sponsored

Temecula Toyota and Tranquility Our Weekend Getaway #Sponsored @ToyotaLatino #Prius #LetsGoPlaces

Posted on June 10th, 2017 by & filed under Blog Venture, Events, Everything Miz Meliz, sponsored, Travel

Temecula, Toyota, and Tranquility, Our Weekend Getaway

Let me tell you about my experience at the Temecula Valley Wine & Balloon Festival sponsored by Toyota Latino #LetsGoPlaces #VayamosJuntos…A huge thank you to Toyota Latino (check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram ) for hosting me and Lito on this amazing weekend getaway and giving me the opportunity to review the Prius Four! Please see my disclosure for details on why I post articles like this on MizMeliz.com. It was my pleasure to share my experience with you, all opinions are entirely my own (with some input from Lito.)

I am excited about getting away for the weekend! Let’s go!

Temecula

It was time for a romantic weekend getaway! Lito and I have lived in Southern California all our lives. We have been married twenty-five years. Can you believe we have never been to the Temecula Valley? It is just a short three hour drive from our home in Los Angeles (depending on traffic) and we have heard about how amazing it is, but we had not been there. So, when we got a chance to get away for the weekend and check out the 34th Annual Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival, it sounded like a dream!

Driving out to the festival felt like getting away from it all!

The Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival is the perfect combination of many of my favorite things. Lito and I had a great time there! I felt like a kid when I walked through the gates! It was like a fairytale.

Taking the drive in the 2017 Toyota Prius Four was magical from the start. I had fun driving it. Lito took the pictures and we posted on Snapchat along the way. After a long day of doing errands around town, stopping at the dentist – which happened to be the only thing we couldn’t reschedule that day, grabbing lunch and making our way to Temecula, we finally were on the road to the festival. It was a long and windy road. (giggles) It was! Imagine it, a beautiful sunny and warm day, great music, a fun car to drive, my hunny by side and I am on my way to enjoy the best wine, listen to live bands (Bush, The Gin Blossoms) and see giant helium balloons light up the night!! It was a dream for me!

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If you have a chance to go to the annual Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival, I highly recommend it. There is plenty to do there, even camping by Lake Skinner within walking distance. (Actual walking distance, the same as you would do from the parking lot – not hiking or having to take a shuttle, the campgrounds are right there.) I mention this because I wouldn’t have thought of a Balloon Festival/wine event as a family outing at first. However, there is plenty to do for the whole family. The festival part did not disappoint. The food and entertainment, craft fair booths, live music, and of course The BALLOONS would keep the kids happy and occupied while you taste wine and beer from the region to your heart’s content. Everything was clean, beautiful, well controlled, and very well organised.

The vineyards and estates that lined the road on the way to the festival were breathtaking!

There are two stages with bands playing almost non-stop over the three days of the festival. There are balloon ride packages available. There are wine tasting packages or you can have a single taste, all purchased separate from the admission ticket. There are plenty of options for meals. Make sure you have cash! Although most of the booths and vendors accept credit cards, the remote location has some limitations with internet connection. This made it difficult for the card readers to work, and the ATM machines also could not function in some spots.

Cheers!

I have to admit, I’m not that in to wine these days. In our younger days Lito and I did our fair share of wine tasting and enjoyed learning about wine. I can’t drink a lot of wine now because of dietary restrictions, or shall we say…lifestyle choices. I found it very easy to have a single taste while at the festival and there were volunteer stewards there to help me choose just the right thing. For my celebratory selection, I went with a peach champagne. It was c’est magnifique! If you are a wine aficionado, this would be a great place to try all the wines of the region in one location. Every winery in the area was represented. It was impressive. Check out the website for more details.

Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival

37701 Warren Road

Winchester, CA 92596

Toyota

I was so excited to have the opportunity to experience the Prius Four – with an EPA-estimated 54/50 MPG. With advanced materials, an innovative design, Prius promised to deliver the perfect drive. It turned out to deliver much more!

