LOST IN PARADISE

Hello friends, it’s been a while since I posted last time. There were a lot of things going on but most of all just a lot of work to do. We had the most amazing trip ever.

My husband and I went with my family to Spain. My parents and my two brothers decided to drive over and it took them exactly 24 hours to get to Almeria, Spain. Me and Alejandro flew over to Malaga. We got there on Monday the 12th of August. We were so tired but so happy and excited to go to the beach.

To travel and to feel comfortable we decided to rent a car that way we could go where ever we wanted when ever we wanted. It took us 2 hours to get to Almeria and the weather was just smooth! Roquetas de Mar is a city part of Almeria, it’s a very touristic area and we found such a cute apartment to rent for the two weeks. It was just 400 meters away from the beach, so my morning runs were absolutely amazing!

So there we were… we had two weeks to enjoy and relax to the fullest. On the very first day once we got to the apartment we rested but not the whole day, I really wanted to go to the beach. In the evening I went to the beach with my parents while Alejandro stayed home and slept a bit longer.

And I’m just going to be repeating myself from now on. We went to the beach every single day. I woke up around 8AM and went for a morning run that way I could start my days with a good mood and enjoy all the food I wanted to eat. Around noon we were all ready to drive over to the beach. It took us about 25 minutes to get to the beach called “el Zapillo”. We would rest right in front of some palm trees but close enough to the water.

All of you should know I haven’t been to Spain for the last four years so my skin was like super white. My whole family was just super tanned already and I looked like a freaking cheese right next to them, looool. I just went straight to the water and started swimming. We had bought some diving goggles and snorkel and explored the whole waters. We saw many fishies and so many shells it was just so unbelievably beautiful!

My friends, we ate so much food. There was so much meat and argentine biscuits to try. I ate so much chocolate I thought I was going to be diabetic looool that’s how much sweet I ate. Good thing I was doing my workout in the morning. We even tried this ice cream place called “be waffle” and it was delicious. You could create your own waffle ice cream and OF COURSE mine had NUTELLA and DULCE DE LECHE! daaaaa!

“BE WAFFLE” ICE CREAM PLACE,
AGUADULE, ALMERIA, SPAIN

One night we went out to “la feria” it was like an attraction park. There were some games to play and it was so big, I felt like we walked the whole evening. But at the end of the night my husband made it so worth the walk. He won a stuffed animal for me, a dog, we called him Charlie. He is now officially living in Germany with us.

WELCOME OUR NEWEST FAMILY MEMBER: CHARLIE

We can all live in our deepest paradise but each dream comes to an end. Two weeks in paradise weren’t enough to explore but it was enough for my soul and spirit to rest and recharge. I truly needed it, I needed to go somewhere else and explore something new. I needed to swim every day and look for fish. Even though fish aren’t really my best friends I had the best time of my life with those little guys.

Folks, if you have the chance to go somewhere and explore something then do it. It will recharge your spirit and you will be able to focus more on important things. Being lost in a paradise is the best thing you can do, especially if you create your own paradise in your own way.

xo, Carol

CAMPING WITH DINOSAURS BIRTHDAY

Thank you @laylaimperatori @popandcinfetti @tipienfete @sweetbite.bakery for sponsoring this post.


As you know, I love hosting, organizing get-togethers and planning parties. I really enjoy being able to get creative and to search for the perfect items and have good that makes me feel content.


I can’t believe Vera is already 3 years old. I am so lucky to have been able to stay home with her for the past 3 years. I love watching her grow and change. In the past year, she has developed so much! She is so happy, always singing and running around. She is such a bright little girl and I am so thankful for her. This birthday was very exciting for Vera because she could really understand the concept. As her birthday approached, we talked many times about what theme she would like. She had so many ideas but the one that always came up was the dinosaurs. Vera loves dinosaurs so much. Every night we read dinosaur books and sing dinosaur songs. Finally, we decided this would be the perfect theme.


When I started to plan the party I found Claudia, the owner of @tipienfete. She organizes theme tipi parties. When I saw her safari theme, I had to incorporate it to my party. This summer we took the kids camping for the first time and they loved it so much. I decided to create camping with dinosaurs theme. She has the perfect military style tipis, wood-like cushions to sit on, a toy camping fire set, flowers and vines to decorate and a picnic table set up for all the kids to sit at. It was perfect to create a cute and girly camping atmosphere.

We also set up a table for the cake, food and tableware. The center of attention, of course, was the dinosaur cake Vera had been asking for. But the table would still be incomplete without the perfect decoration details to finish it off.

Angie the owner of @sweetbite.bakery was the creator of our cake. The cake was not only beautiful, but it was also so delicious. She made us a 3 tier cake, vanilla flavour with confetti inside. It was such a cute cake, she made the colours match the rest of the decorations perfectly. Luckily, we had enough to take home so we could eat after!

