The Fullerton Arboretum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I can’t believe I almost forgot to share these photos.  We had such a fun field trip with our nature group back in late October.

We went to the Fullerton Arboretum where the kids were free to roam, play and touch. 

1. This first picture is of the kids getting a lesson about common garden herbs.

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2. Next we gathered on the hay bales to hear a story and make a craft.  While watching we all giggled as squirrels tried to steal pumpkin bites.

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3.  Here we are learning about Gourds and checking out the “gourd tunnel”.

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4.  Walking through the gourd tunnel.

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5.  The arboretum had a great garden and plant store.  We loaded up on some organic fall/winter veggie seedlings.

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5.  Kai was such a big helper!  He pulled this wagon full of veggie plants to the car for us.  Taking much care and attention to stay on the trail.

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We’ve had such a fun time with our nature group, the Fullerton Arboretum was definitely a highlight!

 

 

 

 

 

Patchwork Christmas Stocking

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I am definitely not a craft blogger, but I was so happy at the result of the jumbled idea in my head I felt like I had to share.

I have been wanting to make us homemade Christmas stockings for a couple years now.  I bought some fabric before Taj was born.  I had big hopes of finishing the stockings while I was pregnant with him, however that never happened.

After taking a sewing class this fall I felt a lot more comfortable with my sewing skills and decided to finally make the stockings.

I looked all over, but could not find a stocking pattern I really liked.  So I decided to make my own pattern. It was much easier than I imagined.

I just took an old stocking I like the shape of, traced it onto brown packaging paper, then added 5/8 in seam allowance all around it.

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I really loved all of the Christmas fabric series I had, and could not choose just one print per stocking (since I needed to make 4).  So I decided to make them “patchwork.”  I really had no plan to how to match the pieces up.  I just started cutting, pinning, and sewing till all the pieces were used.

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Next I cut out one “patchwork” stocking and 2 white fleece stockings (wrong side together.  I placed the patchwork piece in between the 2 white fleece stockings so that the patch work piece is “sandwiched”.  This will allow for there to be no raw edges and a smooth “lining behind the patchwork piece.

With the 3 stocking pieces together I sewed the back “stright” line only.  After the back piece was sewn I opened up and laid it “wrong side” facing me.

I took a long piece of fabric, folded in half longways and pressed a seam.  This will be used as the “cuff.”

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I lined up the edges and sewed them together. Before folding over for the “cuff” I trimmed the seam.

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I then folded the cuff over and sewed it down with a decorative zig-zag stitch.

Once the cuff is completed, fold the stocking back right sides together and finish sewing all away around leaving only the top open for inserting gifts.

Once you are finished stitching, pull the stocking inside out and enjoy the finished product.

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Now I just need the perfect ribbon to hang these with!

 

Restoration Recipes: Winter Veggie Bake

We just wrapped up another  21 day Restoration program.  When the 3 weeks end there is a little feeling or relief, but also a little sadness because I kind of like the accountability of eating super clean.  We eat Restoration style about 70%, 25% paleo, and 5% whatever we feel like.

One thing we like to impress on all Restoration participants is simplicity.  Simple recipes and simple ingredients make the best meals!

This is an example.

Winter Veggie Bake:

Ingredients:

1 chopped onion

3 chopped sweet potatoes

1 head of cauliflower chopped

olive oil

salt and pepper

2 cups cooked quinoa

a ripe avocado (optional)

Directions:

Place chopped vegetables on a parchment lined baking sheet and drizzle with a small amount of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and peper.

Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Toss with a spoon, and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until it reaches your desired tenderness.

I like mine a little brown.

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After:

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I took a 1/2 cup of quinoa, topped it with the roasted veggies and a 1/4 of an avocado.  With all of this food you will get 4 servings.  There are so many different combinations of vegetables you could do with this recipe. Happy eating and experimenting!

 

Halloween 2013: Trick or Treating

It was a real treat to go trick or treating this year.  Kai had been watching Charlie Brown and The Great Pumpkin (sent to him from Grammy) for weeks, so he was ready and knew exactly what to do.  It was a huge debate on whether or not we would need the double stroller for Kai, we didn’t know if he would get tired or not.  However, that child never grew weary.  He jogged the entire 2 mile trek we took for trick or treating!

Here we are rounding up the troops.  Mr. Smee (aka Taj) definitely needed a stroller.  He wanted to be pushed to each door.

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Jorge, Janiece, Elijah, & Jackson also walked along with us.  The first stop….to our sweet neighbors across the street.

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The inflatable “Not scary” Halloween house.

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And for the highlight of the night…. drum roll please……

The Cotton Candy house!

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Kai and Taj had never had cotton candy before, they were a little nervous to try it at first, but it didn’t take long for them to enjoy it.

 

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Then came the after party.

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Jackson won the award for being most hilariously exhausted.

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The kids were so excited they didn’t want the night to end.

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We had such a fun Halloween this year.  And I learned that when I get old, I’m going to give away cotton candy to all!

 

Adventures at Sea World

This past October we made our first family trip to Sea World.  I knew that if we waited till Kai was the right age it would me more appreciated it, and it sure was.  Kai was in awe of everything (despite being sick and screaming for tissues to wipe his nose every two minutes).  

