Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Giveaway - Cinderella and the Secret Prince

Do you have a princess at home that dreams of a castle and dancing at a royal ball one day?  My daughter was born with pixie dust dreams.  Who am I to judge having been there myself?

Disclosure-This giveaway is hosted by Shout! Factory.  Review copy was received.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal opinion.

On November 5th, Shout! Kids and Gold Valley Films released a secret, never-before-told tale of Cinderella.  Cinderella and the Secret Prince tells about a new adventure we have yet to hear.  Just in time for the holiday break.  Grab your blanket, some hot chocolate, and curl up on the couch with the family.  Follow along with the fairy, the mouse friends, and of course, Cinderella.  Check this out:

About - During the Royal Ball, the real prince was turned into a mouse by the evil witch, and the "Prince" from the Royal Ball is in fact a fraud! Now begins the new adventure to save the real Prince and help him defeat the evil force.

Want to win a copy for your family?  Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is only open to US.  The winner will be randomly selected.  They will have 24 hours to claim their prize.  Fulfillment of prize will be by the sponsor.  Good luck.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Giveaway - 100 WAYS TO BE THANKFUL

Tis the season to be thankful.  We have hit November, the month of Thanksgiving.  This year I have more to be thankful for than those in the past.  The last five years I have not been as thankful as I should have been.  I should really explain what I mean...

Disclosure-This giveaway is brought to you by National Geographic Kids.  Review copy was received.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal opinion.

This year has been eye-opening for me after my health scare and awakening.  But I am not alone in this, my family too has been affected.  We have been having a lot of open dialogue with my daughter and she has had several inquisitions.  As a parent, the changes I made were for our future as a family.  We learn from our mistakes and we should be thankful for them as they offer us a chance to grow.  For the past five years, without knowing, my attitude have been very ungrateful.  I should have been thankful for all the little things, the bigger messes, and the huge chaos in between.  Instead of looking at the negative, I should have found the positive in my situations.  Like I said, it was a good lesson to learn and to be able to teach my daughter in hoping that this helps her as she grows older.  Sometimes when we are in situations, we cannot look at the bright side.  I will give you an example:

Now I can be thankful for - the time my husband was able to spend with my daughter as a stay-at-home dad after he lost his lost for a year.  It was very unexpected.  I am not sure if I have talked about it here or not but I am ready to talk about it now.  My daughter was able to have time that no money can replace with her dad.  I am thankful that our family went back to the basics as we had to make due with what we had and stretch what we did not have.

These conversations are not easy to have with kids.  The lessons are there though.

In the month of November we are all taught to give thanks on one day, but we should be thankful all the time.  Do you go around the table on thanksgiving and say what you are thankful for?

National Geographic Kids Books has released 100 Ways to Be ThankfulA book that features 100 creative ways to open up the conversations about gratitude in our life and help kiddos be able to identify it.

It is a great book that kids can pop open and open up their minds to the attitude of gratitude.  Each of the 100 ways has opened questions, suggestions, and most of all ideas in easy to read language for the entire family to get involved.

Like #41, practice random acts of kindness.  Simple and easy to do.

My life lesson from above is actually #62, look for a lesson in struggles.  The tips are great.  I could have used them a couple of years ago.

Are you curious read the rest?  Well, you can win your very own copy just in time for your Thanksgiving get together.

Enter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is open to US only.  Fulfillment of prize will be done by sponsor.  The winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize.  One winner will be randomly selected.  Good luck.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Wellness Wednesday - Inferno Hot Pilates

The end of the year is upon us with only November and December left.  Where are you in your wellness goals?  As you have been reading in my Wellness Wednesday posts, this year has been a year half empty, half full - glass of life.   The year did not start of this way, but now this girl is on fire!

Disclosure-I was an invited guest.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal opinion and personal experience.

My journey started late but I started.  I spent more than half of the year living an unhealthy but most of all UNHAPPY life.  I was suffering inside.  I have had a long time to think where did all go wrong, how did this happened, and how long has it been like this?  Five years ago my life was flipped upside down from all angles in my life.  When I thought I was handling it, well I was only repressing it all.  We all handle things differently.  The process can either make us or break us.  I have been broken.  My glass could never get full because it had a crack in it.  That crack just kept spreading and I could not grasp how foggy things were getting until I literally was having vision problems this year.  It has been very hard for me to talk about it all but it has to come out so I can let it go.  I cannot continue to hold on to something that is not mine to hold.  The universe knows why and I have no need to question it.  Not anymore.  

It happened.  I lived it.  I learned from it.  Let's move on.    

It took five years for me to realize that I did nothing wrong.  I tucked and rolled with the punches that life threw and I am now on the other side.  My glass is full, the good kinda full.  It is overflowing.  

Like Pink says, even if you see my scars....could you love me any way?  I can, I love me!

I am still putting the cracked pieces together but the fire that is inside me is filling the holes one by one.  My journey has taken to a place of transparency and has given me a new courage.  I do not even know my own strength.  Mental or physical.

I am trying new things and taking my body to a healthier place.  Have you heard of Pilates?  I had and never had the courage to try it.  I did not think I had that kinda control.  

I was invited to try Inferno Hot Pilates at a new fitness studio, Hot Power Fitness.  Did you know?

Pilates developed in the aftermath of the late 19th century physical culture of exercising in order to alleviate ill health. - Wikipedia

I in no way shape or form would have imagine surviving the first five minutes of the warm up, much less an entire hour.  But the instructor made me feel so comfortable with every move that was modifiable, if needed.  She was so encouraging and her playlist was fire.  Did I mention that it was inferno?  

