Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Thanksgiving

Could this blog BE any later (channeling Chandler Bing here). I mean come on, one of THE best Thanksgivings ever and I post about it now? I'm still on a high from that day.

I need to post pictures of course but let me just tell you a bit about my holiday first.

No holiday is perfect, but this past Thanksgiving was as close to perfect as anyone will get. Thanksgiving is not even an officially celebrated holiday here in Costa Rica. But CR stores have caught on to the fact that they have a large American expat community so they have offerings to make anyone's T-day complete: you can find various sized turkeys and the trimmings at Pricemart warehouse club, Pali, Mas x Menos, Hipermas and Mega Super supermarkets.

I made up a menu and asked each of my 30 plus guests to bring a dish to share and a drink.

I made:
*Turkey (brined in a salt and sugar solution with herbs like onions, garlic and peppers, oregano, etc for the juiciest, moistest turkey you have ever eaten, falling off the bone and just succulant.)
*herb roasted chicken (figured the almost 20 lb turkey would not be enough).
*Stuffing (from the box but oh so yummy).
*gravy
*garlic and herb mashed potatoes
*Canned beans simmered on the stove with herbs and spices

*ginger teryaki carrots
*green beans in a cream of asparagus sauce
*tuna pasta salad
*cole slaw ( I make the best cole slaw ever)
*store bought rolls
*garlic butter and sour cream spread for the rolls (I made that thank you)
*boxed mac and cheese baked in the oven with bread crumbs and extra cheese (cheesy goodness).

*2 apple pies made from scratch (yes, even the dough)
*7 layer magic bars (always a hit)
*chocolate cupcakes
*chocolate coconut raisin bread pudding

People also brought: mashed green banana puree, Pineapple cake and pudding cups, veggie salad, ice cream, veggie rice, sparkling cider, eggnog, various juices.

It was quiet simply the best Thanksgiving. And I have to say it's nice to start a tradition that I hope will carry on for years to come. Last year was wonderful and this year was even better: more food, more people, more fun.

I honestly cannot wait to do it all again. People are already anticipating next years celebration.
And as far as party planning went, it was simple and not that hard. I cooked for about 8 hours but it was fun. Most everything was so simple it was almost like I was cheating really. With the oven and stove going, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on in the background, it was a day filled with fun.

It was also an emotional day for me to start off. Seeing all the faces that showed up (over 40 friends and family to share the special day with) and missing my own family and wishing they were here to share that day with me, I have to say, it brought tears to my eyes. Making my thankful speech actually left me speechless when I teared up and couldn't continue.

BUT it was all 'gravy' (pun intented). The tears I shed were really tears of joy. Just the excitement and the emotion of it all; holidays always do that to me.

In the past, Thanksgiving was always a give or take holiday for me; now it's fast becoming one of my absolute favorite holidays. I mean, why not, right? I love to cook, I love to eat and I LOVE to entertain; Thanksgiving is my kind of holiday. Plus it is one of the only BIG holidays that you don't have to buy gifts for (no stressing about the perfect present for Jimmy, Bobby and Auntie Sue). I love that!

To me Thanksgiving is all about family and friends and food, which makes the holiday so much more meaningful and special. Because all the materialism has been banned from the holiday, it's less stressful (well, for some). Food and family take center stage and just time together with friends is what the holiday is all about (or should be about). Like I said, my kind of holiday for sure.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Jahel's 2nd Birthday Party






Costa Rica Day


Late but I just had to post my little campesinos for Costa Rica's Independence Day September 15

Upcoming Holidays


I've seriously been neglecting this place. It's not like I don't have the time: I'm on the net almost everyday, just never stopping here long enough to post anything. Well it's time I caught up, seriously. Halloween has come and gone. We're now full force in the Holiday season with Thanksgiving around the corner and Christmas just over a month away.


Am I excited? You bet your ass I am ! I cannot wait. Though I want to savor every moment. I mean, we just began 2010, no? It feels like it. Now it's almost over and we're staring right into the face of a new year. Man, time flies. Literally.


