Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wordless Wednesday





Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Comfort Food: Filipino Maruya

Last week, my boys attended "Filipino Immersion Camp" for two days at our church. My kids, third-generation Filipino-Americans, learn little about where their grandparents came from. The stories and cultural traditions their grandparents share are the only connection my boys have to their cultural background. Upon hearing about the "Filipino Immersion Camp", I thought it to be a great experience for my boys to learn more about their culture.

For two days they learned Filipino folk songs and dances, crafts, traditions, the arts, and so much more. At the end of day two, they were super excited to have me cook "maruya" that they learned how to cook. 

Maruya is often eaten as "merienda" in the Philippines. Merienda can be compared to 'afternoon tea', a light meal between lunch and dinner, often shared with others over conversation. 

Here are my boys explaining the process of making maruya:



Recipe:
  • 1 cup pancake mix prepared as directed (or one cup of your favorite pancake recipe)
  • 3 ripe bananas, sliced lengthwise (and again in half to preference)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil (I like using coconut oil)


Directions:
  • Warm frying pan and oil at low to medium heat
  • Dip the bananas pieces into the batter and place in frying pan
  • Flip banana when golden brown, fry other side until golden brown as well
  • Cool on paper towel to drain excess oil
  • Sprinkle sugar on top and ENJOY!


Monday, July 29, 2013

Quick and easy dinner: Chicken Satay Sliders

Tonight's Dinner: Chicken Satay Sliders

Chicken slider patties, hawaiian bread dinner rolls, broccoli slaw mix, Thai peanut sauce, grilled onions, sliced tomatoes- all ingredients from Fresh and Easy!


What did you have for dinner tonight?

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Boozie Cakes Cupcake Wars

A few years ago, my co-workers had completed an application for my friend Joyce and I to be entered into Food Network's "Cupcake Wars". At that time, we had a small cupcake catering business, Boozie Cakes, that was popular with our friends and family. Months went by without a response from Cupcake Wars

One afternoon, I received a phone call from one of the casting directors from the show. He asked lots of questions about how we got started, why were were different, and why we wanted to be one the show. The then said, "OK! We like you! Ready for the next step?". I jsut about fell out of my seat! The rest of our conversation dealt with specifics on an audition video that was due in two days. 

As soon as I got off the phone, I called Joyce to share the news. She screamed so loud into the phone, I heard ringing in my ear. We quickly came up with a game plan. Find someone to take video of us and find a comercial kitchen to film in. Thanks to the cafeteria supervisor at my work, he OK'd us to use the kitchen. My old high school friend (and prom date) Ryan helped with the videography. 

A few weeks went by without a response. I emailed to follow up and was told we'd hear something within the week. No news was bad news. Nonetheless, the entire experience was so much fun!

So today's THROWBACK THURSDAY is our Cupcake Wars Audition video! ENJOY!


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Comic Con 2013 Experience: A Recap

Guest Post by Mikey Cruz @mikeycruz

There were major surprises in this year's Comic Con than in previous years.  With those surprises, Comic Con 2013 will be another fantastic event to remember!

The main surprise was that the freebies were at an all-time low this year! In the past, the exhibit hall of the convention center used to be full of long lines of people waiting to get their pop culture themed swag including reusable bags, buttons, sharpies, mugs, pins, posters, post cards, etc.

The lines of hysterical grabby hands has caused major fire hazards during the conventions in the past, so to counteract this problem the networks have invested in the "Walk Through Experience," most of which were outside the convention center and free to the public. Rather than cater to only those who purchased attendee badges, companies like Summit Entertainment joined HGTV to promote their upcoming film with an exclusive Ender's Game fan experience. Visitors are given a tour of the set, pieces, and props of the film. Scenes and trailers of the movie are showcased in the walk through, and fans can Instagram, tweet, or Facebook their time here. In addition, I received a sticker and dog tag from Ender's Game which premieres November 1st. The brilliance of this inclusive experience allows fans to enjoy Comic Con without having to buy tickets.

