New Blog and Much Love

Hi! Hope everyone is enjoying my new blog at it's new web location! I'm getting more views now then I ever did. Thanks to all who have stayed with me. Hope your 2017 has been amazing! Here's to a fabulous 2018! :)

My love and hate relationship...

I hate when winter starts to slowly creep in for the season... you start to instantly feel the cold in the air. Just when I'm getting use to wearing my sleeveless tops, shorts, flip flops, shoes without socks and even running outside barefoot, suddenly all that is gone. I start to dread it, thinking about how long it will be when I'll be able to wear these things again. Now once I've gotten over that sadness and I'm dealing with it, it's a whole other story. I begin to embrace the coldness, the shorter days and extremely longer nights, I start getting excited to wear my cozy jumpers and my many jackets & coats I've now accumulated since living here, as well as my many cute scarves and hats. So then I start to enjoy the winter... but then after about 4 months of the blistering cold, constantly having to layer my clothes just to run to the shop, wearing double the socks and leggings under my jeans, I'm just soooo ready for spring and I'm back to hating winter all over again. That's my love and hate relationship with winter since I've been here, and so here we are once again with another long cold winter.

December 1st - yes, really.


I think this is a start to a very cold and long winter.... I hope not though.
 That's probably as much sun as we will be getting for the next 3 months :P

Stocking up with books at the library... we plan to hibernate for the winter. ;-)

Heading to Exmouth, Devon - 12 Dec 2016


Yes it's this cold!

Holy Trinity Church, Exmouth - 12 Dec 2016

This was one day in somewhere in Dorset heading to Devon

Another photo I do not remember where we were coming from. But the sun was setting and we were just passing Salisbury cathedral. This was a lucky shot and how amazing it was. The cathedral has the tallest church spire in the UK.

Salisbury Cathedral - 14 Dec 2016

 Spending time at home right where I belong...



But not on this day, we had to go out to Reading. My first time here and did a little shopping and walking around but I was too cold and a bit sleepy so I headed back to the car asap.



Reading, Berkshire - 21 Dec 2016

Saw this van in Reading, loved it! :)

Back home, relaxing... :P

My first taste of mulled wine for the winter!

Soon we were back out on the streets, the busy streets of Poole a couple days before Christmas in the town center... sounded like a bad idea but we had to go and it actually wasn't that bad at all and quite festive! :)



The day before Christmas eve we were in Weymouth to drop off some things for a client and OMG was it packed!! People everywhere, cars everywhere, it was nuts! I didn't want to get out of the car but our favourite little baker is there and we had to get something for breakfast.

Bacon and cheese 
Weymouth, Dorset - 23 Dec 2016

Doctor appointment and a chance to wear my newest jacket :)




Christmas came and went. It was great as always and the same with new years! And another year bites the dust!

New Year's Eve - 31 Dec 2016

2016 was a great year thanks to God! Our family was healthy and our lives full of positivity and love.

Beautiful sun rays over Poole

2015 Done and Dusted!

Christmas has never been a favorite holiday of mine. I've always been more of a Halloween type of girl. But for some reason England brings out a little of the Christmas spirit in me. I think it's the olde worlde charm of these festive villages all lit up and the fact that it's actually winter here, a constant cold reminder everyday. It feels more real to me. But I am not sad to see it go... I'm just ready for the holidays to be over with.... but until then I had a few more days to go!

A couple of days before Christmas Eve, Steve and I were in Lymington. We don't live too far from this little harbour town and I've only been to the harbour area once so I was ready to check out the other parts of it. Even though it was not the high season here it was still very busy... could be last minute Christmas shopping, there were tons of shops along the High Street selling all kinds of stuff.

Lymington, Hampshire. New Forest. England. 2015.12.22 
That hill was no joke. I walked down it to where I took the photo and down more to where I took the photos below.... That's always the easy part when walking hills, it's the coming back up part that is ass kicking. It was worth the walk though and I needed the exercise that's for sure!

