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Aug 28, 2012

The 5 things I Will Start Doing Now

Since the kids are going back to school, I feel the need to really start focusing on changing a few things in my life.  Here they are in no particular order... wish me luck!

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Aug 20, 2012

Best of the British Bands Playlist

I really loved the music at the closing ceremonies for the Olympics, didn't you?   It inspired me to make a British, artist only playlist.  When I started looking through my 1330 artist on iTunes I realized that most of the music I own is from the UK.   I narrowed down my "God Save the Queen" playlist to 47 songs and it was tough to decide which ones I should delete.   I started with The Beatles and ended with The XX.  I covered everything from classic rock, to punk, new wave, ska, pop, and electronica.  Download the app 8tracks on your smart phone; you can check it out here.  
Enjoy the music and let me know how you like it.

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Aug 15, 2012

Next Stop Portland

On this road trip we decided to visit Rob's sister in Portland, Oregon.  I've always wanted to visit Portland because of its cool, artsy, and environmentally conscience vibe.  Portland is a seven-hour drive from Cottonwood so I had to plan a stop and do something fun with the kids.  We decided to go to Galice and try white water rafting on the Rogue River.  

Taken with my iPhone in my Dicapac case.

We got there early so the Rogue River was pretty calm with just a few areas where there were rapids.  It was a beautiful three-hour ride down the river and I hardly got wet!  I bought a waterproof case called Dicapac for my iPhone so I could take video of our ride.  It worked great and it's amazing how clear my videos and pictures were.  

As we headed into Portland it was a beautiful cloudy day.

The next day we parked our car in the city and got around by streetcar, which the kids loved.
Waiting for the street car.

I love that everybody rides their bikes in Portland to get around.   

They even have Brew Cycle Portland, which is a great way to tour all the local breweries in Portland.  The website says, "The brewcycle is a 15 person, 100% green, party machine", the kids liked how all the seats were bike seats.  
Having fun on the brewcycle!
What I really love about Portland is that locals own most of the restaurants and retail shops. I don't remember seeing any chain restaurants or stores.  I loved shopping and walking around in the Pearl District.  Just looking at all the business retail signs was inspiring; there were so many cool graphic designs. We stopped and had a sandwich and an ice tea at Love Joy Bakers, which has yummy sandwiches and drinks.  
Having bottled soda and a sandwich on the sidewalk at Love Joy Bakers, it's like the kids have never seen a soda in a bottle before!

Just walking around and looking at all the cool old architecture was fun.  I also checked out a few record stores (not cd's but vinyl).  I couldn't believe how many there were; I think I went to three or four all within walking distance of each other.  I just happened to find a Van Morrison record my dad has been trying to find.  
Always goofing off!

 There are really cool parks in the middle of the city made with recycled materials.  This park used train tracks and made a really beautiful fence.

We had to visit the famous Voodoo Donuts even though the line is always out the door!  The kids had to try a donut topped with bacon and other crazy toppings.  Check out their website on my link above, it's something to see!

This is why I really like Portland; 

it's a little weird just like me!

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Aug 12, 2012

Los Angeles to Portland and Back!

So we are back from our road trip up to Portland, Oregon and back down the beautiful Oregon and California coast.  Wow, the west coast is amazing!  We saw beautiful beaches, the Redwoods, Big Sur and a bunch of other beautiful places.  I took so many pictures so I'll try to keep it short and sweet.  We took Highway 5 all the way up north and Highway 1 & 101 on the way home headed south.  I planned the whole trip using the Automobile Club of Southern California's Trip Tik online planner.  It was easy to use and Trip Tik gives me the driving directions, miles, hours it will take and points of interest.  
The yellow pins are every sight we had to stop at.

 The reason we head up to Cottonwood, a small town near Lake Shasta, is to visit our best friends. 
The backyard!

Our friends live on five acres and have cows, goats (Zapper, Harry and Lloyd) and a pig named Penelope.  
Harry & Lloyd
It's great for all of us to get out of the city and enjoy the country life; my kids have so much fun there.  
Our kids waiting for the boat at Whiskeytown Lake.  Dang, that water is crystal blue!

My favorite part is hanging with my friend Deidre and lying by her pool together.  She is also an amazing cook and I love eating all the delicious food she makes, most of it fresh from her garden. 
Lemon cupcakes with whip cream frosting.

Tomato and basil from Deidre's garden with mozzarella and vinaigrette on ciabatta bread. Yum!
We also go out to the finest restaurants like the Palo Cedro Inn, where you grill your own steaks. 
BFF's ready to get our grill on!

We go to the local hot spots and listen to DJ's
Having a little too much fun at the OK Corral!  (Yup, that's what I said, the OK Corral)
The kids stay up late and play poker

or jump on the trampoline.

We go for walks and pick boysenberries, well actually she does the picking, I'm not very country.

Can you smell the fresh, country air?

See, it's kind of like our life here in the city, isn't it?
Nah, maybe not.

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Aug 8, 2012

Summer Fun!

Even though I have lots of work I should be doing, I'm taking the day off. Summer is way too short and the girls are going to the beach. Enjoy the view!
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Aug 6, 2012

Oh, The Places We Have Been!

We are back from our ten-day, 2300 mile, road trip and we had so much fun.  We saw so many beautiful places along the California and Oregon Coast.  I'll fill you in about our trip soon.  

Whenever we go on a vacation we try and collect things that reminds us of the places we have been.  My kids and I love collecting rocks, shells, sticks, and sand and we've been doing it since 2005 when we rented a beach house in Capistrano Beach with our friends.  

Here they are in my house.

I like to put them in these jars I buy at Cost Plus World Market, you can find similar ones here. They come with chalk so you can write on them.  I'm going to find some white permanent paint or marker to write on them, the chalk is hard to write with and it comes off too easily.  I'll have my husband write it, as you can see, my writing is horrible.

It's all about creating memories for my kids!

What creative things do you do to remember the fun places you have been?

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