Birkenstocks never went out of style

I've always had a thing for Birkenstocks. What can I say? I'm a total 90's babe.

Funny thing is, I never wore them in the 90's. I coveted them, yes. But I was a struggling artist / college student and the idea of forking over $100 and some change for a pair of sandals was out of my league. Nevermind the fact that they were excellent quality and offered great support for people with miserably flat feet like mine, I just couldn't swing it. All of my art teachers wore them, of course. So, I just continued coveting them.

I totally wore the fake ones. Faux-Birks. Probably with socks. Oh yeh, fake Birks and socks all day, baby.

Fast forward a few years and I was now a young mother to four little boys. Deep in my crunchy phase, wearing Mexican peasants tops, I never did my hair, I made my own shampoo and hemorrhoid cream, used a serape purse, fed my kids goat milk and gave birth to my babies in a tub in the middle of my kitchen. I believe it was 2002. I finally got my hands on a pair of Birkenstocks.


No more "summer brain": 7 fun & educational titles on Netflix

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post as part of the Netflix Stream Team. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.

We are right in the middle of summer and all of the beach trips, late night BBQ's, swimming and sleeping in has given us "summer brain".  I don't know about you but when it's really hot out (we often have temps as high as 107 degrees in the summer), I like to keep my home dark and cool with the help of the a/c on full tilt. We watch movies on Netflix and stay cool, fool.

Here are a few titles from Netflix to help kickstart some brain activity -- if we're going to lounge around and watch movies, they might as well be educational, right? A few that caught my eye recently:

  1.  Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West
  2. Walking with Dinosaurs
  3. Secret Yellowstone
  4. Blackfish
  5. The Blue Planet
  6. When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions
  7. Food, Inc.


When your teenager turns into a different person overnight

Life with a teenager is hard, but I already told you that.

I guess it just hasn't really hit me until my third son seemingly turned into a different person overnight. For the most part, my 15 and 16 year old are the same, albeit taller and more hairy. But Solomon, my 13 year old, must have got the teenager memo. Dear Lord baby Jesus help me. 

One minute he was staying up late painting with me, cooking omelettes for the family and cuddling with us on the sofa. Then...he wasn't. Instead, he was rolling his eyes. Ignoring his chores. Headphones strapped to his ears all day so he could never hear us. Wearing the same stinky Nirvana tee for days. Not caring about school, his homework, his siblings. Taking off on his skateboard, like he couldn't stand being around his family another minute.

He almost had me in tears one day. Not almost -- I cried. Real hot, fat tears that I hid behind my glasses.


11 "Uncommon" summer gift ideas from Uncommon Goods

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in partnership with Uncommon Goods. All thoughts are my own.

I love giving and receiving unique gifts. The only problem is, I rarely get them.

Don't get me wrong--I love practical gifts (and yes, I appreciate them, mother). Lord knows I'm the queen of giving practical gifts. But if I'm on the receiving end...something different -- uncommon, if you will -- sounds just right. So I usually just buy what I want for myself. Just cut out the middle man and get what you want. Amirite?

I was recently introduced to Uncommon Goods, a Brooklyn-based company that offers up cool and unique gifts for people with their eye out for something that makes a statement, like myself. Uncommon Goods has a good mix of fun stuff -- I wasn't disappointed! Here eleven fun ideas for summer that totally caught my eye:
1. ceramic fish bones 2. embroidered bird pouch 3. cheese & crackers serving board 4. gilded amethyst paperweight 5. fern frond earrings 6. watermelon serving bowl 7. succulent living wall planter kit 8. bloom box 9. personalized mixed tape pillow 10. flavor infuser water bottle 11. handmade lidded basket hamper


Happy 107th birthday, Frida Kahlo

To my muse, Frida Kahlo, I bid you the happiest of birthdays.


This is one of the many reasons why I love Frida Kahlo so much, why I find myself so inextricably drawn to her.

We are all broken.

Despite our broken state, we still have to keep living. We still have to love. We still have to create and make beautiful things. She did this in the midst of great pain and suffering.

The wonderful thing about this? All of the beautiful things Frida made are still alive, even if she isn't.

Happy birthday, Frida.


Frida Kahlo | Body Cast Printable

With July comes the celebration of the birth and death of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Frida was born on July 6, 1907 and she died on July 15, 1954. I tend to go overboard with Frida-inspired art every July but I just love Frida so much, guys. I can't help myself.

Anyhow, Frida experienced a tragic streetcar accident at the age of 18, when a trolley collided with the bus she was riding. She broke her back and pelvis, fractured her collarbone and two ribs, and her right foot was crushed and her right leg broken in eleven places. Pobre Frida. She had many, many surgeries throughout her life to try to mend her body and the disabling effects of the accident.

