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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Eggs-straordinary Easter Basket Gift Ideas

Are you looking for ideas on what to fill your kiddos basket with? I try to fill the baskets with different things every year from small things to big things. It brings me joy to see how their eyes light up with joy.

Here are some items that made it into this year's basket:

Candy most likely ends up in all of our baskets.  We just recently had an emergency visit to the Dentist for a baby root canal.  So this year, there will be less candy and more essentials. 

ELECTRONIC TOOTHBRUSH:  The Poseidon Children’s Sonic LED Toothbrush features a brush head that lights up with a rainbow of bright LED colors that will make brushing fun.  Kids are actually excited to brush their teeth!  The Sonic Toothbrush also features an automatic turn off after 2-minutes, ensuring children are meeting the dentist recommended brushing time.  Available in pink or blue, batteries included, and free shipping in the US.

For more information, go to:  toilettreeproducts.com

FLOSSER:  Plackers® Kids Flossers turn the difficult task of getting your kids to floss regularly into a fun and simple part of their everyday routine.  Each Kids Flosser is designed with a dual grip handle and angled head, making it easy for kids of all ages to use. With the fruit smoothie swirl flavor and bright colors, your kids will actually look forward to cleaning their teeth.

For more information, go to:  plackers.com



PERSONALIZED BOOKS FOR KIDS:  Grab your favorite character and jump into a personalized book for kids. The stories are filled with princesses, pirates, and messages of love that will keep kids company on a lifelong journey of loving to read. Your kiddo will never forget how fun it is to learn and play with a cool personalized children’s book.

For more information go to: putmeinthestory.com


Happy Egg-hunting and basket filling!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Educational AGventure HLSR

Every year, we look forward to the rodeo coming to Houston.  Why?  Because it is more than just a rodeo. 
My family received complimentary ground passes and carnival books, thanks to USFG and HLSR.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

One of our favorite places to visit is the AGventure kids zone.  We got to see baby chicks hatch in the poultry exhibit.  We learned about all the new animals that were born in the birthing center.
My daughter loves to get her hands dirty in the horticulture exhibit while digging for worms and learning about the importance of soil composition, vegetation and water conservation in urban and rural agriculture.  She loves planting the sunflower seeds in a cup to take home and chatting with the volunteers.  She talked to the volunteer about the tomatoes she has planted in her garden at home. 
This is the perfect place where kids can get up close to animals.  There were 12 interactive and educational exhibits.  The bunny rabbits were one of my daughter's favorite.  She got to see lots of bunnies and pet them as well.
There was a fully-functioning milking parlor where we were able to see where milk comes from and learn how it is transported to our local grocery store.  We also attended a live demonstration from some local farmers.

It is always a great learning experience for our kids.  I like how interactive this kid's zone is.   

We then headed out to the carnival for some thrills on the rides.
There was also a big outdoor stage where performers took the stage.  We sat and learned about animals.
But my most favorite thing about the rodeo is how much they do for education.  HLSR provides scholarships every year to deserving students.  It has been awarding scholarships since the first one in 1957.  Nearly 17,000 scholarships.  Now that shows how committed they are to the youth and their education.  

For more information, go to rodeohouston.com.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Springing into a Healthier Me #LALAChallenge

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with LALA® Yogurt Smoothies and #WeAllGrow Latina Network.

Are you as happy as I am that Spring is finally here?  The air is different.  The flowers start to bloom.  But that is not the only thing blooming around here.
This year I decided on making myself my New Year's Resolution.  Over the years, I have put others before me.  Not this year.  I'm being a little selfish.  I am taking the attitude - me before you.  Thanks to some of my changes, I'm springing back like an old, used coil. 

Here are tips on how SPRING can help you get healthy too:

Self-You matter.  It all starts with the person you look at in the mirror everyday.  Take a moment and stand in front of the mirror.  Seriously.  It does not matter how people see you, it matters what you see.  What do you see?  Is this a happy person?  Don't look for flaws/scars but look at the glass full.  I see an able body that has so much potential.  It is like an art piece waiting to be sculpted.  You are the artist behind this vision.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 

Prioritize-What is your goal?  Do you want to get healthier?  Do you want to lose weight?  Break it down.  Interview yourself.  Define your needs versus wants.  Pick a reachable goal, timeframe, and give yourself milestones.  I want to be healthier, so that is my ultimate long term goal.  It is a lifestyle.  One of my biggest issues was doing good during the week and messing it up over the weekend.  My first small goal was to be the same weight or less on Mondays.  Then it was to continue to maintain the weight loss throughout the month.  Baby steps are helping me get to the ultimate goal.

Rotate-Don't let the routine stop you.  Rotate, revolve, change your schedule.  One of my trainers told me it takes 21 days for us to build a habit.  But some people get bored real easily or things happen in your life.  If you don't like the gym, find a park.  If you can't make it to the park, have a dance party at home.  Start with doing 30 minutes of exercise whenever you can fit it in.  I started out being able to go to the gym at 5 am, then I had to go during my lunch hour to the park, sometimes I can make it after work. 

