Sunday, December 30, 2012

Run #12 of 12 for 2012

It's December! I've made it! I did it! I've completed my 12 runs in 2012 resolution made a year ago! Well, sort of...keep reading...

Here's the run down:
January: Diva Dash 5k
February: Mermaid Run 10k
March:Hot Chocolate 5k
April: Color Run 5k
May: Bay Bridge 5k
June: Rock n' Roll 13.1 Relay
July: Walking Dead Escape
August: Cupcake 26.2 Virtual Marathon
September: Torchlight San Diego 5k
October: So Cal Rugged Maniac


December: Retro Run 5K

I channeled my inner Cyndi Lauper put together a little somethin' to look "retro" for my final run for 2012. I ran/walked with my partner the entire year, Eleina, and we bumped into my cousin Rowena who ran retro also!

It was a chilly morning with the fog burning away slowly as the crowds gathered at Liberty Station in Point Loma. Everyone was dressed up! It was great people-watching before the run. The music was playing and I was definitely feeling it! The songs that were playing brought me back to elementary school, haha!  

This "run" I walked the entire time! I didn't have the energy to run. I felt too "heavy" to run. This is how I've felt for the last few "runs" of my resolution.  Although I made it to the end of 2012 sticking to my resolution, it was done half-assed. I didn't really commit to the "running" and I'm beating myself up in my head about it. Along with the weight I've gained this year, I feel like my 2012 resolution was not completely accomplished. 

Despite all this, I did have fun with my 12 runs/walks of 2012! The Rugged Maniac pushed me to my limits, the Walking Dead Escape made me pee in my pants, the Hot Chocolate Run  finished perfect with warm chocolate on that very cold morning, the Rock and Roll was an definitely a "must" runners experience, and the Color Run was just plain AWESOME! All the run/walks I did were all very unique and I had a great time at all of them! 

One of the most memorable aspects of this year was the support and camaraderie that goes along with these running/walking events. At each of these events you have expert runners who use each run to beat their own personal running times and you have the other end of the spectrum of first-timers who are walking for fun. Either way, all the people who participate are very supportive of all capabilities. I recall the steep mountain I was climbing at the Rugged Maniac and these "Marine-types" and "triathalon-looking women" were passing us by and saying to us "Keep going girls! You can do it! You're almost there!". That was just super awesome to me! It was a great feeling to have those words of encouragement from strangers when in my head I was trying to convince myself to give up. 

I want to thank all those who participated in these events with me this year! Joyce, Liliana, Tara, and Sher in the Diva Dash! Mikey at the Hot Chocolate Run, Sher and Tara at the Color Run, Jonae at the Bay Bridge 5k, Liliana and Ernesto at the Rock and Roll, Garcia Bros. Jelo and DJ at the Torchlight 5k, Rowena at the Retro Run, AND most especially and thankfully to my dear friend Eleina who did EVERY RUN with me this year! She pushed me and kept me dedicated to my resolution. I don't think I would've stuck to it without my "accountability partner"! Thank you Eleina for putting up with my crazy idea of the 12 runs in 2012! I really appreciate your support and being there this entire year!
My accountability partner, Eleina!
So, I'm taking the lessons learned from 2012 and coming to these conclusions:
  • Resolutions are dynamic - they may change as the year progresses. As we change and grow as individuals, you have to allow our resolutions to change and grown with you. 
  • The support of people around you is power. Without the support and encouragement of my great friends and family, and even those strangers along all the routes, I would not have been able to accomplish all 12 run/walks.
  • Live life! Push yourself! Make yourself do things you never would have thought you would! You'll be surprised what you can do!
For 2013, my resolutions are:
  • To lead by example and commit to the Cupcake 26.2 Virtual Marathon I started in August 2012.
  • Eat healthier, not only for me but for my entire family. 
  • Get myself back to a healthier weight to live a better and longer life for my kids!
Cheers to the new year! May 2013 being a happier, healthier, better you!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

It's Christmas Time Again...

Christmas is my husband's favorite season and thus has become a big deal in the Garcia house!  This year my boys started attending Sunday School and learned about "Jesus' Birthday" and the meaning of the Christmas season. It was delight to hear my sons repeat the stories they learned in Sunday School and all the more amazing that every time they see the Nativity Scene, they can tell the story, through a 4-year old's point of view of course!

