Monday, November 13, 2017

Leave No Trace Camping

Camping should be on everyone's bucket list.  Growing up our parents never took us.  So we made sure that our kids did not miss out on this outdoor adventure.
Thanks to Latino Outdoors, Texas Outdoor Family, and Texas Parks and Wildlife for extending an invitation for our family to join them for a weekend of camping at Garner State Park through the Texas Outdoor Family Program.  We had never been camping alone.  Our yearly camping trip is always with family and friends who are experienced outdoors men/women.  This trip we would not be alone either.  We were in good hands with Park Rangers and Volunteers. 
Our session of Camping 101 started right after check in.  TOF provides everything you need for camping including tents, cots, and even a stove.  Though we had been camping before, we were taking notes from the very prepared Rangers who taught us how to pitch our tents, build a fire, and how not to leave a trace while camping.

Leave No Trace-"take only pictures, leave only footprints"

1. Plan Ahead and Prepare 

2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

3. Dispose of Waste Properly

4. Leave What You Find
5. Minimize Campfire Impacts 

6. Respect Wildlife

7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
Our daughter had an amazing time earning her Junior Ranger badge.  Mami and Papi learned a lot about camping and we are so excited for our next trip.  Here are more fun pics from our adventure:

For more information, go to  

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Tacos, Tackles, and Tequila

Can it be Taco Tuesday everyday?  I mean, who doesn't love tacos?
This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Taco Cabana.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.  

With a family of four, a full time job, and a long commute sometimes mom has to get a little help.  The one request that they all have is TACOS.

Taco Cabana is introducing the new Flamed-Grilled Chicken tacos.  Three different ones to choose from:

-Grilled Peppers & Onions with Salsa Roja (sautéed red and green peppers, blend of grilled onions, diced tomatoes, Salsa Roja and a squeeze of fresh lime juice)
-Roasted Poblanos, Ranchero & Cheese (roasted Poblano chiles, melted Cheddar and Monterrey Jack cheeses and slow-simmered Ranchero Sauce)
-Bacon & Jalapeño with Salsa Ranch (melted Cheddar and Jack cheeses, roasted jalapeño chiles, Salsa Ranch and thick-cut, double-smoked Bacon)

Mix and match any three for $5.99 but hurry they are available for a Limited Time Only.

Tackling the kids for dinner does not have to be hard with the new Taco Cabana Kids’ Meal which includes breaded 100% white meat, antibiotic-never chicken bites, choice of rice & beans or chips & queso, choice of Mott’s® Apple Juice or kids’ drink, 2 flour tortillas and a chocolate chip cookie for $4.99.  
Unwind with the new house-made Premium Margaritas that are made with 100% Blue Agave Lunazul Tequila.  The Premium Margaritas are a permanent item on Taco Cabana’s menu.  

Don't forget Happy Hour is from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. every day.   

Friday, November 10, 2017

Flick Friday-Daddy's Home 2

From experience I can tell you that being a blended family is hard.  It takes a lot of work from all sides.  Sometimes our kids do not understand the choices parents have to make to not stay together. 
I was invited to an advanced screening.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

It was a hard decision for me to make years ago.  I do not regret it at all.  Since I have remarried, my son has gained a bonus family.  That's what we call it.  Every family has different dynamics but one thing we all have in common, is that we do it all for our kids.  We all love them!

But it is not all easy, peasy at times. 

Synopsis:  In the sequel to the 2015 global smash, father and stepfather, Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) and Brad (Will Ferrell) have joined forces to provide their kids with the perfect Christmas. Their newfound partnership is put to the test when Dusty’s old-school, macho Dad (Mel Gibson) and Brad’s ultra-affectionate and emotional Dad (John Lithgow) arrive just in time to throw the holiday into complete chaos.

DADDY’S HOME 2 opens in theaters today.  

You don't want to miss all this family's shenanigans.  It is a very funny comedy the entire family will enjoy. 

