Shana Tova!

In what is most definitely a blanket generalization of Miami geography and cliche- Miami is where most of the hispanic community is based and on Miami Beach you come across a more transient crowd, but also it’s a high Jewish population.

So with that said when we were looking for preschools there was 1 or 2 Catholic options, but we wanted Montessori and we settled on this great preschool based out of a Temple.  I’m not very religious (we can discuss this later) but I come from a long long line of very rule abiding Catholics.  As you can imagine- this was a problem for certain members of my family.  But for us it wasn’t.  The school was packed with love and God is God people.

Well let’s circle back to the point.   We had been living on the beach for a couple years at this point, and right around Rosh Hashanah our car rides were filled with songs about apples and honey and Shabbat Shalom and we were happy.

Rosh Hashanah morning my daughter wakes up so excited and runs out of her room saying “Shana Tova mama Shana Tova, when are we going to Temple?” (Shana Tova means “a good year”).  I realized in the moment that it may have come time for a little talk.  Before I could get a round to it there was a knock at my door. I walk over and open it up.

There before me is a man dressed in a button down, dress pants, a hat and a full beard.  “Shana Tova” he begins, “Is your family Jewish?”  Traditionally these men are going around collecting money on the holiday.

“Good Morning,” I reply, “no I’m sorry we aren’t but…” I couldn’t finish my sentence before my daughter has come running to the front door.  She looks up at him smiling eyes wide open, “Shana Tova Rabbi!”

The man looks back at me in disgust like I am a dirty liar.  I laugh nervously, “No you see we send her to the Temple down the…”

She cuts me off again, “I love your Shofar” {for those who don’t know it’s a Ram’s horn used in certain Jewish ceremonies}.  Now this guy is looking at me.

I only had one thing left to say at this point, “Let me go get my checkbook”.

Happy Easter

Have you ever wondered how the mystical Easter Bunny came to be? Why each and every Easter you find yourself scouring Target or Walgreens looking for plastic eggs and candy? As if our lives are not busy enough, we have to take these plastic eggs, break them apart, fill them with said candy, and somehow try to get them to snap back together again to hide around the yard? I asked myself these questions typically in a more vulgar way each and every Easter.   Then, one year, something happened and it led me to a rather strong theory.

I grew up Catholic.  What I mean when I say that is, I attended Catholic private school from 5 years old up until 18.  I went to church every Sunday, no questions asked. My grandfather is a Deacon at our church, and he and my grandmother attended Church every day when I was growing up.  He still does.

The Catholic Church had its rules, its beliefs, its stories and each day in class we were given an hour of religion to learn it all.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved it. Being an over achieving, type A, teacher’s pet- I ate this up. I learned all the Bible passages, recited all the prayers, and on holidays like Christmas and Easter I was the first one to put on the very puffy dress and run to mass.  I took everything the nuns, priests, teachers, and my grandfather said as concrete truth, and never ever questioned it. Would not have even thought to question it. It all happened. Facts.

So imagine my surprise as I was having a conversation with my oldest daughter, Blake, a couple of years back.  It was a typical weekday at this point in time they were 5, 4, and 2 ½ . Our house was in total disarray, toy bins were dumped over and no one was wearing pants.  I had just given the kids dinner and most of it was on the floor, and the rest was all over them. Naturally it was bath time. I wrestled the three of them into the bath and started to fill it with water and toys.  

Easter was coming, and the girls were so excited.  Blake especially was ready. She wanted to know all the plans for the weekend, because like a true competitor she wanted to plan her egg hunt strategy.  However the conversation took a strange turn.

“Mommy, why do we celebrate Easter.”

I had this answer down pact.  Walk in the park. I had basically been reciting this for most of my life.  I looked her right in the eyes and said, “Well baby, we are celebrating Jesus, rising from the dead.” {Nailed it.}

“What? Rising from the dead? What do you mean?” She asks so innocently.

“Yes baby.  A long time ago, no one believed Jesus was the son of God, and they killed him.  Then on the third day he rose from the dead and that is why we celebrate Easter.”

There was a long silence as she kind of just stared at me.  As an adult reciting this story, I do see how someone could have doubts about this.  But hey! That’s the story I had, so I gave it to her. I could see her brain working, and she said:

“So… Jesus is a zombie?”

BOOM!

My entire Catholic upbringing flashed before my eyes.  All the crucifixes. All the reading (and sometimes performing) of the Stations of the Cross.  Jesus is a zombie. Zombie Jesus. How did I never catch that? In all the years of hearing this story, how had I not seen it?

Then I brought myself back to my reality a tiny person staring up at me asking again.  “Mommy, is Jesus a zombie?”

I was now a parent of a child who was not in Catholic school (we can talk about this another time) and here she was barely out of Kindergarten questioning the story behind Easter.  What was I supposed to say?  Then it hit me. I looked right at my daughter and completely ignored the question and said, “Blake how excited are you for the egg hunt? Wow where are we going to look for eggs first?”

It all makes sense.  The whole egg hunt thing for Easter.  If parents put candy in plastic eggs and throw it around the backyard, the kids don’t have time to think about the story behind the holiday.  They definitely don’t have time to question it. They just take it as is and rejoice!

Jesus rose from the dead and now there are Kit Kats and Peeps everywhere.  Bravo to the parents who came before. The distraction method. Genius. Happy Easter!

 

Thanksgiving: A How to

I know what you’re thinking.  Who the F is this girl to be dishing out any advice about how to host at all, let alone Thanksgiving.  You aren’t totally wrong.  I would think that too if I were you.  You probably have yet to become privy to the fact that I love Thanksgiving.  I love it so intensely and most definitely in a way that totally crossed weird years ago.

I love hosting it.  It’s one of the only aspects in my life that I want to exert complete control over.   The reason I give to people for hosting, I love bringing families together.   The real reason: no house that we visited ever had all the food that I wanted to eat on Thanksgiving.  I look forward to this food all year.  As my best friend Selena says, “The heart wants what it wants.”

