Friday, November 30, 2012

For the Starbucks Lovers!

I don't know about you, but I love my coffee!

Here is a great deal to share some java with the coffee lovers in your life this holiday season!

Shop 12 days of deals at! For twelve days, Starbucks will be offering a special each day! Visit each day to see what's new!


Sunday, November 25, 2012

Be a Total Woman!

We've all heard of five star hotels and restaurants, but a five star gym? A five star, women only gym? It is true and it is located right here in San Diego! Total Woman Gym and Spa in Mission Valley is the perfect gym for women!

Thanks to, I was able to visit Total Woman Gym and Spa a few days ago for the first time. As I walked in the door, I thought to myself "wow, this looks like a spa!". The soft colors, the mini boutique what greets you, and the welcoming reception area was very inviting.

The bottom floor is the workout area complete with cardio machines and strength training equipment. All the strength training equipment is specific to the size of a woman so it provides a more targeted workout.

At the top of the grand spiral staircase is an ab workout area, a pilates, and yoga room.

I was most curious about the the room filled with AeroPilates equipment! It looked like Mr. Grey's  "playroom"! I was advised one-on-one lessons in the Aero Pilates room is suggested before joining the group class!

Most especially on the second floor is the full service spa! Massages and facials along with a workout? Awesome!

Total Woman Gym and Spa offers a variety of group workout classes also! During my visit, I took the Zumba class taught by Fleeta! There was lots of hip shaking, booty popping, and arm waving! My favorite part was when "Gangnam Style" came on and we all did the popular dance! So much fun!
There are lots of different things packages for membership.

There is a kids room also that has lots of toys and activities to keep your kids occupied while you get your workout on!

The membership rate is $36 per month for straight gym, but if you want to add a spa service each month (massage or facial), only pay an extra $45 for that service!

Total Woman Gym and Spa would love to extend a special offer for my readers! They will offer a free day pass for any of my readers and 1/2-price enrollment fee (savings of $50) if you decide to join! Just ask for Rebecca and let her know that Lysa from sent you!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Lysa's Favorite Things Part 3

It's Thanksgiving Eve and Black Friday starts at about 26 hours from now, you have your game plan ready?

Me? No. I think I'm going to avoid the ridiculousness of the parking, lines, and overwhelming feeling of not being able to get what I want before the lady in front of me grabs it!

So, below is the third installment of my favorite things to inspire you as your shop during this holiday season during the not-so-busy days!

Crabtree and Evelyn Gardeners Hand Therapy
This is not only for gardeners my friends! This hand cream is great for your desk at the office or next to the kitchen sink. I hate hand cream that feels watery and doesn't last. This product is thick and rich, keeping your hands moisturized and soft for hours!

BOOST Case - Protective Case and Extended Battery for iPhone 4 4S
I use my iPhone for EVERYTHING! It is literally an extension of my brain. It reminds me of what I need to do, it documents where I've been through pictures and check-ins, it keeps all my notes, hold of shopping lists, coupons, and much much more! If you are addicted to your iPhone, you share in my frustration of an ever too fast dwindling battery life! This is where my Boost Case saved my life! I can use my iPhone all day and still have over 50% of my battery life at the end of a busy day! It comes in lots of fun colors too!

Google Nexus 7 Tablet
This is one of my favorite things because it keeps my 4 and 2 year old occupied when we're in the car, at a restaurant, or even at home when I want some quiet time! My boys have learned their ABCs and 123s through their tablet. There are so many catchy videos on YouTube to learn the alphabet and counting. My 2 year old watches Sesame Street (of course) and Mother Goose Club. I can find him signing the songs from YouTube while he's playing with his toys. Its so cute! My 4 year old loves to read off his tablet. We love the Storia app from ScholasticKid Mode is also lots of fun! My sons learned how to send video messages to me and their daddy from this application! There are so many fun applications and websites for kids to learn new things everyday!

Keurig Mini Brewer
I am the only coffee drinker in our home so when hubby bought me my personal Keurig coffee maker I was super happy! It makes a perfect cup of coffee within seconds! The K-Cups allow me the luxury of changing coffee flavors daily without having to commit to an entire bag of coffee until its all gone! The Unique Sampler K-Cup Portion Pack  is a great buy to sample 35 different coffees and teas to use with your Keurig!

Whether you are headed to the dark, cold of early Black Friday shopping or shopping from the comfort of your couch with your coffee and laptop, good luck finding that special something for your special people!

