Sammy Makes Six

Oct 7, 2015

Because Life Happens...

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

I've never shared the story of purchasing my van. It's been exactly one year since I got it and let me tell you it has been a ride, like one of those curvy, scary rides at a theme park. This van is the first time that I ever own a used vehicle and I was so not prepared for all of the delights that come with purchasing someone else's vehicle, especially when they didn't take good care of it. Lo bueno es que my mom always taught us to take care of things ourselves and that includes our cars. She came to the U.S. without knowing the language, without a partner and with only a handful of people to count on. She worked and saved for her first car, got a license and purchased many cars after that. From her we learned to be self reliant and to take the bad and make the best of it. So when I got a big lemon of a car, I did every single thing possible to fix it and make it as safe for the most important people in the world, my family. It's been an expensive road with so many unforeseen surprises and more trips to the mechanic and the DMV than I can count. But we now have a vehicle that just needs regular maintenance. No more of those big repairs, at least for a while I hope.

Having a safe and reliable vehicle is like top one priority for me. One of my girls still doesn't drive and I am responsible for drop offs at work, school and two families errands. I don't mind, it's exactly why we were willing to invest in getting the van into perfect working order. We knew that it was going to work for us non-stop. And it has! We've been on 4 vacations, tons of trips to the beach, to Sea World and Disneyland and last time we took off to Malibu and L.A. for a weekend. I love knowing that my car is ready for any trip whether small or large and that it's safe for these guys...

They are the reason why keeping my van maintained and in good working order is important. How're we gonna visit all the cool places we love if we don't take care of our car?

As part of my cars regular maintenance I take it to get its oil changed every few months. It's always dependent on how far we've traveled and the miles, but since I only pay $19.98 at Walmart for the Pit Crew Oil Change with Quaker  State, I don't stress the cost. What I really like is that I can drop off my van at the Auto Care Center and get my shopping done while they change the oil for me. It's a super convenient way to get this task done without taking time out of my busy day. 

Our car allows us the freedom to live life and enjoy living in California by going to so many places. Yes it's been a pain to get it to perfect working order, but it's been worth every single penny. 

How important is your vehicle to you and how often do you get the oil change done?

Oct 6, 2015

Yo, What Up?

It's been a week since a non-sponsored post has come out of me, but not by choice, I am just very lucky to have tons of work at the moment. I KNOW that a blog full of sponsored content is no fun, I personally dislike those types of blogs, A LOT. But as you know, blogging and social media work is my job, it is how I make my living. That means that as much as I want to produce my own content, work takes priority and I only have so much energy. These past two weeks I have been getting up at 7:00 am and working through till about 11p.m., and that is with all of my regular mom and grandmother duties as well. I still drop off kids at work, school and run errands all over the place. On most nights I will lay down with my book or Netflix hoping for some reading or watching time, only to pass out after a few minutes. But I am not complaining, during this time of year, I can use every single paying gig I can get my hands on. And anyways, even with all of that, I still manage to sneak in some stuff for me. These are some of the things I have been up to lately. 

Lip swatches: As busy as I get I still try to throw some lip swatches up on IG. I haven't touched my beauty blog in over a month but I try never to neglect my IG account, as it is my favorite. 

 Books: I have been hitting the books! Last week I managed to read two Mary Higgins Clark Books (The Cinderella Murder and The Melody Lingers On). Both awesome and I totally recommend both. Just this morning Adrian went to pick up Finders Keepers from Stephen King for me. I can not wait for the energy and time to dig into this one!

Shopping with Sammy: it's been a good five minutes since Sammy did some shopping and that was at H&M. Truth be told she has way too many clothes, but a little girl should have many clothes. This weekend we did some tiny damaged at Justice. When my oldest were little this store was called Limited Too and we used to do major damage there, so Sammy also deserves to shop there, even if it's for smaller hauls. 

Shopping for the home: I've been shopping at Bath & Body Works and Target for stuff for our place. I've had coupons and done the sales so none of it has been major, but it's been awesome retail therapy for me. 

