Filing My Taxes With The Pros- H&R Block

This post is sponsored by H&R Block but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

This year I celebrated my Five-Year Bloggiversary! I can’t believe how fast the time has gone and how much my little Internet home as grown. What started as a simple hobby has turned into my full-time job and one that I’m incredibly proud of. At a time where blogging was still a new career path, I went full force with this passion and haven't looked back.

One of the many things I love about being a blogger is that I can work from the comfort of my own home and be my own boss. Which also means I have to be extremely disciplined because no one is going to be behind me reminding me of deadlines or motivating me to put in the work. The most important advice I have for someone who is looking into working from home is to set up a home office for yourself and get organized!

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I was guilty of working from my couch or if I was feeling lazy, my bed — both horrible choices for your posture and productivity. The moment I converted my spare room into my office, I saw that I was more focused and would get more work done. Feeling inspired is vital and if your space doesn't do that for you, then you need to change it up. Whether it's working from home or a coffee shop, find somewhere that can help boost your creativity.

When you view influencers or bloggers on Instagram, it sometimes can be deceiving how hard we work. Being a blogger means you're frequently a one-person show. You need to know about photography, social media, marketing, photo editing, public relations, website design, networking and many more aspects of running a business. It can be overwhelming at times but knowing that you built something from the ground up is a satisfying feeling.

Fortunately, when it comes to filing my taxes, I can leave that to the pros.

When I first started blogging, I didn't make any money. It wasn't until the second year that I received income from sponsored posts and collaborations. Bloggers are considered self-employed and when you have an LLC like me, taxes can get tricky. I knew I didn't know a single thing about filing taxes so using a tax professional made sense. When it comes to taxes, you don't want to make any mistakes or miss a deduction that could save you hundreds of dollars.  This year, I chose to file with the experts in taxes: H&R Block.  H&R Block makes filing taxes easy, helps you understand how the latest tax reform changes impact you and gives you the confidence your taxes are done right– no matter how complex they might be.

H&R Block

With H&R Block you have many choices on how to file your taxes. I chose to file in person because I like having the opportunity to talk to my tax professional face-to-face so I have that guidance and the peace of mind that my taxes are being filed correctly. Booking an appointment online was super easy and convenient. I scheduled an appointment the next day with Mrs. Pete, a wonderful lady from my local H&R Block office who is a tax expert familiar with the blogging world. Such a difference from when I filed my taxes three years ago. It took a long time to find someone who was somewhat familiar with blogging and even then, I didn't leave confident from that experience.

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I loved that H&R Block allowed me to select my tax pro and made sure to take care of the ALL the heavy lifting – they even helped guide me on what to bring to my appointment with a tax prep checklist. Being organized assisted with securing all the documents I needed. Another tip when working for yourself- organization! It will make your business run more smoothly and filing your taxes a lot easier.

When I first met with Mrs. Pete I knew instantly she was the real deal. I was the second blogger she had helped that month, and she even told me that her little niece was looking into starting a blog. That made me feel great. Sometimes when I mention I'm a blogger, people don't take me seriously. Mrs. Pete not only valued my work but was impressed as well. Such a great feeling!

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During my appointment, she explained the process in detail and helped me find every deduction. After going through everything, Mrs. Pete informed me that I had to pay less than what I was expecting! I think I screamed and cried tears of joy in her office. It's always a great feeling when you get money you didn’t expect.

Another great benefit from filing with H&R Block- you know the price of filing before you begin, so you’re not blindsided by an amount you’re not prepared for.

H&R Block

Overall, my experience with Mrs. Pete was the best tax filing experience I've ever had. From the ease of booking my appointment to filing with an expert who understood my business, I would highly recommend filing with H&R Block to anyone, whether you're self-employed or not.


Posted on April 1, 2019 and filed under Life.

Spring Fashion Finds

This post is sponsored by Walmart.com but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.


When it comes to finding the best deals for clothing, I’m a master! To me, expensive doesn’t always equate good style. I love purchasing affordable clothing that matches my personality but doesn't break the bank.

Over the years, I’ve narrowed down and have selected a few go to stores that always come through for me, but on rare occasions, I sometimes come back empty handed. This year I’ve decided that instead of limiting myself to a handful of stores, I want to venture out and hit up places I usually wouldn’t think of- such as Walmart.com!

Yes, Walmart! I’ve never bought any of my clothing from them before but after browsing through their We Dress America selection, I quickly became a fan of theirs for fashion !

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We Dress America is a ground-breaking new fashion campaign that celebrates fashion for all. They stand for style that’s original, doesn’t discriminate, and at prices that all of us can feel good about. We Dress America represents a diverse range of real people from across the country, expressing their personal style. That is something I can stand by and fully support!

Here are a few items I picked out for Spring from a few of the amazing brands featured in their new We Dress America selection!

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Two styles I love and tend to gravitate towards are floral print and off the shoulder. And this No Boundaries junior's printed off-the-shoulder blouse has both! It's made from a super-soft and lightweight jersey knit fabric that doesn't feel restricted on my body. It's perfect for both casual and dressy occasions. Pair with skinny jeans and sandals for an easy, sophisticated outfit, or with shorts and sneakers for a breezy Spring ensemble.

A quick way to change up the style is by just adding a jean jacket. Whenever I go out, I always like to bring a light jacket or sweater with me. This Marianella denim jacket from Sofía Jeans by Sofía Vergara, sold exclusively at Walmart.com, is the perfect jean jacket staple for your closet. Made of super-soft and stretchy denim, it'll keep you moving freely from getting your morning coffee to a girls night out! I can already picture myself wearing it with a cute Spring dress.

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For everyday wear, I love wearing jeans and a nice comfortable knit top. I pick comfort over anything and with this cute Time and Tru Women's short sleeve knot t-shirt I can be comfortable yet stylish all at the same time. The knot detailing on the sleeves adds a subtle flair to a solid design shirt. And guess what? This top comes in 8 different colors, so you already know I’m getting at least three more. I’m wearing the Lilac Glaze Heather color.

