Juan of Words

The Purple Purse Challenge

This post is brought to you in collaboration with the Allstate Foundation® and Latina Bloggers Connect.

The Purple Purse Challenge

We were invited to be a part of the Allstate Foundation’s Purple Purse Challenge this month, and we thought it would be a definite worthy cause to support, especially considering next month is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In case you’re not familiar with the Purple Purse Challenge, its a fundraising initiative put together by the Allstate Foundation to make it easier to talk about domestic violence and the financial abuse that traps women in abusive relationships.

According to the foundation, the program ignites fundraising for more than 140 national, state and local domestic violence organizations. There’s a lot of great information to share about this subject and I don’t want to editorialize it. So, I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to list below the points that most spoke to me about this initiative.

  • Domestic violence affects one in four women in her lifetime – that’s more women than breast cancer, ovarian cancer and lung cancer combined.
  • Most people think only of physical abuse when they consider domestic violence. Yet, financial abuse happens in 98% of all cases of domestic violence and is one of the most powerful ways to keep a victim trapped.
  • Domestic violence and financial abuse often go hand-in-hand, but nearly 8 in 10 Americans have not heard much about financial abuse as a form of domestic violence. The number one reason domestic violence survivors stay, leave or return to an abusive relationship is that they don’t have the financial resources to break free.
  • Two-thirds of Americans believe that domestic violence is a serious problem, yet just over 1 in 3 have ever talked about it.
  • The Allstate Foundation is investing more than half a million dollars in the Purple Purse Challenge. The more donations each nonprofit gets, the more it can compete for Allstate Foundation incentive funding. Go to PurplePurse.com between Sept. 2 and Oct. 3 to join the Challenge and help a nonprofit near you.
  • PurplePurse.com has important tips and tools to help you recognize domestic violence and financial abuse, talk about it and end it.
  • Since 2005, The Allstate Foundation has invested more than $40 million across the country to help domestic violence survivors regain control of their finances and break free from abuse.
  • If you or someone you know needs immediate help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224.

Take a stand against domestic abuse. This is one way you can help.

The #CraftyChicaTour hits Texas

Friendship. It’s one of those things that starts out small and little by little begins to blossom. Anjelica and I are really quite humbled to be able to say Kathy Cano-Murillo, of Crafty Chica fame, is someone we can call a friend. We first met Kathy in real life a couple of years ago in Miami. Although we had been longtime fans of her work since we first discovered her online several years earlier. If you know her work, you know she is an amazing artist and crafter who puts a glittery touch of class on everything she touches. We were immediately hooked on her Mexi-Boho style. What did capture us by surprise, to be quite honest, was her genuine spirit and all around goodhearted nature.

Kathy was so full of positive energy, happiness, and hugs!

I remember we happened to run into her in the hotel and we immediately started chasing her around like a bunch of groupies. She was so sweet and friendly to everyone that by the end of the conference we were attending almost everyone had mentioned to us how generous and gracious she was. After we came back to Texas, she to Phoenix, we maintained our online communication every now and again. Kathy was just as friendly and positive online as she was in person. She’s really been a breath of fresh air for so many people. We especially admire how humble she is even after having achieved some tremendous successes.

When we found out Kathy was bringing part of her family and the #CraftyChicaTour to Texas for the first time, we immediately began planning for her arrival. As usual, the Crafty Chica was happy to oblige to our plans for her night in Houston. Below are a couple of pictures from her stop here in the Space City, but before we get into that, I do really want to encourage you to support her Día de los Muertos product line at a Michaels store near you.

Let’s tell Michaels and other big retailers we want authentic products from Latina and Latino artists all year round, not just during the Day of the Dead season!

The #CraftyChicaTour hits Texas

Kathy’s daughter Maya, Kathy, and Anjelica at her Michaels store appearance in Houston.

The #CraftyChicaTour hits Texas

Kathy has been traveling across Arizona, Nevada, California and Texas meeting her admirers.

The #CraftyChicaTour hits Texas

In Houston, people drove from as far away as Galveston – IN TRAFFIC – just to come say hi to Kathy!

The #CraftyChicaTour hits Texas

Some folks trekked by bus to come meet her. If you’re not from Houston, traveling by bus anywhere in the city is a very LONG, arduous and HOT ordeal.

The #CraftyChicaTour hits Texas

In usual Crafty Chica style, Kathy always had a smile on her face. Her husband Patrick was also a lot of fun to be around.

The #CraftyChicaTour hits Texas

Crafty Chica in front of her Día de los Muertos product line at Michaels.

The #CraftyChicaTour hits Texas

Afterwards we met with a bunch of Houston bloggers to dine and chat with Kathy and her family.

The #CraftyChicaTour hits Texas

It was really quite an honor for us to host Kathy, Patrick and Maya during their first trip to Houston!

Happy memories

Nothing could have ruined our trip, I realize now. One city and then another, winding roads, bridges, freeways, laughter in the car at times, frustration at others. My nephew still remembers to the this day the moment I turned around and told him to be quiet before he burst into tears because he was trying to tell me he needed to use the restroom. Memories like that don’t just fade away, you see. They stick with you. They have a way of making you giggle out loud when you relive them. And then they make you appreciate the road you’ve traveled. Or as the saying goes, lo bailado ya nadie nos lo quita. 

Happy memories indeed!

