Friday, December 19, 2008

Merry Christmas

Yay we finished our Christmas cards. I know, I know... it's late, but EARLY for us!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Here are a few more gifts.

Puppy. Tutorial by Martha. Yes, we're on a first name basis. M loves "Frankie" so much that I might have to make another one for the little one this puppy was intended.

Eye pillows. These smell so wonderful.

Play food. There were so many cute ideas out there that I wanted to make them all. I settled on cookies, eggs, bacon, pancakes with syrup and butter, and a sandwich. I also made a reversible apron to go with it.

Some pillows.

Monday, December 15, 2008


I've been swallowed up or buried in all of my projects. Here's a drive by post with a few completed projects. More to come, I just haven't taken pictures.

Here is A testing out some fleece pants I made her.

Christmas pajamas. Here's a tutorial on how to do the reverse applique on the shirts and here's a tutorial on how to make the pants.

We usually don't get snow in our side of the world so I thought these would be cute gifts for the toddlers and babies. These are hand felted balls with a golf ball size wiffle ball and a bell inside. Here's the tutorial I used.

** Sorry Wendy I should have given the blog that inpired these. ***

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Day 7 - To see Santa

Day 8 - Make ornaments for the tree with friends. We made THESE (I know it's too simple, who needs a recipe, but I like to read the comments) cinnamon ornaments. Super easy and they make the whole house smell yummy for YEARS!!
Day 9 - Write letters to Santa. I helped M with his shapes and A's list says: 1. House 2. Lipstick 3. Doll

Ok ladies, get ready. I have a few projects I've been working on and I'll post them tomorrow. How is your handmade Christmas coming along?

Monday, December 8, 2008

To be a hypocrite is to be human...

What do you think?

I just recently heard someone say this and I've been rolling it around in my head. The last time I was called a hypocrite, which was just a week or so ago, I wasn't offended, and that's very different from the other million few times I've had that word slung at me. This time I just thought, "Well yeah, I am." I think that the idea of who I want to be, the goals I have set for myself and I'm constantly striving to meet, haven't been reached yet. I'm a hypocrite. I say as a mother that my kids come first, but sometimes they don't. Marriage should be about respecting each other, but sometimes that gets thrown out the window on the tail of my harsh words. Quality time... "Right after this email, baby girl." I should just put a "live green" sticker on my SUV, huh?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not embracing the idea of striving to be a hypocrite, but let's not kid ourselves, we all are. I think the important part for me is that I WANT to be a better person and I am striving to be but sometimes, well a lot of the times, I fail.

Here's a striving-to-be-Earth-friendly hypocrite's artificial tree.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I was going to try and take pictures of every Advent event, but um... yeah, that didn't happen. Here are the days that I had enough sanity to remember the camera.

Ok, so it's been a rough week. We did decorate the house last night though. woooohooo Oh, and our house really isn't on fire, it's just my crappy photo-taking skillz.

And A is loving the nativity scene; All of our dolls are now named "baby Jesus" including the one in my tummy AND her's.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

And so it begins

Our Advent calendar is up and I've we've really enjoyed our first two activities. I really am hoping that this will help me slow down and teach my babies about the whole season of Christmas. I don't want them to pass the years thinking that if they are good for three weeks out of the year they'll be loaded down with elaborate and ridiculously expensive gifts. I love the season of Christmas and I mean everything from the jolly fat guy and snowmen to the feeling I get when I see a Christmas candle light flicker and know what that means in my heart. I want my babies to know the sharing, hope, faith and love that is Christmas. I've never done this before, you know, seeing how I only get one go 'round at the mom thing. So, my plans are to emphasize family, love, giving and the history of Christmas through our Advent calendar AND to make this a handmade Christmas. I really, really want my kids to see that the act of giving has gotten too expensive and money is tight is an act of love and that when we invest our time and creativity into our gifts we are putting our love into them for our friends and family. I hope that this lesson will carry over into the receiving part of this tradition too, so we're not bombarding them with tons of toys. When they receive a gift that has been carefully chosen just for them, I want them to cherish it and know that it was given with love. I'm thinking that this would be hard to do if they have gobs of presents thrown at them in one day, so this year we're going to try out the "less is more" idea. Now, I'm not going lie; Last year both of them had a pile of gifts that Santa would be proud to show off, but it was disheartening when they ripped off the paper, showed a glimpse of joy, said their thank you's and cast the carefully chosen toy off to the side to play with the paper or move on to the next box. NOT what I was imagining the night before; And that my friends has been my motivation to change this gift giving/receiving process in our house. So without further ado, lets get started on our challenge this month. I'll be posting what's going on over here project-wise and please let me know what you've got going on. Remember, even if you just make ONE gift, I would LOVE for you to share it with us!
Our Advent Calendar

