Monday, September 30, 2013

Charter School vs Magnet School - That is the question #SafeConBritaxBTS

Back to School, in my world, means everything goes back to the norm in my life.  In the mornings, I drop off my daughter at the daycare and then drop off my son at school.  But right before school started this year, someone threw a monkey wrench at our plans.  See my son was attending a charter school that went from 6th to 12th grade, and we were planning to keep him there the entire time.  We never planned or looked at another school.  We were so satisfied with his school, the teachers, and the progress happening.  His school guarantees that every graduating student will get into college.  College is one of my biggest goals for my son to achieve.  There are so many things for us as parents to worry about but we have to keep a focus on the future.  A few days before my son started his freshman year in high school, a few spots opened up in a new magnet school.  It is the first of it's kind and there is so much opportunity for my son.  Not only for college but for his future career.  I had been so busy focusing getting him to college, I had not seen passed that.  With only a few, like 3, spots open, my husband and I had to make a quick decision.

-Do we move our son from the charter school he is attending to the new magnet school?

So much went around our heads.  My husband and I quickly discussed it over the phone.  Thanks to my awesome friend for letting me know of this opportunity and helping me with the correct contacts, I called the school administrator the same day and ask what all we needed to do.  I was given the long list of things I needed to bring to the district.  He would have to apply to get in to this school like everyone else did.  His report cards, test scores, and attendance would now have to be reviewed in order for him to even get in.  I went home that day still not knowing what we were going to do.  I asked my son, if given the opportunity would he want to attend this school.  He said he would.  So there was no turning back.  I was going to do everything in my powers to get him in.  Paperwork turned in, check.  Next step, one on one interview with principal and administration.  Interview, check.  It was like a 24 hour mad rush but my son got in.

I am a mom that worries about everything.  I want the best for my kids.  What mom doesn't?  My schedule has returned to the norm but with a slightly longer route.  I am so glad that I am still able to drive my son to school everyday.  It turns out his new school is down the street from my job. A plus, plus for me!

Mommy does the drop off....
And Daddy does the pick up!

Things are back to normal or at least what we call normal.  Does your schedule change when back to school starts?  Is it easier or worst when school starts?

This is a sponsored post -As a Britax Latina Blogger/Advisory Board Member (and in partnership with Mami Innovative Media), this post is part of a sponsored outreach. All opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Thor: The Dark World - TV Spot "Return of An Avenger"

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


Like THOR on Facebook:
Follow THOR on Twitter:
Visit the website:
THOR: THE DARK WORLD releases in theaters on November 8, 2013

Saturday, September 28, 2013

What Does a Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch Have in Common?

Fall time is here.  The leaves are falling.  The air is changing.  And it is time to have some fun at Fall Festivals.  I love Fall Festivities.  I remember last year we were having a hard time looking for some place to go.  We were stumped.  We wanted to take the kids to see the pumpkins and take their pictures.  But it does not have to be that hard when you have a list of places available to you.

Below is a great list of Corn Maze Coupons and Fall Festival savings nationwide. It is as easy as finding your state and city to see what is near you.  And not only am providing you a list, make sure to download your coupons for Corn Mazes, Pumpkin Patches and Fall Family Activities.
Schnepf Farms - Queen City
Tolmachoff Farms- Glendale, AZ

Forneris Farms - Mission Hills

Anderson Farms - Erie

Flat Acres Farm - Parker
Fritzler Maze - La Salle
Sunflower Farm - Longmont
Mile High Farms - Bennett
Wishing Star Farm - Calhan
Harvest Farm - Wellington

Devine Acres Farm - Devine
Fiesta Farm - San Antonio
Yesterland Farm - Canton
South Texas Maize - Hondo
Dewberry Farm - Brookshire
Brazos Valley Maize- Brenham

CM Farms - Dry Creek

Lane Southern Orchards - Fort Valley
Poppell Farms - Odum

Harvestmoon Farm- Masaryktown FL

Farmer Charley's Corn Maze Adventure - Monroe

Amazing Fall Fun - Waterloo
Harvest Tyme Pumpkin Patch - Lowell
Hobson's Fun Farm - Rockville
Guffey Acres- Kokomo

