#MusicMonday, Lifestyle

#MusicMonday – Lift up your hearts with a smile

Blog (5)

We had such a great weekend, and with perfect timing after being stuck at home for more than a week with a sick kiddo!

My in-laws came to town Saturday. Before you get a little uncomfortable with that sentence, know I am extremely blessed with great in-laws! We have been praying they’d visit for a long time – especially because we haven’t mustered up the guts to drive 6+ hours with a toddler to see them!

It is moments like these – sitting Familiaaround the living room or dining table, seeing them love on BabyCoolJ, seeing joy sparkle in everyone’s eyes, and hearing the roaring laughter from the other room, that I truly feel complete. We moved away from family for opportunities, but honestly we also love our independence, space and privacy. But in that process our son misses out on important family time. And, so do we.

He has no cousins or grandparents nearby so we make the best of it in our little family of three. But when we have these special visits, life just feels full.

Also during their visit we also took full advantage of our special gift from Latina Home Party! These guys sent us a full setup of Palm Breeze Sparkling Alcohol Spritz, swag and decor for a fun summer Luau. All that was missing was a pool.

LHM

Latina Home Party provides chicas exclusive access to new products and services to try at home with friends and family. Latina Home Party is a community of collaborative marketing by Hispanic women. If you sign up, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in marketing activities from your favorite products and be able to collaborate with your favorite brands. You learn about new products just to be launched to market at the convenience of your own home (try them for free) and influence with your opinion some of the best known companies in the world.

The Palm Breeze drinks were a hit at Casa Alfaro! Perfect on a hot summer Texas evening. Luckily we stocked up so we had enough for a couple of nights.

So, to families out there… Lift up your hearts with a smile, lift up your feet with a dance and lift up your spirits with a song. Family time can be an awesome time.

Frolic Logo

#MusicMonday, Faith

#MusicMonday: I’m not the kind of girl that gives up

Last week a girl from my church’s Bible study organized a care calendar for a family in need. Their sweet 5-year-old daughter was in and out of the hospital, and we rallied together to support the family. So, I signed up to leave dinner on Friday.

What you don’t know about me is I don’t cook. In fact, when I first met my husband I told him, “Just so you know, I went to college so I never have to cook.” Little did I know that I would eventually be home with our kiddo, slaving over a stove 3 times a day! Seriously though, it brings me joy to prepare meals for BabyCoolJ…key word: prepare. As in, toss together and heat up. I am still no cook.

My heart broke for this family, especially the mom – I can’t imagine what she’s going through or how difficult life must be. She should not have to spend any time worrying about food. So, even though I knew it would be tough, I signed up for the meal proudly. Then, Friday came.

Whoa, what had I gotten myself into! It’s funny because, while I never felt disappointed for signing up, I sure did feel anxious about getting it right. I made two batches of Million Dollar Spaghetti – easy enough, right? Well – I ran 45 minutes behind, layered the stuff incorrectly, and at one point when I was boiling, stirring and pouring 3 different items simultaneously, my toddler decided to sneeze on me…with a mouth full of crackers. That’s right – my legs and dress were full of snot and snack, while my hands were full of sauce and spaghetti. (And yes, I was in a dress because I went to a scam interview and still hadn’t changed – remember I was behind!!)

 

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I didn’t get to capture my mess, so you get this cute kitchen shot instead!

 

But I didn’t give up. I wiped my legs, washed up and kept going. I made it the family’s house an hour after I said I would, but I am so glad I didn’t give up. The look on their faces…the appreciation…and their daughter’s excitement! What a blessing. They don’t even know that THEY blessed ME in this whole scenario!

And, because we all know Satan loves to attack when we’re working for Christ, I had a rough drive back, including a big truck cutting me off and making me swerve and slam on my breaks. In that moment, I prayed. I prayed instead of cursing, I thanked God that I was driving home to a happy and healthy toddler instead of hating on the truck driver. And that, my friends, is why we should never give up. Not just on a project or recipe, but on our faith.

