Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Jesus and the Woman at the Well ~ John 4

My Lord Jesus Christ, please help me to sit still so I can hear your words of faith and wisdom. For in many ways I am the Samarian woman at the well. Cleanse me of my sins and give me the courage to take your message to others.
Your faithful servant, Yoli

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Christmas Wish List

I was talking to a friend a few days ago and he asked me what I wanted for Christmas. He wasn't offering to buy me a gift, but rather he was giving me the opportunity to drop my guard as an adult in order to feel the holiday joy as a child. I thought it was strange but I gave it a try. The rule was to think as a kid, who is looking through a toy store catalogue.

I'm so excited to find Crow's Nest Trading Company online. It is the perfect store catalogue for me. I am a south Texas bluejean wearing, boot stomping, turquoise loving western diva. I was amazed at how fast I filled up my Christmas wish list.

Now it's your turn. What's on your "kid" wish list?

Ya'll be sure you dream, it's free and priceless!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Living Healthy

My sister Angela came by my office a while ago to pickup the Weight Watchers book I borrowed a few weeks ago. It was good to see her. Angela has been exercising and following a healthy diet. ANGELA LOOKS SO GREAT & BEAUTIFUL!!!

I love soups, salads, and iced-tea; so that sounds like a good lunch for today. Would it be bad of me to sneak-in a chocolate-dipped strawberry? Living healthy can be fun!

Hispanic Heritage Month

I am a Hispanic American. Like the majority of Americans, my family has been in the United States for generations. Living in the Rio Grande Valley of deep south Texas, allows me the privelage of enjoying my culture. I was taught self-esteem, financial independence, service to country, and to work towards my goals. All of my family is college educated, owns businesses, works hard, serves others, and believes that America is one nation under God. We participate in politics, attend Christian church, and place God & family first.

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society.

Lets take time to celebrate and honor those in our family who came before us. Please feel free to share your special family memories, accomplishments, struggles, and special stories.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Over the Top ~ Blog Award

I was nominated and was presented this award from blogger friend Suzy at Suzy Bloomers Thank you so much Suzy for the nomination. I am so excited and honored...YEAH. Please take time to visit Suzy’s blog, she totally rocks!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Apron Sneak Preview

This is the darling apron that almost drove me to tears last night. I had to step away and count to 10. This morning I am excited, pumped-up, and ready to create a master-piece. I will post the completed design soon.

Love Ya'll

Friday, September 25, 2009


This afternoon I was so excited and determined to completely design & sew a western apron. Then just a while ago, I had to step away from my sewing. I was working through different design ideas when I hit a creativity mental-block. I should have stopped to think it through, but oh no...I went on. I incorrectly cut one of the layers of fabric. The project is easily salvageable but I should have listened to my inner voice. So to cheer myself up, I pulled up some Maxine cartoons online. She is a hoot.

My Beloved Latina

We get so many requests for the "Latina Senoritas" aprons. I guess it makes sense since we're in deep south Texas in the beautiful Rio Grande Valley. We have these availabe at our JOY Marie's Boutique.

My Beloved Latina is gorgeous & glamorous and full of life! This apron was specially created for the City of Weslaco Museum that is having a special event this weekend that emphasizes the Hispanic culture & influence in our area. We are thrilled to be able to donate this custom apron for their silent auction event. The apron is reversible featuring two unique & distinctive designs. The fabric, colors, and lace trim on captures the beauty & sensuality of the Latino culture.

Proverbs 31 Ministries

My sister Jessica introduced me to Proverbs 31 Ministries. I follow their blog and I signed up for their daily inspirational email. I have used their blog to help through difficult times. Their wisdom of the Lord is inspiring and calming. I am forever appreciative of my Jessica for guiding me to these precious nuggets of Christian faith.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Friday Road Trip ~ Weslaco, TX

Hola Amigos, welcome to my home town Weslaco, TX . We are "Deep in the Heart of Texas". Pull up a chair. Kick-off your boots and sit a spell. Can I offer you a cold Margarita with extra lime?

