Wednesday, February 27, 2013

city stroll + Carmelite Sisters {Sunday Funday}

This past Sunday, we took a quick stroll through the city of Pasadena, had a bite to eat and headed out to have family night with the Carmelite Sisters. I secretly love this city so much and have dreams of living here one day. With the palm tree lined streets and the most gorgeous historical homes around, it feels like bi-coastal living. Best of both worlds, right? 

We ate at lemonade, a healthy cafeteria style restaurant. It was delicious! Everyone needs to try the miso curried short rib beef!  

Family night with the Carmelite Sisters are so special to us. Sophia loves to go and play fun games with them and listen to them sing (they have the most angelic voices!). If there is any group of nuns that know how to have a good time, its definitely these Carmelite Sisters. I have memories of playing volleyball and line dancing with these amazing group of Sisters growing up. Not only that, but they have an incredible amount of unceasing joy that almost explodes and reflects on the outside all the time (and its quite contagious!). I have always had a special love for these nuns since I was young (another blog post on that next time) and love being able share this now especially with my very own daughters. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

girly tomboy {like mother, like daughters}

Over the weekend, we wore a little blue, a little denim and chambray, and some tulle together. 
When Sophia was about 18 months old, I had a friend tell me "I like how you don't always dress Sophia in pink." It never even occurred to that, I was buying her more blue clothing and I guess one would say, more tomboyish. Now that she is 3 and more opinionated about her "style" I am becoming more aware of what she likes, and we are learning to compromise our styles together. 
But, one thing that I wont budge on when it comes to her decision of clothing is dressing modestly. Even at her young age, I want to make sure Sophia knows she is always supposed to dress modestly for herself, for others, and for God. She is really into dresses and skirts, by really, I mean she will not wear pants. So, the other day...I made her put on some leggings under her skirt to the museum and she started arguing with me about them. Her alibi was that "Saint Margaret of Scotland didn't wear pants." I'll admit that was good...I didn't really know what to say after that. 

Thankfully, this little one is still too young to talk back. But man, she has been keeping me on my toes! I caught her playing with toilet water this week and eating a small piece of broken purple crayon! Never a dull moment with her! :)
Zaylee is quite my active baby bird. She surprised herself by taking one small step this week and then went back to crawling. Its been bringing me the greatest joy lately to see these two really start to play together. I've been waiting for this moment for a long, long time! 

So, what are your priorities when it comes to dressing your children? Comfort? Stylish? 

Friday, February 22, 2013

7 quick takes #TGIF

i decided to jump on the bandwagon and join Jen

here are my 7 quick takes from this week:

1. For lent, i decided to be hands-free of my iphone until the kiddos go to bed or 8 PM (unless, i'm taking pictures of course). Annnd i can't be thankful enough that i decided to do this. Its quite liberating. I am seriously contemplating to never go back to my handy iphone days :) i just sort of miss my instagram...ok i lie, i miss it a lot

2. On Monday this week, my husband treated me and the bestfriend to a day at the spa to get massages and relax. And... how is it that i always get a masseuse that wants to engage in a conversation with me, the whole time. I always walk in looking forward to spending that hour in silence and peace...but it never happens. They always keep talking to me. But then again, i should be grateful and stop complaining.  

3. this little girl 
has been saying the greatest little things lately... and i need to write it all down for the memory books! For i.e: in this picture, she laid down and said, "mama look, i'm a star!" 

4. So this week, after almost 5 years of marriage and 2 kids later...husband and i took a mini lesson on how nfp works again from a newly engaged couple (who are taking the class right now). So embarrassing...but i think we need to take the course over again. 

5. we are currently babysitting dogsitting 2 dogs and now i know what it feels like to have 4 kids. Which is why...i need to go back to figuring out nfp quickly! j/k.. not really... but adding 2 more mouths to feed and cleaning after 2 more poopie butts is a non stop all day job. what's even worse is that...i started to have dog guilt the other night because the dogs didn't get enough exercise during the day! As if mom guilt wasn't bad i'm adding dog guilt to my bedtime routine. #readytogivethedogsbackasap

6. i've been an awesome cooking kick lately. i just have no pictures to show you, but its been delicious around these parts. Sophia has even asked me, "mama, are you a terrific cook?" and of which i answered, "yes." :) 

7. i caught my husband google imaging "asian guys with side swept bangs hair do" and almost peed in my pants (it was so good!). whats even better...he said he's going to go for it and make it his new "look." Almost 5 years of marriage... and he can still make me laugh.  

Wishing you a fun-filled weekend!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

cheers to best valentine's day ever!

so last week, we celebrated the "best day ever!!" according to miss Sophia. Last minute, we decided to have a Valentine's day dinner party together, just the four of us. We ditched the romantic busy crowds at the restaurant and instead had the fanciest dinner at home of steak and tails on our China plates. The girls put on their prettiest dresses and I wore my brightest baubles and lipstick. Mike cooked up one hot meal, served the tastiest non-alcholic cranberry apple cider and blasted tunes for dance afterwards. 

