Happy New Year!

Image

Photography by Alison Frank Photography

As I slowly settle into 2013, I take a moment to reflect on all the good that 2012 brought our little family, the most important one being the birth of our son.  Lucas turned nine months old yesterday, and it feels like he has always been with us.  It has been challenging finding balance in a household of five, and it has not always been easy, but our hearts are full of love and LOVE CONQUERS ALL.

In this new year, I have much I want to accomplish, but I don’t want to make a laundry list of items and call it a new year’s resolution.  No, not this year.  This year is all about perspective.  My perspective on life, and what the future holds for our little family.

Instead, I have come up with a few core principles I want to live each day.  Here is my list of three for 2013:

  1. Laugh More
  2. Worry Less
  3. Be Present

And with that, comes the realization that I can no longer strive for complete perfection in all I do.  I have come to learn that perfection is the enemy of productivity.  In waiting for the perfect moment, an opportunity may be lost.  In not having the perfect materials for a project, the project may never be completed.  This will be a hard one for me, as all who are close to me know me too well.  This is the year of “just do it” because waiting around just won’t cut it anymore.

I have baby books to fill with sweet memories that are passing us by, photos to frame for all who enter our home to enjoy, and recipes to try with my girls while they are still young.  This morning, I spent some time creating vision boards to keep in our bedroom, with the hopes that having a place to save clippings of inspiring photos will be a constant reminder of what can be in the future, and of what is in the present.

May you all have a blessed and prosperous 2013, and may it be filled with sweet moments that bring you love, peace, happiness, and health.

{Happy New Year}

xoxo

~the sweetest mami~

Advertisements

{countdown to christmas} make your own advent calendar

IMG_3542[1]

Our First DIY Advent Calendar

I was so inspired by beautiful holiday ideas I’ve been collecting on my Pinterest Holiday Board that I decided to create our own Advent Calendar.  I figured using small boxes for each day would be the easiest idea, and I could always reuse the boxes if I wasn’t happy with it.  I ordered small favor boxes from Paper Source and had enough ribbon lying around my craft area to use to tie numbered tages onto each one.  I coordinated the ribbons and boxes, and designed my own tags to use to match the same color theme.

All in all, it was a great idea, but one that took way to long to execute.  Here’s the rundown, for those of you interested in making one of your own:

Supplies needed:

  • Twenty-five boxes
  • Number gift tags 1 – 25
  • Hole puncher
  • Lots of ribbon
  • Twine or ribbon
  • Candy and goodies to fill boxes with

The whole project took about four hours, among three of us!  {Thanks Mom and Vic!}  We had to build the boxes, fill the boxes, cut out the number tags, measure and cut ribbon, and then figure out which tag and ribbon went on each box before filling them, so that the finished design would have enough variety. IMG_3535[1] Putting the boxes up on the wall was a challenge in itself, and the only thing we could think of was to use tape to reinforce it.  We all knew it wouldn’t stay up for long, but our options were limited since we have three little ones running around all day.  I rushed to photograph it all before it collapsed, and while we were in bed for the night, I heard random boxes falling onto the sideboard. Well, even though it fell apart, the girls LOVED the concept!  We had them open two boxes in the morning and they were super excited to get presents and find chocolate in their boxes.  We need to find another way to store the boxes now, but it’s nice to know that in the end it is all worth it.  We’re going to try stringing them on our tree as ornaments next.  Wish me luck! {happy holidays} xo ~the sweetest mami~ ps Get your free printable number tags here: Numbered Tags for Advent

{celebrity look-alike}

Has anyone ever told you that you look like a celebrity?  Well, I get that a lot, but what’s funny is the variation in the celebrity they see in me.  If you ask me, I don’t resemble any of the celebrities people associate with me, but there must be a hint of truth in it, because the same names keep coming up every time I hear this.

Here are a few photos of my celebrity twins and me, for you to see for yourself…

This is me:

IMG_3525[1]

Twin #1 – Michelle Rodriguez

{of Fast and Furious Fame}

Well, I’ll give people one thing — we are both Puerto Rican and Dominican.

Perhaps we share similar features that are common among our people??

michelle-rodriguez-curly-sexy-brunette-275

via beauty image — http://www.beautyriot.com/celebrities/michelle-rodriguez

Twin #2 – America Ferrera

{aka Ugly Betty}

Okay, we are both Latinas too, but she is of Honduran descent (who takes on many roles as a Mexican)…both origins so far from my own heritage.

Maybe just the hair?  Mine on a good day, though..

