I am participating in FLUVIP’s Ambassador program on behalf of Claritin®. This program is paid for by the Makers of Claritin® and I have received compensation for my participation. All opinions expressed are my own.

It was not until my early 20’s that I began suffering from allergies. When I was younger I recall I had absolutely no problems with allergies or at least I would not notice them. On the other hand, my mom has always suffered from allergies and sometimes I blame her for being the reason as to why I’ve developed them. But she knows I love to joke with her.

Ever since I became more health conscious, doing more outdoor activities and adopting running since it is such an important aspect of my daily life allergies have kicked-in full gear, especially in the spring. I love the outdoors and this time of the year when everything is blooming and looking beautiful in our surroundings is not the best time for me because I suffer from outdoor seasonal allergies.

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To be quite honest I never believed in such thing, but I’ve developed such allergies over the years that I know it is true. The reason why I suffer from seasonal allergies is because my body does not respond well to pollen from some plants.  At times my allergies can be difficult to manage because if we go outside pollen is everywhere and difficult to avoid, but I’m thankful that there’s a remedy for my bad days.

Years ago I found out all about Claritin® to relieve my allergy symptoms which helps me to continue with my normal tasks and busy lifestyle. My sneezing, runny nose and itchy, watery eyes are relieved every time I use Claritin®. I need these symptoms kept at bay especially during my meetings with clients.

The best part about Claritin® is that it’s the #1 doctor recommended non-drowsy oral allergy brand and that comes in very handy when I have a never-ending list of to-do items. Recently non-drowsy relief from Claritin® has been a big help.

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If you still haven’t been able to see my social media activity or on here let me tell you that I am an active person – I cannot sit still and being outside is in my genes. Recently I’ve traveled more than usual too and I’ve been exposed to a lot of different pollination seasons of trees and grasses, and weather conditions. For instance I was in New York one week, then in Miami and now back in Los Angeles, CA where everywhere I go I continue with my fitness journey. Part of my healthy lifestyle involves me running 5-10 miles per week outdoors and I would not be able to perform this activity without Claritin ® because it relieves my allergy symptoms.

There’s no better feeling out there than moving forward with your daily life with less interruptions and Claritin® is my life saver. In the past I would see having allergy symptoms as being weak and would let myself be discouraged from being my fearless self, but not any longer because I do have the control of how I decide to let myself feel with the help of Claritin®.

My days are much better because even when I want to enjoy blue skies, which is every day I feel that I am not compromising my health by not running due to my allergy symptoms.

Lately the temperature has gotten hotter in Los Angeles, Calif. and as the days begin to get longer too thanks to daylight savings that only means that we can enjoy more time with friends and family members outdoors. My fiancee and I just returned from Punta Cana, DR and we were having major withdrawals until we decided to have a gathering after our daily responsibilities to reminisce on our vacation.

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We also recently re-furnished our patio/balcony area so we thought this would be the perfect day to bring out some Seagram’s Gin and celebrate. We figured we begin enjoying our balcony so that we could figure out what else we need in this corner of our home for when we begin having friends over on weekends. We already know this will become a favorite hangout spot to spend quality time.

Seagram’s Gin has the power of bringing people together for a good time where you can talk and enjoy each other’s company for a long time. We began creating simple cocktails as we both do not like elaborate drinks. When I say simple I really mean it – homemade tonic water plus gin and ice cubes. You can decide if you want to add berries, lemon grass, lime, seeds or spices to your drink to impress your friends, but I only added natural lime juice, distilled water and the great taste to of Seagram’s Gin to my cocktail.

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We have a bar at our home with various bottles, spirits and brews, which of course includes Seagrams’s Gin. It’s a true quality standard with award-winning credibility. It offers gin drinkers a great taste at a great value. It uses the finest botanicals and select neutral grains. Seagram’s Gin uses a time-tested cold-distillation process to consistently deliver the smooth and mellow taste we were experiencing just a few days ago on our balcony.

We thought about our vacation and the amazing time we had sipping on some cocktails on the beach waters of Punta Cana, but let me tell you that this experience we created at home did not fall short to that because we had a great drink in hand, are surrounded by palm trees and that same hot weather.

At the end of the day drinking is social, but the best of times are made right at home. As the younger crowd like myself begin to trade in the loud scene for easy going at home hangouts, Seagram’s Gin is a familiar name that everyone knows and trusts to share. It’s a respectable quality gin to raise the bar of any home and the go-to for quality time spent with those people you want to connect with the most.

