Tuesday, January 28, 2014

::Blogging Q & A::Parte Uno #mommatips

I was selected by Texas Women Bloggers to be a Blogger Mentor last week and the Blogger I was paired with is so awesome! She is Becca a blogger from Austin, if you have a chance check out her Blog and "Like" her on Social Media!! http://www.twoplacesatonceblog.com/

Her goals along with questions from other aspiring Bloggers about writing and blogging got me thinking about what the basics of Blogging are as well as how I got started and what keeps me going! 

Here are some of the questions that I have come across in the last year and those answers I feel are relevant:

How long have you been Blogging?
Really I have always blogged, I have always been a journal writing kind of gal. Then MySpace provided a platform for Blogging. And, I used it. A lot. Then in 2008, I found Heather Armstrong and WordPress. I started my blog as a space for practicing my writing and when I became pregnant it became a little more. Then in 2009 I switched to Blogger, fell in love and in 2011 I became Momma of Dos

Will you change the name of your Blog if you have another baby?
Most likely, not too different I have a creative change in mind though! Not really take away who I am but more like add to it. Ha. If that makes sense... But, that's a BIG HUGE maybe right now. It's also the main reason I have not switched over to an actual domain site. Waiting.

Where do you get your ideas?
Honestly, if my post is not a paid or sponsored post where the company has assigned a topic, then most my topics come from real life. Things my kids do, things my Mexican family does, food we cook and things we do or feel as a family and individuals. And, a little behind the scene work comes from my Hubby! My Hubby will not admit it but if we are out and about or doing something with the kids he will say... "You should blog about this!" or "Here is a Blog topic for you...." He really is a huge contributor and inspiration on this here blog! 

I also am a part of several Blogger groups and follow a ton of other fellow Amazing, Motivating and Inspiring Bloggers and have created some post based on others feedback and questions like these!

How do I change the design of my Blog?
Way back when I had time, I created my own headers and coded my own designs but these days I have to pay someone to help me out; my most recent help has come from Olivia Smith a local Blog designer she exhibits her work over at http://livysmithdesigns.com/ .   That is one thing I am passionate about is using local resources! But, there are several others that I love! I have to compile a list. My good friend Ruby from GUBLife and her Hubby have very unique blog designs, you can visit her design site here:  http://www.rubysdesignstudio.com/

How do I increase my Social Media following?
I started by using those FB pages that said, follow so many and we will follow you back. But, you quickly realize that, that's not your real audience. They just follow you because they want to gain followers. I gained a lot of followers that way but stopped. What has worked best for me is sharing everywhere! On my personal FB, on Twitter, on Instagram! I ask people to join me on my journey and many do and those that do, well they read and follow my post in the most amazing and loyal way! 

I also share in various like-minded Blogger groups that I belong to and they follow. There is a feature on your FB fanpage where you can ask people to "like" your page, I do that a lot. Along with creating FB groups of my own! And, yes sharing!! I am sure I become annoying to some, but I love blogging and the goal is to share some will join you, others will not and that's okay too!  

How do you find your niche?
Honestly this is an on-going journey for me; while I started as a "MommaBlogger" with personal post and online journaling just to keep track of my family. My Blog has slowly evolved to a Lifestyle & Parenting Blog with a mix of culture, food and now fitness! I love writing so I don't think I will ever stop trying to create new topics! My goal is be a relate-able Momma for all audiences. I am not perfect. Life is not perfect and I don't just want to be a Momma who writes, I want to be a Momma who inspires and motivates action! 

Jon Acuff is another Author who truly inspires me and motivates me to push forward! He said it best this morning! 

Picture snagged from Jon Acuff's FB page :) 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

A Home Warranty Worth Having #AHSAyuda #ad

{::Momma Disclosure:: This post was created as part of a compensated campaign in collaboration with  American Home Shield and PinkGuayoyo, all opinions expressed are my own.}

As a Momma of Dos toddlers meeting essential necessities is a must. 

No hay nada más espantoso que tener que preocuparme de que a mis hijos les vaya a faltar algo. Especialmente las cosas más necesitadas. 

Como ahorita con estos fríos tener ropa para el invierno y una casa con un "heating system" o en el verano cuando esta tan caliente aquí en Houston tener un aire acondicionado que funcione! 

