When you wanna go on a staycation but ain’t got no free time. But you know what… I made time for San Diego. 24 hours to be exact. Figured we’d get our grub on, take in some art and chillax.
Thank you to Nabisco + Latina Bloggers Connect for sponsoring my merienda memories + creating new ones!
My Nana always hooked it up at merienda time. You know that sweet spot between lunch + dinner. The days I got to go to her house after school, I remember bursting in the kitchen, almost breaking down her screen door, to see what she made for me. I would throw my backpack in the corner, hop in my Papa’s chair at the head of the table, legs dangling, waiting to be served. She’d tell me, “wait for dinner” and give me a few Oreo cookies on a plate with a glass of milk. She returned to her spot in front of the stove, working on dinner. Having her back to me, she’d remind me “don’t make a mess”, “wipe off your milk moustache” and that’s the way it was and it was all good. I didn’t realize how fancy cookies on a plate were until I got older and didn’t have that luxury anymore. I wanted to take a new Nabisco spin on traditional favorites for Día del Niño and was so inspired to turn up the yum with this fun and delicious OREO Dulce de Leche Parfait Recipe.
Christmas and New Year’s went by completely way too fast for me. It was like time just ran out. I didn’t get to get my shopping on like I wanted to. I definitely had to make up for it with some Three Kings Day shopping at JCPenney. This year is our first year celebrating Día de Los Reyes and I wanted to make Rosca de Reyes for my familia. I was on the hunt for fancy décor, new kitchenware and fun gifts that will last a lifetime so my sons will continue the tradition.
This is a sponsored post by Northgate Market and Society Culinaria. All opinions are my own.
Four times in 8 days. That’s exactly how many times I’ve been to the newly reopened, reimagined Northgate Market in Norwalk. I’m lucky I live 10 minutes away cause this is my new grocery store. It is a unique and fresh experience, it is everything. I’m not just saying that either. The Mercado Project debuting at #NorthgateNorwalk takes your favorite local Latino/Hispanic grocery store to the next level. The traditional, old school mercado gets a modern transformation from the Gonzalez family’s younger generation while staying true to the culture and history. The family is true architects of community. This is the future and I’m here for it.
If there’s one thing I hate, it is going shopping at 3-5 different stores to get my grocery shopping done. Not anymore! Authentic foods to go: hot food bar serving up chorizo mac ‘n cheese, rajas con queso, arroz… soup bar, salad bar, salsa bar and a tamale bar! The tamale bar had the usual suspects + some I haven’t seen before: bean & cheese, turkey, pumpkin and jalapeno & cream cheese.
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #LoveAmericanHome #CollectiveBias
My Nana passed away a lifetime ago. She left me right around the beginning of my life, my adult life. She missed the best parts of me – the birth of my four sons and getting to know my husband. She would have loved them. She was the one to teach me how to cook, she taught me about love by loving my papa, her kids and us grandkids. 20 years is a long time to be gone, especially when you make such a big impact on our family’s life. When I discussed making a Dia de los Muertos altar for her this year, Chris didn’t hesitate. I printed photos, picked out flowers and candles. He did the lettering on the candles and was my creative director. He set up the altar with love and care. And then he shared a photo on his Instagram and I cried. His caption read:
For my wife’s grandmother. I never met you, but I love you.
People are always surprised how nice my husband and I are. How good our sons are. That Chris and I have a higher education (first in our families!) and that we vote. How we don’t have accents and that we actually speak English! True story, I wish I was making that up! We were at a water park and Duke didn’t hear a little girl ask him a question (no offense little girl but he barely hears me sometimes!) and she told her dad to which he responded, “they probably don’t speak English!” My husband was fuming mad and I would’ve been too if I was there when it happened. Please don’t make us uncomfortable with your labels. I wish I could stop with the generalizations and assumptions people have about us but the list of labels goes on and on. It’s sad really, these labels people place on us because of our Hispanic heritage.
It’s been 4 years since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. The world was devastated when we saw the images and videos coming out of the Tōhoku region. Japan has always had a special place in my heart for two big reasons and a bunch of little ones. My papa would try to teach me Japanese when I was a kid. We’ve always wanted to visit Tokyo. Ask my husband, ask our teenagers. I got invited to attend a media event for the Rising Tohoku Food Fair at Mitsuwa in Torrance and I wasn’t going to miss it. Bringing Tohoku to Torrance by celebrating the culinary specialties, culture and beauty with delicious foods, festival & dance presentations, craft workshops and photo opportunities with city mascots.
We emptied out a storage unit earlier this year after having it for over 5 years. That’s embarrassing to say and I can’t believe we continued to pay for it that long. Only 25% of what was in that storage unit actually mattered to us and the rest was crap. Crap we spent money on when we bought it and continued to spend money on each and every month for five long years. That was almost $8000 in storage fees when I think about it and it makes me so mad. I’m telling you this because we made a decision right then and there to be more conscious of what we purchase. A big thanks to ViVAiODAYS for showing me the way.
VIVAIODAYS.com is a curated collection of high-quality, sustainably sourced products for young families. I’ll tell you why this is important. Young families like ours and yours have open minds and want to bring up a better future generation. I care, you care. And it goes beyond that. It is respect for the environment, respect for society (diverse work force, no child labor) and respect for customers’ wellness.
There were only two times a year you got presents in my family, on your birthday and Christmas. And Christmas was a big deal, the essence of it all was a celebration of our family. I didn’t realize it at the time but my family worked so hard to make it special for all of us. There was no shortage of Christmas trees, presents, food and love. Nights filled with novenas, being shuttled from house to house before and after midnight Mass to open gifts and stuff our happy faces with good food. Then Mass again on Christmas Day, more presents and more food… those holiday traditions defined me. We ended up moving 6000 miles away, my family of over 100 deep became 4 and soon after, 5 with the addition of my little sister. My parents struggled financially and with culture shock in the beginning. No more novenas, no more midnight Mass, no homecooked food at my Nana’s. It was just us and it was just as special but in a different way.
Disclosure: I wrote this post as part of my participation in a blog tour for The Motherhood on behalf of the makers of Children’s MOTRIN® and received compensation to thank me for taking the time to participate. However, all opinions expressed are my own. #unstoppablemoms