Thursday, September 22, 2016

Mexican (Mini) Smores

Would you believe me if I said I have never eaten a s'more? I've had s'more bars, s'more poptarts, and s'more cupcakes, but never the real thing. Now, since Graham crackers aren't available where I live I had to improvise and make my own Mexican version (in honor of September being the National Holidays month) and also because summer is ending.

I snapped a chocolate bar in many pieces and with three marshmallows cut in thirds (they were very long) I made nine mini s'mores, which is enough for two people as a light dessert (I got plenty of cookies and marshmallows left in the package for another time).

To heat up the marshmallow I put it through a fork and heated each one separately on the stove top, then transported it with the help of the cookie on top of the chocolate piece and covered it with said cookie, resulting in these tiny and delicious messes. The perfect way to end summer and welcome Pumpkin Spice Latte season :)

Think you will try the Mexican version of s'mores?

ps. I think these would be easier to handle with regular size Galletas Marías.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A New Series

My cousin is headed to study a Master at The University of Sheffield, just as I did a few years ago. I can't begin to express how happy it makes me that his dream is coming true, but also, the fact that he's gonna be walking the same streets as I did!!! 

It's not that common that someone you know (let alone as close as a family member) goes to college in Sheffield, as it isn't as popular as other European Master destinations as Barcelona, Madrid or even London, so I'm really excited to have this to share with someone I love. 

I've talked about writing a series about my time in Sheffield for a long time (since I never did while I was there) and now I have the perfect excuse! Except, instead of it being all about my adventures, I thought it could become some sort of guide for anyone heading there whether for school or just for a fun British getaway.

This will be an opportunity for me to share some knowledge about a place I called home for a year. To reflect upon the amazing experiences I had, but also on missed opportunities. All in favor of those who are coming after me, in the hopes that when they get their turn, they get to live the adventure to the fullest, no regrets.

They say 'to remember is to (re)live', so join me in (re)living this amazing experience! I'll start next week with a 'before you go/what to pack' post, so come back and check it out! :)


Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Nuevo Vallarta

The airport is in Puerto Vallarta, which is actually in a different state, Jalisco.
Back in June I had to travel to Riviera Nayarit, more specifically to Nuevo Vallarta, for a project 229 is currently working on. I took a bus to CDMX on Monday afternoon and then headed there early the next day.

After spending most of the afternoon touring the site and taking measurements and pictures (without any sort of protection against the sun, I may add), I wanted to go out and explore. 

All the houses by the water give me major 'The O.C.' vibes.

Not a real pyramid, but the entrance to a hotel.

I first headed to a ‘mall’ which was kind of a letdown. However, I found a super market where I was surprised to see all the international products they carry (none of which I had seen before in stores in CDMX, Puebla or Veracruz). Orgasmic peanut butter, anyone?

Pumpkin pure, Sloppy Joe Sauce (Del Monte???), Marshmallow Creme and Orgasmic Peanut Butter.
I wanted to grab a bite to eat since I hadn’t eaten since way earlier, before my flight in. I decided to head into the Hard Rock Hotel, as I had seen they had 6 different restaurants (none of which I ate in). I gave myself a tour of the hotel, even taking a stroll down the beach and just hung there for a while, wishing A was there with me. 

This one was my favorite for its views of the beach and swimming pools (plus its name).
Loved all the music inspired details :)
Postcard from Nuevo Vallarta.
Tidal waves they rip right through me :)
Baywatch moment.

Sunburned and hungry, I headed back to the condo where they were lodging me and took a dip in the pool to freshen up and curled back on one of their chairs where I lounged and read the book I bought earlier at the airport (The Choice by Nicholas Sparks). 

Relaxing after a long day's work.

Even hungrier, I changed back and headed next door for dinner. I chose to eat dinner on one of their patios. I had a caprese salad, a creamy pasta with salmon and large sangría. The food was really good and the overall atmosphere of the place was nice, it being 9 pm and still NOT dark was a bonus. I skipped desert and headed back to the condo to call it a night.

Dinner for one (I may have over done it, just maybe).
Patio goals.
The next morning was uneventful. I had breakfast at a place nearby (never let it be said that I watch what I eat when on 'vacation') and went back for my luggage to catch a ride to the airport, heading to CDMX, then home by bus.

