Aromatherapy has been proven to help people through the senses of smell. I believe some of the calming scents have helped me with stress and anxiety. We see this in products for children that are listed with having lavender and for sleepytime and for mornings we see fragrances that have citrus to bring burst of energy.
I have always loved certain styles of essential oils and scents like candles, and lotions. I consider myself an Apothecary for certain bedtime bath routines from having children. Enjoying baths, bubbles and the calming effects I started created bath bombs. My children have always had sensitive skin, slight eczema and or easily irritated because of this now that I make bath bombs, they test them, give me their full report and I create it.
From doing this I have gotten request so I posted them on my shop and now on Etsy. Just recently I was given shelf space at the Valley Pharmacy & Surgical store in my town. This has brought me an overwhelming sense of joy and fulfillment to have someone believe in my family and our product.
Body, mind, sprit…
The scent of a woman, the musk of a man the part of our nose that delivers a message to our brain is life changing on this journey of fannytasticlife!
According to Harvard Gazette, Colleen Walsh says that “smells are handled by the olfactory bulb, the structure in the front of the brain that sends information to the other areas of the body’s central command for further processing. Odors take a direct route to the limbic system, including the amygdala and the hippocampus, the regions related to emotion and memory.
Scents that catch a woman’s attention in various studies range from vanilla, peppermint, sandalwood, pastries, coffee, lavender and cinnamon. Where as the scents that catch a mans attention are quite different and more complex for example most men spoke of a natural scent they liked from their partner or lily, rose oil, vanilla, vetiver, oranges, musk, black licorice, fruity notes, donuts, peppermint, lavender and pumpkin pie and jasmine.
The range for men tend to be tied to a memory while the range for women tend to be tied to a want. Either way I decided to create bath bombs that fulfilled the need of both and matter of fact all.
Affectionately known as FanBombz they carry whimsy of a scent that wont over power and create a headache and will soothe to and calm or energize. My research surrounded popular scents at first but I also discovered interesting factors about safety and awareness. All my bath bombs are handmade with ingredients that once in the bath tub dilutes and causes no harm.
The base of all my bath bombs start with baking soda, a starch (depending on the order can be milk, coal, corn) then I add my fragrance and oil mixture. This can be multiple combinations of essential oil, or just one. An oil for combining like Jojoba, olive, coconut, aloe, almond and mineral oil.
For different fun colors I will include a food coloring based on the product. Sometimes I add a texture like honey, almonds, oatmeal and sugar sprinkles, sugar and salt depending on the product. I use witch hazel as an astringent for the oil. Some ask for alcohol, and that I use only in a small amount but I try to not to include. Sometimes I add herbs and spices like turmeric or marjoram and others creating an Ayurvedic recipe that my sons doctor once told me to do for his skin. Water will take the bubbles out of the product so I try to keep the water amount little to none. I always list all my ingredients on my packing and advertising.
Sensuality is one of the request I get or questions regarding will this make me feel a certain way. Jasmine is an aphrodisiac and so is clary sage, lavender, sandalwood, ylang, ylan because they tend to be relaxers and stimulant in scent. Although some of my bombs like BottomLover, Fannylicous have some of these notes the sensuality comes from the person. I won’t guarantee that they will make you feel a certain way but you will enjoy the experience.
Spa time, is one of my favorite times. Pedicure, manicure, threading, massage … sign me up. Having a good bath is also on that list. Some of my FanBombz like Full Circle tend to have the eucalyptus need of a spa and Peacock for the lavender.
If you are looking for CBD oil, honestly the closest thing I have is Dr. Scholls Hemp Seed Epsom salt in the Cheech FanBombz, which is relaxing.
Affordability is also another question I get asked alot about. The retail at the pharmacy is all shelf priced. Anything Custom will start at more of a premium price because it is created for the person. I often offer on Etsy free shipping over $35.00 and usually I promote a monthly coupon for a percentage off a certain price.
Fun time is also a time for the kids. Some of the handcrafted unique bath bombs have a water toy for an additional level for the kids. I offer dinosaurs, princess rings, army men, unicorns, duckies just simple fun.
All the bath products are weighed and inventory is priced accordingly. I offer multiple sizes from the regular 2.1 ounce size mooncakes that can go from 4 to 8 ounces. I also offer a small version that is 1.2 ounces and if you are looking for value this is sold in a trio and would be the best value per dollar.
Most bathbombs after they cure have a shelf life of 6 months. After this period they tend to crumble. Usually you can break them down in a jar and use them as a scrub. I wouldn’t suggest mixing various scents because that can get funky. Also, if it has a strange smell, don’t use it. Like any product it should have a clean crisp package scent.
I always get told that people wish they had a bath but they live in an place that only has a shower. Well, because I have a shower a developed a shower salt called Indulgence Saltz. Same amazing scent with out the buzz of the fizz and frills. I sell these in a single pack or triple pack. These are great because you get the scent stimulation whether it is calm energy or relaxing vapor in the shower.
I suggest these products have oils in them and you should take precaution when getting out of the tub or shower and rinse off. You will notice how silky your skin feels. A quick rinse, will wash the residue from the bath and maintain all your softness. This is because the baking soda used in the mixture creates the softening effect with the epson salt. For those of you who use the Indulgence Saltz you will notice how sweet your feet feel.
My Shop is tied to my website and I also sync it with Etsy. Etsy will get all the products first, inclduing bath bombs, shower salts, soaps, scrubs. This retail gets carried over to my Fannytasticshop also. My retail at the Pharmacy in my town will be updated weekly.
The distribution and creation of my products are based on supply, demand and seasonal picks. If you see all of a sudden an items that is not seasonal and is uniques that is because when I receive a custom order usually a client will want two to four of the bombs, however ever for every batch I make it produces 12-18 bombs, and this is what gets carried over to retail.
I am so happy to share this information and I hope I answered many of your questions that I received from my BONUS podcast this week. Please reach out as I am so happy and in love with our retail of FanBombz and thank you for joining me on this journey of Fannytasticlife.
I want to take this moment to thank my husband who has been my biggest support and continued cheer in my corner, he is very modest and humble and would not want any shine but MUHA!
This is an emotional one… patience for me and thank you as this therapeutic voyage.
