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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Dear Diary,
Christmas is here!  Happy Birthday Jesus!  Presents bought and wrapped, Santa visit done, Christmas cards sent, now it's time to relax with family and friends.  I think we'll bake cookies today in this warm 70 degree weather in sunny California.  We'll then go to Christmas Eve Mass and off to dinner at Grandma and Grandpa's house.  Loving the weather, loving the season, loving my family because they're the #1 reason for my happiness and joy!  I wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!


Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Card Pics

Dear Diary,
It's been years since I've had a professional take our pictures.  I love finding a beautiful spot and capturing the moment myself.  This year we spent an afternoon in Palos Verdes running around, climbing, swinging and racing.  It was the perfect opportunity to snap some photos of the kids with red flushed cheeks and filled with joy.  Josette took this one of Jeff and I in our backyard.  Pictures are my memories forever.  Although my mind may fade and get cloudy at times, pictures keep my memories vibrant forever!
Josette 11, Gigi 8, Jessie 7, Van 4

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

All Natural Hair Treatments

Winter is here and its time to nourish your locks with some all natural hair treatments.  Dry, cold air can do a number on your hair.  Try these home remedies to get your tresses shiny and ready for your holiday parties and shindigs.

1. Egg



These goodies are filled with healthy fats and proteins perfect for all natural hair treatments.  If you have hair that is prone to oil, use only the egg whites.  Hair that is dry should go for the egg yolks.  Mix about 1/2 a cup of whichever part of the egg fits your needs and slather it on unwashed, damp hair.  To get the full effect, the egg must stay on for twenty minutes.  Shampoo and condition and feel the softness!


3. Olive Oil and Lemon



This olive oil and lemon mixture will reduce flaking and add some extra moisture for dry skin.  Combine two tablespoons of lemon juice (fresh is best), olive oil, and water, then massage onto your scalp.  Let the mixture set for about twenty minutes, then rinse and shampoo and condition.  The lemon will help exfoliate your scalp while the olive oil moisturizes.

6. Avocado



Avocados have a protein to fatty acid ratio that does wonders for frizzy hair.  Mash half an avocado in a bowl and apply to washed hair that has been towel dried.  Let sit for fifteen minutes, then rinse and style. 

Yogurt



Plain yogurt, high in probiotics, will help condition hair and increase hair growth.  For a great conditioning treatment that will also remove residue, blend 1/2 cup of yogurt until smooth and apply to hair. Wrap hair in a towel and wash after fifteen minutes.  Add an egg to the mixture for some extra frizz reduction.

9. Honey



Try putting a bit of honey on your hair.  Leave it in for fifteen minutes, rinse then shampoo and condition.  Your hair will feel soft and look super shiny and amazing!

10. Cold Water



Did you know that simply changing up the temperature of your water while you are rinsing can actually make your hair look beautiful?  Hot water opens up the pores of your hair, while cold water closes them and keeps your hair shiny and soft!

13. Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse



Finally, I know that this one is going to smell, but it works!  I do it twice a month!  Vinegar washes away build up and leaves your hair beautiful!  All you do is rinse your hair in vinegar then shampoo and condition.  Your hair will feel smooth and soft!

These natural options may seem funny, but will do wonders for your hair’s health!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Family First

Dear Diary,
This has been a very trying week for my family.  It all started last Saturday when my mom called to let me know she was in the hospital having tests run to check her heart.  She was feeling extreme pain in her jaw and head the week before and the pain became unbearable.  She had a CT Scan which came back negative, then an angiogram which showed she had 2 blocked arteries.  They scheduled open heart bypass surgery for Wednesday.  Well, her surgery went better than expected.  For the most part she is doing wonderful! She is sitting up, taking little steps, eating little bites and talking and smiling big!  My sisters and I have been with her everyday in the hospital and are so thankful she listened to her body and caught it before having a heart attack.  She is strong and determined to regain her strength and have a healthy and speedy recovery.  We all love her so much and are praying daily for her good health.  Life can change in an instant... appreciate and love what you have before it turns into what you had.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Italian Snowball Cookies



