The Chinese Lantern Festival Will Light up the Night in Pomona

Happening November 15th - January 6, 2019

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Prepare for “The Wild”

Friends, I’m really excited about the upcoming Chinese Lantern Festival happening Pomona Fairplex!

The evening skies will become ablaze with the color and light with more than 1,000 beautifully handcrafted lanterns.

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The lanterns range in size from 12 – 23 feet tall, and combines art, tradition, and culture. This year’s theme, “The Wild,” features five different locations: America, Oceania, Asia, Antarctica and Africa, with lanterns representing wild animals from each region, including Cheetahs, panda bears, jellyfish, majestic cranes, lions, and even dinosaurs.

The festival will also feature food, Kung Fu shows and demonstrations, and shadow play. Guests will also be able to shop the craft marketplace where authentic Chinese jewelry, artifacts, dough figurines, as well as Chinese embroidery art, sugar art, paper-cut and fabric art will be available for purchase. 

For more information, visit www.ChineseLanternFestival.com

Hope to see you there, friends!

Xoxo,

-Anabel M.

Anabel Marquez
Greeting Cards With a Cultural Flair!

There's a new bilingual/bicultural greeting card shop!

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Sweet Llamita For All!


Did you know I'm still old fashioned when it comes to writing notes and sending greeting cards through the US Postal Service (as opposed to online)?
It's true.
In my opinion, there's something about the written word that can never be matched by an email or an e-Card, and trust me I've used the latter plenty of times but I love writing and receiving hand written notes!
A few years back, I went on a shopping spree for cards and bought enough to commemorate all occasions for years ahead (sorry friends if you've received the same birthday card from me, several years in a row...). But my stash is finally dwindling and I decided it was time to purchase a few new cards for my collection.

 This is how I've organized my greeting cards. Believe it or not, there used to be MANY more than what you see here.

This is how I've organized my greeting cards. Believe it or not, there used to be MANY more than what you see here.

That's when I came across Sweet Llamita.
Their cards are simple yet meaningful because they convey thoughts of the Mexican-upbringing type.
If you grew up in a Mexican home, then you know that no matter how awful the tumble or how painful the fall, as a little kid your mom would always say: "Sana, sana colita de rana si no sanas hoy, sanaras manana"  Translation: "Heal, heal, little froggy butt. If you don't heal today, you'll be fine again tomorrow."
It always made us feel better, if anything because the sing-songy chant distracted from the pain.
Well, Sweet Llamita has a "get well soon" card that reminds us of those good ol' childhood stumbles:

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"Chiquita pero picosa" is sort of an interpretation of Shakespeare's famous line from A Midsummer Night's Dream "Though she be but little, she is fierce". A feel good card for your favorite girlfriend:
 

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And if you just wanna be like me and write your lover boy (aka husband) a love note, just because-- there's a card for that too:

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These are only a few of many cute and clever cards currently on sale at the Sweet Llamita website.
Check them out:
SWEET LLAMITA

*Not a compensated post.

Thanks for reading!

Anabel Marquez
Baby Gifts That Embrace Latino Culture

The Cuteness is Real... de verdad

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The cutest cositas!

I didn't have a baby shower for Toby.
Early in my pregnancy, I told my mom and sisters that I didn't think one would be necessary because I kept all of my first son Benny's baby clothes, accessories and nursery furniture.
Imagine this: I had two baby showers for Benny,  I received tons of gifts and even then, I still splurged on baby stuff for him. There are outfits, shoes and toys that Benny outgrew before getting the chance to use them! Having a baby shower for my second boy would've been excessive.

Nevertheless, I did want Toby to have a few items intended just for him, so I focused on purchasing gifts that highlight our Mexican Culture. With Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, I thought it  made sense to bring them out and share.

 Here's my little Toby boy sleeping comfortably... sigh. i love my chiquito.

Here's my little Toby boy sleeping comfortably... sigh. i love my chiquito.

There are A LOT cute items out there and I'm sure there are plenty of vendors whose culturally-influenced baby products I haven't had the chance to explore but here are eight of my favorite things for bebé. These things are cute, affordable and have cultura written all over them:



1. Lil' Libros

This awesome collection of children's books is designed to make your baby familiar with popular Mexican themes  and characters, like Frida Kahlo, Emiliano Zapata and Virgen de Guadalupe, among others. The text is simple enough to engage younger audiences and the illustrations are so dynamic they give parents the opportunity to offer visual explanations for the older kids. Best of all, they were created by two LA-based mommies who are currently working on adding to the collection with upcoming titles, including "Cuahtemoc" and "Un Elefante"... I can't wait!

