Sammy Makes Six

Jun 16, 2016

Fuel Them Up To Play Strong

Sammy is 9 years old and aunt to six boys and one girl, five of them younger than her. Even though she is in their age range, she is still an aunt and that makes her a role model for all of them. I am proud to say it's something she takes pretty serious and is such a good influence on the kids. Whether practicing the alphabet or the colors, or maybe it's reading to them at bedtime, Sammy's got it covered.

Another area where Sammy really helps out is in getting the little ones out for some physical activity. Our summers are pretty extreme and the kids would rather stay indoors watching television or just staying cool, but they need to get at least an hour of activity and this is where Sammy is also such a good motivator.

Little Anthony might look like he's full of energy and ready to run wild, but he needs encouragement and that is what she offers. So while Anthony might start slow, soon he is running all over the place and enjoying the outdoors.

The right nutrition fuels play time with friends and family all year long and the Fuel Up to Play 60 campaign can help provide the tools we need to get kids more active this summer. Real California dairy families have continued activation of Fuel Up to Play 60, a campaign created by the NFL and National Dairy Council that promotes physical activity and good nutrition in schools.

School may be out but learning to be a leader never stops! Encourage your kids to sign up to be a FUTP 60 ambassador, which encourages leadership amongst peers, healthy nutrition and physical activity. Kids can start learning more about FUTP 60 healthy eating and physical activity plays, earning points before the school year even starts!

With all of the technology at our kids fingertips, it can be hard to pull them away for 60 minutes of physical activity. But that's why Sammy is lucky to have all her nephews and niece and they are lucky to have her, they all push and motivate each other. Summer just started and already they are getting their physical activity on.

Fuel Up to Play 60 encourages kids to fuel up with nutrient-rich foods – which include low-fat and fat-free dairy, lean meats, fruits, vegetables and whole grains – and do at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. We always bring a snack made with Real California Milk and encourage as much milk drinking during the day, to really fuel them up for the day. Real California Milk represents the real foods from real people – dairy foods made with milk from more than 1,400 California dairy families.

Look for ways to encourage healthy eating and physical activity all summer long and see the difference once school starts in the fall. You can also join the Fuel Up To Play 60 community online and get some help with that, because believe me, I know it's not as easy as it sounds. Visit for information and to get your kids and local school involved.

Jun 15, 2016

Lunch Date at Home in 15 Minutes

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FeedYourFoodie #CollectiveBias

As someone who gets incredibly busy and barely has time to eat on any given day, I am a huge fan of anything that I can just heat up on the fly. But of course I still want my food to be tasty, after all food is supposed to be enjoyed and I am not one to give up flavor for convenience. The good thing is that you actually don't have to give up flavor for convenience or even when cutting back on your daily calorie intake. Today I am very excited to share with you a few new flavors from the LEAN CUISINE® MARKETPLACE line. These limited edition flavors can be found in organic options, gluten-free options and protein packed options and no GMO's. These four new varieties can definitely spice up your lunch menu and make it really easy to enjoy a tasty meal even when on a super time crunch. 

Some Walmart stores are barely rolling out the new flavors so at my store I've only found two of them so far but I'm really enjoying them. I found the LEAN CUISINE® MARKETPLACE Cheese & Fire-Roasted Chile Tamale and the LEAN CUISINE® MARKETPLACE in Thai – Style Ginger Beef flavors. Other flavors that are also available in this limited edition range are LEAN CUISINE® MARKETPLACE Chicken Tikka Masala and LEAN CUISINE® MARKETPLACE Southwest – Style Potato Bake.

Having these new on-trend flavors at my disposal has given me something to really look forward to at lunch time. And see how easy it is to prepare a contemporary style meal when a friend calls and says she is making a surprise visit in less than 20 minutes. 

Simply pick the LEAN CUISINE® MARKETPLACE flavors that you feel like enjoying for lunch.

Heat: this takes just minutes.

Plate: add a small bowl of fruit, a drink and plate the LEAN CUISINE® MARKETPLACE meals. We will be looking at makeup (as usual) so I like to place the meals on small trays that we can take to the living area. 

