Instead of Resolutions

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I'm a type of person who doesn't like
to make resolutions based on the fact
that I can't never keep them.
So, instead of resolutions,
here's what I want more
this new coming year:


How about you?
What do you want more of?

My Year in Review (and Thank You)...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

When I first began blogging I had
 no idea what I was doing.
It took a little while for me to finally find a
comfortable place and be happy with my posts,
I didn't know anything about blog hops or
even how to create a button.
I finally have some sense of what I want my blog to be.
I want it to be honest, sincere and interesting. After all,
I want you to read it and be inspired as well.

I would like to say THANK YOU to everyone
that has become a follower of the blog.
When I first started a barely had a follower,
to be completely honest - I had no followers!
Now, I can't believe that I have reached over 100.
I love reading comments from all of you,
 it always makes my day!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Family Life
I can't believe that 2011 is almost over!
All I can say is that it was truly a great year.
Filled with tons of laughter, memories, happiness
and surprises.
I'm looking forward to 2012 and what may bring,
I know it's going to be amazing.
Our family is going to start the New Year with
a bundle of joy, our baby boy should arrived
on the second week of January.
I'm so looking forward to exciting new experiences
for me and my family.
(you can also check this post I did in August: My Year So Far...)

To All
My God bless you and your New Year!
May it bring many happiness.
A Happy New Year to all.

Christmas Recap

Monday, December 26, 2011

I had a fabulous Christmas eve
 and Christmas day, I hope you had it too.
I spend my Christmas eve doing most of
the cooking and preparing for the dinner
that we served at our home for family and friends.

I had fun dressing up Sophia with the cutest
dress and coat that my mom gave her for the
special occasion. My sister created a little personalized
video with a special message from Santa to Sophia using
the Portable North Pole. It was really cute!

Dinner was great, a beautiful evening filled family,
friends and plenty of laughter. The food was
delicious, dessert was even better and there was
plenty of boxes of chocolates. Yay!

Later in the evening, my husband decided
to play Santa and started handing out
gifts, but the gifts were practical jokes to
our friends. It was a fun time.
And this year, we decided to play secret Santa
with our family instead of buying gifts for everyone
and also it was our attempt trying to
keep a secret.

Sophia got to open some of her gifts before
going to bed. She got plenty of books and toys
to keep her busy for a while now, she loved the little
pink tea party set.

On Christmas day we really rested. We had the
opportunity to sleep in, had a late breakfast, ate
leftovers for lunch, enjoyed some TV and more
quality time with the family.
Later in the evening we attended the Christmas
service at our church. It was a very
blessed and peaceful Christmas.
I couldn't have asked for a better Christmas,
how about you?

♥ ♥ ♥

Eclair Cake

Saturday, December 24, 2011

I was looking for a quick and simple
dessert recipe for our Christmas Eve dinner.
I found this by Paula Deen and I thought it
would be nice to share with all of you
if you're still looking for a quick dessert
just like me. Enjoy!

1 (1-pound) box graham crackers
2 (3 1/4-ounce) boxes instant French vanilla pudding
3 1/2 cups milk
1 (8-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons light corn syrup
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Butter the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan. Line with whole graham crackers. In bowl of an electric mixer, mix pudding with milk; beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Fold in whipped topping. Pour half the pudding mixture over graham crackers. Place another layer of whole graham crackers on top of pudding layer. Pour over remaining half of pudding mixture and cover with another layer of graham crackers.
For frosting, blend together sugar and cocoa. Add butter and milk, mixing well. Add corn syrup and vanilla. Stir until creamy. Cover cake with frosting and refrigerate for 24 hours.

*tip*: I made this recipe this very morning to serve at dinner, the recipe says to refrigerate for 24 hours. To make sure the crackers don't get hard, I dipped them in milk while I was assembling the cake. Also, I added some chocolate sprinkles on top just to look extra pretty.

Our Christmas Portraits

Friday, December 23, 2011

On Tuesday we decided to take some
Christmas portraits for our Christmas cards.
Here's a sneak peek of just a few of my favorites.

