Thursday, June 29, 2017

Cruz Ramirez, Cars 3 Hispanic Inspired Car

Cruz Ramirez is one the newest Disney Cars 3 characters. Named with two common Hispanic last names. Why does a person need two last names? Because one is from your father and one is from your mother. That way you can always give credit to both of your parents and follow more easily your family's lineage. 

Characters on TV often portray Hispanic characters as maids, farm workers, an uneducated individuals. It was a enjoyable to see that Pixar developed a character that was better suited to be a role model to Hispanic children. In the movie Cars 3, Cruz Ramirez doesn't believe in herself, and therefore, fails to see her own potential. It is with the help of Lightning McQueen that she is given a chance to believe in her own potential and give herself a chance.

It is in many ways a powerful message. There are many challenges that children face today. Being part of a minority adds another layer of challenges. It is exciting to see kids learn that you can do anything you want, if you believe in yourself. 


Why I had BRCA Genetic Testing Done

BRCA testing became popular when celebrity Angelina Jolie had it done. Genetic testing was very expensive and not covered by insurance companies. It is now covered by insurances if it is deemed as medically necessary.  



Image credit: Aviano Air Base

BRCA is a blood test that searches for specific gene markers. These markers are known to be related to specific types of cancer. 

In my case, my mom passed away this year from ovarian cancer and my maternal grandmother passed away from some type of gynecological cancer. Back in the time of my grandmother, science wasn't as detailed as it is now. I have no way of knowing whether her cancer was cervical or ovarian. 

Ovarian is seen as a rare type of cancer, but is very deadly because the symptoms are not obvious indicators of something as serious as cancer, so by the time someone realizes something is wrong, they are often in stage 3 or 4. 

Needless to say, my BRCA test was approved as medically necessary. I then suffered through 3 weeks of waiting for the results. My medical office did a phone appointment to go over the results before I was given them. They wanted to make sure I understood the results and didn't overly panic if there was something wrong.

Finally, the results were in. I don't have the gene for ovarian cancer. However, that doesn't mean I won't get it. There's always a 5% chance, but at least I know I don't need to take drastic measures right now, just continue to monitor it, and live as healthy of a lifestyle as I can.

Knowing whether or not I had the gene was important to me so I could take the measures I needed to and move forward. Not all cancers are something you can do something about. So, knowing can become a hard thing to bare. 

Virtual Running Shorts Spotify Playlist

Are you participating in the runDisney's Virtual Running Shorts 5K? 




I've been enjoying listening to the Virtual Running Shorts Spotify Playlist. Includes songs from a variety of movies like Frozen, Big Hero 6, Moana, Zootopia, and others. 







What to do:


  • Sign-up for Spotify, if you don't already have an account. The free account lasts 30 days. 
  • In the search bar type: Virtual Running Shorts.
  • To download the songs, you will need a premium account, but you can listen to them for free.
  • You can access the songs from any device. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Cozmo the Lovable Robot Review


I love Cozmo! The more you do with him, the more he seems to learn. It has facial recognition. You program it to recognize you and then when it sees you it says your name, which is cool. 

He has a lot of personality which I think is the best part about this robot. He's programmed to make mistakes, like a human would, and the emotions that go along with it, like being upset or happy. 

You interact with it using the free app and connecting to Cozmo's wifi. It gives you daily goals to accomplish and when you complete them it gives Cozmo more health. 

Click on this link to get your own Cozmo. 



Now you can drag and drop code to and program Cozmo with simple code instructions. See samples here Post contains affiliate links. 

Counting Pizza Party Online Game Teaches Kids How to Count






Who knew making pizza could be educational? Preschoolers learn to count and have fun doing it with this game. Education.com presents this preschool game and more in its collection of educational resources for kids.

This post contains sponsored content. 


Monday, June 26, 2017

Old Disneyland Booklet Stubs from the 70s

Jim decided to go through his many years worth of nostalgia boxes and found these old Disneyland booklet stubs. Back in that time you had to purchase a booklet with tickets, similar to what you do at a county fair, where different rides are worth a different amount of tickets. This is from when he was a kid, so his best guess is 1975-1979 for the approximate year. 

That was before my time, if you're wondering. 




You can see the rides that existed at that time. Kind of neat to look at the rides that are still there and those that have changed, not to mention that some of the lands are different. 



Sunday, June 25, 2017

Cars 3 Event at Sonoma Raceway


It was my first time visiting a race track, however, I was more excited about the Cars 3 Event than I was about the actual racing.

 We stood in line for maybe 15 minutes before we could enter the exhibit. There were different stations or areas where kids and adults could play. 

There was another smaller line to take photos with McQueen and Cruz Ramirez. The attendant will take your photo with your camera, but only one camera per family in order to keep the line moving. You get close to the cars, but not close enough to touch the cars. There's a guard keeping an eye on any wandering racers that stray too close to the cars.

