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Summer and A Blogging Break Come to an End

Chicago summer outing - Buildings

Hello again!

I hope you had a fabulous holiday weekend and a great Summer.

As you have probably noticed, I took a long break from blogging. For my standards, that was a huge break. Hopefully, you haven't forgotten about me. :)

There are a couple of reasons why I decided to take a break. First, I was

feeling burnt out; I've been blogging for several years and hardly took long breaks. Besides, keeping up with a regular schedule means working 24/7 in content creation, which means lots of work.

I felt the pressure mainly in the blogging department. Writing, taking pictures, and making and editing videos put me in a dragging mode. I also felt left out of social media as my Facebook and Instagram accounts were blocked over a year ago.

I needed a blogging break. A space to rest, renew, and refresh!

Second, I wanted to spend more time with my family. My two kids are already young adults who still live in the area. I want to spend as much time as possible while they're still close to us.

Let me tell you a bit about the main things I got busy with during Spring and Summer.


My sister Elena and her family visited us during Early Spring. I took this opportunity to go and visit Monticello, as it had always been at the top of my bucket list.

Cristina Garay and family

It was a trip that we all enjoyed immensely.

Monticello, the home of President Thomas Jefferson, is a remarkable estate.

I love how Jefferson himself was the one who designed the mansion, the gardens, and the outbuildings.

the mansion

I took my time touring the mansion, soaking in every single detail. 

The chunky moldings.

The high ceilings.

The many skylights given that Jefferson loved natural light.

mouldings and yellow walls

The fireplace mantels and the art hung all throughout the mansion.

The collections of books and Native American artifacts.

Those parquet floors and the furniture!

Crown molding and art gallery

I was impressed by many of Jefferson's inventions, like the copying machine and revolving bookstand.

I was also in awe of all the technology he used throughout the mansion. These double-pane windows caught my eye.

Double-pane windows


Having visitors means a trip to Washington, D.C., is inevitable. It was a rainy day, but the rain didn't matter as we would spend all day inside the National Gallery of Art.
Walking stripes

We took our time and got into very informative tours; somehow, time flew away.
Vincent Van Gogh portrait - Washington DC

The gallery is immense. We must return a few more times to get a good glimpse at the beautiful collection.


Did you have any summer storms in your region?

I hope not; they're scary.

We had a couple, and this tree ended up in our backyard during one of those. It came down, crashing onto the fence.
tree fallen in the back yard


I joined my kids for a Chicago Summer smash, and we did have a wonderful time!

Sightseeing was done early in the morning/middle of the day. Then, I took the kids to their concert, where they stayed until late.

Once again, I was surrounded by majestic architecture.
Chicago - Summer 2023

We soaked in the skyline from a Lake Michigan and River boat tour. Those buildings are impressive.
Cristina Garay - Chicago

We got into lots of walking while getting to the main attractions. We also enjoyed the famous deep-dish pizza, my first time trying it. 😋


We also went to the Art Institute of Chicago as there was a Van Gogh and the Avant-Garde exhibition. I loved it, but I wish we had more time to enjoy the collection. We were running out of time before heading to our next adventure. 
Van Gogh

Cristina Garay

This year, I had a Hot Pot Mother's Day celebration. Oh, I love those soups. 
Cristina Garay


Given that my daughter lives in Baltimore, we have been discovering new places and the many activities this pretty city has to offer. 
Cristina Garay

Attending the Orioles games has been a fun way to spend time and connect with our kids.

Cristina Garay, Samantha Garay, Matthew Garay

I'm so glad I took this break. It was exactly what I needed to rejuvenate and return to blogging, feeling refreshed and inspired. I missed connecting with you all. I'm more than ready to get back to blogging!

But hey, as you all know, we do-it-yourself-ers can't stop!

I was also as busy as a bee working on projects around the house.

I'm super excited to share the projects I've been working on with you. I've got a lot of great content planned.

Stay tuned.



Enjoy what you read today?



  1. so glad you're back. I always look forward to your posts.

    1. Aww thanks so much, Marty! My blogging family is what I missed the most.

  2. I checked your site several times while you were "away" and was getting worried. Excellent to see that you're back!

    1. Your sweet comment just put a big smile on my face. Thanks!

  3. So glad you’re back. Missed you. Happy that you took a break and enjoyed time with your kids and family. Looking forward to the blog again

    1. So glad to be back here to my community. Thanks!! Your comment melts my heart. ❤️

  4. Cristina, I'm glad to have you back but so happy that you were able to take a much-needed break and enjoy time with your family. So many nice trips!
    I look forward to what you have in store for us this fall!

    1. Sue, I'm so lucky to have you as one of my huge cheerleaders. Thank. you!!

  5. You were missed! So happy you took time to enjoy your family@

    1. Thank you! Family time is priceless. My daughter was able to carve time out of her busy schedule, and it all worked perfectly. 😊

  6. So glad you're back! Looks like you had some great adventures! I love Monticello! Makes me want to spend all my time in my garden! (Also you look beautiful in your photos! Radiant!) Glad you are rested and ready to come back and inspire us with your projects!

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