¡Jallalla! Hello everyone! (This word is both Quechua and Aymara, and apart from being a greeting it conveys a wish for hope and a fulfilling life). awesome ¡Qué chala! That’s Awesome Está pintudo. Thats Amazing! Bolivia, La Paz
When life was simple; Fanito trusted in her mommy and daddy to always have the answers and lead the way.
The stories from my blog and podcast are all from the heart and I hope they can inspire you. To find answers, determine resolutions. or just have a good laugh.
This story is not about my life but my perspective of my father Ramiro Fanor Alanez Melean, and his testimony.
Who he was through my eyes.
Have you ever met someone that although they had a hard life, they brought joy, happiness, and charisma to the time you spent with them? My father had a patience that he tolerated my annoying behavior and loved me the way I needed love from my father. He had a strong level of discipline, respect, and humor. He protected me, taught me to protect myself. Loved my mother in a way that let me know how I wanted to be loved.
He had funny interesting sayings’ that would catch me off guard. He would see someone up to no good and would yell to them “Caught you with the meat in your mouth” this was a reference that he would say to his dogs if they took food, I knew from being with him.
“Caught you with the meat in your mouth!”
He was and true artist, visionary, designer and musician. He loved crafting leather and making show stopping outfits. My mother would make dresses for us and paint. They would work together in out small 1 bedroom apartment on 11th street – in a passion of love and artistry!
My father was extraordinarily strong and tall to me as a little girl. He stood 5’11, 170 lbs. He would tell people 5′ 12″ 160… for whatever reason this made me laugh. I would say to him, “why not just say 6 feet tall?”, and he would respond, “well that would be a lie…”
He always kept his hair long and luxurious, my mother braided his hair, shampoo and conditioned it. This was their ritual. He was the one who combed my hair and taught me to take care of my ends, he would say, “Fanito, you split before your ends do…” it is these memories that make me smile.
“Trash don’t pick it up, don’t throw your life away!”
Family time with my father , 2008
My father gained weight later in life when my mom had gotten extremely ill, but he was still very handsome. Sometimes my teachers would ask me if he were single… shocked, I would roll my eyes, and tell my mother. Life was simple back then, but there was so many struggles he went through that I was not sensitive to, until later in life that we had a fight of a lifetime over a human, and his rights.
“…But do you love me…”
He would sing so beautifully. He on guitar, my mother the piano, me the drums and my sister dancing.
“Sharp, in my suit and fierce is my knife”
Always a smooth cat, he would say, “Alley cat” he would always dress for the occasion with whatever he had. Ask me about a good jacket, fedora, and pump – my dad would check to make sure we were “…ironed, presses and pushed pause on the evil eyes.” his words.
In 2008, my father was living with me in Brooklyn, NY. I had my first son, and he would travel to Manhattan to pick up his granddaughter (my sisters’ daughter) from school and bring her to her grandma’s house (her dads’ mom) each day. My sister had gotten him an unlimited MetroCard where she would refill, and he always had a way to travel within the city. He was a widower and retired worker. It was in this time he was being a grandfather and enjoying his later years. On one instance in the beginning of 2009, he was traveling on a Friday to do his usual route to pick up his granddaughter. He never arrived.
We all were worried; he did not answer his phone or contact us. In this period in his life, he was not his usual healthy, fast, and strong papa. He was older with a bad back that he had just had an operation on from a slip and fall, and he had a bad liver, bad arm and in medicine. We were extremely concerned for his safety and wellbeing.
Friday evening, I received a call that my father had been arrested and was at Rikers in New York. The officer explained that it was a mistake. A group of young adults jumped the turnstile on the G line in the transit system and the transit police did a sweep and arrested all that was there. He then said the following: “Unfortunately, your father was there and because it is a Friday, he won’t be released until Monday.”
I went on Monday to get him and they told me that ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) had picked him up. Now, he was at Varick. I tried to understand why, and they said because he is not a citizen, any crime that violates moral turpitude is instant deportation. My sister called everywhere, and we constantly ran around.
I explained his legal status and right to be in this country, I explained it was a wrongful arrest. They seemed relieved and gave me paperwork to take to the other precinct in Brooklyn and have them fill it out for his release. I could not believe how simple it seemed, so I ran over to Brooklyn and spoke to the arresting officer. He refused to fill out the paperwork, because he had said that he needed to make a quota. I spoke to his sergeant and they all admitted that it was “Unfortunate,” but their hands were tied.
After a couple of hours, I left and headed to Varick street to see my father. They would not let me see him and asked for his passport, declaration of his country of origin and followed those demands with the threat that he would be deported to either his country with the documents or Mexico without. It just so happens that I was studying Immigration Law, and I proclaimed that not only was I his daughter an American Citizen with the right to claim him, but I was also his advocate and legal representation. It was in that moment they allowed me to see my father. He seemed physically shaken and slightly roughed up. He was in an orange jump suit, which should have been light blue to signify the alleged crime. I insisted that he needed a new jumpsuit, commissary, and the right for visitation. They agreed to visitation on the spot but said because he was not a citizen that the constitution did not apply to him. My sister and I acted quickly, reaching out to get a petition, a bill in his name, to everyone that we could.
The next day I went to see him, and he was moved to New Jersey, then Pennsylvania, than Delaware and finally Brownsville, TX. It is there where he stood for the next year. As we fought and were not entitled to see him. He could only call us and at the time we did not know that his calls were recorded.
One day a nurse from Brownsville called me and told me that my father was in her infirmary. He was beaten by a guard and raped. She said she was afraid for her life and that she warned us to be careful that we told him anything. The next phone we got was from an officer in Florida, she said that she was his assigned detaining officer. Through her travel from Texas to Florida, she felt horrible and wanted to help him. He was not entitled to contact anyone, so she called from her cell phone to alert us that he was being deported in 15 minutes. Nothing we can do.