Other film and tv industries followed suit. NBC promoted their upcoming series The Blacklist staring Emmy award winner James Spader. Legendary pictures showcased their next mega monster hit with the Godzilla Encounter and Disney had Disney Interactive. This was one of my favorite experiences as Disney allowed fans to play a demo version of their game called Infinity.  Hors d'oeuvres were served and artists can be observed sketching and drawing favorite Disney characters. Although the line to get in was long, it allowed the venue to be kept to a minimum which made for a serene and gallery-like environment. I enjoyed their swag as not only did I receive a reusable bag but a shirt that actually fits!

A lot of other events took place outside the convention center as well. Black Sails, a new series from Starz had a special screening at Reading Cinemas, a historic movie theater located in the heart of the Gaslamp. The producers and stars of the series came out to greet fans in the theatre. As a bonus, well-known musical composer Bear McCreary (Battlestar Galactica, The Walking Dead, Agents of SHIELD) serenaded the audience with a mini-concert of his work from the show.

DC Entertainment and Kia partnered together to show their line of superhero inspired vehicles. Also at this exhibit, there were art pieces, mini statues, and paintings of fan favorite heroes including the New 52 versions of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg, Green Lantern, and the Flash. The event was interactive as you were able to scan the value of the gallery pieces by using your smartphone. Other outside exhibits included Cartoon Network's Regular Show, Mad Max, the Smurfs sequel, Adult Swim Funhouse, and Hello Kitty.

A staple of Comic Con were the long lines and wait time for the panels within the Convention Center (affectionately called "Line Con"). Lines extended as far as the eye can see and beyond, for Hall H and Ballroom 20 were jam packed full of die-hard fans waiting to see Hollywood's finest actors, directors, and producers. On Thursday, at the Indigo Ballroom located at the Hilton Bayview Hotel, I attended FX's Wilfred panel starring Elijah Wood, who appeared via satellite.

On Friday in Ballroom 20, I attended the Writers of the Big Bang Theory Panel (with surprise appearances from actors Johnny Galecki and Melissa Rauch), Nickelodeon's Legend of Korra, Fox series Bones with stars Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz, and Marvel's Agents of SHIELD starring Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, and produced by my all-time favorite writer/director Joss Whedon! They showed the pilot episode and it got me hooked! Shield premieres on September 24th on ABC.

Later in the evening, I attended the Veronica Mars offsite event at Regal Cinemas in Horton Plaza. The cancelled series is now being turned into a feature film via the Kickstarter Campaign. Fans of the show made donations in excess of two million dollars to make this movie a reality which is a first in television/movie history! Stars of the 2014 movie including Kristen Bell and Enrico Colantoni were there. I got a photo op with actor Percy Daggs who plays Wallace Fennel!

On Saturday, I  attended a Marvel Gaming Entertainment Panel where different games (video and board) were discussed. Not only was there a surprise appearance from Stan Lee himself but an impromptu wedding proposal by one of the panelists to his now fiancé. The audience cheered with excitement!

Later that day, I got to see the panel for HBO's True Blood in Ballroom 20. The stars including Anna Paquin and Joe Manganiello and producers talked about the direction of the series. Here, tickets were handed out for the coveted "fulfillment room" located at the Marriot Marquis and Marina Hotel adjacent to the convention center. With this exclusive ticket to the "fulfillment room," I received HBO's swag including a cinch bag, sunglasses, journal, T-shirt, and xbox live gold membership, all with True Blood as a theme among these exclusive and promotional items.

Hall H houses the largest room at the convention center allowing for more than 6,000 attendees at one time. So on Sunday I was able to attend the CW's Supernatural  panel staring Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki. But what was most exciting of all, was the next panel featuring the creator and cast of AMC's Breaking Bad! Actor Bryan Cranston came out wearing a life-like mask of his character, Walter White. It was marvelous to see these fine actors discuss their work as their series comes to an end later this summer! Breaking Bad's latest season premieres on August 11th on AMC. Cult favorite Dr. Who made an appearance and the stars discussed 50 years of this long running series. Members of the audience flashed their sonic screwdrivers in unison! Though not an avid fan of Dr. Who myself, I might just have to check it out on BBC America (see local listings for time and details).

