Monday, November 18, 2013


About a month ago Ernesto and I watched the movie "This is 40"  Have you guys seen it?  It is from the directors of 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up, and it was funny.
 Take a look at the trailer:

I could definitely relate to this movie and we both had some LOL moments. It's on Netflix.  Watch it.

Am I supposed to feel something now that Im 40?  It's been over a week now and I don't feel anything.   Wait, I lie.   I feel excited.  I feel grateful.  I feel extremely lucky to be living my life.

Don't get me wrong.  Life is not perfect.  We have been going through some tough transitions at Casa Espinoza with a certain two year old (worthy of a whole blog post).  My patience is being pushed to the limit tested daily and I feel like Im failing  getting a C- in this class.  I haven't been working out and Ernesto keeps bringing sweet shit in our house which is a constant reminder of how little discipline I really have. (stop it mi amor!)

But I'll still stick with my initial 40 year old mantra. You are lucky Cindy, you are lucky girl.

By the way, my friend and I were discussing, at what age do you become a lady instead of a girl? I still feel like a girl, but I think that I tend to say lady when talking about someone older than 40.  Ugh!

Anyhoo, on to the big 4-0 deets!!

I guess I should have suspected a surprise for my 40th birthday, right?  Thursday afternoon, Mateo had just woken up from his siesta and my phone rang.  It was my parents on Facetime.  My dad said they were out taking a walk.  My dad just got an iphone, so I didn't think anything of it.  But then they turned the phone away from their faces over to MY FRONT PORCH!!!
We ran outside!  I was so excited and totally surprised!  That is the best!
Have I ever told you that I love surprises?

Later that day I found a package on my front porch.  It was from my brother and the card read:

My gift? This flannel zip-up housecoat [fit for an 80 year old]  He thought he was being funny, but I actually like it. Ha!  The joke is on you Puckwaa! Well, admittedly, Im not crazy about the pattern, but the functionality is spot on.  It's soft, it's warm and the zipper allows for easy access when nursing.  That complies with all my "cozy clothes" criteria.  I'll wear it!  Who do I see in my house all day anyway?  This little guy won't make fun of me. Yet.

Just so you are not confused by my brothers note, I am 40, not 41.  He has been adding one year to my age for 11 years now. When I turned 29, I got a "happy 30th" card, when I was 30, it was a "happy 31st" card, and so on.  11 years!!  Get it straight Puckwaa!

Ernesto started a tradition long ago with playing the song Las MaƱanitas and serving breakfast in bed on my birthday.  These days though I have a two kids in my bed.  He did keep with traditions by playing the "birthday song," and this year my birthday breakfast was a cucaracha.  Sauteed tortillas layered with ham and cheese covered in salsa. Que. Rico. (recipe here)

A month back when we visited my Brrrian in Asheville, my mom and I went to Goodwill and I spotted this big painting for just $20 including the frame.  Instantly I thought, yes! This is the big piece I need for my art wall.  It's an original and I liked her funny looking butt.

I second guessed it though (my mom was not a fan) and left the store without it.  Two days later in Atlanta, I knew I wanted it.  I asked Brrrian to go back and get it for me and it was gone. Ugh!
Of course someone bought it.  It was awesome and big and just $20!!

So on my birthday morning Brrrian (who is staying with us for the Christmas season helping Neto) gives me this card.
What? Look on your wall?! I jumped out of my chair and there she was...hanging on my wall.
Talk about surprises!  Again, I should've suspected, but I had no idea. 
(What? I told you I was going to wear that housecoat.)
The painting is not staying there, but I have been enjoying it nonetheless.  So glad she is mine.  Thanks again Brrrian!!

The birthday fun didn't stop.  My mom and I dropped Mateo off at school (so weird to say that!) and headed to Homegoods.  My mom gave me a credit for my birthday.  Free money, thanks mom!  That meant I could buy frivolous things that I don't need.  I decided my theme would be cocktail party and proceeded to pick out things that will probably never get used for a nice little holiday soiree after the lights, say mid December?  Want to come?  Come on, that deer head bucket?? There must be a party!

Speaking of party...I really thought we were going to go out for dinner while Brrrian watched the boys [sleep].  Ernesto had a nice afternoon surprise for me.  He told me to be ready at 1pm, because my dad was going to take me somewhere.  Oh! and dress nice, he adds.  I initially thought spa, but the "dress nice" bit threw me off.  Low and behold, my dad dropped me off in front of Spa Sydell in Buckhead, and I had a massage, a facial and my nails done.  Three hours of relaxation.  Such a treat!
The "dress nice" part was because I would be coming home to a party. Duh!  I swear I was not suspecting of any of these surprises, and they were all so predictable.

Neto had the food catered and bought a carrot cake from Highland Bakery. It did not suck!!

A keg of my favorite beer tapped by my favorite little two year old and they party got started!

I only had three beers, but Sweetwater IPA is no joke.  I felt good, but didn't drink enough to have a hangover.  What a responsible 40 year old I've turned into.
The next morning I had an appointment to chop my hair.  New age, new look. Plus, the winter is coming and that means dreadlocks for this girl.  Don't ask me why, but my hair knots up just from laying on my sweaters.  So annoying.  It had to go.  I was inspired by this picture taken in India back in 2007 (more pics here) and showed my stylist this picture.

Of course it didn't really turn out the same.  It looks so much cuter in India.  Of course everything looks better in a turquoise sari.  The blondie was pretty too, right?  But, alas, now Im 40.  Now I have grey "highlights." And the roots maintenance on blonde hair?  Ain't nobody got time for that

Before and After
It's shorter than I wanted, but my hair grows fast, so Im not too worried.  (annoyed? yes, worried? no)
I did have a few moments though where I caught a glimpse of myself and I feared I had a soccer mom haircut.  Say it isn't so....