Ignite-Light a fire and get closer to your goal.  Find a piece in your closet that you have not worn in a while and would like to get back into.  Buy yourself an article of clothing one size smaller.  I have all different sizes of clothes that no longer fit in my back closet.  As I am losing weight, my smaller sizes are coming back into my closet.  The clothes I am no longer fitting is going out the door.

New-Try something you have never done.  Crossfit, yoga, cycling, dancing, but try something.  You never know if you are going to like something unless you try it.  I tried running years ago and found that I loved it.  I never thought I could to Crossfit but after I tried it, I found that I could.  Cycling is hard but guess what, once you get the hand off it you will want to do it too.  Indoors and outdoors.  Currently, I am trying to get one hour of physical activity into my day.  It doesn't matter what it is as long as I get it done. 

Go-We live our lives always on the go.  That should not be the reason why we cannot keep ourselves healthy.  I plan ahead for my non-stop lifestyle.  This is why our HEB grocery list always includes LALA® drinkable yogurt smoothies.  

They are great tasting, nutritious, and healthy.   The perfect on-the-go snack for my on-the-go life.  Made with real fruit and has 5g of Protein.  We keep our refrigerator stocked up.

  • I can grab a LALA® Yogurt Smoothie as I run out of the door.  This way I am not missing meals, my body is getting fueled, and I am staying on course with my goals.

  • Did you know LALA® Yogurt Smoothies is proud to be a sponsor of the H-E-B Slim Down Challenge?   Earlier this year, H-E-B invited Texans to apply online at heb.com.  Though only 28 were selected for the competition, you can follow their journey along from home.  Not only will you be following their journey but you can access workouts and recipes, and read contestants’ blogs for inspiration.  The Slim Down Showdown is part of H-E-B Health & Wellness, a comprehensive, long-term commitment to improve the health of Texans.  H-E-B aims to inspire Texans to adopt and stick to a healthy lifestyle through special offers on healthy food, nutrition labeling, events, competitions and educational opportunities.  Winners will be announced April 1 at the H-E-B Alamo Health and Fitness Expo in San Antonio. 

    Are you ready to SPRING into a healthier you?

    This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of LALA Yogurt Smoothies and WeAllGrow Latina Network. The opinions and text are all mine.

    Friday, March 17, 2017

    Disney-Beauty and The Beast

    It is a tale as old as time.  You know the story.  It is one of favorite stories of all time. 
    I was invited to an advance screening.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

    The story has been brought to life before my eyes.  The film stars that brought it to life are Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s father; Josh Gad as LeFou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Ewan McGregor as Lumière, the candelabra; Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Audra McDonald as Madame de Garderobe, thewardrobe; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; Hattie Morahan as the enchantress; and Nathan Mack as Chip, the teacup; with Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.  This cast did an amazing job truly portraying this story.

    The story that starts with a daughter's request: "All I'd like is a rose you've picked specially for me!"  A beautiful rose for a beauty.  “Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a Beast in his castle.  Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart of the true Prince within. 

    It is the story that teaches us to look within.  To go past the outside exterior of a person and really get to know them.  There is beauty in everyone.  We have to want to give people a chance.  You do not know the other person until you give them a chance.

    It teaches us that no matter how lost you are and when you see no light, you never know what may come to your life to be the light.  To bring you out of the darkness.  It is a beautiful story.

    My favorite song that always touches me...


    The story on screen opens in theaters today.   

    Tuesday, March 14, 2017

    Giveaway-Taco Cabana Houston Fiestas

    Hey Houston...Do you know what a Fiesta is?  A party.  Have you ever heard of the San Antonio Fiesta?  Annual celebration every April to honor the memory of the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto.
    This is a sponsored post brought to you by Taco Cabana.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.


    Taco Cabana will be offering month-long weekend fiestas over the next few months at various restaurants throughout Houston.

    The fiestas, which will be held in The Woodlands, Kingwood and northwest Houston, will feature family fun entertainment including:

    · DJ, Photo Booth, Prize Wheel and chance to win “Free TC for a Year”

    · Balloon Artist, Caricature Artist, Face Painter and/or Temporary Tattoos

    The Woodlands
    Address: 3079 College Park Drive, The Woodlands, TX 77384
    Dates: Saturday, March 11 – Saturday, April 1
    Time: 4 – 7 p.m.

    Kingwood
    Address: 25657 US Highway 59, Kingwood, TX 77339
    Dates: Saturday, April 8 – Saturday, April 29
    Time: 4 – 7 p.m.

    Northwest Houston
    Address: 167 Yale St., Houston, TX  77007
    Dates: Saturday, May 6 – Saturday, May 27
    Time: 4 – 7 p.m.

    Thanks to Taco Cabana for allowing Independentmami's readers to get the fiesta started, enter below.
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    US only.  The winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize.  The prize will be fulfilled by the sponsor.  Good Luck!