Miami, regresaré!

(Today is Spanish Friday so the following post is en español. Don’t speak Spanish? No problema! Just scroll down to the English translation below.)


Por tres días no puedo parar de sonreir. ¿Quieres saber por qué? Porque recibí una invitación de Telemundo por venir a Miami para los Billboard Latin Music Awards!

Me cuesta mucho buscar las palabras por explicar cómo me siento yo ahorita – (¡aún en inglés!) … Es casi el mismo sentido que uno siente cuándo está enamorado. No puedo pensar en nada salvo los Billboard Latin Music Awards. No tengo nada de hambre, no tengo sueño – sólo tengo mis ensueños de caminar en la carpeta roja con un vestidito super lindo, la playa que me recuerda mucho, la música, mis amigas, y estar rodeada de hispanohablantes y la cultura Latina – Miami y este evento son nada menos que el paraíso!

¿Y sabes qué? Espinoza Paz está nominado en varias categorías! Ay mi madre! Sí está mi Espinoza, y sí tengo el chance de conocerlo cara a cara – me muero! (Pero me muero feliz!)

La unica cosa es que quiero llevar Carlos conmigo. Él tiene muchos años trabajando fuerte sin irse en vacaciónes y lo merece mucho. Carlos no conoce Miami y ya sé que va a enamorar de la ciudad como yo lo hice el año pasado. Entonces, estoy buscando más trabajo, (escribiendo), y Carlos buscando trabajo en cortar grama o cualquier cosa que puede encontrar fuera de su trabajo regular, para que ahorramos un poco extra por comprar el boleto que necesita.

Así que, a trabajar voy, mis amigos! … Y Miami, mi amor, regresaré muy pronto!

Te dejo con un video: Armada Latina – Cypress Hill featuring Pitbull and Marc Anthony.

Pitbull está tan lindo y chistoso en este video. Chécalo!

ENGLISH TRANSLATION:

For three days I haven’t been able to stop smiling. Want to know why? Because I received an invitation from Telemundo to come to Miami for the Billboard Latin Music Awards!

It’s difficult for me to find the words to explain how I feel right now – (even in English!) … It’s almost the same feeling one feels when they’re in love. I can’t think of anything except the Billboard Latin Music Awards. I’m not hungry, I’m not tired – I just have my daydreams about walking on the red carpet dressed in a super cute gown, the beautiful beach I often think of, the music, my friends, and being surrounded by Spanish speakers and the Latin culture – Miami and this event are nothing less than paradise!

And guess what? Espinoza Paz is nominated in various categories! If my Espinoza is there, and if I have the chance to meet him face-to-face – I will die! (But I’ll die happy!)

The only thing is that I want to bring Carlos with me. He has spent a lot of years working hard without going on a single vacation and he really deserves it. Carlos has never been to Miami and I know he’ll fall in love with the city like I did last year. So, I’m looking for more work, (writing), and Carlos is looking for more work, cutting grass or whatever he can find outside his regular work, so we can save a little extra that we need to buy his ticket.

So then, back to work I go, my friends! … And Miami, my love, I’m coming back real soon!

I leave you with a video: Armada Latina – Cypress Hill featuring Pitbull and Marc Anthony.

Pitbull is so cute and funny in this video. Check it out!

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Did you participate in Spanish Friday? Leave your link in comments!
Participaste en Spanish Friday? Deja tu link en comentarios!

My Chicharito

My youngest son watches fútbol with me, and he likes to play. His favorite futbolista, (and mine) – is the ever popular “Chicharito” of El Tri (Mexico’s national team), who also plays for Manchester United.

During the World Cup, I couldn’t help but notice the resemblance between the footballer and my son. You can let me know if it’s my imagination, but I think it’s muy obvio. Now we call our son “Chicharito” – (one of about a dozen nicknames which seems to be the birthright of every Latino child.) … He’s totally embraced it. When I cut his hair, he tells me, “Cut it like Chicharito’s.”

So, if anyone out there is planning on making a movie about Javier Hernandez’s life, now you know where to find the actor who will play him as a child.

