7.24.2014

5 things you need to know about grapefruit

by Pattie Cordova
This is a sponsored post. 

There are few fruits that provide the benefits of healthy skin, weight loss and even a cleaner bathroom quite like the grapefruit. Grapefruit is full of benefits, it's affordable and definitely a multi-tasker. Learn the five things you need to know about grapefruit and pick up one (or more!) grapefruits and grapefruit products next time you're at the market.

5 things you need to know about grapefruit // LivingMiVidaLoca.com

Lowers cholesterol

Just one grapefruit a day will help your lower LDL cholesterol levels (the "bad" cholesterol) by 15.5 percent and triglycerides by 27 percent. Go for the deep red grapefruit varieties as they'll have higher levels of antioxidants.

Boost metabolism

Neutrogena products available at Sam's Club // livingmividaloca.comPeople who ate half of a grapefruit before each meal (without making any other dietary changes) shed an average of three and a half pounds over 12 weeks, found a study from the Nutrition and Metabolic Research Center at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, California.

Grapefruit has unique chemical properties that, for the last 30 years of studies have shown, promotes weight loss. It's full of vitamin C and will reduce insulin levels which ultimately promotes weight loss.

Green household cleaner

Using grapefruit pulp and rind will do wonders for your home. Simply dip a juiced grapefruit half in a plate of sea salt, and then rub the grapefruit all over your household fixtures, squeezing any leftover juice out as you go. The citric acid in the fruit will dissolve dirt and grime. The salt will disinfect and scour. Once you scrub, just rinse the solution away.

Skin exfoliator

Cut a grapefruit in half, sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar and rub over your skin for an easy exfoliator. It'll do wonders on dark patches you may have on your knees and elbows.

Package a grapefruit exfoliator to-go by mixing some sugar, a little oil and fresh grapefruit juice. Use it in the shower to exfoliate the rest of your skin. The natural anti-bacterial properties will soften your skin and give them a healthy natural tone.

Great skin cleanser 

When ingested, grapefruit will help your body work efficiently so that it can flush out toxins and waste from all your cells, which leads to better skin. The vitamins and minerals in grapefruit will feed your cells and keep them healthy and strong, which will also show in your skin. The anti-oxidants in grapefruit fights free radicals in the skin that can cause lines, wrinkles, discolorations and other blemishes that can make you look older than you are.

When applied topically, the grapefruit will help fade spots by reducing excess production of skin pigment. Use a cleanser like Neutrogena® Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub that will both cleanse and smooth your skin. It powerfully clears blemishes and blackheads with maximum strength Salicylic Acid acne medicine plus an uplifting blast of grapefruit. With 100% naturally derived grapefruit extract and vitamin C, Neutrogena® Oil-Free Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub features gentle microbeads that smooth away roughness without over-drying or irritating your skin. Couple it with Neutrogena® Shine Control and take control over oily skin! Buy these products at Sam's Club and save money by purchasing in larger quantity.

Neutrogena products available at Sam's Club // livingmividaloca.com


This posting was sponsored by Neutrogena® and I was compensated by payment. Regardless, what I have written in my own opinion and experience and I hope you find it of use.

7.22.2014

Sofia Vergara & Joe Manganiello in Los Angeles

by Pattie Cordova
Me encanta Sofia Vergara. I don't care that she plays up her accent - it just makes her more hilarious. I adore that she dresses up everything that she wears, and she just owns her look. This past weekend she stepped out with her new novio, Joe Manganiello in L.A. and I gush at how casual they look together. The beginning of a new romance - and basically his dream come true. Believe in true love!

Sofia Vergara & Joe Manganiello in Los Angeles
Source


7.17.2014

Upgrading to the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini

by Justine Burgess
Those of you that know me well, know that my phone is not something I update often...or ever, unless I drop it in a toilet. In fact, my current phone looks like something out of Star Trek – the 60’s version. It’s a flip phone (you can laugh), it’s chipped, and the battery cover falls off a lot, and the only thing I can do is make calls…which, really, is the purpose of a phone, right? I don’t text, I don’t cruise the internet, I don’t play games, and when I want to check something online, I use a computer. Well, my simple, non-technologically advanced world came to a screeching halt a few weeks ago when Pattie asked me if I wanted to try out the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini she received for review and give my thoughts on it. It was like giving a Neanderthal a microwave. I was totally clueless.

