Black Friday

Thanksgiving was mellow and easy.  I didn't cook this year, but next year I'm definitely doing a vegetarian meal.  For sure.  I get bored with eating the sides and want to spice it up.  So we'll see.

I hope you are all safe and warm and enjoying your families.  As annoying as they can be, that's part of the reason we love them.  Embrace them and embrace the moment.  Say those things you have always wanted to but never did for fear of rejection or misunderstanding.  Stand in love and speak your truth. Always.

Have a great weekend.  Now, let's get ready for Christmas and New Years!!!!  Oh, by the way, did I share with you that I won't be celebrating Santa or December 25th as Christmas?  More on this later.




Spicy Black Bean Hummus

I've been on a hummus kick lately and wanted to make this for my mom and sis.  Hummus is super easy to make and can be mixed with any combination of ingredients.  Alter to your taste.

1 can of black beans (or 1 c of homemade black beans and 1/2 c. of bean broth)
1 can of garbanzo beans
1 tbsp tahini (optional)
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 jalapeno seeded and chopped
1 lime for both juice and the zest
1 garlic clove - finely chopped or finely grated.

Drain and rinse canned beans.  Place all ingredients in the food processor and mix.  Use the bean juice to thin out the hummus.  You can also use water or olive oil.  I usually add the juice of 2 limes and the zest of one.  I also add 1/2 tbsp. of salt because of the added lime juice.

Place in bowl.  Eat.  Enjoy.



Tips for Surviving Black Friday - Guest Post

Ashley Pena
Editor, Author and Owner of Big Time Beauty:
Find me on Twitter: @ BTBAshley

Born and raised on the ”mean streets” of the Southwest Side of Chicago, she is a special mix of Mexican and Polish. Ashley is a full on cosmetic junkie and author of her blog: Big Time Beauty. She can normally be found stalking the health and beauty isles of her local big box stores/drugstores OR at the high end department stores/ beauty retailers all over Chi-Town. When she’s not obsessing /writing about cosmetics she loves to spend hours wasting away in WoW, watching ice hockey, spending quality time with her boyfriend and travelling. Her favorite places to visit are Mexico and Disneyworld. She can’t wait to go back!
Ashley is a working Makeup Artist and has worked with Urban Decay, Too Faced, LORAC, Smashbox and the retailers Ulta and Sephora. She recently joined the Latina Lifestyle Bloggers Collective’s management team as a Partner and she coordinates the Collective’s collaborative channel with MiTu, brand to blogger relations and the collective’s bi-weekly newsletter. 

Hola! One of the biggest shopping days of the year is rapidly approaching: BLACK FRIDAY!!!!! Oh, sorry! I let my inner craziness out for a second… Need to save that for Black Friday. Or should I say Black Thursday? I am becoming increasingly annoyed with stores like Kmart, Wal-Mart, Target and the like who are opened all day Thanksgiving OR start their sales during the evening of Thanksgiving. Whatever happened to enjoying our holidays like we used to? I remember a time when the Holidays were for family and not to nab the hottest toy at your local big box retailer…  Or grabbing that cheap TV from that big box electronics dealer. 

Sorry… Going off on a tangent. I have been a Black Friday shopper since my early teens and I have gone EVERY year since then. I never miss a Black Friday! So let me share with you some tips from a seasoned BF Shopping Pro. 

