Friday Love 10.19.18

Happy Friday! I can’t believe I missed the last week! I had every intention of getting on here to post but there is good reason I didn’t, I was exhausted. My older daughter had a late acting class Wednesday night then we had to be up early for her field trip to the Mission San Juan Bautista Thursday morning, which immediately after, she had rehearsal for her school play! It was a long couple of days. But I’m back with lots to share. I hope you enjoy today’s Friday Love!

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Mission San Juan Bautista

I was lucky enough to be able to chaperone my daughter’s field trip to the Mission San Juan Bautista last Thursday. We started with an early morning charter bus ride and the kids thought this was the coolest thing ever. We arrived at the mission almost two hours later but the long ride was worth it. The town itself was absolutely charming and I had the best time hanging with Lyla and her friends, and a couple of my mom friends. Neither Lyla or I had ever been to this mission and it was so fun to explore a town and place new to us. It was a great day with my big girl!

Art & Craft of Acting

For her birthday this year, my hubby and I gifted Lyla acting classes at our local theatre instead of a big gift. She has been wanting to take acting class for the longest time now but was not old enough to enroll (the age to start was nine). Well, since she turned nine this year we thought, why not? We love our local theatre and have taken a myriad of classes there since we moved to Tracy in 2014. I really cannot say enough wonderful things about the Grand or the classes/programs they offer. Lyla took the Art & Craft of Acting class for five weeks and her finale performance was on Wednesday. Now, these young kids didn’t learn a Disney play or anything like that. They tackled a murder mystery play, Blood on the Dining Room Floor, written by Gertrude Stein. This was tough stuff! The had to memorize some pretty long monologues but it was such a joy to watch them perform. The icing on the cake was that Lyla’s best friend also took the class. They had such a great time together.

Livermore Wine Trolley

Dates for my husband and I are very rare these days so I really cherish when we do get to have some one-on-one time. My in-laws gave us tickets to the Livermore Wine Trolley for Christmas last year and we finally got around to using them last weekend. We live about 20-30 minutes from Livermore and visit the wineries pretty often but we had never gone on the wine trolley. We booked ourselves on the 11:15 trolley this past Sunday and had a blast visiting three different wineries. I had never been to any of the three while my hubby had been to just one so it was nice to visit some new places.

Our day started early, dropping our kids off with their auntie then getting to downtown Livermore about 10:45. We were a bit early since we didn’t have to be there until 11am. Once we were settled in the trolley, we were off to our first winery, Wente Vineyards. Now, I have been to Wente’s smaller property many times but never to this one. It was breathtaking. I loved everything about the place and can’t wait to go back. From there we went to Tenuta Vineyards where our catered lunch was waiting. We enjoyed our lunch and tastings out on the beautiful patio. Our final stop was Tesla Vintners, which housed three separate wineries in the same outdoor location. We had a great day doing one of our favorite things, wine tasting!

 

Halloween Town

We took our girls to their first Halloween event this past weekend. We decided to check out the Halloween Town event that took place on Friday and Saturday at the old outlets in town. My kids love this time of year and love any excuse to dress up in their costumes. For me, it was really fun to see them in their costumes for the first time, and play with hair and makeup. They got some candy, some slime and got to ride the train. It was a great start to the big event!

 

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Friday Love 10.5.18

Hey hey there! Yay for the first Friday of October! We were out of town all last weekend so I am looking forward to some much-needed relaxation this time around. The only items on our agenda so far are painting rocks and pottery (from Sophie’s pottery class), baking our delicious apple oatmeal bars and watching Halloween movies. There is a global food fair going on in the town next to us on Saturday that’s sounds interesting but, hanging at home and getting caught back up for the rest of this busy month may win out. We really have a lot going on but the weather has cooled slightly and I’m not mad about that at all, we even got rain this week! Let’s dive into some Friday Love!

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Jazzy’s Quinceneara

We attended our first quinceneara last weekend. It was a lot of fun! Our kids could not come due to the high number of guests so we got a date night of sorts. Lots of yummy food, photo booth fun and a night cap with friends, it was a great time. I forgot to mention the best part, we got to dress up! Since I tend to live in athleisure type outfits, this exciting, Nordstrom to the rescue 🙂

 

San Jose’s Little Italy Street Festival

We stayed at my sister-in-law’s house over the weekend so she could watch our girls while we attended the quinceneara. We decided it would be fun to check out the Little Italy Street Festival that was going on in San Jose on Sunday. We used to go before we moved to Tracy so it was fun to do it again. Lots of great Italian food and wine!