Day one: Decorating the tree. Check out the "socks" A has on.

Day two: Setting up and acting out the nativity scene.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Wrapping it up

Well, I really enjoyed my challenge last month. It took a lot of preparing and was a pain in the ass hard for the first week or so, but I walked away from it with a new appreciation for perseverance of small business owners. With stores like Target, Walmart and ToysRus out there, who in their right mind would want to operate a small business??? People who care about quality and tradition, that's who. I loved that this journey led me into conversations with people who have contributed to our city, buildings that are older than my parents, and the realization that THIS ::imagine me waving my hands in the air in a circular motion:: is what I want to be about. Hard work, hope, family, and meaning.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What's going on?

Last week I was a little shaken up. For the first time since I've been active online, I let someone or I guess something change who I am. Not a good thing. So I took a step back and immersed myself in who I am. I love to create, so that's what I've been doing.

We have a Thanksgiving tree. I loved this idea I saw on Beauty that Moves. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and I hate that it's stomped over to get to Christmas. Hubby and I have really emphasized being thankful for all of our blessings and we try to verbalize it as much as possible. To write it is different.

Here are a few of Allie's contributions.

I finished my Advent calendar. I made the envelopes with scrapbook paper and inside each envelope is an activity we'll do to celebrate the season of Christmas. Here's where I got the idea and here's our list of activities. I LOVE the idea of really celebrating and not feeling like I was drugged the whole month of December and then wondering what happened on December 26th.

1. Decorate tree.
2. Set up nativity and act it out as we set it up.
3. Make an Advent wreath.
4. Holiday in the Park (local festivities).
5. Read St. Nicholas book (still looking for a good one) and set out our shoes.
6. Celebrate St. Nicholas Day - this is one of Hubby's traditions since his family is from Belgium. I'm going to try and hunt down a few recipes from his BonMama's recipe book.
7. Museum of Fine Arts - free today and they have an exhibit on how different cultures celebrate around the world.
8. Make ornaments - This will be with our playgroup and I'm deciding between the clove oranges and cinnamon ornaments.
9. Write a letter to Santa.
10. Make wreaths and candy canes for the tree. M and A can both do this AND I made them when I was a kid!!!
11. Hang mistletoe and start kissing.
12. Heritage Society's Candlelight tour (local tour of Christmas lights).
13. Visit Santa and watch the ice skaters in the mall.
14. Pick a star off the Be an Angel tree, buy gifts and wrap.
16. Make gingerbread men.
17. Watch a Christmas movie (maybe Charlie Brown?).
18. Call grandparents and sing Christmas carol (We Wish You a Merry Christmas - gotta start working on it now).
19. Drive around and see Christmas lights.
20. Read Christmas books and drink hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows.
21. Make tamales with my family.
22. Cookie baking party. Friends come over and we all bake, eat and listen to Christmas music.
23. Discovery Green (local) watch ice skaters and try hot apple cider.
24. Bake and decorate a cake for baby Jesus.

