Monday, January 28, 2013

Wine, Music, and Mommy Friends

My first San Diego Moms Night Out event back in October has me wanting more! The delicious food, fun cocktails, make-up, nails, massages...too much fun! So, I'm super happy to share with all of you the upcoming San Diego Moms Night out event: Music & Food for Your Mood at Humphreys Restaurant. The night promises to be a mini-getaway from mommy hood with the diversions of wine, food, music, and the company of great friends!

This event is dear to my heart because it benefits Olivewood Gardens. This historic 6.85-acre property in located in my hometown of National City, California. It serves as an interactive, indoor-outdoor classroom for children and adults from around San Diego County. It is a wonderful place of learning for young and old alike!




When: Thursday, February 28
7-9 pm

2241 Shelter Island Drive, San Diego, CA 92106
619.224.3577

Cost: $30 presale, $35 at the door
$25 Early bird registration through January 31


Ticket includes:
  • Complimentary parking at Humphreys Hotel and Humphreys Restaurant, just tell them you’re with SD Mom’s Night Out. Open parking also available across the street.Entrance to an exclusive evening for San Diego moms at Humphreys Restaurant
  • Complimentary wine provided throughout the evening provided by Flight Winery
  • Delicious comfort food provided throughout the evening.
  • Delectable chocolate truffles and Humphreys Restaurant’s signature brittle, created by Helen Coyne, also a mother!
  • Entertaining cooking demo from locally-renowned chef to the stars, Paul Murphy
  • Access to discounted drinks and dancing in the Humphreys Backstage Live Lounge featuring popular ‘80s cover band, the PopRx.
  • Special discounted food and beverage menu for moms who want to stay after
  • First 50 moms will receive a swag bag
  • Opportunity to win superb prizes
  • A fabulous night to relax, mix and mingle with San Diego moms focused on food, friends and fun!
This event would be a great Valentines gift for your mommy or the mommy of your kids! Thank them for all they do with the gift of this awesome San Diego Moms Night Out!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Energy and Persistence: Writing Prompt #2

Below is the 2nd installment of a writing challenge my college friends and I took on a few months ago! The topic this month is: Benjamin Franklin said, "Energy and persistence conquer all things." Do you agree or disagree? What will you do to energize yourself for 2013?

We'd love for you to read our entries and vote for your favorite!

Entry #1

I agree with the legendary Ben Franklin for his notion that “energy and persistence conquer all things” because it is relevant even now. One may feel the energy to lose weight or be healthy, but it is the persistence that is necessary to reach this goal because the energy can easily be lost. In fact, if this were a math equation, the same amount of energy and persistence equals the full amount needed to conquer or pursue one’s goals. To energize myself for 2013, it is just about the physical as it is the mental. We need to energize our minds by: doing or learning something new each day, being attentive to our needs and the needs of others, and knowing our limits. By having the energy such as through motivation and eating healthy, I have been persistent due to the need of being a positive force for my family, friends, and patients. In order to be a better me, I have to find the energy and persistence, without which these so called resolutions would just be words never put into action. This year, I plan to eat healthier, have smaller portions, drink more water, and so far, it’s working! My health has been a concern and with these recent changes, I have been able to lose over 10 lbs. since the fall of last year, 2012. If I can do it, you can too! Act now and I will throw in a smile with a tremendous hug absolutely free!

Entry #2

Benjamin Franklin said, "Energy and persistence conquer all things." All things? Maybe not. Energy and persistence are needed to achieve goals. That I can agree with. Maybe more is needed to conquer everything else. From my experience and as long as I can remember, if I wanted something bad enough, hard work and determination was required. Being instilled with a strong sense of responsibility at a young age did that for me. However and unfortunately, 2012 had bestowed upon me a different hand. A situation I've yet to conquer, that being the slow decimation of my career.

I'm learning that no matter how hard you work, the dreams you have pursued and even achieved can easily be taken from you. Exaggeration? Dramatic? Possibly. Given perspective, enjoying all the fun that life has to offer is a great learning experience and easy to do if one can afford to do so. On the other hand, dealing with life's hardships; a break-up, loss of a loved one, job-loss, health-scare, economic uncertainty, etc. is another thing. I'm not entirely sure that Ben had these this in mind when he said his quote. Do I regret the academic and career choices that I've made? Not at all. It was a journey, and it was mine. And I wouldn't have trade it for anything. But if I was told in advance that I would lose my job, insurance, tenure, livelihood, the thing that I love to do which is teach, then I don't know what path I would've chosen. The experiences in my teaching profession has had its ups and downs. Teaching, small children or otherwise, is not easy and it's not for everyone. But it felt (feels) right for me. When I think about how much I love what I do, I feel lucky. A lot of people work to live and not live to work. I knew what wasn't for me; the 9-5 cubicle and/or office space type career. That would've drove me nuts.