Here a few deals to help you get your holiday shopping done!

10% OFF + FREE Shipping + Exclusive Holiday Set. Valid 11.23.12 - 11.26.12



Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thanksgiving Crafts

The holidays are official here and Thanksgiving is just around the corner! I love crafts so I wanted to highlight some of the fun I've been a part of this past week!

This past week my counseling staff hosted a Thanksgiving Luncheon for our entire staff of the high school where I work. Turkey sandwiches, cranberry salad, potato salad, stuffing, and Boozie Cakes were all a hit with everyone. Our decor got the most attention! Marti and Melina, two of the ladies I work with, better known as M&M Creations, but all the decorations together. 

One of the pieces they put together was a "thankful tree" where the staff was able to hang leaves with their "thanks" written. The tree was a branch of a real tree, spray painted black, and cemented into a plastic vase! Super cute! Also, M&M Creations made these cute paper pumpkins inspired by CraftSanity!  

My boys also love crafts. This week they used a Turkey Craft Kit from Oriental Trading Company! We plan to use these cute turkeys as part of the centerpieces for our thanksgiving dinner!

Happy Pre-Thanksgiving!


Ube Pancakes

A few weeks ago, some friends had posted ube pancakes from a restaurant in LA. I was inspired to make my own!

 I took a recipe from Food Woody and changed a few things to make it my own!

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2   teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup powdered ube, reconstituted in 1 cup boiling water
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/4 cups half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 jar of macapuno strings

Sift dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. In another bowl, mix powdered ube and water until nice and thick. Add eggs, half and half, vanilla, coconut, and melted butter.   Then add wet mixture to dry whisking until any lumps disappear.

When ready to cook, preheat a pancake griddle or non-stick pan to medium heat. Melt a tablespoon of butter into the pan. I use an ice cream scoop for uniform pancakes. Just as the edges start to bubble, turn over. You don't want to overcook the pancakes or the brown will cover the beautiful purple color.
Top the pancakes with macapuno strings before serving.

Yum! Sarap! Enjoy!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Red Lotus Mama thinks I deserve to be Pampered!

Red Lotus Mama thinks I deserve to be pampered! Thanks to her I was able to attend Leu Leu Beauty Bar's VIP Grand Opening tonight! After weaving in and out of traffic on the 5N, cousin Baba and I made it safely!

The Leu Leu Beauty Bar is super cute with the pink and turquoise decor! A DJ was mixing live, there was an array of appetizers, a candy bar, and refreshments. I loved the crepes from Bonaparte Crepes and the drinks from Blink Energy Water!

Complimentary hair styling and mini-manicures were available for the guests. Lines were too long so Baba and I weren't able to try our those services. There were lots of guests so it was hard to walk around and check out the facilities. I had to hunt down a brochure too, they were hard to find.

Leu Leu Beauty Bar specializes in hair and nails. The "Ice Cream" pedicure sounds "yummy"! "Southern Belle", "THE Princess", and "London Lux" are three of 7 looks to choose from when getting your hair done! Yet, the most exciting part of their menu of services is the "Pink Carpet" treatment where you can celebrate special events at Leu Leu Beauty Bar!

Next door is Ciao Bella, eye lash studio. They were giving complimentary eye brow shaping during the grand opening of their neighbors! Nice neighbors! Lines here wasn't too long so Baba and I were able to take advantage of their services!

The pink carpet had a cute place to take pictures with the Leu Leu Beauty Bar logo but there was a super bright flood light pointing towards the backdrop which made for not-so-flattering pictures.

To top off our great night, I won one of the raffle prizes: $540 "Pick Me Up" package from Art of Skin.

Thanks to Red Lotus Mama and Leu Leu Beauty Bar for including us in their VIP Grand Opening! Can't wait to try out the yummy "ice cream" pedicure!

Please help fund my shopping habit, click below and get started on YOUR Christmas shopping!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Lysa's Favorite Things #2

Last week, my first installment of Lysa's Favorite Things featured Whittard of Chelsea tea!

Today, I'm adding the Emjoi Soft Caress Cordless Hair Remover.

Who in their right mind would gift this to someone for Christmas?! A thoughtful husband for their wife or an observant daughter for their mother perhaps!? Any woman in your life who deals with facial hair would appreciate this gift!

