There are two things I really enjoy in life and that is cheese and Halloween! My birthday is two days before Halloween, so you can imagine that growing up my mother always organized costume parties for my friends and me.

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When I heard all about the Mini Babybel® cheese being introduced this year with a Halloween twist I thought it was the coolest idea for children and us adults too, why not? So, the Mini Babybel® come in seasonal holiday wraps that you can give out on Halloween day to all those little monsters “trick-o-treating”. Plus you’ll feel great about giving out healthy options because children do need that — instead of candy.

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As an adult I got to bring out the inner child as I decorated the Mini Babybel® cheeses with my friend’s 2-year-old daughter, who we had over for dinner a couple of nights ago as my wife and I decorated the house for the spooky holiday! The Mini Babybel® cheese is perfect for doing some fun activities with the lil’ munchkins because it makes them get creative. This is great because we want to children that think about new ideas, are innovative and think outside the box.

The best part is that children get to decorate the cheeses and if they’d like they can eat them too since they are a healthy snack that is 100% real cheese. Plus, it’s a good source of calcium and protein, which is delivered in each little cheese. They are super easy to unwrap too.

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Since I am still not a dad I feel that this Mini Babybel® cheese experience gave me a solid practice for fatherhood and a different activity that I can do with my little one when it arrives (for the record my wife and I are not pregnant). Lol

By now you are probably wondering where can I purchase the Mini Babybel® cheeses? At your local Target store you’ll be able to find them. You can take advantage of the excellent prices of Mini Babybel® at the store during all of October and make your own creations. You might not have enough with one bag though for this holiday season, so I recommend you buy extra to even give away.

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Want to see the spooky faces my lil’ friend and I created and how much she enjoyed decorating the Mini Babybel cheese?  Take a look at the video below:

What would you make out of your Mini Babybel®?

I hope you make better Halloween snack options for children this year because I have presented you with an excellent idea on how you can make a difference in a child’s health.

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Thank you Mini Babybel ® for sponsoring this post and allowing me to bring out my inner child to play.

I have been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Tecate. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #CollectiveBias #TecateBornBold #Tecatepartner

I always look forward to watching boxing matches because as someone who was born in Mexico this is a sport that is deeply rooted into our culture – just like soccer is. But you cannot compare the two because they are extremely different yet highly competitive. I do recall when I was younger how my parents, uncles and neighbors would get together at a friend’s house to watch a good boxing match getting streamed on TV. There was always one main ingredient at the table and that was Tecate beer. I remember how they would enjoy every single drink as if it was the last drop they’d be having.

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Not all light beers are born equal because this one is born BOLD. It is as bold as the boxing sport where only the strong end up winning the match. Now that I am older and whenever I decide to have friends over for a boxing match at my place I always like to offer them a low calorie beer with full flavor. With all the fall holidays and festivities (my birthday in October) this is one of the beers that is always present in my home.

Even when I drink I like to be cognizant of my healthy lifestyle and will always aim to drink a beer that is a full flavored light beer. I do not like to throw everything that I’ve accomplished with my transformation physical journey so Tecate is the right choice for me. It is a beer that can easily be paired with any food such as munching on some chips while your guests arrive or even something heartier as a bean chili bowl.

 

Nowadays one of my favorite boxers out there is Canelo Alvarez. Not only because he’s great at what he does and has worked real hard to be where he’s positioned himself, but also because I’ve had the honor of interviewing him in the past, back in 2009 at an event when he was not as big as he is today. I would say that it was the beginning of his career. I am happy to see where life has taken him.IMG_0493This upcoming Saturday, September 16th 2017 on Mexican Independence Day is the WBA (World Boxing Association) Middleweight Championship at the T Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Current WBC Middleweight Champion Canelo Alvarez will be contending undefeated Gennady Golovkin (GGG) to win the title of WBA Middleweight Champion in this highly anticipated fight.

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You already know who I will be rooting for along with my friends that I will invite over for a pool party as we watch the fight. Who are you rooting for on September 16? I know for a fact Tecate and who else?

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Tecate will be our special guest because we would not celebrate Mexican Independence Day without this bold beer.

We recently had two trips back to back in July. First it was to New Orleans and then Carmen and I made it out to New York for the Tony Robbins “Unleash The Power Within” Conference. If you don’t know about Tony Robbins you’re really missing out and you ought to know about him. He’s one of the most renowned motivational speakers worldwide and he will make you unleash yourself to experience life to your highest potential. I could not think of another better airline than United to allow us to get to our destination, especially after the VIP treatment we had received with them the week prior.