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Make sure you check out Walmart’s new assortment of Spring apparel. Trust me; you’ll spend hours browsing through their amazing selection that features many brands you probably didn’t know Walmart.com carried.

Make sure to take advantage of their free 2-day shipping and returns for most purchases over $35. Let me know which items you purchase, would love to check them out!


Posted on March 25, 2019 and filed under Style.

Starting My Mornings with Bioré

This post is sponsored by Bioré, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.



We’re already into the second month of the new year and I’m so happy with how consistent I’ve been with my morning routine. With anything in life, being disciplined and dedicated are the keys to success. No matter how lazy or tired I am, I make sure to complete my routine before I can start my day.

I always begin by stretching for 30 seconds. You’re in bed for so many hours, it’s good for the body to warm up and stretch. Afterwards I make my bed. This is very important. If all else fails, make sure you never leave your house without your bed being made. It sounds silly but it really does set the tone for the day.

I’ve been trying to meditate daily but some days are harder than others. Keeping your mind still is not easy but practice makes perfect and I believe that more I meditate, the more I’ll be able to control my negative thoughts throughout the day.

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I then make myself some warm lemon water and journal. I’ve been journaling for the past four years and it has honestly been a game changer. Starting your day with gratitude makes me feel at peace and like I can take on anything the day throws at me.

Something that is also very high on my list is skincare. Having healthy skin not only makes you look good but also makes you feel good. Confident and beautiful. Using quality products is also a must.

One of the brands I trust and use is Bioré.

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My main skin issues are breakouts and large pores. And who knows more about pores than Bioré?

Everything they do revolves around deep cleaning all 20,000 pores because they know that clear skin starts with clean pores.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been using their Witch Hazel Pore Clarifying Toner and Ultra Deep Cleansing Pore Strips.

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Their toner has one of the best formulas out there. Formulated to help treat and prevent blemishes, this astringent will keep your face smooth and clear. Salicylic acid penetrates pores to help treat blemishes and reduce breakouts and Witch Hazel is a natural ingredient known for pore and complexion benefits: Tighten pores, naturally purify, fortify skin barrier, refresh and heal.

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What is hiding in your pores can be downright scary and these extra-strength pore strips are work like a super-magnet and lift out even the most stubborn blackheads and deep down dirt & oil that can lead to complexion problems.

After using Bioré I can confidently put on my makeup and start my day!

What are some of your must do’s in your morning routine?


Posted on January 31, 2019 and filed under Beauty.

Take Charge of Your Health with Nurx

This post is sponsored by Nurx, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.


Did you know January is Cervical Health Awareness Month?

HPV, or Human Papillomavirus, is the most commonly transmitted STI with nearly 80 million Americans currently infected and with 14 million people newly infected each year, HPV causes nearly 34,000 new cervical cancer diagnoses. Those are staggering statistics!

As women, we are responsible for taking charge of our health and getting tested. Sometimes life and obligations takes us away from keeping track of our health, but preventative care is key to staying healthy.

The good news is that cervical cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer. You can check your risk for cervical cancer with a pap smear or HPV test. For women 30 and older, you can either have a pap smear every three years, an HPV test  every five years or a pap smear and HPV test every five years .

Now more than ever, it’s super convenient to get tested right in the comfort and privacy of your own home, thanks to Nurx.

Nurx

Nurx Home HPV Screen Test

Nurx is healthcare company that provides women all over the US access to convenient, affordable and judgement-free healthcare.  Nurx’s Home HPV test is the same quality as a pap smear, and is a much more affordable and convenient option to check your risk for cervical cancer.

While Nurx’s services, like the Home HPV Screening Test, are incredibly convenient option for anyone, Nurx is especially focused on reaching women who lack access to  traditional healthcare services – whether they don’t live near a medical clinic, can’t afford health care, or don’t have health insurance.  Tests are only $15 with insurance, which covers the shipping and processing and  $69 without insurance.

Nurx

Being a women in my early 30's, my main focus is staying on top of my health. Which is why making my annual checks up and testing is extremely important to me. Sadly, women 30 and over are not getting a pap smear as often as they should.

Nurx offers Home HPV kit for women 25 and over – for women 25-29, that is a great option to check your risk in between pap smears, although guidelines still recommend getting a pap smear every three years. The test kit will check for 14 strains of HPV that have a higher risk of leading to cervical cancer.

Most men and women are infected with HPV at some point in their lives (80 percent of sexually active people) while most are unaware they have the virus. Which is why services such as Nurx is working hard to create a better environment for women in regards to their healthcare.

How The Kit Works:

  • Download the Nurx app or visit Nurx.com

  • Answer a few questions about your health and we’ll ship you a kit straight to your door.

  • When you open the kit, you’ll see it includes:

  1. An extra long q-tip

  2. A plastic tube

  3. A plastic bag

  4. A sticker with a barcode

  5. And a prepaid return envelope

Nurx

How To Use The Home HPV Kit:

  • Hold the swab with one hand and insert the swab just like you would with a tampon

  • Gently turn the swab in a circle against the wall of your vagina for 30 seconds.

  • Then drop the swab in the tube, and drop it in the bag.

  • Place the bag in the pre-paid envelope, and drop it in the mail!

  • Once your sample arrives, you’ll get your results from their medical team in just a few days.

If your results are negative, this means your risk for cervical cancer is very low and do not need additional testing for another three years.

If your results are positive, this does not mean you have cervical cancer. Nurx’s medical team will work closely with you to help figure out the next steps!

This year make it a mission to take charge of your health with Nurx!  Bonus: you can also order birth control prescribed & delivered to your home from Nurx too! 


Posted on January 23, 2019 and filed under Wellness.

Be Gentle to Your Skin with Dove Body Wash

This post is sponsored by Dove but the content and opinions expressed are my own.


