Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Nut Job Coming in January

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

Coming soon...

In animated 3D, THE NUT JOB is an action-packed comedy in fictional Oakton that follows the travails of Surly (voiced by Will Arnett), a mischievous squirrel, and his rat friend Buddy, who plan a nut store heist of outrageous proportions and unwittingly find themselves embroiled in a much more complicated and hilarious adventure.

THE NUT JOB hits theaters nationwide on January 17, 2014!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Houston Royal Sonesta Hotel Review

Gracias al Hotel Royal Sonesta por un gran fin de semana.  El hotel esta localizado en la area mas reconocida como la Galleria/Uptown.  La Galleria tambien es la Mall que esta de poca distancia si vas caminando de el hotel o por coche.  Este hotel de lujo esta para servirte para tus fechas de vacaciones, unas noches romanticas, o si estas de viaje de negocios.

El Royal Sonesta acaba de tener 25 millones de dólares en renovaciones.  Eso significa que fuimos entre los primeros en estrenar este hotel.  
Aqui en esta esquina estan mis hijos peleandose por el sofa, fue la zona favorita de todos.  Al lado de la ventana esta este sofa.  Tiene luz para porder leer, revisar el correo electronico, o estar relajado mientras estas viendo la television.  Aunque este hotel esta en frente de la carretera, uno no supiera.  El hotel esta en el lado de la carretera 610.  El 610 es el Loop que da un circulo por la cuidad de Houston.  Facil para cual quier visitante para navegar.  
Y si por caso sales, y comiensa a llover no te preocupes, Royal Sonesta penso en adelante por ti.  Si se te olvido el paraguas, en tu cuarto tienes un paraguas para tu uso mientras estas visitando el hotel.
Restaurantes y Entretenimiento -
El restaurante que esta en el primer piso está disponible para el desayuno, el almuerzo y la cena, y un menú destacando la cocina mundial.  El Bar ofrece más de 200 licores en un ambiente contemporáneo que sirve aperitivos y tapas.
El Lobby Lounge ofrece un lugar tranquilo para relajarse en un ambiente salón que ofrece aperitivos y cócteles.  El extenso menú de comida en la habitación ofrece la oportunidad de relajarse en su habitación.
El hotel ha pensado en todo, desde los detalles grandes asta los detalles pequenos.  Han colocado una linia de telefono por si se te ofrece cual quier cosa cuando estes en el bano.  

Y aqui esta mi pequena nina aprovechando las ameninades del hotel.  Cuando todas las luces estan apagadas, no te tienes que preocuparte cuando te levantas en la media noche.  Hay luces que se encienden cuando sienten a alguien pasar.  No necesitas aprender mas luz y despertar a toda la familia.
 Gracias a todos los empleados de Royal Sonesta por ser tan atentos a todas nuestras necesidades.  El hotel esta bello, y mas bello fue el servicio dado.

Para mas informacion,

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Frozen Movie Review

***Disclosure-My son and I were invited to attend an advance screening of this movie.  All opinions stated are our own.

On a FROZEN Houston day, my son and I battled the weather to get to the premiere to Disney's FROZEN!  It only so fitting that the weather be like like for us to feel like we were right in the movie.
“Frozen,” a stunning big-screen comedy adventure. Fearless optimist Anna (voice of Kristen Bell) sets off on an epic journey—teaming up with rugged mountain man Kristoff (voice of Jonathan Groff) and his loyal reindeer Sven—to find her sister Elsa (voice of Idina Menzel), whose icy powers have trapped the kingdom of Arendelle in eternal winter. Encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf (voice of Josh Gad), Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom. The film is directed by Chris Buck (“Tarzan,” “Surf’s Up”) and Jennifer Lee (screenwriter, “Wreck-It Ralph”), who also wrote the screenplay. It is produced by Peter Del Vecho (“Winnie the Pooh,” “The Princess and the Frog”). 

