Life by Cynthia: 2015

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I'm Going to ShiftCon 2015 #Shiftcon #ShiftHappens

I'm shifting! I am passionate about learning all that I can about food, wellness, environmentalism & natural living. I am taking a step towards educating myself so that I can create a better, healthier life. I am behind the pack but excited to learn as much as I can and make some changes.



I decided to involve myself with the Eco-Wellness Social Media conference, ShiftCon, because I simply want to know more. I need to know more. I know that once I do I will be armed to make much better decisions for the health and well being of my growing family.

I will be the first to admit that my household needs some work! Not everything that we buy and use is the "good" stuff.  We don't always buy organic, we do buy processed foods, and we have some chemical cleaners! Eek! Right?! On the upside: I've been shifting slowly over the years. I am making better choices. Not the BEST ones, but I am getting there!  Baby steps. Little by little.

I have a feeling that after my ShiftCon experience, I will want to take a BIG leap! It's not enough for me to save money and time by buying the cheaper, more convenient, packaged, well marketed stuff posing as food. And it's not just food for us. We all buy and use SO MANY products: cosmetics, household cleaners, skincare, toiletries, laundry detergents, and yes - even furniture can be bad for your health! Carcinogens. Hormones. Additives. Chemicals. For the sake of the health of my family, I don't want to settle anymore.

I'm ready to say no thank you to all that is harmful. I am done spending our hard earned money on things that are just not good for us. You can bet that I want to support companies that care about what they are selling. Companies that care about the families that are consuming their products. I'd rather spend more on companies that want me and my family as long term customers! Brands that want my 5 year old son, my husband, and I to be well.

We all hear a lot of chatter about GMO, buy organic, watch for toxins, be earth friendly... It isn't hype. We hear it, we know it, and there is good reason behind it all... but not all of us are doing it. Myself included. I know that I have a lot of room for improvement. It is easy to become confused. To be overwhelmed. To feel frustrated. I don't make the time to research these things as I should. I'm at work 40 hours a week. Our son has homework every night, we help him with that. My husband and I are truly doing the best that we can with our limited time. Like many of you, we are very busy. We crave convenience. The bad guys are great at packaging things to look like they are good for us. The devil in disguise is crafty.

We hear about things that we should avoid. We think something may be healthy, but it isn't. Do we know how BAD something is (even it it claims to be healthy)? Do we know WHY we need to avoid it? I plan on having many of my questions answered. I want to meet and support brands that actually care about their product and the effect it has on it's customers. Again, I will be loyal to a company that cares about what they are selling to me and my family.

Farmer's Market Visit

To me, the best way to learn about something is to go to those who are most passionate about it. Those who know the most about it. Those who have been hurt by it. Those that have learned from it. Those who live it everyday. My high school volleyball coach once told me that in order to improve your game you have to face teams that are more skilled than you. To learn from them, to be challenged by them, and to be inspired. I think that ShiftCon is the place for this.

My goal is to learn to live better. I will confess now that I may not be able to avoid everything on the bad list, not all at once at least. In fact I accept that. My intent here is to keep on adding the good stuff as often as I can and as much as I can. The "bad" things just get edged out. I am making changes in the right direction. Those steps count.

What started my shift:
  • Motherhood. I am responsible for a life other than my own. The responsibility is immense.
  • Migraines. Feeling-like-you-are-going-to-die migraines. I suffered from migraines since my 20's. I started with diet soda in my 20's. It was well advertised, it seemed fine. Diet soda did it. I didn't know it until years later that it was the cause of my debilitating headaches. I was poisoning myself and simply didn't know it. I quit the habit and guess what? My migraines went away. Now I still get occasional migraines but not to the degree and frequency that I once was. It was because of my migraines that I discovered essential oils. No medication could ease my suffering. Out of desperation I tried peppermint essential oils. I rubbed it on, inhaled it. I felt less nauseous. I felt a better. No pain killers EVER helped me. Something as simple as essential oils. Not drugs. It was the start. It got me shifting. Eliminating the bad stuff (which I didn't realize was causing so much damage) fixed something that my doctors could not. I cut out the poisonous beverage and I not longer felt like I would die from a migraine headache.

Imagine the possibility. The simplicity. Watch me shift!

Who's with me? Please let me know if you will be there as I would love to connect! See you at ShiftCon!




ShiftCon is the only social media conference focusing on wellness, health, and the environment. This conference blends workshops, networking, parties, and intense collaboration of change makers all over the United States and Canada in one place. Want to learn more? Check out the video all about ShiftCon! The event this year is SOLD OUT. I will be sharing my recap post. I hope that you stay tuned for that!







