My latino wife calls me Sweetie: 2015

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Vanity Fair, Art Basel and Miami Beach

I have always wanted to attend the big art event called Art Basel located in glamorous Miami Beach since hearing about it. Well I finally got a chance to go to this international art event and experience everything it brings to this beautiful part of the world. This event is only held in  two other cities around the world so it was exciting getting an "invite only" from Vanity Fair!

Vanity Fair is a magazine my family has had a subscription  for years and has some of the best written articles about contemporary life and style. It was really exciting attending the Vanity Fair Social Club held at the historic Wolfsonian-FIU world class art museum. This event was for social and entertainment influencers. The speakers at the event were absolutely fabulous.

The three lady speakers understand the significance of social media and use it effectively to market their products and services. Style is something Vanity Fair has been using for years to influence the world and now there is a whole new interactive way to do it. Style is something that is developed and not so much stated in today's fast paced world and the influence of social media on all subjects is very powerful. By evening this place turned into a big party and I really didn't want to leave.

Of course just being in the Art Deco South Beach area was amazing seeing the historic hotels made me feel like I was going to bump into somebody famous. We rounded the corner of the Versace house and almost got ran over by the Paparazzi as two entertainers made their way out of this noted place.

I wish I could have seen more of Art Basel but will have to wait till next year. Thanks to my wife and Vanity Fair Social Club for inviting me!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Hometown All Stars Hit a HomeRun

I am sharing this post as part of a collaboration with Bloggin' Mamas and The Hometown All Stars. I received books and other items in exchange for my participation. All opinions expressed are my own

The Hometown All Stars Logo

 This is a great book to help motivate kids to get outdoors and see what they are missing. It brought back my own baseball memories. These books have something for both kids and adults. 

The Hometown All Stars is a book series for children that focuses on teaching early sports skills along with interactive, educational activities, and more importantly – fun! Kids ages 3-7 years old and parents, teachers, librarians, and others who want to promote “Less Screen, More Green” and get kids outside and active again! The Hometown All Stars series is also for parents who don’t know much about baseball and want to be ahead of the curve when their kids begin to play, for sports enthusiasts looking for a book that doesn’t involve talking animals to read at bedtime to their children, and for anyone interested in promoting the love of baseball and sports overall to a new generation. Visit the site at


The Hometown All Stars Team

Nick’s Very First Day of Baseball

Nick's Very First Day of Baseball

 Nick’s Very First Day of Baseball teaches children about baseball using real coaching techniques. In this interactive storybook, kids will find hidden baseballs in the pictures, answer trivia questions, and there’s even a page for autographs from their favorite players. Fun, interactive and educational.

Kids will love this bright colored book filled with a fun day of starting baseball practice. It describes their first day of baseball practice brimming with all the fun things to do on a beautiful day and interacting with friends and feeling free to have a magical day in the kid world.

Magic Bat Day

Magic Bat Day Cover

Magic Bat Day is the first real practice after the Hometown All Stars get their uniforms. Batting is the most fun of all skills and drills! This book concept shows techniques of how to hold the bat and where to stand. Most importantly, it shows that every kid can find their own ‘magic’ bat and the magic within themselves to hit the ball!

  This book describes the first real day of practice and the correct way to hit a baseball. There are lots of interactive fun things in the book and kids can see the magic of hitting a baseball for the first time.

BUY The Books & Help Others!

hometown all stars donations

  BUY Nick's Very First Day of Baseball for $12.99 (Print) or $3.99 (Digital) BUY Magic Bat Day for $12.99 (Print) or $3.99 (Digital)

Get Social With The Hometown All Stars

Facebook Twitter Instagram Pinterest Linkedin Youtube Blog

And Now For The Giveaway

The Hometown All Stars Giveaway- Ends 12-10-15. US 18+. Win a Barnes & Noble Giftcard, books and more!

 Give­away begins Novem­ber 26th, 2015 at 12:01 am EST and ends December 10th, 2015 at 11:59 pm EST. Open to US res­i­dents age 18 and older. Win­ner will be selected by and be noti­fied by email. See Give­away Tools wid­get below for full terms & conditions.

Dis­clo­sure: Blog­gin’ Mamas is host­ing this give­away and the Sponsor is responsible for prize fulfillment. While I received the items mentioned above, all opinions expressed are mine

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Beautiful Emerald Coast

I have lived near this area they call the Emerald Coast for years but never really got a chance to visit. Lucky for me, my wife (BB) Bohemian Babushka found a way to get us a stay at the Wyndham Garden Hotel suite right on the beach in this beautiful part of the world. Waking up to a balcony view of the emerald water and the snow white sandy beach was like being transported into some magical laid back paradise. As I grabbed some coffee and sat out on the balcony taking in the view I thought  to myself, yea I could get use to this.