A Christmas gift for my new niece. Baby legs and baby shoes. The baby legs are super easy and I've made tons for both of my kids. I bought women's knee hi's for $2 and I think they look adorable with the shoes. The shoes were really easy too, once I learned what interfacing was.

Ok I think that's enough for today. I'm kinda cheating on next month's challenge, but if I didn't start until December, I wouldn't get it done. I'll elaborate more, but for the sake of recruiting I'll post some of my ideas on a homemade Christmas this year. Think about it. Maybe all of your gifts can't be handmade, but how about 5?2? maybe just one to start with this year.

Pass the award on down...

Poison control - check
ER visit - check, check

Good Lord I'm going to lose my mind. Last weekend, we had to rush M to the ER when his finger was smashed between the wagon and bumper of the truck. Daddy panicked, A sobbed, M took it like a champ, and I swore that this little one was going to be the death of me. I know I have years, YEARS of broken bones, bloody parts, gross oozing things and ER visits in my future with my very active kids, but really??? so soon??? Before they ER could even file M's paper work away, we showed up at their doors again last night. I think some of the nurses even remembered us. I could tell by their heads shaking and slight eye rolls. This time it was my fault. So pass me the damn Mom of the Year award!!

After I gave A some Tylenol for a fever, I put her down for a nap and then went to the kitchen to start dinner. About an hour later, I heard the water going in the bathroom and went to check it out. I lost my mind. A was playing with the Tylenol bottle, which was now full of water and no medicine in sight. I should have known better than to leave it on the counter. It was closed, but obviously NOT child proof. A has the opposite reaction to Tylenol and it makes her hyper so I should have anticipated she wouldn't sleep. Damn.

Poison control. Call Daddy. Go to ER. A cookie, pack of Skittles, peanut butter crackers and five hours later, she's fine. Her levels were a little elevated which says she did drink a little, but not all of it. They just monitored her, took blood and put that gawd awful IV in her and then let us go when her levels were back to normal.

There, now my shame is out there for the world to judge. I'm just so thankful that my baby is ok. Lesson learned and Daddy is now putting the rest of the locks on our cabinets. I'm on the hunt for Tylenol that tastes like ass so my kids don't want to chug it like juice.

Monday, November 24, 2008

How did you do this week?

I know I've been missing, but I'm in a creating mood. Not only is my body sick and exhausted from all the million things it's doing to give baby a good start, but all the time I'm not sick or sleeping, I'm creating. I love it. So I'll get back here in a bit and share the head start I've gotten on next month's challenge.

Back to this this month's challenge... I think I did ok this week. My mom turned 35 ::wink,wink:: this past week and I found a beautiful jewelry set for her NOT in the mall! In Rice village, a wonderful store, Ten Thousand Villages , has beautifully handcrafted gifts from villages around the world. Really beautiful gifts at a reasonable price and all fair trade. You can't beat that. Right next door in the village, there is a shop called The Village Firefly, which specializes in art, and gifts from local Texas artists. I loved it!! I don't think I've had such good time shopping in awhile. The Village Firefly had these wonderfully unique ornaments that I'm hoping my earth loving friends will love just as much. Happy shopping.

Not much else this week. We hit the market again and then Belden's. I can honestly say that I'll keep the market after this month, but I might be headed back to either HEB or Whole Foods. Here are a few pictures from the market and of the yummy bakery across the street.
Yeah, this one's blurry, but A was headed out the door and M was gonna grab a box of cookies to go!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Just a glance

We've been busy.
Planted a new tree. The city was giving out oak trees and we decided this beauty would be perfect in our yard.
First ER visit. Shortly after planting our tree M had an accident and had to get his finger glued shut. He was true to his name and hardly cried.
A puzzle for A. It has 5 other nature pictures too.

Our nature table. Today we made pine cone turkeys with our friends and the kids LOVED them. A had to see hers again before she took a nap.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Challenge: ok spill it!

So ladies and gents, how did the challenge go last week? It's Monday, so spill it. Post a comment or give us a link to your blog and tell us how you did this week and what you found!!

