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L.A. Auto Show by Sonia Kang | November 20 2017, 0 Comments

Honda Clarity
Honda Clarity

Truth be told, there was a time when you couldn’t drag me to an auto show. It just wasn’t for me. My husband was the automobile aficionado and I just went along for the ride (pun intended).  

Within the last few years, my feelings have definitely changed. As a mom of 4, I wanted to know more about the vehicles I purchased and I wanted to share information with my family and friends.

I just wanted us all to make informative choices about the vehicles we purchased.

Now each year I attend, I feel the automobile industry has made many improvements and it feels very inclusive. A smorgasbord, if you will. From interesting panels, to interviews with the automakers, the auto show gets better each year and I'm sure this year will be no exception. 

I love attending because of all the fanfare surrounding big reveals.

The suspense is palpable. I have been known to incessantly walk by a car shrouded in secrecy with hopes that it will be revealed as a car I have dreamed of owning since my teenage years.

Everyone loves that new car smell and the shine on a pristine, never driven vehicle, that you get to enjoy if you attend the show.

I enjoy being one of the first people to sit in and experience a vehicle that has not been released yet. Every automaker tries to woo you to their exhibit and I'm totally woo-able. I'm really looking forward to getting a look at Honda's new Clarity line!

From the cappuccino bar to the yummy food and drinks, you'll need to pace yourself if you plan on staying all day. I tend to spend hours at the Auto Show. 

If the promise of new technology and listening to all the car safety doesn't quite move ya. Maybe hearing about steel will.

Yup, I said it. Good ol' steel.

According to the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) is not only proven and trusted, it’s the fastest growing automotive material for four years running.

So many great posts that talk about how Steel is Accelerating Innovation in the automotive industry but here are key takeaways:

  • Delivers exactly what consumers and automakers need – matching key performance targets, providing value to the consumer and the OEM, as well as being the most environmentally friendly automotive material on the plant.
  • Since the 1970’s, the number of steel grades has grown from a few to more than 200 - and new generations of steel are being developed to create even more strength and durability options.
  • The variety of AHSS grades allows automakers to use the right grade in the right application for exceptional occupant protection and durability

I am excited every year for The LA Auto Show which runs from Dec.1-10, 2017.

This is especially true this year because we are planning to purchase a car for our son. He always reminds me of what is essential. For me it's safety and for him it's the technology. Just kidding. That's me.

He told me to check out carplay so he can connect his iphone to the car system.

At the auto show you can try out and experience all the new technology.

There are simulators galore. It is the one place you can go and research all the cars from all automakers in one place.

For us it will be an exciting day of discovery and a one-stop-shopping trip.

I hope you make it out there and enjoy your time.

Let us know which vehicle you are most excited about checking out.

 Contest:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest rules: Entries must be completed by midnight November 28, 2017. No purchase necessary; contest open only to US residents; winners will be notified by email by November 30, 2017. Winners MUST pick up tickets in person at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Los Angeles Convention Center, 1202 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90015 between December 1, 2017 and December 10, 2017. Winners may be asked to provide identification to receive their prize. Prize value $30 per prize, not exchangeable for cash or other items. Grand prize value is $180. A total of 10 pairs of tickets will be awarded and a total of 1 grand prize will be awarded.

#steelmatters

#HondaLAAS

Disclosure:This is a sponsored opportunity through Honda and Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) but all opinions are my own.


 


Daddy's Home 2: an interview with Linda Cardellini by Sonia Kang | November 10 2017, 0 Comments

