Friday, July 27, 2012

Bienvenido a San Diego!

Greetings from San Diego!  I am really loving it here right now.  The weather could not be more perfect.  Blue skies, sun and a cool breeze.  It is so warm during the day (not disgusting sweaty hot) and I actually felt a slight chill in the air as we sat outside in the evening.  What a [welcome] change from Atlanta!

Getting here was a little crazy.  We squeezed on the 8pm flight by the skin of our teeth and thought for sure Mateo would be sleeping for the duration.  After all his bedtime is 730p!  NOT!
I think if you look up "wiggle worm" in the dictionary you will see this:

Since the flight was full, Ernesto and I didn't sit anywhere close to each other.  This little guy could not sit still for a minute.  He was so tired, but there were way too many distractions for sleeping.  I was sweating just trying to control him.  Ha! Funny now - not then.  As soon as that seat belt light went off I marched up to Ernesto's seat and said "your turn."
He got our baby to sleep and he slept until we got to Ernesto's parents house where the welcoming committee awaited! 

Anyhoo, considering the 3 hour time change, I think our perfect baby has adjusted quite well.  So far the wake up time has been 4am...but hey that is 7am "Atlanta time" and that never happens! After a couple hours in the morning...the boys are back in bed and I got out of blog!
 So long to our vegan diet!  (separate post coming on our vegan challenge) Meat, chicken, dairy and eggs have all been consumed (and enjoyed!)  As a matter of fact, our first breakfast consisted of machaca burritos (beef) and cheescake! Yum!
The first carne asada of our visit was yesterday at the "Hotel Espinoza."  Their back yard is a great example of California's outdoor living.

Abuela had a couple kiddie pools set up in the grass. 

I am so grateful to have family out here.  Sunday, Mateo will take his first trip out of the country for a family reunion.  Mexico, here we come!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sopa de Fideo. A Mexican Favorite

Sopa de Fideo is something that Ernesto ate a lot when he was a kid.  His mom made this for us last time we were out in San Diego and the flavor simply delicious...for kids and adults.  Tomatoes and zucchini? Que rica!  Now that Mateo is eating more solids, we thought we would introduce him to noodles.  The recipe couldn't be easier and it goes a little something like this......

Sopa de Fideo

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups pureed tomatoes (canned is fine if you don't have fresh)
1 7oz bag of fideo pasta** (looks like vermicelli)
7 cups water
1 small zucchini finely cubed
1/2 cup cilantro chopped
salt to taste

Saute onion and garlic until onion softens, add vermicelli noodles and toast.  Once ends start to brown add pureed tomato.  Let cook for a few minutes. Add water and cook until noodles are done. (5-7 minutes) Throw in zucchini and cilantro.  Continue cooking until zucchini turns bright green.  Serve hot.

**This soup is also made with tiny alphabet letters.  If you can't find the Fideo or letters, you could use cut up vermicelli/thin spaghetti noodles.  Here is what the bag looks like.  They sell it at my Kroger for $1.
 The soup was a big hit with Mateo.  He was curious about the texture of this new food and wanted to play with the noodles before eating them. 

Give this soup a try for your little one or for yourself.  It's a repeater for sure. Healthy, delicious and easy to make. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Shop Goodwill Online?!

Happy Monday everyone! Hope you had a great weekend.  We went to a small birthday party for our neighbor at a Mexican place Saturday (we ate vegan tocos and they were great!) and Sunday walked to our little farmers market and took Mateo swimming at our friends pool. Lots of fun!

In other news, yesterday I stumbled upon a website that could be serious trouble for me.  Goodwill has an online auction site.   The only person who might like this more than me is my sister, a self-proclaimed Goodwill addict.
Within 5 minutes of finding this site, I registered and put a bid out on this beauty.

It was only at $21 with several hours left to go.  Funny enough it was listed in San Diego....and we just happen to be going there this week!  I could pick it up and save on the shipping!  I put a bid in for $25 but alas I was beat by $1! UGH!   The auction ended and forgot to put another bid in. Yes this beauty sold for just $26.  Im so bummed that I missed out.  That would've been a serious score.
Here are some other interesting things I saw. 

