raised by culture

raised by culture: July 2012

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Frigidaire Adventures In Clean Field Day with Jennifer Garner!

We were invited to the launch of Frigidaire's Adventures in Clean Field Day with Jennifer Garner at Griffith Park a couple weeks ago - The kids were encouraged to compete in various events without worrying about getting dirty while moms had the chance to learn how they can make the most of their laundry settings, from the right wash cycle to the right water temperature, to eliminate grass and mud stains.  Duke had a really good time - he made new friends and he loved the obstacle course, water balloon toss and tug-of-war.  I enjoyed spending time with my family, learning about Frigidaire & Save The Children and meeting fun local blogger Moms!  Thanks for a great outing!    

Visit Facebook.com/Frigidaire and show us your favorite memory in the dirt for a chance to win tickets to the Hollywood premiere of the movie, "The Odd Life of Timothy Green" with Jennifer Garner and a new Frigidaire Affinity® Front Load Washer and Dryer.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER TO WIN. Sweepstakes ends 9/23/12. Click here for full rules. featuring Ready Steam™, ensuring whiter whites and improved stain removal. For every entry, Frigidaire will donate $1 to Save the Children's US programs. Frigidaire will donate $1 for each day you share your adventures in clean, between 7/8/12 and 9/23/12 with a minimum of $35,000 and a maximum of $40,000.
Adventures in Clean Adventures in Clean Adventures in Clean Adventures in Clean

Laundry Tips
10 Steps to Cleaner Clothes for Frigidaire
by Tara Aronson

  • Immediately rinse or blot away spills on your clothes with cool water to prevent stains from setting.
  • Read fabric care labels before you wash. Your clothes will last longer if you know how to treat them.
  • Sort laundry by color, wash cycle needed, and water temperature required. The Frigidaire Affinity’s Permanent Press cycle washes with warm water and less agitation, resulting in less wear and tear on your sturdy jeans, khakis, and sweaters; the Delicates cycle uses cold water and light agitation to gently clean swimsuits, workout clothes, and lingerie.
  • Before washing stained garments, pretreat or prewash the spot using the Affinity’s Rinse & Spin cycle. If at first you don’t succeed, wash, wash again.
  • To keep snags and lint to a minimum, zip zippers, button buttons, empty pockets, and brush away lint before tossing duds in the hamper.
  • If your clothing is heavily soiled, your load large, or the water cold, add extra laundry detergent. Use the Affinity’s Heavy Duty cycle for sturdy but really dirty items like jeans and towels; choose the Sanitize setting to use the hottest water available to get rid of germs and grime as thoroughly as possible.
  • Check wet garments for remaining stains, and re-treat as needed before drying. Heat will set stains.
  • Dry only full loads. Tumbling a handful of garments prolongs the drying time by reducing the tumbling.
  • Fold shirts and T-shirts to prevent wrinkling. If the shirt has buttons, button it at top, middle and bottom. Lay facedown. Fold both sides of the shirt so they meet in the back, with the sleeves aligned with the side folds. Fold the tail up to the cuffs, making a straight line at the bottom. Then fold in thirds crosswise. For T-shirts: a child’s T-shirt needs only one crosswise fold in half; an adult’s should be folded into thirds.
  • Fold shorts and pants by aligning the inseams and outer seams of the legs and fold so that a crease forms at the front center of the legs. Fold in half or in thirds, depending on the size of the garment.
But the most amazing thing was when we were about to take a group picture and Jennifer Garner just got in there and started arranging all the kids!  Priceless!  
Adventures in Clean

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

July 2012 Foodie Pen Pals Reveal

The Lean Green BeanThis is my second month participating in Foodie Pen Pals.  I love shopping for my partner but it's more exciting getting mail!  I received the most adorable package from Liz of Library Hush - I almost didn't want to take off the bow, it was so pretty!

I always would rather have quality products over quantity and I prefer local goods.  Liz sent me all organic products and purchased from local, small businesses.  Love!  

Liz sent me the recipe for My Special Zucchini Bread Recipe and included two of the ingredients: huge bags of walnuts and candied ginger!  Also in my package was a box of Stroopwafels, bag of Farm Boy Johnnycakes mix and jar of Blueberry Lavender Preserves.  The box of Stroopwafels didn't stand a chance - my 6 year old loves waffles and wanted to try 'em out.  He ate half and I had the other half, it was delicious.  I immediately had visions of adding it to french vanilla ice cream and the blueberry lavender preserves - which I actually made a few days later.  It is magical.  I've had it twice since then.  I love everything Liz sent but haven't had a chance to make Johnnycakes or the Zucchini Bread yet.  I can't wait!  Thanks for being an awesome foodie pal Liz!

