Show Me Your Purse, Oldest Shoes and Pomanders!

Ok, here’s the first installment of the Show Me Your (fill-in-the-blank) series, which originally began at Luxe Chandelier:

Ang from Football, Sushi and the Pursuit of Happiness asked to see my purse and some of my must-have purse contents. I loooove my big purses because I am a compulsive over-packer. I like to carry with me anything I may possibly need throughout the day, because a girl never knows what surprises the day might have in store.

I bought this purse with part of my first paycheck eight months ago. It's Nine West, and probably the most expensive item of clothing I've ever owned. It's gray leather (??) and suede on the sides, and it goes with everything.

Must-haves: vanilla-scented travel tissues, sunglasses, 30-dollar cell phone, vanilla lipgloss, vanilla VS body spray, Mary Kay makeup case, Mary Kay brush kit, and Cover Girl foundation and powder

 I will now introduce you to my secret weapon… my planner. It goes EVERYWHERE with me. It’s a personalized planner by Erin Condren.

Krysten over at After-I-Do asked to see my favorite thing in Cancun. She’ll have to wait, because I haven’t had a chance to catch a picture of it yet. 🙂 (I’m not sure going by request order is going to work!!)

MurdocksMama asked to see my oldest pair of shoes. Well, I didn’t want to embarrass myself too badly, so I placed them alongside my newest pair of shoes.

My high school gym class New Balances (8 years old), alongside my new Zingara sandals (can't live in Cancun without a few pairs of rockin sandals)

 There you have it. 🙂

I’m also posting the trial pomanders I made, which turned out GORGEOUS.

The one on the left was dyed in cinnamon tea, while the one on the right was dyed with Hibiscus tea with red and blue food coloring

Show Me Your (fill-in-the-blank)!

Good morning, all!

Today I’m going to take a page out of my buddy Ang’s book. She found the coolest idea yesterday on Luxe Chandelier, and I’m going to shamelessly copy it. (Thanks, Ang!)

Make sure to check out her site, Football, Sushi and the Pursuit of Happiness. (Personally, I love sushi, I love pursuing happiness… not so big on the football.) She’s a total sweetheart, and her blog is so refreshing to read.

Here’s the link to the post that started it all at Luxe Chandelier:

So here it is: I will post pictures of anything you ask for (within reason, people!). Just leave me a comment on this post, saying what you’d like me to take a picture of. Wanna see something in Cancun? Something of mine? My BFF? Part of my day-to-day existence? You say it, and I’ll make it happen.

This is your chance to tell me what to post. So take advantage! I’m really excited to hear about what you wanna see 🙂

In other news, last night I made 2 coffee filter pomanders that I mentioned in yesterday’s post. I had to do a bunch of different color tests, but I finally found 2 colors for my wedding that are absolutely AMAZING. STUNNING. GORGEOUS. Roll over, Martha Stewart.

I’m not gonna lie… I’ve always been jealous of those craft bloggers (you know who you are!) who get a piece of moldy dormroom furniture from Craigslist then turn it into some shabby-chic piece of fine furnishings. Now it’s my turn! My first craft project 🙂 I’ll have a step-by-step post up and running by sometime next week.

 

Let me know what you want me to take pictures of! I’ll try to step up my photography skills for this one, I promise.

Grocery Shopping in Cancun

So I’m working on a fun Do-It-Yourself craft project for some wedding decorations. I’m not sure if I’m gonna follow through, but last night I did a test-run to see if everything will look like it does on the internet tutorial.

For the project, I needed coffee filters. Since I had to do some grocery shopping anyway, I went to Chedraui (supermarket) after work. I went through every single aisle during my shopping, and along the way I kept an eye out for the coffee filters.

Disposable plate aisle: Not there.

Paper towel/toilet paper aisle: Not there.

Coffee aisle: Wow! An entire aisle dedicated solely to coffee and tea. Surely this must be it! I have found it! … not.

After I’d found everything else on my list, I walked by all the aisles again, twice. I even checked out the dinnerware department. Squat. Zip. Zero. Nada.

I then did yet another loop around the food section in search of an employee. Five minutes later, I caught one!

Me: Excuse me, miss, can you tell me where the coffee filters are?

Employee: They’re in the electronics department.

Me: Ok, thanks. Wait… no, I meant the paper coffee filters, not a coffee maker.

Employee: Yes. In the electronics department.

Me: The paper ones? The things you put into the coffee maker every time you make coffee?

Employee: Yes.

