My four kids have always been in super different places in life, which has always kept our lives interesting.


I remember when Amy Kikita started college. It was the same year Jonathan started Kindergarten. Yeah. Kindergarten and college. With Lucy in grammar school and Adam in high school there was never a dull moment around here. 

Change is inevitable. Kids grow. They go out into the world to find their fortunes. They meet other people. They make new friends. They have adventures. They find their way in the world and add different kinds of cares (good and bad) into our lives as parents. 

So I mark the passage of time as I always have, by the ages and activities of my children. Eric and I find ourselves navigating some challenges that we hadn't experienced before. But that's what keeps life exciting, right?

And, yes, our kids have always been in different places, but this season totally wins as far as the most diverse changes for all of them. Read on.


Amy has moved to South Florida. Specifically to Hialeah. With nothing to hold her here in Southern California, she has struck out to find adventure in Hialeah to get her Cubanity on. She has a job, an apartment, and a car. We text multiple times a day, but even at those times, I'm acutely aware of the distance between us. I miss her desperately. (Shh! Don't tell her.)


Adam has ventured into marriage and fatherhood. He and his wife, Alysha live near us and we have the good fortune to see them on different occasions.


As you can see, our dinner table is still quite full. (Also, I'm trying to master the art of picnicking, but that's not important right now.) The faces around the table are changing. And I'm not just talking about the extra wrinkles that are adding *ahem* character to our faces.

Eric and I celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary on August 8th. We had a lovely, quiet dinner and recapped all of our adventures. We agreed we would say, "I do" all over again. We also decided that quiet and calm may be over-rated. We have also categorically reserved the right to change our minds.


I took Lucy to San Francisco to celebrate her 21st birthday. We saw all the cool spots in the city and even had a cable car adventure. All the while, I kept hyperventilating when I remembered that my daughter was now 21. "Deep, slow breaths, Mom."


Jonathan started his first week at the local community college (where Lucy is employed, by the way). He is taking theater classes and also going out on lots of auditions in Los Angeles. I'd tell you what exactly he's been doing, but then I'd have to kill you. 


Jon's first day of school photo

Last week, Adam and Alysha were blessed with the birth of their baby. A beautiful boy. My son has a son. Making me an abuela. (I had a dream in which the baby called me, "Wella." I'm going to go ahead and go with that.)

People, meet my grandson, Asher. I think this guy has changed my life forever.


So many changes. 

In between all these milestones, I've made dinners, and done loads and loads of laundry. I've visited my 100 year old mom, and gone swimming in pools and at the beach. We've hosted lots of outdoor movie nights and have attended concerts and baseball games

I know this post sounds like somebody's annual Christmas newsletter, but guys, this only encompasses the last 6 weeks of my life. 

A few months ago I might have said, "I hate change." But now I embrace the many and varied happenings and simply say, "Bring it." 

Life is in session. Amen.

I'm. On. Vacation. (via Instagram)

Every year, just like my parents used to in Cuba B.C.* (*before Castro), we enjoy spending a beautifully relaxing time at the beach. In this case, we're in Del Mar, California and the weather is perfect.

If you follow me on Instagram, you would already have this information, but that's not important right now.

Here's the documentation of the beginning of our vacation week (with captions), via Instagram.

This is where you'll find me all week.

Beach chairs

Right now.

So cal water temp

They're both good at boogieing, but she excels at frolicking.

Boogie boarding

My husband participates in vacation sports.

Eric and the kite

I'm. On. Vacation.

Marta face

As you can see, we're working really hard at this whole vacation/relaxation thing. I think I've done really well with the documentation part of it, too.

If you want to enjoy some more of my personal vacation "relajo," please feel free to follow along on Instagram. I'm Smrtqbn. Coming to you live from my beach chair in Del Mar, California. ;-)


It's Not Easy Being Green - Avocados from Mexico

Growing up Cuban meant we didn't eat many salads. And by "many," I mean, "none."

For the most part, the only time green things appeared on our plates were the tiny, diced pieces of bell pepper in our sofrito. (For the uninformed, sofrito is at the beginning of most Cuban dishes. Sauteed onion, garlic, and green bell pepper form the basis of the magic that is Cuban food, but that's not important right now.)

We add asparagus to our Arroz con Pollo and I think that pretty much ends our venture into "green" territory.

The exception being that on special occasions, we were treated to An Avocado Salad. *insert heavenly choir here*

Having grown up here in California makes me partial to the beautiful dark-skinned Avocados from Mexico (as opposed to the big, fat, smooth ones from South Florida). Don't judge me. I also make a pretty mean guacamole.

Today, Mexico is the only place in the world where avocado trees naturally bloom four times a year. Which means that we get avocados here pretty much year-round. (Thank you, God.)

But every now and then I want my Avocados from Mexico to taste, well, Cuban. And this is my go-to salad. Don't you love it when I share?

Buen Provecho!

Avocado salad copy


  • 2 ripe avocados, sliced
  • 1/2 large sweet red onion, sliced into rings
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 3 limes (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 packet of Sazón Goya Complete
  • Salt & pepper to taste

1) Blanch the bell pepper by putting in a small bowl and microwaving on high for about 40 seconds. Let cool.

2) For the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, Sazón Goya Complete and the cooled red bell pepper.

Dressing for avocado salad copy

3) Arrange red onions on a plate, top with sliced avocados.

4) Salt the avocados.

Salted avocados copy

5) Pour dressing over everything.

6) Top with fresh cilantro.

Cilantro on avocado salad copy

It totally feels like a special occasion, doesn't it?

Find many more avocado recipes (including mine!) on the Avocados from Mexico site.


{Disclaimer: I am being compensated by Avocados from Mexico for this campaign. Isn't that totally awesome?}