Black Friday Deals 2016

Last night I went to Target with my boyfriend and little ones to buy a Black Friday special TV (We got a 50 inch for $250!) While we were there I wanted to go look at the Dyson vacuums that were also on sale. As we were walking through the crowded store we found ourselves behind an obnoxious group of adults who were playing soccer in the aisle and holding up foot-traffic with their game. I kept my thoughts to myself and I tried to walk through the aisle around them. My thoughts must have crept onto my face because the overweight woman in the group yelled “Wow people are so cranky this time of night” (it was only 8:45 :/ ) Again, I keep quiet and kept walking. She proceeds to provoke me once more by saying “Watch out! Cranky Pants coming through!” I turn around and say “You know what you are doing is really immature. People are trying to walk and you are holding up the aisle with this game.” I walked away, both of my daughters holding my hands and boyfriend behind the group with the baby. The woman’s face looked embarrassed and I thought that was the end of our encounter. Until I hear, “I bet she voted for Hillary!” and the group all laughed. She might as well had said “This is OUR American now Senorita!”, because that is what her jab sounded like in my head. I told her who I voted for has nothing to do with the fact that she and her friends are acting like assholes and called her a racist. (I don’t know if she really is a racist, but at the time that’s what came out of my mouth.) The group ALL looked embarrassed and quickly left the area. I was really upset. I was upset with what they said to me and I was even more upset that my children were there to witness me lose my cool. I go Black Friday shopping every year and always enjoy going. But this year, I am not feeling it. So I curated a list for you guys if you want to avoid the crowd and shop online! Happy Shopping Mom Jawn has some deals for you on Black Friday 2016:

For Baby:




Use my exclusive code: MomJawnCode for $10 off!

Dock-a-tot is expensive, but the internet is raving about them so I just ordered mine. You can even finance your dock with their affirm financing program.





I love my Milk Snob cover! This is a must have in my opinion if you are planning on breastfeeding. Use code: EarlyBird16 for 25% off your purchase.MilkSnob





With my first two kids I was unable to get an Ergobaby carrier because it was too expensive. This time around, a professor at my university gave me one in a box of hand-me-downs! I was thrilled! I absolutely love this thing. I use it when I’m at home and the baby gets fussy. I strap him in and go about my day cleaning or doing schoolwork.

Right now they are offering 30% off their Newborn Baby Bundle through 1/2/2017 Ergobaby




I got one of these off craigslist, however it was very hard to find secondhand. I looked for months and had to travel an hour to pick it up. This babycook is great if you want to know exactly what your little one is consuming. Right now if you use this code: VIP30 you can snag one for 30% off! Beaba




4moms is expensive, but justifiably so. I have the RockaRoo swing and the Breeze playpen and I Love Love Love them! They are offering 20% off all gear with the code NOV16 and 50% off of the Bounceroo. 4moms




If you have been reading my blog posts, you already know how strongly I feel about having a high safety rated car seat. My tried and tested favorite for all three of my children is Britax. Right now they are offering 35% off car seats and strollers through Amazon.

For you:

Banana Republic

Banana Republic is having their annual Black Friday 50% off sale. Use the code BRFIVE and get 50% off five regularly priced items! Sale ends 11/28.


Herbivore Botanicals

25% off with my exclusive code for new customers: MomJawnCode







Trump Effect: Trickle Down Racism

The day of the election I made it a point to grab my three children, dress them up, and take them to the polls. I wanted show them the importance of exercising their right to vote. As a woman I take my rights to vote seriously. I was so proud to take my little girls into the voting booth and have them press the button to vote for the first time ever in history for a female presidential candidate! In my heart I believed that America was ready for a Madam President and that Donald Trump was purposely put in the running as an alternative by the powers at be to give Americans no other choice other then to vote for a woman. During this long and ridiculous race to the White House I truly believed that there was no way an outright racist, sexist bigot, sexual predator would ever be entrusted with America’s secrets and be allowed to run this already great country. I believed that the good guy (good girl in this case) would always end up with the win.

