Author Archives: Tracy López

FIFA 14 on Windows 8.1!

fifa14-windows-8

I’m part of the Windows Champions Program. As a Windows Champion, I have been loaned a Surface Pro 2, a Venue 8 Pro, and, on occasion, Microsoft products such as software to assist me in developing content for my blog posts. All opinions are my own.

FIFA 14 has come to Windows 8.1 devices! While I love to play and watch fútbol, I’m not much of a gamer, so I downloaded this on our Dell Venue 8 Pro (tablet) and asked my 15 year old to review it. Here’s his thoughts!

fifa-14-windows-tablet-1

Since I was little, I’ve had an undeniable passion for “the beautiful game” – Whether watching my favorite teams such as FC Barcelona or DC United, engaging in the sport myself, or playing various editions of the FIFA video games on my Xbox 360, soccer is a big part of my life. Playing the FIFA video games have become, in many ways, a family tradition just as much as kicking the ball around the backyard.

FIFA 14 is a new and revolutionary soccer simulation that pleases both the casual gamer and passionate fans alike. It keeps the most signature features of the recent FIFA editions, but also adds some new refreshing features and settings that keep the gameplay interesting and fun.

Despite vast differences between Xbox 360 gameplay and mobile gameplay, the overall purpose of both is to entertain lovers of soccer at home or on the go, and it does that well. The controls on the Windows 8 app impressively incorporate some more complex moves while maintaining a level of simplicity, which permits exhilarating gameplay on the go when an Xbox isn’t available. Although the graphics are better than any soccer game on the Windows 8.1 app market, the graphic quality is still better when played on the Xbox.

With the free version you are somewhat limited in what you’re able to do. The tablet version allows you to play penalty shootouts, Ultimate Team, and includes game commentary in multiple languages, including Spanish. Purchasing the in-game features allows you to have the full experience.

Overall, I would highly recommend FIFA 14 on Windows 8.1 devices or Xbox to all ages, to regular people looking for a fun game, and most definitely to passionate soccer fans.

Find FIFA 14 in the Windows app store here and ¡Viva fútbol!

¡Guanapolio!

guanapolio-screenshot

Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. Scroll down for English translation!

Desde que vi en las noticias que unos jovenes salvadoreños habían creado una versión salvadoreño del juego Monopoly, quería jugarlo pero por mucho tiempo sólo estaba disponible en El Salvador. Ahora tienen el juego por venta en Amazon, y un amigo en Twitter (¡gracias, Carlos!), me informó que también lanzaron un app.

El juego Guanapolio está disponible en Amazon.com para todos los hermanos lejanos.

El juego Guanapolio está disponible en Amazon.com para todos los hermanos lejanos.

El app de Guanapolio es gratis (pero me imagino que por un tiempo limitado, ¡así que descárgalo ahora!) y es muy impresionante. La calidad de la app me sorprendió. Es muy divertido jugar y te hará reír. Si no eres salvadoreño/a es posible que no vas a entender todo en el juego, pero si eres salvadoreño/a o muy familiarizado con la cultura, te vas a divertir cada segundo que lo juegas.

Aquí está en iTunes, Google Play, y Facebook.

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION]

Ever since I saw on the news that some young Salvadorans had created a Salvadoran version of the game Monopoly, I have wanted to play, but for a long time it was only available in El Salvador. Now they have the game for sale on Amazon, and a friend on Twitter (thanks, Carlos!), informed me that they also launched an app.

The Guanapolio app is free (but I imagine for a limited time, so download it now!) and it’s very impressive. The quality of the app surprised me. It’s really fun to play and will make you laugh. If you’re not Salvadoran you probably won’t understand everything in the game, but if you are Salvadoran or very familiar with the culture, you’ll have fun every second you play.

Here it is on iTunes, Google Play and Facebook.

Mi Cumple

felizcumple-note

Today is my birthday. Carlos whispered “Feliz cumpleaños, birthday girl,” to me before kissing me on the forehead and going to work. I smiled and went back to sleep. When I awoke, I found that little note you see above, and minutes later he texted me a video of Pedro Infante singing “Las Mañanitas.”

Honestly, I usually try to lay low on my birthday – the more quietly it passes, the better. Of course, my family and friends never let that happen. Upon opening my email this morning there were even more birthday wishes, and even my gringo family sends them in Spanish these days. My father sent me a birthday song from Dora the Explorer and my maternal grandmother sent me a mariachi e-greeting.

