Friday, November 30, 2012

Lincoln: How Abraham Lincoln Ended Slavery in America

Almost 150 years after the death of Abraham Lincoln, the fascination with our 16th President is stronger than ever. This November, Steven Spielberg brings us an outstanding feature film simply called Lincoln, a revealing drama that focuses on Lincoln’s final months in office as he pursues a course of action to end the Civil War, re-unite the country and abolish slavery. 

To accompany the movie, the film’s producers invited Harold Holzer, noted historian and the author of dozens of books on Lincoln and the Civil War-- who also served as a consultant on the movie--to write a new book especially for young readers that could become one of the official tie-ins to the movie. The result is --Lincoln: How Abraham Lincoln Ended Slavery in America, A Companion Book for Young Readers to the Steven Spielberg Film Lincoln (November 20, 2012; Newmarket Press for It Books, an imprint of HarperCollins; 9780062265098; $16.99; 224 pages; hardcover), by Harold Holzer.

Prompted by the focus of the Spielberg film, Holzer applied his clear, compelling writing style and deep knowledge of his subject to tell the Lincoln story through a new portal -- how Lincoln came to his views on slavery, and how he maneuvered to end it.  By so doing, he makes an important passage in American history come alive for readers of all ages.  

After a preface recounting his experience as a consultant with Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner, Holzer starts his newest Lincoln book on January 31, 1865 —less than three months before the president is assassinated—when he is anxiously awaiting word whether or not Congress will finally vote to pass the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.  Though the Emancipation Proclamation two years earlier had authorized the army to liberate slaves in Confederate territory, only a Constitutional amendment passed by Congress and ratified by three-fourths of the states, would end it legally everywhere in the country.
Drawing from letters, speeches, memoirs, and documents by Lincoln and others, Holzer covers Lincoln’s boyhood, his moves from Kentucky to Indiana to Illinois, his work as a lawyer and congressman, his unsuccessful candidacies for the U.S. Senate and his victory in two Presidential elections, his arduous duties in the Civil War as Commander-in-Chief, his actions as President, and his relationships with family, political rivals, and associates.

Fast-paced and riveting, filled with detail and incident, Holzer’s book provides a fresh view of America in those turbulent times, as well as fascinating insights into the life and actions of one of our greatest Presidents and the constant challenges he faced as he weighed his personal beliefs against his presidential duties in relation to the slavery issue. The passage of the 13thAmendment would become the crowning achievement of Abraham Lincoln’s life, and the undisputed testament to his political genius. 

Harold Holzer’s Lincoln also includes 30 archival photographs, a brief chronology, historical character list, text of several Lincoln writings, bibliography, and end notes.

HAROLD HOLZER is one of the country’s leading authorities on Abraham Lincoln and the political culture of the Civil War era. A prolific writer and lecturer, and frequent guest on television, Holzer served as a Content Consultant to the Steven Spielberg film Lincoln.  He is chairman of The Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, successor organization to the U. S. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission (ALBC), to which he was appointed by President Clinton in 2000, and co-chaired from 2001-2010. President Bush, in turn, awarded Holzer the National Humanities Medal in 2008.

He has authored, co-authored, and edited forty-two previous books, including Emancipating Lincoln: The Emancipation Proclamation in Text, Context, and Memory and Lincoln at Cooper Union: the Speech That Made Abraham Lincoln President, which won a coveted second-place Lincoln Prize, the most prestigious award in the field.

He is the author of three award-winning books written especially for young readers: Father Abraham: Lincoln and His Sons, named a National Council of Teachers of English Orbis Pictus Honor Book; The President is Shot!, chosen as a Notable book by the Children’s Book Council and Voice of Youth Advocates; and Abraham Lincoln, The Writer which was named to the Children’s Literature Choice List and as a “Best Book of the Year” by the Bank Street College of Education.   He lives in New York.

The DreamWorks Pictures/Twentieth Century Fox film, “Lincoln”, is directed by Steven Spielberg, produced by Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy, with a screenplay by Tony Kushner, based in part on the book ‘Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln’ by Doris Kearns Goodwin.  

"Like" LINCOLN on Facebook:

Follow LINCOLN on Twitter @LincolnMovie

LINCOLN is now playing in theatres everywhere!  

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

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Chevrolet, Disney Inspire Design Innovation with Test Track

Check this out:

