January 25, 2016

Portia's week in pictures

Portia is five.
This is FIVE!!

And this is how Portia spent her last days being four!

Picnics.

Puckers.

Powerballs.

and air balls.

She passed out healthy treats.

And sneaked a few powdery treats.

She requested a "BIG salad".

And a "BIG ramen".

Oh, how she lives for Japanese food.  She's definitely David's daughter.

Portia became a new mommy.  Here she is leaving the hospital, I mean the mall with Rosie.

Rosie at 8 oz. and 16 inches has blue eyes and pink fur.
Build-A-Bear workshop
I was hoping for a boy.

Build-A-Bear workshop
Portia says, "Boys don't like pink."

Star Wars Monopoly
But girls are just as M'm! M'm! Good! too.

Star Wars Campbell's soup
With the help from my sister she moved into a princess castle. 

Because...eviction notices.

Discrimination against sisters.

It's real!!

She finds comfort and companionship in Mr. Pickles.

We skipped cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory...

For a bright pink and purple princess birthday cake! 

I can't think of anything better on your birthday than sharing chocolate cake with your favorite guy.

Happy 5th Birthday to our favorite girl!!

January 14, 2016

Surviving winter break

Since week two of the three week winter break, I've been counting down the days to when the kids would be back on the bus and schlepped back to school.  There's been more screaming and fist-fighting than ever.  Sibling feuds has reached an all time high!  

But on the eve of their return date, I had that aching feeling.  It turns out that the house is finally quiet again but why do I miss the doors being slammed? The sink is empty but I miss all the dirty dishes from our afternoon breakfasts. Even the pillows and cushions are perfectly fluffed again but I miss the smooches and snuggles.

While it was a mad funhouse for three weeks, we did make unforgettable memories and of course, kept childhood traditions going.   I went to the movies with my sister and brother just like we used to when we were kids.  I got to see my friends.  My kids got to see their friends.  We had endless hours of day trips and some interesting evening trips.  One of us lost a tooth.  Christmas was magical and New Years Eve was spent binge watching Homeland with David!

Those were some highlights.  Now, some in between moments...


Dim sum!!

Dim Sum at Harbour Village restaurant
More buns.

ROC restaurant sweet buns on Sawtelle
Post office runs.

Arborists.

Divers.

California Science Center
Day dreamer.

Flowers.

Inside the tent at the Rose parade preview
More flowers.

Inside the tent at the rose parade preview in Pasadena
Rose parade preview.

Rose parade preview in Pasadena
Rose Bowl at dusk.

Rose bowl at night
New Lego.

New Books.

I LOVE the way he looks.

Last Christmas tree photo op of 2015.

Happy Noon Years at Discovery Cube L.A.
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...

Happy Noon Years at Discovery Cube L.A.


Happy!

Happy Noon Years at Discovery Cube L.A.

New Year!

Happy Noon Year at Discovery Cube L.A.

At noon!

Hansen Dam park
I found my sacred place.

Gummy Bears at Lolli and Pops
and a new favorite destination.

Randy's Donuts
I also discovered that fast food indoor play areas still exist.

Chick-fil-a indoor play area



And old school menu boards serving the BEST homestyle soul food EVER.

Mama's BBQ southern homestyle soul food in Van Nuys
Trippy.

Yolanda Lights in Reseda
Lights at the end of my tunnel.

Yolanda Lights in Reseda

Hope your winter break was mad, crazy, fun too!!

January 05, 2016

The joy of (semi)less in 2016

Have you read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up...wait there's more...The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Maria Kondo? Maximal amounts of words trying to teach a minimal lifestyle.  I've heard so much about it so I'm putting it on my "books to read list in 2016".

I wouldn't be surprised if it's on Amazon's best selling book list right now.  That's the beauty of the new year.  I feel motivated to start fresh.  Start over.  Make changes.  Or try to improve on things I normally suck at.  So, I've decided to be better at purging, giving up more and living with less. Tossing material excess that doesn't spark joy as Maria Kondo swears may bring happiness.

But first, let's forget about important life-changing, life-altering habits and talk STAR WARS!!

We surprised the kids and joined forces with the rest of the world on opening weekend.

Star Wars The Force Awakens
Jade was able to get a whole row for us!

Star Wars The Force Awakens
Indulging in the complete movie experience.

Star Wars The Force Awakens
Right before the rain in Downtown Culver City.

David gotta get rain boots too!

The sky cleans up like new.

Adventures will continue in 2016.

I want to travel more.  (First stop, to see our cousins in Boston!)


Think unexpectedly.


And continue to teach the kids to dream BIG!


No more extra-curricular activities on school nights (for now).

Which means no more doing homework in dark holes.


As far as my patience level progress, my achievement is low but my effort is high!


I have more LOVE to give than ever.


And plenty to go around.


Acquire semi-less.  Have more movie nights.  Surround yourself with family and friends.




That's the key to happiness.

Griffith Park Merry Go Round

However, the Mercedes Benz G-Class SUV could spark endless joy and make me REALLY, REALLY HAPPY.