Monday, July 30, 2012

Toggling

I am guilty of a lot of this...

Toggling...back and forth between modern technology and family.  The constant jump from iPhone to kids, to Macbook to kids and back to iPhone has gotten so ridiculous, I feel it's a bad case of adult A-D-D. The mornings throughout the work week goes a little something like this: 1) wakeup, check phone for texts 2) feed kids breakfast 3) check emails, instagram and twitter feed 4) say goodbye to kids.  The juggling routine continues 11 hours later upon my return home from work, but instead, throw my computer in the mix because of blogging duties.  In total, I am logging in on average 12-14 hours a day on the computer.

I knew the situation was getting out of hand when my 3 year old brought my laptop to me knowing that I was unusually empty handed. Secondly, I acquired the most annoying eye twitch (4 days and counting) as a result of work stress, long hours on the computer and constantly squinting at my iPhone.

Step 1 is recognizing that I have a problem.  Check.  So in the constant struggle to devote undivided attention to my family and spare my mental health, I am going to make a conscious effort to:
  • Limit morning emails to the car (kidding, kind of), and read them when I arrive to the office
  • Designate certain days/hours to blogging.  Which, I hope that limiting the number of posts through out the week will yield to better blog content
  • Resist the urge to text people en route from work to home, and discourage any correspondence upon being home
  • Leave the phone in my handbag until the kids are in bed (this will be a toughie), and in mutual respect, the Hubs will refrain from phone use too.
In the end, I hope the results yield to more of this:

Undisrupted, one-on-one play time with the kiddos.

Photo sources via here and here and here

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Weekend Snapshots

I'm beginning to learn that there is no such thing as a free...weekend.  There were no plans in place, and the agenda was limited to just hanging out and watching the Olympics.  Until an opportunity presented itself, and I was asked to be featured on an up and coming lifestyle website.  So I had to get snap happy and shoot all around my favorite places to go to in LA.  I am really excited about this project and along with it, we got some great snaps of the family.





Friday, July 27, 2012

Geared for the Olympics

Are you excited for the London Olympics as much as I am?  Who can resist the landmarks of London, Kate & Wills, and our Ralph Lauren opening ceremony uniforms?  In all seriousness, I do enjoy the Olympics --women's gymnastics, men's swimming and track & field being my favorite events to watch.    I anxiously await the competition between Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps.  I have my floor routine on queue.  And most of all, I can't wait to remind the Hubs how I was a kick ass track star in high school!

In keeping with the patriotic spirit, I have compiled my list of fashionable pieces to show loyalty to the beautiful USA.
Good luck to all of our athletes - let's go for the gold!


From top left:
Wildfox Couture Star Sweater  this sweater caught my eye when Jessica Simpson recently wore this.  It's such an amazing sweater that is a perfect transition from summer to fall.

Current Elliott Printed Star Denim  fun jean printed on a soft denim and fit as a sleek silhouette

Emilio Pucci Crystal Star Earrings  accessorize with denim and a tee for a casual look, or glam it up with a sleek LBD

Rag & Bone Striped Dress is easy and a comfortable knit dress -- a must have transitional fall item to be worn with flip flops or booties

Striped Toms update last year's staple in a striped pattern 

Dannijo Liberty Necklace: bejeweled collars are the hottest accessories in neckwear this season.

Gorjana star bracelet and double coin necklace adds some gold flare to any of the above outfits



Thursday, July 26, 2012

Summer Indulgences





I love the summertime.  However, transitioning to a hot summer from the Westside of LA to the Valley has been a world of difference! 10-15° difference to be exact! Facing my second summer on this side of suburbia has forced me to indulge in a lot of ice cream and cut off jean shorts.  At this rate though, a lot of option one will eventually limit option two!  I also enjoy the summer season because it's a time to sit back, relax, and soak in some sun rays.  Lately, I have been cautious about the amount of hours logged onto the computer because my eye has been twitching N.O.N.S.T.O.P (3 days and counting).  Some say it as a sign of stress or lack of sleep,  I chock it up to a lot of time fixated on a computer screen.  So I have made the conscious effort to limit my time off the I-sh^% this week and relieve the eyes.  Which, at the end of day, more free time means more ice cream!

