Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Every Kid in a Park Pledge

This is the coolest thing! The National Park Foundation has announced a new initiative that will give all 4th graders and their families access to  all the national parks for free for the school year. That's right all the parks for free!

Starting today you can head over the Nationalparks.org and sign up your 4th grader for the 2015-2016 school year. The pass will get you into national parks, national forests, and national wildlife refuges. Here are a few places in California you can visit...

  • Channel Islands National Park
  • Death Valley National Park
  • Joshua Tree National Park
  • Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
  • Yosemite National Park 

Of course in our house this great program is a year to late, (I have a 5th grader!) but I encourage all parents of 4th graders to sign-up. Even of you go just to one park this year you can save $$!

Click Here to sign your 4th grader up! 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Zip-Loc Omletes

Most kids are already back to school and the novelty of the first day and the cute outfits has worn off and the stress and reality of back to school schedules has set it. At this point we need anything to help save some time and make morning routines a bit easier.

Recently a friend told me about this great idea on how to make healthy veggie and protein packed breakfast for your kids, really quick. Boil them some omelets. Yes I said boil. It's simple. Add some scrambled egg mixture into a ziploc bag and then throw in any veggies, meats, or cheeses that your like. Give it a good shake to mix them up and seal. Drop the bag into some boiling water for about 13 minutes. Open the bag and your made omelet will slide right out onto your plate.

What is great about this is that you can pre-make the omelet mix the night before. You can also make up to 8 omelets all at the same time. These are also great for feeding a large crowd. This can be a a great idea for a sleepover. You can set out a bunch of toppings and let each kid pick what they like.

My friend gave me the heads-up and said that when making these make sure to use ziploc brand bags. This ensures that the bag is thick enough to withstand the boiling water, and also ensures that you are cooking with BPA free plastic. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Trends Before and After My Time I Wish I Hadn't Missed

These days it feels everyone has gender reveal parties when expecting. Parties of this kind weren't all the rage when I was having my children, but I would have been all over this given the chance. I'll take any excuse to have a PARTY. We were surprised the old-fashion way for our big gender reveal and that was a pretty painful and bloody surprise, to say the least. 

Another trend I totally missed the boat on was having a photo booth at our wedding! Everyone does this nowadays and it's super fun. It's also pretty creative. I loved a recent wedding that include a booth with very Mexican-inspired props... Yes, Frida Khalo headdresses and eyebrows made that cut. Adorable! 

My kids didn't grow up with a personalized hashtag attached to every photo I've ever snapped of them. Okay, they're not that old, so I could begin that trend, but something about not trending since day 1 feels like I missed the boat there, too.

Zumba class missed my butt! Feels like everyone including their grandmother (literally) has tried Zumba. I never made it to such a danceable class and it sounds like a sweaty good time. Now I don't know that Zumba is as available or that I'm even in the mood. When I was a fitness buff I should have shimmied my way over.

Korean BBQ has always seemed so good! Maybe this isn't a huge trend per-say but I know a ton of folks who have tried and love this delicious food genre. I've yet to try it. Though that's a trend I may just persue. Then again with small kids at home I'm less likely to venture out for new cuisines. 

What are the trends you miss you wish you hadn't???? 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

This Dad Recorded His Reaction to His Son Buying a Princess Doll....

...and it has totally melted my heart.

Little Azai Willis had just had his 4th birthday party and had received 2 of the exact same toy. So his Poppa Mikki took his son to the toy store to exchange the gift. He allowed Azai to pick whatever he wanted. Azai picked a Disney Princess doll complete with purple crown. Ariel to be exact. As they got back to the car Mikki made this short and very cute video.

How sweet is this? 

Of course there was some backlash. People upset that he would allow his son to play with dolls. That playing with dolls would make his sons homosexual. That is just ignorant and silly. I grew up with a box filled with Hot Wheels. Playing with cars did not make me gay. Some even jumped to the conclusion that by telling his sons that he would accept them no matter what lifestyle they choose will automatically make his children gay. As Latinos we have this idea that little boys should be 'macho' and stay away from dolls. That is just ridiculous. 