All Seasons Orchard - Woodstock
Kuipers Family Farm - Maple Park
Odyssey Fun Farm - Tinley Park
Siegel's Cottonwood Farm - Lockport

Summers Farm - Fredrick County

Sauchuk Farm - Plympton


KC Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze - Gardner
Shuck's Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch - Pleasant Hill

Seward Farms Maze - Lucedale

Afton Apple Orchard - Hastings

The Maize at Grandpa's Farm - Billings

Camp Fontanelle - Nickerson

VonThun Farms - Monmouth Junction
Sahl's Father Son Farm - Egg Harbor City

New York
Wright Family Farm - Warwick
Harbes Family Farm - Mattituck

North Carolina
Patterson Farm Market and Tours - Mount Ulla

The Corn Maze at the Sharp Run Market - Millersburg
Meadow View Growers - New Carlisle

The Maize at The Pumpkin Patch- Portland

Hurricane Hill Farm - CoatsvilleTriple B Farms - Pittsburgh
Reillys Summer Seat Farm
- Pittsburgh

Rhode Island
Confreda Greenhouses & Farms - Hope (Western Cranston)

Cows-N-Corn - Midland
Wayside Farm Fun - Berryville
Belvedere Plantation - Fredericksburg

Cornbelly's Corn Maze & Pumpkin Fest - Spanish Fork

For Daily Updates on these coupons and coupons for other family attractions please visit and bookmark:

La Aventura de Planes Viene Nov 2013/Planes Releasing Nov 2013

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

Una aventura de alto vuelo sobre sueños que despegan-Se estrena en Blu-ray™, DVD, Digital HD y On-Demand el 19 de noviembre de 2013, justo a tiempo para la temporada de regalos navideños
A partir del 19 de noviembre, “PLANES” estará disponible en Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack , en Blu-ray Combo Pack , enDVD , Digital HD y On-Demand.
· Canción de Franz exclusiva
· Plan de vuelo de Klay 
· Escenas eliminadas 
· Conoce a los aviadores de carreras
· Los 10 mejores aviadores
Sinopsis de la película:
El mundo de Cars llega a los cielos enPlanes, la comedia animada de alto vuelo de Disney, cargada de acción y aventuras. Únete a Dusty, un avión fumigador con aspiraciones muy elevadas y una oportunidad única en la vida para competir contra los aviones más veloces del mundo en la carrera aérea más grandiosa. Dusty tiene un corazón enorme pero dos grandes problemas: no fue construido precisamente para alcanzar gran velocidad y, además, resulta que le tiene miedo a las alturas. Al intentar alcanzar alturas que nunca pensó que fueran posibles, este héroe inesperado pondrá a prueba su valor. Con un poco de ayuda de sus amigos, Dusty encontrará la valentía para llegar mucho más allá del propósito con que fue creado y la inspiración para llegar a lo más alto.
Para ver un adelanto completo de 8 minutos de la película, por favor visita
The High-Flying Adventure About Dreams Taking Flight-Lands on Blu-ray™, DVD, Digital HD and On-Demand on November 19, 2013, Just in Time for the Gift-Giving Holiday Season
On November 19th, “PLANES” will be available as a Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack , a Blu-ray Combo Pack , aDVD , Digital HD and On-Demand.

· Exclusive Franz’s Song
· Klay’s Flight Plan
· Deleted Scenes
· Meet the Racers
· Top 10 Flyers
Film Synopsis:
The world of Cars takes flight in Planes, Disney's high-flying animated comedy revved up with action and adventure. Join Dusty, a crop duster with sky-high dreams and a once-in-a-lifetime chance to take on the world's fastest flyers in the greatest air race ever. Dusty has a huge heart but two big problems...he's not exactly built for speed, plus he's afraid of heights. His courage is put to the ultimate test as this unlikely hero aims higher than he ever imagined. With a little help from his friends, Dusty finds the courage to be more than he was built for—and the inspiration to soar.
 To view a full 8-minute sneak peek of the film, please visit

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Reasons Why you Should Have Attended Blog Elevated

Yesterday, I recapped my Thursday and Friday experience at Blog Elevated.  If you still are not convinced on why you should attend next year, here is my Day 2 recap and reasons why you should have attended:

1)  Lisa, Bobbie, and Kristi (picture courtesy of Blog Elevated community)

These ladies did an awesome job from the vision to the finished product.  This conference was a great success because of them.  If you don't know follow them, you should.  They are a wealth of knowledge.
2)  Agenda and Speakers with Real, Useful Content

I learned so much in each of the sessions.  Information I had never heard of before.  Useful tools that are there for bloggers to use but are not using.  At least I know I was not using.

