Saturday, December 12, 2009

Shopping for Navidad: Culturally-Inspired Gifts

Tostobueno® offers its “Trio” that makes three plantain chips at once. And if you want to make plantain cups to stuff with any filling you can imagine, just flip it over and place the slice in a deep flat bottom mold for three perfect cups every time. This Old Fashioned Plantain Smasher™ will help you get away from boring party food and serve an exotic dish that’s eaten in Latin America and throughout the Caribbean every day. Tostobueno® is the Ultimate Tostonera® because it takes an old fashioned idea and puts a new age spin on it. For more information, visit http://www.tostobueno.com/.



Gregorio Ties is a unique company who specializes in cultural designs on high-quality products. Their stunning handmade 100% silk ties, feature designs that tell a distinct story of Latino culture. Their new collections for Fall 2009 include Guadalupe, Lotería and Duality. This year, they launched their new silk scarf collection for women. "What motivates our Virgin of Guadalupe design is her message of love and compassion, her promise to help and protect all mankind." To learn more about the design, please visit http://www.gregorioties.com/.




Los Pollitos Dicen (The Little Chicks Say) are so cute and reminicent of Latin childhood's that they'll have you singing "Pio, Pio, Pio'' with your little ones.The t-shirts, onesies and hats are 100% cotton, American-made and most are packaged in a wooden keepsake box. It's the perfect new baby gift all year round. Pick up your LPD products at http://www.lospollitosdicen.biz/.



Thursday, December 10, 2009

Shopping for Navidad: Bilingual Toys for Toddlers


North America Bilingual Map Puzzle

Ingenio Toys are THE biggest thing to hit the bilingual toys market. They have a great selection of educational products that parents raising bilingual children will love, like this N. A. puzzle. "Children will love to play with this colorful & informative puzzle while gaining an early appreciation for geography. Helps you teach your child about your heritage and all the wonderful places that you have been to. Includes illustrations of all 50 U.S states, 32 Mexican states and all other North American countries. Learn country & state names in English & Spanish (if different). This puzzle is BIG -over six square feet (0.55 sq. m) when fully assembled! The puzzle pieces are extra thick and sturdy to last a long time . There are 48 large & easy to grasp pieces and store easily in the re-usable box." To check out their other great products, click here.


Bilingual Zingo!

For ages 4 years and up. Bingo with a twist, this game encourages pre-readers and early readers to match pictures and words on game tiles to the pictures and words on their challenge cards. First child with a full card yells "Zingo!" Find these and many other bilingual board games, here.




Magnetic Poetry
Kids Spanish Kit

Fun, fun, fun! Magnetic Poetry has the neatest little pack of double-sided magnets for the refrigerator. With a Spanish word on one side and the English equivalent on the other, these little magnets are a great teaching tool. Created with the help of native speakers and language educators, the kit comes with over 200 bilingual tiles! I would definitely recommend this for older kids and adults. If you are concerned about buying magnets for your children and want more information on the type that Magnetic Poetry uses, check out their Safety Info page. Ages 5 and up. Find out more here.



Spanish ABC Puzzle Blocks

From Learning Resources. "Help children learn the Spanish alphabet (A through Z, plus ch, ll and n) with these two-piece wooden puzzles. Each kid-friendly puzzle features a fun picture of something beginning with a given letter and unique die cuts that match the shape of that letter. The wooden storage box with a plastic lid contains 29 two-piece solid wood puzzle blocks measuring 2" x 3.75" each. Box measures approximately 12" x 4.5"." To purchase your set, click here.


Loteria The King of Things/El Rey de las Cosas

From La Mano Press. This awesome boxed set includes beautifully illustrated cards that introduce both Spanish and English words. This fun and educational game can be enjoyed by everyone in the familia. You can find it here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Shopping for Navidad: Bilingual Toys for Bebés

I am happy to see so many bilingual toys hitting the market. They are creating many opportunities for learning, acceptance and help to foster a healthy self image. Here are a few of MCL's favorite educational toys for the bilingual baby...


Spanish Alphabet Blocks

Piomu offers a Spanish language set comprised of 28 blocks that provide 4 complete alphabets, 3 sets of numerals, and 28 different animal pictures. The set includes the Spanish letters "CH", "Ñ", and "LL". Made from Michigan basswood, brightly colored with child-safe inks, and handcrafted with attention to detail. The blocks are a generous1 ¾” (44mm) cubed a perfect size for small hands! Check out these and other fine products here.


Bilingual Board Books

New on the market this year, are several products by Bilingual Readers, a new publishing company based out of Madrid. They have released some neat bilingual books and flashcards that are perfect for children learning Spanish or English. We love their set of animal books, which come nicely packaged in their own sturdy slipcase. Sea Animals/Animales del mar and Jungle Animals/Animales de la selva are perfect for children ages newborn to 3 years. The emphasis is on simple vocabulary, and each page focuses on one animal with the name in English above and the name in Spanish below. Parents will love how both board books come with rounded corners and washable pages (Wooohoo!) Learn more about Bilingual Readers here.


¡Bebé Baby! by Sassy

Well, at least someone's trying, no? And I have to admit that this little Piñata Burro Take Along is lindisimo! According to their site, Bebé Baby products combine significant traditional icons of Hispanic culture with fun and innovative attributes of today’s toys, giving parents a unique way to teach their children about the culture and traditions of their home country. Hmmm. Take a look and see what you think...


Baby Abuelita
This company has been around a while now, but their products are still just as good today as they were when they first launched. They feature five soft dolls each of which sings several traditional Spanish lullabies (the favorite in our house is Baby Tita). The best part is that each doll sings a different set of songs, so you can collect them all! Baby Abuelita also carries musical books and has released their first DVD. To learn about all their products, click here.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

GIVEAWAY: The New Fragrance from Antonio Banderas: Seduction in Black

Trying to find the perfect regalito for the man in your life? Perhaps he might like Seduction in Black, the new fragrance from Antonio Banderas (seriously, who cares if he likes it? I'd buy it just for the picture!!!)

Seduction in Black suits any man who is confident and seductive. This unique and sensual fragrance is topped with notes of citrus, combining Italian bergamot and black currant with a blend of cassis. The overall scent is tasteful, charming and arousing.

Phew! Sounds good enough to eat, no? Well, I was fortunate to receive five samples from Bratskeir & Company, and I went ahead and opened one to see what it smells like. Let me tell ya, Sisters, all I can say is, I have the picture you see here propped up by my desk and I sprayed the perfume on the lampshade. Now I am having a rendevous with A. B. every day when I sit down to check my email.

