I spent the better part of the Summer working on Church projects, one of which was planning our first Community Carnival. I was inspired by Grace, a little girl in my Sunday School class who was diagnosed with Leukemia at the age of 4. She’s now 7 and healthy again […]

Hope Community Carnival

Hope Chapel Honolulu
While we were in Hawaii, we had the good fortune of our flight being delayed on Sunday which allowed us the extra time to visit our sister church, Hope Chapel Honolulu, which is a recent church plant out of Hope Chapel Kaneohe Bay, now called Anchor church.  Ralph Moore is […]

Hope Chapel Honolulu

North Shore
We drove to the North Shore, the epicenter of the surfing world, which is famous for it’s massive waves at Pipeline and the rural heart of Oahu.  It is about an hour and a half drive from Waikiki depending on the route you take and the traffic.  We rented a […]

North Shore Scenic Route

Surfing Waikiki
One of our most anticipated activities was surfing in Hawaii. The last time Luke surfed Hawaii, it was in Maui and he was 2 years old. This trip he took lessons at Beach Boy Hale Surf School on Waikiki. Jeff and I paddled out alongside him and watched and cheered […]

Surfing Hawaii

Hilton Hawaiian Village 2
Last week we were in Honolulu for the Foursquare International Church Leaders Convention. Every year it’s held in a different city, and this year Jeff was especially happy that it was going to be held in Hawaii, his favorite place on Earth. We stayed on the beach at Waikiki at […]

Hilton Hawaiian Village

Tourists 1
I just love being a tourist in cities that I experience often but tend to take for granted until I have someone to share them with. We made sure to hit up all the best tourist spots and excursions for my Mom’s first trip the Big Apple. Here are a […]


Freedom Tower
While in New York City, a must see is the view from atop the One World Trade. Otherwise known as the Freedom Tower, it is the first rebuilt tower of the World Trade Center complex and stands the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. The elevator takes you to the […]

One World Trade

Central Park
Often on my trips to NY, I wander around Central Park alone, but it was so wonderful to spend a few hours with my family this time. My Mom and my sister had never been on the boats, so we did that all together. Of course Luke couldn’t pass up […]

Family Day in Central Park

NY Flags
On our recent trip to NY, Luke discovered he has a passion for photography. I gave him my camera on our tour of the city and he went to town. He now wants to be a photographer when he grows up. It turns out he has quite the eye.  Below […]

NY Through Luke’s Lens

Purchase College
Last week we journeyed to New York City for my little sister’s graduation from SUNY Purchase in White Plains. My sister is an artist and her dream of a getting a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree has been a long time coming. She took an unconventional road to success, joining […]

Congratulations Grad!

La Costa
It was long overdue for me to get together with my best friend. She lives in San Diego so we take turns driving to visit each other and we decided to meet up at La Costa for her belated birthday dinner and spa day. It was a quick trip but […]

La Costa Girls Day

We had a team outing last week and met up at Goldie’s for happy hour. They have a great happy hour food menu which we proceeded to order one of everything (roasted brussels sprouts, kale salad, french fries, marinated olives & cheese).  I had the “Golden Girl” mocktail, sans tequila, […]


Quality Time
The advertising sales world I live and breathe with its constant deadlines and performance goals often leaves me feeling like I am constantly running on a hamster wheel- unable to slow down, yet never really going anywhere. Stopping to smell the flowers is not really an option.  One of the […]

Quality Time

Gentleness lessonWhen Luke’s school asked me to come and speak at their Chapel I was hesitant to agree because I was afraid of taking on yet another responsibility.  On top of that, the topic was “gentleness” and if you know me at all, “gentleness” is not exactly a word you’d […]


Karlie's Kookies
Karlie Kloss is one of my favorite models because of her dedication to fitness and nutrition and her willingness to share her routines with the rest of us. I often do Karlie’s workout in my hotel room when I travel and I’m short on time.  She collaborated with pastry chef Christina […]

Karlie’s Kookies

Katsuya LA Live
One of the best sushi restaurants in Los Angeles is Katsuya and I had not yet been to their newest location at L.A. Live so we made reservations there before the Ellie Goulding concert.  I gave up sushi years ago but Katsuya offers cooked dishes as well as raw, along with […]

Katsuya LA Live

We spent most of Spring Break visiting our friends in Springfield Missouri. We’ve been out to visit them many times over the last 10 years the’ve lived there.  We were all excited to arrive by 1pm so we’d have a whole day together before needing to prepare for the Quinceanera. […]

Springfield Spring Break

Peter Bella 3
Over Spring Break we went to Missouri for our God Daughter, Isabella’s Quinceanera. It was so surreal to see the little girl I once knew now become a woman.  We were so blessed to take part in her milestone celebration.  Jeff performed the ceremony and I bestowed the tiara just […]

Belle of the Ball

Easter 2016
Although it’s three weeks late, I couldn’t not write a post about our Easter Celebration this year. Our theme was “The Case for The Resurrection” so I created a lesson which walked the kids through different evidences for Christ’s resurrection. (You can click here for the full lesson: Easter 2016 Case for […]

