Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday Favorites // June 23, 2017

friday favorites


I'm linking up again with ErikaAndrea and Narci for the Friday Favorites!  Thank you for visiting.  Leave me a comment so I can come see your favorites too!

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Well Friday was my birthday!  I am not one to make a big deal about it usually, but as I get older I am realizing what a gift it is to be able to celebrate getting another year older.  I may or may not have had a meltdown at the end of the day because nobody sang me happy birthday and Carolina didn't even say it either.  I blamed Gustavo and he faced the disappointment tears.  We resolved to make it up over the weekend.  I have resolved to celebrate my birthday every year from now on.


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Before I wrote #1 and you felt sorry for me,  I should have started the post with what we've been doing the last week.  We went to a family camp in Glorieta, New Mexico and it was so amazing!  It was so full of fun activities, great food and childcare any time we wanted it, ya'll.  They had a bunch of summer staff college students who played with the kids and loved on them all day long.  It was unlike any vacation we've ever taken.  We highly recommend it!  I want to write a post about Glorieta  because there is so much to tell.



Just look at this view up on the ski basin of Santa Fe.  

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Almost the same but a little different, we went the weekend before camp to stay in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  We drove 15 hours straight through and here we are just arrived at the restaurant.  Mommy had a prickly pear margarita which I drank about an inch down before I was drunk.  It's the elevation!

We rented a condo through Home Away and it really was like staying at a friend's house. This is the one we rented.  It was so nice to be in a condo instead of a noisy hotel.  The kids slept really well and so did we.  Having a washer and dryer was a bonus, plus the previous guests would leave different things that we used, like coffee.

While we were there, we celebrated Father's Day.  Here is Carolina with her portrait of Papa.  I also interviewed her some questions about Gustavo.




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On the way back we stayed in Ft. Worth and just had to have a gander at the Anthropologie tag sale.  I didn't see anything I liked but on my way around the store I spotted these.

Really?  No, just no.  I'm begging that stirrup pants are not back in style.  I just can't even deal with that.


That's all for now!  I'm posting late because Glorieta doesn't like us to have free wifi.  Imagine that, unplugging and spending time with the family.  More on that later!

xoxo-Jennifer



Monday, June 19, 2017

Carolina's Fifth Birthday

We have been busy celebrating someone's much anticipated birthday around here!  Carolina has been longing for five since her classmates started turning five throughout the school year.  For some reason at this age they like to rub it in each other's faces.  That sure does turn around sometime in the late 20's!

This is a little video of Carolina in the kitchen helping prepare the cookies that were her party favor.  She loves to help me and is always pulling up her little chair to the counter.  Nico does it too and sometimes I have a lot of "help"!





I made these little cards that say "Be a flamingo in a flock of pigeons".  It describes Carolina because she is definitely her own little independent person.  We had a very loose theme of flamingos which was based on a combination of things.  One, we saw a car with flamingos all over it and she went crazy for it and said that was going to be her car when she gets older.  Two, when I walked into the dollar tree, they had flamingo stuff.  Win-win, I say.


I have a tradition of making her own little cake.  I've made this style before and I need to learn some new decorating tricks!  It turned out pretty but I really wanted some glitter sprinkles on it.  If Hobby Lobby didn't want to charge 7.00 for the tiniest little vial of them, it would have!


We had the party at the splash pad which is always fun on a hot day.  It's also easier on us because no kids destroying the house.  Yay for the parents!


Carolina is so adorable here in her little braids and hat!  She loved having people sing Happy Birthday and she gets it twice because after english we sing in spanish!  What a lucky little girl!


Sweet little friends make parties so special!  We are so blessed to have friends and family to share these birthdays with each year!



Friday, June 16, 2017

Friday Favorites // June 16, 2017

friday favorites

I'm linking up again with ErikaAndrea and Narci for the Friday Favorites!  I love reading everyone's favorites too!

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Today is the day before our Carolina's fifth birthday so I can't not include that!  We had her party early and I have the full details coming on Monday.  Here's a preview.



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We got to go on a date night!  This doesn't happen much and we're so grateful to our friend Jill, who calls herself the kids' fake grandma.  She loves them and takes care of them so well.  They adore her and we do too.

We went to Coltivare in the Houston Heights.  It's a very chic restaurant that grows a lot of their own vegetables in the courtyard garden.  The food is incredible although we didn't like what we ordered 100%.  We got mussels which were giant mussels.  I felt like I was digging into a heart or some kind of organ.  Blah.  The flavor was good but I couldn't stomach it.  Then we got pizza which had incredible crust but way too much prosciutto.  

I'm not selling it, but if you are in Houston, you should try it.  The seasonal menu is usually delicious.  My favorite thing is the spaghetti with pepper.  You can't go wrong with that.


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Last night we got to see the Astros!  We had a great time.  It was $1 hot dog night and Gustavo may have eaten 6!  Yikes.




