Monday, May 30, 2011



We are back!! Our trip to Thailand was unbelievable and so worth the time spent sitting on an airplane.  We arrived in Atlanta yesterday at 3pm like zombies;  the 24 hour trip had done us in.  After stuffing ourselves with some delish pizza we were in bed and slept soundly.....until 330am today when we were both wide awake.  Ha!  Oh the jet lag!

Thailand was a perfect way to celebrate our 10 year anniversary.  It was modern, old, extravagant, rustic, adventurous, relaxing, romantic and exotic.  It was all we expected and so much more.  The beaches were beautiful.  The food was extraordinary.  The sights were awesome.  The people warm and friendly.  The massages- devine. 

Im sure I have said this before, but Ernesto is the BEST.  TRAVEL PARTNER.  EVER!  Inevitably,  there are unexpected changes that pop up when traveling and the last thing I want is to be with someone who stresses out about it.  I needed a partner that could travel like I did...and I found him 12 years ago!  I love how he stays positive and rolls with the punches.  Flexibility = good trip!

This trip didn't pass without a few bumps in the road...but we tried to focus on the bright side!

*  Flight canceled from Japan to Thailand on outbound... but we got to explore Japan for 24 hours.
*  Spent 3 hours on the phone rescheduling flights and hotel reservations....but it all worked out!
*  2 out of 4 Delta flights sitting in coach (ugh!)... but the flights were CHEAP!
*  Lost my point and shoot camera... but this forced me to carry my big camera (ie: better pictures)
*  Swollen feet from so much walking... but this gave me reason to get wonderful Thai massages. 
*  Left our [one and only] souvenir on a bus...but we have a funny story about how we retrieved it. 

I can't wait to tell/show you all about our trip!  I have over 700 photos to sort through.  Picking the best ones will take me a while, but I will be posting to Viva Cindy soon!   

Monday, May 16, 2011

Thailand Here We Come!

Ten years is a long time, and in my book, being married ten years is an accomplishment these days and deserves something really special.  A special celebratory trip!  We were debating a few locations, but we finally decided on Thailand...and we leave tomorrow!

Thailand has been on my list of places to go for a long time.  After finding out we are going to be parents this coming September, we knew we had better go now or we may not get there for a while.

This trip will be a little different than our usual trips: #1 because I actually made reservations (I know, I know, call me a planner!) and #2 because we will be staying in really nice hotels.

 We have been using our Starwood American Express to build hotel points.  After charging all our lighting supplies last year [and everything else we buy], we have enough points for our whole vacation.

At first I overwhelmed at the thought of this trip across the globe!  But then I snapped back into [Cindy] reality and thought, what is the big deal?  My doctor gave me her blessing and some sample Electro-mix packets to add to my water to keep me hydrated and reminded me not to eat anything raw while over there.   (Its really hot in Thailand now and it is sure to be a culinary extravaganza)
Must. Be. Careful

We fly Atlanta to Tokyo [Japan], a 14 hour flight, then Tokyo to Bangkok, another 6 hours.  I know this sounds horrible, but Im really looking forward to it.  The flights are wide open and we will be sitting in Delta's Business Elite lie flat seats.

I love the longer flights.  On flights to europe you never have enough time to get a good night sleep.  After dinner, you sleep for a few hours then you arrive feeling like crap. The flights to Asia are long enough to get 8-10 hours of sleep and still enjoy a movie or two.  I will not have a problem sleeping, eating, reading, watching movies, and surfing the internet.

After arriving in Bangkok a day and a half later (there is a +11 hour time change) we are taking another flight to the south of Thailand to an island called Phuket.
We will be staying at the Westin Siray Bay Resort and Spa, Phuket, which does not look like it will suck.
After 5 days in Phuket, we will take a quick flight back to Bangkok, where we will be staying at the Four Points Sheraton, Sukhumvit and exploring this crazy city.  (Oh, the stories I have heard.) This hotel opened less than one year ago and looks like it will be great.  Who doesn't love Sheraton's heavenly beds?  I also read that this location is perfectly situated for getting around the city.
I am so excited, I think this is going to be a trip of a lifetime!  Armed with the Lonely Planet Guidebook, we are ready for an adventure.
A few things Im looking forward to: 

- Thai food and more Thai food
- Riding on an elephant
- Inexpensive massages
- Collecting new sand from a couple beaches 
- Snorkeling in the crystal clear water
- More Thai food
- Taking a boat to Ko Phi Phi where the movie The Beach was filmed (Leo DiCaprio) 
- Visiting the many temples
- Checking out the huge budda carved out of emerald
- Floating markets in the canals of Bangkok
- Thai food and more Thai food

** we will be taking our ipaddy pad and will be accessible by email.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Garage Sale Queens?

