Mom Blogger Buzz Travel, Social Media, Product Reviews, PR Friendly, Inspiration, SAHM, WAHM 2017-05-26T22:37:43Z Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Traveling to Maui: 5 Tips You May Wish to Know]]> 2017-05-26T22:37:43Z 2017-05-26T22:30:46Z

Maui is a beautiful place to visit. I loved the cleanliness of the island and the fact there aren’t a lot of tourists or crime. If you are planning a trip to Maui plan ahead. Here are a few tips.

  • Rental Car: To avoid the long lines become a member of Fastbreak, for example from Budget. There are also other rental car companies that offer similar memberships. When we arrived there were people stranded without cars, even when they had reserved them. We luckily were Fastbreak members, picked up our key and car without waiting. I am not sure what happened to everyone else who were stranded at the airport.
  • Gas Prices: Join Costco before you leave for your trip. There are two benefits, it’s right next to Kahului Airport so you can fill up on your way back when returning your car and as you can see on today’s GasBuddy app, the prices are significantly less than the rest of the island. Due to the low prices, the lines are long!

  • Lodging: If you are renting a condo or room from Airbnb for instance, there is an additional 14% city tax, that most of the listings for some reason did not include. We ended up paying that upfront.
  • Beaches: The beaches are beautiful, however, be careful as some do have a strong riptide, large swells, and potentially deadly currents. Makena and Puu Olai are some I would not recommend children swimming in. While we were at Makena (Big Beach), someone sadly drowned on the nearby Puu Olai [Little Beach], which is a nude beach. The only way to get to Puu Olai [Little Beach] is parking at Makena and walking to it. Some of the best beaches we visited were Kama’ole Beach Parks, 1, 2 & 3. They all have parking, restrooms, some lifeguards and were walking distance from our condo.

This not so little guy came up to us at on of the Kama’ole beaches!

Black Sand Beach at Waiʻanapanapa State Park off of Hana Highway is beautiful as well. When we were there the path to the beach had corroded from rain and it was closed to the public while they were working on it. I am sure by now it is opened for all to enjoy!

  • Traveling to Hana: Despite being only 57 miles away, driving to Hana from Kihei took over two hours. We had a great drive, but I would not drive this road at night. The winding tight curves are mostly without side rails and there are around 59 bridges, the majority with only a single lane. You will have to yield to the oncoming drivers.

The town of Hana was very quaint. You can purchase fresh fruit and vegetables on the side of the road, via the honor system!

We enjoyed our trip and plan to return very soon. Have you traveled to Maui? What things did you love about your trip? I would love to hear all about it!



Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Experience Leavenworth, WA at the Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort]]> 2016-12-15T01:00:29Z 2016-12-15T00:57:09Z

Disclosure: I received a complimentary one night stay at the Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort to facilitate my review. All opinions are 100% my own.

In my opinion Leavenworth, WA is one of the most picturesque towns in Washington State and it is only a little over two hours from Seattle. During the month of December, the Christmas Lighting Festival is a must see. This beautiful Bavarian town in the Cascade Mountains lights up for the holidays with over a million lights!

We have visited Leavenworth many times and hands down, our best lodging experience has been at the Sleeping Lady A Mountain Resort. 

The resort sits on 67 acres, alongside Icicle Creek and only three miles from downtown Leavenworth. Sleeping Lady is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway for two, family reunions, weddings, retreats or corporate events. The reasons to make this your Leavenworth home away from home are many.

Your senses will be heightened as you walk on the lit paths towards your cabin or to any of the resort’s many facilities. You will hear only the water flowing over the rocks on the waterfall near the Grotto or on Icicle Creek, if you look up on a clear night you will see the silhouettes of the tall evergreens against the star-filled sky. Only peace and tranquility will surround you.

Beautiful rustic and cozy cabins are nestled in small clusters around the property. Below is the Alcove room, which sleeps up to three people.

Attention pet owners, there are 6 Canine Companion rooms for your four-legged family members too!


Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[How to Beat Hot Flashes and Stay Cool With @Derma_Menopause Linens #nightsweatsnomore #Ad]]> 2015-07-30T19:57:27Z 2015-07-30T19:21:10Z DermaTherapy Bed Linens Review

Disclosure: I received a complimentary set of DermaTherapy® bed linens to facilitate my review. All of the opinions are 100% my own.

It’s hard to admit that I have been dealing with menopausal symptoms for some time now. Many nights I wake up with my pajamas saturated in sweat. I know this is not something people want to hear but many women deal with this issue during menopause. When this occurs I almost always have difficulty falling back asleep.

I was excited when I was asked to participate in “DermaTherapy’s Blogger Review Program”. The temperature here in Seattle had risen to the high 90’s and we do not have air conditioning. As bedtime rolled around the temperature in the house was in the mid 80’s. I was waking up every night unable to sleep and looking for a cozy place under the ceiling fan.

Needless to say the day we received the sheets I immediately placed them in the washer per the manufacturer’s instructions. I wanted them on the bed as soon as possible! Below are the washing instructions found on their website.

DermaTherapy Bed Linen Review

Care & Use Instructions

Your DermaTherapy® sheets and pillowcases may be machine washed and dried on low to medium heat. It is recommended that you wash your sheets and pillow cases before using them.

  • Do not use fabric softener or a dryer sheet as this may block the wicking properties.
  • If Bleach is needed, only use Non-Chlorine bleach.
  • Do not Dry Clean.

Immediately I was struck on the coolness of the fabric and how silky and light they felt. I made the bed like I usually do. The flat sheet slides a little on the silky fitted sheet so make sure you use hospital bed like mitered corners when making your bed. That has helped keeping the sheets in place for us.

Once we got in bed my husband also commented how cool and soft the sheets were. I drifted off to sleep and did not wake up once. This was the first time in a long time that I was able to sleep and was not bothered with hot flashes. Despite the warm temperatures outside we felt cool all night.

We have used the sheets every night since we got them. I don’t even bother putting our other sheets on the bed. As soon as these are laundered they go right back on! They have cut down significantly on the episodes of hot flashes and lack of quality sleep that I had been experiencing.

I am so happy with them that I purchased a set for my son and daughter-in-law. No, they do not have menopause, but they live in California and do not have air conditioning either. My son mentioned how much trouble falling asleep they have had in this heat. I am anxious to hear how they like them and what their experiences have been.

DermaTherapy Bed Linen Review

You can find DermaTherapy here:


They also have products for people suffering with skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and atopic dermatitis and wound care products to prevent skin breakdown.

I will definitely purchase more sets in the near future.

Are you dealing with sleep issues due to menopausal symptoms or other conditions? If you have found something that helps you please share in the comments below.

Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[How Did Two School Teachers Impact My Love for Writing?]]> 2015-07-11T15:08:52Z 2015-07-10T19:07:06Z QoR8Bv1S2SEqH6UcSJCA_Tea. CarliJean.Unsplash

Photo Credit: CarliJean.Unsplash

My love for writing began in elementary school.  One day my third grade teacher, Mrs. M. asked us to cut photographs from magazines and bring them to class. Mrs. M. had a cardboard box sitting on her desk and we all obediently placed our pictures in that box. We did that over several days, not knowing what she was going to have us do with them.

Finally the day was here, Mrs. M. told us to choose a photograph from the box and write a story about the picture. As my hand went into that box of photographs I remember the fear starting to set in. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to write about anything.  As I sat there looking at the picture I felt my body relax. The usual panic subsided and all of a sudden I started to write a story.  I looked forward to those days when we would pick a picture from that old cardboard box.

If only I had kept all those stories. I would love to be able to read what that little girl was dreaming about so many years ago. Mrs. M’s writing assignments woke up a creative part in me and from that day on I wanted to write a novel.

However, in just one quick moment all those dreams would be taken away.  Why would I allow that to happen?  I had been writing for a few years, I was no longer in the third grade, I was now sitting in my 8th grade classroom.

We were reading “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck.  Our assignment was to take the book home and finish reading the story and stop right before the last chapter.  We were not to read it, but instead write the last chapter ourselves.  I wasn’t even intimidated about finishing John Steinbeck’s words; it didn’t even occur to me until now that I am writing this!  I just remember being so excited to get started!

I did what I was told and closed the book right before the last chapter. I sat and wrote what I thought should be the ending of this amazing book and the next day handed it in to my teacher.

A few days later the teacher handed out the books to all of us and we were to read the last chapter silently.  As I was reading the ending my stomach began to knot up, I know I must have changed several shades of red.  As I shifted in my seat I looked up and the teacher was looking straight at me. I had written an ending almost word for word, identical to Mr. Steinbeck!  Instead of being proud and excited, I was sick as I knew I was now in trouble.

To this day I remember that old desk I was sitting at, the American Flag to the right of the chalkboard, the posters on the wall and even the aromas coming from the cafeteria, as it was soon going to be lunch.  My heart was pounding out of my chest.  I didn’t know how I was going to explain this; no one was going to believe that I hadn’t cheated.

The teacher then said those dreaded and expected words, “Someone here decided not to follow directions and copied the last chapter of the book.”  She also continued on with a long discussion about plagiarism. From that moment on all I could hear was the loud pounding of my heart in my ears. 

Inside my head I was screaming, “No, I didn’t cheat, I swear, those were my words, I didn’t read the last chapter!”  I knew no one would believe me; I just sat there speechless, sickened and sad.  I had never cheated or lied in my life and to be accused of something that I hadn’t done was devastating.

My dreams were stolen that day.  I never wrote again until now, almost 40 years later; as I write on this blog. Would I have written that novel by now if that hadn’t happened?  I will never know, but it’s never too late!

I will be forever grateful to Mrs. M. for always encouraging and praising us. I do not fault the other teacher, I can’t even remember her name. I suppose if I had been in her shoes I may have thought the same thing. Although, I would have handled it differently, it was my decision to stop writing and pursuing my dream.

Do you remember a time that changed the course of your life?

Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[5 Dieting Tips When Planning Your Vacation]]> 2015-07-06T20:27:38Z 2015-07-06T18:26:46Z [This post contains affiliate links. I, Lisa Ladrido am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to All opinions are always my own.]


San Bernardino National Forest in California

Are you dieting? Here are a few tips I used to avoid gaining weight while on vacation:

We recently traveled to California for our son’s wedding and to visit our grandchildren. If you have been keeping up with my previous posts we have been trying to eat healthier. I am not going to lie, I was a little nervous about gaining weight on our trip. I had lost 10 pounds in the first few weeks of healthier eating and walking. Gaining it all back was not an option!

Let’s face it, we were going for a weekend wedding. I haven’t yet been to a wedding that only served healthy foods! Since we were staying in a cabin up in the San Bernardino National Forest, I knew we weren’t going to find a Trader Joe’s near by!

Safe Haven Forest Retreat/ Running Springs, CA

Here is more about the Safe Haven Forest Retreat.

We had a lovely time and although I couldn’t cook our vegetarian recipes due to the wedding logistics, I didn’t gain weight. In keeping with the cabin theme instead of a wedding cake there were s’mores! Yes, s’mores! The gourmet marshmallows were handmade, delicious and full of calories! The mom of the groom had to have a few bites right? Confession: They were so yummy I ate the whole darn thing! Remember, I didn’t gain any weight! Whew!

Photographer Lydia Tolman

Dieting Tips When Traveling

1. When choosing a place to stay, instead of a hotel rent a condo or house from airbnb or VRBO. If you have a fully stocked kitchen you can stop at the local store and purchase enough food for your stay. This will also save you a lot of money! Don’t get me wrong, I love eating out. When we travel we do, but not 3 meals a day.

2. Make sure you have an app downloaded with all your favorite recipes and tracking tools. I use Forks Over Knives, MyFitnessPal and the Fitbit. If you don’t own a smartphone, bring your recipes with you.

3. If you have to eat out, ask for the take home box as soon as you order your meal, NOT after. Cut the meal in half and close that box! Most servings in the U.S. are too large anyway.You will then have another meal for the following day and half the calories. Choosing healthier options when available and portion control are the key. I have also ordered from the children’s menu to get smaller portions!

4. If available continue your exercise program or get creative. When we were at the cabin there wasn’t a treadmill, however there were many walking trails. So I would take the dog for a walk twice a day. Staying active is the key. If you have a Fitbit or something similar, then make sure you’re maintaining your goals. My son and daughter-in-law just gave me this one for my birthday and I love it!

5. Stay hydrated. Drink lots of water. Stay away from those sodas. I know it’s tempting, just limit the amount of unhealthy drinks. Did you know that dehydration mimics hunger? If you get hungry, before grazing in that snack box, drink a big glass of water. You may just be dehydrated! One of the items we always have on hand when traveling is bottled water. Look ⇒”How Much Sugar is In a Can of Coke”:

What tips do you have when dieting and traveling? Please share them in the comment section below.

Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Happy Birthday America: The Star Spangled Banner by @MadisonRising]]> 2015-07-04T16:13:15Z 2015-07-02T15:24:21Z  

Happy 4th of July.Mom Blogger Buzz dot com

Photo by E. Nelson/ Property of Mom Blogger Buzz

[This post contains affiliate links. I, Lisa Ladrido am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to All opinions are always my own.]