Mi morral y un ensueño

Este es mi regalo para mi cumple que recibí de mi amiga, Claudia – y como dije a ella, “lo amo, lo amo, lo amo!” …

Es de El Salvador (la bolsa y mi amiga también! jajaja), y mira que lindos colores trae el morral! Con sólo una mirada, me manda a otro lugar en mi mente. Imagino caminando en la playa, mi cabello flotando en la brisa, la arena caliente bajo mis pies, mis chanclas en mi mano y mis pantalones enrollados hasta las rodillas. Colgado en mi hombro, mi linda bolsa. Dentro de la bolsa tendría un buen libro que me gustaría sentarme y leer cuando encuentré el lugar perfecto – un lugar donde no hay demasiada gente y puedo escuchar las olas rompiendo en la orilla mientras estaba sentada bajo el sol.

Volviendo a la realidad: Próximos tres días, frío y lluvioso. El verano no puede llegar suficientemente pronto.

English Translation:

Title: My satchel and a daydream

This is my birthday gift I received from my friend, Claudia – and as I told her, “I love it, love it, love it!” …

It’s from El Salvador, (the bag and my friend too! hahaha), and look how pretty the colors! With just a look, it sends me to another place in my mind. I imagine walking on the beach, my hair flowing in the breeze, warm sand under my feet, my flip-flops swinging in my hand and the legs of my jeans rolled to the knees. Hanging from my shoulder, my beautiful bag. Inside the bag would be a good book that I would sit down to read when I found the perfect place – a place where there aren’t too many people and where I can hear the waves crashing on the shore while sitting in the sun.

Back to reality: Next three days, cold and rainy. Summer can not come soon enough.

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Participaste en Spanish Friday? Deja tu link in comentarios!
Did you participate in Spanish Friday? Leave your link in comments!

White Socks

I am not a fashionista. It has only been in recent years that I have dared step beyond jeans, T-shirts and chanclas to mix it up a little and try to find my own unique style, (which still involves an inordinate amount of jeans, T-shirts and chanclas.)

That being said, for some reason, Suegra looks up to me as if I’m a hot celebrity who is up on the latest trends. Should Suegra have a fashion question, it is me she consults. I do my best to advise her, with the very little fashion knowledge that I possess.

So, the other day Suegra comes to me modeling some new shoes. They were formal black, women’s shoes… and she was wearing them with white socks. I told her that unless she’s Michael Jackson, a Catholic school girl, or wearing a poodle skirt, that white socks with black shoes were absolutely unacceptable.

A few days later, we’re getting into my car to run errands. Suegra points to my shoes, outraged.

“White socks! You said no white socks with black shoes! Why are you wearing white socks?!”

I look at her confused, look down at my shoes, and then back at her.

“I’m not wearing white socks,” I said. “That’s my skin.”

Maybe a little time in the sunshine wouldn’t hurt.

Typografía

(Image source: laughingmonk)

(Image source: laughingmonk)


Typography
ty·pog·ra·phy
[tahy-pog-ruh-fee]
–noun
1. the art or process of printing with type.
2. the work of setting and arranging types and of printing from them.
3. the general character or appearance of printed matter.

-Dictionary.com

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As a lover of both art and words, it’s inevitable that I would love typography. Words have meaning all their own, but when design is thrown into the mix, the emotion of it is amplified. When typography is done right, it can evoke an exact emotion – wistfulness, nostalgia, romance, anger, playfulness, seriousness, excitement, peacefulness, hunger.

(Image source: english.bicentenario.gob.mx)

(Image source: Copyright Stephen Raw)

(Image source: Danielle Bardgette)

(Image source: mtvtr3s.com)

(Image source: Copyright Nick Sherman)

Typography is used in magazines, art, television advertisements, restaurant signs, on products and everywhere imaginable to grab your attention.

In recent years, typography has also been used in music videos. This is often referred to as “moving typography” or “animated typography”. I had seen quite a few of these sorts of videos in English and was absolutely enamored, so I went in search of “moving typography” videos in Spanish. I discovered an Uruguyan band called “El Cuarteto de Nos”, who has used this in their videos. I love it! Not only is it fun, but it’s a good way to learn the spelling and pronunciation of some words you might not know. (Not to mention, la música está bien chida.)

Chécalo!