Because of genetics, I'm hairy. I'll admit it. I hate the pesky woman-stache and the hairs on my chinny-chin-chin. I was trying on saving money on frequent visits for hair threading or waxing on my face so I thought on buying a hair removal product. After doing some research online, I came across Emjoi Soft Caress Cordless Hair Remover.

I bought this product on a few months ago and I love it. The first few times I used it, it was a bit painful. Just like the first few times you get your eyebrows waxed or threaded. Just the same, you get used to it! I love this little pink and purple hair removing machine. It fits perfectly in your hand and its easy to use. The hair removal lasts for over a week!

Check back soon for more of Lysa's Favorite Things!

Please visit our sponsor to help send @GarciaBrosSay to college!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Run #11 of 12 - Iron Girl!

I'm at the home stretch, FINALLY! I can't believe the year is almost over and I'm almost at the completion of my 2012 resolution!

Here is the summary of the runs I've done this year:

My run #11 of 12 for 2012 was the Iron Girl Del Mar.

The morning started out clear and crisp. Cold, so cold, I wore three layers the entire run/walk. It was a great atmosphere of all women runners/walkers, all shapes and sizes, all ages from the youngest 5 year old to more than a few ladies rocking the wrinkles and grey hair! Being around all women in events like this is very empowering. Seeing all different types of women challenging themselves physically is encouraging.

At the start of the run/walk, they announcer had the "first timers" raise their hands. Dozens of hands rose to the sky. It brought me back to almost three years ago when I did my first 5k. I walked the entire way, pushing my two-year old in a stroller, huffing and puffing to get to the end. I remember feeling the 5K was such a long distance. I remember seeing the runners pushing themselves, breathing hard, and sweating, and I thinking to myself "I don't think I can ever run this whole thing, ever!". Little did I know, I'd run/walk a harf-marathon and have twelve 5ks under my belt in 2012.

Here are Eleina and I with our awesome medals!

I have to admit, most of the "runs" I've done this year I've actually walked. I might run a few minutes here and there, but for the most part, I walk. I want to get back to being able to run for longer distances again. I want to gain that motivation back. I feel like its been ages since I did the Nike Women's Half Marathon. It was only a year ago. A year ago and 30+ lbs gained. I'm hoping in 2013, I can get myself back to track, a healthier me inside and out! I'd love to hear any advice you have for me!

Please visit our sponsor who'll help send @GarciaBrosSay to college!


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Life Mottos: writing challenge # 1

I have a very close knit group of college friends who I have the best time with! Even though its been about 13 years since we've graduated from college, we're all still very close. I've shared some of the best times of my life with them. The best tear-jerking, side- splitting laughs I've had are with these friends. 

For a long time now, we've been talking about starting a writing club amongst us. We'd pick a topic peridically, write, share with each other, and vote for the best. Winner then gets to pick a dinner out compliments of the losers. 

So, last week we finally committed. The topic is: Life Mottos. Instead of having each other vote, we decided to let the cyber-world vote for the best. So, take some time to read the four entries below and in the comments at the bottom, choose your favorite! 

Thanks for reading!

Entry #1: “Pay Attention”

​There are many things we pay for; groceries, bills, and the most essential—attention. Every moment of our lives requires us to “pay attention.” Attention is a payment we give and receive, but often forget that it is the utmost need. Whether we are listening in on a deep conversation, driving or operating heavy machinery, about to stumble or fall on a slippery surface, or even knowing the slightest details when it comes to a loved one; these are all things we need to pay attention to. We often endure these moments in life that can catch us off guard and make us unprepared, but by simply paying attention to the matter at hand, it can be the difference between life and death. To pay attention is a behavior that is innate, the basic way to communicate, and the ability to participate…in life.

​“Pay Attention!” Surely this is a saying you may have heard directly or indirectly, but it is these two words that can make you stop, think, and react. As children, we may not have paid as much attention because our innocence and ignorance prevented us from being too attentive. Some common scenarios for children to be reminded to pay attention include: talking excessively in class, listening to a speaker, watching an instructional video, knowing how to assemble a multi-step art project, and using the crosswalk on a busy intersection. All of these scenarios require a loud and index pointing “Pay attention!”

​Now in our much present sense, being able to communicate our needs and reciprocate the needs of others; requires our full and undivided attention. Unfortunately, in this age of technology, our attention is divided into small compartments due to the multiple applications on our smart phones, tablets, and televisions. It would be considered amazing if we could fully provide our attention without these distractions. Certain scenarios would include: talking on the phone while walking, texting while driving, and playing “Angry Birds” during an important meeting at work…all of these scenarios require an obnoxious “Pay Attention!”