Easter 2016

Pokemon Food
This weekend we celebrated Luke’s 9th birthday with a Pokemon Party. I worked with him on the theme, invitation and ideas. It was a fun collaborating with him and much more authentic since according to him I’m a “newb” when it comes to Pokemon lingo.  It was probably my favorite […]

Pokemon Party

Pokemon Card Cake
This year, for Luke’s  birthday, rather than baking and decorating myself, I went with a semi-homemade solution.. I ordered a pre-made plain white frosted cake from Costco and then decorated it as a Pokemon Card.  I chose Charizard as the character because a lot of the decorations we bought for […]

Pokemon Card Cake Tutorial

Pokeball Favors 2
I was determined to find actual Pokeballs to use as favors for Luke’s party but did not have any luck so I decided to make them myself.  Here is how I made these DIY Pokeball favors in 5 easy steps. I found these red and white plastic balls at Party […]

DIY Pokeball Favors

Pokemon Invites 1
Luke’s 9th birthday will be upon us next week and I’ve been hard at work pulling it all together. This year’s Pokemon theme made it a lot of fun for me to get to know the show and the characters and allowed me special bonding time with my son through it […]

Pokemon Invitations

Buffalo Burgers
I was looking for a super simple way to use the ground turkey in my fridge before it spoiled and happened to have some Buffalo Wings sauce which inspired me to make these turkey Buffalo burgers.   I sauteed some chopped celery and shredded carrots, then added them to the ground […]

Turkey Buffalo Burgers

California Adventure
We stayed the night at The Sheraton Anaheim Park Hotel, which was walking distance to Disneyland, so we could head over to California Adventure first thing in the morning. We went straight to Cars Land and the wait for our favorite ride was only 20 minutes. For perspective, last time […]

California Adventure

On Friday we pretended to drive Luke to school and then took a detour to Disneyland instead as a reward for his outstanding behavior in school for the past few weeks. It ended up being the perfect day to go because the lines were not completely unbearable and the weather […]

Disneyland Detour

I have been specifically praying for Luke since last year that God would make him kind. Not that he wasn’t a kind boy, but it seemed that I was the only one who knew it, and as him Mom, I longed desperately for others to see him the way I […]


Celebrating Grace
Two years ago Jeff and I were in Scottsdale attending a wedding when we got the call from our dear friends that their 4 year old girl, Grace, had been diagnosed with Leukemia. My heart broke that day.   In tears, I prayed without ceasing that weekend but the road […]

Celebrating Grace

This year we hosted a Superbowl Party at our house for a small group of young people from our church. Since my Patriots were out this year, I didn’t have a dog in the fight but Jeff and Luke were passionate about their teams. The dance-off between Beyonce and Bruno […]

Superbowl Party

One of my co-workers is moving to New York City and hosted a going away party that spanned all of her favorite Venice hangouts to give her the proper send-off. I was able to hit up two of them- James Beach and Larry’s, and I ran into so many old […]

A Touch of Venice

Pinz LA
Luke and I spent Sunday afternoon at Pinz LA, a bowling alley on Ventura Blvd in Studio City. One of his classmates is moving to Oregon so he hosted a going away party there. This particular bowling alley has one of the most extensive game rooms I’ve ever encountered, complete […]

Pinz LA

Last week I had the privilege of going to dinner at Soho House in West Hollywood, an exclusive invitation only club where no phone calls or photos are allowed. My co-worker snuck a couple of these shots of the view for me with her phone because it was just too […]

Soho House West Hollywood

IMG_9461 2
The combination of weather and everyday heat styling had left my hair dry and unmanageable. Jamie Alexander, star of Blindspot, serves up some serious messy bob inspiration so I took a few pins of her into my local Aveda salon and consulted with my colorist and stylist to see if […]

Messy Bob

Sweet and Spicy Salmon
Jeff and I stepped out of our cooking comfort zone and made this sweet and spicy salmon recipe together. It was the hottest thing I’ve ever eaten, but Jeff loved it. I think my tongue is still seared and we ate it last week. I am not a spicy eater […]

Hottest Sweet & Spicy Salmon

Lakers Night
Kobe Bryant announced recently that this will be his final season as a Laker. I had it on my list to take Luke to a game before the season ended and last Friday we had the chance to go as a family. The Lakers lost miserably to the Spurs but […]

Lakers Night

I’ve been thinking a lot about Winter lately probably because it’s been the coldest one I can remember having in Southern California for a very long time. The cold. The dark. The seemingly lifeless trees. I thought about how we used to store up for winter growing up. The provisions […]

Winter Fears

Chicken Avocado Burritos
These Chicken Avocado Burritos are very different from the burritos I’m used to eating. If you asked me what the key ingredients should be for a great burrito, I’d say beans and cheese but these burritos have no beans and no cheddar cheese. They’re delicious anyway. I used this recipe which […]

