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,

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!!


An award for my blog, are you serious?? (The Liebster Award)

liebster award

After publishing my blog two days ago I received a nomination for the Liebster Award from Sherri. I was shocked at the nomination and flattered that she found my blog worthy of this award.

Later in the evening I had time to read up on what exactly the Liebster Award is and thought it was a great idea! It is an award that originated in Germany to help new bloggers become recognized. Well I must say I love being recognized for my work, and I want others to be recognized as well as they mike their mark in the world of blogging!

Before I continue on fulfilling the requirement necessary to accept the Liebster Award I would like to tell you all a bit about Sherri. Sherri is from England, and is mother of 3, who has faced many challenges in her life, but has done her best to overcome them. She spent 17 years living in California, raising her kids, but eventually relocated back to England. She has a passion for writing and started her blog to follow this lifelong ambition. The name of her blog, A View From My Summerhouse, is inspired from memories of enjoying a summerhouse that her grandparents owned. She now has a summerhouse of her own and uses this space to write. Sherri, thank you so much for the nomination. I wish you the best of luck with writing your blog and all that comes your way.

Now on to the rules

The important thing is to post the award on your blog

Next, the other really important thing is to thank the blogger presenting you with this award and provide a link back to their blog

You then need to write 11 random facts about yourself

One good turn deserves another, meaning, you then need to find 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers who you think are deserving of the award so that you can then nominate them! In other words, keep the love going

Finally, the award presenter will ask 11 questions of you which you need to answer and then you, in turn, ask your nominees 11 questions, and so it goes.

Here are 11 random facts about me

I can’t stand eating almost all green vegetables

I am a morning person waking up before 7:00am for as long as I can remember

I applied to 8 universities when I finished high school (and was accepted to 6 of them)

When I had my daughter Malina I struggled with breastfeeding so much that I almost gave up; but I didn’t since I’m not a quitter. It worked out in the end and had no issues with my second child Matteo.

My husband Max and I met when we were next door neighbors

I have had 19 jobs since I first started working (I have been at the last two for the last 11 years)

I value friendship more than almost anything and still have a handful of friends that I have known since I was 2 years old

One of my dreams is to travel to Thailland

My husband has never read my blog

If I could swim every day I would!

My favorite bands are U2 and The BareNaked Ladies

The bloggers that I nominate for the Liebster Award are below.

Congratulations to you all! I hope you accept my nomination.


Sorrento Moon


My 3 Monsters

I currently follow and know of only a limited number of bloggers (most of whom have over 200 followers). I am asking you, my followers to suggest other new bloggers that you think are worthy of this award. (I also wonder why they changed the rules for the number of nominees from 3 to 11!!)

Spending all my time working, parenting and blogging I just haven’t had time to locate all the new bloggers out there! Please comment if you have any suggestions and I can check out and nominate other new bloggers that way! Thanks.

Now on to answering the questions posed by Sherri

1. How long did you think about starting a blog before you actually did it? The second I thought about blogging I began. I read about blogging while doing internet research, closed the website and registered for a WordPress account. I love to just jump into things without thinking.

2. If you won the lottery what would be the first thing you would do? Take a trip around the world (after paying off all my debts).

3. Who do you most admire? My parents, they have done so much for me and my brothers

4. If you could have any car what would it be? A Volvo station wagon. My next car will be a station wagon, but probably a VW!

5. What is your favourite flower? I don’t know too much about flowers, but roses are always beautiful.

6. What is your favourite all-time movie? This is a hard one, but one flick that I enjoy is ‘When Harry Met Sally’, so funny but still all about love.

7. What was your worst subject in school? Chemistry

8. Of all the books you’ve read, which has had the most impact? The Diary of Anne Frank

9. Have you ever seen a ghost? No

10. What is your favourite dessert? Ice cream

11. If a movie was made about your life which actor would play you? Viola Davis

And lastly here are the 11 questions for my nominees for the Liebster Award

1. How many siblings do you have, or are you an only child?

2. What is your favorite vacation spot?

3. Are you afraid of heights?

4. Can you swim for at least half a mile?

5. Which blog have you enjoyed writing most (topic)?

6. What two foods do you detest?

7. . What is your favorite sport?

8. Would you rather wash dishes or take out the trash?

9. Have you ever traveled outside of the country you live in?

10. What is your favorite cartoon (or used to be when you were a child)?

11. Do you prefer to use a PC or Mac computer?

To my nominees, I hope that you accept my nomination and have as much fun completing the requirements for acceptance as I did! Congratulations to you all!! Tieshka

(day 104)

100 Days of Blogging -(without a day off)!!

100 Days

My goodness, I cannot believe that this day has arrived. I have actually been blogging for 100 straight days now. Starting out in mid-December I had no clue what I was doing other than wanting to blog. I made a commitment to myself that I would blog every day. Knowing what I know now I should have said to myself that I’d blog less frequently, but it’s what I decided on that day and have decided to stick to.

Blogging has taken me down memory lane, giving me the chance to relive some great moments in my life. Blogging has inspired me to do many things as well. I have put together a virtual diary of sorts, and being a journal writer for the first 25 years of my life after learning how to write it is nice to return to something that I once enjoyed doing.

WordPress has been a challenge to learn and I still have a very basic blog. I have purchased a scanner to transfer my old photos to blogs and one of the many WordPress books to give me a formal instruction manual (now if I only had the time to read more of the book). After blogging for a month and a half I began to look at all the great blogs on WordPress and become inspired by many of you all as well. I have just one day with no “likes” on my blog, and I’m fine with that as I write about whatever motivates me.

I have shared my blog with more friends, as originally only a few people knew that I was blogging. I am also super excited to have inspired some of these friends to blog too. I am looking forward to the next 100 days as my children continue to grow and I continue to experience life’s daily adventures. As I have recently written I am looking forward to spring break (just 8 days away) and another small trip in the begining of summer (and guess what I look forward to blogging about both). Tonight I will crack open a beer with dinner and celebrate my first 100 days of blogging.

Thank you for taking the time to read, like, and comment about my personal journey.


Tieshka (a.k.a. Tiki 🙂 )

ps- The picture above is drawn by my daughter Malina Donatella.

(day 100)

Seventh day blogging (BoxTops for Education)


Topic of the day: BoxTops for Education

Before I enlighten those of you who do not know what BoxTops for Education is I would like to take a moment to congratulate myself for blogging 7 days straight! On my first blog I mentioned that I had started meditating every night before bed just days before starting to blog. Well, I’m not meditating anymore, but I am still blogging. I hope that I can continue this blogging journey, and I hope to learn what WordPress is all about. At this point all I have done is write and figure out limited features. I look forward to learning more about WordPress and how to make my blog the best that I can do!

Before I knew what a BoxTop was I saw them frequently on my cereal boxes. I threw them out when the box was empty and continued to do so until I became involved with the program. BoxTops are little coupons for 10 cents each located on items ranging from grocery store purchases, to office supplies, to paper products. They can also be collected electronically from shopping and participating in grocery store promotions. You may ask why people care so much about these little BoxTops. I’ll tell you why- they are worth money for schools across the U.S.A. Some schools have collected thousands and thousands of dollars with this program. It is all about how many people become interested in the program and support it.

I started collecting BoxTops about 2 ½ years ago. It became slightly addicting- I challenge those of you who are American to save the BoxTops you see on your products. Donate them to your local school if you do not have school aged children or grandchildren. I began buying certain items in the grocery slightly different and ordering a certain type of paper in the office for more BoxTop opportunities. When the opportunity presented itself to help the teacher running the program at my son’s school I stepped up to help. Now I run the program and have helped it grow, grow, grow. I run promotions, raffles, set up information tables and give out prizes to the kids. I am also constantly emailing, making posters and flyers to go to parents. I have BoxTop room parents that help me, and additionally I have two assistants that help keep everything running smoothly with the program. It does take a good chunk of time to keep running with success, but I feel great when the check comes in and the school can buy things for the students that they wouldn’t be able to buy otherwise.

Topic Tomorrow: Welcome to parenthood- birth of my daughter Malina

Sixth day blogging (Le Jardin du Luxembourg)

Jardin du Luxembourg

Topic of the day: Le Jardin du Luxembourg

Le Jardin du Luxembourg” (the Luxembourg Gardens) is my favorite park in Paris. Paris is my favorite city in the world. I started travelling to Paris when I was 21 years old. I fell in love with the city instantly. I studied French and French art from the ages of 13-19 so you can imagine that visiting this city for the first time helped bring everything to life.

At some point over the next year I will be sure to share ‘my guide’ that I give to friends visiting the “City of Light” for the first time, but today I want to share my love for the Jardin du Luxembourg. It is a grand park, the second largest public park in Paris, located in the 6th arrondissement of the city with the focal point of the Luxembourg Palace which currently houses the French senate. Here is a little geographical background for those of you who haven’t traveled to Paris yet – the city is split up into 20 “arrondissements” (administrative districts/areas) and the area of the park is located on the left bank of the River Seine which separates Paris.

When I first walked into the Jardin du Luxembourg I was overwhelmed by its’ beauty. There is a large palace and pond in the center and many activities to explore throughout the park. I couldn’t even begin to compare the actual park to what I’d seen in textbooks…. it really is a playground for children and adults alike. I must have taken over a roll of film of what I saw that first visit. To name a few of the wonders I saw included: beautiful red clay tennis courts, a place to play “boule”’ (French style lawn bowling), a playground for children, beautiful flower beds perfectly manicured, a “guignol (puppet theater) for children, model “bateaux a voile” (sail boats) for rent which are located near the pond, and metal chairs painted green set up all over the park for you to take a break and take in your surroundings.

