Saturday, November 30, 2013

kidspace with daddy

miles and i took the kids to kidspace today. he had never been there before and it is really close to where we live. it seemed like a perfect outing. after being stuck in the house yesterday the kids were ready to run around in the sun. no rain today! we had the best time. i love kidspace. it was a bit crowded but not that bad. we still were able to enjoy all the exhibits.

miles helped them build a big robot out of these giant foam building blocks. we also spent time looking at all the shells, insects, and toy dinosaurs in the nature exchange room. dahlia and mason love the shells. it always makes me want to organize our shell collection.

we walked all around the outside and the kids got to play in the water for a little bit. it was such a fun visit. miles and i rarely get to take the kids somewhere with just the five of us so it was really nice. we got ice cream before it was time to go.

Friday, November 29, 2013

gingerbread house

today it rained and the kids were going crazy sitting inside all day. they needed a project. i decided it would be a perfect day to make our gingerbread house.

i bought a kit again because the real fun is decorating it and not making the cookie dough. i am all about easy this year. miles' mom is still visiting so she got to help.

i always bring out different candies than the standard ones that come with the set so we have more to play with. i am not sure if more candy went into the kids bellies or on the house though. they seemed to be sampling while we decorated.

this kit was super cute and came with fondant to roll out and make trim with it. it also came with two little gingerbread men to decorate and place in front of the house. miles helped us this time so the house looked really good when we finished. much more polished than last years house.

yes, it is officially christmas time. yikes! so much to do.

Thursday, November 28, 2013


today was thanksgiving and this year we celebrated together at my sister's house. i was happy to have the year off after the two kid parties. i don't know how i did it last year.

miles and i made our traditional cranberry sauce and mushroom gravy. i also made an artichoke dip and whiskey sours for the grown ups. we were running late this morning with all the cooking. for some reason we didn't make anything last night. we were too busy finishing up the shopping and cleaning. miles went and picked up his mom from the train station and i had to get the guest room ready.

we were a little late to christina's house but it was fine. she had all the tables decorated so pretty and a large chalkboard where we could all write what we were thankful for. i thought it was so sweet that dahlia wrote "mom and dad."

dinner was delicious and the kids looked so cute sitting at their own table. my sisters were going to go shopping after dessert but i chose to just go home. we have a long drive and i am not really interested in shopping on black friday. i will just do my shopping online in my pajamas.

Monday, November 25, 2013

flower party

dahlia wanted a flower party for her sixth birthday. i loved the idea. we did a flower theme for her first birthday but she of course could not remember it. we had a great turn out. tons of friends and family.

to entertain the kids we set up a planting station. miles and i bought a bunch of paper white bulbs and little metal pots. the kids could decorate their pot with stickers and then fill it with pretty rocks and the bulb. the woman at the nursery told us the paper whites will bloom in about two weeks. they don't have to be planted in soil. just the rocks will work. they were so cute.

we also had pipe cleaners and foam flowers that could be assembled by the kids to make a bouquet. the girls all loved making flowers. of course we also had a bounce house so they could go jump if they got bored. all that along with our play set and tree house and the kids were very happy.

for food we set up a taco bar with chicken, beef, and lots of toppings including various salsas. my sister jen made these really pretty cake pops that looked like flowers. we had jello and cookies along with the cake for dessert. i had originally planned to make two round cakes but changed my mind around three o'clock in the morning when i had not even started them. miles went to the bakery this morning and bought some cakes which i decorated with paper flowers. they looked great.

the party was very laid back. i had a good time hanging out with all our friends. the weather was perfect for an outdoor party. so nice that it didn't rain. there were lots of cute decorations that i put up but i didn't get photos of them. i am so bummed. i always forget to take pictures.

happy birthday dahlia! i hope you loved your party.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

dahlia is six

yesterday was dahlia's sixth birthday. my little angel. she is so sweet. she has grown into such a beautiful independent little girl. i can't believe she is six years old. i know i always say this but really, six! it just makes me want to have another one.

we had a mini celebration for her birthday because her big birthday party is coming up this weekend. i wanted it to be special without going overboard. she had school and i dropped off goody bags for the kids. this seemed easier than making cupcakes for the class. her teacher was gone so it worked out great to just sent some treats home at the end of the day.

