Monday, February 29, 2016

::Motivational Monday::

I posted earlier on my facebook page, that I know that sometimes no matter what I say, I might not make a difference or change certain situations. While I don't want to focus on the Oscar's and all the controversy that surrounds it. I do want to focus on purpose. Not everyone is created to carry out a message. It takes courage and knowing what your purpose is to follow through with those things that will create or change your future. This morning on the radio a couple of hosts were talking about Chris Rock and his delivery of a message that was difficult but inevitably part of his mission and purpose.  He stood his ground, took the opportunity that he was given and presented or represented a message. Regardless of how many agreed with him. He was there with a purpose. 

It makes me think about myself. My own message and how at times, I don't feel qualified to speak it or even qualified to write it. But, I do. My "message" is not always heard and when it is, many might disagree. It's up to us to just put ourselves out there. To rise above and speak. Be heard, no matter what your message is. It will not always be easy. But, we should do it anyway. 

I have been fortunate for years now to be given the appropriate platforms to speak. To write. To have a purpose. To create my own purpose. As the days go by and the events come to be, I feel more and more empowered by the amazing women who support me. This past weekend was a crazy one. Somehow I made it through. Got the weekend done and feel amazing about all the small accomplishments I have had until now. 

As Monday begins a new week and Tuesday a new month; I think it's time to move forward and take those leaps into that message that has been waiting to explode. Even if you are not sure yet what that might be. No matter what, be present, in your actions and your words. Live the message that you know is filling your heart and brain with ideas and thoughts. Share your message with your friends, your neighbor, your dog, your children, your Husband. Or anyone willing to listen. I always say, even if you only have an audience of ONE and that audience is being impacted then you have achieved your goal.  

You don't feel qualified? Then make yourself an expert in your message. I am sure you have the skills to share it, otherwise, you wouldn't feel that urge or the need to share it. Maybe your message is about faith, working hard or even about getting your kids ready for school and out the door in the morning. It is your message and you will know when and how to express it.  

You will never know the impact you can create if you don't share that message. If you are in constant fear of the what if's, then your message will remain unknown. Your purpose will not be fulfilled. 

Seek your message, master it and share it. 

Friday, February 26, 2016

::Friday Letters::

Hello Friday. This week I have realized, how much I do. My body is telling me to stop. But, my heart and brain just keep going. I have hit Rodeo high as of last night at midnight. The next 2 weeks will be crazy. You are the last Friday of February and my first Friday letter of the year! Thank you for showing up! 

Dear Rodeo customers, THANK YOU SO MUCH for your constant support, for helping us reach our goal of supporting more and more scholarships for deserving students ever year. For helping me reach my goal of 10k plus every time I feel I won't make it. I love rodeo and what it stands for. I support the cause and love volunteering with them, having others help me reach these goals is simply amazing! 

Dear Hubby, thank you again and always for putting up with my craziness on rodeo week before final turn in. I don't say it enough. You help me so much. You support all my volunteer work, blogging, blogging events and crazy talk! Love you. 

Dear Life, Some how, you have managed to bring me full circle. To a good, happy, and secure place. Your blessings are appreciated. The time you grant me is abundant. The ups and downs are worth it. Some days, I can't see the bigger picture but you know what's up and I trust you! 

Dear Kids, you make us so happy. In such short time you have managed to fill our lives with fun chaotic moments, silly moments, wonderful memories and blessed years. I don't remember what life was like without. I don't care to go back to that place, because all I know is life with you both and that's all that matters. 

Dear Amigas, you know who you are. Thank you for your love and constant support. I am always humbled by your words and blessed with your ideas. You give me life. I know some days get crazy and we don't get to talk or see each other often. But, I know you are there for me and I am here for you too! For those of you who always stick around admist the chaos... thank you. So much. 

Dear 2016, WHOA. Like seriourly it's only been 2 months and the days have flown by. Filled with amazing things to do, great days filled with nap times and so many more beautiful days to go!! I can't wait. 2016, will be my year of yes and I can't wait to see it all come about! 

Thank you, 
The Momma 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

::A Beautiful Mess:: Inspired by Francesca's T-shirt

::Momma Disclosure:: 
Momma of Dos, has partnered with Tender Nest Portraits as a brand ambassador, this post is a result of that partnership.  All photographs belong to Tender Nest Portraits.  

When it comes to pictures of myself, I am highly critical of them all. I am not some super cute young top professional model. I am a Momma of Dos, who never sleeps and loves tacos. There I said it. It's not a secret. I love food. I have gained weight, and lost it and managed to find it one more time. Every time. I am what I like to call a beautiful mess. Because deep down inside, I know I am beautiful, worthy and yes why not, a freaking super model. I am always cautious about pictures with other photographers, cause I know they won't see my lumps, my extra messy curly hair and those poses that make me look awkward. 

