Momma of Dos: 2017

Monday, May 15, 2017

::Mother's Day Letter:: To my Children



It's been a little quiet on the blog these days. It comes with good reason. Working on so many other things in my life right now. But, I wanted to share my Mother's Day reflection with you. 

Yesterday was a great day, lots of happiness and smiles, laughter, gifts and hugs and kisses for sure. There were also disagreements, arguing and feelings of discontent, but that doesn't take away from how great the day was. Because well, that's life right? Good and bad. We work through it. Everyday. Happily and with a grateful heart. 

As I prepared to start my day I thought about my kids. On mother's day. Truth is, for me every day has been mother's day for the last 7 1/2 years. Since my son was born. I love my kids. They drive me nuts, create chaos and also fill so many empty spaces in my heart that needed them. They have taught me so much about patience, and being happy and fulfilled by the small things in life, and simply enjoying life. 

Once you become an adult, with real life responsibilities; you know a 9-5, bills, college, husband/partner, coworkers, dramatic family experiences, illness, pursuing your passions, children of your own, etc. You tend to forget number one;  how to really enjoy yourself and number two, you take for granted the small things in life. At least that's what I've learned about myself as a Momma. I've become so busy "doing" and being an adult that some days I have tunnel vision and feel that there is only one path. This is not true. 

With that stated, I wrote the following: 



To my Children, Camila and Santiago; 

I want you both to grow up well. Motivated. Inspired and determined. I want you to be strong, courageous and bold. To know that elementary school, middle school, high school and even college are easy, it's life in general that I want you to succeed in. I want you to stand up for what you truly believe in, to always speak your mind no matter who it makes uncomfortable, even if it's yourself. I don't want you to be blind or naive about man-kind and people, to know that they can be evil, selfish and ill-intentioned. I want you to be aware and have your eyes and hearts wide open. 

To be open about the world around you but at the same time weary of others capabilities. Not everyone wants the best for you, and that's their problem not yours. I want you to help others but not be a push-over, like me. I want you to love others but never more than yourselves. I want you to know that YOU matter and can make a difference, only if you lead the way. You can't allow others to lead it for you. I want you to know, life is hard. But, if you set your mind to survive it, you can do it. I don't want you to give up on yourself.  

I want you to do everything you love, fully. I'm always the first to admit that I yell, I expect a lot from you both, I push you (and your Dad) to do more, only because I know you are more than capable of great things. I know that academics isn't for everyone but don't allow others to dictate what you can and cannot do. If you want to go to school and get a degree then do that. If you want to travel and be free then do that. If you want to open a bar and raise money for dog shelters, well do that too. But, do it well, go at it with true passion and dedication and succeed at it. 

A lot of people in our lives and family have sacrificed so much for us to be here. In the U.S., so be mindful and work hard! Your Dad and I, we went to college. Not just so that our parents could be proud but to set the example that it can be done. Yes, we want you to go to college and do well.  But, we know that's not for everyone. There are though options and other career training. Don't give up. Don't do nothing. 

Know that I love you NO MATTER what, or who you become. God is with you and I pray for your protection and happiness, daily, sometimes more than once in a day. Know that you already make me so proud. You are funny, you are smart, you are loving and caring. Above all you are LOVED, Blessed and Highly Favored and I pray you will be forever and ever. 

Love always, 

Your Momma


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

::M Live! The Expo About Modern Midlife:: JOIN US THIS WEEKEND

::Momma Disclosure:: This is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own and true. 



Register for free online with code: MOMMAOFDOS

Website: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/m-live-the-expo-about-modern-midlife-tickets-28532414219

::DESCRIPTION::

When it comes to menopause, we all get there at different times, with different circumstances, for different reasons, and at different times in our lives. There's not one thing about menopause that's the same for any one of us—but we all arrive at that place, that intersection, at some point or another.

But, midlife is about infinitely more than menopause. And while menopause plays a role, it's not the be-all, end-all of midlife.

Did You Know?

51% of all women are in menopause, but not every woman in midlife has gone through menopause. As women, menopause and midlife are as inevitable as death and taxes. We are the forgotten women. When we are girls and mothers of girls, we are told how to handle puberty, but who helps us how to handle when we go OUT of puberty?


Welcome to M Live!

M Live! is THE Expo about modern midlife - focused on empowering women and providing resources, support, education, entertainment, and opportunities that they can’t find anywhere else. This isn’t your momma’s midlife, this is modern midlife personified.

