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My Love for Mexican Food is About to Get Real! #MizMeliz @DelRealFoods

Posted on May 16th, 2015 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz, Foodie Reviews, Product Reviews

Del Real Party In A Box Giveaway Featuring Fresh, Authentic Mexican Foods

Imagine my delight when I received news from Del Real that I could host a give away on my blog for a Party in a Box! (Disclosure)

I recently resolved to not do any more posts on my blog for free and to limit advertising that wasn’t beneficial to me or my own brand. But, I never said I would not work for food! Del Real offered me some free samples and a great gift for one lucky reader, so I am going for it. I don’t even need to wait for the samples to be delivered. I have tried Del Real Foods and I liked it.

I saw this commercial on TV around Cinco de Mayo. It cracked me up!

I love Mexican food, the kind we have here in Los Angeles, that is. I know it isn’t the same as they have in Central Mexico. Or, at least that is what I have been told, I have never been there. I don’t eat it because I am Mexican. (I am “mostly Mexican” by heritage.) I do eat it because my parents liked it and we ate it at home quite a bit. That is because my Dad loved it. It is the same reason my kids love Filipino food. Their Dad loves it. Homemade food and certain foods from restaurants are comforting to us and remind of us of good times.

“Del Real Foods is a family-owned Mexican food company based in Mira Loma, California. Del Real Foods offer authentic taste using the freshest ingredients, most of which are locally sourced. Gluten free and trans fat free, Del Real Foods are cooked over an open-kettle.”

I admit it, I don’t know how to make good Mexican food. I can make a few things the way my Mom made them. She had a deep dark secret that I found out when I wanted to learn how to make her best dishes for my family. Her recipes were not handed down from her mother, or even my father’s mother. She confided that she used the suggested recipe on the side of the can of sauce that she bought at the market to make her enchiladas, and her taco recipe was from the can of beans. (Don’t laugh at me!) I can relate, moms do what is necessary to make things easily as well as wholesome for our families and friends. There is nothing more authentic than that, right?

My mom gifted me with some authentic recipes and the love of foods from the South Western United States since she was from a small town near Albuquerque, New Mexico. My mother, my grandmother, aunts and cousins made sopapillas, carne adovada, green chile stew, posole, cabalacitas, and stacked enchiladas with red or green sauce made from the New Mexico chile (a variety of Capsicum annuum – peppers grown throughout the state of New Mexico.) These foods are family favorites, yet vary quite a bit from the flavors of Mexican food made in California.

Del Real makes it simple to get fresh tasting Mexican food on our table so we can enjoy it quickly and easily. Like the commercial in the video above, you can make it in minutes (and you might not even need hands.)

“Designed to satisfy all palates and promote healthy eating, Del Real Foods refrigerated products offer authentic taste, using the freshest, locally sourced ingredients and cooked with traditional methods for an enhanced dining experience among family and friends.

Del Real Foods refrigerated products include Carnitas, Barbacoa, Tamales, Seasoned Shredded Beef, Shredded Chicken and much more.”

http://www.delrealfoods.com/

You have a chance to sample the flavors, because Del Real is allowing me to give away a grand prize “Party In A Box” featuring Del Real highlights like carnitas, tamales, pork al pastor pupusas and the newest delicious addition: the Al Pastor Taco Kit. The grand prize Party In A Box will also include a Del Real picnic cooler basket, as well as a Del Real blanket. It’ll make for a great fiesta or spring picnic!

Everyone knows I have a little love affair going with tacos! I really like Baja style tacos like the ones at my favorite restaurant, solita’s Valencia. I love making tacos, too. The way I learned how to make them involves frying the corn tortillas in oil to to make the shells. All the fresh ingredients are prepared and served in a separate serving dish and everyone makes their own taco. It takes time to prepare all that stuff. So, I am really intrigued by the El Pastor Taco Kit that Del Real makes. I will definitely try them.

