Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Holiday: Parker's 2015 Christmas List

Below is Parker's 2015 wish list (with helpful links)! These are the items he would be most excited to find underneath the Christmas tree. The list has three major themes.

-Pretend play

Other things he is interested in: octopus, crabs, spiders, books, sperm whales, going to the zoo, going to the park and boba.

1. Bug City. This is the one thing Parker is most excited about. He loves bugs! Hopefully this thing is escape-proof because Tuan does not like bugs. If you get this, you are required to help catch the bugs. Thanksssss.

2. Wild Kratts Power Suit. PURCHASED. Parker loves pretend play and he has been pretending to be the Kratt brothers from the Wild Kratts show. The idea of having creature powers is blowing his mind right now. If you haven't watched the show, you should check it out. I've learned so much about different animals. Yay PBS!

3. Dinotrux. Dinotrux is a Netflix cartoon about dinosaurs that are also construction trucks. It's all about working together to build things to improve their community. Parker is really into it right now. His favorite characters are Rivet (below) and Garby because he poops rocks. Duh.

4. Art supplies or the Artful Parent book. We love working on art projects!

5. Duplo Blocks. Thanks to grandma we have a ton of Legos in house but I have noticed that Parker still enjoys playing with the Duplo blocks more than regular Legos (they're easier to manage with his little hands). I think he would be most interested in the superhero sets.

6. Imaginext. Imaginext toys are awesome. They're high quality and have a lot of moving parts.. Parker flipped out when he saw this transforming batman robot thing at Target. Mama would be happy with any Imaginext toys.

7. Magformers. They're colorful, magnetic and allow you to build. Of course he likes this.

8. Gift cards to the San Diego Zoo for KinderTots classes.

9. Nickels for trips to Nickel City!

10. Planes, trains and automobiles. Parker's fascination with all vehicles continues! Construction trucks and airplanes are high on the list of favorites.
I hope the list was helpful! Of course the gift of your time would be the greatest gift of all. So maybe buy a toy and stay and play at our house. I promise I'll feed you. Happy shopping!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Holiday: Give with Thanks Challenge

I think I've finally gotten it through to Parker that Halloween is over and no, it's not Christmas yet. It's Thanksgiving and then Christmas. Trying to get a toddler to understand the concept of Thanksgiving and being thankful has been a little tough but I think it's going to get easier with the help of The Small Seed's Give with Thanks Challenge. The challenge is to perform small acts of service to give thanks to your friends, neighbors and fellow human beings. It's a beautifully simple concept and I hope you join the challenge as well. We are a little behind as I just found this website while trying to come up with ideas for a thankful tree but we will do our best to make up for lost time. Be sure to visit to check out the Give with Thanks Challenge.

Download the free packet which includes a visual tracking system, daily service calendar, prints and mini lessons and additional service ideas at Thanks to the team at The Small Seed for sharing this wonderful challenge and beautifully design packet with the world. Thank you, Readers, for checking out my blog!  

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Family: Holiday Photos 2015

I'm excited to share some of my favorite shots from our holiday session with Hello Pinecone Photography at Red Rock Canyon Park. The park is a little tricky to locate but it is gorgeous and so worth the drive. As always, Erin did an amazing job capturing the playful essence of our little family. It's going to be tough to pick the photo that will go on our 2015 holiday card!

On Tuan:
Shirt and Pants - Topman
Shoes - Cole Haan

On Parker:
Jacket - H&M
Shirt and Pants - Zara Kids
Shoes - Target

On Mary:
Dress - H&M
Boots - Louise et Cie

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

DIY: Over-the-Collar Dog Bandana Tutorial

My BFF Susan has the most adorable double doodle (golden retriever x poodle x 2) named Chewy. As a first time pet parent, Susan has been spoiling Chewy with pricey accessories from Etsy. We've all been there! When I saw how much sellers were charging for dog bandanas, my first thought was, "That is crazy! I can make that!" This is a very easy project I hope you enjoy picking fabrics and patterns to make your dog the hippest on the block. 

