Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Relax and Unwind with Happy Head San Diego

Disclaimer: I received complimentary spa services in exchange for this blog post and social media shares. All opinions are mine.

Having a two week Fall break from my work as a school counselor is a welcome diversion, especially this time of the year. My two boys are now both in elementary school which has some challenges with routines and extra-curricular schedules. This two week break has helped me focus on getting them settled with our daily routines. 

In addition to helping my sons with their school day routines, my Fall Break has also been busy with catching up with...

chores around the house:
  • transitioning my sons' closet - out with the small clothes!
  • getting rid of "baby toys" and organizing the toys my boys decided to keep
  • cleaning out the pantry and deep cleaning the kitchen
  • creating out home "library" and getting rid of the "baby books"

professional development to help me be the best school counselor I can be:
It's been a busy two weeks, but I made sure I built in some time for me to...

Last week I had a wonderfully relaxing time at Zenspa in Carmel Mountain. It was a great start to my two week break. 

This week I had the pleasure of spending a morning at Happy Head Foot Reflexology and Massage in my neighborhood of Mira Mesa. 

As I stepped into the lobby of Happy Head, I took a deep breath of relaxation. It was nice and quiet, and the environment was relaxing. The decor was very spa like and welcoming. 

The receptionist took me into the spa for my massage and I was in awe of the community massage room. It was so calming and relaxing. The mood lighting was perfect and the great Buddha in the middle demanded peace and calm. In this community massage room, you can enjoy an Asian style foot reflexology and body massage. It’s done partially clothed. Soothe your aching feet in a relaxing foot soak while your head, shoulders, back, hands, and feet are massaged to make you feel years younger and relieve tension and stress. This massage is designed to pamper and purify with special focus on the body areas that receive the hardest stress in daily life. I'm definitely going to come back to enjoy this space!
photo compliments of Yelp
Once in my private room, I was in relaxation mood. The spa room decor was minimalistic, the lighting was dim, which added to the relaxing atmosphere. My to-go massage style is the deep tissue massage to get rid of the knots in my neck, shoulders, lower back, and hips area. My deep tissue massage was very intense, much more than other deep tissue massages I'd had before. A few times she straddled by body to use her forearms and elbows to work the parts of my body really well. She pressed and kneaded a few pressure points along my neck, as well as up and down my back which left me feeling like a noodle after my massage. I was so relaxed and "loose" after the experience, I went home and look a two hour nap. A massage that makes me pass out is testament that it did the trick and helped me reach the perfect space of relaxation!

Happy Head Massage in San Diego has award winning design. With tranquil Buddha rooms to relaxing private massage rooms, the Happy Head is the premier place in San Diego to get a great massage without the spa prices. The fact that the Mira Mesa location is only a few minutes from my home is definitely a benefit!

Before I left, I had to ask the receptionist about the name of the spa, "Happy Head". She laughed and did admit they get questions and inquiries as to the services they offer because of the name of their business. She did reassure me, and it is very obvious with the quality of services they offer, that Happy Head Foot Reflexology and Massage is not "that" kind of establishment!

My experience at Happy Head helped me reach my "happy place" to relax and unwind. It's been 24 hours since my visit and I still feel like a noodle and am still feeling the "Ohmmmmm" of relaxation! I look forward to my next visit!

Happy Head has several locations in San Diego:

Also, don't forget to also check out Happy Head on PINTERESTINSTAGRAM and TWITTER!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Metromile: Revolutionary Pay-Per-Mile Car Insurance + Giveaway

Do you drive fewer than 10,000 miles a year? Unfortunately, I don't. Driving my two kids to school and all their activities, as well as enjoying daycations in and around San Diego costs us lots of miles!

Here's what our commutes look like sometimes. I wish our drives were shorter to avoid melt downs like this. Here are my boys fighting about the CD to play during our drive:

If your annual mileage is under 10,000 miles, it's time to discover a new way to save with Metromile's pay-per-mile auto insurance - currently available in CA, IL, OR, VA, and WA.

What is Metromile?
  • Revolutionary pay-per-mile car insurance for the modern driver
  • saves the average customer around $500 per year
  • smart driving tools help you do everything from find where you parked, to monitor your car’s health, to give you access to our certified mechanic.
  • believes every human question, call, and claim deserves a real human answer.

