Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me!

Each birthday brings a reminder of the love, happiness, and blessings another year of life has given. I like to use my birthday as a time to celebrate me and allow others to do so as well! After all, I think I deserve it!

My birthday always starts off on Valentines Day. My co-workers had decorated my office door so everyone who passed by was encouraged to greet me "Happy Birthday".

At home, my husband knows chocolate covered strawberries is all I need to complete the day! But of course, we also engaged in the obligatory Valentines Day dinner with our boys in tow! Tom yum soup and chicken pad Thai gave us for happy tummies and a complete Valentines Day with the three loves of my life!
Sharing is caring!
My birthday eve, birthday day, and post-birthday were spent in Viva Las Vegas! We loaded up a 15 passenger van with Garcia Family and my in-laws and drove up Interstate 15!

We stayed in the ultra lush Cosmopolitan compliments of our cousin Baba who works with Marriott hotels! We had an awesome view of the strip, the Bellagio lake, and the Paris Hotel and Casino!

Highlights of Las Vegas include:

Main dance floor of the Marquee
Garcia Family with the POTUS
Baba and Bradley Cooper
DJ singing with Celine Dion
Tee time with Tiger
    One on one with Shaq
  • Being serenaded by a "kababayan" (Filipino word that means fellow Filipino, countryman, or townmate) in the outdoor canal of the Venetian Hotel and Casino

Jelo and Auntie Baba enjoying the gondola ride
view of the balcony of Pure
my custom shrimp and mushroom risotto
The day after being back from Las Vegas, I headed over to Los Angeles to visit the Ellen Degeneres Show with good friend, Eleina! Eleina and I tried to get in to the Ellen show a few months back but didn't get in. Yet, we were given guaranteed tickets for my birthday weekend! Dennis Quaid, Snooki, and J-Wow were great guests to see!

The following weekend, my husband gathered some friends for an afternoon painting sunflowers with Painting and Vino. We then headed to Convoy Avenue for some KBBQ (Korean Barbeque), one of my faves!

Thanks to all the friends and family who spoiled me during my two week birthday celebration! You have recharged me and reminded me of the love of friends and family I have been blessed to be surrounded with all year long!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

1927 - Throwback Thursday

My Mama is 91 years old. She is strong, still has her wits about her, and is as healthy as a 91 year old could be! When I think of her 12 children, 40+ grandchildren, and over two dozen great-grandchildren, I am in awe! I can't imagine having 12 children all no more than two years apart. I can't imagine what it would be in a cycle of being pregnant and having babies for over 15 years. Today's Throwback Thursday is for my Mama for maintaining her sanity as best as she could amidst the diversions of raising 12 very unique, at times difficult, but most importantly loving, children.

Here is my Mama has a young girl in the Philippines, Circa 1927:

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Birthday Jedi Training

Garcia family headed over to Mason's Star Wars birthday party earlier this month! Mason is the son of one of my oldest and dearest friends, Heather. Heather and I have known each other since the first grade! It amazes us that we now have kids that are about the same age we were when we met!

Check out the cute decor Heather and her team put together!

Mason had no idea a "real Jedi" was going to visit his party. He was completely surprised when the Jedi arrived. The Jedi explained to Mason and all the other kids that he was there to train them all to be Jedi. He also warned them all that he had heard Darth Vader had been seen lurking around the neighborhood!

Each of the kids took turns training with the Jedi one-on-one, light sabers and all.

As all the kids were concentrating on their Jedi training, Darth Vader appeared out of nowhere! The looks on the kids' faces were priceless! They were all a bit scared and excited at the same time! The Jedi sprung into action and battle Darth Vader! The light saber battle had all the kids watching with big eyes!

The Jedi also gave all the kids a chance to put their training to use and engage in a light saber battle with Darth Vader.
Jelo the Jedi

DJ the Jedi

After all the kids had had their chance, the birthday boy Mason defeated Darth Vader!

After light saber balloons and a ton of pictures, the Jedi and Darth Vader headed back to the Jedi Temple.

The kids had a great time! Kudos to Jedi and Darth Vader, who are a part of San Diego Kids Party Rentals. If you have kids who are Star Wars fans, they'll love this! The kids at Mason's party did!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My four year old's Google+ oops!

Since he was a few months old, my son has always been a fan of electronics! When he was 18 months, we had gone on a cruise for a family vacation and my son came to be known as the "iPod baby" by other vacationers we were on the cruise with. 

