Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!

Today is my parents 47 year anniversary.   WOW! Whew!  Can you imagine?  Just kidding.  
I can't wait to say we've been married that long.  
I think a big congratulations is in order, right?!!  More than that though, I wanted to say thanks mom & dad! You guys have always shown your kids a good example of marriage

Observations from My Parents' Marriage
  1. They seem to like each other and laugh together
  2. They travel a lot together.  (play together stay together?)
  3. They sit down and eat dinner together every night
  4. They never [used to] argue in front of their kids  (things have changed in recent years- ha!)
  5. They are always respectful to one another
  6. They have separate hobbies (ex: golf/gardening, sports/sewing etc)
  7. They pick their battles (my mom at least -haha)
  8. They are considerate of each other 
These are just a few things I have witnessed.   

They have an "opposites attract" marriage I would say.  They are so different, but really balance each other out.  They found a great match and I guess that is why they are celebrating 47 years today! 

After compiling this list, I called them up to ask what they would say is their secret for a good long lasting marriage.
Here is what they said:

Dad:  "She let's me play golf whenever I want...she let's me do whatever I want"

Mom:  "I pick my battles."  (was I right or was I right?)

So just to be clear, for a long lasting marriage you will need to let your husband do whatever he wants, and only "battle him" on the important things.  Boy, I gotta do some changin'.   Ha! 

ps. I Just asked Ernesto if/why he thought our marriage was "good" he said "because we are great communicators like each others company.  Ha! I do enjoy your company mi amor!  

Monday, April 14, 2014

NYC & DC Trip Details! [Part I]

Whew!  We are settled back in the ATL after a relaxing vacation crazy trip up north!  We were gone one week and as I look back on all of our pictures, we really squeezed a lot in! I called this a trip instead of vacation because it really wasn't very relaxing.  Have you guys ever taken your kids to NYC?  It is definitely a different way of travel. To say the least.  (Somethin' different as my dad would say) 

Good times though and great memories. 
Grab a cup of coffee and sit back....this is a long one with picture overload.
{excitement before take-off!}

We took an early flight to NY Sunday morning so we could meet Ernesto's college buddy, Roman.  Its only and 1.5 flight and Mateo was having fun looking out the window.  It had been several months since he flew last and there was a definite difference in his level of interest.  Riding on trains and buses were equally exciting.  We built up the trip beforehand and he remembered everything we told him.
He understood everything too and that was so fun to see. 
Marcelo, on the other hand wasn't sure what was going on, but nothing phases him.  
Good. Boy. All. The. Time. 
 He slept the whole flight. 
Smooth trip.  Easy bus ride to Grand Central Station, on the Airporter shuttle (30 min and $13pp) which was a couple blocks from our hotel.  ps. Remember my last post...NO automobiles? Does a bus count? We ended up taking two, but stuck to trains the rest of the time.  Well, except for when we rented a van and drove to DC, but Ill get to that later. 

The Westin Grand Central  was perfect.  #1 it was free!!  Thank you to our Starwood Am Ex!  #2 the midtown location was great and #3 they gave us an upgraded corner room (adjoining with Ernesto's parents) on the 27th floor #4 that "heavenly bed" is just, well, heavenly. 
Yep, lots of elevator rides!  And lots of looking out the window.  The Chrysler Building was right across the street.  So cool.
That first day, we arrived too early to check in so we dropped our bags and hit the city baby.  
Dead on. 
Well hello my hot husband and adorable son.

