A LITTLE BIRTHDAY SURPRISE!

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetA Little Birthday Surprise took place 3 days ago in our home! My sweet hubby had a special Birthday to celebrate.. His big quarter of a century birthday. I think anyone who has read my blogs, knows how I feel about the big 25! To me its a special day! Unlike me, birthday’s are not that ‘big of a deal’ to my fiancé! He doesn’t like to make a big deal about them and rather just lay low. Trust me it’s not because he’s getting old.. lol.. I mean… OLDER! lol. He’s just a lay low kinda guy, especially for birthdays.

None the less, I wanted to make it a little special. He made it quite hard for me actually, he had no idea what he wanted or what he even wanted to do. So it was up to me, to make his day a little special. I wanted to do something he would never even think I would do… So I got my crafts out and got to work. A morning surprise was what he woke up to! I also gathered some ideas and began to think of some things we had talked about doing in the future. So with no help from him, and a little stress later, I came up with a simple idea. On his birthday we would paint!!  I’m sure everyone has heard of BYOB painting classes, where you bring your own booze and snacks and paint away! Well we kept it classy with some wine, grapes and muffins (lol) and got to work! And no better way to end the night off than by sharing it with family and having dinner with the ones you love on your birthday. Thats exactly what we did! Thank you to everyone who was there to share it with him!

Even though it was a simple day, I know my hubby appreciated it. Like I said, he’d rather lay low. He’s a simple kinda guy and I love that about him. We always talk about keeping the small things in our relationship alive and full of love and I really think this was one of those days. It was small, quaint, relaxing and full of fun and love. And what better day to experience something new than on a birthday??  Plus, we surprised ourselves with our art skills! Which by the way,our art pieces are a little glimpse into our wedding!

All I know is this… I can’t wait to share more Birthday’s with my future husband! Wish you so many more my love. May God bless you with many more full of health, love and happiness. Love you!

Love…

Jen ❤

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 presetAnd Yes! I made the ‘happy birthday’ banner and notes. Did i mention I love washi tape and that i woke up at 7 am to surprise him with this while he was sleeping?!? oh for the love of…LOVE & Birthdays..lol. Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 presetThe Final Product and a glimpse into our wedding next year! And yes, we did paint our wedding venue! Thats a Picasso for you! 😉Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetSuch a lovely day! Thank you to Painting with a Twist: Ft. Lauderdale for having us for a day! A special thank you also for allowing us to paint our venue and letting our creativity run wild and helping us every step of the way!

-Jen<3

PUMPKINS UNDER PALM TREES

IMG_4935In on honor of Fall, and its last month with us for this year… A day full of pumpkins.. Florida style under palm trees! A couple of weeks back we paid a visit to our local farmers market, Flamingo Road Nursery. It’s probably one of the most known farmer’s market in the Ft. Lauderdale area for their pumpkin patch. We made it on the last day that the farmer’s market was offering the pumpkin patch. It was full of people eager to get their hands on the most orange and roundest pumpkin there!

Down here in South Florida, our pumpkin patch experience is quite different from up north. Last year we sweat up a storm in probably 90 degree weather… Don’t worry we had a little better luck this year.  It wasn’t as hot this year and we had a nice breeze to cool us off! None-the less, we kinda made it a quick trip!  Drank some cold apple cider, rode the hayride and picked our pumpkins and headed home! The amount of people there was kinda crazy… we don’t do big crowds well.. so it was a trip, quick and to the point! It still was a great day spent with my honey and little sister!

What we were most excited for was really choosing the pumpkins to take them home and carve! Believe it or not, none of us had ever carved a pumpkin. There’s a first time for everything and  we can now scratch that off our to-do list because it was a great success! First stop after was to our local arts & craft store, Michael’s, to pick up some necessities for our pumpkins. Well lucky for us, they had pumpkin carving tools on sale for 88 cents! score!

