blogging · Christmas · disneyland · family · mom life · momblog · parenthood · personal blog · Uncategorized

Christmas and holiday fun for the family

Christmas time can always be so crazy with lots of presents to buy and family to visit. Brock and I have been working on minimizing the chaos, but lets be honest no matter what there will always be a little. The last couple of year we have limited the amount of gifts we give so that we obviously spend less and have realized that our girls really do not need too much and probably have too many things already. We like having family experiences instead of gifts so that the kids hopefully remember a fun childhood and not necessarily one filled with things. But of course we can’t forget to include in this the fun we have decorating our house for the Holidays.

Our first event to start off the holiday season was the Mayor tree lighting in Burbank. this is a really cute event that they put on each year and my parents and sisters family normally come with us and we walk to it as there is not much parking and they block off the streets for this. They have a few local children groups perform and they normally have Minnie and Mickey mouse help turn on the tree plus Santa always makes an appearance.

IMG_0001

We also try to make it to Disneyland during the holiday season for the fabulous lights and huge tree that they always have displayed and well you all know we love us some Disney.

IMG_20181116_174531179
How cute are my parents infront of the Christmas tree at Disneyland

A new thing we did this year was a Candy Cane Hunt in Pasadena. This was a very cute event and the girls had a great time making reindeer food, writing letters to santa and of course hunting for candy canes. We came home with so many candy canes (can’t complain i used them to make peppermint bark) Hopefully they do this again next year.

We also do the cookie decorating at Discovery Cube in Los Angeles. This is a really cute childrens museum that changes out their theme depending on the time of year.IMG_20181125_115821182_HDR

The next event we went to was the Zoo Lights at the LA Zoo. This we have done the last couple of years and we love it. This time it was actually pretty cold and we were bundled up and I brought hot cocoa and cookies. Our zoo pass does not get us into this event for free, but we do get discounted tickets and we went with Brock’s family which was nice (a little chaotic with so many people) If you have not been to this I think it is worth the cost and it takes a couple of hours to walk thru all of the different light sections (they only decorate sections of the zoo and the entire zoo is not open to wonder thru) Another thing is they add and change the light displays each year so it is not exactly the same (not that any of us could remember the differences lol) IMG_20181123_122900229

We also go to the Toluca Lake Stroll each year which is another free event that is pretty fun. This is simply walking up and down Riverside Dr and visiting all the shops and restaurants that have food samples and drinks. There are so many samples it is enough to be dinner and of course there is a lot of hot cocoa. We also got to take pictures with Santa (we used this as there time to visit Santa as i did not take them another time) and the Grinch this year. IMG_0073

Another Christmas tradition I have started with the girls is having a few of their friends over for cookie baking and decorating. The girls love this and the other kids too. Yes my house is a mess after but that is ok they are making memories and having fun and as I always say anything can be cleaned (thank goodness I do this the day before the house cleaner comes) I usually make the cookie dough and have it rolled out so that the kids can cut them out. Then while the cookies are baking because it can take a awhile with all of the cookies they all go play and I set up the table to frost and decorate the cookies then once they are done I give them hot cocoa and they eat a few cookies and take the rest home with them. This really is a lot of fun and some how I squeeze in the extra kids around the table and in our small house.

We also spend a lot of time at the zoo during december because it is actually not a thousand degrees out and we go when it is not raining. The zoo is only about 10 minutes from our house which makes it a wonderful outing for the family or to meet up with friends.

This year we went to a new event at Santa Anita Park. They setup a Winterfest with bounce houses/slides and train rides and ice skating with lots of food vendors. This actually turned out to be better than I thought it would be. We bought the all inclusive pass for the girls so that they had unlimited slide time and Brock took them ice skating. Obviously I just took pictures since I was pregnant, but the girls were so excited to finally go ice skating. IMG_0189They are still pretty wobbly but maybe by next winter they will figure it out. When entering this event they gave out cookies and hot cocoa to everyone plus we ate a few items from the food vendors as well. The girls also got to do the petting zoo section because someone was leaving the park and had not used their ticket so it ended up being a fun surprise for the girls. IMG_0179If they have this event again I am sure we will be back. https://theoddmarket.com/winterfest/

A family tradition with my family is going to a neighborhood in Santa Clarita that is known for their spectacular lights and every house on the street decorates over the top. This year we had dinner at my sisters house and then headed over to walk the light filled street of Wakefield. Again we took hot cocoa and cookies (can you tell we love this treat in the cold)IMG_0267IMG_0245IMG_0250

Another thing we have done the last few years is the Holiday light train at Griffith park which we have done with Brock’s family. http://www.griffithparktrainrides.com/content/holiday-light-festival-train-ride This is another thing that is totally worth the price. The girls love going on this train ride during the day and especially love when it is decorated for the holidays and we get to see all the lights at night.