From El Salvador with Love

Every time Suegra returns from El Salvador, she comes with a suitcase or two loaded with gifts for us. She’s like a guanaca Santa Claus. Some of the gifts Suegra buys herself, others are sent by in-laws. The in-laws send gifts partly because they love us, and let’s be honest, partly because they’re hoping to score an awesome “thank you” gift from Los Uniteds. (Awesome = Nike shoes, in my experience.)

Over the years we have accumulated a lot of stuff from El Salvador. Some of it is beautiful, adorable, fantastic. Some of it… is not. A Tío sent pirated DVD’s of Pedro Infante movies. I love the films but feel a little naughty owning them… And speaking of naughty, Suegra once brought me panties – but not just any panties. These panties have a heart emblazoned on the front and the words “I Love You”.

On the sweeter side of things, when the boys were little, Suegra always brought them pajamas from “St. Jacks”, (pronounced San Yacks by locals.) Sometimes she brought them shirts with weird random sayings in English like “Deluxe Auto Umbrella Stick!” and “Super Boy King” … I will have to dig through the niños closet one day and find those.

All of the wonderful items she brings usually have the distinct scent of queso, by the way. The dozens of white bricks of cheese in her suitcase look like cocaine and I’m surprised she hasn’t run into trouble… (Of course, security is probably busy with the buckets of Pollo Campero the other passengers are carrying.)

Well, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are some more of the things we’ve received from El Salvador…

A cross painted in the traditional style from La Palma.

This “God Bless This Home” wall hanging I actually brought back myself. This was at Suegra’s house and I admired it. Suegra took it off the wall and gave it to me. (That was back in the day when she still liked me.)

Capirucho. It’s a toy. You have to catch the ball on the little stick that is attached. We have a few different types but this one is prettiest.

I’m rich! … Oh wait, the dollarization. My colones are worthless.

A little trinket box painted in the traditional style from La Palma. (Though I think this particular artist was a little more exceptional than the others I’ve seen. The detail on this is much more unique than other things I have.)

A hat.

A miniature clay jar.

These are the shoes my husband wore to the United States. The niños find them hilarious. “Daddy wore THOSE?! They look like elf shoes!”

A peasant blouse with pretty embroidery but I can’t wear it in public because it makes me look like a German barmaid.

Detail on the blouse.

One of many bags we own. They’re especially good for going to the beach.

My very fashionable Mauricio Funes bag. (And for those who don’t know, despite his cool sounding name, Mauricio Funes is not a top designer – he’s the President of El Salvador.)

What Salvadoran household is complete without a machete?

We interrupt these photos for a commercial break…Oh wait, that’s just an apron someone sent me. Caja de Crédito de Chalatenango, you’re getting free advertising on Latinaish.com today.

A cute ratoncito (mouse) wallet which has been personalized, like many gifts we receive, with one of the kid’s names.

Another wallet, for all the money we don’t have.

A necklace I wear almost all the time.

Perhaps the most hideous doll I’ve seen in my entire life – and that includes those Chucky horror movies. I’m sorry to whoever made this doll. It scares me. After I took the photo, I put it back in the box in my closet where it belongs.

This bracelet is supposed to keep the “mal de ojo” (“evil eye”) away from babies, but I rarely let them wear it. I was worried they’d rip it off their wrist and choke on it.

This is a depiction of The Last Supper. I never hung it up because one of the people in attendance is wearing a witch’s hat and a little boy to the left of Jesus is wearing a baseball hat. It’s just weird.

I love these towels by artist Edmundo Otoniel. The scenes they depict are so perfectly Salvadoran. They’re almost too beautiful to use, but we do use them.

One of my favorites – the hammock. My parents also have one – they refer to it as “The Gringo Tipper” because they’ve both fallen out of it. It’s takes some practice to get used to it, but once you do, those flat-style American hammocks can’t compare. I love to lay in there and watch the clouds, think, read … sometimes I just inspect the weaving, imagine the person who made it – all the work that went into it…

Flequillos y Selena

Suegra has returned early.

Long story short, she went to visit her other hijo and was supposed to stay until mid-August, but a family situation in El Salvador made her decide to return to our casita so she could get her things together and arrange to leave. Well, by some milagro, the family situation in El Salvador has been resolved … and now she won’t be leaving until October.

