Life by Cynthia: 2017

Sunday, July 2, 2017

AFRICA ROCKS at the San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo’s Conrad Prebys Africa Rocks is a new exhibit that spotlights the biodiversity found on the African continent. Just in time for Summer 2017, SIX new habitats have been added! Rollout begins July 1st, 2017. The first to debut are the penguins of Cape Fynbos. Other habitats will open as animals become acclimated to their new homes. The latest information can be found at

Africa Rocks is the Zoo’s most ambitious exhibit project to date. The six habitats of Africa Rocks are Kopje, Ethiopian Highlands, Acacia Woodland, Madagascar Forest, West African Forest, and Cape Fynbos. Naturally, the draw for many are the animals. But I am just as excited to see The African Garden. The Ethiopian Highlands area will present strange, startling, and beautiful plants, many that you may never have seen before.

  • Kopje These boulder-strewn islands in grassland savanna are home for a variety of animals that live their lives among the rocks, including meerkats, hyraxes, and klipspringer antelope. 
  • Ethiopian Highlands This rugged mountain habitat is made up of craggy, granite peaks and plateaus. The unique species adapted to this environment include Hamadryas baboons, geladas, and Nubian ibex.
  •  Acacia Woodland This open woodland habitat features shrubs and grasses among thorn-bearing acacia trees. Leopards prowl here, vervet monkeys chatter in large family groups, and a colorful bevy of birds flit and nest among the branches in a huge walk-through aviary
  • Madagascar Forest Madagascar’s forests are among the world’s most distinctive, with dramatic limestone formations and spiny dry forest plants. This is home to species found nowhere else on Earth, including the extraordinary tree-leaping lemurs.
  • West African Forest The dense, tropical forests of western Africa get up to 80 inches of rain each year, creating waterfalls, streams, and pools for fish and the dwarf crocodiles that eat them.
  •  Cape Fynbos The fynbos along South Africa’s rocky coastline sets the stage for unusual species, including the weird and beautiful protea plants, small sharks that swim among the reefs, and the adorable, warm-weather African penguins.

We plan on making a visit to The San Diego Zoo and checking out Africa Rocks. We will be sure to share our adventures with you in a future blog post!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Smile Worthy Family Moments

There are days when all that I can manage are the simple things. I have been out of commission health wise and could only muster the bare minimum. When parents are under the weather it can be tough to take care of yourself let alone house and home. I have deadlines to meet, nightly homework, and juggling a schedule of activities... You know the drill. All I really want and need is to feel better. Just to be able to function without feeling lousy. The bottom line is that I can't just stay in bed to rest until I am 100% well. Life moves quickly and we need to keep up. The reality is there, so I must do what I gotta do. The importance of self-care is always top of mind for me. I try. But even with the best efforts, it happens: we get sick. Even still, I pick myself up and get through it. Luckily, keeping the kiddo in this house happy just takes the simple things. THANK goodness for that.

Once in a while I throw out the whole "don't play with your food" line that some parents give their children. I don't worry because he knows to wash his hands well, especially before eating. I like that he is a great story teller and lets his imagination run wild. It gives him the chance to lead our mealtime talks. It also gives me a moment to sit back and just listen.

Making egg salad sliders and letting him play with his plate was all it took. He made up stories while decorating his plate with bits of veggies and just a few Goldfish crackers. Simple. We're good.

When I am not feeling well, I can STILL be present for the family. It isn't always easy, but we make it happen. When the kid is happy, I am happy. That peace of mind helps me to heal much faster. Thankfully, I am on the mend. Next week is Spring Break so I am ready for more smile worthy family moments. I am looking forward to our adventures!

If you are looking to find fun family ideas from Goldfish you can visit them on Pinterest and on YouTube.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

LYMBER Fitness App Helping ME with 2017 Self Care Goals

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

I am absolutely THRILLED with the opportunity to try out Lymber. They are helping me with my self care goals for 2017! Fitness ranks high on my list! Also on that list: saving money, trying new things, and having FUN! There are so many classes that I can choose from. With the Lymber Fitness app I can save up to 75% off classes from the best studios in my area. ZERO Membership Fees. You pay only for what you use.

The Lymber app is FREE!

If you use my affiliate code: CYNTHLYMB1-34 when you sign up, you will get $5.00 OFF of your first Lymber class! I've shared the Lymber video for a rundown on how the the program works.

I am both an Android and an iOS user but currently the app is only available for iOS (Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch). Pricing is dynamic: enjoy real-time, demand-based pricing for studios in your area. I love the concept of pay-as-you-go access!

I am already a big fan of hot yoga. There are so many other styles of yoga that I can explore using the app. I have been wanting to try pilates and possibly a spin or dance class too. They are ALL offered on Lymber. Please stay tuned for a recap post in the very near future! I can hardly wait to share my Lymber experience with you and let you know how my class goes. I hope that you'll join me!