How does it work?
Metromile will send you a free device to connect your car with their smart driving app, so you’ll have access to driving stats and smart services that 
save you time and money.

Check out how your speed varies on each trip, how much you spend on gas, and how long your drive takes. Even little changes in your commute can have a big impact. Metromile's automated alerts tell you when you’re parked in a street sweeping zone (currently available in Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles).

There is also a partnership between Uber and Metromile which means Uber drivers can be insured 24/7, whether they're using their car for personal use or driving with Uber. 

To celebrate the awesomeness of Metromile, I'm giving away a $50 Gas Gift Card and a Metromile Gift Bag including:
  • T-shirt
  • Notebook and Pen
  • Mousepad
  • Sunglasses
  • Phone Charger
  • Tire Gauge
  • Air Freshener
  • Tumbler (for hot and cold beverages)
Want to win? Just enter below!
Get your personalized quote today by visiting or by calling us at (888) 958-5973 (Mon -Fri, 6am - 6pm PST). You can visit them on Twitter and Facebook also!

Disclaimer: I receive promotional items in exchange for this blog post. All opinions are mine. 

It's National Coffee Day!

Happy National Coffee Day! 

This morning I'm enjoying my morning coffee with hubby! 

Here are a few spots to get to the hookup today! Enjoy!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Sip + Style with Bzees and Athleta

I'm LOVING my Fall Break from work so far!

Monday was a spa day at Zenspa in Carmel Mountain, Tuesday I caught up with some cleaning around the house (then look an awesome nap), and Wednesday evening was a fun time at Athleta in Westfield UTC. I was invited to check out Bzees new line for Fall featuring go-to flats, slip-ons, and boots that are both comfortable and stylish.

Here are a pair of Bzees Women's Splendid Flats that I scored in red and grey! These are going to go great with my spirit day outfits every Friday at work

They are super comfy with the BZEES Cloud technology. It really feels like I'm walking on a cloud! There's a bit of a heel to the shoe which gives me a little bit of height. I need every little bit of a boost in height I can get. The Bzees are also machine washable so they'll always be so fresh and so clean!

While we shopped, Blue Ocean served up delicious sushi bites, California Fruit Wine kept the good times flowing, and Frost Me Gourmet kept the evening sweet. It was an honor to mix and mingle with top bloggers from all over Southern California!

Athleta stylists helped us pair our new Bzees with their cozy fall staples. Here's Joyce shopping and learning all about "athleisure" attire. 

 I kept eyeing the yoga pants the staff were wearing and the mannequins were styling. Joyce (Godmother to my first born) treated me to a pair of Criss Cross High Waisted Metro Leggings. They are awesome! I wish all my work pants were as comfortable as these! I learned Athleta carried plus sizes online so I'll be sure to shop a little more on their website!

My buddies from the San Diego Filipino Blogger Network, Cynthia and Jennylou, were also sipping and shopping with me. We were eyeing these super light weight Bzees Decadent Winter Boots in Grey. I know we don't really have Winter in San Diego, but I'd still rock these on a "cold" day in SD!

The best part of the evening was that proceeds went back to Autism Tree Project Foundation, which assists with education, advocacy, early intervention and mentorship to support children and families touched by autism. Since Joyce students with Autism in elementary school, and I work with students with special needs in my role as a school counselor, the night's shopping fun was extra special.

Bzees will be donating $5 from every pair of shoes sold using code OLIVER to the Autism Tree Project, so make sure you pick up a pair (or two) for yourself!

Thanks to Athleta and Bzees for a great evening! I'm ready to rock my yoga pants and Bzees! 

Disclaimer: I received a special invitation to the #BzeesLovesAthleta event and promotional items in exchange for social media shares and this blog post. All opinions are mine. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Perfect Tablet Stand: Gadget Grab

Our techie family can't be without our technology devices. For the kids it's using the iPad for Explain Everything to do homework via PDF. For me, it's email, calendar, social media, and my evening guilty pleasure of Netflix binge watching. For hubby, it's the addiction to Clash of Clans and Candy Crush.

We now have the Gadget Grab that helps us be hands-free while enjoying our devices! I've dropped my smartphone one too many times at night during my Netflix viewing. I'll doze off and wake up to my phone hitting the carpet with a thud! No more of that now that I have the Gadget Grab!

