Friday, December 31, 2010

365 project and end of year thoughts

Prompt: 5 minutes. Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010.

Soon the year 2010 will be gone. And 2011 will be here with a chance to make new memories, start new projects (hopefully finish more of them) and meet new friends or just spend more time with the ones we have. What I want to remember most about 2010:

The “road trips” with my daughters to our favorite Chinese restaurant – Mr. Chopsticks

The times my son would sit down and actually talk to us - discussing world topics, celebrity happenings or just whatever instead of holing up in his room to watch movies.

Everyone is so busy getting to work, going to class – those times we actually got to sit down for dinner together are priceless.

The day my oldest daughter got engaged – if my child is happy I’m happy.  :)
Watching my youngest daughter play with her ‘puppies’ – rolling around on the floor with them she is not the ornery “Mom I know what I’m doing!” teenager-on-verge-of-adulthood. Just a sweet young girl enjoying the moment.

Plus all the moments i captured with my camera this year - some good, some not so good - but that's ok. I stopped to smell the roses, enjoy the magnificence of a sunrise/sunset and God's Glory in all of it. Thankful for this moment in time. Here are what i consider my best for this year. Since practice makes perfect - 2011 will definitely be something to look forward to:

All the rest is already a blur, a hodgepodge of the daily mundane activities that need to be done plus other moments I can’t recall in only 5 minutes.

And now it’s your turn, the timer starts now.

Happy New Year/Feliz Año Nuevo!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

365.97- 101 We saw Rachael Ray!

On Dec. 15 Rachael Ray came to town to sign copies of her latest book - Look+Cook! The line was long but well worth it. Rachael is so petite and beautiful. Can't wait to try out some of these recipes.

The Line wrapped around the store.

Getting closer!
We're Next!
That's my youngest daughter waiting to get hers signed.

Still Learning....

Photobucket I am participating in the 2011 Mommytography 365 Project! For this year long project I will be posting an image a day, to get me out shooting, using my camera and learning new things with it daily. Anyone interested in photography can join, no need to be a Mommytographer. We have teens to adults, male and female, as well as people from all over the world. Come join the fun!

One of my New Year's Resolutions - to do better at this in 2011 than in 2010. :) 

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

In One Word

I came across a site the other day whose mission is to help people reflect on the past year and throughout the month of December create (through one-word prompts) a ‘vibe’ for what you would like the New Year to be for you. I came across the site kind of late but no matter – there is no deadline or ‘must do’ start date. And that is what helped me decide on my word for next year – liberation. The act of setting free. That is how I have begun to feel this month - free and liberated – through the act of saying ‘No’.
To say ‘No’ is not an easy thing for me because I like to try anything and everything at least once. I also like to help people whether it’s through agreeing to buy something to help them in their sales quota, the bum on the corner wanting some money (and then immediately finds the nearest liquor store or bus heading toward the casinos – seriously we’ve seen them do this) or over booking on activities because I don’t want to disappoint others by not showing up for their thing. I then become stressed and overwhelmed by all I have to do and depressed because I don’t finish everything.
And when I have said no it’s very hard not to go back and say yes thinking I can squeeze this in or go ahead and buy that. However, when I say no and stick with it – I feel such a feeling of liberation. I guess because now I have my time back. Time to take care of my home, spend it with my family, read a book (which I haven’t done in forever) or just sit quietly with a glass of wine reflecting on the day.
A couple of weeks ago while planning the family Christmas dinner with my sisters I was able to say No to making 2 turkeys worth of tamales. That is a lot of tamales to be made and a whole day and evening of back breaking work. Plus there is no way we will be able to eat all of them. Although many friends and co-workers may be disappointed, they will not be receiving a gift of tamales this year from me. With one sister only committing to 4 hours of work there is no way we will get them all done at a decent hour. So it will only be 1 turkey this year and any leftovers we can divvy up. It will be more than plenty for the family (kids, husbands, in-laws). Just the other day my husband pulled out a Ziploc gallon bag full of last years tamales. Point made.
I have found that saying No is a lot like the weight battle – there will be times when I slip (like the other day when I said yes to something I shouldn’t have) but I will start every day with a more thoughtful end in mind to how and when I give of my time and efforts towards a liberating 2011!
What one word reflects your inspiration for next year?

