Travel: Lulu’s Bakery & Cafe – San Antonio,TX -Home of the 3 Pound Cinnamon Roll!

When I decided to go to Texas to attend Fiesta Week; I knew I had to visit Lulu’s Bakery & Cafe. I’d never heard of Lulu’s until I watched an episode of Man vs. Food, where the host, Adam, was touring San Antonio. When I saw that 3 pound Cinnamon Roll… I knew I had to have one!   SONY DSCSONY DSCWhen I drove into the parking lot, I was a little surprised to see an … “older” looking building. No worries, some of my favorite places to eat are little hole-in-the-wall joints! I waited in the car for a bit, you see, I was meeting a sweet friend from high school… a friend I had not seen since graduation! After she arrived, and we hugged and dried our tears, we went into Lulu’s. I also had my cousin with me- we were ready to see what all the fuss was about! SONY DSC SONY DSCIf you like diners, you’ll love Lulu’s! I could tell there were a few regulars there… locals who knew the menu by heart. Lulu’s sells your typical American diner food, chicken fried steak, burgers, etc. But we were there for one thing & one thing only! When our waitress asked what we wanted to eat, the answer was simple, “I want the Cinnamon Roll, please!” I also ordered a glass of chocolate milk, because I’m a dairy freak! After placing our order, we sat back and enjoyed great conversation. Lulu’s is a fantastic place to reconnect with an old friend. Then, we saw it! It was a sight to behold! You know what they say, “Everything’s bigger in Texas!” That’s my cell phone, next to the Cinnamon Roll!SONY DSCSONY DSC We spent the first 5-10 minutes just looking at our roll in amazement! We could not get over how big it was, I’d never seen anything like it! It was a work of art (foodie art!), and I debated on whether or not to eat it. But it smelled So Good, I knew what needed to be done! Take a couple more pics before cutting into it! (Hey, you know I love photography!) SONY DSCSONY DSC The moment of truth was upon us, time to cut into it and see if it tastes as good as it looks… and smells! SONY DSC SONY DSCThis was my slice! It was delicious! I was concerned that the flavor might not be there, because it was so big. One bite and I knew I had nothing to worry about. You see all that cinnamon? The flavor was on point, no complaints! We each ate a little of it, and then I had it wrapped up so I could take it with me. (What? Did you think I was gonna eat the whole thing?) I ate off of that roll for the next few days. Every night, I would cut off a chunk and heat it up in the microwave… and every night it was delicious! SONY DSCSONY DSC If you’d like to visit Lulu’s Bakery & Cafe, it’s located at 918 N. Main St in San Antonio, TX.

Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post, I was NOT paid to write it. I just wanted to share Lulu’s with my readers.

Walgreens San Francisco “Flagship” Store Grand Opening, A Traveler’s Dream! #SFWAG

