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Friday, December 28, 2018

Giveaway-SMALLFOOT Movie

In celebration of the start of winter and my daughter’s birthday, we are hosting a fun giveaway on the blog.  Did you know last Friday marked the first day of winter?  Most kids started their holiday on this day.  What a way to celebrate the start of this season!  My daughter’s school actually took the day off.  She said it was an early birthday gift to her and her celebrations could now begin.  We want you to join in the celebration as well with something to get you into the mood for all things winter.


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

SYNOPSIS-An animated adventure for all ages, with fun new music by Zendaya & Common and featuring an all-star cast, “Smallfoot” turns the Bigfoot legend upside down when a bright young Yeti (Channing Tatum) finds something he thought didn’t exist—a human! News of the “smallfoot,” Percy (James Corden), throws the simple Yeti community into an uproar over what else might be out there in the big world beyond their snowy village.  This is an epic story about friendship and courage!  

Get Yeti for fun! SMALLFOOT is out now on Blu-ray or dvd or you can win it here.  Enter below:


Us only.  One (1) winner be be randomly selected.  Prize fulfillment will be done by sponsor.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Flick Friday-Second Act Movie

Do you have career goals?  Or are you where you want to be?  Do you aspire to do more?

My current situation has me rethinking all this and more.  Clearly when I was little I had others trying to push me to think ahead.  All throughout my school-aged years I wanted to be a teacher.  I loved helping others.  One summer in elementary school, I even volunteered to go to summer school and be a teacher’s assistant. I loved every minute of it.

Fast forward to now.  I never finished college.  That decision has been looming over me, more than ever lately.  Do not get me wrong.  I have been very fortunate to have the positions I have had.  I have had wonderful mentors who took me under their wings and were not afraid to teach me their jobs.  With these opportunities I have held coveted positions that I earned not based on a piece of paper but with my experience.

But is it just a piece a paper?

Disclosure-I was invited to an advanced screening.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

Life happens sometimes. But most of us will come out in the end the best we can for our situations.

The struggle is real. The decision to leave school was all my mine. I do not regret deciding to provide for my son.

We should not doubt our worth. Experience was earned. You have done your time. But you need to believe that you can do it and be able to sell yourself. Your pitch, your story, and your resume - their
yours. Maybe one place may turn you down but that might have not been the place you belonged. Find your place.

Second Act is a funny movie about life. Follow Jennifer Lopez on her journey to find her place.

Synopsis-SECOND ACT is an inspirational comedy starring Jennifer Lopez as Maya, a 40-year-old woman struggling with frustrations of not having achieved more in life. As an experienced, quickwitted, perceptive employee, she is passed over for a promotion solely because she doesn’t have a college degree. Until, that is, she gets the chance to prove that street smarts are as valuable as book smarts, and that it is never too late for a Second Act.

If you are not where you want to be? Do something about it! This is what I am telling myself. Whether

it is another job, another career, or going back to school.

What will your second act be?

Second Act is now in theaters. Find out more at:  Official Website| Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Monday, December 17, 2018

A Sea of Light-Christmas Celebration

The holidays are always a magical time.  The air is different.  It is the time of year where the world is lit up.  Since my daughter is a December baby, we wanted to make things very special for her.  


Thanks to Seaworld for the special invitation to join them at the Seaworld Christmas Celebration.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

Our daughter loves Christmas and everything about it.  This year we decided to make a list of the holiday activities she wanted to do to celebrate it.  And the the top of her list were some very fun things that everyone in the family would enjoy.  While decorating our house, our daughter pulled out some ornaments from Seaworld.  I realized that she had never visited during the holidays.  I had been looking for a special way to surprise our daughter and she had guided me to the perfect gift for her.  


We did not tell her about the surprise.  We only told her we were going on a weekend getaway.  She likes adventures.  This was enough of a gift for her.  Our trip almost got cancelled due to bad weather.  I am so glad we did not cancel it because our daughter loved her surprise.  


We wanted to take her to SEA a winter wonderland.  I think nine million lights are enough to light up a little girls eyes.  And light up her eyes we did.  She smiled from ear to ear.

  
We got to check off a lot of items off her list, like seeing real reindeer.  Did you know both male and female reindeer grow antlers?  


The most special part of the day was dinner because we got to Dine with Rudolph and Friends.  She even made a new special friend or two.  

