Saturday, December 29, 2012

looking forward to 2013

As much as I love decorating for 3 months of Holidays, it sure does feel good to have our house back to normal.  Last night I packed away the ornaments and today we took down the tree and some of the lights (not the outside ones, because it's too cold). Our Mantel looks sooo... plain right now, but how adorable is that Silhouette?! My husband painted it for me for Christmas, with some help from Babe. He even took pictures of him painting to show me after I opened it. I just need to find a good spot in the house for it.
Next up, It's time to start planning for my b-day, yay! But first, let's talk about 2013.
I don't usually get too excited about a New Year, because all it means is that I'm getting older, my Babe is getting older and another year has "passed". I also try not to make Resolutions, seriously, I only pick one major thing that I want to do for the year and that way there is no pressure to do a million things I know I won't even attempt. But as I mentioned above...I'm getting older and this year I really want to get some stuff done.
So here are some of the things I am looking forward to getting accomplished in 2013:
  • Create a monthly "Bucket" and/or "To Do" list. I'm pretty good about being organized and creating "lists" but I'm hoping to incorporate at least one fun thing a month, hence the "Bucket" part.
  • Learn how to type properly (I wrote about how I can't type here)
  • make time to read and finish at least two books (harder for me than you might think)
  • run a 10k
  • take a real vacation
  • house related renovations (I won't list them all just in case I only get to one)
  • make a Vlog...scary!
  • start on a path towards becoming a minimalist....also very scary!
  • and finally, as long as the above have been met by some acceptable degree (minus the Vlog thing).... decide if we will have another baby!
Yes. That is the #1 reason I am hoping to get some stuff done this year. My husband and I go back and forth about another baby all the time. Sometimes we really want one and other times we really don't. 2013 will be the year we make a final decision.

Another thing I'm hoping to try, but still on the fence about, is a 365 project as Elsie mentioned on A Beautiful Mess. I would want to try a self portrait a day, not only because I got some new accessories for my camera but also because of the Blog. I LOVE taking pictures of everything and everyone around me but honestly, I feel weird about taking pictures of myself, but maybe I can get use to it if I try it once a day?! I don't know, we'll see.

And in case you are wondering about the whole minimalist thing....I'll be writing about my decision to do it very soon.

Any big plans for you in 2013?

Thursday, December 27, 2012


... I got to work in 20 minutes. It's the ONLY good thing about working between Christmas and New Year's

... I was so bored at work and so mad that I was being blocked from reading any Blogs. It's really weird but sometimes the Internet only gives me 60 minutes of quota time a day, for personal Blogs, only Blogs, not Internet access, just Blogs, I hate it!

... I finally had a chance to play around with my new Canon essentials kit that my husband got me for Christmas. Hopefully it will make me love my camera again. I have really been debating about buying a new one, but that is way more expensive than just buying some accessories.
... I'm looking forward to the weekend! Has anyone seen "This is 40"? I really want to see it this weekend, but my husband thinks it might be a "Rent".

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

What I wore on Christmas

Just a quick link-up post on What I wore For Christmas with Grace from Camp Patton
Black Cari - Q
Green Dress -  XXI
Gold Sparkle Belt - XXI
Fleece Lined Leggings - Bed Bath and Beyond
Boots - ?
I hope you all had a great Christmas day!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Traditions

There are very few "traditions" that I have for Christmas. But being that this is our first Christmas in a home that we will spend many more years in, I'm hoping to start a few new one's just for us.
One of the things I HAVE to do every year is watch "A Christmas Story". I don't know why but I just love that movie, it reminds me of being a kid. Last year my husband even found a pink bunny costume on clearance, we put it on Babe and he cried the whole 3 minutes he had it on. I have a picture but decided against posting it, it's so hilarious and sad at the same time... poor Babe.
The biggest tradition for me is making Tamales at my grandma's house on Christmas Eve and then everyone (we have a family of about 65) goes over on Christmas day to eat them. Even though most of us live within a 10 mile radius of each other, this is the one time of the year that we all get together and EAT so much! It's the best. The Tamales are the main course but there are so many other appetizers, desserts and candies, it's ridiculous.
I hope you all enjoy the next 2 days with your families and traditions.

