Thankful Thursday!

Before the end of the day, I want to give thanks…
1. For a warm home and bed
2. My kind, loving, and thoughtful husband
3. My husband made dinner tonight
4. My health. I’m alive. I’m breathing
5. My grandmother is alive after being diagnosed with stage 4 Cancer and given less than 6 months to live. That was in 2013
6. My ability to read and write
7. Getting to talk to my Mami today
8. I live in a place where we don’t get snow
9. My in laws will be coming next week
10. For my blog and all the new people it’s bringing into my life
What are YOU thankful for today??

Team JP Viva Las Vegas

I haven’t been to Las Vegas, NV, in a long time. Since, President Obama was 1st elected president, in 2008. I used to go at least once a year in my 20’s. Now, on the verge of 35, my husband and I, have been discussing places we’d like to revisit together. Las Vegas has always come up on our list of places. He hadn’t been in 4 years. So, we booked a trip for January. I wanted to see Jennifer Lopez’s, “All I Have”, Las Vegas residency.


The only pre- show picture I took, before the show at Planet Hollywood. Jennifer Lopez, “All I Have” Las Vegas Residency.


My husband got us tickets for her show. We were able to see J.Lo, on her opening weekend in Las Vegas at Planet Hollywood. She is the ULTIMATE Vegas showgirl! Her show is glitz, glamour, sexy, and 90 minutes of non-stop dancing. I think she’s the perfect fit for a Las Vegas show and does not disappoint. She had 10 costume changes. She had JaRule come out as a special guest. She even sings a beautiful song dedicated to her children. If you happen to be in Las Vegas, while J.Lo is in town her show is worth the Vegas experience.

Along with concerts and parties to be enjoyed in Las Vegas, I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about the food there. Las Vegas has become the new celebrity chef restaurant capital of the world. We made reservations at “Carnevino” the Italian Steakhouse, by celebrity chef Mario Batali.


One of the most exceptional steaks I’ve ever had in my life, since Argentina! “Carnevino”, takes pride in their meat, and you taste it when it melts in your mouth. This steak didn’t stand a chance between us both. 

If you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion, win big at the tables or happen to be passionate about food, especially steak, this is a perfect choice.


We stayed at The Palazzo. All of the rooms in the hotel are suites and extremely luxurious. It’s also connected to The Venetian. Between both hotels and casinos, there’s plenty of entertainment and food to be enjoyed. We ate an epic breakfast at the French-inspired “Bouchon”, by world-renowned Thomas Keller. We also enjoyed the Southern food at “Yardbird Southern Food Table & Bar”, we ate there twice. Sooooo goooood!


The Las Vegas bakery of “Carlo’s Bakery”, be prepared for long lines at any time of the day.

I even stood in line for almost an hour, just to get a cannoli at “Carlo’s Bakery”, made famous by the TLC show, “Cake Boss”, and everyone’s favorite baker, Buddy Valastro. Would I do it again? Probably not. The cannoli was good, but I’m not a fan of waiting in long lines for food.


We survived our 1st Vegas experience together! Team JP Viva Las Vegas!

I have to admit going back to Las Vegas, in my 30’s and married, was different than all my single girl trips in my 20’s of years past. For the first time in Vegas, I didn’t get too drunk, wake up with a hangover, or go to a club. It was Fabulous! Times may have changed, I may have changed, but Las Vegas is always a good time!

NYC Wine & Food Festival

In October 2013, we traveled to New York City. It was my first trip to the “Big Apple”, and it was one I’ll never forget. We saw a Broadway show, Pippen, stayed in Times Square, went to the Statue of Liberty, took a stroll through Central Park, ate at a 3 Michelin star restaurant, Le Bernadin by Eric Ripert, and went to the NYCWFF: Food Network & Cooking Channel NYC Wine & Food Festival.

Food Network & Cooking Channel NYC Wine & Food Festival was on my bucket list. It’s a 4-day event, held in October, every year in NYC. They invite all of our favorite celebrity chefs to host events all over New York City, all in the name of charity. “Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival has raised $9.5 million to date to help fight hunger! 100% of the net proceeds benefit Food Bank for New York City and the No Kid Hungry campaign.”-

The events we chose to attend were Guy Fieri’s Rock of Ages party.

It was a great time! Guy was an awesome host.


Guy was our bartender. He was pouring them strong!!

He was fun, swearing, pouring drinks, and showed a side of himself you never get to see on T.V.  I would definitely encourage others to go to any of his events in the future.

Did I mention, the Rock of Ages, cast was there and performing throughout the whole event? It was spectacular!


With Andrew Zimmern, at his Octoberfest party.

The other event we went to was Andrew Zimmern’s Octoberfest, held in Queens. The event was what one would expect for an Octoberfest party, plenty of sausage and beer. Andrew Zimmern wasn’t as sociable at his event, but he was busy cooking.

If you ever find yourself in NYC in October, I highly recommend attending at least one of these events.


With Chef Robert Irvine, who took the time to talk to us, and introduce us to his mom. He was such a humble and genuine man.

They are a bit pricey, but remember the money goes to charity, and you never know who you’ll run into.


With our favorite Iron Chef, Morimoto. He was incredibly kind and funny!

It was a real foodie dream come true. Bucket list. Check!


Selfish and Married.

