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Disclosure: This post is part of the HEALTHY ESSENTIALS® 2014 program by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc. and The Motherhood, who sent me a box of products and compensated me for my time. Opinions, experiences and photos shared here are all my own, and I hope you enjoy them.
The holiday season is here. I love this time of year. I love the decorations, the parties, and of course the weather! Southern California is drenched and I love it! There is nothing quite like sitting by the fireplace and listening to the rain outside. It’s also the time of year when we are constantly on the go. It feels like I’m rushing from one holiday performance to another. That’s why I keep a dress, shoes, and some beauty essentials that I can’t live without in my car. It makes going from one event to another a cinch! I’m ready to go.
I carry lipstick and mascara wherever I go. I’m currently obsessed with my Neutrogena Waterproof Mascara. It’s perfect for days like today! I feel like I can go anywhere, as long as I have my favorite shade of lipstick and mascara. I also have added the Aveeno Positively Radiant Targeted Tone Corrector to my stash. It’s perfect addition to my moisturizer and my makeup routine. It helps take me from a day to night look.
Here is a list of my holiday essential stash. I’m telling you it’s been life saving to have this stash in my car.
- Black Dress
- Tone Corrector
- Hair Pins
- Small Envelope Bag
- Pain Reliever
Oh and I almost forgot. I also have a couple of small gift bags with tissue paper, wrapping paper, and of course tape!
If you’re looking to create your own little essential stash for your car and to be ready for those holiday parties/events, head over to the Healthy Essentials Website, for over $35 in savings. The Healthy Essentials website offers great tips and tools to help you get through this busy time of the year. You’ll find everything from Holiday Party-Pretty to Finding the perfect Winter Vacation Destination.
Disclosure : This is part of a sponsored collaboration with the California Milk Processor Board and Latina Mom Bloggers. However, all opinions expressed are my own.
This time of year is all about making memories. We have traditions that have passed on from one generation to another, like displaying a nacimiento or nativity scene for our family. We also have new traditions, like Elf on the Shelf. It’s a wonderful time of year and I love everything about it. I love the music, the lights, and of course the food and drinks. Our family is definitely under the belief that “What you say with a glass of milk lasts forever”. We love our holiday drinks and they all include leche!
My abuelita used to make champurado, a Mexican hot cocoa with milk, cinnamon, and chocolate. I’ve tried replicating the recipe, but I still have not mastered it. My mama has encouraged me to try my own spin on some of our favorite holiday recipes. This year, we will be celebrating Noche Buena or Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at my home. I’m entertaining at home and we’ve decided to do a special drink. I plan on making my coveted crockpot hot chocolate. My mami loves it and wants me to make it this year. It’s not quite my abuela’s recipe, but it reminds us of her and her famous champurado! As they say,
Here’s what you need to make my favorite holiday drink
Crockpot Hot Chocolate
- 8 cups of milk
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 2 and a half cups of chocolate chips(milk chocolate)
- 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
- Stir together milk, vanilla,condensed milk, and chocolate chips in your crock pot.
- Cover and cook on low for 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until mixture is hot and chocolate chips are melted.
- Stir before serving
- Keep on warm
It’s a very easy recipe to follow. It’s so easy that I think I’m going to let my almost 10 year old daughter make it. Milk Fuels a Better Future and my little budding chef is going to love one more recipe to add to her repertoire!
Starting tomorrow, December 10th and going through December 20th, make sure to participate in the Toma Leche Instagram “Milk Fuels a Better Future” Photo a Day Challenge. Follow the daily challenges/themes and create some holiday images. For additional info make sure to check out Toma Leche’s on Facebook and Twitter.
One of our favorite things to do as a family, is to get in the car, turn on the Christmas station, stop at Starbucks or McD’s for some peppermint hot chocolate, and go looking for Christmas lights. It is one of our absolute favorite Christmas traditions. It gets us in the holiday spirit, and it is doesn’t cost a cent, other than gas money. We can’t wait to do it again this year. If you’re looking for some fantastic places to watch Christmas lights, here is a list of the best neighborhoods and streets in So Cal. Enjoy!!!
