Happy Halloween 2012!

Hello everybody! I hope you guys are well and safe.  Happy Halloween!  Unfortunately, there are many people still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and we hope they are safe and able to recover.

This past Sunday, the 28th, we had an early Halloween party for the kids and my husband’s judo pals.  It was a small gathering and we had a lot of fun.

My daughter decided that she wanted to be…

Merida, from Disney’s Brave movie.

We bought the costume and bow and arrow set from Target.  That’s a wig on her head that she left on for the picture.  She took it off immediately because she didn’t like having it on, but before that we tried to change her hair with color hair spray so it could resemble Merida’s red hair.

This was the result and she liked it, but couldn’t stand the smell of the spray.  In fact, she wouldn’t stop complaining about it so I washed her hair and the spray came off easily.   If you’d like to know, we used a brand called bright color Hair Spray and we got it at Target.

Olivia as Merida with her natural, beautiful brown hair!

As for my youngest, she simply didn’t want a costume so I put together a cute little outfit.  I bought the short sleeve t-shirt (Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku for Target) and combo skirt/leggings from Target.  I already had the pink long sleeve onesie, the red socks, and red glittery shoes.  I crossed my fingers and put the outfit on.  She didn’t fight the outfit, but I had to stalk her around the apartment in order to get a picture of her dressed up.

Got her in the kitchen! 🙂  My Harajuku Vampire diva!

My sweet, little girls, dressed up for Halloween 2012.  Look at the diva’s face, HILARIOUS!!

My husband, Angel, went as a HAMBURGER and his friend, Tyson, was a chicken.

TYSON CHICKEN!  GET IT? 🙂

As for myself, I was indeed the party pooper.  I wore a regular outfit, shirt, skirt, leggings, black booties, and a headband with a little witch’s hat on it.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN 2012 FROM THE MERCADO FAMILY!

Stay alert, stay alive.  Until next time…

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Jack-O’-Lantern 2012

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well and safe.  Hurricane Sandy came and left.  I live on the border of Queens and Brooklyn.  It was pretty scary hearing the powerful winds outside and seeing the trees swaying back and forth.  In my area, we were fearful of trees falling down and power outages.  The power did go out twice, but literally for a second each time.  We’re very thankful to be safe and we hope that everyone is able to recover from this storm.

This year we really wanted to go to a pumpkin patch, but unfortunately we never made it there.  Instead, my husband came home with an artificial carvable pumpkin made by funkins (www.funkins.com) and bought at the arts and crafts store, A.C. Moore.  I didn’t know there was even such a thing!  There was no mess and this pumpkin can be used over and over.  Love it!

 

Before                             and                            After

We placed an LED light inside because the warning stated no open flame inside or near the pumpkin.

All the best and we really wish these were good times.

Stay alert, stay alive.  Until next time…

Taking advantage of this warm weather

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.

Sophia and I decided to take advantage of this warm weather so off to the playground we went again.  She even met a little friend there and they proceeded to scream, laugh, run, swing, slide and simply have a lot of fun together.  It was adorable!

      

Chalk is always fun and educational.  I kept telling her to do a circle.  I think she has the idea! 🙂

Daredevil Sophia swinging from the top bar above the big swirly slide.  Making my heart race!

Take good care all.  Until next time…

Stay Alert, Stay Alive

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.  My husband and I adopted that mantra above after completing basic training in the Army in 1997.  It is, in my opinion, a reminder never to forget where you live.  In my case New York City, where it can be a dream to live in, but, and this is where the realist in me comes out, it can also be extremely dangerous.  Stay alert, stay alive.  I always walk that way.  I always ride the train that way.  I always jog that way.  But nowadays, every place in the world seems to be unsafe, especially for women and children.

Every morning after dropping off my daughter at school and coming back home to eat breakfast with my youngest, I take some time to read the news online.  When I read the stories of children missing, I long to see the update story with a headline that reads, “Child found, safe and sound.”  Unfortunately, the headline that we’re usually met with starts with, “Body found” and my heart breaks.  I really don’t understand what kind of a human being can hurt a child.  To me, they’re not human.  They’re monsters, plain and simple.  Two recent crimes, in different states, have been etched in my mind and heart forever.  They’re completely heart breaking.

