DID YOU SAY BATH?

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Have you noticed how dogs seem to understand the word bath… when I ask my dog Snickers, do you want to take a bath? He gets up as quickly as possible…not to take a bath but to run in the opposite direction or hide under the bed. This is so funny to us that we sometimes mention bath to him just to see his reaction, to see him growl at us. Just like dogs, there are some things that we know we need to do or we know are coming our way, but we don’t necessarily like them or want to do them.

We all know change surrounds us, and eventually come our way, but sometimes we are not ready for those changes or we simply refuse to get use to them.

It has been a while since I wrote on the blog, since my last post many events have happened in my life. My daughter graduated from high school, my son completed his 6th grade, we had an amazing vacation in New York and Poconos and I received a job promotion. These have been wonderful blessings and I am grateful for each one of them and many more I experience each day.

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Daughter’s graduation day

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Washington Square Park, New York City

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Bushkill Falls, Poconos, PA

Some of those happenings in my life came with emotions or changes I wasn’t ready for and were not my favorites, but I needed to get use to these new challenges. Learning to juggle a higher workload and having more responsibilities that take up much of my time and energy, getting used to the idea of my daughter attending college far away from home, and learning to accept that my children are now older and do not need their mommy as often as before, were some of the things on my mind this past summer.

I have entered a new season in my life, I know this is the start of something new, and I am learning so much. Sometimes it feels painful or overwhelming, and other times feels good, and with the assurance that God is in control every step of the way. I pray for wisdom and my Lord gives it to me. He has taught me patience, everything happens at His time, not mine. I don’t know if you are like me… but I like to be in control, I like my kids to walk the straight line I believe is the plan for their lives, but God has a different plan. As I learned from a dear friend and pastor, God wants us to forget our agenda and trust in His Agenda and live a lifestyle for the kingdom, which is simple and ordinary.

God interrupts us, His plan for us many times has hills and curves which allow us to fall, or scrape our knees, but we get up again holding his mighty hand that will take us farther in the plan He has orchestrated for each one of us. He knows what’s best, and makes things happen in mysterious ways. I don’t understand why, but I stand in faith and believe He knows what’s best because he created us, because He manages the agenda of my life.

Some of my days are happy, and some days I want to cry. I have given myself permission to do both. No matter the day, or my feelings, I know I am not the only one, there are millions of people going through different trails. Many moms are going through the same stage where their children have left for college or have gone separate ways. It’s time to talk and share experiences that can help others to manage situations we have already gone through.

My prayer is: Dear Lord, please help me to sit and watch how you work your plan and purpose in my life and the life of those I love. I want to trust in the agenda you have for my life. Let me not stand in your way, but be an instrument you may use to complete your plan and purpose in me and everyone around me. I praise you for your wonderful works and give me wisdom. Amen.  I hope you can make this your prayer as well.

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Picture from wheelsms wordpress

“And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love him, which have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

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¿Has Dicho a Bañar?

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¿Ha notado cómo los perros parecen entender la frase a bañar? Cuando le pregunto a mi perrito Snickers, ¿quieres bañarte? O le digo “vamos a bañar” se levanta lo más rápido posible… pero no es para tomar un baño, sino para correr en la dirección opuesta o esconderse debajo de la cama. Esto es muy divertido para nosotros que a veces mencionamos a bañar sólo para ver su reacción, y ver cómo nos gruñe. Al igual que los perros, hay algunas cosas que sabemos que tenemos que hacer o que sabemos que están llegando a nuestra vida, pero no nos gusta o no queremos hacerlo.

Todos sabemos que el cambio nos rodea, y, finalmente, encontra nuestro camino, pero a veces no estamos preparados para esos cambios, o simplemente nos negamos a acostumbrarse a ellos.

Ha pasado ya un tiempito desde que escribí en el blog. Desde mi último artículo muchos eventos han ocurrido en mi vida. Mi hija se graduó de la escuela superior, mi hijo terminó su sexto grado, tuvimos unas vacaciones increíbles en Nueva York y Poconos, y recibí una promoción en el trabajo. Estos han sido maravillosas bendiciones y estoy agradecida por cada una de ellas y por mucho más que experimento cada día.

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Graduación de mi hija

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Washington Square Park, New York City

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Bushkill Falls, Poconos, PA

Algunos de esos acontecimientos en mi vida llegaron con emociones o cambios para las cuales no estaba lista o no eran mis favoritos, pero que tenía que acostumbrarme a estos nuevos desafíos. Aprender a manejar una mayor carga de trabajo y tener más responsabilidades que ocupan gran parte de mi tiempo y energía, acostumbrarme a la idea de que mi hija asiste a la universidad lejos de casa, y aprender a aceptar que mis hijos son ahora mayores y no necesitan de su mamá tan a menudo como antes, fueron algunas de las cosas en mi mente durante este pasado verano.

