my mommy and me This week was crazy busy; I felt like I could never catch up! Last week I was sick, so things were out of sorts, and we got behind in some schooling lessons, so this week was spent catching up, but I felt like I couldn’t. Just when I felt like I had a handle on things, life happened (as it always does), and it didn’t go the way I planned. I have two Christmas projects to share with you, but I haven’t had much time to get to this space. They’re really easy though, so if you have a free afternoon between when I get those post up and Christmas (free afternoon, what’s that?!), you might want to make them!

This week’s learned, links, and thankfulness…

I made oatmeal pecan pie again, but this time I cut the amount of sugar to 1/2 cup and added a little bit more oatmeal, and I think it’s way better this way!

It’s so hard to find a trustworthy general contractor/handyman, but I think we found one. If anyone in SoCal needs one, email me and I’ll share you our find. We’ve had him do a few things for the house, and so far so good. He’s honest and competitive in his pricing.

That picture above is my mommy, me, and Santa many moons ago! #mymomstilllooksthesame

Ben injured his rotator cuff and is in a lot of pain. I’m praying he feels better soon.

How delicious does this caramel dutch apple look?!

We’re so excited about Christmas and to be with family we haven’t seen in awhile!!!

Check out the Misha Lulu Surplus Store for all her new goodies. She has prints and dolls up for sale.

The biggest news of the week (in our home) is that we brought our refrigerator back in our house! We moved it to our garage a year and a half ago when we put in wood floors, and we never brought it back in. Our friends all laugh at how ridiculous it is that we go back and forth to the garage all day long.

Anyone watch The Sing-Off?!! Our really good family friend’s nephew is in The Filharmonics and they are so good! Ben took the girls to a Danika Cares benefit concert a couple weekends ago, and my girls were fans ever since, especially my Brave!

We’re looking at window coverings for a couple windows in our house, but I can’t ever commit to something. Woven shades or shutters? And why are they so darn expensive?! It’s insane. Maybe I’ll just forever stick with my burlap and cheesecloth solution.

Thanks for reading my random ramblings!!! xoxo


a fancy fourth birthday

Soul's fancy fourth birthday Soul's fancy fourth birthday Soul's fancy fourth birthday Soul's fancy fourth birthday Soul's fancy fourth birthday Soul's fancy fourth birthday Soul's fancy fourth birthday Soul's fancy fourth birthday Soul's fancy fourth birthday Soul's fancy fourth birthday Soul's fancy fourth birthday Soul's fancy fourth birthday Soul's fancy fourth birthday Soul's fancy fourth birthday Soul's fancy fourth birthday Soul's fancy fourth birthday Soul’s main birthday request was a “make-up” party, so earlier in the day, she got her mini spa treatment (done by mommy), and so for her birthday dinner, she got to get even more dolled up. I gave her a touch of blush (barely touched her cheek), she kissed my lipstick lips for lipstick, and I curled her hair. I was totally imagining doing this again for her for a school dance, which I hope doesn’t come too soon. She completed her fancy look with her special, fancy dress. The moment I saw this dress from the FabKids holiday collection, I knew we needed that for her “fancy” dinner! Plus, I saw this sparkly shift and this jeweled out top and skirt, and that would totally put all the girls in the fancy mood! Glow even got glammed up in her vintage velvet dress and gold shoes. Soul was absolutely giddy about the whole dressing up process. I think that about fulfilled her make-up party wishes.

Of course, we didn’t want her to be dressed up with no place to go, so we semi-transformed our dining area into a little “fancy” dining area just for them. Ben even dressed up to play the part of the “butler.” The girls were loving that idea! They all came downstairs dressed up in their party garb, and we had them wait in line, so the “butler” could escort them to the table. It was so cute! One by one, Ben took their hand, led them to their seat, pulled it out, and once they sat, he scooted them in, and kissed their hand. Oh those girls were giggling each time he did it!

He took their drink orders and we even had sparkling juice (and water) for the occasion. This is a water only house, so having juice was a big deal. They loved getting fancy glasses and True even led them in a toast. Seriously, these girls are so freakin’ cute to watch (and yes, I know I’m totally biased). For appetizers, they were served “fancy” cheese and crackers and some chocolate covered strawberries, and for the main course, I made each of them their own mini pizza. They were loving how Ben was serving them and how they were able to order things. We closed the dinner with a birthday song and a double decker chocolate cake for our birthday girl. Everyone had a slice or two, and then we put on some music and had ourselves a tiny dance party (it lasted about 10 minutes).

We were all tired by the end of the evening, and Ben and I kept hugging our birthday girl. I say we pretty much made the birthday girl’s wishes come true. Can’t you tell by her adorable little grin?! Now, her request for next year is a princess party at a hotel! I’ll have to figure out how to translate that into something, but you never know, she may change her mind, so I have some time.

We love our Soulie. She has such a special, sweet and fiery spirit. Thank you Lord for giving for giving her 4 years thus far and we’re praying for many more to come! Love you lots our little Soul! 