#MusicMonday

#MusicMonday: Yo, I’ll solve it

I love this lyric for a few reasons. While I know both men and women are problem solvers, I see this as a quote ending with “mom.”

Seriously, ladies, we can solve anything! As a girl growing up, I always felt invincible. I could do anything I wanted, solve any problem that came my way. I was strong and determined. Then, I became a mom.

Problem-solving has never looked so unglamorous, yet impressive. Like, last Monday, I stopped at Sprouts with BabyCoolJ and kept him in his stroller with a reusable bag strapped to the handlebar. There I go, filling it up while bribing my kiddo with snacks to keep his cool. Well, they had a few sales so I ended up filling up the bag, placing items under his seat, carrying 3 large pizzas and a box of something. After checking out, I carried four full bags (including the heavy reusable one) while pushing his stroller. Loaded him up, loaded the food, put the stroller away, then caught my breath.

Funny thing is it wasn’t THAT challenging, but just the same week I had a memory on Facebook that went like this: “Nothing like running through the rain in heels with bags filled with 15 bunches of bananas….and a Starbucks coffee.” And I remember how accomplished I felt! Nothing compares to my challenges in life now…just ask a mom of a 1-month-old! But no matter the season of life, girls can do anything.

Regardless if you’re a mom, married or single, I encourage you to remember that you can solve anything. YES, you can. So just do it. Get it, girl.

BabyCoolJ, Faith

Celebrating moms

20170513_160256-01Yesterday, Mi Amor and I took BabyCoolJ to Little Land to have some fun and let out some much-needed energy. It was really empty, except for a large Latino family, and two other (white) dads with their kids. Mi Amor and I began chatting about culture, and where we grow up, and how they play such an influence on our lives. I’ve seen moms post that they are doing spa days, getaways and girls nights. Such a different world to what we grew up knowing. Moms, at least 3 generations, would gather together over large meals and celebrate with their full families. If we were back in our hometown, we would have 4 generations celebrating on my side, and 3 generations on my husband’s. It is a beautiful thing!

But, because I refuse to travel with a 20 month old, we will celebrate in our little family of 3. We will celebrate together, through the tantrums, fighting the naps and each and every “mama” and hug. (although, I could totally go for a spa day, too!)

My son is my world! I can’t believe how many memories and how much LOVE #babycoolj has filled me with, all in under 2 years! I cherish every moment, and I am grateful to God for the blessing it is to be this kiddo’s mama. And what a blessings moms are. Thank YOU for all you do. The sleepless nights, the selfless acts, sharing your food, your bed and all your space. Giving up your time, your body and your night outs. I never quite understood it, or appreciated my mom as much, as I do now that I am a mother. YOU all are amazing. 20170514_123615-01.jpeg

And, on the note of amazing, I have to add what an amazing God we have! Today our pastor preached about faith. It tied in so perfectly with what God told Mi Amor and me to do this week. Seriously, perfect timing. In fact, he shared the story of Isaac in Genesis, and how Abraham’s servant was told to go find him a wife. How perfect was it that he trusted in God when he met Rebekah (see verse 12), and that God provided such a clear message for him. He did that for us too, and he was showing us once again that we were to walk in faith. We closed it up with moms praying for our children, faithful prayers of who they will become and who they are created to be. Everyone else prayed for the mothers in the room. Perfect start to my Mother’s Day!

Be blessed everyone!

#MusicMonday

#MusicMonday: dance it out

I slacked off a little today with finding the lyrics that spoke to my soul. Nothing like being exhausted from a super active toddler to keep me from getting stuff done! But then, in the midst of a tantrum, I remembered…turn on some music and dance!

I love reggae. The music just speaks to my soul. I spent a year in New Zealand right after college and learned about Katchafire there. I hadn’t really been exposed to much reggae at that point, but I loved Bob Marley and was a fan of popular reggae. In NZ, I didn’t have an opportunity to see Katchafire live, but I did get in a Black Seeds show.