And you want to know the best part? If you still aren't sure this is the gift for your man, YOU can get your own sample of Seduction in Black by being one of the first four readers to leave a comment below. Come on, mamas! Let me know what you think (but let's keep it clean, por favor!)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Bilingual Christmas Cards from Nos Vemos Greetings

Nos Vemos Greetings is one of the premier lines of bilingual greeting cards in the U.S. If you’re looking to buy one set of cards that you can send to your friends and family who speak either English, Spanish or both, check out their collection. They have six designs available for Christmas, and if you just can’t decide which one you like best, they offer a variety pack.

They also have a wide range of cards to celebrate almost any occasion, including quinceañeras, bodas, get well, birthdays and many more. And be sure to check out their line by award-winning singer, actor and comedian Jade Esteban Estrada. (They are SOOO hilarious! My favorite is his Mother's Day Card...)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

MCL’s Best Latin-inspired Gifts for 2009

Navidad is almost here and I have been scouring the web for some of the best gifts for Latino families to give this Christmas. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting some of my favorite finds and maybe you’ll find the perfect regalito to give to your familia, amigos, children or co-workers. Check back with us as we have several awesome giveaways as well!

To kick of in the spirit of the season, check out these wonderful handmade ornaments by CasaQ.com. CasaQ's Querida collection of fine hand-painted glass designs include La Catrina, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Star Piñata and many more symbolic treasures that reflect the Hispanic culture. Each treasure is nestled inside a free luxury gift box with a legend card that describes the history or symbolism behind the ornament's design. Perfect for gift giving, they have been featured in the ALMA awards™, Latin GRAMMYS™ and People en Español's Celebrity gift baskets. Designs measure 3.5" to 6". Prices range from $18 - $35. An elegant and beautiful present for friends and co-workers (or la Tía Concha who’s already got everything else.)

And check out Latin Baby’s Christmas line for infants and toddlers. Help your niños celebrate the holidays in style with a little help from our Feliz Navidad Collection! Treat your bebé to one of our super soft 100% certified organic cotton bodysuits. These lap shoulder creepers come with the sweetest "Feliz Navidad" design embroidered on the front. For toddlers, check out our popular emerald "Donde 'stá Santa Claus?" tees and our crimson "Feliz Navidad" sweatshirts. Prices range from $18.95 - $24.95. But MCL readers get an additional 15% discount by using the coupon code MC21209101 between now and December 31st.


Having a Christmas party or hosting a posada? Why not decorate with some flores de noche buena? These papel picado banners are handmade by Ay Mujer! on etsy. Each banner is 10 feet long with six flags. A most beautiful way to decorate la casa while keeping the sabor Latino. If you have never visited their store before, then stop reading now and get over there! They have some of the most amazing papel picado designs and are happy to do custom work.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The 2009 Latino Family Holiday Gift Guide has Arrived!


The 2009 Latino Family Holiday Guide features an affordable and creative variety of gift items that promote Spanish language and Hispanic Heritage and, with many products less than $20, are designed to fit everyone's budget. The guide includes everything from CDs to ornaments to T-shirts by innovative artists and entrepreneurs from all over the country.

Sponsored by Texas-based Latin Baby, which specializes in baby products with a Hispanic theme, the new gift guide highlights fun items that range from the traditional and cultural to the hot and hip -- all affordably priced for today’s on-line shoppers and categorized in four groups: La Familia, Los Niños, Los Amigos, and Under $20.

• "Feliz Navidad" infant creepers by Latin Baby
• Silk ties and scarves with Latino motifs by Gregorio Ties
• Art prints by Lunita Company
• Culturally inspired T-shirts by Chichi & Flaco

So, whether it’s a Spanish saying expressed on American-made T-shirts in a lively design from Hecho Latino, or an old fashioned, but eco-friendly plaintain smasher from Tostobueno®, or a beautiful Our Lady of Guadalupe glass ornament from CasaQ, shoppers will find exactly the right thing for their holiday gift-giving.

"This year's Latino Family Holiday Guide represents the best of the best in gifts that capture the spirit of living Latino in the United States, and the celebration of Latino culture,'' said Monica Olivera Hazelton, owner of Latin Baby and the gift guide's creator. "Shoppers will find everything from stocking stuffers to useful, everyday items, to gifts that could become long-time, family treasures."

Because demand for Spanish and bilingual products continues to accelerate, the guide places special emphasis kid-friendly items by companies such as: Ingenio Toys, the first bilingual educational toys and games brand in the USA; Los Pollitos Dicen (The Little Chicks Say), which offers unique and colorful onesies; LatinBabyBookClub, which specializes in a variety of children’s books designed to encourage reading; and Piomu, which carries eco-friendly toys. And the guide also features CDs and DVDs from companies such as Bilingual Fun, Boca Beth and Sing A Lingo to help children grow up bilingual.

The Latino Family Gift Guide will run through January in order to celebrate the Day of the Magi (El Dia de Los Reyes Magos) on January 6 – the traditional day for exchanging gifts in many Spanish-speaking countries. New product listings may be added through January, so be sure to check back often.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Día de los Muertos Activities & Lesson Plans for Children

Día de los Muertos is just a few days away. So for all of you mamis and papis out there looking for a few good ideas on how to educate your children about the holiday, here are a few of my favorite sites that are full of videos, activities, arts and crafts for children.

Once again, AZCentral.com takes first place. They have put together a most excellent site on Day of the Dead, which includes articles, videos and slideshows on everything from José Guadalupe Posada to Día de los Muertos flashcards. They also have one of the most comprehensive downloadable education packages for students on the internet. It is filled with great activities for children that teachers or parents can use to celebrate the holiday, and includes word finds, mix and match puzzles, coloring pages, a papel picado template, etc.

Teachers will especially love MrDonn’s site. He has several lesson plans on it, but you should especially check out the free presentations in Power Point format!

And don’t forget Yuyi Morales’ site related to her book series featuring Señor Calavera. In addition to a downloadable lesson plan, the site also has several arts and craft projects for los niños, including how to make a mask, puppet and animation. So don’t skip SrCalavera.com!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Día de los Muertos is Around the Corner!

Last year I spent the month of October celebrating Día de los Muertos on Mi Cielito Lindo. This year, I'm at it again. I hope you enjoy the activities and products I've found to help you celebrate our holiday!

To begin, let's just catch up on what exactly it is we are celebrating....

