Monday, June 30, 2014

Boys Mickey Mouse Room Makeover

One of my goals this summer break was to re-decorate the boys room. They've been bugging for awhile now that they did not want their "crayon room" anymore.

Back in 2011, I had re-decorated the "nursery" and make it into a "big boys" room. Ok, so not really a "big" boys room but no longer the "baby" room. I wanted to have the boys feel like they had "their" room to encourage them to sleep in their own room. We took out the crib and toddler bed and headed to Ikea to pick up "big boy" beds. After asking Jelo several times what kind of theme he wanted for the room,(space, Toy Story, animals, etc), he finally said a "crayon room mommy". So, here's how the 2011 re-decor turned out:
The boys in their "big boy" room
trimmed their lamp with crayons
Bought this floral frame at Michael's and glued crayons to it
I added crayons to a wooden frame and used my Cricket to create lettering

This was a Pinterest inspiration
Now my boys have grown out of the crayon phase. I'm learning now that their bedroom decor preferences will probably change a few more times as they grow up. I'm sure they'll come a time when they'll not be able to come to a consensus and they'll have to have their own rooms. 

So this time around, they both agreed to a "Mickey Mouse" themed room. We love Disneyland and my boys have become really big fans of Mickey Mouse. I didn't do drastic changes. I just changed a few things to make their room Mickey friendly!

I look the "G" and covered it with a Mickey Mouse pattern I found online. I also created a "Keep Calm" sign inspired by Pinterest. I created a template you can access here.  
Using my Mickey and Friends Cricket cartridge, I created lettering and the logos to Modge Podge onto framed canvas I bought at Walmart.  
I bought a few yards of Mickey Mouse fabric to make new pillow covers
Mickey Mouse ribbon to trim the existing lamp
Mickey Mouse seen here is my stuffed animal from the 80's.
My boys seem happy with their small room redecoration! I wonder how long this phase will last?


Friday, June 27, 2014

A Night Out at Juniper & Ivy

I'm so proud of my cousin Tara

I use her story as an example often when doing college and career counseling. Out of high school, Tara went to California State University Northridge to study Art. Art is a passion and a talent of hers. Succumbing to life's financial pressures, she left CSUN for a technical school to study nursing. Tara's mom, my aunt, encouraged the study of nursing. It was after all, what she believed, a good paying job and pretty much guaranteed job security. Half way through the program, Tara realized she didn't want to do nursing. She didn't like it at all. It wasn't a passion of hers and she couldn't see herself in the career of nursing. This is when she followed her heart and decided to study Culinary Arts. She loves food. She grew up trying all kinds of different kinds of food. The study of culinary arts still allowed her to be in the field of the arts and explore her creativity.

She's now a few years out of culinary school and has worked for some pretty awesome people! She's worked at Herringbone and Searsucker, restaurants of Brian Malarkey, from TV's Top Chef and The Taste.

She's works at the up and coming restaurant chain Tender Greens which fresh, healthy, chef-inspired, farmer's market sensible dishes at an affordable price. Here is one of the Filipino dishes she grew up eating, Tinola, that been a menu highlight at Tender Greens a few times! Tinola is a chicken ginger soup, that has spinach and papaya in it. Perfect for a cold day.

She currently works at the hot new San Diego restaurant Juniper & Ivy with Top Chef season 8 winner, Richard Blais.

She's been able to meet some other pretty famous chefs too!
Tyler Florence from the Food Network:

Guy Fieri from the Food Network:

It's always such a treat when Tara takes us to the restaurant where she works. It's neat to hear the ins and outs of the restaurant, not to mention meeting the cool chefs at the same time! Last week, hubby and I were Tara's guests at Juniper & Ivy. The restaurant is beautiful, so much so it got kudos from Architectural Digest!

I was enjoying my food and drinks so much, I didn't get to take many pictures so I'm going to share pictures from my social media friends! Here is a few of the dishes we shared during our meal:






And here is the actual video and pictures taken by yours truly at the end of our meal where I had the:

I'm so proud of all you've done Tara! I can't wait until you are on TV too like all these cool chefs you work with!

