cabin fever


you don’t exactly bring out the best in me. i try my hardest to see the sliver lining in your season. for example, i can’t think of a better time to enjoy hot cocoa. there’s christmas and new years celebrations. being able to use flannel pajamas and woolly socks, hubby’s birthday, chunky sweaters and turtle necks. i’m a sucker for cuddling under cozy blankets, with my flannel pajamas and woolly socks. sexy mama i know! (the thermostat is off limits because my hubby is being spiteful…just kidding). oh and i will admit the first snowfall is really quite beautiful and magical. I make an effort to have fun in the snow with my dear daughter. a little bit of what I did on winter storm nemo (which fell right smack on my 30th birthday). thanks for stealing my thunder ;-) otherwise, I could technically do without you. i’m really trying here, but i can’t help being honest either.

it seems we set up fort and bunkered down for a billion weeks. i’m exaggerating. just a little though. gosh darn it! i’ve had enough! (that’s me being angry and fed up). i also have a problem with murphy’s law, which is real by the way. don’t let anyone tell you different. ’cause the one day i bring izzie outside to play, she gets sick. one day, i tell you! i played nurse (okay so I use the term ‘play’ very loosely) with a feverish, runny-nosed, sore-throat, coughing little one. the sleepless nights with a constantly crying, miserable baby really did me in. sounds like i’m being wimpy, but we struggled with izabella’s severe colic and reflux for 6 whole months. anytime she cries for long periods of time, i regress back to that overwhelming and challenging time. no judging, because i truly paid my dues. got it?

just when i thought the worst was over, hubby gets his share and is still battling the same nasty symptoms as our girl. he’s doing better today, but guess who’s next? me! [rolling eyes]. i’m pretty much popping vitamin c like crazy. i’m literally cringing just thinking about not being able to get out of bed. ’cause you know, mamas don’t get breaks (even if they’re as sick as a dog).

* please be kind to us, oh dear winter. pretty please with a cherry on top. if you promise to do so, i will talk nicer about you in exchange. deal? deal!


post23_strybrd7izzie finally got over being sickies after five long days [cue in hallelujah music]. in case you’re wondering, ‘sickies’ means sick in cute baby talk. you can read more about my abnxious habit, here.

i was out the door faster than my husband could say “how much longer?”. ’cause leaving with a baby (okay, so even with a toddler) is an ordeal. sometimes it makes me wonder if going out is really necessary, six hours into the process. this time around, i was beyond desperate to escape those four walls. apparently, i wan’t the only one either. when we got izabella into her coat, she was smiling and waving goodbye to probably every single item at home.

we decided to go mall cruising because lets face it, our options are limited during this season. plus, hubby needed to go to the apple store anyway. izzie is definitely not a windows kind of gal. no doubt in my mind. at one point, she was trying to tell me she wants a mac book pro for her birthday. we’ll think about it sweetie, but sheesh! izabella alicia, you’re 19 months going on 19 years.

post23_strybrd5we haven’t visited california pizza kitchen in forever. we decided this would be a good enough time if any. the new red and golden beet salad was delish! i could of eaten another plate. easily.

post23_strybrd6let’s talk about this pizza, shall we? also new and oh so incredible. it has brussell spouts and bacon. quirky, yes but 5 points for creativity! the combination of ingredients is just perfect

post23_strybrd1we take coloring in our family really seriously. i mean look at that concentration. all is well, until she starts eating the crayon. it got me thinking about the idea of edible crayons. that would be a-ma-zing!


post23_strybrd3post23_strybrd2mac and cheese was requested by little miss.


i thought window shopping would be nice. talk about tempting. Ladies, is it hard or is it hard? still, seeing things I love is a great distraction. i get inspired and imaginative (maybe a little too much, even) because izabella escapes my sight in two blinks. she has loads of enjoyment hiding under clothes racks, making friends and pretending to be a window display mannequin. we get a lot more exercise, chasing after this spunky blond of ours in a big open space. you know what they say about blonds having more fun, right? i think there’s definitely some truth to that.post23_strybrd12

post23_strybrd16inappropriate behavior perhaps, but i needed to take a picture. it was just too cute. i couldn’t resist.

post23_strybrd8helping mama pick out some rad options. she has good taste, this girl.

post23_strybrd9she was playing with the sales clerk and having a ball for a good ten minutes straight.

post23_strybrd13so many pretty pieces at anthropology.

post23_strybrd14i adore this mid-century/ parisian nook <3

post23_strybrd18i would take it all it. the sales rack wasn’t bad, but i’m saving my pennies for another time.

post23_strybrd15so I really love these frames, but i know i can totally copy cat them. DIY project, here I come!

