Featured Slider

The South of the Border (SOTB) bloggers and I are back this month with another SOTB Blog Hop! Each month we choose a theme, then sometime during the month we all write (and publish) a post about how the theme applies to us living south of the border.

Our theme for April is "New Beginnings". You can interpret the theme however you choose. The only really important thing to remember is to have fun and visit the other blogs participating in the blog hop. I've included the cute little badge above that you can add to your post.

If you are a blogger living south-of-the-border, or just an expat enjoying life anywhere else in the world, we'd love for you to join us in our monthly blog hops. Just remember to come back to this announcement post to add the URL to your post in the linky tool below. The April Blog Hop is open from now until April 30th.

I hope you'll join us!

April 2017 SOTB Blog Hop Theme: New Beginnings

I forgot to add an important resolution to my list yesterday... Accomplish everything on my to do list for 2017!

My To Do List for 2017 #WordlessWednesday

2016 was one hell of a year! There's just no other way to describe it. For us it was a year of big changes, ups and downs, and heartbreaking moments. But, 2016 wasn't ALL bad. There were a few good things, actually really amazing things, to come out of 2016 as well. (I'll be sharing more about 2016 in a future post.) That said, I am ready to pick up the pieces and start enjoying life in 2017.

Resolutions 2017 - lacasadeleslie.com

As always, I have compiled a short list of resolutions (or goals)--whatever you want to call them--of things I want to do and hope to accomplish throughout the year. Yes, I know that most resolutions are broken before February rolls around, but I just can't not have a plan for the new year.

SOTB Blog Hop Button - lacasadeleslie.com

My Resolutions for 2017: 
Blog consistently: Yes, I know! I say it every year, and then I say, "This year I'm really going to do it!" Only to stop posting before the end of January. By the end of the year I feel tremendously guilty, not for not sticking to my resolution, but for not doing a better job of keeping friends and family updated on what we've been up to. Well, this year is going to be different. Seriously! And I've got the perfect plan to do it. Instead of committing to an impossible goal like blogging daily, every weekday, or even every other day, my goal is to post once a week. I'm still trying to figure out what day of  the week works best for me, but I'm confident that I can keep to this much simpler schedule, with no pressure whatsoever. (Last week doesn't count, because I was trying to settle into our new daily routine. I'll share more about that soon.)

Bring back the SOTB Blog Hop: A couple of years ago I started a blog hop with my fellow south of the border sisters. But due to time constraints it never really got off the ground. This year, I am bringing it back. This post is actually part of our first blog hop of 2017. If you haven't guessed it already, the theme for January is resolutions. If you're a blogger living south of the border or an expat living and blogging abroad, we'd love for you to join us. Post your resolutions on your blog, then come back to this post and add your link to the InLinkz tool below.

Keep up with my cocina blog: Many of the resolutions and goals that came to mind for 2017 had to do with my food blog, La Cocina de Leslie. Like this blog, it has been long ignored and it is time to dust off the cobwebs and get back to blogging. Head on over to my cocina blog for the complete list of my food blogging goals.

Get back to journaling: I've kept a journal for as long as I can remember. I love putting my thoughts down on paper and writing down the memorable moments of each day. And I especially love going back and reading those journals. No matter how many times I read them, I'm amazed at how much things change over the course of a year. I continued to journal through most of 2016, but stopped once my suegro (father-in-law) became alarmingly ill and then sent home for hospice care. I knew what was happening with my suegro and what was to come, but to actually write it down in a journal that I'll keep (and read) for years to come made the entire situation even more real. Eventually it became too difficult to journal through the tears and emotions.

One of our end-of-the-year traditions is to read through my family journal to help us remember all the things we did throughout the year. This year, Hubby and the kiddies asked me to stop reading after Hope's high school graduation in July because they knew what was coming. The heartache is still too fresh in everyone's hearts and minds.

Anyway... journaling is something I've always enjoyed doing, and I want to continue preserving the memories we make year after year.

Be thankful. Along with my personal and family journals, I also keep a gratitude journal. It's something I've done since I first learned about them on Oprah oh, so many years ago. Again, keeping a gratitude journal became increasingly difficult as my suegro's health declined, and I just stopped making it part of my daily routine. No matter what life throws at us, I know that there is something to be thankful for each and every day, and it's a habit I want to bring back in 2017.

Read two books per month: Taking time at the end of each day to read a few pages in a book is one of my ways of practicing self-care (my word for 2016). To make sure I keep up this habit, I've set up a goal (and reading challenge on Goodreads) to read two books a month. If you've read any good books lately, let me know in the comments so I can add them to my list of books to read in 2017.

Take more pictures! Aside from snapping photos of the recipes I share online, and at the important events in our life (like Hope's graduation and my nephew's wedding) I feel like I didn't take enough pictures to capture the joy of our every day lives. That is something I'm going to work on in 2017.

It's not too long of a list. I tried to narrow it down to things that either really matter to me or things that make me happy. If 2016 taught me anything, it's that life is too short. We need to live each to the fullest, and do more of what makes us happy.

Did you make any resolutions this year?

New Year's Resolutions 2017 {SOTB Blog Hop}

Welcome back to another edition of Café con Leslie, our weekly virtual coffee date where you can catch up on all the latest news, gossip, and whatever else is happening in our lives at the moment.  So grab a cafecito and let's chat...

*First thing on my mind is that the heat is really getting to me. And I am really trying to keep my promise to not complain about the heat, but it's getting bad and I am now counting the days until the rain season begins, which I hope and pray is sooner rather than later.

I can deal with the heat, but what's killing me are the headaches and migraines. As I write this I am on day four of a migraine/headache that just doesn't want to go away completely. The pain is not as bad as it was on day one, and I am able to function, but one headache-free day would be nice.

