Sunday, February 14, 2016

Kontos Valentines Pizza Party

***Disclosure-Sample product was received for review.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

Happy Valentine's Day!  What do you have planned for your day?  Are you trying to keep a reservation, fighting the crowds, or still looking for something to do?  How about having a relaxing day in?  When I think of romance I think Paris, Italy, gondolas, etc...  It's a piiiizzzzaaa party in my best Italiano voice.  Ok, it sucks but you get the point.  We made pizzas last year for the first time and the kids really liked it.  So I decided to have some fun transform our kitchen into a Pizza Parlor.

Step 1-pizza crust 
Step 2-sauce
Step 3-cheese

We like to mix Mozzarella and Sharp Cheddar.
Step 4-topping of choice

We made heart shaped pizzas.
top-pepperoni
bottom-little smokies and bbq sauce instead of pizza sauce
Step 5-oven
Our pizzas were delicious.  I think it had to do with the yummy crust.  Kontos Pizza Parlor Crust has Olive Oil baked in the crust.  It is 100% vegetarian.  It contains No Trans Fat.  Ready in 5 minutes.  Yes, you heard that right.  Need I say more...

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Valentines DIY Treat Bag

Valentines Day is tomorrow.  It is a holiday celebrated in the schools, daycares, and super sold on TV land.  Growing up my parents were too busy to think of DIY, Pinterest, or even wasting money buying gifts for a pagan holiday.  Gifts do not have to cost you an arm and a leg.  They can be small but made with love.  You don't want your kids to feel left out.    

I like to give thoughtful gifts. It means more to me to put some thought into it. Valentine's Day is no different. It is supposed to be a day where we show each other how much we love one another. I know some people will say things like:

"I love you everyday, not just one day" - but do you show me everyday?  Do you tell me?  Do you appreciate me?  Do you make me feel special in any way?

"The stores made up this holiday to get people in the stores" - You don't have to buy my love.  You just have to show me.  Hugs, time spent together, game night, movie night, something special or different than the normal routine.  We get to caught up in routines and schedules.

Anyway.  Whatever reason you may or may not celebrate, those are yours and yours alone.  I wanted my loved ones to feel special this day.  This is what I did for them.  I made goodie bags.  I personalized each one for each person and I spent under $20.

I went to the store the other day and noticed that V-day cards were $4.99 and higher.  Stuffed animals were at least $5 each.  The decorative bags-don't even get me started on those.  So I decided to make my own bags.  I bought most of my items at the dollar store.  I bought white paper bags.  They were 3 for $1.  I decorated each side and personalized it for each of my loves.
 Dad got a cupid's arrow.   I did 4 hearts-representing each family member.
 The goodies in my daughter's bag are a few of her favorite items.  I also gave her a heart puzzle that was specially made for her by a friend.  No cost.
 My son's goodies went over budget and broke the bank.  Sometimes you just have to splurge a little. The back of his bag has a poem I made up all by myself.  I am no poet but it came from the heart.
 My daughter is small and does not have money.  The teen probably has money but didn't think to buy us anything, I am assuming from previous experience.  I decided to make DAD a bag from them.  I picked a cute card that was 2 for $1.  I also found useful things for him, and favorite candy.
This is nothing big.  It is the thought that counts.  Plus a way to someone's heart is through their tummy.  Candy counts as food, right?  The dollar store has so many great things.  They also have toys.  You can put toys, books, or clothes in your kids' bags.  They have bigger bags for 2 for $1 or $1 bags that you can fit lots of goodies into.  You know your loved ones better than anyone else.

So if you are still looking for an idea or want to give your littles extra goodies, head to your nearest dollar store who knows what you will find. 