For the past couple of years, I’ve become somewhat obsessed with taking care of my skin. I never knew the importance of implementing a good skincare routine until I started having one consistently. It made a huge difference in my skin’s appearance and texture. Since then, I’ve been hooked and always am on the search for products that care for my skin.

Whenever I think of skincare routine, I think of taking care of my face. As do many people. But in reality, skincare involves every inch of your body - did you know skin is your largest organ?

Crazy to think we often neglect something so big!

Finding the right products is equally as important. That is why I’m so excited to be partnering with Dove to share their line of Body Wash.

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A few years ago, I had laser hair removal for my entire body. Since I don’t shave anymore, my body never gets exfoliated, which is needed to remove dead skin cells and allow moisture to penetrate better.

Whenever the weather gets cold, my skin tends to get dry. A few weeks ago, I thought I needed to incorporate shaving back into my weekly routine in order to remove a layer of dry skin. However, it didn’t make sense to have spent thousands of dollars in hair removal if I was going to be wasting time shaving again.

I decided to use Dove Gentle Exfoliating Body Wash to see if it would help with my dry skin. After the first time using it, I noticed such a huge difference in my skin and its microbiome.

Dove Bodywash

The microbiome is the skin’s living protective layer, and a balanced, diverse skin microbiome serves an important role in keeping skin healthy, moisturized, and resilient. To maintain a balanced skin microbiome, you need to be gentle on your skin. Using gentle products, such as Dove Body Wash, can help!

With a profile as mild as water, Dove Body Wash is microbiome gentle. Dove is also the #1 dermatologist recommended bodywash, made with 100% gentle cleansers, free of sulfates and pH balanced.

Dove Bodywash

To care for your skin, you can use Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash, Dove Gentle Exfoliating Body Wash, or Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash. All three products are microbiome gentle and make a great addition to your shower routine.

Dove Bodywash

Whichever you choose, you can be assured you’re using a good quality product on your body - which is a top priority when taking care of your skin.

You can find Dove Body Wash sold in mass, food and drug retailers nationwide with a suggested retail price of $6 for a 22 fl. oz bottle. Great product at a great price. You can’t beat that!


Posted on January 10, 2019 and filed under Beauty.

Celebrations With Yealands Wine

This post is sponsored by Yealands Wine but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

The holidays are such a special time for me. It’s where I get to reflect on the amazing memories created throughout the year and set new intentions for the upcoming one.

One thing that is always present is my lifelong friends and our ability to always show up for each other. Not many people are blessed to be surrounded by genuine souls, so any chance I get I love to celebrate life and the special people in it.

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With everyone rushing around and being pulled in different directions, it’s always nice when we can all get together because no matter how busy we get, we always make time for each other. And what better time than during the holidays!

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Winter Wonderland was the theme of the night and everyone was feeling the holiday spirit. There are three things needed to have a great party: good food, great conversations, and amazing wine!

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We savored on Peter Yealands Sauvignon Blanc throughout the evening. It paired well with all the appetizers and food served that day. I wanted to serve my guests a white wine that had a crisp yet not overpowering taste. A wine that would perfectly complement the occasion.

And I think I picked the perfect one!

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Crafting wines in harmony with nature is why Yealands leads the world in sustainable wine growing, resulting in great tasting without negatively affecting the earth.

Based in the Awatere Valley – the southernmost, coolest and driest of Marlborough's growing regions – Yealands is one of only a handful of wineries around the world to be certified as carbon neutral and the first-ever to be certified from inception.

Not only has Yealands established themselves as globally-recognized producers of premium wine but they have also won numerous prestigious sustainability awards that only amplifies their mission. Makes me happy to support such a great brand.

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To me, a rich life is all about nurturing your relationships and always creating new memories. No matter what comes my way, I know I’ll always have a reason to celebrate and be grateful. And of course with a glass of wine in hand.

Cheers to loving and living life!

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Posted on December 21, 2018 and filed under Food & Entertaining.

Sweeten Up Any Occasion With Roscato Wine!

This post is sponsored by Roscato Wine but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. 

Last year I tried Roscato wine for the first time and ever since it’s been my go-to wine. I make sure to always keep a few bottles in my house for any occasion.

When it comes to wine, I tend to gravitate towards sweet wines and mostly whites. The only time I like to drink red wine is in a sangria. That all changed when I had Roscato Sweet Red. I was hooked! Naturally, I went online to learn more about this delicious brand.

My latest obsession, Roscato Rosé Dolce (Sweet Rosé)!

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First of all, can we talk about how gorgeous the bottles are? Blush and gold scream out girls’ night! And that’s exactly how I introduced my girlfriends to Roscato Rosé.

It’s been raining the past couple of days, which honestly makes me want to just curl up on my couch with a nice glass of wine and catch up on my shows.

Although this week that’s pretty much been my routine, I decided to have a couple of my girlfriends over to keep me company. What could be better than being cozy with some pizza and wine?

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My friends and I have similar wine preferences, so I knew they would love Roscato Rosé just as much as I do.

And I was right. The moment they had their first sip, their eyes lit up. We had a winner on our hands!

Roscato is an irresistible range of high-quality wines from the northern Italian region of Lombardy. With low alcohol of 7% and just a touch of sweetness to it, Roscato is the ideal complement to any cuisine… and any girls’ night in!

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There is something about wine and girlfriends that brings me so much happiness. Every time I spend time with my friends, I feel rejuvenated and so blessed to have them in my life. We can literally talk for hours and have the best time doing nothing but eating and drinking.

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I’m excited to try out more wines from the Roscato collection. If they’re anything like the two I’ve had so far, I know I’ll enjoy them as well.

Have you tried Roscato before? What’s your favorite?

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Posted on December 10, 2018 and filed under Food & Entertaining.

Hamilton Coming to The Dr. Phillips Center in Orlando: Best Way To Get Tickets

If you haven’t heard, Hamilton is part of the 2018-2019 Broadway season and is coming to Orlando to the Dr. Phillips Center from January 22-February 10th!