Chicken Avocado Burritos

monster trucks
We had our first experience at Monster Jam last weekend, which if you’ve never been, it is an insane display of Monster Trucks racing and flipping through the air.  Jeff had some discount coupons for Monster Jam 2016 and I thought it might make a good family night so we […]

Monster Jam 2016

I realized that during the weekdays, after 3 hours of commuting, 8 hours of work and 8 hours of sleep, I’m left with only 5 hours of actual free time in each 24 hour period. Those five free hours are basically from 5am to 8am and 7pm to 9pm but […]

The Service Laundry

Basketball Lessons
I played basketball in Jr. High and High School and I remember being so dedicated to the sport that I’d practice in 20° weather in my New Hampshire driveway. Over the holiday break, I promised to take Luke to play basketball but when we arrived at the only outdoor court […]

Life Lessons on the Court

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts Pita Pizzas 2
I made the Barefoot Contessa’s Balsamic Brussels Sprouts for Christmas brunch and despite the fact that reducing the balsamic vinegar smelled up the entire house horribly, they were worth it. Since then I had been looking for other ways to incorporate brussels sprouts into our meal plan and came across […]

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts Pita Pizzas

Prayer Journal
I have kept a prayer journal since I was 12 years old. Prayer is no secret formula, it’s nothing more than just talking to God.  So mostly my prayer journals are simple chats with Jesus.  It’s fantastic to look back over all those years of writings and see how my […]

How to Keep a Prayer Journal

I really wanted some inspiration for the church children’s classrooms and I remembered Ikea used to have a lot of creative ideas for kids rooms the last time I was there (which was about a decade ago) so Luke and I drove out to Burbank to explore together. Nothing like […]

Ikea Trip

Pinterest Meal Planning
Meal planning is the thing I end up having the least amount of creativity for at the end of the week but if I don’t do it, then I know I’m doomed to overspend on groceries that will end up going bad before I can cook them. Pinterest has served as […]

Pinterest for Meal Planning

My best friend and I have a tradition to write our resolutions on New Year’s Eve and share them with each other.  It is a tradition I cherish because it allows us insight into the issues most pressing in each other’s lives, challenges us to grow in areas where there might be room for improvement […]

2016 Resolutions

2015 Moments 2
2015 was a year mixed with both joy and sorrow.  It was the year I said goodbye to my closest co-workers and AOL got bought by Verizon, the year Jeff lost his sister, Debbie, to cancer,  the year Jeff’s daughter Erin got married, the year Luke played flag football and […]

2015 Moments

The Grinch
Luke’s school Christmas play this year was “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”.  It was an elaborate production with sets and costumes that rivaled most high school plays I’ve seen.  Luke was one of the Who’s and Jeff, Mema, Uncle Danny and I were very entertained.  Here’s a few pics. {the […]

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

LA Zoo Lights
This year instead of our traditional tour of the Valley’s famous Candy Cane Lane, we got our Christmas lights fix at the LA Zoo.   From November 27th to January 3rd the Zoo is transformed at night into a wonderland of Christmas lights, including a musical water show.   The […]

LA Zoo Holiday Lights

We had a lovely Christmas holiday.  Christmas Eve we opened gifts from my Mom and my brother. Jeff’s Mom joined us Christmas morning and Jeff’s daughters came over for Christmas stockings and lunch.  The day after Christmas we went to my Aunt’s house in Hawthorne to see all my family. […]

Christmas 2015

My nickname at work is “Joy” because I jokingly say to my co workers that “I bring the joy” to the office by hosting a basket of candy and treats at my desk. Like everyone else though, I’ve experienced my fair share of pain too.  This season has been an […]

Joy to the World

Luke and I took a mommy-son day and headed to Grinchmas at Universal Studios Hollywood for costume inspiration as Luke’s upcoming Christmas play, the Grinch, was happening the following week. We went the first Saturday in December so the lines were not too long and the whole park was decorated […]


JW Marriott LA
If you haven’t been to Downtown Los Angeles in a while you may not recognize it. The city has completely transformed over the past 10 years and now boasts high rise lofts, great restaurants and 4 star hotels centrally located around a complex called LA Live which is across the […]

JW Marriott Los Angeles

Bread and Drink
One of the best things about the holidays is the chance for a dining experience with family and friends. Whether it be eating out at a fancy restaurant with clients or setting up a decorative table scape for my family at home I have one go-to trick for navigating complicated […]

Bread and Drink

Most of us can remember Bible stories from Sunday School lessons growing up, but how many of us have ever been shown how those stories are interconnected? That they are not just a collection of stories, but rather all part of one big story that God is telling.  A redemption […]

The Big God Story

We are the champions
Luke’s Team at West Valley Christian School won the Flag Football Championship game 14-0 over Valley Pres. Valley Pres was previously undefeated and Luke’s team had lost to them twice this season, so the victory was sweet.  Highlight reel below.

