House Tour: My Bathroom

 

House Tour: Our Room

House Tour: Upstairs

House Tour: Living Room

House Tour: Kitchen and Storage Room

House Tour: Outside

 

After more than a year struggling with less than satisfactory water pressure in the upstairs bathroom, I recently discovered that the downstairs shower has excellent pressure, even with hot water! I quickly decided to take over the downstairs bathroom as my own. It’s not as big as the upstairs bathroom, but I’ve still managed to make it cute.

Yet another sad, tiny sink... oh how loathe them

I have candles, a green wastebasket and a Target bamboo floormat, all brought down from the US

In place of a mirror, I have a piece of art. It's a peacock made entirely of seashells and caliz that was given to us as a wedding gift. It was made on the Yucatan coast, near Jorge's mom's hometown of Chabihau.

Our carpenter friend Leo made these little shelves. There's Bath and Body Works soap and lotion kit, shells from Chabihau (I have a whole bag full of them), and a flower pot that my Aunt Bobbi painted for us as a wedding shower gift.

House Tour: Living Room

 

House Tour: Our Room

House Tour: Upstairs

House Tour: My Bathroom

House Tour: Kitchen and Storage Room

House Tour: Outside

 

The living room is my favorite room in the house right now. It’s filled with so many of our collectibles and so many memories.

For the first year and a half in this house, the living room was empty!

This is how the living room looked for a year and a half

Another "before" shot

But ever since December, we’ve finally saved up to buy enough furniture to be able to spend some time here. Love, love, love!

aaand after! We're still missing a ceiling fan in place of the bare bulb.

Gotta love my 7-year-old upright fan, with a bag hanging over it to keep it from vibrating too much. I tie up the curtains during the day because I have no curtain holders!

Our beloved entertainment center, and a red light cover my friend Viri brought us from Tepoztlan, Mexico

filled with all the things we love most!

Part of Jorge's Nintendo collection... Super Nintendo and Game Cube

A little blurry, but this is a candle my mom got me and some dead coral I collected in Akumal

On top of the entertainment center is a painting of Rio de Janeiro my sister Sarah did, and a wooden sailboat I bought in Belize

Also on top of the entertainment center, a cool photograph/drawing mix and a wedding album, both created by my sister Sarah

My alebrije collection... I'll do a separate post on it in the future. It's my fave thing! Some I bought, most are gifts from my mom.

I got this "barro negro" piece in Oaxaca City, Mexico

Another piece from Oaxaca, this one made of "barro rojo"

A photo of my dad and me at my sister Noelle's wedding, with a frame my sister Sarah gave me

On the wall, a photo collage from my sister Noelle's Vegas wedding

Above the sofa, a tryptic painting by my sister Sarah (sorry for more blurriness, I wish you guys could see the beautiful colors here)

My carpenter grandfather made me this beautiful magazine holder several years ago. We don't read magazines, so we use it to store Nintendo accessories πŸ™‚

Our coffee table, another item made by our carpenter friend Leo. We saw one at a department store, took some pictures, and had Leo make it cheaper (and bigger).

House Tour: Upstairs

 

House Tour: Our Room

House Tour: Living Room

House Tour: My Bathroom

House Tour: Kitchen and Storage Room

House Tour: Outside

 

Next stop on our house tour is the rest of the upstairs! Just like our bedroom that you saw yesterday, the other rooms upstairs have had a few improvements done, but still have a ways to go.

The Guest Bedroom

This is probably one of the more embarrassing parts of the house because we haven’t really touched it since we moved in. Right now it houses my old bed (the one I used my first 5 years in Cancun), my old plastic dresser and our broken ironing board.

We use the bed for drying damp clothes and storing stuff we have no good place for.

We recently brought down my old bedsheets/comforter from the US, but I'm scared to put it on the guest bed because I dunno what the humidity will do to it!

