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Friday, March 24, 2017

Springing into a Healthier Me #LALAChallenge

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with LALA® Yogurt Smoothies and #WeAllGrow Latina Network.

Are you as happy as I am that Spring is finally here?  The air is different.  The flowers start to bloom.  But that is not the only thing blooming around here.
This year I decided on making myself my New Year's Resolution.  Over the years, I have put others before me.  Not this year.  I'm being a little selfish.  I am taking the attitude - me before you.  Thanks to some of my changes, I'm springing back like an old, used coil. 

Here are tips on how SPRING can help you get healthy too:

Self-You matter.  It all starts with the person you look at in the mirror everyday.  Take a moment and stand in front of the mirror.  Seriously.  It does not matter how people see you, it matters what you see.  What do you see?  Is this a happy person?  Don't look for flaws/scars but look at the glass full.  I see an able body that has so much potential.  It is like an art piece waiting to be sculpted.  You are the artist behind this vision.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 

Prioritize-What is your goal?  Do you want to get healthier?  Do you want to lose weight?  Break it down.  Interview yourself.  Define your needs versus wants.  Pick a reachable goal, timeframe, and give yourself milestones.  I want to be healthier, so that is my ultimate long term goal.  It is a lifestyle.  One of my biggest issues was doing good during the week and messing it up over the weekend.  My first small goal was to be the same weight or less on Mondays.  Then it was to continue to maintain the weight loss throughout the month.  Baby steps are helping me get to the ultimate goal.

Rotate-Don't let the routine stop you.  Rotate, revolve, change your schedule.  One of my trainers told me it takes 21 days for us to build a habit.  But some people get bored real easily or things happen in your life.  If you don't like the gym, find a park.  If you can't make it to the park, have a dance party at home.  Start with doing 30 minutes of exercise whenever you can fit it in.  I started out being able to go to the gym at 5 am, then I had to go during my lunch hour to the park, sometimes I can make it after work. 

Ignite-Light a fire and get closer to your goal.  Find a piece in your closet that you have not worn in a while and would like to get back into.  Buy yourself an article of clothing one size smaller.  I have all different sizes of clothes that no longer fit in my back closet.  As I am losing weight, my smaller sizes are coming back into my closet.  The clothes I am no longer fitting is going out the door.

New-Try something you have never done.  Crossfit, yoga, cycling, dancing, but try something.  You never know if you are going to like something unless you try it.  I tried running years ago and found that I loved it.  I never thought I could to Crossfit but after I tried it, I found that I could.  Cycling is hard but guess what, once you get the hand off it you will want to do it too.  Indoors and outdoors.  Currently, I am trying to get one hour of physical activity into my day.  It doesn't matter what it is as long as I get it done. 

Go-We live our lives always on the go.  That should not be the reason why we cannot keep ourselves healthy.  I plan ahead for my non-stop lifestyle.  This is why our HEB grocery list always includes LALA® drinkable yogurt smoothies.  

They are great tasting, nutritious, and healthy.   The perfect on-the-go snack for my on-the-go life.  Made with real fruit and has 5g of Protein.  We keep our refrigerator stocked up.

  • I can grab a LALA® Yogurt Smoothie as I run out of the door.  This way I am not missing meals, my body is getting fueled, and I am staying on course with my goals.

  • Did you know LALA® Yogurt Smoothies is proud to be a sponsor of the H-E-B Slim Down Challenge?   Earlier this year, H-E-B invited Texans to apply online at heb.com.  Though only 28 were selected for the competition, you can follow their journey along from home.  Not only will you be following their journey but you can access workouts and recipes, and read contestants’ blogs for inspiration.  The Slim Down Showdown is part of H-E-B Health & Wellness, a comprehensive, long-term commitment to improve the health of Texans.  H-E-B aims to inspire Texans to adopt and stick to a healthy lifestyle through special offers on healthy food, nutrition labeling, events, competitions and educational opportunities.  Winners will be announced April 1 at the H-E-B Alamo Health and Fitness Expo in San Antonio. 

    Are you ready to SPRING into a healthier you?

    This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of LALA Yogurt Smoothies and WeAllGrow Latina Network. The opinions and text are all mine.

