Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Happy Me with the #AirBrushApp

Weekends are days off, even from makeup. I sleep in a bit longer and spend less time getting ready for busy Saturday mornings driving my boys to and from their activities. 

Jelo and I snapped a few pictures together this weekend and I looked really tired in the pictures. Despite our big smiles, you can tell from my face I'm a tired, working mommy.  Bags under my eyes and a bleh skin tone. My lips even look ashy, ew!

Thank goodness for the magic of smartphone apps to work magic on my face!

The Airbrush app is super easy to use and has many different functions. You can remove acne, smooth and firm, and even reshape your face. The "makeup" function has different makeup settings like subtle, modern, nude, and smokey. 

Here I used the "nude" setting which is most like the makeup I use on weekdays at work. 

 Yes, that's make up on Jelo's face too! But that was easily remedied. There's a function to only put the makeup filter on certain faces on the picture.

Here I am with my virtual makeup on and Jelo without!

Here are a few before and after photos side by side. There is a subtle difference, enough to make me less "haggard" looking, haha!


I do believe that natural beauty is best. I am comfortable being out without makeup on days when I don't have to be at work. When at work, for me, makeup is part of my "professional attire". It makes me feel "put together". 

I use apps like Airbrush for the posterity of my photos. When photos show up on "On This Day" feeds or when I visit my hashtags like #GarciaBrosSay, I want to be able to see myself as pretty and happy, not tired and haggard looking. I won't remember years from now whether I had makeup on or not. What I will remember is how happy the day was and how happy I look in the moment. 

I've had lots of fun with this app. It's FREE and is awesome! The Airbrush app is available on both Android and Apple app stores.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Tips for a Stress-Free Trip to the #SanDiego County Fair

Going to the San Diego County Fair can be lots of fun with a bit of planning ahead of time!

Here are a few of my tips from our last few visits to the San Diego Fair which I hope will help make it an awesome visit for you and your family:

Finding RESTROOMS with pee-urgent kids in a crowded place is not fun. On a busy day, the restrooms along the main fairway of the San Diego County Fair, as well as inside the main exhibit halls have lines, especially for women. Plan your restroom breaks at the restrooms less-traveled which can be found in the in-field of the race track near the kids fun zone and the beer garden. The restrooms near the wine garden in the garden show area are not on the fair map so they are usually not crowded.

FAIR FOOD is part of the fun but can cost you a fortune if you don't plan accordingly. You can visit the fair website to plan ahead on what you'd like to eat. You are allowed to bring outside food and drinks into the fair so bring your own drinks and/or refillable water containers to save a few bucks. The portions at the fair are pretty huge so plan to share. When we go to the fair, we each choose one food item to try and we share. This year we had the the foot-long sausage corn dog, Australian beer-battered potatoes, fish and chips with friend zucchini, and a huge slice of pepperoni pizza. It was more than enough for the four us us to fill our tummies.

Finding a PLACE TO SIT once you've gotten your food can also be a chore especially when the fair crowds are in full-swing. Again, the garden show area behind the O'Brien Hall has shaded seating. It's tucked away, hidden from the crowds.  Our family has always been successful in finding a spot to sit there. Hubby and I take turns sitting with the kids, while the other gets in line and grabs our eats. It works out every time!

Don't forget to take advantage of the SUMMER READING PROGRAM with the San Diego County Fair. The reading log can be downloaded and printed from the website. Each child can earn free entry into the fair by reading 10 books and completing their reading log. Simply bring the reading log straight to the entry gate and your child is in!

Lastly, the San Diego county fair WEBSITE has specials on ride tickets and admission prices so check ahead of time to plan to have a great time!

Visit for updates and specials. See you at the 2017 fair!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Washington DC Day Three: Visiting The White House

Washington DC with Garcia Memories:
Day One
Day Two
Day Three

One of the highlights of our family vacation to Washington DC was our visit to The White House. I have heard throughout the years that being granted a visit to The White House was very rare, all the more so with our new president. This made our visit extra special.

A few months back, when planning for our Washington D.C. trip, I did a bit of research on how to request a visit to The White House. I gathered that the best way was to write our local representative who would be able to help with arrangements. On Congressman Scott Peters' website, there was a specific section to request visits to The White House, The Capitol, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, FBI Headquarters, and the Library of Congress.

I did our requests 4 months in advance of our visit. It is advised to request your visits as early as possible. I quickly received an email from a staffer from Rep. Peters' office. She explained that my requests had been submitted and would be forwarded to each department in DC granting the tours. She also explained that, at that time, tours to The White House were not being processed pending the inauguration of the new president and his policy on White House tours.

Over the weeks following, I received separate emails with confirmations for the The Capitol and the Bureau of Printing and Engraving. Shortly after the news outlets shared President Trump's interaction with White House visitors, I received my email confirming our tour of The White House.

