Sunday, July 17, 2011

Activity books

Cielo has been working on Kumon activity books for a while. She's been coloring, tracing, cutting, pasting and doing mazes too. I really love the crisp and colorful design of Kumon books. I love that Cielo enjoys doing these activity books while developing her motor skills.

She loves them so much that she has completed most of her books. I'd been a bit worried because I couldn't find knew ones and I'm not sure she's ready to take on next level, I don't want to rush her.

So yesterday, after a visit to the Tilden Park steam trains we went to Rockridge for a coffee break and stopped at a bookstore where I found more activity books!

yay! So happy. Check them out, I totally recommend them. In addition to the Kumon activity books I picked up a Kawaii activity book for Cielo and my niece Alexa, so cute!

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fresh Salad

Cabbage, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and homemade dressing.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Raising Sky

Her outfit today, very shabby chic. She's into her socks and slippers.

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Raising Sky

This week Cielo finally allowed me to comb her hair so I made her a braid. She looked so cute.

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Vegan Porn: Taquitos Pirata

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Recipe: Rajas con queso

Another one of my favorite, easy recipes is 'Rajas con queso.' the English translation is 'strips with cheese,' typically this is a vegetarian dish that I veganized.


6 Poblano peppers
1/2 Medium onion
1/2 Bag of Daiya cheese (mozzarella)
1 Packet of vegan seasoning
1/4 Cup water


Remove the stem and seeds from the poblano peppers after washing. Then cut into strips. Slice the onion into strips too.

In a medium pot, add 1 tbsp of oil then add the onions and the pepper. Stir the ingredients, then add salt and seasoning. I use culantro and achiote seasoning from the Goya brand, you can find it in the 'ethnic' aisle, a Mexican store or online. After I stir ingredients to make sure seasoning gets distributed throughout I add about 1/4 cup of water. Cover the pot and let it simmer while coming back to it to stir. Once the pepper strips look tender, add the mock cheese and stir immediately. Daiya cheese melts fast. Once your done with your dish you can serve with rice and beans or in tacos.

Buen provecho!

Tip: for spicy poblano peppers choose those that have a curled stem.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Raising Heaven

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Project: water coloring

Today Cielo had her friend Maude over and together they painted beautiful pictures with water colors.

Cielo is in an abstract phase ;)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Soy Picadillo con Elote

This is a very typical dish we make in northern Tamaulipas and one that I learned from my mom. This really is one of those comfort foods that you want to prepare on a cold, rainy day.

For the perfect picadillo, I buy the lightlife brand of ground soy.

This is one of the super easy recipes that I make often and my daughter and baby daddy love. You'll see in the ingredient list that this is a working mom's recipe.

1 package of lightlife ground soy
1 can of organic corn
2 cups of organic tomato sauce
1/2 large onion
2 packets of culantro and achiote
2 cups of water

Dice the onions. Then fry them in oil in a deep pan. Once the onions are tender add the ground soy and sprinkle the culantro and achiote powder. Mix ingredients until powder is distributed throughout picadillo. Next add tomato sauce and water while mixing contents. Add salt and pepper to your taste. Last, add the drained corn and let it simmer in medium heat for about 15-20 minutes or when the red sauce looks cooked (like a rusty red).

You can serve this meal with beans, Mexican rice and shredded cabbage salad. Don't forget the tortillas.

This is about 6-8 servings.

Buen provecho!

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Check it out: Art in a box

Just read about this on the blog MORE WAYS TO WASTE TIME.

The Compound Gallery in Oakland has a CSA type of service called "Art in a box" where you pay a monthly subscription to receive a piece of fine art in a box.

It's a service available for pick up and shipping.

Wish I could afford it, if you can... subscribe today.

tempeh tacos?

This is just plain offensive. And I'm not talking about the tempeh... if it not a folded tortilla with a filling please don't call it a taco.

Sunday Project: Umbrella

Today Cielo and I worked on our Sunday project, we made a colorful umbrella. Got the idea to work on something umbrella related because it's a rainy day and she loves her umbrellas. So much she took one to pre-school this week for share day.

For this umbrella I pre cut an umbrella shape out of a grocery paper bag and little squares of tissue. Cielo cut some of the orange squares for the umbrella handle. All we did was crumble the pieces of tissue paper and glue them to the kraft paper.

This activity brightens up any rainy day.

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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Estrella's Quinceañera

A month ago, my bestie Esther tagged me on a Facebook post that listed Bitch magazine's list of 100 YA feminist books. Being an avid YA reader, I looked through the list and realized I have not read enough YA books O_O which means that I need to expand my horizons and read beyond YA sci fi and fantasy. I specially need to be reading xicana/latina YA lit. Sadly I've only read 3 books on the list, which makes me wonder WTF have I been reading. lolz.

Esther told me about some controversy involved with the list, oh I remember, there were some people who complained about three books on list in the comments section and Bitch pulled off these books from the list because of violence in their stories. OMEGA QUADRANT. If you are interested in reading about the controversy just click here.

I'm going to try to read the books on this list and I don't know what my goal will be but I'm not sure that I can read all 100 books in a year. I can however check off one book from the list this month: Estrella's Quinceañera.