A Dole booth was handing out smoothie samples. They had some Cars 3 inspired recipes, of course. 




There were die cast car races for the kids. They had different cars to choose from. The child would pick one and at the mark, let it slide down the "race track". 

A build your own paper race car booth was there. Kids could pick from Lightning McQueen, Cruz Ramirez or Jackson Storm. They had child proof scissors on a table and some tape to hold together the finished product. If you didn't want to built it there, you could ask for the car you wanted and take it home. 

Crest had a booth with a spinning prize wheel. Everyone seemed to want the Lightning McQueen toothbrush, but for many people, the arrow landed on toothpaste, which unfortunately, was in sample size and did not have the Cars 3 characters on it. I watched as mothers tried to trade and bribe the attendant of the booth, but he was very polite, but didn't budge. 

At the end you got a poster with all the Mattel Cars 3 cars available, a coupon for the Disney Store, and a scratch ticket for a discount to see the Cars 3 movie in theaters. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Saved $85 on a $125 Pair of Running Shoes


If you missed my previous post on how my Active Advantage Account is helping me save money, here's the link for it.  My account allows me to get an $85 credit towards a new pair of athletic shoes. 

What I did:
I went to roadrunnersports.com and looked for the shoes I was interested in. I then called the customer service number and placed my order. They asked me for a member code that had already been emailed to me. I used that code to get an $85 discount on my purchase. I paid $40 for a $125 pair of running shoes. Not a bad deal. 

I did pay for shipping. There was an option to sign-up for the VIP program, but I didn't. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Rare Science Bear Experience

As a Catholic, I grew up doing charitable work for the community. It's no surprise that as an adult, I continued using my talents to help the greater good.

Rare Science is great non-profit organization. They help identify therapeutic solutions for kids with rare diseases. 

I worked in their Rare Bear Army creating a one of a kind bear that was then donated a child that is battling one of these rare diseases. As you can imagine, being sick is not fun, and a colorful and fun stuffed bear brings a lot of joys to these kids. 

Here's the bear I made:


The bear had a serial number tag that I placed in the stitching when I made it. The Rare Science volunteers used it to trace where the bear went. I received a beautiful thank you card with the photo of the child that received the bear. So touching! 


The Rare Bear Program is great for quilting guilds, churches, boys/girls scouts, clubs, and more. You don't need to know how to sew. You can help by contributing money for the materials, helping cut the pieces, even by just buying the pattern helps Rare Science continue to do the work they're doing. For information on the Rare Science Bear Program click here

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Saturday, June 17, 2017

What you need to know about runDisney Race Photos

Disney races are far more than just running through the parks. It's a "magical" experience with costumes, characters, music, and a lot of fun. 

Runners are encouraged to dress up according to the theme of the race. Some themes have includes princesses, Star Wars, Super Heroes, etc. 

Image credit: runDisney


If this is your first runDisney race, you're probably wondering how the photos work. You probably want photos of yourself in costume running, but you don't want to stop to pose or carry your camera along for the race. Disney's thought of that already.


Image credit: runDisney

 All races have Disney Photo Pass Photographers taking photos of the runners at various places throughout the race. The photos are linked to you by your bib number. It can take up to 48 hours for the photos to be uploaded to the website. 

You can then preview your photos on MyDisneyPhotoPass.com and in the MyDisneyExprience mobile app. 

Photos are available for viewing and purchasing up to 45 days after the event. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

2 Day Father's Day Sale at Target

Two Days Only: 6/16-6/17

For two days only (6/16 - 6/17), save 30% off Women's, Men's, and Kids' Sandals + Flip Flops with code SANDALS30 at checkout! For those shopping for little ones: Just One You by Carter's will be 20% off! (6/11 - 6/17) 

Save $70 on the Apple Watch Series 1 and 20% off Select Robotic Vacuums!









Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Good Summer Read for Parents of Teenagers & High School Teachers


This book has been recommended to me so many times that it was on my reading list for a while. It's written by not only a brain expert, a Neurologist, but also a mother of teenage children. If you have teenage kids, you know that sometimes it can be very difficult to talk to them and even understand them at times. This book combines the science behind brain development and functioning with practical steps and tips that any parent can follow. 

I've downloaded it onto my Kindle and I'm ready to learn everything I can from it. 

It's available in a variety of formats including: Kindle, hard cover, paperback, and audio book.  Here's the link

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

What you need to know about runDisney's Virtual Races


How do you virtually race? 

Was the first thing my husband said when I suggested we sign-up for runDisney's Virtual Running Shorts. Like him, I'm sure many other people wonder the same thing, so I thought I would share some information. 


  • Some people would like to complete a runDisney race, but are unable to attend Disney World or Disneyland during the year. Instead of missing out on all the fun, you can complete a Virtual Running Shorts race. The track is whatever you want it to be. It can be a trail you do all the time or a new one, uphill or by the shore. You're choice!


