12/21/15

3 SANTA FAILS

I was so excited about this past weekend. We had plans to do everything to start celebrating Christmas. It was a total FAIL! Friday night we took a trip to this adorable Santa Village near us. They had different activities for kids and they had Santa. I knew it would be extremely crowded but the Santa line was insane. It was crazy long and Evan just wasn't in the mood. He refused to walk and wanted to be carried the entire time. We only went in the ornament station and left. I was so upset. Saturday we woke up early to take a trip to Bass Pro to visit Santa. Evan had his Christmas list ready to show Santa. There wasn't many people in line, but apparently they gave out passes in the morning before they opened, and they had already handed out all the passes. Sunday we went to a different location and needed to make an appointment with Santa because he was booked that day! So crazy! I was so excited for a festive weekend and sadly it wasn't the best weekend. My fingers are crossed that we have a great week full of Christmas activities and baking. On a bright note I finally got a star for our tree and we had fun wrapping up our last minute gifts. Evan was a huge help. He absolutely loved the chalkboard wrapping paper. As he gets older Christmas is just so much fun. Merry Christmas week to you all! xo
This picture sums up our weekend!

12/17/15

THOUGHTFUL GIFT FOR HIM

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Scandinavian Tobacco Group, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #masteryourblend  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV
It's been a little over a year since my guy and I have gone on a date. Crazy, I know! We came to an agreement that we have to go on a date at least once a month or every other month.The first few years that we dated I always loved surprising him with gifts, and since it' been so long I want to start doing that again. I want to gift him something small but something that I know he will really appreciate. Cubero Cigars immediately came to mind. These cigars offer a premium smoking experience and are super affordable. It's great that they come in three flavors. I purchased all three flavors because I couldn't decide on just one. I put my little guy to work and had him draw on chalkboard wrapping paper to make this gift even more special. I wrapped the cigars with our son's art work, added a card and tag to give it that final touch. I plan on giving him his gift tomorrow before our date. It's a simple gift that you can give your guy for any occasion. I promised myself to do this more often. Do you surprise your significant other with gifts?
Cubero Cigars always make a great gift. Especially now for the holidays. I will definitely be purchasing more and use as stocking stuffers. Or for new fathers, as a wedding gift and even cocktail parties happening this December. Here are the three flavors I purchased:
-Blend 35- Sweet: fine tobacco with rum, a hint of mint and sugar cane for a sweet finish
-Blend 07- Wine: naturally sweet tobacco with a distinct taste of grape and an oak-like nuance
-Blend 12- Mocha: medium bodied tobacco that provides a smooth taste with chocolate and coffee overtones.
To sign up for free coupons and to find a retailer near you visit Cubero Cigars website here

Which flavor would you purchase first Sweet, Wine or the Mocha Cigar?

12/15/15

HERDEZ SALSA VERDE ENCHILADAS FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Thank you to HERDEZ® Brand for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring me to further celebrate Las Posadas!
https://ooh.li/a50b7a0
When I think about the holidays the first thing that comes to mind is food. My Mexican family is huge on cooking all kinds of delicious recipes around this time. Especially for Las Posadas that officially start tomorrow. Las Posadas is a nine day Mexican celebration occurring from December 16th to the 24th. Las Posadas is part of the celebration of Christmas, but specifically celebrates the travels of Mary and Joseph as they traveled house to house to find shelter in Bethlehem for Jesus to be born.

Growing up I attended many Posadas. Even now I can remember the excitement they would bring. The food, warm drinks, hanging out with family and friends and the piƱatas made each Posada I attended magical. I was always a part of the outside group, one of the " peregrinos" asking for shelter. It was always so cold but I would take my champurrado (hot chocolate) outside and happily sing and pray. My last Posada was a few years ago but I can't wait to share this tradition with my son. It's part of who I am and I plan to carry on this tradition along with others, like celebrating on December 24th and staying up until midnight to pray and sing to Baby Jesus. We end our celebration with presents and the entire celebration is just magical. This time of year is just so special. This year my family is hosting a Posada, and I volunteered to make Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas. That is why I want to share a very simple recipe with HERDEZ salsa verde. The HERDEZ Brand cares about authenticity in both food and culture. In honor of the authentic holiday, Las Posadas, the HERDEZ Brand will celebrate this holiday season and how food and traditions brings family and friends together. Thanks to HERDEZ we can all enjoy the holidays and not stress so much on making difficult recipes. ENJOY!

