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Thursday, March 31, 2011

A month of goals

I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”   -- Jimmy Dean
Every birthday, I make a list of resolutions and usually never follow through on getting them done. This years list has 22 items that I am pretty set on getting done, even though a few of them need to be modified and extended into the next year.

1. Fit into my jeans!

2. Get healthy and stay healthy

3. Get a gym membership and go at least 3 times a week (I got a membership to the 24 Hour Fitness right down the street, and have been good about going regularly thus far, but I am not crossing off the goal of going 3 times a week, because it should be continuous.)

4. Apply to grad school – this is one that needs to be modified, since we are back on the initial plan to move to Texas, this will have to wait until I am graduated as well as until we know where we will be living.

5. Find a job in my field

6. Keep up with daily posts on the blog (I’ve been pretty good about this, and hope to keep it up)

7. Dive the Keys in Florida

8. Read a book a week – modifying to Read at least 2 books a month

9. Do Kendi's 30 for 30 for at least one month every season! – This will start in May!!

10. Start a graduate program – this one is dependent on #4… applying would be first!

11. Buy a house – we will not be buying a house this year, since we don’t know where we will be living

12. Pay off all bad debt!!!!

13. Become a better Photographer

14. Vacation to the Bahamas

15. Send my parents on a vacation

16. Keep my nails painted for the whole year, and avoid acrylics (I’ve been really good about this too, I let the polish chip a bit before replacing but my nails have been painted every day since my birthday!)

17. Paint more

18. Spend more time with Grandpa

19. Learn how to sew

20. Keep a journal

21. Get at least one ski trip in (Feb 25-27 Keystone, CO)

22. Sort photos and finish scrapbooks!!!

In order to get things done, I am stealing Meghan’s idea of mini-goals. I really like the idea of setting small stepping stones towards bigger goals.

I’d like to have 5 to 10 mini-goals a month that I can try and accomplish, so here is my list of goals for the Month of April!

1. Get 8 hours of solid sleep every night – sleeping and resting is so crucial to a productive and happy day, I know when I don’t get enough sleep I am the biggest grump in the world. Hence sleeping enough will be my number one goal this month!


2. Exercise daily, with at least 3 days at the gym, C25K and Body Pump – exercise gives you endorphins (feel good hormones) which result in a better mood, better sleep, more productivity and overall happiness! Plus getting a better body while you’re at it is a plus, with Summer right around the corner and tropical vacations in the making!

River Maya 2008
I want this body back! In 2008, I was at my healthiest form!

3. Write more, not just blog wise but in general – I love writing and am pretty set on making some extra money out of it, even if I don’t make anything the writing process in itself is a favorite hobby of mine and I would like to really expend on it, and develop my skills.

4. Plan meals and cook at home (at least 3 in a week) – I love cooking, and I recently rediscovered how much fun I have while cooking. Cooking is a great way to relax and de-stress for me, so I plan on doing more of it.


5. Cut out soda and junk food – no fast food, and keep going out to eat to once a week or less. – Eating fast food makes me feel gross, literally. My face feels greasy, my body starts feeling tired and unhealthy and its just bad in general. Hence, this month will be a complete cut of fast food!

6. Read at least 2 books – I love reading. It’s a whole different world. I feel that I don’t read enough, so this year, I am going to try and read more!

7. Organize my closet – even though I just got rid of a ton of clothing, I still feel that there is more to go. This could be due to the tiny closet I’ve had to fit everything into, or the fact that now that I live in a pair of jeans and a hoodie I’ve lost my connection with my clothing, and in order to re-spark it I need to go through my belongings!


This is only a section of what my closet use to look like. I had two very large walk-in closets, plus a smaller walk in one. Now its only a tiny sliding door, non-walk in Sad smile

It will be a big step for me to get these things done and I am looking forward to accomplishing them!
Hope y’all are having an awesome Thursday! It’s almost the weekend, and time for my Mister to get home!

Zara - 1

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday Wants


I miss the Mister today. I hate when he travels without me, because I have to wear socks to bed. My feet get really cold at night, and I just steal the hubs heat, but without him in bed with me, my feet freeze Sad smile. Obviously, that is not the only reason why I miss him, but it’s the one that woke me up in the middle of the night today.