Overall, I highly enjoyed my four back-to-back days at Comic Con 2013! I was able to visit the exhibit hall, snag some swag, meet and interact with some fellow fans, visit with old friends, take pictures of people in Cosplay, and see celebrities here and there! With so much to do, there were other events I wasn't able to attend including the Masquerade Ball, the Walking Dead Escape, and the Eisner Awards. And for fans who didn't get tickets to Comic Con, they were able to experience the events surrounding the Gaslamp area. Knowing that there's so much to look forward to and do inside and outside the convention center, I can't wait for next year!

What was your favorite aspect of this year's convention? Will you be attending San Diego Comic Con in 2014?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

My Ultimate Comic Con Experience #trueblood #savethevamps

Each year, the International Comic Con comes to my hometown of San Diego. On the news and online, the entire world sees numerous celebrities at Comic Con promoting their latest projects. 

Each year I've dreamed of meeting the casts of HBO's True Blood. I've tried to figure out where they were making appearances or where the "True Blood Party" would take place in San Diego. Each year it was a big fail. 



This year for Comic Con, my hubby and I decided to walk around the outside area of Comic Con to check out the festivities. In the back of my mind I was thinking, "Wow, it would be great the meet the True Blood cast this year..." With no specific plan, my hubby and I walked around, scored a few freebies and enjoyed some of the events including Disney Infinity Interactive, the Fandango Lobby, and CNET Base Station

As we were walking around the displays along the bay, I noticed a huge yacht with a "TV Guide" banner hanging on the side. There a few Comic Con attendees outside the gate adjacent to the yacht. I asked them i they said seen any celebrities and one person said, "The True Blood cast is in there..." I almost fell over when I heard those words! I asked hubby if we could wait a bit and, being a great husband he it, he agreed. 


After about 20 minutes, I was losing hope and told myself I'd wait 5 more minutes for the cast to come out of the yacht party. Just as I was getting ready to leave, the True Blood cast emerged from the party, leaving the yacht. My husband who has better eye sight that I quickly identified the cast. 


I quickly ran over to where the heavily tinted SUVs were waiting to pick up the actors. There were lots of security protecting the actors from the crowd that was quickly growing. I pushed my way to the front of the crowd in hopes to snag a picture with at least one of the actors. 

Rutina Wesley, who plays Tara on True Blood, was the first one to come through the crowd. She passed very quickly, signing a few autographs and not stopping for any photos. I was discouraged thinking the entire cast was going to bypass pictures. Here's the back of my head with Rutina in the cool looking shades. 

Rutina Wesley, Tara on True Blood
Next through was Deborah Ann Woll who plays the role of Jessica on True Blood. She is beautiful in person as she is on TV. Flawless, tall, and very pretty! Very Hollywood! She did not stop of autographs or photos. 

Deborah All Woll, Jessica on True Blood
Sam Tramwell, Sam Merlotte of True Blood, was the first to stop for a picture. I was so super happy!

Sam Tramwell, Sam of True Blood
Robert Kazinsky, Warlow on True Blood, also stopped for photos and autographs. 
Robert Kazinsky
The rest of the True Blood cast stopped for pictures. They were all so nice!

Ana Camp, Sarah Newlin on True Blood
Ryan Kwantin, Jason Stackhouse on True Blood

Michael McMillian, Steve Newlin on True Blood
Last, but not least, was a most favorite of all the True Blood cast, Joe Mangianello! Joe plays Alcide Herveaux, the Wolf Pack Master. I was shaking with excitement when I met him and screamed with delight after I had taken my picture with him! My hand rested on his back and I felt his buffness, SQUEAL!!!!!!