Before you get excited, getting your hands on tickets will not be easy. Tickets are expected to sell out immediately for all 24 performance dates.

Since the demand for tickets is high, be aware of scams that will most likely surface within the next few days. The only place to purchase tickets for the Orlando shows will be on the official Dr. Phillips Center website.

The staff has spent weeks planning for this day. “This is our Super Bowl” - everything from new security measures and ticket checkout process has been implemented in order to ensure a smooth and safe experience for everyone.

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When Will Tickets Go On Sale?

Tickets for Hamilton go on sale to the public Friday, November 16 at 9 a.m.

How Do I Get Tickets?

Dr. Phillips Center is the only authorized source to buy tickets. If you buy tickets from any other website, you are likely overpaying and may be buying invalid seats. Dr. Phillips Center can only guarantee your tickets will be accepted for entry if they’re purchased through them.

What Is the Preferred Method To Buy a Ticket?

Your best chance to score tickets will be on drphillipscenter.org.

Things to do before tickets go on sale in order to increase your chances:

1. Create an online account at DrPhillipsCenter.org.

2. Pick out your preferred dates and seating.

3. Store your payment information ahead of time- this will save you a few minutes when purchasing your tickets.

4. Log in at 8am on November 16th. You'll be placed on a "virtual waiting room". Everyone in the waiting room will be assigned a random place in line. Once you are randomly assigned, your place in line is secure as long as you stay online. Guests logging on after 9 a.m. will be placed in order at the back of the line. If you are still in the waiting room and the tickets become unavailable, you will be notified with a message on your screen that there are no tickets left.

Follow Dr. Phillips Center on their social platforms and sign up for their e-newsletter for any On Sale announcements.

How Much Will Tickets Cost?

Ticket prices range from $76.50 to $199.50. Front orchestra VIP tickets are $429.50. No group tickets or student rush discounts will be available.

If by any chance you’re not one of the lucky ones to score tickets, there will be a digital lottery. Around forty (40) tickets will be set aside for the lottery, $10 each. To be the first to know about the lottery, sign up for their email list at drphillipscenter.org/email, or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get the latest updates on the show.

Is There A Ticket Limit?

There is a strict limit of four (4) tickets per household address to allow as many people as possible to see the show. After all available tickets are sold, all online purchases will be reviewed. Any and all purchases found violating the Hamilton ticket policy will be canceled without further consideration.

Can I Exchange My Hamilton Tickets for Another Performance?

Broadway Across America subscriber ticket exchanges for Hamilton will be restricted and tickets cannot be transferred online. You will be notified when the exchange window of Hamilton begins.

Single tickets purchased for other shows cannot be exchanged for Hamilton.

Will Lin-Manuel Miranda Be In The Show?

No, this will be an all-new cast, but it will be produced with the same attention to detail and high quality as the Broadway production.

 

Hamilton Musical

Hamilton is the story of America's founding father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington's right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first treasury secretary. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B and Broadway, Hamilton is the story of America then, as told by America now.


Posted on November 14, 2018 and filed under Shows.

Making Memories at Alden Suites Beachfront Resort in St. Petersburg

One of my favorite cities in Florida is St. Petersburg, which is located in the gulf coast and is part of the Tampa Bay area. From the Dali Museum, to amazing shopping and culinary experiences, this city has so much to offer.

A couple of weeks ago, Alden Suites invited a group of Central Florida bloggers to enjoy a weekend stay in their beachfront resort.

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As soon as we arrived, we were greeted by the friendly staff and were treated to a welcome reception, which included a speech from the CEO of the resort as well as delicious appetizers and drinks from 1200 Chophouse, a local St Pete steakhouse.

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After mingling and getting to know the other bloggers, we were all treated to a sunset cruise- which was the highlight of the evening! There is nothing more beautiful and peaceful than watching the sun set from the water. The colors in the sky were simply breathtaking!

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The next morning we woke up refreshed and ready to take on the action packed day. Alden Suites, in collaboration with Suncoast Watersports, provided a bucket list of activities for us to take part in. The great thing about Alden Suites is that you can have the best of both worlds- great atmosphere to just kick back relax and work on your tan or fun water activities to get your blood flowing.

We opted for both!

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We decided to do waverunners and parasailing but there is also paddleboarding, kayaking and snorkeling available.

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After all the fun in the sun, we worked up a huge appetite! Luckily, Snapper’s food truck was on property, so we didn’t have to go far for lunch. We both ordered the Mahi Mahi tacos and they were the best seafood tacos I’ve ever had! So fresh and flavorful!

Plus, you can’t beat lunch with a view!

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From start to finish, Alden Suites provided an unforgettable weekend filled with comfort, fun and a WOW factor found all throughout the property.

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Situated on four acres of private beachfront, Alden Suites boats 141 one-bedroom suites, each designed with the comforts of home. Amenities include free Wi-Fi throughout the resort and every guestroom, plush beds, flat screen HD TV’s, fully equipped kitchenettes (with Publix grocery deliver service available), large closets, and comfy living rooms with plenty of space to spread out.

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Most rooms also feature private balconies with stunning views of the pristine white sand beach.

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It’s no surprise this beautiful beachfront resort boats Trip Advisor’s Award of Excellence and Traveler’s Choice- providing the perfect combination of relaxation, recreation and value.

Take a look at all the suites available and book your next vacation at Alden Suites!

*GIVEAWAY*

Alden Suites was nice enough to give one of my readers the chance to WIN a Two (2) Night Stay in a Poolside One Bedroom Suite! All you have to do is follow me @fiorella.reategui and @AldenSuites on Instagram and tag who you would take with you on my latest IG post. Super easy!

Winner will be chosen on 11/19/18.

Good luck!


Posted on October 26, 2018 and filed under Travel.

