Let’s Talk About Financial Management, Shall We?!

This post is brought to you by a #sponsored campaign in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and Wells Fargo. All thoughts and content are my own.

I grew up watching my Mom clip coupons and buy things on sale. As a result, I’m a pretty frugal person; I know how to save my money and like my Mother, I’m all about waiting for a good sale. We aren’t all frugal, but I believe we can all learn ways to better manage our finances. 

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Empower yourself with financial knowledge. I have met so many people, women especially, that don’t know anything about budgeting, good credit or saving money. These are things that every woman needs to educate herself on. I know some of you are saying, “My husband takes care of that.” Right? Wrong! You need to know how to handle these things for yourself! I’m a strong Latina woman-I don’t need a man controlling my finances, I’m more than capable of doing that for myself, gracias! Don’t depend on someone else, take the first step and learn how to manage YOUR finances YOURSELF! We all work hard for our money, and it’s vital that we know how to make it work for us. By sticking to a budget, I’m able to monitor my finances and know exactly how much I have to spend (and save!) every month. 

Five Easy Steps To Creating A Budget

Step 1: Organize. At its core, a budget is a worksheet with two columns: one for income & one for expenses. 

Step 2: Track. For one month, keep a detailed log of all your spending habits.

Step 3: Analyze. At the end of the month, add up your income and your expenses and then subtract your expenses from your income.

Step 4: React. After looking at all of your expenses, separate them into categories and set a budget for each.

Step 5: Review: Review your budget every month, particularly in the early stages. 

How’s Your Credit?

Do you know what your credit score is or how it’s calculated? Wells Fargo Infographic_ENGLISH Your credit score is extremely important. A good score could mean the difference between qualifying for a home loan or being denied. Staying on budget and paying your bills on time will help ensure a high credit score. When it’s time to buy that new home, you’ll be so glad you put in the work to raise your credit score! 

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I wasn’t born knowing these things, someone taught me. We all have to learn from someone, verdad? If you’re not as well-versed on personal finances as you’d like to be, no worries. Wells Fargo is committed to making financial education and in-language resources available to Latino consumers. They provide customers with bilingual online tools, Spanish Text Banking, Spanish account statements, Spanish-language call centers, Spanish-speaking bankers in stores across the nation, and more. These resources are a Godsend for family members that feel more confident communicating in Espanol. 

As part of that commitment, and in order to connect with the Hispanic community in a meaningful way, Wells Fargo recently collaborated with Telemundo for the “Conversemos de Tus Finanzas” campaign. The campaign is focused on empowering Hispanics to enhance their financial knowledge and help them to reach their financial goals. The campaign provides customized content, tools and resources around the important financial topics of money management and credit.

Invest in yourself, your familia, and your future, by learning all you can about financial management. Si se puede! 

Big shout out to #WellsFargo for going the extra mile and giving us the tools we need to succeed. 

 

 

Nov. 21- Macy’s Union Square – 2014 Holiday Window Unveiling & Grumpy the Cat!

I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own. 

422603_10150566994728037_1035218697_nIMG_3783 Macy’s Union Square, on O’Farrell & Stockton Streets, is known for their fabulous Christmas window displays. This year, the cuteness factor is going to be at an all-time high, because they will be featuring adoptable kittens & puppies from the San Francisco SPCA! How adorable is that gonna be?! 

But wait, it gets better… Grumpy the Cat will be there too! This truly is the most wonderful time of the year! I can’t wait to see everything Macy’s has planned for this amazing family event. Grumpy the Cat is preparing for her acting debut, she’ll be starring in the Original Lifetime Movie, Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever. 

The first 250 people in line, will get to have their photo taken with Ms. Grumpy herself! (I’m thinking that would make a really cute Christmas card.) The De Marillac Academy Choir will also be there performing for everyone. 

When:

Friday Nov. 21, 2014 5PM

Macy’s Union Square-San Francisco

Come on down & witness the wonder! You’ll have a ton of fun and you might just find the perfect pooch or kitty for your family! Hope to see you there! 

 

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National Prematurity Awareness Month & A Cool New App! {Baby Blocks}

This is a sponsored conversation, all opinions are my own. 

I  was just introduced to a really cool app, (you know I’m a bit of a tech nerd, right?) and I wanted to share it with you guys. It’s a new mobile interactive incentive program for expectant mothers, called Baby Blocks. It’s available to help pregnant women and new parents with prenatal and well-baby care. But first, a few facts you may not be aware of. 