The cobbled streets of Quay Hill, Lymington  2015.12.22 


This is where you really gotta work out your legs! This walk up was a bit on the tough side considering it had just finished raining. Even my tennis (with great grip) were slipping a little while walking up, though it seems the man in front of me wasn't having any problems at all. :P


==================================

So Christmas Eve was here. Thank god! Finally. We did what we've been doing every year since I've moved here and that was head to the Bournemouth Gardens for the German Christmas Market. There are families and people everywhere, live music, Christmas stalls, food, drink, all that good stuff. It helps that it is so close to home too cause we only stop by for awhile, but it's still always nice to come out.

Bournemouth Christmas Market  2015.12.24 
We always gotta get our sausages and donuts when we come out here too. The German sausages are the BOMB and the donuts are hot and fresh.



Merry Christmas Eve 2015
Before leaving the market, there was a catholic church nearby so we walked on over just before mass and said a little prayer. 


 ==================================

My Christmas dinner was amazing, let me tell you that! It was the best Christmas dinner I have made since I've been here. It better have been! I was in the kitchen all day long! We had our 5 meat roast, dressing, sprouts, cheesy cauliflower, broccoli casserole, Yorkshire pudding, pea salad, roasted potatoes.... oh did I mention the dessert? Bread pudding and custard! Everything homemade and everything the bomb! Thank you Pinterest!! ;) Hehe! 

 ==================================

New Year's Eve 2015.12.31

The only thing we did this new year's eve was go out for our last meal of the year, and boy did we do it right! All this was for just us two, needless to say we took a lot home and had as a midnight snack! 



The first time I ever tried Indian food was when I came to England and though I did like it a lot, it wasn't anything I loved and craved like most of the people do in Britain. They grew up with it, I get it. To them it's like the Mexican food to the everyone who isn't Mexican in the US. But for me it just wasn't like that... until I came here, it was soo good. After a week or so, I was craving more. Mmm!

So here we are, midnight and another year bites the dust. I don't mean that in a bad way, it was a good year. We were blessed to live another healthy and safe year. Myself, Steve and our families & friends. The only sad thing that happened this year was my Love's passing. And I can't complain about that either. She had to leave this world. Her lungs were done with all the smoking she did throughout her years of living which caused her to get cancer and which spread everywhere. It was time for her to go with the lord and be with her family in heaven. She left this world pain free without pain meds that would of controlled her judgement of who was all around her to tell her goodbye. She got to see everyone she loved and tell everyone goodbye. We all were blessed that God did that for us. Most people do not get the opportunity to tell their loved ones goodbye before they pass. We did, and I'm so grateful. I got to be there with here, thank god for that as well. So, yes it was a good year. I pray and hope next year is a good year... I hope we all take care of ourselves and God watches over all my family and friends. Happy New Year!
New Year's Eve 2015
Wishing all our family and friends around the world a Happy New Year full of love, good health and happiness! May 2016 be a great one for us all! We love you! 😀
💞🎉

My Love's Rings

I always told myself that when I could read the post I wrote about my Love's rings without crying, then that would be when I am ready to wear them. But I think no matter what, I'll always feel like crying when I read that post.

It's going on 6 months since my Love has passed away and for awhile now I have been really thinking a lot about it. I know if my Love could talk to me now, seeing that I kept her rings in my bedside drawer and them never being worn, she'd be pretty pissed off. She'd say in her loud almost mad sounding voice, "Mija, I told you I wanted you to have these rings when I died so you could wear them! Not keep them put away like that!" Then she'd half roll her eyes, look one way, then look back at me and give me her sweet playful smile letting me know she really wasn't mad, but was very serious.

So, I have decided to get them fitted asap. My Love also wanted Steve & I to use her rings when we got married, but we had already had our own at the time so we were not able to.

Well now, Steve and I have decided to have our marriage blessed in the church soon. The first idea that pops in my mind is that we will use her rings to do this. I'm so excited! And to be using her rings just as she wanted makes me even more happy! I know she will be there with us celebrating this special moment.