So what's up? Well, besides having been busy decorating my 'nest', I've also been busy with other things, like playgroup and holiday prep. I made my Thanksgiving menu and guest list (over 20 people... I'm crazy, I know). And believe it or not, I am just about done with my Christmas shopping. Crazy, right? I know. It feels good though. Damn good.


But this year has been easy. No more long wish lists to contend with. Although my kids want everything they see on TV, I learned my lesson from last year and made a rule for myself: no more than 3 gifts per child. Done and yeah, done.


Each of my kids will have 3 gifts under the tree this year to open (plus stocking stuffers of course, which I refuse to stock with meaningless toys this year).


I am done with the over-excess. Every time I look at last years Christmas pics, I get a weird feeling in the pit my belly. I know I went overboard and I feel badly for it. So this year will be much better. I rather like the simplicity anyway.


So what did I get the kidlets this year? This year proved harder to come up with great gifts that everyone would love and seeing that they were getting only 3 from us, they had to be great 'wow 'em' gifts.


Princess: doll house, easel, scooter.

The doll house I wanted to get her last year but didn't and the easel is a no brainer. It's like an essential toy for any kid who loves to draw. As for the scooter, well I'd been meaning to replace the one a cousin broke (note to self: said cousin will NOT be allowed to use this new scooter).


Boobie: scooter, Ben 10 watch, cell phone.

He was a tad bit harder to shop for as he's more techie than toys. He likes game systems. But this year I will keep it simple for him. The scooter he'd been wanting ever since the one I got him 2 Christmases ago came defective. The Ben 10 watch is a given, a coveted item he's been asking for for like 2 years. And the cell phone? Well I deem that a necessity for next year when he might possible need to call us for emergencies from school (like he had to a few times this year and had to use his classmates phones). Oh and he wants one too. LOL


Fatty: Scooter, basketball hoop, Little tikes (like) car

He's easy. He likes anything. But I noticed how much he loves scooters. So each kid gets a scooter this year, no need to share. The basketball hoop because he's a 2 year old boy and loves balls, 'nuff said'. The car, well, again, he's a 2 yer old boy!


It cannot be a simpler Christmas. With time saved and money too, I even went out and got a few extra gifts for people: Boobie's 2 main teachers. The playgroup teachers and a few of the library staff. And I have an angel child to shop for.


I can't wait. Let the holidays begin!!!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Avon 10K

Did my very first race yesterday: the Avon 10 K Race Against Cancer. The walk was 3K.

For my very first race, I have to brag and say I did damn good. Ran the whole thing, without stopping once. It was harder than I thought it would be but all in all, not that bad.

I did feel like I was about to die at the 6 K mark until I got my second wind and sped through the last lap to the finish line, breezing past people.

My time: 1 hour and 3 minutes. Not bad. I thought I would have gotten a faster time but I had to pace myself and so ran a little slower than I normally do. After all, I never ran 10 K before. I had to make sure I would have energy and stamina left over to finish the race.

I will post pictures later.

Friday, October 15, 2010

It's Been Way Too Long...

Since my last blog. I have tons of pictures and lots of updating to do, starting with actually posting pictures of Fatty's party. BUT alas, those pics are on my laptop, which does not work at the moment : /

I know it is a used laptop but for it to not be working, especially since I've only had it for like 3 months????? Craziness!!! I am a little upset but seeing as I have not paid for it as yet, I am going to swallow my disappointment and try and get it fixed.

Lots have happened in my blog absence; I did my first walk (the Cancer race/run) last weekend (what a blast!).

I have been busy as a bee decorating the house and getting it in order for the upcoming year and holidays (Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.)

Father in law bought me a new set of living room couches and it just spiraled from there: I then went on to buy a new dining room table and chairs (long overdue), new curtains for the living room (again long overdue), new comforter and pillows for the bedroom, new bamboo shades for the window in my bedroom, new bathroom shelves, new plates, a bookcase for Boobie's room and few decorative odds and ends.

I am still exercising: running and going to the gym.