Weslaco is located in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) of deep south Texas. We are rich in agriculture, farming, industry, medical, and education. RGV borders Mexico and is by the Gulf of Mexico. Our culture is rich in Tex-Mex, a mix of Texas & Mexico. You can see the Spanish architecture influence in our buildings . Cowboys and Senoritas are common in these parts of the country. We have beautiful golf courses, nature centers, major medical centers, a private airport, and several antique stores downtown. During the winter we host thousands of retired people who we lovingly call "Winter Texans". During the evenings our parks are full with families watching their kids play sports. High school football is big in Texas and you can find us at the stadium watching our 2 high school teams. Weslaco has a population of about 30K, and everyone knows everyone! Most of the local residents are Christians and we have several beautiful churches. English is the primary language spoken and most people also speak Spanish. Weslaco keeps up with politics, education, and cultural events.
I sincerely thank you for joining me on this tour. Next Friday we will visit a local attraction, could be Mexico, South Padre Island, local restaurants, or a nature trail. You tell me what you prefer to see and I will gladly host. As we say, "Mi Casa es su Casa" (my house is your house), and you are welcomed any time! ~ Adios Amigos, Yoli :)

LOVE IT ~ Pottery Barn

I can see myself lounging around in this gorgeous outdoor sitting area. I found this pic online at PotteryBarn. There are so many beautiful things on their website. I love the sectional sofa because you can cozy up with a good book or with the love of your life. The pillows look so plush and inviting. The hanging lanterns are adorable and the fireplace is the perfect host. I just love all it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Daddy's Girl

On September 23, 2005 my father passed away. I believe that God has blessed my dad with a new life of kindness, peace, and love. When I was growing up, I was "Daddy Girl". My father was bigger than life to me. He taught us to dream bigger than this world, to be well-mannered, and that life is too short. I have his spirit, short-comings, and his walk. I wish I could get a "do-over" and cherish each moment I had with him. I wish I could have slowed down my life to listen to his words of wisdom. Gone too soon....

I love you Dad.
Yoli, forever "Daddy Girl"

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Autumn is finally here!

There are so many things I love about autumn. As a child I loved watching "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown". Now, I love it even more because I watch it with my kids. I believe we can still have simple and special family time, without having to leave the house or spend tons of money. I choose to have the faith of Charlie Brown and believe in something special greater than me.

What are your special autumn memories, or new memories you are making?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Pepper Dog

This is my Pepper Dog a miniature Schnauzer. I will never forget the day we brought him home. He was so tiny and I felt so bad for him because he was away from his mommy. I held him through the night, cuddled him in my hands close to my heart so he could feel a mother's heart. He is so cute, adorable, and fun-loving! Pepper Dog lives with my ex-husband Keith. Luckily Keith and I are still good friends and I get to see Pepper Dog often. Pepper Dog will always be my baby!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Sewing Sweat Shop

BLAHHHH. Need to clean my sewing room, or as my son calls it "The Sweat Shop". We put the treadmill in sewing room because it has a direct view to the televison, so that meant that I had to move things around. I guess now it really is going to be a Sweat Shop. I'm determined to get the room cleaned and organized this evening.

Ya'll have a blessed Sunday!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Health ~ Happiness ~ Humor

Here is a picture our wall decor that we have as you walk into our home: Health ~ Happiness ~ Humor. We have perfected happiness and humor, but health is a challenge. We live a busy life and too often pick-up fast food. It is my 16 year old son Vinny who is getting us back on the health track. We found a treadmill on Craigslist yesterday at a great price and brought it home last night!!! Now the fun and work starts.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Better Safe than Sorry

There is no doubt, I am a Mother Hen. My teen kids have been coughing and congested for 2 days, so I took them to the doctor this afternoon. Apparently they are just fine, nothing major to worry about. I do get concerned during flu season. THANK YOU GOD for keeping my kids healthy. I pray that others may be blessed with good health too.