Ten year old, Jessica Ridgeway from Colorado was abducted on her way to school and her body was found, but it wasn’t easy for them to identify it because it wasn’t intact according to news reports!  If that doesn’t make you sick to the stomach, I don’t know what will?  They have currently arrested a teenager for the crime.  A teenager!  Read more here:  http://abcnews.go.com/US/jessica-ridgeway-murder-suspect-austin-reed-sigg-confessed/story?id=17558599

In Oregon, Whitney Heichel was on her way to work when according to news reports a neighbor and member of the same church asked her for a ride.  He sexually assaulted and shot her several times.  Her body was found on Larch Mountain.  Read more here:  http://abcnews.go.com/US/murdered-barista-whitney-heichel-raped-shot-times/story?id=17534209

Whitney’s husband, Clint Heichel asked, “Why?” and I know that many of you, including myself, ask the same thing.  Why?  It doesn’t make sense that these innocent people’s lives are taken away.  Just for being an innocent child or a friendly neighbor.  It’s mind boggling.  That’s why that mantra is so important to me, especially now because you never know what’s going to happen or where and being a woman with two young daughters, hello I’m a walking target and so are they.  We have to protect ourselves.  We have to stay alert in order to stay alive.  We have to do it for ourselves and for our families and in no way do I mean any disrespect to Jessica and Whitney.

My heart goes out to Jessica’s and Whitney’s family.  I didn’t know them, I’m just a stranger, but they’re in my thoughts.  May they rest in peace, innocent beings.

Please take care all.

Stay alert, stay alive.

Until next time…

Let the gushing begin!

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.  Yesterday, when my daughter came home from school and I checked her folder, I found a letter informing us that Olivia was chosen to be the September 2012 “Student of the Month” for her class.  It stated that she was given this honor for showing great effort in class work and homework, attending school regularly and on time, and showing kindness to others.  Needless to say, I was gushing and my sweet, innocent little girl didn’t quite understand her accomplishment.  I explained to her that she was going to get a certificate of achievement and a star student pencil the following morning.  She simply replied, “Ok.”  🙂  So subdued and adorable.  Love it!

Even though it was gloomy outside this morning, inside the school we (my husband, Sophia, myself and a family friend) were beaming with pride.  We smiled and clapped when they read Olivia’s name and handed her her first certificate.  May she receive many more and I will do my part in helping and encouraging her to greater success.

Congrats Olivia!

Take care all.  Until next time…

Warm day = playground memories

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.  Since my oldest daughter started Kindergarten and the weather has been a bit chilly, I haven’t had the chance to go to the playground with my youngest until yesterday and today.  It’s been a while since I’ve gone to the playground with just one child.  It’s definitely less hectic, but my Sophia still keeps me on my toes.  In the past, I would constantly battle with her because she wanted to climb the bigger play areas.  Since she’s climbing better now, it’s not so much of a battle, but she is easily distracted by other kids so I have to remind her to pay attention to what she’s doing.  My husband calls her a social butterfly and that’s great, but the ouchies, not so much.  She bumped her forehead today against the metal rail and I swear I saw her skin dent in.  It was a quick tap, but obviously that bar is hard so that scared me and I thought she was going to start crying, but she didn’t.  I reacted more than she did.  It’s a overprotective mom thing that I can’t shake.  Anyway, we had fun and I look forward to making memories and spending time one on one with my Sophia.

A warm hello from my Sophia (2 years old)!

Take care all.  Until next time…

DIY – Updating Snowman Family Wood Plaque

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.  I recently updated a family wood plaque that was given to me as a gift when my first daughter was born.  My sweet cousin, Janice, sent me a hand painted, personalized snowman family wood plaque for Christmas 2007.  I absolutely love personalized gifts and more so when it has our family name.  After I had my second child, in 2010, I would often look at the plaque during Christmas and think, “Sophia is missing.”   I let a couple of years pass without doing anything simply because I was scared of messing up the plaque.  I got over that fear a few days ago.