Things didn't exactly ran as smoothly as I had
hoped. Sophia started fussing and wouldn't smile;
I started getting tired of sitting on floor with my
burgeoning belly but the few shots we got I think
 really looked great.

I decided to make them black & white just
to look more classic and uniform.
Take a look:

All the pictures were taken by my sister Carine.

True Meaning of Christmas

Thursday, December 22, 2011

For unto us a child is born,
unto us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulders;
and his name shall be called Wonderful,
Counselor, The Mighty GOD, The Everlasting Father,
The Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

This season remember the true meaning and
why we celebrate CHRISTmas.
Remember Jesus was the biggest present
given to all of us.

Our Little Trip To See Santa

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Yesterday, I took Sophia to take
her picture with Santa.
Let's just say that she wasn't thrilled
and wouldn't sit on Santa's lap.
In order for her to take the photo
I had to hold her but still she wouldn't even smile.
My only consolation is that she didn't cry at all.
I guess she had more fun playing with the kids
in the waiting line than with Santa.

Afterwards, we walked a little bit around in
the mall and she loves seeing people. She was
smiling and laughing at everyone that we passed by,
 it was really cute.
And as usual, I always buy a pretzel for her and she always
eats the whole thing!

Oh, Christmas Tree

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I just realized that I didn't post any pictures
of our Christmas tree. I love seeing post from
bloggers showing their trees and decorations,
I thought I would share mine as well.

We kept the decorations throughout the house
to a minimum and focused more on our tree.
The color scheme for our tree are gold and silver,
I think is quite simple but the overall look is great.

Take a look:

Our tree is in our dining room since our living room
doesn't have enough space for it.

I just love this Nativity set! It's so adorable.
The candle holders and deer are following in the same pattern
as our tree, gold and silver.

I just added a simple gold tree and candle to our coffee table.
I love nutcrackers, if it was up to me I would have a whole
collection but my husband thinks that's a bit too much.
But they're cute in my opinion!

Looking Forward To Christmas

(Sophia looking closely at the Christmas tree at Grandma's)

I'm so looking forward to Christmas.
This will be the first year that I get
to do stuff with Sophia since last year
she was just about 4 months old.

I'm looking forward to see her face expression
when I take her to see Santa.
I'm looking forward to making gingerbread
house with her.
I'm looking forward to Christmas morning and
let her open her presents.
I'm looking forward to see her play with the
wrapping paper and her new toys.

I'm looking forward  because I get to live
and experience these things with her and
that makes Christmas even more special to me.

* P.S.: Don't forget to enter the giveaway!
Check it out! *

Mixbook Custom Flat Holiday Party Invitations (Review)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Every year, we celebrate Christmas as a family
and everyone comes to our home during Christmas Eve.
A lot goes into the preparation; cooking,
drinks, decorations and invitations.

I was fortunate enough to receive a fabulous package from Mixbook.
Mixbook is a leading photo products company that helps people create
custom photo books, cards, and calendars. Whether starting from scratch, or using one
of our thousands of professionally designed templates, every Mixbook product is
100% customizable.

Mixbook sent me custom 5x7 flat holiday party invitations, a set of 30 invitations.
Mixbook uses only the highest-quality, heavy-weight papers that are ethically
sourced from sustainable forests and certified by
the Forest Stewardship Council and the Rainforest Alliance.

Take a look at the party invitations. I love them!

The invitations and envelopes came wrapped in plastic and
it arrived exactly three business days after I made the order.
If you have a chance stop by the following pages and check it out the products,
you won't regret it.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday and while
I was waiting I noticed again this quote on the wall
in the waiting room:
" the serious business of Heaven."
by C.S. Lewis
And I kept thinking and thinking and thinking.
So, what is joy?

It's a state of happiness, felicity (I love this word) or bliss.
A source or cause of pure delight!
Suddenly the tiny word joy became
entirely different before my eyes.