When Linda Cardellini walked into the room I couldn't believe I was watching the same actress that was in one of my favorite movies, Legally Blonde. I know, I know...but I love that movie. I'm not sure if I was quietly hoping she would have the permed hair that she was known to have in the popular scene where she's Chutney, daughter of the deceased character and was being questioned on the stand by Reese Witherspoon's character, Elle.  
Sadly, she didn't have the perm but she was so wonderful in person.
She walked in, heels in hand, and made us all feel relaxed knowing as a working mama she was just like one of us.
I enjoyed hearing her share about her numerous roles as an actress but no role was more important than her role as wife and mom. 
She was asked about holiday traditions which she finds very important to share with her daughter.
Linda also mentioned that even if they are away for Christmas, they make sure that they buy any kind of Christmas tree to liven up where they are. "Christmas is wherever you are because Santa can find you anywhere."
As a working mom who has to battle with mom guilt all the time, Linda commisorated and shared a difficult time that just occurred over Halloween where she was not able to be there for Halloween with her daughter because she was filming.
 She talked about how her awesome family and how they were able to be there and she could "Face time" with them.
She went on to include "sometimes I feel like I'm getting it and sometimes I don't.It kind of ebbs and flows. I'm feeling it the most."
She talks about being how "sometimes we don't know what we're doing and you can ask other moms how are they handling it."
 Linda's right, mommy-hood is an "ongoing process" we are all just kinda doing it and learning as we go along. Sometimes we feel like we "got it" and sometimes we don't.
I want to believe that, as moms, we are just out here doing our best for ourselves and our children.  
#DaddysHome2 is out November 10th.
A special thanks to the wonderful ladies and fellow working mamas at Boutique PR for the invitation to attend the Daddy's Home 2 screening and press junket.

Coco and cocoa by Sonia Kang | November 08 2017, 0 Comments

 

                                                    

No se preocupes/Don't worry.

Just because Day of the Dead/Dia de los Metros is over, doesn't mean it's over, over.

In fact, the fun is just beginning. You will get to relive the excitement when 

 Disney•Pixar’s COCO hits theaters November 22.

 

Here's the trailer

We cannot wait for more folks to learn about Day of the Dead as it is not meant to be scary nor is it considered a Mexican Halloween.  

 

What it is, however, is a beautiful holiday full of tradition. Day of the Dead is a 2-day event honoring our loved ones who have passed away. 

Traditionally, alters are created with such things as sugar sculls or calaveras, marigolds and colored paper decorating the alter.

It's about wearing special clothes, decorating your face, singing and dancing.

Dia de los Meurtos is about never forgetting your heritage and your ancestors.

It's also about cooking your loved ones favorite foods and baking pan de puerto with hot chocolate.

Take a look at the recipe provided by Disney.

Let us know what you do to celebrate the holiday. 

 


IMAX laser at the California Science Center by Sonia Kang | October 16 2017, 0 Comments

As a mom of 4 it's difficult to be everywhere all the time. When possible, I love to break up the kids and give them each 1:1 mommy time. It's important to my husband and I to try and provide quality time with them.

 

This Sunday was one of those wonderful days where my girls were able to hang with mom and dad, without their bros. 

We were excited to attend the opening of the IMAX laser theater at the California Science Center.

The girls were able to do arts and crafts in preparation for the upcoming movies. Ava made a hurricane using glue and cotton.

Bree was more interested in the huge yellow snake hanging on a brave lady.

We were ushered into the theatre where we learned a bit about the wonderful IMAX upgrades.

Then it was time to put on our 3D glasses and settle in to watch the first movie.

AMAZON ADVENTURE 3D

Discover the epic, true story of explorer Henry Bates' fascinating 11 year journey through the visually stunning and biodiverse Amazon rainforest as a young man who risks his life for science in the 1850’s.

 

Amazon Adventure 3D traces the extraordinary journey of naturalist and explorer Henry Walter Bates - the most influential scientist you’ve never heard of – who provided “the beautiful proof” to Charles Darwin for his then controversial theory of natural selection, the scientific explanation for the development of life on Earth.

Audiences will be wowed by the mind-boggling examples of camouflage and mimicry and inspired by Bates’ endless curiosity and determination to explore the wilds of nature from the time he was a young boy.

This was a fantastic movie that even the youngest of the children in the audience were able to sit through. My girls learned a great deal and loved seeing nature up close. 

They told me they felt like they were in the Amazon along with Mr. Bates.

Incredible feeling. It made learning about science and nature fun!

 

After a short "bio break" we grabbed a couple of bags of popcorn and soda pop and got ready for the last movie of the event.

 HURRICANE 3D
This is the true story of a 15,000-kilometer journey in the footsteps of one of the most devastating natural events on our planet: the Atlantic Hurricane.
 
Filmmakers teamed up with NASA to follow the footsteps of the Atlantic hurricane as it begins its journey as an ominous sandstorm in Senegal, heading west across the Atlantic building momentum as it tosses ships on growing swells, then crashes into the jungles of the
Caribbean.
The film’s main character and the supporting cast consists of the men, women, plants and animals that it encounters on its journey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 This film was as amazing as it was eye opening. 