Sadly I won't be participating for the next few months - I've been getting busier by the weeks and need to focus on future projects.  I'm planning on returning in December or January.  It is that fun!

This month I sent to Debbie of Accidently Delish.
I convinced my friend Chanelle of The Frugal Asians to get in on the action.
Check out what I received last month from Diana of Veggie Next Door.
Check out all the July 2012 Foodie Pen Pal Reveals!

July Foodie Pen Pals July Foodie Pen Pals July Foodie Pen Pals July Foodie Pen Pals July Foodie Pen Pals July Foodie Pen Pals July Foodie Pen Pals

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, July 28, 2012

El Pato Tour!

My husband Chris and I have our own signature dishes with El Pato as the base ingredient.  I love his chilaquiles and he loves my chicken tortilla soup.  We live on El Pato, it is definitely a staple in our home.

I was honored (floored would be a better word - I ran around the house so excited) when I was offered the opportunity to tour the factory in LA.  I extended the invite in my social circles and finally got to meet some of the lovely ladies from SoCal Lady Bloggers.  My friend Ariana was in town from Houston and got to enjoy the tour too!

Walker Foods is a true family business and has been around for almost 100 YEARS.  They have 65 employees and their longest employee retired after 58 years.  That's unheard of these days!  Definitely a company we should all look up to!  I would love to work for them!

Walker Foods, the first to produce salsa in the United States, was founded by James Walker in 1914 and has remained a family business ever since, The current company President is Robert Walker, James' grandson. The company occupies its original site adjacent to the Los Angeles River in the heart of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The eight-acre complex covers the greater part of an industrial city block.

The company holds several "firsts"! In addition to being the first to produce salsa in the United States it is also the first American salsa to be exported to Mexico, and the first, and largest user of Cascabel chiles in the world. Pure, natural ingredients are the hallmark of Walker Foods and they are all that are used in their salsas, chilies, vinegars and mustard.   

Not only did we get to tour the factory but we got to meet and chat with company President Bob Walker!  He discussed running a business with us and these keys are what stuck out to me the most:

  • You must keep learning
  • Admit when you don't know
  • Understand talent
We were amused that Mr. Walker doesn't own a cellphone (he likes his freedom) or know how to use a computer.  Other interesting information about Walker Foods - all their products are Gluten-Free!  Walker Foods labels are El Pato, Golden State and Walker.  Southern California based In-N-Out Burger uses Walker Foods mustard in their special sauce!  El Pato's newest releases are Green Enchilada sauce and Chipotle sauce.

I was a huge fan before but learning all this information about the company and people behind it make me love it even more!  We really enjoyed ourselves!  (Hey Mr. Walker, give Craig, Cesar and Elizabeth raises!  They are fantastic and really passionate about the company!)  Huge Thank You to Craig, Cesar, Elizabeth and The Walker Family for hosting the tour and hooking it up with yummy El Pato products!      

You can find El Pato at Ralph's and Walmart.  Like El Pato Brand Products on Facebook and follow El Pato on Twitter.

My Tortilla Soup recipe will be coming soon!

What is your favorite El Pato sauce?  

El Pato / Walker Foods Tour El Pato / Walker Foods Tour
That's Cesar - he works for El Pato and is hilarious! Bloggers Sujeiry, Ana-Lydia, Valerie and Kristin putting on white coats, hair nets and earplugs!
El Pato / Walker Foods Tour
The huge wooden crates are full of tomato paste - the drums are full of chiles!  Massive!
El Pato / Walker Foods Tour El Pato / Walker Foods Tour El Pato / Walker Foods Tour El Pato / Walker Foods Tour El Pato / Walker Foods Tour
Mmm the cooking and canning room!  Smelled so good in there!
El Pato / Walker Foods Tour
Back in the old days, these were used to tie horses up while they loaded up product!
El Pato / Walker Foods Tour
24 hour Security!
El Pato / Walker Foods Tour
The Walker Family!  They meet every week for lunch at the factory.
El Pato / Walker Foods Tour
Ariana modeling the white coats we had to wear!
El Pato / Walker Foods Tour

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Friday, July 27, 2012

What Motherhood Means To Me #WinningSmile #CrestSponsored

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”  -Elizabeth Stone 

Elizabeth Stone knows Motherhood.  I live her quote every day of my life.  I didn't understand Motherhood when I was pregnant with my first child but the minute I held him in my arms, I knew what it meant to have my heart walking outside my body.  Being a Mom is the greatest title I will ever hold in this life.  

