I’m back!!!

Hi there! I just wanted to let those of you know who are interested that I have begun my new blog. It is called Living and Dreaming in the Southbay. I will not be making future posts on this blog.

I have been away from blogging for two months now and I have to tell you that on the first few weeks I felt like I was on vacation! I think that I did not use the computer at home for at least a week after my last post. Fast forward to present day and I am super busy, like always, and wonder where did I ever find the time to write so much? As a mom I must say I just made it happen.

Anyways, I hope that 2013 ended on a good note for everyone and that the new year has begun with a bang. My new blog is similar to this one, but I think I will be writing more and this time around using fewer pictures. Feel free to check it out and continue following me if you desire.

Take care,
Tieshka

ps- I have finally started working on my ‘chapter book’ and all I can say that it has a long way to go, but we have the ideas flowing and the writing has begun.

pps- Happy Valentine’s Day!!

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À bientôt, a più tardi, see you soon

The day is finally here- a break after 365 days of blogging. I started blogging by chance and continued on by choice. A little after 100 days of posting I received my first award and that encouraged me to continue on. I never picked a name for my blog- it picked me- Jardin Luxembourg – taken from my email. It was so fitting though since I have a big passion for Paris. I somehow managed to write through vacations and moving and my computer dying…. I wrote through days of being invaded by ants and having to pack up our place to be fumigated. Early mornings, late nights, a girls’ weekend, concerts, date nights-nothing stopped me from continuing on. It is nice to achieve a goal. I hope it can inspire me to do more things that I would like to accomplish.

At first I did not know if anyone would look at my random blog about my life, my travels, and my family. The first days I was in shock to have anyone “like” what I wrote and even more shocked to have someone “comment” on my posts. I am actually really proud that I have had at least one like on every post! I told some friends what I was doing and it has been fun seeing them email, text, and sometimes comment directly on my blog. I have met some great people from the WordPress family too.. thanks to you all for taking the time to check out my little blog on this big forum.

So now I am taking a break for the holidays from posting. I have to admit I am addicted to blogging at this point – but I will never post daily for an extended period of time again. It was a really big commitment. I think my family needs the break as much as I do! I started this blog with my kids in mind – I wanted them to know a bit about me, what I did when I was younger, how I have always enjoyed traveling, and what I do with them now on a daily basis. I cannot wait to share this blog with them one day. I hope that you have all learned a bit about me as well and I look forward to returning to blogging sooner than later. I will post here one more time with a link to my new blog when I figure it all out.

picture with santa

In closing here is a fun photo I had taken of the kids this past weekend, at our church nonetheless! I love living in Southern California, near the beach with my family. There is a lot of sun, tons of beaches, the beautiful ocean, always something to do, and it is only cold for a short part of the year (please winter go away ). For now I must say à bientôt, a più tardi, see you soon!

(day 365)

Christmas is coming & almost time to say ‘goodbye’ !

christmas tree

It is time to start the countdown to Christmas –only 19 days away. What have I done in preparation for the holidays?

I have done 40% of my shopping!!!

The tree and decorations are up. – check

The Christmas cards arrived yesterday – check – now I need to address them all and send out this weekend.

The kids and I have plane tickets to go visit my parents in New Orleans. – check

I have some ideas for kid friendly activities to do while in New Orleans – check

I have a babysitter to look after the kids I can go out to the French Quarter with my brothers and sister-in-law to drink – check

What haven’t I done?

Gone ice skating. For me it is not the Christmas season until I take the kids ice skating. Perhaps this year Matteo will start skating by himself.

I still have not found the winter coats and the temperatures are dropping lower and lower each day. I should correct that statement- I have my coat- the kids are missing their coats!!! This weekend I will sort through moving boxes until I find them.. I just heard a forecast of possible freezing rain this weekend.

I have 60% of my shopping to do still. Thank goodness I am a big online shopper.

One thing I would really like to do this holiday is learn how to make homemade eggnog. My dad does this every year and I have no clue how he does it (surprise, surprise). I will sit down and write everything down to practice later at home. I will be sure to add a little rum to mine too since no one else in our house drinks eggnog but me!

