Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hello Kitty's Supercute Friendship Festival Comes to San Diego

My good friend, Joyce, loves Hello Kitty! Me? I like Sanrio but I love their character Keroppi! I have fond memories of Hello Kitty, Little Twin Stars, and My Melody Sanrio characters growing up. I still have some of my Sanrio knick-knacks from when I was a little kid!


When I had heard about the Hello Kitty Warehouse Sale of items 70% off or more back in July, there was no doubt I had to be there! Hubby drove my good friends Joyce and Mikey, and of course myself, to Cerritos, California, for about 2 hours to get to the sale.

Once at the warehouse sale venue, our jaws dropped at the sight of the line that was a few hundred people deep! We stood in the line for about 5 hours to get our Hello Kitty goods! Here we are fighting the crowd for our Hello Kitty goods!

A video posted by @lovelylysa on

Just today I learned Hello Kitty and her crew are headed to San Diego for the Hello Kitty's Supercute Friendship Festival!


Hello Kitty's Supercute Friendship Festival is an interactive musical and lifestyle event for friends of all ages!
I'm excited to see Hello Kitty and my favorite Keroppi in a unique celebration of fun, festivities and surprises! Each event will feature Hello Kitty and friends in multi-stage live performances with guest engagement, DJ-driven dancing with dance group KRU HK, interactive exhibits, art, fashion, photo opportunities, "event-exclusive" collectibles and more!



Details:
Venue: Valley View Casino Center, San Diego
When: June 19-21, 2015

I'm so super excited to have some good times with my friends  at the Hello Kitty Supercute Friendship Festival! Hope to see you there!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Blogger Life: How I Got Started

A few people have asked how I got started blogging. What's the perfect way to share my experience about blogging than writing an actual blog post about it! 

I had a Google Sites website i had maintained for a few years to share my family updates with  friends and family. It did its job but I wanted to do more. I then started following few bloggers around San Diego. They'd share the fun things they do with their families, their favorite things, events in and around San Diego, as well as delicious recipes I tried out myself. I thought I too could give blogging a try to share the fun things I do with the ones I love! So, my blog www.GarciaMemories.com began.

I played around with Blogger to design my blog site. It took lots of trial and error along with reading lots of tutorials online. I've changed the layout a few times so it's safe to say, my blog is "still under construction". It's not perfect but it'll do for now!

I started following a few San Diego bloggers on social media: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I followed who they follow, I subscribed and joined the websites they worked with, and engaged in online conversations with them as they promoted products and events. They were always very nice and shared with me opportunities to explore being a blogger.

Some of the bloggers I've followed include:
www.MiraMesaMom.com
www.LifeByCynthia.com
http://www.socalwithkids.com/
www.SanDiegoBargainMama.com
www.simmworksfamily.com
www.LeahsThoughts.com

Slowly over the past three years, I've built an online following as well. I don't have thousands of followers like some of my "online mentors" do, but I'm happy with my small following :) Most of my loyal followers are my friends, family, and acquaintances I've made through my personal relationships and my work as an educator.

I've learned so much from the network of mom bloggers in San Diego. Their Facebook page San Diego Moms Blogger FB page is so helpful in sharing resources, opportunities, and overall support for the mommy blogging community in San Diego.

 Lots of people ask, "When do you have to time to blog?" I find blogging to be a stress reliever for me. I'm able to channel my energies to writing about the fun and happy times in my life. Blogging has also given me lots of opportunities to experience memorable times with my friends and family.

Through my work as a blogger, I've been able to attend lots of fun events, try new products, eat yummy food, and all kinds of fun stuff all complimentary through social media promotion.

A few include:
San Diego Moms Night Out 

I've been featured on a few blogs:
I've received a complimentary products to review. A few include:
Keurig 2.0

Some of the restaurants I've been invited to include:
California Pizza Kitchen
Daphne's

I've been paid to tweet, Facebook, and blog post. A few examples are:
Pop Secret
Nestle Water
Microsoft
Muppets

Some of the groups I work with that provide the opportunities above:
Influenster
Bzzagent
Mom Central
BlogHer
Linqia
Sverve
Everywhere Society
GigaSavvy

I share my experiences with you my reader in case you too have thought about being a blogger. I don't take myself too seriously when it comes to blogging. I enjoy doing it because it makes me happy - plain and simple. You might come across a few "hard core" bloggers out there with rules and norms to be a respected blogger - I don't pay too much attention to them. If you have thought about blogging, and you share your experiences from the heart and you are genuinely open to new experiences, you'll be great!

