DIY Graduation Gifts

Graduation season is here! While you are searching for that “unforgettable gift,” you will find the typical stuffed animal with a cap and a diploma, candy, flowers, and gift cards card. If you are looking for something really special to get the graduate instead of the boring gift cards, why don’t you get creative and make a gift from your heart? Do it yourself, it can have more meaning, and it really can be an unforgettable gift. Here are some ideas on what you can make that gives a gift card a new twist.

Lei Money Tree:

Every graduate needs money for their next step in life. Get family members to contribute  a dollar each, make a hole through each dollar, pinch them like a bow, and put a long string through them to make a lei, or a “Hawaiian necklace,” full of money! Your graduate will love your gift.

Going Away Box:

If the graduate is going far away to school and you want them to have the essentials, buy a medium box to decorate with college sayings or pictures that you know will brighten his/her day and anything essential you want him/her to have. For example: Flip flops for the shower, a notebook, some pens/pencils, air freshener, toothpaste, socks, etc. Then, write write a little side note for them to read on each item.  For example, for the flip flops “I knew you were going to need them…” something humorous for him/her to smile to and not feel so lonely by themselves.

Survival Guide:

Your graduate might be going away without his/her parents for the first time, and he/she might not know exactly how to cook, clean, or do laundry. Write him/her a neat survival guide, it is better if you write them on a thick poster board with a fine point sharpie so that it will last longer. Write instructions on how to clean, how to do laundry, recipes for fast meals, etc. On every tip you give the graduate, tape a dollar to it and write a little side note that will brighten his/her day or make him/her smile.

The next one is a little time consuming, but it is worth it!

Day of the Week:

Choose any day of the week, like Monday because no one really likes those. Make a small envelope of any color, put a little goodie like a chocolate or candy or a granola bar and write a note, or a letter. Do every Monday until you will see him/her again with the date on them. For example, if the person leaves in August and you won’t see him/her until December, give them the amount of Mondays there are when you won’t see him/her. Up for a DIY challenge? Do every day of the week! It’s more time consuming, but it will be totally worth it.

Emergency Glass:

There might be some stressful situations the graduate might need money for something and they don’t want to call home or take out a loan, so why not give them an emergency cash box? Buy a long picture frame with more than one spot for pictures, and, instead of putting pictures in the frames, put large dollar bills, a $20 or $50 if you want more, and in the top write “In case of an emergency, Break glass” like the fire extinguishers say.

Gift cards are plain and boring, so if you are looking to give your graduate some extra cash then these DIY gifts are perfect for you.

 

DIY Easter Decorations

Easter season and the Easter bunny is hopping right around the corner! Add a little extra oomf to your Easter weekend by making your own decorations. You can make these decorations at home for yourself, friends or family. Some are simple, so even the not-so-crafty can join in on the fun. Here are some fun and easy ideas to try:

The Powderpuff Bunnies

These are bunnies made out of white powdered donuts! This DIY is inspired by Jeanscraftycorner.blogspot.com. Simply take a clear, 4-pack of powdered doughnuts, tape a bunny head/face to the top, a cotton ball to the back, little white ovals for feet, and you have… the powderpuff bunnies!

Step 1: Buy however many 4-packs of doughnuts (1 pack per bunny) and make sure the packaging around the doughnuts is clear.

Step 2: Find an image of the bunny face you would like to use for your powderpuff bunnies (feel free to get creative and use a different face for each one). Then tape or hot glue the face to the front of the package. Then take a cotton ball and glue it to the back for the tail!

Step 3: Cut little ovals from white construction paper, and draw on them to create the paws! You just draw lines for the toes, or maybe draw on some sandals for your bunnies. Then glue or tape them to the front.

White powdered donut packages dressed up like bunnies

Photo Credit: jeanscraftycorner

 

 

Easter Egg Tumble(r)

Plastic Tumbler "Easter Basket" ~ Plastic Tumbler, Embellishments (Ribbon, Vinyl, Rhinestones, Stickers, etc.)... Decorate the tumbler as you wish then fill it with goodies! This idea is very simple, for those not so into crafting, but can also be very elaborate for those who are. A great idea for anyone wanting to give out something cool for Easter that may not have the time, or for the person looking for a fun, creative project! The “wiggle room” involved makes it fun for everyone. Benfranklincrafts.blogpost.com inspired these cute Easter Egg Tumblers. Here’s how you can create your very own:

Step 1: Purchase a tumbler or mason jar of your choice at a local craft store. These can also be found pretty much anywhere (CVS,Wal-Mart, grocery stores, etc.). Gather all the materials you’re going to use to decorate your jar (gel marker, ribbons, rhinestones, etc.) and begin decorating the outside of your jar.