Other then the Mister being gone until Friday, I’ve been really getting the itch to move. Our original plan was to move as soon as I was done with school, but because of some unexpected circumstances. Anyways, I want to move and I want a bigger closet!!I want a closet with beautiful hardwood floors, with lots of space for shoes, and separate sections for dresses, jeans, skirts and pants.

I also want room to have full length mirrors and a dressing area. Some sitting space and room to openly organize everything I own, because going from two walk-in closets to one regular closet is really hard on me and my clothing! Sad smile I’ve had to give a good deal of stuff away, and I still don’t have enough room!!

Q. What is your dream closet? Do you have enough room in your current closet? If you were to build a house what would be one of the must haves?



Zara - 1

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday Travels


Americans who travel abroad for the first time are often shocked to discover that, despite all the progress that has been made in the last 30 years, many foreign people still speak in foreign languages.          --   Dave Barry

Trip to Rockport TX

Traveling is what Donald and I do best. We love visiting different places, whether it’s here in Colorado or the United States or in another country completely. Through the years we’ve learned a few things about traveling on a budget, packing efficiently and making the best of any situation. So in this little section, I’ll share our adventures, lessons we’ve learned, tips and anything else I can come up with.

Boston Harbor

I hope that you all enjoy this section, because truly there is nothing out there that compares to traveling and experiencing the world around us, learning about cultures and seeing history unfold before your eyes.

Donald and I have a set rule to try and take at least a week long vacation every 6 months, with weekend trips once every few months. Now that I’m not working, it might be a bit harder to actually get these vacations going, however we’re determined to keep them up!

The first topic I wanted to discuss is packing an overnight bag.

As long as I can remember, I’ve always traveled. My parents moved from one country to another following my dad’s job, and we (as their children) tagged along. It was a grand adventure! However, our moves always involved packing up our lives and moving across countries and continents. So I never learned to be an efficient packer! And always over-packed.Over-packing was never a problem until, airlines begun to charge for checked bags (this is why I still love to fly Southwest when I can).

The first time I truly noticed how much extra crap stuff I had with me was when Donald and I drove to Texas for the first time. We spent a total of eight days at the coast with two days driving down there and a day driving back. I packed so many shirts, shorts, skirts and dresses that I could have made enough outfits to last me at least a month if not two. I ended up not even unpacking half the things I brought!!! Since then I’ve gotten really good about planning outfits and only taking what’s necessary. However this will be a post for another day.


So let’s get down to business. I always have an overnight bag packed and ready to go, in case we need to run out of the house in case of an emergency, or decide to take a quick weekend trip.

Overnight bag

I found myself always forgetting something when I packed for a trip, whether it was a razor, body wash, toothpaste or my contact case. And while it’s easy to run to the nearest drugstore to get the item, it’s always a pain in the ass. So I made a list of items that I use on a daily basis, went out and bought travel sized versions and stuffed them into a travel bag, that sits in my closet.

Clutch  TSA approved 

Here are some of my must haves for any trip:

Redken Blond Glam Shampoo and Condition, Philosophy Purity (a face wash, makeup remover and toner in one), Toothpaste (preferably Sensodyne because my teeth are wimps), toothbrush, body wash, moisturizer, body lotion, deodorant, perfume, shaving cream, razors, contact solution, contact case, extra contacts, Advil, vitamins, birth control, nail fail, first aid kit… and so on.

I also have an extra set of makeup brushes, and everyday makeup packed away. Aside from toiletry, I have a pair of socks, underwear, a sports bra and a t-shirt put aside.


I love the fact that when we decide to go for a quick weekend trip, or when I fly out to see the Mister when he’s traveling for work, I don’t have to worry about remembering all the small things that I need. I just grab my bag, and pick a few items of clothes that I’ll need!

Q: Do you have an overnight bag packed? What are some of your essential items that you need to have? What do you forget most often? How do you like the idea of Tuesday Travels?

Zara - 1

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cookin’ up a storm

I almost forgot how much I love to cook. I’ve been so busy with running around like a chicken with its head cut off that I haven’t really made a decent meal in weeks. Probably since I started blogging, and now that I think about it, it makes me sad.

