Gadgets & Gizmos

You know you are Latino/a when_____?

PeopleEver do something that feels so normal to you, but to others it may just seem odd? Well, it just may be that you are doing something from your culture that only you would know about. Of course, this is not a bad thing, but rather, culture is around us every day and is what makes people unique and different and we have to embrace it in order to live in this ever changing world that we live in today.

So what makes culture so unique? It is because each culture has their own language, their own puns, if you will that only they will understand. Ever heard of the phrase, “You know you are_____ when?” Well, here are some Latino/a versions of that phrase right from ordinary people just like you.

Raul Santana from Bronx, NY—You know you are Latino when “the novellas come on, and you’re told to be quiet, have an irrational fear of wooden spoons, have more the 3 religious icons in your house, you think words sound better in Spanish and use a piñata at every holiday.”

Telma Gomez from Houston, TX—You know you are Latina when, “you know the meaning of “chancleta” or “el cinturón” but, more importantly, you know their implications.”

Anthony Rosa Bayonne, NJ—You know you are Latino when “even in the summer you wear socks with flip flops.”

Maria Ferrer Queens, NY—You know you are Latina when, “I can recite the menu for every Holiday party I’ll attend this season– pernil, arroz con gandules, pasteles y flan de quezo! Everybody makes the same thing and nobody minds!”

Manuel Melendez Sunnyside, NY—You know you are Latino when “family beach outings begin early in the morning by taking the subway with a shopping cart filled with pots of rice and beans, maybe a pernil and carne guisada!”

Judy Hernandez New Brunswick, NJ—You know you are Latina when “you take your Christmas tree down after Three Kings Day.”

As stated earlier, the world is becoming bicultural and the mixing of cultures is becoming more and more popular. Seeing different cultures mix only enriches a person and educates them about that culture beyond the textbook. It is about opening up to the world and seeing that even though we may be different, we still have ways about ourselves, the puns above, that are unique to every culture.

Tell us how you would finish the phrase (of course being appropriate), either on our Facebook wall or Tweet us @latintrends2010 and #IamLatinTRENDing.

The Stocking Stuffer Gift Guide—Non-traditional that is

Stocking StuffersTraditional stocking stuffers can have all kinds of things inside like gift cards, candy, small travel items, jewelry and even makeup. These stocking stuffers are great for any person in the family, but we have to admit that it becomes a little mundane every year of getting the same gift for people. Coming up with some new stocking stuffers ideas, especially if most people in the family have no idea what they want for Christmas, can become a challenge. Make it a goal this year to begin a new tradition and give some more non-traditional stocking stuffers.


It may sound strange, but here is something that children could actually get excited about when they are brushing their teeth. The toothbrush is called Brite Beatz from Brush Buddies and it features a synchronized light and music show while playing Jingle Bells, a classical holiday song. The time that dentists recommend to brush your teeth is two minutes. This gives a reminder to children to brush until the song is done. Other songs are from musicians like Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. The toothbrushes with replaceable brush heads include a tongue and cheek cleaner and batteries that are replaceable while designed to help clean plaque in hard to reach places.

Also, available, are the Brush Buddies The Smurfs Talking toothbrushes. Once the belly button is pressed, the brush pops up and the bristles are gentle on children’s gums.


It sounds a bit strange to give an ornament as a gift mainly because there are plenty already on the Christmas tree. But more often, ornaments have become available and can be given out for the holidays. We are not talking about the traditional red, blue, gold, green and silver balls, but rather the non-traditional and more personable ones. These can include a photo of the family, a sled, cross stitched patterns, snowmen and countless of the many more designs to represent the person or family. Many stores sell these unique ornaments and there are plenty of how-to websites to make some of your own, without having to spend a lot.

Little books

Little books with simple phrases are not just for youngsters anymore. There are many books that offer inspirational sayings, jokes, and even prayers to get through difficult times. These books are simple, yet meaningful to someone that not only likes collecting books, but can also find them useful beyond the holidays. With many different topics and choices, this may be the small and perfect gift for that always ‘hard to give’ person on your list.

There are some many more things to put in the stockings and there may be some favorites that you do every year. But if you are looking for a way to break out of tradition and give something new, try these ideas. One of these stocking stuffers may become the new tradition in your family year after year.

