The Mixed Up Blog
Dia de los Muertos con Chiqui Social by Sonia Kang | November 07 2019, 0 Comments
Yesterday I shared my day exploring Los Angeles with the Chevy Silverado. I drove around L.A. collecting items for Dia de los Muertos.
Today we will take those items over to our friends' at Chiqui Social. Chiqui Social is in Culver City and "offers a rich, purposeful, safe, and well-designed space to support children’s holistic learning and social success."
I met Lizet, the founder of Chiqui Social, while at a bilingual workshop for multicultural parents my friend, Maritere Rodriguez Bellas was presenting. I knew after talking with Lizet that there was so much synergy and we both agreed to collaborate on an event around Dia de los Muertos.
So let's get going...
I drove the Silverado to the venue and arrived early to unload the ofrenda for the altar. You may recall that all the items were either purchased downtown or made at Self Help Graphics & Art.
Hola greets you as you arrive at Chiqui Social and immediately you understand their belief "that connecting to culture and community in a fun and social setting is the ideal way to deliver a memorable and meaningful introduction to Spanish."
The papel picado hung above the room where our Dia de los Muertos altar would be built. It swayed gently in the air conditioned room and it's gentleness symbolized the fragility of life.
It was time to get make-up applied.
Facial makeup is applied and designed to represent calaveras and La Catrina, one of the most famous of the calaveras.
Bright colors are chosen to represent the vibrancy of life.
It is a beautiful tradition and not supposed to be scary.
A beautiful floral crown finishes off the look.
Once makeup is applied it's time for Teacher B (Blanca) to read a book all about Dia de los Muertos to the children.
Blanca is an early childhood development educator, and mom of two. We were honored to have her join us and lead the discussion around the beauty, symbolism and cultural tradition the holiday brings.
"Dia de los Muertos brings families together and enables people to reconnect with family and friends; to celebrate those that have passed and to bring their memory back to life. A time to reflect and remember their stories and keep our culture alive. These traditions are important to give the next generation a sense of belonging and comfort."
After the beautiful story, it was time to create the altar.
The pungent marigolds help the souls find us.
Baby's breath can also be placed around the altar if children have passed.
Candles and incense guide the way for our loved ones.
Water, salt pan de muerto, fruit and food loved ones enjoyed can also be placed.
Dia de los Muertos is a social time. A celebration of loved ones that have passed but also a time to gather with those that are here with us.
It is a time for friends to come together and share memories and talk about their loved ones.
Dia de los Muertos is a time to pass on cultural tradition and to share the culture with others who want to learn.
It's a time-honored tradition. A legacy you can pass on to your children who will then prepare their own altar with their children. The circle of life, and death, will continue.
After an amazing Dia de los Muertos, it was time to go home.
Thankful for the auto stop/start technology which helps with fuel economy...so needed here in L.A.
With my clothing racks full of Mixed Up Clothing, I was glad the Chevy Silverado had such a large cargo space and the spacious interior offering more shoulder room and rear passenger space.
Here's a video recap.
So thankful to Chevrolet for this experience and I couldn't do it without the help from:
Venue: Chiqui Studio
Education: Blanca Villareal
Wardrobe: Mixed Up Clothing
Videography: Mike Bowers
Editing: Richard Kang
All our beautiful models and their family including Zadkiel, Tiana, Niya, Soleil, Lucas y Luna. And their very patient family members.
Dia de los Muertos by Sonia Kang | November 03 2019, 0 Comments
Each year I learn more about the beautiful cultural tradition of Dia de los Muertos.
Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead, occurs on November 1 and 2.
A holiday steeped in tradition and culture originating thousands of years ago by the Aztecas.
It's when the living celebrate and honor those loved ones who have passed on.
A day rife with symbolism, Dia de los Muertos allows you to be creative and make something you and your family can build on year after year.
This year I was invited by Chevy to experience Dia de los Muertos in a new, beautiful and creative way. So let's get going!
The Chevy Silverado arrived just in time to start my day. On this day I was going to start to prepare my Dia de los Muertos altar. The altar is central to Dia de los Muertos. It's where you place your ofrenda (offering) to the loved ones you are celebrating.