I probably sound a little suspicious, because truthfully, I am. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think that Suegra just wanted to come back to our house because she wasn’t enjoying her other hijo’s house as much as she says. (Of course, I’ll never know the truth because Suegra only tells me good things about her visit there.)

Ni modo, while Suegra was still on her trip, I got a hair cut. I read that mujeres of a certain age should have flequillos (bangs) to look more youthful. Well, thankfully I had the wisdom that comes with this certain age to know not to attempt cutting the bangs myself. There are no 3 words worse than hearing an amiga or hermana tell you, “I cut bangs” – it rarely turns out well, yet some sort of mania causes us to forget and do it again a few years later. Cutting bangs is sort of like childbirth that way.

So, this time, thankfully, I decided to go to a professional to have my bangs cut but I’m still experimenting with styling them. Today I have them sort of side-swept, but the day we went to pick Suegra up from the airport I had them styled like Selena. (Like I said, I’m still figuring these things out, okay?)

As we walked towards Suegra at the baggage claim she looked at my husband y los niños and smiled, but she looked at me as if she didn’t know me. She didn’t realize it was me until I was right in front of her face. She said she was confused because she wondered who the Mexican girl was walking behind her son. (I’m choosing to take that as a compliment, but I’m not sure how she intended it.)

Last night, coincidentally, the Selena movie was on T.V. so I was watching it with my husband, snuggled on the couch together. Then Suegra comes in, sits down and immediately starts talking.

“What’s this?”
“A movie about Selena, the singer.”
“…But whose that little girl?”
“That’s Selena when she was little.”
“How did they get video of her when she was little?”
“It’s not really her, Mamá. It’s a movie about her life.”
“Whose that man?”
“Her father.”
“Her father for real?”
“No, madre, they’re all actors!”

Yes, Suegra has returned and she’s just as much fun as she was before.

Unforgettable You

Book review:

Unforgettable You by Daisy Fuentes is a beauty guide which recognizes that it takes much more than just a pretty face to be truly beautiful. This book is equal parts autobiography and self-help, with multiple questionnaires to assist the reader in discovering more about themselves.

Daisy talks candidly, in the voice often utilized in women’s magazines, and covers everything from etiquette & style to spirituality & sex. Over all, I thought it was an easy read and a useful guide although 50+ pages were simply blank questionnaires. The target audience would be women in the 20-40 age range looking for light pool-side reading, but I do not recommend this book for younger women due to some language and sexual references.

Disclosure: Unforgettable You by Daisy Fuentes was provided for review by ID Public Relations. All opinions are my own.

Contest: Design a T-shirt for Surropa.com!

Yesterday on Twitter I announced a special deal for my readers. Surropa.com agreed to give you all 15% off your purchases using coupon code “latinaish” until June 30th.

Today I chatted with them and they said we could have some more fun by holding a contest here. All you have to do is go over to Surropa.com, look at the women’s T-shirt line to get an idea of what sort of designs/messages they create. Then come back here and comment with your idea for a new T-shirt you think they should make. You can describe a new theme, topic, text and/or design. If yours is the winning idea, you’ll win the shirt you helped inspire! Qué chivo, verdad?

Contest closed. No new entries being accepted. Thank you.

Disclosure: Just in case you’re wondering, no compensation, monetary or otherwise, was received in return for this post.

Gaucho Gorgeous

I don’t buy women’s magazines. I used to years ago, but then I realized every time I looked at them, I felt worse about myself. I also grew annoyed with the conflicting messages. Often on the very same cover you will see something like, “50 cupcake recipes you can’t resist!” alongside “How to lose 10 pounds in one day!” (This is only a slight exaggeration.)

Well, today I was browsing the magazines at the store while I waited for my husband, (he was lost somewhere in electronics.)  I picked up the May issue of Marie Claire because it claimed to contain photos of Jessica Simpson without makeup or retouching, and I’m a sucker for that sort of thing -  except as I searched through the pages of the magazine for Jessica, I found something quite different.

I flipped back a few pages to find out what in the world this image went to. Turns out it’s part of a fashion spread called “Gaucho Gorgeous”. I don’t see myself going out to the grocery store dressed like an Argentinian cowboy any time soon, but fortunately some of the other photos weren’t quite so silly.