With the timing of this release to the reality following the devastation of Huricanes Maria and Irma, it was hard not to feel for those left behind to pick up their lives.
As a family we have already been collecting items and donating to those affected by the latest hurricanes and earthquakes in places like Florida, Houston and Puerto Rico but this film brought it more to life for us. 
Both films were wonderful and we recommend children and families to attend. I also encourage families to talk about what they see in the films.
Encourage questioning and exploring one's interests in science like in Amazon Adventure and empathy for others facing natural occurrences like in Hurricane.
All very helpful life lessons we talked about on our drive home...to pick up their brothers.  

 

Giving back

From opening day, October 11, until October 31, the California Science Center in partnership with nWave Pictures Distribution will donate a dollar from each ticket sale for Hurricane 3D to the One America Appeal, to help hurricane victims.

Disclosure

This is part of a collaboration with California Science Center and Boutique Publicity, however, all opinions are my own.


Prudential: Building Financial Wellness by Sonia Kang | October 09 2017, 1 Comment

This is part of a sponsored collaboration with Prudential and DiMe Media.

However, all opinions expressed are my own.

 

Hispanicize is one of the best multicultural conferences I have had the pleasure of attending in the past. When I saw they were coming to LA and Prudential would be a partner, I knew I had to attend.

I was looking forward to talking with a Prudential financial professional and start a conversation about my personal situation and get moving in the right direction to become financially fit for the future.

I had an opportunity to chat and even interview one of the Prudential financial professionals, Paulo.

Paulo shared some the news reported by the Hispanic Consumer Market that provides solutions to help Latinos like myself to improve our financial wellness.

The report discussed how, for “Hispanics, the disconnect with financial planning is largely rooted in lack of awareness and familiarity.”

I listen to the report and thought, huh, that wasn’t my beginning. My grandparents, who helped raise my siblings and I, were really ahead of their time. I got to see them not only work hard but play hard. I also got a chance to see them save their money. I remember mi abuela bringing home coin wrappers from the bank (this was way before dropping coins in a machine like at CoinStar) which meant my siblings and I would be rolling coins that weekend.

We would spread out on the living room carpet and mis abuelos would dump all the coins they had collected which they stored in a Folgers can. We would then separate the pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters, then roll and seal them until all the coins were gone.

We would huff and puff when we had to do the rolling because it seemed tedious. When completed, my grandmother would take them to the bank and exchange the coins for dollars. We were awestruck by how much dollar bills came back from our work. They would give us each a couple of bucks for our work, which we saved for a treat.

My siblings and I laugh now remembering the stories of lost weekends spent sorting coins. Whether it was they joy of receiving 2 bucks as a kid or the fact that rolling coins is so passé now. But in reality, it taught us an important lesson in saving, even at a young age.

So what happened to me? What happened to that little girl, so full of hopes and dreams?

What happened to that young girl who grew up poor, rolling coins learning the beginning steps to saving money for her future?

Well, that little girl grew up to become a teenage mother of a special-needs daughter who had to grow up way too fast.

That teenaged mother didn't let her situation dictate who she was or who she would be. She went to a private University in the Bay Area and had to take out numerous student loans in order to pay the high tuition costs and cover living expenses for her and her daughter.

Fast forward, that young girl ended up becoming a critical care Registered Nurse and at 35-years-old and a mom of 4, wanted to change her career. She would become a social entrepreneur designing and manufacturing multicultural children’s clothing.

In order to start this next phase in her life, she emptied out her savings account, borrowed from her 401K, made a business plan and started Mixed Up Clothing. That entrepreneur/mom of 4/special needs mom/college mom has not been able to recover since.

So let’s go back to the chat with Paulo and the Hispanic Consumer Market Report which “addresses some of the solutions that may help to protect Latinos and those they love; work the numbers of a business/entrepreneurship; deal with budgets and investments; set up guaranteed income in retirement; and pay for college & elder care while saving for retirement. “

ENTREPRENEUR

As an entrepreneur, I started out with big dreams. I had a passion about teaching about multiculturalism. I loved sewing. I melded the two passions and started Mixed Up Clothing. For me, the clothing became my vehicle to teach about cultural diversity and inclusion. 


