Saturday, May 29, 2010

Memorial Weekend at the Beach

Living in sunny Orange County, CA., right by the beach makes me feel as though I'm on a constant vacation.

That is...until that annoying little thing called work gets in the way!

So whenever holidays arrive, I just have to grab my bike, and head down to the beach.

These busy weekends can be a bit of a problem for us locals. The traffic & crowd gets ridiculous, not to mention the bathroom lines!

MAIN STREET & PCH-by the pier...SEE!

I usually try to stay away from Main St., but this morning, I had my Zumba class and had to fight the crowds...even the class was jam packed.

There was the cutest little guy in there. He was probably about 70 or older. Jumping around, flapping his arms to the music yelling, "YEAH...ZUMBA....YEAH!" Then the whole class would scream out...he kept motivating us. If a 70 year old can hang through the whole class & be so happy, I can too! I love seeing happy older people like that, it just makes me smile.

I wanted to go to the back of the class, grab my phone & sneak a picture of him...I was too chicken though.

So this Memorial weekend will be spent having friends over for a BBQ, bike riding & maybe taking pics of my family surfing and enjoying our amazing sunsets.

I love holidays!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Creative vs. Sewing

Last night I had to be really creative. My son had a World's Fair project, he had to come up with a traditional Nigerian outfit. We had no problem finding pictures, but...there was a slight issue....I don't know how to sew!

Years ago, (7th grade) was my last attempt to use a sewing machine. That experience ended with me pitching a fit & throwing my wrap around skirt on the ground, only to have my older sister finish it for me-I received an A.

Not one to focus too much on my weaknesses...what I lack as a seamstress, I more than make up for in the creativity dept. I can always come up with something and "surprise" it's usually pretty good.

I headed to JoAnn's Fabric Store after work, roamed around looking for some Nigerian looking fabric...on sale, of course (I'm also the bargain shopping queen). I found the right colors, had them cut 2 yds. (not knowing if it was enough, but I always wing it, so I figured I would have to make it work).

My next problem was coming up with the traditional hat made out of the same material. I wandered around picking up a few items, sticking it on my head to see if I could somehow make a hat out of it. Finally I found a plastic bowl in exactly the right shape. I grabbed some fabric glue (an absolute must have item for people who don't sew).


A Traditional Nigerian Outfit

I cut slits for the arms, tied the skirt & glued the material (like a present) to the bowl/hat. We had the shirt (I know you thought I fabric glued it all together, right...LOL).

The judges thought the whole thing had been sewed.

Here are the rest of the pictures from the fair.

My son Elijah is on the right

The girls made all of these outfits....

Inside their booth

They were all happy to be able to pick their own group this time (much more fun to be w/friends).

Announcing the winners

I'd have to say that being creative is far more important than being able to sew.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Who Won American Idol

Before watching last nights American Idol Final Performances, I thought that Lee DeWyze was really coming out of his shell and might pull off the upset. But then I changed my mind.

So you want to know who really won?

Crystal Bowersox belted out every song to perfection. She gave it everything she had & it paid off. She sang, "Me & Bobby McGee", and then, "Black Velvet."

If I have one criticism, it isn't directed at Crystal, but her stylists. Please stop trying to glamorize her (i.e. Black Velvet dress). It was just wrong. Leave her alone & let her dress in "earth mama" clothes. It is her!

The last song, Crystal came out and gave the performance of a lifetime. When she sang her final song (which will be her single if she wins), Up to the Mountain, I was moved to tears. It wasn't just her voice, which is absolutely incredible...that song, the words, the emotion she put into it...that song!

Is that absolutely the most amazing vocal?

I felt that Lee did have a tough time. He sang, "The Boxer", "Everybody Hurts" and then a song originally done by U2, "Beautiful Day". He never should have had to sing a U2 song. But he just didn't bring it on the other songs either.

He was a bundle of nerves, which I guess is part of his appeal.

When the final votes came in..............................................................................................................

Your next American Idol is.......................................................................................

Crystal Bowersox?...................................................................................................

NO...............................................................IT'S LEE DeWYZE.

If the voters based it on last nights performance, I think they got it wrong. What do you think?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hey Bongo Lips

I was thinking about all those hang ups that we all have growing up. One of my major issues were my ridiculously huge lips.

Don't get me wrong, I like them now, but growing up it was terrible. No one had big lips back in the 70'/80's.

I used to stand in front of the mirror, bite half of my lip to hide it & look to see how I would look with normal size lips. Then let go & they would spring back out bigger than ever.

I would get the occasional shout out, "Hey bongo lips!"

So I find it quite funny that they are so popular now.

Thanks, Angelina Jolie-where were you in my childhood?

Oh yeah, you were little girl.

Now I see tons of ladies walking around with them, especially here in Orange County, CA.

