Feelin' Good and Ready for Summer!

Feelin' Good and Ready for Summer!

Last year, as I was going through major life changes, I started losing weight. I wasn’t trying. I wasn’t depressed and not eating, in fact, usually I’m an emotional eater and turn to food for comfort. I started losing, just because I was feeling better about myself. So then, the Summer came around and the person I was spending most of my time with started to talk about the Keto diet. I had done Atkins when I was younger, I knew I could go along with Keto, and it was so much easier to do with a partner.

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Summer Nights at the Hollywood Bowl

Summer Nights at the Hollywood Bowl

Visiting the Hollywood Bowl during the Summer concert series is one of those things you kind of have to experience. Last year was my first visit to the Hollywood Bowl and I could not wait to come back this Summer. To make it an even more amazing experience, we attended the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire™ - in Concert featuring conductor Justin Freer and the incredible Los Angeles Philharmonic. If you are a Harry Potter fan, this is something you need to check out next Summer. Hearing Patrick Doyle’s unforgettable score live-to-picture is... magical. 

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San Antonio Winery, Maddalena restaurant -- Perfect for Summertime!

San Antonio Winery, Maddalena restaurant -- Perfect for Summertime!

Last year was my first time visiting the beautiful Los Angeles treasure, San Antonio Winery. I had heard so many great things about the winery and the restaurant, Maddalena. I could not wait to go back, this time, I brought along my Mom and my two daughters. Yes, Maddalena, the restaurant at the San Antonio Winery is family friendly and the perfect spot for a Summer lunch or dinner. 

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The wait is over -- #Incredibles2 is in theaters now!

The wait is over -- #Incredibles2 is in theaters now!

The long wait is over, the #Incredibles2 is now in theaters. For years and years every now and then my Dad would ask me, "When are they coming out with another Incredibles?" Well, now! It's out and what I loved about it, is it picked up right where the first one ended. Like no time at all has passed. Except 14 years ago when the first one came out, I was a teenager. This past weekend I took my daughters to see Incredibles 2 at an early screening at the El Capitan Theater.

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Recipe: Summer Grilling #GiveLifeMoreFlavor

Recipe: Summer Grilling #GiveLifeMoreFlavor

I love that from the moment the weather warms up I become an outdoor cooking pro. Okay, maybe not a professional, I'm not a grill master by any means. But I do try to get as creative as possible, while coming up with a variety of flavors. Of course my other favorite part about grilling outdoors,  is that I spend way less time in the kitchen for clean up. #GiveLifeMoreFlavor #CollectiveBias #ad

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New This Summer--The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle!

New This Summer--The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle!

Where are my Harry Potter fans?! If you haven't visited The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood then get ready because it just keeps getting better and better! We were invited by Universal Studios to get a preview of the all-new "The Nighttime Lights at Hogwarts Castle" and I have to say... I LOVED IT! #WizardingWorldHollywood

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2017 Hollywood Bowl Summer Series!

2017 Hollywood Bowl Summer Series!

The Hollywood Bowl 2017 Season Line-up is here! I have to admit, I have lived in Los Angeles my entire life and I have never been to the Hollywood Bowl. I have always wanted to, but have never made it out. This year, I will be taking my girls to see Harry Potter while accompanied by a full live orchestra, this is going to be an awesome experience to share with my girls. Perfect for a family Summer outing here in Los Angeles. Check out what other fun family friendly concerts you can find this Summer at the Hollywood Bowl. 

  • June 24th / Sound of Music
  • July 6-8th / Harry Potter
  • August 4-5th / Raiders of the Lost Arc
  • September 8-10th / Muppets
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Ghost Town Alive! This Summer at Knott's Berry Farm

Ghost Town Alive! This Summer at Knott's Berry Farm

Summer has just begun and already we're having way too much fun! Guess what's back this Summer... Ghost Town Alive at Knott's Berry Farm. It is definitely one of our family's favorite times of year at Knott's Berry Farm and it just keeps getting better and better. If you haven't been in a while, it's time to come back and not only check out the fun, but be a part of all the fun! 