Me: Ok, thanks. Can you also tell me where food coloring is?

Employee: What’s that? Let me ask the guy in charge of the food department.

*goes in search of other guy*

Employee: What was it you were looking for again?

Me: Food coloring. The liquid drops you use to change the color of food.

Guy: (Whispers to employee, “I don’t know what she’s talking about.”) (To me: “It’s by the spices.”)

Needless to say, the food coloring was most certainly NOT by the spices (I knew you were lying, you silly little man). I just have to assume Mexicans don’t use food coloring. Ok, no biggie. I had a backup plan anyway.

So, I made my way to the electronics department. Didn’t see any coffee filters. I saw an electronics department employee shelving DVDs. I thought, “Ok, I guess I have to ask him. He is going to think I’m a complete idiot. What kind of idiot would actually believe there are paper coffee filters in the electronics section?” I sucked it up.

Me: Excuse me sir, are the… um… err… coffee filters in this area?

Dude: Coffee filters? Hmmm…

*crap! CRAP! I AM an idiot! Run away now before he gets a good look at your face!*

Dude: Yeah, I think they’re over here.

*Oh, please let it be true. Otherwise I’m the biggest idiot on the planet.*

Sure enough, there they were, right next to the coffee makers.

Who in their right mind would think to look in electronics for coffee filters???????? GAAAH!

*Editor’s Note: Turns out Mexicans DO use food coloring. I just got stuck with 2 employees who are unaware of the joys of baking.

Also, here’s a picture of what I’m trying to make (if I decide I like it):

A Day at Now Riviera Cancun Resort

First of all, here’s a heads up to all the “lurkers” on my site… I see you! Make sure to leave a comment from time to time! I’d love to hear from you. Thanks for hanging out 🙂

Anyway, now on to today’s post. Yesterday was the best. day. ever. Well, maybe not the best, but it was up there.

My company had given some of us day passes to Now Riviera Cancun Resort in the Mayan Riviera. I got to take 1 person with me. Of course, I took the fiance. It was free all-inclusive. 🙂

We took the bus down to Puerto Morelos (about half an hour south of downtown Cancun, 15 minutes from the airport). From there, we caught a cab out to the resort. (There’s also a local bus to take you there, but we were too lazy to wait for it.)

We got there around 10:30 and enjoyed some breakfast, beach time, pool time, and a late lunch. Sadly, we had to leave around 6 pm. The day went by too durn fast. Here are some pics we took:

The main lobby

*sigh*

View from my table at breakfast. The buffet was AMAZING! fruit, sausage, kiwi-flavored cream cheese, bacon and fruit. yummm! Fiance was weirded out by the American-style breakfast sausage, but I made him try it and he enjoyed it. (To be fair, they are pretty disgusting looking.)

Beach view from my breakfast table

Next, we stepped down to the beach.

Well hello, toucan!

I had no idea he took this picture until later in the day. When I saw it, my heart melted. "Awww, he took a picture of us holding hands! He loves me! Dang, my legs look great!"

My fave pic of the day.

View from our pool loungers

View from a bridge going over the pool

Pool with swim-up bar

Next came a late lunch at the poolside snack restaurant, which had tons of great stuff on the menu. ceviches, fajitas, desserts, sandwiches, etc. Everything we got was fresh-tasting and very very good. I knew my calorie counting was working because they served me the tiniest Greek salad ever, and I considered it enough to fill me up (plus dessert, of course).

View from my chair at lunch 🙂

Jorge and I loooooved these lattice roofs over the restaurant terraces. Someday when we own a Caribbean dreamhome, we'll have one. You'll be invited to the terrace parties. 🙂

My dessert - Strawberry Martini with Chocolate Mousse (couldn't finish it... more proof that the calorie-counting is taking effect)

Jorge's dessert - cheesecake

After lunch, we went back to the pool so I could work on my tan. I laid out on one of those submerged loungers while looking out over the ocean. Jorge sat next to me. I didn't want to leave!!!

The two ladies on the lounge chair came with a huge group of friends, who had names such as "Frogger", "Double-D" and "Fancy". They have a friend who's married to a violent drunk and cheats on him with young guys. Another friend spent an entire night with diarrhea and puking. Yet another friend is addicted to Oxycontin. How do I know this? They were screaming about it for about an hour. They then proceeded to flirt with some poor guy from the hotel's entertainment team by yelling out very bad Spanish. Fun times.

Before we left, we stopped by for some drinks (water) at this bar.