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This time we did not get to experience the Global Services Program check-in or the United Club, but there are other cool amenities that I did want to mention about United during our flight. It makes a huge difference on your traveling experience to have airline personnel that is helpful, respectful and pays extra attention to detail and that is exactly how Carmen and I have felt with United. As you many of you know United is one of America’s main airline and you’ll find flights just about everywhere nowadays through them. The great thing about them is that in many airports United has their very own terminal and passengers that have their United Club membership can reap all of their great benefits with extra commodity.

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To start I want to mention United’s Premium Transcontinental Service, which offers many of the same amenities found on international routes such as flat-bed seats and enhanced food. Routes now feature an industry-leading complimentary hot meal and alcoholic beverages for customers seated in Economy Plus. I love this new enhancement that United has introduced because that particular day Carmen and I had completely forgotten to have dinner with all the running around and packing, but we are glad United had us covered. Dinner on board was delicious and even the dessert. Yummy!

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One thing I love about United aircrafts is how spacious they are and how you can easily rest while on board. We slept all through the night and almost at a blink of an eye we had landed in Newark Liberty International Airport. We found out that this is one of United’s main hubs and I was not surprised since it is central to different destinations. When we got off the plane we had a United employee waiting and guided us through the airport at 6 AM making sure that we would arrive safely to our next destination, which was our hotel in Elizabeth, NJ. She even gave us recommendations of things to do in city and places we should check out.

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Everything at the United terminal at EWR was organized, in place and non-chaotic. That is a plus because usually at JFK everything is usually hard to find and it’s always so busy. We were able to get to our hotel without any delays.

 

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Immediately after our check-in we made it out to the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ to participate in Tony Robbin’s 4-day conference. Robbin’s is amazing at getting a crowd hyped and he will make anyone get up from their seats to simply start living the life you’ve always dreamed of. We left the conference feeling inspired, motivated and ready to take action to further our careers and crushing some big goals. At the conference we were also able to get rid of so many limiting beliefs and once and for all let go of fear completely.

 

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During our trip it was not all about being at the conference because Carmen and I did have an opportunity to go out to Manhattan a couple of days and explore this city that we both love.

Traveling from Newark to Manhattan was super easy on the train. We were dropped off in the middle of all the action Penn Station, which is a walking distance from Times Square. After hanging out in Times Square we would make it out to Greenwich Village and SoHo. This was our first time in this particular area and both of us loved it there. SoHo seems like a very hipster area with a lot of shops and restaurants. We ate at ATLA, which I highly recommend. It’s gourmet Mexican food. From there we walked around Washington Square Park. It’s a park that is small yet perfect for families and pets to enjoy.

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We also ate at another Mexican restaurant that was recommended to us called Fonda Nolita Tacombi and it reminded me of my Mexican culture so much for the way their food was served and even the “tacombi” or small wagon inside the restaurant. I really enjoyed the street and comfortable vibes here. This definitely was a place that I would not mind going back to. Their tacos were delicious.

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From Fonda Nolita Tacombi we made our way to EWR and it was such a quick and easy ride on the metro from Penn Station. It was a fast 30 minute train ride.

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We checked-in our luggages and we made our way to our gate at the United terminal. By now it was dinner time and guess what? We were hungry! So we came across one of the many cool restaurants in this terminal called DAILY.

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You’ll want to know that United Airlines, along with airport restaurant group OTG, has already invested $120 million into transforming its Terminal C into a dream world airport-dining experience. The area is so futuristic and especially in how you place your order, which is through an i-Pad. In addition, their food is fresh and healthy. DAILY has all entrées that make it “farm to terminal”, which is how they describe their food experience. Like other seasonal restaurants, the daily menu will be determined based on the produce, meat, and fish that are in season at nearby farmers markets.

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If you ever find yourself at EWR United Terminal don’t forget to stop at DAILY where you’ll be able to eat healthy and delicious food.

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United sponsored our roundtrip experience to New York, but all opinions expressed in the post are my very own.

Travel has become a very important theme for my blog within the last 18 months. I have racked up on those air miles real quick. When I travel I try to not visit the same city twice because I feel that there’s so many new places I need to explore. Such was the case on my most recent trip to New Orleans or NOLA because I had never visited so I took this as an opportunity to do some serious discovering.