Featuring original songs from Kristen Anderson-Lopez (“In Transit,” “Winnie the Pooh”) and Tony® winner Robert Lopez (“The Book of Mormon,” “Avenue Q”), and an original score by Christophe Beck (“The Muppets,” Oscar®-winning short “Paperman”).

Our thoughts-My husband and baby had to stay home because of the weather.  But my teen and I still went.  I wasn't sure if he would like this girly, kiddie movie.  But guess what?  This is not a girlie, kiddie movie.  It is a family movie for all to enjoy.  It is funny.  I love the songs.  It has some adventure.  And you do not know how it is going to go.  Who will be the hero?  It was a really entertaining movie.  And the teen said so himself.

Also, at the beginning is a small short you will not want to miss.  So get your popcorn and drinks early, and don't miss it.

 “Frozen” hits theaters in 3D on today, Nov. 27, 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

Being Thankful #ThanksgivingConBritax

So at the beginning of the month I decided to participate on #30daysofThankfulness, there is so much to be thankful for.  Not that the other years have not been good because they have.  But this year I decided to jump on the bandwagon and share with everyone why I am thankful.  See I think we all need to start looking at the brighter side of things, full cups, smile at your neighbors, and be nice to one another.
Here are a few of my thankfulness:

Day #1-Thankful for life, the gifts that God has given me, and his continued guidance everyday he gives us.

Day #3-Thankful for time. Time spent together making memories, time to enjoy my loved ones, time to watch God's miracles

Day #4-I give thanks for the one who holds my hands. The other day my husband and I went grocery shopping, we ran in a older couple who reminded us of ourselves but maybe 40+yrs from now. We are not perfect but he was the one who God put in my path for me to go through this life with.  Thankful for the partner God sent to me. He is my rock and shoulder to lean on. I love him. 

Day #6-I am thankful my Matt. He is my gift from God. Because of him, I became strong, self sufficient, independent, a fighter! My reason, my purpose, my 1st unconditional love! My pride, my joy, my baby! I love my Mateo!

Day #8-I am thankful that I have the good fortune to be able to live in a country where there are drs, modern medicine and technology. I am thankful we have a job that offers health insurance that has been affordable. I am thankful we can afford to actually use if needed...not that the home remedies like vicks, honey with lemon, and the big man upstairs dont work but each of these is a luxury many dont have. Be Blessed! Stay Healthy! 

Another thing I am thankful for is the truth.  Sometimes we hold on to things that we think are for the good of everyone but in the end they do not help anyone.  You know the saying, the truth will set you free.  The truth has set me free, the weight has been lighted, and now I no longer have something holding me back.  Can you imagine how many people are out there holding a grudge, anger, sorrow, and cannot move forward?

Life is hard enough as it is why live it in a funk.  We need to forgive, let go, and move on.  Appreciate what we have, our families.  

Last week as we are already preparing for the holidays, planning ahead, and rushing out to get all the things we need.  Life came to a quick stop.  My son and I left were leaving the parking lot when a truck did not see us and rammed into us.  The truck hit on the side my son was sitting on.  The hit was pretty hard, even with him seat belted in, the truck jolted him left and right.  We are fine, the truck is fine.  Afterwards, when the hands stopped shaking, when my son and I could laugh a little, he said, "Mom, the Britax side cushions saved me brain".
See my daughter's car seat is the Advocate which comes with side impact technology.  They are meant to reduce the side impact crash energy by 45% by diverting crash forces away from my daughter and providing extra protection for the adjacent passenger, in this case, my son.

My daughter was not in the vehicle at the time, but my 14 year old was.  Though this accident was not a serious one, I am so thankful that I know my kids are well protected.  And yes, we need to save my future Engineer's brain.  

What I am most thankful for is my family!  They bring me joy, make me smile, and allow me to see all the little things in life that I take for granted.  

Wishing you and your family, many blessings and very Happy Thanksgiving!

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.