A blending of ancient Aztec and Spanish Catholic beliefs, Dia de los Muertos is a holiday that is celebrated on November 1st and 2nd in conjunction with All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. It is basically a time during which we remember our family members and other loved ones who have passed away.

Despite its Mexican roots, the holiday is now celebrated throughout the world in various forms, but most especially in Spanish-speaking countries. Individuals celebrate the day in a variety of ways. Some visit the cemetery to clean and decorate graves. The decorations may consist of flowers – especially orange marigolds – and other "ofrendas" (offerings) such as toys, drinks, candies and trinkets.

These ofrendas are laid out in homes as well, where small altars are often erected for the occasion. The altars are not to worship, but rather a tribute or way to remember and honor the deceased’s memory. They are generally decorated with items such as the loved one’s photograph, candles, favorite foods and drinks, memorabilia, a Christian cross, images of la Virgen, etc. Skeletons placed upon the altar are intended to be silly and humorous, not scary or lacking in respect. In fact, it is believed that the dead consider it disrespectful to be greeted at the altar by a grieving friend/family.

Several children's books have been written with Día de los Muertos as the topic. In fact, the Latin Baby Book Club's Libro del Mes is Calavera Abecedario by Jeanette Winter (shown above.) It is a lively story based on a real artistic family in Mexico. To check out their review of this book, click here.

Other fabulous Día de los Muertos related children's books include Yuyi Morales' Just a Minute: An Trickster Tale and Counting Book and it's companion book, Just in Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book; Luis San Vicente's Festival of Bones/El Festival de las Calaveras; and Tony Johnston's Day of the Dead.

Attention All Business Owners!

We are pleased to announce that the second annual Holiday Gift Guide for Latino Families is now accepting product listings. Many independent businesses are struggling this holiday shopping season, so once again, Latin Baby has decided to put together the Gift Guide as an affordable opportunity for businesses to showcase their products. Our goal is to provide a comprehensive shopping resource geared specifically for Hispanic families.

The holidays are quickly approaching, so if you might possibly be interested in joining me in this venture, you can get more details by visiting this link to our site.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chicharrones por aquí, Chicharrones por allá...


Chicharrones have a dedicated following among many of us with Mexican heritage. I can remember my ‘buelita buying bag after bag for a snack treat when I was little.

So for all of you who can’t resist the taste of these crunchy snacks, Rudolph Foods, the world’s largest producer of pork rinds, has launched a recipe contest, ¿Qué hay de cena?, or "What’s for Dinner?", in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage month, September 15 – October 15.

Here’s your chance to share original and creative Hispanic-inspired recipes using chicharrones. But you must use Rudolph Foods® or Pepe’s® brand pork rinds to be entered into the contest. One grand prize winner will receive free product for a year in additional to a cash prize of $300.

"Through this contest, we’re looking forward to celebrating the strong heritage that exists within Hispanic kitchens, and to hearing about the many ways that our chicharrones bring families together," says Mark Singleton, VP of Marketing and Sales for Rudolph Foods.

You can enter a recipe via the company’s web site at www.RudolphFoods.com or simply send a 3" x 5" index-sized card, complete with your name, address, telephone and email contact, along with your original recipe, to ¿Qué hay de cena? Recipe Contest, c/o 6116 Cleveland Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43231.

Categories include appetizers, entrées and even desserts. A panel of judges, comprised of Rudolph Foods executives and cooks, will judge submitted recipes based on authenticity, creativity and flavor.

To submit your recipe on their web site, click here.

¡Y buenas suerte a todos!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Beauty Tips for Latina Moms

Last month, research on Latinas’ attitude towards beauty was released by Univision Communications. It came as no real surprise that beauty is extremely importance to Latinas because of the way it "instills confidence, makes us feel younger and improves our self-esteem." And many Latinas felt that outward beauty reflects inner beauty. In fact, 69 percent of Latinas (vs. 46 percent of non-Latinas) agree that "It's very important to wear makeup and look good."

Mamás play a major role in their daughter’s perception of beauty. They are the ones on the "frontlines" so to speak, encouraging their children to take good care of their appearance. According to the study, a whopping 73 percent of Latina moms (vs. 57 percent of non-Latinas) agreed that "I influence my children to take care of their skin, hair, appearance" and 67 percent of Latinas (vs. 50 percent of non-Latinas) agreed that their mothers had a significant impact on their hygiene practices.

So naturally, beauty brands like Avon, Caress, Cover Girl, Dove, Garnier, L'Oreal, Mary Kay, Maybelline, Olay and Pantene have been focusing their marketing funds on Spanish-language media. And new beauty product lines specifically for Latinas, like La Matadora and Latin Girl Cosmetics, are popping up with relative success.

As a Latina mom, I am often torn between the desperate need for speed and/or comfort and the desire to be feminine, beautiful, and, yes, maybe just a teensy bit sexy. I have found a most helpful little widget which I have added to my sidebar. The Beauty Tip of the Day widget is designed to give daily beauty tips from some of the Unilever brands that I use, like Vaseline, Q-tips, Pond's and Dove. Just click on the picture to get today's beauty hint. I hope you, dear readers, find it as useful as I do!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Latino Arts & Crafts for Children

"Every child is an artist.
The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up."
~ Pablo Picasso

I’ve been cruising through the web for a while trying to find Latino-inspired art projects for children to brighten up a rainy day. Let me tell you…it’s hard! The hardest part was trying to find projects that represent the variety of Latino cultures found throughout the world. Most of the activities seem to be centered around Mexican traditions (which is great and I’ve included them below) but I also wanted to find projects that reflect the diversity of our cultures.
So here for your creative pleasure, I’ve listed the art projects that I have found so far. I would REALLY welcome comments or links directing me to more so that we can somehow combine them all in one easy-to-find location. And to all you mamis out there…happy crafting!


SPAIN, MEXICO: TeachKidsArt.blogspot.com has some wonderful, fantastic art projects for children and their families. The whole blog is a mother’s delight if she is trying to nurture her child’s creative spirit. She also has some great posts dedicated to the artist, Pablo Picasso.

I was amazed to find out that as a teenager, he had mastered the ability to paint realistically like Renaissance painter Raphael. Can you believe he painted the top picture on the right? It is his mother, Maria Picasso Lopez. Hard to imagine, I know, considering what he is best known for is this abstract style picture on the bottom, Dora Maar Au Chat - which, incidentally, sold recently for over $95 million! ¡Que locura! I mean - Why?!?

