My Casa Bella







-Thomas Osbourne Davis

Welcome To My Casa Bella

My Casa Bella- means-my beautiful home- but it can mean so many other things. How you make your home a home. The sounds of children or pets playing. The aroma of scones in the oven or a lilac candle burning. The flowers blooming in your garden. The home grown vegetables ready to be picked. Grandma's quilt at the foot of the bed. A fire to curl up to with a good book. Or just a family spending time together with love, laughter and a good time.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Crafts are Underway, FINALLY!!

Well today is a new day for me. I am finally moving around alot better, not 100% myself though, I still get those little threatening spasms if I'm standing too long, or sitting too much. It reminds me that at any moment, my back will go out again and right now I DO NOT NEED THAT! I've got a ton of things to do for the Craft Show coming up in 2 weeks, TWO WEEKS!! So last night I finished my journals and I am so happy with them. They're so much fun to make. I'll be wrapping them up for the show. Next are my handbags. I've got to get in there and finish them up. So today I'll do a little sewing. Not too much but enough to keep me from getting too behind. I really want to make aprons but realistically, not sure if I'll be able to. I got some really nice fabrics too for the aprons, but with what happend this past week, I'll be doing good to get all my bags done and ready to go. But we'll see, I'm not giving up yet. Not just yet anyway.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I'm About to Lose My Mind!!!

Hello everyone, its been quite awhile since I've posted anything. Why? You ask. Well, this past Monday I went out that morning. I had a few places I needed to go to like the craft store, Lowe's, and Walmart. After running my errands, I came home, I went to the back seat of my car to get out some of my bags, when I lifted them out of the car, my lower back spasmed, and before I knew it, I screamed and fell back into my car in severe pain. A pain I never experienced, a pain that made tears come down very quickly. I called my neighbor and she wasn't home, but I needed someone who could hold my weight and get me into my house. So I called my hubby, as I was blubbering on the phone to him, I was able to get out the words "babe, I need you right away, I can't walk" So he came home 20 minutes later. I called my mom in the meantime so she can keep me calm. When I saw my husband I just cried. Every step was so painful. Once he got me in, got me on the couch with a heating pad, I just layed there in shock. All I could think of was all the things I needed to do to get ready for the Craftshow and now I'm stuck on the couch for a week. A WHOLE WEEK!! Today I am better, I still need to be real careful. No lifting, very little bending and very little sitting up. Every so often, my back will send out a threat, that little spasm that makes you submit. When that happens I get back on the couch with the heating pad under me hoping it'll be ok. I hope I'm all better by Monday, I have alot to do. It makes you appreciate what we take for granted everyday. Like walking!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Getting to Work- Finally...

So I am finally doing it!!! I'm sewing. YEA!! As much as I love to sew and do crafts I have to mentally prepare myself for the projects. Once I do that , then I can't stop. But I'm not sure why it takes me awhile to get myself going. Why some people can just get up and get right to work, while those like me, well, I have to have my coffee, check emails, eat breakfast while watching the news, then, I cleaned. Yes, I had to clean before going to work. Because if I try to go into my workroom, knowing that my house needs swept, bathrooms need wiped down and that there are dishes in my sink, well, I wouldn't be able to concentrate on my work and I wouldn't get much done.
So I rolled up my sleeves, swept the floors, vacuumed them, wiped the bathroom down, cleaned the dishes, wiped down the countertops and stove and put things away. Then I felt better and I was ready for work.
Now its time to get all things in order, I make sure my trusty old Singer machine is clean inside and out so it doesn't ruin my fabric. This machine is old, how old I don't know, but old. I bought from a friend who lost her grandma several years ago. It was an extra machine her grandmother had, she bought it new, but hardly used it. So I bought it for $60. It was a great purchase. I've had it 12 years, plus however long she's had it. It's been a loyal companion. But I have to admit, I really want the Singer CE-150 that monogram's and embroiders but there is no way right now I can dish out $500 for one. So I have to wait. One day, I'm sure one day. In the meantime, my old buddy and I get to work:
and together we pieced five bags. I still have five more to put together, and some aprons to cut out yet. Then if I have time, I'd like to try out a new pattern I received in the mail, a new handbag pattern. I have three weeks left before the fall craft show. Oh my, where in the world has the time gone??!! I'll be a busy sewing bee for the next three weeks. So I wanted you to have a sneak peek of what I'm doing. I'll post some more updates soon, I hope....