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If you’ve been following my wife Carmen and I for some time you should know that we are fitness fanatics. We’ve been named by various publications as the Los Angeles #FitCouple or in Spanish “Pareja Saludable de Los Angeles”. We do not take that title lightly and every year we go on a different trip to a new city to become more equipped and knowledgeable on what we do, which is to help people live healthier. Every year we participate in a summit that prepares us with new tools and resources to help people reach their physical, mental and even emotional transformational goals. While this annual summit is used as a platform to grow and develop our businesses it is also an event where thousands of health activists come together to celebrate their success and are recognized.

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Since this was an exclusive trip to celebrate success we could not think of a better airline that United to get us to our destination with a lot of style. They really gave us their VIP treatment and I’ll tell you how you can be a part of it too. Before we partnered up with United we had briefly heard about their Global Service Program (GSP), but not to the extent for which we experienced it on our way to NOLA. For those that are not familiar with GSP it is an invitation-only and the most exclusive service by United. It takes some serious spending to qualify; according to one of the team members from the United Club, that means at least $50,000 in a calendar year to be considered for Global Services.

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As a matter of fact we learned that the GSP/United Club recently opened its doors in December for its members, a $573 million project to refresh spaces in Terminal 7 and Concourse 8 at LAX.

We all know that traveling can be the most tedious and overwhelming experience when you visit the normal gate areas. There’s always something that goes wrong, something smells funky, people can give you attitude or simply the seats in the waiting area are very uncomfortable.

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None of the above is true when you visit the GSP reception area or United Club. You are treated like royalty as soon as you enter the desk area and all of their personnel are extremely helpful and attentive to your needs. The LAX United Club is one of United’s largest and most stylish (20,000 Sq Ft) – it even has an outdoor terrace with Los Angeles skyline in the background and you’ll catch planes taking off or landing.

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My favorite part of the United Club was by far the gourmet kitchen (complimentary snacks too) because they have very healthy options and a lot of times you won’t find this in the economy gate areas. The bar area is fully loaded and you’ll have a drink to sit back and relax at the palm of your hands. After every check-in procedure at any airport you usually find yourself short of breath and as if you’re forgetting something, but thanks to the GSP program that is not the case because they make sure you are well taken care of during your check-in process. So when you arrive to the United Club you are at so much peace. It’s unbelievable that you can feel this way at an airport, but it’s true only at the United Club. To find out how you can join the United Club check out this link.

With a United Club membership, you’ll have access to more than 45 United Club locations worldwide. You’ll also be able to visit select other partner lounges around the world, providing even more opportunities to relax between flights, wherever your travels take you.

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You’ll also want to know that Global Services members are invited to board before all other United customers, with the possible exception of military. What does this mean for some? It can be a head start to drinking on board.

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IMG_8285By far one of the moments that made me feel as I was part of a movie scene or even an A-list celebrity was when Carmen and I were transported by the Mercedes-Benz Tarmac Transfer to hop on our flight. I mention this because this is the kind of treatment a United Global Services member will receive if they have an extremely tight connection. Now this is the definition of VIP services. I will always remember that moment as one of my favorite traveling experiences.

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Before we arrived to New Orleans Carmen and I had a short layover in SFO and we were also invited by United to participate in their United Club experience there as well. It was fascinating to be able to go in there to relax, eat and re-fuel for our last leg of our travels. The United Club area here was also one of my favorites here because it was very comfortable, spacious and quiet. You can join to be a United Club member starting at $550 a month or 70,000 miles.

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So we arrived to the city of beads, beignets, jazz, Creole and soul food and Bourbon Street and as much as we explored we also learned how to move our business forward as I mentioned earlier in my post. There’s so much to do in this Southern city that it was a bit hard to know where to begin, but with my 8 highlights you’ll have a solid understanding of what you can also do when you visit.

Before I begin get mentally prepared for the humidity if you are not used to those extreme weather conditions. If you get past that you’ll be fine.

