Saturday, October 31, 2015

::Quick and Easy Halloween Face Painting::

Happy Halloween! 

As I went through my Facebook feed this morning, I found the best quick and easy face painting for adults. Some a little sexy, some a little spooky, all super quick and easy. If you are still looking for a Halloween look maybe these ladies can inspire you tonight. 

You can follow these lovely ladies on Instagram and Facebook, see their links below. 

Meet Apolonia, first off I love her name! 
And, can we just say...MEOW! 
Loved her look, this Momma is oh so very sexy and her face-paint brings her personality to life! Loved it. 
She actually inspired my post today. 

Chris is giving me the chills with her classic Catrina look, it is simply amazing! Very well put together.  
Follow her on Instagram:

One of my favorite Houston Momma's is this gorgeous woman, Jihane. She is a local blogger and her looks are so unique! A mermaid in gold and a beautiful little devil! 
Follow her on Instagram:

Another one of my favorites was Myriam of Original Wear Clothing! She is already so fashionable and traditional this look just fits her well. Myriam has also been features on my blog! 

Finally, a sweet look for all Momma's but also very cute! 
April, from Insights by April. She is also a local Houston blogger and always so trendy.You can follow this cute Minnie Mouse on Instagram: and on her blog:

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

How LATISM changed my perspective about Blogging

::momma disclosure:: this is a compensated post. all statements are are my true and honest opinion.

In 2012, I was a full-time employee and an overwhelmed Momma of dos, who simply wrote a blog. I was transitioning into a stay at home Momma after resigning from my position at Harris County. I was Assistant Supervisor in the Elections department. After four great years there, I needed to move on. I was on my first couple of hours off the job when I received, for the first time ever, an invitation to attend a conference. The invite came from a well Houston known blogger who was organizing it all.  You may know him as Juan of Juan of Words. I was ecstatic being a long time fan of his writing and blog, I was more than happy to accept the invite. 

I had no idea what to expect, but during the first hour there I met Ariana of 3TwentySix, she is now an amazing friend and our Social Media Director for Houston Latina Bloggers. I also met the lovely ladies Ruby of Growing up Blaxican and Lisa of Autism Wonderland. Their advice and mentorship throughout the conference made a world of a difference for me. It further pushed me into wanting to learn more about social media, blogging and the true impact that we can create. My blog world as I knew it was forever changed.

::Not just for certain types of Mommas:: 
I am not one to make anything about race, or to try and play the race card. But, in all honestly when I started blogging in 2008, I didn't find many Latinos to follow. The few that I did find, I would follow religiously and knew everything about them. I didn't know where to go for more information on Latino Bloggers. Oh, but enter LATISM in 2012. The hotel in Downtown Houston filled with a large number of well established Latinos in Social Media, and I no longer felt alone. I didn't know the extent of our influence or involvement, when I learned about it all, it was overwhelming, in a good way.

::Creating a Voice and Platform:: 
LATISM helped me further discover who I was as a Latina writer and who I was writing for. When I realized that others where reading my blog, listening to my words and following my advice, it made a huge difference in my writing. Today, I feel confident that I am writing for all working Momma's out there, who are just trying to find their place in the workplace and in their families and communities. I believe that we should provide support to anyone seeking it. I want to be the voice for all the Momma's who can't speak up. I want to create that community of support for those who need it. 

::Social impact thru social media::
Most will never understand that using social media is about so much more. Sure it's great to share our daily thoughts and the cute family pictures. But, the reach and impact that can be created when each post has a meaning and a purpose behind it, makes it even better. For that reason I know that there are so many out there creating waves of social impact in our communities and in the world. Social Media can be about so much more. It all depends on how we use it. 

::Blog Etiquette and Guidelines:: 
Learning and being educated about blogging etiquette and guidelines is very important as a writer and as a entrepreneur. There is so, so much more that goes into having a successful blog, other than just writing what's on your mind. Sure anyone can have and write a blog, but not everyone can convert it  into their business. For that to happen you must place effort into what it takes to have a blog that meets all standards and regulations. You must do your research and make sure you are following all the rules. 

::Getting paid:: 
I had no clue. Yes, money is involved. Entire salaries paid. LATISM and the ladies I met there helped further tap into this industry as a way to create income for myself. It has been a true blessing. For now the money I make while blogging is just an extra source of income but I know of others who have made it their full-time employment and that is a future goal for me. Although, I do love my corporate job and working outside the home. 

