Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Movie Night: Eclipse & food

I've been planning this movie night for a few weeks now. My parents were going to watch the kids. Hubs was able to get the day off from work. Many thanks to LF who covered the last half of my mission at work. Manette, my sis, Hubs and I were going to watch an early premier of Eclipse.

For those of you who enjoy photography, Manette has a blog too.

To make a long story short, Hubs was not able to attend. I'm sure he was sooooo disappointed. None the less, I was going to go and hang out with the girls. Don't worry Hubs, I want to see it again. Guess who is going to take me?

I was the first to arrive approximately 2 hours before show time. The whole afternoon I was in constant communication with Manette and my sis. Nothing else was going to fall through. Hubs already took one for the team.

Of course, there was already a small group of people already in line. If I had to guess, I was probably the 10th person. If it was anything like last year, the line was getting wider and wider from people letting others cut in front of them. This year's movie premier was much more organized. Kudos to those that were involved in the planning of this.

Manette and I waited in line as my sis was bringing us food. Sis did not disappoint. Our first course was pizza. It's from a local pizza joint called Bronx. The pesto pizza is my favorite. You can buy pizza by the slice or the pie. They offer a variety of different toppings. The pizza is NY style. I've never lived in NY. The last time I was there was over a decade ago. I'm not sure how authentic this place is but it's delicious.

Eating pesto pizza in line

If the pizza wasn't enough, sis made it a complete meal by bringing in dessert. Cupcakes from Babycakes. My favorite cupcake from this place is there signature "babies'. It's marble cake with chocolate chips and cream cheese. Unfortunately, sis did not purchase these but brought my second favorite from this place....the red velvet.

Illegal cupcakes brought in using very large bag

One thing I don't enjoy about the red velvet from this place is the actual cupcake part. It's a little too dense in my opinion. The frosting makes up for it. The frosting is a yummy cream cheese base frosting that is creamy and not too sweet. Regardless, the cupcake made me happy.

My contribution was what the girls were calling a chocolate tampon. I handed these to the girls and both hesitantly took it from my hand. The white package speaks for itself. Let me tell you, I didn't hear them complaining once they opened up the package and took one bite of this delicious morsel.

Yummy tampon packaged wafers

Now to the actual movie, Twihards. It was great! The movies get better and better...just like the books. Of course, no Twilight movie would be complete without the crazy fans. There was the usual barbaric yells as the shirtless Jake appeared on the screen. There were some hot make out scenes that left the three of us a little tense and awkward due to the young, innocent eyes that were seated next to us. I think Hubs would even appreciate the action scenes...I'm speaking for him here. The humor between Edward and Jake was entertaining. Charlie Swan had some good lines that made everyone chuckle. The movie will not disappoint.

Monday, June 28, 2010

I Heart: Full N' Soft & Lash Blast

While the last ounce of caffeine is starting to make it's way out of my system, I thought I'd do a quick review on some fine and dandy mascaras that I've been loving. They're both drug store mascaras that won't break your piggy bank.

First is Maybelline's Full N' Soft: waterproof in very black. The reason why this one is first is because I've been using it for years and years. It's probably one of the few products in my make-up bag that I've bought time and time again.

It makes your lashes look natural but better. I find it's a great everyday mascara. I prefer the waterproof over the original formula due to it's holding power. I have very straight, short, not-so-full lashes. Basically, everything you wouldn't want your lashes to sad.

After curling my lashes, I apply a few coats and find my lashes to be longer and darker. I don't find it to be too voluminous (or full as the name would imply) even after applying a few coats. The brush is easy to work with. I do find that it does smear towards the end of the day. I only apply the mascara on my top lashes but find a smear at the lower, outer bottom corner of my eye.

Second is Cover Girls Lash Blast: waterproof in very black. Again, a nice everyday mascara that I frequently interchange with the Full N' Soft. I do find this one is slightly more dramatic. My lashes look longer, fuller, and darker. For me, it doesn't smear on my lower eye as much as the Full and Soft. I did feel my lashes were slightly more crispy, not quite KFC extra crispy, but something I was willing to overlook. It took me awhile to get accustomed to the fat brush and short bristles. I'm happy with the results and I've purchased this a couple of times.

Two lovely drug store mascaras that will give you a nice polished every day look.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fair Day

We took our annual trip to the fair today. Before the day even started, I was expecting to have some turbulence to occur. Most of the time, it's my emotional 3 year old, Princess Ninja. Chubs, the 1 year old, is pretty mellow. As long as he's fed and entertained, he's a happy guy. Well my magic crystal ball made the wrong prediction. Princess Ninja gets an A for today. Chubs gets a D-. I'd give the guy a F if he wasn't my own flesh and blood and so darn cute.

Dada, Princess Ninja, & "D-" Chubs

Yes, Chubs gets a big fat D-. He wanted to have his own Fair Day without the family. He refused 9 out of 10 family activities. He refused to sit in his stroller. He wanted to explore on his own without even holding Mama or Dada's hand. He tried to escape out of all the rides except for a truck ride than went round and round. He was semi-good on the Ferris wheel. I did have to hold him down so he wouldn't fall out of the seat he was supposed to be sitting on. Also, he kept trying to reach outside the seat box. Can you say amputation?

More naughty stuff. Sticking hands in dirty canoe water.

Beautiful view on the Ferris Wheel. That's the ocean in the back.

Mama holding down Chubs

Princess Ninja on the other hand gets an A. She would have had an A+ if she would have taken the $1 toy I won for her. It was a smiling banana. I had to cough up $5 to win her a whale shark. Other than that, she met all safety precautions for riding the rides. She obeyed the simple command of getting in and out of her stroller as needed. There were no major tantrums other than not wanting a smiling banana.

pic of the whale shark that lost the A+ for her

Overall, it was a great family day, minus the fact that Chubs did not want to spend time with the family. I know this is the first of many attempts to try and ditch us, but I didn't expect it so early in life.