He entrado en una nueva etapa en mi vida, sé que esto es el comienzo de algo nuevo, y estoy aprendiendo mucho. A veces se siente dolor o es abrumador, y otras veces se siente bien, y con la seguridad de que Dios está en control en cada paso del camino. Oro por sabiduría y mi Señor me lo da. Él me ha enseñado paciencia, todo lo que sucede en su tiempo, no el mío. No sé si usted es como yo… pero me gusta tener el control, me gustaría que mis hijos caminaran la línea recta que creo que es el plan para su vida, pero Dios tiene un plan diferente. Como aprendí de un querido amigo y pastor, Dios quiere que dejemos nuestra agenda y confiemos en la suya y vivamos un estilo de vida para el reino, que es simple y ordinario.

Dios nos interrumpe. Su plan para nosotros, muchas veces tiene colinas y curvas que nos permiten caernos, o rasparnos las rodillas, pero nos levantamos de nuevo tomados de su mano poderosa que nos llevará más lejos en el plan que Él ha preparado para cada uno de nosotros. Él sabe lo que es mejor, y hace que las cosas sucedan de manera misteriosa. No entiendo por qué, pero tengo fe y creo que Él sabe lo que es mejor, porque nos ha creado, porque Él maneja la agenda de nuestra vida.

Algunos de mis días son felices, y algunos días quiero llorar. Me he dado permiso para hacer las dos cosas. No importa el día, o mis sentimientos, sé que no soy la única, hay millones de personas que pasan por diferentes senderos. Muchas madres están pasando por el mismo escenario donde sus hijos se han ido a la universidad o se han ido por caminos separados. Es hora de hablar y compartir experiencias que pueden ayudar a otros a manejar situaciones que ya hemos pasado.

Mi oración es: Querido Señor, por favor ayúdame a ver cómo trabaja tu plan y propósito en mi vida y la vida de las personas que amo. Quiero confiar en la agenda que tienes para mi vida. No dejes que me interponga en tu camino, permíteme ser un instrumento que puedas utilizar para completar tu plan y propósito en mí y todo el mundo a mí alrededor. Te alabo por tus obras maravillosas y dame sabiduría. Amén. Espero que puedan hacer de este tu oración también.

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Foto de wheelsms wordpress

” Y sabemos que a los que aman a Dios, todas las cosas les ayudan a bien, esto es, a los que conforme a su propósito son llamados.” Romanos 8:28

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I NEVER THOUGHT IT WOULD BE HERE SO FAST

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Wow! I go about my busy days… work, home, church, run errands, cook, clean, and repeat it every day… There is lots more missing that what I just mentioned, but we all get the point. Since February it has been nonstop… something happened in 2015, many changes, more work… I’ve been physically and emotionally exhausted. Among all the busyness, there is also a walk in the park, pool time, reading the bible, family worship, family meals, and many more quiet moments. I enjoy them all from the crazy ones to the restful ones (smile here!!!!). Being a mom is the best job in the world. I would not change it for anything, even with its ups and downs.

As I meditate in my life and all the proud moments as a mom, my eyes fill with tears, as milestones are reached in such an accelerated way. It seems that it was just weeks ago my beautiful, energetic daughter graduated from kindergarten… but no, it was around 13 years ago. Where did time go?

Melody, I am so excited for you accomplishments and where God has brought you so far. He chose you, you are the daughter of the King, and he will continue taking you through this new phase in your life. Let me talk to you (my daughter) a little more…

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Dear Melody,

The year 1996 was the happiest year of our lives, God chose us as your parents. He send you as a gift into our lives, and he send us an instruction manual as well, the Bible. It was exciting and scary. With much prayer, and family support we have raised you for the glory of God.

I remember celebrating each of your milestones, you first step, and your first words. I loved feeding you and taking you on trips. Your dad and I also prayed for you, we prayed that God would guide you and that you would always love Jesus, we still do!

There have been many adventures, from watching Barney the dinosaur and singing the songs, to being in the adventures club and singing at church, we would encourage you to do what you loved, and of course I would capture those memories on film.

Thank you for teaching me about fun, and helping me feel young while going to basketball games, field trips, gymnastic shows, and concerts. Many things we have in common and one is going to concerts, I did not mind running around town, chasing after celebrities. Thank you for allowing me to join you in those moments.

You continued growing, learning, serving, and I thank God each day for guiding your steps. Between books, music, and fashion, you have a passion for art and you definitely have a creative way of expressing yourself. You also have been a fabulous big sister. Thank you for taking care of Ryan and being a good example for him.

It was not too long ago that you graduated from 8th grade, and it was a big change to attend high school. I was not prepared for the change and to see you grown up so fast. But glory be to God, you made it. He guided you. Maybe it was not how you thought high school would be, but HE knows best.

