Sunday, January 4, 2015

NEW YEAR'S EVE. GOOD BYE 2014, HELLO 2015!

What did you do for New Year's Eve? 

Another year gone.  I can't believe that 2014 is gone, just like that.

There are some years that you just know will forever remain in the highlighted section of the book of your life.  I know 2014 will be one of them for me.

We didn't do much. The kids fell asleep before midnight. I stayed up until midnight staring at the Christmas Tree.   Kay and I watched some of the CNN New Year's Eve celebration.  We didn't watch the whole thing.  Kathy Griffin is sure getting more inappropriate every year.  Kay and I waited until right before 10 to change the channel back to CNN, so we could watch the ball drop.

I made sweet pork tostadas and a Mexican dessert.  It was a quiet night.  Keith and I said Happy New Year to each other and we had a little talk before going to bed.

2015 appears to be a year of change for us.  A few things are already different. Some positive and some not so positive.  I am just very grateful that Keith and I are good friends and we support each other through the tough times.

I have no New Year resolutions.  I never really do.  I like to work on my personal goals all year round.  A new year just means the opportunity to continue to better myself as a person. 

I called my mom to see what they were up to.  Usually a huge New Year celebration is happening at my grandma's house.  This year she said they stayed home and no one didn't really do anything.  B-O-R-I-N-G!!

Growing up we always had huge New Year's Eve parties.  People really do go crazy with their celebrations down in Mexico.  Lots of amazing food and happy (also drunk) people all over the place.  I used to miss those days.  I think I have since realized that I'm okay with just having a quiet dinner at home with my family.  Some day I will return during New Year's Eve so I can dance to techno music and do the chicken dance haha.

Back to our US Holiday celebration... Kay loves to have hot cocoa with conchas (A traditional Mexican sweet bread)  We try to do that a few times during the cold season.  I'm not a big hot chocolate person, It gives me a stomachache.  They all love hot cocoa so I go with the flow.

 Keith took the kids sledding a couple of days ago, giving me a much needed break.  I wish I could say that I actually enjoyed myself.  I did find my cleaning therapeutic though. ☺



The sweet pork tostadas I made were amazing on New Year's Eve and even the day after.  I don't cook food like this too often.  We tend to have a clean healthier diet during the regular days and save the indulging for special occasions.

When I told my mom that I was making tostadas for our New Year's celebration she wasn't too impressed haha.



The Carlota was pretty yummy too.  It's not a very photogenic dessert but it sure was tasty.

May the year 2015 be everything we make it out to be.  Cheers to that! ;-)

~
Thanks for Visiting!

Friday, December 26, 2014

CHRISTMAS 2014


Is it over? Is it over? haha.

I survived Christmas!  I hope you did too.  ;-)
All jokes aside... I am pretty grateful that we were able to have yet another successful Christmas.   The kids were pretty excited about the whole thing and I couldn't help but feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  ☺

We followed our usual schedule and started by opening our Christmas Pj's on Christmas Eve.  I reused the bags I made last year so that was awesome.

Kay always gets so excited about her pj's.  She loved the cute nightgown Santa picked out for her this year.  ;-)


Ashton wasn't feeling the pj's opening.  
We got him changed into his pj's and then we chased him around so I could snap some pictures of both of them by the tree.

This next picture is my favorite...



I also love this shot of the two of them.  They were having a lot of fun.  Ashton was super hyper.
I got too excited and started snapping pictures before I realized that my camera settings needed some adjusting, I still love it though.


We goofed around for a while and then everyone started getting tired.  I still needed to do some prep for the next morning so I worked on that.



 And of course... we left some milk and Christmas Tree brownies for Santa

After everyone went to bed, I did my usual reflecting and took the time to thank God for everything he has given my family and I.

This year Keith and I decided that only the kids were getting Christmas presents.  We both felt good about that decision. 


The next morning I woke up a little too late (8 am.) for Kay's liking.  Ashton was really bad during the night and Keith ended up staying up with him until 6 am.  Crazy kid!! 
I had left some dough rising so that we could have freshly baked goodies for breakfast. 

We let the kids open their presents while the kitchen started to smell like the most amazing french pastries were baking in the oven.



Ashton was all over his chocolate.  I told myself I wouldn't get them too much this year.  I think I kind of failed at doing that haha.

The kids finished opening presents just in time.  We headed to the kitchen and had our Christmas breakfast. 

The breakfast menu:

Freshly baked pastries (from Trader Joe's)
Huevos Rancheros (Eggs, Ham, Tomatoes, Onions and serrano peppers.)
Vanilla Banana Shakes with sprinkles




Ooooh!! These babies were insanely good!!


