Get Ready for Movie Night with Disney #PixarCOCO!

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Whenever we are really super excited about a movie, the first thing my girls say as we walk out of the theater is, "Mom when can we watch it at home?!" Coco was no exception, my girls could not wait for a Coco movie night. Well we've had Coco on digital for a couple of weeks now, but there is just something fun about getting the DVD too. 

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Thank you to Allied Contigo for the fun crafts and gifts. How cute is this COCO frame? I had so much fun painting it. Yes, I did it. I used it as an excuse to get some quiet craft time in for myself. Although, I think I'll go pick one up for my girls now. 

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Frames play a key role in Coco. For Día de Muertos frames are used to display photos of loved ones that have passed and are placed on ofrendas.

You can find these cute DIY frames at Toys-R-Us for $12.99.  The frame set includes: 1 Wooden Frame, Sticker Sheet, Foam Sticker Sheet, 2 Markers, 6 paints and a paintbrush. 

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Oh man, I have to say I haven't done something so challenging when it comes to crafting in a really long time. When I opened up this package my mouth dropped, the paint by number that I was thinking of was a lot less intense. But I was up for the challenge. And I have to say I was pretty proud of myself when it was done. 

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Isn't it so pretty?! I can't wait to hang it up on the wall. My girls kinda loved it too and they were really proud of me. 

**GIVEAWAY** WIN A DIY COCO FRAME

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How would you like to win one of these fun DIY picture frames? All you have to do is leave me a comment below telling me your favorite character from Coco and don't forget to leave your email too so I can let you know if you win! 

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Disney•Pixar’s “COCO” is NOW AVAILABLE in HD, 4K Ultra HD™, Movies Anywhere and 4K Ultra HD™ & Blu-ray™.

It's official! I'm a fan! Star Wars #TheLastJedi is in Theaters NOW!

It's official! I'm a fan! Star Wars #TheLastJedi is in Theaters NOW!

If you were to have told me a month or two ago that I would be a fan of Star Wars, I would have laughed and probably smiled while flipping you the bird, because, that's just who I am. And up until last week, I had never seen one Star Wars movie. Like, ever. At all.  #TheLastJedi

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How to Share Dia de los Muertos with your classmates

How to Share Dia de los Muertos with your classmates

Growing up, Dia de los Muertos was a holiday that I was aware of, but it wasn't something that my family celebrated. I don't know why, I wish we had, because I think it's such a beautiful way to honor your family. As a Latina Mom, I am going to take this opportunity to teach my girls the truth behind the history and tradition.  #OfrendasConNestle #NestleKitchen #CollectiveBias

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Halos Love Bugs for Valentines Day

Halos Love Bugs for Valentines Day

I know I'm not the only Mom who is always looking for something a little bit different, something original for the kids to take to school. I mean, that's why we all LOVE Pinterest so much right? Well, Halos sent me a bunch of little craft goodies and I just totally fell in love with these little Halos Love Bugs! They're perfect for the kids to help with, cute, simple and not candy. So nice for a change. 

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Make Memories with this 5 Minute Dog Toy

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

One of the most important things to me, when it comes to my family is making sure we are always making memories. We are lucky enough to always have something fun on the books. But even the everyday moments are important to me and one of my favorite ways to spend time together as a family is when we all play outside. Toby is ALWAYS up for playing and we can play keep away and fetch and tag for hours.

At least once a week we visit Target. Sometimes for things we need, sometimes just to walk around , which makes it another place we tend to make our every day memories. You really have to stop and realize that even when you're trying on funny Halloween costumes, buying a new favorite book, movie or toy, you're making memories. If we could take Toby into Target with us, it would be perfect and believe me, my husband has asked. He would love to play in the pet section, that is where you will find Purina Dog Chow. Purina has brand new packaging and after 90 years of making dog food, I love that Purina grows with your dog. We go from Puppy Chow, to Dog Chow Small Dog and eventually graduate to Complete Adult.

So the other day when I was cleaning out all of the clothes that my girls have outgrown, I left the pile in the corner of the room for when I actually have time to donate them, you know how that goes. A week later, that pile became one of Toby's favorite places to nap. Which gave me an idea, what if I use some of the girls old clothes to make a special toy just for Toby.

This project literally took me all of 5 minutes. 5 minutes of making this toy all for endless hours of fun and making family memories.

Here is what you'll need:

  • old clothes
  • scissors

That's it! 

First, figure out the colors you want to use. I was inspired by the colors of our favorite sarape and by the look of our pile of clothes, we love bright colors. 

Next, cut the clothes along the width of the shirt. You will need 2 strips of 4 different colors. 

Stretch the strips to their max, without ripping them. 

Choose the 3 colors you will use for the braid, and 1 color to use to tie the ends.

Lay down the strip you will use to tie and lay the other three colors on top. Tie the top end.

Braid all the way down. Right over middle, left over middle and repeat to the end. Tie with the last strip. 

Done and done and hours of fun with the whole family. 

You can follow Purina on all of your favorite channels below.
FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube

DIY Personalized Dog Pillow #ThrowBarkDogChow

DIY Personalized Dog Pillow #ThrowBarkDogChow

A family unit never quite seems complete until there is a four legged family member wagging their tail nearby. I always tell Toby, our family dog, just how lucky he is that he ended up with us for a forever family. Toby came to us 2 years ago almost to the day,  after being left on my best friends porch at only 6 weeks old. And just like the rest of the members of this family, we have to celebrate his birthday too.

