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! 

 

 

We Can Stop HIV One Conversation At A Time!

This post is made possible by support from the We Can Stop HIV One Conversation at a Time campaign. All opinions are my own.

 

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You probably already know that Hispanics/Latinos are the largest & fastest growing ethnic minority in the U.S. (Latinos in the house!) What you may not know, is that we’re also one of the groups most affected by HIV and AIDS, and that’s nothing to celebrate. 

Did you know that many young people with HIV believe it’s ok NOT to disclose their HIV positive status with someone they’re “just having sex with,” as long as they use protection? 

There are more than 1 million (1,000,000) people in the U.S. living with HIV. Approximately 50,000 people get infected with the virus each year. Hispanics & Latinos make up 21% of all new infections. HIV can affect anyone, no matter your race, age, gender, sexual orientation, or marital status. An estimated 1 in 36 Hispanic/Latino men will become infected with HIV, and 1 in 106 Hispanic/Latina women will also be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime. Have you been tested? oneconversation_materials_splash_image-bigtext

What do YOU know about HIV/AIDS? Learn more about HIV/AIDS, and the impact it has on the Hispanic/Latino community here. You can also watch this video:


Talking about HIV and AIDS isn’t always easy, but it’s a conversation WE MUST HAVE! We need to remove the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS and begin talking openly about it. That’s the only way we are going to learn the facts that will empower us to protect ourselves, our families, and our communities. By increasing HIV awareness, we can help stop the spread of HIV, not only in the Hispanic/Latino communities, but in ALL communities. 

homebanner_bigtext-990x245By talking openly about this, we can stop HIV one conversation at a time. If every one of us took a moment to start the conversation, imagine how many lives we could impact? Every single one of us matters, and together we can inspire change, improve lives and reduce the spread of HIV! 

Si se puede!  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/talkHIV  

Nature Made KIDS FIRST Vitamins

  I received a sample of Nature Made Children’s Vitamins for the purpose of this review. This post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own.

NM Kids First logo I try to feed our little one nutritious meals and snacks, because I want to make sure he’s getting all the nutrients his growing body needs. Sometimes, he doesn’t want to eat what I’ve cooked, either he’s not in the mood or he just isn’t hungry. Those are the days I worry about him, because I know how important proper nutrition is.

SONY DSCNature Made knows how important good nutrition is too, that’s why they’ve come out with a line of vitamins just for kids! I’m no stranger to Nature Made Vitamins, I got turned on to them a few years back. They were one of the brands at a blogging conference I attended. (Blogalicious12). From the first time I tried their Fish Oil Gummies for adults, I was hooked! Since I’m already a firm believer in the brand, I’m excited that my little one will now get to experience the same vitamin goodness that I do. (Plus they are super yummy, so he’ll want to take them!)

The KIDS FIRST line is available at Target stores. 

KIDS FIRST Gummies 

16292042Designed for kids and teens ages 4 -18. These delicious gummies come in three fruit flavors – Strawberry, Lemon & Orange. They provide 11 essential nutrients, (vitamins A, B, C, D and E, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA). Great way to make sure your kids are getting the vitamins & minerals their diet may be lacking. 

These gummies contain all natural fruit flavors and colors derived from natural sources (no synthetic dyes, preservatives or yeast). They are also Gluten free.

KIDS FIRST Multivitamin KidMelts 16292039

These melt-in-your-mouth vitamins are formulated with 12 key vitamins, including  A, C, D, E, and all 8 B vitamins: thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, biotin, folic acid, and vitamin B12. Did I mention they melt in your mouth- so no water needed. 

Made with great-tasting natural flavors & colors that are derived from natural sources.

Head on down to Target & pick up some Nature Made KIDS FIRST Vitamins for your little one, they’re sure to love ‘em!

 I received a sample of Nature Made Children’s Vitamins for the purpose of this review. This post was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own.

Latino Authors & Raising Bilingual Children {Read Conmigo}

This is a sponsored conversation in collaboration with Read Conmigo and Latina Bloggers Connect. All opinions are my own. 


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Most of you know I’m biracial – my mother is Mexican American. Growing up, I didn’t really speak Spanish, but I somehow understood everything I heard my mother saying when she was speaking on the phone to my Tia or Abuela (puro chismes). Today, I can speak much more Spanish than I could back then- it may not be perfect- but folks can understand me & know what I’m talking about. 

