First Time Mom and Losing It

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

DynaPro Exercise Ball + 100 Exercises + Giveaway

**I received the product below free for my review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be a good fit for my readers. All opinions are 100% my own.



Now that I am incorporating exercise back into my routine I feel so much better. There was a period during the holidays that I didn't do any form of exercise. I started to feel tired, sluggish and my back was starting to hurt again. A weak core means an achy back for me.

I started doing exercise again with my DynaPro Resistance Bands and Door Anchor and already feel myself getting stronger in my arms and legs. DynaPro generously gave me one of their Exercise Balls to review so I was excited to get started on working on my core and back with it.

In the box you get the ball and a pump to inflate it. I remember years ago buying an exercise ball and it didn't come with a pump. It sat in the box for weeks until I went out and borrowed a little pump. The DynaPro Exercise Ball was super easy and fast to inflate and I was ready to get exercising with it.

I love how the box has pictures of tons of different exercises you can do with the exercise ball. I started doing these and then when I mastered them I did a search on YouTube for "exercise ball". Hundreds of videos showed up and I picked the beginner one shown below.

Then I came across the video below from Bryan n Rob where they show you 100 different exercises you can do with an exercise ball! 
An exercise ball is a great investment if you are going to be working out at home. You can do tons of different exercises and it can be adapted from beginner to expert. If you are looking to purchase one I highly recommend the one from DynaPro. It is constructed of professional grade PVC and anti-burst up to 2000 lbs. 
Click on the link to purchase a DynaPro Exercise Ball on Amazon. You can also take your chances and enter the giveaway below to win one! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway No purchase is necessary to enter. One US entrant per household. The Winner will be contacted by email and given 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. The sponsor will be responsible for product shipment to the winner of this giveaway. 

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Game Day Queso Fundido Sausage Picadillo Dip

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Farmland® and Latina Bloggers Connect.


My family and friends like to get together on Super Bowl Sunday even though we are not huge football fans. My husband's birthday always falls around the date so that gives us the extra excuse to get together to celebrate. We have the usual American fare but being Latin we always throw in some Puerto Rican staples like chirraron del pollo instead of chicken wings and tostones instead of fries.

I wanted to take my yummy pizza dip and "latinize" it by adding some amazing picadillo with my favorite sausage from Farmland®. Picadillo is what us Puerto Rican's use to stuff everything! It is usually made with ground beef, pepper and onions, olives, sofrito and some tomato sauce. I wanted to make my picadillo extra special so I used sausage instead of the boring ground beef. Farmland®  Homestyle Sausage is my favorite because it is gluten free with no MSG. It has a burst of natural flavor with enough fat to give it the best texture!


First I diced some peppers and onions and softened them in a tiny bit of olive oil. Then I removed the casing from the Farmland® homestyle sausage and added it to the pan with the onions and peppers.


After the sausage has browned a bit I added the sofrito. When the sausage was completely browned and cooked I added the tomato sauce and cooked it on medium heat for about 5 minutes.


I took a small casserole dish and layered the softened cream cheese and sour cream in the bottom. Then I added a layer of the picadillo and then topped it with mozzarella cheese. I baked it in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes. The cheese should be browned slightly and bubbly.


Instead of your ordinary chips or tortillas I used platano and yucca chips!



Queso Fundido Sausage Picadillo Dip (Printable Recipe)
  • 1 pound of Farmland® Homestyle Sausage
  • 1/4 cup sofrito (found in the freezer section or substitute a few handfuls of chopped cilantro)
  • 1/4 cup diced green pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup olives stuffed with pimento, chopped
  • 1 tblsp capers
  • 4 ounces of canned tomato sauce
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 
  2. Add the pepper and onion to a pan with a little bit of oil and cook until slightly softened. 
  3. Remove the sausage from the casing and add to the pepper and onion. When sausage is starting to brown add the sofrito. Cook until the sausage is fully browned and cooked. 
  4. Add the olives, capers and tomato sauce and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. 
  5. Mix the cream cheese and sour cream and place in the bottom of an oven proof dish. Add the picadillo on top and then sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese.
  6. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the cheese has browned a bit and is bubbly. 
  7. Serve with platano and yucca chips. 

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ballerina Bun Crochet Ear Warmer Tutorial


My toddler has been going to dance class for about a month now and I am such a proud dance mom! There is nothing cuter than seeing a little class full of 2-3 year old's in their little leotards and ballet shoes! Being a first time mom I was super nervous right before her first class because this would be her first time staying with someone other than my mom or sister.