It is time to take out all the fun Christmas movies for adults and kids alike. I always enjoy watching these films.

To say the least I am on the right path to have the most important things finished by Christmas. It may be a mad rush to do it all – but I will give it a try.

Anyways I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year now. I will only be writing on this blog for another 4 days until after the Christmas holiday – but don’t worry … I will be back sharing stories and photos of our trip to you all on my new blog.. .. I think that it will be similar to this blog except I will not be writing daily this time around- only crazy people do that!!

(day 361)

Concerts, concerts and more concerts

On the way to work the other day my 4 year old son Matteo asked me which band was playing on the CD that we were listening to. It was an Irish band, The Cranberries. He then asked me if I had ever seen them in concert. I took a moment to reflect and eventually I said yes. Then he asked me who I went to this concert with and I knew that answer immediately, Kathy. I even remember the venue – The Greek Theater at Griffith Park.

From that random question I started to think back on all the concerts I have attended. I made it a point to attend at least 1 concert each year since that first concert until the year I had my daughter Malina – and that was the year that I somehow drove to local bookstore, less than a week after being able to drive (after having a cesarean section (c-section)), to see the Barenaked Ladies sing a few songs promoting a children’s album that they had just released. I left Max at home with Malina and was off!!

There is something about music that makes me extremely happy. Seeing music live makes me even happier! I have gone to concerts alone, driven 2 hours down to San Diego after work to see a show with friends (and then proceeded to drive back to Los Angeles to go to work the next day), I have been to just one concert in Europe (Germany to be exact), and driven all the way to Sacramento for a weekend to catch a concert that was at a hotel, and the stories go on and on as to the crazy things I have done to see a live show.

I am a very organized person…. I keep way too many items that I should throw away. Included in these items are concert tickets! Yes, I have saved almost every concert ticket that I have ever bought. With that being said the last 7 years (since having kids) has thrown me on my bottom and I do not have everything so organized as I once did. I have placed the last 7 years of knick-knacks in boxes that are just waiting to be put in a scrap book. The reason I have mentioned my scrapbooks is that right now I am going to list all the concerts I went to pre-kids just to have an organized record of it all and to see how many concerts I have attended.

I still remember my first concert was Kool and the Gang and I went with two of my cousins. By chance I saw Kool and the Gang open for Van Halen 2 years ago with Max. Talk about full circle. I will guess that I have seen many Barenaked Ladies concerts and the first show that I saw them perform at was at the American Legion in Hollywood- great small venue. The last saw I saw them perform at was the Santa Monica Civic Center in Santa Monica- that was a Christmas show…. For those who do not know the Barenaked Ladies they are a Canadian band that I first heard living in Western New York in a town that was 10 minutes from the Canadian border. Okay I am rambling… can you tell I’m excited???


Here goes nothing….


Kool and the Gang, NYC Fresh Fest III, Midnight Star & Whoodini, Genesis, INXS, Debbie Gibson, Steve Miller Band- (2 concerts), Billie Joel, B- 52’s – (3 concerts), USC Homecoming Concert, EMF, U2 – (4 concerts), Erasure (2 concerts), Ocean Blue– (2 concerts), Depeche Mode– (2 concerts), Lollapalooza 1994, I Mother Earth, Barenaked Ladies – (8 concerts), Natalie Merchant, The Smashing Pumpkins, The Refreshments, Porno For Pyros, David Bowie with Nine Inch Nails, Green Day, Whitney Houston, Violent Femmes, Jane’s Addiction, Smash Mouth, The Cranberries, Coachella, Dave Matthew’s Band, and The Who.

Recently I have seen Blink 182 (2 shows) and one day when I organize my boxes of knick-knacks I will recall what else I have been to… How fun it was to put this list together. No surprise to me the Barenaked Ladies are the group I have seen most- 8 shows and in second place is U2, a band that I have been listening to since I was 8 years old thanks to my brothers playing their “War” album before I was even double digits in age. I even wrote an English paper in college about U2‘s album “War” back in the day (I would love to see that now). For the record my total concerts is 49 from this post- that is without most of the last 7 years that I have settled into parenthood. I hope you have enjoyed this musical journey with me today… Feel free to let me know your favorite concert or your favorite bands if you wish!

