Friday, November 21, 2014

Wine & Cheese Pairing

I am from the school of thought that cheese is a complete meal!  Last night our cheesy dinner spread was simple: blueberry goat cheese, Colby cheddar, water crackers, and peppered salami. Salami only landed on the cutting board because this was a shared meal. If the kids or hubby weren't around the cheese selection would have spiked to include Gouda, Blue Cheese, & Brie. I am a lover of all things cheese, for sure!

Plus, I love wine! Wine and cheese is a meal time win-win! It is great for a solo meal, a lovely picnic date or to host a wine and cheese gathering among friends. 

Check out these wine and cheese pairing ideas plus other w&c party tips: 

• Usually go with white wines. You might think heavier reds go with most cheeses but a light, delicious white wine is best. A chilled crisp white just gets all your taste buds engaged. This is especially true when combining whites with fresh cheeses: Chèvre, Feta, & Goat Cheese.
• If you're a lover of sweet wines try pairing yours with: Blue Cheese or Roquefort.
•Champagne goes great with Parmesan, Cheddar and Gouda.

Other yummy foods to incorporate into your w&c feast include fresh fruits such as mangos or pineapple. A delicious morsel of fruit combined with cheese, crackers and wine tastes divine. Flavorful spreads are also a must try. Layer preserves of any kind on a cracker with cheese and the result is so good! My favorites are apricot and fig spreads. Now don't forget to throw in delicious meats for balance and to appease your meat-loving guests e.g. salami or prosciutto. Then you're all set to sit back, relax & enjoy! 

What are your favorite things to pair with wine?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sharing the Hermana Love on Instagram

With the HaU UCSB 15 year celebration just around the corner there has been so much Hermana love all over social media. My favorite has been the "sbhermanaalumni" Instagram account. They have been asking for specific pictures every few days and I love pouring over all the pictures that are submitted. They bring back fond memories and fill me with pride and love as we get to see what our alumni are up to these days. 

This photo is a classic! A shot from the first ever Hermanas Retreat. 

Of course here at HeMamas we loved seeing our alumni share pictures of their beautiful offspring. It is HaU: The Next Generation!

This topic may or may not have caused some happy tears. Alumni were asked to share who their Hermana Hero was. It was so amazing to see how all these women inspire each other.

The last prompt was all about HaU gear! That's right shirt, hats, and sweatshirts! This post really brought back some memories! That first shirt was from our first party ever!

You can follow "sbhermanaalumni" on Instagram HERE 

Don't forget you can still purchase tickets for the HaU UCSB Quinceanera Brunch HERE 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Letting kids learn "bad" things...

I have an 8-year old son which means those innocent goggly years are almost past us. He's become a sports-loving, sometimes sassy talking, electronics-totting kid! I love him just the way he is, but part of who he is means he's suddenly being exposed to so much more than Barney and Sesame Street videos. 

Just the other day, he was googling "funny football photos" on a censored search engine which is meant to block inappropriate content and women playing football in lingerie popped up on his screen. One woman was actually yanking off another woman's undies. I tried not to react, but he looked at me tentatively as if we both knew this was awkward. However, awkward isn't bad. 

These things will become more and more a part of his life and my husband and I have begun accepting this change. In that moment,  my son asked, "is this flag football?" I answered, "sort of" as I clicked to the next image. I followed up with "it's definitely barely dressed women playing football" and then we laughed as the moment passed.

Today he and his friend were talking about a dictionary and kept pronouncing it "DICK-tion-ary!" I didn't hear the exchange, but there they were two third grade boys just cracking up when my husband chimed in, "it's okay to joke around, but please don't repeat inappropriate words in front of your little sister." I asked my son to tell me about the inappropriate word. He was reluctant, but again I didn't react in any particular good or bad way. It was a subtle, go ahead share nudge from his momma urging him to share. He finally felt comfortable sharing the expression with me and I reminded him it was pretty inappropriate since dick means penis. To which he shockingly replied, "it does?!?!" Almost as if he didn't know. I mean he had to know, right? Why else would kids chant DICCCKK-tion-ary. Either way, I said yes, not very appropriate to say that in the presense of little sisters or at the dinner table. He then agreed. 

Once again, the moment passed just as I felt the little sting of parenting that reminds me puberty is around the corner and my son will soon be exposed to the less than innocent parts of life. It's reality and so long as the hubby and I guide him, open-mindedly, trying not to judge things as good or bad, I sure hope he'll always feel comfortable to bring his awkward questions to us and remember to live as morally as we've raised him to.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

15 Years Later

I cannot believe that it's been 15 years since Hermanas Unidas at UCSB was established. It really does seem like yesterday that I met Vero for the first time at the library. When I shook her hand that day I had no idea that 15 years would fly by and she would be there at the hospital the day my first daughter was born.

When I think back to those early years of HaU I am amazed at how different life was back then. But then I really started thinking about it. 15 years later I am a wife, mother of 2, blogger, and a full-time human resources director and really some things are still the same.

For example:

Somethings never change. 

We are celebrating 15 years of Hermandad with our very own Quinceañera Brunch! If you are alumni, or a current member of HaU join us. You can buy tickets HERE! Don't miss this beautiful event. I would love to see you there!


