Saturday, August 29, 2015

Giveaway-Preparing Little Ones for Cooler Months

***Disclosure-No compensation was received.  Informational post.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

Aren't we just ready for summer to be over?  When the weather starts to change, we don't know how to act.  We should keep being mindful as it starts to cool down that our skin needs protection.  And so do our kid's skin.

Certified Pediatrician for AVEENO® Baby, Dr. AndrĂ©s Cotton, shares his best tips to help your baby during this transitional period.
Bath Time


Your baby may sweat a lot in humid weather.  You can keep your baby clean and healthy by giving him a bath at least once a day.  Don’t forget to check his neck, underarms and other creases in his body.  Use a soap free and paraben free wash such as AVEENO® Baby Wash & Shampoo which also leaves baby’s skin soft and smelling fresh.

Keep the temperature in the bathroom and bedroom the same, making sure there are no drafts of cold air while bathing or massaging your baby after her bath.  This may include air from a fan or air conditioner.  Complement your baby’s bath with a massage using AVEENO® Baby Daily Moisture Lotion, which contains natural colloidal oatmeal blended with rich emollients that soothe and help protect your baby's delicate skin.

Dress Appropriately


The weather can change a lot in a day during the transitional months. It could start out hot and humid and then get cold. Dress your baby appropriately, especially when you are planning to be out for a couple of hours. It is best to dress your baby in layers so that you can remove or add clothing to keep your baby comfortable through the day.

During the day when the temperate is warmer, you could dress your baby in loose cotton clothes that will let his skin breathe. When it gets cooler, cover your baby in a jacket or cardigan and booties to keep him warm.                                                  

Other Tips to Keep in Mind


During weather changes, babies tend to get sick.  Try not to take your baby out until the weather stabilizes. 
Fight the germs that can cause your baby to get sick by washing her hands after she eats, if she is old enough to have solid food, and when she comes home from daycare or being outside.

If your baby is at least 6 months old, use sun protection when spending time outside.  AVEENO® Baby Natural Protection Lotion Sunscreen with Broad Spectrum SPF 50 and AVEENO® Baby Natural Protection Face Stick with Broad Spectrum SPF 50 contain naturally sourced ingredients.

What do you do?  Do you have any tips?  

Well I want you to be prepared when the weather starts changing.  Enter to win an Aveeno Baby Prize Pack. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway is for US residents only.  One winner will be randomly selected.  The winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize.  Good Luck!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Off-Road Adventures #VayamosJuntos

***Disclosure-I drove the Toyota Tacoma for a week for review.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.
Have you ever taken your family on a road trip?  Growing up in a Latino family; road trips, vacations, or get-a-ways were not in our budget.  Summer came and went, and we-we did not go anywhere.  When we returned to school, my friends had stories of all the adventures they went on.  As the oldest, I understood why we could not go.  Our family did not have the money, much less the privilege to take time off.  We also did not have a reliable car, and you can't take a trip, if your current vehicle is not dependable.

Thanks to Toyota for allowing my family to take the Toyota Tacoma on our end of Summer camping road trip.
My husband and I worked around our schedules and managed to find a few days we could get away.   Our adventure took us camping.  But before we hit the road, we need to pack.
We had so much extra room in the Toyota Tacoma.  We were able to pack 3 coolers, 2 plastic bins, 2 tents, 2 family canopies, 4 fold-able chairs,  and so much more.  My husband asked if I wanted to bring the kitchen sink too.  I did not have to worry about our camping gear we tied our gear down using the D-rings, deck rail system, and stored some items in the In-bed storage.
We then were ready to hit the road to the Guadalupe River.  Not before entering the address in the navigation system.  Especially since this was the first time we went to Guadalupe River State Park.
When traveling one of the things I always like to know is the speed limit.  You do not want to get pulled over for speeding just because you are not aware of the speed limit in a city your are traveling through.  The Tacoma displayed the speed limit on the screen right next to the highway name I was on.