Here is little Julian in the stroller with iPod in hand on deck our Carnival cruise!
He is a few weeks away from his five year old birthday and he knows how to navigate an iPod, iPhone, iPad, Android smartphones, and Nexus7 tablets. Thanks to these technologies, my son quickly learned his shapes, colors, letters, numbers, and has picked up the ability to read easily. Daddy Garcia works in the computer industry so we have all kinds of electronics around the house. This my son has come to be familiar with all of the computer devices. He's been begging for a Windows phone for this birthday. He quotes the Windows 8 ads about it being the "fastest", "newest", and "greatest" smartphone out there. There is no way he's getting a phone, but I have to admit he does know lots about it!

If you follow him on twitter (@GarciaBrosSay), you'll notice some of his YouTube favorites include videos about Google apps, the latest cellphones, and other geeky computer stuff! 

On a recent trip to Barnes and Noble, he saw a Windows 8 "for dummies" book and was begging me to buy it for him. I wasn't about to buy a $30 book he could barely read, so I convinced him to buy PC World Magazine instead. He was happy with the compromise!

So, a few days ago, I get a text message from one of my cousins. She sent me this screenshot of a message she received from one of her friends on Google+:

Yes, my son has a gmail account. He knows how to send messages to his grandparents and aunts on his contact list. He knows how to reply to emails, put messages in the trash, and etc. He's so savvy with Google apps that he activated a Google+ account for himself. Months ago I noticed but I put all the privacy settings on so he could only interact with people in his "circles" which I pre-approved (cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents). He posts pictures of himself making funny faces and videos of him being silly. He'll chat with his cousins with an occasional "Hi" and "Hello" because that's all he knows to type.  But I guess he's been able to message friends of friends. Thus the screen shot above. At first I laughed when I got the text message. It was funny this person was upset at a four year old's innocent "Hi" messages and pictures of his cute self! Then I felt bad that my son had violated someone's "virtual space". 

Thus, my husband and I had to have a talk about internet responsibility with our four year old. Weird, I know! No chatting with strangers, asking for permission before sending an email, posing a picture/video, and more. I never thought I'd have this conversation with a four year old! We deactivated the Google+  and changed his password to Gmail so he needs us to log him in.

I want to be able to foster my son's love for technology but at the same time, limit what he can and can't do online. Parents, do you have tech savvy kids? How do you keep them internet safe?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Golden Records Presents:  A Golden Valentine

It's almost Valentine's Day! This holiday is such fun for young ones! Hearts, cupid, candy, and more. Making valentines cards for classmates is an annual tradition we all remember doing as kids! This year, why not make it extra special with some lovely tunes to help your kids get into the Valentines spirit!

"A Golden Valentine" is a collection of 10 handpicked songs for children, including 3 bonus celebrity performances including 3 free celebrity performances from Busy Philipps (Cougartown), Cheryl Hines (Suburgatory) and Didi Conn (Grease). 

The Golden Records collection recaptures the nostalgic music of yesteryear, creating a collection of beloved instant classics for families to enjoy together. I'm happy to share that Golden Records is offering a free sampler download exclusively for their Golden Friends, you! Enjoy!

Psst! Looking for Valentines Day Gift Ideas For Your Lady?

This post is for the guys! Let me help you plan ahead to impress your lady this Valentines Day!

I received my first Pajama Gram a few years ago from my hubby! It comes in a cute fabric box you can reuse. The pajamas are super comfy! They range from full coverage PJs for your conservative ladies and the less coverage PJs for your liberal ladies!
Pajama Gram - Ruby Velour Lounge Set 

My hubby knows the MUST gift for me each Valentines Day are chocolate covered strawberries. Either store bought, or home made, these yummy chocolatey sweet treats make me super happy!

Lingerie for the "queen" in your life is a special gift. If you love yourself a lady with extra "cushion", a gift of lingerie is a sign you love her and the body she comes in. There is no better way to show her you find her sexy than some lingerie fit for a "queen"!

I am a huge fan of Pacifica products! The line ranges from perfume, lotions, and candles! All the different fragrances smell so good, you can't go wrong!

This is on my wish list this year! I love the look for this monogrammed necklace! There are different styles that not only come as necklaces, but bracelets also! In case hubby is reading, I want this exact one listed here please, thank you!

If your lady wears makeup or not, this lip product will impress! First if all, it's "Dior"! Hello?! Second, it has the magic powers to highlight the natural color of your lady's lips and give her the "pouty lip" look!

Lastly, for the sentimental ladies, this personalized picture frame is super cute! You can use pictures of just you and your lady or pictures of the entire family!
Personalized Sweethearts Photo Collage Frame

I hope my suggestions have helped spark a few ideas on how to impress your lady this Valentines Day!

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