Saturday, November 22, 2014

7 links to love:11/22/14

  I feel like Christmas just starts a bit early every year. The radio stations are already playing Christmas songs and Thanksgiving hasn't even happened yet. Everyone is decorating their homes soon as the first day of November trees and decorations went up! I'm a sucker for all things Christmas so I enjoy the warmth and comfort this time of year brings. No complaints!

  It'll be just the four of us this Thanksgiving, a choice we made because although this time of year is wonderful, it's also heartbreaking for us not to be able to share it with the one person that also made it special, my brother. It might be different next year, but now, we are just grateful for each other and the time we have together. Hopefully, we'll set up a small little tree and decorate it next weekend. The kiddos love their tree so that was definitely a must!

Here are this weeks:

- The pic above is of my first essential oils from Young Living . I thought over and over about this because these are not cheap at all, well at least for us anyway. We knew the benefits and it is so worth the investment. Next up, is the starter kit. If you'd like to try them you can reach Cynthia over at Oil Crude for any questions or if you'd like to order.

-I'm not cooking Thanksgiving this year but there is no way I am not making this amazing looking Pumpkin Sheet Cake from the Pioneer Woman.

-Great deals an all things Lego Minecraft on Amazon.
-I can't wait to try this for Jonathan and Sarah....especially around this time of year, when they get sick more- The Anti-Flu super Smoothie for Kids .

- This free printable from Sweet Metel Moments is a simple but very sweet way to give thanks to the kids wonderful teachers.

- My all time favorite Disney movie and princess has always been Cinderella. I'd watch it over and over and over again (much like Sarah watches Frozen's a cycle) . I always felt I could relate to her. Looking back now I realize my life was not even close to that but it's great to feel connected to something. I am beyond excited about the release of the live action version of it.

- Music is a huge part of my's everything. The power it can relate to a song and feel a whole lot of emotions. Music brings people together. It can also be the thing that gets you through the toughest times in your life. I will be sharing our favorite songs (every week on these posts). We listen to almost all kinds of music here! Please do share with me your favorite artists and why you love them!(no judgements.ha!)

I hope everyone has a wonderful thanksgiving!!


Friday, November 21, 2014

Kids Fashion Fridays: Leather


   Hi! I'm so excited that I finally get a chance to be a part of Kid's Fashion Fridays! I can't promise I'll get a chance to do it every week, but when I can I look forward to it. This outfit was actually something Sarah wore last week for 50's day at school and I could not wait to share this week. Alicia from Chica Fashion and Virginia of Mom In love Forever are the wonderful brains behind this weekly link-up of little fashionistas and stylish little men. Anyone can be a part of it and I know I'm like most moms and any chance we get to post pics of our cuties is a good one! Don't forget to tag your pics on Instagram with the tag #kidsfashionfridays !

  My ladybug is very shy and this is her first time posing like this for me...hopefully she becomes a little more comfortable in future posts. She was so happy with her outfit and couldn't wait to get to school and show it to her friends. Sarah's leather jacket is her favorite staple right now. She'd wear it everywhere and everyday if she could. You can dress up or dress down an outfit with a leather jacket...very versatile piece to a little fashionista's wardrobe!




blurry goodness

Leather Jacket: Gap  I got it so much cheaper with my rewards and a discount code;)
white collar shirt: Gymobree 
 glasses and scarf: Hot Topic (clearance items)
shoes: Nordstrom

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Family and Good Food

  This past weekend we visited family in Long Island. My grandmother, mi Mami, is at a long term rehab center/nursing home after major surgery and I try and visit her as much as I can. I call everyday just to see how she's doing and make sure she's getting cared for correctly. It's bittersweet when I see her because I just want her to be able to go home and that's just not possible right now. We bring her all her favorite things and snacks and we all (the entire family) show her how important she is to us! 