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DIY Fairy Garden

This post is sponsored by Big Lots. You can find this post in Spanish over on Big Lots Latino.

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One of my favorite things about being a mom to two little girls, is keeping the magic alive. I want them to believe in magic for as long as possible. When we talked about Spring coming soon, we decided that we need to thank the fairies for bringing Spring to our backyard. We headed to Big Lots and picked up everything we were going to need for our very own Fairy Garden. The best part about this project was that this was something that I could do with them, it was a chance for us to spend time together—albeit while getting a little bit dirty.  

For me and my girls, playing in the dirt never gets old. This is probably my favorite step in creating a Fairy Garden, adding the soil. To start, you'll need potting soil, a container for the base and some garden tools. After adding a layer of soil, we laid out the Roll Out Flower sheet that is full of seeds and cut it so it could fit the base. We also cut out a circle for the fairy's house.  

Next, per the instructions on the box of Roll Out Flowers, we watered the sheet full of seeds thoroughly. In fact, we soaked it. Word to the wise, stay in control of the water hose because kids with a water hose can be messy. There were quite a few options of Fairy Houses to choose from at Big Lots, after much debate between my daughters we settled on the toadstool house.  

Next, we covered the sheet of Roll Out Flowers with a little bit more soil and then started on the decorating. I had some of these stones in a vase and thought they would make a perfect stone path for so the fairy can find her way. We were also lucky enough to find the perfect additions to our Fairy Garden, a welcome sign and a mail box, because would any Fairy house be complete without it? I don't think so.  

This is what our Fairy Garden looks like before the grass and flowers grow. Notice in the background, I also found some small hummingbird feeders at Big Lots that compliment our garden very nicely. Because, according to my 5 year old, Hummingbirds and Fairys are very good friends and maybe even cousins.  

My girls check on our Fairy Garden every day and with each flower that sprouts, they continue to believe in magic. The magic of our planet is pretty remarkable and I love that they will grow up appreciating all that the Earth has to offer. Projects like this are the best, I spent time with my girls talking about magic, playing in the dirt and making memories.

Thank you Big Lots for having everything we need to create our very own Fairy Garden. 

Inspiration Can Strike Anywhere #MyFavoriteIsAllMine

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

My favorite thing about Spring is all of the colors. I love that suddenly colors show up everywhere, from flowers, to clothes, to decor, to food. Color is everywhere! 

Have you seen the new Diet Coke "It's Mine" bottles? I found them while shopping at Albertsons the other day. They are, to put it simply, really pretty. They are covered in fun colors and designs and each glass bottle is unlike any other. Cool right? Diet Coke is my go-to pick me up for during the day and when I'm out and about.

The colorful designs inspired me to get my mantle ready for Spring. The colors reminded me of stained glass, which made me think about making my own SPRING stained glass banner. I always have tons of tissue paper scraps laying around, so this worked out perfectly. 

In order to create a Stained Glass SPRING Banner of your own, all you need is:

  • paper
  • tissue paper, cut into small squares
  • a laminator

Also, I find that having a bottle of Diet Coke to drink helps with the creative process. 

To create the Stained Glass SPRING Banner all you need to do is:

  1. Cut your paper to the size you want your banner to be, mine are about 4x6. 
  2. Cut out the letters S-P-R-I-N-G. I like to freehand the letters, but you can always use a template or cutting machine. 
  3. Run a glue stick around the letters and lay your tissue squares on top, to cover the letters.
  4. Lay them out to be laminated. 
  5. Trim the extra lamination from around the banner.
  6. Punch a hole in each corner and string them together. 
  7. Tie the strings to a few skewers and then place those skewers into a Diet Coke "It's Mine" bottle on each side. 

See? How pretty is that? Crazy how inspiration comes from everywhere. It is so important to always keep your eyes open to any source of inspiration.

I love the glass bottles, but you can also find the Diet Coke "It's Mine" designs on plastic bottles, aluminum cans and aluminum bottles of Diet Coke too. These bottles are only available for a limited time (while supplies last) so if you see them around, grab one, and soak in all of the colors and designs.

Right now, Albertsons is partnering with Diet Coke for a fun contest. You could win 1 of 10 VIP prize packages for 2 to Los Angeles to see Primetime TV's biggest awards show. The prize package includes hotel, travel gift card, pre-party reception, gift bag and tickets to the award show. All you have to do to enter is snap a selfie with your favorite Diet Coke "It's Mine" bottle or can and share it on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #ItsAllMineSweepstakes! Easy!

For more information on the sweepstakes and to discover your entry, check it out here.

Note: Regarding Twitter and Instagram, your account settings must be set to "unprotected" and/ or "public" in order for your tweets to be visible to enter the sweepstakes. once your entry is submitted your entry picture will be added to the microsite. If your photo does not appear within 24 hours, your entry did not submit appropriately (check for appropriate hashtag and whether your Twitter/Instagram was made public prior to your submission).

