Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy Holidays!

I have been very sad the past few days because the holidays just aren't the same without my Mami around. I keep coming across mementos and things that remind me of her... What has definitely helped some is that it's been an eventful few weeks, so keeping my mind occupied is good therapy. Here's a recap of the past couple of weeks.

First of all, I did go back and visit Demetrio at his home. He has some bruises from the fall, but he went to his doctor and is being cared for... He was out and about last week so he seems to be okay. God bless him.

This holiday season, I have actually baked a couple of times. I hate to cook, but baking is fun. I made these "Magic Blondies" from MarthaStewart.com on Thanksgiving and again for my friend Barb's birthday. They are yummy, but they're actually more like breakfast muffins.

I started my second December Daily album because I gave the first one to my mother-in-law (I knew she would really appreciate it!). It's a beautiful album that I made in Ohio when I visited Trish. The second acrylic album isn't even close to being finished yet, but here's a sneak peek at the cover...

My company celebrated this year's successes (and challenges) with a holiday party at Garry's house (he's the publisher). We planned to recognize a few folks and hand out trophies and I was happy to honor a couple of my top employees. BUT the big surprise came toward the end, when Garry announced the Employee of the Year and it was little old ME!!!! What a great surprise. It's been a tough year so it made this even sweeter!

We gathered at Barb's house to celebrate her 30th birthday (give or take... LOL!) and we had lots of fun scrapping, eating and opening presents. I made a 2009 calendar project inspired by Jenny Bowlin... (photos to come). Isn't Barb just lovely?

Then, on Dec. 19th, we all exchanged scrappy kits we made ourselves. It was Lou's idea to put together kits using items from our stash and then we picked numbers so it was a complete surprise. I love the kit I got with Esther's Stampin' Up! goodies. Whoohoo! Barb set up the table beautifully. We were in awe. I felt like we were at a romantic bed and breakfast (minus the husband... LOL!). We each brought a plate to share and we ate some delicious food. It was great!

Richard and I took a stroll down Miracle Mile to browse the shops and enjoy the lights and splendor all around us. This is a photo we took at the Christmas Village they have every year.

That's all for now... I have so many more photos, but those will have to come later. I took lots of photos on Christmas, I finally did get around to decorating my home for the holidays, and I've been working on my scrap room... Plus, I was a very good girl this year because Santa was VERY good to me. I received a new camera, a beautiful vintage typewriter, my one-of-a-kind chandelier from Ohio (thanks to my BFF and to Trish for helping make it possible!), bedding, a suitcase, and more!!!

May you have a safe and happy New Year filled with many wonderful blessings! Thank you so much for stopping by (even though I haven't been blogging as much lately). Your comments make me smile and I truly appreciate each and every one of you...

Peace and happy scrapping,

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The right place at the right time

Hi friends,

I usually love the holidays! It really is "the most wonderful time of the year" for me... Lots of treasured family time and traditions, non-stop shopping (with a good reason), delicious meals, cool weather, festive lights and decorations, time to reflect on our blessings and the true meaning of it all, getting cards in the mail, opening gifts, taking photos and scrapbooking, etc. I love all of this! But this year is a little different. There's still all this to love about the holidays, BUT a few less people now to share it all with and that makes it a bit more difficult than ever before... I have so many things I want to do to celebrate the season, but I can't get myself to do it... I haven't decorated my house and it's already Dec. 14. I haven't even sent out my photo cards yet (an annual tradition).


Something happened to me yesterday that made me so very thankful... something that made God's presence abundantly clear... for some reason, I was in the right place at the right time and I am so glad for that. You see, after some Christmas shopping, Richard and I parted ways so he could go get a haircut. I was leaving my house to go to Macy's when I realized that I didn't want to go to the mall just yet. So I carefully crossed a few lanes and decided to turn in a different direction to go donate some clothing to the nearby Goodwill store. After dropping off my donation, I made a u-turn and quite a distance in front of me (between some shrubs/trees), I saw a little old man with a cane drop his belongings and fall onto the pavement. I accelerated to get to him quickly when I realized that a woman in an SUV was backing up toward him and was about to run him over! (I'm tearing up as I type this.) I immediately went crazy, beeping my horn and waving my arms frantically for her to stop as I drove toward her. She saw me and she stopped the car, wondering what was wrong... I ran out of my car, rushed to the man who was trying to get up in a state of panic and, without thinking twice, I picked him up off the ground to get him out and away from behind her car.