  


At the end of the day, she said this was the best day ever!  I mean nine million lights, meeting Rudolph, and finishing it off with a Christmas parade would be any littles best day.  

Tips if you are planning a trip to Seaworld Christmas Celebration:

1)  Holiday Hours-Go online to check the holiday park hours.  The celebration goes on from now until January 6th.  

2)  Plan Ahead-Make your reservations early for Dine with Rudolph and friends or Dinner with Santa and Mrs. Claus.  Spots fill up quickly.

3)  Schedule-Grab one at the front of the park to guide your day.  Don't forget about the parade.  Grab a spot before the good spots are taken.  

The highlight of the night is when the park lights up and there are lights are far as the eyes can see.    

Monday, December 10, 2018

Weekend Getaway with Courtyard by Marriott

December is my daughter's birthday month.  Every year, we love surprising her and making her feel special.  As she is getting older it is getting harder and harder to compete with electronics and technology.  One of our favorite things to do is family getaways.  This helps us get away from our normal day to day and refresh from the routines and schedules.  Who doesn't need an escape?

Thanks to the Courtyard by Marriott for hosting our family over the weekend.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

To escape means to break free!  Isn't that what the weekend is all about?  Breaking free from the norm.  Sometimes you just need to get away.  Away from all of it.  The chores, cleaning, and chaos.  I know I love to leave it all behind, even if just for the weekend.  This time of year can be pretty hectic but isn't that the excuse we give ourselves all year long.  We make excuses to enjoy our lives the way they are meant to be.  All work and no play is not good for our minds, bodies, or souls.  Everyone needs refreshers.  You know what they say, "A family that unwinds together, stays together!"

Getaways are always fun.  Finding a place with all the comforts of home, that's roomie, and has all the amenities may be a little more of a challenge.  Challenge because with a family, you have to make everyone happy.  There are five things that are important to me when planning a great weekend getaway for my family.


1)  Comforts of Home-Traveling with kids can be hard.  I never want to be in a place where they are not comfortable or where we feel they can't touch anything.  Their stay should be as enjoyable as ours.  My daughter found her little spot and felt right at home, nice and comfy.


2)  Space-Kids are always dealing with finding their own space.  At home, everyone has their own space.  It should not be different when you go away.  With kids, times can get very trying.  Space is important.   


3)  Food-I know I get cranky when I am hungry.  Imagine a kid.  Getaways are about turning off the alarms and sleeping in.  Well, try to tell that to your hungry kid in the morning.  The best thing other than having two televisions in one room is being able to have breakfast available.  No matter how you like your breakfast.  No long lines, they make it how you like it, and you can even be a little carefree and do breakfast in bed!  Be that cool parent. 


4)  Pool-My daughter's requirements to any place we stay includes a pool.  Our smart girl is too smart for us because she specifically asks for an indoor pool.  Even when the weather does not cooperate, whether it is rain or the cold, the pool is a place where the entire family can have fun.  Always call ahead, check to make sure it is open and available.


 5)  Shuttles-After a long or even a short road trip who wants to continue to be the driver.  Leave the driving for someone else.  A complimentary shuttle can be great when packing the kids to your fun getaway.  No need to call an Uber or Lyft for a ride.   And the littles will be happy to see where the adventure continues!

Our stay at the Courtyard Marriott SeaWorld/Westover Hills was so comfortable that we did not want to leave.  After a scary drive in really bad weather from Houston to San Antonio, we were glad to be in a place where we felt at home.  We did not even want to leave our room.  Glad we were able to grab some food from Bistro with no need to leave the hotel.  We even enjoyed some warm Starbucks while watching movies.  It was the perfect getaway we needed!   

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Holiday Parties Made Simple with Punchbowl

This time of year can be chaotic.  December came so fast for me this year.  I usually am on top of my game.  Party planning is my jam.  I start planning my daughter's birthday party a year in advance.  And this year, I have yet to send out a single invitation.  Am I too late?


Disclosure-This is a compensated post.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

Nothing gives me more anxiety than running out of time.  I rather not throw a party, then not plan it correctly.  A party starts with an invitation.  You really cannot have a party without guests?  So before I start hyperventilating because this party is not planned, I need to get some invitations in the mail.  I do not have time for that though.  What I do have time for is, creating something on my phone and hitting the send button!

Where do I start?  logging on Punchbowl.com or downloading Punchbowl ® app

With so little time on my hands, the app works for me.  I can work on the invitation and it is at the reach of my hands.  I can search by theme, category, girl birthday, etc... 

