The Week in Pictures I (18-24 Jan)

The Week in Pictures I

Hello, everyone! This has been a pretty busy week! My phone screen is still not working 100% (I hope I can get it fixed sometime this week) and we’ve been having some problems with the heater at home (I didn’t know that a heating system could get frozen when inside the house?).

Also, I started the week pretty tired, but nothing that a good nap + going to sleep super early doesn’t fix, right? 🙂

So I’ve decided to start doing a new series on the blog: The Week in Pictures. Why? I think it’s a great way for me to look for and focus on the good things that happen in life. And why not share all the good stuff? I will also share random things and funny stuff.

This is the first week, and I didn’t take as many pictures as I should have, but let’s get to it! Also, I’m sorry that some of the pictures aren’t the best quality. Apparently my hands are super shaky and I’m not able to take pictures without them being blurry!

Spanish Tortilla Patatas

On Sunday I made some Spanish Tortillas (or Tortilla de Patatas, as we call it in Spain). The recipe is pretty simple and I’ll share it in a few days. I cooked extra so my husband could take to work on Monday and we had for the next day too. It’s a plate that holds pretty good for a couple of days.

Grumpy before coffee mug

This is a mug that I saw in the Hallmark shop and I sent a picture to my mom. She’s not grumpy before coffee, but don’t try to have a conversation with here before she’s had the first cup in the morning!

homemade pizza

On Thursday my sister in law came for dinner and we made some homemade pizza!! I love it. You can have it done in about 45 minutes, and yes, I’ll post the recipe soon! This time, though, the dough didn’t come out that well and it took a little longer to make. It was still very good and we had a good time 🙂

Potato chips' bag 2/3 empty

We were on freezing and snow alert on Friday, so my husband picked me up from work, we went to buy some groceries and eat the previous night’s pizza. We bought some potato chips to go with it and when I opened one of the bags I found out that not more than a third of the bag had actually potato chips. How ridiculous is that? If you’re going to put that small amount of chips, at least save some plastic and make the bag smaller!

First snowfall of the winter

And it snowed! Ok, just a little bit. But it was still fun and exciting to see some snowflakes falling down and the cars with a thin layer of snow. Not enough to be able to play with it or anything, but still pretty!

Tiramisu aka heaven

On Sunday we went to have lunch with my in laws and celebrate my father in law’s birthday. We chose Maggiano’s for the celebration, one of my favorite restaurants over here. Lots of good food at a good price. For desert, my husband and I chose tiramisu, aka heaven. Definitely Maggiano’s knows how to rock a good tiramisu!

 

How was your week? Did you have any special plans or something that stood out from your routine? Let me know in the comments!

10 Things I Learned on my First Year of Marriage

If you had told me before coming to the US that I would meet my husband here I would have called you crazy. 365 days ago I got married in St. Augustine, FL, and it still seems like a dream to me.

10 Things I Learned on my First Year of Marriage

My husband and I got married exactly 7 months after we met for the first time. Everything in the relationship went pretty quick but it all flowed smoothly. We talked about it and no one felt like it was “too quick”. It just simply felt like it was the right time for things to happen.

There are a few things that I think I should tell you about Mr. G. For example, he definitely knows how to annoy me. He does it pretty good when he wants to (and sometimes without even trying). But he also knows how to make me smile. And he makes me laugh. And I feel like we can talk about anything and everything. And he’s one of the people that I feel most comfortable with; I can be totally open about everything and I know he will accept me the way I am, as he’s been doing since we met. Do you know that moment in the beginning of a relationship when you smile because you received a text from that person? Yeah, I still do that.

Now, this is not a fairytale and there are bad moments for sure, but at the end of the day we make the decision of being together with that person. And that’s what counts. For better or worse, right?

I was told that the first year of marriage is one of the hardest ones. In this case, it has been. Oh, yes. We had a few “situations” that added a little extra challenge to the mix, but I couldn’t be happier that we made it, and we keep making it every single day.

I do shoes

On a funny note, sometimes it’s still weird for me to call him “husband” when talking to someone. Maybe I have to say it a certain number of times before it’s normal to me? Has anyone felt this way and how long did it take for you to get used to the “title”? It’s not that I’m not comfortable with being married, but I think of him as Mr. G., not as “husband”. Does it make any sense or am I just rambling?

So let’s get to the point. I have been thinking lately about things that I’ve learned during this past year and I have come up with 10 different things. Of course, we are still learning things from each other; I think we will always do. And that’s something that I love.