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A quick fact about the award-winning taste is that it counts with almost 80 years of creation (since 1939) and it is still proudly distilled in its hometown of Lawrenceburg, IN. It remains a well-known household name and has earned its position as America’s #1 gin.

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As you can tell by our simple drink creations Seagram’s Gin is easy to enjoy because it is very mixable, but if you would like to have more substance in your drink you can choose from 7 different flavors – there will be something for every guest during your upcoming gathering.

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Don’t forget to visit Seagram’s Gin to find out about other cocktail ideas with gin and where to buy your own bottle. After you review the cocktails ideas don’t forget to let me know which one you are planning to make when you invite your friends over to enjoy some Seagram’s Gin with you?

Salud!

If you are like I am sure you are always looking for healthy substitutes when it comes to eating. But, you need to remember that those meal replacements need to align with your diet and healthy lifestyle or else you’ll jeopardize all of the hard work you’ll put in the gym.

I was recently selected to be part of a fitness test group for an at-home workout DVD program that will be launched this summer and my eating plan needs to be on-point in order to see exceptional results.  I will be traveling a lot during the upcoming weeks while doing this test group and I could not think of a better protein bar than Quest to come along with me during my trips.

Why do I choose Quest bars over any others? Because each bar contains 20+ grams of protein, 170-210 calories, 13-15 grams of fiber, no added sugar, and all the right macros. It’s great that they count with a great amount of fiber because they can help to keep you full for longer. They are also soy free, gluten free, and vegetarian friendly! I know I have several friends that are vegetarians and they also love these bars.

The great thing about Quest bars is that they believe in quality ingredients you don’t have to sacrifice taste for quality. In addition, Quest uses Soluble Corn Fiber (SCF) vs Isomalto-oligosaccharide (IMO). Studies have shown, when exposed to a range of temperatures, IMO can actually degrade to a carbohydrate. Also, Quest Bars use Stevia, Sucralose, and Erythritol which have little to no effect on your blood sugar.

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I have the biggest sweet tooth and after my meals I am always looking for that sweet item that will calm my craving, but I’ve realized that when I incorporate Quest into my lifestyle my craving is not as high.

In addition Quest Bars are your best choice because they help keep your digestive system healthy, lowers cholesterol levels, helps control blood sugar levels and aids in maintaining a healthy diet.

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I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Target now carries Quest bars. There’s one store less than one mile away from my home and I will be there more often to stock up on Quest protein bars.

There are several flavors of Quest Bars in stores today, but I picked up S’mores because I wanted to make a recipe for all of you and also the Cookies & Cream bars. You’ll notice that there are big chunks in each bar and you’ll almost feel as if you are eating the real stuff when you truly are not. To find out which other flavors they carry click here.

Each box contains 4 bars and they will save you from eating the first unhealthy thing that comes before your eyes if you keep one of these nearby at home, work or in my case when I start traveling next week.

The great thing about Quest bars is that you can eat them just as they are, but you can also add them to recipes, smoothies or baked goodies.

In this case I decided to add them to my all-time favorite homemade Blueberry Pancakes and they were delicious.

Check out the recipe and instructions below to make the S’mores Blueberry Pancakes:

  • 1 Quest Protein bar S’Mores (heat-up in microwave for 2 minutes)
  • 2 Eggs
  • ½ cup oats
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 container of fresh blueberries
  • Coconut oil for pan

Directions

  1. Mix everything together really well including S’mores Quest Bars into a small bowl.
  2. Heat a pan to medium.
  3. Melt some coconut oil on the pan.
  4. Pour the pancake batter onto the medium heat pan.
  5. In 1-2 minutes, flip pancake.
  6. Wait another 1-2 minutes.
  7. Remove pancake from the pan, and repeat until batter is gone.
  8. ENJOY!

You’ll want to know that the price is right for these Quest protein bars because you’ll be paying around $2.25 per bar and it does not get any better than this! It’s time for you to try these out for yourself. Visit your local target and pick up a box or two of your favorite Quest Protein Bar flavors.

Let me know which one is your favorite Quest Bar flavor?

Coming soon… Stay tuned!

Ford keeps on innovating with new and exciting ways of how they use natural products in their autos.

