Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What's on Your Hubby's Holiday Wish List?

I'm so happy to share with you all hubby's FIRST post here on GarciaMemories.com! Don loves all things technology - he's a sucker for toys, gadgets, and everything in-between! Today he shares with us his holiday wish list which I'm sure many daddies out there would love to have as well! Enjoy!

Guest Post by Don Garcia

What to get your hubby this holiday season? Here are a few of my favorites which I'm sure will impress your man as well!

Anki Drive - When I was a kid I had a slot car race track. It was all fun and games until either the needle broke off the car, a piece of the track broke and wouldn't connect, or I’d go full throttle on a high bank and the car would fly off the track. Anki drive is an update slot car racing. Users are able to control the cars with their android or iOS device and either race against against a friend or an intelligent AI. You can also upgrade the cars with virtual upgrades to the engine and weapons, giving it a real life Mario Kart feel.


Amazon Prime - Like most shoppers, I love instant gratification. but I’m foregoing Black Friday this year in favor of Cyber Monday. Amazon Prime has been my go to when purchasing goods online for myself or as presents for others. In addition to 2 day free shipping on most products, there’s free streaming of movies and TV shows with Prime instant video, Prime music, and the Kindle owners’ library.


Moto 360 - I didn’t usually wear a watch until I got my LG G watch. I like gadgets and gizmos and I wanted to give Android wearables and smartwatches a try. Seeing an LG G watch on sale for $150 I took the plunge and I love it. I don’t have to dig my phone out of my pocket when I get a notification on my phone, I can see my upcoming appointments, see who’s calling, even get directions or look up things from my watch, so just like guys collect watches, I wouldn't mind picking up the round Moto 360.

VIZIO 54-Inch 5.1 Home Theater Sound Bar with Wireless Subwoofer and Surrounds- I love movies. My first job was at a movie theater. I have a lot of DVD and Blu rays. I have subscriptions to Netflix and Amazon Prime videos and upgraded to a 70” HDTV. My current problem is my receiver died on me, so no surround sound. The S5451w-C2 is 54 inches of awesomeness. Easy to set up, 5.1 surround sound with a wireless subwoofer and rear satellites so no hiding of wires. I can also connect wirelessly through bluetooth to listen to music.
Worx Aerocart - I’d love to get one of these for around the house. Part wheelbarrow, part hand truck, and part lift, I’d put this through it’s paces around the house, especially n the backyard. With run flat wheels, the capability of lifting 300 lbs, and fold out arms with platform, I can think of a lot of projects that the aerocart would be great with. Maybe I shouldn’t ask for this as this might add to my “honey do” list


Powerbeats2, Beats by Dre - If you ask my wife, I always have headphones on, even in bed. I listen to music, audiobooks and podcasts all the time, but the wires always get in the way. Sure I have a pair of Motorola buds but the neckband gets uncomfortable sometimes and lets face it, these Powerbeat2s just look awesome.

Coleman Roadtrip LXE Portable Grill - My new favorite cooking toy right now is my Anova Sous Vide Immersion Circulator. I have my backyard 4 burner grill to brown the meat and get that Malliard reaction that makes food yummy. I’d like to be able to grill on the go. have a picnic at the park or camping and not depend on charcoal.

Whether your hubby is a tech geek, has a green thumb, or is a great cook - these are all great gifts your man will appreciate! Happy holidays!


Guest Post by Don Garcia - Hubby to Lysa of GarciaMemories.com. Don has worked in the telecommunications industry for over 10 years working with mobile device media and software. He loves the LA Lakers and enjoys laid back days in front of the TV with his two boys!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving Apps to Help You Stress Less

Thanksgiving can be a very stressful time. For me, whenever I'm stressed out I latch onto my phone and figure out what apps will help make me stress less!

Thanks to AT&T San Diego for sharing these awesome apps, you'll be cooking and entertaining like a pro!


Pins galore with ideas for your Thanksgiving tabletop d├ęcor and dinner planning on Pinterest. Thanksgiving calls for gatherings of family and friends, turkey stuffing, pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce delights. Pull it all together for your Thanksgiving dinner party by discovering projects to set the scene for feasting and a mood of gratitude. Roll up your sleeves, get crafty and DIY. I've definitely had my share of Pinterest inspired Thanksgiving crafts!


With turkey baking in the oven, sauce simmering on the stove stop, and dessert setting in the fridge, all the kitchen action will have you reaching for the Ultimate Timer Pro, which allows you to create unlimited and simultaneous timers. With the vibrating alarm alert feature, your eight hours spent roasting a turkey won’t result in an overcooked disaster hazard. Even after a phone reboot, you can still keep track of the main course, all the sides and the dessert. $0.99 to download. Here are some Thanksgiving yumminess I've cooked up with the help of Ultimate Timer Pro!




With my son being in the hospital recently, we've been watchful of his diet. We've been thinking of going gluten free to see it would help with my son's gastrointestinal issues, as well as my other son's eczema. An app like Gluten Free Thanksgiving Baking will be a great help this Thanksgiving! Nothing is worse than planning an epic feast only to have guests unveil dietary restrictions. Thanks to the Gluten Free Thanksgiving Baking app, it will be a feast for all. You can prepare grain-free with the collection of holiday-related recipes brought to you by “The Gluten-Free Girl." Gluten-free cooking isn’t difficult when you have on hand recipes with video illustrations of gluten-free pie crust, cornbread stuffing and apple walnut cake. $5.99 to download.


My ultimate cooking inspiration are all the programs on the Food Network! Having Food Network in the Kitchen give me access to thousands of chefs and popular Thanksgiving recipes at the Food Network In the Kitchen app is a life saver in the kitchen. With a special Thanksgiving section, you’ll have recipes with accompanying videos for favorite dishes at your fingertips. Search through recipes with full reviews and easy shopping lists. Free to download.


This one's for the sports fans who sit back and relax while the cooks prepare all the yummy goodness to be consumed! NFL Mobile: Lions and Bears, oh my! Teams will duel it out on the football field this Thanksgiving, with games playing all day long. At 1:30 pm, catch the Eagles v. Cowboys and later the Seahawks v. 49ers. Miss that play or playback? The NFL Mobile app tracks real-time stats, breaking news, custom team news and diagrams showing current plays. The app also features limited live video and audio of selected games so you can follow your fantasy football team on turkey day. Free to download.

I hope these apps make your Thanksgiving planning stress-free! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! I hope the new year gives you all more blessings to be thankful for!

Monday, November 24, 2014

I Love Influenster!

When I became a blogger, I didn't realize the influence opinions and every day activities had on me and my interactions online! Checking in on Yelp, posting pictures on Instagram, sharing on Facebook were all just fun for me!  I love seeing where people eat, where they shop, and where they go on vacation. Often times I "pin" or "bookmark" those places for my future reference. Little did I know the places I eat, where I shop, things I do with my kids also helped my online friends decide where they too would eat and have fun!

One of the greatest experiences I've had as a blogger is being an Influenster! Through this program I've been able to experience all kinds of new products! Candles, chocolate, beauty products, coffee, health shakes, and more! All of the things I already use everyday, but new and different products to try! It's always fun to discover new products I might not have thought of trying before.

Yet you all know, I'm honest about these products so if they didn't impress me, I'll be sure to let you know!


Some of the campaigns I've been with through Influenster:



A photo posted by @lovelylysa on


A photo posted by @lovelylysa on
A photo posted by @lovelylysa on


Coming home to an Influenster box is such a treat! It's like Christmas a few times a year! It adds to be fun of being a blogger! If you haven't checked out Influenster yet, it's worth your time! Check out how much influence YOU have online!

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.