Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 ---> 2013

Last post of the year and this year has been full of ups & downs. We lost 2 family members which was a gutwrenching time but we have loving memories to keep us going. Lots of senseless violence in the world lately which reminds us to hug our loved ones and not let the little annoyances get in our way of family and friendship.

My youngest boy Josh turned 10 and for the last few years has always wanted to stay overnight at the Westin Bonventure hotel in Los Angeles. You can click HERE for the official website. I had to use the overnight stay as incentive for Josh in school but the rates are usually expensive and the timing is always wrong. I think Josh reminded us of the promise and we planned it to coincide with Josh's 10th birthday. The kids are off of school and to be honest, it's difficult to plan birthdays around this time of year. Everyone is focused on Christmas and yes, we have moved his party ot February or June, it's just not the same for him. So everything was going as planned.

I even gave each boy their very own carry on 20 inch suitcase for Christmas saying we will have a chance to use them very soon!! With a couple of hints, Josh guessed our destination was the Bonaventure and his face lit up! He exclaimed, "Tomorrow can't get here fast enough!"

We planned on taking the Metro to downtown LA since the hotel charges $40 a day for parking and we can better use that money for food so my friend Kat tagged along with us the first day. We would take our car to the station, head to LA via Metro, have dinner then Kat would come back and take our car to her place. 

Starting our journey
Ready to start our adventure.
Construction & escalators
Construction going on Pershing Square station.
Inside the Biltmore
Kat & I got distracted by the pretty Biltmore Hotel.
Westin Bonaventure
Soon the Bonaventure came into view.
Joshua was very funny this year; he wanted to tell everyone that today was his birthday. He even hung out at the registration desk to tell the man that it was his birthday! It was very cute.

As you can see the hotel is clover shaped so it makes for some interesting room configurations which means the rooms are small. :) Stunning views though. Joshua stated that it was his lifelong dream to stay at the Bonaventure. Well, that dream came true! :)

Heavenly beds
The beds are really comfy and they're called Heavenly beds.
Our room was on the 19th floor and had a nice view of the Central Library.
Central Library
The Central Library is the smaller building in front.
Tyler relaxing
Here Tyler enjoys the view.
Happy 10th Bday!!
Happy Birthday Josh!
For dinner we headed to LA Live by Staples Center and braved the blustery cold winds. Brr, it was chilly. The Clippers had a game that night so we were lucky to get a table and even then we had to wait 45 minutes. Hector got off work and met us here for some 1/2 priced appetizers and drinks. Josh got a brithday chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream. LUCKY! For whatever reason, he only ate the ice cream and didn't want the lava cake so Kat & I enjoyed that part. :)

After dinner, we went back to the hotel so Hector could see our room. Kat & Hector headed back home while the kids and I went to the 34th floor lounge for Josh's 2nd dessert. The great part about this is the revolving lounge. It takes 1 hour and 45 minutes for the entire rotation and we made it about halfway around. Very cool and the kids loved it. Extra points for serving Chex mix that Tyler devoured.

Boys and their games

We enjoyed our nights sleep and the beds were super comfy or I was really tired. :)

To Union Station

We headed to Union Station for some French dipped beef sandwiches at Phillipes (Tyler's request) and then made our way to Hollywood & Highland. Way too crowded and the kids aren't really into the Hollywood thing.

We went back downtown and rode Angels Flight.

Angels flight
only 50 cents
Boys in LA
Overall, it was a very nice stay. We got to see a few more things we hadn't seen before like Angels Flight and the Bradbury building and most of all, stay at the Bonaventure. I know Joshua will always remember his 10th birthday for the rest of his life.

On that note: HAPPY NEW YEAR!! :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Holiday Knits Blowout!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and holiday season!! :)

We had a wonderful time with family and friends with a minor Christmas present crisis (not ours) that I had to help do really last second shopping for a friend. Reminder: dont let this happen EVER AGAIN!!! You know who you are and I fufilled my friend duty. If it occurs again, call someone else. :) Seriously...

Okay, my knitting pile turned out great just because I went through past knits that I originally intended for myself and they just sat in the drawer after being used once or twice. So I thought I'd add those unused items and see if my family would like them. Boy, they sure did. We followed the same outline as our gift exchange with the 2 steals but that lead to some feelings being slightly hurt so we shall eliminate the stealing part next time which won't happen for a while because those items knitted were accumulated over a period of a few years of knitting!!

One of the knitted items was my latest finished project, Staccato socks. It was part of my Ravelry SKA December challenge to use leftovers. Over about 6+ years of knitting socks, I have plenty of leftovers. I've made more socks, scarves and a baby blanket and still have plenty of leftovers.

