Thursday, March 31, 2016

#DisneyKids Preschool Playdate 2016

What do you do when your kids are out of school and the daycare is closed?  You coordinate a playdate. 
I was chosen to host a Disney Kids Preschool Playdate.  Thanks to BSM Media, Disney Parks, "I Love To Create", Banfield Pet Hospital, all, Glad, and Nesquik for all the free goodies we received in our party kit.

My daughter was so excited to host her playdate.  She helped get everything ready.  The first thing we had to decide was the menu.  We kept it simple, fun, and snack size.  We served some of my daughter's favorite foods like popcorn, animal crackers, rice krispie treats, and cake pops.
Hot Dog, Hog Dog, Hot Diggity Dog...of course we had a Hot Dog Bar.
We greeted our guests one by one as they arrived.  We had everyone sit down to grab a bite first before the fun times began.
Our fun started with some arts and crafts. The kids decorated white paper bags with their favorite characters. We had to call "Toodles" for some help. Our first tool we needed was crayons, and glitter. We also needed some scissors and Toodles came to the rescue again.
We then headed on a treasure hunt.  Mickey and Minnie handed out treasure maps, jewels, and crowns.  The kids headed to the backyard where we had hidden treasure all over.
The kiddos had a blast finding their treasure.  They got to keep all their loot.  We then headed back inside because the Lion Guard was waiting to take us on a Safari.  On the Safari, we shared pictures from our trip to Disney's Animal Kingdom and everyone got Lion Guard tattoos.  This was the perfect time to have story time.  I read "My Very, Very Smelly Breath".  This book is Banfield's Pet Hospital's second children's book.  It is a scratch and sniff book that the kids really enjoyed.  There were some stinky smells and some yummy smells.  The book helped the kids understand the importance of brushing teeth.  It talked about caring for our pet's teeth.
Of course, Toodles still had a mystery tool for us to use on our playdate.  It was a Piñata. 
Everyone had a great time.  I tried to keep the kids entertained and I kept them busy having fun with all the activities and goodies that were sent in our kit. 
Saying good bye is always hard when you get a bunch of kiddos who are having too much fun.  My daughter was so sweet and she walked each of her guests out.  She handed them each a swag bag as they walked out the door.
Things I learned from the planning and hosting of this playdate:
1)  Keep it simple.  Break the rules, don't break the rules.  It is a PLAY date, not school. 
2)  Kid Friendly.  I used kid's tables and chairs, instead of big grown up tables and chairs. 
3)  Plan group activities.  This will keep everyone together.  Better to keep an eye on everyone.
4)  Work Stations.  Kids get bored really fast.  You can have different activities for those that work faster or make them helpers.
5)  Have fun!  If you have a schedule, be ready to break it.  Kids are on their own schedule. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies with Honey Bunches of Oats Chocolate

We love cereal in our house.  My family can eat it all day long.  I remember before I met my husband I ate cereal as my dinner.  Cereal is a quick easy meal.  Sometimes when the kiddos don't want to eat anything else, they will have a bowl of cereal.
Our day gets started pretty early.  It is not everyday that we can sit down to eat breakfast.  Breakfast is a very important meal not to be missed.  Post has a new cereal in it's Honey Bunches of Oats line.  {This is a sponsored post but all opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.}  We were very excited to try the New Honey Bunches of Oats Chocolate.  It is Gluten-Free and chocolate.  Did I mention it is chocolate? 
Honey Bunches of Oats is already a favorite in our household.  Something about the good ole honey that got us hooked.  This new flavor is made with real cocoa.  It has the perfect crunch we like. 

I like making breakfast on the go easier for my family.  On Sundays, I meal prep for our week.  Sometimes everyone gets involve.  Breakfast is a meal that is prep.  I have being trying different recipes that we can grab and go, like these Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies.  Breakfast can be a treat.  Who wouldn't love to eat cookies for Breakfast?  These also make a great snack. 

Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

(photo and recipe courtesy of Post cereal)

Prep Time: 10 Min
Total Time: 25 Min
Servings: 30 cookies


  • 1–3/4 cups Honey Bunches of Oats Chocolate cereal, divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips


  1. Heat oven to 350 F. Using a food processor, grind the Honey Bunches of Oats Chocolate cereal into a fine powder. (Note: 1–3/4 cup cereal yields 1/2 cup ground cereal.)
  2. In a large bowl, combine ground cereal, sugar, peanut butter and egg. Once all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, fold in mini chocolate chips.
  3. Scoop about 2 Tablespoons of cookie dough and drop onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, placing each cookie about 2 inches apart. Bake for 13-15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. 
You can make these for your next brunch, or party.  For more recipes, or more information follow the conversation on twitter @HBOatsLatino, on Instagram @HBOatsLatino, or at

Monday, March 28, 2016

Cafecito Anyone?