I did a little research on the company and I was so pleased with what I learned. Most importantly, I feel like I can relate to Del Real‘s message and beliefs…and they have a great sense of humor! Del Real Foods products are based on the following pillars:

●      Authenticity: the family strives to create deliciously simple products based on traditional recipes infused with Mexican culture and bold colors. Prepared in an industrial, home kitchen, the products will provide comfort and familiarity.

●      Healthy People: cooked with a safe open-kettle method, the products are made with the freshest, ingredients, most of which are locally sourced. Once prepared, they are ready to enjoy. The products are also gluten free and do not contain any trans fats.

●      Healthy planet and better communities: the company has adopted sustainable initiatives including wastewater management and recycling to help the environment. Del Real Foods has also sponsored local sporting events and made donations to local communities to contribute to their improvement.

For more information, and to find the nearest retailer, visit: http://www.delrealfoods.com/

Find them on Social Media @DelRealFoods on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.

TWEET THIS FOR A CHANCE TO WIN THE PARTY IN A BOX:

My Love for Mexican Food is About to Get Real! #MizMeliz @DelRealFoods @MizMeliz

On Thursday, May 28, 2015 I will search the hashtag and phrase “My Love for Mexican Food is About to Get Real! #MizMeliz” and choose a winner randomly. I will give the contact information (Twitter handle) to the folks at Del Real so they can reach out to you and get the party in a box to you right away. Check back here and see who the lucky winner will be.

I will give you an extra chance to win – if you leave a comment telling me a story about your love for Mexican style food. I look forward to your responses!

This post was written for the purpose of introducing you to Del Real Foods, quotes and photos are used with express permission. All opinions are my own. I was not paid for this post, however I was offered some free samples to taste the products and a special offer to give away a Party in a Box from Del real Foods to one lucky reader. See my disclosure for more details on why I post articles like this on MizMeliz.com.

Note: Anyone who shares this post on social media will automatically be entered to win as long as the title of the post is in the body of the share…this includes all shares with the title of the post in it.

This post contains affiliate links. Please support MizMeliz.com.

Limitless Potential, Starting with Saving Myself

Posted on October 31st, 2012 by & filed under 30 Health Blog Posts in 30 Days, Be Inspired, Everything Miz Meliz

In Memoriam of Sidney Patrick, Founder of So Cal Lady Bloggers

There is something I learned at my sister’s funeral last year that was evident at Sidney’s memorial as well. People don’t always share the full scope of who they are with everyone they know. A friend told me that sometimes the person wants it that way.  I respect private people.  I really do.  But what concerns me is people who aren’t being private on purpose, but are so giving of themselves that they focus on other people so much that we don’t get to know all the wonderful attributes they have or realize the many accomplishments that they have achieved.

A diamond in the rough.  A person with unlimited potential.  A humble person who does not need to or want to call attention to themself.  A caring person who makes the effort to get to know you and help you, asking for nothing in return.  I could be describing my sister, Karen,  or my friend, Sidney.

At my sister’s funeral in July of 2011, many people came to me and said they didn’t know Karen had started a group called Humanitarian Efforts and had sponsored an orphanage in Mexico. And people who worked with her on that didn’t know that she was a soccer mom and had volunteered at the local elementary school, and some people never even knew she had a sister!

I found out so much about Sid at her memorial. I missed out on getting to know her better. I am lucky to have known her at all. She was a remarkable woman! I was touched by the testimonial that was shared by her co-worker who described her many accomplishments with installing computer systems and her extensive expertise in technology.  I did not know that she worked in I.T., like my husband.  I was aware of how she loved her sorority sisters, but I did not know that she had a group of guy friends and was considered “one of the guys!”  Her close friends from high school and college suffered a huge loss with her passing.  I knew that she was a regular at Olive’s and Tallyrand, but I had no idea what a “family” and support system that community was for her!  I did not read all of the many posts on her blog and I knew very little about her relationship with her boyfriend of fourteen years, or with her beloved family.  I did not know that she had a sister, until I learned all of this after she passed.

