Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Off Track....

"Sometimes you have to forget what you want, and remember what you deserve."

I keep hearing this over and over again!  Sometimes when you're told something long enough, you start to believe it, I'm so sick of doubting myself!  How is it that everyone else thinks they know what I need in my life?

The more I think about what I want and how it affects everyone else, it makes me sick to my stomach.  I start to beat myself up for being so selfish for wanting a little bit of happiness for myself.  As a Mom, my job is to make sure everyone around me is happy first, so what's wrong with me?

Then I spend a day surrounded by my happiness and I allow myself to believe that it's what I deserve.  After all, how can I make sure my kids are happy if I'm not?

Life is divided for me right now, I live in stolen moments of euphoria, but mostly in the reality that everyone else is right.  I know, I know, I'm allowing myself a moment of self-pity, but mostly to remind myself how off track I am.  I know what I want, I know how to get there, why can't I just pull the trigger?  Why can't I get my head out of my ass long enough to see that I'm just delaying the inevitable?  Why don't I just redefine what I want and go for it?

I mean, do I want what I want because I can't have it?  Which is usually the case with me, as soon as I get it, boredom sets in and I'm no longer interested.  In that case, should I just leave my happiness to stolen glimpses of what won't be, just to keep it that way and from getting disinterested in it?  Sometimes I stare at my happiness for so long, I don't even recognize it as the object of my affections.  I don't see myself in it or remember why I want it.  Or I convince myself that I'm better off without it and I grieve the loss of something I didn't even know I ever wanted.

Yes, these are the diluted thoughts I allow myself to think, the thoughts that make me so sick and indecisive.  In the end, I see I'm truly off track, everyone is right and I should just let my life play out as it is, even at the risk of losing everything I love.  Of course, I'll change my mind tomorrow....

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love

"There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I'm going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts." 
— Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)

My sister told me about this book a long time ago and for whatever reason, I resisted reading it for the longest time. I think the thought of reading about someone that had a life altering epiphany scared the hell out of me.  When the movie came out, I think I rescheduled a few times to see it with her and when I finally did go, she did what all big sisters do.....she held my hand throughout the movie and let me cry.

I know it sounds silly to have a movie impact you so greatly, I thought so too, so I bought the book thinking there had to be something different....something lost in translation and I was just awed by the scenery and magnificence of the big screen.  Nope!  No such luck...the book was just as good, just a little more in depth.  I can't wait to buy the movie, the DVD comes out next week and I'm sure it's one of those that you get more out of every time you watch it.

The quote above just about describes where I am in my life.  I'm taking back control of the things I stopped controlling a long time ago.  I'm choosing to take my life back and no longer leaving my decisions up to others to make for me and then getting upset when things don't go my way.  How can I teach my girls to be strong women, if I can't even do it for myself?  So this is me.....off to take control of my life.....

Monday, November 15, 2010

If we knew beforehand, would we still make the same decisions?

"That's the thing about a human life-there's no control group, no way to ever know how any of us would have turned out if any variables had been changed."   Elizabeth Gilbert 

I love this quote, it really is a question of making the same choices and decisions if we knew beforehand the outcome.  I mean think about it....we are who we are because of the mistakes we've made.  If we never made those mistakes because we could see the variables for what they are and where they lead, would we still be the same person in the end?

I don't know how many times I wished I knew the outcome of things to save myself the heartbreak ahead of time, but then I wouldn't be the person that I am today.  I am who I am because I've survived those heartbreaks, because I learned the lesson and licked my wounds.  Would I have preferred the easy route in a lot of my mistakes, OF COURSE.  Life doesn't come with an instruction booklet, there is no race to the end and the best way to learn the lesson is to make mistakes to grow from....I know this, but it doesn't keep me from trying to control my fate.

It's easier said and done to fully entrust yourself to God, Fate, Life and Love.  My instinct to run has never been greater when facing my fears, but sometimes you just get tired of running.  Guess what?  I'm tired of running and terrified of facing my fears, but no one can do it for me, so both feet in it is.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I'm Twittering!!!

Check me out...I'm officially Twittering....now if I can only figure out what that means....hahaha!!

I'm Back....

Okay....so I totally lied about my last hiatus being over....but WOW has life given me a curve ball, so now it's officially over!  Tons to talk about....tons to say...

Since I was last on, my girls have gone back to school, I've gone back to school (yes, still chugging along on my Bachelor's Degree), I'm working and have experienced some heartbreak!

I'm learning to be me again.  It's been a while since I've been comfortable in my own skin and thanks to a great support system, I'm starting the see the vibrant, confident, happy-go-lucky person I used to be.  I'm learning that with such extreme highs comes extreme lows....that I can cry and pick myself up and not wait for someone to rescue me....that I can love completely without losing myself.

I'm going through an extremely tough time and I have to say, it's a humbling experience.  I don't have the luxury of laying down to die like I use to, I use to let life consume me and I'd allow myself to fully grieve, I can't now.  I'm a mommy with responsibilities, I don't have time...so I grieve little by little, between dropping off my girls at school and making my way to work, before I pick them up, while I shower, but mostly when I cry myself to sleep at the end of the day.  I concentrate on making sure I'm busy, busy, busy....so busy that I can't think about those things that drag me down under.