Here's our Jelo explaining how the Gadget Grab works:

Enter now to win your own Gadget Grab! Giveaway ends 9/30/2015. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit Gadget Grab online or on Facebook to get your very own!

Disclaimer: I received my very own Gadget Grab in exchange for this blog post. All opinions are mine. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Shower Hairball Help with the Drain Wig!

Ok, I'm guilty. Guilty of leaving my clump of hair in the shower drain. I'm even more guilty of the hairball that clogs my bathroom sink. Yes, it's gross. Hubby hates it, especially since he's the one who comes to the rescue to unclog our drains. I gotta love him!

What if you could have a contraption that caught all that hair and made it easy to dispose of without even touching it?

The answer is the Drain Wig!

It's super easy to use, right? The Drain Wig catches hair in the drain and prevents those nasty clogs! I spare you the nasty pictures of my hairball caught in my Drain Wig because it's really gross! The Drain Wig does work and hubby is thankful for it!

The holidays are just around the corner for this practical stocking stuffer! Make sure to visit Drain Wig's website or on Facebook to get your very own!

Disclaimer: I received my very own Drain Wig in exchange for this blog post. All opinions are mine. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Your Go-To Haven from Stress - Zenspa Take Me Away!

Being a school counselor on a year-round school schedule has it's perks! A few weeks vacation very 8 weeks of school is a great time to reenergize and relax. I find it helps me stay focused at work and not stress out (too much). Not to mention, my kids are on a traditional school schedule so while they have just started school, I'm on vacation to enjoy some well-deserved mommy time.

Thanks to my friends at Zenspa in Carmel Mountain, I kicked off my two-week vacation from work with some pampering. 

When I arrived, I was greeted by Iris and Vivian, managers at Zenspa, The lobby had soft lighting and quiet music which definitely sets the relaxing mood I was ready for,

They had me fill out some paperwork to ensure my experience was customized to my needs. The questionnaire asked about any pre-existing health conditions or any allergies. There was also a diagram of the entire body which I was asked to circle parts of my body I wanted my massage to focus on. My lower back, hips, and shoulder areas were spots I made sure I circled. There was also a question about the desired pressure for the massage: light, medium, deep, or extremely deep. I choose deep.  I also wrote my concerns about my uneven skin tone and patchy ache. Iris and Vivian emphasized that each service is customized based on the questionnaire to ensure the customers needs are met.

I spent my first hour with Susanne for my deep tissue massage. My massage started gently and slowly, warming and softening up my body. Then Susanne started her magic. She paid close attention to the spots I circled on my questionnaire which was perfect! I got goosebumps a few times because of the perfect spots being rubbed and kneaded. Susanne used her entire forearm and elbows to get to the parts of my back that had some stubborn knots in the muscles. The pressure was just right as indicated on my questionnaire. I could feel my muscles relax and the knots slowly melt away.

Massage Room -  From
My second hour was with Melody for my Zenspa Customized Facial which included brightening therapy, an enzyme pumpkin and apple spice peel, warm towels with citrus scents, and more. The brightening therapy was best to address my concerns about my uneven skin tone and scarring from my patchy acne. My face, from the top of my forehead to the tip of my nose to the bottom of my chin, tingled with each treatment. I felt like my face was saying, "Ooooh, Ahhhh, thank you so much!". While the treatments sat on my face, Melody massaged by shoulders, neck, and arms with a wonderfully fragrant rose lotion while a warm compress sat underneath of shoulders. My face was glowing with delight after my facial.
Facial Room - From h
Zenspa offers a variety of different massages, facials, body treatments, waxing, and their newest service, acupuncture. They offer a monthly budget wellness plan to save money and also help you commit to taking care of yourself. Be sure to visit their website for more special offers.

Zenspa is a haven from stress so much so I caught myself snoring a few times during my treatments. It was THAT relaxing! I loved it! I left the spa all relaxed and muscles loose, with a face glowing with rejuvenation! If you need a place to relax and recharge, this is definitely the place!

Be sure to visit Zenspa's website, Facebook, and Twitter for specials and to book your relaxation getaway!

I received complimentary spa services in exchange for this blog post and social media reviews. All opinions are mine. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Day in the Life of A School Counselor: Student Emails

The school year has begun with a frenzy at my school!

