February Loves

I am in love with this Saarloos and Sons white wine! This wine.  So yummy.  I had gotten a bottle of this white and a red from Saarloos and Sons in a silent auction gift basket from my son’s preschool.  I didn’t know too much about the company so the bottles have just been hanging around.  Well, the other night I decided it was time for the white to get chilled.  I’m a Sauvignon Blanc kind of gal.  And I’m not totally sure how these two wines stack up against each other.  But I can tell you this.  I opened the bottle, and on first sip, I hated it.  It was one of those days so I decided I’d drink the glass but I left the bottle on the counter with the intention of dumping it out that night.  But something about the second sip got me.  And I began to really enjoy the glass.  I went and put the bottle in the fridge and drank the rest of the bottle over the next few nights.  Turns out I REALLY like this wine.  Maybe the first sip just wasn’t what I was expecting but I’m glad I continued to drink it.  And now I want to go to their tasting room and drink more.  Lots more.  And go read their story.  Super cool.

My favorite candy of all time.  That I only eat at Valentine's DayThese hearts are one of my favorite candies.  And I only eat them at Valentine’s Day.  They really are just Gobstoppers.  And they used to even come in the normal Gobstopper colors but within the last few years, they have changed them to be only pink, red and white.  I realize that they are Gobstoppers and I can eat them all year long, but there is something about waiting for them to arrive in stores that makes me love them even more.  My sister and I always by them for each other.  And once that bag (or two) is gone, that is it until next year.  Have you ever tried these?

Live your passion!  My pal shared her stint on Cougar Town with us.  So proud of her! If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen me post about this the other night.  I am super proud of my friend, Erika, for following a passion of hers.  She, just recently, decided to do extra work and start acting.  She was over the other night and I got to see her in an episode of Cougar Town and it was amazing.  I’m so excited to see where she takes it and know that she is doing what she loves.  I am lucky to know this gal and look forward to seeing her in more things!!

My husband has taking to making us pancakes on the weekend!So I’ve been married for 10 years now.  My husband hardly ever cooks.  So color me surprised when he decided to make us pancakes one morning.  We liked them so much he has taken to making them for us on the weekends.  So fun!  Food really does taste better when you don’t have to cook it.

blair-ritchey-for-meg-biram-gator-phone-caseI’m totally in love with my new phone case.  I got an iPhone 5 for Christmas so I had to get a new case.  This gator skin case by Blair Ritchey found in Meg Biram’s shop is so great.  I love everything about it.  It looks like it is sold out but they do have it in olive which would also be super cool.

Merry Christmas!

family-photo-2013From my family to yours, I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas!  I hope the day is filled with family, food, friends, and thanksgiving.  I’m lucky to have you as readers and I look forward to sharing more with you in the new year!

xmas-site-blog-buttonIn the mean time, you might want to check out the blog I created for our family Christmas cards.  In a Few Years our Kids Will Hate Us.  We are going on 10 years of creative cards and I thought they should all be kept in one place.  Sort of a visual time line of our family.  Through Christmas cards.  Enjoy!

Crafting Community Family Weekend in Palm Springs

Ace Hotel Palm SpringsThe Ace HotelThis is the 4th year of the Crafting Community family weekend at The Ace Hotel in Palm Springs.  And this is the 4th year that I have wanted my family to go.  It is AMAZING.  The Crafting Community creates “immersive design experiences” where families can spend time together, create together and experience art, music, and making new friendships…together.  And The Ace is awesome so you know you are going to have a good time just being there.  My son still talks about swimming in the pool there.  See an example of how the day is structured here.  Doesn’t that sound so great!  One of these years I will remember to not travel so much during the summer and save up for this family trip in early fall.  Someone remind me, OK?  In the mean time I have entered every contest I could find to see if I can win us a trip for this year!

See full details and pricing here.

Buccaneer Cove opens at Boomers in Irvine

*My family was treated to an afternoon of water-ific fun at the new Buccaneer Cove at Boomers in Irvine.  All opinions are mine.

