Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Yes, but what did I actually LEARN? More from Hispanicize...

It wasn' t ALL parties at the Conga Room! Me with Veronica Smith (@muybuenocooking) Photo courtesy Eva Smith
Yes, parties at the Conga Room and food by Wolfgang Puck are all very well and good (ok, very good!) but the whole reason we bloggers go to conferences like Hispanicize is to learn how to be better, more effective bloggers, right? 
So what exactly did I learn? SO MUCH! Click here to read my post at Media Monarkey, featuring my favorite Social Media takeaways from the Hispanicize conference. 
What's the best tip you ever got at an SM conference? Or if you've never attended one, what would you hope to learn?

Wishing you love with Extra Cheese-
Nacho Mama

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Are Blog Years Like Dog Years?

Ahh-the life of a blogger. I'm very, very grateful that you all stop by to check in with me here and at Rock On Mommies and San Diego Momfia.  My favorite thing, though, is learning about all of your blogs! Blogs have truly enriched my life and I love hearing everyone's point of view.  

One of the best "Bloggy" events I've gotten to attend recently was "Spa Social"-an evening at La Costa Spa with 199 other lady bloggers.  First of all, I ADORE La Costa Spa. The spa amenities there are second to none. And the food!

Me & Joey (@joey_hendrix, my partner in enjoying our champagne and Kobe beef sliders-Ahhhh!

But the best part by far was hanging out with my bloggy besties and meeting new fabulous ladies and their blogs.  The first question we all asked each other was "How long have you been blogging?" Some had only been live about a week-others, like me, have been at it for quite while. I noticed that an answer of 2 years or more garnered a respectful "Oooooooh..." I also noticed that I had trouble remembering just how long I have been blogging. My stock answer that night was 3 years. A venerable number, to be sure. But was it accurate?

Turns out, I was waaay off!

As I mentioned before, I've had several blogs over the years. As I tried to remember exactly when it all started, it seemed like everytime I came up with a "first"blog? There was one before it I'd forgotten about. After a little excavating I have finally determined that I have been blogging for at least FIVE YEARS. Which in blog years? Means I'm eligible for the Early Bird Special at Sprinkles.

I had TOTALLY forgotten that my first foray into the blogosphere was on <cough> myspace. And, if I remember, it was only after relentless coaxing from my friends that I tried it at all. My first post is no longer there (though my profile has not yet died from neglect) but it was something along the lines of "Ok, fine. HERE'S my blog. Happy now?"

 Ok, so the joke was totally on me. 

I know at least one of my favorite bloggers, Bitchcakes, started out on myspace too. What about YOU? Did you have some bloggy-babysteps before plunging into the brave, new blogosphere of today? Care to share the link? Hmmmmm???

Just to jog your memory-here's one my myspace posts from way back in 2006!!! It's an oldie and a moldie-enjoy!

Wishing you love with extra cheese-

Nacho Mama

Form versus Function....This time it's personal.

Today I present an object whose claim to design fame leaves me deeply conflicted.

Yes, it is a brilliant, irrefutably practical design. From the humblest bedside table to the set of the Oprah Winfrey show, this object is there for you when life throws you a curve ball. It relieves you of germs, tears and...other things.

Such an object should be exalted in every home, no? And yet, this noble servant of man is often the first thing hidden from view when the camera snaps or when company calls.
Why? The reason is simple: Like a beautiful woman with no dress sense, it's form is simple and elegant, but it's appearance is hopelessly frumpy.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you
The Kleenex Box.

Your home's Glamour "DON'T".

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Nacho Mama loves Trinny and Susannah!

Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine (Photo via Wikipedia)

You know I believe that KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. Also, I believe in at least learning how to dress my body and make up my face to my best advantage, even if I sometimes choose to live in sweats and no makeup. Because you never know.

