Take Their Advice


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Graduations are happening all around. The excitement of what’s to come and the emotion of where we came from and the memories that will keep you going.

Today we wanted to share some of our favorite graduation advice or quotes to help graduates celebrate and look towards the future.


Mine is from a famous (and one of my all-time favorite) Apple ads during the Steve Jobs era:

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Steve Jobs gave one of the best commencement speeches in 2005 at Stanford University, with so many profound gems of advice. Here’s one of my favorites:image1


The quote I love is from Maya Angelou. Be kind and laugh.


Congratulations to all the graduates in our lives.

A Look Back


This Saturday Jordan will walk across the stage of his high school. After 15 years of school we have a lot of memories that lead us to the moment when he receives his diploma. There were lots of people that supported him and loved him along the way. Here’s a look back at some of those moments.


  • Jordan had a tough time starting school. We had been to mommy and me and he wouldn’t leave my side. I remember wishing he would play with the other kids as I was in the parent talk but he was happy sitting with me or hanging out at my feet. Starting  preschool was difficult for both of us.
  • He made friends and so did I. Some of which we are still friends with.
  • He was loved and well cared for. His teachers understood who he was and took care of him. They also took care of me.
  • He showed signs of being curious about learning. He started reading and was supported and encouraged to go as far as he wanted to go.
  • He welcomed his baby brother into the family.
  • We started noticing his anxiety  and some tics emerged – they have become part of who he is.
  • He was joyful with the greatest giggle and a compassion for others that moved me.
  • He made us proud in every way.

IMG_9613Lower School

  • He went to a school that would be become our second home.
  • He had two friends from preschool as his classmates and that made me happy.
  • His education soared. He was challenged to go further and reach his full potential.
  • He welcomed his baby sister into the family.
  • He had many best friends; boys and girls.
  • He had teachers that truly cared about him as a person. For that we are so thankful.
  • We found out that he had a lazy eye and he started wearing glasses and patching his eye. That was not fun for any of us. But we were able to correct his vision to almost 20/20.
  • His tics were more prominent, long lasting and he was diagnosed with Tourettes Syndrome. That never held him back.
  • We couldn’t keep up with his reading. He picked up a book, draped himself over the couch and got lost. When he was done he would ask, “What can I read next?”
  • He won his class spelling bee, the lower school spelling bee and went on to win the school spelling bee beating out students in 8th grade. He was eliminated from the local spelling bee in the 4th round.
  • He started swimming on the church swim team.  This was another struggle as he didn’t really love it and it was a huge commitment. We fought to get him to stick with it to have a healthy lifestyle, be a part of a team and because he was good at it.
  • He made us proud in every way.

IMG_5254Middle School

  • His best friends came and went but he found his way and made new friends.
  • He played Sheldon in a production of Grease. Something we were surprised he wanted to do. After it was over he decided performing was not for him.
  • He played basketball and volleyball for the school – also not his thing.
  • He continued swimming in the summer and fall for the church team. We encouraged him to join the club team but he was not interested. He won his events and that was enough for him.
  • He found an interest in science – primarily because he had a great teacher that made science interesting and fun.
  • He decided he would never eat McDonald’s again after watching Super Size Me in his PE class and he hasn’t.
  • He got braces and stopped wearing glasses. He grew a lot and became one of the tallest kids in the class.
  • He was the prosecuting attorney for the Mock Trial team.
  • He took a drumming elective and found a new passion. The teacher let us borrow the drum set for the summer. It was the start of something big.
  • He got a Rubiks cube for his birthday and learned to solve it faster and faster.
  • He toured Notre Dame High School in 7th grade and that was it. He wanted to be a part of the Notre Dame band and was excited that he would continue to be challenged academically.
  • He was salutatorian of his class.
  • He was accepted to Notre Dame with honors.
  • He made us proud in every way.

IMG_4479High School

  • He joined the band and was on the drumline. He went to band camp every summer and endured long hot days of marching, ROTC, and team building. He was dedicated to the band and went to football games, parades, festivals, concerts and special events. He went to the Fiesta Bowl parade, marched at Disneyland and competed in the percussion competition.
  • He set a goal to be the lead snare and he accomplished that.
  • He played water polo for two seasons. He tried so hard but it was difficult to balance the responsibility of water polo and band at the same time.
  • He took honors courses and AP classes and always maintained over a 4.0 GPA.
  • He competed in Rubiks cube competitions, learning to solve the 3×3 in less than 20 seconds. He has a collection of 17 cubes.
  • He loved math, biology and physics.
  • He did Immersion and Kairos and they both made huge impacts on him.
  • He was on the swim team making the Varsity Team in his Junior and Senior year. He finally joined a club team to elevate his ability and it made a huge difference.
  • He won fastest swimmer as a freshman and most inspirational swimmer as a Sophomore.
  • He started driving and took it very seriously.
  • He has amazing friends that I’m sure he will know for the rest of his life.
  • He met a girl and we all love her.
  • He dedicated himself to his studies and got the most out of his education.
  • He went to pep rallies, homecoming, prom and grad night.
  • He won academic awards and was acknowledged for his hard work and dedication.
  • He applied to 6 colleges and got into 5 of them. He made his choice and we are so happy for his new adventure and what he will do with his life.
  • He has made us, and himself, proud in every way.

