Conversations at Casa López – Part 6

casalopez-2

Carlos has been on a roll lately with bilingual mix-ups! Here are a few of my favorites. (I’ll definitely have to do a post like this soon with just my own Spanish mistakes to keep things fair!)

Carlos: The coffee doesn’t taste good with just a little sugar.
Tracy: The problem is you don’t want to go cold turkey. You’ll get used to it faster like that.
Carlos: But I don’t want to be a cold turkey.

[Watching “The Hunger Games”]
Carlos: Wait, so where is Cactus right now?
Tracy: Her name is Katniss, not Cactus.

Tracy: You need to just let it go and move on.
Carlos: No way, I’m not going to just throw this under the rock.

[Carlos confusing the idiom “Sweep it under the rug.”]

[Switching around the radio stations in the car. “Sweet Home Alabama” comes on the radio.]

Tracy: I’ll leave it for you, I know you like this song.
Carlos: Yeah, but I like better the one with Chris Rock.
Tracy: I think you mean Kid Rock.

Corazones de Pañito para Día de San Valentín

doily-hearts

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!

¿Necesitas una manualidad rapida y accesible para el Día de San Valentín? Estos corazones de papel en forma de pañito sólo cuestan $1 por paquete de 30 en la tienda Dollar Tree. Con un marcador de cualquier color que te guste, puedes escribir cortos mensajes en cada uno y después decorar el carro, oficina o puerta para tu amado.

Aquí hay unas frases que puedes escribir. (¡También sirve como lección de español si quieres hacer la manualidad con los niños!)

Te Quiero
Te Quiero Mucho
TQM
Te Amo
Te Adoro
Nene/Nena
Corazón
Corazón de Melon
Guapo/Guapa
Chulo/Chula
Bonito/Bonita
Amor
Amorcito Corazón
Cielito Lindo
Bésame
Besos
Abrazos
Se Mío
Papi Chulo/Mami Chula
Te Amo Un Chingo
Tú y Yo
Para Siempre

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION]

Title: Doily Hearts for Valentine’s Day

Do you need a fast and affordable craft for Valentine’s Day? These paper doily hearts are only $1 for a pack of 30 at Dollar Tree. With a colored marker you can write short messages on each heart and then decorate the car, office, or door of your beloved.

Here are some phrases in Spanish you can write. (This also serves as a Spanish lesson if you do the craft with the kids!)

Te Quiero
Te Quiero Mucho
TQM
Te Amo
Te Adoro
Nene/Nena
Corazón
Corazón de Melon
Guapo/Guapa
Chulo/Chula
Bonito/Bonita
Amor
Amorcito Corazón
Cielito Lindo
Bésame
Besos
Abrazos
Se Mío
Papi Chulo/Mami Chula
Te Amo Un Chingo
Tú y Yo
Para Siempre

Dulce de Leche Valentine Cookies

Dulce de Leche Valentine's Day Cookies

Yesterday I got a sweet craving, and re-discovered a jar of dulce de leche in the refrigerator. Instead of eating it with a spoon like a heathen (not that I haven’t done exactly that before), I decided to make a batch of simple sugar cookies since I was all out of galletas Marias. Naturally since Valentine’s Day is coming up, I grabbed a heart-shaped cookie cutter from the drawer, and thus Dulce de Leche Valentine’s Day Cookies were born. When dusted with powdered sugar, they’re kind of like alfajores! … Make a batch for your corazón de melon, your niños, or even yourself.

Dulce de Leche Valentine’s Day Cookies

You Need:

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
a little less than a 1/4 teaspoon salt

1 jar or can of your favorite dulce de leche
powdered sugar for sprinkling

Method:

1. Beat the softened butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract.

2. Add flour, baking powder, and salt – sprinkling the baking powder and salt so it’s evenly distributed on the flour. (This is a short cut to avoid having to combine dry ingredients separately in another bowl!) Use a rubber spatula to mix the dry ingredients into the butter mixture.