In addition to interesting tidbits about his life, you’ll also find a few art projects to teach your children about this complex master artist.

You’ll also find a project based on Mexican Painter, Frida Kahlo.

And you should also check out this Mexican Bark Painting project that is perfect for children of any age.


PANAMA: From the islands of Panama comes the inspiration for this project: Mola Art.
KidsArt.com hasn’t posted many projects recently, but if you dig through their entries you’ll find some other fun stuff, too.
You can find another project and some great lesson plans for more Mola art here.


GUATEMALA, MEXICO: How cute is this Quetzal bird crafted from a toilet paper tube? This a great opportunity to talk about how the Quetzal is the national bird of Guatemala and though it is found in many countries throughout North (if you include Mexico), Central and South America, it’s numbers are dwindling. You can find out more information about this fascinating bird here. animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/quetzal.html

PUERTO RICO: Here are a bunch of crafts related to Puerto Rico, including a section on el coquí with froggy crafts for the kids to make. Lots of different frog projects that don’t seem very Latino-oriented per se, but the key is tying in the legend of el coquí.

URUGUAY, MEXICO, BRAZIL: I was totally delighted to stumble upon Ms. Evard’s Art Portal. She’s a teacher in Albany and let me tell you…I would have LOVED to have had her for an art teacher when I was a kid! She REALLY loves art – it is obvious by the way she introduces her students to art from all over the world. Such fantastic ideas! I really encourage you to look through her site. You’ll be inspired! Specifically, check out her second grade projects which include Joaquín Torres García Self-Portraits, Round Weaving, Mexican Talavera Suns, and Rodrigo Godá Good Bugs.


MEXICO: Without a doubt my favorite site is ArtistsHelpingChildren.org which lists a ton of projects for making not only piñatas and papel picado, but a whole section on Cinco de Mayo crafts that includes alebrijes, bark paintings, cascarones, banderas, guitarras, tissue paper flowers, castanets, lucha masks, maracas, mosaics, ponchos, rebozos, milagros and much, much more. And this is just the Latino section! The site is huge and goes on and on with activities and projects for kids. I give it 5 estrellitas.



KinderArt has this really neat project for making Aztec Tiles. This project is for older kids who will learn about Pre-Columbian art as they discover the Aztecs, Mayans and Incas. They also include links for suggested reading.




Unfortunately, there are very few books dedicated to Latino inspired art and crafts. However, the Latin Baby Book Club has a small section of books about Latino arts and crafts and they are always adding more...


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dr. Pepper Lovers: Your Familia Could Win the Ultimate Family Fiesta!


I don't know about you, but in mi casa, Dr. Pepper reigns supremo! So imagine my joy to find out that Dr Pepper is awarding the ultimate family fiesta to families who live life to the fullest through its Familia23 contest. The contest is part of the Dr Pepper year-long celebration of living "Vida a la 23" -- a flavorful, bicultural life to the "23rd power."

Fans can enter by submitting stories about how they celebrate life as a family along with a photograph of their familias enjoying Dr Pepper. The hottest club on wheels, Club23, will arrive locally and host the ultimate family fiesta. The fully catered affair will be complete with free food, Dr Pepper, games and music entertainment. DJ Nino will spin tunes as the winning family enjoys a lifetime experience to the "23rd power."

"We're offering families an opportunity to celebrate the love they have for each other and show how, even during tough times, they enjoy the good things in life," said Monica Morales, Dr Pepper brand manager, Hispanic market. "Just like the unique 23 flavors of Dr Pepper, our Vida23 program is designed to give consumers more out of every day."

The heart of the Dr Pepper Familia23 campaign taps into the general sense of optimism Latinos have for the future despite a down economy. Research from Experian Simmons and Univision showed that Latinos are more positive about the future of the economy and are shopping more often than the general market. In fact, 29% of Hispanics are more positive about the U.S. economy in the coming 12 months vs. 21% of non-Hispanics.

Visit www.Vida23.com for official rules and learn how your family could win. The contest runs from Sept. 1, 2009 through Oct. 18, 2009. A total of seven families will be awarded the ultimate fiesta in the following cities: LosAngeles, San Antonio, Dallas, Bakersfield, Sacramento, Fresno and Phoenix. The winners will be notified in October, and the ultimate family fiesta will take place in November, 2009.

Dr Pepper's Vida23 embodies the bicultural lifestyle through its Club23 mobile gaming arcade and dance club. As one of the hottest clubs on wheels, consumers can relax by playing games, dancing and sampling different Dr Pepper products. Stop by a Club23 event near you to live life to the "23rd power."

A key component of the Dr Pepper Vida23 program is bicultural music. It launched this year with the introduction of "LA LA LA Life/Vida23," a new song written and performed by Cucu Diamantes and Grammy Award winner Andres Levin, founder of the band Yerba Buena. The song, which can be heard in advertising spots and on the airwaves, is part of the "rock alternative" move. It is a multicultural fusion of reggae, hip-hop, rock and salsa, sprinkled with global beats. Consumers can download the song and ring tones and create a customized re-mix of the song by visiting www.Vida23.com.

Monday, August 31, 2009

New Products for Latino Toddlers

If you haven't visited the Latin Baby boutique lately, head on over there and check out a few of our newest products!
For all you mamás of toddlers, check out our two newest T-shirt designs.
If you have a rambunctious little boy in your life, why not get him a tee that sums it up? "Chiquito...pero picoso!"
And for those sweet little nenas, don't miss our adorable tee: "Chiquita Bonita"
Both shirts are embroidered and come in sizes: 2T. 4T. and 6T.
For more details, click here.

To commemorate the historic event of our first Latina Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor, Latin Baby has come out with a limited edition bib, "Wise Latina in Training." The bib comes with the words printed in hot pink, except for the word "wise" which is embroidered in a sagacious purple.

To see this and our other bib styles, click here.




We also have the most beautiful sweaters from Peru in our shop. Handmade, each sweater is a one-of-a-kind piece that your child will love and cherish. With hand-appliquéd images of nature and wildlife, your child will be delighted to wear one of these beautiful sweaters!Each style is available in one size only.

For a closer look at all three styles, please click here.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sam's Club Giveaway Winners

Woops! Not Friday morning, but at least it's still Friday!

So looking at the posts, the winners of the one-day pass to Sam's club are: Yoly, Julie, Denise, @AMO78 and Carolyn G!

And thanks to Random.org, the winner of the $25 gift certificate is: Stacy!