El año pasado durante un verano especialmente caliente se nos apago el aire a medio día. Mis pobre niños estaban bañados en sudor y yo muerta de preocupación que mi hijos fueran a sufrir por el calor. Sin saber qué hacer y tratando de mantenernos calmados llamamos a mi Suegro.

Lo bueno es que mi suegro sabe arreglar aires y en un solo pedir llego a nuestro rescate! Thank goodness for Father-in-Laws who are maintenance managers!! That day our luck was with us, but it just made me wonder what we would have done had he not been available. 

I am sure panic would have set in and my kids would have been sitting in a cool bath or their kiddie pool all afternoon! 

So, when you are not so lucky like our family to have maintenance managers in your family then I recommend American Home Shield . AHS is a “home warranty or service contract” that covers this type of repairs and may even provide replacement of many of the home system components and appliances that may inconveniently break down in your home with as much use as ours.

Es mejor estar preparado para estas situaciones y no tener que depender en alguien que alomejor no puede o no va a estar disponible todo el tiempo. 

Here are some details provided by AHS that you might need when considering a home warranty:

A home protection plan is simple. It's a one-year service contract that covers the repair or replacement of many of the home system components and appliances that typically break down over time.

Why buy one?
An American Home Shield Home Protection Plan can help you avoid the cost of repairs and replacements - but it also relieves you from the frustrations and uncertainties of finding a qualified service contractor.

How does it work?
Once your contract is effective, you can request service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through www.ahs.com. You can also call us at 1 866 400 2340.

How to be sure it is effective?
Our comprehensive network of approved contractors are monitored and graded on their performance through our customer satisfaction survey program.

AHS esta regalando 2 electrodomésticos. Para participar haga click aqui: http://on.fb.me/1dMIGlW  

Not only is AHS  giving away 2 appliances but they will also have a  Twitter Party on 1/29/12 9PM EST / 6 PM Pacific with #TBD There will be $1,000 in prizes!!!

We also have 10 $25 Gift cards for those who RSVP through Raffle-copter:

Friday, January 17, 2014

::Healthy Me:: #MommaFitness

In 2012 I went through a lot. I had postpartum depression almost a year after my daughter was born.

It was so evident. 

On my drive to work. I would cry. On my drive home. I would cry. While I was at work. I cried. Nothing seemed good. Everything was wrong. I accused my Husband of not being a good enough Husband. I didn't sleep or slept too much. I was sad. I was depressed. A lot. All the time, for months.

I went to therapy all Summer that year. For 4 months, I was seeing a Psychologist. 

And, you know what she taught me and what I learned?

How to deal with my depression. Not how to cure it but how to manage everyday life through it and despite of it. There was no real cure for my kind of "crazy".

Honestly. It worked.

Talking to that person who was on the outside looking in; into my work life, into my Marriage and into my family as a unit was indeed relief. I was able to freely express to her what was going on. I never felt judged and I never felt like I didn't trust her.

That same year in September I had a panic attack. I quit my job and made changes. In 2013 my resolution was to take more care of ME. As a Woman, as a Wife, as  Momma. Me. I made a great effort. I know I succeed in some ways. But, this year I want to make a BIGGER AND BETTER effort!

So, here are 5 things I will do this year to ensure that I take care of ME:

1.) Exercise MORE : It's been my stress reliever for MONTHS now. I feel good and happy after I run, walk, Zumba or do Insanity! I went to the gym for a whole month and I loved it! I will start back up in February. It's a great way to feel confident and good about myself, my health and my well being.

2.) Create more ME time: I am not one to sit around and do nothing. Never have been but it's SO needed sometimes. Just forget about work, forget about the mess, and just relax and enjoy. I don't do enough. But, I was watching American Idol this week and I just sat. Didn't care about the mess the kids were making or what kind of mess my Hubby was making in the kitchen while cooking. I just sat.

3.) Schedule Date Nights with my Hubby: Now I say schedule because finding a baby sitter is like pulling teeth. A long drawn out process that no one wants to do, HA! So, the Hubby and I will have our first date this Saturday and as the year goes by we will continue our resolution from last year to have and make more alone time. We deserve it.

4.) Have Girl's Night Out more often:  I love my Momma friends and must stay connected to relate-able, wonderful women who do it all. So that I can learn to be a little better at what I do. My Momma friends inspire me and allow me to be ME. There is no judgment and we love to share, never compare. I get great advice and words of comfort. I am reassured and refreshed with their sincere love and honest opinions. Plus they help remind me of my goals as a Momma and a Wife but more importantly as a friend.

