Where To Find Us!

You’ve probably noticed we don’t update this site anymore.  Mostly because we’re busy working on other projects.  If you’re looking for us here’s the best place to get in touch!

Both of us

We both blog and contribute to Life With A Mission.  Here we talk about being digital tentmakers.

Daniel

You can find me on twitter and at my blog daniel.gd.

Amanda

You can find Amanda on twitter and at her blog amanda.so.

 

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Movie Review: The September Issue

Picture 3The September Issue is a documentary about the making of Vogue’s 2007 September issue. The stars of the documentary are Anna Wintour, Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief, and Grace Coddington a Creative Director at Vogue. You can catch glimpses of the inspiration for The Devil Wear’s Prada‘s Miranda Priestly character. I wouldn’t say that Anna is cruel, but she is extremely intimidating. Her silent glare and decisive few words make a new designer’s hands shake during a presentation.

Grace is the real star of the film. She is passionate about her work, but she knows how to control her emotions. I think a lot of young people could learn from Grace on how to deal with office politics.

This movie has been in my Netflix Instant queue forever and I am glad I finally watched it. If you like Project Runway, The Devil Wears Prada, or my favorite guilty pleasure show The Rachel Zoe Project, then you will like The September Issue.

Have you seen the film? Did you like it? Or is it still sitting in your queue like mine did forever? 

 

In the Reject Pile

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I created this sidebar graphic for Life With a Mission today.

Once we looked closer at my banner we realized that a chalkboard doesn’t fit the overall look of the site. Also, Daniel thinks it has too many words and doesn’t add any “wow” to the site. Eventually we will add a more professional graphic that visitors can see and know immediately what is our “product.”

Oh well. I had a lot of fun writing it, researching chalkboard fonts and playing in Photoshop. My consolation prize is posting here.

Daniel and I have been attending Platform University and our to-do list of site fixes is growing. The people that we are connecting with through Life With a Mission is also growing. It is really exciting.

Last year I had read that the first year of writing and building a blog is practice. You need the practice to find your voice and fine tune your message before your site gets bigger. I am so thankful for this year of fine tuning our site. We have a lot of fun, but hard work ahead of us.

 

My Dream About The Amazing Race, Lord of the Rings, and Paul Qui

Last night I woke up around midnight from a vivid dream. Daniel was still awake and working so I began to tell him my dream. He suggested that I record a voice memo describing my dream so I wouldn’t forget what I envisioned. So I recorded myself in my sleepy delirious state.

The main part of my dream is that I was running The Amazing Race with my family in Austin, TX. I was completing a Detour while Daniel watched the kids and waited for me to complete the task. The task involved the Lord of the Rings. My dream also included a celebrity chef, blogging, a giant turtle, the little kid from the movie “Up,” and an all-you-can-eat BBQ.

I am a little embarrassed to be publishing my voice memo online, but it cracks me up every time I begin to listen to it.  It involves A LOT of giggling. You have been warned. I must think I am hilarious in the middle of the night.

If you are brave enough to listen, then click on the link below and an audio window will appear.

My dream about being on The Amazing Race with my family in Austin.

Enjoy!

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Catch My Breath: Kelly Clarkson

Last Saturday my buddy McKenna and I were 15 (20?) feet away from watching Kelly Clarkson sing live. What!?

I knew Kelly Clarkson was going to be performing at La Cantera mall for the Microsoft Store opening. The details of the concert were not readily available online. My friend Faith works for YMCA. The YMCA was working with the opening somehow and I asked her to let me know if she found out any of the details of the concert.

Meanwhile I was contacted by a PR lady to go to a preview of the store opening for bloggers. I am not at all interested in Microsoft products, so I chose not go to the event. Faith did go to blogger preview and received two passes to the Kelly Clarkson concert. Unfortunately for Faith she had to go to Houston for a baby or wedding shower and could not go to the concert. She knew that I was dying to go and gave me her tickets. Squee!! Thank you Faith for giving me your tickets!