Houston Central Market - Chocolate Festival 2016

Central Market Houston is having a free in-store event.  Calling all chocolate lovers???
You're invited to join Chocolate Stars USA at Central Market's Chocolate Festival now through February 16, 2016 at each Central Market location in Texas. Join Chocolate Stars USA as they help transform Central Market's aisles into a chocolate red carpet.  Indulge your sweet tooth, and sample some of the world’s finest crowd-pleasing chocolate items at tasting stations throughout each stores.
During the Chocolate Festival you'll find more sinful selections of decadent gourmet chocolate than you’ll find anywhere. Plus truffles, treats, confections, and creations to over-stimulate every chocolate lover’s sweetest tooth. You’ll even meet the chocolate makers and artisan chocolatiers who create them and learn their most delicious secrets. While strolling through the aisles be sure to keep an eye out for the following:

Frederic Blondeel, the Belgian Chocolate-Maker, surprises and enchants the most demanding and sophisticated chocolate connoisseurs.  Blondeel started his journey as a pastry chef at very prestigious restaurants in France before devoting his life passion to chocolate in 1994.  In July 2012, Blondeel used his grandfather's antique 1953 Santos Palace Coffee Roaster along with modern technology to venture in to production of his own Grand Cru Chocolates.  Frederic hand selects roasts and transforms cocoa beans and nuts into a fully finished product, extending the limits of chocolate taste to new horizons.
Shattell Chocolates, an artisan chocolate factory in Lima, Peru.  SHATTELL uses only criollo cocoa from the Peruvian Amazon region.  This distinctive and rare variety is recognized around the world for its excellent flavor and aroma. Using organic cacao from specific regions results in premium quality products that embody the true flavors and aromas of Peruvian chocolate.  Varieties include: Criollo Tingo Maria - Criollo Saposoa - Criollo Tarapoto.  All of the chocolates are single origin and USDA organic certified.  No blends allow the distinctive taste and characteristics of each individual variety to shine. Shattell works with the farmers, teaching them how to make their own hot chocolate, bonbons and bars, which adds to the value of their cocoa.  They source their beans directly from the farmers and give them a fair price for their finest cocoa beans.  As Shattell's business grows, the growers’ incomes increase, improving their quality of life. Shattell is one of the first in Peru to use 100 percent natural Peruvian ingredients.

Les Chocolats de Pauline, organic chocolatier Jean-Michel Mortreau produces premium chocolates, carefully selecting only the finest raw ingredients. Les Chocolats de Pauline are made by hand in small batches, using sustainable cane sugar and pure cocoa butter, without lecithin or added vegetable fat, allowing the truechocolate flavor to shine through. With Les Chocolats de Pauline, you will discover the real taste of cacao, as Jean-Michel works only with premium cocoa beans from small farms in Peru, Tanzania and the Dominican Republic. Les Chocolats de Pauline have No GMO ingredients and are certified USDA Organic. Every component of Les Chocolats de Pauline's packaging is sustainable, compostable and biodegradable.
I have to tell you I love chocolate!  Love, love it!  And it was such a treat to taste of this chocolate.  Such richness.  It is to die for.  I did have a favorite though.....the Les Chocolats de Pauline Noir Fleur de Del.  The salt takes it to a.....
whole
'notha
le-vel! 
Yes, a whole another level of yumminess.  My 2nd favorite was the Madagascar chocolate.

If you are looking for something to get your chocolate lover, head on over to Central Market.  Taste it yourself and then, get the best gift ever.  The edible gifts are the best ones!!  Plus, it is on sale not sure how long the sale will last, so hurry.

About Chocolate Stars USA
Chocolate Stars USA is a marketer of fine chocolate brands and innovative sweet creations crafted by select producers around the world: chocolatebars, single origin chocolates, liquor chocolate bars, alfajores and dulce de leche, exclusive gift boxes, professional couvertures, caramelized biscuits and confections. We build quality relationships with our partners to offer you world-class products that will meet your highest standards. Brands currently include Frederic Blondeel Chocolatier, Havanna, Les Chocolats de Pauline, Revillon Chocolatier, Roy Chocolate and Villars.

For more information, visit www.ChocolateStarsUSA.com.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Flick Friday-Zootopia - Try Everything

***Disclosure-No compensation was received.  Informational post only.

Do you know who Shakira is?

She is a Grammy®-winning International superstar.  Her hips don't lie.  Shakira will be the voice of Gazelle, the biggest pop star in Zootopia. 