One of the other things I love, love, love about going to the fair, other than hanging out with the family, is the food. Fair food always intrigues me even though I know I won't eat it (I don't eat meat).

Everything is fried and/or on a stick! I've come to the conclusion if you can either fry it or put it on a stick, it's probably good! If you can fry it AND have it on a stick, it's golden! The newest creations this year was the fried Klondike bar, fried Pop Tarts, and fried butter.

Can you believe fried butter? Here's a picture of the stand. It's called the Heart Attack Cafe. I like the picture of the nurse with the defibrillator paddles.

deep fried butter stand plus other fried foods

closer pic of the stand

The Texas Tater Twisters intrigued me. It's a hot dog on a stick, wrapped in a spiral potato and fried. It's like eating a hot dog and chips without it being too messy. Fascinating!

what else can they fry and put on a stick?

I did get my hands on some Aussie chips. I have absolutely no clue what makes them Australian. The potatoes are cut chip style so you don't confuse it with the French fry. Let's not get the two countries mixed up. Do you think it's the decorative Australian flag they top it off with that makes them Australian? If there are any Australians out there, please let me know if you guys eat this in your country.

The Aussie chip plate is basically deep fried potatoes with your choice of toppings. You can either get ranch, cheese, sweet chili, and/or sour cream. I choose ranch and cheese. I ate 2 chips and was starting to feel my arteries clog.

I am a little upset I didn't get my hands on Funnel Cake on a stick and my yearly Cheesecake on a stick. The lines were too long and Chubs was already getting a D-. I didn't want to push for that F.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Crazy Morning

My job requires me to start at various hours of the day. When I say various, I mean various. I can be on-call 24/7 on some days/nights. For the most, the main part of my profession, I usually can start somewhere between 7:00AM-9:30AM. Of course, this high demand on me isn't the easiest for my family life. Some days, I can leave before the kids wake up and come home when they're already asleep or just about to. Sniff....I hate those days!

I don't mean to sound FBI, CIA, I love Chuck, but I can't go into any more details. My job involves a lot of privacy, life and death situations, if I told you someone would kill me or you stuff.

I love starting early. AKA before the kids wake up. Yes, it's hard waking always is. If I can get an early start time, I can get ready, sit down to eat breakfast, and enjoy a cup of Joe (or two). It's my one moment of me time before the chaos of the day starts.

Today was not the case. I had a late start time. The kids woke me up before my alarm clock did. Once the kids get up, the day is in full swing....ready or not. As best I could, I try to get them situated with their breakfast and the tv. Yes, more often than not, I use the tv as a babysitter. I try to buy myself time, so I can get ready for work.

I had a bad mama moment. For breakfast, the kids had brownies, cookies, and milk (the one healthy part). I really didn't have time or the energy to argue with them. The bowl of cereal I initially prepared was thrown on the ground by Chubs (the 1 year old). Princess Ninja (who is 3 years old) kept carrying around the little baggy full of brownies and insisted that I open it. I'm definitely not proud of this no-no.

As best I could, I tried to shovel cereal and a banana into my mouth. At the same time, I have the 3 year old sitting on my lap and the 1 year old clawing on my leg. Right before I run out the door, I inhale a cup of coffee.

I hate mornings like these. I'm running around like a crazy woman trying to get everything ready. The kids are crying for my attention and someone usually has to peel them off of my body, so I can leave for work. During the car ride to work, I try to not feel guilty and take some deep breaths to try and relax myself. To top it all off, I'm probably going 25 mph because of all the traffic. By the time I pull into my parking spot at work, I'm exhausted and stressed. My 10-12+ hour work day has yet to even start. I'm begging Calgon to take me away!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mid-Year Review and Evaluation

I had very high hopes for 2010! After all, it was the beginning of a new decade. So far, I'm only partially impressed.

It wasn't that 2009 was a bad year. It just wasn't a great year. The best thing about 2009 was the birth of my son. With that said, Hubs and I made some very important decisions that we are still working through, as we speak. We knew with the decisions we made, came consequences. We were willing to deal with them, because we knew it was the best thing for our family. Although it has been a stressful period, we still believe, in time, it is all for the better. Slowly, we are starting to see things fall into place.

It's June 2010. Mid-2010. Like most people, every year, I make my New Year's resolution. I think at this point, it has become more of a tradition and a must to do. Regardless, I still like to see how I'm doing with these resolutions and reflect upon them to see how I can make the last half of 2010 better.

First of all, 2010 as brought along a lot of deaths and life threatening illness. I know, it's very depressing. Literally, since January there has been some devastating situation that has popped up. They say bad news comes in 3s. Well, multiply that by 2 or 3. I only hope that it is the end of this very sad and emotional period. I try not to dwell upon this, but these situations have made me realize what is truly important and has highlighted things in life that I should not take for granted. I needed to find the silver lining in all of this.

One of my New Year's resolutions is to take better care of myself. I still manage to exercise (I couldn't survive without my dose of endorphins). Now that I've reached my 30s and the two kids, I'm finding exercise alone isn't good enough. With all the emotional things going on, I noticed that I started eating less healthy. If you follow me on Twitter, those evil french fries have gotten the best of me more than once. No more I tell you!

I'm going to try and get back on track on my healthy eating. I even went to the market after the gym and bought some good for you food. Instead of reaching for that cookie, I started making my Kefir chocolate-strawberry smoothies. I've rediscovered some of my old go-to snacks.