There are so many of my daughter's favorite characters.  It was hard to choose one theme.  It is easy to play around with invitations and saving drafts to come back to.  


With a birthday so close to Christmas, we have decided on a Christmas theme this year versus her usual.  We are really into the holiday spirit.  We have a few favorites chosen but I think we may have a winner!  What do you think?


Now, that was easy!  Punchbowl ® is the gold standard in online invitations.  These invitations combine the look and feel of paper with the convenience of digital that can be delivered by text message, email or social media.  It is a simple, easy way to plan any unforgettable celebration.  Customizing the invite in minutes, delivers instantly, and trackable RSVPs, what else can a party planner ask for?  

Now let the party planning begin!

Monday, December 3, 2018

Stocking Stuffer Giveaway-Teen Titans Go! To The Movies

December is pretty special for us.  It is not only our favorite time of the year, Christmas, but also because our daughter was born on December 22nd.  Our daughter has been a gift to our family.  We are so blessed to be her parents.  She brings us so much joy and can make us smile when we really need it.  We want to share some of Lil Bit's favorites which will make perfect stocking stuffers.


Sponsored giveaway-Sample product was received.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

My daughter loves Teen Titans Go!  You can catch her watching every episode.  She waited for this movie to hit the theaters and enjoyed it!  

SYNOPSIS - It seems like all the superheroes are getting their own movies – everyone but the Teen Titans, that is!  Determined to be a star, Robin vows to change this.  If only they could get Hollywood director Jade Wilson (Kristen Bell) to notice them!  With a few madcap ideas and musical numbers (of course), the Teen Titans head to Tinsel Town.  But when Supervillain Slade (Will Arnett) messes
with their plans, the Teen Titans will have to become true superheroes to save the world!

BLU-RAY AND DVD SPECIAL FEATURES

“Teen Titans GO! to the Movies” Blu-ray Combo Pack contains the following special
features:
 Lil Yachty Music Video: “Teen Titans GO! Rap”
 Sing-a-long with Silkie “DC Super Hero Girls: The Late Batsby” Mini-Movie
 Red Carpet Mayhem
 Teen Titans GO! To the Movies: WB Lot Shenanigans
 “Everything is Fake”: Exclusive song not in the movie
 “Teen Titans GO!: Translated”
 Storyboard Animatics:
o Storyboard Animatics: Time Cycles
o The Final Battle

I know I got you at the sing-alongs!  

Now to the giveaway.  Enter below:

1)  Leave a comment on your favorite character and why? (1 entry)
2)  Share this giveaway on any social channel. (1 entry/per share-come back and leave a link to your share in a comment)
3)  Leave a comment on any non-giveaway post. (1 entry/per comment)

Giveaway ends on 12/7/2018.  Open to US only.  The winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize.  Sponsor will handle fulfillment of prize.  Good luck! 

Monday, November 26, 2018

Climbing My Mountain

What does Miley's song say?  It's a climb!  I was fortunate enough to be able to take a trip to see my son who is stationed in California this past October.  What I did not know was that I was going to have a lot of time to myself.  I was able to take a breather from everyday life.  And since I was in beautiful sunny California, why not explore?   


This year has brought a lot with it.  My year of Finding Forty has been by far the most emotional year.  It is not until I stopped to reflect, that I was able to face it head on.  My adventure started with me needed to fill my morning with something to do.  I love to be outdoors and seeing all of God's beauty.  I also love to challenge myself, something I have not been doing lately.  This time I did not have a schedule or routine to keep.  I was able to do things on the fly.  This mami does not do things on the fly.  I am a planner, scheduler, and organizer.  In my life everything has to have a purpose and fall into place.  This is how I can have control.  But there are things I cannot control and that is so scary.  Those have been the most scariest things I have to admit to.  Me not in control. 


Climbing Cowles Mountain was something to do that morning.  What I did not know was that it was what my soul needed.  I did not just sweat my way to the top, there were a few tears shed.  Not just because I did not realize what I got myself into, I sometimes under estimate things.  This 1,593 foot climb to the highest peak of San Diego will go down on my list.  Like when you are struggling and someone asks, "You ok?"   


