Monday, July 28, 2008

Picaflor Kids Reflects Latino Culture

A day that started out with a lot of wrongs but ended with a big right. This morning was filled with frustrations - sporadic internet access, a bad phone line, missed calls and finally a flooded laundry room. But, HURRAH, the new phone line is in and the internet is better than it has been since moving (and the laundry room is drying out rapidly in our sweltering heat.)

So now I am able to once again post freely and rapidly - woohooo! I will be announcing big news on Monday, so be sure to check back a week from today.

And now, on to the fabulous find of the week...

I am in love. Again. But this time it is to Picaflor Kids. What? You haven't heard of them, yet? Well, let me fill you in...

The founder and designer of this superb line of children's wear is Nancy Coronado. Though the company is based in Portland, Oregon, Nancy was born in Peru and she uses a family-owned clothing maker in Lima to produce her elegant designs for both boys and girls. Her spring line is fantastic - filled with brilliant colors and attention to detail, my favorites include (but aren't limited to) the Julia Knit Peasant Dress and the Gaucho Set for girls and the Guayabera Set for boys. I love how Nancy incorporates aspects of Latino styles in her creations. All of the styles reflect a timeless and elegant design that is super comfy for los niños to wear. The woven knits are hand-crafted, hypoallergenic and machine washable. You can find her spring line here.

Although it is not on their web site yet, Picaflor Kids' fall/winter collection includes the cutest pair of ruffled pants for girls that has "flamenco" written all over it. I'm looking forward to seeing my daughter in them! I will have to include a picture for you in a few months...

By now, you should all know how strongly I feel about supporting Latina entrepreneurs, as well as organizations that serve Latino children. This is one I am happy to recommend and I was pleased to find out that 10% of all Picaflor profits are directed to charities that benefit children in Peru.

To find a store near you, click here.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Are You Famous?

First of all... Carla? Are you out there? You are the winner of the De Colores book by Jose-Luis Orozco! Send me an email (admin at latinbabyusa dot com) with your shipping info so I can send it out asap! And thanks for reading!
Busy, busy, busy! I'm exhausted physically, but my mind can't shut down. It is already thinking about next week, and the week after that. Does this sound familiar?
Carrie has hit it on the head about mamas trying to do a hundred things at once every day of the week. We really do need to slow it down and enjoy el momento - especially me. I rarely sit down long enough to watch a show on tv, but the other night there was a program on PBS about fame (a hilarious program hosted by John Cleese.) In it, they discussed (among other things) how parents are the famous people in a child's life. The first people our children draw are their family members.
Anyhow, I started thinking about my favorite art piece given to me by my daughter. Created of construction paper, markers, googly eyes and macaroni, it is a picture of both my face and my husband's. I had it hanging up in our bedroom before we moved and now it is in a box in our new one. In it, we are both smiling...and I was so relieved to remember that fact the other night while watching this show, because I think that lately, I have spent a lot of time frowning and regañando the kids. It scares me because I want my children's memory of me to be one of how much I love them - not how I was constantly criticising or disapproving. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for discipline and not being afraid to say "no." I think our kids need to learn self-control and not just indulge themselves whenever they want. But I do believe it can be done firmly and lovingly without anger and impatience. ¡Ay! Do I need to listen to myself!
I know that I have way too much on my plate which is making me tired and irritable. It is time to slow down and relax and enjoy playing with my kids. It is not too late to change things.
I strongly suspect that there are a lot of hard-working mamás out there who can relate to this post. So today and tomorrow and the day after that, take a little time to snuggle your child. Start with 5 minutes and you'll be surprised how quickly it becomes 10 then 15. Or sit down and read a book, watch a family movie, play a game that THEY want to play, or make a cake. Whatever. It seems so simple, but the rewards are so very, very great.
Stop and think about it...Are YOU famous? And if so, what kind of face would your child draw?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Fiesta Flamenco in Dallas a Must for Every Latino Family

Have I mentioned lately how much I detest dial-up? Since the move to our new place, I have been struggling with my internet connection. I almost cried when they told me that the DSL I was using was not available in my area. Let me tell you, sisters, if you currently have dial-up and have never used DSL, you don't want to know what you're missing because there is no going back once you have it. I've spent so much time at my computer the last few weeks waiting for pages to load or agonizing over blurred pictures that my head is a little sore from where I have been hitting it against the wall. SO I apologize if pictures lately seem blurred. I am working hard to get satellite installed, but it is un poquito expensive for a mami who has just bought a new house.

Anyhow, just a quick little note to announce a performance for all of you in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area. DO NOT miss out on the Fiesta Flamenca at De Tapas restaurant this Sunday, July 20th. Put on by Daniel de Córdoba Bailes Españoles, tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children. I SO wish that I could go and take my kids. During a previous trip to Spain with my daughter, we were invited to un tablao and I still have pictures of her imitating the dancers and dancing her little heart out. I guarantee that your kids will be just as enthralled as she was. The spirit and energy during these performances are contageous and it is impossible not to find yourself clapping or tapping your feet in time to the music.

What? You have plans this Sunday? CANCEL THEM! You will not regret it, I promise.

