Friday, October 10, 2014

7 links to love



This is a picture from a few weeks ago of my kids and nephew with their first ever lemonade stand! It was plain and simple...an old table, a sign, and the lemonade and snacks. They were so happy and proud of themselves, making money "all on their own" (We were close by.)  Every now and then the kiddos would change the prices, (the littles would forget....lol) or they'd get too many customers all at once. They loved it!

I have to say that "7 links to love" posts are definitely my favorite! I love to share about all the new things I find- favorite recipes, my must-haves, or any blogs that have inspired me this week. Reading my favorite blogs is how I was inspired to start my own.

...and here we go:


 (these are actually the ones I made!!-high five for moi!!)

  • Best Ever Sticky Asian Ribs-  I'm obsessed with Pinterest and I have to admit that as much as I love to make my boards, and pin all of my favorite recipes, best cleaning tips and DIY projects, I don't actually get to try and do all of them. This recipe is one of the few I've tried so far, and it's one of my faves! I am not a fan of pork but these are my exception! I can't wait to try it on chicken.
  •  I am very picky about what my kids watch on T.V. Sarah is like a sponge, and even the shows on Disney Channel, (for the exception, for now, of Girl Meets World) in my opinion, have way too many things I don't agree with, like little kids talking back to adults. This post from Kristen of Rage Against the Minivan on best shows to watch as a family is a good one, with great recommendations!
  • It's been confirmed! There is literally a guide for almost everything you can think of and that includes BOOGERS!! The brilliant minds from HOW TO BE A DAD made a hilarious cartoon guide.
  • How to plan a party regardless of budget  by Alison of The Alison Show ..... she is a favorite of mine....so down to earth and funny. I'd love to attend one of the awesome parties she throws...I really feel like I'm missing out! Oh and if you're not following her on Instagram...then you must..the dance videos are everything!
  • I have been couponing on and off for about a year....I have a love/hate relationship with it. I love getting good deals! Recently, I had a whole shopping trip that was worth $150 and only paid $30...seriously! You have to be very patient and give it your all or you wont see results....luckily for me my sister in law does all the hard work....and I just sit back and relax!(who doesn't love that?!) -- MoneysavingMom and Living Rich with Coupons are two great websites she goes to for the best deals and freebies!
  • Bekah Blesses Me  - I loved this post from Becky of Apples of Gold.... reading her posts always lifts me up!

 Yay, it's Friday.....and it's a 3 day weekend for me!! Enjoy the weekend....Here's a quote I found to inspire you:

 

 xoxo,
Delia

Saturday, October 4, 2014

My greatest loss part 2

      If you didn't already read it, here's  part 1of my greatest loss .


When you loose someone, a child, spouse, sibling, close friend you immediately become part of this club (one that no one ever wants to be a part of) filled with people everyday that are forever changed. We feel for one another, the pain and suffering we are going through like no one else can. my children's guidance counselor told me that there are different stages of grief that we all go through and that after 5 years its when it becomes a little easier to come to terms with what has happened. Everyday, or week, I feel different emotions. A million thoughts can come to mind and I'll feel angry, sad or frustrated. I allow myself to feel these emotions because holding it all in will only cause more harm than good. I vent, not for pity, but because writing is the only way I can calm myself. There are times when I just wanna go somewhere and scream at the top of my lungs, since January actually. My best friend is gone. He was my forever calm in the storm that has sometimes been my life. The one that always listened to my crazy rants, just nodding most of the time, but showing support always. He loved giving me mild heart attacks, just to see me squirm and scold him...maybe he just loved to be reminded of how much I loved him.. ha! Everything reminds me of him, it can be horrible. I do not like driving by places or anywhere near where she lived because it hurts. I hate being in my kitchen or even cooking because I catch myself remembering. I'll remember all the times when he would lurk right behind me as I was in front of the stove smelling the food. Man, did he love my cooking. It'd drive my husband crazy because when Jro was visiting, he was the one who's plate was served first.







 In every family, no matter how perfect or imperfect they are, you always have that one person you are extremely close with. I love my parents and my sister, I do, but there was no doubt, since we were little that he was the one I was closest too. As I grew older that was always a constant. I was lucky enough to find the love of my life and watch him and my brother become the best of friends. As my own little family grew he became a part of it also, and that's how it always was.