But even before that happens, I could not keep those rings sitting in that drawer not one day longer! Luckily I found a place that does ring sizing AS YOU WAIT and this afternoon we went and did that. They came out perfect and beautiful!


I'm proud and happy to finally be wearing my Love's rings. I already feel more closer to her with them on and I know she is happy.

From now on I will do my best to only think of the fun and happy times we had. There were soooo many of these fun moments we had together and I know she would not want me to be sad every time I missed her. Not only was she the best grandma in the world, she was also one cool and awesome little lady!   

Happy Birthday to My Popo!

A birthday🎉 TBT of me w/my Popo who turns 76 years young today! 💖🎈🎁🎈💗








My Little Lady

My little lady was put in her final place of rest today. I wasn't there in person but I was definitely there in my thoughts. I can't wait to go and visit her when I'm in Houston. I'm happy she is now settled in her new home...

I miss you Love. 


No Regrets

I have zero regrets when it comes to my Love. It is not a fact when someone says, "You'll always have regrets when someone dies." Statements like this are opinions, usually from a person who is guilty of treating someone like shit and is trying to find some way to make themselves feel better about it. It is possible to go through life treating your parent with respect or grandparent with love, (especially as an adult who should know better) and have no regrets after they are gone from this world. It's not like you're trying to swallow boiling water.

Before my Love passed, I was always there for her - when it mattered, when it didn't. I never treated her bad, ignored her, disrespected her, leave her in a room alone while she's still talking because I didn't like who she was talking about. I didn't only visit her on her birthday, or when I needed something, or once every couple of months; especially when she needed us most during the last couple years of her being in and out of the hospital. I always had her back and hated on anyone who gossipped about her or when her 2-faced sisters would never invite her to their family gatherings/parties. 

When I did visit her, I always helped her with anything, asked her if she needed something, always offering because common sense will tell you a person is not always going to tell you what they need or would like. You don't have to hold a college degree to figure out what a person you care for and love needs to feel comfortable or stay healthy. For example, you wouldn't buy a person with diabetes a basket of sweets, chocolate bars or pan dulce, would you? You would get them a fruit basket if they like sweets or make them a sugar free cake if you must. Everything is sugar free now-a-days.

We love her, it's natural to do things for the people you love. I thought doing things like that came naturally from a person, like blinking your eyes, feeling hungry, breathing.... maybe it doesn't for all. But you also think to yourself and remember, they are elderly, they have their pride, they will never ask for help or things, but being a daughter and even a granddaughter, you just know and you just do. 

When she first got sick, never did I care or even think about asking her to sign papers so when the day did come when she died, I would get her rings she promised me. How could I ask of such a thing from my dying grandmother, much less if she was my mother!? That is pretty heartbreaking. But I guess when you do not care for the parent and it is only you and them in the room, and you think no one else is listening, it doesn't matter anyway right? It's an amazingly shocking thing how low people go and selfish they become when someone dies. 

But even after naming not even half of the horrible things I didn't do, I am still able to write a never ending list of all the wonderful loving things that I did do, and that feels amazing inside! And the thing is, I do not need to list anything that my mom and I did for my Love and my grandfather during those rough times and any other time in their lives. My Momo knew and my Popo knows...

Over the years I've learned a lot about how the people that we grew up calling family can be. I learned that they were not true family but only relatives by blood who use the word 'family' as an excuse for you to put up with, deal with, and forgive them for things you wouldn't normally do for anyone else. My family are the people who love me and care for me unconditionally, as I do them - be it blood relatives or friends. I don't go years without speaking with them, talk about them to each other behind their backs or pretend to 'like' them, what would be the point then? 

I'll say it once and I'll say it a million times, I'm so grateful and blessed in the true meaning of the word to have a mother like mine. I can never say enough of how strong and independent she had made me to be. How to respect people when they should be respected. She's taught me how to play the game when it needs to be played. When not to put up with a person's bullshit, how to ignore the ones who really do not matter in life - the jealous people who envy you and hate you because you don't care and because you aren't afraid to speak the truth. 

