Detailing Your Kid's Dorm Room

It's almost time for students to pack up their bags and head to college to a dorm room. Las Fabulosas equips parents and their hijos with money-saving basics that’ll help outfit a college dorm.

Eliminate Desorden

One typical mistake college freshman make is taking too many belongings to their new dorm room. In essence, a college dorm is a micro-studio apartment, which can become easily cluttered. Prevent discomfort of living in cramped quarters by bringing only what is necessary for a nine-month stay on campus. Choose furniture with multiple functions, such as a chair cube with ample storage or a twin-size bed frame with built-in book or clothing shelves.

College Dorm Essential Aparatos

A top way to save on school expenses is eating in. So look into taking a mini-fridge that stores perishables, beverages, and left-overs. To save more dollars, stop buying bottled water and, instead, purchase a water filter that connects directly to the faucet. For those who need a daily cup of joe, a coffee maker will further cut expenses. If the school allows, a toaster or microwave oven is handy to have to help heat up simple meals. Let’s not forget the cleaning supplies! Apart from a light-weight, upright vacuum cleaner that busts the dust, remember to pack disinfecting wipes for a quick and efficient rub-down of the dorm room.

Dorm Room Decoración

Helping your college-bound kid put their stamp on a new space may offer a sense of security and comfort. Think of creative and inexpensive ways to decorate. One idea is framing a montage of images, such as vintage post cards or photos and with a black metal casing. Pick one or two items as focal pieces that will stand out in the dorm room, such as a rocking chair, a lamp or a tall mirror. Finally, a dash of green brings instant joy. Choose an easy plant that doesn’t require too much sunlight, such as a philodendron, nor too much water, such as a Yucca flamentosa.

Teaching Los NiƱos About Financial Responsibility

One of the best lessons that padres can teach their hijos is how to handle money. In fact, it’s never too early to start. Since figuring out where to begin can be difficult for most parents, Las Fabulosas breaks down how to put kids on the road to financial freedom.

Keep It Simple: There are only four things you can do with money: “Give-Invest-Save-Spend,” says Lori Mackey, creator of, a financial literacy website geared toward helping children develop financial plans of their own. Focusing children on a limited range of options makes organizing their money much easier.

New Words: Engage los niños with palabras and who-what-where-when-how questions such as, “Why do you think it's important to save money?” and “What type of charity would you like to donate to?” Teaching them new words and getting them to share their ideas about money will help build their confidence.

Create Stories: “Picture books are so engaging because kids can see themselves in the story,” says Mackey whose book, Money Mama & The Three Little Pigs, takes readers “on a magical journey through the wonderful world of money where they can imagine being part of the characters in the books they read.” Mackey points out that reading to kids about situations they can relate to “builds the scaffolding in their little brains.”

Play Games: Monica Olivera, creator of the Latina home-schooling blog, had her kids make three banks out of coffee cans. “They covered the outside with construction paper, decorated them, and wrote “Savings,” “Spending,” and “Giving” on each one. Next Monica created “forms” to record how much money was in savings, which they check every month or two. The goal is to motivate the kids to keep saving. “If they haven’t taken any money out, I give them an extra dollar,” she explains. “If they have added to their savings, I give them $2.”

Tips on Starting a Small Business

You know the pros of starting a small business: being your own boss and seeing a small idea grow into a successful company. The cons? You don’t even know how to get started!

According to a recent Kauffman Firm Survey, Latina-owned businesses are the fastest-growing segment of all women-owned businesses. Maribel Lieberman, founder of MarieBelle Fine Chocolates in New York City, has turned her amor for food into a profitable business. Here, she shares her tips for entrepreneurs.

Be Passionate
Lieberman says she became an entrepreneur at 8 years old, selling caramelos in school. She really became drawn to food and cooking while working at a catering company, which eventually led her to create her empresa de chocolate.

“I did research on chocolate, traveling to Belgium and France, until I discovered chocolate really came from Latin America,” says Lieberman. “When I learned about the culture of the cacao, I was fascinated and knew I needed to do this.” Lieberman’s love for comida combined with chocolate’s cultural history only increased her desire to open a chocolate business.

Set Goals
Instead of setting large, long-term goals, Lieberman recommends a more practical approach. “I make short goals for myself, and I achieve them,” she says. “Then, I set new goals.”

