Tuesday, April 17, 2018

mommy's on a movie!

Well the prep has begun and I am officially working on a movie. Task 1 was getting our production office setup and on that I spearheaded the design/instal/assembly of our office kitchen. My boss had the rest of the staff give me a round of applause today for all the work I had done to make it look legit. I brought all manner of stuff from home that we could spare to make it look liveable and what do you know that dumb hobby of interior decorating has paid off.
Learning a lot so far and I am enjoying all of my co-workers and very excited and happy and thankful and a lot of positive things. But please keep praying for us! I need all I can get.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

operation play pen

So... about (what?!) two years ago I wrote out a plan for what I imagined our backyard designated play area would be. And then something happened that delayed us, what was it... oh yeah ANOTHER BABY. Anyway, that baby is one, we got a tax refund and... we done it! Or it'll be totally done after tomorrow when we build and install a gate.
About a year ago I wanna say Alexa and Eric had put up a temporary fence to keep the dogs out and that was pretty effective. We got a few outdoor toy additions and we had a so/so setup. The floor was rubber mulch but Wally couldn't really crawl on it. We'd decided to do the fake turf and I got one quote.
We mentioned that we wanted to build a fence and they said to do it before they come in and install the turf so the posts don't have to be in the way of the turf. On Monday, Matt's dad Dan came by and helped us get it going. While Matt and I went to Lowe's, we called the turf guy and scheduled them for the next day. Dan dug the holes for all the posts and moved things out of the way and then was just waiting for us on a trip that took way too long. Matt had to leave for a meeting and we were running out of daylight but at least the posts and the bottom frames were up and level.
Before Dan left we tried to make two full sections to kinda trouble shoot and see if we liked it. Yes.
The next day around 7:30 the turf guys arrived and began the work. 
By around 12, they were done. Could we have done it ourselves? Maybe. But this was a case of time is money and they had all the tools and material and it is warrantied for 18 years!
Ta-da! Green! Perfect "grass" that we never have to mow or do anything to except blow leaves off!
An EvY for scale. Is it hot in the sun? Mmm so so. I would say make sure to wear shoes while it's hot but we put up an umbrella and under some shade, it was really nice to the touch.
I really wanted to finish as much as I could so while Matt put Wally down for a nap and did some stuff in the house, Alice became my little helper!
I have never seen her so dedicated. She held that little box of screws with all her focus and handed them to me when I asked and brought me the hammer and seriously, it killed me.
She had been running around all day like crazy but she really wanted to help so she would sit and wait for her moment. I love that she was part of helping us build a fence for her play area.
And speaking of play... what it's all about.
He doesn't just sit here, he climbs it, stands on it. Boys are crazy.
Well it only took two years but now we are one day away from this puppy being completed. 
But for now, it is no longer the corner of shame for our backyard. In fact, it's pretty fantastic.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

oh, hi blog

You know how like I only write when I'm not working? I'm not working! Can't say that I ain't loving it except for these past few days when Wally got a fever and then something hit me and it's been a... poopy situation. Plus rain and you've got yourself some cooped up critters and tired parents.
We're doing what we can to stave off the cabin fever and it's been challenging. I have grown to appreciate how kid friendly our house is and that I don't have to worry too much about things being precious like when a certain toddler abuses the pink ink pad.
Wally woke up around 5am on Wednesday with a fever and mostly wanted to be held. It didn't last long and we did appreciate the cuddles but he's all better now. Me on the other hand... any day now!
Wally has turned a corner since turning one. He plays with things way more now and is a little less of a fuss pot. He is however, so dang stubborn! Every night we pull him out of the bathtub that he so enjoys playing in and he throws these huge tantrums and makes it very challenging to change him. Boy has opinions. But the fact that he can sit and play with toys near his sister for over 1 minute is a step in the right direction. He's also taking baby steps. And he's still freaking adorable.
Watching the two of them play with or near each other is so incredible. I see all the love and frustration that comes with siblings. That of loving them and wanting to play with them and be left alone all at the same time. Oh they share a room now! Did I mention that? It's been amazing to have our bedroom back and that for the most part they don't wake each other up in the middle of the night. Alice no longer naps and is so knocked out by the end of the day that she hears nothing. I can't believe that having set up the room for them to share finally happened. Matt did the major effort in that department and I am so glad he did. 
I'm in between jobs and more particularly... a big job. Like... a movie. YUP. I'll write more about that when I know the details but I got the call on Friday night that I was in. I am both excited and nervous but mostly excited for this new adventure. But ain't nothing like adventures at home.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Wally is ONE!