I know Saturday will be emotional. I don’t feel sad, there is nothing to feel sad about. It’s pride and love and gratitude that I feel. I am excited for him. He is graduating and truly becoming an adult. I know he will do good things. Look at what he has already accomplished.

Things I’m Looking Forward To


There’s so much I’m currently enjoying—hello strawberry season and warmer weather—and so much more I’m looking forward to this spring and summer. And my goal is to be in the moment and enjoy each thing as fully as I can as it’s happening.


watching So You Think You Can Dance – Ugh, I’ve missed this show so much! From the auditions, to the announcement of the finalists, to each incredible group routine and dance competition, to the juh-jez, to absolutely every minute of this show. It’s incredible and June 12th can’t come soon enough!


reading. Lots and lots of reading. I set a reading goal for myself this year and it was to read at least 12 books. I wanted to start off easy and reading one book a month seemed doable. Until we got to May and I had finished zero-books-a-month! So I turned it into a mini challenge within a bigger challenge. I set up a plan to try and “catch up” by June and then keep on reading on. I’m thinking of joining Goodreads as a fun way to track my reading, keep lists of what I want to read (so. many. good. books.) and have a list of what I was able to finish. I’m really looking forward to reading The Rosie Project. I’ve heard it’s a very fun read and it sound perfect for summer.


(Ocean view at Duke’s.)

trying out old and new-to-us restaurants. I’ve been longing for a nice lingering meal by the beach or even on the beach. We have an upcoming brunch planned at Paradise Cove. And we’ve been wanting to go back to Duke’s for some sunset cocktails and appetizers. Can’t beat those ocean views there! I’d love to try out some new places, like Nobu, Malibu Cafe, Stonehaus and Urban Press Winery.


(Photo: Universal  Studios Hollywood)

checking out the new evening shows at Disneyland and Universal Studios. There’s talk of a new light show in the Harry Potter land at Universal and now that we’re season ticket holders, we can’t wait to go see it. Disneyland is also bringing back Fantasmic! and  it’s supposed to be pretty spectacular.


(Photo: Gioconda Mitas)

cooking with new recipes. Our busy season at work is over, which means coming home at a more decent hour and having the energy to get back to cooking new, fun meals. I was recently meal planning and saw a million and one new recipes at Skinnytaste that I want to try or get back to making. The Giant Turkey Meatball is out of this world and I plan on making that again soon. I also want to try the Crockpot Balsamic Pork Roast, Cuban Picadillo, Cubed Steak with Peppers and Olives, and Beef Barley Soup, which I plan to make ahead of time and take for lunch at work. So yummy!

Do you have anything you’re looking forward to this spring and summer? Any fun places to check out, recipes to try, wines to taste or activities for the kiddies? Let us know in the comments below. 

If You’re Looking For…


If you’re looking for some unique finds, a gut-busting laugh or just want to bury your face in some goth ice cream, I may have found the answer to your prayers. You’re welcome, America.

Hilariously brilliant TV shows you may not be watching…
Catastrophe and Nobodies

A super swell site for vintage furniture finds…

Personalized interior design help without paying a fortune…

A hidden gem of restaurant…
Cafe Chez Marie

Cooking lessons from the page…
The Haven’s Kitchen Cooking School: Recipes and Inspiration to Build a Lifetime of Confidence in the Kitchen by Alison Cayne

Instagram-worthy black soft serve ice cream…
Little Damage

A chance to learn something new & stay in your jammies…

A fab fitting bra line that’s also real purdy…

A Cupcake recipe that’ll make you wanna par-tay…
Pinata Cupcakes

A much easier & more affordable way to custom frame prints…

The coziest throw blanket on planet Earth or even Mars…
Barefoot Dreams Cozychic Heathered Throw

A video that’ll make you pee your pants no matter how many times you watch…
I Swimsuit Season So Hard

What are you currently looking for? Let us know in the comments below because we might have some groovy ideas to share in a later post!

