Thursday, August 17, 2017

96 years. 96 birthdays.

96 years. 96 birthdays. Her husband, my beloved Papa, passed over a decade ago. She has 12 children, two of who proceeded her. Her scores of grandchildren are all over the world. They have given her a over a dozen great-grandchildren.

My grandmother, Consuelo Moreno Luansing, passed away 5 hours ago. 

The last time I spent with her was at her care facility in Los Angeles a few months ago. She saw me from across the multi-purpose room. Her "roommates" were scattered around the room. Some where playing board games. Others were watching the soap opera on the giant television while enjoying a snack. Many were just chatting with each other, just passing the time. Mama sat in the middle of it all gazing across the room at a familiar face, me. 

As I approached, her eyes followed me. Her eyes met mine as a kneeled right next to her. Her eyes lit up with familiarity and a huge smile spread across her face.

"Hi Mama. Do you remember me?"

She didn't respond. She just pulled my face close to hers and did the all-too-familiar Filipino "smell kiss" on my cheek.

I looked her in the eyes, "I'm Lysa, Mama. Lysa."

"Aaaaah, Lysa!" she said as her eyes lit up her entire face as if saying "Oh yes, I remember! My chunky granddaugher Lysa!"

She pulled me in again with a longer, stronger smell kiss.

I pulled Jelo over who was right behind me. He gave Mama Nene a hug and a kiss and she replied, "Ooh! Utoy!" then hugged him tight and greeted him with the same smell kiss. Jelo and Mama Nene had a special bond which started during Jelo's first few years when Mama Nene lived with my parents. He loves her and always includes her in his prayers.

Utoy, the pet name she's called him since he was months old. Utoy is the affectionate pet name for "little boy" in the Tagalog dialect of the Batangas region of the Phlippines where our family is from. I don't think she ever really remembered his name. I don't think she remembered that Jelo, whose real name was Julian, was named after her husband, my Papa. She always called him utoy.

We spent a few hours chatting with her, wheeling her around the facility to go for a "walk", and watching some TFC with her in her room. We helped her with lunch since she repeated many times that she was "hungry". The nurses did say, "Nanay is always hungry" teasing that she's always asking for food which was very unlike the grandmother I grew up with who ate very small portions.

After lunch, she was ready for her nap. She could hardly keep her eyes open as we went from the dining room to her bedroom. We helped her into her bed and tucked her in. Half asleep she said, "Take off my socks. I don't like the socks." I slid off her socks and tucked in her feet into the fleece blanket.

She was already asleep by the time I kissed her on her forehead and said "I'll see you soon Mama". I knew that that goodbye might be the last time I saw her. It was the last time I saw her.

My earliest memories of my Mama goes way back when I was just a few years old when we lived in an apartment in Los Angeles. Mama and Papa lived in a unit above where my parents and I lived. Being just 3 years old, I remember the fried "tuyo" mama used to cook. To this day, whenever I smell "tuyo", it brings me to mama's kitchen in that Los Angeles apartment.

L to R: Papa, Mama, Mom with me in her belly, Dad
I remember Mama and Papa's apartment in San Diego that would always be stocked with Crunch ice cream bars.

Mama and Papa in the early 80's
I remember when Mama made me the "bubble skirt" I saw on a mannequin in Macy's. She said it was "too expensive" and "I can make that! Nicer than that one!"And she did. As a young woman, she was a seamstress in the Philippines. My bubble skirt was made of a pearly, peach, silky material. I adored that skirt!

I remember taking Mama grocery shopping at Seafood City and waiting for her fish to be cleaned while she browsed the aisles.

My mom with Mama shopping at WalMart
I remember pharmacy pick ups as Mama and Papa got older.

I remember how well dressed she was for every worship service.

I remember how Jelo and DJ enjoyed pushing Mama Nene in her wheelchair on their trips to Plaza Bonita.

I remember Jelo and DJ would spend afternoons watching the dramas on TFC with Mama Nene.

I remember the giggles and hugs Jelo and DJ have shared with their Mama Nene.

I remember the many birthdays we've celebrated in honor of our matriarch, our queen.