My heart was beating a mile a minute and I was shaking, but nothing mattered except that this little old man was safe. He didn't want to call his family. He didn't want us to call 911 because he was afraid they would take him to the hospital. But I told the woman to call them anyway. I later realized that she bumped him with her car causing him to fall and she was so nervous about it, but she helped me check him while I sat him down in her car and she called the police.

Fire rescue arrived and his vitals were okay. His arm was bloody and they bandaged him up. The old man told everyone that thanks to God, I was there to save his life!!! The woman driver also thanked me for getting her attention just in time. He's 90 years old, in pretty good shape, takes the bus to the shopping center to shop at Walgreens and, sadly, he has no family. Fire rescue wouldn't drive him home (against policy) and the police officers can't either... I couldn't believe that! Richard called me and immediately showed up since he was across the street. I told the old man that I was going to drive him home (he's divorced with no children and his sister passed away so he lives with a friend of his who's a widower). And I did. I took him home, helped him inside and left him my name and number just in case.

I haven't stopped thinking about Demetrio. I hope he's doing fine... I think I may just have to pay him a visit this week...

And that, my friends, made my holiday season meaningful.

Happy holidays!!!


Saturday, December 6, 2008

I wish I could post photos, BUT...

...things are just not working out in that department! My little point-and-shoot Canon camera needs replacement, so I've been using my big Canon EOS 20D for photos and that is making my December Daily Album quite a challenge to complete. I mean, it's not like I can just stick the EOS in my pocket or purse and capture every single detail in my life throughout the day! Argh! So, I've decided to just create a "Snapshots of my Christmas 2008" album instead of a daily one... hey, I'm having to get creative here...

Then there's my computer issue. You see, I married a computer whiz/electrical engineer who will work on every computer but mine... So as nice as he was to give me his laptop recently, none of my software is installed and I cannot access images right now. Another argh! (UPDATE: he may actually work on my computer issues tonight because I complained so I guess he's still a keeper! LOL!)

So, having said that, I must steal images from other websites to add some visual appeal to my post today.

Here is a beautiful Christmas garland that my friend Trish at Work in Progress created. I'm just drooling over this!!! Isn't she talented.

Then there's this beauty from Jenny Bowlin that I am so going to scraplift... I have some of the materials already in my stash so this calendar is the perfect vintage project to go in my new scrap room.

I guess I'll share some photos with you next time, including some Sadie Olive goodies that Ady and Lou got me for my birthday.

For now, I'm going to continue updating my Christmas Wish List (top left of blog, honey, in case you are reading this - and family and friends, too!) and get some rest because I have a cold (yuck!) and we're celebrating Barb's birthday tomorrow so I have to get better tonight! I even baked some goodies for her birthday, but I can't show you the picture!

Hope you're having a great weekend! Peace and happy scrapping!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

This is the time of year when we stop and reflect on all that is good in our lives and we thank God for all the blessings He has given us. Well, I know that I have much to be thankful for... I have a wonderful family and close friends who are there for me in good times and bad. I have a home, a job, and I am able to travel and see the world. I can think of a few more things to be thankful for, but it is also during times like these that we miss our departed the most. I cannot tell you how much I miss my Mami. She was my beautiful Mami and I will love her and miss her every single day of my life. I miss her softness and her smell and her touch. There is so much that I wish she could still share with me, and I always spent the holidays with her. This is really difficult. I also miss my Mom tremendously, and I wish she would have been around just a bit longer to help me along in this journey called life. So here I am, thankful for so many blessings, but also full of sorrow as I find myself approaching the first of many Thanksgivings without my parents around.

Here are just a few photos from my trip to California in October... I had a great time sharing with my family and remembering Mami.

Peace to all!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Ohio was just plain awesome!

I had such an absolutely fabulous time visiting with Trish from Work in Progress. THANK YOU Trish for your warm hospitality and for inviting us into your home. You have such a beautiful family. I just loved every minute of the trip.

My BFF and I arrived on Thursday and met up with Damaris and Trish for dinner and some scrap shopping (I mean, geez, it was a 2 1/2 hour flight so some retail therapy was in order, right?! LOL!) We went to Archiver's and Cord Camera, two great stores.