Merry Christmas!!
Today I'm linking up with Merrick, Janssen and Landen for Sister's share it all.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Coffe Chat ... My 2012

This past year has been one of the best year's of my life... with a few minor bumps. In January we bought our first home, one of the biggest moments in my life, but maintaining a home is a lot of work. Our house is about 60 years old and needs some "updating", so about 75% of mine and my husband's conversations revolve around the house. It's a little annoying and frustrating (because we don't agree all the time), so I'm hoping that stops soon. You can read a little more about our house here. (you'll notice we painted the house after this pic)
My Babe turned 3 this year! And he has been a little spoiled... in addition to getting his own room, he also got to go to Knott's Berry Farm and Disneyland.

In August we celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary and finally invited all of my family over for a house warming party. It really is the best feeling to have more than 20 people over at a time.
Another accomplishment for me this year was passing my Autodesk certification.
I'm really looking forward to the year ahead of me and will be sharing some of the things I am hoping to accomplish in 2013. Until then, what did you do in 2012 that was exciting?

Today I am linking up with Alissa from Rags to Stitches

Thursday, December 20, 2012


... Is officially the first COLDEST day here in Los Angeles.

... I finally received my Birchbox. I love the festive box it came in this month. I hate that I got a shampoo. I feel like Shampoo samples are a dime a dozen, you know what I mean.
... I headed to my favorite "break" spot across the street. I wasn't looking for anything particular but was very excited to find this little boxed "Gift of the Magi" in excellent condition. And if you remember this post, all books are $1.
... we had our yearly White Elephant gift exchange and Potluck at work.  After 12 years I think  I'm going to stop participating. Let's just say I think I'm a little old, and not the right gender, for Fart Bombs! Seriously?!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Candy Cane Lane

When I was younger one of my favorite things to do around this time of year was to drive through Candy Cane Lane to see all the houses lit up. Me, my brother and cousins would all gather up in the back of my dads or uncle's truck, wearing our pajamas.
I was so excited when my husband looked up places to see lights in our neighborhood and Candy Cane Lane popped up ... 3 blocks away from us! I have no idea if this is the same place I use to go as a kid (it is the valley though) but I was still SUPER excited. We actually took the stroller and walked the neighborhood as soon as it got dark. And by the time we left there were so many cars driving through the streets, bumper to bumper, kids hanging out of sun roofs, it really reminded me of when I was their age.  I'm pretty sure I enjoyed it a bit more than Babe but maybe one day he will be as excited as me.

Can you believe there is house behind there! They definitely outdid themselves.

Monday, December 17, 2012


1. I saw this post, "DIY touch ups for the petite clutch", a few months ago and FINALLY found the perfect little lens case. I don't wear contacts so I really wanted to get something "cute"....success!
2. This past weekend we were suppose to start organizing our garage to make way for my treadmill, and whatever else my husband plans to put in there.....better luck this weekend?! I hope so.

3. I'm pretty sure the last time I had a healthy meal was way over a month ago! I really need to stop reaching for that 3rd....and 4th cookie, seriously!

4. When the heck is my Birchbox going to get here?

Today I'm linking up with Lowercase Letters for Miscellany Monday

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Weekend Goodness

Saturday...So warm and sunny! Had a nice little BBQ lunch, did a little shopping and watched Home Alone (which Babe actually enjoyed). We discovered that Babe has the WARMEST room in the house during the cold season. All the sunlight comes directly into the huge window in his room.

Sunday...So cold and rainy! Wasn't sure what to do with ourselves.
Besides our weekend Boba and Burgers (which husband is starting to hate)
we just sat around catching up on DVR.
And of course my weekend isn't complete until I have my dessert.
I hope you all had a good weekend too!