Yes she pisses me off and we get on each others nerves at times, but I can never see myself ever not talking to her for even a week, much less months at a time because I'm mad or because I do not want to be bothered. That isn't only because I love her but she raised me and taught me that isn't how a daughter should treat her mother - to never hold a petty grudge with your own mother and go months without speaking with her, cause that will guarantee you the 'regrets' that these heartless selfish people speak of. 

My Love was so lucky to have a daughter like my Mom. My mom may not realize this, but she was my Love's real life angel. I know my Momo is looking down in agreement :) and my Popo feels the same way. Not many people get the opportunity in life to have that in someone but my Love did. Just as my mom does in me and always will, especially when she needs me the most...





Rings of Love

Ever since I was a little girl, my grandma would say to me, "Mija when I die, I'm going to let you have my wedding rings." It's not so bad hearing that when the person telling you is healthy enough to know they got a long way to go; and even then you really don't hear the death part of it and just think about how beautiful the rings are. But then when the time comes near, it really isn't something you wanna accept or even hear. You stop thinking about how beautiful the rings are and more about the death part becoming a reality.

Up to her last stay in the hospital when I called to speak with her and while with her the day before her passing, she was still wanting to make sure I was going to "get her rings." I don't think it set in even then because my first feeling was to laugh and think she was so silly for even bringing it up.

The day my Popo came to my mom's house, I thought it was only to tell Steve and I goodbye cause we were leaving back to England the next day, but he also had my Love's wedding rings.

Before she passed I knew my grandpa would give them to me eventually, maybe when we came back to visit again. I don't know, it wasn't something I was really thinking about, even with my grandma constantly talking about it.

But there they were, safe in a little box with my name written on it; and I felt so sad. The day was here when I no longer had my Love and all that I had left were her wedding rings she always talked about me having. And all I could think was that I wanted my Love back.

I know I have so many amazing memories with my Love; so many fun times. I am lucky we even got to live with them on and off throughout my childhood and teenage years, and to have always lived less than 5 minutes away from her, even as close as just across the street for the past 15 years till now was pretty awesome too; but I still can't help wishing if I could of only had her a little longer. Once she left, all those years suddenly felt like they flew right by, in the blink of an eye.

I haven't got the rings fitted so I can wear them yet. Just looking at them in the box gets me upset. I feel like once I start wearing them I will cry even more throughout the days then I do already. I don't know.

What I do know is that I miss my Love and it really sucks that I'll never be able to see her, hug her and kiss her again for the rest of my life.


Rest In Peace My Love



Elida R. Balandran, 74, was born on February 5, 1941 in Houston, Texas and went to be home with her "Lord and Savior" on May 21, 2015 in Houston Texas. Preceded in death by her beloved Parents, Arturo and Emilia Ramirez. Elida is survived by her Husband of 56 years, Domingo V. Balandran; her 2 Sons and 2 Daughters, 8 Grandchildren, 9 Great Grandchildren, and many relatives and friends.

=================================

How could I not have anything to say about my Love? I am lucky to have had her for 39 years of my life, with so many awesome memories. She was fun, always wanting to be out and loved to be around people. She always loved having everyone at her house. Anytime anyone asked her for something, she was happy to do it for them, not ever expecting anything in return. She was a sassy little lady too, never sugar coating anything. She was tough and the true definition of real. She never held back from speaking her mind. Any friends of mine that met her, loved her and friends who I talked about her to that had never met her, loved her too... But I loved her the most.

I'm happy to have had so many memories with my Love. I know she will be watching over me, and she might even haunt me from time to time. I hope so... she said she would.