We Are The Champions

Last week I hosted a client dinner at Bestia, which has quickly become one of LA’s hottest restaurants. It’s a diamond in the rough, with its warehouse exterior and downtown LA location. The food is top-notch Italian and they are known for the melt-in-your-mouth pork chop, which I can attest is pretty delicious.  My […]


Luke and I got all dressed up for Erin’s wedding. Luckily that meant we only had to go as far as digging into the backs of our closets.  It’s pretty funny when “all dressed up” constitutes jeans and a button down shirt but if you only knew how hard it […]

All Dressed Up

Luke & Mema
Jeff’s youngest daughter, Erin, got married in Santa Barbara this weekend. It was an intimate ceremony at the courthouse followed by a brunch at Cielito on State Street. The reception was the following evening at a friend’s home in the valley.  Here are a few of my favorite moments. {Father […]

Wedding Weekend

Mercer Kitchen
I found myself feeling really disappointed on my latest trip to NYC when my favorite restaurant, ABC Kitchen, was all booked up. I looked up other restaurants by Chef Jean Georges in hopes of finding something that would at least be a close second. Enter The Mercer Kitchen, a lovely restaurant […]

Mercer Kitchen

PHD View
Last week I found myself back in the Big Apple for meetings and the weather was glorious. Autumn in New York is one of the best experiences in the world and if you can find yourself there when the weather happens to be above 60° as I did, it is […]

Autumn in New York

Flag Football
Luke’s team made a valiant effort at last week’s flag football game but lost to Valley Presbyterian. Being their first loss of the season, it was a valuable lesson for Luke that you win some, you lose some but what’s important is how you play the game. He played hard […]

Win Some, You Lose Some

Halloween 2015
For Halloween this year Luke was Halo’s Master Chief. We did our typical trick or treating with our neighborhood friends while Mema held down the fort at home. It was a lovely night to be out, which made us extra thankful to live in Southern California. {Scream character and Zombie […]

Master Chief

Walk for Life
Every October for the past 5 years we have participated in the annual Walk for Life to benefit Open Arms, our local crisis pregnancy clinic and resource center.  This year was challenging because Jeff was getting over a stomach virus and I woke up feeling sore all over but the three […]

Walk For Life 2015

It’s sad when just going for a walk seems like a luxury, but such is the case for me. In my world, it typically takes an hour and a half just to drive to work everyday, so the idea of any leisure activity before work is basically off the table. […]

A Walk In the Park

1 Hotel Central Park
My love for New York hotels has been well documented on this blog [here], [here], [here] and [here], just to name a few faves.  Last week I discovered my new favorite,         1 Hotel Central Park. Anytime I stay in a new hotel, just before going to sleep […]

1 Hotel Central Park

24 Hours in NYC
New York City is the type of place you want to spend some time in soaking up as much of the energy as possible but the beauty of this city is that even if you only have 24 hours in it, like I did last week, you can still have […]

24 Hours in NYC

Purple Event
Last weekend our church hosted the annual Purple Event, a celebration of life that brings awareness to domestic violence.  Being a survivor of domestic violence myself, this is a cause that has always been near and dear to my heart.  My late father was diagnosed with schizophrenia when I was […]

Purple Event

Luke started flag football this year and last week was his first game. It was so much fun to watch him. His team won 26-0. Not a bad start to a season. He is #6. Luke played a lot and seemed to genuinely enjoy it. I’m hoping he will end […]

Flag Football

Majestic Clouds
I was diagnosed a few years ago with something called “Autonomic Neuropathy” which basically translates to a sensitive nervous system. It affects all of the things that your body does on auto-pilot, heart-rate, sweating, digestion, body temperature control, etc.  When you have neuropathy, it can send these otherwise automatic bodily […]

Never Alone

On our trip to Charlotte we stayed at the Ballantyne Hotel, a Starwood property, and a 4 diamond resort, which makes racking up SPG points so enjoyable. It was my first stay at the property and it was glorious with its sprawling golf course, fountains, spa and indoor/outdoor pools. Here […]

The Ballantyne Hotel Charlotte

Women of Faith Farewell
I have been to the Women of Faith conference a few times over their 20 year run, see last year’s post [here]. 2015 was their farewell tour and I really wanted my mom and sisters to be able to experience it before it was too late so last weekend we […]

Women of Faith Farewell

Scooter run
Saturday we stepped away from our hectic lives for a bit to take Luke to the skate park. At first he couldn’t even ride his scooter without putting one foot down, by the end he was riding in the bowl with ease. I attempted to take one ride and quickly […]

Scooter in the Bowl

I’ve been making new habits lately.  New habits of gratitude, new habits of mindfulness and slowing time that way.  I’ve been trying to be in the moment, finding joy in the moments because life is comprised of little moments.  There have been lots of heavy things swirling around my life […]

Stress Rescue

Lolli and Pops
The last thing I need in my life is more sugar, however, I am a sucker for a candy shoppe (no pun intended). Something magical happens whenever I step inside one, I become like Charlie wandering around Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, trying desperately to take it all in.  Last weekend […]

Lolli and Pops

Birthday Surprise
Jeff’s closest childhood friend, Robert Weiner, is a renowned surfboard shaper, and was named Shaper of the Year in 2011 by Surfing magazine. The two of them got together this Summer so Jeff could have Robert shape a board for his nephew and they decided that a reunion was in […]