Flick Friday-Bad Moms Christmas #BADMOMSXMAS

Moms sometimes get a bad wrap.  We can never do enough.  We juggle things around, make miracles happen, and we even create magic at times.
I was invited to an advanced screening.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

I have heard several moms admit to feeling overwhelmed.   With the holidays around the corner, how much more over whelmed will you feel?  Let's take back the a Bad Mom!

Synopsis-A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS follows our three under-appreciated and over-burdened women as they rebel against the challenges and expectations of the Super Bowl for moms: Christmas.  And if creating a more perfect holiday for their families wasn’t hard enough, they have to do all of that while hosting and entertaining their own mothers.  By the end of the journey, our moms will redefine how to make the holidays special for all and discover a closer relationship with their mothers.

Bad Moms Christmas is out now in theaters.  The housework, errands, and holidays can wait.  Take a break from it all.  Don't get so wrapped up.  Grab some bad moms and go unwind!  You and your bad moms will love this comedy as much as me and my bad moms.

Monday, November 6, 2017

AtHome for Christmas

One of my favorite times of the year has to definitely be Christmas.  It is the time of year that for some reason the air, the sounds, and even our homes are different.
This is a compensated post in collaboration with AtHome Stores and MomSelect.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

The air is already different and not because the seasons are changing but because of all the things happening.  Everyone needs a little family, lots of laughter, and an open door.  This is why I am prepping my house early so I can start hosting our friends and family.  I want to spread cheer, so everyone will leave grinning from ear to ear.  As I start thinking where to start, the first room that comes to mind is the restroom.  Sometimes, this is the room that is last to get some love.
But this is the room that everyone visits just as much as the kitchen.  I figure if I start with one room at a time, I won't be so overwhelmed either.  Plus it is the smallest room too.

First, take everything you do not need in the room.  Start with a clean slate.  This is also the perfect time to check to see if you need to get rid of some things.  Cleansing is good for the soul.
Second, think our your color scheme.  My favorite color is blue but by my restroom is green.  When I think about Christmas, I see lots of red, white, and green.
Third, think about your favorite things and use them as your inspiration.  I love stars, earthy one with nature decor, and purposeful things.
Lastly, you may not be crazy about Christmas colors.  Some people hate all things red.  But just a little pop of color can make a big difference.
Combine all these things to help you transition your space from everyday to holiday!

You can find the Christmas Hoedown collection and many more at your nearest AtHome store.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Fitness Friday-How Strong is Your Trot #HOUTurkeyTrot

Can you believe that this year is almost over?  Where did it go?  Who is ready for some turkey? 
This is a sponsored post in collaboration with BakerRipley.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

When you hear the word turkey, what do you think about?  I think about Thanksgiving, traditions, and the trot.  These three go hand in hand with one another in our family.  The Houston TXU Energy BarkeyRipley Turkey Trot has become a family tradition.
Did you know that the trot was my very first race?  It was.  I did not prepare at all for it but I was up for the challenge.  Here are some tips for you:

1)  Trot-Start getting some mileage in everyday.  This will help you get across the finish line.  Whether you run, jog, or trot, it is the best feeling when you cross the finish line.

2)  Tennis shoes-Break your shoes in.  Do not buy new shoes to wear the day of the race.  Make sure you have comfortable shoes.  Good shoes will make a big difference.

3)  Tradition-Make this a part of your tradition.  The trot is a family friendly event.  Grab the entire family and help celebrate the 25 years of Trot. 
4)  Time-Make sure you register before the price increased on November 18th. 

5)  Turkey-BarkerRipley serves more than half a million people across the Houston area.  Serving the community with community centers, charter schools, Headstart programs, senior services and career centers.  This is a way for you to give back.  Then you can go home and have some turkey! 
Currently the prices are as follows:
10K Untimed - $30
10K Timed - $35
10K Wheelchair - $35
Phillips 66 5K Untimed - $30
Phillips 66 5K Timed - $35
Phillips 66 5K Wheelchair - $35
Kids Run - $15

Register now to take advantage of these prices!  Save $5 off your registration by using this code:  17INDEPENDENT