Watch the brand new music video for Shakira's "Try Everything”:
The all-new original song, “Try Everything,” was written by singer-songwriter Sia and songwriting duo Stargate.

“Try Everything” single is available now at itunes.

Walt Disney Records soundtrack to ZOOTOPIA will be available March 4th, the same day the film opens in theatres nationwide!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Giveaway-Power Rangers Time Force: The Complete Series

***Disclosure-Sample product was received for review.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

The Power Rangers debut was in 1993.  It has been entertaining kids for over 20 years now.  The shows emphasize on teamwork, responsibility, and helping others.  It was a popular series in our house and continues to be with our kids as well.

On February 9, Shout! Factory released Power Rangers Time Force: The Complete Series, a 5-DVD box set that containing all 40 episodes of the iconic show’s ninth season.
In the distant future, a team of Power Rangers known as the Power Rangers Time Force act as a time-traveling police force capturing and freezing criminal mutants.  When the notorious criminal mastermind Ransik stages a daring escape, he fells the Red Time Force Ranger Alex and takes the entire cryogenic prison full of dangerous, incarcerated mutants back in time with him to the year 2001.  There he seeks to unleash a new wave of crime against our modern world, helpless against his vastly superior technology.  In pursuit of Ransik, Pink Ranger Jen – grieving fiancĂ©e of Alex – leads a team of Time Force officers back in time to apprehend the escaped criminals. In modern times they ally themselves with Alex’s distant ancestor, Wes, whose shared DNA with his future descendant allows him to take up the powers of the Red Time Force Ranger.

If your kids are fans of the Power Rangers, they will want to get their hands on this complete series.  Enter to win here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

2016 Scion iA Review

***Disclosure-I got to test drive the New 2016 Scion iA for a week to review.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

My family and I attended the Houston Auto Show 2 weeks ago.  A brand that really stood out was Scion.  You have seen those box looking cars out on the road, right?  If you are not familiar with the Scion brand, the original “box,” the xB and the FR-S sports car are all part of this brand. 

Scion iA is the brand’s first-ever sedan with a sporty look.
It is newly designed for the savvy generation of drivers like you and me.  It comes complete with so many features, lots of space, new technology and cool styling to fit any lifestyle. 
It is up to whatever challenge or opportunity comes your way.  This week I put it up to the challenge of my family, schedule, and it showed us it's true colors.

Challenge #1-Trunk Space
Trunk space is very important to every family.  Latinos have big families.  One meal together could mean lots of extra food and drinks needed.  We don't even need to be celebrating anything.  We love to host all of our family which in our family includes grandma, grandpa, their kids, and their kids' kids.  When we went grocery shopping this week, we did a double take.  We weren't sure all of the groceries would fit.  Was the Scion iA trunk big enough?
It was up to the challenge!  We fit every single item in the trunk, everything.  It passed our test.

Challenge #2-Tech Savvy

The HD Radio Traffic helped me check traffic on every trip.  I normally use my phone to guide me through traffic.  This way I was able to get in the iA and no matter where I went, I knew where not to go.
The Rear-view backup camera was impressive.  It has a wide view.  I have driven cars before and have not felt the rear view camera to be this awesome.  Check out my view-all clear for take off.

Challenge #3 Safety-

How fast is your reaction time?  On pretty days my husband takes my daughter outside to play.  When I get home, I am always on the look out for all the kids on my street, especially my little one.  A normal routine is to open the garage, drive in, and close the garage, right.  My son and I were driving into the garage, as we drove in the iA came to a complete stop.  The car alerted we had hit something.  What was it?  The low-speed pre-collision system is designed to detect objects on the road ahead of you and can, under certain conditions, apply the brakes to help avoid a collision.  We did not hit anything but it was good to know that the car would come to a complete stop.  This time it was a bouncy ball the toddler lost control of as she opened the garage door. 

For drivers who think they live the fast and furious lifestyle, Sport Mode is available with the flip of a switch.  I like the Sport Mode.  But what I liked the most was the affordable price.  Price tag is $15,700 for the 6-speed manual transmission and $16,800 for the 6-speed automatic, redefining “entry level.”

