The Getty

Yesterday Matt and I enjoyed a beautiful day off. We have both wanted to go visit The Getty museum, neither of having been there before so we decide to make a day of it. We got there at noon and spent three hours viewing beautiful works of art. There were 6 different pavilions with 2-3 levels each. We saw everything from sketches, painting, sculptures, photographs and decorative arts. I believe our favorites were the sculptures and paintings. Matt said viewing all the decorative arts was like antique shopping. We ran out of time and were not able to see the Conservation Institute and Research Institute. The 4 paintings below were the highlight of my trip. To be in the presence of these works of art was amazing.

monet2 Picasso rembrandt VanGogh

From Left to Right: Sunrise – Monet, Femme – Picasso, The Abduction of Europa – Rembrandt, Irisis – VanGoh

The museum is nestled on the hillside along the 405 fwy overlooking Brentwood and Westwood. From the museum there are breathtaking views, great for panoramic pictures.  Admission was free, however you have to pay $15 to park. I wouldn’t recommend this museum for small children. The museum has several collections that are only temporary so be sure to check there website before you go for the current exhibits.

Hope you all have a great day. I ♥ you! oxox

 

Weekend Wrap Up

I can say this weekend was a perfect one in my books. Woke up Saturday morning to rain! I loved it. We had a bday party at Chuck E Cheese, and the little Prince was extatic. He always asks to go and we adamently say no!  I guess you can say we are a bit of germaphobes. Its  amazing we all survived our childhoods right!  So this was a treat for him, but you can bet I came equipped with a bottle of hand santizer. After the party we chilled at home. Matt made dinner and I settled in for a movie marathon of Twilight.  Exciting lives we lead right.

Sunday the girls wanted Peppers for brunch and then swapmeet, it was raining we were only able to get bunch in. After breakfast I began to clean out cubbords, drawers etc. PURGING! I filled an entire trash bin with crap. I also managed to set aside several items aside for a garage sale very soon.

Hope you all have a great day! I ♥ you! oxox

Happy Birthday

To my eldest Princess,

Today, you turn 18 years old. You have reached a major pinnacle in your life, but it has only just begun. I eagerly await with anticipation to see what your life has in store for you. Of all the things I am capable of giving you today; I feel my words are the most valuable.

These are exciting times for you: finishing high school, going to college, moving out on your own, starting a career, paying your own way, dating, marriage, having kids. The possibilities are endless. But, I’m not going to lie. At times, life is going to get rough. It’s inevitable; however, it’s all in how you handle the stress of life that determines whether or not you will succeed. Having a negative attitude toward the stress and being pessimistic will not, I promise you, resolve anything. Taking deep breaths, keeping an optimistic attitude and developing a character that doesn’t quit will take you much further in life than anyone tells you.

Find your people Being independent is incredible. You can and should be able to take care of yourself and be your own best support system. But no one can go it alone. You need your people – and I don’t just mean any people, I mean your people – the ones who’ve got your back in every single situation, no matter what. The ones who you can be completely yourself with, weird quirks and all. The ones will come over at 4am or 2pm or whenever you ask them to, with no explanation needed, to sit on the couch with you while you cry and throw the biggest temper tantrum of your life, and who will love you just as much, or more, when you’re done.

When I look at you, I see your dads’ eyes looking back at me. They are thoughtful, ambitious, spontaneous and quick to find the good in others. I can only hope you learn to find the good in yourself. People will disappoint you. It’s in their nature. It’s the ones who disappoint you, own up to it, apologize and never do it again that are worth keeping around. At the same time, be careful with whom you choose to associate and don’t be so naïve to believe that you can trust just anyone. Make others prove their worthiness to be trusted as anyone of sound mind will ask of you. Be someone people can rely on, but don’t allow yourself to be taken advantage of either. Stand up for yourself and for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

Put your phone away I know – you love Facebook and Instagram. You’re the reason unlimited texting plans were created in the first place. I get that, and it’s cool – but girl, there’s a whole three-dimensional world out there, and you need to go and live in it once in a while. Remember nature? Get yourself some nature.

Love yourself and don’t allow anyone to make you feel less of a person through their words or actions. You and you alone, are in control of your emotions and well-being. By allowing someone else to taint your self-worth, you give them power over you.

Choose your battles. Life is too short to be arguing with someone all the time about everything. This goes for friends and family as well as any future romantic relationships. Be empathetic and put yourself in the other person’s shoes and try to see things from their perspective. You will be rewarded in ways that you have yet to understand.