i went to whole foods and bought her the most beautiful little cake they had. chocolate cake with white butter-cream frosting. it was delicious and very rich. it had a drawing of a turkey and some flowers on top for thanksgiving. it was so pretty.

miles had the day off from work so he helped me make dahlia's favorite salmon dinner. after we were done with cake we set up the movie projector and air mattress in the boy's room. they watched despicable me while miles and i sneaked off to our room to watch world war z. i fell fast asleep about 30 minutes into the movie as usual.

happy birthday dahlia! i love you so very much.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

friendship feast

dahlia had a friendship feast in her kindergarten class today. it was so cute. they all wore their turkey hats and sat down for a feast. they were served turkey sandwiches, cranberry sauce, carrots, corn bread muffins, and pumpkin pie.

poor dahlia is not feeling well and tears started streaming down her face during the meal so i just took her home with me. she didn't really get to enjoy herself. she was still soaking wet from the pouring rain this morning. her teacher was super sweet and told me to keep her home if she was still sick tomorrow. they get all of next week off for thanksgiving. it will be so nice to have the time off from school.

gym class for connor

i enrolled connor at the little gym. i have been wanting to do this for a while now and was so happy to have a chance. they just changed dahlia's class to a combined class with four year olds. since he just turned four it was the perfect opportunity. the best part is that they can take the class together and i don't have to come to the gym three days a week. our schedule is already so busy i just didn't want to add anything else.

he loved the class. he had so much fun with dahlia. she was also super excited to have him in the class with her. i love their teacher. she is great. it is nice for connor to have an activity.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

cocktails and crafts

miles watched the kids for me last night and i got to go to a crafting party with my friends. it sounds kind of corny but it was a blast. there were four of us and we each brought a craft and a dish to share. i made a yummy tomato, feta, cucumber salad.

the party was at my friend michele's house and her husband made us the most delicious pomegranate martinis. we were all pretty smashed after one and then he made us another... that was probably a bad idea. he later made us coffee to sober up. needless to say we didn't finish all four crafts. we only got to complete two of them before it was midnight and time to wrap things up. it was almost one am before i got home.

we made these string wrapped sticks that are more interesting and addicting than they sound and decorated fairy houses. it was so fun. i has been too long since i have had a girls night and i loved every minute.

Friday, November 8, 2013


we had the day off from school today so we met our new friends archer and his mom michele at kidspace in pasadena. i have taken the kids there once before for their free day but that was a long time ago. i decided to go ahead and buy a membership. it pays for itself if i only go three times so it seemed worth the cost.

the kids love it there. they had a whole new physics forest where the kids could interact with the exhibits to learn different properties of science. they had fun playing tug-of-war with the giant lever. they also loved the bottle rocket where you can blast a plastic bottle into the air using water and air pressure.

inside they were very brave and climbed to the top of the raindrop and wisteria climbing towers. these towers are more that forty feet tall. they are completely enclosed so it is safe and fun.

after we were finished inside we walked all around the museum gardens. they had fun playing with the squirt guns and climbing their favorite rootwad climber.

the whole museum is beautifully designed and so much fun to explore. the best part was that when the kids were ready to go it was still early enough to enjoy some time at home.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

more secret stairs

my friend and i went on another walk around los angeles. today our walk was around echo park. believe it or not i have never seen echo park lake even though it is about 15 minutes from where i live. it is super pretty.

the walk today was three miles and had 428 steps. it was amazing. we walked around the lake and up the hills behind to see the victorian and queen anne mansions.

the highlight of the walk besides the lake was when we got to carroll avenue. the houses on this street are just stunning. there is a collection of beautifully restored houses that were made around 1887. they were moved here as part of a restoration project. it is an area called angelino heights. i was just blown away by the detail in the design of these homes. it is really incredible. the amount of work it must take to restore the houses is just astonishing.

we spent so much time staring at the houses that we had to run back to the car in order for me to pick up connor from preschool. i was actually five minutes late and we realized that this will most likely be my last secret stairs walk. i just don't have enough time between drop off and pick up. i do plan on doing more in the future but i might have to wait until connor is in school for a longer period of time.