[Follow Chewy and her adventures on IG @chewy_doodle. This cute pup has more followers than I do!]

Over-the-Collar Dog Bandana

Materials needed
-11x11 inch square of fabric (you can buy a fat quarter and trim it down or buy a 1/3 yard cut from the bolt and cut it down)
-scissors/fabric trimmer
-grid cutting mat
-fabric pencil
-matching thread

*Note that the amount of fabric required will vary based on the size you want your bandana to be. I started with a 11x11 square in order to have the final bandana size be 9 in for Chewy who is a medium sized dog. 


1. Cut your fabric down to size and square it off. Using the selvage edge of the fabric helps immensely.

2. Line up the square of fabric right side up on the grid of your cutting mat. Starting from the corner, mark four inches across and mark inches down. Draw a line between those two points. Do that for two opposite ends of the square. See below.

3. Fold your fabric along the line and sew flat using a 1/4 inch seam allowance. You will end up with a flat triangle on both sides of the square. Sewing the flap down makes it easier to feed the collar through later. Your square should look like this now.

4. Fold your fabric in half so the pointed ends meet. Sew the pointed end shut using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

5. Now it's time to flip your collar inside out and sew a line about 2 inches down from the top to create a tunnel to feed your collar through. Finish your pointed end with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  That's it! You are done. 

The first collar I attempted to make was a disaster. My 2nd attempt took 10 minutes. After the 2nd one, I was flying through my stack of squares. This really is a simple project and you can embellish your bandanas with trim, fringe and fancy patterned finishes. The fabric I used for the tutorial was cotton but you an use any material. Happy sewing, Mamas!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Happy 4th Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary, Babe! Thanks for another year of love, friendship and adventure. I love you with all my being. Cheers another happy year of marriage! 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

San Diego: Soccer Shots San Diego

I feel like I've earned a new mom badge now that I am officially a soccer mom. We are three weeks into our first season of Soccer Shots now and the kids seem to be having fun and learning new skills from Coach Abby. Every week there is a little less crazed running around and trying to escape to the playground.  I can't wait to see the progress once we get to the end of our 7 weeks!

For anyone who is interested, class is once a week for 7 weeks and cost about $175. Classes take place at locations all over the county so check out for more info.

Just for the record, I am not planning to bring a camera to every single practice. I will be snapping pics and posting them to IG though so follow along @parkerproject!

[This pic was taken on the first day of class. Parker and his cousin K showed up like this courtesy of grandpa Sonny. Legit.]

[Head shot!]

[Coach Abby doing her thing with the kids. It's a tough job rounding up that many toddlers!]

[No hands, dude!]

[Eden mastering airplane stop.]

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

San Diego: Bates Nut Farm 2015

The pumpkin patch(es) at Bates Nut Farm opened last week and we made our annual trip out to Valley Center to check out the Big Macs over the weekend. Like last year, the Big Macs were not as big or plentiful as the first year we visited but we still had a great time walking among the pumpkins, taking pictures and visiting the animals. I really can't believe how much Parker has grown since our first visit! 

Mom tips:
-Go early. The light isn't great for pictures but it gets hot and crowded in the afternoons. 
-Go early. The road into Bates is small. Traffic can get really backed up.
-Bring water. 
-Bring wipes or antibacterial stuff because there aren't any hand washing stations by the animals. 

Bates Nut Farm
15954 Woods Valley Road
Valley Center, CA 92802

[They are looking more and more alike everyday.]

[Can you spot the bees hard at work?]

[Parker was not into taking pictures and posing this year. All he wanted to do was climb on stuff. So I just let him do his thing and tried to capture since budding sense of adventure in my snaps.]

[This is what you get when you say, "Smile and then we can go look at animals."]

[This persimmon tree was perfection. I may or may not have rolled that big pumpkin to that spot to get the shot.]

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