Chevrolet, Disney Inspire Design Innovation with Test Track
Two iconic brands collaborate to deliver interactive, personalized experience
DETROIT – Chevrolet designers and Walt Disney Imagineers have joined forces to give Walt Disney World Resort guests a deep look inside a professional design studio creating a first-of-its-kind multi-sensory virtual experience in automotive design.
Chevrolet and Disney tapped their best design talent with expertise ranging from industrial and automotive design to architecture and animation. The design collaboration began 18 months ago with a few guiding principles – create an experience that is personal, future-focused and optimistic.
The two teams met regularly throughout the development process in both GM’s Design studios in Warren, Mich., and at Test Track in Epcot in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The collaboration allowed for the greatest level of innovation yet ensured the values of both brands were accurately represented in the new attraction, while allowing both teams to learn from each other’s expertise. 
“At Chevrolet, the diversity of talent on our team allows us to consistently produce sophisticated, refined and detailed design – but we don’t typically design through the eyes of a 12-year-old,” said Jeff Mylenek, GM Design manager, Global Exhibit and Merchandising Design. “Working with Walt Disney Imagineering, we were inspired to see our brand story from a more youthful perspective and really opened the parameters on how to approach this design challenge.”
The result is a unique experience that gives an authentic, inside-the-studio look at the actual automotive design process, while empowering guests themselves to create their own designs, possibly inspiring the next generation of automotive designers.
“The re-imagined Test Track portrays an optimistic view of the future, and reflects the deep collaboration between Disney and Chevrolet on both the design and the overall experience,” said Eric Jacobson, senior vice president, Walt Disney Imagineering. “It’s a thrilling attraction supported by rich exhibit displays and interactive elements that bring guests directly into the design process – with a few surprises thrown in.”
The teams used multiple mediums throughout the re-imagined attraction for storytelling, including:
  • Visual cues inspired by Chevrolet’s expressive vehicle design language throughout the architectural elements in the space as well as in the interactive displays; speed forms and concept vehicle displays, like EN-V and Miray, provide a glimpse into the future of Chevrolet design.
  • Advanced computer technology – similar to that used by Chevrolet designers every day – powers the guest design experience, while radio frequency technology allows them to take their unique vehicle design with them through the entire ride.
  • A thrill-ride that provides the test experience where each guest’s vehicle design is evaluated.
  • Social media sharing extends the experience beyond the day at the park.
Test Track Presented by Chevrolet offers Disney guests a three-part experience:
  • First, guests will have the opportunity to design their own vehicle – car, truck or crossover – with some helpful hints from the Chevrolet designers built into the process.  “Designing a successful vehicle requires some careful thought about how to balance capability, efficiency, responsiveness and power – some of the key elements that Chevrolet designers must consider with every new vehicle they imagine,” said Mylenek.
  • Next, they will have the chance to test drive their vehicle design, through the ride, on track surfaces that simulate the actual vehicle validation process that Chevrolet engineers use to ensure every new vehicle meets the highest performance standards.  Each guest’s vehicle design will be evaluated and scored based on how well their design balanced the core attributes. 
  • Finally, guests have the opportunity to race their vehicle over changing terrain and extreme conditions on a digital driving table, produce and share a TV commercial starring their custom vehicle and pose for action shots in front of their design.
The re-imagined Test Track Presented by Chevrolet will open on Dec. 6, 2012. For more information, please visit:
About Chevrolet
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found
About GM Design
The first and largest global automotive OEM design function, General Motors has a network of ten Design Centers in seven countries around the world. The GM Design team is made up of designers from a variety of disciplines, not just vehicle design specialists. Designers from architecture, fashion, ceramics, graphic and interior design fill the studios globally, sharing expertise, new approaches and perspectives.
About Walt Disney World Resort
Walt Disney World Resort is a contiguous, nearly 40-square-mile, world-class entertainment and recreation destination featuring four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom); two water adventure parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon); 35 resort hotels (25 owned and operated by Walt Disney World, includes seven Disney Vacation Club resort properties); 81 holes of golf on five courses; two full-service spas; Disney’s Wedding Pavilion; ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex; and Downtown Disney, an entertainment-shopping-dining complex.  Walt Disney World Resort is also included in vacation packages of Disney Cruise Line. Located at Lake Buena Vista, Fla., 20 miles southwest of Orlando, Walt Disney World Resort opened Oct. 1, 1971. Open daily, year-round.
***Disclosure-Informational post only.  No compensation was received.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Shoney’s 65th anniversary commemorative Coca-Cola Bell Soda Glasses Giveaway***CLOSED***

Apple-picking, fall festivals and pumpkin patches are all things Americana! 

Do you have memories of eating at Shoney’s or enjoying old-fashioned root beer floats? 

Shoney’s was one of the first family casual dining concepts in the United States.  Its roots trace back to 1947, when Alex “Shoney” Schoenbaum opened the Parkette Drive-In next to his father’s bowling alley in Charleston, W.Va.  Today, Nashville-based Shoney’s is a favorite family casual dining destination, with approximately 200 restaurants in 17 states across the South and Southeast, reaching everyone from growing young families to retirees.  The “Shoney’s Homecoming” coupon for a 65-cent Barq’s root beer float is Shoney’s way of saying “thank you” to longtime patrons while welcoming a new generation to enjoy the Shoney’s experience.
The Coca-Cola bell soda glass has been part of the heritage of The Coca-Cola Company since 1929.  Like the famous contour bottle for Coca-Cola, the Bell Soda Glass was destined to become forever associated with Coca-Cola worldwide.  Still used at many soda fountains, these glasses are visible proof of the timeless popularity of the world’s most-valuable brand.

Participating Shoney’s restaurants will be distributing 65th anniversary “Shoney’s Homecoming” coupons to every dine-in breakfast guest. Customers can use the coupon with their next dine-in lunch or dinner purchase of $5.00 or more at Shoney’s to redeem the 65-cent root beer float – made with the uniquely bold taste of Barq’s Root Beer – and the distinctive Coca-Cola Bell Soda Glass while supplies of the limited-edition fountain glasses last. (note: The “Shoney’s Homecoming” coupon expires at the close of business on November 30, 2012.  If an individual Shoney’s restaurant runs out of the Coca-Cola Bell Soda Glasses before November 30, its participation in the promotion – including the 65-cent root beer float offer – will end at that time.

I have a giveaway~3 winners- four sets (of 4) Shoney’s 65th anniversary commemorative Coca-Cola bell soda glasses.  

How to enter:

1)  Tell me a Shoney's memory you have. ( 1 entry)
2)  Facebook Share. (1 entry/per share/per day)
3)  Tweet. (1 entry/per tweet/per day)

Enter to #win Shoney’s 65th anniversary commemorative Coca-Cola bell soda glasses @independentmami #giveaway ends 12/5

This giveaway ends 12/5/12 at 8 am.  3 winners will be randomly selected.  The winners will have 24 hours to claim their prize.  Please leave your email in the comment.  US only.  Good Luck!