When the case was closed it was time to pick up his belongings. Our family had already decided that his car was going to be crushed at a junk yard. We didn't want there to be a possibility for the car to be driven by anyone else and the only thing that was going to ease our nerves was to actually see it being crushed. I had mixed feelings about it only because he loved his car very much.  I never wanted to see it again and I got anxiety at the thought of having to see it. I had to find the strength somehow because there was no way I was going to let my father go through that alone. We met the detective that was in charge of his case at the station and he was going to take us to the yard where the police department  has all the cars they collect from cases. He told me that there was going to be an ambulance about a block away from us in case my father got way to upset, and just the thought of that happen frightened me.

We arrived there and I tried to keep my cool. My sister had come with us for support as well and we all stood only a few feet from "Penelope" (that's what Jro had named his car). The detective opened it up for us and just made sure there wasn't anything there that shouldn't be. We all wept quietly and stared at it. As the officer opened the trunk a bee stung him directly on the eye! The car was in the lot for months and apparently there was a small hive inside. What are the odds that he gets stung right on the eye?? It took the police a whole month to find Melissa and Jro right under their noses, and I don't really care if you agree with me or not, but to me, that was a very big "well, do you see me now?" from my brother. ha! We waited for another officer to come back with a spray to kill the bees. The officers got rid of the nest and made sure there wasn't anything else before we were allowed to start bagging my brother's belongings. I never got in the car, but my heart ached so much when I noticed that right behind the steering wheel on the dashboard as a picture of Jon and Sarah that he kept with him always. I felt like my hart was going to come right out of my chest.


We finished up and we waited for a tow truck from the junk yard to come and pick up the car. We drove to the junk yard and waited there as the workers there lifted it and placed it in the giant compacter. My father sister and I waited in the detective's car  while he was handling the paperwork with the people from the junkyard that were kind enough to do all of it for us free of charge. We sat in the car for a total of 20 minutes and I stared out the window clutching my children's picture. I wondered if they were the last thing he saw when he closed his eyes for the last time. I thought about  al the things he loved , his goals, his dreams. He knew Melissa was the one he was going to marry. Both our families should've shared the joy of watching the two most beautiful souls become one in marriage, not a tragedy such as this. As I stared out I noticed this dragonlfy, that camouflaged so perfectly into the towers of metal. It was a few feet away from me but I swear it didn't move the whole time we where there. Somehow seeing it there gave me a little bit of peace.the car was crushed as best as it could be and was calm knowing there wasn't anyway somebody could use it. We drove home and chatted about my brother on the way. I told my Dad that now part of me wants to feel as close to him as possible. I want to love all the things he loved. I want to start living life! All the things that were important to him are now important to me.

 Everyone griefs in their own way. I don't want to think about the fact that maybe in five years I will come to terms with what's happened because then that would mean I am ok with loosing my brother. I don't ever want to be ok with that. I ask God for strength. I share my story not for pity or attention but for closure.

The holidays are coming up and we are all just bracing ourselves. I will not be celebrating Thanksgiving or Christmas this year. (Maybe next year it'll be different) It just doesn't feel right. My kiddos love Christmas so I'm thinking we will head to the city that day or maybe stay for two nights. Honestly, only for them.

In two months it will be almost a year that our lives were forever changed. I am a different person. I cherish everyday I get to have with my family. I let go of things and people that are not important.  I want everything to be honest and transparent. The past is in the past and if you're in my life it's because I want you to be there. I will never let my insecurities bring me down. It's sad, but people only understand that when tragedy happens. I find a little comfort in knowing that it has almost been a year and that I got through it as best as I could. We all did. 






 I carry my brother's beautiful memory in my mind and in my heart.

and here he is....trying to be a  magician :

video











Monday, September 22, 2014

My greatest loss part 1

    I've been dreading having to write this post. Purposely avoiding having to talk about the most horrible thing I've ever had to experience. I am a very emotional person and I've always been able to express how I feel by writing it down. It's hard to open up a page here and not be 100% honest. I'm always second guessing myself about how much I am willing to share here. I've fought the urge to write angry rants and posts about many things because I don't want my business out there. I'm sitting in my kitchen, already feeling a flood of emotion as I write. 

    A few days after Christmas of last year, my baby brother, Jorge "jro" and his girlfriend, went missing. My family and I didn't find out till almost a week later. 

