Saturday, July 14, 2012

Making my Own Tea Wreath

So I have obviously been trying to be creative here these days. I guess the truth is that I am trying to do all the things that I should have done all summer when I was sitting on my torti and spending it in the city with the students.

I am a fan of Pinterest (I pronounce it as P-Interest). I found this Tea Wreath on there a LOONG time ago. I am finally putting my dreams in action.

Original Link--click here!
I cut a ring out of cardboard and carefully covered it with my fabric that I bought.

Then I spray painted some wooden clothespins. 15 pesos in the market.

Here is the finished product. I am not very exact and my spray paint was running out.

I tied a cutie ribbon on the top that I bought in the market. (only 4 pesos)

I glued the clothespins with the glue gun onto the wreath.

Then I pinned the tea packets on.

Here's the finished product. I also moved the coffee maker over to the dining room side for a little "drink station"
 I feel like I have been pretty incredible in sprucing up my house. I have a bunch of left over fabric that I might try and make some pillows for my couch. I don't want to saturate the place but I think it would be cutie as well.

Thanks PINTEREST. You are awesome!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Emily is becoming quite the houesewife!

So I bought some fabric yesterday.

To make this kitchen look beautiful. 


I have been wanting to make a cutie little curtain to cover that mess under the bar. So I used the squares on my floor as a template.

I am high tec like that. And then I proceeded to forget to take pictures of the next steps. I am new at this idea of "do a project and blog about it". Let's be honest friends I don't know how to sew. That caused a problem. I originally wanted to go with this idea from one of my favorite blogs but they don't sell super duper double sided fabric tape in Mexico. I brainstormed with my friend Hutch and she suggested the hot glue gun. So that's what I did. I used the glue gun. It was easy and looks great!

Here's the final look.

Gotta say friends, I am in LOVE with my curtain. Gabo was impressed too. I am really excited how it ties the colors together in my lil' apartment.

Here's a picture with the kitchen cleaned up..for once!

Stay tuned for some other projects I have worked up.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My LOVES in Mexico

I never want to send the message that I don't love my life here. So without further ado, I've decided to share some things that I love and that Mexico does right.

LOVE me some public transit.
It's most of the time faster than cars, cheaper and you get to be crammed in with 400 of your closest friends. I can go to and from campus in one day and pay less than $1 USD in transportation. It's reliable and dependable and makes for some great stories later. I don't know how I lived so many years without it.

LOVE me cheap fruits and vegetables. 
There is a market 1/2 block from my house and I can go and buy all the fruits and vegetables that we need there for under $5 most of the times. For those that go way back with me, you know that I used to not eat many vegetables. I found out in Mexico that I love cooked veggies--squash, green beans, carrots, etc are some of my favorites. We can get all types of fruit as well.

LOVE me some great friends. 

Yes, I had this in the States too but I am recently coming to accept that our community is priceless. I have some of the best friends of my life around me these days in Mexico. I laugh so hard with them. I also enjoy spending time with Gabo's family. Just about every 2 weeks, we spend all day Sunday with his dad and some one else from the family. Mexicans are great at loving people well and helping others feel included. I love this about the culture. 

These are the tops but I also think that Mexico does a great job with:

- drinkable yogurts. Yum! Delicious.
- celebrating their Independence.
- being hosts to everyone
- driving defensively

There are so many things that are great about this place. I know that Mexico gets a bad wrap in the news a lot with the presidency, drug cartels and immigration but I feel completely blessed to live here.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Celebrating 3 years...

The fourth of July is a celebration for Gabo and I. I have the story here. We celebrated with friends and family on the 4th at our house.

I invited a bunch of random friends over and then I realized that not a lot of people knew the others. Whoops! Nothing like making new friends at a 4th of July party in Mexico. We had a great time. My husband was a rock star like usual and went along with my crazy plans and ran to stores and carried things out of cars, etc.  Then we did our usual clean up activity afterwards. I dominate the kitchen while he sweeps, mops and takes out all the trash. We have it down to a routine which actually makes us enjoy the parties a lot more.

Here are some highlights from the party.
We go big or we go home friends. Yes, that is a flag cake and 2 APPLE PIES!

My friend Whitney was in charge of decorations and she hit a home run.
 These decorations may or may not stay in my house on the walls for awhile. Gabo does call our apt the United States. :)
Here is the love of my life leaning over all the food we had. 
 I am so excited that he took a chance and talked to the white girl hostess 3 years ago!
This picture is for my sister Amy. I took this out of her garage sale box last August. I knew I would use it!

