Friday, June 30, 2006

Sorry England

I'm so sorry England for not even mentioning that you got to the quarter finals of World Cup. I love England because I love Beckham and I love Victoria Holt. I long to see the moors described in English novels. Will they beat Portugal tomorrow? I don't know but if Beckham does his famous move they probably will.

Argentina is out. The last Hispanic team!

OK, for tomorrow's games I hope England and Brazil win.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

World Cup Questions

Who do I root for now that the U.S., Mexico, and Spain are all out of the picture?

Do I root for Argentina because they are the only Hispanic team left? (Portugal and Brazil speak Portugese even though they are considered Latin)

Or do I root for Italy since I absolutely love Italy the country and the soccer team already won the "best looking team" hands down with that Dolce and Gabbana ad campaign? See their pictures here - Love the name of her blog- Real Women Have Curves. You go girl!

Germany is too... They don't come across as very nice and warm, although they are nice to host the World Cup games this year. And Germany is beautiful and clean. I did love visiting there.

Ukraine- the only Ukranian I ever knew was my 6th grade English teacher Ms Filenko and she was a sweetheart. She was nice, but I'm not a big fan of the Ukraine. It's not on my top list of places to visit.

Portugal and Brazil are cool. I would love to visit those places. And I think Brazil really has a good chance of winning. They do have the best players. But I'm not voting for them. That doesn't mean they aren't going to win.

France. Hmm... I love France but the French don't like the U.S. I had to speak Spanish the whole time I was in France in order to be treated nicely. Enough said.

Post your votes for who you are rooting for. I'm sure your reasons have a lot more to do with how well the team plays and not based on their looks and if I like to vacation in their country! Wow! I sound like a man! About the looks I mean.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Nature or Nurture?

You all know the long debate between the two theories. Is it nature or it nurture? I think it's a little bit of both with nature taking the lead. My daughter is just like me and she's only five years old. She is motivated by goal setting and rewards. I found this out very early on.

She is very very smart but she was also very challenging when it came to potty training. We had a really hard time getting her to want to use the potty and she was fast approaching her third birthday. I was pregnant and I did not want to have a toddler and a newborn in diapers. However I also subscribe to the belief that potty training should not be a stressful experience. I believe that it affects a child's psyche if they are spanked while potty training.

Finally I read somewhere that setting a goal with a reward was one of the ways to encourage children to go to the potty. I had already tried the Prudence video and the book. So I told her that as soon as she went potty every day we would have a party. I also made her a poster so she could visualize her goal. I put stickers on it, a picture of Chuck E Cheese off the internet, pictures of her potty here at home and the one at the sitters, and panties. It was hilarious but it worked!

When she finally got to her goal I would give her a Chuck E Cheese Party. A potty party! I kid you not. The very next day after I hung that poster next to her bed she started going to the potty and she met her goal. She was potty trained two months before she turned 3 and she had a Chuck E Cheese party a month later.

We got her potty trained during the day but she still wore a pull up at night. We went through that for almost a year and then I tried the same approach. I made a poster with little boxes with numbers in each box that made a circle and in the center was a picture of her with her cousin at Chuck E Cheese. Once again, it worked. She stopped wearing her pull up at night and every night that she woke up with dry panties she got a sticker. She had a Princess party at Chuck E Cheese.

So now we are at a different phase in our life. We believe in co-sleeping. We've been sharing a bed with her and now with Seth. We also kept unconventional bed time hours and they go to sleep a lot later than most kids. Now that we're getting ready for her to go to school I'm working on getting her to bed earlier and in her bed. I put up a calendar and I'm giving her a star for every night that she sleeps in her bed. When she reaches 10 stars we're going to Chuck E Cheese. No party, just a visit. When she reaches 20 stars we're going to the Aquarium downtown, her favorite place. She's on night #9 tonight.

It's amazing! She is a goal setter and she visualizes her goals at such a young age. We have so many similarities in our personalities. She's loud and I'm loud. You could say it's nurture, but she was already like this at 2.5 so I think it's more nature. What's interesting is that I don't know who in my family is most like me. My parents weren't goal setters. Is it something I was born with? Is it in my DNA and did I pass it on to my daughter? Interesting questions to ask. I'm not sure I have the answers.