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Tra-La-La! Just in Time for Summer- Captain Underpants Now in Theaters

Tra-La-La! Just in Time for Summer- Captain Underpants Now in Theaters

Have your kids read it? Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey. I've seen the book around at the book fair and I will be the first to admit, I looked right past it thinking this must be a book for little boys. As a Mama to two little girls, Captain Underpants has not joined our book collection. Until now. 

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Refresh Your Summer Bucket List #RefrescaTuSummer

Refresh Your Summer Bucket List #RefrescaTuSummer

There's no denying it. Summer is here, are you ready? We don't have any big plans this Summer, no traveling for us. But I'm sure we'll find some fun stuff to keep us occupied. In fact, after talking it over with my girls, we've come up with our very own Summer Bucket List (find the Pinnable/Printable one below). The one thing my girls always talk about is having a Lemonade stand, but we're not going to have just any lemonade stand, we've got to add our very own twist.  Check out what we did using Minute Maid® Fruit Punch and cantaloupe.  #RefrescaTuSummer #CollectiveBias

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Summer is here Southern California! Knott's Soak City is Now Open! #KnottsSoakCity

Summer is here Southern California! Knott's Soak City is Now Open! #KnottsSoakCity

Okay, so technically we are 1 month away from the official start to Summer. But here in Southern California, do we follow any of the rules? Especially when it comes to the weather? No way! This past weekend we had the most perfect weather for the opening day of Knott's Soak City water park. As much as we love our beloved Knott's Berry Farm, this was our first time at Soak City- and we loved it! #KnottsSoakCity

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The Perfect Summer Pair- Sutter Home Merlot and S'mores Dip

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SummerVino #VeranoSutter #CollectiveBias The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older.

This Summer, pretty much everything that we are doing is outdoors. We are hanging out outdoors, cooking outdoors, and having our drinks and desserts outdoors too. I think it's the Latina part of me that likes to spend so much time outside. As a kid, it seems like all I ever heard my abuelita yell was for us to go afuera or outside. Now it's my turn, while the sun sets and the kids run around, I like to pour myself a glass of wine to unwind from the day. And before you know it the inevitable question arises, "Can we have dessert?" 

As much as I love that our heladero or ice cream man makes daily stops in our neighborhood, sometimes I'm in the mood for something different.  My first piece of advice that I received when it came to drinking wine was that red wines go really well with chocolate and with s'mores being the unofficial Summer dessert, I thought S'mores on the grill would be a less messy way of getting your s'mores fix.  

S'mores on the grill are a really easy way to pair a sweet dessert with your Sutter Home Merlot. Here is what you will need:

  • A bottle of Sutter Home Merlot
  • Grill
  • Cast iron skillet 
  • Marshmallows
  • Chocolate
  • Graham crackers

It really is as simple as 1-2-3.

  1. Heat up the grill and place your cast iron skillet to heat on Medium/High heat.
  2. Add chocolate to the bottom of the pan and top with a layer of marshmallows. 
  3. Watch as the chocolate melts and marshmallows heat and expand. 

That's it. Take it off the grill, pour yourself a glass of Sutter Home Merlot and start dipping your graham crackers. Enjoy.  

Yum! Look at the ooey gooey mess of deliciousness. Don't be afraid to treat yourself to more than just a glass of wine, give it something sweet to go with it. Sutter Home is the definite go to wine for all of my summer entertaining needs. It helps to make the day-to-day a little more special and I can't deny that I especially like that Sutter Home is affordable. For everything you see here, I spent less than $15. You can find Sutter Home pretty much anywhere and always for a good price, so next time you are out shopping for Summer meals, pick up a bottle and pair it with something sweet.

Check out these other great Sutter Home recipes and pairing ideas. 