Welcom to Baby Blocks - PhotoMore than 11 percent of the babies born nationwide last year were considered premature, earning the nation a “C” grade according to a new March of Dimes report. Full-term deliveries are important for the health of babies and mothers, considering births before 37 weeks of pregnancy account for 35 percent of all infant deaths, according to the CDC.

November is National Prematurity Awareness Month, a perfect time for families nationwide to think about the health of expectant mothers and babies, and to raise awareness of and increase safe and healthy pregnancies and deliveries.

Appropriate prenatal and postnatal care is critically important for mothers’ and babies’ health. It is also important for mothers and families to understand the risks associated with elective deliveries before 39 weeks of gestation and their potential impact on infant health. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) defines full-term as 39 weeks and advises against elective deliveries before that. The potential complications involved with elective childbirth before 39 weeks are very real, yet some first-time mothers may be unaware of the risks. Babies born before 39 weeks are more likely to have respiratory problems and developmental delays, according to numerous published studies.

The U.S. has the highest rate of preterm birth of any industrialized country. More than 1.3 million babies were delivered by cesarean section in 2011, with wide variation in C-section rates at hospitals nationwide, according to a new study from the University of Minnesota. The overall C-section rate was 33 percent, but the rate ranged between 19 and 48 percent at hospitals across the nation; the researchers could not identify evidence-based factors to explain the variation. C-section deliveries can carry a variety of risks, including infection, blood clots and problems in future pregnancies.

Generic Phone Image - Do whats Best_New tools, including myriad mobile apps, are helping pregnant women and new parents with prenatal and postnatal care. For instance, UnitedHealthcare’s Baby BlocksTM is a  mobile incentive program now available to Medicaid beneficiaries in 14 states and people enrolled in employer-sponsored health plans. Users access interactive “baby blocks” via the app on their iPhones and Android smartphones that show their prenatal visit. Users can then earn rewards for following a prenatal- and postnatal-visit schedule, including gift cards, toys and diapers.Generic Phone Image - Earn Great Gifts_

Encouraging a healthy and full-term pregnancy is the responsibility of parents and health professionals, and technology is helping make that possible. The last few weeks of pregnancy for many mothers can seem endless and often uncomfortable. But expectant parents should take the opportunity to learn just how important the last few remaining weeks are for their baby’s development and health.

Go check out the app, and share it with your friends! 

 

Youth H2o – Youth Activating Concentrate {Giveaway}

Mommy Powers was provided samples of Youth H2o to facilitate this review & giveaway. No monetary compensation has been rec’d and all opinions are mine. 

As a woman & mother, I like to keep abreast of the latest health & beauty innovations. Whether it’s a new facial cleanser meant to eradicate free radicals or a supplement that I should be taking- I want to know what’s out there. Are you the same way? 

When I was asked if I’d be willing to try a product that may help improve my skin, boost my immunity and give me vital nutrients that I’d probably not get otherwise, you know I said “Heck Yeah!”  

Allow me to introduce you to Youth H2o.
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Youth H2o is an age-defying system made with a proprietary blend of powerful super foods & nutrients formulated through advanced science & innovation to stimulate, replenish, & reactivate youthful elements & nutrients in your body. Youth H2o fights against the signs of aging, while giving you CAFFEINE-FREE energy. Youth H2o also gives you immunity support everywhere you go! Youth H2o – Age Defying System awakens your youth hormone (HGH) w/ Organic Super Foods that enhance BEAUTY, PERFORMANCE, & WELLNESS! 

Maybe you’ve already heard about Youth H2o, it’s been featured in print and on TV. It was shown on The Today Show, Pregnancy & Newborn Magazine for postpartum weight loss and energy, Life and Style, Los Angeles Times for natural energy, and Glamour for skin glow benefits. Whew, that’s a lot of press! 

What’s In Youth H2o?

 H2o is packed with vitamins and Peruvian Super Foods. 
 
-  Camu Camu has the highest NATURAL Vitamin C source on the planet, and is also great for collagen production. 
- Purple Corn has the highest antioxidant source (compared to other purple foods), and is high in anthocyanin, which can aid in the preventions of heart disease, obesity & diabetes.
-  Maca is an adaptogen that gives sustainable natural energy, including increased libido, and is used for hormone balance. It enhances your mood by nourishing the pituitary gland. 

youth H2O infographPurple Corn, Maca Root, Camu Camu… I don’t know about you, but these things aren’t in my daily diet! You can read more about all the ingredients here

I just started taking Youth H2o, and I can’t wait to see what my results will be. I take one 2oz bottle a day, 5 days a week. You can drink it straight, like I do, or mix it in a glass of juice. It has a pretty strong vitamin flavor, but that’s to be expected. 

