Monday, July 1, 2013

It's our Cali-versary!

This time last year... I was full of anxiety, we had JUST landed at LAX and the Husband and I were on our way to open the doors to a home we'd never seen in person to begin a new life.

1 year later...I'm happy to report that life is beautiful and I we don't regret a single day!

Besides the squinty faces...I'd say we look pretty happy! That's what 360 days of sunshine can do for you folks!!! I swear it only rained 5 days! 

We've done more here in 1 year than we've done in 2 years back home. Everyday is an adventure here! We've traveled up and down the coast to San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Malibu, San Diego and Palm Springs! Every city has something new to offer and most of the places are just a short drive away. 

I had a few awesome "Firsts" here: 

 First Earthquake kit for school...I'm used to sending a spare pair of underwear! 

First Tattoo! OUCH!
First hair weave! 
Then 6 months got longer! Owww!!! 
 First FAKE Christmas Tree... not so proud moment...but.... was worth it because we were surprising Baltimore for Christmas!

Our family has grown 4 hairy legs!

Isn't she a doll! And appropriately named Cali! 

We've gotten to snuggle our west coast family more: 

Meet the Original Lynch's!!! Love these gals!! :)

Our Midwest family is semi West Coast too!  Tons of great snuggle time with Auntie Lauren!

I've been taken in by the Diaz Sisters:

I fit right in! Thank you gals for loving the Sands the way you do! xoxo

Some of my *BESTIES* came to visit me: 

I live in this moment forever! Love these ladies!!!! 

Linked up with my local Black Girls RUN! 
Great to have pavement sisters wherever you go! 

Most importantly... My Girls and The Husband are happy, we spend more days outdoors soaking up the rays, and just enjoying life. The pace here is way different than the east coast. The Husband and I have really grown in our personal relationship, we spend more time together here for some odd reason. I think it's because most days we only really have each other to lean on. So kudos to California for strengthening the Sands! 

 These smiles make it all worth it!
 Even this craziness! 
Luck of the Sands...feels more like a blessing! 
We look forward to another GREAT year in California... I'll do better blogging... promise!!!

-the momo momma

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

"Sew".. What do you think?!

Okay I promise not to use "sew" as a play on words anymore! *maybe*....

So 2 weeks ago, my new toy was delivered via  (see post below). I was inspired to buy this machine for 3 reasons;

1. I follow an amazing blogger who posted a fabulous poncho she made in March which linked to a tutorial she created to show how "easy" it was.

2. One of the Momos came home with a note from her teacher stating that she needed to have a LONG Skirt to go with their "Africa Themed" culture day in the next 3 weeks. Tell me where I will find a maxi skirt for a 4 year old?!

3. I really want to make over my outdoor patio furniture cushions and my mom (who is a seamstress), convinced me I could do it very "easily"...

... so why not, everything is just "sew" (oops) easy!!!

 Here's what happened next. I went to Joanne's fabrics (with the Momos ---> I will never make that mistake again), there was too much fabric touching and very loud exclamations from them about "how soft this fabric is mommy".  I walked around for about 20 mins, wandering aimlessly up and down the fabric aisles looking for "flowy" fabric.

I came back with the following;

1. 6 yards of various fabrics, only the yellow I picked for "the skirt" b/c it was flowy
2. fancy looking scissors 
3. one of those pin cushion tomatoes, doesn't EVERY sewer need one of those!?
4. a chalk pencil (i dunno it looked important)
5. some thread ---> I was looking for the little bobbin threads too, then I realized you have to make them *ugh* 
6. a tape measure (duh)
7. some elastic
8. some ribbon
9. muslin (to practice on)
10. straight pins (to stick the Momos with) hee hee!

So I measured Momo 2 and then spread out the fabric on the table to prepare to cut!

Spent 10 minutes you tubing how to thread the sewing machine and making that little bobbin guy that goes in the bottom, then another 15 minutes agonizing over cutting the material, as if I didn't have enough (seriously I could of made 3 skirts out of this!). Finally I made the cut, pinned some pins and put the machine to work (I'll come up with a name for her soon). After 1 hour, this is what I came up with!

 How excited was I!!! Totally stoked, I felt like I was in a Staples commercial, 'that was easy!' The next morning I had Momo 2 come downstairs to try it on and it fit like a glove, well more like a mummy wrap! lol she could barely walk much less run in the dag on thing. Well lucky for me I had 2.5 inches of seams on each side I could take out, so I did and it worked out better. Yet I still wasn't satisfied, it was a tad see-through and I just wasn't overly thrilled.

I stepped away for a day and went back in 2 nights later, using a bit of fabric I found in that nifty little bin of left overs for $4 bucks, and that result... I loved!

 the back: I struggled with adding this ribbon, I couldn't get it to work with the elastic and was afraid to send her to school with just the ribbon. So I reworked it with the elastic only, but I am going to make a couple fun summer skirts with just the ribbon as the waistband

the front: I made the skirt much wider so it had more flow and body and didn't make Momo 2 walk like geisha girl!

Tada! My little African Giraffe! She loved it and so did I!

So.... (I was tempted), to say this was "easy" would be a true statement.  Overall the final skirt probably took me about 30 mins from start to finish and pressing. I guess the most OBVIOUS thing I could of gotten at the fabric store would of been a pattern, but I'm just not that kind of gal!