Finding Your Balance. Four Easy Ways To Improve Your Day

This post is sponsored by Himalayan Water but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

Self improvement is something I strive to always make time for. I know first hand how important keeping both my mental and physical health in check is. From my mood, productivity and self esteem, if I don’t feel balanced and aligned, I’ll immediately notice a shift.

Here are four things I do daily that help me stay on track and focused.

EXPRESS GRATITUDE

Every morning and right before I go to bed, I write three things I’m grateful for in my journal. I’ve been journaling for the past four years and it’s something that if I don’t do, I feel like something is off. There are different ways to express gratitude though, from daily grateful walks, meditation, or even saying it out loud, whatever works for you.

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

― Ralph Waldo Emerson

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STAY HYDRATED

Being kind to our bodies not only consists of exercising and eating well. Keeping hydrated and making sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water is vital to our health. I never realized how little amount I was drinking until I started keeping track of my water intake. There were days where I was lucky to have one glass in my system. The best way to drink more water is to keep a water bottle with you at all times.

Consuming pure water is just as important as the amount you drink. I was recently introduced to Himalayan Water and love the crisp clean taste it has.

Himalayan Natural Mineral Water is a naturally balanced mineral water sourced directly from the Shivalik Range in the Himalayan Mountains. The water is never touched by human hands, as every drop filters through the mountains for 20 years until it arrives in a confined aquifer 400 feet below ground. It is bottled at the source and brought to the United States.

The balanced pH and the ideal proportions of minerals and electrolytes create a smooth, great taste making Himalayan Water a premium balanced water brand.

READ DAILY

I recently went to a Tony Robbins conference and one of the biggest takeaways I got from him was the importance of reading- especially self help books. Leaders are Readers. There is so much wealth of knowledge found in books that wasting my time doing things that aren’t productive doesn’t appeal to me anymore. I also listen to podcasts and audio books but my favorite is still reading physical books. I love growing my collection, so if you have any book recommendations, comment them below.

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GO OUTSIDE

Since I work from home, there are days where I don’t even step outside the whole day. Getting some fresh air and changing your scenery will not only give you a nice little break but also some mental clarity. Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, I take a quick 5 min walk around my neighborhood and I come back feeling refreshed! It’s amazing how only 5 mins can relax you plus it’s a great way to sneak in a few sips of your water. Win-win for sure!

How do you find balance?

To find more inspiration, check out Himalayan Water’s Instagram page.

Posted on September 24, 2018 and filed under Wellness.

From Day to Night

This post is sponsored by Kohl’s. I was paid for this post and received the included shoes as compensation.

 

When it comes to Fall Fashion, I love pieces that I can easily transform from daytime to nighttime outfits. It saves me from having to pick out or purchase a brand new outfit, plus it gets me out the door much quicker. And I’m all about saving time and money!

I purchased this cute floral dress a few months ago and I love how versatile it is. It can be worn any season and can be dressed up or down- it’s all about how you accessorize it.

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The best way to change up your look is by changing up your shoes. It’s a simple swap and completely transforms any outfit. 

For a casual look, I love wearing white sneakers! I wear my BRENNAN sneakers from madden NYC all the time and the classic silhouette and easy slip-on fit makes it my favorite everyday style. More and more, I’m seeing dressy outfits paired with white sneakers and they always look so fashionable. Such an effortless way to combine comfort with fashion. Add a jean jacket and you have yourself a super cute outfit that looks good on everyone.

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The BRENNAN sneakers come in nine different colors and the white one has a cute black/red design in the back of the shoe. It adds a nice little touch to a plain white sneaker.

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Transition your day to night look by adding a classic black heel. For Fall, I love wearing heel boots. I found these madden NYC ROCKETT women’s high heel ankle boots and I had to get them. 

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I love the gold accents and open but closed concept- perfect to show off your pedicure. I also incorporated a black belt. That’s it! And look how different it looks from my daytime outfit. 

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The madden NYC ROCKETT heels also come in red and rose pink color. Which would all go perfectly with my dress.

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Kohl’s has the latest madden NYC for the fall season at such great prices. Their current Fall Sale on most sandals are $39.99, Orig 49.99 and $5 off boots! Check out the latest madden NYC styles here.

 

My blog may contain links to other websites. I am not responsible for the privacy policies of those other websites. When you click on a link, your information may be collected by those websites so I encourage you to read their privacy policies. Any affiliate links are not associated with Kohl’s.


Posted on August 13, 2018 and filed under Style.

5 Tips to Boost Women's Heath

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LetsTalkPlanB #CollectiveBias #ad

 

To look and feel your best at any age, it’s important to make smart lifestyle and health choices. When you're young, health is the last thing on your mind. But that is exactly when preventive care should start, ideally in your early 20's and continue throughout the years. Women's health should be an ongoing process and something you should take pride in.

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Here are 5 Tips to Boost Women's Health:
 

EAT A BALANCED DIET

Getting the proper nutrition is important for your overall health. Try to incorporate a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods. Eat whole grains and high-fiber foods and choose leaner cuts of meat, fish, and poultry.
 
Eating healthy doesn't mean you have to forgo your favorite glass of wine or a piece of chocolate cake now and then. The key is moderation. Eating a balanced diet will help you maintain an ideal weight for your height, which is important because being overweight can lead to a number of illnesses.

 
MANAGE STRESS

Mental health is just as important as your physical health. No matter what stage of her life, daughter, mother, or grandmother, a woman often wears many hats and deals with a lot of pressure and stress. If not managed properly, stress can have significant health consequences, from infertility to higher risks of depression, anxiety and heart disease.  
You can manage stress with exercise, relaxation techniques, or meditation.
 

EXERCISE

Women need a mix of cardio and resistance or weight-bearing exercise at least three to five times a week. Aerobic exercises (walking, swimming, jogging, bicycling, dancing), which can be done outside of a gym, are great ways to get your body moving while at the same time having fun. Exercise promotes good self-image as well, which is important to a woman's mental health.