It is now time to celebrate you as a “High School Senior”. Ready to graduate in a few days, I again am not ready for this new phase, but as usual I fall back to the one who knows everything, my Lord. He has promised to protect you and always be with you and he has kept his promise until now and he will continue keeping it. As you walk to receive your diploma, as you visit colleges this summer, as you continue each day making choices, He is the one who will be at your side. You are an adult, and even though dad and I will not always be able to be with you (even though I really would love to), God will always be with you.

We are proud of you, you have excellent grades, and you took advantage of dual enrollment. Not only do you graduate from high school, you also graduate with 21 college credits…. Woohoo!!!! You are one step closer in completing a college degree and your dreams. We are also delighted that you have always loved to worship God through singing, remember to continue using your talents for him.

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It has been a wonderful time, and we have seen the blessing poured on you. I want to congratulate you for all your accomplishments and may you continue to achieve many more, always putting God in first place. You will make new friends, you will make college and career decisions, you will be on your own many times, but always remember to pray, and ask God to help you choose what is best. We love you and we (mom, dad, and Ryan) will always be here for you. Although you are a young “adult”, you will always be our baby girl.

Enjoy your day. You are among all the great students graduating as Class 2015!!!!

Make it the best!!!

Love,

Mom

P.S. Thank you for allowing me to be your photographer and do your “Senior Photo Shoot”. We had fun, even with all the rain. Love you my love.

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NUNCA PENSE QUE LLEGARA TAN RAPIDO

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Bueno, a la verdad que he estado super ocupada recientemente… trabajo, el hogar, la iglesia, hacer mandados, cocinar, limpiar, y se repite cada día … Hay mucho más que falta que lo que acabo de mencionar, pero ya todos entendimos el punto que quiero traerles. Desde febrero, ha sido sin parar… algo está sucediendo en el 2015, muchos cambios, más trabajo… He estado física y emocionalmente agotada. Entre todo el ajetreo, también hay momentos para un paseo por el parque, tiempo en la piscina, leer la biblia, el culto familiar, comidas familiares, y muchos momentos tranquilos. Yo los disfruto todos, los días locos y los de descanso. Ser madre es el mejor trabajo del mundo. Yo no lo cambiaría por nada, incluso con sus altas y bajas.

Mientras medito en mi vida y todos los momentos de orgullo como una mamá, mis ojos se llenan de lágrimas, como el tiempo se pasa de una manera tan acelerada. Parece que fue hace apenas unas semanas que mi hermosa y energética hija, se graduó del kindergarten… pero no, fue hace unos 13 años. ¿Adónde se fue el tiempo?

Melody, estoy tan emocionada por tus logros y donde Dios te ha traído hasta ahora. Él te eligió, tu eres la hija del Rey, y El seguirá guiandote a través de esta nueva etapa en tu vida. Déjame hablar con contigo (mi hija) un poco más …

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Querida Melody,

El año 1996 fue el año más feliz de nuestras vidas, Dios nos eligió como tus padres. Él te envío como un regalo a nuestras vidas, y nos envió un manual de instrucciones también, la Biblia. Fue emocionante y aterrador. Con mucha oración y apoyo de la familia que le hemos educado y criado para la gloria de Dios.

Recuerdo celebrar cada uno de tus logros, tus primeros pasos, y primeras palabras. Me encantaba darte la comida y llevarte a pasear. Tu papá y yo también orábamos por ti, para que Dios te guiara y que siempre amaras y sirvieras a Jesús, todavía lo hacemos.

Han habido muchas aventuras, desde ver a Barney el dinosaurio y cantar sus canciones, hasta estar en el club de aventureros y cantar en la iglesia, te animabamos para que hicieras lo que te gusta, y por supuesto me gustaba capturar esos recuerdos en fotos y videos.

Gracias por enseñarme sobre la diversión y ayudarme a sentirme joven mientras íbamos a los juegos de baloncesto, excursiones, espectáculos de gimnasia, y conciertos. Tenemos muchas cosas en común y una de ellas es ir a los conciertos, no me importaba correr por la ciudad, persiguiendo celebridades. Gracias por permitirme estar junto a ti en esos momentos.

Tu seguiste creciendo, aprendiendo, sirviendo, y doy gracias a Dios todos los días por guiar tus pasos. Entre los libros, la música y la moda, tienes una pasión por el arte que sin duda una forma creativa de expresarte. También ha sido una fabulosa hermana mayor. Gracias por cuidar de Ryan y ser un buen ejemplo para él.

No fue hace mucho tiempo que te graduaste de octavo grado, y fue un gran cambio asistir a la escuela superior. Yo no estaba preparada para el cambio y para verte crecer tan rápido. Pero la gloria sea para Dios, lo lograste. Él te guiará. Tal vez no era lo que pensabas de “high school” sería, pero EL conoce lo que es mejor.

