Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

The Nike #LunarEpic shoes make my ankle feel as if they are being hugged while running. Oh, what a great feeling!

It was a little overdue when Nike introduced the most innovative running shoe called the Lunar Epic, but they did it on March 3 after a lot of strategic planning because they knew when the perfect timing was. Nike always knows what it’s doing and how to stay ahead of their sport. And by the way they do it very well.

I had a test run in these Lunar Epic shoes during a synchronized global launch event on Thursday night and I can honestly say that they are like nothing you’ve seen before in running shoes. Hands down! The shoe introduces precision technologies that delivers an extremely tuned and balanced ride.

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Credit: Nike

Nike unveiled its newest shoe, a one-piece runner with an ankle collar that stretches well past the ankle to the outsole and it resembles a topographical map of hills, the Lunar Epic breaks into never seen before grounds.

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The test run I participated in was held at Nike Santa Monica (Lunar Epic LaunchPad) and it was there where I experienced the future of running—where after that day running will never feel the same with the Lunar Epic running shoes. I received a behind-the-scenes look at Nike’s latest running innovation, logged my first Lunar Epic miles along the Santa Monica oceanfront and pier, heard an in-depth discussion from Nike reps and received a special gift at the end.

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In a word I would summarize the entire evening in one word: EPIC.

As soon as I arrived to the event I was greeted like everyone else by the Nike pacers and was given a bracelet for the group that I would be running with, which was determined by our average mile running time. I am not the fastest runner, nor am I the slowest so I choose to run with the green group – mid range! I made the right choice.

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Then we were escorted upstairs to where we had our test shoes patiently waiting for us to be worn. I sat down and stepping into the Lunar Epic was easy and intuitive, almost like pulling a thick stretchy sock onto your foot. The hold on the foot is smooth – so smooth that I felt as if my ankle was soothingly being hugged and caressed. There was no binding, pressure or tight grabbing on the foot – it was just perfect.

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Credit: Nike

I got to walk around with them and it seriously felt as if I was barefoot. I did not feel the shoes and maybe because they were so comfortable and light too.

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Credit: Nike

We then heard from Nike Coach on the shoe’s technology, DNA, performance, strategy and preparation for launching the shoe.

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After that we were set to go on our 5k run in the dark and lovely oceanfront view of Santa Monica. We tested the shoe on sand, concrete, brutal stairs and even on the pier and it always felt as if we were running barefoot. It’s the feel that the Lunar Epic shoes will give you.

To mention a little more about how the shoe fits is that the laces tied into embedded “flywire” cables around the midfoot. The shoes also worked fine if I tied the laces loosely and simply slip the shoe on and off without tying, which is how I wore them on the run.

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Throughout my run I noticed that the overall ride is highly cushioned and comfortable, the hallmarks of “Run Easy” shoes make themselves very apparent. Since the 5k trail was specifically chosen so that we would test the shoe in difference surfaces I was able to tell that it provided a holistic experience. The holistic experience impressed me very much and it was honestly very hard to give the shoes back. Very sad!

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After our run we made our way back to Nike Santa Monica for some group pictures, water, snacks, talk about our experience and explore the shoe’s features some more.

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Credit: Nike

With so many Lunar Epic shoes on display I decided to get creative with my photography skills and snap some cool shots… I think! Lol

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On our return back to Nike I also learned that the sole is a soft “Lunarlon” foam that is surrounded by a firmer, resilient layer that serves double duty with more stability on the base and the outsole.

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As we were getting ready to leave a surprise waited for us at the entrance and guess what they were?

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We were given some brand new Lunar Epic shoes for us to enjoy our next running adventure in Los Angeles. WOW, this was very unexpected and unbelievable. I was sad when I handed in the shoes I tested, but I never imagined we would be given a brand new pair of these cushioned and epic shoes.

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The Lunar Epic shoes are now available at retail stores and Nike online. If you are a runner these are a must-have in your collection. Don’t miss out on the light, comfortable and perfect pieces of art.

You can find them in four main colorways: University Red, University Blue and Voltage Green, Hyper Orange, and Yellow Strike.

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Will you be purchasing a pair for yourself or why not buy a pair for that special someone?

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#AVivirLA has always promoted a healthy living while seizing the life you’ve got to the fullest and when I was approached by Hampton by Hilton to motivate people to embrace their weekend getaways and unleash their inner Seekender I knew it was a perfect match. I could not pass on an opportunity that would allow me to promote what AVivirLA is about and all while working with a brand that does the same for people when being away from their home.

We All Grow Summit? Yeah, that was an amazing experience that allowed me to unleash my inner Seekender in so many levels and meet some fascinating and inspiring people.

A Seekender is someone who takes advantage of the weekends to explore with travel being at the center of attention. These weekend travelers are overall seeking experiences over material goods through sports, outdoors, music and food!

The private bedroom area of our Queen Suites feature a king size bed featuring the amazing Clean and Fresh Hampton bed. Take comfort in knowing we wash duvets fresh for every guest. So relax and enjoy your favorite program or movie on the 32? HDTV; or prop your laptop on our handy lap desk and get to work.

