Saturday, December 31

to a beautiful new year!

via Chie Mihara

Today's plans include, a trip to the dog park, taking my mom out to lunch (it's her birthday today!), shopping for a yummy dinner and fancy dessert (I'm thinking chocolate lava cakes with vanilla ice cream) and ringing in the new year with my favorite people and dog ever.

We'll sit on the couch, watch a movie together, and pour the kids sparkling berry cider. Early of coarse...since we will all probably be asleep before midnight. (:

The last couple of day Iv'e been reading all about the 2012 Whole Body Challenge... (after chocolate lava cakes) and plan to start Jan. 2. My body needs it. 

A happy healthy new year year to you!!!

xoxo Marcela

PS. I am in love with every single Chie Mihara pair of shoes!!!

Tuesday, December 27

holiday wishes

We spent noche buena wrapping gifts, baking cookies and licking frosting.
Kip and I stayed up late, being waiting for Santa.
In the morning we watched the kids open gifts. Christmas inside us and I just really really happy.

We ate tamales and panes con pavo (Salvadoran turkey sandwiches).

Christmas night I went to work and although I was super sad to leave my family, we had a really good night...most likely from all of the Christmas spirit floating around. 

The warmest of holiday wishes and muchos muchos abrazos <3

Friday, December 23

to Kmart I go at 6 o'clock in the morning ( : (Giveaway)

Kip took the day off from work today. We are all taking off to Legoland for a day of fun. I can't think of anything better right now than hanging out with my family all day, and seeing the kids faces filled with excitement.

I am still not finished with Christmas shopping...truth is, not really stressed about it either. I'm enjoying the season, the music, the decorations, the food, the love, friends, my family.

And somehow, shopping always gets done. Doesn't it? Are you starting to get stressed? Don't. We don't ever remember the gifts, we remember where we were, who was there, what we did, and how we felt.

I will probably get the rest of my shopping done early tomorrow morning. Hoping to wake up early and beat the crowds. Don't you just love stores that have extended hours???

Kmart sent me a gift card to help me finish my holiday shopping and also let me know they open really early at most stores (six am)....they must have known my last minute shopping plans. ( : So thankful for this. Been a shopper of Sears for years (remember going there with my mom as a child) and can't tell you how much I love their children's clothes!


They also sent me a  $100 Kmart/Sears gift card to giveaway to one of you...they want you to feel special, no stress and know that they have extended their hours specially for people like us who are not only shopping but enjoying their families as well. Both Sear and Kmart have tons of stuff, and that right gift for that special someone.

Leave me any topic related comment on this post....tell me if you are done with your shopping. Who you still need to buy for? I will pick one winner on January 1, 2012 (that felt weird...writing the new year) at 11:59pm. US only. Make sure you leave your email if it's not already on your profile so I can contact you. Good luck!

*update: Congrats to Danielle (the Knapps), the winner of the gift card!

grapefruit and honey punch

So many yummy ponche recipes around during the holidays, here is an easy one (because I'm all about easy) courtesy of mixologist (and Salvadoreña) Deysi Álvarez

Make sure you check out the rest of her ponche recipes (in Spanish) including a fabulous ponche Salvadoreño.  

Ponche de miel y toronja

3 tablespoons honey
1 cup chamomile and rum infusion (see below)
1 1/2 lemon
1 grapefruit
1 (16oz) bottle of sparkling mineral water 
cinnamon sticks and/or star anise to decorate 

*for the chamomile and rum infusion
1 cup rum
2 tablespoons chamomile tea

To prepare:
In a cup mix rum and chamomile tea and let it sit for 45 min. Once it's ready, strain and pour mix in a pitcher. Juice lemons and grapefruit in a juicer and then add juice to pitcher. Add honey and mix through. Pour in fancy glasses ( : and add sparkling mineral water to each glass. Decorate with cinnamon sticks and star anise.

Monday, December 19

giveaway winners

Have you seen the Muppet-Human gift guide yet....the pink rain could you go wrong?

I am so behind on announcing giveaway winners, here you go...

The winners of the Dos Borreguitas giveaway....

 Justice Jonesie and Jackie!!

And the winner of the Crayola giveaway ..... Maricela!

Congrats ladies!

