So here’s my sweet angel, my sister. She’s 11 (going on 12 in October). Now, notice she’s wearing makeup (eye liner and a bit of lip color). I’m not big on little girls wearing makeup to go out BUT we were at BeautyCon that day so I let her have a bit of makeup fun (yeah, I’m kind of strict). I was actually surprised she asked for a makeover at all. She’s very particular about what she likes, which I learned during our shopping trip to Forever 21 the day before the conference.
< When she first arrived to LA, I bought her a few dresses from Target. I wasn't really sure what she liked. She didn't want to impose so she seemed happy with what I picked out. But I can tell there was something else she would've preferred but was too shy to ask. After spending several days with her, I learned that she listened to a lot of indie rock (some pop, but mostly on the rock side). When I said I was going to take her to Forever 21, she said her friend gets clothes delivered to Ecuador from that store. I thought "OK, now we're on to something." We looked around the store several times. I pointed at tops, shorts, dresses to no avail. I randomly pointed at the Rolling Stones tank and her eyes immediately lit up. She said she loves the Stones, and that she listens to a lot of their music. I started picking up on her style and what she liked and it's pretty much the 90s all over again. I think I lived in tees, Levis and a black hat all through college (mc boots and dr. marten's). So I totally got it at that point - All we needed was the hat and a bit of silver to complete the look. As you can see, she was happy and loved the way she looked when we headed to BeautyCon.
Although my sister wears a uniform to school, I think this is a good lesson in back to school shopping. Allow the kids to express themselves, collaborate in the shopping experience and let them feel that their choices matter too. Our tweens and teens notice all types of things about themselves that we just don’t get because we see them as perfect and beautiful. And as much as we tell them they’re amazing, it’s still a very awkward time. I’m not an expert in shopping with girls, I’ll admit. But my son is the exact same way. He likes what he likes, and can’t fathom much of the trends he sees today. He likes a classic suit or sweats, and that pretty much sums it up. I simply cannot get him into outfits I think would look great on him, but it’s not for me to dictate my personal style on him. Same for my sis. She looks a-dor-a-ble in a dress but a bit of edge is more her thing. I will admit, I did draw the line with makeup after that day. There’s plenty of time for that!
This post is a paid collaboration with Crest and Latina Bloggers Connect. All opinions are mine.
These pictures were taken the day before the World Cup games began, which was also the day before my son was scheduled to leave to Philly to be with family. Needless to say, we didn’t get to watch the games together but there have been plenty of calls, texts and Skypes filled with disappointments and cheers alike. Soccer is really the only sport I enjoy so it’s awesome that my son can tell me about games and players, and I actually know what he’s talking about!
The games have been a nail-biting and exciting experience, but what I love the most is how countries and people have come together. I felt so much pride when Ecuador played their hearts out with Alexander Domínguez leaping to stop those goals. However, I have to admit that my overwhelming joy was accompanied with a bit of sadness. You see, I grew up with a lot of tradition brought down to me from my grandparents and great aunts and uncles. And after moving to LA, a lot of that was lost. My son will never know the beauty of seeing grandparents talk over a cup of cafecito, going to la iglesia con los hermanos y hermanas and knowing what it’s like to be surrounded by tías and tíos at Sunday dinner. Sure, I’ve tried to pass down as much as I could to my son but being second and first generation myself from each parent – It’s simply not the same. It was through fútbol that I realized this needed to change, and that I had spent too much time trying to adapt to my new circumstances instead of working harder to make sure my son truly understood where he comes from.
Right now, Crest is at its peak of the Celebrate Closer campaign, which includes posts like this one illustrating that the further your team goes, the closer you get. You definitely want to make sure you’re nice and minty if you’re watching games with family and friends. We have Crest Complete Multi-Benefit Deep Clean toothpaste here at home, and it will definitely do the job.
I present you with the light of life – my son. He just completed those three very defining years in a child’s life called Junior High School. It was a time of transition, challenges, learning experiences and opportunities to grow. He made many new friends while remaining loyal to old ones, bonded with school staff members, liked a few girls and developed a social life. Keeping up with grades, moving around to different classes daily, staying organized with work and communicating with individual teachers were all things my son was taught to do to prepare him for the world of High School. Was it always perfect? Absolutely not. Did he forget assignments? More so than I care to admit. Did he cram for tests? You bet. Were there new terms and words he picked up from his social environment that would make a parent cringe? Many. He got all the experiences that make being this age a time of learning, reflection and growth. It was the introduction to the real world – A place that is not as forgiving. And as many times as I’ve wanted to blow the whistle, make sense of everything, push him harder and practically sit next to him in class to micro-manage his every academic move, I learned that I needed to let things go, pick my battles and trust that my son will make the right choices. He can only make those choices if he is given the space to do so. Trusting your child and letting them know you believe in them goes a long way in the end.
I guided him through the pangs of having to grow up, talked him through tough times, hugged him when he needed it, pushed him where it mattered and offered a few moments of tough love. My son is very vocal, has his own opinions and does not hide the way he feels. Not always easy to hear but I’m proud that he feels confident to articulate his feelings. And may I add, he has the beautiful ability to express emotion without being emotional, and speaks with maturity. A trait I hope he carries into manhood. He and I have had many candid conversations and I feel fortunate that we have that kind of relationship. Of course there are things he rather share with his father and friends, and I’m OK with that too. As long as he knows he’s loved and has a circle of support around him, that’s all that matters.
Congratulations to you, my son. I love you more than you will ever know. You’re going to have an amazing time in High School and I’m there for you whenever you need me (and when you think you don’t!).