This coat: Currently at $81..leather and fur (so not vegan, I know!)

this gold watch: currently at $26. Beautiful and vintage looking.
this gorgeous persian rug is currently at $56 .. I really want this one.  (mom, if you ever see a rug like this while thrifting please get it for me ok?)
this sheep skin (4x8) is only $11? hello? draped over a chair??
this 1950's aqua glass pitcher with gold would look fabulous on a bar cart.
this jadite juicer is so cool and would come in handy when we make ceviche!

Attention shoppers in Akron Ohio...this red fur coat would be so perfect for your cold winters! There is actually a matching red dress under the coat.  2 pieces! You could pick it up and avoid shipping charges. Gorgeous!  Can you say Mad Men?
This awesome antique mirror would look great above a mantel. seems like I could go on forever.  I just thought I would pass this on for all you bargain hunters out there.  I will be definitely be adding this site to my favorites!  What about you? Any interest?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bar Keepers Friend is My Friend Too!

 With so many projects yet to be completed in the house (and so little project money) I am trying to concentrate on low cost/no cost projects these days.  The other day I finally tackled cleaning my Indian brass lamp [which was scored for just $5!!] and the transformation is astonishing!
The funny thing is that I never considered trying to shine it up (or even clean it for the 9 months I had it) until I saw this picture.   After that I was psyched at this lamps potential and was motivated to start scrubbing. 
First things first. The dated oak base will be coming off.  There are two small brass screws so, that should be an easy fix.  It does nothing for this beauty ...except maybe prevent scratches on the table-ha.  Does practicality need to be so ugly? 
I was going to buy some Brasso until I remembered I had a can of Bar Keepers Friend which I originally bought for my stainless pots & pans. 
 A big thanks to my sis for working up a sweat shinning one pan and proving it does in fact work. (Unfortunately I didn't follow through and clean the rest of them)  I am happy to say that there was absolutely no muscle required in cleaning the brass lamp with BKF.  As a matter of fact, I made a little paste and spread it on the lamp with my fingers and immediately saw years of grime start to fade away. 
I rubbed my finger on one area and when I saw the "real" color peaking through I got so excited.  I had struck gold (er..brass) on this bargain.
Because of all the carvings, I went over the whole lamp with a little scrub brush before wiping it down with a damp cloth.  Are you ready for this?
I know,  you can pick your jaw up now.  It's unbelievable, right?  
Here is a side by side look at the before and after:
What do you think?  Have you guys brought anything back to life with Bar Keepers Friend?

Now, if I can just get that perfect 17" black tall lamp shade.  Craigslist/thrifting don't fail me now!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Boost your Roost with $20,000 from HouseLogic

Happy Monday! What did you guys do this weekend?  We had a [very informal] "cocktails & canvases" party with our neighbors Saturday night.  I have been practicing with watercolors to see if I can make something cool enough for over the mantel.  Guess what?  I need a lot more practice.  I will show you once progress has been made.  Other happenings? Starbucks,  neighborhood farmers market and Crossfit.  It was too hot for much else.

In other news:
I am on the weekly mailing list for my local Habitat ReStore. A few weeks ago I saw that blogger Pretty Handy Girl was going to be at the store to demonstrate some DIY projects.  Unfortunately, I was not able to make it to see her, but I did spend some time perusing her blog.  I came across this contest and I am dying at the thought of winning.  PHG and 5 other bloggers are partnering with HouseLogic for this "Boost your Roost"  contest.  I am sending a submission over! Here is all the info from Houselogics site if you would like to boost your roost.

What would you do with $20,000?
Our back yard comes to mind.  Weeds, ugly trees, rocky clay and more weeds.  Since little Mateo has mastered crawling at the speed of light, we can only assume that he will be walking soon.  Pobre sito does not have any grassy area in our back yard to play.  This must change soon and when I saw this opportunity I started to get excited.  What if....what if we won??

What if you won?  Ok, keep in mind the deadline is....TODAY!  Sorry for the late notice, but you still have time!  There were a few questions to answer andthen just submit pictures of your space!

Hopefully I'll be asking for your votes in the near future.  I promise to have you over for a carne asada in our new space:)

Here is the submission I sent in!
  • A description of a room or area of your home that you would renovate within a $20,000 budget.
We have a newer house in a historic area of Atlanta (called Grant Park).  It was a foreclosure and does/did not need anything major done to the inside, only decor.  However, the back yard is an entirely different story.  