So, since it’s a losing battle, this year I’m choosing to embrace my birthday. After all, I’m 35 years old today, and it doesn’t feel half as bad as I thought it would. Turning thirty was semi-traumatic, so anything short of a complete emotional breakdown is progress worthy of being noted.

This time of year always comes with thoughts about what I haven’t yet achieved and the fact that I still don’t know for sure exactly where I’m going in life. Thirty-year-old-me freaked out about these exact thoughts, but thirty-five-year-old-me shrugs and says, “¿Y qué?” … It isn’t that I’m apathetic about my goals, but I’m more accepting of the fact that they won’t always happen on my timetable, and some of them won’t happen at all – That’s okay because there’s something else I discovered; in life you will achieve and experience things that you never even set out to achieve or experience in the first place, and more often than not, those are the things you’ll end up cherishing more than anything on your list of “things to accomplish.”

“Oye abre tus ojos, mira hacia arriba,
Disfruta las cosas buenas que tiene la vida,
Abre tus ojos mira hacia arriba,
Disfruta las cosas buenas que tiene la vida.

Un descanso en el camino, una botella de vino,
Un suspiro, una mirada, una alegre carcajada,
Una cara en el espejo, un amigo, un buen consejo,
Un viaje en barco velero aunque no llegues rimero,
Un caballito cerrero que no corra por dinero,
Un palmar, un riachuelo, un pedacito de cielo.

Mira bien alrededor y verás las cosas buenas,
Que la vida es un amor, olvídate de tus penas.
Oye abre tus ojos, mira hacia arriba,
Disfruta las cosas buenas que tiene la vida,
Abre tus ojos mira hacia arriba,
Disfruta las cosas buenas que tiene la vida.

Una playa, un cumpleaños,
Un buen recuerdo de antaño,
Un olor a yerbabuena, una conversación amena,
Un romance que ha nacido que te roba los sentidos,
Un parque lleno de niños, un bellísimo cariño,
Un lágrima, un momento que sea todo sentimiento,
Una música muy bella, un perfume, una estrella.

Mira bien alrededor y verás las cosas buenas,
Que la vida es un amor, olvídate de tus penas.

Oye abre tus ojos, mira hacia arriba,
Disfruta las cosas buenas que tiene la vida,
Abre tus ojos mira hacia arriba,
Disfruta las cosas buenas que tiene la vida.”

- “Oye Abre Tus Ojos” by Wilfrido Vargas

How to type Spanish characters on a Samsung Galaxy s4

samsung-galaxy-spanish-characters

Disclosure: Latinaish.com has partnered with Cricket Wireless as a 2014 Blog Ambassador. All opinions are my own.

In high school, my Spanish teacher was very strict about accents. If a student spelled a word without its accent, it was marked wrong – no mercy! For a student whose native language doesn’t really utilize accents, this seemed rather harsh, but eventually I got so used to it that now I get annoyed when I’m typing on a new device and can’t figure out where the accented characters are. After all, on New Years, I don’t want to wish all my Spanish-speaking friends a “Feliz Ano Nuevo.”

That being said, finding the Spanish accented characters was one of the first things I did on the Samsung Galaxy s4. They aren’t immediately apparent on the onscreen keyboard, so I made this little video to help you find them, too.

Happy texting!

You can learn more about Cricket Wireless in Spanish here, or in English here. You can also follow the #VidaConCricket hashtag and @MiCricket on Twitter.

Regalitos de México

Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. Scroll down for English translation!

El fin de semana pasado pasamos un tiempo super bellísimo con unos amigos que visitaron Washington D.C. desde México, (¡y por eso no escribí mi entrada de Spanish Friday!) Los amigos que nos visitaron fueron nuestra querida amiga, Sue, que ya conociamos por unos años por internet y Skype pero nunca cara a cara, y también su esposo, Toño.

Otro día quiero contar más sobre su visita porque tengo mucho que quiero decir, (todavía es díficil para mi poner en palabras la felicidad que esta visita nos dio) – entonces, por ahora sólo los regalitos que nos trajeron les voy a enseñar.

