Turkey DAY!! 🦃

Turkey DAY!! 🦃

YAY! Thanksgiving is here!!Family, fun times and FOOOD!! 

I think the food is probably everyones favorite part of thanksgiving, especially since there’s always enough to last you for days. I know that’s one of my favorite parts about hosting Thanksgiving at my parents house, we got all the leftovers =)In my family, I’m sure like most family’s, we would assign a dish per family member to bring. Usually the one hosting is the one who makes the main dish (aka: the turkey). Then some people would bring the ham, side dishes, drinks or desserts. My mom has the best turkey recipes and makes an amazing stuffing that unfortunately always disappears before the end of the night.  

Her stuffing recipe doesn’t involve any kind of bread ingredient, so its probably not a traditional stuffing but its amazing!! 

She uses ground beef, chopped prunes, and chopped up onions and peppersI think. Im not 100% sure what the ingredients are, but I will try and get that from her before thanksgiving so you guys can try it out for the holidays.  All I know is those are the ingredients I see when I eat it. I haven’t had it in a while. My stomach just growled so loud. 

As far as turkeys go, theres one seasoning recipe I use to make them and have used it to season the turkeys my husband sells at his work. 

In a blender I add, like a few garlic pieces, a piece of onion, some of that knorr chicken bouillon, grape juice and I think thats it. I blend it all real good so the blender is full then I poke holes in the turkey and give it a nice grape juice bath. I don’t have measurements because we never learned to cook with them, its all about the eye. lol 

For sides my favorite holiday side are frijoles charros. If you guys haven’t had frijoles charros then ask your Mexican friend tomato you some and if the don’t know how then ask their momma and if there momma doesn’t know how then ask the grandma and if she can’t do it then you probably need to make a new friend who can feed you amazingness. 

The frijoles charros I have contain, refrained beans, chorizo, bacon, hot dog pieces, and chicharron (pork rinds). It has a liquid consistency and super delicious!!You can add whatever kind of meat to them and however much. I had someone that had pastrami, it was little much for me but still super yummy. 

As far as desserts go, I love me some PUMPKIN PIE!! it can be from anywhere, Costco or Marie Calendars is usually where its at, with whipped cream, mmmmmm. If you’re like my sister and eat whipped cream with some pie then thats pretty delicious too.  

For drink, every year for Thanksgiving, xmas or new years there is always someone who makes a traditional drink called Ponche. Its basically a hot fruit punch and contains, pears, apples, guava, sugar cane pieces, and I think prunes. Some add pineapple too or other kinds of fruits. We drink it hot and it usually great with the cold weather outside, makes a great more refreshing alternative to hot chocolate. OH! speaking of, we of course might have champurrado or atole instead of ponche. Those are also hot drinks but with a thicker consistency (because its made with dairy products) and usually sweeter. 

I love love love the holiday season and I can’t wait to eat all this yummy deliciousness. 

Whats your favorite holiday dish?  Do you guys have any fun family traditions orang would like to start? 

Hope everyone has a great thanksgiving!!! 

“the more you are in a state of gratitude, the more you will attract things to be grateful for.” – Walt Disney 

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Love, service and gratitude

Love, service and gratitude

Its that time of year again when everyone starts to feel the holiday spirit. We hear the christmas songs at the stores and on the radio. We start feeling a sense of gratitude for everything around us, life is great and theres so much to be thankful for.

Too bad those feelings go away January 1st. =(

One thing I have noticed is now a days people don’t seem to focus on three very important things; love, gratitude and service. Im not sure if thats happened over time or if thats just something that happens when you become an adult. Ive been an “adult” for ten years now and I feel like the world is becoming colder, saltier, more judgmental, easily offended, pessimistic, and straight up cruel. Again, I don’t know if its because we have access to all kinds of media now that maybe its always been like this and we are just now more easily able to see it or if we’re really slowly becoming heartless zombies.

I know there is still a lot of good in the world, but even the good people now hate and judge. So whats going on?