It left Frida to live a life of continual pain, and she spent three months recovering in a full body cast. In typical, Mexican, artista, feminist, creative Frida fashion, she decided to transform her body cast by painting it.

Photo credit: Collector's Weekly
I recently attended the Frida Kahlo, Her Photos exhibit at MOLAA in Long Beach. They had the coolest make-and-take project called "Create a cast", based on Frida's streetcar accident. Small black and white drawings of Frida and a plain white body cast sat on a table. I'm sure they were meant as a child's activity, but soon enough, my husband and I sat down, grabbed a marker and started to draw.


Restyle: Geometric Jewelry Dish DIY

I'm always on the lookout for fun stuff to diy in the clearance aisle.

Flour sack towels, picture frames, lamps -- you name it, I'm stalking the end caps. If I can figure out a creative way to restyle something at a low cost and make it look cheerful and unique than I've used my powers for good.

I like to make gifts for people, too. It doesn't have to expensive--just a little something to show I care for enough to make you something no one else in the world has.

Take this ceramic jewelry dish, for example. I found it at Target, in home decor. I threw away the tag but I believe it is something from the Nate Berkus line. They were only a couple dollars on clearance but loved the smooth edges and the cozy way the inside of the box hugged the lid. It's tiny -- a mere two by three inches.

I knew I could transform this plain white jewelry dish it into something fun. Let's get busy!


What to watch on Netflix: Recharging YOU

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post as part of the Netflix Stream Team. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.

School is officially out for summer. Ahhh. 

Without school lessons to plan and art classes to teach, I have a smidge of free time for myself at night. I am that mom who waits until all of the kids are in bed for the night, armed with the iPad and a pair of headphones (the brand new ones that I have to hide or else the "headphone thieves" will strike) and the Netflix app.

So, what does a busy mama of six watch on Netflix? I watch all of the shows and movies I can't with my kids around, obviously. Gritty dramas, spicy rom-coms, raunchy comedies...oh, and BBC period dramas about midwives in the 1950's. You know, the usual.


Video: Incorporating DIY Into Your Blog

I consider Pearmama dot com to be a lifestyle blog but the fact is, I love me some crafts and diy. Crafts and diy are things I've done my entire life--when I started blogging seven years ago, it didn't occur to me that I could incorporate both. Now, my blog consists of storytelling about my family and the things I love to make.

Blogging about diy and craft posts have been a constant evolution for me and I was delighted when Ana Flores asked me to join her for a #WeAllGrow Google Hangout.

What is a #WeAllGrow Hangout, you ask?

Twice a month Latina Bloggers Connect features a few special guests — all bloggers themselves — to talk about specifics essential to the blogging world. Every 30-minute Hangout offers key takeaways to put to practice immediately. I love LBC's philosophy: We want you to grow, because that way #WeAllGrow! 

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to be a part of a #WeAllGrow Hangout titled: 5 Ways to Incorporate DIY into Your Blog together with my crafty bff and mentor Kathy Cano-Murillo from Crafty Chica. That was an honor in itself because I respect Kathy and what she does so much!

We did our best to pack our session with as much useful information as we could. I wanted to share my one of the topics I covered during our Hangout.


Summer Fun at Knott's Berry Farm

Disclosure: The opinions in this article are my own. I do not work for, or with, any brand mentioned in this article, nor do I have any official relationship with them. I have a relationship with GigaSavvy, for whom I create original editorial content.

I had the chance to see all of the exciting things happening at Knott's Berry Farm last week. I haven't visited Knott's in such a long time, and as I made my way through the park, I wondered why.

I have so many fond memories of this place! My parents took my brother and I to Knott's many, many times. My Dad loved the fried chicken and he always had to eat some every time we came. I have a great photo of the both of my little brother and I sitting next to the can-can girls in Calico Square--we must have been about four or five years old at the time. I can't wait to bring my kids so they can experience all of the cool stuff happening at Knott's this summer.

Entrance to Calico Mine Ride.
The classic Calico Mine Ride, Knott's first major attraction, is now open after six months of refurbishing. I had the chance to ride it, too and it was very different than I remembered. There are lots of cool animatronics, lighting and special effects.


World Cup Fever: Make your own World Cup team "book"

I didn't grow up in a family that watched soccer. I know, I know. We can still be friends, guys.

It was all about baseball and football. My dad and my uncles lived and died by the Dodgers and the only futbol I knew about was Monday Night Football and the Rams (when they were in L.A) so soccer has always been a mystery to me.

Until recently, that is. My son played his first ever season of soccer and loved it! My brother Eric is really into soccer (he was also my son's soccer coach) so he is pumped up about the FIFA World Cup. To add to the World Cup fever, he thought of this great idea to get our kids interested in soccer and the games, with a little bit of education thrown in.

