International Women's Day should be celebrated like this...

Today is International Women's Day. (Who knew?)

In light of that, I think this video with the Spanish Novela Hunk, Rafael Amaya (La Reina del Sur) is apropo. It's in Spanish and he's "selling" a service called "Para Ella" (For Her).

He's happy to pick up the house, fold laundry just the way "she" likes it, dust in those hard to reach places, rub her feet, arrange her shoes, vacuum, and cuddle. Yes, it's really a fantasy, but that's not important right now.

Even if you don't speak Spanish, you'll totally enjoy this. It may be the best minute and 22 seconds you'll spend today.

Excuse me while I call Eric. "Hi Honey, have you read my blog today? (hint, hint)"

Eric and marta darby

Let the celebration begin!

Thanks to NBC Universal and mun2.

MY Que Rica Vida - or Orange is the New Black

So, Marta, what were you doing in Miami, anyway?

I was visiting family and meeting blog-friends and working the Babalú booth at Cuba Nostalgia and of course, celebrating my birthday. (If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you would know exactly what I was up to moment by moment.) But the real reason I was able to go, was because of the generosity of General Mills.

I was invited, as part of a group of 34 Latina mami-bloggers and tons of newspaper and magazine folks (ie. real journalists) to celebrate the re-launch of  their Que Rica Vida site and this was a promotional junket.


It was a press event like no other, (at least none that I've ever attended. Maybe they're all like this and I just don't know it, because this was my first big one, but that's not important right now) and General Mills along with Hispania Public Relations pulled out all the stops for this two-day party.

There was an amazing all-female mariachi band, Damas de Jalisco, which were delightful to listen to. (Female mariachis....who knew?)

They were just so impressive and had that gorgeously rich mariachi sound. 

They wined us and dined us and showered us with some SWEET gifts (Yeah, Flip Video Camera!)

The Que Rica Vida people treated us to a fabulous dinner the first night at the Rusty Pelican on Key Biscayne (along with lots of mojitos).

C& me & mariachis

Two Cuban blogging girls + a dozen Mexican mariachi girls = A Really Good Time. ;-)

The next night was the Que Rica Vida launch party which was crazy and fun with guest appearances from some of Univision’s top personalities like Javier Romero, and of course, the gorgeous Karla Martinez and the impossibly cute Adamari López.

Qrv event 

The launch was classy and fun and interactive. I loved the cooking demonstration with all the Univision personalities (read "supermodels).

And I loved their logo. Everything was decorated in these gorgeous, glowing oranges and browns (I was tempted to steal this pillow, but that's not important right now, either.)

Qrv pillow 

We got to meet and greet some other familiar characters.

Helping hand 

And Amy Kikita (dressed here as Miami Barbie) got to poke the Pillsbury Dough Boy (if you're her Facebook friend, you know she takes her poking very seriously.)

Poking pillsbury

But the highlight, by far, of all of this crazy and interactive fun was meeting up with the other invited "Blogeras." (<--is that a word?)

We (Carrie and I) were interviewed by Manny Ruiz of Hispanic PR Blog and a Papi Blogger in his own right. We gave him lots of Tiki Tiki, of course. ;-)

C & me interview

I am proud and privileged to be counted as part of this amazing group of Latina Blogeras. (<--Seriously, is that a word? Because if it isn't, it really should be...) I am in the process of collecting their names and sites to add to my blog roll.

Que rica vida peeps 

So a great big Thank You to General Mills for inviting us to be a part of the Que Rica Vida event. 

I'm delighted I got to go. But honestly, I'm glad to be home.

And in the morning, I'm making waffles!

It just so turns out that Bisquick is a GM product.  Who knew?  ;-)

I've got some stuff to give away, too:

  1. An extra Que Rica Vida mug
  2. A cool tote bag and
  3. A Betty Crocker cookbook that YOU WANT.

Let's do a comment drawing!

