Happy New Year 2017!!!

Hello friends!

Happy New Year 2017!!!

"It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me, and I'm feeling good" taking from Nina Simone's Feeling Good awesome lyrics. Can you believe I just started listening to Nina Simone this past November!. I can't even. Thanks Spotify for changing my life and filling it up with new and interesting music.

I'm really excited to share a wonderful adventure my family and I had the opportunity to experience on New Year's Eve in Times Square.

New York City has always been in my heart since I was a little girl, so as you can imagine getting to call myself a resident here, is surreal to say the least. I don't take it for granted, no, no. As we invested the holidays with family coming to visit us in NYC, then going to PA to celebrate  Christmas, a seemingly crazy little idea crossed our minds. What if... what if we decided to go to Times Square on New Year's Eve and see the ball drop?

I say crazy because everyone I have polled regarding this exact question said that it's just too crowded and stressful. But something in my gut said: "psst, try it". My husband was not completely sold nor against about the idea, until finally we decided just to go for it. Friends, it was an absolutely blast! So glad we did it!!!.

It has probably been one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I don't know, it's something that you just watch on tv for years and finding myself there with my beloved family  was just like: "is this real life?" Remember that you tube video of the kid saying that?

I wanted to pinch myself, ok maybe slap my face too. It wasn't only about been there, or that one of my childhood favorite singers was about to sing right in front of my very eyes, but also about been amongst a crowd of people so happy to be there and with a palpable sense of hope about their futures. The lights, the music, Times Square what else can I say. 

I hope you enjoy the little video we made...

Grateful!

Our first trip to Paris! Summer 2016

I wanted to share a beautiful trip my family and I took to Paris, France this past summer 2016. It was such a wonderful experience to get to share the magic of the City of Light with my tribe. For years, I have been watching french cinema, studied some french in school and just plain liked croissants so much. Oh, their sense of fashion of course!  There is a reason why so many people love it. It's  a gorgeous place with a culture of beauty and quality living. As a family, we were so glad we took the plunge, and decided to visit this amazing city.

We were happy campers just strolling around town, discovering the intricate buildings, restaurants and gardens. I still have flashes of our travels deep ingrained in the bank of my memory. We did a certain amount of research before going but the places and spaces we ended up going to, were all more of a gut instinct for us and I'm happy to report that it worked!! 

I remember our tickle fights at the hotel room, the carbonara pastas dishes (too good to pass on!), the sparkling water that became our new drink of preference, the kids meeting Eiffel the Tower for the first time, all those crepes everywhere!!, the astonishing paintings at the Louvre, the jaw dropping architecture, the good taste and fashion of the majority of people and so the list goes on and on. Below some pictures of our trip:

There were so many moments that I will forever treasure. One of my favorite memories happened at The Louvre when the kids told me they wanted to make art just like that. "Can we make that at home?'" Of course! I replied. The fact that they are curious and that they want to make their own art is very encouraging to me. We lasted in the museum a couple of hours so Mark Walter and I really appreciated their stamina. 

The weather was quite hot but it didn't feel overbearing at all, probably because of your charm Paris!

Details, details, details and flowers everywhere!

This room at the hotel we stayed at, so pretty.

photo credit: Mark Jacinto Kropf

a kid pondering.

guapísimo!!!

At the Arc De Triomphe.

At the Arc De Triomphe.

Paris had the most beautiful little restaurants, mom and pop shops and boutiques. I cannot imagine how much they have had to fight to keep it that way. Their social life of friends and families just hanging our during the workweek reminded me to my country of birth, Ecuador. People place a high value on relationships. 

The most delicious carbonara pasta I have ever tried in my life.

a shopping mall in Paris.

a memorable smoked salmon crepe:-)

Hi, Eiffel!

The kiddos and I.

Our family.

Ok, so the last bit of our Eiffel tower family photoshoot took quite a bit of effort because it got extremely hot and we didn't have plenty of time left in Paris. Thankfully the kids were helpful after mentioning the word ice cream.

Mi Mark Walter y yo.

Mi niño.

Mi niña. Thanks to grandma Kropf for a beautiful dress and red shoes that Dominika loved instantly. She wanted to wear it the entire time!!

One of the most rewarding things to experience as a family is growing together. Because of living together and spending a big chunk of our time in each other's company one gets to see the flaws, the gifts, talents, strengths and weaknesses. But recognizing our humanity and condition and still choosing to love, nurture and encourage each other is very much worth the journey. So grateful for what God has done in me through the adventure of raising my family and for what He will do.

Thanks for reading!

A Fall afternoon in Central park

This past Saturday our family headed to Central park for some exploration and yummy food. Mark is always the one in charge of finding a satisfying eatery and he has never let me down. I guess the element of surprise, which i love, is one of the most exciting things in life for me. The "not knowing" and then oh, surprise!!. My two children got that gene two, give it to Ecuadoreans, I guess. 

Anyways, I've been itching to get the family together and take some formal "family pics" for my mantel by the dinning room table. I'm in this kick of wanting to add more detail to our cozy little home.

On our way to Central park, Mark took us for lunch at the Smith which happened to be across Lincoln center and, since I've always been a lover of opera and ballet, I was just very content to be there. The weather was nice enough to eat outside, sun shinning on my face, Dominika napping in her stroller (rare occasion), short 10 minute waiting time for our table. Yes, yes! 

The food was pretty darn tasty and that mac and cheese was divine! I love mac and cheese!! Our weekends have been pretty indulgent lately so we gotta stop and introduce more greens on the table. Seriously.

Once we finished our meal, Mark Walter bought us coffee since it started to get a little chilly and that's when the race began...

No, it wasn't the nyc marathon race yet, since it was Saturday ( marathon happened on Sunday). It was the race going on in my heart... and I'm not trying to be poetic here. Ever since I had Dominika, I'm randomly sensitive to caffeine. It seldom happens but oh well. My heart was beating faaasssst!

In spite of the "little horse running in my heart" we had a very good time together. I just love love being with my family, getting to enjoy this gorgeous city and just living the moment. Autumn is such a special season, I just can't get over it; its so beautiful! I love that my husband is pretty ocd about his seasonal candles and is the one buying pumpkin candles and  puts cider on a crockpot so our home smells wonderful. 

The kids got to run around and just be kids and we just took it all in, the sights, the smells, the people watching and the wind touching my skin gently. 

Grateful.

Our first trip to London! Summer 2016

This Summer 2016 was a blast. A real dream come true for our little family of four to travel abroad together. We set our sights towards Europe, and had the opportunity to visit London as our first destination. 

London was more of a comfort thing for us because my hubby has lived there before and so he knew his way around. I could tell it was a very special thing for him to show his family a dear place where he has build many memories before. The kids were enchanted, and so was I. I knew from our domestic travel in the United States that they were pretty good travelers but they really did impress me. These kids love airplanes and hotels and the whole shebang. They get a kick out of the airplane food, getting to interact with the flight attendants and seeing what new hotel they get to stay at. 

Sometimes I do get a little shy to share this kind of observations because I know that that is not always the case with kids, and I definitely do not take it for granted. Still, I want to be able to share this blessings because it was an important part of our travel and my memory of it. 