Step 2: Take whatever goodies you want to give and put them inside the tumbler. You can get creative and layer the candies by color, use fake grass, or just fill the tumbler with things you like.

Step 3: Give out to friends, family or just keep it for yourself!

Easter Egg Garland

Photo Credit: Honeyandfitz.com

It’s that time of year again where we take out our massively accumulating collection of WAY to many plastic easter eggs and have a massive egg hunt. If only there were some other way to use the eggs so they will not go to waste with only one use! Well, Honeyandfitz.com  found a way to make cute decorations for your home.

Step 1: Gather your materials: plastic eggs with holes in the top and bottom, 3/4 inch ribbon, sturdy thread, and a needle. Next, take your ribbon and thread it through the holes in your egg. This can be tricky, so use something small and pointy like a toothpick. Repeat this step 2 more times for different color ribbon.

Step 2: Use your needle to thread the string through the first egg. Once you have done this successfully, you can begin sliding more of your eggs onto the string.

Step 3: Cut the string after you’ve done your last egg and hang the garland in your lovely home!  This person (see right) used it as a drapery over their door, but you can also lay your garland around a table, or even hang it straight from the ceiling to create a “garland curtain.”

 

Have your own DIY ideas to share? Send an e-mail to editor@latinitasmagazine.og. 

 

St. Patrick’s Day Nail Art

There are many reasons to enjoy the lovely month of March; warmer weather, brighter spirits, flowers, and the liveliness of St. Patrick’s Day! For those who don’t own many green articles of clothing, try out this easy tutorial for cheerful St. Patrick’s Day nails!

First, look through your nail polish collection to make sure you have a green nail polish. Have a bright green-yellow color? No problem! Any shade of green will do. Next, pick four different polishes that will make up a rainbow. You can choose any different colors that you think would look good together. For this tutorial a radiant purple, a bright blue, a sunny orange, and a deep red are the perfect combo. You will also need black and gold nail polishes of your choosing. For this nail look, you can use a glitter top coat (optional).

 

1

The only other tools you’ll need for this nail tutorial are things you can find around the house: toothpicks and any kind of plate that can be used to hold little samples of nail polish. The plate will be ruined, so make sure you get one that you don’t have to use in the future!

23

Step 1: This step is prepping your nails for the super easy nail art that we will be doing. To make your nail polish last longer, start off with a base coat. If you don’t have a base coat polish, that’s totally fine! Start off by painting your nails with a couple of coats of your green nail polish. In this step, I also added the glitter top coat that I chose to use. Because I would be drawing a rainbow on the ring finger, I didn’t coat that one nail with glitter nail polish just yet.

4

Step 2: Grab your plate and pour a tiny little bit of the first polish you will be using. We’re going to start the rainbow, so pick whichever color you’d like to start with. You only need a tiny little bit, so don’t pour too much. When I first did my nail art, I got a little overexcited and I poured all the colors one after the other. By the time I got to using them, they each had dried up. Don’t make that mistake! Pour one color at a time.

5

Step 3: Draw your rainbow. Using the toothpicks, draw the four lines that will become your rainbow. To do this, paint one color, wait for it to dry, then paint the next one. Repeat this until you’ve used up all four colors. You can make the lines arched, like a rainbow, or you can opt to paint them in straight lines. I found that I made less mistakes and had more nail room to work with when I made them in a straight line so I decided to paint my rainbow that way. If you choose to make them arched, make sure you’re careful to keep the lines thin. That makes it easier to fit the whole rainbow on your nail! After I painted my rainbow and waited for it to dry, I added a glitter top coat.

6

Step 4: Time to paint our pot of gold! The little pot is easy to draw. Because we’re painting the pot on our thumbnail and we have more nail room to work with, we can use the nail polish brush to draw. Using the brush, paint a circle that takes up about a third of your nail. Then, draw a straight line to top off your little pot. That’s it!

7

Step 5: Once your pot has completely dried up, pick up your gold nail polish and start painting on some gold! I painted on thick dots of polish to give it a look with more texture. If you have gold glitter nail polish, this would be a perfect opportunity to use it!

8

Ta-da! Your St. Patrick’s Day manicure is complete. Not only is this easy look festive, but it keeps pinching fingers away from you!

9

Have a happy and lucky St. Patrick’s Day!