Teaching as a profession was my calling and it's a part of who I am. As I write this, I notice I'm having difficulty with the proper usage of tenses when I refer to the love of my career. And when I lost my job, I didn't realize what I would lose. It was more than the benefits and the insurance. I lost a confidence in me and there are other major areas of my self that have been greatly affected. Yes, I can play the blame game, which of course, is never fun. As much as I try to stay positive about my future, I'm scared. Which is an after-effect of job-loss. A lot of emotions, thoughts, considerations, choices that I make are now different and to say the least, not as care-free as before. I'm realizing the fact that these are grown-up, adult, real-life situations that I'm facing. I think what probably makes me scared is that I feel I'm ill-equipped to handle being said grown-up. After working with over two hundred students under the age of 10, I thought I can handle anything.I thought teaching would be secure and there'd be paycheck every month. It wouldn't be much but that wasn't the point. I wanted to be able to be self-sufficient and plan my life accordingly. Things have certainly not gone that way. And everyday is a constant reminder.

I suppose the lesson is that life will always throw you a curve ball. So I will take this time to digress into what other things that Benjamin's words of wisdom failed to mention. Faith, and the love of my family and friends, has helped with my economic and unfortunate situation. Having a sounding board, when some people do not, is always something to be tremendously thankful for. I know I'm not the only one going through harsh economic times. I have a roof over my head, people who love me, and I won't grow hungry. That I know for sure. But wanting more for my life? I can't say for certain. That's what's hard everyday. I work half time receiving per diem pay. That's not what I wanted for myself. That's not what the people in my life wanted either. But I try to remain hopeful. I run, which is a great stress reliever. I hang out with my friends and visit family whenever possible. I partake in retail therapy. I work at a school where I'm loved. So even though the many pieces of my life are not exactly where they're supposed to be, it's a waiting game. That and trying to have faith. And it isn't easy. Some days are better than others. But ultimately, as much as I once thought as Ben did, I'm not in agreement that it's all about energy and persistence. To energize myself for 2013, it will have to be something different. When it happens, I will let you know.

Entry #3

Benjamin Franklin hit the nail on the head when he said " Energy and persistence conquer all things..." I strongly feel you can't have one without the other. It's synergy! Sure the concept sounds easy peasy lemon squeezy, but in reality and through experience, I found it to be so much more challenging. As we hit the ground running into the new year, I think about my conquests and setbacks of times past as I set new and realistic resolutions for myself. I have decided to make life goals this year to make me a healthier and happier person. I'm not going to put a number on it or a date I have to achieve it by; rather, I'm going to measure my success through my quality of life. So, I'm taking a page from good ol' Ben and will remember that it's perfectly fine to have lofty goals in life but if you don't have the courage (the energy, the persistence) to back your convictions, you're not going to go very far and see your heart's desire come to fruition or gain the satisfaction of achieving success. There's a lot to be said for free will and persistence. Good luck to all of you as you embark on your own life's journey to better yourself in some way.

Here are my goals for now...with energy and persistence, I WILL ACHIEVE THESE GOALS!

Goal #1: Get healthy
Goal #2: Go back to school
Goal #3: Meet new people
Goal #4: Stick to a budget

Entry #4

I hold up a ruler facing away from me, the 1 at my right finger tips, the 12 at my left finger tips. Sitting in front of me is a high school senior, one of many I have had this discussion with. The twelve inches symbolize the 12 years of school, first grade through twelfth grade. “You are almost there,” I say pointing at the end of the ruler. “All these years, “ my finger points from one to twelve, “you’ve worked hard to get to where you are now. Don’t give up!” I say in my counselor voice.

Benjamin Franklin once said "Energy and persistence conquer all things". Unfortunately, many high school seniors, around this time each year, run out of energy towards their academics and persistence comes from outside forces, parents, teachers, and/or counselors, rather than from within.