I’m trying to raise my kids to be bilingual, knowing another language is so important, and I want them to be proud of their Latino roots. Every chance I get, I’m rattling off words in Spanish to them, trying to get them to commit them to memory. They may only be 1/4 Mexican, but they can still habla espanol, no?! Si! Como que no- my kids are getting a head start on being bilingual and I’m so happy about that. IMG_0264

Here’s another thing I’m happy about, Read Conmigo (Read With Me).

DID YOU KNOW?

Less than 2% of children’s books written last year were Latino-themed, and only 1.5 percent (or 48 books) of the 3,200 children’s works published in 2013 (in the U.S.) were written by Latino authors. In an effort to change these dismal statistics, one book at a time, the nationally recognized bilingual literacy program Read Conmigo, is introducing the “Preserving our Culture through Bilingual Literacy” contest for budding Latino children’s book authors based in the Southern California area.

Read Conmigo is a bilingual literacy program that supplies parents, teachers, and students with FREE bilingual books in English & Spanish. They also have online resources for children in Preschool – 5th grade.  Read Conmigo, (sponsored by Infinity Auto Insurance), is a literacy program that promotes English and Spanish and it’s FREE to everyone. If your kids are in Preschool – 5th grade, and you want to raise them to be bilingual, you’ll want to check out this program. To date, they have distributed 800,000 new books to kids, WOW!

Registered members can download the Read Conmigo Library to any smartphone or tablet. Register on the website ReadConmigo.com  and/or download the app at iTunes or GooglePlay. You can also text the word “READ” to 323-767-8811.

DO YOU ASPIRE TO BE A LATINO AUTHOR? OR KNOW ONE?! 

VioletContest (1)Many years ago, I wrote a short children’s story- I’ve been holding on to that story ever since. I’d love to have it published one day. Here’s YOUR chance to get YOUR story published to the “Preserving Our Culture Through Bilingual Literacy” Contest! Get your story written (you must include one of the featured characters, like Violet Velascow, or one of the others) and enter by Oct. 31, 2014. 

 There’s $1,000 in prize money up for grabs… that’s a lot of dinero!  Here are the deets. Hurry and enter soon!

  • Author Profile – Must be from Southern California 18 years old or over, of Latino origin; no prior published work or writing experience necessary.
  • Target Reader – All submissions should be suitable for reading levels Pre-K through 5th grade.
  • Language – Story must be submitted in both English and Spanish.
  • Characters- Story must include one or more of the Read Conmigo characters.
  • Word count: Minimum is 400 words; maximum length is 1500 words.

How amazing would it be to win?! Good luck! 

 

Your New Home Awaits at #OrchardParkSJ Luxury Living in San Jose GRAND OPENING!

This is a sponsored conversation, all thoughts and opinions are mine. 

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It’s been said that a man’s home is his castle, and if that holds true, then a new Kingdom has just opened it’s doors in Silicon Valley. Allow me to introduce you to Orchard Park, in San Jose, CA.  

Located in the Berryessa neighborhood of San Jose, Orchard Park is near the intersection of Oakland Rd & East Brokaw Rd, just 2 miles east of San Jose International Airport. The San Jose Municipal Golf Course is right across the street. The new Berryessa BART Station will be close by. Orchard Park offers luxury and so much more. 

Orchard Park will be holding their Grand Opening Celebration tomorrow (Saturday Oct.11th), be sure to drop by and see these homes for yourself! 

1633 Oakland Rd, San Jose, CA. 95131

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 12.12.13 PMThe community is comprised of three neighborhoods (Flats, Towns & Courts), with 239 single-family attached residences built on nearly 16 acres. 

FLATS:  

Flats range in size from 1,661-2,147 sq ft, with 2-4 bedrooms and 2-2.5 baths in a sophisticated setting. Each single-story home is elevator served with expansive glass; perfect for the tech professional. As I toured the Flats, I was impressed with the open floor plans & size of the bedrooms. And look closely at the photo below, see that balcony? Perfect place to unwind after a long day at the office. (Please note the fabulous flooring, which is a standard upgrade, included in the price of the home.) 

orchardparksj Speaking of luxury and upgrades, Orchard Park offers some of the best standard upgrades I’ve seen in a whileI’ve already mentioned fabulous flooring, but what about Bosch appliances? Yep, that’s right, Bosch! They’re standard at Orchard Park.Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 12.13.32 PM We’re talking Bosch Stove, Microwave, Dishwasher & Refrigerator… ALL standard! Heck yeah, I’ll take it! The kitchens are perfect for the chef in your family, with pantries and ample storage. Another standard upgrade? Look at this backsplash…standard! You’d pay extra for that any place else, but not at Orchard Park! I’m tellin’ y’all these homes are everything you’ve been looking for! You MUST see them for yourselves! San Jose, Orchard Park is calling you…Silicon Valley, you need Orchard Park in your life! 
Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 12.14.20 PM COURTS