   I am very cose to my family in Long Island, (my aunt, uncle and al my cousins) and anytime we all get together is a great time. My favorite thing, though, is to see how close my kiddos are with their cousins. They look forward to seeing each other so much!  It's very much similar to how, we, the older cousins are. Although we might fight and bicker we still love and support each other 100%. Experiencing loss always makes you appreciate what you still have. 


  After we visited my grandmother at the nursing home we went to eat at a local Honduran restaurant. We are all foodies, from the oldest to the youngest, we love food! Especially when it's related, to our mother land, Honduras! I am a skeptic because it's always been so hard to find a good Honduran restaurant. This place, El Rancho Catracho, in Hemsptead, Long Island exceeded my expectations. We all dreamt about this food the next day, that's how good it was!  Have you ever taken a bite of something and it immediately takes you back in time to you childhood?! That is what happened when I tasted the delicious plates of food we had ordered. We over ordered actually. The dishes could actually each be shared among 2 or 3! 

                 "Super Sopon"- sopa de mariscos: a coconut milk based soup with lobster tails, crab, shrimp and, my fave, "caracol"-conch, yuca, plantain and other veggies.

      "Fiesta Catracha" a sampler - baleada, carne asada, taquitos, tajaditas, pasteles,chorizo
Not pictured, the tacos my ladybug, Sarah ordered, that she couldn't finish, because it was obviously too much and Jonathan's half fried chicken with tajaditas (fried banana- banana still green,the peel is off, the banana is sliced thin and horozintal) and a  honduran cole slaw.

Good food and great times with family is sometimes the best therapy you can get! 


Saturday, November 1, 2014

7 links to love

Hello!! It's already November and I can't even believe it! This year has gone by so fast and yet sometimes he days felt so long. This is a pic of my pineapple cookie jar from one of my favorite shows of all time, Psych. I got it signed by the two stars of the show, Dule Hill and James Roday and it's frustrating because the autographs are fading! (hopefully, in another post, I will share ho much I love this show and why it's so important to me) I'm desperate and I'd like to know if anyone knows how I can preserve it. 

Anyway, enough of my desperation and on to some better news. Early October I started walking to complete 30 miles by the end of the month. I share some of my progress on my Instagram and although to some, walking is not a big deal, it was to me. I'm lazy and I do not like to exercise. I ended the month completing 31 miles! Looking forward to completing more weight loss goals in November!

Ok, my favorites of this week:

- I seriously can not wait to try this easy, recipe for Crazy Cake: no eggs, milk, or butter!

- One of my favorite food blogger/author, Joy the Baker has a new book out and the cover alone looks amazing. I didn't get the chance to greet her in person again in New York for her book signings but I look froward to ordering the book and trying out some delicious recipes!

- A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend Jersey Fashionista Magazine one year celebration party (on a rooftop). I loved the chance to meet Lillie Morales. I have been following Lillie's blog for awhile now and I was always so amazed by all she does and her great talents...the girl can do everything! She was so kind and wonderful in person and I am always happy to support fellow Latina bloggers! Jersey girls have to stick together!

- Another amazing NJ Latina blogger is Alicia Gibbs of Chica Fashion I haven't gotten a chance to meet her in person yet but I have so much respect her! She is so genuine, kind and works so hard. I'm loving her Kid's Fashion Fridays   and I can not wait till I can participate with my kiddos.

-I am slowly starting a record collection and all I need (to actually be able to hear them) is this beauty 

- We've been slowly, (unbearably slow) remodeling our apartment and the only thing that restrains me from going crazy about it is that soon it will all be done and I will get to do beautiful things like this  DIY Fairy Light wall  for our bedroom!:)

 (image via fairy lights and fun)

-I am loosing too much hair and it's a serious problem. I have thick curly hair and it's noticeable. I don't know why it's happening or if the problem is just momentary but its very frustrating. I am looking forward to trying some of these solution from Hello Natural.

That's all for this week! 

This quote I found on Pinterest holds so much truth,  short, simple and to the point!


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 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 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 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:



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 :


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 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.......