The Fall Retreat was great! We each had a 6-foot table to ourselves, shared and laughed so much, we ate yummy food, we scrapped (I made three mini albums: X-mas, Anniversary and Ohio), ate some more, scrapped till the wee hours, got to see some snow falling, and hung out with fabulous women, including Tina, Laina, Kelly, Mary Ann and Stacy. Love them! Check out some pics of our adventure:

After helping Trish prepare for the Fall Retreat at The Bertram Inn and admiring her vintage finds, I really wanted to venture out to Perfectly Charming in Medina... of course, I didn't think Ady and Damaris would be interested since I have been the antiquing junkie lately. We found out it was a 45-minute drive and, after making absolutely sure it was okay with my peeps, away we went on Friday! Yippee!!! Trish had blogged about this store that same week and let me tell you, if you live anywhere near Medina, Ohio, you MUST check out this place. I tell ya, if I lived anywhere near there, I'd be there every other week at least. A mother and daughter team opened the store earlier this year and they have the most beautiful home decor, vintage accessories, furniture, Christmas goodies, etc. at very reasonable prices. If I didn't have to fly home, I would have purchased some more stuff. I was in HEAVEN!!!

This last photo is a chandelier that I just have to have... Santa, if you're listening, please find a way to ship it to me in Miami... Pretty, please!!! With sugar on top... I'm in the process of finishing my scrap room and it would look perfect in my happy space!

I'll leave you with these pics of Trish's home, including her awesome cornucopia... what a delight!!! I want to be her when I grow up and have kids. LOL!!!

Peace to all and have a Happy Thanksgiving... I have been missing my Mami and my Mom a lot these past few days... it's going to be a tough holiday season, but I'm confronting it one day at a time. Hugs!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'm off to Ohio...

...to meet this beautiful lady...

Trish from Work in Progress is the sweetest and I cannot wait to see her and spend a nice, long weekend with friends scrapbooking, learning and just being inspired by incredible women. Yeah for me. I'm so excited!!!

Guess what? I won a RAK from one of my fave scrappers, Christine Drumheller, a designer at Cocoa Daisy. Whoohoo!!! This is what she sent me (along with lots of extra goodies). It was my first time receiving a RAK in the mail so that was pretty cool.

I also wanted to let you know that I have been published in the November issue of Scrapbook Trends magazine, so check it out!!! My layout appears in the "I'm grateful for..." section. Of course, the photo was taken about 5 years and 30 pounds ago, but see if you can spot it. It's a layout about my beautiful Mami. :-)

That's all for now. I gotta finish packing... Enjoy the rest of the week and happy scrapping! xoxo

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Check this out!

I'm catching up with life. Still quite busy. Attended a funeral and a wedding this weekend. Working hard. Cleaning house. Someone tried to break in to my home (thank goodness for our trusty security system). Need to pack for my Fall Retreat with Work in Progress (I can't wait).... Missing Mami. Trying to focus on the blessings in my life, especially now during this season of giving thanks.

So, as many of you know, I am the editorial and design director for a custom publishing company. We produce in-flight magazines, destination guides, hotel in-room books and more. One of our clients is Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, for which we publish the award-winning Destination Hyatt. Well, lookie here... This is OUR book (with the green apples on the cover), sitting on the coffee table in front of President-Elect Barack Obama on election night.

No matter what your political affiliation is (as I know many of you are Republicans), you gotta admit that this is pretty darn cool. I mean, how many people could brag about the fact that their book reaches the President? LOL!

I know I keep promising to take photos of some scrappy projects and post them, but my little digital camera has died and I'm trying to convince my DH that I need another one... PRONTO!!! I have a large Canon EOS, but the lens needs to be cleaned and I just haven't gotten around to it... maybe I'll still use it... we'll see. I just hate those spots on the photos.

I'm been thinking a lot about Mami and missing her terribly. I worked on a tribute photo book on Kodak Gallery. It's full of photos of Mami and the family. I had to sift through hundreds of photos and it got me thinking about what a beautiful and giving soul my Mami was. I cannot believe that she will not be around for the holidays... It just hasn't sunk in yet. I ordered multiple copies of the book to give to my relatives for Christmas. I think it will be a perfect celebration of her life... I love you, Mamita!

Here are some old photos I came across in my search:

Here she is holding a beautiful baby.... ME! Heee....

That little girl on the left is also ME! That's my aunt Gigi (top left), Mami and my cousin Martha (bottom right)...

and Papi in California...

My Mom and Jorge on their wedding day (1993) with Mami in the middle...

After a leave of absence, I returned to UM and graduated in 1999 (it was very emotional for me since Papi was not there and I promised him that I would graduate no matter what)...

That's all I have (amidst tears in my eyes)... what can I say? THANK YOU for reading my blog and for your beautiful words! Love ya!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I'm still alive!!!!!