DOCTOR VISITS

Don't skip your annual checkup. Prevention or taking care of any illness or disease early on can make a big difference. Make sure you get a Pap test to check for cervical cancer every three years if you are 21 or older. If you are 30-65, you can get both a Pap test and HPV test every five years. If you have certain risk factors, your doctor may recommend more-frequent Pap tests, regardless of your age. Older than 65, women may be able to stop testing if their doctor says they are low risk. In any case,  if you are sexually active, always use protection and get tested for any STDs.

 
Family Planning

Getting to decide when, if ever, and under what circumstances to have kids means having more freedom to pursue educational, personal, and professional goals. Having kids is a blessing but also requires a lot of responsibility. Being financially and emotionally stable and ready to support the child would be the desired setting when starting a family.

A method to decrease your chances of an unwanted pregnancy after unprotected sex or a birth control failure is by taking the Plan B One-Step pill. 
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WHAT IS PLAN B? 

Plan B One-Step emergency contraception is a backup plan that helps prevent pregnancy when taken as directed within 72 hours (3 days) after unprotected sex or birth control failure. 


HOW DOES PLAN B WORK?

Plan B One-Step is a product with just one tablet that contains levonorgestrel. This hormone has been used in many birth control pills, but- Plan B One-Step contains a single, higher dose of levonorgestrel and works in a similar way to help prevent pregnancy. Use as directed.
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Plan B One-Step works mainly by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary (delaying ovulation) – it helps to prevent pregnancy BEFORE it begins. The sooner you take it, the better it works. A common misconception is that Plan B is an abortion pill. This is false and it will not affect a beginning or existing pregnancy.
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Plan B One-Step is available for any woman who needs it—with no age restriction. You can find it at CVS, over the counter. If you cannot locate it within the store, you can always ask the pharmacist and they will be able to help. You do not need an ID or prescription to purchase. 
Use this link for a $10 off coupon. Use as directed.
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Taking Plan B One-Step will not impact a woman’s future (or long-term) fertility and is an important option for all women and their family planning efforts. 


Posted on August 8, 2018 and filed under Wellness.

Summer Fun with Malibu Rum

This post is sponsored by Malibu Rum but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

 

I remember Malibu Coconut Rum with pineapple juice was the first alcoholic beverage I ever had. I couldn't believe how delicious and refreshing it was! It had the perfect blend of coconut and pineapple- two of my favorite fruits.

Fast forward ten years later and it's still one of my go-to drinks!

Whenever I think of summer and outdoor fun- Malibu Rum always comes to mind.

Malibu Rum is like sunshine in a bottle with a smooth, fresh flavor. That's why it's the world's best-selling coconut flavored Caribbean rum and my personal favorite. In addition to the classic coconut original, there are seven different flavors, including the New Malibu Lime.

What I love most about Malibu Rums is that the flavors pair perfectly with any mixer and you don't need too many ingredients to make a tasty drink. I added lemon-lime soda, ice, fresh mint leaves and a little bit of freshly squeezed lime juice to my glass.

Garnish with mint or a lime wedge, and you have yourself a refreshing summer drink.

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Whenever you're hosting an outdoor pool party, a nicely decorated table for drinks and food is all you need and will make your party stand out.

If there is a theme involved, even better! You don't have to break the bank to have a nice party either. Incorporating ingredients and anything that is bright and shiny is always a fun way to take your party to the next level. Guests will appreciate it, and you'll look like an amazing host.

Whether with one friend or twenty, celebrations are meant to make you feel good. Being around water, good friends and delicious drinks, always makes me happy and excited to have more summer get-togethers.

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Give your summer celebration an extra twist with the new Malibu Lime!

Want to have your own Malibu summer experience? Learn how you could win a 4-day/3-night trip for two (2) to Malibu, California by visiting this link!

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Posted on July 30, 2018 and filed under Food + Drinks.

Celebrating Special Moments with Faustino Wine

This post is sponsored by Faustino but the content and opinions expressed are my own. #DiscoverFaustino

 

When it comes to having real and lasting friendships, I hit the jackpot! Not a day goes by where I don’t feel genuine love and support from them. From small wins to major accomplishments, I know I can always count on my girlfriends to cheer me on. 

I once read a quote that said, “When all is said and done, if you can count all your true friends on one hand, consider yourself lucky.” 

I couldn’t agree more.

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One of my favorite activities to do is to get together with my best friends and catch up. With so many things going on in our lives, it’s always nice to take the time from our crazy schedules to hang out, especially when there is something exciting to celebrate!

And what better way to celebrate special moments than with a nice glass of wine!

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I recently met up with my friend to congratulate her for landing a new job at an amazing sales company and to raise a glass to me for moving into my new apartment. It always feels nice to have a friend experience the same joy as you would when something great happens in your life. No jealousy or competition, just pure excitement for one another.

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We decided to celebrate at our neighborhood beach with some Faustino White and Rosé wine- my favorites, and an epic sunset!

Up until recently, I wasn’t a big wine drinker, but now, I love discovering different types of wines. If you haven’t heard or tried Faustino selections, check them out! The taste of both the Rosé and White wines are clean, bright and with a hint of fruity flavors. They’re sweet but not overpowering. The perfect blend!

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Faustino has more than 150 years of experience in the production and aging of premium wines. They own about 650 hectares of vineyards in the best areas of the DOCa Rioja, in the municipalities of Laguardia and Oyon, and it is one of the largest owners of vineyards in Rioja, Spain.

Love and respect for nature are two of the pillars on which the philosophy of the winery is based.

In recent years, Faustino has incorporated new, environmentally-friendly grape growing practices to make their vineyards increasingly sustainable.

Love supporting these type of companies and brands.

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Being able to share special moments with friends is priceless! And having a glass (or two) of wine makes the moment even sweeter!

To learn more about Faustino, check out their website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!


Posted on July 4, 2018 and filed under Life.