Enjoy: My favorite of these two flavors is the LEAN CUISINE® MARKETPLACE Cheese & Fire-Roasted Chile Tamale which is really flavorful and made with organic green chile and brown rice. I find this portion size to also be really accurate for how much I need to keep on going with my many daily tasks. 

You can find the limited edition LEAN CUISINE® MARKETPLACE meals at Walmart in the freezer section. With so many flavors to pick from you can kick boredom to the curb and mix up your menu. 

I love how quickly I can enjoy a good meal with NestlĂ© LEAN CUISINE® MARKETPLACE meals.

Prepping for the Premios Juventud Concert

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Lunchbox, however all opinions are my own. 

The Premios Juventud Concert Series is hitting our town this week and many of us are really looking forward to going and seeing the featured artists. A little bit of info on the Premios Juventud Concert Series: it began in Miami at Fillmore Miami Beach on 6/8 and is coming to the LA Belasco Theater on 6/16. The last stop of the series will be in Dallas at the Medusa Dallas on 6/23.

As the day of the concert gets closer, I am getting ready and planning what to wear, what makeup to do for the day and what to do with my crazy hair. You know how unruly and dry my hair is so I am trying out the Suave Coconut Oil Infusion Damage Repair Shampoo and Suave Coconut Oil Infusion Damage Repair Conditioner. Both products are infused with pure coconut oil, which is known as a natural moisturizer. Together, this range visibly repairs damage without weighing hair down and my hair desperately needs that moisture. 

My body wash will be my favorite, the Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash with NutriumMoisture which helps to get softer, smoother skin after just one shower. Now with even gentler cleansers, Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash rinses cleanly and quickly. The unique blend of cleansers and NutriumMoisture provides skin natural nourishment and leaves it feeling really clean but not stripped of moisture. If I use this body wash regularly I can sometimes even miss adding moisturizer and you can't even tell. 

Another staple that I will be using to get ready for the Premios Juventud Concert is the Dove Advanced Care Caring Coconut Antiperspirant Deodorant. This deodorant has a light coconut scent with jasmine floral notes and NutriumMoisture that helps skin repair itself from shaving damage. Who doesn't want soft, touchable underarms? Plus this antiperspirant deodorant delivers 48-hour odor and wetness protection so I can rock on without having to stress the pits, yah? Yah. 

Unilever invites you to turn up the volume on your summer look by visiting your local Walmart and trying out some of their products. So many of these items are staples in my household and are products we truly trust, plus how affordable are they? Save on these products so you can splurge on other summer concert tickets!

We are ready to hit the Premios Juventud Concert Series at the LA Belasco Theater tomorrow. 

Summer will soon arrive with many more shows and fun outings, don't forget to turn up the volume on your look with the Unilever family of products. 

Jun 10, 2016

Learning Safety Through Fun w/ #DumbWaysJR

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Dumb Ways JR and The Motherhood, however all opinions are my own.

Technology is everywhere and for our family it has come into our kids lives a lot sooner than it did for us. I have 6 grandkids and only one does not have his tablet yet, he is 2, but the rest all have technology at their fingertips. So does my daughter Sammy, she's had her own phone since last year and while many might think she is too young for a phone, we've found that it helps us stay in touch with her plus it's an easy way for her to have access to so much learning. It is because of her that I came to know of the Dumb Ways family. Have you watched the "Dumb Ways to Die" video? Sammy found this video on YouTube a few years ago and she used to play it non-stop, to the point where I found myself singing the song, and couldn't stop. 

The Dumb Ways to Die campaign began as a PSA in 2012, to teach kids safety around trains, train stations/platforms and level crossings. The cute and catchy song plus adorable cast of characters delivered the safety messages in a very entertaining way for kids, and adults. The message is simple, it's dumb to take risks that have serious consequences. 

When it came time to deliver the message to younger children, it was decided that the graphics might be a little to the gory for young children and that is how the Dumb Ways JR apps came into play.

Three of my grandsons are right at that tender age (2, 3 and 4) where they want to play games on their tablets, but we want to ensure that while they have fun, they also learn something.

The easiest way for children to learn is for them to be having fun and the Dumb Ways JR apps provide so much fun and entertainment, that they don't even realize that they are actually learning a lot. And super important, is that with the Dumb Ways JR apps they are learning about safety.

