Houston Zoo

The Houston Zoo is educational fun for all ages. Animal exhibits abound featuring interesting animals from around the world. In recent years, the zoo has expanded its exhibits to include additional animals from Texas and Africa. The Houston Zoo is hosted on beautifully landscaped grounds with some of Houston’s most beautiful oak trees.

Find out more at

Rating: 5 Stars! Best of the best!

TGR Exotics Wildlife Zoo

If you are looking to experience a Safari in your own backyard and you live in Houston, Texas or surrounding vicinities, we have a recommendation for you.  TGR Exotics Wildlife Zoo is a family-owned and operated collection of some of the friendliest exotic animals around.  The zoo houses over 100 types of animals. 

On the day we went, there were 3 tours taking place. The up-close and personal interaction with the animals made for an unforgettable experience.  We met Chaco the Camel, Buffy the Water Buffalo, an ant eater, fast-moving sloths, and an ancient armadillo as well as a bearcat.  

The animals have special scratching posts that look like they tumbled out of the Wild West.  We were surprised to learn that these “scratching posts” were actually recycled Christmas trees.  Each year, people donate their Christmas trees to the zoo.  Chaco the Camel sat on his, using it as a cushion.  The goats ate the greenery and then used theirs as back scratchers.  And most amusingly, Walter the Warthog jubilantly tossed his Christmas tree 9 feet up in the air and played with it for many days before making it into a personalized scratching post as well.  

To our surprise and delight, large pigs came charging toward us – and once we started petting them, they fell over on the ground and went straight to sleep, laying there for several minutes.  And when we went to see the sloths, one of them was crawling around his cage the speed of a relaxed monkey.  We have never seen such a happy or fast sloth.  

They really take care of their animals and care about them. It is very apparent the animals are well-loved.  They have very amazing creatures who are very responsive to humans.  Everything is clean and well-maintained.  

The zoo is spacious and each tour is highly personalized. While the animals are well-loved and cared for.  Yet they are not pets.  Rather, they are sold to zoos across the country.  Tours last 1 1/2-2 hours. Strollers are welcome. You must wear closed – toed shoes.

During summer and during the year, the camp has the zoo has a camps, programs for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, and all kinds of other activities. However, you must register in advance because this is a privately and facility.  6:30 PM is the best tour time for summers.

We highly recommend TGR Exotics Wildlife Zoo as a “best of the best” family outing for summer and year-round fun.  It is an animal adventure you don’t want to miss.


The wildlife park is located 10 miles east of Tomball, TX in Spring, TX.

Circle E Candles

Spice Up Your Autumn with our favorite candles!  Circle E Candles are some of the best candles out there.  Fall is a cozy, mesmerizing time of year with the color-change of trees and the arrival of gentle autumn breezes. Nothing compliments autumn more than a warm, spice aroma wafting through the air. We are in search for the perfect Fall candle. We recognize Circle E Candles as among “the best of the best candles”. When you light Circle E Candles, they make a house a home. They are high-quality, long-lasting, and wonderfully aromatic. Our current favorite for the kitchen is Apple Strudel. You can visit Circle E Candles at

Cagle State Park

Cagle State Park is one of Texas’ prettiest parks. Nestled on the tranquil waters of Lake Conroe, surrounded by the Sam Houston National Forest, Cagle State Park has enjoyable walking trails as well as lakeside picnic and camping sites. We enjoyed an afternoon of hiking and picnicking by the water. The park also has a boat launch. As we were hiking, we saw lots of birds, including a bald eagle! The forest was filled with butterflies. Our youngest reviewer called it “the magical butterfly forest”.

In our opinion, it is one of Houston and surrounding areas’ “best kept secret” parks. Here are some pictures. It makes a great day trip getaway from Houston. To get there from Houston, take I-45 North past Conroe to exit 102. Go West for 8 miles on hwy 1375. The park will be on your left.