Getting so drunk you throw up on a public bus isn’t okay Drinking is fun – I get that. You feel mature as hell when you’re doing it, and you love the way it makes you all tingly and giggly and uninhibited. But listen, let me just say that drinking has its dark sides. So, if you’re going to drink, please be smart. Don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know. Use the buddy system with your girlfriends. Don’t drink on an empty stomach. Don’t mix a bunch of different types of alcohol together. And, most of all get to know your limits. It’s all fun and games until you throw up in public. Look, I’m not trying to scare you, honey, I’m just saying that I’ve seen some things and done some things that I’m not proud of, and all I want is for you to be safe and happy.

When you find the love of your life and eventually get married, let go of the little things. The toilet seat doesn’t matter. Who forgot to unload the dishwasher means nothing. Whose turn it is to change the baby’s diaper isn’t worth the argument. Most things in life are “little things”. By learning to go with the flow and learning to laugh at the appropriate moments, your marriage will be successful.

No one owes you a thing You’re not guaranteed to get into the college of your dreams. You’re not guaranteed to get good grades. You’re not guaranteed to get a job right out of college – especially not your dream job – because you’re not entitled to anything. All around you, people keep urging you to “follow your passion,” and there’s some merit to that (doing what you love feels wonderful!), but you need to be realistic about the intersection between your passions, your skills, and what other people will pay you to do. You’re going to spend the rest of your life working, and the hours you spend doing so will be the most time-consuming part of your life. So yeah, you need to love what you do, and it needs to fulfill you, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to love any job, even your dream job, right away or all the time. Sometimes the shit you love isn’t fun. Sometimes it’s excruciatingly hard work – and that’s okay.You have potential for great things.

Marry your best friend. Don’t settle. He should make you laugh. Whatever you do, don’t allow him to place you on a pedestal to be worshipped, because when valuables fall, they break. Make sure he sees you as an equal and is willing to walk beside you and not force you to the rear. Make your marriage first and your children second. By doing so, your children will see what a real, loving marriage is and will be all the better for it.

If it feels wrong, don’t do it. If you know it’s wrong, don’t go along with it.

Don’t be in such a hurry to grow up. Yes, you’re now officially an adult, but that definition goes far beyond just being a number. Being an adult means being responsible with all aspects of your life. There is plenty of time to move out and live on your own. Other than your current job after school, your only other job for the next few years should be discovering who you are as a person, going to school, and learning from the mistakes of the adults around you. There are many of us who came before you that have made plenty of mistakes, me included. Don’t make the same ones just because you want to be treated as an adult.

Think long-term and not short-term. The mistakes you make now can haunt you forever. You don’t want to live with that kind of guilt.

Ask for advice. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness…instead; it is a sign of maturity that shows you know the depth of your limitations.

If someone gives you constructive criticism, don’t assume they’re being critical. Take it for what it is and smile. It may be the best advice you ever receive.

Above all else, remember you are loved. Even though we can’t be together today, a huge milestone in your life, you are surrounded by people who would each give their own lives to protect you and keep you safe. None of us want to see you fall, fail or get hurt. Your family is forever.

Follow your dreams. Never give up on something you desperately want. Ever

Happy birthday. I ♥ you! oxox

 

 

Fungus

Most people consider mushrooms to be the small, ugly cousins of the plant kingdom, but theirs is a surprisingly beautiful and wonderful world waiting to be explored. These beautiful mushrooms, captured by enthusiastic nature photographers, are a far cry from the ones you find in the woods or your local grocery store.

Most mushrooms, as we know them, are actually just the reproductive structure of the fungus they belong to – their fungal networks expand far further underground, and some fungi don’t even sprout the sort of mushrooms that we’re used to seeing. In fact, depending on your definition of “organism,” the largest living organism in the world is a fungus – there’s a honey mushroom colony in Oregon that occupies about 2,000 acres of land!

#1 Puffballs

Puffballs

#tbt

Heres to that year I decided to take part in the 365 Project amongst photographers. Basically you take one picture a day and post it. Trust me its a lot harder than it sounds!!! But even with that in mind I have decided to do it again for the year 2015. Look for me to add a new page with all the new pictures starting Jan 1. Take a stroll down memory land and see all the daily pics I took in 2011. (CLICK HERE)

Hope you all have a great day! I ♥ you! oxox

Ketchup

So according to the Princesses I haven’t written in a while and they have been looking for some updates.