2010 NYILFF Premiere Of

via fan pop – http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/america-ferrera/images/14463335/title/america-ferrera-dry-land-screening-with-ryan-piers-williams-photo

Twin #3 – Khloe Kardashian

{famous just for being a Kardashian!}

This one is interesting, since she is not even Latina.

Again, maybe the only thing I could see is our hair is both dark, long and wavy…

THE X FACTOR: Khloé Kardashian Odom. CR: Kwaku Alston / FOX.

via Glamour –  http://www.glamour.com/entertainment/blogs/obsessed/2012/12/the-most-searched-celebs-break.html

Okay, here I am again.  Do you think I resemble any of my celebrity twins?

IMG_3468[1]

Some might be flattered by the many references, but I just find it amusing.

Maybe I’d be more excited if people said I reminded them of the Latina beauties I admire so much for their beautiful style and grace at all times…

Jennifer-Lopez

Jennifer Lopez

via Latin Heat – http://www.latinheat.com/2012/08/23/abc-family-greenlights-jennifer-lopez-produced-family-show/

Eva-mendes-12-587x311

Eva Mendes

via the Power Player Lifestyle – http://thepowerplayermag.com/hello-world/

Well, a girl can dream, can’t she?

{have a sweet day}

xo

~the sweetest mami~

{october fun} halloween update and more…

Photo: So thankful for my good friends at #starbucks today!!  It's going to be one long day... http://instagr.am/p/RfU4bRDfbD/

I haven’t been myself lately, and the photo above pretty much sums it all up.  The past two weeks have been filled with a whirlwind of activities and somewhere in between we all managed to get sick.  Eva and Zoe have gone through runny noses, coughs and sneezes, and even Lucas had a mild fever for two days.  Victor had a sore throat for one day, and as for me, well I got the worst of it.  My sore throat was actually a bad case of ‘strep throat’.  I didn’t get to a doctor until the end of the week, after I completely lost my voice and figured I had better try to get my hands on some real medicine before the weekend arrived.  I was put on a round of antibiotics, and three days later I’m still not at my best.  Thankfully, though, I think the worst is behind us.  I have so much to catch up on.  I hope you enjoy the summary in photos.

Sesame Street Live’s ‘Elmo Makes Music’ comes to town!

Before we all got sick, I managed to take Eva and Zoe to a fun production featuring their favorite furry monster and his best buddies.  Words can barely describe the joy and excitement they experienced as we arrived and they started to spot everything Elmo.  When the show started, I teared up because I was so overwhelmed with the happiness I saw in their sweet faces.  Here are a few shots of them before the show.  It was a really fun day, very ‘mommy and me’.

{eva and zoe posing with elmo}

After the show, I wanted to take them to eat lunch before returning home.  The plan was to go to the Cheesecake Factory at Las Olas, but when we arrived the wait was over 45 minutes because of a local art festival.  We ended up at the ‘Royal Pig Pub’ and they were very formal and well-behaved, placing their cloth napkins under their plates as they nibbled on non-kids’ meal french fries and chicken ‘fingers’.

{lunch at the royal pig pub}

Halloween Update

We are members of a local meetup group that hosts lots of fun activities for families and young children.  They hosted a Halloween party in the park and the girls were super excited to get into character, chanting Yo-Ho-Ho every chance they had.  Eva and Zoe marched in a music parade and got so into it they stopped on a tree stump for a make-shift performance with their borrowed guitar and tambourine!

It’s a good thing we went to this event, too, because by the time Halloween rolled around the girls were too sick to go trick-or-treating.  The sign we put up on our door read:  “QUARANTINE//SICK BABIES//SORRY”.  Don’t be too sad for them, though.  Victor did bring them by my office and they were pro’s asking for candy (especially Eva!) even though it was their first time out and about in costume and trick-or-treating.  The worse part was finding out that Zoe may have an allergy, or aversion at best, to peanuts.  She ended up throwing up in the parking lot before Victor went back home, and all she had eaten was a bite of a Snickers bar.  My poor baby.

{eva and zoe = my fierce pirate girls}

{my little monster}

A Baking Fool…

I got a little caught up in the spirit of Halloween, and took on one baking project too many.  After finding out how hard it is to decorate cookies by hand, I may never work with piping again.  Oh well.  Here are a few photos for your viewing pleasure:

{pumpkin spice halloween cookies}

{day of the dead sugar skull cookies}

Seven months old and growing too quickly…

In keeping with my monthly tradition of photographing Lucas in his crib, here is his seven month photo.  It is becoming increasingly harder to get a cute photo of him with the blocks in the background…

{lucas at seven months}

And this is the part where I get a little nostalgic all too soon, when I see my little boy growing up oh so fast.  Victor sent me this picture when I was at work yesterday.  My first reaction was to think that he was helped up for the photo, but I was wrong.  He got up all on his own, my little boy.  He has only been crawling for about two months now!  He’s just so anxious to play with Eva and Zoe already.  My little boy may be walking a lot sooner that we’re ready for.  {Note the terror in Eva’s eyes..lol}

{taken just five days later on november 5th}

Well, I do apologize for the long post, but even more so for the long time without posting.  I hope you’ve enjoyed my update and look forward to sharing more soon and more often.