They, someone, people, say to be married you can’t be selfish. I agree, to an extent. While I do have to take my husband into consideration in everything I do/decide and vice versa, we still are pretty selfish as individuals, just not with one another.

Mostly, because we don’t have children. Being a parent is the MOST Selfless thing a person can do and become. My husband and I, have been married for almost 2 years. Just today, he text me to let me know he booked us a trip to NYC for the weekend. We can do that and I love that. We don’t have children. We don’t have pets. We don’t even have plants because we travel too much. We come and go as we please, have weekend brunches with friends, or weekly date nights all without having to worry about finding a babysitter.

Before and during marriage, we discussed our wanting of children in our life. Do we really want children or not? I know for some it’s not an option or question, but it is a matter of necessity to being a married couple. We aren’t those people. We decided to wait at least after our 1 year anniversary to try to expand our family of 2. We wanted to buy a house first, continue to travel the world together, and fall in love with our new roles as husband and wife. Then, we decided to wait even longer because there are still places in the world we want to experience.

I’m honestly thankful we have waited, traveled, bought our first home, and continue to grow together and discover new things about one another as a married couple. I have no regrets that we live as if we’re still newlyweds and travelers in love. This is the only time we can take in our lives for it to be all about us. Selfish? Maybe. Happy? ABSOLUTELY! This is what has been right for us, and it’s not for everyone. While we get pressure from our families more than anyone, I think it’s most important that other couples like us be honest about it. It’s o.k. to say, “ya know what, we’re still enjoying our time together as husband and wife.” Every now and then, you’ll run into someone who says, “Good for you! Enjoy it while you can.” We’ll never get this time back again. I don’t want to wait until we’re older to travel.


Travelers in Love! Springtime in France. 


The more we travel, the more grateful I am that we’re going and experiencing the places that we want to now, while we’re young, mobile, can eat and drink whatever we want. That truly makes us happy. While some wouldn’t consider us a real family, because we don’t have children, I think we’re a great family of 2, even if we’re both still a little selfish.

Team JP Christmas en MX

We did something in 2015, I’ve never done before, not spend the holidays with either of our families. Before you go judging us, let me explain…


We still felt the Christmas spirit @ RIU Emerald Bay Resort in Mazatlan, MX.

We currently live in Houston, TX, our parents live in Minnesota and Indiana. We’ve gone home for every Winter for the holidays, since I’ve moved away. Let me tell you something about Winter, it sucks! No, seriously. Maybe, the first days of snowfall are beautiful, but once I moved away after “surviving” 30 something Winters, I realize I’m over it. Done. I said it, “I hate Winter!” I no longer look forward to going home for the holidays, at the absolute coldest times of the year. Last Winter, I told our families, “we’re not coming back next year… who wants to go to Mexico, instead?”


I almost felt bad for not going home, but then I got here and got over it. Riu Emerald Bay Resort, Mazatlan, MX.

By August, we’ve usually already purchased our tickets home for the holidays. We spend 1 week with my family, and 1 week with my in-laws, as they are a short flight from one another. It’s exhausting just thinking of going through 3 flights destinations during the holidays. Instead, we purchased tickets to Mexico for Christmas. Our gift to ourselves.


Ready for Christmas dinner @ Riu Emerald Bay Resort, Mazatlan, MX.

I have to admit, I was hesitant I’ve never been away from my family during the holidays. That’s not what “good” Latinas or daughter do. Then, I remembered the previous Winter. I thought, what would really make me happy this Christmas? An all inclusive resort? Yes. Sand in my toes? Yes. Finally getting to wear those cute bikinis? Yes. Margaritas and Piña Coladas from the pool swim up bar? Yes. Fun in the Sun? Yes.


Where we actually spent Christmas, at the Swim up bar. Riu Emberald Bay Resort. Mazatlan, MX

Relaxation and avoid all holiday stress? Yes and Yes. Sunsets on the beach with my husband? Yes. It didn’t take much more to convince me. We booked our 1st holiday vacation in Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico. Best. Decision. Ever.


I like this kind of Santa @ RIU Emerald Bay Resort in Mazatlan, MX.

We spent 7 days and nights at the RIU Emerald Bay Resort. It’s not an adults only resort, as we’ve become accustomed to, but Mazatlan, doesn’t have any adult only resorts, yet. To my surprise the resort was at capacity, filled with families that had children of all ages. Not to worry, there was an adults only pool.


Enjoying life on Christmas at Riu Emerald Bay Resort. Mazatlan, MX

We spent our days at the beach or by the pool bar, enjoying the sunshine, water, and tequila.

My husband used to live in Mazatlan, he showed me his old apartment, which was 2 blocks from the beach. I see why this American boy from Minnesota loves Mexico so much, and why he/we can’t stay away. We visited his old stomping grounds, which mostly included beach bars with beautiful views of the ocean.


Cristina and my husband have been friends for 20yrs. They met in a student exchange program in H.S.

We spent Christmas eve with friends. We still received a homemade Christmas dinner by the generosity of our friends and their family.

After our week in Mazatlan, I feel we came back rejuvenated and not stressed for the 1st time during the holidays.


Wishing all our friends and family a Feliz Navidad from the beach in Mazatlan, MX.

Would I do it again? Absolutely! I know we’ll have to go “home” for the holidays, sometimes, but I’ll always dream about our beach Christmas vacation.