Thursday, July 24, 2014

Visitors and New House Stuff!

 I am so glad we have "regular" visitors.  It's exciting when people come, right?!  It makes me clean my house, which is why I want try to have someone over at least once a month. Ha!

My parents made a quick trip down to visit last weekend. 

And so they were the lucky ones who got to test out the new guest bed.
I shared a photo with you guys a couple of weeks ago of my daybed for my office/guest room that I scored off of Craigslist for $160.   I am sooooooo happy with it.  

Its in great shape and is very easily turns into a king bed.  Well, my parents slept on it and they weren't like "that was SO comfortable," but they also didn't say "that was really UNcomfortable."  Whew!  It is so perfect in that space and it's there to stay.

I now have my campaign furniture on one wall and the daybed on the opposite wall. It feels really roomy and I am ready to make this into a inspiring place I can create.  Did I ever show you my campaign furniture?  I think it was just a pic of all of it stacked in the truck.  It's Drexel and fabulous.

Once my parents told me they were coming (one day before) I started thinking which day my mom and I would hit Fabric World?!  It takes 30 minutes to get there (Stone Mountain) which is not bad, but it also feels like an outing instead of say, popping into TJMaxx.

 It's like I need my partner in crime with me.  A woman who can search and search, just like me.
A woman who can dig through fabric for over 4 hours.  And that woman folks, is Elaine Arnold! 
Friday morning after dropping Mateo off at school, we headed east.  With 30 minutes of travel time (each way), that left us just two hours of shopping before having to pick Mateo up.  
Not.  Even.  Close.  To being enough time. 

We did all the damage we could in a short period, but this trip just left me wanting more. 
The selection is always different and this time it was unbelievable.  Velvets, linens and cotton prints in fabulous colors.   The blue and white print above was just a 1/2 yard shy of being my new office curtains.  With some blue velvet pillows? Ugh!  Everything is $3/yard, mind you, so you can just buy it even if you are not sure what you will do with it.  This could be why I have tubs full of fabric. 

Almost two years ago, my mom helped me sew together (ok, she did most of it really) some blackout roman shades for Mateo's room.  I found some really cute gray and blue fabric and lined it     with blackout liner, sewed on the rings and string and low and behold it was too heavy to pull up.

Well, I hung those "roman" shades IN the window (yes, I opened the window, put the fabric there and closed it in the window) and they have been hanging like that since we made them.  Nice!  They are rarely [even] rigged open, which is a shame because the room gets such great natural light.

 Anywho.  I wasn't really looking for fabric for the boys' room, but when I saw this black and white fabric, I knew.  Curtains.  Just forget the roman shades and make blackout curtains.   It's Premier Prints Giraffe in black.  Its a medium weight drapery fabric of cotton sateen and already scotch guarded.  It really feels and looks luxurious...almost too much for a kids room.  For this reason, I reserve the right to change my mind and put these in the office. 
These are curtains not drapes, so they will hang just to the bottom of the [62" high] windows.  I bought a thicker curtain rod at Ross (which needs to be painted) and clip rings form Target.  I am in the middle of rearranging their room so I will show you the curtains with the room pics.

You probably saw on IG/FB that my dad built us a picnic table one day while he was here.  He built one each from my bother and sister, so of course, we had to put in an order too, right?

It is actually a pretty big table, but the proportions are perfect for little people.  This is going to be great for eating, craft projects, play doh, anything really! I love it! 

In other news....

While walking to the neighborhood  pool the other day, I saw a bunch of artwork rolled up in a trash can.  I bee lined for it -even though Ernesto was saying no no no- and boy am I glad I did.  
There was a lot of kid art, but low and behold there was also this huge beautiful painting on paper.
I know, art is in the eye of the beholder, and my eye is really loving this abstract beauty!  Its going to look awesome in that huge gold frame [that I just scored thrifting for $10]. 

This weekend we are getting another visitor.  My neice Kelli is coming down to jumpstart me on some projects.  She is great at organizing (a chip off the ol' block) and has some great ideas for Zafiro's website which is still sitting idle after a couple months. 

