Sunday, June 30, 2013

Summer break: Week 3

Summer break has sure been fun for the girls (and for us too!)....
Luckily, the weather has been decent (and by that I mean no rain, because it's hot as hell!) and we have been able to do tons of fun outdoor stuff, which is always great...
The girls have gotten tons of exercise, including tennis and long walks among others...

The cats seem to be getting along a little better... the hissing has diminished and they're *almost* playing together (yay!)

On the 27th, we celebrated a year since we got our cat Abuelita... We've also made this date her "unofficial" 7th birthday, so it was a happy day for her! :)

On Friday the 28th, my lovely niece Isabella turned a year old....
It was a bittersweet day for us since we are so far away therefore we can't take part in any of her celebrations... It's hard to be ok with just seeing her through an iPad screen and not be able to hold her and see her milestones first hand! :(

We also went to see Monster University on Saturday (review to come)... the girls had such an amazing time and so did we!

They have really bonded during this summer time and it's really awesome to see how much they love each other!  What a great feeling! 

Here are pictures of a post-movie ice cream date with some buddies... these girls really know how to enjoy themselves! :)

...and last but not least, here's a picture of Isabella with her parents (brother in law and his wife) on her 1st birthday party... I got tons of pictures of the party and they've told me all about it.. it seems little Isabella had a blast at her party and got tons of cute presents and LOTS of attention!
Happy Birthday, sweetie! We love you so much!

Now, let's keep rolling with this summer break! 7 more weeks!
This coming week the girls will be attending a gymnastics camp and a tennis/golf camp.. I'm sure they'll love everything about those :)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Summer break: Week 2

Week 2 of the girls' summer break was fun and exciting...
I can't believe we're down to just 8 weeks of summer...a new school year will be here before we know it, but for now we'll just enjoy this time off and focus on the all the fun the summer brings...
This week, the girls started their first summer camp; it ran from Monday thru Friday and they had tons of fun with their camp friends...
We ate ice cream, bought clothes, planned their party and much more..

Pictures of the girls at their summer camp...

Olivia and I did a couple of "cooking projects"... we made her favorite.. Broccoli and Cheese soup! (yum!)
We also discovered several new recipes that we plan on trying during this break!

We took care of some errands like going to the dentist...
Always fun... right? ;)

...and last but not least, we attended Isabella's 6th birthday party at the Miramar Regional Park...
The girls had an amazing time at the water park and enjoyed time with their friends...
What a fun week this was! 
Looking forward to so much more!

Bring it on, summer! We sure are enjoying you! ;)

Meet our new cat: "Lily"

This week we expanded our cat family and adopted a 10 week old kitten.  
She is a tortie cat and the girls have named her Lily.
Lily is the sweetest little kitten...she is very playful and incredibly energetic...
Even though our two senior cats have NOT taken to her, she is enjoying all the attention she has been getting...
Lily has already learned to use her little box and knows her way around the house... it's really cute to see the girls playing with her...
Welcome to the family, Lily! We already love you so much! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Father's Day (late post)

I'm lucky to have a wonderful man for a father...
He has taught me so much and has always been so supportive...
My dad is my idol and my example to follow...
I love him more than words can say and I feel blessed to have him with me every step of the day...
I love you, daddy!
Happy Father's Day! 

Father's Day celebration (picture)

Master Graduation

Even though I finished my master's degree last July (and received my diploma shortly after), my actual graduation ceremony took place this past Sunday. 
Because the school only does graduations once a year, I had the pleasure (not!) of waiting 11 long months to "walk the stage"... I will admit that I considered not going to the ceremony at all, but it was Father's Day and my dad really loves this kind of I went!
It was exciting despite my low expectations....and even though the whole thing was long as hell (why are graduations so freaking long!?), I did find some pleasure in seeing my parents light up and enjoy taking pictures of me in my cap and gown... for the memories! ;)
Here are some pics...

...and of course this won't be my last graduation since I plan on going for my PhD (I already have 15 credits towards that...yay!) and one day (hopefully not too far away..) becoming Dr. Perez! ;)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Summer Break: Week 1

Week 1 of summer came and went and I'm glad to say "we survived!"...
I say this because both Iggy and I work full time and sometime it's very difficult to juggle work and family life.. With the kids being out of school, we were faced with the challenge of tending to them while still focusing on work and making sure everything kept running smoothly...
Gaby stayed home with us for the week (we're lucky to work from home) while Olivia attended a tennis camp for half a day.. it was successful and they are delighted...
My mom bought a backyard pool for the girls and they've been enjoying that as well...
We've been to a couple of birthday parties, play dates and family outings.. it has been far!
I just hope we don't run out of steam (and money!) by the time summer break is over!