So happy you get to open something special in the mail very very soon ( :

wrapping gifts

Iv'e been wrapping gifts all day (so late, I hope all of them get to their recipients on time!).  The kids have been driving me crazy all day. There have been about ten thousand fights which makes it ten thousand times harder to wrap a gift. It seems the no tv find something else to do was not the best of my ideas. 

I am proud of my wrapping though... every last piece of wrapping, ribbon or tag was recycled, either from gifts we received throughout the year (including last Christmas), magazines, or those fancy Trader Joes bags.( :

I am in love with their holiday bags! I was able to use the back of the TJ bag to wrap the gifts and  then cut out all the decorations from the front to make the gifts look fancy. I had Audrey rub glue stick on the decorations and then glued them on to the gifts. Every gift turned out completely different and unique and with a special touch from Audrey. 

What do you think? 

Are you all done wrapping? Do you recycle all the ribbon, bows, wrapping and bags you encounter throughout the year?

What do your gifts look like?

Wednesday, December 14

drinks to keep you warm

During the winter and specially during the holidays I get cravings for all my favorite warm drinks. These drinks remind me of growing up...hanging out a friends house, visiting grandma in El Salvador, celebrating the holiday's with loved ones, or loving it when a family friend or relative dropped it off as a gift. Here are some of my favorite drinks during the Holidays...

What are some of your favorite warm drinks during the Holidays?
If you have a link to a yummy recipe, please leave it in the comments!

has someone been eating my porridge??

Someone has been in my home.
(I know it)

Sitting in my chair, laying in my bed....

Little signs are everywhere. 

Baked brownies on the counter top. 
A Christmas gingerbread house...actually out of the box and decorated and ready for Audrey to pick and eat every last candy off of it.

And this morning....

I get up to make coffee.
No old grounds and filter but a new clean filter ready to be filled. 

No coffee pot filled with yesterdays coffee but a nice clean coffee pot. 

And then as I poured water in the coffee maker.... water overflowing from the top and I running for towels to clean up with...I knew. 

Someones been in my home.

...if only she'd return. 

Who will clean my coffee pot today? (:

Grandma went home yesterday and we miss her already. 

That someone also let me know that porridge is really just oatmeal...just thicker. ( :

(I never knew that)

Friday, December 9

bringing him home

*This is a sponsored post. 

I'm writing this struggling to find the right words to say just how happy our home is now, having Max with us.  
After loosing Lincoln and Coco in the same year, all of us so hurt from loosing the two of them, I think we just felt we could never find the right dog. 
And then one night (Kip, Audrey and I snuggling in the same bed) as I looked through rescue dog pictures (just like I did every so often) I saw a picture of him. 
It said "loves kids"
and I'm not sure if that's what did it....but I showed his picture to Kip that night... and emailed the rescue group, like he said I should,the next morning. 
Audrey and I drove up to meet him (Kip and Jeremiah at a football game) and as soon as we did I felt a piece of Lincoln calling to me from inside him. He was so sweet to Audrey as he let her place her sweater over him
"he's so cold mama"
"he has fur Audrey"
"but he's so cold mama"

I called Kip and told him about all my first impressions...and as soon as I told him that he reminded me of Lincoln he said...
"what are you waiting for, bring him home". 

at park

This dog is something special. Just the right age for us. Just the right amount of energy. Just the right training. Just the right dog.

How could such a dog be abandoned?

at dog park

So many dogs like Max are waiting for someone to rescue them. So many.
I am so happy to help promote The Shelter Project campaign, a public service campaign from The Ad Council, The Humane Society and Maddie's Fund, aimed at increasing the number of pets that get adopted from shelters and rescue groups versus pet shops and breeders.  

Please, please adopt your dog from a rescue or shelter. 
It's something super special

It brings such a good feeling to your heart, helping a dog out and bringing a new family member into your home.

My personal opinion: it's the best option for a family with kids. Dogs are a HUGE commitment but finding a dog from a rescue or shelter who is trained and a right fit for your family is so much easier than going through all the training and time that a puppy requires.

If you or someone you know is looking for a friend...have them visit The Shelter Project
you can also find them on twitter and on Facebook

Do you have a dog? Is it a rescue dog? I would love to hear your story!

