My Renovation Blog

Sunday, August 30, 2015

This is Happening

I don't think I've mentioned that we decided to put in a pool...and then a fire pit...and outdoor kitchen. And then we threw in a poolhouse. Sooooo, we are now doing a very major backyard renovation. It all started with a pool!

That photo shows our revised design. We almost have it!  Anyway, I will once again be updating my renovation blog with photos and ideas if anyone is interested in following along. It might be slow at first since we unfortunately have quite awhile until construction starts. :( Darn permit process!! 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I Hate Paint

And people wonder why I never let them paint...
It was also all over the bottoms of their times. ;)

Breakfast Sushi!

Except Everett wanted his as a breakfast burrito. ;)

Sunday, August 23, 2015


I've been posting some of our meals on Instagram (I'm behind the times, but I just started doing IG in the last few months instead of FB, and I love it!), and thought I'd post some here...

One of my very favorite sides: sauteed brussels sprouts with red onion...

This is a beetroot cake- no flour, no sugar (besides maple syrup), gluten free, etc.  I don't think I'll make it again because the ingredients were expensive, and it was just good, not great...

 One of my recent favorites: turkey meatballs (that's fresh parmesan oozing out and getting all crispy along the edges- yum!) and sauteed yellow squash, zucchini & red onion...

Our "Chipotle" bowls, which is a black bean/broth/spice/onion mixture, brown rice sauteed with onion, avocado and feta...

We LOVE tacos around here, but over summer, these have probably been our favorite meal of all: fish tacos (tilapia here, but we use whatever white fish we have) with guacamole and feta...

Zucchini pizzas!  (for my own reference since I didn't have a recipe: 400 for 10 minutes)...

Chocolate zucchini muffins- these were actually really good and moist!  I used half gluten free flour and half regular because I was scared to do all GF for the first time making them, but I think I'll try all GF next time...

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Family Vacay- Rancho Las Palmas

We planned a last minute trip to the desert for a final family vacation before school starts!  We finally stayed at Rancho Las Palmas- Gary and the kids loved it, I thought it was good.  It's really pretty, the rooms are nice (if you are staying in a poolside room, we got THE BEST one, and if we stay there again, I'm requesting it...2415...views of the lazy river, splash pad and water slides; a gate into splashtopia right by our patio door; so relaxing to sit out on the patio at night and watch people on the lazy river), lots of pool activities, good location.

Ella LOVED the lazy river (her favorite thing) followed by the water slides (which we had to force her to try and then couldn't get her off).  She did NOT like the splash pad (I have to admit, it was kind of lame) and neither kid cared much about the pool.  Everett LOVED the splash pad, hated the pool, hated the water slides (he was too short anyway), was indifferent to sometimes liking the lazy river and LOVED the beach/sandy area.  The beach area has tons of sand toys, is always shaded and has a beach entrance to the lazy river so it's definitely one of the best spots in splashtopia.

Gary is a big kid so he loved it, but I'm on the fence.  Everything is spread out so you essentially spend the ENTIRE day running around behind your kids as they yell, "now I want to jump in the pool!  now I want to go down the water slide!  back to the wait, I want to play in the I want to go around the lazy river 1.3 I want to play in the splash pad...back to the lazy river...back to the beach...4 more times on the water slide"...and it goes on and on and on  And even better, each kid wants to do different things at different's exhausting!  I prefer to just lay by a pool where I can see everyone from my nice comfy chair or we can all play in the pool together in one place. :)


Then went to my very favorite Mexican place, Las Casuelas, for a few margs!

Ella has kind of always been obsessed with mariachi bands so she wanted to take a picture with this guy at the restaurant (he also sang her a personalized song about how she loves guacamole!)...

The kids slept in the same bed for the first time ever and shockingly, it went great!  They both slept through the night!!!

The next day, it was back to splashtopia for a full day of swimming and running around, and then we had dinner with grammy and pop pop!  After dinner, we went back to splashtopia and relaxed in the lazy river- it was SO nice with the sun going down.

We left bright and early the next day because Everett was not feeling well.  He threw up in the car 3 or 4 times!!  I ran out of clothes for him and finally had to put him in pjs.  Soooo, the trip home took a little longer than expected since we kept having to pull off the freeway to clean up vomit.  The completely stopped traffic on the 91 didn't help either, but at least by that point, our backseat looked like this. :)

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Nightmare Hike from Hell!

For this weekend's hike, we decided to take the stroller for Everett, but to make it fair, we let the kids switch off sitting in it.  Well, towards the end, Everett decided that this was a GREAT injustice and had the MOST EPIC MELTDOWN he has ever had in his entire life.  OMG, people must have heard him from miles around.  At least he probably kept the mountain lions and snakes away.  He was screaming and crying either "MAMA!" or "I WANT TO GO IN THE STROLLER!" for at least 20 minutes.  Oh my gosh, I felt so bad that we were ruining this beautiful nature experience for all the people walking by (and probably walking miles ahead of us!). 

I will say, people were SO understanding about it.  I cannot tell you the number of people that stopped and said things like, my kid just did the same thing up the trail, or I've been there, or it's just his age. 

When he is in that state of mind, NOTHING will calm him so it just lasted until the very end of the trail.  Well, letting him get back in the stroller would have stopped him, but that was not going happen.  Will he ever learn that he will NOT get what he wants if he throws a tantrum??!!  Geez this parenting thing is hard! ;)

It was still fun though- we decided to attempt a super steep trail called "Big Red", and it was so unbelievably hard!  Gary and I both had to break near the top...but Ella, little miss energizer bunny, practically ran to the top!  It was straight up!  We were super impressed with her.
We made it to the top!!!