Another New Year's resolution was to spend more time with the family. Between having opposite schedules with Hubs to help eliminate the kids going to day care (which is family by the way) and trying to make ends meet, it has been a challenge. I think when I made this resolution, I didn't really have a set goal and something that I can measure. Evaluating my current situation, I think I've managed to stay on track with this. I truly feel that I'm doing the best I can juggling work and family life. Of course, I can always try and improve this. Quality vs quantity.

In 2010, I also wanted to put more aside in the nest egg. I've managed to set aside more money by decreasing some of the luxuries I've once lavishly indulged in. The trip to the neighborhood Barista has been greatly decreased by brewing my own Joe.

Although, I started seeing the hairdresser again for some highlights, I've managed to find a low maintenance color that I can maintain using my favorite color conditioner. I'm happy to say I'm now going on almost 4 months now. I'm really pushing it though. The root to highlight ratio is at its breaking point and no amount of special conditioner is going to save my hair. I think I'll have to suck it up and make an appointment. Still, I'm impressed.

I've also managed to discover some drug store products that I've been impressed with. It's eliminated some of my more expensive products. I'll have to write a blog on some of my discoveries. One of them is the Neutrogena wipes. I'm still in search of ways I can save and hopefully build that nest egg.

So far, so good for 2010. I'm still wishing, hoping, and praying that the last half of 2010 will be way better than the beginning. Let's toast January-June away and say, "Welcome" to July-December.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tiffany Blue Pandora's Box

How would I describe my life?

I like to think of it as a beautiful, Tiffany blue, Pandora's box complete with that silky smooth, white ribbon wrapped around it. Oooolala!!!

Now, now! No one go summa cum laude, Harvard grad, ivy league, top of my class in Greek mythology on me. This is just a metaphor. Work with me people!

We all know and love it! That lovely Tiffany blue box, complete with that semi-shiny, silky white ribbon. Just the sight of it given to anyone of us would increase our heart rate two-fold. I love that shade so much, it was the color of my wedding cake.

That's probably how I would describe my life. I love it! I look at the life that Hubs and I have built together and it brings a smile upon my face. I look at the kids and the sheer joy sends a warmth of love upon myself. The feeling is beyond words itself.

Then there's the Pandora's box metaphor that comes into play. No, my life box isn't filled with the evils of the world. It is filled with so many other thing, but I wouldn't describe them as evil. It's just the everyday concerns of life. Sometimes, I feel like there's so much to worry about and so many things going on. I wonder if that silky white ribbon holding everything together is going to last another day.

There's the minor stuff, for instance, what am I going to pack for lunch tomorrow, will I ever get that laundry room organized, etc. Yeah, something to think about, but it's nothing to really lose sleep over. Even these minor worries can accumulate and can cause some havoc in ones life.

Then there's the major stuff, for instance, is there enough money in our bank account to pay for that bill, hopefully we find a bone marrow compatible for Uncle L, etc. Things that will keep you tossing and turning through the night. They are so beyond my control.

Then there's deeper stuff, for instance, did I really have to get mad at Princess Ninja over that, am I spending enough time with Chubs, am I being a good mom and wife, etc. These are thoughts that I often reflect upon. Things that I can make a conscious effort to improve.

Some how, some way that semi-shiny, silky smooth white ribbon seems to always manage to hold everything in place. There are moments when all the worries of the world seem to be busting out of my box. The perfectly shaped Tiffany box is becoming dysmorphic and the lid is barely on.

Life has a way of working itself out. It doesn't always work out the way we want it to or the way we expect it to. I've learned to take a deep breath, step back, and enjoy the beautiful, Tiffany blue, Pandora's box that I call my life. Of course, it wouldn't be complete without the white ribbon holding it all together by a lovely bow.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Simple Chocolate Strawberry Smoothie

I've been on a kefir kick lately (the last few months). I've been reading more and more benefits to drinking it. For those of you who are unfamiliar with kefir here is a brief description of it.

Easily digested, it cleanses the intestines, provides beneficial bacteria and yeast, vitamins and minerals, and complete proteins.

The regular use of kefir can help relieve all intestinal disorders, promote bowel movement, reduce flatulence and create a healthier digestive system. In addition, its cleansing effect on the whole body helps to establish a balanced inner ecosystem for optimum health and longevity.

Kefir can also help eliminate unhealthy food cravings by making the body more nourished and balanced. Its excellent nutritional content offers healing and health-maintenance benefits to people in every type of condition.

The above was taken from for those of you who want to read more. I'm sure there are a million other articles out there for you to Google your little heart out.

Seriously who couldn't benefit from an increased bowel movement? (small childish smirk across my face).

I try to eat healthy. Don't get me wrong, I consume my share of oh so delicious cupcakes and yummy salty french fries. I mean life is short, so I have to try and enjoy it. I know I'm probably cutting my life even shorter by consuming large quantities of junk food. I do try to balance it out. Instead of reaching for that chocolate chip cookie, I've been making myself kefir smoothies. No blender required....meaning no need to wake the kids during those midnight snack cravings. I thought I'd share it with you guys.

For about an 8 oz or so serving:

Fill 1/4 of the glass with strawberry kefir and the other 3/4 of the glass fill with chocolate soy milk (my favorite is Silk). Mix with a spoon and enjoy.

It reminds me of a chocolate dipped strawberry in liquid form. I just had a glass! My kids enjoy it too!

FYI: I'm not a dietitian, nutritionist, or an expert in any way, shape or form as far as healthy eating. It just tastes yummy, so I thought I'd share it.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Happy Father's Day

My children are lucky enough to have a great dad and to have both their grandfathers involved in their lives.

