Thursday, September 13, 2012

Personal crisis!!

Apologies to those of you that read this blog. I've been going through some personal issues with family and it's taken over my life but things are leveling out so I hope to get back on the horse soon as there are lots of adventures and ideas I've yet to share. Here's to perseverance!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Moooooore Smooooothie

This is my "go to" smoothie. It's quick, simple and the one I always seem to have the ingredients for. I'll have one right after a workout, as a snack, or if I'm in a real hurry, as a meal replacer. Enjoy!

1 Banana
1 cup skim milk
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Monday, August 20, 2012


Guess what Brisa got for her birthday? Her first pet! His name is "fish, fish". First off let me say a fish is by no means as easy as it used to be when I was a kid. I remember it was a bowl and a house and some rocks and good. Now it seems that you have to be a marine biologist just to take care of one 1.5 inch guppy (3 hours of assembly for a three gallon tank and water purification for 24 hours?) However, it's what she wanted and so I thought this would be a great chance to teach her about being responsible. Not "we loose toys if we don't put them away" responsible but REAL responsibility. She has always been a nurturing child but with a very short attention span and it can be hard to keep her focus. So let's see how she does. What are some ways you teach your kids how to be more responsible?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Summertime sickness

Who gets sick in the summertime, I mean seriously!?!? It always seems that I can't go one summer without catching some sort of summer bug that decides my body is the perfect place to bunk for a few days. Of course all my other natural bodily deficiencies don't help the situation, especially the Hyperhidrosis, that one leaves me super dehydrated which seems to cause all sorts of other issues. So why am I telling you all this? I figure maybe there is some one like me out there who finds them self in the same boat and if what works for my recovery works for yours then there you go. As a busy dad who HAS to go to work here's what works for me:

Because of my hyperhidrosis I have to ensure I keep from drying out. I normally drink lots of water anyway but it doesn't always work when I'm sick. I find that if I alternate between water and a low calorie/no calorie sports drink it does wonders.
2. Don't over medicate.
I don't like to take pills if I don't have to. If I do, I'll try and find something that will not only knock me out at bed time but take care of my aches and pains and any pressure or swelling. If you can, a lot of the over the counter stuff will work. Because of my allergies I prefer the "good stuff" and by that I'm referring to anything with pseudoephedrine. It requires you to go to the pharmacist but does the trick every time.

3. REST!!!
I know it sounds easy, but for me its hard to make myself go to bed because there is always one more thing to do. Get that workout in, do the laundry, clean, cook, it never ends. Sometimes its better to put that stuff off, when you re feeling better you be able to do it faster and not feel horrible. I personally will make it a fun thing and have a bedtime bonanza where the kids and I will all snuggle, watch TV with snacks, and/or read stories. "But wont the kids get sick?" you ask. If you have kids, then you know that they are probably where it came from anyway and if not they will probably get it regardless. Might as well make it fun, you can't quarantine yourself.

4. TEA
Just cause I love it, especially with a little honey :)

Hope this eases your sickness even just a little. What do you do to ease the pain?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Learning to cook

It's Brisa's birthday week and so we decided to kick it off with some cooking lessons. She's helped me for years with stirring, shaking, and mixing but this year she will be five and is very interested in really understanding measurements and preparing the meal herself. I remember learning to cook with my grandfather, watching him make us breakfast every weekend and so that's we're we began. Breakfast is one of those meals that can be very satisfying yet easy to make. Today, at her choosing we (she) made her sister, cousin, grandmother, aunt, great-grandmother (or GG for short), and myself pancakes and scrambled eggs. She was so proud and I was so proud of her. Learn to cook peeps, then teach a kid. Totally worth it ;)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Dress Shirts 101

As a man who wanted to be a guys guy, I didn't used to care about my shirt size, didn't want to know, didnt really care what fit was best on my body type, and didn't think anything of the funny numbers on the tag in most (best) dress shirts out there. Then one day just decided to figure it out. I got tired of my sleeves being too short or having that giant shirt bubble in the back (oooh man do I hate that bubble!). The minute I knew, my mens fashion experience became a lot more enjoyable, and dare I say...addicting lol. Anyway, I've noticed that a lot of men really DO want to know but dont know where to start or are afraid to ask. So here is a little mens fashion 101...

