Monday, January 27, 2014

Celebrating turning 50



So I turned 50 in October. How could I not write about that. It felt like such a milestone and fortunately I'm in a really good spot in my life. I enjoyed celebrating with my family and also with some women friends.

I didn't take many photos myself, as I was too busy enjoying myself, as it should be. The one above is of me and my sweet friend, J. Lee  from our unschooling group. I wish I could have had a photo with all my friends, but I want them to know how very grateful I am to have them in my life. A special thanks to my dear friend Spramani, who put together the celebration with Indian food and beautiful decor. We had it out back in the evening with some Indian music and tealights, painting a collaborative painting, henna painting, yoga, dancing and just a lot of laughter and fun.

There's many wonderful things about turning 50 and entering the 2nd half of a century of life. I've been through so many experiences in my life, some harder than others, but it's made me stronger, wiser, more resilient, more compassionate, more aware, more spiritual, and ever so more grateful for the gifts and blessings that I do have. May you celebrate yourself at whatever phase of life you are in. Celebrate it with grace, love, family and friends.

Thanks for sharing mine.

Mandy


Here's a few that my mom took.

 The food table
 The table we sat at to eat
 Beautiful Indian themed artwork that Spramani brought
 Violet and me
 Spramani and her handsome man, Andre served up the spread
 Me, enjoying some yummy dessert (with a photobombing Violet)
A collaborative painting


Here is a beautiful bouquet that my husband brought me.

Earlier in the week, on my actual birthday I went to dinner with my family at Hacienda de Vega, one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in the area. It was great to spend it with my mom and dad, husband and the girls. Such a beautiful place to celebrate.

Dan and I also celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary. It's been a lovely year and I'm excited about what the future brings! I love you honey!

Fall Fun


Catching up on some blogging. I didn't post anything Fall/Winter of 2013. We're really enjoying the new place. It's an older house on a very quiet street with some really lovely neighbors. I had fun with Fall crafts at our Welcome Fall gathering with Unschooling friends. The kids, as always, enjoyed being with friends on a beautiful fall day at the park. And Oliver always enjoys when we bring him along. 




Early October brought a trip to Bates Nut Farms for a farm tour and pumpkin picking. Fall is my favorite time of year. So many fun activities, dressing up for Halloween, the Fall colors (yes, we get those in S. Cal).

 





 We carved pumpkins on the patio.

 Halloween brought with it a party at our house with our unschooling group. It was a huge turnout and a lot of fun and good food. Here's a few treats that Violet made.



Violet and her friends dressed up for Halloween. Olivia had a MLP outfit, Derpy, but changed her mind at the last minute and instead dressed as "Shell" from Portal, much more comfortable!




You can see why Fall's my favorite time of year, so much laughter and fun. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Flavorful (& Colorful) month of Pomegranates, Pride Flags, and VidCon

(Fandom musings on a whiteboard at our monthly Lego/Crafts/Games Club at the Library)

We are mid-move and I'm taking a little break this morning, reading some blogs and some fun links I came across on facebook. The girls are still sleeping and I'm enjoying a cuppa and just enjoyed a chat with my mom on the phone. Reading other blogs inspires me to check in and write about what's been happening around here. There's the moving thing....which was a really sudden decision and just happened by chance. I was driving home from the store and saw a sign in a nice neighborhood, that said 4 bedroom house with pool for a really decent price (for San Diego). I drove by and it was surrounded by trees and plants and if you know me at all you know I love trees and plants! It was on a quiet cul-de-sac in a nice neighborhood on a hill. There was other people looking at it so I didn't go up, but told my husband about it when we got home. I had taken a picture with my phone of the sign so that we could call about it. My husband called and he and Violet went to have a look. They both really liked it, so I also went later to have a look. With the market and economy being what it is, there were a LOT of people interested in. We moved quickly and let them know we were interested and low and behold we got it! We're pretty excited and have spent the past week packing up and getting ready. I'll show some pictures once we get settled in. Here's one of one of the pomegranate trees, yum, we'll get to enjoy pomegranates soon!

From August 4, 2013
On to what we've been up to, or rather the girls have been up to. July brought with it a visit from friends that Livie met at LIG two years ago. They're a really nice unschooling family that enjoys many adventures and it's always a treat to see them and hang out with them. The dad's from Australia and loves to surf and the mama teaches cello lessons and is just very sweet and fun to hang out with. The boys both love Minecraft and running around and playing (lots of energy!) which makes them great friends for Livie to hang with.  They came down for a visit and we went to the beach with them and just had some fun hanging out. We'll be seeing them again in October.
Livie's also been spending a lot of her evenings out front riding her scooter with friends that she's made in the neighborhood. It's funny that most of the friends that she meets and becomes friends with are often times younger than herself. Being a younger sister though, I think it makes her feel good to be the older, wiser kid in the group.

Violet had a Teen party with some local unschooling friends that she invited. They played some music, had snacks and sodas, chatted and played games. One of Violet's favorites right now is Cards against Humanity, which she discovered at LIG this year.  She and her friends were laughing so hard I could hear them from the house (I stayed outta their way to give them some space to talk freely). We set up the back yard with tables and lights and had it in the evening. I started a fire in the pit for s'mores and they hung out there for a few hours. She's looking forward to more teen get togethers with her friends.

From Tween/Teen Party at Violet's

We had a creative showcase for our unschooling group at the library. So many talented young people we have in our group. We had art, stories, singing, cartwheels and light saber action play. As you can see in the 1st photo above, they always enjoy writing on the large white board while there. You can definitely see what all the kids are into through their writings.