We did ok here. I caved and went to JoAnn's after only finding upholstery fabric stores. I really needed to get started on some of my holiday projects. Plus I talked to one of the ladies and she said that a few of their stores have shut down, so I'm glad I could give them some business. I also made it to a yarn store for a few projects. Nancy's knits was great. A and M were horrible and she was so nice to ignore their squeals and my mommy monster voice as I asked a gajillion beginner questions!!
Grocery shopping when MUCH better this week. Last Sunday, we hit Canino's off, 610 and Airline and it was great!! Lots of fresh fruit and veggies. I even found flour, spices and eggs. Then I picked up my odds and ends at Beldens. This weekend, I hit the Urban Harvest market with a friend. They have all local produce and lots of yummy things like cheese and chocolate, but I don't think that I could "make groceries" as some of us southerners say, from this market. Overall, I'd say I'm really happy with the Canino's and Belden's combo and I'll stick with it.

If you guessed our surprise from my last post you might get why I'd rather throw my family under the train that is eating out, rather than cook. I feel like my stomach is on a constant food strike. Really it's ridiculous and my hubby thinks it's calculated, but my nausea attacks in full force starting around 3:30pm and lasts all night! Can't cook, can't bathe the kids, can't finish chores so basically I'm worthless and throw in a little grouchy, emotional and crazy lady then you can call her Crisa!! All that to say, we ate out a lot.

Mexican - great breakfast (Don Carlos),
Pizza - good and cheap (Firehouse Pizza),
Coffee - My new favorite coffee house and hubby liked it too!! (Fioza),
Burgers- good burgers and Greek food (Roadsters),
Sandwiches - I think this one is too new for reviews, but it's on the corner of Bissonet and Hillcroft (Hoagies) **Great Vietnamese sandwiches!!**

So yeah, that is a lot of eating out. Buuuuut we did eat lots of yummy fruits and veggies in between. Two full drawers

Oh and I did manage to cook ONE meal this past week. Fried rice with LOTS of veggies.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A new life... and God willing one more.

I believe that thrift is essential to well-ordered living. ~John D. Rockefeller
Our Christmas outfits!!! After a coupon and store credit these only cost me $6!!! I love Young and Restless.

Can you guess our news??

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I LOVE it when people comment *hint, hint* Anyways, I thought this was worthy of it's own post.

I know I *should* bite my tongue here. BUT (of course I'm not!) what is the difference between teaching your kids homosexuals are sinners and being judgemental?(p.s. I'm only asking out of love and I wouldn't bring this up with anyone I didn't think could handle it)

NO, it's a good question. I guess I think of judgment and being judgmental as being different. Homosexuality, like promiscuity, adultery, and prostitution is a moral issue for me and because of my religious beliefs, I believe it is wrong. And to kinda be specific the Bible simple says that sex outside of marriage is wrong, so I guess the loving part isn't a sin, just the sex? This still confuses me. Anyways, to judge means to evaluate. Homosexuality, sin or not a sin? For me, yes. To be judgmental means to condemn based on judgment. I do NOT change my opinions or relationship with someone based on their sins. I was taught that all sins are equal in the eyes of God. So what that should mean to all Christians is that by me being proud of my accomplishments and not humble, I'm equally a sinner in the eyes of God as someone who chooses a homosexual lifestyle. And I say "lifestyle" because I don't think you choose to be gay, but you can choose to act on it. So who am I to condemn someone else for their sins when I am a sinner too. When I teach my kids about our faith, they will know that we are all imperfect and because of that we don't belittle or condemn people for the sins. Not our job. The best we can do in our lives is love, be loved and live a life we can be proud of. Oh, wait I mean humble of... see I still have no clue. I love ya, and I'm just trying to figure this all out too.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Saturday, November 8, 2008

This month's challenge

Ok I know it's late, again but all the election stuff and traveling pushed this post back. This month's challenge is to buy ALL of our stuff from small businesses. Everything from food to toiletries to clothes. There's been a little bit of a debate as to what qualifies a business as small and I think after I explain the motivation behind this challenge it might be clearer than if I tried to make concrete guidelines.

