Friday, December 30, 2016

New Year's Eve Crafts with Kids

New Years Eve with kids can be fun, if you plan it right!

Check out my boys with reporter Ashley Jacobs at the San Diego Children's Museum who shared ways to make NYE fun with the kids! The boys were so excited to be on TV!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Garcia Memories 15 Days of Christmas 2016

The holiday season is my favorite time of the year. I get to turn my mind off of work and enjoy the things that really matter in life: blessings from God and the presence of family and friends. 

Now that Christmas is over, it's time to reflect on the wonderful experiences I've shared with those I love. 

Here are my fifteen days of Christmas!

On the first day of Christmas, hubby and the boys put up the Christmas decorations.

On the second day of Christmas, we found "fake Santa" at Las Americas Outlet since the "real Santa" is busy preparing for Christmas.

 On the third day of Christmas, Tutu the Elf was hanging out with my mini-me Lilo.

On the fifth day of Christmas, we experienced A Very Electric Christmas with Lightwire Theater at Moonlight Amphitheater. There was even snow for the kids to play in!

On the sixth day of Christmas, the boys found some super tall toy soldiers during Winter Nights at UTC Westfield Shopping Center.

On the seventh day of Christmas, SUHI Counseling had our annual luncheon with catering from Louisiana Fried Chicken.

On the 8th day of Christmas, Tutu the Elf and his "mentee" Rogelio were hanging from the ceiling fan. Hubby snapped this picture before the elves ran and hid.

On the ninth day of Christmas, I had my annual dinner with my girlfriends at Panda Inn!

On the tenth day of Christmas, Tutu and Rogelio were hanging around again!

On the eleventh day of Christmas, we explored Candy Cane Lane in Poway

On the twelfth day of Christmas, we visited Grandpa Julian at Rose Hills, did a bit of shopping, and spent some time with special friends.

On the thirteenth day of Christmas, the boys had play dates with my friends' kids, the friends I've had since elementary school and high school. 

On the fourteenth day of Christmas, I did a bit of baking inspired by Pinterest!

On the fifteenth day of Christmas, we spent at with Jesus and our family. 

We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with the love of family, friends, and the love of Jesus Christ!

Friday, December 23, 2016

St. Tropez Bistro Launches Kids Eat Free in Encinitas, CA

Kids Eat Free? Yes please! My boys know I gravitate towards any restaurant that offers "Kids Eat Free" deals. They know to call my attention if they see a sign or advertisement highlighting the offer. Yes, I have my kids trained well!

St. Tropez Bistro and Beyond is a favorite of those who live in the North County Coastal areas of San Diego so it was a treat to be invited for dinner. Starting in December, St. Tropez is introducing Kids Eat Free Wednesdays, where up to two kids can order free kids menu dishes, with the purchase of an adult entree and drink (cannot be combined with other offers or discounts).

It was a rainy night when we visited St. Tropez so the warm and cozy atmosphere was perfect! The restaurant blends the sophistication of France with a relaxed California attitude and offers charming, friendly & cozy atmosphere.

They offer breakfast, lunch, happy hour, catering, dinner and desserts with a boutique wine list. Our family menu choices for dinner included:
  • Chicken & Mushroom Crepe for hubby - Crepe filled with sauteed chicken in a mushroom wine sauce & topped with melted Swiss cheese served with a side of french onion soup
  • Chicken Curry Croissant for me - Grilled chicken breast with curry cream topped with Swiss Cheese served with a side of fries
  • Deli Sandwich for the kids - Turkey with Swiss cheese & mayo on white bread with a side of fruit

The food was all very delicious! I loved the french onion soup which was perfect for the raining evening. My curry chicken sandwich was very good. I love curry and I've never had it in a sandwich. I enjoyed it very much!

With kids, I always appreciate when the food comes our quickly since kids can become very impatient, especially when they are hungry. Our food was brought out shortly after we ordered so my kids didn't have the time to ask their usual, impatient restaurant question "when is our food coming out?"

