Welcome to The Chop Shop

So I’ve been lagging so much on writing another blog post!! I’ve been so busy!! Quick little catch up since last post… I had midterms at school so I was studying more. Following that, I had spring break and my family and I went on a little vacation to sunny San Diego!! We were there for a week and then had our annual state youth convention for our church. Once we got back, I also had to get back into the flow of school and next thing I noticed, we were welcoming in the new month of April!! It’s spring time everybody!! There’s only about 6 or 7 weeks left of school so I’m really nervous and trying to really study this time. Last time I was in school, I was pregnant and was focused more on napping and shopping for the baby than studying and doing homework. So naturally I got a lower grade than what was required for the course and now I’m having to redo 2 classes to make up for a few points I was away at getting a letter grade higher.

Anyways, I wanted to share about something else I’ve been working on!! I’ve been keeping myself very busy- being a mom, a student, a wife, and everything else in between. My lovely husband has started a podcast!! He’s talked about this podcast for about a year now so it’s super awesome to see him achieve his goal!! In his podcast he talks about music, sports, hot topics, he brings personal experiences and he has some pretty awesome interviews every episode. He is currently doing an episode every two weeks and what is even cooler is that he has little old ME as his co-host!! It feels really nice to be doing something together like this. We get to bond more and it’s super fun.

I’ll leave a link to the podcast below where you can listen to current and previous episodes of The Chop Shop. You can follow us on social media to get to know us a little more and so you can stayed tuned for special interview or topics coming up. Also, we’d love for you to tell us what you’d like to hear more of. Maybe we can tell everyone of an up an coming artist, or an awesome organization that helps kids, maybe you’d like to hear some cheesy jokes or have us do a challenge. I don’t know- you tell us!! You can go ‘Like’ our page now by going to The Chop Shop Podcast on Facebook. 

You can listen to episodes of The Chop shop on soundcloud (under House of Slap Radio) or subscribe on iTunes (although iTunes is under construction for now) 

http://Soundcloud.com/houseofslap

Twitter: @_thechopshop • @bennyfuego • @ruthysan_

Instagram: @bennyfuego • @ruthysan

You are beautiful

According to the dictionary, the word beautiful is defined as someone who possesses qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, thinabout, etc. delighting the senses or mind. Also, something that is excellent in its kind. 

For many people, we have changed the meaning to that word: BEAUTIFUL. Many times we don’t feel beautiful even though we are. We are made in God’s image who is a perfect being. We judge ourselves more than anyone else. Why are we so harsh on ourselves?? Well we have the media to thank for that. Society has set a bar too high for anyone to reach. Models can’t take a “perfect” picture no matter how truly beautiful they look because they will always be touched up and photoshopped. Our hair is always too thin and flat. Our bodies are always too short and fat. Our face constantly has imperfections. We can’t take a family picture without having to make sure we don’t look too fat, or that our smile looks perfect, or even that our hair is placed in just the right spot. I by no means am trying to imply that I am perfect or that I have conquered my fear of how I look and feel. I just had a baby. I am more vulnerable and judgmental than ever. I used to be a size 3 when I first started college and now I don’t even dare look at my pants size. 

A few months ago I read something that changed my way of thinking and I’d like to share that with you. This touched me a lot because it’s something I always do. Many of us refuse to take pictures because of the way we may look- might be that our hair isn’t done, our teeth may look a little crooked or yellow, our make up isn’t done, or the big one, we look too fat. Get over it. Pictures last a lifetime and many times it’s all we have once we’re gone. They will be one of the only physical memories our loved ones will be able to keep. I know we’ll be remembered for the laughs and great moments we shared but wouldn’t it be nice to have pictures of those moments?? Yes, I know, they’re just pictures, but they have a lot of meaning. So sometimes when my husband takes a picture of the baby and me, I try not to stress so much on how I look physically but instead I notice how happy I look. Those are the kinds of pictures I want my children to have of me. 

When you look in the mirror you may see flaws and the smallest imperfection. But just think and remember that others may not (and for the most part) will not see the same thing you do. We tend to look in the mirror and make lists of everything wrong with us. When we see our friends and family they don’t even pay attention to things like that (unless they’re rude and have no feelings for others), if that’s the case, add them to your list of people to pray for. I want you to watch this video that impacted me. It’s short so check it out. 

http://youtu.be/XpaOjMXyJGk

When I first watched it, it made me tear up. (I can be a bit sensitive lol) but it really made me reflect on how I view myself and how shockingly different others may see me. WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL.  WE ARE ALL LOVED. WE ARE ALL IMPORTANT.  Please go look in the mirror and tell yourself that. It will change your world and how good you feel about yourself. Do it. And share this with other people who may be struggling with the way the see themselves or valuing their real beauty. 