My Comic Con experience of meeting the True Blood cast was super awesome! We've loved the show from day one and are loyal fans! I've loved this experience of meeting the actors of one of my favorite shows of all time! Thanks True Blood cast and I look forward to the rest of the season's efforts in trying to #savethevamps!




Friday, July 19, 2013

Food Friday: Mr. Dumpling Restaurant

Mr.Dumpling Restaurant is one of our favorite spots on Convoy Avenue in San Diego. They specialize in different kinds of Chinese dumplings, soups, noodles, and hot pots. Some tables are built with a burner in the middle for the hot pot orders.

The dishes we tried tonight are pictured here.


On the top are roasted duck with steamed buns. The buns, duck, veggies, and sauce are all served seperately, and you put it together like a taco.

The middle pictures are a savory beef pancake which are my favorites!  The pancake is filled with beef and veggies, then rolled up lile a wrap. I like to dip the pancake in a little bit of soy sauce and Sriracha.

The bottom left are appetizers of seaweed and pickled cucumber. I'm not a big fan of the seaweed, but the cucumber I love! I ate all of it and usually make it at home as well!

The bottom right picture is the shrimp and beef wonton soup which is hubby's favorite! The soup is served a shredded.seaweed in the broth. The flavor of the soup is very light which allows the wontons to be the highlight of the dish.

The restaurant is big and has a room for private parties. The staff is super nice.and are very helpful in explaining the menu items.

Give Mr. Dumpling a try and I know you'll love it just like I do!

Mr. Dumpling
Address: 7250 Convoy Ct, San Diego, CA 92111
Phone:(858) 576-6888


Click to add a blog post for Mr. Dumpling on Zomato

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Comic Con International 2013 - Top 10 Tips for Attendees #SDCC


Guest Post: by Mikey Cruz

It's that time of year again where fans of every genre under the sun and from every continent flock to San Diego to enjoy a little bit of Hollywood and more! 

I've been an attendee for years now and to make the Comic-Con experience as positive and rewarding as possible, I offer these top ten tips (in nor particular order):

10) Understand that people from all over the world are traveling to this epic event. They spend tons of money on flight, hotel, food, and souvenirs (which is great for San Diego's economy!) all to see their favorite celebrity, find that exclusive collectible, or meet others with similar interests (tv, film, comics, anime, anything pop culture). Being friendly and positive to our visiting tourists goes a long way. So help them out whenever possible.

9) Comic-Con is an event that will be incredibly crowded. So patience and flexibility are virtues. I try to plan events or meet celebrities that I'd like to meet in advance. The Comic-Con website will have info on programming leading up to the events of your interests. Your event that you're looking forward to may not happen (due to long lines or cancellation) so it's a good idea to have a back-up plan. If I get that one celeb photo opportunity or autograph, I'm a happy camper!

8) In this era of technology, social media, using smartphones and tablets, be sure to bring an external battery. Getting in line for a TV or movie panel means you ought to get here early. This means you will be here for awhile. If you're using your smartphone or tablet for pics of celebrity sightings and forward texting, you can't do so with a dead battery. The outlets at the convention center are hit or miss. Also, bring a camera.

7) The volunteers who try to help with crowd control or work at the booths throughout the convention are probably doing so just to experience Comic-Con with limited means. However, they may have inside info on signings, parties, and swag. So treat them with respect and they'll reciprocate. Then you'll get that autograph or photo op that you've travelled so far for!

6) Hydrate! Bring a water bottle. Throughout the convention center there are water coolers and water fountains. Bring snacks. The food inside the convention center are expensive and not that great. Or if you're so inclined and have time to kill, eat at one of San Diego's finest restaurants in the Gaslamp! But plan accordingly. You don't want to miss that celebrity sighting, signing, or panel.

5) Take the time to visit a booth that you may not be familiar with. Whether its visiting a comic book artist or talking with a young adult author, you may meet someone who'll end up being the next big thing. As this is Comic-con, buy a Comic Book!

