I am grateful for my Best Friend – after over 20+ years, I feel like I can tell her anything, trust her with all my heart, and know that no matter what, she will always be there to listen and support me. I can only wish that each of my kids has that one friend who has been as special and instrumental in their lives like she has been to me. I was able to spend quality time with her – something I wish we had more time to do – and it was so therapeutic, so good for my soul. :)



I am so grateful to have the same 3 wonderful friends who have been there with me through teenage years to adult years, heartaches, happiness, uncertainty, career changes, marriage, and motherhood. They are amazing women and every time we get together we relive our memories, listen to each other’s stories, and support each other through whatever stressors are in our life at the moment. Today, I was reminded of just how special these ladies are to me and my family. The enormous amount of support, love and understanding I felt from them today filled my heart. I am lucky and I do not take these friendships for granted. I only pray and hope that each of my kids will be blessed with the same gift of love, loyalty and friendship. <3

Favorite Things Party: Recap


My first attempt at a Favorite Things party was a success! The only little glitch was that one of my girlfriend’s names was in the bucket 3 times and we only had one set of gifts left to give away (translation: she would have received 3 of the SAME thing). No bueno, but we fixed it and everyone left with FIVE new sets of favorite things. Check out the photos! In the future, we will pre-select names to avoid such a dilemma ;-)

The details:

  • Orange and yellow color scheme (because it’s so happy) with splashes of the chevron pattern
  • Everyone brought their favorite dish or dessert – I brought a toasted goat cheese salad, truffle parmesan fries and French macaroons from one of my favorite cafes, Opera Patisserie
  • Each person had a turn at presenting their favorite thing – it was nice to hear why their giveaways were so special to them

It’s always nice to get together with my favorite friends. I couldn’t have asked for a better day. :-)

Favorite Things Party

For some time now, I have been wanting to host a Favorite Things Party. I always loved the element of surprise and joy shown in the audience of Oprah’s Favorite Things. So we’re not going to be giving each other a little box containing the key to a NEW CAR (insert Oprah’s excited voice here) or a $500 Cashmere Sweater in all the pastel colors you can think of. But this will be a fun way to get together with my besties to share those little things that make us happy. It’s been a nice diversion in my work day trying to figure out which one (or ones) of my favorite things I plan to gift away. There are so many!  I will be sure to post pics from the party (which is in March).



Did You Miss Me???

I’m still here – just been a little busy. ;-) Here’s a glimpse of what I’ve been a little preoccupied with.

I remember when she was just starting pre-k and now here she is…ready to enter Jr. High! All grown up, and I must say, I am very proud of this young lady. Congrats! XOXO

Aly’s 5th Grade Promotion

To celebrate a special “milestone” in her life, I was happy to continue a tradition I started for all of the girls in our family – Women’s Day. I took her to The Cheesecake Factory, gave her a long…letter full of advice about growing up into a young lady, and showered her with gifts. It was indeed a special day. <3

Women’s Day

I was also busy discovering some delicious NEW places…one being Gordy’s. Thanks to my SIL, I have found a new place to get my sweet fix. :-) BTW, they have the most amazing Peanut Butter Bars that remind me of elementary school, and they are perfectly named “Lunch Lady”.

Gordy’s Bakery (photo from

And, it’s been 30 years since I’ve been to one, but I finally made it to a drive-in theater to watch Brave with our little one, our nephew and our extended family. What a wonderful experience (would have been more enjoyable if I wasn’t sick and pregnant – LOL).

Santee Drive-In

The Hubby and I have been in “nesting mode” and have been cleaning and organizing like crazy. Here’s a look of me consolidating all of our scrapbooking/crafting supplies.

Organizing, organizing, organizing…

In the midst of all this, my best girlfriends managed to surprise me with a lunch/baby shower! For those of you who really know me, pulling off a surprise goes down as one of the most impossible things to pull off. LOL I have the most amazing friends!

“Welcome Aboard” theme – love it!

And yes, I’m just growing bigger and bigger as the days and weeks go by. I am close to the finish line and cannot wait to see my little bundle of love soon. <3

Getting ready to POP!


Snapshots of Last Weekend

Don’t you just love it when you have an amazing weekend? Last weekend was one of those “perfect” weekends for me.

It started with Friday night at the Cypress Canyon Community Park, where we watched our 10 year old play softball. The pizza party/potluck made it even more fun. Since the in-laws watched Ella for a few extra hours, we were able to give Aly our undivided attention. I’m amazed every time I see her play!