    Friday, March 17, 2017

    Disney-Beauty and The Beast

    It is a tale as old as time.  You know the story.  It is one of favorite stories of all time. 
    I was invited to an advance screening.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

    The story has been brought to life before my eyes.  The film stars that brought it to life are Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s father; Josh Gad as LeFou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Ewan McGregor as Lumière, the candelabra; Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Audra McDonald as Madame de Garderobe, thewardrobe; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; Hattie Morahan as the enchantress; and Nathan Mack as Chip, the teacup; with Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.  This cast did an amazing job truly portraying this story.

    The story that starts with a daughter's request: "All I'd like is a rose you've picked specially for me!"  A beautiful rose for a beauty.  “Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a Beast in his castle.  Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart of the true Prince within. 

    It is the story that teaches us to look within.  To go past the outside exterior of a person and really get to know them.  There is beauty in everyone.  We have to want to give people a chance.  You do not know the other person until you give them a chance.

    It teaches us that no matter how lost you are and when you see no light, you never know what may come to your life to be the light.  To bring you out of the darkness.  It is a beautiful story.

    My favorite song that always touches me...


    The story on screen opens in theaters today.   

    Tuesday, March 14, 2017

    Giveaway-Taco Cabana Houston Fiestas

    Hey Houston...Do you know what a Fiesta is?  A party.  Have you ever heard of the San Antonio Fiesta?  Annual celebration every April to honor the memory of the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto.
    This is a sponsored post brought to you by Taco Cabana.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.


    Taco Cabana will be offering month-long weekend fiestas over the next few months at various restaurants throughout Houston.

    The fiestas, which will be held in The Woodlands, Kingwood and northwest Houston, will feature family fun entertainment including:

    · DJ, Photo Booth, Prize Wheel and chance to win “Free TC for a Year”

    · Balloon Artist, Caricature Artist, Face Painter and/or Temporary Tattoos

    The Woodlands
    Address: 3079 College Park Drive, The Woodlands, TX 77384
    Dates: Saturday, March 11 – Saturday, April 1
    Time: 4 – 7 p.m.

    Kingwood
    Address: 25657 US Highway 59, Kingwood, TX 77339
    Dates: Saturday, April 8 – Saturday, April 29
    Time: 4 – 7 p.m.

    Northwest Houston
    Address: 167 Yale St., Houston, TX  77007
    Dates: Saturday, May 6 – Saturday, May 27
    Time: 4 – 7 p.m.

    Thanks to Taco Cabana for allowing Independentmami's readers to get the fiesta started, enter below.
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    US only.  The winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize.  The prize will be fulfilled by the sponsor.  Good Luck!

    Boss Baby Advance Screening

    Who wants to go see the Boss Baby?
    This is a sponsored post.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

    SYNOPSIS-DreamWorks Animation and the director of Madagascar invite you to meet a most unusual baby.  He wears a suit, speaks with the voice and wit of Alec Baldwin, and stars in the animated comedy, DreamWorks’ The Boss Baby.  The Boss Baby is a hilariously universal story about how a new baby's arrival impacts a family, told from the point of view of a delightfully unreliable narrator, a wildly imaginative 7 year old named Tim.  With a sly, heart-filled message about the importance of family, DreamWorks’ The Boss Baby is an authentic and broadly appealing original comedy for all ages.  

    I have advance screening passes for Houston.   First-come, First-serve.  Admit Four passes.

    Go to: http://www.gofobo.com/oPnfk26121 to print your passes out.  Make sure you arrive early to get your spot in the theater.

    Thursday, March 9, 2017

    How Do You Granola - Challenge

    Do you granola?  I do.  It is great for breakfast or a snack.
    Thanks to Viki's Granola for sending sample product to review.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

    I like making Granola Parfaits.  They are so easy to make.  You can add your favorite fruit or what you have available or in season.  Granola provides fiber.  Also the oats in the granola are a whole grain.  For parfaits, you don't need that many ingredients or that much time.

    Ingredients:

    -Greek Yogurt
    -granola
    -fruit of your choice (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries)

    It is so easy, you just build layers.  You can add fruit as part of your layers too.  You can top it with fruit.  It is up to you. 
    Viki's Original Granola takes rolled oats, organic honey and adds a touch of almonds and pecans for a flavor-packed ride.  It is available in Original, Apple Cinnamon, Maple Cranberry, Blueberry Almond or Banana Walnut.