There was this one story she told me, I use to make her tell it to me once in a while. She said when she was young, her and her sister Lela were at a store. I think it was like a Woolworth or something. They saw a bag in the middle of the store, I think maybe in one of the aisles; just there by itself. They were at a distance where they could see it and wanted to run and grab it but were scared they'd get caught stealing if they took it, but no one was around. So they were deciding who should take it, her or her sister. Finally they just ran to it, got it and ran off to the store's bathroom. When they opened it to see what was inside, it was all their own stuff. The bag they took was their own bag. She said they busted out laughing so hard. They couldn't believe they were so scared, only for it to be their own bag they stole. Silly girls. That story was so funny to me... I loved hearing all her little stories.

I'm going to miss that little lady of mine; but I know now that she is comfortable and happy with her mommy and daddy, chillin' on a cloud in heaven, watching over us all, patiently waiting for us to join them.


                                                                                                   21.05.2015 - 18:37

90) My first blog of 2015...

...and not a lot to say.

The past 11 days of the new year have been a big chill fest. It's winter and I am a wimp when it comes to the cold weather. I am healthy and still have not caught a cold or flu (yet), and prefer to stay cozy and warm in the house as much as possible. Enough said!

I have so many resolutions, big and small this year, I really want to complete them all, or at least 90% of them. I've started some and haven't even bothered with the others. I've downloaded a few apps to my phone that keep me organized and will help me with them. I love it, though they are kind of annoying at time - telling me when to drink water or when I need to take a walk cause I've been inactive for awhile. "Leave me the fuck alone" I yell to it often, but I refuse to remove them from my phone. It's a love/hate relationship for me and these apps.

On an exciting note, I did figure out the Whatsapp on my phone. I kept fucking with it forever and for some reason it wasn't finding my brother's phone number in my contacts. I had no idea why at first but now I'm thinking it was the way I had his phone number entered in contacts cause suddenly he showed up. I also usually use the FB messenger app for just messages back and forth to my fam/friends, but today I decided to try out the little phone icon off to the side and it worked! I called Mari and we were able to talk for awhile on a pretty good connection too. Not as great as when I can directly from skype but still good. I also called my cousin and she called me back on it with no problems. Love it! When it comes to calling people back and forth, the Messenger is so much better than Skype because once my screen closes on skype when connected from the phone, pc or tablet and someone calls me, I never hear the ring. The person on the other side can hear the phone ringing, but I never do and I miss the call. I hate that. So for the Messenger to be able to work properly in this way for me is awesome!

One thing I do want to do is blog more. I already blog about what we do when we are out but I want to blog more about nothing - more daily things that are going on, stuff that I am thinking, things that I find online or hear about on the news, current events, etc... just things so I can read back and be like, "Oh yeah, I remember when that terrorist attack happened in France, I was in England at the time...etc..." Stuff like that.

A FB friend of mine posted this the other day. I had to steal it. I love the fuck out of my family (including my closest friends) back home. We aren't a large group but I'm much more happier with it being small and drama free - the way a family should be <3





89) It's the end of Twenty Fourteen!

click photo to enlarge and view each individual photo via smilebox

We should of ended the year back in Houston with my familia, but things do not always go as planned (story of my life) and we ended up spending Christmas and New Year's Eve here in England again. I can't complain, it's England! But I really would of loved us all to be together.

I miss my family like crazy, especially my baby boys - Abel, David, Pickle and my Smokey. Just thinking about them makes me a little emotional. It's so weird because when I think back of the smallest things when I was back in Houston - from watching reality TV with my momma, cartoons under the covers with my pickle, making jokes and acting a fool with David, talking about nothing and chilling with Abel, and talking mess and picking on my dad.... you really just take all that for granted. It's just daily bullshit that doesn't mean much of anything. Until you leave and are away from them. Those smallest things are what you end up thinking about most and ends up being what you miss. But that is OK, that is life sometimes. *pep talking myself* The new year is ahead with new plans to see my family very soon! :-)

So Steve was on vacation the last two weeks of December. Yay! Though it feels like we have been on vacation all month, it has been kinda slow just because of the holidays approaching. I'm kinda missing our outings now. I'm ready to get back on the road and go back to work next year! :P We've done a lot of nothing. Literally! We've been very idle, pealing ourselves from the bed only to go somewhere if we have to but still making time to celebrate the holidays one way or another.