Then the wood-carver measures a block of wood and draws a pattern on it. He works with chisel and plane and carves it into a human figure. He gives it human beauty and puts it in a little shrine. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭44‬:‭13‬ NLT)

The day my life changed

On this day exactly one year ago, my like took a turn.  I began a new chapter.  A new door opened for me.

Last February I went to Mexico for 2 weeks and before I returned, I started feeling a bit queasy.  I assumed it was all the food I had been eating, because we all know, when you’re in Mexico you eat everything you come across.  Why is their food so good??!!  Anyways, I told my mom, so we could maybe pick up something from the pharmacy and she said “I bet you’re pregnant!!”  I laughed and said “No.” Like every mother, she had wanted another grandchild and Ben and I just hadn’t gotten round to it yet.  On my flight back to the U.S. I felt sooo sick to my stomach.  I felt dizzy, nauseous, and I even broke out in a cold sweat.  The guy sitting next to me decided to open up a packet of tuna (first of all- why tuna?? I didn’t even know they didn’t put them in cans anymore!!) You can just imagine the SMELL that thing gave off!!!! I could feel the vomit coming up my throat.  When the plane finally arrived and I saw Ben coming towards me to help me with my bags, I nearly cried of relief!!  The next week aunt flo was supposed to arrive and when she didn’t I started to panic a little.  “Could this be it??!!” I thought.  I hadn’t taken my birth control for about 6 months now, and I was hoping I would’ve been pregnant sooner but it just wasn’t God’s plan yet.  I was working at Home Depot at the time and on this day, 1 year ago, I was scheduled in to go to work at 6 am.  I woke up at 5:30 and decided to take a pregnancy test……………………………………………………………3 LONG minutes later, as I looked down onto the sink, the word “YES+” popped up!! I COULD NOT BELIVE MY LITTLE EYES!!  The moment I had been waiting for was finally here.  I started crying and thanking God for answering my prayer.  I decided not to wake up Ben to tell the good news and thought I’d surprise him when he got off work instead.

I bought a onesie for a girl, and one for a boy (because I obviously didn’t know which one of the two we were going to have) and I made him a little note that read “Hi Daddy!! I can’t wait to meet you!!” and placed the test on the card.  He looked at me with surprise and we didn’t even say anything.  All we could do was hug, kiss, and cry tears of joy and excitement.  It was a beautiful moment, you had to be there.

When I told our parents, that was another story!! I had put some clothes, a binky, and a bib (I think….something like that) into a little bag and attached a little note in.  oh wait!! PAUSE- side note: A few weeks prior to this, my in-laws had randomly told us what they wanted to be called when they became grandparents.  ok, back to my story. The note said something along the lines of “Here are a few things you might need when you help out my mom when she doesn’t know what she’s doing”  and on the envelope I wrote their names: Geema and Ito (short for “Abuelita” in spanish)  I gave the bag to my mother in law and as soon as she peeked in and saw the name on the card, she started yelling, laughing, and jumping up in excitement!!  My father in law looked confused and didn’t know what was going on.  It was hilarious.  I’m telling you, you had to be there!!  We told him the great news and clearly they were both very excited.  My mom was still in Mexico at the time.  She had gotten surgery, which was the reason why I had gone too, but she stayed 2 extra weeks to recuperate, so I had to keep in my secret until she got back.  When I picked her up from the airport, I made something similar to what I did for my mother in law.  PAUSE- side note:  My mother had to have some gallbladder stones removed (I think that’s what they called?) and when the doctors told her she had stones inside her she called the stones “her little babies” because she had to get an ultrasound to see them and the doctor who saw her told her she had two little girls (which were the stones). ANYWAYS, when my mom opened the little bag she noticed what it was and what I was trying to tell her.  She too, yelled in excitement and gave me a hug, and told me “I TOLD YOU!!” Why are mom’s always right?? They have a 6th sense.  (remember, how she told me I was pregnant in Mexico??) yeah. I know.  My grandma was so confused though.  She said “oh are these for your stones?? Do you have stones that need to be removed too Ruthy?” Once I told her I was having a baby we couldn’t stop laughing. Again, you had to be there.