Ill be sure to update you on our progress next week!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Fit Fridays Is Back!!

Those of you who know me, or have been reading Viva Cindy a long time, know that I am a girl who likes to work out. (Years of past posted Fit Fridays Series here)

I started in high school and religiously exercised up until 3 years ago when I had Mateo.  That is over 20 years folks! Wah-waah.

I didn't give up all together mind you, but the only thing I have been religious about is being a mom.
No regrets there, but I have definitely been ready to get it going again.  Im talking -sweating my ass off, breathing hard and tired muscles!  THAT is working out!  The one puzzle piece that has been missing for a while finally fell into place:  My workout partner!

One morning, a couple weeks ago, Ernesto came down for coffee and his head was buzzed! Whaaa?
He had talked about doing it but I was in total shock when I saw him.

Anyhoo.  He said, (paraphrased)  "I feel so light and now and it's time for my body to match."   And just like that we got back in our groove.
We started off running and are now working in Crossfit again.  L-O-V-E Crossfit! Fitty-fit!

I ordered a newer model of my trusted running shoes. The Asics GT2170 are so cushiony and comfy.  They felt like clouds after running in my older pair.   MPG workout wear is awesome and it's half price at TJMaxx.  Of course I pulled out my old ipod shuffle, which is just the perfect size.

It's amazing what some new workout gear can do for motivation.  Also a pushy husband helps. 

The Crossfit we did the other day (above) was a b$%&!
Run 200 meters (with a hill)
25 double-unders jump rope (or 60 singles for me because I can't do the doubles...yet)
10 box jumps
Repeat for 5 rounds (no resting)
That box is 24 inches by the way.  It gets your heart pumping straight away.  Damn good workout! Besides CF and running we finally went to our neighborhood pool with the kids [after 2.5 years of living here]. 
Not sure why we waited so long to go.  It was awesome!  We were able to take turns and swim 500 meters.  One mile.  I know swimming is good workout, so I don't know why I was surprised to be breathing hard after the first lap. We were both sore that night and into the next day.  A winner workout in my book.  The boys had a great time as well, so we are going to hit it twice next week.

Im excited to keep our momentum going.  Also, at the end of this month, we will be seeing my brother Tim (who turned us on to CF) so I know we will bust out some workout with him.

Have you guys been working out much this Summer?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

On Using Cloth Diapers

{Marcelo - 2 months}

When I got pregnant with Mateo, I knew that I wanted to cloth diaper my baby.  I noticed how popular/common it had become with bloggers etc and I wanted in on "the fun!" I read up on it and my cousin recommended that I try Fuzzibunz.  She had been using them on her daughter and loved them (thanks Diane!) 

However, when the time came and I brought home this little 7 lb infant, I really didn't want to add anything that required [what seemed] "more work."  This is what I thought, and unfortunately what a lot of people will tell you when you say you are going to use cloth vs disposables.  Once you get started though, you see that it really isn't a big deal at all.  In fact, Im not sure why you wouldn't use them.  

I would like to say that I use cloth diapers for practical reasons, like how earth-friendly they are, or even for economic reasons, because these are really important, and they do make me feel good. But the main reason for me is that they are so darn cute.  

I love using them as shorts so I can enjoy those chunky legs!! 

