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...]

The Women Of Osage County-Which One Are You? #AugustMoments #Ad ($100 Visa GC #Giveaway)

Disclosure:  This is part of a sponsored campaign with The Weinstein Co. However, all opinions expressed are my own.     During my childhood, I had the pleasure of being raised around my Great-Grandmother Carmen.  She was the epitome of strength and character and had known a hard life working in the fields and giving birth to her children right at home.  Although she was sometimes a bitter pill to swallow, she never backed down from anyone and taught me that women could be brave and fierce.     On the other hand, my Grandmother who raised me, was strong in a different kind of way.  She was never as overbearing and confrontational as Carmen was but she showed me that women could be strong and ladylike at the same time.  Although it seemed to outsiders that my Grandfather was the one calling all the shots in their home, she influenced his decisions behind the scenes and made her voice and opinions be heard subtly.     This December 25th, we will be introduced to the women of … [Read more...]

Bloggers Don’t Just Get Stuff For Free!

    This past week, I read a colleague's Facebook thread where someone commented that bloggers are really lucky and that they just get stuff for free.  They went on to say that all of the reviews that we write are doctored up just to get free items and that they are not honest and authentic.  Short of having my head blow up and confetti come out of it when I read this, it's safe to say that it really struck a nerve.     Let me begin by saying that yes, bloggers are in a unique situation where brands seek them out to try out their products.  However, this arrangement is not without its strings attached.  If only we could be so lucky that companies just jump at the chance to throw rose petals at our feet... There is a reason why they want us to review their products, because we have an audience.  So, when brands send products for review, the hope is that bloggers will share their experiences around the products with their readers.  You see, there is an exchange of services.     As far … [Read more...]

Share What’s Good With Welch’s And You Could Win! #ShareWhatsGood @Welchs #Ad

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Welch's. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.     Recently, it has become more and more difficult to be able to spend quality time as a family due to my husband's and my hectic work schedule.  Add to that the fact that my husband works nights and that I work days and the opposite hours make it even more tricky to plan things for us to do as a family.  As a result, we have had to get creative about making sure that we have that important time to spend together and to connect with one another.     Here are some tips that we have come up with to help "steal" some quality time as a family: Watch a movie together at home.  It's a great way to save money on skyrocketing movie theater prices and everyone can relax together in the comfort of home. Take a drive with the family and head to a local park or recreation area.  We are lucky that we live right next to a huge park and … [Read more...]

Pass The Purple Purse To Raise Money For Domestic Violence Victims! #PurplePurse #Sponsored

*This sponsored post was written by me in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and The Allstate Foundation.  All opinions are 100% mine.     Many people are unaware that October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  Unfortunately, many of us have been affected personally by domestic violence, myself included.  Back in high school, I had a good friend who was being abused by her boyfriend and I recall how frustrated I felt and how worried I was for her welfare.  I just couldn't understand how she could continue to stay with someone who was treating her this way and I didn't know how I could help her. WHEN IS IT TIME TO GET HELP?     The scariest moment for me was when her boyfriend beat her in the car with his friends present and then kicked her out of the car.  As she recounted the story to me and I gazed upon her badly bruised face, I knew that I had to do something to help her because I was afraid that he was going to kill her.  I was able to get help from teachers whom … [Read more...]

Encourage Young Drivers To Make Safe Driving Choices @StateFarm #CelebrateMyDrive

This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Latina Mom Bloggers and State Farm.  However, all opinions expressed are my own.     Last night, I was going through some old papers when I came upon my old Learner's Permit.  It was certainly a blast from the past and I immediately showed it to my ten year-old son so he could see my old photo and so he could see what a Permit in New York State looks like.  He immediately had a lot of questions about how someone gets a Permit and whether I was afraid to be able to drive for the first time.  State Farm is committed to teaching young people safe driving from the moment they begin to drive to set the tone for safety in vehicles for the rest of their life. As the mother of a child who will be eligible for his Learner's Permit in a few years, I have some serious concerns about safety when it comes to handing him the keys to one of our cars.  As an educator of adolescents, I know that young people don't always make the best decisions due … [Read more...]

Are Females More Prone To Bullying?

   This morning, I had to have some serious conversations with my students about a bullying situation that I have been watching unfold for the past couple of days.  It's the typical situation where a new kid arrives at a school and is targeted by other kids who have been there for a long time.  Add the fact that they are females and that the new kid is beautiful and drawing the attention of the male students and you have a recipe for disaster.     I enlisted the assistance of a lot of people to help me get this anti-bullying message out to my students including fellow staff members, parents of the children who were involved, and even older siblings of these girls.  As a united front, we met with a few classes and discussed with them the fact that we have a zero tolerance policy regarding bullying or any kind of violence or aggression in school.  Additionally, we talked to them about the dangers of being the victim of bullying such as low self-esteem and thoughts of suicide.  We even … [Read more...]

Reading As A Punishment?

    This past week, I had to get in contact with my son's teacher for the first time this year.  It all started when my son came home and told me that he had to write a book report as punishment for not behaving while on line in school.  I immediately asked him what he was doing on line and he explained to me that he put his hands on the shoulders of the student in front of him to make like a train.  The first thing that I did was to proceed to explain to him the importance of following the teacher's directions and not fooling around either on line or in the classroom.     As the conversation with him went on, however, I started to become concerned at the way that his teacher handled the whole thing and some red flags went up in my mind regarding whether I agreed with the consequences that she had doled out.  It seems that she immediately sent him to the teacher's lounge to sit with the teacher's assistant and, when she was ready, handed him a book and told him, "Let's see how you do … [Read more...]

The Loss Of A Great Grandparent

    This past week, we received word that my Great-Grandmother passed away in Spain.  She was well into her nineties and had been bed-ridden for the past few years due to severe Rheumatoid Arthritis and Alzheimer's.  In the wake of her death I find myself reflecting on her life and thinking about the legacy of the family that she left behind.     We called her "Madrina" which means "godmother" in Spanish.  The reason for this is that she baptized my father and was actually his godmother so, since he always called her that, the name stuck.  She came from a time when women worked in the fields alongside their husbands and never complained about anything.  I remember her telling me the story of how she gave birth in the old house, upstairs from where they kept the cows.     Back when I was a kid, I remember feeling like she was really old fashioned and like I couldn't relate to her.  She dressed in black as was customary for widows back in the day in Spain and always wore a kerchief … [Read more...]

Did She Really Just Say That?

    Many of you know that this past year, I had to deal with some parents behaving badly in my son's class due to the presence of "Mom Cliques" and the children that they are raising to think that being mean spirited to others is acceptable.  One particular parent's son has been especially cruel to my son and to other children not only in class but also during organized sports.  It's been difficult to avoid it since all of the kids participate in these activities together within our community.     This past baseball season, my son and this boy ended up on the same baseball team much to my chagrin.  You see, this Momma Bear has had to go up against this mom and son duo before.  His mean antics continued right from the classroom to the baseball field and dugout.  He even went as far as to call some of the boys on the team "fagg&%ts" when they ran out of gum and did not have a piece to give him.  This was no surprise to me because this is the same boy who had called my son a … [Read more...]