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!

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

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

Happy Mother's Day!

To all those mamas out there, Happy Mother's Day. You are valuable and your work is important.  

I hope your day is full of kisses and hugs from loved ones. I honor you mother, for you are a jewel. You take care of the future, our precious children who are the future of this world. It's no easy feat, and it's definitely not for the faint of heart. You are strong and courageous. Mother Goose who takes care of her little ducklings. I celebrate with you today, for being a mother is an amazing gift.  

Take heart on those rainy days and remember there are always sunny ones to come. Thank you for all you do!!

 

cheers

 A beautiful rendition of Mark Jacinto's Art. With love for his beloved mother Gabriela. 

A beautiful rendition of Mark Jacinto's Art. With love for his beloved mother Gabriela. 

Some Easter Sunday Pics

The morning of Easter Sunday, we had some baskets prepared for the kids. Once they woke up we told them to look for the eggs that the Easter bunny has left them. Dominika found most of the eggs haha, she really had a good eye to find them. After that, they played with their new toys/craft materials that the Easter bunny gifted them. 

They loved their gifts, Dominika kept hugging her Anna doll while Mark Jacinto wanted to get right on with his new legos. Sunday was rainy and cold, it's funny how much weather can alter moods! I felt very nostalgic (that's what rain does to me) and puts me in a trance of deep reflection. After church, we had  a delicious brunch at La Boulange.

Subsequently, we decided to go to the theaters and watch the animated movie Home. It was very very cute! I don't know but recently I find that these children films are getting better and better. I don't find their messages shallow but rather deep, or was it the rain?  I loved the messages of friendship, connection, love and respect that the movie portrayed.

Is that a hat or your Easter basket, girl?

What the Easter bunny left..

Thanks for cooperating kids! Mama really wanted an Easter pic.

My darlings<3

Croque Madame with an egg on top. Yum!

Wally(Mark Walter) took this picture of us.

J'ai tem. Amo sus sonrisas. I love their smiles^.^

The afternoon was filled with lego building, and yes Dominika likes to be included in the action. She's actually quite good with her legos and is no longer satisfied with her sweet duplos, she wants the big kid  ones! 

We watched a new Netflix show, Skyped with my Ecuadorean family and ordered pizza. It was a pretty leisured Sunday, Wally and I felt pretty recharged. 

I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend.

Happy Monday!

 

 

Happy Easter Weekend & Egg Painting Video

This Easter weekend has been a blast so far. We went to an Epic Egg Hunt organized by epicsf at Yerba Buena, and met with some neighbors and friends. The overall flow of the day went well; nice and relaxed. The kids loved seeing their friends, getting pictures with the Easter bunny, hunting for golden eggs (which contained a ticket to get a prize), and playing with kites.

I loved seeing friends and familiar faces all the while hearing laughter, giggles and kids voices. The atmosphere of the whole place oozed fun while the sun was mightily shinning upon us. There were lots of young volunteers being very kind and welcoming at the event. I was specially touched by this, I mean they could be brunching, sleeping and whatnot. Instead, they chose to do something to help families. How nice of them, right? We certainly appreciate it.  

Our brazilian friends joined us at the event. After the littles got their faces painted, we took the kiddos to the park for a while to play with kites. 

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After a while, everyone started to get hungry so we headed to the Metreon to grab some Thai food for lunch( Dominika loves Thai food and lychee iced tea). It was so nice to catch up with our friends. That evening after dinner, we painted eggs as a family while doing google hangout with family members from across the country. 

Here's a video if you'll like to see:

 

 

Happy New Year 2015 !=)

Oh, hello there! We are in the middle of a family New Year's party but I wanted to post some darling pictures from our Christmas 2014 reunion at aunt Michelle's house before 2015 comes along! haha. 

We are having a great time here with hot chocolate and cookies, after a huge burrito bar type of dinner.  Everyone is taking a break from Just Dance; its time for seconds ;)

 I love this photo of the family=)&nbsp;

I love this photo of the family=) 

 We call ourselves the KropfWest family haha

We call ourselves the KropfWest family haha

 Grandpa and Mark Jacinto^.^

Grandpa and Mark Jacinto^.^

 Aunt Shell? and Mark Jacinto ( the question mark is an inside joke)

Aunt Shell? and Mark Jacinto ( the question mark is an inside joke)

 goofy family picture. Marky stop trying to lick aunt Shell's cheeks!

goofy family picture. Marky stop trying to lick aunt Shell's cheeks!

 Uncle Matty and Kelsey. Love this goofy kiddos&lt;3

Uncle Matty and Kelsey. Love this goofy kiddos<3

 Brand new hubby and wife. Aunt Shell and uncle Jason&lt;3

Brand new hubby and wife. Aunt Shell and uncle Jason<3

 Grandpapi &amp; grandmami

Grandpapi & grandmami

 reading the night before Christmas; a family tradition&lt;3

reading the night before Christmas; a family tradition<3

Did I tell you my father in law has real talent for narrating books and making character voices?

Anywho, I gotta go now. The kids are making crafts and some funny pics are taking place. Have a great nEW yEAR 2015. Health, peace, hope and joy!