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GIVEAWAY

 I’m pleased to announce that I am going to be giving one of my readers a full week’s worth of Youth H20! I am also going to be giving away this awesome book:Peruvian_Power_HIRES Woo-Hoo! I love being able to give you guys stuff! Enter the Rafflecopter below and good luck!  a Rafflecopter giveaway

What My Mother’s Dementia Has Taught Me – Para Mi Mama

The past couple of weeks have been very difficult for me, I find myself getting depressed because of what my Mom is going through. I’m writing this for her, and for me, and for everyone touched by Dementia/Alzheimer’s.

IMG_0269Let me start by saying that my family is far from perfect. I found out a few years ago that I grew up in an extremely dysfunctional family, though I really didn’t know it at the time. I knew my dad was different, I didn’t know he was capable of horrific acts. Once I found out he was, I cut off all contact with him, and in turn, my Mother. At the time, my Mom was already displaying signs & symptoms of Dementia. I did what I had to do, to protect my own mental health and for the safety of my children…Period. 

A couple of weeks ago, I was informed that my Mom had fallen in her home & had been taken to the hospital. She did not break anything, but had to stay in the hospital for an entire week. I called the hospital, but was told they could not release any information to me (or anyone else), and that I would have to speak to my father if I wanted an update on her. I reluctantly agreed to speak to him.

He came to the phone and proceeded to tell me all about my Mom’s current condition- the things she does & says, and the things she no longer does or says. It became very apparent to me, that he was no longer able to provide the care she now needs. He also said something that stuck with me, it was after he told me they had recently celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary- not that my Mom was able to actually celebrate.

He said, “We always talked about taking a cruise to Alaska for our 50th, that’s not gonna happen now.” I thought that was such a sad statement.

Last weekend, my Mother was placed into a care facility for people with Dementia. What my father said has been on replay in my mind ever since. 

How many of us put life on hold? You know, not wanting to wear that swimsuit because you haven’t lost those 10 pounds yet, or not taking that trip abroad because the kids are too young. Maybe you want to go back to school, but are putting it off until the children are in high school, whatever it is- why are you postponing LIFE?

I’m guilty of it too, but a few weeks before my Mom was hospitalized, I made a decision to LIVE MY LIFE. I just don’t care anymore. I don’t care what others think of me, my decisions, my beliefs, or the way I choose to live my life. This is MY life and I’m going to live it. God is the only one that can judge me, and as long as I’m living according to His plan, I’m good. 

My mother loved going to parties and family gatherings, she was always ready for a fiesta! She adored her Grandchildren! She didn’t get out as much as she wanted to, but when she did, she had a good time. She can’t do any of that now. She will never go on that cruise to Alaska, the cruise she had looked forward to for years. I don’t want to live my life that way, not anymore.

I know my Mom would want me to squeeze as much life into my days as I can. And that’s what I intend to do, from here on out. She wouldn’t want me to be sad or down-she’d want me to experience everything life has to offer, all the things she will never be able to enjoy. 

For the past few years, every time I’ve traveled or gone to an event I know she’d like- I’ve put on one of the rings she gave me, usually my sterling silver turquoise heart-shaped ring. It’s my way of bringing her with me. I know that might sound weird, but I don’t care- I do it to honor her. 

I will be traveling back home soon to visit her. She no longer remembers who I am, but that’s ok- because I know who she is, and that’s all that matters. 

I love you Mom!  

 

LeapPad3 Learning Tablet for Kids {LeapFrog}

Mommy Powers was provided with this product as part of a promotional program with LeapFrog & BSM Media. All opinions are mine. 

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Video games… they are everywhere nowadays. My kids LOVE playing video games, and they’d play for hours on end IF I allowed them to. This school year, we’ve set some new rules, mostly as a result of our son’s special needs. One of the new rules is no video games during the week. If he has time to play mindless video games, then he has time for extra studying, right?! 