We planned to meet Roman in Bryant Park, just a 10 minute walk from our hotel.  It was a cloudy cool day, but the outdoor patio called Southwest Porch had heat lamps and cold brew.  Both boys were sleeping so we kicked back and had a couple beers while we waited.  That was nice.  (ps. notice my nice blown-out hair! Thanks Beth!)
We were hungry so we stopped in Grand Central Station for some good pizza at Two Boots.  Delish! This building is gorgeous right? The awesome lights, the stone and marble.  There is a reason people say " it's like Grand Central Station in here."  This place is BU-SY and loud.
Roman showed us one little square where the ceiling is arched.  Ernesto and I stood in opposite corners and whispered sweet nothings to each other.  It was clear as a bell.  So weird.
It was nice to see Roman.  The last time was in 2010 when we went to his wedding (on a boat!).  He has a little girl now. We took the subway over to his place in Williamsburg (Brooklyn), picked up little Alisa and made our way to a string of places. (a brewery, cocktail bar and Cuban restaurant) The little Rooskie is adorable and a big girl!  She is like 6 months younger than Mateo but was much bigger.  She is also used to staying up until 10 or 11pm every night.  Little crazy boy is not.  
He got to bed at midnight that night, so that was fun [for him].  That first night Mateo slept with us in the king bed and Marcelo was in a hotel [supplied] crib.  It wasn't until morning that we discovered the little sofa was a pull out bed.  Hallelujah!  
This guy moves around so much when he sleeps.  I love to cuddle with him, but were happy he had his own bed.  

We met abuela y tata day two at the hotel where they checked into the room right beside ours.
They had never been on the east coast so they wanted to see as much as possible.  For the [three] Espinozas, that meant we got started around noon and got in a couple things per day. Ha!


Ok,  late starts all week (except the last day of the trip where we were out the door at 930am!), but for me, even just walking the streets in New York is entertaining...and we did a lot of that.  We would get up and go straight for coffee at one of the three Starbucks Bucky-bucks within one block of the hotel. We drank A LOT of Bucky-bucks.  They are on almost every corner and with the cool weather I wanted to drink it all day long.

 Day 1
Central Park.  What an amazing place!  It is 843 acres, 2.5 miles long and has roughly 21 playgrounds.  We found one called Heckscher Playground on the south side.
It was a beautiful day out and Mateo needed to run run run.  He's not used to being in a stroller that much, and although he wanted "my walk" there was no way in hell we could let this speedy boy out till we were in a no car zone.  The playground had slides and swings, a huge sand area and lots of climbing structures.  All with the amazing backdrop of skyscrapers.  I guess this were we would be everyday if we lived here.
Mis suegras love Chinese food so Ernesto Yelped a good place in China Town.  They were wanting duck, and Big Wong King obviously had it.  (the other dishes were good too!)

Having adjoining rooms was perfect as we were able to put the boys to sleep and go next door to hang out/have drinks/play cards.

Day 2
A stroll through Times Square....with the obligatory pictures.
Mateo spotted Elmo and actually got out of his stroller to meet him and pose for this pic. Its funny how shy this outgoing daredevil can be sometimes. 
As if Elmo wasn't enough to make him happy, we passed right by the Hershey's store.  They were handing out chocolate samples.  There is NOTHING that makes him more happy than candy. (not even Play-doh or Youtube) Ernesto thought he need a Reeces car [full of candy] too. 
"SPRIZE" That is what Mateo calls treats (usually given by papi)  He asks everyday for a Sprize. 
Look at that chocolate induced smirk. This really is his "candy smirk." 

We thought we would let that sugar high run its course in The American Museum of Natural History
Right at nap time! 
I mean what could go wrong?  Im sure these dinosaur skeletons aren't worth very much anyway.
I herded the boys into an empty rotunda with windows and they had fun running/crawling while the other adults looked around.  We may need to save the dinosaur, outer space and ocean life lessons for a couple more years.
Needless to say, it was not a long stay, because frankly, we had to get the hell out of dodge before we were thrown out.  (picture said Reeces car racing down marble floor and hitting other patrons feet) It was just as well because the sun was shining.  (ps.  this museum is one of many in NYC that have a "suggested entry price."  Many people don't know this but you can set your own price, like a donation.  This really helps when there are more people in your group.)

Outside the museum we bought this tired boy a street hotdog and he was passed out in the stroller by the time we hopped on the subway.  "mimi time!"  Marcelo was a hit on the subway, waving to everyone.   He got a lot of smiles for us and even some friendly conversation, which doesn't always happen in NY.
This reminds me of a funny blog post from Joanna over at A cup of Joe.  She has a series called NYC guides.  I referenced it for places to eat and entertaining a toddler, but this one about how to NOT look like a tourist in NYC and was so spot on.  I failed at looking like a New Yorker on many levels, but I did not wear running shoes, no I did not!  Just cool sneakers! I bought a pair of shoes while I was there too.  They were a total NY inspired purchase, as Im sure I wouldn't have bought them at home.  But hey, when in Rome! (They also reminded me of my niece, Kelli-who is 23. ha!  Is that ok?) Oh well,  I felt very fashionable in my skinny jeans, velvet jacket/scarf and new manly shoes.  Oh and a baby strapped to me.  Now that the weather is warm in Atlanta though, I won't be wearing any shoes that cover my feet.  Hopefully I still love them next Winter.  (if not, they are yours Kelli!)