Keith and the kids played games while I finished getting dinner ready.
I went with a super simple table set up.  This year I did not buy anything for my table setup. Everything was from around the house. 

Wait... I lied!  I did get these beautiful napkin rings from Target.   They are so pretty.

The menu:

Appetizer:
Feta, spinach and chicken Crostini

Main Course:

Ham (Kay's request.)
Espaguetis Verdes 
(Spaghetti pasta in a poblano pepper creme sauce with melted mozzarella.
Au Gratin Potatos
Virgin Peach mimosas 

Dessert:
Chocolate Tuxedo cake (Costco)






No one had room for dessert after dinner... Whaaat?!?!

We ended up eating our dessert today.
It was insanely chocolaty but Kay and Ashton weren't complaining.



So... That was our Christmas.  I hope you had an amazing time with your loved ones.  I hope that Santa was good to you this year. 

     Until next year... 

That's a wrap!









Sunday, December 14, 2014

A LITTLE HOLIDAY BAKING TO CHEER THINGS UP.


The kids and I did a little Holiday baking last night.  I have not been feeling the Christmas spirit this year.  So much that I haven't even put up a Christmas Tree.  I know... shocker!! 

I will be doing that this upcoming week though.  I will post pictures for sure. 

Last night we made these yummy peppermint cookies.  The recipe is from The Larson Lingo.  We followed the recipe except for the peppermint extract.  We thought they were perfect without it.

I think I've been having way too many.  They are so good!  

I hope you are having an amazing Holiday Season.  I am really trying to get back on the blogging horse.  Sometimes life just gets too hectic, but I need to remember to do something for myself and this is definitely it. ;) 


~

Thanks for Visiting!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

THANKSGIVING 2014

I skipped Halloween 0=-)

I am a little late with my Thanksgiving post. How was your Thanksgiving? Ours was pretty good.  It was a simple, yet delicious meal with a simple but tastefully decorated table.  Keith, Kay, Ashton and I had dinner at home as usual. 


The menu consisted of the usual chipotle turkey,  which we all love. I made a cauliflower puree instead of mashed potatoes, Cranberry dressing which was to die for, and corn. 

We had Costco sweet dinner rolls. 

Our drink was a punch made with mineral water and cranberry juice.


 Kay couldn't get enough of the dressing. She thought it was the best part of the meal.
 Ashton enjoyed everything.

For dessert I went with store-bought.  I got a red velvet cake from Costco. Originally I was going to buy a pumpkin roll but they were all out of those. 
We didn't want pie so we chose the next best thing that we would all enjoy.

It was really yummy!  The whole spread was pretty delicious!

I hope you had a very nice Thanksgiving.  I have so much to be grateful for.  It was a good day to reflect on everything I have been given.

~
Thanks for Visiting!

Friday, December 5, 2014

COMMUNICATION: AN ESSENTIAL SKILL TO EMOTIONAL SURVIVAL.

Hi!  
Long time no see...

I took a little break to take care of myself and my family.  I am not sure that this post means I'm back, the only thing I know is that I want to continue working on this blog :)

Yesterday I had a pretty interesting experience and I wanted to share. It was an uncomfortable experience but one that I'm sure, I will remember for a long time.  

When I think of myself, I think of a pretty reserved person. I keep to myself and I don't make friends easily.  I do this on purpose because I have a very, very soft heart that is very prone to getting hurt. 
 I'm the kind of person that will give anything to comfort you in time of need, the kind of person that will feel bad even for those who probably don't deserve much compassion.   I'm a very strong person when it comes to my own struggles but I definitely have a soft spot for others and their struggles.

My culture, my essence, my view of life and my rough background  have shaped me to be a person that needs to express and share emotion with others. 

This has gotten me in quite a bit of trouble.  I tend to put myself in vulnerable situations where I'm the one who end up embarrassing myself.  This is not by choice.  I literally suffer when I feel like someone may be having a hard time because of me.  Whatever the case may be. 

In yesterday's experience I learned a few things...

The first thing I learned is to walk away when people don't treat you with the respect that you deserve. 

I had a pretty uncomfortable conversation with someone that appeared to be a pretty decent human being.  Someone I had come to respect and admire. 

I thought I knew this person a little and I thought things would be handled in a kind, understanding, reasonable way.  Instead, I was greeted with the face of annoyance.  I immediately felt the rejection and the disapproval of my oh so called inappropriate approach to the situation.

There was no kindness, patience or reasoning during that conversation.  There was only shame, anger and frustration.

Time seemed to slow down as I very quietly in the back of my mind whispered to myself.. I can't believe I allowed myself to be having this embarrassing conversation.

I felt ashamed for a minute.  Then I learned yet another lesson.

Don't ever stop being YOU because of other people's reactions to your actions.