The first evening there, it was all about going around Piccadilly Circus(London's equivalent of Time Square) and just walking around exploring the city. Visual flashes of seeing Westminster Abbey, Big Ben and the M & M store swirl in my mind. Also, the wonderful carbonara pasta we tried at an Italian restaurant. By the time we went back to the hotel, we were exhausted. I put everyone to bed, husband included, and lights off.

Next day, we started our journey surprisingly early but by mid afternoon we realized it wasn't a good idea to push the boundaries of what our strong little girl could handle. She was just not feeling well and we needed to get back to the hotel for her to rest and take a nap. I think after that incident,  we understood that a mid afternoon break was what was going to work best for us. A mid afternoon break bought us extra hours at night as well, I don't know but it settled well with her rhythms. 

At this point, all I have is emotional impressions of what my travel was. That's why I love to document and blog as much as I can of my family's memories. The longer I wait, the more the details fade. Anyways, all of my pictures here were taken with my dslr camera. I have a significant amount of iphone pictures as well, but for now this:

We met up with Bonnie or Bonifacio how some call him. One of my hubby's best friends. Bonnie was a darling, showing us around London specially some non touristic things like a Brazilian mom and pop corner restaurant with delicious feijoada. He showed us around his home and even let us do laundry. We stayed in London a little over a week and since we traveled light ( a carry on for each person for almost two weeks!), we needed it.

He was also responsible for taking the kids to the movie theater so Mark and I could have a special anniversary dinner together. Bonnie, if you read this thank you, thank you!!!

Family pictures are one of my favorite things ever!

Throughout our stay in London, we visited Borough Market and Camden Market which was amazing. It was not only the food that impressed me but also the goods they sold. The jewelry, clothing and crafts was pretty unique. It's hard to find truly unique things nowadays, thanks globalization! 

Oh, my sweatheart, you are truly growing fast!

I don't know if the photo does it justice but the falafel was amazing.

Dishoom was my very favorite in London. What a unique experience and it was huge too! Indian cafe style cuisine with a twist. This restaurant was a fantastic marriage of delicious food mixed with evocative decor. The walls were full of vintage India magazine pictures and it just took you to a different place. I love that ambiance can do that for you. All I can say it was an intriguing and different experience and I like different.

On this particular day, we went out for brunch and right afterwards we waited a bit to see a theatrical performance of the Railway Children with a real train inside and all. Kid's were super excited. 

They did enjoy dressing up:)

Thanks for the photo Marky!

Mark Jacinto has this strange and endearing thing were he giggles a lot when he snaps pictures. He feels flattered when we trust him with the big camera. I don't know what else is going on in his head but he just giggles a lot. At home, he likes to borrow my iphone and make videos and take pictures of food and body parts like elbows and hands. It's pretty cute and pretty artistic the way they come out!

Papá e hijo.

I was taken by the history of the place were my feet got to walk in. I was smitten by the detail in the architectural works of the city. But most of all, I was happy to be experiencing all of that with my family.

Next, we decided to take the train to Paris. Thanks for reading!

Happy Halloween at Bronx Zoo!

Hi guys!

It's been a while since I have written my last post, I've kind of missed writing! I've been very involved here in our new city with making new friendships, sticking to a school schedule, various responsibilities among other things. On Saturday, we went to the Bronx Zoo, our first time together there! The place is so big that we were there hours and still did not see half of the animals living there!

As always, is my biggest pleasure to have our family outings were we are experiencing new things together. I absolutely love that we get to make new memories and, in New York city, there is plenty of room for that to happen. 

hello, gorgeous!

They were seriously amazed.

I loved seeing my kids curious, learning and engaged. I think as a parent, one of biggest joys is seeing them discover new things. Even better when you discover things with them, then is a jackpot! I have plenty of that going on and definitely feel like I'm being schooled by them. What I mean is not in the academic sense, but mostly in the life and character growth kind of way. They teach me to slow down and savor the moments a lot more. To live with more expectation and joy.

We had lunch at the Zoo's cafe and right beside our table there was a gorgeous peacock. Dominika was smitten. Mark Jacinto enjoyed the hay maze.

High five Marky, you did it!

My sweet boy<3

They had some pumpkin carving masters that were doing their thing right in the open, can't wait to pumpkin carve tomorrow.

I'm so glad we finally made it to the Bronx Zoo. The summer in nyc is very hot so I'm glad we waited because the weather was just perfect.

One of our favorite parts about the zoo was definitely the lion section. Usually, when we have visited zoo's the lions are always asleep but not this time. This time around the lions were fully awake, hungry and growling. You could feel the vibrations of their big chesty sound.

I don't know, there was something powerful to that, seeing them fully awake and ready to get what they want.

I loved our outing and getting to enjoy this wonderful zoo in our first fall together as a family in nyc. New York, I love you.

Our trip to Ecuador

We packed our bags and woke up super early to catch a morning flight. I can still recall the kid's excitement when we told them we were going to Ecuador to visit abuelo Jacinto and the entire family there. It has been too long since our last trip to my native country of Ecuador.

It was a very emotional moment when the kids first saw their great grandparents and family members. We were welcomed with balloons, big smiles, hugs and kisses (very much latino style). The kids were enjoying all the extra attention, "aw, that's so nice I like my balloon! Is that for me?!" Mark Jacinto exclaimed. Dominika was taking a few minutes to warm up to the new crowd.

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It was a very special encounter when Mark Jacinto met his grandfather Jacinto. I named my son after my superhero grandfather, who was really a father to me. I cannot thank him enough for all of his love and support growing up.

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We arrived at night, hugged a million times, chatted a lot,  shared some gifts and went to bed from a long day of travel. Our hearts  were full!

My grandmother Carmen and I. She is my princess, we share so many things in common!! Including birthday!!

My grandmother Carmen and I. She is my princess, we share so many things in common!! Including birthday!!

So pretty much the best guayaco breakfast ever El Café de Tere in Guayaquil, Ecuador. My favorite thing to eat and drink there are the bolones and freshly squeezed juice. Everything there is absolutely delicious with a home sort of taste. A very popular dish there is the plantain based dish called Tigrillo. 

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It felt so special eating as a family and reminiscing over funny stories. My grandma and mother laugh a lot; they always find something to laugh about. It was great seeing my uncle and my beloved brother.

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Satisfied tummies ready for adventure. This kind of breakfast really sets you up for a great day, no matter what comes your way (or so it feels).

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We had many beautiful moments together as a family. My husband Mark Walter, the coffee lover, found this awesome coffee shop called Ludica in Guayaquil; the only place at the moment where you can get superb quality drip coffee. Needless to say, we were there a couple times. 

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I thought this photo above was so especial, we get to live in such a wonderful place: Brooklyn, New York. 

Reading to Michael Junior, we miss him so much. He's such a beautiful and bright child. God bless him.

Reading to Michael Junior, we miss him so much. He's such a beautiful and bright child. God bless him.

Best pumpkin spice latte ever. Ever. 

Best pumpkin spice latte ever. Ever. 