F1 Student Visa
At the young age of 15, Ramiro Fanor (Fanor), who was born in La Paz, Bolivia and resided there with his mother Guillermina (Guiche), father (Walter) and three siblings Olga, William, and Tico. Loved their life, their father a politician who was quite established and wealthy for that community and time. Fanor’s, father was trying to control a potential revolution in a campaign to unseat that current President and in that uproar, he was unfortunately assassinated by the town center hall. In fear of threats that were coming to her family, Guiche wanted to flee to Cochabamba, Bolivia. In the midst she was able to attain an F1 Students Visa for young Fanor to travel to the United States for an education legally. He arrived in the US and would often correspond with his mother via mail or a monthly call to let him know what he was doing and how well he was progressing in his education.
Legally in the United States he was able to establish himself where he finally met Shari Sue Gerloven, where they had three children. Sam who passed away after birth, Willamina and Fanny. They lived together in the Lower East Side of New York City. Although they married, Shari was unable to sponsor Fanor to be a citizen because she was disabled and needed to show that she was able to provide for him. However, he was approved for amnesty through the incident prior to his arrival. He collaborated with a lawyer to grant the Amnesty but through malpractice the lawyer took advantage of Fanor and never filed his paperwork. The lawyer received payment through barter. Fanor would work on constant project in his home to pay the retainer. When the projects were finally complete from the years of 1988 to 1997. The lawyer admitted to never doing the application.
Unfortunately, Shari passed away in 2000 and it was at that point a new law had passed that granted him Widowers status. He was grandfathered into this law that allowed him a stay without Citizenship and he was invited to apply for Citizenship if he wanted to. At that pint he was grieving from the loss of his wife and in 2008 decided he wanted to file. Sadly, he was picked up prior to filing and wrongfully arrested.
In 2011, Fanor was deported from Florida to Bolivia at the age of 62. After legally arriving, residing, and adapting to the United States and becoming a legal resident for forty-seven (47) years. My sister and I ran to Bolivia to be present for our father. The reuniting was bittersweet and heart wrenching, having to leave out children and families to be there and finally having to leave our father to return home. My sister was pregnant with her third baby and my baby was not even ten months old.
Life after deportation.
He finally was able to find his family, his mother, my grandmother Guiche laid in her bed unable to move. After we left, she died but, in his care, and love. He was tortured in detainment and seemed happy that he was able to find any sort of humanity.
“We may be apart but we are still on earth together.”
In La paz, Bolivia, with our father after three years.
We made many trips all over the next decade to see one and other in Ecuador, Dominican Republic and once even met in Columbia. The Dominican Republic trip was special because it was a resort where we not only reunited his children, grandchildren but relaxed in a beautiful place.
His mother while he was in the United States always paid his taxes and maintained his information in Bolivia. When he arrived, they knew where he had been, and he was able to not have any political issues as well as attain retirement. He was also the name deeded to his mother’s land. As a property owner he had interest, rights, and other benefits.
Ready to come home.
Reaching out to the homeland security, many immigration offices, and other agencies to confirm when my father could return was a tedious process that had to be done many times. In 2017, I had spoken with a woman who looked at the status of ICE and his overall file and said he has no ban that is active. As she mentioned, he can file for a tourist visa, she said that while he was detained his file was updated that showed previous amnesty application and currently widowers act (particularly 5 U.S. Code § 8442) had been applied. She suggested that if we applied for a travel visa he can come and stay for up to six months and renew yearly she also mentioned he can plan to be sponsored by one of his daughters and gain citizenship. My sister and I were overjoyed and started talking and discussing next steps.
I called my father and could not get a hold of him. I wasn’t sure what was going on. I would speak to him every day or about at 11:15. He would call me 10:15 his time 11:15 my time as those numbers held a lot of love in our hearts. My mother’s birthday was 10/15 and we often symbolized these numbers in remembrance of her.
Weeks were beginning to pass, and I could not get in touch. I tried contacting everyone in Bolivia, including police, hospitals, and any family that would speak to me. It was not until my sister went on a trip with her family for her daughters sweet 16, that we unfortunately could not attend and stayed home that I finally received a call.
At first, I was excited and wondering what my dad was up to and why he had not called, completely unlike him. I also wanted to share the good news of his granddaughter and of the status. It was not him; it was my cousin. Who is brother’s son that told me to call his dad and that it was important? My family stretches all over the globe and I had wished that we had tighter connections so to get this call was strange as I normally did not speak very often to some of my family but wish that our relationship was tighter and stronger. I called my uncle, while sitting in the back of porch of my house. He answered, the call started and he greeted me like he always did. “Hola, Chiquitita Fanito, how are my little love?” His voice was so tender, all of a sudden I could hear his breath, he was upset, I could hear the wind, My in-laws looked at me with curiosity and he said as time froze in that instance, “my love I am sorry to tell you this but your father has died” I could not breath/ He then stated ” he had a heart attack that was Anemia induced” … I choked and screamed so loud; I can feel my heart pounding now typing this. “This is not true, Tio…please… I have plans… he is coming… we made arrangements…please stop, this is not true…put him on the phone” … I looked to my Mama (mother-in-law) and Papa (father-in-law) and said, “help me, please help.”
I could not believe this and my sister I could not call her. My husband and I and all cried… why? Later his family in La Paz and Cochabamba told me it was lies and that he was murdered or held as a prisoner for the land. One cousin checked all the hospitals and said it is not true he has been kidnapped. I could not believe or know what to believe… unfortunately to this day.
Light in our heart.
We gathered at his favorite church and spoke to all who would listen to the testimony regarding his life, who he was and how he would have wanted to be remembered.
Though your heart is aching.
To all: He also loved his family; I really should mention he often spoke about his nephews and nieces and cousins. He loved them and would ask me every day to make sure you tell my Matty, Joey and Baby Jessy that we will be silly again. How is my Susie he always said. He also would say do not forget to send a mail on the line (yes, he did) to my nephew and niece on the face program on my phone. In his way he wanted to stay connected to his family. He would ask if I saw or spoke to his friends, Doug, Joaquin, Darlene, and if I go to 11th street make sure to give Pocholo a hug and Daisy, her son Mike and the block as they are family. He often mentioned Takia and said – I wish I can hear her smile. His heart was huge and always taking in new friends and loving old ones. Certain friends we grew up with he would tell me was his children because he wanted them to have love and certain family he constantly mentioned like Angelina, Milqueza, Mireya, Mireya, Nadia, Jamal, CJ, Cynthia, Kitty, Diego, Leslie, Suhad and all. He would tell me that my husband was an amazing man, and he loved his brother like his own son, his Ruby and his gorgeous wife and family. He also mentioned that he loved his new best friend Pepe (my husband uncle). He also mentioned to make sure to check on Mama Olga, my sister’s mother-in-law. He wanted me to always call her, especially on her birthday. Her daughter Jolly he said was gorgeous and her husband Tone was his man (close friend) and they had beautiful children. He always gave compliments that he felt and meant, he loved so hard with his heart in one hand and sword of valence in the other. I have so many testimonies of his but for these I hope touches and inspires.
