Café con Leslie: First Day of School 2014

First day of school 2014 -

Hard to believe since the kiddies just got out of school, but a new school year has started. So it's time to share the kiddies' first day of school pics. But first a little disclaimer... The pics are a little darker than usual because I took them before the three older kiddies left for school at 7am, and it was still pretty dark outside. And well, flash photography never looks all that great.

August Goals

I’m one of those people who would forget everything if she didn’t write it down somewhere, that’s why I’m sharing my goals for the month of August. This month I’m keeping things simple with just a handful of goals that should be easy to accomplish. I hope!

*Set-up the kids’ homework station. The start of the new school year is just around the corner and I’d really like to set up a homework station on the desk I have in the living room with supplies the kiddies might need to do their homework. Also on my to-do list is to clean out the desk drawer. It’s the kiddies’ catch all for chargers, odds & ends, and everything else they don’t know what to do with. Who knows what I might find in there! I’ll share pictures of my finished project if/when I’m done.  

*Use only one journal for the month of August. This is the one goal I am most excited about. Something you may not know about me is that I love notebooks and journals. I carry around five or six journals/notebooks in my day-to-day purse at all times. I have my gratitude journal, a journal where I track all of my dreams, another journal for my daily to-do lists and random lists I come up with, a notebook dedicated to just meal planning, another notebook for writing (my least used notebook), and a small notebook for my 365/30 lists. That’s a lot of notebooks! And that doesn’t include my monthly/weekly planner that I keep on my desk where I track appointments, deadlines, and all of the kiddies’ school/sport schedules.

July Favorites

Because I like to keep track of the things I’ve been loving from month to month, I thought it would be fun to share some of those things with you here on the blog. So, without further ado here are some of the things I was loving during the month of July…

July Favorites -

TV SHOWS: Early in the month I discovered that Netflix Mexico had added seasons 6-10 of FRIENDS. For the longest time Netflix only had seasons 1-5, and I had been waiting for them to add the remaining seasons. Hubby and I used to watch FRIENDS when we lived in the US, I think we got through season 5, but could never find it on our local cable listings once we moved to Mexico. (Plus it just felt weird to watch the show in Spanish.) Last month Hubby and I slowly worked our way through seasons 6 – 8, watching a one to two episodes a night before going to sleep at night. And hopefully in August well finish watching seasons 9 and 10. We’ve laughed, we’ve cried, and have really loved hanging out with our FRIENDS Monica, Chandler, Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, and Joey again. How you doin’?!

Café con Leslie: Catching Up with July

I'm not even going to get into how I haven’t posted anything on this blog since May 2nd. ¡Ay Dios mio! I’m just going to jump right in and catch you all up with what we were up to during the month of July.

Ashley's 6th grade graduation -

*The biggest (and most important) thing that happened in the month of July was that Ashley graduated from 6th grade. My baby girl is growing up. Sigh! Our architect nephew Lalo was her padrino (godfather) for the mass. There was a big party afterwards with lots of dancing. We all had lots of fun, and Hubby and I couldn’t be prouder of our little princess.

The older I get the quicker time seems to fly by. I think when I first started blogging, Ashley had just started 1st or 2nd grade. Now she’s about to start junior high. (Sniffle, sniffle.)

May Goals: Home & Life Edition

I don't know what it is about posting my goals here on the blog, but when I do I tend to get more stuff done. And that makes me a very happy camper. So, in that spirit I'm sharing my personal home & life goals for the month of May.

May Goals: 

1. Organize/clean my closet. Most older houses in Mexico don't have closets, but what I do have is a cute little armoire where I store some of my clothes, and all of my make-up & nail polish. I initially bought it to store Hope & Nick's clothes when we first moved to Mexico, then Jack & Ashley's clothes, and for the last couple of years it's home has been in my room. I still have junk stuff stored in it that I haven't touched since Jack was a baby. Time to go through it all and move all of my clothes over to the armoire.

2. Take new spring photos of the kiddies. The presa (reservoir) is beautiful this time of year. The jacaranda trees are in full bloom. It's such a gorgeous back drop, I take the kiddies there every year to take photos.  I'm thinking this year's photos would look great framed and set on top of my armoire when I'm done cleaning and organizing it.