A little back story: when I was pregnant with my first child I was stationed in a foreign country while serving in the Army. My daughter was not born in the United States. My children are aware of the fact that she was born overseas and it was never an issue to them until the morning after election night. I stayed up all night watching the results of the election in shock. I woke my girls up and told them to get ready for school. The first thing out of my youngest daughter’s mouth was “Is Hillary the president? Did she win?” I had to tell her the truth, “No baby she didn’t.”

I was woefully unprepared for her response. Her six year old face changed from excited to sorrow. She began hysterically crying. I tried to hug her, and asked “Baby why are you crying?”

She looked up to me with her big dark brown eyes and said “I don’t want my sister to be sent back!” and began to wail with tears.

I sat there in shock. I had never discussed Trump’s policies on immigration with my children, nor do I have cable TV  in my household. I thought my children were sheltered from Trump’s hurtful rhetoric. I was unaware that my children’s peers at school, were watching, paying attention, and talking about it at school.

I hugged my daughter again and told her that her sister was not going anywhere, that she was a citizen and had every right to stay in this country and not to ever worry about her sister leaving her side. It took a lot of convincing but she finally believed me and started to get ready to go to school.

This left me thinking. If my children, who I thought were blissfully unaware of the great divide plaguing this country were worried about the future of the United States. Then what were other kids around America thinking?

Later that day my twitter feed was full of tweets expressing horror of the all too common occurrences of hate crimes sparked by Trump’s triumph. It seemed like the world had lost it’s shit. Closeted racists let their confederate flags fly free and the hatred trickled down into our education system. So began the hate spiral of 2016.

Children, were now chanting- “Build that wall! Build that wall!” in their cafeterias. Bullying has become out of control since Election day. The Southern Poverty Law center has collected more than enough data of election related attacks nationwide and it shows that “more than 1/3 of the incidents tracked by the SPLC took place in k-12 schools.”



Royal Oak Middle School


As a mother I am alarmed. As a Latina, I am concerned for my fellow minorities. As a Veteran I am disappointed. As the matriarch of a bi-racial blended family I am outraged. As a woman I am furious that a man who once said “Just grab her by the pussy” is going to be in charge of THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. As a decent human being I am truly saddened that this country would entrust the future of the Land of the Free to an outright racist, bigot pig.

I try to teach my children to be good people, but with Trump winning the election by basically bullying his way into the White House, who knows what the kids will take from it.


I urge you, regardless of who you voted for. Please talk to your children about the dangers of their words. Teach them to have compassion for one another. While the Royal Oak Middle schoolers were chanting build that wall, some of their Hispanic classmates who have undocumented parents were crying because they are in true fear of their parents being taken from them. Tell them that years from now when they decide to get jobs, these images of hatred will be lurking somewhere on the internet for potential employers to see.

Please share your children’s reactions the morning after the election in the comment section!

.Secret Santa Helper.

This year I got voluntold to be part of a Secret Santa. The only restriction that was placed on the  Secret Santa gift exchange was that the gift be about ten dollars. I scoured Pinterest for ideas, and every Secret Santa guide I came across was outdated. Every gift on the suggested lists would either be sold out or the web link would not exist. So here is a list of gifts you can buy off for your Secret Santa exchange:

$10 and under:

BB No.1 Blissful Mind Organic Bath Tea- Single $5.77


From BoticaBliss

Handmade Luxury Coconut Milk Soap $4.50


From The Glitter Farm Soap Co

For these gifts you could buy two, wrap them in brown paper, and tie with twine for your friend who needs some me time.

Tiny Hexagon necklace $8.50



Tiny jewelry is trending and looks so chic. Get this one for a friend who is a minimalist. This Etsy shop has a lot of beautiful pieces of jewelry for sale at very affordable prices.

Personalized Notebook $10



People are attached to their own names, so getting a notebook like this one from Please and Thanks Cards is sure to be an instant hit for the writer friend in your life.

$20 and under:

Personalized Wine Glass $10.00 + Wine Me Socks $10.00


Who wouldn’t want a pair of these? You might as well get yourself a pair of these comfy socks as well!