Let me say that I am not a cloth diapering fanatic nor expert.  I have been cloth diapering now for over two years and I think its smart and easy!  I have had several people ask me about it, so I thought I would share what works for me.    Hopefully this could inspire one of you to give it a try too.  Don't be scared!  If I can do it you can...I always take the easy route, so you know it can't be hard!
  1. I use FuzziBunz and Bum Genius cloth diapers.  These are AIO (all-in-one) diapers.  They have a cloth insert and come in a one-size fits all.  These will last you through potty training. I bought a 6 pack of Fuzzibunz on Amazon (then $109) when I was pregnant with Mateo.  I used some of my baby shower Target gift cards to buy another 6 Bum Genius. (This may seem like a lot to spend, but these pay for themselves if you calculate what you would spend after a few months of using disposables.)  12 is a good number to start with, but I eventually bought another 6 FB just to extend washing.  I wash diapers every 4-5 days. 
  2. I started using cloth diapers on Mateo at 6 months/Marcelo at 1 month.   Partly because I was intimidated, and partly because I seemed to be doing less diaper changes at the 6 month point.  At the beginning, babies go through so many diapers a day.  Plus the diapers seemed too bulky.  With Marcelo I bought my friends huge supply of "size small" Fuzzibunz and started with him much earlier.  Marcelo has now outgrown them and I'll be passing them on to Lucy.
  3. I rinse the diapers the old fashioned way.  You can buy a diaper sprayer that attaches on the toilet.  I wanted to buy this and just never got around to it.  It would be especially handy when the poopie is not solid yet.  Of course now Im used to just swishing the [poopy] diaper out right in the toilet so I don't feel like spending $60 on it.  If it is just a wet diaper I separate the liner and throw both the cover and liner into the pail. 
  4. I have a DEKOR diaper pail and 2 Planet Wise diaper pail liners.  The bags make it easy because you never have to touch the dirty diapers.  Just pour them right into the washer and toss the bag in as well.  I always let the bag air dry so I have 2 to rotate. Easy.  The diaper pail does keep the smell in check until wash day.
  5. I wash the cloth diapers with Charlie's Soap.  It is recommended that you use less soap when washing cloth diapers. Go figure!  With Charlie's Soap, you use so little that the 2.6 lb bucket will last for months and months. Totally worth the $15 price tag.  (I use it just for diapers, but it would also be great for baby clothes as it is fragrance free and hypoallergenic so it won't irritate skin.)  Before washing in hot water, run a cold rinse cycle.  Diapers come out white every time. It's really amazing how easily they wash. After two years of use, they still look new. Every once in a while I will throw in a cup of white vinegar in the rinse cycle to keep them smelling fresh. 
  6. No leaks, no blowouts, no rash!  End of story.  Well,  there is "user error" to account for.  If you leave them on too long, they will leak.  You do have to change them more frequently than disposables.  If you have them too loose, there could be a blowout!   
  7. I use disposables at night and when we travel.  Like I said, Im not hardcore.  I have disposables stashed in the car, so that is one less thing to remember when I leave the house. Sometimes when we travel for longer periods of time, it would make sense to take the cloth diapers with us,, too much space.  I did buy the zipper top Planet Wise wet bag for travel, but ended up using it more for wet clothes than dirty diapers.  My kids sleep 10-12 hours at night and drink so much that disposables are ready to explode in the am, so 
  8. These will hold up to pass on to someone or sell.  You will get half your money back by selling these on CL or ebay.  Not a bad ROI at all.
So, what do you think? are you sold? Any questions?  

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Marcelo's Airplane Fiesta!!!

Thats right!  My baby boy turned one a couple weeks ago (june 28th).  I can hardly believe it!  Boy how you have changed in a year!

When I was thinking of his party I wanted it to be something fun (obvs) but relevant.  As soon as I mentioned this to Ernesto, he said it had to be Aviones.  Duh!  Not sure why I didn't think of that.  He is our air traffic controller, warning us whenever a plane is in the vicinity. 

Just like this:  (the first part is the airplane the last part is an araña -ie: spider)

I found this cute invitation on Etsy (of course!) from a shop called Invitation Station and had it within 24 hours.  The file was printable, but since I am a last minute kind of girl, my guests got an emailed invite.

I emailed invite?  It's so nice to receive real mail these days, but...oh well.  

Just like Mateo's first birthday party,  we held Marcelo's at my parents house, so let me just thank Grandma & Grandpa (aka: mom & pop) for hosting and all their help pulling it together.  

And because everyone at the party was family, there was no need for "stress to impress."   
With that being said, I did have 4 little kids that were looking for a good time, and 11 adults who wanted some good food!  I didn't really mind staying up extra late the night before.  It was actually quite fun. 

