Tag Archives: Houston

Houston’s Rail & Ride Scapade

Earlier this month the Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority, better known as METRO Houston, or better yet, as our city’s primary mode of public transportation, held their first Rail & Ride (Scapade) in Downtown Houston. We were invited to attend and got to learn a lot more about our city’s growing multimodal transportation options. It was pretty fun!

We started our day at METRO Houston’s downtown headquarters off of Main Street. We then made our way outside to check out bicycles for the first stretch of our journey from Houston B-Cycle. Everyone then boarded the METRO Rail with their bikes and we were off to the Houston Bike Museum. This is such a cool space and they have such a great collection of bicycles from the past.

Because of the scorching heat we didn’t ride the bicycles the entire time, but almost everyone else did and they had a blast.

After our stop at the Houston Bike Museum a group of METRO Houston representatives met us at a local library to talk more about current and future plans for METRO.

As you can tell from our pictures and the video below, aside from the heat, the weather was pretty pristine and it was in fact a great day for a Rail & Ride (Scapade)!

If you’re interested in participating in a future scapade like this one contact METRO Houston. I’m sure they’ll be happy to hear from you!

Houston's Rail & Ride Scapade

Houston's Rail & Ride Scapade

Women: Building Inspiration & Planning for the Future

This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Prudential and DiMe Media. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

None of us really know what tomorrow will bring. No matter how much we might plan and make decisions about what our lives will be in the future, the only thing that we can be certain of is that life is unpredictable. For most of us, that uncertainty is pretty scary. I’ll include myself in this bunch because not knowing and really accepting that is something I struggle with a lot. This month, however, I had the opportunity to attend the inaugural #WomenInspired Prudential event here in my city and it was really a motivating experience. I was able to hear from so many other women who share many of my same concerns.

Women: Building Inspiration & Planning for the Future

For some, the talk about finances and planning for the future revolved around family, for others it was about parenting, but the underlying theme for everyone was fear of the unknown. And I think that’s what really resonated with me the most. How fearful we are about discussing our financial situation or plans openly. Just doing that and honestly sharing our true feelings at the #WomenInspired event was so emotional. It was an eye-opening experience too, because while we may not be able to plan the future, we should be able to plan for our futures. That’s where Prudential stepping in to host these events around the country can really make a difference.

The more we talk about it the more confident we can become in our decisions for the future, knowing that being a little afraid is perfectly okay too.

So let’s really talk about finances. Before we get started, though, let me just say I am not a financial expert, or even the assistant to a financial expert. I am a woman who wants the best for her family and who tries to make the best decisions for our tomorrow.

A few weeks ago we were in Las Vegas for a conference. I slipped into one of the sessions at that event which was about money management. When the session was over I walked out realizing I knew very little about anything beyond my personal finances. There is just so much we don’t know about. A lot of times it is because we are afraid to ask questions, because we don’t think we can invest, or because we are okay with simply putting a little money aside for our savings. We don’t realize that there are so many other financial options out there besides only a checking account or a savings account.

Women: Building Inspiration & Planning for the Future

That’s also where we can make a decision to better inform our own kids on how to spend, save, and invest money. Raising money-smart kids might just mean they will be able to make much more sound decisions about their own futures. Teaching them the difference between spending on what we want right now vs. saving for the future could be very impactful. It’s something we don’t often think about, but it’s very important to setting them up for success. Imagine how much more savings they will be able to accumulate if they buy into their workplace-based retirement plans earlier rather than later.

The reality is we are living much longer than we ever thought possible and we should be able to not worry as much about our finances when we are retired.

One of the other concerns for many families is being able to pay for their children’s college. The best advice I’ve heard is to try to figure out the best ways to end up with the least amount of debt before you send off your kids to college. And don’t forget that there are also tons of resources out there to help your child pay for their college education.

FAFSA, for example, is a great option:

Women: Building Inspiration & Planning for the Future

I know I need to gain control of my future and ask the questions that may lead to answers I don’t necessarily want to hear. That’s okay. I’m okay talking beyond my fears because I know talking about money now will affect my small family’s future.

Take the frustration out of understanding your own finances too and stay informed about your options.

Women: Building Inspiration & Planning for the Future

Here’s a little bit from our discussion at #WomenInspired.

Legendary Women in Houston

I had the pleasure of attending the Camara de Empresarios Latinos de Houston‘s Mujeres Legendarias luncheon recently here in Houston. They were celebrating some of Houston’s most inspirational women who were awarded the distinction of being recognized as Legendary Women. Among those recognized were Dr. Dorothy Caram, Dorothy Ruiz Martinez, Univision’s Martha Kattan, and Jude Josefina Rendon.

