Wednesday, July 23, 2014

SUMMER LIST 2014:MAKE A GIANT BANANA SPLIT.

We made a giant banana split to share last night.  It was one of the activities on our Summer List. 
That thing was Gi-normous!!  It was so good though!!  I'll post the recipe soon. 


Ashton almost missed the yummy activity.  It was almost his bed time and he fell asleep while we were watching 'Heaven is for real'.  Speaking of which... have you seen it?
It left me thinking.  I'm a firm believer that there is life after this life so... it was definitely interesting watching a movie based on a true story about a little boy and his experience in Heaven.

Anyways... Ashton woke up just in time.  He of course, enjoyed the activity probably more than all of us together haha.  He is got a serious sweet tooth.  He gets it from his daddy.  Who can say no to those perfectly round brown eyes? 


Kay was pretty happy too.  She is like... "This is THE best banana split I've ever had!.  Well I've only had Sonic's but this one is better."  haha she cracks me up!!.

The best thing about this Summer List project is that it leaves us with pretty good family memories.  Even Ashton who is only 16 months old seems to really enjoy that family time.

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Thanks For Visiting!






Tuesday, July 22, 2014

SUMMER, TV SHOWS AND ALREADY THINKING AHEAD.

When Kay is home for Summer break, I usually end up watching more television than I would otherwise. This Summer in particular, I don't know if it is because my husband's schedule is pretty crazy right now or what.  We definitely have been watching TV a lot more and discovering new shows we are both loving.

One show that we enjoy watching together is Food Network Star.  We both really enjoy the twist in the challenges the contestants are given, as well as watching the final presentation of their dishes.




We are both cheering for Loreal Gavin aka the butcher babe or Lenny the cowboy.  He cracks me up with his over the top personality.



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Another one of our faves right now is Cutthroat Kitchen.  This show is so entertaining.  You never know what "evil" sabotage Alton Brown is going to come up with.

In case you don't know what this show is about, here is a little description from Wikipedia that pretty much sums it all up.

"The show features four chefs challenged to cook gourmet dishes to be judged by a guest celebrity, but introduces auctions in which they can purchase opportunities to sabotage each other or benefit themselves. Each chef is given $25,000 at the start of the show; the winner keeps whatever money he/she has not spent in the auctions."


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Today I saw on Twitter that ABC is already promoting the new seasons/Fall lineup of my favorite shows. 




And of course,  NBC's Law and Order SVU


Another one of my faves is Parenthood. I don't know what NBC is thinking, cancelling such a good. It show should be a crime.  ;-)

Looks like we get one more season.  I will miss the crazy Braverman family.




I'm really excited for all of them to come back this Fall.  Speaking of which... I'm also really excited that my favorite season is right around the corner.  I am already thinking ahead and planning for Fall stuff and Halloween.  I know!  I'm totally lame.  I really need to enjoy Summer and wait until later to start thinking about Fall. I think I do this every year.  Fall is just such a cozy, heartwarming season... I just love it!

I'll behave and go back to Summer mode. 
We are making a giant banana split tonight.  It's part of our Summer List activities. Next Thursday is Pioneer Day here in Utah and the hubby won't have class that night.  We are planning on doing our Donuts and Shakes activity.   Back to school is sure coming fast.  It's good we did a smaller list this Summer.

What do you have going on this Summer? Are you as excited as I am for Fall to start?  haha... don't answer that! :P

~
Thanks for Visiting!

Monday, July 21, 2014

HEALTHY MONDAY: IN THE MIDST OF LIFE.


"I'm not an unglued woman who is a slave to her circumstances, her hormones, or to other people's attitudes. Those things might affect me, but they don't rule me. I am a child of God, holy and dearly loved, whom God has set apart for a mighty plan. And there ain't nothing in this world worth trading all that for. I must remember who I am."

I found that quote this morning.  It's from the book UNGLUED: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions
 by Lysa TerKeurst.

STOCK IMAGE.

I thought it was a healthy reminder, that we must strive to remain true to ourselves and who we are, even in the middle of our sometimes chaotic lives.

I'm not trying to get all religious here.  I just really enjoyed those words.  

I actually planned on sharing a healthy panini recipe today.  After seeing this quote, I thought I should instead; share some food for the soul. =-)

My husband and I were talking about this the other day.  I don't know about you and what your community is like but in ours, we sure notice a lot of unhappiness in people. 
Almost as if life was getting heavier and heavier on all of us.  I speak for experience when I say that as things get more expensive, life gets harder to manage and we become busier people trying to multitask full time jobs, full time parenting and around the clock busy, stressful lives... things just seem to get harder and harder.

I'm an observer.  In a way this has helped me understand people and their struggles.  It helps me understand my own struggles as I navigate life.  The one thing we all share in common... we desperately want to find balance and improve our quality of life.  Why wouldn't we? It sounds great, right?

The reason why we are going on the wrong direction, is because we (myself included.)  are failing to stop for a minute and listen to the whispers of our own heart as we navigate life one day at a time.