I learned that the report showed: “Entrepreneurs and would-be business owners are almost always passionate about their careers. However, passion doesn’t translate into cold, hard cash and funds are often needed to get that dream business off the ground or to sustain it. Here are several strategies to consider – and a few pitfalls to avoid – that may help to develop and nurture your venture. “ http://bit.ly/29wwJcT

I read about protecting the work of a lifetime and some pointers for business owners like me.

“Building wealth isn’t easy. But it can be even harder to keep it. In this panel discussion, three financial professionals explain everything from starting a business to money management and succession planning. In the end, devising a plan and putting it into action may be the most crucial job of all.”

For me, this means what will happen to Mixed Up Clothing if something happens to me or if I want to leave it to my children?

"Honestly, where do you go first when trying to develop a retirement strategy, evaluate your insurance needs or take steps to expand your investment portfolio? We’ve collected an entire group of interactive tools to help you discover your own path."

http://bit.ly/2bgPTRp

COLLEGE

As I listened to the Prudential panelists at Hispanicize LA, I thought back to my college tuition. 

I wondered how I was going to not only repay my own student loans but for my child who is an entering college freshman.

Prudential asks “Which comes first – paying for college or saving for retirement? This is a daunting question even for the most financially savvy. Here’s a quiz that can provide you clues on how to pay for college without jeopardizing your retirement savings.

http://bit.ly/1XnbOdV

Do all of the prep so you avoid saying “Oops! Too late. I’m BURIED in college debt.”

But if you’re like me then they still have you covered! “We’ve planned for that scenario, too. Click on the link below which will take you to an interactive infographic that can help explain “How to Stop Student Debt from Taking Over Your Life.”

http://bit.ly/2t2Kg23

 

Children

How can you help your children avoid massive debt after completing college?

When it comes to paying for higher education, Prudential says "use your smarts to figure out the best ways to end up with the least amount of debt before you send your kids off to college." 

 

FINANCIAL PLANNING

 Think you are too young to start saving for the future? http://bit.ly/2mykUX7

 Actually, the younger you are, the better. http://bit.ly/2neNJJq

 

 

 

ABC’s of Retirement Savings Plans and Social Security

70% of Hispanics in the U.S. have no retirement accounts. There are many reasons why, especially since retirement seems so far away in the future. In many cases, it’s not a lack of discipline, but unfamiliarity or unawareness of various options available for retirement savings. Here is a list of the funds available:

401(k) http://bit.ly/2mz0bqg

IRA https://nerd.me/2nkacX4

Roth IRA https://nerd.me/2y5JfNj

 

What’s the value of a financial professional – Do I actually need one?
There are so many of us who live in the moment rather than thinking about the future. Some of our self talk includes: “I’m not going to grow old.” “Why not spend the money I earn?” “I deserve to pamper myself.” That’s all well and good, until you want to buy a home, start a family or build a new business. Do you have any idea how to fund these ventures? Check out this video. http://bit.ly/29hLQ5Q

Funding a Multigenerational Household: Retirement, College and Eldercare
Take time to evaluate your strategy for managing two of life’s most important—and most expensive—financial goals: paying for college and caring for multigenerations without sacrificing your retirement.
http://bit.ly/2m5Bul1

I didn't know what to expect going into the Prudential panel at Hispanicize LA. It was eye-opening to say the least.

I may not be in the best position but there is good news and that is that Prudential provides interactive tools to help guide one through their financial life from succession plans to college because it’s difficult for anyone to know how to begin the process of an overall financial plan.

 To learn more head to  www.Prudential.com

#Prupárate #HispzLA

O'ahu and Disney's Aulani: traveling with 4 children in different age groups and abilities by Sonia Kang | September 29 2017, 0 Comments

 For me, growing up as a military family meant moving around a lot. My sister and I were born on the U.S territory island of Puerto Rico. After some time there, we were transferred to the Hawaiian island of O'ahu where my brother was born.
Although my mixed heritage is African-American and Mexican, I include Hawaii and Puerto Rico as part of my multicultural experience.
We left Hawaii and moved to California which I now call home with my husband and 4 children.
I love to travel and show my children the diverse cultures we share the world with and provide them with multicultural experiences.
We do many weekenders like local trips around California, Nevada and Arizona. When we have longer availability we hit New York and the Midwest.
 