Café con Leslie: Heat, the ultimate decluttering secret, and the email of a lifetime...

Hola, mis amigos! Welcome back to another edition of Café con Leslie, our weekly virtual coffee date where you can catch up on all the latest news, gossip, and whatever else is happening in our lives at the moment.  So grab a cup of coffee and let's chat...

*Last week was a total fail for me in regards to my Blog Every (Week)Day in May challenge. Paperwork needed to be filled out, copies needed to be made, and photos needed to be taken in preparation for Hope's impending high school graduation and college entrance exam. (Every week there is something new!) Add to that a couple of difficult weeks in which my father-in-law's disposition has been in constant decline and well, it's a miracle I got anything accomplished. (Prayers for my suegro's mental health are always greatly appreciated.)

Café con Leslie: Back in Business

I just wanted to check in with everyone to say that I haven't given up on blogging every weekday in May. Things around the house have been kind of crazy the past couple of days. So many homework assignments, projects, and paperwork to finish up for graduation. Not to mention errands to run, a house to clean, laundry to fold, meals to cook, people to take care of... just real life.

This evening I actually have a little time to use the computer, but after a particularly difficult day of being a caregiver, I'm emotionally and mentally spent. The tears are flowing freely, and they show no signs of stopping anytime soon. So, I will just let them roll and hope that tomorrow is a better day.

A Bad Day #WordlessWednesday

Desde que empecé este blog en el 2009 y a descubrir otros blogs escritas por mujeres como yo, ya sean mamás, amas de casa, amantes de la cocina o gringas que viven en México, siempre quise escribir en español porque es un idioma que he hablado diariamente desde que tenía cinco años. Tarde unos años en armarme de valor, pero al ver que mi amiga Tracy, del blog Latina-ish, escribía todos los viernes en español, por fin me anime a hacerlo. Desde la primera vez que participe en #SpanishFriday, sabía que era algo que quería seguir haciendo, aunque no siempre fue así. Ahora que me he comprometido a escribir algo en el blog todos los días (de lunes a viernes) durante el mes de mayo, también me quiero comprometer a escribir en español los viernes, y no solo por lo que queda de este mes.

Un Nuevo Reto #SpanishFriday

I have graduation on the brain. We are excited about this moment in Hope's life and are looking forward to celebrating her high school graduation in the next couple of months, while also reflecting on the three years of high school that are quickly coming to an end.

Being the oldest Hope is the first of my kiddies to graduate from high school, and as always these milestones (like her elementary school graduation) are a huge learning experience for not only her, but also me. The other day we were going over some details that I thought you'd all be interested in learning as well.

Anatomy of a High School Class #BEDM

Inspired my Mama Kat's Vlogging Workshop, and because I need a distraction from a rough day of care-giving, I thought it would be fun to answer the 32 Random Questions Tag. Yes, technically it's a YouTube tag, but I think they're fun to do on blogs as well because it reminds me of the old-days when MySpace quizzes were all the rage. Please tell me I'm not the only one who remembers that?! 

Random Questions Tag 

1.) Do you sleep with your closet doors open or closed?
I don't have an actual closet in my room, but I do have an armoire and the doors are always closed.

2.) Do you take shampoo and conditioner bottles from hotels?
No, mostly because it's been so long since I've been to a hotel.

3.) Do you sleep with your sheets tucked in or out?
Depends on the weather. During the cold winter months I like my sheets tucked in, but in the summer I can't deal with sheets that are tucked in.

4.) Have you ever stolen a street sign?
No. When I was a teenager I thought it would be cool to steal a street sign, but I never would've had the nerve to actually go and do it.

5.) Do you cut out coupons and then never use them?
No. The stores in our small town are small mom & pop style stores that don't use coupons.

6.) Would you rather be attacked by a big bear or a swarm of bees?
I'm going to go with being attacked by a big bear only because I think it would be over faster.

32 Random Question Tag

Aside from wanting to Blog Every Day in May, I also want to do a better job of keeping friends and family up-to-date with what is going on in our lives. So, once again I'm bringing back my Café con Leslie posts as a weekly coffee date to catch you up on all the latest news, gossip, and whatever else is happening in our lives at the moment. So grab a cup of coffee and let's chat...

What's new this week...

*In graduation news... Hope has completed her 480 hours of servicio social required to graduate. (Servicio social is an apprenticeship/community service in the same technical field she's studying in high school.) And speaking of the technical field she's studying, Hope will be receiving her título de carrera técnica (technical degree?) in accounting, as well as her high school diploma. And we are counting the days (11 to be exact) until her college entrance exam.

Café con Leslie: Bringing blogging back!

My South of the Border Sisters and I are back with another monthly blog hop. This month's theme is Día de las Madres (Mother's Day). If you are a blogger living south of the border, or just an expat blogger in general, we'd love for you to join the fun by sharing how Mother's Day is celebrated where you live. And you don't even have to be a mom to join in. But if you are an expat mom, we'd love to read all about how you and your little one's celebrate this special day.

SOTBS Mother's Day Blog Hop

Because I've done a terrible job of letting friends and family know that we've moved, I thought I'd share a few details of why we moved and where we moved to.

For those of you that didn't know, we recently moved out of the home we'd been renting for the last 12 years and into my father-in-law's home. The owners of the house we were renting want to do an extreme home makeover, and their plans include knocking down some walls, the back door, and I don't know what all else. Us living there makes that a little difficult, because how can a family of six be expected to live in a house with missing walls and mountains of dust and debris? Alf (Hubby) will continue to rent the shop space (that was right next door to the house) for now, so it's nice to know that he'll only be three doors down if we need him.

We've Moved! #BEDM