1. Communication is KEY. Neither my husband or me can read minds, even if sometimes we finish each other phrases, I call him when he’s thinking of calling me or we agree on doing something without really talking about it. I’m still working on this, because, as a woman, I sometimes expect him to know what I want without telling him. Ha!

Also, it is important how we communicate. For example, Mr. G. tends to raise his voice when he’s passionate about something during a conversation or an argument. I learned that he wasn’t shouting at me, but being passionate about the subject. Also, he learned how I felt about him expressing that loud, so he tries not to raise his voice.

 

 

2. My (sometimes) crazy OCD. I knew I was a little too obsessed about some things, but I am really trying to work on this because I understand how annoying it can be. I was going to put an example, but I don’t want you to know exactly how crazy I am LOL

 

3. Everyone needs some “ME” time, and that’s actually great. There has to be a balance between spending time together and having time to yourself. Go with your friends or stay home doing your thing, but dedicate time to yourself every once in a while.

Mai on her wedding day

4. It takes work. If you’ve been in a relationship you know this already. It can take more or less work but it’s nothing like in the movies. Sure, in the beginning everything is going to be perfect like a fairy tale, but reality comes in and you’ll have to wake up. Two different people with two different backgrounds and personalities. If you want it to work you will have to put some effort into it.

 

5. Old habits die hard. The typical story about guys not putting down the toilet seat. We all laugh about that but it’s true (for the record, I explained Mr. G. one of the reasons to put it down and he does it 100% of the times now. If you’re reading this, THANK YOU, I REALLY APPRECIATE IT!). I have changed some of my habits too. It’s called compromise. In any case, there’s no point on trying to change something that he/she doesn’t want to change. If that habit doesn’t annoy you, great. If it does, breath in and out 10 times or get over it (still working on this on both sides). And this comes with…

 

6. You have to choose your battles. This one comes from my mom and she was right (of course!). You can’t fight for everything because the only thing that you’re going to get is to destroy the relationship by getting the other person (and yourself) tired. You have to choose what is worth an argument/fight and what doesn’t.

 

7. Marriage doesn’t mean that your days of fun are over. Come on! Really? I keep hearing this one and I still don’t understand. Just because you’re married you don’t have to stay home every weekend, or stop seeing your friends, or go do whatever you want! If you feel like that maybe you should have a talk with your S.O….

 

8. As always, actions speak louder than words. Don’t say you’ll do something and then not do it. And lead by example. How can you ask him/her to pay attention to whatever you’re saying if you don’t listen when he/she is talking?

Wedding bands

9. Different is good. Mr. G. has a certain way of doing things and traditions and I have my own. Together we can decide the mix that works for us so we can create our own ways and traditions. Not only that, but when we have kids we will speak 3 different languages at home as we want them to be part of each of our cultures. That is something that I really love.

 

10. Marriage is a team. As a team both teammates need to work in the same direction and complement each other to make it work. It’s not about the 50/50 rule, but about finding the balance that makes the relationship succeed.

 

I know I still have a lot to learn and every day that passes by I discover new things about living with another person and being married. And I can’t wait for the new findings!

 

Related posts:

601 days ago (it’s actually 723 today)

20 Things to do to Bring you Closer to your Love Partner

20 Things to do to Bring you Closer to your Love Partner

Have you felt like your girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife/partner and you are not as close as you used to be? Go to work, money struggles, family obligations, routine, life… Before you realize, it’s been a while since you had a moment to yourselves without stress or “have to’s”. Also, with all the technology that we have today, it seems difficult to disconnect and leave the phone on a side.

Today I come with a list of 20 things that every couple can do to get closer to each other. And do you know what the best thing is? Most of them are FREE!! 😀

20 Things to do to Bring you Closer to your Love Partner

  • Cultivate common interests and try each other’s hobbies. Even if your partner’s hobbies don’t really seem interesting to you, give it a try. The other person will appreciate your effort. Also, you could try a new hobby together, you could find something that you both are passionate about and discovering it at the same time makes it extra special.
  • Trust and forgive. Very important even if sometimes it can seem difficult.
  • Focus more on the things that your partner does right than what he/she does wrong. We should do this with everyone, but it’s extra important with our partner.
  • Hug and kiss when you see each other after work. The best way to be welcomed home!
  • Say “I love you” and “Have a good day” before going to work.
  • Say “Good night” regardless how you feel.
  • Go to bed at the same time. I love the moment before falling asleep, when we’re cuddling next to each other.
  • Show interest on your partner’s day
  • Go on a Road Trip. Spending several hours in a car with each other might be a test for some couples.
  • Work on a puzzle or LEGO construction. Perfect to learn how to solve problems.
  • Be comfortable in silence with each other
  • Leave notes on mirrors/notebooks. Who doesn’t love to see a love note without expecting it?
  • Unplug. It is so important to have some time without cell phones, laptops, TV… Just enjoy each other.
  • Budget. It’s important to be on the same page and to commit to it.
  • Shower together
  • Walk hand in hand or side by side.
  • Help each other shave. I don’t know if I trust myself enough to help him shave LOL
  • Always say thank you. Everyone likes to feel appreciated.
  • Date nights. They don’t need to be anything special, just you and him/her enjoying some time together.
  • Cook meals together