Are you a coffee person?  Do you have to have your caffeine every morning?  Do you have a favorite brand, roast?  I like coffee but I am a social coffee drinker.  I remember growing up my mom drinking her cafecito every morning.  Traditionally Hispanics grow up drinking coffee all day long especially after our meals. 
Thanks to Community Coffee Company, the largest family-owned coffee company in the U.S., for sending me samples of their Private Reserve for review on my blog.

Community Coffee Private Reserve coffee line is made from 100% specialty-grade Arabica beans.
Brazil Santos Bourbon is a single-origin coffee features the first variety of Arabica beans introduced to Brazil. Experience the smooth, mellow flavor of this special South American blend, made from the top 1% of the world's coffee beans.

I normally drink Community Coffee Café Special which is a medium-dark roast.  So this blend was a blend I like.  It is not too strong nor too weak.  It has a good flavor.      
Evangeline Blend™ is an exclusive blend created in honor of the Acadiana culture that supported the Company in its early days.  It combines the top 1% of the world's coffee beans to create a dark roasted coffee with a semisweet finish. 

This blend is really smooth.  If you normally drink dark roast, this is your blend.  This blend is available in ground or whole bean.   

Both bags are re-sealable.  If one of these blends is not for you, Private Reserve has several other options to choose from. 

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Weekend Snapshots | 5

Happy Easter!  I hope you had a great one surrounded by your loved ones. 
This is our fifth installment of Weekend Snapshots in collaboration with the lovely ladies Ari from 3twentysix and Jessica from The Reinvention of Jessica.

We had plenty of Easter fun this weekend.  We did Easter egg hunts, played competitive games, and ate a lot of food.  We had an Egg-tastic time. 
 Lil Bit taking a break from all the fun.  My SIL bought these huge strawberries, some were the size of my daughter's hands.  This was the perfect snack to refuel her.
 Right in the middle, you will see my two men.  They played a serious game of dodgeball.  It was so much fun to sit back and watch all the guys get down on this game.  They did several rounds.
All family members were invited, even the furry ones.  This is Rex.  He was loving on my daughter.
 Human Hungry hippos..  My daughter is on the board trying to scoop up the balls into our buckets.  The kids had a blast playing this game. 
On Sunday, we had an Easter potluck at the in laws.  One of my SIL decided to make spring rolls.  She made veggie ones, hot Cheetos ones, and Hot Fries ones.  I tried them and they are not that bad.  The crunch and hotness gives it a different flavor. 
And after everything we ate, we had to have one of these to help our tummies out.  By Sunday, we had ate chili cheese everything, pounds and pounds of crawfish, lots of Mexican dishes, and not to mention desserts galore.  Topo Chico Preparado goes down hard after all this yumminess! 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Super Hero Themed Easter Basket

How old is too to get an Easter basket?  I have a teen who is seventeen.  But he is still my baby and for the most part a big "little" kid at heart.  He loves anything super hero.  We are Marvel, and DC fans.  His favorite just happens to be Batman.  He is easy to shop for because anything Batman will make him happy.  This year, I decided to make him a Super Hero Themed Easter basket of his favorite character.  It just so happens that this weekend is not only Easter but the Superman vs Batman movie hits the theaters too.  So finding character items to fill his basket was not hard.  But when I started thinking of making a basket for him, I thought a basket is for little kids.  He is not little.  All the baskets we have at home are girlie, or babyish.  I had seen on my feed one day someone used a hat/cap as a basket.  I didn't save it or pay no more attention since I usually do not do baskets for the teen.  But then when I was at the store I found this cool Batman shirt I liked for my son.  I usually buy Christmas and birthday gifts throughout the year when I catch good deals or find clearance.  Both of those just passed and then I had the bright idea of trying to make him a cap/hat basket.
Here is what is in his cap/hat basket:

Basket-My son loves hats/caps.  He has been collecting them since he was little.  It made since to use a cap as a basket.  (I found this hat at Walmart for under $10.  The youth hats/caps are around $5.)  The tricky part was what all could I fit in there?  I actually fit a lot of things in there.
The left picture is the back of the cap where I stuffed it with some of my son's favorite candy.  He is too big to participate in the Easter egg hunts.  He normally helps his sister get eggs and she shares candy with him.  The ones she doesn't like or the ones he asks for.  This way he gets his own candy.  All the candy was found at the dollar store.

