Sammy Makes Six
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We Took the Purina ONE® 28-Day Challenge

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

Take your pet from “good” to “great”! With Purina ONE®, you could see visible differences in just 28 days—like strong teeth, vibrant energy, sparkling eyes, and a radiant coat. Make the switch today and save on Purina ONE® when you register for the 28-Day Challenge at differences will you see? Visit your local Walmart to redeem your offer and realize your pet’s potential*.

 *Save on ONE (1) 2.8-lb. or larger bag of Purina ONE® SmartBlend® Dry Dog Food, any variety, or 2.8-lb. or larger bag of Purina ONE® Dry Cat Food, any variety. While supplies last.

Our cats are a big part of the family and as they have gone from kittens to adults it's been important that we care for their health more than ever. It's definitely been a pleasure to watch these guys go from these furry bear looking kittens to these now long and black, panther-like cats. 

Aqua, the only male cat of the three, is especially susceptible to urinary tract problems so I was really interested in taking the Purina ONE 28-Day Challenge with him. We started the challenge by visiting our local Walmart and picking up a bag of Purina ONE® Urinary Tract Health for him. Crafted in Purina-owned facilities in the USA and with no poultry by-product meal, artificial colors flavors or preservatives, I was excited to see how he would take to this new food.

As you probably already know if you own any cats, when switching them to a new food it is always best to slowly introduce the new food, mixed it in with the old one. We did that for the first few days and then he was off on his own with the Purina ONE® Urinary Tract Health. 

Not once was there a complaint of unhappiness or crying for his old food, he has in fact really enjoyed the flavor of this new food. Every time he heard the rustling of the bag and his name called, you could see his excitement for meal time and his new food. 

The purposeful nutrition in every bag of Purina ONE helps support healthy energy in cats and by day 7 you could definitely see a more playful side of Aqua. He's not the most playful of cats but there's been a giddier side to him this past week. He's even had a few runs in the yard with his siblings on the days it hasn't rained.  

Purina ONE dry formulas are highly digestable and promote high nutrient absorption, so more nutrition goes to work inside your cat. More nutrition into this guys belly has meant a happier and more energy-filled cat. 

But definitely one of the more visible differences in Aqua is how healthy his coat is. You can actually see a difference is how thick it is too, which is really nice because we love a good black coat for snuggling and keeping him warm on these really cold days. 

Purina ONE provides him with omega-6 fatty acid, vitamins & minerals  in every bowl, which have lead to a beautiful coat and clear eyes. Crunchy kibble and calcium in every Purina ONE formula helps support strong, healthy teeth and gums, something else that is so important for raising healthy cats.

But of course the most important thing that we look for when choosing a food for any of our cats how it can support and promote their health. Purina PRO brings together the delicious flavor that our cat can enjoy, and because it's filled with all of the essential nutrients his body needs, he will lead a better life overall. 

We took the Purina ONE® 28-Day Challenge with our cat and are very happy with the results. It's so easy for you to take the challenge too, it's as easy as making the switch to one of the many Purina ONE foods available. Register for the 28-Day Challenge at

Keeping the Kids Busy When You're Sick

his shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc., Abreva, Emergen-C, Lipton, Robitussin and Theraflu. All opinions are mine alone. #SickDayTips #CollectiveBias

Life doesn't stop just because you're sick and when you have kids it can get hard to find time to take care of yourself while having to keep the children busy and entertained as well. Today I am going to share some of the ways that I keep my kiddos busy and happy so that I can get a little bit of downtime.

I am also going to share some of the products that I purchase at Ralphs to support my overall wellness.

I have been susceptible to cold sores ever since I can remember and Abreva® Pump Cold Sore and Fever Blister Treatment has been my go-to since it first launched some years ago. I've never fully understood the cause of a cold sore but I know that I am especially likely to get one during the colder months. Between the mixture of really low temps and having to run the heater indoor, I will usually get a few cold sores each winter.

If you've ever had a cold sore you know how uncomfortable the itch, pain and swelling can be. So even though I used to think Abreva® was on the pricey side, it's always been worth every single little penny and I am never without an open tube.

Emergen-C Immune+® Super Orange Gummies are my newest daily supplements. With a high potency Vitamin C and antioxidants to support immune function, these gummies boost my immune system to support my overall wellness goals.* On the plus side, they taste just like orange slice gummies and are quite delicious.

Robitussin® Maximum Strength Honey Cough & Chest Congestion DM - I’m a true believer in honey and its benefits against a cough and cold, so I was so happy to see this new product from Robitussin® made with True Source Certified Honey. With Robitussin® you can fight your cough and help kick your symptoms to the curb. The liquid-strength of Robitussin® soothes on contact and provides cough relief for hours.