Here's us in our matching Converse.  I wish I could say she loves them but she doesn't.  I have to fight her to wear them every time!  She said they are boring and don't have any sparkles.

I guess I'm going to have to do something about that.


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I'm so excited that I got my The Ordinary order in!  I can't wait to try it!


Hope you have a great weekend! 




Thursday, June 15, 2017

Project Pan Update


9 Products Finished!

This project pan is going so fast and I couldn't be happier to be downsizing these things from my bathroom drawer and cabinet.  There are a lot more things almost finished.

The only product I will be repurchasing is the Mac Mineralize Skinfinish Natural.  I love to wear it over any foundation.  I will wait until they have their friends and family sale in the fall though.  I think the products are 15 or 20% off at that time.  You can also get them at Nordstrom and they will price match it for you.  Just a little tip when it comes around!

I really liked that chubby Clinique highlighter and if I was a loyal user of highlighters, it was perfect for my fair skin tone.

The Nars concealer was a little too spotlighty for me.  I felt like I had raccoon eyes. The new Nars concealer is dreamy though and it's matte.

Is anyone else doing this too?  Come on, you know you need to declutter your makeup cabinets and beauty products.  It feels so good to actually use something up before buying the next best thing!

In other news, the Nordstrom Anniversary sale is one month away!!!!  This is my favorite sale of the year.  It keeps me from buying lots of things so I can dedicate myself to the obsession with fall clothes, even though fall doesn't start here until November.  Let's not talk about it.  





Linked up to Mommyhood Moments today!


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Vanity Sizing // Mother and Daughter

Do you know about vanity sizing?  It's that tricky little way that clothing sellers will change the clothing sizes so that we think we are wearing smaller clothes.

Tada!  

We feel thinner and happier and buy more!

Check out these shorts that I saved from my Mom's clothes.  They are a size 11/12 and compared with my size 27 which is equivalent to a size 4.



They are teeny tiny!  They are also very high waisted and I think Madewell would approve of this design.  I do not approve and won't be wearing these any time soon!  Even if they did fit me, which they do not.  


When I got out of college I worked at Ann Taylor on the weekends to get a discount on clothes to wear at my real job.  I literally witnessed vanity sizing happen.  My body didn't change but the clothing sizes did.  I went from wearing a 6 to a 2 in a short period of time.  I don't think my body changed 2 sizes!  Nope.  It was vanity sizing at it's work.

Don't you ever wonder why we have a 0 size and a 00 and a 000?  I mean, what is that?  It's like were all wanting to disappear.  Goodness, that could lead into a whole other rabbit trail.

How do you feel about vanity sizing?  Did you know it existed?  Is this the first time you are hearing of it?  Does size matter?


Even though this isn't a style post really, I linked up with Style Sessions.  There are lots of fashionistas over there to inspire!


I also linked up with Epic Mommy Adventures!

Friday, June 09, 2017

Friday Favorites // June 9, 2017

friday favorites

I'm linking up again with ErikaAndrea and Narci for the Friday Favorites! My favorites this week include my sweet kids and a bit of skin care shopping!


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Carolina had her last day of preschool ever.  I literally cried several times that last day.  It's just the end of an era that has been so precious to me.  Watching her and Nico grow up is the joy of my life.
Just for kicks I put in last years picture too when she was in three year preschool! It's shocking how much she changes from the beginning to the end of the year.

Onward to kindergarten in two short months!


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Carolina, Nico and I love to ride the bike over to the community herb garden.  There is also a splash pad and a playground there which doesn't hurt.  We love to pick some fresh herbs for dinner.  I always feel so blessed at the abundance and beauty of the garden.


It's also a great place to meet a friend and talking about blogging.  Thank you Christine for snapping these photos when I didn't know it!  Go visit her blog too at Coffee with Christine.

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Since I've been Project 10 Panning lots of things lately, I've been looking into some new skincare.  I placed an order from The Ordinary today and I'm excited to try their products.  They are so crazy cheap that I'm slightly skeptical but I hear great reviews.  



I ordered the Advanced Retinoid, the Rose Hip Oil and the Metrixyl.  I spent a ton of time reading the descriptions trying to figure out what I needed.  It's very science-y but I'll keep you posted how I like them.  My skin has been going through so many changes and I need something to help with dryness, some hormonal acne and it seems like I'm becoming more and 
more sensitive if not rosacea prone.  Some things just inflame my skin so quickly.

Has anyone tried this line?


Tuesday, June 06, 2017

21 Day Food Challenge Update: FAIL?



I completed two weeks of the Les Mills food challenge as of last Monday.  As you can tell from the title, I called it done early.  This challenge at times was quite grim.  I was slightly hungry almost every day.  I have experimented and adjusted along the way but there is only so much you can eat of vegetables, protein and a little bit of fat.

