4.15.2014

Spring 2014: Easy Spring Makeup Tutorial with Neutrogena

by Pattie Cordova
This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and Neutrogena.

I was born in the month of May - in the middle of Spring. So when Spring comes along I immediately start thinking fresh, clean and of new beginnings. I imagine the flowers blooming, the clouds parting after the rainfall and the grass glowing green. It's my opportunity to start anew with a different outlook, and a brighter view. Translated into makeup, I always go for rosy tones and not much black, brown or red. I keep things subtle and manageable. In the end, I want to feel free to take on new challenges, and so my look needs to reflect that.

Easy Spring makeup tutorial with Neutrogena // livingmividaloca.com #NeutrogenaBelleza #ad

Spring also calls for a simple look with fast application. Using just 11 products, I can get my makeup done and be out the door in under ten minutes. In my handbag, you will always find my Neutrogena Shine Control Powder for on-the-go touchups, along with the Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Stick. A few swipes of each item has me looking my best when I'm out and about.

Spring makeup look using Neutrogena products // livingmividaloca.com #NeutrogenaBelleza #ad

One must never overlook applicators. I love my makeup brushes because they help me get the most out of my makeup. While everyone has their preferred method of applying foundation, my go-to will always be a sponge. I use three different eyeshadow brushes because I don't want the colors mixing. A blush brush and an angled face brush are used for blush and bronzer, respectively. Finally, my can't-live-without eyelash curler is nothing special, but it gets the most use because my lashes do not have a natural curl.

Best makeup brushes for makeup // livingmividaloca.com #NeutrogenaBelleza #ad

I believe in changing makeup with each season, and for each occasion. My every day Spring makeup look is one that can be done in under ten minutes, and if need be, the products can be stashed in a makeup bag and thrown in my bag. This simple Spring look can be amplified by adding more color to the eyes or a bolder lip. I skip the eyeliner because I like a fresh look without too much drama.

Pattie Cordova - Latina Blogger // livingmividaloca.com #NeutrogenaBelleza #ad

Preparation

Always start off with a fresh face. I like to use Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes and then follow it up with Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30. This moisturizer is one of my favorite because it does so much in the moisturizing department and it also helps reduce the look of dark spots and discoloration.

Complexion

Start by applying Neutrogena Nourishing Long Wear Liquid Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 20 in your chosen shade. I'm wearing Natural Shade this Spring season. To apply it, I place a small amount on the top of my hand to warm it up before applying it with my makeup sponge. I follow it with Neutrogena Healthy Skin Brightening Eye Perfector Broad Spectrum SPF 25 in "light." I use it under my lower lashes to help my brighten up my eyes. I finish off my base makeup with Neutrogena Shine Control Powder on my T-zone and at the top of my cheeks (where I seem to shine the most).

Cheeks

I use my blush brush to apply Neutrogena Healthy Skin Custom Glow Blush & Bronzer in Natural Glow - right on the apple of my cheeks. Then, I apply bronzer in the forehead, temples and hairline. Also, because I have a wide nose, I apply bronzer running down both sides of my nose to give it the impression of a longer, thinner nose.

Eyes

I start by applying Neutrogena Crease Proof Eye Shadow in Perfect Pink on my eyelids and blend it with an eyeshadow brush. I follow it with Lasting Taupe along the crease. Again, using an eyeshadow brush to blend. I finish with Stay Golden under my eyebrows to highlight my eyebrows and just a tad in the inner corner of my eyes for a bright-eye look. Blend with small shadow brush. Finally, I curl my lashes and apply two coats of Neutrogena Healthy Volume Mascara in Carbon Black. I go with a waterproof version because it's the only way that my lashes will stay curled.

Tip: Run a thin line of Crease Proof Eye Shadow in Stay Golden on the bridge of your nose and blend it in. This will give the illusion of a long nose. You can also dab the same eye shadow on the top of the cheek, below the eye, to highlight your cheekbones.

Lips

I keep my lips moisturized with Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Stick in Warm Caramel.  The chunky pencil makes it fast and easy to apply.

And there you have it. My favorite Spring look that will have you looking amazing; showcasing your beautiful skin and natural beauty.

favorite Neutrogena makeup // livingmividaloca.com NeutrogenaBelleza #ad

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and Neutrogena. I also received a replenishment of Neutrogena makeup for this look. All thoughts and opinions remain my own.

4.13.2014

5 Tips for Choosing a Convertible Car Seat

by Pattie Cordova
This conversation is sponsored in collaboration with Evenflo and Latina Bloggers Connect.

When I had my first child, I didn't think much about what went into a car seat. I chose something within my budget and mostly based on looks. Now, as a more experienced mami, I look for a few must-haves when I purchase a car seat - and between the two kids and two cars, I've done it about six times now! So here are my tips on choosing a convertible car seat, which in fact are my favorite because they end up saving you money in the long run.