4) When attending a TV, movie, industry or how-to panel, there are opportunities to ask questions of featured guests and celebrities. I asked Jim Parsons of the Big Bang Theory where he would put his Emmy Award were he to win. The audience went wild with glee and lo and behold, Jim has won two Emmy awards since. A memory forever captured on YouTube!

3) There's the Swag. The pop culture industries (Hollywood or otherwise) want to promote their business (new tv show, upcoming blockbuster movies, etc.) Posters, buttons, lanyards, bags, pens, autographed photos, magazines, toys, cinch bags, books are free! And people like free stuff. They make excellent stocking stuffers for Christmas, birthday goodies, or souvenir gifts for your friends and family. They also make great keepsakes of fond memories at Comic-Con! I got a Wonder Woman iPhone 5 Case case for my iPhone and an Angry Birds Plush plush toy! For free!

2) Comic Con is a five day event including a Wednesday preview night that runs through Sunday in July. People love to get dressed up as their favorite hero, villain, or pop culture figure. Some are risqué while others are creative and fun. Children get in on the act too! There's nothing cuter than a 5 year-old dressed as Spider-man. Yes, it's Halloween (also known as Cosplay) for the kid in all of us. Also, there are events surrounding the Gaslamp area for kids and adults who can't get into the convention center. Be sure to check those as well!

1) Most importantly, have fun! Take the Comic-Con experience in. The massive crowd can be difficult to navigate at times but a positive and friendly attitude makes a huge difference in enriching your time at Comic-Con. This is the only time Hollywood comes to San Diego. People from all over the world come to vacation in America's finest city. So enjoy! You never know who you'll meet or what might happen. And that can be just as exciting!

Mikey Cruz is an avid runner, elementary school teacher and curriculum author, and a pop culture/technology enthusiast. Follow him on twitter @MikeyCruz for updates on all things Comic Con this weekend!

Helping Your Student Gain Admissions to a University of California School


In my role as a high school counselor, my goal is to best prepare my students for 4-year university admissions and success. With proper course placement and intervention programs, my team of counselors provide the support students need to be competitive in the admissions process. 

As early as the 9th grade year, parents have lots of questions of how to best prepare their children for college admissions. It is never to early to prepare. The admissions process begins the first day of 9th grade. 

The admissions process is not only grades, courses, and SAT/ACT scores. Most University of California campuses use a holistic review process: applicants are assessed in terms of the full range of their academic and personal achievements, viewed in the context of the opportunities and challenges each has encountered.

As a high school counselor, I encourage my students to not only excel academically, but also take into consideration the 14 points below to be competitive for admissions to any University of California campus:

  1. Academic grade point average in all completed "a-g" courses, including additional points for completed UC-certified honors courses.
  1. Scores on the following tests: ACT Plus Writing or the SAT Reasoning Test.
Here is a visual representation of the average GPA and SAT/ACT scores for students who apply to UCSD.
More can be found at www.cappex.com
  1. Number of, content of and performance in academic courses beyond the minimum "a-g" requirements.
A-G Course Listing
  1. Number of and performance in UC-approved honors, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate Higher Level and transferable college courses.
  1. Identification by UC as being ranked in the top 9 percent of your high school class at the end of your junior year (Eligible in the Local Context, or ELC). 
  1. Quality of your senior-year program as measured by the type and number of academic courses in progress or planned. 
  1. Quality of your academic performance relative to the educational opportunities available in your high school.
  1. Outstanding performance in one or more specific subject areas.
  1. Outstanding work in one or more special projects in any academic field of study.
  1. Recent, marked improvement in academic performance as demonstrated by academic GPA and the quality of coursework completed or in progress.
  1. Special talents, achievements and awards in a particular field, such as visual and performing arts, communication or athletic endeavors; special skills, such as demonstrated written and oral proficiency in other languages; special interests, such as intensive study and exploration of other cultures; experiences that demonstrate unusual promise for leadership, such as significant community service or significant participation in student government; or other significant experiences or achievements that demonstrate the student's promise for contributing to the intellectual vitality of a campus.
  1. Completion of special projects undertaken in the context of your high school curriculum or in conjunction with special school events, projects or programs.
  1. Academic accomplishments in light of your life experiences and special circumstances, including but not limited to: disabilities, low family income, first generation to attend college, need to work, disadvantaged social or educational environment, difficult personal and family situations or circumstances, refugee status or veteran status.
  1. Location of your secondary school and residence.
As a parent, this list may be overwhelming. Multiple questions of being able to best prepare your child for admissions to a UC school maybe filling your mind. I encourage you to build a relationship with your child's high school counselor. They are the best resource for you and your child to best navigate your child's high school decisions to increase their chances of getting into the university of their choice!

