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2018

Wait, it’s 2018?! WHAT?! December was so bananas for me, if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter you’ve seen some of my recent adventures. I started December at Disneyland, then hopped over to Disneyworld just before Christmas, Disneyland on Christmas Eve, and really haven’t sat still since! I’ll be back in Florida in less than a month, we decided to skip presents this year and take the kids on a trip instead. Planning for Disneyworld is interesting, but I am holding for a successful second trip.

Some photo recaps, although I’ve been very good so far in 2018, and haven’t purchased anything new. (I think I bought it all in 2017!)

Arlowe is still ruling the house:

I finished 2017 with one of the largest cakes I’ve ever made, complete with a gorgeous sugar cameo!

And then this last week I got to attend the opening night of Aladdin at the Pantages! Still swooning over the spectacular production!! Rajah of course had to attend!

I love random LA wanderers in photos! Adds to the essence of the city. My girlfriend took this, which was so fun:

If you can go see Aladdin? Go! The genie is amazing and the glitz and glitter is over the top fabulous! Visit the merchandise table, they have many things that you will NEED. I love the tote, a HUGE thanks to iHeart Radio for that bit of magic! Perfect for my travels this year!

Happy 2018!!!

Jules


December

How is it December? How did this happen? I’m not ready for it y’all! Although, I AM ready for 2017 to be over, as I hope 2018 brings better tidings for all!

December this year brought a special trip for me, at stay with girlfriends at the Grand Californian Hotel in Anaheim, along with celebrating special events AND sharing the chefs table experience with friends at the Napa Rose restaurant. Some photos….much amazing food, laughter and fun was had by all:


I recommend the Grand Californian sooo so so so so so much. Can I please move in?! Here’s my meal at Napa Rose (I have no idea what it all was, other than DELICIOUS. Huge shout out to Eric, for the most perfect wine pairings….not only perfect with my food, exactly my tastebuds. He is to wine what I am to deciphering brides! It’s magic!


If anyone ever invites you to dine at the Chef’s Counter at Napa Rose, go! I’m the worlds pickiest eater with some frustrating food allergies and I enjoyed every bite! It was absolute perfection. Already plotting my next seating there.

While at the Grand, the trolls got into some scrapes with some new friends as well:

When at Disneyland! 

Some other outfits I’ve worn since my last blog post:

I’ve posted a bit on Instagram, yes my family was affected by one of the fires in LA County this past week. Luckily our LA apartment came through unscathed and we are no longer under evacuation orders. We are blessed to have a second home, and I know so many others have lost everything. The winds out here have been utterly terrible! Praying they can contain everything and the weather will allow containment tomorrow. 

Until next time,

Jules


Thankful

This yeah our Thanksgiving looked a bit different that normal. My husband is on a brutal schedule for the foreseeable future, and we are just be-bopping around it as best as we can. Instead of a day, it became a “week” of various events.

Monday we started with our annual Thanksgiving week Disneyland trip….which I wore a ridiculous Disney Christmas dress:

The purse lights up:​

Yup, I have officially gone over the edge! Enough to receive a “citation”!! We should back up to the Saturday before, when I popped into Disneyland for Mickey’s birthday, and to meet a friend of mine (Kristin over at Pink Lemons) from Instagram in person…..and picked up the Disney Christmas dress then:

Isn’t she the cutest? Blogging has provided a creative outlet for me, as well as meeting some really awesome people who understand that I need “all the dresses”!!

Tuesday I braved the 90+ degree weather in Los Angeles and cooked a scaled down version of my Thanksgiving spread….hey, tiny apartment, tiny meal right?! We also decorated the apartment for Christmas this year!

Wednesday was spent baking at our main house and preparing to head out to Palm Springs to see my parents….I made pies and iced cookies this year, while my mom pulled out all the stops for a big spread. We had a slight Christmas theme going on…because why not?! My favorite is the sweater cookies, customized with everyone’s name!