Ahora es el momento para celebrarte a ti como “Graduando de Escuela Superior”. Vas a graduarte en unos pocos días, y yo de nuevo, no estoy lista para esta nueva etapa, pero como siempre voy de vuelta a la persona que lo sabe todo, mi Señor. Él ha prometido protegerte y siempre estar contigo y ha cumplido su promesa hasta ahora y continuará manteniéndola. Al caminar para recibir tu diploma, mientras visitas los colegios este verano, y a medida que continúes cada día la toma de decisiones, Él es el que va a estar a tu lado. Tu es un adulto, y a pesar de que papi y yo no siempre estaremos contigo (aunque realmente me encantaría), Dios siempre estará contigo.

Nosotros estamos orgullosos de ti, tiene excelentes calificaciones, y aprovechaste el “dual enrollment” (estudiar en la universidad aun estando en escuela superior). No sólo te gradúas de la escuela superior, también te gradúas con 21 créditos universitarios… Estas un paso más cerca en la realización de un título universitario y tus sueños. También estamos felices de que siempre has querido adorar a Dios cantando, recuerda seguir usando tus talentos para él.

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Han sido unos momentos maravillosos, y hemos visto la bendición de Dios derramada sobre ti. Quiero felicitarte por todos tus logros y continúa alcanzando muchos más, siempre pon a Dios en primer lugar. Vas a hacer nuevos amigos, tomaras muchas decisiones en tu vida universitaria y en los trabajos, y estarás tomándolas muchas veces sola, pero siempre recuerda orar y pedirle a Dios que te ayude a elegir lo que es mejor. Te amamos y nosotros (mami, papi, y Ryan) siempre estaremos aquí para ti. Aunque eres una joven “adulto”, siempre serás nuestra niña (mi bebe).

Disfruta de tu día. Estas entre tantos otros estudiantes que se gradúan como Clase 2015 !!!!

Haz de este el mejor !!!

Con amor,

Mami

P.D. Gracias por permitirme ser tu fotógrafa y hacer tu “Senior Photo Shoot”. Nos divertimos, incluso con toda la lluvia. Te amo mi amor.

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FUN WAYS TO EAT YOUR VEGGIES AND FRUITS

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Pizza loaded with veggies is my kind of pizza. This recipe I learned from my brother. He would treat us to this deliciousness when he invited us over for Sabbath lunch. It is light because the veggies are loaded on top of a millet flat bread. Get creative and use what you have in your refrigerator, the veggies you like best or what is in season. I couldn’t stop with the pizza, I had to have some dessert of course. Made a yummy fruity sorbet and served it in orange cups. Check out these simple recipes.

Ingredients:

  • 1sliced millet flat bread
  • Handful chopped broccoli
  • Handful chopped onions
  • Handful chopped green peppers
  • Handful chopped mushrooms
  • Handful Sliced cherry tomatoes
  • Handful Black Olives (I used green olives since I did not have black olives)
  • ½ cup Tomato/pizza sauce
  • Handful Mozzarella cheese or vegan substitute
  • You may use the amounts and portions you prefer of the ingredients depending on your taste.
  1. Slice the millet flat bread
  2. Take each slice and spread the sauce on top
  3. Sprinkle cheese on top
  4. Add veggies
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  6. Enjoy!

DESSERT

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Ingredients:

  • 4 oranges
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • Frozen fruits (strawberries, peaches, pineapple)
  • Fresh pineapple
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Fresh blueberries
  • 1 banana
  1. Take out all the pulp of the oranges and clean the peel to use as a cup. You may add the orange pulp and juice into the smoothie. I did not add the oranges because we had already had them in freshly squeezed orange juice.
  2. In a blender add the milk, frozen fruits and fresh fruits. I used a handful of each fruit. If you do not have frozen fruit you may use ice to thicken the mix. If you add too much liquid (milk) it will be a smoothie and not a sorbet.
  3. Scoop the fruity mix and place in the orange cups.
  4. Garnish with fresh berries or other fruits
  5. Get a spoon and dig into this cup o’sorbet

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KALE AND CASHEWS… THE STARS OF MY KITCHEN TODAY

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Some actors just keep getting lead roles in movies, and you do not get tired of watching them. This is also happening with food. Kale has been the star of many delicious recipes. It has been the main character in my kitchen lately.  My kids fell in love with kale and the romance continues. My son had a great idea this week, let’s put kale in popcorn. I totally jumped on it. Here is the simple recipe.

