Thursday, February 28, 2008

¡Nos Vemos!

It is not easy to find bilingual greeting cards...unless you know where to look! I was fortunate enough to discover Nos Vemos Greetings while I was in Dallas at the Gift Market. They have a fantastic line of greeting cards for all occasions with both English and Spanish translations on the front of the card, making them accessible to everyone.
Lena Hayden is the artistic genius behind the company. Graduating with a double major of Spanish and Graphic Design from Washburn University, the idea for Nos Vemos began after studying abroad in Puebla, Mexico (one of the most beautiful and friendly places in said country, I might add.) She couldn't find any Spanish cards that were trendy enough to send to her Latino friends. Lena is not Hispanic, but her love of the Spanish language and cultura, combined with her American aspirations and business savvy, has resulted in a popular and very marketable product. In only their second year of business, Nos Vemos greeting cards can already be found in nine states.

Naturally, my favorites are those dealing with children and families. But they have cards for every occasion, including a new and absolutely hilarious line for 2008 featuring comedian Jade Esteban Estrada (Comedy Central.)

To take a look at all of their products, click here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Worth a Thousand Words...

Since they were born, I have spent a small fortune on pictures of my children. It has gotten a lot cheaper since I got a digital camera. Though, I'm completely uninhibited now that I know I can erase inferior quality shots at the touch of a button. But every now and then, I like to have some professional ones taken. Hire someone with a keener, more artistic eye who can capture the images of mis niños in a beautiful, well-composed photograph.

For those of you looking to find a great photographer to snap some beautiful memories, check out Monika Elena Kost's beautiful portfolio on her website, Monika Elena Photography. What I love about it is that each photo feels so intimate. She captures loving moments between friends and family... secrets shared... joyful interactions. I don't know any of the people in Monika's portfolio, but I enjoy looking at each one. I love the richness of color in the photographs as well as the perspective. But most of all, I like the innocence and sweetness of the children. It makes me want to snuggle my own. And makes me just a little bit sad that their childhood seems to be flying by so quickly.

It makes me want to pick up a camera.

So if you are in the San Francisco or DC area, give Monika Elena a call and set up an appointment. To explore here website, click here.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

A New Look and a Giveaway!

For a while now I've been wanting to change the style of this blog. Make it more feminine, open, beautiful. Do you think I've succeeded? I hope you like the new look. I absolutely LOVE it! Lots of playing with colors, fonts, and pictures.

To celebrate, I am doing two things. First, I am announcing that Latin Baby has now added larger sizes to two of it's most popular baby T-shirt designs...Americanita and Abuelita's Angelito. These shirts are now available up to size 5/6 T. You can find them on the For Toddler's page. We also have one of our infant tee designs (Mi Reina) on sale for 50% off. You can find it here.

The other thing I am doing is a LB giveaway! Yippee! I am going to give one lucky winner one of our bestsellers - a "Gimme la Leche" bib. All you have to do to be entered in the drawing is post a comment below on how you like the new look of Mi Cielito Lindo. Or, if you are one of my "shy" readers, you can send us an email here. The contest will run for a week through March 1st, and I will announce the winner next Sunday. Buenas suerte and get those comments posted, Amigas!

Friday, February 22, 2008

The End of the Waiting...

You guys know by now that I don't normally "dish" on celebrities. There are plenty of other blogs and what-have-yous that focus on that. However, I must admit that this morning brought a satisfying end to The Waiting.
It has been a big year for Latinas - with regards to having families. I know I am not the only Latina who has been eagerly awaiting the transitions of Salma Hayek, Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Lopez from celebrities to first time mamis. And I sit and ask myself - why do I care? Why is this so fascinating and, yes, even exciting?

I think that for me (and probably so many others) these women sort of symbolize so much of what we grew up thinking a Latina should be...strong-willed, intelligent, opinionated, talented, successful, beautiful, passionate. We admire them for their achievements in a world that is sometimes a little too white and not very supportive of Hispanics and their dreams. They are what I want to be - strong. But at the same time soft and sexy. I want to have that stubborn persistence that it takes to make my dreams a reality without being labeled aggressive and "pesada."

Take Salma with her ability to stay true to her roots and "make it" in the business. She isn't ashamed of her heritage, in fact, she is quick to make movies and TV shows that portray it both seriously and with laughter. She has catapulted Latinas to the front of the line, showing how they are both smart and beautiful.

Or Christina, with her fantastic voice, she is making it to the top of the music industry - without psychiatric interventions. Despite all the fame, she seems to be a rather level-headed woman who is able to manage her affairs without scandal. She doesn't make a big deal about her Latin heritage, but she doesn't shun it either.

And then there's Jennifer. The wealthiest Latina in Hollywood (according to Forbes anyway). She has talent coming out of her ears (and other parts). Yet, despite all the glamour, fame and riches, she has shown us that happiness doesn't always come from money. And she reminds us just how important la familia really is.

So the long wait has come to an end. I have cheered for Salma, clapped and shouted for Christina, and now I have smiled and rejoiced for Jennifer.