Summer Fun with DIY Tetris

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

Usually the thought of the kids being home during the Summer scares me, but I think I finally got it all figured out. Each morning the kids do math worksheets and reading before they can watch any TV or play games and the minute they hint at being bored... I bring out the art projects! Of course a major part of a successful Summer day is always having ice cream on hand because let's face it, Ice Cream makes everything better.

This Summer I really wanted to create some fun games that we could play together as a family and since we spend so much of our time outdoors it had to be outdoor friendly. What would be a better boredom buster than DIY TETRIS? TETRIS was my FAVORITE game when I was a kid, I would play for hours on my Gameboy. This DIY version is fun to make and you could play again and again and again. 

To make your own DIY Tetris here's what you'll need. 

  • Wood Blocks (these are measured at 3/4" but go bigger if you want)
  • Acrylic paints in various colors (Orange, Green, Yellow, Dark Blue, Light Blue, Purple, Red and Yellow)
  • Wood Glue

I bought all of these supplies at my local Hobby Lobby and all for under $10. I'm sure you can find similar products and prices at your local hobby or craft store. 

First you'll notice that each TETRIS piece uses four blocks. You can see the shapes above. 

Once you've figured out all of your shapes, get gluing. You only need a dab of the glue and although the instructions on the glue say to let sit for 6 hours, mine bonded after a few minutes. 

Next step is deciding which shape will be which color, then you get to paint. The kids will have fun with this part. 

I was so excited as I watched the pieces come together. Once the paint is dry, they are ready for playing! This TETRIS game is obviously different than the video game. It ended up being a sort of Jenga type of game for the kids, but I was teaching them to try and make the pieces fit to make a perfect block. They had the most fun just building until it toppled over, but it went on for quite some time. For me, that's a win. 

Have you noticed that when the kids are home for the Summer you make more Walmart trips than usual? The ice cream aisle is definitely frequented more often too. I know I'm not the only one who loves Ice cream shopping. You've got to mix it up and try something new. This time we got DREYER’S Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream and DREYER’S BabyRuth Ice Cream, because how could I say no to that?

See, hot Summer days are just more fun with games and ice cream. Whether the kids are bored or need a game to play while the food is cooking, this DIY TETRIS game is perfect. 

Okay go ahead and look at that ice cream right there, that is the DREYER’S Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream and it is delicious! DREYER’S totally got it right by adding flavors inspired by your favorite candies like Nestlé Butterfinger® Peanut Butter Cups and Baby Ruth®, I love adding mix-ins to my ice cream, but I don't have to do that with these new ice cream flavors. DREYER’S also proudly makes their ice cream with fresh milk and cream and with no rBST (milk production hormone), artificial flavors or colors. SOLD!
This right here is what Summer is all about, togetherness. Ice cream and games is what brings everyone together during the hot Summer days. So stay cool! Check out this list to see if a Walmart near you is having a DREYER'S demo! and check out the fun video below.

Bring the Tropics to Your Summer Memories

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

I am not one of those parents that dread the Summer months. When Summer approaches all I can think about is filling our days with fun and colorful projects. The way I see it, my kids don't do nearly enough Art in school, which means, the Summer is our time to be creative! I love being able to spend all day outdoors, playing, getting dirty and making memories.   

The thing about kids though, is that nothing keeps their attention for as long as you hope. So, after 20 rounds of Loteria, which also doubles as a Spanish lesson, they are ready to move on to another activity. 

I have been wanting to do some tie-dye projects with my girls for a while now. Well, two days into Summer Break sounds like the perfect time to me. I used our Loteria game as a jumping off point for what we were doing next. I kept talking to them about the vibrant colors on the Loteria cards and when I brought out the tie-dye projects they were thrilled! They loved the idea of designing and creating their own Summer shirt. 

Here's what you'll need to create these awesome Summer Tie-Dye tops! 

  • White T-shirts
  • Fabric dye
  • Rubberbands
  • plastic wrap
  •  all® Fresh Tropical Mist™

This project is pretty simple and definitely messy, just how I like them. If you purchase the fabric dye, tie-dye kit like me then you will have your own directions to follow. If not, it's still really simple and I'll break it down for you. 