5 Tips for Choosing a Convertible Car Seat // livingmividaloca.com #evenfloplatinum

A convertible car seat converts from a rear-facing seat for babies and toddlers to a forward-facing seat. It's differs from an infant car seat in that it's not made to be taken out and carried with the child secured inside it. I chose to skip the infant car seat with my second child because I didn't want to deal with taking the car seat in and out of the car. So in fact, the convertible car seat saved me about an average of $300!

LATCH system on convertible car seat // livingmividaloca.com #EvenfloPlatinum #ad

LATCH system

I don't know that there are convertible car seats that don't have the LATCH system, but just in case - this is a MUST. Many vehicles will have the rings, where the LATCH belt clips onto, under flaps of fabric. Look for them in your car and whenever possible, use them and place the car seat as close to the middle as possible. If your child is over 65 pounds, do not use the LATCH system. According to new regulations, you should be using just use the seat belt to secure the car seat, and the tether, if available. All LATCH systems will be used the same way, but the one above features a retractable LATCH belt that makes it easier to install.

Upfront Harness Adjustment on convertible car seat // livingmividaloca.com #evenfloplatinum #ad

Upfront Harness Adjustment

Your child will grow up before you know it, and once you get your car seat secured in your vehicle, you won't want to pull it out every time you need to adjust it. Look for a car seat that makes it easy to to tighten and loosen the harness to easily get your child in and out of the car seat and to adjust it for your growing child. To use the upfront harness adjustment, you'll just need lift up the flap of fabric, push down on the switch and pull on the harnesses. To tighten pull on the black strap at the bottom front of the car seat.
Side impact protection in Evenflo Platinum Symphony™ DLX All-In-One Car Seat  // livingmividaloca.com

Side Impact Protection

Side impact protection does make your convertible car seat take up more space - but it's worth it. Look for side impact protection like the e3 Side Impact™ Protection that has multiple layers of foam and tested to reduce side impact forces up to 50%. It will also significantly reduce the forces in side impact crashes through advanced energy absorption and an expanded zone of protection.

multiple position headrest in convertible car seat // livingmividaloca.com

Multiple-Position Headrest

Like the upfront harness adjustment, the multiple-position headrest will make it easy for you to adjust to your growing child. These types of headrest will allow you to easily adjust with one-hand. All you do is pull up the lever and the headrest will pull up at the same time. Have your child in the car seat for a more accurate adjustment.

Convertible Car Seat for Toddler // LivingMiVidaLoca.com #EvenfloPlatinum #ad

Machine washable fabric

Believe it or not, this is majorly important. Your kid will throw up, poop, spit, spill and so much more in their car seat. You'll most likely need to wash it at least once a month, and it's important that the fabric be machine washable. Of course, if you can find a fabric that is machine washable AND does more than that too - go for it. Look for fabrics like those in the Evenflo Platinum Protection Series car seats which feature NASA-developed Outlast™ Performance Fabrics. Their temperature regulating fabric in the padding of the seats to keep babies and toddlers comfortable during hot or cold weather. It also reduces perspiration so the child stays drier and more comfortable. My kids sweat - A LOT - so I welcome this new technology with open arms.

The above tips are my 5 must-haves that all my car seats must have. However, sometimes you need just a little more to tip the scales. Extra features that other car seats don't have. One of my favorites that I found in the Evenflo Platinum Symphony™ DLX All-In-One Car Seat were the buckle pockets. These little pockets allows you to tuck the buckle tongues away and also keeps them cool when they're in direct sunlight (when not in use). Trust me, little innovative features like this makes a big difference.

Note: My son (pictured above) turns 3 in June and measures 38 inches tall. He'll use this car seat until he weighs 110 pounds.

What tips do you have to share when choosing a convertible car seat? Please leave a comment below and let us know!

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and Evenflo. I also received the Evenflo Platinum Symphony™ DLX All-In-One Car Seat to facilitate my review. All thoughts and opinions remain my own.

10 Things You Didn't Know About Strawberries

by Pattie Cordova
A couple of weeks ago, the kids and I were fortunate enough to dive in to the delicious world of strawberries thanks to California Strawberries. We had two fun days filled with strawberries, food, friends, and a farm.

We began with a reception that included a wide spread of strawberries dishes (my favorite were the strawberry and goat cheese mini pizzas with reduced balsamic dressing) and a crash course on food safety. The next day, we were up and ready to head out into Terry Farms and oh my gosh... I learned so much about strawberries! We came home with boxes of strawberries and plenty of inspiration for new uses.

Now in strawberry season, we're sharing with you ten things you didn't know about strawberries. We'd also love to hear about your favorite strawberry recipes in the comments below!