Another exciting product that I was excited to find out about are the Theraflu Power Pods Daytime Severe Cold. The pods are a super convenient way to take Theraflu for those of us who have single-serve coffee makers. I admit to be lazy when it comes to preparing a traditional cup of Theraflu before and would skip it versus something easier. But now I can just pop a pod into my coffee maker. Note- do not use Robitussin & Theraflu products at the same time.

Don't let the cold or flu get in your way. Theraflu Power Pods Daytime Severe Cold fits right in your routine. Compatible with most single-serve coffee makers, these fast-relieving pods work on even your most severe symptoms. Press. Sip. Relief.

Lastly, and possibly my favorite way to achieve overall wellness is by enjoying my daily cup of Lipton Daily Support Herbal Tea. The Lipton Wellness range, made with carefully selected botanicals and blended with essential oils, helps make wellbeing a part of your everyday routine. An excellent source of Vitamin C, this herbal infusion helps support your body's natural defenses.* Carefully selected botanicals are blended with green tea and natural essential oils that make every cup delicious.

Purchase all of the above products at your local Ralphs store, where I stock up on mine.

And now that we have our wellness products at-the-ready, it’s time to get the kiddos busy with fun things to do so they can allow us a little bit of sick time to rest.

Encourage creativity: As a child I loved nothing more than a coloring book, a notebook and some crayons. Now as a mom and grandmother, I love to encourage these kiddos to get creative too. We have a container filled with everything they will need to get those creative juices flowing; they can do everything from color a page from a coloring book to publish their own newspaper, using our printer, blank paper and staples.

By luck my youngest is super creative and she also encourages the younger kids to get into the fun of creating even if it’s just getting the boys to color.

Reading time: There is nothing more joyful than a house full of kids where there is not a sound because all of the kids are busy reading. Reading is another habit that is highly encouraged in our household even if it means having to buy all of the latest books. And there is no better companion on sick day than a good book

Girl time: My daughter Sam is now 13 and so is my grandaughter ( I know, highly strange) and they are the best of friends. Since Sammy’s sisters were so much older than her when she was born she didn’t get a chance to do all those things most girl siblings do with each other but she didn’t actually miss anything because she has her niece, Darlene.

A perfect busy time activity for them when I am not feeling well and getting some rest is girl time activities, like doing their nails and even masking. Yes, thirteen year olds now mask! Sam was actually gifted a set of masks for the holidays and now these girls are practically full-grown teens doing their skincare and nails.

Board game action: While my oldest girls call board games “bored games”, these kiddos are super into them, which is so much fun. They will literally spend hours going through all of their board games, laughing and having a ton of fun with the little boys.

Technology hour: And of course we can’t forget to give the kids a little bit of tech time. Our kiddos love their tablets and iPods as much as other kids but because they also love to do so many other things, they only get an hour of tech time per day. Which is perfect for a little bit of bro on bro racing.

Overall we’ve got some pretty good kids and none of them are babies anymore, so for me it’s not overly hard to keep them busy while I take a sick day, I know it’s much harder when you have small ones. But I hope my tips along with product recommendations can help you stay well this cold and flu season. Find more inspiration and sick day tips at the social hub to help you stay feeling your best.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent disease.
Theraflu-(c) 2019 the GSK group of companies or its licensor. Theraflu is for use in adults 12 years and older.Use all products only as directed. Read label and follow directions. Abreva, Emergen-C, Robitussin - Use only as directed. Read label and follow directions.

What We Look for When Choosing Medicare Coverage for Mom

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My mom is 82 years old and as she gets older, her health insurance coverage becomes even more important. Today, I have partnered with Anthem Blue Cross to talk about finding the right Medicare Advantage plan for my mom and what we look for when doing so. 

With prescriptions, visits to specialists and her regular doctor appointments, it's important that we find a plan that fits my mom’s budget. As is the case with many seniors, my mom lives on a very limited income. But while cost is very important when picking the right coverage for her, it's not the only thing we look at.

These are just some of the things we look for when choosing a new Medicare Advantage plan for my mom:

  • Premium costs
  • Prescription drug coverage 
  • Out-of-pocket costs
  • Access to doctors, specialists, and hospitals in the area that treat her specific needs
  • Co-pays for: doctor visits, prescriptions, and hospital stays
  • Other support and wellness services

Even though my mom lives with us and has family around her, our entire household goes to school and work for most of the day. That means that my mom can get lonely and restless without having much to do other than cook, clean (she is an avid cleaner who will clean her room daily) and watch tv. We don’t have other family living close by, so it is rare for her to have any visitors. I can see how needy she is for conversation and something to keep her active and busy. And - I can see the importance of giving her brain something to do other than watch television.

