tomato time

This is one of our favorite things to plant and we look forward to tomato season every year. Caprese and salsa with things straight from our garden is the absolute best. We’ve learned a lot through the years of what worked best, which varieties took the California sun better, how to get rid of bugs that attack our tomatoes, and what we devoured the most. Frankly, we ate them all; we hardly discriminate when it comes to fresh homegrown tomatoes. Homegrown are always better than the grocery store ones.

The first year we planted tomatoes, we planted 29 different varieties. We went really simple this year and planted only six. Last year was our best tomato season ever as a result of lessons learned, and we are hoping this year is equally as good or better. They all look like little babies now, but I can’t wait for these babies to grow up. All of our tummies are ready to eat them all up!

The varieties we went with for this year are Dagma’s Perfection, Indigo Blue Berries, 1884, Sun Gold, Sunrise Bumblebee, and Green Zebra. Heat tolerant and while only six tomato plants, there’s still a good share of size, shape and color variety.

Are you planting tomatoes this year?


trying that curly hair don’t care thing

After I shared my curly waves video, I realized I rarely left my natural curls/waves. So pretty much after I shared that video, I decided to go on a 30 day leave my natural curly hair challenge. I’m a week and a half into it, and it still takes getting used to. After I shower, I add some curling cream to it (to help get rid of frizz), then I scrunch and blow dry it a little. It’s a little less maintenance because I don’t have to wear curlers at night. On the days when my hair can’t decide if it wants to be curly or just looks more flat, I stick it in a bun.

Any one have any good product recommendations to spruce up curls, but not make it feel dry and crunchy?


kids involved in cleaning

You all know I love things clean and tidy. Fridays are my days to clean to start the weekend off nice and organized. Every night before the girls go to bed, they have to clean up their spaces to get it ready for the next day. I walk around the house and put things back in their place, so the next day we all start with a clean space.

With kids, there’s a lot of happy chaos, but if we don’t keep up with it, it can get overwhelming quickly (then the chaos isn’t so happy). Thus, I try to manage it, instead of the chaos overwhelming me. I don’t handle mess stress well.

A few years ago, during the craziness of my book writing, Ben and I started budgeting for a cleaning lady to come. Let me tell you how that has helped my sanity so much. She only comes once a month, so we still do a lot of our own cleaning, but having someone to do all the deep cleaning stuff, and things I don’t have time to think about like baseboards and dusting window sills, is such a blessing. With the four, homeschooling, and all the things we are involved in, this is a little splurge that I really cherish. Everyone says cleaning day is mine and Soul’s favorite day of the month. There’s truth to that. We aren’t here when she cleans, but when we come home, Soul and I are the first to enter, and we breathed deep and exclaim, “We love it!” We are silly.

While we do know this is a splurge we budget for, we still want the kids to learn how to clean and take responsibility for our home. We aren’t believers in giving an allowance (that’s not how real life works), so they are all given chore charts. There are some things they have to do daily/weekly because it’s their responsibility (they are consequences if things don’t get done), and there are other things they can do to earn money (this is how real life works). They sweep, vacuum, fold and put away laundry, clean out the dishwasher, and take care of their own spaces. I’m getting ready to teach Brave and True how to start cleaning bathrooms too. I started cleaning bathrooms in fourth grade, so it’s about time they learned too.

Saturday mornings are our big chore days. They eat breakfast, then clean the inside of the car, put away laundry, pick up leaves in the yard, and when all is done … the Saturday play commences.

When it comes to cleaning, Brave takes the longest because she dances and sings while she does her work (as seen in the photo above). It’s cute and funny, but I feel kind of bad when she’s been sweeping for two hours. Oye!




disney on ice treasure trove by true

Mommy said we were going somewhere that evening and we kept asking, “Where?” At dinner, mommy said we were going to a party. As soon as Papi came home, we left and went to this big building, and we had to go through security while Papi and Brave had to put something back in the car. We had to wait for them to go through security too.