- Sleepy Hollow Christmas Light Extravaganza – Torrance
- Naples Island – Long Beach
- Index Street – between Louise and White Oak - Granada Hills
- Candy Cane Lane -Lubao Ave and Oxnard Street – Woodland Hills
- Yolanda Lights - Reseda
- Christmas Tree Lane, Long Beach
Daisy Avenue between Willow Street & Pacific Coast Highway
- Christmas Tree Lane – (Santa Rosa Avenue, between Woodbury Avenue and Altadena Drive) Altadena
- Candy Cane Lane – 1200 block of East Acacia Avenue – El Segundo
- St Albans Drive- St Albans Drive at Huntington Drive- San Marino
- Wakefield Court - Saugus
- Hastings Ranch – Pasadena
- Candy Cane Lane – El Corzo Street- Rancho Santa Margarita
- Eagle Hills Christmas Lights – Entrance is either via East Birch and South Starflower Streets or East Lambert Road and Sunflower Street – Brea
- Houston Ave – La Palma
- Fountain Valley Christmas Lights- Neighborhood of Heil and Sycamore (near Brookhurst)
- Sea Side Neighborhood – San Clemente
- North Yale Avenue – Fullerton
- Oak Knoll/Flintridge Village Neighborhoods – Ladera Ranch
- Nellie Gail in Laguna Niguel
- Eastlake Village(around the lake) – Yorba Linda
- Old Town Orange – The Circle- particularly Pine Street going north from Chapman
- Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn - Riverside
- Bainbridge Circle Holiday Extravaganza - Murrieta
- Candy Cane Lane – Winton rd- Corona
- Menifee Lakes Neighborhood – Menifee
- Thoroughbred Street /Sapphire – Alta Loma/Rancho Cucamonga
- Chino CA. just South of the 60 frwy on Walnut , between Mountain , and Euclid and on the Corner of Philidelphia and Monte Vista.
- Festival of Lights – Tom’s Farms – South Corona
- Carmel Mountain Ranch – Fairway Village/Stoney Gate Place – Carmel Valley
- Jingle Bell Hill – Pepper Dr Holiday Lights – El Cajon
- Tinseltown – Paseo Palmas Drive- Lakeside
- Candy Cane Lane - Poway
- Christmas Card Lane – Oviedio Street – Rancho Penasquitos
- Holiday Hill – Stadler Street- La Mesa
- Hotel Del Coronado – Coronado
- Sunburst Santee – Tomel Court, off Magnolia- Santee
I’ve always wanted to go apple picking in Oak Glen and we never got around to it. Fall is a busy time of year with sports and back to school activities. This year I decided we had to visit, even if it meant late in the season. Today was the day and we finally made it out to Oak Glen. I’m so glad we did because we had an absolute blast!!
We had a blast from the minute we got off the car. My first word of advise is to bring a jacket or hoodie. It gets a little cold up there and you don’t want to get caught without a jacket. You also want to make sure you’re wearing comfy covered shoes. We decided to pick at Riley’s Apple Farm. There are about 7 U-Pick farms and we decided to visit Riley’s Apple Farm #1.
We could have just walked around the grounds of Riley’s for hours. It’s a beautiful place and everyone is so friendly. There is plenty of kiddos to do. Our kiddos just wanted to walk around and take it all in. They had a blast exploring all of the different buildings on the farm and they also had a cute play area that the kiddos fell in love with.
There are so many different things for the kids to do. You can of course pick apples, press your apple cider, participate in archery/tomohawk/knife throwing for only $1, go on a hay ride and so much more. This late in the season the activities run only on the weekends. The farm is however open for picking Tuesday to Sunday.
The apple picking part was a blast. It is late in the season and the trees were picked through, however we still had a blast. We were able to collect two bags full, which were about 6 pounds total. You are charged by the pound. We picked a little over 3 pounds which put us right under $20.00. It was seriously so much fun! The weather was perfect and the kids had a blast taking turns choosing a tree and picking their own apples.
On our way out we asked when the best time to visit and they recommended to visit during September. The official season starts in September and ends in November. However, you can start picking as soon as the apples are ready to pick and this year they started picking on July 8th!!!
If you’re going to visit late in the season you have to visit on the weekends, since most farms are closed. Oak Glen is a great day trip and there are a number of fun places to stop and visit. We can’t wait to go again next season and might just make it back for the apple butter festival, Thanksgiving Weekend!
