Monday, August 27, 2012

My Little Mexi-can

Querido Mateo,
You turned eleven months last week and hit a huge milestone!  I think we can now officially call you a WALKER!!  Oh my! You started standing up on your own in San Diego earlier this month and even took a few steps.  But now you are seriously on the move and keeping your mama and papi on our toes. 

Baby proofing? Ha!  Mateo proofing is more like it.  You are so fast, so smart and curious; your resourcefulness amazes us. There is no stopping you.  (although we are trying with baby gates and cabinet locks)  Still, even though you wear us out, we love watching your wobbly walk, and chasing you around.  You're a tough little guy too!  You bang your head on something almost every day and never full-on cry.   Your confidence grows.  I bet you will be running by your birthday!

You can zip up the stairs in a minute and you learned how to get down from our bed feet first.  You crawl up on the couch and you do pull ups on your bookshelf.

You are a babbling machine.  You want to talk so badly.  The consonants are just rolling out and this morning, in all the chatter, I heard you say "tititititi."  I'm sure you were talking about Titi because we were petting him then.  You really like Titi.   As a matter of fact, you are obsessed with him now.  You used to just smile when he walked by you, but you now go to him try to "pet" him (ie: pull his hair), and you follow him around.  Titi has surprised us with his patience and tolerance of being fallen on, stepped on and "pet" by you, as he has not been as nice to other kids.

Besides all the "talking," you have learned how to use your lungs to their fullest potential.  Can you say SCREAMER?!  Wow, it's such a loud, high pitch scream too.  We don't like it, but we love you amorcito.  We are ignoring it and hoping it stops.  Very soon.

Oh! By the way,  did I mention that you are getting more handsome by the day?  (As depicted in the above pictures)  It's unreal.  How can you be so darn cute?

Your hair got lighter in the California sun.  Your papi and I want to let it grow and see what style it takes on. You have beautiful olive skin too.  After all, you are a little Mexi-can!   Your lashes are still long as ever and always getting you so much attention.  Some of your chunkiness is melting away too. (must be all that exercise you are getting!)

Three of your top teeth cut through, which may explain all the extra nursing time while we were in San Diego.  Now that we are home and back to sleeping "normal hours," we are trying mama's  3-a-day's with leche.  You are not a big fan of this new schedule, and what can I say?  You are a boob-man for sure!  Don't worry my sweet bebe,  Im not going to cut you off, I was thinking we could try for the cover of Newsweek.  Ha!  (That is what I have been telling people when they ask me how long I will continue breastfeeding you)

In just a few weeks you will be The Big Uno!!!!  We are going to have a Mexi-can fiesta and your grandma & grandpa's house. 

Te queremos mucho, 
mama y papi

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Our Eating Vegan Challenge [Reviewed]

I wanted to follow up with our little vegan challenge we completed last month.  We cut out meat, poultry, dairy, eggs etc for 17 days....and guess what?  It wasn't as bad as I thought.  Do I want to continue eating vegan?  Do I want to make this lifestyle change?  Hell to the NO.

But like I said, not bad at all.  I guess the bottom line is:
{Print via etsy seller drywell}
And so does Ernesto....obviously!
(Im thinking I need this print framed in our kitchen!)

We ended the challenge when our plane landed in San Diego at 10 pm.  One hour later we were at Ernesto's parents eating burritos de machaca  (shredded beef) and there was no looking back.  In fact, we couldn't have eaten a diet further from vegan.

We had both actually lost a few pounds eating vegan for two weeks, but gained them back while eating in San Diego.  No importa!

You may be wondering "What did they eat?"  Geez, I can't remember.  Wish I had written it down. 

Here are a few of things I do remember:

Tofu, mushroom & ginger soup (OMG, Ernesto made this one up and it was delicious!)
Indian Mung Beans  
Indian Eggplant 
Orange Dal (lentils)
Neto's Pinto Bean Soup
Boca Vegan Burgers (these are pretty tasty. we ate them a lot for lunches.  Black bean and veggie flavor)

Overall verdict:  It was not hard and it could be a quite healthy diet.  We had fun with this challenge, but I did miss my normal eating habits. Indian food without yogurt? No sir, I didn't like it.  I will say, it takes some creativity to replace the calcium and iron intake of a non-vegan diet.  Luckily there are so many websites sharing recipes and regular grocery stores carry a variety of vegan foods. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Eleven Months Old {Mateo's Monthly Photo}

Flan Recipe [Clasico de Navarro]

{a perfect flan}
I love flan
I ate quite a bit of it too in San Diego the last few weeks.
Mi suegra shared this simple recipe from her abuela.
I am now sharing it with you.

