Momma of Dos

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

::Texas Conference for Women:: Prudential #OwnMyFuture

::Momma Disclosure:: This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Prudential and DimeMedia. However, all opinions expressed are my own. 

This year I had the amazing opportunity to attend the Texas Conference for Women which is held in Austin each year. I was in a "dual role" as I was not only a Social Media Roundtable speaker but also as a sponsored Prudential representative. The experience as a whole was very unique for me this year. I have attended the Texas Conference for Women in the past and their a message and what they represent for women not just in Texas but all over the US is I feel very important, powerful and empowering. It empowers especially Momma’s like myself who have a full-time career and who also pursue "side-hustles" or  "side gig", as we call them. 

Of course, partnering with Prudential meant thinking about my finances, which is a good thing trust me. It meant really thinking about the messages that are sent to not just the women in our lives but ourselves and how we can own our future as financially successful women.

I have to admit I’ve worked my whole entire life since I was in my teens and money has always been something that I knew I would have to work for. Everyday. But, just like I worked hard and I spent hard. Sadly, that’s exactly how I spent a big part of my teenage years and most of my 20's, singlehood and no kids made that easy. But fast-forward 15 plus years and now as a Momma, it's kind of hard to go without a real money plan, because of well; gas, food, daycare, food, diapers, etc. 

Photo credit: @texinmiami

When I met my husband he was very much about his credit score, owning a car, owning his own home, having a savings account, just about anything that I wasn’t he was. He was in his 20's, and already very financially responsible. We were raised completely different and now that we’re married adults with kids we totally see where balance is needed and we realize that we really need to educate our children about finances and being responsible and wise about their money. We, of course, instill in them that an education would be your first and foremost source of income because having an education leads to a career that is stable and brings in a good income. That's not to say that along the way some challenges and/or obstacles might come up. And, that sometimes no matter how much you plan or you think you have your finances in order sometimes life, well, happens! 

In those small but very worrisome moments where you think that maybe you should’ve planned or thought more about my finances is where partners like Prudential come in. They have trained advisors and the right tools or resources to help you plan, prepare and establish financial freedom. We can be part of this process and walk hand-in-hand with an advisor that will allow us to develop a plan that works for us and is tailored to our needs. Which is why I love Prudential and how they can assist with this roadmap... into your financial freedom. 

I've been ready to own my future, now I just need a little-added guidance... Gracias Prudential! 

Thursday, November 2, 2017

::Dia de Los Muertos:: Chevrolet Traverse Safety #SPONSORED

::Momma Disclosure:: This is part of a sponsored collaboration with General Motors. All opinions expressed are my own. 

What better way to celebrate our culture and teach children about our traditions than to create a Dia de los Muertos altar or ofrenda. This year I partnered with GM, and Chevrolet for a Trunk or Treat event to teach our children about keeping safe while having fun and enjoying Halloween night!  

We created a truck altar which embodied all of the traditional elements of our customs as well as let the kids get fun treats and enjoy their night safely. 

Some of my favorite elements of the ofrenda are the food, the pictures, the papel picado and of course the traditional calavera, or catrina. We loved putting the altar together and then sharing it with friends and family. 

We fully enjoyed the Chevy Traverse for 7 days, it's features and comfort were so amazing. We really did fall in love with this mid-size SUV. It's a great family car with great space. As you can see the trunk was just the right size! 

See below how we transformed the back of the Chevy Traverse into a Dia de Los Muertos Altar: 

:: Safety Tips for after dark activities this Fall ::

Did you know that on average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car on Halloween than on any other day of the year?

Chevrolet Traverse Safety Expert, Suzanne L. Johansson, Chevy Traverse Safety Engineer, helped put together the following safety tips to ensure all families are safe during the festivities:
1.)          Drive Scary Slow – Kids are excited, full of sugar and potentially walking in shoes that could cause tripping. Slow down and be prepared to stop for the ghosts, goblins and crossing the street or chasing a piece of their costume in the wind.

