Fabulous Fridays: Halloween!

Hello lovely people! I feel cheerful today; maybe it's the Halloween spirit, maybe it's simply because it's Friday. But anyway, since tomorrow is Halloween, today's post will be dedicated to that. Let me give you some quotes, songs, images, and a thought ---> as my way of wishing you a very happy weekend. Oh, and I know it seems I put more quotes each time... I am too indecisive; there are many I like!

Quotes ^^ Witch and ghost make merry on this last of dear October’s days.  ~Unknown

^^ Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen,
Voices whisper in the trees, "Tonight is Halloween!"
~Dexter Kozen

^^ Once in a young lifetime one should be allowed to have as much sweetness as one can possibly want and hold.  ~Judith Olney

^^ Halloween wraps fear in innocence,
As though it were a slightly sour sweet.
Let terror, then, be turned into a treat...
~Nicholas Gordon

^^ On Halloween, witches come true;
Wild ghosts escape from dreams.
Each monster dances in the park....
~Nicholas Gordon

^^ Nothing on Earth so beautiful as the final haul on Halloween night.  ~Steve Almond

^^ 'Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world.
~William Shakespeare

^^ Nothing beats a haunted moonlit night on All Hallows Eve.... And on this fatal night, at this witching time, the starless sky laments black and unmoving.  The somber hues of an ominous, dark forest are suddenly illuminated under the emerging face of the full moon.  ~Kim Elizabeth

^^ This Halloween, the most popular mask is the Arnold Schwarzenegger mask.  And the best part?  With a mouth full of candy you will sound just like him.  ~Conan O'Brien

Here are two favorite Halloween songs of mine. The first one just makes me want to dance like a zombie; the second one is from an awesome little movie!

{...They did the mash
It caught on in a flash
They did the mash
They did the monster mash 
Zombies were having fun 
The party had just begun 
The guests included Wolf Man 
Dracula and his son...}

{...In this town we call home
Everyone hail to the pumpkin song [...]
I am the clown with the tear-away face
Here in a flash and gone without a trace
I am the "who" when you call, "Who's there?"
I am the wind blowing through your hair]...}

Thought: The first time I remember enjoying Halloween a lot, was after spending one here in the US as a kid--my other Halloweens were in Peru until I came to Texas in 2004-- and ending up with an amount of candy I never had before.  It definitely has a lot of spirit here.  I don't necessarily agree with all the crazy spending some people do, but I do like how much effort is put into making it a fun night. It's also nice to see how excited children get. As for us adults... dressing up is so much fun! This year, despite wanting to be Sailor Moon, I will dress up as Princess Leia as a favor to a friend :D  What will you be? Well I hope all of you vampires, witches, superheroes, movie characters, monsters, and ghosts have an amazing weekend! (This goes to everyone of course... even those who won't dress up). I leave you with a picture I found that looks kind of Sleepy Hollow-ish!

Missed Connections- What a wonderful idea...

I'm sure many people have already mentioned this on their blogs, but I had to do it too.
Has your curiosity ever led you to scan through the messages from the Missed Connections section in Craigslist? You probably know about it... people write messages with descriptions in the hope of finding someone they saw or met for a short time, or just to tell someone something {good or bad} when--for various reasons-- they can't say it directly. The thing is, this artist has a magnificent blog with drawings depicting what the messages say. She imagines the characters and creates lovely artwork based on them. Here is an example:

- m4w

We shared a bear suit at an apartment party on Saturday night.
I asked for your number and you gave it to me, but somehow I don't
have an area code written down. I had a great time talking with you,
and I don't trust Chance enough to wait until I see you in the elevators...

When will I come up with an idea this brilliant? Here is the article on her blog for you to check it out and also take a look at the other drawings. You'll love all of them!
Oh! And look at her website... I think I'm jealous now.

Rainbows & Smiles,

It's National Chocolate Day!