5.) Volunteer more! One of my favorite things to do is Volunteer work, there is something about helping other that makes my heart happy and give me pure joy. It's something I have done since High School and in College it was a bigger reward as I grew and matured. Giving, humbles us and creates a healthy sense of self. I love being involved an a part of my community and making a difference in any way possible! Since my children were born I have limited my Volunteer work to once or twice a year but this year I want to up that and even get my family involved! I think it will be awesome for all of us!!

As Wives and Momma's so many depend on us and look up to us, the only way we can ensure that we will be able to be there for others in a healthy and sane manner is by taking care of ourselves. At almost 33 years old my lessons have all been learned too well. There are plenty of things still to be learned and worked on.

But, I take it one day at a time!

What about you? What are you doing this year to take care of YOU?!

DO YOU FOLLOW US? You totally should :) 
Instagram: @mommaofdos

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Tales of a Daycare Momma ::Momma Guilt::

This morning I witnessed a Momma standing by her child's classroom as the little girl balled her eyes out inside. The Momma felt bad. I know the feeling all too well.

That moment, when you don't know if you should allow your children to learn to develop their sense of self and be independent in the "real world" or just run back in the room and hold them a little longer. 

These days we pray on the way to school, I pray in silence for my peace and for their constant protection. I then take my kids to breakfast in the daycare eating area, and finally usher them into their classrooms reminding them that; I love them and will be back soon. I hesitate and wait for their reactions. Sometimes those reactions, especially my 2 almost 3 year old Camila's, are mixed. 

Some days they walk off confident and happy to be in a place filled with friendly familiar faces; where they know they will play and learn all day. Development and social skills are essential at this point in their lives and I value and understand that.  

Some days, they cling to my leg or arms as if they have never been there before. Those days, my heart aches a little more than usual. Some days, my own tears are inevitable as I drive to work. For my Santi, I think it's easier, he is older he knows, I will be back. Camila, she is a girl, doubt lingers in mind just bit, everyday. 

On bad days, the Momma guilt settles in as I walk out of the daycare door thinking, I am a horrible personwhy did I leave them? Then I am reminded. I stayed home and it didn't work for me

Providing for my family outside the home has resulted in my own accomplishments and sense of self and development. Don't want to sound selfish but I enjoy my time away from home; no matter how stressful it can be. Gives me a sense of contributing to society as not only a Mexican-American female with a degree but as a Mexican-American female with DOS children who can be reminded that there is nothing wrong with wanting a career while being a Wife and Momma. 

And, that doesn't mean I don't miss my children when I go to work. Because, I do.  

The question then becomes; how do I cope on a daily basis? 

Like every adult who makes decisions and settles with the consequences. I deal with it. One day at a time. It's difficult at times but rewarding when your children come home with tons of stories to tell about their teachers and friends, piles of art work, exciting new skills and oh yes, songs! FUN, fun songs!! 

Not a recent picture.  

They quickly forget that I left them and are simply happy to see me. 

That's when I know that the outcome is worth it. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Permission Slip ::BAD DAY::

I had a bad day last week. 

You know that song, "you had a bad day". It played in my head all day.

It was raining in Houston but you know that little dark cloud that hovers only over your head and things just seem dark and treacherous. You know the violin playing in the background with the sad music. Yep that was me. The whole 9 yards.

The self-pity parties went on all day and feeling bad for myself was an understatement. 

A while back when I was feeling like this my good friend told me, "I am going to allow you to have a moment to feel sorry for yourself but you can't live or think like that!!!!" She is so right. We are all allowed to have A bad day. I keep reading it's not about the fall but how you recover. 

Let me put my day into perspective for you.

It was raining last week.
Pretty bad. 

As I put both my kids in their car-seats in my truck and then attempted to jump into the front seat as fast as I could, I slipped.

Almost straight out of my truck, the back rim of the door frame caught my fall I hurt myself and scared the heck out of my kids. I grabbed onto the door handle as it saved me from hitting the concrete floor from about 2 or 3 feet above the ground, my truck is high. I probably could have been injured worse.

My daughter cried as I ABANDONED her at daycare for the next 8 plus hours and even wet her self as I walked out the door. I was late for work and in pain. 

My Husband was running late from work that night, so in pain I had to go get my kids. I came home exhausted, blah-ed, and feeling depressed for this so called "life" that I lead. 