(day 360)

Back to the gym & enjoying some music

another sunset

Driving home last night we caught a spectacular sunset. It was beautiful. As we made our way from the busy streets towards the beach I saw some vibrant colors ahead with a little piece of blue sky. When we were driving next to the ocean I had to stop the car and take it in. Wow! We caught the sunset only minutes after I was singing my heart out to the song “No Need to Argue” by The Cranberries. That would be two days in a row that I heard songs on the radio that I just had to sing. The songs took me back, way back… the other day it was “Kiss Off” by the Violent Femmes. Music can be so powerful.

For the last month I have been procrastinating about joining a gym. Last winter I changed my gym membership at the YMCA for one at the university where I work- my membership fees went down as did my frequency to the gym. After a summer of swimming occasionally the exercise ended. Yesterday I finally returned to a local gym and had a great workout with a friend. It was nothing extreme, but it was great to be back at the gym burning some calories, tightening some muscles and feeling great after my workout.

(day 358)

The long walk

the surfer statue

It was an afternoon off to spend with the kids. It was a super sunny and warm day for it being the end of November. I drove past the ocean on my way home from work and I knew that I wanted to go back.. and we had the time. After eating lunch with Max we headed to the beach. The goal was to walk from the Manhattan Beach Pier to the Hermosa Beach Pier (3.4 miles) – something I used to do on a regular basis when I was in my early 20’s. It was a somewhat ambitious walk to do with the kids, but we do some serious hiking and this was a relaxing walk. They both had tennis shoes on and I wore flip flops- I am not sure why I did not have tennis shoes on… note to self – next time wear tennis shoes for support.

Christmas Tree on HB Pier

It was a gorgeous day. There were people everywhere as we slowly made our way to the Hermosa Beach Pier. At the base of the pier was a decorated Christmas tree. We also saw our favorite surfer statue and the kids spent a good 5 minutes climbing on him.

At some point I looked over towards the ocean and saw that kids were sliding down a man-made hill of sand on saucers and other items (sledding without snow). I asked two little girls if Malina and Matteo could borrow their saucers to go down the hill. They loved it!

Manhattan Beach Pier-Lights

It was a big walk back to the Manhattan Beach Pier and because it was late afternoon we were able to see the sun set. We also saw some Christmas lights out. What we did not see were the trees on the Manhattan Beach Pier that were there only 5 days ago. Thank goodness I took the photos I did over the weekend.

Eventually we made our way home with a few stops along the way. My feet were super sore and the kids fell asleep within minutes of putting their heads to the pillow.

(day 353)

Thanksgiving week

It is time for another holiday already. Wasn’t it Halloween just last week? We had plans of going to the amusement park on Thursday, but it is supposed to rain. Who knows, we might melt. But seriously Matteo and I have been fighting a bad cough so we will not brave the rain. What will we end up doing? That is still to be determined, but I am sure whatever we end up doing will be enjoyable.

For now we still have school and work – and homework. Homework is so hard. I never knew 2nd grade could be so challenging. Studying for tests is hard too; I can’t imagine how we will figure this out for the next 11 years with Malina. I take it back, I know the answer – we will hire a tutor at some point. A friend was telling me about a task that she has to do help her daughter complete. It is a rather complicated family tree project that must be done in Spanish. I was thinking immediately that I am glad that I will not have to tackle that project! Then I came home from work and saw that Malina has a project for the holidays as well – still not as hard as the family tree, so I will not complain!

Parent teacher conferences are coming up next week- already. I continue to be challenged with Malina’s school and it looks like we’ll be here for a while longer since there are no openings at the other school we like. So the Thanksgiving break is coming right on time. Today is a half day for her and she has the rest of the week off. I treasure these family moments because I know one day the kids will be much older and out of the house. How did my parents manage it all?

laundry basekt

I found this old photo searching through my archives last night. Both of the kids can’t sit in this small laundry basket anymore – but they do still fit in separate baskets. I enjoy the holidays… it is a time to make memories with my family and I look forward to making those memories this week. Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate this holiday.

(day 351)