                       Photo Credit: All photos taken by Tender Nest Portraits

I told Annelle that I had this fear of looking weird in my pictures; she said I was a natural, in her attempt to put me at ease. And, I believed her. It helped me relax. She is also a Momma and we talked about how others don't capture her the way she feels she looks good, either. When she sent my pictures over I told her, I am only going to pick the ones I don't look fat in. HA. Not fair to her. I looked at them all and then over again. And, fell in love with the set. 

She really did help me relax and be at ease about what I knew would be a good set of pictures. As women, we are too overly critical of ourselves. For myself, I have realized that I often fear that if I don't criticize myself, then others will and that would  be worse. So, I go ahead and look at all the wrong, the fat, the extra misplaced curls, and even deeper... all the faults I have, the people I have hurt, the words I have spoken and should have kept to myself. I overly criticize me and who I am. But, why? That's not fair to ME. 

I know that I am a beautiful mess. I work on being a better person every day. I am me. And,  I need to remember to let others be themselves as well. As women, we should embrace who we are and move forward with grace, self-love and confidence. Embrace the mess and love yourself no matter what. 

You are beautiful. You are strong. You are filled with courage. 

About the outfit: 
What a Beautiful Mess t-shirt: Francesca's
Grey jacket, torn legging jeans, gold necklace and ring; New York and Company

Brown leather strap wristband, Slice of Heaven Cuff: Original Wear Clothing - Which we have a special discount for items in this shop if you find anything you like let them know that Momma of Dos sent you! 
And, use code {MOD15} plus we have free shipping from now until the end of March! 

Are you looking to have portraits taken? 
Tender Nest will have upcoming Bluebonnet minis and Easter minis! 

:: More about Tender Nest Portraits::
Annelle is a local photographer who owns and runs Tender Nest Portraits. 
She owns a studio and does natural light photography 
in Houston, Katy, and the Sugarland area.  
Her work can be seen on her social media sites and website below. 

Photo Credit: All photos taken by Tender Nest Portraits

::Wordless Wednesday,Kinda....:: Seek your Tribe

So, you should never believe me when I say "wordless", never gonna happen. And, I wonder why my busy body, talky 4-year-old will never shut-up! Wonder. Why? ::insert perplexed look here::

I have over the years worked and become friends with so many amazing women, some who continue to be in my life. And, then last year I was able to partner with two local Latinas and create. Create something so purpose-filled and meaningful that it makes all the sleepless nights, worth it. I feel that over the last few months no matter how busy, how crazy, how dramatic and how hard things get we have managed to overcome so much. We call ourselves a Latina Tribe. Our tribe is composed of many great local Latinas. We thrive. We write. We share and we move forward. 

I have learned to motivate myself and others to seek greatness and endure change. This picture of AriJihane and myself was taken by my Cami. Another generation of Latinas that I hope to inspire to follow in the footsteps of the wonderful women who currently walk the earth, and those who have left us. 

And, while I am constantly seeking to connect with the Latinas in our community, I am always reminded that my "tribe" has nothing to do with my culture or ethnicity, and everything to do with togetherness. I have Momma tribes, Latina tribes, GREAT women tribes. We are all in this together and as long as your tribe supports you. Is real and honest with you. Tries to uplift you and is always silly with you, nothing else matters

Seeking your tribe is about finding a group of women who will be there for you, who will collaborate with you and don't see you as a threat to their dreams. Instead, your tribe should work to help you reach your goals and inspire new dreams so that we can all win. Help you create the success you desire, and vice-versa! So, that we can all succeed and create a wave of greatness. 

That's the kind of tribe you should seek. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

::Camila's Outfit of the Day:: Western Wear

::Momma Disclosure:: 
Momma of Dos, has partnered with Tender Nest Portraits as a brand ambassador, this post is a result of that partnership.  All photographs belong to Tender Nest Portraits.  
Also, in collaboration with this post outfit by Rose and Rhodes clothing. 

Houston Rodeo kicks off this week and along with some of the most exciting weeks in Houston, comes some pretty big boots to fill. The entire city lights up with cowboy gleam and makes sure their attire is up to par. No excuse for even the tiniest of cowboys and in our case cowgirls! 

My siblings and I grew up dressing western for this special occasion here in Houston every year. My parents had such pride in us being vaqueras; my Sister even won best dressed in Elementary school. It's one of those deep down local traditions that if  you ain't from Texas, well you better get here soon, cause you wouldn't understand. But, we can teach you the basics. 