3. Form the dough into a large ball and cover tightly with plastic wrap inside the bowl. Place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill for 20 to 30 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. While the oven heats, work with small amounts of dough, (leaving the rest covered in the refrigerator), to cut out the cookies. You can use a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface, but it isn’t necessary. You can simply flatten a small amount with your palm right on the parchment paper covered baking sheet, then use a heart-shaped cookie cutter on the flattened dough. Remove the excess dough from the edges of the heart shape and re-use for the next cookie you cut out.

5. Bake cookies about 1 to 2 inches apart, (if the dough has been properly chilled and your pan is not hot before going into the oven, it shouldn’t spread and will maintain its shape.)

6. Bake about 10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are golden brown. (Bake time may be slightly less or more, depending on the size and thickness of your cookies. My heart-shaped cookies were about palm-sized and no more than a 1/4 inch thick.)

7. Remove cookies to cool on clean, dry paper towels, (or on wire racks if you’re fancy. I personally don’t own any of those.)

8. For the first few hours these cookies will be mostly soft and chewy, but if you make them in the evening and wait until the next morning (which is what I prefer), the texture becomes chewy on the inside but more crisp on the outside.

heart-cookie

9. Use a butter knife to spread your favorite dulce de leche either on top of the cookies, or on the bottom of one to sandwich it between two cookies.

dulce-de-leche-cookie

10. Dust with powdered sugar. (I recommend doing this by putting a small amount of powdered sugar in a fine mesh sieve and gently tapping it over the cookies to avoid large clumps of powdered sugar.)

11. Give to your valentine before you eat them all yourself.

“Growing Up Pedro” and “20 Camiones Grandes” (giveaway!)

book-giveaway-pedro-3

Disclosure: I received copies of these books for review purposes. No other compensation was given. As always, all opinions are my own.

Veinte camiones grandes en medio de la calle” by Mark Lee and illustrated by Kurt Cyrus, is a Spanish-language board book aimed at children ages 2 to 5 years old, but I will admit something to you – as a non-native speaker, I learned a lot of new words in this book! I feel like the vocabulary is pretty advanced given the audience, but I see that as a positive thing as there are plenty of children’s books with much more basic language. (An example of a sentence that tripped me up: “El 17 arrastra un tambor de alquitrán.” Apparently “arrastrar” means to drag or haul, and “alquitrán” is tar.)

The book has a good rhythm and rhyming words which make it fun to read aloud, and kids who love vehicles will be completely enthralled by the illustrations of all the different types of cars and trucks caught up in a traffic jam.

As for “Growing up Pedro” by Matt Tavares – I really loved this book. I’m not a big baseball fan and honestly didn’t know who Pedro Martínez was, (now I do!) but this is a really beautifully written story about a Dominican-born baseball player who grows up admiring his brother Ramón. Both brothers end up making history in American major league baseball but it’s the touching glimpse into their personal lives behind their careers and the gorgeous illustrations that make this book so appealing. “Growing up Pedro” is aimed at children ages 8 to 12, but I can see children who are a little younger enjoying it as well, (although because of the length they may not be able to listen to it in one sitting.)

Want to win a copy of each of these books? Check out the giveaway below!

—GIVEAWAY CLOSED!—

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Prize description: Two lucky winners will each receive a prize pack which includes a copy of GROWING UP PEDRO by Matt Tavares and a copy of 20 CAMIONES GRANDES EN MEDIO DE LA CALLE by Mark Lee, illustrated by Kurt Cyrus.

Approximate value: $25.00 per prize pack

How to Enter:

Just leave a comment below telling me your child’s favorite book right now! Alternately, you can tell me one of YOUR favorite children’s books. (Please read official rules below.)

Official Rules: No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years of age or older to enter. You must be able to provide a U.S. or Canada address for prize shipment. Your name and address will only be shared with the company in charge of prize fulfillment. Please no P.O. Boxes. One entry per household. Make sure that you enter a valid E-mail address in the E-mail address field so you can be contacted if you win. Winner will be selected at random. Winner has 24 hours to respond. After 24 hours, a new winner will be selected at random. Giveaway entries are being accepted between February 9th, 2015 through February 13th, 2015. Entries received after February 13th, 2015 at 11:59 pm ET, will not be considered. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. If you win, by accepting the prize, you are agreeing that Latinaish.com assumes no liability for damages of any kind. By entering your name below you are agreeing to these Official Rules. Void where prohibited by law.