Good Book & Poetry Event

I bought a new book that I really like. "Girls Night In" by Meg Cabot, Jen Weiner, Sophie Kinsella. The first story had me cracking up today over lunch. It's a collection of short stories. Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez has a story in the collection.

Anyway, I haven't been up to much lately. I haven't really felt the urge to write anything significant either. I found an old poem I wrote a few years ago. I may post it.

There's a local poetry event going on called "The Word Around Town" that I want to go to but I couldn't go yesterday. Maybe I'll go Friday or Saturday. Here's the event link above.

I have to take Miranda to Chuck E Cheese too so maybe I'll take her Saturday. Oh yeah! I need to tell you about her and why she's going to Chuck E Cheese. I'll write about that later.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

My Two Cents About World Cup

Okay before any World Cup fanatics message me (like I have hundreds of messages) now that the US Team has lost I'm going to have to root for the Mexican team. Of course I haven't watched any of the games since most of them are playing at odd times I think, so I'm going to have to watch at least some of the Mexico vs. Argentina game today. It would seem only natural that I would want for Mexico to win since I am Mexican-American. So GO MEXICO!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Shoegirl's Shoe Corner

#1 and #2 are the sad sad 2 pairs of Kenneth Coles I bought in New York. They fit in New York and I get here and they don't fit. The second ones still have some hope if I have them stretched but the first ones hurt my feet too much. I'm going to have to give them to my sister. Que lastima! I've had these for a while but I just had to show them to you since I've talked about them before.

#3 are my gorgeous Isaacs from Target! Love them and they're really comfortable.

#4 are my second pair from Torrid. Very comfortable too and I love wearing them. You saw the first Torrid pair a few days ago on an earlier posting.

After this I'm done shoe shopping for a while. I've pretty much updated all the old shoes in my closet. Love it!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Dot Com

Everything is "Dot Com" to my daughter. Whenever I tell her we'll look for something she'll ask if we're going to look for it online. For example, "I'll get a calendar today." "Where? On" she asks.

What is this future generation going to be all about? Computers? Technology? I can't take a picture with a traditional camera or she'll ask if she can see the picture. Even the baby knows to look on the camera to see the picture. Instant gratification.

I was in a training class today on collaboration and one of the big challenges in organizations today is the collaboration between the three generations- the Baby Boomers, the X-Geners (me) and the Y Generation. The Y Generation is all about technology and they don't even e-mail any more. They only IM now. Instant gratification. Very interesting.

Whenever I attend training classes like the one I attended today I'm intrigued with this type of research. I can't believe that it's been 5 years since I received my Master's degree in Organizational Communication. My original plan was to go into consulting but I just never did it. I got caught up in life.

Now it's been 5 years and I've worked in advertising for 15 years and although the communication consulting for organizations really does interest me, it would mean starting a brand new career. If I'm going to do that I might as well write full time. Life is weird! Maybe I'll just go to

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Sunday my dad (who I've told y'all before is 82) was in a serious car accident and Thank God he is alive and well. He was sitting at a stop light waiting for it to change when a young guy in a truck plowed into him and pushed him across the street into a wall and he hit the wall with the passenger side of his car. Then the guy hit him again on the front as he sped away. My father was left dazed and not sure what had happened except that he had just been hit. Thank goodness some passerby's stopped and helped him. He called me to tell me he had been in a really bad accident and I panicked but got ready to go to him.

Rey told me to stay with the children and he would go. He called me as soon as he arrived and told me my father was fine, just a little shook up. It was amazing that he wasn't hurt. He has a pacemaker so anything could have happened.

The police took over an hour to make it to the accident! We could not believe that they did not reply to the call of an elderly man in a hit and run accident immediately. That just blows me away! Anyway, they were able to get the information on the guy, if he was in fact driving his vehicle, because he dropped his license plate when he hit my dad’s car!

My poor dad! His car was totaled and he was left without a car. Rey brought him back to our house.