@popandconfeti is one of the first stores I started to follow when I moved to Montreal. They are owned by 2 mothers, Anna and Sophie. They have the nicest party supplies! It was always a dream of mine to be able to use their plates for my parties. They supplied us with our birthday supplies. Since we had the dinosaurs and army tipis, I wanted to add a touch of pink. We got all the decorations and tableware in pink. I love how they chose the confetti plates as a special touch to the pink. They can also do customized orders.

We had a party at the park and it rained on us 3 times. Everything was amazing. All the details came together to have the perfect camping with dinosaurs theme party. We were surrounded by our family and our best friends. We had so much love and happiness and Vera had a great time. This was such a special day for us to celebrate Vera. I wanted to make sure we could save it so when Vera is older she could see how much she means to us. Thank you @laylaimperatori for capturing this day and showing all of the beautiful feelings we shared at Vera’s party.


HOW CHALLENGING MYSELF KEEPS ME MOTIVATED

Hi y’all! This past month was an up and down for me. I started the month with a hardcore workout and diet. I kept my calories each day for the first two weeks and did my workout every other day for the first two weeks. Everything went great… until we had our family over. LOOOOL.

Having family over is one of our favorite things to do. We have fun, we laugh, we eat, we laugh again and play some boardgames. Everyone tries to win the games and at the end of each game we laugh again, because folks, WE ARE VERY COMPETITIVE, ESPECIALLY MY HUSBANDS FAMILY! After that week we had my sister over with her little baby girl, so guess what: MORE FOOD! I love food… what more can I say…

But here is the thing since we had family over and we had to work at night time, we didn’t really get the chance to workout how we wanted to. I mean, I rather stay with my fam than doing my workout (I know, I know, it shouldn’t be an excuse but for me it is.. looool) family means everything to us! After two weeks we went back to our normal schedule, waking up, eating within the calories, doing the workout we want to and at last going to work, and repeat.

We only have 10 days left then my husband and I will be going to Spain and we will be spending there our vacation with my family for two weeks… at the beach! YES BABY! So I challenged myself to do my workout even just harder! I am still eating my calories but I want to level up my workout. Today after a very long time I went for my 10 km run.

I have challenged myself to do at least another 5 times 10 km before going to Spain. This new challenge is pumping me up and I’m so down for it! I think I will be able to reach my 20.000 steps per day while doing that challenge. You guys, challenging myself means so much to me! I can show myself that I’m trying to be more self-reliant and more responsible to my goals and actions!

Are you up for new challenges? If yes, how do you challenge yourself?

xo, Carol

HOW TO CHOOSE A DAYCARE?

I can not believe this time has come! There are only a few more weeks before school starts. This September, Vera is starting daycare full time. Vera is turning 3 years old this August. We’re planning to send her to pre-kindergarten next year. So, it is time for her to start preparing.

As you know she has been attending the child stimulation and playgroup program. These classes were only part-time. This has been preparing her to take the next step to go to daycare. I want her to attend daycare for 1 year before she starts school. Going to daycare will help her to get used to her new schedule and being alone longer. At daycare, they will prepare her to start school. The program focuses on helping the children learn the motor and academic skills they need for kindergarten. Here she will also learn the social and emotional skills she needs.

Finding a daycare can be a little tricky and maybe emotional. Finding the perfect nursery might feel like a big task because there are so many things to explore and consider. This time can also be emotional because you have to trust someone else to take care of your child and you finally part ways. 

Choosing the appropriate daycare for my family was crucial. I had so many questions prepared for our interview. I also had things wanted to be observant of during our tour. Knowing all this information helped me to decide on the daycare we chose. Something that is really important to me is knowing other families who attend there. This helped me to know more about the environment and the teachers. It is important that it has a good reputation, qualified teachers and a secure environment.

These are the questions I asked:

1. What is the staff to child ratio? How many children are in a class? How many teachers are in a class? You want to make sure that they are in standard. It is even better if they have fewer children in the classrooms.

2. What type of curriculum system do you offer? You want to make sure that your kid is being taught what you believe in and what you think is important in the way you like.

3. What kind of qualifications do the teachers have? How long have the teachers been working there?

4. What does the schedule look like? You want to know what routine do they follow and the activities they do. How much outdoor and gym time do they get? Do they learn French? Do they have art and music time?

5. What kind of food do they serve? At what time do they have their meals? Do you need to pack snacks or lunch?

6. How does naptime work? Where do they sleep? At what time do they sleep? What do they need?

7. What do they need to bring or keep at daycare?

8. What are the policies regarding immunization? What are the rules for children and teachers who are sick?

9. How do I know my child’s progress? Are the parents involved? Is there a committee? I love being involved in my kid’s schools and to have a close relationship with the staff.

