Giving Thanks for Family

Disclaimer:  This post is being sponsored by Johnson & Johnson and Latina Bloggers Connect.  However, opinions expressed in this post are my own and have not been modified by the sponsors or any other third parties.

As I prepared for today’s festivities, I thought of the traditions I grew up with as a kid.  I grew up in a traditional Mexican family, so part of our traditions each year included getting together with extended family, eating turkey (usually in the form of mole), making and eating tamales, and dancing (yes, we often had a DJ or wanna-be DJ in house, haha!), and drinking up a storm (Rompope, anyone?)!  How I miss those days!

When I was offered the opportunity to speak about Johnson & Johnson’s “La Familia de Hoy” campaign, I immediately drawn to it for the many similarities my family and the families represented in this campaign share.   Johnson & Johnson conducted a national search for a modern, authentic Latino family to launch their 2014 campaign, and has narrowed their search to three beautiful families! After reading the stories of all three families, I identified most with the Jiménez family:

Jimenez Family

Jiménez Family

Their story made me reminisce about grilling carne asada on the weekends, as well as my dad’s recent (as in the last 10 years, recent) interest in futbol…you know, TRUE ‘football’?  Calm down American football fans…I am only kidding, kinda. 😛   A family of 5 as well, they reminded me that I am blessed to have grown up with two loving parents two, most-of-the-time-loving sisters. 😉  Okay, 99% loving, 1% not-so-loving (especially when they would steal my clothes and shoes!).  They remind me of my ‘familia’ and embody, in my opinion, what it means to be ‘La Familia de Hoy’.

As part of the blog-reading community, you have the unique opportunity to vote for your favorite family!  By voting, you give one of these families the opportunity to become Johnson & Johnson’s spokesfamily, and you will also receive coupon codes for Johnson & Johnson Healthy Essentials products!  Coupon clippers, this is for you!!

Click here to vote!


In closing, I want to wish a very Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers!  Remember what ‘today’s’ family means to you.  Perhaps it is your immediate family, extended family, fur-baby family, gadget (TV, computer, smart phone) family, friend or work family. Whatever it may be, may you all be spending this day among family!  Happy Thanksgiving!!

The Mani-Cure

Disclaimer:  The following post is, much like the current state of my life, a bit disjointed.  So, I ask you to bear with me just this one time.

As some of my readers know, I lost my beloved Vienna just yesterday.  The title of this post therefore stems from a emotionally-exhausted attempt to seek some comfort, a ‘cure’ if you will, from something as simple as a ‘mani’cure.

My Beloved Dog, Vienna:


She was a sweet, sweet dog.  Loved to chase after squirrels.  Had an insatiable appetite. Loved to burrow under a doggie blanket before falling asleep in her doggie bed at night.  Loved us unconditionally.  Sigh, so difficult to write this just a day later.

Not skipping a beat, off to work I went today.  The morning was tough, but I managed to check some things off my list.  As lunch time approached, the tears were starting to overwhelm me.  Hoping to find something to take my mind off of the sadness, I left my office for a lunch break away from my desk.

There are usually two things that can make me feel comforted when away from my loved ones: a mani with a manicurist who is a good listener and comfort food…Mexican.

So, off to lunch I went.  In one hour, I managed to drive to the restaurant, eat my food (I ate it too fast to capture a picture of it, oops!), get my nails done, and drive back to my office. Pretty impressive, right?  I thought so!  Efficiency at its best. 🙂



Often a manicure will eat up a large chunk of time, but over time and after numerous smudged manicures, I have identified two items that make for quick-drying, long-lasting, glossy manicure.

The first is this Deborah Lippman ‘It’s Raining Men’ polish:

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Or, another favorite, Sinful ‘Ruby Ruby’ polish:

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…and the second, a coat of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri:

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That’s it.  The no-nonsense mani for the working, professional woman.  The red hues described are not obnoxious and the SH Insta-Dri dries in literally 5-7 minutes!!  The SH Insta-Dri I totally recommend.  In fact, I suggest you hop in your car after reading this post, and run to the drugstore to buy one for yourself!  I joke, I joke. Seriously, though, finish reading my post. 😉

So, much like Elle Woods (yes, that’s a Legally Blonde reference), I too sought a ‘Mani-Cure’ for my bad-day woes.

But, was I cured of my doggie-blues?  Not quite unfortunately.

Grieving, from what I am gathering, is not a one-day experience; even when grieving over a pet.  Although I felt momentarily happy, I kept thinking of Vienna. For example, how I will miss hearing her nails on our wood floors at home, despite how much it sometimes irked me to hear them at 6am when she would rush to our room to alert us that the sun was out and she needed to be fed.

Also hard, is explaining to my four-year old where his doggie is now.  Of course we explained that she is now in heaven.  We pointed to the sky in an attempt to explain where heaven is.  Thinking we had appeased his intrigue of heaven, we left the subject alone only to be confronted with, “Mommy, but I still want my Vienna,” when we tucked him in at night.  Followed by, “Vienna is going to be scared in the sky because it’s dark now”.  “What if the lightning and thunder hurt her??”

Together, we are working towards healing.  They – the experts and others – say that talking about it, writing about, etc., can be therapeutic.  Alas, this post, is an attempt to do just that; heal.  If anything, it helps me maintain a sense of normalcy for a few minutes out of the day, by telling you about how my ‘Mani-Cure’ temporarily helped to heal my emotional wounds.

We love you, Vienna (2007-2013).  Forever you will be the heartbeat at our feet.