***Disclosure-I remember growing up going to Shoney's.  It was a family favorite eatery for us.  And we love coke floats!!  I will be receiving a set of this glasses.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Recap TXU Energy Turkey Trot

So what were you doing Thanksgiving morning?  Sleeping in, up early and cooking, getting ready for football, or running a turkey trot?

We were running a turkey trot.  TXU Energy Turkey Trot was held right outside the fountains by the Galleria.  It was a great event.  We had a blast and many of our friends and family joined in.

This is not even half of our group that ran.  We had over 25 people in our group...  We had the kids in the 1K.  We had the pre-teens and teens run in the 5K.  And the adults all ran the 10K.

My official time:


I beat my old time by 7 minutes.  (Bayou Classic 10K 2011 1:14:33)  This is my 1st 10K after the pregnancy and having had the baby.  In 2010, the turkey trot was my very 1st race ever, and now I was back here again.  This year we had a couple of new comers, and we were all so proud of them for completing and crossing the finish line.  They even did better than they imagined.

In the end I burned over 700 calories, ran 6.2 miles, and will be able to have bragging rights that crossed that finish line.

So are you up to the challenge?

Friday, November 23, 2012

Houston ~ Zoolights

Do you know what happens at the Zoo at nite?  Have you heard of Zoo Lights? 

Zoo Lights Hours - 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. (last admission at 9:00 p.m.)

Menu Highlights - Funnel cakes, fresh baked cinnamon rolls, decorate your own gingerbread man, hot chocolate, pizzas, sandwiches and more!

Animals You’ll See - Tigers, lions, rhinos, giraffes, African wild dogs and ankole cattle. See these animals and more at Zoo Lights! You’ll also be able to stroll indoors and visit the animals in Natural Encounters, Reptiles and the Aquarium.

We got to preview Zoo Lights last nite and here is a little teaser for you to check out some of the fun.  There was so many lights everywhere.  Music that filled the air.  What a perfect way for us to start this holiday season.

For more information, go to

***Disclosure-Thanks to TXU Energy for our complimentary entry to the Zoo.  These are our honest experiences.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanks Abraham Lincoln


"Like" LINCOLN on Facebook:

Follow on Twitter @LincolnMovie
LINCOLN is now in theaters nationwide!

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

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Trunk

The Happy Trunk brings a carefully curated box filled with art supplies, crafts, and science activities for hands-on projects for kids ages 3 to 11, each month, delivered right to your door. Every month a new themed box of goodies will appear full stocked and ready to be ripped open by your young explorers. All materials and know how is included, to really engage the kids in fun and learning activities as well as spending quality family time together.
The Happy Trunk boxes are two tiered: the young kid boxes geared towards kids ages 3-7 years, and the big kid boxes for ages 7-11 years. The young kid and big kid boxes are structured differently, to suit these appropriate age groups. Every project in our boxes are designed by early childhood educators and parents, and tested by our very own team of kids.
The Happy Trunk boxes can be purchased as a month-to-month, 3, 6 or 12 month subscription. Our boxes also make great gifts for birthdays, achievements or holidays. Additional materials can be purchased for siblings. Our boxes are not just popular with parents but also grandparents, sitters and homeschoolers. My Readers Get 50% off a 3-month subscription to The Happy Trunk. A $58.95 Value, Promo Code: HT3F50 #kidscrafts

Pantene Moisture Renewal Line Review

I was at the Latism Conference and someone commented how good my hair looked.  I blushed a little and told her THANKS and that I thought it was a mess.  She has not been the only one complimenting my hair lately.  Whether I wear it straight or in curls my hair is looking good.  And for those that have been asking, here is what I have been using.  It is no secret-Pantene.
Daily Moisture Renewal SHAMPOO

Pantene’s Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo cleanses and leaves hair feeling moisturized all day. It leaves hair soft, manageable and strong against damage.
Designed for all hair types.

Use with Pantene’s Daily Moisture Renewal conditioner to help control the movement of moisture.

Daily Moisture Renewal CONDITIONER

Pantene’s Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal conditioner. It mimics hair’s natural lipid layer and helps control the movement of moisture- leaving hair soft and manageable.
Designed for all hair types. Also try other products in the Daily Moisture Renewal collection.

Silky Moisture Whip
Pantene’s Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Whip helps hair feel moisturized for up to 48hours, helps protect against heat damage and regulate hair’s moisture- delivering silky hair that shines.
Shake well and dispense into your hand. Beginning at the ends, distribute it to damp hair and comb through. No need to rinse out, just style as usual!

2-Minute Moisture Masque

For extra deep conditioning in just 2 minutes. Specially designed formula penetrates hair, helping it feel moisturized for up to 24 hours.

Also protects against styling and heat damage.

Moisture Mist Detangler
Contains a Moisture Protection Complex that helps leave hair feeling moisturized.

Strengthens dry, fragile hair against damage and preps for styling.

Detangles, smoothes and separates strands.

My thoughts-I love the 2 minute masque because it has helped restore my hair.  I have highlights and dye that have caused a little damage.  I really like the detangler especially since it has been really windy.  Walking in Downtown Houston can really tangle your hair but this detangler did its job.  The whip-OMG.  Didn't you know whip is in right now.  Whip your hair for a great look nite or day!  So in case you see and you are wondering, this is what I am using.

***Disclosure-Sample products received to review.  Pantene is the preferred product in my house.  Pantene has been Independentmami tested and Independentmami approved.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cuddleuppets Review

What are Cuddleuppets?

It is a blanket that is a puppet. 

-Available in 6 colorful animal styles

-Make your puppet dance, wiggle, talk, and more!

-Expands into a blanket (39'' x 28'')

-Warm and fuzzy for ultra comfort

My thoughts-My daughter loves her green crocodile.  She loves to cuddle with her soft blanket.  It is her perfect size.  The puppet is great for telling stories or pretend time.  She takes it everywhere.  And since it is soft, I know she cannot hurt herself while playing with it.  She has so much fun with it.  And as you can see in the last picture, she fell asleep with it.