New iPhone Stun Gun Case Protects You and Your Phone

The Yellow Jacket is an iPhone 650K volt stun gun case that promises to ‘halt an aggressive adult male’ in his tracks while costing you $139.99.

The case was invented by Seth Froom who was robbed at gunpoint in his home in 2011 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Yellow Jacket CEO and co-founder Sean Simone states the voltage is at the “lower end” of the scale and “isn’t going to throw a grown man across the room or severely injure someone.” It will “cause pain and create a diversion”.

The Yellow Jacket connects to the 30-pin Dock Connector on the bottom of the iPhone 4/4S, and provides extra 20 hours of battery life to the phone and helps to power the stun gun included in the case

The Yellow Jacket is only available for the iPhone 4/4S for now but the team plans to bring the case to the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3 sometime in the first quarter of 2013.

One thing is for sure. It will not be able to be shipped to New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Rhode Island, Wisconsin or Washington, D.C. because of local laws.

What will they think of next?

Have You Tried This Yet? Glaming Up the Everyday

I’m a sucker for a beauty product. Isn’t every woman? I don’t mean that to be sexist, but seriously, haven’t we all, at some point, purchased something because the bottle is cool, or the label is pretty?

But there’s also the stuff we have to buy because it’s a necessity: toiler paper, toothpaste, a Swiffer (yes, it’s necessary). Procter & Gamble is the mastermind manufacturing company behind most of the products in your home (you probably don’t even realize it); from Charmin toilet paper, to Pantene hair care, to the Swiffer, to the Crest White Stripes that have saved you a ton of money because they work just as well as a professional whitening job – P&G did it.

Well, now they’ve done something else – they launched the Have You Tried This Yet? campaign. Basically, they have taken the practical everyday product and glamed it up.

This past week I was lucky enough to attend an event for Have You Tried This Yet? at Robert Verdi’s Luxe Laboratory. Verdi happens to be one of the campaign’s celebrity ambassadors, along with Vanessa Lachey and Latina stylist Irma Martinez. The “Trend Trio” was on hand to give a party of bloggers and media writers the inside scoop on how to take everyday products and make them just a little fancier and fun.

I’m a jeans and t-shirt kinda girl myself, and it was refreshing to be advised on style and beauty care I could easily integrate into my daily routine. Here’s are some fun tips and trends I learned:
Verdi broke down the advice on the fashion front: Black and white is never off the trend grid; it’s forever classic, and forever trendy. And it’s great for travel ‘cause you don’t have to think about how to coordinate it! He also reminded us: you can have fun with fabrics! Daring stripes and florals work if you work it, confidence is key. Need a Superman kind of quick change between work and play? An elegant clutch can spruce up an outfit, and don’t underestimate a good heel! And if you’re feeling sexy, wear a flirty tank under your blazer, and drop the blazer when you go to dinner. But the best advice he gave was to be natural, don’t overdue the make-up, and again, confidence and inner pretty will make all the difference.

Vanessa was a riot. She is as adorable as you imagine her to be. The new mom and wife candidly shared her OCD when it comes to toilet paper (Charmin Ultra Strong). What ever could I mean? It’s all in the details people! She likes to make the potty a little more welcoming, a little nicer, by folding the tip of the top sheet hotel-style (you know, with that little point that makes it easier to pull). She also gave a quick tutorial on the messy bun: it’s the perfect second day hairdo. Side note: Pantene’s Silky Moisture Whip + Moisturizer is a great product to keep hair manageable, silky, sexy, and it’s gives you the right amount of texture to create this hairstyle id you don’t want to wait another day. Back to the messy bun: take a section of hair right above each of your ears, and braid it; next, wrap the rest of your hair into a bun, then wrap the braids around the bun..and remember, if a piece of hair tumbles out, no worries, the messier the better! Again, I heeded her advice, have done it a few times since then (on those days you don’t want to wash your hair), and have received ton of compliments!

Last but not least, Irma Martinez suggested we keep our sheet sets organized by using a pillowcase to store the set. It keeps the lined closet organized and easy to maneuver around. So simple! Also, you can place a potpourri bag with a few Downy Unstopables In-Wash Scent Booster beads (because yep, you don’t have to use it in the wash!) and keep you sheets smelling clean and fresh!