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Things you Must do in NOLA:

  1. Go on a walk to Jackson Square. The historic park is located in the French Quarter and it was named the National Historic Landmark in 1960, and today boasts some of the best local art and food you’ll find in New Orleans.
  2. Eat at Café du Monde, home of the world-famous beignets. There’s one of these famous locations that sits in the easternmost tip of Jackson Square, near the water. Their beignets are to die for and you cannot leave NOLA without having one or maybe two or three. They are small.
  3. Visit Laura’s Candies since it is the oldest candy shop in the city and it is known for its pralines – a New Orleans staple. Enjoy a sample there or buy enough to bring some home with you.
  4. Visit Johnny Sanchez for dinner you won’t regret it. Its inventive twist on Mexican eats & drinks has made the restaurant a popular place for locals and tourist. It’s an original venue with high ceilings & a tattoo-art wall. The chef is world-renowned Aaron Sanchez.
  5. Visit Bourbon Street at day and night, but don’t stay there too long and leave that for the amateurs and instead go to Frenchmen Street. Here you’ll find some of the best local entertainment playing jazz and blues bands. New Orleans is all about the music so you’re bound to have a great time anywhere you go.
  6. Have brunch at Petit Lion and go to their rooftop for one of the best views of the city. It is breathtaking up above.
  7. Visit Mardi Gras World. It is a tourist attraction where people can go in and see floats that are made for Mardi Gras parades in the city.
  8. Explore the Riverfront/Mississippi River next to the French Quarter. Walking along this river will certainly make you feel as if you’ve traveled back in time.

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Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy the city and take it all in because it’s rich with history and a culture that you won’t find anywhere else. The architecture is so colorful too.

 

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Thanks to my friends from United for sponsoring this roundtrip. If you’d like to become a member and travel with a lot more relaxation and to have moments like the ones we had before arriving to NOLA check out their United Club program.

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Please note that this was a compensated campaign, but all opinions are my very own.

There’s a never-ending story to my fitness journey because there’s neither a beginning nor an end since I am working on improving myself daily. Though it is a lifestyle that I’ve adopted since 2014 and it has given me so many rewards that I would never go back to my old ways. My healthy lifestyle has helped me become a better man in so many different aspects, but there’s one exercise program in particular that has allowed me to make a serious shift into a better and more fulfilling life. The exercise program is called Shift Shop and you can access that through me. Send me a message on FB to find out more!

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On such a special and memorable moment of my life where I’ve made a 360 degree shift with my fitness I knew I had to also get ready with new equipment to track my fitness progress. Therefore, I decided to partner with my friends from EatSmart Products to be able to track my weight along the challenge and measurements with their EatSmart Body Tape Measure.

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The Precision Digital Bathroom Scale that I received from my friends over at EatSmart Products could not have come in a better time because my wife and I were long overdue for a new digital scale since our old one was failing on us all the time with an “Error Message”.

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What I love the most about the Precision Digital Bathroom scale is that in seconds after you step on it (there’s no more need for tapping to turn on scale like my old one) you’ll have an accurate readout to the nearest .2 pounds on the EatSmart’s oversized 3.5” Accubright LCD display. The LCD display contains a cool-blue backlight, allowing for easy viewing in the most low-light areas of a bathroom or home.

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Shift Shop is a fitness program that you can do via a streaming service from anywhere when you sign-up as challenger with me. It’s a workout program with different exercise routines, calendar and food lists to create a menu that will have a person well on their way to their next fitness goal. I would describe it as high-intensity training program with cardio and weights. There are exercise routines that range from 25 minutes to 50 minutes.

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We sometimes forget to take “before” photos because we may be ashamed of our bodies, but they are so important. And it’s also vital that people do a weigh-in before starting a challenge or committing to a program. Measurements are always great too because these are amazing indicators as to how far a person has come in their fitness journey when they finish a program.

The Precision Digital Bathroom Scale arrived days before my wife and I began our second round of the challenge so we have a great idea as to where we began in lbs. and measurements in the second round. The challenge lasts 4 weeks.

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The Precision Digital Bathroom Scale is auto calibrated with 4 high-precision sensors, which will always display consistent and accurate measurements. It will give a measurement of up to 400 lbs. or 180 kgs. every time.

I was part of an official “test group” along with my wife where we had the opportunity to use and go through an entire round of the program before it was unveiled to the public and I want to say that my results were amazing. I was able to lose close to 16 lbs. and lost so many inches of my body. I am bummed I did not have a measuring tape before starting the first round so that I could have compared.