***Disclosure-Sample product received to review.  Cuddleuppets has been Lil Bit tested and Independentmami approved.

Safe Skin Review and Giveaway***CLOSED

With the cool Fall weather in the air, many of our kids are getting back to their favorite school-year sports activities. All that outdoor activity definitely brings fun and photo opps, but it also means the occasional scrape or minor cut is unavoidable, no matter how careful they may be. Cuts and scrapes are bound to happen, but what we can avoid is potential skin infections as a result of these minor injuries. That's why we're thrilled to introduce you to SAFESKIN* Kids Antibacterial Gel!
SAFESKIN* Kids Antibacterial Gel from Kimberly-Clark Professional is a new first aid topical antibacterial gel that provides a barrier to MRSA, highly contagious staph bacteria that can infect skin, invade other parts of the body and is resistant to many antibiotics. Available now at select Walmart stores, SAFESKIN* Kids Antibacterial Gel offers a long-lasting protective barrier on uninfected minor cuts, scrapes, and burns - up to 48 hours - if the bandaged wound stays clean and dry. And the non-greasy formula helps bandages to stay in place better!

$1 off coupon for SAFESKIN Kids Antibacterial Gel available at select Walmart stores:

I have a giveaway-Win tube of SAFESKIN* Kids Antibacterial Gel

How to enter:

1)  Tell me about a situation where you could have used SAFESKIN. (1 entry)
2)  Facebook Share. (1 entry/per share/per day)
3)  Tweet. (1 entry/per tweet/per day)

Enter to #win SAFESKIN #kids Antibacterial Gel @independentmami #giveaway ends 12/3
This giveaway ends 12/3/12 at 8 am.  1 winner will be randomly chosen.  Please leave your email in the comment.  The winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize.  US only.  Good Luck.

COVERGIRL Taylor Swift/Pink

COVERGIRL Taylor Swift at the 2012 American Music Awards, by makeup artist, Lorrie Turk

· Taylor wanted her knock-out dress to be the inspiration for her AMA red carpet look. She wanted a high-impact look, and we needed one that could also be easily altered to go into her performance look.
· I lightly buffed COVERGIRL NatureLuxe Silk Foundation onto her face with a synthetic foundation brush, and powdered only through the center of her face to leave a nice dewy finish on her skin. I then lightly brushed on TruBlend Minerals Blush in True Romance for some soft color and shimmer.
· I started by dabbing on (using my fingertip) COVERGIRL Intense Shadow Blast in Brown Bling as a base. Next, I brushed on (with an eyeshadow brush) Eye Enhancers 1-kit shadow in Brown Smolder all over the lid, from the lash-line to just beneath her brow bone and her lower lash-line. Using Liquiline Blast Eyeliner in Black Fire, I then lined her upper and lower lash-line heavily, blending up and out to eliminate hard lines, leaving her eyes soft and smoky. We finished with several coats of (New!) LashBlast Clump Crusher mascara in Very Black.
· Lastly, I used NatureLuxe Gloss Balm in Grenache, applying it directly from the tube.

COVERGIRL P!NK at the 2012 American Music Awards, by makeup artist, Kathy Jeung

· P!NK’s beautiful bronze leather and chiffon dress was modern and strong, yet feminine, so we wanted to do a makeup that reflected that, a simple, paired down but glowing, glamorous beauty look. We've been doing a lot of smokey eyed looks lately, so thought we'd mix it up and do a look that felt a bit like old Hollywood glamour, but in a modern way, with focus on the eyes, especially the lash line and lashes.
· I applied foundation using a foundation brush and then further blended with a moistened sponge, then set with a light dusting of COVERGIRL Professional Loose Powder powder around the t-zone. For touch-ups, I used COVERGIRL Clean Oil Control Pressed Powder. I first applied a peach shade blush, CG Classic Color Blush in Natural Glow on the apples of the cheek and blended outward and up. Then I applied a shimmery bronzer, CG Cheekers Bronzer in Golden Tan along the upper outer cheekbone area and also on outer temples (upper sides of face near eyes).
· For eyebrows, I used a few soft strokes of CG Brow & EyeMakers Pencil in Soft Blonde to define, then brushed into place with CG Profession Natural Lash clear mascara. For the eyes, I first applied CG Eye Enhancers in Champagne all over the lid and on the brow bone. Next I applied a bronze shadow, CG Eye Enhancers in Mink into the crease and blended well. Along the outer corner of the eye, I used a metallic color that wonderfully matched her dress, CG Eye Enhancers in Tapestry Taupe. To get depth along the lash line, CG Liquiline Blast Eeyeliner in Black Fire, drawn with a bit of a cat eye shaped at the outer corners, then smudged. Over that to further define, I used CG LineBlast 24 Hour Eyeliner in Enduring Black, in a thin line along lash line. Along the outer lower lash line, I again used CG Eye Enhancers in Tapestry Taupe to accent to cat eye shape. To add a little more dimension and to further blend, I added CG Cheekers Bronzer in Copper Radiance in the area around the brow bone with a medium fluffy brush. Over curled lashes, I apply 2 coats of CG Clump Crusher by LashBlast Mascara in Very Black on the top lashes. Because of its amazing staying power with no smudges, I used CG LashBlast 24HR Mascara on the lower lashes - 2 coats to really bring out her already long lower lashes.
· (For P!NKs performance, I lined the inside upper and lower rims of eyes with CG Liquiline Blast Eeyeliner in Black Fire and added CG Eye Enhancers in Shimmering Onyx around the outer corners of her eyes, then colored cream shadow and pigment powders all over her face and body)
· I prepared the lips with a lip balm while I was doing skin preparation so it had a chance to absorb into lips. I started with CG LipPerfection Lip Liner in Smoky to define the lip edges, and then added CG Outlast All-Day Lipcolor in Faint Hue, let that set, then applied the corresponding clear lip gloss over to add more shine.