If you have questions, shoot me an email - I'd love to share with you what I know!

Happy Holidays from www.GarciaMemories.com



Sunday, November 16, 2014

Enjoy the Holiday Season at SeaWorld San Diego

Being in Southern California, families jump into any and all opportunities to play in the snow!

Our kids totally loved the winter wonderland of snowmen, snowballs and family fun at SeaWorld’s Arctic Plaza! This area features more than 6,500 square feet of fresh snow each day, adding to the wintery atmosphere!



We also explored Christmas Village where you can find Santa in his cottage, Christmas cookie decorating, holiday performances, games for prizes, and visits with Santa’s special elves.





Our kids couldn't believe seeing two of Santa’s reindeers-in-training vacationing in SeaWorld for the holidays. The reindeers are defintiely enjoying the nice weather of Southern California before heading back to do their great work with Santa!



Located in the Christmas Village, the Happiest Christmas Tree dances the night away to everyone's favorite Christmas tunes. Shows run every 10 minutes starting at 5 p.m. All the holidays lights took my breath away! It put my family and I in the spirit of the holidays!


Make sure you check out all the awesomeness of the Christmas Celebration at SeaWorld San Diego this year! The sights and sounds will definitely get you into the spirit of the holidays!




Entry to all the Christmas festivities are included in your SeaWorld entrance! If you don't have tickets yet, click below for this awesome deal!


Don't forget, there are special ticket offers for the military and their families!

Happy holidays to you and yours! We hope to see you at SeaWorld San Diego!


Disclosure: My family and I received complimentary entrance and other promotional items to exchange for this blog post, as well as sharing our experience on social media. All opinions are my own. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Why You Should Be Watching the Legend of Korra

Guest Post By A. Michael Cruz


The Legend of Korra, the animated sequel to Nickelodeon's 2005-2008 Avatar the Last Airbender, is quite the enigma when it comes to television programming. When Korra premiered in the spring of 2012, it received rave reviews, noted for its fine storytelling, character development, exquisite animation, with an east-Asian, jazz-influenced soundtrack. However, for fans, the show has had to deal with programming accessibility; traditional television broadcasting versus online streaming.

Now in its fourth season (or Book as they are categorized with episodes called chapters), the series tells the story of Korra, a 17 year-old girl who is the Avatar, or the "chosen one." She can "bend," or manipulate the four elements; fire, earth, air, and water. Her destiny is to bring balance to the world.

Thematic

The themes of this show are greatly diverse and unique in comparison to other animated programming, or sci-fi dramas for that matter. It sets a girl as the main protagonist and the general audience embraces this non-issue. Where most programming feature typical characters in their lead and supporting roles, the Legend of Korra portray characters that have an ethnic look to them but yet appeals universally. For today's generation, it's imperative to have characters to identify with. For me, I had GI Joe, He-man, and other superheroes. But they didn't look like me.

American creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante Dimartino write Korra as a show that has an Asian-inspired, anime adjacent aesthetic (in fact, the animation is produced by Studio Mir, which is based in Korea). The writers have explored political themes including inequality (benders versus non-benders), tyranny, fascism, and anarchy. They've also dealt with familial dynamics and relationships, and drama that could give Shakespeare a run for his money. In fact, Book 4 finds Korra suffering from PTSD, an adult related issue but yet presented so that young people can access. There are comedic and witty moments too and the action sequences are breathtaking, which does not drive the show. More importantly, the overall story does.

Talent
The Legend of Korra continues the mythology from its predecessor Avatar the Last Airbender and builds upon it. Not only does Korra have her own journey, but the supporting cast has character development as well. From Airbending mentor Tenzin to her friends; fire-bending Mako, Earth-bending Bolin and industry heiress Asami, Team Avatar makes the show an ensemble piece. The antagonists of the series are not simply the "bad guys" but villains whose motivations are understood and compelling.

The voice acting is top-notch featuring the talents of Janet Varney, J.K. Simmons, David Faustino, P.J. Byrne, James Remar, Keirnan Shipka, John Michael Higgins and Mindy Sterling. Though the actors are not widely known, you end up going, "Hey, I know that voice!"


Controversy
2013 saw the premiere of Book 2 but general consensus concludes that it was the weakest in the series. In 2014, a far superior Book 3 debuted on Nickelodeon with a Friday night time slot. In the television broadcasting industry, this is a death sentence for any show.