These ladies have made significant positive impacts in the Houston community and continue to inspire new generations of Latinas to do the same. Dr. Caram in particular is someone who I have seen in action. Growing up in Houston’s East End, I have seen Dr. Caram integrate and invest herself in my community. She was a pioneering advocate then and still remains one today, advocating for better education opportunities for Houston’s growing Latino community. I was very excited to see her name on the list for this year’s Mujeres Legendarias recipients.

She has an amazing story I would recommend you read about!

Held this year at Post Oak Grille, the event also featured inspirational remarks by the Camara’s President, Adriana Gonzalez. Here is a small clip of what she shared with the room:

Congratulations again to all the winners, and thank you to the Ford en Español team for supporting such a great event!

 Legendary Women in Houston

Cars, Trucks & Automobiles at the Houston Auto Show

This is a sponsored post written on behalf of the Houston Auto Show. All opinions are our own.

This week was all about window shopping for a new set of wheels. Well, sort of anyway. We may or may not be on the hunt for a new vehicle soon. That all depends on a lot of other stuff like boring adult things like savings and payments, and blah, blah, blah… But for the sake of this post we won’t bore you with the details. Instead, let’s just focus on how much fun it is to window shop.

We’ve been to the Houston Auto Show before. This was the first time we were invited by the event’s organizers, as well as by the good folks at GMC in Houston. They had a lovely opening night gala for all of us in attendance, and then we had about a day and a half to enjoy the entire showroom floor before it was open to the public. Of course, we made the most of every second!

From test driving cars, asking all of the questions we wanted, witnessing new models being unveiled, and yes, also taking lots of selfies, we really had a lot of fun at the Houston Auto Show this year. One thing we will say… now we’re thinking new car sooner rather than later. Maybe that green one in our photo? It might be great for you know, grocery shopping!

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Mexican Icon: Empress of the Americas

The Houston Museum of Natural Science has on display an exhibit featuring La Virgen de Guadalupe, or as others may know her, Our Lady of Guadalupe. The exhibit was originally scheduled to run only for a short period of time as a limited engagement, but because of the outpour in interest, it has now been extended until September 2016.

The exhibit introduces the history, politics, and culture surrounding La Virgen de Guadalupe, and informs visitors of this extraordinarily venerated icon who appears in various forms of artworks. From the handmade renditions of South America, to the North American versions found in the United States, each display in this exhibit features a touching tribute to the Empress of the Americas.

Taking photos is not permitted in the exhibit, but believe me, it is definitely worth a visit. There is a replica of the piece of cloth which belonged to Juan Diego, the indigenous man who is said to have first encountered La Virgen de Guadalupe, and upon this cloth is where her image appears. The original cloth, or tilma is on permanent display at the Basilica de Santa Maria de Guadalupe in Mexico City where every year millions of pilgrims from around the world come to pay tribute to their holy empress.

La Virgen de Guadalupe’s presence in the Americas is undeniable. Only seven years after her original appearance in 1531, 8 million indigenous people had converted to Catholicism, representing an average of 3,000 people per day. Her legacy continues today, as she is celebrated and venerated throughout the American continent every year on the 12th of December. The Day of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Latinos in Texas show up and show out for Hispanicize Houston

Tejano. What does that one singular word mean? Well if you look it up in the Urban Dictionary here’s the quick and dirty version:

Originally someone of Mexican descent who was born and/or raised in Texas. Used to distinguish them from people from Mexico (Mexicanos). A type of music based upon the button accordian and greatly influenced by the German bands of New Braunfels, Seguin, and Fredericksburg.

But take a closer look. Ask somebody who was born and raised or proudly lives in the state of Texas, and the answer will likely be a lot more substantial. The thing is, one really can’t put one’s finger on the feeling that truly comes from being a Tejano. And well, while that may come off a tidbit cocky, en serio, it’s really anything but that.

This week we were celebrating the first ever Hispanicize event in the city of Houston, and the conversation sort of just came up. To paraphrase, the expression that kind of stuck with us from that conversation went a little something like this. “You Texans are probably the only ones who so proudly claim being from your state.” I mean sure, we’re each proud of representing our cities as well. Whether we’re from Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, the Valley, or anywhere else in the state. Pero there’s definitely a sense of pride and unity when we say we’re from Texas too – be it by describing ourselves as Tejanos, Texans, or even Tex-Mex. And that’s really the beauty in that palabra. 

Our deep sense of community and union. 

The fact that so many from around the state turned out for this event is proof of that. And now, we’re looking ahead at all the possibilities that 2016 and beyond bring to us as Latinos in Texas, creating our own future, and redefining what it means to be among the largest Latino populations in the country.

O sea, things are about to get interesting!