There's Lolo, my dad. I'm quite impressed on how great of a grandfather he is. My kids are his first grandchildren. Although he was a strict father to me and my sister, I'm seeing a totally different side to him.

There's a different warmth in his eyes when he takes care of my kids. My kids get away with murder. If my sister and I tried some of the things my kids do, there would be a spanking involved. Princess Ninja adores her Lolo.

Perhaps it's because at the end of the day, my dad knows the kids go back home with me. He's grandpa and not dad. I guess raising your own kids is a different experience than being a grandfather. He even built them a slide and swing-set in the backyard. My sister and I never had such a thing growing up. I also think it's because he has more time now that he's retired. When he was raising us, it was all about trying to support the family. I know I wasn't the model daughter either.....poor dad. He's in a more comfortable place in his life now. A place where he has time to smell the roses, golf all day, and hang out with his friends and family.

Then there's Papa, my husband's dad. Along with my husband, Papa also has 6 other kids. As you can imagine, the guy loves kids. It was never a doubt in my mind that he would be a great grandfather. Chubs adores his Papa.

Of course, there's Dada (aka Hubs). Before we even had kids, I knew he'd be a great dad. He has more patience than I do...depending on the amount of sleep we get. I love watching him play with the kids. When I look into my daughter's eyes, they're Hubs' eyes. When Chubs makes certain expressions, it's Hubs' face I can see. Although I don't always express it, he does so much for his family. Princess Ninja, Chubs, and I are lucky to have him!

Happy Father's Day! Thank you to all the dads who do so much for their kids and family. I hope you enjoy your special day!

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Brady Bunch House...nixed!

As I was growing up (circa in my 20s), I envisioned what type of life I would have in the future. It seemed pretty typical. I wanted to find the man of my dreams and marry him, have a couple of kids, a nice job, and a lovely home. I did grow up watching the Brady Bunch, so you can only imagine what was going on in my mind.....that happily ever la la....birds singing....sun shining....blah blah blah.

Well, I think my vision lacked a lot of details. A LOT of details. Some how the powers-that-be took the wheel of life and drove me straight to my dreams. Granted the trip isn't a smooth one and the journey is still on going.

I was lucky enough to find the man I would fall in love with and marry. He definitely didn't come riding in on a horse to sweep me away from my evil step-mother (okay, I grew up on Disney movies too). He isn't Mr. Brady. Yes, Mr. Brady had a lot of good qualities, but he is not the man I would marry. Hubs is hubs. I love him. I realize marriage and our relationship is an ongoing entity. It's not to be taken for granted and it definitely isn't something you put on autopilot.

Then there are the kids! Oh those kids! I love them to death. It isn't until you become a mother that you realize you are never the same person. I never would have imagined motherhood to be this way. You will never be the same well rested individual. There are so many things to worry about and so many things to treasure.

Growing up, I envisioned this wonderful, huge, 2 story house, backyard large enough for tea parties and BBQs, and a beautifully landscaped front yard to show off the Christmas decor (imagine National Lampoon). I guess Brady Bunch-esque.

The Brady house was large enough for 6 kids, Mr and Mrs Brady, Alice, and Tiger (let's not forget the dog). If I recall, Mr. Brady was an architect. I think Mrs. Brady was a stay-at-home mom.

Realty hits and the mortgage payment on such a Brady-like lifestyle is a pretty penny. It's probably closer to a pretty dollar here in Southern California.

I love my job (granted I do have those days where I leave work and thank the heavens the day is over). I spend many, many, many hours working. I'm grateful I have a job (it's rough times right now), yet alone, to have a job I enjoy doing. We are definitely a two income household. The more Hubs and I have to work, the less time we get to spend with the kids. (Duh, right?)

Hubs and I had one of those deep conversations about our life and our family. What did we truly want? We wanted to focus on what we felt was important and what we could do to obtain this. At the end of it all, we decided the Brady Bunch house wasn't worth it. It's a house, not a home. At least, not OUR home.

We wanted to spend time with our kids and to enjoy life. We wanted a location where we could provide the kids a strong sense of family and to surround them with those that share the same vision.

Now, the vision I once had in my 20s has been tweaked. The Brady house no longer exist. What does exist is the home Hubs and I are providing for our kids. A home where we can have small BBQs/parties that will provide wonderful memories. A home where we can hang some Christmas decor but will be filled with happiness on the inside. A home full of love where we can actually spend time in!

WINNER of the Sephora Gift Card

Congratulations to Amber (Twitter: lipstickncandy)! She's my Sephora gift card winner!!! Thank you all for entering. I hope to host many more giveaways.

Winner was selected using Random.Org

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Photo Session with Manette

A few days ago, my friend, Manette, came over for a photo session, cookies, and Pinkberry. It was a fun afternoon!

Manette's a budding photographer and fellow Twilight lover. In honor of the Twilight series, we wanted to do a mini photo session with the kids. It allowed Manette to practice and play with her new gadgets, while it captured what a moment in my life is like with my kids. I think she's one of my few friends that shares my love for the Harry Potter series and Twilight sagas. Check out more of her photos and blogs.

Just to give you guys a little background, the setting was my messy family room. I picked up the kids after another long day at work and headed home. I threw on my Team Edward shirt (that I will be wearing to my Eclipse premiere) and popped some cookies in the oven. Manette was kind enough to purchase a People magazine (prop/business expense). We just let my kids do what they normally do...laugh, scream, jump, and run. Here are some of the pictures she captured. The kids loved it!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Review: Neutrogena Cleansing Wipes

There are days, or shall I say nights, when taking care of yourself is the very last thing on your to-do list. I'm not even talking about trying to pamper myself. I'm talking about every day, normal daily cleaning of oneself. On a busy day, I may not even start getting myself ready for bed until 11:00pm. Of course, I'd rather just plop myself in bed and snooze.