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In this second round I was able to measure myself and had a weight-in which read 175 lbs. Note that with round 1 I was able to slim down to 169 lbs., but with three weeks of travel between round 1 and 2 my weight suffered a bit.

I am in this fitness journey for the long haul and I am not looking to lose any more weight and instead build a lot more muscle and definition in my abs.

If living a healthy lifestyle is not something you are currently working towards then simply having this digital scale in your house is important to monitor your weight because there’s no need to wait until your annual doctor check-up to find out if your within your weight range.

The work continues, but I am glad that I was able to work with my friends from EatSmart products because they provide tools for people to live healthier and happier lives such as the Precision Digital Bathroom Scale and Body Tape Measure.

A fun fact about the scale is that it’s the best selling on Amazon for 8 years running. You can purchase your own scale on Amazon too or on the EatSmart’s website. When you purchase the scale you’ll also receive an EatSmart Body Tape Measure and AAA batteries for the scale.

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Do you remember that in my Journey with Mazda post I talked about a new addition to the Gutierrez-Melgoza household? Here it is!!! Our brand new Soul Red Crystal red CX-5.

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Carmen and I could not be happier with our most recent purchase. We had both fallen in love with it and since we’ll need a larger car for when we begin planning for a family we knew this was our number one choice. Plus, I was completely blown-away by my Journey with Mazda test driving experience.

We could not think of a better color than red because deep inside our subconscious, it symbolizes passion, aggressiveness and importance. Like Carmen mentioned to me; “it’s a statement when someone drives around in a red car,” and she’s right on that. I cannot count the amount of times we’ve had people turn around ever since we brought “Fiera” or the SUV home. Even our neighbors have asked us about our recent purchase.

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It’s incredible how much others have liked the SUV and have stopped us to ask questions about how it drives, pricing and fuel-economy. The effect has been so powerful that one of my great college buddies is seriously thinking of making this exact purchase in the coming months because he’s test driven it and also loves it for him and his family.

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Here’s a LIVE Facebook video that Carmen recorded a couple of days ago announcing our brand new car to her followers:

Hope you enjoyed our honest opinion of the Mazda CX-5 and if you are looking for an SUV you should highly consider this one at the top of your list. It’s hands down a luxury statement car that drives with so much tranquility and exhilaration.

This is a sponsored campaign in collaboration with Chase and Mom It Forward Influencer Network, but all opinions expressed are my very own. 

Having a good credit score in the U.S. is synonym of having a stress-free life because everything revolves around this point scale. So many things in life that you do or do not have depend on this particular score.
ENGLISH Chase Slate Credit Outlook Hispanic Infographic 7.13.17 FINAL
I have been fortunate enough to build a strong credit since I can ever recall because my Hispanic parents always talked to me about the importance of good credit and what it could do for you later in life. Therefore I attribute a lot of the things that I have accomplished to them. Nonetheless, I understand that we all do not face the same circumstances so I wanted to share some simple hacks that I have learned about building and keeping a good credit.
I recently learned through the Chase Slate 2017 Outlook Survey that Hispanic millennials are the most motivated to improve their credit scores and I can honestly say this is true for a lot of the people in my age group. We are constantly trying new things and learning in an effort to always better ourselves as a person and checking our credit score and staying on top of our credit is not the exception.
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I will never forget the time my parents sat down with me when I was young to talk about finances and while at the time it was all nonsense to me I later found out that everything they mentioned was true. So here are some life lessons you can put into practice immediately so that you can too do all the things you’ve always wished for such as buying your home, a car or even starting your own business. For all of the mentioned milestones you’ll need a good/excellent credit.
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Good Credit Life Hacks:
1. Open 2-3 credit cards, use them and pay them off. Only purchase items when you know you have the money to pay for them in cash or from your savings.
2. Ask someone to put you down as an authorized user and consider this the training wheels. Authorized users, who are added to an existing credit cardholder’s account, get credit for using that card, even though you’re not held responsible for making payments.
3. Ask for a credit limit increase to continue building your credit and if credit card companies see that you are making payments on time they will give you the increase.
4. Open a new account because you’ll be rewarded with better credit score when you are responsibly managing different types of credit.
5. Pay your debt on time and do not be late on your payments.
In summary the best way to increase your credit score is to make on-time payments, keep a pinch of debt, bring in some new accounts, and let the things flourish.
Remember that building and rebuilding credit takes some time, but do not be discouraged because you need good credit to buy a car, home, take a out a student loan or start a new business.
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You do not want to live with bad credit because it can seriously haunt you and I know of some close people who have dug themselves into a larger hole by simply not making educated decisions when they were younger and it’s taken them a long time to finally rebuild their credit. On the other hand when you have a low credit score you’ll need to be prepared to pay cash or pay a really high interest rate.
If it wasn’t for the excellent credit score that I’ve built over the years I would not have been able to purchase my two homes nor buy two brand new cars in my early adult life.
Hispanic Americans are optimistic about improving their credit score in 2017
 
