Life in Grace e-book giveaway!

I’ve been following Edie at Life in Grace for a while, I learned of the devastating fire that destroyed her family’s home and have been in awe of the way she has handled rebuilding her life since then. She recently wrote an e-book on hospitality that is full of heartfelt ideas for truly opening up your home (and heart) to others. As someone who loves to have people over, I know that I can always make the experience a better and happier one for both parties.

This week I am giving away TWO copies of Edie’s wonderful e-book, 31 Days to a Heart of Hospitality – believe me, it is so worth purchasing it for only $5 if you can’t wait for the giveaway ;D

The rules are easy peasy:
1 – Subscribe to my blog or Like my blog on Facebook
2 – Leave a comment on this post

That is it!!!

Thank you Edie for the giveaway!

I will announce the winners on Friday, before I start my Super Bowl weekend freakout – Go Niners! #questforsix

Arroz con Leche

I foresee so many double-workouts as soon as my mom leaves.

We had some family over on Wednesday night and mom had made her super easy, super yummy, rice pudding. The good news is that everyone loved it. The bad news is that she taught me how to make it.

I am so screwed.

To make it, all you need is:

1 1/2 cups rice
2 cups water
1 can evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 can condensed milk

That’s it! Start cooking the rice in the two cups of water. When most of the water has been absorbed, add the evaporated milk and vanilla extract. Once the rice is fully cooked, add the condensed milk and stir until combined.

At that point, divvy it up in some ramekins or whatever small bowls you have. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top and add raisins. Now, I’m a purist and don’t like raisins so I eat it warm off the stove, but you could add something like pecans or walnuts, or even candied orange peel.

This makes about 6 – 8 servings.


Warm and cozy gifts

My mama loves to crochet. She makes hats and scarves for everyone she meets. Seriously. She’s met people and an hour later she’s giving them a scarf, or hat, or both. I am enjoying a lot of new accessories lately 😀

But I’m not the only one sporting new head gear:

Alex loved his new little hat and insisted on wearing it while watching Minecraft videos. Anyone else’s cache taken over by youtube Minecraft videos?

I’m already sad that mom leaves in one week, but for now I’m enjoying her company!!

Valentine’s Day Mantel

Valentine’s Day is less than a month away and although we don’t have huge plans for it, I still like to decorate our little mantel. Most of the items I found by going through our various decor bins and my only expense was 2 sheets of red cardstock that I used on the garland.

I found the little container on the left and it was the perfect size for my fake IKEA plant, but I didn’t love the designs on the front so I made a little “14” sign with glittery cardstock. Our house doesn’t get a lot of direct natural light but greenery brings such a sweet touch that I don’t mind that it is not real.

I used the two sheets of cardstock I purchased (2 for 1 at Michaels) and a leftover piece of polka dot paper to make a little garland.

On the right side of the mantel is yet another fake IKEA plant 😀 in a planter I covered with lovely sheet music paper, one of my favorite pictures of me and my oldest, and a great printable from A Geek in Glasses. I love the vintage look!!

I just love this photo, and here I was pregnant with my youngest so I love that it was our little secret at this point.

I love the whimsy of the polka dot paper!

I hope you have enjoyed taking a look at our Valentine’s Day mantel, I enjoyed putting it together – have a wonderful Monday!

Cool mama

Yep, that’s me. The cool mama. I am sure it will last 2.3 days but I will enjoy it while I can.

My oldest has asked me to help him put outfits together. What what???? Seriously, my husband told him that I was really good at fashion (it’s news to me, believe me) and that I could help him with school clothes. So today I showed him how a crew-neck under a v-neck sweater looked nice and he went with it. He used to love button-down shirts and now hates them so that will be my Everest, seeing if I can get him back in a button down. Because he looks damn cute in one.

This is from mother’s day 2011, my boys wearing guayaberas, so sweet!!!

Now they were polo shirts every day for school

They each chose the same color shirt, I buy them the same things sometimes but I don’t make them wear them at the same time, this was just coincidence 😀

But now my oldest is wanting some oomph so mama is off looking for ideas to show the boy.