This Sunday, after I dropped the Mister off at the airport I came home and made a list of dinners I want to make this week. I use to make three different meals in a week with Wednesdays and Sundays being leftover days.

This weeks menu includes:

(1) Lasagna with steamed asparagus
(2) Parmesan Chicken with a Potato, Cheese and Mushroom casserole
(3) Pizza with whatever topics I can find at home


So today was Lasagna night, and let me tell ya it was pretty dang awesome. Especially since it was my first time making lasagna!!!

The lasagna – ground beef, home made tomato sauce, feta cheese, mozzarella, and parmesan. There are a few different spices as well as egg in the mix! This was one of the best lasagnas I have ever had. NO joke! I think I might add some mushrooms to the mix next time, and maybe cook the noodles a bit longer.

Dinner 2  Dinner 3 

Overall, I am going to give it a good rating and will be repeating this meal again. We also have enough left to have for lunch or dinner tomorrow night, so the chicken and casserole will have to wait until Wednesday night. I’m also going to have to get my butt in gear and start studying chemistry. boo!

I also want to make a change to my giveaway announcement. … Are you ready?! There will be a giveaway, and a pretty sweet one, if I say so myself, once I reach 50 followers!!! So if you read my blog, and have not had a chance to become a follower please do so for a chance to win the first of the several planned giveaways!!!

And the second announcement… which I am very, very, very excited about!!!!
There will be a new weekly section of the blog called Tuesday Travels, it will include things such as packing advice, trip reviews, our adventures, places to avoid, places to see and so on. I am so excited about this, because we LOVE to travel and I love sharing all the little places and things that I discover while in exotic and foreign places.



Zara - 1

Good News Monday

I am really starting to hate the weather in Colorado. It’s unpredictable, and changes every 15 minutes… literally!

This morning, I had to put on a winter coat because it was snowing, and it was snowing good! There was a layer on the cars parked outside, on rooftops and on the laws. My drive to school was an average of 15 miles an hour due to the snow, poor visibility and people who freak out when there is “wet” on the road.

By the time I got to the school parking lot, it had stopped snowing, a there was a light sprinkle of rain. When I got out of class, it was overcast with no rain. Then when I was walking back to school from my visit to my old office it was raining AGAIN. By the time I talked to my professor and started walking towards my car it was sunny and HOT. … Come on Colorado make up your mind!

Now that my rent is over, I can say that I had a fantastic morning visiting with my friend, who I use to work with downtown. We had coffee and breakfast!

breakfast with nat

The above mixture of yogurt, fruit and granola is one of our favorites of all time. To recreate this just follow these easy steps:

[1] Get your favorite flavor of yogurt (plain works as well)
[2] Cut up some fruit, my favorite is banana with berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and so on)
[3] Get your favorite granola

Mix the above ingredients together for a delicious, light and super easy breakfast!  

After my breakfast, I headed back to school for a meeting with my chemistry professor and give her my sob story. Well it turns out that as long as I pass my next two exams I should be good to go for graduation.

Hence, I will be cramming for chemistry in the hopes that I will actually graduate as planned in May!
The next set of good news is that my grandfather’s cancer is all out, and he is recovering fast and breathing at a 100% without extra oxygen and with only 3/4 of his lung power.

Smile WOOHOOO!!!

When I got home I made myself a plate of leftovers, since I was starving!!!


Some BBQ chicken and mac ’n’ cheese. It was okay. The chicken didn’t taste right, so I didn’t eat all of it, but the mac ‘n’ cheese was awesome. I think it should be a food group of its own.

IMG_1274  IMG_1278 

I accompanied my lunch with some Pomegranate and Honey Green Tea, and finished up my lunch with some chocolate mousse!!
Now, I’m going to attempt to make lasagna from scratch for dinner!
Zara - 1

Saturday, March 26, 2011

LaCROSSe out Cancer


Every year, the Colorado Mammoth do a “black out” night for cancer. All the proceeds go to cancer research. Last year, the Mammoth players auctioned off their game worn jerseys and helmets and donated all the money to support breast cancer research.

In the past week, the players have been going to different children’s oncology departments with gifts and encouragements.


