Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Youth Spark: How to Sign Up for Microsoft Camp

Once upon a time, four years ago, I had a less than favorable experience with the Tech Tots program offered by our local Microsoft Store.

This year, the boys wanted to try Microsoft camp again. I was willing to give it another chance.

I googled "microsoft camp" and the first result came YouthSpark Programs at the Microsoft Stores:

There are different options of classes depending on age group, length of program, and topic to be covered. Only classes that have space show on the search so I recommend planning at least two months in advance to RSVP for the classes. All attendees must RSVP.

My boys chose "How to Start A Business" which was geared for kids ages 8 to 12. This program ran for 4 consecutive days, two hours each day.

The four days walked the kids through creating a business plan through worksheets and then transferring the business plan to a PowerPoint presentation which they shared on the last day of camp.

It was perfectly paced for the kids to follow along. There were interactive activities, opportunities for the kids to interact with each other, view inspirational videos, as well as a opportunity for the kids to learn how to use PowerPoint and practice their public speaking skills.

I'm so proud of my two boys and their business plan.

DJ's proposed business is a website called "Stress Buddy" to sell stress relief aides like fidget spinners, stress balls, and aromatherapy "stress smells".

Jelo's proposed business is a website for "Game Tips" where users can share their gaming tips for video games. 

The sound on the video is bad. The classes are held during business hours so it was busy in the store each day of class. Regardless, students and their instructor Julia were on task and weren't bothered too much by the busyness of the store. 

Overall, I'm very much impressed with this FREE program offered by Microsoft. My kids left the YouthSpark Microsoft experience inspired to pursue the business they initiated at Microsoft Camp.

Visit Microsoft YouthSpark for more information!

Friday, June 23, 2017

We Tried The Dirty Cookie!

Following #foodie on Instagram is dangerous. My finger scrolls, likes, and follows. Then my feed is filled with yummy food posts from all over the world. My mouth waters and I keep scrolling. It's an endless cycle. 

The Dirty Cookie is one of my recent IG #foodie finds. Lucky for me, The Dirty Cookie is not too far from home and is on the way to and from our family Los Angeles adventures. 

So, what is The Dirty Cookie? First, it's far from dirty. It's totally yummo and Garcia Bros. approved!
Think shots, like drink shots. Like the drink shots you get at the club. But it's not a shot "glass", it's a cookie "glass". And it's not alcohol but milk, chocolate creme, cold brew, soft-serve, or s'mores. AND, you can customize your cookie with cute characters and logos. Hubby had to get this favorite Winnie the Pooh. 

Churro with Coconut Cold Brew
Cookies and Cream with Chocolate Cream

The Dirty Cookie was delicious. I look forward to trying the other flavors. The red velvet was calling my name. Although yummy and a unique way to have milk and cookies,  it was a bit over priced. For 4 dirty cookies, it was $27. Yikes!

If you are in and around Orange County, check out The Dirty Cookie located inside the Union Market Tustin, in The District marketplace. Follow them on Instagram to make your mouth water.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

We LOVED the Lincoln Date Night Experience

Date nights are few and far between for hubby and I. I know this is the case for many couples as well. Be it finances, time, or babysitting, for many of us getting away for a date night for a few hours is tough. 

Thanks to Witt Lincoln of San Diego and the "Lincoln Date Night" promotion, we got this cool ride and some cash to enjoy a night out. Well, for us it wasn't really a date night, it was more of a day outing with included some lunch and shopping as a pre-father's day treat for hubby!

So, how does it work?

What did we LOVE about the Lincoln MKZ?

The car drove really well, but what I loved the most was all the features inside the vehicle which made for comfort and enjoyment. 

First, I loved the seat coolers! Today was one of the first warm days of summer here in San Diego so the seat coolers were very much appreciated! The subtle cool air was awesome!

Second, the seats have massage functions! The driver and front passengers have their own controls for massage features on the seats. For my long commutes to and from work, these massage seats would be heavenly after a long day.

Third, the sound system in the MKZ was impressive. The clip in the video below does not do it justice. You can read all about the 19-speaker sound system here.