¡Y qué regalos más lindos nos trajeron! …

muyinteresante

Estas revistas en español se llaman “Muy Interesante” y con mucha razón porque son muy interesantes, (¡como dice Sue!) Ya pasé horas leyéndolas con mi hijo menor. Las revistas “Muy Interesante” son buenísimas para empezar conversaciones sobre cosas de que usualmente no hablamos y para aprender vocabulario más técnico y científico.

superman-spanish

También nos trajeron un cómic y es muy divertido leer porque los ruidos son bien diferentes cuando pelean los personajes.

gallo-bowl-mexico

Un gallo de Oaxaca para el guacamole de Carlos.

mexican-spoons

Cucharas pintadas a mano, (las voy a colgar en la pared en vez de cocinar con ellas porque son demasiado bonitas.)

mexican-spoon-handles

Y…

pinata-earrings

¡aretes de Guadalajara diseñados como piñatas! Lo mejor es que todos los regalos (además de las revistas), apoyan a los artesanos en México.

Veo estos regalos cada día y mientras yo ya extraño a Sue y Toño, me siento muy, pero muy, agradecida por nuestra amistad.

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION]

Last weekend we spent an amazingly beautiful time with some friends who were visiting Washington D.C. from Mexico, (and that’s why I didn’t write my Spanish Friday post!) The friends that visited us were our dear friend, Sue, who we’ve known through the internet and Skype for a few years, but had never met face-to-face, and her husband, Toño.

Another day I want to tell more about their visit because I have a lot I want to say, (it’s still difficult for me to put in words the happiness their visit gave us) – so, for now I’ll just show you the gifts that they brought.

And what beautiful gifts they brought!

These magazines in Spanish are called “Muy Interesante” and with good reason – they’re very interesting, (as Sue says!) I’ve already spent hours reading these with my younger son. The “Muy Interesante” magazines are fantastic for starting conversations about things we usually wouldn’t talk about and for learning more technical and scientific vocabulary.

They also brought us a comic book which is really amusing to read because the sounds are really different when the characters fight.

A rooster [bowl] from Oaxaca for Carlos’s guacamole.

Spoons painted by hand, (I’m going to hang them on the wall because they’re too pretty to damage.)

And…

earrings from Guadalajara designed like piñatas! The best thing is that all of the gifts, (except the magazines), support artisans in Mexico.

I see these gifts each day and while I already miss Sue and Toño, I feel very, very, thankful for our friendship.

Raul y Mexia

raulymexia

I discover new music every day but a couple weeks ago when I had one of our Spanish-language satellite music channels playing on the television as background noise while I worked, I heard a song that literally made me stop in my tracks. I had gone to the kitchen to grab a bottle of water – (also known as procrastinating. Funny how thirsty you can get when you have writer’s block) – but I could hear the last song end and a new song begin. After a few notes I stopped and listened. By the time the song got to the hook, I had run to grab a pen and paper to write down the name of the song and artist. I wrote down:

Yo También
Raul y Mexia

After a little research I discovered that the album this song is on, “Arriba y Lejos”, actually came out last year, and the brothers Raul y Mexia are the sons of none other than Hernán Hernández, the bassist for Los Tigres del Norte. They call their music “cumbia campechana” – (“campechana” being a mixed seafood cocktail in Mexico) – which is an excellent description of their unique sound. I ended up loving the whole album, with “Ay Amor” being my second favorite song after “Yo También.”

Here’s a great article about them from the NY Times. I loved this quote:

“I was a skater and into rock music and totally not into what my parents maybe expected me to be into,” said Mexia, 33, who eventually gravitated to hip-hop, memorizing Luke Skyywalker and Gucci Crew records. “My dad would come home from tour speaking Spanish, and I would only want to speak English. He’d be like, ‘Mijo, come over here, let me teach you how to play this song, let me tell you about Mexico,’ and I was like, ‘Aw come on, Dad.’ I just wanted to be out on the streets with my friends.” – source: NY Times

So maybe, I’m a little late on this one, but I’m now a fan of Raul y Mexia.

Who is your new favorite Spanish-speaking music artist?

Your niño could be a player escort at the World Cup!

brasil-mcdonalds

The other day at McDonald’s I spotted this sign in the window and knew you guys would want to know about it.

Ever since I blogged about my younger son’s awesome experience at a McDonald’s soccer clinic and in the player escort program a few years ago, I’ve been bombarded by parents desperate to know how to get their child into the program. Unfortunately, I do not have any special connections or exclusive information on the program, and McDonald’s doesn’t seem to have a dedicated webpage in the United States for announcing these soccer clinics. Most people find out about the soccer clinics from local radio stations, and it is from those soccer clinics that the children are chosen to escort players on the field at an upcoming game.