Credit: Hampton by Hilton Media Center

The #WeAllGrow Summit in Long Beach, Calif. kicked off with an Official Welcome Cocktail Party presented by Hampton by Hilton where influencers, bloggers and content creators gathered to enjoy the night and listen to singer/songwriter Maria Del Pilar while breathing in a beautiful view of the Long Beach marina outside Hotel Maya. The night was vibrant with music, food, cocktails and conversations.

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For those traveling to Long Beach from other places there was an infinite amount of activities that could have been done around the city because downtown was a hop away from the bridge and Los Angeles was 15 miles away from the Hampton by Hilton hotel. That night after the event since I really wanted to unleash my inner Seekender I drove to Santa Monica to jog along the beach and on the pier. Running is one of my favorite hobbies and even when I travel I make time to workout. That night view in Santa Monica was what my soul needed.

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Credit: Hampton by Hilton Media Center

The second day of the conference was filled with empowering talks and workshops ranging from how to grow your online presence on social media (Instagram) to how to have your blog monetizing within the first year of being launched. There were break-out sessions in between and it was there where attendees also let their Seekender experience unleash while visiting the activation booths.

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I got to sit in the red beauty below for the first time and I will possibly get to test drive it in the near future and that was one of my all-time favorite Seekender experiences:

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The lunch was delicious and don’t get me started on the flan!!! #NomNom! It sure gave me that midday energy I needed to continue with the busy agenda that everyone involved with We All Grow had planned for us. Kudos to them for such great vision, organization and inspirational event. Wow, they really went above and beyond for us!

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Are you interested in being a Seekender?

Then do the following if you attended the event then share your #WeAllGrow Summit adventures for a chance to WIN a Seekender escape to paradise. One lucky winner can enjoy a weekend trip for two to a Hampton by Hilton hotel destination, including roundtrip airfare and complimentary hotel accommodations (prize value up to $2,000).  To enter, participants need to upload their Seekender-inspired shot and tag @HamptonbyHilton on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtags #WeGoTogether or #SweepstakesEntry. Posts must be shared between March 3-10, 2016 and don’t forget to join the conversation here: http://hil.tn/OpjMxC.

That Friday evening I knew I had to let my inner Seekender go wild when I began shooting some killer shots of the Long Beach marina as the sunset decided to gift us with an unforgettable view. I checked off my bucket list taking an amazing shot of the Long Beach marina, a place that I have lived in for the past 7 years. Take a look:

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A recent survey about travel trends, conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of Hampton by Hilton survey uncovered specific Seekender findings related to Hispanics. Some of the interesting results:

  • 65% of Hispanics value experiences vs. materials when it comes to their bucket lists
  • 72% of (working) Hispanic Boomers think that checking all the activities off their ‘bucket list’ would make them feel more accomplished than getting promoted to an executive level position
  • 61% of Hispanics say traveling somewhere they’ve never been before best describes their idea of an ‘escape’
  • 90% of Hispanics feel that WHO they go on a trip with is more important than where they’re going

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Saturday was filled with another busy day of workshops and motivational speakers. I thought that I would not be able to capture a lot of those moments in pictures/videos because my phone was dying by 10 am, but Hampton by Hilton was there to rescue me with their charging station areas. In addition, I was fighting a cold at that time and they really helped me with their hot teas at the station. Loved that I was able to charge my phone and re-fuel my body too.

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Hampton by Hilton serves value-conscious and quality-driven travelers with more than 2,020 properties totaling more than 200,000 rooms in 16 countries and territories. High quality accommodations and amenities, such as complimentary Wi-Fi, Hampton’s free On the House® hot breakfast, multi-unit Power Cubes and the brand’s signature Clean and fresh Hampton bed®, contribute to Hampton by Hilton ranking as a leader in its segment.

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Saturday night culminated with an outdoor fiesta where all attendees were able to exchange contact information, summarize their favorite aspects of the event and get some dancing in their system! Wepa!

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Sadly, the summit came to an end when attendees checked out of the hotel on Sunday morning, but even the Seekender experience did not because the hotel was looking out for everyone and they had their famous breakfast-on-the-go bags ready for everyone to take to their next destination. When you visit any Hampton by Hilton location you can request for a quick and easy breakfast like these when needed. In addition, On the House Hot Breakfast is a free, hot breakfast served daily with fresh-baked waffles and hearty oatmeal with toppings.

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I hope you can experience the fun of being a Seekender and that in your next destination trip you truly let that inner adventurous in you go wild and don’t forget to #AVivirLA [vida.]

Thanks to Hampton by Hilton for believing in my work and for allowing me to be a part of this #Seekender experience where was able to capture so much of Long Beach in such a short period of time.

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Disclaimer: I was compensated for my work by Hampton by Hilton for this post, but all opinions and experiences are my very own.

I had the honor of participating in the Hyundai Elantra 2017 launch event at Imperial Beach, California in January and what an amazing experience. It was my first of I am sure many auto launch events that I’ll participate in (fingers crossed). All opinions below are my own and are based off of my personal experience throughout the weekend.

On Friday evening immediately after LA traffic faded my fiancé and I drove to Imperial Beach and checked-in to the beautiful Pier South Resort that is less than 5 miles from the Mexico-U.S. border. The moment I walked into the resort I felt tranquility and peace since you can hear the waves because the backyard to the hotel has the most astonishing view to the ocean.