One of my conclusions is that people aren’t serving each other anymore. Without service, we can’t learn to love and without love we can’t be grateful. What exactly do I mean by service? I mean do something good for someone. Don’t think for one second that your showing up to work everyday and providing care or customer service to someone. Thats not service, thats just you doing your job to get paid so you can pay rent and buy food. I also don’t mean giving a homeless person a dollar every time you see him and then going about the rest of your day feeling high and mighty because you did the ONE good thing. Nope, I mean truly giving someone help, affection, time, acknowledge that others have stress as well and despite that help them with someone to make their day a little easier. You can take out the trash or help put the clothes in the dryer. Cook them a meal, go on a walk with them, listen to them, empathize with them.

Yes, giving a homeless person money so they can have a better day is great and you should continue to do it. However, you can’t stop there. If you’re not helping those you live with, work with, study with, and every thing else with, then you’re not really serving. Your life will never change because you will never change. Once you’re able to use that mani pedi money on helping your family member or a friend who may need it or instead of coming home and watch your favorite show for the 100th time maybe you can play with your dog for 15 minutes or your kids, spend some time with a loved one. We need to remember that time is a gift thats way more valuable than money. So use it wisely. Its ok to relax and watch TV or do whatever it is that distresses you, but like all good things too much of it can be more bad than good.

Gratitude is also something we should carry with ourselves at all times. Be grateful for the time people spend with you, for the money that friend let you borrow that one time and pay it back. Be grateful for your jobs, your home no matter how big or small, your family whether its two or 30 of you. Be grateful for your pets, your car no matter how crappy,. Be grateful for the food you eat, for the  people you share it with. Be grateful for where you live, your culture, your traditions. Be grateful for being able to read this because even though I’m probably boring you to death you’re freaking ALIVE! You’re able to decide what you’re going to do next, you’re still able to change into a better you. No one is a lost cause, and some might argue not even when they’re dead. ;D

So this year set yourself a goal, not just for the months of November or December, set a goal to do one thing a day or a week that helps you be a better you. Serve others by being more patient, more kind, by giving time, helping out someone in need, showing up to work on time, being as productive as possible, showing gratitude, affection, and no matter what the reaction from other may be, don’t give up. It may seem like you’re doing too much for others, but what you don’t notice right away is that you’re serving yourself. When you do things for others you’re becoming a better human being, a better YOU. Thats the best thing you can do for yourself. =)

That raise, those great kids, your loving and trusting relationship, your trained dog, those smiles from the barista at Starbucks, your  awesome mood, NONE of that will happen if YOU don’t change. So do yourself a favor and start serving others.

=D

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi


Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems

Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems

In  January of 2013, only 4 months after getting married, my husband and I got our own donut franchise in the San Fernando Valley. From the first day that we were offered the place my husband and dad were super on board, I was definitely NOT. I watched my dad struggle a lot with the stress of owning a business, and that was not something I was prepared to deal with. Regardless, I recognized that this was a great opportunity and blessing to pass, especially for two newly weds who wanted to get their life together ASAP.  During the process of taking over the business we both received a lot of advice from my dad as well as the district manager and the owners of the company. Having them help us made me feel more confident that everything was going to be all right.

When the time came to choose whether or not we wanted to keep the current employees, thats when I remembered why I was not on board. I was too nice and felt like I was no one to fire people or determine their worth. I learned quickly that showing that kind of attitude and personality can get you in trouble quick. Especially if you’re the boss. We kept most of the employees based on what the previous manager told us.

During the first week we got a lot of help from my dad, fixing and changing things that were not being done correctly as well as setting rules to make the place more presentable and customers more comfortable. The place was a mess when we got it and with all the help we received we were able to get the place together in no time.

Meanwhile, we were dealing with gaining the respect of the employees. We were younger than all of them and it showed that a few of them were not happy with us being their new bosses, and one of them even told us straight up. She was the biggest red flag and, again because I was too nice at first, I ignored it. During or first week she told us we she only gave us a few weeks tops, that we weren’t going to last. My husband and I didn’t respond to this, we only smiled and left. She became a problem right away. I was feeling the stress overcome me.

