raising a human

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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...

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...

going trick or treating Dominican Republic

Going Trick or Treating: An American Tradition with a Caribbean Twist

When I was a kid, in our suburban New Jersey neighborhood – which could have been any suburb in the States – going trick or treating was everything. We ran home from school to switch our book bags for empty pumpkin buckets and began our evening’s work because make no mistake, this was a job. Our costumes were well thought out and practical; they had to withstand the dropping temperatures of the evening. There was no time to return home for...

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...

to the sibling that stayed behind

Coffee Talks: Comforting Words for the Sibling Who Stays Behind

A new phase began in our lives: our first child went off to school. But my concern was less for the one that went and more for the sibling that stayed behind. I’m a mostly rational adult that knows how to deal with uncomfortable feelings, and my emotional state was a mixed bag of sadness, uncertainty, and excitement. So what about our son, the younger brother and the sibling that stayed behind? I could only imagine his confusion. We’ve been fortunate to live abroad for the...

Redefining Failure Pinterest

Coffee Talks: Redefining Failure Starts with Me

In the last couple of days, the same message has been popping up across my screen. It has come in different words and different medias and from different people but the message is the same. Choose failure. What? Choose to fail? What kind of bull… But wait. Hear me out. What if we gave failure a big hug – welcomed it right in – and used it to help us rise instead of letting it weigh us down? What if we looked at...

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...

Raising Bilingual

Parental Doubts: Raising Bilingual Kids

Before parents are actually parents, there are certain certainties that we know. Some parents know their kids will be vegetarian because of their own lifestyle. Some parents know that their kids will go to private school. Me? I knew that I was going to raise bilingual kids. Born to Cuban parents and having been bilingual myself, there were a number of good reasons. There were personal reasons like wanting my kids to speak to our relatives in their native language. There were...