What Motherhood means to me

Being a Mom is about doing for your children and putting their needs before you.  I truly enjoy being a mom.  Earlier today my 6 year old son, Duke, asked me for a hug and I told him, "I don't know you" and he replied, "You picked me up in the driveway, remember?" - we laughed and shared a huge hug.  Being a Mom is spontaneous hugs, laughs, jokes and always showing them you support them and will always love them.  I have shared my stories, taught them right from wrong, good from bad and just hope I have given them the confidence to chase their dreams like I have.  My sons Ty, Damien, Duke and Omar can count on me to be their biggest cheerleader.  I want them to succeed.      

Ondina López knows Motherhood too.  Ondina has always supported her children in their pursuit of Taekwondo. Her four children used to practice in the garage, and during the winter she would run the dryer when they were practicing to help warm the garage, and would bring them ice and water during the summer. 
Ondina López is the mom of London 2012 Olympic Games hopefuls Steven and Diana López, and is the heart of the "First Family of Taekwondo". Her children, Steven, Jean, Mark and Diana are at the world elite level in Taekwondo.  Steven, Mark and Diana made history when they each won gold at the 2005 World Taekwondo Championships, becoming the first three siblings in any sport to claim World Championship titles at the same event.  

Crest & Oral-B Complete help give Taekwondo fighter Steven López the confidence to show off his healthy, winning smile.  López, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and bronze medalist will be competing in the 80kg division at this year’s Games. Crest & Oral-B Complete have also partnered with Steven’s mother, Ondina López, to highlight the importance mom’s support can play in an athlete’s success.

What does being a Mom mean to you?!

To learn more about P&G Oral Care Olympic Games partnership, please “Like” Crest on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/crest).

Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored campaign with Crest and Latina Mom Bloggers. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Saturday, July 21, 2012


Loving:  The past week.  Our awesome friend Ariana from Houston was in town and we had so much fun.  And then our nephew got here from San Antonio on Thursday and we get to have him till tomorrow.  We have a tiny place but when it's full of our family, it's so fun and special.  I really love seeing our sons with their cousin.  So precious.  Everyone we love is so far away.  Damn you Texas!    

Thinking About:  Too many things.  My mind is on go.  Deadlines.  Thrifting.  Antique Flea Markets.  Estate Sales.   

Anticipating:  One of my current projects - an unconference.  I am so excited about it and just waiting on my first choice for a venue to sign on.  Then I have to work on sponsors...  

Listening To:  To the fan in our room, the tv in the living room and my Husband talking with me...

Eating:  Out of town guests have to have In N Out so this week I've had the luxury of having it three times this week.  I'm not complaining, it's just that this is the most I've ever had it in seven days.  I am far from being sick of it too.  Yum!  

Wishing:  Money grew on trees.  

Labels: , ,

Friday, July 20, 2012

Lighten My Underarms #DoveBeauty #spon

This post is sponsored by Dove(R) ClearTone(tm) Deodorant - designed to visibly reduce underarm dark marks and even skin tone.

Being a Mom, my weight has fluctuated with each pregnancy and ultimately affected my body.  I'm (mostly) comfortable in my skin and I love being curvy but dark marks under my arms are a problem!  I can't stand it!  It looks ugly and makes me sad!  Did you know that dark marks are created when shaving irritates the skin?  I always thought it was caused by my weight gain and loss!  I have always felt like there is nothing I can do to get rid of dark marks so even though I love tank tops and dresses - I have days where I refuse to wear them because my arms look chunky and dark but now I have faith that Dove Clear Tone Deodorant will help me lighten my marks!  Just in time for this hot, hot California weather.

One of my longtime tricks to hiding the ugly discoloration is by wearing a cute cardigan with tank tops or dresses!  Cardigans come in a bunch of colors and styles and are lightweight which is perfect for Summer.  I throw on a cardigan for anything - you can most definitely wear it casual or dress up it up.

Another longtime trick is to wear shirts that barely cover my underarm.  This isn't as easy as wearing a cardigan because I have a hard time finding shirts that I like!

A funny thing I do and I'm sure a lot of us won't admit is that I calculate my movements when I'm wearing a tank top or dress so I don't have to show off my underarms but I don't want to live like this anymore!  

