It’s the little things…

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I know… I know… I’ve sort of abandoned my blog a little, I promise I won’t do it again… Promise ūüôā

This morning while I was getting my morning coffee, someone asked me a simple enough question – What did you do this weekend? The conversation went like this…

Person – What did you do this weekend? Miss Thing???
Me – Well, went to the movies, did my long weekend run, went for a walk (simple enough answer right?)
Person – Well, how long is a long run exactly?
Me – 11 Miles (I said this with a smile)
Person – How much do you run on a given week, take this past week as an example? (at this point I started doing my mental math…)
Me – Well… Let me see… Hmmm…. (calculating in my mind)… 26 miles this week, and I did do a 45 mile bike ride as well
Person – Oh my God, sweetie, I think I would just pass out in 100 yards

This morning I realize that what I do and what I train for is impressive, just seeing her reaction this morning told me that.  The little things that I think are insignificant, are really not THAT little.

Now I want to back track to May.¬† I had¬†a little ‘Come to Jesus’ moment.¬† When I realized that yes I work out a lot, but I was eating garbage.¬† It didn’t matter how much I worked out, how many miles I logged, I was never going to get rid of the excess weight I had.¬† (Not going to lie, vanity did play a big part in the ‘Come to Jesus’ moment).¬† A friend of mine put me in contact with her cousin, who had started going to a boot camp.¬† I had an epiphany when I signed up and was given an eating plan.¬† I had to change my lifestyle, change what I ate and how I ate it.¬† Once I did that it all clicked.¬† Not going to say that it’s easy… But again it’s the little things.¬† Like swapping out white rice for brown.¬† Sometimes saying NO isn’t easy to do, but again it’s the little things.

Yaya used to say, “La vida¬†esta¬†llena¬†de poquitos” (Life is full of little things)… So it’s all¬†about the little things and the realization that Rome wasn’t built in¬†a day.¬† But in the changing of all the little things, big things materialize… I’ve signed up for a couple of Olympic & International distance triathlons… Next January I’ll run my 2nd Full Marathon… And I’m commiting¬†to train for a 1/2IM in 2013.¬†

So yes, it’s the little things that add up and make something great! Sometimes we need to find the greatness within ourselves without having someone else point it out.¬†

Celebrate the greatness that comes in the little things…

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A bit of Nostalgia…

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My mother, uncles and grandparents emigrated from Cuba in August of 1962… They never returned.¬† My grandmother would talk about life in Cuba in the 1950’s with such descriptive detail.¬† She would talk about where she lived, where she went, what she did.¬† She always did… Even when the dementia took her mind, she would remember the street she lived in, which was Gonzalo de Quesada¬†in Jaguey Grande, in the Province of Matanzas in Cuba.

Once a year in Miami, there’s a cultural exhibition called Cuba Nostalgia, it brings back a sense of the old Cuba my Yaya would talk about so fondly.¬† The Cuba I would never see, but in the scant pictures she was able to salvage and through her vivid descriptions.¬†

My Grandparents, Mom & Uncles… Circa 1958

This year, thanks to my friends at Santayana Jewelers http://santayana.com/, I got to bask in Cuban Bling!!!¬† They designed some amazing pieces that are very true¬†to the Cubanity¬†that a lot¬†of us that are children of exiles have.¬† I tried on the ‘Cafetera Ring’ and the ‘Caja China Ring’.¬† Let me explain the 2… Lets take the ‘Cafetera Ring’, one thing that brings people together is a cafecito, which littlerally¬†translates into little coffee.¬† It may look like the italian espresso, but it’s not.¬† The sugar is integrated into it right after brewing and if made by hand (like I do it) you have an amazing foam made by sugar.¬†Friends get together over cafecito¬†to catch up.¬†When a single girl makes good cafecito, it is said that she’s ready to get married, for Cubans that’s the marriage litmus test.¬† Now for the ‘Caja China Ring’, in every Cuban celebration, there’s one thing that you serve – PORK.¬† And where do you cook the pork??? In a caja china of course (http://www.lacajachina.com/).¬† Both the Cafetera¬†and the Caja China were perfectly done in silver.

As an American of Cuban decent, I feel that I belong to two cultures… I can make great burgers that are followed up by a mean cafecito, trust me that my cafecito has a cult-like following.¬† It’s nice to feel that I can relate to a place that I’ve never been to, but feel like it is also home.

March for Babies

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This morning I participated in the March of Dimes March for Babies, it was a gloomy day, the rain threatened, but held out to ensure the walk took place.  This walk took a new meaning two years ago, when one of my best friends lost her baby girl, Alessandra due to premature birth.

I can still remember the excitement¬†when we were all celebrating the pregnancy & the upcoming¬†arrival of a new little person in all our lives. I need to explain that some of my childhood friends have stopped being my friends, and have become family.¬† I’m Tia Lori to all of their kids and I consider them extensions of me… So when my friend’s water broke on Christmas Eve 2009 we all were on pins and needles. I remember I even took a cake to the hospital on December 28th to Celebrate my friend’s birthday… Then on December 29th, Alessandra was born, way too early… She was with us for a brief time but somehow she will always be with us.¬† I will never forget the sadness on my friend’s face when I went to see her at the hospital, at that moment I wish there was something I could do to make it all go away.¬† But it was way beyond what I could control.¬† So now I walk…

Every day a baby is born to early… Some thrive, others don’t… Please help me help the March of Dimes

www.marchforbabies.org/lorelama

Why Yes, I do bake… And very well…

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I had been in a baking lull… Hadn’t fired up my KitchenAid stand mixer in MONTHS… Then a couple of weeks ago I got an email invite for an Easter get together with Family.