Disclosure: I will be working with the ShiftCon team as a volunteer. In exchange for my volunteer work, I will receive a Full Blogger Pass to ShiftCon 2015 (including sessions, fitness activities, swag bag, receptions & breakfasts). All opinions contained in this post are my own.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

SHAPE Magazine 2015 Blogger Meet and Tweet Los Angeles #ShapeMeetTweet


I am going to Los Angeles in October for the SHAPE Magazine Blogger Meet and Tweet! I couldn't ask for a better opportunity to find fitness motivation. I'll spend the day surrounded by fitness bloggers, SHAPE magazine editors, industry experts, and amazing sponsors! I'm certain that attendees will have a blast checking our the latest trends and new products! Even though I am not at the top of my fitness game, I've learned that the Fit Community is a supportive and welcoming one! I think mostly because everyone remembers their starting point to get fit (or get back to being fit)! All levels, body types, and age groups will surely be represented! I can hardly wait!!!


Meet & Tweet 2013


I LOVE receiving inbox surprises when I check my email! Don't you?! Today's tidbit that has led to such a giddy feeling that has lasted ALL day: An exclusive invitation to the Blogger Meet & Tweet with SHAPE magazine! My RSVP was sent immediately and it's official, I'm going!

With a flooded email inbox, it's easy to miss some great opportunities. Trust me, I've missed out on a grand thing or two (or 100) simply because I missed the email. Lesson: check your email closely - you don't want to miss out! I'm definitely not missing out on this gem!

Did you know that Fitness Magazine and SHAPE Magazine have merged?  Check out posts from earlier this year to learn more: SHAPE Magazine and Fitness Magazine to Become One Super Magazine and Merging Fitness Magazine into SHAPE to Create Leading Media Brand in Women's Active Lifestyle Category.

In 2013 I attended the West Coast Fitness Magazine Blogger Meet and Tweet (#FitBlogLA) and had an AMAZING time!

The #FitBlogLA event is where I had the chance to meet some of my favorite fitness bloggers in person! I still keep in touch with a couple of them. I can hardly wait to see them in October! I get to reunite with Melissa who blogs at The ValentineRD (check out her post about the 2013 event and her picture of all of the swag goodness) and Melissa who blogs at Melissa Running It.  These SoCal moms are in their 40's (like me) and have hero status in my book! They remind me that you CAN be fit in your forties! Check out our time doing Pilates together in a blog post from earlier this year: WundaBar Pilates San Diego.

The 2015 event will make a return visit to the Annenberg Community Beach House. Take a peek at the picture below from my first Meet & Tweet. The venue was amazing and the energy was awesome! I had a migraine that day but pushed through and made the drive up from San Diego. TOTALLY worth it.

I didn't see any media postings about a Blogger Meet and Tweet for 2014 so I was absolutely THRILLED when I received an invitation for 2015.

Stay tuned for my event post and look out for the hashtag #ShapeMeetTweet as I am sure that there will be a lot of social media shares!

Will I see YOU there? Please leave me a comment if you are! I'd love to follow you on social media if I am not following you already!

Fitness Magazine Meet and Tweet #FitBlogLA Fitness Meet and Tweet Los Angeles
Blogger Meet & Tweet 2013


Disclosure: I was contacted by SHAPE Magazine and offered an opportunity join other west coast bloggers, Shape Magazine editors, and fitness industry experts for the 2015 Blogger Meet and Tweet. All opinions are my own.

Have questions about SHAPE Blogger Meet & Tweet? Contact SHAPE magazine.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Chick-fil-A Mom Panel 2015-2016 #ChickfilAMoms

The 3rd Annual Chick-fil-A Mom Panel launched this month and will continue through August 2016. Chick-fil-A has been partnering with engaged and influential moms to be a part of their exclusive Mom Panel. Moms will be sharing their opinions on things like new menu items and services to Kid’s Meal toys.  ALL aspects of the Chick-fil-A experience are valued by the Chick-fil-A group and we will get a chance to voice those opinions.

I was selected to participate this time around and am excited to share my personal insight. As a first year panelist for the 2015-2016 year, I will respond to inquiries, participate in discussions, and provide my thoughts and feedback with my fellow panelists and with Chick-fil-A. I will also have the opportunity to share the latest Chick-fil-A scoop with you my friends! Let me be your link to Chick-fil-A! Follow along with me here on the blog for more! Look out for the hashtag #ChickfilAMoms on social media as well to stay in the know!

I'll be representing from San Diego, CA! I am not alone. My San Diego Mom Blogger friends Bri (Brigeeski), Raquel (The Stronghold Mom), and Lora (Lora Says So) are also on the the team! We all live in Sunny San Diego and are excited to share with you. I am thrilled that I will to get to know my fellow panelists from ALL OVER the U.S.! Hi new friends!


Meeting the Chick-fil-A Cow on the 4th of July a few years ago.

Unrelated to the panel, but STILL some Chick-fil-A fun: here is the I Wanna Go To Chick Fil A video!  Check out THESE Chick-fil-A moms, The Texting Yoga Pants! These moms are from Tennessee. If you haven't seen their viral video, you MUST check it out. A little fun for the modern mom. I am sharing their smile-inducing video here in celebration of my recent inclusion to the Chick-fil-A Mom's panel.

Congratulations to my fellow panelists! I know that we are all very excited to learn and share!




Disclosure: I am an invited member to the 2015-2016 Chick-fil-A Mom Panel. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Bloggy Blessings For A Bad Blogger

My son and I have matching dimples.
Oh HELLO Friend! Here I am! I wanted to pop in just to test the waters and share a bit about what is going on with me as well as what you may be seeing on the blog in the very near future.