My son is one! One year ago this tiny thing was born. 
We threw him an EPIC Disneyland birthday party and unlike Alice who rarely smiled at her party, this dude was happy and smiling and waving and making loud noises and ate his cake with GUSTO.
I wanna recap the party in detail later but... the highlights have got to be.... well, the train.

Moana singing and blowing us all away.

My dad as Mr. Fredricksen handing out balloons to happy kids.
And, what day at Disneyland would be complete without.... a parade.
We all survived a year of being a family with two small children and it's not been easy. But for all the lows, there's way more highs. And just look at him with that cake.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

double beds

I'm anticipating that post before might stay up longer than I want to due to lack of time to update so I'm gonna push it down a hair and put up this image for no reason.
I love the look of these beds but oof that frame doesn't look comfy.

one year later

Well it’s been a year since the inauguration of that shithole into office. Things are amazing, I was so wrong. Ever since he became president we’ve seen unprecedented harmony and love between all Americans. People have never been nicer, racism is all but gone, and the US is the most respected and admired country in the world. He’s matured so much as a person, is super presidential and never acts unbecoming on Twitter or elsewhere.


Come on y’all. It sucks. Every few days he throws some temper tantrum on Twitter that attacks someone personally amongst a plethora of annoying things that he and his administration handles.

In fact, here are some lessons I’ve learned from the president of the United States, things I hope to pass onto my children:
  1. If anyone thinks unfavorably of you they are wrong and anything like a poll that says otherwise is a lie.
  2. If anyone criticizes you, take that opportunity to make it personal and attack their looks, their past, anything you have at your disposal, use it. 
  3. If a person of color or a woman criticizes me, I should be even more pissed. They are lower life forms and deserve to be attacked harsher than anyone.
  4. If I do anything positive or good I should expect a huge amount of praise and thanks. It should be done publicly and quickly. If anything is not done to this specification, I am free to attack them any way I see fit condemning/wishing upon them any harm I can think of.
  5. Ethics do not apply to me or my personal businesses. I am free to make money off of them and can promote them any way possible.
  6. I was right in criticizing the former president of the US for golfing too much. Even though I am at one of my resorts golfing more times that he did his entire presidency I am still right.
  7. White men are better and right. So if say a white rapper criticizes me I won’t attack him but if a Latina mayor of a town devastated by a hurricane criticizes my administration, she gets a thumping.
  8. I can get away with anything as long as I claim/pretend that I’m a Christian. Ditto to anyone else running for office even if there are pretty substantiated claims that he is a pedophile.
That’s just like… SOME of the bad stuff. 

On top of that he continues to spout racist bullshit about Mexicans and how drug and crime infested it is that these illegals are just POURING into America throwing drugs and we still need that fucking wall he was talking about. What a racist crock. Instead of trying to be a real man and real person and real leader one could do something about illegal immigration in a way that was more what’s that word… decent and diplomatic? But his racist base demands some sound byte and that wall is his big thing.

Anyway, who gives a crap about that dweeb, this is about me and how I personally have been impacted by this joke of a human being. (I mean seriously you guys, he thinks that beauty pageants are cool. He thinks that branded steaks are high class. He hosted a reality tv show. JOKE.) Overall it’s not really affected me financially in any way so far and hasn’t affected my freedoms day to day. I’m waiting and waiting for some way this administration is going to screw me for being either Mexican or a mom or a female breadwinner but since I live in California I’ve been safe so far. I’m on pins and needles about the healthcare stuff and the  tax reform stuff because they claim the middle class is safe and would get a tax break, I’m not comforted. The healthcare stuff worries me because if premiums start going up I hope it won’t affect my employer provided healthcare since through it I insure my husband and two children. I pay an extra $450 a month which is not bad so I hope I hope I hope weird stuff doesn’t start happening. 

