Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Time for Your Sound Bath- Integratron

I was born and raised in California. I love this state. Golden State for Life Yo! Thanks to our off-roading adventures I am seeing new parts of California that are pretty damn incredible. I find myself researching other new places to explore that are close enough to home to make a day trip. Recently someone I follow on instagram was posting pictures from a place near Joshua Tree called Integratron. He was there to experience a "sound bath". Of course this was intriguing and I immediately went to google for answers.

So what I could gather George Van Tassel left his job as an aeronautical engineer to move to the desert. In the desert he was visited by aliens from Venus who gave him instructions for making a building/machine that would be perfect in acoustic sound, so much that it can have an impact on a humans cells through energy and sound. You know regular stuff.

From the Integratron site....

George Van Tassel began conducting weekly meditation sessions in 1953 in the rooms underneath Giant Rock which, he claimed, led to UFO contacts and finally to an actual encounter with extra-terrestrials when according to George, in August of that year, a saucer landed from the planet Venus, woke Van Tassel up and invited him onto the ship. There the aliens gave him a formula for a proprietary frequency for rejuvenating living cell tissues. In 1954 he began building a structure they called "The Integratron" to perform the rejuvenation. George described his creation this way, "The Integratron is a machine, a high-voltage electrostatic generator that would supply a broad range of frequencies to recharge the cell structure."

Crazy right? Intriguing right? You want to go huh? You can experience a 60 minute sound bath for about $25.00 per person. You can also reserve a private sound bath. If you have 10 or more people the fee is only $30.00 per person. There is also 2 weekends a month where no reservations are required and cost is $20.00 per person, but of course this on on a first come first serve basis. Also note that children under 12 are only allowed in a private session. 

Now I don't know about chakras and aliens and all that, but I would love to try this. I would go in with an open mind and I think it would be a really cool thing to experience. Now to convince Joey!  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Johnson's® 3 Step Regimen for Healthy Hair #NoMoreTangles

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Johnsons® No More Tangles® and Latina Bloggers Connect.

Hair is a big deal in our house. Every time I get my hair cut people always comment on how thick and long it is. Phi's hair may be short but its still super duper thick. Louie has thinner hair than Phi but it is still thick and super crazy long. And we all know about Poppa's beard! 

These days the only hair that I have to tame is Louie's and my own. Now that it's summertime and visits to the lake, beach and pool are common, the wild beast that is Louie's hair is even harder to manage. It is also more important to take the right steps to keep her hair healthy. Sun, water, wind and chlorine make hair more susceptible to damage. 

A few months ago we were introduced to the Johnson's® No More Tangles® three step hair care regimen. (You can see our video HERE) It has been a life saver for Louie's locks this summer. Here is how we are using the three step hair care regimen. 

I love that Johnson's® No More Tangles Shampoo® has a special formula for thick and curly hair. And even better, I can clean and condition in one step. With hair as long as Louie's the less steps the better. It also has a light fresh scent that I love. 

The Johnson's® Leave-In Conditioner® is probably my favorite product in this line. The hardest part about Louie's hair is the knots and tangles. You can see what I mean at the bottom of her hair in the picture above. In the past a detangler spray alone was never enough. Just a small amount of this stuff goes a long way in helping making hair time less painful for everyone involved. And the best part? You can use it on dry hair without it getting weighed down or greasy. I add an extra coat of the leave-in before letting Louie swim to give her hair a little extra protection against chlorine damage. 

The final step is style. These days Louie has very specific ideas about what she wants her hair to look like. Lately she has been a bit obsessed with Napoleon Dynomite, more specifically, with Deb's rocking side ponytail. It's what she wants everyday. It took some convincing but I finally got her to agree to rock something a bit more stylish and a little less 1982. We went with a side part and a side fish tail braid with a bow. 

This style is so simple. 

  1. Add leave-in conditioner and comb out all tangles using detangler spray on the really knotted parts.
  2. Part the hair on what ever side works for you and comb into a ponytail behind the ear and secure with a rubber band. You can use the detangler spray and a soft brush to help smooth the hair.
  3. Make a fishtail braid. This looks so pretty and complicated but super easy to do. I recommend a looking for tutorials on youtube. 
  4. Secure the bottom with a rubber band and add a bright bow!  
Tight braids are great for summer and trips to the pool! Johnson's® Detangler Spray is great for getting even Louie's wild hair nice and slick and smooth. 

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the rest of your summer!

For lots of cute videos and even more hair styles visit Johnsons® Baby You Tube Page! 

Monday, July 28, 2014

2014 Talent Show Champs!

See that trophy? It is now proudly displayed in our house. (yes it is my Tio's little league trophy from 1978) Why you ask? Well, it's because Phi and I totally won the annual Bass Lake talent show this year!

We spent weeks writing and rehearsing and it totally paid off! We went the Weird Al route and made songs parodies and turned it into a skirt called "Broken Radio". Our skit started with Phi walking in and asking if she could listen to the radio while she did her homework. She turns on the radio and the beginnings of "Happy" by Pharrell start, BUT instead the song is "Nerdy" and all about Phi, Louie, Lili and Felix! Phi then tries to change the station. Next you hear the beginning beat to Royals by Lorde BUT instead its all about "Bass Lake!".Both songs sung by me!  So Phi gets up to ask me to fix the radio and I walk in. I try to fix the radio and the song "Problems" by Ariana Grande starts, but instead it was "one math problem I can't solve". Then I try to fix the radio and "I'm so fancy starts". This parody had everyone rolling. I was so proud of Phi, it took her a very long time to get the rap down.

I took a video of the talent show but the lighting was really bad. The girls were more than happy to  do the song again. Yes we practiced so much that even Louie knows it!

Now we figure out a skit for next year to defend out title! 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014

It's a smile. It's a kiss. It's a sip of wine. It's Bass Lake Time.

Every year I find it hard to put into words what this week in Bass Lake was like and what it means to us. 

I think Phi's drawings really captured it......

This week is the best gift that my parents give us every year. In a way its a recharge for the family. To stop the worry, the stress, the physical distance. A chance to live in one big house, to cook together, eat together and make all kinds of memories. One of my favorite parts is getting to kiss all the kids goodnight and tell them I love them.

Bass Lake is our place. Is has been for 27 years. It will always hold some of our best memories. Since there are always a million pictures, and we love to look back at them over and over, here is the annual Bass Lake slideshow.

I still think Phi's picture capture is all so much better. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Take This Man by Brando Skyhorse

A few years ago I read the book, The Madonnas of Echo Park by Brando Skyhorse. It immediately became one of my all-time favorite books. After I finished I emailed the author to let him know how much I loved the book. He told me that he was working on a memoir. That memoir finally published a few weeks ago.

I was so excited (and even more to see it was only $4.99!). I devoured the book in 2 days. This book is all about the messed up childhood that Brando Skyhorse lived. His mother just adopted the name of a famous native american incarcerated outlaw and took it as her own and her sons. This left Brando with a false sense of who he was and where he came from. To add to the chaos many different men came in and out of his life and as a young boy searching for a father figure he took to each of these men and then had to deal with the aftermath of their leaving.

Eventually Brando learns the truth and finds out his father is a Mexican man who has always lived near him. The end of the book finds Brando with a father and half-sisters. You can tell that he is having a hard time becoming a part of a "normal" family, but is making a grand attempt. What I admired so much about Brando and the life he lead was that he turned to education and despite the odds against him, he went to and graduated from a university.

I loved this book and found it funny and heartbreaking and hopeful. I hope that Brando Skyhorse continues to write. After reading this book I emailed Brando again and he very graciously wrote back. I love that! 

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Photos from the 4th

We had such an amazing weekend with the family. It was a great way to ease into vacation mode!

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Just Us Journal

Phi is showing lots of pre-teen symptoms. We know she is 9 but she has always been advanced. We see a lot of eye rolls and hear a lot of heavy sighs and don't hear much from her mouth these day. I am waiting for the day she wears the same Georgetown sweatshirt and black British Knights everyday. I understand where she's coming from. I was the oldest too. I too had a super cute, charismatic and troublemaker little sister too. As you can imagine Louie takes up a lot of our attention. She practically demands it. But Phi is happy to stay in the shadows and not be noticed (just like her father).

