A few years ago, when Ella was only 2 (and already a huge JB fan), she had the opportunity to attend his concert. Unfortunately, she was feeling under the weather and I just didn’t think she was well enough, or even old enough, to enter into the pandemonium that is known to all as “Bieber Fever”.
I thought maybe she’ll grow out of her love for Justin Bieber, perhaps she will like a new artist…but no. She has been a loyal fan for the past 3 or so years! So I decided to make it a goal for myself to take her to a Justin Bieber concert and make this a special memory for her.
It happened last Saturday – I seriously stayed home all day to save all my energy for what we were getting ourselves into that night. From the moment she opened the surprise package with the tickets inside to the moment JB himself stepped onto the stage, she was ecstatic, and I found myself just watching the excitement on her face and really relishing that moment.
Ready for her very first concert experience
Ella and Mommy
Her official 2013 concert tour shirt
JB on stage!
This weekend, I was finally able to watch Beats Rhymes & Life – a documentary following the past and present career of my all-time favorite hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest. Back in the day (on the boulevard of Linden), my crew and I would use their music as a backdrop to our lyrics. They were truly instrumental in my life and especially in my adoration for music today. Hip-hop has not been the same – although the styles are appreciated on its own level, nobody has been placed on that same pedestal that holds my favorite group. They are always the point of reference and comparison for me, anyway, especially when music is the topic of conversation with my kids.
I loved this documentary – it illustrates the trials and tribulations of a group of young friends with different backgrounds and similar threads; the rise to fame; the challenges of friendship in the music business; and loyalty.
A true must-see for any ATCQ fan out there!
Last Saturday, I took the mini-me to her second show (first being Yo Gabba Gabba). Along with my brother, sis-in-law and niece/goddaughter, we all had a blast singing and dancing (Ella, mostly). Ella and Addy were dressed up like mini Kiki and mini Marina – how lucky and meant-to-be was it that I found dresses just like theirs at Ross of all places! They looked adorable. Because we had the VIP package, we had the BEST seats in the house and the girls got to meet and take a picture with the Fresh Beats. I encourage you pick up their newly released CD – their music is catchy and lyrically meaningful especially when teaching your little ones about friends, reaching for the stars and doing anything you put your mind to. : )
“So glad I was able to experience such a memorable and fun time with you, Baby Girl!”
Right before I met my Hubby, I was teaching Hip-Hop Dance at a local teen center. Oh how I miss it! Recently, my two bonus kids signed up for the Hip-Hop classes at Ella’s dance school. I think they’re reallyenjoying it. We all learned a routine for National Dance Day, which was last Saturday. Good times with my daughters doing something that was (and still is) a love of mine.
(i love how me and my 3 girls are in this shot)
When I first heard “I Used to Love H.E.R.” by Common, I instantly thought he was talking about a girl he loved but at the end of the track, he spins it and reveals that H.E.R. is not a person – it’s hip hop. I listened to the track over and over again in a different way and made the connections he was making to hip hop and where it was going. One of the most intelligent metaphors ever written and hands down, one of the most influential hip hop tracks ever recorded. It’s hip hop’s story told in minutes. Enjoy!
Friday night was exactly what I needed — an enjoying evening with my very best friends. These are ladies that I’ve been friends with for over 20 years! We are still very close, in fact I think we’ve grown closer as we’ve grown older. We’re all married and we’re all mothers. The four of us and our dear husbands enjoyed a dinner in and an evening out. Since it was a Friday night, we all worked during the day, made sure our children were taken care of, and gathered at our house for a Chinese take-out dinner. We jumped in the SUV (yes, all 8 of us!) and headed to downtown to enjoy a musical that I believe was PERFECT for the 8 of us. We are children of the 80’s and MixTape celebrated the TV shows, the music, the fashion and the events of that era. It was outstanding and lucky me, I was even bashfully serenaded by one of the actors, who just happened to be one of the Hubby’s old high school classmates. Yay alma mater for representing San Diego theater at its finest! A totally awesome must-see show! Afterwards, we went back to the ‘hood and the Hubbies enjoyed a stogie while the women enjoyed a Starbucks. It was a perfect prelude to Valentine’s Day with some of my favorite folks. I will always remember last night as one of excessive smiles and laughter, medicine for my soul. It has been a very stressful, miserable, exhausting past few weeks and after last night I feel rejuvenated. Thank you to the CROO + Hubbies!