Last weekend we drove out to AZ for a day of baking. We got in pretty late Friday night and then were up early Saturday to begin baking. The boys headed out to Top Golf. Nicole quickly made some Puerto Rican Egg Nog, Coquito, it was pretty darn good! Rose made the dough for the Pecan Sandies and Sugar Cookies the night before so we were able to jump right in. The little Prince was eager to start helping. Once we got the Pecan Sandies, Snicker Doodles and some Sugar Cookies made we started decorating. This is always messy and fun. A couple dozen later and we were all done. After some lunch the boys returned from Top Golf and they were all pretty buzzed. In effort to keep the momentum going we went to the Paradise Lounge. Drinks in hand we played Yahtzee. For every Yahtzee you had to do a shot. You can guess by the end of the night we were all pretty trashed. We got back to the house put all the drunks to bed and then made some s’mores by the fire pit with the kids before heading to bed ourselves.

IMG_0101 IMG_0100 IMG_0094 IMG_0090 IMG_0083 IMG_0078 IMG_0075 IMG_0072 IMG_0068 IMG_0062 IMG_0054 IMG_0050 IMG_0044

Sunday after breakfast we headed back home.

Monday after dinner we got our xmas tree. The kids picked out a good one. This is our first Noble Fur, I like it and think it’s not as messy as the Douglas Fur.

IMG_0114 IMG_0143

Tuesday the Princess had her volleyball banquet. A fun night of Tacos, gifts, awards and video. I was very proud she received a Scholar Athlete award.

IMG_0141 IMG_0140 IMG_0136

Thursday and Friday we were slammed with a storm that brought us some much needed rain. I loved every minute of it. Friday night after dinner a quick down pour came through and the kids and I went outside to splash in puddles.

Saturday after the Princess’ club practice we drove out to Grandpas for dinner. The kids were super excited to see the horses. Fannie is the brown horse and she is super mellow. Jazz is the black horse and she has a lot of spunk. Eventually we will have chickens and a pig. The kids love it. After dinner the kids played video games and built a ginger bread house.

IMG_0150 IMG_0144 IMG_0157 IMG_0153

Sunday princess and I volunteered at the Someone Cares Soup Kitchen from 730-1230. It was a very rewarding experience and we plan on spending much more time there. I was very impressed with how well the kitchen operated and was run by all volunteers. All food was prepared by hand that morning. We cut up fruit for fruit salad and yogurt, large vats of eggs were cooked and scrambled, over 400 pancakes were made along with a large ham and 20 gallons of oatmeal. Food was served from 9-11 and each person can get three helpings, then we spend the last hour cleaning the entire kitchen and dining hall. I was thankful to work the front line serving oatmeal and get the opportunity to put a smile on all the faces I fed. I hope that everyone that was served is appreciative to have a place like that to go for a hot meal.

Untitled

After we headed back out to grandpas to fix his computer and do some more work with the horses. The kids absolutely love it out there. On the way home we dropped off the eldest Princess at home, picked up Tommys (disappointing), got some Yogurtland and then finally made it home for the night.

IMG_0177 IMG_0169 IMG_0166

Hope you all have a great day. I ♥ you! oxox

#GivingTuesday

Every year I try and do my part in giving back in any means possible. I would like to take this chance to tell you about a local organization going above and beyond to give back, Someone Cares.  Someone Cares is a soup kitchen operating 7 days a week including holidays. Orange County has over 35,000 homeless people, of that 58% are fed by Someone Cares. Someone Cares Soup Kitchen is a non profit organization and operates solely on volunteer and donations. Someone Care Soup Kitchen has been in operation since 1986.

Christmas is one of the busiest days at the Soup Kitchen. During this time, a toy drive is organized that allows them to give to nearly 1,000 deserving children, where each child takes a picture with Santa Claus and then receives a present. It is truly wonderful to see these less fortunate kids celebrate and experience a traditional Christmas celebration.

In addition to providing meals in 2001  Someone Cares began offering an afterschool tutouring program for children that live within the neighborhood. The Someone Cares Tutoring Program operates Monday through Thursday from 2:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. They currently serve 45 children, and each child receives 4 hours of individual instruction

I encourage you to donate your time or money.

