November 29, 2012

Free printable holiday tags

Well, what do you know!  I started fidgeting with a design software that comes with the Windows 7, nothing fancy, and  created a very modern and simple design for my holiday gifts.  I like the simple bold typeface and I hope you do too.  You need a printer and some card stock paper.  You could also print on sticky paper.  Now let's get wrapping!  Download here
I designed this for personal use only. If anyone has a problem viewing or printing the file, please let me know, and I will try to fix right away. Enjoy responsibly.

November 28, 2012

In the kitchen

{Truly chocolate chocolate cupcakes}
Well, it's no secret. I love chocolate, especially when it's not too sweet. So, imagine my delight when I stumbled upon this amazing recipe for chocolate cupcakes. I guarantee you will stick to this one once and for all. After trying several recipes from several reputable sites, including Martha Stewart's, I have to say, this one is a keeper. I made them twice over the Summer. And I want you to woo your holidays guests with this recipe.  Click below for the amazing simple recipe by Kamran Siddiqi. . Buen provecho!

November 26, 2012

Little toiletries

Sometimes I find myself indulged by small toiletries, like the ones you might get in shopping gifts or hotel rooms.  I have collected a few this past year.  There's something luxurious about lathering yourself in a different scent or product every night just because you can.  I'm one girl who marries a product until they stop selling it or simply I just move on without looking back. So to have a few days of changing things up a bit without breaking the bank is pure luxury.  Like staying in a hotel, sort of.

Worthy of note:

Chamomile Shampoo by Klorane
Molton's travel set, for her
Eau d' orage verte by Hermes, for him

November 23, 2012

Have a great weekend start to the holiday season!

This recipe for Winter cookies found  here

Hello friends!  I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  Have you had leftovers yet?  We just had our first batch.  Yum!  I just wanted to drop by and leave you some links.  I hope you stay cozy and make some hot chocolate this weekend.  It sure is going to drop to freezing levels.  See you back on Monday!

the real joys of the holidays

vintage Macy's Parade  

the easy Thanksgiving table! 

cute foxy sweater for toddlers!

DIY: cutest advent calendar

Thanksgiving and saying grace! 

a cute bootie!

very simple DIY Christmas tree (love it)

November 21, 2012

A heartfelt Thanksgiving

I've been in this country for most of my entire life, yet Thanksgiving never felt like the grand and special holiday it sure is for many Americans until now.  I wrote something about it last year when my daughter was still an infant and I cooked my first turkey breast -although I'm mostly a vegetarian- for my new family.  And this year, although we are not cooking turkey, we will enjoy a delicious baked salmon, which my husband loves, and give thanks from the bottom of our hearts for the blessings we are fortunate to call our own.

Little by little I have witnessed, thanks to my husband's family, the tradition of Thanksgiving dinner and family reunion elevated to a worthy celebration of love and shared blessings.  My mother in law learned to cook a turkey early on, and now cooks two for family and friends, who come to her house every year to enjoy this traditional, hearty feast.  

But the holidays have a stronger hold on us when we live our everyday lives' apart, and come together, either my plane or car, to celebrate the joys of the season. And Thanksgiving and Christmas do become that promise of coming together. We will soon celebrate our 5th anniversary living away from home, a big feat for both my husband and I, who are very homy and close to our families. We still haven't managed to be able to afford both Thanksgiving and Christmas with our families every year. But we will soon!

This year we are thankful for family, near and far, and for the bounties of work, health, well-being and togetherness.  We are truly blessed and fortunate to be here.

And to you friends, I wish you a heartfelt Thanksgiving holiday. Bon apetite!

November 20, 2012

Around the Mall

A few weekends ago, we decided to brave the crowd and go to the Mall and maybe visit one of the Smithsonian museums. It turns out it was practically empty around 4 p.m. when all the tourists are heading out of the buildings. We were in luck, to say the least, and had a wonderful time riding the vintage carousel, visiting the Museum of the American Indian, and just walking around the National Gallery of Art's esplanade and gardens. Have you visited the gift shop at the Gallery? It's the best gift shop in the city for art lovers.

Fall is definitely here, with Winter just around the corner.  I'm holding out as long as I can in flats.  I think I might be able to pull it off until January when I return from out of town.   Emilu, Piki and I are getting ready for our month long trip to Florida and the DR.  It's definitely beginning to feel like the holidays are so near.   Are you planning on taking any family trips or do you have friends visiting from out of town?  That's the special thing about the holidays, right?!

November 19, 2012

Handmade jewelry

I have been quietly working on some beaded necklaces for some time now.  I love beads, always have, because they are so organic and bohemian. My favorite pieces of jewelry are necklaces and bracelets.  I have learned to create unique pieces that maybe one day I can sell.  Some are more minimalist, others more boho-looking.  This is a sneak peek of what I have been working on:


Would you buy these necklaces? Anyway, I have fun making them, and will gift them to my girlfriends and family.