A year later, I am enjoying my baby BOY!! Being a mom is hard, but it is also so much fun!!! I love everything about it.  Except changing his diapers.  Ben can continue doing that 😉  He brings so much joy into our lives and there isn’t a day that goes by when we don’t learn something new, or where he doesn’t make us laugh.  Oh, and by the way,  HE STARTED TEETHING!! As he was laying down, I was talking to him and he was laughing and cooing back at me and I noticed a little white speck on his gums!! At first I thought, maybe its a little fuzzy thingy (from his clothes) and I stuck my finger in his mouth to get it.  When it didn’t come off, I began to feel it, and noticed it was the first signs of a little TOOTH!!! I am very excited and very happy to know that he hasn’t been very fussy (as many children can be when they start teething).  I’m not saying he won’t be, because this is just a START to many more teeth on the way, but so far he’s been a great baby.  I LOVE IT!! I can’t wait for the many more adventures, surprises, and teeth to come in our future!! But no more babies for now!! THAT I CAN wait another year or two for!!

Have a blessed week everyone!!

Little feet

This past week has been rough. My little one started to develop a little cough and by the time the weekend came around he sounded like an old smoker. It no longer sounded cute. His face would turn red, his cry became louder, his attitude was sad, and my heart broke into more pieces as the time went by. I tried everything to make him feel better… Even the Mexican home remedies that make no sense but somehow always worked…except this time. Let me tell you that my morning consisted of a lot of baby throw up, tears (both his and mine) and lots of walking/driving around. After an X-ray and some time on a nebulizer machine, doctors told me my little one has a respiratory virus that has been going around and is quite contagious for the little ones. My heart froze for a moment. The last thing I was is for my baby to struggle with his breathing. I felt the tears swelling up in my eyes again as I saw my little baby sitting so peacefully with the mask on his face taking in his medication. But then I remembered God is in control. See, last Sunday my hubby and I presented him to the Lord at church. We promised to raise Abel with the teachings of God and be of example to him…..and then “what a coincidence”… He gets really sick. Looks like it’s time to put my promise into action. I don’t believe in coincidences. I know everything happens for a reason. I know God puts certain people and situations in our lives because it’s all part of his master plan. We may not know what that plan is most of the time, but that’s where our trust and faith in Him comes into play. Yes, it breaks my heart to see such a small person in pain, but it gives me great joy to know that more importantly, my little one belongs to God and I know He will heal Abel soon.

We’ve been blessed with a great baby. Even through his sickness he still smiles, giggles, and plays around. When his dad comes home from work and gets him all excited he kicks and coos and I just love watching them. I thank God for still allowing my little one to find strength to be happy. I know when I’m sick I just want to crawl into a ball in bed and not be talked to all day. I thank God because he’s given us patience and peace through this all. As we gave our little boy another dose of his medicine before bed, he just sat there so calm.. Like he knew what was coming. Ben read him a book and he sat so patiently for the medicine to be done. Even though we have only given him the medicine 3 times since we’ve been back from the doctors, I can already see God’s hands touching his little body. Sure, the medicine has helped, but I know prayer and faith is stronger than any medication. I want to thank everyone who has been calling and messaging us to let us know they’re praying for him. It means a lot. We are blessed to have these little feet in our home.

All about the children

I’m back!!!

So I took a break for a few weeks to enjoy the holidays, my little baby, and try to sleep more.  That, and Abel is growing and getting bigger, and so are his needs.  He’s staying awake for longer periods of time so I’ve enjoyed playing with him and talking to him.  I can’t believe how fast time is going by and how much he’s changing.  We can talk to him and he’s more responsive; smiling and goo goo-ga ga-ing back at us….or mainly my husband actually.  Abel listens to me chatter all day and he just kinda smiles at me.  He must think I’m crazy.  But as soon as Ben comes home from work and says “Hi baby boy!!” Abel is smiling from ear to ear and “talking” back to Ben.  It’s the cutest thing ever.  He just turned 11 weeks and finally sleeping in his crib.  For the longest time I was so afraid to put him in his crib at night by himself.  I know this is a topic with many different viewpoints.  Some people think co-sleeping is a great idea, helps with bonding, easier for feedings at night, etc.  while others believe babies need their space, it’s hazardous for the baby, parents can squish them, blah blah blah.  Anyways!! that’s not what this post is about.  As you can see I get side tracked real quick.  This post is all about the children…in particular, mine.  I just wanted to share some things I’m doing for Abel and hopefully it will inspire you to do the same or something similar for your present, or future, children.  I’m all about making memories that we can look back at later and cherish.  I really enjoy when my mom randomly pulls out stuff I made for her when I was younger, or drawings I made in school, and especially pictures!! I’m a huge fan of pictures!! I’m wondering though, if Abel will feel the same way when he’s older, like if he’ll like or appreciate or even care for all the stuff I’m doing.  Maybe I’m just obsessive over this stuff because I’m a girl, and boys don’t care much for this stuff. but I’m doing it anyway Abel so you better like it!!