I’ve recently made an exception to my own rule, well sorta. ;) The LeapPad3 isn’t really a video game system…but my little one thinks it is! And because he thinks it is, he is having a blast with this learning tablet. No mindless video games here, he’s actually learning while he’s playing! Check this out:

 We just returned from a trip out of the country, (we went to the Beaches Resort in #TurksandCaicos) and we took the LeapPad3 with us. Can you say lifesaver?! 10696445_857342490972492_1418466184568487440_n That’s exactly what the LeapPad3 (made by LeapFrog) was, a lifesaver! First, there was our 3 hour layover in L.A. – not too bad, we had to be shuttled to another terminal, so that took some time. But our layover in Miami was a different story all together. A five (yes, 5) hour layover! Oh! Em! Gee! I thought I was gonna lose my mind, lol! But I must say, our little one was very content playing with his LeapPad3. I thanked God, (repeatedly) that we had it to keep him occupied. Truth be told, the LeapPad3 even kept me busy! Yep, I’m not ashamed to admit that I was playing an educational game, on the LeapPad3, with my 7 year old! 

Once we arrived in #TurksandCaicos, our little one used his LeapPad3 to take photos and make videos. Here he is out on the balcony, snapping pics: 10247213_858811677492240_7120937281689251637_n He loved being able to take his own pictures of whatever he wanted to. And here’s one of the photos he took: 10639703_858784710828270_6693752423924840320_n Not bad for a 7 year old! I’m amazed at the quality of the photos the LeapPad3 takes. Our son used his LeapPad3 the entire time we were on the island, he took pics during the day and played games at night before falling asleep.

He is still playing and learning with his LeapPad3, and asking for new cartridges every chance he gets. (Santa will be bringing him plenty of new educational games this Christmas!)

If you have a child between the ages of 3-9, and you’re looking for kid-tough, high performance fun, educator approved games/apps & wi-fi with a kid-safe web-then the LeapPad3 is just what you’ve been looking for! 

Maleficent available now on Disney Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, Digital HD, Disney Movies Anywhere, DVD & On-Demand!

Mommy Powers was provided with a complimentary copy of this movie to help facilitate this post- all opinions are mine & no monetary compensation has been received.   

 

DISNEY’S GREATEST VILLAIN COMES TO LIFE

IN THE WICKEDLY FUN, FANTASY ADVENTURE STARRING 

ACADEMY AWARD®-WINNER ANGELINA JOLIE 

DISNEY’S “MALEFICENT” 

securedownload (1)I’ve shared my love of Disney movies with you before, and I’m back with another! Have you seen Disney’s Maleficent yet?! If not, you can now purchase your very own copy, because it’s in store NOW! Another classic to add to my collection. (I’m thinking there will be lots of these under Christmas trees this year.) 

Academy Award®-Winner Angelina Jolie transforms into one of Disney’s greatest villains in MALEFICENT! I LOVE me some Angelina! 

Explore the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain in this wickedly fun twist on the classic “Sleeping Beauty.” In an unforgiving mood after a neighboring kingdom threatens her forest, Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) places an irrevocable curse on the king’s newborn daughter, the Princess Aurora. But as the child grows, Maleficent finds herself becoming fond of the girl. And as the conflict between the two realms intensifies, Maleficent realizes that Aurora may hold the key to peace in the land. Journey beyond the fairy tale in this soaring adventure that is “visually arresting, brilliantly designed” (Andrew Barker, Variety).

Includes deleted scenes, “Building An Epic Battle,” the meticulous detail that went into creating Maleficent’s elaborate head wraps in “Classic Couture” and more!   

I’ve always thought Angelina Jolie was a fantastic actress, and she was the perfect pick for this role- she OWNS it! Great casting by Disney.

Be sure to pick up your copy of Maleficent today, then check it off your Christmas list, I know I will! 

 

National Brush Day Giveaway! #natlbrushday #2min2x

Sponsored
National Brush Day

 

Bloggin’ Mamas is supporting the Ad Council and The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives (a coalition of more than 35 leading dental health organizations) by sharing the word about “National Brush Day.”

National Brush Day is observed on November 1st, the day after Halloween, to reinforce the importance of children’s oral health and to promote good tooth-brushing habits recommended by dental experts.

More than 51 million school hours are lost each year due to dental related illness, resulting in parents losing 25 million work hours annually. Cavities and oral infections can cause severe pain and can increase a child’s risk for dental issues and poor health throughout their lives.

3 in 4 parents report that their kids sometimes or frequently forget to brush their teeth, according to a national survey just released by the Ad Council. In an effort to help parents better understand why ignoring dental health can have serious consequences, and educate families about good dental health habits, the Ad Council and The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives created new Public Service Ads (PSAs) for their Kids’ Healthy Mouths campaign. The new PSAs are humorous depictions of life lessons which make the point that while parenting can be tricky at times, getting kids to brush for two minutes, twice a day can be easier than most other things parents will try to teach their children.

