raised by culture

raised by culture: February 2014

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Whole Foods Market Venice: Fantastique French Wine Tasting & Art Exhibit

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for Whole Foods Market Venice.

Whole Foods Market Venice is hosting a fun fundraiser this Saturday, March 1st from 5-8pm featuring the works of Gildas Coudrais and French wine tasting!  The cost is only $10 per person and proceeds will benefit the Whole Planet Foundation!  Germanybased French artist Gildas Coudrais unique pop culture inspired artwork looks fantastic on wine labels and reminds me of modern contemporary pieces I'm such a fan of!  For more information, you can check out the official event page here (or if you are savvy, click the flyer!)

The featured wines:

Chantebelle Sauvignon Blanc
$9.99/750 ml
A bright and brisk beauty with crisp citrus flavors, it's sensational start to the evening, especially with chilled shrimp and goat cheese!

King Rabbit Malbec
Rich, black plums, berries and cherries dance smoothly on the palate, hoping to get a turn with roasted duck, beef, or rabbit!

Anciens Temps Cabernet – Syrah
$9.99/750 ml
This is serious bang for your buck, with robust flavors of black pepper and berries, and a vanilla-kissed finish. It begs for steak au poivre topped with St. Agur bleu cheese!

Eagle Coq Pinot Noir
$9.99/750 ml
A pleasantly priced Pinot Noir with juicy red cherry and currant flavors pleasing French & California drinkers alike, especially when served with baked Brie or Coq Au Vin!

Fantastique Pinot Noir
$9.99/750 ml
A fantastically bolder Pinot, with flavors of spiced black cherries that would love to meet up with some cedar-plank grilled salmon or a French dip sandwich!

One of Gildas Coudrais pieces - c'est magnifique!

Get social with Whole Foods Market Venice by following on Facebook and Twitter!

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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Cross Setting A World Record Off My Life List #MIXIMLOVE

Disclosure:  This is a sponsored post for Ehrmann MIXIM.  All thoughts are my own.

I can cross another thing off my bucket life list - setting a World Record!  The thought of breaking a record crossed my mind over the years but I'm not too wild, not at all athletic and honestly, just didn't know it was as easy as attending the launch party of Ehrmann USA's greek yogurt MIXIM!  The Queen Mary looking pretty in pink for Valentine's Day was a majestic sight to see. 
As we made our way to the front deck of The Love Boat, we were greeted with music and yogurt samples!
I grew up in Long Beach and I never got to experience seeing my hometown from the deck of The Queen Mary as the sun set - it was truly sublime.  And I'm sure for the couples, very romantic!
One of the more interesting things to happen that night was my conversation with Guinness World Records' adjudicator Michael Empric.  I'm convinced he has one of the coolest jobs in the World!
So what is Ehrmann MIXIM™?  A new, creamy fat-free Greek yogurt in a unique heart-shaped container that features two delicious “mix-in” ingredients that let consumers customize their yogurt experience.

Right now you can find the six extraordinary flavors in California, Arizona and Nevada at Albertsons, Bashas and Safeway for $1.89-$1.99 per 5.3 ounce container.  The yogurts are free of artificial preservatives, additives, colors and sweeteners!  The six flavors are: 
  • Blackberry+ Pomegranate and Granola + Dried Fruit
  • Honey and Coconut + Almonds
  • Mango + Pineapple and Coconut + Almonds
  • Cherry and Dark Chocolate Curls
  • Raspberry and Dark + White Chocolate curls
  • Strawberries and Granola

I really enjoyed the smooth and creamy texture of the yogurt, it wasn't tart and I loved controlling the portions of the toppings!  The absolute favorite for me is mango with pineapple and coconut & almonds!  The mango popped and woke up my taste and smell senses - it was so flavorful and didn't taste fake.  I am a huge fan!!!  I also sampled cherry and dark chocolate curls and
raspberry and dark + white chocolate curls - so so yummy!
436 people ready to set a Guinness World Record for the "Most Couples Simultaneously Feeding Each Other."
Attempting it!
Photo courtesy of: Ehrmann MIXIM
We did it!!!  The world record was achieved and the company donated $20,000 to its charity partner, the Children's Heart Foundation.  YAY!