According to the Chase Slate 2017 Outlook Survey, less than half of Hispanics (47%) are very satisfied with their credit score compared to 55% of Americans nationally who have checked their credit score, but 72% of Hispanics would like to improve their credit score and more than half (57%) have a plan to do so. They are more likely to be motivated to check their credit score out of specific financial concerns rather than because the information is provided as a free service.
 
• Hispanics are checking their credit score for tactical reasons.
• Hispanic Millennials are the most motivated to improve their credit scores.
• Putting credit improvement plans into action.
• Hispanic parents want their children to learn about credit.
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I enjoyed learning from the study that Hispanic parents aren’t just being more vigilant about their own credit, but they are also teaching their children about money management and raising a generation of millenials like myself that will have good/excellent credit scores.
 
There are so many resources nowadays to strategize plans into action in order to improve and have good credit. Don’t forget to visit Chase Slate to find out how you can check your credit and maintain it high. You can also follow Chase Slate on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to continue revamping your credit score so that you get the most out of your money.

*This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Apartamentos.com and Dime Media. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

It is part of the growing up process to look for an apartment one or numerous times in the course of our lives and especially if we are not fond of purchasing a property. As someone who has done apartment searching in the past I will tell you that it is not an easy task and rather daunting. There’s so many different factors that go into play when looking for your next place you’ll call home. It can become extremely overwhelming when you are juggling a full-time job, social and family life and insert traveling to your schedule.

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A task that should take weeks to figure out can sometimes end up taking months and the majority of times many people do not have that much time to find a new place. Sometimes they are faced with finding a new apartment within days or weeks. Therefore I wanted to share with all of you Apartamentos.com, which is the nation’s only exclusive Spanish apartment-listing site built and tailored for the all-growing Hispanic renter population in the U.S.

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Apartementos.com has the most properties of any rental site with over 800,000 listings. WOW! Their listings range from apartments and condos to townhomes and single-family properties. You are almost guaranteed to find a new place that meets your personalized needs.

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I really wish I knew about this tool when I needed it and even when some people have asked for my support when it came to apartment searching. But, now I am glad I have a tool that I am able to recommend to people going through apartment searching. I recently recommended it to my niece who graduated college last year and is ready to move out on her own. I told her about all of the great perks that this tool has to offer and that I will also share with all of you. Apartamentos.com will make a stressful task the least painful possible because it is very user-friendly.

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Check out the following video where I give you a quick preview on Apartamentos.com:

When you visit their app and site you’ll realize that it has features that are most important to you such as safety, easy access to public transportation, grocery stores or restaurants. If you have children you’ll also be able to find nearby schools and be able to do additional research about those institutions.

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In addition, this website has innovative custom search tools, making it the most convenient to find your dream place. For instance the POLYGON™ search tool allows users to define their own search areas on a map and also plan your commute with a feature that helps renters search for rentals by proximity of their office or even airport if you constantly travel.

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One of the site and app features that most drew my attention was the 3D interactive tour and video of the places you are looking at possibly renting. This technology is very advanced and for someone who is always busy and has no time to schedule appointment showings to go look at properties this is a life saver. You can simply log-in to Apartamentos.com input the search criteria of where you’d like to live and have the site do the work. You’ll be presented with potential properties and in each search return you’ll be able to view a video or 3D interactive tour. This is very cool!

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Other important features that I wanted to mention about Apartamentos.com is that it will let you know if the properties are pet-friendly, have pools, include gyms and have washer/dryers. These additional amenities are always deal breakers when it comes to saying “yes” to a new property because we want to live where we feel the most comfortable at all times.

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From my post and video I hope that you’ve found Apartamentos.com to be your ultimate, one-stop shop to find the perfect place to live. The site is extremely user-friendly and effective and when you are ready to start using it for your next apartment search let me know your thoughts of how easy you found it to be?