Monday, November 17, 2014

NFL Hotness for the Ladies

Like most husbands, mine is glued to the tube watching football the entire span of the NFL season. In fact, if we aren't watching some NFL match up, college football is on! According to my sports-loving spouse all games are "interesting." This is just his way of reeling me in. But I just don't get why every game must be watched. He's a 49ers fan, so I'm clear, my entire household will be rooting for the 9ers on game day. 

Now, through the years I've done my fair share of complaining about all these football games, then I took a closer look. Football is full of hotties. I'm beginning to wish we actually got to see them without those helmets for more than just momentary sideline shots. Thank you NFL for all the eye-candy e.g….

Tom Brady: My goodness he's a hottie. Tom's married to a supermodel, so good looks are a family requirement. Tom's been in the league many years and only seems to get hotter with age. I mean look at this mug… 

Colin Kaepernick:  This quarterback shot to fame last year taking our beloved 9ers to a super bowl appearance. He's quite the cutie who is a typical female-fan favorite. Plus, he's one of those guys that just looks good covered in tattoos. Go 9ers!

Reggie Bush: Now Reggie was a cutie pie way back in his college days when he won countless games as a USC trojan. Just check out his smile. Not only does he pull off a great smile, but he's one of those men who has a sexy straight-face glare; meaning, I could watch him all day even if it's with his game face on.

Mark Sanchez: Here's another USC alum with a smile that makes ladies melt. Plus, his last name is Sanchez. That's my favorite last name (outside of my own). Mr. Sanchez makes me proud to see this handsome Latino representing in the NFL.

Erik Decker: This guy is such a charismatic hottie he has his own reality show. I mean of course he needed to be on screen without that football helmet. Mr. Decker thanks for being such a looker!

There you have it some of the best of the best in the NFL (when it comes to LOOKS)! These hotties make the football invasion on my television every fall not only bearable, but enjoyable. So thank you NFL footballers, thank you. 

Who are the hottest guys you love to watch in sports? 

Friday, November 14, 2014

I Can't Afford Any of Oprah's Favorite Things

Every year I wait anxiously to see what lifestyle guru Oprah is going to put on her annual "Favorite Things List". Her 2014 list just went up and I poured over all the awesomeness that Oprah loves. This year there are 72 items ranging from cakes to jewelry. You can see the full list HERE.

Now, I don't know about you, but besides her new book, I cannot afford a damn thing on this list. Fortunately I was able to find a more affordable version of some of the items.

Oprah has these beautiful ball-point pens on her list. They come in bright colors and I am sure write like butter. But at $36.00 for a writing utensil (I am no doubt going to lose) I just can't justify it. Luckily you can find the BIC version of a pen in black, blue or even red ink for a low $0.96!

Now that flip-flop season is behind us, it's time to pamper our feet. Oprah has these super cute cozy socks and some foot cream for the price of $144.00!! Don't worry, I found that you can get pretty much the same thing for under $5.00!

Everyone knows that Oprah loves herself some Moscow Mules. In her list she had this gorgeous copper serving tray and cups. This pretty set will set you back $365.00. Well I can tell you right now that this is way out of my price range. I did find that you can buy 50 red Solo cups for $4.97 and the Moscow mules will taste just as good!

We all know that our pets are part of our family and the deserve a nice gift, too. Now if you are one of Oprah's dogs you get a nice bed that costs between $445-$710! If you are my dog you get one that costs $16.99.

Now I don't have Oprah money (yet!) but I still love to check out her list every year. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hermanas Unidas de UCSB 15-Year Formal… Tickets Available NOW!

Hey Ladies! HaU-knowwwwww!

The time has come for our 15-year formal (a.k.a Hermanas' Quince) and you know you want in! Imagine the beautiful picturesque backdrop of Santa Barbara, California during a weekend of fun-filled activities culminating in an elegant champagne brunch and ceremony. We're celebrating 15 years of Hermandad! All hermanas are invited to attend… alumni, undergrad, or hermanas from one of our 20+ chapters!

Festivities kick-off on Saturday, Dec. 6th for those hoping to come into town early. You'll receive an itinerary of details via email once registered for the event.

The Official Formal & Recognition Ceremony will be held mid-day on Sunday, Dec. 7th 2014 at the Mosher Alumni House. Details to follow ticket registration. Please SAVE THE DATE and begin spreading the word. Hermanas from the last 15 years need to hear about our upcoming QUINCE! The years of friendship deserve to be honored and celebrated! Guests and dates welcome to attend!

Space is limited so we highly encourage purchasing tickets TODAY!

Final registration deadline JUST EXTENDED: Friday, Nov. 21st! 
*After Nov. 21st all ticket prices to increase by $10, so purchase tickets today!

Type of Ticket
Name and Year of Grad

For anyone interested in contributing a donation sponsoring event logistics and planning, please click the link below. Remember, no matter the amount, all donations MATTER!


Blue Tier Sponsor ($150): Two tickets and VIP seating
Silver Tier Sponsor ($200): Two tickets, VIP seating and special program recognition
Quinto Blossom Sponsor ($300): Two tickets, VIP seating, special program recognition, and personal business advertisement in widely-distributed program and online.

Questions? Please contact the formal planning committee chairs, Sommer Urias ( or Lissette Padilla ( By the way, with these two in charge you know we're in for a LEGENDARY formal!

#hermanasunidasquince #UCSB #15years #SBHAUXV

Special thanks to all members of the 15-year formal planning committee: 
Araceli Catalan, Veronica Burgos, Irene Quevedo,
 Lissette Padilla and Sommer Urias