   Dec.27 was the last time I texted him. On Dec.29, my daughter completely made my blood run cold when she began to sing a song ( she had gotten a simple little microphone set for Christmas and was on it all the time.) "I miss my uncle Jro, I love my uncle Jro" ...I asked her to stop singing that, I honestly  do not know why it made me so uncomfortable, but it did. 

                             


    Out of respect for my parents and my family I do not want to get into too much detail about it. I want to share what I can because I feel he deserves I let people know. In everyone's minds his girlfriend Melissa and he, had run away. My parents shared our story of desperation on Spanish local news, in local newspapers in the hopes that someone would've seen them. I was broken. I knew Melissa and Jro well enough to know that they Would NEVER leave without telling us. I tried to steer my mind away from negative thoughts. I tried not to let people's negative assumptions of Jro and Melissa get to me. I shielded my kids from the nightmare all of us were living as best as I could. They'd ask for their uncle and I'd say he was busy working. They never questioned it because he was such a hard worker. 

  The police were investigating, unthinkable questions were asked and my heart ached for my little brother. I just wanted to see him again. I'll never forget that at one point some awful woman claimed to have seen them walking along a highway and that she offered them a ride to a shelter because it was too cold and they had no jackets. Around that time it was extremely cold already, we had just had a terrible blizzard. My parents and the police rushed to that area, put up flyers everywhere and hoped.



 I can't remember the exact day in mid January when I had received the most awful call. They're bodies were found. They were less than 15 minutes away from my home. (Melissa lived very close to me in a near by town) They hadn't ran away, they didn't hurt each other, nobody had hurt them, all the theories that were made were wrong. They were found in my brother's car inside Melissa's garage (it was a garage separate from her families apartment ) They passed away from carbon monoxide poisioning and their death was ruled accidental. A tragic horrible accident. I share this now because the investigation was officially closed just two months ago.  I share this because when it was reported they were found on local newspapers etc i read disgusting, filthy comments people left. They were words by  ignorant strangers but they hurt. Nobody deserves any explanation and everyone is entitled to their opinion but it is so wrong to speak so ill of the two kindest and selfless people I know. 

  You can watch and read about tragic stories Iike this everyday, and you can feel for families when they loose someone they love ( you can even think about how much you would never want to have to live through something Ike that) but trust me you can never even fathom the pain we feel. Two families were forever changed and marked and our lives will never be the same. 

I can't even explain how horrible I felt (and still do) watching my parents and sister suffer. I couldn't even bring myself to tell my kids, my husband and father did that.  The beautiful bond they both had with their uncle and best friend is what made the thought of breaking their little hearts incredibly hard. There is no one that can tell me otherwise, but my little Sarah could feel that something terrible had happened to her uncle, that's why that song she sang made me so uncomfortable. They had passed that same weekend  she sang that song and nobody found out until almost a month later.

 We all became very ill  with the flu at the time of Jro's funeral so it's still such a blur to me. It was on January 23-24 and burial on the same day. I remember very clearly being very angry at times. It was good I was sick, because I could easily see myself kicking people out. The things you see at funerals can amaze you. There was a ton of support and I am forever grateful but it was all one big nightmare.....a nightmare that just seemed to get worse as months went on. The police were still investigating and although we had buried my baby brother there were still many questions. We were left in a state of limbo. It's weird, ya know, having to move on with your life when nothing will ever really be the same. I have never experienced death this strongly before. I had only lost someone very important to me once before (my mother) but I was just a baby then. I only sometimes feel like I miss her, like how her hugs  and support would feel, in a time like this.  

  I learned how big my heart is, let me explain....how much love, suffering, anger and pain it can hold. There's a part in it where I share the pain my parents feel, the pain my mother feels loosing a son, (as a mother, I shiver at the thought of loosing a child) i always felt like a second mom to him...ever since he was a baby all I did was take care of him.  The pain my Dad feels for loosing his only son. My sister her brother.  The pain my husband feels about loosing his brother and best friend. Jro was his brother and there was no doubt about that, they were inseparable! ( I always felt like the third wheel with those two) My son loosing the best uncle ever, his best friend,  the one that loved him and spoiled him, the one that was always so proud of all his accomplishments. He'd spend hours recording Jonathan make "movies" while playing with his toys. Jonathan respected him more than us. He looked forward to seeing him everyday!  Sarah, my baby Sarah, I can't even put into words the special bond they both had, he was her everything, her hero, her knight in shining armor all rolled into one. Her superman uncle. The best babysitter they could ever have.