On Day Three of our Washington DC trip, our visit to The White House was first on our itinerary. 
From our hotel, we took The Metro to the Federal Triangle exit which is The Metro station closest to The White House Visitors Center.

On our walk towards The White House Visitor Center, we walked passed Trump Tower. It is two blocks from The White House. There were several black, heavily tinted SUVs that dotted the street adjacent to the hotel.

The White House Visitors Center is a block away from The White House tour entrance. A
While we waited for our tour time, we enjoyed the exhibits.

I really enjoyed the short film narrated by the former presidents. 

Although there was a small gift shop, we didn't buy anything since bags are not allowed during The White House Tour.

We arrived at the line to start our tour at the suggested 15 minutes before reservation time.

Before our tour began, there were three security checks. At check point one, I was held by the secret service agents since my identification and my reservation did not have matching birth dates. As they held onto my ID, the cracked a few jokes at my 4'11" height, even having my stand next to the shortest of them all to prove my height. Being me, I really wanted to bust out my camera but I figured it would have been awkward. Total secret service agent fan girl moment. Ha!

They ran my security check again and after about 30 minutes I was cleared. At security check point three, there was a security dog and a metal detector we all had to go through. No bags of any kind are allowed on The White House tour. My small wristlet was even questioned by secret service.

Once inside The White House, a secret service agent explained the tour was self guided and self paced. We took our time while we walked around. There was a clear path of red velvet ropes of the self-guided tour. 

We tried to stay behind the pack of visitors in our tour to enjoy our time and take a pictures without others in the background. Although we were advised the tour was "self-paced", there was a secret service agent right behind us, moving us along, as we were the stragglers behind the rest of our tour group.

Each room was beautiful. I really wanted to take video to catch a the grandness of it all, unfortunately video is not allowed in The White House.

After looking through my pictures, I realized the Secret Service Agents did a great job of keeping out of my photos. Perhaps they're trained to do so!

I spy a Secret Service Agent in the Blue Room
Here is the route of our tour:

The entire tour took about an hour. Every room we saw in person were rooms I've seen throughout the years in photos and videos, in history books, magazines, documentaries, and news programs. It was amazing to have visited "our" house, The White House. 
Cross Hall

Mrs. Obama with School Counselors in the East Room

Ms. Luansing, the school counselor, in the East Room
Garcia Fam in the East Room

Jelo sending top secret texts from the East Colonnade
President Obama and Bo having fun in the East Colonnade

Jelo in the Red Room
Obama and Biden in the Red Room

East Room smiles
East Room thoughts

The spot where the first families trade off

After The White House, we did a bit of shopping at a few gift shops right across the street. These were the only touristy gift shops we found. The others were found inside the museums and inside some of the monuments. The shops right across the street from The White House had the most selection and were more reasonably priced than the gift shops found inside the museums. 

We squeezed in more sightseeing on Day Three:

Metro to George Washington University stop and strolled through the university

  • Washington Monument
  • WWII Memorial
  • Reflecting Pool
  • Lincoln Monument
  • Vietnam War Memorial
  • Korean War Memorial
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Monument
  • Tidal Basin
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
  • Thomas Jefferson Monument
  • Pentagon 9/11 Memorial
  • Shake Shack for Dinner 
  • National Museum of American History
  • Walked along the National Mall with a stop at the carousel
  • National Air and Space Museum
  • Catholic University of America
  • Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
  • Dinner at Bonchon
  • The White House
  • Georgetown
  • National Postal Museum
  • Union Station
Be on the look out for day four of our Washington DC trip where we visit The Capitol!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Gift of Time for Your Dad or Grad #ad

June is almost here! Looking for a unique, timeless gift for your dad or grad? Jord Wood Watches will surely impress! With the options to personalize your timepiece, this gift will be one of a kind.

Jord Wood Watches are hand-crafted wood timepieces using raw material, inspired by refined design. They are focused on creating timepieces that are modeled after a modern lifestyle. Jord Wood Watches value sustainability, efficiency, and experiential living. They make their watches for people who don't just have somewhere to be, they have somewhere to go.

Pictured here is the Fieldcrest series, Zebrawood and Maple women's Jord Watch. Zebrawood is considered a luxury hardwood and is most commonly used in veneer application. JORD uses only whole wood stock to create their Zebrawood watches. Maple watches are made from the outer rings, known as the sapwood. The grain is typically straight with slight waves and has a fine, uniform texture. 

Enter to win a $100 gift code to use on your Jord Wood Watch purchase. One lucky person will win, but everyone will receive a code worth $25 once the contest ends! The contest will close 5/21 at 11:59pm.

Wooden Wrist Watch

Visit to browse the beautiful collection of wood watches for the unique gift for your dad or grad!

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