Although the Hubby had to work on Saturday, I went ahead and took our kids shopping and to lunch at Teri Cafe. It was fun spending quality time with them. Afterwards, we headed to our local pumpkin patch where ALL of the kids went down the big slide, bounced around in the inflatables — oh, and we picked up a couple of pumpkins too!

That evening, we went on a double-date with my Big Brother and my SIL. We went to a restaurant called Apertivo in one of our favorite neighborhoods in San Diego, North Park. After dinner, we visited one of our favorite cigar lounges Cesar’s.

Sunday, I enjoyed a full girls’ day out with my 3 best friends. It started with brunch at Searsucker, followed by shopping at Urban Outfitters, coffee & chatting at Chocolat,  and ending with pedicures! The weather was perfect, the conversations were non-stop, and what was nice was that nobody was in a hurry to get home. :) So refreshing and a much-needed Mommy break for sure!

Can’t wait to have another one of these weekends soon! :)

Random Thoughts Thursday

  • Whoa, I didn’t really blog a lot in September…too much going on, too many changes, and not enough time.
  • One thing I am happy about is how much time I spent with friends – Hubby and I had a double-date night at our favorite Top Chef contestant, Brian Malarkey’s new restaurant in Del Mar, Burlap! I also had sushi with my BFF, enjoyed dinner with one of my good friends from HSBC, and partied with our old UT and MTX friends. GOOD TIMES!
  • Ella is going to be Snow White this Halloween! :)
  • Excited for my niece/goddaughter’s 3rd birthday party this Saturday.
  • Ella has been doing well at drop-offs at pre-school – it makes me so happy to see her making new friends and learning new things at her new school. I think our new routine for her is working out great.
  • I absolutely LOVE Ella’s preschool – go Childtime!
  • Excited for all the fall fun ahead: Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland and our Spooktacular Halloween Party
  • So proud of 10 year old for making Honor Choir – she even sang a song she learned to me last night.
  • Can I just say how happy it makes me when our 18 year old texts me to check up on me knowing I’m not feeling well? He very much resembles his Dad in that sense. Truly lucky to have them both.
  • Looking forward to a very lazy Sunday…no plans and Hubby isn’t working this weekend. Woohoo!
  • Can’t believe it’s almost October — I don’t know about you, but this felt like THE longest month EVER!

Me & Big Brother at JJ's Gaslamp

B, Hubby, Chef Malarkey, Me & Nina: Burlalp

Wonderlandia: A Hostess with the Mostess Event

Remember when Charlie got the golden ticket to tour the Chocolate Factory? I would say that the sentiment was pretty darn close when I received an email from Hostess with the Mostess confirming my attendance to their Launch Party. Two of my dearest girlfriends joined me for an evening of creative, delicious fun. The icing on the cake? I got to meet the owners and creators Jennifer and Sonny Sbranti, wonderful people who weren’t too proud to share with me that their success took some time. Truly an inspiration for people like myself who would like to someday “do my own thing”.

As tired as I was (I had just gotten back from my business trip and went from the airport to the event), I am so honored to have attended.  At some point I found myself re-energized. Great job Team HWTM — so glad to have been there to celebrate this wonderful milestone with you.

Here are some highlights from our funfilled evening:

Red Carpet Action

Nhu, Rachel & MeSignature DrinksCute and clever donut cake!This gorgeous cake was later cut and served...and it was SO good.


One of many beautiful table settings...

The detail on these cookies matched the whole Wonderlandia theme.

Candy Bar

So happy to have met them :)

The Swag Bags

Group Date Night: Hangover 2 Style

This past weekend, we hosted a co-ed dinner party with 3 of my oldest, dearest girlfriends and their Hubbies. The plan was to have dinner at our house and drive over to the nearby theater to watch The Hangover 2. Can you guess what the theme of our party was? That’s right – The Hangover! We ordered Thai food in honor of the setting of the movie and I made cigar and water bottle labels with the Hubby’s favorite character in the movie – Alan.

We ordered four different dishes – Panang Curry Chicken, Rama Beef, Beef Pad Seeyew and Pad Thai Chicken. My girlfriend brought the sticky rice with mango for our first dessert. After the movie, we headed back to our house to have birthday cake and coffee. Hubby requested a flan cake for his birthday cake. It was another funfilled night with wonderful friends!

Future Foodie Gift Basket

Last Friday, my college BFF J-Dils gave birth to her son, the adorable Jackson. J is a talented food blogger so it seemed fitting to put together a “future foodie” gift basket. In the basket were items that I found to be so essential during my first year of being a Mommy. I also made Jackson three personalized onesies, one which plugged Mommy’s blog. :) Congrats J and welcome to the club! XOXO