To his grandchildren: Your grandfather spoke about you every day. He loved you more than you can ever imagine. He was in pain that he could not hold you and love you and play with you and be your grandfather. Do not let any day pass that you feel sad because he would then tell you “smile, though your heart is aching, even though it is waking.” he loved to quote music lyrics and often would insert in many moments of conversation, remember him and fill your heart always.
To my sister: We were loved. We had the best father one could ever desire. He went into battle for us. Not only did he teach us that he loved our mother and he taught us that he worshipped our mother. Our father loved you very much and always spoke of you highly. Please dont ever forget his love and always tell his stories like we do to keep his memory alive. I love you and pray each day for him and our family!
The only thing that has brought me peace is that he was reunited with my mom, his son, and mother… But I had no answers to give. Thank you for joining me on this journey of Fannytasticlife.
Thank you to the community of listeners and supporters for keeping me going it is appreciated and any donation or purchase of our products and services helps. Below is the Chiquitita shirt if you want to check it out.
Little Fanny who her dad called her Fanito with her Llama hair Pancho that her Guiche (grandmother) sent. When she would frown her father would sing to her Chiquitita by Abba to cheer her up…
¡Jallalla! Hello everyone! (This word is both Quechua and Aymara, and apart from being a greeting it conveys a wish for hope and a fulfilling life). awesome ¡Qué chala! That’s Awesome Está pintudo. That’s Amazing! Bolivia, La Paz
The legal definition of Moral Turpitude, gross violation of standards of moral conduct,vileness, such that an act involving moral turpitude was intentionally evil, making the act a crime. The existence of moral turpitude can bring a more severe criminal charge or penalty for a criminal defendant. For an immigrant this means immediate deportation.
An arrest is deemed wrongful when a person is detained and wrongfully convicted by police without proper legal authority.
You may have heard my dog barking in the background, which I pretend to not notice. I am a mom, a mom of three boys, two dogs, two turtles, one fish and a partridge in a pear tree.
We got Coco back in 2014, he was a sweet little Bichon Frise who started to show, little by little his wicked side. Cute, silly and wicked always plotting. He was pretty smart for example. He always seems to know things and how to communicate. I honestly feel that he speaks fluent mommy as when I talk to him he reacts. he can also be very demanding as he will slam his water down or insist on being a nudzh he gets that from me.
During the pandemic like many other people, with empty activities and time to sit still, we adopted a puppy\, changed his name to Ginger Snap and never looked back. He was super tiny, and they told us he was the runt of the litter. He would probably be very small. However, his paws were huge and that is a tell tell sign of big things to come. Ginger grew so fast it was shocking. So did his hunger, energy and poop… it felt like aprade clearing hourly. He loves to play and play and did I mention… perhaps … play. His energy was amazingly fierce, strong and determined. He needs to be walked two miles in the morning and night. When it started to get cold, we had to do more activities in the house.. oy vey… thank god we have energetic children.
The sneaky silent type… who creeps up on you, and tangle your feet but affectionate loves to get scratched and snuggled and like a cat scurries away.
They are pretty funny and loving always loyal and although my nose does tickle, my allergy pill will help me year round. They make it worth it and now I need to clean more than usual. So, you will always see a mop not to far away and ready to go.
Beyond spunky, this little pup came into our lives and when we received him he was truly the runt of the litter. .. Now, he is almost a year old and he is as big as a horse.
Some happy moments that are worth the mention. With this year the light of life, family, simple joy is what brings happiness to us. Getting back to the important factors of life!
We made some fun videos on TikTok (above) of them check it out it is bubbly like them. Do not forget to check out the podcast (below), you won’t be disappointed.
Special shout out to my boy Jeff V from 21Q Alumni for his encouragement on the pets edition in this journey of Fannytasticlife!
Our Elf is very interesting… Let me tell you the story.
Twas the night before last and all through the past. Something was lacking but the family had a strong foundation, support and backing. Knowledge was power, love was abundant… and a new member was about to make triumphant. She came on the North winds and ready to deliver the messages from a jolly big guy with cheeks of cherry and a laugh of merry… and then… our story begins.
It is very new to me; I mean I have celebrated Holidays in the winter, but I am new to some of these traditions.
By now through all my story telling I have given testimony about my three growing boys and that I love them so much. I also, need to keep up with what is going on, with their friends, or town, our community, my friend’s social media regarding holiday traditions. This is to make sure that my kids feel a part of the overall group and although some of our traditions are ours, they also compliment with others.
Growing up my mother always included many Jewish customs and cultural events like Hanukkah and the festival of lights and the actual candle lighting. Many different things she taught us that we needed to do, including prayers, the dreidel, gelt. My grandfather “Grampy” reinforced it with the stories of the shtetls of Eastern Europe, which was really more of a gratuity to the workers and their families. Grampy, would give my sister and I, forty dollars each, which was five dollars for each day. This probably was more than what was paid in the shtetls and it was a fortune to us. I Kept this tradition with my children and in their gelt bundle, which I always include the chocolate.
“I have given testimony about my three growing boys and that I love them so much. I also, need to keep up with what is going on, with their friends, or town, our community, my friend’s social media regarding holiday traditions.”
My father who is Catholic, celebrated Three Kings Day. He often didn’t celebrate Christmas as he mentioned it was a Christian holiday not necessarily Catholic in his opinion and what he learned from his country and church in Bolivia, South America. Kings day is also known as the Epiphany, it is the feast that celebrates the revelation of God incarnation as Jesus Christ. This is in the beginning of January. It is also known as the Baptism of Jesus, Three Kings Day, Denha, Little Christmas, Theophany, Timkat, Reyes; just in case you have heard of it.
