Mayan Animal Art and Other Surprises

So I have a 3-day weekend coming up, and it is going to be epic.

Spring Break is going strong in Cancun, so we might swing by Party Center one evening to see all the craziness. There will also be a wedding and at least two beach trips. I can’t wait!

The most exciting part is our Trash The Dress photo shoot this weekend at a surprise location. (Can’t say where it is just yet… but rest assured it’s STUNNING and I’ve been working on my tan.) If you want to follow along with my photo shoot this Sunday, I’ll be live tweeting, so follow me on Twitter at @CancunGringa.

I’ll leave you for the weekend with some pics of some new wall decor we hung in our living room last week. We bought these little critters on our trip to Ek Balam back in 2010, and we’re just now getting around to hanging them.

I have a penchant for small reptiles, as well as brightly colored animal figurines. (It occurs to me that y’all have yet to see my alebrije collection! Soon!)

Kitchen Mini-Makeover

**For anyone who has ever wanted to see Jorge figure skating, check out my sister Sarah’s blog, Nerdy and I Know It! She recently had a photoshop contest, and I won. 🙂

 

The last few months, we’ve been doing a lot of changes to the house we’re renting. (About time, too… we’ve been there almost 2 years!) We finally have the furniture we need in the living room, so now we can spend most of our time downstairs instead of upstairs.

This week, we got shelves in our kitchen, and it is AMAZING. We have a teeny tiny, one-sided galley kitchen with minimal storage space and only 1 small square of counter space. Since we had nowhere to put our toaster oven, canisters, juicer and blender, they were all kind of stacked on top of eachother on the counter, cutting my tiny counter in half.

Now my counter space has gone from impossibly small to kind of small, and I’m so excited! We also had hooks put in under the shelves, so now all my pretty hot pads are on display (2 years after I got them), and our pans don’t have to be stored in the oven anymore.

 

Our Backyard Makeover: Before and After

So waaaay back in August I told ya’ll that we were going to redo the backyard, which we did! I hadn’t gotten around to taking pictures of it until this weekend, mainly because I am stuck in the office during daylight hours. But now I finally have the “After” shots!

Here’s the “before”:

And here are the “afters”…

Unfortunately, the grass was damaged by the recent “Backyard Pool” incident. Then again, it wasn’t growing in well to begin with! If anyone has advice on growing grass, I’m all ears.

We’d also like to paint the walls white, and eventually remove the potted tree and potted bush. We’re still thinking that one over, though… we really hate that tree, but it does provide good shade. We’d replace the tree with my new orchid tree. After my last post on it, a reader (Thanks, Pauline!) identified it as an orchid tree, not a plant, which is very exciting! No shade from that baby for a few more years, though. 🙁

The total cost for this makeover, including palm plants, grass, dirt and patio, was somewhere around $300 US. Not bad, eh?

Dear Neighbors… Seriously?

So our house has been consistently invaded by animals this year, but I can’t figure out if they’re drawn to us out of love or hatred. Either way, they love hanging out there.

First there were the cockroaches and slugs (still there, but in much smaller quantities). Then, there were the evil cats (who no longer poop in our planter, thanks for all the tips!). I also saw a teeny tiny frog in the kitchen last week, but at least he was cute. Now… ok, I seriously can’t even explain this one. My Facebook and Twitter friends already know that one of our neighbors a few houses down has acquired a rooster.

A ROOSTER.

A ROOSTER THAT CROWS.

A ROOSTER THAT HAS LEARNED TO CLIMB NOT ONE, BUT SEVERAL BACKYARD WALLS.

Apparently our house is a Mecca for Yucatan wildlife.

What animal do you think will be next? Place your bets!

Around the House

Jorge and I have been spending the last few weeks trying to get the house together so we can finally actually USE the house instead of spending most of the time watching TV upstairs.

Currently our living room has our nice new sofas pushed face-forward against the wall because the dogs are home alone during the day and we don’t want them jumping on there. We also had our coffee table recently finished… it’s STUNNING! (and currently residing in our back room where all our storage stuff is) I’ll try to remember to post pictures of it soon.

In order to reclaim our living room from the dogs, we have to spruce up our backyard to make it liveable for them so they can stay there during the day. Luckily our backyard already has nice shade from a small tree whose branches spread out over most of the yard. Right now it’s half gravel, half dirt… we plan on changing it to half patio, half grass, with some nice plants thrown in there. We also desperately need to paint the walls.

As you can see, it needs work. Hopefully by the end of this weekend, it will be a miniature doggy paradise (or next weekend, depending on if we can find someone to lay the floor by… today)

So that’s the plan for the next few days: create incredible backyard for the dogs, reclaim living room, live happily ever after.

Oh, and my neighbor across the street gave us a plant in a hanging coconut. It’s the cutest thing ever! We hung it from the tree in our front patio and it’s started to bloom:

So that’s what’s going on around our house. Do you have any house projects right now?

An Insincere Apology to Cat Owners Everywhere

So Jorge hates cats. This hatred goes all the way back to childhood, when the neighborhood street cats would tear open his family’s garbage bags and litter the remains outside their front gate.

In our current neighborhood, several of our neighbors have cats that they let roam free. We didn’t have a problem with this until they started pooping in our planter.

Tired of cleaning up cat poop (why does our life seem to center around animal feces?) and having a smelly front patio, Jorge came up with a Master Plan.

Chili powder.

Excited and with just a hint of crazy in his eyes, Jorge picked up a small bottle of chili powder at Walmart last night. It was time to put the Master Plan into effect.

He scattered a line of chili powder around all the edges of the planter so the cats would have no choice but to land in it if they wanted to poop in our dirt. I heard him mutter, “Espero que esos cabrones vengan HOY.” (“I hope those bastards come TONIGHT.”)