The dilemma that Nickelodeon faced was that Legend of Korra has (and for several years now) been skewing to an older audience and cult following. This is not consistent with their regular programming like Spongebob Squarepants or The Fairly Odd Parents. So the network, with little promotion, broadcasted eight episodes of Korra. Then Nickelodeon decided to pull the show and stream the rest of the season on-line, a move unprecedented. Yes, the fans would be able to find and enjoy Korra. But what was the true intention? Did the network want to push Legend of Korra aside because of its low ratings (due to a Friday Night time slot)? Or was it because it didn't know what to do with it because it didn't "fit" like its other programming? With Neflix, Hulu and iTunes being the trend in online streaming, Nickelodeon felt that this move was warranted (Legend of Korra can also be seen on Nick.com). However, the fans felt like Nickelodeon was not treating one of the best shows on television as it deserved.

The writers of The Legend of Korra carefully weave their story as to not be too graphic or violent. This allows for a wider audience including families to enjoy the show. Much like how Disney movies are entertaining for children and adults, Legend of Korra is a serial that fits within that genre. So if you're interested in mythology, beautiful animation, amazing score, and comedic and dramatic storytelling, check out The Legend of Korra Books 1 and 2 on blu ray and find new episodes online.

Check out the Korra Trailer and tell us what you think in the comments below.


Will you be following The Legend of Korra?

Guest Post by A. Michael Cruz: avid popular culture and tech enthusiast, runner, educator, curriculum author, and seat tweeter

Follow him at @mikeycruz

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Challenge Yourself Mentally and Physically - Get Ready for the Spartan Race

The new year is right around the corner and many of you, me included, will be making those resolutions to live a more active lifestyle. Spartan Race is on a mission to get you active, healthy, excited about change, and return to our ancient roots where running through woods, getting dirty, and facing adversity was part of everyday life. Dirty? Running through the woods? I know, crazy right? I thought that too once upon a time...



A few years back, I had challenged myself to run 12 races in 2012. One of the races I did was very similar to the Spartan Race. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but it is also one of the things I'm most proud of! The race was physically challenging - I did things I never thought I'd be able to do. I was so thankful to the other runners who would give me encouraging words as they ran by me. There were times when I just wanted to give up. There were moments I was on the verge of crying it was so hard. Yet, there were times I was laughing so hard because I couldn't believe I was wading through mud or jumping over fire! This race was definitely an experience I'll never forget!


Thanks to Spartan Race, you too can take on the challenge! There are levels for everyone beginning with the entry level Spartan Sprint, intermediate level Super Spartan, the advanced Spartan Beast, and the ‘99.9% need not apply’ extreme level Death Race. Whatever your level, Spartan Race will test your strength, stamina, and sense of humor.


I'm giving away one free entry to any Spartan Race! There are several races in Southern California over the few months so now is a perfect time to get in! Just follow the entries below to win ONE free entry to a Spartan Race of your choosing for any open heat (non-confirmed start time) in any Spartan Race in the continental US.

Enter here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks to Spartan Race, they've also provided a code that will give 10% off of any race: SPARTANBLOGGER

Believe in yourself! Take on the challenge! I promise you'll be glad you did!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

"Honky" a Hilarious Take on Racism and Stereotypes

I definitely needed a night out! After the last few weeks of my son being in the hospital and catching up at work, a night out with good friends was what I really needed!


Last Friday, thanks to Denise Scatena, my friends and I were able to preview the San Diego Repertory's latest production, Honky. We filled a few of the "tweet seats" for the night, sharing our favorite moments of the play on social media! Check out the hashtag #HONKYsdRep for our tweets from our experience!



Honky is a satire that centers around a basketball shoe company called Sky Max that traditionally markets toward urban youth. But when a young African American is shot for a pair, sales suddenly triple among rich, white teens. The white CEO sees dollar signs, while the black shoe designer blames the company’s new Ghetto-glorying commercials. The themes of white guilt, stereotypes, and racism throughout the play is presented in a humorous way but definitely makes the audience think about their own racist or stereotypical ways of thinking. At the end there’s a a surprising remedy that cures racism. You'll have to check out the play to find out!



Honky opens November 9th at the Lyceum Theater in Downtown! Don't miss it!

Thanks to buddies Joyce and Mikey for coming along! It was a great night of laughs and awesome company!

Although I received complimentary tickets, all the opinions expressed are my own.