Every couple of years or so we take longer vacations which include visits to the islands of Hawaii.
After spending a couple of vacations on the island of Maui, we decided it was time to visit O'ahu with my children and show them the island I spent time on and love so much.
I couldn't wait to go but traveling as a family of 6 is no easy feat. Add to it the fact that I have four children in different age groups and physical abilities. If not done right, you have the makings of a vacation fail.
*Side note: most of you know by now I write about different abilities because my oldest has special needs and is differently-abled so we need to take that into consideration. Also, abilities in this case also means sometimes the older children are able to do things the younger ones may want be able to do but can't (ie long hikes and jumping off cliffs)
Ya, right!
As a seasoned mama (read I learned the hard way) I try and mitigate any fights and tears while traveling by nipping it in the bud. Traveling with so many kids, personalities, likes and dislikes requires not only good planning, it requires family buy-in.
Here's my tips for traveling Hawai‘i with kids of different age ranges and abilities. 
1. Research
We had the children do some homework. They were required to look up O'ahu and write down some of the items, activities, and places they wanted to visit.
Here's their collective list:
a. snorkeling
b. fishing
c. Disney's Aulani (a given in my book)
d. Diamond Head (hiking)
e. surfing
f. beach (duh)
g. helicopter ride (not gonna happen)
h. see volcano/ lava
i. luau
j. trying new foods
k. Pearl Harbor
l. shopping
m. zip line
n. Dole Pineapple Plantation 
We took their list and found out which ones the all kids had in common and we were surprised they agreed on many of them.
2. Get organized
We then made appointments, bought required tickets and divided the activities into number of days we would be there.
Travel day- we arrived on O'ahu in the late evening so all we could do was check-in our hotel, eat and get to sleep to start off early the next day.
Full Day 1  snorkeling/ beach day
Beautiful weather and warm water made for the best day ever. Be sure to reapply sunscreen often.
 
We learned a great deal about Hawaii's water life and how to preserve it. Plasticware like straws are a big no-no!
Day 2  Pearl Harbor/ luau
Paying respects to the brave men and women who lost their life that fateful day when Pearl Harbor was bombed December 7, 1941
Spending quality time with the keiki at the luau
Day 3 Trying new foods/hike to Diamond Head/ shopping/exploring Waikiki
Fresh coconut!
An amazing view once we hiked up the extinct volcano of Diamond Head and climbed about 100 steps in the process. Start early before it get's too warm and crowded. Take plenty of water and rest stops. 
Day 4 Zip line and North Shore beaches
Amazing views! I had to really challenge myself but I'm so glad I did. Each kid was able to do this activity with the wonderful help of our tour guides. 

The "honu" (turtles) were magnificent, some larger than my kids. Swim with them but do not touch as they are protected species!
Day 5- Disney's Aulani
 “Aulani” means “messenger of a chief.” The whole resort is as magical as we imagined. 
We checked in early and started with a hosted breakfast at Aunty's Beach House for a wonderful buffet & character breakfast.
Beautiful views await you!
Welcome to Aulani from everyone's favorite mouse, Mickey Mouse!
Minnie came by to say Aloha at breakfast.
Shaka brudduh! Gabe loving it all!
After Breakfast, we changed into our swimsuits and hit the water and resort activities.
Water fun for all ages!
Whether it's waterslides, swimming or paddling, there is something for everyone.
Waterslides and lazy river got us hungry.
Snack time!
Mickey pretzels
You cannot come to the pineapple capital without eating a Dole Whip with pineapples from right here at the Dole Plantation!
So many family-fun activities. Moana was here as we made canoes and readied to race them.
When our room was ready, we cleaned up for dinner and evening activities. 
 
The suite was amazing. Full kitchen, washer/dryer, 3 bathrooms...I didn't want to leave. I was able to wash all our clothes (all 6 of us) before we packed for the airport. Can you believe I can home with all clean clothes? It was fantastic.
Day 6 Last full day Au'lani
My wahines listening to Hawaiian music.
Check out the Aulani daily schedule to make you don't miss anything.
Movie night on the lawn- Aladdin!
 