Also, stay realistic with your goals: You can’t expect to make money right away. “Be patient,” says Lieberman. “A business is like having a bebé: You need to feed and nurture it. It doesn’t become successful overnight. But once you earn it, you won’t lose it as easily, because you know how much work it took to get here.”

Know Cuánto Cuesta
It’s crucial to account for all of the costs involved with starting your own business. “Costs aren’t just the items you buy; there are unseen costs too,” says Lieberman. “There are taxes, insurance and overhead: rent, electricity and more.”

If you’re more of a creative type, work with someone from the start to help you manage these costs, suggests Lieberman. This will help make your company more profitable quickly.

Finally, be ready to work hard. “The main thing is to be brave and just do it,” says Lieberman. “There will always be roadblocks, but if this is what’s in your heart, go for it.”

Work for Yourself: How to Start Your Own Business

In 1984, Guy Kawasaki, world-renowned venture capitalist and special advisor at Google, got a life-changing opportunity: His former roommate at Stanford University, Mike Boich, offered him a marketing job at Apple. Kawasaki’s work at Steve Jobs's empire brought him fortune, fame and, perhaps most importantly, the confidence to strike out on his own. 

Since that roaring start, Kawasaki has founded or co-established four successful companies, including Alltop, a news aggregation site, and, which raises funds for promising technology businesses. He’s also the author of Art of the Start: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything, a blueprint for business success.

Here, the charismatic Stanford grad (who boasts 1.3 million Twitter followers!) shares four steps every budding entrepreneur must take to actualize her business plan:

Step 1: Just Do It
“The most important step is to create a real manifestation of your idea,” says Kawasaki. “For example, before you start a restaurant, try your menu on friends or at catering parties. [If you’re launching a physical product,] create and ship a prototype. Until you do this, everything else is just a made-up fairytale."

Step 2: Secure Seed Money

Every business needs some funds to get started. Write a business plan to figure out how much money you’ll need and when you can hope to see a profit. “For the vast majority of ideas, crowd funding on or is the way to go,” says Kawasaki.

Step 3: Get the Word Out
Now that your business is off the ground, how will you get the word out? “The most powerful and accessible way to market your business is to use social media such as Google+, Twitter and Facebook,” says Kawasaki. “Entrepreneurs must build their social media platform as soon as they decide to start a company."

Step 4: Have Faith
“Nobody ever said that entrepreneurship is easy,” says Kawasaki. Your business will face hurdles and challenges, and you need to stay strong and keep at it. “Truly, some things need to be believed to be seen. You must believe in what you're doing."

Helping Los Ninos Make Healthy Food Picks

From the time nuestros bebés start eating solids, they are introduced to different tastes that will last throughout their lives. That’s why healthy food picks are crucial from the start.

Here, Claudia M. Gonzalez, MS. RDN, author of Gordito Doesn’t Mean Healthy, shares her winning tips for keeping your kids’ palates satisfecho -- and their bodies saludable.

Set a Good Example

“Sounds like a broken record, but it's true: Parents need to set a healthy example,” says Gonzalez. There is no such thing as a perfect diet, but Gonzalez tells parents to teach their children to eat fruits and vegetables above any other food. And remember: They may not embrace healthy eating immediately, but keep at it. “Nutrition takes patience, repetition, creative planning and not giving up,” she says.

Be Flexible

When introducing fruits and veggies, let your child tell you them the way he likes rather than forcing something on him. “If your child will only eat espinacas with lots of dressing, allow it,” says Gonzalez. “Eventually, they will outgrow these food combinations, but at least they became familiar with the foods.”

If your child is school-aged and you’re worried about unhealthy school lunches, but aren’t able to send a home-packed lunch with him every day, take control at home. You can compensate for any unhealthy foods through a nutritious breakfast and dinner.

Remember the Food Groups

The basic food groups are vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, protein and healthy fats. “Ask yourself, ‘Does my child eat from all food groups on a daily basis?’ If not, rethink your menu and grocery shopping,” says Gonzalez. For babies eating solids, Gonzalez says they don’t need to eat all food groups in a day, but recommends incorporating each group within a couple days each week.

Gonzalez also suggests letting kids have a sugar allowance. “Teach children how to use non-healthy foods within their diets rather than prohibiting them, which may lead [kids] to become junk-food lovers,” she says.

Get Moving

Diet is just one part of the healthy equation. Early in life, keep your kids active by going to the park or playground, joining playgroups or enrolling them in sports. Kids will enjoy exercise if it’s fun!