Eric T Tung (@EricTTung) - Social Media Tools
Have you heard of any of this?  Are you using them?  Do you track your blog?  Do you use twitter list?

Jeff Sauer (@jeffalytics) - Goggle Analytics 101
-bounce rate
-avg time on page
-webmaster tools
Do you use goggle analytics?  Did you set it up and forget all about it?  Do you measure your social traffic?

Holly Homer (@TexasHolly) - Goggle +

Goggle what?  Circles?  What do I need circles for?

Each speaker brought it!!  I can honestly say, this was not redundant information being heard.  I know, you are wondering what is all of this, yeah you should have been there to learn.  Like I did.

3)  Personal Connections with over 200 people.  Bloggers, and speakers.  You get to pick at their brains.  This conference had study hall built into the schedule.  This time was to be used for catching up on blogging, putting to use what you learned, mingling/meeting new bloggers, stalking speakers, in prompt to mini classes/sessions, or mixing with the brands/sponsors.
This is one of the sponsors, Lemi Shine. (West Texas company)

Thanks to all the Blog Elevated 2013 sponsors.  Kroger, Macy's, The Woodland's Resort & Conference Center, Imperial Sugar, Pressgram, Tillamook, GoPicnic, AllYou,, Zevia, Bluehost, Erin Condren, and Dr Pepper Snapple group.

To learn more on Blog Elevated Conference 2014, follow the conversation online @BlogElevated on Thursday's twitter party or

Monday, September 23, 2013

Blog Elevated Conference Day 1 Recap

I attended Blog Elevated last week.  I had so much fun and I learned a lot too.  I got to network with many bloggers from all over, and catch up with old blogger friends as well.  Some people I knew online but not offline and some had only heard of.  Here are just some of the cards I got:

Welcome Reception - (sponsored by Kroger)

These are some of the pictures taken at the reception.  You had to be there to know what we were all laughing or goofing around about.  I had so much fun with these ladies and gentleman!

Day 1-

Opening Keynote:John Saddington ( @saddington / @PressGram )
He was mind blowing.   Seriously you had to be there.  He is a twin who got adopted who has all this knowledge and is so innovative.  One of his many projects is Pressgram where you can publish pictures and share to multiple sites but you own the rights.

Lunch was a fun concept.  Each attendee was given a gift card for one of 5 restaurants in City Centre.  Either Fuddrucker's, Ruggles Green, Houston Texans Grille, Smashburger, and I am not sure of the other restaurant???  Anyways it was like a scavenger hunt for your restaurant.  I was given a gift card for the Houston Texans Grille.  Each location had at least 20 attendees.  We had a good time, good food, and great networking.  Check out the Houston Texans Grille:

 We received $20 gift cards for our lunch.  I ordered bacon wrapped jalapenos which is an appetizer and lettuce wraps from the little plate menu but both plates came out to be a lot of food for little ole me.  No one dared to eat a jalapenos other than me, too bad because they were so yummy.  I heard no complaints from anyone on their food.  The size of the portions were huge for the price of the dish.  I will have to come back with my husband.  There were televisions everywhere and plenty of tables.  Our food came out really fast and we were part of the lunch crowd.
Even though we got wet on the way, some more than others, we were able to enjoy the company and fun concept for lunch.

There was so much learning going on.  I learned so much in one day.  From the Brands and Bloggers Panel, tips from Kami Huyse to the breakout sessions of Jenny Ingram who I was dying to attend and learn from.  The fun did not stop there.  