Reunion Birthday Surprise

W Dallas Victory
Last week was my first time in Dallas in at least a decade. The last time I was there visiting friends, this time I was there meeting clients. Every time I come to the great state of Texas I fall more in love with it. The people are so friendly, […]

W Dallas Victory

I started this blog talking about God’s grace in my sister-in-law’s life. A week ago Friday she went to be with the Lord and even her death served as a reflection of Gods grace. It was her courage through cancer that shone brightest. Throughout it all she remained positive and […]


My favorite place to stay in San Diego is La Costa Resort and Spa. I had the pleasure to stay there last weekend for a quick trip and it’s the perfect place to practice slowing life down. I really tried to focus on the beauty around me and to be […]

La Costa Resort

Luke is playing flag football at school this semester. It’s his first time playing sports at school so it was time for a physical. We visited his pediatrician and not surprisingly he was in the 95th percentile for height and 90th for weight. His doctor thinks he will be a […]

Physical Time

It is incredibly humbling to meet one of your childhood heroes. Last week I met one of mine, Joni Eareckson Tada. I first heard of Joni’s story when I was 13 years old and my church showcased the movie about her life, “Joni”. When she was seventeen she dove off […]

Joni and Friends

Universal Studios Hollywood
Just as Summer wound down, we finally made our way back to Universal Studios with our season passes so that I could experience Furious 7 The Ride. Jeff and Luke went months ago but I had to work so it was fun to join them. It is part of the […]

Furious 7 The Ride

Jamaica Bay Inn
A few weeks ago I caught up with some old friends for lunch in Marina Del Rey at Beachside Restaurant in the Jamaica Bay Inn. I never even knew this hotel existed- which shows how much time I spend in Marina Del Rey.  It’s such a lovely spot for lunch […]

Jamaica Bay Inn

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon the most beautiful blog,  Ann writes with such poetry,  her words are pure art.  I began reading her book this week, One Thousand Gifts, and in it she brings a fresh perspective on how to find joy in the midst of suffering.  […]

The Power of Gratitude

Be Still Sunset
Stop Striving. That was the message from God on a busy September morning.  I had spent the last 6 months planning, preparing, away from home far too often and obsessing about balancing it all.  In reality it had been far longer than 6 months,  I had spent the last 40 […]

Be Still

Batting cages
Luke is really excited to play baseball again. We took a year off so he could finish his green belt in Taekwondo and now he’s ready to go back to the sport. We went to the batting cages last week to get back into the swing of things (no pun […]

Batting Cages

Flame Pizzeria
Friday night is Pizza night at our house. Typically we order delivery but last Friday Luke and I ventured out to give Dad some quiet time to work on his Thesis. We Googled “best pizza in the valley” and Yelp rated Flame Pizzeria at the top. It was only 10 […]

Flame Pizzeria

For our Labor Day activities, we spent lots of time on the water slides at the Westin Mission Hills. We also wanted desperately to take Luke to ride dirt bikes in the desert but couldn’t find any rental places in Palm Springs. We opted to go back to Off Road […]

ATVs and Water Slides

Luke Football
Labor Day is our one last-ditch-effort to make the most of family time before Summer is officially over. This year Jeff had a Wedding to go on Saturday so Luke and I headed out to Palm Springs on our own and Jeff met us there on Sunday. It was a […]

Labor Day Getaway 2015

church beach day
We had our annual Hope Chapel Beach Day last weekend at Zuma Beach in Malibu.  Jeff hosted free surf lessons for everyone and it was a beautiful day.  Luke and I didn’t surf, he boogie boarded and I took photos but we had the most fun. {Jeff brought our collection […]

Church Beach Day

Tower 20
We welcomed a group of young missionaries from Montana to stay at our church while on their visit to LA. Jeff offered to take an afternoon and teach them how to surf. We chose Tower 20 in Santa Monica as the designated surf spot. This was exciting for Luke since […]

Tower 20

My Mom loves fish and chips so we decided to take her to Gladstones, one of the best seafood restaurants in Malibu for an enjoyable meal with an ocean view. Gladstones is located where PCH meets Sunset and there is beach access if you’d like to walk off your meal […]


Malibu Beach
This was one of my favorite afternoons spent with my family on the beach in Malibu during our staycation. I savor the salt air and sound of the waves so much and experiencing those things with Luke and Jeff and my Mom made it even sweeter.