View from my room.
Breakfast of champions.
On the way back to the airport.
Flying home.
It was a super short trip (24 hours) but I definitely enjoyed having some well deserved down time for myself. Hopefully next time we visit as we work on the project, A will come along and we'll stay a weekend at the very least.


Friday, August 05, 2016

Ghosts of Summer Pasts

I’ve always associated summer with two things: vacations from school and traveling. At least that’s what it was like when I was growing up. I wouldn’t see my friends for three months and our family would take a week or two off to go somewhere, usually the beach. My dad used to say if he could travel somewhere every summer he’d go to Cancun and Orlando. If only!

But it’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed summer in the same way I did when I was a child. Gone are the three months off from usual activities (school) and family trips. No more summer camps at the club or sleepovers at friends houses. If I’m lucky these days, I’ll go home and the weather will be decent enough for me to spend a couple of hours at the beach.

Actually I can’t remember what summer it’s been like the last years since I stopped studying and started working. I guess when you work, summer is just a season, as opposed to a holiday period. One doesn’t get three months off, hell you barely even get a week, and that’s after a year’s work at best, depending on your company’s policies. Some people are luckier and have way more vacation days every year, but it’s never been my case. 

And so I decided to reminisce on some of my favorite summer memories from the past years since this one didn't exactly make the books:

Summer 2005 / Orlando, Florida. Having fun on a day off from working at Disney, at Universal Studios with my best girl friends.
Summer 2007 / San Juan, Puerto Rico. Roadtripping all over the Island of Enchantment with my Puerto Rican friends from Disney ICP.
Summer 2008 / New York City. School field trip with my classmates and friends, and my first time in NYC.

Summer 2009 / Miami, Florida. Beach days, touristy afternoons and club nights (plus mandatory shopping sprees).
Summer 2010 / Mexico City. Spent this summer traveling from/to Mexico City to spend time with A, falling in love :)
Summer 2011 / Euro trip. Sheffield, Dublin, Paris and London with my best friends from home :)
Summer 2013 / Acapulco, Guerrero. Got to spend a weekend there for my friends wedding.
Summer 2014 / Veracruz, México. Got to play tourist in my hometown when a couple of Disney friends were there for another friends' wedding.
As you can see, for me, summer is about spending time with loved ones, preferably in cool places. Beach/pool days, roadtrips, outings to eat, touristy activities like sightseeing, and of course lots and lots of pictures to prove it.

I was bummed to realize I have no records of last summer and this one is pointing in the same direction, but more of that next week. What are your favorite summer memories?


Friday, July 29, 2016

30 Day Challenge Wrap-up

So, it took 60 days, but it happened. I finished the 30 day challenge!!!

I think I did a pretty good job considering I had a work trip and then spent some time in my hometown where it is virtually impossible to get anything done. Of course, getting not one but two puppies, visiting every family member I hadn't seen in months, going to the pool and out for coffee with friends and my parents also had a little to do with that.

But hey, better late than not at all, right? Here's what I learned in the process:

This challenge is hard. Not in that the things you have to do are hard kind of way, but in the fact that writing a post every day, really takes time. I get that many if not most of the blogs out there post every day, but also, most of the bloggers out there are dedicated full time to it, which is not my case. Finding the time during my day to write was hard most days, but others, I was able to write three posts. It really depended on how busy my schedule was, which varies from day to day.

One thing that really helped, was the fact that I didn't need to think about what to write, which is really the beauty of the challenge itself. Honestly I don't know how full time bloggers do it, come up with original content ALL THE TIME. It takes time and patience and a lot of work. Not that I didn't appreciate it before, but I got a small taste of what it's like to be a full time blogger, and it is indeed a lot of work. Plus all big shot bloggers have partnerships and sponsors and go on book tours and meetings in other cities, so my guess is their plates are pretty fool too, which makes me appreciate their work even more.

Overall, I really enjoyed doing this, mostly because I got to write a lot, but also because most days I really had to think about my answers. It made me reflect upon many things, reminisce about others and discover a few I more. It is really a personal exercise that I recommend vastly for every blogger out there.

What do you think? would you take the 30 day challenge? If so, do let me know, I'd love to read some answers!


ps. All #30daychallenge posts are in the June & July archive :)

Thursday, July 28, 2016


Day 30: Why did you start blogging and what is the origin behind your blog's name?