Go Ahead, Let Them Play With Their Food #WinTheDinnerBattle

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

It seems like only yesterday that I was grocery shopping with my Mom and begging her to buy Kid Cuisine meals for me. Life has come full circle and now here I am buying Kid Cuisine meals for my kids. The only difference is that my girls don't have to beg me to buy them, in fact, I like to buy them as a surprise. I am not ashamed to admit, sometimes I don't want to make dinner and Kid Cuisine meals make my life easier and my kids happy. 

I feel good about giving my kids Kid Cuisine because they offer wholesome ingredients, like 100% natural chicken breast, real cheese, whole grains, and a yummy dessert that they’ll love. All with NO preservatives.

While shopping at Walmart, I found that the Kid Cuisine meals have partnered with Skylanders Battlecast. I had no idea how cool this was until my kids told me, because of course they knew what Skylanders was and they just had to have the FREE Skylanders Battlecast card that is found inside the specially marked Kid Cuisine meals.

So as cool as Kid Cuisine meals are, I wanted to step it up a little bit. I decided to make a re-usable place mat with some fun activities to keep them entertained while they wait for their dinner to heat up.  The place mat that I created is here for you to right-click, save and print below. 

Right-click, Save and Print!

Right-click, Save and Print!

To make this place mat reusable all you need to do is laminate it.  I have a laminator on hand so it was very easy for me, but don't worry, if you don't have a laminator you can use a clear page protector. You are welcome to save and print the one above or make one of your own. I included a maze, a spot for them to write about their best part of their day, a face for them to complete, a spot to play Hangman and to play Tic Tac Toe. It just so happens that the Chicken Nugget Kid Cuisine meal comes with Tic Tac Toe cookies for dessert. 

Just add a couple dry erase markers or pencils to the dinner table and you and your kids have a lot of fun activities to keep dinner interesting. 

Another thing that has changed a lot since my mom was buying Kid Cuisine meals for me is the use of coupon and rebate apps. You have to download the Ibotta App, check it out HERE to stock up on Kid Cuisine where you can Buy 3 Kid Cuisine meals and earn $2. That's a great deal! This is my new favorite thing. I've been scanning my receipts left and right.
See how easy it is to have a fun and easy dinner for the kids. Next time you're at Walmart, stop by the Frozen Entree aisle and pick up a few Kid Cuisine meals. Everyone will be happy and with all the time you save washing dishes you can download the Ibotta app and save yourself some money.

©2016 Activision Publishing, Inc. SKYLANDERS, SKYLANDERS BATTLECAST, and ACTIVISION are trademarks of Activision Publishing, Inc. © ConAgra Foods, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

What will you Share this Holiday? #ShareTheHoliday

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

Every year we go to my Nina's house on Christmas day. Our whole family gets together and does a potluck dinner, everyone brings something delicious to the table. Every year, even though I already know what she will say, I ask my NIna what she would like for me to bring on Christmas day.  Every year, it's the same thing, bruschetta. 

Bruschetta is one of my favorite appetizers to make for a party. We always have a variety of salsas available at our family gatherings, so bruschetta is a refreshing change. This is a simple recipe that only has 4 ingredients. 

  • Tomatoes (8 Medium)
  • Garlic (4 cloves)
  • Basil (1 bunch)
  • Olive Oil (3-4 tbsp)

To make this refreshing dish all you do is chop, chop, chop. I chop the tomatoes by hand, and after years of garlicky fingers I finally realized I could chop and mix the garlic and basil at the same time by simply placing them in the food processor and pulsing them together. After you add them all together, mix in the olive oil and a pinch of salt for some flavor. That's it. 

Of course, you can't forget the crustinis or toasted bread (I even like to make fresh tortilla chips sometimes). I like to use different types of bread each time, I've even used wheat bread. A sliced baguette is the perfect size, but I don't mind slicing a loaf of French bread either. Once you have your bread sliced, place them in the oven to toast until they begin to brown. After removing the breads from the oven, I like to drizzle some olive oil over the toasty breads and sprinkle with a little bit of garlic salt. 

When I am out doing my holiday grocery shopping at Walmart, I ALWAYS pick up a few Rubbermaid TakeAlongs. Although I do use them to deliver and serve my bruschetta, I also use them to bring some of my family's favorite traditional foods home with me.  When I visit my abuela, I bring her a bowl full of cookies in exchange for bringing home some of her tamales and arroz con leche, my Rubbermaid TakeAlongs are perfect for our exchange. 

You can find Holiday Rubbermaid TakeAlongs in a variety of festive holiday colors and prints. Or you can decorate them yourself, like I did here. All you need is some markers and a message, "Happy Holidays!"

My favorite thing about the Rubbermaid TakeAlong products is the variety of sizes! I can carry most everything I make, you can even find a Deviled Egg Tray. Clean up is easy too because they are microwave, freezer and dishwasher safe.

Exclusive to my fellow Walmart shoppers, make sure you get your $1 rebate when you buy any 2 TakeAlong products.
So, what do you think? Will you try my Bruschetta recipe? I guarantee it's a crowd pleaser. You can also find more delicious recipes here, go ahead check it out and PIN away for a later day.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Tips on Staying Hydrated with Nestlé® Pure Life® #PureLifeRippleEffect

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

For us in Southern California, summer never really ends. Although the kids have gone back to school, the temperature around here is still in the upper 90's. That means the weekdays are for school and the weekends can still be spent at the beach. The only thing about being busy during the hot temperatures is trying to maintain our hydration. I am always on my girls about drinking their water. That's why I love these small kid friendly bottles of

Nestlé® Pure Life® Water

-- they are the perfect 8 oz bottle. 