My parents each year do a cookie baking and decorating day with the grandkids at their house they have been doing this for years and even though several of the grandkids have moved out of state they still host this each year for the three that still live here. The girls always have a great time getting to bake, we love our desserts. This is also a great thing to do with the kids that does not cost much but is hours of entertainment (and hours of clean up)

Well for Christmas Eve this year we were at Brock’s brothers and sister-in-laws house. They have a caroling truck that drives right past their house and this year it came early enough that we stayed for the fun. We usually try to get home at a decent hour on Christmas eve so that we get enough rest for the full day of Christmas.IMG_0339

Well Christmas morning at our house I like to make cinnamon rolls from scratch and we open gifts. The girls get a gift or two from Santa and then we only give them a couple of gifts and stockings that way they do not get overwhelmed with so many things they can’t remember what they got. After gifts and breakfast we get ready for the day and head over to Brock’s family first where we eat brunch and open gifts. Then we head over to my parents house for gifts and dinner. This year we spent the night there since we left the next day for our road trip (which will be my next blog)IMG_0335IMG_0392IMG_0366IMG_0379IMG_0408IMG_0395IMG_0541IMG_0562

 

blogging · disneyland · family · mom life · parenthood · personal blog · Uncategorized

Violet turned three!

Well Violet turned three over two months ago and I am just now writing about it. What can I say life happens and we just finished celebrating her birthday (it took us awhile and we had to reschedule things again life happens and you adjust) She wanted to have an “Ariel party” which meant I had to make a little mermaid cake and she wanted a dress like Ariel.

Well the first thing that happened was celebrating with my family which is where she had her Ariel cake.IMG_20180203_234742_990

She was so happy with how her cake turned out. I used her ariel barbie for the cake, so naturally Ariel got a bath and her hair brushed and so did Violet. I also wrapped the barbie legs in cling wrap so that I would not have to clean too much cake off of her after we were done with the cake. IMG_20180216_100228_601

We celebrated Violet’s birthday at my parents a few weeks before her birthday (you know scheduling everyone together can be difficult) So this kid got to celebrate her birthday for almost three months. Emerald kept asking is it still Violet’s birthday? IMG_20180202_194004403

On her actual birthday this poor kid was so sick so we stayed home and I tried to make the best of it because well all of us were sick. We stayed in pajamas all day and even tho we did not have much energy we still had a dance party to celebrate. We gave her a purple dress that she wore for dinner that night so that she could “be so fancy” for her birthday dinner and lollipops because that kiddo loves them so so so much.

We had also planned on taking her to Disneyland for Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique makeover but we had to reschedule this since my mom fell and broke her hand and knee and my parents were making the dress for her makeover. Also we planned on taking her to Disneyland that weekend without my parents just to celebrate her birthday but had to reschedule since we were all so sick.

We finally made it to disneyland for her birthday a few weeks after her birthday but still did not get to do the princess makeover. We did everything Violet wanted to do that day and we had a blast plus we went on a day that the park was not too full and the lines were short which was so wonderful. We got everything done on her list by 10am even seeing Minnie and Mickey and the rest of the time felt like bonus time since we did not have to wait in lines for anything.

Well my mom was finally feeling up for Disneyland 2 months after Violets birthday plus I had to find a day that worked for everyone and get her makeover scheduled. This was the day Violet had been looking forward to. My parents showed up at our house with the dress they had made . . . the only dress Violet wanted was the Ariel dress that she wears while visiting Prince Eric’s kingdom. She did not want the dress with fins since that way she would not be able to walk (lol) My parents even made a big blue bow to wear like in the movie. (you can check out their costumes at https://www.etsy.com/shop/royalty4kids) Emerald of course dressed like Elsa Fever one of her favorites. IMG_20180420_124322870

Violets appointment was at 1pm and we only waited about 15 minutes and one of the fairy godmothers came to do her makeover. Violet could not have been happier to have this done. She actually sat still the entire time and for Violet that is  very big deal she is a little wiggle worm. Our entire family watched while she had her makeover you can see half of us in the mirror of this picture. Violet of course picked the red hair extensions so that she could look even more like ariel and she got her makeup and nails done as well. This was one of the best days of her life.IMG_20180420_140148125

We have done the Bibbidi Bobbidi Makeover a couple time before with Emerald but this was the first time for Violet which made it so special for her she was finally old enough. Her fairy godmother was amazing too. She definitely made Violet feel so special.