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We checked into our room and the Hyundai team had left us some cool tech. gadgets such as a selfie stick and a phone camera lens, which helps capture more in a frame. I loved it! Also the door to the rooms had the #NewElantra etched on the glass and even on the elevators. In the lobby of the hotel the Hyundai team had a well thought-out welcome reception with food trucks (very San Diego style), drinks, music and all invited fellow bloggers to interact and share the night with.

I was starving when we arrived after a stressful drive and I opted for having the oven baked pizza and the below plate with delicious food from a local catering company called MIHO. The photo says it all:

That evening we are able to connect with Brandon Ramirez from the Hyundai team and learn more about the great experience they had planned for us over the next couple of days! He was great to talk to and actually didn’t give us many details, but told us we were in for an unforgettable and great treat.

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The Hyundai team had planned for us a s’mores and campfire setting in the back patio of the resort. We were given some blankets that we got to keep as a keepsake.

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Credit: Hyundai

At the end of the night we made it back to our room and called it a night because we knew we had a long/fun day waiting for us to enjoy the #NewElentra on Saturday so we wanted to be well rested.

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The next morning we received a comprehensive general overview from Jim Trainor from Hyundai (picture above) of the market and how the Elantra is positioned compared with other brands. It was very educational so that we knew what we would be driving that afternoon.

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After the presentations we were divided into four groups so that we would get the hands-on experience of learning different features of the #NewElantra. Some of the highlights included learning about Apple Play (mirrors some of your cellphone apps. on the auto screen – AMAZING), Clarifi technology system, the seats with organic foam and special structure to optimize the noise reduction, which was a big highlight because I got to experience that during our test drive and its new design features:

  • The new front design has bolder lines and headlights
  • The 16” alloy wheels
  • Door handle is lit
  • The key advantage detects the keys for opening trunk
  • Spacious interior, which is the same as the interior of the Cadillac CTS
  • 33 miles / gallon
  • Motor has good torque

After all the mini demonstrations we were set free to test drive with our partners and my fiancé and I went together in an elegant white Limited Elantra that we chose for the earlier part of our day. Everything went smoothly until we went into a 5 minute panic attack after we missed the exit we should have taken and before we knew it we were feet away from the last U.S. road (we didn’t have our passports). Within minutes we could have been in Tijuana, Mexico. WOW, that was a scare. We turned into that last exit and managed to get back on the designated route that would take us to our first pit stop. Phew!

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During that drive we saw that the cabin is more spacious than the previous year’s, and that new safety technologies include autonomous emergency braking, high-beam assist, blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert.

In addition, improvements also included a new Integrated Memory Seat that remembers a driver’s preferred seating position. The leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob add a luxurious feel typically reserved for top of the line vehicles.

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Credit: Hyundai

After our first pit stop with snacks and drinks we traveled to Mount Woodson Country Club where lunch waited for us at this beautiful venue. My fiancé and I are starting to look-up wedding venues and this place has made it onto our list of possible places to host our wedding.

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We were able to talk to fellow bloggers and influencers over lunch and as soon as were done we went off to the second part of our drive where we had the opportunity to drive to an iconic place of San Diego. This time we drove in a bright red Elantra.

My fiancé had never been to La Jolla Cove so I decided to take her there so that she would be introduced to this beautiful place. We walked around for a bit and snapped some pics. She loved it and wants to go back! Before we knew it we were driving back to the resort because we had to be back in time for a dinner reception at 6 p.m.

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The #NewElantra ride was smooth, the Apple Play made it possible for us to get to our destinations after we figured out how to use it and even send text messages from there. We enjoyed test driving this sedan and loved that we could compare its different features to that of the Hyundai Sonata since we were granted one of those models to arrive in style to the event from our friends at DriveShop. It’s hard to say which car was my favorite because they are both unique in their own way, but I may need to opt for the #NewElantra because of its newer capabilities and upgrades.

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Credit: Hyundai

This event was truly remarkable and I want to thank everyone involved in making this an unforgettable experience for all of us bloggers and influencers. I can tell that the Hyundai team went above and beyond in their planning and execution.

Price starts at $17,150 for the #NewElantra 2017 and you can find more information on how to get yours here: http://www.hyundai/elantra

Do you see yourself driving an Elantra 2017? Is it in your plans to buy one of these for the next year?  I want to hear from you and please let me know if I can be helpful to you based on my driving experience. Would love to answer your questions.

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Credit: Hyundai

Did you know that February is National Chocolate Lovers’ Month?

Choco-Cinnamon Popsicle Hot Chocolate

Choco-Cinnamon Popsicle Hot Chocolate

I am here to confirm with you that it is. In addition, if you still haven’t received your chocolate fix for the season I will also share with you some original hot chocolate recipes from my friend, Amara Barroeta, from Amara Chocolate & Coffee that she created after teaming up with the California Milk Processor Board (CMPB), creator of the iconic got milk? campaign.

Would you be surprised if I told you that my fiancé and I celebrated Valentine’s Day at Barroeta’s Pasadena-based Amara Chocolate & Coffee shop?

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I hope you are not surprised because we are not fans of going on a fancy date that day because you end up spending twice or triple the amount of money on a dinner than any other day and you end up eating what is cooked for the masses so our outing thanks to Got Milk? and Amara Chocolate & Coffee was perfect.