Nokia flip phone

The first few days were tough. I had no idea what to do with it. The screen colors are gorgeous, the phone is a nice size, and it’s loaded with a ton of features, apps, and widgets- none of which I knew how to use, because my flip phone is the equivalent of an Atari 2600 loaded with Pong; in other words, my technological knowledge of smart phones is greatly limited. So I spent a lot of time just playing with it. I tried to just turn it on and go- which was probably not a good idea. Thank goodness for instruction manuals.  

Samsung Galaxy S4 mini

It’s a beautiful phone, very sleek and simple in design. I did notice immediately, though, that the phone did not seem (to me) particularly intuitive and the instruction manual is not as descriptive as it should be- something as simple as saving a text as a draft (when there is no “save as a draft” icon) is not explained, so it took me awhile to really figure out how to use the basics. It tried to lead me through several set-up screens, but they kept moving by very quickly. The “Easy Mode” that is supposed to make this phone simple for even an inexperienced user was really not so easy. Now that I've had time to get accustomed to it though, I can say that I now understand why people are always looking at their phones in public- it’s addicting.  So far, I've used Instagram, all the assorted Google items (Chrome, Play, +, etc.), the camera, texting (how did I live without this?), and navigation (I still got lost, but not AS lost).

On the plus side, this phone is very touch-sensitive, which is great if you put a protective screen over it (which I did not) - the heightened sensitivity pretty much guarantees that it will still register. Unfortunately, though, this sensitive screen can also be a drawback- more than once I wasn't even touching the phone and it suddenly flipped through several applications and/or pages back. It was like it was possessed…or maybe I breathed too hard. After a few weeks, this issue seemed to dissipate- in fact, now I sometimes have to swipe repeatedly, so the sensitivity of the screen has clearly diminished with use. Although, it did download Samsung Billing the other day on its own…and I wasn't even near it.

Samsung Galaxy S4 mini colors

Here are my pros and cons of this particular Android phone (4.4.2 OS), though never having used a smart phone before, I have nothing to really compare it to other than my ancient Nokia (which is, absolutely, like two cups and a string when compared with this Samsung).

Without any further ado, the pros:
  • compact size- perfect for pockets! For the fashionista, it will go nicely in your evening clutch bag.
  • 16GB internal memory, 1.5 GB RAM
  • decent web browsing speeds, with a  1.7 GHz Dual–Core processor. It’s actually faster than my computer…though I probably need to update that, too.
  • vibrant 4.3 inch AMOLED display. The colors on this phone are FANTASTIC and very clear.
  • Samsung Hub- access all of your content in a single app. Nothing like having your life and needs all at a single finger swipe.
  • good sound quality. Music, video, and phone calls are very clear. You can watch movies and play games on Samsung HUB and it’s like watching a really, really tiny HDTV with a good speaker system.
  • WatchOn- you can use this app to control your TV with your phone. My husband loves this. It even suggests shows he might like based on his current shows..
  • great camera, front or rear facing, plus a video recorder. 8MP Rear–facing camera, AP with LED Flash, full HD. It has tons of different modes, like Sports, Panorama, and Night, and you can edit right on the phone with on-board filters and editing tools. Did not take the place of my Canon, but gave it a run for its money. Also, it has a 1.9MP    Front– facing camera, 720p. Great for those selfies, though at my age I try to take them in soft lighting. Video is great for sports- the auto focus makes it easy to stay on your subject and the transitions are fairly smooth, while the picture stays crisp.
  • very lightweight. Comfortable to carry in one hand.
  • automatic updates (these can be a drawback, though- I was in the middle of something and BOOM, automatic updates came on and commandeered control of the phone, rebooting it. Not cool.).
  • reasonably priced. I've seen these Galaxy S4 minis as low as FREE with service agreements pretty much everywhere.

