Keep Your Drinks Cool with the NewAir 96 Can Beverage Cooler

The holidays are here! Are you hosting any holiday parties? It seems like lately all we have are parties and gatherings one after another. Today I'm going to tell you about this awesome new beverage cooler that would make a great addition to any home. The NewAir 96 can Beverage Cooler is pretty awesome and although this might sound silly, it's really pretty too. 

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Knott's #MerryFarm is Bringing the Holiday Cheer!

The holiday spirit is alive and in full swing at Knott's Berry Farm, in fact Knott's has completely transformed into the merriest place around- Knott's Merry Farm! My family and I were lucky enough to attend for the 3rd year and this time with a little bit of surprise SoCal rain. Knott's Merry Farm is open now through January 8, 2017.  Keep reading to  hear about some of the fun stuff you can expect.

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My Holiday Traditions: Tamales, Baby Jesus and Santa!

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Sears and Latina Bloggers Connect.
I am so thankful to have only wonderful memories of the holidays. As a kid you mostly look forward to the presents, but the gifts aren't what last. The memories are what last a lifetime. I feel so blessed to be able to remember and share some of my fondest memories with you all, starting with one of my favorite holiday traditions: shopping for that special dress just for Christmas. A few days before Christmas, my mom would take me and my sister to Sears to buy our special Christmas dress, tights, and shiny new shoes. Going to Sears is a tradition, since my Grandpa Lara worked there for more than 50 years, Sears was also where mi abuelita would take my mother and her siblings as children. 
Each year of my childhood, Christmas Eve was spent with my Mother's side of the family, my grandparents, many aunts and uncles and about 20 cousins. The house would burst with the laughter only cousins could share, the smell of my grandmas tamales, and the alcohol induced adult conversations that as a child, made no sense whatsoever. At 11:45 p.m on Christmas Eve, one of the older cousins would pass around a ceramic baby Jesus doll for all of us to kiss. I don't know the origin of this tradition of ours, but it is still alive. All these years later, our children now kiss baby Jesus before any presents are opened. 
Christmas morning was spent with just our immediate family and since I was the baby of the family, I would wake everyone up shouting "Santa was here!" The rest of Christmas Day was spent with my Dad's side of the family complete with another set of traditions. After dinner all the kids would gather around the Christmas tree and sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and just as we were finishing up Jingle Bells, Santa would come bursting through the door and everyone would take turns sitting on Santa's lap and taking pictures. 
I love that for the most part our family still gets together to spend this special time together. Although some have grown and gone down their own path, it seems that Christmas always brings us back together and now the next generation, our children, are making their own memories. Each family has their own traditions that they hold close to their heart. The article How My Latino Family Does Christmas Differently, talks about the different ways this particular multi-cultural family celebrates and how they have adapted over time.

Let's talk Christmas, tell me: 
What traditions do you hold close to your heart? What traditions have been passed down from past generations? What is your favorite holiday memory? 

Celebrate the Holidays with Snoopy at Knott's #MerryFarm!

Disclosure: My family and I were invited by GigaSavvy to a media day at Knott's Berry Farm just so I can share with you all the awesomeness they have going on. Please note, all opinions are 100% mine. 
It's that time of year again! The 2014 Holiday season is upon us and here in Southern California, we have some of the best places to visit with the family.
 This year we are starting a new holiday tradition at Knott’s Berry Farm’s special holiday celebrations Knott’s Merry Farm. Merry Farm celebrates the Christmas season November 22 through January 4, 2015 and is a fun filled event that includes park-wide lavish decorations, live entertainment, festive food, and a shopping wonderland filled with local artisans. 
 It's no surprise that everyone loves Snoopy and the Peanut Gang, but you know who everyone else loves? Santa Claus! At Knott's Merry Farm you have all the fun in one place. The Wilderness Dance Hall in Ghost Town becomes home to Santa’s Christmas Cabin for the holiday season. Here, the young and the young at heart can share their wish lists with jolly Santa Claus and take home a picture of the occasion. Guests can also indulge in holiday delights such as:
● Santa’s homemade cookies 
● Hot fudge sundae bar
● Decadent hot chocolate topped with hand carved chocolate shavings 
● Winter wine and craft beer tastings paired with fresh fruit, cheese and more!
One of my favorite things about Knott’s Merry Farm is the live entertainment. I love the shows and I love that my girls get to experience fun shows too. While at Knott's Merry Farm, make sure to catch a performance by the world famous beagle, Snoopy as he performs a brand new ice spectacular, Merry Christmas, Snoopy! inside of the 2,100 Charles M. Schulz Theatre. And don't forget to check out a unique live performance of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol or O. Henry’s A Gift of the Magi in an intimate setting of the historic Bird Cage Theatre.
 The amazing decorations and characters completely transform Knott's Berry Farm into a Winter Wonderland filled with Holiday magic.
When the sun sets on the Farm, Calico Stage lights up with the celebration of the season in Snoopy’s merriest, musical, whimsical tree lighting featuring a cast of Toy Soldiers, Snowmen, Elves and America’s most famous beagle, Snoopy!
One of the things I am most excited about experiencing this year is Christmas on Engine 41. Introduced in 2013, guests can climb aboard a vintage railcar and meet an ever-changing group of Ghost Town residents eager to share their Christmas plans and songs with you.
Oh and of course, the food, you can't forget the food. Knott’s Merry Farm’s elves have created delicious festive treats including Santa’s homemade cookies, sundae bar, decadent hot chocolate topped with hand carved chocolate shavings, and winter wine and craft beer tastings. Savor the ultimate comfort foods with Knott’s world famous desserts, including fresh made-to-order Maple Lollipops, churros from the Churro Factory, cakes, cookies, muffins and gingerbread men in the Farm Bakery, as well as the legendary cooking at Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Dinner Restaurant.