Ever been to a fashion show?  A blogger fashion show-for bloggers by bloggers.  Thanks to from Style to Envy, Valerie Greene Anderson and Nikki Washington for working with myself and the rest of the blogger models on our different styles for the fashion show.  
 Make up first-
 Thanks to Marcella from @WrkITGirl for doing my make up.
And this is my outfit. Day time to Night time which includes a maxi dress, blazer, belt, jewelry, and of course, I am a blogger, leopard print Ipad case for a purse.
Thanks to Macy's the official sponsor of the fashion show.  Also to Rebecca Spera from Mirror Mirror who was the emcee. 

If you would like to see more pictures, join the Blog Elevated Community for information on this year's conference.  Also to get the scoop on Blog Elevated 2014 and early bird tickets.

How to Make a Dress from Plastic Bags

Last week, I started preparing my outfits to attend Blog Elevated.  Thursday, the first night of the conference-Welcome Reception, I was going to have to work all day and head straight to the conference afterwards.  So I wanted to make sure my outfit/attire was appropriate.  So I asked on the Blog Elevated Community, "What is the proper dress code for Thursday night?"  This conversation led to me having to design a dress of out Kroger plastic bags and actually wearing it to the conference.  Oh yeah, and there is a $100 Kroger gift card that was mention as a of course I was up for the challenge.

So first I looked online to see if anyone had actually ever made one, and yes, plastic bag dresses have been done before.  I look to see all the different designs but none really stuck with me.  A friend, CS-who has actually made costumes before, suggested using the plastic bags are real cloth.  So I had to stop looking at them as bags.  Well that was hard to do.  I remember when I was trying to come up with an idea of my dress thinking, easy peasy.  CS suggested me using it like cloth and cutting a pattern out, done!  I can do this.  Easier said then done.  I grabbed my bags and put them flat on a table.  Little did I realize I was not going to be able to find any scissors in my house Wednesday night.  Oh yeah, I needed the dress for Thursday night and here I am Wednesday night trying to design, put together, and finish this dress.  I felt so Project Runwayish.  All I needed was Heidi and Tim Gunn to come in and critic my work.  If you can't tell, I am a fan of that show.  Anyways so first I tried one designed and that did not happen-no scissors.  So I had to use a knife to cut the bags and that was not cutting smooth, straight lines.  I was so frustrated.  I cut a total of 8 bags and taped them together.  I made sure to keep the logo, that is part of the design.  Taped it all together and I had somewhat a tube top looking dress.  The next morning I tried to get into the dress and I could not.  My thighs, hips, nor belly would let it come up.  I tried from the top down, and nope.  So I started cutting the top to see if I could get in, and no.  Eventually I had cut off half of the dress.  I tried it upside down and that was the only way I could get it on.  But then my logo would be upside down.  I was mad.  I gave up and just threw the dress aside.  Later on in the day I decided to give it a second chance, I could not give up.  I really wanted to finish what I had started.  I wanted the dress to fit me comfortable and to be something I would actually wear.  One thing led to another and well check out the pictures.

This is the Kroger plastic bag dress:  (picture courtesy of Blog Elevated Community)
Here are the different pieces to the dress at a close up of each piece:

Top-(made it to fit like a shirt, taped all side but one so I could get into it, with logo at the front)
bottom-(Made it to fit like a skirt to the length I would normally wear my dresses too)
Belt-(Made a braid design.  The flower was added at the last minute, it was missing something.  I took the pictures in my blue dress I originally was wearing so you could actually see the design.)

Necklace-(The chain to the necklace was the original belt I was going to wear but it ended up being too thin and was thrown aside until this.  The Kroger pendant is a shrunken down Kroger plastic bag.
I totally forgot to take a close up of the purse.  I had a small Kroger purse that held my coupons and my Kroger card.