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Even though I had driven the Prius all day on the way to the festival, it was on the way out of the parking lot that I really got acquainted with all the features this model has to offer. We sat in the car for over two hours as the thousands of automobiles were slowly ushered out of the multiple parking areas through that one windy road we came in on. We looked at it as a positive since we had a great vehicle that was equipped for this kind of thing, we were actually charging the battery as we sat listening to music, reading the manuals, and playing with all the buttons and dials! We didn’t have to worry about turning off the engine, wasting fuel, or putting out emissions. It was pretty cool.

Here are my Five Favorite Things About the Prius Four:

  1. It Feels Like a Car – I never drove a hybrid before this and it wasn’t at all what I thought. It felt like a car. It didn’t feel like an electric golf cart. It was sturdy, great to drive, it had power, I loved the steering and handling, and I felt safe in it. The doors are heavy, the base is solid. It did have that “whirrr” sound when accelerating like a ride at Disneyland, which was strange. I usually drive a Jeep Wrangler, so nothing about that sounds cute! I liked that this Prius did not need to be “plugged in” to charge. It was everything I would expect from a vehicle, with more ways to save energy.
  2. Light Leather Interior – Living in a part of the country that gets temperatures of 80-100 degrees most of the time, I appreciate a cool interior. I also love leather. The two together are usually a disaster on a hot day. Not so with the Prius Four – I imagine it was the color that made the difference. It was very stylish with white on black. The dashboard was very modern and state of the art – futuristic even! I liked the crisp angles and large lettering and numbers. The design was fresh, from the fabric, to the little touches of metallic edges infused into the design that gave it a retro feel.
  3. Blind Spot Assist – The design of the Prius Four creates a big blind spot and Toyota has a great feature that I was skeptical about at first. I like to look over my shoulder and see what is next to me and behind me. It didn’t take long to get used to the indicators on the side-view mirrors that let me know if there was something in my blind spot. That really helped.
  4. It’s Roomy – The Prius Four is a hatchback with lots of cargo space. It also has a lot of leg room and felt comfortable. It is a small, mid-sized car, yet I would enjoy having it as a commuter car that I could use for long trips as well as family outings.
  5. It’s Sporty and Cute! – Not just because the Prius Four that I reviewed was “Hypersonic Red” but the design is pretty cool. It’s sleek and sexy. The tail lights have a unique design. Lito called it my spaceship! We definitely enjoyed all the features the 2017 Toyota Prius offers!

Tranquility

 Toyota thought of everything when they treated us to this little getaway. We stayed at the Pala Casino Spa and Resort.

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After all the driving, balloons, and wine tasting, we were ready for some rest and relaxation! I’ve heard of some other Indian Reservation casinos in the Temecula Valley area before but I was not familiar with Pala. It was off the highway a bit, but that added to the adventure. It is a smallish hotel and casino and reminded me a little of “old Las Vegas.” Lito and I got some ice cream and walked around the gaming tables and slot machines after we got back from the wine and balloon festival. We thought about trying our luck. We ended up not playing because we really feel like winners already! We were very lucky to have this fun weekend together with all the activities, transportation, and lodging provided. We felt truly blessed. I didn’t want to risk losing any of that!

In the morning we walked around the beautifully landscaped grounds of the resort. We checked out the pool and cabanas. We took a little peak in the spa gift shop. I did a Facebook Live tour (see below) to share the experience. It was a very nice morning. I enjoyed my stay and would return to Pala anytime. The room was luxurious and spacious. Next time, I will try the spa services!

They have live bands perform in the center of the resort, as you can see them setting up in the video. This would be a great all inclusive destination for any occasion. It is especially nice because it is close to the Temecula Valley wine country and Oceanside, which is a beautiful seaside town in North San Diego County. We ended our trip with brunch in Oceanside and took some beautiful photos with the pier in the background. It was a great day!

Listening to ’80s music all the way home, played on Sirrus XM by Richard Blade, brought us back to our younger days for sure. The entire weekend in Temecula, with Toyota, gave us just the tranquility we needed to recharge our battery and enjoy the fun summer ahead!