Monday, November 15, 2010

365-96 Diva-licious cupcakes

A couple of weeks ago I saw a notice for a cupcake class at a fancy kitchen store. It was just for the afternoon and cost more than what i would normally pay but the cupcakes sounded divine! Boston Cream, Banana with caramel frosting and one-bowl chocolate (yum!) cupcakes. And i thought maybe the price would include a cool gadget or something.
So i signed up. There were about 6 people there and we each got to particpate in making the cupcakes - either by stirring the batter, adding flour, eggs, etc. Then while they baked we were invited to shop with our special 10% discount.
Afterwards when the cupcakes were ready we got to frost and put together. The Boston Cream cupcakes were easy. Just slice the cupcake in half. Add whip cream to the center and cover with the top half that is dipped in chocolate ganache/frosting just prior to topping. The Caramel frosting for the Banana cupcakes started to separate (the butter from the sugar/caramel) because it was a little warm. Per our teacher it should remain very cold up until time to use/eat. They were all quite yummy and we got to bring home copies of the recipes and instructions. With the money i paid for the class i could have bought 2 cookbooks and a couple of cool kitchen gadgets but would i have gone and made the cupcakes and had the fun i had on my own? no -- so it was all good. And we did get to bring a few of the cupcakes home also.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

365-95 stormy weather

Friday afternoon we had some needed rain and some awesome looking clouds.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

365-94 Autumn color

For most parts of Texas this is about as good as it gets for fall color - i'll take it

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

365-92 Flower bunch in black & white

And wedding bells will ring……

This past weekend, my oldest daughter’s boyfriend came to our house with his mother and his uncle (standing in for his deceased father) to ask for her hand in marriage. Wait – are we back in the 1800s? No but the pedida de mano or asking of the brides’ hand is still an honored tradition in many Mexican households. Probably more so in the cities vs. rural areas and not so much as before but I appreciate that both my daughter and her boyfriend respect and honor this tradition.
Back when my husband asked my parents for my hand in marriage, he came all by himself as he had no family here in the states. My dad busted out the tequila to toast to our happiness and my mom ran to her bedroom crying. I was the oldest and first to leave the nest.
When my dad went to my grandpa’s house to ask for my mom’s hand in marriage he took the local priest as his dad was no longer living. Grandpa ran them off with a shotgun.
So I think we have progressed quite nicely to a more civilized and happier version of it this time around. We cleaned all day and my daughter and husband cooked a wonderful dinner of fish, rice, roasted potatoes, mushrooms and salad. Her future mother-in-law brought dessert – homemade cherry cheesecake.
We talked and got to know each more and marveled at what a small world it is. Turns out the BF’s uncle and I had an English class together in high school. And we’ve known his family since he was 10 – who would have thought these two would have met many years later to become boyfriend and girlfriend and now by this time next year – husband and wife.
We were all so into the conversation that night we forgot to take pictures! His official proposal to her (along with a ring) will come at a special event he is planning – pictures of the ring to come then!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

365-89 Down low

We had such a pretty autumn day with bright sunshine everywhere! it was beautiful throughout the greenery..

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

365.88 surprise veggie

I planted some seeds earlier but the marker has washed away. could this be squash? looks like it...or could be cucumber? If anything sprouts i'll know for sure....

Saturday, September 4, 2010

365-85 Dragonfly!

Must be the season, cause these things are everywhere!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Quesadilla Night!

Not too long ago i posted about a new recipe i found for enchiladas on Lesley's blog The M'ija Chronicles. Well i made them again this weekend. The weekend seems to be the only time i can really make some good Mexican food since it usually turns into an all-day affair. This time though i had enough leftover filling to make some quesadillas for tonight's dinner. And they were divine!! And so quick and easy to make -
1. just heat the flour tortilla on your comal, non-stick pan or griddle
2. add some cheese (your choice - monterrey jack, cheddar, oaxaca or combo)
3. add any other fillings - spinach, mushrooms, chicken or in this case the combination corn, poblano pepper and spinach filling.
4. add more cheese (i can never get enough cheese)
5. fold over your tortilla into a taco shape or you can add another tortilla on top and then slice into half or fourths

