Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Martha Stewart Side Of Me: {Candy Corn And A Halloween Wreath}

I have been obsessed with Halloween this year. Decorating, crafting and thinking about a costume! To conclude Halloween crafting season I just finished these two little projects:
Wooden Candy Corn
I found this images on-line that served me as inspiration.
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I cut  5 candy corns out of wood and  painted them. When dry, I sanded the edges and put a coat of clear sealer. That’s it!
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When Randy saw them he said, “Wow, I hope a giant doesn’t come and eat your candy!” That made me laugh.

Halloween Wreath
I recently fell in love with wreaths.  I love them on doors, as a fireplace decor and on mirrors. There is something about them that gives me that warm, “welcomy” feeling.  The bigger the better.
Last year I made a Harvest Wreath, this year a Halloween one and I think I need to make one for every season and Holiday.
I wrapped ribbon all around the ring and then I grabbed the glue gun and started gluing spiders, ghost and bats  like a maniac.
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Martha Stewart Side Of Me: {We Really Needed New Shoes}

A girl can’t have enough shoes, right? Well, witches are no exception. Especially for Halloween, they need to be brand new. That’s why I had some ladies over and made ourselves some witch shoes. We got the idea, inspiration and tutorial from Linda at Craftaholics Anonymous.
For this project I had to learn to use the band saw, I’m so happy I did. Now I have all these ideas of things I can do. I cut all the shoes for the ladies that participated and Randy perfected them with the router. Big thanks to my hubby, he’s always so supportive and helpful.
The shoes turned out super cute, everybody was happy with them. Craft night was a success!
The witches ladies at work!
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Los zapatos son el mejor amigo de la mujer, verdad? Nunca se pueden tener suficiente zapatos. Las brujas no son excepcion. Especialmente para Halloween, tienen que ser nuevitos de paquete. Por esa razon el grupo de brujas se junto en mi casa a confeccionar zapatos. Randy me enseño a usar sus maquinas de carpinteria y corte en madera todos los zapatos y despues el los perfeciono. Estoy super feliz que aprendi a usar esa maquina, ahora puedo hacer un monton de projectos.
La idea la sacamos de este blog: Craftaholics Anonymous. Ella siempre tiene projectos entretenidos que vale la pena copiar. La tarde de manualidades fue todo un exito!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Guilt Trip

If you ask me I will tell you that my parents and brother-in-laws are awesome. It’s their awesomeness that is causing me guilt. They recently went on a 40 mile bike trip. They are in their fifties, I’m in my late twenties and seriously can’t bike for more than 10 minutes without complaining that the seat is uncomfortable . I let myself go, the only sit-up I do is to get out of bed! I’m sure a 10 yr old can beat me an an arm wrestling contest. I’m so physically lame. Mom and Dad you guys are a great example, I promise I’ll get up an hour earlier each day to exercise and stop embarrassing our family name!!
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Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Martha Stewart Side Of Me: {Ruffle Pillow}

My bedroom curtains were way to long. I had to cut off more than a foot before hemming them. The remnants were perfect for decorative pillows. I followed Linda’s instructions from Craftaholics Anonymous and made myself a set.
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He estado tan Elvira ultimamente, dueña de casa ejemplar, un as para las manualidades. Lo unico que me falta es levantarme cantandole a los pajaritos y tirando maiz! Es chistoso/vergonzoso! Pero que le voy a hacer, me pican las manitos por la decoracion. Decoracion moderna eso si, nada de hacer abanicos con tenedores plasticos como las hermanitas de la sociedad de socorro!
Las cortinas de mi dormitorio eran super largas cuando las compramos. Antes de hacerle la basta tube que cortar como 40cm de fabrica. El genero que sobro era perfecto para hacer almohadones decorativas. Encontre las intrucciones en este blog: Craftaholics Anonymous e hize un par para nuestro dormitorio.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Decor: {Silver Corner}