Thumbs up, yeah!  Me?  Just fine.  I came prepared with water, cap, sunglasses, a jacket, etc.  But just like in life, it does not matter how prepared you think you are.  I was not ready.  I doubted myself and my ability plenty of times.  I had to keep telling myself that I was not a quitter.  I think the scary part was that I was alone.  But I really was not.  There were plenty of people on the trail with me, doing the climb.  And yet, I felt alone.  I was texting my husband and keeping him posted on my status.  And yet, I was alone. 


Have you ever felt alone?  I have.  On this climb and in life.  I started out strong with a good pace.  I knew I had my asthma pumps with me, just in case.  I also told myself to take breaks as needed and rest in shady areas when I would find them.  I did.  I even let people pass me up.  I did not want to hold anyone back.  I never do.  I like to help others overcome, move forward, and accomplish their goals.  I give advice and yet I forget to take my own.  Every step I took, I let more and more go.  The weight on my shoulders was getting lighter and lighter.  As I reach every mile marker, it seemed as it was a reflecting of each stage of my life. 


I have lived a great life.  I have accomplished many things I set out to do.  I have overcome.  My bullheadedness to not fail has been my motivator to keep rising.  The point is not to stop.  My fears were taken by the wind.  My eyes refocused.  And me, well I am still climbing. 


When I thought I had no more fuel, I saw the top.  I reached the top of Cowles Mountain.  It was beautiful.  I sight to see, to enjoy, and to just - sit and be still.  I did it.  It wanted to shout once I got to the top.  I actually almost fell to my knees with thankfulness.  Once I took it all in and recovered, I had something come over me.  I jogged my way down.  I was super careful around the corners, got stuck behind a slow person, and then when I had the opportunity, I bolted for the bottom. 


In life, there will always be more mountains to climb.  You are not alone.  It is your climb.  However you choose to climb it.  You choose the mountain.  Whatever mile marker you are on, face it head on!

Friday, November 23, 2018

Stocking Stuffer-Hello Kitty: Let's Learn Together

Where are my Hello Kitty fans?  I can remember being a fan from early on in my childhood.  My daughter was introduced to Hello Kitty and immediately became a fan.  She even wants this to be her theme for her birthday this year.

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

Hello Kitty is a fictional cartoon character that every little girl recognizes by her cute bow.  She has been around since before I was born.  And she continues to bring smiles to little girls all over then world not just in Japan.

Sentai KIDS label introduces Hello Kitty to a new generation of fans with two DVD collections-Hello Kitty: Let's Learn Together.  Each DVD collection features over an hour of educational, engaging entertainment content geared toward preschool learners.  The series explores numbers, shapes, animals and other age-appropriate concepts like good manners and making friends, all with the engaging antics of Hello Kitty and her friends: Mimi, Amy, Eric, and Harry.

Collection 1-Hello Kitty and her twin sister Mimmy love to explore and learn new things, and learning becomes even more fun when you have someone to share it with. So you can imagine how excited Kitty is when she learns that her family has new neighbors, the Berry family, who also have a set of twins, Amy and Eric! And they're the same age as Kitty and Mimmy! Plus, Amy and Eric also have another brother named Harry, who is really smart! That's three new friends to go out and have adventures with! Whether they're learning to tell time, fold origami or just help around the house, there's always something new to discover.

Collection 2-Hello Kitty loves learning new things, and now that Kitty and her twin sister Mimmy have three new friends, it seems like there's never enough time for all the adventures they could have. But that doesn't mean that they're not going to try! From experimenting with shapes and learning to take care of flowers, to studying dance and the rules for visiting other people's houses, it's all very educational and exciting. If you want to have lots of fun and discover new and amazing things, come join Kitty, Mimmy and the three Berry children, Amy, Eric, and Harry, and share the friendship and wonder as they explore the world around them.

For more information, visit www.sentaifilmworks.com.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Flick Friday-Volcanoes: Fires of Creation

You know that I love out of the box ways to keep education in front of my kids at all times including our weekend adventures.  I love to play with my children's curiosity and have their minds always working. 

My daughter likes to watch the news with mami and papi.  This sometimes sparks many conversations.  One of the conversations was sparked after the volcano erupted in Hawaii.  I don't always have all the right answers to all her questions.  But I do make sure to find her answers.

On May 3, 2018, Hawaii's  Kilauea volcano erupted and so did the questions.


Thanks to the Houston Museum of Natural Science for inviting us to experience Volcanoes: Fires of Creation on the Giant Screen.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

We may never know how many total volcanoes exist in this world.  The islands of Hawaii have five volcanoes.  A place so rich in beauty surrounded by two active volcanoes.  But what is a volcano?

