Monday, October 29, 2007

Post Pregnancy Weight Loss...

During both my pregnancies and afterwards (as I nursed each baby), I kept my rose-colored glasses on which helped me to envision how skinny I would become as I nursed my kids. But strangely enough, it didn't happen in the blink of an eye as I was expecting. In fact, after weaning my daughter at a year (she basically weaned herself), I was still waiting for the miraculous moment that all my little fat cells would suddenly disappear. Then 6 months later, I was pregnant again, and it was "Oh, well. I'll lose it all again when the next one is born and I start nursing."
Here I am almost two years later and I am still 10 lbs heavier than I was before I got pregnant the first time. But now I am a little more complacent and relaxed (I state, typing this with one hand while sticking a Reese's Pieces in my mouth with the other).
But imagine my excitement as I read about the fantastico info released by the USDA last week. They have now released their first food pyramids for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers as well as a pyramid for mothers who are trying to lose weight while breastfeeding. Yippee! But wait...too late for me --- BUT NOT FOR ALL YOU expectant and new mamás out there. Take advantage - you will definitely appreciate it later!

To check out the site in English, click here.

Para Español, aqui.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Traditional Originals?

If you are looking for a classic children's gift with a Spanish touch, check out these fantastic heirloom-quality set of 28 Spanish alphabet wood blocks available at Magellan's Toy Shop. This fantastico set is complete with Ñ, CH, LL and more. Each block features four alphabets, numbers in Spanish and a side with animals and their Spanish names. Made of basswood they come with two embossed sides, beveled edges and non-toxic inks.

Need a baby shower game? How about having each guest take a turn stacking a block and having them tell what they think is an important building block for life. The winner is the last person to successfully stack a block before the tower falls - not the person who topples the stack.

Or, for a Spanish baby shower game version, try having each guest pick a block and name a (baby) word that contains that letter - i.e, pañales for Ñ, botella for LL, etc.

Also, these blocks are great for decorating a Spanish baby shower, and afterwards, the mother-to-be gets to keep the blocks!

A fantastic find for only $34.50!

To see these and other great Spanish gifts, click here.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Abuelita's Gift

It's funny the way our minds work. At the fair last week, a discussion with one of the other vendors triggered a long-forgotten memory. We were discussing gifts for Mamás and Abuelitas when Dulce Parker of D'Caribbean Gifts mentioned how popular amber necklaces seem to be in Latino families.

"Really?" I said, interested. And then... a teeny, tiny whisper in the back of my head suddenly became a SHOUT!

My great-grandmother, who I called 'Buelita, was the sweetest woman on the planet. She died when I was twelve, but I spent so much of my childhood with her, that I can sometimes still see her laughing next to me. Far from being a fashion diva, my 'Buelita was a very - shall I say huggable? - and down-to-earth lady with no-nonsense shoes and a neat and tidy appearance. I can't remember her ever spending any money buying extravagant accessories (though she did have a nice collection of costume jewelry), but I do remember her amber necklace.

Dulcé mentioned that oftentimes, Latinas will buy amber jewelry that they treasure and then pass down to their daughters and grand-daughters. After further discussion with her husband, Bill, I asked if the appearance of the amber made it more or less valuable.

"No," he said. "It just seems to be a matter of personal taste. Some people prefer the amber with bugs or fauna (plants) inside, while others like the clear."

Not too fond of amber? No problem! D'Caribbean Gifts also carries my newest love, Larimar, the only semiprecious gem with the blue color of the sea found in the Caribbean Islands. Each piece has its own unique natural colors from shades of blue to green.

So for those of you thinking about what to buy your mamá or abuelita for Christmas this year, perhaps a beautiful amber (or larimar!) necklace will earn you an extra hug and besito.

Or maybe it is time for you to buy yourself a little memory to pass on down to your hijas.

To see more of Dulce's jewelry, check out her site here.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sweet Relief!

Well, after a whirlwind two weeks in Texas, I am finally back home listening to the soft clicking sound of my keyboard in the silence of the night as my husband and children sleep soundly. Like so many mom-trepreneurs, it is in the wee hours of the night that I conduct most of my business. Mainly because it is the only uninterrupted time I get all day.

It was so wonderful to visit Texas and visit with family and friends. Unfortunately, it went way too fast for me as most of my time was either spent at our Latin Baby booth at the State Fair or tending to two sick kids. Lucky me, both my kids came down with the flu while we were there. The older one is almost all better, the younger one is still having a very difficult time which required a call to the doctor's office today and I am a little bit worried.

But enough of that and on to the news!

This year's Fair was overall fantastic. We did better than last year, but we were there all four weeks instead of just two, and we were really surprised with the final tally, earning more than we had thought. Things seemed slower this year and after talking with so many vendors, it sounds as though all of them suffered a bit. So many complaints about how far behind they were this year compared to last year.

At any rate, we are so grateful to all of our wonderful customers who came out and stopped by our booth to take advantage of "State Fair Specials" and to preview our new Christmas and Toddler lines. We are very pleased with the debut of our "Abuelita's Corazoncito" design and have already almost sold out of it. No worries! More are on the way!

And over the next few days, I hope to post some interesting links to some of the other vendors who were at the Mundo Latino exhibit with us.