Marco Jimenez, Internet Consultant from Witt Lincoln was super helpful in getting us set up! The entire experience from vehicle pick up to drop off was no pressure. There was no sales talk, just a simple offer "If you are ever in the market to buy a car, please consider us, " and that was it.  The entire experience really was a genuine offer to experience the Lincoln MKZ without any strings attached.

You can email marco.jimenez@wittlincoln.com or call 619-358-5018 to inquire on the availability of the vehicles for your own Lincoln Date Night.

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Benefits of Holistic Healing with Dr. Luib

What is holistic medicine?

The premise of holistic medicine is healing the whole individual: body, mind, and soul. 

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Catherine Sy Luib of the Luib Health Center of San Diego.
She believes that it is important to take time and use a holistic approach to make sure that she treats the root cause of an individual's pain or illness and to not just address the symptoms being experienced.

She believes that pain or illness are a result of an imbalance between the mind, body, and spirit. They all work together to maintain wellness and harmony. When there is an imbalance, the whole individual is affected, not just that one spot or symptom.

As I've gotten older, I've started to listen more to my body, especially when it comes to stress at work. I've found when I'm in stressful situations at work (MIND), I get my migraine headaches and feel fatigue (BODY), which results in an irritable mood (SPIRIT). 

One of those stressful times at work
Most recently, I hurt my shoulder cleaning the bathroom. I was on my hands and knees, getting to the nooks and crannies behind the toilet where boys always seem to aim. With one wrong swipe of my arm, I heard something pop and a horrible pain stabbed at my shoulder. Urgent care said I had STERNOCLAVICULAR JOINT PAIN with TRAPEZIUS (NECK AND SHOULDER) STRAIN. I was sent home with codine, ibuprofen, and an arm brace. The pain should have subsided within a week. A month later, my shoulder still hurts.
So, for my visit with Dr. Luib, I talked to her about my shoulder pain. She suggested I have the combo treatment which included lying on a Biomat for Cellular Healing with Amethyst Crystals, Sound Therapy using Tibetan Bowls, and aromatherapy with lavender essential oils.

Here is a snippet of my combo therapy experience:

Thank you to Lora of LoraSaysSo for taking the video!

After my 15 minute treatment, I felt so relaxed. I've listened to Tibetan Bowls on YouTube to help me sleep, yet nothing compares the the "live" version. The sounds were hypnotizing, where within a few seconds my mind had cleared, by body got really heavy and relaxed. The lavender helped me focus on my breathing, deep breathing in to take in the aroma and exhaling to relax. The Biomat was warm on my back, relaxing my muscles. I could feel my shoulder was a bit looser, less pain. The 15 minute treatment left me energized as if I had taken an hour nap. Dr. Luib did notice a few snores that escaped during my treatment, it was that good!

Benefits from the Amethyst Biomat, taken from www.luibhealthcenter.com:
  • The temporary relief of minor muscle and joint pain stiffness;
  • The temporary relief of joint pain associated with arthritis;
  • The temporary relief of muscle spasms;
  • Minor sprains and strains, and minor muscular pain;
  • The relaxation of muscles;
  • And the temporary increase of local circulation where applied.
Benefits of Tibetan Singing Bowls taken from www.yogayoga.com:
  • Reduce stress and anxiety significantly
  • Lower anger and blood pressure
  • Improve circulation and increases blood flow
  • Deep relaxation and pain relief
  • Chakra balancing
  • Increase mental and emotional clarity
  • Promote stillness, happiness and well being
  • stimulates the immune system
Benefits of lavender oil taken from DrAxe.com
  • Reduces anxiety and emotional stress
  • Heals burns and wounds
  • Improves sleep
  • Restores skin complexion and reduces acne
  • Slows aging with powerful antioxidants
  • Improves eczema and psoriasis
  • Alleviates headaches
  • Stimulate the immune system

Dr. Luib also gave me sample of Theramu Relieve which she carries in her office. Made with Emu Oil and pure hemp extract, immediate relief is experienced when applied directly to area of pain. I placed a pea size portion on my shoulder before taking a nap. When I woke up, I didn't feel the usual pain I feel when I wake up.