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The first thing is keeping a baby journal.  I have 2 actually.  The one pictured here you can find at Barnes and Noble.  I forgot how much it cost though, I want to say around $20.  It has different sections where you can write about the baby’s arrival, preparing for the baby, the early days (as a newborn), trips and outings, baby’s favorites, and celebrations.  And for each section there is a little pocket folder so you can put pictures or cards.  The other journal I have is a normal journal just for writing in it.  I got it as soon as I found out I was pregnant and I began to write in it every few weeks.  I would write what I was feeling at the time, how much he (and I) was growing, new symptoms I had, appointments, etc.  The day I delivered Abel, I tried writing in it every couple hours through labor, updating our progress.  Now, I like to write about new and cute things Abel does every day, things we do as a family, and how much I love him and love being his mom.

Another thing I’m doing also involves writing.  I’m actually doing this for my nephew as well, who I also see as a son and I love very much.  Every year I write them a letter.  I kind of summarize the year, make a wish or a prayer for their future, and of course, let them know how much I love them.  At the end I include a few pictures and a $20 bill.  I’ll be saving these letters until they turn 18, or graduate from High school, which ever comes first.

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This last one is an ultimate memory keeper.  I bought a little box and like 20 of those folders that hang on the box (I don’t know what they’re called…hanging folders?? lol) I made the following sections:

-cards and letters                                  -pictures                                                         -toddler stage

-grades (prek-senior year)                    -certificates and report cards                        -church

-sports

I thought this was super cool because I know I lose things all the time and this would be a perfect spot to save everything in one place, its easy to organize and find later, and there’s so much space to put all kinds of stuff.  I’m super excited for us to start making memories, although just thinking about Abel entering preschool makes me want to cry hahaha.  Maybe I’ll get my teaching credential so I can be his teacher every year and not have to leave his side.  Yup.  That’s what I’ll do.

It’s never too late to start any of these ideas so if you do make something like this or similar, please share with me!! I’d love to see!! Enjoy making memories!!

20 DIY Christmas gifts

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!! My favorite holiday!! I love everything about it…houses decorated with lights, christmas trees, shopping for gifts, the coziness one feels in the home, christmas movies, making gingerbread houses, baking cookies…But i think the part I enjoy the most is the gifts.  Of course I like receiving gifts, but I LOVE giving them more than I do receiving them.  I love seeing their facial expression as they open their gift.  I enjoy seeing how happy they get.  It makes me even happier and fills me with joy.  I know that sounds cheesy, but I really do enjoy it.  Now, I’m mexican, which means I have a really big family and I’m not rich so buying presented for everyone can be difficult and very expensive!! That’s why sometimes I make gifts.  In my opinion handmade gifts are worth a lot more than store bought ones.  For one, they are unique so you won’t find something like it at your local store, and if you do, it’s always so expensive!!  Handmade gifts also show that you were thinking about that person and set aside your time just for them.  That’s why I’ve put together 20 different gift ideas you can make (and don’t have to be super crafty or have advanced artistic skills for).  I’ve made a few of these myself in the past so if I can do it, anyone can.  Have fun and I hope the people receiving your handmade gift enjoys it as much as you did making it!! Merry Christmas everyone!!  P.S.  I realized I added an extra one…now you have 21 gift ideas!!

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Things to include: nail polish, polish remover, nail clipper nail file, hand lotion, hand scrub, foot scrub, the little spongy thing you put between the toenails when you paint them (I forgot what they’re called), etc.

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This is one of my favorites.  It can me any mix of recipes (cookies, bread, brownies, whatever).  Layer each ingredient in a jar and place a sticker or card with the recipe.  Voila!!

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For someone who enjoys baking, this is the perfect gift!!

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Who doesn’t love candles??  You can never have enough.  Follow the link for instructions on how to make these candles in a mason jar.

http://somethingturquoise.com/2011/11/04/diy-poured-mason-jar-candle/

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These hand scrubs are so easy to make, it’s ridiculous.  Basically you put in 2/3 cups of sugar and 1/3 of Dawn soap (the olay one pictured here smells really good AND leaves hands feeling soft).  To add a touch of christmas, blend or smash some peppermint candy canes and add them to the mix.  Mix with a butter knife or popsicle stick and you’ve got yourself a handy dandy scrub!!

