Friday, March 24, 2017

Look out weekend - here I come

What's on the to do list this weekend?

Weekends can be a little crazy; especially when I am catching up on sleep 50% of the time

I've decided to do things differently and post "my top must get done plans" for the weekend as a way to hold myself accountable - also to document the pretty awesome things I do and fabulous people that I interact with.

So what's the plan?

Saturday's line up:

  • Finding a new place to brunch
  • Spending quality time with my boo
  • Walking around Lake Merrit (maybe gyming it up?)
  • Grocery shopping and meal prepping
Let's see how much I get done..

Blog post title inspired by my all time favorite jam: Look out weekend - Debbie Deb

Hasta la later friends!

What's for dinner: Shrimp a la Italiana

I made this for dinner last night and wanted to share - in case Trader Joe's is on your way home - here is an easy and filling meal idea for dinner tonight! For a healthier alternative just use noodles, I do half and half - my husband, Adrian, wishes it was just zoodles! hahaha

Ingredients (all from Trader Joe's):

  1. Red Argentinian Shrimp (full bag, thaw in hot water - try to remove excess water from shrimp)
  2. Zucchini (two)
  3. Shaved Artisan Cheese Blend (to garnish)
  4. Spaghetti Sauce Roasted Garlic (half of bottle)
  5. Whole Wheat Spaghetti (one fourth of package)
  6. Cubed Pancetta Citterio (entire package)
  7. Sun dried tomatoes (half package)
  8. Arugula + other mixed greens (mix these two in a bowl and serve as you see fit)
  9. Black pepper and salt (if you want)

Cost: Less than $30

Serves: like 3 (Adrian likes to eat) - really like 4

Time: Cooked and consumed in less than 30 minutes

What you'll need:

  • Tabletop Spiralizer
  • Nonstick pan
  • Stove
  • Wooden spoons
  • Plates to serve
  • Pot to boil spaghetti noodles
  • Bowl for mixed greens
  • Water

Here are the steps to make it:

  1. Set pot with water to boil, once boiling tempeture is reached, add whole wheat spaghetti, and cook for 8 to 9 minutes; then drain water
  2. Use tabletop spiralizer to turn two zuchinni into noodles; throw zoodles into pot with drained spaghetti - you do not need to cook the zoodles, the heat emitted from spaghetti is just enough :)
  3. Saute cubed pancetta in nonstick pan for about 7 minutes
  4. Add shrimp to nonstick pan and cook through for 10 minutes (salt + black pepper to taste)
  5. Add the pasta sauce to shrimp and pancetta mix along with the sun dried tomatoes, simmer for 2 minutes
  6. Remember those greens, put them in a bowl and mix them
  7. Plate your greens, spaghetti/zoodle mix, top it with your shrimp tomatoes sauce, garnish with cheese 

Plate it, devour it!

-xo, ciao, chicxicana (not so italiana)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Home Sweet Home - the house on Bardolino Dr.

This past weekend my siblings, my dad and myself spent some hours beginning the process of cleaning out our childhood home garage

It's been one of those things that has been looming in the background to get done
Part of me felt that'd we'd all be too emotional had we started sooner
Part of me feels that there are still pieces of us that ache at the thought of causing disorder to my mom's chaos and how she left things

Adrian and I then began to have several conversations about the idea of having a home, what we call home, and the horrible feeling of home not feeling entirely like home when you lose a parent

I wanted to take this opportunity to tell the story of my childhood home - because it is important to me and my parents; and I hope that it sparks thoughts and conversation surrounding the significance of having a place to call home

It was sometime in the early 1990s, my parents were living in a two bedroom trailer, with a make shift external room my dad had built for my brothers to share, on the ranch that my dad had been working at for the last seven years or so. My parents had been living in the United States for about 15 years and had several different rental situations, the dream was to own land - a place to call home