In a few days there will be back yard barbecues, family picnics, parades and a lot of fireworks celebrating the 4th of July, Independence Day. As a child I loved going with my family to watch the fireworks. We lived in upstate New York at the time and my earliest memory was around five years old. My mom would prepare a lot of snacks and we would go to our local park and play, returning to our picnic blanket just in time for the fireworks display.

On a side note, my birthday was supposed to be on July 4th, but the doctor apparently wanted the day off, so July 2nd it is! Did you know that the actual vote by Congress for Independence happened on July 2, 1776? “John Adams believed that July 2nd was the correct date on which to celebrate the birth of American independence, and would reportedly turn down invitations to appear at July 4th events in protest. Adams and Thomas Jefferson both died on July 4, 1826–the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.”

The Star Spangled Banner written by Frances Scott Key didn’t officially become our National Anthem until 1931. I love this version of The Star Spangled Banner by Madison Rising. I hope you enjoy it! Happy 4th of July!

Listen & watch here:

Follow Madison Rising:

Their Store




If you like their version of the song you can get it on Amazon or iTunes:

The picture above is of my two sweet grandchildren! We were just with them last week and wish we could be there this weekend. What are your plans for the 4th of July? Are there any traditions that your family does to celebrate Independence Day? Please share in the comments below. Have a safe and Happy 4th!


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Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Tips for the Vegan Newbie and a Bonus Enchilada Casserole Recipe via @ForksOverKnives]]> 2015-06-11T19:34:24Z 2015-06-11T19:34:24Z ForksOverKnivesEnchilada-Casserole-vertical-800x793

In a previous post, Living With POTS: I Am Not a Zebra, I mentioned that I would be sharing some of the healthy vegan recipes from Forks Over Knives. We are newbies when it comes to cooking mostly all vegan. Since I wasn’t familiar with some of these recipes I made some mistakes along the way. If you are a vegan newbie like us, here are some tips that you may find helpful.

Tip #1

Initially when we started, I planned our meals for the week and then went shopping. Since most of the ingredients are vegetables, this helped things from spoiling. Sounds good right?! However, there were days that we just didn’t feel like a particular recipe. Another issue we found was that since it is just my husband and I we would have leftovers, so we really didn’t need to make a new meal every night. Therefore, I had a weeks worth of vegetables in the refrigerator that would have to spill over to the next week or so. Increasing the possibility of spoiling.

Before you go shopping, whether you like leftovers or not, look at how many servings the recipe calls for and either cut the ingredients in half or have enough to eat it again the following night!

What I love about the Forks Over Knives App is that when you are preparing your shopping list you can click on the ingredients you need from the recipe and it will immediately go into the App’s Shopping List. I added the Red Bell Pepper to the Shopping List in the image below.

ForksOverKnives App

Tip #2

Have certain items in your pantry and refrigerator, making sure that you do not purchase a lot of perishables. This is my list, which includes some items frequently found in the Forks Over Knives recipes we love:

Cans of Black/Kidney & White Beans
Quinoa and/or Brown Rice
Cans of Trader Joe’s Organic Tomatoes Diced and Fire Roasted
Low Sodium Soy Sauce
Green/Red Peppers
Spinach and/or Kale
Low Sodium Vegetable Stock
Sweet Potatoes
Red Potatoes
Gluten Free soft tortillas
Trader Joe’s Coconut Oil

Tip #3

Read over the recipe before you get started. If it calls for cooked Quinoa, that takes around twenty minutes, so start preparing that first. Then cut up all the vegetables that the recipe calls for. The mistake I made is I didn’t realize I needed it already prepared and dinner that night was way later than planned!

If I don’t have Quinoa on hand I have been substituting with brown rice and so far all the recipes have tasted delicious. Some of the recipes call for salsas or sauces. Make sure you take that into account and prepare those ahead as well.

Tip #4

If you don’t have one already, purchase a medium or large food processor.

We purchased the Nutri Ninja 2-in-1. It is the perfect size for my husband and I. The Processor Bowl is 40 ounces and it also includes 16 ounce Nutri Ninja Cups for healthy shakes on the go.

Nutri Ninja Mom Blogger Buzz dot com

I mostly love casseroles because I can prepare them in the morning and just put them in the oven when dinner time rolls around. This particular recipe is not only delicious & healthy but also very quick to make.

FOK Vegan Enchilada Casserole

(Click here for the recipe:) The Forks Over Knives Vegan Enchilada Casserole is what we are having for dinner tonight.

FOK Vegan Enchilada Casserole

I substituted the chard for what I had on hand, spinach and kale. Almost ready to put in the baking dish, top with cut soft tortillas and bake! Don’t forget to download the Forks Over Knives App and try these delicious recipes!

Please share with us in the comment section below any websites, cookbooks or apps you use when looking for healthy recipes.


Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Living With POTS: I Am Not a Zebra]]> 2015-05-29T16:53:33Z 2015-05-28T19:20:32Z Zebra

Although Zebras are beautiful creatures, when doctors use that term it brings back so many negative memories and a time of uncertainty for me.

My Little Secret

Let me tell you a secret, I normally don’t speak much about my “real” life on here. Although I do have a page about being a P.O.T.S Mom, I don’t like talking about it. When I say “real” life, I mean as a person dealing with an illness. I have noticed that there is a preconceived notion if you talk about being sick it is a sign of weakness or whining. However, I need to start being straight up with all of you on how I am dealing with this. Hopefully I can start spreading awareness about this condition. I wasted 18 months of misdiagnoses and do not wish that on anyone. So here goes!

“The authentic self is the soul made visible.” Sarah Ban Breathnach
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My journey with Hyperadrenergic Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome started way before I had to stop working as a Registered Nurse in 2009. I frequently changed jobs to accommodate myself as these strange new symptoms arose. At the time they were vague and sporadic. When the tremors began in 2004 I was working in a NICU and no longer could safely perform the basic care needed for the premature infant. I was dropping things, lightheaded and having palpitations. I had to change jobs three more times before all the symptoms arrived at once and I could no longer work.

I was almost fifty years old and of course the doctors automatically said it must be anxiety and prescribed pill after pill.  I balked at the idea, I couldn’t understand how by just walking a few steps to the kitchen which made me short of breath, tachycardic, chest pains, palpitations, lightheaded and nauseated would be caused by anxiety. As soon as I would lie down most of the symptoms would disappear. So I was “anxious” only when I walked but once I arrived to the couch or bed somehow the “anxiety” was gone?

After eighteen months of countless tests, medications and appointments to numerous doctors, they were all seemingly brushing me off as a mental case. They never actually said those words but I did feel that was what they were thinking. They did however call me a “zebra”.

From Wikipedia: “Zebra is a medical slang term for a surprising  diagnosis. Although rare diseases are, in general, surprising when they are encountered, other [common] diseases can be surprising in a particular person and time, and so “zebra” is the broader concept.”

I became increasingly frustrated and angry and decided to take matters into my own hands. My financial situation was in the toilet, I had one son in college and another on his way and debt collectors calling me all the time. Now THAT was indeed making me anxious!

I didn’t have black stripes and I was darn sure there had to be a name for what I was suffering with and it was not “zebra”.  I began researching more about my symptoms and eventually found what is currently my diagnosis.

I also found that the University of Washington Neurology Clinic had the only Autonomic Dysfunction testing center in the area, and to my surprise only one Neurologist who specialized in it. At my earliest cardiology appointment armed with a printout of several pages of symptoms, I asked the cardiologist if he thought this could be what I had. He said it was possible, however he was not sure how to treat it. So thankfully with the Neurologist’s name in hand, he gave me a referral.

I had to wait over four months more before I could see the Neurologist, I later found out that apparently I was not the only one with this diagnosis. When I finally had the testing it was confirmed that I have an “invisible illness” called Hyperadrenergic Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome.

After speaking to Dr. Oakley in 2010 a strange relief swept over me. It wasn’t that I was glad I was sick, but I was glad that there was finally a diagnosis, a name for what I had. I was also extremely grateful that there was a doctor that knew how to treat this condition. I was hopeful that now I would start seeing some relief from these symptoms once the proper treatment began and maybe in the near future get back to work.

As I am writing this it is currently mid 2015. Although I haven’t been able to get back to work, some of the symptoms have decreased with medications, while others have increased or remained. It is pretty tricky to treat and I am happy with even the partial symptom management.

Being on the couch most days and barely being able to do anything is pretty depressing. You also gain weight when you do nothing! What a surprise! I realized that when I ate anything with the bad carbohydrates, sugars and meats I felt sicker, I would actually pass out and wake up a few hours later not even remembering lying down.

Diet and Exercise

Recently I watched the movie, “Forks Over Knives” on Netflix, you can read more about it here at, “Journey from Meat to Tofurkey”. So we have been eating more vegan & gluten free recipes. I will be writing more about this in future posts.

To validate even further how much I feel diet plays a big factor with this and many other conditions, I found this article about Ella, a nineteen year old who suffered with POTS as well and how she started to feel better after changing her diet, “The Recipe That Launched a Book Deal” by Christina Liva.

Having an invisible illness can be a struggle. People can’t see what is going on inside of your body. They also can’t see the loss of identity that occurs when you no longer can do the things you used to do. I was a Registered Nurse, that was part of who I was. The difficulty trying to remember simple words is hard enough, such as trying to write this or any blog post. I no longer remember many of the things I learned in over thirty years of nursing.

If I am out, the first thing I do is try to find either a couch or chair to recline in. I spend a lot of time on my couch or on the bed at home as well. My kids know where to find me!

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Please help spread awareness:

If you are dealing with an #InvisibleIllness you are not alone. #spoonies
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I am hopeful that changing my diet and including some exercise will help me overcome many of the symptoms I deal with on a daily basis. As we try these awesome recipes I will share them with you and also any results I am having. So far I have lost another ten pounds and I am very happy about that!

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Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[DIY: How to Reface a Brick Fireplace Without Knocking it Down]]> 2015-05-18T19:25:46Z 2015-05-18T19:20:46Z Mom Blogger Buzz dot com

We purchased a new home in July 2014. My husband and I downsized since all the boys are grown and moved out. You are welcome to read my first post here.  Ever since we have been painting, adding hardwood flooring, crown moldings, master closet, laundry room and refacing and adding a mantel to the fireplace. My husband does all the work, all I do is draw what I want on a piece of paper and he creates it! He is awesome like that!

Here is how the fireplace looked and with the moss green which was the original color of the house. There is nothing wrong with moss green but I had it in my other house and wanted a Caribbean feel in this home.

As you can see the bricks went up on either side and it looked like the letter H, without a true mantel. We have an entertainment center so we weren’t interested in adding the television over the fireplace. Neither of us wanted to tear down the brick either, so this is how we did it.

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Here he is adding the arch frame to the interior and center. We decided to add the arch because we wanted to match all the arched entryways that are part of the living room.

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Now he added drywall to cover the top portion of the bricks and arch.

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Mud and sand the drywall as directed prior to adding your texture. He then rolled, using a medium rough roller the drywall mud to match as close as possible to the orange peel texture on the rest of the walls.

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We then primed the wall, painted it turquoise to match the rest of the room, new hardwood floors, added the crown molding and mantel he made out of scrap wood!

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Here is the finished fireplace. We removed the track lighting and added the chandelier. I just began accessorizing the mantel. I found all these items at our local HomeGoods store. I am not sure if I like it yet, but I may keep adding other things to it. We  aren’t completely unpacked, so I am sure there are other goodies that I will find.

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What do you think? Should I add more things to the mantel or is this enough?

Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[The One Thing Mom Never Taught Me]]> 2015-05-14T16:07:29Z 2015-05-14T16:07:29Z Photo Property of Lisa Ladrido

Mom in 1957

I have been blessed with many wonderful women who have or continue to inspire me during my life. However, I would like to tell you a little about the most important woman who gave me life, my mom. She taught me so many things, but the one thing she never taught me was how much my life would change without her in it.

She was a Social Worker and a stay at home mom until I, being the eldest, was around 10 years old. From a very young age we all were expected to do chores. I can remember my sister, who around three and a half and I around five, standing on chairs at the kitchen sink washing and drying all the dishes after dinner.

One of my earliest memories of her in the kitchen was making the dough for her delicious homemade bread. Puffs of flour clouds rose from the table as I stood on my tiptoes watching her. I remember her smiling as she bent down placing some of the flour on the tip of my nose!

When I was old enough she started to teach me how to cook certain meals. After she returned to work I had to cook for the family, and yes, there were a lot of jello molds for dessert! I am sure if you asked my siblings they would agree!

Another favorite memory as a child was waking up one Christmas morning and the tree was lit and full of packages. There were two fur coats, hanging by the tree. One for my little sister and one for me. We rushed and put them on, modeling them for all to see! Now as an adult I know she had to have spent every free minute sewing them while we were sleeping.

She returned to work as a Social Worker for a local children’s home. One Christmas she brought home two little foster children who had no where to go. They must have been no older than three or four years old. We had so much fun preparing for that Christmas. It was no longer about what we were going to receive but what we were going to give to those two little boys. I wonder where they are now, but I am sure they never forgot that Christmas, I know I haven’t.