So, in the past few months I've been dragging people into conversations sitting and talking with friends and family about the issues that were important to me in the recent election. The economy dominated most of our conversation and it was almost certain that the issue of saving small businesses was important. After all the hair pulling and slapping political banter, I felt like most people thought I was not on the side of small businesses and I was frustrated because I felt like we hit a wall and there was no going over it. After a few months of walking away with the same frustrations, I decided to put my money where my mouth is. I think that the state of our economy sucks right now and I'll spare you guys my reasoning. It upsets me to think that some businesses are going to have to close their doors and it frustrates me to think that there isn't anything I can do to help. But wait.... when I felt this way about the lack of responsibility for the quality of toys coming into the States, I DID something. And even though, no one thought it would make a difference on a large scale, I stuck with it and spread the word. Things changed. Maybe I, along with the millions of moms across our nation, can pull together again and make a difference?? Putting my money where my mouth is and that's into small business.

So COME ON MOMS!!!! Join me in my challenge. I'll post the places I visit during the week and for all of my family and friends who live in Houston, join me and share your little hole in the walls and mom and pop shops. Lets let give our economy a little boost. So if you accept my challenge, add me to your list of blogs that you follow and your link will show up on the right under "I accepted the challenge" and then we can keep up with you.

So now to catch up.

Groceries - On the way home from the Valley we stopped at a roadside stand and bought some fruit, and veggies. I even bought a jar of jalapeno jelly. Yum. I also tried a local Sellers Bros for the rest of our groceries. To be honest, it was really hard and I was telling my self the whole time, "Local is better than organic." Eek. I don't think I'm going back. My plan for next week is to hit the Canino's farmer's market like I was planning on and then going to Belden's for the odds and ends. Belden's is a little pricey so I'm hoping to just get most of my stuff at the market. Great article if you have time.

Eating out - Ok I slipped up once on a rainy day and went to Chickfila, but I'm back on track. Let me just say before I go on that Hubby HATES this challenge, because of this part. He wants to eat at the same restaurants he always does and he pitched a royal fit this week. blah. Anyways, we ate Chinese to celebrate election day at Happy Lamp. Don Carlos with my family for breakfast. They have GREAT pancakes. New York Pizza for our weekend dinner out.

That's really it for us this week. I think next week I'll hit the fabric store and I'm going to need some odds and ends that might be hard to find. Fun!! Really I'm loving learning about the history of business in my city. Don't forget to let me know of your small business finds!!

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I've been debating whether or not to post about the election, but every time I come to write a new post I get stuck. So here it goes...

I'm ecstatic about President-elect Obama! Not only am I thrilled that we will have someone in office who's beliefs and vision I can stand behind, but I love what it says about our country. For me this isn't about black and white, because obviously I'm neither. It's about how proud I am to live in a country that is able to see beyond black and white. We had two great men stand before their country to be judged on their merits, beliefs and vision for our country, NOT race. Simply amazing.

I'm a child of the 80's so I didn't have to live through some of the horrible injustices I've studied and heard stories about. At first, after hearing people's reactions to having a "black" president I thought, maybe it's harder for those of us who haven't experienced that amount of hate to understand the magnitude of this victory. I beg you to open up and dig a little deeper. Just try. I'm not black and I didn't live through slavery or the civil rights movement, but I have been discriminated against. I have been judged. I have felt the ugliness of racism. I am dumbfounded that at one time our country had LAWS that made it ok to treat HUMANS like anything less than one. ** Just wait. We'll come back to this one.** I know what it feels like to go through life with all the hope in the world, except for this little tiny voice that tells you, "maybe not, you're Hispanic". It's a tiny voice for me and my Mom would probably die knowing that all the work she put into building my confidence in "you can do anything" is faulted. Can you imagine how loud that voice is for someone who didn't have great parents? Someone who has less money? lives in a poorer neighborhood? is black? an immigrant? BUT the voice has been silenced, beaten down and told to shut up. WE have proven ourselves better. We have lifted ourselves up to a more intelligent and enlightened society. One that can judge people on their deeds and character instead of their sex and race. Hurray for us!