My family tree -
Spring 2012

Café con Leslie: Catching Up w/ March

Cafe con Leslie: Catching Up w/ March -
For all my talk about wanting to blog more and do more in general, March just kind of got away from me. I started the month by taking a short break from working on the computer, catching up on housework, and just enjoying some quiet time with my family. Then halfway through the month, I started to put things off, telling myself I'd get back to them tomorrow (or sometime soon) only I never did. What can I say? Old habits are hard to break. But instead of beating myself up about it, I'm just going to dust myself off and try again. So...first things first. Let me catch you up on what we've been up to since my last blog post, which was way back on Valentine's Day.

*I finally finished that big work project I had been working on for months. Woo-hoo! I don't know how many details I can reveal about it, but it involved translating a book from English into Spanish. (I still have some final edits to make in the coming weeks.) Doing translation work like that had always been a dream of mine. (And continues to be.) And now that I'm done, I can't believe I actually did it. Like maybe it was all a dream. I am forever grateful for the opportunity. And I wouldn't mind doing it again.

*Translating an entire book from English to Spanish has inspired me to translate the recipes on my food blog and launch a Spanish-language food blog. I still have a ton of work to do before the website is ready to launch, but the first and most difficult part so far has been figuring out how to set-up a sub-domain. I still don't know how I managed to do it, but La Cocina de Leslie (en Español) is up and waiting for me to publish my first recipe.

*Graduation planning has commenced! Ashley will be graduating from Primaria (elementary school) at the end of the school year in July. The fact that the planning is almost complete comes as a complete surprise because from past experience planning doesn't usually start until May. The date has been set, the party venue chosen, and we've even picked a padrino (godfather): my architect nephew. So, now all that's left to do is wait for July 14th to get here.

*For the first time in the 13 years we've lived in Mexico, we went to the Guadalajara Zoo. It was my kiddies' first visit ever to a real zoo. We had an awesome time and loved everything about it. If you'd like to know more about the zoo, let me know in the comments and I'll write a post/review about our experience.

That's all I can think of right now. I'm sure I'll think of more stuff I should've included in this post as soon as I hit "publish". I leave you with this video of Jack & Nick singing "Golpes en el Corazon" at a family dinner earlier this month.

¿Camas Separadas? (Separate Beds?) #SpanishFriday

Today I'm participating in Spanish Friday, hosted by my good friend Tracy from Latinaish. Don't read or speak Spanish?  Don't worry!  Just scroll down a bit for the English translation. 

Separate Beds -

Esta semana mi marido y yo cambiamos nuestra vieja (e incomoda) cama king-size por una cama matrimonial. La verdad es que la cama que teníamos era demasiado grande para nosotros. Aunque nuestra cama nueva se ve muy pequeña en comparación con el king-size que teníamos, ha resultado ser del tamaño perfecto para nosotros. Pero al parecer no todos lo ven de esa manera.  

Café con Leslie: Swine flu, shrinking high school classes & a new bedroom

My stylish influenza face mask -
Face masks are SO 2009! 
¡Hola, mis amores! Welcome back to another edition of Café con Leslie, my weekly blog post to catch you up on what's been going on in our lives and/or other random stuff we'd chat about if we were to go out for coffee.

Here's what we were up to last week...

*Last week started off with a bang making me 500 pesos (about $40 USD) richer thanks to the Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl win against the Denver Broncos. I still don't understand how Hubby could even root for the Denver Broncos considering they're the reason OUR team, the New England Patriots, didn't make it to the Super Bowl this year.

*On Tuesday Hope finally went back to school, after her extended 2-month winter break, and was surprised to find herself in a much smaller class. When the 2013-2014 school year started back in August there were 38 students in Hope's class. Now at the start of the 2nd semester, there are now only 16 students in her class. Some of the students decided that high school just wasn't for them, and others failed so many classes they figured it would be easier to start all over again next school year.

Café con Leslie: February Goals

February Goals -
Borrowing an idea from Dishwater Dreams, I'm going to start sharing my monthly goals with the hope that by sharing them with all of you, I'll get around to actually crossing them off my list.

February Goals:

Work: The first thing on my list of things to do this month is to finally finish the big project I've been working on, that's taken me longer than I had planned due to a few minor setbacks and circumstances beyond my control.

El Final de Una Era (The End of an Era) #SpanishFriday

Today I'm participating in Spanish Friday, hosted by my good friend Tracy from Latinaish. Don't read or speak Spanish?  Don't worry!  Just scroll down a bit for the English translation. 