The bad day followed me all the way to bed, I didn't even workout. I felt fat, irrelevant and un-happy. 

I woke up the next day promising myself that yesterday, would never happen. Truth is, it will. All the time. No matter what I do or try to avoid. Situations happenBad days. HAPPEN. 

BUT, I can't allow ONE bad day to determine who I am, where I come from, or where I am yet to go. I promised 2014 would be about PEACE. And, I am determined to follow through. Bad days happen but they do NOT define. Me.

The day after that was better. The clouds outside even cleared a little, enough for me to appreciate the life that I have been granted and the many Blessings that I have been given in my almost 33 years. 

Never give up hope. Just when you think it's over. Life is just about to begin. 

{Did I mention my Beautiful Sister gave me one her awesome SNAP OUT OF IT YOU DUMMY pep-talks! She is so real and I appreciate her "GET OVER IT CONNIE!" text messages cause she keeps it real. Sometimes that's what we need. My good friend Cinthia also gave me a great little pep-talk and helped me realize what my goals are, and realistic perspectives about where I am!}

I am writing this as a reminder that bad days happen but I will not allow them to determine who I am! 

Peace is here...to stay.... 

Friday, January 10, 2014

{Nopalitos} Momma Recipe #mommafitness

As part of us trying to stay healthy and be fit in 2014 we {my Hubby and I} have slowly created our own little meal plan which includes a lot of great Mexican food that are both tasty and healthy for you!

One of my favorites is Ensalda de Nopales!

It's so easy to prepare and taste great.

The easiest way to start is as if you are making some pico de gallo;

Chop up/Dice- 1 {medium} Onion, 2 {small} Tomatoes, Green Peppers we usually use fresh Jalapeno or Serrano Pepper {to taste}, and some fresh Cilantro {a bundle}. You can set that aside while your nopales cook.

And, if you want to go with extra fresh nopales and take the prickly skin off and chop them yourself, more power to you, HA! But, I am an easy going Momma, and I buy them already peeled and chopped either at the local Fiesta or HEB.

I set a medium size pot with water to boil, while the water reaches a boil I rinse the nopales { 1 small bag} . When the water is boiling I add the nopales and some fresh garlic cloves, a small piece of onion, garlic salt, black pepper, and some Cayenne pepper for added spice {or any spices to taste}. They should boil until the nopales are tender usually no more than about 10 minutes, you will notice a change in color. You will be able to poke your fork them easily if they are ready. Don't over cook them they get chewy. If you under cook them they will be tough.

As soon as they are ready drain the nopales, let them cool a bit and in a large mixing bowl add your chopped ingredients and nopales!

You can eat it as is or set it in the refrigerator to cool! I love it both warm or cold!!

Don't forget to join us on HOUSTON MOMS BLOG for more Fitness tips and ideas!!!!!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Momma Fitness #ResolutionMakers

I have a problem with commitment. Funny story and bizarre admission? I have been with my Hubby for 15 years, I have 2 toddlers and the word commitment scares me?

Here is why: I have a  family that depends on me in so many ways. Maybe the statement should be commitment to the outside world and myself scares me. But, it's necessary sometimes. 

And, while it is a new year and we are all inspired and motivated to be more and do the most, there comes a time period when that motivation, well honestly it runs out! I didn't fully commit last year to a fitness "plan" per say until about April, and I lost 15 lbs in 2013.

By that time all those people who had committed in January had already lost weight and maybe continued to but then, fell off the wagon. It's a normal process I believe. 

I will say this, I have so much going on already and my calendar looks eeeekk but  I will try to post about my weight battle and goals reached as they come. I will also be posting over at Houston Moms Blog, along with a couple of other Houston Moms Blog Contributors about fitness goals and how to achieve them. If you wish to follow us check every Friday on Houston Moms Blog and feel free to share your own experiences in this #weightbattle!

I also post a lot about this on my Instagram and I host a private group called Momma Fitness on Facebook, where we motivate and share with other women who are looking to lose weight, stay healthy and get fit!! It's been a great experience so far and we all help each other and give one another advice. It's a difficult task to do all that we do as Momma's, Wives and outside world contributors so we can all use some support and encouragement.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Flu Season Control #Staples #StaplesFluKit

{Momma Disclosure~2014: I did not receive compensation for this post but I did receive Staples products in exchange for this review from Staples. The statements below are both my true and honest opinions. Staples also provided stats from their 4th annual Flu Season Survey.}

It's "Winter". Which for most Houstonians means, crazy weather. One day cold, one day hot sometimes both all within hours. Today it's cold! A nice 29 degrees, I know most states are laughing at us but it's Houston we are not that use to it. Who knows what tomorrow may hold {only because I don't keep track of the weather.} What I do know is that for about 2 months now I have been sick, a lot and so have many around me including my family.