We headed over to my parents house and set up our work station and began to get our hands dirty!! Hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I do! Every time I look back on them it reminds me of the fun we shared with my little sister and how great of a day we had! It was so heartwarming to see the excitement and the twinkle in my sisters eyes as she carved away her own pumpkin. She’s growing too fast and I’m making sure to cherish all the little moments with her. It’s always so joyous seeing her be proud of herself! (because yes, she carved it herself after we cleaned it out for her) It was also fun to do something new with Xavier. I must say we make one heck of a team!  Not only did we enjoy the day but being able to spend time with my family and having my parents watch us is always special!We made more memories, and good memories are always welcomed in my book!

Here is our day captured on my iPhone! Enjoy! Show us your pumpkin carving designs… we would love to see them!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

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Look at them go!
Look at them go!

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Love when two DIY’s meet and come together!

We hope your fall has been full of wonderful memories too!

Jen<3

LIFE & ITS SMALL PLEASURES LATELY

Life lately? Its been good to us. While some days we’re more tired than others. Usually its just because we either work or because we take advantage that we don’t work the next day and stay up late. Either way life has been good to us and we can’t complain. Besides the daily hustle of work, feeding our bellies and driving endlessly, we are grateful. I was looking through my phone earlier and found myself smiling. Smiling.. one, because I can capture such sweet moments here and there and two because even the smallest little things can cause the biggest warmth in your heart. If you know me at a personal level, you’ll know that I’m pretty much a picture hoarder. Times like this, where i get to sit back and look through all those pictures i have hoarded ‘stored in memories’ i feel a sense of happiness. Happy that we don’t forget that at the end of the day, even the smallest of things have made us smile one way or another in our days. I’m glad i keep a lot of these moments in my phone. Gosh, i am so thankful for my iPhone! lol.   I believe we call these, ‘small pleasures.‘  I wanna share with you all some of my simple pleasures within the last couple of  weeks and i hope you understand why my heart is full. Between yummy meals, family time, doggy time, diy’s and my handsome boyfriend, my heart is warm and full of love! What are your simple pleasures friends?

Hope you all are keeping track of all the little things in your lives that make you happy!

Happy week!

-Jen ❤

Breakfast on days off are the best with my honey
Breakfast on days off are the best with my honey

Coming Home to some homemade Fall diy’s always light up my day

Seeing Xavier and Bella become best friends and sending my brother silly faces from the girls always brings smiles

This little lady, is getting too big and reminding me of me when i was her age
This little lady, is getting too big and reminding me of me when i was her age

Don’t you worry my little Sofia, I will always be a kid with you at heart, play on my dear!

Um.. Nutella with anything? Thats always allowed in our home lol

She's our little princess and warms our hearts (even if Xavier denies it lol)
She’s our little princess and warms our hearts (even if Xavier denies it lol)
Spending time with this guy is always okay with me, no matter what we may be doing. This couch with this lady and us together is our favorite
Spending time with this guy is always okay with me, no matter what we may be doing. This couch with this lady and us together is our favorite

link up – Here –

Simple Pleasures

HELLO 25.. HELLO ST.AUGUSTINE!

hello25I think Birthday’s are just another day to be thankful and to realize how much we are blessed. Usually my birthday’s consist of a nice family dinner and day out! Well this year, for the big 25 it was more than just a dinner and day out. Thanks to my lovely boyfriend and family, it was a Birthday weekend getaway! It was so great and special of him. Since Xavier and I started dating, I have always made comments on how lovely it would be to just take a drive up to St. Augustine, FL. Well about a month before my big 25, I made it known that for this birthday I really wanted to go somewhere that I had never been to before and to be able to share it with his and my family. I think he got the point because one, he told me to stop worrying about it and two, he secretly planned the whole thing. He got my parents and his family all on the same page and they agreed to make the drive up for my birthday for the weekend.