Visit 2min2x.org (which is available in English and Spanish, and includes a mobile version), where parents and children can watch entertaining videos—all 2 minutes in length—while brushing their teeth.

Resources

o Here are some new PSA videos: http://2min2x.org/campaign-materials/

o Fun 2-minute videos that will keep your kids brushing for 2 whole minutes:
http://2min2x.org/watch-brush/

o Take the 2min2x Text Challenge with your kids!
75% of kids forget to brush their teeth. Take the brushing challenge to make sure your kids are always in the healthy 25%. You’ll get 2 texts per day for 5 days, plus occasional tips and fun facts afterward. Sign up to see if YOUR family can beat the challenge. (http://2min2x.org/sms.asp)

o Make brushing fun with the free Toothsavers App: http://2min2x.org/toothsavers/

o Promote or enter the Zooppa.com video contest for a chance to win $20,000: In addition to the new PSAs, the campaign will be kicking off its first video contest called #BrushRules leveraging Zooppa.com, the world’s leading crowd sourced marketing platform for producing creative content. Parenting is hard to do. Getting your kids to brush their teeth for two minutes, twice a day is one aspect that’s easier and can make a big impact on a child’s life.

The Giveaway

Give­away begins November 1st, 2014 at 12:01 am and ends November 1st, 2014 at 11:59 pm EST. Open to US res­i­dents age 18 and older. Win­ner will be selected by Random.org and be noti­fied by email. See Raf­fle­copter wid­get below for full terms & conditions.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dis­clo­sure: I am sharing this post on behalf of Bloggin’ Mamas. Blog­gin’ Mamas is host­ing this give­away and coor­di­nat­ing prize ful­fill­ment. Ele­ment Asso­ciates, The Ad Coun­cil and the The Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives are in no way respon­si­ble for the give­away, and only pro­vided the above con­tent to be dis­trib­uted in the form of a PSA.

You’re Invited to Join Me in Santa Clara for Free Fall Fitness Fun & Prizes!

This is a sponsored conversation, all exercise procrastination is solely my own! 

With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s time to get a jumpstart on our fitness routines! Time to push away from the table and do something positive for our physical fitness and health. I’m all about leading a healthier lifestyle, how ’bout you? Are you ready to sweat it out?! If so, then I’d like to invite you to get your Zumba on with me! #FallFitness

Join Me At The Microsoft Store In Santa Clara on 10/30 from 12PM-6PM! images

Let’s Do This! Who’s With Me?! 

Come into the Microsoft Retail Store (location listed below,) and start getting fit now! On Thursday, October 30th, Microsoft Stores is hosting a fun fitness day! Microsoft wants to help you get a head start on your health and fitness goals by staying active & fit through a fun & FREE Zumba class. Enjoy a fun, high energy workout and a chance to win great prizes!

Fall Fitness classes will be held 12pm- 6pm on Thursday, 10/30!

Microsoft Store
Westfield Valley Fair
2855 Stevens Creek Blvd, Suite 1135
Santa Clara, CA 95050

Join me at the Microsoft Store in Santa Clara and we can get into shape together! Feel free to bring the kids and they can spend some quality time with the XBox systems on display. There will also be raffles for fantastic prizes.

Hope to see you there!

Fashion Rocks At Macy’s! {Runway Show -Palo Alto, CA – Oct 25 at 2pm – Stanford Shopping Center}

I am a member of the Everywhere Society & Everywhere has provided me with compensation for this post. However, all thoughts & opinions expressed on this post are my own.

Macy’s invites you to see what unfolds when Fall’s coolest trends meet the season’s hottest beats!efb457a0-36b1-4d8b-a09e-85e9ebc65c6a
Are you ready to rock a new look this season? Macy’s is having a runway show celebrating all things fashion! They’ll have music, treats, and a fab shopping party featuring a sneak peak at the newest looks. I’ll be there, live-tweeting, and would love to YOU there too! 

Tweet with: #FashionRocks

Make any $75 purchase during the event and receive a special gift.* For more information, please visit Macys.com/events.

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Event Dates & Locations:

Palo Alto, CA – Oct 25 at 2pm – Stanford Shopping Center

Get front row seats at the runway fashion show hosted by celebrity host, TV Personality and Fashion Blogger, Courtney Kerr! (@TheCourtneyKerr Instagram hashtag: #CourtneyLovesMacysStanford)

If you’ve never attended a Macy’s event, you are in for a treat! ”Ain’t no party like a Macy’s party, cuz a Macy’s party don’t stop!” I’ll save you a seat!


Hope to see you there!