M Live!—brought to you by Intersection M—features speakers that specialize in integrative and traditional medicine, gynecologists that specialize in menopause and fitness and nutrition experts to provide tips on whole body health and most importantly the opportunity to have your questions answered by a panel of health practitioners that have your best interest in mind. Need motivation? We have speakers for that too! Want to understand finances? We have you covered. Our speaker on finance in midlife will have you set for retirement.

Meet Us At The Intersection!

Being held at the Health Museum in Houston, the day will be filled with information, education, laughter, sisterhood, botox, fillers, advice, questions and answers, vendors who sell fantastic things, a yummy lunch, snacks, giveaways and contests!

It's going to rock your midlife!

We are going to be bringing it, and we want the same from YOU!

Midlife today is what you make it, let's celebrate it together!

FAQs
What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?
The best way to get the event is via car or you can always Uber! Parking is free at the Museum, surrounding streets and at the McGovern Gardens across the street.
How can I contact the organizer with any questions?
You can contact Lee at lee@intersection-m.com or Faith at faith@intersection-m.com.
What's the refund policy?
We would be happy to refund up to 10 days before the event. Unfortunately, we can't refund after that!

Monday, April 17, 2017

::Marigold Couture:: Spring Dress for All Occasions


:: Momma Disclosure:: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Marigold Couture, but all opinions are true and my own opinion. 


Spring is here and sometimes as a Momma to one very girly girl it's overwhelming to enter department stores to find something both Camila and I love. When it comes to dressing Camila I am often torn between keeping her in "in-style" and allowing her to be herself. But, when it comes to fun, appropriate and comfortable clothes, I trust Camila and her own personal style. She is above all very girly and while I might have to stop her sometimes from walking outside in some kind of Disney Princess dress or her pajamas, she is always very modest and appropriate. 





I want Camila to always be herself, that's foremost. I want Camila to be fun and happy. I love that she is so comfortable and confident in her own skin. 

I think that the styles brought forth by Marigold Couture help capture all the fun and innocence that a 6-year-old can portray. I love the beautiful hand-crafted dresses. I love the unique prints and very age appropriate styles. The dresses they make are great for all occasions; formal, casual and every day. This past weekend we celebrated Easter and Camila's new dress was so great for church but it's also one I can see her wearing to school or to a friends birthday party.  

I loved the details like the neckline ruffle and the waistline ribbon, the colors, and print on this butterfly dress was so perfect for our Spring season celebrations. Camila loves her new dress but was also very free to be herself.  That's what I loved about it. 




A little about Marigold Couture; 
"We are three Mompreneurs based in the large and diverse city of Houston, TX. We also have children and launched Marigold Couture in 2016 to bring to you a children's line that is 'traditionally trendy'. We love playing with fabrics and patterns and mixing them to give you unique, beautiful handmade pieces that are also child appropriate. 
All of our designs are crafted and manufactured with LOVE here in the USA."

Visit and Follow Marigold Cotoure on social media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marigoldcouture/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marigoldcoutureusa/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/marigoldcouture/
Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/marigoldchildrenapparel



Thursday, April 13, 2017

::This is 6:: Camila's Birthday Letter and Photoshoot



Dear Camila, 

Over the past 6 years, the amount of physical, emotional and learning growth that you have experienced is visible every single day. You are a strong willed, gorgeous little lady who practices self-love daily. You know that you can do anything you want, a little too much some days. You and I have fighting words almost daily, but I love you like no one else. You are not your typical Daddy's girl because some days you don't want to even be around him. But, he spoils you rotten regardless and loves you more than words can express. 

You are not really your typical girl in any sense, which we absolutely love about you. 





You are VERY humorous, but you are also a little jealous when your brother tries to show you up. We're working on this with you. You love to make people laugh. You dance salsa, merengue and Cha-Cha-Cha. Pretty much anything hip-hop too, you love to be free flowing and we love seeing you come up with new dance moves. About your brother, you love him more than life and even though you guys fight every minute of every day, he loves you just as much. You are usually best friends and loving when you aren't punching each-other and shouting about something.



You know how to make us laugh, you encourage us when we are down. Literally, you have told me "Mom, you can do this." And, you encourage yourself. You are tough at times filled with self-doubt and a little too stubborn. We are working on this too. At times, I want to rid you of your flaws and tantrums, but then I think about how those little things make you who you are and I know that some of those traits will have to remain with you. 

You love creating and filming videos for your non-existent YouTube Channel, you've made so many short videos and we laugh so much with them. You don't like to be laughed at. But, your personality is just so great, sometimes, we have to laugh. You've mastered "snapchap" (snapchat). You love makeup and are the girliest of girls. Not sure where you get that from, it's not me. At all. Again, some days I'm highly annoyed because I have no clue where to start with you, but then we learn together and all is good.