Started with a sore throat, by Thanksgiving a full on upper respiratory infection. And, ever since then it's been constant congestion, snotty nose, and an achy cough. Yep. Flu season is in full effect. Not sure what kind of germs are flying around but working in small areas and living with two toddlers you can never be too prepared.

Thankfully Staples has all you need this flu season to help not only prevent the spread of icky germs but keep those germs from spreading once you have been attacked by every symptom possible. I always say that the most difficult place to start is at home but it's where most germs travel to and from.

But, thanks to Staples we now have clean hands, clean surfaces and Kleenex to catch the germs!

Our Office Illness Prevention Kit included:

  • Clorox Clean Up Wipes
  • Lysol Antibacterial Cleaner
  • Purell Hand Sanitizer
  • Soft Soap Hand Soap
  • Kleenex Tissue Box 

As a Momma who works outside the home missing work and constantly going to doctor's visits are not an option. Therefore, Staples' message is prevention! Which, I completely agree with! Preventive medicine is the best, saves you time and money. If you want to create this spiffy kit, it's great to carry to the office or maybe donate it to your child's classroom! My little ones and I have been taking some preventive measures to ensure clean healthy habits!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

One Word ::Instagram::

The week before New Year's is a busy one. People are seeking resolutions to be made and goals to keep up with. I am no different. I seek inspiration, new motivation to propel me through another year. 

If you know me, you know that Instagram is one of my favorite places. I follow several like-minded Bloggers and now Fitness Momma's. I find all kind of new information. I use a lot of hash-tags and I love it. 

Well a few days before January 1, I found an Instagram Momma who posted about "One Word". It's a devotional on the YouVersion App or website. I looked into it and I read that when I found my "one word", I would know. I didn't believe it. But, it has happened. You allow this word to transform you over the next 365 {now 364} days. 

The weekend before January 1 I went out to eat with my family. While there the chaos unfolded, as usual, my unruly toddlers took over our dinner and I couldn't find order no matter how upset I became. Instead I ate my dinner choking back tears and with feelings of having failed that night, like many other nights. I am pretty resilient and I shook it off. 

Then over the next few days, like almost every American, maybe person around the word, I began to reflect on 2013 and the days to come in 2014. I read one night on Instagram, "some years are questions. others are answers." Last year no doubt was difficult, a lot happened. No job, illnesses, death, and moments of uncertainty. I allowed many people and situations to take me to a place of bitterness and to steal my joy. Not because I was jealous or not happy for other people's success but because I felt as if people around us were not happy for our small or big successes and maybe even wished we would fail. 

As much as we want our Social Media appearance to be equal to our real lives, it hardly ever seems that way. I attempt to be real and post most of our failures for others to relate to and learn from. But, at the same time I don't want to be a Debbie Downer who only has complaining and un-happy moments to share, who does? Which is probably why my Husband has this idea that other's think we are perfect. No matter how many times I repeat it, doesn't seem to sink in. We are NOT perfect, far from it. But, we try everyday to wake up and get this life right. 

Now the reflection: What do I want to do differently in 2014? There have been many moments when I can't relax. I can't get comfortable in my own situation. Not because of myself or my kids, or my Husband but because of those around me. What will they think? What will they say? How harsh will they judge me as a Momma, as a Wife, as an employee, as a person, as a writer.... etc. Then one night as I read through a devotional it happened. My word. "My word" for 2014 had come to me and I knew it was MY word. 

To seek it in every moment of chaos. To be reminded that no matter what or how bad the situation is we should always remain. It was there. I felt it and I loved it. I hope that for the next 364 days I can embrace it and allow it to transform me. So that 364 days from now I can say I had the best year because of this word.... 


Peace in who I am. 
Peace in where I am going. 
Peace in where I have come from. 
Peace in how far I have already traveled. 
Peace in the moments of chaos. 
Peace no matter who is watching. 

Peace. {And hope that this word will lead to better things.}

What about you? What has been your reflection and answer for 2014??