Monday, October 31, 2011


hola mijas…  hope your weekend was absolutely beautiful.  mine was.  I got to experience for the first time a clothing giveaway in our {durango}.  over the past few months groups that have been visiting our ranch have brought loads and loads of beautiful clothes for the migrant families that we work with.  on friday night we loooooooo-aded up bags and bags of {la ropa} into our beautiful blue scooby-doo van in preparation for saturaday morning.  we arrived in {durango} around 8:50am and already there were about 50 mama’s and their niños already waiting for us.  in about 30 minutes our store was open for bid-ness.

I wish I had pictures to show you of my saturday but… the droves of people kept me quite busy and there was no time to snap photos. sad day.

and I had the awesome privilege to do it all with these {amigos bonitos}. 


it was quite a treat to have my dear friend {laura from san diego} with me again this weekend.  {big girl sleepover}  normally she’s with me almost every weekend due to the awesome fact that her {novio} lives here in mexico and works with me.  it had been a few weeks {100 to be exact}  NOT.  but it felt like it. 

{laura}:  she’s the kinda friend that is great at listening.  one that I don’t only feel comfortable crying to but--- she cries with me.  she’s the kinda friend that pays close attention to my wants and needs.  always bringing me little surprises.  and she’s never afraid to go on crazy adventures with me.  she’s grrrrrreat.


by the way…  happy halloween! this year I’m not dressing up in anything extravagant, not going on no candy walks, nor shouting [trick or treat], or any thing of that sort. now before you feel too sorry for me I must tell you that I have never celebrated halloween due to my family having convictions against it.  so I don’t really feel left out.  I don’t necessarily like all the scary stuff that goes along with this holiday but I do think it would be fun to go to a party where I could get all dressed up in a super awesome couple costume like this couple…

compliments of:

but I’d wanna do it with this super awesome hunk of a guy…

{stay tuned for mystery man to be revealed soon}


I celebrated in my own way.  by shampooing {yes you heard me right} the halloween scary, roight outta me hairs.  and boy did it feel gooood.  folks…  I do believe I’m on to something here.  I still believe normal shampoo is bad for your hair but…  the soda was also making my hair SUPER-duper dry and almost started building up in my hair.  I also didn’t have any good conditioner so my hair literally felt like good ‘ol iowa straw.  I’m still contemplating different ideas but for now I’m going to try only shampooing once a week.  I am in the process of searching for good organic shampoos on the internet.  {I’m totally open for suggestions}

bu-bye. bu-bye now bicarbonato de sodio puro.


I did my most favorite activity today.  {grocery shopping}  NOT.  I really never liked doing it in the states, only to come here and dislike it even more.  I don’t really know why but things are just so different and hard to switch over to buying mexican brands.  BUT… I pulled myself up by my boot straps and headed over the mountain/hill to do the dreadful thing.


as I came driving down the other side…  I was instantly glad that I had decided to shop today.  the ocean had a thick fog over it and the view was absolutely breath taking.


plus I once again had my little pantry stocked.  TOTES amazing.


I also got my laundry done.


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tonight a slipped into my favorite {payless} slippers, grabbed my colorful bag that {laura} brought down as a surprise for me, and headed to a little coffee shop 2 minutes from mi casa.

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it’s much darker now and the mexico night air is cool.  defiantly not iowa fall cool but nonetheless I think I’ll be headed home.  


get excited for tomorrows post.  it all has to do with performances and parties.  weee---

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Spunky-ness is what I love

Hello beautifuls---  tonight is just a few pictures of a little boy that showed up to tutoring today because his older sister was babysitting because, no one was home to care for him.  His name is Brian and I ‘m in love with all his five year old adorable-ness.


I remember when I met him in the spring he caught my attention right from the start.  He had that face of complete [I’m-up-to-no-good-but-I’m-cute] look.  Yet carried himself like a thirty year old man.



We sat under a little bush and made silly faces at each other.



And ever since then we’ve been best buds.  Today when I gave him his math exam he really cheesed it up for the camera.  {love}



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My {glory}



{But if a woman has long hair, it is her glory to her.} 1 Corinthians 11:15  I’ve found this verse to be true for me.  My hair is my baby [glory].  As woman there seems to always be that [one] thing that is super duper important to us and our appearance.  Like for my seester, that would be her [hollywood] smile.  Maybe for another chica its her makeup.  But for me…  for me its my hair.  Hands down.


I started reading some blogs about two weeks ago that talked about the harm of shampoo and the benefits of using alternatives, and I was totally intrigued.  I’m always looking for a way to improve the look and longevity of my [glory] and plus I was freaked out by the reality of what I was putting in my hair. So two weeks ago… I set out on my experiment.  I cant’t believe I’m doing all this.  [Nasty]


Señoras y señores…  this is me… showing off my two week nasty-ness.