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KALEY POPCORN (named by my son)

Ingredients:

  • Air popped popcorn
  • Kale
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons of Butter (we used earth balance)
  1. Pop the popcorn kernels- we used a popcorn machine
  2. Wash, and dry kale. Take off the stem, drizzle the olive oil and some salt on the kale and place in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until crispy (about 15- 20 minutes)
  3. Melt the butter
  4. Pour the melted butter on the popcorn, add the kale and some salt to taste.
  5. ENJOY!

This is a great snack to enjoy while doing homework. My son could not stop mentioning how delicious it was. It is a great and healthy combination.

Cashews is also making its way into a stellar role. When I found out that cashews taste like cheese, I brought them home. Another way to reduce cheese intake of my love ones (hope they don’t read this).

In addition to cashews I also had an eggplant… what to do? I grabbed my Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen cookbook  . I’m made the Eggplant Parmesan with Mozzarella sauce.

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Eggplant Parmesan Ingredients:

  • 3 medium eggplants sliced ¼ inch thick
  • Sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jar Marinara sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons bread crumbs for sprinkling
  • Mozzarella Sauce (recipe below)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  1. Cut the eggplants, dry to take away moisture, arrange on a baking sheet and brush with oil. Broil for 4 to 6 minutes until browned on top.
  2. Prepare the tomato sauce by heating oil in a saucepan. Add onion and cook until soft and lightly browned. Add garlic and let cook for 1 minute. Add marinara sauce and brown sugar and cook and stir for a few more minutes.
  3. Arrange half of the eggplant slices, overlapping the slices in the pan. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the bread crumbs. Layer half of the tomato sauce and half of the mozzarella sauce on top of bread crumbs. Repeat the layers. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Top with fresh basil and serve.

Mozzarella Sauce ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

In a blender, combine cashews and water. Blend on high until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Add lemon juice, salt, garlic, onion powder, and cornstarch, and blend until smooth.

(if you are not using a high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix, soak overnight or boil for 10 minutes and drain. For a soft a silky smooth cream.)

Hope you try some of these recipes. These will add variety to your meals at home.

FOND MEMORIES AND GOOD FOOD

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A little girl dressed in a light pink long dress is ready for Easter… a white pamela hat adorns her curls and a white small purse is draped on her arm. She is so excited! After church, she arrives home to find a beautiful woven basket filled with an adorable lavender bunny and other goodies, everything wrapped in clear cellophane paper and placed there with love, ready to be enjoyed. This is how I remember myself. These are some childhood memories that came to my mind while I was cooking a new recipe in my home kitchen. I felt so excited when I was preparing my new recipe just like when I received my Easter basket years ago. Excitement is not only for children… it’s for ADULTS also, isn’t that wonderful?

Working on a new project or recipe, makes my heart joyful. As a was opening my new Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen cookbook from Chloe Coscarelli, and selecting a new recipe to try, I became so excited of having a few minutes to do something I love even though I had a very busy day. Literally, I started to remember the excitement I felt as a little girl receiving the Easter basket my mom and dad would have for me, and how mom would take the time to buy some gorgeous dress and prepare me with love for that special occasion. My own make over… mom would curl my hair like Shirley Temple. Thank you mom for making these special memories for me… I love you.

No Easter basket for me now, but a basket full of fruits and veggies I would take anytime. I was excited and I still am to share with you this so simple new recipe I tried from Chef Chloe. The Eggplant Alla Funghetto, it is simple, healthy and delicious.

Eggplant Alla Funghetto: (courtesy of cookbook)

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

1 large eggplant, unpeeled and cut into ½ inch pieces

1 large tomato, chopped

¾ teaspoon sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat and add the garlic. Let cook for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add eggplant and tomato and cook until browned, about 15 minutes. Carefully add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if eggplant sticks to the pan. Add salt and season with pepper (I did not use the pepper).  Cook until eggplant is very soft. Adjust seasoning to taste and remove garlic cloves (I smashed the garlics and mixed them with the oil at the beginning, so they stayed in to eat as well). Top with parsley and serve.

Chef Chloe suggests serving over brown rice or quinoa or as a cold vegetable salad, for me it was so delicious and warm after I cooked it that we enjoyed it by itself. Yummy!

Try this recipe or anything you would love to do. Carve out some time; it doesn’t have to be anything major. The best feelings come from the simple things. Enjoy the simplicity of things, no need to complicate our already complicated lives.

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Oh how I enjoyed the wonderful fragrance of fresh Italian parsley while I was chopping away for my dinner. Find delight in life’s simple things.

Buenos Recuerdos y Buena Comida

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Una niña vestida con un vestido largo de color rosa claro está lista para Pascua …una pamela blanca adorna sus rizos y un pequeña cartera blanca en su brazo. Ella está muy emocionada. Después de la iglesia, ella llega a casa para encontrar una hermosa canasta que contiene un lindo conejito lila y otras cositas, todo envuelto en papel celofán transparente y colocado allí con amor, listo para ser disfrutado. Así es como lo recuerdo yo. Estos son algunos recuerdos de la infancia que vinieron a mi mente mientras yo estaba cocinando una nueva receta en mi cocina. Me sentí muy emocionada cuando estaba preparando mi nueva receta al igual que cuando recibí hace años mi cesta de Pascua. La emoción no es sólo para niños… es para los adultos también, ¿no es maravilloso?