This is a beautiful dessert in it's own right, but a decorative pan/dish could really take it up a notch.  I am now on the hunt for one of my own.

Bottom line: Make it.  You're going to love it! **

 Mi Suegra's Flan
2 16 oz cans of condensed milk
2 cups fresh 2% milk
8 eggs

In a blender mix milk and eggs on high speed until smooth.

Making the caramelized sugar top is very easy, but must be done right for a successful flan.  Place your pan over your burner and sprinkle enough sugar to cover the bottom, make sure to get in all the crevices [of an ornate mold].  Keep on the heat until the sugar melts and caramelizes.  It will turn into a dark brown syrup as seen below.
{mi suegra melts the sugar}
Pour blended mix into dish and place it into a bigger pan.  Add enough water [into bigger pan] to cover bottom.  This is called a "baño maria".  Cover with lid and cook on medium heat for 2 hours.

If you don't have a pan/pot big enough to fit your flan dish, you can cook in the oven on 350 for 2 hours using the "baño maria" method.

Test flan by sticking in a fork.  If it comes out clean, it is done.  Chill for a several hours and serve.

** Fred, Im sure your neighbor just didn't make it right, there is no way that you could not like this stuff!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Etagere score!!

I'm loving all the gold etageres (ie: open shelving) I have been spotting all over the blogosphere. Unfortunately, these go for thousands of dollars.....but a girl can dream, right?  These are my two favorites.
{via Candelabra}

{via Clayton Gray Home}
 Recently, I was filled with hope.   Ever since I saw this IKEA black metal shelf (only $70) hacked into gold etageres on Little Green Notebook (my favorite blog!) I have been thinking about where I could put these in my house.  Maybe I can afford one of these!!

Well, yesterday all this day dreaming stopped.   I wasn't going to go to this yard sale.  The sky was dark and it looked like rain.  But it was so close.....  Seven families,  just on the other side of the park?  How could I not go?  What treasures would I find?  I strapped my mexi-can in his stroller and we crossed our fingers in hopes it would be worth it.

Oh boy, am I glad I went!  Yes, we did get a bit wet, but amidst a see of baby gear and clothes I spotted this etagere with a sign saying "set of two for $30".  Oh my! 
When the girl saw me looking at them she said, "I'll take $20 for both if you want them."  Eh..What?  I didn't even have to ask for a lower price? (and you know I would have!)

SOLD!  Two very sturdy wood and metal etageres from Bombay Company for $20!
I paid for the shelves and walked home to get the car. Yeah!

I will probably have to change that wood color.  It is the same as our hardwoods, and as I have said before, I am not a fan of the red finish.  I was thinking white, keeping the metal gold, (of course!) but I kind of like the dark against my light gray walls. Hmm.  What do you guys think?
Like many other pieces of furniture I have, they will sit as is, until I decided their future.

One thing is for sure though:  I am so, so happy with this score!

In our dining area, there is a big window with 25" of wall space on either side.  The etageres are 24" wide!  Could they be any more perfect?  Just my luck [Fred].
I set them up last night and they instantly changed the feel of the room.  I can't wait to style them up!
Also on the horizon for the dining area is a new light! I purchased one from World Market, but Im still undecided whether it should go in dining area or in office/guest room.  More details and a picture coming soon!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Back in Atlanta!

Yep. Home. Sweet. Home.
After three glorious weeks in San Diego, we are back to our  homestead.  The flight home was good.  Mateo fell asleep before we boarded and slept for almost 2 hours.  The next hour and a half was spent wrestling him as he tried to climb everywhere.  No crying, but there were some pretty loud screeches.  Im convinced he'll get the hang of this traveling thing.

It is such a great feeling walking in the door after being gone, wouldn't you agree?  Things look new again.  I have a renewed vigor for my house projects.....but alas, the same budget as when I left.  Sigh.

Walking up to the house and seeing how much my garden has grown in three weeks was a great surprise.  Thankfully it had rained a lot when we were gone.  I was envisioning everything all dried up, but things were blooming and thriving!  Notice my morning glory's that have taken over the railing and mailbox.  LOVE.
 It's all pretty amazing considering where I started back in April.  Remember when I had just planted all the plants I checked on the airplane from Ohio?