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This is what I learned.

{one}  Shampoo was introduced in the 20th century because regular good old soap wasn’t cutting it.  The water started becoming more mineral heavy and soap made peoples hair stick up weird and have funky cowlicks and scaly scalps [or something like that].  So they started marketing shampoo as a product that would work in hard and soft water without the lovely cowlick look.  Of course leaving out the part about it striping your hair of all the  naturel oils that your body produces in order for your hair to be healthy, soft, shiny, and strong. 

sum it up:  It’s harsh.

{two}  Most shampoos contain mineral oil in them which is basically like gasoline…  or so I read that it is a by product when gasoline is distilled from crude oil… so ya.  This along with other harmful chemicals are added to shampoo to coat the strands with a thick coat of artificial shine. [yummy]

sum it up:  It’s harsh.


HAha---  this face tells all.  Not sure what to think.


The question that’s on everybody's mind is…  what DO I use to clean the Mexico grime out of my hair.  Two words [baking soda and vinegar].  I wash with 1 tablespoon of soda to 1 cup of warm water and rinse with 1 tablespoon of vinegar to 1 cup of warm water.


In my studies I learned that there could be a possible 2 to six week “detox” period where my hair could be greasy, grimy, and gross {pure excitement}  The reason is…  your hair is so use to you stripping it of all the necessary oils and then going into the over producing mode.  When you stop using shampoo your hair takes some time to settle down into normal oil production.  Google told me to wear my hair in braids during this time.  {thank you google}


THE UGLY:  sudden urges for a good soapy lather and a little extra oil towards the end of the day. 

THE GOOD:  curls are nicer and I wake up to real shine.


I’m giving this a good three weeks and if I don’t get more results then this…  I’m going back.  [not sold yet]

(now I know why I couldn’t find many pictures of before and afters…  its hard to photograph hair.)

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It never ceases to amaze me how I can make one stop and get; 2 tacos, one bag of mango gummies and a car wash.  Tonight was one of those nights.  I stopped by a taco stand after tutoring in {durango} and got all that for around 60 pesos.  I love Mexico!

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Wish I would have been brave enough to shoot some more pictures tonight.  But after you’ve lived in Mexico for awhile… and the muchachos at the taco stand know you…  you start feeling kinda weird acting like a tourist and all.  (hate when I get shy like that.) 


Buenos noches amigos

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The faces in my day

I have to be the most blessed girl in the world.  To have all these wide eyed, brown skinned, toothy grinned, ninos, love on me four days out of the week.  Really people I realize more and more everyday how blessed I really am.


I don’t always act as if I’m loved by a God that wants to know the deepest, most intimate, parts about me. Who wants an everyday, moment by moment relationship with me.


I choose to walk around defeated and discouraged when in reality I serve THE God who already overcame death and the grave.


A year ago, October thirteenth, I wrote a short entry in my journal that read…

[casting all my cares upon HIM for HE cares for Tiffany Joy Chmelar.]

Proceeding that sentence I listed out all my cares that I wished to throw at HIS feet.  Some things were small like having no winter clothes or eating healthier.  While other things felt big; paying off my two speeding tickets {ya. same cop. same week. same speed. as my brotherinlaw would say in his sing songy voice…  AWk-ward}, relational conflict in my family, or wrestling with the thought of moving to mexico.


As I look over the list I see little check marks and dates scribbled next to each item symbolizing those cares being cared for by not me but the ultimate problem solver.  and each one is like Jesus pleading {your cared for.  your loved.  look.  I did it a year ago.  I want to do it again and again everyday for the rest of your life.  so start casting your new list at me an watch me do what you can’t do.}


This journey, the last two years, has shown me more about the Fathers heart and His extravagant compassion, then I could have ever imagined. A journey that requires me to give more of myself every single day. A journey that took me from living in Iowa, to living in Baja Mexico. A journey of trying to find the funds for a week long mission trip, to a year commitment of serving and loving on orphans, widows and the {least of these}. The journey isn’t over yet. And so I keep learning and loving and hoping that each lesson will go a lil’ deeper.    


So that is what I will do and what I encourage each of you to do. Make a list. BIG things all the way down to the teeny-est most tiny-est thing you can think of. [maybe like… your going or you WENT shampoo-less a week ago. and you really really really want to just jump in the shower right now, and suds up your hair so much so, that the whole bathroom would turn into a bathtub of bubbles. but your too stubborn because you made a pact with yourself to stick with it for at least three weeks. so you feel sad.] <--- ya. I’ll be writing that one down on my list because well… that would be me. {blog post coming SOON}.  Start throwing off those burdens.