Sounds amazing right? I am so thrilled to be able to take my girls to experience the magic this year. Will you be there? If you are in need of an amazing Christmas gift for the family, I have a great one for you: Season passes to Knott's Berry Farm! 

Check out some of the incredible benefits of having a Knott's season pass:
  • Six Easy Payments (as low as 13.25 each)
  • One FREE Merry Farm Visit
  • Additional 2014 Visits Only $9.99
  • Unlimited Visits In 2015
  • Early Ride Times
  • Food & Merch Discounts
  • Knott’s Hotel Discounts 
  • Scary Farm 2015 Discounts
  • Bring a Friend Days (perfect for grandparents!)

Stay Warm and Save Time with this Slow Cooker Corn Chowder Recipe #ChooseSmart

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

As much as I love Halloween, I am kinda glad it's over. We finally had some cooler weather and rain this weekend and in this house cooler temps mean cozy food and no more barbecues (besides my husbands traditional Christmas Eve barbecue). The holidays can be such a busy time of year, with all of the running around from store to store, but for me the one place that I like to do all of my grocery shopping for the holidays, is Smart & Final. Keep reading for my yummy Slow Cooker Corn Chowder recipe

My favorite part of Fall is the food, it is the only time of year I can get away with making soups, stews and chowders in my house. Today I am sharing my slow cooker corn chowder recipe. For me, life is easier when you can just throw everything together and forget about it until later. This is the perfect recipe for those busy days when you just don't have time to stand over the stove and oven for dinner or those cozy days that just want to be spent watching movies. 

Do you shop at Smart & Final? This warehouse store makes every day shopping and holiday shopping so easy and affordable. Their home brands are easily half the price of their competitor and are great quality. The holiday season is the best time to save as much as possible. 

All of my ingredients for this recipe fit in a small basket, were First Street brand, and cost under $30.

Here is my yummy Slow Cooker Corn Chowder recipe:

Ingredients:

1 lb First Street Bacon

1 stick of First Street Unsalted Butter

1 Large Brown Onion

8-10 Medium Golden potatoes

2  (3 lb) Cans of First Street Chicken Broth 

*I only use 1 1/2 cans for the recipe

1 1/2 cups of First Street Half & Half

1/4 cup First Street Corn Starch (not pictured)

3 cups of First Street Frozen Whole Kernel Golden Corn

4 cups of First Street Mild Cheddar

Salt and Pepper to taste

Before you start chopping, set your slow cooker to high to get it nice and hot and now get ready to chop. 

1. Start by chopping the bacon to 1 inch pieces and cook until crispy. Remove from drippings and set aside for later. 

2. Add the stick of butter to the hot crock pot to melt. 

3. Dice the large Brown Onion and add to butter, cook until translucent. 

4. Add the 1/4 cup of corn starch to the butter and onions and mix well. It will be thick. 

5. Next add the chicken broth, slowly at first while whisking the corn starch. Continue to add all of the broth. 

6. Peel and chop the potatoes and add to the slow cooker. 

7. Add 1 1/2 cups of Half & Half and Frozen Corn. Stir to mix.

Now, walk away. Depending on how long you will be away, you can set to low or high and when you are ready to serve, mix in the cheese and salt and pepper to taste.

I know you were wondering what you were going to do with that yummy bacon, well here it is. Serve yourselves a warm bowl of your fresh corn chowder and add the bacon crumbles and maybe some chopped chives to the top. Serve and enjoy. 

What I love about this recipe is that you can completely prepare ahead of time and just throw it all together when you're ready. I like to sit and peel then chop the potatoes, onions and bacon at the same time. After that, you can mostly throw it all together. 

Another note for this recipe is that you can substitute and add whatever you have on hand. If you don't have bacon, chop some ham and throw it in there, or instead of corn, add frozen broccoli. If you don't have mild cheddar, throw in Monterrey Jack cheese or a mixture. The next time you're at

Smart & Final

keep in mind you can pay half price if you buy their First Street products. 

Enjoy holiday cooking (and eating) this year! 

And don't forget to stay in touch with

Smart & Final

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