I just realized something dear readers! It's National Chocolate Day! No it's not an invention of hungry-Marcela because she loves sweets, it's actually true :)  Isn't it cute there is a day for that? [apparently there are a few others throughout the year}. That means only one thing: you can give yourself permission to indulge in a little bit of chocolate today! And I am going to give you a few more reasons why you should enjoy it:

- Dark chocolate has been known to lower high blood pressure, reduce the risk of clogged arteries and blood clots, and prevent heart disease and other ailments. Remember: The higher the cocoa content, the more disease-fighting flavonoids.
- Cocoa is packed with antioxidants, which, in addition to being great for your heart, also happen to be terrific for your skin. 
- There's a scientific reason why chocolate makes you feel better when you're grumpy. The fat, sugar, and tryptophan work together to raise serotonin and endorphin levels in your brain, which makes you feel happy.

(for those sweet ladies with whom cupid or boyfriend is not behaving too well)

- Note: Dark chocolate is less processed, helping it to retain some of these antioxidant properties. In addition, when making an effort to lose weight through diet the allowance of chocolate can curb cravings giving you the motivation you need to stick to your plan. 

So for those of you who don't want to indulge too much, you can choose dark chocolate and make sure it is at least 60 percent, and also don't forget to check the ingredients label for sweeteners and additives.

So what are you going to have today? a chocolate smoothie? a brownie? a chocolate chip cookie? a piece of bread with nutella? I had some chocolate mousse after lunch, but I promise I didn't sin too much :) it was only like 3 tea spoons. Go have some, and sweeten up your day a little bit!

source 1 - HungryGirl
source 2 - Livestrong
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What if... Wednesdays: Time

Hello pretty people,

Today I ask you this: What if you had the option to play with time in any way you wanted (choose one)? For instance, going back in time, travelling to the future, freezing time, or altering the way it works...
What would you pick and why? 
In my case, I think I would chose to alter the way it works. I would make days & nights longer, with at least 5 more hours each. There would be so many benefits out of that... 

- First of all, people would have more hours to sleep and more hours to enjoy the day, yay!
- Because of that, resting time would be incremented (working time would definitely stay the same!).
- Since resting time would increase, stress would probably be reduced.

- With much less stress, people would age slower.
- By aging slower, everyone would enjoy life a little better
 and perhaps rush things less.

There are many mornings when I wake up and I wish nights were longer, 
many days when I go home after work and wish I had more hours 
to do all the things I want & need, including time with family, pets, exercising, 
taking a cozy nap with no regrets, enjoying daylight more, etc. 

But maybe the good thing about time being how it is, is that it forces us 
to value it more, to be more proactive, to learn as much as we can, 
and to cherish moments with loved ones.
 It passes by quickly, and we notice it more and more as we grow older. 
Let's make the most out of our time! 

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On The Table

I've always liked the Macro feature in cameras.

When I'm at a table, using that feature is always 
a temptation for me.

I like to capture the
 spirit of the moments,
like when friends are drinking and having fun...

it's funny how unhealthy this looks... but there is that warning (in spanish)

...playing cards

...or simply having a meal at a restaurant

These are my table pictures.I think photography-inspiration can come at any moment in any place.Remember, 
sometimes friends might think you're being silly
with your camera, but photography will 
freeze a memory that you'll get to keep forever.

Thank you for 
stopping by today! 
Hasta maƱanaaaa.

Rainbows & Smiles,

Love Is...

Hello dear readers,
I hope you had a wonderful start of the week. Before heading home today, I wanted to comment on a wonderful post written by Sierra from Ocean DreamsShe talks about her first love and how heartbroken she was after such unforgettable experience ended; but she also talks about finding love again and discovering a whole other meaning to it, and something that I really loved about the post was the second to last paragraph, where she reminds us of something extremely important that everyone should remember:

"[...] love is not desperation, is not always fireworks, is not sacrificing everything, is not materialism, is not becoming a weaker person. My haunt managed to make me feel inferior and not good enough, no haunt or person for that matter should ever make you feel this way Ocean Dreamers. Instead love is mainly loyalty, cherishing someone, not leaving them, consistency not manipulation, improving someone and encouraging them to be an even better person, having the same goals, and trust [...]"

had an argument with my boyfriend recently, and sometimes when that happens I get sad because things are not perfect. But once in a while, we need a reminder that that's how love is supposed to be... not perfect. We need difficult moments to learn, to grow as people. We need 'tests' for our love to be stronger [the distance, in my case, is an excellent example]. Next time I have an argument with him, I want to remember Sierra's words; I don't want to try to manipulate the subject. I want to understand him and for him to understand me, thus helping each other become better. Sometimes we all forget to do that...  and sometimes we may not notice it, but the very own roots of the problems are the clues that that person cares about you and loves you in that 'perfect' way you desire. 