What I did know about Sidney Patrick is that she was a lovely person with a beautiful smile.  She was the creator and a leader of the group that I am in on Facebook, the So Cal Lady Bloggers.  Sidney was welcoming and encouraging.  She read everything that I wrote and she was the person who commented the most on my blog.  She had a very sharp wit, excellent sense of humor and was a gifted writer.  Her blog, My Mother-in-Law Still Sits Between Us, is about hoarding and how it affects the adult children of hoarders.  She became an expert in that field and was interviewed on Huffington Post Live as such just a few weeks before she died.  She made an impact in the world of hoarding and was devoted to educating and helping people who were affected by it.  Sidney Patrick, like my sister, made a difference in our world.

Besides significantly making a difference in the lives others, having an infectious smile and the ability to be a gracious hostess, Sidney and Karen had something else in common.  They both died too young, and they both died of complications due to Liver Disease.  Liver Disease and Diabetes run in my family.  I have Diabetes.  I have the pre-cursor to Liver Disease; high triglycerides and a border-line fatty liver.  My mother died of Cirrhosis of the Liver (NASH).  My aunt (my mother’s twin sister) died of it.  My sister died of it.  They all also had Diabetes.  There is something else that my sister and Sidney had in common, they did not talk about their disease. They down-played their own suffering.  They were martyrs in their own right.  They did not do for themselves that they would have done for countless others, what they would have done to help anyone else that they loved, they did what they always did when it came to something being about themselves, they selflessly kept it private.  If I learn nothing from their stellar examples as humanitarians, from the beauty and peace that they brought countless people as the angels that they were, if I am unable to live up to that potential, I must learn from their fatal flaw. . . I hope that I will not have that in common with them.

I realize now that this is why I started a journal blog. I am about lots of things and I want to be fully apparent to all who know me.  I am not private.  I want my friends to know what I am all about.  Who I am, completely.  I have not yet discussed my health issues on my blog because until now I wanted to share only the positive things that happen in my life.  I realize now that I must make this a positive.  I must share the things that I do to manage my health, to improve my health, to avoid an early death.  I must give it the same effort that I would give to anyone else that comes to me for help.  In helping myself live a healthier life, I can help others.

Limitless Potential

The potential to help others is limitless.  My sister can help others with Diabetes and Liver Disease throughme.  After she died, I thought I would carry on with her humanitarian efforts.  I thought I could help children in Nigeria who had been orphaned and then sold into slavery.  I tried.  I am not sure if anything that I did made a difference for anyone.  But, I vow I will do my best to make a difference in my life.  I will help myself and my family to live longer, healthier lives.  I believe I can do that.  I can make a change, a difference.  I will commit myself to that.

Correction.  I will re-commit myself to that.  I must admit, that I fell silent.  I have even been ignoring my disease.  After my mother passed away in February 2005, and my sister was diagnosed, I was tested at Karen’s urging.  I found out that I too had the pre-disposition for Diabetes and Liver Disease.  I had high triglycerides and high blood sugar levels.  At that time I did tons of research to find out anything I could do to improve my health.  As it is for most health issues, a regiment of exercise and a specific diet is recommended.  I found out about every kind of food that is bad for the liver and pancreas and all the nutrients that are good for the digestive organs and the immune system.  I made a list of the foods I should eat and the foods I should avoid.  I followed the diet strictly and I improved my triglyceride level to better than normal and my liver did not appear enlarged when I had an ultrasound.  I maintained a healthy blood sugar level and I did not have to test my blood sugar.  I achieved something at that point that doctors rarely see, in fact they said it could not be done.

Saving Myself

And then, last year, my sister died after her long-awaited liver transplant fell through and her suffering came to an end.  For some reason, I lightened up on the regiment.  I gained weight.  I am now taking medicine to control the Diabetes.  I feel pain in my abdomen after large meals and I have been eating the dreaded meats and all the other things that are on my “no-no” list.  I am killing myself and I do not know why.  Sidney’s death shocked me into realityI can do something about this.  I will do something and I will be open and honest about it.  I will blog about it.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  Hopefully, mostly good.

