National Hispanic Heritage Month

Our Ofrenda 2013

Our Ofrenda 2013

Hello Sunshine! I hope all is well with you & family and you are enjoying the beginning of this beautiful Fall Season. We have had some cooler temperatures here in Austin and also storms. I always appreciate cooler temps and I even like the rain, but sometimes they can bring on my post brain injury migraines. So I have been away for the last week because of them. Enough about that though, I want to share with you what my fellow Texas Latino Bloggers are writing about: National Hispanic Heritage Month.

National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated September 15th – October 15th. Most of you may follow my Instagram or Twitter or even this blog and know that I am a Proud Latina. I am always wanting to learn more about my Hispanic Heritage. Like, when I was able to meet The Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Sonia Sotomayor at Book People, I was & am forever A Proud Latina. Or, when I posted my Instagram for Latinos Beyond Reel, I was encouraged to find more documentaries and more Latino Actors past and present that are not getting stereotyped. I encourage you to visit the webiste: National Hispanic Heritage Month to find more information about the observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15.

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Sonia Sotomayor

Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Sonia Sotomayor

My story begins with my hair appointment~Funny, I know, but anyway… I was so happy to find out that my fantastic colorist is engaged and she is just glowing with happiness, as we all are when we know we are to wed for life. She was asking of our wedding and I was telling her that we have a very big Hispanic family and our wedding was 250+ guests. Oh & that we married on Halloween. She was so intrigued, as most are when they find out our wedding & now Anniversary is on Halloween. She is from San Antonio and was telling me how much she loves these ‘Big displays of Halloween or family members with the food and beer or liquor bottles.’ I said, ‘Oh, you are talking about The Ofrenda.’ It got me to thinking that maybe this is what I am to write about for my National Hispanic Heritage Month Post.

Ofrendas are an essential part of Dia de los Muertos celebrations. The word, Ofrenda means offering in Spanish. Ofrendas are also known as altars, but not the kind of altars for worshiping. These altars are for paying a special tribute to our departed. It may seem melancholy to have our wedding on Dia de los Muertos & even I had questioned it in the beginning. I called Sister Helen from my Catholic Church and she gave me a beautiful response of how she thought it was beautiful that we were having such a Blessed event on the Eve of All Saints Day. It was done. See, I no longer had my father and my grandfather had also passed prior to our wedding. My husband also has loss in his family that it was so fitting and felt comfortable to have this as our wedding date. We also had a close connection to Halloween in our dating history. We do not think of Halloween or Dia de los Muertos as a sad, scary or unpleasant time, but a time to bring both of our families together in our anniversary and honor & remember or departed that have passed over the years. Oh & this year there is going to be an animated movie called The Book of Life and it will be about living and the departed. I am looking forward to it!

It’s early still, but I want to give you enough time to prepare if you would like to make an Ofrenda for Dia de los Muertos. Now, these do not have to be morose or haunted, quite the contrary! The Ofrenda welcomes spirits, but guides back to the departed’s journey. Also, there is no correct or incorrect way to make an Ofrenda. I included pictures of our pet Betta Fish last year because he died & why not? We loved our Betta! If you have a pet you should include yours as well! It is all a part of your Faith & your family. Here are a few things you may want to include in your Ofrenda:

  • Photographs of your loved one
  • Glass of water represents quenching the thirst of the spirit after their long journey, water also purifies & cleanses
  • Salt is to season the food that you are offering him & the continuance of life
  • Pan de muerto ‘Bread of the Dead,’ is a dessert bread found at panaderías, Spanish bakeries, or HEB in Austin
  • Favorite foods or beverages: a plate of food, candy bar, bottles of beer, wine, or other
  • Small, personal items that belonged to the deceased: a watch, piece of jewelry, hat, belt, handkerchief, etc.
  • Marigolds Sometimes a cross is made with petals of the cempasuchitl flower. Also with the petals, paths are set to guide the souls to the ofrenda. I bought my Marigolds from Ben White Florist last year if you are Austin
  • Skeletons/Calaveras these are becoming popular in the shops every year! Any type of style you find is perfect to fit your decor or that may fit your loved one. I love to add as many as I can. Why not start a collection?
  • Candles represent fire & at least one for each person being honored. Also four candles at the top represent the cardinal directions & provide a lighted path to this world
  • Copal/IncenseBurning copal is a tradition from the Aztecs, who used the incense as an offering to the gods. It is still used in Catholic funeral masses
  • Papel picado/Brightly Colored Cut Tissue Paper serves as a colorful & meaningful trim: Black = death, purple = grief or mourning, pink = celebration, white = hope  yellow = sun

Other items that are known to be in Ofrendas are beans to represent fertility, woven baskets, pictures of Saints & toiletries. I like to make it a happy place. Our family and friends spirits are coming by and are having visitors and I want them to have a nice place to be entertained. I am always one to be the happy host!

My Beautiful Grandmother

My Beautiful Grandmother

This year I have a tough one because I will be adding my Beautiful Grandmother. I miss her so very much.  I want her beautiful Spirit to be welcomed in the most beautiful Ofrenda ever! I am going to make a Pretty Pink Space Just for her! That is what an Ofrenda is, to make a special tribute to the departed. Ofrendas are not to be sad or bring depression when you look upon it and see your departed. Ofrendas are set up to remember and honor the memory of our ancestors. I want to look at my grandma daily and be happy and see her favorite things and remember her in the best way!

You can also make a little Ofrenda with a little cardboard box, maybe a shoe box, cereal box or maybe any box/crate you are not using. Start adding your items inside. It does not have to fill an entire table. Make a mini size Ofrenda.

If you make one, Instagram it & tag @princessmousey. I would love to see it!

Enjoy your National Hispanic Heritage Month &

Lots of love,

Lisa

Princess Mousey Cards

Don’t forget to share this post! I would appreciate it!

Killer High Protein Gluten Free Brownie Recipe

High Protein Gluten Free Brownies

High Protein Gluten Free Brownies

Hello Sunshine! Are you a techie waiting for the Apple Announcements tomorrow? My husband always jokes that he is taking the day off to watch these. He likes to be ‘In The Know’ with Apple products. I like it because he can always help me if I have questions about the new software or backing up my laptop!

So, about a year or so ago we got a few Trader Joe’s here in Austin and I never have gone to shop at one of the locations. I must admit I am a Whole Foods, Central Market and HEB shopper and I did not want to add another grocery store to my rotation. Well, The Hubby said on Saturday morning that we should go check it out so I thought I would get on the website and see what they had to offer before I went in. I found that they had lots of recipes and I saw a ‘High Protein, Gluten Free Brownies’ so I printed it up and thought I might as well get the supplies while I was there and give it a try. I do not eat sweets, but high protein & gluten free made me a bit interested. The ingredient list was short & the directions were minimal, just the way I like it!

Now, like I said, I have never been to Trader Joe’s before so I am not sure if they are all like this but I found it so easy to find all of my needed ingredients. I needed organic sugar~ there was only 1, I needed unsweetened cocoa~ there was only 1, etc. When I shop at another store, there are so many options to choose from. It seems like Trader Joe’s doesn’t give me any choice so I don’t have to think! I guess that is good? They only have their brand so I should not expect any other.

Making The Brownies Is Easy!

Making The Brownies Is Easy!

However, let me tell you, these brownies went fast in our house! So their brand must be a great quality & their brand was  reasonably priced. I can see these being requested again & me making them again. Luckily they are easy to make. Thanks Trader Joe’s for making me a star baker!

I hope you get a chance to make these brownies because you really don’t notice that they are high protein or gluten free. I know, why make them? Well, why not? Try something different to add to the rotation.

‘High Protein Gluten Free Brownies’

Lots of love,

Lisa

Princess Mousey Cards

I would love for you to share this post, thank you so much!