There was a lottery that was about to take place, 20 lots in the new development would be designated as low income housing. 20 families would build their own home with the help of a team of contractors; they'd receive a lot, materials, a blue print and help one another, that's how costs would be cut and they'd be able to purchase a $ 40-50K home. My mom picked up an application, and with the help of my oldest brother, Hector, filled it out and submitted it

My parents, our family was selected, along with 19 other families. My mom spent the next several months on site building our home with the help of my two, then teenaged, brothers, the neighbors and my dad as soon as he was off work. I was four years old, and surely no help and more of a walking hazard

Once completed they painted the house white, with blue trimming. It had four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a big front and backyard, one car garage. My brothers would no longer have to share a room, my sister and I still had too - she was ten and I was four. My parents had built strong friendships with our neighbors through the process - everyone helped each other. My childhood was filled with neighbor friends, regular block parties to celebrate any and all occasions, and my parents had accomplished the dream, - they owned their piece of land in America, they literally built their own home

My mom constantly found reasons to paint the house every few years. Eventually she painted each room a different color and/or multicolored. For the first couple of years she grew a basic amount of rose bushes, trees, plants but as time passed and my dad added a fence, the front and backyard became what I call a jungle. My mom would proudly ask me to take photos of her plants and her flowers. Both my parents have a green thumb and could make anything grow - meanwhile I kill succulents/cactuses

I remember a time when there was 8 of us living there - my mom even converted the living room into a bedroom. I remember my brothers throwing parties, getting in trouble, my sister attempting to sneak out of the house, my parents fighting, graduation parties, heartbroken girlfriends crying in our livingroom (my brother - eye roll), my dad chasing my sister's boyfriend down the street, I remember the crazy situations - like when my dad went into a diabetic coma and the ambulance came, the one time my mom hit my dad with a lotion bottle and they verbally fought and someone called the police, I remember the day there were too many people in our house and my sister told us that she was going to have a baby (she was 17) and my dad, my brothers and I stood in the front yard - crying. I remember babysitting several of my younger cousins, my grandparents visiting and playing their portable radio, I remember the first time I went inside after my mom passed away and looked for her hoping to find her and physically I did not find her - but I found memories and moments and still do, I remember having the mariachi play the day we were going to set my mom to rest and how all the neighbors stood in the streets facing our home

I will always call that place home - it has changed, and will continue to change but it will always be home

Below are a few photos - in the next couple of weeks I will be adding some older versions of what it used to look like (I need to locate them - probably in a photo album at home)

What is the story behind your childhood home?

The jungle like front yard

Alexia and my mom, my mom spent a lot of time in the front yard, watering her plants, talking to the neighbors and of course watching her grandchildren as they played in the front yard

My nieces, Alexia and Annayeli, enjoying  ice cream in the front yard

Monday, March 20, 2017

No one's gonna love you

It's Monday - I can't really say it was a long day because I had a longish weekend that made up for whatever today had in store
I decided to spend the night making myself a new playlist

Something to cheer me up and motivate me after what feels like another rejection

There are 19 days left until my 29th birthday
In previous years, I have been notorious for creating lists of all the things I'd want to accomplish and/or attain
This year I've only had one big thing on my mind
To get back to the place that I was on track for 3 years ago

Loving myself, all of my imperfections and being myself, unapologetically
I try from time to time to pull myself out of this hole, safety nest, I've built

I've failed many times over
And I don't think that I've ever admitted to failure - not even to myself
I've failed myself by keeping my life on autoplay and repeat, on routine, without personal risk

Often times, when I've expressed frustration and doubt in what my life's purpose is
people console me and pat me on the shoulder and say "just keep swimming and everything will work itself out"

No, it is not going to work itself out
I can't be this facade of my previous self
That's not who I am

It's time I did something about it
I can't just let things continue to happen or well not happen - that's not how anything works
I'm tired of it
more importantly I am tired of decisions being made about me in rooms that I am not in

Here's to publicly pursuing my passion for writing and bitching on this little blog I dreamed up years ago

#sorrynotsorry for being hella annoying
You gotta love you - YouTube Playlist