Hispanicize 2016, here I come!!

I didn’t think I’d make it, but I’m happy to report that I will be attending this year’s Hispanicize Event! I’ll be unable to attend all five days due to some work commitments, but something is better than nothing, right?! If you’re attending, find me and say Hi!!

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Win a Heroic Family Trip to LA from The Children’s Place!!

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice hit theaters this weekend, and what better way for your little superhero to cheer on his favorite than with licensed apparel from The Children’s Place! Whether your little girl or guy is a fan of The Man of Steel of The Dark Knight, you’ll find great options at excellent prices in The Children’s Place character shop, online or in-store.

While you’re shopping, check out The Clash of the Heroes Sweepstakes*! The Grand Prize includes:

·         4 roundtrip airfare tickets to Los Angeles & complimentary ground transportation                 to/from LAX
·         Hotel accommodations for 3 nights
·         4 VIP Warner Bros. Studio tour passes
·         $200 gift card to The Children’s Place

What an EPIC trip! I know my boys would love it! Speaking of which, any idea who is part of Team Batman in our house?! 😉




(*Enter by 4/8/16 for your chance to win! Sweepstakes is open to ages 18 and older in the United States, D.C. and Canada. No purchase necessary.)

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Why Teach?

I’ve decided that this is definitely the year: I’m finally going back to school in the fall to earn my teaching degree. At a time when standardized testing is taking over; when teachers are being paid not based on their efforts but on student performance; at a time when new Math put logic aside, I still want to be a teacher. And my goal is that by this time next year, I will be one.

I remember when I was in fifth grade, one of my mom’s friends was one of the after school teachers at my school. I knew she was going to school during the day to become a “regular” teacher. She was so nice, but stern enough with the students that they listened to and respected her. I remember all the children in after the school program loved her, and were hoping that once she was done with school she’d be their teacher, including me.

Fast foward a few years, I had Mr. Cespedes for Social Studies in ninth grade, and again in twelfth grade. He made learning fun, using trivia and great anecdotes. One of my fondest high school memories is how this fun, interesting, smart man bookended my high school career.

Some say I have tons of patience with children, and that I’m good with them. I’ve always loved little kids. When my little brother was in preschool, I wanted to play with babies and toddlers all day, and wanted nothing more than to work at the school he attended.

I know the truth: a teacher’s hours aren’t limited to 8am-3pm. There’s grading, lesson planning, meetings, trainings…but it sure would be nice to have all those breaks off to spend with my own kids while they are still young enough to appreciate it.

Who makes the difference in the life of a child? The first answer is their parents, of course, but that’s a given. A teacher voluntarily gives their all for a child to learn to read, or understand a math concept, or explain how a tiny seed can become a mighty tree. I want to be the person that makes the difference in the life of a child. It’s been a lifelong dream, and I’m afraid of the regrets I’ll have if I don’t pursue it.


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STAR WARS: The Force Awakens coming to Blu-Ray Combo and DVD

Star Wars Force Awakens

Star Wars: The Force Awakens shattered box office records upon its debut to become the cinematic event of a generation with over $926 million domestic and $2.05 billion worldwide. As announced this morning by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert A. Iger at The Walt Disney Company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders, the epic movie will be available to own early on Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere on April 1. It comes home on Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD on April 5.

Discover the complete story behind the making of Star Wars: The Force Awakens with in-depth documentary and bonus material that will take fans on an exciting journey behind the scenes.  Secrets will be revealed through extensive footage, never-before-seen deleted scenes, and exclusive interviews with the actors and filmmakers. Bonus features include*:

  • Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey – For the first time, discover the complete story behind the making of The Force Awakens, revealed through in-depth footage and exclusive interviews with the actors and filmmakers in this feature documentary.
  • The Story Awakens: The Table Read – Cast members familiar and new reflect on the memorable day they all first came together to read the movie’s script.
  • Building BB-8 – See how the filmmakers brought the newest droid to the screen, creating an instant fan favorite in the Star Warsuniverse.
  • Crafting Creatures – Watch movie magic as the filmmakers bring a cast of new creatures to life.
  • Blueprint of a Battle: The Snow Fight – Go deeper into the epic, climactic lightsaber battle between Rey and Kylo Ren.
  • John Williams: The Seventh Symphony – The legendary composer shares personal insights of his work on Star Warsand The Force Awakens.
  • ILM: The Visual Magic of The Force – An insider’s look into the remarkable digital artistry of the movie’s visual effects.
  • Force For Change – Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. See how the Star Wars: Force for Change initiative has united Star Warsfans all over the globe to help others.
  • Plus Deleted Scenes

Digital bonus offerings may vary by retailer

We are so excited about this! We NEED it for our Star Wars collection, and will be pre-ordering as soon as possible!

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Bragging Rights

Yup, I think I’ve earned them…I beat my best half marathon time. And, I ran a half in under 3 hours. Both personal records were completed a week apart. I’m still in shock.