COVERGIRL Taylor Swift/Pink (Spanish)

COVERGIRL Taylor Swift en los premios American Music Awards 2012, por la maquillista de las estrellas, Lorrie Turk

· Taylor quería que su fabuloso vestido fuera la inspiración central para su look en la alfombra roja de los premios AMA. Ella quería un look de alto impacto, y necesitábamos que este look también pudiera ser fácilmente modificado a la hora de salir a presentar su espectáculo.
· Apliqué ligeramente la base COVERGIRL NatureLuxe Silk Foundation en su cara con una brocha de hebras sintéticas, colocándola sólo en el centro de la cara para lograr un acabado natural que hiciera resplandecer su piel. Luego le aplique un poco de TruBlend Minerals Blush in True Romance para añadir un poco de color y luminosidad.
· Utilizando mi dedo, coloqué un poco de sombra COVERGIRL Intense Shadow Blast en Brown Bling como base. Luego coloqué con una brocha para ojos la sombra Eye Enhancers 1-kit shadow en Brown Smolder en todo el párpado, desde la línea de las pestañas hasta justo abajo del hueso de las cejas y debajo de la línea de las pestañas inferiores. Con el delineador líquido color negro Liquiline Blast Eyeliner en Black Fire, delineé fuertemente la parte superior e inferior de las pestañas, difuminándolas hacia arriba y hacia afuera para eliminar las líneas marcadas, dejando sus ojos suaves y dándole un toque ahumados. Para terminar los ojos, coloqué varias capas de la nueva mascara LashBlast Clump Crusher mascara en Very Black.
· Por último, utilicé NatureLuxe Gloss Balm en Grenache, aplicado directamente del embase.
COVERGIRL P!NK en los premios American Music Awards 2012, por el artista de maquillaje, Kathy Jeung
· El hermoso vestido de cuero bronce y chiffon que lució P!NK era moderno y fuerte, pero al mismo tiempo femenino, por lo que queríamos crear un maquillaje que refleja eso, un look simple pero que a la vez fuera glamuroso para que iluminara su belleza. Últimamente, hemos estado haciendo un montón de looks con ojos ahumados, así que decidimos mezclar y hacer un look que se asemejara un poco al viejo glamur de Hollywood, pero de una manera moderna, enfocado en los ojos, sobre todo en la línea alrededor de las pestañas y en las pestañas.
· Coloqué la base con una brocha para aplicar base y posteriormente la difuminé con una esponja humedecida, fijándola con una fina capa de polvo COVERGIRL Professional Loose Powder alrededor de la zona T. Para retoques, utilicé COVERGIRL Clean Oil Control Pressed Powder. Seguido a esto, comencé por aplicarle un rubor en tono melocotón , CG Classic Color Blush en Natural Glow en las mejillas difuminándolo hacia afuera y hacia arriba para luego aplicarle un bronceador con brillo, CG Cheekers Bronzer en Golden Tan a lo largo de la zona superior exterior de los pómulos y también en el lado superior del rostro cerca de los ojos.

· Para las cejas, delineé unos pocos trazos suaves de CG Brow & EyeMakers Pencil en Soft Blonde para definirlas, luego las cepillé para colocarlas en su lugar con la máscara transparente Profession Natural Lash clear mascara. Para los ojos, primero apliqué CG Eye Enhancers en Champagne cubriendo todo el párpado hasta debajo del hueso de la ceja. Luego coloqué una sombra bronce, CG Eye Enhancers en Mink en la cresta del ojo difuminándola bien. Seguido a esto, a lo largo de la esquina externa del ojo, utilicé el color metálico CG Eye Enhancers en Tapestry Taupe que hacía juego de manera perfecta con su vestido. Para obtener profundidad a lo largo de la línea de las pestañas, apliqué CG Liquiline Blast Eeyeliner en Black Fire, dándole un poco de forma de ojo de gato en las esquinas exteriores, combinándolo luego. Para definir aun más, utilicé sobre esto, CG LineBlast 24 Hour Eyeliner en Enduring Black, trazando una fina línea a lo largo de línea de las pestañas. Luego en la parte exterior de la línea de las pestañas inferiores, volví a utilizar CG Eye Enhancers en Tapestry Taupe para acentuar la forma del ojo de gato. Para agregar un poco más de dimensión y difuminar, añadí CG Cheekers Bronzer en Copper Radiance en el área alrededor del hueso de las cejas con una brocha más abullonada de tamaño mediano. Sobre las pestañas rizadas, apliqué 2 capas de CG Clump Crusher LashBlast Mascara en Very Black en la parte superior de las pestañas. Debido a su increíble duración sin dejar grumos, utilicé CG LashBlast 24HR Mascara en las pestañas inferiores - 2 capas para realmente resaltar sus ya largas pestañas inferiores.
· (Para la actuación de P!NK, delineé el interior de los ojos en la parte superior e inferior con CG Liquiline Blast Eeyeliner in Black Fire añadiendo CG Eye Enhancers in Shimmering Onyx alrededor de las esquinas exteriores de sus ojos, para luego colocar una sombra de color crema y polvos pigmentados por toda su cara y cuerpo)

· Preparé los labios con un bálsamo para labios mientras estaba preparando la piel para darle tiempo a que los labios fueran adsorbiendo el bálsamo. Comencé con CG LipPerfection Lip Liner in Smoky para definir los bordes del labio, y luego los rellené con CG Outlast All-Day Lipcolor in Faint Hue, esperé a que se fijara un poco y luego apliqué el labial claro correspondiente para añadir más brillo.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Goody Simple Styles Spin Pin

The Goody brand is the most widely-recognized manufacturer of hair accessories and styling tools in the world. Through proprietary brands such as DoubleWear™, QuikStyle™, Simple Styles™, Slide-Proof™ and Ouchless®, Goody has introduced smart innovations like the exclusive Spin Pin and Quik Style Brush. With products inspired by the latest designer trends and innovative solutions, Goody offers an inspiring range of hair accessories and styling tools.