Thanks to all of you who show Jesus’ love by caring for me by helping with my fund raising, praying for me on a daily basis, sending me care packages, encouraging me through your words, and walking beside me {to all you who live on this side of the fence with me.}  I <3 you! 


Just two more photos of abuelita and perrito.  They like to show up to class every once in awhile.  I actually love it.  Grandma has a bad case of the {forgetfuls} and repeats herself a lot.  but I love it.  makes my day every time.


I’m off to pull some butternut squash out of the oven.  Hello fall.  {even though I’m having a hard time believing it with the incredibly warm temperatures.}  going through withdrawals.

Monday, October 17, 2011

my lounge around day



this is the epitome of lounging clothes. half pajamas half not.  <3

when you grow up in a family of nine+ crazies running around…  there’s never a complete, perfect, solitude, moment of silence.  let alone a whole entire day.  in order to {get away}, you would have to hide.  closets, tree fort, walk on the gravel road, cars, grandpas house, sheep shed, were all great spots for a moment of {personal getaway}.  not that you wanted it to be forever.  that would be downright boring.  it was kinda like a game. like {see how long it takes for a sibling to find you} sorta play.  as soon as the escapee was found the {aha’s, caught ya’s} and laughing would ensue.


mondays are my days off here in mexico.  I use to really hate them because it meant a whole day of {personal getaway} and that was a hard adjustment for me.  I was seriously lost, didn’t know what to do or think, couldn’t stay focused, felt lazy, and an entourage of other problems. 


today I reflected a lot on the quietness and how its ok to have days like this.  it’s a good time on reflection, nap taking, show watching, making little projects, nothingness, catching up on home church teachings, staying in your lounging clothes {all day}, and most of all {not feeling bad about it}.  because this is a season in my life that may only happen once.  its all about personal growth and choices on how I look at this adventure called life.  plus im probably the only one in the world who gets a day off that looks like this.


so here’s to mondays!  CHEERS! 

Friday, October 14, 2011

my day in a photo dump

woke up like this...

...and it kinda stuck with me the rest of the day. kinda.
got to tutor these adorable ninos.

this baby showed up with his older brother.
i got to amuse him with crayons and paper.
this is the stare he would give me when i would color an object and say it in my broken spanish.

poor kid. totally freaked. like who is this lady? isn't he a doll though?

this is the beautiful community called {durango}.
i love this place.
i love driving through, seeing and hearing shouts and waves.
sitting in the homes building and bonding, drinking
weak coffee, and munching on cookies bought specially for me.
watching the learning progress increase with every math quiz.
gives me chills.
this is exactly where i'm suppose to be.

after a good lunch of three quesadillas (con todo)- i headed to the ranch to pick up supplies for tomorrows work day.

i couldn't get over the clouds and the super blue sky today. hung out the window the whole drive home.

next saturday we are having a dental clinic and a carnival for some of the community families. a church group from the {estados unidos} is coming down for the weekend. it should be a high ol' time but that calls for some prep work {manana}.

thus... the many random scenic photos.

i got really- really homesick tonight.
thinkin about my favorite forever family in the whole-wide-world.

last years hunt for a christmas tree.

super thankful for my mexico family.

alex and amanda

wanting something fierce to see flat, green, nothingness. (not that iowa's green right now but it's a bunch of other awesome color shades.)

missing this little white house on the hill, with the grandpa house behind the garage, and the two lovlies on the porch.

in a short 62 days i'll be home. that feels sooo good to say. im gonna say it again.

"tiffany chmelar... you'll be HOME!"

good night loves!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 and

this beautiful piece of machinery {as i like to call it} is my lovey kick around car. she's a bus, a tutoring supply van, and you name it... she probably is that too. i wanted to be sure everyBODY meets her because she plays a vital role in our lives here in mexico.

she's very special; don't take her up hills [you might not make it], she only unlocks from the passenger side [talk about weird stares], her windshield wipers are on the blink [i mean the b.b.blink], at times she wont start [secure], and a number of other delightful, no extra charge, problemOs.

i want to be sure you have all the angles you need to really get the full effect of the beaut.

you might not know... [probably not because i never told you] but i have an addiction to {pintrest}. its really bad. its almost become my new {google} (gasps) because of my {pintrest} love... myself and i have come up with a deal. as long as i allow {pintrest} to inspire me to make a change, sew a craft, organize, etc. a few times a month... i can keep my habit. so far i've been quite successful.

tonight's inspiration sewn/fabric thank you cards for my supporters!

because {pintrest} has been such an inspiration... i already have a christmas present made. i used scraps from the leftover fabrics to make my cards tonight. (haha... freakin thrifty too. thats 2 for 1. BOW-chica-WOWwow.)

one of these cards might be coming to a box near you!