Monday, November 30, 2009

Milestone...Learning to ride a bike


Our friend and neighbor, who happens to be an amazing photographer , took this picture of our little V riding her bike without her training wheels. Isn't she awesome? What a great picture Brandon! I'm so glad you had your camera ready to capture this important milestone...

Friday, November 27, 2009

Menu for the week

Roasted chicken with all the Thanksgiving fixings (home made mac-n-cheese, stuffing, broccoli). I know what you are thinking...We can't get enough of a good thing.
Chicken salad (with cranberries and nuts) and croissants/salad
Chupe/salad
Pumpkin cheesecake for our Thanksgiving celebration (This is an amazing desert... coming from a person that does not like pumpkin deserts...Thanks Chris and Kristen for sharing this fabulous recipe with me)


Given that we have been invited to a Thanksgiving feast at our friends the Kepners an extra meal will not be necessary. We will be splurging with a big breakfast.


Break down:

Aldi/Kroger $41
Costco $15

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I love Thanksgiving






Beside the delicious foods we get to enjoy Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the things we are thankful for. Here are a few of mine:
Family, health, friendships, love, laughter and much, much more...

We got to spend Thanksgiving with our friends the Kepners. So nice of them to have us over for dinner. We enjoyed all the usual: Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, cranberries, sweet potatoes and much, much more......

Happy thanksgiving to all of you!

One more picture to share...Miss V was asked in school to disguise a turkey to avoid being eaten in Thanksgiving...Too funny. She decided to disguise it as a hula dancer. All her idea, only a little her from mom.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Bakingpolooza




We were lucky enough to get invited to have dinner with friends for Thanksgiving. The day before it was all about baking. I went over to help and partake on the celebration. We baked: mile high apple pies, pumpkin cheesecakes, pumpkin pie, pecan pies, quiches.... The kiddos had a good time playing in the backyard and crafting while we did all the baking. Of course, some mimosas made the gathering a little more festive. Ahhh, how do I love the holidays. Even though family is not close by, we have our friends to share this special day with. It just does not get better than this!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Flat Stanley


Flat Stanley playing hide and seek

Flat Stanley being naughty...He ate all that candy all by himself

The kiddos and flat Stanley

Miss V made Flat Stanley a ghost costume to go trick or treating

and a cowboy one.
Aunt Susan sent the kids a paper doll named Flat Stanley. Based on the children's book he is sent to family and friends to see how everybody lives. Our kids were excited. Miss V especially, she took him trick-or-treating and even made a couple of Halloween costumes for him. The ghost was my favorite. They also wrote a letter back to their cousins telling them how much fun they had together. Susan will be sending us our own book so don't be surprised if you receive a flat Stanley from V and M... I hope you would want to play along.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving feasts







Thanksgiving is here. The kids had their respective celebrations at their schools. There was lots of singing, eating, dressing up as indians and pilgrims and giving thanks for all the good things we have.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Menu for the week

Spaguetti alla carbonara/salad
Potato and leek soup/salad/garlic bread
Stuffed chicken breast with spinach and feta/spanakopita
Red bean soup/salad


Break down

Kroger/Aldi $31
Costco $15
Super H $7


Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Today...One year ago...

I lost my job. It sucks, I have to admit, especially because I am one of those people that really enjoys the career I picked. I like working with anything related to the business of accounting. What can I say? I am a nerd at heart. On the other hand, I have been able to do a lot of things that I would not have been able to do if I was working:

Take/pick up my daughter to/from the bus stop everyday.
Have lunch with her at the school from time to time.
Get the kiddos registered in art and gymnastics classes.
Make new friends...Getting to know my neighbours a lot better...It is so much fun to make new friends, not just acquaintances.
Put a lot more thought into meal preparation...Being able to wow the husband with new meals (not hard to do, by the way)
Catch up with all my crafting (scrapbooking, sewing, etc)
Work out almost everyday either by going to the Gym or by taking walks with friends.
I am learning to take a hiatus from mindless, non-essential purchases. Not shopping or not planning to shop… has left me with a lot of time for me to do all the things that I previously thought I didn’t have time to do… things like more complex cooking and reading and taking a sewing class, taking more photos, writing this blog...Not shopping also made me appreciate what I already have in ways I never thought possible. I will try my hardest to keep it that way...Even after I find a job.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Caracas Arepas Bar

I haven't been to New York in a long time (10 years to be exact) but next time I go, I will be checking this place out. Finally, a place that elevates one of the most fundamental and, may I say, delicious Venezuelan dishes... The Arepa. It is apparently well received in the New York City community as I have read about it in several blogs. The photography on the website is absolutely incredible and I love the fact they gave the arepas the same quirky names we give them back home in Venezuela. So next time you go to New York City make sure to check out this place...I know I will.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Skinny jeans


