reflecting and turning a new leaf

as the old cliché goes, “you can’t know where you are going until you know where you have been”

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what 2012 taught me

  • tough times break us or make usin my case, i’ve experienced  both.
  • a good laugh goes a long way. thank God for un-intellectual comedies, my hubby’s daughter’s tooting and my hubby’s assortment of silly faces.
  • coffee is my best friendotherwise, how on earth would i survive?
  • motherhood is a blessing. it’s the most sacrificial thing I’ve done, but also the most rewarding.
  • forgive and forget the first timeforgive and remember the second time around. grudges are unhealthy but not having a backbone is also.
  • yoga pants are very versatilethey can be worn as pajamas or as part of my outfit to the grocery store.
  • i’m more in love with my husband now than ever before5 years feels like 5 months and yet also like 15 <3
  • being religious and spiritual are two very different thingshaving a spiritual relationship with Jesus is what makes my faith real.
  • one piece of chocolate a day is actually quite healthyalso, it makes a great pick-me-up!
  • maintaining family relationships is so importantblood should always be thicker than water.

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here are more (iphone) pictures i promised from our christmas in sunny florida. as you can see, we are beach loving’ family. these cold winter days make me miss it even more. i just loved watched our little izabella happy as can be. i lived viciously through her perspective for those ten days.

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we actually managed to leave the sand and explore beyond the shore. we dined ‘al fresco at a great cuban restaurant.we also walked around town, and izzie got a ride on mommy and daddy’s back. this ergo baby carrier is the best! — it made airport maneuvering soooo much easier by the way.

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 we visited the beautiful town tree and nativity display. surprisingly, we were the first in line to get pictures with old st. nick! we’re almost never on time, so it was exciting for us. you should have seen this line– ridiculous, i tell you. some parents waited for a good hour! i think that’s why santa didn’t seem happy. there were lots of frustrated, tired and scared little ones :(

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^^^ it was going fine for us, until when we attempted to sit izabella on santa’s lap. she was very upset about the situation.^^^

*side note: as the evening approached, we noticed some locals wearing coats, scarfs and boots. apparently sixty-five degrees is considered cold?! (i thought that was too funny)

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 another day, we toke advantage of the natural light and a very beautiful backdrop. patryk’s cousin, captured some lovely family portraits for us. these are just a few of our favorites.

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what i hope to accomplish in 2013

  • live healthierincorporate an exercise regime, start juicing and do meatless Mondays perhaps.
  • learn new things. like the guitar. acoustic guitar, that is. i’d also like to add, swimming (please don’t judge me. it’s an embarrassing confession. thank you for your sensitivity on the matter)
  • become a better writer. less grammar mistakes and less writer’s block. more quality posts and more subscribers
  • cope with my emotions positively. i’m guilty of being passive aggressive. there i said it!
  • master new recipes. i’ve lost my oomph with my tiny kitchenette.
  • open my own etsy shopi would be so happy to display and sell my artwork.
  • read more. devote more time to scriptures, inspirational and educational books. knowledge is power!
  • go out on hot dates night with my man. i haven’t used my heels in…umm, yeah i can’t even remember the last time.
  • be more socialand i’m not referring to twitter or facebook.
  • embrace the present moment. i have a problem with my mind racing too far ahead. thank you, anxiety :(
  • move and decoratesettling into a new space (hopefully soon!) is a perfect excuse (ahem…reason) for a new furnishings and decor.
  • continue to be a mindful mommy. with the toddler stage, comes some new challenges. the need for independence means lots of “no” from her, and more acknowledgement (and patience) from me.
  • travel the world. okay so not exactly, but discovering new (and maybe even faraway) places has always been on my bucket list. it’s not realistic to plan a budget vacation to bora bora with a baby in tow. one can only dream and wish, right?

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what are your resolutions for this new year?

raquel

goodbye 2012

i hope you haven’t forgotten me. i apologize for the lack of presence on my little corner of the internet.

i’ve been pretty good updating my instagram though. the mister and our favorite blond decided to escape the cold northeastern winter for the sun and sand of south florida. it was a lovely (yet unusual) christmas for us. no coats, scarfs, sweaters or snow. it literally felt like july–christmas in july! (but none the less, we experienced the snowstorm the day after we came home). it was beautiful, but we must admit we do miss the vitamin D.

here are some family christmas snapshots (and outtakes). i promise to share more pictures as soon as i sort through all of them.

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on the eve of new year, i’m reflecting on 2012. it was a whirlwind. it made me cry and laugh. it’s brought me both blessings and struggles. it’s given me valuable life lessons about love, truth, loss, triumph and faith.

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i pray 2013 will bring health, peace and prosperity.

this is my wish for our family and yours.

happy new year friends!

cheers,

raquel

one delicious gift idea

christmas is approaching…

while some may default to picking something up from the mall, others are getting more creative this year. whether you’re frugal, eco-conscious or crafty, being meaningful is what sets apart an awesome gift-giver. nothing says “I’m thoughtful” more than a present made by your own two hands.

If it’s festive and scrumptious, you’ve gained even more brownie points (says i–the self-proclaimed foodie)

take for example this gorgeous red pepper marmalade. i mean seriously, it looks like it was purchased from an expensive gourmet food store, right?

red pepper marmalade

save your self some major moolah, and try this recipe . i would suggest making a small batch first. if you’ve mastered it, then why not cook enough for those on your list? your neighbors, co-workers, family and friends would be delighted.

pretty jars, decorative ribbon, and homemade labels transforms this spread into lovely gifts.

Ingredients

1 cup bell pepper, finely diced (no stem and seeds)

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon dried chili flakes

Directions

Place all ingredients in a pot together on medium high heat. When it starts boiling, bring the heat down to low stirring regularly. Cook for 20 minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates and becomes a thick syrup

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*for more ideas especially those with latin flair, i highly recommend hungry food love. not only is melissa a rockstar in the kitchen, but she’s also dominican ;-)

happy cooking and gifting!

raquel

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