For the Day of the Dead ofrenda (altar) you will need:
Marigolds, papel picado, glass of water, salt, food, pan de muerto bread, sugar skulls and clacas, candles, incense, photos and/or items of the person you're honoring.
I hopped in the Silverado and prepared to hit Downtown Los Angeles.
First stop: The Flower District for marigolds and baby's breath.
These flowers are part of Dia de los Muertos. Marigolds and their scent help direct our loved ones on their journey. Baby's breath can be used if children have passed on.
The bed of the pickup was so easy. Imagine my surprise when I had my hands full of flowers, I just clicked the innovative feature of the power-up/down tailgate button and the tailgate came down!
Now if you have ever been Downtown, you know that parking is limited and if there is metered parking, good luck squeezing in.
Now imagine you're in the Chevy Silverado. A beautiful, yet huge, truck so when I was lucky to find a prime spot in front of the Flower Mart, I thought, "great, how am I going to maneuver this beautiful beast back into the parking spot?"
Yes, most new vehicles come with back up cameras but the Chevy Silverado comes with 15 camera views. 15!! Sure the cameras are excellent for towing trailers, but this mama didn't care, I needed it to help me get into this parking spot!
I used the the surround view which provided a much needed bird's-eye of the truck and cars in front and in back of me.
The driver seat also vibrated on whichever side if I was getting close to something. It was as if it was saying, "ya mujer, scoot over or stop."
I wish it could have videotaped me parking because it was a thing of beauty. Smooth!
Once parked, a reminder on the display told me to check my back seat.
I didn't have infants in carseats in the back but if I did, this would be an amazing safety feature. Everyone thinks how could you forget littles ones in the back seat or that it would never happen to them. They wonder how one could forget a child in the back seat but, tragically, it does happen.
As a RN and mom of 4, I think this is a very thoughtful feature and kudos to an automotive brand trying to do their part in decreasing even one child from being hurt.
Leaving Downtown L.A in my rear view, I headed over the 1st street bridge.
Next up was checking out the iconic Self Help Graphics & Art.
From their website:
"Self Help Graphics & Art fosters the creation and advancement of new art works by Chicana/o and Latinx artists through experimental and innovative printmaking techniques and other visual art forms."
"...are an organization rooted in community; and since 1973, have been at the intersection of arts and social justice, providing a home that fosters the creativity and development of local artists. We establish international collaborations and partnerships nation-wide and create world-wide cultural exchanges."
Self Help Graphics & Art inspires youth and adults by supporting learning. They assist in building a solid foundation.
The classic Silverado frame and grill is part of the solid foundation of the ever recognizable Chevy icon. It adds to the tough allure of this truck.
Self Help Graphics & Art is known for its popular and free Annual Día de los Muertos celebration and many other culturally relevant events that draws over 10,000 people.
Chevy invited me to this experience at Self Help Graphics & Art. I attended a workshop that attracted folks of all levels to work in a variety of mediums as we prepared our Dia de los Muertos altars.
Beautiful and vibrant papel for paper flowers or papel picado.
Papel Picado on the altars symbolize wind and the fragility of life.
Kids enjoyed coloring the calaveras that could be used as masks. Masks are not meant to be scary but a form of connecting with the souls of our loved ones.
Outside was an area to create large calaveras.
Molded papier mache skulls were ready to be formed and decorated.
The finished products were stunning.
Dia de los Muertos is many things and has many components but what it is not is Mexican Halloween. Although it has skulls and bones, it is not anything to be afraid of. It's continuing the memory of loved ones in a beautiful way.
Once the calaveras were dried, we are able to place them securely into the truck bed.
I was worried about them being in the trunk with these big alloy wheels but the Silverado had good suspension that gave the truck a smooth ride. It's like they're laughing at any potholes on the street.
With the sun setting and my errands complete, I'm off home.
Tomorrow is a big day at Chiqui Social to bring all the ofrenda items I collected and made today and create the altar with my little friends.
GABBY DURAN AND THE UNSITTABLES by Sonia Kang | October 07 2019, 0 Comments
Thank you to Disney for the invitation to the “Gabby Duran & The Unsittables” Press Event.