For additional information head here.
We love Irvine Park and the Irvine Park Railroad. We visit often and it’s become a tradition to head to Irvine Park Railroad for Easter, Halloween and my favorite holiday of all, Christmas. This will be the 7th year in a row that we have made our way up to the Irvine Park Railroad Christmas train to visit Santa and participate in all of the fun activities. We bring our extended family, a thermos filled with hot chocolate, treats and take the train to meet Santa and take pictures.
We usually head to the park early to partake in the many fun activities including cookie decorating and Santa’s Bounce House. The kiddos love cheesing around the different photo stations and also love storytime with Mrs. Claus. There are quite a few fun activities that are free of charge for the family. If you get there early you can usually avoid waiting in line. This year like last year you can purchase your tickets in advance online for a specific time and avoid waiting in line. You can purchase your tickets by clicking here.
The Christmas Train will run from November 28th to December 23rd this year. Make sure to buy your tickets ahead of time and avoid waiting in line!
It’s Giveaway Time!
We’re giving away
- 4 Christmas Train tickets
- 6 Christmas Train activity tickets
- 1 Wheel Fun Rentals® at Irvine Park bike rental (excludes the double surrey)
- 1 Wheel Fun Rentals® at Irvine Park paddle boat rental
Our giveaway is only running for two days, so make sure to enter quickly! Giveaway ends on Thursday, November 13th at 11:59pm. Winner will be selected at random using random.org. Good luck!
*Disclosure: This is not a compensated post. Tickets for giveaway/review purposes were provided.
Disney on Ice Returns to So Cal with their holiday show, Let’s Celebrate! Disney on Ice comes to Los Angeles, Orange County, Inland Empire and Long Beach bringing more than 50 Disney characters from 16 beloved Disney stories together.
Join Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse on a delightful tour as they celebrate a Halloween haunt with the Disney Villains; a Very Merry Unbirthday Party with Alice and the Mad Hatter; Mardi Gras with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen; a Valentine’s Day Royal Ball with the Disney Princesses; a Hawaiian luau with Lilo & Stitch; a winter wonderland with Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear; traveling to far-off exotic places including China for the Chinese New Year, Brazil for Carnival and Japan for the beautiful Cherry Blossom festival Sakura.
The best part is that you can get select tickets on opening night! How cool is that?
It’s a fun show and perfect for the holiday season. The show will play at the following locations :
WHEN: Wednesday, December 10 – Sunday, December 14
- Wednesday, December 10 7:30 PM
- Thursday, December 11 7:30 PM
- Friday, December 12 11:30 AM & 7:30 PM
- Saturday, December 13 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM
- Sunday, December 14 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM
WHERE: STAPLES Center – 1111 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles 90015
TICKETS: Ticket prices range from $22 – $30; $45/$50 (VIP) and $75/$80 (Front Row)
WHEN: Tuesday, December 16 – Sunday, December 21
- Tuesday, December 16 7:30 PM
- Wednesday, December 17 7:30 PM
- Thursday, December 18 10:30 AM & 7:30 PM
- Friday, December 19 1:30 PM & 7:30 PM
- Saturday, December 20 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM
- Sunday, December 21 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM
WHERE: Honda Center – 2695 E. Katella Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92806
TICKETS: Ticket prices range from $22 – $30; $45/$50 (VIP) and $75/$80 (Front Row)*
WHEN: Thursday, December 25 – Sunday, December 28
- Thursday, December 25 6:00 PM
- Friday, December 26 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM
- Saturday, December 27 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM
- Sunday, December 28 1:00 PM & 5:00 PM
WHERE: Citizens Business Bank Arena – 4000 Ontario Center Parkway, Ontario, CA 91764
TICKETS: Ticket prices range from $22 – $30; $45/$50 (VIP) and $75/$80 (Front Row)*
WHEN: Wednesday, December 31, 2014 – Sunday, January 4, 2015
- Wednesday, December 31 4:30 PM
- Thursday, January 1 6:00 PM
- Friday, January 2 11:30 AM & 6:00 PM
- Saturday, January 3 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM
- Sunday, January 4 11:00 AM, 3:00 PM & 7:00 PM
WHERE: Long Beach Arena – 300 E. Ocean Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90802
TICKETS: Ticket prices range from $22 – $30; $45/$50 (VIP) and $75/$80 (Front Row)*
Tickets available for purchase online at Ticketmaster.com, charge by phone at 800-745-3000 or in-person at the venue Box Office. *prices vary between weekday/weekend shows; tickets may be subject to service charges, facility and handling fees.