The Nativity Scene at Mom and Dad Garcia's Home
The season is always filled with lots of fun, friends, and family! Here are a few of the highlights of the past month:

Every year we visit local Christmas light displays around San Diego. Our favorites are Christmas Card Lane in Rancho Penasquitos, Candy Cane Lane in Poway, and Belardo Lights in Tierrasanta!

Garcia Bros. and Garcia Dad with friends and family!
Christmas Card Lane
Christmas Card Lane
Belardo Lights
Candy Cane Lane
Candy Cane Lane
My husband's company, Quickplay, and a great holiday party at the US Grant Hotel in Downtown San Diego. The hotel lobby was beautiful. the food was delicious, and the quality time with the hubby was the best!

Garcia Mom and Dad
US Grant and its Christmas Colors!
Lobby of the US Grant - Beautiful!
If you know me, I love to bake so I had my boys help me bake some goodies to share at our family holiday parties. We made short bread, lemon, raspberry white chocolate, and chocolate chip cookies. We also made mini cherry-calamansi pies shaped like stars!

My crafty Garcia Bros. are always up for the challenge of creating something handmade! I'm trying to raise creative men who will one day "wow" and "awe" a deserving lady!

Foam Gingerbread House
Custom made mugs for Mama and Papa Luansing

Gifts for Garcia Bros. school mates!
Reindeer Noses a.k.a Whoppers and Cherry Sours!

The best part of Christmas is the quality time spent with family! Garcia Bros. love their grandparents! They squeal and run for hugs every time they see them!

Christmas Eve Lunch at Jiggle Jiggle Korean Cafe with
Mama and Papa Luansing and Uncle Jun-Jun

Christmas Dinner at Lola and Tatay Garcia's House

Me, Cousin Baba, and Sis-in-law Maria

Dad Garcia and Tatay Garcia putting together the drum set from Santa

Baby of the family, Cousin Noah!
Merry Christmas to everyone! Hope you had a season filled with the love of family, friends, and the spirit of Jesus Christ!

Look what Santa brought us this year....

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Golden Gifting Moment

Ferrero Rocher Chocolates are too good to keep yourself! And that makes it perfect for golden gifting moments. I always see Ferrero Rocher in the stores all year long, but I save the indulgence of its yumminess for the holidays!

Thanks to Influenster, I was able to share these golden yummies with some special friends, Godfather to our son, when they invited us over for a holiday "jump party"! Usually, jumpies are in the back or front yard right? Well, my boys jaws dropped when they walked into their Godfather's house to find the jumpy was in the living room!

The looks on my boys' faces and the fun they had having the jumpy all to themselves was priceless! Their Godfather knows them all too well! 

Golden gifts not only come in golden packages, like the yummy Ferrero Rocher, but also golden, priceless moments like the gift of some jumpy fun!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Giving a BabbaBox

Keeping two kids under the age of 5 busy and entertained is always a dilemma. My boys love "going out" as they call it. They hate staying home. I guess they've been spoiled by living in "America's Finest City" San Diego. There is always something fun to do and the weather is most always perfect!

Yet, on the days budget is tight or I'm just too tired to take two little boys out on the town, I try to find some fun activities at home to engage them. Of course,I want them to have fun and try new things, but learn something as well. 

Here are a few fun things we've done at home:

1) We've painted bird houses I bought at the dollar store and then did a little nature walk in our backyard to find the perfect place to hang them!

 2)  Using foam stickers and some construction paper, we made our own counting books!

 3) Using old magazines and construction paper, my I had my kids cut out and paste pictures that matched the color of the paper. 

 4) Believe it or not, my kids like to do homework! Yes, a 2 and 4 year old don't have homework, but they like the idea of having a binder with ABC and 123 activities which we refer to as their "homework". 

I'm always looking for new things to do with my boys so I'm excited to share with you BabbaBox! BabbaBox is centered on timely themes and includes 5 major components centered around the ways kids engage and learn: CREATE, EXPLORE, STORY TELL, CONNECT.

"Create" are 2 projects they make themselves. "Explore" is an activity with a provided project or object to engage with the world. "Story tell" is a bestselling book that best represents the theme through a story. "Connect" is the digital downloads. All of the materials are delivered right to your door so you can focus on enjoying quality time with your family.