Natural is the Way to Go

The raw and organic product movement has been taking over grocery stores all over the world. Now that families are picking up on this health trend and high quality organic products are widely accessible to everyone, it isn’t uncommon to see how chicas are beginning to really look at what they are putting into their bodies. What lots of girls and women, like you and I, overlook when considering what harmful additives we consume on a daily basis are the harmful chemicals being put into cosmetics. Think about how long makeup can sit on your skin – the body’s largest organ. Think about how many chemicals are listed in the ingredients, and whether or not you even know what they do or mean scientifically. Latinas come from cultures where the use of natural products for beauty purposes is commonly practiced, but girls often wonder ”aside from using aloe from abuela’s jardin for sunburn and healthy skin, what else is there to use for beauty purposes?” Well, no worries girls! Here are a few quick and simple recipes that will enhance your natural beauty without all the mess of modern day cosmetics:

Liquid to Gel to Powder Eyeliner

- Activated charcoal capsules (you can find these on the vitamin shelf at your grocery store)

- Jojoba or coconut or almond oil

Break 1-4 capsules of activated charcoal to 1 tsp. of oil and mix. Add more or less of the powder or oil depending on the consistency you’d like (more oil = closer to liquid; more charcoal = closer to powder). *HINT – you can use cocoa powder to make a brown liner!

 

Bronzer/Contour Powder

- Ground cinnamon

- Ground nutmeg

- Cocoa powder

- beet root capsules (can find these at the vitamin aisle)

- Corn, tapioca starch or powdered sugar

- Jojoba, almond or coconut oil

According to your skin tone, mix a combination of ingredients in a container.

Tip: Cinnamon = warmth; Nutmeg = sun kissed effect; Cocoa Powder= contour/depth; Beet Root = rouge.

Once you get your desired shade add a few drops of oil. This serves as a moisture agent that allows for the powder to “pack” and adhere onto itself. Mix and pack into a clean compact or container.

*HINT – you can also skip the oil and have a loose powder recipe. (ALSO:

Tip: Skip the beet root and try matching this recipe to your exact shade; this can also be used as a finishing powder and applied all over the face!

 

Lip Stain

Beet Root Capsules (can be found at a vitamin aisle of any grocery store)

- Strawberries

- Jojoba, Coconut or Almond oil

Crush strawberries and Beet Capsules into 1 tsp of oil. Mix vigorously (almost to a whip), adding more oil if needed. Once creamy, transfer to a clean container.

*HINT- you can also add cocoa powder to give an earthy, nude look to your stain.

 

Tip! When making your own makeup, try using all natural and organic products to avoid problematic ingredients like pesticides and color additives that can harm your body through your skin. Most importantly, rock how great you look in your natural skin!

Recipes for Tasty Snacks

If you are craving a tasty treat, look past the usual junk food and try these yummy options.  Follow these easy recipes that will help you prepare snacks that are guilt-free, healthy and delicious.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Ingredients:

  • Multigrain bread
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Avocado
  • Veggies on the side

Procedure:
Place two slices of whole wheat bread on a grill. Put the shredded cheese and avocado on one slice of bread. Once the bread is heated, place one slice on top of the other. You can serve your sandwiches with a side of veggies like carrots, broccoli, celery or any of your favorite vegetables.

 

Pizzadillas

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat tortilla
  • Shredded mozzarella
  • Turkey
  • Tomato Sauce without corn syrup
  • Spinach
  • Purple onion
  • Mushroom

Procedure:
Spray cooking spray on a pan. Heat the whole wheat tortilla in the pan. Once the tortilla is hot, spread tomato sauce on the tortilla and put the shredded cheese on it.

Easy Recipes for College Students

Ramen noodles and Wendy’s dollar menu is probably what comes to mind when you think of your future diet as a college student. It’s true that many chicas in college end up having an unhealthy diet due to a lack of time, fear, or painful cooking experiences.  Having your mom or abuelita hovering over you while you attempt to chop onions isn’t exactly the Rachel Ray moment you expected.

But here’s a wake up call: having your own kitchen means having your own cooking style!

As a college student you can avoid an unhealthy diet and bring the comfort of home. Using basic ingredients like avocado, beans, cilantro or mango can help remind your taste buds of mamá’s cooking once you leave home. Whether you will be attending college in the Fall or in a couple of years, always try to eat and cook healthy meals.