This is the BEFORE picture.

I made an outline of the fourth little snow kid with pencil, in case I needed to erase.

Got my paint, which I need to buy a new one ‘cause this sucker is old, and brush.

First coat of paint

I wanted to emulate the original work so I painted that blue outline first using a toothpick and then a fine tipped brush once it dried.

Added the scarf and branch/hand with snowball

Using markers I added the eyes, nose, smile, and
name.

Final touch was the year, in which she was born, but I didn’t have a white marker and I wasn’t going to attempt to write it with paint.  I just used a black marker and my snowman family is complete!

I know that it’s not as great as the original artist, but I’m pretty happy with my touch because Sophia is not missing anymore.  I can’t wait to put it up for Christmas.

Take care all.  Until next time…

Too many toys

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.  So today I starting cleaning toys because it’s been a while and there’s a lot to clean.  There’s about three toy bins, a doll house, a pretend kitchen, bookcase with electronic toys, and a big playhouse full of stuff animals.  Yes, my apartment sounds and looks like a day care center.  I can’t wait until I can claim my living room again. 🙂  Oh, I almost forgot, and believe me I try,  we also have a folding slide, a small basketball hoop stand, and a small bench table.  All this for two little girls and of course the second I start cleaning, for example a toy bin, they want to start playing with all the toys inside.  It never fails.  That was the pattern today with my youngest, Sophia.  I started cleaning the play kitchen, she decided it was cooking time.  I went to the doll house next.  Here comes Sophia wanting to play house and by the way I tried to play with her and she didn’t let me. 😦  Oh well, back to cleaning.  Lucky me.  I emptied out the first toy bin, and yup Sophia was there, sorted and cleaned the keepers and without her noticing, of course, tossed a few broken toys into the garbage.  I’ve learned from the past when you throw away toys, make sure they’re not visible or else meltdown city will occur even if the toy is broken.

I’m very grateful that my kids have such items, especially since many of these toys were gifts, but sometimes you simply have to say we have too many toys.  That’s why I’m teaching my oldest to consider donating some of her toys to kids less fortunate.  We did it last year.  We went through her stuff toys and I asked her which toys she wanted to keep and which toys she wanted to give to other little kids.  She did very well.  There were absolutely no tears, and when her father came home, she told him all about it with a smile on her face.  Since she’s a year older and smarter, I hope she’ll donate more because Christmas is just around the corner, sorry but it is, and more toys are coming into this household.  I can’t put a stop to it because the grandparents are big spoilers!!

Take care all.  Until next time…

LOVING THIS…

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.  I received my latest Lisa Leonard Design and I love it.

I don’t like fussy jewelry.  This tiny token heart necklace on www.lisaleonardonline.com went on sale and I couldn’t resist.  I love the simplicity of it.  My next purchase is most definitely going to be the tiny twig necklace.  I have been eyeing that piece for a while now.  Maybe my hubby will get it for my birthday in December.  Hint, hint! 🙂  Check out Lisa’s designs for meaningful gift ideas.

Take care all.  Until next time…

DIY DOOR MONSTER DECORATION FOR HALLOWEEN

Hi everybody! I hope you guys are well.  I had a great surprise for my daughters yesterday.  While my oldest was at school and my youngest was taking her nap, I had time to decorate the door in our living room for Halloween.

Inspired by a pin on www.pinterest.com,

I made our own door monster.

I know he’s supposed to be scary, but I think he’s adorable.  I used blue and white party streamers for the hair, eyebrows and mouth, two disposable plates and a sharpie marker for the eyes, and tape to hold everything up.  I might add some red to our monster so he can be a Giants fan just like us!

When my daughters saw this, my oldest couldn’t stop smiling and my youngest, who’s such a character already at just 2 years old, turned around and ran screaming.  She was pretending to be scared! 🙂 She came back smiling and couldn’t stop looking at the door.  This was a quick, easy and fun decoration to do.

This morning, as my youngest was staring at the door again, I told her  “We should give him a name.”

She replied, “Monster.”

Good enough for me!

Take care all.  Until next time…