review

Blog Elevated: Conference Report

Blog Elevated Conference Review by Crafty Thrifter

My Blog Elevated credentials.

For those of you who missed out, or didn’t know in time, last weekend Blog Elevated happened!  A conference dedicated to boosting and upgrading your website, Blog Elevated took place right here in my backyard.  There were a lot of new people to meet, as well as lots of old friends to reunite and catch up with.  As you know, I live and breath Texas, and as a true and through Tejana I could not  miss out on the this conference.  With Houston as my playground, it was a match made in… well, right here in Texas!

From the moment we walked into the exhibitors hall and made our way to the registration table we were greeted with smiles.  Familiar faces started to take shape from online avatars and it was all uphill from there.  Speakers and panelists did not hold back from sharing any of their great knowledge and learnings with all of us in the crowd.  Even my husband, who did not attend the conference, has been able to apply some of the take aways I came back with since then.

Blog Elevated Conference Review by Crafty Thrifter

My two favorite sessions of the conference.

Rain did not darken the mood or stop the crowd from enjoying lunch at the hosting venue, CityCentre.  And it was raining cats and dogs!  Before dinner I was even able to do a little thrift store browsing nearby.   My sister and I were in great company for the evening festivities.  It was a hold-your-stomach wipe-away-your-tears kind of night.

I laughed so hard!

Blog Elevated Conference Review by Crafty Thrifter

Lunch over at Smash Burger CityCentre

To Lisa, Bobbie and Kristi, you ladies are amazing!  The speakers were phenomenal.  Congratulations!

To Ilene and Amanda from BlogathonATX, thank you for sharing a table with us.  You ladies are hysterical!

Latino Filmmakers Shined At Hispanicize 2013

hispanicize 2013 film festival juanofwords hispz13

So besides Filly Brown, this year, Hispanicize 2013 featured a slew of Latino films that dealt with everything from immigration to brujeria, even a little rockabilly and technological singularity.  There were so many films premiering as part of the official Hispanicize Film Festival portion of the event that I wasn’t able to attend all of the screenings.  I was, however, able to make a few of the sessions on the filmmaking track, and what I learned there was truly an eye opening experience.  Seasoned actors, directors and producers shared their insights on why there just aren’t as many Latino films being made right now.  According to the sessions I attended, it boils down to a very competitive industry and more importantly, an overall LACK of GOOD WRITERS.

That message was repeated across the board in many of the sessions over and over again.  It definitely left a lasting impression for many of us.  The other message I walked away with from these sessions was this one: We have to support Latino films.  We have to go out and watch them in the theaters.  We have to motivate new writers and filmmakers to tell our stories in an honest and respectful way.  We have to put ourselves out there!

Having said that, ladies and gentlemen allow me to introduce the films of Hispanicize 2013!

Blaze You Out

Dreamer

Los Wild Ones

Aftershock

Mission Park

#PostModem

Fireworks

Clara Como El Agua

Echo Bear

For a full listing of all the Hispanicize 2013 films Click Here.

Stars React To Jenni Rivera’s Performance In ‘Filly Brown’

stars react to jenni rivera performance filly brown juanofwords

One of the highlights of my experience last week in Miami for Hispanicize was watching the premiere of the film Filly Brown.  The all Latino cast shined from top to bottom, but definitely the most powerful performance was the one given as a final farewell by Jenni Rivera.  I told you in my review of the film how moved we all were by her performance.

Well consider this an extra treat.  I couldn’t get my computer to edit these videos before.  Otherwise I would have shared them last week… pero bueno, these were some of the celebrity reactions to Jenni Rivera, La Diva De La Banda in Filly Brown.

Again, remember the movie opens nationwide on April 19th.

Go watch it!

Filly Brown: A Very Fitting Farewell For Jenni Rivera – #Hispz13 Film Review

Filly brown jenni Rivera film premiere

It’s a movie about a rapper trying to make it in the music industry for the sake of her family. Oh but it is about so much more. Jenni Rivera’s name might be the loudest you will hear repeated over and over about this film. And rightfully so. The Late Diva De La Banda gives a very earnest performance in this her first and only participation in a full length feature film.

But Filly Brown is definitely not Don Juan De Marco. You know that one and only film Selena participated in as herself.

In Filly Brown we find a Jenni who is anything but the larger than life superstar mother and entrepreneur we came to know and love. Jenni’s Maria, the drug addicted mother who’s in jail serving 10 years for drug charges, is mean and ruthless manipulating her daughter for the sake of her own drug addiction.

And while you wouldn’t think so this gritty and gut wrenching performance turns out to be quite an emotional final farewell to Jenni Rivera on film. There is one final scene at the end with her and her character’s family that had almost everyone in the theater balling.

Unintentionally Filly Brown becomes an ominous final look at the raw and real personality that was Jenni Rivera. I can’t say enough about how emotional it is to see her in this role on the silver screen.

The film’s star Gina Rodriguez also gives a knockout performance as the tough, but very soft hearted Filly Brown. Edward James Olmos and Lou Diamond Phillips also star in the film. The big breakout star of the film for me was Houston’s own Chingo Bling. Bling’s garage music label manager character is hilarious. Under any other circumstances he might have stolen the entire film.

In the end Filly Brown is a universal story about a family struggling with drug addiction, individual relationships and an overall broken home. It’s not a pretty subject matter but one that’s very real for so many and that we don’t see portrayed in an honest way very often.

Filly Brown opens in theaters across the nation on April 19th.

