Meeting the Parents

Our People 😉

The first time I met Javy’s family I was nervous.  Boy was I nervous.  I have always been good with people and I seem to have a way with them…but this was different. I wanted to marry this guy.  I wanted these people to be my peoplemy family– What if they didn’t like me?

Two years ago tomorrow will be the anniversary of us meeting and I have to say it has been as blissful as my relationship with Javy.  However, I am not just talking about his biological family- when I say “family” I am also referring to his work family, his friends, all of ‘his people’.

Meeting the family is always nerve wrecking.  These are your partner’s “people”.  Whether biological or not, there opinion of you matters.  A LOT.  Those ominous questions haunt you- Will they like me? Do I look OK?

You want to make a good impression because you’re really into your partner.  I have a few tips on making a good impression:

  • Bring Something:  I remember on the way to meeting Javy’s family, I begged him to stop at a Windixee to buy his grandmother a potted plant, his mom flowers, and his grandpa lotto tickets.  Was I trying to buy their love?  Yes.  Plain and Simple.  LOL, I wanted to impress them and people love gifts, so why not?  But honestly speaking, by bringing something whether it be a gift, a bottle of wine, a desert you are showing the importance this meeting merits.  Take from the Indians and Pilgrims, always bring something.
  • Be Yourself:  Your guy or girl loves you just the way you are.  They want their family to meet that cool person they have been dating, not a fake.  So make sure you are yourself.  I am willing to bet if you are reading this you are hot, funny, witty, and simply perfect- so you will have no problem rocking it.
  • Don’t Let your Nerves Get the Best of You:  Nerves make you sweat in places I would rather not mention. They make your voice hit a pitch you really don’t recognize and sometimes they make you say things that just aren’t you.  So relax, breathe easy and just be you.

Meeting the parents is a significant step in your relationship.  It is important to make a great impression, but don’t be fake.  You have one shot at making a first impression and what better way to do it than to be yourself.  Trust me, all they want more than anything is for their son or daughter to be loved and respected, so if you do that then you are a shoe in…Unless they are crazy, but that is a totally different article. 😉

Blissful Love,
Nicki G. The Blissful Wife

P.S. Kudos to Mama Kats who was the inspiration behind this entry.  Please feel free to share your stories…I would love to hear them! 😉

Recipes Sure to Cause Fireworks in Your Mouth

Today we honor this beautiful country many of us have the pleasures of living in. For my friends around the world, July 4th is the day we celebrate the United States birthday and if you are an avid follower of BlissfulVida you know how much I love birthdays! So one of this magnitude simply blows my socks off- well really my flip flops because I am getting ready to head to a BBQ!! 😉

I have decided to share some of our menu for today in hopes you may equally enjoy, no matter what nationality you are or where you live.

Sensational BBQ Skewers:

Picture doesn’t do it justice!

What You’ll Need

• 2 onions

• 3 bell peppers

• 2 1/2 pounds steak, 1 inch thick (Can alternate with chicken chunks, shrimp, or even Mahi Mahi)

• Skewers (if using wood skewers, soak in water) – Very important, you don’t want the fireworks starting early lol!

• Adobo seasoning by Goya (any ‘Sazon’ will do, but this is my favorite)

• EVOO- Extra Virgin Olive Oil

• Ground pepper

Optional Ingredients:

• Pineapple

• Grape tomatoes

• Worcestershire Sauce (for chicken or beef)

• Old Bay seasoning (for shrimp or Mahi)

Let the Fun Begin:

1. Cut onions and peppers into 1-inch pieces and put them in a bowl (if using tomatoes, include those in the mix). Generously douse vegetables with EVOO, Adobo and ground pepper. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

2. Cut steak into 1-inch cubes.- I usually buy the beef chunks pre-cut. If using chicken, shrimp or Mahi follow the same steps. Once desired meat is ready for seasoning, once again generously douse with EVOO, Adobo and pepper. Depending on the protein you are using you may want to add Worcestershire Sauce for chicken or meat or Old Bay seasoning for fish or shrimp. Once again allow to marinate (the longer, the better)

3. Place protein, onions and peppers on skewer, alternating varieties. If you would like to include the tomatoes and pineapple, continuing to alternate. Because fish and shrimp cook much quicker and chicken needs to be cooked completely, do not mix proteins.