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The Concert 

The concert was held in a parking lot in between the mall and Fiesta Texas. Gates opened at 5:00 p.m. and Kelly would go on at 7:00 p.m. McKenna and I arrived around 4:30 p.m. When you walked in there were Microsoft products to check out, food, and water. McKenna and I walked straight to front and stood ground for our spots. Really any spot would have been great, because the whole event wasn’t that big. A DJ played music and once in a while they held a drawing for prizes.

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There was a chance of rain and the concert might have been canceled. A little after 7:00 p.m. Kelly was welcomed to the stage by a few hundred screaming fans.

I have always wanted to see Kelly Clarkson and I have been a huge fan for a long time. I know just about every word to her Breakaway album. I once told Daniel that she was one of the only artists that I would love to see in person. Now I just need to see U2 in concert and my concert list will be complete.

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As I was jumping around and singing at the top of lungs I kept thinking, “This is one of my top 10 experiences of 2013. I can’t believe that I am here!” 

Kelly sang old songs and a few of her news ones like “Catch My Breath.” She joked with the crowd in between songs and was as personable as you would expect a talented down-to-earth pop star.

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The entire concert was a blast. After an hour and a half of songs she finished with “Stronger.”

I hardly ever go to concerts or get out of the house for a girls night out. I am so grateful for this gift. It was so much fun!

Here is a clip of Kelly singing “Walk Away.” Her voice is as incredible live as it on award shows and her albums.

Kelly Clarkson: Walk Away from Team Espinoza on Vimeo.

Small Beginnings

I made this photo for my blog post “Don’t Despise the Small Beginnings” on Life With a Mission and I am in love with it.

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I barely know how to do anything in Photoshop, but I am pleased with how the photo turned out. I used a free stock photo from stock exchange and got to use a new font.

Not Despising the Small Beginnings

Our new site Life With a Mission is currently in small beginning phase. Daniel has new business products that are in the small beginning. My kids ARE small beginnings. It’s easy to find things that I despise about each of those items. I would Life With a Mission to have a larger audience and have all the things figured out for upcoming vlog posts. I would love for Daniel’s new projects to be making the money we hope they will make. I have been changing diapers for almost 6 years now and I still don’t like changing them.

I am encouraged. God is happy that our new site  is happening. He is happy that Daniel is beginning new products. He is most certainly happy to rejoice in new little lives beginning.

Zechariah 4:10 goes on to describe seven lamps that represent the eyes of God watching the earth. I know God is watching me and he is with me, but I need that reminder sometimes. It’s nice to know that he sees all the work that goes into caring for small children. He knows it isn’t easy work.

All day today I have been on the look out for the idea of small beginnings. We watched the 60 Minutes story of Zhang Xin who started out poor in China and is now a billionaire real estate mogul. It’s amazing how a person can change their lives in a few decades. I am excited to see how God is going to change my little family of small beginnings over the next few decades.

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February, Ladies and Gentlemen

In one way I failed in my blog every day in February experiment, because I didn’t actually blog every day. My plan on days where I didn’t have much to say was to post a photo I had taken that day or link to something cool online, but that required me to actually sit in front of my screen to happen. Some days I just didn’t make it to my laptop. February sort of kicked my butt.

Even though I didn’t actually blog every day I did figure what I want Team Espinoza to be about, our family. I like blogging about what we are reading, eating, watching, our kids, big events, and where we are going.

I thought about becoming a “San Antonio Mom Blogger” and write about San Antonio stuff. I also thought about becoming a Food Curator and tell you about all the amazing recipes I find online. I will still do that occasionally, but not all the time.

Product or event reviews are tempting when you see friends getting invited to blogger events, but I am not in it for the free stuff. I’ve always had a weird feeling about product reviews or paid blog posts when they are requested. The only stuff I like to write about is the stuff I buy and love and feel the need to tell others. Maybe I’ll post a giveaway or something. I won’t say that I won’t ever write a product post, but the chances are slim.

This blog is my doodle pad and my journal. I am glad it is here. I have fallen back in love with this place on the interwebz. Because I write it for myself I don’t look at site traffic or comments. Although, it is nice to have readers! Thank you Dawn, Sharon, and Breanna!

I can’t wait to post more. I always have ideas. I watched the Top Chef Finale! Hooray for the winner! Also, I finished reading Adriana Trigiani’s book, “The Shoemaker’s Wife.” It was a little too long, but I loved the imagery of Italy and New York City. I am also a sucker for a coming to America themed book.