Downtown Decorations

Our little downtown has been fully decorated for Fall and it is so cute! I take a picture of the girls every October 1st and we decided to have them pose amongst the big pumpkins out on display. The shop windows are painted as well, it just looks so nice! Good job Tracy!

Pumpkin Flavored Cookies 

Sophie and I baked pumpkin spice cookies last Friday and OMG were they good. We added a simple glaze and we literally almost finished them that day. A friend brought over a ginormous box of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies on Tuesday and I’ve had two to three a day ever since. I am the biggest fan of pumpkin.

 

umpkin Buns

Yesterday was a spirit day at Lyla’s school and the theme was buns vs. mohawks. We chose to do a pumpkin bun of course!! I had so much fun doing this style to the girls hair, it came out really good. Of course little sister wanted one too. We volunteer in Lyla’s class every Thursday so it worked out great for Sophie to match her sister. Perfect hair for pumpkin season.

Friday Love 9.21.18

Here we are again! I feel like this week just flew by.  It was another busy one for us full of play rehearsals, acting classes, pottery classes, doctor appointments, and just life in general! I’m back again for another edition of …

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School Pictures

There is nothing I love more than a sweet school picture! My big girl Lyla is in 4th grade this year and I got her school pictures back this week. She is the so sweet, so smart and so loving and growing up way too fast for my liking! We are both very happy with how her picture turned out this year.

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Honey Garlic Shrimp

We’ve been in a dinner rut lately and after perusing Pinterest, I decided to make honey garlic shrimp on Tuesday. The marinade was super simple to put together, it cooked in about 5 minutes and it was so, so good. Both my girls loved it. I followed this recipe to a T except my hubby added some fish sauce. I served it with rice and broccolini. I will definitely be making this again.

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Groupon

It’s been a while since I bought anything from Groupon (like years) but this week, I made three purchases… in just a week! The deals were too good to pass up. I got an email at the beginning of the week with a 50% off code. I used it for a month of unlimited gymnastics classes for my younger daughter. I ended up paying only $14! Then, a day later they sent me a thank you email with a code for $10 off. I used that for four passes to a local museum and it was only $1.50!!! I also grabbed the Starbucks $5 for $10. I can never pass up a good deal and these were pretty good, thank you Groupon!!

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Edible Arrangements Smoothies

An Edible Arrangements store just opened up in our town. I’ve never thought of them as anything more than a delivery service of beautiful fresh fruit bouquets. Well I was wrong! We got a coupon for a buy one get on free smoothie, and again, because I can’t pass up a coupon or good deal, I took my girls there yesterday to get a smoothie. I totally forgot to take a picture of the smoothies but the they were good. You could choose off a small menu of flavors or create your own. My girls both opted to create their own and got strawberry banana and orange pineapple. Two smoothies for $5, score!

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Friday Love 9.14.18

We’ve had a pretty crazy week around here so I’m looking forward to some major relaxation this evening with the hubs and our girls. The temps didn’t get above 80 here the past couple of days and that has really put me in the mood for all things Fall! One of the things I love most about Northern California is the presence of actual seasons. I did not have that growing up in Florida, it was pretty much just hot all the time. Now, it won’t get really cold here until end of October/November but this little sneak peek of lower temps has me feelin’ pretty good, happy Friday!

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FALL DECOR

A couple of years ago, I decorated my house for Fall in September, took it down in October and put up Halloween, then took that down and put up Fall/Thanksgiving in November, and of course Christmas in December! It was quite a bit of work and so I didn’t do it last year but I found myself missing my decorations. Sophie and I got our Fall stuff out this week and it makes me so happy to see it, it’s Fall Y’all!

 

FALL COFFEE MUG

I’ve been on the search for a Fall mug. I have a Halloween mug and a Christmas mug but not one for Fall. Now my sensible husband couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t just get a regular mug that could last all year long… now what fun would that be? With a plethora of Fall mugs available at Target, Marshalls and Michaels, it took me a while to look around but I finally found it. This little cup makes me so, so happy. And the price (only $4 at Marshalls) made me even happier!