Ok, it’s a combination of both of these things.  I love being around family, and I love good food.  Thanksgiving gives me both of these things.  We are all extremely blessed, and at minimum we should take a day to really express that to each other.

I was terrified the first time I was going to make a turkey.   Don’t let the turkey intimidate you.  They are just big chickens! Give them a little love and cook them the right amount of time and you will appear to be a master chef to your guests.  Also, the way the markets sell them now, all of the “giblets” and other things are super easy to take out and very obvious.  Trust me- you will be able to do it.

I’ve made many mistakes over my last 8 years of hosting my own Thanksgiving.  Picked up some lessons and think that at least one of you will find at least one thing useful here.  So here it is, my how to host Thanksgiving crash course.

The Turkey- Go Buy One!

Today is the Friday before our current Thanksgiving (2018).  Depending on the size of your turkey, you may need to go buy it.  In a really hard way- I learned turkeys need more than one day to thaw (correctly).   Most stores are selling you a frozen turkey, and you need to let it thaw out in your fridge (on a cookie sheet or pan to avoid juice spilling).  You need a full 24 hour of thaw time for each 4 lbs of turkey.   I typically do at least a pound a person minimum and always round up about 2-3 lbs- having leftovers is the priority people! If you didn’t make a full on Thanksgiving sandwich the next day- you failed the mission.

Now for all of you who like to live on the edge (or don’t have a ton of fridge space like most of us)- there is a way to thaw it quicker.  I’ve definitely done it this way multiple times, and always say a little prayer of thanks for sending us Martha Stewart.  Click HERE to have Martha’s people walk you through this.

My Favorite Turkey Recipe

It can come from the one and only, Ina Garten.  Not to change the subject, but do you think Ina and Martha are friends? I like to imagine them in Ina’s cottage having BLT sandwiches and Chardonnay swapping recipes…… ok sorry I’m back.

Click HERE for this recipe, it is AMAZING! It requires no extra prep time.  You can literally take your turkey out, clean it, remove all the stuff, pat dry and add these ingredients and the turkey comes out delicious.

People swear by brining the turkey, sounds cool and it really does help keep the turkey juicy- but it’s not necessary at all.  If you have time and like it- great, but don’t stress it.

When cooking the turkey, I like to  baste it every hour.  Set a timer on your phone or with Alexa.   But don’t baste it right before you take it out, you need to let the skin crisp a bit.

Most Important Tip: Let the turkey REST! I once saw Chef Michael Symon (yes, I’m Chef obsessed and I groupie out on them when I meet them).  Either way he gave an entire lecture on this, on The Chew (I’m rockstar cool)- let it rest covered under foil for at least 40 minutes before carving.

If you are Stuffing the Turkey Read This 

The first year- I mastered my turkey.  Now the second year I wanted to get fancy and make stuffing to put into my turkey.  How cool am I? (if you want to unfollow me now I understand).

Important tip- whatever stuffing you are going to put into your turkey.  Do not stuff the turkey with anything warm.  If you put hot/warm things into your turkey’s cavity it could make everyone sick.  Let it cool down, ideally make it the day before and have it completely cold before stuffing it.

Let’s Talk Sides

What constitutes a good side for Thanksgiving is very debatable.  I leave it to you to pick and choose what works for your family and friends.

This year I am hosing 10 adults and 5 kids going with my favorite Mac n Cheese Recipe,  Sweet Potato Casserole, Roasted Corn, Brussel Sprouts and Arroz y Frijoles (because my Abuelo demands it).

Table Top and Serveware

As much as I love cooking and getting all the food ready for Thanksgiving.  I always struggle a little on setting the table.  I’ve gotten much better, and I completely credit my sister-in-law as my guiding light.  She is constantly showing me how to adult.  While I do not come close to her flawless tabletop abilities, I have found a few tricks to make a nice table with minimal effort.

For starters the flowers.  A few different things you can do

  • Beautiful and Cheap: Grabbing a few beautiful flowers at the market and arranging them at home is always your cheapest bet, and will always add a little special touch.
  • Gorgeous and A little more $: I’m actually not the best flower sorter.  I mean, I can get the job done, but it’s aight.  For events like this I typically turn to House of Lilac.  She actually gives great Thanksgiving Decor Tips HERE. I will have a few of her bud vases or small arrangements delivered and put them on the table, and right off the bat my table looks much more polished.  She is also making some pretty outrageous Garlands for anyone wanting to really take it up a 1000 notches.

Let’s Talk Serveware

Having collected a few solid pieces of Serveware really makes everything look more put together.   I love to pick up pieces at either CB2 or Target both have a good range of items that compliment each other, and aren’t too expensive.

YOU MUST Delegate

You’re taking on a lot hosting Thanksgiving! The people coming know that and want to help you.  Let your people help you.  Let them bring an appetizer, a side, desert, and wine.

MOST IMPORTANT TIP: If you’re assigning wine- make sure you assign it to someone who understands the assignment and not the one who will bring the cheap gross shit that no one wants to drink.

Finally- ENJOY!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!! Hope your family only had a little drama- you know the kind to keep you entertained but not earth shattering.

Love,

Cristina

 

 

 

 

 

SW 30: Election Day!

Vote for Pedro!!!

You want to know what October- December feels like for me? Well it feels like I jumped onto a treadmill to do some mild exercise and midway through someone started bumping up the speed on me and I cannot jump off.

You know exactly what I mean.  You have finally convinced yourself that running on the treadmill is a good idea.  So you begrudgingly jump on, and start out at a brisk jog somewhere around a 5.0.  You can do this all day.  Just play a little Beyonce and the time will fly by in no time.

Cue Halloween.  First it was getting three different Halloween costumes, plus figuring out what they can wear to school for the “character parade”.  Suddenly I’m bumped up to a 5.5 and we still need to take them trick or treating.