Do you ever just sit there, quietly and give yourself time to just FEEL?  Time to just be GRATEFUL for the good things you have in your life.  I can't tell you how many times this has helped me reconsider things, to see things with a grateful eye.  I have seem my attitude change immediately.  I do better that day. I feel inspired to create and do more with the time I have and most importantly, I feel better about myself.

It's those kind of moments that remind me, that although the hectic world is still out there "Those things might affect me, but they don't rule me."
I tell you, it is really hard to get into that mind set but when you do... life is better.  Life is beautiful and the biggest blessing of having woken up another day of life, becomes your motivation for that day.

When I understand that we are all here for a purpose, I remember the importance of just being who I am.

I really just wanted to share these words.  They are for me just as much as they are for you.  I can really use them when life gets heavy on me.
I hope they can brighten up your day,  I hope they can inspire you to search and find your happiness within the walls of our own heart and soul. 
It sounds really cheesy, but I've personally discovered that cheesy... is actually quite good for the soul. =-)

Thanks for Visiting!!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

MI COCINA JAROCHA: AGUA DE LIMON RECIPE



Agua de limon is one of those drinks I grew up with.  This was our go-to drink most days of the week for dinner.  Not only is amazingly refreshing but it's also super easy to make.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
5 Limes (4 for the juice and one for garnish.)
1.5 Cup Sugar
11 Cups Water
4 Cups Ice

TOOLS YOU NEED:
Lime Squeezer
Pitcher
Stirring tool
Measuring cups




Squeeze the juice out of the limes directly into the pitcher.
 Add Sugar
 Water
 Give it a quick stir!
  Slice the lime you set aside for garnish (thin slices)
 I like to pour it into a nicer pitcher once I'm done making the juice, then I add the ice cubes.
Add the garnishing lime slices 
and you are done! 

The perfect Summer drink.

ENJOY!! 

Thanks for Visiting!


Thursday, July 17, 2014

HOUSE PROJECT: KAY'S TWEEN BEDROOM ON A BUDGET.

Kay is almost 11.  I've been putting off switching her bedroom into a more grown up girl's room.  I don't know why.  I guess the idea of her growing up...  makes me nostalgic.

Her room has gone from Disney princesses everywhere, to simple pink and brown with no real theme going on.  This time we are going with Yellow, white and light grey but we decided that we are going to keep it very simple. 

She will keep most of her furniture.  We found her a cute desk on a local site like Craig's List for $30 bucks... Score!  We are going to be adding a light grey chevron pattern fabric under the glass and I will paint her desk chair yellow.  We have not decided on the lamp shade but we know she needs a medium sized lamp on her desk.

I bought her a cute yellow quilt for her bed off Ebay.  I got a good deal on it, but nothing I should be raving about. 0=-)
We both loved it when it arrived.  Here is a picture of it.  


Today we bough a different sheet set at Target.  We got her a cute accent pillow and some other stuff to organize her desk.

We are debating as to whether we should make her some new curtains or paint some stripes on these.

We added a white reading chair in the corner by the window and we will be making an accent pillow for it.  Now we just need to figure out what to do for wall art.

I will share the progress. ;-)


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

MI COCINA JAROCHA: MEXICAN STREET STYLE HOT DOGS RECIPE.



A few weeks back I was craving some serious Mexican street food.  When it comes to Mexican food, I don't have to try hard to talk my family into it.  They love Mexican food... particularly the food I grew up with, which you can't really find in the US. 

When I think about these hot dogs, I'm reminded of my young and single nights spent at the crowded Malecon in Veracruz City.  I went there often with my friends.  The weather was extremely warm, the sound and breeze from the ocean waves across the huge boulevard made the perfect night out.

El Malecon is a tourist attraction in Veracruz City and there are plenty of restaurants, as well as food street vendors for you to satisfy your hunger.  There is always live music playing in the background and plenty of people from other countries enjoying the laid-back atmosphere.  The State of Veracruz is well known for the amazing food so I really hope you will give these babies a try. ;)


Just hit the print button at the bottom of the page and you are good to go!


You will need a grill.  Any kind will do, just make sure to follow the instructions on how to cook the bacon if you are using a gas/charcoal outdoor grill.  I used my handy-dandy indoor Cuisinart grill shown below. 



Start by cooking the bacon on the grill, oven or stove top.  
(I like to use thick apple wood bacon.)

Once its done,  place it on a plate lined up with a paper towel to get rid of the excess fat. 

Grill the hot dogs.



While that's going... get your toppings ready by giving the bacon a rough chop, dice the onion, tomatoes, jalapenos and get your cheese ready.



Like I mentioned in the recipe. The street vendors steam their hot dog buns so that's what I did.
Slice your avocado right before assembling the hot dogs, to avoid a yucky dark avocado mess.