As you can see, this dress is what I used as my inspiration for the Kroger plastic bag dress.
(picture credit to Kristin Still Barclay from In Deep H2O)

I was not the only person who wore a Kroger plastic bag dress, check out Bon Crowder from
(picture credit to Pamela M Kramer from A Renaissance Woman)
 There goes the purse I was telling you about-coupons hanging out and all.
I can honestly say I had the best time in my little Kroger dress.  So glad I decided to wear this Thursday night.  It was an ice breaker.  I had my 15 minutes of fame because everyone wanted to take my picture or take a picture with me.  I thought I was going to be embarrassed but I wasn't.  And I am so glad Bon played along too, or else I would have looked like the crazy girl in the Kroger plastic bag dress.  Bon and I wore our dresses, proudly, all night long.  At the end of the night, we both ended up splitting the $100 prize!


Have you ever done something crazy like this?  Would you have done it?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Making Healthy Eating Delicious Cooking Demonstration

Last Thursday I was invited to attend Making Healthy Eating Delicious Cooking Demonstration presented by Memorial Hermann Hospital and The Lymphoma Research Foundation.  The cooking demonstration focused on cancer-fighting foods and a tasting afterwards.

We learned how to make 3 different dishes.  The Tuna salad:
2 - (6 oz) cans white tuna, packed in water, drained
1 - (11 oz) can mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 - pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 - (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and cut in half
1 - (8 oz) can sliced water chestnuts, drained
Combine all ingredients together.  Toss with dressing.  Serve.

1/4 - cup fat free or light mayo (Vegenaise is a sub)
1/4 - cup nonfat plain yogurt (Greek would be best)
1 - tbsp lemon juice
1 - tsp sugar
1 - bunch green onions (scallions), chopped
      pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients together.  Add to salad.

Makes 8 servings.  Serving size half a cup.  calories 108, protein 12 gm, fat 2 gm, saturated fat 0 gm, carbohydrate 11 gm, fiber 3 gm, sodium 324 mg, cholesterol 19 mg, diabetic exchanges 1.5 very lean meat,2 vegetable

Black Bean & Corn Salad:
1 - (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 - (11 oz) can golden sweetcorn, drained
1 - tomato chopped
1/4 - cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 - tbsp red onion, chopped
3 - tbsp lemon juice
2 - tbsp olive oil (coconut oil cub)
     salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients together in a bowl.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes 6 servings.  Serving size half a cup.  calories 142.  protein 5 gm, fat 6 gm, saturated fat 1 gm, carbohydrate 19 gm, fiber 5 gm, sodium 294 mg, cholesterol 0 mg, diabetic exchanges .5 very lean meat, 1.5 starch, 1 fat

Banana Pudding Triffle:
2/3 - cup sugar
3/4 - cup all purpose flour
3 1/2 - cups skim milk (almond milk sub)
2 - large egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 - tbsp vanilla extract
1 - (11 oz) box reduced fat vanilla wafers, divided
6 - bananas divided
1 - (1.4 oz) English toffee candy bars, crushed, divided
1 - (8 oz) container fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed

Direction:  In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and flour/  Gradually stir in the milk and bring to a boil over a medium-high heat, stirring constantly.  Place the egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually pour some of the hot custard into the egg yolks, missing well with a fork.  Pour the hot custard mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining custard, cooking over a low heat and add vanilla.  Transfer the custard to a bowl and allow to cool (can refrigerate to speed up the cooling).

In a triffle bowl or large glass bowl, place one-third of the vanilla wafers.  Slice 2 of the bananas and place on top of the wafers.  Spread one-half of the custard on top and sprinkle with one-half of the crushed candy bars.  Repeat layers.  Top with whipped topping.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Makes 16 servings.  Serving size half a cup.  calories 108, protein 12 gm, fat 2 gm, saturated fat 0 gm, carbohydrate 11 gm, fiber 3 gm, sodium 324 mg, cholesterol 19 mg, diabetic exchanges 1.5 very lean meat, 2 vegetable.