So I Broke My Ankle, Big Deal!

What Happens When A Fashionista Breaks Her Ankle

What Happens When A Fashionista Breaks Her Ankle

 

Hello Sunshine! School is back! Some are happy, some are sad. I always say we need to pay teachers more whenever we have an opportunity. Our teachers do so much to educate our children for 9 months and we do our very best with the 3 months we have, but really we are not the professionals~ they are. Not saying we are not to help with teaching their curriculum when they are out for the school days. Just that we may not be best at starting any new studies on our own. Always give those teachers the best we can when the little cherubs return!

So for this month for BlogHer I mentioned that we are all writing about healing. Emotional healing is what I have been focusing on or when I have been brainstorming. Then, as I have been all summer~ I was going to my post op visit for my broken ankle. Some of you may know that I broke my ankle Memorial Day Weekend. Yes, that’s right ~ the beginning of Summer! The Texas BBQ smell is in the air, my summer dresses are ready to get out, my summer heels are ready to be worn & I am ready to just get some color because I suffer from migraines and I’ve been struggling with my Vitamin D so I have really lacked in my Latina bronze!

Collage Of Broken Ankle

Collage Of Broken Ankle

Then summer begins & I break my ankle! I didn’t know the first week that it was broken, or I was in denial. I thought I just twisted it really bad when I fell as I was coming out of my Mini Cooper with too many shopping bags and my large Chloe handbag. No, I never feel the need to make more trips to the car, that’s absurd! Well, finally I went to the primary care & yes, it was broken so I needed to see a surgeon. Yes, Surgery Needed, ‘When would you like to schedule?’ I’m thinking,  ‘Today is Monday.’ Surgeon says, ‘I can schedule your surgery Friday, but you may want a second opinion & discuss with…’ I interrupt,’That sounds great, if I think about it too much… besides I really want to just get this over with and get back to normal!’ Ha! Oh Yes! That is where my surgeon should have said, ‘Hold up, wait a minute!’ I was in a hurry from the very beginning. Like Sweet Honey Brown, ‘Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That!’ I was scheduled to have surgery June 6th. Done & done!

Well, I have luckily been moving right along every month, using my crutches (not very easy), doing my ankle exercises andwearing that ‘Stylish & Always Fashionable Post Surgery Boot’. For me this has been very difficult because I was just getting ready to wear my dresses and linen pants and just purchased great backless jumpsuits from Neimans that I knew would look fabulous with my 3″ heels! Guess what? Those fashion dreams ended when my ankle was broken.

I finally saw my surgeon last month and he said I could wear a ‘sneaker’ or a ‘running shoe’. Ok, I have those, but I use those when I run & when I run I am on the great Hike & Bike Trail in Austin so they get that really dusty look or even when I use them in our neighborhood, they get a good looking wear. So I did what anyone would do, I went shopping for a new pair of ‘sneakers’ or ‘running shoes’ to wear that I could use with my summer outfits that would look nice and not like one of those office people that walk around with pretty clothes & running shoes. Nothing against them, it’s just not my look & I could not rock it as well. I was out for most of the day with no luck, but I did find a great pair of heels that will look great when I am healed! I did try to stand in them & it was a no go. I thought if I need to go anywhere nice, I can be carried in them for now, but anyway I will try another day for the surgeon ‘Prescribed Sneaker’.

I never was able to go out for a good shoe that he had ordered and it was time to see my surgeon again. I had found my adorable pair of Mary Jane type of traction shoes that I wear sometimes when I am doing lots of walking on vacation. Perfect, right? Wrong! My surgeon said, ‘Cute, but not enough support.’ I also got in a bit of trouble for working out on my ankle. I really thought it would be a good idea to start doing squats with weights to build up my muscle, but apparently it is just too soon. Let me tell you, going shopping on my ankle all day is just not a good idea either. I just like to go out and get the weekly groceries to Whole Foods, Central Market, Costco and if we want to see a movie we will go to walk around the beautiful downtown Austin to the Violet Crown Cinema. Well, I have been a bit stubborn and pushing my ankle too much. My kind and wise surgeon said it’s no wonder that I am having so much pain because I am giving it to myself. I really need to be more homebound.

