Wednesday, March 30, 2011

No Internet = Productivity?

Well, it is not by choice, but my internet access has been very limited during our San Diego visit.  At first I was bummed, but soon realized that there was something else I could be doing as I drink my morning cup of coffee  [other than blogging and reading blogs].  I sit at the kitchen table with my journal, write down what I dreamed the night before (I rarely forget them) and sketch out a couple Zafiro designs, then I....wait for it......make them!!
I have been so productive!  Even since our trip to the Tucson Gem Show, I have not wanted to even look at gems, but I needed to get inspired again.  I have two Zafiro Jewelry shows coming up this month:  Delta Museum Sale on April 14th (at the Delta campus where I used to work) and then the huge annual  Inman Park Festival.  I have done this show in the past and it was great.  Actually,  it was the first show I ever participated in and that crowd gave me the confidence to start selling my jewels.  Im happy to say I will be set up again this year with a new collection.  I will post my booth location closer to the show which runs April 30-May 1.  My sister is coming in from Ohio to help with the show and also get in some needed girl time, so I am looking forward to that.

In other news:  Ernesto's sister had her baby yesterday and she is a beauty! 
Emotions (ie: crying sobbing) overwhelmed me when I walked in and saw Adrianna holding the [still unnamed] little one.  This was my third crying episode this week.  The previous two were totally inexplicable, but Im pretty sure this had something to do with the fact that I will be lying in that bed in another 6 months.  Also, the last time I had seen such a new-newborn was 20 years ago when my sister had Kelli.  It was amazing to see this precious tiny baby swaddled in her blanket.  Peacefully sleeping, she only stirred when we peeled back her hat a couple times to see the full head of curly dark brown hair.   She is so gorgeous, it was hard to believe she had just been born 2 hours earlier.  Congratulations to Adrianna and Jorge!! I hope we can compete, haha, just kidding!

A few other highlights of our trip so far:
  • Lunch at the Corvette Diner
  • Climbing Cowles Mountain
  • Dinner at Dumpling House (the best Chinese I have ever eaten)
  • Running on Coronado Beach
  • Sunday morning menudo with the extended Espinoza family 
  • Many, many games of Hand and Foot with los padres
  • Crossfit and more running
  • Training Titi to come inside with the ringing of a bell
  • Day trip to Julian, California, a quaint little mountain town all about apples (apple pie was a must!)
  • A driving tour of homes in La Jolla
  • Delicious home cooked Mexican food by mi suegra
We have another week in San Diego then it's back to the grind of Atlanta. haha!  Well, I do have two jewelry shows, thank you very much.  Plus, my dear friend Lucy has hooked me up with a part time job at the studio where she teaches yoga.  More details to come, but I am happy that I will be able to go to unlimited yoga classes at the studio.  Perfect for this pregnant girl!  

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hello from San Diego!!

sweet kitty?
From past experience, I thought Titi would be fine on the plane with me.  He had already flown to Ohio once, and had endured many road trips.  I was traveling by myself Thursday evening and luckily I snagged a seat in first class.   I would have slept soundly the whole way (as I often do on flights) if it wasn't for a crying little kitty.   Titi attracted attention from the other passengers and it wasn't good.  A few people came to see what kind of "animal" I had in my little kennel as the noises he was making did not seem like those of a cat.  I did what I could to calm him down as the plane raced for take off.  Was this preparation for what is coming later this year?  A crying baby on a long flight??  Yikes!

I felt helpless and because you are not able to take your pet out of the kennel during flight,  it was very hard to console him.  After take off I slid the kennel out from under the seat and set it on my lap.  From there I squeezed my hand in the side zipper and pet Titi for the next 4 hours.  I was able to doze off when he [finally] relaxed only to have the flight attendant tell me it was time to prepare for landing and the kennel had to go back under the seat. Not good!  Titi went into a rage and I thought he was going to bust through the fabric.  Thank god the guy next to me was a pet lover.

Titi may not be a good flier, but I have to give him props for adaptability!  This kitty doesn't mind at all visiting new places.  In fact, he seems to love the adventure and exploration that come with a new environment, just like his mama and papi!

Titi is loving the fenced yard at Ernesto's parents and has [not surprisingly] figured out the one hole that will let him escape to the school playground just behind it.
On thing that has suprised me is that mi suegra loves my kitty!  (that's right dad!)  She (along with all the other Espinoza's) are not pet people but she loves Titi. 

Ernesto arrived on Saturday.  I wanted to come a couple days early to be sure not to miss Adrianna's (his twin sisters) baby shower.  She is due April 4th and has to be one of the most beautiful and glamorous pregnant girls I've seen. 
The shower was so sweet largely in part to the delicious cake. White with strawberry and cream layers. Mmmmm  Oh and....she is having a girl as scripted on the cake!
It was great seeing everyone, and like every get together here, there were lots of pictures taken.  Here are all the sister-in-laws.
Me, Adrianna, Veronica, Beth, Erin
 Not to steal Adrianna's thunder, but I did get quite a bit of attention from all the tias and sobrinas for my tummy.  We did a little comparison.
Haha!  [Almost] April Fools!  My belly is not that big, it is just my little trick.  Come on, I am only 14 weeks!  I do have a current belly shot coming to VivaCindy, and yes you can see that my 4-6 pack is slowly but surely fading away.........

It was fun shopping for a baby gift, and since I am partial to stripes these days, I got her these two adorable outfits.  Also the book (pictured right) will be a beautiful documentary of the little niƱas first years.  Congratulations hermana!

** due to limited internet access (ie: at the bookstore only) posts may be spuratic in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Too Soon for Baby Shopping?