  • There are also the runners that are on a quest to collect as many medals as they can and this gives those people, one more opportunity.
  • The races are Pluto themed, so if you have a dog that you exercise with you can bring it along.

Image credit: runDisney

What you need to do:

1. Sign-up for the Virtual Running Shorts race or races that you're interested in doing at runDisney. Here's the link.

2. There are 3 races, one in June, July, and one in August. You can do one, two or all three. If you complete all 3, you get an additional medal for completing the Virtual Running Shorts Series

3. You're given a month to complete the race. For example, for July, you have from July 1-30 to complete the race. 

4. Once you've completed your race, you go online and submit your time to the following link

5. You'll have up to a year to download your certificate of completion.

6. In August, you will receive your medals in the mail. 

7. You're encouraged to post pics and share your experiences on Twitter using #runDisneyShorts

Summer Play Days: Free Disney Patches at Disney Store



This Summer, Disney Stores are offering Summer Play Days. When you participate in an event, you get a free embroidered patch. 

Collect 10 of them to receive a Mickey and Minnie patch. 

Kids must be at least 3 years old to participate. 

Events take place every Wednesday at 3pm all Summer long. Click here for details. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

5 Tips for Small Dog Caregivers

Caring for a small dog in many ways is different than caring for a big dog. If you had a big dog once before and are considering caring for a small dog or are dog sitting for someone, here are some pointers.



1. Small body means big personality
It's almost like small dogs don't know that they are small and unable to take on a big dog. They will try to bark and at times, confront big dogs as if they could win the fight. As a caregiver, you need to be watchful of situations like this that can potentially harm the dog. 

2. Exercise
 Small dogs are bred to be lap dogs or companions. Don't expect a small chihuahua or pug to go on a 3 mile run with you. It will probably walk one block and then give up. It is good for the dog to be allowed to run and play in the yard, if you have one, just don't force it to do rigorous physical activity. 

3. Don't overfeed 
Small bodies require smaller food portions. It's not good for the dogs health to overeat, even if they look at you with sad eyes. 

4. Fragile
Unlike a big dog like labrador, a small dog isn't good at rough play. Small dogs have small legs that are fragile. You have to be careful not to sit on them or throw them by mistake, as they can easily break a bone.

5. Chew Toys
A lot of times pets have their own personalities and types of toys they like to play with, just like kids. In general, don't buy chew toys that are heavier or bigger than the dog itself. Want to buy the dog a raw hide bone? That's fine, make sure it's small enough for them carry in their mouths without having to drag it. 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Save $70 Apple Watch Series 1 at Target

If you've been thinking of getting an Apple Watch, but wanted a lower price, this it. You can get a new Apple Watch Series 1 for the cost of a refurbished Apple Watch. 

Highlights:

Available in a variety of colors. 

Must have an iPhone 5 or later.

Helps you keep track of your daily physical activity, track workouts, and monitor your health. 

Receive text messages. 

Wi-fi and Bluetooth 4.0

For more details, click here. 

Price: $199 

Use your Red Card and save an additional 5%! Brings down the price even further, to $189.05.



*Sale ends on 6/17/17.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

How I'm Saving Money with my Active Advantage Account

I'm committed to being healthier and being more active. Read my previous post on my runDisney story by clicking here

You can get an Active account free 30-day trial. After that, it will upgrade, unless you cancel it, to an Advantage Premium Membership for $69.95 a year. 

If you are an active person that enjoys doing outdoor activities like races, camping, basketball, hiking, cycling, just to name a few, then you will definitely benefit from an Active Pro Membership. If you are going to register for events anyway than it makes sense to save money while you're doing it. 




Are you doing any runDisney races? Active is the website that powers the registration for runDisney races. You can save on the registration fees and have the data from your races saved in one place, on your Active account. 


There are so many perks of being an Advantage Member, that I've only scratched the surface in the short time I've been enrolled. 

Some of the benefits I've used so far:

1. Discount or waiver of activity processing fees- I've signed up for 3 races for this year, so far, and have saved ($7.92 + $2.62 + $6.00) for a total of $16.54.

2. One $85 discount towards a new pair of athletic shoes- Since I had recently already bought a new pair of sneakers, I used the discount to buy my husband a new pair of running shoes. The $85 was applied to the purchase and I only paid the difference on the price plus the shipping cost. Total savings: $85

A grand total of $101.54 up to now.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Disney Frozen Elsa Doll on Sale at Target $7.99

On Sale for $7.99 and if you use your Red Card, it's $6.79. Click here for details. 


Features:
Movie inspired clothes and features.
Removable clothes and shoes.
Doll comes wearing the snow queen gown. 