Nasty Woman Mug $16.95



Perfect for your favorite feminist colleague.

Personalized initial bracelet $20.39



 These bangles are adorable. Rose gold is really in now.

$30 and under:

Soy Candle $21



Bad Ass Candles

If you have a friend with a Chelsea Handler-ish type of sense of humor, she will love this! (I would want one of these haha.)



4 organic herb indoor gardening gift set $25.50



The Gifted Tomato

If you have a friend who is hands on and into the whole grow-your-own-food movement, this is the gift for her.


Succulent Christmas Box $28.95



Perfect for your nature-loving friend! The winter is dull. This gift is sure to bring life and color to anyone you know experiencing the Winter Blues.

.Turkey Day.

Thanksgiving Day  

Thanksgiving, is my favorite holiday. In 2009, it was my second year in the Army and I remembered how it felt to be away from my family for the holidays and I knew first hand it was really depressing to spend Thanksgiving in the barracks. I hosted Thanksgiving dinner in my apartment and invited all the junior soldiers who lived in the barracks over to my apartment. That year I had my Thanksgiving dinner catered. The next year I decided to try and cook by myself. Each year has presented new difficulties but this year I feel like I have everything down pat.

Here is a list of my go to recipes:

The Turkey:                                                                                                                                     I found this guide to be very useful when picking out my turkey:1445705929592

Two years ago, I started smoking my turkey. The turkey comes out SO juicy and crisp on the outside.  

I start out by thawing my turkey in the fridge five days prior to Thanksgiving. Then the night before Thanksgiving I brine the turkey. Each year I clean out my fridge to make room for a 5-gallon The Home Depot bucket.



You can get one for $2.97.

Then I pour in the spices:

Garlic Powder

Onion powder

brown sugar

sliced lemons



Pepper corns



Rosemary sprigs

Mix all items in bucket. Then add some boiled water and let it cool. The first year I brined the turkey I only had a small pot to boil water so I just added the boiling water in the bucket, but generally you boil the water with the spices in the water for five minutes. Honestly, I was unable to taste the difference. Add defrosted turkey and fill the rest of the bucket up. When I was single I would put the bucket into the fridge prior to filling it up because it was too heavy for me to lift, but now I just make my boyfriend do it!

Let the turkey brine for at least 12 hours and then rinse the brine off the turkey when you are ready to put it in the smoker.

Prior to putting the turkey in the smoker, mix together the same spices and rub the turkey down with the mixture. I cut up lemons and place them inside of the turkey and onions. 


I buy flavored wood chips from The Home Depot as well. First soak them in water and make an aluminum foil container for them and poke holes into the make shift container.

I place this at the bottom of the smoker and put water into the drip pan bowl. Also, place the charcoal into the smoker.  Then place the turkey into the smoker and let it smoke for a few hours.

  You can buy a smoker here

My boyfriend loves baked mac and cheese. I use Pattie Labelle’s mac and cheese recipe. Every year this mac and cheese is a hit. (He told me it was better than his aunt’s baked mac and cheese so that says something!)


Another family favorite is Ensalada de Papa (Potato salad) that my grandmother taught me how to make:

 Russet Potatoes, mashed                                                                 

Apples, sliced or cubed

Yellow onion, chopped


Salt and pepper

Roasted red peppers, sliced

Boiled eggs, sliced


Last year I made cranberry sauce myself for the first time and was not happy with the results. I think I put too much orange zest in it. I followed the recipe to the tee, but it tasted too tangy. This year I will either tweak the recipe I used or go back to canned cranberry. 

I am also going to try a new stuffing recipe I got from Kourtney Kardashian app

Corn bread stuffing:

Vegan butter

Spanish onion

1 celery stock, chopped

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

¾ cup water

6 cups cubed into 1 inch pieces

1/3 cup fresh sage leaves

2 large eggs beaten 


Sweet potato soufflé:

Everyone’s favorite at my house.