Then, we went through a door and went up the stairs, and there was a man there waiting to check our tickets. He told us we needed to go up higher, so we waited for the elevator. In the elevator, mommy said we  were going to the Lakers’ game, but I didn’t believe her because she told us that before when we were going to see Disney’s Frozen on Ice. Someone checked our tickets again and then we found our seats.

Soon, an announcer said, “Disney on Ice!” and two girls and a boy came out to do some tricks on the ice. Five minutes later, the show started! The army men from Toy Story came out, along with Jessie! After that, Woody and Buzz Lightyear came out with some other characters. They taught us a dance, so we could all dance together, and then they left the stage. Donald Duck, Goofy, Mickey Mouse, and Minnie Mouse came out and looked inside a treasure chest. They found a watch and a lamp, and then they went off the stage, and the storytelling began.

The White Rabbit and Alice came out, and said that they were late. They went to a party with the Mad Hatter and decorated the garden for the Queen of Hearts. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum came out and painted the roses red too. The Queen of Hearts came out with all the cards. The funny part was that the cards had two heads!

As soon as the Alice in Wonderland characters left the stage, we heard a tick-tock, and saw Captain Hook and Smee! Captain Hook was scared because the crocodile was there on the ice too. Captain Hook went to look for Peter Pan’s hideout, while Wendy was singing the lost boys to sleep. They show kept on telling us more of the Peter Pan story, along with many other Disney stories too.

Brave’s favorite parts of the show were were Aladdin, Snow White, Ariel, and Lion King. Papi’s favorite part was the costuming for the stampede when Simba’s father died. Glow said she really loved Rapunzel, Lion King, and Snow White. Soul’s loved all the princesses, especially Princess Tiana. Mommy said she liked the costuming for Lion King and Alice in Wonderland. My favorite parts were Snow White, Ariel, and the ending because I saw Mulan, Ariel again, and Aurora. We all really liked all of the costumes throughout the whole show. It was such a fun surprise and we like going to watch shows together.

Disney on Ice Treasure Trove runs in Southern California from April 14-17 (Ontario Citizens Business Bank Arena) and April 22-24 (Long Beach Arena). To get more ticket information or a list of tours going on, you can get more details here.

This post is in partnership with Feld Entertainment as a Feld Family Ambassador; complimentary tickets for the show were provided. I’m always so thankful opportunities such as this (my girls are especially thankful), and also for the time you take to support me and this space.


turban style headband

Turban Style Headband

2 – 3″ x 18″ strips of fabric, may need to be adjusted depending on head size
5″-6″ piece of 1″ wide elastic
Sewing pins
Sewing machine

1. Lay one fabric strip perpendicular over the other strip. Next, fold each strip in half, joining the short ends of each strip together to link the center of each strip together.

2. Overlap 1″ end of the elastic onto one side of the fabric end, fold the fabric around the elastic to sandwich it in. Pin in place and straight stitch across. Repeat for the other side of the elastic and remaining end of the fabric headband. Be sure to check the sizing of the headband before you attach the elastic. Then, cut and adjust your fabric and elastic as needed. This one was for True, but if I were making it for littlest one, I would have cut an inch or two off the fabric, so it would be more fitted on her.

I ripped the fabric strips because I wanted frayed edges. You can cut them for less fringe, or even fold and sew if you don’t’ like raw edges. True’s been into wearing bandanas as headbands (or as scarves), so we set off to make some of these turban style headbands for her. They were quick and easy, and I put some of my fabric scraps to good use. She plans on making more for herself soon.

I love seeing her style evolve. Each girl is so different, even though they share clothes. They just accessorize and pair things differently. True’s outfit here looks perfectly fit for spring, and I’d totally wear it too (though I don’t think I’m cool enough to pull off the headband though).

And oh man … I see teenage True in these pictures.

on true: striped dress, c/o french toast. sandals, zara (last year, but similar here and here).



ms. tips citykid lotta sqapothecary entrance10


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