Raindrops On My Head... Cookies In My Mouth :)

The day started gloomy and cold. I woke up hearing the sound of raindrops, and the only thing I wanted was to stay in my warm little bed under my cozy blankets. 

I thought traffic would be very bad... thankfully it was lighter than what many of us expected. Once at work, I began my day as usual, with breakfast and office duties. I thought my day would be similar to other rainy ones, not too eventful. Then I had an idea: 

Since it was is chilly outside and I also had been sick during the weekend, I decided to treat myself to some delicious out-of-the-oven cookies. I went to my favorite cookie place in Austin, Tiff's Treats.

Can you tell I'm still a little bit sick? With that smile, naah!

The cookies brightened my day. I also bought a small bottle of milk! I'm back at my office enjoying my cookies and looking forward to a lovely grey afternoon, one in which I will look like this: 

Fabulous Fridays: Coffee

This post is dedicated to that amazing black beverage that I never get tired of drinking and that I will be enjoying a lot this Fall & Winter: Coffee

Quote(s): There are many today! I threw some silly ones in there as well :)

"Suave molecules of Mocha stir up your blood, without causing excess heat; the organ of thought receives from it a feeling of sympathy; work becomes easier and you will sit down without distress to your principal repast which will restore your body and afford you a calm, delicious night."  ~Prince Talleyrand

Black as the devil, Hot as hell,
Pure as an angel, Sweet as love. ~Charles Maurice de Talleyrand

"Over second and third cups flow matters of high finance, high state, common gossip and low comedy.  [Coffee] is a social binder, a warmer of tongues, a soberer of minds, a stimulant of wit, a foiler of sleep if you want it so.  From roadside mugs to the classic demi-tasse, it is the perfect democrat."  ~Author Unknown

"He was my cream, and I was his coffee -
And when you poured us together, it was something." ~Josephine Baker

Silly ones:
Deja Brew:  The feeling that you've had this coffee before.  ~Author Unknown
Be a coffee-drinking individual - espresso yourself!  ~Author Unknown
Do I like my coffee black?  There are other colors?  ~Author Unknown
Everybody should believe in something.  I believe I'll have another coffee.  ~Author Unknown
C:\COFFEE.POT missing (A)bort (R)etry (F)all asleep?  ~Author Unknown
if(pot.coffee=EMPTY) {programmer->;brain=OFF};  ~Author Unknown

Song: Jars Of Clay - Coffee Song

[Call it obsession, call it fanatical
I am not trying to make this a spectical
But I have this craving that justifies behaving
I really need some of that...
Oooh, good coffee, strong coffee
I need to have some...]

Thought: Well, it's obvious I like coffee. But, unlike many people, I don't love it because of the caffeine and its effects... I like coffee because just its smell can remind me of things I enjoy... a unique flavor, warmth, coziness, an afternoon with my mom, an hour with a friend, hazelnut & pumpkin, etc. Every morning I look forward to my coffee and toasts :) I don't care how strong it is, in fact I like it regular.  I love it when they serve it in real cups, but I don't mind a nice latte with whip cream and foam inside a cardboard one.  Oh and I also like how it naturally makes me put my fingers together and close my eyes as I take my first sip. 

I hope you have a very fun weekend!

Good {Sweet} Morning!

It's Friday! I'm so glad, I bet you are too. How is your morning going? I hope it's awesome and that the rest of your day remains that way. I wanted to share two delicious-looking recipes I came across while reading Hungry Girl Newsletter, which, by the way, has awesome tips on how to eat the things you like in a smart way, what to avoid in different restaurants, what the best choice between two similar products is... and more. So anyway! since I absolutely love everything that has sugar on it (almost everything at least), I plan to sweeten up my breakfast by making these yummy meals very soon--and you should do the same [the link has the complete procedures]: 

HG's Breakfast Rice Pudding

PER SERVING (1 cup): 290 calories, 4g fat, 244mg sodium, 55g carbs, 4g fiber, 9g sugars, 12g protein -- POINTS® value 5*
This is like the lovechild of oatmeal and rice pudding. It's hearty, cinnamon-packed, and super-delicious!