​In the future, we hope to participate in activities that would make our life full of meaning and purpose. When it comes to our health, we need to pay attention to making better choices. The ability to participate in life events, work, school, and with family and friends requires the utmost attention. We tend to pay attention when things are out of the ordinary or extraordinary, but we should intend to pay attention to even the normal everyday moments like greeting others with a smile, picking up something that somebody dropped, and simply moving aside to let others pass. Moments like these where it leaves you happy and satisfied are evident of a paying customer that does not require a refund. When it comes to paying attention, there is no refund, but instead a receipt for being there when it counts the most. So whether you are rich or poor, the best payment you can ever give is to pay attention.

Entry #2: Things I know to be true. In my opinion. In list form.

1. I miss Oprah on daytime tv. Her Favorite Things episodes was always about giving than receiving. And the audience members were hilarious.
2. Everyone wants to be validated.
3. Needing to be liked or obtaining others' approval is not a priority. Raise your self-esteem.
4. Cooperation is more valuable than competition.
5. Though I cannot control every given situation, I can control my reactions to that situation.
6. Hearing my students laugh when I play sharks and minnows, dodgeball, handball, or any other PE activity with them makes me smile. See #9
7. I choose not to engage nor enable people's poor behavior.
8. People need to talk less. Silence leads to peace, reflection, and clarity.
9. Smile. Fake it if need be. And do it everyday.
10. Regular physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight are two of the most effective ways to prevent Type II Diabetes. Lower your risk.


Lao Tzu once said, “Care about what others think of you and you will always be their prisoner…” A wise saying but how do we incorporate this edict into our present lives when everything we do and say impacts our present and our maybe our future.  As adults, aren’t we teaching our kids to always hold true to themselves and be individuals?  What about the adults?  Do we follow that edict or are we hypocrites because we are ever conscious of our words and actions for the fear of offending others.  No?  Really?  You’ve never embarrassed yourself?  Wow. . . Maybe for the rest of us, we can benefit from the ARE YOU EMBARASSING YOURSELF? Flow Chart. 

We should always remember there is a time and a place to express ourselves.  If you find yourself in a questionable situation, use the chart.  For example, you’ve been drinking at a work function.  You are so drunk you end up motor boating a colleague.  OH NO!  You don’t remember what happened.  STOP. . . think. . . check the flow chart.  Let that be your guide for your next steps.  Remember, it’s okay to be different and be yourself.  Just don’t embarrass yourself in front of others to show just how different you are.  

Entry #4: YOLO, Everyday, Everyday, Everyday...

YOLO: YouOnlyLiveOnce - The saying popularized by the Twitter hashtag #yolo and catchy lines by rapper Drake "You only live once, that's the motto, nigga Yolo. We bout it every day, every day, every day..." has become a reminder to many to live life to the fullest. 

What does YOLO really mean? 

YOLO is lifestyle. Some post drunken party pictures on Facebook with the caption "YOLO!" as they have a drunk in one hand and a hot stranger in an embrace in the other. Others do extreme sports and yell "YOLO" as complete feats of fitness. YOLO is the lifestyle of people who travel the world with a backpack and have their dreams lead them to where ever they may go. Thoughtful daily prayers are a constant for those who truely believe YOLO and lead their lives in service to God. 

YOLO is motivation. Using an education to build a productive life, working hard in a fulfilling career, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and "keeping up with the Jones' " are all ways people use the life they are given to YOLO. Although individual motivators differ, the motivation itself to do something, to take action, or to want something encourages people to do the most with the life given them. 

YOLO is happiness. Laughter, hugs, smiles, family , and friends give meaning to YOLO. Yes, we all only live once, but we share that life with manu differnent people. We choose to surround ourselves with people who give us love, care, and support to guve the life we live  meaning and purpose. 

As Drake says, be about it every day every day every day. YOLO everyday. Make the most of everyday. No regrets.

Please visit our sponsor and send @GarciaBrosSay to college! Thank you!
Swagger and Swoon

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Lysa's Favorite Things!

As Christmas time is approaching, many of us are thinking of what to gift our favorite people!

So, over the next few weeks, I'll be doing my version of "Oprah's Favorite Things" by sharing some of the items my family and I love!

Unfortunately, I'm not a billionaire like Oprah so, no giveaways or swag here!

