All posts filed under: This is Life

cactus pricklies.

Back in the desert! A quick work trip to the Palm Springs area means I get to do a little exploring. I stumbled upon Moller’s Garden Center  where cactus dreams come true. Moller’s has lots of plant varieties, but I was in the market for a cactus to bring home to my parents. I am obsessed with cacti right now (I blame Moorten). They don’t fair too well in the Bay Area (where I live); my parents, though live in a warm and dry climate – perfect for cacti! I got these lil nuggets. One turns purple in the winter! You can see it here turning back to green… I also found out the furry fuzzy soft looking dots on these cacti are not cute and fluffy at all. I rammed my hand into the purple one while trying to stop the cart and all those little pricklies, though they looked like fur on my knuckles, were painful to remove. I still have spikes in my hand that were too small to remove; it’s been over …


I performed in my first hula show! I started official hula classes in January of this year after years of wanting to pursue hula but it was never the right time. Then, I found Halau Makana and realized that my friend Cat also wanted to get into hula. So we ventured together and now we are hooked! My first hula performance was at the South Shore Center on the Island of Alameda. 🙂 There were musicians, dancers, and this fun crowd. Backstage: (pre) Hula hair, don’t care. Plus some behind-the-scenes practicing. The synchronicity of group dance intrigues me. I grew up performing Philippine folk and liturgical dances in church, creating dance videos with my closest friends, and eventually joining a hip hop troupe in college. It felt so great to be on stage again (in the back, behind the advanced students, 😉). Thank you to my hula instructor Kumu Lani for teaching me hula moves and Hawaiian culture and stories, and for inviting me to perform at the Alameda Aloha Festival. And to my friend …


Whilst in the Palm Springs area, I had to visit the Cabazon Dinosaurs! I remember visiting as a kid circa the late 80s, but I don’t remember there being an indoor museum-like option. I remember a lot of sand… I’ll have to dig up those photos! In any case, I made Hubby take me to see the dinosaurs. I. LOVED. IT. I think he loved it, too. 🙂 I was surprised there weren’t tons of people here. We actually got solo shots with the T-Rex! These photos will forever make me smile. Road trip much? What are some of your favorite roadside attractions? Share below!

grow and bloom.

Being home for Christmas weekend means I got to spend some time in the famous Garcia Garden. I can never get enough garden time. Here’s what’s growing this time of year. In the frontyard: In the backyard: My Mom likes grow daughter plants in smaller pots and have them available to give as gifts when people come to visit. Such a great idea! I’m going to copy her. 🙂 My Dad’s current favorite plant: this fire plant. It’s neon pink! He wants to use it as his Christmas tree next year. Daughter approved! Husband picked some citrus (pomelo, oranges, and calamansi) to take home. We even brought home two trays of plant babies: rosemary, mint, arugula, oolong, succulent varieties, a fire plant, aloe, sage, and so much more… Slowly but surely I’m getting better at caring for my house and patio plants. What do you grow in your garden? Share below!

the confetti project. 

When in New York, do a confetti photoshoot! One of the things I really enjoyed in New York was the pop-up culture. There was ‘something going on’ every day, but only for a short time! One of those things: the Confetti Project photo sessions at Artists & Fleas in SoHo. Jelena Aleksich, visionary and photographer behind the Confetti Project, creates colorful, safe, inspirational spaces for people to celebrate and be. Before each photography session she asks about what you are celebrating in your life, and then you do you amidst the confetti – all ten pounds of it! Plus, you get a personal confetti tosser. You are free to express any emotion as you toss or sprinkle confetti, dance or jump in confetti rain, make confetti angels… My friend of 29 years and I took this trip together, and as we were planning our vacation I hadn’t really thought about the why, but the what. What should we eat? What should we see? But the why is always much more interesting. This trip was really about being …

keep on growing.

Tiffany Turner, paper flower extraordinaire, released a paper flower book and it is gorgeous! Hard cover, beautiful photography, and all of them flower how-tos and tips! Tiffany recently spoke in Walnut Creek as part of her book tour so I got to listen to her share her story and process. She makes realistic paper flowers and larger than life paper flowers (so we can experience them zoomed in and close up!). I like how she pays attention to the imperfections from her flower specimens to create a perfect paper flower. They really do look more real when they have imperfections — a fallen or bent petal is the perfect touch. Tiffany did a quick poppy demo after her talk, and then I got to meet her and admire the paper flower display she brought to share. Flowers!!! Of paper!! They look so real. I’m super excited to add this book to my collection, and to attempt making some of the flowers in the book. Tiffany includes suggestions on what materials to use for each project, …

always on vacay.

I embroidered a hat for my Mommy to take her retired life to the next level. I found a wide brimmed hat at Target and used embroidery yarn to hand sew on this fun phrase: always on vacay. Then, I made her model it for me. She’s a natural vacationer! It’s perfect for actual vacations, or for enjoying the garden or taking walks. What do you think? What other fun phrases belong on giant hats? Share below!