And in case you missed it:

Wrapping Christmas Gifts
Coffee Chat

Friday, December 14, 2012

Coffee Chat

"If you could travel back in time,
what are 3 things that you know now that you would tell your younger self"
I really like this topic. Even though I try to live with no regret there are definitely a few things I wish I would have known or "maybe" done differently when I was younger.
  • I would tell myself to take that risk or chance, even if it is not part of the plan. Even now I can benefit from this advice because I have always been too afraid of any Big Change.
  • I would tell myself to continue with college. I knew pretty early on that I wanted to be an Architect. I took 2 years of drafting courses in high school and attended ITT Tech immediately after. Two weeks after I graduated with my Associates degree I got "this" very job that I am still at. At first I thought I would work for a bit (I WANTED a break from school) but I never went back.
  • Lastly, this is going to sound super silly BUT I would tell myself to smile more often and "mean" it, especially in pictures. My BFF has been telling me this for years, and I have only taken it seriously when my husband also said it some time last year. Monica would ask "why don't you smile in pictures" and I would say "I am smiling". But then my husband said "it's true, you don't smile" and I got kind of sad, because I definitely don't want people (mostly my son) to look back at pictures and think I was unhappy.

What 3 things would YOU tell your younger self?
Today I'm linking up with Alissa from Rags to Stitches

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Today ...

... I wore some super cozy Fleece lined leggings. Seriously, if you wear leggings, you MUST own a pair of these. Someone mentioned them a few weeks ago (another blogger, I wish I could remember who) and I finally found some. Love them.
... I scored a few beauty products for free! The other day I was having a conversation with one of my co-workers and he mentioned that his wife is a beauty blogger for a magazine and she has all this makeup that she needs to get rid of (they just moved). So I was like "bring it! I will use it". He brought quite a bit of stuff for us ladies at the office to pick through. I just picked a few things. I felt like I just got an awesome full sized birchbox. The best thing I picked... A Smashbox Smokebox... Score!
... I "attempted" a Bokeh ... FAIL! Big Time fail! I'm just glad I noticed immediately that something was not right. I tried with a heart shape and I could tell right away (when trying to focus) that it wasn't going to work. I didn't realize I need a different lense. Christmas present?! probably too late.... B-day present?! Crossing my fingers.


Happy Birthday Monica!

Today is my best friend's B-day! And although she lives many states away I think about her all the time and love her to pieces. We met when we were 11 years old and have been through everything together: ups, down, laughs, tears, loves, heartbreaks, jobs together. I was her maid of honor and she was mine. There is no other person in the world I would love to be stuck with (besides my for life.
So Happy Birthday Monica! Love you lots and I wish we were together to celebrate.
Until then, I hope you enjoy your Monica and Sarah B-day gift.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Wrapping Christmas Gifts

I try not be wasteful, recycle everything I can...reduce, reuse, recycle, I like that. I'm not a tree hugger or anything but everyone can do "something" to help our environment right, even if it's small. I think one of the most wasteful things to buy during Christmas is boxes. I have quite a few kids to buy gifts for so I usually start to save every box possible starting early November.

The first time I did this my brother laughed as his kids opened their gifts because he thought I bought them all snacks, and even the kids were a little excited thinking they got popcorn, crackers, cookies and fruit snacks. I spent a total of $4 on gift wrapping supplies this year, all at the dollar tree: 1. roll of brown paper (which covered at least 15 gifts for now and I still have plenty left over) 2. green ribbon (I already had red on hand) 3. red glitter stocking scatter and 4. green glitter tree scatter (which I glued near the bow). I wish I would have done something a little more creative with the names. One thing I saw (after I wrapped my gifts) were these felt initials.
And if you don't want to spent money on paper at all, you can always go the newspaper route as Kristen mentioned in her post here (trust me, it looks cuter than you might think).

What are some of your gift wrapping tips?

Monday, December 10, 2012


1. Every now and then I REALLY crave soda. So last night as we were snacking, my son said "mom, I want popcorn", I said "I want soda", he said "but I WANT SODA TOO!" .... he has NEVER had a sip of soda in his life (I intend to keep it that way as long as possible), so I thought it was funny.