2.)          Treat Yourself to Car Tech – Chevrolet recommends you never turn off safety alerts, but if you have, turn them back on. Features like rear-view or forward-facing cameras, collision alert sensors and 360 cameras give drivers a better view of what or who is surrounding their vehicles while backing up or just driving down the street.

3.)          Avoid Dreadful Distractions – If you are concerned about being tempted to use your phone while driving, take advantage of vehicle storages cubbies that you cannot access while driving to eliminate the temptation and distraction.

4.)          Motorists and Masks Don’t Mix – While it may be fun to make fellow motorists laugh, it’s a bad idea to drive while wearing anything that could potentially impede vision like masks, goggles or silly glasses. Place them in the trunk or a convenient storage space to avoid sliding while driving until you reach your location.

5.)          Don’t Get Tricked, Always Buckle Up – whether you’re rolling slowly on the street while your kiddos rock the sidewalk or you’re moving a group of superheroes door to door, be a stickler for safety and buckle up every time you’re in motion.

We hope you had a great Halloween and Dia de los Muertos celebration with your loved ones.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

::Building Your Blog Tribe:: Do's & Don'ts

{All pictures are from my Momma of Dos, blogging 101 class last week... #BlogVisionTribe}

I've been blogging for nine years, like before it was "in" to blog, I blogged. It's a story I often tell in my Blogging 101 workshop. In 2008, I went from writing blogs on Myspace to Wordpress. Then in 2009, I moved over to the Blogger platform. Momma of Dos has been around for some time. And it always surprises me to think back and look at how far I have come.  Some of the only reasons I have made it this far are due to the guidance and friendships that I made early on in my blogging career.

By 2014, my blogging journey took on a life of its own called the Houston Latina Bloggers {HLB}. It was important to me to start building a tribe and create a space where I could turn around and help new bloggers. My goal was to provide all the resources that weren’t available in the blogging space years ago and pass on the knowledge that I had gained. Co-founding HLB was a labor of love and continues to be. The women who helped me shaped the group into what it is today have played an integral part of the blogging resources HLB is now able to offer its members. HLB could not have grown and succeeded without the women who supported my efforts, offered their guidance, and worked hard alongside me to get the group up and going. In 2015, we kicked off an active group and created our own #LATINATRIBE

The group continues to grow and evolve; and after nearly two years of work, our vision is beginning to take shape. It has taken consistent work, dedication, and time. As the group grows, our process takes on new shapes and dynamics. New bloggers have new and innovative ideas which have brought HLB to the forefront of the blogging community. And through all the sacrifice and difficulties, the rewards have been worth it. 

In return, I have learned a lot. These days I share my experiences with women who attend my Blogging 101 class.

Here are some things I have learned you should and shouldn't do!


1) Provide Support & Guidance.

Sharing contacts, advice and giving likes and comments on social media may all seem like common courtesy for a tribe who is also doing the same for you. Right? Well, even if you don't receive the same amount of support, you show your support anyway. Why? Because at the end of the day you want to do all you can to help and know that you did your best.  It's probably one of our biggest rules in the group. It’s important. VERY.

You cannot be a taker and not give back. Or not give because you fear others will take too much. It's life. Things aren't fair. I tend to overshare but that's just me. You have to when you have years of knowledge. I must. I was once a new blogger and had no clue what to do. If it weren't for ladies like Alba of Independent Mami who ALWAYS offers great resources and is just a giving person, I would not have made it in the blogging world.

Which at the end of the day is just as cut-throat as any other business. **So don't be fooled. It is a serious income-providing business for many. Competition is bound to happen.  You just have to know when to give in.  

2) Build a personal relationship with those in your tribe.

You cannot be in-it to win-it if you don't have close personal friends in your tribe. Just like in life, you need the love and true friendship of like-minded women, mommas, writers, creatives and entrepreneurs who can have your back. The only way to know who does is by truly learning about the women in your tribe-who they are, their families and what drives them. This way you can form a true lasting connection or partnership with them.

3) Trust.