Today my causes include; empowering women, educating the community and raising my children with good morals, a kind heart and true knowledge of our culture and traditions. 

We can do it all. We have done it all.

Empowering women and Momma's more importantly to speak up when needed and to ask their employers for specific accommodations has never been a problem for me. I have been fortunate to have positions where work life balance is highly important. I have always received respect and support from my employers. There have also been jobs where I have even seen companies adopt new regulations for Momma's such as assigning "nursing rooms" for new Momma's who need to breastfeed or pump. This is very important to many women who want to have children but also wish to continue  developing their careers.

New areas of advocacy for me now include; Women's rights, equality and treatment in the workplace. I want to ensure that women like me receive equal pay as not only our male counterpart but also as those women who don't have children. I have a college degree and have worked really hard throughout my career. Thankfully, my jobs have never had issues with being flexible, giving me a raise or acknowledging that I need time off for different family reasons. But, I know that many Momma's do not have the same luck or that maybe I could have more pay and more flexibility. I now want to know more about these issues and how they are affecting our family structure and I want to help other women reach that equality, flexibility, and accessibility needed. I feel we need more accessibility to child/dependent care in the workplace,  more affordable childcare and the need to obtain all the medical and healthcare needed at an affordable price. 

Which is why I feel that my trip to DC this year will be a complete 360. Allowing me to "finish" what I started in 2012. Can't wait for all the new connections. Excited for what's to come and eager to learn everything that LATISM has to offer.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Being sensitive when it comes to blindness and other disabilities #BlindnessAwarenessMonth

First of all, let me just describe how a stranger may see Jassy from the outside looking in. They would see a beautiful and tall 11-year-old girl who doesn't exhibit the behaviors of what an "average" girl her age would be doing. Jassy does not make eye contact. She drools because she is a mouth breather, and has yet to master the concept of swallowing her spit. She loves to sing and make loud high pitched noises when she is happy. Jassy will also make angry noises when she is upset. This also includes fits of biting and pinching herself and others in reach. Of course those events happen randomly depending on where we are, and the noise level.

The initial thing everybody does is stare. They stare at the uncommon behaviors and try to figure out what is going on. You'd be surprised at some of the looks that we get. Keep in mind that body language is 90% of how we communicate with people. Some people will give us "angry" looks. Almost like why did we bring her out. As her parents, my husband and I have learned throughout the years how to brush those things off. Initially, however, it was very difficult to even bring ourselves to go out at all.

The best thing to do in a situation where you see a child that is blind or has other special needs is be kind. Try to be as empathetic as possible. (I can assure you that the parents have enough stress as it is.) That starts with your body language. You can look, but don't stare.

I understand a person's need to figure out the unknown. One of my favorite ways for people to approach us is when they say something like, "What a beautiful girl! How old is she?" Instead of sparking up a conversation based on what is different about her, I appreciate the regular questions that everyone else asks about any other kid. Anything along the lines of age, name, grade level, etc. That not only breaks the ice, but gives me a way to introduce Jasmine. Then, in my own way I can explain her differences.

Sensitivity for Jassy in particular, because she is blind, starts with people acknowledging her whenever they are around her. She can hear you, but most people tend to just ignore her. Loud noises bother her so it's awesome when there's music playing and someone goes and turns it down. That helps her to not get overstimulated. Descriptions of what is going on around her also help her to understand different situations. The more we can expose her to, the more she will learn.

I hope that I have in some way helped shed some light on the topic of sensitivity towards people with special needs. The situation for these families is already a difficult one. A road less traveled so to speak. My goal is to spread awareness and lift the stigma of the special needs community. The more we know, the better equipped we will be to handle different situations.

Houston Associations for the Visually Impaired: 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Texas Conference for Women #BuildingWomenRelationships

                          ::Momma Disclosure:: This is a compensated post. All statements are my true and honest opinion.:: 

Sisterhood. Innovative. Empowering. Powerful. Exciting. Educational. Equality. Motivating. And, Inspiring. Those are all the words that come to mind now that I have attended the Texas Conference for Women. Imagine the largest platform and facility for networking; as well as a place where you can build new lasting friendships or partnerships. Women of all walks of life attend and the connections made are amazing. I personally had a chance to get to know a local blogger, Author and entrepreneur the lovely Sharon of The Zapata Group and the Bitchy Business Briefs, a little better. We drove to Austin together and shared a hotel room, what better way to get up close and personal real fast! Sharon is an intelligent and strong woman. Her go-getter personality is very inspiring. I love meeting women like her.

