Travel

Discover Maryland, perfect destination for the whole family.

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Summer trip to Maryland

Maryland is about 3 and a half hours from NYC. It’s on my way to DC so we’re pretty familiar with the highway, but we really don’t get to explore it that much. This summer I made it a mission to discover Maryland. There are all types of attractions and entertainment for the whole family, from city centers like Baltimore to beach getaways like Ocean City. I like to enjoy more of the historic part of Maryland, so our destinations are a bit different. I also consider what the kids like and what they would enjoy the most. These places you can visit in a week or do different trips. It really depends on how comfortable your kids are in the car, and how quickly you see the attractions.

Stop 1: Scenic Route to Point Lookout

There are a couple of stops on the way to the lighthouse, including stop 87. This stop is a memorial to the Civil War men that died. Just down the road is another interesting stop which is the Civil War POW camp. Here you can see the pictures of the POW’s and it’s just interesting. Although my tots are in the younger side, I do try to make their vacations and trips educational fun. So we were playing games, finding the names with the letter A, B, C and so on. We also played, find the oldest date. Click here for more information.

PointLookout

Stop 2: Point Lookout Lighthouse- Point Lookout State Park

This is such a cool house lighthouse. It’s an original structure from 1830. There is a tour that you can take and see the inside. It’s also inside the State Park, so there is hiking trails and beaches that you can enjoy. We happen to just hang out by the lighthouse trying to find a ghost from a window (supposedly the lighthouse is one of the haunted places in the county). It was also a nice windy day so we enjoy the waves from the ocean. There is more information on the lighthouse here.

Stop 3: Washingtonian Center, Rockville 

Washingtonian Center is just a fun place. There are a bunch of things to do including swan, paddle boats and a carousel and train. There is also a movie theater and a nice boardwalk with restaurants and trails. And hello if you need a break from sightseeing there is a Target right there. For more information on their events visit their website.

Stop 4: Historic White’s Ferry, Poolesville

This ferry is just fun for kids. It’s short enough, it’s only $2 per car and the kids just enjoyed it. The ferry gets you across the Potomac to explore the side of Maryland with the most Civil War Trails and interesting places. There is also a small park on one side of the ferry and you can get food and snacks. Head on over to their site for details.

WhitesFerry

Stop 5: Monocay National Battlefield, Frederick 

Monocay is pretty cool. Not only is it a National Park, there is also a bunch of trails to discover in the park. My kids love hiking and being outdoors so these trips but them right in the middle of nature and history at the same time. They also have a Junior Ranger program, where the kids get their own booklet and become responsible for the park.

Kids

Stop 6: National Shrine Grotto, Emmitsburg

The National Shrine Grotto of our Lady of Lourdes is a space that is highly spiritual. And although it is religious, the space is just beautiful. It has incredible views of the city. The kids loved the statues and the spaces with a lot of greenery and beautiful architecture. There is also a pond and if you are religious you can fill a bottle of water with Holy Water. If you don’t really believe in the religious there is also an old cemetery.

Grotto

Stop 7: National Harbor, National Harbor

I’ve written about the National Harbor before and still include it in this list because I absolutely love it. Not only is it a 10 minute drive from D.C. there is so much to do. There is the new Capital Wheel, a small park for kids, the sand area, tons of restaurants and shops. They have a bunch of events like movie by the water and concerts even during Christmas time. Check out our last post on the harbor by clicking here.

NationalHarbor

Of course like I mentioned there are other places if you like more action: Six Flags, Ocean City and the National Aquarium. All in all Maryland has everything you need to have an awesome vacation. I am so glad we get to explore new destinations. If you like to travel with kids, don’t dismiss our own land. There is so much history and culture, and is never to early to show kids interesting historical sites, especially if they are the history of our country.

Events

Back to School ready with Momtrends

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It’s July. It’s still summer but it’s also time to get ready for back to school. As always Momtrends knows the best trends and things our kids need to succeed. This year was no exception and there was top brands and fashions in the house. Some of the brands I have loved since last year and since the kids were babies and some are completely new.

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Fashion

Joules is a brand of clothing that I had heard off, but never seen their clothes in person. I was smitten by the quirky designs and simple comfortable clothes. My favorite pieces were the coats and the graphic tees.

Keen Kids has been a family favorite for years so I was happy to see their fall line of shoes. The fabric boots are cool, easy and comfortable for all the little feet.