Dumb Ways JR aims to introduce safety messages in an educational, age-appropriate way for a new and younger audience – 3- to 7-year-olds. The apps provide safety education, with no dying or blood just a lot of fun and really cute and engaging characters.

Four key elements have guided the design of the Dumb Ways JR apps: 
child centered design 
multi sensory and multi-modal elements
an appropriate level of challenge
humor with delightful and engaging characters 

In Dumb Ways JR Boffo’s Breakfast, Boffo is hungry and your child is their personal chef. Watch Boffo react when he bites into a whole chilli or when weird ingredients are combined – sprinkles with eggs just don’t go well together! Kids think it’s hilarious when Boffo screws his face up to combinations he doesn’t like. Players create fun meals from 20 ingredients, learn about food combinations and experiment as they tap, stir, mix and swipe.

In Dumb Ways JR Loopy's Tain Set children will learn about train safety, the core of Dumb Ways to Die, and trains. This is the game Sammy loves to play, she loves creating her own train tracks and little worlds for her characters to ride around in. She is a natural builder and really enjoys the build mode while the little boys love playing drive mode, where they can drive the trains themselves. While playing Dumb Ways JR Loopy's Tain Set children can learn about various aspects of train safety in the app such as the characters cannot cross the tracks and the boom gates at the level crossings automatically come down when the train approaches.

At the end of the day these two apps provide the kids so much engaging fun and learning. I can hand them my phone while in the car, waiting to see the doctor, or just at home and know that they are playing a game that is age-appropriate for them and that I don't have to keep checking to make sure that they are not getting into something they're not supposed to be. I do have an 11-year-old grandson who we have to keep track of constantly, if you have kids around that age you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Find out more about Dumb Ways to Die and the Dumb Ways JR apps by clicking on the links. Download: Dumb Ways JR Boffo’s Breakfast on iTunes, Dumb Ways JR Boffo’s Breakfast on Google Play and Dumb Ways JR Loopy's Tain Set on iTunes and Dumb Ways JR Loopy's Train Set on Google Play Our little ones are big fans of both of the apps and so are the bigger children because the games are just very engaging and cute. And seriously, they have no clue just how much they are learning about safety, all they know is that they are having fun!

May 20, 2016

An Essential Summer Upgrade

This post is in collaboration with Lunchbox, however all opinions are my own.

Summer is coming up and since we're planning to get away for a week, I'm already planning on what I will be taking with me. Since we will be traveling with the entire zoo, as per usual, I'm not going to have a whole lot of space for packing and have to stick to whatever fits into my Lilly Pulitzer bag. Seriously, this bag is pretty roomy, but not that roomy! That's why whatever I end up taking will be the absolute essentials for me during that week of travel. I definitely can't forget to pack a few lip balms, my Kindle, at least three extra lipsticks and my favorite perfume as well as some of my holy grail personal care items. 

Something that will definitely be in my bag is not just one but a few tubes of Dove Advanced Care Deodorant. Not only is it going to be extra hot in San Diego this year, so I will need that extra protection to stay fresh and dry (48-hour odor and wetness protection plus NutriumMoisture technology for the ultimate underarm care) but my underarms are going to be on display too. I've recently ordered a lot of cute, summer tanks and I plan on living in those all summer.

Dove Advanced Care Deodorant does double duty by taking care of wetness, odor and gives me smoother and softer underarm skin. 

Our underarms are a forgotten part of our skin but they shouldn't be. Think summer and all of those sleeveless dresses, tanks and bathing suit days. Oh my! 

There's still plenty of time to get those underarms in gear for summer ladies,  add Dove Advanced Care Deodorant to your daily beauty regimen. Find scents that will keep you dry and fresh all summer long at Walmart.

If you're looking for a very clean, everyday scent I suggest the Original Clean, but there are so many to choose from. 

I can't wait for summer and my mini vacation to arrive. I'm having fun just planning on what will be going with me and just looking forward to that one week off.  My bag is going to be ready to go filled with all of my summer essentials. 

See why Dove Advanced Care Deodorant is this summer’s essential beauty upgrade at Walmart