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If you are currently not looking for a new place to live please share this post and tool with someone who might be in the apartment hunting process.

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This is a sponsored post thanks to Mazda; however all opinions are my very own based on my experience. 

Have you driven a Mazda before? If you haven’t let me try and explain how it feels. I cannot think of better words to describe how Mazda evokes emotion with those that dare to get behind the wheel of their cars than saying that they want everyone to experience an exhilarating yet soothing ride. And that is exactly what I felt the moment that I test drove both the 2017 CX-5 and MX-5 Miata RF at the Journey with Mazda event that I was invited to at the luxury Rancho Valencia Resort near San Diego.

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As soon as I arrived to the resort I was greeted by the Mazda team with champagne. Cheers! Then as I made my way to my room, which was an oversized villa, I was pleasantly surprised to see everything beautifully arranged in Spanish accessories and décor. As soon as I stepped into my room it made me feel as if I was at my grandparent’s home back in Mexico.

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When I first opened the door to my room I felt welcomed and the smell of the tile reminded me of so many childhood memories. Now, I call that a great emotional connection. It was in that moment that I immediately knew how much attention to detail Mazda puts into their cars because this was an overall experience that they wanted everyone to witness since the start.

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The first evening I participated in a welcome reception with fellow bloggers and influencers where we were surrounded by the entire Mazda car lineup that we were allowed to sit-in and admire. I learned from some of the Mazda team that each car is hand crafted with beautiful dynamics and withholds strongly to its Japanese authentic aesthetics. That evening I sat in almost every car to fully take in all of its craftsmanship. Of course we kicked off what would be an extraordinary journey for the following days with drinks and amazing food.

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The next morning I woke up early to get my morning workout in my system and walked around the resort to continue enjoying more of this beautiful experience. That morning we had a brief presentation from the Mazda media representatives and we learned all about the evolution triumphs and challenges that Mazda has lived.

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We even learned about the atomic bomb that hit Hiroshima and for the Mazda brand that has been a symbolic turning point and sign for overcoming and pushing forward to prevail against all odds. It’s become their “Hiroshima Spirit”.

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I especially enjoyed learning of the 4 phases that the brand has gone through from establishment, growth, global expansion to re-establishing the brand or being innovative (current). It is no secret that Mazda evokes emotion in all aspects of their creative process. From concept to creation, Mazda explained why they focus on relaxation, joy, well-being and exhilaration, which we discovered during the test drive, is a concept they refer to as “Hashiru Yorokoni”.

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As Mazda continues to get away from being recognized as a mainstream brand they’ve put in a lot of work to rather be known as premium because their purpose is simple; make people smile and they attribute this to their never-stopping challenging spirit.

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Mazda will continue to deliver one & only unique vehicles and I discovered that as I began driving the CX-5 for a guided tour to Temecula hosted by the team. I felt so much tranquility (no outside noise inside the cabin) and cleanliness in the interior layout of the car. Mazda engineers and designers focused on giving the driver the best experience by incorporating a driver-centric interior that allows the driver to simply focus on the road.

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The CX-5 is simply luxurious in my most humble opinion – so much that I could not stop bragging to Carmen (fiancée) when I returned home. On another post I will share what we ended up doing immediately after this event. SURPRISE.

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Going back to the CX-5 driving experience I really enjoyed driving the white sports utility vehicle (SUV) in the hilly roads. A cool feature that I wanted to highlight was the traffic sign recognition that automatically read stop signs, speed limits and “do not enter” symbols. I must mention all the extra space everywhere too, which does not make the car look gigantic while it still serves an entertaining and comfortable ride.

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Our next destination was an olive oil tasting experience and lunch at the Temecula Olive Oil Company. This was my first time olive oil tasting and it was fun to learn about how the extra virgin oil is prepared from California olives that are grown at the ranch. A peaceful picnic-table-style lunch waited for us tucked away into olive oil tree orchards. Now this was also an exceptional experience because I had never done something like this and it was pure joy to talk with fellow influencers about our most recent driving experience.

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Once lunch was over, we began making our way to the car line-up and were handed the keys to the 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF to drive back to the resort while making other pit stops along the way. Ever since I was introduced to this two-seater car at another event it’s become one of my favorite sports car. It’s a real fun ride and if you decide to put the top down you’ll feel a blissful joy and liberty.