Si me sigues por el Instagram a lo mejor ya estas enterrado de lo que sucedió esta semana.  Pero para los que no usan el Instagram, les comparto la gran noticia aquí en el blog...

Esta semana, por primera vez en mas de 50 años, mi querido suegro se ha quitado el bigote.

Sundays in My City: Playing in the Mud

One of my biggest regrets from 2013 is that I didn't take the time to share some really great photos I snapped around town. The good thing is that I'm a firm believer in that it's never too late, so for the next couple of weeks I'll be sharing photos from years past and linking up with Sundays in My City hosted by the fabulous Unknown Mami.  

Playing in the mud -

One of my favorite photos from 2013, even though the quality isn't all that great, is this one that I took last summer when our downtown area was under some major reconstruction. Summer in Mexico is rain season, so a lot of the time our downtown looked like a huge mud pit. Most people were careful to avoid the muddy areas, which seemed to be everywhere. But there was one little boy who did what the kid in all of us wish we could have done.  He jumped in the mud and happily splashed about, kicking rocks, jumping in puddles, and rolling around without a care in the world. He was having such a great time that he was completely oblivious to the crowd that gathered to watch him. I thought it was a moment worth capturing, but since it was one of those rare occasions that I didn't have my camera with me, I shot the photo using Hubby's cell phone.  

Unknown Mami

My Word for 2014: Do

Stop thinking and just do it -
Until last week the thought of choosing a word for 2014 hadn't even crossed my mind. Then I read Jennifer's post about her word of the year, which is finish, and thought to myself, "That is a genius word! That should totally be my word for 2014." I had every intention of stealing Jennifer's word because I'm always starting one project or another, without ever finishing them. As I tried to make a mental list of my unfinished projects that I wanted to finish in 2014, I came to a startling realization. I only THOUGHT about starting all those projects, but I never got around to actually starting them.

Café con Leslie: New Year's Resolutions 2014

Over the years I've had an on-again/off-again relationship with New Year's resolutions. One year I think I'm too cool to make New Year's resolutions that I know I'm never going to keep.  Then the next year I'm convinced that that is going to be THE year I'm actually going to keep every single resolution I make.  And some years all I feel that I can focus on is one single word for the entire year.

So where am I this year in regards to New Year's Resolutions for 2014? Well this year I'm happy to announce that New Year's resolutions and I are back together and happier than ever. I don't understand why we ever broke up in the first place. If I've learned anything in the last two years it's that life is short, and we need to live it up while we can. I don't want to look back at the end of my life (some 50+ years from now) and think, I should have done more of this or I wish I'd always done _________. Nor do I want to feel like I've put my life on hold waiting for when the time is right. (And trust me, I have felt like that more times than I care to admit.) But that has more to do with my Word for 2014 (which I'll be sharing tomorrow) than my New Year's Resolutions.  

I have no idea what 2014 has in store for us, but I'm excited to find out. I have a long list of things I want to do and accomplish this year, but I've managed to narrow it down to these resolutions that I think are totally doable.

The ABC's of Me

My friend Nicole, from Destination Unknown, posted this survey on her blog and I thought it would be fun to do since it's been almost two years since my last ABC post.  Let's see if things have changed much.

The Letter A

Are you available? Not romantically.  But for freelance or translating work, I'm yours. 

What is your age? 39.  

What annoys you? Mean, bitter people who are incapable of saying something kind or positive. 

The Letter B

Do you live in a big house? Nope! Technically our house only has one bedroom.  

When is your birthday? September 22nd. 

Who is your best friend? My Hubby. And Val, who really needs to get back to blogging. 

Scent of an In-Law

I'm coming to you today as a friend.  I need to ask you something of a personal nature and I want you to be completely honest.  No matter how uncomfortable my question may be.  Do you think this is something I can trust you with?  If so, keep reading. 

Ok.  Here goes... 

Scent of an In-Law / Ya Huelen a Suegros -

Do you think I smell bad? 

Seriously, do I look like I smell funny?  

The reason I ask is because even though Hubby and I shower regularly and use deodorant and perfume/cologne daily, people are always commenting on the way we smell.  Like every. single. day. We don't smell anything out of the ordinary.  I think Hubby smells absolutely scrumptious, and he me.  But still people comment...