One of the places we explored was a vegan place with all natural and whole organic ingredients. The name of the place is Camellias.

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So when Mark Walter and I met for the first time, he was with his good buddy Cesar Andres. I remember those days of immaturity and and just plain naiveté; it was 10 years ago!!! He has a girlfriend now, she's such a nice woman we had some pretty rad conversations about business and domestic manufacturing of products. I didn't know all the amazing details that go into grocery store chains nationwide.

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My brother with Mark Jacinto; they melt my heart. The desserts there tasted great while at the same time being good for you. It was a win win.

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A little someone enjoyed a little much ;-)

He wanted to take them all home so grandma and grandpa can taste it, haha.

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I got to have a little sewing lesson. Over the years I have made Dominika some garments and have sown some clothing for myself. I'm very interested in learning about the art and thought why not learn a little technique here. Lolita, the lady that made my wedding dress is an absolute master. The woman is seriously gifted, so gifted in fact, that didn't need any special tools to make a pattern. With a tiny ruler she worked her magic.

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Endearing to me indeed was when Mark Jacinto helped grandmother Carmen make freshly squeezed juice. He was so excited to help! I felt so proud of him for wanting to help anytime he could. Needless to say, he made it through the entire batch of oranges. Great job son!

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The objective of our trip was to bond and be close to each other. We ate parrillada together.

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Took Dominika and Mark to Riocentro to a little children's museum, so fun!

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The boys went to mini golf and Dominika gave us a private concert at the museum.

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We shared many wonderful moments together. I think grandfather really liked the coffee because he asked for a business card. I suggested it would be a good place to meet with clients( he's an amazing entrepreneur and many more things)

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Ludica had pies, cookies and specialty quiches that were oh so good. I still remember;-)

Abuela carmen and Dominika.

Abuela carmen and Dominika.

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But my favorite memories hands down were right at the home. When the kids danced with their little cousin, when they played and ate together; the little things you know.

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Also, in my opinion nothing beats grandma's homemade cooking. Her rendition of Ecuadorean food is brilliant.

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El Español has a soft spot in my heart because when papi and I were dating, we used to go there a lot. There was one close by the music school I attended  and their imported cheeses are so delicious.

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Ok, so do you spot the elder gentleman on the right? He randomly came up to me and sang Opera, told me about his wonderful adventures in Italy with Pavarotti and his long career as a tenor. This world can be so random sometimes, he was a character for sure.

A sweet spot we found for the kids to paint in a local mall.

A sweet spot we found for the kids to paint in a local mall.

Bolones and bistec de hígado. A staple growing up along with fresh juice. 

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My mom got the kids craft supplies and started making little play dough sculptures with them, that meant so much! The kids really enjoyed it.

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Sorbetto has a great tiramisu gelato that my hubby is such a fan of, we took the entire family after dinner.

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Ludica again ;-)

guapo!

guapo!

My mommy and I, such sweet times. 

My mommy and I, such sweet times. 

When I'm around family and very close friends I get giddy and spontaneity takes over me. I asked the barista for a chance to make the coffee myself and he said yes.

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We took the kids to a kidz zone kind of like a chuck a cheese, I dont know if I enjoyed my family's facial expressions or the kids.

Ceviche de camarón, fried plaintain chips and fresh orange juice, oh yes!

Ceviche de camarón, fried plaintain chips and fresh orange juice, oh yes!

Grandfather had fallen totally in love with Dominika, his face says it all I think. I treasure this.

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We had so many amazing meals there, above Llapingacho one of my childhood favorites. Mark Jacinto loved the veggie soup.

We had so many amazing meals there, above Llapingacho one of my childhood favorites. Mark Jacinto loved the veggie soup.

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We went bowling, needless to say Mark jacinto was very much into it. I think he got that from the Kropf side;-)

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When she is with her daddy, she transforms. She cannot help herself but be goofy and spontaneous. I get you Dominika, the guy is pretty charming.

Grandpa brought us fresh coconuts. I think Dominika was astounded to see were coconut water comes from.

Grandpa brought us fresh coconuts. I think Dominika was astounded to see were coconut water comes from.

I have so many pictures that I might share in the future but for now I just wanted to post these special memories in Ecuador together. Dominika dazzled everyone with her fluent Spanish while Mark Jacinto impressed with his awesome manners. They adapted so well and so fast to the culture that my family was astounded. We had so much fun getting to enjoy this precious time with my family there. 

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Grateful.

Fun weekend with Matt & Kelsey in NYC

Hi friends!

So I wanted to share a special weekend we had this Summer 2016. Uncle Matt and aunt Kelsey came and visited us for a weekend. These kids are fun I'll tell you! We started the day with a succulent brunch at Jack's wife Freda at Carmine st. There's something about brunch, you know. Brunch puts you in an optimistic frame of mind, brunch lifts your spirits and even give you a vision of the future. Brunch is awesome. Ode to Brunch!

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I ordered the green Shakshuka which was wonderful. I've got some recipes lined up to make that at home, so good. The guys serving food  had great personalities as well, which I think only adds to an already great experience. 

Matt and Kelsey

Matt and Kelsey

Since our move from San Francisco to New York a couple of months ago, we haven't seen each other.  For us, it was extra special to share our neighborhood and beloved city with them. 

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Mr. hoo hoo Dominika's adopted son. She loves owls and carries him around pretty much everywhere. I think is super cute that kids go through these intense periods of interest. Right now, she's in the hoo owl face.

My son mark Jacinto and I, my beloved son.

My son mark Jacinto and I, my beloved son.

Green Shakshuka, waffles, quinoa bowls, great coffee and cantaloupe juice was on the table. My eyes were in paradise.

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After brunch and walking a bit we stopped by for a quick drink...

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We walked by Pier 15 and decided to go back home. Plan B because it was hot outside!!! I literally felt my skin roasting. 

My niños in the photo above. Photo below all coming to an agreement that yeah, it was time to go home for a while.

Later that afternoon, we went out to Midtown walked and explored for a while and got to share our current favorite Mexican restaurant , its called Horchata.

A boy who recently lost his first tooth!

A boy who recently lost his first tooth!

Cochinita pibil, that is all I'm gonna say.

Cochinita pibil, that is all I'm gonna say.

Next day, we went to the first year of the Panorama Music Festival. It was fantastic, my first music festival of its kind and with great company. 

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What we see sometimes in magazines is that only a certain sector of the population (aka teenagers) go to these sort of events, but I'm glad to report that I saw all kinds of and all different ages of people.

Delicious fried tofu sandwich.

Delicious fried tofu sandwich.

I thought to set this picture in black and white since it was pretty epic.

I thought to set this picture in black and white since it was pretty epic.

For a couple of years now, there's this particular song by LCD Sound system that i have loved very much. I couldn't believe his insane voice live, wow! The entire concert amazing and an experience I won't. We also got to see Sia earlier that evening as well. 

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The night ended late and on a good note, sore legs and good memories. Next morning we headed to our neighborhood coffee shop for breakfast. I tried the brie and apricot panini, a delightful experience. 

