Huaraches: Better than Chanclas

Alright, before you get mad at me… or tell me that huaraches are pretty much the same as chanclas, let me just clarify. These awesome not-so-little made-of-leather imports were a gift to yours truly from my momma a few weeks ago.

She bought them in Cerritos, San Luis Potosi, of course!

That’s where they make the best ones anyway, LOL!

What?! I’m not biased.

Well maybe a little… but aren’t these awesome?

I used to get them all the time as a kid and a teenager, but it had been a while since I owned a pair, so getting these now is pretty special.

That’s really the main reason for sharing this post.

I just wanted to gloat a little. 🙂

Huaraches: Better than Chanclas

The importance of imparting our own stories to the next generation – #TXLatinoBlog Hop

My parents made the choice to raise us here. Here in a country that was not their own. In a place where for many years they were forced to live their lives hiding in plain sight. In the land of opportunity. The land where nothing seemed impossible if you were willing to work hard enough.

And so they did.

So much so that we never had to go without. So much so that we never had to endure the harshness of their own childhood experiences. So much so that we had the privilege of having so much more then they had.

So much so that in doing so they gave us more than we probably needed.

We were not well off, however. My family did struggle to make ends meet. We did rely on the kindness of others to help us through. We did make do with what little we had, but comparatively to the way my parents grew up, we might as well have been born with a silver spoon in our mouths.

I think to a lot of people in their hometown we pretty much were.

That didn’t make sense to me at all for a very long time, but it does now.

You see, our parents loved us so much and gave so much of themselves to make sure we never struggled the way they did, that when we became parents ourselves we did the exact same thing for our children. We’ve done our best to give them everything we didn’t have so that they would never have to experience the hardships we had to face.

In our case, we are the first generation of parents who have been able to provide much more than the bare essentials for our children. We have made it a priority, as have many parents, to ensure that our kids feel just as deserving as any other person in this country. In doing so, in many cases, we have showered them with material possessions, forgetting at times that some of the most valuable lessons in life don’t require any material possessions at all.

That’s not entirely a bad thing.

However, in doing so we have created a new generation of much more privileged children than we were.

It’s hard to quantify that in general terms because every experience is bound to be different, but the truth is just like we will always be unable to fully comprehend our own parents experiences, so will our children. They are once removed from our hardships, twice removed from the hardships of our parents, and one can’t help but to wonder what a difference this could make in their lives and the lives of their own children one day.

I guess for me that’s part of the reason why something like Hispanic Heritage Month begins to gain more value. Beyond the recognition of a universal Latino culture, beyond the marketing machine of saluting an entire population of people in one neatly packaged month, there also exists the opportunity to empower and educate our own children about the significance of their own personal heritage and ancestry.

Whether this is something we do solely during this time of year or at any given moment, the importance of imparting our own stories to the next generations is invaluable.

Those stories belong to us and they belong to them.

The hope would be that one day they belong to our grandchildren and great grandchildren too.

The importance of imparting our own stories to the next generation - #TXLatinoBlog Hop
Sandia by Carmen Lomas Garza

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Texas Latino Bloggers Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop

This post is a part of the #TXLatinoBlog Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop. Visit the bloggers listed below as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month together/juntos! Follow the hashtag #TXLatinoBlog on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, too.

Que Means What – Being Latina Enough – Wednesday, 9/14
MexiMoments – Importance of Learning the Language as a Child – Thursday, 9/15
The Social Butterfly Gal – Mentoring Young Latinas – Friday, 9/16

Juan of Words – Mexican-American Culture – Monday, 9/19
Sweet Life– Food Recipes – Tuesday, 9/20
The Optimistic Heathen – Sharing Our Heritage with the Kids – Wednesday, 9/21
Modern Tejana – How to Live Your Latinidad in Mixed-Race Families – Thursday, 9/22
The Esposa Experience – Navigating the Pressures of Traditional Esposa Expectations – Friday, 9/23