Healthy recipes that are quick and easy are often just a click away, like at muybuenocookbook.com.  The chicas behind the Muy Bueno Cookbook, Yvette Marquez,  her sister Veronica and mother Evangelina, are on a mission to preserve traditional and new Latin-inspired family recipes that “add flavor not fat.”  Yvette Marquez, founder and blogger at Muy Bueno Cookbook,  says:  “We really want to stop the stereotype of Mexican food and share healthy and easy-to-prepare Mexican meals …  Just because you are only cooking for ONE doesn’t mean you can’t cook a large meal and freeze for later. ” When it comes to cooking, Yvette advices: ” Cooking is about planning and if you plan to eat healthy and have healthy food around, it will be less tempting to eat unhealthy food.”  Skip the fast food and freezer aisle and try out these quick and easy recipes.

Instead of running to Taco Bell try…

Beef and Bean Taco Casserole 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound lean (at least 80%) ground beef
  • 1 can Old El Paso® refried beans
  • 1  jar (16 ounce)Old El Paso® Thick ‘n Chunky salsa
  • 1  package (1 ounce)Old El Paso® 40% less-sodium taco seasoning mix
  • 2 1/2  cups coarsely broken tortilla chips
  • 1/2  medium green bell pepper, chopped (3/4 cup)
  • 4  medium green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)
  • 2  medium tomatoes, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1  cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)
  • 1/4  cup sliced ripe olives
  • 1  cup shredded lettuce

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. In 12-inch skillet, cook beef over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly cooked; drain. Stir in refried beans, salsa and taco seasoning mix. Reduce heat to medium. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.
  2. In ungreased 2-quart casserole, place 2 cups of the broken tortilla chips. Top evenly with beef mixture. Sprinkle with bell pepper, onions, 1 cup of the tomato, the cheese and olives.
  3. Bake uncovered 20 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted. Top baked casserole with lettuce, remaining 1/2 cup tomato and remaining 1/2 cup tortilla chips.

 

Instead of Ramen Noodles Try…

Avocado Basil Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 8  ounces dried bow tie and/or wagon wheel pasta
  • 2  medium avocados, halved, seeded, peeled, and coarsely chopped
  • 6  slices bacon, crisp cooked, drained, and crumbled
  • 2/3  cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2  tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3  cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4  teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8  teaspoon salt
  • 1/2  cup finely shredded Pecorino Romano cheese

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the avocados, bacon, basil, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, pepper, and salt. Add the hot pasta and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with cheese. Makes 4 servings.

(Dom’s Time Saving Tip: Cooking Bacon can be messy and time consuming, so try using microwavable bacon instead. Chopped ham also works great with this recipe.)

 

Instead of a McDonalds Double Cheeseburger Try…

Guacamole Grilled Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small jalapeño, stems and seeds removed, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • A dash of freshly grated black pepper
  • 1 Roma tomato, chopped
  • 4 slices crusty white/wheat bread
  • 4 slices Cheddar cheese
  • Butter, for buttering bread (non-fat spread works too!)

Directions:

  1. To make the guacamole-cut avocados in half. Remove seed. Scoop out avacado from the peel, put in a large bowl. Using a fork, mash the avocado. Add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined. Add the chopped tomato and stir.
  2. Heat a pan or griddle to medium-high heat. Spread desired amount of guacamole on both slices of bread then top with cheese. Butter outer slices of bread and grill on one side for about 2 minutes or until golden and crispy. Flip the sandwich and grill until golden brown. Make the other sandwich the same way and serve warm.

 

Instead of Chicken Nuggets Try…

Black Bean & Mango Chicken Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, grilled, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed
  • 1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen corn, thawed (canned corn works also!)
  • 1cup chopped mangos
  • 1/2 cup chopped red peppers
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onions
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 env. (0.7 oz.) GOOD SEASONS Italian Dressing Mix

Directions:

  1. COMBINE ingredients.

(Dom’s Time Saving Tip: Nervous about cooking chicken breast? You might find it easier to use shredded chicken from a rotisserie chicken that can be found ready to eat at your local grocery store.)

 

Instead of a pint of ice cream try…

Tropical Fruit Kabobs

Ingredients:

  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Papaya
  • Cantaloupe
  • Lime wedges

Directions:

  1. Peel and cut your choice of fruit. Squeeze the lime over the cut fruit and toss gently.
  2. Alternate the fruit used as you thread the cut fruit onto 12” wooden skewers. Chill before serving.
  3. Place on your creative serving platter. Any leftovers can always be eaten at breakfast.

 

Recipes taken from:

muybuenocookbook.com

twopeasandtheirpod.com

bettycrocker.com

recipe.com

kraftrecipes.com

Check them out, you might find additional inspirational recipes to try out.