My only complaint was that the drinks were all very disgusting (except the wine, the fruit juices and the water). Still, it may have just been a bad day because one of my coworkers was raving about the drinks when she went a few weeks ago. The food was excellent, though.

Overall, it was an amazing day, and we didn’t want to leave. Since the past few weekends had been very busy with wedding planning and my in-laws’ vow renewal, Jorge and I hadn’t spent any alone time together in quite awhile. (We don’t get to see eachother much on weekdays because I work 9-5 and he has school 4-10.) It was really just what we needed.

Cancun Interactive Aquarium: I Pet a Shark!!!

Last weekend, a bunch of Jorge’s family came into town for his parents’ vow renewal. On Sunday, we went out to Plaza La Isla just to hang out. While there, we came across the Interactive Aquarium.

At the entrance, they have a tank that always has some poor soul swimming in it while trying to draw in customers. (Someone drew the short straw.)

For $90 pesos a person (group rate), I decided to go in and explore with all Jorge’s cousins while the boring adults stayed outside and waited.

In the first room, we came across some tiny jellyfish and seahorses.

Then, we made our way outside, where there was an open tank filled with sea turtles, rays and nurse sharks.

Oh my gosh! I pet a shark! Like for an extended period of time! The staff member held the shark against the tank for us. It felt like wet, rubbery sand paper.

Conversation between me and the staff member:

Me: Does it bite?

Guy: Yes.

Me: Oh…

Guy: But if I’m holding it, you’re fine.

Me: Sweet. Have you been bitten?

Guy: Yes.

Me: Does it hurt?

Guy: *Shows me massive scar on hand* Just a bit.

Dolphins were there! You can catch the dolphin shows, but we were there way early for that.

The lion fish… grrrrrr. (I understand these fishies were brought to the area from the Pacific. Since then, they’ve kind of taken over and have negatively affected the other ocean wildlife. They sure are pretty, though.)

Shark tank!!!

“Oh, cool! Look at that shark! He’s right up by the glass. I wonder if he can see m… WHAT IS THAT MONSTER NEXT TO IT??”

Going to an aquarium with 6 kids under 14 years old is awesome. Just sayin.

Have you ever petted a crazy animal? What’s the craziest animal you’ve ever seen?

 

A Virtual Tour of Cancun, All the Way From the Midwest

Today the gorgeous Tina Lane of Florida Girl Meets the Midwest is hosting a virtual tour of Cancun given by yours truly!

You’ll get to see some of my favorite places in the area. A few may even look familiar from previous posts.

Check it out here:

Virtual Field Trip: Cancun, Mexico

Make sure to leave some comment love 🙂

For those of you linking in to my site from Tina’s, make sure to check out some of my fave posts:

A Yucatecan Wedding

How to Speak Like a Mexicano: Facebook

 Well, I’m off to watch some Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. Can’t get enough of that Russell!

Calorie Counting with Gringation

Tuesday, May 4: 1,295

Banana & mango fruit salad

Corn Pops

Small salad with ranch dressing

Green spaghetti

Vegetable soup

Starbucks Mint Tea

Horchata water

Meat tacos with cheese and pico de gallo (2)

Pico de gallo with tortilla chips

Wednesday, May 5: 1,495

Corn Pops

Fish tacos with spicy mayo sauce and pico de gallo (2 small)

Jamaica water

2 rolls of sushi

Thursday, May 6: 1,610 (BOOO!)

Banana

Jello mold with a flower inside 🙂

Lamb doner kebab with sauce

1 can of coke

Fish filet in chipotle sauce

Plain peanut butter (WHAT?!?! For shame!)

A Yucatecan Wedding

This past weekend, my suegros celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.

They began by renewing their vows. Jorge and I were the padrinos del lazo. What does this mean? We were in charge of carrying the lazo down the aisle at the beginning of the ceremony, then placing the lazo around the newlyweds’ necks at the end of the ceremony.

This is what a lazo looks like, for those who aren't in-the-know

We were the worst padrinos de lazo in the history of Mexican weddings. Before the ceremony, we were simply told, “Don’t worry. They’ll tell you what to do during the ceremony.” Greeeeat.

When I got to the church, I pull the lazo out of my purse… and the cross had fallen off. Excellent. I spent about 10 minutes with Aunt Elsy and Uncle Tony trying to get it back on… to no avail. Jorge showed up late to the ceremony. So, I had to walk a crossless lazo down the aisle with my future brother-in-law, Jair.