The Nueva Latina – Mexican Independence Day in Guadalajara – Saturday, 9/24
FitFunAnd.com – Self-Reflection and Latino Outdoors – Sunday, 9/25

VodkaGirlATX> – Latin-Inspired Cocktails – Monday, 9/26
Momma of Dos – How Mexican I grew up! – Tuesday, 9/27
Family Love in My City – Immigration – Wednesday, 9/28
Creative Meli – Basic and Healthy Latin Cooking – Thursday, 9/29
Mejorando Mi Hogar – Being Latino or Hispanic – Friday, 9/30

Power to Prevail – Body Shame in Latino Culture – Monday, 10/3
Teatrolatinegro – Latin@ Theatre Show in Houston – Tuesday, 10/4
Candypo – Being a Latino Military Spouse – Wednesday, 10/5
Coppelia Marie – Am I a Bad Latina Mom? – Thursday, 10/6
The Restaurant Fanatic – Cocina Latina – Friday, 10/7

Haute in Texas – Mothering Latinas When You’re Not a Latina – Monday, 10/10

Texas Latino Bloggers Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop

Mexi-Vocabulario: Pellejo

Pellejo.

It’s one of those words I’ve heard all of my life. Although until one of our recent road trips, I had all but forgotten about it to be quite honest. We were driving to California, past New Mexico somewhere, when all of the sudden the deejay on the radio started saying pellejo over and over again.

Mexi-Vocabulario: Pellejo

It really took me back to all of those times I’d heard my parents, my uncles, my aunts, their friends, and so many others use this palabra in Spanish.

Back then all it would make me think about was the papada on a turkey. You know, the turkey neck. Because after all pellejo in it of itself is basically referencing one’s skin.

I told Anjelica about it and we had a little conversation about what the word actually means when it’s used in references like: me salve por el puro pellejo; sali, pero con el puro pellejo.

We both agreed on the meaning in the end. Basically that you avoided something “by the seam of your pants” or “just barely.” The idea being that you just avoided or completed something, but pretty much just by a stroke of good luck or something.

Now if you’re looking for a more technical definition, here’s some of what WordReference has to offer:

– Piel quitada del cuerpo del animal.
– Piel de los animales.
– Toda la lana que se esquila de un animal.

UrbanDictionay does not yet have a definition in their database for this word.

Should I go in an add one?

Mexi-Vocabulario: Pellejo

El Gato Coffee House in Houston!

About a month ago I was invited to spend my evening with pretty little cats!

El Gato Coffee House in Houston!

I waited on this blog post because I wanted to give a clear update on the future of El Gato Coffee House in Houston. The folks behind this fun coffee shop concept had recently started a KickStarter campaign to raise enough funds to be able to open a permanent location, and guess what? They recently announced that they met their fundraising goal and will soon be opening a permanent El Gato Coffee Shop dedicated to helping more cats get adopted.

El Gato Coffee House in Houston!

Now I haven’t convinced Juan about adopting a kitten just yet, but trust me I am working on that.

Thanks to El Gato, though, I will now have a place where I can go to enjoy cats, support cats, and hang out with other cat lovers like me. There’s no question I am the cat lover in this relationship. My partner in crime (Juan) really just prefers to see most cats from afar.

El Gato Coffee House in Houston!

When I received the invite for this event I was beyond excited. I had actually known about cat cafes in other places from watching way too many YouTubers living in places like Japan. I’m so happy Houston will be joining the ranks of these fun-loving cities with coffee shops with kittens and cats!

El Gato Coffee House in Houston!

In case this is your first time hearing about El Gato Coffee Shop, here’s a little more info about them. El Gato Coffee Shop is Houston’s first and only cat-themed cafe and adoption center. On August 14, its founder Renee Reed held a special pop-up party to celebrate the cat cafe concept. This is the event that I attended.