*I was selected for this paid campaign by Latina Bloggers Connect. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, December 8

December 8

Dessert tonight

Flor Larios

As I loved on Monica's Nacimientos board on Pinterest this morning I saw  Flor Larios lovely Holiday Card Set and knew I had to share her work with you.

Flor's work is something I have admired for some time now (I've told her before how much I love her :)... when I see it, I am filled with thoughts of love, motherhood and Christmas.

Christmas Holiday Card set by Flor Larios
Mary with Rosary by Flor Larios 
Blue Veil Madonna Holiday Greeting Cards

Mother and Child-Folk Art Print

Tuesday, December 6

December 6

hunting for acorns

for she

for she

for she by marcelabeatty featuring woven jewelry

Sometimes it's the simple things... feeling fancy while drinking your water, walking around the house in warm socks, writing down your thoughts in a pretty book, new nail polish, listening to Christmas music, a bracelet, a soft chemise, some chocolate covered popcorn...

Monday, December 5

December 5


miau...meow (a spanglish type giveaway from Dos Borreguitas)

happy to be sharing this gift guide with you...I have some fun giveaways this week...

 A gift guide is not  complete without some Spanglish style....and Dos Borreguitas (two little lambs) has just the right stuff for us to say...Yo hablo español!

Dos Borreguitas is an online children's store that features bilingual and bicultural products. Oh,how I love shops like these! 

Originally started as a blog by Cynthia Leonor Garza (a blog I have loved for some time now) about the hunt for cool, Latino-inspired children's products with a bilingual or bicultural twist, it has now transformed into a really really cool online store. 

Why Dos Borreguitas you ask?
In Cynthia's words..."The name is a nod to the two (or ni de aqui, ni de alla) sides in us. The black sheep and white sheep. The football and fútbol aficionado. The pan dulce and red velvet cupcake lover. The bilingual, bicultural American-Latino."

Her products are fun, hip, and definitely filled with Spanglish. A perfect gift for someone who loves culture, language and super cute clothes. ( :

I am super excited to be able to share this shop with you, Cynthia is just an awesome mamasita to read and I know we would totally meet up for playdates and café con leche if we lived close by. 

Cynthia sent Audrey one of her adorable tops... seriously the cutest!

and she wants to share one with you!

The Giveaway
I have two Dos Borreguitas t-shirts and/or onesies to giveaway to TWO of you!! All you have to do to enter is leave any topic related comment. I will pick a winner on December 12 at 11:59pm and email you if you win. Make sure you leave your email (if not already on your profile) so I can contact you. US only. Good luck!
What bit of Latino nostalgia, sayings, culture or just plain coolness would you like to see on a shirt for your chiquito?

OR How are you passing on your culture to your chiquitos?
Definitely not required but love you if you do...

Like Dos Borreguitas on FB
Follow Dos Borreguitas on twitter

Cynthia is giving Culture Mami readers a discount. Yay! Enter code CULTUREMAMI at check out and receive 20% off your entire order plus free shipping!

*Dos Borreguitas sent Audrey the cutest top... she is also sending two for giveaways. No other compensation was given. I truly am so happy to share this with you. ( :

crayola giveaway

So happy to share my gift guide with you this week... I have some fun gifts (with giveaways) that are Audrey and Jeremiah loved and that I know your little ones will love too. 

Painting, drawing, crafts and coloring are Audrey's favorite things to do right now.  She is also in love with my iPad. ( :

If your little one is an artist and loves the iPad, like mine, I know they will love these gifts!

The Crayola ColorStudio HD app and iMarker are perfect for little iPad lovers. They can turn the iPad into a coloring book and color animated scenes that move and come alive with music and hidden surprises. The app is available on the iTunes App store and is free with the purchase of the iMarker. Crayola sent Audrey the app and iMarker so she can turn mommy's iPad into her own coloring book.( :

I am also in love with Crayola Story Studio kits. Have you seen these yet? Your child can jump into a coloring book and be a character and star with their favorite characters. Awesome right!?!

Audrey was sent the Spider-Man kit, the Disney Princesses kit and the Disney/Pixar Cars kit to have fun with. 