I think one thing we did learn throughout his planning is how hard it is for both of our families to keep secrets,haha. We had a couple of people slip throughout the process. My mom during the week, slipped and asked me how the weather was in St. Augustine. His Aunt mentioned St.Augustine in a conversation about hotel rooms. And our friend Anita during lunch made it known that we weren’t going to be here for the weekend. Needless to say, I kind of had an idea a day or two before the actual trip. haha, my babe at least tried. Don’t get me wrong, I was still pretty surprised. Surprised because even though I kind of knew, I was surprised that not only did my parents go but also his parents and his aunt and uncle and their daughters. It was definitely shocking that he was able to get both of our families together, since we’ve failed several times at doing so. With the exception of some other individuals that I wish could have made it. It was still so special to have the ones that were able to make it, get away with me and leave their busy schedules behind.

The night before the trip, midnight to be exact, I got my Happy Birthday wishes and a beautiful watch and a card stating that we were leaving for the weekend! He can be so sweet. So the day of my birthday we got our bags and headed to my parents house. Turned out we were driving up with them, so off we were! Xavier than let me know that his parents would be driving up the next day since they had to work. Long behold, after a 4 1/2 hour drive we were there! Xavier’s parents and aunt and uncle would meet us there the next day.

All in all y’all, it was such a great birthday weekend! It meant the world to me that my family was able to be a part of yet another birthday. Turning a quarter of a century old is a big deal after all!  I truly feel beyond blessed to have such a caring family, not just MY OWN but also Xavier’s. My family and his, are all so supportive of our relationship and have such loving hearts for both of us. I really feel thankful of everyone who put their time and effort on making this birthday special for me, especially Xavier for making the plans. Life can be overwhelming at times, but life can also be wonderful if we choose to make it that way. Life is also about all the little moments we get to experience and who we get to experience them with. This past weekend the moments were memories I will cherish for a life time. THANK YOU EVERYONE!!! You all made me a very happy birthday girl.

And just so you all know, St. Augustine, FL is a beautiful little city! It is full of history, scenery, relaxation and so much more! Being known to be the oldest city, it is so incredibly cute and charming. There was so much to see and experience all in this little place. The views and the stories behind every thing you saw were remarkable. I highly recommend a trip to this charming little city! You truly will be taken back by all it has to offer. It is romantic, relaxing, exciting, and full of charm all at the same time. It was definitely a hot hot summer weekend, with much walking, but it was so worth it! We all fought through the heat and soaked up all that we had to see and learn there. I won’t tell you too much so you all experience it yourselves one day but here are some shots we took while there. Some of our stops throughout the city included: The Fountain of Youth, Castillo de San Marcos, Flagler College, St. Augustine Lighthouse and museum, and a couple of the oldest churches in the city. Those were a few of our city stops to just name a few! Lets just say my camera was very happy there!! And so were we!! (unfortunately I don’t have too many pictures of Xavier’s family since we split up for some of the day they were there for different activities, but they very much were a huge part of my celebration!)

Again, a big THANK YOU to all my loved ones for making memories with me. Love you all. ❤

And to the Love of my Life… thank you for all your efforts in making this birthday extra special for me. Love you to the moon and back times infinity! ❤

-Jen<3

PS. I had an obsession with the beautiful doors

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Thank You for the wonderful memories St. Augustine, see you soon!  Thank you to my family and most importantly.. Thank you God for giving me yet another day & another year, to share with my loved ones and to enjoy this life you have given us!  I am so grateful.

So what places have you all visited recently? =)
*all images are property of La Vida, life as it comes 

SEE YOU SOON PRIMA

See you soon prima! For my non spanish speaking followers, prima means; cousin in spanish. And let’s just say that I have one special cousin that is so dear to my heart. She was here for her summer vacation from college. Yesterday she left sunny South Florida back for another semester in North Carolina. She is one of my best friends aside from being my cousin. No questions about it. Her name is Natalie. Natalie is 19 years old, going on 35. haha. I really don’t mean that in a bad way. You see..the point that I am trying to make is that she’s not your average 19-year-old. I have watched Natalie grow over the years and the change is remarkable. Remarkable in such an amazing way. I think what bonded us over the years, with me being some years older than her, is her sense of maturity. Watching her grow up from this little spunky girl to such a mature lady has been an honor of mine as her older cousin. I may be older, but I admire her in so many ways.