And this brought another quote into my mind:
"Joy is the settled assurance that God is
in control of all the details of my life;
the quiet confidence that ultimately
everything is going to be okay;
and the determined choice to
praise God in all things."
by Kay Warren

So, what is joy for you?
what is your state of happiness?
Your bliss?
what causes pure delight in you or in your life?

Joy is really a serious business, isn't it?

Day Trip: NYC Part 2

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

So, here's the second part of our trip to NYC.
We had the chance to go up in the Empire State Building
and made a quick stop at Times Square.

I was wanted  to visit the Empire State Building ever since
watching Sleepless in Seattle. Now I can cross it out of my bucket list.

Take a look:

1. The Empire State Building.
2. Sister & I.
3. Hubby & I.
4, 5 & 6. View from the top of the building.

We paid $22 dollars per person and had to wait about
an hour in line to board the elevator.
The only thing I would recommend is try doing this during a 
weekday instead of the weekend, it's less people and
you don't have to wait for so long.
But it's totally worth it.

1. Entrance. 2. My pregnant belly getting bigger.
3, 4 & 6. Beautiful views from the top.
5. The antenna at the top.
7 & 8. We were fortunate enough to see the sunset from the top. Stunning!

The Empire State Building all light up and our quick stop
at Times Square before catching the train and head home.

Hope you enjoyed my photos from my day trip to NYC,
I certainly did!

Day Trip: NYC Part 1

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

NYC is one of my favorite cities to visit.
I live about 2 hours away from NYC, so
I always get a chance to visit this
exciting and vibrant place.

Last week we took a little day trip 
to go sightseeing. We planned to visit
the Statue of Liberty, but to wait in line
was going to be over 2 hours then we decided
to change plans.

We took a few far away pictures of the Statue of Liberty
and decided to walk around NYC instead.
We took the subway and arrived at The Staten Island Ferry,
right by Battery Park.

Here are the places we saw during our little day trip!
(Photos taken by my sister Carine).

1. At the subway. 2. Entrance to the Staten Island Ferry. 3. Far view of the Statue of Liberty.
4. Hubby & I. 5. Cruise to the Statue. 6 & 7. At Battery Park.

The Sphere sculpture at Battery Park.

1 & 2. Beautiful buildings. 3 & 4. Wall Street protest. 5. Trinity Church.

The Freedom Tower and 9/11 sculpture near the site.

At the 9/11 Memorial Preview Site.

I'll post the rest of the photos tomorrow.
 It includes the Empire State Building and beautiful view
 from the top and Times Squares.

Butternut Squash with Garlic and Onion

Monday, October 10, 2011

1 medium butternut squash (peeled, seeds removed, cut into 1-inch pieces)
1/2 white onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of olive oil
salt and pepper

In a medium pot, combine the butternut squash and enough salted cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until tender. Drain well. Dry the pot you were using, put it over medium heat, add the olive oil, garlic and onions. Cook until the onions are translucent. Add the butternut squash and parsley, toss really well. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.

Carrot Cake with Chocolate Ganache

Sunday, October 2, 2011

3 medium carrots (peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks)
3 eggs
1 cup of canola oil
1 cup of milk
1 cup of sugar
3 cups of flour
2 teaspoons  of baking powder

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a blender, add the carrots, eggs, oil and milk and beat really well (make sure the carrots are all grated). Pour the mixture into a bowl. Using a hand electric mixer, add the sugar and beat. While beating, start adding one cup of flour at a time. Last, add the baking powder. Pour the batter into a buttered 9x13 baking pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Let the cake cool completely, spread the chocolate ganache on top of cake. Enjoy!

Chocolate Ganache
8 ounces of semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup of heavy cream 

Cook the chocolate chips and heavy cream in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally.

BIG Moment!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

On Monday,
my daughter finally
 learned how to walk.
I was filled with joy and excitement
seeing my little cutie pie walking.
I'm so proud of her and for her
BIG moment!