Emotionally though, it is taking a toll on me. Spiritually, I am affected. I have taken a break from reading Twitter or the news which is great for me. It’s hard to avoid not knowing everything but it was so exhausting so just getting the highlights is the best I can spare for now. I mentioned that I’ve been going to therapy and while I never want to go when it’s time to go I am so glad when I leave. It’s really helped me process things and realize what it is that I’m angry at. 

I was also in a deep darkness for a lot of last year and I have d d d depression. Hormones + fearing for my safety and safety of my children drove me down down down. Shutting down the news was step one and therapy was step 2. I hate how much time it took me away from my son’s first year. I feel like I missed out some the highs of his babydom because I was just so hurt and angry a lot of the time. But things are coming out the darkness a lot more and there’s a tiny light and some hope and well, time. Hopefully just 7 more years of that awful rhetoric, 3 more if God is merciful. 

Things haven’t been the same with my extended family since the election since a lot of them voted for him. I don’t trust any of them. I don’t really want to be around any of them. I understand I have to deal with people who don’t agree with me on politics and religion but do I have to enjoy and revel in constant bigotry and racism? Do I have to embrace the fact that they want to build a wall between the country that made me and the country that shaped me? Do I feel safe knowing that despite the fact that I’m Mexican and that my children are half Mexican that I am valued in their eyes? That they honestly care about me and want for my safety and well being? And don’t even get me started on what it’s supposed to mean that they consider themselves Christians and they thought the most Christian thing they could do was align themselves with such hate. Align themselves with such a man. I don’t know how to deal with this and that is the part that’s talked about a lot in my therapy sessions. 

Last year was pretty sucky. Actually it was just fucking awful a lot of times.


This year. 

I have hope. I have faith. I have family. I have work. I have friends. Somewhere underneath all this racism and hatred there is still a country I loved and was proud of. We still have National Parks (for now) and libraries and public education (for now). These are things I had last year too but it was hard to see through the darkness. I will continue to fight against the dying of the light. Let's keep resisting.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

bookcases flanking things with sconces

I like this concept for a guest room where you can fill it with pretty things but it's out of the way and completely space saving. And that you know they need lamps but there's no space so they sconce.
I consider this combination for the office a lot but I dunno if I need more bookcases in there. Plus I want them to be very specific like how the bottom is deeper than the top shelves. What's is that?
I am on my laptop on a Saturday while Alice watches a movie so I can kind of ignore her while Matt and Wally nap because a last minute job came up and now I guess I gotta work. I need more work. Xo.

Monday, January 8, 2018

the desk wall in the office

I decided when I laid out the office that the desk would be on this wall so that I'd have a space for a memo board of sorts and then we had an extra bookcase and that ended up in here and I've been thinking of what would be a good solution to this wall of desk to make it more streamlined and useful to what I think we could use in the office.
Ideally on this wall I would have a double desk and both closed and open storage. A double desk because well, I have two kids and maybe they could do homework here or I could be on one while they're on the other and one could be the boys and one the girls desk. Also sometimes I work from home and have co-workers so a built in double desk would be amazing. Probably my favorite/best inspiration is this built-in desk that was on Domino. Plus it was in green and white and pink with gold accents which are my major color combos for the office!
I also found this cheaper idea at Ikea which is a customizable wall mounted situation and it doesn't stick out too much into the room and we want as much moveable space as possible in this room. Plus it wouldn't be so permanent as the other built in. I just dunno if I'm wild about the look, but the concept yes, it's all one unit.
They do make these kind of double desks as well but I would want some wall mounted shelving as well since I do still need a hearty amount of storage. Or do we? I've been pruning away at the office and I just want to eliminate as much as possible because we already have so much stuff in there furniture wise and things wise. I have made a philosophical decision that any overflow toys would live in the kids room because we have enough toys out there already, I don't want to have to make room for spare toys in there on top of the toys in the living room AND their room?! Their closet already has art/crafting supplies. So the office will be just for office supplies/party planning/gifting.
I'm back to the drawing board in there literally working on the room board and shuffling things around. I'll post something when I think it through a little more. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