10 things you didn't know about strawberries // livingmividaloca.com #JustAddStrawberries

1. The average strawberry has about 200 seeds, and it's the only fruit that has its seeds on the outside.

2. There is no such thing as a GMO-free strawberry because there are no genetically modified strawberries commercially grown and shipped.

3. Different varieties of strawberries are developed for different climates and growing conditions. These varieties are developed using traditional breeding methods that involve selecting two parents and crossing them using their flowers.

Terry Farms grow strawberries // livingmividaloca.com #JustAddStrawberries

4. Nearly 90 percent of U.S.-grown fresh strawberries come from California, with more than 1.7 BILLION pounds being harvested annually.

Fun fact: if California were a country, it would be the world’s largest producer of strawberries!

Boy eating strawberry // livingmividaloca.com #JustAddStrawberries

5. Strawberries are grown primarily in California thanks to its year-round strawberry growing season. In fact, more than four hundred family farmers grow strawberries on approximately 40,000 acres from Orange County, all the way to the Monterey Bay.

6. Eight strawberries contain more vitamin C than an orange. They're also low in sugar, only about 50 calories and they're a great source of fiber, folate and potassium.

Strawberries growing on the vine // livingmividaloca.com #JustAddStrawberries

7. Nutrients and phytochemicals in strawberries help maintain a healthy heart, boost memory and may lower the risk of developing some types of cancer.

8. According to a recent study, eating strawberries more than twice a week appears to delay cognitive aging by up to 2.5 years!

Kid eating strawberry on the farm // livingmividaloca.com #justaddstrawberries

9. Potassium found in strawberries can help control blood pressure and fight strokes. Plus, antioxidants, fiber and phytochemicals in strawberries have been shown to reduce total cholesterol levels.

10. The American Diabetes Association identified berries, including strawberries, as one of the top ten superfoods for a diabetes meal plan thanks to their low glycemic index.

How a strawberry plant grows // livingmividaloca.com #JustAddStrawberries
Strawberries start off as a flower.

Terry Farms was a great host and we learned so much at their family-owned farm. We also gained a much deeper appreciation for this hard-working industry.

Bonus facts about strawberry farmers

In California there are more than 400 strawberry farmers, many from multi-generational farming families who grow both conventional and organic strawberries. California grows more organic strawberries than any other place in the world.

California's strawberry farmers are among the most progressive and environmentally conscious in the state. They have invested more than $13 million dollars in research and sustainable farming practices to reduce pesticide use and environmental impacts.

California’s strawberry farmers use less than one percent of California’s cropland, but create nearly 10 percent of all California’s farm-related jobs.

// Resources //

California Strawberries
Terry Farms
American Diabetes Association

4.11.2014

''It's a small world'' Mexico Singing Doll Released

by Pattie Cordova
''it's a small world'' Mexico Singing Doll // livingmividaloca.com
''it's a small world'' Mexico Singing Doll details: fabric flowers in hair // braided, rooted hair // rooted eyelashes

I'm dying over the new ''it's a small world'' Mexico Singing Doll that Disney recently released. The doll is well made, thoughtfully designed and artfully put together. It was created using designs and illustrations by the legendary Disney Studios artist and Imagineer, Mary Blair. Each doll is dressed in traditional folk costume and sings in her native language.

''it's a small world'' Mexico Singing Doll in Spanish // livingmividaloca.com

When we opened up the box I was immediately enamored by it. It's so perfect, beautiful, authentic and a wonderful reminder of Mexican tradition. I love how her little arms and legs rotate, and her head too! Her silky sash is removable, as are her shoes. My favorite part though, is her singing. And ultimately, that's what sold her to my oldest kid too. The moment he heard her sing he said, "I want it!" And let me just say, my kid is not one to normally ask for dolls. In just a few hours, she has become a much loved member of our household. She goes perfectly with our "It's a Small World" Storybook too!

Find her and her little friends at your local Disney Store and DisneyStore.com at a suggested retail price of $29.95.

''it's a small world'' storybook // livingmividaloca.com
''it's a small world'' Mexico Singing Doll reading "It's a Small World" Storybook

“It’s a small world” Collection

SRP: $29.95 each
Retailers: Disney Store and DisneyStore.com



  • Collection of dolls inspired by the original Fantasyland attraction and Disney song “it’s a small world”
  • Dolls were created with inspiration drawn from the designs and illustrations by the legendary Disney Artist, Mary Blair
  • Each Doll is dressed in traditional costume and sings both in their native language and in English
  • Recorded by children from around the world for authenticity
''it's a small world'' Mexico Singing Doll detail // livingmividaloca.com
''it's a small world'' Mexico Singing Doll detail: Authentic, highly detailed folk costume // Satin skirt and ribbons // Glitter design accents

The Disney Store’s Small World dolls are from the award-winning Animators’ Collection. These beautiful dolls, which are inspired by the Fantasyland attraction and classic song, “it’s a small world,” are dressed in traditional costume. They sing in both their native language and in English, recorded by children from around the world for authenticity.