My family and I were excited to see the new Disney Channel show starring multi-talented actress and music artist Kylie Cantrall.
"Gabby Duran & The Unsittables" is a live-action comedy series about Gabby Duran, a courageous and resourceful girl who constantly feels like she's living in the shadows of her uber-polished, successful mother Dina and whip-smart younger sister Olivia.
Sitting in the Lincoln Theatre, we got a chance to finally see Gabby find her moment to shine when she inadvertently lands an out-of-this-world job to babysit an unruly group of very important extraterrestrial children who are hiding out on earth with their families, disguised as everyday kids.
My kids laughed and were definitely entertained watching Gabby step up to the challenge to protect these youngsters and their secret identities, and prove she's the best babysitter in the galaxy. "Gabby Duran & The Unsittables" stars newcomer Kylie Cantrall as the title character, Nathan Lovejoy ("The Code") as Principal Swift, Coco Christo ("We Take the Low Road") as Olivia, Maxwell Acee Donovan ("Good Kids") as Wesley, Callan Farris ("Kings") as Jeremy and Valery Ortiz ("Switched at Birth") as Dina.
Writers Mike Alber and Gabe Snyder ("Kirby Buckets") serve as executive producers alongside Joe Nussbaum ("Just Add Magic"). "Gabby Duran & the Unsittables" is a production of Gabby Productions, Ltd., a subsidiary of Omnifilm Entertainment, Ltd.
"Gabby Duran & The Unsittables" premieres FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11 (9pm ET/PT) on Disney Channel and DisneyNOW.
#GabbyDuran & The Unsittables
Images provided by Disney
Tall Girl on Netflix by Sonia Kang | September 13 2019, 0 Comments
Ahhh high school! It was the best of times and the worst of times.
For me it was a continuation of trying to find myself and fit it. I was this African-American and Mexican-American mixed girl who wasn't Black enough for the Black crowd or Mexican enough for the Mexican crowd.
It was so hard trying to fit in.
Where was this Netflix Tall Girl film when I was growing up?
Tall Girl stars: Ava Michelle, Griffin Gluck, Luke Eisner, Anjelika Washington, Sabrina Carpenter, Clara Wilsey, Paris Berelc, Rico Paris, Steve Zahn, and Angela Kinsey.
I was excited to be part of the media and participate in the press junket for this film and learning that Jodi (Ava Michelle) has always been the tallest girl in school — and she's always been uncomfortable with it.
After slouching her way through life for 16 years and being made fun of by classmates, Jodi meets Stig (Luke Eisner), a seemingly perfect Swedish foreign exchange student who's even taller than she is.
Jodi's new crush turns her world upside down and throws her into a surprising love triangle, but with the help of her two best friends (Griffin Gluck, Anjelika Washington) as well as her beauty queen sister Harper (Sabrina Carpenter), Jodi comes to realize that she's far more than her insecurities about her appearance have led her to believe.
The press junket and fun rolled on as we headed to Duff's Cake Mix to meet one of the film's stars, Angela Kinsey.
You may know her from a lil' show called The Office but did you know her and her husband bake and have a Youtube show called Baking with Josh & Ange?
I got a chance to decorate a Duff's cake and chat with the talented actress about her work.
Director Nzingha Stewart’s first feature film, is a heartfelt and hilarious coming-of-age story about finding the confidence to stop slouching and stand tall.
I loved TALL GIRL and I this sweet way of telling the story of loving yourself...all of what makes you you.
Directed by: Nzingha Stewart
Written by: Sam Wolfson
Produced by: McG, Mary Viola, and Corey Marsh
FOLLOW TALL GIRL:
Your Family Adventure Awaits at Riviera Nayarit by Sonia Kang | June 30 2019, 1 Comment
Do you and your family want to experience one of the best vacations?
Of course you do!
Well, look no further than our neighbors to the South.
I'm so excited to share my latest travels with you so buckle up and let's check out Riviera Nayarit.