SPOTTED: $7.29 at Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreen’s, Kroger, Duane Reade
My thoughts-I like Goody products.  They make life easier for me and my thick, coarse hair.  I like the spin pin.  I like to wear my hair in a bun because it is easy and simple.  It keeps my hair out of my hair and i wont get hot.  Follow the directions and it could help you too.

***Disclosure-I received this product as part of my Influenster Beauty BoxVox.

My Kitchen Makeover

I am going to share my kitchen makeover with you to show some of you doubters like my husband that it can be done.

6 years ago, I moved in to my brand new house.  It was perfect.  New paint, new doors, new everything.  But over the years, it started getting worn out.  We had parties, and gatherings.  Our walls took a toll.  I told myself I wanted to paint the house.  I even picked the colors but never had the guts to actually do it.  I told myself at year 5, I would actually do it.  Then what happened I was pregnant.  My husband takes a little encouraging, so he was only able to do the nursery and my son's room last year.  So with this year coming to an end I decided we were not waiting one more day.  See a couple of months ago, I visited Karen from Design with Your Dime In Mind.  She opened her doors and showed us how beautiful her home was.  She had done some great ideas.  One of the ideas she had done, I had only thought of doing but was always scared to do.

Chalkboard paint.  I have always liked chalkboard paint and the many uses.  The above picture is her kitchen-yes-chalkboard paint wall.  You know you think of ideas in your head but when you see them come to life, it is awesome, and for me this meant it was do-able.

Here were some of my inpirations, items I already had in my kitchen that made me decide on what to do and what colors to pick:
1st item is a chalkboard/pushpin board that has hooks for keys.
2nd item is the curtains I purchased when I first moved in.  I like the color combination.
3rd item that is not pictured is my EAT sign that was a burgundish color.
So the wall colors picked were red and chalkboard black.  Once we painted, I rearranged items, used items in the kitchen, and/or repurposed.  I do not have a before picture because I wasn't planning on sharing but after the makeover came out so well, I had to share.

I decluttered the area above my kitchen cabinets.  I had so much junk above there.  We also painted my EAT sign black so you could see it on the red walls.  I am very happy with this space now.  I really love the color combination I did.  I think the chalkboard paint on the opposite wall from this picture really goes well.  I do not have a picture of that wall as it is getting prepped for my daughter's 1st birthday.  I will share the pictures then!

What do you think?  Is your kitchen a bold color?  Is there anything you would do different?  Any suggestions?

Countings my Blessings this Thanksgiving

What does Thanksgiving mean to you and your family?  Is it a time of reflecting on all the things we are THANKFUL for?  Is it a time to give to others?  What does it mean?

I love Thanksgiving time and am THANKFUL for so many reasons:

10 years ago, I was able to return to El Salvador, where I was born, for the first time in 20 years.  I came here when I was 4 years old and had never been back.  It was October.  I met my dad, which of course I did not remember, and all of the other relatives.  I finally belong to something, to someone, and had family.  I had aunts, uncles, grandmas, brothers, and lots of sisters.  Here in the states, it was my mom, my 3 brothers, and my son.  No other family.  When people go home for the holidays, we went no-where.  When they had people visit, we had no-one.  But now I was a family member to more than the 5 people I lived with.  It was great, so great I had to return for Thansgiving break.  My son and I packed our bags and got ready to go home for the holidays for the first time!!  We arrive and everyone was so happy to see us again.  So Thanksgiving Thursday was coming around and I had not heard any plans.  I asked them what were we doing and then I was told Thanksgiving is a holiday celebrated in the states, duh!  I remember the pilgrims and the Indians story from school, and duh!  But I finally had family to celebrate with and I was so thankful this year for finally getting to meet them all.  So I decided to bring Thanksgiving to them.  I know there arre no Pilgrims and Indians to the story of El Salvador but more of the tradition of celebrating with family.  I planned a feast.  We had all our immediate family come to dinner.  It was so wonderful.  I will never forget that Thanksgiving.

6 years ago, My boyfriend and I decided to host his entire family and my whole (5) family members for Thanksgiving.  We had been dating for over a year now, and I loved the idea.  A full house of visitors.  I got to cook for the first time for more than the 5 people that we normally cook for.  My mom made the traditional Salvadorian dish -Pan con Chumpe.  It is a bolillo bread with mayo.  Then you get the pulled turkey that has been cooked in some juices-my mom makes it.  Then you top it with cured cabbage, radish, cucumbers, and a hint of lime.  It is so yummy.  And we also made the traditional menu.  Everything was perfect.  We had plenty of food.  We all sat down to feast.  As we finished our dinner, my boyfriend got everyone's attention.  He got on bended knee and ask me to marry him in front of everyone.  I, of course, said yes.  My family of 5 now grew.  Everyone in this house was soon to be my family.  I will never forget this Thanksgiving either.