After we moved from New York to Puerto Rico our home became the party place. It seemed that every weekend we had some event and the entire extended family would be there. I can still hear the music and laughter coming from that gazebo. The food magically appeared and there was always enough for everyone.

Later we have learned that she was dealing with many disappointments in her life, but never complained about anything. As kids we were sheltered from anything negative that may have been going on. She loved us with all her heart and soul and we knew it.

She taught us how to take care of ourselves early on. I will always be grateful for that insight as it has helped me during my life’s challenges. We didn’t need to depend on anyone, just ourselves and our wherewithal! I learned to cook, sew, clean, do laundry and take care of a home way before I ever went off to college.

My mom didn’t believe parents and children should be pals, buddies, friends, she was the parent and we were always her kids. However, in my eyes she was my best friend. We talked all the time on the phone. She was always so fair, if I was doing something wrong she would tell me, at times she even took my then husband’s side over mine. She was always there for advice if we needed her.

In 1992 my dad and mom called and told us that they were coming to visit us in Florida.  We were always so excited with their visits. My kids would call them Grandpa and Grandma Airplane because they always had to fly to us for their visits!

They arrived and soon my mom sat with us and told us that she had to see a doctor. My dad was also surprised, she hadn’t told him anything. He thought they were just coming for a fun vacation, as did we.  She said that she had a lump in her breast that needed to be checked.

We quickly got her in to see the doctor. Little did we know that the “lump” as she called it, was an actual large mass already protruding out of her skin. I remember sitting with her and my dad waiting for her to have the CT scan. I was so scared and had a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach.

The CT came back and when I looked at it, it was as if her bones were Swiss cheese. There were actual numerous holes up and down her hip and leg bones. I was sick. I then realized that she must have been in terrible pain, but never complained. I knew I was going to lose my mom and soon.

My dear mom lasted around 18 months after her arrival to Florida. She died in 1993. I miss her so much. I always thought she would be there to see all her grandchildren marry and have kids. It was months before I finally stopped picking up the phone to call her.

My mom was a blessing to all of us and to all the people who crossed her path. She is the woman who to this day inspires me. Did she teach me how life would be without her? No, I never imagined losing her so early. Little did I know that each lesson she did teach me was going to be a lesson on how to survive without her. Thank you Mom, I will forever be grateful to you and for everything you taught me. I love and miss you so much.

Before I close, I must first say that her death was most likely preventable. She never went to the doctor, never had mammograms, or even a simple breast self-exam. She eventually found the tumor but never told anyone, not even a doctor. Please check out how to do a Breast Self-Exam here and please get your yearly mammograms.

Do you have someone in your life that inspires you? Or special childhood memories? Please share them with us, we would love to hear your stories.

Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Moving to Puerto Rico in 1973 While Singing Crocodile Rock]]> 2015-05-06T14:37:25Z 2015-05-05T21:18:35Z caribbean beach

As Mother’s Day approaches I can’t help but think of my mom and grandmother, Abuela who are no longer with us. I miss them both so much. They brought back memories of when we moved to Puerto Rico from New York in 1973. It was quite the culture shock for a 15 year old!

March 1973

I remember the days prior to our move to Puerto Rico.  It was 1973, the long truck full of our belongings sat in our driveway. Elton John was singing Crocodile Rock on the radio.

As I looked out my bedroom window for one of the last times, I wondered if this was going to be a good move. I was scared, but we had traveled to Puerto Rico so many times since I was a little girl.  I loved each visit we made there. I kept telling myself that it was going to be alright.

I had already said goodbye to my friends from school and the neighborhood. As I continued sorting and packing I felt excitement and nervousness all at the same time. I didn’t know how to speak Spanish but I kept pushing that out of my mind.

The day finally arrived and it was time to leave for the airport. As we got in the car I took everything in. The front steps that we would all sit out on in the hot summers eating Popsicles, the rock wall we all worked on together, the dogwood we would lay under and make snow angels, as the snow fell on our faces in the winter. All those memories flooded back to me.

As the car drove us away, I remember looking back at the only house I could remember since I was 5.  We drove past the Green and the Grove where my brother, sister and I used to play for hours at a time. Down the long hill until I no longer could see our house anymore. I turned around and sat quietly looking forward. Now it was real, we were on our way to our new home.

Hours later we landed in Puerto Rico. It was hot and all of our family was waiting for us behind a gate! Everyone was so happy! If I recall correctly my uncle drove us home. I remember feeling a little car sick as he was taking those hair pin curves on our way to Naranjito, the small town we would be moving to. He was driving so fast that I was holding on for dear life.

My Abuela was so funny, even though I barely understood a word she said to me! I could tell she was happy to have us all there with her. My uncles and aunts were always so wonderful to us. We had so many cousins and I couldn’t wait to get to know them even better.

We moved into Abuela’s house until our house was built. My dad was going to be starting on that soon. Although there was a language barrier I began to understand some Spanish. I was terrified of speaking it in fear of making mistakes and being laughed at.

My Abuelo loved to play dominoes and I had fun playing too. One of my uncles used to call me “tramposa”, which means cheater, among other words de cariño of course! I can’t imagine why! I will always remember him playing with a cigarette in one hand and a shot glass on the table. We always had so much fun! There was always laughter, I miss them so much.

I didn’t know Spanish, how was I going to learn it? We had gotten by with the family since most everyone spoke English.  I knew once we started school it was going to be a different story.

Our first day of school came too soon. I was scared and sick to my stomach. I didn’t know what to expect. I was too shy to speak Spanish.

I walked into my math class, and sat down. I think we must have been in the basement, it had a dirt floor. I remember the teacher speaking but it was like when the Charlie Brown cartoon adults speak, “wamp, wamp, wamp” but in Spanish! They could have had the volume completely off, I could barely understand anything. Then all of a sudden a few chickens ran through the classroom! I remember thinking, “oh crap where am I?!”


I don’t know where to start.  I loved Abuela so much. I was always in awe of her abilities to grab a live chicken from the back yard and have it plucked, cooked and served within an hour! I loved those lunches! She was such a strong woman. She suffered quietly; you would have never known the pains that she had lived through in her lifetime. Despite all of that she was always laughing. Her eyes twinkled when she talked! I see her eyes when I look at my uncle.

I used to sit and listen to her stories for hours. She would tell pretend stories of her trips to Europe. When I moved away to college she used to write letters as if she was writing from abroad! Because of those stories I knew that I had to visit those places.  Years later when I walked around Barcelona, I thought of my sweet Abuela who hadn’t been blessed with that opportunity. Her stories of “Espaaaña” and “Barthelona” were so wonderful.

Barcelona, Spain

Photo Property of Lisa Ladrido

Even though she had a kitchen at times she would still cook out back in that big black caldero. She was always busy doing something.  You could always find her washing clothes, hanging them on the line, cleaning, feeding the chickens or cooking, cooking and cooking! The house was always spotless.

She enjoyed going through her family picture albums. We would sit on the side of her bed as I listened to her talk about those times and the people in the photos.

When we used to visit on vacation she still lived in the old house. I remember hearing the rain when it hit the tin roof.  To this day I love that sound. The coquis would be singing as dusk fell, “coqui, coqui, coqui”. The moon would be shining through those swaying palm trees. It was truly perfection!

During those days my hair was quite wild, it was somewhere between an afro and Diana Ross!  Remember we are still in the 1970’s! So at night when we were outside I could feel something swooping by my head! Later I soon found out they were the resident bats from the attic!  I could just imagine one of those babies stuck in my hair, squealing to get out of that nest!

Her house had wooden shutters that covered the windows when it rained.  There were no screens on the windows.  What for?  We had mosquito nets on our beds, and believe me they weren’t only to keep out mosquitoes!

Living in upstate NY I had never seen a cockroach, but these apparently weren’t the ordinary cockroaches. They flew and were over 2 inches long! They were so big you could fit a collar around their necks and take them for a walk!

She taught me how to use the old Singer sewing machine. I do confess getting my finger caught in that needle a few times! I still have that machine sitting here in my home. All of her belongings are still in the drawers as she left them.

I miss my Abuela so much. I wish I had been there during the end. I couldn’t talk to her because my mom was dying and the thought of seeing or hearing that pain would have been dreadful to me. I wanted to spare my Querida Abuelita any pain. Losing a child is tough; knowing that your child is suffering is tougher. I knew that the families were there to take care of her. That gave me comfort.

Now they are all together in Heaven. I picture my uncle and grandfather playing dominoes, my mom holding my baby Alexandra in her lap, while sitting and laughing with my aunts, and my Abuela? Well I am sure she isn’t sitting still in Heaven either!



photo by:
Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Finding Gratitude With #The100DayProject]]> 2015-04-21T19:18:35Z 2015-04-21T19:17:24Z Property of Lisa Ladrido

Property of Lisa Ladrido

Recently a member from the Cyber Dust App community blasted about the #The100DayProject on Instagram. You can read more about it here. So I checked it out and decided to start documenting #100DaysOfGratitude.

I chose Gratitude because I know that even when we are going through difficult and frustrating times in life there is always something to be grateful for. I much rather focus on those things than the frustrations or disappointments.

There have been days that I have had a hard time finding something to be grateful for. I admit it, as I write this we are only on day 16 of the project! I am not able to get out much so many of my posts on Instagram are from my home or are of some great memories I have had.

I don’t want to forget those wonderful days. The picture used for this post for instance is a trip my husband and I made to Madeira Beach, Florida. We had a wonderful trip and that morning was our last one. We woke up early before the sun was even up, made some coffee and took it down to the beach. We carried a bag with some of our left over bread and crackers for the birds.

We first sat and watched as the sun came up behind us while sipping our coffee. I can still feel the warmth of the water as the waves hit our feet. Walking is an issue now for me, so we took it really slow. I had a moment of sadness as we used to power walk on our previous trips. However, I shook all those thoughts away and noticed some dolphins swimming by the shore. They were so beautiful.

The seagulls were starting to appear along with all the other feathered friends that day. So we started to give them some bread. Of course more and more joined in on the fun!

I wanted to take a picture of them, so my husband was throwing the bread in the air as I caught this photo with my phone. I was so grateful that I, with my husband’s help now have a beautiful memory of that day caught in a photograph.

I wrote this quote a few years ago and I will continue to focus on that for the rest of my life;

“Gratitude is the best gift we can receive in life. It is only then that we recognize the blessings that surround us!”

I am grateful for that day, for my wonderful husband, family, friends and all the times we have to look forward to.

What are you grateful for? If you are also participating in #The100DayProject find me on Instagram: Lisa Ladrido and say hello!

Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[The Benefits of the Cyber Dust App in 140 Characters or Less]]> 2015-04-10T13:24:50Z 2015-04-10T13:24:50Z cyberdustwordnameofficial

On a previous post, 5 Reasons Why I Recommend the @CyberDustApp, I elaborated on a few of the features that the Cyber Dust App offers. As I mentioned in that post, Mark Cuban from The Dallas Mavericks/Shark Tank fame created this confidential messaging App because he wanted to diminish our “digital footprint”.

Here is Mark Cuban explaining the App in an interview with Business Insider:


Please note that there have been a few updates with new features since this interview and my previous post.

I really enjoy the App and besides reviewing it on the App Store I also wanted to find other ways to let people know about it. With Mr. Cuban’s permission, (yes, he actually responded to me on Cyber Dust!), I created The Daily Dust.  The articles in the newspaper are from the Cyber Dust member’s tweets on Twitter.

Of course I also wanted to explain the App to my Twitter followers. When trying to explain the benefits to them, I had to send out at least three direct messages!

I then created the word cloud above, using all the benefits and the Cyber Dust logo. I tweeted that image and posted this: Download the Why? Quality Content, Networking & Business Opportunities/Support/Security & Privacy!

So a while back I blasted out to my Cyber Dust followers this question, How would you explain the benefits of Cyber Dust in 140 Characters or Less?

Since this community is so unique from other social media networks I received several responses within minutes. Here are a few:

Have Instagram problems? Lost 10,000 fake followers? Use Cyber Dust!

Private & professional relationships via @CoreyAnderson aka +coreyanderson11

Personal business interaction via @NextWorldLeader aka +nextworldleader

A very good community of classy people that together want to help each other spread positive energy via @DylanAce aka +dylanace

Cyber Dust is Love, Cyber Dust is Life via +jeremyboulerice

Perfect private messaging between like minded people around the world, creating relationships & inspiration for a lifetime via +phatdix

Self destructing texts & videos are almost as cool as not using up memory on your phone via @Atomic_Honey aka +kevatomic

Real, honest, secure communication. @CyberDustApp is a safer Snapchat for adults & business. Let’s Chat +ryandust

An eclectic portal of super human energy on a transatlantic journey connecting minds that will produce future leaders via +elenak

The secure private messaging platform, Cyber Dust is the only App that never archives anything ever via +technologicalee

The slogan says it all via +buykoop (Cyber Dust’s slogan is, “Every spoken word isn’t recorded. Why should your texts be?”)

It doesn’t matter what I say, you will never see it after 30…29..28 seconds via +jotalp

I would like to thank all the members that responded to my question.

As I said in my previous post, If you own a business, blog or product, I highly recommend that you check this App out. The networking opportunities are endless.