I didn’t think it was going to happen, but we MADE it happen. I am big on traditions and especially not breaking them, if I can help it. Our holiday cards are part of our family tradition. Hubby and I always try to send something fun and creative or just “us” during the holidays, and this year we played off of our love for music and what seems to be hot in pop culture these days – the show “GLEE”. Add a little color, some quick photogs from our DSLR, our very own custom playlist from a FREE (gotta love FREE) site, and voila! Meet our 2010 holiday card.
2010 Holiday Card
She cheers me up, makes me smile, makes my heart sing. I love her.
Our family went to LA this year for our family trip. What an unforgettable experience! When you think of LA, you probably think traffic, crowded places and lots of spending. Truth in all of the above, but Hubby and I are pretty good at planning ahead and researching places to go. We know what our kids would enjoy and consider everyone’s ages, personalities, and interests. I felt like this trip was a huge success and we definitely made a lot of special memories together. With our kids growing up so fast, it was important for us to go on a family trip where we were experiencing new things together. Hubby and I also turned to our “tried and true” places, knowing that our kids would enjoy it.
Friday, August 20
Our adventure began. We filled our bellies with a huge breakfast hashbrown burrito from El Patron – none of us was really able to finish the burritos, they were THAT huge – but oh so good. Then we took our time on the road, expecting the LA traffic, but surprisingly made it to our first destination without any delay. We took our kids to the Grammy Museum – a place Hubby and I enjoyed a couple months ago. And as we anticipated, the kids loved it. The Grammy Museum ranks up there on our list of things to do in LA – it’s affordable, not crowded and there is so much to do, see and listen to. Our kids are like us – music-lovers – so it made sense to share this experience with them. My favorite part was singing together in a recording booth – ALL of us. It was both hilarious and memorable. :)
Breakfast of Champions - HASHBROWN BURRITOS!
After the Grammy Museum, we decided to take the kids to a late lunch at the place where I first tried Pad Seeyew (and fell in love) – Noodle Planet in Westwood. Then we enjoyed a little afternoon dessert at Diddy Riese, another one of our favorite places!
Enjoying our SWEET treats!
We checked into our hotel, the Anaheim Hilton. We scored a great deal of $85/night. The hotel was very modern and the room we stayed in was comfortable, although there was no view outside our window or balcony. But it served the purpose so we can’t complain. The kids took a dip in the pool at dusk on Friday, Ella included!
My little fishies...
Getting ready for the next day at Disney...
Trying on the "ears"!
Saturday, August 21
The big part of our day started early in the morning – Breakfast with Minnie and Friends. If you have little ones in the family, and even if you don’t, this breakfast was well-worth your dollars. The food was delicious, characters frolic throughout the restaurant so right away, you get to meet them, and it’s all you can eat! We made reservations weeks in advance and enjoyed a nice, hearty breakfast “Minnie Mouse” style.
Our family at the Plaza Inn, ready to have breakfast with Minnie and FriendsElla so excited to meet Minnie - she waited for this day ALL summer!
The big meet and greet!
The girls with Minnie
The boys with Captain Hook
Mickey waffles - these were my favorite!
A wonderful day at Disneyland
Here’s a clip of Ella dancing in the parade – this was absolutely my best memory at Disneyland. I was so happy for her!
We didn’t stay for the fireworks – it was already a very long day but wanted to make sure the kids did some school shopping with their allowance and money they earned from their report cards. Thankfully, the Block at Orange was open until 11pm. They had a blast shopping all night long.
Sunday, August 22
We checked out of the hotel and decided to take the kids to the LA Fashion District to do more school shopping. By Sunday, I was spent! Sadly, it was hot and crowded and I had a grumpy toddler in tow. But the kids found awesome deals and honestly, I’ve never seen them enjoy shopping so much until that weekend. I’m so happy they had a wonderful time and I look forward to our next family vacation together!