For brown little boys and girls

For brown little boys and girls

Photo by Anjelica Cazares

We have a responsibility to remember who we are, where we’ve been, and where we come from! I may be going off on a tangent here in a second, so consider this your warning. Tonight, I was reminded once again why having a voice, for me, was ever even important. Not to say that I think I have a huge voice, or that I’m even reaching tens of thousands of people, or anything like that. You all know that as of late I haven’t been writing nearly as much as I used to. I’m not going to make excuses for myself.

I’ve been busy.

I’ve been working long hours.

And most days when I get home I just want to veg out and do absolutely nothing.

Just sit in front of the television set and watch my novela, have dinner with Edgar and Anjelica, and spend time with them doing absolutely nothing… or at least nothing that eventful. Our life, in truth, has become pretty comfortable. We’re always trying to make the most of our time together, and before you know it we’re laying in bed, waking up again the next morning, to get going all over again.

But tonight. Tonight, I was reminded again that somewhere inside of me is still that young little lost boy who never dreamt of going farther than his circumstances would have allowed him to go. It never once would have dawned on me back then that my words could have an impact, even on a single person. I was a different human being back then. A more humble one. A simpler one. A more innocent one. A more naive one. A boy whose circumstances could have defeated him. A boy who could have chosen not to dream.

But for whatever reason, I chose to dream.

Tonight, when I was face to face with myself as that young boy again, I couldn’t help but getting a little choked up at how defenseless I must have been. I was a boy wanting to take on a world that didn’t even make sense to me. There weren’t any role models for me back then. At least not people that looked like me or were doing the things I wanted to do. And yet that didn’t stop me. I honestly don’t know why?

Y no es que le quiera echar mucha crema a mis tacos, but something inside me told me I had to keep pushing myself. I had to make something of myself. I had to make my life mean something.

En realidad, I don’t know that I’ve done that yet. Actually, I know I haven’t. The point of this post, though, is to say to those little brown boys and girls out there, like me, that it is always okay to dream and reach for the impossible.

Coming from nothing is not an excuse to say “I can’t” or “I never will.”

You can. And you will.

I believe in you.

Puro pedo, puro wato… nomás shooting the breeze

Our latest vlog post is just as random of the last couple of videos we have shared. We kind of didn’t really land on a central topic… but we did cover a lot of stuff. And most importantly, I believe I established pretty clearly just how great I think Lucero is in general. Pues sí. So enjoy if you’re so inclined. And gracias!

The Crafty Selfie

The Crafty Selfie

Here’s a fun way to keep kids busy, over and over again.

This craft will need to be constructed with adult supervision, but it definitely won’t take long to put together. In fact, I’m almost certain you’ll want to join in on all the fun after you read this blog post. All you really need is a little creativity, and you can bring any scene you can imagine to life. 

The materials you’ll need are: 

  • A picture frame – I prefer using a wooden frame, and bought all of these for less than $2 each at a local thrift store.
  • 2 types of crafting paper – Any craft paper will do. You’ll use one for your background, the other for the body of your little crafty selfie.
  • Metal square sheets – As many as may need for your creation. These can be purchased at any hardware store. Choose the sheet size according to the size of the frame you will be using.
  • A body silhouette for your selfie – You choose how you want to look.
  • Scissors.
  • Fabrics to make clothes and other miniature items as desired.
  • Adhesive – The adhesive of you choice as long as it is strong enough to hold cardboard, metal sheets and the craft paper you are using in place. I used Aleens tacky glue and E600.
  • Magnet strip or magnets in small/tiny forms – I purchased a magnetic strip roll at my local dollar store.
  • Picture of whoever’s selfie you would like to create - I really enjoyed playing with the funny faces my nephew makes along with Juan’s face.

The Crafty Selfie

Here’s how to create your crafty selfie:

  1. First, remove the glass from your frame, as well as all the papers and backboards within it. You will want to save the backboards, but the rest of the items can be discarded. If you don’t have a backboard, don’t worry. You can create one very easily with cardboard.
  2. Second, measure the inside of your frame, and add about 1/4 of an inch to that number.
  3. Now, if you wish to decoupage your frame to give it a more creative look, stop here and do that.
  4. Next, print your body silhouette. Place it on the craft paper of your choice and trace it on the craft paper so you can cut out the silhouette. You can also use this silhouette to make miniature clothes for your crafty selfie.
  5. Once done with the above steps, you can use a lighter adhesive like Aleens glue to attach your background crafting paper to the frame. Turn your frame upside down in order to do so. Make sure you are attaching your paper so the background you want will be on the front side of the frame.
  6. Now glue your metal sheet or sheets to backboard making sure that the metal sheets are centered. This will give you more space on the frame.
  7. Next, adhere the backboard with the metal sheet or sheets attached to your picture frame. The metal sheets should be  sandwiched between your craft paper and the backboard.
  8. Last and most importantly, adhere the body silhouette on frontside of your frame at the center of your background. Leave enough space to paste your face, and make sure the silhouette is laying on top of the metal sheets (you’ll use the metal sheets to magnetize). I used double-sided tape to adhere my faces.