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Gear

Yoobie is known for their colorful school supplies. The brand is still exclusive to Target but with their new Pharell x i am OTHER it’s worth it to take a trip and check out all the items. They have everything from paperclips to notebooks and backpacks. My favorite? The gel highlighters that I’m pretty sure the teacher would be jealous of.

Mabel’s Labels by far one of the MOST important things for kids to go back to school. Labeling everything is key. Mabel’s is super high quality labels. I am not kidding when I say these labels are durable. We used them on everything last year. On the shoes and the lunchbox and the uniforms. They lasted all year!

Nalgene Lunch Box Buddy is their new lunchbox designed for kids. It comes with an adjustable ice pack and the cover doubles as a tray. It has plenty of room and you can configure it however you like. I love the colors and the simplicity.

nalgene

 

Food

Earths Best has been a staple in this house since I had babies, but now they have a whole lot more variety for the older kids. Including chicken and fish nuggets, but my favorite were the cheese stuffed pretzels and the pizza bites. They also have a large variety of bars and snacks.

Ella’s Kitchen has drinks for even the pickiest of eaters.

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Other things that are a MUST

Vamousse is a lice treatment. It doesn’t have the harsh chemicals of other products so it’s safe to use often. They not only have the shampoo and treatment, they also have a lice treatment powder! This is great for beds and stuffed animals.

Juniorbeads are from the brand Chewbeads that we already love for mom. The Junior line is designed for kids to be stylish but also to help them deal with anxiety or even fear of the dark (they have a glow in the dark one that is uber cool). Different styles in bright colors they make a perfect accessory for kids.

Juniorbeads

 

Wall POPS! Is another brand we are very familiar with and love. We have been using the calendar all year and love it. But not only can you be ready for school with calendar there are also other useful items like chalk decals and maps.

Paula’s Choice Skincare has a whole line of acne treatment for all skin types, so if you have a teenager breaking out from hormones or you as a mom are breaking out from stress this is perfect.

As always Momtrends hosted a fabulous event. Thanks for inviting us.

Movies

Captain Fantastic- Best Film this Year

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No doubt this movie will be nominated for a few Oscars. Probably the best movie I’ve seen this year. Not going to lie, it was a roller coaster of emotions. I cried, I laughed, I cringed, I thought, I felt.

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The movie starts Viggo Mortensen and is the story of Ben and his six- yes, you read that right, six kids. Ben and his wife decide to remove their kids from society and live in the woods. The kids have superb intelligence, as they read and are home schooled by their father. They also have amazing physical endurance.

The opening scene is by far the most gruesome scene, and I will not spoil it for you, but if you don’t like to see animals die, close your eyes. After opening scenes, we learn that the kids mother has been gone for 3 months but we don’t find out until later. The story of Captain Fantastic follows the family as they struggle to stay together and fight the outside society.

It’s hard to discuss this movie without giving anything away. I will say the story touches on mental illness and how it can gravely affect a family. It also speaks to parents as we struggle to decide what is best for our own kids. I was in no way, expecting to have the reaction I had to the movie. It really did put so many questions in my head about parenting and existing and just living.

After the movie screening we had a Q & A with Viggo. I was so very impressed. This man has a huge passion and this movie not only proved how good of an actor he is but also how smart he is. Honestly our hosts The Moms, Melissa and Denise, noticed how he was speaking and one of them said he should run for office.

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I know I give a lot of great reviews to movies. I love movies. But this one, seriously, the best movie. The acting was beyond superb and the story is unique and relevant to any parent at the same time. This is an independent film which makes it even more special, because what they accomplished was nothing short of extraordinary.

Here’s the trailer for the movie. Please go see it!

Thank you to The Moms for another great screening and to Viggo Mortensen for taking the time to talk to us moms about this film.

Baby Gear-Strollers-Car Seats-Carriers Diaper Bags

Diaper Bag Essentials Pt 2

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Diaper Bag Essentials 6 to 12 months

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At 6 months the needs of a baby change. We introduce solids and they start snack foods, therefore the needs and essentials in the diaper bag change as well. Here is the list for this time period.

-Diapers

-Wipes

-Diaper Cream (Again Honest Healing Balm or coconut oil work best)

-Outfit change (onsie, socks, pants, shirt)

-Bib. I loveeee loveeee the Bumkins bibs and reusable bags. We still use them daily.

-Spoon/fork for feeding baby (always carry your own!! We like the OXO Tot On-the-Go Feeding Spoon)

-Baby Food. If you make your own, like we did for the first couple of months, we love using the Bunky Bag to store the baby food. It also comes with a clip. Read the full review here.