*SERVES 4-6

*SERVES 4-6
INGREDIENTS:
-1 HERDEZ Salsa Verde 16 oz
-4 Chicken Breast
-12 corn tortillas
-1 bunch of Cilantro
-1 onion
-1 garlic
-Salt
-1 cup of Mozzarella cheese
-1/2 cup of Mexican Queso Fresco Cheese
-Sour cream or crema Mexicana
-High smoke point cooking oil such as canola oil 

DIRECTIONS:
1 Put chicken breast in a medium sized saucepan and just cover with water. Add one clove of garlic, 1/4 of an onion and 1 teaspoon of salt to the water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a low simmer, and cook covered for 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked. Remove chicken breasts to a separate bowl and let cool. 
2 Shred the chicken with fork or knife. Put the chicken in a bowl. Taste the chicken, if it needs salt, add a little.
3 Pour the HERDEZ Salsa Verde into a skillet, bring to a simmer and let simmer for 5 minutes. Then remove from heat.
4 Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan on medium high heat. Add a tortilla to pan leave for 10 seconds and flip. Repeat this process with all tortillas. When the tortillas are heated through, remove them to a plate lined with paper towels. 
5 Warm the oven to 350° F. Dip a tortillas in the HERDEZ Salsa Verde and place it on an oven-proof dish. Add chicken and mozzarella cheese into the center of the tortilla and roll up the tortilla. Place on the serving dish and repeat the process with all of the tortillas. 
6 Pour remaining HERDEZ Salsa Verde on top of your enchiladas and put enchiladas in oven for 10 minutes. 
7 Remove enchiladas from oven and serve immediately. Top them with cream, queso fresco, cilantro and chopped onion.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and you check out this easy Tamal recipe using HERDEZ Salsa Verde. I've never made tamales but will definitely give these a shot. For more Mexican recipes click here and make sure to follow HERDEZ on Instagram. As this holiday brings family and friends coming together enjoying food and celebrations, HERDEZ brand is holding a photo contest on Instagram. The Share in the Magic of #MisPosadas contest lasts from December 7th – January 6th.

Each week, a fill in the blank question relevant to the holiday will be posted for fan to answer with a photo. Three top winners will be selected as well as honorable mentions. Prizes are as follows:
- Grand Prize: Dinner prepared by a personal chef for up to 4 people in your very own home!
- 2nd Place: $250 Gift Basket
- 3rd Place: $200 Gift Basket
- Honorable Mention: Custom T-shirts

12/14/15

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: FOR THE LITTLE ONES

Shopping for our little ones can be so fun yet challenging. There are so many cute toys and adorable accessories. This year I don't want to gift Evan any clothes because he doesn't get excited for that. All he wants is toys, toys and more toys. I also don't want to go crazy with the toys because I know most kids play with one toy a few times and then move on to another. Evan has so many toys and doesn't play with half of them. I am sure we will gift him a toy or two, but I also want to incorporate items that he will use over and over while still brightening up his face when he opens his gifts. These items are my top favorite for Evan and I am sure you will love them too. What will you be gifting your little one this year?
 6. TeePee

12/11/15

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: FOR HER

Hey there! Who is Christmas shopping this weekend? For the first time I can say I am almost done shopping for everyone on my list. We started shopping early this year, but I know how difficult it can be to shop for women. Am I right? We can be picky. I put together my top gift ideas for the fabulous ladies in your life. Whether it be your mom, sister, cousin or best friend, I am sure they will love any of these items. I am completely obsessed with everything on here and will defiantly be sharing this list with my guy and help him out this Christmas. Happy Shopping! xo



12/10/15

IDEAL HOME BUYING CHECKLIST

Thank you Capital One Home Loans for sponsoring this post. This is a paid endorsement. To learn more about how Capital One Home Loans tools can help simplify your home-buying process, visit CapitalOneSmartHomeLoans.com.
I mentioned it a few posts back but we finally have our own place. After living in several apartments, living with my sister and my parents house we are finally on our own. We are still renting but this is just our next step until we make our big purchase. We have hope that by the end of next year we will be home owners. We see how others have a hard time buying a home and we thought it would take years before we could purchase a home. Luckily Capital One has launched a completely re-imagined, personal and digital home loans experience. This new home loan experience allows customer to pre-qualify for a home loan in minutes from any device, apply online, upload documents and digitally track progress from application to closing. It also includes personalized service from a dedicated loan officer when a customer needs it. We really appreciate how we can do everything in the comfort of our home.

