Sammy Makes Six

Nov 23, 2015

Bring on the Gifts w/ Big Lots!

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

With only weeks until Christmas, I knew it was time to start going down my holiday shopping list. I am usually the chick the you see running around a few days before like a madwoman, but last year I told myself that I could not do that anymore. Running around buying gifts at the very last moment is not a good way to spend the holiday, so I have begun my shopping and because I have a budget to stick to I went to one of my favorite stores, Big Lots. Whenever I have gifting to do, I like stopping at Big Lots first to see what they have. I know that there I can always find gifts, wrapping and more, at much lower prices. This time was no exception,  I found a few things I can check off my list and there was no breaking of the bank, at all.

As looked around I loved seeing so many name brands to pick from. My granddaughter is a huge Lalaloopsie fan and I found one of the sets she had on her list since her birthday, along with a few small play sets to go with the large one.  Along with Lalaloopsie I saw sets from: Littlest Pet Shop, Frozen, Barbies and so much more. In the beauty section I also found a super cute E.L.F. Beauty Book for the Munkey. I always get her E.L.F. shadow sets for the holidays. And there are so many stocking stuffers!! 
(Styles and assortment vary by store.)

With the first items crossed off my holiday shopping list and some holiday gift wrap, I headed home to turn the little gift bags I got into cute reindeers. 

Reindeer Holiday Gift Bags

Items needed:
bag ( I got a 5-pack of these adorable bags at Big Lots)
googly eyes
pom pom ball in red
brown pipe cleaners  
1: Attach googly eyes
2: Glue on pom pom ball 
3: Cut out a smile and glue
For the antlers you need to cut 4 pieces of the brown pipe cleaner, bend the pieces around a bit and attach like in the picture. 

Now you have a cute reindeer baggie to put small gifts in, and it only took a few minutes to make. 

This adorable bag is the now perfect for Munkey's E.L.F. Palette plus a lot of those small goodies I will be going back to get at Big Lots

My holiday gift list is HUGE, this was just a tiny first trip that I made on the way home the other day, I have many more trips to Big Lots to make during the coming weeks. The selection of brand name toys and gifts at Big Lots will stretch my holiday shopping budget and allow me to get my loved ones gifts they will love. 

So far I haven't purchased too much from my list, but I love the items I did already get. I can't wait to see my granddaughter's face when she sees her gifts! I am encouraged that with Big Lot's help, I will cut that list down a lot more on Black Friday and can't wait to go shopping.

 What are some of this year's holiday gifts that you will be shopping for at Big Lots?

Nov 19, 2015

Sharing The Holiday Spirit In Spanish

Well wouldn't you know it, this year I actually got my Christmas cards ordered ahead of time. It is a miracle! What I have really liked about the process of ordering my holiday cards this year is that I found a place to get them done in Spanish. How many times do we want to communicate with greeting cards in Spanish but no one offers that option? A lot of our family members speak only Spanish and the rest of us are bilingual so for us to be able to send our holiday card in Spanish is a very nice gesture to those that don't speak English, plus it ties us to our culture. Yes, we say Happy Holidays, but we also say Felices Fiestas. 

Shutterfly speaks our language and this year I have partnered with them to create some truly beautiful family holiday cards that are very special. I decided that featuring the kids in our cards would be the best way to go and logged on to the Shutterfly site to see what Spanish-language designs I would be picking from. I must say that I loved the selection, there are many really beautiful designs to pick from.

I enjoy using photo cards for the holidays because I feel they are more personalized and since we keep all of the ones we send and receive, we always have an album full of memories to look back on. I really liked the Ornament Card designs and decided that those would have to be the ones I got so we could hang them on the three once we get it up.

 I looked for some of my favorite recent photos and begun to create my holiday greeting cards. Each of the three cards that I picked out had a few places to customize in the front and back. 

Life is a celebration, and every moment spent with family and friends is a moment worth capturing. From baptisms and quinceaƱeras, to Sunday gatherings and Christmas eve, “Mi Vida Shutterfly” helps you cherish every moment and share them with the people you love. I loved being able to order Spanish-language greeting cards plus speaking to a customer service rep in Spanish. With Shutterfly, it's easy to turn all those special photos into memories that will last forever.

One of my readers is going to win a $50 Shutterfly Gift Card so they can send their own personalized photo cards this holiday season.

Nov 18, 2015

The Road To Here w/ Dedication & Hard Work

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

When people ask me what I do for a living it's not something easy to explain, but only because a lot of people don't quite "get" what I do. I am a blogger, I am a social media expert of sorts and I am a content creator and influencer. When I tell people any of those things they usually shake their head and move on. But that's okay because I know how hard the road has been to where I am and I know how far I have come. For the first time in all of my working years, I am in a place where I am happy and where I have more control over my life and work. This is the first time that I am not at anyone's mercy and the first time that I don't have to miss out on my kids life because I am tied down to a job that allows no personal time. I also get to do something that makes me happy, and am involved in projects that make a difference, like this one. 