I find that the support of parents, teachers, and counselors help get my students out the “senioritis” they suffer from year in and year out. For me, in 2013, I hope to use the support of friends and family to help energize my personal life and work life. I hope to focus on the positive moments of my own life “ruler” to motivate myself to continue to do good and have fun on 2013!




Friday, January 18, 2013

Scrub-a-dub-dub

In celebration Of Rainwater Spa's one year anniversary, I was given a complimentary 45 minute body scrub from a Facebook contest they conducted! Yay for me!

I've visited Rainwater Spa before and loved my massage. You can see my review on that experience here.

I have gotten a spa body scrub only once before, years ago ata a different spa, so I was looking forward to this experience. But after reading a not so positive review about the body scrub Rainwater Spa, I got worried! Yet, in my head I told myself  "hey it's free, it can't be that bad!"

My body scrub was done in one of their massage rooms. The process involved applying and massgaing the mango body scrub, wiping it off with what felt like a micro fiber cloth, then wiping with a warm, wet wash cloth: Legs, the torso, arms, décolleté, then back. I wish the scrub had a stronger scent, it was very faint. I wish I left the spa smelling of mango!

Yet, at the end of the treatment, my skin was soft and glowing! My sunburned, dry skin was gone!

Thanks Rainwater Spa! Until next time!

Monday, January 14, 2013

January Correspondence Club

I've been fortunate to have been a part of a monthly correspondence club sponsored by www.starcrossedsmile.com. The idea is to write a hand-written letter and send one small gift to a "pen pal" assigned to you. The gift should cost $5 or less- something you think would brighten your pen pal’s day. I've had so much fun participating!
January's Theme is New Resolutions. So my letter to my pen pal was to talk about some of my New Year's resolutions and/or some things I hope to accomplish in 2013.
My gift were some cute stickers I hope my pen pal, http://beautygnome.blogspot.com/, might enjoy as inspiration for the awesome nail designs she creates!
Here are some pictures of what I sent to my penpal! If you want to join the correspondence club, visit
www.starcrossedsmile.com.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Massage your Salad with Chef Nancy Silverton



I had the privilege to attend Macy's Culinary Council live cooking demonstrating featuring Chef Nancy Silverton at the Macy's Mission Valley Home Store in San Diego this past Saturday. I've visited Macy's Home many times but never realized there was a huge cooking demonstration room in the store! There were over 100 seats in the room and a line out the door for this free event! The cooking event was well attended, all seats were taken!



Nancy Silverton is the co-owner of Osteria Mozza, Pizzeria Mozza, and Mozza2Go in Los Angeles, as well as Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza in Singapore. She is the author of several books including Nancy Silverton's Sandwich BookBreads from the La Brea Bakery: Recipes for the Connoisseur and most recently The Mozza Cookbook.  She announced she will be opening a restaurant which is a fusion of Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza in the Old Police Headquarters here in San Diego in the Fall of 2013.

The recipes Chef Silverton shared with the audience were salads inspired by a simple lemon vinaigrette:
1/4 cup shallots minced
5 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
1.2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon freshly groud petter, more to taste

The three salads Chef Silverton shared with the attendees were a Kale Salad, a Sweet Gem Lettuce Salad with Bufala Mozzarella, Cucumber, and yogurt, and a Tricolore Salad with a Mustard Vinaigrette. All these salads used the lemon vinaigrette as a base and additional ingredients were added to make each salad unique.

Tricolore Salad
Kale Salad - yes, that's a sardine and its was surprisingly yummy!

Sweet Gem Lettuce Salad with Bufala Mozzarella, Cucumber, and yogurt
My favorite was the Tricolore Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette. Chef took a 1/2 cup of the lemon vinaigrette and added 1/4 cup whole-grain mustard. For the salad, she used 3 large heads of belgian endive or 1 large heard of radicchio leaves, 3 large heads of frisée, and 6 cups arugala. She removed all the brown and unappealing outer leaves. Pulling all the leaves away from their core, she added salt and tossed the salad with her hands to ensure even distribution. She drizzled the dressing a 1/2 cup at a time with a sprinkle of Parmagiano-Reggiano, again tossing the salad with her hands. 