I chased the official certificate down - isn't it the coolest?!
Everyone was treated to Journey cover band, Don't Stop Believin' and a beautiful Valentine's themed fireworks display to celebrate!
Photo courtesy of: Ehrmann MIXIM

Additionally, MIXIM will be donating $1 for every photo uploaded with the #MIXIMLOVE hashtag up to $5k - by entering, you have a chance to win an iPad Air and $1000 in Visa gift cards!

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Simple Start Activities For You & Me! #lovehealthyme

Disclosure:  I wrote this blog post as part of a movement by Weight Watchers to encourage people to remember that loving yourself starts with taking care of your healthy everyday.  Though I was compensated for my time and commitment, all views, positive and negative, are my own.

When this project hit my inbox I seriously screamed at my husband that this was totally me and I would be honored to work on it.  All because I am a huge advocate of loving yourself.  I didn't get to this point in my life for years but when I did, it was clear that in order to be happy with me I had to work on my insides first and eventually the outside works itself out.  Naturally change is incredibly hard for anyone and you simply don't have to wait till the new year every year to set new goals - you can start on any given day.  And my simple start happened on February 14th and I've been going strong for a whole week!  The idea behind simple start is doing small activities little by little to make an easy transition to getting healthy.  Think of it as choose your own adventure!  I decided to tackle 6 activities and do them everyday.    


My days and nights are split between working from home and attending events - snacking is inevitable and I am totally guilty of having chocolate in my bag.  I attended a conference and brought fruit in another bag to hold me over till mealtime.  I was so proud of myself!
I usually am good about "me" time but it consists of checking Instagram while laying in bed or binge watching bad reality tv.  I decided to curl up on the couch and re-read one of my favorite books before bed this week!
So I totally didn't buy this pair but rewarding myself consists of shoe shopping.  I am at my happiest when I'm checking out new shoes.

Do you do any of these activities right now?
Do you see yourself committing to one or all of these activities in the future?

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

New Breakfast Sandwiches At Denny's!

Disclosure:  I partnered with Denny's for this post.  All thoughts are my own.

Having a meal at Denny's is a big deal to my 8 year old Duke.  But it isn't only a celebration to him, it's kinda a big deal for me too.  No sweating in the kitchen for a couple hours and no dirty dishes to worry about.  It is a little piece of freedom.  Especially when you work at home...I'm always cooking the same stuff for the littles!  Oh the monotony.  To keep the menu fresh, each month Denny's will highlight a new "Monthly Features" menu!  The new Breakfast Sandwiches caught my eye - you can get the Loaded Breakfast Sandwich or Fit Fare Breakfast Sandwich for $4 each or you can make it a plate!  I didn't realize my Denny's was so budget-friendly, on Tuesday and Saturday nights, kids eat FREE!  Our total for two adult entrees and two kids meals was under $16!  Hello once-a-month visit!

I cannot force this happiness.
And of course he wanted to be in all my pictures after that!  I did get the Fit Fare Breakfast Plate but confession!  I didn't get turkey bacon, I got bacon cause that's just how I do.  MY SANDWICH WAS DELICIOUS.  Yes even the egg whites, veggies, fruit and yogurt.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Jungle Book With Mi Familia #LoMasVital

Disclosure:  This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Latina Mom Bloggers and Disney Studios.  However, all opinions expressed are my own.