The right picture is of the top view where you can see I stuffed 3 rolled up shirts inside the middle of the cap.  Two of the shirts were found at Walmart for under $10, the other was a bit pricey.  This is the one I found at Target, the main reason I was inspired to create this basket for him.  It is a button down, collar Batman shirt that I know he will love. 

The top picture shows a frame I found for his room at Ross.  He has been adding frames to his room for décor, adding to his collection.  He asked me for one recently and when I saw the price told him he was crazy.  Ross has several frames under $10. 

His basket ended up being a bit pricey once you add everything up but they are all items he will be able to use.  You are only a kid once, next year he will be 18 years old.  We are always wishing they would not grow up on us, and wished we could keep them little for ever. 

Do you make your teens baskets?  At what age do you stop?  Have you ever made a cap/hat basket like this?

Friday, March 25, 2016

Easter Basket Ideas for the Littles

This year we are going to be attending more than one Easter egg hunt.  What kid needs all that candy?  Not mine.  So I got a little bit creative with this year's Easter basket from mami and papi.
I normally do not go all out on an Easter basket.  One year I ran out and got a prepackage one that was way over prized.  I hate to admit that all those Pinterest Perfect moms made me feel bad because I did not make my kid a basket, or create something cute.  My daughter is only 4.  I feel I am learning and getting better at this.  No one should make you feel bad that you do or do not get your kid an Easter basket.  If you want to, then do it.  If you don't, then don't.  If you do choose to get your littles basket, it should not break the bank.  I stopped at the dollar store to get some of my goodies.  Here is what I have in the above Easter basket for my Lil Bit:

1)  Basket-This is a recycled basket that I already had.  I actually counted and my daughter has 4 Easter baskets.  These are starting to multiply and I have something to do with it.  So I instead of buying a new basket, I used this one and it happens to be the perfect color I was looking for.

2)  Grass-It is messy.  What do you do with it afterwards?  I actually was at Walmart during my lunch hour and found they have several rollback racks in the middle aisles.  I found cute character t-shirts for $1.00.  I used one of these shirts as my "grass".

3)  Eggs-Every Easter basket needs eggs with wonderful surprises inside.  (I actually got some really cute chick eggs last year on clearance after Easter.  Those were not used in this basket but will be used for one of the egg hunts.)  Since my daughter will be attending several parties, candy is not on my list of goodies in these eggs.  I decided to stuff the eggs with other useful things that my daughter likes, needs, and were the right size.
-kid's nail polish (Disney multi pack)-2 fit perfect in a larger egg, or 1 in a regular size egg
-socks-1 pair fit in the larger size eggs.  My daughter loves colorful socks.  The dollar store carries character socks.  I also thought of doing undies, but we have plenty from back to school time.  Those character undies come in multi packs.  You can probably get 1 in each egg. 
-hair accessories-small hair bows can be used to decorate the basket or they can be placed inside the eggs.  The size of the bow will determine the size of the egg.  The dollar store carries a lot of different hair accessories.

4)  Toys-Most kids always want toys.  My kid does need anymore toys.  Her birthday and Christmas just passed.  We still have gifts that are in the boxes, unused.  I decided to get my daughter a useful toy like chalk.  We have a chalkboard wall in our kitchen.  She loves to color, write, and draw.  I found a big box of chalk at the dollar store and they even had the fancy chalk holders.  My daughter needs this, because she keeps breaking her chalks.  Once they are broken, she does not want them.  This chalk can also be used on the sidewalk perfect for any Spring day.
Movies-If you want to splurge on a big ticket item, why not spend money on something your kiddo will use over and over.  Summer will be here soon enough and my kids love to watch movies.
Plush-I do not do stuff animals.  What do you do with so many stuffed animals?  It is an asthma sufferers hell when those things get all dusty.  Someone has to dust them off.  But I do get the kids small collective figurines, dolls, or action figures.  This year I found a replacement for the little chick my daughter loved.  Both of hers from a previous basket broke, and she loved those little chicks.

Do you get your kids' Easter baskets?  Have you gotten your kiddos baskets ready this year?  What are some things you add to your basket?  I am already thinking about next year's...