If there is one thing I took from the whole experience is that it took courage for me to make the decision to be upfront with this person.  It took determination to want to get things resolved.  It took putting myself out there knowing that things could turn out the way they did.

Some people will discourage you from being you. They will make you feel embarrassed and ashamed for whatever you say that makes them feel uncomfortable.  You need to remember that this has nothing to do with you. 

A kind heart and soul will never make others feel ashamed for expressing their thoughts, emotions or concerns.

My next lesson was to be more understanding of other people's emotional needs.

I say this for both myself and the person whom I had the conversation with.

I broke it down to the two different experiences.  The one I had and the one I imagine this other person had according to my observations. 

In my experience I walked in feeling anxious, nervous, not knowing exactly what way to approach the situation. 

I walked in confident that I would be treated with understanding no matter how hard it was for me to finally get to what I needed to say.  (This was not the case)  Needless to say I screwed up big time.  I said things backwards and never got to say what I truly wanted to say.

I immediately felt misunderstood, I felt judged and I felt like I've just made a huge mistake.

This is the part where I tell you that mistakes are no accident.  Mistakes happen so that we can learn.  We make mistakes so that we can grow as individuals. Mistakes happen so that we can move onto bigger and better things.

I imagine a scenario when it comes to this person's experience.  

My observations showed that this person experienced confusion,  became upset and defensive.  Experienced short periods of reflection. At times tried to process my words with a feeling of mixed emotions and words that triggered a sense of rejection and self protection.

The overall lesson learned is that we must be willing to give people a chance.  The chance to say what they need to say without assuming, judging or making others feel inadequate with their perception of things in life. 
People process things differently.  What may seem obvious to you, may not be so obvious to others. 
People communicate differently.  Let's give each other the chance to communicate properly no matter how weird or how inadequate our ways may be.

I hope that we all learn to be a little more compassionate towards others.  A little more understanding.  That we allow others to be who they are without ever making them feel bad about how they express themselves.

In a perfect world, I would have been able to deliver my speech flawlessly and without hesitation.

In this imperfect world, I not only failed miserably at my attempt to express my emotions and why I felt that what I needed to say was important,  but I also walked away with a sense of humiliation. 

I learned that my huge mistake was... not stopping myself when I realized my speech was coming out the wrong way.  I confused the other person with my inability to say the right words.  I learned that emotions can and will most likely impair your judgment as well as the other person's, so be careful.  I learned that if kindness and patience would have been applied, I would have been able to recover and put my words together for a better conversation.  I don't say this in an upset way, I take it as a lesson of something I must apply to others in my life.

~
Thanks for visiting!






Sunday, August 24, 2014

CLAUDIA'S FRAGRANCE COLLECTION.






So I thought it would be fun to show you my fragrance collection and share which are my favorite for different occasions.
I keep them in a gold tray from Pier 1 Imports.  I bought it last year.  It was really inexpensive.  I think I only paid $5 dollars for it.

I arrange my fragrances in "favorites" order.

First row from the left, back to front: Givenchy Play, Burberry Brit, Givenchy Dance with Givenchy, Bvlgari Mon Jasmin Noir.
Second and third row, back to front: Tommy Girl by Tommy Hilfiger, Clinique's Happy, Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue,  Coach spring limited edition, Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy,  Prada Candy,  Chloe, Mini bottle of See by Chloe, Mini Bottle of Michael by Michael Kors. 
Fourth row, back to front: Gap's pink,  Dior's J'adore, Burberry London, Hilary Duff's With Love, Mini bottle of Balenciaga's Florabotanica, Mini bottle of Coach Puppy Flower, Mini bottle of Givenchy Play.  Mini rollerball bottles of Elizabeth James Nirvana in both black and white.
The square bottle on top of my makeup remover pads is Blue from The Gap. 




Now for my favorite part...
I'm going to share with you which are my most worn (aka my faves) and which season of the year I think these are best for.

~


BVLGARI Mon JASMIN NOIR

Aaaahh!!!  What can I say... This is the most expensive fragrance I own.  Also the fragrance I reach for when I'm going out for a special occasion.  

With a well balanced mixture of floral and musk, this fragrance is not only very sexy but also very sophisticated and elegant.  It's strong so definitely an evening scent. After it settles on your skin, it leaves a subtle smell of all those floral and musky notes.  I like that!  I'm not a big fan of perfumes that smell so strong, it leaves people thinking you just poured an entire bottle of perfume on yourself.

Words to describe the scent:
Sultry, Seductive, Elegant, Strong at first but then it leaves you with a subtle hint of the most sophisticated scent there is.  