You are not only funny and beautiful, you are VERY hard working and smart. We knew you'd be that girl, you want to learn and are very competitive. Which is great. You try hard to reach the same levels as your brother in school, and at times seem to exceed them. You have learned to speak Spanish, all with your own effort. You love doing school projects and making friends. You are too friendly at times and have learned that if kids don't want to be your friend, you can move on without them. 

You have always been so super sweet and loving and caring, this has only grown with time. You are amazing Camila, don't ever allow anyone to tell you otherwise, but you already know this. You are faith-filled and at times far more understanding than me. You are very impatient, like me. You want things done now and no other way. You are a busy body and I can shift you from project to project. You don't mind doing, as long as it's something you want to do. You don't like cleaning up, you are a messy artist. You are a creative and thoughtful person. 

You are strong, in so many ways. But, most importantly, you are loved. I can't wait to see you (and your brother) grow even more in days, months, and years to come. You are our Morenaza!

I pray for you to be beyond blessed all the wonderful days of your life...

Love yo'Momma, Daddy and Buh-buh!






Tuesday, April 4, 2017

:: Nancy's Cake Review :: The thing about life & Birthday's

::Momma Disclosure:: Post is partially sponsored, but all opinions and thoughts expressed are mine and true. 

It's been a while. 

I know. 

Here is the thing about life and well in this post about birthday's. You really can't predict the outcome. A couple months ago I thought about a great theme for Cam's 6th Birthday. I wanted her to have a fun Spa day with her friends and then a dinner at our house with family. Well. Then life happened. Right around the same time in February when I was planning all this, I had a car accident. Semi-bad and somewhat costly. I have been in therapy for about 7 weeks now. Our truck was in the shop for about a week and the same day we picked it up, it broke down. Two-weeks later we still didn't have  a car and more money was spent. Side note: Don't know how families of 4 or more survive with one car, we managed but it was hard. Kudos to you!

Then about three-weeks ago, I let go of the idea I had for Cam's birthday and decided we would wing it and just have something "small". Of course with a (big-fat) Mexican family you don't really get a "small" option but maybe a more contained group than usual. 

My Husband and I started looking into our options and went for a family only dinner at our house, which would still be between 30-40 people or maybe 60. OK, so we had a small get-together for 60 family members, cause you only turn 6 once. HA. Prior to this I was asked by a PR representative for Nancy's Cake Designs, if I would like to partner with the bakery for one of my kids' birthdays. Since Cam's was first, I did just that. During the first few days of March, I worked with Nancy and her team to design the cake and figure out logistics. The bakery is on the SouthEast side of town, thankfully my Momma lives nearby  in North/East side of Houston and was able to pick the cake up for me. But, trust me it was well worth it. Being an optimist, I told Nancy I would only have about 30-35 guests, but we had near 60. Still the cake was SO big, everyone ate cake and we even had leftovers!

I had envisioned something colorful and that fit our theme with Cam's birthday being, "Birthday Diva". Because, in case you didn't know, she's half child and half Diva, true story. If you follow me on "snapchap" (snapchat) then you know, she spoke one day on the subject and how her friends just call her Hollywood Diva for short. And, if you know Cam then you know, she is wild. Like no other. I don't think I could make up her personality. And, again if you follow me on social media then you know my children lack personality and imagination ::KIDDING::.

Anyway, the CAKE. It was perfect. My vision and what I sent over was embodied perfectly!





Nancy's Cakes was very professional, they messaged me, called and made sure I was very happy with how my cake details were coming along. I spoke to Nancy herself on several occasions, she is fully bilingual which helps on so many levels! And, the cake was not only perfect on the outside but the inside was equally delicious! We tried a nut flavored cake with strawberry cream filing, you guys, best choice ever. Visit her page for all the fun designs and cake options. The one cake that sold me, and if you know me you know why, was her UH cake! It's my alma mater and I love it!







And, as for life and birthdays, no matter how far off track things can get, or how lost you might think a cause maybe. It's truly not that serious and there is always a better and fair alternative or solution. Cam's birthday wasn't what I envisioned it to be this year, but we have many more with this little Diva so we'll get it right one day!

Either way, everyone loved spending the afternoon with Miss. Birthday Diva and she absolutely LOVED being Diva for the day!!!  ::done using the word DIVA::

HUGE Thank you to Nancy's Cake Designs for making our day extra special and to our family who came and joined-in celebrating my little miracle baby!

P.S. Yearly Birthday Letter/Photo-shoot to follow..... 