My baking hiatus was lifted… I had something to bake for… And I knew what they wanted – my guava cupcakes.¬†I’m a fan of Sandra Lee’s semi homemade way to cook, bake, etc… So here goes my recipe for the amazing cupcakes…

Cake
1 Box White Cake Mix (I like Duncan Hines, you can use whichever you’d like)
2 Jars of Conchita Guava Preserves (You’ll need some of it for the frosting)

Frosting
1 Large Tub of Whipped Cream Cheese
2 Cups confectioners sugar
1 dash of vanilla
4 Tablespoons of the Conchita Guava Preserves

Make the frosting the day before so that it gets a nice consistency. Mix together the tub of cream cheese, add the confectioners sugar 1/2 a cup at a time to that it completely integrates into the frosting.¬† Once its all nicely mixed and smooth, add the 4 tablespoons of the Conchita Guava Preserves… Once it’s¬†done it will take a nice pink hue.¬† I put it into a big gallon zip lock.¬† When I’m ready to use I just cut off a tip and use it as a piping bag.¬† Genius right?

For the cupcakes, follow whatever the box says… Yes simple as that… Put the finished batter into the cupcake molds.¬† Now here’s the Lore part… Put 1/2 a teaspoon of the Conchita Guava Preserves in the center of the batter of each cupcake.¬† Follow the instructions on the box to bake…

Let the cupcakes COOL COMPLETELY before frosting.

All that is left to do is ENJOY them… ūüôā

Let me know if you bake them ūüôā

Healing a broken heart…

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My heart broke on October 3, 2011… It broke in a way I thought it would never break, even thought I knew one day it would.¬† My heart broke. On October 3rd, my beloved grandmother who I lovingly called Yaya left this earth.¬† My heart broke.

We had a bond beyond that of a grandmother and grandchild, she became my mother when my mother, her daughter passed away in January 1980. It was always us.  The two of us. Everywhere, for everything.  We were so close. She enabled me to have such a wonderful life growing up, I had so much LOVE. Yes I had a lot of material things, but most importantly I had LOVE.

With my birthday approaching… I’ve been off for the past couple of weeks… Couldn’t figure out why… Yes I’m a year older, so what? Then it hit me, this is the first time that Yaya won’t be here for my birthday. ***(Will post later about Yaya’s dementia and how she wasn’t always mentally here for the past 10 years or so).

My heart is broken… But someday it will mend… Until then, when it comes back together, it’s still broken…

I Finally Bought A…

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Mattress… Yes, I bought a mattress, an expensive one at that.

This was a big deal for me, I’ve been contemplating a new mattress for years (around 12 years to be exact).¬† But I always thought I’d wait, to have Mr. Right to help me make my choice. I’d thought I’d wait… While I slept in relatively bargain basement crappy mattress.

Until about two weeks ago, I had an Epiphany.¬† A major, aha!!! moment.¬† My aha!!! moment consisted of one question, ‘why wait?’.¬† Yes, why was I waiting, sleeping in a rather uncomfortable mattress, just because I was waiting for Mr. Right???¬† Then other questions, comments and¬†the sort started scrolling¬†in my mind.¬† One of those¬†thoughts¬†was even with Mr. Right, would I end up with the mattress that I wanted.¬† The answer that popped into my mind was – maybe not, more than likely not.

I did my research, and picked my mattress.¬† I plunked down much more than I thought I would ever pay for a mattress, but I figured the least I deserved was a good night’s sleep.¬† I felt rather powerful when I picked my mattress and bought it.¬†I didn’t need anyone to help me, make a choice for me.

I still don’t have Mr. Right, but as of Saturday I’ll have my perfect mattress, and that makes for a very Happy Lore :).

Valentine’s Day

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Ohhhh… Valentine’s Day….

I wish I could be one of those single girls that swears this is a holiday that was invented by Hallmark and that its fake.¬† But I’m not, I actually buy into it (sue me).¬† And think that it’s kind of cute.¬† Yes you should tell people¬†and¬†show them how you feel year round, I get it, I understand that. But still the whole¬†red, pink & white of the season is very¬†appealing. ¬†I still can remember making the cute ‘mail boxes’ out of shoe boxes¬†for school and my grandmother taking me to Eckerd Drugs to buy my Valentine’s Day cards to pass out to my friends.¬† I’m one of those people that I enjoy giving as much as enjoy receiving.

But as an adult, Valentine’s Day comes with slightly more pressure than it did when I was in the 4th grade… You no longer have those cute shoe box mail boxes to deposit those cute “be mine” cards.¬† One of the most fun Valentine’s Day was with some girl friends, we ordered take out from a fancy restaurant, got matching PJs and had a sleepover at my house, like if we were all 12 but we were more like 25. One of the worst Valentine’s Days I’ve had, my date cooked¬†a seafood paella (I don’t eat seafood and I don’t hide my dislike for it, not a secret.¬† He liked seafood so he cooked for him.) with a less than lovely necklace from Wal-Mart (therefore my hatred for that store).

But I still have hopes of one Valentine’s Day a boy (my age or there abouts) showing up at my house with flowers… One day… I know it will happen. Until then, I will be my own Valentine and show up at home with flowers (tulips), my own gifts – and wrap them all in beautiful red wrapping with matching bow.¬† So sue me, I like Valentine’s Day…