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You’ve probably sat on it, built with it, and maybe even eaten it, but did you know that your car could be next to benefit from bamboo – one of the world’s strongest natural materials?

While investment in research has led to breakthroughs in new materials like super strong carbon fiber and lightweight aluminum, nature’s wonder material may have been growing all along and as much as three feet in a day. Soon, some surfaces inside our vehicles could be made from a combination of bamboo and plastic to create super hard material.
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“Bamboo is amazing,” said Janet Yin, a materials engineering supervisor at Ford’s Nanjing Research & Engineering Centre. “It’s strong, flexible, totally renewable, and plentiful in China and many other parts of Asia.”

The benefits of bamboo have been recognized for more than a century – Thomas Edison even experimented with it when making the first light bulb. In building, its tensile strength (or how much it can resist being pulled apart) is well known, as it can rival or even better some types of metal. And, because it grows to full maturity in just two to five years – compared to up to decades for other trees – bamboo also regenerates easily.

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Over the past several years, Ford worked with suppliers to evaluate the viability of using bamboo in vehicle interiors and to make extra strong parts by combining it with plastic. The team has found that bamboo performs comprehensively better than other tested synthetic and natural fibers in a range of materials tests, from tensile strength tests to impact strength tests. It’s also been heated to more than 212 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure it can maintain its integrity.

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The sustainable journey

While tests on bamboo continue, Ford is already making use of sustainable and recycled materials. The company recently announced it is working with Jose Cuervo® to explore the use of the tequila producer’s agave plant byproduct to develop more sustainable bioplastics to employ in Ford vehicles.

Ford uses several sustainable materials including:

  • Kenaf, a tropical plant in the cotton family, is used in the door bolsters of Ford Escape
  • REPREVE fabric, made from recycled plastic bottles, diverts more than 5 million plastic bottles from landfill annually. Ford most recently introduced REPREVE in F-150
  • Post-consumer cotton from denim and T-shirts is used as interior padding and sound insulation in most Ford vehicles
  • EcoLon post-consumer nylon carpeting is used as cylinder head covers in Ford Escape, Fusion, Mustang and F-150
  • Recycled plastic bottles are becoming floor carpeting, wheel liners and shields in several vehicles including Ford Transit and C-MAX
  • Recycled post-consumer tires are used in seals and gaskets
  • Rice hulls are used to reinforce plastic in Ford F-150 electrical harness
  • Soy-based foams are used as seat cushions, seatbacks and head restraints in Ford’s North American vehicle lineup
  • Wheat straw is used in Ford Flex to reinforce storage bins
  • Cellulose tree fibers are used in the armrest of Lincoln MKX. Used to replace glass-filled plastic, this industry-first material weighs 10 percent less, is produced 30 percent faster, and reduces carbon emissions

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Photos and Text Credit: Ford & FSB Core Strategies

If only us men could have all the cars in the world we would be extremely happy, unfortunately that is not the case and we must turn to other alternatives to get our excitement out of our system when it comes to cars. The answer to this is partaking or watching the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) series. IMSA is North America’s flagship sports car racing platform, with their incorporation on and off the race track, the IMSA experience is unlike any other!

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If you cannot go and watch them live it is always great to get together with a group of friends and watch this speeding and fascinating event together. You can opt for being the organizer and rattle-up everyone to bring a plate of food to celebrate the fun times. You’ll be the host, but no one ever wants to be tasked with cooking everything. Lol

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It’s at the IMSA experience where you’ll see Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches, BMWs, Audis, Lexus and Mercedes all in one place. It will never happen in other situations. And it is so much fun to see the excitement of drivers battling for racing supremacy in the top-of-the-line racetracks of America. Admiring the power of the cars is always a kick for a great time because you’ll see and hear prototypes reaching speeds of 200 mph.

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It was 2 years ago when I watched live an Indy race and I felt an adrenaline rush that I cannot explain. I had never felt that way and since then my passion for cars has only strengthened. It’s become a passion that I recently returned from covering the New York International Auto Show. Nothing to do with racing, but it still aligns with covering autos.

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It was even more recent that I took a trip to the Porsche Experience Center in Los Angeles, CA and WOW what a superb time. You can choose to dine there, enjoy the exposition of cars, visit their gift shop and there’s a variety of race tracks too.