One thing I get lazy about is removing my make-up and washing my face properly. I read about these Neutrogena Cleansing Wipes that claim they remove make-up and water-proof mascara. I thought I'd purchase a pack from my local Target and give these wipes a try.

Upon purchasing the wipes, I noticed you can purchase the little refill pack (picture I posted above) or the actual plastic container to hold your wipes (picture below).

I chose to pass on purchasing the plastic container, which I may add, costs a little more. I didn't need another piece of equipment occupying my bathroom drawer or counter.

I'm quite pleased with the wipes. I'm accustomed to washing my face with water and a cleanser. After that I have to apply moisturizer. Not so with these wipes. All you have to do is swipe the wipe all around your face. At first, I wanted to rinse after wiping my face. No need to use water according to the instructions. I was so lazy that evening, I even skipped moisturizer. The wipes left a slight film on my face that went away. The next morning I thought my face felt soft even without using moisturizer.

As far as their claim on removing water-proof mascara, I thought it was alright. It did take multiple, gentle swipes to fully remove my mascara. It's something I can overlook. I have yet to discover a product that is practically effortless.

Overall, I'm very pleased with this product and I will definitely purchase again. It also helps during those times when the kids are sleeping on my bed and I'm trying to be quiet while I'm getting ready.

The refill pack remained moist for the last month. I just resealed it.

Monday, June 14, 2010

My 1st Pregnancy

As I write this blog, I can see my 3 year old playing quietly out of the corner of my eye. First of all, she never really plays quietly to herself. Second, I have a 3 year old!

Hubs and I have been married for almost 4 years when we started thinking about having a child. We had our little home and our careers going. On top of that, I was mid-way into my 29th year of life. We all know what comes after 29....the big 3-0.

I think, like most women, perhaps not all, the big 3-0 usually means something big. Honestly, I was just ready to start our family. Well sort of kind of ready. There was a piece of me that couldn't put the biological clock on snooze any longer. There was a piece of me that was nervous and uncertain.

In the back of my mind, I knew the freshness seal on my eggs was no longer a brand spanking new "Fresh" sign. It was starting to fade and the "Fresh" was becoming more of a "Fres". The "h" barely legible.

But, Hubs and I were ready to try. We just knew it was the right time for us.

About a month later, after making that life changing decision, my monthly visitor decided not to show up. I remember hurrying to the store to buy a pregnancy kit. I actually bought a few different ones. I was so excited to pee on that little stick. I read the instructions a few times. I laid the stick on the bathroom counter just right. I stared at that little window. I waited in anticipation as the double lines slowly appeared on one kit. One kit had a "+" sign. Yet another kit said, "Pregnant". I literally bought every type of kit possible. Just in case I couldn't read two lines, a plus sign or the word pregnant.

Yay, we were pregnant!!!!! I was sooooo excited!

I had one of those pregnancy books that would tell you what to expect at each month. I would read each monthly section as I would approach it. I made sure I didn't skip prematurely to the next month. Some of my books had little pictures of what my little peanut looked like. Each month, the picture changed into something less alien-like and more human-like.

With all that excitement, there was an equal amount of worry. So many things could go wrong. Chromosomes and cells had to split just right. A little bit of this and not too much of that had to be exact. You can't have any alcohol, increase your calcium, remember to take your prenatal vitamins, etc.

It's wonderful how a simple conversation.
Mama: What do you think about having kids?
Hubs: Sure.

Turned into the little girl that's playing quietly with her Legos! Amazing!!!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sephora Gift Card Contest Closed

Thank you all for entering. I should have the winner posted and notified by the end of the week. I'll announce it on the blog and Twitter.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Having a Moment

Here I am at 11:30pm with another early start time at work tomorrow. Mind you I have not had a day off all week (Sun-Fri). Only day off this week is Saturday. I was even contemplating going in for a few hours in the later afternoon. Then Hubs brought me back to my senses and told me I shouldn't.

I was having a moment, just now. I was upstairs getting ready to call it a night. I was thinking back to an incident last week. I had to come downstairs and write about it. I wanted to remember this feeling for next time.

Rewind to last week:
A beautiful, sunny afternoon. I had the morning and early afternoon off until I had to go to work later. Hubs and I took the kids to our local neighborhood splash park. It's literally an area in the park with water squirting everywhere.
I've taken the kids there before. Each time, I had to restrict their water soaking activities because no one was dressed appropriately. You can get completely soaked.
That afternoon we were ready to get soaked. The kids were in the swim outfits and lathered in sunscreen. We packed a little snack for later. Hubs and I were in our swim outfits.
Mind you, my swim outfit for this particular afternoon consisted of long board shorts and a bikini top that could withstand moving every which way to keep up with the kids. I threw on a white shirt on top for the ride over.

We get there and Princess Ninja darts off. Chubs was hesitant. He was sticking to me like white on rice. There were a fair amount of people there. Kids were running around the water area. Parents were on the outskirts sitting and watching.

The kids that day were a mix crowd. Older elementary to toddlers. Of course, the older kids were running around splashing and having fun. I also noticed that the other parents weren't participating in the activities. A few parents would allow themselves a splash here and a splash there. None were allowing themselves the opportunity to splash to their full potential.
After noticing this, I turned to Hubs and told him no one else was wearing a swim suit. Not only this, but no other mom was wearing a swim outfit and joining in with their kids. Most adult supervision were sitting down and watching. Like I mentioned earlier, a few parents here and there would get their feet wet.