Today I am sharing two things. One is a list of 5 things you need for a fun beach day, and the other is a DIY water counter. This is a fun activity that my daughter learned to make in Girl Scouts using beads and ribbon. It's a great way to help your kids remember to drink water during the day.

It is really very simple, all you need is:

A piece of string or ribbon that is about 12 inches long

8 plastic beads

and a Safety Pin

 The 8 beads represent the 8-8 ounces of water you should drink every day. To start, you tie one end of the strings closed and string the first bead. The next bead will be strung by putting one end of the ribbon through one hole and the other end of the ribbon through the other hole. This way, the string crosses to the other side, through the bead. Repeat the steps for all 8 beads and at the end, tie it closed and add a safety pin. Now you have an easy way for the kids to keep track of how much water they have drank. So, for example, every time your child drinks one of these 8 oz Nestlé® Pure Life® Water bottles, they will push a bead up away from the rest of the beads. With the safety pin, you can attach it to their clothes or backpack. 

So now, onto my Top 5 things you need for a fun beach day! We visit the beach a lot throughout the year and I have learned how to be very efficient and kind of a pro when it comes to beach trips. 

Here is all you need:

  1. Water- We usually pack a cooler with ice and plenty of Nestlé® Pure Life® Water. For me, when you are at the beach, there really is nothing better to drink. Nothing is quite as refreshing as water, especially when you are out in the heat. 
  2. Snack- Fruit is the best snack for the beach. It is very filling and easy to eat without a lot of clean up. I like to cut a watermelon in half, empty and cut the contents and mix in other fruit. Now, there is no clean up and no trash that can fly away while at the beach. Not only is fruit satisfying, it is refreshing.  
  3. Sunscreen- The sun's rays are not the healthiest for our skin, we all know that. I try to always have sunscreen on hand, especially if we are at the beach.
  4. Baby Powder- This is the best way to not go home with a ton of sand in your car. Just cover your kids in baby powder and rub away all the loose sand. 
  5. Water counter- It's easy for kids to forget to drink water, especially when they are having fun on the beach. This way, every time they grab a bottle of water to drink, they can slide up one of their beads and make sure they are staying hydrated.

See, along with some towels and a shovel and bucket, you are set. I like when everything fits neatly in the cooler. It makes for the easiest clean up because when you get home, you can rinse it with the hose- which means less sand inside your house. 

When I do my weekly grocery shopping at Walmart, I spend a lot of time in the snack aisles. I like to find new items to pack for my daughter's lunches. When it comes to buying beverages for their lunches, I always pack water. Even when they're at home, it's always water.

In a survey recently conducted by

Nestlé® Pure Life®

,  29% of moms surveyed* say that "fun tactics" would get their kids to drink more water. Robin Plotkin recently shared her tips for making hydration fun for kids, such as labeling their bottle with your child's initials or favorite character. I think a water counter is also a fun way to keep your kids thinking about their hydration. I found it interesting that the recent survey found that water consumption is higher among both Hispanic moms and kids compared to non-Hispanic moms. Also according to the survey, Hispanic moms are more likely to push water drinking - Hispanic moms are 18% more likely to remind their children to drink water (59%) than non-Hispanic moms (50%).

We know now that establishing healthy habits in early childhood has lifelong benefits. We call this The Ripple Effect, and Nestlé is encouraging moms and their kids to reach for water first. When I grew up, water was not something we drank... at all. I am proud of the fact that I made this change for myself and my family. To ignite The Ripple Effect movement and encourage kids to get the water they need throughout their day, Nestlé® Pure Life® is providing water to kids this school year through After School All-Stars, an organization that strives to keep children safe and healthy through after school programming. Nestlé® Pure Life® has committed to provide nearly one million 8 ounce servings of water to kids this school year through After-School All-Stars. Information source - At over 20 participating schools in select markets across the country.

To help your family Drink Up and be a part of the Ripple Effect – a movement to keep kids hydrated – visit

pureliferippleeffect.com

and share your tips for healthy hydration using 

#PureLifeRippleEffect.

You can also follow Nestlé® Pure Life® on

Facebook

 for more tips. 

*We conducted our online survey in June 2015 of 1,077 moms of kids ages 6-12 overall, including 254 Hispanic moms of kids ages 6-12. 1,077 kids ages 6-12 from the same household were also surveyed, including 254 Hispanic kids ages 6-12.

© 2015 Nestlé®-Waters North America Inc. 

Getting Lunch Time #SchoolYearReady

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

I love the excitement that comes along with the new school year. I am so hopeful for the year ahead, it's like starting fresh. The kids get new clothes, notebooks, backpacks and lunch bags. As for me, I get new office supplies, calendars, note cards, Post-it® and all that fun stuff. I can spend all day in the Back-to-School section of

Walmart

. This school year has new possibilities because I picked up the Scotch™ Thermal Laminator, so basically I'm laminating everything in sight. 

While scouring the back-to-school section in

Walmart

, I naturally picked up a pack of assorted Post-it® because, you can never have enough of those. Then I spotted the Scotch™ Thermal Laminator and immediately the wheels start turning. I already love packing fun lunches for the kids and now they have started to expect a note in their lunch. The note is the first thing my daughter mentions when I ask her about her day. 

