Showing posts with label Shopping. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shopping. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Consensus: No, Tell Me How You Really Feel

The other day someone told me that process of getting married is really an act of learning how to mediate consensus. Herein lays my dilemma: I've always been very flexible, open to all ideas, very passive I guess but this is one milestone, it's just not working for me...

See, readers, I really like this handmade wedding topper, however my SO doesn't get it at all. Also, I'm being bombarded with ideas about what would be cool or what I "should" do. And, while I am easily swayed, I've also sworn to stand my ground on certain things. I thought I would open this one up to you all.

My dear hubby-to-be doesn't know what "steampunk" is, perhaps doesn't even care, and well, just doesn't get it. I was pondering skipping the cake topper all together as most of them are purely fug, cheesy and corny. But I like this one (hate the pricetag though).

What do you make of it? Did you use one at your wedding?

I would love to hear your thoughts and advice. Take the poll or leave your comments below.

Steampunk Robot Wedding Cake Topper
  
pollcode.com free polls 

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

L’Artiste who painted herself

The discipline of creation, be it to paint, compose, write, is an effort towards wholeness.” 
― Madeleine L'Engle

I've always wished I could draw, paint, sketch... Ever since Bob Ross' The Joy of Painting gentle voice urged us on, Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings took us on his adventures and  Commander Mark in the Secret City shared all his secrets,  it's always been one of those things "I would one day get to."

A few weeks ago, I finally decided to give it a go and bought a ton of watercolor and oil paints, a few canvases and a ton of brushes.

My first one was going to be a horizon on the water but it turned out to be Amapolas (Poppies) and so my second go, I did the horizon. They're not stunning masterpieces but I cannot tell you how very still I felt my mind go while I was working on them.



Sunday, May 25, 2014

DIY: Dulce de Ajonjoli / Sesame Seed Candy (Recipe Inside)

When I was very little my mother found endless way to entertain us even when the refrigerator and pantry were less than full. One of her special treats were dulces de ajonjoli and nothing cheered me up more than eating candy made by my very own mom.

Here's a quick and pretty easy way to make your own Sesame Seed Candy at home:

* Sandra has one here, it's in Spanish but just use Google to translate the page.

 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

My Body, Myself

So like every other Bride-to-Be who's had to grapple with reality versus the crippling weight of pressure of a perfect wedding day and looking amazing in the most expensive dress she's ever owned, I have started dieting and working out in hopes of losing 25-30 lbs by the end of this summer when I have my first dress fitting.

A bride in an elaborate wedding dress from 1929.
Elaborate wedding dress from 1929.
(Photo: Wikipedia)
The initial 2-4.5 lbs came off pretty easily and felt amazing. You see, readers, I'm only 5'2." My frame is small and not meant to carry a heavy load. I lost only 4 lbs and already my Fiancee noticed a difference in my waist, my brother remarked on my cheekbones, my coworkers told me I looked skinnier and my suit's slacks felt roomy at the waist. My body felt amazing again. I felt at peace with this treacherous outer shell that been uncooperative so many times.

For those of you who don't know Roxanne Gay, she is an amazing writer whose Tumblr I follow weekly. She recently wrote an xoJane post about the Biggest Loser, "MY BODY IS WILDLY UNDISCIPLINED AND I DENY MYSELF NEARLY EVERYTHING I DESIRE," which Ta-Nehisi Coates commented on "Wow. It's so hard to get naked on the page. It's one of the hardest things to convey in my essay classes. You must be naked. You must understand that clothes are the illusion, and  your readers are naked too. Humans are at war with themselves. Once you can accept this, your own wars become less shameful. I don't mean exhibitionism. I mean honesty. The clothes are the illusion."

And here is what she exposes to world:
Part of disciplining the body is denial. We want but we dare not have. To lose weight or maintain our ideal bodies, we deny ourselves certain foods. We deny ourselves rest by working out. We deny ourselves peace of mind by remaining ever vigilant over our bodies. We withhold from ourselves until we achieve a goal and then we withhold from ourselves to maintain that goal.

My body is wildly undisciplined and I deny myself nearly everything I desire. I deny myself the right to space when I am public, trying to fold in on myself, to make my body invisible even though it is, in fact, grandly visible. I deny myself the right to a shared armrest because how dare I impose? I deny myself entry into certain spaces I have deemed inappropriate for a body like mine—most spaces inhabited by other people.