One of our favorite family activities is watching movies, especially when we're at home.  My chulos actually sit down and we get to enjoy quality time with them.  I happily participated in a fun photo-a-day challenge that highlights how we're enjoying life and it led to finally watching The Jungle Book Diamond Edition, which is now available for the first time on Blue Ray™ and Digital.  The Jungle Book is a new one to us, I vaguely remember watching it as a kid but the Bare Necessities song always stood out to me... not only is it catchy but relates to life!  A topic we always talk about is the importance of our familia!  We're currently plotting our next fun adventure - to visit our families in Texas this Summer and the movie set everything in motion.  

Omie loves movies he can dance to!  Duke couldn't believe Disney made movies "way back then".  I don't know anyone that can hold back when The Jungle Book is on - we were a singing and dancing party over here!  The conversation was also deep with a question like, "why is that kid living with animals?" and celebrated with the realization that animals do care for humans.  I explained that it's a two way street and we have to take care of each other.  I guarantee we'll watch this movie again and again!        

Jungle Book
The Jungle Book inspired me to create a fun trail mix for everyone.  It will be perfect for our travels or hanging out at home when you crave something different!  All you need are apple chips, banana chips and chocolate chips!
Jungle Book
Put all the chips in a cup or bag and you are good to go!
Jungle Book

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I Went To The GRAMMYs!!! #PricelessSurprises

I still can't believe I went to The GRAMMYs!!!  I was on a whirlwind high from it all for the past month.  I'm gonna tell you how it went down by timeline.

10:30am - left my home to be at Cerritos Mall by 11am for my appointment at MAC
10:50am - the mall is packed with people, stores aren't officially open yet.  I'm thinking what is going on???
11am - MAC raises the gate, I'm in a mad dash with 12 other women to get inside.  I check-in and get seated
11:08am - The makeup artist introduces herself and asks what I have in mind - I show her a picture I found on Instagram and tell her, "I'm not expecting a miracle but this is the look I'm going for"

These are all the products used on my face.  MAC charges $50 to get your face done (you get to take home a brand new mascara) and extra if you want lashes.  I wanted lashes.  
I Went To The GRAMMYs #PricelessSurprises
50 minutes later... my face!  This was the first time I had a makeover I actually liked and the first time I ever wore fake eyelashes.  That was intense.    
I Went To The GRAMMYs #PricelessSurprises

Wendy, my +1 picked me up and we got to LA at about 1pm.  No traffic on the freeways but around the LA Live area was crazy.  Our first party was the MasterCard Pre-Grammy Reception - everyone flocked to the extravagant dessert table to check out the gramophone.  There was live music, good drinks and food.    
I Went To The GRAMMYs #PricelessSurprises I Went To The GRAMMYs #PricelessSurprises

3pm - We ventured out to see the action, we headed into Nokia and had to take a picture with an official GRAMMY gramophone.  While we were in line we did a lot of people watching, some of the outfits were super sparkly.
I Went To The GRAMMYs #PricelessSurprises
4pm - You have to be inside Staples Center by 4:30pm.  This is when they lock the doors.  Yes they really do.  What we found out later is that our tickets had special stickers on them and we could've walked on the actual red carpet.  Not the one the celebs walk on but the one behind it.  Yeah there's a few red carpets.  These little strips are what we walked on and people took pictures on.  Hey, it is a red carpet.
I Went To The GRAMMYs #PricelessSurprises
This scene actually surprised the hell out of me and is super popular on my Instagram - women in gowns ordering up McDonald's right before the show started.  What you can't see are tons of people eating on closed concessions stand counters.  Savages!  I Went To The GRAMMYs #PricelessSurprises
4:30pm - I tried to buy a bottle of water but the stands were closing so everyone had their butts planted in their seats to get The 56th Annual Grammy Awards started.  I was told to return at 5:15pm.  Wendy nonchalantly pointed out Quentin Tarantino and I told him I loved his movies and asked if we could take a picture.  He very very sweetly said no but thanked me and shook my hand.  We found our seats and I had to get a picture in even though I technically wasn't supposed to take pictures at all inside Staples Center.  I couldn't resist!