I don't think I will ever be able to top my mom or sister as garage sale queens, but I sure as heck tried this past Friday at the annual town garage sales in Navarre, Ohio. 
It seems everyone in this cute, beautifully landscaped little town is involved with the sales and the churches open and offer lunches with home made bakes goods to "sale-ers."

It is an all around great time [if you are into thrifting].  I LOVE the thrill of "the hunt" and the rush that comes with finding a diamond in the rough (with furniture) or quality clothing pieces for pennies on the dollar of the original cost.  You never know what you may find, but one thing is guaranteed, I always have a great time hanging out with my sister and mom.

I have to say that if I was not pregnant, this years' sales may have been a bit disappointing.  The only thing that I bought for myself was a beautiful vintage Italian leather purse ($2).  So nice, right?
Ok, I also bought a dress... out of pure necessity.  It was hot as Haiti that day and I had made the mistake of wearing black leggings. ugh!.  The dress was definitely worth the $3 that I paid for it.  I was MUCH cooler walking around the rest of the day and my belly looked so cute in it, I think it will be a summer favorite!
{** Please forgive me for the HORRIBLE pictures that follow}
 Luckily, I am pregnant and I hit the jackpot at these sales!  No, I do not know the sex of our baby, but who cares with prices like this?  It was so fun buying anything you want and not worry about prices.  I just bought cute little outfits for boys and girls.  All of the outfits look brand new or close to it (one criteria I have for buying used clothes) and they are cutie-cute!!  My mom and sister also bought for the little mexi-mouth, and when we got home the whole kitchen table was covered with itty bitty clothes!  Too fun!
 I have always been more of a thrifter/Craigslister in Atlanta than a garage "sale-er," but I think I will start looking them up.  So many deals, so little time.  Once we find a house, I will really be able to start raking in the deals! 

Before flying back to Atlanta, I visited with my family and had a cookout.   Barbie and I got to compare bellies again and we were both surprised to see how much our bellies had grown in the few weeks since we had seen each other for Easter.
{Cindy - 21 weeks and Barbie 15}
Oh the difference 6 weeks can make!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Belated Birthday Cake: Chocolate Chipotle

Sometimes I have dreams of being a domestic goddess. You know, the day when I have my big "chef's kitchen" overlooking the the kids playing in the living room.  I will have finally opened and unpacked my Kitchen Aid mixer [that was a wedding present 10 years ago, ha!]  Yes, that is when I will follow my mom's tradition of always having baked goods in the kitchen for her family.

Sometimes though, you have to go ahead and jump in... instead of waiting for "the dream" to be reality.    No I didn't unpack my KitchenAid, but I did take out a quite capable hand mixer.  Since Ernesto's birthday was last week, I had reason to make this happen.  He is a big chocolate fan.  He is also a chile addict.  Everything (and I mean everything) needs to be spicy for him to be satisfied.  While searching for a delicious cake to bake him for his birthday the other day, I came across this Spicy Chipotle Chocolate Cake recipe and knew this was the one I must bake. 

At 9am I put on my apron and got started.  While mixing the batter, I wondered why people use boxed cake mix.  It is so easy to make one from scratch and I already had all of the ingredients in my kitchen.
I popped the 2 cake pans in the oven and whipped up the to-die-for cream cheese and nutella frosting. Nutella is a hazelnut-chocolate spread and you won't be disappointed with its flavor. 

When I took the cakes out of the oven I was a bit surprised that it did not rise.  But after going back to the recipe and reading the comments,  it really is more of a brownie like consistency instead of a moist cake.  (Plus there is only 3/8 cup flour) Either way,  it turned out delicious, and mi esposo was happy!  Let the traditions begin!! 

Monday, May 09, 2011


Happy Monday! I hope all the mothers out there had a great mothers day yesterday!  I spent the weekend at the Roswell Colors Festival of Arts showing off Zafiro Jewelry.  I want to thank the many patrons of Roswell who made this a fabulous show!  Also a special thanks to Lucy for hanging with me all weekend.  It was fun, and she is good!  We made record time with tear-down/truck packed up in 30 minutes flat!!

Unfortunately I wasn't able to be in Ohio with my mom, but I will see her this weekend for the ultimate in mother daughter quality time: the annual Navarre Garage Sales. Yay!  I did send her a card, but really, I try to tell my mom on a regular basis how much I love and appreciate her! (you know that right mom?)  If I can be half the mom that she has been to me, my kid will be very lucky:) 
Speaking of.......
{First day of week 21}
My belly is growing, and is starting to look so cute.  I was actually inspired to shop a little this past week (I had had no desire since January) and I found a few cute summer dresses at TJMaxx.  It's fun to stick out my belly as far as it goes to see if the dress will still fit when I get bigger!  Im glad Im prego during warm weather, there are a lot of great options for big bellies. 