I know that my posts have been sporadic. This is by design. I am unapologetic that my blog is at the back of a very long line on my list of priorities. My home life with my loved ones will always come before my blogging pursuits. I don't post as regularly as I should. I know that it makes me a bad blogger. I've said it before and I am still not ashamed to admit that my blog sucks, but my life doesn't! I am OK with that. Long ago I gave up on trying to juggle family life, work life, and blogging. I've been a much happier blogger for it. I take care of work and home first so that I may happily blog when I CAN and when I WANT to.  It makes blogging more rewarding for me knowing that everything at home and work is in order. I'd rather make the choice to be bad at blogging vs. being a bad mommy, wife, or employee.  I admire those that can do it all. Maybe one day that will be me. I know many moms who blog that CAN do it all. If fact they seem to do it with ease and grace. That encourages me, inspires me, and leaves me in awe. But for now, (for me) working a full time job outside of the home and keeping up with my husband and our 5 year old son keeps my plate full. It's been quite some time now that I gave up sleep deprivation in exchange for blogging and I do not regret it. It's just better for me and for my family this way.

Family trip to Barnes & Noble - Shopping at Marshalls - Cruising around Seaport Village 

These guys! MY guys! I love them both even though it's not always easy to keep up with them! When you don't see a new post from me, it is safe to guess that I am hanging out with these two! With school starting on Monday, we will be an even busier family! Homework here we come!

I may have been quiet here but I have been busy lining up some VERY exciting things. I really should say that the magical Universe has been lining up some great things and sending them my way! Isn't it a nice feeling when you get happy news out of the blue? It makes me think that maybe, just maybe, I am not such a bad blogger after all!

I am always honored when opportunities find their way home to me. I am passive when it comes to blogging opportunities such as events, sponsored posts, and the like. Perhaps one day soon I will have the time, energy, and confidence to go out there and slay some opportunities on my own. I'll get my blogging butt in gear one day and attempt to pitch like many of the bloggers that I admire! Goals for the future. For now, I am happy, humble, and thankful. Even though I am not as active as I once wanted to be, I still get awesome opportunities! In fact, I turn down way more than I accept. Isn't that crazy?! It's OK to walk away once in a while. It lets that opportunity find it's way to someone who REALLY, really, really wants it and has the time for it.

So, for those of you that are like me and think that you are a "bad blogger", don't lose faith! Blog when it feels good.

Bloggy Blessings that have me feeling giddy and encourage me to blog on:
  • Hubby and I combined a blogging event and date night into one! Win! We collaborated on the Grand Opening of Lemonade UTC post that I shared recently.
  • I am going to ShiftCon 2015 in September. Volunteering and room sharing to keep costs down.
  • I was invited to the first ever HP Print and Pamper Retreat by MyPrintly! Bonus: Road Trip to Disneyland! You should see the invitees - many of my blog heros will be there and I get to go too! To say that I am honored to be included is an understatement!
  • Jackery has invited me to guest post on their blog. I use their portable chargers ALL the time.
  • I was invited by Jord Wood Watch to join their Preferred Partner Blogger Program. I liked their watch. They liked my blog post.

I've said in the past: My blog sucks, but my life sure doesn't! When I revisit this post: Bad Blogger, Good Mommy and read the comments left for me, I know that my choice is the right choice.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Lemonade's Grand Opening Celebration at Westfield UTC in San Diego #lemonadela

Lemonade brings seasonal California comfort food to San Diego! Lemonade, the Los Angeles based fast-casual eatery now has two locations in San Diego. We attended Lemonade's Grand Opening Celebration at Westfield UTC to sample a variety of food in the signature Lemonade cafeteria-style setting.  At the end of our dining adventure we had the opportunity to chat with Executive Chef and Founder Alan Jackson.

Since the launch of its flagship location in West Hollywood in 2008, Jackson and COO Ian Olsen have opened 15 locations throughout Los Angeles and surrounding areas, as well as two locations in Dubai.


In addition to the Westfield UTC in La Jolla and Hillcrest outposts in San Diego, current locations include Venice, Brentwood, Larchmont, MOCA, Downtown LA, USC, Studio City, Toluca Lake, Terminal 5 LAX, Pasadena, Westlake Village, Fashion Island Newport Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Sawtelle Blvd.

Please take a moment to watch our video to view our visit to Lemonade! As first-timers we were in for a treat. I liked the cafeteria experience and the endless choices! I will be back. When you visit please say hello to the friendly team members for me. Even with a line that extended well outside of the door for the entire time that we were there, the staff kept their sunny dispositions! Smiles with fast and friendly service is a good thing! For me, this truly made the wonderful food even better! Special thanks to our videographer for highlighting the evening. Enjoy!


Lemonade is a healthy, flavorful alternative to fast food. The fresh, quick-casual restaurant provides a refreshing option for those looking for a satisfying lunch or grab-and-go dinner.



