Happy Father’s Day!

    Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well and having a great father’s day celebration.

Today was a great day full of love and happiness at the Mercado household.

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Take good care all.

Until next time…

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PETA to the rescue

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

Yesterday, as I was leaving my house, a squirrel almost fell on top of me.  Yup, a squirrel and of course I squealed because 1. it caught me by surprise and 2. it’s a wild animal that could possibly bite me.  It didn’t scurry away immediately afterwards, just hung from the side of the staircase, hiding from me.  Since I was on my way to pick up my daughter from school, I figured it would be gone by the time I got back.  Guess what?  It was still there when I got back.  “What the hell?, I thought.  Why hasn’t it scurried away?  Is it hurt?  Is his tail stuck?”  I was able to open the front door and get my daughter inside safely because it was hiding from us.  When I got upstairs I couldn’t stop thinking about the squirrel.  I looked out my window and it was still there.  Then I thought, “What’s the landlord going to do to it once he comes home from work?”  I honestly didn’t know so I called 311, which turned out to be a bust.  Then it hit me, call PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)!  A quick search online to their homepage http://www.peta.org/ provided me with a contact number.  I spoke with Sarah who took down notes and asked me for pictures of our little critter outside, which I provided without hesitation.

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I took these pics from my window.  I zoomed in with my camera and then uploaded the pics and emailed Sarah.

There was no one around so we figured that the squirrel might be injured or stuck because he was still there for several hours after he fell.  Sarah contacted me and told me that a volunteer would be stopping by to check on the squirrel.  I thought that was pretty cool and twenty minutes later a PETA volunteer, Rosa and her friend came and they kindly coaxed the squirrel out of that spot, but he made his way down to the space where you see that black mat above in the pictures.  According to Rosa and her friend, because I was cowering behind the front entryway door, he was holding onto a stick that was in the corner of the space.  She stated that he was a baby squirrel so he was probably scared or possibly injured.  Rosa and her friend decided that it would be a good idea to give the squirrel some time to make its way out on its own so they promised to return the following day and check to see if it was still there.  Did I mention how kind these women were?  No, sorry.  They were very kind and I thanked them greatly for taking time in helping this little squirrel.  Right after they left the landlord came home and I decided to let him know because I didn’t want him stumbling upon the squirrel.  He went to check and lo and behold our little critter was gone.  I was so happy, plus the landlord said that if he would have found the squirrel injured, he would have taken care of it!  Awesome to know!  I immediately emailed Sarah to update and thank her and I asked her to relay the message to Rosa as well.

Is it stupid to care about a squirrel?  I don’t think so, but to each his own.  I just couldn’t stop thinking about the little critter and PETA is a wonderful organization that truly cares for every single animal.  Their response was great.  I was very impressed.  Thank you Sarah, Rosa, and friend!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Summer blues and an apology to you

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http://pinterest.com/pin/142356038191550753/

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

I would like to extend an apology to you all for being such a slacker blogger.  I haven’t posted anything in a while because to be honest with you I’ve got the  summer blues along with a nasty case of allergies that don’t seem to want to go away.  I’m a fall/winter kind of gal.  I enjoy that type of weather, but 80 degrees and above, plus humidity, not so much!  I don’t enjoy getting burn by the scorching sun (no matter how much sunscreen I apply and reapply), having my energy drained away by the NYC humidity (it’s pretty disgusting over here), and most of all the MOSQUITO BITES (they become sickly looking spots, especially on my pale, but soon to be burnt legs.)  Yes, I’m a total bombshell during this season.  Needless to say, I’m in a funk, but trying my best to get out of it by concentrating on my work for this blog.  I wasn’t blogging last year during this time so I hope this will help me keep calm.  Thanks for visiting and yes I understand that there are people with far greater problems.  I acknowledge them and wish them all the best.

Take good care all.

Until next time…

It’s School Spirit Week – Wed., Thurs., and Friday

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

Today is the last day of my daughter’s school spirit week.  Here’s what we did:

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Wednesday was Crazy Hat Day

 My daughter, Olivia, wore her Perry the Platypus hat from the Disney cartoon Phineas and Ferb.  It’s not exactly a crazy hat, but it does have great personality and Olivia loves this hat.

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Thursday was Decade Day

I decided that the decade of peace and love was the way to go so my husband bought a plain tee and a tie dye bandana for Olivia.

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I took the bandana and scanned it on my printer so I could have the same image to iron on my daughter’s T-shirt with transfer paper.

It came out great!  I told my daughter to say, “peace and love,” but she got all shy on me and didn’t want to say it.  Oh well, she still looked so darn cute!

And last but not least…

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…Today (Friday) is Jersey Day

Students were asked to wear a jersey or shirt of their favorite team.  The Mercado household are big NY GIANTS fans so off she went with her T-shirt and I picked up her hair using red, white, and blue ponytail holders.  Let’s go Giants, when the season starts again, of course!