This article is a reblog from www.SUHICounseling.com

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Looking for #cronuts in #sandiego? #instablog



via Instagram http://instagram.com/p/b4VZyeBe0X/

Sunday, July 14, 2013

How to Draw on a Smartphone, via my 5 year old

I came across these drawings as I was flipping through some of the apps on my phone. A phone comes with so many apps, half of which I'll never use!

I didn't know my 5 year old son, Jelo, had been drawing pictures on my S Memo app on my Samsung Galaxy S III. I didn't even know of the app, or the drawing function at that!

My son had always loved technology and easily understands how to use computers, tablets, and phones. He loves to watch Google and Windows tutorial videos on YouTube and even Vlogs every once in-awhile.


 He loves to play with Google Drive and Google Calendar creating pretend notes, essays, and schedules. 

Jelo's Google Drive

Jelo's Email Sent Folder

Jelo's YouTube History

 He's recently learned how to use Instagram and is having fun taking videos and pictures of his brother playing. Everything Jelo does online is closely monitored by my hubby or me. He's never on the computer alone. He's always in the company of either my hubby or me. 

I have a previous blog post about an "oops" my son had while playing with Google+. He asks every so often if he can have his Google+ back, each time I've said no and he replies, "ooooooh kay mom..."


When I asked him about the drawings on my phone, he grabbed my phone and simply said "It's easy Mom! See you press this, then you press that, choose a color, use your finger, and draw!" Wow, simply explained by a five year old!

Here are his cool drawings on the S Memo app of Mickey Mouse and a "cool koala" as he calls it!



Do your kids love technology? What are their favorite websites, apps, and games?

Food Friday: Nolbu

For years now, Garcia Family and some of our college Fridays get together on Friday nights for dinner. We try to eat somewhere new each time.

Thanks to the awesome pictures and reviews on Yelp, we tried Nolbu last night, a Korean restaurant in the popular strip of Asian eateries on Convoy Avenue.

The intimate little restaurant is a great date spot with booths that can be separated by curtains. There is a small bar on the inside which makes it a cool place to hang out with friends also.

Thanks to my in-laws, we were able to have dinner without our two little noise makers. This restaurant doesn't offer a kids menu so this is my indicator that they are not kid friendly, which is ok. Some restaurants have to be enjoyed without little kids around, this is the case here.

Here is the yummy that filled my tummy, clockwise:
Chicken wings with a sweet and spicy glaze, Beef Bulgogi which is marinated strips of beef- not spicy and a bit sweet, Kimchi pancake is a savory pancake with bits of Kimchi inside, Soju (a vodka-ish rice liquor) served inside a watermelon, and my awesome Korean friend Joyce who helps explain the yummy goodness.

My favorite was the Watermelon Soju! We totally enjoyed our dinner amd Drinks at Nolbu! Thanks to my fellow Yelpers for the great suggestion!

What are your favorite Friday night eats?

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Week Three and Four: #100milesummer

The last two weeks since my last post about my 100 Mile Summer progress I've been using my Fitbit Flex religiously. In the past I've used my Samsung Galaxy and the RunKeeper app to track my miles only when I'm actively exercising. With my Fitbit Flex, not only does it track my miles when I'm exercising, but also as I'm doing my daily routine.