According to Merriam-Webster, volcanoes are an opening in the earth's crust from which hot or melted rock and steam erupt.

Have you ever wondered about the lava, the eruptions, and all that ash?  National Geographic photographer, Carsten Peter, takes the film viewers to another level.  Getting up and personal with so many breathtaking views.  He goes deeper than anyone should into the depths of volcanoes.  I can tell you that we were at the edge of our seats.  The  IMAX®/Giant Screen brings the volcanoes to life right before your eyes.  Answering questions of impact to humans, the ecosystems, and wildlife.  Volcanoes are part of our past and continue to affect our future today all around the world.  Our family enjoyed learning more about volcanoes and watching this film.  You do need to wear glasses to watch this film, this is why I recommend for older school aged children and adults. 

For more information, go to http://www.hmns.org/giant-screen-theatre/feature-giant-screen-films/volcanoes-the-fires-of-creation/

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Finding Forty

Where are you?  Where have you been?  What have you done?  Are you still there?  Do you see me? 


I see you.  I see what you have done.  I see where you have been.  I...  See... YOU!

It is very easy to get lost.  Lost in your thoughts, in your ambitions, and in life.  Get ready because this is raw, this is me.  

What do you see when you see the above picture?  It is out of focus.  Not the best picture.  It is not Instagram quality.  

I now know what it means to have a midlife crisis.  I hit the big 4-0 this summer.  Life was happening and has been happening.  Nothing different, just another birthday.  Or is it just another birthday?  In last month's unexpected trip, I had plenty of time to reflect, resolve, and renew myself.  

Do you take the time to reflect?  I had stopped or maybe forgotten to.  I am slowly starting to get focus.  Things that were important to me before, are no longer important now.  And that is okay with me.  It did not use to be.  I thought something was wrong but it was not.  It is okay to like what you like and not like what others like.  You know about FOMO?  Fear of missing out.  I have been a victim of that.  I came in my thirties swinging.  Boy, I was riding on a freaking high of life.  Everything was going right for me.  I could not have planned this out, even if I tried.  I was excelling at being a single mom.  I found my prince charming.  One by one, things were happening.  And then, my bubble was burst time after time, after time.  Like I said, life was happening.  

To be honest I thought I could handle it.  I really tried.  The more I tried to be stronger, the harder it got.  I fell deeper and deeper but no one heard me fall.  I did not scream, I did not ask, I did not try...what I did do was continue as is it was all fine.  I suffered in secret.  I closed off myself from my friends and family.  To this day, some do not even know.  Why?  Because I am supposed to be the strong one.  Since I was little I saw my mom handle so much and never, ever show a weakness.  What I did not realize is that this would become a problem.  Depression comes and slap me in the face.  

Even as I write this post, I pause as too not put myself out there.  

What I know is that sharing my struggles with others has helped me.  It is still a struggle.  At one point, how others looked at me was so important.  Now, it is how I see myself that needs to change.  I need to allow myself to lose control, not have everything perfectly planned, and do things on the fly.  

I do not know what or how the Forties will look like for me.  I am returning to the basics and doing things that make me happy.  I am admitting the things I cannot do.  I am letting go of the things I cannot change.  I am inviting what's to come.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how lost you get.  I am reminding myself who I am.  Self, I see you.    

    
 At this point, I am finding forty.  Cheers to living my best!  Whatever that is, whatever that may be!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Flick Friday-Wildlife

Life is hard.  Being parents and trying to hold things together for the family can become too much at times.  It isn't all picture perfect like all the social media families make it seem.  Behind the screen, is a real family with struggles and stories.  We may not all have the same problems but the grass is not always greener.  Kids notice everything.  Even if they do not say it.


Disclosure-Thanks to Allied for sending review copy.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

A film by Paul Dano in his directing debut starring Carey Mulligan, Ed Oxenbould and Jake Gyllenhaal.   The movie is from the viewpoint of a teenage boy observing the gradual dissolution of his parents’ marriage in the 1960s.



Synopsis-14-year-old Joe is the only child of Jeanette and Jerry—a housewife and a golf pro—in a small town in 1960s Montana.  Nearby, an uncontrolled forest fire rages close to the Canadian border, and when Jerry loses his job—and his sense of purpose—he decides to join the cause of fighting the fire, leaving his wife and son to fend for themselves.  Suddenly forced into the role of an adult, Joe witnesses his mother’s struggle as she tries to keep her head above water.