And now, the not-so-hot:
  • battery life. (Standard 1900 mAh Lithium Ion) Standby time on the specs says up to 8 days. Uh, no. More than 1 day and it needed a charge. Usage time states up to 18 hours. Not even close, for me at least. Spend more than an hour on this phone and the battery is ready for a recharge.
  • weirdly over- reactive (or a total lack of response) at times.
  • screen blacking out. Don’t touch the screen for about 4 seconds and it will fade to black, necessitating a click on the button and a swipe to get back to what ever you were doing.
  • when laid on a flat surface, at times it doesn't pick up pressure on the touch screen.
  • small screen makes keyboarding tough. If you keep the phone upright, the keyboard is quite tiny and can make typing a challenge. If you flip it lengthwise, typing is much easier, but then you can’t see what the screen says.
  • not super-rugged. It’s a pretty phone, but so lightweight I’m afraid it will break. Not sure how well it will hold up under heavy activity.
Upgrading to the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini

Overall, it was a really good phone. It was great to have access to everything I would normally do from a PC- facebook, email, twitter, etc., plus now that I've experienced Instagram, I’ll never give it up; I’ll be putting it on my husband's phone. I haven’t even come close to trying out the dozens of other features; it’s all new to me, so I’m taking them one at a time. For tech-savvy people looking for a lightweight mid-range phone that is a lower-priced alternative, this is a good choice. The Samsung S5 is already out, so the deals abound for this older model. I’m not quite ready to give up my old calls-only phone and head into the higher-priced land of data service, but once I am, I’ll definitely consider this one.


This is not a sponsored post. LivingMiVidaLoca was provided the phone for review purposes of the phone only.



Visiting Menchie's in Laguna Niguel

by Alma Pedroza
This is a sponsored post.

There is a new Menchie's in Orange County. If you are new to Menchie's Frozen Yogurt it is like no other froyo place. One of the things that distinguishes them from others is their waffles.


That is the first thing you notice as you walk in - the smell of fresh in-store made waffles. They have the waffle irons displayed in the front house and there is no escaping the smell. Frozen yogurt on top of a crispy waffle plus all your favorite toppings is only seen at Menchie's.


I took my four munchkins to the soft opening of Menchie's in Laguna Niguel... and they had a blast! They kept on noticing all the characters on the wall. Like the dog named Chip, and Mellow the marshmallow. The obvious favorite was Menchie, the frozen swirl yogurt. These characters bring a fun whimsical feel to Menchie's. It is not just about the yogurt - it's the experience at Menchie's. 


Menchie's offers " a little bit of everything." If you have dietary restrictions they have a flavor including nonfat, gluten-free, sugar free and vegan options. I loved what my daughter told me, "they have more flavors than other yogurt places." Some examples being Dole pineapple, Peachy Keen (the owners favorite), toasty marshmallow, cake batter, and strawberry banana. The yogurts are made with milk from hormone-free cows and a great source of probiotics.


Our family had a fun time coming up with our own creation using the S'more yogurt. We started with a waffle cup and added my daughter's favorite flavor - Toasty Marshmallow. Then moved on to the wall of toppings and sprinkled graham cracker crumbs and topped it with hot fudge. We were evil yogurt geniuses and the possibilities seemed endless.


The week long Grand Opening Extravaganza is still going on with great deals to beat the heat. Come out and create your own yogurt masterpiece at Menchie's in Laguna Niguel. The flavors are like no other and the atmosphere is so welcoming. Make sure to take home their main ingredient a "Smile." We sure did.

Follow Menchie’s Laguna Hills on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more froyo fun!

This is a sponsored post. I was invited to a pre-grand opening event to facilitate this post. All thoughts and ideas remain my own.


7.15.2014

Small changes you can make to avoid obesity in your family

by Liby C
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.

Growing up as a Latina, I was never made aware of obesity or how to eat healthy. I grew up eating white rice with beans, pan dulce, cafécito con leche with bolillos for breakfast, chorizo con huevo, Maruchan noodle cups, and drank sugary drinks, none of which were healthy choices. Since I came from a low income family, my mother was never concerned with the ingredients on the labels on the items she purchased; if they were cheap and on sale she would buy them. I wasn’t an overweight child, but I created poor eating habits that have caught up with me.

