Stella Marie Juarez


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Gifts are bought and wrapped, Christmas carols have been sung, ginger bread house is made and the cookies are done!!

Last weekend we made Christmas cookies with the Zarates. Dominic did a great job and Tavi, Anna and Marisa had a lot of fun.

Dominic concentrated very hard placing his reindeer eyes on his cookies.

Tavi made cookie/pretzel people.

Anna and Marisa made snowmen.

I think we used four rolls of cookie dough!

We are ready for Christmas! I am off until January 2nd and am looking forward to some rest and relaxation.

Two more days - I hope everyone has a great holiday. And remember Anna, he's always watching.....

Merry Christmas!

Last Minute Gift

Need a last minute gift for a foodie? Try this recipe. I don't know if you can even technically call it a recipe since there isn't much cooking involved but I can tell you then turn out great. Two ingredients - pretzels and rollo candies.

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Unwrap the rollos and place them wax paper or aluminum foil.

Put them in the oven for a couple of minutes - just watch and when they appear to be melting pull them out. Push pretzels on top of melted rollos.

Let them cool. If you are in a hurry place them in the freezer for a couple of minutes. They are delicious and can be made in minutes!

Better than chocolate covered pretzels because you get the caramel too.

I made them last weekend and they were a huge hit!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tavi, UArts Amazing!

Tavi just got accpeted to the University of the Arts AND got a scholarship! WOOT! This is (as of right now) Tavi's first choice and she is so exicted!

We are so proud of you Tavi!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Making a Statement

Martin got new glasses. The new ones make more of a statement then the ones he has had in the past. I asked him to send me a picture. This is what he sent me.

Yes, he's a four year old.

Then he sent me the real one. He's dressed in workout clothes and at the gym so it's hard to tell exactly how they look but what do you think?

And yes, he will be pissed when he sees I posted this! Cheers!

It's Not Thursday

I can't get that in my mind. It's Wednesday - only Wednesday. The good news is I realized today that our office is closed on Christmas Eve (I kept getting confused on what days we are open). The bad news is I get New Years Day off but will have to come in on the 2nd. Boo. One day and then a weekend. Oh well, it's just one day.

Last night I got Anna, Tavi and my family's presents wrapped. I still need to wrap Marisa's gifts and get the box wrapped for Martin's family. And I am still waiting to receive a couple of gifts that I really hope get here in time. Other than that we are ready for Christmas! Actually that's not true. We won't be ready for Christmas until this gross weather goes away. I do not want a 70 degree Christmas!

8 days until Christmas,
5 days until a 9 day break from work,
and 10 days until New York!

Martin goes to the doctor today about his shoulder. Let's hope he's just being a wuss and it's nothing serious - I mean that in the nicest way Martin!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Can't Focus

We had a lovely weekend that, like usual, went by too fast.

Friday night we bought a car. Yep, we finally did it. We had put it off as long as possible but it was time. We got a great deal on a 2006 Ford Focus with a four year warranty. Getting the warranty was HUGE. And the money we'll save driving to get the kids in a car with good gas mileage will be great!

Saturday we tried to finish up Christmas. We got Martin's family done and now just have to pack it up and ship it to California. We are officially ready for Christmas - except for DAD. He's impossible.
Saturday afternoon we went to see Jeannie and brought her some soup. She is getting better every day - she'll be up dancing soon!

Sunday I helped Katie decorate her Christmas tree. Hopefully she'll post some pictures on her blog IF SHE EVER BLOGS AGAIN :) Her tree looks great! Once the tree was decorated we went to Jeannie's to take her pups for a much needed walk/run.

Last night was Dad's birthday party. We ate, drank and played hand after hand of Apples to Apples. It was fun to get the whole fam together.
After last night today has been sorta rough. It's hard to focus on work and I keep getting bad news. My gas bill went from $40 last month to $140 this month and it looks like the insurance will be more on the Focus than it is on the Explorer. Arg. Not happy.

Today is T-Fin's birthday. I hope you have a fabulous day, Dad. I love you!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thanks for Nothing Frosty

Yeah, yeah, yeah, everyone said it wouldn't snow. They were right. Mississippi and New Orleans got it all. No fair. It did get pretty cold though. So cold that this morning Talem stole Layla's warm bed.