Just a few hours from LAX, the Riviera Nayarit is just minutes north of Puerto Vallarta’s International Airport, and it's "Mexico’s newest beach destination with 200 miles of pristine pacific coastline dotted with dozens of seaside coastal towns and pueblos boasting lush rugged mountain peaks, nature sanctuaries, golden sand, palm-fringed beaches, and luxurious resorts."
After a short drive from the airport, we arrived to our home for the week, Marival Distinct Luxury Residences. When I tell you this place is more than an all-inclusive, I am not exaggerating.
Resort and Suites
From the moment we arrived and greeted with a cool drink of choice, the elegant atmosphere.
And one of the most breathtaking views I have ever seen it is no wonder why Marival Resorts have a well-deserved reputation for amazing service, maximum luxury and all the comforts of home at this exclusive 4-diamond award-winning resort.
Our two-bedroom residence had a living room, dining room, kitchen, washer and dryer, fully equipped refrigerator and ocean view terrace.
For a moment, close your eyes and imagine this seaside resort surrounded by rich green beautiful foliage, mountains, white sand, and deep blue water.
Now imagine you're floating in an infinity pool overlooking the beauty of the beach. The teals and blues of the waves calling your name, and you've just floated up to the swim-up bar, where your favorite drink is just seconds away.
Pools, hot tubs, water features, you name it, Marival Armory has it.
So many choices but with exclusive concierge service, you can choose activities your family will love.
There’s lots of nightlife choices as well.
Just talk to the concierge and they can help you pick a truly personalized experience.
I lost over 50 pounds but when I travel, I don’t want to miss out on the local foods so I loved having a fitness center with ample facilities with a wide-range of fitness equipment.
Resort wear is whatever you want it to be. I lived in fun vibrant sundresses and
Bring your bathing suit, cute hats and sunglasses and you’re all set.
with ample choices for alternative dining, multiple dining venues, four expansive outdoor deck areas (1.7 acres!),
Check out all the culinary awards at the different restaurant options.
Tons of gourmet dining options.
The wait staff are personable and executed excellent service.
What can you say about a resort that offers various dining options, including room service, with a wonderful selection of breakfast items.
Save room for the exquisite pastries and desserts.
If you need time to reflect on the beauty of Riviera Nayarit, just walk out on your balcony or down to the beach and look to the horizon. There's hues of heavenly blues and lush greens all around.
Memories to bring home can be found on the ocean or on ATV's like at Vallarta Adventures.
I encourage you to head to Riviera Nayarit and make it one vacation your family will remember forever.
At Marival Armony, your kiddos can play in the sand or hit the kid scene. There's also a Teen area.
Their programs for younger visitors are exemplary, they'll want to return night after night.
I had a great time and will definitely go back. You should consider Riviera Nayarit and Marival Resorts...because your family deserves the best!
Disclosure: This was a hosted media event sponsored by Riviera Nayarit. All opinions are my own.
I'm a Member: The Network Niche by Sonia Kang | May 15 2019, 0 Comments
Second Act by Sonia Kang | December 19 2018, 0 CommentsSecond Act starring Jennifer Lopez and Leah Remini
Culture + Friendship Festival with Ford by Sonia Kang | December 10 2018, 0 Comments
When Ford Latino agreed to be a partner at our Friendship + Family Festival we were thrilled.
Producing an event of this scale is no easy feat. From all the driving and loading of supplies, the Ford F-150 was perfect in every way.
The new F-150 earned the 2018 Motor Trend Truck of the Year for the fifth time to score back-to-back wins for Ford F-Series on the heels of the all-new Super Duty capturing top honors for 2017.
We drove the F-150 back and forth to our venue, The Riveter. We were happy to learn that it's even smarter, more capable and features best-in-class fuel economy and towing. Perfect for everything we needed to pack up, load and bring with us to the venue for the event.
Did I mention all the class-exclusive technologies? All this plus new 'Built Ford Tough' exterior design and freshened interiors had my whole family wanting to join me as I drove it around town.
Mixed Chicks was one of our sponsors and we loaded up boxes of their hair care product line. There were major exterior freshening across the lineup including new grilles, bumpers, headlights, tail lamps, tailgate outers, wheels and more.
There were other wonderful sponsors like Milk and Eggs and we loaded all the totes into the back of the F-150 excited to learn they were chosen best-in-class. Their payload capacity which was 3,270 pounds.
