Fruit For All! Fruta Para Todos!

One of the great things about having a blog is that sometimes opportunities come along to use that blog to do good – this is one of those times. I have an amazing project to share with you today, and then after that, a really unique giveaway.

First, the project – Nestlé Juicy Juice and Feeding America are working together to literally put fresh fruit into the hands of children who otherwise wouldn’t have it, and there are a lot of ways you can help make that happen.

Ways to contribute to the Fruit For All Project

• Now through August 31st 2012, when you buy Juicy Juice products, Nestlé will donate fruit to Feeding America.

• Now through August 31st 2012, you can complete “challenges” such as sharing a photo on Juicy Juice’s Fruit for All website, in return Nestlé will donate fruit to Feeding America.

Ready to help out? Here are the websites in English and Spanish:

Juicy Juice – Fruit For All Project – English

Juicy Juice – Proyecto Fruta Para Todos – Español

The Giveaway

Okay, now for the giveaway – I hope you believed me when I said this is unique. The prize in this giveaway is a donation of 400 meals to a food bank in your community! What an amazing gift to be able to give!

How to Enter

All you need to do to enter is just leave a comment below telling me your favorite fruit!
(Please read official rules below.)

Official Rules: No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years of age or older to enter. You must be living in the United States. Your information will only be shared with the company in charge of prize fulfillment. 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 48 hours to respond. After 48 hours, a new winner will be selected at random. Giveaway entries are being accepted between June 8th, 2012 through August 1st, 2012. Entries received after August 1st, 2012 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.

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored or paid post. The only compensation I received was the offer to donate 400 meals to my local food bank. All opinions are my own.

2012 Billboard Latin Music Awards CD Giveaway

Latin Billboard Music Awards 2012 Finalists

While nothing can compare with actually attending the Billboard Latin Music Awards in Miami, which I was fortunate enough to do last year, this CD es bien buenísimo. All the songs on this CD are by finalists, so you know it’s got to be good. Chécalo!

SHAKIRA – featuring El Cata – Rabiosa
PITBULL – Bon, Bon
MANA – Lluvia Al Corazón
PRINCE ROYCE – Recházame
JENNI RIVERA – featuring Marco Antonio Solis Basta Ya (Pop version)
ROMEO SANTOS – You
RICKY MARTIN – featuring Natalia Jimenez Lo Mejor De Mi Vida Eres Tú
WISIN & YANDEL – Estoy Enamorado
CAMILA – De Mi
ALEJANDRA GUZMAN – Día De Suerte
GERARDO ORTIZ – Amor Confuso
CHINO & NACHO – Tu Angelito
ALEXIS & FIDO – Energía
DON OMAR – Taboo

This year The Billboard Latin Music Awards will be live on Telemundo, Thursday April 26th at 7 pm. Target has remained the exclusive retail sponsor of the Latin Billboard Music Awards show for 8 years, so this CD will be sold exclusively in Target stores and on Target.com, but here’s how you can win one!

-GIVEAWAY CLOSED – CONGRATS TO WINNER: All Things Pit -

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Prize description: One lucky winner will receive the 2012 Billboard Latin Music Awards Finalists CD

Approximate value: $9.99

How to Enter:

Just leave a comment below telling me which song or performer on the CD is your favorite. (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. 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 48 hours to respond. After 48 hours, a new winner will be selected at random. Giveaway entries are being accepted between April 23rd, 2012 through April 27th, 2012. Entries received after April 27th, 2012 at 11:59 pm, 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.

Disclosure: This is not a paid or sponsored post. I received this CD for review purposes. All opinions are my own.

La Merienda and Mexico’s Abuelita

“La merienda” is a traditional Latin American snack break which can be taken between breakfast and lunch, or between lunch and dinner. It’s different from most American snack or coffee breaks because la merienda isn’t something you would scarf down behind the wheel of your car, buy from a vending machine, or mindlessly munch while checking E-mail. It’s a moment each day, often shared with others, where you sit down at the table and savor what is more like a miniature meal. This tradition is about taking a moment to relax and truly appreciate comida, familia and amigos, which creates a thankful spirit.