4. Grill on the BBQ.

Note:

• Fish and shrimp will cook much quicker

• Beef cooking time will vary depending on the personal temperature desired.

• Chicken MUST be completely cooked (no pink on the inside)

Enjoy!

On the Drink Menu:

Because I am not a mixologist, I try and find recipes on the web that are delicious and are the perfect fit for my meal.

So today we are serving:

Frozen Mango Rum Cocktail courtesy of Yummly Recipes

What You’ll Need:

• 2 cups of white rum

• ½ cup of coconut rum

• ½ cup of fresh lime juice

• 3 cups of fresh mango

• 1 tablespoon of sugar, depending on the sweetness of the mango

• 2 cups of ice

Let the Fun Begin:

1. Blend all of the ingredients except the ice in a blender until the mango is pureed.

2. Gradually add the ice and continue to blend the drink until the ice is crushed and all of the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.

3. Pour into glass and Enjoy

*Optional: If desired, pour the blended drink to a container and freeze for one hour.

Also on the Menu:

Cinco de Mayo Margaritas

Slow Cooker Magic- Asian Rib Sensation

*A little bit of magic from all around the world 😉

Friends,

On a serious note:  Have a blast but be safe!

Blissful Celebrations,

Nicki G. The Blissful Wife

Bucket List Monday

In the hustle and bustle of life we all need to leave room for dreams and aspirations.  For at least a short second, forget the 4×6 cubicles, the tyrant bosses, and life’s tedious obligations and dream.  What would you do today if money was no object and work wasn’t an issue?  Where would you go?  Who would you take a long for the ride?

Before you get caught up in the work day, take a few seconds to pick out 3 Travel Bucket List activities you want to accomplish before you leave this world.  Make these your goals to get through this Monday; hell, think BIG, make them some of your goals to accomplish in life.  Give them the purpose they deserve.

Here are mine:

Picture courtesy of South Pacific Vacations

Obviously this is not me and that is not my husband.  For one the man in this picture has hair and the girl is a size 2…neither of which describes me nor my hubby.  However, we envision ourselves like this lovely couple- relaxing in a Tahitian Paradise.  Originally this was going to be our Honeymoon destination but due to time and funds restraints we had to change the plan.  Now, it is on our bucket list…One day my size 14 and my hubby’s bald head will enjoy this magnificent island.

Santorini, Greece Picture courtesy of  Pretty Clever Bride

We want to see Greece-at night, during the day, at sunrise and sunset!  I can’t wait to one day sit in one of these incredible villas with my husband and watch the sunset.  We want to dive into the breathtaking water and eat their heavenly meals.

Campania, Italy Picture courtesy of I Like to Waste my Time

We dream of visiting the amazing country of Italy one day.  Ever since I saw the movie Under the Tuscan Sun, I fell in love with the idea of Italy.  I had always had a love affair with a country I knew little about and then after seeing it on the big screen, my amore was only solidified.  I want to eat oysters in the town of Positano, pictured above.  My husband and I want to walk the streets socializing with the locals while sharing a gelato.  We want to visit St. Peter’s Square and Vatican City. I want to attend Mass in a church older than my great, great, great grandpa.  We want to have romantic dinners under the Italian sky and visit The Colosseum.  We want to experience the magic of the  Grotta Azura and so much more.

Do I have you dreaming of your travels yet?  We all want to accomplish so much in life.  I for one want to be a stay-at-home-author- mom one day and continue to be the best wife I can.  I want to become a grandma and I want to change the world.  Those are all great bucket list goals.   But today I selfishly challenge you to focus a little on you and your dreams of traveling.  Whether single, attached, married, or somewhere in between- Where in the World do YOU want to Go?

Blissful Travels my Friends,

Nicki G. The Blissful Wife

5 Blissful Revelations by a Few Good Men

Picture courtesy of Riologic

Ever wonder what the good guys say when us girls are not around? This week’s Blissful Revelations are dedicated to just that- Some classy men, some before our time, seemed to have it spot on.

1. Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves. ~ Albert Einstein

2. It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or his foe, that lures him to evil ways. ~ Buddha

3. You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly. ~Sam Keen

4. A weak man is just by accident. A strong but non-violent man is unjust by accident. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

5. The most desired gift of love is not diamonds or roses or chocolate. It is focused attention. ~Richard Warren

The Top 6 Reasons Being an Adult Rocks

Photo courtesy of Donna Irene Photography 

Mama Kat once again inspired me to think outside the box…You see, she asked me (and countless other followers-but I like to think she was talking to me 😉 ) what are the six best things about being an adult.

At first, perhaps like you, I laughed and thought there is nothing better than being a kid because they have no bills or worries-especially during summer vacation. However, that thought quickly was replaced with a sense of peace and satisfaction because honestly, being an adult is pretty damn cool. Sure there are stresses, health concerns and fluctuating bank statements but the fact is- WE’VE MADE IT.

After losing one of my most dearest students- Sofi, who fought and overcame cancer, later to pass due to a heart condition at age 13, I have never believed this statement more. You see, Sofia passed away this past April and two weeks later BlissfulVida was born. I realized that this Vida is worth living to the fullest and my little Sofi taught me that. She was essentially the biggest driving force behind this blog and the reason I recognize what a blessing it is to be an adult, because quite frankly, not everyone gets there.

The Top 6 Reasons Being an Adult Rocks

  • You’re comfortable in your own skin: That’s right…you aren’t awkward anymore…or at least if you are, you’ve accepted it ;). You are happy being you. You’re hormones are under control- unless your pregos or dealing with menopause- your voice has been established and you have accomplishments that surpass simply a kindergarten diploma.
  • You know so much more: You have learned from your mistakes. You recognize life isn’t perfect and you have learned to deal with ups and downs. You have probably lost someone you loved and learned to grieve and overcome it. You are used to a little bit of pain and that has made you so much stronger.
  • You can make the conscious ability to change: Your outlook on life, your appearance, your career, YOUR WORLD. You are an adult who has lived and because of that, you realize that the world can be exactly what you want it to be. My friends, though, I caution you, this is only true if you sincerely believe it.
  • You don’t have a curfew but are still in bed by 11 o’clock. 😉
  • You have your whole life ahead of you: To become successful, to get married, to make your marriage work, to have second chances, to have kids, to watch your kids grow, to eventually have grandkids, to sky dive, to travel…TO DO WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO.

Friends, I know we get boggled down at times by adulthood, but stop and look at the beauty it brings. We owe it to our parents who gave us this life and we owe it to those who don’t get to make it there.

Blissful Blessings,

Nicki G. The Blissful Wife

In memory of Sofia Blanco and Michael Sanchez-Agramonte two young souls that made it to Heaven sooner than they should have.

Afternoon Letters

Picture courtesy of MyTypewriter.com

Dear Lunch Time Friends, I had a wonderful time with you all.  It was a perfect touch to my day <3.  Dear Waiter who Scoffed at my Lunch Friend when she asked for her Glass of Water, Shame on you.  That wasn’t nice and rolling your eyes is not a friendly thing to do.  Dear Annoying Person I Encounter Every Day, I wish you could get a grip and not be so needy.  Really, the world does not revolve around you and your incessant need to constantly talk about yourself is incredibly unnecessary.  Dear Brother, I miss you and I love you.  I want you to be happy always.  The work you are doing will pay off, I know it.  Dear Kardashian Family, I am watching your show while I type because there is nothing else on, but really you guys drive me crazy.  I wish you would go away and keep your business private.  May I add that I understand I could simply change the channel, but sometimes I feel the need to watch the train wrecks you guys get yourselves into.  Dear Molly Mariethe dog- I wish I understood what you were trying to say when you stare at me and bark loudly as if I understood exactly what you were saying but chose to ignore it.

I hope you have enjoyed the letters..I have had fun writing them.

xoxo,

Nicki G. The Blissful Wife

Little Letters

Picture courtesy of MyTypeWriter.com

I came across a couple of blogs that write “Little Letters”…I loved the idea so much I decided to try it myself. Here goes.

Dear Molly Marie– The Dog- Thank you for learning to pipi on your training pad, but shame on you for peeing on our bed in the process!!!  Dear Post Man, Why do you have to bring so many bills?  I would love you so much if one day you brought be only cool things like invitations, free money and concert tickets.  Dear Hubby, You looked sooooo handsome in your shirt and tie this morning.  Dear Person who Cut Me Off, I have terrible road rage; the next time you do that I will cut YOU off and then slam my breaks really hard-BEWARE.  Dear Wednesday, Do you know you are referred to as “hump day”?  What an honor my friend.  Bring your friends Saturday and Sunday around soon, ok? Dear Nice Cashier at Publix, Thanks for always smiling at me and being so pleasant.  It makes me happy and shopping certainly is a pleasure when you do that.

