it was for me since I was ready to throw up. There is a seal and a small box with shipping labels on it ready to be sealed and delivered when you are finished.

The next steps can take awhile, or they may not work. It took me around 8 weeks to get the results via email. My cousin just got an email yesterday telling her that she needs to do the test over again. This is something that happens from time to time, so they are sending her a new kit without charging her for the replacement. I was very happy that I didn’t have to spit in a vile again myself, but I’m sorry she will have to do hers once more. I was so excited to get the results that I looked that them on my phone. Looking on a bigger screen, such as a laptop, is more ideal because it can get really detailed. Before I go over my results, here are some tips. This DNA test is not a subscription to Ancestry.com, which means you will not see everything unless you are a member. You will get to see all your results, but they may not be added to a family tree. You also will be given DNA circles suggestions that are people who are related to you, but unless you are a member, you can’t really see the information or connect. You will not get the same sort of hints. I’m thinking of doing a month subscription to see how far these results go. For example, my Grandma’s surname name was changed when they came to America. It was spelled at least 3 different ways by the same family, so we have little to no information on that family line. I want to see if this DNA kit helped create any hints for that line of family we know so little about.

Example from Ancestory.com

Here are my results. Some are surprising, but for the most part, I knew what to expect. I’m not giving the exact breakdowns, but here are the regions/bloodlines that make up my DNA. Great Britain,  Scandinavian, West Europe, Ireland/Scotland/Wales, European Jewish, Finland/Russia/Spain, East Europe. There is a map that shows you exactly where these points are, and any DNA matches of relatives that you have broken down by year. There is also an educational information about the area, including the way of life and modes of travel for each point that you get. You can literally follow your line of family from it’s recorded start, to you currently. It is pretty amazing to see, and very cool to read about. Even if you know what to expect, I promise you will learn something you didn’t know!

Would I recommend that people try out a DNA kit? Yes, I think everyone should do this because you will learn so much. There are many different companies out there, so I suggest that you do some research and see what kind of results that you are looking for. If you want more information about yourself, then don’t try Ancestry. If you want to know about where you came from, and your relatives, then this is the one to try! It is an investment, so I suggest to wait and see a price reduction and use the EBATES link I put above for you to get more cash back. Black Friday is a great day to look at the prices because I have seen them very low on that day. I give the test a 5 out of 5 stars because if you know what to expect with what the product will deliver, then you will be happy. That’s why it’s so important to really research the kits out there, and find out what the results will give you. I’m glad that I tried this out, and I look forward to finding more information about the family tree.

Have you tried a DNA kit before? What kit do you recommend?




March 20

Parini Quesadilla Maker

This post, “Parini Quesadilla Maker,” contains affiliate links. For more information, see the disclaimer on the Promotions page. 


Hello Underdogs, and I hope you are having a great day! About a month ago, I got a Parini Quesadilla Maker to try out. I didn’t have a chance to use it until today, so I thought I would make it this weeks, Try it Tuesday! I have been eating more Quesadillas lately. Mostly because they have some great ones at Qudoba and I really like them. However, they are not cheap to get, so this is a nice change of pace to see what I can make from home. It is a very simple machine that looks like a round George Foreman Grill. It has the triangle chambers to get that Quesadilla look and make it easy to cut along the lines for consumption. There isn’t much direction besides preheat the unit first and then cook your food for around 3 minutes. The only the directions really told me was that the red light meant the unit was one, and when the green light turned on, it was preheated and you could start making your food.




I went ahead and plugged the Quesadilla make in and started to gather my ingredients while it preheated. I did smell an odor, like burning plastic which almost made me unplug the unit. I scanned it quickly to make sure that I hadn’t missed anything such as wrapping. I didn’t so I reached for the directions which said that you may smell this odor, especially the first time that you use it. That was a bit unnerving, but I pushed on! Another thing the directions said was that you could put your meat, cheeses, veggies, and sauces on the Quesadilla while it is cooking. I had two round flour  tortillas that I was using for this attempt.



I waited for the green light to come on, which meant that I could start cooking. This took around 5 minutes in total. I put the first tortilla down and lightly spread sour cream, and salsa, and topped that with diced tomatoes. After that, I placed the meat on top of that which was leftover shredded pork that I had made the night before, with seasoning and green peppers. I spread the food apart as much as possible in order to make sure the triangles that would cook would be filled with yummy goodness in each bite. Then I placed the top tortilla on top and closed the lid. There is no where to set an alarm or timer on the maker itself, so I pulled out my phone and set the timer for 3 minutes which was the recommended time for the Quesadilla.


After 3 minutes came and went, I checked out the Quesadilla. I could tell it was very lightly done because of the tiny amount of brown lines that lined the triangles. That is when I discovered that at the base of the maker, there is a clip that is on the top of the lid, that connects to the bottom. I didn’t see anything on the directions about this, but I understood that this would help keep the lid closed tighter and make a better Quesadilla. However, it was too hot to try to clip at that point, so I had to let it go, and add a few more minutes to the cook time. Maybe if I had known about that clip, it really would have only taken 3 minutes to cook instead of about 8 before I decided to try it out. I used tongs to get out the Quesadilla and put on my plate.