Victorian Harvest Apron

Last night I stayed up to sew the pockets and hem on a Victorian Harvest Apron. I am using a cute beige lace and added a green rick-rack. The apron is reversible with a deep red lining. I truly enjoy sewing because I can calm down, be creative, and feel proud of myself.

Ya'll have a wonderful day ~ YOLI :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Congratulations Kevin Skinner

Congratulations to Kevin Skinner, the winner of America's Got Talent.
I loved how he sang Garth Brooks' song "If Tomorrow Never Comes" at his first audition. He seems geniune, respectful, and sings from the heart. I am glad that he kept his performances family friendly. I do wish him and his family the best because fame has a way of changing people.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

You go Girl

I'm supposed to be the wise older sister, but my sister Jessica is running circles around me. I think she's the computer guru in the family. Jessica setup a video display on her blog for one of her jewelry designs. It looks so cute.

I see so many beautiful blogs out there and I wish I could be more computer savvy. I have to hand it to you ladies, your blogs look amazing. Also, I love the photos you take. I wonder if I ask Santa for fancy new digital camera/recorder, if I will get it for Christmas. Hey, it doesn't hurt to :)

Ya'll have a spectacular day!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

WOW ~ Look at what Jessica designed.

Purple Passion with a Twist of Lime
The lovely cross pendant features layers of bright colors in shades of limes & purples. The natural stones & genuine crystals create a dramatic look. The necklace features a lime green stacked stone, deep purple oval shaped stones & purple crystals. Includes full necklace set. Necklace 20in, Bracelet 7.5 in, & earrings.
Jessica is my youngest sister. I am blessed to be partners with her in JOY Marie's Boutique. She is a truly gifted artisan jewelry designer. You have to see her exquisit designs at I love you sis, and I admire your dedication to God, family, and community.
Yoli :)

Country Music Concert

The kids and I went to a country music concert at Dodge Arena this past week. Billy Currington played awesome, and looked so handsome!!! Sugarland was the headline, and they were beyond excellent. It was one of the best concerts I have ever been to. The best part was that I got to attend with my kids. Great Music ~ Great Memories!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kitchen Bar Stools

I need to buy 4 bar stools for my kitchen. We are 3 of us at home, Vinny, Gigi, and I. We are down to 2 bar stools because a couple of bar stools broke in the past few weeks. It must be the cushiony seat and swivel spin that makes them playful. I bought a temporary stool yesterday, but ended up returning it this morning because it was too high. We have a large island in the kitchen that my dad built years ago, which we call a "continent". I'm not sure what style of stools to buy, but they have to match with our shabby chic country kitchen. I'm a Texas gal, so something rustic and leather will fit in well. I found the painted stools online (in the pic) and I could paint standard stools but I don't know if I want people sitting on my work....LOL.

Wish me luck in my search!
Yoli :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Typical Sunday

Typical Sunday for the Kalkofen family is Church, going out to eat, watching our Dallas Cowboys play football, the kids doing their homework, and finishing up on laundry. I know it is a day of rest, but a day at home at times ends up being more more....but I wouldn't trade my life for a million bucks. Hope you're having a blessed weekend! ~~ Yoli :)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Day at the SPA

Today 2 southern chicks are going to the SPA. My daughter Gigi and I are headed to the SPA to get manicures, pedicures, and massages. We are invited to a 40th wedding anniversary party tonight. Gigi is 14 yrs and freshman in highschool. I am making sure that I enjoy all the time I have left with her before she leaves to college. I'm known as a mother-hen, which is fine with me. God blessed me with Gigi, and I am so appreciative and proud to be her mommy. Today we're splurging at the SPA, but many times we do our own spa treatments at home. Take some time today with someone you love to build lasting memories.

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, September 11, 2009


What a wonderful blessing to get to be the mom of these two kidos. Though this picture is a few years old, my teen kids will always be my babies.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

September 11, 2001 ~ Memorial

Sweet Onions

My kids have a huge passion for onions! They absolutely love grilled onions and onion rings. Every year we have a huge onion festival in my hometown of Weslaco, TX My sister and I setup a booth for our JOY Marie's Boutique and the kids got to run around to all the food booths.