Mind you, my sweater was merely for show, as it was in the 90’s and we were running the a/c! My mom and I became “those people” and joined the masses Thursday evening for the shopping extravaganza. We were more like observers, as the deals were not worth the “frenzy”. For us, it was just enjoyable to be at the outdoor mall in November walking around and enjoying ourselves! We did buy some makeup:

Yesterday we popped over to El Paseo in Palm Desert, the weather was gorgeous! We hit Kate Spade, but I didn’t take any photos (oops!). I did try on this gorgeous Oscar de la Renta at the Off Fifth….sadly it was too big and I think altering it down would have ruined the beauty of the beading on the bodice:

I hope it finds a good home! My best “deal” was Kate Spade sheet sets at Nordstrom Rack for less than $40, and the lucky find of a .01 item! For us, “Black Friday” is never about waiting in a line or hunting for some insane deal. It was my mom and I hanging out and thankful that my dad is still here to drive us nuts and take the kids swimming in November! It’s been one helluva year, I am sad it’s almost over, but am very much looking forward to 2018 and whatever it throws at us!

Cherish your loved ones, one never knows when they may be gone. 2017 has been filled with an incredible amount of loss, and we nearly lost my dad, so it truly hits home. I am thankful for our wacky life, two households, endless freeway traffic, and a hoard of kids on a very alternative schedule! 

Until next time,

Jules


November

Oh my, where has the year gone? We have been in a whirlwind of life changes, kids schooling, activities, and of COURSE, much baking and dress buying! 

So many changes, but I’ve weathered the storm in pretty dresses! Some recents:


I turned another year older last month (not sure about wiser, and certainly not richer! Too many dresses!!), branched out of my comfort zone, and have made many trips to Disneyland. My favorite recent purchase has to be this darling owl:


And of course Arlowe reigns supreme in the house, while rocking some adorable costumes:

Like seriously, the BEST cat ever!

Here’s to the rest of 2017, may the last few weeks bring the plot twist you have been waiting for! Oh, and one last thing, a very special cake I made to celebrate my husband….yes, a submarine “crashing” into a control room:

First time I’ve ever sculpted chocolate. It was so fun! I’m not making as many cakes anymore, but if it’s interesting enough, I’ll take it on!

Until next time,

Jules

PS: anyone else sad Deborah Lloyd is leaving Kate Spade??? I can’t wait to see where she goes next though! My bank account is already trembling. 


Twist of Fate

As I sit in my bedroom and gaze out my sliding glass door at this GORGEOUS sunset, it reminds me how fragile life really is, and how a moment in time can change the course of your life. Be it floods from weather (Here’s looking at you Texas, my adopted second home that I miss daily), a medical emergency at your daughter’s school, or death in the family, life is precious, fleeting, and you have to cherish every day, really every moment.

Earlier this year my daughter had a medical emergency at her school, which resulted in the administration choosing to NOT call 911 for nearly 2 hours. Through a lucky twist of fate, she is okay. Forever scarred by the experience, but also changed in ways I couldn’t have dreamed of as a mother. She’s become more focused, thoughtful and is growing into a young lady I am proud to call my mini-me (although she’s officially as tall as me!). But that tragic decision on the part of a single person changed the entire course of our lives! Of course other unspeakable things happened at this same school in the following months to my two younger sons that were awful in their own ways, but my daughters accident started it, and we are now a homeschooling/unschooling/independent study family. While I was initially terrified, technology and an INCREDIBLE support system has made the transition relatively painless. It also opens up the delights of Southern California for many hands on experiences that would not be available otherwise. 

That said, my focus may change a bit. I still shop, wear cute dresses (hey, now I can dress like a teacher!), and go to Disneyland far too much. But it’s become teachable moments in all these activities I enjoy. Disneyland turned into a keynote presentation on the origin of a ride, the difference between cars, and the mechanics of said ride. A shopping trip turns into a budgeting lesson (one I probably need to take myself!). And most of all, the kids picked up flying model airplanes this summer, which has opened up a world of avionics and the ultimate adventure of learning how to fly gliders and read wind patterns. Oh and today? They learned to drive a John Deere ride on mower, they leveled part of the field and thought it was just a big game! 

All this due to a twist of fate in February. Changed the course of their lives and has put them on a path to careers they dreamed about but didn’t quite know how to reach. 

I know I don’t often post about family and personal stuff, but the last year has brought many changes into our lives and I haven’t been blogging as much because of it. I still post regularly on Instagram, but I also forget about Facebook. Being a work-widow adds to my schedule, but it’s a job I am happy to fill, as I see the long term path we are on. 

And now for some fun:

No matter how hard things seem, hold fast and stay on that path. Those twists of fate, if you follow them and stick to it, even when it’s difficult, the changes will turn into blessings beyond your dreams.