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Mark Jacinto is a like a natural and honest salesman, meaning he believes what he is selling. In this case is the Pokemon app. I just started singing with Dominika, he's almost convinced me to play it. It's so cute though. The reason he wants me to play it with him, I have come to realize, is because he enjoys it so much and wants me to enjoy it with him. I'm a lucky friend. He's always bringing snacks to share on playdates and thinking about others; thats just how he is wired. He's inspirational to me. 

Aunt Kelsey happened to have the app too so they got to chat about the characters and such. 

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Catt and Melsey (that was my little weekend silly joke) they left after our meal. We miss them and specially the kids. Can't wait to see them soon!

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à bientôt!   

Governors Island

This Summer has brought many adventures for our family. One of them was Governors Island. This happened many weeks ago. It was fun to explore an island, learn some history behind it and take the Ferry.

The day started gloomy, like it could rain anytime sort of day. I just wanted to head out since I don't mind getting wet. It was one of those days that you wanted a change of scenery; that was me and my crew. But where? I heard from a friend that she had a really good time at Governors Island recently, and since she has a good track record of giving good advise I went with it.

Here are some photos of our adventure:

We headed to Pier 6 to take the Ferry! We loved that place got to see new restaurants and shops we have never seen before.

I love getting pictures with the kids, they make me giggle!

Hola guapo!!!

Dominika and her signature WINK.

This was pretty hilarious. So that was around the time that the Pokemon app came out. Well, everywhere we went people of all size, colors and languages were playing it. As we walked, we kept hearing and seeing people glued to their phones playing it. I got to be honest, I wasn't thrilled. 

I want family time to be our safe haven, time were we focus on each other. I didn't realize though, that you could learn many neat things about history and why things are there. So, they played a little bit as in the picture above. Both Marks were completely absorbed.

I'm learning that love is giving space and respect for people to be who they are and explore their interests and what makes them happy. A couple of minutes of Pokemon app is not bad as we took a break from walking. Both boys were energized by their new game and we kept going about our day after that. There are things I can compromise on and others I won't, like cell phones at dinner time, that is a big no-no! 

Te amo princesa<3

Mark Jacinto was in a reflective mood that day. Was it the cloudiness?

I love seeing them have these experiences. Is kind of like a double rainbow, or quadruple shall I say. So they are having fun and I'm having fun. Motherhood is really a gift.

When we got to the Island, Dominika decided she didn't want to walk anymore. We are getting rid of the need for a stroller slowly but surely and this change is bringing a little resistance from a certain little señorita.

Each kid is so different. Mark Jacinto was doing hour long hikes with me before age three, while Dominika prefers her stroller. We are doing what we call stroller interval separation training...I just made that up;-)

One of my favorite parts was renting the little family bikes and go around the island! 

The kids favorite part was probably the food truck waffles, mine was the Ferry and Mark Walter's was probably the bicycle. 

Having a daughter

Mark Walter and I have been talking lately about how we never imagined this having daughter thing could be so wonderful. She is a light in our home and life, she bubbles up enthusiasm, silliness and wits. We just didn't expect this sort of surprise. Now, please don't get me wrong, the demands are also high. Girls have more emotions to tend to, and at an early age their fashion needs are to be met. Plus, they tend to have a mind of their own and know very well what they want. 

Our little girl has an incredibly nurturing nature, she's already talking about protecting her family! Don't mess around with her loved ones because she will get you. I will never forget when we moved to our apartment in Brooklyn and everything was new, new school, new friends and such. There was a particular boy in Mark Jacinto's school who was very mean to him. One afternoon, after picking him up from school, Dominika witnessed the boy being mean to her brother. She immediately took Mark Jacinto's hand, spoke loudly and clear to the mean boy to leave her brother alone, and took her brother to another place. She said: "Let's go Jacinto!" all the while giving a stern look to the mean boy. 

I don't know what the Lord's plans are for this princess of mine, but her fierce love for her family is shinning through already. We love our little girl, her little body disguises the incredible strength of your heart.

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Happy 3RD Birthday to our beloved daughter. We are very grateful with God for you. 

Brooklyn Children's Museum

Hi!

This week we made it to the Brooklyn Children's Museum, so excited to have shared that with Mark Jacinto since last time I was there, he was at school. My awesome friend Nora, (my respects to that sister who I consider her to be a great mother), gave us our first introduction to this amazing museum!

After lunch and some much needed apartment cleaning, we headed to our museum adventure. You have no idea how much I'm enjoying this summer with them! We are getting to have leisured breakfasts ( my favorites) and have a wonder approach to what we do each day. We do have a certain level of structure but given that it is summer, we are doing things in a more relaxed manner. We are starting to get free from the stroller as well, taking little steps of freedom each day. 

As we arrived to the museum, Mark Jacinto spotted giant and colorful paper flowers at the museum's entrance. He was fascinated since he says that he loves art and wants to be a "game artist" when he grows up. Miss Dominika went a step further and asked to take them home, haha.

As soon as we entered, I saw the glow in their eyes. I knew it would be a fun time. But first, a potty break. 

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We have only explored the lower levels of this museum, because it has that much to offer. Below is the sensory room in which they let groups of people for a set time and no shoes allowed policy.

The kids got to jump on top of a giant bean bag over and over again at the sensory room, can they make this for adults please!?

Learning about insects and plants.

The museum also has a nice area to eat. You can eat at their indoors"food truck" or bring your own. 

Learning about dough, and the steps to make bread. 

One of my favorite things at the museum was their around the world markets and areas were the pretend play is at full bloom. They could have stayed there for hours. I specially enjoyed seeing older kids enjoy themselves and working together for the greater purpose of the grocery store.  

 I heard things like" I'll take the register, you please answer the phone!" "I have a customer waiting". I love that.

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Our second favorite was the pizza place were they got to make pizzas, eat gelato. I got into the role and started answering the phone and saying: " No, sir, sorry for the delay we'll get you a refund immediately" I guess I liked it that much. 

I think what I'm understanding about this pretend play childhood thing is that sometimes as adults we stop using our imaginations and that is quite sad. Our imaginations are powerful agents of change, and if we just live in the practical and pragmatic 24/7 then we are robbing ourselves of a much richer life experience. 

Because yes, we must be doers and be active participants of our beliefs, but the permission to imagine of what could be and is not, is just too good to pass.

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After much play and me starting to actually believe we were in a pizza place, the time when the museum was closing came up. Kids were sad.

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We headed to the gift shop to let each child pick something they like. And what was the result? Dominika picking up a herd of stuffed animals;-) Needless to say, she had to pick one.

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Mark Jacinto has been talking about pizza for the last couple of days so we decided visit our local pizza place.

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I love that as such tender age Dominika enjoys flowers and stops to smell them and touch them, admire their color and comment on their beauty. I pray my children's eyes are trained to always seek the beauty and goodness of all living things even if at times may seem very difficult to do.

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And to seal the day with fun, we went to our local coffee shop for an iced dirty chai and heart cookies.

Au revoir!

Children's museum of the Arts

Hi hi!

The the other day we went to visit a museum we have heard lots of good things about from other parents in my neighborhood. Mamma's usually share this kind of awesome information about museums, parks, cool places to eat and such. I was very excited when I heard this place has a clay bar! You can pretty much make a bar with any theme nowadays so a bar that serves clay sounded pretty interesting.