I'm learning to take baby steps in my life.  I've always just jumped into life full force with both feet, but now I'm taking things slow, over-thinking things mostly, but making sure I don't make the same mistakes.  So bare with me everyone, I will try to keep my posts positive, but I'm sure those days will creep up on me when I just have to vent.  Stay tuned to my drama....there's plenty more to come!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Griffith Park Observatory

We hung out at the Griffith Park Observatory yesterday and the girls had a blast!  

Since it was a full moon, we decided to get there a bit early and take a quick hike, but of course, we didn't foresee the nightmare parking issues the park has, so the only hiking we did was up the hill to the Observatory.

 We got there just in time for sunset and took some great pictures of the girls in front of the Hollywood sign.  It was the perfect night for some great night shots of the city under a full moon, but of course, these came out a bit dark.

After our photo shoot (yes, yes, I'm a major tourist!), we waited out the 45 minute line to see the view from the Hubble telescope.  The girls were so excited to see Venus and Saturn....they had no idea you could see stars and planets in the daylight!!!
Later, we caught a show in the Planetarium, which gave us a bit of motion sickness, but we all really enjoyed it.  All-in-all we had a really great time.....other than the traffic there (what can I say about our famous 5 fwy!) and the lack of parking of course...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hiatus Officially OVER!

I know, I know....it's been a while.  What can I say?  Life got in the way!

Since my last post, I've spread myself a little thin....I started working part-time for a finance company selling insurance, then I started and quit a 2nd job working (full-time) with nuns (yes, as in Catholic Sisters...lol...I can't begin to tell you what an experience that was!), and now my 2nd part time job is working as an Executive Assistant for a web designer.

My girls have since ended a school year and are about three weeks away from going right back in.  So back-to-school shopping is in full swing.  YAY!!!

With summer coming to an end, we've been taking full advantage of the free movies Tues. and Wed. at the Regal Cinemas, Movies in the dark, Concerts in the park and eventually will make ourselves over to O.C. Fair.

Since my hiatus is officially over, I'll be posting frequently (hopefully) and keeping you all abreast of my madness!  By the way, you can all follow me on FaceBook as well.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Me and My Dirty Mind!

I wake up to find my precious 5 year old Izzie doing this to me with a huge smirk on her face:

The conversation that follows is such:

Me: "Who taught you that?"

Izzie: "Mom, look!"

Me:  "I see, where did you see that?"

Izzie:  "Right here!"

Me (getting more upset now):  "Toria?  Did you show her that?"

Toria (confused):  "No, she showed me!"

Me: "Izzie! Stop doing that, it's not nice!"

Izzie: "Okay Mom"

Then she proceeds to put on the band-aid shes holding in her other hand on her middle finger she's so proudly showing off....as you can see, I have yet to organize my gutter brain!!!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Happy Birthday Victoria!!!

My princess is 8 years old now!!!  I can't believe it's been 8 wonderful years since the midnight birth of my baby....where did the time go?

As you can tell by the background...there's only one place we spend birthdays at......Disneyland!  I'm all about the Anaheim Rat (Mickey), so we went to the happiest place on earth.  Although this particular day was overly crowded, we still managed to have a great time.  We got on some rides, had dinner, and went shopping.  Since we have the annual pass, it doesn't bother the girls much how crowded it is or how many rides we get on because we can always go another day.  We were all just happy being together and enjoying what turned out to be a gorgeous day!

I did however have an epiphany!  I figured out why Disneyland is the Happiest Place on Earth.....it's not because you have such a great time, or the great rides, or even the food....it's because they make so much damn money!!!  It's the Happiest Place on Earth for them, not for us!  It's like Las Vegas...yeah, you have a great time while you're there, but once you leave (with empty pockets) you find it really wasn't that great now that you're broke.  Either way, the novelty of it is wearing off of the girls; they could care less how many times we hit Peter Pan or swirl around on Dumbo.  They still love it, but it's not as exciting for them anymore.  I'm sure once a new ride is put in; they'll be excited all over again....

Anyhoo, all that just to say...Happy birthday Toria!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Looooooong Day!

You know it's been a long day when you scream at your kids to "put on your seatbelts" when I really meant p.j.'s!!!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Irish Pug

St. Paddy's Day Cupcakes

In the spirit of the Irish, I thought we'd get punch drunk... on sugar!  Check out my cupcakes...

No, they're not from scratch, but they are made with love.  I ran out of time (and got lazy), so these are courtesy of the cheater's route (a.k.a Betty Crocker).

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Pink Parlour Festival

We had the best time at The Pink Parlour Festival!  I love all things that are handmade and I have to say, the caliber of artists that held booths at the festival was amazing!

First off, if you've never been to the Santa Anita Race Track, go. 

My kids loved the experience, being able to see race horses in action is really exciting (no we didn't gamble).  It was gorgeous!  Very green, old style Copa Cabanish and a gorgeous day over all!