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Being at the experience center only made me get more excited about the upcoming event in Austin, Texas. The IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race at Circuit of The Americas takes place the weekend from May 4-5th and on Saturday, May 6th. Fans can tune-in to the action on FS1 from 7pm-10pm ET, with the entire race simulcast on FOX Sports GO.

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When you do go to LIVE racing events and if you make it to an IMSA one be prepared for the loud sound and the thrill of everything unfolding before your eyes. It is so much fun! If you do have the opportunity to participate in an IMSA race you should definitely do it because it is something you will never regret.

Don’t forget to tune in the days of the race with your friends and if any of them cannot make it to the festivity have them join the Facebook event and see who else is planning to tune in on all of the fun! You do not want to miss out on the most exciting race of the year. Will you be watching?

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The Mamba League empowers kids through basketball fundamentals

To give young athletes in Los Angeles an opportunity to understand the game as he learned it, Kobe Bryant created the Mamba League, a youth basketball program rooted in personal insights with the goal of empowering girls and boys ages 8-10 on the court and in life.

“I’m really excited about building this league with my Nike family. Our line for the league is ‘play, learn, and grow.’ This is really important to me, and reflects what I want to share with the kids about my own journey—that through playing the game of basketball I learned not just about the game, but about myself and others, and through that process you grow, as an athlete and as a person,” Bryant said about his passion for creating the league.

The Mamba League began in February and is reaching underserved youth across East and West Los Angeles who love the game but may not have had an opportunity to play it. The League focuses on helping players truly understand the fundamentals of the game while increasing their overall self-confidence and fueling their potential.

“The Mamba League is a fun league for kids to learn the game, have fun and understand the connection that the game has with life in general—hopefully learning some of the work ethic it takes to become a better basketball player and convert that into a being better son, a better daughter and a better student,” said Bryant.

Designed in partnership with Nike and the Boys and Girls Club in Los Angeles – the league kicked off registration on Feb. 1, inviting kids from four main neighborhoods with under-served communities in the greater Los Angeles area–Nickerson Gardens, Whittier, West San Gabriel Valley/Monterey Park and Venice–to join the experience.

The Mamba League is comprised of 40 coaches who are volunteers from Nike stores in the Los Angeles area and Boys and Girls Club staff, and 288 players. Coaches participated in a comprehensive training clinic that was equal parts game fundamentals as well as social-emotional training to make sure every player has a positive experience. To align with the league’s encouragement of young girls to participate, it brings on female coaches to lead its girls-only teams.

“I’m usually the only girl playing with all the boys…so I got excited to play with other girls,” said Noelle Romero, 8, of the Lil Cheetahs, who defeated the Lil Swooshes at a game in March. “The more that we play, the more that we get to learn different type of skills, not just in basketball, but that could help us with other things.”

By the end of the Mamba League, all players were inspired by teamwork and exposed to a new passion for the sport–including the young girls who made up 45 percent of participants.

“Sport is a way where kids can find not only an escape, but a potential future,” said Mamba League Coach Ashley Indick. “The Mamba League is a good platform to expose them to that.”

On April 15, the Mamba League will celebrate the end of its first eight-week season with a basketball tournament challenge, where one girls’ team and one boys’ team will go home with a victory, but all of the players will leave the inaugural year of the league as winners.

Kobe will continue to work with Nike to expand the Mamba League to more sites in early 2018 based on learnings from the first year and feedback from the community.

Learn more about why Kobe wanted to start the league and how his insights about learning the fundamentals of basketball are changing the game for coaches and kids (8-10) across four LA neighborhoods.

Text and Photo Credit: ROXunited

En Cuba, el café es una parte diaria de la cultura serena de la isla, donde una taza caliente es considerada una tradición para reunir a los amigos, ya sea para ponerse al día mientras disfrutan de un “cafecito” en una cafetería o para intercambiar los chismes del momento tomándose un café fuerte en alguna casa. Y en Miami, donde actualmente vive la mayor cantidad de expatriados cubanos, las 3:05 p.m. se han convertido en la hora oficial del “cafecito”, mostrando así el poder del café en la cultura cubana para reunir a la tan diversa comunidad de la ciudad.

Aprovechando esta oportunidad para tomarnos un momento y reconectarnos en medio del ajetreado estilo de vida que vivimos actualmente, la Junta de Procesadores de Leche de California (CMPB), creadora de las icónicas campañas Got Milk? y Toma Leche, presenta tres recetas inspiradas en el café cubano para preparar en casa y disfrutar con uno o dos amigos.