Pala Casino Spa & Resort

Pala Casino Resort & Spa

11154 CA-76

Pala, CA 92059

A huge thank you to Toyota Latino (check them out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram ) for hosting me and Lito on this amazing weekend getaway and giving me the opportunity to review the Prius Four! Please see my disclosure for details on why I post articles like this on MizMeliz.com. It was my pleasure to share my experience with you, all opinions are entirely my own (with some input from Lito.) I was under no requirement or obligation to post this on my blog, nor did I receive any compensation for doing so. I was invited to drive the 2017 Toyota Prius Four for one week. We were treated to an overnight stay at the Pala Spa and Casino Resort, received a gift of $150 in Visa gift cards for gas and expenditures and two (2) general admission tickets to The Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival. #ToyotaLatino #Prius #VayamosJuntos #LetsGoPlaces 

 

Spooky Trix Cereal Sand Paintings for #DiaDeMuertos #BigG @walmart @GeneralMills #sponsored

Posted on October 19th, 2016 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, Product Reviews, sponsored

Family and traditions go together, just like treats and Halloween! This year I plan to make some fun Dia de los Muertes crafts and treats to begin a new tradition for my family. (This post is sponsored by General Mills. Please see my disclosure for more information on sponsored and paid posts.)
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Halloween memories fill my mind as I look at my family photos. Gone are the days of making marshmallow cereal treats and candy apples for my kids. Now, my sons have girlfriends who make them candy and cupcakes. I am actually looking forward to the future when hopefully I have a grandchild to share our family’s traditions with. My kids still appreciate a homemade treat from mom now and then.

I am always making things around the holidays. I think that is when it matters most. Some of the best treats I have made used my favorite General Mills kids cereals like Lucky Charms, Trix, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Cocoa Puffs. This year, I am going to make sugar skulls (also known as calaveras) and decorate them with colorful Trix and Lucky Charms cereal to make the flowers.
Making marshmallow treats with cereal is easy. Follow your favorite recipe (Here is mine!) and roll the cereal concoction into balls with gloved hands sprayed with non-stick pan spray or rubbed in some vegetable oil or margarine. Shape the balls into a skull shape and flatten on the bottom as you set them on wax paper. Pour melted white chocolate (almond bark) over each skull.
Recipe by Sarah Phillips and Kelly Hong; Food styling and photos by Kelly Hong © 2010 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com

Recipe by Sarah Phillips and Kelly Hong; Food styling and photos by Kelly Hong © 2010 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com

I plan to decorate mine with the cereal pieces from Trix or the marshmallows from Lucky Charms to make fun designs. You can get some colored frosting or edible glitter and really get creative. I get all my baking and crafting supplies at Walmart. It’s cool because I can pick up grocery items after I explore the aisles for fun and creative items to use for crafting.

 A calavera [plural:calaveras] (Spanish –pronounced: [kalaˈβeɾa] for “skull”) is a representation of a human skull. The term is most often applied to decorative or edible skulls made (usually by hand) from either sugar (calledAlfeñiques) or clay which are used in the Mexican onservance of the Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos) and the Roman Catholic holy day All Souls’ Day. Calavera can also refer to any artistic representations of skulls, such as the lithographs of José Guadalupe Posada. The most widely known calaveras are created with cane sugar and are decorated with items such as colored foil, icing, beads, and feathers.[1]

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Although I am Catholic and Hispanic, I did not grow up with the cultural tradition of Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. I have embraced these traditions as an adult. I love to color and draw things and since I work at a middle school, I have been making skull masks and drawings for years. I use them to decorate the office and classroom and I enjoy making them. I also love dressing up for Halloween and I often make up my face as a skull.

Spooky Trix Cereal Sand Paintings

For fun, my son and I used the Trix cereal to make sand paintings… it was super easy and he liked doing it.  He even said, “This is cool, Mom!” (Win for me!!)