And anyone who knows me personally knows that I am a GIGANTE fan of the BBC series, What Not To Wear. Don't get me wrong, I love Stacy and Clinton but I really feel that the original BBC series was WAY better for the following reasons:

1. The hosts, Trinny & Susannah (and later Lisa Butcher and Mica Paris) really explored the emotional reasons women (and men) choose not to look, and therefore feel, their best. It was kind of the focus of the show. The US version does address these issues, but not in the raw, emotional manner of the original. The UK hosts really tell it like it is and somehow their participants seem to "get it" on a deeper level than on the US series-does that make sense?

2. These women had NO QUALMS about ripping off their own clothes to reveal their own flubby baby tummies or dimply thighs or cankles in the interest of giving a wakeup call to women who have spent years thinking they didn't deserve to feel good about themselves just because they've had a baby, or are going through menopause or have put on the "freshman 15." Goodness knows I love Stacy London, but does she have a flubby tummy? I don't know! I may never know!

I also loved their "Making Over America with Trinny & Susannah" show that aired a few episodes on TLC. PLEASE Bring them back, TLC!! There's room for these two and Stacy & Clinton in the battle for the self-esteem of the American Woman.

Since the series is not available on DVD and is not currently on the air, I wanted to take a moment and STRONGLY recommend all of the books by Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine. Yes, they are all worth reading. Their first book, What Not To Wear, is a great primer for any woman. (the US version, Dress Your Best, with Stacy & Clinton is also fabulous-but I'll cover that in another post). I also recommend Trinny and Susannah Take on America and What Not to Wear for Every Occasion.

But if I had to choose just one of their books as having changed my life, it would have to be the aptly titled, What You Wear Can Change Your Life. This book starts with underwear, tells you how to choose colors that flatter YOU, and how to acheive different effects with jewelry, accessories and makeup. There's a great section on looking good while traveling, while pregnant and a FABULOUS chapter showing you how to look good in photos!

Some of their books are out of print, but still available from other sellers on Amazon (just click any of the titles I've mentioned-I am, after all, an Amazon affiliate). For a start, though, I encourage you to check your local library to see if you can get them. These books are extremely helpful and I find myself referring to them again and again over the years as my style needs have evolved.

And if anyone knows where I can get my hands on DVDs of the original series, please let me know!

*This post was originally published on my now-defunct blog, Ten Easy Pieces

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It's Almost Easter and You Need a CRAFT IDEA!

Sometimes my husband jokes that my motto should be "If it's worth doing-it's worth doing last minute!" This is especially true when it comes to holiday crafts. I get all caught up in coordinating plans with the rest of the family and I realize that (fill in the holiday) is practically here and I don't have time to hit the craft store for cool holiday-themed craft supplies-gasp!  What's a crafty mom to do?

Not to worry! Just head over to Rock On Mommies for Nacho Mama's Last-Minute Easter Craft! You'll find some ideas for creating Easter eggs your family will never forget-and your kids can join in too. And you'll probably manage just fine without a trip to the craft store-this time.

Wishing you a Happy, Hoppy Spring with extra cheese-
Nacho Mama

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

HISPANICIZE! Friends, Fun and What I Wore :)

Don't you love when you have super-high hopes for something, and then they are surpassed?
That was Hispanicize for me. I knew that it would be extremely educational, I knew it would be fun, I knew I would get to meet all the movers and shakers and I knew the party at the Conga Room would be awesome. But there was no way I could have imagined what a truly moving and inspiring experience was in store for me when I arrived at the beautiful Renaissance Hollywood hotel.

First of all-there was all the priceless information the other bloggers and I received. I'm putting together a post for my SM blog, Media Monarkey, sharing some of the best nuggets I learned from bloggers, PR superstars and some of the hugest brands in the US.