I had to wait several minutes in order to cut the Quesadilla since it was so hot. I had to wait several more minutes for it to even cool down enough for me to even try to eat it. Finally, I was able to cut it and eat!  It tasted just as good as anything bought at a store or restaurant. I couldn’t taste the sour cream and the salsa that I put on first, but the cheese, meat, tomatoes and peppers were really good. The one thing that really impressed me is that the heat was trapped in the Quesadilla the whole entire time that I ate. This means that each piece was hot, which was wonderful since I hardly ever get to eat a hot meal. I was a huge fan of that aspect! It also made a huge portion that was very filling. It wasn’t over or under done, but just right.

So, what did I really like and dislike about the Parini Quesadilla Maker? First, I loved how the heat was trapped inside and each bit was not only warm, but hot! That is awesome! It was also very easy to make, and you can make lots of variations of food with this maker including snacks and breakfast. It made a great amount of food that was pretty filling. What I didn’t like. I think that there needs to be a timer on the machine. It would help a great deal to keep from burning or under cooking. The directions were terrible and didn’t give you much of description on what needs to be done. I also disagree with their thoughts that whatever sauce you are using should be put inside of the Quesadilla while you are cooking it. It didn’t work for me, so I suggest that if you try this maker out, wait and put in on after, or dip your Quesadilla into the sauce and enjoy it that way. While the lack of timer really bothered me, I am giving this a 3.5 out of 5 stars. The fact that it kept the heat in the food was awesome! That’s even after cutting it apart and eating the food over a period of about 20 minutes. The retail prices is about $28.00. If you don’t think you will use this very often, the I suggest that you try to find one cheaper like I did.



What do you think? Have you ever tried the Parini Quesadilla Maker? Leave your comments below!







March 13

Bark Box Review

This Bark Box Review post contains affiliate links. For full information, seek out the disclaimer on the Promotions page. 


Underdogs, as you all know my heart belongs to my dogs! Why not spoil them with something from Bark Box? I have been looking into Bark Box for a long time, but have never pulled the trigger until now. First, I don’t make that much money so spending a set amount on my dogs for toys and treats each month is hard. Especially since I make all of my own dog treats at home. However, I watched a video on YouTube by Shane Dawson and realized this was the time to try. Bark Box is a once a month subscription box that comes to your house . Depending on the plan that you choose, it is anywhere from $20.00 to $40.00. They come with a least 2 toys, one chewy, and 2 bags of natural treats. There is an option to add a third toy if you are like me and have 3 dogs!  When I found out that the links used to buy these boxes could go towards helping animals in shelters, I was sold and I could justify the cost each month.


They claim on the Bark Box site that the dogs will be waiting on the box when the mailman arrives. Seeing this was my first box, I didn’t believe that. However, when they knocked on the door, each one of my dogs were jumping for joy. I could hardly get the box in the door because they were all trying to get to the box. Thank goodness it was sealed well or I would have had crazy doggies everywhere! It was actually one of the funnest times I have ever had just opening a box up because they were so happy! I finally sat down and opened the box with 3 dogs eagerly waiting at my feet!  The box was packed really nicely. It had blue tissue paper with scenes of dogs in the city. I quickly realized that this was a theme box, and it was all about New York! To be fair, I’m not sure what the soft toys had to do with New York, but it doesn’t matter because they were so loved by my pups! The following items were in my box: Welcome note, photo opp paper, 3 soft toys including a blue octopus, a bird, and a newspaper, one chew toy, one bag of bagel shaped treats and one bag of pizza shaped treats. There was also some stickers.



First I took out the chew toy since there was only one, and there are 3 dogs! I am going to give it to my friend who has one dog in order to be fair. Then, I took each toy and sat them in the middle of the floor and gave each dog a chance to choose which toy that they wanted. Indy took the blue, Sunny took the bird, and Rose took the newspaper. I tried to get pictures of them but there was so much excitement from them, I couldn’t get them to keep still! They instantly started playing and running around the room. In fact, I opened the box 4 hours ago and Indy, my lab, is still hugging the blue octopus. The bird and the newspaper have been exchanged several times between Rose and Sunny. They chased one another around the room and had a lot of fun!

The next thing we tried was the treats. They are in matching bags the same size. One has little bagel shaped treats and the second had little pizza shaped treats. Again, I make all my dog treats at home so it makes me nervous getting anything from the store. However, these aren’t really from a store and I read the ingredients and I wasn’t worried. I love my dogs so much and I don’t want to feed them anything that would hurt their tummies. I have had bad luck with that in the past, so I have been very careful. I fed each dog one treat of each kind. They really liked them and I am okay with giving these as treats for the remainder of the month. Since I have 3 dogs, I was worried that Bark Box wouldn’t have a good amount of treats provided. However, these are full size treat bags. In fact, each item is what I would consider full size.

I think this Bark Box is going to be very popular around my house. I am on a very tight budget, but I know what to give up in order to make sure they can have these boxes for the next several months. Like I said,  you have several options to try this out. You can also cancel at any time. Why not try out a free box by using my link down below? You get a free box, and I get to donate a free box to an animal shelter! It is a win/win situation, and you have nothing to lose! Sign up is simple, just follow my link and fill out the forms. They will ask your dog’s name and either their adoption or birthday! I picked one of the dogs to put their name on the site. It doesn’t really matter which one because they all are going to benefit from the fun! I hope you try this out! Take a look at my link below and get started today!