Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Be the Hit of the Potluck!

How awesome is it that 4th of July lands on a weekend this year! Chances are you are heading to or hosting a bbq for the big holiday. Here are 4 great potluck recipes that people will be talking about and begging you for the recipe. (Just click on the photo to get the recipes!)

Crunchy Ramen Salad- My Mom makes this salad once in awhile and it is so good. This is a great way to use up those packets of ramen in your cabinet too. Filled with veggies like coleslaw and edamame, mandarin oranges and a sweet dressing and a nice crunch from the noodles this salad has everything. 

7-Layer Greek Dip- Dips are always a hit at potlucks. Instead of bringing a heavy dip filled with sour cream this Greek dip is a great fresh and light alternative. You can still get that creamy taste but this dip used hummus and greek yogurt. Layered with cucumber red onion, slice kalamata olive, tomato and topped with crumbled feta. This is great served with pita chips.

Watermelon Feta Mint Salad- Now that the heat is here the key to a good potluck dish it cold and refreshing. And what it more refreshing than watermelon? The idea of combining watermelon and cheese seems strange until you try it and wonder why you never mixed those 2 before. Cucumber, mint, watermelon and feta make a fantastic combination. This salad will disappear from the picnic table. 

Apple Nachos- Of course something sweet is sure to be popular. Caramel apples are so yummy but difficult to eat without ending up with a face full of caramel. This is a great way to serve caramel apples without the mess. You can get creative with the toppings. 

Remember to follow all food safety tips when it comes to food outside. 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Dear Donald Trump...

What era is this? Do you really think you can become president of the U.S. using a bigot platform. The U.S. was built on the backs of minorities. Doesn't matter the skin color, each minority group faced injustice to build this nation. Some paid a larger price than others, but all paid a painful price.

Minority groups fought hard for equality with many dying for what they believed in. I'd say their struggle gives underrepresented groups the right to live freely in the country they built without feeling judged, blamed, and demoralized.

I am a proud Mexican-American who almost chuckled at your racist rant over Mexican/American border issues. I thought for sure this was some hidden camera prank and soon you'd laugh and yell "gotcha!" The comic relief never came.

Mr. Trump, you truly feel that "Mexicans are drug dealers and rapists." Oh, Donald, how did these hardworking Latinos (who come from countless diverse backgrounds, not just Mexico), who built your towers, rented your properties, and labored away, have enough time to build, rent and work hard while also raping and dealing drugs? Your ignorance is hysterical, but more critically, it's downright depressing and unwarranted.

You don't deserve to be the president of our evolving nation. We're not a perfect nation, but we're growing. We're shifting as we change laws that spark equality in marriage and grant fair access to education for all. Your take on who Mexicans are is everything that is wrong with our country. A country still struggling to understand that ALL black lives matter and that the majority of immigrants come from all nations to prosper and contribute, not murder and rape

So like Univision and NBC, I agree, you're not worthy of airtime, or any more time on this post... you're FIRED!


The artist Becky G just put her 2 cents in with this short song...

Monday, June 29, 2015

5 to 4 and Justice For All

On Friday I logged into Facebook and was like.....

That morning the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of marriage equality. That means that in all 50 states same-sex couples can be married with all the rights as any other married couple.

This is a victory for humankind. We are finally treating all humans like humans. We are not allowing one religious view control all US Citizens. I believe in marriage. I love marriage and what it stands for -- anyone in love should have the right to a beautiful life together.


Friday, June 26, 2015

Happy Sex Life

Perhaps I'm married to your typical guy, but he loves sex. Luckily, he's totally crazy about me and I've felt desired since he first laid his kinky eyes on me over a decade ago. It's thrilling to feel desired, but that doesn't mean I am automatically drawn to constant intimacy.

If you're someone like me who means well but doesn't always get around to doing the deed here are some fun and must-do tips to keep a happy sex life going:

1. Pencil it in. Not spontaneous sure, but at least it's happening. Besides it's easy to plan sex in in a way that is sexier than writing it on your to-do list. In this day and age you can send a sexy text describing exactly what your lover is in for. Not only is this exciting to them, but they sure as heck won't let you back down. So no matter how tired you are, you should be reved-up by your partner who is surely excited at this point. The important point here... don't text anything you're not actually willing to follow through on. Big no, no there.

2. Don't give in to lame excuses. There's nothing less sexy than a woman (or man) who claims they're tired, have a headache, or for women, it's that time of the month and really it isn't. Too many of these excuses and your partner is sure to pick up on your lack of desire. If you find yourself avoiding intimacy and making excuses something deeper is at play and you owe it to yourself to get answers. Maybe you're not satisfied by your current sex life or maybe you're self-conscious of your own body? The reasons are plentiful, but whatever it is, communicate with your partner. It might be awkward, but it's 1000% worth it. Now, for the fun part, what if you really do have a headache? Do something different in the bedroom - give each other messages, find a way to relax and connect and be honest... express a desire for a sex-less, but intimate night nonetheless. Set the mood and connect by touch, with words or beautiful scents and sounds (candles, music). 