I started blogging in 2004 after spending some time in Mexico City with my boyfriend. I had never spent so much time in a city like that one and was instantly amazed at all the great things to see and places to eat and visit and shop... I was really inspired. I guess that blog started as a way to share that inspiration, which I don't think ever actually happened.

Moreover, blogging for me has always been about sharing bits of my life. How I'm feeling/dealing with certain things more so than sharing DIY projects or outfit inspiration, although there were the occassional posts on that subject.

But as everything in life, times change and so do a few other things. When I started this blog, I felt different than I did when I started the first one. I'm just in a different place in life and I'm hoping that is reflected here.

Also, I've always liked writing, although never for the purpose of it. I used to write stories with characters and situations and jokes and drama, loads of drama. But now I just enjoy writing for the pleasure of it. 

I guess unlike every other blog out there, mine does not have a specific theme or topic. I'm not really into fashion. I'm not dedicated to the kitchen. I can't share tips on parenthood or marriage cause I'm neither a parent nor a wife. I don't have the resources or the time to become a full time DIYer or party planner (as much as I'd like that). I'm not going to share architecture tips cause that would just be boring. 

So instead I share things about my life and favorite things. Some people might find it boring. Others might find it interesting and may even be encouraged to try/visit some places. It's like one friend said 'I may not be perfect, but I never try to be anything I'm not and I am not here to impress anyone else'.

The name of the blog has naturally everything to do with my name. Picking a blog's name is really hard. There are a lot of blogs out there with 'name formulas', but I could never come up with any of those (chocolate&musicals doesn't sound great). And then there are those that describe what the blog is about, but 'I share everything I can think of' didn't have a nice ring either, so I figured 'including' my name so to speak (Gris=Gray) and then the word project (cause I'm an architect and architects work on projects) had a nice ring, since the blog is well, my life's project. I know, right?


Wednesday, July 27, 2016


Day 29: What are some of your fears?

This is as personal as it gets, at least for now. I don't think I've ever spoken out loud about the things I'm going to share here, but something tells me a lot of people share some of these too...

1. Death. I know this is inevitable and the only thing that is certain in life. However, I'm terrified at the thought of it. My own, A's, family, our dogs. Losing someone unexpectedly has got to be the most horrible thing that can happen to their loved ones. I can't imagine going through something like this, moreover, recovering from it. And on the other hand, going through someone else's sickness, watching them suffer as they try to fight it? such impotence, I just can't deal. As for me,  there are so many things I want to do and experience in life before I go, that dying scares the crap out of me, which leads to my next fear.

2. Time. Not having enough time for things I want to do or enjoy. Not spending enough time with my parents, grandparents, family, friends. Not doing things I can, while I can (travel before having to worry about a car, a house, kids...amongst other things). They say there are times in life for everything, but we get so caught up in the day to day sometimes (working, paying the bills...) that we don't realize how time flies. I see it even more now with the puppies. They are getting so big and gaining weight and developing their own personalities. Where are my tongue sticking out puppies?

3. Not being able to have babies when the time comes. Let's face it, I'm not getting any younger. I know times have changed, but by the time my mom was my age, she had two kids and one more on the way. I'm not married, not even enganged. Not that I have to be in order to have babies. However, I don't think the time is right in my life to start pro-creating. I really want to be a mom, and I'm terrified that by the time we decide the time is right for that, it will be hard or dangerous or maybe even impossible. And if I get to have them, back to fear number 2 (not having enough time with them) or fear number 4:

4. The end of the world. How fatalistic, but seriously. I love movies about this topic (Armageddon, Deep Impact, 2012, The Day After Tomorrow, etc), but coincidentally the leading characters always have just the right skill/profession/acquaintance they need in order to be saved/save the planet. That however is not my case. If the world came to an end, neither my architecture degree nor my master would save me from such catastrophes. Every time there was an earthquake (when I was living in Mexico City), small as it may have been, I was terrified. Just the thought of the world ending used to give me panic attacks in a 'waking up sweating in the middle of the night' kind of way. I can't imagine having to witness how humankind ends, whether it is via an asteroid, earthquake, tsunami, alien invasion, zombie apocalypse or mass murder. And so, even if death itself terrifies me as well, I'd rather die before this happens.

I've had these for a long time. Some more than others, obviously. But that's not to say that I have stopped living due to worrying about them. It's just like that quote on the cover image says. You can't stop living. Life's too short to live in fear.

How about you? do you agree with any of this? or is it just me?


*Cover image via here.