“Aquí en California, nos hemos acostumbrado a llevar una vida acelerada, donde todo lo compramos para llevar”, comentó Eddie Zamora, personalidad influyente en los medios sociales, fundador de la marca Yum Yum Foodie y creador de recetas.  “Crecí en un hogar cubano y recuerdo que una gran cafetera caliente sobre la estufa era el eje central de muchas reuniones sociales y de largas conversaciones. El café tiene el poder de conectar a personas de todas partes, desde Miami hasta California, porque invita a la conversación, fomenta la amistad; y con estas recetas, hasta despierta el entusiasmo”.

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Las recetas de Eddie son el “Eurocubano”, una mezcla deliciosa con Nutella, leche entera y una pizca de sal; “Chismes del Vecindario”, una opción para adultos que combina espresso de sabor intenso, leche entera y ron oscuro servido en una copa de Martini; y un “Chocolate Caliente Cubano”, una delicia perfecta para los niños, con chocolate amargo, leche entera, canela molida y una pizca de pimienta de Cayena.  Agregar leche al café intensifica la “sensación y gusto”, ya que las grasas de la leche cambian la textura, haciéndolo más espeso y suave.

Las recetas creadas exclusivamente para got milk?/TomaLeche se pueden encontrar abajo en este post. Para ver un video divertido en donde Eddie Zamora muestra la preparación, visita: www.gotmilk.com, www.tomaleche.com y sigue a got milk? y Toma leche en Facebook/ Twitter @gotmilk e Instagram @officialgotmilk.

Acerca de la cultura del café cubano

El café cubano, desde la manera en que se prepara hasta cómo se disfruta, cuenta con una larga y rica historia.  El café llegó a Cuba en los años 1700 y la isla del Caribe fue alguna vez unode los mayores productores de café – de hecho, las primeras plantaciones ahora están incluidas en la lista de Patrimonio Mundial de la UNESCO (1). La producción de café comenzó a disminuir considerablemente debido a la producción y exportación de ron y caña de azúcar, pero el consumo de café siguió aumentando. En 1962, el gobierno de Cuba empezó a racionar el café.  Como resultado, algunos cubanos beben café con chícharo, una combinación de granos de café y chícharos tostados, y agregan azúcar para reducir el sabor amargo. Debido a que la cantidad es limitada, el café se consume siempre en cantidades pequeñas, y se sirve en tacitas.  A medida que se sigan levantando las restricciones a las exportaciones de Cuba, comenzando por el café cubano, seguramente se producirá un intercambio cultural de café entre la isla caribeña y los Estados Unidos. Los siguientes son algunos términos que resultan útiles para entender el café cubano:

  • Café cubano o cafecito – espresso mezclado con azúcar
  • Cortadito – espresso con leche calentada al vapor
  • Café con leche –café y leche caliente

Aqui te presento tres recetas de Café Cubano “Relajadas” para disfrutar con uno o dos amigos: 

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Receta #1: “Eurocubano”- Receta creada por Eddie Zamora, The Yum Yum Foodie

Ingredientes:

2 cucharadas de Nutella

6 onzas de leche entera

6 onzas de leche evaporada (se puede reemplazar por leche baja en grasa, si lo deseas)

Una pizca de sal de mesa

1 bolsita individual de “Cafe la LLave” espresso

Azúcar al gusto

Preparación:

En una cafetera al vapor o en una olla, calienta la pizca de sal, el azúcar, la leche entera, la Nutella y la

leche evaporada. En la estufa o con una máquina para café espresso, prepara el espresso a tu gusto.

Sirve en tu taza preferida la mezcla de leche y agrega la cantidad de espresso que desees.

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Receta #2: “Radio Bemba”, también llamado Lip Radio o El Chismoso del Vecindario – Receta creada por Eddie Zamora, The Yum Yum Foodie

Ingredientes:

2 onzas de espresso

1.5 onzas de leche evaporada

1.5 onzas de leche entera

1 onza de ron oscuro

Granos de espresso para decorar

Preparación:

En una coctelera con hielo, vierte todos los ingredientes. Agita hasta que esté totalmente fría y agrega endulzante al gusto. Sirve en copas para Martini.