My journey to where I am not began a little over 8 years ago. I had a professional job for a dietary supplement manufacturer. I was paid well and had a good lifestyle. But what I did not have where those first days of school, lunch at school with them or anything that was between the hours of 7-6. My girls practically raised themselves those 8 years that I worked for that company because mom was always at work.

One day I found out I was pregnant with Sammy and soon after the company closed and I was left without a job. I had a mortgage to pay, a car payment and food to put on the table, plus I was expecting my baby. I thought it was the worse thing that could ever happen to me. How would I take care of my family without this job that payed me so well, how could I find another at a time that I was sick and was expecting a child? All things happen for a reason and what I didn't see is that at that time life was taking something away from me that was not good for me and that it was getting ready to send me where I was supposed to go. 

The road to here wasn't fast, but with a lot of hard work and dedication I now work for myself. I no longer get into rush hour traffic to drive two hours to a job that takes me away from my family for the entire day, I no longer miss out on my kids lives because I am not available. My mom always taught us that you don't get to stay home and feel sorry for yourself. When life hands you a lemon you need to take that lemon and make a lemon tree out of it. And you can! It just takes a lot of dedication and hard work, and you can do in life something that really makes you happy. 

Honey Bunches of Oats supports Latinos and believes that by sharing our stories, we can make an impact. There is a place for us in the United States, and truly there is no one that works harder than we do. Let's share our stories of dedication with others: let's share how we can get ahead even in the face of defeat and maybe we can inspire others to do the same. 

Honey Bunches of Oats is dedicated to serving the Latino community and those that need a hand by providing meals to those in need. For every person that shares the hashtag #LatinosConDedicacion from November 16, 2015 to January 3, 2016, Honey Bunches of Oats® will donate 11 meals ($1) to Feeding America®’s network with a goal of donating 110,000 meals. 

This initiative invites us to share our stories of dedication using the hashtag #LatinosConDedicacion to showcase the drive of Latinos in America. Let's share those stories and by doing so help our fellow Latinos who need a hand. More than one in six Latinos in the U.S. are served by the Feeding America network each year, totaling nine million Latino adults, seniors, and children.

Find out more about this initiative here and don't forget to share your story is dedication today using the #LatinosConDedicacion tag on social media.

Nov 16, 2015

Staying Healthy This Holiday Season

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

I live in California and for the past 2 1/2 weeks it has finally begun to feel like fall, which is exciting because 100 degrees in the fall doesn't make for a festive holiday season. But we went from the high 90's to the low 40's in the space of days, and you know what these drastic weather changes bring with them, the first fall colds and sniffles.  For parents, this is the time that you have to prepare your household to be hit with all of those extra germs, especially if your kids have activities after school. And not just the kids either, wherever we go we have to be extra careful because sick people are everywhere and all it takes is for one person to catch a cold in the house, and soon everyone will have it. There are also extra steps that we can take to keep make our bodies stronger so they can fight these germs and colds. 

Tips For Staying Healthy This Holiday Season

1 Sleep Well: a rested body can fight off germs more easily than one that is tired and rundown. I've taken that extra hour from the daylight savings time and Sam and I both get to bed an hour earlier. Kids especially need that extra rest to keep their immune systems strong.

2 Clean up: My little one hates washing up but before letting her touch anything upon getting home from school, it's to the bathroom to wash up. Washing hands often helps to limit the transfer of germs and viruses.

3 Stay active: you can improve your immune system function by staying active. Taking a brisk walk in the morning or as a family in the evening is a great way to work your lungs and heart out without having to do drastic exercise. You can take the kids to the park and let them run around, letting that energy out will also help them get to bed easier. 

4 Extra cleanup at home: I started this when Sam went back-to-school. Keep high traffic areas disinfected, especially door handles and surfaces. 

Eventually someone will end up getting sick and the cycle will begin at home but you can also be prepaped for when that happens by stocking up your medicine cabinet. I bought extra tissues, antibacterial wipes and Children's Advil at Walgreens. 

As careful as I try to be, the day will always arrive when Sam will come home with a fever. It usually happens on a day that we have something planned or a million other things going on. But being prepared with  Children's Advil I can just treat the fever before it gets worse and before you know it, my little girl will be back on track. 

We have so many things to do these coming weeks, Thanksgiving is so close and right after that the holidays, so the last thing we want to do is stay home with a fever. As a family we are taking steps to stay healthy so we can enjoy the season.

When your child has a fever, you want effective relief you can depend on. Children’s Advil® brings fever down faster, and keeps it down longer with less medicine than Children’s Tylenol®. Find Children’s Advil® in great tasting Sugar-free Dye-free Berry, Bubble Gum, Grape, Blue Raspberry, Fruit and Dye-Free White Grape flavors in the Children's Medicine section at Walgreens.

Don't let your fall and holiday season be ruined by a fever or other cold and flu illness. Prepare your home and body for the influx of germs and viruses and stock your medicine cabinet accordingly. What tips can you share to stay healthy this holiday season?