Un abrazo fuerte a todos!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Avance for Parents

A wonderful program for parents, Avance's philosophy hinges on the fact that they believe parents are the first and most important teachers for their children. They teach parents to be advocates and role models for their children. Their main focus is parent education and they guide parents through the stages of emotional, physical, social and cognitive development of their children with special topics that range from the importance of reading and effective discipline to nutrition. Such a wonderful resource to help parents (especially first-time parents) be the best parents that they can.
See here for more information.

Fiesta Furniture!

I love this little chair! Is is so warm and joyful! It is handpainted by Little Palm Painter. For more info see here.

Furniture Plus...

Phew! A few minutes to get some blogging done! Today's posts will be short and sweet. First, here are a few pieces of baby furniture for you to admire. I think these door pulls are adorable! Quincy Pearson has a large collection of bright and colorful door knobs in a variety of themes.

Check them out here.

Friday, October 12, 2007


My apologies to those of you who have been waiting for an update! This week has been hectic, as I have traveled to TX to help out at Latin Baby's booth at the State Fair of TX in Dallas. I promise to feature a few great programs and products by the beginning of next week, so hang in there comadres!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Latinas and Breast Cancer

According to the Komen Foundation,

"Latina women show lower breast cancer screening rates than non-Hispanic White women and tend to seek and attain health care services less frequently than other ethnic groups. However, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Hispanic women. Studies also show that even though Latina women have lower breast cancer rates, they are 20 percent more likely to die from the disease. This contradiction is due to the fact that Latinas are less likely to participate in mammography screening and more likely to be diagnosed at later stages of breast cancer. Studies consistently show that low income, low educational attainment, lack of health insurance, inability to speak English, lack of awareness of breast cancer risks and screening methods, acculturation level and lack of physician referral play important roles in the lower rates of screening utilization by Latinas."

Some very scary statistics. So in honor of Mamás and Abuelitas, Tias and Hermanas, Hijas and Primas, Esposas and Amigas everywhere, Mi Cielito Lindo is going Pink for October.

Help spread the message and raise awareness by visiting the Komen Foundation here for English and aqui para Español.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Abuelita's Corazoncito...

Hola, Amigas!!

So many of you have been asking about Latin Baby getting bigger sizes for toddlers. Well, your wish is my command~ Ta-da! I am happy to announce the beginning of our toddler line of tees and sweatshirts. I am hoping to have my complete line up and running by the Spring of '08, but for now you can get a sneak preview by checking out our new "Abuelita's Corazoncito" t-shirt. It is availble in sizes 2T, 3T, and 4T.

For more information check us out here.

Friday, October 5, 2007

I LOVE about you?

Such a fantastico site - I think the interactive software for children is especially wonderful. So many kids on the computers (as young as 3! Maybe even less!!!) A completely different world than that which I grew up in. We Love Spanish has some great tools for parents and children learning to speak Spanish.
Check it out here.

Spanish Picture Puzzles

I LOVE this site! Usborne Quicklinks has a page with some really neat activities to teach children Spanish! My favorite is the Family Connections section...What can I say? As una niña pequeña, I used to love picture puzzles...I guess I never outgrew it.
To view their selection, click here.

Colorín Colorado...

Hands down, one of the best sites out there. A wonderful tool for Spanish speaking families that provides many resources for learning English while respecting and encouraging families to preserve their Spanish language. From books to video, webcasts to e-newsletters, Colorín Colorado is a comprehensive yet very user-friendly site.
To experience it first hand, see here.

Bilingual? Si!

Recently, I have found a number of on-line resources for bilingual families. Having discussed the issue of raising bilingual children with some friends and family, I am always upset to hear stories of parents who don't want their children to speak Spanish because they want them to "assimilate" - what an incredibly sad disservice they are doing! In my own family I see how with each generation, more and more Spanish is lost and I am deeply distressed.
My great-grandmother arrived from San Luis Potosi many, many years ago. She spoke very little English, but was determined to make a great life here in the states for her family and went on to establish one of the best Mexican food restaurants in Dallas (well, for as long as it lasted, anyway...) My grandmother and mother both are completely bilingual, flowing easily between the two languages. While I understand it perfectly, time, distance from my family and lack of opportunities cause me to really struggle sometimes to remember the correct conjugation of certain verbos... Sometimes, when I am talking with my papa and other family in Spain, the Spanish just flows freely and easily out of my mouth, but at othertimes it is like someone shot both my mouth and my brain full of novacaine. I worry that I do not speak enough Spanish to my children and frequently am delightfully surprised but also ashamed and angry to learn that DORA is teaching my daughter more Spanish than I am!
SO in my desire to show my support of the familia bilingüe, the next several posts will focus on resources for bilingual families. Un abrazo fuerte a todos vosotros who are dedicated (and maybe even struggling) to raise their children with a foot in both worlds...

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Celebrate Day of the Dead continued...

How funny and adorable are these? An absolute MUST for little girls on Dia de los Muertos and even Holloween! A very cute idea by Siiri. These hair clips ship from Australia, so shop now to get them in time for the festivities!

Check these and other products out here.

Celebrate Day of the Dead!

Well, with Dia de los Muertos coming up, I thought I'd highlight a few super cute products that are currently available and are in keeping with the holiday. The first is a diaper bag by Saaridesign. It is made out of a fabric that seems to be really popular right now (maybe because it is the only one out there?) The bag includes an adjustable strap and pockets for wipes, diapers, sippy cups, cell phone, bottles, whatever.

Check it out here.
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