Lemonade’s appeal is their fresh assortment of Marketplace Vegetables, designed to mix-and-match.

The Summer Menu includes: Mission Figs, Arugula, Blue Cheese, Sherry Vinaigrette Pineapple Chicken, Green Beans, Coconut, Jalapeño, Jerk Dressing, Roasted Beets, Melon, Frisée, and Hazelnut.

Both La Jolla and Hillcrest locations will feature made-to-order flatbreads, freshly baked in an open-flame brick oven. The exclusive flatbread menu includes:

Wild Mushroom, Truffle, Parmesan
Heirloom Cherry Tomato, Mozzarella, Basil
Blue Cheese, Walnut, Arugula

Slow-cooked braises are also on the menu. They include: Lemongrass Chicken, Red Miso Beef Short Ribs, and Pulled Pork Peach BBQ.

Additional menu items include artisan sandwiches, soups, desserts and the signature seasonal selection of refreshing lemonade flavors, including Cucumber Mint and Watermelon Rosemary.



Who's excited to check out Lemonade in San Diego?! See you there!

Everything that I sampled was great! I will be back for the braised short ribs, creamy mashed potatoes, and Guava Lemonade! There are so MANY choices that I will require MANY return visits!

Disclosure: We were invited to the hosted event by Lemonade LA to celebrate the grand opening of the Westfield UTC location. All opinions are my own.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Neiman Marcus Fall 2015 Fashion Trend Report

It's that time for the Neiman Marcus Fall Trend Event! The Fall 2015 Trend Event preview in San Diego was held on August 12 at Neiman Marcus Fashion Valley. While enjoying a nice lunch, bloggers had the opportunity to preview Fall Fashion as presented by Style Advisor Alex Yanez. Food and fashion with friends (old and new) is a great way to spend an afternoon! The Fall 15 Trend Event runs from August 12-19 at Neiman Marcus, don't miss out on the GWP.



Several bloggers and I arrived fashionably early. We all took advantage of a quick photo op prior to the start of the show. To be honest, I love fashion and style - but since becoming a Mommy, I don't really dress the part that much anymore! I wasn't sure WHAT to wear but will post very soon on what I decided on! Meanwhile, please take a peek at some of the pictures that I was able to snap from my vantage point and my thoughts on Fall 2015. All of my pictures were taken with my smartphone, I guess I don't need a DSLR after all!

Fall 2015 Looks
I LOVED the styles as they were presented on the models! Simply chic! Let's face it, I'm no model and cannot pull off the looks that were shared. I just might end up looking like the abandoned treadmill in your garage with hangers of clothes draped on it! We would NOT want to subject any fashion to that! Not with these couture looks. Even IF some of these items were made-to-measure just for me, I don't think they would look quite as fabulous or fit into my lifestyle!  I still enjoyed them all and it really is like viewing works of art. All is not lost. I can pick and choose from some of the suggestions and incorporate them into my busy lady work-mom-wife life! Better yet, I can book time with a NM stylist to help me shop the trends! Or... convince a fashion/style blogger friend to accompany me on a shop! Sometimes we all need to be warned if we are fashion failing! Those dressing room mirrors can confuse a girl! An honest eye and dose of truth is all I need. That and a shopping sponsor! LOL. Back to reality and my very real fashion experience with Neiman Marcus!

Check out the Trend report and my initial takeaway:


  • Folklorica I must say NO. This one would be a tough look for me to master, so I'll stay away.
  • The Last Layer It's a YES! I LOVE layers! I will be wearing mine!
  • Full-Bodied Reds Totally YES! I LOVE Reds! I'm even going for the Crimson lips!
  • White Out Tough call. MAYBE. I'm a busy Mom... white = stain magnet!
  • Modern Fur I just don't know how to rock the fur (or faux fur). NO, not for me.
  • The Return of the Flair  I'm glad that I kept those flared jeans and pants! YES.
  • The Saddle Bag I'm on the hunt for one now! YES!
  • Chunky Heels I love shoes. Almost all shoes. Just YES
  • Ear Candy LONG hair hides my ears. MAYBE. Especially since NM gifted us with some!
  • The Well-Dressed Leg Just not for me. NO. BUT I've never tried them so YNK! MAYBE.

My favorites for Fall are the Full-Bodied Reds. I am a fan of the Last Layer trend as well! I confess that I have been a long time fan of ponchos and blanket style wraps, even when they weren't considered on trend! I hope that this Fall is a COLD one. Doubtful, as I live in San Diego! On the upside: our office temperature seems to always be set to frigid so I'll be fine layering up! My hunt is on for a Saddle Bag! I need one ASAP! With that I think that I'll be set for Fall. I do want to find some fabulous RED lipcolor. Note to my Beauty Blogger pals: shall we shop? Don't let me rock the wrong red!



It wasn't mentioned in the NM LIST graphic above, but Alex did point out that you will be seeing tunic lengths this fall! I will be on the lookout for tunic length dresses and leggings for my Fall 2015 wardrobe.








Ladies, let us not forget about the MEN! Menswear is looking pretty cool for this Fall. Alex let us know to be on the look out for hoodies under jackets, backpacks, and VELVET.