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CLASSES AT THE GRAND

We’ve been taking music classes at the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts since we moved to Tracy back in 2014. I cannot say enough good things about their art education program.  My girls just started two new classes there, well new to us. Lyla has wanted to take acting class for a few years now but was never old enough (age to start is 9). We gifted her with acting classes for her birthday this year and so far, she really loves it. Sophie started a pottery for preschoolers class and had her first session yesterday. I think it’s going be just like everything else they offer, great!

 

NEW MAKEUP FROM ULTA

I’ve used the Bare Minerals foundation powder for longer than I can remember. I really love that product but I’ve wanted to try something different for a while now. I feel like my skin has changed a lot and what I’m using now isn’t the right product for my face anymore. I worked for Clinique while I was in college and was pretty knowledgeable about makeup back then. Fast forward many years, and I feel like I know nothing at all! I headed into Ulta this week and after a great consultation, I left with three new products. I absolutely love them all! I decided to try a tinted moisturizer type of foundation and it’s working out wonderfully for me. I rely heavily on concealer and used to use a Bare Minerals one but the Ulta brand full coverage liquid concealer is awesome. I also picked up a hydrating face primer. This has been a game changer for me. It has helped my makeup and skin look so fresh. My budget for makeup is not what it used to be, nor would I want to spend a fortune on product these days anyways so the Ulta brand is perfect. They are high-quality products with an amazing price point. I’ve been loving putting on my makeup in the morning!

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HOMEMADE TUNA HELPER

I’ve always loved Tuna Helper. It’s a nostalgia thing – my stepdad would make it whenever my mom was out of town for work. I wanted to make a homemade version since we try not to eat many processed foods so I went searching online. This recipe was a hit with my family. I was worried how my kids would feel about it but my four year old even asked to eat it the next morning at 9am! I followed the recipe exactly but used whole milk instead of cream. It was so good.

 

 

 

 

WHAT’S UP WEDNESDAY: AUGUST 2018

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I’ve been reading Mix Match Mama, The Larson Lingo and Sheaffer Told Me To for quite a few years now. These are blogs I’ve really grown to love and I especially love the What’s Up Wednesday posts. I have always wanted to link up to one but have never done it. Right now, I’m trying very hard to be more mindful of my goals and blogging more is one of them so today, I’m finally going link up! Enjoy!

What We’re Eating this week…

Monday – Pigs-in-a-Blanket, baked beans, corn (a comfort food meal I grew up on!)

Tuesday – Homemade meatballs (my hubby’s recipe) and spinach salad

Wednesday – Breakfast for Dinner – now I am not the biggest fan but we have a lot of breakfast stuff in the fridge right now and the kids got so excited when I mentioned the idea so breakfast for dinner it is!

Thursday – Teriyaki Salmon, white rice, broccolini

Friday – Homemade pizza night! Friday night pizza night is our family tradition although, and I hate to say this but, my hubby and I are actually getting a little tired of pizza every single Friday. Now don’t get me wrong, he makes the most delicious homemade pizza but the consistency gets a little old and we find ourselves craving something different. He will still make a small cheese for the girls because they love tradition but we’ve found ourselves ordering in a lot of Thai or Salvadorian food on a Friday. It’s nice because I still don’t have to cook and we get to eat something we love but the girls won’t touch.

Saturday – No clue! My hubby takes over the cooking on the weekend and we tend to go a little more gourmet since it’s not the usual weeknight rush.

What I’m Reminiscing about…

My girls! Watching them grow up as been pretty tough lately. Lyla turned nine on August 10th and Sophie will be five December 23rd. I feel like their baby years just flew by and I find myself thinking about those days all.the.time. They are turning into amazing young ladies, smart, kind, funny, beautiful but man do I miss the baby days!!

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What I’m loving…

New skincare products. When we were in FL in July, my mom gave me two Neutrogena products and I’ve been loving them. I use their day time facial moisturizer but these two were new to me. I really love the rapid tone repair moisturizer. It almost feels like a serum.

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What We’ve been up to…

August is a always a busy month for our family. The first day of school and my older daughter Lyla’s birthday are usually within a couple days of each other so that makes August CRAZY for me. Lyla’s birthday this year was a Unicorn pool party and her first big sleepover with nine kids! It was so much fun. My hubby and I really enjoyed listening and watching her and her friends, so sweet and so funny.

 

What I’m dreading…

Some very personal stuff but other than that, I’m focused on being positive and being grateful for the good things I do have in my life.