Take a Look


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to turn one’s eyes toward something or in some direction in order to see; to use one’s sight or vision in seeking, searching,examining, watching, etc.

Our eyes are wide open as we look ahead to summer, graduation, new homes and new opportunities.  We’re starting off the week sharing what we ‘re looking forward to this summer.

If my calendar is any indication, this summer is going to be a busy one, but one of the things I’m most looking forward to is squeezing in a few fun trips along the way. Casey and I are planning a romantic weekend getaway for our wedding anniversary (place TBD – any groovy suggestions?). I’d also love to take Jack to Legoland and Santa Barbara on the train and spend the night this summer. And Jack and I may try to go to Virginia to visit my mom in August before school starts and sneak in a trip to Washington DC while we’re there.

There’s so many things I’m looking forward to this summer: a lighter schedule at work, getting some extra activity in the day with walks and hikes, trying out a fun brunch spot on the beach and some possible wine tasting. But something I’m most looking forward to is an anniversary camping trip with Jessie. Jessie’s family loves going camping and this will be our first time going solo. Looking forward to being surrounded by nature, beach walks, lots of reading, naps and games. And some yummy meals and wine by the campfire. Can’t wait!

Ahhh Summer. No school, homework, sports or crazy schedule. What more could I ask for? I am excited to have a slower pace and more relaxed attitude. I can’t wait to eat fresh sweet fruit and be out in the sun. We are going to a wine tasting in Santa Barbara with friends. We are going on a road trip with family.  And of course we are taking our son to college (not really looking forward to that.) We’ve got tickets to Hamilton and we hope to end our summer celebrating our anniversary at the Toronto Film Festival. Fingers crossed.

We’re looking forward to sharing with you this week.

What’s Up for the Weekend


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As the week comes to an end, we’re each looking forward to a weekend of celebrations, spending time with family and friends, and as much relaxing and napping that we can pack into a weekend.


I’m looking forward to a nice quiet weekend. We have a softball party to go to on Saturday, after a delay from the rain we had a few weeks ago. The boys need haircuts and we are getting clothing for graduation. I plan to do some scrapbooking in between the errands. And I have some work to do for some school events. But mostly I will sleep in and get myself emotionally ready for the coming week.


We have a really busy weekend ahead. On Saturday, we’re throwing a big Sing-themed 5th birthday bash for my son, Jack, with a huge group of his pals. Afterwards, we finally get to pick up the keys to our new house! On Sunday, I have a story I have to cover for work, then we’ll most likely spend part of the day furniture shopping – gotta have someplace to sit in that house! Have a fantastic weekend!


We’ve got some fun celebrations on Saturday: first is a birthday party for a pretty awesome little boy and then we’re headed to a double-graduation party for two cousins on Jessie’s side of the family. Plans for Sunday include breakfast, church, napping, reading, movies, napping, reading…repeat!

Any fun plans this weekend or have a fun Sunday brunch recommendation? Let us know in the comments below. Have a wonderful weekend!

Where Does the Time Go?


We all have those days where it seems as if time is just whizzing by. And other days when we check the clock every five minutes and wonder why time is moving soooo slowly. My days have been fluctuating between the fast and slow, otherwise known as weekends and weekdays.

Here’s a glimpse into one of my days this week…

Outside View

6:00am / Alarm goes off. Hit snooze and enjoy a few more minutes of semi-sleep. Ten minutes later, alarm goes off again. Turn it off and lay in bed a few minutes. Jessie’s been away for an early day at work. He comes in and we talk a little about the day.
6:20am / Outta bed. Jessie leaves for work and I skim through email, Facebook and Instagram. I also check out our blog. Sometimes it’s my first time reading the posts and it’s always fun to see what my co-writers have worked on.


Plants7:10am / Head into the kitchen for some coffee. We’re going grocery shopping after work so I work on a grocery list and then water the plants outside.

7:47am / Make breakfast (Eggo waffles and sugar-free syrup) and get lunch ready for work. (Love this lunch tote from World Market.)

Bed and Lucy

8:15am / Make bed and take a shower. I just found this pump conditioner at Target and I love it!


8:38am / Out of shower and do makeup and hair. And so begins the fun, shot-of-adrenaline race to work game I play each morning.
8:42am / Head to work. Notice service light/oil change indicator lights up in car. Mental note to call mechanic for oil change.  Stop by bank to deposit checks and withdraw money for groceries.