This novela about Star's 15 (quince) hit very close to home, not because of the quince drama but because of the mother-daughter dynamics that are too common in the Mexican culture. Star's mom started thinking about her daugther's 15 from the day she was born, my mom thought about it and talked about it for a long time and guess what? I have a three year old and I've began to think about it. Not only do I think about it but I'm planning a mini version for her 5añera. (Thanks Myra for the great idea) This will be the trial version. I'm thinking that for her actual 15 I need to starting saving now. We will have to organize a second one for her in Mexico so the family can come, I'm getting padrinos for that one fo sho.

The book made me think of the intense beliefs and the beautiful culture of hermandad y solidaridad we have and that the Televisa telenovelas are very apropos or maybe that's where we learn our behaviors.

Intense beliefs when it comes to the uptight and rigid standards set on daughters and not sons by mothers who themselves did not live up to those standards. Like when I found out a few years ago that my grandmother had eloped... why did we make a big deal when my sister eloped? Or when I moved back home after college and my parents didn't let me come home too late. Because I was a young lady with "buenas costumbres" (good customs). Yeah, right. I moved out. Mexican daughters have a hard time leaving home specially when it comes to going to college outside of the city you live in.

Beautiful culture when it shows how we all unite to make a celebration happen, how we support family or how we rally around causes.

Another thing I could relate to in the book, were the race dynamics between white and brown. Those who resist the white-washing of our culture and those who want to be white (highspanics)/accepted by white society. Fortunately there was acceptance and respect at the end of the story but how much of it is there in reality?

I think about race a lot not just because I'm a woman of color but because I'm raising a mestiza that looks white... and I often wonder how her struggles will be different than mine.

All in all this is simple story that exposes a little bit about our culture to the YA readers. It shows a glimpse of the challenges we all face in a coming of age story and I recommend it.

Verde que te quiero verde: Salad Greens

Verde esta nuestro huerto, full of life and fresh as a cucumber. Today Nathan harvested some of greens, kale, chard, arugula and cilantro. Beautiful!

Arroz con Leche

There are so many ways to prepare arroz con leche, here's mine...


3 cups of rice
5 cups of water
6 cups of soy milk
3 small cinnamon sticks or 1 large
3 tablespoons of coconut butter
1 cup of sugar
cinnamon powder


In a medium pot, mix water and soymilk and pour over rice. Cook on medium heat until the rice is tender. While rice is cooking you need to stir often so rice doesn't stick. Once rice is tender add coconut butter and stir. Then stir in the sugar.

This serves 8+ portions. Serve single portions with a dash of cinnamon and raisins.

I don't like mine to watery so I use one cup less of water/soymilk, but watery is the way most people like it. This is a very common dessert in Mexico and there is even an old children's song for it... the children's song says "arroz con leche" but it has nothing to do with making it, its about finding a young lady that knows how to cook, sew and clean so you can marry her. You know your typical Mexican view of women, although I like to think folks are evolving.

Knit Love?

I found this cross stitch pattern I made a few years ago on my google docs today, I want to share it with you. This is a quick and easy craft project.

You can get it here.

Raising Sky

This week in the life and fashion of Cielo our biggest highlight is that she still refuses to wear jeans and will only wear tights.

And her favorite white shoes mysteriously disappeared and Nathan has been trying to figure out of I hid them... Alas, I did not. I wish I would of that but we just lost them.

Here's a free form haiku for the lost white shoes, may they RIP:

White shoes run
Fall spell winter's eve
Sad child cries

The pic above is of Cielo's outfit yesterday- these are the third pair of pants I cut into shorts this week.

Gifted sweater, hand me down pants, H&M tights and pink chucks.


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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Project: Robots!

Woke up early this morning to prepare materials and gather supplies for Cielo's Sunday Project: Robots!

Cielo knew all morning her supplies were ready so she was anxious to get started. But we had plans for morning to pick up groceries at farmer's market and laundry supplies so she had to wait. At one point throughout the day she was asking to go home to work on her project. It was so cute. I'm so special she enjoys project time as much as I do.

I saw this project prolly on Crafty Crow's blog or on Family Fun (lol). I'll have to search for it.

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Faux Bois Love

I really really really like faux Boise prints. Here's what I found today at GGP. A decomposition journal made of 100% post consumer waste recycled pages for less that $5. Got one for my lumberjock and one for my prima.

Go get one ;)

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Casa de la Alegria: Cielo's room

One of my favorite pass times is looking at design blogs to gather inspiration for my home styling. Yes, I used that word styling.

Our style is very much a mixture of antique, vintage, DIY and new. You can see that in every room of our house. I'm always thinking of ways on how to improve my home (I'm OCD like that ;).

When I move into a new old place I have to make it feel like home immediately. When I first moved to CA I lived in Sac, when my husband and baby followed they lived in Oak. I would come to our new home every weekend to be with my family and unpack. It took me 4 weekends for the house to be boxes free and look settled in.

