Unlock An Unexpected Dose Of Joy! #MusicToYourNose @GainLatino @Gain #Giveaway #Ad

*I participated in this campaign on behalf of Gain. I received a promotional item to facilitate this review and as a thank you item for participating. All opinions are my own.     Many people don't know a lot about the Bronx aside from what they have seen on television or in the movies.  This borough of New York City is often depicted in a less than favorable light and we don't get the credit that we deserve for being full of decent and hardworking people.  That is why I was so excited when I found out that Gain was coming to the Bronx to transform local neighborhood laundromats into something special.  I immediately knew that this would help to spread an unexpected dose of joy throughout our community!    This past Friday, I had the pleasure of meeting Bronx-born musician Leslie Grace, who has partnered with Gain, to showcase how art, music and culture collide to celebrate the launch of six community-decorated Laundromats throughout the Bronx, Spanish Harlem and Washington … [Read more...]

How Can You Keep Readers Coming Back To Your Blog?

    When I first started blogging in 2009, I wasn't prepared for the amount of work that would go into running a successful blog.  Perhaps part of my naiveté had to do with the fallacy that "If you build it, they will come."  In my mind, as long as I poured myself into my writing and posted regularly, it would guarantee that my readers would keep coming back for more and more.  Boy, this couldn't have been further from the truth!     This August will make 5 years since I started blogging for the first time and I have learned a lot about how to keep readers coming back to Tough Cookie Mommy.  Although great content still trumps when it comes to making people want to return and read, there are other things that bloggers do to keep the spice in the relationship with their readers.  I'm hoping that some of my experiences will prove to be useful and valuable to other up and coming bloggers so that they too may have a successful blogging career.The following are the top 5 ways that I … [Read more...]

Protect What You Love And Care About The Most! #MasterLockProtects @MasterLockUS #Ad

*I participated in this campaign on behalf of Master Lock. I received a promotional item to facilitate this review and as a thank you item for participating.  All opinions are my own.      I've always been very clear that my children and my family are my top priorities.  Everything that I do in my life is with their best interests at heart.  Part of loving and caring for them is making sure that they are safe at all times and that I educate them about staying secure in a variety of situations.     Recently, Master Lock kicked off their year-long initiative aimed at helping consumers to protect all that they love and care about in 2014.  They really know what they are talking about when it comes to safety because they are the world's largest manufacturer of padlocks and other security products.    The campaign will continue throughout the year by providing a series of safety tips and advice to families.  Master Lock made an initial donation to the American Red Cross … [Read more...]

As The New Year Approaches…

    With all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I have been very busy here on the blog sharing all of our family's experiences and even reviews and giveaways of some of our favorite products.  As the New Year approaches, I feel the need to slow it down a little bit for this post and share some of our family's behind the scenes stuff which I'm sure many of you can surely relate to...     Two weeks before Christmas, my husband got laid off from his job.  It certainly wasn't the best time for this to happen but then, is it ever good timing?  I keep reminding myself that it could be worse, at least I still have my job and medical benefits, thank God.  Every single time I turn around, I hear about families being hard hit by unemployment in these uncertain economic times and I'm thankful for what we do have.     Today, my boys attended a basketball game with my Father in Law at Fordham University and I stayed behind because walking around such a huge college campus is just not … [Read more...]

Celebrate The Women Of Steel In Your Life! @SamsungTweets #Samsung #Sponsored

This is a compensated campaign on behalf of Samsung Home Appliances U.S.A.  All opinions are 100% mine.    Six years ago, my life was rocked with a Cancer diagnosis and I really didn't know what to do or who to turn to.  Being a teacher and a lifelong student, I decided to become proactive about my health and my mental state and I researched cancer support groups online to connect with others who were going through the same struggles.     One of the angels whom I met was Mike Tufo.  He was a Synovial Sarcoma Survivor and we would chat online during the wee morning hours about all of the concerns that were keeping us up at night.  He was an amazing man who loved his sweetheart Dianne and their four sons.     I can still recall how he would comfort me and give me hope during those dark early days when I was first diagnosed.  While he was fighting for his own life, he still found time to support others and be a mentor.  Unfortunately, Mike passed away on December 1st, 2009 after 19 … [Read more...]