A few of the services offered at the Luib Health Center include, but are not limited to:
  • Chiropractic
  • Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
  • Herb and Vitamin Supplement

Dr. Luib offers free consultations. Visit her website to call, email, or send an online form to schedule your appointment.

Dr. Luib also has lots of very informational blog posts on her website. Here are a few I enjoyed reading:

Thank you to Dr. Luib for hosting Lora and I on behalf of the San Diego Filipino Bloggers Network.

Please visit http://www.luibhealthcenter.com/ and give Dr. Luib's Facebook page a LIKE!

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

Monday, June 12, 2017

Visiting Washington DC with Kids: Day Four

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

By the time Day 4 of our Washington DC trip came around, our boys had become pros on the Metro. I was impressed with their ability to follow along on the maps and use their Metro etiquette.

We started the day at The National Archives. We tried to get their early since we were not able to secure reservations. The archives opened at 9AM, we got there a little before 9 and there was already a long line outside. Most of the people in line were school field trips. The line moved quickly and soon we were inside viewing The Constitution and The Bill of Rights. No pictures are allowed inside.

Next was the Library of Congress which was the main reason for our trip. The boys were excited to see the "largest library in the world". Once inside the boys were expecting a traditional library, but a really large library. They thought they'd be able to browse the shelves and get lost in the books. Unfortunately, the Library of Congress doesn't work this way. Nonetheless, they were awed by the library, even if it was from the balcony, behind glass windows.

Next stop... The Capitol

We had a short walk from The Library of Congress to Congressman Scott Peters office in the Longworth House Office building which is one of three buildings which house the offices of the House of Representatives. Here we met an intern from San Diego who would take us to our tour of The Capitol.

The intern took us through the underground tunnels from the Longworth House Office Building to the Capitol Building. There were two security checks in the tunnels, as well as lots of "official" looking government people busily walking to and from, with lots of important conversations in passing. The security guards look a vial of my essential oils. Apparently, peppermint oil is a security threat. Anyways. In the tunnels, they boys were impressed there were small Best Buy, Verizon, and AT&T stores, as well as Subway, Baskin Robbins, Dunkin' Donuts, and other eateries.

At the end of the tunnel was the The US Capitol Visitors Center where the intern secured our tickets and set us up with our tour.

Highlights of The Capitol:

United States Capitol rotunda
Within the Rotunda there are eight large paintings about the development of the United States as a nation. On the east side are four paintings depicting major events in the discovery of America. On the west are four paintings depicting the founding of the United States.

National Statuary Hall
The National Statuary Hall Collection in the United States Capitol is composed of statues donated by individual states to honor persons notable in their history.

Hello CNN
The House of Representatives Chamber
The House was not in session but were were able to sit up in the gallery. We had to check in all our bags before going into the chamber. Again, no pictures allowed inside. I hope our boys remember the experience of sitting in the gallery when they see footage of the House of Representatives on the news.

Next stop was the Bureau of Printing and Engraving
I'm bummed we were not allowed to take pictures during this tour. It was amazing seeing pallets of $20 bill sheets. It literally smelled of money in the factory. There was a point in the tour when one of the technicians held up a sheet of $20 dollar bills and said the total was $250,000. WOW!

Before heading back to our hotel, we had to have one last view of the cherry blossoms from my favorite spot at the MLK Monument.

We had a great family vacation in Washington DC. The city is very easy to get around and there is so much to see and do. Of course we didn't see everything we had hoped to see. We'll hope to visit DC again in the future. I'm very blessed to have been able to share this experience with my husband and kids. Garcia Memories were definitely made!

Click here >> Day One
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

Click here >> Day Two
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

Click here >> Day Three
The White House
National Postal Museum
Union Station

Click here >> Day Four
National Archives
Library of Congress
The Capitol
Bureau of Printing and Engraving
Cherry Blossoms

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