Alright we got this, 5.5 on the treadmill and we have survived Halloween.  I look at my calendar and see Thanksgiving is a week early this year- and I’m now on a hard run at 6.0.  I love Thanksgiving! It’s my absolute favorite holiday, so why does it feel like I’m now starting to sprint- who the F turned me up to a 7.0. Oh- I did.  I for whatever reason volunteered to make the turkey for not one but BOTH of my daughter’s classes.  Apparently I’m a masochist.

December 1 is my son’s 5th birthday- there’s the 7.5

Plus all these stores with their Christmas countdowns- are they trying to get me to go on anti-anxiety meds- because I will! I don’t need to know when there is 100 days to Christmas- I live with 3 tiny mutants who constantly remind me it’s coming. Now I’m sprinting on an 9.0 and I cannot get off.

On top of all this I am still somehow expected to continue to help my 1st grade daughter with her homework with both of our dignities in tact.  I must still be a good wife, daughter, sister and friend.  Plus I’m supposed to shower.

Remind me to never get on a treadmill again.  To all of you out there who are also sprinting- we got this.  One step at a time.

I rounded up some HILARIOUS videos about voting along with some other headlines to distract us for all this sprinting we are doing.

xx
Cristina

Rock the Vote 

Today is the day! The day that all of these really annoying commercials and attack ads will stop and let us be for about a month before campaigning starts for 2020.  Also ifNikki Minaj and Cardi B can call a truce… isn’t it about time we all just get along?

On a quick serious note, no matter which side you land on, I hope you vote today or found a time to early vote.  There are a lot of things happening right now, and we can’t afford to sit this one out.

Pete Davidson (you may know him as the guy who was engaged to Ariana Grande for a second) broke down some of the midterm candidates on SNL this week.  For anyone on the fence- this won’t help at all but it’s hilarious.

For any Democrats feeling like they got this in the bag or Republicans wanting to laugh check out THIS video or click the image below.

If you think Pete Davidson is as funny as I do- check him out HERE breaking down his thoughts after Kanye had that recent breakdown a couple weeks back.

Standouts of the Week 

Sexiest Man Alive. Praise be, Idris Elba has been named the Sexiest Man Alive. Check out the full article HERE.
All Hail, Jenny From the Mother F’ing Block. She’s turning 50 and looking better than ever.  Also she found a new green dress to spark controversy in. Check out her interview with Instyle HERE.

In the Shallow.  If you are still thinking about this movie (A Star is Born), as I would imagine most of you are- I have good news.  Now you too can achieve Bradley Cooper’s dirty cowboy look.  Click HERE to rock his look.

Did You Get The Shoe of The Season? Post Malone has released a collaboration with Crocs and before you judge- it sold out in 10 minutes. His AP ain’t the only thing goin’ Pyscho. Full story HERE.

Tell Me What You Want What You Really Really Want.  Spice Girls Reunion Tour has officially been announced.  All your favorite spices Sporty, Scary, Baby and Ginger have signed on, but don’t expect an appearance from Posh.  Before any of you get bent out of shape, I wouldn’t be eager to tour around and be away from Davide Beckham either #teamposh Full story HERE.


Meghan Markle is of course pregnant, and totally adorable.  So as a nice break in politics here is a picture of her just because.

TV Addict Update  

As we have established, time and time again, I watch too much TV.

What’s on my list to watch next? Making A Murderer 2 (thanks to Jenny Gonzalez for this rec)
Have a suggestion? Let me know

Homecoming: (Amazon Prime) Julia Robert’s new show is absolutely thrilling! The episodes are only 26 minutes which I absolutely love (remember I’m on a fast moving treadmill right now) and while I only just finished episode 4 it’s all I can think about. Definitely worth the watch.

The Nineties: (Netflix) A documentary about everything that made the 90’s great! The first two are about 90’s TV- so obviously I am bias when I tell you MUST WATCH!

Idiocracy
a form of government in which a country or territory is run by fools
My eyes are now wide open and now realize I’ve been used to spread messages I don’t believe in. I am distancing myself from politics and completely focusing on being creative !!!
Jimmy and Justin and Jessica, Oh MY! Who knows Justin best? #bff #hilarious #pineapple
Jimmy and Benedict Cumberbatch try not to laugh watching youtube clips

Insert Confidence Here.

Confidence is a funny, funny thing.  I have to believe that even the most confident people we know are faking it some of the time.  I don’t believe there is anyone who is 100% confident in what they are doing all of the time- and if there is someone out there, I have to assume they’re an idiot.

A little over three weeks ago, I got a less than stellar review on my writing.  This is obviously not the first, as a few months ago one man emailed me to tell me how my blog was the “worse thing” he’s “ever read”,  and I know it will not be the last. However, reviews from strangers seem to sting a little less than when you hear criticism from someone you respect.  

This particular review came from a person that matters to me a great deal (please excuse me as I am in the midst of a deep Downton Abbey binge and I now speak like there is a little old Countess from 19th century Yorkshire living inside of me).  

I hold this person in very high regard and I value this person’s opinion more than most people I know.  This person has gone on to tell me that they didn’t like my newsletter, and didn’t find that I was very funny in it.  This hurt deeply.

Now don’t get me wrong here, I am acutely aware that I have flaws.  Many flaws. I see a therapist often enough to have a very long list of all the ways I come up short.  This review really struck a chord in me, and when it came time to write a newsletter the following week, I just couldn’t.

Each week I put a little piece of myself out into the universe, and I definitely do not expect everyone to like it.  Just as I don’t expect everyone I meet to think I’m irresistibly charming, just most people. I’m kidding {sort of}. So why has this review gotten so under my skin?

I write because I love it.  I write because sometimes I have so many thoughts that run through my mind if I don’t get them out I may malfunction.  Thoughts about the tiniest, and I mean minuscule details of my day- that if I don’t write some of these thoughts down, my brain may just overload.  