Little Black Dressed Approved

This post is sponsored by Degree Women but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

 

This past week I attended Feeding Children Everywhere's 2nd Annual Hunger Awards Gala at the Dr. Phillip's Center. It was such an honor being in a room full of real life heroes who have made or are making a difference in people's lives, especially young children.

By donating their time and resources, they are impacting and helping out families that struggle to put food in their table. Such a wonderful organization and cause.  

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When it comes to dressing up for events, 99% of the time, I opt for a little black dress. As much as my grandma tells me to add color into my wardrobe and venture out with new patterns, I always gravitate towards anything black.

I purchased this Gianna Bini dress two years ago, and since then, I've worn it to two weddings and to another event- so I definitely got my money's worth with this number.

I love how elegant and comfortable it is and appropriate for any occasion. 

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SHOP SIMILAR LOOK:

Attending events such as this one can sometimes be a bit nerve wrecking. You are mingling with important people and always want to make a great first impression. That means looking and feeling your best.

Before putting on my black dress I made sure to put on Degree’s UltraClear Black+White Dry Spray Deodorant. It helped me stay fresh and dry during and after the event, for up to 48 hours! And the best part? This deodorant prevents white or yellow stains on my black dress, which is something I always worry about with other brands.

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Degree’s UltraClear Black+White Dry Spray Deodorant is Dermatologist-tested and alcohol-free and has MOTIONSENSE technology, which is scientifically proven to help with excessive sweating. This unique body heat-activated formula keeps you dry and fresh all day - and then some. It instantly responds to changes in your body temperature to help you stay dry.

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Two great benefits all packed into this little spray!

I love how it goes on instantly dry. No need to wait a super long time to put on my dress. I can just spray and go.

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For your next black dress event, make sure to pick up the Little Black Dress approved Degree’s UltraClear Black+White Dry Spray Deodorant! It's conveniently located in the Antiperspirants & Deodorant aisle at Walmart.  


Posted on June 28, 2018 and filed under Beauty.

How the LivingWith™ Mobile App Helps Manage Life With Cancer

Thank you Pfizer for sponsoring this post. Join Pfizer’s This Is Living With Cancer™ initiative by sharing your story with #InspirationLives on Facebook and Instagram to support and inspire those who have been affected by cancer, and be sure to check out the LivingWith™ mobile app available via iTunes and Google Play.

 

Cancer was something I never thought would play a role in my life. We all know about it, hear about it and, for some of us, we know someone who has lost their battle with it. But never did I think cancer would take someone I love from me. I can now include myself in that group.

When my aunt was diagnosed with stomach cancer last year, it didn’t seem real. Especially during the first few months. My aunt was her happy, positive self and continued with her daily routine as if nothing was happening to her body. Her cancer didn’t become “real” until her last three months. I could see how this debilitating disease was taking over her body. Everything from her physical appearance to her personality changed drastically. 

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Naturally, people worry about the patient, but they often forget about the family or people around them. I saw firsthand how my cousin and uncle rose to the challenge of taking care of my aunt. It’s not an easy task being a caretaker—it’s much harder when you’re family because your heart is so heavily invested.

There are so many things to keep track of and most of the time it’s difficult to keep them all in order.

Luckily, there is an app to help make life easier during this difficult time.

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Pfizer launched This Is Living With Cancer™, a national awareness program that includes a free mobile app called LivingWith™. It is designed to help manage some of the daily challenges faced by people living with cancer.

Unfortunately, my aunt passed away before I could use this app. With so many things juggling through your mind, it’s nice to have an app with several features designed to help you manage your life with cancer.

One of the challenges my cousin faced was keeping track of all the appointments and medications my aunt was taking. With just one app, you can access recorded notes from doctor visits and view important documents, such as medication details and test results.

Another helpful feature is that you can send requests to family and friends for help with meals, rides and other support. Something as small as having a nice cooked meal delivered to the home makes a huge difference and is something I know my cousin greatly appreciated. It was one less thing to worry about, and her full focus could be on my aunt—not cooking.

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Although my heart is broken that my aunt is no longer with us, I can honestly say I’m a better person for having gone through this experience. I appreciate life so much more and value the relationships in my life. Life is so precious and can be taken when you least expect it.

I wish I could turn back time and have taken more pictures with my aunt or visited her more, but at least I was with her every single day leading up to her last breath.

I’ve learned so much from seeing my cousin take care of her, and I’m prepared if cancer should strike again in my family. With anything in life, being prepared and knowledgeable will help you navigate through these hard times. 

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The LivingWith™ mobile app is a great resource for anyone going through cancer. With so many fears, questions or concerns racing through your mind, it’s great to have something that will help you through it all.

For more information and to download the LivingWith™ mobile app, please visit www.ThisIsLivingWithCancer.com. Patients and their loved ones also can find the initiative on Facebook and Instagram

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Posted on June 20, 2018 and filed under Life.

Staying Confident and Fresh with Summer's Eve®

This post is sponsored by Summer’s Eve® but the content and opinions expressed are my own.

Dating can be scary and nerve-wracking, no matter how much of an expert you think you are. But dating doesn't have to be stressful. Dates are meant to be fun and enjoyable and if you're lucky, an opportunity to meet someone who you're compatible with and want to spend more time getting to know.

Here are 4 tips to help you get through your big day!

 

RELAX:

First dates are always frightening because you don't know what to expect. Just as much as you want to impress your date- they're on the same mission to impress you and are probably just as nervous as you are. Take a deep breath and visualize the date being a total success.

 

BE YOURSELF:

Always be authentic! From the way you look to the way you carry yourself, it's important to never pretend to be someone you're not. Many women feel the need to dress a certain way or layer on a pound of makeup in hopes the man will find them attractive. If you're into makeup, then it's totally fine to doll yourself up just a bit more for the date, but if that's not you, then there is no need for all that production. Keep it simple and classy.