post23_strybrd19no outing ever begins or ends without a dirty diaper. this was the decent shot of the very unglamorous routine. not that you’d want to see pictures of the mess i had to clean. the face of husband gagging over the diaper change which followed, was utterly priceless. he’s a trooper for feeling sick and offering to help me anyway.

that was the bulk of our past sunday. i’d say we’re doing better. recovering from cabin fever that is :)



entering a new decade


my twenties consisted of college, graduation, marriage, and having our baby girl, izabella. that decade will always be special for those reasons. alot happened in those ten years–mostly sweet memories but also some bitter moments too. growing pains, struggles and  heartbreak just to name a few. there were big milestones but also big disappointments. sometimes it felt like i was taking five steps forward and two steps back [gasp]. nonetheless, i’m here. i made it to the big 3-0, thanks to my loved ones and God’s mercy. you know that saying “you live and you learn”?  i’d like to think the learning part, is what you do while transitioning into your thirties. don’t get me wrong, my troubles are far from over and my flaws are a sight for sore eyes. despite my weaknesses, i’ve matured through the years.


her kisses melt my heart. it’s exactly what i needed on such a cold, snowy day. i wish i could keep them in my back pocket whenever we’re apart. which i hope is never, but surely she’ll need to fly out of the nest. someday ;-)

i recently embarked on a journey of self-discovery. it’s been liberating but also quite scary. losing sight of that shore can be intimating. yet when i explored beyond the horizon, i expanded my perspective. i become more informed about myself, the people in and out of life and those things which float somewhere in between. it hasn’t been smooth sailing, if you know what i mean. not everything i discovered was lovely. i’m still working on accepting those realities–those things which i can’t change. the ugly truth is still ugly, even with the rosiest colored-glasses. it’s a part of the risk of exploring unknown territory. it’s probably why some people may never leave their comfort zone. yes, i’d agree…ignorance is bliss, but you can’t disagree that knowledge is power. when you know better, you do better. i’m feeling wiser and more confident about my decisions. a little more book smart and hopefully, more street smart too.

goodbye twenty-nine! it was nice knowing you.


^^^ these two kids over here. they love to play. all the time. supergirl izzie pretends she has super-duper strength and can defeat even the world’s strongest man. they also enjoying “rarr-ing” at each other while playing catch and hide-and-go-seek. the latest is the over-dramatic, fake cough to get daddy’s attention.

hello thirty!

you came to me with a bang blizzard, a northeastern snow storm on the exact date of my birthday. what are the odds of that?! even weirder, was the name. ‘nemo’, as in the clown fish from the disney animated movie, ‘ finding nemo’ (at least that’s what comes to my mind). i couldn’t help but ponder of the symbolism of this, because that’s what i do–think and over-think things. i blame my anxiety and attention to detail [big sigh]. so anyway…before getting carried away into another direction, (i may also have slight ADD <—- the downfall of being a creative) i wanted to share the words of dory:

“when life gets you down, you know whatcha got do? just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming swimming swimming.”


if only you could hear that laugh. it’s the type of laugh, a parent would do anything for. even the most embarrassing things. this is not one of them. thankfully!

even though dory was the fun, forgetful, care-free fish in the film, her sayings were meaningful. i know this is a silly kid’s movie, but there’s something more substantial and identifiable, especially for me. it’s hard! life, that is. it’s really, really hard sometimes. like unbearable-knock-you-off-your-feet, sort of hard. there’s loss and life threatening situations. like the kind Marlin had when his son, nemo was taken away from him. the majority of the movie is a loving father overcoming obstacles, conquering the sea and his fears in order to rescue his child. which he does, by the way (sorry–spoiler alert!) but not without feeling hopeless and defeated in the process. a caring friend (dory) reminds him to continue forward and have faith. she even gives (the above quote) a catchy, slightly annoying ring to it (almost a song), as she swims by his side. that is the same tune which played in my head, every time i heard about the storm. i also added my own words, “i must keep moving. i must push forward. i have to. i need to”.


if it seems like my locks got (even) shorter, that’s because it did! i figured my big birthday storm should be paired with an extreme haircut to match.