Congrats to all of you! If you don't mind sending me a mailing address to admin [at] latinbabyusa \dot/ com, we'll get those sent off.

And don't forget to clip, clip, clip away those Box Tops and send 'em in to your child's school!
Thanks for participating, everyone!

~Monica

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sam's Club Giveaway Benefiting Box Tops for Education


We’ve been reading about how schools all over the country have been suffering economic difficulties. Some have closed their doors, while others limp along using outdated equipment and with a shortage of teachers. Bilingual programs especially have struggled, many of them cut completely from schools due to lack of funding.

But there is one great way that you can help your school.

Twelve years ago, General Mills launched Box Tops for Education in California on Big G cereals like Cheerios®, Total®, Lucky Charms® and other family favorites. Since then, the number of participating products has grown by leaps and bounds. To date, Box Tops has helped America's schools earn over $250 million. Your school can earn up to $60,000 every year! Check out these easy ways to earn:

♥ You can clip 10¢ Box Tops coupons from hundreds of your favorite products such as Cheerios®, Betty Crocker®, Juicy Juice®, Ziploc®, Kleenex®, Hefty® and more!

♥ At the Box Tops Marketplace, you can shop at over 70 online stores like Oriental Trading Co., Office Depot and Lands' End. A percentage of purchases goes back to your school!

♥ You can earn cash for your school just by buying the books that you love! Begin your shopping at the Box Tops Reading Room to earn up to 6% on purchases made at Barnes & Noble.

My Class Essentials is a new way to help classrooms get the learning tools and supplies students need while earning 2% cash back for your school with every purchase.

To make the process even more enjoyable for young children, you can print a collection worksheet for your niños to color and fill with Box Tops you clip, or help them make their very own collection container.

And to make mamás happy, the BoxTops4Education web site has a whole page of coupons for participating products that you can print off.

This year, Box Tops for Education and Sam’s Club are lending a hand with their BIG CLIP campaign. From now through September 4th, you can get more Box Top coupons on your favorite back-to-school brands at Sam’s Club to maximize the earnings for your school. In addition, BT4E is giving away 1 million Bonus Box Tops for America’s schools! You can also enter The Big Clip sweepstakes for a chance to win the Grand Prize of 500,000 Bonus Box Tops or one of two first prizes of 250,000 Bonus Box Tops.

Participating brands include: Cheerios, Ziploc containers & sandwich bags, Honey Nut Cheerios, Pillsbury Chocolate Chip Cookies, Fiber One Oats & Chocolate Bars, Nature Valley Bars, Scott Paper Towels, Huggies Baby Wipes and Kleenex Facial Tissues. For a complete look of Box Top products, click here.
Overall, what a great program! I do think they are missing a great opportunity, though by not marketing to Latinos. They should publish portions of their web site and box tops in Spanish!

THE GIVEAWAY:

To help your children’s school, Sam’s Club and Box Tops for Education are giving me FIVE one-day passes and one $25 Sam’s Club gift card. The first five readers to leave me a comment about their favorite product participating in the Box Top program will win a one-day pass and one of you will win the gift card!

The deadline is this Thursday, August 27th at 11:59 pm EST. I’ll announce the winners Friday morning.

¡Buenas suerte!

*Provided courtesy of MyBlogSpark.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Inspiring Latinos You Should Know

As a Latina mom, it upsets me that history books rarely discuss Latinos who have had an impact on our society. In fact, when I set out to research this for my own children, I was surprised at how many I knew nothing about. I have talked a number of times on this blog about the crisis that young Latinos and Latinas are experiencing in this country. They are in desperate need of inspiration and guidance. They are bombarded daily by media images that insist that Latinas must be sexy and wanton, which conflicts with their family’s more conservative values. One of the major factors identified in the success of young Latinas is their relationship with their mother: Latinitas with mamís that listen – even if they don’t agree – are far more likely to succeed and grow up to be healthy and happy adults.

A recent study by researchers at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill has shown that "Latino adolescents in the U.S. who maintain ties to their culture of origin are more likely to develop healthy behaviors than their peers who do not. Latino adolescents with strong awareness of their family’s culture reported higher self esteem, fewer social problems and less hopelessness, aggression and substance abuse."

So the question is: How do we engender in our children a respect and pride for our culture? Wow. This could take a LONG time to discuss. I think that it is never too early to show our children the beauty of our Latino culture. Exposing them to the elements of our heritage includes the language, food, dance, music, and HISTORY. Which brings me to the point of this particular post: It is so important to give our children role models with whom they can relate. There are so many inspirational Latinos out there that I could start an entire blog simply featuring them. (Hmmmm….) But for now, I thought I would share with you some of the stories and on-line resources for learning more about significant figures in our cultures. Here are a few that I thought would be great to get you started on the track of exposing your children to positive Latino role models. Some are well known, while others are not. But either way, their stories are moving and inspiring.

Gabriela Mistral - The Chilean born poet who began teaching at the young age of 15 and subsequently traveled all over the world in an effort to improve schools. She was inspired by her travels and wrote many stories during this time. Gabriela Mistral is her nom de plume. She was actually born Lucila de María del Perpetuo Socorro Godoy Alcayaga – Whew! Mistral is a wonderful role model for young children because she was so passionate about learning and writing. She is noted for the many contributions she made to the education system of Latin America. Mistral finally received the recognition she so richly deserved in 1945 when she became the first Latin American writer to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. A prolific writer, she published more than 30 collections of poetry during her lifetime.
My Name is Gabriela/Me llamo Gabriela: The Life of Gabriela Mistral/la vida de Gabriela Mistral by Monica Brown
Nobel Prize Biographies

César Chávez –Mexican American farm worker and founder of the United Farm Workers. This civil rights activist fought for the rights of migrant workers, including better pay and safer working conditions. He is noted for his nonviolent outlook and protests including strikes, pickets, fasting and a 300+ mile march. Though he never earned more than 5,000 a year in his life, he is remembered by millions for his determination to bring recognition and dignity to farm workers.
For more information about César Chávez, check out these books & websites:
Cesar: Si, Se Puede! / Yes, We Can! by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand
Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez by Kathleen Krull
The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farmworkers Movement by Susan Ferriss and Ricardo Sandoval
The Cesar E Chavez Foundation

