Category Archives: Personal

My personal blog post

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LiveForFlavor #VivaLaMorena #AddFlavor #CollectiveBias

Who’s ready for the new Year? This Christmas was so much fun but I’m totally looking forward to organizing the house and prepping for Día De Reyes (Three Kings Day) on January 6. We mainly spend the day cleaning, prepping to cook dinner, listening to salsa y merengue and having a few gifts for the littles. It really is a nice way to ease back into our normal post-holiday schedule. This year will be extra special because Joseph is so curious to learn all about traditions and is starting to even speak Spanish and experiment with all types of food, he’s even inherited our love for spicy food! This year we’ve decided to make a spicy picadillo stuffed avocados served along with platano maduro (sweet plantains).

The decision to go with a lighter version of our picadillo was made because we wanted to take a break from the indulgent meals we’ve been having since Thanksgiving. Normally we would serve the picadillo over arroz blanco (white rice) along with avocados but this time we skipped the rice and stuffed the avocados with the picadillo.

Spicy Picadillo Stuffed Avocados

We did, however, use the same quality ingredients that we’ve always loved and have become a staple in our kitchen/home, La Morena® Chipotle Peppers in Adobo (this was the finishing touch that gives the picadillo its flavor, kick and color) and Knorr® Chicken Flavor Bouillon Granulated Bouillon  (we always have the 2.2 lbs because we use it in SO many recipes). We kept it light with the spicy picadillo stuffed avocado, and since we LIVE FOR FLAVOR® we incorporated the ingredients (found at Walmart in the hispanic aisle) with value that we trust in being the best for my family!

Spicy Picadillo Stuffed Avocados **Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 pounds of ground beef
1/2 can La Morena® Chipotle Peppers in Adobo *use less for a milder version
1 tablespoon of Knorr® Chicken Flavor Bouillon Granulated Bouillon
4 large avocados
1 small white onion
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon of salt and pepper
1 tablespoon of Olive oil
Instructions:

Boil 1 potato and chop. Set aside.
Season ground beef with chicken flavor bouillon, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook until no longer pink.

Dice onion and Sautee in olive oil.
Add ground beef and potatoes to sauteed onions and toss.

Stir in chipotle pepper in adobo and simmer on low for 5 minutes.

Cut Avocados in half and stuff with picadillo.

Serve with sweet plantains.

Sweet Plantains

You can easily buy them frozen but if you prefer the fresh homemade version like I do follow the simple instruction below.

Cut off the ends of the plantains and peel.
Heat 5 tablespoons of oil (or butter) on low.
Fry plantains until they’re golden brown and then flip and repeat. **Sweet plantains tend to burn very easily keep a very close eye on them.

You can find both the La Morena® Chipotle Peppers in Adobo and Knorr® Chicken Flavor Bouillon Granulated Bouillon in the hispanic food aisle at Walmart.

How do you add flavor to your Día De Reyes celebration?


This is part of a sponsored collaboration with The College Board and DiMe Media. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

We have just about every age group right now at our house. I have a son who has a great job with the Board of Education, a teething princess who’s about to start walking and a high school senior who works full time and is about to graduate early with a high GPA (I had to throw that in there because I’m really impressed at how effortlessly he pulls everything off). Back when I was their age and looking into what college I wanted to attend, I was on my own and I was clueless as to how the process worked. To be honest, my focus wasn’t where it should’ve been. Although, it was for good reason. I  had Evan right after I graduated high school, so I was juggling a much heavier, cuter load than the average person my age. But if I had these three important tips for getting financial aid for college and the tools that are readily available now, I’m positive it would have been easier for me to navigate.

three important tips for getting financial aid for college

Evan (my oldest) and my dad.

three important tips for getting financial aid for college

Up next William (center) who graduates early this January.

Even though I made it out okay, and I have a job that I absolutely love, I don’t exactly want that sort of struggle for my kids. I learned that a little preparation goes a long way and seeing how focused my older boys are, I know we’re already a few steps ahead! There’s really no reason for any student not to seek any help! Did you know that most full-time college students will receive some type of financial aid? I sure didn’t, and it motivated us to really do our homework and learn everything we needed to. Below are three important tips for getting financial aid for college that we’ll be putting into action and hopefully help those who may have college-bound children as well.

  1. Get a jump start on filing your fafsa (you can apply online at fafsa.gov ) and other financial aid application that may also have early deadlines (some of these even require that you have filled out FAFSA first click here for a easy to follow instructions). **Keep in mind that you will need to create a FSA ID beforehand.
  2. Search and compare colleges using BigFuture.There you can find scholarships and really get a good understanding of financial aid (so crucial considering theres almost $184 billion in financial aid available), and really priotize and organize the entire application process.
  3. Download and put the helpful  CollgeGo mobile app to work! this app will guide students through every essential step in the long college application process (trust me its overwhelming, but manageable). It allows students to interact using fun games and videos and even has a search feature to help guide them through their journey.

• Family Action Plan_11th Grade Spanish
• Family Action Plan_12th Grade Spanish

FYI: College Board has also created Spanish language resources for parents and their families in order to help them plan for their children’s college.  

Take the first step. Complete the FAFSA today!