The little lights on my Fitbit Flex wrist band tell me how much of my daily goal of 5 miles I've reached which is motivation for me to park a little further, chase my kids around a little bit more as they play outside, and engage in more activities that get me walking.


My total miles so far for the 100 Mile Summer Challenge is:
Week One: June 21 to 27  =  7.78 miles
Week Two: June 28 to July 4 = 18.96 miles
Week Three: July 5 to July 11 = 21.44 miles
Total: 48.18 miles

WhooHoo!

This past week, I've also started the The Omni Diet. I've read the book, The Omni Diet, by Tana Amen, and thought I'd give it a try. If you've read my previous posts, I've had a hard time with my weight all my life. I've lost weight and gained it back too many times. I'm ready, again, to make some lifestyle changes. I'm hoping the Omni Diet will help me get there.

The last few days I've started the diet with the morning smoothies to start my day. At first, the green smoothies were a bit scary to drink. Yet, they were much more tasty than they look!  A trip to the grocery store focused more on veggies, nuts, and grains. I'm slowly cutting away sugar from my diet too. This will be the hardest part as I love cupcakes!

Here's a little bit about The Omni Diet from their website:

The Omni Diet bridges the gap between meat eaters and vegetarians; health and weight-loss; to restore energy, slash the risk of disease, optimize brain and hormone function, produce dramatic weight loss, and make the body healthy from the inside out.  The Omni Diet is about abundance not deprivation! This revolutionary diet offers three, two-week phases, followed by a maintenance plan, including delicious recipes and important advice, such as how to mimic longevity-inducing calorie restriction without drastically cutting calories.

I'd love to share with you a copy of the book, The Omni Diet, by Tana Amen. Click the Rafflecopter link below to complete the entries below for a chance to win! Good luck!

I was given a copy of The Omni Diet to review. No other compensation was given. Winner's name will be given to Enlist Moms for distribution of prize. All opinions are my own.





Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hump Day Fun at Disneyland

With two more days left of my summer vacation from work, our family spent today at Disneyland!

Disneyland is Garcia Family's "happiest place on earth". We love it there! Thank goodness for our annual passes, we're able to visit a few times a year!

Our highlights today:

*"DJ's Dance N' Drive" show at Carsland. Our DJ is a big fan of "Cars" and he loves the character "DJ".
Here's a video:
http://instagram.com/p/bmkBkghe8i/

*"Radiator Springs Racers" was a first for us today! So much fun!

*Visit with Mickey Mouse on the set of "Steamboat Willie"

*Cool sounds of the All American College Band. Check them out here:
http://instagram.com/p/bm_Ti1Be28/

How are you spending the rest of your summer?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Backyard Camping

Ever since we had kids, my husband has been wanting to do a family camping trip. I was never fond of the idea. I've never been on a real camping trip before out in the woods with a tent, campfire, and the whole bit. I'm more of a glam-ping kind of girl: glamorous camping where we stay in a hotel in (or near) the woods and enjoy nature from the outdoor lounge area near the pool.

A family friend with kids of their own asked if they could come over and do a backyard campout. Their son has never been camping either so we figured a backyard campout would be a nice "trial" to see if the boys would like it.

The daddies set up two tents and the boys enjoyed filling their tents with their pillows and blankets. My kids can't do without their iPads so of course those were placed in the tents too! We had to explain in "real camping" there is no Wi-Fi and no plugs to recharge. I'm not quite sure they understood.



Grilled hotdogs and s'mores were on the menu.




Once the sun started to set, the boys took to their tents, set up their LCD lanterns and fell asleep quickly and without second thoughts about sleeping outside.  The daddies slept with the boys in their respective tents and the mommies slept in the warmth and comfort of the indoors.


Around 7AM the boys, kids and daddies, awoke with the sun. When I asked the boys, "So, do you like camping?" the dreaded shouts of "YES!!!" meant a real camping trip was in my near future.

I must admit the backyard campout was a success!

Do you have any suggestions for my "glam-ping" self to survive a real camping trip?
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