• If you're a Latina who's lived in a city mostly isolated from all things Hispanic, culture shock can come when you realize just how un-Latin you've become.Rethinking what makes me LatinaRethinking what makes me Latina

    I've had the opportunity to live in three very distinct parts of the country. I've enjoyed the sweet twang of the antebellum South; the down-earthiness of the Midwest fruited plains; and the jaw-dropping natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. But other than a couple of friends or a restaurant here and there, I'd never lived in a uniquely Latino community until I moved to Miami.

    Miami, with its constant flow of Latin American immigration, is a city infused with the sounds and smells of the culture I grew up in. It was no longer the idea of Latin culture; I now lived deep within. Between the salsa music coming out of cars in traffic jams, to the tantalizing coffee smells emanating from whole-on-the-wall Cuban cafes, I felt like a kid in the proverbial candy store. But to my amazement, I felt awkward and a bit out of place

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  • By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

    Flan de leche y ron Flan de leche y ron

    Living in Miami you have the luxury of feeling closer to Latin America than in any other part of the country. With the blend of cultures, it is very easy to find a Cuban, Puerto Rican, Venezuelan, Colombian or any other type of Latin restaurant, and chances are they will all serve scrumptious food. I love a good Cuban cafeteria, because they simply make the best flan on earth. Flan de leche (milk flan) is a type of custard that is very soft and creamy but not overpowered with sugar. It resembles the flavor of a crème brulee, but it has a thicker consistency with a softly melted caramel over the top rather than a crunchy exterior.

    My sister and I found a recipe for this dessert I dare say is just as good as what you'll find in any Cuban restaurant. This version, though, is even more authentic with the addition of rum which blends beautifully with the caramel and milks. It may take some time, but all good things come to those who wait. And

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  • Sugar skulls used to celebrate in Mexico In this video blog I'll show you how easy it is to create a Día de los Muertos (or Halloween!) inspired nail art designs in a few easy steps.

    By Charleen Gonzalez for Shine Latina

    Just as we're all gearing up for Halloween here in the US, locals in Mexico are preparing to celebrate Día de los Muertos (or Day of the Dead) on November 1st; it's a national holiday during which family and friends gather to remember and celebrate loved ones who have passed. Among the traditions kept during this holiday are private altars created in honor of the deceased decorated with flowers, food and sugar skulls. Sugar skulls, with their bright colors and ornate designs, are the inspiration behind this beauty tutorial. Follow these steps to create a quirky and fun nail design perfect for celebrating Día de los Muertos, Halloween or just standing out.

    Step 1:
    Before applying any nail polish you will want to apply a base coat. I love Nails Inc. Kensington Caviar Base Coat, which

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  • By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

    Chorizo Potato SaladChorizo Potato Salad

    Back in Colombia, my parents hosted most of the family gatherings in our finca or farm. None of my relatives ever missed coming over to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and special holidays. To make things easier the day of the party, my mother would often start cooking the night before the gathering. Usually, if she made something ahead of time, it was her famous chorizo potato salad. The smell of the cooked chorizo was so irresistible that I had to steal a piece or two, making sure to run away before she caught me. My mom's ensalada de papa became a family food tradition, and we still make it for holidays and parties,

    My sisters and I recently cooked together and prepared this delicious dish; we try to make everything fresh, and make sure all the ingredients are cooked right away. Sometimes we serve the potato salad hot if we don't have time to cool it down, but generally we make it and leave it in the fridge for about 30 minutes

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  • By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

    Kid's Pizza al PastorKid's Pizza al PastorWhen my family gathers, they make sure to cook enough food to eat and take leftovers home. My nieces (four and two years old) enjoy our dinner parties to the fullest; they are always in the kitchen wanting to help out and get involved. They end up setting the table and adding final touches like putting cilantro on soups and decorating their own dishes. This is a great way for them to feel included, and learn about different types of food. They are more engaged when they help, and ask about every item on the table.