Celia Cruz – Cuban "Queen of Salsa." Originally studied to become a literature teacher, only to interrupt her studies to pursue singing opportunities that eventually led to stardom. She has become beloved by generations all over the world for her operatic voice, flamboyant costumes and intimate relation to the music of Salsa.
For more information about Celia Cruz, check out these books & websites:
Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa by Veronica Chambers
Celia: Mi Vida (Spanish Edition) by Celia Cruz and Ana Cristina Reymundo
Biggest Stars: Celia Cruz

Roberto Clemente – Puerto Rican baseball legend who transcended his reputation as a professional athlete to humanitarian and philanthropist. He is remembered for his efforts towards the recognition of his fellow Latino baseball players and for helping people in need across the United States and Central America. Clemente also held free baseball clinics for children in his homeland and created programs to help disadvantaged youth develop athletic skills and prevent illegal drug use. Clemente died in a plane crash while attempting to deliver aid to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
For more information about Roberto Clemente, check out these books & websites:
Beyond Baseball: The Life of Roberto Clemente
American Experience: Roberto Clemente

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Back-to-School Season Made Easy with ViveMejor

As the "back to school" frenzy begins, many Hispanic mothers find themselves trying to reorganize their family's day-to-day schedule to accommodate an ever-changing agenda. Gone are those leisurely days of summer, replaced by a more hectic morning and evening routine. During this busy season, mothers are encouraged not to let the added responsibilities get the best of them with help from Vivemejor.com, the one-stop lifestyle resource. The site offers Latinas valuable tips and advice, from both celebrity stylist Leonardo Rocco and Chef Marcela Valladolid, on how to manage the back-to-school season while still taking care of their families and themselves!
According to Rocco, no matter how hectic the back to school days get, it is still important to take time out for personal care, as it is an important part of stress management. To help busy Latinas manage stress during this time of the year, Rocco shares his top three personal care tips here:

1. "Turn your own bathroom into a place of rest and relaxation. Start by setting the ambiance by using some of your favorite scented candles which give soft lighting and create a pleasant environment. I also recommend using a body wash with an exfoliating agent, such as Caress(R)Evenly Gorgeous(TM) Body Wash & Beauty Bar with burnt brown sugar and karite butter, to gently message and exfoliate your skin in the tub. Exfoliation can increase circulation and have a calming effect to help you alleviate the stress of the day."

2. "Get enough sleep! Feeling tired and lack of sleep can cause you to drag and feel irritable, which can increase stress. It can also cause skin to look puffy and take on a wrinkled appearance, so make sure to prioritize a good night's sleep to stay well-rested and keep your skin looking youthful and radiant."

3. "To make sure all your personal care needs are covered throughout the day, I recommend putting together a portable 'beauty kit' to store in your car or office desk. There are some essentials all women should keep in this kit: a toothbrush, travel toothpaste, a mirror, comb, and lip gloss. It should also include one of my personal favorites this season, the new Degree(R) Women Fine Fragrance Collection, which has both an antiperspirant/deodorant and a body mist available in three amazing scents, so women can have one fine fragrance infused throughout their day."

After a busy day, the evening approaches and children return home to tackle numerous homework assignments while mom sets off to prepare dinner. According to Marcela, it is more important than ever to spend time with your kids during the start of the school year to learn about their new teachers, upcoming projects and overall excitement. With these easy and useful cooking tips, Latina moms will be able to cut down on the amount of time they spend preparing dinner and dedicate that time to sharing with their families around the table!

1. "When trying to come up with a quick meal idea that is both delicious and filling for the entire family, I encourage Latinas to also think nutritiously. Considerer whipping up a hearty bowl of spaghetti, which on average takes about 10 minutes to prepare! The carbohydrates in the pasta will give your family energy, and by using my favorite, Ragu(R) Old World Style(R) Smooth Pasta Sauce, you'll be giving your loved ones a full serving of veggies in every 1/2 cup of sauce!" Wash it all down with a cold glass of milk to complete your meal with healthy dose of vitamin D and calcium.

2. "Experimentation in the kitchen is a great way of surprising your family with new and exciting meals. To try new dishes, but without wasting time during the 'testing' phase, I recommend going to a reliable source, such as a trusted friend or website, so you can be certain that the recipes have already been tested to perfection. You'll get the chance to try something new, without wasting time with recipe trial and error!"

3. "Rice is a tried-and-true staple of the Hispanic meal. It can be served as the main dish or as a side to any vegetable or meat. To transform your rice from good to great in just seconds, I recommend using Knorr(R) Caldo con Sabor de Pollo. It gives your rice that delicious chicken broth flavor, without having to spend the hours it takes to actually make the broth."

This is just a taste of all the great information that can be found on Vivemejor.com, the one-stop lifestyle resource for Latinas to find valuable tips and recommendations on how to manage the back-to-school season, while still taking care of their families and themselves. For even more recipes, beauty tips, money-saving coupons and samples, don't forget to visit http://www.vivemejor.com!/

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Latino Baby Shower Cake Toppers

Over the last couple of years, we have repeatedly received requests for cake toppers. After doing some research on-line, we were terribly disappointed to find that very few Latino-themed cake toppers were available for purchase. Most of the ones we found were of Dora and Diego or Maya and Miguel. Cute, but a little too casual and lacking in the beauty and elegance that this momentous occasion deserves.

So it is with greatest pleasure that I now announce that Latino baby shower cake toppers are now available at Latin Baby! These handmade ceramic figurines are a beautiful way to decorate your cake or as a centerpiece to your table. The perfect regalito for any mami-to-be, these figurines also make a wonderful keepsake for mamá to treasure.

To check out our complete line, visit the Latin Baby boutique here.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Latin Baby Book Club is a Great Resource for Bilingual Families

In case you haven't heard, Mi Cielito Lindo's sister blog, the Latin Baby Book Club is celebrating its 1st anniversary by giving away fabulous prizes all week. You still have one chance left to enter to win one (or ALL!) of them. Prizes include an adult T-shirt by the wonderful company, MotherTongues; bilingual books for children; learning Spanish sets by Let's Play in Spanish; and even a $50.00 gift certificate to Latin Baby, our parent company!

The LBBC is a wonderful resource for all families that are trying to raise bilingual children. We review bilingual-bicultural books and music for children of all ages, and even a few for parents, too! Over ten talented bloggers have contributed reviews, author/illustrator interviews, information on local events, videos and more.

So head over there ASAP to enter for your chance to win!

Monday, July 27, 2009

A Plethora of Paletas...



Summer is heavy upon us, so to cool us off un pocito, I have a refreshing post about every niño y niña’s fantasy: PALETAS!