A Walk On The Beach

Private Beach Access
Usually when we vacation I just take a few days off prior to a long weekend but this time I took off an entire seven business days for my birthday to spend with my Mom and sister and get Luke back to school. We chose to staycation for a couple […]

Malibu Beach House Staycation

40 is the new 30
Part two of my 40th Birthday celebration included a dinner at The Sixty Hotel in Beverly Hills. We started and ended the evening on the rooftop, which incidentally happened to be screening one of my favorite movies, The Goonies, by the pool that evening.  It was a lovely time with […]

40 at The Sixty

Flamingo Inflatables
It’s been a very busy week around here, starting with me turning 40 on Monday! Yay! So exciting. My Mom and sister flew in from South Carolina and New York respectively to attend the festivities which kicked off with a pool party for my family on Saturday.  I had planned […]

I Heart Pool Parties

Pool Surfing
Luke is reaping the benefits of having a thrill seeker Dad. One such benefit is doing dangerous things together like surfing our pool. Usually the two of them wait to do this when I’m out of town since I am the responsible, safe one in the family. But this week I […]

Pool Surfing

The Clift
The Clift in San Francisco is one of those great hotels that offers ambiance, surprise and just the right amount of swank to make you feel like you’ve really visited someplace hip enough to write home about.  From the oversized chair in the lobby that makes you feel a bit […]

The Clift

Sunday Brunch
I don’t typically have to travel for work on the weekends, but once in a while like this past weekend I was away on a Sunday. I had planned to wake up in time to order room service and then head to the airport to go home to my boys, […]

Sunday Brunch with Purpose

I spent Saturday at Outside Lands, the annual music festival in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. It was much better weather than last year, with even some moments of sunshine and I didn’t need to put on my gloves until about 8pm, which is always a plus when it’s the […]

Outside Lands 2015

Serrano Hotel
Typically I’m an SPG gal when I travel, but sometimes I venture outside their network to try new places as was the case last week in San Francisco. I stayed at the Serrano Hotel, a boutique hotel in the Financial District. The rooms were quaint and cheery with yellow and […]

Serrano Hotel

Katanaya Ramen
One of the things I love most as I travel around is being exposed to different food trends. For the past few years, Ramen has been trending, which I found very hard to believe since my only experience with Ramen had been the $0.20 instant packages we’d eat for dinner […]

San Francisco Ramen

Marquee Day Club Las Vegas
Last week I was in Vegas for business. Here are some of the highlights and lowlights of the trip.  I am hoping my life slows down soon so my body can catch up. {Cosmopolitan Lobby} {View of the Bellagio Fountains from my room} {My lovely spacious room} {Down-time at the Marquee […]

Vegas Business

My favorite restaurant in San Francisco is Kokkari. I’m not sure if it’s the working fire spit in the main dining room, the Oriental rugs on the wall or the the high ceilings that make the place feel so homey but the atmosphere feels so warm and relaxing. The food […]


Dirtbikes 1
I have been traveling for business a lot more than normal lately and missing my boys. Last week, Jeff took Luke out of Summer Camp for the day and went deep-sea fishing in the Channel Islands, off the coast of Ventura, CA. They both caught their limit in fish and […]

Fishing & Dirtbikes

Rainy Summer Saturday
It’s not entirely true that it never rains in Southern California, although it is extremely rare that it ever thunderstorms or that it thunderstorms in July. Well, that happened on Saturday and it was such a fun day. After sitting outside to watch the lightning as a family, we spent […]

Rainy Summer Saturday

Annenberg Beach House
On Friday we had a team building event at Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica. We could not have asked for a more perfect day. The sun was shining, the breeze was just enough to keep us cool without being too windy and the atmosphere was glorious. If you’ve never […]

Annenberg Beach House

Pool Renovation
When we moved into our house back in 2006, the pool needed to be re-plastered but we decided to paint it black instead.  For the past few years our black-bottom pool has been giving folks black-bottom feet.  We knew it was time for a fix and this year we finally decided […]

Pool Renovation

Barton Springs
Last weekend my best friend and I took a trip to Austin to visit our best college girlfriend to celebrate her 40th birthday. Austin is such a fun place to go for a girls’ weekend. We really had the most perfect days together. Here is my list of top things […]

Austin in a Weekend

Dodger baseball
Last night we went to the Dodgers vs. Phillies game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Fighting the traffic to get there from the San Fernando Valley is no small feat, so we were Fashionably-LA-Late. We made a bee-line for the hot dog stand because let’s be honest, that’s the […]

Dodger Baseball

Gone with the Wind Dress
Lately Luke and his friends have been obsessed with digging for dinosaur bones. They’ve been digging up the backyard looking for everything from fossils to diamonds, smashing rocks open with hammers to see if there are hidden gems inside and then looking up their findings on the internet. I didn’t […]

Digging Dinos

My whirlwind of a travel month has finally slowed down just in time for the Fourth of July holiday.  I realized I had not really taken much time to document anything from the last few trips to San Francisco on the blog.  Here is a collection of some of my […]

San Francisco Moments

On Saturday we were invited to a prayer vigil at Zuma Beach in Malibu for a 2-year-old girl named Bailey. Bailey was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of cancer, a year ago and doctors had recently taken her off of all medication and said there was nothing further that […]

Pray For Bailey

chicken sautee
This dish requires no recipe and takes less than half hour, even if you’re using frozen chicken breasts (which I did). Literally heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a pan, sautee an onion with a teaspoon of garlic until the onion is browned. Set aside and add chicken […]