Everyone was assigned a few teams. Their job was so find out a few details of the country: their flag, capitol city, population, biggest exports, etc. After gathering all of the information, they were supposed to display it in a way that they could share with everyone else on game day.

Well, you all know I couldn't just let my kid's stick some paper onto a poster board and call it a day. We had to get crafty with it because that is how we do. We decided to make a cool book out of a simple brown paper bag, complete with "pockets", this way my daughter could decorate each sleeve with one of her teams and add all of the facts she compiled into the pockets. These little books are so addicting to make! Check out the one that I made for Latinas 4 Latino Lit here.

This craft is super fun and easy and kids can easily make these on their own.

What you'll need:
brown paper bag
decorative edge scissors
glue stick
hole punch
yarn, string or jute twine (to tie pages together)
white cardstock

The paper bag is going to be the book itself. All you need to do is cut the edges off so the pockets can open. If you want more than two pockets, add more paper bags to your book. Align your folded paper bags and punch three holes along one side (opposite where you cut the edges off for the pockets). You can thread string, yarn or the twine through the holes and tie them tightly. Now you have a book!


Transforming my Home with Sherwin-Williams: Painted China Cabinet

I'm excited to announce that I'm now a blogger for Sherwin-Williams Latino.  Over the next few months, I'll be partnering with them to transform spaces in my home and sharing it with you all. I can't wait to show you all of the cool projects I'll be working on.

My first home project for Sherwin-Williams is titled: A Touch of Color. Head over to the site for all the details. Just a heads-up, it's completely in Spanish--if you don't speak Spanish, check out this graphic I made. It will give you the gist!

More turquoise, guys. I can't help myself--it's so beautiful.

Get social with Sherwin-Williams Latino | Facebook | Twitter

Disclosure: This is not sponsored but I did receive products from Sherwin-Williams to facilitate this post. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my true and honest experience.


DIY: Rubber Cement Resist Father's Day cards

Father's day is tomorrow--eek!

Instead of running to the nearest store along with everyone else, I thought I'd make my own Father's day cards for the awesome men in my life. I've been making cards for my family for years and this year is no different. The only exception? I'm actually on time which almost never happens.

Back to the awesome fathers in my life. I'm blessed to say I call two men father. My biological dad and my stepdad. I also get to celebrate my husband, who is a loving father of seven.  My brother and brothers-in-law are awesome fathers, too. But wait, that's a lot of card making, right? No worries. Our cards are going to simple, modern and colorful using a fun glue resist technique.

What you'll need:
rubber cement
watercolor paper
watercolor or craft paint
For the cards:
#11 x-acto blade
glue stick
scrapbooking paper
blank card and envelope

Do you remember using rubber cement in school? The clear, runny sticky stuff that you brushed on with the little brush that came with the handle? Aww, school crafts. Those were my jam--most definitely my favorite time during school. We'll be using the same stuff for this project.

You'll want to use watercolor paper for this because along with the rubber cement, you'll be painting on it. You don't want it to warp or wrinkle when it's dry. Michael's has a value watercolor pad that is inexpensive and works well for crafts.

Glue resist is a fun technique. For this project, rubber cement is brushed onto a piece of paper, creating designs and shapes. Once it is dry enough to be tacky to the touch, it completely resists the paint that is brushed on top of it.

Do you remember the DIY Batik | Glue Resist Fabric Prints? This is a similar technique that yields just as amazing results.

"Paint" using the rubber cement on paper--drizzle, brush and drip to your heart's content. Use a paintbrush or the brush that comes with the lid of the rubber cement. Let dry.
Get creative--squiggly lines, organic or geometric shapes, abstract patterns. Another option: using a stamp to create a repetitive pattern or handwriting words or phrases. I used several pieces of watercolor paper so I could make different designs. Once the rubber cement is dry—it will still remain tacky to the touch—it is ready for paint.

My paint palettes are well worn and loved.
You can use watercolor paint or watered down craft paint works well, too. Brush the paint directly on the rubber cement design. Blend colors, play around with the paint--painting is fun!


National Donut Day: How to Make a Donut Garland

In an alternate universe, I can has all the donuts.

Cakes, cupcakes, brownies, muffins, macaroons...bye Felicia.

But, donuts? Come to mama. Nothing says perfection like a fresh, simple glazed donut.

Today is National Donut Day so to get in the spirit of things, let's make a craft that won't make our behinds any bigger, shall we? Guilt-free crafting at it's finest.

What you'll need:
scrapbooking paper in "donut" colors & whatever colors you'd like for "sprinkles"
hole punch
glue stick
jute twine (or ribbon, string with work)
optional: washi tape (to hang garland)
cute child to help

Cut a few round shapes out of scrapbooking paper. I used an old CD as a template. Make sure you cut the second shape (the "frosting") a bit smaller, and make the edges slightly wavy.

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