The event was in doors (away from the horse smell) and very pink.  There wasn't a corner of the festival that wasn't draped in pink...I loved it!  It very much had the air of entering a dressing room or someone's boudoir.  They had everything from tutus for the girls, organic soaps and lotions, vintage style purses and hats and pin-up posters, drawings, and photos for the hubby.  I don't know if the theme is intentionally Pin-up-ish (very Dita Von Teese-esque) or what, but for the most part, most of the vendors were.

My girls spent most of the time going from vendor to vendor getting free candy, my niece looking for all things Elvis and my hubby making himself scarce (it was a girly event).  Although it was small, we spent most of our time stopping and talking to the vendors about their products, how they were made and the sort.

The event was a first for us and we enjoyed the new experience.  It will definitely be something to look forward to next year!

Below are the links to a few of the vendors I just absolutely adored!

-Chula Inc


-Lil' Darlin' Accessories

-Mango Pop

-Miss Alphabet

-My Mayan colors

-Tattooed Beauty

Friday, March 12, 2010

A face only a mother could love….

Roscoe Jenkins! My little man is the cutest ugly dog I’ve ever seen! I never knew dogs could have such personalities!

This week in the adventures of Roscoe, I was given the silent treatment!

Here’s the low down….I made Roscoe a new bed and finally got rid of his thin generic doggie bed (he basically slept on the floor, his bed was so thin). Anyhoo, on one of my IKEA runs, I hit up the AS-IS section and got a display foam mattress for .25 cents and a broken door (about the same size) for about $1.00, then headed over to JoAnn’s and got a doggie print piece of fabric for about $3.00, and furniture legs at Michael’s for $8.00. After I put it all together (and tons of eye rolling from my hubby), I presented it to Roscoe and he LOVED it!!!

That’s not when he gave me the doggie silent treatment…. That came a few days later when I kept him from peeing on my kitchen floor. He was so mad, he went on strike!!! He tugged and pulled his doggie blanket off his new bed, curled up on it on the floor and this is the look he gave me…

…he spent the whole night on the floor on this blanket! I could not believe he was so mad at me that he rejected his nice new bed! Could you believe me that only cuddling and playing with him all day calmed him down!?! I never knew dogs could go on strike or harbor feelings of resentment! It was so cute; it was hard to keep from laughing! My hubby of course says that it’s only a product of a spoiled dog, I agree, but it was just so funny that this little man has such character!

Just one more day in the life of my Madness!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Season's Best Recipe Collection Giveaway!

Okay here I go everyone…my first giveaway! This one is on me everyone, I wasn’t contacted by The Pampered Chef to do this giveaway, it’s all my doing (in other words...I purchased these and I'm giving them away to my dedicated readers). I decided to promote The Pampered Chef primarily because I love it (it’s an awesome product) and secondly to promote my sister Fabiola Maidlow, a Pamper Chef consultant.

I don’t know anyone that’s not currently trying to cut back on expenses and is looking for ways to save time. I know at least for my family, eating out has been one of the first things we put a limit on, so cooking at home has become a daily routine (I know, I know, it should already be a daily routine). But one of the things that got me excited about cooking at home daily was all my cool tools and gadgets from The Pampered Chef. Hands down, I have to say the Food Chopper is my FAVORITE! My hubby even joins in on the action!

Here are the Top 5 reasons I love The Pampered Chef products:

1. Easy to use
2. Great and inventive tools
3. You get free recipes with every product
4. They carry warranties on all their products
5. Easy access (my sister’s a consultant)

What am I giving away?

The Pampered Chef’s new Season’s Best Spring/Summer recipe collection! Not one, but 5 recipe books! A few of the recipes are Fresh Mango Margaritas, Warm Lemon Pepper Chicken Salad, and Chipotle Chili Cornbread Bake….YUM! What I love most about The Pampered Chef recipes is that they’re original and all tasted and tested in test kitchens by The Pampered Chef!

Here’s how to enter:

Required entry:

Go to the website here, then come back to leave a comment and let me know what your favorite The Pampered Chef product is (if you own any The Pampered Chef products) or which one you liked best from the site.

For Additional entries:

-Subscribe to my blog (notify me in the comments section)
-Add my blog to your blog roll and leave me a link to your blog
-Blog about this giveaway and leave me a direct link to the post

Good luck everyone!
Last day to enter is Thursday March 25th, 2010 by 12 (noon) PST.
The winners will be picked through Random.org.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I'm Watching you!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I'm SO over CHAOS!

Flylady defines C.H.A.O.S. as Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome and I’m determined to beat it. My house is not extraordinarily messy; actually, I don’t believe it to be messy at all. However, it’s a constant issue in my home because my dear hubby grew up in an immaculate house, the kind you could literally eat off the floor because it was so clean. I didn’t. So we’re constantly arguing over it and in the grand scheme of things, it’s a ridiculous thing to put so much energy into fighting about. In my defense, I have come a long way and have made great strides, so much so, that I’m happy to say that most of the time we don’t live in CHAOS. Of course, it never fails that those are the times when no one happens to pop in. And in the few (and rare) instances that CHAOS has taken over my house, it never fails that we have unexpected guests left and right.