Monday, March 6, 2017

::chloe + isabel:: review

::Momma Disclosure:: I have been provided a product in exchange for this review. All opinions and statements are my own, true and honest opinions. 


A couple of months ago (I know, so behind these days) I was contacted by a local Momma friend about creating a post for her new jewelry en-devours. Of course I agreed, who doesn't love jewelry! I'm not huge on being "blinged" out all the time, I'm not Bey or JLo, haha. But, every once in a while a Momma likes to be fancy. Evelin met me and gifted me this gorgeous necklace. I loved it. It was flashy and I didn't think it was my style. But, once I was able to put it on with my everyday clothes, I fell in love with it. I even played with some different looks, I'm rarely one to dress up or wear makeup but this was fun! 

Information and how to obtain the necklace:
Style:  Art Deco Convertible Statement Necklace 

Don't forget you can shop now for Mother's Day and/or any other occasion; birthday's, anniversary gifts, just-because gifts! 

And, about my Bidi-Bidi-Bom-Bom jewelry dish pictured below:
Handcrafted by Maura Hernandez






The piece can be very versatile and you can dress it up any way you'd like, but I feel you can also wear it in a very casual way! As a busy Momma, I look for fun, easy looks I can run out of the house with whether I am going to work, school events, or just to run errands. See my looks below and let me know which is your favorite? 



One thing I am huge on are unique pieces and fashion jewelry. It's so much fun and much more affordable than most items you find in department stores.  I love the idea of "side hustles" and love to support Momma's who are trying to make it all work! Evelin is definitely a Momma who hustles, so I loved doing this mini-review for her. Chloe and Isabel is also a great company for stay-at-home Momma's extra income options, https://www.chloeandisabel.com/

And, their tagline speaks volumes... BE CREATIVE. BE CONFIDENT. BE YOU.  I live by this so much! Being Creative is my constant goal, and I feel that the closer you are to your truest self the more confident you become! This to me has all come with age, experience and lots of self-seeking as well as always evaluating my failures.  As I mentioned in my IG post today, failure isn't always a bad word and a lot of my success has come from trial and error...it's life! 

HAPPY MONDAY...AND HAPPY SHOPPING!!! 


Wednesday, March 1, 2017

::6 Things we do to have BIG Epic Family Vacations:: Part Uno.

(This is a two-part series, with fun things to do while on vacation with kids.) 

In years before we have done fun vacation in Texas but in 2016 we ventured really far away from home. And, it was amazing. 

So, last summer our family took our first BIG Epic family vacation! And, that it was. Since the kids have been born we haven't done big vacations and we have only flown with the 3 of them (one of them being my nephew, which him and his mom travel with us, my only Sister) once for an emergency trip to Detroit to see my Aunt. 

But, ever since we figured out that our Dos (2) could last a couple of hours on the road, we started doing small Texas road trips, gradually building them up to last year's 12-hour road trip to Destin, Florida! Where we rented an apartment for a week and had SO much fun! Here is a list of our TOP 6 things we do to have GREAT family vacations! 

Our vacation consisted of my parents, my sister, my nephew, my brother, my sister in law, my sister's friend, and us four! 

1) We stop at the rest stops and make it a fun learning experience and picture opportunity: 

From Texas to Florida we stopped at every state line and not only took it as a potty-kid break we also learned about the new state and took pictures, Santiago was learning about the state capitals last year so we had to stop and reiterate what each state capital was! (Texas -Austin, Louisiana-Ba-ton Rou-ge, Mississippi- Jackson, Alabama- Montgomery and finally Florida-Tallahassee) 



2) We have become major beach bums, my kids LOVE the sun, sand, and ocean: 

This past year the boys (my son and my nephew) were big enough to learn to body surf on their boogie boards. They loved it, Cam learned too! Everyone laid out on the beach before and after the crazy rain storms, haha.  You would seriously think my kids were born on the beach, there is just something about it that gives them so much life. So we tried to live on the beach as much as we could. 




3) We enjoyed the pool just as much as the beach: 

Once it got too hot on the beach we would cool off in the pool or if it was too dark and we would get kicked off the beach. The kids loved the pool and the hot tub in our condo complex. My Cam was a little fish in water. We had fun and the kids practiced their swimming skills and learned to play pool games!


4) We looked into kid friendly site seeing and went out to eat and found fun places for the kids to explore! 

This is usually my Husbands favorite part, our major resource is Yelp and Google, both are highly accurate at locating kid-friendly restaurants and other local kid-friendly resources. As the kids have grown we have learned to find age-appropriate sites and activities.  We found the Harbor Walk Village with tons to do in Fort Walton beach. 