Thanks so much to my fantastic wife and the great David Triana the gifted orator and ambassador of the Emerald coast who publishes a newspaper of the area called Conexion for making this all possible. We didn't get a chance to explore the beautiful beaches and the sparkling city of Destin but had a great dinner at a place called Bric a Brac in Destin that had the coolest bar/music/live music venue I have seen. Very original eclectic place with dancing and I had Yuengling on tap and the spicy jambalaya , it was fantastic! Thanks to the nice owners for everything.

Our stay was short and my wife performed with Theatre with a Mission at the civic center in Destin at an all day festival called Hispanic Fest. It had lots of live music and honored our veterans. I can't wait to go back to the Emerald Coast that looks like something taken right out of the Caribbean!

View from my balcony at the Wyndham FWB.

Bric a Brac- highly recommend.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Help your child be Understood

My wife Babushka brought this to my attention. This is a social good campaign her blogging network Bloggin' Mamas is doing.  I think it's a great cause and I'm happy to help spread the word.  Here's their message.

"The new school year is on the horizon, or maybe your kids have already started, either way it can be a fun but trying time for parents and kids alike. That can be especially true if you have a child who struggles with school, attention, and focus, amongst other behavioral challenges. It’s never easy getting kids transitioned into a new school setting. Been there, done that! Understanding and advocating for our children is so important.understood pic

One in five children struggle with issues related to reading, math, writing, focus, and organization, yet many children with learning and attention issues do not have a diagnosis. The adults in their lives often have a hard time understanding their issues due to misconceptions and a lack of information and resources. As a result, children with learning and attention issues often face both academic and social challenges. Sometimes returning to school after a long summer break can bring out some pretty tough emotions for kids. If you are sitting there reading this, stressed out and feeling alone, don’t be. You are definitely not alone. There are so many others who have been sitting right where you are. Understood is an organization that was created by a coalition of 15 nonprofits, and its content and tools were informed by a survey of more than 2,200 parents of children with learning and attention issues. Understood offers free daily access to experts through chats and webinars, a safe online community that encourages parents to reach out to and learn from each other and a suite of specially designed, first-of-their-kind tools that will help you prepare your child for back to school and cope with everything that comes along with it.

  Understood provides parents with clear explanations about learning and attention issues. The resources they provide will give you advice on how to help your child cope with those issues when returning to school and throughout the school year. It offers practical advice for parents on everything from how to partner with their child’s teachers, Back to School preparation, and help with homework to how to cope with the anxiety that comes with back to school. Here are some of the tools that you can utilize to discover what Understood has to offer:
  • Back to School Preparedness Countdown - Start the new school year off right! There’s a lot going on—and a lot to keep track of. Download this one-month planner, which has daily tips to get your child with learning and attention issues ready for going back to school.
  • General School and Learning Section - Read through each section to see what we have to offer. Complete your profile and let us show you how we can help.
  • How to Help a Child Cope with School Anxiety - My son is anxious about going back to school, and the closer we get to the first day back, the worse it gets. He’s been acting out and throwing tantrums, saying he refuses to go. What can I do?
  • Working With Your Child's School - Parents often don’t want to bother teachers in September and October. But talking early in the school year can set the stage for strong communication throughout the year. Here are topics that can get the dialogue going.
  • How to be an Effective Advocate for Your Child - As a parent, you are your child’s best education advocate—until he’s old enough and informed enough to speak up for himself. You know your child’s strengths and challenges, and you can help identify and push for the resources your child needs to succeed. Here are some tips to help you advocate for your child at school.
Maybe you are a parent of a struggling child, or even a friend or family member who is watching the struggle from afar. Understood has resources for everyone to learn how to help these kiddos face these challenges together. The You & Your Family section helps families with practical solutions and advice for social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. This may give you more opportunity to prepare them for the coming school year, as well as engaging in fun family activities. Children, family and education are such an important part of life. Sometimes you have to take the hard with the easy, the bad with the good. If you know someone who is struggling, be it a parent or a child; encourage them to check out Understood. They may find exactly the help and inspiration that they need!"