Tell me about any General Mills products you regularly use. Like, Green Giant, Bisquick, Cheerios, or maybe Haagen Dasz ice cream? (I'm partial to the Dulce de Leche one...) Leave your comment on this post only.

I'll choose a winner on Friday morning, June 4th, 2010 at 10:00 am.

Talk to me! Tell me about YOUR Que Rica Vida.

Jimmy Smits is Stalking Me.

Kikita here. You know, the Center of the Universe? =D

I'm here to tell you that Jimmy Smits is following me around Los Angeles.
Never mind that I live in Orange County.

Jimmy smits

When Mami and I were sitting front row at the Andy Garcia concert, we saw Mr. Smits come in the side door. (Yes, he IS a part-owner of the Conga Room where Andy was playing, but that's not important right now.)

So, imagine my surprise when I'm at the Willy Chirino concert and out onto the stage walks . . . You guessed it! Jimmy Smits! That was when I KNEW he was following me. (Can you blame him?)
AND he had a special dedication just for me. ;-)

Up and to the right

If you know me at all, you know that I have music in my blood. More "especifically," Latin Music.
Obviously, since Jimmy Smits has been following me, he knows all about my love for all things Latino and decided to make a documentary for me.
It's titled "Latin Music, USA" and there are two parts. (Because one part wouldn't be enough for a Gemini girl like me.)
He showed the following preview at the Chirino concert.
I was out-of-my-skin excited then and am just as excited every time I watch the preview.

Needless to say, Monday night I will be skipping "Heroes" and watching the World Television Premiere of "Latin Music, USA."

(I mean, it's the least I could do for Jimmy since he went to all the trouble of making it just for me.)

It's about TIME

Much to my Jonathan's great sadness, I read somewhere that Bill Gates only lets his kids play video games for about forty-five minutes a day.  And because even though we homeschool, I don't want my kids to grow up to be total Social Retards, (I know you were thinking it!) we have Gaming Rules.

So the rules state that they can spend as much time as they need or want on their computers doing creative stuff (ie. writing, making films, editing pictures) or doing research.  We have four stations set up in our office/studio/homeschool area and we can all see each other's monitors at all times (but that's not important right now).

But when it comes to the game playing thing, they are limited to 45 minutes a day, with exceptions occasionally on weekends.
That's right. 45 minutes.

Say it with me, "Because I'm the mom and I said so."  =D

Left to his own devices, this is how Jonathan would choose to spend his time:

So the 45 Minute Gaming Rule remains.  He'll thank me much later when he gets A Real Life. ;-)

[The show is called The Big Bang Theory. We saw this episode on an airplane and I still laugh every time. I know Uber-Geek Humor. =D]

Speaking of Cuban heart-throbs...

Before there was Andy.... (insert heart flutter here)

There was Desi... (sigh)


That's right.  Desi Arnaz Jr.  (be still my foolish heart...)

Proud and handsome descendant of Cuban Royalty, Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball (let's have a moment of reverent silence here - thank you). 

MY Desi. (heavy sigh) My First True Love. (in my 12 year-old mind, we were MFEO. "made for each other." =D)

THE Desi of my elaborate he's-Cuban-and-I'm-Cuban adolescent daydreams.  The would-be recipient of my Dear Desi letters (that I wrote only in the absolute privacy of my very personal pink-with-a-lock-on-it-we-all-had-one Diary, but that's not important right now).

Ah, Desi.... (heavy sigh.)

So imagine my surprise and delight when I received the following comment on one of my posts...


Love, love, love your Big Fat Cuban Family blog. Found it by accident and can't wait to show it to Desi.
Muchas gracias!

Amy Arnaz

Posted by: Amy Arnaz (Mrs Desi Arnaz Jr)


WHO??  And did she really say, "...can't wait to show it to Desi." ???

THE Desi?
MY Desi???

Feeling emboldened, I decided to send him a token of my unfailing love and devotion...