For more information, you can go to:

FB- www.facebook.com/ToyotaLatino
Twitter - www.twitter.com/ToyotaLatino
Instagram - www.instagram.com/ToyotaLatino

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Giveaway-Krusteaz Breakfast Night

***Disclosure-I received a variety of Krusteaz product and a $50 gc for review.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

How many times a week do you eat a hot breakfast with the entire family?  Mornings are hard for us.  Everyone has their own schedule to keep.  Dinner time is when we can all sit down together.  But it can be stressful.  I am getting off from work, my teen getting off from school, daddy waking up and picking up the preschooler.  My husband and I work together trying to meal plan for the week and work out the schedule so that we can have dinner at a reasonable time.

One thing I do not do is mix meals.  It has been unheard of in our house to have breakfast for dinner.  But since my husband is barely waking up, this is his breakfast meal.  Since February happens to be National Hot Breakfast month we decided to mix things up.  Our family is having "Brinner" - breakfast for dinner.

We decided to make a simple recipe that we could enjoy and that would not take up a lot of time. 

Waffles with a side of Eggs and Weenies

Ingredients-
-Krusteaz Waffle mix
-1 eggs
-3 tbs oil
-2/3 cup of water
-5 Weenies
-5 Eggs
-1 tbs oil

Cooking can be a good bonding experience with your kids.  My daughter loves to help in the kitchen.  The Krusteaz waffle mix has really easy instructions.  My husband prepared the above ingredients for the waffles so my daughter to help.

Tip-Always start with the dry, then go with the wet.
 Tip-When working with smaller children, it is good to get a small stool so they can reach the counters. 
 Tip-Showing the kids how to hold measuring cups or how to pour, can save messes from even happening.
 Tip-First time cracking an egg can be hard for anyone.  My daughter dropped the entire egg in the bowl even after daddy had cracked it in half for her.  These moments are teachable moments.  We laughed it off when it happened.
 Tip-We love to practice counting when adding ingredients.
 Tip-We did not use our handheld mixer.  We decided to have my daughter hand mix.  She sat on her stool while mixing.  We did have to watch her and show her a couple of times on how to hold the bowl and mix at the same time.
We did not let her handle the waffle maker, or do any cooking on the stove.  My hubby did the cooking.

Eggs and Weenies

Cut the weenies into circles.  Cook these first, then add the eggs.  Easy peasy.
We added a little scoop of ice cream with sprinkles.  Our drink of choice was fresh squeezed orange juice.

Is Breakfast Night a tradition in your house?  If not, Krusteaz, wants to help by earmarking Wednesdays (or any day you like!) as Breakfast Night by providing you a Krusteaz Breakfast Night prize pack.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is for US only.  1 winner will be randomly selected.  The prize will come from sponsor.  The winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize.  Good Luck!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Life is Full of Gnoments

***Disclosure-Sample product was received for review.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

Valentine's Day is around the corner.  Have you gotten your partner a gift?  Are you still looking for the perfect gift?  I feel like we have everything we need.  What do you get a person who has everything they need. 

When we first got together, you know the romance period when you are wooing each other, I always got the perfect gifts.  But as time passes by, we seem to have stop wooing each other.  You know once you get married sometimes you lose the same fire you use to have for each other. 

Life has us drifting apart whether it is because we are splitting ourselves between our kids, jobs, or home.  We need to preserve what brought us together in the first place. 

I love thinking about those first moments me had.

Have you ever left your partner a note, or a special message?  Well let me introduce to you the Gnoments. 

This is a relationship kit designed to encourage you and your partner to do nice things for each other.  Reviving your relationship.  Kinda make you feel like a kids again.  A puppy love you are chasing.  The kit comes with 2 gnomes, a boy and a girl.  It also comes with a story book.
Each Gnome has a special surprise gnome pouch on its back to hide a note or something special.  You can also deliver surprise messages. videos, sound clips, photos, maps and more though each gnomes' embedded NFC technology OR, send a Gnomification text or email through the website. 