Crafts 003 We got this pretty frame as a wedding gift. In our house in Indiana I had it in our bedroom for some time and then I would move it to the living room. In this house I couldn’t figure out where it belongs, until the silver corner idea came to my mind.
I wanted to hang this picture, our wedding certificate and find some metal (or resin) letters for R & L. I thought my idea was going to look great but couldn’t allow my self to spend 69.00 just on the letters. So off I went to visit my friend Hobby Lobby. I bought cardboard lettering and a can of spray-paint.
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Retail price $69.00 at Ballard Design VS. My Price $11.00 total!
I LOVE how my silver corner turned out!!
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Como regalo de matrimonio recibimos un marco muy lindo. Estaba inscrito con nuestros nombres y la fecha en la que nos casamos. En nuestra otra casa lo tenia en el dormitorio por un tiempo y en el livingroom por otro tiempo. En esta casa no podia encontrar un lugar donde ponerlo. Hasta que se me ocurrio mi esquina plateada. Queria poner el marco, el certificado de matrimonio y encontrar unas letras de metal para R & L. La idea me tenia super motivada hasta que encontre las letras de metal que para mi gusto eran carisimas. Asi que me pegue un viajecito a la tienda de manualidades y compre unas letras de carton y pintura en spray plateada. Me encanto como quedo. Estoy super contenta con mi esquina plateada.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

DIY: {Project Bedroom}

I’m finally super motivated to work on our bedroom. I have many ideas in my head, I hope they turn out the way I’m visualizing them. I’m giving my self 2 weeks to finish everything. One week is not enough time when I only have evenings and weekends, besides we usually have some activities during the week. Two weeks is perfect, I still have a deadline but I won’t be stressed out about it.
This is the To do List: ............................................... Lista de Quehaceres:
• Paint the walls. Paint the trim, baseboards and doors white. Right now all is painted contractor beige.

• Pintar los marcos, puertas y guardapolvos blancos. Pintar la pieza. Ahora todo esta pintado del mismo color, crema.
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  • Find curtains that fit the windows and a king size comforter. Poor Randy complains that I steal all the covers at night. • Comprar cortinas y cubrecama para tamaño king, el que tenemos es de dos plazas. Pobre Randy me reclama que le robo todas las cobijas en la noche.
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  • Paint or stain our bedroom furniture, paint the headboard, find lamps and hang wall decorations. • Pintar o teñir los muebles del dormitorio, comprar lamparas de noche y colgar decoraciones en las paredes.
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  • Install a ceiling fan. • Instalar una lampara con ventilaror en el cielo.
Por fin estoy super motivada para terminar nuestro dormitorio. Tengo hartas ideas en mi cabeza, ojala todo me quedo como me lo estoy imaginando. Me estoy dando un plazo de 2 semanas para terminar todo. Una semana no es suficiente porque solamente tengo las noches y fin de semanas para trabajar en la casa y muchas veces tenemos actividades a mitad de semana. 2 semanas es perfecto, todavia tengo un plazo pero no me voy a estresar tratando de terminar todo en una semana.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Decor: {I Love These Little Testers!}

Let’s talk about paint color. If you are like me, you go to the store with an idea of the color that you want, you go there and you are welcomed by this:

Hundreds of pretty, shiny color samples. You try to focus on the color that’s in your mind, start pulling cards and see if it would work well with the color scheme of the room. But if you are like me, you get distracted.
Distracted by all those pretty cards, you start pulling colors like crazy and thinking: “I never thought about lime green, yellow rubber duck sure looks energizing, but what about that colonial red? Oh! it would look great after I get new curtains, couch and replace the carpet". When you get home and open that can of paint you start realizing that your color decision making sucks! The adrenaline and color stimulation of the moment got the best of you. If you are like me, some how you try to convince yourself that once on the wall and dry, it would look perfect. Wrong!
That’s way I love the little jar testers. My house has been color saved!glidden-paint-testers p_100442623
So, I had this color in my mind for the living room. I went and got the little tester and guess what? That wasn’t the exact color that I wanted, so I went back and got more samples and finally at the fourth try I found it! I wanted a green with a hint of gray (or Sage some people like to call it) It’s the one on the far right.
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I wasn’t joking about my color disaster experiences. This is the bedroom in our old house.
Yellow and blue, what was I thinking?! . . . . . . . . . . . Repainted, much better!
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Monday, July 5, 2010

My Dryer Is A Historical Relic!