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My New York City Trip

Hello everyone, its been so long since I've posted anything, I'm sorry. Its been pretty crazy around here since I've been back from NYC visiting my family. The main reason of visiting was to see my little brother Alex and his wife Heather, she's the second one in from the right. They came to NY to visit everyone, its been 5 years since they've been back so it was quite a reunion.
Here we are at my parents where my mom outdid herself for dinner. She made true Puerto Rican food. It was WONDERFUL, wish I had some now.
My dad wanted to show off his plate, as you can see and slice of Avacado, Pernil(pork shoulder), Arroz con Gandules(rice with pigeon peas), tostones, maduros and fried cod fritter. All so delicious. I can smell it now. My mom is a wonderful cook, all those smells coming from her kitchen brought back many memories of home.
For dessert I made peach pie, yes, from all those peaches I sliced and put in my freezer. I made the first pie this season. With homemade crust, of course.
My mom, my aunt, and  I, went to the grocery store where you can find everything and anything for spanish cooking. This is a must stop when we visit NYC. It's a really neat grocery store, as you'll see.
I think they take pride in their stacking of the vegetables, I'm always amazed with how beautiful it looks in there.
Look at the rows of yams, potatoes, yucca, etc. We could take a lesson here on how to stack the veggies, and not one on the floor of the store. Believe it or not!
This to me is art. The colors and freshness of everything. This all goes back to an earlier posting of mine where I would never of thought I'd be gardening, digging in dirt especially since I could go to the grocery store and have my pick. Now you see what I mean.
Ok, I had to take a picture of the firemen doing their grocery shopping. It never fails that EVERYTIME we come into the grocery store, the firemen start coming in. All dressed and ready to be called. There have been many a times when they've been shopping and you see them running out of the store going to a fire, or if they're about ready to pay and they have to leave everything behind to do their job. So proud of them, especially since this past weekend was the memorial of 9/11.
Now if you want the best pizza around, you need to find Rosa's in Ridgewood, Queens NY. Words cannot describe the delicious pizza's they serve there, only a picture can:
Oh, yea, baby. The best around. I made my husband's mouth water when he saw this picture.

And for the best Raisin Bread, Grimaldi's in Brooklyn. I don't like raisins too much, but I will eat their raisin bread in a heartbeat. The smell of it, the softness, when you bite into it, it just melts in your mouth, and if you want they'll drizzle it with icing, OH MY GOODNESS!! I regret not taking a picture of the loaf.(of course I couldn't because when we got it home it was attacked by some hungry wolves)
The next day we had a family gathering to attend. Family I haven't seened for a long time.
(BTY, I had to remove family pictures off the blog, unfortunately, I had someone contact me asking me questions, that I felt were personal and made me uncomfortable. DH asked me to remove any photos from the blog that had us in it or any friends or family, its a shame isn't it. errrrrrrr!!!)
Now comes the family cookout at my uncles in the Bronx. It was so nice. My brother there with his wife all the way from Seattle. He and my dad are two peas in a pod!! Kind of like me and mom.
We had the most delicious grilled chicken, not one piece left.. Then it was time to chow down....rice, chicken, ribs, potato salad, green salad.....all too good. Making myself hungry again.

The gang acting crazy: The neighbors across the street were throwing a baby shower, now, a hispanic baby shower is not your ordinary cutsie shower, no way!! The decorations are way out there, the food is incredible, the amount of family members and friends that attend do not fit in the house, and no shower is complete without music blasting so loud that you have to scream at the top of your lungs in order to hold a conversation. That is a baby shower. So we all went out front because the neighbors were playing some "old school" songs and well, we had to dance.

My mouth ached from laughing so much.
Then in the late evening the family took all kinds of pictures. We had a great time. We arrived at my uncles house, the one on the far left, at around 3:30pm and we left after midnight. We ate, talked, laughed, danced and just enjoyed each other's company. So until next time, its been great to see everyone. And although not everyone was there, we stay in touch on Facebook, which is an amazing website that allows us to stay in touch. La familia!!!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Back from Ohio