Today we are showing off Camila's cowgirl look with this colorful, jean and flower print dress from Rose and Rhodes Clothing, Momma of Dos, has a special $5 off coupon {USE CODE: MD5} for you to use towards your next purchase! Thanks to the amazing photography skills of Annelle of Tender Nest Portraits here in Houston, we can showcase Cami's western outfit like never before. 

:: More about Tender Nest Portraits::
Annelle is a local photographer who owns and runs Tender Nest Portraits. 
She owns a studio and does natural light photography 
in Houston, Katy and the Sugarland area.  
Her work can be seen on her social media sites and website below. 

Photo Credit: All photos taken by Tender Nest Portraits

Some quick Cowgirl attire facts {taken from Google/Wikipedia}:
  • Most cowboy attire, sometimes termed Western wear, grew out of practical need and the environment in which the cowboy worked. 
  • Most items were adapted from the Mexican vaqueros, though sources from other cultures, including Native Americans and Mountain Men contributed.
  • Many of these items show marked regional variations. Parameters such as hat brim width, or chap length and material were adjusted to accommodate the various environmental conditions encountered by working cowboys.
  •  In the modern world, remnants of two major and distinct cowboy traditions remain, known today as the "Texas" tradition and the "Spanish", "Vaquero", or "California" tradition. 
  • Rodeo competition for women changed in the 1920s due to several factors. Also, the public had difficulties with seeing women seriously injured or killed, and in particular, the death of Bonnie McCarroll at the 1929Pendleton Round-Up led to the elimination of women's bronc riding from rodeo competition.
  • The history of women in the west, and women who worked on cattle ranches in particular, is not as well documented as that of men. 
  • It wasn't until the advent of Wild West Shows that "cowgirls" came into their own. These adult women were skilled performers, demonstrating riding, expert marksmanship, and trick roping that entertained audiences around the world.
And, usually, the attire is simple: a bandana, cowboy boots, cowboy hat, chaps, gloves and jeans. 

Obtain the outfit above with purse at Rose and Rhodes Clothing, don't forget to use your $5 discount code {MD5} today!!! 

Are you ready for the rodeo??

Friday, February 19, 2016

::Risen:: In the Movies

Momma Disclosure :: All information and graphics obtained from Risen Movie PR. Informational post. ::

RISEN is the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer.  Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), a powerful Roman military tribune, and his aide, Lucius (Tom Felton), are tasked with solving the mystery of what happened to Jesus (referred to by the Hebrew name Yeshua in the film) in the weeks following the crucifixion, in order to disprove the rumors of a risen Messiah and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem.

RISEN stars Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love), Tom Felton (Harry Potter), Peter Firth (The Hunt for Red October; “MI-5”), and Cliff Curtis (“Fear the Walking Dead”).

Columbia Pictures and LD Entertainment present in association with AFFIRM Films, a Liddell Entertainment and Patrick Aiello production, RISEN, directed by Kevin Reynolds. Screenplay by Kevin Reynolds and Paul Aiello, and story by Paul Aiello.  Mickey Liddell, Patrick Aiello, and Pete Shilaimon produced.  Executive producers are Robert Huberman and Scott Holroyd. Director of Photography is Lorenzo Senatore. Production designer is Stefano Maria Ortolani.  Steven Mirkovich, ACE is the editor.  Costume designer is Maurizio Millenotti. Rafa Solórzano is the visual effects supervisor. Music is composed by Roque Baños. John Hubbard and Ros Hubbard did casting.

RISEN is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for the following reasons: biblical violence including some disturbing images.

The running time is 1 hour and 48 minutes.

RISEN es la épica historia bíblica de la resurrección, contada desde el punto de vista de un no creyente. Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), un poderoso tribuno militar romano, y su ayudante de campo, Lucius (Tom Felton), tienen la tarea de resolver el misterio de qué pasó con Jesús (a quien se refieren en la película por el nombre hebreo de Yeshua) en las semanas siguientes a la crucifixión, para poder refutar los rumores de un Mesías resucitado y evitar una rebelión en Jerusalén.

RISEN está protagonizada por Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love), Tom Felton (Harry Potter), Peter Firth (The Hunt for Red October; “MI-5”) y Cliff Curtis (“Fear the Walking Dead”).