Snack Time: gopicnic ready-to-eat meals and little me tea

by Pattie Cordova
Healthy after school snacks // livingmividaloca.com #ExpoWest
Healthy after-school snacks
My six year old finishes his Kindergarten day completely famished. He comes home and is just starving, all day - every day. So on a recent trip to Expo West, I had the opportunity to pick up some new favorites. My favorite feature about these products is their ease of transportation. I stick the juices in the freezer and by the time I pick up my kid from school, they're defrosted and perfect for an after-school snack at the park. The ready-to-eat meal is full of well-put snacks that give the kids plenty of protein and fiber. Lastly, the sparkling water is just the pick-me-up that I personally need.

Hummus & Crackers: A GoPicnic Ready-to-Eat Meal // livingmividaloca.com #expowest
Hummus & Crackers: A GoPicnic Ready-to-Eat Meal // 380 calories - 19g protein - 7g fiber

GoPicnic Ready-to-Eat Meal: Hummus & Crackers

GoPicnic has made an amazing product that is perfect for both vegetarian and non-vegeatarian kids! It's the type of ready-to-eat meal that would be wonderful for the kids to take with them on a field trip, for lunch, or on a family outing. Each meal has a specific theme and many of them are also gluten-free AND vegetarian!

The foods in GoPicnic all-natural meals contain no trans fats, no added MSG, and no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Each meal contains five individually-wrapped food items, plus utensils (if needed) and at $4.99 each, it's a meal that won't break the bank.

GoPicnic vegetarian meals // livingmividaloca.com #expowest

The Hummus & Crackers GoPicnic meal the kids enjoyed featured Wild Garden Hummus Dip, Crunchmaster Multi-Seed Crackers, Sweet Perry Orchards Baja Blend Fruit & Nut Mix, Sweet Perry Orchards Power Play Tasty Seed Blend, and Professor Zim Zam’s Extraordinary Sweets Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt. The kids enjoyed every bit of the snacks, and they were full!

little me tea // 25 calories - 6g sugar | Mountain Valley Sparkling Water

little me tea and Mountain Valley Sparkling Water

Every after-school snack needs a little beverage to wash it down with. Our choices for this day were little me tea boxes for the kids and Mountain Valley Sparkling Water in blackberry pomegranate for me.

My kids have been enjoying tea since they were babies, especially since I've never been a big fan of juice. These particular little me tea boxes have an antioxidant-rich blend of white, rooibos, chamomile & hibiscus teas sweetened only with fruit and vegetable juices (30% or less). They also do not contain caffeine or added sugar, plus, they're gluten free!

My particular drink was just what I needed on that warm day. It was a perfectly refreshing beverage with zero calories, but still big on taste. I'm a huge fan of sparkling water because I get that "soda" taste without the calories or heavy sugar.

Boy drinking little me tea // livingmividaloca.com #expowest

I invite you to check out these scrumptious snacks next time you're at your local grocery store or specialty health store - and let me know what you think!

// Resources // 

GoPicnic Meals $4.99 each
little me tea $32.31/30 count
Mountain Valley Sparkling Water $36.95/24 count

4.10.2014

OC Fair Imaginology Goes "Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead"

by almapedroza
Imagination is in full S.T.E.A.M at the OC Fair this weekend. I will be attending this three day event with my four little Imagineers and I can't wait to see what they think of it.

OC Fair Imaginology puts Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math in a way that is educational while being fun for kids. It also features FREE family-friendly activities throughout the fairgrounds. There are competitions for kids beginning from preschool age to high school, and it allows them to show their talents in S.T.E.A.M.

OC Fair Imaginology is a also fun way to support and encourage these subjects in my kids. I sure know their imagination needs more S.T.E.A.M, and that's what we intend to do this weekend.

Costa Mesa Police Department demonstrates at OC Fair Imaginology // livingmividaloca.com #OCFair
A school group listens to a Costa Mesa Police Department representatives presentation at Imaginology at the OC Fair & Event Center.
(Credit: OC Fair & Event Center)

4.08.2014

Top 3 Events happening at OC Parks in April

by Justine Burgess
Step into springtime by getting out and getting into nature! There are a lot of fabulous family opportunities and outdoor adventures at OC Parks during the month of April and throughout spring. Today, we’ll be listing our top three. For the complete list of April outings, check out the OC Parks calendar page.

Best spring events in Orange County for April // livingmividaloca.com #OCParks