On the day of the big day, hundreds of attendees gathered at The Riveter for a day of friendship and culture. We had fun with The Black Santa Company, then little models graced our runway wearing Mixed Up Clothing and two gifted singers performed for us.
Speaking of performance, the F-150 is a show-stopper. Motor Trend editors evaluated 2018 F-150 XL, Lariat, Platinum and Raptor trucks against the latest competitive offerings for design, engineering excellence, safety, value, efficiency and performance.
The F-150 truck had tons of power and we loved learning about the advanced security pack.
The F-150 is tougher, smarter and even more capable. They feature best-in-class fuel economy and towing, class-exclusive technologies, plus new Built Ford Tough exterior design and freshened interiors=win, win!
All kids are precious cargo and Ford knows exactly how to keep precious cargo safe. They have a safety program that is called “Abrochate por Amor,” which means “Buckle-up for Safety.” This is a wonderful program we definitely stand behind and support.
The new Ford F-150 further advances the light-duty pickup truck market with segment-first and class-exclusive technologies that improve productivity, efficiency and driver confidence, while keeping occupants connected to the world around them. Technologies include:
- New segment-first enhanced adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality is available to allow drivers to set a cruising speed. The system then uses radar and camera technology to monitor traffic ahead to maintain a set distance between vehicles – even following a vehicle down to a complete stop
- New segment-first Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection is available to help drivers avoid or mitigate collisions with other vehicles and pedestrians
- An available new embedded 4G LTE modem with Wi-Fi hotspot enables customers to connect up to 10 mobile devices at one time, virtually anywhere
- New B&O PLAY audio system is available, offering high-end speakers, sound and tuning for a richer, more engaging listening experience
Thank you, Ford and Ford Latino!
#AbrochateporAmor and #FordLatino
Visit Palm Spring: A Review of the Volkswagen Tiguan by Sonia Kang | December 10 2018, 0 Comments
Newly designed for 2019, the Volkswagen Tiguan is an ideal compact SUV with more room than ever. It has a simple but stylistic design is appealing. Test driving the 2019 Tiguan was a joy as well.
The seats in the front and 2nd row are very comfortable. The ride was smooth. As a bonus unlike other crossovers in its class the Tiguan offers optional third row seating. Although it compromises some cargo space I could see it coming in handy when driving all my son's baseball teammates around.
Inside I like that the infotainment system is a touchscreen. Less buttons to push. It also comes with Apple carplay and Android auto so you can connect your phone to the car's system. Music sounded great out of the car's speakers.
It was really a joy test driving the 2019 Tiguan. It looks and drives great. I always thought of the Beetle when I think of Volkswagen but they produce some great vehicles today. Go check out the 2019 Volkswagen Tiguan at your nearest dealer.
Visit Palm Springs: The BMW Experience by Sonia Kang | December 07 2018, 0 Comments
On a recent media tour through the greater Palm Springs area, I got a chance to visit The BMW Performance Driving School. This experience was unlike any other. Upon arrival, our group had breakfast and then we were ushered into a beautiful state of the art classroom setting where a professional instructor taught us about the vehicles we would be driving as well as vehicle safety. Following in-class instruction, we were seprated into groups and led onto the extensive track area.
There were several tracks we drove including a multi-configuration course with hairpin turns, high-speed straights and a 300’ polished concrete skidpad.
During the 1-Day Car Control and action-packed Driving Experiences, I got my heart pumping and adrenaline going.I learned a great deal at M School like how to manage sophisticated vehicle dynamics and serious seat time in multiple high-performance M cars.
Not only did I learn theory, The Advanced M School provided professional level road course experience.
As we ended the day and all I could think of was how and when I was going to makeit back to Thermal, CA.
Whether you’re on vacation in Palm Springs or looking for a unique heart-racing experience check out and experience the adventure of being at The BMW Performance Driving School.
Visit bmwperformancecenter.com for full program listings and calendar.
Call 888-345-4BMW today to make reservations for the BMW Performance Driving School at either our original South Carolina location or brand new facility near Palm Springs, California.