During that first year things were ok, we moved closer to work and started a new life together as business owners.  Things ran smoothly. We were living a comfortable life, making a great income for the two of us and enjoying life. Disneyland trips were a regular thing as well as six flags and eventually universal studios. We lived right across a mall and near all the stores we needed. It was bliss…. Except…. it wasn’t! Like the saying goes, with great power comes great responsibility.

Despite the awesomeness of what I just told you, we were two very very stressed out individuals. Overtime we felt we were doing good, helping people get work and trying our best to be great examples of human beings. Regardless, we’d always be taken advantage of. An employee would ALWAYS have something to complain about, someone would start drama or there was always the occasional cold hearted mean person who just wanted to screw us over. It was the most exhausting thing I have ever experienced.  The biggest problem was that that stress followed us home. During those four years we had the store my husband and I had the worst fights. We both became people neither of us recognized and due to pride and a little bit of fear we were not willing to let go of the shop in order to work on our marriage. We knew that owning that business was the main reason our arguments started and it was definitely the reason we were in a tense situation. For that I felt resentment towards the shop.

Before I started this business I was the person who always thought I should trust everyone until they give me a reason not to. Thanks to the following story, that changed completely by the end of our ‘term’ if you will. Remember that lady who hated us? Well a few days before christmas we had a little get together with everyone, to show our appreciation.she gave us an ultimatum in front of everyone (including her spouse who also worked with us) about giving her all of xmas week off (three days before!!), she never showed up to work and tried to file a lawsuit against us (that lasted three years!!) . Thankfully justice was served, she ended up wasting time because obviously we never did anything wrong to her and knew we had nothing to fear.  That was the biggest issue we faced with owning our own business. Some complaining customers or people who just legitimately couldn’t stand us being the owners and wanted us out. It was crazy. But it did bring a lot of great things we are thankful for and wouldn’t have been able to do without it. Still when the time came to let go of the store we weren’t super sad. It was a bitter sweet moment. During the last 6-8 months we had a great team. A few of the original ones who I was really grateful for and grew to care a lot about , and ones we hired during our time there and became excellent employees. It was the most stress free we were and were sad we had to leave it. But because all of our employees at the time were amazing, we were glad to have that happen to open new doors and opportunities for them.

So if there is one thing I learned from this experience, its that if you want to be in a position that makes more money, be prepared to deal with the problems. I personally went into a position that was not for me. My husband on the other hand is very good at it, and my dad is the king of all small business bosses. He’s been doing this for years and despite the stress and frustration it causes him sometimes, he likes what he does and has learned to be the most forgiving and legit boss I’ve ever met. Some may disagree but those some are usually the ones who got like 100 chances and he finally said ‘enough’, so they get mad, throw a tantrum and blame someone for their own laziness and mistakes. There are people that will never be satisfied unless you always give them what they want all the time….stay away from those.

All in all, I’m glad I got to experience this. It definitely helped me grow a lot, emotionally and mentally (and physically, having access to donuts all day everyday is no joke). If it weren’t for this, I would have never moved out of my parents house and gotten to know my husband and myself more. I would have never gone to Disneyland so many times 😉  I would have never learned what kind of leader I am and my ability to love and care about people. I also would have never learned that I can be assertive as heck when I need to be. Most importantly, I would have never experienced first hand what my parents live and have worked through every single day since I was 10 years old. I grew a whole new level of appreciation and understanding for them. Especially because they started from zero. I admire them more and can relate to them more. For that I will always be grateful.

So, what was my point? Im not trying to scare anybody from starting their own business, or making more money. All I wanted  to say is that if thats your plan, be prepared to deal with issues and make sure its something you’re good at and fits your personality. Don’t open a coffee shop if you hate coffee. Also make sure its something you’re passionate enough about or if you have a family and are doing it for them thats a valid motivation too. Do it for something that despite the issues, you are ready to overcome them and come up with solutions to better the situation. All great things start off on a bumpy road, but as you learn and work hard the road gets smoother and eventually you’re cruising through your best life. =)

“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.” – Walt Disney

Halloween Halloween Halloween Halloween. 🎃

Halloween Halloween Halloween Halloween. 🎃

Halloween is almost here!