I am totally shocked that I cut all sugar, grains, dairy, fruit and alcohol out of my diet and I really didn't lose any weight.  How is that even possible?  I can eat anything I want and maintain my weight so I thought for sure that cutting out all those things would be a jump start to these last 7 pounds of baby weight.  Maybe if I had stuck it out the last week the weight would have come off.  We'll never know!

Here are some of my typical meals each day.  I'm sure I haven't convinced you to try this challenge but these are also Whole 30 compatible if you are doing that.  Just for the record, I have done whole 30 several times and I always lose weight and keep it off.

Salsa and avocado with omelette. 

Roasted veggies for food prep

Garlic granules go on everything!

Fried eggs over veggies


Hot Tea for the Blues

This diet challenge is not for the lazy!  You have to prep, prep and more prep.  When you get hungry, you need to know there is something already there to eat so you don't make a bad choice.  I wasn't perfect in this diet but I was very strict with myself.  One day I had a very long and bad day and I ate a dessert that I had made before the challenge started.  It was divine but I got right back on track.

A few pointers for you

1.  Shop with a meal plan.  Have a list of ingredients you need.  I have a husband and two children so I also have to feed them.  It works best for me if I can cook something similar for them and myself.  One night I made spaghetti for them, eggplant with spaghetti sauce for myself.

2.  Do not get hungry.  The goal is to eat 5 small meals a day, one being a protein shake.  If you get hungry, you might make bad choices out of desperation.  Always have boiled eggs, veggies, almonds or something else convenient to grab.

3.  Have an accountability parter.  You will get weak and it's nice to have someone in the same boat as you.  Misery loves company!

Well, in the end, even though I only lasted two weeks on this challenge, I did learn a lot about my eating habits.  I love to just grab things and go.  If I want to eat healthy, I need to always do the prep work involved.  There need to be peppers cut, fruit and vegetables always available to make good choices.

I felt like a failure for a few days but that is ridiculous and I'm calling myself out for such a bad perspective.  I am still nursing and you actually aren't supposed to do this while nursing.  #stubborn

I did gain some valuable insight on this challenge versus the Whole 30 one.

I wasn't able to cheat my way through it.  

On Whole 30 you can eat fruit if you are having a sweet craving, even if you aren't supposed to do that...alas, I did.  Also, when you want something salty, I would eat plantain chips because they are technically approved on Whole 30.  Starchy vegetables are also allowed on Whole 30 and my saving grace for filling full.  Without them, I felt empty.

This really is a very healthy food challenge and I plan to incorporate some of the recipes and meal substitutions into our weekly meal plan.

Have you ever done a super strict diet or food challenge like this?  What was your verdict?




Friday, June 02, 2017

Friday Favorites // June 2, 2017

friday favorites



I'm linking up again with Erika, Andrea and Narci for the Friday Favorites!  I love reading everyone's favorites too!

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We went salsa dancing last Friday night!  Gustavo and I met salsa dancing when a mutual friend invited us both to go dancing with a group of people who were taking dance lessons. It was love at first dance!  Haha!  That was 13 years ago and we've hardly been salsa dancing since so we were happy to remedy that situation!  If you are in Houston, check out The Aquarium on Friday nights during the summer.

I cut our friends out of the picture because I didn't know if they would want to appear on the internet, but we had so much fun with them and went to the Cheesecake Factory afterwards.  

Side note, SeƱor Gustavo wore his dark sunglasses all. night. long, even after dark.  He couldn't break character!


Here is Gustavo giving a salsa lesson to our friend.
Its mesmerizing, isn't it?



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We went to Ikea to get some organizing things for our horrendous shelves in the laundry room and spotted a duvet cover that matched me.  

You see how easy it is to get distracted at Ikea?  We did have a purpose and here are the shelves so full of disarray.  We take off our shoes here and they pile up plus all of our crafts and paints are stored here.  



For the record, I had a big problem with buying more bins to put things in when I already had bins available, but sometimes you have to bite the bullet and get something that matches.   I think it makes a big difference in the feel of peacefulness in our home as soon as we walk in the door.

We still have a situation with so many shoes but as the kids grow out of them, I won't buy as many. Ok, who am I kidding?  That's the plan, though.


This is a look inside one of the bins.  It holds our paints and the handy little attachable box to put paintbrushes in is only 79 cents more!  


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Three is this recipe for banana chocolate muffins that the kids helped me make this week.  They are so delicious.  Even Gustavo said they were the best muffins ever!
  


Carolina actually did measure the flour and sugar all by herself. I barely watched her so she must have done ok.  When Papa said he loved them she was so proud!

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This is a picture of me trying to write this blog post.  I'm a total Mommy blogger with kids all over me all the time!  I wouldn't trade it for anything but if there are any typos in my posts, I'm going to blame them!



Nordstrom Anniversary Try On Session

I BRAVED the Nordstrom sale yesterday with two kids in a very large stroller.  I wish I could say it was a fun experience but it was extre...