 

This movie really challenges your emotions.  It is rated PG-13.  I would say it is more for older viewing audience because it does have a sex scene and bad language.  This movie was released on October 19 in selected markets.

WILDLIFE will open at Landmark River Oaks on 11/16.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Flick Friday-THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS

Everyone has heard of the Nutcracker?  It is a two-act ballet of the adaptation from "The Nutcracker and The Mouse King".

Disney’s new holiday feature film “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” is directed by Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston, and inspired by E.T.A. Hoffmann’s classic tale.

Disclosure-Thanks to Allied Global Marketing for inviting us to an advanced screening.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

SYNOPSIS:   All Clara (Mackenzie Foy) wants is a key – a one-of-a-kind key that will unlock a box that holds a priceless gift.  A golden thread, presented to her at godfather Drosselmeyer’s (Morgan Freeman) annual holiday party, leads her to the coveted key—which promptly disappears into a strange and mysterious parallel world. It’s there that Clara encounters a soldier named Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), a gang of mice and the regents who preside over three Realms: Land of Snowflakes, Land of Flowers and Land of Sweets. Clara and Phillip must brave the ominous Fourth Realm, home to the tyrant Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), to retrieve Clara’s key and hopefully return harmony to the unstable world. Starring Keira Knightley as the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Disney has done it again.  The upcoming holidays are a beautiful time of the year that remind us about family and traditions.  It is a beautiful story, perfect for the entire family to share.  A perfect twist to the original story line. Clara takes you along on her adventure.  We laugh and cried.   



Like THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneysNutcracker

Follow Disney Studios on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DisneyStudios

Follow THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/disneysnutcracker/


THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS is now playing in theatres everywhere! 

Monday, October 29, 2018

Trick or Teeth - Dr Plotka Mouth Washers

Be honest how much Halloween candy do you eat?  It starts off with, let me inspect your candy bag..  Then, you end up saving some for your stash.  At least, that is how it works in my house.  I am guilty of having a sweet tooth.  Boy, do I love me some chocolate.



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

I have a few tricks to share with you that will save your beautiful teeth and keep you smiling.  First, I lead by example.  Although going to trick or treating is a lot of fun.  Kids can get too much candy.  They cannot consume all that candy on their own.  Rather than you taking one for the team.  Share.

Sharing is Caring.

I let my kids pick out a handful of favorites.  Then we separate the candies that they definitely will not eat.  Those candies go in the give away pile.  I have a candy jar at my office that I place on my desk to share. 

Second, ration out the candy.  I use to keep the candy jar right at arms reach for everyone to grab and go at all times.  Now we keep it put away. 

Out of sight, out of mind.

Lastly, this is the most important time that we all need to remind each other to take extra time while brushing our teeth to get any extra candy stuck to our teeth and in between our gums.  This is where I recommend a good toothbrush with good bristles.

Dr. Plotka’s toothbrush with soft, long lasting bristles and antimicrobial technology!  A antimicrobial toothbrush with flossing bristles™ that are ultra-thin at the tip to properly reach and brush away food and plaque in normally missed areas.  Embedded with naturally antimicrobial silver to eliminate 99.9% of bacteria build-up within 6 hours after brushing, you can keep those germs away while showing off your healthy smile!

And you won't feel guilty if you have an extra candy or two.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Better Shower Better Morning Tips

Disclosure-This post is sponsored by Mirum.  All opinions are my own based on my own personal experience.

I do not know about you but for me, the way my mornings start can decide the way my day will go.  I have not always been a morning person, that's for sure.  I made a few changes to my morning routine that have helped me have better mornings.  Since turning forty, yes you heard right, I am focusing on living my best life.  I do not have time or a need for stress in my life.  Like I said, I was not a morning person.  In order for me to have better days, I had to evaluate why my days where not going better.  With evaluating my day, I learned that my mornings where the cause of it.    


In the morning, before jumping out of bed I started to RELEASE.  You have been asleep in bed for an X amount of hours whether it be on your belly, side or your back.  Start your morning by stretching out.  Take some deep breaths in and release them as your stretch your body out.  This requires nothing extra from you.  Your body will thank you for the change.    

Give your body time to catch up with you.  REFOCUS your energy from trying to multitask everything and everyone to one thing, YOU!  Not only does your body need to be ready for the day but so does your mind.   

