Why my girl crush on Jennifer Lopez is over

I used to have a girl crush on Jennifer Lopez. Though I've never been a big fan of music, I've loved her as an actress. Ever since the movie Selena, I've put all of my Latina hopes and dreams in a sparkly JLo basket. Well, actually, she shares the basket with Salma Hayek, but still. Jennifer Lopez did Mi Familia, a story about a Mexican-American family, even if she is Boriqua. She was also a Fly Girl on In Living Color. And JLo was Janet Jackson's backup dancer in one of my favorite Janet songs, That's the Way Love Goes.

Still. Back to my story.

Jennifer Lopez has achieved a level of success in the entertainment world. And she is Latina. That is a feat in itself. I was happy to hear she settled down with Marc Anthony. Their movie El Cantante was a chance to see them in their raw Boriqua-ness, which was cool. Then they had the twins. I was happy to see the resurgence of her career when she signed on to do American Idol. I almost wet myself (ok, we all know that happens pretty easily) when JLo and Marc Anthony performed Aguanile on the AI finale.

I mean, I could see all the Puerto Rican flags flying high that night, with a loud chorus of, "¡Coño!"

But these days, JLo is really leaving a sour taste in my mouth. First, it was the bombshell of her and Marc Anthony separating. I know, I must be the only person who believes that celebrities actually might love each other in real life. Thinking back to that very AI performance, I was like, heeeey! All that emotion onstage was just a farce. I felt duped. I was really hoping it was just a rumor because in my mind, JLo and Marc Anthony were going to stay happy and married. And filthy rich. Just like Alicia Key's Unbreakable but a Latino version. The Latin Power Couple.

Then I saw this. Bikini-Clad Jennifer Lopez Lounges with Shirtless Casper Smart in Hawaii Can I say, ugh?

Who does that?

Who hooks up with one of their backup dancers who is half their age? Well, obviously not you and I because we don't have backup dancers, but you know what I mean. Frolicking on the beaches of Hawaii in a bikini with your new hot young stud...and your twins. Ew. I just can't.

My girl crush is over. I'm sad.

I guess now Salma has room to stretch out her tiny legs in my sparkly Latina basket.

Image source: eonline


What are you thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving!

There are so many things to be thankful for and it almost seems trite to say, I'm thankful for my health, my job, my children, my spouse etc. etc.  But it's so true.

Today I am sharing a moment of gratitude over at Babycenter's MOMformation. It happened one late night/early morning not too long ago...the overwhelming sense of gratitude because all of my loved ones were at home in bed. Head on over there and check it out: Thankful for a house full of children.

What are you thankful for today?

Be blessed.



Phil. 4:13 TOMS shoes

One day, I received at least fifty emails asking me about the TOMS shoes with the Philippians 4:13 scripture painted on them that they saw on Pinterest. And the emails are still coming.

Sure enough, someone repined a pair of TOMS shoes that we painted brown with black script and the verse, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." We painted this pair back in January of 2010, when Sandals Church held a Style Your Sole Event.

I think it's really cool that this shoe has gotten so much love and attention. And it's nice to know that people always credit me and include the link to this blog whenever they repin.

Which is why Pinterest is so flippin' awesome. Seriously. Don't forget to follow me on Pinterest because right now, it's my happy place.

Here's a short video featuring our latest pair of TOMS. Enjoy!


Dia de los Muertos 2011

It's been over a week since Day of the Dead 2011 and I think it's safe to say to I've survived. Really, honestly, it was a crazy week. Not only did Day of the Dead take place, it was the culmination of seven months of creating and producing art, one of my sons had a simple outpatient surgery and my family got hit with the stomach flu. And yes, by stomach flu I mean every so many hours someone new was puking into a trashcan or running to the toilet. Me included.

Thankfully, we're all better now. Finally, I can share how the Dia de los Muertos event went. Whew.

This whole night was a huge learning experience for me. I've never hosted a booth to sell my art before. I pushed and pushed for weeks--no, months! I hardly got any sleep (four hours a night for days on end--not something I recommend) and I was a terrible wife and mother. Okay, terrible is kind of harsh. I was a distracted mother and a grouchy, mean wife.