 


This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine

There’s only 10 shopping days left until Christmas day!! Are you ready? I know I’m not! I started out this holiday season full steam ahead and was crossing off gifts from my list surprisingly fast. But I’m now 22 weeks along and with every week that goes by, I get bigger lol AND slower. I’ve managed to buy the majority of gifts/toys for the little ones, now I’m left with gifts for my older boys and the adults that require me to really put in some thought. Scroll down to read my Christmas shopping gift ideas + savings!

Now that we quickly approach the big day, I’ve decided to really narrow it down and map out a shopping strategy in effort to not only save money but to also preserve what little energy I have left for some real holiday fun with the family. Below are the two BIG ways I plan on wrapping up some last minute gifts and how I’ll be scoring some deals.

Christmas Shopping Gift Ideas + Savings

If you know me, you know I love a good DIY! There’s nothing more sweet and personal (in my opinion) to unwrap a gift that someone made just for me. Right now I’m enjoying the designing process. I plan on giving some frames a makeover and framing some printable wall art. Scroll down to see some fun examples of frames and click here to see a fun printable that’s free and stay tuned we’ll have a new one in a few days! Another thoughtful gift? Sweets! These gingerbread cookies are perfect to make and wrap in pretty containers as a gift!

How To Create A Small Gallery Wall

Every little bit counts, and I turn to Groupon Coupons to help me score some major deals. This is perfect for someone like me who always forgets to check store coupons and deals. Groupon Coupons always has coupons for just about every store you can think of, and you even have the option of searching locally! For example, I’m a big Nordy (Nordstrom) fan but they only have sales a couple of times a year. With Groupon Coupons I scored 40% off a pair of Uggs with a Nordstrom coupon on my Christmas list and since we live in Florida, where it’s still in the 80’s, I scored an extra 60% off of clearance at Rue21 with a Groupon coupon. It’s become a new way for me to shop and since it’s always available on my phone, I rarely ever forget to check out my options before I shop.

screen-shot-2016-12-15-at-11-30-14-am

 

Christmas Shopping Gift Ideas + Savings

Christmas Shopping Gift Ideas + Savings
If you haven’t taken a look at Groupon Coupon, do yourself a favor and click here to check it out and buy yourself a little something nice with the money you save!

Get social: Follow Groupon on Facebook & Twitter


Tracking PixelIn just three short months, Olivia will be one. The following month we’ll be welcoming our second baby girl. I’m still shocked that I have one baby girl and it hasn’t quiet sunk in that I’ll soon be a mom of two girls! As soon as I had Olivia, I knew I’d want her to have a sister but I NEVER, not in a million years, would have thought it would actually happen. Now to be honest, I’m 100% realistic in knowing that having two babies in the house and a toddler (who’s still in diapers) will not be an easy or inexpensive feat. There’s three sets of diapers to buy, and Olivia will have just started to be weaned off her formula, but the cost will be replaced by our new baby girl. Luckily, I’ve been down this road before and there are a few steps I plan to take in order to reduce costs during those first few months. Below are a few ways I plan on budgeting for 3 kids under 3.

Budgeting For 3 Kids Under 3

Budgeting For 3 Kids Under 3Baby girl #2 at my 20 week scan.

Budgeting For 3 Kids Under 3

  1.  Start potty training early! I still have Joseph in diapers because he’s a little afraid of the whole process, but with Olivia I plan on getting a head start! She’s constantly watching us try and potty train Joseph so my guess is that she’ll be more comfortable with the process than Joseph is, since he’s brand new to it all. We have a pretty large bathroom and I’ve made it a priority of allowing Olivia to watch and even read books along with us while I try to ease Joseph into the whole potty training process. They both always have a ton of fun together, so I’m hoping that they will feed off of that vibe and speed the process up.
  2. Getting creative with hand me downs. All those clothes I bought for Olivia will be put to some really good use because we plan on using them all over again with baby girl number two! I’ll be buying her certain new things like special outfits and bibs, but other than that, I’ll be getting creative with the clothes we already have. That’s why I’m asking Santa for a new sewing machine this year! I’ll be using it to add fun embellishments like lace tutus and maybe even some patches to Olivia’s newborn onesies to give them a fresh fun look. For her dresses, I’m thinking I can add some new buttons or add some fabric to them to give it a new feel. I’m so excited to have fun with it!
  3. I already know that I’ll be formula feeding. This time I plan on trying Member’s Mark® Advantage® formula (similar to Similac Advance). While shopping at Sam’s Club (love that place) for diapers I noticed the significant price difference in the selection of formulas, so I asked Olivia’s pediatrician if there was a difference between the other pricier formual selection they had and I was assured that they were comparable.

adv

I would have tried out this formula with Olivia when she was born but I never thought to look for an alternative or even knew that Sam’s Club had their own brand of formula for that matter.Member’s Mark® stage 1 formula is specially formulated for babies who are prone to fussiness and gas due to lactose sensitivity. PLUS the formal  has a unique blend of DHA, lutien, and vitamin E, that work together to support growth and development of baby’s eyes and brain. These nutrients along with the savings calculator that they offer will play a big part in making this exciting addition of another baby girl and budgeting for 3 kids under 3 a lot easier!

These three ways that I plan on budgeting for 3 Kids Under 3 is just a guide. For me, the most important thing is to enjoy them while they’re little because I know all too well how fast they grow up. Whether you have one new baby or a whole group of little ones like I will soon have, a budget is essential. How did you guys budget for a brand new baby? I’d love to hear all the tips and tricks!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Member’s Mark® Advantage® Infant Formula.