I took this "selfie" just to show you what my hair will really look like on a daily basis.  No hairdryer, no product, no flatiron.  Ain't nobody got time for that either!  For better or worse, this is my 40 year old haircut.
Seriously, Im totally fine with 40.  Life is good.

Get to Work!!

Noooooo, I didn't get a job! HA!

This morning I dropped Mateo off at pre-school and he said "byeeeeeeee mama" before we got in the building.  Once inside he blew me a kiss, said byeeee again and ran off.  It took 7 days of school to figure it out, but he finally gets it.  He is going to have fun and mama is coming back for him.

Today instead of going home, or going shopping, I stopped at Joe's East Atlanta just down the street from Mateo's school.
Yes, that is me sitting in my desk.   This coffee house will be my office for the next three hours and Im going to enjoy it immensely.  Baby is sleeping, cafe americanos are flowing and I am blogging!

Im sure you are wondering how I spent my 40th birthday, so stay tuned, because details are coming!!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Mom's Zucchini Cake

I have had a few requests for my mom's zucchini cake, so I thought I would post it here.  It is definitely blog worthy. I grew up eating this cake. It is moist chocolaty and addictive. So much so that you will have a hard time believing it's made with a vegetable.
(Disclaimer: I wouldn't exactly call it healthy, but it's a darn tasty treat!)

This year I made it for Mateo's birthday party and everyone went gaga for it, eating more than one piece. At the moment, I don't have a picture of the inside of this cake so you can see the texture and how moist it really is, but you will just have to trust me on this.  A recipe doesn't get made over and over for over 40 years if it ain't good!

Whenever I ask my mom for one of her recipes, my dad just scans the original recipe card, which I love.  Make it.  You'll love it.  Period.

So without further adoo....

Mom's Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Craigslist for the Win!

Good things come to those who wait stalk Craigslist.

I spent a couple weeks kicking myself after selling my Milo Baughman dining chairs at a knock-off price.  I didn't know what kind of chairs I wanted next, but I knew if I kept stalking they would appear. For the last four months, we have been sitting on folding plastic chairs, but I wasn't going to rush into anything.  Patience grasshopper.

Sunday afternoon, I was trolling and came across this ad while searching my usual "chrome chairs"

The burl wood table was awesome, but it was the little glimpse of the chrome chairs that got me excited.  I love the chrome sled bases and that they are arm chairs.  I immediately thought they would need to be recovered.  Although I love gray, I felt like they looked a bit too officey.

What about navy blue or emerald green velvet outdoor fabric?  My imagination was going full throttle and I just hoped they were still available.  They were listed that same day.  I emailed right away about buying the chairs separately and the guy told me $100 for all 6...Score! Done and done.  I said I would be there in the am to pick them up.   

Of course I couldn't tell Ernesto that I was going to get chairs that I had found on CL, but it would've been nice to have his truck.  I could only fit 3 of the chairs in my car, so I still have to go pick up the other three.  

The seller was retired, getting rid of everything and moving to the south of France with his wife.  Nice!  I was pleasantly  surprised that the chairs didn't seem as sterile in person, and in fact look great in my dining room.  (I will, however need to start searching for a dining table to go with them)  I still would like to recover them with some color, but at least they are in good shape and blend in nicely for now.  
I had them sitting around the table when Ernesto got home from work.  He went to sit down on his computer, reached for a chair and said "what is this?" Luckily he likes them.  A lot. And so do I.  

I think these chairs are here to stay, but if I change my mind (as I often do) you better believe I won't let these babies go cheap!

I checked the bottom of these chairs and they have the same label as my other ones.  "Design Institute of America."  And they were made in Ohio!  

Friday, November 01, 2013

Trick or Treatin'

Trick or treat! Last year we didn't take Mateo out for Halloween.  He wouldn't have known what was going on yet, and he surely didn't need to candy.  Fast forward one year and he needs candy even less, but knew the object of the game was to get as much candy as possible in his bucket.  A couple houses had bowls of candy sitting out on the porch and instead of taking one he took a handful [or two].
Definitely something I would've done/did do as a kid.

It took him several houses to warm up, but he got the hang of it and was marching up on porches all by himself.

Unfortunately he would not keep the hood up in his monkey suit.  Oh, you couldn't tell he was a monkey?  No one else could either.  To his credit, it was quite warm out and he was working up a sweat in that thing Im sure.
He wasn't into saying "trick or treat," but he was quick to say "gracias" to everyone.  So cute.

There was a group of 12 of us.  Mateo's neighbor friend Gavin was in a vintage clown outfit.  I wish I had better/non blurry pics of these little guys in their costumes, but they were moving too fast for my iphone 4s.  (Neto is getting the new iphone next week, which has a better camera yeah!)
We walked around Cabbagetown (right next to Grant Park) and the houses are pretty close together.  There were a lot of other people out and hardly any cars driving on the streets. 
I didn't dress up.  I know. Lame.  Like every year, I thought of some good costumes right before needing one.  Next year I will get it together I swear.  I didn't like Ernesto's mask.  It is a redneck clown, right?  I did make me [and others] laugh though and that is always good.  
Halloween morning Ernesto introduced the redneck clown to Mateo.  Good stuff.
Candy basket has been hidden and luckily Mateo hasn't missed it.  Ernesto, Brrrian and I have picked out all the good stuff.  Mateo has been extra CRAZY the last few days.  Can a couple chocolate bars be the culprit?  I don't really think so, but dont want to chance it.  


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