Natalie is one of the most DETERMINED individuals I have personally met and have had the chance to see the determination in full effect! When she put’s her mind into doing something, anything at all.. you better believe that she will deliver! I have been able to see her work hard for what she has and its honestly inspiring. When she was in high school she came up to me one day and said she was trying out for the “lacrosse club.” I remember looking at her and thinking “Since when does she even know what lacrosse is?!” Well, needless to say, she joined the “club” and taught herself and learned from those who were willing to teach her and soaked up all things lacrosse. That lacrosse “club” soon turned into a “team.” Soon after, we were headed out to her high school lacrosse games and watching her kick some lacrosse butt! Turns out the girl was good! SO good that she managed to be the first in our family to get a full ride scholarship to a University in North Carolina playing lacrosse. Her determination is so great that it never seems to fail her. And I pray that it never does =)

You see, besides being so determined..Natalie is such a loving individual. If and when you meet her, she seems a little straight forward and a bit standoffish. But once you get to know her and draws you in to her fun and laid back personality, you see all the love she has in her. She is so humble at heart, something I hope she never looses. Because Humility is a precious gift to have when you really possess it. She’s also a little jokester at heart and I love that about her because I think its something we both have in common. Laughing is always great, but when we laugh together its even better! I’m so glad that her and I will have so many memories to last us a lifetime. But I’m especially excited for all the future memories we will make!

So the day before she left, we did something we never get tired of doing in this family! Kayaking! Xavier and I packed our little  bags and took her to our favorite park to kayak! It was such a beautiful day! The water was amazingly calm and clear, so we took advantage and kayaked out to this amazing sandbar in the Miami bay. It was like being on a little island surrounded by the clear waters. The view is always pretty awesome with the Miami skyline and the palm trees from a far. Breathtaking! I wish that we would’ve spent more time while she was here for the summer. But being a grown up sometimes limits our time. But at the same time, the time we did spend together was great and memorable and full of good laughs!

Were hoping that we can pay her a visit soon to her School and add to the memory book we already have. So dear prima, you will be missed while away at school but I couldn’t be more proud of all your accomplishments thus far. I already cannot wait to see you the next time. Never forget that your favorite cousin is just a phone call away and will always be here for you! Keep your head up at all times and never lose your humility and that happiness you carry on a daily basis. Keep grounded always and always remember to keep God in your heart! It’s so great to be the audience of your life as of now. I am so proud of the woman you have become and all that you have left to be. I hope you have an amazing season and a great semester! Love you Prima!

❤ Jen

Here is our amazing shots from our day kayaking with the Prima!Processed with VSCOcam with b1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

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SEE YOU LATER ALLIGATOR! =)

SUNDAY FUNDAY

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetToday we decided to spontaneously have a SUNDAY FUNDAY! Well kind of.. Late last night we decided that we should head over to one of our favorite places, Oleta River State Park. We also send out a last-minute invite to my parents and my little sister and they said they would let us know in the morning. So upon waking up, I guess they decided they felt a little spontaneous too and agreed to join us. We made a quick breakfast while my parents met us at our place. When they arrived we were ready to head out and we were full of excitement! This was going to be the first time we took my parents and my little sister to the park where I became Xavier’s girlfriend. Well the excitement was also due to them joining us on a kayaking Sunday in Miami. It was actually my moms first time kayaking and I couldn’t have been more proud of her! She did so well and was so much braver than I thought she would be. I think we all had a laugh or two seeing my parents on the same kayak and one doing all the work! At one point we looked back (since we did get a head start) and we just saw my mom holding the paddles still while my dad paddled to keep up! It was hilarious. My little sister definitely got a kick out of it and was glad she rode on our kayak. She was so cute today and was so excited every time she got a splash of water on her. She was a bit afraid at first, mostly because she kept thinking about “sharks” being in the water. Lets just say once she was on that kayak with us, her excitement and happiness took that fear away. We, re-assured her that she would be okay and that we wouldn’t let anything happen to her. We used the story that only dolphins lived in these waters and sharks lived a lot further away. Worked like a charm! haha. Well needless to say, the day was gorgeous. The sun was shining, and so were we! We made it out to a sandbar and had a blast in the water. It was so nice to be able to share one of our favorite past times with my parents and little sister! Their smiles today were priceless and heartwarming. But most importantly, it was wonderful to spend some quality time with them today…especially being such a beautiful day! We are hoping that next weekend we can head out there again. But next time we hope its with Xavier’s parents and our brothers and sisters. Im hoping we can make it happen! I love where we live. Miami is definitely great place to have in our backyards! This was our day through our iPhone’s.. Hope you all had a wonderful Sunday!Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with g3 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with g3 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with c1 presetCheers to SUNDAY FUNDAYS!