My friend sent me this quote and said that it describes me to a ‘T’.  We adore chaos because we love to produce order. --M. C. Escher  She said that I subconsciously let chaos build up around me so that I can break out my organizational skills and organize, organize, organize. Of course, at first I denied it, there’s no way that I intentionally let it build and instigate arguments with my hubby over it…..but, the more I thought about it, the more I think she’s right. If I had nothing to organize (or obsess over), I’d probably have nothing to do.

With that said, I’m determined to keep CHAOS from running my life. And in the event that an uninvited guest drops in on the day that it does, then oh well! I’m not perfect (gasp!) and I don’t live in a museum. If my house looks lived in, it’s ok, because at least it’s a happy healthy home, with or without CHAOS. Now to get my hubby to see it that way is another story…

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Free Your Mind and the Rest Will Follow...

As En Vogue so eloquently put it in the 90’s, freeing your mind is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I just can’t seem to catch up on any sleep. I’m constantly reminded of what my mother said to me just right before the birth of my first daughter, “sleep now because once you’re a mom, you’ll never get another good night’s sleep”. Of course at the time, I just thought she was being facetious, but as the ol’ saying goes….Mom really does know best!

Don’t get me wrong, my girls were great as babies and are great sleeping through the night now. But it’s my mind that never sleeps. I’m constantly replaying the day in my mind as I try to fall asleep, or making mental lists of what needs to get done tomorrow and such. I'm running a million miles in my head daily, no wonder I’m so exhausted!

I’m determined that this needs to stop! So one of the ways I’m reorganizing my mind is to work on my habits.

-More exercise! Not because I need to do it (lord knows I do), but maybe if I exhaust my body enough throughout the day, it’ll beat out my mind and I’ll get the rest I need.

-Keep a notepad with me at all times. I figure, I have somewhere to put all my mental lists, then my mind can rest at ease knowing it’s going to be addressed eventually.

-Stop thinking!!! If I keep my brain from thinking about anything right before bed, then hopefully I’ll have nothing bouncing around in there when I lay down for bed.

I’m not going to do the usual things that all the experts say to do, like drinking warm milk (I’m lactose intolerant), taking a warm bath (that only wakes me up), etc, those just don't work for me unfortunately

So the mission this week…if you chose to accept it…lol! Finding ways of freeing your mind from clutter; write down mental lists, shrug off any dramas that surround you, limit what you have to remember by keeping it written down in a safe place, and/or keep a daily calendar. By keeping our minds free from clutter we can focus on things that need and deserve our full attention, like our precious kids!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Purse-a-phobia [purs-A-foh-bee-uh]
A persistent, irrational fear of women’s purses that leads to a compelling desire to avoid them.

Is it just me or do all men have an irrational fear of purses? For the life of me I can’t get my hubby to go anywhere near my purse.

Take yesterday for example, I’m trying to unwind in a nice hot bath and he comes barging in asking for my car keys. To which I reply, that they’re in my purse (where they always are). Can you believe me that not 5 minutes later he comes back with my purse in tow so I can get them out for him? Seriously!?! Will it swallow your hand if you stick it in there? Or are you afraid some girly product is going to rub against your skin, marring you forever? I don’t get it! I certainly don’t have an issue diving into his wallet if I need something.

His excuse? He doesn’t want to invade my privacy…

Umm…doesn’t he consider interrupting my nice relaxing bath an invasion of privacy?

And what’s so private about my purse? The anti-bacterial foam I carry around for the kids or the boogey wipes? In fact, the only thing I really have in my purse for me is my license, cell phone, and ATM. Other than that, what does he think I have in there, the pool boy?

And he says I have irrational fears….

The next time he makes fun of me for freaking out about a lizard coming in the house, I’m throwing my purse at him!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New Beginnings!

What do you think everyone!?!  Since I'm all about making changes, I decided upping my blog design. I love it! It shows the darker side of me, but still girly! Did I design it myself? Nope! I wish I had the time to do so, I started to, but then got so busy...

Anyhoo, Ragan from Blogger Boutique did it with some input from me. I picked the designer, she laid it out. I think I drove her crazy asking her to change this and that, but she was great about it.

As you can see I've also added by Esty store Emma Bleu Designs to my blog. Of course, I only have a couple of things posted (I need more time in my day!), but keep checking back, I'll be upgrading it daily.

I've also added some buttons to some mom blogs lists I subscribe to.  And because I don't have every minute of my day filled (totally kidding!), I've also subscribed to a mom product review site.  So hopefully, you'll be reading some of my product reviews in the near future.

I'd love to hear from you all, so drop me a line and let me know what you think!!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!!!

As you've probably already guessed, it's Dr. Seuss' birthday today and schools across America are celebrating it in their own special way.  My daughter attends one of the Edison Charter schools here in Southern California and I absolutely love the curriculum, school events and activities that her school hosts!  This week (the whole week), they are celebrating Dr. Seuss' Birthday. 

Yesterday the school had guest readers throughout the school, throughout the day. 

Today they will be serving green eggs and ham for breakfast and birthday cupcakes for dessert after lunch.  It's also crazy Dr. Seuss hair day.  Toria asked for a Cindy Lou Who inspired hairstyle, and although her hair isn't too long, I was able to put it up in a few braids.  She absolutely loved it!