As she was making the salads, she had a few recommendations:
1) Add dressing a bit at a time to make sure you don't over dress your salad. You can add more if you need, but you can't remove it if you add too much.
2) Massage the dressing into your salad "with your hands". This ensures the dressing is even and gets into every bite. She discourages the use of salad tongs.
3) Visit farmers markets to get the best ingredients for your salads.
4) Purchase your olive oil in colored bottles. Exposure to light can damage the oil.
5) Having a pepper grinder is essential. Throw away your pre-ground pepper.
6) Vinaigrette is easy to make. No need to buy pre-made!

Chef Silverton made a confession as she prepared the salads. Not only does she use her hands in preparing salads, she said she likes to each salad with her hands too! I immediately thought of the Filipino eating "kamayan", with your hands. As Chef Silverton said, there is just something about eating with your hands, feel the food, appreciate the food, and some how it adds flavor. I agree!

Friends Eleina, Dorothy, and Blossom, and I love all of the salads. They were all very different and full of flavor. With all of our resolutions to eat healthier this new year, the salad recipes were a great inspiration to be more creatives with our salads.



Dorothy from www.PowderRoomPlayground.com
Thanks to Macy's Culinary Council, Chef Nancy Silverton, and Everywhere for the great event, the helpful cooking tips, and an overall excellent experience! 

At Everywhere, abides by FTC guidelines (http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus41-dot-com-disclosures-information-about-online-advertising) in all outreach on behalf of our clients. At Everywhere contacted me on behalf of Macy's Culinary Council. Although I received compensation in exchange for my participation, the views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely my own.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Win One of Four Kids Mini Photo Sessions with Sarah Slobada!

I'm very excited to have partnered up 
with world renowned 
photographer Sarah Slobada for her 

Sarah Slobada's clients and publications include Awards, publications, 
and clients include Martha Stewart Weddings, Baby Shop Magazine, 
The New York Times, New York Magazine, 
The Knot,Glamour.com, Sephora, CW network, 
and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

I can't wait for her to capture my boys with her beautiful and personal photos!
I'd love the chance for your kids to do so too!
Enter below for one of four complimentary kids mini photo sessions
with Sarah Slobada including online proofs  on January 25, 
with appointments from 2-4:30PM.
If you enter, please make sure you are available.
If you are chosen, I will be in contact with details on scheduling your appointment!

Please be advised that winners will have the $60 session fee waived and may purchase prints and digital files a la carte.

For those not chosen, don't miss out on the chance to be
photographed by Sarah Slobada
Details are below.

Thanks everyone! Have a great day!



Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Liebster Award Nomination!


Garcia Memories was nominated for a Liebster Blog Award from the "crew" at Pirate Perogative! Thanks Mateys! Check out their post here: Liebster Blog Award

The Liebster Blog Award is given to up and coming bloggers, by their peers. The blog nominees have less than 200 followers or have been blogging for less than 6 months. The award helps to recognize new blogs and share their labors of love. It is actually known as the Love Blog Award, too. In case you were wondering, Liebster translates to “dearest” in German. Here is some background on the Liebster Blog Award!

I'm so very thankful to be a nominee and I'm happy to share some other blogs and I think are cool and are just as deserving!

The Rules:

You must post 11 random things about yourself.
Answer the questions that the nominator set for you.
Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
Choose 11 new blogs you love and link them in your post.
Please leave me a comment on this post with the URL to your Liebster post so we can learn more about you!

11 Random Things about Me

1) I work at my high school alma mater. Go Red Devils!
2) My family has a favorite number "16". My husband and I have 16 letters in our names. Our birthdays both land on the 16th. We were married on the 16th. Our address house number add up to 16. 
3) I love cupcakes. Check out my hobby at www.BoozieCakes.com
4) I dabble in crafts and cooking! Check out my board "Look What I Made" on Pinterest!
5) I have two boys ages 2 and 4. They are my pride and joy, but make me crazy once in awhile. 
6) My favorite color is purple. 
7) I started the "Cupcake 26.2 Virtual Marathon"
8) My husband is awesome!
9) I'm addicted to social media.
10) My news years resolution is to complete my own "Cupcake 26.2 Marathon" each month, lose some weight, and live a healthier lifestyle in the year 2013! 
11) My favorite Sanrio character is Keroppi!

My Nominator's Questions:

Why do you blog?

I initially started to blog to document our family's memories online, rather than scrapbooks or photo albums. 
My blog has evolved into a family business of which I am the "Chief Mom in Charge"!