While we were there we saw visitors from all ages from newborns to elderly couples enjoying their cups of coffee on that sunny morning. It’s a quaint place, but feels as if you were at home. The owner was there and she greeted everyone as if they were part of her familia.

With the warm weather fast approaching on us her in So. Cal. it would be uncomfortable to sip on some hot chocolate so you have the option of making your beverage cold and that’s exactly what we did. We had the Choco-Merida “cold” (dark Chocolate and milk).

“While developing these hot chocolates, I took inspiration from chocolate’s beginnings and revisited some of the original ingredients. I’m really excited about the results, especially because each drink is so different, yet all have the perfect silky texture and flavor you can only get by using milk,” adds Barroeta. Amara’s experience and travel has awarded her the ability to combine flavors from all over the world and bring them together in each one of her delectable creations.

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Creamy Peanut Butter-Coconut Dream

Now more than ever, chocolatiers are giving us a lot to look forward to with the craft chocolate trends that is taking the chocolate world by storm. To develop original and exciting hot chocolate recipes that are guaranteed to capture your eyes and hearts this month Barroeta’s delicious, milk-based recipes range from a Mexican Choco-Latte with dry chile pasilla to a Popcorn Crowned Orange Hot Chocolate with orange peel and caramel popcorn. These recipes are inspired by chocolate’s history and the craft chocolate trend.

This warming, filling and satisfying drink has never gone out of style, and milk has always been the go-to base for the perfect cup. Milk has the ability to tone down spices, balance sweetness and harmoniously bring together ingredients to achieve extraordinary flavors. A quality hot chocolate requires pure and natural ingredients – from the cacao bean to the base. “I always use milk for my hot chocolates because it gives them the richness and creaminess I’m looking for,” said Barroeta.

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She continues to practice her craft daily, making everything from delicate handmade pastries to truffles, fondues and sipping chocolates – all made with imported Venezuelan chocolate.

While we visited this cozy chocolate and coffee café situated on busy Raymond Avenue in Pasadena we couldn’t pass the opportunity to indulge in the delicious “La de Pabellon Arepa.” This type of food is a white corn flatbread, born in Venezuela. To top it off we also pleased our palate with freshly-made churros and dipped them in three different sauces; freshly-made guava marmalade, chocolate and “dulce de leche” and if that wasn’t enough the churros were topped with Vanilla and Pistachio ice cream! YUMMY!

Watch Barroeta at work here:

Guests that visited Amara Chocolate & Coffee on Valentine’s Day were able to select from delectable options: Aztec-Latte (chile pasilla, dark chocolate, expresso and milk), Choco-Merida (dark Chocolate and milk) or Venezuelan (rich, sipping hot chocolate).

Mexican Choco-Latte

Mexican Choco-Latte

More: 

With an eclectic background as a chemical engineer, a former Miss Venezuela contestant and now an expert chocolatier, Amara Barroeta is a talented entrepreneur who is quickly making a name for herself in the world of chocolate. She first discovered her passion for chocolate working with Pastry Chef Pascal Chérancé, in Caracas, Venezuela, known by many as the “mecca of chocolate”. After traveling the world and being inspired by different cultures, Amara began to create her own recipes which culminated in making her dream of opening her own chocolate shop a reality in 2012 with “Amara Chocolate & Coffee.”

Her chocolate career hit a high note in 2015, when Amara attended the International Chocolate Awards in Germany and came back a winner. Her famous chocolate was awarded the bronze prize in the category of Drinks and Dark Chocolate.

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The California Milk Processor Board was established in 1993 to make milk more competitive and increase milk consumption in California. Awareness of got milk? is over 90% nationally and it is considered one of the most important and successful campaigns in history. Got milk? is a federally registered trademark that has been licensed by the national dairy boards since 1995. The CMPB’s Spanish-language campaign began in 1994 using the tagline “Familia, Amor y Leche” (Family, Love and Milk). The toma leche (Drink Milk) campaign replaced it in 2006, in order to better align the English and Spanish language work. The CMPB is funded by all California milk processors and administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Popcorn Crowned Orange Hot Chocolate

For all of Amara’s hot chocolate recipes, created exclusively for got milk?
Visit: www.gotmilk.com and follow got milk?

Via social media:

Facebook / Twitter @gotmilk and Instagram @officialgotmilk.
Don’t forget to use the #ChocolateLovesMilk

IMG_1046Partial Text and Photo Credit: RL Public Relations

When I found out about Green Blender it was the perfect timing because my fiancé and I were in the middle of packing boxes, cleaning our old house and moving into our brand new home and our time was dedicated to putting stuff away and loading it into a big truck for the BIG move. The time we spent in the kitchen during those two weeks was shortened due to the fact that we were moving and that was very unusual for a #fitcouple because that’s our favorite place at home. (wink)

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But, when I found out about Green Blender and how they deliver superfood smoothie recipes and ingredients to your doorstep I thought it was the smartest idea. They really got us through the week when we wouldn’t have time to make breakfast and these energizing and full of vitamins smoothies made the cut.

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Green Blender is a food delivery service that will deliver organic food (vegetables, fruits, liquids and superfoods) to your home every week. One shipment will last you 5 days, containing 5 different smoothie recipes.

