Monday, May 31, 2010


I have worked everyday for 5 weeks straight! I needed a break!  Since my Census work is winding down, I was able to break away for 36 hours and crash my families cookout in Ohio Saturday night.  I almost didn't make it.  Thank you Delta for giving me the last seat on the flight!  I was so excited when I finally arrived at 9pm.
Almost 20 people were out on the deck having a great time. (Hi Fred!)
Kelli was home from OSU for the weekend and brought her new cute beau, Avi.  We gave him a good intro to "hanging with the Arnold clan."  We'll see if comes around again.  ha!

Besides being a holiday weekend, Ernesto had been in Ohio since Wednesday helping my dad with his big roofing project.  He had hail damage about one year ago and thought it would be nice to pay Ernesto and my brother Bill [with the insurance money] to put on a new roof.  A huge job! 
"I don't know how I get myself into these things."  ~paul arnold

Bill looked like Goofy with his hat, but at least he was protected.  It was 85 with the sun beating on the black shingles, a great way to get a sunburn.

In the meantime, the girls were taking a leisurely stroll on a shaded path.
Look at my little cheeker-cheekers.  She is just too cute.  She is growing so fast. She recently started crawling and waves hello.  Her little outfit was my favorite.  Her shirt says "Miss America" in sequins.   It would be so fun to dress a little girl.  She needs a little cousin, right?  Come on, Brrrrian!

My parents have been in their house now for almost 10 years.  Their backyard is like a botanical garden. My dad keeps the grass green and lush, and my mom's garden is the nicest I have seen. 
There was so much blooming and seeing it makes me want a garden so bad.  Sometimes I will think that we could live in a loft or condo, but no! No, I need a garden.  

A few of my favorites in bloom:

{bleeding heart}


We arrived back in Atlanta this morning to grey skies and rain, but sometimes you need a lazy day to watch movies and catch up on blogging!  Back to work tomorrow! Ciao amigos!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Saturday Morning Surfing

I want a new couch!  I hate the big clunky one we have now.  We purchased it on Craigslist quickly out of necessity when we moved back to Atlanta last October.  I don't know about you, but I think Craigslist is the coolest website ever!  I go to it daily just to see what kind of deal I may find here in Atlanta.  This morning I should be on my way to my parents in Ohio but I think with all the rain yesterday the flights are bad today.  Instead for the past hour I have searched Craigslist Akron-Canton and found some interesting stuff.  I have these grand ideas of all the reupholstery projects I can do with this great furniture that I buy cheaply.  Although I don't have much of it, I am very into vintage and mid-century modern, and there is no shortage of it once you start searching.

How about a pair of these 1970's green chairs?  $60 for both.  I can see these in my office [that I don't have yet].  LOVE.

I am loving this green couch too .....not as cheap at $500, but so cool.  I know it is a little conserative for my style, but mixed with some of my other eclectic pieces, I think it would look great.  What is the name of this style? anyone....anyone?  For some reason I keep thinking "chesterfield."

These Danish chairs are awesome and a steal at $150 for the pair.  I could resell these for double.  I would like them for my large living room [that I don't have].  Of course I would change the fabric.

Besides furniture, for the last week, I have been searching Atlanta Craigslist for a kitten.  Even though Neto is not a pet person, I made him choose between a parrot and a cat.  He picked a cat. (I will have a bird someday too)  I thinkI would like a black and grey tabby.  I think I would name him ....Rare rare.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Neto's Fish Tacos

 My dad was in Atlanta for a one night layover and Neto wanted to make his favorite dish for him.  I think these are the best fish tacos I have eaten to date! 
 I finally got a well lit photo.  You too can make these delicious fish tacos !  You won't be disappointed!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fish Tacos, Take Two

Last year I posted Neto's infamous fish taco recipe but I had the WORST picture to go with it.  (horrible lighting)
Last night my dad was in Atlanta for a night and this is his favorite dish.  He requests it. Every. Time.

It is still not the best picture, but it sure as heck beats the last.  We make this every month or two, so I can try improve the picture again soon.  We need to make these for lunch one day so I can get good natural lighting.
Without further ado,  Neto's Fish Tacos.  See how to make fish tacos.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mom's Mulberry Tart Recipe

 I had no idea that the big juicy berries that I have been stepping on the last couple weeks were edible.  A couple times while walking I felt some juice squirt up on me and that was the first time I ever noticed these plump dark red berries that fall from big trees. They are called mulberries, look similar to blackberries and have a wonderfully balanced tart/sweet flavor.   I would have never known this if not told by a total stranger.

My parents came to visit us for a couple days on there way out to NM to visit my brother Tim.   We were out on the Freedom Trail walking one morning and saw a runner pulling branches down and eating the berries off this huge tree.  I asked her was they were and she told us mulberries as she handed a few to try. 