The Children's Museum of the Arts happened to be a great place to spend a couple of hours as a family, it reminded me a lot to the Children's Creativity Museum in San Francisco, which we use to visit quite often! 

After a beautiful church service in Downtown.

My boy

The are so goofy lately its hard to take a picture of them doing normal facial expressions. My silly kids!

This guy makes things continually interesting. There was a bumblebee by the flowers and he got so excited since he has recently learned about them at school. He asked lots of questions as always.

At a restaurant on our way to the museum. I don't know if this picture captures the passionate faces she makes when eating. It's hilarious! Papi says she got that from me;) I also got reminded to make more milanesas de pollo( basically very thin breaded chicken)  So good!

Once we got to the museum, the kids got plugged in right away. My favorite thing about our visit was the clay bar!! So much fun!! I actually got this book from amazon that I highly recommend for making clay animals with your kids, It's super simple and guides you step by step. 

I'm always so amazed at people that can draw and make sculptures since it's not a strong talent of mine but that I appretiate in others. The "barista" guy guided us through the process of making dolphins; it was pretty cool!

The museum itself was not huge but it offered many areas that were very cool. One of my favorites was the room full of printed fabric that visitors were welcomed to paint on. Alicia Keys greatest hits were the background music of their choice and since I love her and her music, it just made me love the room all the more.

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Papi and Mark Jacinto had so much fun painting a couple of the cartoons. Mark did the one above.

Dominika just kept prancing around the room and playing with the other girls. It surprised e because she'd been on a scribbling paint anything kick lately.

My two Mark's making a little film, Mark son was specially proud of his work.

The kids and I. They were so excited about their clay creations, I honestly couldn't wait to do one myself.

Little tummies get hungry fast and after a couple hours of doing art we headed to midtown to a restaurant called Horchata. The way they season their tacos is exquisite (if you are into a bit of spice). My favorite drink is the traditional horchata, seriously so good and healthy!

I know when I find a good restaurant because afterwards I remember their name and location. It's a must while in new York if you love Mexican food. I really appretiate their restaurant decor, its inviting, a bit cozy and the right mix of traditional and contemporary! 

It was a lovely family day, can't wait to share more of our little adventures in New York City! Thanks for tuning in.

Our visit to Toca Boca!

It all started in San Francisco. Every time that we passed by the Toca Boca office on Folsom street, Mark and Dominika will sing the intro song Toca Boca!!! They specifically requested to go visit their cool office. Toca Boca is a company that makes awesome apps and media for children, fostering creativity and imagination. 

So a mother had to do what a mother had to do. I contacted them not really expecting a reply. Before I knew it, my children's enthusiasm got their attention because they invited us over to their offices. I was so excited since I knew what it would mean for them, and who am I kidding for me too! ( I love visiting software companies!). Anyways, the week that we exchanged emails, happened to be the week before we were moving to New York. Yes, sometimes I'm a bit crazy. The day our visit was arranged, happened to be the day that we were flying to our new home, so I told them I was moving to New York City. They said, "oh that's no problem we have offices in Brooklyn!". I said: "Awesome, lets meet!"

Mark Jacinto started school and loving his neighborhood and one day I picked him up at school saying: "I've got a surprise for you!". He is my son so he loves surprises as much as I do. When I mentioned Toca Boca, the kid's face lighted up with a huge smile. 

It took me a while to find the place, but when we did, I felt butterflies in my stomach. I'm so silly sometimes!! 

As we say in Spanish "sin más preámbulo" here are some photos:

They celebrated 5 years as a company!

Excited kids^.^

Choosing their favorite characters.

Dominika having fun around the office.

These kids were in heavenlandia, apps, ipads and kids toys. To be honest, we don't use a lot of apps and electronics but when we fly, doctors appointments and situations of that nature come by, apps are life savers.

John was super nice with the kids as well as the staff, I thought it was so sweet of them to ask the kids' opinions regarding their products and future projects. Is kind of how they ask kids to design and ask for what they want in a playground nowadays, is the same concept. They are humans too, with less experience and at a different cognitive level but deserving of respect and dignity. Is the "for us by us" kind of philosophy I totally support!!

The kids got stickers and non-permanent tattoos and I got an amazon gift card card! Thank you Toca Boca!!!

On the way out, by the gorgeous Manhattan Bridge.

When I took this picture, I couldn't help but notice how fast time is flying.We had pizza for dinner and on our way out of the restaurant a beautiful lady opens the door and Mark looked super surprised and  whispered to me: "Mom, she's the cutest thing I have ever seen!! She's the cutest, mom!!!" 

This is the same kid that wants to "marry a girl and have a family" I love this kids so very much. His heart is a constant reminder to me of being present and grateful for life. He loves and cares for people so much.

They are such a great team already<3

Thanks to Toca Boca for the wonderful experience, it was one to remember!!

Life in New York lately

Hi there!  

I hope you have been enjoying this crazy amazing Spring weather(yep, I started this blogpost last week). I have been wanting to share bits and pieces of our new life here in New York, but quite frankly I have not been very motivated to do so. My heart and mind have been completely focus on one general purpose: Set up home, making a life here and that includes places, spaces and relationships. 

My heart's desire has been for us as a family to feel happy and comfortable in our new New York! I'm glad to report that we have been enjoying ourselves here, we absolutely love our neighborhood and are extremely grateful for the opportunity to live here. New York, you are my dream city.

We have discovered the public library and the wonderful programs that they have available at our local branch. 

We have...

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Taken a few trips to Chipotle because its such a familiar thing for them and stems back from our Ohio days.

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We have gotten to explore our beautiful neighborhood on a daily basis. This Spring flowers all over the brownstones in my neighborhood are just insane, they seriously brighten my day and make me so happy to be here. Ah, how I love color!!!

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And of course, crafts. I'm making a habit of hanging their creations on display somewhere visible in the house. Their ceramic butterflies are now embellishing the plant area in the back and Dominika loves pointing out its her art work right there, too cute!

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At this particular place, Dominika asked for mami to take a photo. She wanted one with "Jacinto". This girl, I'll tell you. She loves deeply.

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We have had several playdates by now with new friends. I know this makes the kids happy at a deep level. Mark and Dominika are both extroverted children and love having friends over or going to people's houses to play. Our very first playdate was the second week we moved here! My friend Kathryn invited us over a few days after we met, she is such a sweetheart.

More beauty!

More beauty!

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With his friend Reese playing this awesome game that actually makes you think hard and problem solve, I love it! Mark Jacinto, Dominika and I started swimming at the gym. I honestly didn't expect to like it that much but its such a wonderful bonding experience with them. 

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Ever since I told him that singing to the plants "helps them grow", he has been singing to them everyday!! Well, I guess there was truth to that because they are now quite grown. I can instagram their progress some time.

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These silly kiddos! on our way to the playground to meet with nuevos amigos. They bring so much joy to my life.

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Walking the Brooklyn Bridge for the first time was fantastic!

Tapas date night in Midtown with my sweety. Can't wait to explore more with him.