Sharing is Caring #HolidayHope

This weekend if you saw my tweets, FB posts, instagram, and etc, you probably noticed that I posted about a lot with the hashtag #HolidayHope.  This year, Blog Free - Houston And Beyond group gathered together for a great cause.  The holidays are a time of happy gatherings with friends and family.  We as Blog Free bloggers are an online community that helps one another out in one way or another.  Sharing and caring for one another in many ways other than just RSS feed, and etc.
Lisa Carey - Money Saving Parent
Brian Carey - Great Beer Now
Brenda Ruiz - Real Houston Housewife
Maria Reyes - Mom and Child 1215
Kristin Still Barclay - In Deep H2O
Fred Goodall - Mocha Dad
Marla Zickefoose - Saving U Green
Yvonne Guidry - Spoiled Latina
Rachel Young - Link Fairy
Aggie Gavagan - Loca Loba
Kassie Buck

The Royal Blogging Event came together thanks to several bloggers, and sponsors.  One of which was Royal Sonesta Houston.  Thank you to Royal Sonesta for hosting our out of town bloggers and a few Houston bloggers.  The beautiful hotel, Axis Lounge was the gathering area for all of our
collected donations.  The open space, lovely music, and beautiful seating area was the perfect space for all our families to mingle with one another.  We nibbled on some yummy food including popcorn, marshmallow and rice krispie chocolate covered treats.

Thank you to the following sponsors for their generous donations:

 Johnson and Johnson
 My family has been blessed with so much.  I looked online at the lists of items needed and started cleaning out my stock piles.  I also managed to get some good deals on sale, clearance, or marked down items.  My toddler wanted to snatch some items out at times.  We have to start teaching our kids young that sharing is caring. 
Thank you also to Oriental Trading for the activities provided for the kiddos, Justins, Bobs Red Mill, and Yelp for providing the Swag goodies for all of us to enjoy. 

Also, for the next YEAR anyone using the code #HolidayHope to make a purchase from CatchACharacter gets a 10% off coupon and 50% of the sale goes to Star of Hope.

But the stars of the night were the donations.  Picture courtesy of Lisa, Money Saving Parent.  Together we made a huge donations of clothes, toys, hygiene products, toiletries, food, and even money. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Star of Hope #HolidayHope

Thanksgiving is next week.  As we reflect and give thanks for all we have, we should be thinking about those that will not be able to share a cozy home, Thanksgiving dinner, and warm clothes.  Some people through no fault of their own have fallen into bad times, people like you and me.  Mothers, fathers and their children all needing assistance.

The Star of Hope helps homeless men, women and their children providing shelter, food, and many programs to help them get back on their own two feet.  Did you know that on any given day there are about 1,100 that need assistance?  Can you imagine being homeless with no where to go, no money, no food, and you have not only yourself but your kids to think about?  But the Star of Hope could not do all of this alone without the help from wonderful contributions from volunteers, community partners, and donations. 
Star of Hope Mission is a 501(c)(3) organization and all gifts are tax deductible.  Did you know that with a donation of $1.92, you would be providing 1 meal?  The Star of Hope needs your help because this is the busiest season of the year for them, feeding over 104,000 meals just this Fall. 

There are many other ways for you to do your part and pay it forward.  You can volunteer your time.  You can clean out your closet and donate your gently used clothes.  How cold is it outside?  Imagine not having a winter coat, warm clothes, or shoes to protect you or your kids from this chill. 

You can also donate much needed items, some being critical and urgent in need.  Everyday you get up, wash your face, brush your teeth, take a shower, get dressed....we all have hygiene needs. 

For questions concerning specific items you would like to donate send an email to Donations drop off centers:
  • Donation and Distribution Center (2320 Lamar): 8AM – 6PM Monday - Friday and 8AM - 2PM Saturday
  • Transitional Living Center (6801 Ardmore): 8AM - 7PM Daily
  • Women & Family Emergency Center (419 Dowling): 8AM - 7PM Daily
Check out the full list online at


FROZEN Fun Facts

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

WAIT, WHAT? – One of Anna’s favorite phrases—“Wait, what?”—was added to the script compliments of Kristen Bell.