To add fun notes to your kids lunches, all you need is:

Post-it® Products (in assorted colors and sizes)

Scotch™ Thermal Laminator

Scotch™ Thermal Pouches Letter size 20 or 50 pack

and a Pen or Marker

Write something, anything really. My little one can't read yet, so I try to make them simple for her. If your little ones are too little to read you could always draw pictures or add stickers. My oldest daughter can read so I thought this would be the perfect time opportunity to put some fun quotes. I used one of the large lined Post-it® notes and wrote down one of my favorite Dr. Seuss quotes: 

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.

-The Lorax,

The first step is to write down your favorite quotes or doodles. 

Next, get one of the Scotch™ Thermal Pouches, open it up and place your Post-it® so that as many can fit, with at least 1/8 in border around. 

The Scotch™ Thermal Laminator is really easy to use. After plugging it in, turning it on and waiting for it to heat up all you have to do is feed the pouch through the back of the Laminator and in less than a minute the Post-it® notes will be laminated and ready to be put in to your child's lunch. 

The best part of Laminating the lunch notes, is that it keeps them from getting damaged. If you maintain the notes, then you can switch them around every few days and stick them in different places as time goes on. Oh yeah, I can't wait to sneak one of these notes into the backpack of my future teenager. 

I love packing lunches for my girls. Even though I'm exhausted after dinner, bath time and all of the end of the day stuff I have a good time packing their lunches and trying to make them fun and different each day. I have different snack options in a container and I pick some out and split them between my two girls. Even though I know it would be easy to just throw it all in a bag, I like to chop their apples for them and cut their sandwiches in fun shapes. It's like sending them to school with a little bit of home. 

Do you pack your kids lunches? What are your favorite tips and tricks to make each day a little bit different? Which quote would you like to send to school with your little one? 

You can find some ideas

here

, but I'd love to hear some of your ideas too. 

How do you spend La Merienda?

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

When my girls get home from school the first thing we do is homework. I like to keep the momentum going and get it out of the way at the same time. The only thing about doing homework right away is the kids definitely need a pick-me-up. This is

la merienda

, that special snack time in the afternoon when you spend time together. Kindergarten and First grade homework doesn't take too long, so I like to sneak in a Spanish lesson when I can. How do I get my girls to do a little extra work? Well, fun size M&M's® Peanut for them and SNICKERS® for me sure do help.

While doing our back to school shopping at Walmart this bright yellow display caught my eye. What a great idea, I had to pick up a couple bags. Perfect for la merienda and a great teacher gift too.

I don't speak Spanish often enough, I understand a lot more Spanish than I speak and although my girls do pick up on some of it, they want to learn more. Spanish lessons are a great way for all of us to spend time together. For me, it helps me speak it more and it makes me feel good to teach them. This way they can feel more comfortable speaking to my abuela, their

bisabuela

or great grandmother. A lot of their friends at school speak Spanish and I get asked all the time "

How do you say ... in Spanish?."

 So Spanish lessons during la merienda is perfect. 

I used our fun size bags of M&M'®s as part of our Spanish lesson to help them learn their colors in Spanish. You can do this too! Go ahead and right click on the image below, save and print. If you notice, the colors below are the same colors you find in a

MARS Chocolate M&M'®s

Fun Size Variety bag, so have them practice saying and writing their colors in Spanish and reward them with the coordinating M&M'®s. 

After reviewing their colors and eating their M&M'®s, I had them practice writing some other Spanish vocabulary too. 

How do you all spend la merienda? If you are at Walmart picking up back to school supplies, pick up a bag of MARS Chocolates variety bags and make la merienda a little bit sweeter for everyone. Oh and don't forget to save and print my printable Spanish color worksheet above. 

Show Your Dog You Care with this DIY Personalized Leash #AmorBeneful

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

Do you have a furry little four legged family member? I don't even want to refer to them as a pet, it just doesn't seem accurate. In our family, we have a puppster named Toby. He stole our hearts so suddenly and now, I really couldn't imagine our day to day lives without him. I have come to realize that there is a special place in our hearts just for dogs. Six years ago, we lost a very special four legged family member and I didn't think we would ever have space in our hearts for another, until now. It took us 6 long years and a rambunctious little puppy to open our hearts up again. It's crazy to think the things you do for the beloved furry ones, today I'm sharing a fun and easy DIY craft that you can make to show your dog just how much you care.

While shopping at Target the other day I realized I was out of dog food and after perusing the pet care aisles for 20 minutes an idea hit me and before you know it, I had a bag of New Chicken flavor Beneful Incredibites, a toy, a leather leash, a new food bowl and paint in my shopping cart. Sometimes I pick dog food based on price, but a lot of the time healthy ingredients completely win me over. 

I love the smell and look of leather, it reminds me of gifts that my grandma would bring from Mexico. Leather is such a traditional material in fact, my husbands great grandmother used to own a leather goods shop. When I found the leather leash, I decided I would need to carve his name into it. Here's what you'll need:

A leather dog leash

An Exacto blade

A sharpie

A paint brush

Paint

A damp towel

First, you should write out your dog's name and any other decoration with a sharpie. This will make the next step easier when you know what to carve ahead of time.