Photo sources from here, here, here, here, here, and here

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Places in LA that Don't Feel LA



Living in a city such as LA can be overwhelming. The congested traffic, stuffy attitude, and sheer size alone can be distressing. And sometimes, you need an escape from it all. Occasionally, I like to retreat in several pockets of LA where you can find that dose of zen. Sites such as Temescal Canyon, Griffith Park and Serra Retreat - all are in LA but don't feel like the typical LA! The lookout point on Mulholland Drive is another one of those peaceful sites. The infinite heights and a 360° birds eye view from the Valley to downtown LA are simply breathtaking. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Weekend Recap

How was everyone's Monday? I am slowly transitioning into work mode as I walk away from a weekend that left me feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.  I tallied in some bonus sleep with a late wake up call on Saturday (7:45am!!) and indulged in 2 satisfying afternoon naps.  Isn't it amazing how extra hours of sleep can result to an unfathomable spurt of energy to last me the rest of the week (hopefully)?
How true is this print?
The weekend was also one for reflection...keeping in mind to count one's blessings and be grateful for the health and safety for those you love. As many of you know, this past Friday started off in a somber tone, after a mad man from Colorado pursued such a senseless act of violence in a movie theater.  Unthinkable tragedies such as this always kick things into perspective and it was a reminder to me that even if I think my day or week is dismal, my crisis isn't a matter of life or death.   Worse things can and do happen out there.


The weekend was also about reconnecting with friends.  Whether it's because of travel, preschool and birthdays - I've felt out of touch with my girlfriends.  So over the course of double dates over drinks, brunch with mommy friends, conference calls from the opposite side of the state, and lounging on the couch with my bestie, I feel back in the groove and in touch with a reality beyond babies and potty training.


Photo sources 12 & 3









  

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Rainbow + Elmo 1st Birthday Party











In a minutes notice (ok, I am exaggerating...more like 2 weeks), we quickly threw together a 1st birthday party for our youngest son.  The guest list was small and limited to family and close friends, but in the end, the intimate event turned out to be really special.  The men manned the Santa Maria style barbecue, the kids ran around the old vintage trains, and the ladies gabbed over rainbow fruit kebabs.  The weather was unbearably hot, so we stayed cool under tents that we pitched down around the grass, and rode along the mini train through out the park.

Despite the fact the party was held at a train park, I went a little unconventional and stayed away from the train theme. Instead, I added some bright fun and pursued rainbow colors mixed with a bit of Sesame Street.  Tyler has a love for Elmo, so I wanted something that was more about him, by injecting characters through out paper cut outs and favors.  I was also inspired to make the rainbow licorice party favors and rainbow kebabs as seen from Pinterest, which later spurred the colorful theme.  All in all, with such last minute preparations, I think Lil Tyty was very happy with the turnout of my (I mean, his) party.  

Friday, July 20, 2012

Penchant for Pretty: Fringe Balloons






I can't believe that Friday has finally arrived!  Even though it was a short work week, I am relieved for the weekend to begin.  Work has taken its toll on me...between exhausting presentations and absurd deadlines, no time remains for the extracurriculars I enjoy doing like blogging and correspondence.  So to end this week on a happier foot, some fringe balloons.  Have a beautiful weekend!

Image source 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

DIY: Rainbow Licorice Party Favors


I have yet to go through all of my pictures from this past birthday party....that will be on this weekend's to-do list: upload, edit and photoshop.  In the meantime, I thought I'd share these rainbow party favors as a small sneak preview of the party.  These are super duper easy to make, not too expensive and a tasty favorite for the 4' and under crowd!

What You'll Need:
  • Rainbow Twizzlers which I ordered from here.
  • A couple bags of Rolos for the 'pot of gold'. The number of bags needed varies on the number of favors you want to make.  I used between 8-10 rolos per favor.  As an alternative, you can also use marshmallows to create clouds.
  • Clear cellophane favor bags.  I found these at our local party store
  • Ribbon or tie to seal the favors.  I used colored raffia tie.





Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Joah Love


As a present, my girlfriend gifted to one of my boys this to-die for striped coral and grey shirt by Joah Love.  It had the look and feel of Splendid Littles, so to my surprise, I was happy to see that their price points were in more reason than a $60 tee from Splendid.  The Joah Love brand is modern, fun and takes on a focus on bold stripes and plaids -- my top choice of pattern when it comes to dressing my boys.  I need to buy every single style from their line!