But other than me taking a day off of work to take her to her doctors and grocery shop, her weekdays can get pretty lonely. Access to an adult day center that includes transportation to and from is definitely something that would benefit her quality of life and is something that I would love to have access to for her.

Access to the right doctors, specialists, and hospitals is also a top priority for us when picking a Medicare Advantage plan, especially because we live in a small town with limited choices. That has actually been one of the biggest struggles for us since coming to live in this area: finding doctors who can deal with her specific needs. Just like parents of young children like to find the perfect pediatrician for their little one, we strive to find my mom the right doctor to deal with her many health issues.  

And of course, we can't forget about costs when picking a Medicare Advantage plan for mom. There are actually so many that it can be confusing and overwhelming to sort through them: premium costs, doctor visit copays, prescription co-pays, and other miscellaneous out-of-pocket costs. 

We look at all those numbers, especially the copays which can sometimes outweigh the premium costs. Those are the everyday costs that will add up the most and we need to keep them as low as possible.

Anthem Blue Cross is committed to offering Medicare Advantage plans that provide high-quality  care to seniors while also addressing other social and support needs that can impact good health, which is important. In 2019, Anthem and its affiliated plans, like Anthem Blue Cross, are offering a new package of benefits that provides wellness services! Included are healthy food delivery, health-related transportation services, adult day center visits to help reduce loneliness, personal home helpers to help with daily activities at home and even pain management.

Getting my mom to eat a healthier diet is definitely a struggle for us. She still cooks the majority of her meals and forgets about all of her health issues when doing so. Healthy food delivery is something that would definitely improve her health, even if she still cooked most of her meals. But she definitely needs an influx of healthier options every now and again, and food delivery would allow her to rest more. This is something I will definitely be looking into closely for my mom.  

Anthem Blue Cross knows that one of the best ways to help people live healthier is to lower barriers and make it easier for individuals to access items that address everyday health needs. Giving people the option of services, such as delivered meals or time at an adult day center may make it easier for them to better manage chronic conditions, engage more with their community, or avoid preventable health-related incidents.

I think a lot of us tend to forget about taking advantage of all the things our insurance plans offer, I know that I do that with myself. I only go to the doctor when absolutely necessary and forget to find out what else my plan can do for me. But I try to be better about it when it comes to my mom and will, from now on, focus on it even more. 

If you’re currently caring for an older parent or other loved one, like I am, services like health-related transportation, healthy meal deliveries and access to an adult center are definite strong points when choosing a plan for them. I don’t usually get excited when it’s time to once again delve into Medicare Advantage Plans with mom, but knowing about the additional benefits offered by Anthem Blue Cross, has me excited for the future. 

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Anthem Blue Cross, however all opinions are my own. 

Feeling Fresh & Confident This Holiday Season

This post is sponsored by Summer’s Eve®, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I love the holiday season even though it tends to make me something of a crazy woman, it's just such a busy time of the year! Already my schedule is pretty busy: caring for 7 pets, driving kids back-and-forth, keeping an eye on my mom’s medications and doctor visits plus trying to keep my business going so we can have a roof over our heads. Once the holidays arrive, I also have to add Santa's helper to the list as well as holiday events planner, meaning that I have to plan as many holiday events and experiences into my families already bulging schedule.

But that's exactly what makes the holidays memorable, all those moments when I can look over at my kids and see the happiness that each effort has delivered. It might have taken a two-hour drive and 5 bathroom stops to get to our favorite LA spot, but seeing the smiles in their eyes as they spot the enormous Christmas tree we visit each year makes it all worthwhile.

And - because my December is super busy, the last thing that I have time to worry about is staying fresh through the many hours and activities in a day. With Summer’s Eve® Cleansing Wash and Cleansing Cloths as part of my routine, I know that I can start my morning on a fresh note that will last until I close my eyes each and every single night.

As the trusted leader in feminine care, Summer’s Eve® is known for developing personal care products that are gynecologist and dermatologist-tested for safety and help women feel fresh every day. Summer’s Eve® Cleansing Wash always has a spot in my shower and it’s a product that’s passed on through the generations.

Why Summer’s Eve® Cleansing Wash? As women, our bodies tend to experience not so fresh moments.. It could be that it’s that time of the month, or maybe you hit that gym hard and sweat yourself crazy each day, or maybe you’re just chasing six kids in a mall full of shoppers, all those things can lead to a less than fresh feeling.

The external vaginal area has a large concentration of sweat glands of anywhere on the body. So, it's nothing to be embarrassed about, especially when we can easily remedy the situation. Using regular soap in this sensitive area and that can throw off the pH balance, leave residue and cause irritations. Summer’s Eve® Cleansing Wash is safe and gentle wash that caters to one of your body’s most-sensitive areas and helps rinse away odor-causing bacteria. It is specifically designed for the external vaginal area to remove odor-causing bacteria while providing gentle cleansing and freshening.