Tomorrow is Dr. Seuss movie night.  It's sort of like a drive-in, but you bring your own camping chairs and camp out with all the other parents while the kids play...they never sit and watch the movie.  It's tons of fun!

Thursday they have a decorative (a la Dr. Seuss) door contest.  The winners (3 classrooms) get a pizza party.

And Friday, they get to dress up as their favorite Dr. Seuss characters.  I expect to see lots of little Grinches around.

I think that little things like this that don't take away from their education, but enhance it by making it fun is a brilliant idea to get kids motivated about learning.  I know that my daughter has loved going to this school.  Although the curriculum moves really quickly, it's been able to keep her attention by not only making learning fun, but exciting and interesting.

Monday, March 1, 2010

My New Chalkboard Wall Calendar

Because for the life of me I can't keep from doing a million projects at the same time, I added painting a chalkboard wall calendar onto my list.  If you click on if you can see my scribbles along with Toria's scribbles as well.  We were using this tiny little white board and we kept on missing appointments and special dates because it was just too small to write everything on.  There is no way that's going to happen with this one!  When I say wall calendar, I mean WALL calendar.  It's about 3' by 4', it's huge!  I totally thought my hubby was going to veto this project, especially since it's in the dining room, but nope!  I got my way and guess what!?!  He actually likes it!  Not like the time I painted a fireplace in the living room just to have somewhere to hang our stockings (long story)...lol!!!

Now on to my other million and a half unfinished projects like the 28 day organizing challenge, sewing 2 dozen mini first aid kits, listing for my etsy store...etc!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Check out Tasty Planner's Website

My brother emailed me this website Tasty Planner about a week ago and I really like it!  It's an internet community of people that submit recipes, try each other's recipes out, and give feedback on them.  The cool part is that there's this section in there where you can choose the recipes you want and then click on 'create grocery list' and BAM it pulls out all the ingredients you need from each recipe.

I love it!

It saves me a tremendous amount of time writing down what I need for the week, all I do is hit print and cross off what I already have at home.

I don't know about you, but I love real recipes.  What I mean is, even though I take a stab at some of the recipes available online, most turn out to be gourmet and have ingredients that I've never heard of.  That's all great for a special occasion, but for everyday dinners, I don't really need fancy, just healthy and edible.  This website is definitely not like that!  Check it out and tell me what you think!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Living the Optimist's Creed

As I've mentioned before, I'm working day by day not only organizing my life, but my soul as well.  One of the things that I keep in mind on my most insane days as I work my way back to some sort of sanity is The Optimist Creed.  Since taking baby steps works better for me than jumping right in, I focus on one line a day.  Here it goes:

The Optimist Creed by Christian D. Larson

Promise Yourself ...
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

To talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel that there is something worthwhile in them.

To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.

To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.

To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.

To wear a cheerful expression at all times and give a smile to every living creature you meet.

To give so much time to improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others.

To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world, not in loud word, but in great deeds.

To live in the faith that the whole world is on your side, so long as you are true to the best that is in you.

Trying to successfully do even one ALL the time is hard enough for a pessimist like me, not that I'm a bad person, but for me, the glass is always half empty.  I love this poem (I have it on my desktop) because no matter how hard I am on myself, I know that tomorrow is another day and starting over is okay.  One of my teachers once told me an old saying to live by to make me see how difficult it is to walk the fine line of unselfishness/selfishness/selflessness is:

You can please some of the people, some of the time,
some of the people, all of the time,
but you can't please all of the people, all of the time.

So no matter what you do or how hard you try to please everyone, it really means nothing if you can't please yourself first.  I've always thought of this as selfish, but sometimes being selfish and putting yourself first is the only way you can put others first without losing who you are.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Emma Bleu Designs Coming Soon to Etsy!

Can you believe it?  I'm almost done constructing my Etsy account, but I couldn't wait to give you all a preview of one of my products.

I showed this to my sister and she just about died!!!  She's already picked out her fabric print...lol!  The picture really doesn't do it justice.  Anyhoo, it's a must have for all mommies...or those that are accident prone :).  What is it?  A mini-emergency kit for your purse or glovebox.  Pretty isn't it?  It holds tons of band-aids and alcohol wipes...okay, okay...not tons, but if you really need so many band-aids you probably need to go to the hospital!  It holds about 3-4 in each row, it's trifold with a velcro closure and a cute decorative button on the outside. 

I gave one of these to my daughter's softball Team Mom last season (they have to have an emergency kit available for small scrapes and cuts) and she kept it after the season to use as a girly (feminine product) holder.  I thought that was a great idea and it's perfect, so instead of dragging your whole purse to the bathroom, you can discreetly put this in your pocket and no one's the wiser!

I love it!