Nestlé Abuelita sent me some of their products to enjoy during our daily merienda and although I wish you could have been sitting at the table with me, I took some photos so you can share in the experience.

I usually use the Abuelita "tableta" to make hot chocolate, and I love to add cinnamon.

Nestlé Abuelita sent me the granulated form and instant hot chocolate mix packets which make it easier for the boys to make their own.

Using hot milk instead of water provides calcium and a creamier drink.

Merienda time with a cup of hot chocolate and a tamal de elote.

History & Culture

Coincidentally this past weekend, while watching a Pedro Infante film, (Los tres García) with Carlos, I said, “That old lady looks familiar,” – referring to one of the actresses on screen. Carlos laughed, “That’s abuelita!”

“I know that’s the abuelita,” I said, for she was the grandmother of the three main characters in the movie, “I mean I’ve seen her somewhere else.”

“Yes, she’s the abuelita on the hot chocolate!” Carlos said.

I thought he was joking, but it’s true. After a little research I discovered that the woman on packages of Abuelita is Mexican actress Sara García – She so often played the part of the “abuela” in films during the 1940′s-1950′s that she became known as “Mexican Cinema’s Grandmother.”

Are you ready for your merienda?

Below, find out how to win a Nestlé Abuelita Prize Pack. Also know that sometime on or around March 7th, you can visit Facebook.com/Abuelita and RSVP to join a special event where you’ll have another chance to win a merienda prize pack from Nestlé Abuelita.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED AND IS NOT ACCEPTING NEW ENTRIES. CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNER: LISA!

Prize: The Nestlé Abuelita Prize Pack for ONE lucky winner which values at $50 will include:

• Nestlé Abuelita Instant and Nestlé Abuelita Granulado product
• Two coffee/hot chocolate mugs and saucers
• One hot chocolate spoon
• A set of recipe cards to provide some ideas for enjoying your Nestlé Abuelita products
• Nestle note cards
• Disposable digital camera

How to Enter:

In the comments section, tell us if you currently partake in a daily afternoon snack break or “merienda.”

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. 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 48 hours to respond. After 48 hours, a new winner will be selected at random. Giveaway entries are being accepted between February 20th, 2012 through February 25th, 2012. Entries received after February 25th, 2012 at 11:59 PM, 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.

Disclosure: I received products from Nestlé to facilitate the review and writing of this post. All opinions are my own.

Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias – Giveaway!

Gabriel Iglesias is one of my favorite comedians, so when I was asked if I wanted to do a giveaway of the DVD release of the Comedy Central show, “Gabriel Iglesias Stand-up Revolution” – I was all in!

This is a 2 disc set with over 40 minutes of Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias and his comedian friends and even features OZOMATLI as the house band. If you haven’t seen the TV show, Gabriel serves mainly as host and introduces the comedians before they perform. All of the comedians are friends of Gabriel’s and most of them are breaking into the business. Some of the comedians are funnier than others, but the DVD is worth having for the opening story Gabriel tells about Arizona. (Their tour bus was pulled over by Border Patrol – hilarity ensues.) I also loved the outtakes and the music video called “Hey, It’s Fluffy!” made especially for Gabriel by OZOMATLI.

Here’s a preview of the DVD – (which is definitely not for niños and somewhat not safe for work, depending on how cool or not cool your boss is.)

Want your own copy? Read the details below for how to win!

—GIVEAWAY CLOSED—CONGRATS, LAUREN!—

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

Prize description: One lucky winner will receive a 2 disc DVD release of “Gabriel Iglesias Presents Stand-Up Revolution.”

Approximate value: $15.00.

How to Enter:

Just leave a comment below telling me what you like about comedian Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias! If you’re not yet familiar with Gabriel, tell me about your favorite comedian of all time. (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. 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 48 hours to respond. After 48 hours, a new winner will be selected at random. Giveaway entries are being accepted between November 20th, 2011 through November 25th, 2011. Entries received after November 25th, 2011 at 11:59 pm, 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.