January’s BabbaBox: “Get Organized” Featuring Partnerships With Real Simple And ThredUP. 
Transform all of that post-holiday organization into fun, memorable time with your kids!  Plus teaching kids about organization encourages ownership and independence – important qualities as they develop self-esteem and confidence.

First, you’ll CREATE a way to both organize and showcase all that kid artwork you have piled up in the corner!  The end result is a beautiful clothesline art gallery that both you and your children can proudly display. Then you’ll help your child CREATE his/her own art supply organizer! We even get them finger-painting with this project! For the EXPLORE component, we give you an amazing tool for organizing your kids’ clothes and cleaning out that closet. We’ve partnered with a company called thredUP so that you will actually be able to get money in exchange for your kids’ old clothes. We also give you kid-friendly drawer labels to encourage your kids to take out and put away their own clothes. The book for January features the beloved characters from Max and Ruby. And finally, we’ve included a special something for grown-ups – we partnered with Real Simple to give you a great guide for de-cluttering your life, as well as a little token from Jessica Kim.

Join BabbaCo's newsletter that's filled with fun ideas and practical tips and head over to BabbaCo’s Facebook, ‘Like’ BabbaCo and share their holiday photo to be entered to win an annual subscription of BabbaBoxes or a $500 gift certificate to crew cuts by J. Crew!

Ring in the new year with fun, educational activities for you and your kids!

This blog post sponsored by BabbaCo. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog author. If we claim or appear to be experts on a certain topic or product or service area, we will only endorse products or services that we believe, based on our expertise, are worthy of such endorsement. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Thank a Teacher Day: Monday, December 17, 2012

Being an educator is the most rewarding job in the world! I treat my students like they are my own. I want the best for my students just as I wish the same for my own children. I realize and value the great trust parents put into their schools and teachers in caring for their children.

The sad event of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT., breaks my heart. I feel for those heroic teachers who protected their students and, for some, gave their lives for the students they serve everyday. School personnel never think they'll ever have to risk their lives like soldiers, police, or firefighters do on a daily basis. Yet, when duty calls, teachers are just as brave and committed to the service to their students and their families.

Please join me on Monday, December 17, 2012 to take a moment to thank a teacher. A note, an email, a small gift, or even a hug with a "Thank You" means the world to a teacher. You can send your message of thanks to your child's teacher or send a note to a school you attended with a message of thanks. Especially this season as companies host holiday parties and employees receive bonuses and gifts, a "thank you" for a teacher is the best gift to give.

In my office, I keep a binder of all the of letters, notes, emails, and pictures I have from my students. It spans almost 10 years. Every year, I review my binder and reflect on my career as an educator. This binder means the world to me. I can truly say it is one of my most prized possessions. I reminds me of the good work I do, the impact I make on lives everyday, and to keep up the gift God has given me in working with young people.

Please join me in saying "Thank You" to all the teachers in your life!

If you work in media, join hundreds of bloggers throughout the US in recognizing Thank a Teacher Day 2012, created in loving memory of those who lost their lives in Newtown, CT, and in honor of the hundreds of thousands of teachers who would do what they did for your child. Post this image on your website, share it with your readers and viewers. Help us to reach other parents and grandparents to thank those who love your children nearly as much as you do. Because those messages of thanks don’t take a lot of time to express but yet they mean the world to those who dedicate their lives to our children.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Il Volo's "We Are Love"

Oh swoon! The three handsome Italian pop-opera singers from Il Volo are to die for! The teenage tenors, Piero Barone, Ignazio Boschetto, and Gianluca Ginoble, have voices to rival men triple their age!
Thanks to Passionate Digital I was able to listen to their newly released album We Are Love.

The album has a collection of Italian, Spanish, and English love songs. I have to admit, I know a little Spanish and hardly any Italian, but those songs on this album had me melting! My favorites include “Historia De Un Amor” and “Splendida”. “Historia De Un Amor” brings back memories of Saturday mornings growing up with my dad playing his LPs on vinyl to wake the family up for breakfast. My dad loves to play Spanish love songs! “Spendida” is such a beautiful song about splendid, take-my-breath-away kind of love! Just like the love I share with my hubby *wink-wink*!
Ultimately, this album is a collection of beautiful love songs sung by beautiful voices! What is there not to love! I’m giving away two CDs of Il Volo’s “We Are Love”! If you win, it may not arrive in time for Christmas, so it’s a perfect gift for your special someone for Valentines Day!
Good Luck!
For more on Il Volo, check out:

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