You will need:

3 Cups of mashed yams: I peel them then boil them. You will know they are ready when the yams begin to float. 

3/4 cups of sugar

1/3 cup of softened butter

2 eggs

1 tsp of vanilla extract

1/2 cup of milk (we use Lactaid milk you can not tell the difference)

Mash the yams and add the rest of the ingredients. I add the eggs last so I can taste it to make sure its sweet enough. Bake it for 45 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees.


This year I am also trying something new: gluten-free pumpkin pie. I never made pumpkin pie before because I felt like making all the Thanksgiving fixings AND dessert was just too much for me to do on my own.

My daughter is allergic to dairy so I will also be making coconut whipped cream. While researching a recipe to try out I stumbled across this website called Petite Allergy Treats. And I am thrilled that I did because my daughter is pretty much allergic to everything. Here is the link: Check it out! 

I also make a pasta salad because I feel like it’s something people can munch on while they wait for the food to be ready.

Pasta Salad:

Its super easy to make. Boil the pasta, drain it, put it in a bowl. Add sliced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, cheddar cheese, mini pepperoni, chopped onion, and dressing. Then mix. This is something that is best to make this the night before and place in the fridge.

Tri-color pasta

Red onion, chopped

Cucumber, sliced

Cherry Tomatoes, halved or whole

Hormel mini pepperoni

Ken’s Light Ceasar salad dressing

Shredded cheddar cheese









.Trump Card.

During this long election, my thoughts were always on the optimistic side: I believed that the country I fought for, that the six years I spent away from my family defending freedom mattered. That the daily misogyny I experienced in the military was isolated only to the military. Last night I found out that I was so wrong. Donald Trump’s victory has taught me one thing: that being a racist, sexual predator is more acceptable than being a woman in this country. Those of you who failed to vote, let this day be a lesson. For those of you who pissed away you’re vote on a third party, I hope your happy. Lastly, to the poor white Americans who voted for Trump, you have been conned.

I see these numbers below and can only think, what were you thinking, White Women?


And then I saw a tweet from @thecapitalv that said “What a privilege it must be to be able to look past a presidential candidate’s racism because it won’t affect you.” And understood.


.I’m with Her, she’s with Him.

Mpolly best friend voted for Donald Trump. Now for the first time in our twenty year old friendship, I am questioning why we are still friends. She and I have a mutual friend named Ashley*, who is white and is married to a black man. I called my best friend one day after seeing an outrageous post, supporting Donald Trump and condemning abortion from Ashley. It is ironic because I remember Ashley* telling me on a drunken night ten years ago that she had had an abortion while away at school.

I said to my best friend “Did you see Ashley’s* post?”

My best friend giggled and said “No, but I know it’s some dumb shit.” (We both find our mutual friend annoying but we have all known each other for a long time so we tolerate each other.)

“She is voting for Trump. Like, seriously, I bet her husband is pissed!” I told her.

There was a long, uncomfortable pause… “Hello?” there must have been a bad phone connection I thought because I expected her to immediately start throwing shade with me.

“Well…” She hesitated. I interrupted her and said “What you are going to vote for Trump now?” half jokingly. Over the summer she was with her while we chatted about the crazy election.

“I mean, yeah, I think I’m going to vote for trump.” She said.

I was shocked, my best friend, my homie, my ride or die, the girl whose family questions our friendship sometimes for an actual relationship was standing with a man who stands for everything I am against. How could this be?

I asked her to explain why. I was baffled, I couldn’t understand how someone who had exercised her right to be pro-choice wanted to vote for someone who said she should be punished for her decision to choose.

She started spouting out facts about Hillary and what Trump is promising. I know my best friend. In and out. I knew in the pit of my stomach that she did not come up with these conclusions on her own. I let her express her opinion and I expressed mine. We were at a stale-mate. Right before we hung up  I quickly asked “Hey, who is your new boo voting for?”

There was another long pause. She knows me in and out as well. She know what I was getting at.

“Uh, I think he’s voting for Trump.” :/

.Baby Product Reviews.