I deny myself bright colors in my clothing choices, sticking to a uniform of denim and dark shirts even though I have a far more diverse wardrobe. I deny myself certain trappings of femininity as if I do not have the right to such expression when my body does not follow society’s dictates for what a woman’s body should look like. I deny myself gentler kinds of affection—to touch or be kindly touched—as if that is a pleasure a body like mine does not deserve.

Punishment is, in fact, one of the few things I allow myself. 
This excellently written post goes into our fat shaming culture, where getting thin is equated with happiness, it goes into the discipline required to actually lose weight, self-entitlement and denial, and the fact that "there are so many rules for the body—often unspoken and ever shifting," and it seems like society is dictating them.

La fiancée du Nil (M. Moukhtar, IMA)
La fiancée du Nil (M. Moukhtar, IMA) (Photo: dalbera)
Most people are shocked when I tell them my weight loss goal, that's too much they say or they ask why, explaining they don't think I need to lose so much. But what they essentially misunderstand is that it's my assessment to make. I know my body best. Because of my small frame, according to the BMI scale, I am under the "overweight" category and no one would ever be any wiser. Sometimes I fit into a size "4." Buy I know, I know myself.

You will disappear, they warn, but what they don't understand is that when you put on weight the world no longer see you anyhow.

It's not your place to tell me how much I should weigh.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Kushyfoot Sandals Flats To Go: Worse for Wear(er)

I don't usually write product reviews, especially negative ones. But I felt compelled to share this one. In the past couple of years, I have found myself wearing high heels less and less often which is infuriating since I have a closetful of cute shoes that I rarely wear.

Nevertheless, the other day I threw cation to the wind and wore a pair of Vince Camuto booties to work. By the end of the day, I switched to a spare set of kitten heels I had in the office since I had to run around town doing errands.

A couple of hours later, limping, I headed over to a drugstore to see if I could find a pair of cheap flip flops to get me home.

I didn't find any. What I came across was a pair of Kushyfoot Sandals Flats to Go for $9.99. I've always been a fan of Kushyfoot stockings and although I couldn't see how much support the sandals offered in spite of the see-through packaging I thought myself what the heck and bought them.

I was quite dismayed when I went outside and ripped open the packaging in search of relief was that the sandals were literarily no better than paper held together by a few pieces of elastic.

Unsure and torn between returning them for a refund or limping home, I decided to just push forward since I was exhausted and too tired to hobble back to the long line inside.

I was terrified I would cut my feet open on the rough, dirty streets near Times Square, or that I would stub my toes or worse that some or hurried or careless soul would stomp on my naked feet.

I was really dissapointed with this purchase and felt that the paper booties they give you in  the hospital were basically the equivalent of this "sandal."

if you ever find yourself looking for respite for tired feet, do yourself a favor and skip these all together.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Crush it en la Cocina! A Pilón/Molcajete Giveaway

I've always been fascinated by pilóns, the wooden mortar and pestles, so commonly used in Latin cuisine that I'm instantly taken to my mother's kitchen as she crushed garlic and oregano in a teeny bit of olive oil and salt to make her dishes like pernil or mofongo amazing.

In fact, I've started collecting my own array of these traditional tools sometimes made of ceramic, stone, metal or wood and used to crush, grind, and mash ingredients, medicines, herbs and seasonings. There is something so powerful about the act of grinding nature's bounty, almost like an alchemist, with your own two hands in a way that your ancestors have for thousands of years.

Italians used mortars and pestles since the 15th Century in apothecaries, the Molcajete or Mexican version dates back to over 6,000 years ago, Aztec and Maya cultures and is made literally of the earth, from volcanic rock. The Thais usage dates back to the 13th Century.

IMUSA, which specializes in Hispanic cookware and appliances, recently reached out to me about their line calderos (dutch oven pots), griddles & sauté pans, tostoneras, authentic molcajetes, empanada makers, tortilla warmers, salsa dishes and much more. They have some really great products that celebrate both the culture and cuisine of Latinos.