If you are on the App let me know, you can find me as +NaranjitoGal. If you are, how do you share this App with others? If you aren’t yet on Cyber Dust, which features interest you?

Available on Windows, Android and iPhone.


Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[5 Reasons Why I Recommend the @CyberDustApp]]> 2015-01-08T20:19:58Z 2015-01-08T18:26:34Z Photo Property of Cyber Dust App

Photo Property of Cyber Dust App

Earlier in the year I watched an interview with Mark Cuban (Dallas Mavericks/Shark Tank) discussing his new app Cyber Dust. I was intrigued and decided to download it. After a busy holiday season, it wasn’t until recently that I have seen the value in this great App.

Their tagline, “Every spoken word isn’t recorded. Why should your texts be?”

Of all their features here are some of my favorites and why:

1. Security/Privacy
The messages are encrypted. They self-destruct. Messages delete forever and never hit a hard drive. Screen Shot Detection, Be notified if a screenshot is taken. Plus, no proof of who sent or received the message.
These features offer security and privacy to your messages. Everywhere else everything you post online is there forever. Just Google yourself and you will see! Not on Cyber Dust!

2. Free
Of course free is always good! There is not much to say about free!

3. Fast
If you thought Twitter was quick with 140 characters you are going to love Cyber Dust. There isn’t a limit on characters, at least I haven’t been hindered by that. You can #Blast your messages/photos/videos to all your friends, followers all at once or to a group up to 12 people.

4. Pin Sent Messages
Pin your own sent messages (for your eyes only) to remember the conversation.
Remember messages are deleted once read. According to their website it depends on the length of the messages but once opened they will self-destruct from 20-100 seconds.

I am starting to hear the theme song from Get Smart in my head!

or like a younger user told me, Inspector Gadget! All you have to do is double tap your response and it will stay there for a time for recall purposes!

5. Great Community
I have been connecting with wonderful people from all walks of life. CEO’s, Celebrities, Business Owners, Writers, Artists… The list is endless!

If you own a business/blog/product, I highly recommend that you check this app out. The networking opportunities are endless. I removed the Facebook Messenger App from my phone and this will replace that.

Available on Windows, Android & iPhone.

If you are already on Cyber Dust give me a shout! You can find me as +NaranjitoGal

Let me know how you like it once you start using it! If you aren’t, which features interest you?

Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Decorating for Christmas Using @BedBathBeyond Wreaths]]> 2014-12-19T21:52:46Z 2014-12-19T21:52:46Z bedbathandbeyondwreath1

We recently moved into our new home and have been having fun decorating for Christmas. Our children and grandchildren will be coming this year and we are trying to create a magical Christmas for them!

We wanted wreaths on our windows and found these Pre-Lit Wreaths from Bed Bath & Beyond for $14.99. Each box has three pre-lit wreaths with bows.

Although the bows are cute I wanted to add a little more substance to them. I had nine foot spools of wired ribbon in our Christmas box of decorations. I cut them in three equal parts, each three feet long, pinched them together to create the back for the existing bows that were included with the wreaths.

Bed Bath & Beyond Bows

Using the twist ties that came with the bows I attached the new ribbon to the back, then placed them on the wreaths.

Bed Bath & Beyond Bows

The wreaths connect to each other, which saves on having too many extension cords. (Elvis had to get in the picture!)


We also added one on each side of the fireplace to complete the decorations inside.


So far we are really happy with our purchase and plan to buy more for the outside of our home. We wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

What fun items have you found to decorate your home this year?

Disclosure: We did not receive compensation for this review, all opinions for this product review are my own.



Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Top 50 Mommy Blogger Infographic by Rebates Zone]]> 2014-11-25T15:55:47Z 2014-11-22T21:07:34Z We were so pleased and honored to find out that we were among this great group of bloggers. I have been to many of these blogs but now I have the list of them on this wonderful Infographic created by Rebates Zone.

Rebates Zone provide coupons for some of the following companies: Nordstrom, Orbitz, Zappos, Nike, Papa Johns, and many more.

Make sure you visit them and please check out some of these great blogs!

Many thanks to Rebates Zone!

Top Mommy bloggers

An infographic by the team at Rebateszone


Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Customer Service and @PotteryBarn]]> 2014-09-10T14:09:05Z 2014-09-10T14:09:05Z Pottery Barn Cambria
When it comes to decorating our new home I enjoy looking at the Pottery Barn catalog for ideas. I watch closely at how they design and accessorize each room using their products.

As I wrote in my earlier post Decorating Our New Home Using Antiques and Turquoise, I was planning to order their Turquoise Cambria Dinnerware set.

When shopping for dinnerware I did not want anything made in China. The set also needed to be microwave, dishwasher safe and turquoise of course!

While reading their blog I found the article, Behind the Designs: Our Cambria Collection. The article explains how each piece is made, much of the work is done by hand and in Portugal.

I ordered the set and couldn’t wait for it to arrive.

When the boxes were delivered I opened each one carefully. The dishes were packed perfectly with thick cardboard inserts. As I inspected each dish one of the plates had a small discoloration with an unpainted area.

Immediately I emailed their customer service department and let them know. I wanted to find out how they would like me to send back the one plate as I was extremely happy with the rest of the set.

By the next morning there was an email in my inbox from Elizabeth, Pottery Barn Customer Service Department. She stated, “I am sorry to hear that your Cambria Dinner Plate was received with no paint on the bottom.  I welcome an opportunity to correct this to your satisfaction.  I have submitted a request for a set of four Cambria Dinner Plates in Turquoise be sent to you.  You should receive them on or around July 28, 2014.  There is no need to return the defective plate.  I apologize for the inconvenience.  I hope this helps and that you have a good day!”

Wow! I was impressed, of course I knew they would exchange out the plate but I did not expect that type of exemplary customer service.

People are usually so quick to post complaints. Instead, I would like to take the time to thank Elizabeth and Pottery Barn for handling this situation so quickly and how perfectly unexpected it was to receive another set of dinner plates to add to my collection.

The new set arrived unblemished and perfect. We are enjoying our dinnerware and I will continue to purchase from your company.

“Here is a simple but powerful rule: always give people more than what they expect to get.” ~ Nelson Boswell

Pottery Barn definitely exceeded my expectations, thank you Pottery Barn!

The turquoise color of the dinnerware set has been part of the inspiration for some of the colors I chose for our new home. I will be sharing more as we get settled in.

Has a company impressed you? Please share your experiences in the comment section below.

photo by:
Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[The Cross Shining Bright on My Bookcase]]> 2014-08-04T14:18:06Z 2014-08-04T14:18:06Z Photo Property of Bethany Baptist Church

Photo Property of Bethany Baptist Church

We recently purchased a home from a wonderful couple. Some of their mail had arrived to our house in error so we decided to meet them at their church on Sunday.

It was a wonderful service. During his sermon, the Pastor referenced Psalm 139: 1-18.  I immediately remembered a dark time in my life, which He showed me that He is with us during all of our joys and our sorrows.

It was around 1985, as a newly single mom of 3 precious boys, I was about to lose everything. My husband, home, possessions, car and unbeknownst to me also my health.

I was in despair and alone in the house. I had been crying for what seemed hours. It was now midnight and I got in the car looking for an open church, wanting and needing to feel His presence.

Of course all the churches were closed and I returned back to my home sobbing. The house was dark, and I got down on my knees to pray. Why hadn’t I thought of that before?! Of course our God is everywhere, not just inside the four walls of a church.

I was praying for Him to forgive me, to remove my fears, for Him to help me out of this mess I had created and for all the consequences of my poor choices that had led me to where I now found myself.

My arms were reaching out into the Heavens pleading for peace, knowledge, answers, direction and His love.

All of a sudden I looked up and the cross sitting on my book shelf in this dark home began to glow. The entire room was aglow. I stood up rubbing my eyes in disbelief and picked up the glowing cross.

I kissed the cross and knelt down and prayed in gratitude and thanksgiving as the tears were streaming down my face. The tears of anguish, fear and pain were replaced with tears of joy and thanksgiving.

I felt a peace wash over me, as a quiet wave touches the shoreline. I wasn’t alone anymore. Despite being on the brink of losing all my material possessions and my husband, God was with me, and had been all this time. He had me in His arms and for the first time I felt safe.

“Psalm 139: 11-12
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

And verse 18:
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you.”

The cross remained lit all night. I was able to finally sleep. I couldn’t remember the last time I truly rested.

When morning broke and I awakened, He was still with me, shining bright on my bookcase.

photo by:
Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[A Healthy Blueberry Banana Pancake Recipe]]> 2015-05-01T14:04:00Z 2014-07-24T15:30:05Z pancakes | blueberries

As some of you know we are trying to eat healthier. My husband is diabetic and I am trying to lose more weight. He eats oatmeal for breakfast almost every morning. I really don’t know how he can eat the same thing over and over.

He loves blueberry pancakes and so do I, so I decided to create a healthy version of them.  Somewhere I read about using one banana and one egg to make pancakes, I was intrigued! We have removed white flour and sugar from most of our diet.

I started mixing things together and here is a great healthy recipe to start your day!

Lisa’s Blueberry Banana Pancakes
(Makes 4 small pancakes, 1 serving)
In mixer beat together:
1 Banana
1 Egg
1/2 tsp of Chia Seeds (Trader Joe’s)
1 TBS of Trader Joe’s Just Almond Meal®
1/4 tsp of cinnamon

Melt in pan:
2 tsp of Coconut Oil (Trader Joe’s)

Pour batter into heated pan and add fresh blueberries on top of each pancake, once one side is done flip. They are actually sweet enough that we do not use syrup, but you can drizzle some raw honey on top if you prefer a sweeter version.

Mom Blogger Buzz dot com

If you try the recipe let me know how you liked it. We shop at Trader Joe’s but I am sure you can find most of these ingredients at your local health food supermarket. When making for two people, I only used one banana, and doubled the rest of the ingredients.

Another healthy quick and easy breakfast we love is the Spinach Tomato Omelet, you can find the recipe here.


photo by:
Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Which Zero Calorie Sweetener is Best For You?]]> 2015-05-01T14:05:02Z 2014-07-18T18:40:04Z  

Sugar Dish

I have been on a journey regarding which sweeteners to use on a daily basis. I have a sweet tooth and I know I am addicted to sugar. As I started to remove sugar from my diet I knew I did not want to consume chemicals like aspartame, which you can find in Equal® and NutraSweet® and most diet drinks and foods on the market today. Nor did I want to use Sweet’N Low® aka saccharin either. When I tried these carbonated drinks, they actually gave me a unrecognizable chemical aftertaste. Here is why:

Aspartame is made out of three chemicals, yes I said chemicals, phenylalanine, methanol and aspartic acid.  If you would like to read more about each of these chemicals that most of us consume multiple times daily in our lives, possibly without even knowing it, check out Dr. Mercola’s article.

Immediately I blindly jumped on the band wagon and started using Splenda® aka sucralose, which is also an artificial sweetener. At the time I thought less dangerous and started using it in our coffee and an occasional soda.  As I continued my quest for “health”, I found out that part of the production process is to chlorinate it, yes with chlorine.

Needless to say I stopped using sucralose all together and wanted something natural. Then Truvia® was added to our shopping list, “born from the leaves of the stevia plant”, as their website states. However, the production process to create this “natural” sweetener is not so natural. Check out FoodBabe’s article titled, “Is Stevia Safe?”. If you love to drink diet sodas, read, “7 Side Effects of Drinking Diet Sodas”.

Back to the drawing board. I wanted an actual natural Stevia product and then I found, SweetLeaf®, which we have been very happy with. The recommended serving size for a cup of coffee is 1/8th of a teaspoon which is equal to 1 tsp of sugar, but we have been content with half of that in our coffee.

If you are a soda drinker, SweetLeaf® offers another product called Sweet Drops™ when mixed with Sparkling Water you can create your own healthy diet drink!

Here in Washington State, we have found SweetLeaf® at Fred Meyer® stores, online and on Amazon. Of course Trader Joe’s also has their own brand, which my husband has tried and loved as well.

Many of these large companies are creating their own “natural” stevia products. When buying these “natural” products, read the ingredients first. You will be surprised how many “natural” products are not really so. When I see “natural flavors”, I put the product right back on the shelf. Who knows what they consider natural.

Here is an Infographic showing the differences between Stevia and Aspartame. If you have found a natural Stevia product that you love please share it with us in the comments below.


photos by: &
Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Decorating Our New Home Using Antiques and Turquoise]]> 2014-07-11T17:36:33Z 2014-07-11T17:36:33Z Mom Blogger Buzz

Photo Courtesy of

We are in the process of purchasing a new home. It is particularly exciting for me because this will be our first home that my husband and I purchase together. For the soon to be thirteen years of marriage, we have been living in the house that he shared with his first wife. Even though I tried to make it my own it never felt like it was my house. As you can imagine I feel like a newlywed again as we shop and make plans for our new home.

Although we haven’t even closed yet, I am already choosing colors, furniture and accessories! My husband and I started looking for furnishings at our area antique stores. We found some nice pieces but because of the prices we ended up just buying four chairs for our eat in kitchen.