  1. Pre-wash your shirt with all® Fresh Tropical Mist™ and get ready to make a mess. Lay out an old tablecloth or paper that you won't mind ruining. Also, wear gloves if you have them to protect your fingers and have a lot of paper towels or napkins on hand for any accidental spills. 
  2. Figure out the kind of pattern you would like to create with the tie-dye. My daughter wanted a burst from the center of the shirt. So we laid the shirt out flat, and gathered from the center.
  3. Use rubber bands to separate the shirt by sections. 
  4. Add the dye to the section that you want colored. Note: Be careful with the dye, you want to keep the colors as separate as possible so work slowly. 
  5. Wrap the shirt in plastic wrap and set aside for 6-8 hours; Longer for brighter colors. 
  6. When you are ready to rinse, fill a bucket or sink with water and rinse slowly. Once you've completed your first rinse, add a small amount of all® Fresh Tropical Mist™ to the water and rinse again. 
  7. Dry and wear.

My girls wanted to make the shirts their own, so we searched on pinterest for ideas and I helped them to finish the looks. 

My absolute favorite scent is the smell of clean laundry. I decided to make things a little more interesting and switched to a new scent for the Summer, all®’s newest Fresh tropical scent. You can bring the freshness of the tropics home with the trusted cleaning power of all®. Of course, as messy as we all plan on getting this summer I need all®’s trusted stain fighting power to fight the toughest kid stains like grass, mud, and grape juice. It's also nice that all® costs 30% less than the leading brand.

Once we were done dying, washing, drying and cutting our new shirts. We had to try them on! As you can see, they loved the way they looked and smelled! Part of making memories includes the smells that surround you and I know that when they think back to the time they got their hands dirty while making their own tie-dye shirts, the fresh tropical scent will go along with it. 

To find NEW fresh tropical mist in store near you, visit all®'s website and don't forget to grab your coupon!

Best of both worlds: Ice Cream Sno-Cone! #SunsOutSpoonsOut

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

What kind of ice cream eater are you? I don't mean what is your favorite flavor, I mean, which do you prefer

creamy

ice cream

?

or sno-cone shaved ice-ice cream? Today I am sharing with you a super refreshing combination recipe where you get the best of both worlds: Ice Cream SnoCone! 

I love this twist on a classic treat, I find that it cuts down on the richness because it's half ice and actually tastes a little like a root beer float. Sounds good huh?! Keep reading to see how easy it is to make. 

Of course, like all of the recipes I share, this recipe is really simple, easy as 1-2-3-4 actually. 

All you will need is:

Your favorite

Blue Bunny

flavor ice cream.

A sno-cone machine or something to crush your ice, a blender will work just fine.

Sno-cone syrup (Cola flavored here)

and chocolate syrup

Ready? Here you go:

1. Place ice in your sno-cone machine (or blender) and crush the ice until it's as fine as snow.

2. Add about 2 tsp of Cola flavored syrup (more if desired) to the crushed ice.

3. Scoop some of Blue Bunny's rich and creamy ice cream and add it to the top of the crushed ice. 

4. Drizzle chocolate syrup over the top and that's it...enjoy!

And to think it all started with a trip to Walmart. If you are planning to visit your local Walmart from July 9-12, keep an eye out for an

in-store demo

 (check the link) where you can sample some of Blue Bunny's delicious flavors. I opted for some of their

Sweet Freedom No Sugar Added

options and I used Vanilla and Bunny Tracks in this recipe. Both are delicious! 

If you like this idea, you definitely need to

check this out

for some more delicious recipes featuring Blue Bunny ice cream. You can also find Blue Bunny on

Twitter

,

Pinterest

,

Instagram

and

Facebook

. Honestly, the possibilities with this recipe are endless. I already know the next combo I will be testing is Banana flavored sno-cone syrup with Blue Bunny Strawberry Banana ice cream on top. I'll be sure to let you know how that turns out.  