Kicked her right out of it. It was pretty cute though - last night they were both crammed in there together. You can tell Talem is in charge at our house!

This weekend we are going to try to finish up Christmas and get the stocking stuffers for the girls. I started wrapping last night which is one of my favorite things about Christmas time! Christmas is almost here!

We will also be checking in on poor Jeannie. Her surgery yesterday went well but she is in a lot of pain today and hasn't been able to sleep.

Everyone keep her in your thoughts. You can do it Jeannie! Just think about the jumping jacks you'll be doing soon! We love you!

I hope everyone has a great weekend. Don't forget T-Fin's birthday is Monday! In lieu of gifts go to Books-A-Million and buy lots of stuff!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas!

Wouldn't it be lovely to wake up on Christmas morning and see all of the trees outside covered in snow like our Christmas tree?

Know what would be better than that?

Waking up tomorrow and finding out that the office is closed due to snow.

Here's hoping!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Weekend Wrap-Up

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! This weekend we got the house (almost) ready for Christmas.

Friday we picked out our tree and decided this year to go with a flocked tree. Because we bought the display we got it half off!

I thought since the tree was white, colored lights would be pretty on it. We bought three boxes and got all the way home before I realized that I needed colored lights with WHITE wire, not green. Back to the store I went but was unable to find colored lights with white wire. So we had to go with white lights.

Martin helped me put the lights on the tree but then we realized that we hadn't bought enough. Back to the store I went to buy more lights.

Then the girls helped me hang all of the ornaments while we listened to Christmas music.
The tree turned out very pretty! I wasn't able to find the lights I wanted but I did find this:

How many people do you know that have a Mexican nutcracker??

Then we made our gingerbread house. We make one every year but I think this year's turned out the best.

The rest of the night was spent cuddled up with the babies in front of the fire watching tv.

Saturday morning Martin had an appointment at the eye doctor and got some new glasses which he really needed! The appointment took forever so we were rushed all day long. After the doctor we went to the Humane Society with the red sweater crew - Jeannie, Roscoe, Sam, Sissy, Katie, Jake, Martin, me, Marisa, Anna and Layla - to have Stacey take Christmas pictures of us. With a group that size I was expecting total chaos but it actually went pretty well. I'll post the pictures when we get them in.

Saturday night was Jeannie's trim the tree party. She got some awesome ornaments including a rooster tree topper. Her tree looks great but I forgot to take any pictures of it!

Sunday was a lazy day. I stayed on the couch with the girls watching television until about 12:30 when Martin got home. We took them to lunch at Cocina (we hadn't been there in forever).

I ordered the lunch fajitas.

They were only ok. The food isn't spectacular there but these are!

The pomegranate margaritas are worth going there for. They are delicious and not too sweet!

The girls got chicken fingers and a hamburger and were quite content.

Katie let them play photo hunt on her iphone after lunch which was lots of fun.

Tavi had an incredible weekend visiting University of the Arts. She had her audition on Saturday during which her contact fell out! Aside from the contact fiasco she said her audition went very well. She got a call back audition and interview and felt like she nailed it. She loved the school and the campus and got to play in some snow while she was up there. Now we just wait to hear from the school!

Hope everyone had a great weekend. Everyone done Christmas shopping??

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Just In Time

Tavi got her braces off just in time for her audition this weekend at University of the Arts.
Doesn't she look amazing??
Good luck this weekend Tavi!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gobble, Gobble

We get the girls every other year for Thanksgiving and this year they will be at their mom's house so we had to celebrate early. Friday night we made mini pizzas and turkey cookies. Well, sort of.

The girls and I made turkey cookies.

Martin just tried to use up as much of the decorations as possible.

And made this.

Maybe it's a self portrait?

Our turkey cookies looked so little like turkeys that we finished decorating the rest of the cookies "free style".

Anna made a peace sign.

And Marisa made a puppy.

We then drew our 2008 Thanksgiving tree and each wrote things we were thankful for on the leaves. I pulled out last years tree and compared the two. Things like family, friends and health were on both trees and Anna has been thankful for "her birthday" two years in a row. Girl loves her some attention!