One smoothie makes 2 smoothies so you can share with your spouse, roommate or stash it away for lunch or dinner! Believe me that second serving a day will NOT go to waste.

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Green Blender aims to solve one problem people face on a daily basis: eating healthy is good for you, but eating healthy is also difficult with the busy lives we have.

My fiancé and I have at least one smoothie/juice per day (for the past year we have been about that lifestyle) so trying Green Blender was natural. It was great to learn about all the different pairings that can be made with all the goodies that we’re sent. In your box, you’ll get original smoothie recipes and pre-portioned ingredients.

For instance I never thought about putting tofu in my smoothies and there was one smoothie in particular that used that as an ingredient and guess what? That was my favorite one of the week! You can find that recipe on their website because they share all of their amazing recipes there.

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The smoothies in my box included:

  1. Pecan Oatmeal Cookie
  2. Orange Beet Protein
  3. Poblano Pepper Pick-Me-Up
  4. Sweet Almond Pie
  5. Cranberry Kumquat Tart

In addition to all the perfectly portioned ngredients Green Blender will also send you colorful straws for each smoothie, information about their company and a sheet w/ the recipes that shows a legend with the benefits of each ingredient.

For any of you who are travelers or always on the road this would also be the perfect box to order because you’d be receiving it in the mail before starting your busy week and knowing that you’d be eating the healthiest food possible because Green Blender focuses on sourcing the highest quality of ingredients, and they work with organic farms, urban and local farms, green markets, and vendors who value sustainable practices whenever possible.

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Thank you Green Blender for getting us through some rough times and keeping our nutritious lifestyle on point. We could not have done our move without your delicious and premium drinks and cheers to these smoothies that satisfy!

If you want to give Green Blender a try, you can use the code GUSTAVO and get 20% off your first box.

Disclosure: I received a box from Green Blender in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my own. 

I have a collaborator on this blog post, Ignacio Rodriguez, a “compadre” of mine who happens to be from the same little town in Mexico as myself called Jerez in Zacatecas and he’s given us some helpful tips if you are planning your next trip to be at Zion National Park located in Utah. Ignacio is also the Co-Founder of Dos Gallos Collection and I had him featured on my blog in the past.

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After seeing his amazing photography I have added it to my bucket list of destinations to visit. Thanks Ignacio for sharing your experience! Hope you all enjoy as much as I did reading and browsing the colorful photos.

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Ignacio: You want to start preparing for your trip to Zion by having the proper equipment. You will want to have proper hiking shoes, comfortable clothes for the weather and time of year, water bottles, backpack to carry snacks and food, a walking stick, camera and an open mind ready to be amazed.

I recommend at least two days to appropriately experience the main hikes. But even then you will still barely scratch the surface of Zion. A friend just recently went for a day and is already planning his next trip there to do it right.

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One thing I highly recommend doing is booking your hotel and your trip with a minimum 1-2 months in advance. Over 7 million people visit the park annually so a lot of the hotels will sell out months in advance. There are also permits needed to get to certain areas of the park and those sell out fast and months in advance as well.

Getting there

To get to Zion National Park I rented a car which cost me about $18 a day. I like to rent when doing these long road trips so that I don’t worry about being stranded in the middle of nowhere in case my car breaks down. If you go with multiple people then you have the option of getting a bigger vehicle.

During the busy season which is from March-September there is a shuttle system that transports people from different parts of the park to other areas. It is very easy to use. You can park at the visitor center and ask the park rangers for flash floods warning levels at the narrows and different trails that you can hike that day depending on the weather and your physical fitness level.

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Sleeping there
You can camp at Zion National Park, but I have not done that yet. My first time I went, it was during the summer of 2015. Since I booked my trip late the closest hotel I could find was in St George, Utah. Which is about a 35-45 minute drive from Zion National Park. There is a town called Hurricane which is closer. And Springdale, Utah which is the best place to stay when going to Zion National Park as it is just next to the gates to the park. I stayed at a place called Terrace Brook Lodge in the town of Springdale during my recent visit. This place cost me $50 a day. It is not the nicest, but you will spend most of the day at the park so it was no big deal to me. They do have a continental breakfast as well.

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Food/diners
We ate at Wildcat Willis in Springdale and the food there is amazing! I had the “chile verde” omelet and it was delicious with the right amount of spicy kick to it. For dinner I had the country fried steak which was filling and tasty. The next day I had some amazing rack of ribs.

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Snacks for hikes
I make it a point to bring more food than I need because you never know if you will spend more time hiking than expected. I like to bring fresh fruit like apples and oranges as well as protein bars, trail mix, and even pop tarts because of the high amounts of sugar in them. They will give you that quick boost of energy needed. You will be burning a lot of calories and be far away from any places that sell food for a long time. I also bring 2 or more 16 oz. water bottles with me on any hike.

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You will also be without cell phone signal for most of the time in the park so putting it on airplane mode is the best thing to do to conserve power.

Angels Landing
Angels landing is one of the most popular hikes at Zion National Park. It is about a 3 hour hike and you go up some steep inclines and will quickly find out if you are afraid of heights. You want to be safe and if you do find out you are afraid of heights then it is best that you stop where you feel comfortable. Halfway through this hike you arrive at a location where there are chains embedded into the mountain so that you can grab onto and not fall down the steep cliffs. But if you are brave enough to venture to the very end of this trail the views are mind blowing.