The last couple days have been weird, because as you may have heard, I forgot my iphone on the plane.  In the seat back. Ugh! I don't know why Im waiting to just go buy another one, the chances are slim that I will get it back.  I wait and remember times of years past when I always left the house without a cell phone, why is it such a big deal now?

Besides the money I will need to cough up for a new phone, I am upset that the last day of pictures in San Diego were lost (my icloud backup was full). I had great pics of us on the beach in Coronado with mi suegra and a great video of my little mexi-can almost running behind a walker. 

Mateo is going to be 11 months on Monday.  We are in disbelief.  Almost one year has gone by??
Time flies when you are having fun?  No doubt.  I have always been a happy person, but this boy makes me smile all day long.  He is such a fun little guy.  He does make me chase him constantly but, between you and me, what else do I HAVE TO do?

Well, actually, I do have a couple jewelry shows coming up.  The first being one month away.  After selling at the Virginia Highlands Summerfest in June, my inventory was seriously dwindling.  I managed to whip up some earrings while in San Diego.  This is a horrible pic, but hopefully you can see a little beauty in it. 
I have been making my own ear wires and making some shapes 'a la India' too.  I came up with these designs earlier this year and they are a big seller.  I wish I could make them faster, but these require time [and patience].  By years end, I predict I will need a magnifying glass to wrap these tiny gems.

As I sit here writing this,  Ernesto is making us green curry chicken for dinner, my baby is snoozing away and my jewelry stuff is spread on the kitchen table.  A gentle reminder to get to work!  I guess you know what I'll be up to this weekend.  What are your plans?

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Mexico Day Trip

Ernesto's parents have been raving about a restaurant in Rosarito (30 min south of the border) where the quail, lamb and deer are bieeeeeen rico!  It is called Tapanco.  We drove down to Mexico yesterday and made a day of it.  Here are the highlights via Instagram.
{Jesus on hwy 1}
{restaurante Tapanco}

{walking Puerto Nuevo}
{at the fruit stand}
{mango, cucumber, jicama with lime and chili}
{una chelada}
{I want this lazy susan}
{el Nido}
{happy boy}
{el perrito}
{la familia}
{one of many lobster restaurants}
{shopping Puerto Nuevo}
{wool felted animals}
{my new straw visor}
{Guayabera's for Mateo}

Monday, August 06, 2012

San Diego: The First 10 Days

Happy Monday! Did you guys get into anything fun over the weekend?
We were out side for most of ours.  Saturday we climbed Cowles Mountain and in the evening the boys went to a Padres game.  Mateo's first.  His papi said he really liked it.
I decided to stay behind to work on jewelry and get some uninterrupted internet time.  I ended up taking a little siesta under an umbrella on the patio.  Oh, it was wonderful!

Sunday we rode bikes to Coronado (20+ miles from Ernesto's padres house) took a ferry to downtown and rode the trolley home.  I have written about this ride before here and here.  It is always a great time. (and a great workout!)  We were gone four hours, and I don't think Mateo even missed us.  He stayed with his abuelos and primos at the house.

In other news:
I like to think of myself as being up on the latest and greatest, but how am I so late getting on the Instagram bandwagon?  I have to give myself some credit though, I have been using the Hipstamatic app on my iphone for months with great results, but I love the sharing community with Instagram.  Its kind of like pinterest or twitter where you "follow" others.  Sooooo, if you have any interest, and you are on Instagram, you can follow my daily pics by searching @cindyespinoza.  If not, I will post various pictures here on Viva Cindy.

I have pulled together some of my favorites from our time here in San Diego...
{sleeping beauty- look at those lush lashes!}
{Mateo with cousin Alex}
{driving with Tio Jerry}
{the new bear crawl}
{ two gorgeous boys}
{stopping to smell the hibiscus}

{hiking with Papi}
{atop Cowles Mountain}
{dirty feet}
{bath time in the pool}

{abuela's sopa de fideo}
{morning garden tour with tata}
{mission beach}
{boardwalk breastfeeding}
{testing the water on the bayside}
{making some noise}
{making faces}
{succulent love}
{surfers at Crystal Pier}
{playing catch}
{Norfolk Island Pine}


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