When I first became a mom in 2009, I was a single mom and a Private First Class in the Army. I was broke. My daughters slept in bed with me in my small apartment. I made the best of the situation, and they made it out of infancy so it’s safe to say that even on the most humble of budgets you can raise a happy baby. At 28 years old I am a little bit more established with my new baby I am able to spend a little bit more and get the products I want for him. Even though I am working with a two parent budget, I am still cheap!

You don’t have to buy your new baby all new things. I know  it’s your first baby and you want to give them the best, but sometimes the best can be second-hand and no one will know, not even your baby! Here is a list of items that in my opinion you should by new and what is okay to buy second-hand.

Things I would buy brand new:

A Breast Pump:

You can buy a breast pump second-hand, BUT buy all the parts new. Meaning, the flanges, tubes (They can get mold in them so just buy new), the membranes. They sell all these pieces separately so it’s easy to replace them.

I said I like to be frugal, so breastfeeding to me is the best option. It’s free, it’s organic, and I don’t have to stumble in the middle of the night to warm up a bottle. Best part is, insurance now covers breast pumps! There was a hiccup with my insurance when I had my son so I went out and bought a breast pump that was on sale at Babies ‘R Us my insurance eventually sent me a breast pump so now I have two. m

I got the Ameda Purely Yours breast pump in the clearance section of Babies ‘R Us. This breast pump is ideal for a mom who will have a “Pumping Station” set up in her house. It has a lot of pieces in my opinion, six pieces in all. The bottles are made to be able to put a nipple into them as well, but in my house shit gets lost so the disks that are made to make the top leak proof when a nipple isn’t on it is just impractical. The pump is quieter than my other one but it’s not ideal for an on the go mom. The bag is a plus-it doesn’t scream “Hey I’m carrying a breast pump!”

My insurance sent me the Medela Pump in style



I like this pump a whole lot more than the Ameda, because it’s smaller and has fewer pieces. This one has two settings, one to mimic initial feeding and the other to help with let down. I used my Ameda bag to carry this pump around.


Bottles are another item that you can kind of buy second-hand if you wanted to but you have to replace the nipples. Stores sell replacement nipples so it’s easy to replace them. You should buy the nipples new because bottle nipples go through a beating with hungry babies. They can wear out and possibly break causing a choking hazard for baby, just not worth the risk so buy new nipples if you plan on buying the bottles second hand.

Even if you plan to exclusively breast feed there will come a time where your baby will need to use a bottle in the event that you two are separated. My advice, after you have established your milk, test out the baby bottle you intend to use. I didn’t do this the first time I left my baby at home with my boyfriend. The baby hated the bottle and it was very difficult for him to feed him. Poor guy! We tried three different bottles before we found one he actually would feed from, maybe by the third bottle he finally got used to taking milk from the bottle, or maybe he genuinely liked the third bottle best, we will never know.

I had registered for Bare bottles. They were new to the market and the nipple looked the most like a real one. Above all that it visually appealed to me, I liked the colors it was cute. They were expensive so I didn’t think anyone would buy them off the registry but to my surprise someone did. My baby hated these bottles, and I ended up hating them too. They flow too fast and the liquid gold I had worked so hard to make would leak all over his face… That is when I finally understood the term “crying over spilled milk.” It was difficult to get a decent latch either so we ditched these bottles. Shame.


I scoured the internet to find an alternative. I ordered Adiri NxGen Nurser. This bottle came highly recommended by other mom bloggers, so I figured it was worth a shot. 6ca349e861e4b17d34ec6399b73d67f1

His daycare said that he drank the bottle, but again it was hard for him to latch on and he would get frustrated. I was distraught. I went right back to college when my baby was four months old and was determined to finish the semester so having a baby that refused to eat while I was gone constantly had me worried.

Then one day while cleaning out my closet I found a gift bag that Babies ‘R’ Us had given me when I created my registry. Inside were coupons and samples and a baby bottle made by Maam. I had forgotten that they gave me a bottle. The bottle looked old school which really failed to appeal to me but I was desperate to find him a bottle he liked so I tried it. 47081342980506pThe Maam Anti-Colic Bottle was the winner. Supposedly it reduces gas and burping, I don’t know how true that statement is but I do know that the bottle boast that it ensures easier feedings for your baby. I would agree with that claim.