Trabajando en un nuevo proyecto o una receta, alegra mi corazón. Al abrir mi nuevo libro de receta Chloe vegano Italian Kitchen de Chloe Coscarelli, y seleccionando una nueva receta para probar, me puse tan emocionado de tener unos minutos para hacer algo que me encanta, aunque había tenido un día muy ocupado. Literalmente, comencé a recordar la emoción que sentí cuando niña de recibir la canasta de Pascua mi mamá y papá tenían  para mí, y cómo mami tomaba el tiempo para comprar un vestido precioso y prepararme con amor para esa ocasión especial. Mi propio “makeover” … mami rizaba mi pelo como Shirley Temple. Gracias mami por hacer estos recuerdos especiales para mí… Te amo.

No hay canasta de Pascua para mí ahora, pero una canasta llena de frutas y vegetales me encantaría recibir en cualquier momento. Estaba emocionado y todavía lo estoy al poder compartir con ustedes esta simple receta nueva traté de Chef Chloe. La berenjena Alla Funghetto, es simple, saludable y deliciosa.

Berenjena Alla Funghetto: (cortesía del libro de cocina “Chloe vegano Italian Kitchen”)

3 cucharadas de aceite de oliva

3 dientes de ajo, pelados y molido

1 berenjena grande, sin pelar y cortar en pedazos de ½ pulgada

1 tomate grande, picado

¾ cucharadita de sal marina

Pimienta

2 cucharadas de perejil picado fresco italiano

En una sartén grande, caliente el aceite a fuego medio y agregue el ajo. Deje cocer durante 2 minutos hasta que estén fragantes. Añada la berenjena y el tomate y cocine hasta que estén doradas, unos 15 minutos. Añada con cuidado el agua, 1 cucharada a la vez, si se pega la berenjena al sartén. Añada sal y sazone con pimienta (yo no use la pimienta). Cocine hasta que la berenjena este muy suave. Sazone a gusto y remueva los dientes de ajo (yo mezclé los ajos con el aceite al principio, así que se quedaron juntos para comerlos). Añada perejil y sirva.

Chef Chloe sugiere servir sobre el arroz integral o quinua o como una ensalada fría, para mí era tan deliciosa y caliente después de que la cociné que la disfrutamos sola. ¡Deliciosa!

Pruebe esta receta o algo que le encantaría hacer. Tómese algún tiempo; no tiene que ser algo complicado o grande. Los mejores sentimientos vienen de las cosas simples. Disfrute de la simplicidad de las cosas, no hay necesidad de complicar nuestras vidas ya complicadas.

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Oh, cómo me gustó mucho la maravillosa fragancia del perejil italiano fresco mientras yo estaba cortándolo para mi cena. Encuentra placer en las cosas simples de la vida.

TODAY HAPPENED…WHAT AN HONOR!

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This has been a very busy week and it’s only Wednesday. Amidst all the demands of work and daily life, TODAY happened. Let me tell you a little of what happened today…

Several weeks ago I received an e-mail telling me I had been nominated for the health category for an exceptional women award of the local Spanish newspaper La Prensa. I was very surprised, I had no idea who nominated me. One day while I was speaking with a dear friend and just having our usual “therapy”, term I use for the great conversations we have about everything and anything, I mentioned the nomination, and she was so happy for me, and guess what… she had been nominated as well. What a wonderful thing, people might think we were competing, but that was not the case. We were anxiously waiting for the award /luncheon ceremony to enjoy some time together.

The award ceremony day arrived, that was today. It was a very elegant event, full of beautiful distinguished women. We had the opportunity to see many community partners we work with, and friends, as well as network and engage with new amazing women. It was a calm and nervous experience (If that makes sense!), I prayed for my friend to win or the other exceptional women nominated on our same category. Outstanding women were announced as finalists and the winners were announced for the different categories: business and technology, leadership, education, arts, and …health. Our names were announced and our pictures were shown on the screen, we smiled, we cheered, and the winner is… Mirna Chamorro. I could not believe it, my eyes filled with some tears, but no time to cry, I hugged my friend and walked up to the stage to receive my award. Pictures…selfies… smiles… and congratulations…was most of what was heard and seen in that room. It was a very nice and quick experience. It is an honor and I share this award with my friend and the other finalist, they are truly exceptional women.