One of the best parts was getting to see our San Antonio Blogging Sisters; Melanie of Que Means What and Michelle of Family Love in my City, Veronica of Not a Girly Gurl, Silvia of Cocina Heritage, Christina of The Social Butterfly Gal, and Debbie of Pink Texas Chick. We all form part of the Texas Latino Bloggers group. The ladies have definitely inspired me to do so much more locally for our Houston Latina Bloggers group. Melanie has been a great mentor and is just overall genuine. Michelle, is the kindest and also so willing to help and support.

It's amazing the love and support one can achieve when we come together. The impact created helps propel my motivation forward and gives me so much energy.

My favorite part was of course listening to Robin Roberts, her story of triumph in so many areas of her life just really helps place so much into perspective.  While I didn’t get to meet her personally or speak to her, maybe one day. I was front row center and captured her elegant demeanor and strength.

Her motto of "When fear knocks let faith answer the door! If there is nothing there then, something better is coming!",it helps be at peace with where you are right now. Embracing the now and accepting the moment.

Bert Jacobs the creator of Life is Good was also a speaker at the conference, I was able to speak to him one on one. His story and the lives he has impacted are incredible. How he converted a pumpkin patch idea into a Life is Good music festival is just mind blowing. The power of positivity, it pays. He stated during his session the following; "Takers eat well. Givers sleep well." I don't know about you, but I want to be a giver! He expressed the need to be authentic in your brand because customers know the difference, and they have the power to make you or tear you down. He has made superpowers that are accessible to all, with his positive brand. 

"We are all living our own story, all we need is time. Protect your time with your life- because it is your life!" ~ Bert Jacobs 

{I will share his interview next week}

Candy Chang, the soft spoken young woman who, I believe, is making true social impact was definitely another speaker I was looking forward to hearing. It's amazing how a small and "simple" project in her neighborhood has made such a huge difference in the world. During her session she stated the following: "Good ideas develop from an open mind.--- Make your own discipline-from our life experiences and skills.--- Grief made me love a lot more.--- Approach life and work with the right attitude." 

The breakout sessions discussed equal pay and leadership positions for women in the workplace. Negotiating for the job and pay that we want and deserve as powerful professional, entrepreneurial  women that we are. The panels and the women involved were phenomenal, they really have an understanding of what it's like to be a hard working Momma in the U.S.. In all the new connections and bonds created are definitely worth the drive, time and effort.

"We see people who have succeeded and we think, oh they have never had a problem, but that's not true! They just don't wallow in it all."-Wendy Wallbridge 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Texas Renaissance Festival, continued.

                    ::Momma Disclosure:: This is a compensated post. All statements are my true and honest opinion.::  

Our day continued... with many more mystical creatures and very Knight experience. The kids were amazed! Our day was fun. 

And, just like every good fairy tale... this day came to end. On a happy, magical note.... 

Texas Renaissance Festival #WordlessWednesday ... Kinda!

::Momma Disclosure:: This is a compensated post. All statements are my true and honest opinion.::  

We have visited the Texas Renaissance festival before but with the kids being older we knew it would be a completely different experience this year. It's a well known festival, one that I remember visiting even when I was young. It truly is a magical place. From the moment we arrived Camila and Santiago felt right at home.

A land far, far away where the lines of reality suddenly blur into the mystical creatures of a whole new realm. Where fantasy comes to life and everyone is invited to participate. The real magic comes when you see your children in their true element. Santiago; my Super-Hero/Knight who throws fits and fights crime. While Camila immediately found her place amongst the fairies and was swept away by their tales of dragons and tons of pixie dust. 

If you have never been to the Texas Renaissance Festival, I recommend it. It's a unique medieval experience, where adults can become fantasy like creatures and kids can explore their imaginations. No one is judged and anything goes, but trust me very family friendly. There is fun for every "kid" in the family. If you are looking for a unique family experience visit : the festival ends November 29th, so you have plenty of time to join in. Every weekend has a theme. The food is fantastic, you will want to bring cash.

And, don't forget your costume! 

and that was just half the adventure... stay tuned for more...