For those of you wondering what's with the name, why Emma Bleu Designs?  Well, if I would've had it my way, that's what I would've named one of my daughters.  However, my hubby quickly dismissed that name...you see...our last name is Gil.  Yup!  It's cruel, but it sounds so cute!  Imagine, Emma Bleu Gil...  My hubby was quick to point out how mean kids can be and what kind of fishy jokes can come out of that name, so, it was tossed.  But, since this baby is all mine.....I decided to name it Emma Bleu Designs.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

15 Minute Cleaning Routine

Okay, I know, we all hate cleaning!  However, I've realized that it's a chore that's never done and never stays done, so I might as well find ways to make it fun.  I know, fun and cleaning don't normally go together, but I'm going to try new things to make them. 

Although I have a great routine in place, I've noticed that I'm doing most of the work!!!  What can I do to have my kids join in the fun?  I decided to make cleaning a race...I don't know if it'll work or for how long...but what the heck, why not?  Here's the thing, my girls are still young enough to be tricked into playing games...LOL!

The object of the game is to get them excited about helping me clean. The rule is that everyone must participate.  The incentive (for me), is that I'm not doing all the cleaning by myself.  Hopefully, once they get into the routine, they'll learn how to clean up after themselves.  I know it'll probably take some tweaking to get it just right, but I'm sure either way, we'll have tons of fun.

Since their attention spans are short, I going to start with 5 minutes of cleaning in each room.  I figure with three of us cleaning, it's still a total of 15 minutes of cleaning.  If I get them to concentrate on three rooms a day, we'll each have cleaned for 15 minutes a day.  I'll be using my microwave timer for now, but I found this really cute (really expensive) timer that I'm sure will motivate them (if they each get to play with it).  I just ordered it and no, I don't normally spend so much on something so small, but an indulgence now and then helps jump start new projects.

                                     *image courtesy of Amazon

Friday, February 19, 2010

10 Fun Facts about Roscoe

P.U.G. = Pretty UGly - this perfectly describes Roscoe...

Fun facts:

 #1 - Roscoe is a snorer!  My hubby literally has to get up a few times a night to wake up Roscoe due to his snoring, he's louder than him!

#2 - When he wags his curly tail, it looks like his right blinker is on.

#3 - As with all pugs, his neck is bigger than his head.  We learned this the hard way when we first started taking him out for walks and his collar would just keep slipping right off.

#4 - This little booger can run!  But like a cheetah, he may be fast, but it doesn't take long for him to loose steam.

#5 - He loves to dress up!  We buy him teddy bear clothes (which fit him perfectly), it's much cheaper than doggie wear.

#6 - He has alien teeth.  I don't mean that they're weird looking or anything, but you know on the movie Aliens when the teeth come shooting out of the mouth to attack?  Well, that's Roscoe...he attacked my sister and he didn't even flinch, his teeth just came shooting out of his mouth and caught her!  LOL!

#7 - He drinks from a doggie water bottle.  We tried a water bowl, but he kept on drowning his short nose in it!

#8 - He's very sensitive, he cries when you cry.

#9 - He thinks he's a snow dog.  Every time we slap the leash on him, he thinks he's about to run the Iditarod and takes off.

#10 - He likes to be tucked in every night.  If I don't toss his blanket over him before I go to bed, he'll whimper and sigh all night until I do.

P.S.  One of the fun facts about pugs that I hope my Roscoe never has to go through is that if you hug a pug too tight, his eyes can pop right out of his head!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

CD Scrapbooking

I don't have time to scrapbook as much as I used to.  I would work on one page for hours trying to get it just right.  For those of you that are scrapbookers, you know what I mean.  So I wanted to share with you all my current scrapbooking technique...cd scrapbooking.
I had so many empty cd cases laying around, it felt wasteful just to throw them away and I knew eventually I would find a use for them.  In the cover flap of the cd case, I placed the invite I sent out for my girl's birthday party.  I keep the orignial invite anyway and it was a great way to label this particular scrapbook.

As you can tell it was a safari themed birthday party and we had a mobile zoo come to the house with exotic animals.  When you open the scrapbook, you can see that I took out the black insert that the cd lays on, giving me more room to place pictures in it.  You can't really see it from any of these angles, but behind one of the pictures I hid a pocket to place the cd that had a complete set of pictures of that day.

I love it because it was quick, small enough for little hands, and it's personalized for my girls; they love taking it to show-and-tell.

I'm working on pre-made scrapbooks to put in my Etsy store (as soon as it's up and running).  I'll update you all when they're available.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Are Your Flowers Dead Yet?

All things die eventually.  However, can't Valentine's Day flowers last a little longer?  I know it really depends on when and where flowers are bought and how they were prepared, but seriously two days?  Ok, ok, I know I should be grateful that after so many years of marriage, at least I'm still getting flowers, BUT can I at least enjoy them!?!

When we first got married, I got bouquets once a month.  The girls at work expected them more than I did and as soon as they'd arrive, they'd all take a single bloom to enjoy at their desk.  They would beg me to have my hubby give romance lessons to their hubbies all the time.  Then seven years later, we decided to expand our family and with a difficult pregnancy, I was placed on bed rest and the flowers stopped coming.  As soon as I returned to work however, they continued to come and I loved it.  But as with all good things, this too came to an end.  The flowers started to come less frequently, then only on special occasions, and as the years went by, they no longer came on special occasions, but the day after...  And now that I'm home full-time, I'm lucky if I get flowers from my own garden!