MBFCF cookbook for Desi Arnaz Jr. 

Sorry, Andy.  It had to be done. 

"The course of true love never did run smooth." 

~ Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream

DISCLAIMER:  Just to let you know that I'm not as stalkery as all this sounds, I've exchanged emails with the lovely Mrs. Arnaz and she responded with the following:

"Yes, Marta, please blog me and also send the cookbook!  And autograph it
with kisses to Desi.
  He'll love that!  He has taught me how to make alot of
Cuban dishes that he remembers from his father."

Emphasis is mine. And I am nothing if not obedient. ;-)

SHUT. UP!   =D

***ADDENDUM 10/7/08:

For the record, the Little Ricky seen on I Love Lucy is not the same person as Desi Arnaz Jr., although he is an incredible drummer in his own right - There is however, an amazing corrolation in their lives. Read that unbelievable story here.

My hero.

I've mentioned before how we don't choose to have cable and therefore don't get tv channels here where we live.  So, my kids don't get to watch tv (I know... poor, losery homeschooled kids... shut up.).

They are allowed to watch some movies, especially on our outdoor big screen, and certain approved tv shows. And yes, we do own lots of dvds. =D

So, tonight I was in the kitchen slicing up onion and peppers and garlic for dinner when I accidentally stabbed myself with one of my extra sharp kitchen knives.

I called out (or maybe I made a sort of in-human guttural noise, but that's not important right now =D) and Jonathan quickly came running.

"What happened, Mom?"

I explained about the accidental finger stab as I was putting pressure on it to make it stop bleeding.  It was a pretty deep stab and I'm a big baby, but I had my Brave Mom face on, even though I thought for sure I was going into shock and was already mentally going into an explanation to the imaginary paramedics before I slowly slipped out of consciousness... (okay, so maybe it wasn't that dramatic, but it was a pretty deep puncture.)

When I explained what had happened, Jonathan jumped into action.  He dug in the drawer where I keep the steel thing that sharpens my knives.  He quickly opened the freezer and plunged it into the ice cube bin.  He was reassuring me the whole time and telling me to maintain the pressure on the wound.

After about a minute, he asked to see the place where I had stabbed myself.  It started to bleed again and was still painfully throbbing. 

This is the part where I was left a little dumbfounded.  He reached into the freezer and pulled out the now icy steel-knife-sharpening-thing and placed the ice-cold steel on the wound. 

Cold metal on cut
Within a minute it had cauterized, was completely closed up and was no longer hurting! 

Amazing. Seriously. Just amazing.

I was stunned.

"Where on earth did you learn how to do that??"

He looked at me sheepishly and answered: "MacGyver."

I looked him in the eye and simply said: "My hero."  (and no, I didn't mean Richard Dean Anderson.) ;-)

Jon & Me


My darling blog-friend, Chantel has tapped me for the following meme:

Choose a favorite book or movie or television program
(wait! Stop right there..... I have too many favorite books and movies and I only watch tv when someone I know and love and trust recommends something that I then have to go out and rent because we don't get any channels without cable here in The Bubble, and because we've chosen not to have cable I depend on my friends to know me well enough to know what I would enjoy watching, but that's not important right now....phew!) and name the characters you would:

- Bake cupcakes for:
- Trust with the keys to my car:
- Put thumbtacks on the chair thereof:
- Have a crush on:
- Pack up and leave if they moved next door:
- Vote for President:
- Pick as my partner in a buddy movie:
- Pair up:
- Vote off the island and into the volcano:

My current favorite tv program is PSYCH (because Season 2 is now on dvd, otherwise I couldn't be watching it, so... thanks, Pam & Gene!) and there are only a handful of regular characters on the show, thus making this either really difficult or entirely too easy.....