    With 100% All Natural Ingredients and they are:
    • Gluten Free
    • Non-GMO Verified
    • Cholesterol Free
    • Zero Trans Fats
    • Sodium free
    • Dairy Free
    • Kosher Pareve

    For more information on Viki's Granola, go to vikisfoods.com.

    Tuesday, March 7, 2017

    Houston Livestock show and Rodeo Tips

    Have you ever experienced The Houston Livestock Shoe and Rodeo?
    This is a sponsored post in collaboration with USFG.  All opinions stated are my own based on personal experience.

    Here are some tips if you plan on attending the HLSR this year:

    Family Fun and Value at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

    Navigate the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

    Download the RODEOHOUSTON mobile app available for iPhone and Android to ensure your family outing to the Show goes off without a hitch! Jam-packed with an interactive scheduling tool, and parking and map information, the mobile app is a must for busy parents who like to plan ahead. Pre-plan and create an agenda personalized to your family's interests using the "My Schedule" function within the app.

    Rodeo grounds passes are available for adults 13 years of age and older for $10; for children ages 3 to 12, $5; and for children ages 2 and under, grounds admission is free.

    Fun for the Entire Family in OXY AGventure-

    Home to 12 interactive and educational exhibits, OXY AGventure provides both children and adults with a one-of-a-kind learning experience, and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

    Value Wednesday Deals
    The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo provides its guests with world-class entertainment at an incredible value. If you're on a budget, you won't want to miss out on the Show's Value Wednesday deals. Every Wednesday during the Show, adults will only pay $5 to enter NRG Park and seniors, 60 years of age and older, and children, 12 and younger, get in free!

    In addition to discounted admission fees, visitors have access to shopping discounts, dining meal deals, and $5 off the purchase of $25 or more at the Official Rodeo Merchandise booths. Value Wednesday discounts vary among vendors and are available at select locations in NRG Center, NRG Arena and NRG Park.

    Bring the family out to The Junction Carnival on Value Wednesdays between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. to enjoy $2 rides and games. Save at the carnival every day during Show by purchasing half-priced carnival packs, on sale now through Saturday, March 4. The purchase of a half-priced carnival pack provides you with a bundle of ride tickets and refreshment coupons at an incredible value. Plus, each carnival pack includes a $5 off voucher (when you spend $25 or more) valid for use at any of the Official Rodeo Merchandise booths. Visit rodeohouston.com for more information.

    Friday, March 3, 2017

    Fitness Friday-Viva La Color 5K

    This year we are trying new things with my kids.  Previously my son and I participated in a color run with a big group of our friends.  We had not participated in another one since then.  My Lil Bit had yet to experience this fun and energetic run.  I feel that at five years old she could handle all the fun.
    Did you know Viva means to live or to be alive?  This is how we should live life like we are alive.  This is what I am teaching my kids this year that life is meant to be lived. 
     The weather was being brutal this morning as it was in the low 60s and the wind was not dying down at all.  We were freezing.  Luckily my daughter's sweater was in our vehicle.  We had brought towels for after the race that we ended up wrapping her in.   She stayed warm before the race in her wagon.
     How did our race go?  Well a 5K is a little hard for little feet.  It is a long distance if they have never done this distance before.  A color run is a lot of fun but there are no water stations, no porta potties along the race route, and other than the few color stations; it is still a race. 

    Right from the start my daughter wanted to go potty.  I think it was the cold weather because I got the urge as well.  I have to give it to Lil Bit, she hung in the entire time.  I ended up carrying her (all 36 lbs) on my shoulders and piggy back from color station to color station.  I asked her if she wanted to quick at one point where it looked like we could just cut through but she said no.  She loved getting the colors squirted at her.  I loved watching her go through the color stations.  I loved how so many people were so encouraging and were cheering me on as they past me up.  I heard things like:
    "Way to go Mom", "You got this", "Yall almost done, keep it up", etc...
     At the end, I put her down and she bolted to the finish line.  She is really fast like her brother.  I can see some Cross Country or Track in her future.  Daddy caught the finish line picture.
     My son started and ended the race like a champ.  This was not a timed race but my husband said my son finished within the first 10 people.   
    I pulled the rear like always.  Check out my tutu, yeah that's the wind still blowing like crazy.
    Everyone who finished got a medal at the finish line.  We had a blast on the run.  The after party was a big dance, color party that my daughter did not want to leave.  Viva la Color!