We started off in the Sea Turtle exhibit.  After seeing sea turtles in Hawaii, Kai was especially excited.

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Taj checking out the turtles.

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The sweet little green Sea turtles.

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After the Sea Turtles we checked out the Shark reef and fed some ImageImage

This guy was so hilarious.  He got as close to the humans as he possibly could and just barked in everyone’s face.  People would throw fish at him just so he would quiet down.  And he protected that rock, any other sea lion that attempted to hop up he would nip at him.

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Then we watched the newest Shamu show in awe and somehow just barely missed getting soaked even though we braved the “splash zone.”  I know there are many documentaries exposing the dark side of training whales and keeping them in captivity, but the 15 minutes of this show are pure magic.  There was a new baby Shamu that kept trying to follow his mom and messing up the tricks, but his tiny whale cuteness made you look past the mistakes. 

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Taj got to meet Elmo!  We tried real hard to get all 4 of us in the photo, but apparently Kai is intimidated by Elmo.

 

 

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Since the last time I visited Sea World, they have added a fantastic Polar exhibit.  We got to see Beluga whales, Pilot whales, penguins, walruses, and polar bears up close in personal.  It was my favorite part.  

 

 

 

 

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Michael found some whale bones to adjust.  He has decided to add whale adjustments to his list of specialties.

 

 

 

 

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Even though Kai was sick he insisted he needed to climb the ropes.

 

 

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Despite Kai being sick, we had such a fun time at Sea World.  So many great shows, just bummed we couldn’t spend more time there. Guess we will have to go again!

 

Halloween 2013: Zoomars

Kai’s second favorite thing about Halloween is the “Pumpkin Patch.”  The term Pumpkin Patch means different things to different people.  When I was little, it meant driving to the middle of nowhere and picking a pumpkin out of a field.  If you were lucky, there was a wagon ride involved.  In Southern California, Pumpkin Patch refers to an open lot and/or parking lot transformed into a mini carnival and pile of pumpkins during the month of October.  

This year we wanted to go to a real pumpkin patch on a REAL farm.  So we planned a trip out to Temecula (another wine country) to attend a REAL pumpkin patch.  We drove on some long county roads and arrived at the most adorable pumpkin farm ever. However, Kai was sick that day, and after 5 minutes of walking around the farm, he had a break down and we had to leave.  We didn’t even get to see the pig race!

After Kai was all healed up, we knew we had to make up for the missed pumpkin patch outing, so we went to Zoomars in San Juan Capistrano.  Zoomars is typically known as an adorable petting zoo, but during October they have a lot of pumpkin patch-esque activites.  

First on our list of fall fun to-do’s…

1.Pony Rides

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Of course Taj needed to ride too!

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And some random zebra donkeys?

 

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2.  Corn Pit

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3. We sat with the cement animals

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3. Feed the Animals

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*Note- Mommy and Daddy got some amazing coffee here

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These were the most hilarious guinea pigs.  Actually very friendly!

4. Train Ride

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5.  The amazing FREE playground outside of Zoomars that the liked as much, if not more than Zoomars itself.

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Operation Pumpkin Patch 2013 has officially been completed.

Halloween 2013: The Costumes

Kai has been excited for Halloween to come since last Halloween.  He has even been angry with us for talking about Christmas, because he only wants Halloween and trick-or-treating.  We have been watching “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” which has only intensified his need to trick-or-treat.

He had also announced back in early September that he was going to be Peter Pan for Halloween.  So that is what he was!

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Thanks to my sewing instructor I was able to sew their costumes, all the way down to his shoe covers.  

There were many Peter Pan costumes to buy, but no Mr. Smee.  I couldn’t have one store bought and one homemade, so I decided to make both.

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Thanks to my new favorite website http://www.allfreesewing.com I found the Peter Pan Costume pattern here.

Mr. Smee was a lot trickier, but I found a Mr. Smee hat idea here that did the trick!

I really had no intentions of dressing up for Halloween, not really my thing.  But the day of, Kai convinced his dad to take him costume shopping and Kai then convinced me to be a Pirate Princess, and his dad transformed into a version of Captain Hook.  

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And some more pictures of my cuties…

Kai was really getting in to his character.

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Taj was much more into his food bribe.

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What a beginning to a fun night!

Taj Gets a Big Boy Bed

I  can’t believe the time is already here….time to take down the crib, and replace it with a big boy bed. 

Taj has been our super sleeper since he was tiny.  We learned the hard way early on that he needs his own space when he sleeps, space where no one touches him and he is free to move.  

All of a sudden over the last week he has refused to sleep in his crib, only wanting to nap on the couch, and screaming bloody murder at bedtime.  After watching him in his crib, and realizing how enormous he really is and banging the crib everytime he moves we realized the problem was his bed.

This was his reaction when he was finally able to try out his new bed!

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Luckily I knew this day was coming sooner rather than later and I had already purchased this bedding from Pottery Barn Kids to coordinate with Kai’s bedding.  

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I just love the details of their bedding!  Kai’s is a California Collection, and Taj’s is a Key West Collection.

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Of course there is room for Dad and Kai too!

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“Mom, this is just like a bounce house!” -Kai Michael Day

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And there you have it, Taj is officially sleeping in a big boy bed.