- Bake cupcakes for: Henry. He'd be confused at first, but he'd totally appreciate the gesture once he got to know me.
- Trust with the keys to my car: Gus (aka Magic Head). He's the sensible one.
- Put thumbtacks on the chair thereof: Lassy. That goes without saying.
- Have a crush on: Shawn. (if you watched the show you'd understand)
- Pack up and leave if they moved next door: Lassy. That goes without saying, too.
- Vote for President: Chief Vick. I'm not being politically correct, either.
- Pick as my partner in a buddy movie: Juliet. She would, of course, be the beautiful ambitious blond and I would be the plucky Cuban comedy relief.  ;-)
- Pair up: Shawn and Juliet. (umm.... I think they date in real life anyway....sigh.)
- Vote off the island and into the volcano: Lassy. Seriously. It goes without saying.

The following 29 seconds will explain everything:

I swear, if we had cable, I would NOT have a life. =D

Who IS this guy???

It's going to take me weeks to digest all that happened over this fabulous Cuba Nostalgia weekend. I think I'll just give it to you piece-meal. 

So I was tearing around Cuba Nostalgia looking at booths and shopping with Claudia and trying to take it all in when I noticed a gorgeous domino table and a nicely groomed man arranging the dominoes.  What I did NOT notice was that I had stumbled right onto the Univision set, but that's not important right now... 

So I start joking with the domino-arranging guy about being a little obsessive-compulsive, which was probably the wrong thing to say considering I had just met him and what if he was OCD and I had just brought up a deep and painful subject? Besides,  I had no business judging him or mocking him. Heck,  I didn't even know him! But there I was with my foot lodged deeply in my mouth (you KNOW it's big enough!)  Happily, he was very gracious and talked to me for a few minutes (probably out of pity and thinking I had Tourettes, but that's not important right now, either. =D

So, again, I notice as we're shaking hands that he's too well-groomed (and wearing too much perfectly-applied stage make-up) to be a mere mortal like us.  Just then, the lightbulb goes on in my head and my synapses fire to make the connection (albeit slowly....) - "Hey! I'll bet he's a local Miami area TV guy!" Of course, I didn't know who exactly he was, because a) I'm not from Miami and b) I don't watch Univision ... but he said his name so smoothly and quickly and with a total Spanish-TV guy's voice, and somehow I still didn't manage to catch it and I was flustered because I realized I was making a big idiot out of myself, so I salvaged the situation by shoving my camera into Claudia's hand, smiling sweetly and a little shyly up at him, and asking for a picture.  (I figured appealing to his vanity was the only decent thing left to do.)

"Yes, Yes, of course...."

Really, considering he thought he was dealing with a lunatic, he was so gracious.  And I'll always be so grateful to........umm.....

this guy:

But, seriously now... who IS this guy???

Can I please get a little help here? Please?

Stuck in Telemundo

My mom's caregiver has taken some time off to visit her family in Mexico City.

Which leaves the homeschooling mother (me) and her recently unemployed daughter (Amy) to pitch in and care for the grandma.

Imagejpeg_23 So Amy and I are taking turns.
Which is fine.
I consider it a privilege to be able to be of service to her at this time of her life - she'll be 93 on Friday.

she has a passion for watching "tele-novelas."
In fact, I'm pretty sure it's some kind of federal mandate that requires elderly Cuban women to watch at least a few hours of these soaps every night. ;-)
Spanish soaps are shown every weeknight for 3 or 4 months, sometimes longer.

For months.

Until they reach their thrilling conclusion.

You can imagine what that would do to your life if you get hooked on a story line.
(Just ask anyone who religiously watches "24" or "LOST." =D)

But we don't have cable, so we have to go to her house.
Because one of her novelas will be ending this week.
And she CAN'T miss the ending.
And I get that.


Eric is on a business trip in Detroit.
He was trying to get a hold of me earlier and I didn't hear my cell because she has to have the novela at full volume because she's kind of deaf (which is understandable at 93).

"Hi, Honey. Where have you been?"

Laviuda4 Umm....

"I was stuck in Telemundo."  ;-)