These are the best snowball cookies ever!  My Grams used to make these Italian cookies every year.  I just love the smell and they taste even better!  They add something special to your table and that's what the holidays are all about.
Ingredients
  • ½ Cup Powdered Sugar
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 1 Cup Butter
  • 1 ½ tsp. Vanilla
  • ½ tsp. Almond extract
  • ½ Cup Chopped Almonds
  • 2 ¼ Cups Flour
  • 1-2 Cups Powdered Sugar for rolling baked cookies
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Mix the powdered sugar, salt, and butter together, mixing well until thoroughly creamed and fluffy. Continue mixing and add vanilla and almond extracts.
  3. Gradually stir in the flour, and then fold in chopped almonds.
  4. Form 1 inch cookie balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Do NOT press down, these will keep their form as little bite-sized balls.
  5. Bake one cookie sheet at a time for 8-10 minutes.
  6. Roll cookies on a plate filled with powdered sugar until they look like little ‘snowballs.’
  7. *To make your cookies extra yummy roll once in powdered sugar while still warm. This will create a coating of slightly melted powdered sugar. Then let your cookies cool and roll a second time in powdered sugar to ensure they are completely coated in sugary goodness.
They’re perfect as gifts or delicious treats for your home!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Jessie Joy

Dear Diary,

Yesterday I picked Jessie up from school early.  We had a date for lunch and decided to go to her favorite restaurant in the Village for teriyaki chicken.  Jessie is 7 and never at a loss for words.  We talked about her passions... surfing, singing, dancing, running, art and teaching.  When you ask Jessie about her favorites, it's always in multiples.  For instance, her favorite color... blue and purple, her favorite food... teriyaki chicken, tempura, pasta and tri-tip, her favorite teacher... Miss Bennett, Mrs.Hughes, Mrs. Nitsiotis, Mrs. Estrada, Miss Alexis and Miss Sharon.  Jessie has a beautiful personality.  She is bright, smart, funny, nurturing and sweet.  She is my 3rd child and youngest girl.  I love how she takes care of her brother, plays and creates independently and is open to trying new things.  We had a wonderful afternoon together... just her and I.  I truly cherish our one on one time as it allows me to be in the moment focusing only her.  She's wonderful!  Constantly filling our lives with (Jessie) joy!

Monday, December 1, 2014

8 Must-Haves I Keep In My Car


1.  Makeup Bag - Include your favorite essentials


2.  Mini Toothbrush and Toothpaste


3.  First Aid Kit


4.  Bottled Water



5.  Extra Change Of Clothes And Shoes For Myself And The Kiddos  - Always be prepared for an emergency



6.  Nail File


7.  Hand Sanitizer


8.  Mini Perfume Bottle



Life throws curve balls and surprises whether you like it or not. Having these items will save you every time, I promise!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Simply Sunday

Jeff and Van

Dear Diary,
As we enter Thanksgiving week I will forever be thankful for my beautiful family.  It's days like these that mean so much and make me smile.  Simple, loving, fun, play!  Our best memories are just being together and enjoying nature at its best. 
Jessie Joy

Gigi

Van

He can't help himself!

Jessie Joy

Josette

Sisters

Race time!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What's In My Makeup Bag?


Estee Lauder Eye Cream
Estee Lauder Face Cream
Sarah McNamara Primer/Foundation
Bare Minerals Concealer

Milani Bronzer


Chanel Blush

Almay Liquid Liner
Lancome Mascara

Chanel Eye Shadow
Chanel Lip Gloss
Here's a list of my skin care and makeup must haves.  Yes, I love to try new items but these are my tried, tested and true favorites!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Don't Quit Your Daydream

My favorite new T, Project Social Nordstrom



Dear Diary,
Today I found myself daydreaming about our family vacation in Hawaii.  I love our time spent on the different islands and am hoping to make it back next summer.  Daydreaming is a great way to bring your dreams into reality by concentrating on your fantasies, goals and challenges.  Daydreams are a built in entertainment center and also a powerful tool for goal attainment and relaxation.  Visualize yourself a certain way or doing a certain thing and experience your emotions associated with attaining your dreams.  Let your mind wander and explore anything and everything.  Daydreaming is healthy and beneficial, so enjoy it!
4 of my favorite peeps


Doesn't get much better than this!

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Day With Friends

Jaime, Brittney, Me, Angie (and Shawn)
The beautiful Rice girls... Sophia, Ruby, Bella, Jaime and Lilah
Dear Diary, sometimes all you need is a little quality time with good friends.  I spent Tuesday with Angie, Jaime, Brittney and all of our kids.  We had the best day and The Bay Club in Newport was all ours.  The kids swam and played while we chatted for ages about anything and everything.  I love catching up on our busy lives and having a good laugh along the way.  True friends are the ones that never leave your heart, regardless of the time spent apart, you pick up right where you left off.  That is defining! 
The milkshake break led right into Taco Tuesday.  We stayed for dinner then cupcakes and candles to celebrate Jaime's birthday!
 
 Happy Birthday Jaime!
 
Van's guilty face after he snuck his second.