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August 26, 2014

Carowinds To Add World's Tallest Giga Coaster and An Epic Makeover of the Park


Thursday, last week, we had a front row seat at Carowinds BIG, no make that ginormous, secret reveal and more! In the centerpiece of the theme park's 50 Million dollar investments for 2015 is the construction of the world's tallest and fastest Gigacoaster ride - Fury 325! As Carowinds Marketing Director John Taylor said, "If you thought Intimidator was big, think again!"

I agree. The video simulation during the announcement was indeed a good indication that this new coaster ride is one for the brave soul and not for the faint of heart. With speed reaching 95 miles per hour, drop zone of 325 feet high with tight twists and turns and several 111 foot tall camel back hills, even men will be screaming like terrified little girls!

For those who are terrified of Fury, the park has other offerings next season to cater to everyone else. A new water slide in Boomerang bay for the water-loving patrons, re-vamped menu at the new Harmony Hall, new Front entrance plaza, larger ticket and season pass processing area, new parking entrance and toll booth with added parking spaces, and an expanded live show entertainment. 

Photo courtesy of Carowinds

And this is just the beginning. There's more in 2016.




August 20, 2014

Family Travel: 7 No-Bummer Carolina Mountain Adventures To Bid Summer Adieu!


Summer is about over. Oy Bummer! For a family who loves to travel, saying goodbye to days we can travel together without school days in the way is indeed a bummer. But we'll say farewell in our own traveler-kind-of-way which is of course, with a series of travel adventures 5,000+ above sea level. And ASAAP! (as affordable as possible)

August 11, 2014

Fashion Savvy Ideas At Macy's and Radio Disney Back-to-School Event #MacysBTS

Are you ready for back-to-school? I'm not matter-of-factly, but I have some sort of an incentive to be excited about it. Let's say, fashionably excited! You see, my daughter goes to a uniformed school but this year, there is a big possibility that she will be transferred to one without. Yep, fashion alert! You know kids these days, it is imperative, make that highly imperative, to be fashion-forward especially if you are new... in a new school. First impression does count A-LOT! This is where Macy's exciting fashion and fun back-to-school-event comes into perfect play. Yay for fashion help!

Macy's is hosting a fun afternoon across the country to bring you the "what's hot" in the fashion world for boys and girls. Can't wait to see their graphic tees, denim and skater-inspired dresses - which sounds really interesting! To amp up the fun, Radio Disney will be at the events along with crafts, face painting, games and yes, prizes.

July 7, 2014

Parenthood: Reasons Why I Learned To Love My Child's Mess!

Got kids? Then you know it! Clutter, messy floor and the despicable messy room - they are the vain of your daily domestic existence! I get you. They're part of my "normal" for about 10 years now too. Never a fun moment there I tell you, but you know what? I just discovered an appreciation of all my unica iha's mess-es! I may have just fallen in love with them in a cuckoo, crazy, kind of way.

It all started with my daughter being on Summer Camp for a week. I thought, "Aaaah! What a relief!" A relief that washed over my entire being. Finally, a break. A break from motherhood. A break from all her "drive-me-crazy" mess. Period.

Can you relate?

June 26, 2014

10 Dirt Cheap Summer Activity for the Whole Family

Amazing view at Latta Plantation Nature Preserve picnic area - Huntersville NC

I know what you're thinking. The kids are home. It's Summer. You know what that means! You're stuck at home with each other 24/7. I don't blame you if you are kicking and screaming at the reality of it all right now. Pulling all your hairs out yet? I'm not one bit surprised. The thought of cabin fever creeping in is never pleasant! What does one do? Instinct tells you to find Summer activities. You need your sanity intact! But can you afford these activities? Well, you can - creatively!

I didn't know how lost I would be at simply trying to figure out which Summer activity option is doable for my daughter that won't cost me an arm and a leg. And my thing is, if I'm going to be the glorified chauffeur anyway, might as well find something that I can be part of and benefit from it too. So, this prompted my quest to find affordable,  better yet,  free activities that is good for both me and my daughter and also great for other families.

I found a few that totally works! Even the most bored tot in your family may actually enjoy it! All you need to do is simply add your own creative twist to it and be open to the potential of each options!