Sunday, July 15, 2012

Snap Reel

The week was crazy, stupid all for the sake of love. Love for our little man and his 1st birthday.  We kicked it off with an intimate family celebration at the Long Beach Aquarium, and closed it with a birthday party at Travel Town.  The last minute preparations for the birthday party were quite cumbersome (which I am solely to blame for), and I neglected the men in my life for some DIY paper crafts and rainbows (details to follow).  It was a great week and here are the snapshots to highlight it:

Visiting the Long Beach Aquarium

Eating cake for the very first time...and savoring every morsel

Getting delirious at work and creating the ugliest outfits

Receiving flowers unexpectedly from the Hubs

Craving Mike's Hard Lemonade to quench my thirst during this heat wave

Friday, July 13, 2012

Happy Friday + Anniversary

This Sunday will mark our 6 year wedding anniversary.  Of typical sorts in our current life situation, the day of our anniversary will be over shadowed by our son's first birthday party.  So instead, we will quietly toast over dinner the following day - sans kids (choices so far, Cecconi's, Ink, Mozza, Chateau Marmont, any suggestions?).
Here's what has happened in the last 6 years of marriage.

We've...
  • moved and lived on both sides of the hill -- from the Westside of LA to the suburbia of the Valley
  • survived those lonely years you were getting your MBA
  • raised 3 kids: 1 furry, 2 human
  • vacationed only in places with exotic beaches.  I am thinking the next big trip is a European city
  • grew closer as a united team, and tackled parenthood head on
  • put on some unwanted weight, acquired a few grey hairs, retained some wrinkles.  Yet, our love for each other has only grown
Cheers until death do we part...and defying the notorious "7-year Itch" in the upcoming year.
xx

Thursday, July 12, 2012

What's On My Radar...


I have added to my 'only-in-your-dreams' life registry a pair of Valentino Studded T Strap pumps...to be worn back with my Hermes Birkin bag and accessorized with a Cartier Love bracelet.  My imagination never ceases to amaze me, but a girl can always dream, right?

Photos from top left:  1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Last Minute Party Planning

Hellooo!! I have been on a blogging hiatus lately. It's been a little nuts around here since the Independence holiday.  First, we got to experience this special milestone. I am a very proud mom and feel so lucky to be a part of it. To see it with my very eyes, and be there to catch him after the first of many stumbles and falls.

In my spare time, I have decided to take a couple of photoshop classes - where I've been learning to make cool things like this and this. I have enjoyed every nano second so far, and look forward to elevating my blog posts with cool collages and capturing memorable photos.  I really do see a future in this whole graphic design biz too...

And now, at the last minute, we've decided to change our direction, and throw Lil Tyty a birthday party.  Our original plan was a family stay-cation at the ultra luxe Terranea Resort.  However, between the guilt of robbing our second child from his entitled party and several family and friends who took interest in celebrating his day, we've decided to throw a shin dig this upcoming weekend.  Which left me with planning a party in less than a week and a half.  No pressure.

While things are still a work in progress, I can share a few details of the party and give a sneak peek of the many DIY projects.  More to come next week.


cake and fruit photos from kara's party ideas

Monday, July 9, 2012

Peek into my Beauty Closet

I am a self professed beauty and product junkie. Especially now, in the thick of my thirty something aged skin, I search for the latest things that reduces the signs of aging, thickens wimpy eye lashes, volumizes flat hair, and conceals the dark circles under these eyes...just to name a few.  Recently, after taking a poll from countless women, who swear by it, I had to jump on the bandwagon and get a Clarisonic Mia 2

While it's fun to dabble on the latest and greatest out there, I am loyal to a few items that I can't imagine living with out... 
And now...a peek into the mounds of product that fill my bathroom drawers and cabinets:






One Year Ago...


 

One year ago today, you entered into this world.
I knew the moment I heard that loud and incessant cry (louder than the average newborn cry), you were going to have more of a sensitive side with sweet emotions.

One year ago today, we thought you'd be a girl.
10 hours later, after debating the right name (I was really pushing for Oliver...) we officially signed the birth certificate and named you Tyler Charles.

One year ago today, we were so grateful you weren't born a week later.
The infamous weekend of "Carmegeddon" was looming, and we were nervous to go into labor during the 405 Freeway shutdown.

One year ago today, you dethroned Big D as the only child.
But he gained a new best friend.

One year ago today, you met David Beckham and his family at Cedars Sinai.
Perhaps there's a chance that fate will reconnect you and his daughter Harper?

One year ago today, we fell head over heels in love with you.

Happy First Birthday Tyty!
xx

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Snap Reel: 4th of July








Our 4th of July was fairly low key. And because the holiday was flanked between working days, we kept our plans mellow and local.  Which turned out to be great because 1) both kids were hit up with mild colds 2) we got to picnic at one of our favorite spots in LA...Palisades Park. The breath taking views overlooking the Pacific and a peaceful sunset over Malibu is my idea of free therapy.  Not to mention the acres of grass and walkways to freely play and exercise on.

 
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