Feb 1, 2016

My Word for 2016

At the beginning of every year I choose a word to be my main focus/theme for the twelve months of the new year. While I tend to lose sight of my New Year's Resolutions in less time than it took to actually compile my list of impossible goals, my word for the year lurks somewhere in the back of my mind throughout the entire year. Last year my word was 'simplify' because life is messy, and being a stay-at-home wife, mom of 4, and a caregiver doensn't make it any less hectic. 2015 was the year I learned to say no to things I really didn't want to do (without worrying about what others might think), I learned to delegate, ask for help, and simply enjoy the moment. I don't think I could've picked a better word for 2015.

Jan 4, 2016

Café con Leslie: Cinnamon Roll Fest, New Year's & the Flu

One of my goals for 2016, aside from blogging consistently, is to do a better job of documenting the every day moments in our life. That's why 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... 

Wood-burning clay oven - lacasadeleslie.com

After Christmas, but before New Year's, we had a small family get-together at el rancho for our last parrillada (cook-out) of 2015. Not only did we fire up the grill for carne asada, we also fired up the clay oven to bake some pan dulce (pastries). I wasn't sure how many guests would show up at our little gathering, so to be on the safe side I made 4 kilos of flour worth of cinnamon roll dough. (That's a little more than 8-1/2 pounds of flour!) 

Dec 25, 2015

Memes Navideños #SpanishFriday

¡Llego la navidad! Espero que todos estén pasando una navidad muy feliz. Se dice que no hay mejor regalo que una sonrisa, así que a continuación les comparto unos memes navideños en español que espero que los haga sonreír.

Mis mejores deseos para todos en esta navidad...

Chabelo primera navidad

Dec 21, 2015

Our (Top 12) Favorite Christmas Movies

It's here! Christmas week is finally here! And I am as happy and excited as Buddy the Elf. The kiddies are all on Christmas break and this week is filled with of some of our favorite family traditions. Baking cookies on Christmas Adam (the day before Christmas Eve), driving around our small town at night to admire the houses decorated with Christmas lights, la cena de Nochebuena (Christmas Eve dinner), el recalentado (Christmas leftovers), lighting fireworks, spending time with family and friends, and watching our favorite Christmas movies.

If you ask my kiddies, they´ll tell you that their favorite Christmas tradition is to curl up on the couch with with a big fuzzy blanket and a cup of hot cocoa or Mexican atole to watch our favorite Christmas movies. We have quite a few Christmas movies that we just have to watch year after year, but I've managed to narrow that list down to twelve and an honorable mention, because Hubby can't imagine Christmas without watching his favorite movie.

Top 12 Favorite Christmas Movies - lacasadeleslie.com

Nov 1, 2015

SOTBS Blog Hop: Paper Mache Catrinas for Día de Muertos

SOTBS Blog Hop logo - lacasadeleslie.com
In an effort to get back to blogging, a few of my "South of the Border Sisters" (as we like to call ourselves) have decided to team up for a monthly blog hop starting today. Our theme this month is Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead). If you would like to join in the fun, write a blog post with Día de Muertos as your theme then come back to this post to add the link in the blog hop below and let me know in the comments.  

Día de Muertos hasn't always been a big deal holiday-wise in our small town. I was greatly disappointed my second Day of the Dead in Mexico when there wasn't an altar, sugar skull candy, or pan de muerto in sight. I felt like I had been gypped. And it didn't help that the Mexican TV stations were showcasing how the holiday was being celebrated all over the country. Except my small town. But that was 15 years ago.

Jul 1, 2015

Café con Leslie: June in Review

Hi friends! Welcome back to another edition of Café con Leslie - a biweekly review of what we've been up to. So without further ado, I'm just going to jump right into where we left off in our previous Catching Up post.

Summer has arrived to most parts of the world, meaning that there are more kids in the neighborhood visiting from the US. Sadly here in Mexico school is still in session. Nick, Ashley, and Jack still have two weeks of school left. (Yawn!) I am ready for them to be on summer break, and not having to wake up at 6:30am. But just because school is still in session doesn't mean that the kiddies don't get to play with their friends from the US. Every evening the street fills up with kids of all ages playing everything from stickball to futbol in the street. Just one of the many joys of small town living.

Speaking of school... we finally have a date for Nick's graduation ceremony and mass: July 14th. We'll probably end up going out to lunch at Nick's favorite restaurant after mass since Nick's classmates can't seem to agree on whether or not to have a party. Or we might wait until the weekend to celebrate with the entire family.


Hope, who has been on vacation for most of the month, has a new summer job. It's part of her servicio social that she has to fulfill in order to graduate from bachillerato (high school). Servicio social is a cross between community service and apprenticeship (in that it focuses on the students area of studies and they don't get paid for their servicio). Some students work at the high school, while others work as aides to teachers at one of the many kinders, primarias, and even the secundaria (junior high). Since Hope's class is focusing on accounting, she is giving her servicio part-time at an accounting office. So far she has logged more than 50 hours and she is really loving her job. Only 430 to go!