The combinations you can do are endless and nothing tops quite right like some fresh guacamole!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

365-83 On one "leg"

It's been awhile since i've been able to post a photo. While driving home from work i came across this unusual site --

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I Will Not be Bullied

Back in the day before I got so busy with working, household duties, chauffeuring children hither and yonder, I was an avid reader. I would read at least a book a week. I LOVE books, still do but alas I no longer have the luxury of sitting down with a good book for a couple of hours (or even one hour). I guess I could if I stayed up after everyone had gone to bed but then I wouldn’t be able to get up in time the next morning and would ran frazzled the rest of the day. Not worth it right now.
So to appease my quest for knowledge, literature and just the desire to read something I began subscribing to various magazines. Issues of Good Housekeeping, Hallmark (alas it went belly-up), Fitness and several others began to arrive on a regular basis and I could always squeeze in a quick read in 15-30 minutes or if needed just doing a quick scan would suffice to appease the addiction. Those of you who love reading know what I mean, if nothing else I’ll read the back of the cereal box or junk mail while eating if I can’t find anything else. Recently printed publications have hit hard times along with everyone else due to the recession. And in looking for ways to cut back I’ve thinned some of this regular delivery of my reading collection. I had so many subscriptions they were starting to pile up faster than I could read them.
Now have you ever tried to cancel a magazine subscription? There is not a box on the renewal form that you can check that says ‘cancel’ or ‘do not renew’. I guess they don’t want you to have that option so usually I just do not respond to the notices. Sometimes I will write in large caps “CANCEL” on them and return. Either method has usually worked. Recently for one magazine this did not work. I can’t recall (my old age shows here) if I ever sent a notice back with Cancel on it. I was debating on keeping the subscription to this magazine because it always seemed to have useful and informative articles and was still deciding whether I should cancel or not.  The thing that finally swayed my decision was when I received a final notice threatening to send my account to a collection agency for non-payment!!  For a magazine subscription? Really? $15 for 10 issues of which I have not received a one yet because the subscription was stopped [as indicated by the LAST ISSUE! RENEW NOW! notice on the final magazine sent] until they had confirmation of my desire to continue it – really? In these times of recession you would actually waste the money to pay a collection agency to collect $15 (again for services not received because I don’t want them). This is the problem with automated notices – doesn’t anybody ever check these? Are no red flags raised when this action is taken for such a small amount?
I started to write a check to submit the subscription but then thought – wait, they are bullying me into a renewal! So I marked out the ‘payment enclosed’ and wrote ‘CANCEL, DO NOT RENEW’ on the notice as well as the outside of the envelope. Maybe I should make copies? I went online to see if anyplace there with info on canceling but of course nothing but how to subscribe.  I did send them an e-mail through their ‘contact us’ feature. Forget about trying to find a phone number to talk to a real person. The guy who signed my notice didn’t even include one.
Anyway as much as I liked the magazine I refuse to be bullied and will no longer subscribe. I’m sure I can find the same nutritional/health information on their web site or elsewhere.
Have any of you had such a problem trying to cancel something you no longer want? I’m sure there must be some stories out there – especially for cable subscribers (I’ve heard!).
Have a great day readers and don’t let yourself be bullied into buying what you don’t want or need.

Friday, July 30, 2010

5 Question Friday!

Hey, Hey everybody it is FRIDAY! This has seemed like the longest week ever, maybe cause i don't enjoy the 9-5 so much anymore. Don't get me wrong, i am so thankful to have a job since husband still doesn't have one but....i wish it were doing something else. And i think because i no longer LOVE it, its now become something i dread doing. But enough, i'm glad to have it and so be it for now. On to the fun stuff....Five Question Friday!

1. Did you have a favorite blanket or toy as a kid? If so, do you still have it? 
No on both counts. i never was one to have something that i had to lug around all the time when i was little. that's really weird cause now i've become a 'light hoarder'. i save all the kinds of things that i think could be potential scrapbooking material or might find their way into a quilting or craft project. i now need a bigger house, time to go through it all and sort/discard or time to actually do all the projects with these things. i would prefer the latter.