Follow their newsletter to catch the latest specials. This one is from Disney's Aulani's website if you're looking to go during the upcoming school break, O'ahu and Aulani sounds like a great deal if you can get there by December.
Heck, take us, we'll gladly go again!
Here's the special:
"Extend summer to December, for a whole lot less. Enjoy great savings on your Aulani Resort family vacation—with sensational offers when you book 4 nights or more during Aulani Mahalo Season—and keep summer sizzlin’!
  • EXTEND SUMMER FOR LESS WITH AULANI MAHALO SEASON SAVINGS
    Make summer last until December with Aulani Mahalo Season! Stay 4 or more nights August 20 through December 21, 2017 and enjoy savings up to 30% while you keep the spirit of summer sizzlin’!

    Stay 5 or more consecutive nights and save:
    • 30% on Ocean View, Partial Ocean View and Poolside Gardens View Rooms
    • 25% on Standard and Island Gardens View Rooms
    Can't join us for 5 or more nights? You can still save!

    Stay 4 consecutive nights and save:
    • 25% on Ocean View, Partial Ocean View and Poolside Gardens View Rooms
    • 20% on Standard and Island Gardens View Rooms

    This offer is valid for most stays August 20 through December 21, 2017 (excluding November 20-23, 2017). Rooms must be booked by October 24, 2017."
    Disclosure: Hosted buffet breakfast at Aulani provided by Aulani PR
Day 7 Dole Pineapple Plantation /Travel day home
More Dole Whip!
What an amazing vacation! I re-fell in love with O'ahu. I am thankful I got to experience this time with my ohana (family) and show them my Hawaii! 


¡Hola Mamá! by Sonia Kang | September 27 2017, 0 Comments

Baby Ariana Garcia, the adorable baby girl of Boricua supermodel, Ana Garcia, staring in her own campaign.

As grandchild to one Puerto Rico's most well-known producers and bloggers and daughter to one of Puerto Rico's most recognized curvy models, we knew baby girl Ariana would be a natural in front of the camera. At just one-month old, baby Ariana landed a modeling gig with Mixed Up Clothing, a children's fashion line dedicated to celebrating diversity and inclusion.

 

“I was born in Puerto Rico, so I have a natural connection to the island and the culture. Ariana was a natural choice for us to work with because we were already full-fledged-fans of the incredible work that Ariana's mother and grandmother are doing in Puerto Rico. From the day I heard of Ariana's expected arrival, I knew Ariana would be the perfect choice to debut our newest infant wear collection." Sonia Smith-Kang, the founder and creator of Mixed Up Clothing.  

We hope that Mixed Up Clothing becomes a staple in Ariana's closet, a brand that she learns about and grows up with throughout her entire childhood.

Update: Hurricane Maria y Hurricane Irma have hit my beautiful birthplace of Puerto Rico and they need our help. In support of our fellow Boricua Americans and restoring the resources of the island, a portion of sales from this item will be donated to United for Puerto Rico.

Head to www.mixedupclothing.com to support!


Celebrating Chuseok (추석) by Sonia Kang | September 27 2017, 0 Comments

Today we celebrated the Korean harvest festival of Chuseok (Korean: 추석) in my kid's Korean Immersion elementary class. Traditions are very important in our home. I am mixed Latina and Black and my husband is Korean so being a multicultural family and raising our children as mini global citizens to appreciate and celebrate their respective cultures is an invaluable gift we are passing on to them.

In all honesty, it is also a chance for me to learn more about my children's Korean culture. We learn from each other, right? So Chuseok  추석, also known as Korean Thanksgiving Day, is one of the most important and festive holidays of the year. Just like the American tradition of Thanksgiving, Koreans return to their ancestral hometowns to celebrate with their families to feast on traditional foods and rice wines. 

The origins of Chuseok 추석 can be traced back to Korea’s past as an agrarian society. During that time period, families gathered to enjoy time together as well as give thanks to their ancestors for a good harvest.

Other customs include paying respect to ancestors by cleaning their graves and presenting foods to their spirits.

Read more


Disney•Pixar’s Coco by Sonia Kang | September 22 2017, 0 Comments

  Family history is important to me. As someone who is of mixed heritage, knowing my roots from both sides of my family has been a life-long journey. My father's side is African-American via the West Indies (Trinidad) and my mom's side is Mexican-American.

 As a military brat, I was born in Puerto Rico, then we moved to Hawaii. When we came to California we lived with my mom's Latino family. We were introduced to the language, food, music and traditions. It is a beautifully rich culture and one I am proud to share with my children and my husband.