Then we ventured onto Craigslist and we were surprised to find the matching antique buffet with beveled mirror for only $300! Our local antique stores were selling them for $1200 and above.

After living in the Caribbean for so many years turquoise is one of my favorite colors. Years ago I traveled to North Carolina to visit my sister. She took me to Seagrove, NC, which apparently is the “handmade pottery capital of the U.S.”! You will find around 100 shops and galleries as you stroll and drive through this quaint town.

It was a fun day and of course I purchased several turquoise pieces, which I can’t wait to unpack. Today while taking a peek on Pinterest I found Pottery Barn’s board called “Turquoise by Pottery Barn”. There was the dinnerware set that I had been watching! Since it was now on sale I ordered it today!

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We already have the kitchen table, completing the eat in area of the new kitchen. I am still deciding on paint colors, as soon as we move in I will continue posting our progress. You can follow my Board on Pinterest as I will be posting pictures on there as well.

Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Go To Your Happy Place Using the @Happier #App]]> 2014-01-08T16:12:19Z 2014-01-08T16:12:19Z Mom Blogger Buzz dot com

Shae from My Zebra Soup recently invited me to use this nifty app called Happier. I am so glad I decided to take a look.

According to a Harvard study, Social Networks and Happiness by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler, happiness is contagious! They found that, “Happiness is a fundamental object of human existence. If someone smiles at you, it is instinctive to smile back. If your partner or roommate is depressed, it is common for you to become depressed.”

Did you know that happier people are 50% less likely to have a heart attack or a stroke? You can read more in this article, “Positive Feelings May Help Protect Cardiovascular Health.”

Let’s face it we all have negative things that happen to us, but we also have a great many positive experiences that occur during any day. Despite some health issues I am trying to focus daily on the positive things and I do feel an internal shift when I practice that. It does take practice and the decision to make that choice is only yours.

Watch what young Mia had to say about finding Happiness!

As I started to read the messages on the feed on the Happier application I could feel a sense of peace come over me. Just posting positive things on my profile and reading what made other people happy during their day was indeed contagious.

Here is an example from my feed. You can select the smiley face, Me Too! and/or Comment on the entry that makes you happier!

Mom Blogger Buzz dot comAs you Discover, Share Happy (Your Happy Moments) and connect with friends you will also start to receive these fun Celebrations that will make you smile!

Mom Blogger Buzz dot com

Mom Blogger Buzz dot com

If you would like to join the free Happier Community just download the App for the Android or iPhone in the app stores!

Mom Blogger Buzz dot com

Are you using this app already? Share with us what you have liked about it, has it made you Happier?!


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Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Eating Healthy After the Holidays]]> 2015-05-01T14:02:14Z 2014-01-06T19:24:35Z Fresco - BOTTICELLI

Botticelli – Venus and the Three Graces

After the November and December holiday season I gained a few unwanted pounds. I don’t even think Botticelli would have liked what I am seeing in the mirror! So I decided to start the new year eating healthy.

I found some recipes from Isabel de los Rios, Beyond Diet that actually sounded quite delicious and easy to make. We then took a little shopping trip to our neighborhood Trader Joe’s and purchased most of the ingredients for the next week.

Since we got home late in the evening I ended up making her No Bean Turkey Chili for dinner.

Recipe from Beyond Diet, Isabel De Los Rios

Recipe from Beyond Diet, Isabel de los Rios

It was very easy to prepare and quite yummy. The only change I made was that I added 1 TBS of Chili Powder instead of the 1 teaspoon that the recipe asks for.

What shouldn’t have surprised me but did, was that I had a lot of energy after eating and I no longer was fatigued. My husband who is diabetic also said the same thing.

This morning I woke up looking forward to trying out her 4 ingredient Spinach Tomato Omelet. It was very good and also quick to prepare.

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Spinach Tomato Omelet
2 tsp Coconut Oil
1 cup of Spinach
1 Tomato
2 beaten Eggs

On medium low heat, add the coconut oil. After a few minutes when heated, add the spinach and tomato.
Add the eggs creating your healthy omelet!

What are you doing to lose the weight after the holidays? Please let me know in your comments below. I will keep sharing my progress!

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Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Easy and Delicious Italian Bread by @onepunkymama]]> 2015-05-01T14:05:57Z 2013-12-16T15:32:13Z Mom Blogger Buzz dot com

I was in a pinch on what to make for dinner tonight. My husband had recently stocked our freezer with some hormone free meat from one of his friend’s farms. Since we had some nice fresh sausage available I decided to make spaghetti.

While that was simmering I began looking for a quick Italian bread recipe. My main issue was that I didn’t want to have to wait a long time for the dough to rise.

I found One Punky Mama’s blog post with the perfect Italian Bread recipe! I recently started to keep yeast on hand so I had all of the ingredients.

As I was making the dough I couldn’t help but remember the day we drove through Tuscany and daydreaming that we were back there. I pictured the Italian housewife in a flour dusted apron preparing the dough in her rustic kitchen. All the sounds and aromas of that day rushed back. You are welcome to read more about our trip, Here.

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Okay, enough of the daydreaming, back to baking! The dough was extremely easy and quick to make. Here is One Punky Mama’s recipe with some minor additions:

Mix dry ingredients together:
3 cups of bread flour
1 envelope (7g) of Active Dry Yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
On Low Speed gradually add:
1 cup warm water (100-110 degrees)
Once all mixed add:
2 TBS Olive Oil
Knead for an additional 5 minutes.
Place in a greased bowl and cover until double the size. It will take at least 30 minutes, depending on your elevations the time will vary.
Punch it down and let sit for 10 more minutes.
Form into the shape of a loaf and place on a greased cookie sheet.
After making several slits on the top, I rubbed a mixture of Italian seasonings and olive oil on top.

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Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or golden brown.

Before serving I sprinkled garlic salt, Italian seasonings and Parmesan cheese on top of the melting butter, yummy!

Thank you Nicole from One Punky Mama for this great recipe. You can follow Nicole on Twitter @OnePunkyMama

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photo by: avlxyz
Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Why Does it Take Me Eight Hours to Write a Blog Post? It is Not What You Think]]> 2015-05-01T14:06:30Z 2013-10-02T04:44:00Z A funny thing happened to me on the way to 7-11….

Mom Blogger Buzz Kitties in Ballard

I am staying at my son’s house watching their cats Clementine and Haddie while they are on vacation. Because of my condition I can’t drive and being upright can make me sick. However, I decided to venture out after being inside for five days.

I needed some things at the store and per Yelp the closest store was 7-11. No offense to 7-11 shoppers but I have never shopped there for groceries!   Using Yelp’s directions I started walking. The voice on my phone told me to turn left, then turn right. I realized very quickly that I was making a circle around the apartment building! I was out of breath, my heart was pumping a mile a minute, I was dizzy and my head started to feel numb.

I was really getting pissed at this woman making me walk more than I needed to. Instead of listening to her I made a right to the main street, then my phone died! There it was! I could see the 7-11 sign!  It would be too far to walk in my current condition. So I turned around and made it back to the apartment. Needless to say I was upset and frustrated.

I used to have the freedom of driving or walking wherever I wanted without distress or having to depend on anyone. Yes, I was having a pity party! Worst of all I hadn’t gotten the things I needed. After a few minutes of my little tantrum I turned on the TV and realized that that’s how it is and got over it.

So today I decided to try it again. The rains here in Seattle had given us a reprieve. The sun was shining so I got ready to go. This time with a fully charged phone, I got my bearings and left. Thankfully there are benches everywhere so I could take several breaks along the way.

Mom Blogger Buzz Benches in Ballard

As I sat on one of the benches I could see some leaves lying on the grass nearby. One of them stood out, this perfect red leaf. I love Autumn so I made sure I took a quick picture of it. It brought back memories of my boys jumping in the freshly raked pile. After a bit I stood up and continued on my journey.

Mom Blogger Buzz Red Leaf

This time I could see the 7-11 sign getting closer and closer. I stopped to rest in front of Egan’s Ballard Jam House and took a picture. Then off I went. Crossed a few more streets and got to my destination.


Mom Blogger Buzz Egan's Ballard Jam House

In all my excitement about being able to get there I forgot what I needed to buy. Oh yes the list, crap! My mind was completely blank. It is such a weird feeling to have actually nothing inside my head. It’s hard to explain but I have to literally squeeze my forehead together to try to press out some thoughts to produce images of the items that I needed, but nothing.

I stood there out of breath and starting to feel dizzy and things started to get blurry. I needed to get back and quickly. So what do you do when you can’t remember what you need and nothing I mean nothing triggers your memory? You buy cookies! So I left with a package of Lorna Doones and Fig Newtons!

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I sat on all the benches along the way and made it home.

This post is only meant to bring awareness to a somewhat invisible condition that many like me suffer with. The month of October is Dysautonomia Awareness Month. Yes, another illness to add to the list. This time it is one that I have to deal with on a daily basis. I hardly ever discuss it because of the stigma of being “sick”.

Things that I used to take for granted, like a short walk outside turns into a lengthy ordeal. I rarely go anywhere alone because I am not sure about when and where the symptoms will hit me.

Blog posts which are near and dear to my heart can take up to six to eight hours to write. I forget words and have to use Google to assist me with word finding and spelling. Most of us have had to deal with months to years of misdiagnosis because the lack of knowledge in the medical community regarding this condition. The more we talk about it the more exposure this condition will get.

Thank you for taking the time to read about my 0.2 mile journey! If you happen to see the hash tag #DysautonomiaAwarenessMonth on Twitter re-tweet it for me! Hugs!

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Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Phonebloks: A Custom Cell Phone Created by You]]> 2013-09-14T00:43:48Z 2013-09-14T00:33:20Z Mom Blogger Buzz

I have a drawer with old cell phones scattered about. Once the phone becomes obsolete or something breaks I end up throwing it in that drawer and purchasing the latest version.

As soon as I saw the Phonebloks concept I immediately thought of my son’s Lego toys that used to make their way under my feet! Phonebloks is a phone that will be built in a modular or Lego-like fashion, customized just for you. Each piece is detachable. 

Just choose which parts are important to you, snap them together and create your phone. If you wanted the next best camera on your phone, instead of upgrading to an entire new phone all you would need to do is purchase the camera module and snap it on. If one of the pieces breaks just replace it, easy!

This is a Dave Hakkens, @davehakkens creation and concept. Why did he create this prototype? He explains it here on, “The market of electronic devices is growing rapidly, but it feels like we are building disposable stuff. Every time we make something new we completely throw away the old one. Imagine all the good displays, Bluetooth and speakers we have thrown away. I love the connected world where we live in and it’s time to set up a universal modular platform where companies work on together.”


  • Cost effectiveness: Only replacing the defective part instead of upgrading to an entire new phone. Keep your phone longer. Being able to keep all of your phone’s accessories without having to purchase new ones.
  • Customize:  Create the phone with only the components that meet your needs.
  • Environment: Minimize electronic waste.

I think it is a great idea but it isn’t available to purchase yet. Phonebloks can use your help to spread the word. How can you help? They currently have a Thunderclap campaign which ends on October 29, 2013. All you have to do is join the campaign and share it on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. “Show the world we want a phone worth keeping! #phonebloks” by joining HERE.

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photo by: DigiEnable
Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[A Love Story: Oh Sweet Lorraine by Fred Stobaugh]]> 2013-08-30T06:27:00Z 2013-08-30T04:58:29Z Love is the air

I recently saw this posted on Pacific Cove’s Facebook page and I wanted to share it with you! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Watch this sweet short Documentary of Fred Stobaugh, who wrote and dedicated this song to his wife of almost 73 years. She had recently passed away just a month before. He submitted his written words to Green Shoe Studio and they recorded the song for him.

“Oh Sweet Lorraine, Life only goes around once but never again…” Indeed it does.

You can purchase the song on iTunes and Google Play.

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photo by: Here Fefe Is
Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[A Day Trip in Puerto Rico: El Yunque and Luquillo Beach]]> 2013-08-20T18:43:09Z 2013-08-20T18:40:37Z Whether you are staying at the Wyndham Rio Mar, the Gran Meliá in Rio Grande or any of the other area hotels, there are wonderful day trips available for you to venture out to. Today we are going to talk about El Yunque and Luquillo Beach.

Day 1: El Yunque National Rainforest and Luquillo Beach

The Rainforest is open daily from 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM. If you want to catch Luquillo Beach after your trip to the rainforest we recommend that you wake up early! Instead of eating breakfast at your hotel, stop at one of the local Panaderia’s in the area. They offer affordable full breakfasts, a wide range of pastries and sandwiches to choose from. One of our favorites is the pastelito de guayaba, a flaky pastry covered with powdered sugar and filled with guava.

After breakfast you may want to order a cubano sandwich to go with some drinks to take up to the rainforest for when hunger strikes! There are picnic areas and also a concession stand in the park.

El Portal Tropical Forest Center (Park Entrance), is located on PR191 Km 4.3. Call (787)888-1880 or visit El Yunque National Forest Official Site for more information.

English: A map of trails and other locations a...

A map of trails and other locations along Puerto Rico Highway 191 in El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here are some of the ferns that you will find in the forest. They grow up to thirty feet high!