Here are a few things I learned:
  • Begin creating pieces in January. Work all year long until Day of the Dead (November 2nd). Then take the holidays off. Believe me, I'll need that long.
  • Lighting, lighting, lighting. The generators kept blowing out, leaving our row of vendors without lights off and on the entire night. Not necessarily our fault, but the lighting we did have wasn't necessarily adequate.
  • Display shelves. I saw people use crates, old suitcases repurposed into a display case, antique frames to hang artwork, etc. I told my brother (who can pretty much build anything) to walk around and peep ideas we can tweak and use next year.
  • Grow a pair.  Check in time for vendors was 4:00 and we arrived at 4:10, only to found out I was put on a funky little side street. I walked around the corner and realized I was nowhere near the main drag. I ran around, found the event coordinator, told him I was unhappy with my location and could I move, like right now?! After that it happened really fast. We had to break everything down and move our booth to the other spot, right in the middle of all the action, and set up everything again.
  • Mod Podge is like crack to me and I had to resist the urge to put it on everything.
  • Face painting. Give yourself adequate time to create your Day of the Dead face. I didn't even get to outline my face the way I wanted.
  • Hanging my original artwork. If I ever do this again, I will definitely display all of my original artwork. My husband reworked my beloved Frida Kahlo painting and we decided to display it that night and it drew so many people into our booth it was amazing!
The night passed by too quickly. I saw so many familiar, loving faces come to visit me, I just wish I had the time to talk with everyone. I really thought it would be like the farmer's market, where I could chill, sit in my camping chair and people watch and talk to the people who'd wander in and out. No, it was nothing like that. It was a constant stream of people, fielding questions and quoting prices, buying our stuff, handing out business cards, packaging up their purchases, taking pictures, talking to people, making change--it was craziness! When it was over, my feet were killing me and I was starving. We collapsed into bed at nearly 3 am the following morning.

All in all it was a great experience. I definitely want to do this again next year!

I could not have done it without my mama. She pushed me, helped me organize, was my financial supporter, my part-time housekeeper--everything! Love this woman--she is ride or die!
My husband Michael supported me, too. He did all of my screen-printing, he was there to bounce ideas off of and he helped me bring my vision to fruition. And look at this amazing sign he painted for me. It was perfect!
My niece Selah was there to help her mama sell their custom hair pieces. She was getting her hustle on all night long!

The finished skulls!
So cute!
We still have several hair accessories left if you are interested.
My brother and sister posing with one of the many people in cool costumes and makeup that night.

We ended up just giving away bracelets and rings to the little girls who came to visit our booth.
Hand-painted rosaries by my brother, Jeshua at BoifromIpanema

He also created this uh-mazing Rasta-themed Barbie doll with a mini 'fro.

Jeshua's Frida Kahlo doll sold out within minutes.

A hand-painted mask created by Sacred Art

The face painting looked so incredible!

This was an altar right next to our booth.

Another hand-painted Barbie from BoifromIpanema.

The Barbies were already selling before we were even completely set up.

Screen-printing scarves in the studio. Can you tell where I got the artwork from? My punk rocker calavera.
The scarves turned out so flippin' adorable that I wanted to keep all of them. I have a few left for sale, I'll put more info about them if you are interested!

A Day of the Dead collage that me and Sol worked on.

I'm guilty of stress-eating Halloween candy while making some last minute frames.

These Loteria card picture frames were so much fun to do.

I created this bride and groom design for a wedding gift a couple of months ago. I ended up making a few cards. A woman that had several weddings to attend came and bought them all up.
It feels really good to work with family!
A last minute idea to create custom light-switch plates was a good one--people loved them!
My Siamese Soul Sister hand-painted these skull masks. Her attention to detail is amazing! Look at that crown. It looked like a vinyl sticker, it was so perfect.
I'm so sad that since were were so busy in our booth, I didn't get a chance to see the Aztec dancers. LOVE the feathered headdress.

People checking out our stuff.

Frida kept drawing the people in!

Windy conditions that night prevented the dolls from being put up on their stands so that is why they are laid out on the table like that.  But that didn't stop the people from buying them.

A view from outside.

We had a lot of family visit us that night. Oh, and the chil'rens. They so wanted to be a part of the event, too but I could.not.concentrate with them there. I was concerned someone would wander off and get lost, I was concerned they would knock something down, I was concerned they were getting hungry--I was just plain concerned. I could not take off my mom hat! Even though they came with Michael later in the evening and then supposed to go home with their grandfather, I couldn't relax until they were gone for the evening. Next year, I'll definitely have to make a solid childcare plan.

If you're interested in any of the artwork and crafts, you can e-mail Denise at pearmama@gmail.com.
Peace and love,



My October in pictures

We're studying The Middle Ages in Story of the World so we made mosaics out of beans. Wooo.

Diego was The King of Pop for Halloween.  He won Best Costume!

There are IT'S-IT mint and chip ice cream cookie sandwiches in Heaven. I know this.

Weird penis thingie at the urologist's office. We had fun sliding the thing back and forth. Ahem.

Some Day of the Dead art at my son's 3rd grade class.

The bottom of some crazy, bumpy squash. My sister had a phobia of bumpy things so I made sure to post this on her Facebook wall. Because I love her. And I'm a sadist.

Miss Maya, my lunch date on a quick trip to downtown.

My brother Jeshua's Day of the Dead Frida Kahlo doll. Dying. I'm dead. She was uh-mazing!

Mod Podging my life away on these custom wall plates (lightswitches).

My DOD coloring sheets were a hit and my baybays colored them all month long.

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