For more information, click here.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Calla Lily Baby Shower Theme

It has been a while since I have posted on the topic that so many of you are researching when you discover this blog. Since I have several entire web pages dedicated to throwing a Latin Baby Shower (see here and here) I keep forgetting to post ideas and such on Mi Cielito Lindo.
SO to make up for lost time and energy, this post is focusing on the subject of themes. There are quite a few that can be chosen to incorporate a Latin flavor (ie., tropical, fiesta, Spanish nursery rhymes, etc.) but for those of you looking to have a more sophisticated and elegant shower that still reflects the beauty of the cultura Latina, may I suggest using calla lilies as your theme?

The calla lily is a very popular flower in Latin America. There is some disagreement over its use in that some people feel that it is mainly used at funerals (mainly in Costa Rica,) while others tout its elegant and romantic value. I recently found the most beautiful fabric whose print depicts a young hispanic couple holding a basketful of calla lilies. The feeling it imparts is incredibly romantic and beautiful.

So, if you are interested in a calla lily themed baby shower, how about using some of the following ideas?

Purchase a bouquet of calla lilies and use the flowers to create a simple or elaborate centerpiece. You can even put together a beautiful wreath or fan-shaped decoration for the front door using the lilies. And don't forget to save one of the flowers to use as a corsage for the mami-to-be!

Many party stores carry calla lily themed cups, plates and napkins, including The Rosemary Company and Party Wedding. Other decorative touches can be found at Gary Daniel's Home and Garden and especially ebay!

Decorate the cake with real (or fake) calla lilies, too. To spare no expense, have an ice sculpture made of a single flower.

For party favors, consider giving items like little calla lily-shaped soaps, coasters, candles, magnets or pens. Favor Ideas has a huge collection of favors that I really like.

And, of course, Latin Baby is now carrying a bilingual shower invitation with a calla lily design in two color ways (both shown above.) The first is a deep, rich mauvish color for more formal showers while the second is a bright yellow that is fun and festive while still maintaining the feeling of elegance and simplicity.

As always, whatever your theme, I would love to see and even post pictures of your Latin Baby Shower. So don't hesitate to send them to me!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Agua Fresca to the Rescue

For some reason my pants seem to be fitting a little too tight lately. I'm confused since I just got back from a camping vacation and you'd think all that hiking and "roughing it" would have had the opposite effect. Perhaps I have been indulging in a little too much chocolate (Reese's peanut butter cups, to be exact.) So yesterday, I decided the time had come to cut back on the sweets. I finished off the small(ish) bag of mini Reese's that was in my fridge and vowed not to buy any more - at least until I shrink or my pants stretch.
Keeping this in mind, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Hibiscus Tea (or Jamaica Agua Fresca) is a natural weight-loss aid. Served cold or hot (I prefer it cold,) this agua fresca is loaded with Vitamin C and contains a number of enzyme inhibitors that prevent the absorption of sugars. AND it has anti-bloating properties, helping the body to shed excess fluid. It has been a long time since I've had a cold glass of hibiscus tea (I believe I was in Mexico at the time,) but my mouth is already watering at the thought and tomorrow I go in search of una tienda mexicana so that I can load up on these flowers.

To make Jamaica Agua Fresca, soak a handful of dried hibiscus flowers in a small pot of just boiled water. Let soak for a half hour or so and then strain the tea into a pitcher and add cold water and ice for a refreshing, soothing and tasty drink on a hot summer day. Throw in a few berries for decoration y voila! To be enjoyed anywhere and by anyone.
For a more complicated and equally yummy recipe, click here.

WARNING: Allowing small children to drink this may result in empty pitcher.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Latin Baby Book Club Sneak Preview

Caramba! Has it really been three weeks since I have posted? Time really flies when you're... moving! The last month has been a complete blur for me. All within a few days of our first real family vacation since moving to NC, we suddenly had the opportunity to buy some property that seemed to fit our little familia perfectly. Throw in last minute wholesale orders that came in two days before we left and you can imagine my hysteria. Paperwork (and most of our dinero) started flying everywhere and we closed during the second week of June and had all of 5 days to move everything into our new house before we took off on our ridiculously long road trip to TX followed by another 14 hr trip to NM for a week of camping with family and friends (I would, by the way, HIGHLY recommend Quemado Lake in the Gila National Forest for anyone looking to do a little camp out this summer.) Anyhoooo, we returned happy, but totally exhausted (and anti long-term car rides) to a wonderful new house stacked full of boxes. My new home looks like a packaging company threw up, but I am ecstatic as our new place has several buildings on it including barns, a guest house and a separate space for Latin Baby offices and product storage! Woohoo!

To celebrate all the great things that have happened (despite the insane scheduling) I am happy to grant my loyal readers a sneak peak of the official Latin Baby Book Club that will launch on August 1st. A little brainstorm that arose after reading mi amiga's blog - I don't think I overlapped any of her recommendations, but be sure to check out her favorites here.

To add to the festivities, I am going to giveaway a copy of the very popular De Colores and other Latin-American Folk Songs for Children by José-Luis Orozco. So leave me a comment or drop me an email, Sisters! I always love to hear from you.

Thanks to all of you who have posted comments or sent emails. I will try to respond when time permits. It's great to be back in the madness!
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