Thanks to the involvement of the Houston Humane Society, Houston’s newest cat cafe will offer these lovable animals one more place to reside besides animal shelters or the streets.

El Gato Coffee House in Houston!

Plus who doesn’t want to enjoy the opportunity to enrich their own life by just increasing their interactions with cats while relaxing and drinking coffee? El Gato Coffee House also serves specialty drinks, teas, ice creams and decadent sweets.

I recommend getting some of their cool merchandise too.

El Gato Coffee House in Houston!

But guys, our efforts to support this fun new concept don’t have to stop at the coffee shop. We can also help by spreading the word and telling everyone that they can now adopt cats at El Gato Coffee Shop too.

One more way you help is by donating to the cause. Do that HERE.

Also, go ahead and follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

Family Moments On Board the Disney Dream – Part II #DisneyCruise #DisneyDream

Disclosure: I was invited on a media trip aboard the Disney Cruise Line Disney Dream. All opinions are my own.

Family Moments On Board the Disney Dream – Part II #DisneyCruise #DisneyDream

This summer was really one for the books. Not only did it mark the beginning of something completely new for our family (this is my first summer in years working from home), but it also surprised us with a lot of new and fun adventures. Of course, for me and Edgar the highlight of the summer was our Bahamian adventure aboard the Disney Dream Cruise Line.

As you all know, it was our first time ever on a cruise ship. Not to mention, it was also the first time we got to enjoy the Disney experience.

We really had such a good time on this trip, and the more I think about it the more I realize what a great decision it was to make this a father-son vacation. It really has afforded us some wonderful memories that I think will be with us for quite some time. Just the other day we were remembering some of the things that happened on the ship that were pretty funny and heartwarming at the same time. You know the type. When you’re doing something for the very first time and inevitably you end up doing things that might end up being a little embarrassing or just plain funny.

Let’s just say we each had a couple of those moments on board.

Family Moments On Board the Disney Dream – Part II #DisneyCruise #DisneyDream

The other thing we both agree on is that taking another Disney Cruise is a must. Only next time we want to invite more family to come with us! We noticed over the three days we were at sea that many families were on board the Disney Dream in full force. By that I mean that several generations were on board the Disney Dream together. Grandparents were dining with their children and grandchildren each night, in many cases sharing conjoined staterooms that made it possible to enjoy every moment together. And when we had the chance to disembark these families all seemed to be having just as great of a time as we were.

Family Moments On Board the Disney Dream – Part II #DisneyCruise #DisneyDream

It made me want to do a repeat of the entire trip with my parents, my siblings, my in-laws, and all the kids of course. How fun would that be? Can you imagine our entire army of a familia on one cruise ship? I can guarantee you it would be a blast.

Family Moments On Board the Disney Dream – Part II #DisneyCruise #DisneyDream

Because the Disney Dream is so massive and has so many entertainment options for every age group, I can just see it being a huge hit with the entire family. I guess, that’s one of the best things we discovered on board. Just how much there is to do on a Disney Cruise Line. We also learned a lot more about the other destinations Disney Cruise Lines offer.

They have cruises departing from Galveston, Texas on a regular basis!

We have to take one of those soon. In the meantime, here’s a little more about what the Disney Dream offers families of every size:

Mythical Creatures debunking common misconceptions about financial planning

This is part of a compensated campaign in collaboration with brightpeak financial® and Latina Bloggers Connect. All opinions are our own.

Mythical Creatures debunking common misconceptions about financial planning

There are certain things we just don’t plan for in life. Or even if we do plan for them, they don’t often seem to work out the way we want them to (most of the time). Take, for example, what our own parents might have “wanted” for us when we were growing up. They could have wanted us to be a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, and by whatever twist of fate we decided we didn’t like any of those choices for ourselves.

Perhaps they had someone in mind who they thought could be the “perfect” match for their son or daughter. The person that they approved of the most. The one they were confident could give them beautiful grandchildren with you, but lo and behold your heart and mind had other plans for your future. As parents, one of the biggest lessons in life is that we can’t control everything… especially when it comes to our children.