When we got home, my mom noticed that there is a huge mulberry tree right in the vacant lot next to us.   Needless to say, my mom was out there a few minutes later picking away just like old times.  (she used to leave for hours at a time when we were little and pick black raspberries and blackberries in the woods behind our house.  She would come back with a huge pot of them every time and would freeze enough for treats all year.) 

I froze some of the berries and my mom took some with her. She picked enough for three or 4  pies...and there are still more to be picked.  They will be great in our protein shakes, on cereal or in oatmeal.

My mom looked up a recipe for mulberry pie on All Recipes and altered to fit my 10 inch tart dish.  It is now called Mom's Mulberry Tart recipe and it is definitely a repearter!  My favorite pie is blackberry and this one was just as good.  I gobbled it up for dessert last night, with my coffee this morning and just finished another big piece for lunch.  We have to get it out of the house as soon as possible:) ha!

Mom's Mulberry Tart  

4 cups mulberries
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1tbsp cold water
1 tbsp milk
1 pie crust ** (recipe at bottom)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

2. In a large bowl, mix berries with sugar, flour, cinnamon and water. Place mixture into bottom pie crust and then cover with top pie crust. Crimp edges, cut slits in upper crust, and brush with milk.  Let pie rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

3. Bake pie in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Remove pie from oven and let sit on wire rack until cool.

Serve with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream! 

Canola Oil Pie Crust
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cold 1% milk
1/2 cup canola oil

Sift together flour, sugar and salt. In a small bowl, beat milk into canola oil with fork until frothy. Form a well in flour mixture. Add canola oil mixture and combine gently with a fork until crumbly.
Pat into a pie plate as you would for a crumb crust. Add filling and bake according to filling recipe.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pizzeria Vesuvius!

A few months ago Ernesto subscribed to ScoutMob, a website that sends emails out with discount coupons to different stores, restaurants, stores and services in your area.  Last night we were debating what to make for dinner [at 930p] when Ernesto said he had a coupon for a new pizzeria.  $15 off your bill.

Located on Edgewood Avenue, Pizzeria Vesuvius  is not what you might expect.....or where you would expect.   A red arrow light points you to the door on a block where there is not much else going on.  Although it's close to our place, I would not walk down this street at night.  We arrived at about 9:45p and although there were only 4 other occupied tables,  I immediately loved the place.   (I have to admit, sometimes I judge a restaurant by how many people are eating in it, but this was an exception.)  This space is so cool!  Our waiter informed us that they have only been open 6 months and after a few write ups are finally starting to get the business they deserve.  The old brick walls, tall ceilings gave it a lofty feel, and dark wood tables warmed the space.  

The menu was mouth watering!  As soon as I saw they had an arugula salad I ordered it, but we had a hard time choosing just one pizza.   Luckily it was no problem to do half and half.  We chose the Mauna Loa (pinapple, apple-smoked bacon, smoked ham and fresh tomato sauce) and the San Marzano (a traditional margherita).  
They also had a nice list of beers on tap.  A Sierra Nevada for me and Sweetwater 420 for Ernesto passed the time until we were served.    When the pizza came out, our waiter apologized for the wait (which we hadn't even thought about).  We noticed it was not what we ordered, but dug in anyway.  It looked we aren't "sender-backers".   The Mazama (mushroom, feta, onion, spinach, roasted garlic and red chili) that was sent by mistake was delicious.  We were both into our second piece when the waiter brought us another [large] pizza with an apology for the mix up.

At the end of our dinner, the waiter placed our check on the table with no pizza charge!?  We couldn't believe it! Needless to say, we did not need to use our $15 off coupon as our bill was only $17!   We walked out with a satisfied stomach and the next days' breakfast and lunch, and plans to return!

This place is a repeater!

I am recommending you go to Vesuvious for the following reasons:
1.  The food was delicious and creative.
2.  The service is friendly and personal.
3.  The prices are reasonable.
3.  The space is beautiful. period.

Check it out!

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Bit of Shopping at the Americas Mart

I have received several comments lately from my regular readers here at Viva Cindy.  You have noticed that my posts have slowed a bit in the last month.  My friends, being a working girl has its down side.  This was my 4th week working for the US Census.  I have been really busy, and I have overcome many new challenges in this position as a Crew Leader.  For example, this was the first time I have taught a class or been been a supervisor to one, let alone 16 people.   It is as if I am on call due to all of the last minute changes that need to be addressed.  Also, my time management skills are really being tested.  Good thing I don't have any other obligations right now. ha!  Unfortunately, I have not balanced how to be really busy with work and also do my workouts.  I have really been slacking. Oh well, a few weeks rest never killed anyone!  (last two "fit fridays" were not posted and today all I can report is that I took one 45 min run/walk  run on the Freedom Trail )  