Why is this such a big deal? Because now, these women join us. They are no longer celebrities... they are now mamás. Like us, they will now experience joy, sadness, worry, confusion, wonder, amusement and so much more over their children.

And despite all their accomplishments, now they begin what will be (possibly) their most important job in this life - raising a child...molding a life.

Felicidades... and welcome to The Mamihood!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Child Proofing your Casa...

Tonight, I had one of those rare evenings to myself to relax and obsess over my favorite show...Lost. Typically I am not a TV watcher. Between running a business from home and running after niños all day long, there's really just not enough time. However, la familia knows not to bother me on Thursday nights when Lost is on. They also know not to pay attention to my surprised shouts, exultant exclamations (ah-HA!), and agonized grumblings.
Oftentimes, though, things don't work out and I have to rely on my gracefully aging VCR to record it. But I'm afraid she isn't going to last much longer - no fault of her own, though. You can imagine my surprise and aggravation earlier this week, when I peeked in her little door to see if I could determine the cause of the hiccups and twitters I was hearing, only to discover a favorite photo from the fridge pushed way in the back. Little fingers mush have been busy while mamá's back was turned as she washed dishes.

It took me almost an hour and a half dozen kitchen utensils to get it out. Amazingly, the vcr is working perfectly now.

So I'm thinking it is time to invest in a nice VCR guard. If you are in the market for one, too, check out for some great deals in baby proofing for your casa. To see all their safety products, click here.

Monday, February 18, 2008

For Excessive Droolers...

As we all know, becoming a mamá has its many challenges. They are different for each of us, but for those of you dealing with the "babas" stage, here is an awesome product to help you out...

All babies go through bouts of drooling - especially during the teething stage - but for Carol Schiller, having a third child brought new meaning to the term "world-class drooler." Her struggles to find a bib that didn't immediately soak through inspired her to create Baby Chaleco performance wear and baby drool bibs, a revolutionary Performance Bib and designed like clothing, but it works like a waterproof bib. They are soft and stylish on the outside with a waterproof underlayer that keeps your baby dry and comfortable all day. Carol's no stranger to the fashion industry. In fact, she's worked at several of New York's fashion houses including Kenneth Cole, Ralph Lauren and Anne Klein. But her experience in the fashion world is much more extensive than that and it shows in the careful research and design of her products.

Now isn't that smart and creative?

They've recently updated their web site with new styles for the spring. So if you are dealing with a baby that has a lot of babas, then check out Baby Chaleco here.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

For Little Spanish Bloggers...

Back to the topic of raising bilingual kids...

It really amazes me what people can do when they work together. There are so many collaborative projects that make a big difference in the world, if only because of the talented force behind them. I am always excited and happy to work on a project with someone, rather than by myself, because I love the challenge and exchange of ideas.

I was recently told about this really neat blog called Los Bloguitos. It is run by a very creative group of Hispanic illustrators, poets, writers. Los Bloguitos is aimed at children who speak and read Spanish, but it is a great tool for parents who are trying to raise bilingual children. The posts are a mixture of short stories, poems, riddles, pictures and more. A super cool site that is very kid friendly and a great resource for Spanish speaking families.

One of my favorite posts is titled Haciendo un libro para niños and includes a video of the stages involved in illustrating a children's book. But there are so many other neat and wonderful contributions to this blog by a pretty big group of talented people that it is hard to choose just one.

To check out this really neat blog, click aqui.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Spanish Valentine's Gift...

Sometimes I have a little trouble getting into a romantic mood after a LONG day of chasing los niños around the casa...and everywhere else. So as a little pick me up, to "get me in the mood" before my hubby comes home from work, I occasionally listen to one of these wonderful videos while I am cooking dinner, or whatever.
I have to admit, Amigas, just between us...if I wasn't already married to the most wonderful man en el mundo, I would probably break into John Clarke's house, kidnap him and force him to play beautiful music to me day and night. There is something downright spine-tingling sexy about listening to this musica!
But you don't have to take my word for it....

This is my other favorite...


This one is titled "Spanish Romance"

And I left this passionate, sassy one for last...

To order one of his CD's (or both of them), check out his website aqui.

Side note: These would make wonderful CDs to play in the background for a Latin baby shower...just keep an eye on the mamá for signs of labor!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Dia de los Enamorados...

Hmmm....well, I have been trying to decide what to post for Valentine's Day and am having trouble narrowing it down. SO, I'll just write until my fingers get cansados....
Right. So first of all, Happy Valentine's Day to all my fellow mamis out there! I hope you are planning to drop los niños off at abuelita's house, while you go out on a hot date with your numero uno.

Looking for something fun and romantic to do with your Valentine? Well, here are a few suggestions I found on-line...

First off, if you are in the Seattle area, perhaps you'd be interested in a little live salsa courtesy of the Spanish Harlem Orchestra? They'll be performing at the Century Ballroom and Cafe on Thursday night. Unfortunately, all the dinner reservations are sold out, but they still have a few dance tickets available. For more information, click here.

Or what about celebrating early with a Tango Lovers' Night in New York City (see above picture)? Tavern on the Green in Central Park will be hosting the Thalia Spanish Theatre's 30th Anniversary Gala & Awards on Wednesday night. Tickets are a little pricey, but they claim it is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Decide for yourself by reading more here.