Since we were not traveling alone, we were keeping in contact with the other vehicle.  No talking and texting for me.  The Tacoma displayed the text on the vehicle screen.  The text message came up on the screen.  My husband, the copilot/passenger, hit play so I could also hear the message out loud.  
It actually started getting really dark and I noticed lighting in the distance.  My husband checked the weather and it was not looking good for our weekend.
But we did not let this ruin our plans.  We arrived our destination.  Only to find out, we were not there yet.  We had to take the long gravel road to our campsite.   We made it just in time to pitch our tent before quite time.  I was so glad the Tacoma had an outlet in the bed of the truck, so handy.
Our air pump was taking too long to inflate our air mattresses.  We just took our mattresses to the truck, inflated them in a zip, and were ready to hit the hay after that.
Our trip to the park seemed long since we hit the road right at rush hour.  I even think me and husband complained more than our kids did.  This trip was so needed for us to just unwind.  And once we were there, we did just that.  It was a great camping adventure we are ready to do again.  We are looking forward to visiting more state parks, closer ones.  When we checked in, we received this brochure with park information.  Check this deal out:
Unlimited visits to over 90+ state parks for only $70 annually.  What park will we go to next?    

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Travel Tuesday-Guadalupe River State Park

There are many beautiful state parks and I am on a mission to visit as many as possible.  Guadalupe River State Park is in Spring Branch, Texas.    
The park allows their visitors to canoe, hike, fish, swim, tube, picnic, and camp.  We decided to take our kid's on one last road trip before Summer ended.  It also has been a long time since we have been camping. 

I like being out in the great outdoors.  We got to disconnect.  Really, I had no cell service.  Disconnecting was so much fun.  Our phones were turned off and put up.  

We got to see animals.  We had armadillos just walking around our campsite.
We got to roast marshmallows, and make S'mores.
We went tubing for the first time.
Someone got to jump in muddy puddles and we didn't care!  It started to rain but she did not let that ruin her fun.  Jumped puddles until the sun finally came out.
The great outdoors wore some of us out.  So we took naps.
We had an awesome time.  We will be returning to this park again.  We are already planning our next camping trip.  I was so worried about going camping with our toddler but it turned out great.  The biggest rule was there were no rules!!  This trip was a big success.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Motivational Monday-Catching Faith

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

Sometimes we get lost in our world.  Things are just getting worse and worse.  We continue to act like nothing is wrong.

I know I have been seen by many is a Miss Perfect.  But I am not.  At one point I even believed the lie of having everything under control.  And when things fell apart, I fell apart myself.  This year has been a year of discovery within myself.  Learning to Let It Go.  Do what I can.  Work on now.

Faith.  A word I have often have conflict with.  Have you lost your faith?
Synopsis:  John and Alexa Taylor appear to have the perfect life – they’re the envy of all the parents in town.  Their son Beau is the high school football star and their daughter Ravyn is a straight-A student.  But when Beau is caught drinking alcohol, his place on the team and his bright future are on the line.  With the football season at stake and the judgmental community turning their backs on them, every member of the Taylor family is at a crossroads.  Now, they must find the strength from one another, and the spiritual courage from within, to prove that faith and family is the only score that really matters.

This is a moving story about a woman who seems to have it all; a perfect marriage, a daughter at the top of her class, and an athletic son at the top of his game.  But things are not always as they appear. 

As our kid's head back to school this year, are we leading by example?  On the last day of Summer, this is the movie we decided to watch as a family.  I like how it grounded us.  Our lives get hectic.  Moms are the center for our children and husband.  How do we do it all?  At the end of the day, we do it for them.  

I wish you and your kid's a wonderful school year.   


For more information or to see the trailer, go to www.CatchingFaith.com.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Tasty Thursday-Kabobs

***Disclosure-I received a Kabob Skewer Rack from Cave Tools for review.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

One of my favorite dishes are Kabobs.  But I cannot go out to eat everyday, so making these at home is more ideal.  You can make Kabobs with any of your favorite veggies, fruits, and include meats.  I like that it is a healthy dish you can make.

So how to get started, first you need to decide what kind of Kabob you want.  I like chicken and steak Kabobs.  Today I am making Chicken Kabobs.  My husband seasoned and marinated chicken breast for me.
You will need to cut your chicken into small squares.  They do not have to be perfect nor the same size.  Then grab your choice of veggies that will need to be cut into small squares as well.  I like all veggies.  I chose red bell peppers, green bell peppers, orange bell peppers, mushrooms, red onions, and cherry tomatoes.  I like how colorful this mix of veggies is.
Next you need some skewers: (you can use wood or metal skewers)
There is no right or wrong way to add the veggie or meat.  You can make a pattern or not.  Just fill the skewers as you like.
Next, throw them on the grill:
Then serve with a rice pilaf or alone.  
This is a good dish for any backyard cookout.  I also like that I can add this dish as one of my meal prep meals.  My husband was grilling for dinner and I threw my kabobs on the grill for my meal prep of the week.