Listen to “Elise Gets Crafty” Podcast on the way to work

9:05am / Get to work and clock in. Get the office ready for the day. Check work planner, check & answer emails, take care of anything that comes up with clients questions, etc.

PlannerUpdate my Day Designer personal planner with anything I thought of/remembered on the way to work.
11:00am / Boss comes in and we head into her office to take care of two major pending items before she travels and is out of the office.
11:45am / Morning snack. Today it’s yogurt and banana. I try to plan out two snacks during the day so I don’t get home starving. Work with my boss on various pending items. Take care of miscellaneous things around the office.
1:00pm / Get back to my desk to do a little bit more work and check on emails.

Soup bowl
2:05pm / Heat up my lunch, which was some leftover Gimme Some Oven’s Tortellini Soup and it was delicious. I won these cute bowls in a raffle contest at work. So cute!
Eat and continue to go over any remaining pending items before my boss leaves.

3:15pm / Make sure I’m drinking my water. I got this great cup at Starbucks in Hawaii a few years ago. And the coaster is from Anthropologie.
4:20pm / Start to wrap up for the day

TB Tote
4:30pm / Pack up stuff in my Tory Burch tote. I love it cause it’s so lightweight and can hold a ton of stuff. And then head home. I call Jessie on the way home and listen to more of my podcast

4:50pm / Pick up Jessie and head to grocery stores. Then we get Subway for dinner

6:42p / Head home. Take out groceries, pick up mail, bring in trash cans, put groceries away. We were in the mood for cereal so we each picked up his & hers boxes of Cheerios.

7:08pm / Groceries are put away and we sit down for dinner (turkey & ham sub and I’d been saving up for those jalapeño chips!) and some episodes of How I Met Your Mother that I hadn’t seen. Makes me miss the show.

Jewel Book
8:30pm / I start to get really sleepy so I go to the room to lay down. I’ve heard amazing things about Jewel’s book and as much as I want to read, I can’t seem to muster up the energy.
8:45pm / Watch a little more TV in bed. It’s comfort and it’s one of my favorite things to do. We’ve been watching Angie Tribeca and we’ve really been enjoying it. Clever and very Airplane-like humor.
9:10am / Can’t seem to stay away. So I get ready for bed and try to watch a little more.
9:20pm / Aaaand, I’m asleep. I usually go to bed around 10:30pm, so this is highly unusual for me, but much-needed.


Timepieces Worth Your…You Know


Yea, yea, I know most of us use our smart phones as an alarm clock, watch and hell, practically a butler nowadays, but there’s still something special about a beautiful or totally inventive timepiece that’s worth revisiting. If you’re ready to kick it old school and invite a standalone alarm clock or a gorgeous wrist watch back into your life, I rounded up some oh so groovy finds that’ll totally knock your knee-highs off.

Alarm Clock That’ll Make You Wanna Be a Morning Person
I’m obsessed with the Beddi alarm clock by Witti. A stylish and totally intuitive smart home alarm clock, Beddi is basically a bedside concierge that’ll do almost everything but make you eggs and bacon in the AM. It has two USB ports to charge your phone and smart pad and wakes you gently with beams of natural sunlight. It can also chat with your coffee maker to have that hot cup of jo ready for you upon waking, and it can program your Nest thermostat so your abode’s nice and warm when morning comes. It also connects with your playlist, serves as a white noise machine and can give you the traffic report to get you out of the house on time. Check out this video for more detailed info.

Kid’s Clock You’ll Want to Steal for Yourself
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away kids awoke to the buzz of alarm clocks, not smart phones. After you lay your Jedi eyes on this fab clock line from Lego Star Wars, reconsider alarm clocks you will.

Luxury Men’s & Women’s Watches Worth a Second Mortgage
These aren’t Rolex level timepieces, but they aren’t exactly inexpensive by any means either. If you’re looking for an investment piece for the man or lady in your life, these fab watches would certainly impress. Shinola is one of the best watch brands out there today and just short Switzerland, Detroit’s the current go-to when it comes to the watch game. Check out Shinola’s Runwell 47MM in gray. It’s the perfect timepiece and color to take the stylish dude in your life from day to night.

For ladies, there are two watches I’m digging right now – both by Gucci. For dressier occasions, I la-la-love Gucci’s Interlocking Leather Strap Watch 37MM. On the casual side, I’m lusting after Gucci’s Le Marche des Merveilles 38MM – such a unique watch and a fashion collector’s piece you’d have forever.

Affordable Men’s & Women’s Watches That Still Wow
Let’s come back down to earth a little bit and take a look at some more realistic watches that don’t cost a wrist and a leg. For men, Nixon’s Sentry Leather Strap Watch 42MM is a classic option. For ladies, Olivia Burton’s Midi Dial Leather Strap Watch 30MM watch is a stylishly fresh piece that complements a variety of skin tones and is perfect for summer.