We've had some transition in our team of 7 counselors, which has left us short handed 2 counselors in dealing with the 2600 students at our school. We've had several 10+ hour days to stay after school to meet with students who wanted schedule changes. Our school had 300+ more students enroll than expected which meant squeezing students into classes that were already bursting at the seams, all the while making sure student classroom capacities did not exceed teacher contract language.'s been a crazy first few weeks of school!

One of the challenges of a high school counselor is preparing students for the "real world", especially when it comes to appropriate emails. Sometimes I just have to giggle to myself as to how some of the emails I receive are written.

Here is an example of emails I received from a senior a few days into the school year:

Sent: Thursday, July 30, 2015 8:11 AM
To: Lysabeth Luansing-Garcia
Subject: Credits
Hi it's xxx I have questions regarding my performing arts credit because I have taken photography And the media class when I was a freshmen And people have done that as well And it still is counting as a full year. So I was wondering if that was true because if it is I don't want to be taking art

Here was my response:

Good morning xxx,
When sending formal emails, you should include an appropriate greeting and closing, as well as proper grammar and sentence structure. Emails like the one you sent below may not be taken seriously when in college or the workforce. Also, be sure to include your full name and/or ID# to ensure the person who receives your email knows who you are. Please rewrite your email and resend. I will then consider your request.

Too bad the student didn't rewrite the email. I would've been glad to help her out. I guess my request was too much to ask for. 

Just another day in the life of a school counselor...

Friday, September 18, 2015

Top Five Musts at Seasons 52 This Fall

I received complimentary food and drink in exchange for this blog post. All opinions are mine.

"Seasonally inspired cooking" is Seasons 52's motto and they live up to it. Seasons 52 is a fresh grill and wine bar that offers a seasonal menu inspired by the appeal of a local farmer’s market and what’s good now. Using ingredients at their peak and rustic cooking techniques, like brick-oven roasting and open-fire grilling over oak and mesquite, Seasons 52 brings out the natural flavors of food.

I was fortunate enough to enjoy an evening at Seasons 52 recently to experience the new Fall menu. After a long day a work, I was definitely looking forward to a "hump day" dinner to get me through the rest of the week.

My fellow blogger friend and educator colleague Lora from came along with other local food bloggers to partake in the goodness Seasosn52 has to offer. 

The evening started with cocktails and appetizers.

Pumpkin Pisco Sour with organic pumpkin vodka, Pisco, and aromatic bitters
Perfect Storm cocktail with Absolute Pears, St. Germain Elderflower liqueur, fresh Bosc pears and thyme
Trio of roasted mushrooms flatbread with garlic confit, spinach, green onion, goat cheese, and truffle oil
Lobster and fresh mozzarella flatbread with roasted sweet potatoes, slivered scallions, and lobster sour cream
For dinner, we were given free range of the menu so for appetizers we had:

Shrimp scampi skillet with roasted plum tomatoes Parsley garlic bread bruschetta

Blistered shishito peppers with the roasted corn, feta cheese, lemon aioli, and sumac

For our main dishes, Lora had the Old Grilled New York Strip with parmesan and herb marinated toybox tomatoes bravas style potatoes and roasted tomato chimichurri

I had roasted Manchester Farms Quail with mushroom risotto stuffing leaf spinach bacon, Balsamic demi-glacé with a side of cartelized sea scallops

Of course Seasons 52 did not let us leave without dessert. Sweet and tart, creamy and crunchy, white and dark chocolate, blueberries and lemons, pecans and pie. Every dessert sensation in one presentation!

Cute teapot with our desserts
Top five musts at Seasons 52 this Fall:

1) The outdoor patio seating goes well with our San Diego weather. The fire pit and lounge area is a great spot to unwind. I have to say, it's also a very romantic spot of the restaurant.

2) The cocktails highlight the flavors of the seasons. The drinks I had featured lemon, pumpkin, and pear flavors. The fresh and crisp drinks were perfect!

3) The flatbreads are a great low-calorie option on the menu. Low-calorie does not mean low flavor at all! The flatbreads we tried were very flavorful and topped plentifully!

4) The menu features a "Chef's Suggestions" section. These are menu items that really highlight the in-season ingredients, as well as the chef's talents and inspirations! I love the quail and scallop dishes from the chef's selection portion of the menu.

5) You must have the dessert sampler! The video above had all the dessert samplers Season 52 has. You can choose one, two, or all (like we did)! They were all very delicious and offered a variety of flavors to satisfy any sweet tooth!