From SDFS Creative Showcase at 4S Ranch Library

From SDFS Creative Showcase at 4S Ranch Library
July was Pride parade month in San Diego, so we got together with friends and made pride flags. Though we didn't make it to the parade we often talk about equality and fairness for all and we celebrated the overturning of Prop 8 here in California. We're so excited that one of our friend's moms are going to get married next month and we will get to celebrate with them! We're so honored.

From Making Pride Parade flags
From Making Pride Parade flags
Another really exciting thing we did was go to Vid Con. I'll have to write an individual post for that and maybe Violet will help, but she got to meet so many YouTube Vloggers that she watches and admires while there. I took a lot of photos her with some of her favorites. She had been wanting to go SOOO badly, and we fortunately were able to get some waiting list tickets, just in time. I can't tell you how many times she thanked me and filled my heart to see her so excited and happy about going. Thanks to my mom and dad for letting us stay over so we were a bit closer driving back and forth and for helping out with some of the costs.

For now, I'll leave you with a photo of one of my favorite viral video stars, YosemiteBear of Double Rainbow fame.



Sunday, July 21, 2013

San Diego Comic Con 2013


We went to San Diego's Comic Con this week, just me and the girls.  We had  a great time just walking around seeing all the great cosplay, gaming booths, artists and comic books! Lots of squealing, oohs and ahhs as we walked around and saw so many fun things.Violet's really into Dr Who, Sherlock, and Supernatural this year and Livie, of course, is still very much into Minecraft and Legos.  She's into Dr Who, as well. Violet dressed up as the 11th Doctor. Livie kinda had a half costume. We had a hard time finding a jacket in her size for her to be a Doctor as well, so she wore her Creeper shirt with a brown corduroy jacket and some Uggs. Gotta love her unique style. They both got Fezzes while there, so that was a nice little addition to what they were wearing.  Livie picked up a gold Minecraft sword and also a Minecraft gun (I didn't know there were guns in Minecraft, but they're pretty cool looking) at a couple of the booths. (The gold Minecraft sword & a pick axe are available at Think Geek as a LIMITED convention week exclusive, so go on there NOW, if you want one!)


The Lego Booth had Minecraft Legos this year, which Livie was really excited about. It also had Legos and Mega Blocks for the kids to play with. There was a great art gallery wall with Lego creations that kids had made, as you can tell there's lots of Minecraft fans out there!  



Here's a few more of the cool Lego Creations that were there;


Some of the other creative cosplay costumes we saw were:



Violet as 11th Doctor with lovely lady in a Tardis dress.



Violet with a person dressed in a gasmask from "The Empty Child" episode of Dr Who. Violet used to get really creeped out by that character and gas masks in any format....she's over that now. It was fun to see her pose with one!

I really enjoyed the zombies that we saw there. I've recently enjoyed watching The Walking Dead's first two seasons on Netflix and looking forward to watching Season 3 in time for the new Season 4 this fall. They actually had a cage full of "walkers", too cool! 


Some other fun stuff we saw:

My little pony, Equestria. And we got to vote for our Favorite ponies and get a button for it.
Domo!!
And of course, we always love our favorite Sea Critter, Sponge  Bob!
More pictures can be found here on my Picasa/Google photos.


We didn't make it to any panels, though we would have loved to. The lines are generally long  and tiresome for younger ones. We really wanted to get to the Hunger Games Catching Fire  Booth/Lionsgate, but it was closed every time we went by. However, Violet did get to enjoy the new trailer once we got home and is very excited about the movie coming out in November. 

Here it is for Hunger Games fans out there in case you haven't seen it already.




So there it is. Our 2nd time to Comic Con and we couldn't have gone without the help of our good friends, the Perkins family, so thank you friends!

I also have to add that we really enjoyed the Artist's Alley and independent comic book booths. So many great artists out there and it's a great inspiration to young aspiring artists to get to meet and talk to them up close, buy their artwork and have it signed.

Violet and I will be heading to VidCon in Anaheim  in August. She's looking forward to seeing and hopefully talking to and getting autographs from lots of her favorite YouTubers. More info on that is here. It's currently sold out, but we were able to get on the waiting list and were sent an email with some availability, so you can try that route if you haven't already registered.

Oh, and here's a pic of the girls in their fezzes, (taken from my phone) on our way home while we waited for the trolley.

From 2013-07-21

Hope you made it to Comic Con, and if not, that you are able to enjoy the experience virtually!


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Kite Flying at Mission Bay

From SDFS Kite Flying at Mission Bay

We had a fun time kite flying with our unschooling group this week down at Mission Bay Park in San Diego. It was wonderful weather, clear skies and windy enough to keep the kites up in the sky. We had a beautiful assortment of kites. Cost Plus has some really great kites if you're looking for one. We actually got ours (below) at a yard sale, gotta love those yard sales...I find so many wonderful things!


From SDFS Kite Flying at Mission Bay




From SDFS Kite Flying at Mission Bay

Here's some cool Dragon Kite's I lomo effected, just for fun, but they really are quite colorful as you can see in the first photo (SOOC) up above. 


From SDFS Kite Flying at Mission Bay

Violet and a friend flying kites, above.

It was a great area for kites just east of Fiesta Island and there were several other kiters out there. It's a wide open grassy area right next to a huge park with lots of fun playground equipment. There was lots of blossoming clover in the grass, and sadly, Olivia got stung by a bee, but fortunately recovered quickly. Some of the kids were playing Magic the Gathering as they often do at our park days, and many were over on the monkey bars monkeying around. It was a gorgeous day, so perfect to be out in the sunshine. 

Hope your week was great!

Mandy

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