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

***CLOSED***Giveaway-Monster Mobile Selfie Case for iPhone

Are you on social media?  Who isn't?  If you leave your house without your phone what happens?  Do you go back and get it?  Yes!  I cannot live without my phone.  Nor can I live with a dead phone.  When my phone starts flashing low battery, I may or may not start to panic.

As part of the Monster's review team, I received a Monster Mobile® Selfie Case for iPhone and a Monster Mobile® PowerCard Turbo™ Portable Battery. 
Monster's Power Card Turbo Portable Battery packs are super thin.  I like that it fits into any wallet for power on the go.   It can save you when your battery goes low.  I like that my teen can use this in case of an emergency.  I never have to hear the excuse, "Mom, my phone was dead".    

Do you know someone who loves to take selfies?  How about trying the Monster Mobile® Selfie Case for iPhone?

Go Hands-Free for selfies, pictures, calls, video chat, time-lapse video, GPS navigation and more.

Mount your smartphone to glass, mirror, acrylic, marble and other smooth, flat and glossy vertical surfaces
  • Special gel material functions like millions of tiny suction cups
  • Shock absorbent and impact resistant
  • High quality, flexible case body
  • Provides improved grip

  • We don't have iPhones in this house, we are a Droid family!  So this means one lucky reader gets to win this Monster Mobile Selfie Case for iPhone.

    Enter now.

    ***CLOSED***Giveaway-Monster High: Great Scarrier Reef

    Do you have a Monster High fan in your house?  Did you know that Monster High: Great Scarrier Reef was just released on Blu-ray?
    Splash into a Whole New Monster High™ World!  Join your favorite ghoul friends in an all-new aquatic adventure!  When the ghouls get pulled into the school pool, they’re transported to the gore-geous underwater world of the Great Scarrier Reef.  Lagoona realizes she's come home and, in a fintastic mission of the heart, decides to come to terms with her own freaky flaws.  Of course she’ll need some help from the most creeperiffic friends ever as she confronts a frenemy from her past, competes in a scaretastic dance extravaganza, and fights a terrible beast from the deep!

    This Blu-ray will make a perfect addition to any Easter basket.  If you have a little ghoul lover, don't forget to grab this while picking those goodies.  (By the way this title has not been licensed to Netflix.)  Do you want to win a copy?

    Enter below.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Visiting Selena

    I normally do not give celebrity level to anyone.  Celebrities are people, humans like you and me.  There are only a few people maybe less than a hand full in my book that can be that level to me.  One of these people is Selena.  Selena Quintanilla was the Tejano Queen that was taken too early.  She was a star but not like a reality star.  Selena was someone we, Hispanic girls, could look up to.  Selena was only 7 years older than me.  I love her music, style, and person she was.  I saw in concert many times.  I never got to be that up close and personal with her but she always made me feel like I knew her.  I still remember the day she was shot.  I was on my way home from school.  We heard the news on the bus.  I ran home crying.  As I am writing, I'm crying.  Like I said, she was taken too soon.  She wasn't a relative, but I have visited her grave more times than anyone else.  Years ago, I visited but never got to capture the moment.  So on Spring Break, we made a pit stop to pay our respect and share this place with our kids. 

    Corpus Christi has a beautiful memorial that anyone can visit.  It is free.  Right of the water.  Peaceful!  Many visit everyday, all day. 
    This is where Selena's body rests.  I remember the first time I came to the cemetery we cried.  All my friends and I were huge fans.  We cried as if we personally knew her.  I do not remember this place having a fence and a barricade but I can see why it would need to be blocked off.  Just in the few moments we were there, many others showed up.  Some of the same people we had seen at the memorial earlier.   
    We got to Corpus too late for us to visit the Selena Museum.  I have never been in there.  I visited the boutique years ago and was hoping to see it again.  But come to find out it closed many years ago. 

    Selena, the movie, is one of the only movies I can watch over and over and not get tired of watching.  I can hear her music on replay all day long, I did.  When I was in high school, that is all I listened to. 

    I wanted to share this with my kids and my husband.  He had never been to either spot.  My kids may know of Selena as one of mom's childhood memories.  They have watched the movie with us and know her story.  Tejano music is not as popular as it once was but it is part of our culture.  It is important to me that our kids know their culture, share their heritage, and remember where we all come from.  That is one of the main reasons why I love Selena and what she represents for me.  Stayed true to herself, ate pizza like it was nobody's business, and sang her heart out but she loved to sing.  And I love to sing her music even if I can hold the right tune.  I loved her beautiful smile and contagious laughter. 

    Selena Vive!  Selena lives, forever in our hearts! 

