Asheville North Carolina: My Love Story

Our Asheville weekend

Since 1999 I wanted to visit Asheville, North Carolina. I had never been there and I’m not sure why I wanted to go.  In fact when I graduated from Western State College in Gunnision, Colorado I had full intentions of packing up my 87 Tercel and driving east with my dog Summit. Destination: Asheville, North Carolina. I can’t tell you what was pulling me there but I can tell you that I never made it. I got a job as a reporter for a small paper in Denver and never looked back.

My husband and I moved to the Raleigh area about 2 years ago and visited Asheville for our 5 year wedding anniversary. It  was a whirlwind weekend of hiking, eating and well….more eating. This started my love affair with the city.

Everything that you read or hear about this lovely gem is true. The food is great, the vibe is brilliant and people are fantastic. In fact I would move there tomorrow. I have lots of little stories to tell about our weekend getaway but will write up some personal reviews about our weekend in another post. In a nutshell, Asheville is a great place to go for a romantic weekend without the kids. But it’s also a fantastic family spot.

This is kind of my push to get that going. *insert* smile.

Day trip to Oriental

Oriental

One advantage to living near the coast of North Carolina is visiting the quaint coastal towns near us. They are charming, picturesque and best of all they make great day trips. And with a family that includes to dogs that hate to be alone, it’s a big bonus.

Our first day trip was in the Spring when we took a 2 hour drive east to  Oriental, North Carolina, the sailing capitol of the state.

Oriental is nestled in Pamlico County and is an easy drive from Raleigh. We took Hwy 70 to Hwy 55 east right into the sailing community. We didn’t go with a plan except to hangout and be by the water. There are some access to parks but not much in terms of sandy beaches. We loved that our leashed dogs were welcomed as well. Being from Colorado where everyone loves dogs we found the same love and acceptance in Oriental.

A sea side gem

For lunch there are some cafe’s and small restaurants. We ate at M & M’s Cafe and had a great meal. Our dogs were leashed outside by a large tree and were welcomed. After lunch we walked around the water front and looked around at some of the sail boats. We then headed out of town and took our first fairy in North Carolina from the Pamlico sound over back to 70. We were home by 6 p.m.

I highly recommend a day visit to the sailing capitol of North Carolina. We hope to make another visit there during the Summer months.

Curious George honors Hispanic Heritage Month

Curious George

Curious George celebrates Hispanic Heritage month

The all new season of Curious George is off to an arts inspired start and along for the ride is once again Marco his Latino friend. The two amigos are set to commemorate Hispanic Heritage with a show scheduled to re-air the week of September 19th.

Starting with fresh new episodes on September 5th the new season is all about the arts and creative play with hints of math and engineering skills.

In the “Sock Monkey Opera,” Betsy becomes ill with the chicken pox and can’t go to see the show. But have no fear that George puts on an adorable show that will send your kids into a giggle.

My son and I love the new season as George captivates and inspires us through sculpting and photography in Shutter Monkey and George and the Giant Thumb. Take the great moments to capture and inspire creativity in your kids by coming up with your own plays. Andale, dress up and have some fun!

Just like season 5, season 6 of Curious George engages kids to get up and get going. I’m especially pleased with the real life vignettes after every show that promotes creativity.  Like I previously said, it’s taking George and Marcos’s creative moments to inspire moments in your real life.

Not only are the arts and sciences for cognitive development, it will pay off in the long run as noted by WGHB Executive Producer Dorothea Gillim.  “With this new season, kids will be inspired to dance, sculpt, and paint along with George, and they’ll also come away with knowledge of important STEM concepts.”

Enjoy the show and be sure to check out PBSKids.org for special features, contests and goods from Curious George.

My mommy dreams coming to an end

As I prepare for bug to start Kindergarten I feel like I need to give up on the expectations that I had that he would go to a dual language school. When we left Denver for the suburbs of Raleigh, I knew that life would be different, but just how different? That was something that I had to learn of the course of last year.

I always wanted my son to go to a neighborhood school, one that he could attend with neighborhood friends just as my husband and I did. I wanted the school to be free of fuss and really include the basics but I wanted that school to be dual language.

I got most of my wishes but I didn’t get the dual language. This is something that I will have to deal with but it’s been a hard one to swallow. I’ve had to let go of my dream.

What I have done instead is to round-up resources, such as Mommy Maestra, a resource for home schooled Spanish speakers I’ve also increased the amount of Español en la casa y en el carro.

With my dreams coming to an end I’m learning to pick up new ones along my suburban way. Stay tuned!

 

How to make a piñata

How to make a piñata.

How to make a piñata

If  you’re looking for ways to add diversity and culture into your children’s lives why not give a homemade piñata a try?

The finished project

Treasure chest piñata

I made this piñata for my son’s 5th birthday party.  Follow these easy steps for a fool proof piñata and you’ll be sure to please the kids at the next birthday party.

Since our theme was pirate I made a treasure chest.

What you’ll need:

  • A Box
  • 1 cup of flour
  • newspaper
  • water
  • tissue paper
  • twine
  • metal hanger
  • 2 or 3 cereal boxes
  • Stapler

Cut 2 inch strips from the cereal box cardboard, cut the top of the box off and make a weave with the cereal box strips. Then staple each end on the strips to the box and make an arch.

Then take one or two cups of flour and mix some water until you get a glue like consistency. Cut newspaper strips and dip them into the flour mixture and be sure to remove excess mixture. Place on your piñata shape until the entire subject is covered. Wait a day and it will be rock hard and then it’s ready to decorate.