Today at Marshalls, I was perusing through the baby section.  Nooooo, not for me, Silly.  My sister-in-law is due in April and her baby shower is this Saturday [in San Diego].  I found some really cute gifts for her too.  It was fun shopping for a baby!  I have noticed that I am more interested in baby stuff now, but I haven't actually purchased anything for myself.......until today
When I saw this belly casting kit, I couldn't pass it up!  Just last week I was thinking how cool this would be.  I don't know why it didn't cross my mind that my husband is a master paper mache-er.  Remember his Halloween mask?  Oh well, he will still be the master!   This kit comes with everything you need and cost me $12.99, half price of Amazon and other stores.

The directions say to make the cast 2 weeks before your due date just in case you go into labor early and haven't done it yet. Only 27 more weeks!  I will have to think about what I'd like it to look like, because you know it will be hanging somewhere in my house.  Natural white? Ooooo or maybe gold leaf???  Totally exciting! 

Did any of you made a cast when you were pregnant?  I would love to see how it turned out.

Sea Pines Plantation, Hilton Head

I had been to Hilton Head once 4 years ago but it was a quick 24 hour girls trip to escape Atlanta at a nice hotel.  I saw the beach in front of the Westin.  Period.  I was glad [on my trip last week] I was able to see more of the island.

We stayed at Sea Pines Plantation,  a 5,200-acre, master-planned golf and boating community in the Carolina Lowcountry.  Inside the gates there are nearly 2,700 homes and over 1,000 villas, one of which my parents rented all week for a steal of a deal ** See details at end of post 

Besides spending quality time with my parents and playing cards every night, I got in a full week of exercise.  The guys played a lot of golf and my mom and I pushed our limits at the yoga classes offered at the fitness center (love!)  We were also on our bikes everyday to explore the miles of paved trails winding through large plantation. 
You must be careful speeding around the bends on your bike.  You may run over this...
 The aligators were all over the plantation and looking pretty scary.
Even though the beach was beautiful, it was windy and chilly so we didn't hang out  too long.  One day though, the sand was packed tight at low tide.  We took off on our bikes in the direction of the wind and we flew at 25 miles per hour.  It was awesome!
Sea Pines has a forest preserve that encompasses 605 acres and features nature trails, lakes and is home to about 350 species of birds.  We strolled along the paths with the Spanish moss hanging over us like clouds . 

Thanks again to my mom and dad for inviting us!  We had a great time!

** Did you know that if you are in the military or ever have been (no matter what length of time)  you are eligible to rent condos around the world at discounted prices?  Check out the Armed Forces Vacation Club to see what is available.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Hilton Head Island

Hi there!  I am writing from Hilton Head Island.  My parents rented a condo at the Sea Pines Resort and asked if we would like to go. Uhh...hello?? Of course we want to go! This place is amazing! There are over 20 miles of paved bike trails, horse stables, gardens, a marina with shops & restaurants, miles of beach and golf galore for the guys. 

We took a long bike ride yesterday and again this morning.  There is a nature preserve to hike and  yoga classes to try.  It's going to be a great week!!

Oh! The huge Live Oak tree covered with spanish moss in the above picture? Well,they are everywhere here and it is so magical.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Wow! It's really in there!

Ernesto and I met our doctor this week for the first time and we loved her! Whew!  Dr. Lemon is very personable/friendly and she seems very relaxed and easy going.  Just like us!  She answered all of our questions and was not in a rush to leave us.
Another reason we liked her because she gave us this:
Today your papi and I finally got a little peek of you.  We can't believe you are actually real.  You have been so peaceful and haven't given your mama any discomfort whatsoever.

Dr. Lemon said you must be a good sleeper because you were not making a move when she turned on "the light."  We watched your little heart beating with huge smiles on our faces.  We giggled as the Dr. jiggled my stomach and woke you up.  You started kicking and waving your tiny hands at us.  Hi Little Mouth, we are excited to see you too!!

We were in awe as we walked home from the doctors office.  Just 183 more days until we meet you.  This  Chinese Birth Chart (which claims to be 90% accurate) says that you are a boy, but we know either way you will be one big surprise!! 
Te queremos mucho,
mama y papi

Mom's Banana Bread Recipe

Growing up, my mom always made sure there were fresh baked goods in the kitchen. Some of my favorites?  Peanut butter cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies and chocolate chip cookies, peach cobbler, blackberry pies, zucchini cake, these delicious chocolate chip and raisin bars with white sugary drizzle on top....I could go on.

My mom would sometime use these sweets as bribery too.   If you didn't clean your dinner plate then you didn't get any dessert.  (Occasionally she made liver and onions, a dish dreaded by me and my siblings.  Guaranteed, there would be a really special dessert that night just to make sure we ate up.)
Ahhh. Another favorite. My mom's banana bread.  Which was her mom's banana bread.  I love that!  Passed down traditions feel so special.  

I always said once I have a family I will carry on my moms traditions.  And I want to, but I seriously don't think I can expose my ass to the frequency of baking my mom did when I was a child.  I can still just use the excuse that we don't have a family yet.  (Hey! We have 7 more months!) 

I know, I know, Just start now Cindy, right? 
Well I did...Yesterday...And, guess what?  It is gone today.  Do you see now?  Do you understand why I don't bake too often?  Well let me spell it out for you.  There is no such thing as rationing sweets in our house. 

This bread is moist and full of sweet banana flavor.  Great for dessert,  accompanying a cup of coffee, or just shoving a piece in your mouth evertime you walk by the kitchen.  

Mom's Banana Bread
1/2 cup shortening or butter
1 1/3 cups brown sugar

Cream butter and sugar.

1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sour milk (add 1tsp vinegar to milk)
1 cup banana pulp
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Line loaf pan with wax paper
Bake 60min @ 350 degrees


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