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Another one of my favorites.  I made this as a gift for christmas last year.  You can buy the mugs at the dollar store and draw any design on it with a sharpie.  Before applying the design though, clean the area with rubbing alcohol so that the sharpie applies well then stick it in the oven when you’re done doodling.  I made these for a couple.  One mug read “Mr. Right” with a mustache drawn at the top and the other read “Mrs. Always Right” with some red lips drawn at the top.  Be creative!!

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These are nice, especially for this cold season.  Cut out little squares of your favorite fabric, put rice inside it (or some lavender too!!), and seal by sewing it all together!!  How easy is that!!  Helpful tip:  rinse the rice first and let it dry before inserting it.  I made a heating pad like this and when I went to heat it up, the smell of the rice was not cute.  You’re welcome.

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With a cheap frame from the Dollar store or goodwill and some burlap, you’ve got a nice earring holder!! Glue the burlap to the back of the frame and you’re all set.  Decorate to your liking.

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This is a fun way to give money instead of just giving a gift card or folding up some dollar bills.  Empty out a box of chocolates and replace the chocolates with monies!!  That’s my kind of box of chocolates!!

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Give someone a movie night in.  There are so many good $5, or even $10 movies at Target and Walmart to include in this box.  The candy boxes are about $1 (Target, Walmart, Dollar Store) compared to $5 at the movie theater.  Add a pack of popcorn and some sodas and you’ve got a fun (and cheaper) movie night with your date!!

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This is so cute for anyone who likes to cook or bake.  So simple, but yet so useful.  Maybe add a few new recipes for them to try out…and better yet, make them together!!

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I have yet to make this one.  All it is really is a cookie sheet covered in your favorite fabric.  It can’t get easier than that!!

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This gift is very personal and very cute as well.  Using a deck of cards, come up with 52 reasons why you love that special someone (or things you love about them).  This gift is perfect for Valentine’s Day too!!

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Every girl loves make up…especially when it’s ultra cheap!!  Make some lip balm by mixing some vaseline with your choice of colored kool-aid.  Who knew it was so easy and affordable?!?!

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I need one of these for my house.  With a cheap frame, place a picture, printing of your initial, whatever you’d like and decorate.  Then place some hooks on the bottom for your keys or maybe dog leashes, if you have any.

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Buy any size and color mug and spray paint some chalk paint on the bottom of it to create your own customized and personal mug!!  These look fun!!

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How cute are these!!  With the same concept of the cookie mix in the jar, put in some hot chocolate mix, sprinkles, and mini marshmallows into an ornament!!  Can’t get anymore “Christmasy” than that!!  You can find these at Walmart or Michael’s crafts store.

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Ipad/tablet covers are so expensive, especially if they’re cute, so why not make your own for a fraction of the price!!  Follow the link for instructions on how to make your own cover.

http://ohsolovelyvintage.blogspot.com/2012/02/diy-ipad-case.html?m=1

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I love the simplicity and elegance of this gift.  The bottom part is a candle holder (found at the dollar store) and all you do is glue a mason jar, or any jar really, to the top of that.  There are so many uses for this.  I just might make one for my make up brushes!!

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Another one of my favorites.  I made this when my husband and I got our first apartment.  Every night when he came home from work he’d ask the same thing “What’s for dinner babe?”.  I made one of these for our meal plan for the week, just for him!! lol  All you need is a frame, some decorative paper, and a dry erase marker.  (Keep the glass in, obviously)

IMG_4474.PNGLast but not least…another christmas themed gift.  Quite clever.

Hope you all enjoyed these ideas.  Have fun making them and you’re welcome for saving you money.  Merry Christmas to you!!

The Power of Love

Can you define love?? How would you define what love is?? I believe there are many different ways to define what love is. It is also the most important thing in life, in my opinion. Love is mentioned in the bible more than 300 times (depends on the version of the bible too) 310 in the King James Version and 551 in the New International version, for example.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13‬:‭4-8‬ NLT)

There are different kinds of love as well. Love for a friend, love for our family, and love for your spouse.. But the greatest love is the love Jesus had for us, that he died so that we could have life. (John 3:16)