I write because I like to make light of things and find the funniest way to look at certain situations.  I think laughter does more for our soul than almost anything. Humor can make everyday things a little more fun.  Humor can bring a much needed moment of levity during tragedy or grant a moment of relief when things seem dark.  That small moment can be what helps get you through the day.

I like to make people laugh.  Life is tough. Sometimes we can work ourselves in a ball of stress over big or even little things.  Laughter grants us some perspective, and when you are parenting this perspective is crucial.

A few years ago, I was in the battle of a lifetime potty training our middle daughter, Dylan.  I had undressed my older daughter, Blake, and placed her in the bathtub and placed Dylan on the toilet seat to do #2 before putting her in the tub with her sister.  I was feeling proud of myself because experience had shown me this was wise if I didn’t want an another accident in the tub (I definitely had more accidents in the tub).   I gave instructions to Dylan that I would be right back as I had to go get our baby, Tristan from his playpen to join them. There I was humming along to Pharell’s “Happy” (that song was non-stop in my house at the time), in a jolly mood when suddenly I was stepping in something smushy.   Apparently Dylan had already done #2… in my hallway…. and I was now stepping in it. Literally. Stepping. In. SHIT. I was a living cliché.

If you cannot laugh at stepping in poop, barefoot, in the hallway of your home- you will not survive parenting my friend.  At least not with your sanity.

Any how, back to that person who slammed my newsletter.  Truthfully I was really angry with that person. I used this negative review as a legitimate reason not to write anymore. However, I was wrong.  My friend had an opinion, and there is nothing wrong with that. 

It got to me, because I have a raging insecurity and anxiety about my writing.  This review was my worst nightmare.  If my dear friend could not like my newsletter- what do other people think?  I couldn’t find the confidence to send another one out.  That’s on me.  I shouldn’t allow someone else’s opinion, good or bad, affect me to the point that I stop doing something I want to do.

I love to write. I hope other people love to read it, or even just like it when they’re bored at work or waiting for an appointment somewhere. Either way- whether people like it or not, I am going to keep doing it as much as I can.

I got these two negative reviews, and they pushed me to completely overlook the love and support from so many others.  Starting this blog and the newsletter have allowed me the chance to make new friendships and have so many hilarious conversations with people from all over.  A perk that I did not ever see coming.

Why is it that we tend to focus on the negative, when we are constantly surrounded by so much positive?  

I guess we can leave that for another day.

I am going to promise that I will try my best to not allow someone else’s opinion affect me this way again.  

xx

Cristina

SW 28: {10.1.18} It’s October!

Welcome to the Twilight Zone

I had an entire intro prepared for you today that got completely side tracked by a comment my father made at dinner last night.

We were discussing all the new pilots we watched that week {this should not be a surprise to you} and the conversation suddenly turned into the funniest sitcoms of all time.  I love a funniest sitcom of all time conversation! As you can imagine we threw out all the obvious contenders Friends, Modern Family, Lucy, Golden Girls, How I Met Your Mother, The Goldbergs, and maybe you have now started to notice that Seinfeld is not on this list.  Seinfeld is on EVERYONE’s top comedy list. Right?

Are you sitting down? My father has unequivocally declared that Seinfeld is not funny.  He even specifically calls out the Soup Nazi as the prime example for “boring”.  My father literally stood up, threw air quotes around “No soup for you” and said “that is absolutely not funny.”

The table gave a resounding “are you FORKING kidding me?” Someone even did an Elaine dancing.  The puffy shirt!

Who was this man? My father?

I was so disenchanted.  You have to understand my father is my first comedy hero.  He can make ANYONE laugh no matter the scenario- if he wants to.  A gift truly.  My father does not like Jerry Seinfeld and do not even get him started on Larry David.  His head almost exploded at the mere mention of Larry’s name.

How can one of my comic heroes, truly despise another one of my comic heroes?  Made me wonder.  If I brought Jerry to have dinner with my family would Jerry think my father was funny?

Then I moved onto a much funnier fantasy that involved locking my dad in a room with Larry David with a TV that only plays The Big Bang Theory (because obviously they both hate that one) and see who makes it out alive.

Seems like everything was absolutely bat shit crazy this last week.  I mean the news cycle was one delusional outlandish thing after the other.  Cover most of the craziest moments below, and included a few other things that give us hope and make us laugh.

xx
Cristina

Breast Cancer Awareness Month 

HOPEFUL NEWS

The aim of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is to raise as much awareness about breast cancer and funds to help people fight it.

In a very brave and beautiful way Serena Williams is helping raise awareness with a new campaign she did in collaboration with the I Touch Myself Project to remind women to put their health first.    She can be seen singing  “I Touch Myself” acapella and topless.  To help spread the word on the importance of women giving themselves a self-exam.

You can check out the Breast Cancer Network Australia

or you can visit the National Breast Cancer Foundation or Susan G. Komen to find out what to look for or make at home or make a donation in the fight against breast cancer.

Shit Was CRAZY this Last Week 

Anyone want a beer?  Too soon to joke? We can all agree that what is happening with the nomination for Supreme Court is disheartening and disturbing for many many reasons.

So thank God for Saturday Night Live.  It’s controversial obviously people are offended- but I think they really sort of nailed it. Click the image for the link.

Lindsay Lohan can Speak Russian and Arabic?  How do I know? So glad you asked! Lindsay was live on her Instagram when she found a family of Syrian (assumed) refugees sleeping on the ground.  Lindsay proceeded to harass this family for 10 minutes, ultimately accusing them of trafficking the children.  Boy was she wrong.  At around the 9:00 mark the mother of these boys literally punches Lindsay in the face. I CANNOT MAKE THIS SHIT UP. Find that HERE.