Innovative and spacious, the Courts are situated around a central courtyard with direct garage access and offer 1,690 to 2,243 sq ft with 2-4 bedrooms & 2.5-4.5 baths. Sleek & modern, they were designed with a Feng Shui master consultant. Perfect for young families or couples… like YOU! Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 12.11.21 PMEnjoy cooking? Then you’ll love the large, open kitchens at Orchard Park! (Look at all the cabinets!)

Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 12.40.53 PM Bathrooms your thang?! Take a looksie! The bathrooms are big, plenty of room for everyone to get ready in the morning. Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 12.41.53 PM I guarantee you, once you see these homes for yourself- you’ll be ready to move in-trust me. OH! I have to show you something…Screen Shot 2014-10-10 at 12.10.59 PM It’s Purple y’all…PURPLE! This backsplash was almost too much for my little Purple-Prince Lovin heart to take! (I think it was a sign!) 

TOWNS

These wide and expansive town home designs offer 1,622 to 2,123 sq ft, with 2-4 bedrooms & 2-3.5 baths. The first floor office/bedrooms are perfect for working from home. Each home has a 2 car garage and proximity to outdoor community amenities.

Orchard Park has a playground for the kids, a Bocce Court, parks, a clubhouse and a walking trail! Get this, the walking trail leads to nearby restaurants & markets! WHAT?! 

I could go on & on about this new community, the builders, The New Home Company, put a lot of thought into the design & execution of Orchard Park and it shows. Orchard Park homes are priced from the low $700,000′s. 

GRAND OPENING CELEBRATION!

Come on out and see these elegant homes for yourself & bring the family! 
Saturday, October 11
1633 Oakland Rd, San Jose, CA. 95131
10 am – 4 pm
 
Event features: 
Cookies!
Coffee cart from the Roast Co.
DJ – music all day
Food trucks : Little Green Cyclo & Hella Gela Gelato
Balloon twister
and of course… the beautiful model homes! 
 
Your new home is waiting for you! 

My #McDTour Experience

 This is a sponsored post, in collaboration with McDonalds & the Mom It Forward Blogger Network. All opinions are my own. 

_CH_2068Last week I asked y’all if you knew that McDonald’s was (is) one of the largest purchasers of apples in the restaurant industry. Well, they are.  I didn’t know that. That’s one of the reasons I accepted the invitation to go on the #McDTour. I wanted to learn more about the food they make, since I am one of their customers (Filet-o-Fish & Smoothies!)

If you missed my post last week, I told you that in 2012, McDonald’s purchased 90 million pounds of raw apples-and that they’ve actually sold 1.1 billion packages of apple slices since March 2012. Mind blowing, right?! Wait, it gets better.

There have been 530 million individual packages of apple slices served with a children’s meal between Aug. 1, 2012 and July 31, 2013. WOW! I was excited about visiting the Chiquita/Fresh Express Processing Plant, where the apples arrive from the farm and are then prepared for shipment to McDonald’s. I had no idea the magnitude of the operation, until I saw it for myself. We boarded the bus early in the morning, headed to the processing plant. While on the bus, I got to watch a few McDonald’s owners interacting with each other and other members of the media. They were very gracious & sincere, and so enthusiastic about their products. It was refreshing to be around such upbeat & positive folks. _CH_2175

Once we arrived at the plant, we were briefed about the safety measures the plant follows and told what steps needed to be taken before we could step foot onto the processing floor. (They had hardhats for us & everything!) 

_CH_2205 We were broken up into groups and then led to the room where they keep all the gloves, boots, coats and all the gear we’d need before continuing on. Once we were suited up, we washed our hands and then put on gloves and arm gloves, smocks, hairnets, bump caps, & ear plugs. The men had to put on beard nets…hair nets for the beard. Getting our boots sanitized was the last step in the process._MG_0581 When we stepped foot onto the processing floor, I was amazed! First, it’s extremely cold in there, right around 33*-34*. The machines are very loud, we wore our earplugs the entire time. The room was huge and reminded me of a hospital room, because it was spotless- pristine! The machines were cranking out apples… lots & lots of apples! _MG_0662 We were showed the entire process, from unloading them off the truck – to when they get bagged- it was fascinating! _CH_2275_MG_0672_MG_0642_CH_2298Seeing how much care goes into the preparation of the apples that are shipped to McDonald’s really was eye-opening. Watching the apples being unloaded from the trucks, straight from the farm, was reassuring. I knew it was ‘real’ food, contrary to what others may think.  I also appreciate McDonald’s decision to provide more nutrition-minded choices to their customers. 