Click to add a blog post for Juniper & Ivy on Zomato

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Milkaholic Baby Shower

Baby showers are always so much fun! For today's Throwback Thursday I wanted to re-post (from my previous blog) a baby shower I helped host in honor by my sis-in-law back in 2012. I hope you enjoy the pictures just as much as I enjoyed doing all the DIY projects!

My sis-in-law had a great theme idea for her baby shower! It was inspired by this website: The custom labels, table tents, banner, and poster was all DIY using a laser printer and Avery labels. The layered "hot choco" containers at from Ikea and filled with SwissMiss cocoa mix, chocolate chips and marshmallows. The "milk" bottles are from and filled with marshmallows, white sour balls, and white chocolate covered gummy bears. The pushpop containers are some and filled with a layered Oreo Cheesecake.

This notebook for baby was purchased at Office Depot in the Martha Stewart section! Again, the inserts were DIY with a pattern from the internet. 

Comopolitan (from Cake pops in the "milkaholic" theme. Several diaper cakes were made as table centerpieces. 

Most of the ideas here we taken from Pinterest. I love Pinterest!  I had a great time planning this baby shower! It was so much fun!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Kain Na Tayo! Kamayan Experience

"Kain na tayo" in Filipino means "let's all eat!" It's one of my favorite Filipino phrases to hear!

It's even better to eat in the "kamayan" style of the Philippines. "Kamay" means hands in the Filipino language. The traditional way of eating in the Philippines is with the hands, especially dishes that are "inihaw" (grilled) or "prito" (fried). When eating, one would take rice pressed together with his fingers and pick up pieces of the main dish. Large banana leaves are used in place of plates. 

Kamayan is rarely seen in the city areas of the Philippines. The western influences in the city areas makes it common practice to use spoons and forks. Filipinos tend to feel the spirit of kamayan when eating during out of town trips to the provinces, beach vacations, and town fiestas. Eating kamayan, for me, is a way of "coming home" and brings with it a spirit of community. 

A few months back, we visited Villa Manila in National City for a kamayan experience in celebration of cousin Tara's birthday. Tara, being a chef, loves to eat - especially authentic Filipino food!

Here you see our kamayan experience with the banana leaves covering the table with rice along the middle of the entire table length. Along side of the rice is:
-Grilled pork
-Grilled shrimp
and more!

We had a great kamayan experience! There is something about eating with your hands that makes the food taste so much better! I can't wait to go again! So yum!

Click to add a blog post for Villa Manila on Zomato

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Massage that Comes to Your Office

I'm so happy I'm now on summer vacation from work! When the students are on summer break, so am I! Yay! It's a time to reset, de-stress, and enjoy time with my family and friends!

On this Throwback Thursday, I think back to the last few weeks of the school year. It's always super busy and stressful. Clearing seniors for graduation, finalizing student class schedules for next school year, and making sure students are signed up for summer school takes up most of my time as a school counselor. The end of the school year is also when there are more students (and parents) having personal emotional issues where they are needing someone to talk to to get them through life's pressures. 

One of my counselor colleagues, Nestor, at the local adult school, whom I've worked with at Sweetwater High in the past, knows all too well the stresses of the end of the school year. Knowing this, he was kind enough to have his friend Akoni visit with our counseling team during one our weekly meetings to give us massages! It was a wonderful surprise!

During our meeting, we took turns at the white board taking notes, took turns at the laptop and projector looking up information, and we also took turns at the massage chair to alleviate some of our muscle tension and stress. We giggled a bit here and there as we watched each other get the massage - you know what "Oh" face people make when something feels was giggle worthy!

Akoni was awesome! The massage was just a few minutes but dealt with all the right places in my neck, shoulders, and lower back. Perfect! He also showed me a couple of pressure points to help with my migraines, sinuses, and blood pressure.  