Buena suerte! Good luck!

Dora & Friends (Giveaway!)

dora-length

Disclosure: I received this product for review purposes. No other compensation was given. As always, all opinions are my own.

Apparently I’m a little behind in the world of children’s TV programming, but that’s probably understandable since my boys are now 16 and 13 years old. It’s been quite a few years since we sat down to watch Dora the Explorer together, (and yes, they loved that show back in the day.)

Well, my boys aren’t the only ones who have grown up – so has Dora. Dora and Friends: Into the City! is a show that launched last year. The show features a tween-aged Dora and friends – Kate, Naiya, Emma, Alana and Pablo – in a similar format to the original with a focus on problem solving, the Spanish language, and other useful skills for young minds.

Dora and Friends is available on DVD as of February 10th, 2015 and I was given a copy for review ahead of the release. It felt a little odd to sit down and pop a Dora DVD in after all these years, and it probably comes as no surprise that neither of my sons wanted to watch with me as they’re most definitely out of the target audience age range at this point.

Without a cute little kid to shout out the answers next to me, I only made it through the first episode, (the DVD includes 4 episodes total: We Save a Pirate Ship!, The Magic Ring, The Royal Ball, and Dance Party.) Hopefully my 3 year old niece will want to watch with me next time, otherwise I feel a little weird answering Dora all by myself. (Then again, it’s just as awkward not to answer her.)

i-dont-know-whats-more-awkward-answering-dora-or-sitting-in-slience

The thing I found most amusing is that the character Map, who used to be a real map in her backpack, is now a map app on her smartphone. (Yes, Dora has a smartphone!) On the language front, I liked that the Spanish they teach seems to be slightly more advanced and now includes short phrases and commands rather than singular words.

If you’ve got a little son or daughter who you’re raising bilingual, check out the giveaway below for your chance to win a copy of the Dora and Friends DVD!

dora-and-friends

—GIVEAWAY CLOSED!—

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Prize description: One lucky winner will receive a Nickelodeon “Dora and Friends” DVD.

Approximate value: $15.00.

How to Enter:

Just leave a comment below! You can say anything you like about Dora, this blog post, bilingualism, or just “Hi, I’d like to enter!” (Please read official rules below.)

Official Rules: No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years of age or older to enter. You must be able to provide a U.S. or Canada address for prize shipment. Your name and address will only be shared with the company in charge of prize fulfillment. Please no P.O. Boxes. One entry per household. Make sure that you enter a valid E-mail address in the E-mail address field so you can be contacted if you win. Winner will be selected at random. Winner has 24 hours to respond. After 24 hours, a new winner will be selected at random. Giveaway entries are being accepted between February 7th, 2015 through February 10th, 2015. Entries received after February 10th, 2015 at 11:59 pm ET, will not be considered. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. If you win, by accepting the prize, you are agreeing that Latinaish.com assumes no liability for damages of any kind. By entering your name below you are agreeing to these Official Rules. Void where prohibited by law.

Buena suerte! Good luck!

Have you ever played “Diccionario”?

Image source: Horia Varlan

Image source: Horia Varlan

Angela over at Logos y Filias recently introduced me to a fun word game she plays on her blog called, “Diccionario.” I know you guys will have fun with this, so I wanted to share it with you too.

Each Friday you can visit Angela’s blog and she will have chosen a word in Spanish from the dictionary. Your job is to respond either in comments on her blog, or via Twitter (#diccionario) with your made up definition for the word. The goal of the game is not to guess the correct definition but to come up with creative and funny fake definitions for the word. You can respond in English or Spanish – it’s up to you. ¿Sale y vale?

Today’s word, for example, is BÁRATRO.

What definition would you make up? Go over and comment!

El Escarabajo Dorado (a guest post)

Image source: José Luis Celada Euba

Image source: José Luis Celada Euba

Today’s guest post about a humorous turned enlightening moment had while living in Peru, comes to us from Fabianne, a high school Spanish teacher, world traveler, and the blogger behind “Blogging Is Narcissistic But…

Last year I shared an apartment in the noisy city of Trujillo, Peru with two Spanish roommates. One night, I found myself in the kitchen when a big, scary something started frantically buzzing around the room, smacking its chunky body against the walls, seemingly desperate to escape. Meanwhile, the window was, as always, wide open to cleanse the space of my roommates’ tobacco habit. I let out a little yelp and waved my hands in the air, which only seemed to offer the opposite of my intended message as it zoomed toward me in a state of panic.