    Thursday, March 2, 2017

    Giveaway-MOANA

    Have you seen the movie MOANA?
    This is a sponsored post.  Any opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

    MOANA will release on DVD and Blu-Ray on March 7, and is currently available in Digital HD.  It is the story of a spirited teenager who sets sail on a daring adventure to save her people, starring newcomer Auli‘i Cravalho as the voice of brave and tenacious Moana and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as the larger-than-life demigod Maui, has dazzled both critics and audiences.

    According to directors Ron Clements and John Musker, the story of “Moana” was inspired by the great explorers who masterfully navigated the vast Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania.  “Voyaging is a real source of pride for many Pacific Islanders, a part of their identity,” says Clements.  Many experts believe that about 3,000 years ago, those deep-sea exploratory voyages halted for about a millennium before resuming.  This rebirth of exploration sparked the filmmakers’ imaginations, and the heroine at the heart of the story.  “The idea of a teenage girl who dreamed of becoming a navigator—considering the abilities of her ancestors—was so appealing,” explains Musker.  Moana’s quest to become a wayfinder also serves as a journey of self-discovery, empowering her to find her own identity – a beautiful and powerful message for audiences of all ages and genders.

    Want to win your own digital copy?  Enter now:

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    US only.  The winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize.  1 winner will be randomly selected.  Fulfillment of prize will be done by sponsor. 

    Wednesday, March 1, 2017

    Cinderella Birthday Party

    I am a little late with sharing my daughter's birthday day from December but I have to share.  I love how everything came together.  The day was magical and my daughter was so happy.  My daughter was not even one when I decided that her 5th birthday party theme would be Cinderella.  I want it to be magical.  Years ago when my son was five a mom was sharing her birthday party plans for her daughter with me.  She said in Mexican tradition they celebrate their daughter's at age 5 by throwing them a huge birthday party like a Quinceañera but it is called a Cincociera.  I was sold.  If I ever had a daughter, she was going to have one.  Years went by and I finally had my baby girl.  If you don't remember I call her my miracle baby because I almost lost her at 15 weeks when I was having a miscarriage.  Each year we celebrate this beautiful gift we received.

    For the party decorations, I want to take everyone on a journey of her five years of life.  Flashback of some of our favorite memories we have had throughout the years with our Lil Bit.

    Entrance-I had this sign cut out of corrugated.  We spray painted it silver.  We had blue birds cut out as well.  I added blue strips of ribbon for each year she has lived.
    The main table had the cake, cake pops, and candy.  I had several candy stations throughout the house for everyone to enjoy.  I made candy centerpieces that everyone got to take home.  I did not even get a change to take a picture of those. 

    I used paper flowers for the background, thanks to Joanna from Flores De Madame Mariposa



    The birthday cake was made by my coworker.  Her cakes are delicious.  All the kids enjoyed the Cinderella cake pops.
    We even had a photo booth section for all the guests to take pictures with Cinderella and Prince Charming.  The crown we had cut out and used for a previous birthday party.  We spray painted it gold for this party.  We also cut a carriage out and spray painted it with the theme colors.  It took many coats of glitter to get this affect but it was perfect.  Everyone enjoyed taking pictures with our Princess.
    We set up a tent to keep the cold out.  The centerpieces were fabric pumpkins I found at the At Home Store right after Halloween.  They were the perfect color.  I had enough to give each Madrina/Padrino (sponsor).  I also printed pictures of the birthday girl that I put in silver and gold frames that we also gave to family members with thank you cards my daughter had personally signed.  I had big glitter blue bows on the columns of the tent that I got from the dollar store at Christmas time.
    Even the piñata was a life-size Cinderella.  It was custom made for my daughter's birthday party.
    Our princess loved every part of her birthday party.  She did not want to take her dress off even after the clock stroke midnight.  I think the best gift was daddy being her Prince Charming.
    It was a lot of hard work to pull this off.  The vision I had in my head came to life.  And seeing how happy this made her was all the thank you I needed.  This was my gift to her.