Knowing how my food is prepared is very important to me, I was impressed with the way Chiquita/Fresh Express runs their operation. I’m glad I had the chance to see the whole process, from beginning to end-with my own eyes. Prior to this visit, I had no idea that I was eating Chiquita apples in my McDonald’s Salads… I grew up eating Chiquita bananas & buy them for my family. Seeing that Chiquita logo was comforting. 

After the tour, we were treated to a delicious lunch, made entirely of McDonald’s ingredients by a couple of terrific Chefs … but that’s a post for another time! Stay tuned…

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We Must Talk About Domestic Violence! #PurplePurse

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Allstate Foundation® and Latina Bloggers Connect. All opinions are my own. 

 

PrintSince the release of the Ray Rice video, more people are discussing domestic violence. As someone who’s been involved in abusive relationships, I’m encouraged by the dialogue and know it needs to continue. Domestic violence affects 1 in 4 women in their lifetime, that’s more women than breast cancer, ovarian cancer and lung cancer combined.

Not all the abuse is physical, financial abuse happens in 98% of all cases of domestic violence and it’s one of the most powerful ways an abuser uses to keep his victim trapped. If the victim has no money, or her credit has been ruined-she can’t rent an apartment. She cant do or buy anything- she’s stuck. Feeling like there’s no way out is a hopeless feeling. 

The Allstate Foundation is trying to help. Since 2005, the Allstate Foundation has invested more than $40 million across the country to help victims of domestic violence. They’re investing more than half a million dollars in the Purple Purse Challenge. The more donations each nonprofit receives, the more it can compete for Allstate Foundation incentive funding. Go to PurplePurse.com from now until Oct. 3 to join the Challenge and help a nonprofit near you.BydSGK5IUAENXGp

Actress Kerry Washington has been named the campaign ambassador, and she’s designed a limited-edition purple purse to help raise awareness. The Allstate Foundation is making Purple Purse Charms available for women to hang on their purse’s to show their support. You may pick up a Purple Purse Charm for yourself at any Allstate agency.

FullSizeRender The good news is you can help with or without a purse charm. Please help support the Purple Purse Challenge by visiting and donating

If you know someone that’s being abused, or if you yourself are being abused, please get help! Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline (or have someone call it for you!) at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). There is a way out-there are people willing to help you. 

 

*Kerry Washington photo credit Allstate Foundation website. 

My Son Has #OldSpice Swagger! {Money Saving Coupon!} #Combos4Success

Disclaimer: This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Latina Mom Bloggers and Old Spice. All opinions are 100% mine.photo (2)

There was a time when my oldest didn’t really care about his appearance or hygiene…as a preteen, I’d have to remind him to take a shower. All of that changed right around the end of his sophomore year of high school. All of a sudden, he started to pay more attention to his physical appearance. He started combing his hair on a regular basis, showering, and ‘borrowing’ his Dad’s cologne – that’s when I picked up a few Old Spice products for him, so he could have his own stash.

IMG_7765I grew up with the scent of Old Spice in my home, but let me tell you- Old Spice has changed! There are hip new scents and so many products, this isn’t your Daddy’s Old Spice! The brand recently conducted a poll of 18-35 year old men to find out about some of their favorite manly combinations. Favorite combination of food if you were stranded on a deserted island? Best combo to fix something? Here’s the results:

OldSpice_Infographic_FINALI see some great combos on here: football & wings, hot dogs & mustard…my son would add root beer and vanilla ice cream! If you ask me, the best combo for my son is Old Spice Body Wash, Shampoo & Deodorant! (I’m sure the Mom’s out there will agree; there’s nothing worse than teen boy funk!) Old Spice deodorant, body wash & 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner combo results in amazing, manly freshness from head to toe! That’s music to both my ears & nose! 

Have you seen the newest Old Spice commercials on TV? I like how they’re always pushing the envelope of creativity, here’s the latest one:  How funny is that? Old Spice smells so good, even a Mandroid is irresistible when using it! You can find more hilarious Old Spice videos on their Youtube channel.