I would love to stay away from wearing my safety blanket this Summer since it's been hot so I'm super excited to try Dove Clear Tone Deodorant and see some results.  I know I'll be a happier person!  

Disclosure: I was compensated for this post as a member of Clever Girls Collective. All the opinions expressed here are my own.

Labels: , , , , ,

Popped My Estate Sale Cherry - Part 1

I've always felt intimidated about estate sales so I never made an effort to check 'em out.  A Twitter friend recommended I check out estatesales.net and I came across a listing that was local and the pictures sealed the deal.  I had to go.

I kinda had an idea of what an "estate sale" is by researching on Google.   The 2 best tips were to arrive early and bring bags or boxes.  I made a mental note to shove a reusable bag in my purse but of course I forgot.

The line-up for the estate sale started at 5am but wouldn't officially open until 9am and I got there around 930am - there was a line outside.  I decided to snoop in the garage and it was a disaster.  I had on flip flops which was a bad idea.  There was broken glass, cracked mirrors, nails and a rodent or two could've ran across my feet but all that digging through stuff was worth it.  I found envelopes of negatives (now all I need is a negative scanner).  None are Vivian Maier caliber but a girl can dream.

After a good 10 minutes in the garage, I heard someone calling out names so I decided to see if there was a list - I wrote my name on #87 and decided to head back to the garage.  As I'm walking away, I hear a few ladies get angry that there is a list and complain that they were there since 6am.  Yeah right.  One of them started walking to her car but was yelling back, "You won't be getting my money."

I made a mental note that estate sales can get ugly.  About 5 minutes later, one of the guys running the sale came to the door and announced everyone could go in.  I had no idea where to start.  I saw people in closets, rummaging through piles of books, clothes, moving boxes downstairs - it was a mad house.  I started in the first room right by the stairs.  It looked like the master bedroom, there was a queen size bed, tv and bathroom.  There were piles of old bills, receipts and assorted junk on the bed.  And that's when it hit me - what happened to these people and who were they?  I couldn't help but feel excited to roam free and be completely nosy in someone's home but at the same time, felt sad that all this stuff wasn't being claimed by a family member.  Is this what happens when you have no one left?

My tips:
  • Go early
  • Take a few reusable bags
  • Bring cash
  • Wear sneakers or comfy, closed toe shoes
  • Bring string or yarn (I witnessed some buyers cordon off their stuff to an area with string so they can run around and continue to shop)   
  • Be nice to the estate sale staff (A couple of them were straight up mean but remember, they are the ones that price your stuff!)
  • Be nice to other buyers (Everyone I spoke to was super nice - gave compliments on their finds and received compliments on mine.  They might even offer you some of their finds or give you advice on your purchases)
  • Be prepared to be there for 2 hours or more (Depends how big the house is and if you are willing to really dig through closets and piles)
  • Spread all of your items out so the estate sale staff can price (Don't leave in bags or boxes)

My first estate sale
My first estate sale My first estate sale My first estate sale My first estate sale My first estate sale My first estate sale My first estate sale My first estate sale My first estate sale
Looks like the house was egged :/
My first estate sale

Come back to check out Part 2 - My Haul!

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, July 16, 2012

I love Dollar General and You will too! Win a $25 Dollar General Gift Card!

I absolutely love new stores and was excited to check out Dollar General!  We took a family road trip to Montclair and enjoyed the 40 minute ride by singing along to our favorite songs.  Chris questioned the drive but I told him that the store would be worth it.  We pulled into the shopping center and I immediately noticed that there weren't carts all over the parking lot and the front of the store was clean.  Having a management background, I'm critical of these little details - these factors are important, it's all about a great first impression.

The minute we walked in, we were greeted and I knew I would love this store!!!  Just like the outside, the inside of this store was impeccable and well stocked.  I went down every single aisle and was impressed with the wide selection of products - bacon, queso fresco, whoopee cushions, trail mix, ground beef, steaks, gift cards, batteries, glasses, towels, school supplies, books... I can keep going on!!!  I spent a good hour shopping and taking it all in!  The prices are fantastic - I found Dollar General's brand Clover Valley Pure Vanilla Extract for $2.50, Luzianne Family Tea Bags 24 count $1.95 (at other stores are $3), Mr. Bubble $2 (at other stores $3).

