Monterey-Jelly-FishSome of you may or may not realize that Brad’s favorite vegetable is an artichoke. Some of you may or may not realize that Castroville is the artichoke capitol of the world. Some of you may or may not realize that Castroville is very near to Monterey. Brad had this amazing idea that we should get season passes to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Hmmmm I wonder what inspired that idea eh? Needles to say we’ve already been to the aquarium twice and have stopped by the Giant Artichoke in Castroville on the way home both times picking up deep fried artichoke hearts.

Samantha has really fallen in love with the Aquarium. she talks about it all the time and carts around her star fish gifts day and night. she’s been really great at sharing her star fish toys with Sean too which melts my mama heart all over the place. Sean is content just roaming around at the aquarium so Brad and I tend to split up with the kids so we can please both. After the aquarium we grab a snack and, if weather permits, we’ll take a stroll and soak up Monterey Bay. It’s such a fun beach town. Very different from southern California beach cities. I can’t really describe the differences. Much less skin seen all over the place lol.  Maybe because the warmer times of year are shorter compared to SoCal. Iv’e never been to new England, but for somer reason it puts off that kind of vibe with the architecture. I could be totally wrong with that comparison but it’s what comes to my mind.

We also purchased zoo passes. Such a fun time of life with these littles. Life is just giggles and excitement over little things with the occasional potty accident and tantrum that we move past lol. I’m thankful for these days.

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I know not the greatest photo quality, but i just love seeing her watch the shark

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rainy-dayWe’ve all been a bit under the weather in our house. Sean actually got croupe which is a newer thing for me as mama, but we all got through it. It was so stormy the other day. We’ve had such a dry spell here in CA so everyone here has welcomed the rain. After being cooped up indoors being sick it was fun to let the kids roam in the windy, rainy outdoors. Exploring a bit and jumping in puddles. I’m currently borrowing a new lens right now so I brought it out to play around with. I think it’s safe to say I’m in love!samantha-3yrs

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vintage-press-doorbellJust a little teaser for things to come. We are still deciding on a front door color. I say yellow (like any blogger would), hubs says red, so we’ll probably end up with either black or green lol. The house is coming along slowly but surely. This White & Black House is my inspiration at the moment.

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One of the things I wanted to do with Brad while we were in LA was have a record store date. I have my Crosley that I love, and I enjoy hunting down vinyl at goodwill and online. I remember in highschool visiting Stray Cat in Fullerton looking around at all their vintage clothes and then browsing the record store section. I loved it and I miss those after school visits. So when I found The Record Parlour, it was exactly what I was hoping for. They were about to host a private event so they were prepping on a small stage while we browsed for a bit. Looking at their jazz sections and various rock sections brought back a lot of fun memories. A musty smell from the album covers and incense was present in the store. Fun marque signs and posters hung on the walls. Not only was it fun looking through the vinyl, but just the whole presence and the vibe of the store was super fun. I just wanted to hug the feeling it gave me. Definitely a fun addition to a day coupled with some coffee or dinner afterward

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So… party details. Like I mentioned before, once we arrived at our downtown loft in LA that I found on airbnb, we got settled in, relaxed, then went out for a tasty ad scenic dinner (Perch has some of the BEST views around). Afterward Brad kept talking about hanging out at Perch and relaxing, but I kept wanting to go relax at the loft. He suggested we go get some dessert over at Bottega Louie, which I of course agreed upon. I mean who can say no to Bottega? NOBODY WHO’S SANE. So we walk over there and he again suggested we get a drink there at their bar and I, totally clueless, whined about my feet hurting from all the walking and just wanted to go back to the loft. Being the smart fellow he is, he basically walked me around in circles until he could no long hold it off. We arrive at the loft and as he’s opening the door for me, I realized that the loft was stuffed full of all our closest friends and family!!!! They all had that deer in headlights look on their faces because I guess we were a little early and they were JUST about to hop on our bed and scream SURPRISE. But honestly it was the best way to be surprised anyone could ever ask for. Our room we rented had a british flag arm chair and, my friend Delia knowing how much I LOVE the UK, suggested they run with a british party theme. My friend Kali organized most of the decorations and pretty drinks, and my amazing sister-in-laws took care of feeding everyone. Brad even made a FB invitation group  so it would be easy for everyone to coordinate. Brad and my brother also made a slide show for me highlighting some of my best memories. Tears were definitely shed. We sipped our cocktails, played around in the photo boot, goofed off on the roof top with the LA skyline as our backdrop, and just sat around and visited. None of you who attended will ever know just how much it really meant to me having you there. I felt so so loved, and I definitely will cherish this memory in my heart forever. I only hope I can be as good to you all as you’ve been good to me. Thanks for being in my life <3

