Spicy Cilantro's Holiday Gift List

From handful of great books, nature's jewelry to education for everyone and anyone

By Elia Esparza, Spicy Cilantro
Published on LatinoLA: December 3, 2012

Spicy Cilantro's Holiday Gift List

Originally published at Spicy Cilantro

My Christmas and Holiday gifts always include books. If a book impacts me, I go out and buy a whole bunch of them and give them away. Reading has been my life salvation since I was a child. And reading, led to my desire to write my own stories.

Books on my list include:

The Hummingbird's Daughter and Queen of America (Little, Brown and Company)

The duo pack of The Hummingbird's Daughter and sequel Queen of America by Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The Devil's Highway and Into the Beautiful North ÔÇô Urrea is an award winning author and member of the Latino Literary Hall of Fame. Every library should contain at least two Urrea's in its collection. I am a diehard fan of this author. He will make you laugh, cry, he will make you feel deeply for his characters.

Little Velasquez (Mirth Press)

Author Kathryn Kopple has written a historical novel, Little Velasquez, that takes us back to the 15th century Spanish monarchs King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel of Castile (the one who gave Columbus all he needed to go on his quest) the tale is about a witty, likeable, itinerant dwarf named Velasquillo, who lives to protect the princess. Smart, entertaining. You will love this book!

Light Riders (Xulon Press)

This little children's book, Light Riders is by author Casandra Moreno Lombera and it is a perfect vehicle to get kids excited about the Bible. Light Riders is about every day kids growing up in an age where power, material wealth, and "good looks" are outranking love, friendships, and self-respect. The book is a magical reading experience for children of all ages. A truly beautiful gift to the children in your lives.

8 Ways To Say I Love You (Arte Publico Press)

This book is not just about empowering Latinas, it is about firing up all women especially if they are at a crossroads in their lives. The stage production of the same title is also exceptional and uplifting. The book follows the lives of eight exceptional women who share their tales of sacrifice, obstacles and ultimate triumph. Authors: Nancy De Los Santos Reza, Josefina Lopez, Margo De Leon, Laura De Anda, Susan Orosco, Bel Hernandez Castillo, Joanna Ilizaliturri Diaz, and Rita Mosqueda Marmolejo.

Nature's Jewelry

Months ago on Facebook I fell in love with a pair of earrings, I just could not get out of mind. I wanted them and wanted them bad. They were too expensive and that extravaganza would have to wait. Last month, I purchased my earrings and can't seem to stop buying other pieces. I feel beautiful when these tiny little stones lay against my skin. The positive energy is there I swear the stones have magic powers. I now not only have a personal jewelry designer but a new friend, Lori Sandler. Check out her collection at her DragonHorse Studio, a Los Angeles-based jewelry business that focuses on creating pieces using rare and unusual stones.
http://dragonhorsestudio.com .

Lori's pieces are one of a kind, and handcrafted in the USA! Everyone of her designs is a labor of love. "My work is inspired by, and reflects, the beauty and the blessings of nature. I truly feel that gemstones are the flowers of the earth. I make every piece of jewelry with love. The awareness of the gemstones' unique energies and the happiness and well being of the wearer is always in mind. May you feel the waves of beauty and bliss wearing them" she says.

HOLA! LA (CBS/KCAL) host Kikey Castillo recently wore Sandler's pieces on a photo shoot and the photos are fabulous. If you need a special, magical gift, consider one of her pieces.

Education Gifts!

Students and their parents have taken a giant hit with this economic recession so why not consider giving the gift of tuition, books or extension courses?

I think for career warriors like myself who need an extra boost to catch up on all of this new technology should consider here. Empowered UCLA Extension Certificates. I will be enrolling in the course "Marketing and New Media." But there are several courses offered to compliment your chosen career: Financial Planning, Global Sustainability, Healthcare Management, Human Resources, IT Management, Nonprofit Management, and Patient Advocacy. Best part: Courses are online and all you need is an iPAD.

Education gifts are not cheap they are expensive, so maybe aunts and uncles can help a niece or nephew by together make a gift of education.


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