Who is your blogspiration? (The blog/blogger you look up to)

There have been a few San Diego bloggers who have friended me in the virtual world, giving me opportunities to gain exposure, and teaching me the ropes. Angela from MiraMesaMom.com, Kathie from SoCalKidsSanDiego.com, Louise from LaidOffMom.com, and Cynthia from LifeByCynthia.com have all been an inspiration to me in the "blogisphere". 

What's your best blogging tip?

Find bloggers that are similar to you and follow their lead! Watch how the blog, how they interact online, and network. They are all more than happy to share their trade tips and help you out!

What's your favorite TV show?

I am addicted to "Scandal" on ABC featuring Kerry Washington! It's so scandalous and suspenseful! Each episode leaves me hanging wanting more!

If you could meet anyone (living or deceased) who would it be?

I'd love to meet President Obama. He is such a significant figure in my lifetime. It would be a great story to share with my kids and grand kids!

Do you think you would survive the zombie apocalypse?

I did! Check out my "Walking Dead Escape" blog post!

When was the last time you cried?

When my four year old asked me the other day, "Mom, what happens if you and dad die. Who's going to take care of us?" That caught me by surprise and I actually thought about the question for a moment and was tearing up as I answered, "We have lots of people who love us and will take care of any of us if and when we need it." That was such an "Ah-ha" moment for me!

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Chocolate please!

What's your favorite blog post you've written?

One of my favorites is Fall Break 2012. I'm lucky my job has lots of vacation time. I try to jam pack that time with lots of fun so this blog post is a summary of last fall! It was so much fun!

What's your guilty pleasure?

Food! I love food!

If you were a pirate, what would your pirate name be?

ArrrrRighty Lysa!

11 Questions for the people I nominated:

(I kept some of the questions I really liked)
1) Why do you blog?
2) Who is your blogspiration? (The blog/blogger you look up to)
3) What's your favorite blog post you've written?
4) What's your best blogging tip?
5) If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
6) What are you currently reading?
7) What is your favorite pastime?
8) What is your new year's resolution?
9) If you could be a cupcake, that kind would you be?
10) Facebook or Twitter?
11) What is your favorite childhood memory?

My Liebster Blog Award Nominees!

1) Pirate Perogative - right back at ya!
9) Principal Joey
10) Roj the Monster

I had a fun time searching "new blog", "new bloggers", and "#newblogger" in Twitter to find some of the blogs listed above. It's neat to see the potential in some of the blogs written by young people! Some of the blogs listed come from my network of San Diego Mom Bloggers!

If you were one of the nominees be sure to leave a link back your Liebster post. If you weren't one of the nominees, feel free to leave a link to your blog or another blog you love.


Monday, January 7, 2013

One Mom's Resolution to Keep Running

*As seen in January-February Issue of Mira Mesa Living Magazine and www.MiraMesaMom.com

Happy New Year! It is that time of the year to reset, refocus, and set goals for the next twelve months. For many years, I have set “resolutions” in the first few days of each New Year. Save money, travel more, spend more time with family, and lose weight. Each year, these goals start off full-throttle but lose speed and momentum as the months go by.

I was never much of a runner. I actually hated running. Yet in 2011, I challenged myself to run my first half-marathon. 2011 was filled with training for the accomplished half-marathon in October of that year. I wanted to keep myself motivated to keep running so I set a resolution for the following year...


Read the rest of my "Resolution Running" at MiraMesaMom.com

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Throwback Thursday

I'm thankful for a job that has ample vacation time throughout the year! These times I cherish for it gives me lots of quality time with my two growing boys! The past two weeks I've had with my boys have been so much fun. They are growing so fast and learning so quickly, I want to be able to enjoy each sweet moment with them!

Here they are on the days they were born. Jelo was born in 2008, he's on the far left and top right. DJ was born in 2010 and he's in the middle and bottom right pictured here. 

The years 2008 and 2010 don't seem like such a throwback but when I look at my boys today, those days they were born seems they've gone by in a blink of an eye. It's hard to think of the time I lived my life without them. Here they are "big boys" as they like to call themselves. I tried to get a decent picture of them on Christmas Eve. This was the best I got!





These boys bring me so much joy! They make me crazy a few times here and there too!

Happy Throwback Thursday everyone!

Here a few of Jelo and DJ's favorite things!
 
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