The skewers I used are flat stainless steel skewers that are dishwasher safe.  They can be used in 8 different positions for perfect grilling on each side.  They have a slider that can assist on getting the food easily off the skewer.  They fit perfect on our small camping grill.  

For more information, go to cavetools.com.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Camping Packing Tips

Have you ever been camping?  Camping is a fun experience that should be on your bucket list.  It definitely on our summer list of things to do.  Camping takes you out of your element.  You become one with nature.  It can help you and your family reconnect.  It can also help you disconnect from the world.

When planning a camping trip it is important to pack all the essentials.  Imagine being out at the campsite and you are missing essentials you may need.  We are guilty of that.  Even though I try to be prepare there is something I have missed before that we did not think of.  We are not experts, but have forgotten a thing or two.  So I came up with a checklist of things you may need that can help your camping experience:

1)  Checklist-If you make a checklist, it will be easier for you not to forget items you will need.

We have never ventured alone.  The more the merrier right?  This trip we will be joining my husband's family.  Since we will all be at one campsite, they made one list of items we needed.  They marked the items they already have and will be bringing.  No need to bring two of everything.  Leaves us more room in our vehicle for other things we will need.

2)  Toiletries-You do not need to take your full size bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash with you.  Trust me, you will survive.  And this is not a hotel, so you will not receive a set of toiletries when you check in.  I bring the bare necessities.  I do not need to do the 5-step face washing system when I go camping.  Depending where you camp, you may not even have a shower.  Ever taken a bath in a lake or river?
I use free samples that I receive in the mail.  If I do not have any, then I refill the small travel containers.  I label the bottles and clip them to a lanyard.  These are the same lanyards we used last year on our Disney trip.  The containers I have saved have a hole so they are easy to attach to the lanyard.  You can wear the lanyard around your neck if you are grabbing a bath in the lake or if you are lucky enough to be camping at a place with showers, hang it on the shower head.

3)  Medicine Kit-So yes, everyone knows to have a first aid kit but what about a medicine kit?  Have you ever gone on a trip and gotten sick, yes-ME.  Have allergies come out of nowhere?  Your body may not be use to the great outdoors.  All those trees, flowers, and unknowns.

Make a list of symptoms you and your family suffer from or have suffered from.  Is anyone in your family on regulatory medicine?  Those items need to be packed in your Medicine kit.  You do not need to bring the entire medicine cabinet, but make sure you have things your family will need.
 I like to go to health fairs, children's fairs, races, etc...  I like getting free samples like band-aids, hand sanitizers, etc...  I keep all the freebies in my medicine cabinet.  I take an inventory of all the items I have right before our trips.  I pack what I need.
  I like this plastic bag because it has a clip.  I like to use the band-aids that already have anti-bacterial on them.  I stick different size band-aids in the clip on bag to take on hikes.  I just clip it to my belt loop and am ready to go.
 Head ache medicine, allergy medicine, and tummy medicine is a must for us.  I have a toddler so I have to make sure I have medicine she can take.  I also bring a digital thermometer and cool forehead strips.  All of the medicine and first aid kit items fit into this hang-able bag.  This bag can hang in your tent or on the canopy at your tent site for easy access and ready to use.

4)  Food.  Make a Menu.  We do family style breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Snacks are grab and go.  Don't forget the snack for the actual drive.  Don't pay the oh-so-unconvenient convenient store/gas station prices.
 I pack each person a bag of goodies and snacks for the road.  No need to cut, slice, or refrigerate anything.  I also stick a bottle water on each drink holder.

Food for the camping trip is placed in plastic bins.  This way no critters will get into your food.  The items that need to be refrigerated will be in the coolers.  I stick them in plastic baggies, so they won't get soaked once the ice starts melting.  Not sure where my husband heard this tip, but he adds salt to the ice that is used in our coolers to make the ice last longer.  It always works works for us.