Growing up, my family always went to our neighborhood Walgreens for all of our over-the-counter and prescription meds. Walgreens was conveniently located near our home and we trusted them, after all, they are the nation’s largest drugstore chain. My mom knew that whatever she needed, she could find it at Walgreens. That hasn’t changed, but boy, so many other things about Walgreens certainly have! If you haven’t been inside a Walgreens lately,  you’re going to love this post. The new Flagship Walgreens just opened up in San Francisco, at the corner of Powell & O’Farrell. When Collective Bias invited me to tour the new Walgreens, I had no idea what was in store for me. The moment I walked through the doors, I thought to myself, “This ain’t my Mama’s Walgreens!”SONY DSC SONY DSCSONY DSC This Walgreens is big and bright, and did I mention Big?! I’m talking 18,000 sf and 2 stories tall! It is unlike any other Walgreens I have ever been to. There are 15 cash registers and 90 employees, we’re talking huge here! It reminded me more of a department store, than my friendly, neighborhood Walgreens. We began our tour upstairs.SONY DSC First stop, was the LOOK Boutique beauty department, and it is fabulous! It features tons of prestige and niche cosmetic, skincare, and hair care brands that you don’t normally find in drugstores. For example, you can find the U.K.’s number one skincare line, “No 7,” created by Boots, here at Walgreens. No 7 is known for their anti-aging beauty serums. (I’ll take 2 of everything, please!) The specially-trained beauty advisors can help you choose just the right product for your skin type. They’ll even touch-up your make-up for you! If your brows are looking a little rough, just head on over to the Ramy Eyebrow Bar to get some expert brow shaping and grooming services! How fantastic is that? Getting your brows done at Walgreens… I told you this wasn’t your Mama’s Walgreens! SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC Walgreens main purpose is to help people get, stay & live well… so it made perfect sense that we toured the Pharmacy next. The pharmacy is open 8:00am-8:00pm Monday through Friday, 9:00am-6:00pm on Saturday, & 9:00am-5:00pm on Sundays. Nimesh Jhaveri-Executive Director of Pharmacy Operations, was on hand to give us the grand tour. He explained to us how the role of the pharmacist is changing & evolving. Walgreens wants to be your one-stop healthcare shop. It makes perfect sense, Walgreens’ are everywhere, you can find one on virtually every corner. Why not utilize them to the fullest extent? Vaccines, sports physicals, urgent care- it’s all available at Walgreens. They even  do diabetes screenings and can check your cholesterol levels! Not everyone has access to a nearby doctor, but we all have access to a nearby Walgreens, right?!

As someone who loves to travel, I’m lovin’ this new Flagship Walgreens! Imagine being a tourist here in San Francisco and getting sick. You don’t know where the nearest doctor is, or urgent care… but you do know where the nearest Walgreens is, at the corner of Powell & O’Farrell! (They have suitcases too!) Walgreens is working hard to be your first choice for health & daily living. Once you’ve taken care of all your health and beauty needs, you might be a little hungry. Walgreens has that covered too! SONY DSCSONY DSC Your eyes are not deceiving you, that is a smoothie bar. Smoothies are available at the new Walgreens in San Francisco, along with a juice bar. But that’s not all. In keeping with their mission to keep you well, Walgreens also offers hundreds of fresh food items. Produce and high-quality, on-the-go meal options such as wraps, sushi, salads and sandwiches are made fresh daily. SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC When I tell you this Walgreens is like no other I have ever been to, I truly mean it! You can purchase Fro-Yo here… awesome! You pay by the cup size, not by weight… even better! There’s a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine dispensing 130 varieties of Coca-Cola fountain drinks. (I’d never even seen one until I toured this Walgreens!) The Upmarket Cafe’ offers a barista preparing fresh brewed premium coffee & espressos. Got a sweet tooth? You’ll love the freshly baked pastries and other goodies the Upmarket Cafe’ has to offer. SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC And then there was this! The promised land for chocoholics! A replica of Ghirardelli Square. It has one of the largest (and yummiest!) selections of Ghirardelli premium chocolates and gift selections in the San Francisco area. SONY DSCI could go on & on about this new Flagship Walgreens. It’s the first of its kind here in Northern California and it promises to bring customers a unique shopping experience. This store has it all! With offerings like fresh food, an enhanced beauty department and unique pharmacy- this is My Walgreens! Next time you are in San Francisco, be sure to drop by and check it out for yourself, and don’t forget to try the Vanilla Fro-Yo, it’s delicious!

Y’all know I love to take photos, and I have many more to share with you. You can see them all all on my #SFWAG Google+ Album.

For more Walgreens info, here’s their website. You can follow them on Twitter and FB too! Be well!

**I was invited to the opening of the Walgreens store opening by Collective Bias®.  I was compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias ™ and Walgreens #CBias #SocialFabric  All Opinions are my own.**

10 Tips For Moving With Kids

This is a sponsored post.