Happy memories

Cultura

Cultura. How do you put it into words? It’s an expression of who you are. A representation of where you come from. A legacy that transcends your present, past and future. A connection deep enough to touch your soul and strong enough to pulse emotions through your heart. It’s like walking into a room full of strangers and feeling immediately at home. It’s stepping into a land you don’t call home and sensing the blood running through your veins coming to a complete standstill, as the earth and your body reconcile from the long journey behind now. It’s knowing where you belong, even though you’ve never been there. Its understanding the minuscule things you took for granted before, and showering yourself in the certainty of genuine tradition. Its not something to be explored or studied. You just live it.

Cultura

Mexican Oil Cloth Notebook Cover

Are you already bored of your new notebook? Is it looking kind of Plain Jane? Are the stickers you placed on it for decoration losing their luster? Or perhaps you just want a more grown up look now that you are more mature? If you’re anything like me, any or all of those reasons have been an excuse at one time or another to give my notebooks a new look. Whether they were for school back when I was a kid, or just to organize myself now that I a mature adult, LOL… I rather enjoy this little pastime. I surely would have earned better grades if they would have allowed these kinds of assignments in my classes. Well, maybe.

Now that Edgar’s back in school I was inspired to create this new version of an old notebook using Mexican oil cloth. If nothing else, it will make it easier to spot me from a mile away.

Mexican Oil Cloth Notebook Cover

Here’s what you’ll need to get started: 

– Scissors
– Craft glue
– A notebook (obviously)
– A ruler
– Mexican Oil Cloth (the obsession continues)
– Card stock (any color you fancy)

Step one:
– Prep your notebook by wiping away any debris with a dry and clean cloth.
– Measure out a piece of oil cloth for your cover by placing your notebook over the backside of the oil cloth
– Leave half an inch of oil cloth at the top, bottom, and on the sides where your notebook opens.
– Measure, mark and cut the oil cloth.

Note: If you don’t want to bother with the binding of your notebook, allow 1/2 an inch of space from the binding. You can fill that space later with duck tape. You’ll cut two pieces of oil cloth in this case, one for each side.

Step two:
- Spread glue evenly over the front flap of your notebook.
– Carefully place the flap with glue on it over the backside of the Mexican oil cloth.
– Position your notebook into place before the glue dries, then allow the glue to dry.
– Turn your notebook over so the front side of the oil cloth is showing and cut the two corners of the cloth diagonally, as shown in step 2.
– Spread glue on the interior of your notebook along about 1/4 of an inch from the edge.
– Fold the oil cloth flaps you cut and and press firmly to the glue on the inside of your notebook.
– Place a heavy book on top of the notebook until the glue dries.
– Once the glue has dried, cover the interior seams of your notebook by gluing the card stock.

Step three:
– Repeat steps one and two for the back flap of your notebook.

That’s it! You’re ready to show off your new creation. I hope you enjoyed this easy DIY idea for jazzing up your notebook. You’ll notice I added rhinestones on mine just for an extra kick. :-)

Mexican Oil Cloth Notebook Cover

Step 1 

Mexican Oil Cloth Notebook Cover

Step 2

Mexican Oil Cloth Notebook Cover

And the finished notebook!

Not Fabulous. Not Fancy. Not Like That.

There are a million and one reasons why we’ll never be all that fabulous. And I mean that in the sense that we’re not all that “fancy,” as Iggy Azalea or many other chart-topping celebs and their fans might explain that single word. Why? Because the truth is somos medios sencillos, in every sense of the phrase. I mean, sure we can clean up rather decently at a moment’s notice. Sure, we can work the room when it’s necessary. Sure, we know how to act according to where we are and who we are with. Sure, we can hold our own. And yeah, all that stuff is great, especially considering the fact that sometimes when you walk into a room being the only people of your kind, many folks will take anything you do or say as a representation of your entire culture or ethnicity. That’s not to say it’s right, but it does happen, and we try to always be cognizant of that.

Not because we have to. But because we choose to.

Not Fabulous. Not Fancy. Not Like That.

Not that fancy.

I think that has something to do with the way we were raised. Both my parents and Juan’s always stressed the importance of putting your best foot forward in every single situation. Growing up, we couldn’t so much as step outside of the house without looking presentable. If we were going somewhere important – say like to visit a family member, go to church, and especially if we were going to a party – we had to look even better than any other day. Hair had to be curled, pinned, or combed up very neatly; dresses and blouses had to be pressed; shoes had to look shiny and almost brand new. For quinceañeras and weddings, we spared no expense. If we were part of the chamberlanes and damas custom-made dresses and tuxedos were involved. It didn’t matter how humbly we were living, our families always found a way to make sure we had the proper attire.

Even now, when we have something important to do or a big event to attend, hay vamos, todos listos para comprar de lo mejor. Or at the very least to buy the best of what we can afford. We’ll mix and match our mejores tiliches, meticulously dig through piles of clothing to find something “presentable,” all while simultaneously ordering Edgar to change into “something else.” It’s really kind of funny now that I think about it. Out the door we go, looking all nice and neat, leaving behind a pile of clothes on top of the bed “that didn’t look right.”

Maybe there’s something to be said about vanity there too, but I’ll leave that for another momento. 

The thing is once we get to where we’re going, we’re not afraid to admit all the craziness we just went through to get there. At times blurting out these details leads to bewilderment or laughter, usually followed by other’s own confessions about how much they go through just to get ready too. We like that. We really appreciate knowing that we’re not the only ones going through so much hassle just to walk out the door. It’s nice to know that despite all the Instagram filters and photo-edited reality of our social society, people today do still put on their blue jeans one leg at a time. We’re not all walking around with a “team” to work on our look. I think that makes being not fabulous all the more wonderful.

Beyonce may wake up like that. We certainly don’t.

Back to top

  • RSS
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube