Happy New Year – 2015!

Is it January 2015 already?  Since I haven’t blogged in what seems like ages…I can’t apologize anymore for it as it is what it is!  2014 literally flew by and I’m still not sure where all my photos went 😦

The fall holidays have left me spent!  Photography has been kind to me and so my days are filled with taking lots and lots of photos and chasing my guy around.  Thank you to all my clients this past year and that this year will be even bigger and better.  Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and a New Year…I’m exhausted already.

I fell by the wayside of not blogging at least once a week but far exceeded my expectations by doing it a couple days out of the month.  All these Moms that do it EVERYDAY are EXTRAORDINARY!!!

My camera has exploded and I’ve become a mass photo hoarder (not good for my hard drives!).

My guy has had many blessings last year and have experienced many things.  From Legoland to Disneyland and camping, his biggest blessing is having been able to spend his days with family.

Here are some photo round-ups of the last few months since I haven’t shared in quite awhile! {although I have been somewhat active on IG if you follow me there…I think that counts!}  These are all quite random in their order so don’t judge.

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Top: The Diva was in The Nutcracker this year as an Angel!, with Santa at the Christmas tree farm

Middle:  Carsland at Disney’s California Adventure with McQueen and Tow-Mader!

Bottom: Daredevil turned the big “2” in December and more visits at Disneyland!

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Warm weather was kind and visited Southern California in November & December so we had some nice and sunny beach days!  {Just look at those sculpted abs!}  All the beach photos were taken on different days although it looks the same ’cause he’s wearing the same trunks and holding the same shovel…oops!

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The “let’s look for Christmas trees dance”

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And finally…New Year’s Eve!  {note: we went to bed 15 minutes before midnight!}

Have a great Friday and wonderful weekend and I’ll be back next week to share more new things!  Cheers!

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Los Angeles Natural History Museum

Welcome to October!  Isn’t is crazy how it’s almost the end of the year again?!  Time for a season that involves wearing my favorite clothing accessory…winter boots, yay!  So look forward to boot photos coming up 🙂 {cold weather boots, furry boots, rain boots, riding boots, and the list goes on!}

This summer in southern California has been a hot one!  Annnd…it’s still going strong well into October for some strange reason.  Because of that we tried to do activities that involved staying indoors and somewhere with controlled champion air-conditioning, which led to the LA Natural History Museum located at Exposition Park.

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It was a fabulous experience for the boys.  I’m not sure what happened to all my photos but these were the only few that I found.  If I find the rest somewhere, I’ll make sure to post them.  All the dinosaur exhibits were aahhh-mazing!  They even had the coolest mug in the museum store, it had a dinosaur inside so it looked like it was coming out of your coffee!!

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They had the most beautiful elevators that remind me of Old Hollywood glamour.

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Many, many jewels inside glass cases inside chilled vault doors.

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We also made a quick stop at the Science Center but didn’t have time to do everything so we’ll be coming back for sure with the Diva so that maybe I can replicate those photos that I can’t seem to find.

Knott’s Berry Farm – 2014

A couple weeks ago we took the boys to Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA. Knott’s Berry Farm is a smaller amusement park than most located in California, but you know what…they got some pretty darn good rides and the boys were able to go on most of the little kiddie rides…more rides than Legoland…dare I say!  It’s theme is old-town western and nostalgic gold-mine California. I absolutely love all the details in their old buildings down to the dusty windows!  How cool is that house made of entirely all bottles!?

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We even had some train robbers come take a look at the boys’ Jordans!  They really enjoyed that!  It was a gorgeous day but oh so hot!  We sat in a wild west show but I have no photos since we chose to sit in a covered wagon and the vantage point for taking photos wasn’t great unless you wanted to see everyone’s backs!

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I actually haven’t been in more than 10 years, the last time I went I saw Brandy there giving a performance. Yes! I said Brandy…you know…I Wanna Be Downnn {don’t mock me but every now and then I listen to it!}  And back then, our entire family of five fit into the log ride!  I’ll share that photo one day.

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Anyjows, it was pretty fun and we got to go on some mellow rides and some not, some were actually pretty scary for me as a mom. And…some of the rides the boys got to do it alone! They had these belts on that could only be taken off when the ride attendant came around with the key!! Wowzers…they are serious about safety as all parents should be!  I found a coupon online which saved us $20 each so I highly suggest coupon hunting before you go!

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Food wasn’t so bad either, we had ribs and funnel cake with the boys eating mostly the powdered sugar. We also went on a Tuesday which meant little to no wait for rides. It took longer for them to check that everyone was belted in than for the rides itself! Knott’s is more of a day trip, you could probably do everything before the sun sets, which is great for little kids!  {notes for readers, the boys ages are 20 months and 25 months}

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Hope your trip to Knott’s is going to be just as fun as ours! {yes, those are THE Jordans!}

 

 

1st Annual Camping Trip – 2014

As a child I was blessed with some great parents.  Even though way back in the day when their English was limited, they took us on some great adventures.  We took many flights across the states to the East as well as road trips all the way up north to Canada.  It gives me the tingles to be able to share these adventures and begin new ones with my guy and my sister’s kids.