Love is so great, so intense, so powerful that sometimes we are willing to go to great lengths for love.
Love is the subject, what inspires many movies and songs. I’m a huge disney fan and many of their movies have a love story, whether it’s between friends or a couple. Interestingly, I’ve also found connections or similarities in some movies that demonstrate God’s love for us.
In Finding Nemo we see a father who goes on an immense search to find his son. He crosses the ocean, fights some sharks, gets swallowed up by a whale, and along his journey he faces many fears that he overcomes all for the chances of getting closer to find his son Nemo. He loves his son so much, he is willing to do anything and everything to be with him once again. We notice that before Nemo and Marlin (the father) are separated, Nemo becomes upset with his father because he “touches the butt” and is somewhere he shouldn’t be. He swam away from him which got him into trouble. Many times, we are the same way. We sin and do things that only cause separation between us and God. Luckily, God loves us so much and is so graceful that He went great lengths for us to be together once again in heaven.
In one of my newest favorite movies, Frozen, we meet Queen Elsa who has the power to freeze anything in her path but unfortunately causes hurt in her life and everyone around her. The main idea in this movie is that “love will thaw a frozen heart”. The relationship with her sister, Anna, had taken a turn with the death of their parents that also left Elsa very scared and bitter. But there came a time when Anna was willing to put her own life at risk to save the life of her sister despite the way she treated her (just like Jesus did for us!!) Once Elsa realized this, her whole mentality changed. She now saw what love meant and what it did in her life. She uses her powers for good that now cause happiness in the lives around her. In the same way, we have come to understand God’s love for us. Our lives too have been changed, our hearts have been “thawed”… All because someone loved us and gave their life for us.
This was just a little observation that I made and had been dying to share with someone!! Haha That’s the cool thing about having a blog, I suppose. I can write about anything that comes to mind…although I guess I could do the same in a journal (which I also have). I’m starting to think I need more friends!! Lol It’s more fun to share with others though and hear their opinions.
People just want to feel loved or cared about. That’s all. Show someone you love them. Do something nice. Even a friendly comment can go a long way and make someone’s day. Do a random act of kindness- that always restores a bit of hope in humanity. Put a smile on someone’s face. Reflect God’s love into the lives of others. SHARE what the gift of God’s love has done in your life so that others may experience something just as great. Be love.

Santa is coming!!!!!!!

It’s finally December!!!! There’s less than a month until Christmas is finally here. It is officially ok for me to listen to Christmas music, turn on my Christmas inspired scented candles, and the most exciting part…Christmas shopping!!! Although I won’t be going crazy this year with the shopping part, I will enjoy making a lot of gifts this year as well. I’m going for the cheaper (it’s the thought that counts) type of gifts- because let’s face it, the economy ain’t doing too well if you know what I mean…I’ll probably make another post later on homemade and affordable gift ideas for this year. Anywho, I am super excited to celebrate this season. Unfortunately I don’t have my own home but if I did this is what I’d do if I could host my own Christmas party. Hopefully you guys get some good ideas and have fun enjoying the holidays!!!

First of all… Sister gotta be looking good!!! Glittery eye makeup and a dark lip are perfect for a bold look, while a soft shimmer and a nude lip go great for a more simple look.

 

When it comes to outfits there’s two options for me depending on my mood. I can dress up in one of these super cute outfits.

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Of course, I’m not as girly as I’d like to be (that’s like extreme level to me) so I’d most likely go with a much more casual look like this:

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Fooooooddd… Three main food groups are candy..candy canes…candy corn…and syrup. (Quote from “ELF” in case anyone didn’t get that) But for this party we’ll make some traditional mexican party foods which include posole, tamales, and enchiladas. For dessert we’ll make some aaroz con leche, hot chocolate and you can’t forget all the sweets!! I’ve always wanted to have a hot chocolate bar, they seem so fun!! You can add all sorts of things, like candy canes, marshmallows, cinnamon sticks, anything you can think of really…be creative.  Last year I made cupcakes and put santa hats and christmas trees on them.  Put white icing on the cupcake, place a strawberry on top of it, and then a small dollop of icing on the tip of it.  For the tree I put white icing on the cupcake, placed the strawberry and then swirled green frosting around it.  Put an m&m or other candy on the top for the star and then add sprinkles to resemble the lights.  The other desserts below seem cute and above all, easy to make that everyone can enjoy.

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When it comes to decorating your christmas gifts, there are ENDLESS ways to do it.  These are a few ideas I saw that I really enjoyed.  They are very simple but look elegant and expensive. haha.  I LOVE the all white look.  I love using the brown paper (which is really just packing paper-and super cheap).  It gives you a blank canvas to be as creative as you want.  Another way to put the person’s name on the gift is to print out a picture of the person.  How fun!! You can also put just the letter of their initial.  The last option I enjoy is using a bit of nature for decoration.  You can cut a piece off from your christmas tree, grab little twigs from outside, or even a mistle toe and add it on the bow.