    Tuesday, March 22, 2016

    Spring Break in South Padre Island

    Yes, you read that right.  I took my family to South Padre Island for Spring Break.  We were ready to have some fun in the sun and the beach.
    My daughter has been asking us to take her to the beach.  She was born a human but in another life she was a mermaid. 
    South Padre Island has beautiful beaches.  We had visited a couple of years back but my husband was not able to make the trip with us.  I am sure my daughter does not even remember since she was so little.  We headed to the island for a couple of days to get away from everything.
    My favorite things about this trip:

    1)  Family Time-We have not taken an entire week off together in - NEVER!  My husband usually works for Spring Break.  I normally take time off and hang out with my kids.  We do weekend trips, or staycations but never actually plan to get away from it all. 

    2)  Location-I love the beach.  I did not realize how much my little girl loved the beach too.  Why do I love the beach?  The beach is a fun place.  I love reflecting on the beach.  I love listening to the ocean.  Seeing the beauty of the sky meeting the land.  It did not matter where we would have went as long as we were together.  But the beach did make a perfect spot for us to enjoy ourselves, each other, and it's beauty.

    3)  Memories-A vacation sometimes is not all fun, happy, joy-joy times.  Most of the time we forget something, we get lost, kids have tantrums, etc... but even those memories one day will be funny stories or things you miss once your kids grow up.  I am learning to let go.  I am a very controlling person and this hard.  I am a perfectionist and forgetting, losing, or under planning really suck for us.  Lately I am spending more time laughing at myself, laughing with my kids, instead of stressing out, I laugh, laugh hard. 

    A specific moment I am learning to let go is the perfect shot.  I put my kids in a spot, expect to pose and smile, and then it happens.  They move, no smile, closed eyes, etc...  My husband loves getting the moment shots.  He has been telling just take the picture.  Remember those moments who cares if it is the perfect shot.  And guess what, those have been become the shots I am loving.  Check some of them out from this vacation:
    My daughter was so excited that we were getting ready to hit the water that she could not sit still for a shot.  I snapped this picture off centered, caught her trying to put her shoes on, and actually didn't even take the picture right.  I normally delete these kind of pictures but not anymore. 
    This is one of many shots I took.  Again, I was trying to get her to smile for the camera.  I ended up just clicking a lot of shots.  I loved them all.  You can see how much fun she was having in every shot.
    This is when I gave up trying to a good picture.  I just starting snapping action shots.  I like this picture because it has the rest of the family in the shadows.  We were having so much fun just watching how much fun my daughter was having.  The water was freezing but she was running, chasing waves.

    Every shot has a story.  Our story.

    Have you been to SPI?  Do you hit the beach?  When was your last vacation?  What places do you like to visit with the family to unwind? 

    Monday, March 21, 2016

    Weekend Snapshots | 4

    I have been MIA for the past week.  We went took Spring Break off with the family.  Our vacation kinda felt like one long weekend.  You know, vacation time is never enough time.  You need a vacation from the vacation to catch up.  No time to catch up just got to jump back into the flow of things.  But you do get to catch up on see what I was up to this and last weekend on this week's edition of Weekend Snapshots brought to you by and The Reinvention of Jessica.

    We ate some deliciousness.  While traveling we ate some yummy food.  One of our stops was a candy store that had some treats you may have not ever tried or thought of trying.  Like the Tajin apple, Elote preparado, Stuffed Cucumbers and the Chamoyada Raspa. 
    Some of these treats may look gross to you but they are so good.  The sweet, sour, and spicy treats are not your typical snow cone, candied apple, or cucumber treats.  I am not sure where the origin of this original was but they are some Hispanic treats and not found in your typical candy stores.  This store did have a lot of other treats.  It was candy land heaven for any kid or candy lover like me.
     This was one of stops in Corpus Christi - Candylandia Candyshop on 1045 Airline Rd.

    We checked off another park from our park bucket list by visiting Discovery Green.  It is a park that is open everyday at the heart of Downtown.  They host several events, some which are free.  You can check out their calendar on their website like I did. 

    This day's event included making butterflies, getting stick on tattoos, playing on the playground, watching dance crews and dancing to the beat of her own heart beat!
    Discovery Green has been nominated by USA Today as one of the Top 20 Best City Parks in the nation!  If you have been to the park and love it, you should vote daily at  You can even vote from your phone.  Hurry and vote because the voting ends on March 28.

    How about you?  How was your weekend?  Were you on Spring Break too?  Don't forget to visit the other ladies or share your own weekend snapshots.