¡Juntxs podemos tener las escuelas que los niñxs de Chicago se merecen!

I am a proud CPS parent, CPS grad, and former Golden Apple Scholar. I stand with the CPS students, teachers, and staff. I’m fighting for smaller classrooms, fully staffed schools that reflect the actual needs of the students and communities that they are serving, better pay for teachers, and justice for students and their families including: affordable housing, sanctuary schools, sustainable community schools, and restor­ative justice.

Please feel to download, print, color, share, display, and join the picket line with these 11X17 CTU solidarity posters.

See you on the picket line! – xoxo Maya

Families Belong Together: Elí’s 4th Elephant and Piggie Bday Celebration

Last weekend we celebrated my wonderful little man’s 4th Bday, Elephant and Piggie style! The birthday boy requested that we use his party to promote families belonging together. So we used Gerald, Piggie, Duckling, and Pigeon to tell the story of family togetherness. The beautiful photos were taken by Tequila Graphics.

Elephant and Piggie Cookies
Elephant and Piggie Cookies
The royal icing cookies always take the longest, so I made these 2 weeks in advance. This was my first time making the cookie cutters myself. I really like how they turned out. Will definitely continue to make my own cutters in the future.
Chocolate Covered Double Stuffed Oreo Pigeon Cookies
Pigeon Cookies
I made these cookies the night before the party as a last-minute edition. They are chocolate-covered double stuffed Oreos. You can’t get nearly the same detail as you can with the royal icing with melted chocolate, but they are still super cute and literally take 10% of the time it takes to make the royal icing ones.
Elephant and Piggie Party
Elephant and Piggie, Families Belong Together Painting
This painting was inspired by The Thank You Book by Mo Willems. I painted this in the days leading up to the party as my gift to Elí. I also made a slightly modified version of this, with less prominence to “Elías’s bday” and added the big heading EVERYONE IS WELCOME HERE, which I turned into 11×17 printed posters for the kids to decorate at the party and hang up at their own homes.
Friends Belong Together Painting
The Gerald and Piggie Band
This painting featuring Elephant, Piggie, Duckling, and Pigeon, was Adán, my wonderfully creative 6 yr old son’s gift to his brother.
Friends Belong Together Elephant and Piggie Birthday Cake
The Gerald and Piggie Band, Friends Belong Together Cake
At the request of Elías, I started by making his vanilla buttercream cake blue and then realized that it looked very similar to Adán’s painting. So I decided to add grass, and then made cut-outs of his characters from his painting on my diecutter, and added them as toppers to the cake. Adán was so proud :).
Elephant and Piggie Cookies Close Up
Chocolate Covered Double Stuffed Oreo Duck Cookies
Duckling Cookies
Families don't belong in cages poster
Close the camps poster
We hung up my children’s posters from the last immigration marches by the art table where the kids made posters and puppets.
Close up cake topper diecuts
I made little Elephant, Pigge, and Pigeon cut-outs with little talk bubbles for the kids to color and turn into puppets. In some of them, the characters were happy and in some they were sad. Some of the talk bubbles were blank and some had pre-written statements matching the party’s theme like Families belong together!, EVERYONE is welcome here! End family separation, and Close the camps!
Birthday Boy and Abuelo
The bday boy with his Abuelito
Elephant and Piggie Cake Toppers
Elephant and Piggie Cake
A few days before the party, our ped put my son on a lactose-free diet (due to tummy aches) which meant he couldn’t enjoy any of the royal icing sugar cookies, chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate covered Oreos, or the main cake, so I made him this extra special decadent lactose-free, gluten-free chocolate cake, with delicious vegan buttercream icing with Gerald and Piggie fondant cake toppers to match his painting. He LOVED it :).
The Birthday Boy
All kids are welcome here - Elephant and Piggie Bday
ALL kids are welcome here!
I actually never finished this painting. I started it with the intention that it would be a photo backdrop for the kids. But I had open wall space and this fit perfect, so we went with it.
Cookie Close Up
Adan Piggie Cookie
Blowing out Candles
The party was a huge success! The birthday boy was delighted and many many critical conversations were had around our current immigration policies and ways that we as a community can and should be responding.

Close the camps cake

It’s become a tradition that every year I make a garish 4th of July cake. This year the kids and I decided to make our most important cake thus far.

This year we made a close the camps cake.⁣

The cake has since been consumed, but the conversations remain strong!

Close the camps

La voz de Frida

Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m obsessed with Frida Kahlo. But the last two months haven given me such unexpected Frida Kahlo magic… that I’m still in disbelief.

Last month I got to attend Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving, the largest U.S. exhibition of Frida’s work in the last ten years.

And just yesterday… for the first time ever I got to hear Frida’s voice.

