Descanso Gardens Again!

descanso-gardens-take-2-5

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.

descanso-gardens-take-2-4

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

descanso-gardens-take-2-17

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.)

descanso-gardens-take-2-2

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

descanso-gardens-take-2-3

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.

descanso-gardens-take-2-6

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.

descanso-gardens-take-2-7

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.

descanso-gardens-take-2-8

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!

descanso-gardens-take-2-9

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.

descanso-gardens-take-2-10

We tried. But it was a little too dark.

descanso-gardens-take-2-11

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?!!

descanso-gardens-take-2-12

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

descanso-gardens-take-2-13

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.

descanso-gardens-take-2-15

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.

descanso-gardens-take-2

Pretty much this my new favorite winter tradition.

SaveSave

SaveSave

Last post of 2017!

2017-wrap-up-1

Happy New Year everybody! I thought I’d pop in and share a few things.

2017-wrap-up-2

Remember that photoshoot we did back in November? I loved all the photos so much I wanted to just put them here. If you got our holiday card you probably recognize our outfits. The girls picked out their dresses and I was so pleased. I think this is probably the last year they are going to look like little girls anymore. So bittersweet.

2017-wrap-up-3

They like each other these days which makes my heart want to explode. Bug’s freckles! Sploosh! There it goes, all gooey and dripping down my rib cage.

2017-wrap-up-4

And Joon’s smile! She always does that tongue thing when it’s a real smile.

2017-wrap-up-5

It has been the year of braids for Bug. I’m not complaining. You know how she is about things. When she likes something she really likes it. I hope braids always remind me of this year.

2017-wrap-up-6

I’ve been trying to savor this year so hard (with the girls, politics not so much). I think I accomplished it.

2017-wrap-up-7

And lastly, a silly photo because nothing breaks up a photoshoot better than prickly grass on your bare legs and a chance to be your real self.

2017-wrap-up-8

Sigh…

2017-wrap-up-10

What else has been going on? Oh, you know, Christmas, New Years, funny clouds in the sky that made us think the atmosphere was cracking open and aliens were visiting. We have a party coming up for New Years that I’m afraid nobody is coming to. What else is new right? I think I worry about that every year.

The Nutcracker with the girls was really nice, even though all of us had royally bad attitudes before going in. Then the music started, we saw some fake snow and everyone felt happy again.

2017-wrap-up-11

I made a bunch of candy-cane cookies and toffee for the first time. They were yummy. I got my hair cut. It’s just okay. I kinda miss my old very-long hair but I know it will get better as soon as my bangs grow out a bit from wanna-be-school-girl to I-can’t-really-see-through-them-but-they-look-cool.

2017-wrap-up-9

Bug is still in Hawaii. We miss her. We managed through Christmas without getting very sad by being very untraditional and having a huge Persian feast catered via our local middle-eastern market’s food court! Who knew! It was the best. I didn’t cook and everything was delicious. I think I might make it our new tradition, with Bug included though, of course.

2017-wrap-up-12

Oh! And this happened! But before you start looking into wedding guest dress rental (Because how awesome would that wedding be?) and china registries (Don’t, we don’t need any.), let me tell you that he didn’t really *ask* me to marry him and we aren’t getting *married* anytime soon. I know. I’m sorry. Everyone loves a good love story and I have no good explanations right now. I’m just wearing a really pretty ring that he gave me for Christmas and I’m really happy because it means everything to me.

I also have an updated calendar for you! Happy Printing! Cheers to 2018!