Tag Archives: family

My New Picture Frame Collage

I’ve been seeing a whole lot of picture frame collages on Pinterest, of course, (follow me), so I though I’d give it a whirl. But where to start?  How to get the dimensions right?  How to make it look organized but not boring. Then yesterday I found a great post from Corrin at corrin.wendell.designs. She gave a tutorial, with pictures, of how to properly “organize the chaos” that is a picture frame collage.

This was exactly the inspiration I needed and I quickly got to work on my own.

First I gathered together all my photos. I included in the middle one that my cousin took of the All-Star and I on our wedding day. (If you live in the Martin County area and need a photographer, she is awesome! Check her out.) Around it are pictures of our closest family members. I’d like to include a few more but these are what I had. Fortunately most of them were already in pretty decent frames and still packed up and organized since the move. There were a few frames that weren’t good for hanging so I cruised over to a local crafted store, where I had never been btw, and I found canvases, frames, and baskets all on sale! I asked the cashier when the sale ended and she told me never. Works for me!

Anyway, I purchased four mismatched frames for $26 and got to work on positioning my pictures.

First I laid them out in my ottoman. (I love my ottoman. It reminds me of an old circus. I’ve decided that will be my inspiration for the room.) Getting the pictures in the right spots definitely took some time, but when I finally got it it was like putting in the last piece of a puzzle. Aaaa.


Then came the hard part. I started taking measurements and figuring out where it all should go on the wall. It didn’t have to be absolutely perfect but I wanted it to be close. Unfortunately I’m not very good at drafting and, as we’ve learned, I lack the art of patience.

All that aside, I powered through and with just a few extra holes we have our completed project.


I think it looks great! As I said, I’ll most likely add to it but for now it works! I love having all the faces of the people we love in one place!

What do you think!?


Any suggestions for lighting?


Tis the Season for Baking

I haven’t had much time to blog…or bake, but a friend just asked me what I do with persimmons so I figured I’d blast from the past you and share re-post a delicious recipe for Persimmon cookies that I made this time last year.

persimmon cookies

Actually, I’m realizing as I write this that I was planning on baking tonight. Just a simple pumpkin bread from the box that I picked up at Trader Joes. Not as good as the real thing (which I should be making because I do have a sweet pumpkin just waiting to be used) but my guests will have to settle for a less-than-from-scratch version instead.

What guests?

My beautiful sister Theresa and her boyfriend Justin are coming to visit! I’m very excited. Not super thrilled to have to drive to San Jose tonight to pick them up, but they are worth it! A fun-filled weekend is in store!!

Aren’t they cute?



Well Wishes for My Mom

My mom had surgery yesterday.  I’m happy to report that everything went well, the doctors were pleased, and she’s  now at home recovering. I spoke to her this morning and she said she feels good. No pain and only minor discomfort. She’s a trooper, for sure. We joked about what she’ll do with all the pain meds the doctors gave her.  She doesn’t care much for medication.  In fact, the doctors complimented her good health.  Go Mom! Must be from all that cheering during Notre Dame games. It courses the qi and gets the blood movin! 😉

It was difficult being so far away from her during this time leading up to her surgery. I mean, it always is but not being able to hug her before she went under the knife hit a lot deeper cord. We talked often, but it’s not the same.

I spent a lot of time this weekend with my friend and her eighteen month old. Watching mother and daughter together made me think of my own mom even more. She was once a young mother, excited and unsure. And we were once babies, looking to her for protection and love. Now her children are grown and living their own lives. But she’s still our mom. She loves us and cares for us just the same as she did when we were only two and we still love her and ask for her guidance.

Only now I can look to my mom for friendship as well as safety.  She’s easy to talk to, understanding, and kind.  She never judges or points blame.  She simply loves unconditionally and accepts me for who I am.  I’m one of the lucky ones.  She’s really a great lady!

So here’s to you, Mom. I’m so relieved that everything with your surgery well went. I hope for you a speedy recovery. Enjoy your quiet time at home and know that no matter how far away I am I always love you and think of you! xoxo


Two Minute Warning before Christmas

This is it folks.  The final moments.  There are exactly 48 hours left to shop and bake and make plans for holiday cheer.  I for one have felt pretty mellow about the whole thing this year.  Granted there were some scary moments, particularly when booking my airplane tickets to New York.  Luckily I had The All-Star there to talk me through it.

The shopping, fortunately, was much less terrifying.  I did it right this time I guess.  I waited till almost the last minute, thought nothing about it before-hand, closed my eyes, pictured each loved one and…Eureka! the perfect gift ideas came rushing to me and just as I christmas treeapproached the appropriate shopping venue.  Okay, so it wasn’t that easy.  But it kinda was.  I wouldn’t allow it to be any other way.  I’m over the gift shopping hoopla that we’re supposed to surrender to each year.  I’ll still be giving gifts, but I didn’t get all stressed out preparing.  And as soon as I did feel myself slipping into consumer anguish, I simply stopped and moved on.  My gifts are all from my un-agonizing heart and will be given in person which I think is the best part.  Besides, my parents will still love me even if they hate the pot-holders I made them, and I’m sure The All-Star won’t leave me just because he’s getting a year’s worth of fruit.  (Just kidding guys. And sorry for being so cliche.)