We couldn't resist dessert after dinner when the display was within view throughout dinner. Hubby had his favorite creme brulee and the boys shared their favorite chocolate croissants. Everything looked so yum!

St. Tropez also signed on with UberEATS so download the app and order from St. Tropez at your convenience. You can have a french onion soup and chicken curry croissant sandwich delivered right to your door!

Thanks to St. Tropez for a wonderful family dinner! We will see you again soon!

St. Tropez is located at 947 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, 92024. For more information, please visit

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

Thursday, December 22, 2016

HICKIES for your Shoes!

It's a bit embarrassing to admit but my two boys, ages 6 and 8, still have a hard time tying their shoes. Ask them to navigate a computer or learn a piano piece, they can do it. But tie their shoes? They say, "it's too hard!"

See the crazy knots on these shoes? DJ makes me do this to make sure the knots don't get undone!
I've seen HICKIES online a few times and was curious if they would work for my kids. Thanks to HICKIES we were able to try them on!

So, how do they work? Fasten HICKIES laces once and it turns any shoe into a slip-on. It's convenient, easy and saves time. The HICKIES Lacing System connects each pair of eyelets separately. This allows you to customize your fit with different tension levels for different parts of your shoe.
Here are DJ and I putting on his set of HICKIES. It was super easy!

HICKIES come in over a dozen different colors and different sizes for kids and adults! Save 20% HICKIES shoe lacing system! Great gift for Holidays! Use code USFG to save!

Visit to order yours today!

Disclaimer: We received complimentary HICKIES to try in exchange for this blog post and social media shares. All opinions are mine. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving from Garcia Family and Creative Creatures Photography

A good friend once told me, "You only have your kids for a small amount of time. You have to cherish every moment." I remember this every time my boys reach for a hug or leave a mess in their room. I savor the hugs and use patience with the mess. I only have them for a small moment of time. In a blink of an eye, they'll be in high school then off to live their own lives.

Looking at our recent family photos by Creative Creatures Photography, I can't help but tear up looking at my grown up boys! They are not babies anymore.

My cousin, Wena Lee, owner of Creative Creatures Photography, did a great job at capturing our family's personality. With two squirmy little boys, it's often challenging to get a decent picture, but Wena caught my boys at their best.

I've always loved the colors at the Spanish Village at Balboa Park. I always thought the multicolored walkways, as well as the brightly painted facades were perfect for a fun, lively photo shoot. The colors, for me, are symbolic of the many facets of our lives: God, work and school, individual pastimes, and shared interests.

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for my loving husband and my two loving boys. God has blessed me with a home filled with happiness, laughter, and love. We are blessed in abundance and have to remember to always to give thanks to Him. I am thankful for the love of family and friends, as well as my rewarding career as a school counselor. I am thankful for the opportunities, experiences, and new friends I've made through my blog. 

Thanks to Wena and Creative Creatures Photography for capturing this moment in time in our family.

Visit or check them out on Facebook to book your family photo session just in time for your holiday greeting cards.

Disclaimer: My family and I received a complimentary photo shoot in exchange for this blog post and social media shares. All opinions are mine.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Bye, Bye Plastic Grocery Bags! Hello Trolley Bags!

San Diego is the latest city to ban the use of plastic grocery bags. The day after the election, I was surprised to see the stores were already on board, ready to charge their customers for reusable bags. 

Lucky for me, I've scored myself a set of Trolley Bags! I was stopped a few times at my last visit to the grocery store with curious shoppers wanting to know where I got my cool bags. 

How do they work?

I find that with other reusable shopping bags, they are cumbersome and hard to organize. I find myself putting all of my shopping bags inside of one of the bags. Then bagger has a hard time pulling the bags out or they spill out into the cart. It becomes a puzzle trying to figure out which bags will fit the larger items, all the while the line behind me is getting longer and longer.

With the Trolley Bags, they fit just right into the cart so there is no guessing whether you have enough bags to fit all of your items. They are also different colors to help organize the items you've bought. I like to put frozen and cold items in the blue bag (blue like ice) and veggies in the green. The bags are also different sizes to allow for big items like toilet paper, detergent, and gallons of milk. It's super easy to transport your items from cart to car with the sturdy handles and the velcro which closes each bag up.