Or, if you are like me, you might prefer a quiet, intimate dinner with your main squeeze. La Tasca Spanish Tapas Bar & Restaurants are featuring a special 4 course meal that includes a "delectable dessert" and "romantic strolling music." To see their menu and find a participating restaurant near you, click here.

What do you mean, you don't live in any of these places? Well, me neither. So I guess maybe the next best thing (and almost as good) is cooking your own mouth-watering meal then curling up on the couch to cuddle and watch "Like Water for Chocolate" on DVD. Need a few recipe suggestions? Try these...

La Tienda has a wonderful recipe for Garlic Chicken (I know the garlic part doesn't sound very romantic, but, trust me - it's YUMMY!)

Or how about Chicken in Mango Sauce? has a nice recipe for this one. Uhg. My stomach is starting to growl.... has a luscious recipe for Cream Cheese Flan with Chocolate Crumb Crust.

That's it. More tomorrow on how to get into the mood....

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Bella Symphony Products Stand Out Above Others...

Wow! I have been meaning to feature Bella Symphony for quite a while now (sorry Becky!), but am glad I waited because they have added this beautiful Las Señoritas blanket que me encanta! It is backed with plush red minky dot...a very popular fabric right now in the baby boutique world.

Owner, Becky Aguiar, has tons of fabulous products including this cotton burp cloth set, this boutique wipes case, and this (somewhat scary but beautiful) little bib. She has tons of retro styles as well. In a cyberworld full of baby boutiques, Bella Symphony's products stand out with their originality and quality.

To view her complete line of products, click here.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

¡Viva las Tetas!

I stumbled upon these while doing some research for the previously mentioned friend. I thought they were absolutely hilarious, but don't get me wrong...I wish I had found these when I was nursing my kids!
All natural, Booby Tubes™ are gel-free breast packs that can be used both warm or cold to help ease the discomfort of engorgement. It sounds like they really help to encourage milk release, which is sometimes hard during those first few weeks after the baby is born.

A fantastic tool for new mamás who are learning the art of breastfeeding!

They are available for purchase through EcoChoices. For more information about these and other organic products (check out the Bottom Balm and Milkmaid Tea!), click here.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Benefits of Breastfeeding

Una amiga mia just had a baby. So sweet. I was surprised when I get a little email from her mamá saying that she is having trouble nursing the baby. While researching some information for her, I stumbled across an article that described how in many countries, mothers are under the impression that feeding their babies formula must be better than breastfeeding because it is more expensive.

Yak! If that is the reason for giving your baby formula over breast milk, then keep reading...

Did you know...
That human breast milk has over 300 ingredients, including interferon, whiteblood cells, antibacterial and antiviral agents, while formula has only 40 ingredients?
It also resembles blood more than milk due to the many live cells called macrophages, which kill bacteria, fungi and viruses?
Human milk has been shown to kill cancer cells in a laboratory dish and has been used in oncology?
In some parts of the world, donated organs are bathed in breastmilk for its protective factors?
In an effort to spread a little knowledge about the wonderful benefits of breastfeeding (both for your baby as well as for you!!!) here are some links worthy of your attention...

To read a wonderful list of benefits to both babies and mothers, click here.

For information on the importance of human milk, click here.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Encouraging Bilingual Families

Last month I found a wonderful resource for bilingual families. Geared for children ages 7 to 12, Iguana Magazine is the only Spanish language magazine for children here in the U.S. Christianne Meneses Jacobs is the founder and publisher of the magazine which she created with her husband, Marc, as a way to help their daughters retain their Spanish language and appreciate their Latino heritage.

Christianne sent me some samples of the magazine and I LOVE them! The magazine is rich with stories, poems, fun facts, scientific experiments, historical anecdotes, interviews, recipes, crafts and much, much more. The illustrations are fun, colorful and entertaining for los niños. Overall, it is one of the best magazines for children that I've seen. So give your children a birthday gift this year that will challenge their minds the whole year through.

Thank you, Christianne! You have done a wonderful job giving life to your dream and it is making a real difference in this world!

To check the Iguana web site, click here.

Para Español, aqui.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Pies Calentitas....

Few things bring back the memory of mi 'buelita faster than the sharp, clear smell from a jar of Vicks. For the last week, I have been battling The Flu. Both mis niños have been hit hard (possibly with 2 strains, I am told) as has my husband. My youngest has had it the worst with several fever spikes up to 105 degrees. Cold showers were becoming a routine for him, but finally the antibiotics and the antiviral meds have kicked in and we have not had a fever now for almost 48 hours. Hallelujah!

But now The Flu is fighting back with a severe case of coughing. Nights are the hardest. Despite various props (extra pillows, blankets under one end of the mattress, etc), my kids insist on laying flat. The first night, after an hour of non-stop coughing, I finally cracked out my 'buelita's secret nice blue bottle of Vicks Vaporub. I can't figure out how this stuff works so well, but a little dab on the bottom of each foot followed by some nice comfy calcetines and...tada!

Buenas noches, mi'jitos!
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