Both of these photos are of Ilija Gajic (#9) a transition player who has done a tremendous job both on and off the field.   192785_10150114917732911_176788022910_6508974_7615414_o[These photos were obtained from the CO Mammoth Facebook page, and were taken by fans, so the credit goes to them! Thank you!!!]

Out of all the sports players out there, Lacrosse players are the least paid, and almost all of them work a main job all across the country, they usually don’t even live in the states that they play for!!! I admire the fact that outside of their 9 to 5 jobs, they are also dedicated not only to play a sport that pays so little but also have time to fight for a good cause.

I wear Pearl

I’ll be wearing pearl tonight for all of those fighting lung cancer out there! I’m not only supporting lung cancer but also all other forms of this awful illness. I hope that we’ll be able to find a way to silence this silent killer!!


Q: What color will you be wearing tonight?!

Friday, March 25, 2011

My Wedding Shoes … I feel cheated by DSW !!!


Wedding shoes

These shoes are one of my most praised pair of shoes. I bought them for our wedding, as my something blue! Since I had a short dress, and being a shoe freak, I had to have statement shoes that really spoke to me.

Donald and Zara's Wedding 095

When I saw these, about two years ago, I knew I had to have them! So I spent weeks trying to find a pair in my size, and they were probably the hardest pair of shoes to track down. I finally found them in California, two days before our wedding and had them overnighted. Aside from the stupid expensive overnight fee, I paid $192.97 plus tax for them.

Donald and Zara's Wedding 090

NOWWWW… a year and a half after the wedding, DSW decides to carry Martinez Valero for less then half the price of what the shoes originally cost! They have my beautiful wedding shoes for $79,95!!! WHYY did they not have them when I was bending over backwards to get my hands on a pair?! I would have paid three times what they are selling them for if I could have just walked into my local DSW and picked them up off the shelf!!! 

Donald and Zara's Wedding 098

So, to make myself feel better, I went back and looked at all my wedding photos to see how worth the search for these shoes was. And they are worth every penny I’ve paid for them. I’m kind of tempted to get them in the white as well now, maybe even the black … since you know… they are less then half of what I’ve paid for them. BUT I still think the blue is the most beautiful and an eye catcher for sure!

Spring is in the Air – Day 5


Once again, I’m sorry this is a little late. I was at the hospital longer then planned, and had a nice chat with my grandfather about random topics that we always seem to talk about. As an update, he is doing great and should be moving from the ICU to a regular room with a discharge date of Monday or Tuesday. Smile


Today is the last day for the Spring is in the Air Blog Challenge with Amber and Meghan.

Today’s Question is:

What recipe or food do you look forward to most during the Spring time?

I am addicted to eating, and eating all kinds of food. When Spring and Summer come around I start craving fresh and light food.

For example: TACOS!!!


When I’m in the mood I make my tacos super fancy with home made pico de gallo!!!


My recipe for pico de gallo is pretty easy, but I don’t have exact measurements. I kind of eyeball everything and toss it up, taste it and if it’s missing a flavor or needs more of one I just add it. One of these days I’ll actually write down the recipe and give exact measures. However, everyone including the husband LOVES my salsa!

Here is what you need:

2 to 3 Roma Tomatoes (gutted and diced)

1 to 2 Jalapenos (diced)

2 to 3 cloves of garlic (crushed)

1/4 to 1/2 of a red onion (diced)

handful of cilantro (chopped)

1 to 2 lemons



Here is what you need to do:

After chopping and dicing everything up, combine the tomatoes, jalapenos, garlic, onion and cilantro in a bowl. Then squeeze in one lemon, careful not to drop the seeds in there! Add about a teaspoon or two of salt and pepper. Mix well and taste.

I usually like the jalapeno flavor to be there but not overpower everything else. You also have to be careful with the lemon, sometimes one is just right, sometimes you need one and a half and so on. So really its up to your little taste-buds to decide what to do. If you like it spice add the second jalapeno, or more salt or not salt at all. Smile This is a recipe that I just pulled together one day when I was in a desperate need of pico de gallo but didn’t want the store bought one. It turned out great, and now I just tweak it depending on what I feel like having.

PS… my mom also adds this pico de gallo to her avocado mix to make a spicy guacamole!!!

ENJOY!!! Smile    


I wear Pearl

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