Around 4:50pm - general announcements are made to find your seats and this is in very bad blogger form but I forgot who addressed the crowd and introduced LL Cool J.  I'm assuming the producer of the show.  Also got to meet blogger friends Chelsea & Melissa!

I Went To The GRAMMYs #PricelessSurprisesPink was amazing flying above the crowd.

I Went To The GRAMMYs #PricelessSurprises
I didn't want to disrespect (or get sued by) The GRAMMYs by taking pictures all night so that's all you are gonna get!

9pm - The show ran late and we're newbies so we got to the Official GRAMMY Celebration After Party late and it was crazy.  The theme: Roarin' 20s.  All the tables were taken and no one was getting up so we roamed the ginormous space for about 30 minutes (with hurt feet!), grabbed some food and drinks before we approached a cute couple willing to share their small cocktail table with us.  

I Went To The GRAMMYs #PricelessSurprises
The drink menu - I really would've liked to the Patron or Ultimat signature drinks but I needed caffeine to keep me up.  I took a picture so you can make it at home!

I Went To The GRAMMYs #PricelessSurprises
The dinner menus were based on cities in the Roarin' 20s - got to rep Los Angeles!
 I Went To The GRAMMYs #PricelessSurprises I Went To The GRAMMYs #PricelessSurprises I Went To The GRAMMYs #PricelessSurprises I Went To The GRAMMYs #PricelessSurprises I Went To The GRAMMYs #PricelessSurprises
Got to meet one of the lovely couples that got married during the Same Love performance - Wendy Diaz and Monique Flores!

I Went To The GRAMMYs #PricelessSurprises I Went To The GRAMMYs #PricelessSurprises I Went To The GRAMMYs #PricelessSurprises

10pm - Ciara performed with her cute little baby bump and sounded SO GOOD!

I Went To The GRAMMYs #PricelessSurprises
12am - home in my pajamas!

You basically got a program if you attended the GRAMMYs.  If you attended the after party, you got a bag with the official nominees cd and 5 Gum.  My passes are on the right and you see that red sticker - I could've walked the red carpet!
I Went To The GRAMMYs #PricelessSurprises
The best "swag".
I Went To The GRAMMYs #PricelessSurprises
Questions from my friends!

Melissa of melissadell.com asked:  What happens during commercials?
It's actually really quiet while the sets are being changed out.  20 seconds before the show goes live again there is a countdown.  LL Cool J doesn't entertain us and we really only saw him about 3x!  

Chris of whatiruninto.com asked:  If you could do it again, what would you do differently? Arrive earlier/later? Dressed up/down? Interviewed attendees? Tweeted celebs while they were on-stage?
I think we arrived at a good time, I would've dressed up a little more and interviewed attendees.  I intended on making Instagram videos but everything is so crazy busy that you just kinda blank out...  I would've tweeted celebs but the reception inside wasn't the best.

Erica asked: Your first reactions, absolute favorite and unforgettable moments. Did you get any goodie bags? 
I flipped out when Beyonce and Jay-Z opened the show.  It was wild.  Meeting Quentin Tarantino was cool and seeing Paris Hilton walk in to the after party when we were walking out was surreal.  She looks like an angel in person, totally flawless.  I could not contain myself when Metallica performed, it was amazing.  Katy Perry and Juicy-J performance was just so weird.  Watching the backs of celebrities dancing during performances was also surreal but also made me feel a little bit stalkerish thinking they were right there in front of me.

Danyelle of thecubiclechick.com asked:  Who really sang. Who didn't?  I'm guessing Taylor Swift didn't really sing but I don't know.  All of them sounded so good.

Ruby of growingupblackxican.com asked: After party what was poppin? Favorite moments?  The after party was intense, like a wedding gone wild.  One of my favorite moments was seeing the couples come out during the Same Love performance and then talking to a few of them at the after party.  

I cannot thank MasterCard enough - this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will never ever forget.  Read how I found out I was going to the GRAMMYs here.  #PricelessSurprises 

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