One of my favorite style blogs is Style Your Life. I find that Jennifer puts together cute, wearable outfits from stores I actually shop at (Target, Old Navy, etc.) and she’s done a few for boys, like this one:

So cute!!!

I’ve started a Boys’ Style board on Pinterest, feel free to stop by and also feel free to share any cool dude outfit ideas 😀

MY mommy porn

Maybe my Crafty Porn, since I lusted after these kind of goods long before I was a mommy. I got the Paper Source catalog yesterday. Really, people? I’m trying to be good here. I have been working on my husband’s desk area — and wouldn’t you know it, the kids are already asking if they can be on here, WTF? — and not spending any money, using things I already had and suddenly The Catalog appears.

Wouldn’t these macaron dish towels be perfect in my little kitchen?

They also have wrap, magnets, cards, and other goods with this print. The only one I wasn’t too hip on was the macaron stamp, which, honestly, looks like a hotdog to me.


And they have tons of super cute Valentine’s Day craft kits and ideas. My favorite new paper has to be the red, gold, and fuchsia chevron wrap:

SOOOO many possibilities! The gold on cream version of this paper is beautiful as well.

And just in case anyone wonders, no, Paper Source does not sponsor my posts or in any way, shape or form compensate me for writing oodles of lovely things about them (except for the hotdog thing, I guess). I would LOVE for that to be the case but the truth is, I just happen to love their stuff.

Happy Hump Day!!

Taming chaos

You might recall my pledge to makeover my husband’s desk. You know, the one I’ve been relegated to because, as my oldest says, “we like playing on your clean desk” – mm-hmm. So in my quest for a new desk, I started with an area that drove me batty every time I looked at it — the charging “center”.

Believe me, I was very kind in taking a grainy, far away picture, because you did NOT want to see this desk up close. Or the tangled mess that was the charging strip and the bazillion cords plugged into it. It’s the area to the left of the monitor where the Kindle and assorted black cords and items are sitting.

I chose a boot box we had laying around because it would be large enough for the bulky charging strip. I covered it in some delicious peacock paper from my home away from home, Paper Source, and then made two holes in it. The one in the back was large enough for the charging strip:

and the rectangular one in front was for the charging cords to plug into our various items.

I am so happy with the result. It’s not a space saver but a visual chaos tamer, and a much welcome one. The peacock paper brings together the colors I plan on using in this area, including shimmery gold:

First step taken — well, actually, the first step was cleaning the behemoth of a desk, so second step taken, yay me! I like how $4.95 (plus tax) for the paper was all I invested in this little change, and I already had the paper from a previous excursion to the store. I hope to make more progress this week and share the new desk area with y’all. Wish me luck!

* Today is my darling daddy’s birthday. I miss you so much, dad, I hope you are enjoying some good Peruvian coffee and freshly baked bread, and having a good conversation with friends, or maybe watching some Peruvian futbol. Love you lots.

Let’s get it started

Yesterday we held our second Annual New Year’s Day Brunch — what started as a small gathering with a couple of friends wanting to start the new year right (good friends, good food, good conversation) has now evolved into a gathering of roughly 15 people. We provide all the waffles people can eat, and coffee, and then people bring whatever else they want to have. Believe me, it is a feast of talents, each friend or relative bringing something wonderful for everyone to enjoy.

Even the little ones get into the action, my boys nommed on waffles and the homemade banana muffins brought by our fearless friend K. I am, as I type this, enjoying some of the leftover potato hash our dear friends J & M brought.

Auntie L brought her famous gorilla bread, so good! And our friend J made more of the only breakfast sausage Steve and I like. J makes it himself, blending spices and all sorts of goodness, and it vanishes pretty quickly. Steve’s parents contributed eggs and bacon, and my sweet friend J brought a ton of OJ because you know how it is, when you have OJ in your fridge it goes bad, but when someone brings it you can’t wait for it and then down it like liquid gold.

We had a grand time, which is the point of the gathering, to start the new year with laughter and good food, and surrounded by great people. Here’s to more New Year’s Day brunches!!