PURE FUN – When the story team was developing the character of Olaf, the possibilities were endless. It was when they asked, “How would a snowman think?” that they found Olaf: pure, simple, innocent. His humor ultimately comes from the simple way he thinks.
IT’S A LEMON – Hans’ horse, who keeps Anna from falling in the water before the coronation, has a name: Sitron, which means “lemon” in Norwegian.
THAT’S SPECIAL – The average animated film features special effects in about 45 percent of its shots. However, since most of “Frozen” takes place in the midst of a winter storm—and snow and ice are considered special effects—“Frozen” can be considered extra—almost entirely—special.

IT’S A LONG STORY – The scene in which Elsa walks out onto the balcony of her newly constructed ice palace is 218 frames long, and includes the film’s longest frame to render. The single frame took more than 132 hours to render (that’s more than five days).

NORWEGIAN GLAM – Art director Mike Giamo blends traditional Norwegian folk clothing with old Hollywood panache and a bold color palette to create a unique look for the wardrobe in “Frozen.”

STYLIN’—To achieve Elsa’s look once she flees the kingdom, filmmakers invited celebrity hairstylist Danilo to the Burbank studios to experiment with various styles and capture Elsa’s new-found boldness.

EVERYTHING’S COMING UP ROSES – Rosemaling, a style of decorative folk art found throughout Norway’s history, appears throughout the film—on clothing, within the architecture and is even evoked in Elsa’s magic and her icy creations.

DING! – During animation dailies, individual animators would sit in a red “hot seat” and present their shots to directors for feedback. If the directors were happy and had no further notes, they would ding a bell—approved!—and everyone would applaud.

“Frozen” hits theaters in 3D on Nov. 27, 2013. 

FROZEN Datos Curiosos

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


UN MOMENTO, ¿QUÉ DICES? - Una de las frases favoritas de Anna: "Un momento, ¿qué dices?- fue agregada al guion por gentileza de Kristen Bell.

PURA DIVERSIÓN - Mientras el equipo a cargo de la historia trabajaba en el desarrollo del personaje de Olaf las posibilidades eran infinitas. Fue en el momento en que se preguntaron, "Cómo pensaría un hombre de nieve?" que encontraron a Olaf: puro, simple, inocente. Su "humor" proviene simplemente de la forma en la que piensa. 
ES UN LIMÓN - El caballo de Hans, quien evita que Anna caiga al agua antes de la coronación, tiene un nombre: Sitron, que significa "limón" en noruego.


ESO ES ESPECIAL – La película animada promedio contiene efectos especiales en aproximadamente el 45 por ciento de sus tomas. Sin embargo, la mayor parte de “Frozen” ocurre en medio de una tormenta invernal- y la nieve y el hielo son considerados como efectos especiales- por eso “Frozen” puede considerarse extra- y casi enteramente – especial.

ES UNA LARGA HISTORIA –  La escena en que Elsa sale al balcón de su recién construido palacio tiene una longitud de 218 fotogramas, e incluye al fotograma más difícil a la hora de la renderización. Ese solo fotograma llevó más de 132 horas en ser renderizado (más de cinco días).


GLAMOUR NORUEGO – El escenógrafo, Mike Giamo, combina ropa tradicional noruega con la vestimenta clásica de Hollywood y una audaz paleta de colores para crear un estilo único en el vestuario de “Frozen”.

ESTILO – Para lograr el estilo de Elsa una vez que huye del reino, los productores invitaron al estilista de las celebridades Danilo a los estudios de Burbank para experimentar con diferentes estilos y capturar la recientemente descubierta audacia de Elsa.

TODO COLOR DE ROSA – El Rosemaling, un estilo de arte decorativo tradicional encontrado a lo largo de la historia noruega, aparece en toda la película: en la ropa, en la arquitectura, y hasta incluso en la magia de Elsa y sus creaciones heladas.


RING! – A la hora de ver los dailies de animación, cada animador suele sentarse en una “silla caliente” roja para presentar sus tomas a los directores para obtener una devolución. Si los directores están contentos y no tienen objeciones, hacen sonar una campana – ¡aprobado¡ - y todos aplauden.   