top 5 home items for 2018

Last year and the year before that I made a short list of a few home items I wanted and since I got 4 out of 5 I'm gonna say we did good. So here's what would be nice to upgrade keeping in mind that these are just small things that would work if we remodeled. I guess I'm feeling super wordy so this is gonna be unnecessarily long but if you don't wanna read, just look at the pictures.

Overall I'm committing to the "modern farmhouse" thing in that I ONLY want to buy things that would work in other rooms of the house if I felt the need to switch things out. Which basically means anything I buy needs to be black/white/grey and in the style of that aesthetic. I also have a major regret with the master bed and bathroom in that I wish I wouldn't have done the midcentury modern brass thing because now I want to keep the style consistent for the whole house and that room is sort of an outlier (and the office but the office is a funky playroom so it is what it is and I'm cool with it). I did do a few things recently to correct that and we replaced the brass curtain rods with more classic b&w ones which is good, luckily I bought side lamps that work earlier, and the doorknobs are all black too. If I would take it further I would replace the hardware in the bathroom to black. I would keep the midcentury modern furniture until they crapped out which is years down the line. I don't hate them by any means but my style has changed/evolved.

1) Rug upgrades for office/laundry/kid room. I have a problem with rug committing and rug choosing and just... rugs. I chose the wrong sizes, I go for cheap ones that I get sick of and as of right now I am only really into the rug in the living room and maybe the runner. The dogs ruined the rug in the laundry room, I am not wild about the rug in the kids room and I really would like a proper sized rug for the office. Right now it has a rug that was way too big for the living room and barely fits in there but I haven't found a replacement yet. I've realized that what works in our house are the flat wool type rugs with a nice soft felt pad underneath to keep them from sliding and make them softer underfoot. I need things that can be easily vacuumed and for babies to crawl on and not get lint on their hands that they then try to eat. We definitely need a new rug for the laundry room that the dogs won't chew up, they already destroyed another one. I want a better rug for the kids' room and obviously a proper sized one for the office. I am gonna need to mock rugs up in rooms before I commit and read reviews and measure very carefully before I decide to buy which will probably be from RugsUSA.com so we're talking online purchase that I can't see in person. This is Matt's most hated obsession of mine. Once I get them right I'm done! Right?
2) Matching side tables for the office. I didn't quite think through the office side table situation, we just used what we had and now that I've lived with it I think we just need some simple matching side tables that we can use when guests come over and also to stash my magazines on one side and guest blankets on the other and the top drawers can hold remotes and guest room supplies. 
3) Smaller lamps for the office. The lamps we have now are these HUGE mirrored lamps that used to work in many rooms in our house but our style has evolved and I want something smaller that suits the room. Simple and small and modern.
3) Replace light in the master closet. It's a boob light right now and it needs to go.
4) Proper desk chair. I have this very large dining chair there now and I do often wish I had one with wheels that would roll in and out easily but then I start to think hmm would Alice confiscate it to ride in it? Maybe I should get one without wheels.
5) Kitchen Faucet. We won't be doing any remodel type stuff but one thing that might be necessary would be a new faucet for the kitchen. The one we have barely moves and it can always be used again when we fix up the kitchen. 
There's tiny things I'd like to do too but these are purchases. I have high hopes that before we hit the five year anniversary of our house (NEXT MONTH) we will finally paint the living room and kitchen and maybe our master bedroom? ONE CAN DREAM. 

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2018! We are here.