What we can control are the things that can make life just a little better for our loved ones. The truth is that given the choice, most of us would probably opt not to work in order to make a living. I mean, who wouldn’t want to live their life without having to worry about how to survive or provide for themselves and their family? The reason a lot of us choose to work is pretty simple. To provide for our families and to give our children a better future.

Yet one of the biggest misconceptions in our society is that only those with the means to save are able to plan for the future. You know what I mean, we say these things all the time: “I can’t save.” “I don’t make enough money to save.” “I would save, but I have too many bills to pay.” The list really goes on and on. The reality, however, is that if you have an income and you have expenses, you do kind of need a plan too.

This week we took a little time to create our financial profile on MoneyMyth.org. The process was pretty simple. We answered a few questions about our financial priorities for the immediate future and for our long term family goals. We even delved into planning for the unexpected. The feedback we received in response was very helpful. Not only did we receive helpful information about how to achieve all of our goals, but we also gained access to a series of additional resources on how to better gain a hold of our financial plans.

Mythical Creatures debunking common misconceptions about financial planning

brightpeak financial, which is the not-for-profit organization hosting this online platform to create financial profiles, is using the concept of mythical creatures to bring attention to some of the most common myths and misconceptions about planning for the future. Think popular mythical creatures like El Chupacabra, El Cuco, La Llorona, and Duendes. If that’s not scary enough to make you think twice about why a plan is important, then maybe spend some time reading about who exactly these creatures are and why they are so scary to begin with.

Mythical Creatures debunking common misconceptions about financial planning

I know for us a financial plan is about protecting our family and making sure we would be able to survive regardless of whatever may come next.

Mythical Creatures debunking common misconceptions about financial planning

This is a sponsored campaign written by me on behalf of brightpeak financial® and WeAllGrow Latina. The opinions and text are all mine.

5 places to visit on the Texas-California drive

Our drive to California was a long one. In total we probably spent about 50 hours in the car between Thursday of last week and yesterday. We finally made it home to Houston at about 4:00 a.m. Tuesday morning. You can imagine how happy we were to crash into bed at that point. But we were also pretty overwhelmed and excited about everything we managed to pack into those five days of travel.

What is that saying… lo bailado ya nadie nos lo quita. And boy did we dance!

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This was our first time driving all the way to California – Los Angeles to be exact – and since we were traveling alone without the boy, we knew going in that detours might run a little long. We’re horrible when it comes to not encouraging each other to make a bunch of stops. We are metiches after all, LOL. Siempre queremos andar en todo. Which also got us thinking. We have actually gotten pretty good at traveling long stretches by car. That comes with experience mostly, since we’ve now made the drive to Miami, New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles by car. And that’s not even mentioning all of the years we spent traveling to Mexico with our families in the summers.

You learn how to pack smarter, what foods to avoid, how to listen to your body (especially when you’re tired), how to pick good detours, and most importantly, how to keep road trips fun. That’s what we care about most when we are on one of these long stretches. We want it to be enjoyable for everyone in the car with us.

So with that in mind, in case you’re making the drive to or from Texas and California anytime soon, here are some of the stops we made along the way that you might enjoy as well too.

5 places to visit on the Texas-California drive

First off, rest stops and state welcome centers can be a lot of fun. Some of them are located against beautiful natural backdrops on this drive, and others just speak so much about the culture of the region. This one in particular was right before the Texas-New Mexico border.

IMG_2892

We had already driven through El Paso, Texas before, but never during daylight. Being able to see Ciudad Juarez, Mexico across the freeway in front of the University of Texas El Paso was sort of surreal. On the way back we spent some time at the shops in downtown El Paso and came back with a few goodies for our home.