2. One of the first things I was really excited to do last week when I got my new phone was get on Instagram. I am such a sucker when it comes to taking a million pictures, so it's just another outlet for me. Follow me @ ssotelo98

3. You know that saying "Open Sesame".... Is it really "Open Says Me"? This year our company party will be at the Magic Castle. Apparently this place is amazing and the only way to get in is by invite only. Anyone ever been there? Thoughts?

4. My b-day is exactly 2 months away! Time to start planning a party, one of my favorite things to do. I will have to top my "Sushi making, Sing Star singing and Wine drinking party" from a few years ago, might be tough.....that was a fun night!
Today I'm linking up with Lowercase Letters for Miscellany Monday

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Weekend Goodness

On Saturday Babe and my husband went to my father-in-laws for the day so I had a chance to get some present wrapping done. I love wrapping presents, even more than I love shopping for them (well, most of the time). I also finished putting up the final Christmas decorations, which lead to me insisting we take a family picture in front of our fireplace. I begged the boys "all I need is one good shot, just one!" and my husband said "alright, you hear that babe, we just have to take one picture" oh, they wish. Luckily, we only took about 6 and then Babe took over the camera for a few shots, what a natural he is!
Seriously, he took this picture!
We ended our weekend with Boba Teas, Habit burgers, mini pumpkin croissant's (I'm so over Pumpkin btw) and Edward Scissor Hands.

I hope you had a great weekend too!
And in case you missed it:
Disneyland Part 1
Disneyland Part 2

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Disneyland Part 2

Yesterday I posted about our day at Disneyland and here are the pictures to prove it!
(yes, they are all of my Babe)


Friday, December 7, 2012

Disneyland Part 1

This past Tuesday we took Babe to Disneyland for the 1st time. I decided to make this a 2 part post so I can fill you in 1st on how the day went and then part 2 will be the pictures. Ok, ready....let's begin.
So my husband sort of put together a "plan" of how our day should go since we were going to Disneyland and California adventure, and Babe is still too small to get on some of the rides (I think he "just" made the 35" mark for one of the rides).  We started in California adventure and at first Babe was being all shy and didn't even want to get out of his stroller. The 1st ride we went on was Toy Story Mania, Babe liked it but I think my husband and I enjoyed it more and got really into the competition of the game. Next stop was the nearest shop to get Babe his Mickey ears.....he was not having it! After that first ride he was anxious to get on another ride. So dad took him to another ride while I picked his ears and got them embroidered. We met up at Mickey's Fun Wheel and that's where the excitement began.

The look on my son's face as the wheel made it's full complete circle was priceless. He was so excited to be swaying back and forth, I even had to hold out my arm across his chest so he wouldn't fall off the seat. We were laughing the whole time and he couldn't wait to get on even more rides after that. On Luigi's Flying Tires you have to move your body in the direction you want the tire to go, my husband and I agree that we literally did the best flying around that tire track. Babe and I got on Mater's Junkyard Jamboree and at one point he came flying into my left side and at another point I went flying into his right side (poor Babe) he thought it was hilarious though, even when I said "oh my gosh, your right cheek is SO red" (from him banging into me). He laughed and said "yeah".

The whole first half of the day while in California adventure, he kept asking when we were going to the castle. So after our little picnic lunch we headed into Disneyland and straight towards the castle. But as we approached it my HUSBAND refused to stop and take Babe out of the stroller to take a picture! WTH! He said we would "come back to it"....(don't get me started). He did pause "briefly" and I snapped a quick pic that I think sucks! Anyway, we literally zoomed through and past the castle and I was super disappointed because that was the moment Babe was looking forward to the entire day. (And just so you know, by the time we got back to the castle ...past 7:00pm, Babe was passed out. Sad Face)