My little man passed out in his highchair while I was working on this recipe.  It was heaven. Usually Kay and I are chasing him around the house or he is pissed off because I'm not giving him attention. =-)

Enough of all that cuteness and back to the recipe.
Time to put together the hot dogs.
Add Mayo to the steamed buns and place a hot dog in it. duh! ;-)
Add some bacon
Onions
Tomatoes
JalapeƱos
Avocado slices
Zigzag some ketchup across the whole thing...
Do the same with the mustard
And last... add some of the Queso Oaxaca or string cheese.

Queso Oaxaca (Oaxaca cheese.) is really just the fresh Mexican version of string cheese in the US.  They taste very similar.  I have tried Queso Oaxaca in the US and it doesn't taste as yummy and fresh as the Queso Oaxaca in Veracruz.  Either way, these hot dogs taste pretty darn close to the real thing.

ENJOY!!

Leave me a comment if you make them and let me know what you think! =-)



Thursday, July 10, 2014

GROWING OLDER AND SIMPLIFYING THINGS.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot, about how I am living my life.
I've been feeling like there are some changes to be made and... quite frankly, possibly overdue.

My priorities have changed so dramatically in the last little bit. I've always been kind of a soul searcher.  I don't desire riches, I don't desire fame... I desire happiness.

In my perfect world, I live in a comfortable, nice house that's just big enough for my family and I, plus an extra guest bedroom for when my parents visit.  I desire no fancy cars, I will be happy with a comfy minivan. My biggest desire is to travel the world with my family.

I'm ambitious in other ways.  I desire to learn as many things as I possible can, before its my time to go.

I love food, I love the beginning of every season, I love morning walks with my kids and I love dinner time with my family.  I also love blogs, good blogs that help me become a better person and keep myself on track. I love cheesy movies, I love a clean house, I love to cook, I love photography and I love working on this blog.

In the last couple of months, I've been feeling meh!!  I've been feeling like there are so many things I've been doing that don't quite match with the things I love.  Mind you, we don't get to do only the things we love in this life but also the complicated ones. However, there are things that we can control.

One of the things I decided to start with...

DEACTIVATING MY FACEBOOK ACCOUNT.

Well sort of... as I couldn't quite deactivate or delete my account because it is linked to my blog page.

For months now, I've been feeling like I just needed to pull the plug on my Facebook account.  I felt torn because there were a few people I truly wanted to keep in touch with, people that I really enjoy seeing what they post. However I really felt like the negative side of my Facebook account, outweighed the positive.

I felt like my Facebook account wasn't such a happy place after all, so I did it.  I pulled the plug!  I feel good about it.

The next thing I really need to work on...

DE-CLUTTER.

Having another baby means... I have all this baby gear that he has outgrown.  Clothes from both kids, things that some days make me feel like I just want to throw out the whole darn house... out the window. Ha!

I've been working on fixing that.  I have a few bags filled with things we need to donate or throw in the trash.  We did some "necessary" furniture re-arranging yesterday. Our living room looks completely different now.  At first I didn't like it but I'm warming up to it.  We live in a fairly small place for us now that we are a family of four.   We can't quite move yet as my husband would need to transfer. He just got promoted at work, which means... no transfer for at least another 6 months.  I decided that instead of complaining I just need to get on top of things and make what we have work for us.  At least until we can move to a bigger place.

THE BLOG.

This blog is something I really enjoy doing.  However, I don't always have time to take a million pictures and edit them while putting together a post. This has left me with one day a week to post something and I don't like it that way.  I think I've been confused about the direction I want to go with this.

The idea was to encourage other women while learning from each other about how to navigate the housewife and parenthood corner.  Perhaps I have made things more complicated that they need to be.

So how about we rewind the whole thing and I blog more often about the simple life?!?!  I will still post recipes and all the other good stuff but I would really like to keep some room for the simple posts.

LIVING A SIMPLE, ORGANIZED, GRATEFUL LIFE.

This is by far my biggest goal right now.  I feel like there is so much social pressure out there right now.  Pressure to get fit, to eat healthy, to be accepted, to become the "perfect" version of ourselves.
Gluten free, organic everything, who has the biggest, nicer, most expensive home?  Who has the perfect children, perfect husband, who is the perfect wife?

The reality is... we are not creating a better version of ourselves by trying to fit into society expectations.  If anything, we are creating stressed out, fake versions of ourselves. 

I'm all for getting fit and eating healthy but I don't want to give into society's pressure.  I want to do it because I want to,  at my own pace and if my wallet will allow it.
My goal is to live a simple life by doing what makes me happy, what is within my reach as I continue to improve myself and chase my dreams. I want to live a more organized life, as in making sure that my house and my family are taken care of.  I want to be and feel grateful for everything I have.

I want to give more and take less.  One of the things I really want to do is volunteer preparing food at a homeless shelter.  I want to be able to help others. I want to teach my kids to see beyond the outside of a person.  I want to help them love themselves for who they are.   There are so many things I feel like I need/want to do.  I've been wanting to do these things for such a long time and I think I'm way overdue.

So you see, the title of this post fits.  I think I'm growing older.  I think I'm starting to realize that it's all true... at the end of the day the only thing that matters is the things that make you feel good and happy with yourself and the kind of life you are living.