^^our valentine, taking turns dancing with each of us ladies :) lucky guy! ^^

^^both these girls love music and dancing! Zaylee kept clapping and danced along!^^
^^it must run in the blood :) ^^

Needless to say...we partied hard.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

little leopard {like mother, like daughters}

i happen to accidentally match my family, most particularly my daughters all the time and not realize it until i am out and about and someone points it out to me. i promise you about 90% of the time it was unplanned. But, since its happening more often than not...i thought i'd do a series called 'like mother, like daughter'...where i can show you a blend of our outfits together. is the first like mother, like daughter series. and...yes, i planned to match my girlies in this one:)

so, i bought this awesome tribal/leopard print skirt at a vintage store a few weeks ago...and it had a bit too much fabric that wasn't flattering for me to wear on my big hip figure :). So, I snip-snip, sew-sew...and that one big skirt turned into 4 flattering skirts!! One for me, one for my mom, one for Sophia and one for Zaylee! Best $16.00 i ever spent :)
^^left:the original skirt, right: the 4 new skirts^^

^^Sophia surprised me with a flower she picked for me. She is such a sweetie!^^

Hope you enjoy these series to come!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

You Color My World, Valentine!

i'm a little semi obsessed with Valentine's day...i love everything about it. i loved it when i was single (i used to have the best girlfriend parties!!), i love it even more now because i'm married to my Valentine, but boy oh boy does valentine's day only get sweeter when you have kids. i mean, come on... how can you not like everything splashed in red and pink and heart all over?? (especially with 2 little girls)

well...this year, Sophia and I made little valentines for her little Valentines and it involved zero SUGAR for a couple reasons. 1.) lucky for many Catholics, lent happened to start the day before V-day this year...and i'm sure many of Sophia's little pius friends probably gave up some form of sugar.. and we don't need to place that temptation in their life, right?! 2.) less sugar = is always more in my least when a bunch of 3 year olds are involved. 
So..we melted a bunch of broken crayons and turned them into one big heart. 
1. peel, break and fill crayons in baking pan. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Bake 10 mins. 
2. Carefully take out the melted crayons and put them in the refrigerator for approx. 20 mins to harden.

^^i love how the colors turned out!^^
I bagged the heart shaped crayon and card in a clear bag and sealed it with a heart print masking tape. 
Wishing you all a Happy Valentine's day!!! You are loved!!! xo 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Man shall not live by bread alone, liquid bread alone?

Happy Lent everyone! My dear husband has begrudgingly decided to do a surprise guest post for me. Here is his first post about his love for beer and faith...and how it all fits into the next 40 days of Lent. 
Thanks my love! :) 

image via

Lent is a love/hate relationship for most Catholics, at least that is how it is for me.  My body almost goes into shock at the thought of, "fasting." Yet, I know that fasting and making small sacrifices of sorts are great benefits to the condition of my soul.

So in considering what I was going to give up for Lent,  beer came immediately to my mind.  I love a nice pint of...well, just about anything that has alcohol in it.  I recently made a trip to Stone Brewery in San Diego, CA and that took my love for beer to a whole new level.  So in my recent scholarly studies on home brewing,  I began to uncover the rich history beer plays in the tradition of the Catholic Church.  My conclusion: beer should probably be the official sports drink of the Catholic Church. Beer was and still is brewed and bottled by Catholic monasteries throughout the world.  In more ancient times during Lent, monks brewed special types of beers to help sustain them.  It was often referred to as, "liquid bread."

So the next time you go to grab a cold one from the frig or pour yourself a pint at the pub, understand that there is a rich history of Catholic culture poured into every grain and barley.  For me, beer serves as a continual reminder of God's desire to make all people happy.  For the good book says, God gave wine to cheer man's heart (Psalm 104:15).

Mike aka @iamfrankandstein 

Treasure Island {Sunday Funday}

Sundays is our family funday. This Sunday, although it was somewhat drizzly and cold in southern California...we didn't let that stop us into venturing out to Treasure Island (afterall, some states had to deal with Nemo this weekend, what's a little drizzle?). If you haven't discovered Treasure Island, its a little piece of paradise in Laguna Beach where no matter how gray the skies are...the sun will always shine there. (Its really true, i'm not making this up)

^^we had a delicious lunch! This little bird takes her bread basket really seriously :)
^^we then enjoyed the view from the lobby hotel. I can look at open water brings so much calm and peace.^^
^^we sat by a fire pit and enjoyed the warmth for a bit.^^
This is one of our family's little happy place. You'll catch us here pretty often ;)

Friday, February 8, 2013

my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad 9 days {T G I F}

for the past 9 days and even longer nights, i parented alone while husband traveled for work. there was some blood, lots of tears, and even mom sweat involved.  
^^sophia's new hobby is to brush my hair...and the postpardom hair loss continues! 
^^ we visited my great grandma on her birthday, she turned 95! here she is playing with Zaylee, the youngest member of the family. And that's Sophia cheering the Raven's on for the Superbowl game #shamefulCalifornian 

^^Don't be fooled by this sweet face, never a dull moment in the house with this little bird! She makes sure she gets into every life threatening and dangerous situation possible.  
^^these 2 were on my hips or at my heel every second of the day/night :) laundry parrtayy!
^^thank goodness for best friends that come to help with the love load of parenting

continuing on with the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad 9 days:

it was the first time ever that i saw Sophia so heartbroken. she begged her daddy every time she talked to him on the phone to come home and hold her. i lost count of how many times she kissed and hugged my laptop camera to her daddy via skype. it was so sad to watch and to let her experience this heartbreak and to not be able to do anything was excruciating. the emotional pain of this was well worse than the physical exhaustion of parenting alone. 

but truth be told...i'm such a wimp...i ran to my parent's house for help (ain't no shame in my game). i couldn't have survived these 9 days without the gracious help from grandparents, best friends, lots of sugary treats, distractions from dogs, movies, naps, and picking and choosing a lot of my battle. i am a strong believer in the saying "it takes a village to raise a child." 

anyways, T G I F!!!!!! (can you tell i'm a wee bit excited?!!) Hope you all have a wonderful, excellent, very good, very fun weekend ahead of yourselves!

 I'm off to indulge a little bit this weekend by sleeping in to about 8 o' clock and  probably take a long hot shower everyday (don't tell me you think i was able to shower everyday while husband was gone, do you !?? i told you mom sweat was involved). Life is good again. :)