Babe and I got to ride front row on Gadget's Go Coaster in Toon Town. As we slowly crept up to the top, we had our hands up high but when we actually got to the top I got so nervous that he was going to slip out, I tried to hold on to him as much as possible. We laughed the whole time, and he said he wanted to go again. I loved the rides that made him laugh and made him say "Whoa, that was awesome". I live to see him happy and having fun and just enjoying life. We spent 11 hours at the happiest place on earth and luckily it wasn't too busy so we actually got to enjoy a lot of the rides (none of classics though. Don't ask me how that happened).  I am so happy we got to take Babe at this age and can't wait to take him back when he is a little bit older and taller. I hope you will come back tomorrow to see all the pictures :)
Until then here is a little sneak peek

Monday, December 3, 2012


1. Two years ago (after Christmas) I bought a fake little 3ft tree for under $10, since we were in an apartment I thought it was perfect. I didn't open the box, just packed it away to use the next year. Except the next year we were in escrow, so I didn't open it again. This weekend my husband pulls it out of the box and we started laughing at small it was. I was like "That doesn't even look like 3ft!" and then he un-bended the tip at the top.

2. Lately my Babe has been rejecting my requests to take pictures of him. Example: I literally asked him every 10 min, for an hour and a half, to take a picture next to our tree. His response's:
  • no, I'm playing
  • no, I just want to watch my show
  • no, I'm going outside with daddy
  • I said NO
At some point he gave in, I got him up on a stool snapped a picture with my phone, reached for my Canon and by the time I got back in position he was off running. I said "wait, one more", he said "no, that's it".
3. Tomorrow we are headed to Disneyland!! So excited to buy my Babe those cute little Mickey ears and take a zillion pictures of him wearing them :)

Today I am linking up with Lowercase Letters for Miscellany Monday

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Vegas/Weekend Goodness

I don't know if it's just me but as the New Year is approaching the weekends seem to be flying by! Good thing for me, I "kind of" had a 3 day weekend. We stayed an extra night In Vegas after the AU conference and had a chance to venture out. Unfortunately you can't do too much with a 3 year old but at least Babe got to see what Vegas looks like at night.
(I think that might be a fake smile on his
We spent most of the weekend putting up lights/decorating for Christmas. Babe was excited to help his dad measure out the house but bailed after about 2 minutes of holding the lights. He was having way more fun playing with the leaves behind him.
Guess who is up to date with technology, well, "phone" technology .... oh yeah! So loving my new phone. I have been so jealous of all the instagram users and now I get to be one of them. You can follow me @ ssotelo98. Hopefully I can get one of those cool instagram widget's up on my Blog soon.

I hope you had a good weekend too!
And in case you missed it:
Coffee Chat
Autodesk University
Thanksgiving and Black Friday
The Liebster Award
Greatest Accomplishment of 2012

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Coffee Chat

Today I am so excited to be back at home, after a very long week of classes in Vegas. I miss sipping my morning coffee while reading my favorite Blogs before work, which I was not able to do at all this past week. I also miss making my own coffee (I 'm running low though, so I need to get to the store ASAP).
 Funny that the "topic" for coffee this week is High School because I completely felt like I was back in High School this week, which by the way is NOT as fun as you might think. I have so many great memories of High School that it is really hard to pick just one. A lot of my stories will most likely involve my BFF whom I rarely did anything exciting without. But one of the best times I ever had in High School was my freshman year on the Drill Team. One of our last competition's of the year was in San Francisco and we spent 3 whole days there. I think this was one of the first times I was really allowed to be gone from home for so long with friends. Our hotel was across the street from a Taco Bell and that was the year I discovered Mexican Pizza's, I think that's what we ate everyday, twice a day. We won first place at that competition and spent our entire last day exploring the city. I remember going to Fisherman's Wharf and Lombard Street and just having fun. My sophomore I was part of the Riffle Squad, they did away with Drill, and I didn't enjoy it as much. I finished the year but after that, quit the team. I will never forget my weekend in San Francisco though.

Today I am linking up with Alissa from Rags to Stitches