I hope that you enjoyed the pretty pictures that I snapped with my phone at the event. Thank you for reading my post. See you next time! Before you go, please share your faves for Fall 2015. I would love to know YOUR thoughts so feel free to comment below!


Disclosure: I received an invitation from Neiman Marcus San Diego to attend the 2015 Fall Trend presentation and luncheon. I also received a complimentary pair of earrings during the event. All opinions are my own.

Friday, July 10, 2015

My Jord Wood Watch Fits My Mom Style #jordwatch

Watch Gift Ideas

Hello JORD Wood Watch!  I received this gorgeous watch to style and review. It has fast become my favorite accessory. I love the look and feel of this timepiece. I gladly put down my electronic devices that normally remind me of the time. I had been relying on my smart phone or my fitness tracker to help me keep time. Honestly though those little devices can cause stress and anxiety! A distraction when I am trying to unwind! The alarms that I set go off reminding me of the next thing to do.  Isn't there ALWAYS something to do? When I am with my family I unplug as much as I can!  I want to be present and in the moment. I still need to be mindful of the time. I can do that with my pretty little watch! It looks better on my wrist than my phone would anyway. EVEN though my phone is GORGEOUS too.

The gift of time is something that want to share with my family. Since becoming a parent, time just seems to go by WAY too fast. I love my JORD, it's my pretty reminder that I wear on my wrist. With it I remember to SLOW down. That, and I think that it looks nice!  I already have my eye on a few other JORD watches that I would LOVE to own. These unique watches would make a GREAT gift! If you have someone that seems to have everything and are stumped on what to buy - consider JORD!


#JORDWatch

I received one of JORD's most popular styles, the Ely Series in Black. There are 3 other colors in this series: Natural Green, Maple, and Cherry. There are so many styles and colors to choose from!

All of the JORD Wood Watch collections may contain one or multiple types of wood. Featured are: bamboo, maple, sandalwood, blackwood, cherry, zebrawood, koa, purple heart, ebony and rosewood. How is THAT for variety?!

I am quite impressed with the use of  natural and sustainably sourced wood that comes from across the globe. Here is something more to love: JORD uses 100% natural wood and they refrain from the use of toxic chemicals to either treat or protect the wood.

#JORDWatch


A parting shot of my son as we slow down time just a bit. Unplugged for a moment from our gadgets. I love adding to his book collection. As I browse my 5 year old ever so patiently waits so that we can cruise away from the books down through the aisles and aisles of toys!


#JORDWatch
Shopping with my little guy. Trying to tempt him with a book, but his eye is on some toys!

My husband and I are in our 40s and we have a 5 year old son. We both work 40 hours a week outside of the home. We make quality family time a priority. It gets tough to find that time! I'm sure that many of you can relate! I'd love your tips on how you use your time to make it all happen!





Disclosure: I received a JORD Wood Watch to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Ocean Pacific Grille Now Open in San Diego

A New Seafood Restaurant & Bar located in the heart of San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter is now open! Ocean Pacific Grille is located at 531 F. St. San Diego, CA 92101. A few members of the newly formed San Diego Filipino Blogger Network got a sneak peek during a private tasting event. I was one of the lucky attendees! We were graciously welcomed by Brian Norris, Managing Partner and Charles Andres, Executive Chef|Partner.

 #SDFBN Pictured with Brian and Chef Charles: Lora, Lysabeth, Raquel, and me - Cynthia


You MUST visit our new friends and try their amazing Filipino inspired menu! Call ahead for reservations (619) 578-2828 and let them know that we sent you! The whole OPG family made us feel at home and will welcome you as well!

Adobo style baby back ribs. French fries with  house made banana ketchup.
 
Crispy pork belly and ginger coconut risotto. Crispy skin sea bass and tamarind tomato broth 


As described on their website: "Ocean Pacific Grille features fresh seafood prepared using the bold flavors of the Pacific Rim, wrapped in a Filipino state of mind." First off, I have to say that I am a fan of seafood so I was sold before I even sat down for the sampling!  I love anything and everything seafood. The seafood (and all the dishes we tried) from Ocean Pacific Grille is unique. They aren't kidding in their description - wrapped in a Filipino state of mind! The food is reminiscent of dishes prepared by my family. Thoughtful little touches crafted into new gourmet favorites! The Tocino Toast is a must try!


Filipino Tocino Toast: Burrata cheese, slow roasted tomatoes, balsamic reduction.


I am already planning a return visit to take hubby for date night. We will try the Sisig Tacos! Hubby has roots in Pampanga where great food is highly regarded and cuisine is something that the region is well known for. Sisig is one of his all time faves!

The Wine Wall! Check out the decor! The wooden fork and spoon are proudly displayed - just like at your Lola's house!

Thanks to Ocean Pacific Grille, I have a few $10 cards to share with my readers. If you want one all you have to do is ask! While supply lasts of course! Let me know via comment on any of my social media channels that YOU want to go to Ocean Pacific Grille.  It's simple: tweet me, message me, just let me know! Hurry before I run out! First come first served!  I'd love your support if you feel inclined to follow me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook

Don't forget to follow Ocean Pacific Grille on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook to stay in the know! They offer daily specials that they share on their social media channels. 