Now as a mother, I wanted to change all of my poor eating habits by educating myself - reading and learning how to make healthier eating choices. I want to avoid diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, or other obesity related diseases.


Here are a few tips you can incorporate into your life. These small changes can help you avoid obesity in your family:

Learn how to read the food labels

It is very important to know what you feed your body because your body cannot digest and breakdown certain synthetic ingredients used in most food items. One major ingredient that I avoid is High Fructose Corn Syrup, it is not natural sugar so your body doesn’t know how to break it down. At first it is a bit time consuming reading the labels while you shop, but soon you will know what to buy and what not to buy.

Teach your children what calories do for our body

I explain to my children that calories are what give our bodies energy to play and have fun. If we make poor food choices then our body gets tired fast and get a tummy ache. I illustrate several options between good and bad foods, so they can know the difference.


Hydrate

Ensure that your family members are drinking water. This will avoid overeating and help them consume less sugary drinks.

Be Active

I always plan a physical activity for the kids and I. We like going on nature hikes, a walk on the beach, park, or a stroll around the neighborhood. If we stay home all day, then I just pop in their favorite Wii dance video game and dance with them.

Good Night’s Rest

Always make sure you and your children are getting enough sleep. Studies have shown that not sleeping enough contributes to weight gain.


It all starts from childhood and if we can teach our children how to make healthy choices then we can prevent obesity and related diseases in the future. Always consult your primary physician, they will provide you with helpful nutrition information to start educating yourself. To locate a primary health provider, please visit www.molinahealthercare.com.

7.14.2014

Walking with Dinosaurs comes to Honda Center this September

by Justine Burgess
Dinosaurs. What kid (or adult that used to be a kid) isn’t crazy for the Cretaceous, the Jurassic, or the Triassic, in no particular order? I know I always wanted to be a paleontologist- and now my son does, too. Well, you can fulfill your own child's interests (as well as those of your inner child) by heading to the “Walking with Dinosaurs” Arena Spectacular at Honda Center this September.

We were lucky enough to be able to get a small taste of what in store for show-goers. While at Discovery Science Center on Mother's Day, not only were we able to watch a quick preview of the improved and scientifically-updated show, the baby Tyrannosaurus Rex from the show was making a special appearance! It was very realistic looking, and while the kids found it very amusing, a few children (and a few parents) looked just a little bit nervous, as though this human-being-filled puppet had just emerged from the earth (or a movie) and was ready to resume its carnivorous duties at the top of the food chain. That’s how real it looked.


We attended the show a few years back during its first appearance in Orange County. It was quite visually stunning, as the dinosaurs are life-sized and the show is a theatrical interpretation based on the award-winning BBC television series of the same name. My husband and I were absolutely impressed with the animatronics and the puppeteers. My then-3-year-old….not as much. However, now that he’s almost 7, this time he was enthralled with the baby T-Rex and totally fascinated with how it moved and appeared so life-like.  He was excited to know that the show was returning, and I think he’s just at the perfect age to understand and learn more about these amazing creatures. The show has been updated to reflect more recent scientific discoveries, like possible plumage and feathering on some dinosaurs. It depicts the evolution of dinosaurs, their interactions, and the interaction between carnivores and herbivores while on the never-ending quest for food. Ten species are represented from the approximate 200-million year reign of the dinosaurs. Most thrilling and familiar to kids and adults alike will probably be the Tyrannosaurus and the Brachiosaurus, which stands at 36 feet tall and is 56 feet long from nose to tail. Don’t miss this fantastic event!

To learn more about the history of the show itself, see reviews, check out photo galleries, get educational materials, play some fun games, and get some great coloring pages and worksheets for kids, please visit www.dinosaurlive.com.

Where: Honda Center 2695 East Katella Ave. Anaheim, CA 92806
When: September 3rd through September 7th.