Around the time, I was a little girl, we would have a Christmas tree sometimes, but we really did not understand the purpose. I guess you can say that it was not until I had turned twelve years old that we really did partake in having a tree. That was because my mother became a born-again Christian and she started to incorporate the tree into our home annually.
My mom was very sick and being ill for the majority of my life, oftentimes it would break my heart because she always needed my help and I felt I couldn’t help her enough. It was in this part of her life that she also started going to Buddha prayers in Central Park, regularly attending Baptist ceremonies and attending as a guest at the Baptist Church, she also increased her visits to The Church of the Immaculate Conception, which my father loved on 14th Street in Manhattan. She continued to go to the Town & Village Synagogue, which we called temple. She did this, because she was extremely sick and she wanted comfort, comfort to know that she was going to be alright.
My husband’s family celebrates Christmas at midnight by placing baby Jesus in the manger. The first time I saw this I thought it was so beautiful. Then they give presents to each other. I am a person who loves to learn and when I saw this in their home, I wanted to understand the tradition, Mama (my husband’s mother) explained that this was a religious day and how her family celebrated with her Church.
The way they had so much emotional joy on this day and in this hour, gave me such insight and a new perspective.
When I became pregnant and had my first son, I decided to take catechism classes. Catechism is a religious education; it outlines the principal tenets of the faith. I made a decision that I wanted to baptize my son, but I was never baptized or bat mitzvah. I needed to fulfill the sacrament to move forward; and I did. The sacraments are religious ceremonies that are as imparting divine grace, such as baptism, the Eucharist (confirmation), reconciliation known as confession or penance, anointing of the sick, marriage and the holy orders.
Started to study the first book or the five testaments and then I read the Torah and Koran, to compare as my mother was fluid in this biblical language. although, you will not hear me recite and quote from these books they are parallel and have taught me a great deal of compassion. I bet you are wondering how this relates to the holiday… it does because the essence here are the miracles; I got that point but I was missing something and it wasn’t my faith.
Our traditions were a combination of so many things. I was not too savvy with the holiday commercial fashions of our times in regard to Christmas celebration. Although I tried to decorate and figure things out, I knew I had joy, happiness, faith, appreciation, and miracles but what could it be. I just could not figure that out.
One holiday my oldest son came home upset. He told me that he did not have Christmas spirit. I asked him what he meant, and he mentioned that his teacher told him that. Needed serious clarification. He told me that all the children in his class could hear the bell. he could not hear it and he was the boy in the story. That the little boy could not hear the jingle bells because he still did not believe in Santa… I in my deepest, thickest voice was like “what story, what boy??” In class they were discussing The Polar Express, I never had the chance to watch this movie, read the original tale or knew anything about it. My middle son he laughed and said he could not hear it either but did not tell anyone.
Realized my children’s foundation and core is solid and the element of fitting in was needed for their social interaction. Wondered is this really important and is there anything else that has gone over my head… Made a plan and I decided to start watch all the holiday movies from my childhood and any I missed from my adulthood. Because although I kept everything pretty generalized, I’d never really dived in deep as I don’t want to leave anyone out however, I left out that dynamic.
Started with Home Alone, Christmas Carol, Christmas Story, Miracle on 34th street, Elf, Diehard, the Gremlins… pretty much anything that was holiday focused and then I moved on to the Hallmark Channel for days hoping to learn something new. Realized I’m missing a lot and then I stumbled across something … Had to admit I was a little skeptic this.
To me it was a little freaky as I am not to found of toys coming to life and running around my house on their own free will reporting back to anyone. Coincidentally, that afternoon when they came home from school they talked about The Elf on the Shelf. Started to realize and notice my family kept posting about their elves on their shelves. This cracked me up because this Elf does hilarious things and goes everywhere. The kids believed in it and that is when I realized it; I saw it right there, in front of me, what I was missing…it was the magic! The magic of believing and how could I have missed that. I believe, it is because I have been stuck in reality. I knew the religion, I understood miracles, I knew the giving, I had the knack for the decoration… I thought I had all the staples, but I didn’t have the magic!
The elf on the shelf is the magic that is needed like the bell on the Polar Express and that is what I had to incorporate. When we had our third baby, this is when we learned about all the Elf and I decided to add it to our traditions. I got to right these wrongs and correct these rights, kind of thinking. Decided, we need an elf on the shelf.
This was a tough decision as you can see through all my pre analyzation before I even got to this point, we need it because it enables the magic. Some may argue that Santa is the magic however we know he lives in the North Pole and this little Elf creates something tangible to the children in the house. I started looking at the Elf on the shelf origin and found out it was written in 2004 and is the, “brainchild of stay-at-home mom Carol Aebersold and her grown twin daughters, Chanda Bell and Christa Pitts”. Their story is a sweet one and it had gotten very popular and tells the tale of Elves lives with Santa and during this time of year they come to your home watching over you during Christmas and all the naughty and the nice acts are reported back to the big jolly guy!
According to Pitts, “We had an elf growing up for as long as we can remember. Our elf was named Fisbee, and Fisbee of course would report to Santa Claus at night and be back in a different position in our house the next day…” and “…We loved it. It was a chance for us to tell Santa directly what maybe we might want for Christmas, or to do good deeds so that Santa would know about them.” (Bologna, 2017)
–Christa Pitts, HuffPost Caroline Bologna, December 2017
So, I went Elf window shopping, and they all looked the same. As I mentioned before I am multicultural, and I need that representation. I am also outnumbered I am in a see of men. Husband, sons, pets… I desperately wanted my Elf to be a female and brown. To me we are brown, and I want that for my family to relate. I found her, she was beautiful and stunning!
What do we name her? The Santa Claus movie with Tim Allen had this amazing character name Bernard the elf. The movie came out in 1994 and it brought me so much happiness. I watched it again and the Elf who was played by David Krumholtz was hilarious. I love this guy and the way he portrayed Bernard. I decided to name our Elf after Bernard and she is Bernanda, Bernanda Chico de Elf.
Bernanda is very sassy and frisky like me she goes all over the whole house. She even made a tick tock about what she is doing. It will be posted on the bottom of his blog. I think she’s an incredible representation and pure magic especially for my children.