So, I start now.  With this ode to Sidney and Karen who inspire me in countless ways.  I start now with this blog post.  I start now, with enrolling in a nutrition class  lead by Carol Takakura of Creative Wellness with Carol that I will be writing about weekly.  I start now, by blogging 30 posts in 30 days for National Health Blog Post Month with @wegohealth.  I start now by using my list, following the regiment and living a healthy lifestyle.  I can’t go back.  I can’t change anything that happened or anything that I did or didn’t do.  I can’t help Sidney or Karen or my mom or my aunt.  But I can help myself and my kids.  I start now.

If you are interested in having a copy of my List of “Healthy Eating Choices” to promote a healthier lifestyle, Click Here: Healthy Eating Choices

After my parents and sister passed away, I wrote about the Seven Stages of Grief   It still helps me to review it, so if you are suffering from any loss and are not familiar with the stages or how they can come and go – please fee free to contact me and I will be here to listen and cry with you.

My Bloggy Bootcamp – Survival Guide

Posted on October 16th, 2012 by & filed under Blog Venture, Everything Miz Meliz

I Survived My Bloggy Bootcamp!

I have been to conferences and networking events before, but nothing quite like this.  Calling upon my past experiences and from what I gathered from my Facebook blogging group’s advice (seasoned bootcampers like Carolyn West/This Talk Aint Cheap told me some stories) I planned ahead.   I am glad I did!  I got everything out of the event that I hoped for and much more!

My Objectives

*Get seen and known . . . Make A Splash!
*Meet Bloggers from So Cal Lady Bloggers Group . . . make a genuine connection.
*Meet influential Bloggers . . . make an impression.

My Tools

Armed with new business cards (complete with all of the necessary components that a blogger/writer/life coach/event planner should have including my Twitter handle, associations and a cute photo of myself,) I set out to meet everyone I could and have some fun doing it!  Before I left for Las Vegas, I took a list of So Cal Lady Bloggers that planned to attend this conference, I added pictures and blog names and I printed it on both sides of an 8 1/2 by 11 inch piece of card stock.  I put a nice stack of business cards, a few sharpies, and my folded up list in a wristlet purse.

My “List”

My Plan

My plan was to check off each lady as I met her.  Rather than just putting a check by each name, I asked my new friend to sign her name by her picture.  It was so much fun asking for autographs and it made each blogger feel like a star!

(I love it when things work out!)  I carried my wristlet everywhere I went and made sure to swap business cards at every opportunity.  I smiled at everyone, everywhere I went, even outside the conference in the hotel, just in case they were a blogger, too.  I noticed that most of the people were smiling back and having a good time.  I am usually a little reserved at these things (believe it or not!) and I stay to myself.  This time I was determined to make the most of the time and meet people.

Mrs. Wonder from Sunshine Wonderland

Another important part of my plan was to learn about blogging.  Afterall, that is what I signed up for!  Part of my strategy was making sure that I did not share a room.  As much as I would have loved to save money, have a bloggy companion, and have tons of fun – my objective was to learn.  I know that if I don’t have a quiet place to reflect and process, much of what I learn would have stayed in Vegas.  In this case, I did not want that to happen.  Although my hubby was with me, I was still able to have space to spread out all my stuff, be alone with my thoughts, bounce ideas off an objective (however imprisoned) supporter, and have quiet time to write my notes.

My stuff on my bed in my room at my bloggy bootcamp!

I took a composition style notebook and a pen to take my notes, as advised by the SITS Girls who put on Bloggy Boot Camp.  It was good advice because I didn’t want to have to worry about my laptop, battery life and WiFi connection the whole time.  I noted key points that I wanted to remember during the fabulous speakers’ presentations.  I wrote my reflections for this post.  I took down some awesome quotes.  I am glad I wrote them in my notebook, because my cell battery did die and I couldn’t tweet out some of the epiphanies I had.