That being said, here’s a chance for children ages 6 to 10 to be a player escort in the biggest game this year – the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™! The Sweepstakes started March 11th and ends April 6th, 2014, so go read the official rules and frequently asked questions, then enter at McdOneGoal.com! (You can enter in English, or en español!)

Buena suerte!

Note: This is not a sponsored or paid post. Neither McDonald’s nor FIFA nor any third party asked or authorized me to publish this information. All logos in the photo are the property of McDonald’s and FIFA. I am not an official sponsor or partner of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. I am neither a representative of McDonald’s, McDonald’s soccer clinics or the McDonald’s player escort program. All opinions are my own.

Calles de Tierra

Image source: Flickr user Mircea Turcan

Image source: Flickr user Mircea Turcan

Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. Scroll down for English translation!

Descubrí un hermoso poema escrito por un poeta mexicano sobre la vida en la zona rural de México que quiero compartir. Aquí está:

Calles de Tierra

Nunca voy a olvidarme del rancho
siempre voy a sentirme orgulloso
como extraño sus calles de tierra
cuando bebíamos agua del pozo.

A las cuatro los gallos cantaban
a las cinco ladraban los perros
a las seis el molino da vueltas
y al trabajo van los jornaleros.

Un pedazo de tierra sembrado
Cuatro vacas, un puerco en engorda
Una yunta jalando el arado
y mi apa’ desgranando mazorca.

El comal con la leña del cerro
y mi abuela torteando a las siete
los frijoles hirviendo en la hoya
y mi abuelo afilando el machete.

Un sombrero viejo y maltratado
tres camisas y dos pantalones
los huaraches ya están desgastados
pero no me da vergüenza ser pobre.

Nunca voy a olvidarme del rancho
siempre voy a sentirme orgulloso
como extraño sus calles de tierra
y a las señoras con su rebozo.

Bueno, tengo una confesión. Esta “poema” es en realidad letras escritas por Espinoza Paz. Sé que algunas personas desprecian a Espinoza Paz. Algunas personas lo llaman “naco” y no ven su valor, pero yo quería demostrar que cuando uno lee estas letras como un poema de un poeta anónimo, se puede ver la hermosura de las palabras; uno puede ver que hay corazón y talento detrás de las palabras. Esta es una lección, espero, en no juzgar basada en la superficie de las cosas; mejor buscamos más profundo e intentar una perspectiva diferente.

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION]

I found a beautiful poem written by a Mexican poet about life in rural Mexico I want to share. Here is my translation of the poem to English (which doesn’t do it justice):

Dirt Roads


I’ll never forget the ranch,
I will always be proud,
How I miss its dirt roads,
When we would drink water from the well.

At four o’clock the roosters crowed,
At five the dogs barked,
At six the mill spins,
and the laborers go to work.

A piece of land sown,
Four cows, a pig being fattened,
Oxen pulling a plow,
And my father threshing corn.

The griddle with the firewood from the hill,
My grandmother making tortillas at 7 o’clock,
The beans boiling in the pot,
And my grandfather sharpening the machete.

A hat, old and battered,
Three shirts and two pants,
Sandals that are already worn out,
but I’m not ashamed to be poor.

I’ll never forget the ranch,
I will always be proud,
How I miss its dirt roads,
And the ladies with their ​​shawls.

Okay, I have a confession. This “poem” is actually lyrics written by Espinoza Paz. I know some people look down on Espinoza Paz. Some people call him “naco” and don’t see his value, but I wanted to show that when one reads these lyrics as a poem by an anonymous poet, you can see how beautiful the words are; one can see that there is heart and talent behind the words. This is a lesson, I hope, not to judge based on surface things; we should instead look deeper and try a different perspective.

5 Meatless Salvadoran Meals

Vegetarian Salvadoran recipes for Lent

Carlos reminded me that yesterday was Ash Wednesday. Lent (“Cuaresma” in Spanish) is not something I grew up celebrating, but I know that many people do observe various traditions this time of year, such as eating meatless meals. I checked my recipe index and there are several options to choose from that fit this criteria, but I’ve chosen 5 of my favorites to recommend to you. Whether you’re celebrating La Cuaresma or just want to explore some vegetarian Salvadoran cuisine, these are some tasty meals to consider making and enjoying with your familia!