Sauteed Chicken with Spinach and Mushrooms

Wild Kratts
Luke and I went to a “Wild Kratts” birthday party for one of his classmates. If you’re unfamiliar with “Wild Kratts” it is an animal show on PBS where the Kratt brothers teach kids animal facts while introducing you to real creatures and then parlay the video into a cartoon […]

Wild Kratts

At The Playground
Some of my fondest childhood memories were at the playground- swings and see-saws, kickball games and slides, sand and bare feet.  The beauty of being a Mom is part of your job involves taking your child to the playground so I had the chance to revisit those childhood memories with […]

At The Playground

As season pass holders at Universal Studios, we received an invitation to experience the new Fast and Furious Ride before it opened to the public. I took the day off Monday and invited Luke’s cousins to join us. We were all set with an 11am reservation and then the night […]

Universal Break

Bazaar 2
Last week I attended an Advertising Industry workshop at the SLS Hotel in Los Angeles. I didn’t realize it came with lunch at The Bazaar, Jose Andres’ restaurant, so that was a welcomed surprise. I had eaten dinner at The Bazaar before but I am not one for strange food […]

Bazaar Lunch

Discovering great new restaurants is one of my favorite things about living in Los Angeles.  I had been wanting to experience Republique for quite some time now and yesterday I finally got the chance. We went for lunch but the beauty of Republique is that they serve breakfast until 3pm, […]


Mexican Meatballs
In an effort to use the turkey meat in our fridge before it went bad last week, I searched “ground turkey recipes” and found a few meatballs recipes, one that involved coating the meatballs with sauce and then broiling them. This inspired me to search the pantry for any type […]

Mexican Meatballs

While we were in Anaheim, we popped over to Downtown Disney between the conference sessions. We found ourselves at Ridemakerz, where Luke got to build a toy car from the ground up. He first chose the body style, then the wheels, rims and any fancy extras. We paid for all […]


Love Does
This year I was able to attend our Annual Foursquare Church Convention in Anaheim with Jeff and Luke and I took away so much from the conference. It was an amazing gift to be able to take a few days off from work to focus on God and hear from […]

Love Does

Naked Kitchen
For one of my recent client dinners in San Francisco, I was on the hunt for a fun restaurant so I literally Googled “fun places to eat in SF” and came across this Thrillest post on SF’s super secret supper clubs.  I decided to give Naked Kitchen a try and […]

Naked Kitchen

Disneyland 60th
Last week we spent a couple of days at Disneyland and California Adventure. It’s Disneyland’s 60th Anniversary and in addition to their epic fireworks display they are hosting all sorts of sweepstakes for visitors to the park to win diamonds and other various prizes. You can read all about how […]

Disneyland 60th Anniversary

True Food Menu
I am always on the hunt for healthy restaurants and last week I discovered True Food in Santa Monica, which is perhaps the quintessential Southern California spot. They don’t serve sodas but instead serve “Natural Refreshers” like Kale-Aid (Kale, Apple, Cucumber, Celery, Lemon & Ginger) and Strawberry Rhubarb & Lime […]

True Food

Jeff Lisa and Luke
Last weekend we attended the wedding of a young couple in our church at Walnut Grove in Moorpark, CA. Jeff performed the ceremony and Luke was the wedding crasher (I threw out the invitation envelope and couldn’t remember whether Luke was invited or not). The bride was gracious to us […]

Walnut Grove Wedding

Baseball boys 2
We finally had a Saturday together after all my weeks of travel where we could get outside and enjoy the day. We went to the local baseball field and took turns hitting a few balls. Standing in the outfield reminded me of those wonderful weekday afternoons of high school softball. […]

Baseball Boys

Lombardi's Pizza
Lombardi’s Pizza is famous for being the first pizza place in NY, but it’s also frequently voted “Best Pizza in the City” time and time again. I had always wanted to try it but had never been able to find the time until this last trip, when I happened to […]

Lombardi’s Pizza

The Smith Floor
One of the best things about getting to travel to NY is that I get unique opportunities to exercise my passion for photography. The picturesque skylines and the everyday sights alike inspire me.  Here are some of my favorite photos from my most recent trip to NY. {Freedom Tower} {Empire […]

New York Photos

I work full time so I typically blog on Sunday nights, but since this last Sunday was Mother’s Day, I decided to take a break even from blogging. Instead I spent the evening watching the remake of Karate Kid (2010) with Luke and Jeff.  Luke is aiming for his Taekwondo […]

Mother’s Day 2015

Grace House
On my way to catch the train last week, I happened to walk by this church and the sign stopped me in my tracks. “Grace House” was written on the gate and a nearby sign said “we’re open. come in and pray”.  Of course I had to pop in for […]

Grace House

AOL Newfront 2015
The Newfronts were last week in NY.  The number of companies participating has exploded over the past two years.  AOL hosted our Newfront on the 54th floor of 4 World Trade Center, which was a pretty spectacular view.  This year AOL announced we would be upping the stakes on our […]

AOL Newfront 2015

Beauty and Essex
The Stanton Social, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, is basically my go-to restaurant for NY dinners because it has great food coupled with great ambiance.  The menu is perfect for large parties because the dishes are shareable. My favorite thing on the menu is the “Chicken & Waffles”, […]