Costumes, parties, scares and candy!! Its become my favorite time of the year, no holiday stress just fun and games.

For the last six years  on each Halloween I’ve been able to dress up in multiple costumes for work, home and church activities. There have have also been a few years there where my cousins throw a Halloween party and for those we would definitely plan out our costumes. Last year I decided to throw it, it was really fun and EVERYONE dressed up. We had a costume contest, games, and a potluck! I am really going to miss that this year. Id throw another party but I don’t know what the chances of everyone driving up to Utah are. 🤷🏽‍♀️ =D

My favorite part of Halloween has always been the costumes. Don’t get me wrong the candy is awesome, but I love seeing people all dressed up and look forward to seeing what unique costumes people come up with. I remember in high school I couldn’t even sleep sometimes from how excited I was to go to school on halloween and see what the heck people came up with. One that I will always remember was a group of guys in my Class that would dress up as the Pacman crew and run around campus during any of our breaks or passing periods. They did this all four years. It was cute because the little ghost were colored sheets and they turn them inside out for the blue part. It was awesome.

Ill be the first to admit that its tempting to use halloween to show off your sexiness, I remember one halloween I wore a short dress and butterfly wings to school and these guys in my math group told me I was a butterfly prostitute or something like that. 😆 I didn’t care at the time but now that I think about it, my costume wasn’t even that bad. I don’t even want know what the slutty butterflies are wearing now. 😬

Anyway, I also remember dressing up as a boy once, along with my cousin who resembled reggaeton singer Don Omar . That night when we went out trick or treating my little sister went up to get some candy from these teenage girls as I stayed on the sidewalk to watch her. She came back laughing and told me the girls said “your brother is cute.”  Im sure they were being sarcastic, but then again I was far enough for them not to be able to tell if I was indeed a cute boy. For my last year of high school I was a Hippie and not the costume with peace signs. I looked like George Harrison came into the future as a hispanic woman. hahaha. I even got props from my AP Calc teacher who said I nailed it. The funny thing was I wore clothes that id wear to school on a regular day. 😉

As an adult I only remember the costumes I wore after I got married. I was a zombie, a dead bride,  Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, Pikachu, Gaara (from an anime called Naruto) and Belle. Some of those were on the same halloween but different occasions.

My husband usually coordinated his costume so we could match, for instance he was also a zombie, a dead groom, a werewolf, pokemon trainer, The Raikage (also from Naruto), and Gaston. The only time he didn’t dress up to match me was when I was Snow White. This year we’ve had little time to plan out our costumes. Since we had a church halloween party on Friday we just decided we’d wear our onesies. I wore my Jack Skellington onsie, which now that I think about it, I wore that at the last church halloween party we had back in CA. Anyway, I was Jack and Sallys daughter, with all the Nightmare Before Christmas gear I own. My husband wore his Spiderman onesie and handed out stickers telling everyone to “vote for Spidey.” and our friend was our pet cow. 😆

For actual halloween day we were thinking of joining our neighbor and her kids on their trick or treating adventure. Who knows, we might dress up as something else. All I know is that even as an adult, buying your own halloween candy is definitely not the same as going out and getting all kinds of candy from strangers. 😀

That last one is circa ’98-’99

What are you guys doing this halloween??

How I learned to love better

How I learned to love better

Being married this young, in this country and in these times is quite challenging. We see and hear of people breaking off their marriages left and right starting with couples in the public eye. A lot of people our age grew up with one parent or step parents and a few lucky ones with both biological parents but saw the challenges that maintaining a marriage comes with and decided that maybe marriage isn’t for them.

It exhausting to think about working hard to make someone happy, if its meant to be they’ll  just be happy either way right? Mmm, nope.

One thing that media and people don’t tell us when talking about lasting relationships is the cultivation that takes place. We see people only at their best. Posting pictures on social media, looking like the happiest couple at family events or just hearing them talk about all the wonderful things they have done and accomplished together.