If these yummy Mexican treats fill your mind and you just can’t get enough of them, perhaps you will be delighted to dangle this permanent paleta around your neck year round? Seriously, how adorable is this necklace? Embedded in resin, the background is made of real sugar with some colorful cupcake sprinkles thrown in. The pendant is approximately 1.75" x .5". Made by GrimRides on etsy. To order yours, visit their product page here.



Or what about Carmen Tafolla’s children’s picture book, What Can You Do with a Paleta? Illustrated by Magaly Morales, it is the engaging story of the many uses one little girl find for a paleta. From creating a colorful masterpiece to making new friends, who knew a paleta had so many uses? With warm, vibrant illustrations, by artist Magaly Morales, the book is a feast for the eyes as well as the imagination (but don’t be surprised if your pancita is rumbling by the end!) You can purchase your copy here.



And for those of us in love with the heavenly taste of paletas, there are tons of recipes on-line, but the one by our favorite Latina recipe blog, A Little Cup of Mexican Hot Chocolate, is to die for! Clementina shares with us her recipes for making Mango, Watermelon and Coconut-Pineapple paletas - YUM! So don’t wait, rush over to her blog and then gather los niños around for a most worthwhile activity on a hot summer’s day…

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Free Family Meal Plan Lists for Latino Families

Latino families can eat healthy and save money without sacrificing freshness or flavor by downloading Meals Matter's free online Family Meal Plan and Shopping List.

This new tool helps families eat healthy by ensuring a variety of healthy foods from all of the food groups, including fruits, vegetables, low-fat or fat-free milk and dairy foods, whole grains and meats, beans and nuts. By providing a shopping list with ingredients to prepare a week of dinners for six people, families can save money by limiting impulse buys and extra trips to the grocery store.

"Everyone can benefit from planning meals and using healthy shopping lists, but this is a change for families used to making frequent trips to the market or grocery store for fresh food items," said Los Angeles-area registered dietitian Monica Montes with N.E.W. Health Consultants.

The Meals Matter "Family Meal Plan and Shopping List" combines traditional ingredients like beans, rice, nopales, mango and tomatillos . It also offers healthier versions of familiar recipes like enchiladas that use plain yogurt instead of sour cream for more calcium, protein and potassium with fewer calories. In addition, a weeklong shopping list with enough items to prepare six servings of each recipe.

Planning, preparing and eating meals together at home is a healthy, fun and inexpensive way to stay connected as a family. Home-cooked meals are generally less expensive and more nutritious than meals eaten away from home, and children who help family members prepare and enjoy healthy foods will form healthy eating habits as well. So the web site also shares important tips in English and Spanish on storing fresh produce and cooking with children.

Monday, July 13, 2009

New Mamis Salsa Their Way Back Into Shape

This week I happened upon this article talking about how the Salsa Babies program is getting new moms back into shape by teaching them basic steps to Latin dances. As an added bonus, mamis can enjoy the program with their bebés by wearing them in a baby carrier. It’s designed for moms with babies ages 6-8 weeks old and up. The babies seem to enjoy shaking their little maracas and bouncing to the Latin beats.

And for older kids, there is Salsa Tots, which combines movement and play with lively rhythms that parents and kids can both enjoy.

The company was founded in Toronto by Jennifer Torres, and in fact, most of the Salsa Babies branches are in Canada. However, there are a few licensed owners/instructors in the US, including New York, Georgia, North Carolina, Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee and Vermont. For those of you not located near a facility offering Salsa Babies classes, don’t despair! The Salsa Babies on-line shop is in the works and it appears that DVDs will soon be available.

To learn more about how you can Salsa your way back to fitness, check out their fun web site here.

Monday, July 6, 2009

This month's Libro del Mes over at the Latin Baby Book Club is Cheech Marin's Cheech and the Spooky Ghost Bus. The third book in the Cheech Marin series, it has recently hit bookstores nationwide. This series follows the hilarious adventures of Cheech, the school bus driver, and his "Cheecharrones," his student passengers. My kids have thoroughly enjoyed all the books in this series (and so have I!) They are humorous for both children and adults, include a lot of cultural content, and have fantastic illustrations.

The LBBC was fortunate to get an interview with Orlando Ramirez, the illustrator of the book. You can read about the design/illustration process and the research that he puts into each project here.

You can also sign up to win your very own copy of Cheech and the Spooky Ghost Bus, signed by Orlando.

So hurry and get over there now - the deadline for getting your copy ends this Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Just for Mamis: Caress Your Style


Now that summer’s here, all of us are shedding those hot bulky sweaters and long pants that we used to keep us warm. Instead, we are fired up to throw on some shorts and tank tops, sundresses and swimsuits to cool us off in the heat of the day. Now that we’re showing off a little skin, some of us could probably use a little help. ¡No te preocupes – it’s Caress to the rescue!

This summer, Caress has launched its new Skinwear Collection of body washes and beauty bars to help us get gorgeous skin right out of the shower. They have the yummiest products, like the Evenly Gorgeous Exfoliating Body Wash and Beauty Bar which has burnt brown sugar and karite butter that gently exfoliate and lusciously moisturize, revealing sensually smooth skin that’s even toned and polished to perfection. Or how about my favorite, the Cashmere Luxury Silkening Body Wash which contains the lavishness of white orchid milk and warm vanilla essence that leaves your skin feeling undeniably soft and luxurious. Want something a little more exotic? The Moroccan Exotic Oil Infusions Body Wash entices your skin with cassis cream and starflower oil, leaving it enchantingly smooth.

The new Skinwear Collection has five other fabulous body washes that delight the senses and leave your skin supple, smooth and sumptuous.

In addition, Queer Eye’s fashion expert, Carson Kressley, has teamed up with Caress to show you the season’s hottest styles and how flaunt them with skin as the centerpiece of their look. Check out Caress’s newly launched site – www.caressyourstyle.com – to read Carson’s latest tips for this summer’s fashions and get a coupon for your Caress bar or body wash while you’re at it!

The site also allows you to create your own "Virtual You" by choosing your skin tone, hair and eyes. Then you can dress your virtual self up in some of the season’s hottest styles. New outfits and accessories are being added regularly. Seriously, who wouldn’t love this?

So get over there and have a beauty blast!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Get the Kids Off the Couch with Outdoor Activities!

