Archives for December 2013

Behind The Scenes At The Rose Parade – DOLE Sunrise At The Oasis

Are you planning on attending the Rose Parade?  We had the opportunity to visit the float behind the scenes and created some of the palm tree leaves for the float!   A three time Sweepstakes trophy winner, DOLE is the only float to win the Sweepstakes award every year they have entered thus far.   You don’t want to miss the DOLE Rose Parade tropical float, “Sunrise on the Oasis”.

Congratulations to the Rose Queen and Royal Court!

Behind The Scenes at the Rose Parade - DOLE float

The DOLE Rose Parade Float, “Sunrise at the Oasis,” brings together a dazzling floral display of live and animated entertainment as three waterfalls cascade into an abundant oasis filled with palm trees, tropical flowers and animals that command attention, such as the white peacocks and camels adorned with elaborate tapestries and jewels.  As the sun rises, the whimsical oasis awakens from its majestic dreams, bidding its traveler adieu.

DOLE Rose Parade tropical float, "Sunrise on the Oasis"

Bohemia Dance Company will perform with DOLE float



Here are additional FUN Facts about the DOLE Rose Parade float to share with your family when you watch the Rose Parade:

  • The float weighs more than 22 tons and  is 55 feet long, 18 feet wide and stands over 26 feet tall.
  • The camels are made of sun-bleached sheet moss then shaded with cinnamon spice.
  • The elephants have hides of finely chopped Ming moss with accents of Sphagnum moss.
  • The playful monkeys have fur fashioned in dried cranberry foliage with highlights of pampas and pharmitas grass.
  • Shades of bronze and cream strawflower petals with black chive seed create the fur on the mother and baby tigers.
  • The white peacocks are fashioned in coconut chips with tail accents of purple dendrobium florets.
  • Over 40,000 hot pink Princess roses will be used to decorate the float.  The float will also feature healthy fruits, including bananas, pineapples, strawberries, mangoes & papayas.
  • The animals will come to life via a sophisticated hydraulic system used to lower

We Love the 2014 DOLE Rose Parade Float!

VIRTUAL TOUR #ThroughGlass
I had the opportunity to videotape a tour of the float via wearable technology using my Google Glasses.  Hope you enjoy the tour!

For additional information, please visit

HSF & Coca Cola Scholarships – $200,000 For College Bound Students #CokeForEducation

Disclosure:  This is not a sponsored post.  I am an advocate of higher education and support HSF’s initiatives to help Hispanic students further their education.

Did you know that Coca Cola and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund are offering $200,000 in scholarships to college bound Hispanic seniors to help close the college attainment gap among Latino students.

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund was founded in 1975.  HSF provides internships, mentoring opportunities and connects scholars with other organizations.   Each year HSF awards 150 types of scholarships and has administered over $400 million dollars in scholarships.  I had the honor of attending the Leaders in Educating Awards earlier this year and met  students and Hispanic Scholarship program alumni that have been helped by HSF Scholarships.

As part of the HSF & Coca-Cola “Share Possibilities/Comparte Possibilidades” Scholarship program, the grand prize winner will receive $20,000.  Four students will be awarded $10,000 and sixteen will receive $2,500.


HSF & Coca-Cola Scholarship Program

When/Important Deadline:

December 15, 2013

Where to Apply:

Students are encouraged to share their profiles and gain community votes. Each eligible participating voter is automatically entered for a chance to win a $500 gift card and can vote up to five times a day.

HSF will select the scholarship recipients based on the Fund’s standard selection criteria for awarding scholarships, factoring in community votes gathered online. Final winners will be announced by May 2014.   Official rules can be found here.

Make sure to apply for the scholarships if you are a college bound Hispanic student or forward the information to someone you know who is a potential candidate.

In Support of Higher Education,

Giving Guide For Giving Tuesday Ideas

After Cyber Monday comes Giving Tuesday.  Giving Tuesday is a great way to support local & national nonprofits during the Christmas Holidays by giving back to nonprofits that are making a difference to our local and global communities.  The  nationwide philanthropic event will be as huge  of a success for nonprofits as Cyber Monday and brings together families, communities and nonprofits.

My family celebrates giving everyday by giving back  to local charities and making contributions to multiple nonprofits. It has been a way of life for us since childhood.   Giving Tuesday is driven through social media and is a global effort to highlight the importance of giving.  Last year the initiative raised over 10 million dollars for charity.

If you are a parent, this is also a great way to share the gift of giving globally with your children.