Why bittersweet you ask? After celebrating the victory of our new President-elect, I heard about the results of Proposition 8 in California. First let me say, I am Catholic and morally I think homosexuality is wrong, but (and it's a BIG one) I do remember in all of my Catechism classes being taught that it isn't my place to pass judgement. And it's definitely not my place to throw stones. I will teach my children that we believe homosexuality is a sin and on the same token I will teach them that hating, judging, and discrimination are wrong too. If I remember correctly, in the Bible is says
John 8:7
Let he who has never sinned cast the first stone.

Doesn't this mean that we shouldn't be condemning these people for the choices they are making? Doesn't this mean that judging and taking away another HUMAN's right is the opposite of what Jesus would have done? I hold strong to my religion but this is the part that confuses me the most. Why are we so open with our judgements and hate, when it's obvious that's not what God is about? Well God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, you say?

"Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord
out of the heavens" Genesis 19:24. "Turning the cities of Sodom and
Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to
those who afterward would live ungodly" II Peter 2:6.

Yes, but wasn't it HE who passed judgement and implemented the consequences? Not Abraham? I guess my point is that I'm disheartened that as a People we still find it acceptable to not only pass judgement but to take it further and create laws that will dehumanize people when they are causing no harm to us. Sad.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

It's that time...

to get your VOTE on. I really meant to get out and vote early, but it didn't happen. So wish me luck, and if the lines are really long, I'm going to let the kids go ape shit, so that, maybe, someone will let me cut.

This weekend

We took a trip down south to visit some family, and party like hippies on a ranch. It was nice to take a deep breath and let my eyes enjoy gaze the scenery they sorely missed. I also started my new challenge this weekend, but more about that later.


Just catching up. The kids had a great time trick-or-treating!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Overall for the last two weeks, I'd say we did pretty good. Last week, thanks to some friends we managed one craft before I got sick. A loved making her pumpkin and stuffing it with seeds. M even joined in a painted a little. The week we made monster rocks thanks to a post by Little Birdie Secrets on Crafty Crow and we painted pumpkins. We also, just played with paints, and helped Mimi carve her pumpkin and make pumpkin empanadas.

Too many crafts???

Yeah so even though I slacked off when I had the stomach bug, I have to say that I've very proud of all three of us for being more artistic this month? I've learned to appreciate how thoughtful and creative my children are and I really loved the calmness that came with creativity. Yay for us! Buuuuuuuuut, and you know that has to be one, A is now demanding that we paint or create everyday. I love it and hate it all at the same time. On this day, Mommy said we were not going to be able to paint until our friends came over and A had a different opinion on the order of our activities.

So guess what pops up when you google,

Q:"How to get fabric paint out of fabric?"


A: "You can't!!! It's FABRIC!!!"


They're done!

Ok just a few short posts to catch up. The Halloween costumes are done and ready to party! A and I are going to be Indians ( I know it's Native American, but it sounds better to say cowboys and Indians) and M is going to be a cowboy. Hubby was supposed to dress up too, but true to his nature, he chickened out changed his mind. So here is all my hard work.

A's costume- I made the dress, A made her necklace and headband and the moccasins are second hand.

M's costume - I made the chaps, the boots and pants are vintage, thanks to Uncle Jorge and Uncle Renzo (one from each), the belt is second hand and the hat and shirt are from Target.

My costume is too wide to look cute on camera, although I do think it looks cute on me. You'll just have to wait until tomorrow to see it.