I could tell Chubs wanted to start having fun but not solo. Hubs told me to just go in with my white t-shirt and board shorts. Um, no, there will be no wet T-shirt contest at the neighborhood splash area.

Hubs eventually took off with his paparazzi camera and started capturing those precious moments on digital film. Princess Ninja was clear across the park and giggling away. I was left there holding Chubs, who was so patiently waiting to have fun.

Hesitantly, I took off my cover shirt. No, it was not done in that slow motion Baywatch type of action either. It was more like, hurry up before Chubs starts crying type of motion.

There I was in my neighborhood park appropriate swim attire. Yes, I was feeling a little self-conscious. Why was I the only wearing a swim suit and playing with my kids? It wasn't so much that I was playing with my kids that made me self-conscious, but I was wearing less than usual doing it.

Forward back to now:
I just looked at the pictures that Hubs took at the splash park that particular day. Princess Ninja had a smile bigger than Texas on her face. Chubs was full of curiosity and wonder. There I was in my mommy appropriate swim gear having fun with my kids....after letting go of being so self-conscious.

I feel guilty enough that I work so much. I always feel like I'm missing out on such a large portion of their lives. My kids are growing up so fast. It seems like it gets faster and faster with each passing year. There I was, about to miss out on a wonderful memory because of my own insecurities.

I'm promising myself to never let my own feelings of self-consciousness get in the way of being there for my kids. Life is too short to wonder when we should be doing.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Confessions of a Twilight fan

I'm going to admit it, I'm a Twilight fan. I know it's so teeny-bopper. I'm slightly ashamed to admit it, but I'm also squealing like a teenage girl on the inside, because Eclipse is coming out at the end of the month.

That whole series of books helped me through my pregnancy with my second child. Wait, let me rephrase that. That series prevented me from getting much needed sleep with my second child.

My sister-in-law was the one who introduced me to the books. At first, I was very, very reluctant to read them. I mean seriously...vampires, werewolves, teenage love. I didn't get it! It was all cheesy to me. How could I possibly relate? I'm definitely not a teenager. I was about to be a mother of two kids. I'm an adult, for goodness sakes. It sounded like a waste of time. After awhile, I thought I'd give the first book a go. What did I have to lose? I lost a lot of sleep is what I lost!!!!

After I finished the first book one evening, I needed to get the next book, New Moon. It was probably about 9:00 in the evening when I finished reading Twilight. I changed out of my pajamas and slipped into sweats and a T-shirt. I could at least look a little presentable heading out. I packed, my then 1 year old daughter, in the car so we could go to Target. I carried her all the way to the book section, along with my 6 month pregnant belly, purchased the book, and headed home to read it.

I was hooked! Until this day, I really don't know what has me so addicted to this. Seriously, if a guy was looking at me the way Edward looks at Bella, I would be calling the police. It's a little freaky. I could probably go on and on about stuff especially things in the movie. By the way, I hate how the movies don't follow the books exactly. I guess that's Hollywood.

I'd also like to admit I've read Twilight and New Moon twice. I would read them every 2-3 hours during my son's night feedings. They helped me get through some long nights. If I could, I'd read Eclipse another time before the movie. The books are so much better than the movies. Perhaps it's because one's imagination is so much better than anything Hollywood could produce.

I'll be the first to admit that the acting in the movies isn't the greatest. I wouldn't call the books equivalent to Shakespeare either. Somehow, some way they take you away from the everyday world for just that one moment. They take you to a place of innocence, fairy tales, and your first teenage love. They remind you of the butterflies that once occupied your stomach, and the overwhelming feelings of emotion when "He" would look at you. Sometimes that's all we need.

Confession: The kids are asleep. I have an early start time at work tomorrow (Wed, June 9). I'm patiently waiting for Hubs to come home, so I can drive all the way to work to purchase Eclipse tickets at midnight!

The facility I work for rented out a movie theatre, so the employees can watch a June 29 showing of Eclipse. To top it off, they're selling tickets for $7.50! Wish me luck!

While I'm on a roll on the confessions, I also own a "Team Edward" shirt. Let's end it at that!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

$50 Sephora Giveaway

Since summers here & I'm feeling generous, I decided to give away a $50 Sephora giftcard.

Ways to enter:

1.) Follow MamaOnDaGo's blog AND make a comment below on your favorite Sephora product.

2.) Follow me on Twitter (mamaondago14 or use the sidebar) AND leave a comment on your favorite Sephora product.

3.) ReTweet about this giveaway. (Can reTweet once a day for an additional entry until contest ends)

Contest ends June 14.

This giveaway is sponsored solely by me. Good Luck!!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Kids Manual: Please read prior to entering the world

I realize that when you become a parent, a manual is not included. There are millions of books, websites, magazines, and other resources to advice you on this journey though.

Apparently, when the stork dropped my little bundles of joy off, my kids must have taken a detour and skipped picking up their "How to Be an Obedient Child" manual. I've taken the liberty to highlight a few key points that I wish they would have at least browsed over prior to entering the world.

1.) Upon arrival, it is best to allow your parents to sleep through the night. If this is asking too much, they would appreciate at least 5-6 hours of straight sleep.
Cliff Note version: day=awake, night=sleep

2.) It would probably help that you don't poop out every last drop of breastmilk that Mama worked so hard to produce right after consuming. You wouldn't be so hungry.

3.) Being rocked to sleep is overrated.

4.) When you're sleepy, why fight it? Go ahead and lay your pretty little head down. Mama and Dada won't take offense.

5.) Things are the way they are for a reason. Continually asking me "Why...." will not help me produce a correct answer. Mama and Dada may even have to make something up.