My mom was right there with me.  She made the "feliz cumpleaños" bunting while I made the one with Marcelo's 11 monthly photos.  
  They looked so cute draped across the windows.  Marcelo looked so cute draped across the windows.
Although I was in charge of baking the cake, decorating the cake was papi's job.  He is proving to be quite the cake decorator!  

I made my moms chocolate zucchini recipe with Martha Stewarts cream cheese frosting.  You can't go wrong with recipes from either lady!

I printed out the Marcelo word collage and glued it onto some foam board.  I just love that picture of him.

So many ideas are pinned for "airplane birthday" so I stole borrowed a few.  While I was browsing, I came across Nick & Amber's blog Wills Casa.  Nick is a graphic designer and shared some printables they had made for their adorable daughter's party... for free!  Thanks so much guys!

The baggage claim sign, water bottle labels, inflight snacks, name labels etc were all from their site. 

Snacks were easy.  Pretzels, mix nuts (no peanuts in business class!) and the infamous Biscoff cookies.  I also asked my dad to make the jalapeño popcorn, which is always a hit!

While thrifting that week, I found a vintage suitcase for .50 cents!!  A perfect prop, right?   I used it to hold the little party gift bags for the little ones. 
By the way the little "suitcase" gift boxes (inside the big suitcase) are actually cereal boxes that my mom cut out and painted to look like little suitcases.  So.  Cute!

Another prop was this vintage atlas that my parents have had forever.  I used little red dots to show where marcelo traveled the first year.  He boarded a total of 13 flights!
Speaking of props, Bill & Barbie (and kids!)  came prepared for a flight.  
Airline uniforms and everything.  Luke was the "obvious tourist." I love their creativity... It was so fun when they walked through the door!  (they came in stereo-typical Mexican garb for Mateo's party-ha!)

I had bought some giant "roaster marshmallows" for camping, but forgot to take them.  I googled "marshmallow airplane pops" and there were a million.  My mom had dark chocolate, licorice and green m&m's in her cabinet so we ran with it.  They turned out so cute.  Darn tasty too.
The table came together nicely and everyone thought it was so cute.  Mission accomplished!

Marcelo looks a little confused, but that is what big brothers are help blow out your candles!!
He was not confused about the eating part.  Birthday boy loved his chocolate zucchini cake and proceeded to make a mess.  
After cake we opened a few presents! 

Marcelo had several helpers to open his presents.  This is pretty much sums it up.  
And what was inside that there box was a very popular item. 
Yep....and it blows bubbles.  Genius!  The birthday boy was able to push it for a little bit, but a certain big brother thought that the maquina was his and continued to claim ownership.

Moving right along.  Are you still with me?

Well, of course there was a piñata!!  My mom actually told me months ago that she had found one at a yard sale.
A fish though?  What does a fish have to do with airplanes?  Well...what if we took a flight down to Mexico and ate fish tacos?   Siiiiiiii, now we're talkin'!
My family is crazy for Ernesto's fish tacos.  He wanted to change it up a bit though.  He grilled the fish [instead of frying it,] used napa cabbage instead of regular and made this killer Vera Cruz salsa from Bobby Flay.  Que.  Rica! Everyone approved!  (we ate before the cake by the way)

  All of the kids took a crack at the piñata, starting with the birthday boy.

The kids went around a few times, but this sucker was xtra hard!  Just look how hard it's being hit and... nothing!
Ultimately, the piñata had to be cracked by an adult so the kids could finish him off and run for the candy.  Which they did.

My dad bought this awesome pool and so the kids did some swimming too.

The kids liked their little party boxes which were filled with some little airplanes, play-doh, a magnifying glass and coloring book/crayons.  

 The kids weren't totally into this, but I made them step into this cute airplane costume I picked up at a yard sale for $2.  (which will be someones halloween outfit later this year)
Come on!  It was an airplane party.  They will thank me later for these adorable pictures. 


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