Here are my bags in my trunk after my Thanksgiving Dinner shopping trip. Those are TWO turkeys inside my orange Trolley bag!

Where can you get my own Trolley Bags?! Visit A few lucky family members will be getting their own set of Trolley Bags this holiday season!

Visit Trolley Bags on Twitter too!

I love, love, love my Trolley Bags! I know you will too!

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary set of Trolley Bags in exchange for this blog post and social media shares. All opinions are mine. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Let's Play for Change with IKEA

We recently had the privilege to hang out with a few other blogger families at our local IKEA home furnishings store to celebrate World Children's Day and the start of IKEA's Let's Play for Change campaign.

Mommies and kids from the San Diego Filipino Blogger Network

San Diego Mom Bloggers and IKEA Staff
The IKEA Let’s Play for Change campaign focuses on children’s right to play and develop, highlighting the benefits of play for all children. For every children’s book and toy sold from November 20 to December 24, the IKEA Foundation will make a donation of $1 to projects in some of the poorest communities in the world, supporting children’s development and learning, equal participation, sports and of course – play. Locally, Rady's Children's Hospital will be on the receiving end of the Let's Play for Change campaign. 

Here are a few of the items you can purchase to help with the Let's Play for Change campaign!

Kids Bedding
Plush Toys
Costumes and Dress Up Items
For more information about the campaign:

I have to mention IKEA offers an AWESOME breakfast for an even more awesome price! Yummo!

Thanks IKEA for a great morning discovering the great things you all do to make our world a better place, especially for the children! Visit for more information on the Let's Play for Change campaign. 

Disclaimer: My family and I received a complimentary meal and promotional items in exchange for this blog post and social media shares. All opinions are mine.  

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Guest Post: Chipex Bring Life to my Old Car

Guest Post by Garcia Memories Dad

My wife's 2003 Honda Element has seen better days. It’s her daily driver to and from work 50 miles round trip every day. It’s helped her move twice, once into her condo, and another time when we moved into our home together. It’s our workhorse. Its size is misleading as it is able to move a lot of cargo, especially with the seats removed.

Hoping to get a couple more years out of it with 200k miles plus, we were excited to review Chipex paint chip repair system. Being over 10 years old, there are a lot of fine scratches, some chipped paint, and the occasional deep gouge. We ordered the correct factory paint color and once received reviewed the process.

Chipex is 3 step process of painting, blending ,and polishing. The kit consists of paint, a couple of microbrushes, blending solution a small foam block, a paint removal cloth for blending the paint, polish solution, and microfiber polishing cloth.

After washing the car I used a provided microbrush to apply the paint to the scratches and chipped areas. On the fine to medium scratches, I used the paint sparingly. For deeper scratches and gouges, I filled the scratch with a blob of paint and allowed it to dry.

chipped paint to bare metal
After allowing the paint to dry, I moved on to step 2. I wrapped the foam block with the paint removal cloth and applied the blending solution. I proceeded to wipe the excess paint on the repaired areas and let the solution, block, and cloth do the work.

I was amazed how well Chipex worked on the scratches. After applying the paint and blending, most of the scratches were unnoticeable, and polishing made the fix complete.

BEFORE: Fine scratch
AFTER: Fine scratch gone!
The deep gouges were a different story. Most of them were paint chips down to the bare metal. I had to wet sand the paint a little bit, but that was user error. I guess I needed to watch more of the tutorials, or maybe the scratches were wider than what the repair kit was meant for.

After getting the paint smooth and using the 3 to polish the paint, the repairs to the deep gouges were still noticeable, but looked way better than before. I was extremely impressed by the kit, here is hoping for another 100k on this lovable car!

>>> GIVEAWAY <<<
Win Your Own Chipex Paint Repair System

Win a Chipex Bundle #31

Visit for your own Chipex Paint Repair System.

Disclaimer: We received a complimentary Chipex Paint Repair System in exchange for this blog post. All opinions are mine.  

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