5)  Clothes List.  On a sheet of paper, write down how many days you will need clothes for.  Be specific on the items you need.  I have over packed several times.  I lay out the clothes, check them off the days, and then group them together.  I do the same thing for the toddler, but I actually do pack extra clothes for her.
I tuck my bra, panties, and socks into the pockets.  I pick light wear clothes.  Camping + outdoors - No AC = HOT You!
Then I roll this entire outfit and pack it into my bag.  This way you don't forget a piece from your outfit, you have what you are wearing daily, and you have enough room.  I keep my shoe fashion simple; flip flops, water shoes, and pair of old tennis shoes.  We love to go exploring or hiking so I always bring tennis shoes.  Pack what make since for you.

6)  Itinerary.  I am OCD about certain things and an itinerary is one of them.  It does not have to be very specific but just so you can plan your outfits, menu, and next adventure.

Do you have any camping tips you want to share?  What is your must have item?  Things you never leave home without?
    

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wordless Wednesday-Rav4 Car Service

"Wait, wait, did I forget something?  Let me think.... heels check...."

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tips to Test Driving Your Next Car

***Disclosure-I drove the Toyota Rav4 for a week to review.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

In 1995, I was a Junior in high school.  It was exactly when the Toyota Rav4 was on the market in the US.  My friend, a senior, had one and I wanted one really bad.  It was so cool.  They were cute like toy cars.  I did not know about safety features, buttons, etc, all I cared about was it was the latest cool car out on the market.  I wanted one.

Now as an adult, I don't care about the coolest car or the latest and greatest, I care about the car facts.  When I purchased my first car, after high school, I did not make the best decision.  I got a car to take me back and forth.  I thought that was ok.  But a car is an investment.  My investment ended up being a lemon.

I wish I knew what I know now.  I am not an expert but these are the things i would have paid more attention to, then and now.  

Tips to test driving your next car-

1)  Research.  Go to the website.  Go straight to the source.  Don't let the salesperson tell you what car, truck, SUV, or van, you want.

Once you find the vehicle you want, see if it is a good fit for you.
2)  Room/Space.  Decide on what this vehicle is going to be used for.  How much room/seats do you need?  Do the seats adjust?  Does the truck have enough space for your lifestyle?  Need leg room?
My family and I are always on the go.  We love traveling and going on road trips.  We are a family of four but I have a toddler that needs car seat room.









3)  Driver's Preferences.  Will you be the only one driving this vehicle?  Check to see if the vehicle has dual controls for preference buttons like:
seat adjustments-I normally drive my vehicle Monday-Friday but when we are traveling or on the weekends, my husband does the driving.  I hate having to adjust my seat every time it is my turn to drive.  He hates having to move it to his setting.
seat warmers or dual zone automatic controls-I am always cold and my husband is always hot.

4)  Safety Features.  Every vehicle has been tested.  But there are features you must have or want.  
Have you ever had a close call on your blind side?  Imagine if your vehicle alerted you.  There is so much new technology coming out.  I want it all in my next vehicle.  Lane departure alert, bling spot monitor, etc..

5)  Eco?  How much do you care about fuel efficiency?  How great would it be if you could just hit the Eco button?
     Sport?  Does your vehicle need to take you places? 
Well how about having an option that can help keep up with where you are going.  Even if it is just changing lanes in traffic and not driving the Hill Country to a fun place.

Remember, you are the future owner.  Know what you want.  Find the features that suit you and your lifestyle.  Make the choice for your family.  

Thanks to Toyota for letting our family put the 2015 Rav4 Limited AWD SUV to test this past week.  Everywhere we went, we stood out with the beautiful HOT LAVA color.  Our family enjoyed our travels from Hockley to Galveston.  We had plenty of room.  We enjoyed watching the stars when we opened the Moonroof.    My husband's favorite feature was the USB port and aux audio jack.
It even had a space for your cell phone to sit while it charged.  

There are so many great features, like rear view camera, power lift gate, fold-flat second row, cargo area Tonneau cover,and all of the about features..  But I am just a girl, my favorite part of the Rav4 was this empty space on the passenger side for a make up bag, sun glasses, etc...
Do you have any tips?  What is one thing you do at a test drive?  What are must have features for your next vehicle?