This is what has created this false idea that we find our better half and we automatically bring out the best in each other without having to change a thing about ourselves.

When we initially find someone and fall in love its all paradise and all we do is think about that person. We think about them at work, school, gym, home, we can’t even watch our favorite shows without thinking about them. Then we date them, notice how happy we are and decide this is the person for me. Then all of a sudden BOOM, all that lovey dovey stuff disappears, we see the ugly sides and we think we made a mistake.

This is something that I think happens to EVERYBODY.

Lots of people have their own theories about why their relationships may not have worked. It always usually has to do with the amount of time they dated or that the other person wasn’t who they originally thought they were.

Because I got married at 22 and I was always a person who said If I ever did get married it wouldn’t be until I was 27 or so, I had a hard time in the first few years of my marriage. Don’t get me wrong I love my husband so much and I knew he was the one for me when we decided to get married. But we did it the old fashion way and didn’t live together until we married. So thats when the real stuff starts.

For the first three years of my marriage I was so focused on changing him to make him who I wanted him to be because I felt like I was already my best self. I learned the hard way that any relationship, especially the one with your spouse, does not work that way.

Thankfully he loved me enough to not give up on me and I felt the same way. So we decided to look for resources to help us. There are two books we read on our own time. One was called Personality Plus and the other The 5 Languages of Love. To say the least, these books saved my marriage and my relationship with everyone who was close to me.

From reading The 5 love languages I learned that if we stay in the “in love” phase we’d become zombies and never get anything done. It would be pointless to be with someone and not prosper with them. So this is why we all need to fall out of that phase and into the “real love” phase where we learn of each others strengths and weaknesses and of course our love languages to help each other grow into the best we can be and put away our own selfish needs and ways of thinking. Of course marriage is and always will be a two person job.

If you feel like you’re the one doing all the work and your spouse just doesn’t seem to want to make it work, and you’ve tried absolutely everything, then in that case maybe it is time to think about whether or not you can live the rest of your life that way. But when both people are willing and have tried hard enough, I think those marriages are worth saving. Abusive relationships in my opinion are an automatic no. Its ironic because people fear leaving these relationships more than one that just lost its fire and the people involved are too lazy or selfish to try to ignite it again.

No one gets married to get a divorce. So why not work to reach that goal? Learn to love each other in the way you each receive love. For some it may be gifts for others quality time and if you didn’t know maybe your spouse likes an act of service as a demonstration of love and appreciation. So if you truly love someone, anyone, not just your spouse, but your other family relationships as well. Then get to work and learn. there are many resources out there. These two books along with great mentors and people are what have made me be the best wife, daughter, sister and friend I can be. No one is destined to be alone or miserable, so change yourself to be better and then you can help others do the same.

“Love is putting someone else’s needs before yours.” – Olaf (Frozen)

Avengers Assemble!

Avengers Assemble!

This year Marvel came out with what was probably the biggest movie of all time (so far) and my husband and I were beyond excited for the premiere.

As you may know by now I absolutely love love love all things Disney and my husband is a super Marvel fan. He gets excited over every MCU movie that has come out and ever since he’s been following the MCU and knowing what Marvels plan is and we’ve both been beyond excited for Infinity War.

Despite our love for Marvel and Disney and living only an hour away from Los Angeles, we were never ones to go and see a red carpet movie premiere. In fact, we didn’t even know we could do that. I mean I always saw fans getting autographs and stuff but I wasn’t really one to go take the time and research any information as to when and where these events take place, until Infinity War. IF there was ever a red carpet event we needed and had to attend, it was this one. All of our favorite characters would be there and it was really the only one we felt would be worth the time. So I went on google and got to work.

When we got there it was about 10:30am. We had no idea what we were supposed to do. We didn’t see a whole lot of people like we expected but there were some waiting around and no one seemed to have any kind of information as to what or where we were suppose to be. We waited in the first line we saw because of course theres always someone who says “this is where they told us to wait.” and while I waited in that line my husband walked around to see if he could find any other information.