So tell me: What flavor combos will you be trying?

Perfect for Summer: Gummy Candy Kabobs #SnackPackMixins

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

You know what puts me in the best mood? Bright colors and yummy snacks! Today I am sharing the best of both of those with a Gummy Candy Kabob, the perfect addition to mix in to your Strawberry SUPER Snack Pack Juicy Gels. These would be great as a party food or as a special treat for when the kids have been on their best behavior. We always have Snack Pack gels or pudding in the fridge as a go-to snack. But sometimes, you just need to add a little extra something to make it even more special.

This is such an easy and fun treat to make. I bought a bunch of random gummy candies (or friends) and after lining them up like this for fun, I skewered them. Haha!

I must have Summer and swimming on the brain, because all I saw when looking at the little gummy guys and rings, was kids in swimming rings. 

How fun is this?! 

I loved making ribbons and swirls with sour strips and just had fun with all of the different colors and shapes.  The possibilities and combinations are endless. I could make these all day, in fact I think I will making these for my daughter's birthday next month. 

Don't you just love when you find new items and deals at

Walmart

? While shopping there the other day, I found the new 6 pack Strawberry SUPER Snack Pack Juicy Gels, with 60% more and these new Snack Pack Pudding bars. (psst.. Find coupons below) I picked up the Chocolate fudge pack and because Summer is the time for freedom and goodies, my girls will be having these as an afternoon treat really soon. 

Making these Gummy Candy Kabobs is only half the fun, the other fun comes from dunking them, mixing them into your Snack Pack juicy gels and enjoying a sweet treat. 

For more inspiration and recipes head on over here and find coupons for Snack Pack Juicy Gels here and New Snack Pack Pudding Bars here. You are welcome!

Now tell me: What is your favorite Snack Pack Mix-in?  Will you be trying my Gummy Candy Kabobs this Summer? 

Come See What's #NewAtKnotts This Summer!

You know this family has a lot of love for Knott's Berry Farm, it's definitely our favorite place to go  as a family. I love sharing all of their fun events throughout the year with you, with the hopes that you too will visit and make those memories with your families. A few weeks ago I shared with you all of the fun details about their newest ride Voyage to the Iron Reef. My daughters are still talking about it and can't wait to go back again. 

This Summer not only do you need to try out the new interactive 4D Voyage to the Iron Reef, but check out some of their exclusive Summer fun events coming up. Knott's has is it all covered, if you feel like dancing Salsa, or Bluegrass or watching Native American Storytellers, there is so much fun going on at Knott's in between all of the rides. Check out some details below:

Blockbuster Beagle!...on ice at the Charles M. Schulz Theatre. 

June 13 - August 23 No shows on Wednesdays

Snoopy and his Peanuts buddies "go Hollywood" bringing Walk of Fame glamour, dazzling movie lot escapades and California excitement to a brand new ice show adventure. I love to see Snoopy ice skate at the ice shows! Especially during the Summer, it's a perfect way to take a break from the heat for a bit. 

Vertical Impact & Vertical Impact Geared Up Show

Vertical Impact presents the ultimate blend of extreme stunts with high flying acrobats performing a one of a kind performance perfect for the entire family! The show has amazing aerial acrobatics, and crazy trampoline & vertical wall stunts all set to today's popular music. Then stay for the after party and be a part of the show! 

Our own "DJ Nytemadness” will keep the party going mixing all the best of current EDM, dance & pop hits after each show while the cast joins the guests of all ages to dance, party, take selfies, and just be a part of it all. Sounds like fun to me!

June 13 - August 23 No shows on Mondays & Tuesdays

Other Summer Fun Entertainment

Charlie Brown’s Happy Campers – Camp Snoopy Theatre

Join Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy and the world’s most popular beagle, Snoopy in a show that’s sure to make an outdoorsman out of anybody! Daily, June 14 through September 1

Big Band Swingin’ Sundays

Jump, Jive & Swing to the sounds of Orange County’s best local Big Bands. 