“Frozen” llegará a los cines en 3D el 27 de noviembre de 2013.   Para más información visita

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Houston Downtown Aquarium

I like hanging out with my little man who is not so little anymore.  Weekends, school breaks, and holidays are the best time for us to hang out.  When you have kids a place of adventure if always fun.  Also you want a place that is family friendly and for all ages.

A couple of years ago, or I mean several years ago, we first visited the New Downtown Aquarium.

It was such a wonderful experience for my son.  We loved seeing all the different animals.  One of the featured exhibits is of the White Tigers, to be so close.

The Downtown Aquarium is a lot of fun for the entire family.  The kids are going to be out of school for Thanksgiving next week, have any plans.  Don't have any plans for Thanksgiving, the Downtown Aquarium is hosting a Thanksgiving buffet.

In December for Christmas break, the kids will be out for 2 weeks.  How about treating them to Breakfast with Sharkey & Santa Claus?
Thanks to @visitHouston for providing my husband and I CityPass.  What is a CityPass you ask?

A CityPass gives you admission to 5 Houston locations for a discounted price.  You can save up to 50% of combined attraction prices.  You can purchase your tickets online.  The 5 attractions are:

1)  Space Center Houston
2)  Downtown Aquarium
3)  Houston Museum of Natural Science
4)  Houston Zoo or Kemah Boardwalk
5)  The Children's Museum of Houston or Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Fr more information and to purchase your Houston CityPass, go to

Houston-FROZEN Special Event

***Disclosure-No compensation was received.  Informational post only.
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Frozen” is touring cross-country.  The tour is stopping here this weekend.  

They are serving free treats to “Frozen” fans from Philadelphia to Los Angeles. 

Featuring Ore-Ida hash browns and fries, activities, crafts, themed lunch boxes and other giveaways, the tour will be covered as it happens on the “Frozen” Fun Tour microsite (, which will share pictures of the fun to friends and family nationwide. 

Inspired by Anna, Elsa, Kristoff and Olaf, and their story about the strength of family.

The “Frozen” Fun Tour stops left:
  • Dallas, Texas, on Nov. 23
  • Houston, Texas, on Nov. 24
  • Phoenix, Ariz., on Nov 27
  • Los Angeles on Dec. 1
Activities include mask making—kids can channel Olaf or Sven from the movie—coloring favorite scenes from the movie and creating oversized paper snowflakes in the spirit of Elsa, who has the power to control snow and ice in the movie.

“Frozen” hits theaters in 3D on Nov. 27, 2013

For more information, check out  

Friday, November 22, 2013

Delivery Man Review

***Disclosure-My family and I attended an advance screening.  All opinions stated are based on my own personal experience.

Do you remember back in July I had an exclusive clip of the Delivery Man trailer?  If you do not, click here to watch it now?

This movie struck a cord with me.  Did you read my post?  If you do not remember, go back and see why this movie relates to me...and then come back for my review.

playing hold music NOW........
Based on:                     The original screenplay “Starbuck,” written by Ken Scott and Martin Petit

DreamWorks Pictures’ “Delivery Man” stars Vince Vaughn as affable underachiever David Wozniak, whose anonymous donations to a fertility clinic 20 years earlier resulted in 533 children. David must now embark on a journey that leads him to discover not only his true self but also the father that he could become.

My thoughts-My husband and son both asked what movie we were about to watch.  I told them it was a movie about my dad.  They both laughed.  And when the movie started they both got it.  This movie was so hilarious.  There are some lines in the movie that have you laughing for awhile.  It is also a heartfelt movie that is perfect for the season.  You know I will not ruin the movie for you but will tell you, my husband and teen son really did enjoy themselves.  They both thought is was really funny as well.

So grab your family and come watch David and see was up with him having 533 kids?

That is just not normal or is it?

I like the poster phrase, "You're never quite ready for what life delivers!"

DELIVERY MAN releases in theaters today, November 22, 2013!