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During our drive back to the resort we made a pit stop at a run-down and vintage gasoline station to capture some stunning shots of the red Miata RF. Take a look at the pictures below… Doesn’t it look hot??!

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After a long day of all the activities the Mazda team had organized for us we arrived back to Rancho Valencia Resort to participate in a meditation session with a Sensei. This was my very first time practicing meditation and I must admit that it was very difficult for me because my mind never stops working and processing. But here I learned how important it is to shut down and sooth and harmonize oneself after all the busyness we live day and day out. Meditation is supposed to balance you similarly like Mazda has been able to create a bond that combines well-being, balance and joy to enrich Mazda owner’s lives.

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After an excellent meditation session everyone participated in tequila tasting (my first time) and saw an artist modeling and carving clay in a way that provoked emotion. I decided to play and construct different designs in a way that felt natural to me. It was a lot of fun to do this because I felt as if I was a child with all of the imagination in the world. I discovered that Mazda creates their canvas and that it is a primary point in the creation of a body-type.

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Thanks to the Mazda team for allowing me to experiment a lot of “first-times” during this “Journey with Mazda” experience from olive oil tasting to tequila tasting and of course test driving the 2017 Mazda cars. It was a real bittersweet moment when it was time to check-out from Rancho Valencia Resort because I felt calm, joyful and truly blessed for being able to take moments of exhilaration and overall tranquility.

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Don’t forget to stay tuned for a follow-up blog post because there’s a second part that was definitely sparked from this incredible experience.

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HINT: We have a brand new addition to the Gutierrez-Melgoza household.

As a fitness blogger and personal trainer I am always looking for new food items that I can adopt into my healthy lifestyle. That is because I often find myself consuming chicken, fish, shrimp and tuna the same way week after week. I wish I could be more creative in the kitchen, but it definitely is a work in progress. Therefore I enjoy coming across new products and food items that I could incorporate into my lifestyle and it was recently that I learned about Lorissa’s Kitchen protein snacks.

We must remember that our body needs protein, just like it needs fruits, carbs and other vital items from the food pyramid. Without sufficient protein intake, our bodies won’t be able to function properly and for someone like myself who wants to build muscle I would not be able to do so without consuming more and more protein. In addition when we do not consume the necessary protein that our body needs we tend to be sluggish and often get those blues that no one likes experimenting. They are an excellent source of protein that keeps you satisfied longer without all of the added sugar.

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As someone who is working hard to bulk-up this summer season I believed Lorissa’s Kitchen meat snacks to be a great addition to my lifestyle. They are delicious and each serving provides 11 grams of protein. You would like to know that the snacks do not contain MSG, nitrites or preservatives.

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In addition, after doing my research I was happy to know that the chicken, pork and beef used to make the snacks were raised without added growth hormones. For all my gluten-free readers you’ll want to know that these snacks are approved for you too.

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I am always on the go and participating in events. Such was the case recently when I was part of a live workout with some of my favorite celebrity trainers. I did not have time to whip up a protein shake so I brought Lorissa’s Kitchen snacks with me to have after my workout. Now I find myself having them as my go-to snack when I am on a rush, which is almost never. Lol Plus they are a snack that won’t spoil while you’re out-and-about.

The new Lorissa’s Kitchen snacks are available in 4 flavors (Szechuan Pepper, Ginger Teriyaki, Sweet Chili & Korean BBQ) and after trying all of them I must confess that the Sweet Chili is my favorite. As a Latino I love spicy food and I feel that this one had a kick of spiciness. Nothing too strong, but it was my favorite out of all four. I still think the other 3 flavors are tasty though.

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Another great thing about these Lorissa’s Kitchen meat snacks is that they are small enough to carry in your gym bag, suitcase, lunchbox or backpack. And this will be extremely handy since I will be traveling for the next 3 weeks and you bet I will have my new favorite snacks in my luggage for that midday snack when I may not have healthy options in the places I will visit. I will be in New Orleans and New York traveling so I know these will save me some major headaches when I’m not able to find the healthiest options.

I am very happy I came across these protein snacks because I can finally mix-up my food intake a bit more than before.

If you are eager to give Lorissa’s Kitchen protein snacks a try you can order them from Amazon here.

Where do you see yourself enjoying Lorissa’s Kitchen protein snacks this summer? Which flavor do you think you’ll like the most?

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