I didn't leave the little mexi-mouth out either!  I picked up some tiny outfits for boy and girl thank you very much.    I just get to buy more since we won't know the sex.

(on a side note:  last night I did dream that I saw HER face)

It's still hard for me to even believe that I am pregnant, but I am already half way through this guys!  Since feeling the first kick on Saturday, I have felt some other fluttering, I know it will only get more frequent, but do you ever get used to it?  Mothers? 

This is all new to me, and I am relishing the "newness." An exciting time in our lives no doubt!

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Friday, May 06, 2011

It's Mulberry Time Again!

For the last year, the mulberry tart recipe that my mom made has been the most popular post on Viva Cindy.  Well, they are in season again here in Atlanta and I picked a TON of them.  I am going to do the tart again, but would like to try a new recipe too.  I have always loved my mom's peach cobbler and apple crisp, so I am thinking that I will try one of these with mulberries.  What do you think?  Any other ideas?

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Feliz Cumple a mi Neto!!!!

Happy Cinco de Mayo amigos!
It's Ernesto's birthday today and I have to admit that I screwed up:(

We went out to dinner the night before to celebrate because we knew he was driving to FL [for our friends' wedding] and would not be around on his actual birthday.  Our friend Kate was in town for a couple nights from Haiti so the three of us ate at Tierra, at nice restaurant which specializes in Central and South American food.

I gave him his presents that night too.  Some golf accessories, lots of [much needed] boxers, and these:
I know he wasn't expecting something like that, but it was so cute.  He said we aren't going to need the girl outfit.  hmmmm.  He liked all his gifts and went to bed a happy man (wink wink)!

Ok, so how did I mess up then, you ask?  Well, the next morning, Cinco de Mayo  (his actual birthday) I had to work at the spa at 630 am.   I rushed out the door and didn't remember it was his birthday. 

I felt so bad driving to work thinking about how when we woke up he said "cof cof" and I said "no, you make the cof cof."  (we do that little back and forth about the coffee every morning)  He even walked me out to the car when I left and I still forgot:(  Bad wife.

Of course by the time I was done working at 10am, he had left on his road trip.  Im sorry mi amor!!  Im hoping he will forgive me after he tastes the special cake I am going to bake for him at his belated birthday cookout next week. 

Anyhoo, while driving to work I thought about some of the things that I love about my husband, the hottest 39 year old that I know! Happy birthday mi amor!!!!
  1. He is reliably in a good mood.  Every. Day.
  2. He is easy going and friendly with everyone he meets. 
  3. He is a wonderful cook and loves to entertain.
  4. He has integrity and works hard [when he is working].
  5. He is sweet and affectionate. 
  6. He cherishes his Mexican roots and wants to pass this on to our kids.  Yay Spanish!
  7. He is silly and makes me laugh everyday.  (Especially if he lip syncs anything)
  8. He loves to travel and shares the same curiosity and respect for different cultures as me.
  9. He doesn't have a prejudice or racist bone in his body.
  10. He is very domestic and does more than his share around the house.
bonus: He loves big butts! 

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Zafiro Jewelry at Inman Park Festival 2011

This years' show season for Zafiro kicked off with a bang at the annual Inman Park Festival.  After a weekof storms and tornadoes in the area,  Atlanta's weather held out for the 2 day show.  As a matter of fact it was perfect: 80 and sunny both days!  People flooded the streets.

I enlisted the help of my sister Jenny.  We were due for a girls weekend anyway, so she flew in from Ohio on Thursday morning.  We did some shopping/thrifting, got pedicures, plus got in a few workouts.  (Oh! And I made her and Neto this delicious chicken meuniere dinner from Giada de Laurentiis

Inman was a very well run show, hats off to the organizers!  I had one of the easiest set-up/take-downs ever, partly because I had 2 great helpers but also because we live just 2 minutes from the park.   Also, a trick I used in preparing for the show was to stack all of my jewelry boards on top of each other [with the jewelry on them] and then cover them with plastic wrap the night before.  Wow, what great time saver! After we set up the tent and tables we just unwrapped the jewels and we were ready to sell.
And sell we did! Thank you to the patrons of Inman Park Festival for making this one of my best.  I had many new designs and gemstones after coming home from Tuscon Gem Show and my customers loved them!    The most popular style at this show were the bib necklaces and wire shape earrings. The most popular gemstones were the London blue topaz, kyanite, pink sapphires, and rubies.  Unfortunately I was only able to photograph a few of these before they sold.


{VIVA INDIA EARRINGS - London blue, yellow topaz and green amethyst - $68}

I will be showing Zafiro this coming weekend as well.  I hope to see you there.

21st Annual Colors Festival of Arts
Historic Town Square – Roswell, Georgia
May 7 & 8, 2011
Mother's Day Weekend
10 A.M. – 6 P.M.


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