mexican

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.

Something To Smile About!

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

Smiling. I’m all for it. All of the time. For no good reason. Just because. I love to smile and to make other people smile. Life is too complicated already to not try and find the humor in every situation. I think that’s something I’ve learned from my family. No matter the odds, we always manage to laugh at our current or past predicaments.

Maybe that’s because of the old saying, mejor reir que llorar. 

And, in fact, I think that’s true. You feel much better after laughing at yourself than you do when you cry over spilled milk. With that idea in mind, I tried to capture a few of the smiles around me that always seem to brighten my day.

Something To Smile About Cricket Wireless

My nephew Allan. Even with that cast he’s sporting on his little arm, he’s all smiles.

Something To Smile About Cricket Wireless

Jonathan. The youngest of my nephews. Those big old eyes and smile always make me happy.

Something To Smile About Cricket Wireless

My niece Sophia. She’s not always smiling, but when she does… well, you see that beautiful face :-)

Something To Smile About Cricket Wireless

And then I always end up with this big, silly grin across my face.

Something To Smile About Cricket Wireless

And, of course, Edgar is always ready for a little silliness like his mamá.

This post was inspired by Cricket’s Something To Smile About campaign. They’re hoping their nationwide coverage and convenient month to month plans will make a lot of folks smile. Meanwhile, they’ve already inspired me to appreciate the little moments of happiness around me every single day.

Follow the #VidaConCricket hashtag and @MiCricket on Twitter.

Festival People en Español 2014

Strayer hired me to attend Festival People en Español 2014 and write this blog post. 

This weekend was a lot of fun! It had been a LONG time since we last hit the open road and headed for San Antonio. As I’d mentioned in an earlier post, Strayer University invited me to attend the Festival People en Español in San Antonio, Texas this past August 30 – 31. We did, and the experience was well worth the trip.

Not only did we get to hang out with a lot of fellow bloggers, but we also got to meet a lot of new faces as well. We met the family that’s a YouTube sensation, the Reality Changers. We watched the pilot episode of ABC’s sure-to-be-a-hit Cristela, and then got to hear the creator of the show herself – Texas native, Cristela Alonzo – tell us about her humble beginnings. We attended the Chicas Poderosas concert where Becky G and Zendaya rocked the house. We listened to Don Francisco, Genesis Rodriguez, and so many others share their personal experiences on the main stage, and most importantly, we heard over and over again why this is the moment for Latinos in the U.S. to start building a better tomorrow.

Strayer University was all over that idea. They had a personal success coach on hand during the entire event, meeting with attendees interested in talking about their own personal success plans. It really was a great event. We had never attended Festival People before and doing it this way was very nice.

When it was all over on Sunday, we drove to Corpus Christi and stayed the night there before driving home on Labor Day. Just in case you’re wondering what the last picture at the Texas State Aquarium has to do with any of this. We did also create the below video of our time in San Antonio. I hope you enjoy the pictures and the video.

Festival People en Español 2014

Our Metiche gear for the weekend. I made my cap. Juan bought his.

Festival People en Español 2014

Me and my baby.

Festival People en Español 2014

Juan and George of Sofrito for your Soul, a.k.a. Urban Jibaro.

Festival People en Español 2014

La familia.

Festival People en Español 2014

This is how you take selfies :-)

Festival People en Español 2014

Reality Changers meet Los Metiches!

Festival People en Español 2014

Reality Changers meet the Que Means What familia.

Festival People en Español 2014

The Strayer University crew.

Festival People en Español 2014

Excitement about higher education at the Strayer University booth.

Festival People en Español 2014

Houston’s own Las Fenix rocking the house conjunto-style!

Festival People en Español 2014

Actress Genesis Rodriguez.

Festival People en Español 2014

The legendary Don Francisco. He was definitely a show stopper.

Festival People en Español 2014

Yvonne of Spoiled Latina, Monique Frausto of Curves and Chaos, and Melanie Mendez Gonzales of Que Means What.

Festival People en Español 2014

Yvonne and Juan after they were surprised with their personalized coke cans.

Festival People en Español 2014

We had to stop by and visit Disney!

Festival People en Español 2014

Fellow Houston Latina blogger Yvonne and me.

Festival People en Español 2014

Latina bloggers (L to R) Yvonne with Spoiled Latina, Monique Frausto with Curves and Chaos, Melanie Mendez Gonzales of Que Means What, Eileen of Mommy Teaches, and yours truly.

Festival People en Español 2014

Singer Zendaya performing at the Chicas Poderosas concert. I really enjoyed her set!

Festival People en Español 2014

Juan and Edgar at the Texas State Aquarium.

About Strayer University 

Founded in 1892, Strayer University has over 80 campus locations in 17 states. The mission of the 120 year old higher education institution is to help working adults earn a high-quality college degree that fits into, and advances their lives. Each student – whether they are taking classes at a Strayer University campus or online – is assigned their own personal success coach, who assists them with financial advice, goal setting, career advice, time management, and other skills. In addition to helping to increase each student’s opportunity for academic success, coaches help prepare them for the real-world challenges that are inherent in building a successful career while managing other life priorities. Degree programs available at Strayer University include Executive MBA, Executive Grad Certificate, Traditional MBA, Masters, Bachelors, Associate, as well as Certificates and Diplomas. To learn more about the university click here.

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