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The Narrows
The Narrows Arrows hike is also a very popular hike at Zion National Park. It is about a 4-6 hour hike. You hike up a river with huge canyon walls on both sides. It is a picturesque hike the whole way as you go in and out of shady areas where sometimes the sun only hits when it is directly above. This hike can get exciting as sometimes you will be waist deep in water to keep going up. It can actually be a one way 10 hour hike, but if you are being time conscious then 2 hours up the river will be enough. As you will be coming back for another two hours.

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Canyon Overlook Trail
This is the shortest hike I’ve done at Zion National Park and the final view once you reach its end will be just as rewarding as Angels Landing and the Narrows. It is fairly easy, but can be a bit challenging at parts during the winter if there is ice. It is about a one hour hike in total.

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Zion National Park will make you want to keep exploring other national parks in Utah such as Bryce and Arches National Park. But one of the reasons I also love Zion is because it is relatively super close to us who live in LA. If you have it on your bucket list, check it off NOW. You will wish you would have done it earlier.

Text and All Photo Credit: Ignacio Rodriguez (DO NOT reuse or re-purpose without his consent).

Nota: este es un artículo auspiciado por Coca-Cola pero todas las opiniones y consejos reflejan mis propias opiniones.

La educación superior siempre ha sido un tema muy importante en mi vida y uno que nunca descarte a pesar de pasar por unas circunstancias difíciles en este país de grandes oportunidades. Siempre obtuve el apoyo emocional e incondicional de mi familia y aunque monetariamente no pudieron aportar mucho les estoy agradecido por no dejar que tirara la toalla en diferentes ocasiones.

El camino que tome para obtener una Maestría en Periodismo no fue nada fácil porque me encontré con obstáculos financieros, personas que no creían en mí y muchas puertas que se me cerraron. Pero cuando se quiere algo en la vida nada es imposible porque son más fuertes las ganas lo que nos lleva a obtener lo que nos proponemos.

Entiendo del estrés económico por el cual muchas de nuestras familias latinas viven cuando tienen que pagar los gastos de sus hijos/as para la universidad y ahora imagínense la carga que conlleva para un estudiante de limitados recursos y de padres migrantes. Las estadísticas muestran que es mucho más difícil para un estudiante de primera generación forjar su educación superior. Los recursos son mucho más limitados.

Muchas veces no veía la luz y me preguntaba: “¿Lo que estoy haciendo vale la pena y esto me garantiza un mejor futuro?

Mi respuesta inmediata siempre fue: “SI, lo es”.

Honestamente digo que fui “bendecido” con muchas becas que pagaron por todos mis estudios en la universidad y cuando ingrese a estudiar mi Maestría. Nada hubiese sido posible sin la ayuda económica y la confianza de corporaciones, organizaciones y personas que “SI” creyeron en mí.

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Realice mucha investigación de becas disponibles para estudiantes en la misma situación que yo. Mi trabajo de “part-time” fue aplicar a un sinfín de becas y algunas veces fui negado y otras veces mi regalo fue un cheque que pago por mis estudios.

Creo que muchas veces nos encerramos en un mundo de inseguridades, nos hacemos pequeños y no valoramos nuestro potencial y es allí donde fallamos siempre.

Sin embargo, me da mucho gusto ver que una vez más, Coca-Cola se une al Fondo de Becas Hispano (Hispanic Scholarship Fund) para ayudar a las familias hispanas a alcanzar sus sueños y aspiraciones de educación superior, como parte del Programa Nacional de Becas #ForTheDream.

Soy uno de los miles de ejemplos de como yo logre mis sueños y el sueño de que mis padres me vieran con un título universitario gracias a corporaciones como Coca-Cola. El mejor regalo para ellos fue verme caminar la tarima el día de mis graduaciones y ver todo lo que había logrado con esfuerzo, trabajo y dedicación. Esos días nunca los olvidare porque fueron algunos de los más felices momentos de mi vida.

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Coca-Cola esta donando $150.000 al Fondo de Becas Hispano para ser entregados a través de becas a estudiantes que califican. Las aplicaciones están siendo aceptadas hasta el 30 de marzo de 2016.

El programa #ForTheDream de Coca-Cola empodera a las familias hispanas a prepararse, planear y pagar por la universidad de sus adolescentes, e inspira a los estudiantes hispanos a perseguir sus sueños de educación superior y convertirse en futuros líderes.

Padres de familia si tienen un hijo/a en el último o penúltimo año de la secundaria o “high school”, no es demasiado tarde para que pueda asistir a la universidad.

Lo que yo sugiero es que nunca se queden callados y si no saben algo hagan preguntas ya sea a un asesor o “guidance counselor” para que les diga sus opciones. Un asesor puede ser el de la misma high school a la cual sus hijo/a van o hay personas que se dedican a esto tiempo completo.

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También hay ayuda financiera y préstamos para los que se puede aplicar si la familia califica para ello. Muchas veces se toma en consideración el ingreso de la familia entre otros factores.