I have finally built up the confidence to make/alter something for myself. I started by altering some t shirts that I had. They were perfectly fine, just a little too short or stained. I got an idea out of one of my Amy Butler's books (can you say love, I just love Amy!) to do a "redux" and give them a little more fashion (more on that on a later post). The project I would like to share right now is my new skinny jeans. Back in my days of college in Caracas I used to wear them all the time. Who would have thought they would be back in fashion? Only, I did not want to spend the money on a new pair. So, I took an old pair of blue jeans (that happened to fit perfectly but I did not like the boot cut) and made them into skinnies...What do you think? I am pretty happy with them. I used this tutorial if you want to try it for yourself...I'll see you around rocking my new skinnies!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My ballerina



I made a new skirt for Miss V from one of my old skirts...She decided that the skirt had a ballerina feel to it so she started posing in all kinds of dance poses...She cracks me up. It is a little long for her but she will grow into it. I had this skirt for awhile and I have not been wearing it. I am glad I found a new way to make useful.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ice skating with friends










Crazy weekend with lots of fun times with friends and redecorating the classroom window of Miss V. We also took the kids ice skating for the first time. In Atlanta, Georgia you ask? As it turned out, we have a skating rink 15 minutes from our house. Who knew?

They had a blast. V is so adventurous. She was a little afraid at the beginning but caught on to it really quickly. What a champ she is. My little man is more cautious. He much preferred to sit and have a snack while sister dealt with falling on the ice...Maybe next time for him.

Check them out all suited up for skating. After so much fun we worked up an appetite and had a delicious dinner of Mexican food. Perfect end for a fun day...

They are my sunshine



A little sun to brighten up your day...Have a happy Monday

Friday, November 13, 2009

Menu for the week

Spinach and tomato lasagna/salad
Turkey tostada/salad
Hungarian Gulash/egg noodles/salad - with what's left over I will be making gulash soup. Thanks Helge for such an awesome idea!
Vegetarian Chilli


Breakdown:
Aldi/Kroger $46
Costco $4
Super H $5


This week ,I am cleaning up my pantry. Basically, I look for unused items in my pantry and make meals out of them. Sometimes I buy more than one thing because it is on sale and I stock up. Therefore, by cleaning up my pantry I make sure items are not kept there for too long. This week I am using canned tomatoes for the lasagna, leftover black eyed peas (that I froze from a previous meal), and gulash seasoning our friends Markus and Ilona sent us from Germany. For desert, sticky date pudding from England.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New haircut



In an attempt to get Miss V's hair all one length we had it cut...It is so close to being one length...She looks so cute. After that, she wants to let it grow long...That is going to be a challenge. We struggle combing her hair...It is going to be interesting. I may have to talk her into cutting it short again. We'll deal with that when we get there.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Baking



I am not much of a baker. Unfortunately, I did not get that from mami. However I do have a small repertoire of baking goods I like to whip up every once in a while. Today I baked nutty pastry. I got this recipe from my friend Simone and I make it as often as I can. So the weather is calling for some nutty pastry, a cup of hot green tea and a good magazine (while Mr. M is taking a nap)...Ahhhh, the little luxuries of life. Thanks Simone for sharing your recipe.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Menu for the week

Panini with roasted red pepper, pesto and brie/salad
Slow roasted turkey breast/green bean casserole/mashed potatoes
Turkey souffle/salad
Chicken and vegetables wrapped in phyllo/salad


Breakdown:

Aldi/Walmart $27
Costco $20
Super H $5


Can't wait for Thanksgiving...We have to have our fix before the big day:)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Surprise in my backyard




While working on my computer and listening to Dinosaur Train on the background (one of M's new favorites in the morning) I looked up and saw this cute thing outside my window. We see a lot of squirrels, chipmunks and bunnies but this beauty doesn't come by very often. I am happy to live in a place we can see deer roaming around my backyard...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My sentiments, exactly


This picture pretty much sums up the way we feel around here...

Big sis learning from little sis


Given that today is Luisana's birthday I want to showcase something I learned from her. I made my own plastic fabric out of plastic trash bags. Very simple: gather lots of plastic bags, put the one you would like to showcase in the top. Place a thin piece of fabric on top of the bags and with a very hot iron, iron it until all the layers have sealed together. I decided to make a mini bag with an extra zipper I had laying around. Not too bad for the first try at sewing a zipper. Feliz Cumple Negra!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Scenes from the weekend, Halloween edition







We got lucky, we were able to go trick-or-treating without much rain...The forecast was not looking good but we caught a break at least for most of the night. The kiddos were looking so adorable as Batman and as a chear leader. Funny thing about M, we got his costume 2 weeks before Halloween and he wore it everyday all day until Halloween day...Just adorable. Miss V had her mind set on 2 piggy tails so I had to use some magic from the store (gel) to get her piggy tails to stay up. Needless to say these two brought so much candy that they could feed a small army...As soon as they went to bed I had to get rid of most of it... On Sunday, we had another birthday party with more candy and sweets...Just to keep the energy on a healthy high level...sigh