Next, you can take the exacto blade and carve away at the markings you drew with the sharpie.

Next, dip your paint brush in your paint and dab just enough paint to soak into the leather carvings. After a few seconds, take the damp towel and wipe off any excess paint. That's it, you're done.

After I finished with Toby's name, I decided to add some Aztec inspired patterns to the leash and I just loved the way it looked. I loved the bright chartreuse-ish color, I thought it added a good amount of contrast to the leather. 

It's easy to love this little guy. Toby fits so perfectly into our little familia. I love to watch him play with the kids, he's always ready to cuddle when I want to, and when he smells the carne asada and elote on the BBQ, you know he will be there, standing guard waiting for a treat. That is what makes Toby more than just a pet, he is familia. 

 I love the colors of Beneful, they have a nutritious blend of real wholesome ingredients like chicken, carrots and spinach in tender and crunchy 

mini bites

 that are perfect for small dogs, like Toby. I like that Beneful believes in variety, health and flavor for dogs. Learn more about Beneful Incredibites on their 

Mobile Site

 or 

Desktop Site

 and check product availability at 

Target.com

.

If you are in the LA area (like me) check out these upcoming events featuring the Instagram vending machine:

Fiestas Patrias Santa Ana

 September 12, 2015 

Fiesta Hermosa

 September 5-7, 2015 

Doggie Street Festival

 September 19, 2015 

Jerome Park Carnival

 August 14-16, 2015 

Don't you just love coupons and samples? I know I do!

You can find in-store demos at various Target locations in the LA area on 8/22/15, 11 am to 4 pm. There will be free samples given out of Incredibites Chicken and flyers with $2 coupon. If you can't make it to the demo's you can get a Target Coupon for Beneful in the LA Newspaper on 8/2/15 for Target locations in LA area only. 

DIY Ombré Milk Carton Candle Holder #MilkAndArtContest (plus Giveaway)

This is part of a sponsored collaboration with the California Milk Processor Board and DiMe Media. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

To me, there is nothing better than gathering items from around the house, and recycling them to make something new and beautiful. Today I am sharing a fun and easy craft making good use out of a plastic milk jug. I have partnered with #MilkAndArtContest to bring you some ideas for spending time with your kids while using a Milk Carton to make art. Milk is more than a drink – it brings families together and makes simple moments magical. As a busy Mom, I try to remind myself that spending time with your family helps build a better future by providing fun memories.

To make a DIY Ombré Milk Carton Candle Holder you will need:

Plastic Milk Jug (washed, rinsed and dried)

Marker

Scissors

Tissue paper in 3 different shades of 1 color

Hot Glue Gun and Gllue

Step 1. Draw a line around the Milk Carton Just below the handle and cut.

Step 2. Cut the tissue paper in strips of about 18 inches long by 1 1/2 inches wide. 

Step 3. Wrap the entire strip of tissue paper around two fingers and pinch at the base. 

Step 4. Put a dime sized drop of hot glue on the Milk Carton and press the base of the flower onto the hot glue. Hold in place until you're sure it's stuck. 

Step 5. Repeat two rows of one color and then move on to the darker shades. 

Check out the video I made for more details on how the project was done. 

Once you are done gluing all of the paper flowers, check them out and fluff them up if they need it. Next you can get your flameless candle and place it into the now recycled milk jug. I chose to use a flameless candle for my own safety reasons. Personally, I like not having to worry about anyone accidentally starting a fire, but maybe that's just me.

This is the view of the Milk Jug candle holder from above with the flameless candle inside. 

I loved the colors that I chose, but really you can use any colors that you like. I almost used a mix of teal, red and yellow just to be extra bright and colorful. In the end, the various shades of purple just screamed at me and won me over. 

Here you can see I have my DIY Ombré Milk Carton Candle Holder in my hallway at our little charging station. Usually, you only see random electronics plugged in, but now that I added my new candle holder there is a fun pop of color to an otherwise drab corner, and also serves as a nightlight. 

Want to win $2,000 for your kid’s education? If you live in California turn a milk container into a work of art and submit your piece to:

Facebook

to enter the contest. Rules:

https://goo.gl/1LLH5d

Along with the fun contest over on

Facebook

, you can also enter to win some prizes from me! 

I am giving away:

o 1 copy of The Artful Parent Craft Book

o $25 Amazon Gift Card

To enter: 

Leave me a comment below telling me something you learned about the Milk and Art Contest or which submission is your favorite so far.

Tweet about the Milk and Art Contest using the #MilkAndArtContest hashtag.

"CA moms! Enter the #MilkAndArtContest for a chance to win $2K and fun prizes from @kindasillymommy!"

OR use the widget below: a Rafflecopter giveaway

DIY Mother's Day Project (plus Giveaway)

Disclaimer: This is part of a sponsored collaboration with DiMe Media and Pampers. All opinions are 100% mine.

Mother's Day is here and although jewelry and an expensive purse or spa day may be what you really really want, we all know that as Mom's we can't deny that homemade gifts mean so much more. I love making things with my girls and one project I have been meaning to create is a mosaic tile. It's a really easy project you can do with the kids and it lasts for a really long time. We made this one for my Mom, their Nana. 