After Violet was done with her makeover we went to visit the princesses and then took some family photos in front of the castle. I love that the girls are holding their dresses out like a princess. This was such a perfectly wonderful day for Violet it was everything she hoped it would be, but in true Violet fashion by the end of the night she wanted the hair taken out and she was done being a princess and wanted to go back to being Violet.wdw2018110984821721_8221154236_dsnyRes-base_dsnyLoc-regThis gorgeous little girl is feisty, stubborn and bossy but she can also be so sweet and caring and loves to cuddle. She has the funniest sayings and loves to say everything is disgusting. She keeps us on our toes and needs constant discipline (or she thinks she runs the house) but she adds such a fun dynamic to our family and I can’t imagine our life without this little firecracker. Watch out world! #ohvioletIMG_20180420_141918259

disneyland · family · mom life · parenthood

Turning FIVE

We celebrated Emerald over the weekend. My baby girl turned five! We kept her home from school on Friday so that we could go to Disneyland . . . yes I know terrible parents :)We gave Emerald a choice of a party with the kids in her class or going to disneyland and having a princess makeover at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Well I am sure you can only imagine what this disney loving little girl decided on A PRINCESS MAKEOVER. So on Friday my parents came and picked us up on their way and Brock’s mom too and my sister and her family met us there. We let Emerald pick what rides to do and where to eat. We got to Disney around noon so headed to lunch first at Rancho Del Zocalo Restaurante, the girls love getting the chicken platter and I make little burritos for them. After we were fueled up we were off to the rides and of course got a fast pass for Haunted Mansion which is one of Emerald’s favorite rides right now since they switched it over to the holidays and it smells like gingerbread.

Her Bibbidi Bobbidi appointment was at 3pm and while we were waiting at the Boutique Merida came over and talked to the girls for like ten minutes it was so amazing and the girls were so excited. After the makeover we headed to the Princesses at Royal Hall where we got to meet Ariel, Cinderella and Snowhite, basically anytime these kiddos meet princesses it is the best day of their lives and they never get tired of meeting them.

This was followed by more rides and Emerald getting a churro as a snack which we never do, but it was her day to pick everything. We ended at Disneyland with dinner at Plaza Inn and then headed over to California Adventure for the Little Mermaid ride, Bugs land and ice-cream and birthday singing at Ghirardelli Ice-cream shop (which totally embarrassed Emerald all her family singing to her) followed by Cars land and ending the night with the World of Color Show.

Somehow Emerald stayed up the entire time although Violet could not stay awake for the show. It was such a wonderful day and made Emerald so happy which I love seeing her so excited all day. Saturday the girls were so tired that we only ran a few errands and had them take a nap which they ended up sleeping for almost three hours eek it as so nice. I was able to work on setting up for a little unicorn pizza party we were having at the house with family on Sunday (her actual birthday) The party was such a hit Emerald was so excited we let her go crazy at the 99Cent Store and she picked everything  unicorn she even found a piñata. I ended up making a unicorn birthday cake and we had pizza and smores per Emerald’s request. It was another late night for the girls by the time we got them calmed down and bathed and in bed it was 9pm.

Needless to say this morning the girls slept in and Emerald was not feeling up to school . . . I think we are starting a bad habit here. Although poor thing went to bed with a headache last night (I’m guessing from all the sugar her little body is not used to having) and a cough this morning. Hoping she recovers soon so we can be off on our next little family adventure.

blogging · disneyland · family · mom life · parenthood

Disneyland and the beach for the long weekend

IMG_20170901_163044234

Brock took a half day at work and we picked Emerald up from school and headed to Disneyland. It was 110 outside but we decided to go in the heat hoping it kept the crowds away . . . nope not so much. We had a lot of dole whip which of course the girls did not complain about. We brought a spay bottle to mist the girls so they would not overheat and we tried waiting in lines that were inside or super short. We braved the heat and stayed at disneyland until around 10pm we even made it thru Fantasmic. The girls absolutely loved the show, they were exhausted and could barely keep their eyes open but it was a hit. After the show we walked thru Downtown Disney for our favorite, some steaming hot beignets at the Jazz Kitchen.

IMG_20170902_112806893

After leaving D-land we headed to the beach house in Huntington to stay at for the next three nights. The girls woke up so excited to go play in the ocean and build sand castles. It was in the 80s and there is no a/c where we were staying but we made the most of it and stayed on the beach playing in the water. Emerald and Brock even found lots of baby clams while Violet and I played in the sand. (We used Alba Botanics sunscreen no one got a sunburn, it is amazing stuff, probably one of the best we have found and we have tried so many.)

IMG_20170902_113839739

Again we kept cool by eating lots of ice-cream the girls picked cotton candy flavored (oh the food coloring) But it is vacation and Brock and I let them pick their own flavors, no organic to be found. IMG_20170902_163328_03After spending a couple of relaxing days at the beach we were headed back for another day at Disneyland and this time we went to California Adventure too. At least this time it was only in the 80s although it was twice as packed as it was on Friday. We even waited 70 minutes in line to ride Midway Mania and half way thru waiting Violet started saying she wanted to go home . . . and it was only noon! We made it past the little tantrum and she was so happy to go on the ride. We only had to wait around ten minutes to see the princesses which is one of the girls favorite things, they love talking to the princesses and Violet even sang a song for them. Although she was sad that “Jamins” was not there.

The girls started melting down around 7pm so we headed back to the car of course stopping for our favorite treat of hot sugary beignets. We made it home around 9pm and unloaded the car. I spent all of today doing laundry and sorting thru the crazy amount of crap we had brought with us. Well now it is back to a regular schedule with the girls and hopefully some more fun adventures soon.