Friday, August 24, 2012

Zoom Zoom!

We got a new car! And she's a spiffy one! I've always said that Sparkles (my Lexus IS300) was my favorite, but this one is a very close second. Almost two years ago we sold Jeff's old Tacoma truck and bought our friend Matt's larger Tundra truck, to make room for little Elsie and her car seat. Jeff still wanted a truck at the time, and I must say it came in handy a few times over the past 17 months, camping, transporting bikes, and a few Home Depot runs. Despite that, having a large V8 truck as a driver in Southern California is not the best idea. Since we're leasing my Prius, we're capped on the number of miles we can put on it, so we needed another fuel efficient car that we owned as a back-up, especially for the road trips to San Jose.

We were initially set on the Prius C to replace the truck, but luckily my brother is a car aficionado and steered us away from it, citing bad reviews and a particularly persuasive negative Consumer Reports review. So we continued to look at other cars in the same class, wanting to keep it small but not too small, fuel efficient, and let's be honest- cool. I've always liked the Mazda3 hatchbacks, because I really like the new small Lexus hatchback and the Subaru Impreza hatchback, and this one kind of looks like them but is more affordable. And it got the coveted two Jan thumbs up!

Long post short, we got it! We found one with a manual transmission (my preference) and the model we wanted at a dealership close by, and they were able to work out an acceptable trade with the truck to seal the deal.

Can't wait to cruise her up to the Bay Area! 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Sailing the Seas

We have the raddest friends. Hands down. Karen, Mark and Henry took us boating this past Sunday around the Long Beach Marina in Karen's mom's new Duffy boat! It was a perfect warm evening for cruising around the water with excellent company, drinks, and snacks. We were super tired driving over to the marina, having gotten back from our camping adventure that morning, but as soon as we got out there on the water and had the ocean breeze in our faces and cold beers in our hands, all was right in the world. Can't wait to go again!

The littles have to be in life vests out in the boat, and Elsa's engulfed her. She was okay wearing it for a few minutes but got pissed once she realized it was inhibiting her movement so we broke the law and took her out, but had a death grip on her the rest of the time. Plus Kim swore that she would be the first in the water to rescue one of our overboard kids.

Karen got us these cute sailor hats that saved my bangs from looking crazy.

Sunset cruises are the best. It's a memory I'll always have of summertime in Long Beach.

I didn't realize before, but apparently anyone is allowed to drive a Duffy boat. No boating license required, so the boys traded off captaining.

Even Henry got in on the driving!

If Kim would be the first in the water after an overboard Elsa, Henry would be a close second. He was glued to her for almost the whole boat ride. They're buddies.

It was hard holding E in her puffy little life vest. She started to melt down so we tried to distract her with kisses and strawberries, which worked for a few minutes.

These are mostly Karen's pictures btw. Again, our family photographer.

I love this one of Kim. :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Camping 2012!

Some pictures from Camping in Malibu for Jerod's birthday!

Kurtis whittled a bear out of a log. Jerod's chin fit perfectly.

Karen's sisters Danielle and Natalie (Danielle pictured here) were such an awesome help with the babies. Everyone was actually. It really takes a village. Especially when you bring 13 month old babies camping.

It was dumb of us not to buy one of these for the camping trip. We didn't really think we'd need a pack n' play (Elsa slept in between us on our sleeping bags and blankets, and did just fine) but baby jails are pretty fantastic when you're surrounded by dirt and things you don't want them eating or messing with. Luckily Jude didn't mind sharing his with Elsa.

Naps were hard to keep on schedule so we had some grumpy baby moments. The baby carriers were great for forcing the naps.

The tent was a slight refuge from the dirt and heat. Our pop-up tent was awesome though, totally came in handy. We took it with us to the beach too. Quickest way to shade 10 people!

We camped at the Leo Carrillo State Beach campground in Malibu. It was awesome. We're totally going back next year. The beach was right across the street and was very family friendly. The water was freezing but E kind of liked it. Except when Jeff dunked her naked in the ocean to get all the sand off her. She didn't cry but she was shivering! Poor baby.

I thought this guy was taking a cropped picture of us which is why I'm bent over awkwardly like that. Oh well.

Elsa was on the move practically the whole time at the beach. Jude was a good little baby and stayed put, playing with the toys and sand crabs, but Elsa was all over that beach, trying to make friends with all the littles.

And she's off!

The first time she wears jeans! How cute are those?

The boys played baseball and threw axes. Of course. We drank wine and watched.

Keeping her energy up with lots of snacks. That baby is a snacker! She mauled Jude's puffs container.

Ian and Kurtis brought guitars. It ain't camping without a bonfire jam session.

Hatchet throwing. Practicing in case a serial killer attacked in the night.

All in all, it was a success! We were only gone a day, but we came back spent and super dirty. It was a little camping with the baby test run. Elsa really was a peach through most of it though so we're encouraged to try again. Soon hopefully!

Thanks for reserving it Jerod and having a birthday for us to celebrate! Can't wait for 2013.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Happy Birthday Jerod!!