             

  
Life is hard.........things happen without an explanation or warning and sometimes all you can do is get by one day at a time. I am forever changed.......



  
 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

30 things I learned by my 30th birthday

                    



Wow. I haven't been to my little forgotten blog in months ( mind you my lack of keeping up with it is nothing new) but the last time I posted was almost 9 months ago! My brother passed away late December of last year and it was the most awful thing that has EVER happened to me. I missed this space, but I am still very much emotional about it all and it's hard for me to fight the urge and write about it all  that has happened without ranting and raving, and crying ,etc. I will write about that soon!

  Anyway, I just turned 30 years old and I have to say, I don't know if it's because I'm in denial, but I really don't feel 30. I have nothing against it. It's just unbelievable how fast the time goes. 
I was up Sunday night thinking about my life and everything that has led me to this point. There have been so many ups and downs (especially this year) in my 29 years that I can very proudly say I have learned a lot. So, in no particular order, I will share at least 30. 

1. My family is the most important thing in my life. (God first) but after that they are #1. Period. 

2. In relation to #1: I can be the kindest, and nicest person, I say that because that's how I choose to carry myself,(my best to everyday anyway) but once you mess with my family-my kids or my husband, I do not care who you are, I will go all HULK on you and that is a guarantee!

3. Loyalty and honesty are also very important to me.

4. Although it took me awhile to realize it, becoming a Mom at 19 was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. It forced me to be more responsible and independent. 

5. I'd rather have a few friends that I can count in one hand, that be surrounded by a lot of fake ones.

6. If people do not pay your bills their opinion shouldn't matter. It took me awhile to realize that one too.   I have always cared way too much about other's opinions.

7. Always, always trust your gut and your instincts about anyone and anything. I am constantly reminded of that. To this day I can count on one hand the times I have not been right about that.

8. My goals and dreams from 15 years ago are very different than what they are now and that's ok.

9. Love yourself...no matter what. I learned to love my crooked teeth, weird thumbs, chicken legs, freckles because that is what makes me, me. There is no other Delia out there. That is the beauty of this world that everyone is different. It's exhausting trying to be someone you're not!

10. Do not hold grudges! It's a waste of time. I know this,believe me I do. ( BUT...do not be a fool. If the same things keep happening than something's gotta change! Remember what keeps being done and cut ties immediately)

11. Live life... Love life ...cherish each and everyday and don't stop living.

12. Apologize, don't be stubborn.

13. Marriage is work. You have to be willing to make it work and that means you have to always consider someone else's feelings above your own.

14. Material things are not important. One day you might have to find yourself loosing almost everything and things that happen will force you to be humble and appreciate what is really important.

15. I am not ashamed to say that I love people. I do. I am constantly inspired and amazed by people. There is enough envy in this world... Tell someone that they inspire you!

16. Travel, travel, travel....I am the stay-at home traveller, you know someone with a list of the million places they wish they could visit but can't afford to visit.ha!

17. Get out of your comfort zone once in awhile. Or at least pretend you're confident to the point where one day you might actually believe it.

18. Life is unfair, in so many ways it can be SO unfair. It's hard for me to wrap my head around it . You can be surrounded by toxic people, you know those who just exude negativity constantly and they just don't go away, like a bad rash, or a bad cold, no matter how much you try. But that one person that meant the world to you, your brother and best friend, is forever physically gone. Life can be cruel.

19. Be happy

20. Depression and anxiety hit me hard when I was pregnant with my first and stuck around after that. It's horrible, I fought it, and I do it for my family. They are constantly my reason for not letting the depression monster take over, I refuse to let it.

21. Be positive. I can't help being a "Debby downer". That's why I try to be positive on here and on my Instagram, and other places. I'm not trying to portray a life of perfection and constant happiness, or "fakeness". It's my way of looking back and remembering all those things that brought me joy, all that I hold dear.

22. Things always happen for a reason.

23. Make mistakes and learn from them!

24. I miss my mom all the time. I need her. I was very young when she passed away, but she is always on my mind. I wonder if I am like her in anyway or just a little. I wish I could've met her. 