Love Yourself As Much As Kanye Loves Kanye. Kanye (let the record show he now wants you to refer to him as Ye, but I think it’s ridiculous and will not participate) was the musical guest o SNL over the weekend.  He brought on some of the cast and host, Adam Driver and then well… you can watch HERE The reason this is really striking the wrong cord with, well, everyone besides maybe Donald Trump, is he said the 13th Amendment should be abolished. Later on Twitter he said “amended” but you can see the problem…

I definitely need to increase how much I save monthly.     Elon Mosk stepping down as chairman of Tesla and had to pay a $20 million fine.  Full article HERE. How does one afford a $20 Million fine?!  #hottamale

Some Happy Thoughts

Anyone need a laugh? I know after this shit show I do. Well Buzzfeed is here to serve, here are 14 tweets from the weekend that are just funny. Click HERE.

Ina Garten is out with a new cookbook, Cook Like a Pro! If you don’t absolutely love Ina, it’s because you don’t know her well enough.  I won’t walk that back.  It’s true.  She’s wonderful.  Hugging her is on my bucket list.  Don’t believe me, HERE is a lovely article about her, and it’s lovely because obviously an article about her would have to be.

On a Scale of 1-10 Millie Bobby Brown is an 11.  Ok cheesy very obvious jokes aside, Millie, Millie Bobby (not sure what to call her) took the stage at a Maroon 5 in Nashville in place of our girl, Cardi Cardi, and Millie killed it! Check that HERE. Because any excuse to hear “Girls Like You.”

God Bless My Little Balls!  One of my most favorite Bestie x Besite episodes ever! Jenny Slate and Gabe Liedman try to come up with a new catch phrase.

TV Addict Update  

As we have established, time and time again, I watch too much TV.

What’s on my list to watch next?  I need a new show! What do you got?!
Have a suggestion? Let me know

HERE is a good list c/o Thrillist of suggestions for things you can quickly binge on Netflix if you’re looking for a good binge post Jack Ryan.

Manifest: This show was my favorite pilot of the week.  I came in with high expectations because there was the comparison to Lost, BUT it had a good twist.  I’m intrigued and love the characters.  I would definitely recommend. (find on NBC and Hulu)

Single Parents: I thought there was no chance that Blair Waldorff could be funny- but I was so wrong.  It’s a sitcom comedy so everyone take it for what it is.  An easy 20 minutes with some decent jokes.  Also I’m just a sucker for Brad Garrett- everything he does is hysterical to me. (ABC and Hulu)

A Million Little Things: The life of a group of friends post one of their friends taking his life.  It’s just as sad as it sounds.  I feel like it’s ABC’s answer to This is Us only with an even more depressing plot if possible.  Look people liked this one, and there is something that happens in the Pilot that kind of traps you into the next one.  This show will either surprise everyone and be incredible or be the absolute biggest piece of shit ever. #tbd #stillgoingtowatch (ABC and Hulu)

New Amsterdam: People really loved this one.  The main character is the husband from Blacklist (totally adorable he just has that weird hot nerd vibe), and it’s a totally ideal premise.  There are so many cheesy turns in the Pilot that would normally make me hate it- but I didn’t.  I’m in for the next episode.  I don’t recommend it seriously, but if you are looking for a decent medical drama with major predictability- this is your jam.

Delusional:
characterized by or holding idiosyncratic beliefs or impressions that are contradicted by reality or rational argument, typically as a symptom of mental disorder.based on or having faulty judgment; mistaken.

the being formally known as Kanye West

I am YE

Late Night part happy and mind numbing and the other makes you want to bash your head through the wall. #america
Jimmy and Chrissy answer Loaded Questions and take shots to avoid giving answers #happy
John Oliver giving a synopsis of what happened this week
#twilightzone

SW XXVII {9.25.18} Sorry I’m Late

I Got Lost In the Back to School Activities/Play Dates/Tutoring/Something Navy Launch Shuffle

Do you smell that in the air? If you live in Miami it may just be the humidity BUT also it’s NEW TV!!!!!

I love Fall.  Fall usually brings cooler temps, sweaters, boots, and hot coffee.  While these insanely warm temperatures preclude most of what Fall was supposed to bring us it can’t ruin FALL TV!

I will be busy watching all week (you can see my must watch list below)…. plus trying really hard to manage the schedules of three kids who make more play dates and have more activities than most CEO’s.

When we were little did we boss around our parents this much?   Or were our parents just meaner/smarter than us, and said no? I can’t tell.  I’ve gone from mom to shuttle bus quick.

Anyway… I’ll keep this brief today we are discussing the art of an apology, the Hadids, Chrissy Tiegen, and how Fall TV brings out my best TV addict skills.

See you next week!

xx
Cristina

The Apology Police is Working Overtime

Ever been in an argument with your significant other where you know you are right? As you can imagine this happens to me often.  Our life in a nutshell: my husband and I are arguing- I’m right- and the time comes for him to apologize. 

I’ve always thought that my husband’s apologies were subpar.  I love him- I almost always forgive him- but mediocre apology at best.  He always defended his apologies saying I was not the apology police and that his “sorry” was just fine.

So imagine how ecstatic I was to find there is an actual Apology Critic.   Sorry Watch, founded by Susan McCArthy and Marjorie Ingall in 2012, is an entire site dedicated to breaking down public apologies. I obviously spent more than an appropriate amount of time on this site.   In a very smart and almost always hilarious way they condemn the shitty apologies but always issue praise when deserved.  

How it works? Remember a week or two ago when Revolve featured an image from an upcoming collaboration between Lena Dunham and a brand LPA {FIND THAT DRAMA HERE} where there was a practically perfect model wearing a sweatshirt that said “Fat is not beautiful it is an excuse.” Well LPA and Revolve issued apologies that were a little less than acceptable if you ask me- but you don’t have to they rated it HERE.

So what’a my takeaway here? In the event that I’m ever wrong again {unlikely} I will have a place to go and fine tune my apology skills.

For those wanting a short hand a couple of psychologists on Mind Tools would agree this is what you need to form a proper apology:
1- Express Remorse: “I’m Sorry”
2- Admit Responsibility: Empathize and take responsibility
3- Make Amends: take action make the situation right
4- Promise it Won’t Happen Again: or try to change behavior

It’s a full moon guys…. we could all probably improve our sorry game.