Price is subject to change.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Dinner Review of Lola's Restaurant in Ponce, Puerto Rico

I had heard from family members that Lola's was a good place to go for dinner. Lola's is located within the Ponce Hotel & Casino, right in the center of the city of Ponce. The entrance door is next to the pool and there is plenty of parking space within the hotel. 



Ambiance:
For me dining is more that just eating, it's an experience. The restaurant decor I can best describe as pop modern. Purple seating throughout with nice metal chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. 

Menu:
The menu was quickly described to us as "eclectic" and after reviewing it for a few moments, I could see why. There's everything from rabbit, beef, traditional puertorrican sides, and even pasta. We were told that the sides that were listed with our entrees could be swapped for another one on the menu, if we preferred. 

The wine menu is a separate menu that comes on a electronic tablet. I'm not sure why they do it this way. Perhaps it helps them to better keep track of their wine inventory. 

Food:

I ordered the beef skirt (churassco) with a side of mushroom risotto. The term of my steak was perfect. My food was delicious and I enjoyed every bite.


My husband ordered the chicken linguine with alfredo sauce. We both love cheese and this dish definitely was hearty and cheesy. 


Service:
My waiter was Felix. He was very courteous and knowledgeable about the menu. It's so hot in Puerto Rico that even in an air conditioned restaurant like this one, my water glass kept weeping. Felix noticed the weeping glass and without asking, he would wipe the table and set a new napkin underneath my glass. 

Cost:
I would say that the cost was at par with the level of service. Each entree was a double digit cost, and with wine and two desserts, our tab was about $100. 

My husband and I were very pleased with the experience and will have to visit Lola's again. 


Monday, June 5, 2017

Bambi: Anniversary Edition Release & Limited Time Tank Top Offer


Target

1. Bambi Anniversary Edition released on Blu-Ray on June 6, 2017. For Blu-Ray + Digital, click here 

2. Target has an exclusive offer that includes: Blu-Ray, DVD, Digital HD, 32 page storybook, & Collectible Tyrus Wong Lithograph. 

Don't forget to use your Target Red Card and save 5% on every purchase. 

Disney Movie Rewards

The Bambi Anniversary Edition DVD case has a special code inside. If you go to Disney Movie Rewards and enter that code, you can order a limited edition tank top of Bambi for $9.99 plus shipping of $3.75. You must enter the code before 7/31/2017 and it's available while supplies last. 



Image credit: Disney Movie Rewards

You can also get a free Digital Disney Graph Art Set using the same code provided in the DVD case. Must be entered by 7/31/2017.

Visiting Puerto Rico: Caverns of the Camuy River


The Caverns of the Camuy River are located on the Northwest part of the Island of Puerto Rico. The area is very lush and green and therefore, it rains a lot in that area. If you visit it be prepared to get wet. 

At the entrance you are given a number for each of the people coming into the park. That number is your number in queue. You then park and get in line to pay for your tickets. 

An adult ticket was $18 each at the time of our visit. There was a children rate and a senior rate for people over the age of 65. 

Much like the going to the DMV, you have to wait for your number to be called. When I was there, they were calling every 20th number. Like they would call 230 and all the numbers under it and then they would call 250 and so forth.

If you need to use the bathroom you are better off stopping at a public restroom before you walk into the park. The only restroom in the park is gross. I mean very gross. The toilets are clogged. There's little to no toilet paper and the floors are wet and stinky. It makes you wonder when was the last time they were cleaned. 

Once your number is called you hand an attendant the number and she sends you down to where you get a pair of headphones and a listening device. You can choose whether you want the narration in English or Spanish. You then sit in an open train that takes you down to the cavern through a narrow path. 



The narration tells you to be careful with your step, as the floors are wet and not to touch the formations. As you walk inside you start to appreciate the magnitude of this cavern. The further inward you walk, the more it opens up and you can see how vast it is. The ceiling is so high up that you start to feel as if you were a speck on the ground. 

If you're not with a loud group, you can hear the water falling, the bats flying and some coqui's (native tree frogs). 

The path has handrails the whole way, but the path is often steep. I wouldn't recommend this attraction if you have problems with mobility. 

There are markers along the path with numbers. This tells you when to press play on your device to listen to the next narration. 

The path takes you all the way out of the cavern and then back up through a different path that connects to where you started. 

I had visited the Caverns before, but along time ago. I'm always in awe of it's grandeur and beauty. It's definitely worth visiting if you are in the area. 


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Tsum Tsum Star Wars Revenge of the Sith Minis on Sale

Are you a Tsum Tsum Collector? The following Revenge of the Sith Minis are currently on sale at the Disney Store for $2.99 each instead of regular price of $5.95:
  • Dark Anakin
  • General Grievous
  • Obi Wan Kenobi
  • Clone Tropper
All of these Tsum Tsum's are 3.5 inches in size. 
Click here for the link. 

Prices are subject to change at any time.