Be sure to follow Seasons 52 on social media:

Thanks to Seasons 52 for having us! We had a wonderful evening! I look forward to a romantic dinner with hubby near the fire pit soon!

Lora and I with our heavenly desserts!
Seasons 52 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Guest Post: Back to School Guide for Middle School Parents!

Guest Post by Lora from

Lora is a great friend and colleague of mine in my work at a school counselor. I completely agree with her tips below! Enjoy reading!

Transitioning from elementary school to middle school is a big change, for the child AND parents! 

As an educator for over 20 years at the secondary level, let me give you some tips to make the transition easier.

Do you still fit in? 
You were the PTA president from kindergarten until 6th grade, now you don't know what role you have at the middle school. Parents think that they might embarrass their child and that being at middle school is not cool. Guess what? Your kids love to see you volunteer and be at school! They may not come around you as much, after all this is a gradual release of becoming more independent, but seeing you at school gives them a sense of comfort. I have NEVER seen a child embarrassed of his/her parent being at school. Plus, schools need parent volunteers more than ever!

Get dialed in! 
Is middle school the time to get your child a cell phone? It's really your choice. Phones are in each classroom and in pretty much every office. Students really don't need one, they have access to a phone school-wide. But if you get one, DON'T GET THE LATEST AND THE GREATEST! Get the most affordable phone that is functional for the purposes you want. Any personal item of great value should NOT come to school! I've had too many iPhone 6s get lost or stolen. Be aware that many schools have a policy that phones are "bring to school at your own risk" items and that staff will not spend an inordinate amount of time investigating loss or stolen personal electronics. 

Secondly, if you are going to allow your child to have any electronic item, please monitor your child when he/she uses it. Lots of inappropriate content is at their fingertips. Anything can be YouTube'd nowadays. In addition, make sure your child is not posting inappropriate selfies or content of themselves. They can easily become victims of adult predators and also regret it down the line once a nude picture gets sent out into cyberspace. Colleges and potential employers do do their research, you know. You really need to be up to date on social media in order to monitor your child carefully. At night, have a rule that all electronics are charged in your room. Children can get them back in the morning. 

Lastly, understand the school policy on phones and both child and parent should abide by them. We tell our students to have phones turned off and put them away but there's always that student that receives a text during school hours and it is from MOM of all people! 

Get the 411. 
Technology can be your best friend! Bookmark the school website. Know when school activities are happening. Make sure that the school has the correct phone number and email address for you because more and more schools are utilizing automated call and emails to correspond with parents. Know the bell schedule and when students are released early. Know when parent meetings are held so that you can be present and participate. Be familiar with the online programs that your child's teachers use so that you always know what assignments are due, when tests are coming up, and what grade your child has in each class. In this day and age, there is no reason not to be informed. It is easier for students to stay on top of it than catch up from behind. 

Set up for studying success! Middle school is serious stuff! Your child may be taking his first A-G class to satisfy college entrance requirements. He/She may be taking a foreign language class, a math class that is advanced, and may be needed to complete a science project! Make sure that your child has a standing study time, the better to stick with it daily. Have a snack ready for your student when they get home, the body and brain needs re-fueling after a long day. Have a well-lit, quiet area, where supplies are readily available. 

You as the parent don't need to hover around, but be a resource for your child. Many times, boys especially, need help with organization! Do a binder check regularly and see if your child is turning in what needs to be turned and completing assigned tasks. If there seems to be a need for extra support, schools do have tutoring hours available and many high schools screen their top academic students to be paid tutors. Contact the counseling center of your closest high school to see if your child can get extra one-on-one help.

How was your day? 
Society tells us we're not good parents if we don't ask this of our kids daily. However, before you ask that question, identify whether your child is an extrovert or introvert. As parents, we don't want to miss anything that happens in their lives, but right after school lets out when they get in the car may not be the best time to bombard them with questions. What did you do today? What did you learn? 

Extroverts may have no problem gabbing it up with you but for the introverts, wait until they have had a chance to decompress, eat a snack, and relax. Just like you, maybe they need to tune out for a bit after being stimulated all day. 

Also, every day is not going to be a happy day. Middle school can be one of the most trying times in a child's life. Your child's elementary friends may have started hanging out with different kids, or maybe they will experience their first rejection from a crush, or they didn't win the class election or get chosen for the soccer team. 