If you’d like your son to smell fresh from head to toe, I’ve got coupons to share with you, every little bit helps, right?! Just click on the photo below for your coupons. (Ya’ll know I’m thrifty!

OldSpice_SMS1 (1)You can also follow Old Spice on TwitterFacebook & Instagram.

What age was your son when he started caring about his appearance?! 

 

#VoicesForOurSons – What I Want My Sons To Look For In A Girl

10609453_10203975896905276_4344559451564002366_n As the Mother of Sons, I know a lot is expected of them. As the Mother of Sons of Color, I know that they will have to do even more than their White counterparts to succeed in life. My job as their mother, is to teach them all I can and share my life experiences with them, in hopes that they will learn from them and make smart decisions.

When it comes to girls and relationships, I’m very protective of my boys. I don’t want girls taking advantage of my boys. At the same time, I don’t want my sons taking advantage of girls either, it goes both ways. 

I try to teach by example, instead of preaching to them. I try to model behaviors that I’d like them to seek out in a girl/woman. I carry myself a certain way, with dignity. I don’t curse, I’ve just never liked hearing females cursing like sailors… it just isn’t ladylike, imo. 

My children have never seen me drunk, because I don’t drink. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with drinking responsibly, but for me, alcohol just isn’t my thing. My kids know you can have fun without drinking. Whether they will continue in my footsteps and refrain from alcohol, I don’t know. I just hope they steer clear of the ‘party girls’.

I’m not materialistic. Sure I like nice things, but I’m not breaking the bank to get all the latest fashion trends or jewels or whatever may be hot at the moment. I’ve shown my boys how to live frugally and save your money. 

I don’t ‘run the streets’- I think this one goes without saying. I’ve never been one to hang out at the bars (why would I if I don’t drink?), or party every weekend. I don’t use drugs, not even recreationally. I have morals and pretty high standards. 

I treat others as I’d like to be treated. I’m respectful to everyone I meet. I’m polite, I still say ‘please’ & ‘thank you’. I’m honest, sometimes to a fault. I’m fiercely loyal and will have your back to the very end. 

Anytime I see or hear my oldest doing or saying something questionable, I call him out on it… even if he’s just joking around. I want him to know, without a shadow of a doubt, what is right & what is wrong. He knows that girls are to be respected, period! 

As Mothers, we are the first (and probably the most important) example to our sons of what a woman should be. I hope that by doing so, my sons will be choosy about the girls they let into their lives. My sons are treasures and this Momma doesn’t want their hearts to be broken. 

* We are mothers. We are mothers of sons. We are the mothers of sons of color. We are their voices. Let’s share, encourage and support one another. Voices For Our Sons #VFOS Join our next twitter chat! 

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You can connect with all of us on our  blogs:

 

Fuel A Better Future With California Milk! Mother Knows Best…


Growing up, my mother always stressed the importance of a good education. My mother grew up in poverty, and was raised by her abuela (grandmother). In middle school, she had two dresses to wear to school …that’s it. She once told me how she would go home & wash the dress she’d been wearing that day in the sink, then hang it up to dry. Needless to say, my mother’s family could not afford to send her to college. 

At an early age, I understood that with a college education, I could achieve great things. Mi Mama made sure that my homework was done each and every day. She was always the Room Mother and volunteering in the PTA. I can remember getting in trouble for talking too much in class back in first grade…my mom marched up to school and had a conference with my teacher…the expression on her face is one I’ll never forget. She was giving me ‘the look’.

My mother believed a successful school day began with a hearty breakfast. She would make me a hot breakfast every morning before school. I NEVER ate cereal on a school day, even if I wanted to, mom wouldn’t allow it! Instead I dined on eggs and toast, pancakes, french toast, chorizo tacos, and arroz con leche… to name a few.photo-480

I always washed it all down with the same drink every time: MILK! My mom knew that milk was good for my bones, in fact three glasses of milk per day can considerably reduce the risk of bone diseases and fractures. Ask me how many bones I broke as a child, go ahead, ask me. My answer? None, Zero, Nada! I still LOVE milk and I drink it each and every day, several times a day. I have NEVER broken a bone in my body… coincidence? I think not! IMG_8931

Milk is also good for your hair, skin, teeth, & muscles. It helps you get to sleep at night and can even help manage PMS symptoms. You can learn more about the benefits of milk on the California Milk page. 

Now that I’m the Mom, I’m passing on my mother’s wisdom to my children. I’m thankful that my mom cared so much about me, and that she instilled a love of learning in me. Now Toma Tu Leche! (Drink Your Milk!)  

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.