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A pesar de que la matriculación de estudiantes hispanos se ha incrementado considerablemente en las últimas dos décadas, esta población se encuentra rezagada frente a otros grupos en cuando a diplomas obtenidos. Esta situación puede deberse a la presión que tienen algos estudiantes latinos de proveer ayuda financiera a sus familias antes de graduarse. Como parte de su compromiso con la comunidad Hispana, el Programa Nacional de Becas de Coca-Cola y HSF #ForTheDream aspira a fortalecer a las familias hispanas para que puedan poner a sus adolescentes en la vía rápida hacia la universidad.

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Coca-Cola entiende la importancia que las familias hispanas ponen en la educación, y quiere ayudarlas a prepararse, planificar y pagar la universidad, mientras que impulsa a los estudiantes latinos a alcanzar sus metas de educación superior.

Únete a la conversación y entérate de las novedades en las redes sociales con el hashtag #ForTheDream y sigue a la compañía que nos trae esta fabulosa oportunidad @CocaCola

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Para más información, por favor visite: coke.com/ForTheDream

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Recuerden que aunque un título universitario no garantiza el éxito profesional si es la puerta para obtener un mejor futuro. Es importante entender que deberíamos en nuestras comunidades latinas empezar a ahorrar para el futuro de los hijos desde que nacen y tal vez no gastar en lujos, cosas materiales o hasta en fiestas como por ejemplo quinceañeras que definitivamente no les dará la vida que siempre soñaron.

¿Qué tan importante es la educación superior en tu familia? ¿Cómo estas preparando a tus hijo/as a que tengan un futuro brillante y lleno de educación?

¡Mucha Suerte!

The days are only getting longer and this allows for more time to spend on the slopes while flashing through the beautiful powder whether that be on your snowboard or ski set. I’ve always been told by snowboard and skiing “aficionados” that spring is the best time to get onboard these fun adventures.

And I think they are correct for when visiting Park City, Utah. I remember being there in the spring during my last visit and I spent an entire full day on the perfectly groomed trails.

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The sun warms up throughout the day, which makes for a very easy and comfortable ride because you don’t get burned by the cold temperature as you stride down a slope. I recall that you can easily ski in a t-shirt underneath that bluebird sky.

Also, the city is less crowded and busy season is over if you were to visit in February, which is was when I visited with a group of friends. You can experience a laidback, relaxed vibe all across Park City.

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On my last trip to this beautiful place I recall arriving on a late Friday afternoon, we made it to our hotel and went out in Downtown Park City, which by the way is very attractive. The dining and nightlife will make you go back.

It was Saturday morning when we woke up at the crack of dawn and headed out to the Canyons Resort to get our snowboard and ski on. We rented equipment there and it was truly an unforgettable and fun experience. I cannot wait to return.

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The hills were some of the best and lonely ones I have even been on, which made it easier to get more rounds completed.

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We enjoyed the powder until the resort closed. We were tired and went back to the hotel to dip into the jacuzzi for a couple of hours and then made it back to Downtown Park City once again for dinner and hung out at a local pub. We had dinner at Bangkok Thai on Main Restaurant and the food was delicious. The restaurant vibe was classy too.

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On Sunday we made it to Gorgoza Park for snow tubbing. I was pretty sore from some unexpected falls the day before that this experience was much better for me. We got on large inflatable tubes equipped with handles on each side and a hill packed with snow. You can take the little ones down the bunny sized hill or try one of the four advanced lanes if you’re feeling like an adventure. There are easy-to-use-lift-served tubing lanes that you can ride as many times as you want.

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This snow trip was a lot of fun and below are a few tips to help you get the most out of your spring visit just like I did:

  1. Follow the sun: To get the best snow, hit the trails with the most sun on them in the morning. The groomer’s will be soft and smooth. Due to our geographical location, most of these runs will be Southwest facing in the morning hours. Be prepared for changing snow surfaces throughout the day.
  2. Hydrate: Many people forget about staying hydrated in the high alpine environment. The sun and dry mountain air will quickly suck the moisture out of you. Drink plenty of water or delicious Gatorade before, during and after your visit.
  3. Apply sunscreen: The Utah sun is very, very powerful to begin with. Put yourself up at 10,000ft and those UV rays intensify dramatically. Lather up with some Sunscreen to prevent skin damage.

Money and Time Saver Tips
 
Buy your lift tickets online in advance for the lowest price guarenteed and skip the ticket window line completely.
 Rent your ski’s online in advance for 20% off and save time.

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Since its kickoff, the 2015-16 NFL season has exhibited a particular shine. On the field, 50-yard markers were gilded. On the sidelines, coaches and players paraded the Nike Football Champ Drive Collection, adorned with gold-trimmed logos. These gleaming details hinted at the Super Bowl’s golden anniversary, which officially occurs February 7 in San Francisco, where Nike will unveil two celebratory collections: the Super Bowl 50 Nike Gold Collection (Nike Football and Nike Training) and the Super Bowl 50 Nike Speed Destroyed Collection (Nike Sportswear).

SUPER BOWL 50 NIKE GOLD COLLECTION

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The Super Bowl 50 Nike Gold Collection includes men’s and women’s on-field, sideline and training apparel and footwear.

MEN’S

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The men’s performance footwear offering is led by the SB50 Nike Vapor Untouchable 2, which is the most adaptive and lightest Nike Football cleat to date (9.5 oz). The plate features a new stud configuration that trades traditional conical studs for new four-sided studs. Individual Nike-sponsored athletes from both Super Bowl teams are expected to wear the Nike Vapor Untouchable 2 cleat in their team color.