We can finally begin our hunt for the perfect house to purchase next year in the DFW. However, I know there is a process and we need to get as much information as we can get on loans and anything financially. I know that buying a house requires careful and thorough preparation, especially for first time home buyers. Capital One Home Loans What To Expect brochure provides a very detailed break down of how the home buying process works. I have a short checklist that contains three steps that will help us find and hopefully buy a home in the near future.
HOME COST
We must be able to afford our home. That is our number one request and thanks to Capital One Mortgage Calculator we can estimate what we can and can't afford. We are checking our credit scores now to see where we stand and what we need to work on so there won't be a mistake that can negatively affect us with any home loan.

HOME RESEARCH/LOCATION
We want to do our research and investigate if our potential home is in a nice and safe neighborhood, research proximity to institutions that are important to us, commuting distance, local services and schools. All of these are the most important factors that will be taken into consideration when buying our home. Location plays a huge part of our home search.

HOME DESCRIPTION
We have made a list of the features we must have and what we would like to have in our home. When we begin house hunting we plan on taking that list with us. Having a solid idea of what we are looking for in a home will make things easier. We ask ourselves what size home do we need and is a big back yard a necessity? Will three bedrooms work, or would we prefer four? How about the kitchen? Do we want a pool or would we prefer not to have one? All of these questions are crucially important to us in order to find our ideal home. 

We know that this whole home buying  journey will take time and we will be patient, but we are so glad that the new Capital One digital home loan experience is empowering us and other potential homebuyers to take charge, while providing us the transparency we want and need every step of the way.
If you are near the DFW area come celebrate with Capital One. They are partnering with Jillian Harris and Todd Talbot, stars from HGTV’s Love It or List It, Too, to host a free and open-to-the public Open House event on Saturday, December 12 at the Stonebriar Centre mall in Frisco, TX. During the event, they’ll share do-it-yourself tips and tricks for simplifying the entire home buying and owning process. For more information, visit SmartHomeLoans.com

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

12/8/15

HOLIDAY CARD PICTURES

We took our holiday card pictures this weekend. I wanted something really simple and I am so happy with how the turned out. Originally I wanted to wear a long dress or a sequin blazer, but simple turned out to be great. Last year was our first year sending out Christmas cards but we never mailed them. I found them all when we moved to our new place. So bad, I know. This year I feel like I should have already sent them out. I am ordering from Tiny Prints. It has been so hard choosing just one design they are all so gorgeous. I think this one and this one are my top favorite. Regardless if our family receives them a little late we will not forget this year. We had so much fun taking our pictures and Evan was so cooperative. He kept giving us thumbs up. When do you send out your holiday cards? Is it too late if I mail them by the end of this week or am I right on time? I am such a procrastinator it's horrible. Happy Tuesday! xo

12/2/15

TMNT BIRTHDAY BASH

I can't believe my little dude is three. His TMNT birthday party was two weeks ago and it was a total success. This year I wanted a simple party but a theme that would still make him really excited. I did a simple cake table that everyone really loved. My camera is messing up and the colors are a little off but I still had to share. This year I did everything on my own. My sister is a party planner but I didn't want to stress her and have her organize Evan's party. We asked Evan several times what he wanted his birthday theme to be and TMNT won every single time. For about a week I had my little to do list and slowly crossed everything off. However, I forgot the darn table cloths (hence the naked tables). I definitely could not be a party planner because even though this was a small party I was so nervous it wouldn't turn out how I pictured. I am so glad everyone enjoyed themselves regardless of the cold weather. We asked what his favorite part of his birthday party was and he said the ooze drink and cupcakes. I am sure Evan will be talking about his birthday party for a while. 
Goody Bags from Sparkle My Party
Cup Cake Toppers from Sparkle My Party
Popcorn/Favor Cups from 3 Sweet Memories
Invitations from Socialite Studio

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