Latinos in Texas show up and show out for Hispanicize Houston Latinos in Texas show up and show out for Hispanicize Houston Latinos in Texas show up and show out for Hispanicize Houston Latinos in Texas show up and show out for Hispanicize Houston Latinos in Texas show up and show out for Hispanicize Houston

Holiday Celebrations 2015

We’ve been making the rounds this holiday season. Like literally, LOL! It actually feels like we’ve been to more holiday celebrations this year already then we ever have in the past. And no pos well that’s not a complaint… we’ve also been much more into the spirit of the season this year than any other year in recent memory. That’s a good thing. We’ve actually been riding around singing to Christmas music in the car (well mostly Juan has), our Christmas tree is already up and decorated, and most of our shopping has been completed. Yeah… we don’t even recognize ourselves 🙂

But it might also have something to do with the fact that the kiddo is getting older and we know he still loves this time of the year as much as we do. Who knows? Lo que sí es cierto is that we’re making the most of our excitement this year. Here are a few of the celebrations that have kept us grinning from ear to ear, hugging each other and friends, and feeling really grateful for each and everyone of these experiences!

Holiday Celebrations 2015
It’s one of our yearly holiday traditions now. Each year on the 12th of December we pay our respects to La Virgencita de Guadalupe on her day. Here in Houston it’s a very big tradition. This year, even the Museum of Natural Science has an exhibit all about her called Empress of the Americas. We really enjoyed it this past weekend. 
Holiday Celebrations 2015
At the pretty awesome SkyHouse River Oaks we joined several other Houston bloggers to celebrate the holiday season by raising material and monetary donations for Houston’s Star of Hope Mission. It’s a local nonprofit that serves many of the less fortunate in our community, and especially those who might not have a permanent home right now. It was really great to see so many coming together for this great cause. 
Holiday Celebrations 2015
Here’s another shot of the space from the Holiday Hope event for Star of Hope.
Holiday Celebrations 2015
And, of course, Anjelica front and center, commanding a ladies only selfie. 
Holiday Celebrations 2015
Speaking of good causes, before Thanksgiving, this year, Juan competed in the Houston Media Turkey Calling Contest put together by another nonprofit each year. The competition is organized by Neighborhood Centers and creates awareness for the work they do, as well as for their annual TXU Energy Turkey Trot 5K and 10K race. He didn’t win, but it sure was fun watching him literally act like a turkey. 🙂  
Holiday Celebrations 2015
The folks from Toyota were kind enough to invite us to attend Alejandro Fernandez’s recent concert in Houston. We had so much fun, and it was great running into our good friend and comadre Spoiled Latina. Her and Angie had to do the selfie! 
Holiday Celebrations 2015
We also hosted the 5th Anniversary celebration and Holiday Party for our dear friends from the Houston Bloggers organization. They’re also the same team that puts together the annual Blog Elevated conference (next year in Houston again, WOO-HOO!) We always enjoy doing anything with this great community of Houston Bloggers and leaders. 
Holiday Celebrations 2015
We made some new friends at that event as well. This young couple are recent bloggers and they are really pretty cool. 
Holiday Celebrations 2015
For the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Gala, we spent a wonderful evening with this group of beautiful ladies. The event was awesome, and it was a great excuse to get all washed up and spiffy. As the kids say, we were on fleek, jaja! 
Holiday Celebrations 2015
Finally, earlier this month we previewed the very COOL (pun intended) Ice Land at Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas. Two words for this very unique experience, SUPER FUN!!

Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 2 Giveaway

This is a giveaway hosted on behalf of The Hunger Games: Mockingly Part 2. All opinions are our own. 

Since the very first Hunger Games movie we have been hooked. Unlike a lot of series, every new chapter of the Hunger Games seems to be better than the last. And it always builds on the overall storyline with new twists and turns. Which is why a few weeks ago we were having the discussion of how much we wanted to see the new Mockingjay Part 2 movie. What would you know, a few days later the studio contacted us and offered us the chance to pass along this awesome prize pack to you!

What’s in the prize pack? Well, to be exact, here’s what you get if you register for a chance to win:

  • 2 tickets to the advance screening in Houston on Nov. 18
  • A Mockingjay pin
  • 1 mini poster
  • 1 t-shirt
  • A tattoo and
  • An official PEETA’S BAKERY apron

That’s a pretty sweet deal, and we hope you think so too. Here’s what you have to do to win. Just leave us a comment on this blog post telling us why you want to win before Monday, Nov. 16 at 11:59 p.m. CT. Make sure you leave us an email address with your comment so we can get a hold of you. We’ll reach out and let you know you’ve won as soon as the entry period is over. So there you go.

And may the odds be ever in your favor!

Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 2 Giveaway
Proof of our obsession with the Hunger Games series!
Hunger Games: Mocking Jay Part 2 Giveaway
This is the pin that comes along with the prize pack.