See how it works:

Don't forget to sign up using the promo code...

Lymber Fitness has given me a special coupon code to offer to my friends (yes YOU)! With my promo code you will get $5.00 off of your first Lymber class! Just use the code CYNTHLYMB1-34

Disclosure: This post is sponsored. As a Lymber Affiliate, I received a credit towards a fitness class and a discount code to share with my readers. *I will earn a commission for class bookings resulting from the use of my Lymber affiliate discount code.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Movie Inner Circle with Fandango, Flixter, and Rotten Tomatoes

I was just invited to join Movie Inner Circle which is an exclusive online community of movie lovers. Thank you for the invite Fandango, Flixter, and Rotten Tomatoes! As a member, I will share my opinions through surveys, polls and chat forums. I'll also get chances to win prizes in a monthly sweepstakes just by participating. Sounds good to me. I'm IN!

The call is out for more movies lovers. I've been asked if I would like to recommend up to 5 friends who, like me, loves movies. Let me know if you want me to forward your email to receive an invitation. You need to love movies, register (and be approved), and have an opinion (and be willing to share it). Once my referrals successfully complete the Movie Inner Circle registration process, I'll get an extra entry for the monthly sweepstakes. Let me know if you're in!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Try Products From Leading Brands For FREE via PINCHme

FREE samples from leading brands? Yes! Read on to see how to get yours! PINCHme FREE Sample Tuesday is 2/28 at 12Noon EST. Don't miss it!

PINCHme allows members discover and try free samples from the world’s leading brands! It’s 100% FREE (free products AND free shipping)! No credit card is required.

I just received my premium PINCHme blogger box from It is full of free products to review. My box included an assortment of past, present, and / or future samples featured on I wanted to share how YOU can get free samples too!

Every month, on Sample Tuesday, new free samples are released on Sample Tuesday is right around the corner! Mark your calendar for  Tuesday 2/28 at 12Noon EST! Don’t miss your chance to claim free samples! Act quickly! In my experience, the demand is HUGE and samples are claimed FAST! You don't want to be left out!

How to get your FREE goodies from PINCHme:

1. Sign up for FREE at

2. Complete your profile to match you with relevant products.

3. Order free samples at 12 p.m. EST.

4. Share your feedback.

There is such a wide variety of samples. From beauty, snacks, baby, pet, personal care, cleaning products, and household items - there's something for everyone!

All they ask for is your honest feedback on the products. You have 30 days from when your product shipped to complete your feedback surveys.

It doesn’t stop at FREE samples. Members benefit from special partner offers, exclusive sweepstakes, product review opportunities, and other promotions.

My tips:

  • Keep your profile updated! PINCHme works to match member profiles with Brand Partners' needs. It's a win-win.
  • Mark your calendar! I've made the mistake of missing my share of Sample Tuesdays! Date AND time is of the essence. These great samples get claimed FAST!
  • Don't forget to share your feedback.
  • Have fun!
  • Tell a friend! 

In case you were curious about some of the brands, I took pictures of what I got! I am thrilled with my goodies. Hydralyte Electrolyte Tablets (PERFECT to hydrate me after hot yoga)! Essie for a mani/pedi at home! COVERGIRL make-up. Anti-wrinkle cream from POND'S. OLAY body wash. Kitchen and laundry goods covered as well with Scotch-Brite and SHOUT.

Disclosure: I received free samples from The opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Friday, February 17, 2017

OREO Dunk Challenge: How Do YOU Dunk?

Official rules can be found here:

I am excited to share that OREO is having a Dunk Challenge! For more details visit the #OREODUNKSWEEPSTAKES homepage. It's fun and easy to enter! Just take a photo or video of yourself dunking an OREO® cookie in milk and post it to Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag: #OREODunkSweepstakes.

40,000 lucky finalists will have a chance to win one (1) of five (5) VIP Grand Prize trips to a Celebrity Dunking Event in NYC or Los Angeles, plus $2,000! Post daily for more chances to win.

Visit your local Walmart for OREO products and check out the in-store dunking events! Don't forget the milk!

I met my first OREO back in the 1970s. As  a child I was a the type of dunker that would twist apart the two chocolate wafers and eat the sweet creme filling before dunking the rest in milk. I evolved in the 1980s and enjoyed the entire milk soaked cookie. We use our fingers - even though I have seen it done with a fork! Leaving the cookie is just long enough to get soft but not soggy is something that my 6 year old has mastered!