As we all know, eating healthy is just one part of combating childhood obesity. Exercise is also super important. But how do we get kids to turn off the TV and get off the couch? As parents, our job is to not give them a choice! But it does take a bit of preparation and effort on our part, in order to avoid pouting and tears. Have activities and crafts planned out ahead of time, or sit down with your kids and plan stuff together. Good practices start early, so if your kids are young, now’s the time to mold their lifestyle into a healthy one. To help you all, below is a list of some excellent web sites with outdoor activities and indoor crafts to keep your kids busy during the summer and on weekends.

First of all, my favorite site is The Magnifying Glass: An On-line Nature Journal. This blog is written by two moms, both of whom are raising 3 young boys. But even if you have niñas at home, this site is an awesome resource with descriptions of fun-tastic and educational outdoor activities for children.

OutdoorActivitiesForKids.com is another super site that is just filled with games and activities that kids can do outside. From backyard bowling to betting on bug races, to hosting a mini-Olympics, this site has some great ideas. They have even categorized activities by age (2–6 or 6-10) and number of participants (alone, group, party, etc.)

I just found the Boomerang! blog which provides a lot of ideas on ways to connect with your family over projects. They are also the founders of Boomerang! an audio program for kids ages 6 –12. In each hour-long episode, the Boomerang! kids present stories about big ideas: science, current events, history, economics, poetry, geography, jokes, mysteries and more.

KidsOffTheCouch.com offers a weekly newsletter that takes kids’ favorites - books, movies, music - and combines them with family activities to get kids off the couch and away from the TV.

Because Latin Baby is dedicated to the health of our Latino children, we have created a special section in our Book Club Shop where you can purchase books that are filled with great ideas for outdoor activities. Here are just a few titles that are listed in our shop:

501 Tv-free Activities for Kids by Penny Warner

Kids Camp!: Activities for the Backyard or Wilderness by Laurie Carlson, Judith Dammel

Green Thumbs: A Kid's Activity Guide to Indoor and Outdoor Gardening by Laurie Carlson

Outdoor Activities for Kids: Over 100 Fun, Practical Things To Do Outside by Care Bradley

Yoga Games for Children: Fun and Fitness with Postures, Movements and Breath by Danielle Bersma, Marjoke Visscher

I Love Dirt!: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature by Jennifer Ward

Monday, June 8, 2009

Resources for Combatting Obesity Among Hispanic Children

In this year’s June issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, a study was published noting that the "prevalence of overweight in the US population is among the highest in Mexican-American children and adolescents." Among other factors, this figure is attributed to poor diet, sedentary lifestyles, and low socioeconomic status. In a recent (and completely unrelated) news interview (I forget which one) a nutritionist was quoted as saying that grandmothers really did know best when it came to diet and meal planning. She went on to say that any grocery store products with more than five ingredients listed on the label might as well just be chucked in the trash, because those other unpronounceable ingredients tend to be preservatives and/or sugars.

So to help all you mamis out there, I have put together several resources to help you with meal planning….

First of all, if you haven’t read the book, Gordito Doesn’t Mean Healthy, by Claudia González and Lourdes Alcañiz, then you should. It is a wealth of information for parents looking to prevent and manage obesity in their children. Many Latinas have a deeply imbedded belief that a chubby baby is a healthy baby. In all that chubbalicious glory, they see a baby who is well-fed, lavished with love and affection, and a symbol of a mother’s excellent care. But research shows that more children are developing health problems such as diabetes (on average, Hispanic Americans are 1.9 times more likely to have diabetes than non-Hispanic whites of similar age,) high blood pressure, high cholesterol and eating disorders as a result of too much food intake, poor diets, and lack of exercise. This book includes the Latino-Hispanic Food Guide Pyramid (which includes traditional foods like jicama, papayas, corn tortillas and avocado) to guide Latina moms with photos of food portions appropriate for children. It also has a section on Latina mothers and breastfeeding facts that debunks myths. Menu suggestions for newborns to 19-year-olds are also inside. To purchase your copy, check out the Latin Baby boutique here.

Another super resource is the Latino Nutrition Coalition web site. It has recipes, health statistics, and regular updates about health issues affecting Latinos, as well as free education materials in Spanish and English like the downloadable bilingual shopping guide.

Many Latina moms who are second, third and even fourth generation Americans, have the additional challenge in that they have lost family recipes and are less likely to cook traditional wholesome dishes. For those of you looking for more traditional recipes that reflect our cutura, there is a variety of blogs passing along these tasty meals.

One of my personal favorites is A Little Cup of Mexican Hot Chocolate . . . And More: A Girl's Guide to Cooking Mexican Food Just Like Her Abuelita. Whew! A long name for a most delicious blog imparting recipes along with beautiful photographs and witty, charming stories rich in cultura.

The Panama Gourmet, Chef Melissa De Leon, also has a delightful site – www.CookingDiva.net - full of recipes from Latin America. Note of Caution: If you’re like me, you may gain 10 pounds just sitting and reading her oh-so-yummy recipes!

Next is Laylita’s Recipes. Filled with Ecuadorian recipes, her blog will immediately make your stomach growl and your mouth water. Her pictures are divine and entice you to run out and buy ingredients - even if it is 3 am!

Spain-Recipes.com offers a wonderful compilation of recipes from all over Spain and they even categorize them as to the dishes typical to each region. WOW! If you are an Española, get over there now! I almost cried when I found the one for croquetas de jamón…

For some excellent Peruvian dishes, check out Canela y Comino, Fighting Windmills blog and Dawn on the Amazon Captain’s Blog. Some super, wonderful recipes along with great stories.

From Argentina With Love will melt your soul with her Dulce de Leche recipes. Who knew there were so many things you could make with it? Rebecca’s blog is a beautiful thing – I’m not from Argentina, but I sure wish I was after reading it!

For the most sabroso Colombian dishes, be sure to dive into My Colombian Recipes. In addition to her wonderful recipes, Erica also gives you ingredient sources and even vegetarian dishes!

Even though he just started his blog in January, everyone seems to be raving about Eric Rivera’s Cooking Blog… and after looking at his Puerto Rican recipe for mofongo served with a sofrito soup broth, I totally understand. Too much work for me, but easy fun for a 27-year-old Puerto Rican culinary school student, I guess!

New to cyberspace is the Tiki Tiki Blog, written predominantly by four Latina moms. Already the gazpacho, churros and salsa fresca recipes are flying, but you can also find links here to their personal blogs, such as Marta Darby’s My Big Fat Cuban Family, which features a healthy dose of Cuban recipes.

In the next post, I’ll share my list of favorite books and blogs to help get your kids off el sofa and corriendo y brincando, climbing and exploring.

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