 

How many of these things do you do on a regular basis with your partner? Do you have any other ideas? List them down in the comments below

Easy DIY gift ideas

Hello everyone!

This year, as much as I’m excited about Christmas, we are a little broke (ahem), so I’m afraid gifts are not a priority in my house. However, I do like to give presents (and, of course, to receive them!). That’s why I’ve been looking around for some DIY that can be easily made and do the trick.

There are so many things that we can make with our hands and can be a perfect gift for a fraction of what it would cost to buy from a shop! And you add that special touch that every handmade gift has.

I decided to compile a few inexpensive ideas that we could use to make the perfect gift this season.

Click on link under every picture to go directly to the original post of the DIY and learn how to make them. Links will open a new tab.

Scrabble letters

Scrabble tiles

It’s perfect for couples that just moved in together or newlyweds. You can also make the whole name and give it to kids! It’s so cute that I’m thinking of doing this to put on top of my bed!

Hand warmers

Pocket hand warmers

Having my hands cold ALL THE TIME, I feel the struggle. I think this is a great idea to warm hands quickly! Check this project too for a bigger bag to use for belly/back/neck pains.

Chalkboard

$5 Chalkboard

I’ve been seeing EVERYWHERE so many things turned into chalkboard it’s amazing. Cabinet doors, walls, cups… This is a great idea to give with a nice quote!

Homemade Handsoaps

Homemade hand soaps

I’ve been wanting to this for so long! I think it’s a great gift idea, as you can personalize with shapes and scents. You can even add some sparkles! Find another “recipe” for handmade hand soaps here.

Lemon sugar scrub

Lemon sugar scrub

I love that it’s so quick and inexpensive to make! And it’s all natural ingredients! Divide them into small cute packages (as in here) to give away in your group of friends or at work.

Ipad Case

Ipad case

What I like the most about these cases is that they are so easy and quick to make, and you can make them for everything! It can be for a notebook and some pencils for kids, for the iPad, to carry documents… anything! Find other patterns and materials here and here.

Crayon Holder

Crayon holder

I feel this is a great idea for kids. They won’t be impatient anymore in waiting rooms or restaurants and it’s a way to keep them “busy” whenever they are bored!

Painted wood earrings

Painted wood earrings

You can personalize these in so many different ways!

Homemade hot cocoa kits

Hot cocoa kits

Any sweet tooth in the room? Perfect for kids… and no kids LOL

Christmas decorated mug

Decorated mugs

Not sure if I like the idea of the Christmas decorations (using a Christmas mug in March or August seems to be a little out of place/time?), but I love the idea of giving personalized gifts. To the best mom/dad/grandma/friend or with a pretty quote, I think it’s a good way for people to think of you when they’re having a coffee! Another mug decoration idea is this one with chalkboard paint.

Clipboard

Clipboard

The best thing? You (and they) can personalize and update this present with different quotes, pictures or pretty much anything.

Homemade strawberry jam

Homemade strawberry jam

I have thought several times of doing jam just to avoid all the “extra ingredients” that the common jam that we can find in the grocery store has. Why not give it as a gift to someone you care about?

Mason jar cozies

Mason jar cozies

They can be used every season, for both cold and hot drinks, and they are very useful so you know which glass is yours at a party! On the same line, you can find this pattern too.

Grandma board

Grandma board

Grandma blocks

Grandma blocks

Personalize these last two DIY projects for other family members or friends to give away as a gift and they’ll love it!

Creative crate

Creative crate

Talk about an easy peasy and inexpensive gift!

Instagram coasters

Instagram coaster in wooden box

With or without the box, I think this is a great inexpensive gift. Easy to make, useful (I always try the presents to be useful) and there are so many ways to personalize it! You can also use tiles instead of wood.

Cookie jar

Cookie jar

If you are a good baker, why not fill some small jars with cookies? You can add a special touch by decorating the jars with tags/decorations. They make a sweet gift!

Stamped friendship bracelets

Friendship bracelets

What a great idea for kids to share with their friends!