Next, We headed downtown to the 9/11 memorial.  The last time I went by there I want to say there was still rubble.  I can't quite remember.  Still, it was a long time ago.  I do know that I had never been to this memorial and it was quite touching.  Thinking about how horrible 9/11 was while there can really make you emotional.  Two large fountains fill the ground that was once the 2 towers.  The names of all who died are carved in the metal surrounding fountains. 
Here is the new One World Trade Center, soon to be completed and the tallest skyskraper in the western hemisphere (4th tallest in the world!) at 104 stories high.  Visitors will be able to go in/up later this year. 
That tree there has a history.  It is actually the only tree that survived 9/11.  It was charred and pulled from the rubble.  It's called "the Survivor Tree" and it was replanted at the memorial site.  Here is a great little video telling its story.  

We had walked by The Grand Central Oyster Bar several times on our way to/from the subway and thought it looked nice.  Oysters and beer?  Yum!  We ended up here about 5p and were some of the first people here, but the place filled up quickly.  It is really a cool place and they oysters were delicious!

Day 3
One thing on mis suegras "to see list" was the Statue of Liberty.  A loooong time ago I took a boat out there, but don't really remember.  (It was before vivacindy)  I was excited to go again.

It was really cold and wet that day, and once on the water, very windy.  Mateo was already sleeping by the time we boarded the boat (another late start!) but woke up just in time for a snack in the gift shop and the 15 minute boat ride back.  
Included in the entry to the island/boat fee, each person gets the headsets with an audio tour, which would have been great except, it was COLD.  Ernesto told me it was going to be 60 that day, so I dressed inappropriately, and I HATE being cold.  It makes me mad even.  I didn't want to be outside.  I know I missed a lot of history, but looking was good enough for me.  A few good pictures.
For our last dinner in NYC, we wanted to find somewhere kid-friendly and delicious.  Oh! and not too expensive. Otto, located in Greenwich Village, fit the bill.  

It's a Mario Batali restaurant so you know it has to be good.  Some reviews confirmed that,  and also said the noise level is high, so any loud toddler breakdowns would go virtually unnoticed.  Done!  Let's go! As it turned out, there were no breakdowns, but if there would have been, we may not have even heard it ourselves.  LOUD chatter.  Great though.  I loved it.  I love a busy restaurant and the food/wine was excellent.  

Day 3
The idea we originally had was to take a train down to Washington DC, but seeing as how we really didn't plan anything, the train cost was a lot more expensive that when we had checked this option a couple weeks earlier.  ($40 vs $145pp)  So it goes the life of a non-planner.  On to plan B.  We rented an.....automobile for $160, a way better deal.  Also, it came with car seats! We had a late checkout of our hotel (4pm) so we were able to squeeze in one more thing!

No, mijos, you will not remember this, but look! You guys were up on the 82 floor of the Empire State Building.  (aren't you glad tu mama has a blog?!)
The view is just ridiculous from up there.  (Of course I had to think of Sleepless in Seattle) This picture doesn't capture the feeling of being in the middle of all these tall buildings.  Looking down made my knees weak, but it is such an awesome sight indeed!

We drove away from the city is our minivan (ha! so NY right?) at 5p and road tripped it to Washington DC, Part II of our vacation trip.  The boys fell asleep like clockwork at bedtime (thank god they are great car/stroller sleepers!) and we arrived to our nations capital at 930p! 

To be continued..........

Sunday, April 13, 2014

What's Going On Up In Here Up In Here

We have been home from our NY/DC trip for a week now and the bloggy blog is not finished yet! Its in the works though and should be out manana. I had A LOT of pictures to sort through.