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For entertainment let’s play some games!!  This link will lead you to some fun christmas themed games from “minute to win it”.

http://zachandcallie.blogspot.ca/2011/12/minute-to-win-it-christmas-party-part-1.html

For the children, they can make snowmen (while watching “Frozen” maybe??) and make their own christmas trees with ice cream cones, icing, and sprinkles.  You can also click on this other link that has a lot of free printable coloring pages!! I’ve already printed some for my nephew!! 🙂

http://www.nestofposies-blog.com/2013/12/christmas-coloring-pages/

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Happy Holidays!!!! Best wishes from Ruthy and Abel.

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New Season

Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK!!  I feel like it creeped up on me.  My husband’s side of the family will be getting together and we’ll be doing a talent show, so I’m excited to see what everyone will come up with.  I’m eager to be celebrating the holidays with our little baby boy- it makes the holidays that much more special and memorable.  Along with the holidays comes a new season…We transition from fall to winter…We go from celebrating Thanksgiving to celebrating Christmas.  But I’d like to think seasons change in our lives as well.  We transition from childhood to adulthood…Elementary school to middle school…Being single to being married; and a most recent one for me would be becoming a parent.  It’s a change in our lives that sometimes we may not be ready for or one we’re not willing to accept.  I’m going to be transparent with you all and let you in on a new season in my life.  I’m not going to lie, it makes me a little nervous.  My heart is racing as I type this because it makes me emotional, but I know God is in control. He has never failed me or left me so I know I will be alright as long as I keep trusting God.

So, quick background story…I was abused for 5 years by a family member.  I told my parents about it when I turned 21 and they completely supported me when I wanted to get a restraining order on this person.  Unfortunately, because I had no hard evidence of what happened, the judge sent us to a mediator instead so we could come to some agreement.  The agreement was that there would be no communication between both parties, and because we are family members, if we arrived to the same place (birthday party for example) whoever got there second needed to leave.  I made a special request- that this person not come to my church, and he agreed to it.  This agreement was to last 3 years.  This December, in just a couple weeks, that agreement comes to an end and there is a mixture of emotions that overwhelm me when I think about it.  Part of me feels nervous.  During the 3 years he broke the agreement a number of times by coming to the same church I attend.  It always bothered me but I decided not to do anything further (legally) because I knew it was an argument I wouldn’t win and I didn’t want to give him that satisfaction.  Now he’ll be able to come when he pleases and I’d rather not see his face for the rest of my life.  But what can I do…nothing, except trust God.  God has gotten me this far, I know He’s going to keep remaining by my side.  The other part of me makes me feel proud of myself.  I look back at where I was at that point in my life and where I am now, and I see that God has done so much in me.  I thank Him so much for it.

One thing I can say now though, is that I am no longer afraid.  Not because I had the agreement; that was just a piece of paper.  I have a God who loves me and whose protection is greater than any security squad. I leave it all in God’s hands; He is in control. “Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the LORD means safety.  Many seek the ruler’s favor, but justice comes from the LORD” (Proverbs 29:25 & 26)  I had to learn this the hard way and it was quite difficult for me to understand at first.  I am a different person now, on a new level if you want to say it like that.  I am not where I was 3 years ago.  I used to be scared, just talking about him made me nervous, and I would cry a lot out of anger.  I wanted justice to be served, and justice (in my eyes) wouldn’t have been a pleasant outcome for him.  But I have a different mind set now.  God has instilled a peace in me.  I find comfort in Him that no one or nothing else can provide.  I’ve entered a New Season in my life.  I’m married now…I am a mother (woo hoo!!)…and most importantly, my relationship with God is a lot better than before.  I am not perfect, but with God all things are made new and I feel that way.

I saw this picture a few days ago when I decided to write about this subject, which only confirmed to me that I was worrying for nothing.

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“Come to me all those who are weary and I will give you rest”  says the Lord.

I was once in a place where I was weary and giving up, but God came in to my life and took me out of that place.  He’s fought my battles for me so why should I still be freaking out??- He got this!!  Sometimes it’s so hard for us to let go and let God work in our lives, but let’s encourage one another and remind ourselves that God can do all things.

So on that note, I encourage you not to give up.  No matter the situation you are in right now, or how much you want to give up.  God has never left you.  He is patiently waiting for you to invite Him into your heart.  Let Him take your pain and struggles away and replace it with peace and happiness.  He’s done that in my own life, so I know He can do it for you as well.  God bless you all who read this. I hope it’s spoken to you or encouraged you in a special way.