Do you have small letters?  If you do share them with me…This could be something fun for Wednesday.

Blissful Love,

Nicki G. The Blissful Wife

Only 150 Calories of Cupcake Goodness

Sometimes inspiration comes from the wildest places- including a Boston College dorm room and a couple of hungry sophomores.  This is where Elizabeth Halle, author of the Little Moments of Happiness blog, learned to cook.  A Miami local, she wasn’t always into cooking until she was forced to learn after leaving the nest and going away to school.  Now Elizabeth is committed to finding healthy alternatives to our favorite recipes- including- drum roll please- A 150 CALORIE CUPCAKE!

Yes, you heard it friends, Elizabeth has discovered a healthy alternative to Mishas Cupcakes and it is more than a morsel of yummy deliciousness.  Did I mention Enticing Icing IS included?  Who knew healthy could taste so perfect?

Friends, with no further delay here is Elizabeth’s 150 Calorie Cupcake:

The 150 Calorie Cupcake

Makes 12 Cupcakes

What You Need: 

  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup Splenda Sugar Blend
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2/3 cup almond milk

Let the Fun Begin: 

  1. Preheat oven to 325F
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
  3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. After, add the egg whites and extracts. Continue to mix until all ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Stir in 1/3 of the flour mixture into the wet mixture. (From Step 3) Stir in 1/3 of the milk. Repeat until all ingredients are combined.
  5. Scoop the batter into the muffin tin (about ¼ cup each). Bake for 17-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Enticing Icing

Makes approximately 4 cups

  • 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/ teaspoon vanilla extract

Continue the Fun:

  1. With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about two minutes.
  2. Reduce speed to medium. Add the powdered sugar, ½ cup at a time. After every 2 additions, 1 cup of powdered sugar, raise speed to high and beat 10 seconds, then return to medium. Repeat four times.
  3. Add the vanilla extract and beat until incorporated into icing.

Feel free to refrigerate the left over icing in an airtight container for up to 10 days to use with other pastries or cakes made throughout the week; simply make sure to thaw at room temperature for about 5 minutes before use.

Here you have it friends- with simple substitutions like almond milk and Splenda you have a splendid healthy alternative to a classic dessert.

Elizabeth is committed to giving us delicious healthy recipes on her blog Little Moments of Happiness and has recently launched Miami’s first health and fitness blog- The Live Well Lady.  Make sure to show her lots of love friends!

Until next time- Blissful Baking,

Nicki G. The Blissful Wife

Girl Humor vs. Guy Humor

Photo courtesy of Alina M. Photography

Picture the Scene:  I am cooking a delicious, aromatic, sure to be tasty dinner for the hubs and me, while in the background my sensitive, big-hearted, teddy-bear-of-a-husband is watching TV.  Lovely isn’t it?  I hear him laugh and it warms my tummy; until I realize what exactly he finds so hysterically funny:  good-natured, wholesome, moral-driven shows like Family Guy and South Park.    Sound familiar?

Growing up with a jock for a brother and several boy cousins, I learned at a young age:  The cruder, raunchier, and more immature something is the heartier they will laugh, at times even being brought to tears by said vulgarities.  There exist a valid and very real difference between what girls find funny and what guys find to be quality entertainment.

So how to deal with this conundrum of an issue when it arises in your relationship?  Ladies, you may not like this but the answer is- “Let it go!”  Let’s face it, we find our men sexy whether they cry in The Notebook or laugh at Brian and Stewie partaking in wildly inappropriate activities for a dog and a baby.  One of the many things that sets them apart from us girls is exactly that- their sense of humor.

I adopted the theory, “If you can’t beat ‘em-join ‘em”.  So now I sometimes sit and watch unrefined and outlandish TV with my husband and in return he watches The Bachelorette with me.  We found a balance that works for us and I won’t lie, there is something to those man-shows…they can be quite hilarious at times ;).

Blissful Laughing Friends,

Nicki G. The Blissful Wife