There are some levels of trust that need to be had when dealing with new people. I understand we all have different life experiences and our ability to trust is not as easy to some as it is to others. I trust too much, too fast, sometimes. I trust based on feeling or vibe. With that said, some people just click, or connect instantly and others may not. All is good though, some instant connections might not be long-lasting and some that take longer to connect, sometimes result in some of the best friendships or working relationships. I think it's like this with life in general.

4) Give Credit where credit is due.

You didn't do this on your own; if you did, kudos but, more than likely you didn't do this on your own. Had I not met certain bloggers early on, I probably would not have made it. The set of bloggers that I met in 2012 at my first LATISM conference were pivotal. I will be forever grateful for the role they have played in my journey. It is important to me to credit and give shout-outs especially to those content creators who share this space with me.

5) Be nice.

It's common courtesy, right? Being nice to people, although we won't always agree or connect with everyone but being respectful of others, their ideas and their content is just common sense. You don't want to burn bridges at any point that might be helpful or a resource just because you don't agree with others. I am not saying don't voice your opinion or be yourself.

Simply treat others how you would like to be treated. TRUST me, I know it’s easier said than done. I am not perfect. I've rolled my eyes when people start talking when I have strong conflicting feelings. You don't have to get along with everyone in the blogosphere. That's normal. With that said, just be a nice person and continuously courteous, simple rule.

And, in no way am I saying to be fake. If you do not agree with a group or how they think and you don't think you ever will, well then remove yourself from that situation. It's very easy.  Much like in life, if it doesn’t grow you, let it go.


1) Make Assumptions.

Communicate. Communication is highly important with online relationships. I would say if you don't understand something, or feel like something needs to be cleared up, Speak up. I'm one who can personally say that because I shut down, I have lost friendships over miscommunication. So, if you have to call or meet in person to clear the air and talk things out, do it! Don't assume that a certain tone or emotion is attached to words. Talk it out and know if your feelings are being validated. Again, if the situation at the end of the day is not what you expected, you have every right to walk away. but give it a chance. I would suggest talking, listening, and communicating.

Again, if things are not clear, talk about it, with time and patience.

2) Be overly-guarded of your space.

I get it. We all have insecurities and or a certain space that we like to protect. But in this business, if you don't share and put yourself out there, well then you won't grow. Most bloggers live and dream to have exposure, to be well known, I know I do! That won't happen if you are always in your own guarded and secret space. Some of us are super shy. Again, that's life, you can't grow if you keep to yourself and never share. You must let go of that guarded space and be yourself, people will love your open and honest content.

3) Use People.

Of course, we all know this right. I know a lot of bloggers in different groups complain about people who only come into their lives for a connection or contact. And, I get it, it's not right. I think that as long as you give credit and are respectful toward one another, sharing contacts and connections is acceptable.

In HLB, we want all the bloggers to grow so sharing is encouraged and applauded. I may not know all the ladies personally but we are part of the same community and at the end of the day I want them to grow. Their success is HLB’s success.

You don't want to be known as the person who never shares other bloggers’ posts, or likes, or comments but comes to the party when opportunities are being shared. It looks bad and although HLB doesn’t have a set rule on this, we do encounter these situations sometimes. People get upset and don’t want to share if they feel used. So show your tribe some love.

4) Be jealous- there’s enough to go around for everyone.

It's a natural thing to be jealous or have a feeling of being left out of something if you share too much. Don't be. I know it might not seem like it but trust that there is enough work for everyone. We are all content creators but our styles, perspective and experiences are vastly different. Don't worry about there not being enough opportunities. I've learned that the more you stay in your lane and do your own thing, the more opportunities will come your way.

Just trust me on this one. There is always enough. Don't worry about everyone else and what they are doing. Focus on you and you will not have time to look around and be jealous. No need. No time.

5) Be fake.

That's all. Don't. Be yourself. People can see straight through you if you're fake. Plus, the things that aren't true and perfect about you will come out when people see you in person and realize that your online life is just a front. You don't want to ruin your brand like that. We are human not perfect or picture ready 24/7. So be real guys.



SWEET TREATS: Madre T Sweets by Maria Tolentino