Here are some pictures of Week 1:

Friday, June 7, 2013

End of school year and Kindergarten graduation! :)

The end of the school years brings so many mixed emotions to us moms. 
On one hand, we're happy for our kids' accomplishments and our hearts get filled with pride and joy; on the other hand, we feel sad/emotional to see our kids growing up so fast and realize that one day they'll leave home and be on their own and with every year that passes, that moment gets closer and closer! 
This was the last of week of school for my girls and of course there were lots of fun events... 
First of all, Olivia finished Kindergarten and the school celebrated a special Kinder graduation where all kids got a certificate, sang songs, ate cake and made their parents cry (happy tears, that is!)... I can't believe my little lady is officially in FIRST GRADE!  Here are some pictures...

This is a picture of Olivia with her Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. SardiƱa...

On the second to last day of school, we had an early birthday celebration for the girls...
The celebration took place in Gaby's classroom; we brought cupcakes and juice for all the kids and the girls really enjoyed all the attention. 
Their birthdays aren't until mid July, but who can pass up an extra birthday cupcake?!?  :)

And last but not least, here are the comparison pictures of the girls: First and Last Day of school. 
Even though the pictures were not taken from the same angle, I think the difference is evident.  It's crazy to see how much they grew in just a few months... why does time fly so fast!?  *sniff, sniff*

And now to enjoy the Summer break.  We have several things planned for the girls.. They'll be attending a few summer camps including tennis, golf, swimming and gymnastics.  I can't wait for them to enjoy all the fun stuff we have planned...and to blog about it, of course!
Happy summer, kids! ;)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

"Healthy Summer Travel Tips"

I was recently approached by fellow blogger Kendra Thornton about being a feature guest poster on my blog.
Kendra has an extensive background in traveling and vacations so being an avid traveler myself, I have decided to feature an article by her.
The following was written by guest poster Kendra (bio at the end of post).  I hope you enjoy it!

Healthy Summer Travel Tips

Vacations are fun and exciting, but they can disrupt your family's routines and create unique challenges for parents.  Over-excited children can quickly turn into tired, hungry, cranky children.  It's your responsibility to make sure that your kids get enough sleep and eat healthy meals while traveling.  Fortunately, it's easy to do so if you follow a few simple tips:

1.) When booking lodging for a theme park vacation, be suspicious of any particularly low prices.  Although most Orlando resorts and family-friendly hotels enforce strict quiet hours, not every hotel will be as quiet and peaceful.  It's worth paying more money for a guaranteed good night's sleep to prevent tired crankiness at the park the next day.  

2.) Try to stick to your normal sleep schedule as much as possible.  If you'll be traveling to a different time zone, adjust your family's sleeping habits before you leave so that you won't be as affected by the time change.  Also be sure your younger children take naps as necessary throughout the day.  Car and train rides are a perfect opportunity to nap without missing any excitement.  

3.) If you'll be traveling by train or plane, try to pack your own healthy snacks like sandwiches, trail mix or vegetable sticks.  Airport and train station food is usually overpriced and unhealthy, and you'll be grateful for the chance to get something nutritious into your kids.  

4.) Although many fast food restaurants have "healthier" options on their menus, many of these items are not as healthy as they might sound.  It's a good idea to do some research to determine what menu items are actually a safe bet when pulling through a drive-through.  Even better, visit a sit-down restaurant where you can ask questions about the food, or just pack your own nutritious meals and snacks.  

5.) Dress in layers while traveling.  Temperatures can vary over the duration of a road trip, and airplanes are often much cooler while in the air than they were while sitting on the tarmac.  Wearing a few layers can help you and your kids regulate your temperatures, and an extra jacket doubles as a blanket for an impromptu nap.  

Healthy eating and sleeping habits are important parts of an enjoyable vacation.  By managing your diet and sleep routines, you can ensure that your family feels energized and refreshed throughout the vacation.  You'll also protect yourself from some of the uncomfortable side effects of a decadent vacation, such as weight gain and bloating, by sticking to healthy habits while you're away.

About Kendra:
Travel advocate, TV spokesperson, PR businesswoman, proud wife and mama of 3. I am a long time travel expert who has been packing my bags and traveling the world since I was 3 months old! I've found my utmost desire in life is right here in my own home. I have mixed my excitement for travel by bringing the taste of authentic cuisine to my own home with some of my unique recipes and sharing some of my personal traveling tips. Enjoy!