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Wear comfortable clothes and shoes so that you can hike. Keep your bathing suit close as you may want to get into the Coca Falls to cool off!

Coca Falls

Coca Falls (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you listen carefully you will hear the coqui´ singing in the forest. It is the most popular frog on the island as it sings, “coqui´ coqui´ coqui´”!

English: A Common Coquí (Eleutherodactylus coq...

A Common Coquí (Eleutherodactylus coqui) from Puerto Rico. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After a few to several hours in the rainforest you will be ready to relax on Luquillo Beach aka Balneario de Luquillo. Travel back down PR191 and go west on Interstate PR3 until you see the signs to Luquillo Beach. There is a minimal parking fee, bathrooms and food to enjoy.

Luquillo Beach is one of the main beaches that the locals visit. So expect it to be more crowded during the summer months and local holidays. If you are visiting on Christmas or a major holiday the beach may be closed. However, you can still park behind the Kiosks of Luquillo off of Hwy 3. They are a string of “shacks or stalls” that sell the native foods and desserts.

Ice cream vendors will be pushing their carts on the beach. Don’t be shy, make sure you order the helado de coco, it’s a delicious coconut sorbet. Relax under the palm trees and enjoy your afternoon in the clear blue green water.

English: Sunset at Luquillo Español: Atardecer...

Sunset at Luquillo Español: Atardecer en Luquillo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We hope you enjoy this week’s A Day Trip in Puerto Rico. If you visit let us know about your trip!

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Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Final Results: Proskins 28 Day Challenge Review #Ad]]> 2013-08-17T03:42:55Z 2013-08-17T03:42:55Z Proskins Final Results

Disclosure: I am participating in a 28 day challenge using Proskins, The Hidden Workout™ Slim Leggings. I received a complimentary pair of leggings to facilitate my review. All of the opinions are 100% my own.

I’ve been wearing the Proskins, The Hidden Workout™ SLIM Full Length Leggings for 28 days and here are my final results!  P.S. I consistently measured the same leg during the challenge.

My Total Measurements after 28 days:
Hips: -2.00 inches
Top of Thigh: -1.50 inches
Widest Part of Thigh: -1.50 inches
Above Knee: -1.75 inches
Below Knee: -1.00 inches
Widest Part of Calf: -0 inches
Total Lost: -7.75 inches

Some of you are asking if I did anything else such as diet or exercise. The answer is no, I did not change any of my daily routine except that I wore the leggings every night for at least 8 hours. There were days that I just kept them on because they are so comfortable.

Technology Inside

Proskins Final Results

Final Review

Slimming Agent: Yes, I lost a total of 7.75 inches and three pounds! My jeans are loose too!
Skin Regeneration & Antioxidants: Yes, my skin is softer, smoother and more youthful in appearance.
Moisture Management: Yes, the leggings do what they say! While wearing the leggings, even during these hot summer months I felt cool, dry and comfortable.
Active Micro-Climate: Yes, I normally suffer from hot flashes. However, while wearing the leggings I stayed cool and dry.
Cellulite: Definitely less visible.
Fabric: I only hand washed and air dried them. You are welcome to read my previous post, Caring for Your Proskins….. The water will turn a light brown so I wouldn’t wash them with any light color fabrics. After 28 days the fabric seems to have stretched a little in length. The next pair I purchase will be the SLIM Capri.

I may be at the end of the 28 day challenge but I will continue to wear these leggings! I would like to thank Proskins for the opportunity to review their product. I am extremely happy with the results after using the leggings for 28 days.

Disclosure: I am participating in a 28 day challenge using Proskins, The Hidden Workout™ Slim Leggings. I received a complimentary pair of leggings to facilitate my review. All of the opinions are 100% my own. Proskins products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  Any results shared are my own and are not guaranteed by me or this blog.


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Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[I Lost 5 inches in 21 Days Wearing Proskins The Hidden Workout™ Slim Leggings #Ad]]> 2015-05-01T14:07:02Z 2013-08-09T14:15:28Z Disclosure: I am participating in a 28 day challenge using Proskins, The Hidden Workout™ Slim Leggings. I received a complimentary pair of leggings to facilitate my review. All of the opinions are 100% my own.

Woman with Measuring Tape
After 21 days wearing these leggings I have lost over 5 inches and 3 pounds! Of course at the onset of the 28 day challenge I would have never believed that I would lose inches and pounds by just wearing leggings. As each week passed I was increasingly surprised at the results.

In my previous posts I shared about the unique properties inside them. You can read more about them here. The micro-capsules are time-released into the skin, making my skin feel softer. Hot flashes be gone! I love the added benefits of the Moisture Management and the Active Micro-Climate maintaining your temperature to 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit! It truly works, I actually feel cooler at night!

If you are interested in trying out these leggings just click on the photo and join the challenge!


Photo Property of

My Total Measurements after 21 days:
Hips: -1.50 inches
Top of Thigh: -1.38 inches
Widest Part of Thigh: -0.50 inches
Above Knee: -1.0 inches
Below Knee: -0.75 inches
Widest Part of Calf: -0 inches
Total Lost: -5.13 inches

I have one more week of the challenge and I will continue to wear them after it is over. With these results why would I ever want to take them off? :) Stay tuned to next week!

Disclosure: I am participating in a 28 day challenge using Proskins, The Hidden Workout™ Slim Leggings. I received a complimentary pair of leggings to facilitate my review. All of the opinions are 100% my own. Proskins products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  Any results shared are my own and are not guaranteed by me or this blog.

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Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Vacationing in Bradenton Beach Florida]]> 2013-08-09T17:50:53Z 2013-08-08T20:23:00Z Mom Blogger Buzz dot com

Vacationing in Bradenton Beach, Florida

Bradenton Beach, Florida is a quiet and lovely city on the Gulf of Mexico. It is located on the south end of Anna Maria Island. Many vacationers visiting the west coast of Florida normally miss this town and choose either Siesta Key in Sarasota or the St. Petersburg beach areas.

You will not find towering hotels and streets full of tourists. Most of the reasonably priced rentals are converted vacation homes, condominiums and cottages, many with full kitchens.

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The beach is just steps away and it is a great place to relax and unwind. It has convenient free parking all along Gulf Drive South where you can park from 6 am to midnight. On most days you will be able to find available parking without much difficulty. Depending on the time of year you will also find protected nesting sea turtles dotting the landscape.

If you enjoy cooking fresh fish and seafood don’t forget to check out Cortez Bait And Seafood, Inc. at 4528 119th St W, Bradenton, FL located in the Cortez Historic Fishing Village. Purchase the catch of the day and prepare it in the convenience of your vacation rental.

Do you rather eat out in restaurants? You will find a handful of restaurants, most just walking distance from the beach. After a hot day at the beach the kids young and old will enjoy delicious home made ice cream at Joe’s Eat’s and Sweets.

If you decide to visit we hope you have a wonderful stay!

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Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Caring for Your Proskins The Hidden Workout™ Slim Leggings #Ad]]> 2013-07-31T15:32:56Z 2013-07-31T15:32:56Z

Mom Blogger Buzz

Disclosure: I am participating in a 28 day challenge using Proskins, The Hidden Workout™ Slim Leggings. I received a complimentary pair of leggings to facilitate my review. All of the opinions are 100% my own.

If you have been following my blog you know I am participating in a 28 day challenge using Proskins The Hidden Workout™ Slim Leggings. I previously wrote about Day 1 and Week 1 wearing them while traveling.

I really have enjoyed wearing the leggings and as you will see below I am having great results as well. To make sure that you care for your leggings properly here are a few pointers.


The company recommends that you can machine wash them up to a maximum of 30 Celsius or 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Do NOT use fabric softener. Although Proskins states that you can machine wash them I have only hand washed mine. According to their website, the slimming and cellulite busting properties in these leggings are still present after 100 washes. You can read more about the great properties in these leggings in my previous post.


Only line dry your leggings. Do NOT put them in the dryer! I have been hanging them in my shower and they dry pretty quickly. Also do NOT iron them. There really isn’t a need to iron them at all. The leggings hug close to your body and any wrinkles, I have never seen any, will disappear while wearing them.

Now on to the fun part, my measurements and results!

Mom Blogger Buizz Proskins Measurements


My Total Measurements after 14 days:
Hips: -1.25 inches
Top of Thigh: -0.75 inches
Widest Part of Thigh: -0.25 inches
Above Knee: -1.0 inches
Below Knee: -0.6 inches
Widest Part of Calf: -0 inches
Total Lost: -3.85 inches

I am really impressed with the results and the leggings as a whole. I haven’t had any issues with them. I wear them under my clothes because they are so darn comfortable I don’t want to take them off!

Disclosure: I am participating in a 28 day challenge using Proskins, The Hidden Workout™ Slim Leggings. I received a complimentary pair of leggings to facilitate my review. All of the opinions are 100% my own. Proskins products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  Any results shared are my own and are not guaranteed by me or this blog.

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Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Gran Melia Golf Resort Rio Grande, Puerto Rico]]> 2013-07-19T22:03:39Z 2013-07-19T22:01:31Z Gran Melia Golf Resort Puerto Rico1

I spent my teens and college years living on the Island of Puerto Rico.  During one of our visits back to the island we decided to stay at the Gran Melia′ Golf Resort.  It is close to one of our favorite beaches in Puerto Rico, Luquillo Beach and the rain forest, El Yunque. Please note that when traveling to Puerto Rico you do NOT need a passport because it is a Commonwealth of the United States.

The hotel is located at 200 Coco Beach Blvd, 955-I, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, just 25 minutes from the Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport in San Juan. The resort is tucked away so you will need a rental car to get around.

Our friends who were also staying at the hotel were charged a fee for parking, however we were not. I couldn’t find any information about that on their website. If you decide to stay here I would make sure to call and ask if there is a daily parking charge.

Gran Melia Golf Resort Puerto Rico4

You have a choice between Garden View or Ocean Front Suites and Ocean Front Villas.  The rooms are beautifully appointed with rich Spanish decor and mahogany furnishings. There are four restaurants and three bars on site. We were out and about visiting family most of our stay but we did have an opportunity to eat at the Cafe′ Soleil for lunch and dinner. The food was delicious but expect to pay at least $20 or more per person.

Gran Melia Golf Resort Puerto Rico3

The pool wraps around the center of the resort overlooking the beach and lush palm trees with “poolside Bali beds” to relax in. The beach is small with areas of coral so I recommend that you wear some kind of water shoes to protect your feet.

While you are visiting don’t forget to visit the El Yunque National Rain Forest, which is around a 40 minute drive and Luquillo Beach, which is only 19 minutes away on Highway PR 3.

A view of Luquillo Beach

A view of Luquillo Beach (Photo credit: Wikipedia)













We definitely plan to stay here again in the near future.

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Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Wearing Proskins Slim Leggings While Traveling]]> 2013-07-18T22:28:33Z 2013-07-18T22:28:33Z Yours Truly at Muscle Beach, Santa MonicaDisclosure: I am participating in a 28 day challenge using Proskins, The Hidden Workout™ Slim Leggings. I received a complimentary pair of leggings to facilitate my review. All of the opinions are 100% my own.

I recently wrote about Day 1 using Proskins, The Hidden Workout™ Slim Leggings that I just began wearing. During week 1 of the challenge we were going to be traveling to Florida. Wearing the leggings while on the long flight was the smartest thing I did.

Normally flying causes a lot of pain and numbness to my legs due to a condition that I have. Although two of the planes broke down and we missed our connecting flight, I felt very comfortable and did not experience those annoying symptoms.

I was also initially concerned as I wasn’t sure that I would be able to wear the leggings in the humid heat of Florida. Boy was I wrong!

In my previous post I spoke about the “Active Micro-Climate Technology found in the leggings which regulates the body temperature to 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit” and the “Moisture Management which keeps the body cool, dry and comfortable throughout the day.”

I wore the leggings the entire flight to Florida, during the day while in the hotel and at night. I felt cool and dry and of course they are extremely comfortable. 

Proskins Measurements

My Measurements after 7 days:
Hips: -0.5 inches
Top of Thigh: -0.5 inches
Widest Part of Thigh: -0 inches
Above Knee: -0.5 inches
Below Knee: -0.5 inches
Widest Part of Calf: -0 inches
Total Lost: -2.0 inches

I am very happy with the results so far. My husband keeps saying how sexy I look and that my legs look great! So far the cellulite is less visible too! Stay tuned to week 2 of the challenge!

Disclosure: I am participating in a 28 day challenge using Proskins, The Hidden Workout™ Slim Leggings. I received a complimentary pair of leggings to facilitate my review. All of the opinions are 100% my own. Proskins products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  Any results shared are my own and are not guaranteed by me or this blog.

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photo by: InSapphoWeTrust
Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Empty Nest: When Your Last Child Leaves Home]]> 2015-07-13T16:01:37Z 2013-07-03T18:16:59Z Sunday: Empty Nest

As my children graduated high school and left for college or the military there was always a bit of sadness that went with them. However, since the youngest was still at home I was able to keep busy and shake away all thoughts related to him eventually leaving home for good.

I knew the day would come but thought that I would do okay since I “handled” the previous two leaving! Oh brother was I wrong. The rational me remembered how excited I was when I was graduating and planning to leave home. So I knew that this was his turn to do the same.