Hope at work - lacasadeleslie.com


My Erin Condren life planner, the planner I've been dreaming about owning for the last couple of years, arrived about a week and a half after I ordered it. Woo-hoo! Kudos to the Erin Condren company for their impressive international shipping. It's so bright and pretty! I love it! (Even though I've only been using it for a couple of days.)

There was one little mix-up due to the madness of launch date... I ordered the horizontal layout, but received the vertical layout instead. But I'm not too upset as I prefer the brighter colors of the vertical layout to the softer, subdued colors of the horizontal layout.

Erin Condren Life Planner (week 1) - lacasadeleslie.com

Menu planning in Erin Condren Life Planner - lacasadeleslie.com


For Father's Day we celebrated at the reservoir with Hubby's siblings and their families. And I managed to snap some new pics of the Hubby and the kiddies.

Hubby and the kiddies (Father's Day 2015) - lacasadeleslie.com

Hubby & the boys (Father's Day 2015) - lacasadeleslie.com

Hubby & the girls (Father's Day 2015) - lacasadeleslie.com

(Sigh!) I can't believe how big my kiddies are now. 


Hubby is keeping busy with work. And when he gets a chance after work (a couple times a week) he goes cycling with his buddies. The Mexican countryside and the recent rains have provided a gorgeous backdrop for his photos. (For more of Hubby's cycling pics follow him on Instagram.)

Enough about me... What have you been up to? Catch me up on all the details in the comments below.

Jun 15, 2015

Café con Leslie: Catching Up

Don't be alarmed and do not try to adjust your computer screen. It's just me with a new blog post updating you on what we've been up to recently. I realize it's been forever since I've updated the blog, but in the spirit of trying to get back on track with my New Year's Resolutions I'm hoping to start posting more often than once in a blue moon. And to kick things off I'm starting back with my weekly Café con Leslie posts to keep you up-to-date with what's going on in our lives.

Hope's last day of 11th grade - lacasadeleslie.com

First things first... This past Friday was Hope's last day of 11th grade, and she finished the school year with straight 10's. (Happy dance!) Hubby and I are so very proud of her. (She doesn't look too happy in the pic because she was complaining about being too old for these type of photos. But I'm a mom and taking these pics are part of my job.) 

Speaking of school, Hope is lucky in that her summer vacation starts four whole weeks before her younger siblings. The official last day of school for Nick, Ashley, and Jack is July 13th and I can't wait!

Nick will be graduating from secundaria (junior high/9th grade) next month. (He was in 3rd grade when I started this blog.) We've enrolled him in the same high school as Hope, and will be taking his entrance exam in 3 weeks. No plans for graduation yet, as the parents (and students) haven't been able to agree on what to do for the big day. Most of Nick's classmates just want to each do their own thing and celebrate with their families. There also isn't a set date for the graduation ceremony and mass yet either. It's going to be one of those last minute things that drive a planner like me crazy. The good thing is that Nick has already chosen his madrina (godmother) for the graduation mass.

Grilled frog legs - lacasadeleslie.com

This weekend we had another cookout with family and friends at el rancho. We always have a good time and usually when we go to el rancho there's some new food adventure to be had. Last time we went, which was a couple of weeks ago, I tried riñones (kidneys) for the second time. (Still not a fan!) This weekend my foodie adventure involved grilled frog legs, except it wasn't just the frog legs, it was the whole darn frog! I wasn't sure I'd work up enough nerve to try them, but Hope and Hubby convinced me. And you know what? They weren't bad at all. Frog legs really do taste like chicken! One frog leg was enough for me. I just couldn't stop imagining the frog I disected back in 10th grade biology some 25 years ago. But... I'll take grilled frog legs over riñones any day.

As for me, I'm keeping busy being a wife, mom, and caregiver. Nothing too exciting to report. I did cut my hair... again. And this time I went even shorter. (Will share a pic soon.) It's summer and there really is no point in trying to do my hair. It just curls back up the minute I start to sweat. And with this heat and humidity... I'm sweating ALL. THE. TIME! But I'm totally in love with my new 'do!

Oh, last week I ordered my very first Erin Condren planner*. I've admired them for years, and finally decided to take the plunge because life is short and I couldn't resist the new horizontal layout. I'm hoping that my 18-month planner will arrive by the beginning of July, but snail mail has not been my friend lately. So, we shall see.

Enough about me and the kiddies... what have you been up to? Catch me up in the comments below.

*This post includes an affiliate link. If you order from Erin Condren using the link provided, I receive store credit.