Halloween and Dia de los Muertos bring back so many special memories for me! One year, our family won the annual Halloween costume contest at my son’s elementary school when we dressed up as a family of skeletons. When we arrived at the event, we played instruments and processed into the room like clowns. It was fun and so memorable! It was the only year I could get all three of my kids, my husband, my brother, sister-in-law, and niece to dress up. It took hours to do everyone’s makeup! But it was worth it! That’s the Halloween we won the prize – because we went as a family!

We all enjoy putting together our costumes and wearing makeup for Halloween and other occasions. See some of my previous posts where I was made up as The Bride of Frankenstein and other characters. 
Halloween Makeover
Do you have a fun or scary family holiday memory? Please share it in the comments! Let me know if you try the craft – Spooky Trix Cereal Sand Paintings. #DiaDeMuertos #BigG

Thinking About a Dream? They Have a Box For That @thinkbx

Posted on November 22nd, 2015 by & filed under Connecting People, Everything Miz Meliz, Product Reviews, sponsored

Christmas is coming and the age old dilemma of what to get the person who has everything is upon us. I have an idea for you! It’s Think Box. There is a handcrafted, personalized heirloom quality box for everyone on your list. This could be that special thing you have been looking for!

If you want to give the gift of story to your grandchild…

If you want to give the gift of hope to your grandfather…

If you want to give your spouse a year of fun dates…

If you want to impress your boss…or honor an employee…

If you want to give the most important person in your life a place to store their wishes…

They have a box for that!


thinkbox2

When I met Mark Feldstein, he had driven over an hour from his home to my office just to show me his boxes. He felt very strongly that I needed to see them in order to appreciate them. I found this to be quite interesting. Why would he go to so much trouble? We hardly knew each other. But, when I met Mark, I knew there was something special about him.

Mark Feldstein is a dreamer.

You see, he has a trade. A job. A family. Yet, over the years he and his wife also had an idea. They wanted to share it with the world. They wanted to make a difference in the lives of families everywhere. It wasn’t enough for the Feldsteins to make boxes like these for their own children and friends. They wanted to use them to help others live a life full of fantasy, story, fun, interest, hope, love, and inspiration. They had a dream.

Now, Mark has to make his dream of turning his idea into a business by using his talents and insights, fueled by a desire to bring much needed additional income to the family and driven by the passion he has to change the way families connect and communicate with one another in the technology age. I believe he can do it. He just needs a little help. He needs some help from his friends. Will you help him?

Order your unique box now to receive it in time for the holidays and help an entrepreneur turn his idea into a dream job. Dreams really do come true! Find ALL the details HERE.

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thinkbox

Thinkbx sells unique, beautifully handcrafted wooden boxes filled with different theme cards such as The Storytelling Box and The Date Box.

Contact Mark to get yours:

www.thinkbx.com

Twitter: @thinkbx

The Day I Met Marilyn Monroe @Ripleys Believe it or Not!

Posted on November 22nd, 2015 by & filed under Affiliate Links, Everything Miz Meliz, sponsored

I love adventures like going to Hollywood Blvd. and checking out some of the tourist attractions. This post contains affiliate links.

Please see my Disclosure to find out more about why I write posts like this.

One fun Hollywood attraction that I really like is Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Ripleys gave me free admission to visit in exchange for a honest review.  Check out my photo gallery below and you will see how much fun I had there. The thing I liked best was all the unusual artwork. Check out the gallery of photos that I took:

 

 

Heat Wave – or Not?

When I went to Ripley’s Believe it or Not in Hollywood, California it was a blast! There was such a boiling hot heat wave in Hollywood that day, I just wanted to sip a cocktail and cool down. I ended up going to check out Ripley’s with a few of my girlfriends from the Entertainment New Media Network Conference. We had a few hours to kill, so we went to check it out. It was pretty cool inside – air conditioned as well as a cool exhibit – if you like weird things.