Today I'm sharing the Great Tasting Tea - from!

My favorite teas are from Whittard of Chelsea. I fell in love with these teas when Don and I took a group of my students on a tour of Europe years ago.

The strawberry tea is devine! I bought as much as I could to bring home to share with others: vanilla, earl grey, and cherry blossom.

It's only available online for us Americans! So, take advantage of the 20% OFF First Orders offer! If you have a tea lover in your life, they would love Whittard tea!

Whittard of Chelsea 20% off First Order

Check back for more posts of Lysa's Favorite Things!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Guest Post: Please remember to vote!

Feel free to share my story with others...

Hi friends,

Remember to vote this Tuesday! Please support Prop 30 by voting yes! As a laid-off teacher, I've been pink-slipped four times which is half my teaching career. I'm working as a 50% job share teacher at my old elementary site only to be laid off again in June 2013. But more importantly, kids are not having their academic needs met. Class sizes are high and a well-rounded education is becoming a thing of the past. Times are changing radically with the fast-paced integration of technology and information. I'm afraid for our students' future as they will not have the knowledge, skills, and talents to be independent learners and to fully function in a productive and socially-conscious society. Your support in favor of Proposition 30 would be greatly appreciated. Please contact me for more information.

3rd Grade Teacher

Guest Post: Questions Answered

I admit my pitch for a "Dear Joyce..." section to this blog was for kicks and giggles, but I should have known that Lysa would make it happen! Makes me wonder what else I could have "suggested" and have come to fruition- ha! As a teacher, I've learned from first hand experience that collaboration brings forth beautiful things and interesting opportunities. I'm so excited to help the virtual community :) Please forward your cooking questions to @lotus1330 on Twitter. I'll repost on Thanks for reading and happy blogging!

*FYI- I'm obsessed with baking/cooking and have been experimenting with gluten-free and vegan cuisine.
My first request comes from @MiraMesaMom: "I need a recipe for hard boiled egg yolks! DD only eats the egg whites!"

Isn’t that always the case?! You or the people you cook for only eat “the good stuff” but what about the leftovers no one really wants to eat? Don’t front… that secret part of you replays the commercials with the poor starving children in third world countries and your inner Tim Gunn screams at you to “MAKE IT WORK!” Guuuurl, it’s ok. I have those inner battles too ;-) After reading your question, a couple thoughts popped up. Why not re-invent the homely yolk into something that dazzles?? I’ll give you the recipe for one yolk and you can double or triple up the recipe for however many yolks you're hoarding!

1 hard boiled egg yolk
½ tsp chopped dill
½ tsp finely chopped onion or green onions
1 tsp celery
1 tsp red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 tsp mayonnaise (use 2 tsp if you want it creamier)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp chopped bacon for garnish

In a bowl, crumble yolk then stir in the vegetables and mayonnaise. Don’t mash it, use a fork to fluff everything up. Then top with bacon and extra chopped green onions- YUM! I like to eat this smeared on (toasted) bread, crackers or veggies. I also like to replace the bread with some butter lettuce and eat it like a taco! Low carb and LOVING IT! This recipe makes GREAT filling for deviled eggs :-)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Influenster at Work

At work, I like to use candles and diffusers to have relaxing scents to fill my space. It helps me keep focused and alleviate the stresses I encounter daily. Often times I get compliments from not only my co-workers, but also the students and parents I work with with comments like "Wow, your office smells so good!".

So, thanks to Influenster, I received a Bath and Body Works Mini Candle in the Nutmeg and Spice scent which I immediately brought to work. I love the Fall themed scent! That same day I brought the candle to work, people would pass my office and do a double take to ask "What is the smell? It smells so good!"

I look forward to putting a few of these my some of the stockings of friends and family this Christmas! Sign up here to receive their coupons to get ready for the holiday season!

Another Influenster hook up is the Smooth Moves Frizz Control from Not Your Mother's. I'm always in search of a product that will enhance the natural waves in my hair. I like how this product isn't greasy or heavy. It leaves my hair smooth and silky. When I started using the product, people at work would ask "Did you get a haircut?" or they would say "I like your hair that way!". I'm a fan of  Smooth Moves Frizz Control from Not Your Mother's for sure!

A testament to a good product is when people take notice! This is the case for both the  Bath and Body Works Mini Candle and Smooth Moves Frizz Control from Not Your Mother's! Thanks to Influenster for hooking me up! 

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