Welcome, 2016!


Here we go again. One more year behind us, another one to come.

December started as an excellent month. I love the Holidays, but then some hormones kicked in and they made me feel annoyed with the world. Is it me or everybody is super stressed around the Holidays? Finding parking (or a stranger’s smile) is nearly impossible.

I was feeling discouraged and irritated about life for no reason whatsoever. Does this ever happen to you? Luckily, my hormones stabilized by Christmas and I was able to enjoy my kids opening presents.

The first thing we did in December was picking up the Christmas tree:
jestcafe.com-Welcome,2016-6This is not our Christmas tree. It would be more appropriate for a big mall and it wouldn’t fit in our house, but it looked so good against the sky that I took a shot.

Here is an attempt at taking overexposed pictures for a little change. jestcafe.com-Welcome,2016-19jestcafe.com-Welcome,2016-1 jestcafe.com-Welcome,2016-34It was really fun and hard to find the perfect Christmas tree. We went to Home Depot where all the trees are tied up and piled one on top of the other. We saved a lot of money by going there, but my kids were loosing patience quickly.

Max decided he wanted to take a look from the ground:jestcafe.com-Welcome,2016-5We looked at more than 20 trees.  I wanted it “this” tall or “that” wide. George opened and showcased tree after tree for me, until we found the one. jestcafe.com-Welcome,2016-35We saw a lot of friends and went to a lot of places during December. This cutie was my super companion:
jestcafe.com-Welcome,2016-3 We tried dragon fruit:jestcafe.com-Welcome,2016-9We ate perfectly balanced meals:jestcafe.com-Welcome,2016-8Followed by nutritious desserts:jestcafe.com-Welcome,2016-7My kids practiced how to play peekaboo while I disappeared into my bedroom:jestcafe.com-Welcome,2016-4And then Santa came, which was so, so exciting. This is the first Christmas that my kids really enjoy. Christmas day started with candy and ended with a bunch of nameless presents.It was heaven.  It took them 7 hours to open all the gifts, not because they had so many, but because every time they opened one, they needed 1 hour to play with it before moving on to the next one. jestcafe.com-Welcome,2016-31jestcafe.com-Welcome,2016-29-30jestcafe.com-Welcome,2016-28Victor asked for a lot of magnets so we bought them a couple these and these. The towers he is building with these magnets are huge and amazing.This is a wonderful gift for children.

jestcafe.com-Welcome,2016-27jestcafe.com-Welcome,2016-26My sister-in-law got the kids this Koala Crate box filled with craft projects. Such a good idea.
jestcafe.com-Welcome,2016-25 jestcafe.com-Welcome,2016-12 jestcafe.com-Welcome,2016-13 jestcafe.com-Welcome,2016-11jestcafe.com-Welcome,2016-10And we took the kids to Chill, at the Queen Mary. jestcafe.com-Welcome,2016-2 jestcafe.com--chill1This “suasage” sign made me laugh.  jestcafe.com-Welcome,2016-22The best part of Chill were the ice sculptures and those cute gnomes dressed in blue walking around:
jestcafe.com-Welcome,2016-20jestcafe.com-Welcome,2016--14---16jestcafe.com-Welcome,2016-21jestcafe.com-Welcome,2016-17jestcafe.com-Welcome,2016-18The kids loved the sculptures and they were freezing by the end of it. It was cold in there! 9 degrees Fahrenheit. How cute are these little rascals with those huge jackets? Pretty cute, I must say. jestcafe.com- chill -15And then, for New Year, we had a fancy meal at home with friends. On the menu were: oysters, lobster, ceviche, fish, and plenty of sparkling wine. The best meal I have had in ages. At 10:30 our friends went to different parties, and we went to sleep. What is the point of waiting for midnight by ourselves? It is so difficult for us to find a babysitter on New Year’s eve. It kind of sucks. jestcafe.com-welcome,-2016-23---24

I always like to write down my goals for the next year. I like having specific long and short-term goals, but this year I feel like being more general. Here is what I want to do in 2016:

  1. Improve my photography – take classes, workshops and practice a lot.
  2. Keep writing this blog.
  3. Sign up for a book club.
  4. Do some major improvements on my house (living room, children’s bedroom, etc)
  5. Exercise. I used to exercise a lot but since Max was born, I haven’t. I don’t have time nor money to pay for the extra child care, and I am also lazy to wake up at 6am to do it. I hope to change that this year.
  6. Eat less sugar. As I grow older, I realize how food affects my mood more and more. I decided I should eat less junk food if I want to be happy. Maybe I could eat sugar only once a month? Not sure I can pull this one off, but I will try.
  7. Give Víctor and Max as many kisses as I can.
  8. Tell George I love him everyday.

Welcome, 2016!

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Outdoor Halloween Decorations – A Ghost Family

We put out our Outdoor Halloween decorations last weekend. I wanted to create a ghost family in the front yard, and this is how it came out. Cute, don’t you think?

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Here is what we used,


  • 7 – sticks of different lengths. Approximately 1.5” x 1” wide. They need to be sturdy enough to support the weight of the fabric and not fall with the wind. No need to get fancy with the sticks, almost anything will do.
  • 7 – Styrofoam spheres. 6 small 6” spheres for the smaller ghosts, and a big 10” sphere for the big ghost. I bought them at Michael’s.
  • Light sheer white fabric. I went to the fabric district in L.A. and got those rolls that you can buy as is. They are $1.99 a yard! So cheap. I used approximately 25 yards.
  • 7 – 2” Nails to attach the fabric to the Styrofoam
  • 2 – sheet of black felt ($0.39 at Michael’s)
  • Glue gun to attach the mouths and eyes to the Styrofoam.

Here is what we did:

  1. We grabbed sticks of different sizes from our backyard and pounded them in the grass.
  2. I made a small hole in the Styrofoam ball and pressed the stick into the sphere with enough strength to insert it 4-5 inches in. No need to glue.
  3. We covered the Styrofoam balls with the fabric and cut it at the floor level with some scissors to make sure it had the right length; almost touching the floor.  I used two strips of fabric on top of the spheres to cover the ghosts and give them more volume. I crossed them on top of each other like an X.

jestcafe.com-ghosts-for-halloween2    4. I nailed the fabric to the sphere.

jestcafe.com-ghosts-for-halloween35. Cut out eyes and mouths for the ghosts from black felt.

6. Glued the eyes and mouths with the glue gun on low temperature. You don’t want the glue to be so hot as to melt the Styrofoam.

The project took no more than 1 hour, so you still have time to do this for Halloween!

Finally, I want to thank my friends that came out to help me and ended up doing all the work for me. A perfect DIY project, indeed!

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