But I’m serious about my presence being the best present, at least for me.  I’m so happy that I’ll spending the holidays with my family and friends who I miss so much and can not wait to see.  Sure there will be a whole lot of rushing around, and fitting everyone in and making sure I remember how to drive in the snow.  It’ll be cold…and windy…and rainy…and perfect.  And it will be home…the place that I know I can always go and no one cares want I look like, or smell like (eh hem, we all remember I’m taking the red eye, right?), and where there will always be a warm place to lay my head, even if it’s a couch, and the blankets will be laid out with love.

So I’ll be home for Christmas folks.  You can count of me.  I know you’ve got snow, John get out the mistletoe, and who cares if there’s presents under the tree.  I’ll be with home for Christmas, it’s the present of my dreams!


My Wild Blue Yonder Adventure

I’m so happy to back to the blog.  Sadly, between travel and moving, there’s been little time to write.  I’ve felt a mild sense of stress and emptiness these pass two weeks.  I guess I really love my work.  That or I’m addicted to the blog.  Anyway, it’s good to be back!

My Florida Thanksgiving vacation was a wonderful trip.  I spent time with family that I hadn’t seen in years, ate Grandma’s cooking (which is always the best), and sat around doing a whole lot of nothing.  For exercise I took walks, went wake boarding with the teenagers, hit golf balls at the club house, and did Yogilates with my new Aunt Teresa.  Now that’s doin’ it Florida style.  The weather was okay. It could have been warmer but I didn’t mind.  Only the people from the colder climates were looking for a more “fun in the sun” vacation.  In California I’ve got that every day of the year.

Here’s a pic of the Thanksgiving dinner crowd…

laura's fam

Now for the “Wild Blue Yonder Adventure” part…

pittsburgh plane

The voyage back on Tuesday was a journey indeed.  We left my grandparents house in Palm City, Florida at 8:00 am Eastern Standard Time.  It was a 45 minute drive to West Palm Beach Airport, which Teresa was kind enough to be the driver for.  Checking in was painless and so was security, leaving us plenty of time.  And what better to do with free time than shop.  I bought a painted flamingo to match my new pink bathroom.  Tacky city and I love it!

From West Palm we took a short flight to Charlotte,  North Carolina.  There we deboarded for lunch.  I had my first taste of deep fried pickle.  Just writing about it is making my mouth water.

fried pickle

Of all the airports I’ve been to, this has to be my favorite.  They had beautiful Christmas trees of pointsettia and ivy, Santa Clause was riding around with all his jolly cheer, and all along the food court there were rocking chairs for your sitting pleasure .

charlotte breezeway

pointsettia tree

The All-Star said this was the greatest idea ever.  I found a sense of serenity watching my fellow travelers rocking in the sunshine.

John is Charlotte

After lunch we got back on the same plane and took another short flight to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Time of arrival: 2:38 pm Eastern Standard Time.  Hours of travel:  6.38 hours.


We had a two and a half hour long layover in Pittsburgh so we found a spot for another bite to eat.  Things to enjoy at Pittsburgh airport? An art exhibit showcasing the life of Andy Warhol as well as a display dedicated to Fred Rogers and Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.

I’d like to take a moment to explain the difficulties people were having with the boarding process.  The All-Star and I were boarding for the 3rd time that day and we pretty much had it down.  Our carry-ons fit under the seats, we knew where our seats were located and we avoided the mad rush.  Others did not have such luck.  The over-head compartments filled quickly and many had to check their bags, couples were getting separated and those seated near emergency exits were disgruntle about the “job requirements.”  One poor stewardess really heard it from the woman sitting in front of me.  She complained about the airline and the customer service.  I felt sorry for them both actually.  Who needs extra baggage when traveling, right?

From Pittsburgh, PA we flew to Denver, Colorado.  Landing time was 7:13 pm Mountain Standard Time.


At this point I had no idea what time its was on the East Coast nor how many hours I had been traveling.  I only new that all the take-offs, landings and being in the “Mile High City” has taken their toll and I had had enough.  I was hungry but full-feeling, tired but wired, I had a headache and was beginning to get cranky.  I opted for a tall cup of Tazo Calm Tea.  It helped, and just in time to board our last flight to our final destination.  Time of take-off: 8:50 pm.  Flight time: I don’t even know…

crazy in denver

I slept most of this flight which was great because according to The All-Star it was the worst flight of the day.  There was a dog he became allergic to sitting behind us, a girl who talked the whole time, a woman who laughed very loudly, and an old lady who kept kicking his seat.  Poor guy, he was ready to be home too.  We arrived safely in Orange County, California, on-time and so did our luggage.  After a ten minute cab ride we were home sweet almost home and ready for bed.

Time of arrival:  11:15  pm Pacific Time.  Total air-travel time: 4 hours and 24 minutes.  Miles traveled: 3,695 miles. Time from door to door: 15 hours.


Now for the lesson, do we still have time for a lesson?  While both The All-Star and I had our shared moments of “stress” during this journey, we practiced  patience and endurance.  The goal was “home” and we had to keep moving.  We could have become angry or frustrated more than we did.  I could have taken my crankiness out on my travel partner, or the poor stewardesses.   We could have got good and drunk at an airport restaurant and disturbed our fellow travelers.  And I could have bought a heck of a lot more than a silly pink flamingo and regretted my purchases later.  But no!  We kept our chins up and took advantage of seeing the county via airports. We joked that next time Jet Blue offers 30 days of unlimited flights for $599 we’d taken advantage and see the nation.  It’s still not a bad idea.  We have certainly become pros at air travel. But for now I’ve had my fill and for the next 3 weeks I’m staying on the ground.  Luckily our flights to New York for Christmas will be a little less time, and patience, consuming, I hope.