He had been accepted to a State university here in WA. That was the plan, he was going to be only 5 hours away. I had gone over and over it in my mind and knew that I could handle that! Or at least thought I could! Heck, we still had the entire summer to enjoy together.

A few weeks after graduating he announced that he had decided to forgo college for now and was moving to NYC. NEW YORK CITY, I heard in my head! It must have been this darn commercial!

Back to my story! Yes, New York City! He wanted to move in with his brother and wife while he waited to join the Navy. Oh brother I thought. I really didn’t think that was a good idea. Then came the dreaded words, “I’m leaving in two weeks”. 

Now reality hit me. I had so many plans of things that we were going to do during the summer before he went off to college. Those months were going to be needed for me to get used to this new life of mine! (I know, this isn’t about me!)

Everything now had jumped too quickly into a future that I really wasn’t ready for. He wasn’t going to be coming home on an occasional weekend or even holidays, we wouldn’t be able to get in the car and visit him. Worst of all he wasn’t going to college. I kept my opinions to myself and let him leave the nest.

Each time I walked by his room I cried. I had to close the door so not to see the empty room. The silence in the house was deafening. At the time I wasn’t sure if the loss I was feeling was about them not being home anymore or the loss of my perceived purpose in life. My purpose in life as a mother, had that been my only purpose?

Although I am still their mom and always will be of course, I felt such a void and loss. It felt like something had been ripped away from my body. I realized something had, it was my heart.  Depression started to creep in and show it’s ugly head. Thankfully I was able to overcome the darkness.

Before he left he gave me a kitten. We weren’t planning to have another pet but his kitten was the perfect distraction and loves to cuddle! We named him Elvis!

Elvis cuddling


I still have moments of guilt that push through my memories of them growing up. The times that I yelled and was impatient with them. The silly arguments that seem to repeat over and over. The times I struggled as a single mom and didn’t have the money to do everything I wanted to do for them. When I second guess every choice and decision I ever made. Why do we do that? I don’t know!

Then I look at the men that they have become. I am so proud, despite all of my mistakes they are awesome independent human beings! We now joke about all my “crazy” moments. Especially in the mornings when they were getting ready for school and missing the bus countless times!

Although I didn’t tell him, “I told you so”, after a time away he did return to WA and is back in college! Hurrah!

As soon as I changed my focus from the lack of purpose to creating purpose with every breath and beat of my heart, things began to change. My outlook changed. Sure I miss them terribly but I am so happy to see them creating their lives and on the journey to finding their purpose. The quiet isn’t deafening anymore, I rather enjoy it!

No one can take away the happy memories we created, those memories are the ones that I make sure are in the forefront of my thoughts!

Bruce Sallan had a great idea and wrote a book about his trip across country taking his son to college. He chronicles the trip with videos and photos. I wish I had thought of documenting the trips when we took our sons. You can find it on Amazon below!

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Disclaimer: Affiliate links are included in this post. All of the opinions are 100% my own.

photo by: Mike's Birds
Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Sponsored Review: Day 1 Proskins Anti Cellulite Leggings]]> 2013-07-03T17:18:14Z 2013-07-02T20:10:55Z

Disclosure: I am participating in a 28 day challenge using Proskins, The Hidden Workout™ Slim Leggings. I received a complimentary pair of leggings to facilitate my review. All of the opinions are 100% my own.

When I was asked by Proskins to participate in their 28 Day #BloggerChallenge I was intrigued. The bloggers would be reviewing the Proskins Slim Leggings for twenty eight days. Cellulite is an issue that many of us deal with so I was very interested in trying out this product.

On their website you can find the results of the clinical tests when wearing the product for 28 days (see photo below), “Independent clinical trials have proved that wearing Proskin SLIM regularly can minimize the appearance of cellulite.”

Proskins Slimming Leggings

The fabric contains the following ingredients that are time-released into the skin, which are claimed to reduce the appearance of cellulite:
Aloe Vera
Vitamin E

Mom Blogger Buzz Review Proskins Leggings

When I received the full length leggings I was a little worried as our temperatures have increased significantly here in Seattle. The hot flashes that plague me at night was another concern! However, despite the 93 degree weather I immediately felt cooler after putting on the leggings. After reading the technology incorporated in the leggings I understood why!

Technology Inside:
Moisture Management: Keeps the body cool, dry and comfortable throughout the day.
Active Micro-Climate: Body temperature regulated to 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
Silver Anti-Bacterial Treatment: Keeps fabric clean for extended wear/improved garment life.

They are extremely comfortable and light, so much so that I have not wanted to take them off! After my first eight hours wearing them my skin was indeed softer. Normally our Labrador and cat leave their hair everywhere on my clothing and I have noticed that this has not occurred while wearing this fabric.

Due to a neurological condition I will not be able to exercise, so it will be interesting to see if indeed the leggings are “The Hidden Workout™”! I will keep you updated in future posts about the product and it’s results.

Disclosure: I am participating in a 28 day challenge using Proskins, The Hidden Workout™ Slim Leggings. I received a complimentary pair of leggings to facilitate my review. All of the opinions are 100% my own. Proskins products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  Any results shared are my own and are not guaranteed by me or this blog.

Image credit: limonzest / 123RF Stock Photo

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Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Sharing Blog Posts to Twitter: Change the Plugin’s Default Twitter Handle to Yours]]> 2013-06-25T00:32:00Z 2013-06-19T17:58:42Z When sharing someone’s blog posts I enjoy giving credit where credit is due. However, I have noticed that many times the tweet does not include the author’s Twitter handle or if it does have a handle it’s the plugin’s.

Add Your Twitter Handle to Your Tweet

Here you can see how the plugin’s default Twitter handle automatically was tweeted when the post was shared, via @Shareaholic instead of via @YourTwitterHandle!

Share Blog Posts on Twitter

When I have the time I visit their website, find their twitter handle, copy/paste and add it to the tweet. Not many people have the time to do that for every blog post.

Whether using Shareaholic or Digg Digg to name a few, you can add your author handle to your tweets by going to the plugin’s settings on your blog.

Add Your Twitter Handle

Depending on the plugin that you use, you should find an area asking you to add the optional text at the end of your tweet. For example, on Shareaholic the location is “Configure Custom Tweet Template”.

Here is where you will add your twitter handle. Depending on your settings, your tweet should now include  via @YourTwitterHandle or by @YourTwitterHandle. Please note, Digg Digg already has the default via included so you only have to add your twitter handle. 

It should now look something like this!

Add Your Twitter Handle to Your Blog Post

This will save me so much time when I visit your blog and share your posts! If you have any tips for other plugins that you are using, please share them with us in the comment section below!

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photo by: opensourceway
Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Blocking Facebook Game Requests: How I Crushed the Candy]]> 2013-06-14T18:07:53Z 2013-06-14T15:15:17Z fgnopporn / 123RF Stock Photo

Here is An Easy Way to Stop Facebook Game Requests

Are you getting too many game requests on Facebook? I confess I have played games on Facebook, yes there I said it!  After weeks addicted and wasting part of my day playing games I decided I needed to Crush that Candy! Then I watched this movie and I realized that indeed I was in trouble!

As with any addiction you need to stop all temptations and those pesky notifications were not helping! There are a few ways that you can stop the game app notifications without having to block your friends completely.

Step One: Account Settings

How to Stop Game Notifications on Facebook











Step Two: Blocking/Manage Blocking

How to Stop Game Notifications on Facebook

In the Block Apps section type in the name of the game. Just blocking the App is probably enough. However, if you have a friend that is constantly inviting you to several games you can add their name in the Block App Invites section as well. 

If you start feeling the withdrawals from missing that Candy then as you can see you can also Unblock at any time!

Image credit: fgnopporn / 123RF Stock Photo


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Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[The Inn at Irving Place, New York City]]> 2013-05-26T16:06:38Z 2013-05-26T16:06:38Z The Inn At Irving Place, New York, NY

The Inn at Irving Place
56 Irving Place
New York, NY

The Inn at Irving Place is located in the Gramercy Park Historic District in New York City. As soon as you step inside the building it’s as if you are transported back in time.

Built in the 1800’s, the Inn has been meticulously restored and complimented with beautiful antique furniture of its time.

The Inn at Irving Place, New York, NY

Upon entering your room soft music from decades past softly plays. The rooms continue the theme of the Victorian era of days gone by.

The Inn At Irving Place, New York, NY

The twelve rooms are named after well known New Yorkers from the 19th century. The room pictured here is the O. Henry. The attention to detail even included Best Stories of O. Henry for your reading pleasure!

The Inn At Irving Place, New York, NY

Prices range from $445-$645/night and include all the comforts of home.

The Inn At Irving Place, New York, NY

The Inn is also home of Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon, which is open 3:00 pm or 5:00 pm Monday-Friday/12 pm, 2:30 pm and 5:00 pm Saturday and Sunday and the Cibar Lounge, open Monday-Wednesday 5:00 pm-1:00 am, Thursday-Friday 5:00 pm- 2:00 am, Saturday 6:00 pm-2:00 am.

We did not get to visit the Cibar Lounge, however we highly recommend that you experience what has been rated to be “The best and most romantic Tea Room in New York City”, Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon.

The Inn at Irving Place, New York, NY

We made reservations for the 5 course Tea Service and enjoyed wonderful teas, appetizer, finger sandwiches, scones with preserves, their signature cake and chocolate covered strawberries and let’s not forget a glass of champagne!

It is a perfect location for a bridal shower, baby shower, tea parties or any other celebration of your choosing.

The Inn at Irving Place, New York, NY

Gluten free substitutions are offered upon request with an additional charge.

If you are in the mood for a Romantic Getaway, The Inn at Irving Place also offers a Romance in New York City package!

*Frommer’s Very Highly Recommended

Photos Courtesy of C.W. Blount

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Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[To Tag or Not to Tag on Facebook]]> 2013-05-22T01:06:50Z 2013-05-21T19:46:55Z facebooktagging1

This little guy can tag me anytime he wants! However, I don’t like being tagged with photos of products or ads that have nothing to do with me.

Most people mean well, but there is something about finding posts that complete strangers (a.k.a. Facebook Friends!) have added on my profile that make me nervous. To avoid that from happening I edited my Privacy Settings.

Facebook changes things quite often, but for today this is what you will see when you edit your Timeline and Tagging Settings. I have it set so I am the only person that can post on my timeline and I review the tags before it appears on Facebook.

Facebook Timeline and Tagging Settings1

You don’t have to worry that you may miss something of value. Just click on your Activity Log and you will see your Timeline Review.


Here you can decide whether to Add to Timeline or not. It gives you more control of your Timeline. Well it makes me feel like I do!

I confess, I may have tagged family or friends a couple of times, but I normally steer clear of that. What about you? Do you mind being tagged? Why?

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Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Managing Your Klout Topics]]> 2013-05-17T20:22:34Z 2013-05-17T20:22:34Z Lisa Ladrido   Klout7

Every so often I will visit Klout and give out +K’s to my peers and I receive them as well. Klout will automatically give you topics of “influence” depending on your engagement on the connected social networking sites.

Your profile normally shows the first three topics. I have not done a scientific study but I imagine most people will select from the first three shown on your profile rather than checking your entire list of topics.

If you would like to rearrange, delete or add new topics just follow along!

Lisa Ladrido   Klout1
To view all of your topics just click on See More.  Here is where you will be able to Manage your topics.

Lisa Ladrido   Klout2

As you can see below you can now Rearrange, Delete or Add new topics.

Lisa Ladrido   Klout3

Apparently even Hitler has had issues with Klout topics! :)

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Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Need a Vacation? Here is Your Chance to Win a Weekend Getaway with Omni Hotels & Resorts]]> 2013-05-01T17:05:51Z 2013-05-01T17:05:51Z Seattle Weather Forecast and Conditions
As I am typing this post the heater just turned on in my house! As you can see in the picture above it is still pretty chilly here in the Seattle area. Although today we are blessed with the sun and blue skies, I am not complaining!

I frequently daydream about sitting under the warm sun while looking at a peaceful blue/green ocean. My husband and I love to travel.

There are so many aspects to a vacation that I enjoy. I love waking up in a beautifully appointed hotel room, with a balcony overlooking the ocean. The seagulls are busy on the beach and the warm air embraces you when you walk out onto the balcony. You are happy and relaxed. There are a few things that we have planned for the day, but there is no rush. My husband joins me with our first cup of coffee. We are quiet, he looks over at me and smiles.

We decide to take a walk on the beach before breakfast. As we pass the Cafe we can see the staff preparing for the first meal of the day. The aromas almost make us stop but it’s as if the sun and ocean are beckoning us to continue on our journey.

We are now shoe-less and the warm white sand feels so soft to our feet. We run to the water. We let the white frothy end of the waves hit us as we walk down the beach……

Okay wake up now! That is a glimpse of what we love to do in the mornings when we are on vacation. What do you like doing?

If you are in need of a vacation like I am, here is a chance to win a Two Night Weekend Getaway to your favorite destination with Omni Hotels & Resorts!