Crazy-Good Carrot-Cake Pancakes

PER SERVING (entire recipe): 290 calories, 1.5g fat, 510mg sodium, 54g carbs, 8g fiber, 15g sugars, 16g protein -- POINTS® value 5*
Two large and fluffy pancakes and a sweet cream cheese glaze... YUMMMM! And don't be daunted by the number of ingredients. This extra-special breakfast is 100% worth it!

Don't they look appetizing? Check the blog later today for Fabulous Friday!

Cupcakes, Coffee, and Love,

My Ideal Halloween Costume

Today I went to Lucy In The Sky, a very nice costume shop in Austin (expensive as well unfortunaly) and  tried this awesome Sailor Moon costume on. Don't I look like her? haha
I haven't rented it because I'm already doing a friend a favor by dressing up as Princess Leia.
 But one day, or if I have another party this year, I will rent my favorite one!


Memories That Make Me Giggle- # 4: Sibling Love

I have two younger brothers, Cesar and David. They are awesome! Anyway... when you have siblings, there are always times when you make jokes to each other or act mischievously together. My brother Cesar has always loved sweets--just like me-- he would even take some candy from you after he had already finished his (not always with permission). So one day while we were in the kitchen, I saw the Morton Salt container and suddenly had an idea. I grabbed the salt, pretended I was pouring it into my mouth and said out loud: mmmmhmmm! sugaaaar! Haha I remember Cesar came running, said "really? let me have some!" he grabbed the salt and poured some in his mouth. He made a funny face and had to spit the salt in the sink. I think it did not even land inside the sink but on the border of the counter. I am not sure what else he said or did afterwards. Sounds mean? we were just kids... :) now we don't do those things to each other:

What if... Wednesdays: Superheros

What if you could be or "invent" a superhero? What would you choose? Is there something you would like to do for the world? Is there someone or something you would like to defend or help in some way? Well... a few months ago I came across a link from Marvel, where you can "create your own superhero" and I came up with a brilliant one: Arctic Woman. Want to know what she does? Keep reading :)

Arctic Woman saves the polar bears! Have you seen how hard it is for them to swim for long distances in order to find their food? Climate change affects them negatively. I wish there was something we could do to help them :( 
But wait, that's not all! She also helps other animals that are in danger due to human causes, even pets who are being abused. She has a radar to detect that kind of animal suffering. Her powers are similar to the ones from Storm (X-men); she controls climate and can use water or lightning to punish bad people. Do you wish a certain superhero existed? Or which one would you invent? 

Rainbows & Smiles,

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image 2 made by me
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Paulie & The Cereal Box

For those of you who don't know, Paulie is one of my two cockatiels. His latest mischiefs are usually on my sidebar, but yesterday I caught one on my phone and had to post it. 

# 1: Paulie finds the cereal box...

#2: Paulie actually goes inside the cereal box. He has some kind of fascination for boxes of all types... he definitely had to have one for the one that carries a snack he likes...

#3: Paulie knows he's being watched and decides to continue, but cooperates with the camera. He knows he's being mischievous...

Simply Black&White (Part I)

I've always liked black & white photography. Today I want to share three of the 
ones I like the most. The first one was taken with a Canon Film Camera some years ago, during 
a rainy day at the airport. I was in the plane and we had to wait until the storm passed 
so that we could take off. There is something I really love about airplanes landing:

The next picture is not entirely black & white, but almost! It was taken during my trip
to Salzburg, Austria. I like everything that's going on in the 
middle: the church, the big interfering sign,  and the electrical cables: 

And finally, here is a picture of leafs that I really like. Light shining through trees/plants
gives a unique 'touch' to images: 

Thank you for visiting my blog! I'll post one more thing later :)

Loving My Monday

Sometimes you should take a few minutes to think about the things that have made your day special in some way. Monday is a great day to do that, since many of us might still be missing the weekend fun. This is what has made me happy so far: 

1) Waking up with a hairstyle that could actually work if I fix it up some; it looked like a haircut style  that I saw in a picture but was too scared to have it done. Now I know I can do it without the need of permanently looking that way. 