Tapas date night in Midtown with my sweety. Can't wait to explore more with him.

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There is one of many qualities that I find irresistible about my girl.. She has an uncanny ability to find common ground with people in her own unique way. She loves Ethan and Ethan likes her, yet they are generations apart. This keps happening quite often lately.

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Oh, when my Mark Jacinto got that soccer medal! I would never forget the expression on his face.

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Sometimes Dominika and I go on dates and love to start our day with an egg and cheese croissant. One of many things we share in common;)

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Friendship have no limits when it comes to age. Dominika's friend Vico and her clicked right from the beginning. They met at the playground and one day Vico brought her a cute gift. At night night time, Dominika prays for her friend Vico. She seriously melts my heart.

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Mark Jacinto learned about Earth day and he has been taking his role to take care of the earth quite seriously. 

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Mark Jacinto is in this new season of life were he thoroughly enjoys games, especially Monopoly. The other day we took over three hours to finish it. Apparently there is a junior Monopoly which I'm curious to see how that goes. 

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One of my favorite meals to make at home lately! Baked tilapia (forgot the capers that time), brown rice and delicious brussel sprouts!

One of my favorite meals to make at home lately! Baked tilapia (forgot the capers that time), brown rice and delicious brussel sprouts!

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Excited about our new grinder and drip coffee cup. On weekends, I love to get a cup of joe right after I rise. Dominika is loving toddler class and has met a cute little friend she affectionately calls "sister".

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Our library nearby has really great classes we are grateful for. On rainy days, our local library has been our go to.

Decorating and crafting.

Decorating and crafting.

Cheeky girl oyu.

Cheeky girl oyu.

Yes, we kind of like them a little much;-)

Yes, we kind of like them a little much;-)

Learning Chess!

Learning Chess!

We like to bake our cake and eat it too;)

We like to bake our cake and eat it too;)

Shake shack after shopping with Minnie.

Shake shack after shopping with Minnie.

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So yeah, its been almost 2 months since we moved!! Can you believe that?! This place feels very much like home to us now. Thanks for tuning in to our glimpses of everyday life. 

Stay tune for more..

It's been fun San Francisco!!!

Hi guys!

So this post has been long due. Thanks to those who have reached out and have asked, so did you moved to New York City? Yes, we did! (more about that on a later post ) This post is about our two and a half years of adventures in San Francisco. 

We moved to SF when Dominika was just shy of four months old. I remember vividly how tiny she was, the crazy amount of containers we moved in with, all the new and more new. My neural connections most have been overloaded with all the changes; and I had fun. It was awesome, hard (logistics of transportation and trying not to get lost) and full of the unknown (my favorite part). 

People danced at a different beat there, and the cultural values were much different than Ohio( my previous home). We started to meet people, create connections and after couple of months we found our Epic church community

As I reflect on our time in the fabulous city that San Francisco is, the one thing that seems to stand out the most in my mind are the faces of people. Friends, neighbors, mentors, soul-sisters, playdates and  meet ups with very special human beings. San francisco, it was so much fun to have lived within your chambers in Soma, walking distance from the  Embarcadero, to have been able to visit the Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate park ad libitum. But do you wanna know what I treasure the most of my time there? The people!

As time went by, new challenges arose and my husband started traveling a lot for work, and through that experience God taught me so many lessons I'm very grateful for.

Within your territory, dear San Francisco, I learned to embrace motherhood in a way that I had not known before. With its challenges and joys, God taught me to magnify the good and live more deeply in the present moment. I began to see more beauty in the messes and became more optimistic than ever. My children began to grow, and I with them.

In your land, San Francisco, I grew closer to God. I learned to seek Him more for the sheer pleasure and privilege of his divine presence rather than for what He could give me or protect me from. 

I began to understand more of what His calling is for my life and make more sense of the seemingly disconnected pieces.

We grew closer as a family unit despite the distance, and made sure to have as much quality time as possible.

I watched my children love others with a tender and giving heart.

I overcame some  fears and grew bolder in the areas that needed it.

I'm tremendously grateful for my time there. It has been fun San Francisco, you have a very special place in my heart.

And now on to new adventures,

Thank you Lord.

New York City: Some Brooklyn, some Manhattan

I found this pictures that warmed my heart as I scrolled through them. Adventures with my family wherever that is, is always endearing to me. On that particular day of December, we wanted to check out a part of New York city that I have never been to,  but that I have heard lots of good things about: Brooklyn! 

I mean I know Madewell makes cool t-shirts and sweaters with the name Brooklyn on it, lots of really creative businesses come out of there, as well as having a home run record for artists and musicians that live there. Mark Walter mentioned that I would love the food there and he knows me so well, he was spot on.

We woke up relatively early for a vacation, grabbed some good coffee and pastries for breakfast and headed to Park Slope, Brooklyn. Such a beautiful neighborhood indeed. The vibe of Brooklyn was a beautiful marriage of urban living and nature. Was it the gorgeous brownstone houses? Was it the parks? Who knows. All I know is that, I left with a sense that Brooklyn is a great place to live; as many other places in New York city really. 

the market at union square

the market at union square

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Oh, hello Prospect Park!

Oh, hello Prospect Park!

I find it very thrilling to experience new places with my family. Back in my single lady years, exploring the new was always fun but now I can say is way more fun!

Kids have a way to bring freshness to everything, and yes yes there are the occasional tantrums too; but oh well tell me something new!

My kids are getting to a fun age were they are pretty independent; I specially love watching them take initiative. It makes a mama happy.

Morning faces^.^

They love to figure out maps, that they didn't get from me;-)

We walked around Prospect Park, which was designed by the same guys that built Central Park, pretty cool! There were lots of people outside, it had the same city feeling but much more calm. 

I read some nice reviews about the Barnes and Noble on 7th avenue. I gotta say that, in general, book stores in New York City are pretty awesome. We were there a good hour, it was a bit chilly outside. 

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Brownstones are so cool! My brain kept spinning with all the possible stories that must have come from the people that have lived in them; so much history for sure!

We headed to a nice tapas restaurant on 5th avenue called Juventino. You know with Mark Walter we visit a tapas restaurant pretty often.

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I had to take a picture of the most amazing meatballs my mouth has ever had the privilege of tatsing. Wow! it had like 5 different types of meat, I can't remember what all they were but so so good. The decor of the restaurant was very artistic, which I appretiated.

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So as in any good restaurant, they always offer crayons and paper or something to keep the kids occupied while waiting for their food. Well, Mark Jacinto drew this awesome cartoon-like story of what Dominika did to him that morning. Oh, men! Is so hard not to laugh with these kids!! They are so funny and silly to me. I find it quite a challenge to juggle enjoying them(which i do very much) and disciplining them. There is definitely a fine line there. I'm the parent first!

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After our knockout meal, we went to a very creative store called the Superhero store. They had a kid's cape section a book section and more. 

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I bought and awesome book there about writing and composition with some very out of the box ideas! Afterwards, we decided to head to the hotel since it was getting quite dark.