My thoughts immediately went to my God and my family…

  • I am who I am and I do what I do because of God’s grace. He is the one who allows me to work and serve, and do everything always for his honor and glory. Sometimes life’s challenges are hard, but I know that I can only conquer with my Lord, who gives me strength. This award is for my Lord.
  • I am who I am because of the legacy my parents have given me. They brought me up in a loving and caring environment, they taught me moral and Christian values, and they showed me by example. This award belongs to my parents.
  • I do what I do because of the love and sacrifices of my husband and children. They love me, respect me, support me, help me, they are there for me in the good times and not so good ones. This award belongs to my hubby and kids.
  • I am who I am because of the prayers, love and support of all my extended family and friends. So many people are dependable, trustworthy and loving. This award belongs to them.

The opportunities God has given me to work in the health field, educate, be a resource, meet extraordinary people, have great mentors, learn, serve others, and much more… are the biggest asset and prize anyone can ask for. I am very grateful for the opportunities that come and I pray I will continue to be humble and pay it forward.

I work without asking anything in exchange, I work because of the passion I have towards the community and health. It has been a rewarding ride so far… and I thank La Prensa newspaper and the “Mujeres Destacadas” committee for this recognition. I pray God continues guiding my path now and in the future in the new phases of my life. My prayer is… “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13.

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I love this illustration by Health A. Stillufsen and so encouraging to all of us as women, we can be outstanding, and achieve our goals, we can do it if we put our heart to it and do it with love and prayer. With God’s help we can do many things. Keep up the great work you do!

HOOPNIVERSARY

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Today is a make your own word day… so I thought I could celebrate one of my personal goals by making my own word…Hoopniversary!!!! I am celebrating my 2 month Hoopniversary. I have kept for two months straight my commitment of doing 30 minutes of exercise 4 days a week, and specifically I wanted to keep up my Powerhoopz workout. Proud to say I have been able to get up early each morning (5:15 am to be more specific) to do my Powerhoopz workout.

What is Powerhoopz?

It is a weighted hula hoop workout system. Learn more here.

Why do I love it so much?

I have always practiced exercise on and off. Between the responsibilities life throws at me and being exhausted after work, I was not able to focus on a daily 30 minute exercise. When I learned about Powerhoopz, it really caught my attention, it looked fun, and I thought I give it a try. Loved it from the first day I tried it. It keeps me young and energized.

Benefits of my hooping workout:

Some of the benefits I have noticed while practicing my Powerhoopz workout are:

  1. Provides me energy to go through my day
  2. Tones my entire body
  3. Keeps my mind sharp- doing a crunch or squat and moving your arms while hooping will definitely workout your brain as well
  4. Makes me smile- it an enjoyable activity
  5. Keeps me young
  6. Brings back childhood memories
  7. Flattens my tummy and my clothes fit better

My goal is basically maintaining a healthy weight, keeping my heart healthy, preventing diseases, and having energy and a good attitude throughout my busy workday. Powerhoopz is helping me in all these areas. One of the benefits I enjoy most and I have seen a huge improvement is in my energy. I used to be always tired and have lots of stress. Exercise (Powerhoopz) along with healthy eating, a closer connection to my God (reading the bible and prayer), learning to be still, and great relationship with my family are life changing events that are helping me live a beautiful healthy collage.

My typical day includes healthy activities such as:

  1. Prayer
  2. Exercise (30 minutes)- Powerhoopz 4-5 days a week, Sunday walk or bike ride with the family, and Saturday rest
  3. Get connected with my Lord- I read the bible and listen to it on my car as well (great for long commutes)
  4. Green smoothie
  5. Water
  6. Work— hard to believe but work is important as well. God created work and we should have a positive attitude while doing our job. The key is to find a job you love and do your best.
  7. Eat—yummy!!! I do my best to plan for healthy meals and snacks, and cook at home. Having mom and dad invite me over for dinner also is a great plus during my week J
  8. Family time
  9. Clean and organize- keeping my house in order is a must for me. I’ve learned to not stress if something can’t be done, but do my best to maintain things where they are supposed to be, in drawers and closets, not on the living room floor.
  10. Sleep- I’ve been pretty good going to bed no later than 10:00 pm (except today… I’m writing this post), and I sleep wonderfully and all the way until 4:45 am. Where it all starts again…. Repeat, repeat. Resting is very important.

I know and you know that our day has lots more than a list of 10 items… no matter how little or how much we do in a day, I know for sure that the reason I can do all things is because Christ strengthens me. He is with me and for me, and I am grateful for each day he allows me to live. I want to live a life that glorifies Him.

QUINOA STUFFED TOMATOES

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Outside of the box is good! That is what I did this weekend, I prepared a new quinoa dish for my family, and I took the quinoa out of the box… This meal was of firsts, first time I tried red quinoa and it is delicious, plus I enjoy looking at vibrant colors on my plate, and also the first time I stuffed tomatoes. This delicious and nutritious recipe was fun and easy to prepare, and my guests loved it.