Me with Manny Ruiz (@papiblogger) and Veronica Smith (@muybuenocooking) Photo Courtesy Hispanicize

Secondly-for how large a demographic we are in the US, and for how much we are engaged in social media? The latino blogging community is not that big. Which means that, for the most part, we were all meeting people whose blogs we follow and admire from all over the country. If any of you bloggers out there have had the chance to meet some of your blogging role models, you know what a thrill it can be to spend some time with them in person. It's weird how you feel so close when you've only conversed online!

Photo Courtesy Eva Smith
Here are some of my absolute favorite blogueras from left to right: Eva Smith of Tech Food Life, Monique Frausto of Curves and Chaos, Veronica Cid from Cid Style File and Veronica Smith from Muy Bueno Cookbook. I want to say special thanks to Eva Smith-not only for telling me about the contest in which I won a pass to the conference, but for graciously giving this weary blogger a place to stay!

Photo Courtesy Eva Smith

Another highlight was the very inspiring keynote speech by actor Edward James Olmos! Thank you, Mr. Olmos for sharing your time and your passion, and thank you for stopping to take a photo with me and Eva! And yes-I am wearing my pan dulce earrings from CJ's Angels!

Then? There was the party at the Conga Room-the nightclub owned by Jennifer Lopez and company!

We all danced and partied the night away and cheered for the winners of the unbelievable prizes (including a WASHER and DRYER!!) I myself won an AWESOME prize at the conference, which I will reveal in a later post. (Of course, if you were following my tweets you know all about it already!) We actually did form a conga line at the Conga Room!

Party at the CONGA ROOM! Photo courtesy of Hispanicize

I got a lot of questions about my outfit that night-which was very flattering! For those of you who wanted to know, I wore this red dress from Stop Staring, with this yellow coat from Jockey Person to Person (it was unseasonably freezing that night!) and my Guess leopard-print pumps from a few years ago.
We took this on our way out of the Conga Room-tired but still workin' it! Photo Courtesy Veronica Smith

The other item I wore during Hispanicize (and always wear to bloggy-type stuff) was my "Nacho Mama" necklace!

Why? Because bloggers don't know each other's names! We know blog names and twitter handles (@shesnachomama, btw).  I love this necklace, which I bought on Etsy from Maria of Best Name Necklace. I especially love the sparkly little crystal she put in the "N"!

THANK YOU Manny Ruiz, Louis Pagan and everyone at Hispanicize (especially Jennifer of Mami to Mommy) for putting together this historic and memorable event. I have no doubt that many lives were changed as a result of HISPANICIZE! I hope you'll check out the blogs I've linked in this post-these are definitely folks you'll want to watch :)

And a special thank you to my wonderful husband for watching the kids so I could enjoy such a phenomenal experience!

Wishing you love with extra cheese-
Nacho Mama

*Disclaimer: I won a pass to the Hispanicize conference but have not been compensated by them or any other association or company mentioned in this post for what has been written here. All the products mentioned were purchased by me. These are entirely my own, honest opinions. For real.

Monday, April 11, 2011

INSPIRING WORDS from the San Diego Family Justice Center

Words, as I mentioned in my recent post for San Diego Momfia, are very powerful. I wanted to share all the quotes submitted by the staff and volunteers of the San Diego Family Justice Center in hopes that they might inspire you as much as they did me.

Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is acting in spite of fear.
-Carly Fiorina

It's choice, not chance, that determines your destiny.
-Jean Nidetch

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
-Eleanor Roosevelt

Yesterday I dared to struggle. Today I dare to win.
-Bernadette Devlin

The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.
-Nelson Mandela

No longer lend your strength to that which you wish to be free from.

None of us can change our yesterdays, but all of us can change our tomorrows.
-Colin Powell

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.
-Robert Collier

We must be the change we wish to see.
-M.K. Ghandi

Courage is like a muscle. We strengthen it with use.
-Ruth Gordon

And please remember that if you or anyone you know is experiencing domestic violence, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline for help at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

What are some of your favorite inspirational quotes?

Wishing you love with extra cheese-
Nacho Mama