As soon as she saw the other little girls with the same leotard she quickly ran to them and got acquainted with the barre. It was time for the moms to leave the room and head on to the waiting area. I was afraid that she would cry or try to follow me but she didn't do either. She really didn't seem to mind that I left. We got to watch them though a TV that is feed with the camera from the dance room. All of us moms seemed nervous at first but once we saw that they were fine we started chatting up a storm.


I have yet to make her a little ballerina bun because it has been so cold that I have had to bundle her up with sweats, boots, hats and gloves. If you know how it is combing a toddler's hair you wouldn't dare waste the time of making a nice ballerina bun to then have a hat mess it up .

Since we drive right up to the studio I needed a hat or something to keep her warm just until we ran into the studio. The light bulb went up in my head when I decided to crochet her a super warm ear warmer that would also cover part of her head but leave her bun alone.


To make the ear warmer I first measured my daughters head where the ear warmer would go. Than I used a worsted weight yarn and J hook. I made a chain of 10 and single crocheted and then half double crocheted and tapered the length by doing half double crochet increases. I continued to crochet up to the measurement I got and then tapered it back down. I finished with a buttonhole at the end and then sewed on a large button to the top.


To create the bow decoration I cut out a piece fleece that was 4 3/4" x 4". Then I cut another piece of fleece that is 2" x 4". I took the first piece of fleece and folded it in half and sewed down the two sides with a 1/4" seam. Then I sewed the bottom edge with a 1/4" seam leaving a space in the middle to turn inside out. Trim and turn inside out. I took the second piece of fleece and folded it in half to make a long strip. I sewed down the side with a 1/4" seam and turned inside out.


Then I took the large rectangle and placed it on top of the ear warmer where I wanted the bow to go.


I pinched the bow in the middle and placed the middle strip on top.


I poked the ends of the middle strip in between the stitches of the ear warmer and pulled through to the back side.


Using a 1/4" seam I sewed the ends together.



Ballerina Bun Crochet Ear Warmer (Printable Pattern)
Worsted Weight Yarn and J Hook
ch = chain
sc = single crochet
hdc = half double crochet

Chain 10.
Row 1: sc in 9 chains
Row 2: chain 2 turn, hdc in first stitch, 2 hdc in next stitch, hdc in next 4 stitches, 2 hdc in next stitch, hdc in last stitch
Row 3: chain 2 turn, hdc in each stitch
Row 4: chain 2 turn, hdc in first stitch, 2 hdc in next stitch, hdc in next 6 stitches, 2 hdc in next stitch, hdc in last stitch
Row 5: chain 2 turn, hdc in each stitch
Row 6: chain 2 turn, hdc in first stitch, 2 hdc in next stitch, hdc in next 8 stitches, 2 hdc in next stitch, hdc in last stitch
Row 7-37: chain 2 turn, hdc in each stitch
Row 38: Row 2: chain 2 turn, hdc in first stitch, hdc decrease in next 2 stitches, hdc in next 7 stitches, hdc decrease in next 2 stitches, hdc in last stitch
Row 39: chain 2 turn, hdc in each stitch
Row 38: Row 2: chain 2 turn, hdc in first stitch, hdc decrease in next 2 stitches, hdc in next 5 stitches, hdc decrease in next 2 stitches, hdc in last stitch
Row 39: chain 2 turn, hdc in each stitch
Row 40: Row 2: chain 2 turn, hdc in first stitch, hdc decrease in next 2 stitches, hdc in next 3 stitches, hdc decrease in next 2 stitches, hdc in last stitch
Row 39: chain 2 turn, hdc in each stitch
Row 40 - 42: chain 2 turn, sc in each stitch
Row 43: chain 1 turn, sc in first 3 stitches, chain 3, skip next three stitches, sc in last 3 stitches
Row 44: chain 1 turn, sc in first 3 stitches, 3 sc in chain loop, sc in last 3 stitches
Row 45: chain 1 turn, sc in each stitch

Follow the instructions above to make the bow and then sew a large button to the beginning end of the ear warmer.


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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Keep Those Bed Sheets on with the Epica Bedding Anchors!

**I received the product below free for my review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be a good fit for my readers. All opinions are 100% my own.



Every morning without fail my husband and I wake up to sheets that have popped off the corners of the bed. It is usually my side and it is annoying. I have tried so many different kinds of sheets from cheap ones, to expensive ones, to deep pocket ones. I don't know if it's the mattress or us moving too much.