Best babyfood storage

Best babyfood storage

-Blanket (moms favorite are aden + anais swaddle blankets)

-Teething toy

-Bottle/Formula/ Nursing Cover (Like I mentioned before, I don’t carry the nursing cover and just use a burp cloth instead)

-Burp Cloth

-First Aid Kit (In the first aid kit I now include Tylenol for teething pain)

-Hand Sanitizer

-Sunscreen

-Toiletries

Diaper Bag Organization

Always keep the bib/spoon together in a zip lock bag.  If you choose now you can carry your own purse. I try to keep diaper bag and purse as one for as long as possible as it makes everything much easier. If you do leave the diaper bag in the car, like I do, don’t forget to take your wallet inside!

Baby Gear-Strollers-Car Seats-Carriers Diaper Bags

Diaper Bag Essentials Pt 1

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Diaper Bag Essentials Newborns to 6 months

(Post contains affiliate links)

When you have a baby, the most important thing you carry is a diaper bag- well besides your baby! It should have everything you need. But, what exactly do you need? If you’ve been around moms and all of them will carry different things in their own diaper bags. Well, after three kids, I have come up with my own list. I hope it helps! I have split it into 4 parts.

PART I: Newborn to 6 months

-Diapers

-Wipes

-Changing Pad

-Onsies (2)

-Baby Hat

-Blanket

-Pajamas or outfit change

-Socks

-Diaper Cream (I like Honest Healing Balm or straight up coconut oil)

-Bottle, formula or Nursing cover (if you nurse and choose to use one). I skip the nursing cover and just use the burp cloth to cover me.

-Burp cloth

-Rattle/Toy/Theeting aid

-Hand sanitizer

-Sunscreen

-Mini First Aid Kit (Make sure it has ointment like Neosporin, Band-aids, alcohol wipes & gauze)

-Travel size toiletries (Baby wash, lotion, powder, baby brush or comb, baby oil, and I carry Q-tips)

Diaper Bag

A couple of ideas when it comes to diaper bags:

1) Keep it in the car at ALL times. It makes going out much easier. If you are worried that you’ll run out of diapers, grab a couple of diapers, put them in your purse, then move them to the car diaper bag. I also keep a box of wipes in the car.

2) OR skip the purse altogether and only use the diaper bag as your carry-all.

3) Estimate how many diapers you need for the day. For the newborn, I usually carry about 10 diapers on normal outings, because they poop so much and the diapers are tiny, so they don’t take that much space.

4) Look for a lightweight diaper bag. Some bags because of the fabric, features, etc. can be heavy on their own, and will only get heavier with all the essentials in there.

5) Check for easy to clean fabrics. It’s only a matter of time before a food pouch or diaper cream will blow up in your bag.

In my next post I’ll do 6 to 12 months diaper bag essentials…

What is the most important item in your diaper bag? 

Español My non scripted life Parenting

El RACISMO de hoy !Es el mismo de ayer!

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– Volvemos a la segregación

Honestamente nunca había pensado en lo que es la raza y el color de una persona. No quiero sonar ignorante pero es la verdad. No era algo que me afectaba en lo absoluto cuando vivía en Puerto Rico. Al mudarme a Estados Unidos me di cuenta poco a poco que habían ciertamente diferencias raciales y culturales que no entendía. Pasó el tiempo y me enamoré.

Cuando me enamoré del hombre que ahora es mi esposo y padre de mis hijos, nunca me imaginé las reacciones que las personas al conocerlo.

Recuerdo como si fuese hoy un amigo que me preguntó: ¿y que tu vas a hacer si tus hijos nacen de colores diferentes? Por que la pregunta, por que mi esposo es negro. Al momento no entendí la pregunta y al pasar del tiempo hasta se me olvidó. Pero todo cambió en el 2009, cuando descubrí que estaba embarazada. Ahí comenzaron un sin numero de inseguridades por mi hijo que todavía no había nacido. Mi hijo nació saludable y tan pronto lo vi, no vi color, solo vi a mi hijo.

Le damos para adelante a la historia. Seguía mi vida normal. Hasta que visité el National Civil Rights Museum. Este museo se encuentra en el Lorraine Motel, lugar donde asesinaron a Martin Luther King. Esa visita me cambió de una forma que no puedo explicar. Pensar que hace solo unos años, mi esposo y yo no podíamos estar juntos solo por el color de nuestra piel.