Now there are a lot of different things to know but to keep it simple most places sell shirts that only require you to know three things: Neck size, Sleeve length, and Fit (yes fashionistas, I know there is more but we arent there yet!). Take a look at this sizing chart:

This is a good place to start. There are lots of different takes on sizing and what small, medium, etc. equate to but these are the measurments I find have worked the best for me. Both neck measurements and sleeve measurements are in inches. Every taylor is different just like every body is different and its important to try the shirt on to see how comfortable you feel.

Part of that comfort also depends on the fit of the shirt itself. From a general stand point you can find  four types: Classic/standard, Slim, Fitted, and Modern. From first to last each fit gets tighter and more snug against the body, taking the place of actual chest and waist measurements. The last one, Modern, is similar to Fitted but has a tendancy to have a closer cut to the armpit. I openly admit im no designer or fashion guru but these easy simple tips have helped me tremendously. Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Vintage Gaming: Bowling

My grandfather was a big part of my life. I remember when I was younger playing all sorts of games with him that when I think of them, put a grin bigger than the cheshire cats on my face. Tonight, after we put my youngest to bed, my eldest and I played an old wooden bowling game I happened to spot in my parents basement last month. We've played it a couple times and my daughter really loves it. It made me think. In this digital age where v-tech, leap frog, and all the kids programming on tv could rule our children's attention, here we sat, sharing in this nostalgic, vintage gaming experience. We had fun in a way no Latin explorers, high pitched mice, or magical miniature equines could ever offer. Maybe I'll see what other treasures are buried in the depths of the basement :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Red Beans and Coconut Rice Taquito

Did I mention I'm half latin? Its had a a big impact on my life in terms of food preferences. My mother (who oddly enough isnt the one whom my latin roots decend from) has alway cooked latin foods. Things she'd remember from her younger trips to Costa Rica. The other day we had been talking about latin dishes and she mentioned this jamacan coconut rice she loved so much and I thought to myself, self, that sounds delicious. So here is my take on red beans and coconut rice...

1 can Goya Lite Coconut milk
1 tbsp cilantro
1 lime
2 tbsp butter
1 cup Jasmine rice
pinch of salt
1 can red beans
1 package corn tortillas
1-2 cups vegetable oil (for frying)

Squeeze the juice from the lime and set aside. Zest the lime and set aside. Finely chop the cilanto. Shake the can of coconut milk and pour into a medium sauce pan. Add the butter and heat over medum-hi heat until the butter is melted. combine the lime juice, zest, and cilanto with the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Add the rice and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to lo, cover, and simmer for 20 min, stirring occationally. Drain beans and rinse with cold water. Remove rice from heat, stir in beans, and cover. Let stand for 10 min.

In a deep skillet or cast iron pan (my fave) add oil and heat over medium heat. Warm tortillas so they are easire to wrap. Put approx. 3-4 spoonfulls in each tortilla and wrap tightly, no need to close the ends. Place in pan seam side down and fry in until golden, turning over once (about 2-3 min each side). Makes 12.

 I like mine with some mango salsa and sour cream. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

DIY - Refinished Hope Chest

One mans trash...I've always loved that saying. I love the idea of taking something that is in dire need of some TLC and tending to its every need to bring it back to its former glory or giving it a new purpose all together. Most recently there was a topless hope chest looking for a little love. Sometimes it just takes a few hours of hard work of some creativity to make something functional again. In this instance I took the half of a drop leaf kitchen table top and sanded it and the rest of the of the hope chest down to expose the natural wood. I then went to home depot and spent $15 on two new hinges (the cabinet section is great for that) and a hinge support. I then gently rubbed some lemon oil over the exterior and BAM! Old moldy hope chest now becomes new rustic toy chest. Funny how a little elbow grease can go a long way, lol. Check it out (click the pics for a closer look)!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Mango Lime Salsa

Been on this fruit salsa kick lately so I decided to try and make some of my own. This is my first attempt at my own recipe and I will say I was pretty pleased (a feat that those who know me is not easy as I'm never satisfied with my own cooking). Hope you enjoy!