I finally found some generic bed sheet anchors a couple of months ago and it was a total waste of money. It was cheaply made and the clips just didn't clip on the sheet. After a few uses about 2 of them broke were the stitching on the elastic snapped. When the bed anchors were on it was as if I didn't have anything on at all.

Then came the ones from Epica to review. As soon as I saw the design of them I though it was completely genius! First of all the clips easily clip right onto the sheet. Then the clips are clamped onto bungee type elastic instead of the standard apparel elastic that is stitched on. Lastly you can adjust the tightness of the elastic with an easy cord lock that you just press and let go at the desired tension and it automatically locks in place!


I love that you don't have to lift the mattress to place on the anchors. All you do it put them on the corners of the sheets and slip them right over the mattress. With a few trials and errors you will know exactly how much tension to lock in place. The clamps are nickel-plated and coated with a fabric protector so you don't have to worry about them ruining your sheets.


The first night I used them and every night since I have awoken to a perfectly placed on fitted sheet. The clips are super strong and held the sheets in place all night! It was so easy to put on and now I don't have to worry about buying new sheets that won't stay on!


The unique design also allows you to use them for other things like tablecloths, curtains, furniture covers and more!

Click on the link to order your own very affordable Epica Bedding Anchors on Amazon.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Low Carb Pizza Dip with Pepperoni Chips


During my first year of teaching, years ago I was lucky to have a group of very supportive veteran teachers to take me under their wings. My school was broken up into 4 different academies and each academy kept together and took care of one another. I remember having one of our many lunches together and one of the retired teachers coming over for a visit with the most delicious dip I have ever had! I asked her what it was and what the recipe was. She said all you do is take a block of cream cheese, Italian seasonings, spaghetti sauce and mozzarella cheese and throw it in the microwave until it all melts.

As I was thinking back to the dip recipe I realized how low-carb the ingredients were. Dips are typically low carb but then you have the issues with the high carb dippers like chips and tortilla chips. I remember how crispy and stiff salami gets when you slowly heat it up in a pan so I decided to try it with pepperoni. It worked! The pepperoni chips where nice and crispy like chips and the perfect accompaniment to the pizza dip.




Low Carb Pizza Dip (Printable Recipe)
  • 2 ounce of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. Mix spices and crushed tomatoes together and set aside. 
  2. Spread cream cheese onto bottom of ramekin. Top with sauce, then cheese. 
  3. Place in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbling. 

Pepperoni Chips
  • 2 serving of pepperoni slices
  1. You can bake them or pan fry them but the easiest way is to microwave them. I take a flat plate and put a couple of paper towels on top. Add a layer of pepperoni slices. Cover with another paper towel and microwave in 30 second intervals until they are nice and crispy. 
Serves 2: 5.4 Net Carbs per serving


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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Anavita Wrinkle Cream Review

**I received the product below free for my review. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be a good fit for my readers. All opinions are 100% my own.




Now that I am in my mid 30's (yikes!) I notice wrinkles all the time. It probably doesn't help that in my teens and 20's I never moisturized my skin. Then being busy with work, then married life, then having a baby, I never took the time out to take care of my skin. 

I just started becoming interested in face creams and beauty products so I am always on the lookout for something that can help reverse my lack of previous skin care. When I heard that Anavita Wrinkle Cream could work in as little as 12 weeks I had to try it. 

The Anavita Wrinkle Cream is said to reduce the look of fine lines and deep wrinkles while firming and replenishing your skin to make it look noticeably younger. All you have to do is massage on the cream after cleansing your skin in the morning and again at night.
The Anavita Wrinkle Cream has a unique formula that stimulates the production of collagen and rebuilds the cellular matrix of the skin using three clinically proven ingredients - a super-absorbent form of hyaluronic acid, Argireline (5%), and Matrixyl - a combination that makes this anti-wrinkle cream for face and neck extraordinarily effective.
This first thing I noticed about the cream is how thick it was. All it took was a little scoop to go over my entire face. After massaging it into my skin it didn't feel heavy or oily. I love that you can use it morning, night and as a makeup base. The cream is paraben free, sulfate free, phthalate free and not tested on animals. 


After using it for a few weeks I noticed a softness to my skin. My forehead wrinkles were slightly less pronounced and the wrinkles under my eyes looked smoother. I can't wait to see what my skin looks like after 12 weeks of use. 

Click on the link to try the Anavita Wrinkle Cream and take the 12 week challenge!

Do you want to win a jar of the Anavita Wrinkle Cream? Comment below and I will randomly pick a winner from one of the comments on 1/26/2015! Good Luck!
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