Columbia Pictures y LD Entertainment presentan, en asociación con AFFIRM Films, RISEN, una producción de Liddell Entertainment y Patrick Aiello, dirigida por Kevin Reynolds. Con guión de Kevin Reynolds y Paul Aiello, y argumento de Paul Aiello. Producida por Mickey Liddell, Patrick Aiello y Pete Shilaimon. Los productores ejecutivos son Robert Huberman y Scott Holroyd. El director de fotografía es Lorenzo Senatore. El director de arte es Stefano Maria Ortolani. Steven Mirkovich (ACE) es el editor. El diseñador de vestuario es Maurizio Millenotti. Rafa Solórzano es el supervisor de efectos visuales. La música está compuesta por Roque Baños. John Hubbard y Ros Hubbard fueron los directores de selección de reparto.

RISEN está calificada como PG-13 (no apta para menores de 13 años) por la MPAA por las siguientes razones: violencia bíblica que incluye algunas imágenes perturbadoras.

La duración de la película es de 1 hora y 48 minutos.

Visit their Social Media sites for all the newest updates and reviews: 

In Theaters February 19th.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

::Speaking at Career Day:: #HoustonHispanicForum #HAHMP #CEDHou

Learn more about HAHMP here: &

Sybil, a local communication, and media professional, who is a board member and membership director for Houston Association of Hispanic Media Professionals; invited me to speak at the Houston Hispanic Forum- Career Day. It's an event I knew about in past years but wasn't sure how I could help. This year when I was asked to speak and then to help moderate a panel it was a perfect opportunity to help with this big event. It was exciting and I tried to think back to where I was in Junior and High School, many, many (many) years ago. I grew up in a small town in South Texas. My only focus was getting out, that focus created an intense need to obtain good grades and get into a good school far, far away from that small town. 

And, I did. I graduated top of my class and got into all the colleges I wanted to go to except Baylor in Waco, only because I didn't apply. I was too scared that I would not get in so, I didn't try. My life might have been different had I not come to Houston to attend the University of Houston. Do I regret not applying to Baylor in Waco? Sure. But, not really. Here is why; I came to Houston met my Husband and have a beautiful little family now. Plus, I love being a UH Coog! I wouldn't have it any other way. 

With that said, I am an observer. I listen and then I write. A lot. It was inevitable for Career day and it was only super-charged by having met some of the people I absolutely love and stalk follow on social media like Joey Guerra, I love him and I think he is just so smart and funny and purpose-filled. And then, Coppelia Acevedo whose heartfelt message really spoke to me on so many levels. I started my blog as a faith-based blog so I love listening to those women who have maintained their faith as a center of their writing. It gives me life and new inspiration. I also of course, got to meet a lot of wonderful new people and then a couple of people who I have actually collaborated with for my blog, but have never met in person. Funny. I know. 

I listened to various communication and media-related panels and the messages were so clear from everyone. Here are three messages I heard on Saturday. 

::Follow your Dreams:: 

No matter what that dream may be, follow it. With all your heart and all your might. No matter what anyone might say. No matter how cliche this may all sound. All of the panelists had that one point of consistency, persistence and simply sticking to what it was they wanted. 

Did they all make it to their dream goals from one day to the next? No. 

Did they all have an easy path created for them to reach their dream? No. 

They had to work hard, continue to work hard and no one had an easy answer on how to reach your goals. But, they did all know that you must remain focused on your dream and work hard every day to obtain it. They all knew in their hearts that they have truly followed their dreams.  

::Learn the Skills::

I have met many bloggers who have degrees, in various areas and at different levels. I have also met various bloggers who don't have degrees. What they all do have in common are the learned skills to write, blog, market, promote and do their jobs. Every panelist I heard that day either spoke about their degree and college life or the skills they have had to learn to make it in their area of specialty.

Learning to write and engage your audience would be the number one skill most bloggers should learn. There are so many workshops, seminars, online course, youtube videos and blog how-to's that can all help fill in any gaps you might have. For myself, my degree is in Psychology with a minor in Health. Not writing related but I have learned many writing and communications/media related skills throughout my career, either via my jobs or self-taught. 

::Do what you Love::

Most of all,  do what you love! I have always followed my career path as jobs are available. Let me explain. I have a degree in Psychology, in hindsight, my degree is a little vague. So, I have had job offers based on my experience and what I am willing to learn. When good jobs that I feel would fit my career path come along I have taken them.

I started in the medical field, went into non-profit and was a career/financial aid counselor, which made way for me into the government sector as a volunteer/community coordinator in communications and media. Yes, I know. Trust me it's been exciting. From there I decided on a career jump and have now ended up in a coordinator position for oil and gas. I have loved all my jobs because I have had the chance to work outside the office and with people. Which for me is a huge plus. Every job has created amazing relationships and in a way set me up for the next new adventure.

All of which I love!