I really enjoyed shopping at Dollar General, I felt like I was getting the most out of my money.  The store was well organized and offered something for everyone.  The staff was incredibly friendly and helpful.  I would seriously drive 40 minutes to have a great shopping experience again.

Dollar General offers a variety of name-brand and private label merchandise, including food, clothing, household items, health and beauty products, party supplies, pet items, gifts, home decor and much more.  Find out more at --> http://www2.dollargeneral.com/About-Us/Grand-Openings/pages/California-es.aspx

Dollar General is now opening stores in California with plans to open approximately 50 stores in the state this year.

Dollar General is committed to the communities it serves and has a longstanding tradition of supporting literacy and education.  More information about the Dollar General Literacy Foundation can be found at www.dgliteracy.org.

Montclair, CA Dollar General
Duke scored this Self-Inflating Whoopee Cushion!
Whoopee Cushion and Cheez-its
We went shopping!
Dollar General Haul
My fave purchases!  Bubble Wrap is only $1.50! Nathan's Famous Chips are yummy and is only $1!  I can't wait to try Soul Food Seasoning $1
Dollar General favorites

I want you to love Dollar General like I do so enter to win a $25 Dollar General Gift Card!
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and Dollar General.  However, all opinions expressed are my own.  

Labels: , , , ,

Weekend Roundup

I've had an adventurous week... and tomorrow my girl Ariana from Houston will be in town till Friday so the fun continues!  We'll be hitting Disneyland, OC Fair and going on tours of the El Pato factory and Homeboy Industries (& having lunch at Homegirl Cafe).  I am so excited because she's the only girlfriend I have that hasn't flaked on me for the past 3 years.  We enjoy her company!

Ready for some exciting news?!  I'm planning a small UNconference in November with some kickass speakers - I can't wait to share the details but waiting till I secure the venue.    

Here's some sites I enjoyed this weekend: 
Desboobs of The Boobs fame launched her Mommy blog last week and it's fantastic - You'll love it Moms Of Badassery.

This is a great read - Questions My 5-Year-Old Sons Ask After Watching the Greatest Rap Videos of All Time

Adorable Spanish Alphabet Printable - FREE!

I use Passionfruit to run my ads, it's amazing and now there is a blog directory!

I don't listen to Murs but this is pretty awesome.  Loving the Hip Hop Community lately Rapper Murs Supports Gay Rights, Kisses A Man In "Animal Style" video

I'm sad I won't be attending BlogHer this year but I'll be doing this!

BlogHer '12 at Home

Nas & Amy Winehouse "Me & Mr. Jones"

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Donate Movement by Goodwill.

Chris and I are big about donating.  We talk about it so family, friends and strangers get into the giving spirit.  It's like a saying I heard when I was younger, "thoughts have wings".  Nowadays people say "put it in the Universe".  I found out that both quotes were born from this beautiful poem:

I hold it true, that thoughts are things;
They're endowed with bodies and breath and wings;
And that we send them forth to fill
The world with good results, or ill.
That which we call our secret thought
Speeds forth to earth's remotest spot,
leaving its blessings or its woes
Like tracks behind it as it goes.
We build our future thought by thought,
for good or ill, yet know it not.
Yet, so the universe was wrought.
Thought is another name for fate;
Choose, then, thy destiny and wait,
For love brings love and hate brings hate.

-Henry Van Dyke

My point is that the more you speak about something positive and the more you share - only good can come out of it.  So this is why we support The Donate Movement by Goodwill and you should too.  

When you donate clothing and other items like books or electronics to Goodwill, your donations are sold in Goodwill stores, giving them a “second life” and keeping them out of landfills.  Let's continue to build stronger communities and a healthier planet!

Every day, the universal symbol for recycling reminds us to recycle bottles, paper, cans and more. Now, imagine another symbol on clothing, household goods and electronics that reminds you that an item can be donated when you no longer need it.

Don't wait for Spring to "Spring Clean" - there's always time to put your closet on a diet!  

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post.  Our family truly believes in this cause and wanted to share it.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Conversations with a 6 year old. My 6 year old.

Duke and TacoMe to Chris after coming home from the flea market: You're pooped and we haven't even had sex!
Duke overhears and says: Ew. Are you kidding me?
( I leave it alone but am laughing thinking he's talking about sex - 3 minutes later... )
Duke: You are so disgusting.
Me: What are you talking about?
Duke: You said poop. Something about pooped? 
Me: I meant pooped as in exhausted.
Duke: Oh, I need to go poop.

Well played my dear child, well played.  

Labels: , , , , ,