Honestly, some of these kitchen items are so cool and beautiful that they make perfect gifts. They have been kind enough to sponsor a giveaway for Literanista readers - more below on how to win one of three Lava Rock Molcajetes: Made from ultra-durable natural volcanic lava rock, this mortar and pestle set is large enough to grind up a party-size batch of guacamole, then mix and serve it in the same bowl. ($59.99 at Macy’s) Enter to win one below and help my blog gain more visitors:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Guacamole and avocado are some of my favorites, just take a look at my Literanista Eats Pinterest Board to see what I mean but having these in your home makes so many healthy, fresh foods even a Mojito easy to make quickly.

Enjoy!

You might also like:
Latina Cooking: Healthy & Low Fat Versions
6 Books About Food Every Latina Should Read
Have You Tried Nueva Cocina Foods Yet?
New Book: Gran Cocina
Just Say "No" to MSG - DIY Recipes for Adobo, Sofrito & Sazon
Sonia Sotomayor's Favorite Dish

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Have you tried Nueva Cocina Foods?

The other day while browsing the meat aisle of my local A&P Supermarket, after stocking up on healthy snacks at Trader's Joes, I spotted a package of taco seasoning labeled "Nueva Cocina® Latin" that claimed to be MSG- free, gluten free, and all-natural; all products contain no artificial ingredients or preservatives.

I am not sure if you've spotted this brand before, I certainly hadn't but I was really pleased to discover it. Keep an eye for their rice, seasonings and soup products. I hope they extend their line too and make some low sodium versions soon.



Sunday, April 28, 2013

Possible Future? The End of the Bookshop

Someone needs to tell those tales. When the battles are fought and won and lost, when the pirates find their treasures and the dragons eat their foes for breakfast with a nice cup of Lapsang souchong, someone needs to tell their bits of overlapping narrative. There's magic in that. 

It's in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. 

You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. 

That is your role, your gift. Your sister may be able to see the future, but you yourself can shape it, boy. Do not forget that... there are many kinds of magic, after all.” ― Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus



The Last Bookshop imagines a future where physical books have died out. thelastbookshop.co.uk


Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Prettiest Teabag for Creatives

I've been on a herbal tea kick for a while. Brewing green tea or mint tea to both cleanse/detox, activate my metabolism and curb my snack-appetite. A couple of weeks ago, I received a trio of Mighty Leaf Teas from BirchBox and I was taken aback by their... Beauty.

I know it might sound weird but these might well be the prettiest tea bags I have ever come across. Their artisanal teas are packaged in specially handcraften SILKEN tea bags that are 100% compostable. Inside are whole leaf teas, herbs fruits, blossoms and spices. They also have a social responsibility section on their website where they demonstrate their initiatives and discuss their human (artist)-based philosophy. One that has garnered them innovation awards and my advocacy.

I hope you have a chance to experience this tea for yourself.


Friday, August 03, 2012

Lit Links & Scoops

- The Plantation in Puerto Rican Popular Music


The Biggest One-Man Run Online Book Club Leader Never Reads the Books

- Boston Review’s Paula M.L. Moya did a two part interview with Junot Díaz here.

- How to brew your own hibiscus sun tea. recipe here. Cooling, and packed with antioxidants. I add: 1 tablespoon of rose hips, 1 tablespoon of elderberries, 1 tablespoon strips of orange zest too.


- They fell in love at Borders. via Salon


- 10 Latino Olympians to follow on Twitter via NBC Latino


- A smart and candid rant about confused anger, girl crushes and Sheila Heti's acclaimed novel on friendship. via Salon


- There is still time to participate in the 3rd annual Latina Week of Action for Reproductive Justice - Soy Poderosa blog carnival. Sign up here.


- Dazzling: 37 Home Library Design Ideas With a Jay-Dropping Visual and Cultural Effect (here), 

The 20 Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World (here) and Bringing Maker-Style Garage Tinkering Into the Local Library (here)


The Intercultural Self or, Race, Culture and This White Chick; Part One

- Cool KickStarter Project: A Crowdfunded Farm Brings Traditional Mexican Flavors to New York via Good.is


- Speaking of Food: Latin Eats: NYC Restaurant Week List

-  The trailer for this book includes a girl in blackface - enough said. Read the article at xoJane.


- More yum: 11 Delicious Latin food blogs you need to follow

- Some Brief Thoughts on Media Violence and Critical Literacy via PETER GUTIERREZ.


- Ten Reasons Parents Should Read Multicultural Books to Kids via Incultureparent

- How to Survive in a Interracial Relationship When You Don’t Have the Support of Your Family & Friends via Chantilly Patiño.