These experiences are called "growing pains." Everyone has them, learns how to cope and survives. Middle school may not be the greatest time in your child's life but that just means the best is yet to come.

Birds of a feather flock together. 
Tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you who you are.I often say this to students. The most influential group of people in the life of a middle-schooler is their group of friends. I tell students if you really care about your grades and want to do well in school, you will make friends with other students who care about the same thing. You'll seek out those students who like to study and will help you figure out something when you don't know. 

So if you want to know your child, know their friends. Simple as that. Notice if there is a change in behavior. This could clue you in to if something needs more prodding. If your usually chatty child is now more quiet than usual, or loses interest in hobbies, they normally enjoy, check in on them.

My child is being bullied! 
The worst feeling in the world for parents is when they find out that someone has caused harm to their child, physically or emotionally. Let's discuss what this buzz word "bullying" means. Just because someone said something unkind to your child ONE time does not necessarily constitute bullying. 

Was it mean? Probably, but not necessarily bullying. Bullying can take a variety of forms: physical, verbal, or cyber (online). "Bullying" is repeated, unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived imbalance in power. Imbalance is the key word. If comments are being made on social media about your child and come to find out, your child is replying back with even worse comments, then most likely, it will be considered a mutual situation where both students are in the wrong. 

What do you do? If it is happening at school, encourage your child to report it or report it yourself to administration. The sooner the better in order to prevent situations from escalating into higher levels of confrontation. What typically happens is that a school staff member will interview your child to get specific details and then interview others involved. It is not encouraged for parents to contact the other child's parents if they are not acquaintances already. 

Let the school help facilitate a resolution and know that a parent to parent meeting is sometimes not in the best interest of resolving the conflict. Progressive discipline will be administered to the aggressor, depending on the severity of the behavior. And if the situation warrants it, local law enforcement may be involved. 

Oftentimes, minor instances are opportunities for students to learn how to resolve conflict peacefully through listening and speaking skills. It is a chance for school staff to model appropriate phrases or words to express anger, sadness, frustration and also to model how to apologize and assure that the behavior will not occur again. If at any time, you or your child feels that his/her safety is in immediate danger, call 911.

Who wears the pants? 
When a child is not following the program, not doing what they are supposed to do, and the parent comes in and says to the child,... "Well, what do you want to do?" sometimes I want to tear my hair out. At that point, I know who's in charge. The parent should be the shot-caller, the decision maker, the ADULT. Middle-schoolers still need guidance, structure, and a PARENT telling them what is right and what is wrong. Their brains are still developing at this age. Don't give that power to your children to make the decisions, because once authority is relinquished, it can be difficult to regain.

"But I know my child! He would never do that!"
 I've heard this many times than I can remember.Your child has different personas. We all do. Think about it. Do you behave the same when you are with colleagues and when you are around your childhood friends? Roles and behavior change according to the group your child is around. Your child CAN be different at school and at home. Poor choices/bad behavior doesn't mean your child is a bad person. Let me state that again, bad behavior doesn't mean your child is a bad person.

 Parents sometimes think that once there is a disciplinary issue at school, their child is now labeled as a "bad kid." Quite the contrary, what the school wants is what you want. We want your child to learn from mistakes and not repeat them over and over again. Teach your child to own up to poor behavior, apologize and assure that they will try better next time. 

It is not the end of the world if you get a call from school to come to the Principal's office. It just means that your child needs to make better choices. Discipline your child at home but also give them an option to earn some privileges back too once they demonstrate desired behavior.

Just like the chorus from High School Musical, 
"We're all in this together!" 
The school, teachers, administrators are not your enemies. We all chose to work with kids for a reason. Trust our expertise and intentions. We're there to educate, not intimidate. Students are coming to us with more and more challenges, academically and socially. The nuclear family is not the norm. 

More students than ever are living with grandparents, uncles and aunts because their parent is working two jobs, locked up, or has abandoned them. Students who are 11,12,and 13 are reading at the second or third grade level. They don't know their multiplication tables. They don't know how to communicate so every argument turns into a fight. 

We have our job cut out for us. If we want your child to stay after school for tutoring, don't argue with us about it. We know how to read, your child doesn't. Your kid failed a class and needs to take it over on Saturdays. Don't tell us he can't come because he has a soccer game or you're going to a social function. Don't worry about what your child hears you saying, worry about what your child sees you doing. Actions matter. 