The heat is provided through infrared panel that allows the heat to penetrate the body maximizing the benefits increasing flexibility, blood circulation, detoxification, stress release, and pain relief.

The class was high energy and intense.  It was fun and it had me waking up body parts that had been asleep.  I burned a gazillion calories and I met some new fitness friends that had the courage to try the class too.

Hot Power Fitness is located in the Houston Westchase area that also offers hot yoga, restorative yoga, Zumba, fitness seminars, and private group classes.  For more information or to take advantage of their new low introductory rates go to:  (Tell them Alba from Independentmami sent you)

12350 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX 77077 -

Thanks to Hot Power Fitness for the invitation and the kick the you know where.  I will leave you with this that happens to be on their wall -

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Wellness Wednesday - Clean Eating

My health has become my priority with all of the doctor's visits and results I have recently received.  I am taking it one day at a time and focusing on getting me better.  Thanks to one headache caused by TMJ.

After I found out I was no longer allergic to the long list of foods, I was still in shock.  See I was still getting hives after eating.  Stumped by the reaction, I decided to eliminate the things I was previously allergic to.  I wanted to try and pin point the problem.  That same week I was challenged by a blogger friend to make one change.  This was the start of me clean eating.

But what does CLEAN EATING mean?  I have been trying to lose weight for awhile now.  Nothing I tried was working.  I was already under doctor's care for my liver issues.

I decided, enough was enough.  This summer we traveled and of course, enjoyed lots of good food.  I had just came back from our last vacation.  I replayed all the sodas, sweet desserts, and don't get me started on all the fast food we ate.  My one thing to change was that I was not going to drink any more sodas or sweet teas.  I am from the South and sweet tea runs in my blood.  Also because in the past I had been allergic to yeast, I decided to give up bread.

That same day I told my husband we were going grocery shopping to start meal prepping.  While at the store I thought about what I wanted to eat.  I made a dinner schedule that worked for all of the family, not just me.  I know that this is a life style change.  I have been here before in the past and know whats to do.  I have done it several times.  Sunday night, meal prepping was done.  I was ready to start my week.

Then the week started and my 6 small meals was not cutting it.  Day one was super hard.  I felt as all I did all day was eat.  I was too hard to keep up with my eating schedule.  Day two came and it was still hard.  I decided that in order to be accountable I was going to be sharing my story online.  Soon enough I had friends and followers giving support and offering their success stories.  They shared what worked for them.  I felt very supported and listened to each suggestion.

Clean eating for me meant that I eliminate the food that was causing my body to react.  I eliminated sodas and sugars.  I eliminated yeast as it always made my stomach swell.  I started keeping a food diary and watching how my body reacted.  The changes I made actually worked.  I no longer suffer from hives after dinner and the scale has actually started moving.

In a little over a month, I had lost 20 pounds and after 3 months a total of 30.  I made changes to our eating.  We cleaned out our refrigerator and pantry of items that we were not eating.  We stopped eating food that comes in a box.  We started eating all fresh food.  I even have started purchasing organic and grass fed.  We plan a dinner schedule that everyone can enjoy.  We eat foods that we all like.  We cook together.  The life style change has began because we all are in this together.  I am really enjoying my husband cooking for us as well.  He is learning that he enjoys cooking.

And lastly, we eat something different everyday.  Previously meal prepping meant eating the same thing at least two to three times a week.  This time, we are enjoying a variety of choices.

Find what works for you and your family.  Start with one change and see how much this will change.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Wellness Wednesday - TMJ

The body gives you signals, are you listening?  Do not wait until it is too late to respond.  We are moving too fast through this life.  But what happens when life slows us done?

The one appointment that was pushed back would be the answer to all my suffering.  The visits had all been long, the results all disappointing, and in the end I was just so exhausted.  I drove across town almost everyday to try and find answers.  The Allergist had mentioned that she thought the dentist may be able to confirm what she only could assume.

I walked into the dentist office like a regular visit.  They took my symptoms and did the regular testing to include X-rays.  I sat in the chair just waiting.  And then the dentist comes over and says it's TMJ.  I felt like she had the mic, said TMJ, and then dropped mic.  As I picked up my jaw off the floor, I had a lot of questions....

Ladies and gentlemen, ever heard of TMJ.  (Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction)  What does that even mean? 

In simple terms, my jaw bone was jammed into my cheek bone.  My medical history does not show this being genetic and I had not had a jaw injury.  The next most obvious was STRESS.  But let's rewind, what were my symptoms:

-I felt a pain like an ear ache but different, in my left ear
-Chewing caused my headaches flare up
-Shooting pain in my face on my left side

The prime suspect was stress.  Stress was causing me to grind my teeth which I had never done before.  And when the dentist ask, "do you grind your teeth?"  You answer, "Um, I am asleep.  How am I suppose to know?"  Dumb

Due to the overload that I had allowed in my life, my body had started to fall apart.  I finally had answers.  But how do you fix this?  Yeah NO, to those of you who want to just smack me a good one to pop it right out.  Not happening.  A mouth guard was ordered and I will be wearing this for the rest of my life.  

So what was the lesson here, slow it down.  Let others help.  You may think you can handle all things, super person, but your body may know differently.  And now TMJ rules my world:

Timeouts R

This really was a really scary situation from start to finish.  It caused me to slow down but for reals.  The timeouts were great and allowed my body to heal.  The healing process was very therapeutic and very much needed.  

Do you visit the dentist every year?  Did you know you are suppose to go every six months for check ups?    Wellness dentist check ups may be covered with your insurance, so what is your excuse?