This year, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving at our house again.  It is our turn.  Everyone will return to our house to feast.  We will all come together to give Thanks.  And I have alot to be thankful for.  I, not only was returned from the dead but am alive and kicking.  I have a beautiful baby girl-Lil Bit who is healthy as can be.  My brothers each have new baby boys-Icey, CJ, and Jules.  I also have a new nephew-Adrian from my husband side.  We are blessed with a roof over our heads, transportation to take us to and from, work to support us, food on our table to feed our families, and most of all-THANKFUL-for family. 

I use to be wishful for a bigger family and now am so THANKFUL that the family just keeps getting bigger. 

Wishing you a very Happy THANKSgiving from our family to yours! 

***Disclosure-This is a sponsored post as a Britax Latina Advisory Board Member and Blogger. As always, all opinions, ideas, and stories stated here are clearly my own.

Friday, November 16, 2012

TXU Energy Turkey Trot-Turkey Calling Contest

The past weekend’s turkey calling contest was a smash. There were media reps from KHOU, KTRK, KPRC, KRIV, KUBE, CBS Radio/Houston Chronicle and the Houston Press. Anna-Megan Raley of CBS Radio and the Houston Chronicle won the media contest. She gets to decide where TXU Energy and the Texas Trees Foundation plant a tree in the Houston area.

Today is the last day for early registration and discounted prices. Regular prices start on Saturday and online registration wraps up at 7 p.m. Nov. 19. After that, there is day-of registration at the race.

Hurry and register.  See you at the race.

***Disclosure-Sponsored post.

Fitness Friday-Jenny Craig Update Week 1

So I went for my 1st consultation last Thursday, and started the Jenny Craig program. 
Jumping on the scale has not been a problem for me, only when I do not like the results.  I have never tried any weight loss program before so I was very curious to see if it would really work.  Would I be looking HOT like Mariah Carey?  Ok, wishful thinking! 

So last month I told you about my Juicing diet I did, which I ended up going all the way down to 157.  But once I put food back into my diet, guess what?  I gained it back, not all.  It was gradual but it came back.  I know, I am to blame.  I made poor choices, but after all you have had is juice.  I wanted food, all food.

Jenny Craig is different.  I get to eat real food.  I get a menu that is planned out for me.  I do not fill deprived of food because I am eating food.  Sometimes I even feel like I am eating too much food.

 This is some of my meals I have been eating as part of my meal plan:

The food taste really good.  No lie.  I have also had fries, meatloaf, popcorn, pretzels, cheesecake, cake, oh-em-gee much, much more.  My husband envys my food.  He sometimes checks the trash to see if it was a real Jenny Craig package.  He has tasted it, and he likes it too. 

Here is what I have learned so far:

-Previously I was not eating enough.
-Nor was I eating the right food.
-I wasn't getting all the nutrients I needed for my body.

I like that the Jenny Craig packages offer tips right on the box.  While I am waiting for my meal to get warmed up, I read and learned.  I like the suggestions they have on the box of what veggies to pair with my food.  So far, I have not felt hungry even meals.  I have felt full all day long. 

Let's Keep it Real:

I cheated the first day on the plan.  We had lunch with the in-laws and a birthday dinner with a set menu.  But you know what, I have not cheated ever since.  I learned.  I felt so bad.  I have also tried to keep myself away from situations where I cannot say no to food.  I need to gain more will power, and learn to say NO.  This is a lifestyle change, but for now I am glad that I can call Jenny Craig when needed.  Jenny Craig is available at my center or at their 1-800 number.  How awesome is that?  Is I do have to go out to eat because I won't be on Jenny for life, they are there to assist me make better decisions?  I have not had to use them.  I am holding my phone a friend card.  Weekends are harded for me, than weekdays.  So the real test is yet to come-THANKSGIVING. 


I actually do not get to weigh in until my consultation tomorrow so I have no weigh for you at this time.  My clothes feels great though.  I even wore leggings the other day!!

Stay tuned to the next Fitness Friday for my next update.

***Disclosure-I received a 30 day membership to Jenny Craig.  My experience and opinions are all my own. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Nutcracker Giveaway

The holiday ballet classic Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker is being brought to movie theaters nationwide by NCM Fathom Events and More2Screen to celebrate the holiday season. This special big screen event will be for one day on Monday, December 3 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p,m. (local time). And for the first time ever in select theater locations don’t miss your chance to see this timeless class in Real D 3D. Please see details below:
Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker performed by the Mariinsky Ballet Theatre
Playing locally in 3D at: Cinemark 19 in Katy, Cinemark 18 in Webster, Cinemark in Spring, Cinemark 13 in Cypress, Memorial City Mall, and Houston Marq*E
Monday, December 3 at 2:00pm and 7:30pm

The Russian Imperial Mariinsky Theatre was the original home to Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker in 1892, when it made its worldwide debut. Movie theater audiences will experience the marvelous talents of two of the Mariinsky Theatre’s rising stars – Alina Somova as Clara (Masha in the original Russian ballet) and Vladimir Shklyarov as the Nutcracker. Conducted by Valery Gergiev, this timeless production of The Nutcracker opens with a Christmas Eve party and a young girl, Clara, being given a nutcracker doll by her godfather, Drosselmeyer. Later in the evening when Clara sleeps, she finds herself in the midst of the Nutcracker’s battle against the Mouse King and his army of mice. Coming to Clara’s aid, the Nutcracker is transformed into a Prince and journeys with her to an enchanted island where spectacular celebrations are held in their honor.

Don’t miss your chance to share this holiday tradition with your family in movie theaters for one day only on December 3!

Do you want to go?  I have a chance for you to win a pair of tickets to the matinee showing at Cinemark 18 Webster (These seats are 100% guaranteed until 10 minutes before show time.)