TXU Energy Presents Houston Zoo Lights 2013

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

Zoo lights is back this year.  The Houston Zoo will be transformed with lights, and beautiful displays.

Starting this Friday, November 22 and continuing each evening except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 

through January 5, the Zoo will be a winter wonderland filled.  The displays consists of more than 1 million 

LED lights.  They are illuminating animal-themed light displays all coordinated to Christmas music to get you 

in the spirit.

Today the switch will be flipped.  This is such a fun awesome event for the entire family to enjoy.  There is 

1958 Cadillac that has so many lights that are coordinated to music.  New this year is a dollhouse village,

and a Holiday Train featuring Thomas the Tank Engine and friends, perfect for all the little ones.  My Lil Bit

loves trains!!

There are also special performances each night by area church, school, and community choirs.  

-Rice Philharmonics will perform the opening night of Zoo Lights. 

-Baylor College of Medicine Docappella, 

-MD Anderson Cancer Center Choir

-San Jacinto Girl Scouts 

-Quarter Note and Take Note Choirs

-Shimmer Flute Choir

-Beth Yeshurun Day School Choir

-Juan Seguin Elementary School

-Rennell Elementary Honor Choir 

-Waller High School Chorale.


-$9 (members)
-$12 (non-members)

Buy and print your tickets online at and save $2 per person off the gate admission price. 
Please note: During Zoo Lights, the Houston Zoo will close early at 5 p.m. with the last ticket sold at 4 p.m. The Zoo will reopen for Zoo Lights at 6 p.m. with the last ticket sold at 9 p.m.
Enjoy the festivities as a group with friends, neighbors or coworkers and save even more. Zoo Lights tickets for groups of 20 to 50 are just $9 each and only $8 each for groups of 51 or more. For group ticket information, call 713-533-6500.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Giveaway-AVEENO Skin Relief Collection

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

Is that winter's itch getting you?  Have you found any relief yet?

The cold weather and wind often contribute to dry skin and irritation.  Aveeno has a solution that offers long lasting moisture to help relieve the itching, flaking, and feeling of tightness caused by dehydration.


The AVEENO® Skin Relief Collection includes:
-AVEENO® Skin Relief Healing Ointment
-AVEENO® Skin Relief Calming Lotion
-AVEENO® Skin Relief Overnight Cream
-AVEENO® Skin Relief Moisturizing Lotion
-AVEENO® Skin Relief Hand Cream Intense Moisture

Giveaway-1 lucky reader will win this prize pack

a Rafflecopter giveaway

US only.  Winner must claim their prize within 24 hours of notice.  Good luck.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Delivery Man Premiere Pics

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

We are headed to the advance screening of the movie Delivery Man tonight.  2 weeks ago the premiere happened, check out the pics...

So excited to check this movie out, come back for my review and remember DELIVERY MAN releases in theaters on November 22, 2013!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Voices of Seaworld - Education Programs

I am so excited that in a couple of weeks I will be experiencing Seaworld in a totally different way than ever before.  I will get to spend the night there along with other fellow bloggers that are part of the Seaworld Wildsiders.  Thanks to Seaworld for opening their doors to us for this wonderful experience.  I am like a little kid and cannot wait for the days to hurry up and fly by.

The parks and products of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™ deliver educational experiences intended to create a deeper understanding, respect, and desire to protect all wildlife. The numerous informal learning experiences inside our parks include educators, show and exhibit narrations, and interpretive and interactive graphics.
Additionally, our award-winning education programs help schools, teachers, children, and adults explore the world and learn about animals through:
  • Camp programs
  • Instructional field trips
  • Animal information website
  • National awards programs
  • Teacher workshops and resources
Learn more about our educational opportunities by visiting

Come back and read about my experience.  Also follow me on Twitter @independentmami, Facebook, and Instagram to see live footage while I am at the park.  Follow me as I experience the park over night.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Disney FROZEN Activity Sheets

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

“Like FROZEN on Facebook:

Follow FROZEN on Twitter:

Visit the official website:  

FROZEN opens in theatres everywhere on November 27th!