 I feel like I have had a case of ADD this week.  I have so much I want to get done that I can focus on any one thing.  Result: Shit is Not. Getting. Done. 

This is the revolving list in my head:  
Make Jewelry - Garden - Blog  - Clean house - Do house projects
Make Jewelry - Garden - Blog  - Clean house - Do house projects
Make Jewelry - Garden - Blog  - Clean house - Do house projects

 My garden is in full swing and has been calling my name all week.  I have plants to move, plants I bought that need planting, seeds to sow, compost pile to finish, boxwoods to trim, veg garden to prepare/plant, and a whole list of things I need to buy at home depot. UGH!  This project won't wait as my mom reminded me on the phone yesterday.  The garden continues to grow. 
Some things just look beautiful without any help, like these bleeding hearts and my neighbors tree covered in wisteria blooms.

A few weeks ago I ordered a bunch of brass and leather from Turkey and so besides my gemstone classics, I have a slew of new designs coming together.....in my head.  MUST. FOCUS. IN.  Inman Park Festival is in just a couple weeks.  Yikes!  
 The name necklaces are nothing ground breaking, but I wanted a set for my babies, and they turned out really cool.  I decided I will offer this personalization on my new website (coming soon!) and at shows too.  I plan to have a birthstone chart - with modern and traditional stones - so people can make it their own.  I used sapphires for the Mateo plate (September birthstone and one of my favorites) and kept Marcelo's with chain.  This style also goes with my "Bebe" necklaces.  These have been a hit for the last few years and can be customized with your/babies birthstones as well. Both of these styles look great layered with longer necklaces. 

The other day Joanna from the NestBook posted this about Geodes and it reminded me that I wanted these geode handles from West Elm. (thanks Joanna!) 
 Remember these night stands that I got on Craigslist 2 YEARS ago??  
I posted about them here and funny enough,  I said I was going to paint them gray...that same weekend. ha! Well, I took off the handles and that was the extend of the "updating."  Ernesto eventually painted them white for me a year later and they have been handless ever since.  They look beautiful without handles,  but I can not wait to add these beautiful geodes.  The jewelry so to speak.  Ill be sure to share once they are on.

In other decor/design news, I am FINALLY getting my painting framed.  It is in the shop and will be done next week.  I bought all of the supplies for Ernesto to DIY a floating frame.  It really didn't look complicated, but this has not been anywhere near the top of the priority list for him, so I finally bit the bullet and paid a professional.  Artifacts in Grant Park, has great reviews and does a lot of work for the High Museum.  Trust.  I went with a light maple.  Its going to look amazing!

Lastly on the design front, I decided on the paint for our bedroom.  Now that I have uploaded this picture, I can say these samples aren't represented on the computer.  But what you can see are the tones in the blues. Im going with BM Hague Blue, the middle sample.  The Hale navy (on left) is too dark and the Gentlemans Navy )on right) is too blue.  Hopefully we can get the paint on the walls before I change my mind. I think its going to look fabulous!

My babies are getting along swimmingly.  Just as long as Marcelo doesn't touch anything that Mateo is playing with. Ha! Overall Mateo is sweet with all Marcelo's grabbing, climbing and hair pulling.  Marcelo is fascinated with his big brother and follows him around the house.  Mateo said "babies" is his friend.  (He can say Marcelo but always calls him babies)

My baby had his 9 month check up this week and he is just shy of 20lbs. We had to wait 2hrs and 15 min for the Dr. to tell me his height and weight.  Nice.  Apparently there are no shots on the 9 month visit anymore.  Wish I would've known.  
The Grant Park Farmers Market is open Sundays again.  Its the best...and everyone knows it. 
 Hence the crowd.

I so enjoy our morning stroll, meeting with neighbors, eating my apricot scone and stopping at the playground.  It just feels special.  

See you back here tomorrow with a NY recap.

Ps.  While on a "girls night out" with my neighbor Beth (ie: saturday night with Starbucks & Target) we popped into Ross quickly to see if they had any blue garden pots.  They did not.  But look what I did find for my little [bigger] Mexican.  Orange. Just one pair.  It was meant to be.


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