Thank you so much for listening about Bernanda Chico de Elf on our shelf, I hope your holiday is filled with magic and joining me on this journey of Fannytasticlife!
Please reach out and share your funny stories about what your elf is up to.
Make sure to post on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #BernandaThisIsMyElf
We will be having a January FanTribe contest and will pick a winner who will receive a prize!
That hashtag will allow for Bernanda and I to find your post and enter you in as a contestant, which ends December 31, 2020.
When Black Friday the largest shopping opportunity before Holiday gift giving happened, we decided to not partake. It doesn’t have to cost and arm and a leg to enjoy this day! We actually decided to take a turn and explore some old fashion family fun activities. So, we headed North West to Augusta, NJ with Skyland Stadium in sights; a particular special North Pole; Jerseys own. We were not left out in the cold, in fact the light show is an amazing drive through event.
“The Skylands Region has long been a destination for families to get out and play.”
Tis the season to be jolly and driving, while social distancing. As you pull up to the entryway you will begin to see some of the lights displayed. If it is your first time, when you drive through the line of cars … reviewing the landscape ahead of you, you may have a bah humbug, kind of skeptical attitude or chip on your shoulder. Maybe even pondering that this won’t be as spectacular as it has been advertised. However, once you drive in the feeling of candy canes, lights, reindeer, sleighs, snow, jingle bells, North Pole, I mean the proof is in the pudding! Because they truly decked the halls with bounds of holly, covered in lights that is. Even a North Poll Police Car “NPPD”. An amazing experience to witness.
They also have an amazing Christmas Village that offers so much and for free to all guests. After you have completed the light course, you can park and go right in; truly take it all in. You won’t be disappointed and they socially distance with no lag. Eat, drink and be merry.
NEW & EXPANDED WINTER CARNIVAL Ride the Ferris Wheel, Merry Go Round & Classic Carnival Rides. Enjoy Tasty Treats.
DELICIOUS FOOD & BEVERAGE OPTIONS Hot Cocoa Bar, Ice Cream Shop, S’mores Pit, NJ Lottery Craft Beer Garden & More.
SEE THE SIGHTS OF CHRISTMAS Get in the Spirit with a Live Nativity Scene, 8ft Polar Bears & Walk-Thru Light Displays.
TAKE A FEW LAPS ON OUR SKATING RINK Skate your Heart Out this Holiday on our Rink. Sponsored by Pompon Sport Center.
On the first day of Christmas my true love came to me and told me that although this year was rough it wasn’t meant to be, be loving and open to new experiences that are to come, and hope will show itself, just wait and see, as it has already begun.
Being open to new moments of joy allows for new appreciation of the simple pastimes we may have ignored in yester years. Just the other day driving through Randolph we came across some sparkling lights. The lights took over the whole neighborhood. We had to run errands and get home but we were more than delighted, we were filled with childlike whimsy, Fa La La La La, La La, La, La, so we drove up!
We lit up like a Christmas tree and although we did not want to impose but we saw a crowd around this house and we knew this was a beacon of holiday fantasy. This is the home of Debbie DaSilva. I asked her how much does it cost, do you accept donations and she replied that, “We do not because we do this from our heart!” Truly, inspiring!
These magical places will fill you with hope and inspiration while lighting your path. Don’t forget to stop and take a look around you as magic is all around us remember a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Thank you for joining me on this whimsical journey of Fannytasticlife!
Selena sang and we cried. Now, Netflix has a new spin on her life. We are spinning it up over here and streaming or podcast LIVE 🎙 on Twitch. Thank you for joining us in Season 4 on this journey of Fannytasticlife!
“I want to be remembered not only as an entertainer but as a person who cared a lot, and I gave the best that I could. I tried to be the best role model that I possibly could.”
Well if you love Selena like I do then you can appreciate anything that inspires us to think of who she was. Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was an American singer, songwriter, spokesperson, businesswoman, model, actress, and fashion designer. She was born on April 16, 1971 in Lake Jackson, Texas. She was the youngest child of three with her older brother AB (Abraham) and sister Suzette they formed a band under their fathers direction and experience from his band Los Dinos.
Through many challenges the sound of the band and Selena unique performance, energy and passion elevated them to a level where they truly became a phenomenon. Selena later on fell in love with fellow band mate Chris Perez, and then they were married. Unfortunately as we all know sadly, she later died by the hands of her murderer who was the President of her fan club. Which, I wont mention as I desire to give her no limelight.
The songs that she sang truly brings chills to us when we hear them, sing them or recall the emotions tied to them. One song that alway s brings me bitter sweet emotions and happiness is Como La Flor. One particular part of the song that I love to belt out and sing loudly is the second part.
Como la flor con tanto amor Me diste tú, se marchitó Me marcho hoy, yo sé perder Pero, ah-ah-ay, ¡cómo me duele! Ah-ah-ay, ¡cómo me duele!
These lyrics are talking about a wilting flower that dies after it is received and truly the pain of the separation of love. Very beautiful especially when you see her do it at her best. Selena performed this song in her iconic movement sound and brand depicted above in this image from the Astrodome, you can see on her Official YouTube page.
Since her she passed many of her fans continue to love her and honor her memory. In 1997, Selena the movie was released and Jennifer Lopez starred in this role. For many who grew up adoring Selena, they accepted Jennifer Lopez and her portrayal was very bubbly and full of love and romance and the magic that the original Selena embodied.
“Playing Selena was kind of a landmark moment in my career…” and about the Netflix series “…great way for this generation to get to know Selena.”
Jennifer Lopez, People, November 25, 2020 author Georgia Slater
Recently, Selena the series has come to Netflix, and originally I was brought to tears by the sneak preview. However, I became a skeptic through some of the costumes they wore and their hair but I was shocked by the portrayal of Abraham (Ricardo Antonio Chavira), the father and Suzette (Noemí González) the sister as they were very raw and honest. When I looked into I saw that the actual father and sister produced and approved the movie. Once I saw that it was genuine, I pushed my skepticism to the side and truly felt the love for Selena overall.
“I’ve been listening to her since I was way below single digits” and she told people how she felt about Selena, which was “This woman was a pioneer.”