Coming Soon:


Now on Sundance:

 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Stuff I'm Totally Sweating: Global Home Decor Edition

I've always loved homes decorated with a global flair that mixes old and new and the items come with a provenance - Along the lines of Anthropologie's store vignettes (great article here and imagine having this guy's job - luckkkyyy!).

In about a month or so, I am moving out of my much-loved Spanish Harlem apartment and on to a bigger and better place outside of the city. Actually, outside of the state But I digress, so lately decorating and home decor has been on my mind a lot. Since I've been really good at supplying myself with anything I've needed for the past three years I've lived in my one-bedroom apartment, I don't really need much except one or two pieces of additional furniture and ideas on how to use what I already have to decorate. In the meantime, I've developed a love affair with Etsy, Pinterest, Fab.com and a couple of other home decor/interior design blogs that knows no bounds.

Anyway, as part of my pairing down/de-cluttering and shopping less recovery evolution, I have come to realize that 1. my decorating talents, good taste and fashion eye are going to waste. 2. I enjoy the experience of shopping since it acts as creative and artistic stimuli for my muse - in fact, it's almost cathartic. And lastly, just because I can't own it doesn't mean someone else shouldn't get to enjoy it. After all, sites like Pinterest and a million shopping blogs out there are just about that - noting cool things you should buy. So here we go!

What would a globetrotting successful Latina have in her home? I asked myself.

Here's what caught my eye recently:

1. How about a little tongue in cheek statement piece? I love the vibrant colors.

$24.99 via Art.com
2. Or a colorful, vintage Day of the Dead Retablo? This has both history and folkloric charm.

$90 via Etsy.com
3. Lastly, some original (Guadalupe / Conquistadora / Madonnas) artwork? These can be religious artifacts or womanly expressions of nature - however you interpret them, they are beautiful.

Giclee prints by Cristina Acosta, $75-300, via Etsy.com

Giclee prints by Cristina Acosta, $75-300, via Etsy.com

Giclee prints by Cristina Acosta, $75-300, via Etsy.com

Giclee prints by Cristina Acosta, $75-300, via Etsy.com

Giclee prints by Cristina Acosta, $75-300, via Etsy.com

4. Not your Mami's Coffee maker Cafetera:  These stylish and unique Cappuccino Sets by MEPRA will save you from buying those expensive coffee drinks and bring a smile with their old-fashioned new/modern charm and heart-shaped infuser, net, and press inserts.

$80 via Fab.com



Full disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post and I have NO affiliations with the companies or artists featured  here.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lit Links & Things:

Português: Memorial Árabe, na Praça Gibran Kha...
Português: Memorial Árabe, na Praça Gibran Khalil Gibran, em Curitiba, Paraná, Brasil. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Finally saw Hesher - loved it! Joseph Gordon Levitt can do no wrong in my book.
  • An Anatomy of a Wrongful Execution. Los Tocayos Carlos, a book-length monograph and comprehensive website published by the Columbia Human Rights Law Review

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Stuff I'm Totally Sweating: butter LONDON 'Black Wallpaper' Nail Skins

Last night I was thinking about how I hadn't written a fashion related post here in a while so I decided to bring back my Stuff I'm Totally Sweating forays into fashion blogging. So excuse for a minute, while I get totally girly on you.

Last summer, my best friend introduced me to Sally Hansen Salon Effects, which are basically colored stickers for your nails that mimic the look of expensive manicures. I'm one of those people who is fascinated by nail designs but find that they also border on gauche and tacky. I tried them and discovered they were easy to use but didn't last any longer than my regular polish and also didn't allow me to use my protective layer of nail hardener, which I am rarely without. Add in their limited variety of colors and designs and I'm sad to say I'm not a big fan.

However, something about THESE butter LONDON 'Black Wallpaper' Nail Skins, which I discovered while holiday shopping online last month, made me want them immediately.

Perhaps, it was the unfulfilled little goth/steampunk/rebel in me that jumped at the lovely black decals or maybe it was the murmuring of a Frida Kahlo/Georgia O'Keeffe mother muse reminding me to be a Senorita with flowers in her hair on her nails. Whatever it was, I purchased them and repressed the urge not to buy them in bulk hence they sell out.
 
Web Analytics