Whether you will be attending college in the Fall or in a couple of years, always try to eat healthy.

Food Craving Culture Clash

Appreciate your heritage and mix what you like. Many Latinos in the United States face the same issue when it comes to dinner. Do we have traditional Latino dishes or American tonight? Burger and Pizza are usually more popular than enchiladas, paella, ropa vieja, sofrito and mole. American meals are typically easier to make and are easily available. Abuelitas usually took hours simmering our favorite foods. Teens now have very busy schedules with school, sports, and friends and don’t have time to cook the traditional dishes of our abuelitas. Quick and easy meals are ideal for the busy teen. What happens when you crave both Latin dishes and American food at the same time? What can you make to eat when you don’t have all evening to prepare a meal?  Here are some ways you can incorporate two ethnic foods into one quick amazing entree.

  • Border Burger- Mix chorizo into ground beef patties and broil to your liking.  Top the burger with avocado slices and tomato, and you’ve created a simple mix of two cultures.
  • Spicy Macaroni- Boil a box of macaroni and cheese. Drain the pasta and add cheese, milk and butter.  Serve on a plate and add your favorite salsa on top to add a spicy kick.
  • Bagel Pizza- Cut a bagel in half, smear tomato sauce and top off with shredded cheese. Add corn, jalapenos and chorizo randomly and heat in the microwave for 20 seconds for a Latin taste.
  • Tex-Mex Baked Potato- Place a medium sized potato in a microwave for 3 minutes, cut it open and add butter and sour cream, mix well. Top it off with chili powder and cheese for a quick Tejano taste. (Optional add cilantro.)
  • Strawberry Limonada- Squeeze the lime juice from 20 limes into a 2 quart pitcher with water and add sugar. Chop fresh strawberries and slices of lime without the skin and add to the pitcher. Add 3 tablespoons of strawberry syrup and mix well for a refreshing agua fresca.
  • Chile Con Queso Dip- Open a can of chili beans and add shredded cheese, chopped tomatoes and onion. (optional: heat it up in the microwave for 30 seconds and mix well) Open a bag of chips and enjoy your flavorful Latin creation.

Try these simple creations to satisfy your American and Latin tastes. Wow your family with these quick recipe ideas that will leave them hungry for more of your Latina flair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips for High School Success

Five expert high school students shared some of the tips that they have learned while being in high school.

Be Yourself: Seems simple right? Believe it or not, most teens entering high school feel the need to fit in and be part of “the clique.” Avoid it that as much as possible, be the person you want to be and don’t change.

Talk to Others: Expand your social skills with people you do not know. Mix with different groups and make new amigas. It may not be easy at first, but it’s cool to know other people besides the same old friends you knew since elementary school.

Smile: Do be a “puchi” or rude. Smile to everyone you see. It gives the message that you are not a mean person. Show off your pretty smile.

Do Your Work: Try not to “slack off” in class just because it is high school. It’s okay to be the nerd of the class.

Speak Your Mind: Don’t go along with what everybody else says. Say your piece and share what you believe in. You’d be surprise that there are probably lots of people that think like you.

Respect Upper Classmen: Be aware of who’s who in high school. If they are a year older than you, listen to what they tell you. You might learn something from them. Don’t go around school, thinking you know it all.

Join Sports & Clubs: Be active in school. Get involved with the organizations that are in your school and community. You’ll meet new people, and who knows maybe you might discover some of your hidden talents.

Stay Out of Drama: Don’t get caught up with the high school drama. Those who start the drama are just trying to get everyone’s attention. Besides it’s pointless and a waste of your time and within a couple of weeks it will be forgotten.

Be Friendly to Authority: Always be nice to everyone, teachers, staff and even administration. You never knows who is watching you, and you never know what they say about you, so be nice! :) You might need a reference for a college application some day.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask: It’s okay to ask questions on things you don’t know. There is no such thing as a dumb question. Believe me, there isn’t!!

Mind Your Own Business: If you are the type of person that needs to know everything about everyone, quit it. Chisme can get you problemas. No one likes when people start rumors, and it can comeback and bite you when you least expect it.

Don’t Let People Push You Around: It’s okay to do a couple of nice gestures for people, but don’t try to be the slave that does things for people because you want to “fit in” and want everyone to like you. Just take care of yourself and of your personal business.

We hope that these tips help you newbies that are getting ready to go to high school. Thanks to Daniela, Lyseldi, Cheyann, Kristin, Elizabeth, and Norma for all their help!

August 2010

buy cialis without prescription

cialis price

cialis dosage

Viagra online