I couldn't end my post without sharing a few pictures of the delicious drinks and desserts! Try to save room for dessert! Don't miss the OPG-Tini! It is the perfect little tropical drink!



We had a great time and hope that you will try something new and visit Ocean Pacific Grille. The OPG family will take care great care of you! Thank you OPG!

Lora and I enjoyed the warm towels (nice touch OPG). John, Brian, Chef Charles, and Steve.




Disclosure: I was invited to a media tasting at Ocean Pacific Grille. All opinions are my own.

#SDFBN


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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Make Mom's Day with Tech-Savvy Deals from #ATTSanDiego + Martian Notifier Smartwatch GIVEAWAY

We have partnered with our friends at AT&T San Diego to host a giveaway for one lucky reader to WIN a Martian Notifier Smartwatch! I know that all of my tech-savvy mom friends are listening! I received one and have been testing it out for a few days now. I must say that I really like that I don't have to have my phone in hand constantly! I get my notifications right on my wrist while my phone is tucked away nicely in my purse! Now that I have a smartwatch, I can imagine being without one!

For Mother’s Day, AT&T is offering a promotion of $20 off the Martian Notifier Smartwatch (regularly priced at $129). If you're shopping for a gift for a special lady- don't miss this! I've also included a lineup (listed below) on other great Mother's Day gift ideas from AT&T! The best part? Discounts! Deals on popular products such as Beats Music accessories, Rebecca Minkoff phone cases, and Fitbit Fitness trackers (just to name a few) are available through 5/11/15.





Check out this quick video featuring the Martian Notifier Smartwatch.



I LOVE that the watch has an analog face. I'm old school like that. The watch looks like a watch. I can be inconspicuous when checking my calls, texts, and social media notifications . The Notifier gives you the ability to access all of your smartphone’s alerts and notifications instantly on your wrist.



You will get real-time alerts, based on your preferences, for texts, emails, social media, incoming calls, emails and fitness stats.

My favorite features:
  • You can remotely trigger your phone’s camera to snap pictures with everyone in the shot using the camera remote control on the watch.
  • Misplaced phone? You have a find feature! I've used it a few times and it's awesome!
  • You can easily tuck your phone away while at the beach with the kiddos, helping with homework or at work, and still receive important notifications right to your wrist with the Martian Notifier SmartWatch.
  • Create a customized vibration pattern for each notification type, so you can distinguish between incoming alerts without looking at your watch.
  • Battery will last up to 5 days of use and can be quickly recharged in about 2-3 hours.

Tech-Savvy Savings available through 5/11/15:


Giveaway open to U.S. residents 18 and over. Prize will be sent directly from sponsor.  Winner will be notified via email and has 24 hours to claim prize otherwise an alternate winner will be selected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I did run into a problem with my Notifier. Sadly the watchband broke! I was a bummed about it at first. But I decided to turn my frown upside down! I was considering swapping out the band to a colorful one anyway. This just made me do it faster! There are so many different colors to choose from. I picked pink!


Check out the available color options!


This is great gift for all types of personalities! If you know someone who loves selfies: the remote photo feature is cool! If you want to get a gift for a fitness fan: they can link their fitness tracker! If you know a fashionista: she can swap out bands to match her OOTD. It's GREAT for setting alarms for your "always running late" pal. If you're like me and misplace your phone in the house: it has a FIND PHONE option! That feature alone is priceless in my hectic world!

Disclosure: This post is written in partnership with AT&T San Diego. All opinions are my own. Prize fulfillment will be directly from sponsor. Giveaway open to U.S. Residents 18 and over.

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Athleta Yoga and Shopping Event #AthletaUTC #PowerToTheShe #FuelingAmazing

On Saturday April 18 at 8 AM, +Athleta UTC hosted a private yoga and shopping event for bloggers. I loved the diversity of our group which consisted of mom, lifestyle, and running/fitness bloggers. I love meeting fellow bloggers IRL!

I was long overdue for some "me" time so the timing of the Athleta blogger meet up was PERFECT! It has been ages since I've had any retail therapy so that was a plus too! The Athleta store is located at +Westfield UTC (4505 La Jolla Village Dr. San Diego, CA 92122). By the time I got home I felt properly pampered. I was energized after our yoga practice and came home with some new gear that has me motivated to make more time for working out! It might be time for me to renew my membership at my neighborhood yoga studio!

#AthletaUTC #Powertotheshe #fuelingamazing
+Carlee Padot McClurg , +Melissa Kirkham+Smitha Arons , +Nicole Kempka, +Laura Lohr,  +Cynthia Labrador, +Veronica Stetter  +Margo Porras   

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Boudin SF Launches a NEW Spring Salad Collection #Saladelicious

Boudin SF, the fast-casual restaurant created by Boudin Bakery, creator of The Original San Francisco Sourdough™, has introduced three new limited-time salads. San Diego Bloggers were invited for a media tasting event at the Boudin Balboa Mesa location. We sampled the new Spring lineup that launched today, March 25. The new selections are Chicken Kale Caesar, Lemony Couscous, and Chicken Bahn Mi. We got to try them all! We also sampled the Happy Hour beer and wine offerings uniquely paired with each salad.