Best Watch to Get Your Bootay Movin’
My fave choice for a great workout watch is the Fitbit Surge in black. It’s streamlined, looks fly and has a sweet host of dependable performance features like built in GPS, touch screen and music control to make the most of your exercise adventures.








Time Stands Still


IMG_9532.JPGOver the last few weeks we have been watching old movies of the kids.  We always enjoyed filming and capturing those moments in our lives; birthday parties, holidays and everyday life. We laugh (through tears) watching the kids as babies and toddlers and the funny little things that they do. And the kids get a kick out of seeing themselves.

I remember when I was little my parents set up the projector and click through the carousel of slides. It was magical to be able to time travel to specific moments in your life.

Now I view the passage of time through the prism of my kids. One of the biggest feelings I have when I watch these pieces of our lives is that no matter how hard I try, time passes quickly.

I think back to when Jordan was 5 with his sweet little giggle and his curiosity for life. I can see Andrew’s humor and light heartedness in his baby face and it still makes me laugh. There is a sweetness in Sofia’s confidence and sassiness even as a toddler. Those things remain (except for that giggle), but the time has passed quickly.

I work hard at being present at every phase of our lives.  The mother’s advice to enjoy every moment because it goes by fast was not lost on me.  I have seen it flash before my eyes. I’ve stayed present and made an effort to document our lives and capture those moments, so that I can relive them over and over.

The passage of time is even more evident this year as we prepare to have our oldest graduate and move away to college.  I feel like every other conversation I am having starts with I can’t believe how fast the time has gone. We attended Jordan’s last band concert on Saturday with mixed feelings;  sad that’s it’s over, but happy that we were a part of it for 4 years. Has it really been 4 years for Jordan? He managed to pack those years with lots of accomplishment and fun.

You can see the person that Andrew has become in the little things he used to do as a kid. Andrew has always been an old soul in a little person’s body. He has a mature sense of humor and a keen sense of  timing. Some of those moments are captured on film. You can see in his eyes the recognition that, hmm this will get a laugh. And of course we were there to encourage it.

Every day Sofia looks older and acts more mature. Bobby and I are constantly in awe at the young lady she is becoming. She is a reminder that we are not parents to little kids anymore. It’s a mix of relief and sadness. As she grew, we got rid of all the baby stuff in the house. The strollers and high chairs and car seats were no more. And time moved on.

I often wish that time would move faster. On Monday, I can’t wait til Friday. I look forward to summer or christmas or my birthday. I concentrate on the moment after a presentation or getting through a tough time. But in doing so it means that time will have passed. So I learn to be ok with every second. To value every moment – good or bad. To take care to live in every crappy, lovely, sweet, frustrating moment in time because soon it will be gone.

Those flashbacks on FaceBook take you back, don’t they? Even if it was just 5 years ago. It’s another reminder and a look back into your past, how much has changed and how much has stayed the same.

The end of the school year is always a time for reflection and sentiment for me. Looking at yearbooks and seeing all that was done throughout the year. Cleaning out lockers, notebooks and supplies that represent a year’s worth of learning and growth. The kids are excited that the school year is over, but I feel the emotion of another year gone by.

As we move forward we acknowledge that life will be different. I’m sure I will wish for the holidays that will bring Jordan back home to us. But I will be excited for his new adventure. I will relish in what Andrew and Sofia are living and concentrate on being present for them.

And I will ask myself, is time moving quickly or at the exact speed it should be?

The Gift of Time


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a moment, hour, day, or year as indicated by a clock or calendar; an opportune or suitable moment; the point or period when something occurs

We’re talking TIME this week. Periods in our lives, moments that we want to make last forever, what we do with our time–we’ll each give you our take on what time means to us.

Today we’re sharing our favorite time of day.


My favorite time of the day is the morning. I wake up before anyone else and I get some quiet time to think and plan. When Bobby gets up he makes coffee and that just makes this time even better. As everyone else wakes up the house fills with energy and that makes me happy.


My favorite time of day is early morning facing a fresh new day filled with possibility in front of me. I love getting Jack started with his day, turning on the Today Show and enjoying that first cup of coffee with a slice of avocado toast. Nom, nom, nom…


My favorite time of day is right when I get home from work. We have the evening ahead to make a yummy dinner and just relax. Time to watch a few shows, maybe do some reading and just decompress. It’s wonderful!

Join us this week as we share our time with you!