6.) Brushing your teeth isn't as bad as having to sit in a dentist chair getting your teeth fixed.

7.) Don't be afraid to let your poo out.
Side note: For some reason, as my kids got older, they would hold it in.

8.) When Mama and Dada say, "No" there is a good reason for it. Continually asking will only bring out angry Mama and Dada.

9.) Just listen the first time Mama and Dada say something.

10.) Throwing a tantrum, especially in public, is not the way to solve your problems. It will only cause more problems.

11.) It is okay to cry, if it is done quietly.

12.) That's called food. It goes in your mouth. Eat it!

13.) That's called _____ (eg: coin, toy, dirt, bug, etc). It does NOT go in your mouth!

14.) Fighting your parents as they are trying to put on your diaper or dress you, will only make this so-called torture last longer. Just sit or lay there quietly and it'll be done before you know it.

15.) Strapping you in a car seat is not a form of torture. It's for your safety.

16.) Your parents spent some good, hard earned money on that toy. It's supposed to make you smart. Go play with it and stop playing with that empty box.

17.) That's not a slot machine, it's an electrical outlet. That cover is there for a reason. Stop trying to take it off.

18.) Using "please" does not guarantee you'll get your way.

19.) Mama and Dada realize teething can be painful and itchy. That's why you have a million teething toys to choose from. Our leg, arm, stomach, and other body parts are not teething toys.

20.) "Because I said so" is an acceptable answer.

21.) If you already know the next line to this book or movie, why not try another book or movie? There are other options in the world. No one is forcing you to have to listen to this story or watch this movie over and over and over again.

I'm sure there a billion more that can be added. If you have any more, please share. These were just the few that popped up in my mind.

Solo Mission with the Kids

It's was a beautiful Friday here in SoCal. The sun was out and, most importantly, Mama had a day off! On top of that, I was able to get a solid 6 hours of sleep the night before. Feeling energized, with the help of 2 cups of morning coffee, I decided that I'd take the kids out to Sea World. Solo! Some may refer to this as a suicide mission. Alone, at an amusement park, with a 3 year old and a 1 year old. What possessed me to be so adventurous?

Dada had to go to work and make some $$$ to support this SoCal lifestyle of ours.

The preparation began early. It's usually quite a circus act trying to get the diaper bags, cooler, the kids and myself all ready to go. I want to get there and enjoy the sites before the Sandman comes along and turns the kids into psychotic/beyond reason/please stop crying & quite this tantrum loonatics. The preparation alone can be quite exhausting. I paced myself since I knew the big mission was still upon us.

Chubs, the 1 year old, falls asleep in the car. Nice, I think to myself. Princess Ninja, the 3 year old, is excited and has the biggest grin on her face. It's enough to make me not turn the car around and head straight home.

Luckily, Sea World wasn't too crowded on this fine Friday afternoon. We were able to find a parking spot right away. After struggling with the stroller and balancing the diaper bag and a few supplies, I was ready to get the kids out of the car. Problem, where is that darn cooler that's full of sippy cups!? I could have sworn I packed it. Um, think again! I'd figure out something once the kids get thirsty.

Let the games begin!!!!

We headed straight to the Sesame Street Bay of Play. There's an Elmo ride that the kids love. It's very similar to the flying Dumbo ride at Disneyland. Here I am, holding Princess Ninja's hand and carrying Chubs on the opposite hip. We get to the front of the line and the lady proceeds to tell me that I can't take both kids on the ride. There seems to be a 1 child to 1 adult rule. No exceptions.

The little Princess was not taking this rule well. She began to throw a mini tantrum as I walked us over to the next ride.

Princess Ninja: I want to ride Elmo!
Mama: We can't. We have to have Dada with us. This next ride will be fun, I promise.
Princess Ninja: No, it won't!
Mama: Yes, it will, I promise. (angry voice starting to come out)
Princess Ninja: I want to ride Elmo!
Mama: Do you want to go home? (angry voice getting angrier. I'm carrying Chubs so I'm trying not yell in his ear)

Finally it's our turn to ride this spinning teacup type ride but with Sesame Street characters. We get to the front of the line and the guy stops us. (I know for a fact this is not a 1 adult to 1 kid ride). He wants to see Chubs walk! Apparently, this ride has a "you must walk, to ride this ride rule."

I put Chubs down. He stands there with his arms up, wanting me to carry him. Great, I thought, the one time we really need you to walk. I take a step back, hoping Chubs takes a step. You know if we don't get on this ride, Princess will have a MAJOR tantrum. One step. That's all I'm asking for.

Yay! Chubs walks towards me and the man in charge is satisfied. The line behind us starts to look less angry. Smiles all around. The kids enjoyed the ride.

The rest of the day was pretty much the same way. Minor bumps here and there. The angry Mama voice did come out a few times. I had to carry a child on each hip so they can both see the penguins. Eventually the kids got thirsty and I had to spend $12 on an ugly, scary dolphin souvenir cup that was full of sugar, make your kids hyper lemonade that I made them share. Princess refused to go to the bathroom and I prayed she wouldn't have an accident. That would have been the icing on the cake, wouldn't it? Right before we leave the park, I buy them a Shamu's tradition.

As we strolled back to the car, the Sandman was really doing a number on Chubs. He was starting to get belligerent. I was able to strap everyone into their car seats and load the car with our millions of pounds of supplies, minus that darn cooler.

Princess Ninja and Chubs fall asleep on the way home! We all managed to survive the trip. The end!
Here's a picture of the $12 scary dolphin cup. They look possessed and are about to attack me. I think I'm going to get rid of this thing before the kids start asking for it.