Standouts of the Week 

The Hadids Do Dinner. It’s the dinner party you can’t miss.  Gigi, Bella and their brother, Anwar have dinner with their mother, Yolanda in this AMAZING Beetlejiice parody.  Watch it HERE or click the image.

Chrissy Tiegen is Going to Hit a Bullseye! You see what I did there? Because she is coming out with a Target Line. The line is appropriately called, Cravings, after her best selling cookbook.  It has very pretty things to prep, cook and serve your guests.  Check out the entire line HERE and you can get shopping September 30!

Millenials Are Lovers! It would appear that Millenials are bringing the divorce rate down a whopping 18% from 2008 to 2016.  Apparently being “entitled” {I don’t call you that- society calls you that} also leads to being pickier about choice of partner which leads to less divorce.  Woohoo for love! Full article HERE.

LBJ is following Michael down the rabbit hole- literally! You get it- because Bugs Bunny has a rabbit hole and Lebron James will be starring with our favorite bunny in a remake of Space Jam.  This is not a drill. Catch the article HERE.

Like a Virgin. Ellen had the latest Bachelor, Colton, on last week and he met his first three ladies.  I’m trying really hard to be excited here ABC but you’re getting pretty BORING and PREDICTABLE.  You better hope this guy loses his flower on the season or we are looking at the three worst seasons in Bachelor history in a row.  But I will still watch- obviously.  Check it out for yourself HERE or click image below.

Just a Spoonful of Sugar! Mary Poppins is returning this Christmas and the trailer gave me the chills.  The Banks children are all grown up, and Mary is back to help them through a tough time.  It stars Emily Blunt, Lin Manuel Miranda, Meryl Streep, and Dick Van Dyke is even back with some moves.  Check the trailer HERE or click the image.

TV Addict Update  

As we have established, time and time again, I watch too much TV.

We get all of our favorite shows back this week! Get the DVR’s ready This is Us, Grey’s Anatomy, How To Get Away with Murder, Modern Family, The Good Place and more are all back.  And….

It’s Pilot season! What I’m going to report on for next week or you can follow along on my Instagram StoriesManifest (aired yesterday NBC), A Million Little Things (ABC Wednesday 10 PM), Single Parents (ABC Wednesday 9:30), and MURPHY BROWN!

Yes Murphy Brown is back! You can catch it on CBS Thursdays at 9:30 and watch Murph in a world of 24 hour cable TV and “fake news”.  Come on- Murphy was one of the first hard working women that we got to see on TV- let’s give her some love.

Have a suggestion? Let me know

su·per·ca·li·fra·gil·is·tic·ex·pi·a·li·do·cious:
1: extraordinarily good; wonderful
I think I stand pigeon toed cause of Michael Jordan 😊

Can We Bring Back the 90’s

It’s Friday night, and the moon is bright, going to have some fun show you how it’s done- you know you wanted to finish that line.  If you have no idea what I’m talking about then you cannot claim child of the 90’s. #sorrynotsorry.  Click image for a stroll down memory lane.

There was nothing like getting home after school on a Friday.  My family typically went to a restaurant called Dalt’s which was a peek 90’s style diner.  It was black and white and had neon signs everywhere. The floor was a little sticky from coke that had been spilled and lazily mopped, and there was the smell of fried food everywhere.  I would always be eager to make it through dinner because I wanted to race home and catch the first episode of TGIF because as we all know back then there was no rewind, or playback.  You either caught the show or you didn’t. Unless you were one of the lucky households that had a VCR.

That is definitely one of the things about the 90’s I’m so happy we have evolved from.  Having to be in front of the TV at the exact time your show was airing was a lot of pressure for little Cristina.  When we did finally get a VCR, I always managed to record over things, or think I was recording and it never did- and then I was never to know how Steve Urkel turning into Stefan went.

Timeout.  Can we even have a well rounded 90’s TV conversation without mentioning Saved by the Bell.  The Saved by the Bell episode where Jesse gets hooked on caffeine pills followed up by their don’t do drugs episode did more to keep me off pot than any D.A.R.E. program ever did.   Catch the famous Jessie clip by clicking the image. 

I literally sang my heart out in the shower practicing for a hopeful chance to join Zack Attack. Click the image for a refresh reminder of how awesome they were [but how could you forget]

Side piece of trivia, I can basically sing off hand every 90’s theme song there is, and can even go further back into the 80’s.  Try me. It’s a gift and a curse as this actually eats up my memory to remember simpler things like what I need in the grocery store.

While I do not exactly miss appointment viewing, there are things about the 90’s that I wish we could bring back.  Anyone hear the new “Zombie” cover. I’m not even sure I like it but I’m just so happy to have a piece of the Cranberries back on the radio in regular rotation.  

At a dinner recently one of my most insightful friends posed the question “Was 90’s music truly great music or are we just nostalgically attached to it?”  The table gave a resounding “Fucking Great Music!” answer.  The 90’s brought so much heart.  In my humble opinion, it was such a great transition period for different bands and it brought so much variety.  Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Soundgarden, Foo Fighters, Oasis, R.E.M., Sublime, A Tribe Called Quest, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Green Day, Boyz II Men and on and on and on.

Geez remember answering machines! My answering machine message always had a song but most notably and for longer than it should have been it was  No Doubt “Sorry I’m not home right now, I’m walking into spider webs, so leave a message and I’ll call you back,” and I dare you to say you didn’t do that either. 

Then there were the movies.  I mean the 90’s was everything you needed movie-wise and I can prove it with one name, Keyser Söze . It was the rise of “No one puts baby in a corner,” and Julia Roberts was just a young prostitute in the right place at the right time.  We learned that people could have 8 abs instead of 6 when Brad Pitt was beating the shit out of Edward Norton in Fight Club. The birth of The Dude (The Big Lebowski), and Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman blew us away in the Shawshank Redemption.  REALITY BITES.   I can say “it does  not say RSVP on the Statute of Liberty” and you know exactly what movie I’m talking about, and then you also probably just sang “Rolling with the homies” because Clueless was life.