Para español, lea mas abajo.
We are in the process of settling in our new house. Friday we moved all our things and spent our first night here. I think we are starting to feel more at home now, the first two days it was so weird calling this house, my house. It felt like we were at a hotel or staying in somebody else’s house. Our stuff was in storage for such a long time that it has been fun opening boxes and having a little six months reunion party with our furniture and pans. It’s funny how you need to get to know your new house; what switch turns on what light, how to adjust the shower head at the perfect angle, is the water softener really working? I just discovered that we have a pocket door in the side entry, the coolest discovery ever!!
Allow me to introduce to you our dryer ↓↓↓↓
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Nothing wrong with it you would think ,just the fact that it’s, well…OLD! But it works perfectly fine, I mean it dries my clothes. There is a little, tiny detail that you might find annoying and it’s the fact that you need to wear earplugs while doing laundry. Other than that it’s in tip top condition. You know how things were made in 1964, they were built to last!!

Estamos en el proceso de adaptarnos y acomodarnos a nuestra casa nueva. El viernes pasado hicimos el cambio de casa difinitivo con camas y petacas. Creo que por fin nos estamos sintiendo mas “en casa”. Los primeros dos dias era tan raro decir esta es mi casa, al contrario sentia que estaba en un hotel o quedandome de visita en una casa ajena. Nuestras cosas estubieron en bodega por tanto tiempo que ha sido entretenido abrir cajas y reecontrarnos con nuestros muebles, ollas y decoraciones. Lo mas entretenido ha sido conocer y memorizarla las cosas particulares de nuestra casita; que interruptores prenden que luz, como ajustar la ducha al angulo perfecto, esta todo funcionando como debe? Recien descubri que en uno de los pasillos hay una puerta corredera que se esconde dentro de la pared. El mejor descubrimiento del mundo!!
Me imagino como pudieron ver en el video, se dieron cuenta que nuestra secadora no es timida para nada, ella se hace escuchar! El problema no es que sea VIEJA, porque al fin y al cabo me cumple con su trabajo, seca la ropa sin problemas. El unico problema seria que tienes que usar tapones de oido cada vez que quieres usarla. Randy fue a buscar el manual del usuario y nos dimos cuenta de que es una reliquia historica, fue construida en 1964, y ya todos saben como las cosas se construian en esos tiempos: para que duraran para siempre!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Para español lea mas abajo.
Mujeres Aravena Garay
I have had the intention of blogging about a book that I finished reading some time ago, so finally today I’m writing about my best friends: My sisters. The book is: “You were always mom’s favorite! Sisters in conversation throughout their lives”. By Deborah Tannen, a professor in linguistics. The book shares insight and anecdotes from over a hundred woman she interviewed about their relationship with their sisters and it leaves you with a new understanding on the uniqueness of it. It was really fun reading this book, because I have four sisters. I would be reading it and say to myself: “Yes, that’s exactly it”! or “that’s so my sister.” If you have sisters I definitely recommend it, I have it if you want to borrow it.