Fue una visita bien conmovedora, regresé una persona diferente.

Mi temor ya no es tener hijos de diferentes colores, mi temor es que mis hijos puedan sobrevivir en este mundo al que yo los traje. El racismo es real. El racismo existe y mata gente todos los días. 

Y ahora estamos en el 2016. Y veo las noticias y no lo creo. Siento que estoy en el museo de historia reviviendo los años del movimiento de derechos civiles en 1960. Volvemos para atrás.

Michael Brown en Ferguson, Missouri

Tamir Rice en Cleveland, Ohio

Trayvon Martin en Miami Gardens, Florida

Eric Garner en New York, New York

Alton Sterling en Baton Rouge, Lousiana

Estos son solo algunos de los que han muerto por solamente su color. Es triste pensar que cualquiera de ellos podría ser mi esposo o mi hijo.

El dolor ya no es ajeno. El dolor es propio. Solo pensar en las familias que no tienen paz, en todos los niños que tienen que preocuparse de como se visten o donde están por que los pueden matar por solo su color. Eso no es forma de vivir.

Lo más triste de el problema que estamos viviendo es que estamos luchando por la igualdad. La igualdad con la comunidad Gay, la igualdad con las religiones y a la misma vez nos dividimos solo por el color de la piel.

¿Hasta cuando vamos a permitir que la sociedad, ósea nosotros mismos, nos dividamos en colores?

Lorraine Motel

Lugar donde murió Martin Luther King Jr.

 

 

Fashion Just for Mom-Beauty

Summer Style: Maxi dress 2 ways

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My favorite item of clothing for the summer, besides my jeans, is a maxi dress. Maxi dresses can be super versatile and comfortable. Wear them with flats for a zoo outing with the kids or add some wedges for a date night. All you need is to change accessories around and you have a completely different look. Here I give you some ideas on how I like to style the dress.
For the day look I like to keep it simple with a big bag, that can also double as a super chic diaper or beach bag, a chunky necklace and bracelets but in the nude-brown color and leather sandals. I love these sandals in the summer because they look good with EVERYTHING.
For the night look I choose a small clutch bag (that is also cross body- perfect for dancing), the same chunky necklace and bracelet, except this time in black as well as the wedges for a more sultry vibe.
There are definitely a bunch of ways that you could style the dress. However, a good rule of thumb is to keep neutrals for the day and dark colors for night. As far a makeup and hair, I like the same rule- very neutral during the day. Think: BB cream, mascara, some bronzer and gloss with messy hair or a braid. For night-time, foundation, a smokey eye and rosy cheeks would work best. As for the hair, take the braid from day to-night by putting it up in a messy bun or letting it down into messy seductive waves and voila!
Have fun and remember just because we’re moms doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice comfort for style- maxi dresses let us have it ALL!
Maxi Dress 2 ways

 

Tell me what’s your favorite summer style?
Want to get the look, here’s my top choices to recreate the look for less than $100! 
(There are affiliate links below)
Maxi Dress This blue one I loved and the price is pretty awesome $35.90. Best of all? It has pockets.
Day Look: Tote bag, necklace, cuff bracelet, sandals (I really do love these Billabong ones!)
Movies

Thanks to The Moms for giving me some much needed MOM TIME

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I love The Moms. They are a network of amazing moms and bloggers led by 2 super women. They host events and if it wasn’t for their events I have no idea if my blogging would have gone this far. They have hosted a couple of events that I have fallen behind on writing but still wanted to mention them because the movies we screened were awesome and just as a plain thank you for the nice mom alone time I’ve gotten to enjoy.

The first event was The Meddler. It was the screening of the Susan Sarandon movie. In the movie she is a mom, who’s a little bit too involved. Through the movie she learns to let go a little bit and start living her life instead of her daughter’s life. We also had a time to chat with Susan who was a delight. She was funny and made it to the event even though she had a bad foot.

This event was sponsored by Kmart and Peter Pan Peanut Butter. We got to check out the new clothes from Kmart and I was super impressed, the colors and styles look very trendy and the prices are beyond affordable. We also got to check out the new value box, where you get different items for $20. The first box I received had a pair of jeans, flats and earrings. Peter Pan Peanut Butter had delicious treats including peanut butter balls. This is the type of movie I will be enjoying for a while and I could probably watch it a bunch of times because I can see me being that mom in the future!