The New Pastime En Casa: Skateboarding With The #ShaunWhiteSupplyCo – Review

So… I didn’t have to ask Edgar more than once about the new Shaun White Supply Co skateboard line at Walmart.  As soon as I said Shaun White, his exact words were these: Everybody knows Shaun White!  He’s the best!  In all honesty, yo me quede kind of shocked.  I mean, I know he likes skating and going to the local skate park by our house, y toda la cosa.  What I didn’t know was just how familiar he is with the sport!  Man, you just don’t notice how fast these kids grow up!

Back in the day, the sport we always engaged in that my parents never fully understood was basketball.  They knew we threw the ball around and tried to get it into the net, but that was about it.  I kind of feel the same about skateboards and skateboarding in general, LOL!

Shaun white skateboards at walmart juanofwords

The Shaun White line at Walmart.

I know what they’re for, and granted, they do look like a lot of fun… but for me, it’s more about making Edgar happy.  He enjoys learning and challenging himself, and that makes us happy.  Además they also get him good and tired, and ready to go to sleep :-)

Shaun white skateboards at walmart juanofwords

Edgar trying to make up his mind.

I’m only half kidding there.  But en serio, we went ahead and headed to one of the select Walmart’s in the area that is currently carrying this new line.  Of course, I was kind of lost trying to find the skateboards for kids section, pero Edgar knew just where he was going!

Shaun white skateboards at walmart juanofwords

He was kind of torn between colorful and more plain designs.

Luego, luego, he started pulling out one skateboard and another, carefully flipping them over one at a time, to see what their design on the bottom side was.

Shaun white skateboards at walmart juanofwords

Still looking…

I tried to get him to look at the cheapest skateboards I found, but him and Anjelica quickly pointed out, “those aren’t Shaun Whites!”

Shaun white skateboards at walmart juanofwords

And finally he chose one!

And apparently they weren’t!  The Shaun White skateboards had the brand name written across them – clue number one – and they also had a lot nicer designs than any of the other skateboards in the store.  After contemplating over and over, about one design and then another, Edgar finally made up his mind.  His next question: Can I ride it when I get home? 

Shaun white skateboards at walmart juanofwords

He does have protective gear. He just ran out so fast these pictures were more in the moment and I decided to use them instead.  Don’t try this at home!

It was late already so he didn’t ride it that day.  The next day, though, there was no stopping him!  El huerco ya andaba en el skateboard as soon as he woke up, LOL!  He’s really been enjoying the #ShaunWhiteSupplyCo skateboard ever since!

From what I understand there will be a big ad in newspapers on October 28th to promote the new Shaun White Thrash Board.  I think that’s a skateboard, right?

For more information on the Shaun White Supply Co visit their website.  You can also keep up with their latest news on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Shaun White Supply Co #CBias #SocialFabric.  All opinions are my own. 

Bodygrooming For Men, With Philips Norelco – #Giveaway

philips norelco body groomer review juanofwords

You could win this same package!

I’ll be honest, when I first received the Philips Norelco BG2040 body groomer, there were a lot of red flags going off in my head.  What do they mean body groomer?  Umm… what exactly am I supposed to shave?  A poco, people shave that?!  You can use your imagination to fill in the blanks, on these, some of my thoughts during that initial introduction to this unique product.  Though you should also know you’re talking to a guy who generally only shaves his face… y eso ni mucho.  

Shaving other parts of my body is kind of foreign to me, to say the least.  Si no me creen just ask Anjelica.  She has been trying to pluck the hairs between my thick eyebrows – my unibrow apparently – for years now, without any success.  Even when I’m asleep I can feel here hovering over me with the tweezers and I’ll jump up.  This is like our never ending grooming battle.

Still, for this experience, I figured I’d be a good sport and experiment a little with the body groomer.  Lo bueno is that I can still grow hair, and so I figured if it comes off, it should hopefully grow back soon.  Todavía ando en eso, but I’ll tell you… I’m not really all that shy about body grooming anymore!  Claro, my body grooming is significantly more conservative than that of other guys I’ve been talking to, both on and offline.  They shave things that make me cringe, jajaja!  

Pero bueno, that’s neither here nor there.

The Philips Norelco body groomer makes shaving very simple and painless.  There aren’t any hairs getting caught up anywhere and that’s a huge plus.  Ask your guys, they’ll tell you.

Shaving Tip: When using a razor to shave, shave only in a downward direction, avoiding going up and sideways, to avoid bumps on your skin.  I heard this on the radio the other day, and have been doing it since.  It really has done away with my facial bumps from shaving.

philips norelco body groomer review juanofwords

The BG2040.

The other cool thing about experimenting with the body groomer, is that Philips Norelco is letting me offer you all one as a giveaway too!  If you’re a guy who likes to keep your body very well groomed, or perhaps you have a pareja who you think would enjoy this product, or hell, even if you would just like to experiment with a top of the line grooming product, here’s what you need to do to enter this giveaway:

1) Leave a comment here, with your email address so I can contact you, on or before Monday, August 20, 2012.

That’s it!  I’ll contact you by the end of next week to let you know if you’re the fortunate winner.  In the meantime, I’ll keep experimenting with my own body groomer.  So if you hear a horrible shrieking grito coming from Texas, you’ll know it’s me.

I kid.  But seriously though!

This is not a sponsored post.  Philips Norelco provided the body groomer for my review.  I was not compensated for this review and was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions expressed are my own.

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