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

Twitter Party! Close Even If Far Away #CricketContigo

I’ll be co-hosting a Twitter party with Latina Bloggers Connect and Cricket!

The theme of the #CricketContigo Twitter party is “Cerca Aunque Estés Lejos” (Close Even If Far Away.)

With the holidays coming up, it’s difficult to be far from loved ones. I know for example that the quiet streets on Christmas Eve here make Carlos really miss the cuetes (fireworks), and fun his family are having in El Salvador. Sometimes “being there” over the phone while things are happening makes it a little better.

Please put this on your calendar and check out the details HERE.

Click for even more info!

It’s going to be a fun fiesta. Some of my best friends are going to be there, including: @CuponeandoLive, @JuanofWords, @ohmariana, @spanglishbaby, myself (@latinaish), of course – and it will be moderated by @lbconnect with special guest @micricket.

There will be some chévere and very valuable prizes, and a piñata full of candy – I’m not even kidding.

See you there! Tuesday, November 15th, 2011 at 7pm-8:30pm EST/6-7:30pm CST on Twitter. Hashtag: #CricketContigo.

(Pst! If you RSVP, you have an extra chance to win! Read the details here and then go HERE to RSVP to the #CricketContigo Twitter party!)

Disclosure: This is not a paid or sponsored post. My participation in the Twitter party itself will be paid. This post conforms to WordPress.com Terms of Service. As always, all opinions are my own.

Tech to Connect at Blogalicious

I don’t love having my photo taken even under the best circumstances. My mother has always told me I have a “cat who swallowed the canary” smile. I’ve accepted my smile for what it is, but I’m still selective about which images of myself go up online.

At Blogalicious, I had to let go of the urge to control every picture that was taken of me. Within the first hour of the conference, I noticed several people taking my photo which made me self-conscious. I attempted to straighten my posture as I sat at the table trying to figure out the Sprint tablet, (which I had been loaned as part of my sponsorship.) Of course, within a minute I would forget about my posture, relax, and then a flash would go off again. I kind of had to give up on caring about those photos.

Figuring out the Sprint HTC EVO View 4G tablet - (me on the far left)

Getting good at tweeting on the Sprint tablet.

Once I accepted that dozens of “unapproved” photos were floating around in cyberspace, it was actually kind of freeing and I stopped caring.

I'm not quite at the level of not caring as my friend Roxana, who loves to make faces to annoy the photographer, but I aspire to be. (left to right, me, Roxana, Maura.)

me (left), Ezzy (right)

(left to right) Roxana, Ana, me

Blogueras! (And yes, I changed out of stylish shoes in favor of chanclas.)

So far I haven’t loved all the photos taken of me, but it’s okay. It’s not the end of the world and I’m not perfect. I’m just happy that Sprint loaned the tablet to me so that I could capture happy memories with my friends. (I can say that calmly for now because I still haven’t discovered any of the photos of me dancing. They’re out there somewhere though.)

Anyway, I took plenty of my own photos of amigas with the Sprint tablet, once I got the hang of it, if you want to go check those out.

More importantly, f you want to take your own photos, there’s an opportunity for you to win a Motorola Photon 4G smartphone at a Twitter party I’m co-hosting! (The Motorola Photon 4G has an 8 megapixels camera, digital zoom, flash, auto focus and image editing tools, among other features.)

For the official invite to the Twitter party with date, time and other details, check out the Latina Bloggers Connect Facebook page. Hope to see you there!

Disclosure: This is not a paid or sponsored post. Sprint sponsored the Latina Bloggers Connect team at the Blogalicious conference and made a Sprint HTC EVO View 4G tablet available for my use on a loan basis. All opinions are my own.

T-Pain Microphone – Giveaway!

Okay, if you don’t listen to hip-hop/rap/popular music, you might not know who T-Pain is – so let me introduce you.