2. Do you dream in color? but i don't seem to dream very often so i'm not sure. i understand if you don't dream you aren't really getting  a good nights sleep, which could explain why i'm tired all the time. i went to the doctor a couple of months ago and everything checked out fine so.....not sure of the problem. boy i hate waking up tired.

3. How tall are you? Do you wish you were shorter or taller?
i'm short i guess - about 5' 2". i do wish i were a little taller, maybe 5'5"

4. If you could have anyone's (celeb or other) voice as the guide on your GPS, who would it be?
well first i'd have to get me a GPS. it sure would come in handy because i always seem to get lost. i would love it if Antonio Banderas would talk to me....i'd be taking many more road trips :)

5. Do you return your shopping cart to the corral or leave it wherever in the parking lot?
Now this all depends on how big a hurry i'm in and if its raining or not. i usually try to take it back to the corral thing or at least leave it so it doesn't accidentally start going and run into another car or something. because i would hate for that to happen to me. plus if that were my kid having to corral those things i would hate for him/her to have to go all over the parking lot on a super hot or rainy day to get them. i try to think of that too--but if its super pouring down rain well--that's why they get paid - to round those things up. 
ok, so now what are your thoughts? click on the button below to join the fun and have a fantastic weekend - make the most of what's left of summer. 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Five Question Friday!

It's 5Q friday~!

1. Do you collect anything?

Oh Yes. I collect postcards from all over the world. It all started a couple of years ago i came across a site called Postcrossing. You just sign up (its free), fill out a profile and you can request up to 5 random names with addresses to send a postcard to. Once these 5 people receive and register the postcard you sent, then you will receive one in return (also random). As you reach highter quantities of sent postcards the number of names/addresses you can request to send will go up. It becomes quite addicting really. Check it out at the link above.

2. Name 3 celebrities that you find good looking. Because he is so cute and a Texas boy, definitely Matthew McConaughey, then.....Fernando Colunga and Johnny Depp!

3. Do you have any scars? If so, what's the story behind it (them?)? Not a one. i had an overprotective mother.

4. What is a food that you like to eat, but others might think it's gross or weird?

Here in the states that would be Menudo (tripe). best thing in the world when you've stayed out too late having fun.

5. Have you ever seen a tornado in real life? No! thank goodness. And i don't want to either!

Well now it's your turn if you like just click on the button below to play. Have a great weekend!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monday giveaway!

If any of you have ever been to a Women of Faith conference, heard or read of Sheila Walsh then you are going to love this giveaway. Tracy from Mommytography and Work of Heart & Soul is hosting a giveaway of Sheila's latest book: Beautiful Things Happen When a Woman Trusts God. Sheila has a gift for connecting with others and her lectures and books are inspiring. So head on over and enter!!


Friday, July 9, 2010

5 question friday

  1. What is one food you could eat every day?
Definitely chocolate with pizza a close second.
  1. Are you working in the career you thought you would be when you were 18?
No. When I was 18 I had still not decided on exactly what I wanted to do. I was leaning toward becoming a teacher. I had no direction or idea on how to obtain information about getting scholarships, etc. for college so nothing ever came of that. Almost 30 years later I’m still trying to obtain a degree in the field I ended up in by chance (communications). Its still not something I would love to be doing for the rest of my working life but it pays the bills.
  1. What is something that you wish you would have done when you were younger and you didn't?
I would have loved to have traveled to many countries and pursued a photography career.
  1. What color are your kitchen walls?
The walls of my kitchen and family living area were just redone (pics to come) and it is now light beige color with slightly darker glaze over the texture.
  1. Do you remember what your very first favorite song was?
It was a spanish song called Una Lagrima por tu Amor (a tear for your love) by Estela Nuñez. 

Now its your turn! Click on the button below for how to ‘play’. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

365-82 First and only lily

Our weather here has been so weird or maybe its just my lack of gardening skills, but this is my first and only lily of the season from my garden. It was pretty while it lasted.

New twist on enchiladas...

The enchiladas I have made and eaten all my life here in Texas has always been the kind with loads of cheese, sometimes some chicken thrown in there or some chili. The other day I came across this recipe from Lesley on The M’ija Chronicles. Lesley had made hers with some local Mexican greens, spinach and a homemade tomato based enchilada sauce. They looked so good I had to try.