Other than a small shabby looking raised deck and a couple raised planter beds that my husband just built, there is nothing functional /useable about our back yard. 

Although not big, we know that our yard has potential. We envision a beautiful pergola built off a cool looking shed.  Underneath it, a dining/lounge area for entertaining with friends and family.   Most importantly we would like to give our little guy (now 9 months old) some lush grass to run and play. 

As of now it is overrun with weeds, and kudzu is growing like monsters on the few [ugly] trees that we do have.  No grass.  Just weeds.
  • Why is this home improvement so important to you?
We are self employed and at home with our new baby everyday.  He is not walking....yet, but will probably start anytime now.  We would like our yard to be an extension of the home and provide a nice area for him to run and play outside.  Until we tackle this project, there is no way we can let our son outside, and that is a shame.

Something else I should mention is that we cook A LOT of spicy food and tend to roast hot peppers frequently.  Guests/family often have to run outside because they are coughing from the pepper fumes.  It is a joke with my family, but it would be nice to be able to cook these outside as to not "harm" our guests. ha!
  • How will it bring more enjoyment to you, your family and friends?
We love to entertain.  My husband is a fabulous cook and we would love to have an outdoor dining area for when we have people over.  Having a grassy area for Mateo will mean that we can stay at home instead of having to go to the park for playtime.  A better quality of life all around, that is what this project would mean to us.

Here is our idea for the yard.  Obviously I can't draw, but hopefully Pretty Handy Girl will understand this rough sketch.  

Wish me luck!

Friday, July 13, 2012

My Mexi-can

Yep.  He is waving all the time now.  Adios! 
We had some fun with the camera today.
Even though this is a bit out of focus, I had to share.  He doesn't slow down for pictures.

Imagine a high pitch scream coming out of this cute little mouth. 

This boy is wild and crazy [like his papi], but he still has a quiet calm side [like his mama.]  That's right!

 As you can see in the first shot, the nursery is coming along.....I mean Mateo is almost 10 months old, I don't want to reveal all the pictures too soon! ha!  Well, I promise they will be coming later this week.  I just finished this DIY piece and have to hang it along with a couple other things. 
Have you ever seen the movie "The Mexican"  with Johnny Depp?  In the movie he asks "Are you a Mexi-can, or a Mexi-can't?"  Obviously Mateo is a Mexi-CAN!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bedroom Painted and Fabric World

Before my parents came to visit last week, we vowed to get one more project done.  Painting the bedroom was as good as any.  I had actually purchased the paint weeks before.   After 6 months of these three samples staring back at me,  I bit the bullet.  The middle color it is.
martha stewart cement gray paint
Yep, another one by Martha Stewart.  This medium to dark color is called "cement gray" and I am very pleased with it.   I used a flat finish and it looks so rich, almost like suede. 
martha stewart paint cement gray
{martha stewart paint - cement gray}
The white trim looks great against the dark gray.  We hung white curtains to keep it looking fresh.  Luckily we get a ton of natural light during the day, so it never looks too dark, just cozy at night. Perfect.  Seriously, I'm loving this color!
 I have my orange West Elm rug and my green campaign dresser in my room now so there is no shortage of color.  My nightstands turned tv console (currently in the living room) may come upstairs.  Maybe not.  I have my grandma's vintage ginger jar lamps .  Im thinking I need to try DIY artwork (abstract of course).
Yes,  I need to make an inspiration board.

After a trip to Fabric World the other day, I am definitely feeling inspired to make my upholstered headboard.   I keep waffling on the shape.  No waffling on the fabric though.  I found this gray velvet for $4/yard!!!  Uh-huh. I know.  These are the deals you get at this place though, so if you are in the Atlanta area, it is worth the drive [to Stone Mountain].
This trellis (?) fabric was purchased as well.  What for? Probably to sit in a basket with my other beautiful fabrics.  But I had to have it.  It is thick upholstery fabric so would be great for an ottoman or bench.   I had to resist buying many more fabrics that I don't really have a need for.  Every time I go to this place I think about buying fabrics to sell online.   I have so much fun shopping, it would be great if it was my job:)  Would you be interested in buying one of these great fabrics? 


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