Yet another amazing closet! I cleaned most of it out last month because it was filled with papers, but it still holds my mini-library , my wedding dress and my "winter clothes" (which in Cancun means light jackets)

 

Jorge’s Bathroom

The upstairs bathroom mainly belongs to Jorge. Ever since I discovered that the downstairs bathroom has amazing water pressure, I have taken it over as my own. You’ll see that later this week!

A few months ago, we had our friend Leo (who also made our headboard) install some shelves to clean the bathroom up a bit.

The shower is pretty big! I still can't wait for the day when I have a bathroom with a counter, though. Dare to dream...

Here are the shelves Leo made. We'd been waiting so long to have a place to put our soap dish / toothbrush holder set that we got as a wedding present.

Β 

Upstairs Landing

The upstairs hall is surprisingly bright thanks to a small skylight. We also have a linen closet. A LINEN CLOSET! Like I mentioned yesterday, it’s so hard to find a rental house with closets in Cancun, and we have several really big ones. We really lucked out.

Look at the size of that linen closet!

Skylight! Maybe someday we'll get a light fixture to cover that bare bulb... but probably not.

House Tour: Our Room

The most asked for thing on my Reader Photo Requests was a tour of my house, so I’ll be posting that all this week! Let’s begin with our room.

This house is our first home, so we’ve been setting up furniture and whatnot slowly but surely. Since we spent so long focusing on the backyard and the living room (which was empty up until last December), we haven’t done much upstairs yet… and that’s reflected in the sad, sad state of our bedroom. Still, there’s lots of potential there! At the same time we don’t want to do too much because, well, we rent.

Also, the sheets are weird-looking because they’re new (from TARGET!!!) and I had just taken them out of the box the night before.

Here goes:

The view from the door. As much as I like the green curtains, they clash with the wall color. We plan to switch them out for bamboo shades and maybe some white sheer curtains soon.

I like this one because you can see part of our flip flop collection strewn about the floor.

No, it's not wonky... the roof just slants. We had some of this paint color left over from painting the living room and used it up here. Love it πŸ™‚

The view of the top of our beautiful copa de oro tree

My nightstand usually looks like this: water, book, cell phone, perfume and sunscreen

This is the saddest part of the room. I'm (still) in the middle of organizing a lot of our stuff to clear junk out of the bedrooms and move it to the downstairs storage room (more on that later this week). At this point, some of the stuff is still sitting in our room waiting to be organized.

It's really hard to find a good closet in Cancun. We lucked out with wood doors, shelves, drawers and cabinets! Luxury πŸ™‚

Our dresser always looks like a mess. This is a HUGE improvement from before I started organizing last month, but we've still got a long way to go, baby.

On top of our dresser: some wood bowls from Belize, a flower girl basket and the lazo cross from our wedding, pictures, a borrowed DVD player, a small mirror from my childhood friend Catie, and a few other odds and ends.

 

Tomorrow we’ll tour the rest of the upstairs!

 

House Tour: Upstairs

House Tour: Living Room

House Tour: My Bathroom

House Tour: Kitchen and Storage Room

House Tour: Outside


Weekend Recap

Our weekend was less than exciting (sorry), but still nice and relaxing!

Friday Night

Jorge got to The Beer Box around 10 pm and spent awhile chatting about work, and my friends Dama and Nadia (plus their boyfriends and a few of Nadia’s coworkers) met up with us around midnight. There was some really great live music, too!

Saturday

Saturday I slept in because I had the day off from work (woo-hoo!), and spent a few hours watching TV and reading until Jorge got home around 4. We swung by his parents’ house for late lunch, and I talked to my dad on the phone for awhile.