Thanks Nestor and Akoni for alleviating some of the end-of-the-school-year stresses!

Counselors and I trying to concentrate on our meeting discussions while getting our massages!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Balboa Park Resident Free Tuesdays

For me, every summer is a great opportunity to spend lots of quality time with my family. The busyness of the school year has all too wrapped up with routines where summer allows us to just take each day at a time!

One of the highlights for me each summer is the Resident Free Tuesdays at Balboa Park. The museums rotate Tuesdays to offer free admission to San Diego residents. Being a family of four, enjoying the museums at Balboa Park can get pricey, but thanks to the resident free Tuesdays, we're able to enjoy what Balboa Park has to offer at no cost.

Here is the schedule for the free Tuesdays at Balboa Park:

First Tuesday

Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

Centro Cultural de la Raza

San Diego Model Railroad Museum

San Diego Natural History Museum (Not valid for 3-D films)

The Timken Museum of Art is always free.

Second Tuesday

Museum of Photographic Arts

San Diego History Center

Veterans’ Museum and Memorial Center

The Timken Museum of Art is always free.

Third Tuesday

San Diego Art Institute

Mingei International Museum

San Diego Museum of Art

San Diego Museum of Man

Japanese Friendship Garden

The Timken Museum of Art is always free.

Fourth Tuesday

San Diego Air & Space Museum (Not valid for special exhibitions)

San Diego Automotive Museum (Last admission 3:45pm)

San Diego Hall of Champions

SELECT House of Pacific Relations International Cottages

The Timken Museum of Art is always free.

During our last visit, we started off at the Museum of Art. My 6 year old Jelo took his iPad in hopes to take pictures inside the museum, but photos were not allowed. The art arranged by time period and geographical location helped me talk about the art pieces with my boys. There were even a few exhibits that had children's picture books that coincided with the theme of the paintings. I enjoyed reading those books to my boys! You can see Jelo and DJ's blog post about their visit here. Here are my two boys after the visit at the Museum of Art enjoying a snack!

Our next stop was the Japanese Friendship Garden. It was such a nice day, the visit to the garden was perfect. Here is Jelo enjoying the scenery!

The friendship garden also had crafts for kids so my boys jumped right in!

Here are some samurai hats my boys made!

Before heading home, we enjoyed a picnic lunch under a tree nearby!

Resident Free Tuesdays at Balboa Park can get crowded and parking can get tough. Museums open at 10AM so we try to get into the parking lots by 9:30AM. The museums aren't too busy when they first open.

We were able to visit two museums, have a picnic lunch, and get home in time for an awesome nap (another one of my summer favorites)!

We hope you''ll enjoy Balboa Park's Resident Free Tuesdays too!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Father's Day Fun at The Discovery Cube

During our trips to Disneyland, we've passed by the Discovery Cube on the Interstate 5 dozens of times. We've always made a point to visit "one day", but when we saw that there was going to be a Mythbusters interactive exhibit coming through, we had to schedule a visit. Hubby was so excited he actually asked for the visit for his "fathers day gift"!

There was so much to do inside the cube! My favorite was the bed of nails that I actually laid down on. My boys where amazed!

The boys liked the Eco-Challenge area which had an interactive screen on a shopping cart, a scanner, and an awesome pretend store that taught kids how to shop eco-friendly. There was also a recycle center! So very cool!

Of course hubby's favorite part was the Mythbusters Exhibit! The kids loved the "Toast - Butter Side Up or Down" exhibit with several different contraptions to test whether toast has a tendency to fall butter side up or down. Hubby couldn't resist the "Flatulence" exhibit.  We were also able to get wet, dodge a flying projectile, fly an airplane, build a house that was "bad wolf" proof, ride a swing held by phone books, drive blind, and more! 

We did so much at the Discovery Cube! Here is some of the highlights:

Happy Fathers Day to by awesome hubby who enjoys spending every fathers day having fun with his boys!
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