The advice keeps going; this is just a snippet of the stuff they shared! It really was a blast, and not once did I feel like we were being sold anything. I went home with a bag of goodies to try out for myself. Stay tuned, I’ll be sure to give the real deal run down on everything!

Like what you hear? Hear more from me on Twitter: GRatedGoodness

New Tech Lets U Check MSGs On The Go

VM 2 TXT Lets U Check MSGs On The Go
Voicemail to Text VoiceZone feature available to Time Warner Cable Home Phone subscribers
Time Warner Cable Home Phone subscribers now have another option to access voicemail anytime, anywhere. Voicemail to Text provides home phone voicemail message transcriptions via text message to a mobile phone or email address.

“If they’re in a meeting, show or movie and can’t listen to voicemail, it’s a great way to check in.”
“Voicemail to Text gives customers yet another option to access the messages they care most about,” said Ingrid Simunic, Senior Director, Product Management for Time Warner Cable. “If they’re in a meeting, show or movie and can’t listen to voicemail, it’s a great way to check in.”
Messages can be sent to up to five mobile phone numbers and email addresses and transcribed into English or Spanish. Customers can also receive an audio file of the recorded voicemail message as an optional attachment to email notifications.
Voicemail to Text is available at no additional cost to Time Warner Cable Home Phone subscribers. Customers can manage transcription settings through the VoiceZone™ portal Voicemail Settings tab in MyServices.
For more information, please visit
About Time Warner Cable

Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) is among the largest providers of video, high-speed data and phone services in the United States, connecting more than 15 million customers to entertainment, information and each other. Time Warner Cable Business Class offers data, video and phone services to businesses of all sizes, cell tower backhaul services to wireless carriers, and through its NaviSite subsidiary, enterprise-class hosting, managed application, messaging and cloud services. Time Warner Cable Media, the advertising arm of Time Warner Cable, offers national, regional and local companies innovative advertising solutions. More information about the services of Time Warner Cable is available at,,, and


When not teaching English in Korea or bringing foreign students to YMCA camps in the United States as Young Ambassadors, Exile Press founder Peter Liptak splits his time between working as an author and a publisher in Seoul, Korea. As a poet and purveyor of English, his desire to help the people of other nations in their struggles with the untamed beauty of the English language has led to teaching at universities in Korea and the writing of language acquisition books, including his newest releases Idiom Attack (Volumes 1 & 2): Everyday Living & Doing Business, part of a collection of 1200 commonly used North American idioms.

“Idioms are a set phrase of two or more words that when put together mean something different than the literal meaning of the individual words, such as crack of dawn or rain cats and dogs and represent the most colorful language used in everyday conversation,” says Liptak. “They also tend to be the most difficult for foreign learners to understand and for teachers to convey.”

Available in Korean, Spanish, French, German, Chinese and Japanese and using only the most common idioms and phrasal expressions, Idiom Attack is written in an easy to read and follow format for both teachers and students. This four book series of 25 chapters each covers 100 areas of interest to provide easy access to the target language as a learning resource for intermediate to advanced students of English. Idiom Attack:

  • Contains meanings in both English and the user’s language for comparison.
  • Uses example sentences to provide contextual support for more in depth understanding and practical application
  • Includes stories that challenge learners with the application of language and additional follow-up comprehension questions designed to coax them to use the target language
  • Uses questions to encourage deeper dialogue and practice with opportunities for reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Well-suited for a classroom setting or personal study, Idiom Attack provides an excellent resource for a variety of learning applications.

Peter Liptak was born in Chicago, Illinois, grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and moved to South Korea in 1995. For the last 17 years he’s been living and writing in Seoul.  

After finishing a Master’s in Korean Studies at Yonsei University, Peter involved himself with several other writing projects including a series of children’s books, a translation of Korean poetry into English and various projects to promote Korean culture for the government. Currently, Peter enjoys exploring the world while training for triathlons, mountain biking, and competing in ultra-marathons while raising money for orphans to experience outdoor activities. Readers can follow along with his musings at  or  Liptak has also written Letters: Building an Alphabet with Art and Attitude (Exile Press and Amazon)

Idiom Attack (Volumes 1 & 2): Everyday Living and Doing Business are available through

Exile Press, Amazon and Ingram

Also available: Epub, Kindle and PDF eBooks; Advanced eBook on the iPad,

and Android and iPhone Apps


BBG Entertainment, a leading producer and publisher of digital entertainment products, announced today that its mobile smash hit, Einstein™ Brain Trainer HD, is now available for the Kindle Fire and many other Android OS devices. Einstein™ Brain Trainer HD can be purchased from Google Play and the Amazon Appstore for Android for US $2.99.