The thing is that I need Phi to know that I am always here for her. That she can talk to me about anything at all. I want to keep the lines of communication open. I saw this idea for a journal that can be passed back and forth. I loved it.....

I wrote about our journal over at HerMamas today. Check it out! CLICK HERE

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

June Grateful and Books

There was a whole lot to celebrate in June..... 

I am grateful for.......

6/1/14: celebrating my baby's 4th birthday. I still can't believe she is 4!
6/2/14: the times my kids play together
6/3/14: Phi's love of drawing
6/4/14: silly text messages from my godson
6/5/14: flowers blooming
6/6/14: good books recommended by good friends
6/7/14: my crazy sister Cari
6/8/14: wrong turns that lead to gorgeous views
6/9/14: summer nights
6/10/14: late dinners with our buddies
6/11/14: the team of doctors working with Phi
6/12/14: gifts ordered came in on time
6/13/14: 10 years at an amazing company
6/14/14: lifelong friendships
6/15/14: my badass Pops
6/16/14: dinner on the grass
6/17/14: my girl scout troop
6/18/14: some time spent outside
6/19/14: summer storytime outdoors
6/20/14: chubby babies
6/21/14: a quiet day at home
6/22/14: that I had the chance to help out my brother
6/23/14: Phi's friends
6/24/14: 8 years with my Joey
6/25/14: a girls night in
6/26/14: picture messages to Big Tata
6/27/14: my kids allow me to take so many photos
6/28/14: a fun afternoon on the lanes
6/29/14: a beautiful day with my beautiful family
6/30/14: kids book we can connect with.

Books 34-37

As far as my reading challenge goes I am about 7 books behind where I wanted to be at the end of June. I am hoping with our week vacation coming up this month I will be able to get a lot more reading done.

 34. Bared To You by Sylvia Day: Following in the success of 50 Shades, this book is right in that borderline erotic literature. You have the same high powered ultra-rich male lead, and the shy awkward female lead. There is a lot of sex and mystery. A quick read.
35. Reflected In You by Sylvia Day: This is the second book of the Crossfire Trilogy, because everything is a trilogy these days. This book has the same amount of sexy time as the first and gives us a little more insight into the mystery behind the hunky main characters.
36. One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak: Yes that guy from The Office!  I was excited to see this one at my library. I have been wanting to read it since it was released. It came at the perfect time too. I needed some short stories. My attention span was very short with so much going on in June. This book was filled with smart witty humor. I loved when he took familiar stories and told them from a fresh perspective.
37: The Bear by Claire Cameron: Now if you are a bit unsure about camping this book will help you decide that camping should never ever be done. The author read a news story about a couple who were camping and attacked and killed by a bear. The author used this as the premise for her book, except she added to small kids (ages 5 and 2) who escape and have to survive. This book is told from the voice of the 5 year old girl and it is as heart wrenching as you would expect. Let's just say thank goodness this years Bass Lake trip is in a house and not in a tent. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

Aquarium of the Pacific (I totally got to touch a jellyfish!)

A few weeks ago my Mom gave us 2 coupons for adult admission at the Aquarium of the Pacific. I put them on the fridge and figured we would find some time this summer to go. Then I realized that they expired on the 30th of June. SO, we decided to take a last minute trip to Long Beach since we had to be out in the LA area Sunday evening for a family function. 

The Aquarium of the Pacific is a great place to spend the afternoon. 

Phi was excited to see everything. Louie was freaked out by the ability to get close to the wild animals. 

Louie took a picture with this little guy because he is a "Little Blue Penguin" and she is a "Little Louie Blu"

My favorite is photographing the jellyfish.

This place has a lot of touch tanks. Louie wouldn't get near them, but Phi touched a lot more this time around than last time. I was super excited to touch a jellyfish. I have always wanted to do that.

Of course the Sea Otters were a big hit. We all love the sea otters.

It was a great outing with a break in between for a yummy (but pricey!) lunch at Bubba Gumps. Thanks for the coupons Mom and Pops!