Now she suggested using Kale to substitute for the greens she used, but I used strictly spinach and as I’m not a big fan of Kale or Collard Greens. These came out fabulous and made for a healthy dinner. Not everything has to be smothered in cheese (although I do love cheese). Check out her full recipe through the link above. A slight warning, you will use a lot of pots and it’s not a quick 30 minutes to the table meal. That’s the thing with real Mexican cooking – it can take all afternoon and sometimes all day for a great tasting meal. These were worth it though….

Friday, July 2, 2010

Five Question Friday

Something fun for Friday -

1. What is one thing you miss the most about childhood?
Family summer trips to mexico - before all the drug mess. Especially once my dad bought a house down there. we stayed the whole summer that year to clean and fix it up. it was an awesome house and over 100 years old.

2. Are you still friends with your friends from high school?
just one really. she was also my next door neighbor. We had lost touch and recently 'found' each other on facebook! We got together for lunch and had a grand time catching up on family events and life happenings.

3. Is there a catch phrase, cliche, or word that just drives you bonkers every time you hear it?
'my bad' for some reason i really hate that phrase. maybe because most of the time it seems to take the place of 'i'm sorry'. i don't find it a good substitute for an apology.

4. What is one thing that you think symbolizes America...besides "Old Glory"?
Definitely the Statue of Liberty and Cowboys. that is more than one thing but when ever i see those i equal to USA. 

5. What are your 4th of July weekend plans? Food, fun, family and fireworks!

Now if you'd like, it's your turn! click on the button below for details. Have a safe and happy weekend!


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

365-77 'Forest' Park

 In Spanish, Bosque means Forest, so the name of this park is really Forest Park.

Friday, June 11, 2010

365-74 Safety First*

Mommytography 365 Assignment 24: Laughter

In taking a walk downtown, came across these guys who look out for the average citizens safety. Boy do they love to ham it up for the camera!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

365-73 What a cutie!

Encountered this precious pup on a walk.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

365-71 Who's that lady?

 Quite bizarre to look up at the Old Red Courthouse and see these in the window. The Courthouse is a historical landmark and now a museum.

True Story (?) Tuesday

One of my many hobbies is genealogy and I’ve done pretty well on my mom’s side of the family thanks to my mom’s cousin. He is a writer and has written a couple of books about the history of the teeny, tiny town where my parents are from in Zacatecas, Mexico. In the books he includes details of some of the founding members of the town. Through these books I was able to fill in some of the blanks on mom’s side. My father’s side is a different story. The buck stops with my paternal grandfather and pretty much everyone is now deceased (including my father) that could help fill in some details.
A couple of years ago I was asking my Tio (Tio means uncle and he was one of the few remaining descendants on my father’s maternal side at that time), of the history of my dad’s family.  I first wrote of my Tio Nacho when he passed away a few months back. That whole side of the family can remember anything and everything. Unfortunately I did not inherent that gene. My sister did though, so unfair. Anyway when I asked him if he knew when the family might have come over from Spain he began to tell me about my great, great (I’m not sure how many greats back) grandfather who came over with his brother. They came upon this area of Mexico and decided they liked it. Both were single and still sowing their wild oats. One of them had what he thought was a great idea.
Now this is where you will see a typical macho-type behavior – he thought it would be ‘fun’ to see who could populate the town the most. Now since they of course both had the same last name (Martin del Campo – the whole thing is the last name), how would they distinguish between all these children and future descendants? Easy -  one of them would shorten the last name to Martinez. So all the descendants of Martinez would be from the line of one brother and all the descendants of Martin del Campo would be the line of the other brother.
How they kept track I don’t know. And horror of horrors did they go around impregnating every girl they came across? I surely hope not. Perhaps they just married and convinced their wives to have as many children as possible.  And then convinced their sons to do the same? It boggles the mind.
This totally makes no sense but what can you expect from a macho man? Tio Nacho could have totally been pulling my leg. However……It would kind of explain why there are so many families with these last names in that area.And the line has blurred on whether one is from the same line of family or not. So crazy.
As far as tracing my family history I think I’m doomed to failure.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Friday, June 4, 2010