I couldn’t keep up with the pace of posting every day, but I am glad I pushed myself to try something new. This blog really feels like my new creative workspace to write whatever I feel like. I am happy to have my own space that I own online to record my family’s memories.

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Movie Review: Argo

argI completely missed seeing Argo in the theater last Fall. We probably didn’t have a lot of extra money to spend on going out, so I patiently waited for the DVD. While I am waiting for the DVD to come out the award season started pouring on the accolades for this film. Argo came out on DVD last week, but it is in that annoying 30-day-wait-for-Redbox-and-Netflix window.  iTunes came to the rescue. For $5 Daniel and I could rent it and watch it legally in our home two days before the Oscars. Hooray!

With popcorn popped and beverages in hand Daniel and I watched Argo. I didn’t know a whole lot about the film before watching it.

I liked the look and pace of the film. Ben Affleck did a great job directing and acting in the movie. I liked the Eighties vibe without being overdone. The technology seemed realistic for the time period.

Dates would flash on the bottom of the screen and I would think, “Hey, I’m about to be born in two weeks!” I feel like I know what my mother was going through as this piece of history passed in time. She was more concerned about her new baby daughter than what was happening in another part of the world.

Overall, I thought it was a great movie. A movie that lets you get lost in a film and cheer on the main character is a great film in my book. Some of the characters were not endearing and I kept arguing with them out loud. It was a little weird when one actor repeated my argument word for word right after I said it.

I totally get why this movie won for Best Picture at the Oscars. If a movie is a good biopic or about Hollywood then the Oscars are going to love it. Argo makes Hollywood the good guy in the story. Hollywood isn’t the real hero, but the Oscars would like to take full credit anyway.

Have you seen Argo? Do you think it should have won Best Picture? 

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FEB 21: Annabelle and Her First Loose Tooth

Annabelle is my partner in crime while the boys nap in the afternoons. Today she went with me to stop by Sunshine Cottage and then grab a few cookies from my favorite bakery, Broadway Daily Bread. They sell delicious cookies the size of your head for a reasonable price. Then we stopped by Thrift Town to buy her another pair of jeans.

After our fun afternoon we returned to the house to get the boys up and cook dinner. While I was cooking dinner I saw her walking through the kitchen with her hand in her mouth. Surprise! She had her very first loose tooth! We were so excited we face timed with Fefe so Annabelle could show off her new wiggling teeth talent.

Annabelle asked me if she could eat an apple tomorrow so her tooth would fall out just like Lola from Charlie and Lola. She was super excited about her loose tooth.

Then, huzzah! Her tooth came out while brushing her teeth.

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Daniel and I are totally not prepared for the tooth fairy. Daniel’s family has a tooth pillow that he and his sister used when they were kids. Daniel’s sister then used it for all three of her children. Tomorrow we are going to pick up the pillow, so the tooth fairy can come visit.

We filmed an interview with Annabelle about her missing tooth this evening. I am never sentimental about my kids growing up, but I am going to treasure that video forever. She is so sweet and little in the film. This is definitely a huge milestone for my growing, beautiful girl.

FEB 20: Have no car, will travel

The brakes on our only car have been squealing and wailing to let us know that they needed repairs, but we ignored them. On Tuesday the brakes started grinding to say, “Hey! You really, really need to fix us!” I finally listened. I had visions of me driving along 1604 alone with all three of my children and not being able to break. I didn’t want to drive our car until the breaks were fixed.

My friend Jennifer gave me and my three kids a ride to Bible study. Then at lunch Daniel got a ride to lunch, then a ride with his dad to a movie. That evening I walked the kids to Awana even though we had to cross a four lane busy road. My friend Cheryl gave us a ride back.

I am amazed that even though we didn’t have a car our friends and family helped us out! I will never bad mouth a minivan again. I am grateful that they have enough space for me and the kids.

A friend told us about a company that will come to your house and repair your car in your driveway. The mechanic was supposed to show up at 4:30 p.m., but he came at 7:30 p.m. and left around 9:00 p.m. And hurray our car is fixed!