TheMeddler

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The second movie was Mother’s Day. This was a funny movie, it was perfect for Mother’s Day. The movie is about how different moms celebrate Mother’s Day. We had a laugh and a special chat with Garry Marshall and Kate Hudson. I loved when I asked her about her mom and which was her favorite movie from her moms work and she said Overboard, because it’s how her parents met. The sponsor for this event was Serta and they had a whole bed setup, that I NEED STAT in my house. Those mattresses were so soft but firm. I don’t even know how to explain it, except I WANT IT.

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The third movie was Love and Friendship. This movie starting Kate Beckinsale is beyond funny. I have never read Jane Austin so I wasn’t familiar with her work, which the movie is based on. The movie, a period piece (my favorite) is hilarious. It’s the story about a woman who just basically gets away with everything in order to get what she wants. She’s kind of evil but kind of justified. I don’t know how to explain it but yeah it was really really funny. I loved that the humor wasn’t lost in the costumes. We also had the opportunity to interview Kate Beckinsale who is a real stunning beauty. Like this woman is really gorgeous and she was talking about everything from being a mom to her work and how to balance it all out. She was very down to earth and just funny.

The event was also sponsored by Peter Pan Peanut Butter, who was promoting their new line of creamy but crunchy peanut butter. My favorite is the honey. It’s so delicious and you can pair it with anything.

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The last movie was Flower Shop Mystery:  Mum’s the Word. This movie was a bit different from the other two, not only is a Hallmark movie is also a different story. I was looking forward to his movie a lot but in all honesty it was a bit overreacted, which is expected from a tv movie and although the story was good (I love a good mystery murder case), it didn’t grab my attention. Brook Shields is the lead and to me she was too much for this movie. I did love her chemistry with her partner in the movie. It is clear there was a connection there.

This event was sponsored by KidBox. This is a new subscription box geared towards kids in mind. They pick the outfits and when they arrive home, they only keep the ones they like. All the clothes are brand name. The box is styled for each individual kid. With subscriptions boxes being all the rage these days this is sure to be a hit. After the movie Brook Shields came in for a Q&A. She is also a delight. She was just one of those happy people who makes you instantly happy out of just seeing her.

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So thank you Denise, Melissa and the rest of The Moms team. I definitely appreciate these mom mornings all to myself and can’t wait for the next event.

Events

Puerto Rican Day Parade Re-Cap

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So the Puerto Rican Day Parade passed and I was super honored to have been a part of the occasion.

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Let me refresh your memory. I hated the Puerto Rican Day Parade and wrote about it on my page, you can read all about it here. I pitched my essay to ¡Capicú Culture! who picked me to be part of their social media team during the parade. Let me start of by saving that the anxiety for what would happen the day of the parade was beyond crazy.

I arrived early and was amazed at the amount of people already there, at 8am the streets were covered with families! I saw so many families and people dressed up.

I check in at our float, that had the honor of hosting the beautiful Rosario Dawson aboard, and then I proceeded to check out the other floats. In all of my years in NYC, I had never seen this amount of decorated floats and closed streets, it was pretty cool. The amounts of color and music and just joy was very exciting.

I kept getting anxiety about the start of the parade and then Rosario Dawson came over. She was beyond lovely. Taking pictures with fans and so excited about being at the parade where she was Queen. When she arrived I noticed she came with her mom. My focus as part of the social media team was families and it was great that Rosario brought her mom with her. Growing up the Parade was part of their lives and they celebrated together, so it was a commemoration for their family tradition. But not only was her mom there, her grandmother also came. Three generations of women celebrating that day, to me is the definition of tradition. And I LOVE TRADITION. It’s really one of the reason we celebrate a lot of things like this Parade and even things like Thanksgiving.

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The Parade started and I have to be honest, I had never seen such sight. The avenue lined up with my flag. I don’t think one can really get an idea of the feeling of pride that burns inside when you see that many flags. When I see it on TV is so different than being there, present in the moment. The spirit of celebration, the atmosphere was definitely a happy and proud one.

I started seeing the families. I didn’t think the parade would be such a family event. I know, as a mom I’m always weary of where I take my kids because of crowds and such. The kids were waving flags and dressed up in the red, white and blue. Stars were everywhere. Kids, even babies are experiencing one of the most monumental events in the city of New York. I mean if this is not huge, I don’t know what is. I finally understood my friends who have celebrated the parade since children. It is pretty cool to be there and see that many flags and the Vejigantes, listen to the music, see the things that make us who we are. Even the batuteras (majorettes) de Guaynabo (the city I lived in for most of my life) were at the parade.