Cornelius Public Library - Cornelius NC


Here are some FREE or Almost-Free and dirt-cheap Summer Fun Activities to be had:

1. Library - Local libraries offer Free Summer programs for all ages. It is a great place to bring your bookworm kids to hangout and chill away from the Summer heat. Some local libraries also offer computers where they can feed their geek needs. It's also the perfect venue to catch some peace and quiet!

2. State Park - What better place to spend all that surging energy within? Nothing beats an open space where the children can literally run all day. State Parks have plenty of that! It also gives you plenty of option for family picnics. Most parks have picnic tables and shelters. Best of all, some parks have a creek or lake alongside it where hot feet can cool down. 

3. Mall - Big shopping centers have play areas for kids. Best time to go is at opening time. After they're done playing, you can all go window shopping! Or you can go outside and hit the open fountains and have fun in the water! Now that's hitting not just two, but three birds with one bullet. 

4. Swimming Pool - If your community have it, make use of it. With Summer heat rising, it's the best place to cool off. The children will thank you for it. Don't have it? Get invited by friends who have it in their community! You can also visit your State's Aquatic Center for FREE swimming lessons if you're children love the sport, even if not, it's still a fun option to go to when it's hot out! Daily admission rates are also affordable!

5. Movie Theater - Entertainment made easy and affordable. Escape the summer heat and bust boredom with Summer movies that are deeply discounted or occasionally free in your local theaters participating in the program. Most theaters charge $1 per movie. Talk about huge discounts and cheap form of entertainment for the whole family!

6. Bookstore - Library too quiet for your children's temperament? Haul them over to your nearest bookstore where they have a wider variety of book choices and more space to explore in as you park yourself in their cafe for a drink or two of your favorite coffee and a book or magazine to calm your nerves. Check their story-telling schedules too for added adventure!

7. Local Art Camps - For the creative bunch, local community arts organizations can be a great alternative for your Picasso's and Da Vinci's. They have various Summer programs that may be a good fit for your budget and your sanity. 

8. Museums - Children's museums and other area attractions offers group discounts. Works best when you have other parent friends who are also desperate to try every other options to avoid going Summer stir-crazy!

Here are some local attractions that offer group discounts:
Raptor Center Group discount
Discovery Place Group discount
Charlotte Nature Museum Group discount
Levine Museum of the New South Group discount


9. Camping - If you're feeling the effect of cabin fever, go camping and feel the freedom of being outdoors! Great option if you've been cooped up long enough indoors and just needed to be in touch with your "wild" side! Camping sites offer a variety of option to enjoy the wilderness without breaking your bank! 

10. Playdates - My favorite option of all - trade playdates with friends! Works all the time and it's guaranteed to make everyone happy if not having tons of fun! Well, except for the adult watching them that is.
    Some bonus ideas:
    Hang out or chill in a cafe other than Starbucks.
    Visit a local Farmer's Market.
    Cool down at an Ice cream shop.

    Possibilities are endless... You just gotta be creative in the ways you approach them.


    I hope this works for you! Say Hello to Summer with open arms - and happy pockets!

    Life Unlimited!
    Maricris


    June 13, 2014

    The Movie Sequel That Will Take Your Breath Away...Literally!


    If you've seen the original movie of How To Train Your Dragon and loved it, I'll tell you now that you'll find the sequel packed with a little more to love! The 3D movie which opens in all theaters today, June 13th, offers its viewers a high-octane adventure and over-the-top excitement for all ages! Also, make sure to bring a box of tissue because you will cry!  Yes, cry. This movie is not only packed with roller coaster fun, but also overflowing with raw emotions that will touch the core of your soul.

    June 5, 2014

    What to Wear at The Red Carpet in Hollywood But Nothing Like Rihanna's

    If you're going to a Red Carpet event in Hollywood for the first time and you're going nuts trying to figure out what to wear, then this is for you! Yes you, clueless creature. I was once like you. I feel your pain. I feel your stress. And I feel your confusion. If you find yourself reading this, then I can safely bet you're scouring the internetz to find wardrobe help. Well, aren't you lucky?! I've been in your shoes before and totally survived the wardrobe challenge. So, let me help. Either you're going there as an invitee, a media rep or blogger, these tips will target your need!

