Monday, December 21, 2009

"when the cats are away..."

"...the mouse will play!"
the cats:
while they were doing this:

I was eating this:

and browsing this:

Penny Long in Corona Del Mar
and looking for future real estate:

All of these houses are just two blocks away from the beach in Corona Del Mar. My beach wishlist would include cottage style, picket fence, front porch, room for a charming garden!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas in the tropics...sort of...

We planned this trip to Newport Beach for a little rest and relaxation before Christmas. We have never stayed here before although hubby grew up down here and I went to college here. Many of these beach places are where I used to come and spend my free time. It was great to share it with the kids! Enjoy!

Newport Coast Marriott
the weather has been around 70 degrees and since the pool is heated so the kids have been swimming everyday. there are also pool tables, ping pong tables and a large chess set by the pool. inside is a huge arcade.
this area is steps from our villa. it has a basketball court, firepit, sandbox, playground and tetherball court. so family friendly!
Day 1- Newport

SPRINKLES! need I say more? this is my first experience and it is so worth it!!! my favorite was the red velvet, but the milk chocolate was a close second...okay, they were all really good!
i had the great opportunity to walk around fashion island for a good long time! bloomingdales, anthropologie and z gallerie all without kids! ahhh, now this is vacation!

that night hubby's family came for dinner and fun. we had a blast hanging around the firepit laughing and telling stories. this is what it is all about!

Day 2- Legoland

since D is asking for mostly Legos from Santa we thought it would be a good time to venture out beyond disney. we all had a great day here. definately worth trying once, especially with a young boy! e was a good sport and had fun trying new things.
Day 3- Newport Harbor, Corona Del Mar
for me, this is what southern california is all about! when i lived down here i had first dates here, girl time at the beach, beachhouse fun and jogs on the path. my heart will always be in orange county at the beach!balboa funzone was always a great place to come. it was great introducing it to my kids!

hubby and i had our first date at Ruby's on the balboa pier. we thought it would be great to take the kids to lunch there. mmmm, good!
d loved the corona del mar tide pools! hubby and him climbed on those rocks for close to an hour looking at critters. e played in the waves and had as much fun. i really enjoyed watching my family.
Day 3- Disneyland!!
the holidays just are not the same without going to the happiest place on earth! i guess hundreds of others think the same because it was packed for a wednesday!!
notice that i am soaked from splash mountain, i am the only one in the log that got wet!

d was thrilled to get chosen for Jedi training! he took it very, very seriously. especially when he went saber to saber with Darth Maul! Boooo!

sorry so blurry!
our best buddies came and spent the evening with us. it was definately the highlight! we opened the park and closed it!

Day 4- Laguna Beach

my mother in law and i were lucky to spend a couple of hours walking around another of my favorite places!

christmas at the beach is so much fun!
we wandered back into this quaint little alley. i could live here! and look what we found!
We are not done yet! Stay tuned for our last two days in paradise...happy holidays!

Friday, December 11, 2009

*bake time 2009*

For the past 6 years I have hosted a cookie exchange! Some years it has been so big we've had to have group exchanges. Some years it is small and quaint. This year we had 8 bakers. Below is the loot that I received!

Since I have been working on a healthier lifestyle I decided to make something that I would not be tempted to eat. I made chocolate dipped biscotti. I made original almond and a variation with anise seed, hazelnuts and chocolate chips. I have to say...they turned out pretty yummy!
The best part was that my mom and I spent an entire day baking these together. It is a memory I will always cherish. I try to add a new cookie to my repitoire each year.
Like always, we have prizes-
  • Best tasting cookie went to the chocolate marshmallow fudge cookie.
  • Best wrapping went to a teapot container with red and white ribbon.
  • Most creative went to these cute!

chocolate dipped cherries as body and tail, kiss as face, Red Hot as nose and almond slivers as ears. They are yummy too!!!