Einstein™ Brain Trainer HD invites players to regularly challenge their brain in a playful, motivating way. With its broad appeal, Einstein™ Brain Trainer HD combines high entertainment value with mental exercises that automatically adapt to the level of each player. The character of revered physicist Albert Einstein assists players in the game, guiding them through training, and providing advice and motivation to keep exercising the various regions of the brain. All areas of the game were individually designed with high levels of creativity, which helps make this truly unique brain trainer a blast to play.

“Many of my patients complain about forgetfulness in everyday life,” says Neurologist Dr. Thomas Knoll from Munich. “I recommend – in addition to a balanced work-life with relaxation time, body exercises and social activities – a brain training program, such as the Einstein™ Brain Trainer. I like the Einstein™ Brain Trainer very much because it contains 30 excellent and varied exercises for the stimulation of the brain.”

“We are thrilled to bring Einstein™ Brain Trainer HD to the Android platform,” said Stephan Berendsen, founder of BBG Entertainment. “We know that Android owners will love the opportunity to tax their brains with our unique brand of mind-bending puzzles and exercises.”

Einstein™ Brain Trainer HD is now available on Google Play and Amazon Appstore for Android for compatible Android OS devices. Additionally, a Kindle Fire version can be downloaded from the Amazon Appstore for Android for $2.99. Einstein™ Brain Trainer for the iPhone® and Einstein Brain Trainer HD for the iPad® are currently available on the Apple® AppStore℠.

Einstein™Brain Trainer HD Features:

30 exercises in all (including well-known, popular exercises as well as new, specially developed challenges)
Scientific background, including a tutorial, for each exercise
Daily Tests to check current “Brain Fitness”
Dynamic adaptation of the difficulty level of individual exercises
Continuous interaction between Albert Einstein and the player
Detailed help system accessible from anywhere in the game
Trophy room for awards received
Hot Seat mode – multiplayer mode on a single device
Personal coaching by the likeness of Albert Einstein
Support of Android phones and tablets

Like Einstein™Brain Trainer on Facebook:

Check out a video of Einstein™ Brain Trainer here:

New Report: Hispanics Top Users of Mobile Broadband

Today, The Hispanic Institute and Mobile Future published a report revealing that Hispanics are increasingly turning to mobile devices — not traditional wired broadband — as their primary means of accessing the Internet. The study was released at the National Council of La Raza’s annual conference in Las Vegas.

“Mobile broadband is essential for the economic advancement of Hispanics,” said Gus West, Board Chair of The Hispanic Institute. “In today’s information age, the Hispanic community relies on mobile devices to stay connected for so many aspects of their lives — to do everything from interacting with public officials to paying bills to taking their prescriptions thanks to text-message reminders.”

The report — “Hispanic Broadband Access: Making the Most of the Mobile, Connected Future” — details how Hispanics have embraced mobile technology. They’re 17 percent more likely than non-Hispanic whites to use mobile phones to access the Internet — and 20 percent more likely to watch video on them. The economic implications are huge, as young Hispanics have spent more than $500 million on mobile apps this year alone.

The report concludes that policymakers must consider Hispanics’ reliance on mobile devices as they implement a national broadband policy. Making more wireless spectrum available, ending regressive taxes on broadband users, and continuing to support the Lifeline/Link-Up programs — which offer discounts to qualified, low-income wireless customers — are all key to this effort.

“Mobile broadband is connecting the Hispanic community in never-before-seen ways, resulting in greater economic, civic, and political opportunities for Latinos,” said Jonathan Spalter, Chairman of Mobile Future. “But this trend could grind to a halt if policymakers don’t increase the amount of spectrum supporting wireless networks and maintain policies that continue to support investment and innovation in mobile technologies and services.”

The Federal Communications Commission predicts that demand for mobile spectrum could surpass supply next year, resulting in unreliable service and higher connectivity costs.