I love these lyrics because they resonate so well with me. Ever feel like the world is crumbling around you, only to hear an awesome song that totally gets your heart pumping? Next time that happens, DANCE! Dancing brings joy to my heart, and even if you don’t care for it I bet it would totally brighten your mood. Why more offices don’t do this I will never understand – talk about a productivity and mood booster!

Curious what song we danced to? My kiddo is addicted to Itsy Bitsy Spider, and because mama loves reggae, we groove to the sounds ofBasho & Friend’s version. This is my favorite kid’s CD…win-win cause we’re both happy!

Reviews

Review: Water Wipes

I love being a part of Influenster. It allows me to try real products in exchange for my honest review, all for free!

This time around, Influenster sent me a pack of Water Wipes. I really dig how great these wipes work! Here’s the lowdown:

BabyCoolJ loves to make a huge mess, he’s a 1.5-year-old toddler after all! These wipes arrived just in time as we had run out of what we usually use for meals and general icky cleanups. We currently use separate wipes for bottoms, as we purchase monthly Honest Bundles for diaper changes.

We quickly used the Water Wipes during mealtime to clean our kiddos sticky fingers and messy cheeks. Worked like a charm. I love how thick the wipes are, as they don’t easily rip apart and are soft to the touch.

The following day, we spent a few hours outside playing with sidewalk chalk. The water wipes quickly wiped away any chalk remnants, and it even helped with a basic removal of chalk from his clothes. Our current hand/face wipes tear easily and we have to use multiple for what Water Wipes could fix with 1 wipe.

According to the Water Wipes website, these wipes are:

• Chemical free

• Suitable from birth

• May help avoid the causes of diaper rash

• Awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance

• Hypoallergenic

Overall, these are a great option and we will probably be making the switch.

Full disclosure: these were never used on any bottoms. My review is solely about fingers and faces!

BabyCoolJ, Faith

Lisa in the sky with dandelions

Hi there! Welcome to my little space on the interwebs (I love that word). I am in a new season of life, in a life that is constantly changing, so I decided to start writing about a few of my favorite things: faith, being a wife and mama, music and some sprinkled in reviews.

I’ll start off with music, and the rest will totally fall into place. See, I’ve always loved music. Not in the kind of way my husband does, though. I can’t tell you the name of half the songs I listen to or know a lot of band/singers names. However, I can tell you how I feel when I hear a song. I naturally move along to most music, and music brings joy to my heart. I can even remember what was going on in my life with certain songs. (hello, international music and working at a club in the “Valley” in 2000!)

In 2008, after spending a year in New Zealand, I found myself back in the Valley trying to figure out life. I got a great job so I stuck around. They actually have a pretty great, lively music scene in the Valley, so I found myself out often catching a good show. That fall, I met my future husband. He was a hip-hop artist, and I became a quick fan of his music…not to be confused with a fan of HIM! We stayed acquaintances and eventually became friends before dating in 2010.

I share this because he represents music to me. Not only because of how we met but because it was our mutual love of music that brought us to the faith together. In 2011, we decided to visit a church. This mega-church had the best worship music, and we quickly fell in love with the idea of being regular attendees. In fact, we never missed a day other than when we went out of town.

In the fall of 2014, Mi Amor (aka husband) and I were married. It was the BEST DAY EVER, at least up until that point in our lives. We never knew what God had in store right around the corner! We purchased and built a home in December, and in January, we found out we were pregnant. For the sake of this blog, you’ll know our son as BabyCoolJ. Our lives have never been the same.

The one thing, outside of God, that has gotten us through it all, music. We have dance parties in our living room, BabyCoolJ begs for pandora instead of TV and musical instruments are spread throughout our house.

So, I’ve dedicated every Monday to another song lyric. I hope you’ll join me on the journey as I continue figuring out how to be a great wife and mama, all while groovin’ along.