Welcome-to-Buccaneer-Cove-at-Boomers-IrvineTo say the boys were excited about getting to try out the new Buccaneer Cove area at Boomers in Irvine was an understatement.  They couldn’t wait to get there.  We first heard about the new water slide area when we were playing miniature golf at Boomers right after school ended for summer.  And, of course, you can see the brightly colored slides right from the 405 freeway.  They couldn’t wait to see what it was all about.

shark-statue-at-buccaneer-coveBut first we made a new friend.

water-play-area-at-Buccaneer-CoveBuccaneer Cove has a huge water play area in the center of the enclosed park which is surrounded on one side by cabanas and chairs and on the other side by the water slide tower.  The cabanas need to be reserved ahead of time but are a really great idea for those of you who want or need to be in a bit of shade.  It was easy to watch little kids play in this area, but be warned it is very easy to get wet here and if you need to chase after your kids for any reason, you most certainly will have to go directly through this area. So wear a suit!  Even if you aren’t planning to get wet.  You will.

yellow-water-slide-at-Buccaneer-Cove-IrvineThere are 5 water slides, one of which is perfect for toddlers and smaller kids.  You must be 36″ tall to ride the other four slides.  3 are covered and 1 is open air.  There are no “pool” at the bottom of the slides so being a strong swimmer is not necessary.  There are also several workers operating the slides and they are really great about safety and getting kids out of the way of the next rider.  I was pretty impressed with them.  [Read more...]

Kidstock 2013 Fundraiser in Beverly Hills

*I was invited to Kidstock, a private fundraising event to share the experience with you.  All opinions are my own.

walking in laA few weekends ago I was invited to a really cool fundraising event in Beverly Hills called Kidstock.  Held at Greystone Mansion, this annual interactive arts and music festival is a ridiculously fun family event.  Sponsored by Hudson Jeans, this event raises money for an organization called One Voice.  One Voice helps kids from inner cities prepare, attend and pay for college, as well as other holiday and emergency programs for deserving inner city families.  What I love about the scholarship program is that they don’t just get the kids in school and then leave them to fend for themselves.  The group supports the students all the way through graduation.

So I brought along my oldest son (who has been begging me to take him to LA – he hears about it from me and his dad) and carpooled up with one of O’s favorite friends (and daughter of the fabulous Nicole).

kidstock at greystone mansionThe kids were beyond excited.  They had no idea what to expect but I knew they were going to have tons of opportunities to make amazing memories.  I had seen a list of the sponsors and was blown away at what was going to be available.

kidstock at greystone mansion beverly hillsOf course we had to start the day off at the step and repeat.  I think at this point my son knew he was in for a lot of photos…I have a bittersweet love affair with Hudson Jeans.  About 5 years ago, I changed my eating habits and found myself at a size 6, a size I hadn’t been since high school.  I bought the most adorable pair of Hudson jeans.  Before I could take them to get hemmed, I found out I was pregnant with my second son.  Those jeans sat in my closet for years hoping, one day, that I would finally get to wear them.  But I have finally come to terms with the fact that I really enjoy food.  And those size 6 Hudson jeans had to be let go of.  They are on a farm upstate…

One of the ways they raise money at this event is the purchase of kid’s jeans and t-shirts by Hudson.  They were awesome!!  I’m totally kicking myself for not buying any jeans.  Especially since my son asked me for a pair.  And he is VERY picky about his clothes.  Plus they had a bunch of cool patches you could choose to customize your pants or shirt.

Sprinkles Cupcakes were on hand and let kid’s decorate their own treats.  Shwings also had a fun DIY customization station set up.  So.  Much.  Fun.  Stuff.

radio disney photo booth at kidstockRadio Disney had a photo booth area set up which of course we had to try out.

roger berman and son at kidstock 2013As we started walking away from the booth, look who popped up behind us.  Rodg and Sky Sky.  Maj!  (He was super gracious when I asked if I could take his photo.  His wife is my fave but, sadly, she was not there).