Since that first visit I have been drawn back to this park over and over. In the summer there are many people lounging on the chairs, and I too love to do this while people watching or reading a book. For the month that I spent living here I was at the park daily walking and taking everything in. I would often bring my Walkman here listening to my favorite songs wondering where my life was going. Returning with my parents and later with my family the park has continued to amaze me. Bringing my children here on our last trip we spent some time playing in the park and sailing the model sailboats which are controlled by a stick and the wind, not operated by remote control. Being in the Jardin du Luxembourg seems to always calm all my nerves, put me at peace, and bring a smile to my face. I cannot wait until I have the opportunity to return to this place that holds such a special place in my heart.

Topic Tomorrow: BoxTops for Education

Fifth Day blogging (Where do the weekends go to?)

Hiking Boots

Topic of the day: Where do the weekends go?

This morning I woke up and began working on my blog by 6:00am. I hope I can keep this passion going for the next 360 days! Today was day 3 of waking up at 5:00am. Day 1 it was my son, day 2 it was my daughter and today my husband’s sick cough. I’m not holding my breath that I will sleep until 6:00am tomorrow which is my usual wake up time, but let’s see.

Yesterday after work it took me almost an hour to travel 4 miles between work and home. First I went to pick up my son which isn’t a quick task since I always talk with his teachers about his day. From there we went to pick up my daughter which included talking to the daycare staff. Traffic was horrible at the university where I work, and I was super mad at the traffic officer who made me do an unnecessary loop around the campus that added an additional 7 minutes to my first pick up. To say the least I was extra excited to arrive home. After changing clothes, sorting through backpacks and hanging them up we moved on to the stockings.

Of note my daughter received her report card yesterday and had awesome grades- congratulations Malina! I was particularly happy about her grade in Spanish as the kids have a Spanish tutor a few times a month on the weekend since the beginning of summer. They already speak Spanish much better than I do, but to my defense I studied French in school and later Italian to have an understanding of what my husband is saying to family and friends.

Getting back to the story — stockings are a big deal in our house. It’s a great way to get the kids to behave because they always want something to be in there from Santa in the morning. I see them talking up in the sky to Santa as well wishing for this and that. Yesterday was a good day for them because they each had something in there, new DVDs. Our morning had been so busy that they forgot to look. To go along with his Batman movie my son put on his costume to be one with the caped crusader and jumped around acting out the action scenes. While they watched the movie I took advantage of the time doing a few loads of laundry and folding them.

This morning after working some on my blog I finished laundry duties. Other items on the agenda for this weekend included a quick trip to Michael’s to pick up Christmas frame ornaments for the grandparents, an early beach walk/scooter ride to get some exercise in for me, and a drop-off birthday party for my daughter. Sunday will be more mellow with a play date with some college friends.

For today my early rising son was up by 6:00am and the princess woke up by 7:30am which officially started my Saturday. The day did zoom by, as will tomorrow, and before I think too much it will be Monday morning before I even notice. Where do the weekends go???

**On a different note my thoughts and prayers go out to the families and town affected by the shooting yesterday in Connecticut.

Topic Tomorrow: Le Jardin du Luxembourg

Fourth day blogging (Living in Los Angeles)

Santa Monica Pier

Topic of the Day: Living in Los Angeles

Day four and I’ve been looking forward to blogging all day!

I moved to Los Angeles when I was 18 years old to go to college and it was a good 4 years. I would spend summers at home and the school year in Los Angeles. One summer I did do a summer school session & enjoyed the fun of the city for that period- especially going to ‘The Red Onion’ in Marina Del Rey to dance at night with my friend Lisa and my exchange student neighbor from Spain Gorka.

I have stayed in Los Angeles since first moving here less:

1. One year doing volunteer work in Buffalo, New York

2. Spending a period of time in my mid-20’s in the French part of Switzerland working as an “au pair”

3. Living one year on the East Bay of San Francisco

Living in Los Angeles in my teens, verses twenties, thirties and now forties has been overall a good experience, and for each period of my life the city has had a lot to offer.  As a parent I love to have the ocean nearby.  We go often to bike, take walks, enjoy the piers and on a good day swim.  There are many great public parks and amusement parks aren’t too far away either.  There are tons of free activities everywhere from at museums, to the university, to the mall.  The weather isn’t too bad either as we only need our coats for a short period of the year. I can do without the earthquakes, but they really don’t happen too often; I’ve been in just the Northridge earthquake of 1994 (not a bad record if I do say so myself).

I have wanted to leave Los Angeles more and more over the last few years due to the increasing population, pollution and horrible traffic.  We are actually looking to move to a less crowded part of town which is a little better for raising kids. I did dream of moving to Paris or Hawaii or even back to Indiana where I am originally from- but for now we’ll stay in Los Angeles.

Topic Tomorrow: Where do the weekends go to?