Christian Serratos, People, December 03, 2020 author Emily Strohm
I love how in the series we get to see a different side, a new angle and perspective of the characters. We learn about AB, we learn about Suzette and her love and it truly gives us the allowance to understand the full dynamic. I wasn’t crazy about the hairstyles but then again, what do I know. THe last episode of the season, I was left on a cliffhanger, as if I dont know the ending. That feeling of wanting more really filled me with joy and desire to wait on pins and needles for Season 2.
In all, I love this story, please check out Selena’s y Los Dinos, music, movie, series as I feel you truly wont be disappointed. Now, Red lipstick on you can watch me as I LIVE Streamed my podcast on TWITCH below or listen on Spotify on this journey of Fannytasticlife.
“If you have a dream, don’t let anybody take it away.”
Wowowowowow! This was so amazing to see on spotify yesterday! It rocked my world!
Yes, 499 Minutes of content released. Just wrapping season three. This has brought me so much joy and happiness.
In 2015, I had just given birth to my third son and I had time to myself to think and enjoy these moments. I found my journals and my stories of my life that I had written. When I went to load an old blog I had, to my surprise it was shutdown and I had lost all my content.
I decided to start a new blog about my life but also and most importantly bringing inspiration to those who came across it.
When blogging I found a therapy, a passion that reignited who I am. My whole young life my mother made me do dancing, acting, singing and all types of performance. When I became a young adult I tried comedy, which I loved but also failed in. As an adult, I was able to review the hindsight of my life, reflect from it and truly learn from those clear lessons and teach these full circle moments to people in my life.
The gift of providing testimony, during the first five years provided a new expansion to my creativity. I loved the sweet reward that WordPress sent me (below).
During the pandemic, I came across blogging, and this was a brand new channel of energetic vibes that reflected positiviity and hope.
So many people have come to me, in messages, emails, comments with love and happiness that truly keeps me going.
When I saw the Fannytasticlife 2020 Podcaster Wrapped on Spotify i was in total shock. I was about to record the last episode for season three; I was truly blown away. Then I saw it on TikTok and decided to do a Tik Tok for it. Yes, I am into Tik Tok pre pandemic … hahaha.
I started recording for Season four, and it truly brings me so much happiness. A lot of new experiences are happening so please stay tuned.
Also, some of the new features of Fannytasticlife is the Newsletter, the Shop, scheduled appearances on the show and seeking brand amabassadors, I guess you can say the sky is the limit.
Fannytasticlife has truly fed the hunger that I had and the passion in my heart is growing to help, inspire and love more than ever on this journey of Fannytasticlife!
Running around doing everything I can to make my family happy and feed them yummy things.
I picked up the weekly grocery’s and I decided to make some items that will bring delight to my children’s bellies.
On the menu is Shredded Chicken Potato Tacos 🌮 with Salsa🌶🧄🧅🍅, Chicken Panko Bites , and Dessert Squares (three different types: vanilla, chocolate and strawberry). Here are the recipes I spoke about on the podcast 🎙listed below. Please if you do try out these recipes, let me know how it turned out. 🥰
Ingredients: Romano Tomato (x4), Poblano Pepper (x1), Garlic (x3 cloves), Red Onion (x1), Oregano (dried 2 tbls), and Salt (1 tsp)
First, in a small pot, fill with 2 cups of water.
Clean pepper by cutting off bottom and removing seeds.
Place pepper and tomato in pot and boil.
When boiled, set side to cool off. Save liquid.
When cool, pour half of liquid in blender with vegetables add raw, onion garlic oregano and teaspoon of salt (or to taste).
Place in container refrigerate and save for later. You will want this cold and refreshing.
Mixture for Tacos
Ingredients: Red Potatoes (x4), Chicken Breast (x2), Knorr Cube Chicken Bouillon (x1 cube), the liquid from the remainder of the liquid from the boil of the salsa, salt (1tsp). Pre-shredded cheese (Asadero or your favorite) and Oaxaca ( to crumble) Yellow small corn tortilla, Shredded Cabbage (1/2 cup), Oil (to fry in pan).
Have a metal grid ready to place tacos for oil to drain.
Boil Potatoes in a separate pot with skin.
Boil chicken in the water from salsa with Knorr Cube Chicken Bouillon. Do not add any other water.
Once both are boiled, check that potatoes are fork tender and chicken is cooked.
Drain liquid from potatoes, then blend potatoes and add salt.
Shred the chicken and add to bowl with potatoes. Add Asadero cheese or your favorite shredded cheese.
Cover with plastic and place in refrigerator until you are ready to assemble and fy.
Get large pan and add oil, test the oil to make sure it is hot.
Get Taco fill with a little of the cold chicken potato cheese mixture. Pinch closed with tongs and lay in pan on side to fry. Flip on other side for even golden deliciousness.
Plate, add cabbage, salsa, and crumble a little of the cheese.
Trust me you will have made a new friend!
Ingredients: Chicken Breast (x4), Panko Bread Crumbs (1 cup), Flour (2 cups), Eggs (2 eggs), Teaspoon of the following spices and herbs: Dried Parsley, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Salt and Pepper. Old bay seasoning (1 Tablespoon) and Milk (1 cup).
Cut Chicken into tender sized pieces. In a ziplock bag (or baggie of your preference) and chicken to bag with milk, spices and herbs, and Old Bay. Close bag and store overnight in fridge.
You will need three bowls.
Mix half of the flour with Panko in a bowl.
The other part of flour in other bowl.
Mix eggs in third bowl.
Dip the each chicken piece into flour. Place on side. (Pro tip: clean up as you go.)
Once all is covered in flour.
Heat oil in pan (same pan like tacos… use the same oil if it is in the same moment of cooking).
Once oil is hot, place floured chicken into eggs and then place in panko flour, then right into pan. Do this is small batches.
Once chicken floats and turns golden, take out. They should be cooked all the way through.
Check first batch and make adjustments.
Adjust heat of oil and/or level of oil.
Complete all chicken in small batches.
Have a metal grid ready to place chicken for oil to drain.
You can serve with the same salsa it is amazing!!!!
Ingredients: Flour, Sugar, Vanilla, Hershey’s Natural Unsweetened Cocoa, Oil, Eggs, Butter Unsalted, Salt, Peanut butter, Nesquik Strawberry Powder, baking powder and Powdered sugar. Have these ingredients ready.