^^^ this is how you spell L-O-V-E <3

 i’ve been telling myself this for a really long time actually. these past ten months (especially) have been a grueling boot camp. it wasn’t about finishing first, but about raw, hard-core survival. i gave it all i had and stayed focused, even when i had my moments of despair. i had that initial adrenaline rush, but then it wore off. perhaps, my pace slowed down. maybe i had to take breaks every now and then. perhaps i needed extra support when i did fall. i’m human. i’m not a robot and i’m surely not superwoman (although that would be fantastic). i may have trouble catching up with others, mostly because i’ve been injured and i’m still recovering. i have my limitations and perhaps that’s due to the muddy paths and dangerous terrain i’ve encountered. i’m not as fast or feeling as strong as i used to, but i still have determination. slow and steady…slow and steady wins the race.


note to self: baby should have a snow suit on, even if it’s just for a couple minutes. i’m paying dearly for this mommy fail. poor izzie has been sick since then :(


i was told that “noo” is a delicious, refreshing snack.

so there i was, snowed-in and reminiscing on my special day. i’d gotten this far with a massive blizzard to mark the entrance into my thirties. to tell you the truth, i was feeling a little down in the morning. i’m not a fan of cold weather or the snow. what can i say– i’m a winter baby stuck in a summer baby’s birth date. there i was, sipping coffee watching the snow fall. i was thinking back to the whirlwind of my twenties, while also going seventy-five miles ahead. my poor brain was hurting! my heart was hurting too, because i was getting emotional. i saw a parallel with the unexpected, unpleasant times of my life with this storm. it reminded me of the hardships. when it snows, it snows….or something along those lines, right?


izabella is a july baby who loves the snow! …and i’m a february baby who isn’t the biggest fan :-/


^^^ that’s a film camera my hubby is using. yes, you read correctly….film! it’s a vintage 1981 canon. we can’t wait to see the developed prints!

it also made me think about the big production of this day. it wasn’t a regular ‘ol friday. no, it was news-worthy and memorable. it was nothing short of  dramatic and eventful. it made me think even harder and deeper. sometimes storms push us forward, if we dare to go with the current. sometimes we go off course, because we try to avoid it all together. i’m no surfer (or swimmer for that matter), but i know one basic rule: if you don’t want to be swallowed and spit out by a gigantic wave, you need to surrender to it. i hope this birthday storm of mine is a sign. a foreshadowing of this new chapter of my life: it will be big and bold in the most positive way. i can’t say “adieu” to my umbrella or my snow boots. i know storms come and go with each passing season. what i am hoping, believing and praying, is that better days are in the forecast.


my sweethearts. i love them to the moon and back!

so what’s a beach lovin’ girl to do a very wintry day? why, she cuddles with her husband and daughter and plays with the fluffy white stuff. “if you can’t beat them, join them”…is what i say.


okay, so i had a little fun too :)

despite it all, boy–i’m a lucky girl! i really do count my blessings and seeing these pictures, makes me all the more thankful. watching the wonder in my daughter’s eyes, the love she shared with us and the extra hugs and kisses made my day special. birthday calls from family, facebook wishes, yummy cake and beautiful roses were the perfect ending to the beginning of a new and exciting decade.


these were the most cheery, orange-hued flowers for such a wintery occasion. just gorgeous!

how did you spend winter storm memo? hopefully it was safe and warm surrounded by the ones you love.


a ladylike winter

if you don’t already know, this isn’t my favorite season. my attempts to bundle up usually consists of lots of layers and a pouty face. apart from christmas, i haven’t had the opportunity to play dress-up this winter. i keep on saying i’m going to have a date night with the hubs, but we usually just end up staying in. which i’m totally okay with most of the time, but my dresses might have cobwebs by now. if you’re a girly-girl like me, then you’d understand too. heck, if you’re a mom then i’m just preaching to the choir right about now.

the whole dressing up/date night situation is one of my new years resolutions. i’ll quote #8 down the list of things i wish to accomplish in 2013: “go out on hot dates night with my mani haven’t used my heels in…umm, yeah i can’t even remember the last time.” <— gosh, that’s sad!

i toke the woolite dream winter outfit challenge, ’cause i’m getting psyched for going out on the town. hopefully, sooner than later. i could use some practice and a little inspiration. people who know about fashion, know that woolite is a trusted detergent. it promises to take care of your favorite clothes so you can continue making great memories and great fashion statements. with that in mind, i put together this outfit that i would want to keep looking its best.

a ladylike winter

Poem print top
$87 –

Moschino wool shirt

Military fashion

Wool mini skirt

Tulle clothing

Rag & bone high heels

Jigsaw knit beret
$62 –

this pretty combination is a  little bit classy and a little bit fun too. there’s no need for a necklace with this moschino wool shirt.  it’s the epitome of femininity, which features an elegant bow. the a-line floral skirt gives the assemble a retro 50’s look, which i love. in order to avoid it being too matchy-matchy, i added a second pattern with the use of cardigan. delicate birds add that perfect touch of whimsy, which also gives this outfit an avant-garde edge. the mustard yellow military coat balances the girly elements with a touch of masculine detailing in the buttons. each of the accessories picks up a rich color and completes this very ladylike attire. it’s a perfect for dressing up while still keeping warm during this cold weather.

what are your thoughts?