Boudin #Saladelicious
Bloggers: +Melanie M. , +Cynthia+Danielle+Dariela, +Melissa, +Lora, +Laura, +Leah  

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sharing My Post Natal Weight Loss Story #PostNatalFatBurner #spon

Giveaway has ended.

FitTea invited me to share my post natal weight loss story.

Who remembers trying to lose weight after having a baby? To be honest, I didn't give weight loss much thought at first. I was a first time mom and I wasn't in a hurry to regain my pre-baby body. My only concern was taking care of my brand new baby and fitting into my new role as Mommy.  My husband is a very hands on parent so we learned together. He was there every step of the way. Our "baby" is now four years old. I guess that we are all different in deciding when we are ready to lose the pregnancy weight. And it's good to know that there are many options in which to drop those pounds.

A photo posted by @lifebycynthia on

During pregnancy I gained 50 pounds. It was my first (and only) pregnancy. I am thankful that I did not develop gestational diabetes. In fact I was on target with my weight gains as determined by my doctor. It wasn't until the end of my pregnancy that the most of my gains occurred. My pregnancy was considered high risk. I am an "advanced maternal aged" mom. It was both joyous and scary.

Fast forward to baby being born. In June of 2010 we had a healthy 8 pound 3 ounce baby boy. By the time I was discharged from the hospital I was 30 pound lighter. I did everything that I could to ensure the health of my child. I breastfed. Everything I ate was done mindfully. I did not want to pass along anything harmful to my baby boy. I didn't take any drastic measures in trying to lose weight. Since I was breastfeeding, I needed my calories. I didn't want to risk losing milk production.

I didn't weigh myself until  February 2011, when our son was 8 months old. I had lost a 7 pounds, without trying. No diet or exercise involved. I returned to work and was either breastfeeding or pumping constantly. By the end of March 2011, I had lost another 5 pounds. Total weight gained in pregnancy 50 lbs. Total weight LOST 42 lbs.  I was left with 8 pounds to get to my pre-pregnancy weight.

The folks at +Fittea has an option for new moms: PostNatal Fatburner . If you are researching herbal supplements to assist in your weight loss efforts, visit the FitTea website. Check with your doctor to see if this is a good option for you. Their product may be what you are looking for. They report that the supplement can actually help you to increase your breast milk if that is an area of concern for you, as it was with me.

A photo posted by @lifebycynthia on


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Staying Hydrated Using @DripDrop During a San Diego Heat Wave #DrinkDripDrop #spon

This is a sponsored post for +SheSpeaks/+Drip Drop .

#DrinkDripDrop


Our forecast calls for record-setting heat to last all weekend. It was a HOT one here in San Diego. Just check out the snapshot from our local news station. It is definitely summer weather here in America's Finest City. The National Weather Service advised those planning outdoor activities this weekend to take care to avoid heat-related ailments.



With our unseasonable heat wave we need to make sure to keep hydrated. I encourage my loved ones take fluids even BEFORE they begin to feel thirsty.

While many folks may be using their DripDrop Hydration Powder to help them through winter/cold and flu season, those is our area need it to keep hydrated in the HEAT. Dehydration is caused when the body loses fluids and electrolytes faster than they can be replaced. Kids and dehydration is a BIG concern. Children’s hydration needs are much different than those of adults.

"Every year more than 200,000 children in the United States are admitted to a hospital for dehydration, and often they are treated with a painful IV. Why?  Children lose water much more quickly, and they require a greater volume of fluids to stay properly hydrated."

We have a very active 4 year old son. It would break my heart it he needed treatment with a painful IV for something that is easily preventable.  Sometimes keeping him hydrated means chasing him down with a drink. I'd much rather do that instead of having him ill from dehydration.  We do not like unnecessary hospital visits! We are all for prevention.

About DripDrop:
  • DripDrop provides a simple, cost-effective solution that empowers everyone to treat mild to moderate dehydration with a safe, medical-grade solution.
  • The hydration powder packets fit easily in the medicine cabinet, travel kit, purse and gym bag, so it’s there when you need it.
  • Simply mix with water and consume.
  • Developed by a Mayo Clinic-trained family physician,
  • DripDrop contains a proven ratio of ingredients – including sodium, sugars and potassium –which absorb quickly and help you recover faster than any other hydration product on the market.
  • DripDrop has been shown to hydrate 34% faster than water alone, and 20% faster than pediatric solutions and sports drinks.

We got to try both the Berry and the Lemon flavors. I am so glad that we were given a choice because our son did not like the Berry but really liked the Lemon. We also received a bottle that my son quickly claimed as his own.

We stayed inside today to avoid the heat.

I plan on taking my DripDrop to hydrate me during and after a Bikram Yoga session. If you have ever tried Bikram Yoga then you know how much you sweat in the heated studio. DripDrop sounds like a great way to replenish my electrolytes after a 90 minute sweat session!