My New 'Hardware'

My New ‘Hardware’

What I thought was physical healing of my ankle has become more of an emotional healing. I really need to stop being so stubborn and stop pushing myself. I keep wanting to get back to normal and I think if I start acting like my normal self, my ankle will also. I got a huge wake up call that my ankle is going to tell me when I can go back to my normal self instead of me. I waited until I was 40 years old to break a bone and I still do not have the knowledge to listen to my body. As much as I am tired of being homebound, it really does not matter. I need to get over it and do what is best for ankle no matter how sad I am about it.

I know many of you are wise enough to know this, but I wanted to share with you my healing dilemma. I will always be honest with you, even with my flaws! So what if I missed my fashion this summer, big deal! I just have more reason to look forward to my Fall wardrobe, with more supportive shoes. I do hope I find some cute ones….

Lots of love,

Lisa

Princess Mousey Cards

An Unexpected Thank You Letter

An Unexpected Thank You

An Unexpected Thank You

Hello Sunshine! I know it’s been a while since I have posted, I have had some severe migraines & I am afraid they have really impaired me from doing too much. My apologies for not keeping up with you.

A while back I posted a Blog about attending Hillary Rodham Clinton’s book signing for Hard Choices at Book People in Austin. I mentioned how kind she is and was to me and I will always appreciate her sincerity. Well, during my migraine spells, I received this letter from Mrs. Clinton and I wanted to share it with you.

I can only express again how much I always recommend visiting a book signing for your favorite author or any public, govornment official that may be visiting your town. I always believe that even if you believe in their politics or not, it is someone that could be a once in a lifetime moment, why not check it out?

Heirloom Tomatoes Are Out!

Heirloom Tomatoes Are Out!

I also wanted to share with you this fantastic snack that we enjoyed while watching The Little League World Series. Heirloom Tomatoes are out now and if you can find them at your local farmers market, grab them! If you can’t find them there, then check out your local supermarket. I grabbed these at Whole Foods. They made it so convenient with the fresh made mozzarella next to them! I had to go home and make some fresh Basil Pesto. I finished the dish with my favorite olive oil from, Mandola’s, sprinkled with fresh Comet Tail Black Pepper and fleur de sel. Oh, we indulged, but it was so worth it!

Labor Day is monday and I do hope you have the day off. Thankfully, we are taking extra time off. So, the hubby and I will be spending a good amount of time together simply relaxing. I hope you enjoy and relax during your holiday, because you deserve it!

Lots of love,

Lisa

Princess Mousey Cards

Why Not See A Movie This Weekend?

Happy Friday

Happy Friday

Hello Sunshine! Happy Friday. Do you have any plans for the weekend? We are staying in. It’s been a rough week with the loss of Lauren Bacall & Robin Williams. The riots that are going on in St. Louis for the young gentleman, Michael Brown & the loss of the gentleman Michael Brown. I wanted to let you know of some movies that we have seen recently if you are planning to see a movie.
To Have And Have Not

To Have And Have Not

If you would like to see a classic & remember Lauren Bacall, To Have and Have Not is a

We Remember Dead Poets Society

We Remember Dead Poets Society

great classic to remember her with Humphrey Bogart.

If you would like to remember Robin Williams, I have always loved him in Good Will Hunting & Dead Poets Society. Funny, because he has given me so much joy in Birdcage, but I felt so much love in the other movies. He really tugged at my heart in the other movies.

When I feel my heart burn and my tears flow from someone who can make me laugh usually it makes me so out of the normal and realize that this is someone that can really is an amazing actor. He also did so much out of acting that I know he was an extraordinary gentleman.

These movies may be available on Amazon or Netflix as a stream, but if you have the DVD’s that is even better.