“Hispanics will account for 30 percent of the U.S. population by 2050. It’s in America’s interest that they have the tools to succeed in the information economy. Mobile broadband provides them with those tools — so that they too can achieve the American Dream,” concluded West.


Tampico Beverages, a leading global refrigerated juice drink brand, today announced its recent launch of an interactive “Piñata Bash” social media contest and 3D Facebook app to promote its 20-ounce, single-serve, refrigerated juice drinks among young adults in target markets nationwide.

Built on a theme of “irresistible fun” geared to appeal to Tampico’s multi-ethnic young adult brand following, the campaign brings back a traditional Hispanic cultural icon – the piñata – in a cool new urban, contemporary and relevant way. A piñata is a colorful papier-mâché or other type of container that is decorated, filled with toys, candies and other goodies, and then broken open in celebration. The campaign on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube is supported by online advertising as well as guerrilla videos and ongoing field marketing activities.

“We’re excited to introduce ‘Piñata Bash’ because it reinvigorates and unites two nostalgic cultural icons – Tampico and piñatas – not only physically, but also digitally, with an ability to share the celebration with friends,” said Marta Gerdes, Tampico’s vice president of marketing. “Tampico is known for delivering a full explosion of irresistible flavors from Latin America and the Caribbean Tropics. Similarly, the ‘Piñata Bash’ delivers an ‘explosion of fun’ experiences across multiple marketing channels: digital and social media, field marketing, and point of sale. We’ll have all sorts of fun with our fans, giving away prizes, chatting about pop culture, bashing piñatas and sharing cool new Tampico drink recipes.”

Participants may enter the sweepstakes by personalizing a digital piñata and sharing it with a friend who breaks the piñata, or by breaking a piñata that a friend has shared with them. Each combination of piñata “maker” and “breaker” represents one entry as a pair of contestants. People may enter as many times as they want, both as a “maker” or “breaker,” but each entry must be different and submitted separately.

Playing “Piñata Bash” is easy: From now until September 3, 2012, go to, click the sweepstakes promo, follow the instructions and go to town on a piñata. Prizes include:

Grand Prize: each member of one winning “piñata maker/breaker” pair will receive one 2012 Fiat 500, each with an approximate retail value of $18,000 ($15,500 base cost plus up to $2500 in customization options selected by the grand prize winners, but subject to availability).
First Prize: each member of one winning “piñata maker/breaker” pair will receive one Republic Bicycle, each with an approximate retail value of $500 ($399 base cost plus up to $100 in factory options selected by the second prize winners, but subject to availability).
Second Prize: each member of one winning “piñata maker/breaker” pair will receive one ColorWare, Beats by Dr. Dre headphones, each with an approximate retail value of $500 ($399 base cost plus up to $100 in customization options selected by the second prize winner, but subject to availability).
Third Prizes: each member of six winning “piñata maker/breaker” pairs will receive one skateboard (make and model to be determined at the sponsor’s sole discretion, each with an approximate retail value of $150).
Fourth Prizes: each member of 10 winning “piñata maker/breaker” pairs will receive one skateboard deck, each with an approximate retail value of $50 (make and model to be determined at the sponsor’s sole discretion).

The campaign was developed by Roar Media along with Macias Advertising in Miami.

@iFrogz – the Sync-Free Way to Listen OUT LOUD!

There are plenty of audio devises out there that acts wirelessly to “pump up the volume” on the music of your Smartphone or digital media device. But many of those have to connect to your music playing device by a downloaded app, Bluetooth, WiFi, etc., which makes it a hassle sometimes. But iFrogz has solved this problem: introducing BOOST, a near-field amplifying speaker takes away all those plugs and wireless configuration. Just simply place your iPhone, iPod Touch (or older generations), Android smart phone, or any other digital music player on it and listen.

One can purchase it in any electronics store, or you can WIN A FREE ONE! LatinTRENDS is randomly giving away two of them to any of our readers! To enter for a chance to win your own, email us: , with the subject “Let’s Get Loud” and your name will be entered for a chance to win.

Disclosure: one per household. Contest open to New York residents. Winner will pick up prize at our office. Contest will run from 6/11/2012 to 6/17/2012; drawing will be on 6/18/2012.