I am enjoying my 30th year so far, which reminds me that I need to post a few pics from my infamous birthday bash (the BEST PARTY EVAH!!!!)

It's not like I don't have time to blog... I just hadn't the energy... with the laptop conking out and all. But I will be back with photos in hand soon enough.

Stay tuned.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fatty's Birthday


Fatty is 2! Thursday night, September 16, we sang happy birthday, ate cake and opened presents.



And of course, Princess got a small gift too; a little Dora doll



Boobie and Princess showing off their gifts. Although it was not their special day, it's nice to have your other kids not feel excluded when celebrating the birthday of one child.


The 'life size' Mickey Mouse that he just LOVED. It's almost as big as he is.






Yup, he loves Mickey!











A gift from father in law.

















A family pic.






Trying to blow out the candle.
















Friday, September 17, 2010

My Fatty Is TWO!

I should have posted this yesterday on his actual birthday but alas!

Check out my 2 year old (pics taken yesterday). Birthday pics to follow.

September 16, 2010

As soon as he woke up












My GQ model. All dressed up and ready to go






And I am planning a party to celebrate. Can't wait!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Happy Independence Day Costa Rica

September 15th marks Dia del la Independencia for Costa Ricans everywhere. A time to take pride in a country long known for it's beauty and tranquility. To have a look back at their great country and be thankful for all she has done for them.

As per tradition, there were several Acto Civico activities around the country.

Last night Fatty and Princess took part in their playgroup's activity. Dressed in 'tipico' style dress, carrying all types of Faroles (traditional style lantern), the kids (and parents) did a short parade around the neighborhood surrounding the library: what is called a "Desfile de Faroles" or Lantern Parade, loosely translated, a long time tradition in Costa Rica. I am not sure of the meaning of this act, but I guess I can Wikipedia it in a minute.

Today was a little more calm. Most everyone staying home to celebrate in private with family. There was an activity at Boobie's school but we decided to pass and spend the day doing 'fun' errands instead, but I still dressed Princess in her campesina dress.

As for the day, about all the ruckus we heard were fireworks, starting at 6 am this morning. It wasn't over done though and now we look forward to a month of patriotic events and activities.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Happy Kids Day

Kids Day (Dia Del Nino) is a pretty big deal in Costa Rica. I honestly don't even remember ever celebrating Kid's Day in the states. It's almost as a big a day here as Father's Day, with the same ideas: Kids get a special day of recognition, with treats and gifts to celebrate the day. This year, we had three different celebrations for Kid's Day.


First celebration was for Princess's playgroup class on Tuesday.


Dressed in her Dora dress.







Enjoying pizza and juice.


After a yummy lunch, the kids squeeze in some playtime.





Gift time.



Wow!


Cool gifts. Each kid got an ABC puzzle and a toy: boys got trucks, girls got jump ropes.



Princess opening her gift.












The second celebration was for Fatty's playgroup class on Wednesday.

As organizer of the event, I suggested that the kids come dressed in costumes. Makes the event that much more fun, I think.


Princess was Cinderella (of course, my Princess had to dress as a 'Princess').


Fatty was a clown, the natural choice. I mean look at his hair; no wig needed. LOL!












Minnie Mouse and a campesino.



Check out the class.
















Another Minnie Mouse and is that Tigger?



Time for lunch... pizza again.








Gift time!


For Fatty's class, each kid got a coloring book with stories in English, Spanish and French, a pack of crayons and a 3 pack of bubbles. And they also received a goody box (Mickey or Dora and Diego) filled with treats.





The third celebration was today at the library for all the Thursday playgroup classes, which included Princess's class.

A kid admiring Fatty's costume.


Boy was it hot today but a fun day all the same. A Princess and the clown. : )


There were a lot of people.





A few kids from Princess's class. Check out the cowboy to the left.













This kid proved to be the entertainment when he danced his butt off to Micheal Jackson and Justin Beiber songs to an admiring crowd. He was really good too. Put him in show biz, quick!


All kids received a goody bag and a book of stories!