I survived my first class!

It is no coincidence that I have not blogged in a month. My first day of class was one month ago, and it’s been a jam-packed five weeks with deadlines at work, research and assignments to do, and pre-service teacher clinical observation hours to be completed (and of course, parental and household duties!). But I did it. As of right now, I’ve earned A’s in four out of the five assignments I submitted. The fifth is still pending a grade. Final grades for the course will be published on Tuesday. I’m about 99% sure I got an A, which means all those late nights were worth it!

The next class starts next week, with class every Friday evening and all day Saturday over the next four weeks. That means I have five days to get this house in shape so that we all survive the next month. I tried my hardest to delegate household duties to the hubby and kids. The boys were on their own for homework, Matty even completed an awesome book report on Walt Disney that I’m super proud of, all by himself!. We were mostly on autopilot, with just the essentials like laundry, dirty dishes, and checking the mail for any pending bills getting our full attention.

I’m going to try a little harder this time around to make bigger meals so that we have more leftovers for those crazy nights when I’m working on assignments. We definitely resorted to ordering take-out for dinner due to my homework commitments more often than we planned to.

I’ve got eight classes left to finish the program, but if they go as fast as the first one, I’ll have my certification in the blink of an eye!

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Brain Dump

Here are a few things floating around my mind, in no particular order:

  • After two days of orientation, I’m a little nervous, and excited, that I start classes next Friday. I have my schedule, I’ve ordered my textbook, now I just need to get through the next ten months.
  • My worst half ever this past Sunday is haunting me. I want to run and burn off some of the anxiety from my upcoming school/work/in-service schedule, but I can’t. My feet are still healing from the enormous blisters I got, thanks to soaked socks and shoes. I had to walk almost the entire Half, taking me 4 hours and 30 minutes. Just when I think I’m walking normally and can possibly try to run this weekend, I move my foot the wrong way and see stars. May have to give this another week or so…
  • Even though we can’t even consider buying a new home until early May, I can’t help checking listings online, even though we can do nothing about any of the ones I fall in love with until three months from now.
  • Speaking of new homes, I’m hoping we can avoid further hits to our credit with some creative juggling which would allow me to pay for school with money we have on-hand versus charging my classes on credit cards.
  • Note to self: Less eating out. And Starbucks. And visits to Target.
  • Those last two are going to be hard.
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The Force Was With Us!

I am so excited to say that I successfully completed the Star Wars Light Side Half Marathon, and am halfway to my goal of earning my Coast to Coast medal while I’m 40! And I didn’t do it alone: my friends C and K joined me for a girls’ weekend. We spent an amazing three days in California. Besides the race, we took a bus tour in L.A., drove to Santa Monica to visit Cookie Good for specialty cookies, had dinner with a few Darbys, and went to Disneyland for the first time. Continue reading

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Staying Organized and Sane

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

As a modern Latina, I aspire to do it all: be a great mom, excel at work, (try to be) a good housekeeper, and keep everybody happy, including myself! January is going to be a busy one for us: we’re celebrating Brandon’s 14th birthday with a party at home. A few days later I’ll be traveling to California to complete my 11th Half Marathon in Disneyland. The week after I return, I’m starting an accelerated program to complete my education degree. And in the meantime, we’ve been house shopping and may be purchasing a new home within the first few months of the year. Sometimes this wonderful yet busy life is overwhelming…just looking at that list gave me a headache! That’s why I like to have Advil® Tablets on hand. Not only do they help ease the inevitable headaches of trying to juggle life’s crazy turns, but it also helps with minor muscle aches from my half marathon training.

The best way to manage all our activities and appointments is to write everything down! Whether it be an agenda, or To-Do lists, it helps to have everything in writing so that I can keep track of things and scratch things off as they get done, or even delegate some things to my husband or the kids and avoid going loca!

Here are a few tips to show you how I’m getting organized to survive the next few months:

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From a technical perspective, I know this picture is not that great. I’m shooting with the sun in the left frame, creating that haziness. But it’s my favorite picture of the trip we took earlier this month on the Carnival Vista. We set sail just four days after my 40th birthday, and it was the perfect break from the craziness of work, holiday prep and life in general.

The four of us as well as my mom, Eric’s mom, my great aunt and a family friend had been planning and paying for this trip for at least a year and a half.  Continue reading

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Celebrating 40

So in two days I’ll be 40. 40 seemed so old when I was younger. As they say these days though, 40 is the new 20. And I’ve taken that to heart. Yes, there’s some sagging, and wrinkles, and gray hairs, but so far facing 40 isn’t so bad. I’ve got some dreams I plan to make reality this coming year, and one in partcular that ticks off three items on my bucket list is just about six weeks away. Not only am I going to California for the first time, and Disneyland, but I’m going “Coast to Coast“! I’ll be running in Disneyland’s Star Wars Light Side Half Marathon in January, and in Disney World’s Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon in April. But wait, it gets better: I’m taking two friends with me! Can’t wait for these two girls’ weekends, one of which  is practically around the corner!

