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 PiƱa 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.


Amigas, who needs them?


Photo credit: Melissa Mercado

I do! As I admit, I’m one of those girls that proudly proclaims, “I married my best friend”, and suggests everyone should, as well. With that being said, I don’t ever mean to downplay the importance of my girlfriends.
I spent a Fabulous 30yrs of my life as a single gal. I’ve spent a good 20yrs maintaining friendships, as far back as elementary school.


Do you know what happens in 20, 15, 10yr relationships between women? I’ll tell you; we cry together, fight together, make up, curse men together, mend our broken hearts together, stay out past curfew together, share secrets, dream big together, start new careers, travel to new places together, hold one another’s hair back, go through embarrassing trendy styles together, celebrate job promotions, career changes, welcome new life partners, 1st homes, and babies together.
Where would I be without my community of women? Who would I be without them? Would I be the same person? I may have married my “best friend”, but I realize I am the best woman for him because of all my best amigas. You’ve all helped to shape the woman I’ve become. There is no way to thank the girls who’ve always been there for me, supported, challenged, and asked me the hard questions in life. You all have allowed me to seek my truth and happiness. My only wish, we continue to grow together.


Thank you, for being the true Sunshine in my life.

What does La Vida Sunshine mean?

It means the way I try to live my life. An eternal optimist. Crazy, I know. Especially in today’s world, but someone has to find a reason to smile. I believe it’s possible to spend more days happy than sad or angry. I was given the nickname, “Sunshine”, which is another reason as to why I named my blog, ” La Vida Sunshine.” My belief is you can find joy in any situation, rich or not rich, coupled or single, CEO or stay at home wife. Happiness has always been a choice for me. If it’s something you want and believe in, you work at it like anything else.

I’ve thought a lot about happiness and what makes me happy. I recently married the most wonderful person for me. Everyone wishes you a lifetime of happiness on your wedding day. I know, I couldn’t stop smiling from ear to ear on our wedding day. During our honeymoon, in the beautiful Maroma Beach, in Riviera Maya, Mexico, everyone kept telling me, “You’re glowing!” I was and a month later still am. I think ever since I fell crazy in love I’ve been glowing. I’m happiest at home, on the couch, no makeup, no bra, wrapped in the arms of my husband. One thing we always say to one another, “you are my happy place.” It’s true. It doesn’t matter what we’re doing, where we’re at, as long as we’re together. My best advice, find who and what you love.”Do more of what makes you happy” – Carmel McConnell, it’s a refrigerator magnet on my fridge, and partially what helped me start my own blog. Writing makes me happy.

Through this blog, I hope to share my happiness, my love of life and people. I can’t forget my love of food, culture, and our travel adventures.