5 places to visit on the Texas-California drive

In Los Angeles, we had to take the scenic drive through the Angeles National Forest. It had some amazing views along the way, but the other drivers zipping past us made us a bit nervous so we didn’t drive the entire route through the mountains. What we did see, though, was breathtaking.

IMG_2996

Probably our favorite stop this time around was the Saguaro National Forest in Tucson, Arizona. They have a desert museum tucked away in the mountains, as well as an amusement park of Old Tucson. The park was closed by the time we got there, but we were content with just the natural scenery. We’ve learned that national and state forests offer some of the best destinations for detours (long or short).

5 places to visit on the Texas-California drive

And finally, one of the stops we had on our list to visit was Prada Marfa, Texas. This installation in the middle of the Texas country is hugely popular and we just wanted to appreciate it for ourselves. It was totally worth the extra hour of drive time on our road trip.

What other places are on your list of destinations to visit? We’d love to know for our future road trip adventures.

A tasty snack for back to school: Licuados

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #StirImagination #CollectiveBias

A healthy snack for back to school: Licuados

As a child, going back to school always felt like a new beginning. There were the butterflies a few days before starting the first day of class. The tossing and turning the night before, wondering who my teacher’s would be, which friends would be in my classroom, and so many other little details that used to keep me up at that first night. All that uncertainty was kind of exciting, but it was also pretty darn grueling on my body and mind.

By the time the alarm bell would go off I was pretty much ready to skip the first day all together. As the youngest of five children, I have to confess my mother was quite savvy to this routine by the time I tried pulling the “I don’t feel so good” excuse. Instead, she would beat me to the punch line.

One of her favorite ways to do this was by preparing a little treat for me in the morning. Her favorite then, and mine now, the licuado. If you’re not familiar, a licuado is a smoothie. Only just a little more tasty.

Now that Edgar is at that age where the butterflies really start to kick in, I decided it would be a good idea to bring back my mother’s morning tradition. I’ve updated his licuados just a bit, but they’re still just as delicious. Here’s how I make them:

A healthy snack for back to school: Licuados

Ingredients

NESTLÉ® NESQUIK® Powder 18.7oz (38 serving
– Milk
– One banana
– Walnuts
– Frozen berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)
– Cinnamon

Instructions

– In a blender add a glass of milk
– Add a spoonful or two of NESQUIK
– Peel a banana and add it to the blender as well
– Add the frozen berries and the walnuts
– Blend all the ingredients together in the blender
– Serve in a cup and add a touch of cinnamon on top

Your kids will love it too. I chose to add all of the ingredients together into my licuado, but you can also leave some of the ingredients out and serve them separately. The walnuts and frozen berries, for example, can be great side dishes for this hearty breakfast licuado. It’s a great way to get them ready for school and to make sure they are ready to exercise their full potential in the classroom.

A healthy snack for back to school: Licuados

For our licuados we like using NESQUIK because it’s tasty and it contains seven essential vitamins and minerals. We’re always at Target buying something, so on a recent trip we also picked up the ingredients to make this homemade smoothie.

A healthy snack for back to school: Licuados

NESQUIK has no artificial colors and flavors, plus it comes with 45 percent less sugar than the leading chocolate syrup brand. That’s definitely great nourishment for our son.

A healthy snack for back to school: Licuados

The other fun thing about licuados is that you can pretty much make them whatever you like. If you want more bananas and less cinnamon, just make the switch. If you prefer to add only strawberries, well you get the picture. You can even opt for NESTLÉ® NESQUIK® Powder Strawberry in your recipe if you choose.

This is one back to school tradition our family is proud to keep!

Right now you can also take advantage of some great savings on NESQUIK with Target’s Cartwheel app. From 9/4/2016 to 9/10/2016 look for the Nesquik Powder & Ready-to-Drink Bottles offer to get 15 percent off 18.7oz powder and 10 pack bottles.

A healthy snack for back to school: Licuados

Mexican! It's a Lifestyle

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