Earn Rewards For The Hallmark Cards You Buy All Year! #HallmarkCardRewards @Hallmark #Ad

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Hallmark and Latina Bloggers Connect.     When my husband and I started dating fifteen years ago, he was always very romantic but I noticed right away that he never gave me cards for special occasions.  Now, this might not normally have been an issue for another person but I love receiving greeting cards because I like to keep them in my special box and look back on them over the years.  He just couldn't understand why this was so important to me but he complied with my wishes and started giving me not one but two cards for every special day.     The first time that he gave me two cards, I was confused until he explained to me that he was starting a tradition where we would always gift each other a funny card and a romantic card for our anniversaries and birthdays.  He explained to me that our relationship was based on not only love and romance but friendship which is why it was important to include a card with a witty saying … [Read more...]

The Secret To Our Long And Happy Marriage

    Today is our 14th wedding anniversary.  Without a doubt, I can honestly tell you that the last fourteen years have been the best ones of my life.  Have they been easy? Hell no!  However, they have been full of love, joy, and lots of laughter.  My husband makes me a better person and he has given me the greatest gifts that I have ever received, my two boys.     We spent this whole weekend together reflecting on our marriage and the things that have given our relationship longevity and this is the criteria that we came up with: Love is nice but it just isn't enough sometimes.  We have found that we are friends first and genuinely enjoy each other's company as people and individuals. Open communication is key.  It's important to talk through everything even if the topic is a difficult one to broach.  Holding back feelings or thoughts can fester and cause resentment in the relationship over time. Give each other time to pursue interests separately.  Although we are … [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...]

What Is The Key To Our Long And Happy Marriage? #SwifferEffect #Ad

*This sponsored post was written by me on behalf of Swiffer.  All opinions are 100% mine.     Many people often ask my husband and I what the key to our long and happy marriage is.  You see, we have been married for fourteen years this November and we really do have a great marriage.  I guess most are surprised that a marriage could last this long considering what the rate of divorce is in this country.     When I sit down to think about what makes our marriage so great there are many things that come to mind that make me smile about our relationship.  First and foremost, it's not a perfect one and that really is an important ingredient in this recipe for joy.  Anyone who tells you they have the perfect union is not being totally honest.  Accepting one another with all of our flaws is important and allows us to be honest with one another.     The next thing that has contributed to the longevity of our marriage is the fact that we have very open communication.  My husband and I … [Read more...]

Are We Addicted To Social Media?

    Today at work, a colleague of mine stated that she had suspended one of her social media accounts because she got into a random argument with a stranger on some political page and it really shook her up.  Additionally, she feels that she has become a slave to checking her profile on her smartphone excessively.  Ironically, as she shared this with me, she was busy checking out another one of her social media accounts on her phone.     After our conversation, I began to reflect on my own love-hate relationship with social media.  It's no secret that I am a staunch supporter of interacting on multiple platforms and of using social media as a tool for engaging others in your brand.  However, at what point do we become consumed by our daily musings and exchanges there?  Although there are many benefits to being active on social media, it does have its downfalls too.  The question then becomes, are we addicted to social media?     In order to answer this question, we have to be honest … [Read more...]

Plan A Romantic Date In! #HormelFamily

    Whenever I want to spend some romantic time alone with my husband, we make plans to go out somewhere and always include going to eat at a restaurant as part of the date.  Unfortunately, these moments are few and far between because of the busy lives that we lead as parents.  Since it's always so difficult to get some of that one-on-one time together, it's important to make the best of the time that we do get to spend as a couple.  One way to spend some very romantic time together is to prepare a meal at home and stay in.     By staying in, you eliminate some of the frustrating factors that keep married couples with kids from being able to have dates that often.  You won't have to worry about fitting going to a pricey restaurant into your meal budget because you can plan a delicious and creative meal with even limited finances.  Also, there isn't the added concern of finding a restaurant that is kid-friendly and can accommodate your children.  Let's face it, some of us just don't … [Read more...]

Are You That Father?

    As a Literacy teacher, I am always prepared for literature that we read in class to elicit feelings in my students due to connections that they make to what the characters in the book are going through.  We are currently reading a book about four children who were abandoned by their parents and the events caused one of my students to have a very emotional reaction.     We were having a class discussion about the chapter we had just read and I asked if it was realistic to say that losing a parent early on has a profound impact on a person's life long-term.  One of my male students raised his hand and stated that if his father died it would not affect him at all because his father was never there for him and walked out when he was little.  He then proceeded to sob uncontrollably to the point that I had to stop the lesson to comfort him.     As I reflect on this experience, I can't help but think how familiar this story is in most of my students' cases.  Many of them come from … [Read more...]

Is Blood Thicker Than Water?

      I have always felt that family was the most important thing in my life.  Like most of you, I come from a pretty close-knit family with our share of problems but that always looked out for each other when the going got tough.  That's just the way it has always been, my crazy family, but my family nonetheless.     Now that I am an adult, it has become more complicated to keep those close family ties with all of the things that get in the way.  Things are not as simple as they used to be where I could just bicker with my siblings and we would make up before any one of us had time to dwell on why we had argued in the first place.  There are other people involved in these discussions now that we are all married with kids.     As a result, it seems like everyone is just out for themselves now.  Family is not defined the same way it was when we were growing up.  I'm not really sure what the exact moment was when things changed.  Perhaps every family is destined to become distant … [Read more...]

To Be Or Not To Be…

    Ever since as far back as I could remember I've had a big mouth.  Yes, I said it, a big one.  Not the kind of big mouth that tells everyone all of your secrets.  That's reserved for other definitions of big mouths.  My problem, or blessing depending on which way you look at it, has always been that I always say exactly how I feel out loud.     I realize that some of you might not see this as an issue at all because you like to surround yourself with "straight-shooters' like myself.  Believe me when I tell you, though, that opening my mouth and saying how I felt has gotten me into my share of problems over the years.  Sometimes people don't want to hear what you have to say and they just want you to listen.  I get that...     What I have never understood is society's level of hypocrisy.  It's almost as if most people would prefer to wander through life being phony to one another.  I can't tell you how many times I have stood in awe as supposed friends and family members have … [Read more...]

72 Days…

        I hate to give any additional attention to the topic of Kim Kardashian's divorce, however, I just couldn't help myself.  Besides being disgusted at all of the media attention that this whole issue is getting, I can't help but to be stuck on one point in this whole thing.  News reports indicate that comments have been made to the effect of that they tried to keep the marriage together for all of 72 days since the wedding.  As someone who has been married for 12 years next week, the first thought that comes to my mind is, "Are you freaking kidding me?"     Anyone who has ever been married can tell you that marriages are a lot of work.  Let me correct that, they are a hell of a lot of work.  I've often compared them to plants when discussing the whole issue with my friends and family.  You have to water, nurture, and care for a marriage much like you do for the plants in your home.  If you don't, they will just wither away and die.  Feelings will die, weeds will grow, soil … [Read more...]