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BE CONFIDENT:

The number one quality most people find attractive is confidence. The way you present/express yourself can either make you seem interesting and appealing or cocky and boring. Most of the time the latter won't yield another date. People want to be around good energy and someone that can hold a conversation. A pretty face and a nice meal can only go so far. There is only one of you in this world, so make sure you showcase your best qualities.

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GOOD HYGIENE:

Besides being present and making sure to say your please and thank yous, having good hygiene is crucial before, during and after your date. People who have poor hygiene or body odor are perceived negatively. You only get one chance at a first impression. Using the right products, such as Summer’s Eve® Blissful Escape™ before your date can help you stay confident and fresh all night long.

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Using Summer’s Eve® Blissful Escape™ Cleansing Wash in your shower can help you feel more refreshed and ready for your date. The gentle formula removes odor-causing bacteria and is pH balanced.

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The Summer’s Eve® Blissful Escape™ Cleansing Cloths are great because they are individually wrapped in a secure soft pack. You can use them anytime you want to freshen up- whether, on your date or everyday life, they're the perfect little companion!

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All Summer’s Eve® products are clinically tested with Safe Scents™ quality standards, which ensures their products gentle enough for your most delicate skin.

Head to your local Target and purchase the new Summer’s Eve® scent, Blissful Escape™, available in a 15oz Feminine Cleansing Wash and a 16-count Cloth pack, for your everyday moments like crossing your legs, working out, getting your period, or even getting up close and personal. Save 20% with Cartwheel through June 30, 2018!

Stay confident and fresh with Summer's Eve®!

Posted on June 7, 2018 and filed under Beauty.

This is Living with Cancer™ – My Story + Words of Encouragement

Thank you Pfizer for sponsoring this post. Join Pfizer’s #InspirationLives initiative by sharing your story with the hashtag on Facebook and Instagram to support and inspire those who have been affected by cancer, and be sure to check out the LivingWith™ mobile app available via iTunes and Google Play!

At the beginning of last year, my whole world changed. My aunt was diagnosed with stomach cancer. The news came as a complete shock. Although cancer is now a common word we’ve all had to familiarize ourselves with, I never imagined it would ever hit so close to home for me.

Cotton Candy Skies

We live in a time where we probably know someone who’s gone through cancer, survived it or passed away from it. I’ve never had a personal connection to cancer until now. Finding out my aunt had stage 4 stomach cancer affected me tremendously because not only was she my favorite aunt, but she’s the one I was the closest with.

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From celebrations to family get-togethers or random visits, my aunt never missed the opportunity to be around her loved ones. Her personality could light up a room! She was never shy about starting up a conversation with anyone she came in contact with. She had a heart of gold and was so generous with her time and love. No matter how busy or tired she was, she always made it a point to shower us with her affection. And food! She loved to cook. Her way of expressing her love was through her cooking. One of the many reasons why I loved her!

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Sadly, eight months after she was diagnosed, my aunt lost her battle last November. I was devastated. I’ve never felt heartbreak like that before. Seeing her through the physical changes and pain was traumatic. Although it’s been three months since her passing, I still find myself sad and angry that she had to go through such a terrible disease. Sometimes life isn’t fair. I try not to question her timing, but I can’t help but wonder, why her? She was so full of life and had so much to live for.

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I have to remind myself that feeling sad is not what she would’ve wanted for us. Instead, she’d want us to live as she did. Always positive and grateful. No matter what she was going through, she always had faith. I believe we should all strive to maintain that same attitude. I miss her every day, but I know she’s watching over my family and her life lessons will always be instilled in me.

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Pfizer has created This is Living with Cancer™, an initiative designed to help people manage their lives with cancer and stay connected to their communities. As part of This is Living with Cancer, Pfizer has launched LivingWith™, a free mobile app designed to help patients and caregivers manage life with cancer and organize important information in one place. People can download LivingWith™  for free on any Apple or Android device.

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For more information and to download the LivingWith™ mobile app, please visit www.ThisIsLivingWithCancer.com. Patients and their loved ones also can find the initiative on Facebook and Instagram.

Remember, you’re not alone. Together we can get through it.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


Posted on May 30, 2018 and filed under Life.

Game Time with Michelob Ultra Cactus Lime

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. This content is intended for readers who are 21 and over. #CollectiveBias #MiCervezaPremium

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When my sister got married, well long before that, I gained a brother- Gio! Besides our names rhyming (Gio-Fio) we have many traits in common which allows us to get along great!

One of the many things I love about him is that he accepted me from the beginning. He never came between my sister and I and the special bond we share. I'm always welcomed in their home and genuinely love hanging out with them.

Besides being my best friends, Dani (my sister) and Gio are amazing hosts! There is never a dull moment with them or at their house. We love having fun and enjoying our family time together.

One of the many activities we love is doing is game night... it gets pretty serious! From cornhole, board games to cards, we are a competitive bunch! If you haven’t played corhole, I highly recommend it. Not only is it fun but you can burn almost 200 calories playing it!

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Another favorite of ours is playing dominoes.

Gio is from Puerto Rico and grew up playing dominoes with this family when he was younger. Naturally, he taught us how to play.

Dominoes with Michelob Ultra Lime

I never knew playing dominoes could be that much fun and entertaining! You could play for hours and not even notice the time passing by.

Last weekend, Gio and I decided to treat ourselves to a nice cold beer and a friendly game of dominoes.

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Michelob ULTRA is a staple in our home. But this time we wanted to try the Michelob ULTRA Lime Cactus flavor with only 95 calories and 5.5 carbs.

I'm usually not a Lime-flavored type of person but with this beer, the flavors worked well, and the lime wasn't overpowering.

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I enjoy Michelob ULTRA for its light crisp and refreshing taste and how well it compliments an active lifestyle.
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Have you tried the new Michelob ULTRA Lime Cactus yet?

Also, what your favorite outdoor games are- always looking for fun suggestions!

Posted on May 1, 2018 and filed under Life.