Confetti and photo booth props made compliments of Paper Cut OC

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Wow, 30. I’m there. I have arrived. I’m no longer in my 20′s anymore O_o and so far it’s treated me pretty good. I have to say i think it was kind of making me nervous. As most of you know we bought a house, the kids are getting older with their own sweet (and demanding) little personalities, and I was approaching 30. Fixing up a house is exciting and wonderful to watch transform, but it’s also very hard and uninspiring at times. Especially for someone who spends most of her time at home, snapping photos of the little things that inspire me lol. Kids are wonderful and so sweet and I wouldn’t even think about having it any other way than being their mama, but it’s hard at times. Trying to keep my cool and teach them lovingly, trying to understand i need to guide them the best I can. Top those things with me approaching my 30′s and i was a big ball of tears constantly. I kinda crawled into a mini hole. They say you go through seasons in life, and I think I was/am in one. Kind of a tough one too, but I have my special things to help me get through this time and I’m very thankful for that.

(I’m going to break my birthday weekend into a couple posts)

I was reminded of the love that surrounds me this past weekend.  Brad told me we were going to rent out a loft in downtown LA from airbnb for my birthday, but that was it. He wanted to give me basic details to prepare, but nothing more. He wanted to surprise me. When we got in the car to make the long trip he puts a suitcase in my lap and tells me to open it. After some confused whining about why I had to, I finally did as he said and opened up the bag… to find… my dream camera the Canon EOS 70D!!!!!! I cried, cried like a big baby. I was so surprised and happy (thank you Bradly!). So we arrive in SoCal, drop off the kids, and my second surprise was getting my hair dyed for the FIRST TIME EVER! What a way to start off my 30′s eh? I didn’t do anything crazy as you can tell by my pics. My stylist suggested enhancing my hair before doing something drastic… like ombre… which will happen soon I’m sure. I like what we decided on. After that we hopped in the car and made the drive to LA. Driving through the city gave me such a thrill. I will forever love that city, even with the pee smell and homeless crazies. There is just something about that city the wins me over every time. We check in and get situated, relaxed and then got all dolled up to go out to dinner. We went to one of my fav restaurants I’ve mentioned on here before called Perch. After dinner I was surprised with a CRAZY AWESOME SURPRISE BIRTHDAY PARTY WAITING FOR ME  BACK AT THE LOFT! I was on cloud nine. As someone who has planned plenty of surprise parties for others, I have to say it felt SO GOOD getting one of my own. I’ll share more pictures and detail about that in my other post. The rest of the weekend was full of snapping photos, favorite food, and lots of mama and papa time with no kids. It was wonderful, and even more wonderful when we got to go home to our little ones energized and refreshed. Thank you Bradley Hettervik for planning this weekend for me and making my 30′s so special. You did good. So good. I love you baby! Thank you family and friends for loving me and helping my Bradley out. It was so wonderful seeing you all there. I really needed to see you all and it filled my heart up <3

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Sensory Bin: Goodnight Moon Theme

I’ve mentioned before that we will be homeschooling the kids. Samantha is at that preschool stage. I’ve been looking up fun ways to introduce school to her and sensory bins have been catching my eye. Especially book themed sensory bins. They are a great way to get kids involved with learning and encourage creativity. Plus it gives them a free pass to (somewhat) make a mess lol. I stumbled across THIS ONE on pinterest the other day and fell in love with the idea. I wanted to make my own personalized version and the above inspiration board is what I came up with. I can’t wait to show Samantha! I also can’t wait to incorporate other book themed sensory bins too.

To Assemble:

Fill plastic bin with the black gravel (the night sky), place all the pieces in desired order (I’d probably do it in the order the books introduces each object), When you give the bin to your child read the book first or have your child go through the book locating each object as you read. Then let your child play as long as their little hearts desire =) Have fun!