Price: $85 to $90

Appropriate for Summer, Fall and Winter.  I would say mainly for special occasions such as a wedding, a night out with your partner or girl friends, A black tie event.  Definitely an evening Scent.

One of my favorites for sure!  I love the packaging too.

Will definitely repurchase.




DANCE WITH GIVENCHY

This is on my top three favorites.  I'm bummed that it was limited edition and I'm more than half way with my bottle. 

Description: Launched in 2010, Dance With Givenchy was inspired Audrey Hepburn who trained in ballet and the theme The Dancers of Degas. This ultra-feminine floral fragrance is composed of jasmine, ylang ylang, apple, mandarin, orange blossom, wood and musk. Pure, chic and feminine. - 

That description fits perfectly.  This fragrance is very feminine and chic.

I prefer to wear it during Summer, particularly at night or on the weekends when I go out with my family.  I wore it a lot for work meetings when I worked for a local company.  People always asked what I was wearing.

Once it settles on your skin, the fragrance is that of a delicate floral scent.

I won't list the price since it's no longer available :( 
Would most definitely repurchase if I could.

BURBERRY BRIT

This is my go-to fragrance for Fall. 
Although white peony is in it's notes.  I think the mahogany and vanilla notes definitely make this fragrance a more musky vanilla scent.

It's very rich in fragrance so it appears too strong at first.  Once it settles,  you can smell a hint of all the softer notes in it.


$74
Will Repurchase for sure.




COACH SIGNATURE SUMMER 2012

This has been my go-to Spring and Summer daily fragrance since I bought it.  It was Limited Edition.  Smells really good.  Nothing special but pleasant enough that it's good to wear on a daily basis during the warmer months.

Not sure I would repurchase if it was still available.



DOLCE & GABBANA Light Blue

This is a very interesting scent.  Honestly, I can never smell it on myself but quite often get compliments when I wear it.  Go figure!

It's definitely in the Clean and fresh notes family. I smell a little bit of citrus but also a little bit musky.  Hard to describe this one.

I think I will repurchase, merely because it seems to go really well with the natural chemistry of my skin.  Like I said... always get compliments on it.

Spring and Summer scent.

$72



PRADA CANDY

The first time I smelled this fragrance was on a Nordstrom magazine. 
You know how you get fragrance samples you can rub your wrist on? Well I did and I fell in love!! 

I got it in a Sephora kit so I only paid $50 as opposed to the $64 retail price for this size.

Definitely sweet notes.  A stronger scent that smells softer as it settles.

I prefer it during the cooler months.

Although I really like it, I am not sure that I will repurchase.




CHLOE

My husband got me a bottle for my birthday, last year.
I think this is one of those scents you can pull off any time of the year.

Definitely more floral but I have enjoyed it during the warmer months as well as the cooler months.

One of my favorites.  Get compliments all the time. 

$105

Will definitely repurchase.



MINI SEE BY CHLOE

I love this fragrance.  It's very floral but it's a happy floral.  I'm not sure it is for everyone but I really love it when it sets on my skin.  It's super soft and feminine. I have two, this mini bottle and a deluxe tube sample of it. 

I love to wear it when I go out to dinner with my family.

$58 for a smaller bottle

Will definitely purchase when my samples run out.

MINI MICHAEL BY MICHAEL KORS

I have a love-hate relationship with this one.  I really hate it when I first put it on.  It smells like a rich grandma haha.  No better way to describe it.  It's strong and musky with wood notes and strong sweet florals.  It gives me a headache when I first apply it.  However... I really do love the way it settles on my skin. 

Unsure if I will repurchase.

$60 for a small bottle.




Last but not least...

ELIZABETH AND JAMES NIRVANA
BLACK AND WHITE ROLLERBALLS.

I got these two mini rollerballs as point perks from Sephora.  At first I wasn't sure I liked them.  I definitely preferred the white one.  It's floral but the black one was way too musky for my taste.  Almost more of what a men's cologne would smell like. 

I still decided to try them both.  I'm glad I did.  Someone said to combine both scents and it makes an addictive combo.  I agree!!

If you mix them, you will get a beautiful sophisticated scent.

My problem with these is... they don't really last on me.

I love the white one on its own or combined but at a price tag of $22 per rollerball, I'm not sure I want to spend the money again for something that doesn't seem to last on my skin.

They are definitely in my favorites so we'll see.  

My least favorite scents are With Love by Hilary Duff,  Burberry London and Dior's J'adore.  I hardly ever wear them but my husband seems to like Burberry London on me.  It's too strong for my taste. 

I still enjoy my Viva La Juicy and really love my Givenchy Play.  I dislike the bottle of Givenchy Play but the scent is amazing.

A fragrance on my wish list... Gucci II.   What are your favorites?

Thanks for visiting!