But of course those moments of needing extra refreshment don't just come when we're at home close to a shower, a lot of those moments come when we're busy living life. That's where the convenience of Summer’s Eve® Cleansing Cloths comes in. It's like having the Cleansing Wash with you every step of your long day and because they are super-discreet, you can pop into a restroom and take care of any emergency freshening, pronto.

Again, this is another product that I always have in my bag to share with my girls are we are out and about. These Cloths are especially wonderful during period time, as they offer a super quick refreshment at that time of the month. Summer’s Eve® Cleansing Cloths provide an easy and discreet way to feel confidently fresh. The cloths are lightly fragranced and quickly wipe away odor-causing bacteria – whenever, wherever.

Summer’s Eve® Cleansing Wash and Cleansing Wipes are a must-have during this incredibly busy holiday season, when I really need to feel fresh and confident. With a bottle of the Cleansing Wash in my shower, Cleansing Cloths in my bag, or both when I am traveling, I know that my personal freshness is covered. After-all , who has time to worry about smelling bad or feeling icky? Not me!

Less Cooking & More Eating This Holiday Season

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

As the holiday season pushes on I am ever grateful for my local Walmart and the fact that I live only blocks away from it. It's so convenient for me year-round but especially during the super-busy holiday season. So whether I am running late and have nothing to make for dinner, or we have a holiday event like a get together, posada or Dia de Los Reyes gathering, I know I can run in and grab what I need to get the crew feed, fast and easy.

One of our favorites, that always happens to live in our freezer is STOUFFER'S® Party Size Lasagna. This has seriously been a favorite of ours for years and it's a great option for those busy nights during the holiday season when I would rather be enjoying time with loved ones instead of cooking. Find STOUFFER'S® Party Size Lasagna in the freezer aisle at Walmart.

This party sized lasagna is delicious, and the best part is that it's ready to go, just throw it in the oven. While it's cooking you can prepare a salad, some garlic bread, or a yummy Mexican fruit salad that I am sharing below.

This is one of my favorite recipes ever: it's a great way to incorporate fruit into a meal, it's sinfully delicious and it allows me to bring a little piece of my heritage to the dinner table. Bionicos originated in Guadalajara, Mexico, where I lived as a child and where my family continues to live in Mexico.

Bionico (serves 4-6)
2-3 diced pears
2-3 diced apples
2 diced oranges
2 diced kiwis
1/2 cup of shredded coconut
1/2 cup of granola
1/4 cup of raisins
1/2 can of La Lechera Sweetened Condensed Milk

For this recipe I will use whatever fruits I find on sale at Walmart that week - there is usually quite a nice selection to pick from. Other fruits that are perfect in a bionico are: grapes, bananas, melon, watermelon, papaya, etc. Really, it's any fruit that is either in season, ripe or on sale.

All you have to do is wash and cut all of your selections and place into a large container.

If your kids have a favorite fruit, make sure to add some in! My granddaughter loves kiwis.

Once you have placed all of the diced fruit into a bowl/container, it's time to drizzle in the sweet condensed milk. I will use about 1/3 to 1/2 of a can, depending on how much fruit we have. I add enough to add some sweetness to the fruit but not completely overwhelm their flavors.

Plate into individual bowls.

And top generously with shredded coconut, granola and raisins.

Again, this recipe is super easy to personalize to your taste. If you would like to add walnuts, sliced almonds, even a drizzle of honey, you can!

I feel like the only thing we were missing were bananas but I didn't find any ripe ones, or else I would have added 2-3. We love bananas!

And, we are done. We now have a yummy Bionico to follow up the very filling and delicious STOUFFER'S® Lasagna. A perfect way to enjoy a desert that is sweet but not overly rich and full of everyone's favorite fruits.

For a healthier version of this dish I recommend replacing the sweetened condensed milk with greek yogurt and adding honey. It'll be just as delicious but you'll save yourself a lot of calories.

With STOUFFER'S® Party Size Lasagna I know that I can get a dish on the table that my family loves, without having to stress about being in the kitchen for hours. Instead, I open up a box of the lasagna, and during that hour and forty minutes that its cooking, I can prepare dessert, cook another side dish or simply spend it watching a holiday movie with my family.

STOUFFER'S® Party Size Lasagna helps me keep the holiday smiles coming without me having to spend hours and hours cooking. I recommend keeping it in mind for all of your upcoming posadas, family dinners and other holiday events. Find more STOUFFER'S® recipe inspirations HERE to get you through the holiday season and more.