Although they seem to look more like duck lips than bongo lips.

So I thought, at least mine are natural and finally in style after all these years.

That was until one day someone asked me...

"Who did your lips they look amazing...soooo natural?"

Megan Fox-Before & After?

Jessica Biel-obviously really bad PHOTO SHOP, right?


Now, instead of finally being able to embrace my natural bongo lips, I wonder,

"Do people think I have fake lips?"

Such is the never ending life of our hang ups...

So come clean, what were your issues? Do you still have them?

Sunday, May 23, 2010

And Now The Eyes?

I wore my contacts on Friday, which I only usually wear on special occasions. Three years ago I got an eye infection so severe that I almost lost my eyesight. So I chucked away my vanity and decided my eyesight was more important than trying to look good. I actually have gotten really used to wearing my glasses everyday & the pair I wear is really cute. I also had some Gucci sunglasses that I LOVE turned into prescription sunglasses. So I'm pretty much set.

(I've had this pair forever)

On special occasions however I still wear contacts. I'm usually fine as long as I put a brand new pair in, but I didn't have a new pair, so I grabbed an old pair, cleaned them & popped them in.

Six hours later, I took them out & knew instantly both of my eyes were infected. I laid awake all night in pain (felt like someone was scratching their nails on my eyeballs). When I woke up I had to go to the ER. I couldn't even open my eyes. All day yesterday, I laid awake in bed with my eyes closed (TORTURE).

Today I'm doing a little better, although I'm writing this with my sunglasses on (light still hurts them). I also can't go outside today because it's too bright & windy, but at least I'm able to open them (count your blessings, right?)

I wonder if I will ever learn?

So, if any of my friends who read my blog see me out & about without my glasses on, PLEASE yell at me & tell me to go home immediately & put them on!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Memories & Love

Yesterday was a tough day. However, Stacy's Memorial Service was beautiful. I was amazed that her husband Nick found the strength to speak, just as he did for his son. He shared some special memories of their dating years and the fun moments they had together.

I often wonder, how can you sum up someone's life, your love for them and also honor them in an hour or two?

I guess you never really can, you can only take all of your special memories, hold them close to you and during the tough days ahead, draw on them to fill your heart with the love that they gave you.

Please continue to remember Nick and Justin in your prayers...they will need it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

In Memory of Stacy Mazzone

Yesterday I received some very sad news, my friend, Stacy Mazzone passed away. She was such an incredible, amazing, and loving person. She constantly gave...opening her home & taking caring of anyone who needed help.

When I first met her, she had taken in two young brothers along with her two boys. She cared for them like they were her own. They were being raised by a single dad who worked a lot and often had to be away from home. Instead of allowing the boys to be alone, she took them in. She was their mom for several years.

She volunteered at the school, had parties almost weekly for her husbands Baseball/All Star teams. She was an incredible hostess. She was so vivacious and full of life. She made you feel as if you had known her for years.

Her friendly, openness drew me to her years ago on the baseball field. She was always cheering on her boys as they excelled in baseball. Her family were her heroes...they were her life. She seemed to draw strength from them.

It was never as apparent until the passing of her oldest son, Nick Mazzone (click link) last year. She struggled daily to fill the emptiness, trying to continue to find the strength to carry on.

As the months passed her sadness was apparent to all who had known her over the years. She had a huge gaping hole in her heart that she was unable to close. She continued to push, struggling to make it through each day for her husband Nick & young son Justin. Trying to hide the pain that consumed her daily.

Each one of us could not imagine the anguish of losing a child. As much as we might try to comprehend's unfathomable.

I will forever remember Stacy Mazzone as the incredibly beautiful, fun loving, caring, amazing mom and friend that she was. Sitting in the baseball stands, loud blaring horn in hand...ready to sound it each and every time her boys hit a home run or their team won. Jumping up and down, blond hair flying as she hugged whoever was around during her excitement. Running to the snack bar before the game was over, standing at the gate as the team came out hugging them & handing out snack tickets. Shouting out, "POOL PARTY AT OUR HOUSE!"

You will be missed my friend!!!

Stacy's Memorial Service will be held:
Friday, May 21, 2010
11:00 a.m.

First Christian Church
1207 Main St

Huntington Beach, CA

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Kick Me!

Last night my youngest son, Elijah (15) came up to me to give me a big hug. Now you have to understand...15 yr. olds don't do this anymore. When he was little he would say, "Mommy, come here, I want to give you a BIG Lijey hug."

So you can imagine my excitement when he randomly came up to hug me.

After, I headed upstairs, pulled out my workout mat to do some floor exercises, I layed down & heard a crunching noise. I turned to look at the mat, nothing. I reached up onto my back & found a paper stuck to me.

What the heck is it?

As I look at it closer, I see the following words-


I couldn't help but laugh...but oh my sweet little Lijey is gonna get it!!