It seems everyone I met on Saturday have had curvy paths that they have loved too. That's what matters. Not how you get there but the end result. Which yes very cliche, but you must follow your dreams and remain on your path to what makes you truly happy! 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

::A Wedding Post:: Culture and Traditions

There are people and acquaintances in your lifetime. Then there are few that you can truly call friends. Friends invite you to their weddings. True friends ask you to blog about it. Then you have to think of just the right words to say, or else, well then you would suck as a friend. Kidding. But, I did find it hard to gather the perfect words. It's now been a few months since my friends Jason and Diep were married but I am happy that they even asked me to write about their special day. 

First off, I don't like to pass up opportunities to write about events, especially one like this. The morning of the wedding I began to feel a little pressure. My friend had asked me to write about his wedding. I got nervous, the bride is Vietnamese and that morning as I drove to the location I realized it was at her home. I know, from other Vietnamese friends, that there are very specific traditions followed when they do their ceremonies in their homes.  So, I had to figure out everything I needed to know before I arrived at the wedding location. I reached out to one of my good friends, Tran.

I messaged her on Facebook and asked her what I needed to know in order to be respectful to the morning's event. As she began to tell me the details and the history behind the wedding ritual, the tears started. Such a detailed ceremony filled with meaning, and so much history. Tran explained to me that the wedding would consist of an extensive set of ceremonies. The bride's family would first have to ask for permission to receive the bride at the groom's house, the groom is asking her family and her ancestors if he can take her from her home. The bride is received at her house and is then taken to the groom's house to be received by his family. The end-point is for both families to be properly introduced and accept the coming together of two lives.

Tran explained how symbolic the rituals are and how deeply emotional one can become. Essentially like in most faith-based weddings, the family is giving their daughter away to her husband. And, as one family "loses" their daughter the other has gained her as an important new part of their family. Yes, these traditions can seem very sexist and dated, but of course while some traditions still stand others have changed with the time and blend of American cultures. I don't ever like to see the bride as someone who is just handed over to a new family, in this day in age the bride chooses who she wants to be with and it's a coming together of two willingly adults. Which is far more meaningful.

Once arrived it was evident that traditions and cultures had blended while everything would be very traditional there was also an understanding that the groom's family and friends were not Vietnamese. We were welcomed into their home and placed at ease about what was expected of us, which was to enjoy the wedding as we would any other.

When the groom arrived his groomsmen, close family and friends formed a line outside the house. The procession had a specific order. A representative of the groom's house was assigned, And, the groom's father and the groom led the way, followed by the rest of his family and his close friends.

In the procession, the groomsmen had lacquer boxes, covered with red cloths. Inside these boxes were specific gifts representing, according to tradition;

"wealth that the groom's family will bring to the bride's family. Gifts are usually fruit, cakes, a roast pig, fabric, and an abundance of jewelry for the bride. Usually, the number of gift boxes varies between 6 or 8, but never 7 or 9 since it is seen as bad luck. However, it depends on personal view and might be reduced to 2-3 boxes." [In Vietnamese beliefs, the even number and the red color will bring luck to the young couple.] - (Source: Wikipedia) 
The groom then presented the gifts to the bride's family, where traditionally he is then given permission to greet the bride. Diep who until that day lived in the U.S. with her Aunt and Uncle was then escorted downstairs in a beautiful red traditional wear gown by her Aunt. After the bride was downstairs and presented to the attendees. Each groomsmen presented the bridesmaids with flowers and introduced themselves. after which a family representative from each side introduced each of their family, extended and all.

The "permission" ceremony then began, in front of an elaborate and very colorful, ancestor altar which represented the bride. The bride and groom burn incense and asked for permission from the ancestors to bless them on their new journey together. The couple then turned and bowed to their parents (her Aunt and Uncle in this case, who represented her Mother), they gave thanks for raising them and bringing them to this point. The bride and groom became very emotional. Jason's mom passed away a few years back and Diep's mom is in Vietnam.  

They had a traditional ring exchange, a beautiful tea, and candle ceremony, along with speeches thanking their families and each other. The bride's family members each provided heartfelt advice and words of support. In all, the wedding was an amazing experience and I am so thankful to have been invited to be a part of such a wonderfully rich tradition. One that I hope Diep and Jason pass along to their children. 

My own words of advice for the couple, continue as you are. Strong, together. Loving one another and supporting each other no matter what. Life has been tough for you both but trust me, it will get better. May you both have a lifetime of bliss and love. 

Jason Garcias is a Houston podcaster and videographer, he is one of the hosts for the Elder and Jay show. He is an amazing Michael Jackson fan and well-rounded individual.