I’ll also be starting school for my teaching degree, finally! I went to an interview with the director for the program today, and most of the paperwork has been processed. Everything will be in order within the next week or two, just in time for the new semester in January. It’s going to be a crazy year, with classes on the weekends and reading assignments, service hours, portofolios and all kinds of other requirements, but I need to do this. For me. Because at 20 I didn’t that I’d have the chance to do what I dreamed of as a little girl, and at 40 I can make it a reality.

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We’ve spent this entire week waiting.

I’ve been waiting for the official test results of the Subject Area Exam I took early last week. They still won’t be available for at least another two weeks, but I’m happy to report that I passed both subtests I registered for! Once I receive the official results and the Florida Department of Education mails me their Statement of Eligibility, I can finally register for school and start my classes on my journey to become a teacher.

We were all waiting on Tuesday to see who the next president of the United States would be. I have never gotten political on this blog and I will not start now, except to say that the democratic process is a privilege we have. Many countries are unable to vote to elect their leaders, policies, presidents and dictators are forced on the people who have no voice. My grandparents left everything in Cuba to make a new life in the land of the free and home of the brave, and give not only themselves the right to use their voice but those of us who came after them. As the great nation we are, we should respect and honor the position of President of the United States deserves, even if the winning candidate is not an ideal one.

And lastly, we waited to hear back on something we were neither planning for or anticipating, but got excited about nonetheless. Early this week we made an offer on a condo in our neighborhood. We weren’t looking to move, and didn’t even think we’d qualify, but we drove by a place, saw it, and said, “Why not?”, and made an offer. We found out yesterday a different offer was accepted, but I’m happy because now we have an idea what we qualify for and how much we can afford, and can plan to make a move in the next year or two.

What have you been waiting for lately?

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Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas Returns to Theaters This Halloween!


Fans of The Nightmare Before Christmas, or Halloween, or Tim Burton, or any combination of the three,  have I got a treat for you! Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas will be exclusively at Regal Theaters for a very limited engagement this coming weekend, from October 28th until October 31st. For real, this isn’t a trick!

Being the Disney buff that I am, would you believe I’ve never seen this film?! This weekend sounds like the perfect opportunity to do so. I hope you’ll join me and take a break from the Tricking & Treating and celebrate Halloween weekend with Jack Skellington, Sally, Oogie Boogie and the rest of the citizens of Halloweentown! (I may not have seen the movie, but I do know my Disney characters!)

Tickets are now on sale at select Regal theaters. Participating theaters include locations in Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

For tickets and screening locations, visit: http://regmovi.es/tnbc2016.

Let me know if you go check out The Nightmare Before Christmas in theaters this weekend, and if you dress in costume, picture are a must!

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A funny thing happened when I was browsing Facebook today

As I usually do, I was browsing my Facebook timeline during my lunch break. My friend Carol from Girl Gone Travel is visiting Disneyland on behalf of Expedia ViewFinder. (She’s a travel blogger and this is actually her job! I know…so lucky!) She posted a Facebook Live video straight from Main Street and the cast member she was with had a great Disney trivia question: name ten animated feature films that have one-word titles that were all hand-drawn. That’s right, no computer animation used. Can you guess who knew them all? Yup, this girl! I knew nine of them right away, and had to think about the tenth, but I still got them all. I guess you can say I’ve earned my ears!

mickeyearsRachel and I with our long-coveted Mickey Ears!

Goes to show that my love for Disney can come in handy at any time, even when I’m on my lunch break!

I could tell you what they are, but that would be no fun. So I’m wondering, can you name the ten Disney animated feature films with one-word titles that used no computer animation? Leave your answers in the comments, and I’ll let you know if you’re right!

Posted in Disney, Fun Stuff, Movies | 3 Comments

How to Pack your Backpack for a Magical Day at Walt Disney World

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

As a Florida resident, I’ve been going to Walt Disney World for as long as I can remember. As a child I went often, and Walt Disney World holds a special place in my heart because my husband and I met there during a high school trip. We’ve instilled a love of Walt Disney World in our children from an early age: Brandon, who is now 13, went 11 times in his first three years. Matty, now 9, went on his very first vacation when he was just three months old. We are annual passholders and go as often as we can, sometimes as many as 6 times a year! When the boys were younger, we packed their diaper bag with all the baby essentials, including Huggies diapers and wipes. Now that they are older, our vacations are much easier. We’ve perfected our Walt Disney World travels, from travel time to affordable hotel stays. We even bring a backpack filled with a few essentials that make our visits to the parks easy and convenient.


It’s easy to prepare for a visit to the most Magical Place on Earth, whether your vacation lasts two days or 10!

How to Pack Your Backpack for a Day at the Parks

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