I guess I am old...I fell for it.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mothers Day, Shingles & Presents

Unfortunately I couldn't be with my mom yesterday because she lives in Utah, but I had a great day. It started out with my cards & presents. My hubby got me a new phone-Envy3 (my old one was broken & randomly turned off throughout the day...annoying), I also got two massage certificates from the kids-Woo Hoo.

This definitely will come in handy since my new diagnosis of Shingles last week (ya, had no idea what it even was!) Leave it to me to get some random old person thing (it comes from the chicken pox virus & can flare up when your immune system is down or you are stressed, usually after the age of 60!). Weird cuz I didn't think I was stressed, but maybe my lack of sleep (4 hrs a night) is wearing me down.

More about that later.

Anyways, next we went to church in the morning & my oldest son Josh surprised me & met me there, (it made me cry!) Then we headed out to my mother in laws for lunch/dinner. My sister in laws surprised me with a gorgeous necklace and Jullien emailed me an AMAZING poem that he wrote for me. I'm so blessed to have such an incredible family!

Now to finish this post about the shingles thing. I had a severe headache last weekend for two days, followed by crazy itching on my upper chest. There was a deep red circle with little blisters. I had no clue what it was so I popped them thinking it would stop the itching. The next day (still itching like crazy) I went to work & showed my boss (also my good friend).
She said, "Ummm that looks like shingles, my ex husband had it."

I made a quick call to the Dr. & they got me right in. Sure enough...she was right. They gave me some ointment & medicine to help the symptoms stay mild.

Yesterday I woke up with another small itchy cluster on my shoulder! It also sends some sharp shooting pains down through the muscles (like I said it's a virus from chickenpox, that travels through your nerves.) I've been pretty lucky though, other than the itching, I've only had a little bit of pain.

Keeping my fingers crossed that the rashes stop (they can scar).

But even shingles couldn't ruin my day!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Spring Is In The Air

There is nothing better than having a Church BBQ in the park in the springtime! I couldn't stop snapping pictures of the kids picking wildflowers for their mom.

Just simply breathtaking...this is why I love photography!

The twins putting together bouquets

Simple pleasure

Playing games-Badminton

The joy of being a new father

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Man's Idea of Babysitting

I was at the store yesterday running around with my list of things to do when all of a sudden something made me stop in my tracks.

I couldn't help but smile and think, "This guys wife told him to watch their son and make sure he gets a nap."

He probably had other ideas for his day.

He thought, "I'll wait till he falls asleep, load him in the car & rush over to play that new game I saw in the store...he'll still technically be taking his nap."

So, I secretly took out my camera phone & snapped him in action.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Nothing But Good News

I love when I have so much good news that I have to race home to Blog about it...even at 10:30 at night.

Today Elijah had his Sunset League Championship prelims for track. There were 3 separate heats ( 27 kids) competing in the 400M qualifying event for a total of 9 final spots for Thursday nights Championship Finals @ Cerritos College.

He MADE it! He will be racing with the 6th fastest time in the league. He also is on the 4x100m relay team (fastest time in the league) & the 4x400m relay team (2nd fastest time in the league & the only freshman on the relay teams).

I'm SO proud of him!

Then we have Jullien...who booked a Calvin Klein 2010 Fall Presentation


~Photos by Betty Sze & Janelle Okwodu~

I'm loving the gray colors. I think there is not a single person who doesn't look great in gray!

Jullien also just booked a huge Reebok's Campaign (I'll post pics when it comes out along with the Sisley Campaign pics ...he's definitely moving up!

So as you can see, I'm one proud mama!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Zumba-Where's the Gym Etiquette

I finally made it back to my Zumba class this a.m, at 24 hr. Fitness. I've been really lazy lately and haven't been in a couple of months...I yigh yigh! I was getting in shape so quickly when I was going regularly.

If you haven't heard of Zumba, it's like going out dancing with your friends...NOT working out. But the results you get are fast & amazing!

Watch the creator of Zumba~Beto Perez~

Try to find a Zumba class in your can thank me later for the tip!

On another note...some people

After my class I went to go do some weights. I had to laugh because everyone was on the treadmill, bikes & stairmaster watching t.v. There was probably about 10 people tuning into this one show that was on.

All of a sudden this girl walks up to a stair master, sets her stuff down. Climbs up on a weight bench & changes the channel to something she wanted to watch.

I couldn't believe it. I was sitting behind everyone, not watching t.v. but I found it incredible that someone has the nerve to do that!

I was waiting to see if anyone said anything, but no one did. Everyone just kind of looked around at each other not knowing where to look because they obviously weren't interested in womens golf.

The girl climb on her stairmaster...happy as could be to be watching her golf program & workout.


Definitely NOT good gym etiquette!