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Receta #3: Chocolate Caliente Cubano “Ahuyentador del Cucuy” – Receta creada por Eddie Zamora, The Yum Yum Foodie

Ingredientes:

1 taza de leche

1 taza de chocolate oscuro, picado (puede ser marca “Menier Chocolate” u otro 75% cocoa)

1/4 taza de azúcar

1 cucharadita de canela en polvo

Una pizca de pimienta de Cayena

1 onza de azúcar con canela para cubrir el borde

2 onzas de espresso (opcional para adultos)

Preparación:

En una cafetera de vapor o en una olla, calienta todos los ingredientes ¡Sirve el chocolate caliente en tu taza preferida y disfrútalo!

Credito de Texto y Fotos: ROXunited

Esta nota fue realizada en colaboración con TurboTax y fui compensado para escribirla, pero mi opinión es en base a mi experiencia.

Estamos a exactamente una semana de la fecha límite para que declares tus impuestos aquí en EE.UU. La fecha límite es el 18 de abril 2017 – recuérdalo.

Ahora más que nunca muchos se estarán estresando porque quedan menos días para declarar y hacer esta tarea que casi todo mundo deja hasta el final. Pero tú no dejes que el estrés saque la mejor versión de ti misma/o y gánale con declarar tus impuestos ya. ¿Apoco no te gustaría saber de cuánto va a ser tu reembolsó?

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Además siempre pasa que cuando se dejan las cosas para último minuto alguna cosa sucede y te retrasa aún más de lo que tenías pensado lograr. La mayoría de las personas tienen un trabajo, familia, viajes, eventos y miles de cosas rondando en la cabeza pero esta tarea no la puedes saltar. Y ahora más que nunca a ti que estas en este aprieto de tiempo te recomiendo utilizar TurboTax ya que te proporciona todas las herramientas y apoyo necesario para hacer tus impuestos tú misma/o.

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Te cuento la historia de éxito de mi sobrina Melissa Melgoza quien declaro sus impuestos en muy poco tiempo y sin ningún estrés. Ella declaro sus impuestos a través de la aplicación en su Smartphone y por la computadora. Me comento que era la segunda vez que utilizaba TurboTax ya que el año pasado también lo había logrado hacer y quedo satisfecha por segunda vez consecutiva. Decidió hacer su declaración con TurboTax este año también porque se dio cuenta de lo sencillo que es sin tener que salir de casa o tener que proporcionar su información a otras personas.

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“El hacer mis impuestos yo sola me hace sentir responsable y además realizada de hacer algo por mi propia cuenta y claro con la ayuda de los expertos cuando tuve una pregunta específica”, comento Melissa.

A Melissa le gustó mucho el sistema de SmartLook™ donde tú puedes hacerle preguntas a los expertos en tiempo real. Lo que más le gusto fue el hecho de que ella podía ver a los expertos pero los expertos a ella no ya que se encontraba desde la comodidad de su casa.

Son estos pequeños detalles que nos hacen sentirnos más seguros especialmente a nosotros los Latinos comento Melissa. ¡Y SmartLook™ está disponible ahora en español! Lo mejor es que sin ningún costo adicional tú tienes acceso a SmartLook™.

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Melissa quedo aún más fascinada con TurboTax después de utilizar el sistema de SmartLook™. Ahora solo espera su reembolso para invertirlo en cosas que le devolverán más por su dinero. En esta ocasión lo estará ahorrando para su regreso a clases cuando en el otoño comience la escuela de leyes o “law school”.

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Una anécdota que también les quería compartir es la importancia de invertir su reembolso en cosas que a futuro te devuelvan más o tengan más valor. Recuerdo en el 2013 cuando recibí mi reembolso en ese entonces también utilizando TurboTax para el enganche o “down payment” de mi primera casa. Con el pasar del tiempo vendí ese hogar para comprarme una más moderna y nueva.

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Les cuento esta pequeña historia para que ustedes también empiecen a pensar en cosas buenas e inteligentes donde pueden empezar a invertir su dinero que reciban del reembolso.

Estas a una semana de la fecha límite para declarar tus impuestos y si aún no lo has hecho no esperes más, toma acción ahora mismo y cumple con tu declaración visitando: www.turbotax.com para más detalles.