720 West 19th Street
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

Untitled

Weekend Wrap Up

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. I was home for a fabulous 5 days. Matt and I last minute decided to go to Vegas after Thanksgiving dinner. We have done this before in the past and had a really good time. I think our secret is out though because Vegas was packed with tons of people and KIDS. I am sorry but I do not think Vegas is a place for children. We got into town at 9pm Thursday night, checked into the Mandalay Bay and once at the room we cracked open a bottle of wine, had two glasses and then headed down to the tables. I was unable to find any Pai Gow tables so I sat at the bar and played video poker. $20 and three FULL glasses of wine later and I was trashed. We made our way back to the room and it was all over for me. I can definitely say it will be some time before I touch red wine again. Friday morning we were up by noon, showered and then ventured out for some food. We finally ended up at the NyNy and I played PaiGow for hours while Matt played Black Jack. We had dinner reservations at Gallaghers. This is Matts number one steak house. Steaks are mouthwatering and never disappoint. After dinner we had some time to kill before our show at 10pm. We gambled some more before walking to down to Caesars. We had tickets to see Absinthe. The show was an hour and half long, it was fantastic and I highly recommend seeing it. It was dirty, racial comedy that had us laughing into tears. It is not for anyone who is easily offended. After the show we walked back to NyNy for some more gambling and by 3am I was exhausted. Saturday morning we checked out and headed home. It was a much needed adult get away and worth every penny.

Sunday I literally slept all day I woke up at noon for some lunch and then back to bed till 630 when the kids got home.

Back to reality

Hope you all have a great day. I ♥ you! oxox

Happy Bday Lil Man!

Six years ago today you were born.

1126A

You have brought me nothing but pure joy since that very first moment. Watching you grow, absorbing the world around you, delighted to learn, I’m reminded each day of the treasure you bring into my world.

As all mothers do, I have goals, dreams and wishes for you.

Don’t ever apologize for who you are, for what you want, for how hard you have worked or where you are going in life. I don’t doubt you will work hard. Stand your ground, be proud of you. Do not live to make others happy or to measure up to someone else’s expectations.

223

I wish for the kind heart I see you in now to stay firmly in place. Keep it, nurture it, handle it with care. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you are too sensitive. The best part of my day is the joy infused by your smile and your hugs. I couldn’t live without your affection and kindness.

607A

Seek joy. Every single day, find something that makes you happy and do it. Be it big or small – an act of kindness, listening to a song you love, calling a friend, watching a ball game it quite simply doesn’t matter. What matters is that you spend a portion of each day smiling and laughing.

606A

You are dirty and messy, you snuggle and love me. I melt when you say, “I haven’t had my morning kisses yet today”. I adore that you need to have your cold blanket in bed at night in order to sleep. I will never forget your need for the hall light, how you still climb in to my bed in the morning (sometimes in the middle of the night) just to snuggle.

Thank you for completing our family. I ♥ you! oxox

 

PicMonkey Collage

Day of the Dead

After many years of saying we were going to go Shanna and I finally made it to downtown Santa Ana to celebrate Dia de Muertos.  Over the years I have heard many things about this tradition, but until this weekend I never fully understood the ritual. Like for instance I had no idea it was actually a three day celebration. “On October 31, All Hallows Eve, the children make a children’s altar to invite the angelitos (spirits of dead children) to come back for a visit. November 1 is All Saints Day, and the adult spirits will come to visit. November 2 is All Souls Day, when families go to the cemetery to decorate the graves and tombs of their relatives. The three-day fiesta filled with marigolds, the flowers of the dead; muertos (the bread of the dead); sugar skulls; cardboard skeletons; tissue paper decorations; fruit and nuts; incense, and other traditional foods and decorations.” -Frances Ann Day

As we walked the streets viewing altar after altar I was in awe of the amount of time, effort and creativity that went into each one. Families coming together to celebrate the dead, giving just a glimpse of what these lives were like. This for me was a problem, it left me wanting more.  I was not satisfied, I wanted to know more of there story, I wanted to know how they died. Perhaps this is just my morbid tendencies but I had no choice but to accept the amount of information that was provided.

Regardless of your beliefes, religion or culture we all have a way of celebrating/honoring/remembering the dead this we have in common. Dia de Muertos was something I always wanted to experience and I look forward to doing it again next year.

Have a great day. I ♥ you! oxox

  IMG_9726IMG_9717IMG_9725

IMG_9723IMG_9722IMG_9721

IMG_9718IMG_9727