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Monthly Archives: March 2012

There are calories in the air!

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Ok, let me just say it. I have body image issues.

You know how kids have lanky bodies where their legs and arms have almost the same circumference? Well that wasn’t me. My mother says I started that way, but the child I remember was too tall, too brown and too fat. Yes, fat. And it wasn’t fun. It was clothes from the husky section at Sears and elastic waistbands. It was “what are you?” because I was neither black or white. It was not the best. Then around 6th grade I grew into my weight and although I still wasn’t thin, I wasn’t an obvious oval anymore. By the time I reached high school the need not to feed was strong.  I lost the weight, and entered the fashion world where smokes and soup were all one needed to sustain themselves.

I was not anorexic, I was not bulimic, but I was aware of every forkful that entered my body. Painfully aware. Keep a running tab aware. Apps for entrees aware.  My family called me Olive Oil and some wondered if I was ill (we’re Latinos remember? being thin is a sin). I looked fabulous.

Into my 30’s I was 5’9″, size 6. I worked out at least three times a week and ate a high protein diet.  I felt great, I looked great.

Fast forward to  now.  I’m 42, overweight, with no time, or willpower to workout. A penchant for chocolate and a deep… disgust towards my body.  People often tell me, “you look great for someone who has two kids” and I sincerely appreciate the compliment, but this is what I call a compliment with an asterisk., like… “you breathe really well for someone with a nose” .  So my goal this year?  To get rid of the asterisk.

Where to start? What to do?  For first time on my life, I started to count calories and oh my God, there are calories in the air!  Ok, not really, but practically. Two things became painfully clear:

1. No wonder I’m  overweight!

2. It’s a miracle I’m not heavier!

It’s really been an eye opener. A wake up call. A really hard look at what I’m eating and what I should be eating instead.  Every bite I take while cooking, every bocadito from my kids’ plates…it has all added up over the years, and now, it’s time for it to go.  Instead of cafe con leche, I’m drinking cafe cubano.  This saves me approximately 145 calories, which on its own isn’t a lot, but if you drink several of these everyday… imagine… 3 cafe con leches in a week’s time is… 3,045 calories!!  Viste? Did you see how easily that adds up?!  So the counting (not fun) begins.

Will I ever get back into that size 6?  Quien sabe.  The important thing is that I remain healthy, which means that I lose some weight, through conscious food choices and that I start exercising.  So as I sometimes tweet it’s time to get #FitOrBustCarajo !!


That’s me and my Dad.  Don’t let his uniform fool you!  He stopped doing business at a bank once because he was judged by his uniform.  That’s my father. 


A quien no lo gusta los bomberos?

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Como mama de dos niños quien trabaja, muchas veces se me hace difícil hacer tiempo para mi niño pequeño.  Por eso mismo encontré unas cosas que podíamos hacer juntos, sin gastar dinero y – no me juzguen – sin invertir mucho tiempo, lo cual en esta casa es un lujo.  Un día se me ocurrió parar en la casa de bomberos.  Ahí aprendí que cuando las puertas están abiertas uno puede ir a visitar, los bomberos siempre son muy complaciente con los niños, porque como he aprendido, los niños y los animales suelan esconderse cuando hay un enciendo.

Por lo tanto ahí pudimos pasar un ratito lindo (entre hacer quehaceres y recoger la niña de la escuela) haciendo algo que mi niño le encanta, y que ojala le dará memorias lindas para siempre.

Este post es parte del blog hop de Plaza Familia cada martes

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars. – Les Brown

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Sometime back I was approached by Ana Roca Castro with an amazing idea.  A bilingual magazine!  It was such a simple idea, I thought se la comio!  It was genius!  A magazine written by bloguer@s (that’s Latino bloggers) aimed at all things family with online tools that are focused on arming us – the parents, sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents – to help our children succeed.  Without a second’s hesitation I said yes!!

With a little fairy dust, a lot of love, mucho cafe, and God’s blessings, what was once Ana’s brainchild became our love child… and it’s here!!  Plaza Familia was announced on Friday and in one day, we have over 1,500 Facebook fans (thank you everyone!).  But above and beyond that, we aim to be the bilingual resource latinos turn to.

The magazine covers topics for all stages of the family – from pregnancy through abuelitos – and has fun sections like crafts, recipes and even a style sections, which I’m the contributor for!  I’m so excited about the entire venture that I cannot put my feelings into a complete sentence.  I feel:

  • Excited about the opportunity
  • Honored and amazed to be included with so many other incredible bloggers
  • Nervous and excited, and nervous, and excited

But more importantly, I want to deliver.  I want to deliver topics and suggestions which offer value.  So fellow stylistas, feel free to offer suggestions, feedback, ideas.  We specifically went with the topic of “style” as it’s something that permeates everything we do.  Our home, clothes, writing, even cooking reflects our personal sense of style and I hope that we can each find or enhance our individual style as this brings an ease and sense of confidence that exudes from your every pore.

Why is this important?  Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, or a business mogul, the way your present yourself to others sets the tone for how you will be treated.  As Latinos, people already have a lot of preconceived notions about us, and these issues can be lessened when we are confident and comfortable with ourselves, versus trying to keep up with the latest fashions, which in some cases may be inappropriate.  Embrace your style, love yourself and welcome to the plaza, Plaza Familia!


P.S.  You can view the press release here, the magazine here, and of course our educational blog, the heart and soul of Plaza Familia where educators and parents come together to share best practices and ways to improve our children’s educational experience, en ingles y espanol.

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