Saturday, March 31, 2012


Confession #1 - I actually like doing taxes.  Ok, the process is pretty boring, BUT we've always gotten a refund, so I enjoy figuring out how much it's going to be.  It's kind of like a treasure hunt!  I imagine that the refunds will end some day (at least I kind of hope we have a higher income at some point), but until then I enjoy the end result of taxes.

Confession #2 - Our refund ALWAYS goes straight to savings.  Boring, I know. 

Confession #3 - I have never owned any 'real' knives.  In fact I'm not sure I've ever really used a nice knife. We have some generic WalMart brand of knives that have worked just fine for us for 7 years now.  But, I've never really understood the difference in knives and why people can pay over a thousand dollars for the same number of knives we own that cost us maybe $20.  

Confession #4 - We spent part of our tax refund this year to buy a decent set of knives.  $169 to be exact.

Confession #5 - I LOVE them.  It's amazing.  I almost get excited to go cut up vegetables for dinner!  

Here's a picture of the best $169 I've spent in a long, long time:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


We have a bucket list of things we'd like to do while living in LA and after a year and a half hadn't done anything.  We figured it was about time.  We went down to San Diego and spent 2 nights and about 1 1/2 days there.  It was nice to get outside LA and I really liked San Diego.  Here are a few of the things we did while we were there:

We became honorary members of the Mormon Batallion. I figured this would be a kind of boring stop along the way, but kind of felt the twinge of obligation to go the the church site...but it was actually really cool and we all enjoyed it.   Hannah and Sofia had lots of fun at the end panning for gold, washing clothes on the washboard, and making bricks.  Ok, Hannah liked making the bricks and Sofia liked knocking them down....but they had fun.  

The weather was amazing and we couldn't pass up an opportunity to go to the beach.  We spent a morning at La Jolla shores and definitely enjoyed it.  There was a playground for the kiddos right off of the beach.  We actually spent more time there than at the water itself, but it was fun.  I could enjoy the morning ritual of going for a run along the beach and letting the girls play.

Can't beat that view!
It's kind of sad to say, but I think the highlight of the trip might have been getting free parking right on the beach.  We were blown away that it was free.  No gimmicks, no parking on the beach.  I was so amazed I actually took a picture:

Of course we had to take advantage of the hotel's pool.  This was a first for both Hannah and Sofia.  I didn't get a picture of Sofia, but Hannah's expression shows it all.  They both loved the water.  It was a little chilly for me, but I survived and the girls had a blast.  

Before leaving, we spent some time walking around the temple grounds.  It was my first time seeing the temple in person, and it truly is beautiful.  I tried to get some pictures with all (or at least most of us) in them, but neither Hannah and Sofia would cooperate, so I finally gave up.

It was a quick trip to San Diego, but it really is a neat town and it was fun.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Simple Pleasures!

We ordered something online and it came in a monster box.  Here's what we did with it:


Life's really all about the simple pleasures, isn't it?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Pacific Coast Highway

I try to avoid doing things that require driving very far.  The girls hate being strapped into the car seats for long, I hate dealing with traffic, and inevitably their naps get messed up and I'm not willing to sacrifice nap time.  When James is around it's not such a big deal - he can drive while I entertain in the backseat.  But, he's busy with school and we don't go anywhere very often.

However, my big brother might be moving to Southern California and asked us to go look at some rental properties for him.  It took me to cities I'd never been (much nicer than LA I might add!!!) and gave me a chance to see some of the landscape outside of the city.  I decided to take the scenic route home while the girls were supposed to be asleep.  Naps didn't quite work out, but I did have a beautiful ride.  I stopped to snap this picture along the PCH:

I'd never been on the PCH before, but it really is a pretty drive!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Before and After

Hannah started going cross-eyed while we were at home this Christmas....and then stopped doing it as soon as we got home.  The pediatrition didn't think it was anything to worry about but had us to to an ophthalmologist just to be safe.  The day after her visit to the doctor she started going cross-eyed again.  Go figure! After 2 months to get into the Dr. and a 2 hour long appointment we discovered Hannah is very farsighted, but glasses should correct the lazy eye.

Here's a picture of her before glasses:

and here she is after:
She was really excited about getting them!  I'm happy to report that she does a pretty good job wearing them most of the time...and it has fixed her lazy eye.  Unfortunately for her, she's stuck with bad eyesight for the rest of her life!

Friday, March 16, 2012


The other day we needed to get out of the apartment.  It had been cold for several days in a row. got down to the 60's and I have Sofia wearing a hat and jacket (we've acclimatized)!

Someone had been doing some cleaning and there was still a puddle of water left over.  Usually Hannah and Sofia like to jump and splash in the water, but this day Sofia must have been extremely thirsty.  This is what she kept doing:

I tried to tell her it was dirty and pick her up....but inevitably she reverted back to licking the water.  Gross, but kind of funny!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


James and I recently celebrated our 2nd anniversary of our 1st kiss....which was 8 years ago.  Yep...We had our first kiss 8 years ago, but have only had 2 anniversaries because it was on Leap Day!  In honor of the day (and to clean out the Valentine candy) we made "Kiss Cookies" as Hannah likes to call them.  Here's a picture:

I thought about only making 8 cookies, 1 for each year.  But, really?  Who only makes 8 cookies?  So, we made a lot more than that and delivered all but 8 to the neighbors!

Hooray for excuses to make treats!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Play Dough

I have never bought play dough before.  I know how messy it can be and Hannah gets enough practice with real bread and cookie dough that I don't feel like she's missing out.  However, I found a package of it in the dollar bins at Target (I love those bins).  So, I figured I could splurge for a dollar and see how Hannah did with it.

No need to even guess.  She loved it.  Still does.  It's been over a week, and she still wants to play with it most every day at some point.  We are down from five to three colors now, but she's still loving it.  She does a good job keeping it on the table and cleaning up after herself.  Sofia has been the difficult one. 

After a few nasty mouthfuls she has decided it doesn't taste very good.  I'm okay with that.  However, she still makes a pretty good mess.  To entertain her, I rolled the dough into balls for her and she spends a good chunk of time moving them from container to container.  You can see a little of the concentration she's using to do it.

Overall....the $1 it cost......well worth it.  I'm not planning on going out and buying tubes of it now...but if we happen to see it in the dollar bins every once in a while I think I just might buy some!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Squatters in our Apartment

Whenever the toolbox comes out Sofia finds it.  She loves to climb up on it and squat.  It must be the Thai in her, but she squats pretty darn good.... lots better than me with 2 years of experience.  This particular day Hannah wanted in on the action:

After a while she decides to stand up, but then it's back to squatting.  I have no idea why, but she loves it.