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2. Guayababy 

I saw this Guayabera onesie and my heart skipped a beat! How charming is this clothing item for wee little cuties? It's available on Mexico-Collective.com, with various colors available in sizes 6 - 24 months. And in case you want one for your chiquito too, you'll be glad to know certain colors are on sale!
The Guayababy is just one of many unique products sold online by the creative husband and wife team that is Robby and Samantha Vient. Their company bio says their "curiosidades y chingaderas range from humorous veladoras...to an array of irreverent Taco-Tee's..." So have your credit card handy cause you'll wanna buy everything!

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3. "Fuchi Face" Onesie

Now here's something that cleverly highlights that line your mother repeated whenever you gave her a look of disapproval. "No hagas cara de fuchi," is what my mom would tell me when I didn't want to eat her Lima bean soup (sopa de habas).  This "Fuchi Face" onesie sold by Ellie Elote was way too reminiscent of my childhood to pass up. Now I'll just wait for Toby to get a little older and have my phone nearby to snap the perfect fuchi face photo in his perfect Fuchi Face onesie...yay! 

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4. "Dreaming of Tacos" beanie

How can I explain the coolness of having a tiny taco beanie on my baby's head!? He doesn't eat solids yet but I can arrange to eat tacos on his behalf when he wears it. Seriously though, I found this beanie on Etsy. It accurately describes what my son will probably be dreaming about in three years or so... TACOS! The design is a creation of LeftRight, which has a variety of other styles designed for babies who want to make a statement. This one makes Toby's little head a few notches cuter, doesn't it? And it makes mommy's belly a few notches hungrier and ready to ask the taco man: "Deme tres de al pastor!" 

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5. Sarape Bib

There is nothing more colorfully reminiscent of Mexico than a bright & loud Zarape. So when I saw it as a bib, I made the executive decision that it was exactly what we needed for Baby Toby before he gets his first taste of Fideo while I play 'El Son de la Negra' to my baby boy.... (If you don't know it, Google search the song and you'll get me). This bib was also an Etsy find. The shop that sells it, Finney, also has teethers, blankets and an array of cute things for babies, but nothing quite as colorful as this bib! 

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6. Uncle Goose's Spanish Wooden Blocks

Here's a great take on the classic children's toy-- a classic children's toy en español. These neat wooden blocks made in the US from fast-growing sustainable basswood are also printed with child safe non-toxic ink. What's more is that they weren't kidding about getting the Spanish alphabet right-- I was ecstatic when I found the "Ñ" and all the accent marks in the right places. What a great way to start your kiddos on that bilingual tip at an early age... And they come in an adorable brown box perfect for storing. The blocks are also available in several other languages. 

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7. Baby Poncho/Jorongo

What better way to cover up my baby when he's cold!?!
Any time a blanket seems too cumbersome, it's baby Jorongo to the rescue! This is the tiniest little Jorongo that I ever did see (often confused with a poncho, which is similar but a Poncho is traditionally from South America whereas a Jorongo is exclusively from Mexico). This was another Etsy find. It arrived from LoveSofiaShop based in Texas and its cute enough to literally make a mother go gaga over it. The slit is big enough to fit any baby's head. True story: the first time I put it on Toby, my husband Paul got the itch to wear one too. He wanted a picture of father and son twinning...Lol. There are several colors available.... You're welcome ;-)

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8. Lucha Libre plush

This may very well become Toby's favorite toy. The little stuffed Mexican wrestler is soft, cute and handmade (a stark contrast to the real luchadores but that's ok). Its button eyes are adorable and the shoes with yarn laces are sooo cute! It's a necessary gift for your baby if you grew up hearing about "El Santo" and "El Demonio Azul" or if you simply love the concept of men in masks kicking each other's butts, inside a ring, in Mexico. The girl who makes these also makes fun greeting cards and sells her stuff on Etsy.
And now to watch the most adorable wrestling match between Toby and his plush! 

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Thanks for reading. Hope you consider supporting these cool vendors...AND please, by all means, leave a comment with other suggestions!
Hasta pronto and Happy Cinco de Mayo

Note: I did not receive compensation for writing about these items.

Gracias for reading!

Xo,

-Anabel M.

Anabel Marquez