Mama, may you rest in peace. Peace knowing you finished your race. Peace knowing you lived a faithful life. Peace knowing you have left your legacy with your children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and generations to come. I pray that the peace in which you rest be shared with your family you leave behind. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Hospital Box – A Creative Care Package Kit

When a loved one becomes hospitalized, things can get really stressful. It's even stressful for youngsters who have a loved one who gets sick. My kids worry about their "mama" who goes to dialysis three times a week to care for her failing kidneys. Although my mom is a trooper and doesn't let her illness get her down, my boys can't help of feel bad for their "mama" when they see her fatigued and weak after her dialysis.

When given the opportunity to partner with The Hospital Box, my boys immediately knew who they wanted create the box for: mama! The Hospital Box's goal is to inspire the road to recovery!

The Hospital Box is a creative care package kit that has everything you need to give an incredibly special gift! 

How does it work?

There are 3 Simple Steps:

Step 1- Attach Your Photos: Lift your loved ones spirits by showing them life outside the hospital and reminding them of precious memories they’ve had living life vibrantly! See their smile as they reminisce on the good times displayed on your personalized care package. DJ chose to include photos of him and his brother.

Step 2 - Add A Meaningful Items In The “Open When” Bags: Dozens of emotions take over when you’re left to sit in a hospital bed ranging from anger, to sadness, to loneliness, confusion and more. The Hospital Box comes with three soft cotton bags with messages: Open When You Need Comfort; Open When You Need Love; and Open When You Need Support. The bags are ideal for handwritten notes, mementos and anything that will bring a smile. DJ chose a small plushie toy for mama to hug, a fun  photo of him and his brother, and a book to help pass the time during the 3 hour dialysis sessions.

Step 3- Include Thoughtful Comfort Items: Customize your care package with a few items that will bring the comfort of home right to their hospital bedside.

DJ had such a fun time creating the box. We wished the box was more of a blank canvas to be able to customize the box even more. Despite that, I think he did a pretty good job!

Visit The Hospital Box at 


Follow The Hospital Box at


Disclaimer: I received a complimentary The Hospital Box in exchange for this blog post. All opinions are mine. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Marvel Universe LIVE! Comes to San Diego

Super hero action, thrills and drama will soar, smash and burst into arenas across the country starting this summer with the debut of the all-new action-packed adventure Marvel Universe LIVE! Age of Heroes.

Marvel Universe LIVE Age of Heroes will travel throughout North America, including a stop in San Diego August 24 to 27!

Want to go? Click the image below to enter my Instagram giveaway!

The iconic Marvel Super Heroes Spider-Man and The Avengers are joined by the Guardians of the Galaxy, including Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot, Rocket and Drax, in a legendary battle to defend the universe from evil. 

Marvel Universe LIVE! Age of Heroes will be playing the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego from August 24-27, 2017. Tickets are on sale NOW for all San Diego shows - tickets start at just $15!


Thursday, August 24 - Sunday, August 27
Thursday, August 24 7:00 PM
Friday, August 25 7:00 PM
Saturday, August 26 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM, 7:00 PM
Sunday, August 27 1:00 PM & 5:00 PM

Valley View Casino Center - 3500 Sports Arena Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92110

Tickets start at $15 each!
Discount Opening Night tickets available for only $15 on select seating 
(not valid for premium/VIP seating)

All seats are reserved. Marvel Universe LIVE! Age of Heroes tickets are available for purchase online at, charge by phone at 888-9AXS-TIX or visit the Valley View Casino Center Box Office.
*Ticket prices subject to change; tickets may be subject to service charges, facility and handling fees.
For more info:
* Website:
* Facebook:
* YouTube:
* Twitter:

Disclaimer: I receive complimentary tickets and promotional items in exchange for this blog post. All opinions are mine. 


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Order Your Eyeglasses Online is Easy with

There's nothing worse than breaking your eyeglasses. I accidentally slept with my glasses on and woke up to my frames cracked down the middle. I haven't been able to wear my eye contacts lately due to the summer heat and my eyes drying out. came to the rescue! Their email offer for a new pair of glasses came just in time!