Car Seats:

Do not buy your babies car seat used, I repeat DO NOT BUY YOUR PRECIOUS ANGEL A SECOND HAND CAR SEAT. This is an item that if used, could potentially save your child’s life. It is just better to spend the money. Do you know that car seats have expiration dates? Yeah, they do! Most car seats expire after six years from the date of manufacture. Usually the date is printed right on the car seat but if not check the owner’s manual. When buying used you don’t know the car seat’s entire history. If that car seat was in a prior accident, pieces on the inside could have already taken the shock of impact and be broken. In the event that you are in a car crash, even if youR baby is not with you in the car at the time of the crash but the seat was in the car, you should replace it. When it comes to things like car safety I don’t penny pinch or take short cuts because the stakes are too high.

Also you can check to see if a car seat has ever been recalled.

I bought a Baby Trend Travel System that came with a stroller, and infant car seat.

This infant car seat is pretty standard. rear facing, fits up to 35 lbs. I chose this particular car seat because it was black and heather grey…cuteeeee!

With my girls I had bought them Britax Marathon Car seats. We got in a car accident and they were safe. So I wanted to buy new baby the same one.


This is the Britax Marathon Rear/Front Facing car seat. I chose the Nantucket one because I think it just looks so chic as far as car seats go. And this is the type of car seat you can buy for baby for his first ride home from the hospital until he’s ready for a booster seat (Birth to 6 years old). They are pricey but they are top of the line and if you think about it full price this car seat is $350, divide that by 6 years, it’s $58.34 a month to keep your baby safe and sound. Meaning you will get your money’s worth.

Mom Jawn Tip: If you are shopping for a new car seat check Babies ‘R’ Us open box section. This is where they have items that are other wise new and safe but do not have a box.For example when I bought my stroller travel system, the latch to connect the buggy to the stroller was cracked, I took it back to the store and a few days later I saw the car seat that belonged to the system on the open box shelf. Babies ‘R’ Us cannot put any car seat out on the floor if it has not been properly inspected by an independent inspector. I got this Britax Marathon at a discounted price $202.00 (Yay!)

Here is a link of a youtube video made by Britax on Car seat installation for this model:


Things you can buy used:

Baby Swing:

I REALLY wanted to get baby a RockaRoo Swing, but I COULD not justify to myself paying $249 dollars for something I would only use for his first six months of life. So I bought a second-hand Fisher-price swing from a friend of a friends for $60. 14583532.jpg

In my opinion, this swing isn’t cute, and the base of the swing took up A LOT of space in my tiny apartment bedroom, but it got the job done.

One day my baby’s daycare was having a yard-sale, and they were selling a RockaRoo thykt9qyuzSwing for TEN DOLLARS! I was so glad I didn’t spend the money on a new one.  This swing takes way less space and looks cuter too. I think you can plug your music into it but I haven’t used the feature yet.

Both swings I got second-hand and were both a steal compared to buying new.

Baby Clothes:

Almost all of my babies’ clothes are second-hand or purchase from a thrift shop. Guess what? No one knows, plus people really just want to ogle at your baby and make funny faces. They rarely ever look at a baby to see their fashion style. Oh yeah, and even though his clothes are second hand, they look new, and people do compliment me all the time about his cute little outfits. I buy baby organic bibs new though, just because I know babies sometimes stuff their bibs in their mouth so I feel better giving him a new bib that is made out of organic fabric that has not been treated with chemicals.


.Beauty Product Review.

Trying to live a healthy lifestyle can seem daunting to some. Buying organic is more expensive, it takes too much time to cook every meal, and some healthy food is just bland. I am trying to live a healthier lifestyle so I started educating myself on what I was putting into my body that I had to stop and think about what I was putting on my body. The beauty industry over the years has offered us harsh chemicals in make up, lotion, perfume, and we accepted it because that what was really all there was out there.