Performance Schedule
Wednesday, September 3 at 7:00 PM;
Thursday, September 4 at 7:00 PM;
Friday, September 5 at 7:00 PM;
Saturday, September 6 at 11:00 AM; Saturday, September 6 at 3:00 PM; Saturday, September 6 at 7:00 PM;
Sunday, September 7 at 1:00 PM; Sunday, September 7 at 5:00 PM 

Prices: $22.50, $39.50, $59.50, $79.50

To learn more about the show and buy tickets for this event, visit the Honda Center page at http://www.hondacenter.com/EventDetails.aspx?EventID=882. Tickets on sale now at ticketmaster.com, by phone at 800-745-3000 and in person at Ticketmaster retail outlets and the Honda Center box office.


This is not a sponsored post. I received general admission to Discovery Science Center in order to view the show trailer and baby Tyrannosaurus Rex puppet. 

Lianna Grethel chats about life as a mom

by Pattie Cordova
This is a sponsored post by guest blogger, Cynthia Duarte of KindaSillyMommy.com

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting the beautiful and talented Lianna Grethel, host of Alarma TV on the Estrella TV network. Grethel partnered with Babies "R" Us and Procter & Gamble to help celebrate motherhood and the amazing milestones that our babies experience.

Lianna Grethel chats about life as a mom

Lianna is an internationally recognized model on the hit NBC game show “Deal or No Deal,” as well as a mother of two. I was able to sit down with Lianna for a few minutes and ask her a few questions about being a mamá.

Babies R us

Hello! I see you have a son, do you have any other children?

Ms. Lianna Grethel: Yes, I have two. My daughter (Valentina) is 18 and Liam is one.

Oh, I had no idea! I thought you were a first time mother. You look amazing for having an 18 year old.

Ms. Lianna Grethel: Oh, thank you. It is like being a first time mom all over again after 18 years.

I would think so. I have two daughters that are four and five and I already forgot the baby phase. So, tell me what is your favorite baby product?

Ms. Lianna Grethel: I love this brand, [Pampers]. Liam, my son, his skin is very sensitive. Everything causes rashes, so Pampers is my favorite. For blankets, I love Dreft. It's very soft. I buy everything at Babies "R" Us, and I have one near my work. I stop there before I go home. 

It's been a while since I've been in a Babies "R" Us, since my daughters are older. I forgot all of the fun stuff they have here.

Ms. Lianna Grethel: Yes, I can get everything: formula, toys... everything. I remember 18 years ago in Miami I shopped at Babies "R" Us. Now that Liam is running and opening the doors to the kitchen, I just bought all of the safety stuff.

What is your son into right now? What type of toy or character is his favorite?

Ms. Lianna Grethel: He loves Baby Einstein. I love it, because he learns from it. He also loves Mickey Mouse. All the channels are to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse now. And Planes, he loves Planes the movie. That was his first birthday theme.

That's so cute! I have girls so everything is princess related; it must be fun having a boy. Tell me, do you have any tips for new mothers?

Ms. Lianna Grethel: Well for us, it is very important, after we get pregnant, to take care of us. In my show, I receive a lot of emails about advice on how to take care of yourself after having a baby. Like, how to lose weight and how to keep your hair from falling out. Because a lot of times your hair falls out after having a baby. I take prenatal vitamins for 4 months after having the baby to help your hair from falling out. Also, when you breastfeed you lose weight, and I drink a juice with cucumber and flax seed.

Also, it is important to take care of the baby, always use the appropriate products that is right for your baby. And, I learned how to manage my time for work and kids. I like to write everything down and how much time I have allotted for each task, and that helps me.
Lianna Grethel shares her favorite baby products

I had such a nice chat with Lianna, as you can see she loves babies and is a great mother. I follow her on Instagram and Twitter, and you should too! And make sure to follow Babies "R" Us on Facebook to be the first to know about their awesome giveaways and deals. Don't forget to enter the Babies 'R' Us giveaway going on here: http://goo.gl/hFUifq, and of course, we would LOVE to know what your favorite Procter & Gamble product is! Share below.


This is a sponsored post in partnership with Procter & Gamble. All thoughts and ideas remain my own. Images courtesy of P&G.