If I close my eyes I can still see Sebastian in a royal blue button down on the top of the escalator waiting for a sad Annette to reach him with “Colorblind” from the Counting Crows (Adam Duritz is another 90’s treasure) playing in the background. OMG I can do this all day.  

If you wanted to call someone you either had to have their phone number by memory, or you had it written down in an Address Book.  Gasp! Does anyone still have one of those? But do you actively use it? I would spend hours in my room on our landline phone, gossiping with my best friends, and sometimes with two friends because we would double line.    If you wanted to talk bad about someone [not me, never]  you did it behind their back, not on social media for the entire school to see. Such.  A.  Simple.  Time.

Now- if my friend calls me I freak out and send her to voicemail.  What does she want? Can’t she text me? Ew. What is that?! It’s terrible.  But seriously- always text me.

How about taking your camera out with you to capture the moments? Never knowing if the pictures you were were actually good until you went to Eckerds to pick them up with the super creepy film guy, who gave you that “I definitely looked at your pictures vibe”.  I had a box full of pictures under my bed. I even would get crazy and make scrapbooks, album s and collages.

Now I have an Iphone that has over 14,000 pictures on it, because I do not trust the cloud and have no idea what is on it.  Are the pictures there? What if storage is full, and my credit card doesn’t charge and then all of it is gone. I clearly do not understand the cloud- I’ve become one of those old ladies who doesn’t understand the technology.  I’m a modern day hoarder.

Clearly I am wearing rose colored glasses. For me the 90’s and early 2000’s were the simplest times.  In the last 20 years we have evolved so much and so fast it’s nice to remember a time where you were just bored and dare I say, present.  

I watch my kids growing up now with endless options.  They aren’t the only ones. We have endless options, and so many times I miss what is happening right in front of me because I am checking my email or how a post is doing on Instagram.  In all this 90’s nostalgia- it makes me realize that while I did love the fashion, music, movies, and TV (obviously) what I miss the most about that time is actual conversations. Being bored.  Less options.

So I am going to go now and try to be more present and more connected to people.  But seriously don’t call me.

 

Long Live the Big Mac

Moms, we know one thing to be absolutely true: our kids absolutely adore us.  However, they naturally take us for granted, as they should. We wake up, help them get dressed, make their breakfasts, pack their lunch, make sure they have water in their cups, that they have brushed their teeth, do their hair, and hold their hand as we walk them into school.  

Then once school is over we come home and the real work begins.  We have to get the homework done, afternoon snack, referee whatever fight is happening, have them take a bath, make sure that they actually took a bath, dress them, feed them, and also somewhere in between make sure everything is picked up.  So where in all of that do we have the time to be “fun”. Even if we do have time we are so run down and ragged that we would rather sit far away and drink wine and countdown to bedtime.

Enter dad.  He strolls in through the door and it’s like a scene out of a movie.  It’s slow motion, the light hits him just right as he flashes his gorgeous smile, there’s even wind hitting his hair (if he still has it).  The kids erupt! Daddy! Daddy! We are so happy you’re home. Their excitement would almost be endearing if it wasn’t so offensive. They’re hugging him and jumping for joy like they’ve just spent years in an isolated prison cell.  And I call bull shit!

So one day I was watching TV (obviously), and a McDonald’s commercial came on promoting the Mc Rib.  It was going on and on about how the Mc Rib was coming back to the menu, and it was only going to be available for a limited time.  I thought to myself, “gross. Who wants to eat a “rib” from a fast food place.” I what is in this “rib” is it an actual rib or just some sort of rib-ish rib-goo that they have put between two buns.    

I watched as they gave the McRib this elusive status.  Saying this like “available for a limited time”. You know what?  It works. People line up around the block. No seriously, people line up around the block to grab one on opening day.  Something about the McRib really sparks emotion in people that they themselves don’t understand. I bring you exhibit A: remember the lady who became enraged when the lady at McDonald’s didn’t offer her an extra McRib for a $1, well click HERE.

This all got me thinking and really feeling sorry for the Big Mac.  Because what happens to the Big Mac when the McRib comes out, huh? People get all caught up ordering this McRib, that they just take the Big Mac for granted.  Like it’s always going to be there. No one lines up for the Big Mac ever and especially when the McRib is around. No special limited time commercials. No red carpet for their signature sandwich.  Two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun. People are just ok about eating the Big Mac. “Oh I’m here at McDonald’s I guess I’ll have a Big Mac.”

Boom! I saw the light.  An epiphany if you will.  This entire scenario is our family dynamic. Hear me out.   My husband is the McRib, and I, well I am just the Big Mac.  His limited time availability makes him exciting and fun. He doesn’t have to carry the weight of all the “shit” that comes with raising these kids.  Dad gets home and the homework has been done, the bath has been taken, the dinner typically has been eaten, and the fight to put away toys has long been settled.

By Thursday when my patience is already running thin, and my son is having a tantrum for the 100th time this week over putting on his pajamas my husband can swoop in and say things like “take a deep breath Cristy, he’s just 4 I can help him.”  Then fun dad proceeds to take our son and tickle him and make pajamas awesome somehow.

On the weekend when I am now at my wit’s end, Dad takes them for the morning and they go to Target to buy toys, or eat donuts somewhere delicious. I mean how fun is that?!? If I took them to eat donuts or to Target every time I was with them we would be dead broke with a serious sugar problem.

But I guess this is how it has to be. I am not sure I would change a single thing.  I’m happy to be here to help them throughout their day. I’m happy to be here to tie their shoes, do their homework (sort of) and all the hundreds of little details that go into the day.  If we are being really honest I am also so happy when daddy gets home. Besides just wanting to see him, it may be one of my favorite times of the day watching the kids go jump all over him.  Also it’s nice not to be completely outnumbered anymore.