Disclosure: I am sharing this as part of a Bloggin' Mamas Social Good Campaign conducted in conjunction with Element Associates. I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

In Miami They Won't Leave You Hungry

My Cuban-American wife and I were visiting her family in Miami this past month. The good people of Miami will make sure you are full or "te llenaste" as my wife calls it. We spent

some time at my wife's grandmas place in the walk-able neighborhood of  Little Havana. This is a convenient place to walk, or ride a bike around to see the colorful places including restaurants like Versailles.  This is the worlds most famous Cuban restaurant, and was in the movie "Chef". I didn't eat here on this trip, but let me tell you they serve some big portions. They even have a section of the restaurant that is only desserts and coffee!
Two family gatherings provided big portions of barbecue, and Cuban food like black beans and rice, crispy plantain chips along with pulled pork. The point is, there was lots of food for everyone wherever  we went. Even fresh Cuban bread is available at the little store only one block from the apartment. So if you ever visit the magic city, you will be amazed at the variety of fresh food available, and they will serve you well!

Monday, July 13, 2015

It's Good To Escape To Miami

It's good to have a place to get away to, like Miami. OK, I'm lucky, my Latina wife grew up in Miami and her family is there. So we can visit grand-kids, and do other great things that a city this size has to offer. My Cuban wife always says "You will be eating good when we visit", and you know that is very true. Of course there are some nice tropical beaches to enjoy. My wife makes meals like the Cuban steak sandwich, pasta with red sauce, meat, garlic bread made from Cuban bread. Chicken dishes with black beans, rice, and plantains is always one of my favorites. A little wine for the meal, and of course tropical ice cream! There are things here you can't find anywhere,
I am enjoying!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

We Don't Eat Fancy But We Eat Good

"We Don't Eat Fancy But We Eat Good". My Cuban wife coined this phrase about our meals, and we sure do eat good. Tonight we had ground beef, black beans, rice, plantains, tomatoes and Cuban bread. She taught me a little trick with the black beans: cut up some onions to go on top of the black beans, yum! Some of these little tricks by my Cuban wife can make all the difference in the world.

I am currently in Miami at the location of Little Havana. The influence of this neighborhood has rubbed off on her, with all the variety of food. When we are here, we eat a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables including salads. My wife BB buys fruits and veggies not from the stores here but small stands that peddle their fresh local produce.  Great prices and fresh produce make some great meals!

4th of July Dinner Ribs, Coleslaw, Corn on the Cob

 It was 4th of July yesterday, and what does BB come up with but ribs cooked in barbecue sauce. We also had fresh corn, and coleslaw along with fresh Cuban bread. These ribs were not from the grill but they were so good. Add a little red wine, and you have a great 4th of July dinner. We also had my local favorite ice cream, "Mamey". This pinkish fruit ice cream is now one of my favorites, and BB made sure I had some.  You can't find it once you leave Miami. Like BB always says, "We don't eat fancy but we eat good". BB cooked up her famous Cuban Steak Sandwich today, for lunch. The thin sliced steak is another item that is easy to find in Little Havana. Use fresh Cuban bread, add tomatoes,  onions, and top with BB's secret topping, potato sticks! Lots more food and culture to discover here in Little Havana!

Cuban Steak Sandwich,potatoe sticks,onions,tomatoes

Monday, May 25, 2015

My Trip To Key West

Our trip to Key West all came about because of my mom’s best friend Barb. Her best friend had talked about going to the Keys because she had never been. Life moves on for all of us and Barb passed away before she was able to go. Now Barb was about the best person you could ever meet and her passing was tough on the whole family.

Well my wife Bohemian Babushka or( BB) and me asked my mom if she still wanted to go. We had planned a May trip because of Mother’s Day. We left North Florida to pick up my mom who lives just below Orlando.

With BB’s connections we were getting a brand new car to drive down to Miami and then the Keys. We were supposed to get a Ford Transit to drive for the trip! What we didn’t expect was a bus to show up. What a surprise the Transit comes in different sizes and we got the bus size one. Plenty of room for all of BB’s stuff. When I saw the size I thought, “oh no” they gave us a gas hog. It turns out it is a diesel so it actually is very economical with this engine on the road.

The next day we started out early and of course I was elected to drive. Let me tell you it drove like a dream plenty of room for us big people. Hitting the open road felt like getting out of jail what freedom I felt. My mom had not been to Miami and the Keys for a long time. We arrived at my son-in-law's house to stay for a couple of days.

The next day was filled with sightseeing with my mom in Miami. My mom still has lots of energy and good thing she does because we did some major walking. My mom had a thrill riding the Metrorail everywhere and seeing the sites. I will tell you finding a parking space for that big Ford Transit is not easy and on top of that BB lost her key to the Transit. Turns out they only had one key so BB had to find it and she did.
  • The next day we had a nice tour on Carnival Cruise Lines. My mom sure has a lot of energy to see all of that ship! Well the rest of the trip to the Keys was very mellow compared to Miami and we all made it to lovely Key West. We drove that big Transit on Duval Street and were a nuisance. That is because most people either walk or ride a bike there. We saw some great landmarks including the Southernmost point. Loved
    this trip and hope to return to the Keys soon!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Bohemian Babushka's Annual trip to Hispanicize #Hispz15

Bohemian Babushka's trip to Hispanicize has become an annual event. The event is every year during early March or April and is set in non-stop Miami. My wife Babushka, is from there, so she is very familiar with the area. The conference has been around for six years and #Hispz15 was the latest one.

