My time at Hispanicize '13

I was asked this simple question last month:

In 2013, I want to...

It would've been easy to just toss something out there. I want to craft more. I want to get healthy. I want to travel. You know, the usual.

Can I confess something? Whenever I need to make something happen, I put on what I affectionately call my crafty hustle and flow. If you ever saw the movie Hustle & Flow, then you'd know its about a pimp from Memphis. Okay, so not what you would expect a mama of six kids to reference but I've got to be real with you all. Heh.

Whenever the main character needs to do something for himself (like get discovered as a rapper), he hears this inner soundtrack to get him pumped up and inspired.

I do the same. So the answer to the simple question was this: Own my mojo!

As I listened to my inner pimp dialogue, I flew all the way out to Miami to spend four days experiencing Hispanicize '13 on April 9 --13. What an experience it was. First of all, planning to be away for four days was no easy feat for this mama of six--especially when the details of my trip fell into place at the last minute.

But I got there by the skin of my teeth and I was determined to make the most of it. That meant I had to put aside my socially shy and awkward ways and truly own my mojo.

A few highlights.

-Their mobile app was freaking amazeballs. Instead of consulting the schedule on paper or online, it was right at my fingertips, on my smartphone. Truly, it had the attention of everyone attending the event. One ping and you'd notice everyone's head lower in the direction of their phone--updates, giveaways,  and special events were all sent to us instantly. Even special messages like, "Please be quiet" during speaker luncheons and session panels. Those were my favorite.

I'm usually the one telling people to be quiet, not the other way around. Heh.

-I got to travel with my baby bro, Jeshua from Boifromipanema, and watch everyone gawk at his glorious head of curls. I also got to room with my sister in craftiness, Kathy the Crafty Chica and Maya in the Moment and hang out for four days straight (yay!).

-The location was amazing. Miami Beach is amazing. The color of the ocean is the exact shade of my favorite Essie nail polish, Turquoise and Caicos. I've never seen the Atlantic Ocean and it was stunning. Thankfully, I got the chance to sink my feet into the fine sand and cross it off my bucket list.

-Another highlight was all the wonderful people I met. People I "know" through social media, people I've followed and admired, people who write the blogs that I leave comments on, people I've retweeted and people who have retweeted me--it was great to finally put a face and a voice to the avatars.

-I loved meeting my editor Lorraine Ladish and Rene Alegria from Mamiverse. I absolutely adored Nicole Presley from Presley's Pantry--she is as chingona in person as she is in her videos. Monique Frausto, my plus size style boo, from Curves and Chaos was so sweet and genuine. Nina on the Moon was as sweet and stylish as she is on her blog! Isidra Mencos from BabyCenter Blog en Español, the dear woman who took a chance on me as a blogger, is always a delight to see. There were so many connections made and that is what made it so special to me. Those online relationships were strengthened and I only hope they grow from here.

-Another touching highlight was The Adelante Movement session with Nely Galán, featuring Rita Moreno and Charo. I was in tears the entire session because it was so inspiring. I laughed a lot too--who knew Charo was so hilarious? I had the pleasure to meet Nely last year and I was blown away by her magnetism. The work she does to empower Latinas is incredible--I want to post all of her amazing quotes all over my humble little office. My favorite?

Get your own chips.

For so long I thought it was someone else's responsibility to provide for me--my parents, my husband--but I realize now that if I want to build something, I need to do it with my own chips.

-I won a $250 gift card from Lowe's! Trust me, they could not have chosen a person who needed this more. My little house with eight people is in desperate need of help! Perfect timing, since we are going to start a two bathroom renovation soon. Check out their Ideas Creativas on Facebook for awesome ideas for your home.

-As you all know, I'm a huge fan of La Santa Cecilia, a band hailing from L.A. I was totally excited to learn they would perform at AT&T's Biggest Night of Music. Imagine that--I had to travel all the way from the West coast to the East coast to see one of my favorite bands perform. In the lobby the next morning, I spotted their accordian player entering the elevator at the Eden Roc and I managed to squeeze my way in.

They were staying in our hotel! La Santa Cecilia!

I know La Marisoul is a crafty soul, so Kathy and I tried our best to meet up with her so we could "interview" her for our blogs. And by interview her, I totally mean just fangirl her.

La Marisoul from La Santa Cecilia.
If you are in the L.A. area, check them out at Amoeba Music in Hollywood on April 30th. I'm going to try my best to be there.

A few lowlights.

It can't be all wonderfulness, now can it? I promise, the lowlights of Hispanicize '13 are very brief because overall, I had a great experience.

-The cost is prohibitive. Unless you have an amazing sponsor or a nice stack of cash set aside for such events, Hispanicize was expensive. I understand that you need to spend money to make money, but for those of us who are work from home mom bloggers--and had to travel across the country--the cost stung a little. Okay, a lot. But thankfully, it if wasn't for programs like Brands Love Bloggers, generous people who I roomed with and my family who really wanted to see me get to Miami, it wouldn't have happened. Sidenote: I paid almost $7 for an iced coffee from Starbucks in the hotel lobby that usually costs me $3! I'm still giggling over that one.

If you plan on attending next year, start saving! And start searching for a sponsor. Like, seriously ya'll. You don't want to miss it.

-Miami is hot and humid. Like, steam bath hot. I can hear you all say, duh it's Miami. I was not prepared, since the last time I visited Miami it was cool and breezy. Whew, child. My straightened and ombréd hair was not very happy about the weather. The minute I stepped off the plane, my bangs curled up like nobody's business. If I ever longed for my curls to come back, it was then. I literally had four days of bad hair days. Waah. I don't mean to be a hair diva, but hair is kind of a big deal to me.

-There were so many amazing things happening that I wished I could clone myself. I couldn't get to all of the events I wanted to but I tried. I guess that is a good problem to have in a conference.

Hispanicize was pretty amazing--it was exciting to be around so many creative and inspiring Latinos. I'm truly ready to own my mojo now.


  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS!!!!!!! It's funny, because when I went to Hispanicize last year - I realized I had to 'own it' too. Bummed that I didn't go would've been great to meet you.


  2. What a great post/recap!! I loved meeting you and am so glad you and your brother went!! Thank you for being amazing xoxo

  3. Loved it! You are so cute! Your recap was awesome! Wish I could have gone...Love that you talked about both highlights and low-lights...and I LOVE YOUR BROTHERS HAIR! My son has curls and now I am totally inspired to let his hair grow! I want to see what it does! :) Thank you for sharing! Loved it! And, so jealous that you roomed with Kathy. Sounds like you had an amazing time....

  4. Really great recap. I know we crossed paths at the conference I guess we'll have to wait for the next one to meet. I will not miss it.


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