To learn more visit the DripDrop website.  For information and promotions make sure to  follow @dripdrop on Twitter, visit Drip Drop on facebook, and check out drinkdripdrop on Instagram.



Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks and DripDrop. Complimentary product samples were provided. All opinions are my own.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Foodie Friday with California Pizza Kitchen #CPKMomSD

Please allow me to share my CPK love. A few months back San Diego Bloggers were invited to get to know California Pizza kitchen with a sampling of their wide array of appetizers, salads, main courses, desserts, and cocktails. My thanks to CPK for hosting us.

Food and Friendship are easily two of my favorite things! I had the opportunity to meet with my San Diego Mom Blogger friends and learn more about California Pizza Kitchen at the same time. The Solana Beach CPK crew rocks!




We visited the Solana Beach Location of California Pizza Kitchen. They are located at 437 S HWY 101 Solana Beach, CA 92075



Photo Credit: SD Mom's Night Out | Angela Quisumbing

My impression of CPK prior to our blogger luncheon was that it is a place to grab pizza and salad. Good pizza and salad. I had no idea that their menu was so expansive. I am thrilled that CPK can cover ANY of my food cravings way BEYOND pizza and salad!

Pictured BBQ Chicken Pizza on the left and my FAVORITE CPK Pizza: Wild Mushroom with White Truffle Oil!


Cocktails? YES! You can grab some AMAZING cocktails with your girlfriends or while on date night with the hubby!

In hand: California Roots: Vodka, avocado, mint, agave sour and fennel rim - SO GOOD!

Surf and Turf? WHAT?! Oh yes! Fire grilled rib eye and cedar plank salmon is available at CPK! Who knew?!

Cedar Plank Salmon and Fire Grilled Rib eye in the background = Surf and Turf!


Decadent desserts? Just say butter cake! To die for! You'll want to save some room for this!

Butter Cake - a MUST try


The staff was very friendly and a happy crew. That makes a difference. We got to venture behind the scenes and guess what? It's clean, organized, and well stocked!

Photo Credit: SD Mom's Night Out | Angela Quisumbing

YOUR TURN: When was the last time you dined out? After posting this I realize that we don't eat out often enough. I think we will remedy that over the weekend.

Disclosure: I was an invited guest of SD Moms Night Out, California Pizza Kitchen, and the Litton Group. I was not required to submit a blog post but was craving some of the great food that I sampled that day.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Blog Conference Road Trips With The Family #FebrezeCar

Giveaway has ended.

Febreze sent us their Car Vent Clips to eliminate tough car odors and the Road Trip to Freshness board game for a little family fun. Thank you Febreze!


As a blogger, I really enjoy going to blogging and social media conferences. I love it when they happen to be within driving distance from where my family and I live. I always bring them along so that we can make a family trip out of it.  Who doesn't love a family road trip?!

Our in-car adventures have taken us to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Anaheim, and Scottsdale. Relatively lengthy drives from our home is San Diego, especially with a little one. Being cooped up in car for hours is great family bonding time but it could also result in a smelly vehicle. Drive thru food smells are our biggest culprit on our road trips. Oh SURE, the grilled onions on a double cheeseburger sounds yummy and SMELLS delish... But hours later? Blech. Greasy french fries and cheeseburgers are fun road trip treats but you don't want to smell it for the entire drive! Good thing nobody EVER farts in the car! Giggle. You get the gist of it. Small car, big smells, no fun. I'll never get used the smell of lingering fast food odors. Nope. Not me.



Your turn - please tell me about your smelly-mobile! Gym clothes? The forgotten french fry under the car seat? What causes stink in your car? OK, OK - since we probably don't want to air out what stinks, how about sharing your road trip memories? Please share your stories in the comments. Thanks!

OK, enough of the gross car smell talk.  Let's talk shopping and giveaways instead. If you enter our $25 Walmart giftcard giveaway you can drive on over to Walmart and do a litlle shopping. Maybe even pick up some Febreze Vent Clips while you are there.

Febreze Car Vent Clip in action. I like that you can adjust the amount of fragrance.

Febreze Car Vent Clip 411:

  • You can buy a single clip at Walmart and get another free. 
  • Febreze Vent Clips last up to 30 days.
  • Febreze Vent Clips can help keep your car as fresh-smelling as your home.

Playing "Road Trip to Freshness" and avoiding smelly incidents along the way.

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below. Open to U.S. residents 18 and older. SheSpeaks will provide and ship a $25 Walmart gift card to our giveaway winner. Winner will have 24 hours to respond, otherwise an alternate winner will be selected.

For product information and promotions please follow @Febreze_Fresh on Twitter or Febreze on Facebook.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
I couldn't resist the urge to share our family video from our first Blog Conference Road Trip. Destination: Las Vegas. Here we are on the Las Vegas Strip with our then 2 year old. Fair warning, the video is unedited. Lifebycynthia unscripted!

Disclosure: This post is written in partnership with SheSpeaks and Febreze. All opinions are mine.

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