The Crafty Selfie

Your crafty selfie is almost done. Here is where the fun really begins. You will want to let your imagination run wild when deciding how to dress and decorate your crafty self’s selfie. Using fabrics, paper, beads, trims, lace, cabochons, ribbons, paints, unused jewelry, etc., etc., to create your miniature character’s clothing and accessories.

I had so much fun coming up with things to add to my frames below. Seriously it’s lots of fun. I guarantee it!

BONUS!! Click the image below to download the body silhouette for your crafty selfies. 

The Crafty Selfie

The Crafty Selfie The Crafty Selfie The Crafty Selfie The Crafty Selfie The Crafty Selfie

De Confianza

De Confianza

Ser una persona de confianza is a matter of honor in our culture. Well, at least in my culture as I understand it. I don’t want to make any blanket generalizations about what other people might feel or think just because we happen to share an ethnicity or culture. What I will say is that ever since I can remember to describe someone as being de confianza is a huge compliment and also pretty great for that said person’s reputation.

It’s like giving them your seal of approval. Putting your word on the line that this individual is someone that somebody else can rely on as a trustworthy person.

The other phrase that comes to mind is de palabra. 

Have you ever heard “yo soy de palabra”, “te doy mi palabra”, or the ever popular “mi palabra es la ley”?

The latter is etched into many of our hearts and minds, from long nights coupled with many a longnecks chugged back to the rhythm of cumbias and rancheras.

In our cultura, in my cultura at least, being de confianza is right up there with being una persona de bien. A respectable member of society.

Do you agree?

Deep in the heart of Texas

This past week I took a day trip to the state capitol in Austin. It was a rather unexpected trip that I made only with my mom and my brother. It had been quite a long time since I had traveled anywhere outside of the city without Juan, since we almost always travel together. Still, I thought making this trip was a good opportunity for me. I sat in the passenger seat on the way there and back, and spent that time just talking to my brother.

We talked about  little nothings really, and had a few good laughs.

Along the way I also took a few pictures of the Texas countryside. I love capturing the beauty of the Lone Star state. And yeah, I guess you could say I was literally “deep in the heart of Texas.” Deep in the heart of Texas Deep in the heart of Texas Deep in the heart of Texas Deep in the heart of Texas Deep in the heart of Texas Deep in the heart of Texas Deep in the heart of Texas

Happy World Cup Games!

Disclosure: I have partnered with Cricket Wireless as a 2014 Blog Ambassador. All opinions are my own.

Happy World Cup Games

Today, in the FIFA World Cup 2014, Mexico played and won! 

I can still remember the first time I learned about the FIFA World Cup and watched my first match, at about 12 years old. My family was all outside, gathered around a small television set that was propped up on a make-shift bench, watching the game. Even though I’ve never been one to follow soccer, the World Cup excitement caught my attention then, as it has every four years since. 

There’s just something about the world finals that gets me every time.

During that first game, I can still hear the excitement in the announcer’s voice as it fluctuated up and down, each time becoming a little more erratic. My heart was beating pretty fast as he said: “Y se la pasa a Cortez, y Cortez el da  para la derecha y pa la izquierda… Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee NO!” 

The whole spectacle was way too long, but it was unforgettable. Not to mention that I was up until about 2 a.m. with a bunch of adult women and men who had to be awake at 6 a.m. that same morning for work.  

There I was, the little version of myself, trying my hardest not to fall asleep before the fun and excitement was over, all the while getting awoken each time I closed my eyes with the yelling and screaming happening around me. Still, I wouldn’t change a thing. I am just happy that now I am not trying to stay up until all hours of the night to follow the matches.

Happy FIFA games everybody! And may the odds be ever in your favor.

I totally stole that from the Hunger Games.

To keep up with all the Wold Cup action, there’s even an app for that: 

Happy World Cup Games

#VidaConCricket Juan of Words - Anjelica Cazares

Follow the #VidaConCricket hashtag and @MiCricket on Twitter.

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