It was fun putting together and participating in her school’s activities.  I can’t wait for next year!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Queens Museum of Art

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

On my quest to visit as many sites of NYC with my COOL Culture Family pass (http://www.coolculture.org/), we took a trip to the Queens Museum of Art located at the New York City Building in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.  We went on Saturday and outside of the museum there was a family event presented by the COOL Culture program.  They offered live music, games, raffles and prizes.  There was also ginormous chalk pencils on the pathways for children and adults to enjoy.

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You guys know that my girls LOVE to play outside with chalk so this was heaven.

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CHALK FESTIVAL!

After we spent some time making some art outside, we went inside the museum and saw the best exhibit ever.  They have a 9,335 square foot architectural model PANORAMA of the City of New York.  It was built by a team of 100 people and it is amazing to see.   http://www.queensmuseum.org/exhibitions/visitpanorama

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I don’t have the best camera in the world so I’m clearly not doing justice to this wonderful exhibit.  My husband was able to spot little airplanes actually taking off from the airport with the help of thin, almost invisible wires.  It was pretty cool.

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We also saw an exhibit of photographs taken by public school children, miniature models of buildings (example above), and portrait drawings (above) by some wonderful artists.  This museum is currently under construction so there really wasn’t a lot to see so we decided to go and spend some time at the largest globe in the world, the Unisphere.

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http://queens.about.com/cs/attractions/p/Unisphere.htm

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I went back to our car and got our scooters.  We scooted around the Unisphere until it started raining.  Then we made our way home.  It was another great adventure.

Take good care all and many thanks for visiting!

Until next time…

Queens Botanical Garden

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

One can live in a certain place for a long time without ever visiting certain tourist attractions or landmarks.  In my case, I regrettably never visited the Twin Towers here in New York City, which is why I’ve decided to venture out more with my family and see what this great city has to offer.  I’m done with taking advantage of it.  It’s time to explore and make memories.  Plus, we have a COOL Culture Family Pass (http://www.coolculture.org/programs/cool-culture-family-pass), which is a pass that offers families free admission to 90 cultural institutions if they have children enrolled in Pre-K or Kindergarten.

This past Saturday, we visited, for the first time, the Queens Botanical Garden at 43-50 Main Street, Flushing, New York.  We went around mid-morning and this place can be easily described as beautiful and absolutely peaceful or as my husband put it, “completely Zen.”

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As you can see my daughters had a blast.  My youngest, Sophia, loved running around the grass while my oldest, Olivia, loved throwing herself and laying down on the grass.

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I had fun taking pictures of all the flowers and…

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…this little fella.   I got close enough to zoom my camera in and take a great pic of him or her!

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At the Wedding Garden everything is set up so you can get married there.  Isn’t it wonderful?

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My husband enjoyed the Herb Garden and I greatly enjoyed visiting the Queens Botanical Garden with my family.  We will definitely be visiting again soon.

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Never falter

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Never Falter

Can’t look away

from the images

that display

smoke rising,

pure chaos,

people dying,

sidewalks splattered

angrily in red.

The moment captured.

Press play

and watch as lives are forever changed.

Look away,

We can’t.

Three people gone,

So many wounded.

What’s going on?

Evil has to be stopped.

And it will be

because even among the disarray

heroes emerged.

We’ll never falter.

We’re Americans.

And everyone, in the world,

knows that.

– Angelica Mercado

Hello everybody.  I hope you guys are well.  I penned this poem yesterday (I’ve been on a non-stop news reading frenzy) and it’s dedicated to the people of Boston.  The above picture is dedicated to my daughter, Olivia.  We walk under this gorgeous tree every day on our way to school.  It’s her favorite and she marvels at its beauty and stature.  I’m planning on having it printed big, framing, and placing it on her wall for her birthday so she can delight in its glory every day!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Clothes, shoes, space…oh my!

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.

I’ve been tackling and frustratingly looking for space to put away the clothes and shoes that no longer fit my oldest daughter, but are still in wearable condition for my youngest.  Yes, I could always buy a bigger bureau, but then that would allow more (unnecessary) clothes to come into the house.  My way of corralling my kids’ clothes and keeping things at a minimum is by having a medium size bureau.  It has four drawers and I separate things between my girls by two drawers each.  I have their short and long sleeve shirts, leggings, skirts, shorts, pajamas, socks, underwear, and undershirts in this one bureau.  Nice and tidy (until tornado hubby comes along looking for something!)  There’s also a SMALL (NYC, enough said) closet, a storage chest (mainly used for winter pajamas and baby clothes that I simply couldn’t part with, for example, their first outfit worn home from the hospital), and this gem that was being tossed out by a local pharmacy and my husband and his brother-in-law were walking by just in time.  They were gracious enough to give him every single little piece that came with it, including the shelves, nuts and bolts!  🙂

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Just in case you don’t know, that’s my oldest daughter’s name above, Olivia, so it was meant to come home with my husband.  It used to house body and hair care products for sale, but after my husband drilled holes and inserted a dowel, it became a small, open closet.  We put up some of the shelves for shoes and left the bottom open in order to place a basket (Ikea) for additional shoe storage.  I hang up my oldest daughter’s school uniform and my youngest daughter’s spring/summer dresses in this closet.