Relationships are hard work but both of you have to willing to work at it.  We need to keep the sparks going.  Wooing each other.  Sending little surprises.  Unexpected loving. 

My husband and I love our little gnomes.  They are so cute.  They have magnets and you can make them hug each other.  It was easy to go online and personalize our gnomes.  My husband's gnomes name is Gnomeo.  My gnome is Starlette.  Like Romeo and Juliette, lol.  We have been having fun finding our gnomes, leaving love notes for one another, and rekindling our love for one another.

Before one falls head over heels with each other you have this period of falling in love, that is when the real magic of your relationship happens.  Gnoments can remind you of that time and can help you take your relationship back to what it use to be.  This is exactly what we needed.

For more information on Gnoments, go to www.gnoments.com.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Houston-Hot Flashes-Halftees

Disclosure-Sample product was received for review.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

This is what the weather looks like in Houston this week.  One week it will be cold and feel like Winter.  The next, it feels like Summer has arrived.  We really do not get a real Winter.  And then there is this, cold when the sun is goes, warm when the sun is out.  The wind chill has really made it feel a little cooler than usual.  You have to learn to dress for this weather. 

Layer, so you can strip later.  So I normally wear a jacket or a coat that I can take off once I am indoors.  Sometimes I wear a long sleeve short with an undershirt.  But the mistake with that is that I can get these thing called "hot flashes".  Yes, I am probably premenopausal or my hormones are out of whack.  But I am always hot.  I just moved offices and my new office does not get proper ventilation.  It is a hot box.  So most of the time I wear sleeveless dresses in the office.  The problem I am having with some dresses lately is that it seems I may be showing too much cleavage unintentionally.

What is a girl to do?  I have tried wearing sport bras but that is not comfortable or cute.  The straps do not compliment the dresses.  Wear an undershirt, well that get hot and bunched up underneath.  What if there was a halftee?
The Halftee is just what it reads.  Half of a tee.  It is comfortable.  It is lightweight.  It fits perfect.  It stops right under my bra line.  See the picture above.  I wore this to work today under my dress.
I did not make me hot.  It did it's job.  It fit great under my dress.  It was light and airy.  I got it in a neutral color so I can basically add it to any color dress and it will blend with the outfit.

What about layering under long sleeve shirts?
 
This is not an undershirt, this is the halftee.
The halftees are also reversible for those days you may need a higher neckline.  It also comes with sleeve, long sleeve, lace, and different colors.  

Find out more information and to select the one you want to order go to www.halftee.com.  Prices range from $18.99 to $34.99.  Don't forget to check out the clearance bin or coupon code.  Today the tank Halftee (Modal) is $13.50 in the Clearance bin and there have a code you can use for 25% off.  

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Weightloss Wednesday-A Love Letter to my Body

Dear Body,

It's not you, it's me.  I think I have fallen out of love with you.  I am ready for change.  We seem to have gone into 2 different directions.  I can't see US anymore.  We lost what we had.  But I am not ready to give up on you.  You have been here for me through all these years.  You always have my back.  You carried me through all these years.  I think it is time for me to pull my weight.    

It seems that there is a strong girl inside of you and she is trying to get out. 
 2011
 2012
 2013
 2014
 2015
I don't think I say this enough or at all, but I DO LOVE YOU!  I appreciate you hanging in there.  Let me reassure you that I am not giving up on US.  I think this will only make us stronger.  We can make this work, if we work together.  There is no you, without me.  And no me, without you.

What do you say?  Give me a second chance.  You won't regret it.  I promise to give you my all, make you a priority, and not stop trying.  I do not know about you, but I am so excited for what the future holds for us.  As long as you are by my side that is all I need. 

Love,
Me

Ever felt like you need a good talking to?  from you!  Me, Myself, and I takes on a new meaning.  I have been thinking about this lately.  My mind and my body have seemed to be 2 different people.  I am on this journey - mentally and physically.  I need to be able to love my body.  My mind needs to not play any games with me.  It has not mattered what size or weight I was, my mind always told me I was FAT.  I was never content.  This journey is mine.  What is yours?