Hi my friends,

I'm so sorry that I have neglected the blog lately, but I have honestly been completely overwhelmed with personal events and with work. It's hard to find the time (and the inspiration) to blog these days, but I'm getting back into it now!!! Here's a recap of the past month:

1- I spent a week in San Marcos, California with my family from Miami, Sacramento and Tennessee. We gathered there for Mami's funeral.
2- I participated in ScrapPink at Damaris' house in honor of breast cancer awareness. We had lots of fun and it was good therapy for me. I got to work on my BVI vacation album (wait till you see it -- I'm not done yet!)
3- I celebrated my birthday with my scrappy gals. They are the best ever! I was lucky enough to receive great gifts and I had a great time scrapping some of my CA family photos. Here's a pic of all of us...

4- My hubby invited family over and we cut a cake for my birthday on Oct. 16. He also sent me beautiful flowers to my office! :-)

I think I need a bigger kitchen in my house to fit Richard's family and mine (my camera is taking neon-colored pics. I swear I don't have a neon kitchen! LOL!)...

5- My hubby and I celebrated our 4-year anniversary on Oct. 23. We celebrated by going to Schnebly's Redland Winery on Friday night with our best friends. Then, yesterday we spent the day together and he took me to the Cinebistro at Dolphin Mall. Love the concept! (If you haven't been there yet, go check it out!)
6- I found myself in the midst of the most hectic 4th quarter ever at work!!! (Seriously, you have no idea!) We're still trying to wrap up several pubs that need to be finalized, printed and shipped before the end of the year.
7- I created the most adorable Thanksgiving Turkey album thanks to Damaris and her awesome class... I love it!!! Wait till you see this!!!

I will post some photos of my California trip and recent scrappy projects later this week... Peace and happy scrapping!

Friday, October 3, 2008

And away I go...

Hi my friends,

It's been a crazy week. I've been bombarded with tons of deadlines at work, but I'm not going to complain. I have a job and it's all good.

My DH and I have some upcoming trips, so tonight he took me on a date. We had a nice dinner at Brasero's (no Jenny Craig for me tonight!).

I leave tomorrow morning to California for Mami's funeral. I cannot believe it's been almost a month since she passed away. I still think of calling her and seeing her and it just hasn't sunk in yet... This weekend will be difficult, but I'll be with my family. And, at the end of the trip, I will have some form of closure. I don't know how (or if) that will help, but I hope to be more at peace after the service and the funeral takes place. Her ashes will be buried next to my grandfather, who passed away in 1996. Ironically, today would have been his birthday...

My hubby will be home while I am away, working hard and making some travel plans of his own. He's going camping in some forest after I get back...

What else? I attended ScrapPink last weekend at Damaris' house and we had a great time as always!!! I worked on my BVI travel layouts for my vacation album. Next week, I will start celebrating my 33rd birthday with a scrapbook party!! Wow. I'm old!!!

Here are a couple detail shots I liked from our weekend in Naples. I really enjoyed collecting sea shells on the beach with my honey...

I'll be back next week...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The power of Google... and much more!!!!

I am just thrilled to pieces that I found one of my dear friends from middle school, Monica. She was one of my best friends and I've often thought about her and wondered how she was doing... well, I don't need to wonder any more. I've Googled her a couple of times in the past, but found nothing. The last time we spoke was in 1995. This past weekend, I decided to Google her again and I got lucky! I found her! She is as sweet as ever and we finally got to talk this week. We were on the phone for hours catching up. I'm really glad that she is in my life again and that she is doing so well and has an 8-year-old daughter. WOW!

Monica told me about our school having a group on Facebook so I joined in order to find my old classmates and I have found so many people... this is great. I've reconnected with lots of people and finding Monica has been a real blessing. How cool is that!

Last weekend, I went away to Naples, FL on a press trip and my hubby came along. I hadn't been there in many, many years (maybe just once when I was little) so I enjoyed spending a relaxing weekend reviewing the hotel for the magazine, visiting antique shops and hitting the beach. Here are a few pics:

I am in LOVE with this vintage-inspired online store. They have oldies but goodies (wire baskets, an organizational tray, cake stand, journals, etc.) and I really want some of their unique items for my scrap room... Check out the store by clicking here.

My dear friend Esther, who is not only one of the sweetest and nicest friends, but also very talented and crafty, is hosting a card workshop here in Miami next Saturday at 9 am. She makes the prettiest cards and the most creative stamping projects. You'll definitely want to check out her work. Here's a link to her brand new blog for more information.

That's all for now. Peace to all and happy scrapping!