Of course the up side is that I have some extra cash to spend as I please.  Add to that a successful jewelry show last weekend in Roswell =  trip to the America's Mart.  My friend Livini  and I made a stop at my favorite store, Kona Imports where my friend Arif is always so good to me.  I have been his customer about 4 years now.  He always has a great selection, and although it takes me way too long to decide what Im going to buy, I always walk away with a beautiful stash.   
Today I was feeling all of the blues and greens (this is nothing new)  and came home with [mystic] green amethyst and iolite, aqua chalcedony and an assortment of random beads that were in a bowl.  (from left, pink topaz, yellow topaz, amethyst, labradorite, rubies, emerald, green amethyst)
I don't know if you have been into Marshalls or TjMaxx lately but I found some great jewelry storage. Check out these green leather(ish) storage boxes.  
They are lined with velvet and divided into 6.  They were only $5.99.  Have I ever told you that I love that store?

One of my customers at my show last weekend wanted a pair of ruby earrings.  She picked a style similar to another pair I had and I think they turned out so pretty.   
These are some of the prettiest rubies I have worked with.  They are a bright reddish-pink and are simple and elegant.  They are reminiscent of India with the bright gold too, don't you think?   I will mail them out to her this weekend.  I hope she is as happy with them as the photo I sent her.  If you have any ideas for a custom necklace or earrings with my new gems (or any others) just email me.

Tomorrow Zafiro will be out at the Kirkwood Spring Fling from 10am-6p.  Even though the weather is not supposed to be good, come out and visit.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

First Zafiro Jewelry Show for 2010

This weekend I had a booth at the 29th Annual Colors Festival of Arts in Roswell.  Roswell is a about 30 minutes north of Atlanta (with no traffic) and the historic square where the festival was held was just beautiful. 
I want to thank the Roswell Junior Women's Club for organizing.  They were all very helpful and available the whole show, and the set up and take down process was the easiest I have ever been involved in.
The skies were blue and the sun was shinning all weekend; perfect weather except for the gusts of wind that moved my tent.  I watched my earring board get thrown to the ground, but luckily the earrings were fine.  Zafiro Jewelry is very sturdy:)

Neto helped me both days, and Smita came up on Sunday to hang out and do some shopping as well. I was very happy with my assigned space and had enough room to spread out , leaving one side tent wall open. I rearranged my booth a bit differently than last year and I put up the turquoise necklace banner I just had the made at Fast Signs.  Many people told me that is what drew them in the tent.  
I sold that necklace on the second day.  It seems every chunky turquoise necklace I have ever made sells immediately.  Good thing I have pictures, I really loved this one.  Here are a few pics of some things that sold this weekend.  If you are interested in any, I could possibly make something similar provided I can find the stones again.  Just let me know!
{turquoise mixta $125}

{black tourmaline w/ peruvian opal $92}

{ruby with blue topaz on gold $92}

{turquoise bib necklace $110}

This next one I was very very said to see go.  The lady who bought it said she saw it early in the day and kept thinking about it.  When she came back to buy I told her it was my favorite.  She said "I wouldn't have come back if I had known it would break your heart"  ha! Labradorite is one of my favorite stones.  I love its depth and iridescence and use it a lot in my designs.
{labradorite bib necklace with kyanite $125}

{flourite earrings $60}

{topaz drop earrings $60}

If you weren't able to come out to Roswell last weekend, you are in luck!  I have shows the next 2 weekends here in Atlanta.  

Saturday, May 15  10a - 6pm
Bessie Branham Park

Saturday & Sunday, May 22-23 10am - 6pm
Chastain Park

In other news:  my Zafiro Jewelry site  has been published with more pages.   Now mind you,  I have been working on this myself for months.  "With that being said" (Larry David)  I think it looks pretty good!  It does not yet have online shopping, and actually my gallery pics are not posted yet either. work work work!  It's coming though my friends, I promise! 
I would love to hear your opinions/suggestions.  Yes!  Leave a comment!
I also just created a Facebook fanpage, so shoot over there and become a fan!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Feliz CumpleaƱos mi Neto!

How cool is it that Ernesto's birthday falls on Cinco de Mayo?   Its the best reason to have a birthday party and it has the theme built right in...
The mexi-menu featured carnitas, tacos de lengua, guacamole, and 3 different salsas.  The beer was flowing, music playing, lots of dancing....and most importantly, the birthday boy had a great time.  As a matter of fact, everyone had a great time, it was a great party.  No wall flowers here.  Singing, dancing, eating a delicious chocolate cake (thanks Jasper!) and blowing out candles.  Happy Birthday mi amor!   Welcome to your "late thirties!"  


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