It's true we've cut back on costs, but just because I'm a mom, doesn't mean I don't want to be romanced!  And now what do I get?  ...dead flowers!  LOL!  I love it!  I love my hubby and I know he desperately tries to be as romantic as before, but with two girls to chase after all day, it's hard sometimes for either one of us to find our romantic ol' selves.  Either way as my hubby now knows, I'd rather get dead flowers then to only get flowers after I'm dead!  Hmmm... does dead flowers = dead romance....NAH!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Love is in the Air...

Honestly, I'm pretty much anti-valentine's day. Not that I don't love love, it's just that we should love those in our life on a daily basis and not on one lonely designated day in February. Needless to say, we didn't do anything traditionally Valentine's Day-ish, we did however, have a great family day!

 First, we made our way towards downtown Los Angeles and pit stopped at Olvera Street for breakfast. We usually eat at a different restaurant each time and this time we stopped in at La Golondrina, a great little Mexican restaurant. My hubby tried suckling pig for the first time and I tried the mole enchiladas (delish!), the girls played it safe and just had some scrambled eggs. Afterwards, we lit a candle at the Placita Church across the street and hopped on the freeway making our way to the LA Zoo.

Anyone that knows me, knows that I'm a HUGE animal lover! So frequent visits to the zoo are a must with me, especially since my gorillas have made their way back. Yes, gorillas are my favorite! They had been gone for about 3 or 4 years while their new habitat was under construction, but now they're back!!! My favorite is baby Glenda, she's a handful and you can tell Kelly (her silverback daddy) keeps a close eye on her. My hubby laughs at me because every time we go to see my gorillas (which is often), I can name all of them by sight. He'll usually walk around the zoo with the girls to see the other animals and I'll sit for a while with my friends (yes, the gorillas). This time however, we made our way through the whole zoo, start to finish. It was a snow weekend for some of the animals, so it was great to see them playing, digging, and eating the snow in their habitats. The snow leopards were fun to watch, it's almost as if they knew it was Valentine's Day, they spent the day hugging and licking each other and jumping around in the snow. My dream vacation of course would be a gorilla safari in Africa, but until then, the LA Zoo will do.
We finished off our day with some great drive-thru food for dinner and cuddling on the couch, watching T.V. until we all fell asleep. For being so anti-valentine's day, I still found our day to be filled with love!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Los Angeles Organizing Awards

            * courtesy of The Los Angeles Organizing Awards

This is just a quick blurp and proof to my hubby that I’m not so insane. I just found this website promoting organizing by giving awards for them!!! We just missed the 2010 awards, but so help me, if he’s not on board with me by next year, you better bet I’ll be dragging him to the awards next year! :)

Organization is a Mid-Life Crisis?

For the sake of my hubby’s sanity, I revisited my whole “organize my life” plan this week. You know what? I’m not as crazy as he thinks. Almost everyone at some point goes through some type of mid-life crisis, identity crisis, and/or mental breakdown. I’m probably not to far away from any of those…lol… but for the sake of my sanity, I need to make a change for the better. Change isn’t something he takes too well, but guess what? He’s just going to have to find another way to stay sane; it’s not good to be so dependent on me for that….especially since my sanity is slipping! :)

Since he’s a visual learner, I decided to work on a family vision board. I’m thinking that if he can see the direction that I’m going in, he’ll understand exactly what I’m trying to do, and hopefully join in to make the process smoother. As I mentioned in my previous post, routines are a great way to keep on track. So I figure, if we make a routine as a family to accomplish one thing a week to get closer to our goals, the rewards will be that much sweeter!

If he really thinks about it, we’ve already started the ball rolling by reorganizing our finances. I don’t want organization or routine building to be something that needs to be done when things start to go south; I want to do it to prevent things from getting that far…if that makes sense. Not to mention, I have little girls to think of and God willing, they’ll eventually be running families and households of their own, what better tools can I give them than my examples?

The family vision board, as with all vision boards is a work in progress. I’m sure we’ll be adding things and taking things off along the way as we accomplish goals and think of new ones. I’ll be sure to post it as soon as I can get everyone in agreement of this year’s goals.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sticking to a Morning Routine

I've found that my easiest days are the days that have been started off right.  Anybody that knows me, knows I hate to be late to anything (school, work, church, etc.).  So starting off the day right and not having to rush around to keep from being late is my incentive to keeping the rest of my day on track.  I've been able to (thanks to FlyLady) work out my morning routine, keeping me on time, motivated, and productive.  By making simple and quick changes to my morning routine, I can now get more household chores done before even leaving the door to take the kids to school.  I used to only have to time to get dressed before rushing out the door and then I'd come home only to rush to make dinner and do as much as I could around the house before bed.  No wonder I was always so exhausted, all that rushing around and never getting much done!  Here's what my day consists of now:

-Stretching before getting out of bed to get my blood flowing (just a tiny bit of exercise)

-Hitting the bathroom to wash my face, brush my teeth and do hair and make-up. (while I'm here, I put in toilet cleaner and let it sit, then wipe down the sink after getting ready)