We arrived in OH on Thursday night. We visited Seth and Leah. Seth is Brian's second cousin who he's very close to. Listening to these two interact is quite entertaining. They have so much in common, it's great. They get along so well, more like brothers. We love them, and they're wonderful hosts. Isn't their home adorable? A true cottage with the river as their backyard. They have no backyard, it literally just drops down a steep slope. Seth cleaned out a path so you can walk down to the water. But it is so relaxing there. We feel like we're staying at a rented cottage, but instead, it's free. Leah made a wonderful breakfast every morning. After sleeping in, we'd relax with coffee looking out the window to this beautiful scene:
When we woke up, we awoke to this beautiful view from our bedroom window. We've stayed here before but the guest room was located in another room. They decided to put it in the one area of the sunroom, and every time you wake up you see this awesome view of the river. So calming to see this. And the water moves pretty good down there. Every so often you'll see a canoe go by. Every morning with my coffee I'd sit in the sunroom taking in this view.
When I woke up Friday morning I looked out the window and Leah was feeding their chickens! Chickens! Where did they come from? They wanted to surprise us. They were one of the most prettiest chickens I had ever seened. She loves them. She named each one of them, cute names too, but Seth changes their names to Teriyaki, BBQ, General Tso's, if you get what I mean....LOL. He's a meanie. She threatens him to stay away from her babies. She doesn't trust him. But I don't think he'd eat one, at least I hope not..... Have you ever heard of the game, Cornhole? We never did until we went to OH. When they told us they had the game, we had to see what it was. They even told us there were tournaments for this game. Never heard of it!! Well, they introduced us to a game we couldn't get enough of. You take this small corn filled bag, and you either toss it or throw it, whichever you're comfortable with, and the goal is to get it into this hole, but not always, you need to also make sure it at least lands on the platform. If you get too many points then you lose points. The point system confused me, so I just told them to keep track, I enjoyed throwing the bags.
Brian, my hubby, took this picture of the campfire. It was so nice and comforting. With the nights cooling down, we enjoyed sitting in front of this during dinner and after. We even got to roast marshmallow, love doing that. They are so good!! No smores though, but that was ok.
We have never played Guitar Hero. They kept telling us that we had to play it, but it didn't sound interesting until they got the game out and set it up. As soon as we started we were addicted to it. My hubby was belting it out!!! He had so much fun singing. He really go into it as you can see.
Those who know me, know that I do not like being center of attention. Now, I'm not shy by any means, but I just don't like being the center of attention. But when I saw this game, and after my husband did his performance, I HAD to do it. Plus, it was just family and the music was loud enough that you couldn't hear my voice too much, thank goodness. I sang La Bamba and had a blast doing it. I think we will be buying this game. So this is what we did on our last night in OH. After sitting around the campfire, playing games and visiting with family, we sang until we had no voices left and our fingers were sore from playing the instruments. Great way to end our vacation. Now, I leave thursday for NYC to visit my family.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Keeping in Touch

We are having amazing weather here in PA. It's been in the mid 70's no humidity. We're getting spoiled. But today I was just thinking of family. I just hung up the phone with my mom, literally, as I was typing she called to say my younger brother and his wife just arrived to NYC safely from Seattle. My little brother hasn't been back to NY for quite a few years. When he moved to Seattle and got married, I think that was about 4 1/2 years ago now. WOW! He hasn't been back home. So today they flew in and arrived at LaGuardia Airport. I wish I were there to greet them but I'll be in NYC next week with my cousins, aunt, sister-in-law and niece. We'll be driving up to see him and his wife, my other sister-in-law. So I'm anxious, I can't wait. I'll be posting pictures of that when I return. My hubby, mom and I flew to Seattle a year ago to visit them and we had a blast there. Great city! Definitely want to go back.
Another thing about family, its been great that just this past couple of weeks, my family on my fathers side, have joined Facebook and we're having a blast on there. Like my uncle said, its like a family reunion, altough we don't see each other, we're keeping in touch with pictures and Instant Messaging. My husband will hear me laughing out loud and would come back to our office to see what in the world is going on, and its me laughing at something someone said or sent via internet. Then this weekend we're driving to OH to visit my hubby's family there. I am so looking forward to that trip. His cousin who we're staying with, he and his wife live in a small adorable cottage and their backyard is a river! Its amazing and so comforting and relaxing. They asked if there was anything we wanted to do. I said "Yes, I want to sit in the sunroom with a cup of coffee and some magazines, books, or crocheting, and listen to the river. That's all." I will post pictures of that as well.
Family is a great thing, its very important to me, so its nice that we can keep in touch, whether in person or on the internet. La Familia!!