Stanton Social

Blue Ribbon Room Service
I had never stayed in the Lower East Side before and last week my meetings took place downtown so I decided to stay at the Sixty LES, sister hotel to the Sixty Soho. I had such a wonderful experience! First of all, my room was larger than your average NY […]

Sixty LES

On Saturday I attended the Beauty Trend Show at Nordstrom Topanga, in Canoga Park, CA. They have this event annually, but this was the first time I was able to actually attend. It was the perfect mini-personal-day because it started early (8am) and ended by 9:30. Then you were able […]

Nordstrom Beauty Trend Show

I am so lucky to work for a company that supports National Take Your Sons and Daughters to Work Day. It is Luke’s favorite day of the year (next to Christmas and his birthday of course). This year I planned the event for the AOL Beverly Hills office and I […]

AOL Take Your Child To Work Day 2015

SOMA Soul Cycle
This week I hosted a fun event for my clients at SOMA Soul Cycle in San Francisco.  It’s such a great team building exercise, no pun intended. The last time I went to Soul Cycle was in 2012 at the West Hollywood location, documented here.  Spin classes have never been […]

SOMA Soul Cycle

Opera House Curtain
I love ballet. It was one of those things that I always dreamed of doing as a kid.  I remember when my Mom told me we couldn’t afford ballet lessons anymore, I had only just started taking them, and I told myself that regardless of whether or not I got […]

SF Ballet

Growing up, we moved around more often than I’d care to remember. My childhood journey took me from Los Angeles,CA to Buffalo, NY, to Rockville, MD to Farmington, NH to Milton, NH.  Ultimately, I chose to go back to California when I graduated High School but up until then my […]

City Girl

Sixty Soho Lobby 1
On my trip to NY last week I stayed at Sixty Soho. Formerly The Thompson, the hotel is located at 60 Thompson Street, just about a half-a-block from Broome in Soho.  It is walking distance from the infamous Canal Street, where tourists find all forms of counterfeit designer wares.  Sixty […]

Sixty Soho

Paleo Egg Scramble
My diet restrictions have been so specific for the last 5 years that I don’t really have a simple way of describing the way I eat. I rarely have dairy.  I have soy instead of milk in my decaf cappuccinos although once a week I treat myself to pizza (except […]

Paleo Egg Scramble

We finally got some much needed rain last week here in Los Angeles. Of course it had to come on the day we had to drive downtown for the Lakers Game, which meant the typical one hour drive took us two hours. To repel the rain, I wore these simple […]

Rainy Day Wear

Jeff and Lisa
This week I got to bring along my two favorite boys to the Clippers/Lakers game where I was hosting a client event in our VIP suite. Incredibly, I realized it was the first time Jeff was able to come along with me to an event in the suite (#terriblewife). As […]

Confessions of a Pastor’s Wife

One of the beautiful things about living in Los Angeles is that there is no shortage of fun things to do around town when the kids are off from school. This week during spring break we took Luke and his cousins to Universal Studios Hollywood to experience the new “Minions” […]

Spring Break- Universal Studios Hollywood

Jerusalem 2
Every year at Easter I try to come up with a lesson for kids that brings the Bible to life in a special way. This year I put together a lesson on the eye-witness evidence of the Resurrection. It asked the questions “How do we know Jesus is Alive? Who […]

Resurrection Sunday Lesson

You've Been Egged
I found this amazing idea on Pinterest called “You’ve Been Egged”. I stumbled across [this blog post] by Jaqueline Rizo of Living A Redeemed Life and thought it would be much more fun to invite our neighbors to our Easter service & egg hunt this way than through a traditional flyer!   Luke even […]

You’ve Been Egged!

This weekend was the first time we didn’t have our schedules booked back to back. Jeff was still under the weather so he mostly rested but Luke and I were able to get out and enjoy the sunshine together. Here are a few of the highlights. Hope yours was happy! […]

Weekend Highlights

I had the privilege of meeting [Jill Stanek] last week at the annual [Open Arms] banquet, a local pregnancy clinic that I support which offers free counseling and ultrasounds to women in crisis pregnancy situations.  When I heard Jill’s story, I was amazed at her courage. She risked her job, her […]

Open Arms Charity Banquet

[Nailstream] is a company that brings manicures and pedicures to your office- genius, right?  Last week they paid a visit to AOL and I happened to be in the office that day so was able to experience one of their manicures.  I was impressed by the way they set up […]


For lunch yesterday we headed to my favorite spot for Mexican food in Beverly Hills, [Frida].  As is my custom, once I find something I like at a restaurant I tend to order that every time I visit and don’t deviate.  The chicken tacos are my go-to at Frida because […]


Grandparents Day
Luke’s school always amazes me the way they honor people. Each year they take a special Chapel service to honor Grandparents. This year was a 50’s Sock Hop theme, which had kids whizzing around the sanctuary on roller skates in poodle skirt and twirling hoola hoops. Luke has a very […]

Grandparents Day