 My husband is a first-generation Korean-American born and raised in New York. Together we bring tons of culture to our 4 children. Throughout the years we have shared each other's cultures and traditions. From the Korean tradition of celebrating a child's 100 days of life to their 1st birthday or tol to the Latino tradition of 3 Kings and dia de los muertos, our children get to experience it all.

So you can imagine how excited I am to see that Disney•Pixar has an upcoming feature called Coco.

"Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel's family history."

 

Anytime my children (and multicultural children like them) can see their culture and history reflected on tv and in movies, is a win. I am happy to see Disney•Pixar’s Coco bring Dia de los muertos to life.
Although dia de los muertos is sometimes misunderstood and thought to be scary, it's really quite a beautiful tradition.
It's a where one remembers those that have passed away. It is a way to continue to honor our ancestors and share their story with new generations.  Day of the Dead dates back thousands of years when the Aztecs would honor a goddess that had passed away.
Today, it is a day to celebrate, remember, honor and prepare special foods of those who have departed. On November 1, in Mexico and in parts of the U.S, cemeteries are filled with decorations of papel picado (colorful tissue or crepe paper garlands with intricate, festive designs), flowers, candy calaveras (skeletons and skulls), and ofrenda (“the offering”, a table or altar decorated to hold the offerings of food and drink for the weary spirit guests).
As we approach Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) my family will start to build altars of our loved ones that have passed away: Raul, Big Papa, haraboji (Korean for grandfather) and sadly this year we add our beloved Mema Lu who passed away after battling cancer the beginning of this year.
 
We will decorate the altar with their photos and things that they loved. 
Although death is one of the hardest subjects to broach with young children, especially when you’re struggling to deal with your own sorrow, I have found comfort in preparing our home for dia de los muertos. We made it a festive, not somber, occasion to remember them, talk about them and celebrate their lives. 
We will wear our festive clothes, prepare pan de los muertos (bread of the dead) and invite family and friends over. There are songs, sayings, and poems that are popular on day of the dead. We will do a take on this and personalize it by writing our own poems, drawing pictures or coloring pages for them.
I know death is a part of life and I'm thankful to share the Latino culture of Dia de los muertos with my children. I'm so happy to see Disney bring our tradition into the mainstream with the story of Coco. It helps. It all helps.

 

 

#PixarCoco

#TestDriveParenthood:Child Passenger Safety Week by Sonia Kang | September 14 2017, 0 Comments

As a mama of 4 and a RN married to a Pediatric Critical Care Doctor, I take childhood safety very seriously.

-Every 33 seconds, one child under the age of 13 is involved in a crash, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

-Road injuries are the leading cause of unintentional deaths to children in the United States.

-Of those children ages 8 and under who died in vehicle crashes in 2014, 26 percent were not restrained by an age-appropriate device such as an infant seat, booster seat or seat belt.

-Children should ride in a vehicle back seat until they are at least 13 years old.

We are so excited to partner with She Buys Cars x Britax x Lexus as Britax Invites Parents to #TestDriveParenthood in Collaboration with Lexus.

In Honor of Child Passenger Safety Week (September 17-23, 2017), Britax and Lexus are hosting car seat installation demonstrations for expecting and new parents at dealerships in seven cities across the country:

#TestDriveParenthood Event Locations

  • Tuesday, September 19 @ 11 A.M. - 2 P.M.
  • Wednesday, September 20 @ 11 A.M. - 2 P.M.
  • Thursday, September 21 @ 11 A.M. - 2 P.M.

#TestDriveParenthood Event Locations

Tuesday, September 19 @ 11 A.M. - 2 P.M.

New York Metro: Lexus of Mt Kisco

Chicago, IL: Woodfield Lexus

Wednesday, September 20 @ 11 A.M. - 2 P.M.

Dallas, TX: Park Place Lexus Grapevine

Cincinnati, OH: Performance Lexus RiverCenter

As parents, we want to know that we’re doing everything we can to protect our family, especially on the road.

We are excited to partner with Britax, the leader in child passenger safety technology and U.S. manufacturer of premium car seats.

Britax is joining Lexus to host events at dealerships in seven cities across the country (September 17-23, 2017).