I’m the middle child in a family of just daughters. We are very close in age and having twin younger sisters made it even more unique. I never heard my dad complaining about not having a boy. Every time someone would ask him about wanting a boy, which was frequently, he would say how happy he was being the only male in the house. I’ve been reflecting on how I have a different relationship with each of one of my sisters and how the different personalities and roles have evolved throughout the years. My oldest sister doesn’t play the oldest sister role anymore. The middle sister no longer has “the syndrome” (thank goodness). The younger sisters have stopped receiving advise all the time, now they are the ones that give it. The only constant is the fact that we are sisters with a unique connection. I remember exactly how we went from playmates to confidants, from picking on each other to defending, from talking about boys to talking about life’s decisions. I treasure the memories that we have together. I have some favorites that I hope I never forget.
I remember how my oldest sister Olivia started a mail exchange with me when I was eight years old. We would write letters and hide them in the closet for us to find. I don’t remember for how long we did this, probably for just a week, but I do remember how happy I was the fist time I found a little note in my pillow telling me to go find a letter in the closet that “someone” had left for me there. I love you Oli. Me and my older sister Viviana had such an extreme relationship growing up, we were the best friends at times, getting into trouble together and having so much fun, she was also the sister that I fought the most. When I was twelve and Viviana thirteen I remember putting on a show for our younger sisters, I don’t remember if we did this often but I do remember us turning the music on and doing silly dances and acting out the songs, being just ridiculous only to make our sisters laugh. I love you Vivi. My favorite memory of my two younger sisters Gabriela and Laura is when I used to pick them up after school. I was ten, they were six. I loved to “play” the older sister role, I felt that I had this big responsibility of bringing my little sisters safely home. We would walk back home each one holding one of my hands. I would asked them mom questions, like: How was your day? What did you learn today? Did you behave in class? I love you Gaby, I love you Laury.
I miss them so much, I miss the long conversations, the inside jokes, the teasing, the debating, the laughing, the encouraging and the loving. I miss not seeing my older sisters become mothers and I miss them not seeing me trying to become a good wife.
I’m a grateful that I KNOW that we are forever sisters and I’m grateful that my sisters also know that. I think knowing this gives us an eternal perspective when dealing with conflicts and disagreements (which have been many, c’mon you didn’t think it was just laughter. We are FIVE sisters after all). I love this quotation by Maya Angelou: “I don’t believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers. It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage. Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at”. I think that is so true. I’m constantly working on my relationship with my sisters, it has been the most enjoyable work I have had. My sisters are the best gift my mom has given me.