About 15 minutes later he calls me and tells me to run to the other side if the street because they were giving wrist bands. When I got there they had stopped and people seemed frazzled. Apparently there were people there who had been waiting for hours and some even days! We spent about three hours waiting there with different security staff members giving us different information. Some gave us hope and others were cut throat and diminished any spark of hope that we’d be able to see the event.

Finally after a few hours one guy comes and promised at a certain hour they’ll be giving out more wristbands. We were all pretty psyched. Once the hour came by another staff member comes and tells us to go. He said we were blocking the way and there were no more wristbands. Of course lot of people raised their voice and expressed their anger and frustration. Luckily for us we were just winging it and had already kept in mind that the chances of seeing anything or anyone were pretty much slim to none. There was even a guy who was apparently so desperate he was cutting slowly and moving up in the line and using his argument “I’m from New York.” to get anyone off his back.  He’s lucky us Californians are nice. lol

So you can only imagine once we were sent packing all the sad faces and postures walking around hollywood blvd.

My husband and I decided to go find something to eat, he however was determined and not ready to give up. While I ordered and waited for our food he went out and came back looking defeated. I was pretty sad even though I told myself before we got there not to get my hopes up.

After we ate lunch we just decided to try and see it from behind the fences and at least we would get a glimpse and that was already fun enough. I always enjoyed hearing others excitement. It makes me feel happy and proud for whoever they are cheering for.

Anyway, we were making our way back when all of a sudden we see another line and some of the people who were waiting with us earlier were there and lo and behold our wildest dream came true! We got in! Just when I gave up all hope, I was taught a lesson. Positivity works! (Thanks to my husband) 😉

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The rest is history! All I know is that it was definitely  a one of a kind experience and even though we have moved to Utah and are no longer an hour away, that is not going to stop us from taking a few days off for Avengers 4!

Great job Russos and Marvel!! Cant wait for the next one and hopefully we’ll be blessed to attend this event again! =D

 

 

BEST. DAY. EVER!!!!!

 

“The Avengers. It’s what we call ourselves, sort of like a team. ‘Earth’s Mightiest Heroes’ type of thing.” – Tony Stark

LA to Seoul

LA to Seoul

Last year in November my sister told us she would be going to South Korea for a little while. It came as a shock to all of us but knew it was a good opportunity for her to learn and grow.  All three of my sisters, my mom and myself got plane tickets to go drop her off at her new home. 🙂

Little did we know we’d fall in love with this amazing country. Its such a beautiful place, the people were nothing but polite and kind to us. We stayed in a less ‘touristy’ part of Seoul and afraid that we would be treated differently or maybe even not accepted at some locations, that was not the case.

Our first night we went to a little Korean BBQ spot right next to our hotel and used my sisters’ little bit of Korean they knew to order. Within maybe 10 minutes of failing to order we decided to call my sisters homestay mom and she ordered for us. Not sure what she ordered but it was DELICIOUS!!

We also spent a lot of time on the subway going back and forth to different places. Most of the time it was to Myeong-Dong  and other places where they had underground malls. We ate street food and did a whole lot of shopping and came back with lots of socks and jackets. I think going to these shopping malls and buying their sales is one of the things we miss the most. Its amazing what you can find for such a reasonable price. My mom had to buy two more suitcases just to bring back all the things she bought! She still regrets not getting a third.

Of course we also booked a DMZ and JSA tour. No one goes to South Korea (or North Korea) and not do a DMZ tour. It was an unforgettable experience and I recommend everyone do it. Not sure how intense it may be now with both Koreas making amends. I still recommend it.:) Its takes about half the day but its truly worth it and they give you lunch!

Despite the cold weather, we enjoyed the ease of transportation, the people, the food and the shopping malls. It was our first trip with just us girls and we can’t wait to do it again! There is so much to discover in this world and each country has its own beauty and uniqueness to offer.

I definitely plan on going back! South Korea will always have a little piece of my heart. ❤

“Theres the whole world at your feet.” – Mary Poppins