5 Meatless Salvadoran Recipes

casamiento1-302 Casamiento is a delicious marriage of beans and rice, best served with fried plantains and rich Salvadoran cream. Get the recipe here.











desayunouni1-302 Desayuno Universitario isn’t just for hungry university students on a budget. Beans spread on toasted french bread, topped with melted cheese and fresh salsa, make a satisfying and well-balanced meal for anyone. Get the recipe here.









latinaish_pupusas1-302 Pupusas are the national food of El Salvador and many varieties are completely vegetarian-friendly. Try pupusas de queso (cheese), pupusas de queso con frijoles (bean and cheese), or pupusas stuffed with cheese and shredded zucchini. Served with curtido, (the traditional pickled cabbage slaw), and a fresh salsa, even meat lovers will be begging for more. Get the recipe here.






platotipico-302 Plato típico is a traditional breakfast in El Salvador, but breakfast for dinner can be just as delicious. Fried sweet plantains, refried beans, scrambled eggs, Salvadoran cream, and warm, thick, corn tortillas fresh off the comal are perfect washed down with a cup of coffee. Get the recipe here.








rellenosdeejotes_latinaish3-302 Rellenos de Ejotes are a must for cheese lovers. Green beans are encased in slightly salty mozzarella, then dipped in a batter and fried to a golden brown. Serve with fresh salsa and rice and you’ve got yourself a complete meal, my friend. Get the recipe here.



Do you eat vegetarian meals once in awhile? What are your favorite meatless meals?

Do-it-Yourself Laptop Work Tray

D.I.Y. Fox Laptop Work Tray featuring Pantone 2014 color of the year

As a member of Lowe’s Creative Ideas Network I received gift cards from Lowe’s in order to purchase supplies to complete projects. All opinions are my own.

In this house, almost no one leaves their laptop at the desk. We may decide we want to be in the same room with the family, or that we want to sit somewhere more comfortable, or that when Carlos is watching “Chavito del 8″ on TV, it’s really freaking distracting and we need to move elsewhere, (and by “we” I mean “me.”)

The problem is that when you move your laptop around constantly, accidents can happen, and you’re much better off keeping it on a work tray which makes it easier to transport. Carlos gave me the idea to use a scrap of wood we had and just buy handles for it, but I realized it was the perfect project to show off the new 2014 Pantone Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid. And to go with the trendy color, I chose something else trendy to decorate the tray – a fox! Foxes have been super popular in everything from fashion to home décor to music this past year, and I think that trend will continue, (although, if anyone is taking nominations for 2014 animal of the year, I nominate chuchos aguacateros.)

Do-it-Yourself Laptop Work Tray

You need:

A piece of wood, about 10 inches wide, 22 inches long, and 3/4-inch thick
Paint: Pantone 2014 color of the year, Radiant Orchid (sample size is sufficient for this project)
Paint: Black (you can use any craft paint you may already have on hand)
paint brushes (1 medium household, 1 smaller craft brush)
screw driver, drill (I used my Rockwell 3RILL)
2 cabinet pulls with screws (I used Gatehouse 3-inch Matte Black Bar Cabinet Pulls)
FrogTape (painter’s tape)
printer, printer ink and card stock
a pack of 1-inch felt pads
scissors or X-Acto knife
pencil
measuring tape
newspapers

Directions:

1. Spread out newspaper to protect your surface from the paint. Paint the top and edges of the piece of wood using the Pantone 2014 color of the year, Radiant Orchid. When completely dry, flip over and paint the other side.

painted-board-color-of-the-year-pantone

2. While the paint dries, you’re going to print your stencil. Decide which design you’d like on your tray. If you like the fox, you can download the stencil I created from free clipart by clicking the image below and downloading. Print in landscape format on card stock. It’s important to use card stock and not regular copy paper since you’ll be using this as a stencil and it needs to be sturdy.

fox-stencil-download

3. Cut the shape of the fox out from the middle of the card stock then use the frog tape to tape the stencil to the middle of the board.

fox-stencil

4. “Pounce” (dab) the black paint onto the wood with a craft paint brush or foam brush especially for stenciling, being careful at the edges of the stencil. (No peeking!) Allow to dry completely before removing the tape and stencil.

5. Use the measuring tape to measure the wood and center the handles where you’d like them on each end of the tray on the top side. Use a pencil to outline where you’ll drill the holes.

drill-holes-fox-tray

6. Drill the holes and then attach the handles with the screws that came with them.

7. On the back side of the tray will be the four screw heads – these will scratch up surfaces so on each one, place a self-adhering felt pad.

8. Your tray is finished!

DIY fox laptop work tray - Latinaish.com

Want more creative ideas?

Winter14_BloggerBadge_200x200

 

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