My mom gave me my first OREO and to be honest, I believe that it was she who bought my kiddo his first pack of OREO cookies! He loves to dunk his OREO in milk and takes his sweet time. I'm glad that he is careful and neat about it! Now with a a basketball, he is all about the SLAM DUNK! He learned how to at 5 years old! I love this kid. I could watch him dunk OREOS (or basketballs) all day, every day! After a couple of OREO cookies this kid must go outside to PLAY!

How do you dunk your OREO cookies?

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Spring 2017 Fashion Trend Report with Neiman Marcus San Diego

Spring is in the air! It doesn't  feel like Spring as it has been the coldest and rainiest weather that I've seen in quite a while here in San Diego - but Spring FASHION is upon us!  Alex Yáñez, Fashion Stylist for Neiman Marcus, presented a preview of the top trends for the season. The media luncheon hosted by Neiman Marcus is one of my favorite events. It is always such a good time with NM to see what is in store with fashion and accessories. I love having the opportunity to lunch with fellow bloggers, to check out the gorgeous fashion, and to  tell you all about my faves!

Ruffles & Flounces: As seen on the runway. Frills! I am loving the ruffles.

Ruffles & Flounces

Stripes: Vertical stripes, horizontal stripes, stripes on stripes, stripes paired with prints...STRIPES!

Peekaboo Shoulders: Time to bare those shoulders. According to NM - show a little or a lot!

Peekaboo Shoulders (and Legs)

Neutrals: My favorite! Whites, creams, khakis, olive... I adore the neutrals!


The Mini-Bag: Big enough? The perfect size to hold just the necessities.

The Mini Bag

Destroyed Denim: This Spring you will see both gently frayed to totally tattered.

Destroyed Denim

Disclosure: I was an invited guest to the Neiman Marcus Media Luncheon. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

T Rex Planet Traveling Dinosaur Show

We have a little boy that loves dinosaurs. I have lost count on how many dinosaur toys and books that he owns. We have watched our fair share of dinosaur movies and television shows. I know so much dino trivia at this point! I was thrilled when a dinosaur show came to town and I am grateful for father and son time. That special time is great for the boys to bond and create memories. Not to mention the little bonus that I get with a bit of down time to myself. Sometimes I do get a little jealous of their fun but I encourage their special adventures. Father and son spending one on one is priceless. I hope to share more of their adventures on the blog. I really love the retelling of the day by son. His expressions are priceless and the happiness that just pours out of him makes me smile. I love that he is excited to tell me all about it. It doesn't hurt that his daddy is a videographer/photographer/editor, we get a highlight reel of all the fun times!

One of their father and son trips took them to T Rex Planet. T. REX Planet is a North American traveling Dinosaur show. The show made it's way to San Diego on January 14 - 15, 2017. We saw the television commercials and my son could not contain his excitement. He wanted to make sure that his daddy knew that he wanted to go. His hero came through and got tickets. They attended the show that was held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds Exhibit Hall. It was a hit.

 He described it as AWESOME, THE BEST, COOL... Yes, all caps!

The cost of the event was $25 for kids and $20 for adults. Parking $13. Discounts are available for military families and senior citizens.

This event simulates what it would be like to experience the Jurassic, Triassic, and Cretaceous periods first hand. According to my son, the dinosaurs looked real. He said that it wasn't scary for him (he is six years old). He did say that younger kids may be frightened and that he did see a little one cry because they were scared.

There were items for sale so we did end up adding to the collection at home. If you have a dino loving kid this show is for them!

Not a sponsored post.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Rainy Days In San Diego

Rainy days in San Diego do exist! I am excited for the new year and can hardly believe that we are already well into the first month of 2017. So far, January has had more rainy days than usual. I don't mind a bit. The grass is getting greener! Another bonus: San Diegans have been skipping their trips to our nearby lake! I have to admit that I am not a fan of crowds or searching for parking spots.

I braved the rain and headed out to the lake for some fresh air and exercise. I found the area deserted. There were a handful of die hard fitness and outdoor enthusiasts out, but not many. It was a quiet morning and I relished the solitude.

Sometimes it can be tough to tune out all of the noise and find a quiet place to reflect. I am glad that the lake was deserted. The only sounds: nature! I ran into a few feathered companions who greeted me as I took a hike around the lake. It was cold (by San Diego standards) and wet, but I didn't end up drenched. I am thankful that the sun took a break to make way for the clouds!

Miramar Lake, San Diego CA
Deserted trails, waterfowl, and breaking in my new hiking shoes.

Hopefully once the weather clears I will still head out and enjoy San Diego more than I have in the past. I am an admitted home body and haven't cared to venture out much. I love being at home as much as I can. Sounds boring. I guess that I'm on the boring side! I'll brave the crowds more often this year. I'll be more patient with traffic and parking issues. I'll play tourist along with the many other tourists visiting San Diego. Adventures await.

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