Sagittarius Rectangle Tortoisec from

Ordering my glasses online were super easy!

It was fun "trying on" dozens of different eyeglasses. It's was simple to upload a picture to see how the frames would fit on your face. Many of them were in fun colors and styles!

Once, I had chosen my frames, I had plugged in my prescription from my doctor, and my order was in. My glasses arrived quicker than I had expected. They arrived within the week.

Glasses Shop has superior glasses with many trendy frames to choose from. The frames are light and durable, and they are available for all the wearers.

The high quality lenses were the most important to me since my prescription is so high. The lenses were very accurate to my prescription, thus my prescription eyeglasses were a perfect match.

Glasses Shop has a wide variety of Prescription sunglasses as well!

Use the special coupon code GSHOT50 to have 50% off on eyeglasses and sunglasses with free lenses (sale frames excluded).

Thanks to for my new glasses! This mama can see!

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary pair of prescription eyeglasses in exchange for this blog post and social media shares. All opinions are mine.

Friday, July 14, 2017

San Diego Cookie Con is Coming!

The BIGGEST Baking and Pastry Convention on the West Coast is coming to San Diego September 16 and 17!

We had a GREAT time at the Los Angeles Cookie Con. Samples, shopping, workshops, and celebrities. It was awesome!

When I heard the Cookie Con was coming to San Diego, I squealed! I can't wait!

So what is the San Diego Cookie Con?

You'll be able to meet thousands of Californians who share your love for all things sweet, salty and savory in the world of baking and sweets.

They'll be Decorating Competitions, Retailers, Delicious Samples and Fun Programming, especially for the kids!

Get a 10% Discount on General Admission: Subscribe Today!

Visit for the details on the upcoming event! 

Hope to see you then!

Disclaimer: I received complimentary entry to the San Diego Cookie Con in exchange for this blog post and social media shares. All opinions are mine. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Don't Miss High Fashion Snoopy and Tokidoki at Comic Con 2017 #SDCC #SDCC17

Calling all Peanuts and Tokidoki fans!

On a tour that has brought together two of the globe’s most iconic characters with the world’s foremost design visionaries, Peanuts Worldwide today announced that international fashion exhibit “Snoopy & Belle in Fashion” will bring its couture flair to San Diego, July 20 – July 23, during San Diego Comic-Con.


The exhibit debuts a new set of Snoopy and Belle dolls in collaboration with tokidoki, the pop-culture brand meaning “sometimes” in Japanese and showcases the witty designs created by Simone Legno, tokidoki’s Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer. At the Peanuts pop-up shop, fans can also purchase original Snoopy and Belle tote bags and other merchandise designed by Legno.

Legno and tokidoki join a group of the world’s foremost fashion names—including Anna Sui, Betsey Johnson, Calvin Klein Collection, Christian Siriano, Diane Von Furstenberg, DKNY by Donna Karan, Isaac Mizrahi, MAC Cosmetics, Swarovski, and Zac Posen.

A selection of the dolls will be on display during the San Diego Comic Con pop-up experience. Legno and the Snoopy costume character will be making visits to the Peanuts pop-up store throughout the four days of Comic-Con. Peanuts Worldwide will also host a panel discussion at the San Diego Convention Center entitled “50 Years of Peanuts in Japan.”

A new Snoopy & Belle In Fashion app guides visitors through the exhibit, provides insider information about the history of the brand and the designers, and offers visitors a chance to vote for their favorite doll set. The app also features a photo booth and Snapchat and Instagram filters—perfect for taking a selfie with Snoopy! Apple and Android versions are available.

In addition to San Diego, the exhibition has already traveled to Los Angeles, Denver, Sarasota, Nashville, and Washington DC and will hit its final destination at Brookfield Place in New York City in September.

Snoopy & Belle in Fashion” will be at 226 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA, starting the first day of Comic-Con, July 20, and will close on the last day of the convention, July 23.

Visit my Instagram page to win some cute Snoopy & Belle Swag!

For more info visit,
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