Love, Jen ❤

TO OUR MOM: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

mom10This week we celebrated  our moms birthday. Let me just tell you all before I go into details, that I haven’t seen that smile on her face in a long time. It was great to see her so happy. To start off, this year my dad had a great idea to surprise her. And boy was she surprised! The plan was to take her out to dinner to a place that she had never been to, but by the beach. Well, the question was, what restaurant?? There are so many down here in South Florida. We wanted to take her to one where we knew she would enjoy the food! ( she’s a picky eater, haha) The second part of the plan was that she would be under the impression that it was only going to be her and my dad. So the search for a restaurant and to make it seem they were going out to a birthday dinner date began. Part of the plan was for my boyfriend and I to pick up my little sister an hour or two before they left for their date. The next part of the plan was to get all my brothers and us of course, together that day to surprise her.

Well on a more personal level, no family is perfect… mine including. So to make a long story short, getting all of us siblings together with my parents was a big step. But by grace and with forgiving hearts, the arrangements were made and we were all on the same page and ready to surprise our mom!

So this past Wednesday,  a couple of days before her actual birthday (we have a wedding to attend on her birthday) we all had the night off from our busy everyday duties..so we used that opportunity to surprise her! I got up that day and picked up some delicious Misha’s cupcakes instead of a traditional birthday cake. ( I highly recommend to try these cupcakes, they are soo yummy!) After that, my boyfriend and I headed over to my parents and picked up Sofia two hours before dinner. We tricked her into thinking Sofia was going to join us for dinner with x and I and his parents, and she fell for it! Shortly after, we got ourselves dolled up and we were of to a restaurant by the beach here in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Sea Watch on the Ocean. All us siblings headed to the restaurant first, to wait for her big arrival! We held up our menus so that she wouldn’t see us as she walked in. But when she walked in, she followed my dads instructions to close her eyes.. and long behold, a big “SURPRISE” was definitely heard in the restaurant!

Her excitement and reaction was beautiful and heart warming.  I think deep down we all secretly shed a tear or two with her. She was so overwhelmed with appreciation that we were all there and TOGETHER. Something that had not happened in a long time. I still remember seeing her face and how happy and moved she was. I think as we get older, we seem to appreciate our parents happiness a lot more.. and becomes something you only wish you can fill their hearts with. I think we all did just that this night. And the best part of it was that we all came together for HER and did that and brought her happiness.

After our delicious meals, we headed over to the beach. It was literally right behind the restaurant so we continued the celebration! She blew out the candles on her cupcakes and made a wish that I bet was already complete! Cheers to our mom, friend, and the reason for many of our cries, laughter and love! We wish you so many more by our side!

So dear, Mami..

Happy Birthday from all of us.

We love you oh so much and enjoy seeing you happy!

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Isn't she beautiful?
Isn’t she beautiful?

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Happy Birthday Mami
Happy Birthday Mami

Happy Day my beautiful mother.. You are loved so dearly. May God Bless with you many more.. May he fill your heart with more love, more forgiveness, more happiness and more dreams in your heart.

Love, Jen and the family.