Next day, we had brunch at Boquería in Midtown Manhattan. Ok, I didn't think i would like it but was so wrong. Top 5 best brunch of the year; I keep record of these stuff you know;-)

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We went to Rockefeller Square; everything feels so grand in Manhattan. I loved going back to a place that had a romantic connotation for me, since Mark Walter surprised me with a romantic getaway weekend trip almost a decade ago. It has been over a decade of marriage already, can't believe how fast time goes!! I love my baby!

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Finally, we made it! December in Manhattan was quite crowded but we managed to have fun and earn our little spot for a quick family selfie.

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Such a beautiful place, so much history behind it! I have a surprise for you on my next post...

Keep reading

Chelsea: Highline + Market

Hi!

Meanwhile some family members played a new card game, I decided to write this post. Going to Chelsea for the first time and walking along the Highline was pretty special. Last time I visited New York City ,I was five months pregnant with Mark Jacinto. It's amazing how fast time goes!

Dominika fell asleep as soon as we got to the Highline, so Mark Jacinto and I got to have a little bit of a date. We had fun snapping pictures of anything and everything such as wall murals, buildings, leaves, flowers and people.

It was an amazing feeling to visit the Highline for the first time with my two children and just getting to explore and enjoy it. Pictures below.

My giggly guy

He was specially charming that day^.^ 

Is never a dull day with my kids.

Ok, so Mark Jacinto plays director sometimes and he had fun telling me what poses to make( like the one above). He literally says: " Mom, do like this( while showing me the pose)".

He, for some reason, enjoyed taking pictures of me and giggled like crazy throughout the process. 

Right before this, he got a haircut by a guy that was warm and generous enough to give him a puppet ring. How cute is that! 

A chopped head picture proof my son's amateur but delightful efforts. 

She was out. ZZzz..

The place was so beautiful. A landscape, a beautiful cross between the urban and natural. The new buildings that surround the Chelsea Highline add to the overall beauty and uniqueness of this place.

Where are you heading my darling?

The afternoon sun had started to say good bye and it was time for a snack anyway, so with a heart full we headed to the Chelsea Market.

The Venezuelan woman that attended L'Arte del gelato was a true sweetheart. Marky ended up picking a strawberry ice cream which I think is so cute that that's his favorite ice cream flavor^.^

Dominika picked the raspberry one and I a ice cream flavor that started with S and that tasted like a cross between tiramisu, butter pecan and chocolate; a delight for the senses!

Dominika is a girl after my own heart. She loves flowers, pearls, accesories, lipstick and all things girly. Naturally she headed to the flower shop.

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I have heard so much about Sarabeth's from other New Yorkers that i had to try it. Let's just say that the experience wasn't extraordinary.

My favorite part probably was their bookstore. An wonderful selection of books, in particular children's books. We were there about an hour plus, the kids couldn't get enough! 

We ended up buying some really cute and unique toys for our cousins, until my husband came to see us.

Ay mi niña! She cracks me up sometimes with her personality. Full of zest, full 0f cheekiness, full of zeal.

We four headed out to Artichoke's Basille Pizza, seriously good and highly recommended for Chelsea visitors. 

My boys<3

The place was lovely and with a wonderful view of the Highline. I think Chelsea is now among my top 5 favorite neighborhoods in Manhattan.

See you soon!

A beautiful day!!!

Hi! 

Super happy new year to you!! I hope this year brings lots of peace, health and happiness to every person taking the time to read this blog. Today was such a beautiful day. I got so excited browsing through my pictures that I had to share! We are currently watching Mr. Peabody and Sherman with the family, so I get to multitask a little and blog. 

The day started with all of us girls: Dominika, grandma, auntie, mami plus a boy, getting ready for our first collective experience at Dragonfly Tea Room. Ok, I can't even tell you how much I loved this beautiful place! If you live in Northeast Ohio, it's a must to visit! So much fun!

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Dominika and her say "cheeeese" face;-)

Dominika and her say "cheeeese" face;-)

Grandma has witness how Dominika grabs my tea every time I drink it so she invited us to this gorgeous place. Dominika, grandma and auntie had Vanilla Chai while I had Christmas tea. Mark Jacinto and a lemonade served in the cutest Santa Claus tea pot:-) 

Tea lover to the core

Tea lover to the core

The sweetheart salad, soo good! 

The sweetheart salad, soo good! 

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She loved it! 

She loved it! 

Very delicious blueberry lemon cake

Very delicious blueberry lemon cake

I loved all of the details that they used throughout their decor. Beautiful and intricate vintage tea pots of all kinds. My favorite one was the candy cane tea pot. 

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Melt my heart<3

Melt my heart<3

Decorating his special treat^.^ 

Decorating his special treat^.^ 

So if the place wasn't cool enough already, they had a children's room in the back with lovely dress up gear and a beautiful wall mural. Their boutique has some beautiful stuff as well.  

So if the place wasn't cool enough already, they had a children's room in the back with lovely dress up gear and a beautiful wall mural. Their boutique has some beautiful stuff as well.  

Madame

Madame

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Dominika cracks me up, she's very much into dress up these days and I can see the transformation in her eyes when she changes customes. She walks so regal when she is a princess and adds a deep voice to her character when she's a knight.  

Later in the afternoon, we met with the cousins for a family hike up in the Wilderness Center in Wilmot.  

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Cooking, making pasta, cookies and cake.  

Cooking, making pasta, cookies and cake.  

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I absolutely love this picture of all the cousins together. 

I absolutely love this picture of all the cousins together. 

My sweety. 

My sweety. 

Beautiful people

Beautiful people

End of our hike

End of our hike

The adults felt relaxed, the children energized. It a truly beautiful time with family today and I don't want to forget it. 

grateful

On our way to Central Park Zoo

Hi there! 

I can't sleep due to a cold and runny nose so I'm stopping by to write this post and share some pics from our way to the Central Park zoo last week. 

Their favorite Disney characters as of now^.^

Their favorite Disney characters as of now^.^

love these huge Christmas lights!

love these huge Christmas lights!

The day started with us getting lost! My morning brain must have been foggy because I intended to go uptown and ended up downtown in Soho, lol!  

Honestly, I'm thankful for my patient children. Once in a while I know I'll end up lost somewhere and find my way back.  

Anyways, one thing I did learn and I'm very grateful for it: New Yorkers are very nice!!! 

One grace after another, people pointing me in the right direction, offering to help carry my stroller, buying the kids treats. I couldn't have been more grateful! 

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Mis chicos <3 

Mis chicos <3 

Finally we made it uptown closer to Central Park but as Paul the New Yorker said: "you guys should stop here, then the kids will get to see the lights and tons of Christmas stuff" 

This is how Paul, the stranger and I met at the subway.   I approached him and asked: "sir, are you a New Yorker?" Paul: "no one has ever asked me that but I like it, yes I am!" (proud with a smile)

Paul made sure we got off at the right stop, carry our stroller upstairs and waved good bye with a smile while blessing my children. I felt so welcomed in this city!! Thank you, Lord!!! 

Got a dry leaf and played with it for a few blocks

Got a dry leaf and played with it for a few blocks

I stopped by a Starbucks for a hot drink and some snacks for the kids. The picture below shows them at their best behavior, quite and eating their snacks.  