I took some great pics that I Instagrammed and hashtagged.  I tweeted.  I shared.  Next time, I will bring a separate camera because I missed some amazing “Kodak Moments” when my phone died.  I noticed a few bloggers used their phone to take pics of the slides on the screen during the presentations.  What a brilliant idea!  Why didn’t I think of that?  That’s one to remember for next time to really cut down on note taking.

What I Learned

The conference, the organizers, the speakers and the sessions were all fantastic!  It was clear and concise.  The information was relevant.  The speakers were well prepared and professional.  I really got what I came for!

I was blown away by the contagious energy and excitement from one of the most successful bloggers around, Laurie Turk/The Tip Junkie.  She shared her Top Ten Blogging Success Tips.  She was so willing to share that it really gave me hope that I can and will increase my SEO. I was so happy with myself that I didn’t have to ask what that was or even look it up!  Search Engine Optimization is something every blogger who wants to increase their readership should know.  Laurie’s tips made it seem attainable.

Cynthia Wheeler/@napwarden spoke to us about Great Blog Design.  If you visit my blog often you may notice I already made a few changes.  She gave terrific advice and if I can afford to get a professionally designed blog, I will know where to go!

The best speaker there was someone I have met personally on a few occasions and was even on my list!  Trina Finton/The Gaming Angel gave an insider’s look at gadgets and apps that all bloggers should know.  There are quite a few apps and programs that I want to try.

I enjoyed the break out session.  I attended the Writer’s Workshop.  It was a small group and set up in an informal discussion.  I received some good tips for bloggers who are writers from Fran Banducci/SITS Girls, Kathy Bouska/MamaKat, and Chelsea Day/Some Day I’ll Learn.  I learned that it is important to “make people want to read what I write” and how to do a “Six Word Memoir.”

My favorite quote from Bloggy Bootcamp Vegas 2012:

“Whatever is on fire, is what gets my attention!” Kathy Bouska

Danielle Liss/Fitfluential gave the bloggers a quick but important overview of the Legal Basics of Blogging.  I was happy that most of what I remember from business law (a favorite class in college) still applies.  Most of the copyright, trademark, contract and licensing rights can be looked up online.  Danielle helped to clear up any blurry issues where blogging is concerned and pointed out how to get the correct and current information.  That was awesome!

I was enthralled with the final speaker, Elizabeth Jayne Liu/Flourish in Progress who talked about her personal experience with blogging.  She spoke about being authentic and developing a unique voice.  She hit it home for me and made me feel so glad that I am doing this.  She helped me to realize that it is okay to “Speak the way I speak, say what is on my mind,” and to know that “the more I write the more I can get to know myself and become comfortable with myself.”  She is such an inspiration to me!  I couldn’t wait to meet her and I was lucky to get her awesome business card!

What I Will Always Remember

I was inspired by the Tribe.

The sponsors were in on the underlying theme.  I am bangin’ the drum!  We need each other.  I want to thank the sponsors.  Not because they made my experience top-notch, not because it is the right thing to do, but because I can.  I am a blogger and it’s what I do!  Shout out to the sponsors:  Ford Warriors in Pink, Mirassou Winery, and Jewel Kade.

I had the absolute honor to sit next to a truly amazing young Cancer Survivor who is a Warrior in Pink, Tina Herold.  If you know me and have read my posts before you know that I believe there are no accidents.  I was meant to sit next to this angel.  Because of her I am scheduled to get a mammogram this week.  Hugs to Tina!  If you want to be inspired, check out this blog:  http://imwiggedout.com/wiggedouthome.html

All of the ladies that I met at Bloggy Bootcamp were wonderful.  They are just normal people who have a blog.  They are just like me.  We are all Rock Stars!  Mommas, Foodies, Clickertons, Fugalistas, and Adventurers.  Best of all, we like to share, to learn, to embrace and to empower.  Cheers to the bloggers!!

Would you like to read about another time I sat next to an angel?  http://mizmeliz.com/2012/09/03/an-enchanted-evening/

Have you ever sat next to someone who had an inspiring story?  Tell me about it!  Leave me a comment.