Jair whispered to me, “You have to come up front with me for a reading.” “Ok, what am I reading?” “Nothing, just stand there.” What the heck? So I stood awkwardly in front of the church while Jair read, then we sat down.

For the next half hour things went fine. (I managed to hook the cross back onto the lazo chain at this time. Hurray!) Then it was time for the rings. Nobody had told my other future brother-in-law, Darwin, where the rings were. He had also been told they would tell him what to do. The whole ceremony had to wait 30 seconds while he ran to the back of the church to get the rings.

At this point, the “coordinator” told Jorge and I that we should go up front because right after the rings, we’d put the lazo on. We went up, all ready. The coordinator signalled it was our turn. I walk over to my suegros. At this point, the priest looks at me and shakes his head. The coordinator says, “Sorry, it’s time for your readings.”

HUMILLIATION!

So Jorge and I walk up to the podium, read our parts very well, and sit down again. (FYI, nobody had told me I had to read until 10 minutes before the ceremony.)

The rest of the ceremony went well. Jorge and I placed the lazo on them at the end of the ceremony.

So I’m pretty sure Jorge’s entire family thinks I’m an idiot. I blame the coordinator for not knowing what was going on. And my suegros, just a little bit. THIS is why you need to have a rehearsal, people. (ok, ok… it was my fault the lazo broke.)

It may have been a beautiful ceremony, but I had no idea because I was freaking out the entire time.

All this was forgotten soon after, at the reception. It was at a very nice event space, with a pool, some palm trees and a palapa. Everyone in the family had been told to wear traditional Yucatecan clothing, which made everything very very cool. The men wore guayaberas (linen dress shirts), and the women wore ternos (white dresses with embroidered flowers).

Salon Oaxaca, the event area

My suegra on her wedding day 🙂

centerpieces... coconut napkin holders (remember I helped make those??), pink bugambilias and baskets holding traditional Yucatecan candies

My suegros, their 3 sons, and the padrinos (godparents for the wedding)

The women in their "ternos" (Aunt Celia, Cousin Alondra and her daughter Sofia, Aunt Norma and Aunt Marbella)

The dance floor! (That's Jorge's best friend Mickey and one of the neighbor-ladies. He got tired before she did.)

There's me dancing (and very amused by something, apparently) My suegra picked out my dress... a modern take on a traditional terno.

Gold Stars Everywhere!

(Fiance took over the camera today. Grrrr. Dying to post my pictures!)

So I’ve been eating pretty well the past week or so with my calorie-counting! Four people have already told me I look thinner. I feel thinner, too. Not sure how that’s possible after just a few days and the scale remains about the same, but I’ll take it!

As I mentioned yesterday, I didn’t keep track this weekend. Apparently, however, Mcdonalds cheeseburgers aren’t all that bad calorie-wise. Still not something you should do often, but as an occasional meal it seems perfectly acceptable to have 2! 600 calories. yay!

Here’s a run-down of the past few days of calorie-counting. (Remember my goal is 1,400 a day.)

Be prepared to be jealous.

Friday, April 30: 1,225 calories (gold star for me!)

Corn Pops (2 bowls)

Agua de Jamaica (“hibiscus water”… if you gringos haven’t tried this, you need to!)

Salad

Green spaghetti (the sauce is made with poblano chile)

3 quesadillas with monterrey jack, manchego cheese, tomato, onion, and chipotle sauce, topped with fresh guacamole (Mmmm!)

Monday, May 3: 1,304 calories (another gold star!)

Corn Pops (2 bowls)

Starbucks Mint Tea (grande)

Whole grapefruit

Starbucks ham, cheese and chipotle panini

This big chocolate/caramel bar (“alfajores”) my boss brought back from Argentina

Sandwich with ham, manchego cheese and jalapeño cheese (Boring, but that’s all there was in the fridge. The jalapeño cheese kicked it up a notch, though!)

Translating Life

Well, I feel like an idiot.

I had a great post prepared today, but I left the cable thingy that connects my camera to the computer at home. No pictures. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

It’s ok, though! I wrote a guest post again over at The Scoop on Poop, telling about my struggles learning the language when I first came to Cancun. So if you wanna know a little more about me and what I was like 5 years ago (and I know you do), check it out here:

Translating Life

Counting Calories with Gringation

Gonna have to suspend this until tomorrow. It was a busy busy weekend (and very special!). You’ll see why in this week’s post. Long story short: I wasn’t gonna ruin a weekend calorie counting because some things are more important.

Getting back on the wagon today. 🙂 I did behave well on a trip to McDonalds, though!