Through Thick & Thin

A little over 9 years ago, during one of our frequent trips to Disney, we met Rachel and Jim for the first time. Brandon was 3, and I was pregnant with Matty. As the years have progressed, our friendship has grown stronger. We’ve traveled the 250 miles between our homes dozens of times, and Rachel and I have participated in a handful of races together. The last nine years have been filled with lovely memories, but yesterday we drove to Orlando with heavy hearts. A little over 24 hours ago, Jim passed away.

The internet is a crazy place, who knew that a random comment about lechon asado on Noche Buena would be the catalyst to our friendship? As difficult as it is to watch my friend suffer the loss of her husband, and become a widow at 38, I am glad we are able to help her during this difficult time. And I’m not the only one. Friends have gotten together and created a GoFundMe account for them. As the days go by, and the reality sets in, Rachel will inevitably face the unknown. It will be a difficult journey without her love by her side, but we’re hoping this small gesture will help ease some of those worries. Will you help?

 

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Wordless Wednesday – National Dog Day edition

Did you know today is National Dog Day? Brandon sent me this picture last week, while I was in the midst of madness at work to get ready for the new school year. I had to pause and smile because it really is such a cute picture. (Also, Matty the photographer did a great job!)

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Summer Lovin’

That’s it: there’s just a few days of summer break left then it’s back to reality! While I do work at a preschool that is open year round, I loved my summer schedule. Since the boys didn’t have to be at school at 8am, I’d get up at 5:15am for the gym, work out, get back home, take a shower and jump back in bed for another hour or two. Then I’d leisurely have breakfast, get dressed for work, and arrive at work at 10am. In a week, that wonderful schedule will be over. With Brandon entering his second year of middle school, and having to catch the bus at 7:30am to get there, and Matty starting 3rd grade, I know the year ahead will be challenging, and I won’t have as many opportunities to just relax. So I’ll be savoring the next five morning cups of coffee, and especially those morning naps. And counting down the days until winter break!

relaxing

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Get #Back2SchoolReady with Scholastic Books from Kellogg’s

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Back2SchoolReady #CollectiveBias

As the assistant director at an early learning center, I see firsthand the importance of exposure to literacy at an young age. Our school library houses over 12,000 books, and we host a family story time every month. While at our school we encourage children to hold, look at, and eventually read books, we can only do so much. Just like any good habit, a love of reading begins at home. I’ve been an avid reader since childhood, and I’m thrilled that my two boys love reading too. Studies have shown that boys are less avid readers than girls, which could lead to lower reading comprehension and test scores. As a parent I encourage my boys to read as much as they can. That may mean they read novels, comic books, or magazines, but the end result is the same: they are reading.

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Happy 13th Anniversary to US!

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Some say the number 13 is unlucky. I disagree. While the last year has been filled with it’s share of sadness, it is you who has been by my side during those moments. And that is what matters. It’s easy to celebrate the easy days and the good times, it’s another to overcome the bad and get through them stronger than before. As we enter the 14th year of our life together, I look back fondly on the last 12 months and smile, because there is no one else I’d rather have by my side and face the ups and downs with, to raise our kids with, to live life with, than you.

Happy anniversary!

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Showering Sandy with Love #AmorBeneful

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and it’s advertiser. All opinions are mine alone #AmorBeneful #CollectiveBias

Her name is Sandy, but I call her a bunch of other names: Mami, Mamuchi, Mimi. Our sweet little girl has all kinds of apodos. How have almost six years passed already since she adopted us?! I remember wishing and hoping and wanting a doggy just like her. I had a checklist of traits: small; light colored; female (since I’m outnumbered in our house!); fun, but not too hyper; and of course she had to be sweet and good with kids. We got all that and more when our Sandy stumbled into our front yard and she adopted us. Now that she’s getting on in years, it’s important to make sure she remains healthy and active. I also think that with any loved one, whether they walk on two legs or four, it’s important to shower them with lots of amor and spoil them every once in a while. This past week we did just that!

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Posted in Doggy Dearest, Health & Wellness | 7 Comments

Disney Side@Home Party: Food, Fun, and Family & Friends!

(This is the second part of my Disney Side@Home Party recap. You can find Part One here.)

Now that you’ve seen how fantastic my house looked during our Disney Side@Home Party, it’s time to share with you what the rest of our multi-generational party was like.

Food: I may or may not have gone a little crazy with the Disney/Mickey theme. I served Mickey-shaped chicken nuggets, Mickey-shaped ham and cheese mini sandwiches (brought to you by last year’s cookie cutter!), Cars & Crowns pretzels, and a vegetable tray that I very fittingly labeled “From the Land” as a nod to one of mine and my husband’s favorite parks, Epcot.

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Ulta Beauty has a new Miami location

Ulta Beauty, the largest beauty retailer in the United States, with 797 stores across 48 states, has a new location in Miami! The new store is centrally located,  just minutes from Miami International Airport, Dolphin Mall, and Florida International University’s South Campus. This latest retail location features a beauty salon inside, as well as the products and brands Ulta customers love. Stop by their Grand Opening this weekend – July 10th through July 12th – at 10001 W. Flagler Street for a chance to win free treats and services (exclusions apply). Invitation is open to the public.

Hashtag: #ULTA
Facebook RSVP Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/809903455797689/
Twitter: @Ulta_Beauty – www.twitter.com/Ulta_Beauty
Instagram: @UltaBeauty – www.instagram.com/UltaBeauty
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/ulta

Ulta Beauty Miami Opening Invite

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Feeling all the feelings with Disney-Pixar’s #InsideOut (UPDATED)

Disclosure: The boys and I were privileged to see a prescreening of Disney-Pixar’s new movie Inside Out. All opinions below are our own.

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Oh Disney-Pixar, is it any wonder that whenever the boys ask me, “What’s your favorite Disney-Pixar movie, I can’t pick just one? I fall in love with every new movie they release: the storytelling, the characters, the colors and animation. They set the bar higher and higher each time. Inside Out is no exception.

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Disney Side@Home 2015 Party Prep

(Okay, so this took me a little a lot longer to finish than anticipated. And it is also longer than I anticipated. So long, I’m dividing it in two. Here’s the first part. Read it all, I promise you’ll like it.)

Some weeks ago (really? Was it almost three months ago?! Better late than never…), we hosted our second Disney Side@Home Party, and I’m happy to report it was as great, if not better, than our first one last year! I got very crafty this year, and I’m thankful that my friend Amy Kikita, who’s got a genetic predisposition for amazing party planning, was on-hand to help  take over  lead the party planning committee.

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