We want your children to become independent life-long learners who will be able to reason, use critical thinking and communication skills in order to compete for those college spots and/or jobs. Put academics first, and work WITH us. 

Finally, fill our cups! 
We have a tough job working with students all day and schools love hearing from parents when we do something right or just because. Want to talk to us? Leave a message and we'll call you back. We love emails too. And please give us 24-48 hours to respond. 

If we can accommodate you when you walk in, we will. Telling the secretaries that you took the day off to see the teacher or principal doesn't mean you automatically get a fast pass. You still may have to wait a bit. Better yet, make an appointment and for every concern, have a proposed solution.

 Don't be THAT parent who only complains. Be the one who brings coffee and donuts for the staff. Be the one who comes every week to make copies. Be the one who helps supervise at lunch. Be the one who tells our staff members how appreciative you are that they give so much. Be the parent who is truly the parent and not the "friend" to their child. You and your child will survive middle school just fine.

Have an idea that would make the transition to middle school easier for parents? Please comment below! Thanks!

About Guest Blogger Lora:
I've always been an early achiever. I graduated college in under four years. At 24, I had a husband, two children, a mortgage and a classroom of kids to teach. I'm in my forties now and am slowing it down. Although I am not a millionaire, I would consider myself definitely rich in terms of keeping a happy family, social life and promoting a frugal lifestyle filled with fun. I love hosting parties, planning vacations, spending time with my family and girlfriends, eating delicious food, and raising my kids. I'll share my tips with you on how you too can stay rich in and out of the pocket!

Be sure to check her out on

Monday, September 14, 2015

WIN 4 General Admission + 6 Tasting Tickets to the Cupcake Fair and Baking Expo

The Third Annual Inland Empire Cupcake Fair and Baking Expo is only one month away on Sunday, October 4, 2015, at the Riverside Convention Center.  The excitement is buzzing around the dessert tastings, cupcake-eating and decorating contests, live demonstrations, giveaways, entertainment, activities and more. Thank you to Gold Sponsor Mathis Brothers Furniture in Ontario, CA.

My Boozie Cakes partner, Joyce, and I will be competing! Wish us luck! We haven't decided which cupcakes we'll make quite yet! You'll have to come to the expo to find out!

It looks like tickets may sell out online, but there is still time to take advantage of September’s promotions. With general admission you will receive:
  • admission into the event (12 p.m. - 4 p.m.) 
  • 6 tasting tickets and an “opportunity drawing” ticket for a chance to win a prize. 
When you purchase a VIP ticket, you will be admitted one hour before the event general admission (11 a.m.), 7 tasting tickets, an “opportunity drawing” ticket and an event tote bag with samples,coupons and more!

For more info go to

Don't fret! You can WIN 4 General Admission + 6 Tasting Tickets (per each admission)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Dream, Love, and Live Bigger with Big Fish

Friday night was a great night to be outdoors and enjoy the evening summer breeze under the stars. Friends Joyce and Mikey, along with hubby and kids, joined me in experiencing Moonlight Amphitheatre's most recent summer production!

“Big Fish,” based on the celebrated Daniel Wallace novel and the acclaimed Tim Burton film. This extraordinary new musical reminds us why we go to the theatre, to have an experience that's richer, funnier, and bigger than life itself. 

Edward Bloom lives life to the fullest - and then some - as he spins incredible, larger-than-life stories that thrills all who are around him. Yet his son, about to have a child of his own, is determined to find the truth behind his father's epic tales. I would have to say Edward Bloom is very much like my father-in-law with the stories, charm, and all. 

Experiencing live theater with my boys is such a wonderful experience. They enjoy the costumes, sets, and special effects. When their toes tap to the music, I can't help but smile. They ask the most surprising questions which follow the themes and storylines on stage. Not to mention getting them to actually sit still the entire time! I'm very glad they enjoy live theater!

We love Moonlight Amphitheater's lawn seating! Here we are enjoying our picnic dinner before the musical began!

“Big Fish” runs Sept. 9 to 26, 2015 under the stars at Moonlight Amphitheatre in Vista, Calif. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Single tickets are priced $24 to $52. 

To purchase tickets or for more information, call (760) 724-2110 or visit 

Be sure to follow Moonlight Amphitheater on Social Media:
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