25. Don't stop trying. 

26. I have this habit, even more now with so much loss and change, to try and fix what is broken, to mend relationships that, I feel are important to me. No one can ever say that I never tried. That is the honest truth.

27. My most important reason to try and constantly better myself is for my children. I want to be a good example for them.

28. Is it foolish and naive for me to say that I want to live??! I want to die of old age! I mean only God knows my future and my purpose- He knows what's ahead, but I want to be there for my husband and children. I want to grow old with my hubby and retire off to some luxury retirement home in Florida! Ha!
I want to see my babies graduate, marry and have babies of their own. I want to meet my grand babies!(my stomach churns at the thought of not being able to do that)

29. Be smart about money! The worst feeling ever is getting into debt you can't quite get control of or not having emergency money when it's necessary.

30. Barely made it-..lol this is MY list of some of the things I have learned through experience. A lot of them are very similar...but then it wouldn't be a 30 on 30 post!;) 
You might not agree with them... That's ok. Everyone has their own truths and advice. I do not consider myself the wisest person or the most mature....age is really just a number.. Age doesn't make you mature. Life does! 

 .....now... On to toasting myself( yes I am actually toasting myself...hold up your glass of lemonade or other beverage)
 " I've made it another year and I can only hope that this will be the year of change and love. Only looking forward and striving for what's best. Living it up on my 30th!!!!"

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Kmart and Sears FREE In-Store Pick Up #spon



**** Presented by Mami Innovative Media, this is a sponsored post on behalf of Sears and Kmart. All opinions expressed here are my own.**

The holidays seem to be the busiest time of the year. Between shopping, untangling lights, wrapping (or unwrapping) and baking dozens of cookies, your regular life doesn't press pause. (Especially when you're a leave everything to the last minute person like I am).  I am always running around days (sometimes even hours) before Christmas shopping for my loved ones. There is no Christmas miracle for making the holidays less busy. You can, however, find little ways to relieve the stress and smile more!:)


I am here to tell you that there is a way! Sears and Kmart offer FREE in-store pickup and you can  earn points while you shop! 

Both Sears and Kmart offer free in store pickup and $10 back in points when you spend $59! You  can shop thousands of gifts online in the comfort of your own home before picking up your items in store in 5 minutes guaranteed (or whenever you’re ready). With in store pickup you’ll avoid lines, busy stores and the wasted time of walking down every aisle. You can even have a relative or friend pick up your order and pay in store with cash if you'd prefer! It's all good!!



Now your only dilemma would be to figure out  what you will do with all that extra free time you'll have and those extra points??! A few ideas include:  give yourself a gift using your points before volunteering at a shelter, making gingerbread houses with the kids or simply putting your feet up and enjoying the view of the Christmas tree.

when:
 The ONLINE portion of the event is from Saturday 12/7/13 starting at 6PM CT through Tuesday 12/10/13 at 9AM CT. The IN-STORE event is on Sunday, 12/8/13 ONLY.

I personally can not wait to try out all the amazing offers! Learn more from Sears and Kmart!





Wednesday, October 9, 2013

UPDATE: The Hudson County Baby and Toddler Bash




Click Here for Tickets


NJ Moms Guide is hosting a wonderful event, The Hudson County Baby and Toddler Expo!

There will be workshops, giveaways, spa stations and plenty of treats. For more info and to purchase tickets please visit NJ MOMS GUIDE !







*****I get the wonderful opportunity to giveaway a VIP GIFT BAG TICKET to a very lucky reader!! Woohoo!!***
Just follow rafflecopter instructions!



a Rafflecopter giveaway



This contest is open to everyone so if there's someone special in your life that you think might love to attend then you know what to do!!


Also:
*Use Promo Code BABYBASH13 for FREE Basic Entry tickets


*Use Promo Code vipdiscount for 25% off VIP gift bag tickets

Just head on over to http://www.njmomsguide.com/events
It can't get any better than that!!:)

***This contest ends on Friday November 8, 2013 Midnight EST!!!!  Winner will receive their ticket VIA email from NJMOMSGUIDE



***The following post is sponsored by New Jersey Moms Guide . I was given two tickets for giveaway purposes only. I did not receive any monetary compensation for this post. However, I was given two additional tickets to attend the event. All opinions are entirely my own.***

Wednesday, October 2, 2013