 The goal of these events is to educate parents and caregivers on infant car seat safety and show support as they enter a new stage of life with a newborn.

The #TestDriveParenthood program is intended for growing families who are making several new purchases as they prepare to bring baby home, which include a reliable infant car seat and a family-friendly vehicle.

Offering parents a combination of premium quality, safety and style, Britax and Lexus want to provide new families peace of mind that their children are protected on the road. Brand representatives will be on hand at the select dealerships to walk attendees and media through proper car seat installations, discuss key car seat and vehicle features and provide helpful child passenger safety tips.

“Britax understands the immense pressure placed on new parents today as they try to navigate what can seem like an overwhelming amount of baby safety information. By hosting these events with Lexus, another brand known for safety and innovation, we hope to educate new parents in a way that is convenient and supportive to them,” said Kelly Thomas, Britax brand manager “Recent studies have found that three out of four children ride in car seats that are either installed or used incorrectly. Britax and Lexus aim to arm parents and caregivers with the knowledge they need to make sure their children are secured correctly in the right car seats for their stage and that the car seats are installed correctly in an appropriate vehicle.

Join us this Thursday, September 21 @ 11 A.M. - 2 P.M.

Los Angeles, CA: South Bay Lexus

“These events align with our Lexus Difference program, an initiative in which our dealerships strive to build stronger connections and provide meaningful engagement opportunities in their local communities to grow appeal with women and millennials,” said Peggy Turner, Vice President of Lexus Retention and Customer Services.

 “We want to speak directly to new parents and go the extra mile to provide them support as they expand their families. We hope that they feel that Lexus dealerships are a place they can go not just to purchase a new vehicle, but somewhere they can feel comfortable and supported as they move through different stages of life.”

 Britax is Raising the Bar on Infant Safety with the Endeavours Infant Car Seat

Britax recently announced their newest arrival, the Britax Endeavours Infant Car Seat, which includes a steel Anti-Rebound Bar (ARB) for extra rear-facing protection and a European Belt Guide that provides a safe, easy installation without the base. Starting with the very first ride home, Britax provides peace of mind throughout the journey of parenthood. With the addition of the Endeavours, the Britax line of infant and convertible car seats offers the ultimate in rear-facing safety.

 The Britax Endeavours infant car seat (MSRP: USD $299.99) is designed, engineered, tested and built in the United States at Britax Child Safety, Inc. Americas Headquarters in Fort Mill, S.C. The Endeavours infant seat is currently available at buybuy BABY and select specialty retailers and will continue to be released to on-line and mass retailers this fall.

To learn more about child passenger safety and Britax, please visit us.Britax.com, and join in the conversation using the hashtag #TestDriveParenthood or visiting Britax on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

 About Britax Child Safety, Inc. (The Americas)

Premium car seat, stroller and accessories manufacturer, Britax intuitively designs, tests and builds all of its birth through harness-to-booster line of car seats in the U.S.A. using U.S. and global components. Britax engineers its car seats to meet U.S. and Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and makes significant investments in advanced technology, research and development to deliver safe products families can depend on. In 2011, Britax expanded its product line by acquiring BOB Gear, a leading manufacturer of high-performance strollers and stroller accessories. Britax Child Safety, Inc. employs more than 200 people at its headquarters in Fort Mill, S.C.

 

Want to win one of eight (8) Britax Endeavours infant car seats? How to enter:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Must be 18 or older to enter, US addresses only. No purchase is necessary to win. Void where prohibited. Must fill out Rafflecopter form.  

<strong>Must be 18 or older to enter, US addresses only. No purchase is necessary to win. Void where prohibited.</strong> <strong>Must fill out Rafflecopter form. </strong>

 

More information on the Britax Endeavours infant car seat, the Test Drive Parenthood car seat events and the giveaway on ShebuysCars can be found here:  http://bit.ly/2x0EOjm

 

More information on the #TestDriveParenthood program from Britax can be found here: https://us.britax.com/test-drive-parenthood

 

Car seat prize value ($299), prize cannot be substituted for cash or other merchandise and cannot be shipped outside of the United States; if you elect to review and keep the car seat you may not sell it and it carries no cash value; if you award one of the car seats from the demonstration your winner must be able to pick up the prize from you (ideally at the event); the prize MAY NOT be exchanged or awarded inside the Lexus dealership