Domino game

Handmade domino

Great game for both adults and kids!

Men's apron

Men’s apron

I find it so hard to come up with a gift for men! Women are so much easier to give presents to. This apron is a great idea for men that step into the kitchen.

Wedding song gift

Wedding song gift

I love how romantic this gift is!

Tin can candle holder

Tin can candle holders (picture not taken from this blog)

How cute is this? Recycling some tin cans and making different designs you can give personalized candle holders. Find out how to make your own candles here.

 

What are you planning to give this holiday season as presents? Handmade, bought or mix? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

What I loved about this summer

What I loved about this summer

This summer has been a little weird and different in many senses. It was my first summer married, there has been a lot of stress sometimes and it has been somehow like an emotional rollercoaster.

As summer just ended and cooler days come to stay, I wanted to take a look back and appreciate the best moments of summer. It’s not something that I usually do (look back to appreciate things), but that’s one of the changes that I want to make in my life.

There goes a list of the things that I loved the most about this summer.

  • Panama City Beach mini vacation. Ok, it was a month before summer, but I usually link everything beach related to summer. And it was amazing. I couldn’t get up early to see the sunrise, but I got to see every sunset there. The apartment was right next to the beach and it felt like paradise to me. For those who don’t know me, the beach gives me life. When we got to PCB we had the windows down in the car, and the moment I could smell the sea I went crazy happy. It just changes my mood completely. Does anyone feel the same way?

Sunset in Panama City Beach, FL

  • My sister finished her classes in LA and came to spend a whole month with me and my husband before going back to Spain. She didn’t have a good experience in LA so I was hoping that month would somehow make up for that. We didn’t get to do all that we wanted as it was really hot, but we still did a lot of fun things.
  • Also, in late august, my parents came to visit for a couple of weeks. We mostly stayed in the city and walked around. A lot. One of the days we were walking for about 5 hours nonstop. Yeah, crazy, right?
  • Hiking in the Cloudland Canyon. Nature is such an amazing thing. And I’d like to go hiking more often. Not only it’s a great way to stay active and work out, but you get to enjoy wonderful views. Also, if I get to see some squirrels I’m like a happy kid LOL. *Yes, I have a really weird arm in that picture… but it was the best one haha*

Cloudland Canyon

  • Second 4th of July for me in the US, but last year I had to work. This year I got to enjoy the fireworks with my husband (although I was a little… ahem… disappointed. More on that later). Next year I hope we can go/make a barbecue that day and then go see some other fireworks. We’ll see.
  • We were invited to a Pakistani wedding. I have been to several weddings, but it was the first time that it was a muslim one. I enjoyed and learnt a lot. I’m still amazed with the dresses. OMG! *picture is not mine for personal reasons*

Indian wedding sari

  • I hiked a couple of times Stone Mountain. Both times in the late afternoon, so we could enjoy the sunsets. It doesn’t matter how many sunsets you see, it is still something magical!
  • The airport is a place that I enjoy going to. Usually I prefer when it’s because I’m going to fly somewhere, but I also love to pick up people. It is something about planes. And the thought of traveling. I don’t like that much to drop people off, though. Mostly if talking about my parents or my sister.
  • Even if I’ve been in Atlanta for a year and a half, I hadn’t visited the aquarium It was amazing to see all the animals. The belugas were huge and the dolphins super cute. Our ticket didn’t include the dolphin show, but a behind the scenes tour. Although it makes me sad going to a zoo (I haven’t gone to one in 15 years or so) or an aquarium (again, first time in like 15 years), it was really nice to have a closer look to all the animals. One day I’d like to swim with dolphins (one of my favorite animals), but I’d have to make sure that they are free and well treated. They should definitely not be in a pool.

Atlanta Aquarium

  • The DragonCon is something that I wanted to see since last year. Working in a hotel in downtown Atlanta, I could see the costumes, but I had to work every afternoon while it lasted. This year, though, I went to see the parade and walked around watching the costumes and taking pictures. Sadly, the first day I couldn’t take as many pictures as the battery of my phone died, but I still managed to take some. Kudos to the participants, as I know that many of them spent several months making the costumes. I saw three people “dressed” as the Avatar characters and it was mostly body painting. How many hours did they spend in the morning getting ready? WOW.

DragonCon - McGonagall + Avatar + Rumpelstiltskin

I’m leaving out a lot of things (2h Skype sessions with my friends, going out with some friends to have dinner, pool days relaxing and playing…), but the list could be freaking long.

Now, tell me. What are the things that you loved the most about your summer?