Start with a shower to quite your mind.  Listen to the water as it hits the shower walls.  Close your eyes.  Let the water just fall off your head, to your face, and down your body. 


Then, REJUVENATE your body and it give a spa experience by using Dove shower foam.  Foam so light that helps leave skin looking and feeling healthy, soft, and smooth.  

Available in Deep Moisture, Sensitive Skin, Cucumber and Green Tea, and Shea Butter with Warm Vanilla.  Formulated with NutriumMoisture technology, no wonder it is dermatologist recommended. 
   

You can find the nourishing shower foams from Dove at your nearest CVS with an exclusive offer of Dove and Dove Men+Care Foams at 2 for $15 (10/21 - 10/27/18).
    *Offer valid 10/21-10/27/18.  Extrabucks Rewards offer limit of ONE (1) per household with card.

Now I challenge you to start your mornings better with this morning routine that ends with a re-energized You.  

Do you have any tips on how you start your mornings?

Friday, October 19, 2018

Clean & Clear Launches Lemon Line #BELOUDBECLEARBEYOU

Self care is a very important part of our lives.  Anyone who know me, knows I love lemons and limes.  I am so happy to be sharing some news with you. 


Thanks to Clean & Clear for sending sample products for review.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

Introducing the new Lemon Line enriched with Lemon extract + Vitamin C, for bright, happy and clear skin!

Clean & Clear’s new lemon line features products for a full skincare routine that helps cut through oil and dissolve dirt deep down in pores. inclusive of:


-Lemon Cleansing Wipes will refreshingly lift away dirt and impurities with just one swipe! No need to rinse. Available exclusively at Walmart and Walmart.com.

-Lemon Exfoliating Slices swipe away pore-clogging dirt and oil with the power of Lemon + Vitamin C packed in one slice.

-Lemon Gel Cleanser will work to cut through oil and deeply dissolve backlogged dirt for bright, happy, clear skin!

-Lemon Zesty Scrub uses the power of gentle micro-scrubbies to buff and brighten the surface of the skin, which is gentle enough for daily use. 

-Lemon Juice Toner is alcohol-free but uses the power of Lemon + Vitamin C combined to help gently expel impurities wile toning for brighter, happier skin.

Would you like to try the new line?  Enter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is US only. (1) winner will randomly selected.  Sponsor is responsible for fulfillment of prize.  The winner will have 24 hours to claim their prize.  Good Luck! 

Monday, September 17, 2018

On the Go Snacking

By now you are back in session, school that is.  School has started, routines are back to normal, and the schedules are starting to fill up with after-school activities, practices, and games.


Thanks to Fresh Cravings for sending samples for review.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

My schedule fills up super fast when school starts.  I am sure that is the same for all parents with school aged kids.  From packing the school lunches to running to a practice, we all have one thing in common.  We look for easy on-the-go snacks that our kids will enjoy.  But what about mom and dad?  Do you ever grab something for you?  Or are you like me, starving? 


 Who doesn't love chips and salsa?  Introducing Fresh Cravings salsa.

Made with fresh vine-ripened tomatoes and crisp, hand-picked vegetables, along with zesty peppers and spices, Fresh Cravings salsa is never cooked, which gives it a fresh authentic taste.  These snack packs come in Fresh Cravings’ most popular recipe, Restaurant Style, in Mild heat.  They include just the right amount of tortilla chips for it to be a nourishing treat without worrying about portion control.  They are sold in Walmart stores for $1.78 and can be found in the produce section.

“We continuously hear from our customers that they want healthier, more affordable snacking solutions for their families,” says Jay Whitney, President of FoodStory Brands, the company behind Fresh Cravings.  “We developed this Fresh Cravings Salsa and Tortilla Chips combo to help parents find a fun, and more nourishing snack for their kids and for themselves.”

Whether I pack them for my lunch for work or grab a snack for mommy to sit on the sidelines with while watching practice, this is the perfect grab-and-go snack.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Hot Hot Baby #SunnyMoments

Boy do we love our fun in the sun.  Did you know even on gloomy days, the sun is still harmful?  Even if it is cloudy, 80% of the sun's rays can be pass through clouds.  We have to take precautions to protect ourselves and our babies from sun damage.

 
Thanks to Aveeno for sending product samples for review.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

The sun's ultra violet rays can be most harmful between the hours of 10 am to 4 pm.  This when they are extremely damaging because they are the strongest which is why they should be avoided.  Our skin is our largest organ of the body.  Aveeno Baby's Pediatrician Dr. Andres Cotton says, "Our skin is the first barrier our bodies have to protect itself." 