You can also use the discount code MOM14 for select performances. You can get a family four pack of tickets for $80.
For additional info head here.
I know it’s only November 3rd, but I’m already dreaming of a fun Thanksgiving and Winter Break. I have the time off with my children and love planning fun activities during the break. Winter break/Thanksgiving Break is synonymous with outdoor ice skating rinks for me. Last year, I took both kiddos ice skating and they had a blast.
You actually don’t have to wait until Winter Break to get your skate on. A couple of the outdoor rinks are open for business now. Bundle up and get ready for a chilly good time!
- Spectrum on Ice: Open Now until February 16th, 2015
- Skating by the Sea: November 27 – Jan 4, 2015
- Riverside Festival of Lights – November 29th to Jan 4, 2015
- Chill at the Queen Mary – November 21st to Jan 11, 2015
- Woodland Hills Ice – November 14th to Jan 19, 2015
- Temecula on Ice – December 14 to Jan 4th, 2015
- Ice at Santa Monica - Now until Jan 19th, 2015
- The Rink in Downtown Burbank – November 28th to Jan 19th, 2015
- Holiday Ice at L.A. Live - November 29 to Dec 31st, 2014
We love sharing about Children’s’/Youth Theater. My daughter read Charlotte’s Web last year and we’ve wanted to watch a live show. I was looking around and found that The South Coast Repertory is performing Charlotte’s Web, live on stage.
This children’s classic story is brought to life on stage weekends during the month of November. The show will play Friday-Sunday from November 7th to November 23rd. There are shows at 11 am, 2 pm, 4:30 pm, and 7:ooo pm.
We love Halloween and love sharing family friendly events. Boo at the Zoo, is one of our favorite October outings. Boo at the Zoo, is a “merry not scary” family friendly event. Boo at the Zoo takes place over 5 nights, October 18th-19th, 25-26th, and October 30th, from 5:30 to 8:oo pm.
Boo at the Zoo features:
- Ten Prize Stations on the Trick-or-Treat Trail
- Animal Presentations
- Fun and Games
- Costume Parade
- “Teen Scream” Haunted House (a separate area, included in the price of admission)
Admission is $ 7 for members and $14 for Non-Members. Kiddos 5 and under are Free. For additional information or to purchase tickets head here.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. I think we all know someone that has has been affected by cancer. My prima passed away from cancer when I was a teen. She was 38, the same age I am now, and even as a teenager, I remember how devastating it was to lose someone so dear to us, especially since she was a young mother and left children behind. It is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Latinas and in the U.S., a Latina dies of breast cancer every 90 minutes!!
Orgullosa has teamed up with Liga Contra el Cancer, a center dedicated to providing free cancer services for underserved patients. They are helping Latinas to support one another in early cancer detection and prevention.
I had the opportunity to participate in a Facebook chat, sponsored by Orgullosa, featuring breast cancer survivor, Adamari Lopez and oncologist, Dr. De La Rosa. I learned so much about early cancer detection. The one fact that I’ve thought about for this past week, is that if breast cancer is caught during stage 1, there is a 98% survival rate at the 5 year mark. It reinforced just how important our self exams and yearly mammogram screenings are.
Here are some other facts I learned about early cancer detection:
- Breast Cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the No. 1 cause of cancer deaths among Latinas.
- One U.S. Latina dies of breast cancer every 90 minutes.
- For Hispanic women, breast cancer is detected at an advanced stage more often than in non-Hispanic whites. This difference has been largely attributed to lower frequency of and longer intervals between mammograms, and lack of timely follow-up of suspicious mammograms.
- Make sure to look for any changes, discoloring, anything in your breasts. Get yourself checked out!
- You should also make sure to check your neck and armpits during your monthly self exams.
During the month of October, Orgullosa will donate $1 to the Liga Contra el Cancer, for every new Facebook like. So what are you waiting for, go like the Orgullosa Facebook page and lets make sure we are all looking out for each other. Together we are #orgullosastrong .