Christmas Eve we did our traditional visit to the German Market in Bournemouth Square. We did this last year and it's just so festive and a nice way to get into the Christmas spirit.

Bournemouth Square

Bournemouth Balloon 

Bournemouth Lower Gardens

We did some walking around, eating and enjoying the vibe. So many families, couples, friends and even a few elderly people I saw alone either walking with their little walkers or in their mobile rides. One little old man was in the park (with people everywhere of course) off to the side on his mobile cart, checking something on his 'smart phone'. :P I found that pretty funny, but I wondered if they even had any family. There were so many people out and about which always surprises me on Christmas Eve.

Merry Christmas Eve 2014!

click photo to enlarge and view each individual photo via smilebox
We were eating delicious German Bratwurst sausages and hot fresh donuts with cream! Mmm!

Christmas Market Stalls

Bournemouth Square

My family and I have always celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve together with food, music, fun. Which is why it was so weird for me to see so many people out. Usually Christmas day is the day we would just open gifts and lay around doing nothing. If we did leave to be with friends or out, that is usually the day we do it. I guess we are the odd ones when it comes to that :) Everyone is different!

So Christmas Day was spent at home. I planned to make a traditional English Christmas dinner for Steve and Papa Ellis. I was a mad woman in the kitchen, cooking all day! No really, all day! I cooked like I was cooking for 10 people! Haha! Hey, it's Christmas, what can I say? I was just so tired and so glad that I choose not to bake desserts on my own at the last minute. We ended up buying already made tiramisu and trifle from the store (thank god) and we didn't even eat any of it cause we were so full. Needless to say we had leftovers for the next three nights. But the food was amazing! I gave myself a few pats on the back for it and my husband LOVED it all! :)





Between New Year's Eve and Christmas it felt like we went back to laying around and doing nothing but we were actually out every day. Even if it was for a quick trip to the shop, we were out. We decided to get our Christmas gifts to each other on Boxing Day. This is a day in England (after Christmas) when they have all their after Christmas sales.

I have been wanting a cell phone since I've moved here (a year and a half now!) and this was the perfect time to get it as my gift. So we headed out to Curry's to get my awesome new Samsung Note4! I was excited to get something with a huge screen cause I am not a fan of the small iphone screen. Also very excited for the pen that comes with the note and other pretty amazing things it does. Even more excited to try out the camera on this thing! Woot! Merry Christmas to meee! Now to figure out how to use it and give my number out.


I was determined for my wubs to get something almost the same but he was so indecisive about it. We looked all around the store, I gave a million ideas, nothing. In the end, my sweet man ordered a shitload of books on Amazon and he was just as excited for this as I was for my phone! And below are only a few of the books that came in, there are still lots more we are waiting for.


Books are the perfect gift for him. He reads them every night and can read one book in a week usually. He reads them so fast! So even though he already has a million books, he has read them all once and even twice, so this really was the perfect gift for him. Now he has a whole new batch of books to read!

So the Monday before new year's eve we decided to go out and test out this bad boy (camera phone). I was well impressed and very satisfied with the results with no filters!

White Mill - Sturminster Marshall, Wimborne Dorset England
The River Stour and sunset.
Sturminster Marshall, Wimborne Dorset England.
White Mill Bridge - Sturminster Marshall, Wimborne Dorset England.
The Oldest bridge in Dorset.
River Stour. The view downstream towards Corfe Mullen and Wimborne.

This year for New Year's Eve I didn't make the mistake of drowning myself in wine. I actually didn't drink much at all but a glass at midnight. I was not going to go through the 3 day hangover like I did last year - no way! It was still fun and we just chilled like any other night together and watched the London fireworks on the tele. Thankful to have had another year together with wonderful family and friends in England and the USA. Looking forward to what 2015 has to offer!



 More photos here <Sturminster Marshall. Wimborne, Dorset England>

======================