What I’m working on…

Everything and nothing all at once… kidding! Between my part-time job with Orangetheory and all that comes with having two kids and being a stay-at-home mom, I feel like I’m constantly working on something, cleaning something or rushing to something BUT I love this stage of life! I really do 🙂

What I’m excited about…

Many things! Lyla tried out for the school play and got three roles. She was in the play last year and it was such a fun experience. I’m looking forward to all that comes with this production. Lyla starts acting classes next week at our local theatre. She’s wanted to take acting classes for a long time now but you  had to be nine years old to do so. I’m also excited for Fall, Halloween and Christmas! We’ve been discussing Halloween costumes, thinking about decorating for Fall and talking about all our fun traditions and outings we like to do during the holiday season, lots to look forward to.

What I’m watching…

House Hunters. To say I have an obsession with this show is an understatement! I literally can’t get enough. Both my girls now ask to watch it with me. We love nothing more than House Hunters!!

What I’m reading…

Over the summer my mom gave me her Kindle Paperwhite! I was so pumped because my Kindle just stopped working a couple of years ago and I never replaced it. My hubby has a major issue with lights being on when we go to sleep and I love reading before bed so the Kindle was our middle ground. I felt I stopped reading as much as I used to because I didn’t have a Kindle so I’m very excited to start reading more.

I just downloaded Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup. I started it last night and so far, so good. I went to college in Silicon Valley (San Jose State) and worked for three different tech companies, one a start-up, right after college so the title immediately peaked my interest.

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What I’m wearing…

Workout clothes! I live in yoga pants, leggings, workout tops, sweatshirts, etc during the school year. I try to run/do a home workout about three times a week and love to do it first thing in the morning. Getting in the right clothes is half the battle!

I did wear regular clothes for the Lyla’s 9th birthday. Her party was a unicorn theme and I wanted to fit the theme as the Mamacorn 🙂 My girls just love this shirt. I also got an adorable C&C California top from Marshalls recently for only $8! I felt that deserved a share because it was such a great deal. It’s a simple top but so comfy and made me feel put together yet still casual.

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What I’m doing this weekend…

I don’t know! We’ve been pretty busy so we may just take it easy and do our favorite thing – spend the day by the pool! We love nothing more than pool days in our own backyard, lounging on our floats, grilling out and going in the hot tub. We have to enjoy it now before it gets too cold!

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What I’m looking forward to next month…

Lots of fun stuff! We are helping paint sets for Lyla’s school play, our city is having another downtown Artwalk (my girls love this), acting classes start, and we are attending our (well my) first quinceanera!

What else is new…

My younger daughter Sophie starts Kindergarten next year and I have started to homeschool her. We had to take her out of her Pre-K program (I’m hoping she can go back in January). I really didn’t want her to fall behind so I’ve been using every internet resource I can to keep her on track. This is very new for me but she loves being home with mom (she has since birth) and has been the best little student.

Bonus question this month:  WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BACK TO SCHOOL TRADITION?

The first day of school picture! We make a big deal out of it and get one of the girls by themselves, together, one with mom, and one with dad. I love looking back at these pictures every year to see how much the girls have changed and to look at their outfits – haha! Girl mom! We love fashion around here.

4th grade/Pre-K

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3rd grade/Preschool 3’s

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2nd grade

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1st grade

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Kindergarten

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Wow, so that’s my first What’s Up Wednesday! I’m really excited to link up and share this post. Now I have to sign-off and get back into mom mode, its time for school!

xo JRS

Open-faced banana sandwich.

I love peanut butter and bananas and honey on toast. It’s one of my go to breakfasts, sometimes I will eat that every morning for a week. I usually use raisin bread or I add raisins to plain bread if I happen to be out of raisin bread. I always toast the bread so the peanut butter gets all melty (I know that is not a word but it describes it perfectly), it’s so good!

One afternoon I was craving that warm peanut butter/banana combo but only wanted a light snack so the open-faced banana sandwich was born. I take a banana, slice it down the middle and spread peanut butter on both sides (fyi: I only buy Smart Balance peanut butter), then I add raisins and, because I really like texture, I added some Kashi Honey Almond flax cereal. Top it off with your favorite honey (ours is from the Red Apple Darby Ranch stand in Murphys) and voila – an open-faced peanut butter banana sandwich!

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