Since this is the first time we’ve all been in the same place at the same time, our family decided to go camping. {WAIT! I lie, the Disney cruise was the first time, oops!!}  And what better place to camp then Lake Silverwood in Hesperia.  As kids, our parents took us there on day trips and I remember those as some good times during our childhood.

Because our guys are very little, we didn’t want to trek too far for their first camping experience.  This was also the first time we were going camping with the Kiles!  {they were great fun with their dr.love jokes!}  Thanks for coming guys!  I hope we have more good times!

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Obviously the kids were so hard at work putting up the tents that they were also the first ones to sit down as well!

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After setting up, we were graced with some beautiful light!

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Again, I took too many photos!  But our food spread was too good not to share!  I mean really Mom…who brings shrimp and squid camping?!  It was a bit gourmet…ookkaayy maybe a lot gourmet since we also had mimosas!

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The kids had a blast at the lake.  It was hard to get them to leave!  The lake itself wasn’t too bad but the wind might’ve been a wee bit strong and made it a bit chillier than normal.

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Lake Silverwood is a great place to camp with your kids.  Hopefully next year, we can do this again a bit longer at a different spot!

Orange County Fair – 2014

OC Fair, one word = hot!  An experience that hopefully the kids won’t forget and will maybe remember.  Corn dogs, lemonade, fruit…you name it, the fair has got it.  We ventured out on a cloudy Sunday morning and hoped it would stay that way but as fate would have it…sun came out and heated us up.   It made for a gorgeous day nonetheless.

Our favorite part was having the kids getting their faces painted.  Nothing I like better than enthusiastic and happy face painters!

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I think the boys enjoyed looking at each other after the face painting.

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Of course the fair had the requisite barn animals, rides, and carnival games.  One of the other highlights was entering the “air-conditioned” building full of artwork and masterpieces.  The cakes were fabulous to look at and the desserts that were entered into the contests were delightfully dazzling.

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I am amazed at the time people take to grow their own fruits and vegetables! Sadly, everything I grow gets the Bora touch and eventually wilts away 😦

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Check out that Eiffel Tower in the top middle photo…can you guess what it’s made out of?! Here’s a close-up shot.

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Miniature perfume bottles!  How cool!

While there are many many pros of the fair, let’s face it…there are also cons.  While the pros far outweigh the cons, I gotta be honest and list some cons that kind of bothered me but I just “let it go” at the end of the day.

  •  Not many rides for the 3 and younger crowd
  •  Employees of the carnival games seemed to be “not happy” to be working the fair.  {C’mon guys, these kids are super excited to be at the fair and are super excited to play these games…the least you can do is smile when they actually win something}

I hope you enjoyed my OC Fair 2014 review!  I don’t want to end on a bad note so hopefully this guy’s smile will make you smile in return.  I know just looking at him makes me get the honey glow something awful!

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Note: This is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own.

Ambassador of Fruit

If fruit had an ambassador, it would be me.  For as long as I remember I am big on eating fresh fruit.  And I may have influenced many people along the way, mainly my old school friends.  I love that I am still connected to them and that they are a part of my life… it is amazing that some of us have kids!  Sometimes I go back memory lane with them and I always hear, “You know what Beth {that’s what I went by back in the day}, I eat more fruit and berries because of you!”.  It makes me smile and laugh when I hear that.  It makes me feel good.  That’s not to say I don’t eat junk food…I still like a twinkie and ho-ho every now and then, but if I had to choose my toppings for yogurt, I’d choose fresh fruit over candy any day.

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Onto my latest adventure with the little guys…we went to Downtown Long Beach Farmer’s Market (here’s a good link for more info, http://www.goodveg.org/LBDT.html).  I have to say I’m a little disappointed in it.  In my heyday, it was humoungous and offered all sorts of things from food to crafts and it was on the promenade.  I mean, it just went on forever.  Now it is on one block with very little vendors and sadly…no crafts.

One of the best things though is the apple guy.  He sells apples {well obviously!} and he cuts them into different characters for the kids!  In minutes too!

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{I will also say it disappeared in minutes and the head managed to roll somewhere unknown}

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And thanks to the guys on the right who gave us free samples of their rib tip!

Harbor Cruise – Long Beach

I like to venture out and explore lots of places…and I include my toddler in almost every single way possible.  I don’t think life’s adventures should stop when you have a child, you just have to make slight modifications in the plan…and prepare the plan ahead of time in case there are unforeseen obstacles you might encounter along the way.