What about you, have you gone through this process yet? What were your main concerns? I would love to hear more about it and maybe add your questions to my list

LOVE

XXX

ELA

SEND HER BACK…

One of my favourite quotes comes from someone I meet in my first year of University. He was there on an exchange in Canada, we meet each other and added each other on Facebook. As he graduated back home in Europe, he posted a rather interesting post.

“We are a new generation of students/employees, living on the fast lane, travelling between timezones, having friends and significant others on the other side of the globe. For us borders are an old fashioned concept. We are the children of globalization. We see the good in each others culture and customs, we don’t judge, we accept, we adapt. Maybe we are the future. A future free of wars and diplomatic tensions. We might not have realized this yet, but we live the life our forefathers worked so hard for…Or maybe these are just crazy thoughts of a sleep deprived man…” – His post

When I saw this quote I could not help but to feel proud of the world we were creating. I thought my gosh he is right. I love learning about new cultures and growing up in a different culture than my parent’s I learned to take the best of each, recognize the failures, challenge them, combine them, celebrate the good parts, celebrate the wins, adapt, and most of all love them.

It is astounding to me that within a couple of years of reading his statement I would hear in the news that a political figure was shot in the head for being pro immigration here in Germany. And then a couple more months to hear that this past week in America a full stadium would chant: “Send her back!” talking about an American citizen. Send her back where? The land where her parents where born? Because let’s be honest SHE IS HOME.

This is perhaps one of my greatest fears come true. Through out my life I have encounter single cases of uneducated and closed minded people but never in such a scale. It never surprised me because let’s be honest for a moment. No matter in which country you go to, it is human basic instinct to fear the unknown and what we don’t understand in order to survive. But I thought that we had become more evolved as I also meet even more people who are opened minded, who cared to educate themselves rather than be driven by fear of the unknown and classify people by the stereotypes.

If we went by the simple stereotypes that we see on TV then this would be an extremely sad world. All we would find would be the negative. But I’ve learned that generally TV and news tend to show the worst because it is what sells. If it’s a good news story it cannot be longer than 1 minute and 15 seconds because then people get bored and change the channel. Crazy right? But that is a statistic. That’s a hard fact to swallow.

Here is another one. No one culture is perfect. Humans are not perfect. I’m not perfect. But at least i’m trying to be a better person each day. But I’ve come to learn that if we open ourselves to the possibility to look for the good rather than focus on the bad we can co-exist and strive. Some of the greatest discoveries have been when there has been a mixture of cultures. When we have learned from each other rather than when we have attacked each other.

World wars, civil wars, wars, extremism, genocides, ethnic cleanses, a culture of racism, and a culture of classism does not happen over night. They brew and grow by stroking and manipulating fear.

There is a saying that says that you can gain power by fear. It’s been demonstrated a million times. They even sometimes throw it out on popular TV Shows. I know this is over and done with but if you’ve ever seen Gossip Girl there is a scene with Blair and Jenny. Where Blair tells Jenny: “You can’t make them love you but you can make them fear you.”

What Blair doesn’t know yet or has not learned it is that you may gain power by using fear in your enemy. But leading that way is dangerous because as soon as the other party does not have anything to fear/lose they will get out of under and destroy the other person so they don’t have to live in fear again. While leading with love and caution creates loyalty and a way more effective system.

I know it is more comfortable to stay in with what we have learned and our comfort zones. It is easier to stay quiet and not be uncomfortable by touching controversial topics. It is easier to say it is useless, or a waste of time, or that it doesn’t matter because they are radicalized and won’t hear anything anyways. It is easier to say it will pass, so there is no point in doing anything. This is nothing new. Ruth Bader Ginsburg said once: ” Rabbi Alfred Bettleheim once said:’ Prejudice saves us a painful trouble, the trouble of thinking.'”

I have meet many people of different countries and I can tell you one thing, if you look pass the stereotypes and see the person for who they actually are, one will see there is not a one mold fits all. So take a chance and respectfully discuss and try to find common ground.

Because what I’m seeing right now cannot be better illustrated than by a quote from Erwin Griswold in On The Basis Of Sex, : ” [you] are deciding what kind of country, what kind of society [you] want [your] children and grandchildren to grow up in. You make sure the [world] sees what’s at stake is [your] family.”

I know it’s hard to speak up. I know it is more comfortable to think of this too shall pass. Nothing like WW2 or anything that bad can happen again. However, I’ll leave you with this quote.

“Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.”- John Stuart

xxx,

Adriana

STAYING FIT WITH MY FITNESS PAL

It has always been a struggle for me to lose some weight. I have been running for the past few years. I started young… my parents would send me to athletics and it was hard but sooo much fun! I became one of the good runners and I loved it. If there was a chance to run faster I would train for it. Anyways, that’s all nice but my body weight has been crazy for the past two years.

At first I started skipping a meal but that didn’t last long because at night time I would get super hungry. My husband showed me that app called “My Fitness Pal” and it is so easy to use. You can set some weekly goals, like losing either 0,5 kg or 1,0 kg per week. It always depends on how you like to plan your meals for the day and your workout.

I decided to go for the 1,0 kg per week. I’m faaaar away from my dream goal but I’m getting there. As soon as you decided how much you would like to lose, the app automatically calculates you how many calories you get per day. Mine are only 1200 calories and let me tell you it doesn’t sound a lot but to be honest I made it work! I started to eat less carbohydrates (like bread, noodles, rice…) and more vegetables, I had less chocolate and more fruits. The chocolate part was the hardest for me because I FREAKING LOVE CHOCOLATE, I MEAN WHO DOESN’T? There is always a sacrifice to be made for a happier and healthier life.

Once you get all the food you want to cook you get ready to weight all the food. It is very important to keep track of all the grams and all the calories that way you can get a better view of what you consume each day. When I started this diet almost everyone would tell me: “that’s way too complicated”, “that’s unnecessary”, “you will probably stop doing it after one month”… well let me tell you, there will be many people telling you that you can’t do it… but keep trying. I keep trying too. The more people tell me I can’t do it, the more I try harder. I like to challenge myself, for without challenge there is no growth.

If you are wanting to lose some weight, stay within your weight or let’s go to the rare ones.. if you want to gain some weight.. Well then I recommend using My Fitness Pal. It has helped me a lot. It takes courage, resistance, endurance and faith in yourself.

How do you manage staying fit?

xo, Carol

PLAYING TOURIST AND HOSTING IN A NEW TOWN WHERE YOU’VE NEVER BEEN

You know something I love about Germany is the fact that it’s easy to travel. Recently I took a last minute decisions. One of my cousins was taking a cruise and she was stopping in this little town Warnemunde for a couple of hours. I had never heard of it before but honestly it was totally worth it to go off the beaten path. So since it was a small town and there was another little town near it we decided to see if we could do both!

“So come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned. Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever…” – J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan

We decided to meet in Rostock since it is a little bigger, was near and my train would get there easier. And when I say easier I mean to get there it took me about 4 hours and 40 minutes. I was so tempted to say it was a long way but to be honest with the train here in Germany it is so comfortable that really those 4 hours felt like nothing. I think what was the hardest part was getting up at 3:50 am since my train would leave at 4:50 am!

Whatttttt?!?!? On a regular day I usually have the benefit of being able to wake up at 8 so I can do all my errands, clean the house, and head to language school in the afternoon. But waking up was completely worth it. Since I started living in Germany it’s been a while since I saw my side of the family. Now those who live in Guatemala its even more rare than those who live in North America. Seeing them really did make my month. Plus it was fun playing tourist in my new country once again and see the town through a tourist eye.

Since it was a new town we had to look up a couple of things online to see what would possibly interest us.

Rostock

The first spot we hit was the new market from Rostock. It’s a central square which is supposed to hold a sizzling market. Yet there were only a couple of stalls. That might have been due to the fact that we went on a week day. However, the best part of the market was still standing. The market is held in the plaza which is a bunch of super colourful and pretty houses. One of the buildings is huge and pink and you can’t help but look at it. We found the church which was a main attraction for this town and found it incredibly cool. They have the only astronomical clock of its’ kind in the whole of Europe. It’s extremely old and it reaches until the end of 2017. But don’t worry they have placed a new smaller clock at the bottom to continue the information from that date on.

Rostock Neumarkt and Church

It was really great in the church and I completely recommend looking into it. There is so much variation inside. The clock is at one end behind a podium while at the other extreme you have an organ that literally looks as if its build on the back side of a ship. All I could think about was about pirates and Peter Pan.

This is such a cool clock!

After that we walked around, shopped and enjoyed our surroundings. It was good weather and they had a bunch of stalls near the water fountain. We ate some curry wurst and fries. Because let’s be real they are a staple here in Germany. Everywhere you go you find these stands with hot dogs and fries. It truly is one of the things I enjoy so much.

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it..” – J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Thanks for always being such an amazing example for me ❤

I guess this is getting long so I’ll tell you about Warnemunde next time! What are your experiences going of the beaten path? I really loved this one. It still feels like a dream to have been able to enjoy such a beautiful day with them.

xxx

Adriana