Other men’s footwear within the collection includes the SB50 Nike Field General 2 and the SB50 Nike Free Trainer 3.0 V4.

Nike athletes will also wear the Nike Vapor Jet 4.0 glove on the field, built with a full-length Magnigrip palm to maximize the catching surface and knit in the knuckles to provide more breathability. The glove with the Super Bowl 50 logo will only be worn on field. There will be two colorways available for purchase: black/gold and white/gold.

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Other men’s apparel featured within the collection are the SB50 Nike Fly Rush Alpha Jacket, SB50 Nike Tech Fleece AeroLoft Jacket, SB50 Nike Hypercool Fitted Short Sleeve Top and the SB50 Nike Coaches Polo — which features Dri-FIT fabric combined with Nike ColorDry technology, providing true, deep color while eliminating the use of water and chemicals from the dyeing process.

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WOMEN’S

Women’s apparel within the collection includes the SB50 Nike Generic Half Zip Top, SB50 Nike Generic Rally Funnel Hoody and SB50 Nike Generic Fan Top.

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YOUNG ATHLETES

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SUPER BOWL 50 NIKE SPEED DESTROYED COLLECTION

The Super Bowl 50 Nike Speed Destroyed Collection references Nike’s continuous support of athletes  —  past, present and future – who shatter records.

Both the men’s and women’s product feature a SB50 Nike Speed Destroyer jacket. The jackets feature premium leather sleeves combined with 50 embroidered stars listed across the back, with 2016 celebrated in gold thread. Also included is the SB50 Nike Tech Fleece Jersey for men and a SB50 Nike Graphic ¾ Top for women.

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Men’s footwear within the Super Bowl 50 Nike Speed Destroyed Collection features the SB50 Nike Air Trainer 1 and the SB50 Nike Ultra XT, both of which have a gold-tone nugget dubrae and an NFL Super Bowl 50 logo on the sock liner.

The SB50 Nike Air Max 1 Ultra PRM and the SB50 Nike Air Huarache Run PRM headline the women’s footwear.

The Super Bowl 50 Nike Speed Destroyed Collection (Nike Sportswear) will be available January 19 at Nike.com, NFL.com and select retailers. Offerings from the Super Bowl 50 Nike Gold Collection (Nike Football and Nike Training) will become available as follows:
•  SB50 Vapor Untouchable 2, SB50 Nike Field General 2, SB50 Nike Free Trainer 3.0 V4, SB50 Nike Fly Rush Alpha Jacket and Nike Vapor Jet 4.0 (in black/gold and white/gold) are available January 19.
•  SB50 Nike Tech Fleece AeroLoft Jacket, SB50 Nike Coaches Polo, SB50 Nike Opening Night Tee and SB50 Nike Hypercool Fitted Short Sleeve Top will be available beginning January 24 with specific Super Bowl team badges.

Credit: To view more details on this post please visit Nike News. 

Alvin, Simon and Theodore hit the road for another crazy adventure in ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP, opening THIS FRIDAY DECEMBER 18th. 

These classic characters are sure to delight new fans and old.

Through a series of misunderstandings, Alvin, Simon and Theodore come to believe that Dave is going to propose to his new girlfriend in Miami and dump them. They have three days to get to him and stop the proposal, saving themselves not only from losing Dave but possibly from gaining a terrible stepbrother – in ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP. The new film is a mix of classic Chipmunk elements – including mischievous humor and heartwarming moments – that fans love about the franchise.

In 2007, ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS, a global phenomenon to generations of fans, became a live action/CGI motion picture event with a contemporary comic sensibility.  In the holiday season blockbuster, which grossed over $350 million worldwide, songwriter Dave Seville transformed singing chipmunks Alvin, Simon and Theodore into pop sensations — while the out-of-control trio laid waste to Dave’s home, wreaked havoc on his career, and turned Dave’s once-orderly life upside-down.

Before you could say, “Alvinnnnn!!!” talks began about a new ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS movie.  Not content to rest on their laurels, the ‘Munks came up with yet another “first”: a “Squeakquel,” in which Alvin, Simon and Theodore finally meet their match – and maybe more – in the newly arrived female trio, The Chipettes.  Released in 2009, ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE SQUEAKQUEL grossed over $440 million worldwide.

Two years later, the Munks unleashed ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIPWRECKED, in which the vacationing Chipmunks and Chipettes turn a luxury cruise liner into their personal playground, until they become ‘chipwrecked’ on a remote island.  As the ‘Munks and Chipettes scheme to find their way home, they accidentally discover their new turf is not as deserted as it seems.  CHIPWRECKED came ashore with over $340 million globally.

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Now, it’s time for the boys to hit the road in their biggest journey yet, as they embark on a “road chip” across the U.S. During their storied misadventures, Alvin, Simon and Theodore have always had to solve problems they’ve created themselves! But during their road chip, and for the first time, they’re on a mission to keep their family together.

Starring: Jason Lee, Tony Hale, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Josh Green, Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jesse McCartney, Kaley Cuoco, Anna Faris, Christina Applegate

If you want to see more about this movie visit: http://www.AlvinMovie.com

Text, Video and Photo Credit: Allied Hispanic & Fox Entertainment

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