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As for the shoes that my oldest has outgrown, but are still good yet too big for my youngest, I save them in wide, delivery boxes.  Recycle, reuse (both, shoes and boxes).  In order to know what’s inside after I taped up the boxes, I take a picture (inserting sizes on the pic), print it out and tape it onto the box.

Why do I do this?  So I can stay sane, save money, and help the environment (less trash for the landfills).  Extra space would be nice, but I feel more comfortable using what I already have instead of buying new or more.  I also like to pass things down as my children grow out of them.  I usually distribute between my sister-in-law (who has a daughter one year younger than mine), family members in Puerto Rico, the donation bin two blocks down from my home, and the church my parents attend.

Thanks for visiting and viewing.

Take good care.

Until next time…

A glance at last weeks school lunch from home

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.

Here’s a glance at what I made/put together for my daughter, last week, for her school lunch.  We try our best to send her off to school with a nutritious, balanced meal.  I’m glad to say that there are more days where her food containers come home empty.

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I try not to repeat the main dishes, but if I have to it’s usually the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or the pizza bagels, which are my daughter’s faves.  I give her nuggets once a week because we all know process food is not exactly healthy.  I also abide by the  recommended serving sizes.  In regards to the serving size for the nuggets I take one away (serving size is 5 nuggets, but I give her 4) because I also give her tater tots (serving size is 9, but I give her 6).  It’s all about moderation, plus including the veggies and fruits that we need.

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Celebration Recap

Hello everybody!  I hope you guys are well.

My youngest daughter is officially three and we had a birthday week-end celebration with friends and family.  We broke things down by celebrating her actual birthday on Friday, just us in the house.  I wanted to make a small (I like the Jiffy cake mix), funfetti cake

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and it was the perfect time to try out these Bake-Even Cake Strips (Wilton) that I’ve seen online and found on sale at AC Moore craft store.

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I didn’t realize I went overboard on the sprinkles until…

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…the cake was done and I flipped it out of the baking pan.

As you can see the cake strip (around the pan) worked, but there were noticeable differences other than the cake dome that appears when you don’t use this strip.  The cake sticks to the side of the pan more and the bottom was moist when I took it out.  I like that it baked even, but I don’t know if I’m going to use the strip again.  We’ll see.

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I melted a little bit of the Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy Chocolate frosting (15 seconds in the microwave) in a glass bowl and this made things easy to spread on the cake.  I really don’t like when the cake crumbs combine with the frosting.  I threw a little bit more of sprinkles, yes more, on the frosting and then…

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…the #3 candle.  My daughter loved her funfetti cake.

I chose the theme of the cartoon Bubble Guppies featured on Nickelodeon.  I decorated with free printables from nickjr.com and purchased a huge #3 balloon.  Balloons are always a huge hit.

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The banner, poster, and pin the tail game were cute, easy, and fun to put together.  Just go to nickjr.com and click on birthdays and you’ll see all of the themes and projects available for each.

The following day was Saturday and we invited friends and family with kids to join us at an indoor playground/arcade (funtopiausa.com).  We paid for the kids admission, tokens for them to play the arcade games, and food (pizza, popcorn, and drinks).  We stayed for about two hours and when it was time to go I gave each invited guest a goody box filled with candy, toys and stickers.

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My aunt had given me these boxes about a year ago and I was so happy to finally have a reason to use them.  I glued the images of the Bubble Guppies, which I printed out at nickjr.com, and made the middle image with my daughter’s name.  I then took the glitter glue in blue and green and made swirl lines like waves on the boxes.  I then filled the boxes with candy (skittles, smarties, Tootsie rolls, lollipop, rose ring pop, candy bracelet, and sixlets) from orientaltrading.com along with little toys like a mushroom spinning top (not shown) and Easter Pop-Ups, which are a lot of fun for children and adults.

We ended the day with my husband’s homemade piñata, which he made with a balloon, scraps of paper, and modge podge.

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My husband had fun making this and the kids had a lot more fun whacking the heck out of it.

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On our last day of celebration (Sunday), my family came over and we sang happy birthday once again with another cake (Oreo No Bake Dessert), chocolate lollipops (vanilla, dark mint, & peanut butter), and great, homemade food.  Thanks Mom and my aunt Aida!

I was pretty happy with this plan of action for celebrating my daughter’s birthday.  Many people get really stressed out planning birthdays and end up spending a lot of money.  I didn’t want the headaches or the empty wallet.  No offense to anyone who goes big, because of course, if I had space and extra money, I would be singing a different tune, but at this moment minimal is the way to go.  So one birthday down, one more to go.

Take good care all and thanks for visiting.

Until next time…