I like unusual things, so I enjoyed it quite a bit. It is your basic museum/gallery. We went in and toured at our own pace. Naturally the theme of Hollywood film and television memorabilia seemed to be the focus. I don’t know if the Ripleys Believe it or Not’s other locations have nearly as many celebrity influenced artwork and memorabilia. But it made it a lot of fun!

All the pieces are labeled and have plaques or posters describing what it is and how it was obtained. Most items are donated. Many of the items were from around the world or were replicas of sculptures or artwork. Many of the things looked like a perfectly normal objet d’art, until you looked closer and realized what was so strange about it to get it a prominent placement in the museum. For example, the beautiful jeweled peacocks made entirely from fingernails, 1750 of them! (okay, fake fingernails and barrettes, but still.)

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Most of the paintings and wall art were made mosaic style out of odd bits such as candy, puzzle pieces or postage stamps. Throughout the museum you will find these oddities and some are so unbelievable, the question will actually be posted nearby…Believe it, or not? Now and then a hoax will be discovered and revealed in the small print. So don’t always believe what you see!

My absolute favorite part was the Marilyn Monroe room where there were rare photos and memorabilia of Marilyn’s’ including a makeup case. A life size poster suitable for selfie taking with the infamous starlet was in the corner and you could stand next to it on a vent that blew air straight up. Next time I go there, I will wear a skirt for the full effect!

Me and Marilyn! Believe it or not!

Me and Marilyn! Believe it or not!

Get a discount by purchasing your tickets here.


Just click on the pictures or links for Ripley’s and you will be helping to support MizMeliz at the same time.

Don’t forget to come back and tell me if you enjoy your visit.

What is the most unusual thing you saw at Ripley’s?

Why We Love Our Pets #sponsored @beyondpetfood

Posted on October 25th, 2015 by & filed under Affiliate Links, Everything Miz Meliz, Intentional, sponsored

The Truth About Pets is Our Love for them Goes Beyond Friendship with a Unique Bond.

This is a Sponsored post by Lunchbox. This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure to learn why I write blog posts like this. 

My Cats Mean the World to Me

I have had a cat as a pet since I moved into my first apartment when I was 20 years old. (If you do the math – that’s 27 years!) My mom would never let me have a cat because she was afraid of them. I always wanted one. My first kitten was adopted at a local pet adoption day at a pet store. His name was Quartz and he was the sweetest Russian Blue cat ever!

I enjoyed taking care of my cat, Quartz, and he gave me more love than I could ever give him. He used to lick my arm when he would snuggle up to me. I didn’t think that was unusual, dogs do that all the time. But I was told by a friend that cats only do that if they really like you. That was one way he showed me love. Little scratchy kitty kisses. Over the years, I have had many more cats. They show me they love me in countless ways and I can’t imagine a life without having a wonderful furry pet to love.cat

Why We Love Our Pets

I asked my friends what they love most about their pets and I got so many wonderful responses, I want to share them with you:

The best thing about having pets is…They teach me how to be happy about being. ~Lee

The best reason to have a dog is...A dog is ALWAYS happy to see you whether you are gone for one minute or one month. They love unconditionally. They don’t care what you look like EVER. ~Ronda

Keegan learning how to crawl - who does he go to? Patient, loving, little "Honey"

Keegan learning how to crawl – who does he go to? Patient, loving, little “Honey”

The best thing about having a pet is…My dog, Maddie, is my best friend. ~Shaun

I just love being greeted at the door with such enthusiasm! ~Sue

I love having a pet because…When I am feeling down or sick, my dog, Banjo, tries to make me feel better. He does everything he can to make me feel loved. He licks me to death, wants me to hold him, and lays beside me to make me feel better. ~Charles

I love having dogs because they are loyal to a fault, they love to play and snuggle, they re trustworthy and they will love you until the end of their days if you treat them well…and sadly even if you don’t.