November 17, 2012

Another happy Fall weeked!

Image via 

Hi friends, sorry about the sudden tardiness of this post.  We have been running last minute errands before Thanksgiving.  BTW what are your thoughts on Thanksgiving door busters starting early this year on exactly Thanksgiving day.  We personally refuse to shop on this day.  It's just crazy that this consumerism is creeping up on our most celebrated holiday.   I have been working on some crafts which I will show up next week.  Hope you have a great end to your weekend.

The mayonnaise jar and two pints of beer

London's diversity in bus stops

Emergency compliment

a cool holiday gift guide for him  and for her

change and renewal

 theseAutumnal tablescapes

See you back on Monday!

November 13, 2012

The one chore I REALLY hate doing


Ok, let's talk about the dirty stuff. Do you like cleaning? Probably not. Look,  I don't mind cleaning. In fact, I like a clean house. I sweep the floors everyday and mop every other day. I dust the house and wash the bathroom once a week, and do laundry every couple of days. I also cook every weekday, and do the day dishes.  My husband does the night dishes. The breakdown:

Everyday:  Sweep the floors, pick up around the house many times, cook, and wash dishes.

Every other day:  Laundry, mop floors, and dust around the house.

Every week:  Wash the bathroom, clean the kitchen fridge, change our bedding, dust the furniture, and sweep the patio. 

My husband does the dinner dishes, and takes our trash out.  But there's one chore that I really hate doing.  You will never find me doing this, and the only times I have done it, I really didn't have a choice.  It's so simple and so easy, yet I hate it.  I hate emptying the dishwasher.  You say, what?!  I will do anything else.  And it's not like we wait until the dishwasher is overflowing with clean dishes.  We actually put the dishes away twice a day.  Well, my husband does.  And that's my little secret about chores.  How about you?  Do you have a favorite and a least favorite household chore?

November 12, 2012

Around here

I have also been preparing for our daughter's baptism to be celebrated the week before the holidays in our hometown of Miami. This is a sneak peek of what's to come.

Looking around the house the other day I found this cute vintage children's magazine from Parent's Magazine.  This little volume is from 1967 and it's packed with children's activities, stories and even puppet making.  It's so unbelievable that this used to entertain children for hours.  And some kids eagerly collected them.  I wish we could go back to those simpler times.  And lately, while I'm crafting away here at home, I'm hooked to Netflix watching an old time teenager favorite show, The Wonder Years.  It never gets old.  My favorite episodes are the ones that center around Kevin's family, the Arnolds.  So nostalgic!

Two things I love from my mother's Miami home are the collection of antique and modern glass bottles that sit on a built in shelf in the family room, and the solid teak table in the same room.  

And finally, Emilu's hair is growing.  She's now a year and seven months!  Just mind-blowing, if you ask me.  Here she is on the bathroom floor playing with my makeup while I'm in the bathroom. After you have kids, there's no privacy bathroom time anymore!

November 9, 2012

Keep calm and enjoy the weekend!


Hello, friends, I hope your week was productive and sane.  I'm so glad this week is finally over.   We have decided to plan a baptism for our daughter in Miami, and there's so much to plan and do.  So, I will be busy with that.  We are shooting for Dec. 23.  Sometimes things get overwhelming in your life.  Work, duties, friendships, family, etc.  This quote is perfect to help me find balance.  I also loved the links below, I hope you like them too.  So keep calm and have a cozy weekend!

Welcome November!

more California dreamin' 

soul-searching the night skies! 

6 awesome things Americans voted for in this election

home accessories I can cheer about!

have you ever felt like this? 

these awesome backpacks, but I've settled on this one!

i'm making this dessert this weekend

November 7, 2012

Three crafts

These are three crafts I'm currently working on. They are simple, easy and budget friendly. 
burlap table runner
a magazine prism
a jewelry branch

November 6, 2012

Election day

Sorry for the quiet posts these last two days.  I've been busy with election volunteering.  Finally it all ends today. So get out there and make your voice heard and your vote count.


November 2, 2012

Happy elections weekend!

 Hi everybody, I'm so glad this week is finally over.  The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy is devastating. The images are really haunting.  There are images of a darkened skyline of NYC, sand dunes in NJ's coastal cities and local airports completely devastated.  I hope these cities get back on their feet as soon as possible.  This weekend I'm venturing out to do election canvassing in Virginia.  I have never really done this, so I'm a bit nervous.  I just feel like I have to do this.  As a fellow citizen, I urge you to go out and vote, and take someone who's not planning on voting with you.  I see it as a duty more than a privilege. Happy weekend everyone, hope you stay warm and cozy, and here are some links I have found inspiring. 

Sandy hits Hoboken!

An open letter to Ann Coulter

Top knot

a beautiful and clever DIY wall art

completely smitten with this shop!

NYC can be vulnerable too

this adorable moon pinata is perfect!

i want this letter stamp set!

An open letter to President Obama!