Phoebe’s 1st Birthday

Phoebe Kaleah

Phoebe Kaleah










My sweet darling Phoebe turned one last month – hooray! Phoebe is the baby of our family and brings so much laughter and joy to our lives. She is always smiling, laughing, dancing and giving kisses. We celebrated her first birthday with a Sesame Street themed party in our neighborhood park.

We tried to make this party special, personalized but also easy on us. We were a week away from going on vacation and in the middle of lots of changes. Easy peasy and fun was the goal.

  • We kept the cooking to a minimum and ordered most of the food – El Pollo Loco, R&B Filipino Food, NY Giant Pizza
  • We ordered cupcakes from the neighborhood grocery store and placed Sesame Street rings on top
  • We made a special ‘Phoebe 1’ sign to go with the theme and made a great photo prop
  • We hosted the party earlier than usual (and had breakfast items to go with the earlier time)
  • We chose a park just up the street from our house
  • We had Sesame Street inspired games like “How many cookies are in the jar?” and “Cookie toss”

Happy birthday to my babydoll, Phoebe! Your loving and playful spirit brings a smile to my face every single day.
Keep laughing, learning, and dancing! Mommy loves you so much and I can’t wait to watch you grow and change.


My Little Belieber

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

Ready for her very first concert experience

Ella and Mommy

Ella and Mommy

Her official 2013 concert tour shirt

Her official 2013 concert tour shirt

Popcorn...of course!

Popcorn…of course!

JB on stage!

JB on stage!


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).



Ella’s Rock Star Birthday

Last Saturday, we celebrated my little girl’s 4th birthday, in true rock star fashion. Complete with a concert ticket invitation, VIP badges for the kids to wear, microphone cupcakes, swag bags with a CD of Ella’s favorite songs and a photo booth featuring Justin Bieber himself, my little rock star had a blast! I had fun planning every detail of her party but what a challenge it is when you’re 6 months pregnant!


On the back of these badges, the kids were instructed to do FOUR rock star activities: take pictures with the “papparazzi” (photo booth), create their own “bling” (bracelet craft), “pick” up their guitar (each kid got an inflatable guitar to keep), and finally “sing” Happy Birthday to Ella which happened during cake. For each activity, they received a star sticker and when they completed all four activities, they received a swag bag.


The birthday girl blowing out her candles!


The rock star changed outfits…


In her first outfit, holding her guitar.


The invitation…


The microphone cupcakes (well, I tried).


The photo booth – Ella and her friends using the rock star props!


The swag bag had a t-shirt that read “I Partied Like a Rock Star at Ella’s 4th Birthday”, stickers, pop rocks and a customized CD filled with Ella’s favorite music.

Ella, I hope you had an amazing 4th birthday – you seemed to have a wonderful time with all of your friends and cousins. It was so nice to see you playing, laughing and dancing all day into the night. You’re growing up so fast and I just hope that this party is just another special memory that you’ll keep forever and ever. I love you so much, Big Girl! Thank you for filling my heart with so much joy and love.


Yelp Elite Xmas Party

One of the perks of being Elite on Yelp is getting invited to these fabulous events. Hubby and I went to the Yelp Xmas party at the Cuvier Club in La Jolla. It was an event like no other, to say the least. We had a blast!

Snaps from Our Holla-Ween Party

The Hubby and I had a blast throwing our Spooktacular Holla-Ween Party last month. This is the very first Halloween party we’ve thrown at our house since we moved in over 6 years ago. Now that we have Little Miss Ella, it excites me to plan fun parties for her and her little friends since they are growing up way too fast (plus, it’s a great way for us to hang out with our friends too).

So thankful to have a Hubby who enjoys planning parties as much as I do). We enjoyed decorating the house with our kiddos, cooking, and making Halloween cake pops. THAT was fun and I have to admit that the Hubby was better than me at decorating them. :) We also bought fabric with a fun festive pattern as well as lots of fun props from the dollar store that we used for our “photo booth”.

Another thing that motivated us to throw a spooky party this year was that Halloween fell on a Monday this year – Ella, along with a lot of her friends, have school the next day. We thought it would be fun to get the families together on a non-school/work night (Saturday) and ask them to bring treats for the kids so they can “trick-or-treat” in and around our house with all the parents and grandparents handing out the candy…and you bet, we had spooky tunes in to get us all in the mood!

And this year, we dressed up as…RUN-DMC and Jam Master Jay! Enjoy the snaps…

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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

Even Brighter Than The Moon, Moon, Moon…

This year, we enjoyed an easy, relaxing Fourth of July. The folks had a little BBQ at their house and my brother and sis-in-law were so sweet to get the Hubby a birthday cake. One of my favorite memories of the day was seeing my parents sitting in the patio with their feet up and just listening to them tell me their childhood food memories.

We watched fireworks from a shopping mall parking lot and it was packed with people from the nearby neighborhoods. I love seeing how our community comes together.

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!