\

The mosaic project is really very easy. You can buy a kit that comes with everything you see here, including the cement, container, and pieces of glass at your local Michael's or other craft store. All I needed to do was add some water to create a pancake batter consistency and pour into the container. 

Next, is the fun part, creating your desired design. The kit that I bought came with a stencil to help create this shape, and I thought it was too cute to not do. 

I decided to add a few more small pieces around the edge to give it some more color and that's it. A perfect gift for Mom to use in her garden. This kit dried in about 2 hours! It probably wasn't fully set, but I was able to flip it out of the container and handle it. The instructions say to allow it to dry for 24 hours, so although it seemed dry, I left it alone for a day before wrapping it up. 

This Mother’s Day,

Pampers

is celebrating moms and the precious moments of love with their little ones by giving the Pampers Gift of Love to help families capture and cherish those loving moments with baby. Babies experience mom’s love in many different ways, and those precious moments mom shares with her little one make every day special and worth remembering. Even though my littles are not babies anymore, the handmade gifts are the most memorable, especially since we are making them together.

It’s a privilege for Pampers to be part of those precious moments that moms, abuelas, tias and the whole family share with babies. And to celebrate it, Pampers is giving them its Pampers Gift of Love to capture those loving moments this Mother’s Day!

Pampers has created a #RegaloDeAmorPampers gift basket to help celebrate and capture those special moments of love with their baby.

GIVEAWAY:  

- $25 Michael’s gift card

- $100 SpaFinder Gift Card 

- Pampers Swaddlers and Pampers Wipes

To enter: 

1. Leave me a comment below telling me how you plan on celebrating motherhood this Mother's Day.

2. Tweet/Share: "Thank you! @Pampers @Kindasillymommy for the fun Mother's Day #Giveaway! http://goo.gl/DBrTJG #RegaloDeAmorPampers"

Giveaway Guidelines: Entrants must be 18+up and live in the contiguous U.S.

For This Family, Spending Time Outside is #WhereFunBegins!

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

We are pretty fortunate to be living in Southern California, where the sun is pretty much always shining. When it comes to having fun in the sun, it comes very naturally for us because we love to be outside. Whether we are at the park, going on a hike, playing tag, collecting sticks, or just watching clouds, we seem to have the most fun when we are outside. With Earth Day still fresh in my mind, I have been wanting to do a project with recyclable items, that the girls can use. I decided on a

DIY Kids Drink Holder

 that they can use while we are outside having fun.

Since we are always outside and in need of hydration, this mama's bag can get pretty heavy carrying everyone's drinks and snacks. I don't know how many times I have ended up carrying two extra little backpacks, this way, their cup holder is a easy enough for them to carry. Also, when their drink is gone, they can use the holder to carry the flowers, sticks, leaves and rocks that Mama usually ends up carrying. 

This is what you'll need:

Empty tin can (I used an empty vegetable can)

1 sq ft of Material or felt

Scissors

Hot Glue

Drill

Instructions:

Step 1. Clean out, empty and wash the tin can. 

Step 2. Drill two holes, one on each side of the can.

Step 3. Cut a strip of material, long enough to wrap around the can and wide enough to fold over the can. 

Step 4. Hot glue the material to the can, then fold the material to the inside and glue along the inside, you may cover the hole. 

Step 5. Poke a hole through the material that is covering the hole. 

Step 6. Cut a long strip of material, long enough to use as a strap to go over your kid's shoulder. 

Step 7. Stick the material through the hole and tie a knot on the inside. 

That's it! I glued another strip of material along the bottom of the can just to give it more color, but you could also allow the kids to decorate their holder with stickers or paint.

My little was pretty excited to take it out for a try. We went to the park after school and packed a fun lunch for a picnic. We always work up such an appetite when we are out for fun. 

Do you ever make fun lunches for the kiddos? I love to keep them as a surprise and then watch their faces as they open it up. This time I used their play-doh cutters to make small shapes out of their PB&J, and used them to top crackers. We also had yogurt, grapes, and a SunnyD to round out all of the food groups.

I remember the SunnyD commercials from when I was just a kid, and then as an adult, I loved the convenience of SunnyD, especially when alcohol was involved. Now, I have to say I was probably too happy to find the 24 pack at Sam's Club for $5.38 on the top of the aisle. 

The deal caught my eye for sure, and for that amount I thought it was perfect for team snacks,or class treats.  I have to say I was even happier when I realized these 6.75 oz bottles fit perfectly in their lunch box! Yay! If you are looking for more fun in the sun with SunnyD, you can check out more fun ideas at 

WhereFunBegins.net

. I'd love to hear your favorite!

Every Day is Earth Day (DIY Shirt & Activity) #EarthDay2015

We celebrate our Earth quite a bit at our home. My girls are ALWAYS playing outside and usually in the dirt, they are outdoor lovers and professional nature appreciators. I really love that we have a day set aside for the kids to take a moment to really think about our Earth and what we can do to make it better. I'm always looking for something fun for the kids to do or just something to make the ordinary day special. 

This year I wanted to make them special shirts to wear to school, but first I had to come up with a quick design that you can find here. I printed it out, slid it into the shirt (along with a piece of cardboard to prevent marker bleeds) and traced with a marker. Once I started puffy painting the shirts, I realized I could be saving a lot of time if I were to just use fabric markers, but I had the paints on hand already so I took the harder route.