El Gobierno mexicano ha mostrado el hallazgo con cautela asegurando que los estudios apuntan a que se trata de la voz de Kahlo, pero reconociendo que no han logrado confirmarlo totalmente. “Es un hallazgo que tiene muchos elementos que pueden identificarse como la probable voz de Frida Kahlo, sin darlo como cierto al 100%”, ha explicado la secretaria de Cultura, Alejandra Frausto. El País

Cray… wonder if it’s really her voice. But as always, I’m obsessed with the obsession.

El Mundo de Elí

Here are some photos from Elí’s first Elmo birthday. I guess Elmo is becoming a trend :).

Elías Sesame Street Crayons and Dorthy royal icing cookies
Party prep: Elías Sesame Street Crayons and Dorthy royal icing cookies

 The birthday boy and his abuelito
The birthday boy and his abuelito

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The birthday table

Rainbow pound cake with Italian buttercream frosting
Rainbow pound cake with Italian buttercream frosting

Birthday brother eating cake
Birthday brother eating cake

The Sesame Street birthday family
The Sesame Street birthday family

Chocolate Elmo lollipops
Chocolate Elmo lollipops

Royal icing Elmo cookies
Royal icing Elmo cookies

Diecut Sesame Street Banners
Diecut Sesame Street Banners

Sesame Street Fruit and Vegetable trays
Sesame Street Fruit and Vegetable trays

Watermelon cake for the birthday boy
Watermelon cake for the birthday boy

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Party prep: Chocolate covered crayons pretzels
Party prep: Chocolate covered crayons pretzels

Awesome El Mundo de Elías birthday sign made by Nico
Awesome El Mundo de Elías birthday sign made by Nico

Party prep: Sesame Street bunting flags
Party prep: Sesame Street diecut bunting flags

Party prep: Sesame Street diecuts
Party prep: Sesame Street diecuts

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Party prep: Cakestands

Feliz Cumpleaños Frida Kahlo

As many of you know I am obsessed with Frida Kahlo. So are my sons. Today we celebrate this magnificent woman’s bday.

View this post on Instagram

Feliz cumpleaños Frida Kahlo #fridakahlo

A post shared by maya escobar (@mayanoemi) on

Fourth of July Buttercream Ombré Pinata Cake

This year we celebrated ‘Murica to the fullest with a Fourth of July Buttercream Ombré Piñata Cake.

Truth be told, after last year’s massive flag cake I wasn’t planning on making anything too crazy. But my family seemed so disappointed and I ended up caving. I’m happy though that I went for it. I had a lot of fun playing with my my new Russian Icing tips for the first time. Many lessons learned here so next time I think they’ll come out much better.

And I want to give a BIG thanks to my mother-in-law for all of her help watching the kids and killing it with the clean up!

Fourth of July Buttercream Cake view from above
View of the cake from above. Flowers created with Russian piping tips.

Fourth of July Buttercream Ombré Piñata Cake
Here is the cake after we cut it open. I had my husband cut it open so that I could record a little video, but he ruined it when he decided to eat a piece of cake mid-recording 😦

Making the ombré layersThese are the ombré layers. I use Americolor gels to get super vibrant colors.

My toddler and the cake
And here is my little man 🙂 He and I also made American flag chocolate covered pretzels But we will debut those later today…

Fourth of July Flag Cake

Last fourth of July I was SUPER pregnant.  And like any rational minded soon to be mami of two, I decided that I should spend my last days of freedom on my feet, for hours, baking a flag cake.

I started by making a 5 layer red test-cake with buttercream filling.  But I wasn’t happy enough with the height ratio of the red to white, so I ended up with this monstrosity pictured below.

4th of July Cake and Cookies

Really this cake didn’t reach it’s full height potential. But that is only because I reached the max height of our freezer, where I was storing the layers, and I literally couldn’t stand on my feet any longer. That being said, it still irks me when I look at the picture above and wish, wish, wish that there was a the very least another top red layer.

flag cake layers

The most delicious part of the cake was actually the lemon curd filling, which you can’t see here. I chose it because it wouldn’t detract from the colored layers.

Adan and Mami cookies

These are the royal icing cookies I made with toddler. This was the first time I let him roll out his own cookies and decorate them. He was DELIGHTED!

Adan y Abuelito

Here is my happy boy with his abuelito.

With Grandma and Abuelito

Here he is again with his abuelito and grandma.

Since my second son’s birthday is coming up next month my plan was to hold off from making a cake this year. But my family seemed so disappointed that it looks like I’ll be baking a cake after all. And I am actually really excited to use my new Russian icing tips. So I think the plan will be to make a red white and blue pinata cake with my toddler.

I’ll keep you guys posted…