TWENTY EIGHTEEN WOOOO. The last month of 2017 was actually pretty good to great so I ended well and am starting this year very optimistically. I had a break full of productivity and nothing and socializing so when I went to work today I felt content. Which is a good feeling to have when you're a person battling depression. And these little joys certainly help.
New Year's Eve and New Year's is a big day for me. I love ending and starting things I guess? I also love the idea and themes and general what have yous of New Year's such as glam and gold. We hosted a few couples for my annual chili (3rd year in a row!) and I went all out with the table. I think I've been collecting New Year's Eve party ideas for awhile now and was glad I finally got to execute a few of them like a disco ball and clocks. Oh and the perfectly tipped over coupe, come on. 
I've got to recap 2017 soon and then I owe a few lists for house goals and personal goals.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

feliz navidad

We had a nice Christmas with my familia at our home. My mom and Francisco made maybe the best pozole I've ever had and we had whoever could make it here plus the kids. 
It was a different kind of festivity this year with some family hiccups but I don't think we've ever felt closer to each other. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

money and time

We've started a new series at church called "The Space Between" about living life within margins. I don't quite have the time to expand on the concept but it's been really hitting home lately. The first one was about finances and the second one was about time. Time and money, the two things everyone could use more of right? So it's about those two things my brain has been going.

Money. This year has been TIGHT with finances. The primary breadwinner went and had a baby and then didn't work for three months planned, a fourth month kinda planned, and a fifth month definitely not planned. The first three months I had a maternity leave money but the other two we just ate into savings. Work was slow. Then after that it was off and on with three weeks unintentionally just a few weeks ago. And then our AC broke and we had to replace it and that was not cheap my friends. I make a pretty good living when I work so working nonstop for about three months was really helpful but not enough to help us bank extra savings and definitely not enough to qualify for a refi which we applied for a few weeks ago. Just last week my sister in-law called and we chatted about the refi and it was just after a sermon about money and living within margins and after Matt and I went and cut everything we needed to cut in our finances and not spending anything on anything other than food (and some smart christmas present fenagaling). She told me we didn't qualify because my income didn't show that I was steady which totally makes sense. I can't even say it was disappointing to hear. We did want to do the refi and cash out to do the remodel we were talking about but I just felt this big sense of peace about waiting. Just wait 'til next year. Wait 'til I am working steadily again. Wait 'til we replenish savings. Wait. Just wait. And you know me and wanting to do projects I am alllll about them. But honestly, it just wasn't ranking high on things that were super important. We own a house. In California. In greater Los Angeles. In a popular neighborhood. I mean, sheesh, that's huge enough. And I am grateful every single day about it, I really am. I'm not sitting here like ugh I hate this house, I hate this kitchen blah blah. I love this house. I love our kitchen. I just want to make them better. That's just the nature of me: I want better. But right now, we're just gonna wait. We're gonna do the little things we can do in the meantime and then we'll try again later to apply and who knows what will be going on by then. Hopefully: more money.

I got into this chat with Matt about wanting less things and realizing that the things I wanted and kept wishing for were just better versions of things I already owned. Which means: I don't need those things. They're not high on the priority list. And when time comes to upgrade things I don't want to cut corners anymore. I want to invest in things that we will like and that will last. This includes clothes too. Instead of three crappy cheap jeans, one pair of good ones that fit well. Etcetera.

And time. I think our pastor talks a lot about busyness because that's the nature of the town we live in. Everyone's always "busy". Matt and I are not "busy" per se. We don't have a lot of time because we have two small children and our days are consumed by them. They are needy of our time and desperate for our attention. Most weekends we're pretty free and we only have one weekly scheduled activity (small group/bible study) and the rest of the time it's just trying to carve time with the kids and each other. When I'm working I want to come home as quickly as possible and spend it with the kids before they go to bed around 8/9. Then wake up, get ready, go to work, try to get home as quickly as possible and spend it with the kids before they go to bed around 8/9. Repeat. So that leaves little time for each other or ourselves outside of work and the kids. Some nights we watch a tv show, some nights I organize something in the house, some nights I work, and some nights I just spend time alone watching tv or right now I just felt like I wanted to write a little bit just 'cause. I feel guilty about time and wasting time. I waste a lot of time. I prioritize things in weird ways sometimes. I start projects that can wait. I am carving out time to go to therapy every few weeks which is becoming a pretty good thing. I need time for me and I've been needing to take the time to deal with my stuff for decades and now is the time. If not now, when? Good a time as any. And we still need more time alone me and Matt. We still crave that quality time just the two of us. Which I am grateful to have that feeling. We like hanging out together after all this time and that's good!