The jelly to my work PB&J sandwich is celebrating his birthday today! We'll be celebrating along with him and his family, and some good friends camping up in Malibu this weekend. It's just how we roll. It's the first time Elsa and Jude are going camping, so we're hoping for the best, and bringing a ton of supplies to prepare for the worst. Fingers crossed!

Here are some favorite Jerod pictures, courtesy of the iPhoto face recognition feature:

This was one of the days we didn't carpool to work, and I think he road his bike all the way from Irvine to Long Beach. Hardcore, man.

Look how little the babies used to be! So mini.

This is how Jerod looks almost all the time. He's a grinner.

Except when he's throwing up gang signs and wearing his grill.


This looks like a cocktail, but really it was a $7 fancy juice drink at a lah-tee-dah health food joint in Newport Beach. His skin really did look amazing after he drank it though.

Arms full of babies! Super Dads, Jerod and Jeff are.

And J and the lovely K! Can't wait to celebrate with you guys over s'mores soon! Happy Birthday Jelly!

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Lynne and I decided a few months back to do a three day getaway trip for some shopping and hang out friend QT and our dream came to fruition this past week. We flip flopped on where to go but ultimately decided Portland was a solid choice. Not too far, direct flights from Long Beach, relatively inexpensive, no sales tax, and blessed hipsters. We had SUCH a good time, despite the crazy heat wave we had to sweat through when there. I'll tell it in pictures:

We wanted to keep as much of our money in our shopping/eating/drinking budget as possible, so we decided to eschew cabs for public transport. We took the metro from and to the airport and then walked everywhere else. Lynne is stupid and works out like everyday so it was no big whoop for her, but my calves still hurt.

The Sons of Norway meeting hall was right around the corner from our hotel. Love their sign! Didn't see any Norwegians milling about and drinking Solo though.

We stayed at the uber-hipster Jupiter Hotel, which is attached to the Doug Fir bar/restaurant. I'm so glad we stayed here. It was a great hotel in a fun area that we probably wouldn't have ventured out to had we stayed in the Pearl District, which is where we had initially planned on staying. We had to cross the Burnside bridge across the Willamette river like 13 times, but it was good exercise. And the Doug Fir is awesome. Really great breakfasts and a cool ambiance.

Above is said Burnside bridge. Our first time crossing it and the whole damn thing opens up  stopping us in our tracks for about twenty minutes while it let some puny speedboat through. We kept looking down for some huge cruise line to pass under, but it was seriously like a private small speedboat that came through instead. We were pissed, and thought it was going to happen each time we crossed the bridge, so we hustled across it every time after that.

The famous Portland, Oregon sign at the end of the bridge. Night time pictures do it no justice, it's so pretty and twinkly.

The shopping was SO good in Portland. We hit up practically every store on the Lucky Magazine shopping guide, and a few from an old issue of Domino that featured Portland, and found other random shops along the way. Woonwinkel and Adler & Co were probably my favorites. How great is that dollhouse bookcase? It was like $5000 but it folded in half and would make a fantastic craft storage case. I loved it.

I didn't go too crazy with the shopping, just two dresses, some hair ties, and a wedding gift for a friend. Oh, and some $3 earrings. The dresses are so good though. The one above is Paul & Joe Sister and is my favorite thing ever right now (besides Elsa. She's always #1 favorite thing). It was marked down a crazy ton but I would have been so tempted to buy it even at full price. The cut is really flattering and the print is just so great. Here's a close-up of the hem:

Love. Anyways, when Lynne and I weren't shopping, we were happy houring. Portland has so many great restaurants and bars, ideal for hot and tired shoppers that need a drink. The best one that we went to hands down was Clyde Common, which is attached to the Ace Hotel downtown. Cool scene, but the happy hour was ridiculous. $5 cocktails and cheap eats. We got some fried spicy chickpeas to nibble on that were super yums. Derircious!

Pretty manicures and prettier drinks.

Lynne looking mighty pleased with herself after first sip of the Second Base:

It was amazing. My very knowledgable drink master friend Max texted me a recipe with amounts when I sent him the snapshot above asking how to recreate. Will have to hit up a BevMo soon and figure that drink out. It's a winner.

We're like Laverne and Shirley, with bangs. 

Lynne was so excited to let everyone on Instagram know that we were at the Doug Fir, she busted out a little Charleston. 

What liars. It was gorgeous and sunny out and we saw like 3 bicyclists the whole time we were there. Long Beach has way more people on bikes!! We deserve that title!!

This Baby Gap cape came very close to coming home with me. So chic! Lynne promised to buy it for Elsa when it goes on sale. I'm setting a Wishpot price alert for that thing so I can remind her of her promise when prices get slashed.

Lynne in front of the Living Room Theater. Portland has totally gotten this right. They have movie theater bars! I really don't get why we don't have them here.

My bangs look so thick and dark here, and my skin so gothly white. Must be the Instagram filter. Lynne and I share a hairstylist (Hi Josie!!), can you tell?

Thumbs up for the Doug Fir happy hour!

Bye bye Portland! You were lovely to us and we'll miss you!