Icing: Mix 1 cup of powdered sugar and milk (2 tablespoons) and vanilla teaspoon to create a base. Divide base by three batches:
First batch leave as is for Vanilla Squares;
In second batch, add 1 tsp of Strawberry Nesquick; and,
In third batch add 1 tsp of peanut butter. Place all in to refrigerator for later.
Batter: we are creating two types of squares Chocolate and Blondie. We are doing the Blondie twice as only the icing changes here.
The squares will all be for 9×9 pan. I would spray the pan before placing batter or grease pan.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Blondie Batter: 2 Large Eggs, 2 tsp Vanilla, 1 Cup of unsalted melted butter, 2 cups sugar, 1 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt.
Mix eggs and Vanilla in bowl, in seperate bowl mix sugar and melted butter, combine in to egg and vanilla mixture.
Add all dry ingredients in seperate bowl mix together and then incorporate into wet mixture.
Place in pan, bake for 30 minutes. Edges should be golden.
This should make 9 squares and you will repeat this for our trio dessert squares.
Chocolate Brownie: 2 Large Eggs, 1 tsp Vanilla, 1/2 cup of unsalted melted butter, 1 cups sugar, 1 3/4 cup flour, 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 cup of Hershey’s Natural Unsweetened Cocoa.
Mix eggs and Vanilla in bowl, in seperate bowl mix sugar and melted butter, combine in to egg and vanilla mixture. Add all dry ingredients in seperate bowl mix together and then incorporate into wet mixture. Place in pan, bake for 30 minutes. Edges should be golden. This should make 9 squares.
After all is baked you will have 27 squares. One set chocolate and two set blondie. Take icing out of refrigerator and vigorously whip and then drizzle the following:
Peanut butter on chocolate,
Strawberry on blondie
Vanilla on blondie.
These will go fast, which is what happened with my boys.
Buen provecho to all of you and you know we enjoyed these delights this week on this journey on Fannytasticlife.
For under $25.00 holiday shopping through Amazon (sorted highest to lowest)
That season has begun, and Black Friday is right around the corner. Most of us, who are still in quarantine and trying to save money – by keeping expenses down. However, this is one of the major peaks of interest during this time especially with a lower point of sale in mind. Guess what… Got you covered; for the adults in your life and their small gifts that will make a big impact.
Just to keep in mind how amazing these products are my featured image is already sold out and that is the Cozylove, 16pcs magnets they have other patterns you may like that are still available.
Jumping right into it, here we go with the Top 10 under $25.00:
Does your friends or family always complain about misplacing their keys Great option right under 25 at $24.99
The Adidas Men Adilette Shower Slide is a great option for any guy in your life $24.95
Hottest trend for gentleman this year has been growing gorgeous beards, how about a grooming kit…? $20.91
Gorgy… sleeping eye mask is needed for that lady who just needs a Breakfast at Tiffany’s moment for $15.99
This little stocking stuffers is for that loved one in your life that goes missing for only $14.99
One of my favorites, and on my neck Audrey is fashion baby for $14.39.
If you girl is more of a Marilyn, I got you covered at $12.32
At $10.55 this is a MUST, foggy glasses are not cute with Optix 55 Anti-Fog Spray they got you in the clear.
It gets frustrating, I get it; get this at only $8.86 to let out the mini workout after the webinar.
One more Audrey, how about a sweet earing, oh yes honey this devilish stud is something you an get all the ladies for a mere $2.99
There you have it folks, some adulting under $25.00, from Amazon and if you are Prime some of these are Free shipping. Happy shopping for 2020.
First 10 comments on this blog by Black Friday 2020, I will gift you the Optix anti-fog. Rules: You will need to follow the podcast above, like on instagram @FHBMGC, Follow and subscribe to youtube @fannytasticlife and comment below. I will reach out to you!
I got beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes, Lamb, rams, hogs, dogs, Beans, greens, potatoes, tomatoes, Chicken, turkeys, rabbit (You name it)!
We need to keep it at a distance, right? Does that mean give up my annual turkey or scale it down. So much time has passed and we can’t be with loved ones. I know a lot of us don’t want to zoom across the family table. Some of us celebrated differently, not in the traditional sense.
Every year I normally host a large dinner where I prepare a large turkey, ham, and all the trimmings including various pies all made by scratch. The last two Thanksgivings we visited family who hosted. Those two times we visited I still prepared a small feast for my family. I did this because the next day there was a nostalgic attachment to years before where I woke up and my mother heated up the leftovers and made a day after breakfast for us.
This may sounds silly but every year as a child we would go to our families home and be given food to take home. Normally, my Aunt Susie would prepare the feast with her amazingly delicious sausage stuffing.
Mom always tried to do her best, but we barely had food by the end of the month waiting for the first of the month like many children in my neighborhood. Maybe a jar of peanut butter, or a brick of government cheese but we could not have a feast towards the end of the month. My mom was an amazing woman and my father the same. It was not until I was about 15 that my mother started making her own celebration.
She would incorporate many dishes that were unique to the holiday. I would help her. I was entrusted on making the pie. Preparing the kasha varnishkes. I would also make the cranberry sauce. She would insist that it be 1 part can and 1 part fresh cut with orange juice and boiled. I can not deny that it was delicious. She would take all the bread and make a yummy stuffing with celery and turkey drippings, and Chicken Liver Pâté.
It was not champagne and caviar but her own feast and it was an amazing feeling from the heart. I loved going to my Aunts and having my mom’s celebration. I promised myself when I was older and had a family I would do the same and incorporate all my mom’s dishes and my Aunts and make it a memory for my children.
Sometimes I would prepare so many dishes and my soul would just feel complete.
This year we don’t have the families coming over at all I am not closing my doors but I cannot open my home as I have had multiple COVID test, thank fully negative and I am still struggling with my breathing and lung pain from April. I just cannot put us at an additional risk. However, I will make a small “You name it” feast.
I hope that my family can connect soon in total but for now little moments and virtual is on the menu.
What ever you decide to do just remember to give love to those in your life that are lonely or just need a little bit of your light. I will do my best on this new journey of Fannytasticlife!