One of my favorite rooms to tackle is bebina's room. Simply because I want her to have a fun magical place to play and learn. I work really long hours so I want to give her quality. Recently I had to redecorate her room and like every time I draw my inspiration from the Jeu de Paume 'Children's Rooms: Stockholm'.

You can see by the cover of the book that it's a very eclectic colorful non perfect set up. You can buy Jeu De Paume books at the Kinokuniya bookstore in Japantown in the City.

Here are some shots of Cielo's room.

This table and chairs set belonged to Cielo's great-grandparents.

Nathan's mom got Cielo this little wooden chair. When she bought it at a yard sale the chair was yellow. So she refinished it and made it look awesome.

These are all of Cielo's 'friends' on the bed. The larger quilt we bought at a Mennonite relief sale and the little one at the foot of the bed was made by Nathan's mom right before Cielo's birth.

We got this stove for Cielo for Christmas and her vintage pitcher and pans are from eBay.

This just shows you I'm not just about work ;)

What's your home style?

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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sopa! Sopa! Sopa!

Puro comfort food tonight. Made some sopa de calabacita con elote (aka zucchini with corn soup) tonight for my baby and baby daddy. This recipe is in VDG cookzine and it's a dish that a cook often.


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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Raising Heaven

My lil' bag lady. tights, skirt, white shoes. duh!

A Great Good Place for Conversation

I've been living in the Bay Area for two years now, before I moved here I lived in South Texas right on the border with the motherland (Viva Mexico!). This area is called the Rio Grande Valley and a lot of my family lives there. The Valley is a great place for conversation and people there talk in the style of Acuerdate, a story out of "El Llano en Llamas" by Juan Rulfo.

This style is the way my sister, cousins and friends talk, specially when we talk about our favorite YA novels. We talk about them like if we were sharing chisme about the vecinos. lol.

Since leaving the Valley, I didn't have that piece of me and I really missed it... until now, I think that I'm slowly regaining it... and it has to do with the fact that I've found "A Great Good Place for Books" in the Montclair District where they have a monthly YA book club.

Every month, the group chooses a book, reads it and discusses it at the monthly meeting. Even though I'm very new to the group and I've only been going since January, I'm really enjoying it. I really like the wisdom in the group and the passion that Kathleen, the owner, has for YA novels. They are a very inspiring bunch.

I also love that the bookstore is really close to my house- one day I'll ride my bike there (must add that to the bucket list. lol). The bookstore itself has a good selection and I specially enjoy taking my toddler to the children's area... even though its always a struggle getting her out of there. Last week I brought my husband with me and he came out with his copy of Cinderella Ate My Daughter and an Outliers type of book. There's something for everyone, go check it out.

Monday, February 21, 2011

My Lumberjock

My husband, Nate the Great, had a week off last month and finally had the chance to work on one of his projects. For the past year and a half he's been visiting Urban Ore buying all kinds of salvaged materials for projects he's been thinking and drawing out. He found a wooden hatch of some sorts, heavy wood with metal ends in really bad shape but he saw lots of potential.

He's been looking at furniture and showing it to me, so when I find photos of industrial chic design I send them to him.

Well on his week off he went to work and put together this beautiful coffee table. It took a lot of hard work sanding off the gunk that was on it and he had to paint it twice because he wasn't happy with the finish. The coffee table legs are coasters that he picked up at the same salvage shop. It make it easier for us to move the table around the living room when needed.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday Project: Crafty Little Hands

"Crafty Little Hands" is a Sunday project that I began this year with my 3 yr old, in order to help her develop her motor skills, listening skills and improving her attention span. I also want to create fond memories for her of us making crafts together.

I'm really inspired by my husbands family DIY (do it yourself) lifestyle and I want to pass that unto her.

This Sunday, Cielo made a butterfly garland out of string, straws and butterflies from Paper Source. As a working mom I rely on pre-made craft supplies from The Paper Source. I'm lucky to have one close by in Berkeley. I'm not sure what the pre-cut butterflies are for but I used them for this project. In Mexico, at farm weddings folks make the exact same garlands but with white straws and white flowers so this is where I got the inspiration to do this project.

Raising Heaven, Sky and Cielo

I will be posting pic's of Cielo's outfit choices every now and then. She has a high interest in fashion- right now it's all about wearing tights or leggings. She refuses to wear jeans... Oh sadness, her Tia gave her skinny jeans for Christmas and she hasn't worn them yet.

Accessories: The knitted panda hat is from etsy, the scarf I made for her and her studded belt is from H&M kids.

The attitude is all her.

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Chilaquiles a la Vegana

Esta mañana, I made some Chilaquiles for my husband. Last Sunday, I made some black beans using my sister's recipe in 'Vegan de Guadalupe Cookzine' so I heated them and added to our breakfast. What's your favorite vegan breakfast?

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I'm back!


I'm coming back to the blog world. Two years ago, I was a frequent blogger on my blog Domingo Siete but then we decided to move to the West Coast so here we are in the Vegan Motherland: San Francisco Bay Area. Now after two years of settling in, I'm ready to blog again. But I will be merging Vegan De Guadalupe with Domingo Siete, which means I'll talk about everything related to our vegan lifestyle: mothering, child, food, home and activism. Woot Woot.