Tim with the "American Star Root Beer" that I found at Waldo's. The American guys were so excited!

Our littlest party goers Dax (L) and Lydia (R) celebrated their first 4th with us!

Lining up for the Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest. It was a grand time!

Some bi-cultural couples and their babies with Gabo and I. And a small random child named Angel. :)
It was a very fun day and I am glad that I got to spend it with my friends and American food. God Bless America!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Presidential Elections South of the Border

On July 1, Mexicans made records in showing up at the polls. We have definitely stayed up to date on the candidates and prayed about who to vote for. I will not share any names of who the candidates are. You guys can read CNN and connect the dots. :)

Voting here in Mexico is a little bit different from the homeland. First of all the IFE, which is the federal voting agency here in Mexico, requires all that want to vote to register months beforehand. The people are divided by address into sections and in each section they have a couple of locations to choose from (at least that is the case in the federal district). Here's the deal. People are selected and required to be part of the process. I would compare it to Jury Duty in the states. So the election booths are sometimes in houses, garages, etc. It was strange. Then they painted Gabo's finger with a permanent marker so he couldn't go to the other location to vote again. Crazy huh?

In Mexico, there is a history of rumored fraudulent voting that takes place. Mexicans are adamant in using a crayon or marker to cast their ballot for fear of someone erasing their pencil mark. In the past some parties have "bought" the election booth for thousands of dollars--meaning they pay off all the workers so that they win the district. Even here in Mexico a local church was pushing the republican candidate and giving an offering of $50 to each church member to camp out and observe the voting booth in their neighborhood. Ultimately, we don't know how much that happened this time...but it is completely possible.

There were 3 main candidates. Up until 12 years ago, one party controlled and won every election leading up to the year 2000. This party has a history of being really into themselves and have been consistently linked to ex-governors that are leading the charge in the drug cartel. Pretty shady stuff full of corruption and all that jazz. Some people trust that party regardless of the history went with the "tradition of Mexico" and wanted to go with Old Faithful.

So we watched on Sunday this guy win. For me it's not that our guy didn't win, it's about who did. This guy's resume is not pretty.
  • He was the governor of the state of Mexico and did nothing.
  • His wife mysteriously was murdered and he never talks about it. 
  • He has no idea about the basics of being a normal Mexican i.e. the price of a pack of tortillas
  • He brings his own supporters and hides in bathrooms from opponents
  • He can't name 3 books that changed his life.
  • He makes no sense in debates and his future policies. 

So there are 2 possible choices that happened on Sunday and excuse my bluntness. 1. Ignorance of people or 2. It was rigged. 

I think it's a little bit of both but mostly ignorance. You see the majority of voters in Mexico are not connected to social media, they never heard him speak in a debate or interview, they don't want YouTube to see his blunders. They are just voting on tradition.

As someone that sees the potential for growth in Mexico, I am deeply saddened by the tailspin of the elections. Mexico cannot advance without exposing the truth and education of people.

We feel more than ever that we need a Revolution in the minds and hearts of the people. Will you pray with us?

Monday, July 02, 2012

3rd World Kitchens

Friends, there are some things that really get me down about comparing my life to the life that is very easily accessible in the US of A.

Kitchens. They are a beautiful gathering place and a space to create. The average house or apartment has counters, a dishwasher, full size oven, etc.

Take this kitchen...

spacious, gorgeous, lighted (Cue Debbie Gibson singing "Only in my Dreams")--this would be my dream in the States.

Here in Mexico, things are a little different. When we moved in last September, we looked high and low for the basics of what a little Expat girl like me would need. Frankly speaking an oven was a necessity. My husband often said to owners, "I'm sorry. We cannot rent here. My wife needs an oven."

So here is the best we can find. And I actually love this tiny little thing.

 See the difference? I liken it to a kitchen in a condo in Orlando, FL that you use on vacation. I am trying to spruce it up. In July, I want to make a cutie little curtain to hide the under-the-bar part. I try to keep things orderly and less cluttered. Which it might be time to pear down the fridge.

But on Saturday, we bought a rug at Costco. I LOVE COSTCO. It sometimes is like my home away from home. The rug said 2"x6" and I said to Gabo that it was probably the exact size of the alley between the bar and the wall.

 And I was completely right.  Above is my empty floor. And below is my new beautiful rug!

It makes a world of difference actually. It's soft and catches all the water that falls from my dinky sink and dish rack.

I am looking forward to other improvements that I can do to maximize my space and make lemons out of lemonades.