SoCal got some much needed rain and some even more needed snow this past weekend. Big Bear got a whole lot of the white stuff, which is great for the ski slopes, especially around the holidays. My in laws have a vacation home in Big Bear Lake and we visit a few times of year during the winter months. We love visiting and playing in the snow for hours. It is the perfect day trip and there are so many fun places to visit , play and make special memories with the family. This post is all about having fun in the snow and not paying a penny to do so.
One of the best things to do when heading to Big Bear is to pull over and find a good spot to partake in good old fashioned snow play. There are my great spots to pull over on the way to Big Bear. We usually head to Big Bear along Hwy 38 or the “back way” as many locals call it. It is a pretty smooth ride and not windy. We take the Orange Ave exit off the 10 fwy in Redlands when heading east. Then make a left turn on Orange, go for a few blocks to Mentone Blvd and make a right. Mentone Blvd is Hwy 38 and you will take that road all the way up to Big Bear.
One of the first great places to stop off along the way is Whispering Pines Nature Trial just past Angeles Oaks. There is some parking and plenty of room for romping in the snow. You can also park alongside the road. The second spot is between mile 26 and mile 27. It doesn’t really have a name but it is right past Whispering Pines and you can’t miss it. There is plenty of open space and not many trees. A perfect place to sled and for a good snowball fight. The area surrounding the Greystone Amphitheater is also a great place for snow play. Just pull off the side of the road and be prepared for some fun.
Make sure to check for weather and road conditions. You are required to bring chains with you in the winter when traveling to Big Bear. We always bring ours but have yet to use them since we have a four wheel drive vehicle with a snow setting. If there is weather or ice be prepared for a bit of a long ride up. It just depends on the weather. Current weather reports and road conditions can be found here. Drive safe and have fun!
Disclaimer: This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Latina Mom Bloggers and Luvs. All opinions are 100% mine.
It’s been years since we have had diapers around the house, but there was a time when we always had stacks of new Luvs diapers, ready to go for our little babies. Luvs, a trusted name in baby care, knows that the holiday season is full of stressful moments, but they don’t want diaper leaks be one of them. This holiday, Luvs wants everyone to celebrate a Leak-Free Holiday. Luvs with NightLock offers its largest absorbency area EVER to help lock wetness away, which means less leaks during the holiday season for baby and more time for parents to enjoy the festivities.
Be sure to check out Luvs adorable “Will It Leak” video series. Tis’ the season of holiday miracles! And this year, Luvs is turning clicks into diapers. From December 9th – 25th, for every view their Will It Leak “Santa Suit” video receives on their social media channels, Luvs will give diapers to children in need through the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
o Branded Luvs tote bag
o #LuvsLeakFreeHoliday travel coffee mug
o Hot chocolate
o Luvs branded purple star ornament
o My First Kwanzaa book
o Plush Musical Dreidel
o Hanukkah gelt
o Two packs of Luvs diapers
o A tub of Luvs wipes
To be included in the giveaway: leave a comment on this blog post with one of your favorite funny family holiday mishaps! The crazier or sillier the better. Who hasn’t had Aunt Sally drop the turkey everywhere or had Little Max eat all the candy canes off the tree when no one was looking?
Each of the following will get you an additional entry:
•Tweet about the giveaway using the #LuvsLeakFreeHoliday hashtag
•Tag a friend or family member in the comments section under the Facebook post of this giveaway.
Giveaway Fine Print:
• Entrants must be 18+up and live in the contiguous U.S. (Puerto Rico is ineligible).
• Giveaway ends January 5, 2015
For more about Luvs diapers.
The holiday fun doesn’t stop there! This holiday, Luvs is also inviting parents to whip up a baby book for their child in a few quick clicks with Luvs and Tweekaboo. Get yours here: https://www.tweekaboo.com/luvs
My favorite musical is back in town for three months! Wicked, is back at the Pantages Theatre from now until March 15, 2015. I’ve had the opportunity to watch the show a few times and I fall in love with it more each time. The music is powerful and the storyline is fantastic. It’s a show that you will not want to miss. My daughter who is nine has watched the show twice and has also fallen in love with it. We listen to the music often and know each song by heart.
There are nightly performances on most nights and also matinee shows on the weekends. The Pantages also has day of the show lottery tickets. The lottery is held prior to every show. Here’s what you have to do to enter the lottery.
Entries will be accepted at the box office beginning two and a half hours prior to each performance
• Each person will print their name and the number of tickets (1 or 2) they wish to purchase on a card that is provided.
• Two hours before curtain, names will be drawn at random for a limited number of tickets priced at $25 each; cash only.
• Only one entry is allowed per person.
We had the opportunity to score tickets during the lottery and were able to get amazing seats for only $25!!!
You can also of course purchase tickets in advance or at the box office. Tickets to this amazing show would make one heck of a Christmas Gift! For additional info or to purchase tickets, head here.
Disclosure: This is not a compensated post. Complimentary tickets were provided to facilitate the writing of this post.
I feel like every year I find myself saying, Wow, the decorations are the best they have ever been and there is no way that it can’t get any better next year, and yet again I’m proven wrong by Disney. The holidays at the Disneyland Resort are bigger and better than ever. The Disneyland Resort is decked out wall to wall in beautiful holiday decorations. There is something just so magical about visiting Disneyland and Disney California Adventure during this time of the year.
The Disneyland Resort is dressed up for the holiday season until January 6th, 2015. Some of the highlights of the holidays at the Disneyland Resort are:
- It’s a Small World Holiday – sing along with the dolls to holiday tunes
- A Christmas Fantasy Parade – we love the marching wooden soldiers!