This photo illustrates the beginning of a life of sacrifice, dreams, challenges and triumphs. A young student in this picture, my mom eventually became a psychologist (went to school and worked while raising me). I received a private school education, went to college and eventually became a mom as well. Although I will never truly understand the sacrifices my mom made because she ensured that I would never have to, I certainly learned the meaning of unconditional love through her. In many ways, we are alike … and in other ways, we are very different but together we’ve shared an amazingly rich journey. Our bond is one that could never be broken. Love you mom! Happy Mother’s Day!!
The weather in Los Angeles has not let up. Summer is not leaving without a fight. My son is wearing a sweatshirt to merely show you how it looks with his sneakers and jeans. Not because there’s a breeze or anything. There really is no “Back to School” shopping here until about October when we can get a few sweaters and sweatshirts. We did get a few things, like tees. My son likes sporty shirts, and anything with superheros. We walked around the mall to see if anything caught his eye and sure enough Hot Topic fulfilled all of his t-shirt desires. We got a few for him to start off the year and matched them up with a pair of Creative Recreation sneakers. I really like their Lavaca collection, which is what my son is wearing in burgundy. Sweater is from Target and the jeans are Kenneth Cole Reaction. Middle School, we are ready for you. This is the last year before … High School! If you have a teen and are still in the middle of shopping, I put together a ‘Mami’s Guide to back to School Guide.’ Hope you have an awesome school year!
During one of my mother’s recent visits to Europe, she picked up this beautiful quill and ink set for me from a boutique in Italy. She knew how much I would love something like this. She always thinks of me, no matter where she is or what she’s doing – even at my age, she’s never stopped trying to make things special in some way, big or small. In fact, my recent trip to Miami could not have happened had she not flown here from Texas to watch over my son. During her stay, she not only did all of the things grandmas do, but she worked tirelessly to make my home more functional and accommodating to my very busy schedule. She created a better organization system for my kitchen, cleared out my cluttered storage space, had my carpets cleaned, made better use of my closet space, and so on. She thinks of the things that matter, and does what she can to make sure that I feel loved and thought about.
Mom, thank you for your endless love and support. If you were here, we would have spent Mother’s Day having lunch together or shopping for shoes (our favorite pastime). There are also lots of art shows happening right now that you would have enjoyed, and next time you’re here we should spend more time doing that. I love you, and none of what you do goes unnoticed. You’ve left bits and pieces of love throughout my home, and you’re truly missed. Happy Mother’s Day.
I have officially embarked into the world of parenting a teen boy. It’s a new chapter filled with voice changes, self-expression and, wait, is that a mustache? My son is now interested in things like personal style, watches … and cologne. He likes a good suit and a nice pair of sleek shoes. He also loves sports jerseys, sneakers and jeans like any other kid. Except now, more thought is put into it.
As his mother, it’s super important to me that I give him his space to express himself and discover things that he likes. Have fun. Play around with looks, trends and those simple things that makes being a teen fun. If your son is transitioning from boy to teen, and you’re now being told to wait outside of the dressing room, I wrote a fun piece (guide, if you will) for this new chapter in both of your lives- I talk about everything from skin care and shoes to pants and hair. It’s a fun time, and I wish more stylish alternatives were geared to boys becoming men. But hey, that’s the beauty of blogs. Check it out!
Back in January I wrote post about my new venture in homeschooling. I was nervous, excited and anxious to see what it was all about. I started a color-coded calendar and had all the days “figured” out. That lasted, oh, about two weeks. I quickly learned that we had to take it day by day. My son had gone to a public school his whole life. I was very happy with the school, the teacher, the sense of community and the strong parent/teacher body. But – that quickly ended at 5th grade graduation. In the fall, we entered (drum roll) middle school – a huge place where all three elementary schools joined forces under one roof. Again, I was very happy with the district and felt my son was in excellent hands. However, the classroom size proved to be too overwhelming for my son. Some kids just do better in smaller settings. I know. I was one of them. But that’s just one factor that led to my decision to homeschool – way too many to list here. I work from home and decided I could give my son the one on one time he needed. Homeschooling is not for everyone, and if you work from home, it certainly means lots of long nights playing catch up. But, it’s so worth it to me. Recently, I helped launch our LATISM LA party in conjunction with the White House summit. It was an extraordinary evening and we were so excited to meet leaders in Education, who are working hard to create change. At the summit, my son got to ask Ken Salazar about the future of classrooms. Have a look! I’m so proud of this little dude right here.
I really took to the few cool days we had here in LA. Any chance I get to go from a sweater to a blazer to a coat, is OK in my book. Throw in a hood, and I’m in heaven. Today in Sears Spotted I’m featured wearing the black-and-white tweed hooded peacoat you see above.
This new year is serving up lots of collaboration goodness. Very exciting times. I’m the new Co-Director for LATISM LA (Latinos in Social Media). My focus is in Arts and Culture, which means there will be shows, events and all that good stuff. I was also recently interviewed for NBC Latino along with Roachele Negron, have a LOOK. And, you’re going to Blissdom, right? I’m a Community Leader in the Art and Design Niche. Hope to see you there!
(Scarf, coat, Land’s End sweater and Knots of Love bracelet c/o of Sears, pants by Zara, blazer by The Limited, boots by Tahari)
This is what I do when my son agrees to wear anything other than an Eagles jersey. I photograph it and make a collage. I saw this jacket at Old Navy and loved the shade of blue. I paired it up with a pair of cords and a sweater from Target, and done. We have ourselves a non-Eagles look for the Winter.
Oh, and stop on by Hey Mikey to see a non-video game review. We’re just breaking all the rules today.