Thursday, March 28, 2013

april photo a day challenge

Photo A Day April
for more ideas on each prompt, visit here
a quarter of this year has already passed! and it's crazy to think that after the next quarter, baby #2 will be gracing us with his presence.  i had lots of fun making most of last month's photos black and white.  follow along with me on instagram or facebook!

Monday, March 25, 2013

57. see a play at the Sydney Opera House

7 years ago, around this time of year, justin and i went on our honeymoon in australia.  of course i had to see the opera house in sydney and i would have been happy with a little peek or tour but we ended up doing something much better.  we saw a performance!  we lucked out with our timing and got to see an adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest.  i'm a fan of classical comedic literature brought to life and what made this performance special was that it only involved 2 actors playing all 9 characters.  sound ridiculous?  well, it was. ridiculously wonderful!  and how fitting that the name of the acting "troupe" is Ridiculusmus.  what a fun way to cross off one of my list items...
The Importance of Being Earnest | Ridiculusmus

Friday, March 22, 2013


still testing out alternatives to google reader and so far the two i like best are feedly and bloglovin' (which both came recommended).  so for those of you looking for new readers, feel free to check out this blog on either!    and let me know which one you prefer (or if there's another alternative you recommend).

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fashion friday - spring mama

Thursday, March 21, 2013

little lessons

dear saraya,

since before you were born you have been teaching me things.  i've learned and am learning so much about myself, about being a mom, and even about being a better wife to your father.  like many expecting parents, i often thought about all of the things i would show you and teach you once you were born. what i failed to really think about were all of the things you would show and teach to me...

patience - while i do not profess to be the most patient person it is easier to be a little more patient when you're forced to.  i don't like to watch you struggle but i have come to realize that you need to struggle in order to grow and learn and gain confidence in yourself and in your abilities.  instead of always putting your shoes on for you i learned to allow a bit of extra time to get ready so you can do it yourself (when all i really want to do is strap them on quickly and be out the door).

choices and options - it's fun to dress up your mini-me in cute outfits or shoes with matching hair accessories (despite the lack of hair) but again, there is an opportunity for you to be independent and self-assured that trumps my want for a real-life doll.  you are at a point in your life where you can pick out your outfit without fear of what people might think or what body image you portray.  you are proud of your strong, healthy and growing body and your clothes don't flaunt or mask that.  i always want you to have that confidence of self-expression.

routine - spontaneity can be a wonderful thing in many ways but there is something to be said for the comfort of routines.  routine doesn't have to equal boring.  a schedule can still fit in fun activities, travels and surprises  but without a daily nap or a decent bedtime ritual, everyone's day will be ruined.

and really there's so much more.  as i think of things like this, i try to jot them down somewhere to share with you later.  i am continuously amazed by you and look forward to not only what we can teach your little brother but also what he will teach us.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

row your boat

someone takes after her daddy with natural musical talent.  she seriously has an ear for music!  she can currently play row your boat, mary had a little lamb, and twinkle little star/ABCs...

we've considered lessons but at this point we just like that she likes to play around and figure things out for herself.  she's not even 3 yet and her attention span for lessons seems less than ideal for now so we'll see.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

catalina island getaway

pulling into avalon harbor
this is a long post folks! consider yourselves warned...  southern california really has a ton to offer and sometimes i have to remind myself to take advantage of opportunities outside of my everyday routines.  it's easy to stay in your own backyard (especially when your backyard is the beach) but i try to take advantage of visiting the mountains, the deserts and other towns and cities surrounding us when i get the chance.

the chance came up last week.  we found an awesome groupon deal for a 2-night stay on catalina island that included the ferry ride and museum passes and we were lucky enough to have a grandma visit and keep the pandi while we babymooned.  and what a wonderful babymoon it was!  it was a perfect time of year to go (not peak tourist season) and despite the forecast for rain, it ended up being great weather for the majority of the trip as well.

our trip started on the boat ride out of dana point.  the ride lasted about an hour and though we didn't see any whales on this trip, it's very common to spot them there this time of year.  after the short and comfortable ride ( i napped most of the way) we pulled into avalon harbor.  the city of avalon (don't you just love that name?) is on the southeastern end of the island.  the population is around 3700 and most everything is within walking distance.  we walked a couple of blocks to our hotel.  there's a wide range of accommodations on the island from luxury hotels to bed and breakfast setups.  we stayed in a little cottage, clean and comfortable but by no means luxurious.  the people at the front desk were some of the most genuinely friendly people we'd ever met though.
dana point harbor

bye bye real life!

we got a bite to eat at a deli and explored the tiny beach a bit before deciding to take the museum tour.  we had a lot of questions and thought it would make sense to check out the museum first.  it's tucked away in the casino (no longer a gambling establishment) and while it is very small, it has so many interesting exhibits!  we learned the island was previously owned by william wrigley jr (of chewing gum fame).  he did a lot of things for the island and its economy.  as an owner of the chicago cubs, he even arranged for their spring training to take place on the island.  the island was a haven for a lot of hollywood celebrities and part of the draw was the privacy.  paparazzi were dealt with by the locals so celebrities were free to relax.  marilyn monroe's first husband was a service member stationed on the island and there are lots of pictures of her enjoying island life.  we also learned about the love triangle between natalie wood, robert wagner, and christopher walken theat ended in her mysterious and tragic death on the island.  there were so many interesting facts and the docent was also particularly friendly and eager to answer questions.  we are glad we did the museum experience.
ice cream and giant lifeguard chairs

entry to the museum with an informative movie
loved this felt succulent display on the side of the building
golf carts as far as the eye can see; it's how most people (and their dogs) get around
i loved this unusual drink
the casino
art tile everywhere
the next day we hiked to the wrigley memorial and botanical garden.  the garden was started by his wife ada who contracted the garden to be filled with amazing succulents from around the world.  today there is also a section with plants endemic to the island and the only ones in the world.  the memorial is impressive and was constructed primarily from materials native to the island, a fact that wrigley would have loved.  there are also a few hiking trails there and we enjoyed the hermit gulch trail. between the hike and the memorial we had some amazing views of the town and the water.  we definitely recommend them!

the memorial from a distance
view from inside the memorial

tiles and flagstone from the island

you're welcome! and thank you for having us
 i'm so happy we were able to take this little getaway.  it's amazing how you can be so close to home yet feel like you traveled somewhere out of the way.  the island was a eclectic mix of european, native american and mexican influences.  the food and people were wonderful. and we will definitely go back!