The idea that toys are gender specific is soon to be a thing of the past thanks to stores like Target. After removing gender on their website for toys, they have made the move to do the same in stores. No more signs that say "Girls Building Blocks" or "Boy Building Blocks". Personally I love this and have raised my girls to know that they can play with any toys they choose. They have their very own drawer filled with Hot Wheels. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Gina Rodriguez Opens Up About Interracial Latino Racism After Being Told She is Not Latina Enough

It's a topic that no one wants to talk about, except Gina Rodriguez. Gina is the star of the hit show "Jane the Virgin" and was recently on the cover of People in Español. She was excited to share the news and images with her Instagram followers only to be flooded with negative comments. She was criticized for how she looked, how she was posed, and for her grammar in her caption that she wrote in English and Spanish. She was told that she was not Latina enough.

Oh I know that feeling.

Because I married a white guy.
Because I don't speak enough Spanish.
Because my kids aren't bilingual.
Because I "talk white".

Gina had a wonderful response...

You know what saddens my heart, is when you try and celebrate an accomplishment with those that have helped you achieve it and no matter what, someone, anyone, has something negative to say. Whether it was from the way my toes curled under to the way I typed my spanish. We desire to project our own insecurities and hatred on another. When did we decide social media was for hating, for putting others down rather than lifting them up. I refuse to participate in that kind of world. Before you write a comment today on anyone's picture or anyone's page ask yourself would you want others to say that about yourself? What am I getting out of being mean to another person I have never met? Yesterday I shared my joy for the cover of @peopleenespanol and I was blown away at the immediate hate projected on my page. My question to you today is this, do you know the power you have in this world and do you desire to use it for good? I do.#NoToKeyboardCourage

The idea that a human being is not "enough" of anything is awful. As a group we should not be trying to "one-up" each other, but embrace each other. A united front is much stronger than a divided one.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Back-to-School Funnies

So many children have gone back to school, and for them, summer came crashing down... hopefully, in a blaze of glory! My children start school tomorrow, and after one unusually CHAOTIC orientation today, I thought about the flip side of back-to-school emotions. I cannot wait to be that annoying parent that floods my social media accounts with back-to-school pics and funny tales of elementary antics. All stories will likely start with a classic "kids say the darnedest things..." So to get moms, dads and all relatives in just that mood, check out these back-to-school funnies...

Ha! This time of year is pretty fun, occasionally stressful, and if you're looking for perspective, totally wacky. Overall, it's a true blessing, so ENJOY!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Lalo Alcarez: Sell-out or Success?

Earlier this month Disney held its annual D23 Expo. There were a lot of announcements were made and Disney fanatics went crazy for all of them. One big announcement that was made was that Disney/Pixar has begun development on a Dia de los Muertos themed movie. Last year Reel Fx and 20th Century Fox has some success with their Dia de los Muertos film, "Book of Life". Disney and Pixar are jumping onto the bandwagon. 

So far all we know is that the story centers around a young boy named Miguel who finds himself in the world of the dead. 

When I heard the news I had some mixed emotions. There is always some concern when a big corporation takes on a culturally sensitive issue. There was also the concern about people who did not grow up with the tradition and instead just "study" and "research" a topic that they will then distribute to the world. And let's face it, a Disney/Pixar movie will reach almost every corner of the world. 

Later it was announced that political cartoonist, Lalo Alcaraz, famous for his cartoon "La Cucaracha", has been hired as a cartoonist for the film. 

3....2.....1.... And here comes the backlash. 

Some people were pissed and called Lalo a sellout. See a few years ago Disney attempted to trademark the Day of the Dead holiday. Of course people were upset and Lalo was one of the most vocal. 

 This was not the first time, or the last time that Alcaraz would take a stand against the Disney Corporation. And now he is picking up his employee badge. So there are some people who feel that he has sold out for a paycheck.

I have a different opinion. I feel that with Lalo on the project we have someone on the inside. Alcaraz has very strong opinions and I firmly believe that if this project becomes offensive or stereotypical Lalo would not only walk away but be the first to boycott the project. As a community we should be proud of Alcaraz and have some faith that by hiring him to work on this film it's a step in the right direction and helps ensure that we get a beautiful film about our beautiful culture.