Le Weekend

Le Weekend

The movie that is available on Netflix DVD loan is Le Weekend, but it is also available on cable TV rentable movies/Pay-Per-View. It is a great

A Most Wanted Man

A Most Wanted Man

movie about an older couple spending the weekend in Paris. They have some adventures and they are just like any other couple. Very entertaining & is in English language.

Last week we saw A Man Most Wanted. This is a great Spy Thriller. If you like twists and turns this is the movie for you! This movie is set in Germany, but not in German language, so no need to read subtitles. This was one of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s last movies, I believe. He was always a terrific actor. I would always see his name on a movie & knew I wanted to see it just for him. Yes, his portrayal in Capote was wonderful, but he was fantastic in Doubt, The Savages & Charlie Wilson’s War.

Boyhood

Boyhood

My absolute favorite movie in theaters now is Boyhood. I know, you are thinking I am favoriting because I am an Austinite. Not true! This really is a great movie. The way Linklater made this movie over a 12 year span documenting a family is absolutely wonderful! This is a modern family and also seems like a normal family. A modern and normal young man who goes through his boyhood. I could not help but think of my child hood growing up & then thinking of my son growing up. I know this movie started in limited release, but I think it is out at more theaters now. I do hope you find it where you are and I do hope you see it soon. 

Let me know what movie you see, if you go out, I always love a movie recommend, or if you see a movie~ take a pic at the theatre and tag me in you Instagram @princessmousey

Well, that is all I have for you now.

Lots of love,

Lisa

Princess Mousey Cards

10 Great Stories About Modern Catholic Women: A Book Review

You Will Usually Find Me With A Book In My Hand Or On My iPad!

You Will Usually Find Me With A Book In My Hand Or On My iPad!

I read a great book, Style, Sex and Substance: 10 Catholic Women Consider The Things That Really Matter. The book is by Editor, Hallie Lord. The book is published by Our Sunday Visitor. This is not a current book. It is from 2012, but I had read an article about it during Lent and my book list is quite long, that I just got to it.

This book is really about The Modern Catholic Woman. I grew up in a Catholic family, but am I the same as my mother, grandmother, and my grandmother’s mother? Today we have Pope Francis who is even making statements about our Catholic Church taking a more contemporary approach on love. This book is a quick coffee or afternoon read, only 160 pages. You may want to take your time with this one only because after each story, there are Reflections. I really took the time and meditated on the reflections. I wanted to take each moment in. After all, I am a modern Catholic woman. The book discusses, a modern Catholic mom, wife, friend & a single woman. I was very much into each story, I really felt each of these women. With the reflections, I wanted to know more, even though the story made me feel these women, I wanted more. They knew it and they wanted me to put their feelings in my own life. I did. I reflected each of their feelings in my own life.

As I mentioned before, I grew up in a Catholic family, I feel like I already had these beliefs, but it was good to go back and remember that I am a modern Catholic Woman! I am not my mother, grandmother, and my grandmother’s mother.

I recommend this to any and all Catholic women. This book is refreshing and I do hope it will bring you happiness. This book’s reflections will enlighten us to keep our faith forward and live it in our days.

You can purchase Style, Sex and Substance in most bookstores or if you are on Goodreads, look at the places to buy books like Half.com, Abebooks or Powells.

Lots of love,

Lisa

Princess Mousey Cards

Also, if you notice, I love to flag pages in my books & to hold my spot in my books, I use these fantastic Magnetic Bookmarks from Everyone Can Play. She makes Custom Bookmarks also. So, the Bono, U2 & Austin, TX marks are Custom made. I requested a few Sherlock Holmes marks. She has an awesome shop, click her name above to get to her shop.

Lots Of Reading Places, I Love Magnetic Bookmarks from Everyone Can Play!

Lots Of Reading Places, I Love Magnetic Bookmarks from Everyone Can Play!

Here Comes A New Idea For A Personalized Gift!