Until next time,

Jules


August, & How to Travel on Spirit Airlines.

It has been a whirlwind summer, but today I am thankful AND grateful that we got to celebrate my dad’s birthday this morning, after a scare in June. Overall this whole year has been a medical nightmare for our family, and I am hopeful that we are out of the woods for now!


Hard to believe two and half months ago he was in the ICU waiting on a team of neurologists to decide how to operate on the cyst in his brain and drain the excess fluid! 

My daughter seems to be better as well, back in February she collapsed at school and experienced temporary paralysis, which was made worse by the poor handling of the situation. We were forced to make some difficult decisions regarding schooling, and this past week was week 1 of a “new schedule” for my remaining school aged children. It’s more parental involvement, but I know my kids will be safe, well educated, and as a parent I couldn’t really ask for much more than that! One of many reasons my blog has been a place of neglect this year!

However I haven’t stopped shopping nor wearing dresses. Still a bit obsessed with Kate Spade (I post a lot on Instagram too). Some recent aquisitions:

This guy is quite a gem too:

The detail on this bag is amazing, I know I love my typewriter bag, but this one takes the cake!  As a baker, well, I’m partial to anything with a French macaron on it. 

I recently took a trip to Minesota to pick my oldest son up from summercamp, and had the misfortune of flying Spirit airlines. (Never again!) When you find out 48hrs before your trip that they charge for a carry-on, you get creative! I managed to pack for the whole weekend into one small “personal item”, including the cafe handbag. Some photos:

Just before we landed I unpacked into my handbag and switched my shoes:

I rolled all my clothes and put them in air-tight ziplock bags. In that bag was:

Two cardigans (I wore my big heavy one over my dress, looking very bag lady like!), jeans, sandals, pjs, one dress, one belt, two t-shirts, undergarments, sandals, toiletries, makeup, handbag, phone charger and my noise cancelling headphones. For me to pack that light is quite a miracle! But I just couldn’t justify paying $65 to bring a carryon with me. It became a bit of a challenge!

Here’s some photos, right across the lake is Canada. My son went to Camp Kooch-I-Ching in International Falls, MN. It’s a boys camp, but there is a girl’s sister came somewhere! (They never see each other) 

The Coffee Landing, they roast their beans in their front window! They even have mail order. Mmmmmm.

Also hit the Mall of America:

I had last visited when it was 2 years old, and this month they celebrated 25 years! It seemed much bigger back then, I have to say! Lots of back to school shopping was going on when we were there.

Gearing up for the end of summer, and fall is just around the corner. I hope to blog a bit more, once I get into the swing of life. 

Until next time,

Jules


Life….

Life has been hectic. This entire year has been filled with chaos, medical emergencies, planned medical procedures, massive problems with my kids’ school, and an upheaval in our long-standing routine due to my husband switching jobs. I can’t believe it’s July, and I haven’t blogged in FOREVER. I do keep up on Instagram, so if you follow me there….you’ve seen some of our adventures!

Let’s see…..I had a full hysterectomy back in April….this is a few hours post-op. I know, I’m that person who left her makeup on!

While it wasn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever done, I don’t regret it. Life is exceptionally better post-surgery….years of ickiness poof! gone overnight. (For the most part) My surgeon was incredible and she really did a fantastic job, I had very very few of the normal post-op side effects, and really I was up the next day, just moving VERY slowly.

My oldest turned 18 in May, AND he then graduated high school in June, and flew off to camp for the summer again the next morning:

My dad had emergency brain surgery the week of graduation….I won’t post the photos (although he would probably tell me too!), but we are very VERY grateful they caught it and he’s well on his way to a full recovery. We went to Vegas for the 4th of July this past week, and he took us all over the Hoover Dam, telling the kids little known facts from his days working there in the early 80’s, in 107 degree weather no less! (Side note….if you were in Vegas at the Palazzo/Venetian this last week and met a guy who talked about his brain surgery, that’s my dad. LOL.)

There’s been lots of shoes, new novelty bags, and dresses the last few months, here’s a few:

Rocky went to Vegas without Roxy, he made a Panda friend:

And Arlowe has taken over the house officially/

Yup, he uses our front door as a jungle gym. But he’s seriously the best cat EVER. 

Here’s to the last half of 2017!

Until next time,

Jules