P.S. In case you’re wondering, the tall taper candle was moved once they all sat down, but we did leave the low little one. The girls never touched it (we told them not to and they obeyed) and Ben was nearby the whole time. If we didn’t think they could handle it, it wouldn’t have been there.


a little something for everyone

uncommongoods Are you done with your Christmas shopping? I think I’m pretty much done. I have a couple more things to figure out, but I think we’re mostly all set. I think we will be wrapping presents by this week’s end. Here’s a little roundup of some things that I’m loving over at Uncommon Goods

For him
1. walnut bookend lamp. I finally got Ben’s books organized on the shelf and they could definitely use these book ends!
2. heart of gold. I would give this to him with a sweet little note. That guy of mine really has a heart of gold!
3. bubble alarm clock. This would look super cool by his side of the bed.
4. bio fuel lotion. He loves a good lotion. A side story: I have super dry, rough hands, so one of Ben’s first gifts for me when we started dating was a bottle of Kiehls lotion. I give him such a hard time about it because he gave it to me in a Neiman Marcus bag because he bought it there, but you can imagine that my mind was giddy with the idea of something pretty and fancy inside. Nope! It was just lotion. Though it was indeed fancy lotion! And it really did make my hands softer!

For her
5. handstitched Guatemalan pillow. I’m a sucker for pretty pillows!
6. stacking ring. I love the mix of metals! I’m definitely a ring gal; it’s my favorite type of jewelry.
7. cheese knife and slicer. I need this for our monthly girls’ cheese and w(h)ine night.
8. kantha blanket. I’ve always loved the gorgeous patterns on these blankets.

For the kids
9. build your city. My girls would flip for this. This is where they would have all their My Little Ponies live!
10. fox pillow. My Glow is obsessed with animals. She would definitely give this pillow some lovin’.
11. playon crayon. Things for creating are just always a must in their Christmas stockings!
12. balloon modeling kit. I think my kiddos would love this (but we’d have to be careful around Glow). This would definitely keep them captivated for a whole afternoon (and then some!).

Are you done with your Christmas shopping or are you a last minute shopper?

This post is in collaboration with Uncommon Goods. Check out some of the other beautifully curated gift guides from Uncommon Goods here. Thank you friends for your continuous support of this space! 


our soul turns four

Soul turns 4 Soul turns 4 Soul turns 4 Soul turns 4 Soul turns 4 Soul turns 4 Soul turns 4 Soul turns 4 Soul turns 4 Soul turns 4 Soul turns 4 Soul turns 4 Soul turns 4 Soul turns 4 Soulie had been waiting patiently for her birthday to finally come around. About 6 months ago, she requested to have a make-up filled birthday! Before we got started on that part though, she had her traditional birthday breakfast in bed. She was awake bright and early (I was still cooking downstairs) and she made a special spot for her in our bed, awaiting to be showered with song and her special meal.

The big girls were super excited to give her that big stash of gifts pictured above. They are all things they made her and have been working on for days!  We came into the room singing “Happy Birthday,” while carrying her tray full of goodies, the big girls had a stack of presents in their arms, Ben videotaping Soul’s excitement, and Glow eyeing the breakfast on the tray. Soul’s moment had finally arrived and she was basking in all the love and attention.

The first thing she wanted to do was open presents. She opened the two Ben and I got her first; we got her some cute cat ballet flats from Old Navy (she doesn’t want to get them dirty so she doesn’t want to wear them out of the house) and we got her this wooden make-up set. Oh my goodness. From that moment, that make-up set has been stuck to her like glue. You will often see her pretending to put nail polish, blush, and lipstick! Ben is a bit uncomfortable with her obsession with makeup, but what can you do?! This is just one really girly girl! Then she proceeded to open the presents from her sisters (there are a lot!) and they are all the cutest things ever. They made her more “make-up” gifts! I think all their gifts and creativity deserve its own post. They take such pride in creating the perfect things for each other. I didn’t even know what they had made until Soul was opening them up!

All the girls did get to have the French toasts I made for everyone, but then we had to hurry up and skedaddle and send the big girls off to school. Soulie got to be queen for the day, and pretty much what she wanted to do, we did. I gave her a little spa treatment with a hand and foot massage and scrub, then proceeded to do her nails. Ben doesn’t allow the girls to wear nail polish at this age (it’s his preference), so it was a big deal that she got to do it for her birthday. It was one of her requests, so for her birthday, he obliged. She was loving that manicure and pedicure time! Afterwards, she relaxed in bed and watched her favorite show.

Before the big girls came home, I took Soul on a special froyo date and we had some sweet one on one time. It’s so special to be able to share some quiet moments with her one on one. It’s hard when you’re in the middle because she’s always had to share me. She is definitely the feisty one, but she’s still got a whole lot of sweet in her too, so I’m glad that we got to do a little celebrating of her that day.

Her birthday celebrating continued into the evening, filled with more girlishness and Soulie celebrating…


family meals: week 55

family meals family meals Prosciutto and Caramelized Onion Pizza. It’s one of my go-to pizzas. It’s absolutely delicious (and easy!). o is my go-to recipe for whole wheat crust.

family meals Vietnamese Chicken Pho. I was sick and wanting some pho badly. I made a big pot full that I think I’ve had this 4 days in a row. Our stove went out and I couldn’t boil water for the noodles, so I ended up just having to use fresh udon noodles as a substitute, it’s not the same, but it did the job.

Week 12/9 – 12/13
Monday: Leftovers
Tuesday: Crab cakes
Wednesday: Ben’s birthday dinner
Thursday: Black Bean Soup
Friday: Sushi/pizza night

It’s been cold and soups (and spicy things) are all I’ve been craving. If you have a yummy, spicy soup to share, please do!



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