(She loves to see what's in the cupboards)

Now, she goes everywhere
around the house exploring
and making sure to touch
everything within her reach.
She looks so cute walking,
she keeps her little hands up for balance.

♥ ♥ ♥

Sauteed Collard Greens

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I love eating collard greens! 
To me, the best way to make it
is to just simply saute,
it's really quick and easy to make.

- 1 bunch of collard greens, about 1 pound
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 2 strips of smoked bacon, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- salt and pepper

Cut the stalks from the collard greens and wash really well to remove the dirt. Dry the leaves well, stack up the leaves and roll up lengthwise in bundle, cut into 1/4 inch ribbons. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium/high heat. Add the garlic and bacon and sauté for about 2 minutes or until the bacon is crisp. Add the collard greens and sauté for another 2 or 3 minutes or until greens wilts a little. Season with salt and pepper. Serve and enjoy.

Couples Dinner

Monday, September 19, 2011

This past Saturday,
our church had a couples dinner party.
It was great!

It's not always that
the hubby and I have time just to ourselves, 
we appreciated very much the couple of hours
we had with each other and the other
couples as well.

We had a fantastic time,
filled with funny conversations, 
fabulous and delicious four course food service,
plus the decoration was beautiful.

I ♥ my Hubby!

Little roses centerpiece.

The food presentation was beautiful and everything tasted delicious.
( I just forgot to take pictures of the entree.)

This was a non-alcoholic strawberry mixed drink.
Very, very delicious!
I think I drank four of them. =]

It was a night of pure joy and fun.

♥ ♥ ♥

Chocolate Bonbons (Brigadeiro)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Brigadeiro is a Brazilian chocolate bonbon created in 1940s,
it's very common to find them at many parties.
This was served at Sophia's birthday party,
I thought it would be nice
to share the recipe.
So, here it is:

- 1 can of condensed milk
- 1 tablespoon of unsalted margarine
- 7 tablespoons of Nesquik chocolate powder
- chocolate sprinkles to decorate

Over medium heat, place a medium pot and add the condensed milk, margarine and chocolate powder.
Cook over medium heat and stir continuously with a wooden spoon.
Cook until the bonbon batter starts to lift from the bottom of the pot.
Remove from the heat and let it cool completely.
Grease your hands with butter, start making and rolling the batter into little balls.
Roll them in the chocolate sprinkles.

One Fine Day

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

It was one fine day!
It was my sister's birthday
and we had a "girls only" kind of day.

We did a little gift shopping,
grabbed some lunch,
relax a little,
walked around in the Mall and took some pictures.

The pictures were taken at a ramp behind
the Mall that leads to the Trolley Museum.
All the pictures were taken by my sister, Carine.
Take a look:

My cutie pie!
My sister & I

Sophia loves her Auntie.

I love squeezing her.


Trying to walk with Mommy.

♥ ♥ ♥

Life is Good!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Life is good!
 Yes, it is!

Life is too short,
so enjoy every moment
and live to its fullest but with purpose.

I always say this and I mean it,
take your time and
enjoy the little things in life.

Laugh until you cry.
Say yes to chocolate 'cause it's really good.
Remember to create and pass on joy.
Always pay it forward with a smile.
Be kind.

Learn forgiveness.
Be grateful,
be graceful,
be thankful
all of the days of your life.

Trust God above all else.
Count your blessings.
YOU are blessed!
You've the privileged
to be alive.

Celebrate your life,
celebrate your family,
celebrate your friends,

My Labor Day

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

 Labor Day around where we live was
 cold, cloudy and very rainy.
It didn't stop us from enjoying the holiday and the outdoors.
We had a BBQ with family and friends at the Promised Land State Park.

In between breaks from rain showers,
we were able to take a few strolls around the park.
Here are few photos:

(I look so tiny in this picture)

The pavillon where we stayed.


♥ ♥ ♥

Hubby feeding the ducks.

They were so friendly.

Storm was coming,
 it was time to pack our things.

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