Couponing: Today I got the chance to get some couponing done after weeks of not getting to it. I know that it looks like all I do is shop willy-nilly, but there is a method to my madness. I am not a coupon expert at all but I do get the paper and look for deals. I stock up for my 3 girls who don't live with me, the kids and my household. Just on today's personal care shopping trip: I had $13 in coupons, $10 in Target coupons AND I got a $5 Target card back. Not bad right?

Speaking of Target, have you seen this amazing selection? Geez! My Target doesn't have this, but this store is only thirty minutes away so soon I might buy a few things. For now all I got was the plaid tray but I'd love some other things. 

There's also been some personal shopping for me, because what good is killing myself to not reap some of the benefits of my hard work. But actually, this super gorgeous brush set, my first Sonia Kashuk, was bought for me by Jack. I got some makeup and I am hoping to get a little clothes shopping done soon. I don't feel guilty (most of the time) about shopping for me because I work super  hard and I take care of everyone else first. Now if I could find the time to crack open this brush set, take some pics for my blog and actually use it. That would be de-vine!

So that's what up round my neck of the woods. I'd love to hear what you've been up to these last few weeks. How's life treating you?

More Power, Less Waste

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

Isn't it funny how quickly we run out of batteries? And not funny in a good way either. About every two weeks I will have AA batteries on my shopping list. Between the kids toys, the 4 remote controls and our flashlights (which we just prepared for the upcoming storms) we run out of batteries way too fast. It seems like such a waste to throw out all of those used batteries. What I needed were longer lasting batteries, and batteries that are kinder to the environment. With the brand new Energizer® EcoAdvanced™ batteries, that is exactly what I got when I stopped by Target this weekend. Energizer® EcoAdvanced™is the world's first AA battery made with 4% recycled batteries and is Energizer's longest-lasting battery. Since these are Energizer's highest performing, most responsible batteries,  we can use less batteries and AND have less impact on the planet.

Since I was bringing a new and better battery home, I decided to make a better "home" for my remotes at home. These suckers are forever getting lost, everytime you want to change the channel you have to go hunting for the remote so I thought a neat little tray would be great. They have these cute trays at Target for $3 but they are kind of plain, so why not dress one up?

I grabbed the burlap and yarn from the Dollar Spot area at Target just like the batteries and tray. This is all you will need to make a tray perfect for holding your remotes and other small items for the living room.

Measure the burlap pieces to cover the bottom of the tray. We cut 2 1/2 pieces. 

Now you want to measure out two strips for the outer sides. 

Once all of your strips are cut out, glue them on using a hot glue gun. I usually let the kids help with all DIY's but this is a step we grownups have to do. 

I really liked this neat black and white yarn and wanted to incorporate it into the tray so I wound it around both sides on the handles. They had this yarn in a few different colors, including orange, so you can do a fall themed tray if you wanted to. 

Now my remote controls not only have a better battery, they also have a new storage place so hopefully we can stop losing them. I don't exactly hold high hopes for that, but the tray is pretty cute if I say so myself. We have a lot of dark colors in our place and this really fits in  with everything else. 

I feel really good about my purchase of Energizer® EcoAdvancedwhich contain four percent recycled material by total weight (which is nearly ten percent of a key active ingredient). I'm all about less waste for the planet and spending less money!

Well okay, I'm lying. I'm all about spending less money on batteries SO that I can buy other stuff. DUH! But I do feel really good about knowing that I am being better to the planet. Small steps... In what small ways, are you kinder to the planet?

Oct 1, 2015

Blackberry Chocolate Smoothie

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

When it comes to my daughters, their kids, and myself, I can say that we are all relative healthy. As a parent, one of our biggest fears is having a sick child or having one of them develop an illness like diabetes. As of right now we are all okay, knock on wood, but that doesn't mean that diabetes has not touched my family. I have an older sister and a brother who is six years younger than myself, who both suffer from diabetes. 