Thanks to Memorial Hermann Executive Chef, Darian Hewitt, and registered dietitian, Erika Jenschke for teaching us how to make these dishes, answering all our questions, and giving really good information on food and nutrition.  These recipes are from the book, "Eating Well Through Cancer".  My husband and I learned a lot and the recipes were not hard to make.  Tasty too!  And I was able to eat all of these even with braces on which was a plus for me!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Why I Need a Staycation

I am writing this post as an entry to win a staycation for my family at the Woodlands Resort.
Our family of 3 became a family of 4 and it seems like our whole world got flipped upside down.  I use to be able to have everything under control.  Things just quite have not fallen back to normal just yet.  I was place on high risk after I almost lost my daughter at 14 weeks.  Even after I delivered everything didn't go back to normal, I was hemorrhaging and lost a lot of blood.  The weeks and months after my delivery were recovery hell for me.  I have not admitted it out loud but I believe I was suffering and still am suffering from PPD.  Post par tum depression affects many after they give birth, but I like most, try to put up a strong fight.  Like I said after my daughter was born everything has not gone back to normal.  I have had a lot of health problems.  I have been going back and forth to the doctor trying to get 100% for my kids and my husband.  Through the serious of test last month they found a spot of my left breast.  My family has already gone through a lot.  This was the final straw and I could no longer take it.  I finally broke.  My kids do not know what is going on.  I have a teen and a toddler who I have to stay strong for.  I go to work and I come home and try to be the best mom to them I can be.  My poor husband almost lost me after I gave birth to our daughter and now to put this on him.  He is trying to be strong for me but it has been on thing after another with me.

My husband has seen a lot.  He served our country for 9 years and now serves our city as a police officer.  He often goes to training, and classes for certifications.  Recently he attended a class simulation for a school shooting.  The simulation involved him being attack and shot at.  He came home that day with 9 entry points.  Even thought this was just a simulation it is one I take seriously.  He goes to work everyday to protect and serve.  I do not take his work for granted.  Every morning we say good bye and every afternoon I thank God he makes it back home safely.

You know after the birth of my daughter we have never been the same.  We appreciate life more.  The world does not matter around us when we are together.  I became a very emotional person after my almost miscarriage.  Everything makes me cry.  But those tears remind me of how blessed I am every time I take a breath.  My husband and I have always put our family first.  We plan events and gatherings always making sure to make it family friendly.  If you have ever been invited to any of our family functions, you will know you are welcomed in as family.  After that day, I do not think my husband and I could ever look back and take anything for granted.  Every day we have is a gift and we treat it as such.  We are also trying to teach that to our teenage son.  Our toddler doesn't yet understand but in time she will.

Because of my husband's job he isn't allowed to take off vacation on holidays.  He had been working the night shift which had been really hard on our family.  Now that he is finally on days we are finally starting to spend more time together.  But with all the medical bills we have had from primary care to specialists, we have not been able to take a real vacation.  Even though we value the time we do spend, whether it is movie night or game night at our house, as valuable quality family time.  We do not have to go anywhere to make memories as long as we are together.

This is why I want to win this staycation for my family.  Not only to get away but to spent family time with them making fun memories in a beautiful place close to home!  Home is where the heart is for us!

Motivational Monday-Challenge Yourself

This past weekend I had a blast.  A big group of my friends and I join made a team for the Run or Dye color run here in Houston.  We each signed up and passed the word along to others.  One thing led to another and we ended up with more than 20 in our team.  It was a family run, so most of us brought our kids along.
If you have ever wanted to run, a color run is so much fun.  I did one and now I am hooked.  I talked about it so much that I got my friends excited as well.  The best thing about this fun run was that this was some of friends' first ever race...  They never thought they could finish a race but they were wrong.

I love to run.  I never thought I was going to be able to do it.  But someone put me up to the challenge and we did it.  I have not stopped running since.  I love to encourage others to find something they think they cannot do and challenge themselves.  You never know unless you try.  I tell that to my son all the time.  I love that he is an avid runner and physical fitness is a part of his life already.  We have incorporated fitness into our family and our daily life.  This weekend we got to share it with our friends as well.  See you are not alone in this, grab a friend.  Help each other out.  Challenge one another or join challenges together.

Here are some of the pics from our fun run before we got hit with color:
 This is us having fun in the pit right before the race...getting pumped...
Here are the after pictures with all the color on us...
What are you waiting for?  The year is not over.  You have more than 3 months left before this year is over, don't wait for January 1st to make a New Years resolution.  Challenge yourself today.