Best Hair Towel


I have long hair, and a few years ago, I found some wonderful “hair towels” by Lucy Locks that became one of my most favorite beauty items.  For any woman who has just stepped out of the shower, they are great.  They have a button on one end and a loop on the other, so you twist your hair in the towel and button it up.  Well, I can only find Lucy Locks on Amazon now.  So I have been looking for a replacement.  The Sephora hair towel works great.  It’s more spacious than most hair towels and yet fits snugly on your head.  These towels are my hair’s best friend.    You can find them at

Smartwool Socks

We recently had a wonderful “sock it to me” moment at a local R.E.I. store where we went in search of hiking boots. The salesman told us that he didn’t even want us to try on boots before we’d taken a look at socks. He then introduced us to the wonderful world of today’s socks. He highly recommended Smartwool and Wigwam.   We have tried Smartwool and truly consider them “the best of the best” in wool hiking socks.  Soon, we will be reviewing Wigwam socks, also.  But let us tell you about Smartwool!

Smartwool truly lives up to its name. Smartwool socks are made of the highest quality marino wool available. They truly wick away moisture from your feet, as they are capeable of holidng 30% of their weight in water. So even when you sweat, your feet stay dry. We recommend the Smartwool Ultra Hiking Socks. We really liked the heavy and extra heavy Smartwool hiking socks. They are truly “the best of the best” in wool hiking socks. You can find them at

Hierve El Agua – Oaxaca, Mexico

Hierve El Agua is located in Oaxaca, Mexico. It is a beautiful mountain oasis. Visitors hike through the mountains on a level path and arrive at the swimming sites. Hierve El Agua is tranquil, peaceful and refreshingly cold. It is one of two geographical sites featuring calcite pools. The other is located in Pummukale, Turkey. I have visited both. Each of them offer a wonderful experience.

Hierve El Agua in Oaxaca, Mexico by Mandy Seymour, Best Rated Reviews

Visitors enjoy swimming in the spring-fed waters among the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico and surrounding areas.

Hierve El Agua in Oaxaca, Mexico by Mandy Seymour, Best Rated Reviews

Travelers can hike, explore the pristine waters, and enjoy the fresh mountain air at Hierve El Agua in Oaxaca, Mexico and surrounding areas.

The trails surrounding Hierve El Agua in Oaxaca, Mexico. Mandy Seymour, Best Rated Reviews
Hierve El Agua by Mandy Seymour, Best Rated Reviews

Ragin Cajun Zydeco Night Thursday Night

Are you ready for Le Bon Temps?  We recently discovered our favorite Cajun restaurant in Houston, Texas, Ragin Cajun.  (  Their motto is “Family Serving Family” and boy, do they live up to it!  We gave them a Best of The Best 5-Star Review.  They have great food, a comprehensively Cajun ambiance, and wonderful service.  We visited on a Thursday night and enjoyed a great live Zydeco band.  This restaurant is also kid-friendly, and even the little ones had a Ragin good time!

PC Table Tote

Have you ever wanted to work on your laptop on-the-go, but got tired of trying to balance it on your lap?  A great solution is here!  The PC Table Tote.  The Table Tote truly lives up to its name.  It’s  a table that you can tote.  When disassembled, it becomes its own storage case.  The top even slides out to the side so you can use it for your mouse pad or coffee cup.  We liked the compact design.  You can even use it to hold your materials or a projector stand if you need an extra table at a business presentation.  


Greek Festival in Houston, Texas

This year, the Greek Festival is enjoying its stature as one of America’s best Greek Festivals in the nation!  (  The Greek Festival began in 1966 as a church fundraiser for the local Greek Orthodox Church in Houston, Texas and still continues today.  ( This year, 40,000 people will visit the festival.  Festival goers describe it as a “very pure” festival because everything about the festival is in-house.  The food is all authentic, hand-made food based on recipes that the grandmas’ grandmas have passed down through the years.  

Highlights include the homemade Greek food, children’s dancing, a film all about Greece,  and Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral tours.  The festival provides free parking at Lamar High School.    Opa!