This is a photo I took of T-Pain and Pitbull on the red carpet at the 2011 Latin Billboard Awards in Miami

T-Pain is an American hip-hop artist who developed a unique sound and style by consistently using and thus popularizing “auto tuning.” Auto-tuning is basically an audio process which corrects pitch. Auto-tune has taken a lot of criticism from musicians and music fans alike because when abused, it can make even a talentless average-sounding pop singer sound good. While that’s totally true, I think it has its place in the industry.

Here’s T-Pain singing with our favorite naughty Cubano, Pitbull, so you can hear the “T-Pain effect”:

As T-Pain grew in popularity so did auto-tuning. In response to that interest, T-Pain first created an i-phone app that let’s you play with the effect. If you don’t have an i-phone – no worries. Now T-Pain has also created an auto-tune microphone.

K-Mart is selling the microphone and featuring it as one of their “Fab 15 toys” for the holidays with Modern Family actor, Rico Rodriguez.

My boys and I got to play with this toy the past few days, (much to Carlos’s annoyance.) I’m actually impressed with the features. You can record with it, (3 minutes of recording time), and then upload it to the internet via a USB hidden in the bottom of the microphone. The microphone also has a headphone jack, MP3 input and 3 original beats to play around with. Chécalo:

Think it looks fun? You’re in luck – I am giving away one I Am T-Pain™ Mic! Check out the giveaway below!

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

———————————————————————————————————————————–
THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED. CONGRATS TO OUR WINNER: Denisse!
————————————————————————————————————————————

Prize description: “Experience the pop culture phenomenon of the T-Pain Effect™ with the I Am T-Pain™ Mic. Transform your voice into T-Pain’s style of singing with a press of a button. Sing to your favorite tracks, freestyle over exclusive beats, and upload beats from your computer to the mic. Record, save and share online with friends.” Approximate value: $39.99.

How to Enter:

Just leave a comment below telling me what song you’d want to sing into the microphone! (It doesn’t have to be a T-Pain song!) (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. 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 48 hours to respond. After 48 hours, a new winner will be selected at random. Giveaway entries are being accepted between October 17th, 2011 through October 25th, 2011. Entries received after October 25th, 2011 at 11:59 pm, 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.

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

El Perro y El Gato {giveaway}

I don’t do giveaways often but when I do, I make sure it’s something I know my readers will really love. I’ve been a longtime fan of the bilingual animated series El Perro y El Gato on HBO Latino & HBO Family, so when they asked me if I wanted to giveaway their new DVDs, it was a definite “¡Sí, señor! … (actually, it was a woman who contacted me… but nevermind.)

As for the DVDs – I really can’t tell you how much the kids and I love these, (and at almost 13 and 10 years old, they are definitely not pre-schoolers, so I can only imagine how much even younger kids adore these characters.) My younger son watched one of the DVDs with his visiting nephew yesterday and they both laughed and repeated things in Spanish every few minutes.

If you haven’t seen the show before, here’s one of the episodes that has aired on TV:

Here’s some more information from the press release:

El Perro Y El Gato…offer valuable lessons from a lovable, overexcited orange dog (El Perro) and his laid-back, always hungry pal, a purple cat (El Gato). The specials help children to learn a new language in a playfully quirky, humorous, and engaging way. The El Perro Y El Gato titles will be available on August 9, 2011 for the suggested retail price of $9.95 each.

As a cat and dog, El Perro Y El Gato may have different worldviews, but they are still best buds – and totally bilingual. Featuring lots of vibrant colors, catchy music and plenty of attitude, the specials show the friends in their daily routines as they tackle problems and mount wonderful adventures that create non-stop fun and laughter – all the while teaching kids how to speak in English and in Spanish. New episodes of El Perro y El Gato returns to HBO Latino on September 15th at 7am and on HBO Family September 18th at 6:30pm.

Now for the chance to win your own set of the new El Perro y El Gato DVDs!