We started to work on our Thanksgiving tablecloth (everyone writes in permanent marker our favorite memory of the year and a wish for the coming year) but unfortunately my sharpies were all out of ink so we will have finish that next weekend.

I am off tomorrow until next Monday and I am very excited! Katie and I will be braving the busy grocery stores tonight getting ready for Turkey Day.

I hope everyone has a fabulous Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2008


I have no idea. But I totally want about 7 of these:

And one of these:

I Failed You

Ok, I must apologize. Remember when I told you the Pumpkin Spice coffee mate was a great way to start your day? I lied. I was so excited to taste this holiday flavor ....... then I did. It. is. gross. I looked up reviews online and saw "it tasted like a spiced hot dog". Appetizing? Nope. I didn't think it really tasted like meat, but it just had this sour milk taste to it. Gross.

But I do, however, recommend the Sweet Italian Cream. I had that this morning and it was very good.

I only have about three readers so I doubt anyone wasted the money on this suggestion but if you did, I owe you three bucks!

To make it up to you I will give you a super quick, easy and delicious recipe!


All you need to purchase is refrigerated pizza dough, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese (or do what I did and buy a "Italian mix") ricotta cheese whatever fillings you like and marinara sauce.

I made these last night with the low fat turkey pepperoni (men and children won't be able to tell the difference!), black olives, and mushrooms from Martin (ew fungus!). The best thing about this is everyone can make their own. If you have a vegetarian in the house (how annoying) they can add extra vegetables and leave out the meat (just kidding Katie, Mikel and Tavi) and kids can have fun adding their own ingredients and making their own!

You roll the dough out into circles, add the filings and close them back up into calzone shapes. The recipe said to brush them with olive oil but I just sprayed them with my olive oil Pam.

We put olives on top to identify the ewwy mushroom ones!

Cook at 375 for 15 minutes and serve with warm marinara sauce.

Totally delicious and way better than any greasy calzone I've ever had a restaurant. I paired mine with a caesar salad and it was great comfort food for a cold night.
Let me know what you put in yours!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Take 2

Ok, I found this and Anna would love it!Anna and Marisa both would love this

But I think we'd need two of them so Martin and I could play too!

As much as it pains me to say it........they would both REALLY like this

I find basketball so incredibly boring but the girls love it. sigh.

They both really want new bikes.

They got new bikes about three years ago but we just got rid of them because they were waaay too small now!

Good thing kids are cheap huh ;)

Your Holiday Shopping Guide

Yesterday's post gave you what Tavi's dying for this year. But - she'd also love cash - all these application fees are expensive!!

For the other two Zoo Day Camp! Anna and Marisa stay with us from Christmas to New Years every year. On December 29, 2008, they can do "big cats" day camp at the Zoo. (Marisa's favorite animal is a tiger.)

"Campers will spend the day exploring animals at the zoo. Activities, crafts and tours will teach campers about the animals that live in the zoo. Campers will get to an up close and personal encounter with some of the educational animals each day."

My mom did this for them last year and they LOVED it.

Shamrock would be a great brother for Sophie and Cricket!

How about JB? I think these would look fabulous on him!

They have different color options. Very cool.

I think Mr. Hopkins should totally own this.

It's not like anything I have seen him in but I think he could pull this off and look great.

Anyone out there have any money? My sister is in desparate need of this.

Seriously, her tv is like 40 years old. You still using rabbit ears Katie? :)

Too expensive? This would look great on Katie.

How about this for Jeannie?

I love the high neck and the waist detail. Too cute.

Wanna deal? Jeannie would look hot in these! AND they are 50% off!

Perfect for a cold, windy day in New York!

I think Sjon should have something fun to wear to all the concerts she goes to. Match this with her mohawk sporting husband and leather coat (or a cute red coat!) and she is good to go!

But then for a date night I think Sjon (or me) needs these.


Mikel, I think Matthew should buy you this.

I really like the pattern but if you want to go for a more classic style, I like this

This is neat for Matthew

It's a tiny pen that fits in the crease of any wallet. Who ever has a pen on them anyway? If he needs to jot down something for work it will always be there.

This one is tough because I think it would be great for Matthew and JB :)

Hee, I like it!

Well that's all for now. Notice how I have NOTHING for Dad!! Ideas welcome!!!