Here are some things to remember:

1)  Direct sunlight is not recommended for babies less than 6 months old.

2)  Keep babies shaded by putting light colored, thin clothing that covers their arms and legs and don't forget the hats. 

3)   When children are outdoors, make sure to apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF30 or more that can protect against UVA and UVB.

4)  Always remember to apply sunscreen to nose, cheeks, tops of ears, and feet.  You can use a face stick like the Aveeno Baby Continous Protection Sensitive Skin to make application easier.  And never forget the shoulders.

5)  Apply sunscreen 10-15 minutes before fun in the sun so that product can absorb into the skin.             Reapplying every 2 hours.


Aveeno has been a preferred brand in my home.  It is the brand I trust for my daughter's sensitive skin.  It is pediatrician and dermatologist recommended for the entire family. 

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Houston: Fandemic Tour is Coming

A new convention experience is coming to NRG Center in Houston on September 14, 15, and 16.


This post is in collaboration with Fandemic Tour as a brand partner.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

There is one thing that all of our family members have in common is that we are all fanatics.  Young and older, we all grew up being fans.  Fandemic will have photo ops, autograph opportunities, and meet and greets.

Some of the guests we are excited to see are:


Tom Welling Best known for playing Clark Kent on the hit television series Smallville (2001).  Tom eventually moved on to modeling after spending a period of time working in the construction business.  While modeling, he met fellow celebrity and model Ashton Kutcher while they were booked for a project together.  The two eventually become good friends. Even though both Ashton and Tom were famous models, Tom decided to be an actor.  Welling also acts in other movies.  The movie with which he is probably most associated is Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), in which he starred with Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt, and its sequel, Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005), in which he repeated his prior role.  Tom has also starred in a B-grade horror flick, The Fog (2005), together with Lost (2004)'s star, Maggie Grace.


John Schneider - His big break came when he won the role of Bo Duke on The Dukes of Hazzard (1979) on CBS from 1979-1985.  He auditioned for the role pretending he was a genuine country boy.  He had a weeks growth of beard and held a beer can claiming he was from Snellville, Georgia.  He later became a very successful country singer and had several hit songs including "I've Been Around Enough To Know" and "Country Girls."  He has since opened Faith Works Productions in San Antonio, Texas.

You can check out the full guest list here.

GET YOU TIX NOW! ---> bit.ly/FandemicHOU 

General Admission

$40 — Friday Pass
$50 — Saturday Pass
$45 — Sunday Pass
$80 — Full Weekend Pass
$150 — Fandemic Fanatic VIP
KIDS 10 AND UNDER ARE FREE

Don't forget to the join the conversation on September 6 for your chance to win tickets.  Follow @moneysvgparent on Twitter and join the discussion using #FandemicHouston

Must be 18+ to participate and eligible to win prizes.


Grand Prize is Two VIP Tickets for all three days at Fandemic Tour Houston Sept. 14-16, 2018.  Find out more about the VIP tickets when you visit http://fandemictour.com.

Prizes include a Family Four Pack for Sunday - our family-friendly day with children's activities and a "Date Night" prize of two tickets to the Friday show.

Be sure to RSVP "going" on the event page, follow @moneysvgparent on Twitter at - https://twitter.com/MoneySvgParent

To be eligible for prizes!

Monday, August 20, 2018

Let Them Build It - Strawbees

I hate when my kids get summer colds.  Those are the worst.  The doctor recommends lots of rest which includes staying at home with dad and it disrupts my daughter's routine.  When my daughter gets sick, I try to distract her from the crummy feeling.


Thanks to Strawbees for sending sample product fore review.  All opinions stated are my own based on my personal experience.

When I am sick, I feel that distracting my brain helps me feel better.  It always works for me.  My daughter is the same way.  She loves to be engaged and enjoys experimenting.


My kids have always been very independent.  They love to tinker, discover, and create things all on their own.  


Strawbees Inventor Kit allows kids to be creative.  They can let their imagination run wild as they build.  The creations they make with their own hands.  It is a wonderful educational toy.  Kids do not even realize that they are actually learning while getting creative.


The toys that brings hours of fun for my future inventor.   Whether your kids get cabin fever, are looking for a challenging toy, or just love to work with their imagine; this is the perfect toy for them.