-while the girls eat breakfast, I put all my clean dishes away (the last thing I do before bed is wash dishes and put in a load of laundry), this makes cooking dinner easier since everything is put in its place

-since the laundry ran during the night, I can now place it in the dryer

-I swish the toilet and get dressed to take the girls to school

-by the time I get back, the laundry is done drying and now I can put it away


-run errands, pick up groceries, pick up girls and start dinner

Of course, these last couple of weeks I've sprinkled exercising in there and since I no longer go to work, I have more time available to me to get done what I need to get done.  But with two little girls, I never know when I'm going to fall behind.  It was really hard at first to build up a routine, but now that I have one, it's worked wonders keeping me on time throughout the day.  By doing light maintenance in the bathroom each morning, doing one load of laundry a day, cleaning the sink each night for the next day, and toting around my trusty laundry basket returning everything to it's place each evening, I accomplish more without even thinking about it than if I were to dedicate a day to completely cleaning the entire house.  I'm not perfect, nor have I perfected my cleaning routine, but by having a routine I've allowed myself to have a presentable house (not spotless), spend more time with my kids, and not feel unproductive.  Like I tell my husband, "if I want my tombstone to say that my house was spotless, I'd have a spotless house", but since being a mother and wife and spending time with my family matters to me most, having an 'ok' house is ok with me.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Disney's Coming to Hawaii!

                                                                 *Courtesy of Hawaii Magazine

Two things I love the most are coming together, Hawaii and all things Disney!!!  I heard about this possibly happening a long time ago, but I try not to get too excited about things before I know they're really going to happen.  One of the benefits of being a Disneyland Annual Passholder and a Castaway Club Member is that you get the insider's scoop of events, vacations, and movies on the horizon.

Disney will be presenting the Aulani Disney Resort and Spa next fall (follow the link for full details).  We were lucky enough to pull together some money a few years ago and go on one of the Disney Cruises to the Bahamas and have been dying to do it again.  I had just gotten the news that Disney will be hosting cruises to Alaska & the Pacific Coast next summer 2011 leaving from the west coast, which is perfect since we live in Southern California.  So I started to budget and plan for our next Disney trip, even though we promised the girls Hawaii this summer.  With a Disney cruise this close (and no 5 hour plane ride), how could we pass up this opportunity!?!  Hawaii will always be there....and now Disney will be there too!  My dilemma is....we promised Hawaii this year, how do I break it to the girls?  Since we only do a major vacation every other year, our trip would've been this summer, but pushing it back a year will push my little ones over the edge and my sanity out the window! LOL!  Not to mention, we'd be pushing Hawaii back to 2013!

Knowing my work-a-holic hubby, he'll want to pay off bills for the next three years and have no vacations at all.  I've only been able to convince him of fresh air every now and then because we have kids and no matter which way we look at it, we're going to be in debt for a long time (kids, school, sweet sixteens, college, weddings, etc), so we might as well enjoy ourselves (and them).  If it were up to me, we'd be taking three big vacations, instead of choose one or another, but life is about compromising....sometimes!  I have yet to price out all of the choices, which I'm sure will be the deciding factor.  Until then, I can be happy knowing it's at least one or the other!!! ;)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Successfully using organizational tools

No matter what your organizational type is, using the right tools makes all the difference.  I know that we all have tools at our disposal that we just can't live without and having them makes all the difference. 

Take for example our vacuums, we all have them, we all use them, but using the right one for your workload can greatly change how you do household chores.  I just recently retired (burnt out) my 10 year old vacuum and had to replace it.  I couldn't believe how many types of different vacuums are on the market now and how much they cost!  Needless to say, I came home empty-handed to do some much needed research.  Because I have Roscoe, we have a pet hair problem, so I needed one that could handle a pet hair covered carpet, as well as still do all the other stuff vacuums do.  After tons of research, reading reviews, and changing my vacuum budget I bought a great vacuum that does everything I need it to do and more.  I have to say, it has made all the difference!  Having the right vacuum for the job has cut down my household cleaning by at least 30 minutes.

Having the right tools makes the work that much faster, not to mention, slightly fun! :)

Here's a list of three tools I can't live without:

1. FlipFold Board - I hate laundry, it's one of my least favorite chores.  However, by folding laundry faster with my FlipFold board, I've cut down laundry time by half, making it a bit more bearable.  Not to mention, they have a junior size for my kids to re-fold their laundry if need be.

2. Laundry baskets - As much as I use these for laundry, I have to admit I use them more for toting things around the house.  I have one for each of the girls and after they've gone to bed, I go through the house picking up their things, filling their basket, and taking it to their room.  They know that in the morning, part of their routine is to clean out their basket, putting their things away, and giving me back an empty basket.  I go to bed with a clean house and they go to school with a clean room, it's a win-win!

3. Bissell's Pet Hair Eraser vacuum - This is the one I was bragging about earlier.  One thing I forgot to mention is that this vacuum also works wonders on hard surfaces as well, not just carpet.

As much as my hubby hates it, I'm constantly on the prowl for the next new, fun, useful, and time saving tool to make household chores, less of a chore.  I'll keep you all updated on any new toys!
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