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I love to travel, that’s why I changed this from a Food blog to a Food/Travel blog. There is, however, one form of travel I do NOT like: moving! I do not like anything about moving, especially moving with kids. The last time we had to relocate, it was a big headache-I’m sure some of you out there can relate. I recently learned about a website called Unpakt.com, a digital marketplace and price comparison site for reputable moving companies. Think of it like Kayak or Expedia, but for moving services! You tell them when, where & what you’re moving and they’ll do all the legwork for you. You will receive price quotes and comparisons that look like this:Unpakt Compare Page Then all you need to do is decide which company you want to go with. I really wish I could have used Unpakt.com when we moved a few years back! Are you moving soon, or know someone that is? If so, you’re in luck!

 Exclusively for This Mama Can Cook! readers: $50 off your next move on Unpakt! Enter promo code: MPW5013.

How cool is that?! And if that wasn’t enough, here’s a few tips to help make moving with kids a little easier.

  1.       Contact the new school prior to moving – Make sure all paperwork for your child, such as immunization forms, have been completed and provided to the school. Additionally, consider asking for a tour of the school with the child’s new teacher to help your child get acclimated.

2.       Change your address before you move – It will take some time for all of your mail to be sent to your new address. Making the change ahead of time will ensure you receive your mail after you move.

3       Book your move early – Hiring a moving company will make your move quicker and more efficient. For help, consider Unpakt, a comparison pricing site for consumers searching for a moving company, to help you make the transition. You can worry about the children and let the movers worry about the rest.

4.       Subscribe to/pick up the town paper – Local papers carry great information about recreational activities for children as well as family events in town. Pick out some fun things to do and sign up for to get your child excited about moving to a new town. This will also allow them to meet other children in the neighborhood.

5.       Don’t pack important papers and documents into random boxes – Keep documents such as birth certificates, closing papers, credit card information, etc. on hand so you can easily access them at all times, particularly if any documents must be provided to your child’s school district for enrollment.

6.       Pack up your child’s favorite belongings in one box ­– Keep this box with you for your child to open as soon as you move in. This will help to create a familiar place for your child in the new home.

7.       Pick up some fun stickers and let the kids label their boxes – Involving your children in fun ways will help them associate moving with fun. Additionally, when the boxes head to the new house, they will be able to get excited about finding the ones that belong to them.

8.       Pack with your child in mind – Moving takes time so be sure to pack at least two days worth of necessary items you will need for your children in a separate box, eliminating the hassle of digging through numerous boxes to find specific items.

9.       Keep the kids away from the moving site – With all of the commotion on moving day, it can be dangerous for your children to be running around in the middle of it all. To keep your children safe and to help you focus on your move, set up a play date with other children in the neighborhood or hire a babysitter / ask a family member or close friend to take your children to their favorite places in town, like the park, a toy store, a do-it-yourself or studio and the movies.

10.       Unpack your child’s room first Moving is exhausting for everyone, but organizing your child’s belongings first will help to keep them calm while you unpack the remainder of the house.

I hope these tips will come in handy-share them with your friends and family. Do you have any moving tips you’d like to add to this list? Feel free to leave them in the comments. Thanks!

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Unpakt.com. The opinions are my own.

Our African Safari Adventure!

Have you ever wanted to surprise your family with a trip? That’s exactly what I did a while back, and it’s something I can’t wait to do again! I told them not to make any weekend plans, because I had something very special planned for them. I told them what they’d need to pack and that we’d be back late Sunday night. I was itching to spill the beans, but I didn’t!