Babushka starts packing about a week ahead of time because, well, she's BB. She likes her suitcases very big. First finding bags that are big enough,also the right clothes, so my wife can transform into the character that she not so secretly is. BB takes two big bags to the event but in reality it is never enough. BB takes many bags so she can bring back all the wonderful things she receives at Hispanicize. I still don't know how she has enough room to bring back all the stuff the sponsors give out. There are so many great and generous companies at this event including Coke, Target, Toyota, Hasbro, P&G, Dreamworks,Fox Latino and ViveMejor, along with many others.

My favorite is ViveMejor. I LOVE Lipton ice tea- Lemon,Raspberry, Mango!!!  BB brought back plenty of instant Lipton ice tea. So I was more than happy. Of course Babushka's bags were over flowing with other things from this great sponsor. We have packages of Knorr Rice Sides, squeeze bottles of Hellman's Mayo, hair products, Dove Body Wash, but mostly LIPTON ICE TEA!!! Thank you BB, Unilever and ViveMejor. Next year I'll be headed that way to Hispanicize 2016 and I'll have an empty suitcase JUST FOR LIPTON. Looking forward to it.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Bohemian Babushka's Traveling bags

My wife Bohemian Babushka or BB packs her bags just like her personality,big. Her traveling bags are on steroids and the procedure she uses to get them ready is quite an ordeal! It takes BB several days to pack for her trip, usually she is only headed to South Florida for a brief stay. One problem BB always has when packing,is the size of the suitcase is never big enough or more importantly,how much does the suitcase weigh? The one bag limit is usually fifty pounds and this is almost an
impossible task for BB! Now to be fair to BB,she is packing not only her clothes but all the items for her grandchildren that she has stored away to give for presents, which looks like a small toy and candy store. Yes,BB also has a big heart. The next step is to make sure the suitcase will be big enough for everything and helping her hold the suitcase so BB can zip up the suitcase,yea,not as easy as it seems! If not, it's off to a scavenger hunt at local thrift stores to find just the right one. Of course she always finds such great deals. Now you would think BB would be set to go,the bag has been weighed before she gets to the station and the weight is 35 pounds, well under the 50 pound limit. BB sees this as an opportunity to put a few extra items,but when she weighs in,the bag tips the scale at 65 pounds almost double the original pre-weight. Oh no what is BB going to do? No problem, BB will just unpack some things, put them in the carry-on bag or give me some things to take back home. Oh BB never a dull moment.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Super Bowl and my birthday

Every year on February 3rd I celebrate my birthday with my twin brother and we celebrate another event, the Super bowl. Both events usually include indulgence of food. This year the Super bowl came before my birthday. We had a party of three to feed which includes my Cuban wife. I originally shopped for the fare which included my favorites;Buffalo wings,chips and salsa,cheese,cold cuts,crackers,fruit slices and other cold items along with ice cold beer. Having a Cuban wife, she needed to add a few things which included some really great dips along with some toasted French bread which would be dipped into the warm dip. It was a seafood dip and along with the bread made us very full. With my Cuban wife you will never go hungry! On top of all that she made peanut butter brownies! Thinking that foodfest can't be beat, two days later my birthday proves that all wrong. I had the king of all foods,lasagna! Now this isn't any lasagna, it's my wife's lasagna and she does in her big Cuban way, lots of it! Yes, the tastiest melt in your mouth stuff you have ever tasted. Of course we had the usual cake and ice cream, but like my wife says "We eat good"!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

My wife's Latin Cuisine

     My Cuban wife has introduced me to a whole new menu of food.  I feel lucky to have her cooking which is delicious and filling.  This Latin menu of hers, includes plantains which has become a favorite along with the traditional black beans and rice.  One of the more surprising foods she has prepared is oxtail.  It turns out to be very tasty and tender, one of the best tasting meats I've tried despite the name.  My wife claims that Cuban food is not at all spicy, but it has plenty of taste in my opinion.  This dish that we had last week was actually an original creation by her, and given a Latin name that I forgot quickly.  It was made with ground turkey instead of the traditional beef with a tomato sauce.  The dish included my favorites black beans and rice with boiled green plantains, kind of simple but delicious, and of course always filling. Will be writing more about her cooking and the Cuban cuisine in the future.

Black beans and rice , Picadillo, Plantains