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On a personal level, I have to admit that I was beyond belief. I was at the Puerto Rican Day Parade for the first time- MARCHING IN THE PARADE. Going down 5th Ave, it was INSANE-in the good way. It was really special and I can’t believe I walked 30 blocks that were covered in Puerto Rican flag. I saw a different New York, for a day I only felt I was back in my Island with my people.

I was scared to ask kids about the parade out of respect to the their parents. But one kid, around 6 years old, was having the time of his life until I pointed the camera at him! I asked him what he was feeling being at the parade, he just smiled and waved the flag at me. I understood him.

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I noticed that there were kids of all ages and I was happy because it gave me a sense of security about bringing my kids in the future. When the parade was over I spoke to a woman named Olga Rodriguez and she told me that the reason she brought the kids to the parade. She said she wants her kids and grandkids to learn about Puerto Rican culture and history, and the parade was part of that culture and history.

I have to say walking the parade as part of the Parade and walking back through the crowds was very different. The view is different and the environment is different. I am not going to sugar-coated and say it was amazing. I was scared and had major anxiety, mostly because I have a lot of anxiety when there are large crowds gathered and I had to do it multiple times as a lot of the cross walks were closed. There were people selling food, like pasteles and icees. There was music and dancing and good times. Just too much for me. I am not a party girl a lot and rather be around small groups of people. So if you want to go to the parade and have more space to move around, park yourself around 70th street, which is almost the end.

So I am going to say that my view of the parade definitely changed.

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I really do have a whole new set of feelings towards the parade. I am proud to have been part of the parade, I love that the Puerto Rican community has this outlet to bring a message not only to NYC but to the whole country. It is a day where we are seen and heard and we celebrate our pride.

My non scripted life

Why this anti-Puerto Rican Day Parade Puerto Rican wants to go to the Parade

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A lot of people who know me in a personal level, knows I am a proud Puerto Rican. And they also know what I have been feeling about the Puerto Rican Day Parade since well EVER. But this year I am happy to be a family ambassador at the parade thanks to ¡Capicú! So what made me change my mind? I want to share with you my pitch to participate in the parade.

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I am Puerto Rican. I love my Island. I love my history and my heritage. I love that we come in all colors and shape. I love our language and our music. There is one thing I DON’T love and it is the way we are represented.

A bit of history: I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. When I was growing up I fell in love with our history (even got the history medal at graduation). As I grew up the only image I had of the Puerto Rican day parade was of people dressed head to toe in a flag. Some of these people hadn’t even been to the island, some of them didn’t know Spanish- but I didn’t care about that. It hurt me that they didn’t know our history. They didn’t know about the Jones Act or didn’t know about el Grito de Lares, or didn’t know about the Taínos. That’s what hurt me. It offended me that they thought they were more proud to be Puerto Rican than me just because they covered themselves in a flag.

I soon discovered I was not the only one who felt this way. To this day, a lot of the people in the Island dislike the Puerto Rican Day Parade. When I moved to New York, I vowed to never partake in the festivities because I felt it didn’t represent my people or me. This also became a bigger concern in 2000 when there were reports of attacks and robbery during the parade.

And then I had kids and I want them to know where they come from. I want them to know my Puerto Rico.

Almost 16 years living in New York and now I want to be part of the celebration. Why? Recently, Puerto Rico has been in the news in the wake of the worst economic crisis the Island has ever experienced. Still, I didn’t think it was important for me to be part of the Parade, until I attended the Diaspora Summit at Centro PR. The summit took place a couple of weeks ago and I attended out of curiosity, since I didn’t think it had anything to do with me. YET, IT HAD EVERYTHING TO DO WITH ME! It opened my eyes to the state of the Island. It shook me to the core. It touched my roots and made me question my purpose.

If there is one thing that stood out the most during the whole summit, was the importance of unity of Puerto Ricans in order to achieve ANYTHING. Even more important during these times of crisis. So, I was presented with the opportunity to participate in the parade. I did my research and the changes to the parade have been so great. The organizers are really working hard to change the old image of the parade and actually create consciousness of the issues in the Island.

I want to be part of the Parade because I have a different perspective. The Puerto Rican Day Parade is part of the Islands history and therefor is part of me. I hope I do get the chance to spend time at the parade for the first time in my life. I think it will have great impact on my life.