Cats are the epitome of indifference and
then my cat, Puzzle, comes along and she is funny, and playful, snuggly and fun. I think pets are important. They are like our children. They depend on us to take care of them and in return they give us all the love we can handle. ~Valyrie

Erwins petsHaving a cat AND dog is great because... When our cat yacks for whatever reason our dog eats it right up…because it tastes like cat food. Sounds gross, but not having to wipe up cat yack for 10 years, you start to appreciate it. Haha! Cats you can leave at home, while on a short 2-3 day staycation. A dog you can’t leave in the house for > than 8 hours. Dogs are forever happy and loyal, Cats are loyal until they don’t need anything from you anymore. Cats clean themselves, Dogs need baths, Dogs make you active, Cats cuddle. ~Erwin

My dog gives me…Therapy. Companionship. ~Nani

My dogs give me…Unconditional love…and the meaning of the same when things are tough with two legged people in our lives! ~Kerry

I love having pets because…They are never in a bad mood, always happy to see you, they are great protectors and love to cuddle. ~Sharon

My pets give me…Unconditional love, comfort, curling up next to me, they don’t talk back or reveal things told in confidence. ~Cheryl P.

I love having pets becauseWhen you come home and see the dog’s tail wag that is actually a full body wag! The cat’s warm body curled up on your chest, purring. ~Laura

I love having pets because…They are like our children. For some people a cat or dog becomes their child. We love our animals and bond with them. ~Tina

The best reason to have a dog is…unconditional love and companionship. Security! No one comes near our home without the bark alarm going off. Clean kitchen floor. Anything falls, it gets eaten. Comic relief. ~Marissa

My dogs give me…Unconditional love and devotion! ~Cheryl L.

Melissa Reyes created on Canva 10-22-15 for MizMeliz.com

How I Show Love for My Pets

Taking care of your pets is as important as taking care of yourself. In fact, taking care of your pets IS taking care of yourself. It is good for you. So make it a double spa day. Drop Fido off at the groomer’s and go for a massage. You will both feel wonderful!

I honestly feel the best thing I can do for my pets is feed them well. I try to give them healthy food that is good for their digestion. Since my cats are indoor pets, I make sure they are getting all the nutrients that they require. I also give them lots of water. It took a long time to find a food brand that all three of my cats enjoyed, and then narrowing it down to flavors they all like was even harder. Here is one that they love…Purina Beyond.

Purina Beyond Dog and Cat Food contains natural ingredients that are good for your pets.

It’s not simply a matter of natural ingredients. It’s the expert formulation of those ingredients and the knowledge they’ve been sourced from trusted suppliers that ensure you’re feeding your pet a meal that is both naturally and nutritionally complete. From sourcing to quality and safety to exceeding industry standards, Beyond is committed to your pet’s overall health and well-being.

LeeSuperfoods for Our Pets

Superfoods are not just for people. Studies have shown that the nutrients in superfoods like pumpkin and cranberry are good for our pet’s digestion and overall health. We care about our own health enough to include these foods in our diet, we should be doing the same for our beloved companion animals.

Here are two new products to try that I think your dog will love:

BEYOND® SUPERFOOD BLEND Salmon, Egg & Pumpkin Recipe Dry Dog Food

BEYOND® SUPERFOOD BLEND Barley, Egg, Sweet Potato & Cranberry Recipe Dry Dog Food

Purina Beyond has dry food, wet food, snacks and a new puree that dogs and cats love.

  • Real meat, fish or poultry is the #1 ingredient in the dry and pate
  • No corn, wheat or soy
  • No poultry by-product meal
  • No added artificial colors, flavors or preservatives

Click on the image below to learn more about Purina Beyond dog and cat food and find out about the sweepstakes where 20 winners will receive a year of Beyond dog (or cat) food.


 

Purchase Purina Beyond Dog Food at Walmart.

Did you know that Walmart is the destination for all your premium pet needs?

Thank You For Reading

Tell me what you love about your pets in the comments and be sure to enter to win a year supply of food for your pet!

*Bloggers, if you are interested in posting about this opportunity make sure to sign up for Firestarter to receive your personal posting link! Use:https://firestart.me/

Offer ends Nov. 10, 2015

Devotion

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