But now companies are seeing that people want alternatives. Just because someone is anti-chemicals doesn’t mean they don’t want to use lotion, it just means they want a safer alternative.hb_pinkclay_gentleclense_claysoapbar_02

In looking for better skin products that were natural I stumbled upon Herbivore Botanicals. A skin care line dedicated to bringing “truly natural, cruelty free skincare.” What initially attracted me to these products was the packaging. It’s so simple and clean looking. Then I read that these products were developed by a husband and wife from Seattle. Hello, I love supporting small business’! But then I saw the price…As a SAHM/Broke college student I thought that the products were a bit pricey for me to try out. I pinned it onto my “Want” Pinterest board and kept scrolling.

Then a few weeks later while at my friend’s spa, I saw that she was selling their products. I asked her if she liked them, and she began raving about them. She’s a friend so she was not really just trying to sell me a product. She genuinely liked their products.

So I bought their Lapis Oil roller from her. She had mentioned earlier while she was doing my facial that my skin was “Dry as a bone” and I knew it was true, so it was time to try a new way to moisturize my skin.

When I got home I ended up ordering their Pink Clay soap bar from their website and after using both products on my skin I see a difference. Ever since I had my son a few months ago my skin has been acting crazy and this is helping it go back to normal.Seriously a game-changer as far as face washes go. 
*I am not affiliated with Herbivore Botanicals or paid by them I just like their stuff.



.Bucket List.


Here is my Bucket List, someday, somehow I will check off everything on this list.

* Indicates a checkmark

  • Live in another country *
  • Sell all my worldly possessions and move to an island*
  • Graduate College
  • See the Northern Lights
  • Meet Jennifer Lopez
  • Take Pictures with my Kids at the Tunnel of Love in Ukraine
  • catch the bouquet at a wedding
  • See the Heart Tree in the Sequoia National Park
  • Go to the Ágitagueda Art Festival in Portugal
  • Explore El Yunque*
  • Punch my daughters father in the face
  • Take a picture with every state sign in America
  • Learn to ride / own a motorcycle
  • Learn to tap dance
  • Eat every meal on a Chinese restaurant menu (not all at once, over time of course)
  • Walk the Skydeck in Chicago
  • Take my kids to Disney
  • Write a letter to myself and open it in 15 years
  • Visit India for the festival of colors and love
  • Celebrate El Dia de Los Muertos in Mexico

This list will be expanded on as I think of new things I want to do in my life. Feel free to comment with suggestions.

Wela’s Gazpacho

This post is dedicated to my Abuela, Cruz, probably my most favorite person in the world.

My grandmother, Wela, as I and all her grandchildren who were unable pronounce Abuela correctly would call her, was a fantastic cook. Her food brought together the whole family on holidays. I don’t say extended family, because to Puerto Ricans there is no such thing as extended family, we are just La Familia.

On Sundays she would invite us over for lunch and one of my favorite meals she would prepare was Gazpacho. Now, I know what your thinking, cold soup right? Wrong! My whole life I had no clue that when people say Gazpacho they are actually referring to a cold soup, I found this out one time when I was at a restaurant super excited when I ordered Gazpacho only to be wildly confused when the waiter brought out a bowl of soup!

Wela’s Gazpacho is actually a refreshing salad dish that can be served on French bread or by itself. It is incredibly easy to make.

Here is what you will need:

  • Avacado
  • Boneless Salt Cod Fillets
  • lettuce
  • 1 red union (or white but the red makes it look prettier)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Tomato

First you will need to rinse off the excess salt from the fillets, then soak in cold water over night. You should dump out the cold water at least three times and add new water each time. This will help get rid of all the salt.

If you want you can prep for the next day by dicing the onion and putting it in the fridge in a separate container.

When you are ready to make your Gazpacho take it out of the fridge and dump the water again. Place the Cod Fish in a pot and fill with cold water and bring it to a boil. As soon as it boils drain the Cod Fish and set to the side to cool.

After the fish is cool break the fish apart in flakes, be on the look out for espinas (fishbones)

Add chopped onions, tomato, avacado  and oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Don’t go too crazy on the salt, keep in mind that the Cod Fish was already packed in salt.

That’s it! Your done! Put it on French Bread and enjoy!