Kids

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empowering girls

Kickass T-Shirts by Muchacha Power | Made in the Dominican Republic

If you’re not interested in hearing a story about “girl power” today – keep it moving. Strong girls grow up to be strong women. So, this post is all about empowering girls. While a t-shirt might not start a revolution, it can make a statement and spread a story. And this girl power t-shirt tells exactly the kind of story I want to share with you, and more importantly, my kids. Muchacha Power started simply and, as the mom of a strong, smart, and beautiful Latina girl who...

National Aquarium Santo Domingo Dominican Republic

SnapShots: Santo Domingo’s National Aquarium (Acuario Nacional)

I’ve come to understand – as best I can in six years – the delicate balance of the Dominican Republic. Natural, pristine beauty amidst littered streets. Tranquil beaches to feast your eyes upon with ear-piercing dembow as “background” music. Fresh fried fish ordered straight to your table in the sand with week old fish bones buried under your chair. The Acuario Nacional, the National Aquarium of Santo Domingo is no different. From the outside, you’d think there isn’t much to see, and...

Coffee Talks Rafa

Coffee Talks: The Only Thing That Matters When Moving with Kids

During these last few months of searching for our next move abroad, we talked about it endlessly with everyone. Everyone except for our kids. I wasn’t scared to tell them; I just didn’t have anything to tell them and “I don’t know where we’re going” didn’t seem like a solid answer for their inevitable followup question. Last week, after Husband accepted the job offer in Guadalajara, it was time to talk and here’s what I learned from that talk: when...

handmade-baby-quilt-by-nana

Patching Generations: A Handmade Baby Quilt | The Cuba Libre Series

Some years back, Nana, my Cuban tia/prima* (aunt/cousin), helped make a project a reality. I had collected some of Rafa’s baby clothes that I just didn’t have the heart to part with and Nana cut out, designed, laid out, and sewed a handmade baby quilt special for Rafa and very personal for me. When we did our first round of packing in preparation for our move from DR, it was the first thing I packed. That quilt will travel the world with...

raising confident kids

13 Kickass Songs with Power Messages for Raising Confident Kids

I’ve been brainwashing our children. For some time now, I’ve been playing them a CD I purposefully crafted with – love your life, be strong & kick ass – type messages, a playlist for raising confident kids, essentially. And it’s working. Rafaella wails “Roar” by Katy Perry with such devotion,  it brings this proud mama to tears. I mean, she straight up nails it. The other day, on our drive up to Las Terrenas, I overheard Santiago in the back seat trying to...

Coffee Talks

Coffee Talks: Blaze Like a Motherf*#cker and Be Yourself

I took both my kids to the salon with me the other day. It wasn’t the best decision I’ve ever made but I also had big hair in the 80’s so I think we could all agree that occasionally I make some poor choices. But I’m not here to tell a cautionary tale of why you should never bring two toddlers to a salon for the reason you think. The story I’m here to tell is the one of my son...

Sleep Routine

Why Sleep Routines Are Awesome but I Might Be Done with Them

It’s possible for Husband and I, as parents, that our favorite word is routine. It has kept us on the same page when it came to bedtimes, sleep training, food, and most other kid-raising things. There were always the few friends who told us that we didn’t have to be so stringent about our sleep routine but we liked it and it worked, both for the kids and for us. We’d give crazy amounts of hugs and kisses but when it was bedtime, we were...

at what age should kids move out

At What Age Should Kids Leave the Nest?

The TV was on in the background as I scurried around the apartment getting our bags together to head out. Steve Harvey was on the Today Show talking with Savannah Guthrie about his new TV show and at the end of the segment, a couple of people from the audience were invited to ask Harvey, typical Harvey questions. But the question (and his answer) I’ve been thinking about was this one: When it comes to your little birds leaving the nest,...

Coffee Talks Rafa

Coffee Talks: Standing Alone

Over the weekend we had a friend over and though he is a friend to both Rafaella and Santiago, he is closer in age and mindset to our youngest. After a bit of playing, Rafa shows up in my room. I know that face, I’ve seen it before but I ask her what’s wrong anyway. “It’s that…” she begins to explain, “No one wants to play with me.” I knew from hearing them play that that wasn’t exactly the case....