 The diabetes rate amongst Hispanics is very high, 6MM (23%) Hispanics in the United States have diabetes compared to 20MM of non-Hispanic whites. An estimated that 57 million people have pre-diabetes in the US, and 35% are estimated to be Hispanic. As someone who enjoys their food and drink so much, I can't imagine how hard it is to live with the restrictions of diabetes. But this week I have been doing some research and I have found that diabetes is not an end all to delicious food and drinks. It's about making smart choices, doing research and always keeping portion control in mind. On that note, today I am sharing a very delicious sugar-free blackberry chocolate smoothie that is as delicious as the ones we always make, using Glucerna Chocolate Shake. Glucerna helps people who suffer from diabetes satisfy hunger without spiking glucose levels. Glucerna products are made with Carbsteady. CARBSTEADY® is designed to help manage blood sugar response compared to high-glycemic carbohydrates. 

You can find the entire Glucerna selection at Walmart. 

Being constantly on-the-go, we love making smoothies. It's an easy way to get a meal in your tummy, without taking too much time plus they're so delicious. This Blackberry Chocolate Smoothie is as easy as 1, 2, 3 & 4!

1: pour 1/2 a cup of ice into blender
2: pour in one 8oz bottle of Glucerna Rich Chocolate Smoothie

 3: depending on how sweet or tart your blackberries are, add about 10 to your mix. 

 4: now simply blend for about 30-45 seconds. 

Super simple and delicioso. This is a diabetes-friendly smoothie so we don't add any extra sweeteners.  But you don't need any because the Glucerna Dark Chocolate Shake already has the perfect sweetness. I could have one of these every day and now I have a new smoothie recipe to share with my family members that are living with diabetes. Whether you're managing your blood sugar or watching your weight, making Glucerna products part of your meal plan is a smart way to help get the right kinds of carbs every day. Each delicious variety has CARBSTEADY®, or CARBSTEADY®ULTRA which includes slowly digestible carbohydrates designed to help minimize blood sugar spikes.

I'm thankful for products like Glucerna that help anyone with diabetes, including my family members, stay steady ahead. Do you have family members who suffer from diabetes? Click this link for a diabetes meal plan and score a $1 off coupon. Steady CAN be exciting!

Creating Sweet Moments

This post was sponsored by General Mills through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Toaster Strudel, all opinions are my own.”

The return of the back-to-school season means that there isn't a lot of time to hang out and relax with Sammy. I'm the first to admit that it hasn't been exactly easy to get back into the routine; there just never seem to be enough hours in a day. By the time Sammy gets out of class and we finish the evening activities, which includes over two hours of homework, there is only a tiny bit of the day left to rest before going to sleep so we can do it all again the next day. I really miss those lazy summer days when we could get up past 11 and share a late breakfast together with nothing rushing us out the door. Summer really afforded us so many sweet moments to just hang out together watching our favorite Netflix shows or playing with her toys. With so many things on our plates now, it can be hard to find those precious moments of just hanging out and laughing together. That's why I like how easy it is to share one of our favorite breakfast/snacks, Toaster Strudel™ Strawberry Pastries.

Toaster Strudel™ is celebrating its 30th birthday by putting 30% more icing in all Toaster Strudel™ packages, which means they are even better than before! Even on a busy day, I can pop a few of these in the toaster (my job) and then pass them to be iced (Sammy's job) and we can enjoy our sweet treat before having to get on to the next activity. But you can't rush eating a Toaster Strudel™; these have to be savored and enjoyed, truly they do. I mean how can you rush through that yummy fruit filling and awesome icing? You simply cannot.

Sammy is now a whole 7 years old. Time is moving so quickly that so many times I find myself looking at her and asking myself if that really is my sweet baby girl. She is the last of my five girls and my last chance to have these one-on-one moments that are such an integral part of her childhood. These sweet moments with her are so important. Before I know it, she will become a teenager just like her sisters and she will no longer be my sweet little girl, but a moody teen with no time for her mum.

Sweet moments with our kids don't always happen, not when schedules are so filled to the brim as they are during these months. But we can make them happen easily enough. Just toss that schedule out the window and sit with your child; ask them how their day went or what they plan on doing that day. They have SO MUCH to say and there is so much laughter waiting to happen.

Make a date for breakfast with your child (or children) for this weekend. Break out the Toaster Strudel™ Strawberry Pastries, some orange juice, fresh fruit, and have a sweet moment with your child. And no matter what else needs to be done that day, don't rush it — enjoy it.

When was the last time you enjoyed a sweet moment with your child?