May you have a Sweet November..

xo

ps.  Today is election day.  Did you go out and vote yet?

pps. Oh yeah, and did I mention — we got our floors redone; note the dark floor under Lucas’ bare feet! We left the living room for later — see ugly white tile beyond pretty new floors…

{peachy meets beachy} our family photo shoot

A sunset family photo session at the beach?  Why, yes please.  Now… what would we wear?  Well, it shouldn’t be so formal that we can’t run around in the sand and get a little dirty.  It should be fun and reflect our personality as individuals and as one sweet family.

After trying on several different looks, I was ultra pleased that one of my favorite bright dresses finally fit again!  Victor suggested wearing his seersucker pants since they are so beachy and comfortable.  Once we figured out our outfits, I was on the hunt for the kids’ outfits.

I carried the coral and turquoise theme through, and was so happy to find Lucas such a cute onesie that matched both Victor’s and my outfits!  The girls were very happy to add one more tutu to their collection, and I’m happy I found the perfect girly and sparkly tees to match.  I found everything I needed at Target!

I also made small organza flowers for sequined headbands I also made, to add the final touch to their look.  I used sequined elastic ribbon in silver and gold for the actual headbands, and wide organza ribbon in matching silver and gold to make small flowers, following this easy tutorial via ‘go make me’ — bejewelled flowered headband/diy project’ blog post.

Inspiration:

 

Sneak Peek:

We had a wonderful time at the beach, and are very happy with the Sneak Peek of our photo session.  Alison is such a talented photographer and so great with the girls and the baby.  She has so much patience and such an eye for beauty.  Please visit her blog for the full sneak peek, and if you’re in the South Florida area, I highly recommend her for your own family photo session or special event.  You can see visit her full professional website here.

{enjoy the sweetest moments}

xo

~the sweetest mami~

{a week in the life..}

It’s been one BUSY week!  Friday is finally here, and I’m ready to start the weekend soon, but not before I share a few random shots of the week that I’m about to say goodbye to.  {You may not agree that the week starts until Monday, but MINE gets started on Friday night!}

{friday}

I love coming home to my girls.  This was taken last Friday evening when I got home, with my iPhone.   I love these silly moments!

Victor was golfing on Saturday, to celebrate his big birthday.  He wanted me to alter this funky pair of pants for him, but I didn’t get around to it, because he moved up the golf outing by one day to take advantage of the better weather.  Which length would you have voted for?

{saturday}

We celebrated Vic’s birthday last Saturday.  The weather was gorgeous, so we ordered pizza and had some cake with good friends.  I baked [again] and the result was better than I could have ever expected.  I have the lovely Barefoot Contessa to thank, though.  I made her Double Chocolate Layer Cake, and although I had a small crisis once I finished frosting it, I managed to save the cake and it was a huge HIT!  If you’re feeling ambitious, and have, oh about 3 hours to spare, you should try making it.  Good luck!

{our fun family of five}

{tuesday}

I took Lucas in for his six-month wellness check on Tuesday.  I met with a new doctor at our pediatrician’s office and I was finally impressed with a pediatrician here in South Florida.  He was very attentive and understanding of our family’s needs and gave me great tips on getting Lucas to sleep through the night.  Lucas weighed in at over 16 lbs, and is measuring somewhere around 27″, so needless to say he is one big baby.  The doctor says that if he continues to grow at this rate, he can expect him to be about 6’0″ as an adult.  Geez, as if I didn’t already feel short enough, as it is…gotta love it!

6 month wellness visit {lucas}

{the cat in the hat}

{thursday}

Lately, Lucas is doing too many cute things to keep track of!! I’ve noticed him peeking through his crib slats when we are getting Zoe and Eva ready for bed in the evening.  He is very social..much like his daddy and mama..and does whatever he can to get in the mix, when he can.  Here’s my little munchkin and his juicy lips!

{jailhouse rock!}

Well, the week is now over, and I’m ready to enjoy a new one.  This week, I’m just hoping for clear blue skies so we can enjoy a Family Jazz Brunch we plan to attend on Sunday.   In between, we will probably end up at Target again, and I may or may not take on another baking project.

{Happy Friday!}

xo

~the sweetest mami~