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Vivi, Liza comiendo Damascos!
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Oli, Vivi, Liza
Por algun tiempo he tenido la intencion de escribir acerca de un libro que termine de leer hace un tiempo atras, finalmente hoy dia estoy escribiendo acerca de mis mejores amigas: Mis hermanas. El libro se llama: “¡Siempre fuiste la favorita de mamá! Hermanas en conversación a través de los años”. Es de Deborah Tannen una profesora de lenguistica. El libro comparte anecdotas y perspectivas de la relacion entre hermanas despues de entrevistar a mas de cien mujeres. Te deja con una nueva vision acerca de esa conexion especial que se da entre ellas. Fue super entretenido leer este libro porque tengo no una, sino cuatro hermanas. Cuando lo estaba leyendo podia identificar cosas que se dan entre nosotras. Si tienen una hermana definitivamente les recomiendo leerlo. Yo lo tengo si esque lo quieren pedir prestado.
Soy la hermana del medio en una familia de solo hijas. Somos todas muy cercanas en edad, mis dos hermanas menores son mellizas por lo que hace la familia aun mas unica. Nunca escuche a mi papa quejarse por no tener hijos. Frecuentemente alguien le preguntaba si le gustaria tener un varoncito y cada vez el decia lo feliz que era de ser el unico hombre en la casa. He estado refleccionando en como tengo una relacion personal y diferente con cada una de mis hermanas y como las diferentes personalidades y roles han cambiado durante los años. La hermana mayor ya no asume el rol de hermana mayor que se le asigna sin preguntar. La hermana del medio ya no sufre del “sindrome del hijo del medio” (menos mal) Las hermanas menores dejaron de recibir consejos todo el tiempo, ahora son ellas las que lo dan. Lo unico que es constante es el hecho de que somos hermanas con una conexion unica. Recuerdo exactamente como nos trasnformamos de compañeras de juego a confidentes. De molestarnos y peliar a defendernos y cuidarnos. De conversaciones sobre niños a conversaciones sobre decisiones importantes de la vida. Atesoro las memorias que tenemos juntas. Tengo mis favoritas que espero nunca olvidar.
Me acuerdo cuando mi hermana mayor Olivia empezo un intercambio de correo conmigo cuando yo tenia ocho años. Nos escribiamos cartas y las escondiamos en el closet para que la otra la encontrara. No me acuerdo por cuanto tiempo hicimos esto, seguramente solo por una semana, pero si me acuerdo lo feliz que estaba la primera vez que encontre una notita en mi almuhada que decia que “alguien” habia dejado una carta en el closet para mi. Te quiero Oli. Mi hermana Viviana y yo teniamos una relacion bien extrema cuando niñas, eramos las mejores amigas a ratos, haciendo maldades y pasandolo bien pero tambien eramos la que mas peliabamos. Cuando tenia doce y Viviana trece me acuerdo que hicimos un espectaculo para nuestras hermanas menores. No me acuerdo si esto era algo que haciamos siempre, pero si me acuerdo que prendimos la radio y empezamos a bailar ridiculo y a actuar las canciones haciendo tonteras para hacer reir a nuestras hermanas. Te quiero Vivi. Mi memoria favorita de mis dos hermanas menores Gabriela y Laura es cuando las hiba a buscar al colegio. Yo tenia diez, ellas seis. Me encantaba “jugar” a la hermana mayor. Sentia que tenia la respozabilidad de trearlas de vuelta a la casa sanas y salvas. Caminabamos y tomaba a cada una de la mano y les preguntaba preguntas de mamas como: Como te fue hoy dia? Que aprendieron? y Se portaron bien en clases? Te quiero Gaby, Te quiero Laury.
Extraño a mis hermanas constantemente, extraño las conversaciones largas, las bromas, los chistes internos, los debates, las risas, el animo y el cariño. Extraño no ver a mis hermanas mayores convertirse en madres y extraño que mis hermanas no me ven a mi tratando de ser una buena esposa.
Estoy agradecida de que se que seremos hermanas para siempre y estoy agradecida de que ellas tambien lo saben. Pienso que teniendo este conocimiento nos da una perspectiva eterna cuando tenemos que solucionar conflictos y desacuerdos (los cuales no han sido pocos, no pensaron que era solo risas, somos CINCO hermanas, que esperaban?!) Me gusta una frase de la poeta Maya Angelou: “No creo que un accidente al nacer hace a las personas hermanas o hermanos. Los hace familiares, les da mutualidad de padres. Hermandad es una condicion en la que se tiene que trabajar”. Pienso que eso es verdad, relaciones son una labor constante, felizmente mantener la relacion que tengo con mis hermanas ah sido el mejor trabajo que he tenido. Mis hermanas son el mejor regalo que mi madre me ha dado.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chile Earthquake

