Strawberries Bring the Magic


I’ve come to realize in my ripe old age that I am the bringer of magic. It’s my big responsibility as *the aging matriarch* of the family. Do I sprinkle fairy dust on cardboard and it magically turns into castles? Well, sometimes but I’m more referring to the normal things like family dinners, seasonal traditions, candles and decorations and taking the family out and about to events and things that generally make good memories. It’s a dirty job but somebody’s gotta do it.

If it wasn’t for me we would all sit around on a Saturday doing nothing! Yes, sitting around in our pajamas wasting our lives away playing games on our phones until finally at about three in the afternoon when our stomachs would revolt in hunger and we would make easy-mac and then lounge the rest of the day on the couch still playing games on our phones. Pathetic really.

It is now my job to prevent that.


One of my favorite outings that prevents the pickeledge of brain via phone is to visit the farm near our house.  We had to boycott the farm during pumpkin season ever since Hello Kitty decided to make an appearance and our neighborhood turned into mayhem and chaos.

It was bad. Traffic for days and we couldn’t even walk to the farm because you had to make a reservation for your parking spot and if you didn’t make a reservation you couldn’t get in. So no fun walks to the farm and no Hello-Kitty-Goes-to-the-Farm swag for us.


But not anymore! The Hello Kitty craze has died down a little and the farm is back open for regular neighborly people like us! It’s not cheap though. They get you coming and going for tour tickets and Hello Kitty t-shirts and bags. I know I should have said no to the kids when they wanted shirts but I was a kid once too and I loooooooooooved Hello Kitty! Hello Kitty was our Pusheen! Remember those days?


Anyway, the kids loved the farm. We ate strawberries until we thought we would burst  and we almost forgot about using our phones. But that might be more because we are all on a new data management DIET lately BECAUSE THE KIDS HAVE USED IT ALL UP!!!  Yep. Between the two of them they used fifty percent of our plan up in ONE WEEK. So yeah, that’s gotta change. Three cheers for strawberry farms!

Descanso Gardens Again!


Remember last year when Payam and I went to Descanso Gardens Enchanted Forest of Light? We went again this year and took the girls! I loved it so much last year I couldn’t wait to take them but it only lasts until the first week of January so I had to wait another year for it to come around again.


They loved it! Of course. How could they not?!


Of course it helped that both girls got phones this year for Christmas (big year!!) and documenting the forest of light was an explosion of wonderments to share on social media with their friends.

I know. I know. We all have mixed feelings about kids using phones but I am the queen of guiltiness when it comes to sharing on instagram so I was happy to have two new co-conspirators as Payam stands by, rolling his eyes and asking if we are “having a moment.”  (Watch the link. It’s hilarious. We are not that bad—yet.)


It was so fun! You like Joon’s new sweatshirt? Yeah. Black is a thing when you are almost eleven apparently.


Anyway, we had a blast tromping through the forest from exhibit to exhibit. It really is done so magically. I have day dreams of owning land someday and making my own enchanted forest in my backyard. Probably won’t happen but it’s fun to dream.


These spinning crocheted lights captivated me. I immediately took a mental note that I have to recreate this someday for an alphamom craft. The shadows spinning on the ground were dizzyingly fun. I did find a couple small metal lanterns in the gift shop that are similar but nothing of this scale.


Of course the misty lake is always magical. They have joysticks on the side of the lake mounted on little stumps that you can interact with and make the lights shine this way and that. Then of course everything shifts in color to moody music and you feel like you’ve landed in Neverland.


The drinks though? Absolute crap. Last time we made that mistake too. Payam and I got mixed adult beverages and promptly threw them away because they tasted more like water with a splash of alcohol and maybe some lemon and lime thrown in for looks. This year we got the girls hot chocolate and it was the same mess. Hot water with a splash of something powdery which may have been chocolate. Poor Bug carried her’s around for ten minutes because she didn’t want to waste Payam’s money but when I tasted it I completely agreed. Good thing the lights are so amazing because nobody’s going to go there for the drinks!


Look at those colors? This is just me shooting my camera on sport mode with no flash. I’m sure a real photographer could get a tri-pod and some less wiggly models and really go crazy shooting here. I wonder if they’ve ever done any fashion shoots here.


We tried. But it was a little too dark.


Not too dark for fun though. These meandering paths that light up when you step on them felt like a life size game of Shoots and Ladders. I wish there had been some slides, that would have clinched it. Can you imagine?!!


The girls loved it. We could have stayed all night and thrown a party here.


I’m sure if you follow them on Instagram you saw more than you even wanted to of this adventure. I think they live-storied the entire trip. Just kidding. I didn’t let them do that.


Then we ended our adventure with the tea garden and a quick trip through the gift shop, like I mentioned earlier. They said we could go back through again with some funky light-reflecting glasses but we were pretty hungry by then so we opted to go get dinner instead. Next year we’ll try the funky glasses.


Pretty much this my new favorite winter tradition.