When they got here Rey called out to me, "Loida, I told your dad he needs to go the hospital and he doesn't listen. Look at how he's walking!"

My father was limping really badly and when I saw him I cried out, "What do you mean? I thought you were okay?!"

They both cracked up laughing. "Oh, y'all are both EVIL!" I cried.

My father is such a joker. He had just been in a serious accident and his car was totaled yet he could still joke about it. Ay a yay!

I made him spend the evening and night with me because I wanted to watch him to make sure there wasn't anything seriously wrong with him. We've known of people who have been in an accident and seem to be okay and then the next day something happens to them. Nothing happened to my dad.

The great irony of all of this is that my 82 year old dad drove himself to Austin and back on Saturday to my cousin's wedding. He did all of this without a hitch and yet the next day in Houston just a few miles from his house and mine he has a terrible car accident.

At first my sister and I wondered if perhaps he had been hit by someone who didn't expect him to be driving so slowly. We thought that maybe it was his fault somehow. Then we find out that it was nothing like that. He was just sitting at a light. That's also very ironic. He drives terrible, yet never has an accident. He sits at a light and some yahoo comes and plows into him! Amazing!

I know my father is getting older and I know that one day he may just go, but when I received that phone call from him on Sunday my blood ran cold. I imagined the worse. I imagined him in a hospital bed, immobile and angry because he'd lost his freedom to come and go as he pleases. I was scared for him and I must admit I was scared for me and my sisters.

Being the child of an elderly parent comes with that chance. I know that when it happens we will take care of him the same way he and my mother took care of us when we were little and helpless. I just hope that day is still far way.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Family and Good Wine

Here I am this past Saturday at the wedding. I filled in the dress a bit more than the Torrid model. I decided to go with the closed toed pointy tan shoes. Sorry, I don't have a picture of the shoes.

The wedding was absolutely beautiful and elegant. The reception was in a beautiful old historic Austin hotel. The best part was seeing my cousin so happy and his beautiful bride so ecstatic. They made a beautiful couple.

The next best thing was seeing so many family members and meeting a new cousin. She's actually my first cousin's daughter. Her mother is 75 and I'm 36. She's the eldest of the Casares cousins and I'm the youngest. Very strange! That gives you an idea of the age span of all the cousins and how many of us there are. There were 13 children and my father was #10.

We arrived Friday night kind of late so we checked into our hotel, the Hampton Inn downtown. Very nice by the way and I was surprised. We were only 4 blocks from 6th St so of course we had to walk down and people watch. Needless to say, we felt old. We looked for the quietest place, a restaurant called the Iron Cactus and we just drank margaritas and watched people. (6th Street is where all the bars are for you non-Texans.)

When we walked up to the door the doorman was carding some kids in front of us and when it was our turn he said, "We're not serving dinner any more but you can have drinks." We told him that was fine and he proceeded to let us in without carding us. It was hilarious! He probably thought, "these old fogies can only be here for dinner." Then the other funny part that was while I was sitting there people watching and drinking a margarita I started to nod off. Talk about lame!

We drove home Saturday afternoon after the wedding and I lamented that I hadn't planned better and looked for wineries or vineyards to visit on the way home. We decided to travel on Hwy 71 to I-10 and on the drive home on Hwy 71 East we ran into a quaint vineyard and winery, Rosemary's Vineyard. We were really excited to find out that they have only been open for 11 weeks and we were privileged to drink of their first crop. They are also the only winery on Hwy 71 or in that vicinity. We loved their wine!

Rey was really excited to see they had a Ruby Port so of course we tasted it. I liked it a lot better than some of the other port wines that Rey has bought. I bought the Blanc Du Bois and the Muscadine Red. Both are a perfect blend, not too sweet or too dry. They also carry a couple of bottles for another vineyard and that guy had a great wild grape wine but I can't remember the name.

If you ever drive out to Sealy to go shopping you just need to drive a little way out on Hwy 71 East and you'll see the winery on your right hand side. The address is 5521 Hwy 71 East, La Grange, TX and the phone number is 979-249-2109. Hours are TH-Sun, 12-7.