5) We ride along with Pirates on big ships in an open sea!!! 

One of our favorite parts of a past beach trip to South Padre Island here in Texas was finding a Pirate Ship with a fun adventure for kids and families. So, when we visited Destin, Florida we discovered they had one as well! Only this time we shared the experience with our whole family and it was so much fun! The kids get to become honorary pirates and dance and do a treasure hunt. It's probably one of the more expensive parts of our trip but worth it. 




6) We enjoy every minute no matter how chaotic! 

When you get 8 adults and 3 kids on a 12-hour trip and then try to coordinate activities and food times and likes, it can be crazy. But, no matter how crazy times get we make the most of it and enjoy every moment we get together. More than anything we make sure the kids have fun! And, that's all that matters t us all... 





"Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you will look back and realize they were the BIG things!"-Anonymous 


Monday, February 13, 2017

::Hidden Figures:: Movie Review

This is not paid content and the review is something that came to me because I am super passionate about the things I love! 


{Image Credit: Google Search/Patheos Site}

I finally saw the movie Hidden Figures, and I knew it would be good and I knew I would like it. I mean empowering women of color is in my DNA, right? But, I didn't realize that I would identify so much of myself to the main character of this movie.  Katherine; an educated woman of color who is always overlooked, looked past and through. As a Mexican-American woman in corporate America since 1999, I have had similar experiences in the workplace. No matter how hard you work, someone else always gets the credit. That, someone else, is usually not a person who cares to work as hard as you because of their position of entitlement, which I find sad.  

The notion that you're invisible and irrelevant to your employer even though you're the one getting the work done is one that I have lived with for over 10 years now. Even though I have been in "high ranking" positions, it hasn't been an easy task to accomplish and it also doesn't guarantee truly being recognized or appreciated as much as others. While I definitely DON'T know the extent of racism that these incredible NASA professionals experienced, I have felt the inequality of gender and race in most of my positions and as a culture in the companies I work for.

Please don't get me wrong, this isn't a moment of self-pity or for others to feel sorry for me. Nor is it a complaint or bashing of any current situation in our nation. But, instead, an eye opener. That again, the extent and overt racism experienced by the female "computers" of NASA in the 1960's, still may linger in very low key ways and places where we least expect them. Not too much has changed for women in the workplace, while it is "better" there are still so many barriers we must overcome. And, we will overcome them. {i.e. Women's March 2017}


                                                              {Image Credit: Google Search/Hollywood Reporter Site}

There were moments in the movie where I could NOT hold back my tears. The first pivotal moment was when Katherine had to explain where she was 40 minutes of every day. No one knew her struggle and most overlooked the things that blared out to her. The fact that her boss was so busy he didn't see the barriers she faced, was truly no excuse, but I loved that he was the first one to take action and make those barriers less. I cried so much, I have been there. In white male dominated industries, where the issues a woman may have are not important to them, yet we get our work done and move forward with the pains and barriers we carry. 

Another moment where I felt truly happy and empowered was when Mary explained why the judge should grant her the ability to attend an all-white school. Of course, as you can see at this point, as women, we are always required to defend who we are and why we want to do things to improve our lives. But, that's OK, we endure and move forward. Mary's story is one that as a Momma and Wife, I struggle with, should we go back to school and better ourselves? The answer of course is YES, the issue of when the time is right will never happen. We remain busy and there will never be a better time, than now! I loved her boldness and strength. 

{Image Credit: Google Search/CNN Site}

And, the final moment that made me just fill with awe and admiration for these women was when Dorothy became supervisor of the newly formed IBM group and walked into the IBM room with her entire group of "colored computers". She was proof that when you resist you persist. 

                                                        {Image Credit: Google Search/Boston Magazine Site}

If you have not seen this movie, I recommend it for everyone. To me it was empowering for women of all ages and races. I watched it with my kids, and they knew so much about segregation, being of color and Martin Luther King Jr. that they followed along very well. When Dorthy walked into that IBM room, Santiago said.. "MOM, SHE DID IT!!!" I explained to Camila that because these women were smart, brave and strong they succeeded; she asked if she should be that way in school, to which I replied YES. You should! 

It is in these moments that we should teach our children both boys and girls, to stand firm in what they believe in, to truly follow their dreams and passions and to be BRAVE and stand strong together! I know my kids received the message. They are learning about what it's like to be brown in America, I want them to know their place, to claim what is theirs and to never be scared to be themselves! Regardless of their skin color or gender, they know that if they are strong and brave they will succeed, it's what I plan to instill in them! 

{Image Credit: TenderNest Portraits Houston Texas}