I heard one of my roommates say, “She’s shouting in English again,” and the two of them came rushing to my rescue.

Cucaracha?” (Yes, that is actually how you say cockroach) asked one.

“No! I don’t know what this is!” I gasped as it propelled its seemingly light-brown body toward us. All three of us screamed simultaneously and ran for the kitchen door. Mar shut it behind us and we laughed at ourselves.

“What is that?” she shouted. “It’s enormous!”

At the time, I didn’t know the word for moth in Spanish. (Now I do. Polilla. I’ll never forget it. High stakes situations make for great learning experiences.) So I opted for the word for butterfly because once I read that most insects that appear to be butterflies are actually moths. I figured it was my best bet.

Una mariposa?” They asked, skeptical.

Algo como una mariposa pero con un cuerpo gordo,” (“Something like a butterfly but with a fat body,”) I explained. They both stared at me.

“Well we can’t just stand out here,” my other roommate Vanessa said, entering the kitchen and heroically grabbing the broom. She struck at the fat-bodied butterfly, which was still making circles around the kitchen, using two hands to wield her domestic weapon. Mar and I screamed and laughed from a safe distance, when suddenly, after one swift sweep of the broom, we watched it come spiraling down. She got it. It wasn’t dead, but injured beyond flight, rattling on the kitchen floor. Vanessa leaned over her kill to get a closer look, and let out a little gasp.

“It’s not a butterfly!” she shouted, almost angry. Yes, that much I knew, I just lacked the necessary vocabulary. “It’s an escarabajo!” A beetle, she said.

Escarabajo!” I shouted, not particularly out of concern but mostly because I love that word. So onomatopoeic. When I hear it, I picture a little black beetle scraping and digging through the dirt, making a whispery noise that sounds like, “escarabajo.” I actually only know the word because a little black one crawled into my backpack one time, and a Spaniard pointed and shouted, “Escarabajo!” I remember she told me not to kill it because “los escarabajos no son malos.” They’re not bad. Fair enough.

It turns out the escarabajo in our kitchen was a bit different than the one in my backpack. “It’s a golden beetle,” Vanessa explained. Escarabajo dorado.

I had never heard of a golden beetle and didn’t care too much until she said, “It’s a symbol of immortality.”

For some reason those words resonated with me. To be fair, this is a girl who lit the end of a small branch and waved it around our apartment to expel bad energy, and who charges her crystals by moonlight (though I know of no better way), and while I love her and admire her earthy spirit, I usually remain unaffected by her beliefs. This is not because I claim to possess superior spiritual ideology, just that I’m kind of lazy when it comes to these things. Afterlife? Can’t be bothered…But this time I felt bad. Was I an accomplice to the murder of a bug that only wanted to offer us immortality?

“It’s suffering,” Vanessa said looking at me seriously, “and you have to kill it. I did my part.”

“I don’t like to kill things!” I protested. She shot me a look of death. I get it. OK.

Both of my roommates returned to their respective rooms. The golden beetle squirmed on the floor, its gem-like shell glistening under the fluorescent kitchen lights. Not knowing what to do, I swept it into a dustpan and tipped it out our seven-story kitchen window, hoping maybe it would catch flight.

“It committed suicide,” I announced loud enough for Vanessa to hear, though she didn’t respond.

Later that night, I Google searched “golden beetle.” I found various articles about the insect, my favorite from a gardener saying she is both frustrated and delighted when she finds these beautiful pests among her plants. Another funny bug-nerd article said something like, “Everyone keeps talking about golden beetles.” Oh yeah. People just won’t shut up about them! Nowhere did I find anything about immortality, though the words that affected me most came from an article about insect collections. It recommends that you not add the golden beetle to your collection as it loses its golden color once it dries out, saying, “these bugs are most beautiful kept alive.” Ouch.