It can be argued that iIf not for the Big Mac maybe McDonald’s wouldn’t function the way it does year round.  It’s the constant on the menu, that customers know will always be there. Hell it’s definitely my go to when I want to eat my feelings.   But people need a little McRib in their life, a little excitement a little fun. It keeps everything balanced.

Carla’s revenge. HERE

Lessons I’ve Learned As Mom- So Far

Yesterday would be my 6th time celebrating Mother’s Day, as a mom.  I’ve never been much of a birthday person. I don’t love the attention and the pressure of planning something.  However I do love celebrating other people’s birthdays, so what can I say- I’m complicated.

I do really love celebrating Mother’s Day.  It’s just a chance for me to take a day and appreciate the three most important things I’ve ever done.  Besides marrying my husband, which was hands down the best decision I’ve ever made, creating a family with him and bringing these three little people into the world has been an overwhelming beautiful adventure.

I’ve been reflecting back on the last 7 years or so as a Mom.  I sat in a quiet dark room, with my candles, playing Sarah McLachlan in peace on my bed.  NOT come on. I’m a mom to a 4, 6 and 7 year old.   I am never in a quiet room, anywhere. In between wiping butts, making lunch, doing homework, picking up legos, stepping on the legos when they are on the floor again, reading books, and hugs- I have reflected.  In a very scattered way.  This is far and away the hardest job I’ve ever had. There are tiny moments where I want to run away for a day or so to be in quiet, but at the end of every day even at my most exhausted there is always that moment when I’ve read them their books, sang them our song and see a look in their eye that just rocks me to my core.  Being their mom is everything I am here for.

Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned so far:

  1. You are capable of more than you think you are.  Before I gave birth to our second daughter, Dylan, I  remember thinking there was no way that I could love another person the way I love Blake.  How could it be? My heart felt so full. Boy was I wrong. With each birth, it’s like my heart doubles in size.  The love I feel for each child is greater than any love I ever thought imaginable. And yes, after each birth I struggled to find my footing.  But somehow it’s like you gain an extra hand. I could feed a baby a bottle, while reading a book to my toddler and help my other toddler eat.  You just figure it out. It’s not always pretty, or perfect, but you can do it.
  2. I am not always failing. Figuring out how to split yourself up to tend to each child’s needs is definitely my biggest struggle as a mom.   I feel like I am constantly trying to make sure that each of them feels loved and included. Sometimes I am just exhausted, and just play a movie.  It feels lazy and definitely not like mother of the year material. But I got a card from Blake, my eldest, yesterday for Mother’s Day and when asked what her favorite thing to do with me she responded “Just lay down and watch a movie.”  So it hit me that even when I think I’m being lazy or failing as a mom, it’s just the moment when I’m nailing it.  Also I’ve had birds on my person on more than one occasion so technically, I just win as a mother, right?  
  3. Kids are born as they are and we just shape them a little.  Now watching three kids grow up, it is clear that their personalities are formed from inception almost.  My husband and I do things exactly the same for all of them. My oldest daughter is the rule follower, gets straight A’s, wins the kindness awards, and moves more cautiously.  She didn’t walk until she was almost 18 months. Then my second daughter, walked at 9 months, literally jumps from couch to couch, has had stitches 2 times on her face, and told us she wants to leave school to travel the world on boat.  My son is constantly in character whether that’s Tarzan or a T-Rex, and if you ask me his scholastic potential I will say he’s a third kid and 4 so I’m not entirely sure which way he is going to go yet #realtalk
  4. Things may go as planned but most likely it will absolutely not go the way you thought it would.  This has been the hardest lesson to learn, but the one that has granted me the most happiness. I used to try to plan and anticipate every single aspect of our day, and then when things didn’t go as planned I would become so upset or get so stressed out.  I’m not saying I don’t plan at all, but I do allow for flexibility now. No plan or activity or schedule is as important as it seems. Sometimes the beauty lies in the things that weren’t planned at all.  Like you think I would plan to have a bird on my shoulder… no, no I wouldn’t.
  5. Ice Cream Cures All.  I’ve learned that almost any time one of my kids is acting out or not acting like themselves, the root of the problem is they need special time.  For the quick fix I escape with him/her and we get some ice cream together, just us. Sometimes a little one on one time is good for the soul, and not just their soul- definitely mine.                                                      
  6. Never Stick your Finger in the back of a diaper.  I don’t think I need to go any further here. We all understand what happens here, right?
  7. Learn from my mistakes. I’ve made so many mistakes.  So. Many. I’ve forgotten formula, bottles, pacifiers.  As they’ve grown, I’ve forgotten lunches, project due dates, birthday parties.  I’ve said the wrong thing. I’ve reacted wrong. A good example is that time I forgot to pack a change of clothes for the kids, because what could go so wrong at the park? Well there was a very large puddle that day   I guess the other lesson here is that also be easy on yourself when you don’t exactly learn from that mistake. Years later, I also had not packed clothes and well:
  8. Enjoy it because it just flies.  This is something people tell you all the time.  It’s almost annoying how often someone says this to you.  But there’s a reason. One day you are holding this tiny little baby in your arms.  Your hair is dirty, you aren’t sure the last time you showered or ate an entire meal from start to finish sitting down, and you are so tired that you dream about sleeping while you are taking a tiny 15 minute nap.  You think this phase will never end. Then it’s like your thrusted in the future and your daughter is telling you that you embarrassed her at her soccer game because you were cheering too loud. Boom. The phase is ending, and all you end up wondering is if you held her enough?  Did you play with her enough? Did you take it all in? And when you start to panic that you didn’t hold her long enough you will begin to downward spiral and beg your husband to reverse his vasectomy, to which he will obviously reply NO. So I will just look at my 7, 6 and 4 year old and make sure I enjoy this time with them.  As the more seasoned moms keep telling me to do. And although I may get annoyed at times, I know they’re right. It just flies.