I will be selecting -THREE- (Sí, ¡tres!) random winners. EACH winner will receive the entire set of 4 DVDs which includes:

El Perro y El Gato: La Aventura Comienza/The Adventure Begins
El Perro y El Gato: Sin Correa/Unleashed
El Perro y El Gato: Juntos Otra Vez/Together Again
El Perro y El Gato: De Aquí Para Allá/From Here to There

For a chance to win watch the video [above] and then leave a comment telling me which character is your favorite – El Perro, or El Gato, and why. Make sure you use a valid E-mail address so that if you win, I will be able to contact you. If you’re a winner, you must be able to provide a shipping address in the U.S.

Buena suerte/Good luck!

Giveaway comment entries will be accepted until: 11:59 pm EST on Thursday, August 11th, 2011. Winner to be announced here and contacted via E-mail on Friday, August 12th, 2011.

****GIVEAWAY CLOSED****

The winners are:

Felicidades!

Dirty Laundry

Mothers have always instructed their daughters not to talk about their “dirty laundry” in public, but that’s exactly what I’m going to do today. Don’t get too excited – I’m talking about la ropa sucia for real, not mi familia. (Besides, I already tell you plenty about Suegra!)

Remember when I blogged about the Mexican laundry detergent Foca? It seemed like a good bargain pero al fin, when the laundry comes out of the dryer, no huele a nada – and I like my laundry to have a nice, strong scent or I feel like I completely wasted my time.

Bueno, because of my blog post about Foca, I was contacted by the people at Gain, who apparently are confident enough in their product that they’re not scared off by a little competition from south of the border. They assured me that their laundry products leave a great scent and offered to send me some to try.

Days later, a package arrived on my doorstep and let me just say that I could smell the Gain while it was inside the shipping box, which was heavily taped. That made me optimistic, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up because as Foca proved, even if the detergent itself is strongly scented, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to leave a scent on the laundry.

So, the only way to know is to give it a try. I did a load of laundry using all three Gain products, (detergent, fabric softener and dryer sheet), and it smelled amazing. It actually made the whole house smell fresh and clean. (They have many scents, but the one I was given is called “Original Fresh” or “Frescura Original”.)

My nose is very sensitive, so I didn’t know if anyone else in the house would notice, but Carlos took one whiff and begged me to wash the bed linens in it even though I had washed them just the day before and it was only hours from bed time. As much as I love sleeping in blankets that smell good, I was too tired, and Carlos ended up doing it himself.

(Note: If your husband isn’t in the habit of doing laundry, I can’t promise that Gain will make him more likely to randomly wash the linens. My macho just happens to like doing laundry.) – Anyhow, sleeping in blankets washed in Gain was sooo nice. I actually fell asleep smiling.

So, final verdict? Even though I love plenty of products que son hechos en México, this time around, Gain is the winner – hands down. I won’t be buying Foca again, (as much as I love to say the word.)

Okay, you want to try Gain for yourself? Qué bien! I just happen to be having a GIVEAWAY!!!

______GIVEAWAY CLOSED_______

We have a winner! Felicidades to Melanie of ModernMami.com!

______GIVEAWAY CLOSED_______

(I’m going to pretend you’re all going insane and crying tears of joy like Oprah’s audience.)

One lucky winner will receive a prize pack valued at $20 containing:

• Gain laundry detergent
• Gain fabric softener
• Gain dryer sheets
• (New!) Gain dish-washing liquid
• coupons!

RULES:

1. Winner must provide a U.S. address for prize shipment. No P.O. Boxes.

2. Visit YoAmoGain.com and then come back to leave me a comment telling me what you like about their website or which products you’d be most eager to try.

3. One entry per person and make sure you use a valid E-mail address.

4. No entries will be accepted after midnight EST on December 12th, 2010. The randomly selected winner will be announced the following day on this post and contacted via E-mail. Winner has 24 hours to respond with shipping information or another winner will be selected.

¡Buena suerte!

Disclosure: Product samples for review and prize pack for winner provided at no cost to Latinaish.com.

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.