I really love how these came out and was so relieved when my daughters came home from school and said, "Oh Mama! I love it! Thank you!" It's not often that my 6 year old gives me praise, so I almost teared up when she hugged and thanked me for her new cool shirt. Yes! Total Mom Win! 

Feel free to click the link and download and print for yourself, how cute would this look on a tote bag too? 

This one was fun! I told my girls to go outside and gather flowers, sticks, rocks, grass and anything else you can find. An hour later, I started with my Earth Day creation and I looked over and saw my girls made their own. 

So tell me what fun activities do you do on Earth Day? 

DIY Memory Keepsake Ornament #RegaloDeAmorPampers

This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Latina Mom Bloggers and Pampers. All opinions are 100% mine.

Hola! It's getting to be the end of the year and for me that means it's time to reflect and look back, and bawl my eyes out as I realize another year has gone by and my girls are getting older. Today I'm sharing a DIY project that will help you treasure those moments and keep them safe in a fun way. I'm also sharing a fun giveaway from #RegaloDeAmorPampers.

You have a chance to win a gift basket to help capture those special moments of love with baby. The gifts include Pampers Swaddlers, Pampers Wipes, The Crafty Chica Collection Book, and a Michael’s gift card to create a DIY loving keepsake! Keep reading for instructions on how to make your own memory keepsake ornament and how to enter to win this fun prize. 

As I was flipping through my copy of

The Crafty Chica Collection

by Kathy Cano Murillo I was inspired by her

Divine Intervention Car Cross

 to make a Memory Keepsake Ornament for each year of my daughters lives.

I've been dying to try the bottle cap/resin craft for a while now and now that I have, I think I will be making more of these for bows and necklaces and key chains. The possibilities are endless!

Materials:

Photos printed in 1 inch circles, Bottle Caps, Mod Podge Dimensional Magic, Hot Glue Gun, Paint, Glitter, Popsicle Craft Sticks, Ribbons, Yarn, Papers or any other materials that you'd like to use. 

Follow the instructions below to make your own keepsake ornament. 

  1. Print/Cut one inch circles.
  2. Glue the pictures to the center of the bottle cap.
  3. Pour the resin over the photo and cover completely. Try to keep a steady stream of resin when you're pouring, this will help keep the bubbles away. This will need to sit for 24 hours to completely harden.Please note: In this case, bubbles are the enemy.
  4. Paint your popsicle sticks and decorate however your heart desires. I added glitter, because, well I love making things glittery. 
  5. Cut ribbons, yarn, pipe cleaners or anything you have chosen to use and start gluing. My favorite part of the process is all the layering. 
  6. Adhere the hardened bottle cap with the photo as the last layer.
  7. Lastly, glue a string or ribbon to the top to hang the ornament. 

It happens in a blink of an eye. It has been years now since my little ones were in diapers, but I want to make sure I capture the moments and hold them tight. The picture above is of my littlest's very first Christmas. Your baby experiences your love in many different ways, and those precious moments you share with your little one make every day special and worth remembering. 

Pampers Swaddlers

are the No.1 choice at local hospitals in Los Angeles and across the country. And now Pampers Swaddlers is available through size 6 to comfort and protect babies through many more moments of love! I remember being so sad when my babies grew out of their Swaddlers, I love that Pampers now offers Swaddlers through age 6. 

What do you think? I love it! It's gonna be so exciting to pull out the ornaments from the years past and look back at them and see how much they've changed. 

Are you ready for the giveaway?

  • $25 Michael’s Gift Card 
  • The Crafty Chica Collection Book 
  • Pampers Wipes 
  • Pampers Swaddlers Diapers

For an easy entry: Leave me a comment and tell me how do you capture favorite loving moments with your kids? For more chances to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway Guidelines: 

Entrants must be 18+up and live in the contiguous U.S.

All giveaways should be completed and winners submitted NO LATER than November 26th.

{DIY}5 Minute-Under $5 Fall Decoration

I just wanted to share a quick 5 minute DIY Dollar Store 5 Minute Fall Decoration. I love quick and easy projects. Especially since every now and then, I get in over my head and spend hours and days and numerous trips to multiple stores on a project.
This one is Dollar Store everything. I always have so much paper on hand, so I picked up this cute little owl from the Dollar Store and these handy Elmer's glue pens. So, I started by making a paper fan out of orange paper. Accordion fold large pieces of paper and glue them together to a pretty orange fan. 
Next, I cut some pieces of paper just large enough to cover the cut outs on the owl. 
And here is my Fall door decoration. Simple, under a few dollars, and easy enough for the kiddos to help with. 
Oh and if you follow me on Instagram you may have seen some of the other projects I've come up with on the fly for Fall. 

We always decorate our refrigerator. Every year I try and come up with something different, this year we have we welcomed Bonehead to the house. He's fun! Bonehead came to life by free handing some bones on white and black paper and that was it, voila! 

A photo posted by Cynthia Duarte (@kindasillymommy) on
 Our large spider on a web is usually just made out of paper, this year, we made him 3D with black garbage bags. We filled it with scrunched up paper and made his web out of black ribbon. The rest of the house is all at the hands of my dad. He loves to decorate, even though he wont admit it. And it's obviously where I get that from. 

What's your favorite Halloween decoration?