celebrity sighting at kidstock 2103We ran in to some of our favorite artists at Kidstock.  Dallas Clayton is awesome.  And O got to meet him.  He had a booth where kids could color some of his illustrations.  O got to meet Stephanie Scott, star of Disney Channel’s A.N.T. Farm.  Could she be any cuter!  And I loved getting a quick second with Peter Kim, CEO of Hudson Jeans.  Click on his name and watch the whole video.  I love what Peter has to say about his branding and company culture.  I pretty much only want to wear Hudson from here on out.  So inspiring.  He was so gracious and genuinely excited about the event.  LOVE that!

ziggy marley at kidstockAnd I was SUPER excited about seeing Ziggy Marley with his family.  While I tried to not approach the celebs and let them spend some time with their families, I had to get a picture with Ziggy.  And share a story with him.  Ziggy was the first concert I went to.  But I was only a sophomore in high school and the concert was in Los Angeles (I’m from Orange County).  So my mom took me.  The concert was at the Greek Theater up in the hills.  I remember that we left early because I had a migraine.  But I also remember that my mom went up to one of the security guards and made sure he knew that people were smoking pot around us.  The guard just looked at her like she was crazy.  EVERYONE was smoking pot around us.  I might have been a bit mortified.  I told Ziggy that story and he got a good laugh out of it.  I called my mom on the way home from Kidstock to tell her I had a picture with him and reminded her of that story.  She said she told the guard because the smoke was giving me a headache.  I laughed and told her it probably would have helped the headache.

kiwi crate at kidstockThere were activity booths set up all over the grounds of the estate to keep the kids engaged.  I was super happy to see Kiwi Crate was there.  My son made a drum in their booth.  See that arm around the little girl’s shoulder?  Totally a celebrity.  Seriously, can’t I just take a photo of my kid without a celebrity being in my shot?  Just kidding.

joanns craft booths at kidstockJoann had multiple booths set up with awesome crafts.  I was really impressed with the thought that went in to each booth.  Most of the activities were music or art themed and really made the event.  The materials were super high quality and while the crafts were pretty intricate, they were not too hard for the kids to do with a bit of supervision.

make your own soda with sodastream at kidstockMy son’s favorite booth was the SodaStream booth.  My son does not get to drink soda very often.  But I loved it too.  There were tons of different flavors to choose from.  I chose a delicious lime flavor that was not overly sweet.  And my son favored the Kool Aid Cherry flavored soda.  He BEGGED me to get a SodaStream after this.  And I considered it.  How awesome would this be to have at a party?!

custom converse airbrushing at kidstock sponsored by dswDSW sponsored this rad Converse airbrushing booth.  For a small fee, you purchased white Converse sneakers and then picked what you wanted painted on there.  Artists from A.M Style Entertainment then painted the shoes.  We were able to watch O’s shoes getting painted.  SO COOL!!!!!

blue and black custom airbrush converseI totally should have gotten a pair for myself!

live music on the radio disney stage at kidstockI was really excited for O to have a chance to see some live music.  While his father and I have talked about taking him with us to shows, I’m afraid it might make him prematurely deaf.  But I knew the music here would be perfect for the kids.  O got to see his fave, Stephanie Scott perform.  And later on in the day we watch this amazing family band called Rhythm Child.  How awesome to see young musicians putting on a really fun show.

o watching band and playing along at kidstockThe band encouraged the kids to jam with them and had percussion toys at the front of the stage.  O had a great time playing along.

andrea nicole and i at kidstockNicole and I had a great time with the kids but it was also super to run in to Andrea.  I stole this photo from her Instagram.

hudson jeans tshirt with red lightning bolt shwingsAnd though my younger son didn’t come with us, I did get him his own shirt and there was a pair of Shwings in the gift bag that he flipped for.

us weekly mention of final funds raised at kidstockThe  event was amazing.  I was grateful to be invited and be able to share that experience with my son.  It encompassed everything that we love and it was just plain fun.  I was delighted to see a mention in US Weekly.  So glad that Hudson Jeans and One Voice were able to raise a lot of money for a great cause.  The event staff should be so proud of what they have put together.

To find out more about One Voice, please visit their website.  And see more event photos here.