The sermon this week asked this: What does it mean to number my days?

+ - > <
What do I need to add?
What do I need to remove?
What do I need to do more of?
What do I need to do less of?

I'm gonna start there. And I'm gonna stop here. Because it's time... for bed.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

revised ideas for the laundry room

So the laundry room has had a few things done so far on this list: we installed that overhead light that's pretty as a picture, we installed upper cabinets, and we painted the room blue. I've updated the ideas list and here's where we at.
Things to do next:
1) Replace the old washer and dryer with two front loaders
2) Build a countertop surface over the washer/dryer/lower cabinets
3) Install lower cabinets, dark grey ideally
4) Replace crappy tile floor with pretty tile floor
5) Add beadboard around the room? Would that look good?
6) Install a pocket door by the entry to the kitchen?
7) I still am loving the idea of a sink in here. These guys did a really tiny one and it's great.

Friday, November 3, 2017

ideas for the kid's bath

I assume that the first thing we'd gut and do would be the guest bath. Probably because it's teeny and probably because the bathtub in there is currently peeling and awful. The main problem with this bathroom is that it is oh I already said that: teeny. I have two ideas for what would make it look bigger. 1) a sink that isn't a cabinet to give more floor space 2) a pocket door. Overall I want it to be black and white and grey: duh. But also some wood and brass to soften it up. I have very specific rules about hardware and fixtures and my rule is: all chrome fixtures and hardware I like to be black usually. I want the bathroom to be modern yet classic, industrial yet soft. So a flower shower curtain with a pipe curtain rod. A slate black floor with a striped or polka dot rug. Etc. 
These are kinda general ideas and not quite specifically these items per se but this is the general idea. I'd like to tile the entire shower area tub to ceiling and then tile the walls about I dunno, halfway up around the whole room with white subway tile with black grout and dark grey paint from tile to ceiling. Once I put it all together it was like oh, all those things do make sense. 

Monday, October 23, 2017

spark into a flame

I threw a good party and I have time off. Those two things are leading to my brain being maxed out on inspiration and creativity. The party made me cook so that got me thinking about kitchens and recipes and the time off has me reading magazines and since Thanksgiving cooking is around the corner I'm feeling like spending some time in the kitchen again. And wishing my kitchen were this pretty. Also decided I want inset cabinets and I'm SUPER over farmhouse. Sorry Jo, I think I want something a little more classic and timeless than shiplap.
The cooking made me fantasize about a fall picnic. Gosh doesn't that sound dreamy? Even better if everything looked this cute right?
Halloween decorating ideas are still on my mind. I don't do orange, it's just not a color I do. We do black and white. And my Halloween style is more Victorian Gothic so lots of "The Raven" with bits of like apothecary and mad scientist lab. No demons or devils or jack o lanterns. Skulls. 
The Good Housekeeping issue for Thanksgiving is So. Good. One side of the issue has the most incredible looking recipes and I plan on making everything on one particular page and the other side of the issue has this great fall fashion spread that is making me want some new heels and a pleated skirt. Though a pleated skirt is a year-long thing. I love a good pleat. Also: fall florals. Can't get enough! I love them I love them I love them. Blush pink with grey and white and black. YES.
Okay it's almost 1am so I better get to bed. It's just so nice and quiet right now and my brain is craving pretty things. Just a few more web hits and then I'll go to bed.