3. Stop wasting time. Your lover won't be young forever. Maybe we think there's all the time in the world to get it right. Well, flip that script and tell yourself time is escaping you. A beautiful sex life and session of lovemaking should never wait.  Plus, it's an honor to have the love and intimacy so many crave, so get after it and devour your partner one beautiful night at a time. With this in mind, you might find yourself being more spontaneous or adventurous in the bedroom. And there's the next fun idea... experiment, mix things up, and don't be too bashful to try something new. 

Need a little inspiration? Check out this quote from an article called The Art of the Tease: 

"Great sex is derived from out-of-control frustration, heaps of joy, thrilling recklessness, vehement disagreement (and yes love, of course), anything that pulls the passion out of you. Otherwise sex is as empty as a reality TV show — something to numb out to that you will forget 10 minutes after consuming."
With that said, go let off some stream and pour your frustrations, joy, recklessness and love all over your partner! 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Defending Boy Bands and Those Who Love Them

The boy band fandom gene is strong in my family. From my Mom's love of The Monkee's, to my borderline obsession with New Kids on the Block, to my little sister's infatuation with N'Sync and now my 10-year old daughter's love for 5 Seconds of Summer. All these generations have spent hours pouring over Tiger Beat and Bop magazines. We decorated our walls with posters and we listened to the same 10 songs over and over again. We bought the Christmas albums, action figures, jean jackets, and screamed our heads off at big stadium concerts. 

Falling for a boy band gave me my own sense of identity. For the first time I had my own music. The time that we fall for our first boy band is about the same time where we become pre-teens and are searching for our own selves. We gave into the over produced pop sound and defended their honor to anyone who tried to put them down. I really think that loving boy bands helped to teach me loyalty. Over 20 years later and I still love those 5 guys from Boston. In fact the first concert my kids went to was a NKOTB concert. 

Now that I am the parent and I think I will go crazy if I hear that "amnesia" song by 5SOS one more time, but I get it. I just put on my headphones and blast the "Hangin' Tough" album. #NKOTBFOREVER

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Friend Therapy

Friendships, real honest-to-goodness ones, change our lives for the better. But friendships take work. To be active in any friendship means to call, text and visit. However, sometimes once careers and families take over, we don't always make the time for quality time with friends.

There's so much value in spending time with friends and one of the most important is Friend Therapy. If you have great relationships with friends then no matter the amount of time that has gone by since you last spoke, when you come together, happiness and laughter take over. 

The elevated levels of feel-good love and laughter are good for a person -- mind, body and soul. So if you're feeling blue or unmotivated plan a girls night with great friends. After an evening a good old fashion friend-bonding you're spirits are lifted and zest for life reinvigorated.

Might seem basic, but without stopping to enjoy girls nights and a little fun then we're missing out on Friend Therapy.! Over the weekend, I spent an amazing weekend with 6 of my closest gal pals. Days later I'm still on cloud nine smiling about the good times, but I'm also oddly calm. I'm in such a good head space and all because friendship bonding took me out of my usual routine, created only laughter and fun and reminded me of what a great life I have because of my friends and so much more!

So get out there and make it a habit of spending quality time, with quality people. It's great therapy! 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Ernest and Celestine

In our house we like to have family movie nights. And since we are on summer vacation we have been having them a few times a week. Our movies usually come from Netflix or Amazon Prime. The other night Amazon Prime recommended we watch "Ernest and Celestine". I was tired of searching for something we all could agree on and made the executive decision to watch it. I am so glad I did. This immediately became one of my favorite animated films ever.

This is a 2012 French film based on a popular childrens series by Belgian author Gabrielle Vincent. The story is about a sweet little orphan mouse who all her life has been told to stay away from the big bad mean bears. Sweet Celestine doesn't understand why and when she meets Ernest, instead of being terrified she is sweet to him and wants to be friends. Ernest is a big down on his luck bear who wants nothing to do with little mice. Especially little girl mice. But when Celestine comes to his rescue he finds that he is stuck with her.

Ernest and Celestine end up being wanted by both the bear and the mouse police and go on the lam. They hide out for the winter in of course become best friends despite what society tells them.

On a personal note I love the juxtaposition of a big burly bear and sweet girlie mouse. It reminded me so much of my big burly bearded husband and how sweet he is with our little sweet girls.