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

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

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


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.   


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