How do the kits work?... an access code inside the kit unlocks the Crayola Story Studio application where you upload a picture of your child, then choose a story line, create a story, save it, share it, print it and color it. The kits include paper, glossy cover sheets for printing book style covers, binding strips and either Twistables® or different assortment of Pip-Squeaks® markers and glitter glue tubes to complete the story books. 

The Giveaway:

I have one Crayola High-Tech Holiday prize pack to giveaway to one of you! So excited to share this with you, I know your little one will have hours of fun with this. 

The Crayola High-Tech Holiday giveaway winner prize pack will contain:

  • (1) Crayola Story Studio Comic Maker: Spider-Man
  • (1) Crayola Story Studio Fairy Tale Maker: Disney Princesses
  • (1) Crayola Story Studio Adventure Maker: Disney/Pixar Cars
  • (1) Crayola iMarker to use with the ColorStudio HD app for iPad
  • (1) Free download of the ColorStudio HD app

To enter leave any comment you like....which of these products would you buy for your little one? I will randomly pick one comment from all the entries on December 10, 2011 at 11:59 pm. Please leave your email (if not already in your profile) so I can email you if you win. US only. Good luck!

Make sure you visit the Crayola gift guide website, they have these and other cool gifts there!

*Disclosure: The Crayola High Tech Holiday prize pack, product information and prize pack for giveaway have been provided by Crayola through MyBlogSpark.

grandma is here

(Audrey has been playing with Christmas tree ornaments all morning. She takes them off, then hangs them back on, then takes them off and puts them back, then all over again...)

Our weekend was lovely and filled with family. Grandma Mary is here visiting and we are all in love with having her here.

She washed our windows (inside and out) and washed and dried and ironed our curtains. LOVE her.

Cheered real loud for Jeremiah at his bowl game in San Diego this weekend. Jeremiah LOVES her.

Snuck Max a hot dog and Audrey's leftover egg yolk without Kip noticing. He LOVES her.

Gave Audrey a cookie after she had already had ice cream and I had said no more. Audrey LOVES her.

And Kip has mom here....he LOVES her.

I have a fun week planned here this week... so stay tuned...a gift guide and some giveaways...hope your December is already filled with love and family...

Saturday, December 3

December 3

On route to San Diego. Jeremiah's Paradise bowl ended with a great win. 
A great end to their 12-1 season. 

December Photo Project

Friday, December 2

after the storm (Deceber 2nd)

We found this on our walk this morning.
The wind storm made such a mess (never seen anything like this here) but we are safe and workers are in full force getting everything back to normal.

I'll be posting a daily picture during the first 25 days of December (excited!), the December Photo Project is something I am really looking forward to! You should join!

December Photo Project

spiced tea

Here is a yummy recipe (perfect to sip with friends and family) sent to me to share with you in celebration of the newly released Beauty & The Beast: The Enchanted Christmas and Beauty & The Beast: Belle's Magical World to Blu-ray and DVD combo pack. Hope you love as much as I do. <3

Mrs.Potts and Chip's Spiced Tea

2 cups water
3 tea bags of your favorite herbal tea
4 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup passion fruit juice
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice

In a medium saucepan bring water to boil. Add tea bags, anise, and cinnamon stick. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 3-5 minutes. Discard tea bags and cinnamon stick. Stir in passion fruit juice, lemon juice and honey. Simmer on low for 10 minutes. Pour Spiced Tea into four tea cups, floating a star anise on top of each. Makes 4 servings.

Belle has always been a favorite of mine and introducing her to Audrey has been so much fun.

Both of these movies would make a great gift if you are shopping for a young girl. 

*Recipes, and a copy of both movies were sent to me for review purposes. No monetary compensation was given. I was not required to post or share with you. 

Thursday, December 1

what the winds blew in

It was so windy last night. So very windy. I woke up in the middle of the night asking Kip "an earthquake?". 

It is still windy.

School is canceled due to power loss and walking outside is pretty scary. Trees fallen over, branches, and a mess everywhere.

Max didn't sleep all night and is still on guard making sure things are okay.

On a good note... we are all home today, our elf on the shelf came out (Audrey has already gotten a "Cody the elf is watching"... so you better be good warning), and I daringly walked out to the garage to get our Christmas decorations... making the house look Christmasy is in store for us today. ( :

Join me, I'm taking part in the December Photo Project...

December Photo Project


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