Welcome Fall!!

 

November is finally here!!  …Or more like almost over!! I’ve been in cloud 9 since the birth of my baby boy that I’ve “forgotten” all about November, thanksgiving, pumpkins, and turkeys.  This month has flown by and I wanted to get a chance to share some my favorite things about this month before it’s over.  One of the many things I enjoy is the chilly weather.  Time to bring out all those scarfs ladies!! Oh and don’t forget the boots too!!  My mom just bought me a pair, which I’m really excited about.  The boots I had last year…lets just say I wore them a lot.  (The heel came off of one boot.)  I’m not a huge coffee drinker, BUT I do love me a cup of PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE from starbucks…oh and don’t forget that pumpkin pie too!!!  This is making me hungry already.  Another pumpkin favorite of mine is this hand soap…a little random, I know, but it smells delicious- not in a “I want to eat it” kind of way- it’s more like a “oh my goodness this smells like comfort and it brings me so many good memories” kind of way….I guess that’s delicious??  It’s just amazing.  When I lived in Hawaii, my friend gave me a bottle of this soap and it just made me feel so happy inside when I would smell it…and because Christmas season is right around the corner (and by thanksgiving time our tree was already up) I guess it reminds me of the Christmas season as well.  It’s from Bath and Body Works, the name of the scent is “Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin” and I highly recommend it to errrrrrybody!!  And it’s only $6!!  I also got the hand sanitizer and the body wash, as you can tell I’m a little obsessed.  Anyways- go get it!!

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Ok, now, for a fun activity!! I’m not super into carving pumpkins but I do LOVE candles and saw this cute little craft that is super easy to make and that I think will add a simple touch of the fall season to your home.  IMG_3765.PNG

You’ll Need:

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So all you do basically is glue the leaves on to the jar and let it dry.  Easy as that.  Apply the glue to the jar, add the leaves, and then apply another coat of the glue over the leaves to smoothen it out and so that the leaves hug on to the jar very well.  Let it dry, add your favorite candle in the jar and enjoy!!

Last thing:  BAKING!!!! 

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I love to bake, as I had mentioned in a previous post.  Here’s an apple pie you can take to your Thanksgiving dinner, because who doesn’t like apple pie right??!!  It doesn’t look like your average apple pie though, I know.  I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought to try it out with my own family.  The first time I made it for my husband he was amazed (brushing off my shoulder haha)… he was probably more amazed of the fact that I could cook it without burning our kitchen down though.  So here’s the recipe and instructions on how to make it.  Hope you enjoy!!

For the Crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups of flour (plus extra for rolling)
  • 1 cup (aka: 2 sticks) of very cold butter
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 6-8 tablespoons of ice water

How To:  Mix flour, sugar and salt first.  Then add the cold butter.  It may be easier to cut into cubes and then mix it in with your hands.  Once the mixture looks clumpy start to add the cold water a tablespoon at a time while continuing to mix.  I don’t know why, but it seems to work better than just dumping the water in all at once.  The dough will be ready once you can pinch the crumbly dough together with your fingers and it hold together.  Put it in the freezer for 15 minutes (or the fridge for 30).  SIDE NOTE:  I like to make the dough first so I can work on the filling while the dough sits in the fridge and I don’t have to wait extra time.

For the Filling:

  • 6-8 apples- peeled and cut into cubes or thin slices (your choice)
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (so apples don’t turn brown)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

How To:  In a large bowl mix together the apples and lemon juice.  Then combine everything else in there.  Doesn’t need to be done in any special order- you’re fine!!

Once that’s done it’s time to bring out the rollin pin.  Roll out the dough to a large rectangle.  You can make it as thick or thin as you prefer, depending on how you like your pies.  Then you’ll want to grab a knife and cut slices on the top and bottom of your rectangle dough (as shown in the picture).  The next step is to pile on all the apples!!  I like to drain out the apples a bit so that all the excess juices don’t flow out and burn while it’s baking…clearly I learned that the hard way, as you can see in the picture below, juices are flowing out already. No bueno.  The next step is the fun part- braiding the pie!!  Simple- start on one side, grab a strap of dough, or whatever you want to call those things and just cross them over from one side to another.  Voila, you’re done!!  You could sprinkle some sugar and cinnamon on the top before you put that puppy in the oven- again…up to you.  It will sit in the oven at 375* F for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

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Enjoy!!