Before you decorate determine the spot for the candy opening and poke a hole large enough to put a metal hanger so you can hang it.Fringe the tissue paper and use a glue and water mixture and stick it to the piñata.

Good luck and have fun! It’s so easy and cheap to do.

The treasure chest piñata

Dressing up the piñata

Silly Friday fun – Viernes Graciosos

It was a long week and today my little man and I started off our Friday together being silly.  I found a couple of great new Websites today that helped me get into a happy mommy mood. I’m totally loving Learning is Fun from Pre-K pages for some fabulous hands on learning and a new find today is from Australia.  The blog Childhood 101 is chalked full of creative ideas for inspiring your yourself and your children.

After some creative play with my little man this morning I decided that Friday’s on my blog would be dedicated to posting a photo about our silly morning fun. Today’s idea for my Silly Fridays – Viernes Graciosos came from my own little man while he was playing games on http://www.SproutOnline.com.  We made silly animal bands with our own creative twist. Click on Silly Animal Bands for a quick video from Sprout

Animal Bands

Viernes Graciosos

.

Curious George celebrates Hispanic Culture

Curious George

El Dia De La Madre

My son was thrilled to open our box packed with Curious George goodies.  And as a bilingual and bi-cultural mommy I was even more thrilled to see PBS Kids embracing Español. Gracias a Latina Bloggers Connect for esta opportunidad.

Now in it’s 5th season, PBS will air a brand new Curious George on Friday May 6, 2011 to celebrate and honor Hispanic heritage and Latina moms. “Mother’s Day Surprise” will feature Marco as he plans a surprise party for his mami, complete with arts, crafts and food.

“This Mother’s Day, we’ll continue Season 5′s exploration of the social sciences by showing kids how Marco and his family celebrate El Dia de la Madre,” said WGBH Executive Producer Dorothea Gillim.

The new episodes were a hit  and have been on constant rotation in our home.  First we invited  a few of the neighborhood kids over for a mini Jorge el Curioso viewing party. The crowd was a mix of three, four and five year-0lds and as usual watching Curious George was full of giggles and monkey sounds. All of the kids were excited about the party and wanted to plan one for their mommy’s.

Who can’t love Jorge as he’s dubbed en español? In the episode Marco and Jorge el Curioso plan the perfect Mother’s Day party with all the trimmings of a Latino fiesta. They are also confronted with Mami’s early arrival and they must work together to make the plan work.

While on a road trip a few days later, my son watched the episode again (several times). I was beaming with pride and orgullo when he asked, “Mami?” “Can I throw you a fiesta and can we make a piñata?”  He then asked me if I knew how to make a piñata and went on to list everything we needed to get started.

What this said to me was the importance of having shows produced to promote cultures in positive lights. Weather it be the Latino culture, Asian, Native America or African American cultures, children pick up on it. Adding cultural traditions such as making a piñata work. My son picked up on all of it and although we speak Spanish in our home and we have had several piñatas at parties, it’s more important to see the culture within mass media.

We are in the process of making our own piñata and while our fiesta won’t be a surprise I was very pleased with the new episode of Jorge el Curioso. Well done Dorothea Gillim.

To view glimpses of the episode check out this video on YouTube and don’t forget to check your local listings for PBS viewing times.

Interview with Raising Playful Tots

This week I was delighted to be a part of a weekly podcast produced by Raising Playful Tots co-founder, Melitsa Avila. Every week she shares insights from experts around the world on the importance of learning through play.

I’ve known Melitsa for a couple of years now and thanks to the wonderful Internet we have stayed in contact. I  met Melitsa while I was the  Community Manger for Denver Momslikeme.com, a social media site for mothers.  I have always admired her work on  as a mum, writer and blogger extraordinaire.

While the shows are normally produced with experts on a traditional and journalistic approach, Melitsa said, she wanted to try something  different by letting the stories speak for themselves.  “This story has been playing on my mind for quite sometime,” she said. “I wanted to produce a show where real mums came on to talk about what they did or remembered and what they are or plan to do with their little ones.”

Easter traditions

In the first few minutes of the interview you’ll hear Melitsa recount a sweet story that she remembers about craft time with her own mother. It will enlighten you and remind you of the wonderful memories we can create for our children through play.

Take a look at this weeks show on Raising Playful Tots: Easter Play Perspectives and remember that we all learn through play.

Palabra de la semana: Manzana

This week we went with a word we already use and know in our family vocabulary but you can never practice enough. I love the word Manzana en Español (apple) because kids and adults alike can practice their pronunciation.

Here is what my son did...I'm such a proud mama.

Instead of a family project we went upstairs to  his bedroom and played around on his chalkboard wall for about a half hour. I wrote the apple out  and had him practice right next to mine. Then as animated as I could be I said “ahora cual es la palabra en español?” and he shouted “MANZANA!” It’s important when teaching kids to be animated and keep it fun. When the fun gets squeezed out of the picture you’re going to lose interest. I only say this because it’s happened to me. I get to serious with bug and he simply gets frustrated.

After we practiced the English words he watched as I wrote the word in Spanish (Manzana). Another thought to keep in mind is to  also say letters in Spanish and English as you go,  so your children  can continue to practice the alphabet in both languages.

I really encourage parents no matter what your second language is to interject words into your vocabulary.  Your children will love picking up a second language.

 

Previous Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.