How to enter:

1)  Leave a comment that you want these tickets. (1 entry)
2)  Facebook share. (1 entry/per share/per day)
3)  Tweet. (1 entry/per tweet/per day)

Enter to #win THE NUTCRACKER tickets #houston #ballet @independentmami ends 11/28

This giveaway ends November 28 at 8 am.  5 winners will be randomly selected.  Please leave your email in the comment so I can contact you.  Houston and surrounding area only.  Tkts are for MONDAY, DECEMBER 3 AT 2:00 PM AT A HOUSTON AREA THEATRE.  Good luck.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

World Premature Day ~ Nov 17

The second annual World Prematurity Day is  November 17, 2012.  March of Dimes wants to draw attention to this Day, and to make an impact for babies all around the world.  Worldwide, 15 million babies are born prematurely every year. Premature birth is the number one cause of death during the first months of life. Babies who make it often face a lifetime of medical setbacks. Critical research is the key to identifying the causes of premature birth so that we can better prevent it.
Raising awareness of premature birth is the first step we can take to defeating it!
You can learn more in the Born Too Soon 2012 report, co-authored by the March of Dimes; Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health; Save the Children and the World Health Organization.
The Take Action Challenge:

Share your own stories, photos and videos of premature birth’s impact on you; like World Prematurity Day on Facebook and grab a Facebook cover photo. Find more ways to take action here.
Share This:

Help more babies make it to their first birthday: #worldprematurityday

Watch This:

View and share the March of Dimes global prematurity video.
You can also learn more at

***Disclosure-My daughter was born at 35 weeks and this story/cause is dear to my heart.  No compensation was received.  Informational post only.

Neutrogena Beauty Tips ~ Giveaway

Do you take care of your skin during the holidays?  Are you always in the rush to have your winter clothes, and plan the holiday parties? 

Here are a few tips for an easy holiday skincare routine:

1)  After a long day of work and before going to bed, make sure to always remove your make-up.  This allows the skin to breathe and regenerate as you sleep.  NEUTROGENA® Makeup Remover Towelettes are perfect to dissolve all traces of dirt and remove stubborn, even waterproof make-up with just one swipe, leaving a clean and refreshing feel.

2)  Hydration should always be part of your beauty regimen.  Once you have removed all your make-up, apply NEUTROGENA® Naturals Multi-Vitamin Nourishing Night Cream, a soothing moisturizer formulated with multi-vitamins that replenish moisture and essential skin nutrients.

3)  In the morning, take an uplifting shower with a refreshing product that will prepare your skin for the rest of the day.  NEUTROGENA® Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub is ideal for a soothing cleanse as it is formulated with gentle microbeads to smooth away skin roughness with 100% naturally derived grapefruit extract and vitamin C.

4)  Always remember to apply sunscreen before putting your make-up on in order to protect your skin from the sun's damaging ultraviolet rays.  For a complete, protective solution, try NEUTROGENA® Visibly Even™ Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 with Helioplex®.  This innovative formula provides protection from UVA/UVB rays and is clinically proven to visibly even out skin tone and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles-all within 2 weeks of consistent use!

5)  For a rested, and natural look, diminish the appearance of puffiness and dark circles with an easy-to-use formula that quickly covers imperfections.  Apply NEUTROGENA® Healthy Skin® Brightening Eye Perfector Broad Spectrum SPF 25 for a flawless, on-the-go solution with a patented blend of antioxidants clinically shown to de-puff and treat the appearance of dark under eye circles.

6)  Finish off by applying some lip gloss as you head out the door.  A hint of color always adds a touch of elegance and brightens up your face.  Conditioning lip gloss, such as NEUTROGENA® MoistureShine® Gloss, also softens and protects to improve the healthy look and smoothness of lips over time.

Holiday skincare routine Giveaway:
NEUTROGENA® Oil-Free Makeup Remover Towelettes ($6.49)
NEUTROGENA® Naturals Multi-Vitamin Nourishing Night Cream ($12.99)
NEUTROGENA® Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub ($6.99)
NEUTROGENA® Visibly Even™ Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 with Helioplex® ($13.49)
NEUTROGENA® Healthy Skin® Brightening Eye Perfector Broad Spectrum SPF 25 ($11.99)
NEUTROGENA® MoistureShine® Gloss ($8.99)

How to enter:

1)  Follow my blog.  (1 entry)
2)  Follow me on facebook. (1 entry)
3)  Follow me on Network blogs.  (1 entry)
4)  Follow me on twitter. (1 entry)
5)  Follow me on pinterest. (1 entry)
6)  G+. (1 entry)
7)  Share this giveaway on facebook. (1 entry/per share/per day)
8)  Tweet.

Enter to #win Neutrogena holiday skincare #giveaway @independentmami ends 12/13
This giveaway ends 12/13/12 at 8 am.  1 winner will be randomly selected.  The winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize.  US only.  All entrants must leave their email in the comment or else it will not count as an entry.  Good luck.

***Disclosure-Sample products received.  These are my honest opinions.

The I <} Trader Joe's Vegetarian Cookbook

Are you a vegetarian?  Do you want to find recipes? 

The I Love Trder Joe's Vegetarian Cookbook is the guide that can help you.  Plan out our meals and cook them just the way you like them, veggie style.

Pineapple Upside-Down pancakes...Herbed Garlic Polenta Fries...Tuscan Tomato Soup...Tempeh Tacos...Pumkin Spice Cobbler...150 delicious vegetarian (and vegan) options from breakfast to dinner and everything in between.  And it is budget-friendly too!

My thoughts-I am not a vegetarian but love trying different styles of cooking.  I love to find new healthy ways for my family and I to eat.  I like the recipes in this book because they are so good.  One of my favorites is the Bananas for Gluten Free Brownies.  As you know, I have to watch all I intake because of my allergies.  Gluten Free!!! 

***Disclosure-Book sample was received to review.  These are my honest opinions.