I have gotten emails and phone calls from friends and family concerned about my family in Chile and the state of the country after a major earthquake hit Saturday morning. Thank you so much for your concern and support, it means a lot to me. Let me start by saying that all my family (parents, sisters and their families, grandmas, aunts, uncles, cousins and their families) are safe. None of them suffered physical injuries or structural in their homes. I’m so grateful for that.
Most of my family lives in Viña del Mar and Santiago chilewhich is about 8 hours from the epicenter of the earthquake, the damage in those cities wasn’t as extensive as it was in Concepcion but not less important. A lot of old buildings and bridges collapsed and the historic neighborhoods are completely destroyed. The devastation is far worse in Concepcion. I’m heartbroken to see my country go through this catastrophe. This has been one of the worse earthquakes in history and it’s a catastrophe of immense proportions.
Saturday morning Randy woke me up with the news of the earthquake, I didn’t think much of it because in Chile we have seismic activity all the time. We are used to the ground trembling. We are prepared for it. But when he told me that it effected Viña del Mar (my hometown) and that it was 8.8 in ritchter scale I started to get nervous. I tuned on the tv and I was shocked to see all the devastation. I immediately tried to call home and find out if my family was OK. I couldn’t communicate with them, the phone lines weren’t working as usual after this kind of event. My brother-in- law Gino informed on facebook that everybody was safe. Thank goodness for technology! But I wanted to know details and talk to my family. I kept trying to get a hold of them. Finally this morning I was able to talk to them and hear their account of what happened.
My youngest sister Laura was out with her fiancé. She was at a club at 3:30 in the morning when the earthquake happened. The club is in the basement of a hotel, with the music they didn’t hear the growling of the earth that always happens before a trembling. They were surprised with the intense movement and they made it safely to the streets. A lot of people were on the streets celebrating the last weekend of summer vacation. Tomorrow Monday was supposed to be the first day of school and college. After the quake, electricity immediately went out and the streets were dark, you could only see thanks to the cars’ lights. Everybody was in panic mode. My mom, dad and my sister Gabriela where in bed sleeping. My mom woke up with the noise that comes before a quake. She said out loud “It’s going to start trembling!” Everything started moving as it usually does, for a couple of seconds and then stops and everybody goes back to bed. Not this time!! The movement got stronger and violent. You could see the walls moving back and forward. My mom made it to the front yard, but my dad and sister said that they couldn’t walk. It was impossible to keep your balance. They stood in their bedroom door holding the door frame and trying to keep their balance. My older sister Viviana (yes, I have a lot of sisters) was sleeping but Gino was awake. When Gino heard the loud noise, he told Vivi to wake up and be ready. Vivi was mumbling back to him to let her sleep. Gino told her to wake up again, when the quake started he just yelled, “Viviana get up!!” They ran to get their son but couldn't make it down the stairs to the living room. The stairs were shaking side to side. It was impossible to go down the stairs. They hugged each other waiting for the quake to be over. My oldest sister Olivia was with her family camping out for the weekend. They were sleeping in their tent when it happened. Fortunately they were in a safe place. I haven’t talked to them but Laura told me that their kids didn’t wake up with the commotion or the aftershocks.
Today things are getting back to normal. They still don’t have electricity and water has been in and out. Thankfully they have a pool and have been able to have water for the bathrooms and share with neighbors. They have gas, so they can cook as normal (people have gas stoves in Chile) and the phone lines are working. I know their situation is not even comparable with what other families are going through. This earthquake is one of the worst tragedies in the last 50 years, it was felt in Argentina and as far away as Brazil. Many cities are in a state of catastrophe. Because we have a long history of major earthquakes; strict building codes that included earthquake-resistant standards helped to save lives. But still, an 8.8 earthquake can be disastrous, they have had more than 50 aftershocks some registering 6.9. In Talcahuano and Concepcion most houses and buildings that were more than 50 years old collapsed killing many people. Minutes after the earthquake a tsunami hit the coast of Talcahuano, leaving hundred of houses under water. This makes me specially sad. I lived in Talcahuano for five years during my teen years. We lived one block from the beach. I have dear friends there and haven’t been able to contact any of them. The situation is very complicated in that area. They don’t have electricity or water,cell phones or land line phones are not working. Families are uncommunicated and people are in panic and distress. They are getting desperate and unruly, they showed on tv a group of people looting a supermarket. People trying to get their hands on some milk, bread, water and diapers. But some men were carrying a plasma tv and a washing machine!! Certainly not an item of first necessity. I can understand the panic of those mothers, but robbing a store when food, shelter and aid is being provided, it is unnecessary. The Army has taken control of the situation and has declared a curfew.
Although Chile is a prosperous country with a strong and organized army, navy, air force, police and fire department. I disagree with Chilean president Mrs. Bachelet on declining or not requesting aid despite offers of assistance from the US, China, the EU, the UN and others. She said that we have the money, capability and resources to take care of the situation and didn’t want aid offers to be "a distraction", adding: "Any aid that arrives without having been determined to be needed really helps very little." I think too much help can’t hurt when there are people trapped under a collapsed building, houses under water, people hurt and others missing. When people don’t have a house anymore, food, water or clothes. Yes, we have it better than other countries but let’s not get prideful.
The death toll stands at 708 and probably will keep rising. More than 1.5 million people have displaced. Please continue praying for Chile.