1.) Plan your shopping well. Black Friday is NOT the day to browse. You’re just going to frustrate the hell out of people if you don't know what you want. You can start planning now. There plenty of sites and Apps that already have leaked ads. My strike team already knows what we want on Black Friday.
2.) Be well rested or well caffeinated!!! Nothing is worse than to be in the midst of the madness and you’re tired, loopy, cranky and just done. Try to plan your Turkey Day festivities around your shopping schedule to allow yourself time to nap.
3.) If there is something you want get there as early as possible! This one is self-explanatory.  Snooze ya lose!
4.) Go with a group that works well together: your strike team. Most stores’ big tickets offerings are limit 1 and require some form of ticket to obtain. Going in a group ensures that your group gets the best chance at scoring multiple deals. Plus having a support system for the shopping stress is a great way to prevent BF meltdowns/showdowns.
5.) Leave the kids at home… Seriously? Why is your newborn in Wal-Mart at 1:00 AM? Black Friday shopping is NOT for small children. Stores are crowded, people are pushy,  it is a potentially dangerous situation. Leave them with a sitter or just stay home! Your kids should be priority and not that shiny new TV. 
6.) Wear comfortable clothing. Ladies leave the hoe heels at home. If you cannot run in them don’t wear them. Ditch the dresses, skirts and tight clothes. Instead grab for stylish gym clothing or a super casual look. You don’t have to look like a slob but remember there might be a Monster High stampede and you want to be able to maneuver quickly or risk getting trampled! No one will remember what you wore, just that you got hit by the soccer mom brigade on their way to the toy aisle.
7.) Remember some stores price match! So bring your sales ads with you. For on the go ad browsing download one of the many Black Friday Apps out there. Have your ads organized for easy management. It saves time at the check-out. Trust me on this! You don’t want to be the chic rummaging through her purse looking for that price match ad. 
8.) Keep the stank tudez at home! Think twice before you roll them eyes, sigh loudly, call someone a rude name, pass on that dirty look or worse assault someone (Yes, pushing can be seen as an assault). This is supposed to be the semi-official beginning to the holiday season. Treat everyone around you with respect and dignity. Be mindful of the fact that all of the shoppers are in the same boat your situation is not any different! 
9.) Keep the bad girl inside you restrained you. Ah, this is the one I struggle with the most. Soy Latina! And you can tell when you get on my bad side. My fiery temper flares up and watch out cuz guuuurl I’m a fighter! BUT in this day if digital media you’ll end up on the news, on YouTube and more than likely behind bars. Instead? Kill them with kindness. When that girl gives you the stank face, just smile at her and say “Happy Holidays!” 
10.) All snarkiness and comedy aside: HAVE FUN! Wear that goofy Santa hat. Grab your Granny’s ugly holiday sweater! Wear them Elf boots! Grab them jingle bell earrings! Enjoy the time you get to spend with your Strike Force. Create memories that you can talk about for years to come. 
I just want to wish everyone a very safe, festive and happy Holiday Season. I also want to thank our blog hostess for giving me such a great opportunity and an even greater platform to voice my very tongue in cheek opinion on Black Friday. Good luck shopping!




Twitter Round Robin!

I joined a round robin with some twitter friends and sent off my journal to Robin.  She is a life coach and a fantastic artist with motivational and inspiring pieces. She's currently working on this awesome postcard project which inspired me to do my letter project.
Also involved in this project is Kelli.  I really love her work.  It's so, um, it's where I see myself headed. I aspire to create like her.  Quite honestly like all the ladies in this project.  I'm grateful to be a part of it and look forward to learning from these awesome artists.
The third participant is Charissa. Her specialty is The Smashbook, which is very awesome! I love the style in which she captures memories. It inspires me to go outside the box.
Go visit these ladies, they each have something unique to offer and I'm grateful to share with you.

Here is my journal.  I did the cover and first 2 pages.  The cover is done with some foil tape I found at the dollar store.  I then spray painted on top with white using an alphabet stencil.  I finished it with circle stencils in black (not pictured).

I then glued down an envelope on the left hand side and cut out some scrapbook paper to make a tag. The envelope was inked up with stamp ink and Distress ink by Tim Holtz.  On the left, I glued down some scrapbook paper and then stamped some designs throughout both pages.  I then added some alphabet stickers and dots.

The tag was inked up and I added staples to the border for a textured feel.  I then lettered in and added a sticker to remind the journaler to create. Corny but necessary.

The second page I used pastels for the background.  I sealed it in with an iridescent gel medium. I then used some stencils I had and added them to the page after I ink sprayed them with various colors.  I glued them in and colored them in with color pencils.  I then added the lettering "The leaves never ask why they fall!!"  I added stamps, inked circles, chipboard and a stamped image I cut out and colored.

Overall I'm happy with the beginning of this journal and can't wait until my fellow artists get there brushes all in it!