Sunday evenings, June14 – August 30

Boardwalk Dance Party – Boardwalk Circle Stage

Dance ‘til you drop and wave your hands in the air until you just don’t care with DJ Howly, one of Orange County’s most requested “mixers & spinners”. 

Monday & Tuesday evenings, June 15 – August 25 Plus September 7

Ghost Town Streetmosphere

Ghost Town is alive with townsfolk who will put you smack dab in the middle of the Wild West. 

New residents have put down stakes recently… Clem Culpepper, the ever hopeful gold miner, Ma & Pa Shine, our resident moonshiners & Nathan Quickly, the Pony Express Agent. 

And as you mosey on through Ghost Town, say “Howdy” to returning favorites, Dusty Trail, who’s never without her six-shooter, Miss Ruby, the purtiest Saloon Gal in town, Miss Apple the School Teacher, and the rest of the Calico townsfolk. 

Daily June 13 – September 7

Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies – Birdcage Theatre

Things get krazy when Krazy Kirk and the Hillbillies perform their toe tappin’, knee-slappin’, side splittin’ country comedy show that has Knott’s audiences clamoring for more!

It’s the perfectly krazy way to spend some time at Knott’s Berry Farm!

Fridays through Mondays, June 13 – August 23 except 6/19 and 8/6 & 29.

Salsa Bands - Fiesta Plaza Stage

Nothing says a party at the Fiesta Plaza stage better than the energy created by some of Orange County’s most popular salsa bands. 

Friday, Saturday & Sunday evenings, June 13 through August 23, Plus August 29, 30 and September 5, 6, & 7

The Ghost Town Miners – Spurs Stage

For a “Yeehaw” of a good time you won’t want to miss the Ghost Town Miners sing and play some of the best bluegrass this side of the Rio Grande!

Tuesday through Thursday, June 16 – August 20

The Marshal Purdy Show – Birdcage Theatre

Come on in for some old fashioned, homespun fun that’s sure to tickle your fancy and bust your gut.

Tuesday & Wednesday, June 17 – August 21

The Big Fat Steve Band – Boardwalk Circle Stage

Back by popular demand, The Big Fat Steve Band-The Kings of Kool is a fun, exciting dance band with a swingin’ beat. Enjoy the live musicality of rockabilly, swing and classic sounds. The only thing missing is your dance moves. 

Wednesday through Saturday, June 13 – August 29 Plus September 5 & 6 KBF Marketing 2

The Peanuts Gang – Camp Snoopy

A chance to meet and hug one of your favorite Peanuts characters! 

Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Sally, Schroeder, Franklin, Woodstock, or Peppermint Patty

Year round - Characters vary daily

Calico Saloon Cancan Show – Calico Saloon

What’s a Saloon without a show? Don’t miss the Calico Saloon Show for some good old’ fashioned bar room fun. We heard that the dancin’ girls even perform that new fandangled dance from Paree, France, the Cancan! You might even want to cool off with a tall cool bottle of the hard stuff…Sarsaparilla!

Daily, June 13 – September 30, Plus September 5 - 7

Fool’s Gold Stunt Show – Wagon Camp

Will the bad guys manage to re route and steal the gold? Find out in this rowdy, comical, western stunt show presented on Knott’s legendary Wagon Camp stage.

Year round

Indian Trails

You won’t want to miss the beautiful music, authentic costumes and historically rich traditions presented at the Indian Trails Stage.

Thursday through Monday - Year round 

Mystery Lodge

Sit back and let this award winning, one of a kind attraction mesmerize you as our Native 

American Storyteller shares stories of his rich history and culture. 

The special effects will amaze you. 

Daily Year Round

Will you be heading to Knott's this Summer? Check out their site for more info and their super affordable Season Passes and make sure to follow them on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for fun updates.