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By far New York City will always be one of my favorite cities. I lost count of how many times I’ve visited this busy and diverse metropolitan city. At one point in my life I even considered living in New York City while studying a Master’s Degree so you can imagine that I really love that place. There’s so much to do, different places to eat, see and explore at all times and you meet people from all walks of life, which is one of the coolest things.

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Though this time around thanks to my friends from Hampton by Hilton I was able to experience the Big Apple as a seekender. You may recall that I was part of a similar experience last year when I visited Nashville, TN for the first time in July. A seekender is a person like me or yourself who enjoys exploring a new city for several days and uses that destination to reset, re-energize or re-invent themselves when they return to their natural or familiar place.

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While many may think that New York City is probably not the best place to reset or simply refocus your thoughts because of how busy it is, but it actually did support me in going back home with a clearer state of mind on the things that I needed to accomplish. It gave me perspective and what truly mattered and what I needed to do to achieve greater results – I assume the Empire State of Mind rubbed off on me. Lol

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As soon as we arrived to our Hampton by Hilton Hotel in Chelsea area the employees were extremely friendly and attentive to our needs as they guided us to our room. We stayed on the 9th floor and had a gorgeous view of the Lower Manhattan area. Since we had taken a red-eye from Los Angeles, we slept a bit on the plane, so once we arrived at 6 am we were ready to go on our walking adventure of exploring Chelsea. As the fitness and healthy couple that my fiancée Carmen and I are we always travel with our running/walking shoes everywhere we go and this was not the exception.

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We checked-in and had some complimentary coffee and tea in the lobby area to warm up our bodies because it was 45 degrees outside. We also bundled up very good to not suffer from the cold weather. Let me highlight that when you visit any Hampton by Hilton location you will always have access (24/7) to a coffee and tea station. This is one of the things we most enjoy about our stays at these locations.

Once we walked outside we felt as if it was December though it was already March. It was one of the most amazing morning strolls I have ever been on because the sidewalks, parks and gardens were covered in snow. As I mentioned I had been to New York in the past, but this visit will remain one of my favorite vacations because I had never experienced New York in beautiful white powder. To make things better this was Carmen and I first time in the city together, which by the way the hotel gave us a beautiful surprise one night and we felt as if it was a pre-honeymoon celebration. More details to follow on that. Lol

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We walked Madison Square Park, which is next to the Flat Iron Building. It was so cold outside that we stepped into one of my favorite places EATALY, a famous marketplace-style store, to grab coffee and hot chocolate as we made our way through the park. We returned to EATALY for brunch too.

For sake of not making this post lengthy I will mention the places that we went to eat at, but in a different one I will talk about the details for each restaurant that we experienced while in New York.

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Our second tourist stop for the day was making our way to the High Line Park. Now this is something that I had never seen before and I loved the interesting/different concept. It’s a park that I would describe as a long bridge above the city. From what I have heard it’s fairly new so many people visit and take a stroll on it. The High Line Park spans for a little over 2 miles.

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After walking the High Line for about one mile we stopped at the famous Basille’s Artichoke Pizza for lunch. It was St. Patrick’s Day so we had to have green beer in honor of the festivities.

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Since we were so full from the pizza we needed to continue walking because that was carb. overload. It so happened that Chelsea Market was directly across the street from Basille’s so we went there. I would describe Chelsea Market as an indoor hipster and contemporary Farmer’s Market. They’ve got everything from food, gelato, leather goods, apparel, to food spices and other cool gifts. It’s a pretty popular place to be because it was packed with tourists and locals on that Friday evening.

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By this time you can imagine that we were exhausted because we walked pretty much all day so we returned to the hotel. We took a short nap and then we continued the night by taking a walk to famous Times Square. Wow, is that place illuminated. You seriously do not need a flash on your camera to snap photos. It was 1 am and the area was still crowded. It was proven that the city never sleeps. Lol We hadn’t had dinner and we decided to grub at a place called Malibu Café in Chelsea.

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On day two we woke up early to workout at the gym and then made our way to have breakfast at the hotel. When you stay at any Hampton by Hilton location you are guaranteed a warm and delicious breakfast daily. And if you follow me on social media you know the importance and how much I highlight never skipping a breakfast. Our friends at Hampton by Hilton made sure we never did skip the most important meal of the day!