Early Saturday morning, we got up, loaded up the car and headed off on our adventure.  After a few hours, we reached our destination: Safari West! They had no idea what was in store for them. SONY DSC

Nestled on 400 acres in the heart of California’s wine country, Safari West is home to over 400 exotic mammals (including zebras, giraffes, and cheetahs) and birds. Not a zoo, not a drive-through park, it’s a wildlife preserve where the whole family can experience some of nature’s most beautiful animals in a natural habitat. I’m a huge animal lover and I was so excited to see all Safari West had to offer. We checked in at the front office and then we were led to our sleeping accommodations for the night…are you ready for this?! SONY DSCYes, that is a tent! Yes, it is up on stilts and has an indoor bathroom! Yes, we were about to experience our first “Glamping” adventure! The tents Safari West uses are the exact same ones used in the African Serengeti, I thought that was super cool! SONY DSC My little guy was kind enough to open the front door for me, in the pic below!  I enjoyed sitting out on the front porch and taking in the scenery. You can see our cooler right by the door. Safari West offers a Bar-B-Q dinner, but after looking at the price and looking at my family; I knew a lot of food would be going to waste. Luckily, they allow you to bring your own food in, so that’s what we did. (Y’all know I’m frugal!) Safari West offers complimentary breakfast, and we did enjoy that on Sunday morning. SONY DSC   SONY DSC

 The tents are equipped with space heaters and are very comfy, I loved it! Be forewarned, there are no TV’s and your cell phone will probably not work either! You don’t need those things anyway-enjoy your family and your surroundings. Here’s a peek inside our tent:SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC There are Safari Truck Tours available, and I recommend you book  one. They drive you all around the preserve and you will see tons of animals. You are also free to roam around on your own and see some of the critters up close… I was in heaven! SONY DSC SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC Safari West has a really neat bird enclosure that you can actually walk through and see a lot of different birds up close and personal, my little guy enjoyed it immensely. The preserve is home to several species of endangered birds and Safari West has a breeding program in place to help repopulate those species. SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC
SONY DSC Look at the size of that nest in the pic above! Don’t get too close, or Mama Bird will have to reprimand you! SONY DSC  Some of my favorite residents of the preserve, were the Cheetahs, Giraffes and Primates. I spent a long time visiting with them and taking photos… oh so many photos! Before I share them with you, I want to tell you about nightfall at Safari West. Once the sun goes down, the animals start to get very vocal… I guess they are saying good night. It is an amazing experience to hear them all calling out to each other. They settle down after a while and drift off to sleep. Then they wake up bright and early and wish each other a good morning! Here’s a few more pics!SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC SONY DSCSONY DSC SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC  Look at those feet, below, Love it!  SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC Saturday night, after we ate the sandwiches we had packed, we walked over to the dining area and roasted marshmallows! That’s something Safari West does nightly-they even provide the marshmallows. Since I knew we would be doing this, I brought along some chocolate and graham crackers so we could make s’mores! You know it! SONY DSCSONY DSC Sunday morning, I awoke to this: SONY DSC After the fog lifted, we made our way to the dining hall and ate breakfast. Once our bellies were full, we loaded up our vehicle and got ready to head back home… but not before saying good-bye to a few of our new friends.SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC We had a wonderful time- Safari West is a great place to visit (heck, I wish I could live there!) Our family had a blast and would love to go back… and I’m sure we will. If you’d like to visit Safari West, in Santa Rosa, CA. with your family, go to their website here to make reservations. They are always running specials, which makes it affordable for thrifty Mama’a like myself! 
I hope you have enjoyed my Safari West adventure; I enjoyed sharing it with you.
**Disclosure: I was not paid to write this, this is not a sponsored post, I received no compensation what-so-ever. I paid for my reservation at Safari West out of my own pocket. With that being said, if Safari West would like to invite me & my family back as their guests-I’d gladly accept!**

This Mama Can Travel Too!

I have decided to add Travel to my Food blog. This Mama Can Cook! will now be a Food/Travel blog! The way I look at it, I already share the restaurants I visit while traveling… why not share the actual travel destinations?! I think it’s a win-win, and a natural progression for my blog! I love to travel and visit new places and this will be a great way to incorporate those trips into my blog. dsc06016.jpg

Be looking for lots of fantastic travel posts coming up real soon…hint, hint! I hope you enjoy not only my foodie adventures, but my travel adventures as well.SONY DSC

This Mama Can Cook AND Travel!