Monday, June 12, 2006


Okay, I know I need to get back to writing essays again but I just have to say this. I love Torrid! Have any of you ever been there? Check them out at

Warning to all my male readers: This is going to be a very superficial entry about clothes and shoes!

I bought these dresses and shoes this weekend. I wasn't planning on it but I took my step-daughter here on Sunday and I fell victim to shopping!!! I bought the first dress on clearance for only $25!

I also bought 2 other pairs of shoes at a great bargain this weekend. I replaced some old black open toed slip in wedges that were too old but I couldn't let go of. Now I can throw them away. I also found the cutest pair of open toed mules with a kitten heel by Isaac Mizrahi at Target!

I was originally going to wear those Isaac shoes with a salmon skirt to the wedding this weekend and I was just going to buy a beige or tan top for the skirt but then I got sold on the dress at Torrid. I'm debating whether to wear those shoes I bought in the picture or some other cute pointy toed beige shoes that I have. Hmmm.... Decisions, decisions, what's a girl to do. Good night!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Anne Taintor

I love this artist Anne Taintor. Go to her website and check out all her hilarious sayings that go with her cards, magnets, coasters, bags, etc. I laugh so hard when I read these. I know! I have a crazy sense of humor. Some people don't quite get it and I think that's even funnier. Sigh! I really need new shoes!

Nike Ad

The other day I was at my sister's and I saw this ad taped to the side of her desk.

"Hey! You still have that!?" I exclaimed.

"Yeah," she said looking up for a second to see what I was referring to.

I love that ad! I remember reading it in a magazine a long time ago, like 15 years long ago, and I loved it so much then that I cut out the page and hung it on my wall. I shared it with my sister and now years later, I lost mine and she still has hers. So here it is. Great ad copywriter! It's all in caps too. I'm sure the copywriter meant for it to be so that it would have a forceful voice.


New Picture on Profile

Hey, I forgot to point out my new picture! That's me in front of Gray's Papaya famous hotdog place in NYC. (last October) Rey and I had just come from an awards reception for my ad conference and I forget how many blocks I walked in those heels. The picture of me is kind of small but you can see the heels. See! If I can walk in heels that high I can live in NYC!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

My sadness, my passion, my sadness again

My melancholy feelings from the last week of May turned into something unexpected. Have you ever had one of those moments when you just change? That’s what’s happened to me this week. Okay, not some life changing change but a slight change, a change none-the-less.

I was feeling kind of melancholy a couple of weeks ago. I saw a sad movie and then I started listening to this CD with several songs of unrequited love and memories. I think it got me started thinking about my own life and the things I still have left to do. I also think I wanted to feel alive and passionate about something and the more I thought about it I did start feeling that way. I’m not exactly sure if that’s what happened but it’s the best explanation I can think of.

What surprises me more than anything, and I think surprises my husband more, is that I also have a change in my attitude. I’m not saying I was negative, by no means, but I wasn’t this charged and full of energy. The power of the mind is really amazing.

In the middle of this new appreciation for life, and of my husband, I received some devastating news that made me appreciate life even more.

A friend’s son died today from a rare form of liver cancer. He was only two years old. I first received the news of his illness on Monday and then yesterday I learned that he had an aggressive form of cancer in its last stage. The news caught me unexpectedly and it’s been such a shock that I still find it hard to believe. He was sick suddenly and then just a few days later they received the diagnosis. They took him home to spend one last night with them in their home and the next day he passed away.

It breaks my heart to just imagine the pain they must be going through. I can’t even start to imagine what that last night together must have been like. When I think about it I start to cry.

I came home yesterday after receiving the initial news about the cancer and I just hugged my baby boy. They were the same age. My friend and I were pregnant at the same time. We often shared pictures and updates about our little boys. It doesn’t seem possible that now she’s been robbed of the opportunity to see hers grow up.

I felt sad but I felt grateful. I hugged my little boy and I thanked God that he is healthy. It made me so conscious of the fact that none of us are safe from anything in life. Unforeseen occurrences can befall us all. At the same time we can’t let that paralyze us and stop us from living, can it?

My sadness, my passion, my sadness again.