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There are many harbor cruise offerings in Long Beach now and to narrow it down to the one you want can be hard.  Let me help you.  Numero uno ruleLook for groupons!!  There are always coupons out there!  Yes, you want to do exciting things but sometimes these exciting things are rough on the wallet so therefore you must be vigilant in looking for great deals! (do I sound like a superhero?!)

So we found this groupon and it was $24 for four adults! (that’s $6/person) for a 45-minute harbor cruise of Long Beach.  Normal tickets are $12, I believe.  You can check their website for coupons as well but nothing gets better than the groupons.  Kids two and under are free.  It’s called Harbor Breeze Cruises.

The boat itself was a little shabby but hey for $6, I can take it.  Two levels, downstairs it’s just windows with seating area but perfect for our party since we had three young’uns with us.  Upstairs there is no shade and can get windy.  Halfway through the cruise, most of the families with young kids ventured back downstairs.  Windows downstairs are pretty big and the bench seats were pretty comfortable.  They had a tiny snack bar with drinks, candy and whatnot.  Maybe next time we’ll try their whale watching cruise as I’ve heard it’s much better than this one.

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Perfect view of the Queen Mary and the sea lions were the most exciting thing on the cruise!

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Sorry, my photos aren’t that great…I didn’t think I was going to review it but decided to anyways because I thought people should have an idea of what their short cruises are like.  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to shoot them my way so I can include them on here.

This is a non-sponsored post and all opinions are my own!

Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

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This is the start of many more aquatic adventures on my blog.  If you follow my blog and know me well, then you know that the ocean is my playground.  But in order to enjoy it, you must respect it and learn as much about it as you can.  I definitely want to instill that in my Viking and is beyond thrilled that he already loves fish and loves to stick his hands in all the touch tanks at the aquarium.

I went to CMA (Cabrillo Marine Aquarium) when I was in the sixth grade and oh my… it has changed soooo much, barely recognizable for me.  It is sentimental and nostalgic that I was able to take my son here.  CMA is a great place because one, it is freeeee! (donations are welcome of course!) and two, the beach and playground is right across the parking lot!  Parking is $1/hr and bathrooms are ehhh…let’s just say they need to be updated.   It is located in old town San Pedro.

One of the highlights of this adventure was the Exploration area.  It was amazingly clean and such a great set-up for kids of all ages to explore!  It challenges you to use all your senses to explore the ocean and they even provide tools for you to engage yourself as a marine biologist!  How cool is that!

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Let’s just say he kind of likes looking through things!

When hitting Southern California with your kids, this is a must-see.  It’s a secret spot that’s not so crowded but you get the best of both worlds with the aquarium and then the beach after.  What’s not to like?

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To all my sic-fi lovers…what does the background look like??  (Hint: Star Wars…They are used by the Old Republic and the Galactic Empire for ground assault or transport)  Pretty cool right??!!

Metamorphosis

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ISO 125, 1/500, f/2.8  – 50mm

Who says you can’t capture shots like these without a macro lens?  Yes…there might be some noises emanating from your lens due to the auto-focusing but hey…YOU CAN DO IT!   And yes, there is a difference in bokeh between the 50mm f/1.8 II and the 85mm f/1.8.  If you look really closely, the bokeh circles are slightly hexagonal (is that a word?) in the 50mm although it still produces fantastic photos and is a powerful little lens!  One day I’ll do a comparison.

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These guys are living and thriving in my sister’s backyard right now.  There used to be six and now there are only two, maybe three?  Hopefully we’ll be able to watch these guys through the rest of the stages of metamorphosis.  It is amazing how cool these guys are yet it makes me shiver looking at them because of their many legs.  Reminds me of that worm thing in Dune!  Teeehhee who remembers that movie?!  Sci-fi movies are fascinating to me!

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Stealing Kisses

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Although this photo was somewhat staged, it is one of my favorite photos and one of the very few that I share with my son.  I knew what kind of shot I wanted and so I set my settings beforehand and told my sister exactly what I wanted.  Although I may come across a little bossy sometimes, I am very specific about how I want my photo and what to include in the frame.  So I am very proud that my sister was able to capture this for me.  The photo credit shall go to her!

On a whim we decided to go to the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch.  I’m so glad we were there.  It was glorious…fields upon fields of gorgeous stunning flowers.  It was an amazing experience for the kids.  If you’re ever in San Diego from March through May, this is a must-see.  They are only open to the public for these three short months!

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They have everything from wagon rides to ice-cream, the ever so refreshing lemonade I’m always searching for, a maze, a chicken coop, and little maps for the kids to stamp where they’ve been in the fields.  It was quite nostalgic complete with what I thought were probably real farmers!

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My mom came with us and she likes to pose and smile directly at the camera…so naturally my Viking wanted to copy everything she did and this resulted in some funny shots for a 21-month old, take a look at the one below.  Have a laugh to start off your weekend!

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…and I don’t want to forget the diva!

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