The first, the Key West Half Marathon, was held on January 17th. I completed it in 3:01:39, according to my running watch. Total disclosure: I did pause my watch when my running friends and I stopped for potty breaks and photo opps. A tiny voice in the back of my mind kept telling me that maybe I didn’t PR since the official results show otherwise. But I think a more powerful little voice said to the first voice, “Oh yeah? Just wait until next week!” Because somehow, not only did I PR again during the Miami Half Marathon on January 24th, with a result of 2:52:10, I beat the prior week’s time by 9 minutes and 29 seconds! That’s my watch time. My official race results: 2:53:10!


For those keeping track, here are my updated race results:

October 2011- Halloween Half 3:17:14
January 2012 – Miami Half (former ING) 3:08:08
December 2012 – Latin Music Half 3:15:12
January 2013 – Miami Half (former ING) 3:12:44
February 2013 – WDW Princess Half 3:37:28
January 2015 – Miami Half 3:12:13
October 2015 – Cocoa Beach Half 3:12:37
November 2015 – WDW Wine & Dine Half 2:22:07 (This doesn’t count, the course was cut in half due to weather)
January 2016 – Key West Half 3:10:15
January 2016 – Miami Half 2:53:10

I know I won’t PR during the Star Wars Half in April, as it’s close to impossible to
PR during a Disney race because it’s so crowded, so I’ll have to try and beat my best time next season. 2:45, I’m coming for you!


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Road Trippin’ Recap #Miami2Tenn

How has it been a month already since we came back from our Framily vacation to Sevierville, Tennessee? In between loads of laundry, homework supervising, dinner making, and working, I’ve been reminiscing about the awesome time we had!

Before I tell you about our trip, I have to say thank you to GMC for the amazing Yukon XL Denali they lent us. The road trip was as smooth as could be, thanks in great part to this fantastic car. I was honestly on the verge of tears when I had to return her (no offense to my actual car, which at almost 128K still gets us where we need to go with no trouble at all). The Yukon had room for all eight of us traveling together, as well as all our stuff, and boy was there stuff! We had fun playing “Tetris” whenever we needed to pack or re-pack the car.


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(image from imgur.com)

With our trip just two days away, and the weather going up and down in Tennessee like a yo-yo, I’m packing, then unpacking, then re-packing. I’ve been working almost 12 hour days this week as my coworker is on vacation, and then there’s the Christmas prep too. I’m so glad it’s a long road trip, I’m going to sleep for most of it!

There will be more blogging very soon, I just need to get through the next two days.

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DIY Christmas Ornament

Last year I participated in an ornament exchange in one of the blogger networks I belong to. I decided that instead of purchasing an ornament, I was going to make one. I knew that my exchangee liked cooking, so I purchased some cute baking items at the craft store to glue onto a small grapevine wreath. I had found a spool of the cute ribbon in the dollar section at Target early on in the season, and was so glad to have a reason to use it. I pulled out my handy dandy glue gun, decided on a design for the wreath and went to work.


This was my first time doing anything crafty, besides scrapbooks and school projects, so I was a bit nervous, but I think it turned out alright. What do you think?


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We’re headed to the Smokies!!

We’ve looked forward to this for about a year, and it’s so hard to believe that in just four weeks we’ll be headed on an epic road trip: we’re off to the Great Smoky Mountains! The four of us, along with nine friends (and four more who will meet us there) will be spending a week in Sevierville, Tennessee!

We are so excited, not only because this will be the first trip we go on with all our dear friends, a trip years and years in the making, but we’ll get to possibly play in the snow! (The boys are counting on it. Mother Nature, please don’t disappoint them!). On our agenda so far is snowtubing at Ober Gatlingburg, visiting different nearby trails and a couple of waterfalls within Great Smokey Mountains National Park, and some  ziplining. The rest is up in the air, we’ll play it by ear.

I’ve been stressing over making sure we are prepared for the weather, these South Florida folks don’t own very many winter clothes. Fortunately, when we were last in Orlando we hit some great sales at the GAP outlet and stocked up on quite a few things for all of us. We scored some great winter boots online yesterday (thank you, Black Friday sales!). I’ve got a list of all the things we need to take to make us comfortable in our cozy cabin. We’ve prepared a very rough budget to reflect gas, tolls, meals and other spending. Do you have any other tips for us?

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Prepare for the Holidays with BJ’s and Kimberly-Clark products #HolidaysconFamilia

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

The holidays are quickly approaching, and as excited as I am about being thankful, the twinkling lights, the presents under the tree, the cheer and merriment, I’m also sad because this is the first year that neither my grandfather or grandmother won’t be with us. As the years pass and our elders leave us, one really appreciates how important loved ones are, and how wonderful it is to spend time with them while they are alive. That goes for family as well as friends. That’s why I love filling my home with people, there’s nothing like spending the holidays with those you love.

While our family dinners for Thanksgiving and Noche Buena are hosted by my Tio on my mom’s side, and my Tia on my dad’s side, respectively, I am the hostess for Friendsgiving, as well as the Christmas exchange among our friends. I love having family and friends over, and being a good hostess is important to me. There’s always plenty of food and drinks, and of course plenty of amenities for my guests. Asi me enseño mi abuela. 

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Posted in Deals and Discounts, Giveaways, Home Sweet Home | 2 Comments