Monday, November 21, 2011


A comment I received recently was how my scrapbooking style has changed through the years. Yep! It's hard not to love the new products that come out year after year, it's hard not to follow the trends when they are so darn cute. But it is great to look back and see the progress and the changes. It's also fun to have captured a bit of it through the years in our scrapbooks.

In 2004, we vacationed in Walt Disney World for the first time as a family. Epcot Center was my favorite, Disneyland was the kids favorite. At the age of 2 and 4, we were very into the Disney princesses and it was a dream come true to meet them in person! Haha.

That fall, we continued our mainland tradition of visiting a pumpkin patch, this time with the cousins. I wonder what happened to that tradition? I think we lost momentum after the year the fires hit in October and there were hardly any pumpkin patches open to visit.

That year, we all shared what we were grateful for at Thanksgiving ... even Nani who couldn't write yet but was included by her scribbles. LOL

Played lots of bunco with the neighborhood gals and our annual Christmas gathering that year might have been one of the first times we did the white elephant gift exchange here in River Ranch. It's been a tradition ever since and so much fun!

Just thought it was appropriate to share these steps back in time to this time of year many years ago. Yes, times have changed but one thing has remained constant ... family and friends are the most important part of the holidays. Hope you are spending your holidays with family and loved ones, too.

Friday, November 18, 2011


pic source

I read alot of blogs. Why do I care what other people are doing when I don't even know them? Why would I rather follow them than call up friends or family that are in the real world? Well, simply for perspective. Our friends and family are biased. Sometimes I need to step out of my own comfort zone and my own biases to get a better view. In the past couple of years, that view has lead to more purposeful living and a simpler lifestyle. A life that is imperfect.

Lately bloggers have taken a turn for the "real" and are showing how imperfect their lives really are. We don't live in magazines, we don't live on TV, we don't live like the Kardashians. We live in an imperfect world and I'm actually learning to be very okay with that. Focusing on simplicity meant accepting that I can't do it all, to let go of the things I'm just not interested in perfecting.

Simple Mom recently invited all readers to make a different kind of list. Not a to do list but rather a what NOT to do list. There are things that I'm not good at or am not interested in, so it's just easier to not do them. What a concept!

Things I don't do:

1. I don't cook. My kids will tell everyone I burn water.
2. I don't work out. I'm more a creative soul than an athletic soul.
3. I'm not sentimental, which sometimes means I forget birthdays. Not proud of that but accepting that as a weakness that I won't perfect. If I show my love everyday, then it's okay to forget that one special day right?
4. I don't draw or paint or do anything original. Isn't that what pinterest is for? I love to be inspired by other people's brilliant ideas.
5. I don't sing or play a musical instrument. In a family that totally does, I accept the fact that I'm tone deaf and am missing that gene.
6. I don't judge. I try to be patient and tolerant of everyone's differences but gosh it's so hard when they judge back and it hurts.
7. I don't want to be perfect. Again, so hard to be vulnerable and show your weaknesses because you worry people judge.
8. At the end of the day, I don't strive anymore. I do what I can each day to live the best I can and let the rest go. If not now, then when. Today is just as important as what tomorrow can bring.

When I remind myself of what I don't do, I can then focus on the things that I am good at, that I can do and that comes easy. That's simplicity for me right now.

What don't you do?

Thursday, November 17, 2011


eating : ruffles ridges
drinking : monster instead of coffee today
listening : to other people's conference calls through cubicle walls
reading : ridiculous emails from clients
thinking : it's time to take out christmas decorations
wanting : to make time for christmas crafting and baking this year
feeling : like procrastinating
needing : to kill off inbox before the holidays

What is current for you today?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Californification definition of Californification: the act of becoming Californian.

In 2003, after moving to the mainland, it was time for new beginnings. Nani girl left Hawaii behind only 2 months after she was born. But now she has grandparents and uncles and aunties to shower attention on her chubby little baby self. We lived with my parents while trying to decide what part of Southern California we wanted to call home next.

We also spent many weekends visiting family in San Diego that year. Adventures in Legoland, Sea World and Wild Animal Park began. Lots of good times hanging out, grubbing and laughing late at night at the Filipino subtitles. All the more reason I'm sure we eventually decided to settle here.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

In memory of

Right after Kaila was born, we took her on her first trip to the mainland. We visited family in California and did the typical tourist attractions ... Hollywood, Disneyland, Santa Monica and Rainforest Cafe was a highlight.

That same year, mom and dad came to do some island hopping with us. Kauai, Big Island, Maui. The Pacific's Grand Canyon was a sight to see for sure.

It was the first time we met Lauren. Sharing our love of island life ... surfing, luaus, bbqs and lots of eating out. Lots of beach time equals really tanned skin ... Moi and Kaila were the darkest ever that summer.

The year 2002 was also a time of remembrance. Grandma will always be in our hearts. That year, we spent some good times visiting every other weekend or so. It was quite joyful for Kaila and her great grandma to spend quality time together.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

It was the year 2001

Turning back the clock 10 whole years ... Baby's First Luau, Sears Portrait Studios and Oceans! Memories are a definite bonus from my work in cleaning out and organizing my scrapbook layouts. Some of these friends we are still close to, some we are not. Living in a different place. Working at different jobs. Being a family of just 3. It's great how our lives are built in chapters. These chapters are worth rereading from time to time. Grateful for these chapters, for these memories and for those that have been a part of our lives as we lived out chapter 2001.

What were you doing in the year 2001? Want to take a walk down memory lane too?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Taking LESS to the scrapbooks

A couple of months left of the year, a couple months left to focus on LESS. I finally went through all the layouts completed for the last ... oh ... 10 years or so. Can you believe I've been scrapbooking for more than 10 years?!? Me neither.

Taking them all out, sorting them by year, finally putting on the final touches on a few unfinished layouts. Talk about procrastinating ... waiting years to journal, to glue on the final touches and to put them into an actual album. LESS means tossing one here and there that were never going to get finished. Never meant to be.

I also realized there were some years that I scrapbooked way more than others. Was there more life to live in 2007 than any other year? Over 80 pages versus other years where 10 or 20 was all I got done. I think I used to scrap anything and everything and now I'm more focused on scrapping only the ones that really inspire me. LESS in scrapbooking means what matters most, enjoying the process and just caring less about the rest that I may never get to.

What does scrapbooking mean to you?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I just want to create something!


With the holidays around the corner, I am seeing way too much inspiration. (Even the blog is ready. hah.) Oh what fun it would be to just create beautiful things ... just have to remember that everything I've saved in my phone, starred in my blogreader or pinned on pinterest is not a to-do item. Fun ideas are fun! I guess this is one time where LESS need not apply.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It was a happy Halloween!

Kids had so much fun this year. Even Lena who was sick came out of her funk and enjoyed a little bit of trick or treating. But ... she did not want to pose for pics though. Perfect segue to the story of her funk ... Sunday as we were shopping for costumes, we had the most embarassing mommy moment ever!!!! In Joann's at the cash register with a line full of people, my poor baby got sick all over herself, me, my aunt and the floor. Not just a little sick ... a lot sick, gushing. I could not get out of there fast enough! Probably will avoid Joann's for a while. So so embarassing!!!!