Motherhood is full of these sort of juxtaposed moments. At this time they were completely well behaved and a few blocks later I was having a hard time convincing Dominika that when the white man in the light shows up, you should keep walking! We were crossing the street!

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The kids were anxious to get to the Zoo, they were waiting for that grand moment. We all enjoyed getting to Central Park surrounded by the skyscrapers, beautiful horses, lovely weather and colorful people. 

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I say beautiful weather because though it was a bit gloomy, the air was so crisp and perfect.  

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Papi was taking care of business so we met later that day but in the meantime I had my photographer in tow, my five year old Mark Jacinto:-)

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Once we got to the zoo, we all did a sigh of relief that we have made it to our intended destination.

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Mark Jacinto and Dominika were seriously captivated by the animals. Dominika's face lighted up while feeding the llama and sheep; I can't forget the beautiful expression on her face! 

Bro & sis

Bro & sis

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My little girl really enjoyed the petting zoo. It as so endearing watching her so full of joy<3 it was giggles😍

She could have stayed there the entire day!

She could have stayed there the entire day!

Look at that beauty, thanks for posing sweety! 

Look at that beauty, thanks for posing sweety! 

Mark Jacinto was delighted.

Mark Jacinto was delighted.

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The entire zoo can be toured in about an hour or so. By the end of our zoo visit it was time for the sea lion show! So cute you guys. It's  definitely a must! 

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Afterwards, my friend Joy from west side to west side blog, hosted us at her beautiful apartment in the upper west side. She so kindly had food waiting for us, cookies and all! So grateful for awesome friends. Mark Jacinto and bebé Cash hit it off right away. Dominika woke up a bit later while napping in her stroller. It was so nice to see Joy and baby and to have had that cozy brake in our day.  

I hope you are keeping warm and surrounded by loved ones this holiday! 

Grateful

Museum of Natural History plus some more!

One of the days of our family vacation in New York was very rainy. We all got wet head to toe. It was the perfect day to visit the museum of natural history located at the Upper West Side. We were so excited to explore it! 

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We started our day with awesome donuts and milk at Dough in Flatiron. Seriously good, I wanted to have breakfast there everyday!

"Cinto let's goooo!"  

"Cinto let's goooo!"  

The kids were very stimulated and excited about the museum. We started our exploration on the 4th floor, which proved to be their favorite of all. 

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Dinosaurs, bones and showing how things have evolved over the past hundreds of years really fascinated Mark Jacinto and Dominika.  

A quick little selfie of the kiddos and I

A quick little selfie of the kiddos and I

Dominika's favorite animal currently  

Dominika's favorite animal currently  

We missed Papi since he was getting some things done at the office before the big holiday brake! 

They warm my heart😍

They warm my heart😍

We spent hours at this place! 

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It was lunch time and headed out to the nearby shake shake that was right behind the museum! 

Rainy day

Rainy day

The museum lets you come back if you want to head out and return. Shake shack was packed but the kids were great and had the patience to endure the long line. It was worth it.

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A kind stranger, Daniel from Portugal, shared his table with us. How nice!!!

Mark Jacinto pretended that the museum was "his office" he said that he will be the teacher and show us around his offices, haha. This kid cracks me up!

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I loved the pictured above! Eucharisteo, I aspire to a lifestyle of continual thanksgiving no matter the circumstances. 

 

 

My Minnie and I<3

My Minnie and I<3

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The kids and their curiosity, I'm constantly inspired by them. 

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Lots of great exhibitions .going on at every floor

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My personal favorite was the Central America and South America exhibitions showcasing their folkloric instruments and overall history. I love South American folklore music!

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Wooooah mom!

Wooooah mom!

Check this tree out! It's all origami handmade decorations. It's giving me lots of ideas for the coming year since my family loves origami:-)

Look at the details, enamoured^.^

Look at the details, enamoured^.^

Lincoln Center, I'm coming back! 

Lincoln Center, I'm coming back! 

We walked from the upper west side to almost midtown and checked out this cultural jewels on our way! 

Times Square

Times Square

Mark Jacinto asked: " mom, why are there so many tv's here?" I asked him what he thought of Times Square and he said: "it's just something else" hehe. 

The best spaghetti I have ever tried

The best spaghetti I have ever tried

 

A day in New York is an intense day and even if you use uber and the train you end up walking a ton like we did. We were spent and ended up ordering room service at the W hotel,  Union Square. After a delicious dinner we were ready for bed because our bodies needed it.

Grateful for a beautiful time in New York full of kind people that made us feel welcomed in the big apple. So fun! 

Our Friendsgiving 2015

Hello Friends!

I hope your Thanksgiving was a great one this year. We decided on a Friendsgiving celebration that took place at my husband's workplace. We knew the kids would love running around in a larger space and that the big kitchen would be an added bonus. Though we love apartment living, it definitely has it's limits regarding celebrations with a bigger group of people. The space chosen proved to be a really good one for us this year.

We invited several friends and their beautiful kids. Mark Jacinto and Dominika couldn't be happier! Look at that beautiful turkey! It was top notch delish, meat was falling apart from tenderness and juiciness! Thanks to Mark Walter:-)

This year I tried a different stuffing that had cranberries, apples and sausage and it was just so so good. Maybe I'll stick to this one next year. All recipes is my favorite site for when I'm in the mood to try something new but with the added bonus of having hundreds if not thousand of reviews backing my risky food experiments. Here's the link to it.

I call it risky because somehow I always end up making my own version of the recipe anyhow, its just one of those habits of mine; I enjoy putting my spin on things. Mark Walter chose the flowers for the little arrangements we made^.^

Oooo ham! You know to be honest I have not been a fan of ham but this ham was great. I realize this one wasn't cured so it didn't have the extra saltiness that I have not preferred in the past. 

I have learned from some really smart women in my life to try to not do everything but delegate. Having the guests bring a side dish to share made things so much easier and fun this year. Well, they asked first so I thought, you know what ? yes!!! 

In the group we have Spanish friends who naturally adore Manchego cheese so that's what we had along some smoked gouda. Oh yes! Above also an awesome salad made by my friend Lidia.

Our beloved friends Lidia and Victor. Victor is Dominika's superhero, that girl has a huge crush on him.

Mon amour et moi. Mark Walter you did such an awesome job with the ham and turkey! Thanks lidia for the pic=-)

Above my neighbor and sister friend Elvira and her gorgeous daughter Chanel. Elvira has been family here in SF<3 So glad you could come!

The kids were just in paradise inventing games, eating lots and lots of food and running around in freedom.

Two beautiful girls! They have learned to make peace with their differences haha. No, seriously they love each other!

I love this group and the privilege of sharing Thanksgiving together! It was a first one for our Spanish friends. How cool to be a part of their first Thanksgiving experience!

Oh, yes! take pride on that turkey hon, it was great!

After turkey faces, haha.

We had so many special moments with wonderful friends. Ruth and her husband Jesus brought a turkey they had cooked as well and it was such a treat to have Jessica celebrating with us. 

I want to remember this Friendsgiving forever.

Grateful