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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Peaceful December Mornings

I love quiet December mornings and the calmness of Christmas decorations. There is magic in the glow of the twinkling lights that soothes my soul.

Our family room tree
The kitchen tree
Mateo's tree

Mateo's room Christmasfied

My Advent Wreath - One of these years I will make an actual wreath

Two very special ornaments
Wishing you all peace and love and blessings this Christmas.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

My Sad Little Do-it-Yourself-Home-Manicure

I don't know about y'all, but Pinterest and YouTube are making me sad.  I live on this constant emotional roller coaster of inspiration and disappointment.  All of those professionally curated pictures plague my mind all day and haunt my dreams at night.  Miles upon miles of pictures pinned to my virtual inspiration boards.  With each pin I pin, a little piece of my heart goes with it.  Tacked to my wall of shame are all of the projects that live in my imagination.  It's not that Pinterest and YouTube are to blame, it's just that you almost have to have a live-in nanny, cleaning lady, and cook while being a stay-home mom to have time to do all of the projects that that they say you can do.

Well guess who's winning this tug-of-war.  The husband and child are happily rubbing their full tummies like hogs in...I don't know what.  Rolling around in their meticulously clean home.  One day, when I retire, I'll have time to quilt and knit and do all of those things that I used to do.

Wait a minute...I seem to remember that in the not so distant past, I used to knit and quilt and bake and even dabble in cross stitching.  So what happened?  Have they suddenly and unbeknown to us made the days shorter?  Did someone seal the doors of my craft/guest room?  Did my husband sell all of my craft supplies in our last yard sale?  No, people, the answer is no.

I'm not making big promises but it's time I take the craft bull by the horns and reclaim it. I will, once again, be an inhabitant of this self-gratifying, pat-yourself-on-the-back world of DIY.

Right about now I bet you're telling yourself, "Good for you, Sara.  But what does all that have to do with a manicure?"

Lots I tell you!  My sad little manicure is my way of easing back into the program.  Why do I call it sad?  See for yourself.  It bears no resemblance to my pin which made be believe that I could actually achieve a glitter gradient polish.  Heck, I can't even take a nice picture of my wrinkly, ungraceful hands.  But what the hey, who cares!  Baby, I'm back!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Valentina's 10th Birthay Party

I may be getting old but having fun with my girls never gets old.  For Valentina's tenth birthday party, my cousin, Lorena, decided to have a mommy-daughter sleepover.  Since my sister could not make it, I had the pleasure of being Viviana's "in loco parentis" for this party.  I think I would have crashed it anyway!  It was so much fun.  Lorena is the queen of parties and this little spa-girly-girls-will-be-girly-girls shingdig was no exception.

Strawberry and peppermint-chocolate macarons I made for the birthday girl

The setting: Lorena is in the process of transforming their typical ranch style home into a contemporary organic abode.  Vaulted ceilings, polished cement floors, white walls, naked windows, and a few exposed beams of distressed wood are just the beginning.  She blends these elements with furnishings that bring warmth and playfulness to the space.  I tell you, whenever I visit, I want to go home and re-decorate but I am a Country-Frencher at my core and I could never pull this off.  I know I will eventually gravitate toward overstuffed chairs and pink hues.  Maybe she can help me marry the two styles?  If anyone can do it, she can!

The party favors: Upon arrival, Valentina's guests were treated to new pajamas, socks and a toothbrush.  It was so cute to see the girls in matching pajamas.  So as I said, Lorena is a party queen and she is a tricky one too.  With the girls in their matching pajamas, there was no need for lavish or over the top party decor.  The girls were the focal point of the party.  Very clever, Ms. Lorena.

Activities: Going with the spa theme, the girls were treated to manicures, compliments of Jeanette.  Like Mary Poppins and her back of tricks, Jeanette showed up with her bag of tricks, only hers included scented nail polish, glitter, and nail stickers.  This was the highlight of the evening. Of course, no girl get-together is complete without a talent show of song, dancing, story telling, and just plain silliness.

The next morning, the girls were treated to hot chocolate, paninis, and french toast.

I'm sure this is a party that will not easily be forgotten.  Good job Lorena and Valentina!  Love you!


Friday, May 9, 2014

A Blessed Evening

Words cannot express how proud we are of Mateo for taking this very important step in his faith formation.  For two years, he prepared for this day with catechism, retreats, community service, and prayer. For two years, I have been thinking about this important step and this evening with great expectations and I am so happy to say that it was perfect!  The mass was solemn, beautiful, and full of holy inspiration and after mass, we had a small and intimate reception.

I wanted the reception to be simple but meaningful and symbolic and I was not sure how I would accomplish that.  Then one day on the week of the event, I got my inspiration on my way to work.  Candles!  We will light lots of candles all over the kitchen.  The reception would be at night so the light of the candles would shine.  The symbolism is simple; God asks us to allow our light to shine and be the light of the world. That is our prayer for Mateo, that he go forth and be the light of the world.

Mateo was born in October, the month we celebrate the feast of St. Francis of Assisi so we chose the name Asis for his middle name.  Asis is the Spanish name for Assisi, the town St. Francis was born in.  St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of animals and the environment and he is known for his love of the Eucharist.  While I was expecting Mateo, I had some complications and I remember praying daily for St. Francis' intercession.  His prayer is one of the most beautiful prayers I know.  For his confirmation, Mateo chose St. Francis as his namesake and for his sponsor, Mateo chose my cousin, Saul.  It was such a difficult decision for him as he has so many positive role models with many attributes.  In the end, he chose Saul.  Saul is kind and thoughtful and living his faith and I know that he is someone that Mateo can go to with any problem and he will not have a problem with letting Mateo know if he goes astray.

Lori and Saul got Mateo's cake.  It was gorgeous and delicious!  Mateo wanted chocolate with Nutella and strawberries.  I was a little skeptical but it was actually very yummy.

I love the ombre effect of the ruffle frosting.

 Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace; 
Where there is hatred, let me sow love; 
Where there is injury, pardon; 
Where there is error, truth; 
Where there is doubt, faith; 
Where there is despair, hope; 
Where there is darkness, light; 
And where there is sadness, joy. 

O Divine Master, Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console; 
To be understood as to understand; 
To be loved as to love. 
For it is in giving that we receive; 
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; 
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Bishop Alex

Let's raise a glass for Mateo!


Congratulations, our beautiful son.  May the Lord bless you and guide you always.  May you always be the light of the world, seek what's true and walk the narrow path of righteousness.  May St. Francis continue to inspire your gentle spirit and may Mary pray for you.  We love you so much!