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That same day for brunch we went to a place called Latin Beet Kitchen in Chelsea (1 block away from hotel). I will say that we were satisfied with the food here, but you’ll need to visit my blog once again to read my detailed review on this place.

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We had the opportunity of experiencing New York City in just about all weather conditions and on day two it snowed and rained. While we would have liked experiencing the snow while sipping on some coffee and hot chocolate and sitting back in our hotel room we got to live that while being tourists outdoors and it was still fun. This was my first experience in New York with snow and I could not get enough of it!

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We continued with our activities by taking a Ferry to Staten Island and getting an up-close view of the beautiful Statue of Liberty. We also got to see a stunning panoramic view of Manhattan. WOW, it was priceless. Then we made it to the Financial District, Tribeca and Wall Street walking.

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I had not been to the 911 Memorial & Museum and that was our next destination. It’s a place that will make you emotional and reflect so much on such tragedy. I learned details that I had no idea about. There’s a set of concrete stairway that were salvaged and used by some of the victims to escape one of the twin towers attack and I completely lost it there. I could still not believe such senseless act. If you ever make it to NYC this is a must-visit place because so many innocent lives are honored there.

We then took a stroll through SoHo, Chinatown and Little Italy. All the Italian places looked amazing and the food smelled delicious so that’s where we decided to eat. It was a very romantic dinner. Though once again after dinner we were extremely full with all the pasta and pizza. Then as the sweets lover that I am we stopped at a bakery for some cannoli’s.

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We went back to our hotel a bit soaked and extremely tired. We first made a pit stop in the lobby area to grab hot tea to help us soothe after a long day. These coffee and tea stations are always available for guests, And remember about the pre-honeymoon experience that I talked about earlier — well our good friends of Hampton by Hilton surprised us with a beautiful treat. Plus they personalized a note and left a bottle of champagne. Cheers to a superb trip.

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On day three of our seekender experience we visited the famous Brooklyn Bridge. We walked all of it from one end to the other. It is one of the most amazing walks because you get to see different interest points of the city. This is must do activity whenever you visit New York City. We then had brunch at a place called “Citizen of Chelsea”, which is another place that I highly, highly recommend.

We could not forget about showing some love to the famous Central Park. We went there and pretty much walked all of it or at least more than half. We took so many beautiful shots there because the snow made it picture-perfect. The park is huge so prepare yourself with some great walking shoes because once you are in there there’s so many hidden little gems you need to explore. Also remember to have enough battery on your phone because almost anywhere you turn it’s worthy of a picture.

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That night we were craving sushi so we made it to a place called Asuka Sushi in Chelsea area. Another place that we recommend.

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The last day of our New York seekender experience arrived too fast. [sad face] On our last day we made sure to take a to-go breakfast bag so that we would maximize our last hours in the city. The to-go breakfast bags come in handy for days like these and when you want to hit the ground running. They are offered at all Hampton by Hilton locations Monday-Friday. We later had brunch at a place called Gotan. We walked from 24th to 46th streets and we had worked up and appetite. The long walk was well worth it.

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As we made our way back to the hotel because our flight departed in the evening we stopped at several iconic locations to snap more photos. We went to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Rockefeller Center and Times Square once again too because we had only visited at night.

And lastly before we headed out to hotel we had to have an early dinner at Shake Shak because it is supposed to be In-n-Out burger’s competition in the East Coast. But to be quite honest I felt that In-n-Out is 10 times better and I am not being biased. Shake Shak’s taste was very bland for me.

I want to thank my friends from Hampton by Hilton for such an amazing experience from beginning to end. The fact that I was able to bring all of you loyal AVvirLA readers this seekender experience full of recommendations was only possible thanks to this collaboration. While this was a compensated collaboration all opinions are my own.

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Please be on the lookout for my part-two blog post of this experience where I will delve into more detail of the food spots I mentioned. And if traveling is in your future plans consider lodging at a Hampton by Hilton location. You can find out more about these amazing hotels here. You’ll find out for yourself that you’ll get more for your bucks, the rooms are spacious, extra clean and beds are comfortable. Their personnel is very attentive and they always go the extra mile to make sure your needs are met.

I look forward to my next seekender adventure so that I can share that with all of you. Stay tuned!

If you would like to see more pictures of my #Seekender experience in New York check out my Facebook Photo Album. 

*This blog post is sponsored by Hampton by Hilton, but the content and opinions expressed are my very own.

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