Saturday night, we went to our friend Jhonny’s birthday party, which was held at the house Jhonny just bought. The original owners left him some pretty funky colors in the living room (bright orange walls with purple ceiling beams), but the renovations he’s done so far have been pretty nice. Wish I’d taken more pictures of the house, but I got distracted by tons of friends and a pretty sweet taco buffet:

Sunday

Once again I had a relaxing morning, then around midday I took some pics of the house so I can post a much-requested house tour this week! (finally)

At 2 pm, I met up with Nadia for a run/walk around Parque Kabah. She’s been running for much longer than I have, and she had to slow down to my turtle pace, but we had a great time anyway. We did 6K with mostly walking and some running, but by the end I was feeling faint, which has never happened to me before. I usually run in the evenings, so I think it was the heat that got me.

Jorge and I had planned to go to Plaza La Isla for the afternoon and evening, but when he got home around 4 we both accidentally fell asleep. He was tired from work, I was exhausted from my run. By the time we woke up, we decided to just do something quick, so we grabbed a sushi dinner at Paseo Cancun mall and browsed a bit, then headed home.

Tell me about your weekend!

My Upcoming Mini-Vacations!

I’m super excited about some of the fun trips we have coming up in the second half of 2012! Here’s a little preview of what I’ll be posting about in the months to come:

September, 2012

A day at Hacienda Tres Rios for the Mayan Tibetan Cultural Encounter

A weekend with Jorge in Playa del Carmen

 

October 2012

A weekend in Merida for our friends' wedding

 

November 2012

A weekend at the Iberostar Cozumel ... yowza!

 

December 2012

An entire week back in the USA with these people πŸ™‚ (plus Jorge)

I’m ready for vacation!

What are you most excited about this year? I love hearing what everyone else is doing.

 

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 6

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 1

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 2

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 3

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 4

Weight Loss Before and After: Part 5

I went back to the nutritionist yesterday for my weigh-in, and the results were not good. I gained half a pound.

I have only 4 pounds left to go. The problem is I’ve been trying to lose the same 4 pounds for over a month now. For some reason, my willpower seems to have left me. Maybe 8 months of dieting is just past my limit, and I just stopped caring whether or not I cheated on my diet. In the past 2 weeks, there was a tiramisu, a dinner (and dessert) at Chili’s, and a very forbidden pizza, not to mention many tiny cheats in between.

There are 3 weeks left until my next weigh-in, and my goal is to not cheat once during that time, and to hit the gym (or running path) pretty hard 5 days a week. It’s a tough goal, but I’m feeling really motivated. Hopefully I can shed those last 4 pounds of fat by my next weigh-in, and gain some muscle. Even though I look and feel great, my percent body fat is still above a healthy range.

Here are some more before and after pics, even though they’re no different from the last ones since I haven’t lost weight since then.

November 2011 - 160 pounds

Now - 132 pounds

In 2012, I’ve lost 28 pounds and completed a 5K race. I can lose 4 stinkin pounds.

Unfortunately today’s birthday celebration day at the office, and this month the Brazilian team is in charge of getting the cake. The Brazilians at my office always buy the best cakes. Time to stay strong!

A Weekend of Clubbing in Cancun

Jorge had to work the graveyard shift Friday and Saturday. Since I don’t like being in the house by myself all night, I decided to make the most of it and spend each night out!

 

Friday Night in Party Center

I met up with Nadia for a girls night out at SeΓ±or Frog’s in Cancun’s Party Center. Can you believe I’d never been there after living here 7 years? I’d always heard it had a crazy party atmosphere, but I think we might have gone on a dull night. There were plenty of people and the music was good, but it wasn’t what I was expecting it to be.

I will say that the guys there were a bit… um… “agressive”, and I felt pretty uncomfortable the whole time we were there. We even had this conversation:

Argentinean Guy: You guys should really try this drink I just ordered! It’s so good!

Nadia and Me: Umm, no thanks.

Argentinean Guy: No really! It’s good for your heart.

Nadia and Me: No, no thanks.

After the weird Argentinean drink incident and several other frightening moments, I’ve come to the conclusion that women should never go to SeΓ±or Frog’s unless they’re with a large group or there’s a guy present.