Omni Hotels & Resorts is running a Mother’s Day Pinterest Sweepstakes
called “Happy Momni Day“! Pin your tribute to your Mom (or yourself!)
for your chance to win!

Let me know what you love to do while on vacation. Where are your favorite places to go? Have you stayed in an Omni Hotel & Resort?

The Omni Hotels “Happy Momni Day” Sweepstakes will be open for entries between Tuesday April 30th and May 13th, 2013. I did not receive any financial compensation for this blog post, only additional entries for the sweepstakes. 

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Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Glipho: A New Interactive Platform for Bloggers]]> 2013-04-26T23:17:12Z 2013-04-26T23:13:31Z glipho1

Today I stumbled on a site called Glipho, a new blogging platform. Yes, I do say I was intrigued. The format reminded me a bit like Pinterest, however, there were not only images scrolling by, but blog posts!

I decided to create an account. It was very simple to set up as you can see on the Infographic below.  I do admit that I was hesitant to import my posts from WordPress.  My main concern was that I would have some issues with my blog, but thankfully I didn’t!

Duplicate content was another concern. According to an interview with Glipho CEO, Roger Planes by BookMarketingBuzzBlog, “Blogs are imported but automatically tagged in such a way that search engines don’t crawl them. This removes any problems with duplicate content for the originating blog.”

After importing, the only hiccup I noticed was that some, not all, of my images from my posts did not transfer over to Glipho. I haven’t explored why that happened, (probably user error!) but I was able to insert the photos pretty easily.

Glipho : Social Blogging

You are able to publish your posts directly on Glipho or as you normally do on your blog. I think what I love the most is having access to other writers or gliphers as they are called, their blogs and the exposure to an entire new audience.
In my opinion, images/media are a very important piece of a blog post. Glipho has several great features, one of my favorites is being able to drag and drop media directly from Instagram, Picasa, Flickr and YouTube so easily.



I will keep you updated about my experience on Glipho. If you are a published author I really think you should check this out as well! Let me know if you are using it and your thoughts.

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Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Smart Phones: Privacy & Application Permission Concerns #mobileapps]]> 2013-04-06T21:57:16Z 2013-04-06T21:55:05Z [24/365 | 24.01.365] There's an App for that!

How many times have you downloaded an app to your smart phone? I am sure many, as have I! Have you checked which permissions you are allowing these applications to access? I was very surprised to see the amount of information I had unknowingly given permission to.

Due to the amount of personal data “required” to run these applications, I uninstalled the following from my phone: Netflix, Skype, YouTube, Yelp, Pandora, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Facebook Messenger.

As you can see in these two screenshots from my phone, Facebook Messenger and Skype both have access to a lot of data.

Facebook Messenger




You are able to check the permissions of your already downloaded applications by going into your phone settings, click on Applications and then Manage Applications. Prior to downloading any application go directly to the website to see their privacy permissions.

The new Facebook Home is another application that will be running in the background of your phone and collecting a lot of personal data. You can read more about it here from the CNN article, “Facebook Home, Privacy and You”.

Although not as convenient and will take longer, I plan to connect directly to these sites via my browser. How do you feel about these permissions? Will you continue to use these applications in the future?

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photo by: MSVG
Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Losing Weight After 50 #health #wellness]]> 2015-05-01T14:08:09Z 2013-03-03T19:16:45Z Freshness at its Best

Once I turned 50 I started to see the pounds add on, it was slow at first. I knew that many women gain weight around menopause, however I gained 25 pounds in four weeks. No, I wasn’t eating a gallon of ice cream a day!  I hadn’t changed my diet or eating habits at all.

We didn’t know what was going on. I was also passing out after meals and having increased digestive issues. We later found out that it was due to a neurological condition. I won’t bore you with the details, but you can read more about my story here.

Obesity is such a growing problem here in the U.S. and worldwide. Whatever the reason for your weight gain, you may be finding yourself in the same situation. I have found some tips that have worked for me.

  • Make sure you eat three meals and healthy snacks in between a day, starting the day off with a healthy breakfast. Do not let your body go into starvation mode! Your metabolism slows down to the point that you will not burn any calories or build muscle.
  • When you are feeling hungry drink water. Dehydration often mimics the symptoms of hunger!  Who knew?!
  • Do you like to eat out? Ask for the take home box a.k.a doggy bag before the meal gets there. Let’s face it one portion could feed a family of four! I automatically split it in half and close the box! If it isn’t on my plate I won’t eat it!
  • I love using apps, so when I started using MyFitnessPal I fell in love! Depending on how much weight you would like to lose you can set it up for your daily calorie intake. I was surprised to see that at times I was not even hitting 1000 calories a day, so my body went into starvation mode and I wasn’t losing any weight. You are able to track your exercise and water intake too!
  • Choosing the right foods to help you lose the weight. In the Infographic below they have added some examples of healthier carbs with a lower glycemic index for you to choose from.


So far I have lost 25 pounds and I am no longer considered Obese! I have another 25 pounds to go and I will keep you updated! Please share what has worked for you! I am looking forward to hearing your tips!

Disclaimer: Due to my personal health condition I chose a weight loss plan that worked for my individual needs. Please consult a physician when trying to choose what plan is best for you.

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photo by: OakleyOriginals
Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Broken Pieces by Rachel Thompson @RachelintheOC #bookreview]]> 2013-02-03T18:47:28Z 2013-02-03T18:47:28Z Empty Cage

Recently I purchased a copy of Broken Pieces, Essays Inspired by Life by Rachel Thompson. I was first introduced to Rachel’s work when I read, The Mancode: Exposed, which by the way is a #1 Bestseller! She had me laughing at hello aka the Introduction! It was so entertaining I finished it in one sitting!

Of course I was intrigued when I heard that she had written a more serious non-fiction book. Broken Pieces will not make you laugh by all means but it is comprised of Rachel’s life experiences through essays and poetry.

As in her other book you can actually read the book in any order. However, I decided to take the journey with Rachel in the order she wrote it.

The essay titled Rooms, where Rachel writes, “Women have rooms inside of us men cannot fathom. It’s where we store the depths of hurt we’ve been dealt. Where we store the deep love we never want to lose…”,  best describes each essay and poem for me. Rachel opens the door to each room for us to take a peek into her life and experiences that have helped mold the strong, courageous, funny, creative woman she is today.

The Pure Will room that shows us the nine year old Rachel full of perseverance and strength, pushing through her fears. The Tears of Blood room, where the so young, not yet twelve year old little girl is tragically ripped of her innocence, the Mistakes room where we are shown a glimpse of  naiveté  and trust taken from the nineteen year old college sophomore and to happily The One room where love conquers all.

As I opened each door I was surprised to see so many similarities to some of my own secret rooms. Rooms to this day that remain closed and locked. How many people have the courage to open up their wounds and inner secrets and share them with the world? Not many, but I am so glad Rachel did. Here was someone else who had dealt with some of the same issues that many of us have had. What is so refreshing and full of hope is that like Rachel, most of us do survive.

Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.” You will definitely feel Rachel’s paintings through her poetry and essays.

Currently Broken Pieces is #9 in the Top 100 Best Sellers in Women’s Studies and it is well deserved.

Book Details

Title: Broken Pieces

Author: Rachel Thompson

Pages: 113

Published: December 19, 2012

Topics: Child molestation, Abuse, Love, Loss, Dating, Innocence, Trust, Depression, Suicide, Strength, Perseverance, Courage & Hope

You can also find Rachel Thompson aka RachelintheOC on Twitter, Facebook, Amazon Page and on her Website. Rachel’s other books are The Mancode: Exposed and A Walk in the Snark.

Disclaimer: I purchased a copy of Broken Pieces and I did not receive any compensation for my review.

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photo by: h.koppdelaney
Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[How to Watermark Your Instagram Photos With @iwatermark #business #marketing]]> 2013-01-09T16:40:49Z 2013-01-08T23:00:25Z

I have been researching Apps to watermark my photos for Instagram and Pinterest.  Before all the hoopla regarding Instagram’s Terms of Use confusion, I thought photographers and businesses should watermark their photos. I especially wanted a QR code on mine. If your business website’s QR code or Logo is on the picture, I say go for it Instagram, use the photos!

Thankfully I was fortunate to find the iWatermark App, which can be used on your iPhone, Android, Mac and Windows.  It was really easy to use. There are two versions, a free and paid.

Once the App is downloaded the process to create your Watermark is pretty simple. I recommend re-sizing your photos for Instagram before you create your Text Watermark or Graphic Watermark (QR Code/Logo). On my phone 612×612 is the perfect px size. Now you are ready!

You are able to create a text Watermark or the Graphic. These are the steps I took to create our Graphic Watermark:


  • Select Photo or Take Photo
  • The App offers generic Watermarks if you select the  iWatermark Photo bar at this time. However, for business purposes it is best to create your own. Once you create and save your Watermark you will find it via this bar to use in the future.
  • Choose Create Graphic Watermark 
  • Choose Edit
  • Select QR Code
  • Type your website URL
  • Generate QR Code
  • Edit
  • Change the Opacity, Scale & Angle
  • Save & Exit

Don’t forget to save and exit! You should now find your QR code in iWatermark Photo bar to use on all future images.

I have really enjoyed using this App. Do you Watermark your photos? If so which Apps do you use? Let me know if you have any questions.

Related articles

Disclaimer:  I created the Watermark for this tutorial using our business QR Code.

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Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[How the Celebration of Christmas Has Evolved Over the Centuries [Infographic]]]> 2012-12-07T19:39:06Z 2012-12-07T19:37:20Z

While we were preparing for the holidays I found a framed copy of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Clement Moore, which he wrote in 1822. We rescued it from an attic of one of our homes. Sadly it isn’t an original!

I began to wonder how the celebration of Christmas has evolved over the years. I found this great Infographic to share with you!  The data on this Infographic dates back to the Ancient Egyptians. While reading through it I learned quite a few things too.

The True History of Christmas


Those of you who have children may also want to visit  Norad’s Facebook Page, as they soon will be busy tracking Santa.

Wishing all of you a wonderful Holiday and New Year!

Related articles

Image credit: hofmeester / 123RF Stock Photo

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Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[The Historic Town of Port Gamble, Washington @PortGamble #travel]]> 2012-12-03T22:53:39Z 2012-12-03T22:53:38Z

Photo Property of Lisa Ladrido

My husband and I decided to visit a part of Washington that we had never been before.  As we were driving up the coast of Hood Canal we stumbled upon the darling town of Port Gamble.

Photo Property of Lisa Ladrido

The town was established in 1853 and they have preserved the homes beautifully.  Everything was decorated for Christmas and the blue skies peaked in and out as we visited some of the shops down N. Rainier Avenue.

If you are planning a wedding this is the perfect location for you to check out as well. As we drove into the town we passed St. Paul’s Church while a bride and groom were just retreating from the church.  For additional information visit the Port Gamble Wedding website. 

Photo Property of Lisa Ladrido

We then stopped in at the General Store and Museum for a hot cup of coffee.  It was completely decorated for the holidays while Christmas music played in the background.

Speaking about the holidays you don’t want to miss Port Gamble’s Country Christmas on the weekend of December 8th and 9th.  There will be hay rides, tree lighting, fireworks, Santa’s Workshop and of course shopping at the local shops.

Tea Room at Port Gamble was nominated for Best Tea House
Photo Property of Lisa Ladrido

Last but not least is the Walker-Ames House.  Supposedly there has been reported paranormal activity occurring at the house and in other locations around town.  Coincidentally the town was the setting for the movie, Zombies of Mass Destruction!

Walker-Ames House, Port Gamble, Washington, bu...

Walker-Ames House

We had a lovely day and plan to return to this quaint town very soon! Do you have a special town in your area? If you do please share them with us in the comment section below.

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Lisa Ladrido <![CDATA[Impact of Logo and Name Change @INGDIRECT #SaveTheBall #StayOrange]]> 2012-11-09T20:27:25Z 2012-11-09T20:17:29Z  

In June 2011 ING Direct USA® was purchased by Capital One®.  In February 2013 their logo will change to  Capital One 360 and their colors will change to red and blue. According to their website, “Red’s the new Orange. Since Capital One’s colors are red and blue, our new colors are going to be red and blue, too.”

Visit ING Direct USA® Facebook Page and their Twitter Account, @INGDIRECT to see some of their customer’s comments. Overall they range from “Dislike” to actually closing their accounts.

One customer created a Facebook Page to tell ING Direct USA® to Stay Orange.  The page owner states, “Let’s show the bank we care about how much their color means to us. How will the name and logo change affect their brand recognition? We don’t know, however as customers of ING Direct USA® we want our voices heard. Tweet #SaveTheBall and #StayOrange to or directly on their Facebook Page,“.

There is also a Petition to save the orange ball.

According to The New York Times article, “Goodbye Orange Ball, Hello Capital One 360”, Laura DiLello, a spokeswoman for ING Direct, confirmed in an email that Capital One is legally required to change the ING Direct name, and can only use the name and the orange ball until February. “While orange is unique to ING DIRECT, customers will still receive the same great level of customer experience they’ve come to expect from us,” she said.

Will the logo and name change of  ING Direct USA® create long term negative effects to their business? What do you think?

Photo credit: “Arrow Around The Globe” by digitalart

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