Personalized Flour Sack Kitchen Towels

Personalized Flour Sack Kitchen Towels

Hello Sunshine! I hope you are well, I am a busy bee getting holiday cards ready for my little Etsy shop. I love working on holiday cards and last year was my first Christmas, I found myself a little unprepared. I wanted to share with you these cute little personalized flour sack dish towels that I plan on making for a few of our friends and family for the holidays. I always find personalized gifts are the best gifts! You place the receivers name and something specific about the family or couple that makes them feel special & they always want to use it in their home. Plus, they will always think of you! It shows how much thought is put into the gift and when it is something that is made by hand, even better! Mr. Diaz & I were married on Halloween, so I made our dish towel with the Dia de los Muertos theme. I love that theme for most of our items in home because of our anniversary. I also have been known to say ‘Hello Sunshine’ for years, so I love the bright and cheery daisy with the ‘Hello Sunshine’ on our sink. These dishtowels are kitchen usable and cold water washable, so that is even better!

Placing The Design

Placing The Design

You want to purchase good quality Flour Cloth Towels. 100% cotton, large towels. I made a purchase from Amazon and I was very happy with the quality and price. I purchased the Office Depot Iron On Transfer Brand paper. They worked fine. I used our normal iron, no need to use another iron. You will need a INK JET PRINTER for the iron on transfers. The images can be from your own pictures or from an image website. I found dustn.tv has found the best places to find free images online. So check him out!

Personalized Gifts Are The Best Gifts

Personalized Gifts Are The Best Gifts This Tea Cup is a Souvenir from our Trip to The UK, I took a photo of it & placed it on a kitchen cloth with ‘Hello Sunshine!’

Once you have your supplies, you want to pick your image that will be perfect for your gift & what you would like to print also. You can use so many different fonts to mix with your image as well. Since our image for our home was the skull, I wanted a ‘metal band’ font, so I went to my favorite website for fonts, Dafont, to download the perfect one. Dafont has every font imaginable for you. If you are looking for a Space font, Princess font, Spooky font, Movie font, or just any font! Use Dafont for this project or any project. Print your image & writing onto the Iron On Transfer. Also, don’t forget to Mirror or flip the image before printing. The design will be mirrored or flipped on your flour clothes when it is transferred.  I try to print as much as I can per page, to not waste transfer paper. As far as the print, I will use print as much as I can on 1 page. I do use 1  81/2 X 11 page for the image for the size flour clothes that I purchased. Before I Iron on my transfer I iron out your flour cloth to make sure there are no wrinkles on the transfer. I like to make sure my Iron On Transfer is centered, so I measure out the sides to the center to place my image. Place the iron on the setting that your transfer paper brand requires, my brand requires ‘cotton’ setting. When you start ironing, place the iron on the image to immediately stick the page to the cloth and press firmly on the image when ironing on. If you do not press firmly, your image will not transfer clearly. Follow the directions on your transfer paper for times, but it should not take long. Depending on your image size, it could take 1-3 minutes per image. Let the image cool before removing the paper and once it is removed you are set!

These are great gifts & fast gifts to make for those last moment invites or times that you really want to do something special. Also, great gifts in addition to a wedding registry gift for a newlywed couple. Placing the couples name with their wedding date and a picture that goes with their theme would be lovely with a gift! I love giving these to a party hostess with a bottle of wine wrapped inside the towel! Like I mentioned, I am getting my Christmas goodies ready, these make great Christmas Party Hostess Gifts with Christmas Themes. I love making these with ‘Jesus Is The Reason For The Season.’ or ‘Happy Holidays’

With you personalizing these, there are just so many options! Also, try personalizing pillow cases for the little ones. I will be making Minecraft pillow cases for my nephews. They are really into that right now!

Let me know what you make & don’t forget to instagram! Tag me in @princessmousey or @princessmouseycards. I would love to see your creations.

Lots of love to you,

Lisa

Princess Mousey Cards