Senor Frog's

Next we walked up the strip to Congo, my personal favorite. It was packed (as always), but at one point they turned the fans off and it got so hot that we wandered next door to XX Bar. I love XX, although it gets so crowded that it’s hard to dance much. There were tons of people there and everyone was having the best time, plus they play a lot of hip hop, which I love to dance to (even if I’m really bad at it)

A very blurry XX Bar

We also saw a guy who looked exactly like Peeta from Hunger Games. I really wanted to get a picture with him, but I didn’t want to freak the poor guy out.

All in all, I only spent $130 pesos the entire night (about $10 US dollars)! Since Nadia and I don’t drink, we just chose Party Center clubs that don’t charge cover, then didn’t order anything while we were there. We did buy some bottled water at the Oxxo between clubs, though, and we got some snacks at Surfin Burrito before we went home.

 

Saturday Night in Downtown Cancun

I went out to celebrate my friend Grelty’s birthday at Dubai, a popular nightclub for locals in downtown Cancun. While tourists usually dress pretty casual to go to the club in Party Center (I wore shorts and flip flops on Friday, for example), locals loooove to get all dressed up in their most sparkly outfits and their highest heels. I fit right in:

Sparkly top? Check. New jeans? Check. Sky-high heels? Check.

At Dubai, nobody gets too crazy because Cancun is a small town, and you probably know/work with/went to college with half of the people there. Mostly it’s just locals wearing cool outfits and dancing a lot, which I don’t mind at all!

Benja, Penny and Jhonny

Me, Nelly and gorgeous birthday girl Grelty

Penny and me πŸ™‚

At Dubai, I only spent $40 pesos (about $3 US dollars). I ordered a bottle of water, which Jhonny generously offered to pay for, and I only had to pay for my cab ride home!

That’s just $13 dollars for 4 nightclubs plus Surfin Burrito! Transportation included! It may not be for everybody, but not drinking at the club can be a huge money saver. πŸ™‚

Bonus: I even managed to get up on time for church Sunday morning.

What are the nightclubs like where you live?

Because Mayans in Body Paint Make for Great Photos

Happy Friday!

Today I just want to share an interview I did for Mexico Today with Bruny Schoener, one of the creators of the upcoming Mayan Tibetan Cultural Encounter. The event will be held at the amazing Hacienda Tres Rios resort in September.

Check out my article by clicking on the image:

The Story behind the Mayan Tibetan Cultural Encounter

I’ll be attending the event in a few weeks, and I can’t wait to take my own pics and share them with you guys! This is especially exciting because I’ve been dying to see Hacienda Tres Rios resort for years now. I mean come on… eco park AND luxury resort? Who can say no to that?

It's like the mother ship is calling me home.

*drool*

Have a great weekend everybody!

 

Reader Photo Request: Falling in Love with Mexico

Continuing with the Reader Photo Requests, Lisa of Seeking So(u)l asked to see a photo that represents the moment I knew I was in love with Mexico. (GREAT request!)

I can still remember the first time I ever saw Mexico. The summer after my high school graduation, I went to Acapulco to work as a missionary intern at a street child center and an orphanage. It was an amazing and extremely challenging summer that has lots of great memories for me, but that’s a story for another time.

I vividly remember the car ride that took me from the Acapulco airport all the way over to the other side of the city when I first landed. I was overwhelmed by the bay views from the highway, and as I rode along the Costera (Acapulco’s main street that goes along the beach), I instantly fell in love with the high rise resorts and the beachy vibe. Ever since that moment, I knew that tourism was going to be my passion.

Now, here I am in Cancun, another Mexico destination filled with beautiful beaches and immense resorts, working in the tourism industry just like I dreamed 8 years ago.

I combed through my Acapulco photos (printed, not digital… that’s how long ago it was) and couldn’t find a picture of the bay I fell in love with, so here’s a photo I stole from Google:

I love that city.