    Last week, my sister invited the entire family to have lunch at her house for some delicious roasted pork. She cooked it for six hours in garlic, Coca-Cola and brown sugar. Since we had a lot of leftovers we decided to make something fun for the kids. As we went through the fridge, we found tortillas, pineapple, cilantro and queso fresco (fresh Latin cheese). The flour tortilla made a perfect base for a kid-friendly pizza. We

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  • Avoid these five common myths, and improve your dental health.

    While dental care may seem relatively straightforward, Dominican-American dHow to keep a healthy smileHow to keep a healthy smileentist Claudio Miró continues to encounter patients, especially in Latin communities, who are misinformed when it comes to taking care of their mouths and teeth. Shine Latina takes a look at the five most common myths of dental health that are nothing to smile about.

    MYTH #1 "Daily brushing is all I need to keep my mouth clean and healthy."

    Brushing your teeth is the minimum need for maintaining good, oral health. According to Dr. Miró, daily oral care should always include the following:

    1. Brush your teeth and tongue twice a day-once in the morning and once right before going to bed, especially if you like to snack at night.

    2. Floss daily to remove plaque from between teeth.

    3. Use a mouth rinse, like Listerine, to quickly remove bacteria that lodge in the ridges of the tongue.

    MYTH #2 "Brushing my teeth with baking soda

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  • How to Meet Hot Men

    By Michelle Herrera Mulligan

    You walk into a bar, you see a bunch of dudes, and you….a) leave immediately, everyone looks a loser b) see a few prospects, but would rather just catch up with friends or c) Chat with everyone who looks employed, hey, you never know… If you answered a or b, you fit into the majority of mujeres we know. We get it. It's easy to get burned out on barside coquetones, after all, they're used to running their game on every hot chica they see, no? That's why you need to take control. Here's how to be the big player yourself, taking charge of how to meet the best man in any situation, no PUA lingo required.

    Related: 10 Dates You'll Both Love

    If you're at the bar/club...

    We recommend: Go for a lounge or neighborhood spot, much more likely to weed out the douche factor
    The approach

    1. See a muscly hottie who actually seems smart? Send him two drinks (one for you and one for him). It's sure to be cute conversation starter.
    2. Can't get a word in

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  • Courtesy of Alicia EstradaWhere are you from?

    I was born and raised in Long Beach, Ca. My mother and father were born in Mexico, so I'm Mexican-American.

    How did you get started in the industry?

    I started sewing when I was 16, just as a hobby. I'm so grateful to God that my hobby turned into a full-fledged business! I feel like I'm living in a dream world!

    What advice would you have for someone wanting to start their own line or business?

    Immerse yourself in fashion, learn everything you can about every part of this industry. Be a sponge, and never give up on your dreams,-you're going to make it!

    Related: 6 Things That Inspired Designer Emilio Sosa

    What were some of the challenges you faced in starting out and how did you overcome them?

    I never had capital or investors, so not having money was challenging in the beginning. But in the end, not having money was the best thing for me. It forced me to learn everything about the industry, like sales, marketing, patterns, design, etc. It

    Read More »from Latina Designers We Love: Alicia Estrada
  • There's no doubt that two-year old Gia Francesca, daughter of Latino celeb Mario Lopez and dancer/model Courtney Mazza, is the apple of her Daddy's eye. At only two years old, Lopez's baby is already a pro at working red carpets and live sets. Check out the top shots of this toddler star.

  • By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

    My beautiful mamita raised us eating lots of fruits and vegetables; Creamy Cantaloupe HeavenCreamy Cantaloupe Heavendessert was often just fresh fruit served with a tiny scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. My all-time favorite was cut-up honeydew melon with homemade ice cream. Sometimes my mom would blend the two together and make a creamy drink. The key was to always blend the fruit first to release its juice, and then add the ice cream to get that perfectly smooth texture.

    Today, I continue to make my mom's delicious recipe, but to make it my own, I add a touch of rum. This is what I call "Creamy Honeydew Heaven." It can be served as a cocktail or as a grown-up dessert, perfect for a night at home with friends. But, a word of caution- the sweetness and creaminess of this cocktail is so amazing that if you don't share it, you might end up drinking the whole thing all by yourself!

    Mango'rita mixes fruit with tequila for cocktail time


    (4 servings)
    10 oz. ripe

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