Google+ Hangout-a-thon

Guide To Celebrate and Participate in #GivingTuesday

  1. #GivingTuesday Google+ Hangout-a-thon – Google is hosting an all-day Google hangout-a-thon with Mashable and 24 charities and brands.  The event is occurring all day and will feature several nonprofits and provide viewers with the opportunity to donate or purchase goods for good.
  2. Give Gifts that Give Back: also provides resources for partners and 501c nonprofits that are participating. Recommend you also visit the Giving Tuesday Facebook page for highlights and ways you can help nonprofits get funding by participating in initiatives, such as following hubspot on Google+ to donate 50 cents to charity water.
  3. Spread the Word: If  you are a nonprofit with a qualified 501c make sure to use the #GivingTuesday hashtag to encourage others to give to your charity.  It’s never too late to spread the word.
  4. Support Charities: If you are a nonprofit advocate, share a list of qualified 501c nonprofits with others and use the hashtag #GivingTuesday  to encourage others to give.
  5. Volunteer:  There are many nonprofits that could use volunteers to grow their nonprofit.  Visit your local community center for resources or to find a match.

Recommended Nonprofits To Support On Giving Tuesday

  1. The Orphaned Earring – Buy bracelets or donate your orphaned earrings & jewelry.  The funds go towards arts and crafts programs for four orphanages in Latin America. (Los Angeles, CA)
  2. The Sheepfold – Your donations provides abused or homeless mothers with children shelter, refuge and hope.  (Orange County, CA)
  3. Help A Mother Out – Your donations provide diapers to children in need (Silicon Valley, CA)
  4. International Sanctuary – Purchase with Purpose and support victims of human trafficking.  The jewelry is handmade by survivors of human trafficking. Visit their showroom M-F from 8am-4pm daily or attend the 2nd Annual Holiday party on December 12th for additional shopping. (Orange County, CA)
  5. Jacob’s House – Addresses the financial, spiritual, geographical, and time-sensitive needs that people in crisis require when their loved one is in the hospital. (Riverside County, CA)
  6. March for Babies – Provide resources and education to help premature babies start a healthy and strong life. (California)
  7. Mujeres para Mujeres – Masectomy bras are needed for breast cancer patients. (San Diego, CA)


Question:  How will you be participating in Giving Tuesday?  What nonprofits will you be supporting on Giving Tuesday?

Insider Tips: Cyber Monday Top Finds

Updated  1/24 – All links removed due to expiration of deals.

Are you doing some shopping online on Cyber Monday?  We’ve compiled a list of the best finds online from $100 and under tablets to 25-40% discounts at some of our favorite online retailers.

Here are the best finds for Cyber Monday you don’t want to miss.

      1. Amazon Kindle HD – $99, down from $199 – Deal good thru Cyber Monday 12/2. (Best Buy)
      2. HP 7 with WiFi 7″ Touchscreen Tablet PC – $89, down from $129 – Deal good thru Cyber Monday 12/2.  (Walmart)
      3. Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet with 16GB of storage –  $399, down from $499 – Deal good thru Cyber Monday 12/2. (Amazon)
      4. 25 reams of paper – $25.99, down from $39.99 – Deal good thru Cyber Monday 12/2.  (Office Depot)
      5. HP Officejet Pro 8600 e-All-In-One Printer, Copier, Scanner, Fax – $129, down from $199. – Deal ends 12/2. (Office Depot)
      6. Keurig K75 Single Serve Brewer, Platinum – $179 down from $259 (Macy’s). Offer ends 12/2.
      7. Harney & Sons Tea – 25% off  and FREE shipping. Make sure to use CODE CYB13. Offer ends Dec 12/3 at 11:59EST.
      8. Go Daddy 35% off on new purchases & renewals. Make sure to use promo code gd31211pl – Black Friday deal extended thru Cyber Monday 12/2.
      9. Petco 30% off on purchases, plus free shipping for orders over $49. Deal ends Cyber Monday 12/2.
      10. Coach 25% off on purchases.  Use code OD317221 – valid on 12/2 only.
      11. Kate Spade 30% off entire site.  Use promo code: CYBER30
      12. South Coast Winery 30% off 6 bottles, 40% off 12 bottles. Use promo code: CYBER We recommend the Spumante Diamante. Cyber Monday sale ends on 12/2 at 11pm
      13. camera bag 25% off, Use promo code: BLACKFRIDAYLOVE25 – offer ends on Cyber Monday 12/2.   I own Thebossi in black. It is my favorite camera bag because it looks just like a purse.
      14. Buy 1 Get 3 FREE,  each All-Day Pass is valid for 24 hours of continuous access on Gogo equipped flights on the same airline from 12/14/2013 to 12/31/2013.
      15. Get $25 Gift Cards for $3 at 100s of local restaurants.  Use promo code: CYBER and hit apply.

If you still need to do some price comparison, check out  This is a great website for price comparison shopping.


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