Tuesday, August 2, 2016

CHILDHOOD MEMORIES WITH ELENA OF AVALOR

This is part of a sponsored collaboration with DiMe Media and Disney Channel. As always all opinions are my own.
Last Friday I hosted a really fun party for the grand unveiling of the first Latina princess; Elena of Avalor! This was more than just a Disney premier party to me, it truthfully was a proud moment as a Latina. Not only because I feel connected to Elena in more ways than one... but because it makes me so proud to know that major names like Disney, take us Latinas right into front-row-and-center along with the rest of their very famous and loved Disney princesses. 
I set up a really pretty tablescape because let's face, who doesn't love a pretty and fabulous party? I know I take every opportunity with a "more is more" approach and welcoming Elena of Avalor into our home was no exception. We loved the movie, my son was very into too... I loved everything from the music to the back stories about Elena's family and of course her fearless, strong, bright and loving personality. But one of the things that caught my attention the most was the fact that Elena was raised in her grandparents house... just like I was. I swear that moment was everyTHING to me. 


I hold my childhood very close to my heart, I tell everyone, I had an amazing and most memorable childhood... growing up in Guayaquil, Ecuador in my grandmother's house. 
Would you believe me if I told you I grew up in a castle? 
I am not kidding. I grew up in Venezuela y Eloy Alfaro in Guayaquil, the largest city on the coast of my country. There stands to this day El Castillo de Espronceda, this historic castle was built in 1937... and my family lived in it for 20 some years. 
You can read more about it HERE. And here is a picture:
Those two balconies on the lower right hand side are where so many of my childhood memories began. So truly, this movie meant more to me that you can imagine. 
Living in a castle until I was 10 years old... raised in my grandparent's home... by a loving, strong, inspiring mother... along with a fearless, caring, humble and devoted grandmother who did everything for her family, until this very day. My grandmother is now 88 years old and she is the heart of my family, she is an inspiration and definition of what a leader is in more ways than one to me, to us, to my entire family. She was raised by her evil aunt from the tender age of 8, after her mother passed away giving birth to my grandmother's sister. And her life was never picture perfect... she struggled from that moment on. And I have lost count on the number of times my grandmother has told me her childhood stories, how she met my grandpa and how she raised 10 kids but to this day they are my favorite stories to hear. But one of the most recent stories she told me was about how she was a true boss lady! My grandmother managed cafeterias for big companies/banks her whole working life. She loved to cook (barely cooks anymore but we have all her best recipes!) and she managed to take charge of 3-4 cafeterias at a time, in well renowned banks in the city of Guayaquil back in her peak days. I asked her how she did it? She told me she didn't know... she just knew she loved what she did and always figured a way to make it work for her and our family. 
She was hands on in every details from the food shopping at the farmer's market (or la plaza as we called it) to the daily menus and even serving the CEO's, VP's and all the top people in these companies and banks who simply loved her. To the point where one VP actually had his wife shadow my grandmother so that his wife could learn how to cook like my abuelita... because he loved her food so much. My grandmother is my life's inspiration. As a blogger, self made business owner, I take pride in my perseverance, attention to detail, creativity, editing skills, but mostly that hunger to achieve anything I set my mind to... I take pride in that but in my heart I always credit the woman who set these standards and these traits deep inside my veins; my abuelita. 
I wish she could truly understand what it is that I do, millennials are a different world to her... but all of that doesn't matter. All that matters is that her heart, her strength and mostly her compassion and devotion to her family are the things that have made the most impact in my life; from my earliest memories to this very day as I type this. Abuelita, if you only truly knew what you mean to me... actually what you mean to all of us in our family. 
Because of women like my grandma and warrior-princesses like Elena I am proud to be strong, determined, loving and sensitive but most importantly, proud to be Latina. 


Don't forget to tune in for Elena of Avalor on Fridays at 7:30pm ET/PT or 6:30c on the Disney Channel.

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