- Haunted Mansion Holiday – this year’s gingerbread house is frighteningly festive
- Jingle Jangle Jamboree – meet and greet with Santa, Mickey and some great entertainment in Big Thunder Ranch
- Cars Land Decked out for the holidays – some of the most creative holiday displays ever created
- Sleeping Beauty Castle Draped in Beautiful Lights
- Jingle Cruise – the animals discovered some dropped Christmas cargo and have gotten into the spirit.
The resort is truly magical during this time of year and the decorations throughout the park are amazing. Disney ¡Viva Navidad! celebrates Latin holiday traditions, just inside Frontierland with special decorations, entertainment and food options. Disney ¡Viva Navidad! continues in the New Year with a grand finale: Three Kings’ Day, January 2 – 6, 2015. Get ready to make some memories at the Disneyland Resort. A visit is a must during this holiday season! For resort hours and other information can be found here.
Disclaimer: This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Latina Mom Bloggers. All opinions are 100% mine.
My Latino parents were always supportive of the idea of college, but they never had the resources to send me or my sisters. It was not until after getting married AND having children that I found myself in the position of needing to get a college degree in order to make a necessary change in my career. I wish something like the HSF had existed for my folks to assist with getting me there sooner. Even as an adult, I spent a fair amount of time at my college admissions office, just trying to make sure all my chicks were in a row each semester. The road was difficult and challenging but I am proud to have completed my program and graduated with a bachelors and then this year with a masters degree. My parents were quite proud of me being the first college graduate in the family.
Did you know that Hispanics account for 19% of all college students, ages 18-24? That’s a major increase, up from 12% in 2008. What’s more, 69% of Hispanic graduates are now going directly to college after graduating high school, a rate that is higher than that of the general population.
But the surge in Hispanic college-bound students presents a greater need for more information about college and financial support. As all parents that have college bound students can attest, navigating the application process can be daunting. The Hispanic Scholarship Fund was created to ease the challenge of getting people into college. Some of the more difficult things like navigating financial aid and making sure pre-requisites are just some of the things that the are made easier with the website.
Parents are the support system that kids need to get to and through college, but parents need support and encouragement too. HSF has many tools available at http://hsf.net/en/resources/parents/.
Scholarship season runs from Jan 1-Mar 30, but students can begin the application process now by creating a profile on HSF.net
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. One of our favorite Christmas traditions is almost here. Every year we look forward to the Newport Beach Boat Parade. The parade has been a So Cal tradition for over 100 years! Watching the parade is one of my family’s favorite Christmas traditions. It is a definite must do for the family
The parade begins on Wednesday Dec 17th and ends on Sunday December 21st. The parade starts off at Bay Island at 6:30pm and ends there at approximately 9:30. We try to make it at least one night every year.
Here are a couple of tips to make your evening as enjoyable as possible.
1. Dress warmly. I forgot to bring gloves last year and I will make sure not to forget them this year. I also will remember to bring a blanket for each of my kiddos.
2. Arrive as early as possible. Traffic is horrible and arriving early will assure you a spot and less congestion.
3. Be prepared to pay for parking. Whether you are parking in one of the state lots or an improvised private lot,make sure to bring at least 10 dollars for parking. If you want to save on parking,make sure to bring good walking shoes and park a little further away from the bay area.
4. Bring something warm to drink . We bring something warm to drink and lots of fun treats.
5. My favorite spot to watch is close to the Balboa Peninsula/Balboa Ferry Area.You can watch from either side. You really can’t miss with either of these spots.
6. If you would like to view the parade in luxury many of the waterfront restaurants along the parade route have dinner/viewing packages. Check to see if your favorite restaurant is offering a deal.
To learn more about the parade and for additional info head here.
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
*Disclosure: The opinions in this article are my own. I do not work for, or with, any brand mentioned in this article, nor do I have any official relationship with them. I have a relationship with GigaSavvy, for whom I create original editorial content.
Staying healthy is important, especially to take advantage of the fun things to do this holiday season. Our family has already battled the flu and stomach flue this season. I actually had a bout with pneumonia back in October. I have become almost obsessed with keeping our family healthy. If you’re like me and have young kiddos you are often shuttling them to an from doctor appointments all the time. It is just as important that we take time for ourselves to visit the doctor for our regular check ups and wellness exams. So much good comes from preventative healthcare. I am married to an acupuncturist, so believe me when I say, we hear this admonition frequently. I usually focus on keeping the kiddos healthy but I’m learning that it is very important to keep myself healthy!
I think as women and especially as mothers, we put ourselves at the bottom of the list, especially with all the responsibilities we face. We are usually worried about our children and their care, before we worry about ourselves. Moms, it’s time we focus a little on our ourselves.
Most diseases that affect women usually don’t have any noticeable symptoms. This makes it hard to fight these diseases and the outcome is usually not as good when treatment begins in the later stages of disease. Many off these conditions, if caught early, can have very positive outcomes.
Molina Healthcare Offers These Wellness Tips:
- Annual checkup examinations
- Be physically active
- Be tobacco free
- Drink plenty of water
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Make healthy food choices
- Manage stress/stay positive
Molina Healthcare offers great maternity care from prenatal to postpartum care. They also have the facilities to provide all the important screenings for women. I love that they have access to every type of screening. Last year I had a health scare and had to run all over town to find a different facility for every test that had to be run. Molina has facilities that provide important screenings for women.
I know that one of the most important things we can do for our kiddos is to stay healthy. Making sure we are taking care ourselves if the best gift we can give our children.
Molina Healthcare offers a variety of healthcare and wellness tips. you can find all these and more here.
The opinions in this article are my own. I do not work for, or with, any brand mentioned in this article, nor do I have any official relationship with them. I have a relationship with GigaSavvy, for whom I create original editorial content.