2) Traffic on the way to work wasn't bad at all; that always makes me smile.

3) Today is payday!

4) My co-workers and I got new business cards today and mine is turquoise. That's my favorite color.

5) I ate lunch without spending money because my mommy (mom just sounds too 'dry' today) made "Estofado de Pollo" and I always prefer her food than any other thing.

6) The weather is beautiful: it's sunny and fresh out there.

7) I have new followers, many of which seem to be beautiful people (the others I haven't met).

8) I just found a picture of a little dog running. Come on... tell me it makes you smile too:

That's it so far! And it's only 3:20 p.m. We'll see what the rest of the day brings. I hope you're having a great day! What's making you smile?

Fabulous Fridays: Silence

Quote(s): “Music and silence combine strongly because music is done with silence, 
and silence is full of music.” - Marcel Marceau

“Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

“You will find that silence or very gentle words are the most exquisite revenge for insult.”

"Speak only if what you're about to say is more beautiful than silence." - Arab Proverb

[...And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared

Disturb the sound of silence...]

Thought: When was the last time you were surrounded by complete silence
aside of bedtime? Have you notice that, due to our daily routine and to modern technology, we
rarely dedicate time to being in complete silence? Think about it, we get up,  go to work;
we listen to radio/cds in our car; we interact with people at the office,
we use ipods, mp3 players, and other devices when we walk, run, or use public transportation; we drive home and listen to music again or talk on on the phone. Later we watch tv and so on...
Next time, try cancelling all sounds; turn your cell phone off, think about your day...
the things you could do better next time, the actions you're proud of, the goals you have for next day, the things that made you smile, etc.  Maybe take a hot bath, but in complete silence; close your eyes and just breathe...
Sometimes you need moments like that more than you think.
Have a super cool weekend!


Ice Cream & Urban Landscape

Every week, a friend and I go to Whole Foods after work and have gelato. Yesterday I took my camera with me and decided to take a picture of the roof terrace we sit at. It's nice to just relax for a few minutes right after work and before driving home. Traffic is actually better if I head home a bit later. Perfect excuse!

Since I've been in Austin, the skyline has changed. New buildings continue to emerge, and it's nice to notice those changes as I indulge in the creaminess of my pistachio/ mint with chocolate chips ice cream. :)

Memories That Make Me Giggle- # 3: Karate Tournament

(make sure you read # 3- title's reference)

As I've mentioned before, my friends and I used to play silly games at school. This is one of them. Let me first explain: we were in an all-girls school and always had to find a way to be creative during our recess time. During our elementary school years, many martial arts-related series were popular; the ones you all probably know are Power Rangers, but there was also Flashman and Liveman (Japanese ones that came first). We used to play Flashman all the time! And there are things I remember from these wonderful years that always make me giggle:

1) Me and my friend Johanna would fight (and get mad at each other) saying "I'm going to marry Din!" (the red flashman) "No, I'm going to marry Din!." Her dad would always say to us: "stop fighting over a random chinese guy!"
Well, today I look at my crush... and I just smile:

2) Since we all wanted to be flashmans and not the mean guys (plus we didn't have enough people anyway), we pretended our school's patio concrete columns were our adversaries. We kicked them, punch them, they "kicked and punched" back at us, and we would scream like the flashman girls did (Sara had a peculiar scream and my friend imitated it correctly).

3) We did not have problems with "who's who" decisions. I liked Lu, the pink one, and my friend liked Sara, the yellow one.  

3) And this is one of the best memories: We were so into Flashman, that we decided to organize a "Karate Tournament" during recess-- even though we had no idea how to do karate. We thought we could; so we wrote "Karate Tournament, recess: back patio" in small papers and passed them along in the classroom.  During recess, we had our audience! Johanna and I just kicked and moved our arms as best we could... who knows who won...  at the end we couldn't decide. Later in the classroom, our teacher had already heard the story somehow. I remember her saying "so I heard something about a Karate Tournament," "who is responsible?" She then looked at me and said... Marcelaaaa. I can't remember much after that, but I know she was nice about it and just explained that we needed to be careful. I love this memory so much; I am going to tell my friend Johanna to read my blog right now.  Thanks for reading! Come back tomorrow for Fabulous Friday!


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