Ingredients:

  • Red quinoa
  • Vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 4 tomatoes
  • salt
  • spinach
  • sliced almonds
  • pineapple

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  1. Prepare the red quinoa following the instructions on the package. I used vegetable broth instead of water.
  2. Cut the top of each tomato and scoop out the interior. Let it drain.
  3. Chop spinach, and pineapple.
  4. Sautee the spinach on a tablespoon of olive oil and a little salt, add the sliced almonds and pineapple.
  5. After the spinach is soft add the prepared quinoa.
  6. Place tomato on a pan add some salt inside.
  7. Scoop some of the quinoa mixture and place inside each tomato.
  8. Preheat oven at 350 degrees, place tomatoes in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Baking time will vary depending on the oven and how ripeness of tomatoes.

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Try this recipe and add your favorite ingredients to the quinoa. You might want to stuff peppers instead. Be creative in the kitchen!!

STRAWBERRY CREAM PIE

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This is a simple dessert recipe my mom taught my son to make. He came home today and as a great baker he is, he offered at school to make his favorite simple Strawberry cream Pie for a farewell party tomorrow for one of his teachers that is leaving.

Ok, let’s do this! Luckily it was a simple inexpensive dessert. Bought the ingredients and he whipped it up in 5 minutes. Pie ready for tomorrow!!

I would like to share this recipe with you today, it could be the star at a next family dinner or school party.

Ingredients:

  • 10 Fresh Strawberries
  • 1 – 8oz.Cool whip
  • 3 small Strawberry Greek yogurts
  • 1 store bought graham pie crust
  1. Mix the cool whip with the yogurt. This recipe used Yoplait strawberry Greek yogurt because it has no carmine. You may use your favorite yogurt.
  2. Place the mix of cool whip and yogurt on the store bought pie crust. You may also prepare your own pie crust at home.
  3. Wash and dry the strawberries and cut each in half.
  4. Place strawberries on the pie
  5. Refrigerate
  6. Enjoy!

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SAVANNAH… FABULOUS AND WARM

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Living in central Florida, it’s great to get away for the weekend to a place that does not involve theme parks. I love the parks, but sometimes I just want to relax in a quiet, picturesque and cozy town like Savannah, Georgia. We have visited several times this charming town and I want to share the top 5 reasons why I love Savannah.

Reason #1: Warmth

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Photo Courtesy of Melody Pagán

This weekend was pretty cold in Savannah but the friendly people made it such a warm place. People are always ready to share a smile and say hello or good morning. While walking many people made eye contact and shared a greeting and the waitress that assisted us during breakfast at J. Christopher’s was so friendly as well. This is something I’ve always loved. The people of Savannah were fabulous, and warm. Coffee Fox’s artistic hot cocoa also kept me warm.

Reason #2: Trees

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Photo Courtesy of Melody Pagán

Savannah is encircled by trees, one of my favorite element from nature. While observing beautiful canopy of trees that make bridges above the streets, I marvel at God’s creation and learn many lessons from these majestic wonders.

Reason #3: Doors

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Photo Courtesy of Melody Pagán

The delightful city has so many charming houses that are adorned by stunning doors. The sometimes curious shapes and original colors make me admire these great architectural artifacts. Doors take make me think of new opportunities just waiting to be opened, and they remind me that I have opened the door of my heart to my God. Revelation 3:20 says ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

Reason #4: Walls

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wall art

Art is a way of living in Savannah, from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), to wonderful art stores, to unique and dazzling walls. Walking down Savannah streets, you can be sure to find a perfect wall to capture vivid pictures… graffiti or artsy painted walls, brick walls, or walls with greenery… just keep your eyes open to creativity and you will be sure to find a wall to capture a special memory.

Reason #5: Books

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My daughter and I love books, and a weekend in Savannah is the perfect trip for reading or finding a good book. Nice small book stores or a great three story bookstore such as Ex Libris is sure to keep you entertained. We found the book: “The Essential of Fabulous” Because Whatever Doesn’t Work Here Anymore by Ellen Lubin-Sherman at Sylvestor & Co. Savannah. I read this book on my way back from Savannah. It has great advice. I sure hope we can all learn to be fabulous by displaying a great attitude in life.

My family enjoyed our short getaway, from the 4 hour car ride to walking the charming streets, taking pictures and good food. We have fun enjoying the simple things in life, because it’s all about the positive attitude we display.

I encourage you to take the time to appreciate the simple things tomorrow during your day to day activities or during your next vacation. Pay attention to those little things that sometimes we take for granted. It might “just” be a door or a wall, or a child that smiles at you while walking.

Enjoy the fabulous and warmth of the simple things!!

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Photo Courtesy of Melody Pagán