Onion Scoops ~ Recipe
2 large onions, sliced in scoop sizes for easy dipping.
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
Separate onions into scoop strips. Mix with buttermilk in a large bowl. Cover with plastic and refrigerate 1 hour. Can be prepared 1 day ahead if kept refrigerated. Stir flour, salt, paprika and cayenne in another large bowl. Drain onions and discard buttermilk. Add onions to flour mixture and toss to coat. Pour oil into a heavy saucepan to a depth of 3 inches. Heat oil to 350 degrees F. Working in small batches, shake excess flour off of onions and cook in hot oil until golden brown and crispy, about 2 minutes per batch. Using slotted spoon, transfer onions to paper towels to drain. Transfer onions to platter. Season with additional salt to taste and serve immediately.
Secret Southern Touch:
Dip the crispy onion scoops into a bowl of spicy salsa or guacamole dip.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Where have the years gone?

My babies are growing up. Here is a picture of Vincent & Gina that we took on the 1st day of school. "Vinny" is in 11th grade, going to high school in the morning and taking college classes in the afternoon. "Gigi" is a 9th grade freshman. She is an awesome student, and she enjoys spending time with her friends and taking tennis.

It seems like it was just yesterday that they were in elementary school. I will miss them when they leave to go to college. Yet, I will be most proud when they grow-up and can fly on their own. If there are any empty-nester parents, I welcome your advise as to how to prepare myself for the letting go.

I love you Vincent & Gina!

Aaron Sanchez, Chef / Food Network

Ladies, you have to meet Chef Aaron Sanchez. Talk about hot Latin cooking in the kitchen!

He is a restaurateur, television personality, consultant, spokesperson and author. He is known internationally for his full flavored Latin cuisine. Aarón’s mother is a renowned Latina Chef, Zarela Martinez. Aaron began his career with Food Network and now co-hosts Melting Pot, Chopped, Chefs vs. City, Iron Chef, Next Iron Chef, Throwdown with Bobby Flay, Food Detectives and more. Aarón is the owner and executive chef of restaurants Paladar and Centrico, both located in New York City. In 2003, his first book, La Comida del Barrio (The food from my neighborhood) was published.In 2004, Aarón opened up Centrico an energetic and festive restaurant. In 2005 Aarón was named one of People En Espanol's 50 Most Beautiful People.

Tune in to Food Network for sizzling Latin flavor with Chef Aaron Sanchez.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Like Mother ~ Like Daughter

I love Mommy & Me style aprons. My daughter and I started baking cookies when she was very young. We had Cookie Baking Parties for birthdays and Christmas. I used to get worked-up when the cookies were perfect or the kitchen got messy. Thanks to years and wisdom, it now matters that we enjoy time together, making a mess, and making memories. My daughter is a teenager now, so I need increase my time baking with her before she leaves to college.

“Everyone who quotes proverbs will quote this proverb about you: ‘Like mother, like daughter.’” Ezekiel 16:44

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Loteria Apron

Lotería is a tradition that involves art, passion, culture, and hobby of the upper class. The origin of Lotería can be traced back to the 15th century in Italy, where games were organized to collect funds for the poor. The game migrated to other countries. In France, King Francis formed the first state sponsored Loteria lottery game. Loteria arrived in Mexico in during the 18th century from Spain. Now known as Mexican Bingo, Loteria is fun for all.

I remember playing this game with my great-grandmother Luisa, my grandmother Celedonia, and my mom Benita. Family and friends would gather around in kitchens and porches. Everyone had loteria boards and chips to place on the board as cards were called out. We often used dried beans or bottle caps as chips. We sometimes played for pennies, but we always played for fun. When I found this fabric, it brought back memories and I knew I had to buy it. I made this apron with love for my culture and respect for my heritiage.

Con Amor,