2 mangos
1 lime
3 Roma tomatoes
1/4 red onion
1 1/2 table spoons fresh chopped
1 jalapeño pepper
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Pinch of salt

Dice onion, mango, and tomatoes and place in bowl. Chop cilantro and jalapeño, mix in bowl with mango. Squeeze in juice of the lime and add salt and brown sugar.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Go The Fuck To Sleep - Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson.

So I was going to post a DIY about refinishing a hope chest but this is just too good to not share. I recently found a book that pretty accurately describes the parenting experience, especially around bed time, if you have kids you'll know what I'm talking about. This is the audible narration of the book done by Samuel Jackson (superbly executed). Check this out and enjoy :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thrifting like a Boss

So being a guy and being into thrifting can be difficult. Sure, if you go for the traditional electronic equipment maybe it's easier but when you're all about the clothes, well, then it's a true treasure hunt (especially if you want to do it right). Here's some quick tips that I find useful:

1. Know your size.

There are so many different sizing charts for men that its hard to keep track let alone know where you fall on the t-shirt/dress shirt/sport coat/suit/shoe/tie/pant/belt chart. But trust me, once you know and your clothes fit properly and comfortably the experience gets a lot easier (that goes for regular shopping too).

2. Be picky, but not too picky

Thrifting for clothes is an exercise in patience. Just because you know what size you are doesn't always mean you're going to find something you like. In fact, chances are something will catch your eye but upon closer inspection it doesn't fit at all. Know what aspects of your choices can be tailored (you can always shorten those pants or have that jacket taken in for a reasonable price). The trick is know how much effort and money you're willing to put into that great find.

3. Take your time

Setting aside enough time is essential to having a good thrifting experience. You really do have to look through just about everything to find that gem you can brag about to your friends. A lot of the time things are in the wrong size or section. Better to have the time to look and be sure you don't miss a thing than not.

To those who know, these may seem like simple and obvious ideas but nevertheless they are key to ensuring a productive and rewarding experience. Happy shopping!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I've heard a lot of people talking about meal replacement lately. It's been around for over a quarter century, can you believe it (slim fast anyone?) I'm not knocking that but I'm all about seeing EXACTLY what goes into my smoothie. I also like them not always as replacement but in addition to a small snack as I've trained myself to graze instead of gorge. Recently I've been trying many different combos to see what interesting flavors I can create. Now I'm not a nutritionist or a hardcore professional foodie. By this I mean I don't own a $1000 dollar blender (though I'd gladly take one) and I'm not bold enough to put salad in my smoothie (though if be willing to try someday). I'm just into simple, natural ingredients that taste great together. Here's one of my more recent attempts using fresh ingredients on a tight budget:

1 cup cherries (pitted)
2 pears
1 cup plain yogurt (use Greek for a healthier kick)
2 teaspoons honey
(add milk to desired thickness)

Serves 2


Sunday, July 22, 2012

You're Starting a What!?!

Well here we go. I have NEVER done anything like this before nor do I have any idea of what I'm doing. I guess this blog will act as one small part therapy for me but mostly a sharing of my life through creativity for you. I've gone through most of my life trying to be the manly man that men envision themselves being but let me share something with you (lean in close)...Theres no such thing!!! I came to this stark realization after having two girls. Being a man is being yourself. Being a man is showing your style and being proud of it. Being a man is being there for your kids even if it means playing with dolls. So let me WELCOME YOU to what I hope will be something that will give you inspiration through fun with food, DIY, thrifting adventures, and raising two girls.