Celebrate The History Of Latino Americans! @FordEspanol @PBS #LatinosPBS #LatinosFord

This is part of a compensated campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and Ford.  However, all opinions expressed are my own.    Last week, I shared a very special experience with my two sons who are ages seven and ten.  We sat down as a family and watched the second episode in the PBS series Latino Americans which kicked off our official celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.  It was a wonderful opportunity for us to spend quality time as a family and to reflect on the many contributions that Latinos have made over the last 500 years.     This episode focused on the struggles that Latinos encountered during the World War II years and years that followed the war.  Although many Latinos proudly served this country and defended it during the war, they were still discriminated against and had to fight for civil rights during this time.  We also learned about how Latinos from Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and Cuba came to the United States looking for better opportunities for their … [Read more...]

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month As A Family @FordEspanol @PBS #LatinosPBS #LatinosFord

*This is part of a compensated campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and Ford.  However, all opinions expressed are my own.    Family is very important in the Latino culture.  We pride ourselves on always being there for one another and passing down our customs and heritage from one generation to the next.  In our home, our sons are blessed to be mixed with Spaniard, Cuban, and Puerto Rican.  My husband and I think it is important for both of them to know about their roots so we work very hard to instill these cultural values in them throughout the whole year but especially during Hispanic Heritage Month.     All of our grandparents migrated to the United States with the hopes of creating better opportunities for their children and for future generations.  My grandparents actually moved to Venezuela from Spain and lived there for many years working and saving money to come to America.  They struggled with very little money and two children but managed to persevere due to the promise … [Read more...]

Join Exclusive Orgullosa Facebook Chat With Adrienne Bailon And Win Prizes! #OrgullosaHeritage

*This sponsored post was written by me in collaboration with Latina Mom Bloggers and Orgullosa.  All opinions are 100% mine.    In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and the spirit of Nueva Latina, we would love to have you join us for an exclusive Orgullosa Facebook chat with celebrity guest Adrienne Bailon!  The Orgullosa community already celebrates, empowers and fuels Latinas' accomplishments and dreams everyday as “mujeres con la falda bien puesta."  We celebrate where we come from and where we are going with passion and in the hope that we can be an inspiration to one another because that's how we roll!     So clear your calendars because, on September 25th, we are going to get together to talk about how our bicultural community represents strong, independent women who celebrate having the best of two worlds: one being rooted in their Hispanic culture and the other seizing their limitless potential in the U.S. The Nueva Latina!  It will be a wonderful opportunity to come … [Read more...]

Back To School With Boys & Girls Clubs Of America! #Tools4BTS @BGCA_Clubs

*This post was written by me on behalf of Boys & Girls Club of America.  All opinions are 100% mine.    This morning, my boys and I had the pleasure of attending the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA's) Wake Up Call Back-to-School Kick Off event in New York City.  The event was supported by JCPenney and aims to motivate kids to be prepared for academic success this school year.    The event took place in Foley Square and we had the opportunity to see legendary basketball player Shaquille O'Neal participating with students in a unique obstacle course.  We stood with students on the sidelines cheering our teams onto victory and, each child who participated in running the obstacle course, received an honorary diploma.  Shaq and Mommy O'Neal also sounded the alarm to signal the start of the Back-to-School season.    My boys also participated in running the obstacle course and it meant a lot to me because I want them to be excited about starting off the school … [Read more...]

We Attended A Blogging Conference In Chicago!

   As many of you know, my family and I attended a large blogging conference last week in Chicago.  This is the second time that I attend a conference and I wanted to have my family with me because I just couldn't bear to be away from them for even one minute.  Before the trip, I set personal and professional goals for myself that would keep me focused throughout my stay.    My husband and I drove for almost 14 hours to get there and I cannot even begin to describe the excitement that I felt when we finally arrived in the city of Chicago.  I felt right at home since I live in a big city myself and I found that there were a lot of parallels between New York City and Chicago right away.    I was very fortunate to have had my ticket to the conference sponsored in part by Noodle.org.  Our collaboration was a match made in heaven because of my experience being a NYC public school teacher for the past 13 years and the fact that they are the first education search engine. … [Read more...]