BONUS PHOTO (just for giggles): I'm sure you are all wondering, "What did Momo 1 wear for culture day?!" Her class had Ireland/Europe and her very crafty teacher got $13 bucks from each parent and made each kid a 3 piece ensemble (skirt/vest/apron). 

the little milk maid: lets just say she wasn't impressed! lol In her defense she didn't even go to school that day, because she ended up going to the Dr. and diagnosed with Bronchitis, so she wasn't well, but she wanted to see her "costume" on and then she realized I didn't make it and burst into tears, refusing to smile for the photo! 

I'm ready for more creations... stay tuned... again!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Vacation...Just a drive away!

... Palm Springs weekend review! 

Last weekend we took a quick (1.5hour ---that is fast in Cali time) drive inland to the desert, Palm Springs!

It was one of the cutest towns I have encountered since coming here, there were no tall buildings, big overstated fancy hotels and NO CHAIN restaurants (I am secretly plotting against all chain restaurants---another rant for another blog post)! I loved how unique each store front, resturant and hotel looked.

Here's a *Pic Stitch* look at where we stayed, ate and shopped!

The Andreas Hotel & Spa: Nice hotel in the heart of the city, 1 block behind the "main drag". I probably would not stay here again, mainly because there are so many other options I'd like to try! But If I were coming back with the twins, I'd feel comfortable taking them here because it wasn't overly crowded and has a great pool area. The Spa was ABSOLUTELY amazing, if you ever go, do book the couples soak, and a deep tissue massage with Jeremy!

 Jakes: So this was our first stop, even before the hotel! AH-MAZING! The husband had the soft shell crab cake sandwich and I had the fish tacos. These had to be the BEST fish tacos I have ever had! *full disclosure, these are the only fish tacos I've ever had* lol.  Drinks were delicious, and what's a little lunch without a homemade german chocolate cake! YUM! 

We shopped! The shops on El Paseo mimicked a smaller scale version of Rodeo Drive. I was totally crushing on all the fruity pastels that littered lululemon, Cole Hann & Kate Spade. Clearly the spring is all about tasting the rainbow, *shakes a handful of easter skittle*. We also indulged in dining al fresco at a yummy little Mexican place, one can never have enough fresh guacamole. 

Citron: This little gem was recommended to us by one of my favorite *run/bike/swimmers*. This place was everything I expected; ultra chic & a culinary delight! We dined on the patio under a beautiful tent so due to low lighting I didn't snap any pics of our meals, but I did get to snap a few at the entrance and while we enjoyed our dessert poolside by the fire pits. (don't mind the MJ Thriller eyes we are projecting in the bottom pic!) 

Cheeky's Brunch: On our way out we stopped by this place we walked past on our first day, I couldn't resist the little pink monkey! Let's just say, everyone in Palm Springs was here! We were almost turned off by the "sign yourself in hostess stand" but soon learned, those who put their name in and walk away, get bumped to the bottom! So what started out with us being 23rd on the list quickly turned into being 5th! Fresh squeeze grapefruit juice and blood orange to start, and then on to crispy waffles and a bacon flight. Yes, you read that right a FLIGHT of bacon, 5 different bacon strips each delightfully pleasing.  After brunch we took a quick stroll through the Art Show that was bustling with budding artists and locals. 

Thanks for a great weekend Palm Springs! We look forward to having your desert heat beating down on us really soon!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Where I relax...

Even though this room is just off the "heart" of the house (the kitchen), it tends to be the most peaceful place here. The soft leather, the cool teal/blues/greens warmed up with a hint of gold just make this room come alive! The view...well you just have to stop by and see for yourself.

I can do all kinds of *Mommy Managing* from here, the girls usually are outside or playing in the family room, but close enough for me to yell, "Girls, can you get mommy something from the kitchen!" or "Girls, I can hear you are not playing nicely. Don't make me get up!" (I think they secretly know I won't)

I'll be here most of the weekend catching up on some reading and having a glass or two of wine!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

My new favorite store: World Market

I must have been living under a rock for the past 6 did I let this place pass me by? If you ever wanted to know what it would be like to be in the most colorful, well organized Target meets suburban Marshalls meets CB2, then I've found it!

Just a few miles from my house is this amazing shop called The World Market! There were aisle and aisle of decor, accessories, crafts, international foods, furniture & wine. You name it, they had it!

I randomly saw it out of the corner of my eye, while driving  back from the pharmacy. I swear I have been in this shopping center at least 10 times and never took notice of it.

Take a walk with me through the aisles!
Cute little owl gift bags! Who can deny the owl?

                             vibrant adult gift bags!
even the clearance was exciting
love this day bed & the headboards 
Magical lamps

accent chairs!

For the organizer in me!


I found so many things I want to put in our "real home" when we finally settle into California! In the meantime I'll be making lists, and watching sales!

I walked out of the store with one packet of Digestive, hobnobs and a cute little basket to store all of Cali's toys in!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Picking up where I left off!

So it's best if I skip any apologies about not blogging, or give any excuses for why I haven't...and just pretend everyone is all caught up via "my life on Facebook!"

When we last "talked", I was overly stressed about the "cut and paste" job the girls had done with their hair! <see previous post> Turns out, it grows back in a few months *cheers to overreacting!* and for the first time, with a few tips from east coast momma friend Minka, I performed my first "PRESS N CURL" on the Momos!


 2 months ago I could of NEVER parted Kenzie's hair down the middle b/c she had nothing there!!! 

 This is the side Lily Chopped off! Now look at it... flowing!!! 

This pic just makes me laugh b/c she looks like a little old lady in the mirror!

French Braids? Yes Please! I love this look on the girls!

Now to take them to my extra fabulous hair dresser to get those ratty ends trimmed!!! I'll be sure to post about their "first hair dresser experience" ... Stay tuned!

It's nice to be back!