    The Dress.
    Here's a great rule to live by:
    If you're not a celebrity, don't over-splurge on your dress like the celebrity.

    • But by all means, dress like a celebrity. Go va-va-va-boom with your dress choice but without your piggy bank going kaboom!

    • A simple, yet chic and classy dress fares pretty well at the red carpet. The key here is wearing something that makes you feel good, feels good on you and one that you can totally rock! One that simply makes you feel like one of the stars without the hefty price tag. 

    • The Little (or not so little) black dress always does the trick. You can't go wrong with a well-designed black dress. It is simply versatile! But if you love a little touch of color and print, go for it! 



    • Wear a gown if you must. This is totally a personal choice. If you are a guest and will be in front of the cameras as you walk down the red carpet, I say yes! But if you're covering the event and lugging around a heavy dslr or a personal bag with your gadgets, I advise against it. It's simply AWKWARD. But then again, if you can rock it, be my guest! 


    Sidenote: When I first got the invite that I was going to the Red Carpet Event to cover the MNO movie, I panicked! But after doing a little, no, a lot, of research on "what to wear", I came to a personal Mantra that I should "let the dress speak" and "less is more". And a little accessorizing actually helps!

    Here are some fabulous Red Carpet Dresses worn by women at the recent MNO Movie in Hollywood.


    Knee-length dress and gowns 


    Knee-length dresses, laces, solid colors and sparkly ones, was a common sight.


    ALMOST JEWELRY-FREE.
    If you look close, you'll notice that these women barely wore jewelries. They're letting the dress speak! And they sure did a great job with it. Rihanna anyone?

    Now, the SHOES!

    My killer shoes. Yes, killer. It "killed" my toes after an hour standing. 


    Heels on the red carpet is a given on the red carpet but oh boy! It's like wearing HELL on your feet. I found that out firsthand. And so did most of the women on that closed-off section intended for media, press and bloggers, where we were. "My toes are numb!" was our unified mantra! Our shoes were like Jekyll and Hyde. Pretty on the outside and so ugly in the inside.

    But it's a different story if you're walking down the carpet. I saw celebrities, wearing wedges, flat shoes and pretty bling-ed out ones. Again, this is all about personal style!

    So, there ya go!

    Word of the wise. If it [dress] makes you pretty and confident and you can pull it off with style, go you! At the end of the day, it is your style that matters!

    Be fabulous!

    May 17, 2014

    Travel Photography Shot at 65MPH: California Series

    On the Poppy Fields on top of a hill in Lancaster, California also known as the Antelope Valley

    Most of my out-of-town travels involves riding in a car as a passenger. Either sitting in the front or at the back. I love being a passenger because I get to sight-see. The only funny thing about it is that, there are tremendous amounts of panoramic views and photography-worthy landscapes that I wish I could capture vividly with my camera. Be it with my camera phone or dslr. It is a tricky undertaking of which I'm slowly learning to conquer.

    May 16, 2014

    Up Close and Personal with The Moms' Night Out Casts and Crew in Hollywood


    As of this writing, the movie Moms' Night Out has all been played and shown in theaters nationwide. It was set to coincide with the celebration of the reknown National Moms Nite Out and of course, Mother's day. Well, that's because this movie is all about moms! Sorry dads!

    Ironically, I have to take a bit of an MNO from my INSANE schedule myself  - hello packing and moving West to East coast! - just so I can sit my overworked self down and finally write this article. I spent 2 fabulously exciting and glamorous days in Hollywood meeting, mingling, partying and talking with the forces and stars behind this funny movie. It is a tad, tad late I know, but a good story never goes bad. So, here it goes, just as fresh as the day it happened and filled with tons of exciting gossip fodder only for you!

    May 11, 2014

    Mother's Day Feature Story: The Day I Wish My Mother Gone


    "How are you?" My mother greeted me as she held the door opened for me. Her usual smile painted all over her face. "Good" I replied monotonously like I do each day and walked past her uncaring. This have become a daily routine that it's almost like a broken record replaying a part of my day over and over again. 

    Each day I wish it was different.  

    Each day I wish my mom was not at the door to greet me.