Guess what I saw sitting on top of the counter? The darn cooler!!!!
Side note: used Laura Mercier oil-free tinted moisturizer and it held up nicely.

Yummy Yummy in my Tummy Cheese Danish

I made this oh-so delicious recipe last weekend and I plan on making another batch. It was fast and easy. Did I mention delicious?

I couldn't wait for it to cool, so I ended up burning my tongue. Luckily, Familybites suggested I have a glass of cold milk ready. Good thing I did, because it came in handy. Sadly, the minor burn did not stop me from eating 3/4 of the pan joke! Guess what I'm going to be making again?!

The other 1/4 of the pan was consumed happily by family and friends. My daughter loved the cream cheese filling. All had rave reviews!

Here is the recipe from the Familybites blog. You can also visit her blog directly to read the history behind this danish. It's on her April 16, 2010 posting.

I had to substitute in vanilla extract for the almond extract, since I ran out. I'm going to get myself another bottle of almond extract for this weekends batch.
The Cream Cheese Danish
Adapted by: Me

2 tubes crescent rolls*(I have found Pillsbury works best...I know, I seem like a brand name snob, but I'm telling you, it's worth it)
2 (8oz.) packages of cream cheese, softened
1 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract

For topping:
5 T. butter, softened
1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Grease a 9x13 pan. Take one tube of crescent roll dough and roll out so it covers entire bottom of pan. Blend the cream cheese, sugar and extract until smooth. Take cream cheese mixture and spread on top of the crescent roll dough. Take the 2nd tube of dough and cover the top of the cream cheese mixture. Then combine the softened butter, sugar and cinnamon and crumble (or spread, depending on consistency of your butter mixture) on top.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Cool before cutting.

Here's your warning: have glass of cold milk ready for fresh, out of the oven danishes!!!! They also taste great with a cup of coffee.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I Heart: Urban Decay Primer Potion

Meet Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion! It'll be your best friend if you wear any type of eye make up during the summer.

It's hot, you're sweating. Your eyelids are sweating! You're eyeliner isn't where you originally placed it. You're eye shadow has pooled in the creases of your eyes and to be honest, you're a hot mess! You can either leave those big, Jackie O. sunglasses on or get yourself this product. It's worth the $18.

There are actually different shades of this product. I use the original which is a sheer nude. It not only helps to keep eye make-up in place, but it can intensify the color of your eyeshadows. This version of the magic potion also comes in Eden (matte nude) and Sin (shimmering champagne).

The picture below is an example of how using a eyeshadow primer (not necessarily Urban Decay) can intensify the color of your shadow. The top shadow was placed without a primer. The bottom picture was a shadow placed with a primer. You can see the difference in color intensity.

I also use it all year long to prevent my eyeliner from migrating to my eyebrows. Yeah, it's a nice look, isn't it? Some days I don't even wear eyeshadow. Since it's nude, you doesn't change the color of my eyelids.

I Heart Technology

Last night I had another lovely conversation with my friend Em. We usually have 2-3+ chats during the week. The interesting part of our chats is that they are ALL text messages. Em even had to upgrade her phone plan to accommodate our "talks". It seems that our relationship was costing her an arm and a leg to keep up with. The last time Em and I had a real conversation, where we actually had to speak to one another (heaven forbid), was months ago.

Thinking about it even more, I really don't "talk" to any of my family or friends on a daily basis. The chats with hubs on the phone are usually short because one of us, if not both of us, are at work.

How are the kids?
Can you pick up some milk on your way home?
What's to eat?
How's your day going?

More often than not, I find out things and communicate through text messages, emails, Twitter, Facebook, and other types of non-human contact. Perfect example: here I am blogging.

On a side note, I'm very much a novice on some of the latest versions of communicating. Twitter especially. Pardon my etiquette, if you follow me.

The times I did have to speak to someone on the phone (usually some customer service person), the kids were screaming in the background, climbing all over me, asking me to help them with things, as I'm trying to wash dishes, do laundry, and cook.

I remember back in the day, I would spend hours and hours on the phone. I have no idea what I could possibly talk to someone about for that period of time. I also had A LOT more free time, since it was my pre-mama days. I also could only do 1-2 things at a time.

I just find it utterly impossible and unenjoyable to try and catch-up with someone when I'm already doing at least 10 different things at the same time. Also, everyone else is busy with their families, work and life. It's almost impossible to try and catch someone. It usually ends up with a frustrating game of phone tag competition and the emails/text messages begin.

The wonderful part of texting is that I can continue doing several things at the same time and the kids can do what they usually do without me stopping the conversation to tell them to be quiet, mama is trying to talk on the phone! Or every 2 seconds, I place my hand on the phone receiver, yell from across the room and shoot the kids an evil look. Of course, they ignore me, as that furrow/wrinkle between my eyebrows continues to deepen and deepen beyond any miracle creams claims. I've gotten quite skilled at typing on my phone and multi-tasking other things....another thing to add to my mama resume.

Do any of you remember Runs House? It was a show on MTV.

Well at the end of every episode, Run would be laying in his jacuzzi size tub that was filled with bubbles. He'd lay their contemplating his day as he types up an inspiring blog.

Well every night, mostly every night, you can catch me in my bed typing away on my i-phone. My only moment of alone time. I'm usually playing Word with Friends, catching up on my emails, blogs and FB, checking out You Tube how-tos from MakeupbytiffanyD, and/or exchanging texts.

If it wasn't for all other forms of communication, I would be sooooo out of the loop. It's introduced me to many interesting people and ideas from across the land. Although it has completely destroyed my "hold a conversation on the phone" skills, I love how it's opened up so many doors.

I Heart Technology!