I loved this pattern except the heel portion which totally confused me so I had to modify it to a gusset heel and the mix of colors came out great. :) The other bothersome part is the pattern doesn't have much give or stretch to it so I couldn't even try the sock on my foot as I knit. That's not usually a good sign. But I knit on because I was determined and figured the socks will find their owner.

I was right and my niece K fell in love with them. I warned her that they were small but she got her feet in them and proclaimed them hers!! Unfortunately, I couldn't take pictures of the knitted items with their new recipients because of poor lighting.

staccato socks2

I do have a project set up (in my mind) so I need to start working on it so I don't forget. Happy Knitting!! :)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays!!

It's Friday which is the last day of school for the boys and the "end of the world". Enjoy your life on earth no matter what.

You can even take some time to have a little fun. :)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Hockey is cancelled till mid January which really sicks big time.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Is it almost Christmas break yet?

Hey, nothing new except wrapping presents and watching TV. Exciting, huh?

Here is some funny autocorrect screencaps at this site. Enjoy, I laughed at most of them and thank goodness, my texts have not resulted like these...

Also, I guess I've been wanting the week to go by faster since I told Tyler to take the trashcans out for trash day. It took me an hour later to realize today is Wednesday not Thursday. Yeah, and Tyler never said anything to me....

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fujiyama Ichiban

Had a whirlwind of a weekend with holiday parties and somehow we managed to squeeze in 2 parties in 2 nights. Fun but tiring. The first 2 parties were work related so I didn't know too many people but I did get to see some former classmates from about 20 years ago in my pharmacy school days.

Stayed out way late for us then we ended up watching Wild Things so who knows when we went to sleep. ;) Slept in till 11:30am then Hector wanted to take the kids to see Fujiyama Ichiban a kind of Power Rangers style action show. The show took place next to the Marukai market so we managed to grab some yakitori/ramen/curry lunch before the show.

Josh seemed a little apprehensive of the show while Tyler seemed to enjoy it even though they spoke in Japanese for the most part. The evil character tried to get the younger kids to dance with him and a few of them started to cry. At that point Josh and I were freezing cold and he needed to use the restroom so we headed inside while Tyler and Hector watched the rest of the show.

I took a few pictures of the show and it's the general good vs evil.

The evil leader with a fondess for dancing.

The good vs evil battle


Last week of school so we're trying to have everything ready to go....

Friday, December 14, 2012


Finally found some time to visit with my friend V who had twin girls in the spring. They had to spend some time in the hospital and one had to be there for an extended time with a couple of surgeries. Thankfully, both are home with their family and I finally got to see both in person.

Aren't they adorable?? I brought some baby items with me to see if they fit. Here's Danica with the baby pom pom hat. She's now 7 months and teething so expect lots of pics with drool and hands in her mouth. :)


And I was thrilled to see the baby booties fit her as she has petite feet. Little Mary Janes for Danica!!



Danica is enjoying the Apple Core blanket I made by tasting it. :)

Now it's Kendra's turn to model the hat. She has a lot more hair than her sister. At first I thought the weight of the hat was going to topple her over; she was definitely swaying when I put it on her head.



Lots of hair compared to....


this. ;) Oh those babies are just precious!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Lockout Blues

Still no NHL hockey for 2012 and this video was brought to my attention which is very cool with the music. :)

Then for something different to all those old school know who you are! ;)

Finished my yoga class this morning which always leaves me feeling relaxed and limber. Now to get some chores done! Well, we shall see how much I actually get done. My intentions are good.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Video Tuesday

Hector has been watching lots of Japanese pranks on youtube so I thought I'd share one that was cute and funny. Seriously some of those other pranks are kind of mean and invade a person's privacy but that's another country.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Knitting Frenzy

Not really in a frenzy but I do appear to be churning out quite a bit of knitting this last 2 weeks which is fine with me. I just have to remind myself to have fun and not think of as Christmas knitting.

I will start with the USC beanie that I knit for Hannah's BF Chad.

I found the perfect colors at Joanns, browsed the patterns on Ravelry and came up with this...

USC beanie

It fits a tad small on Tyler and me so it should be okay for Chad. I hope he likes it...I really like the argyle pattern and think I will eventually make more for the boy/men hats.

Otherwise, I'm just knitting what I want and if you like it, fine. Otherwise let someone else choose it.

Finished a sock challenge which qualifies for 2 entries in the November challenge. Pretty good for me too. Remember that yarn that just didn't seem to fit a pattern that I enjoyed? Well, I just became determined to make it work and it did.

Moody Socks3

Here are the Moodyb socks and I shall give them to whoever wants them and they fit that person. Probably a womens size 8.

And to end this post...a December challenge which involves stashbusting using up those little leftover balls of sock yarn to make a crazy pair of socks. 

Leftover stashbuster challenge

The bigger amounts of yarn will be the main anchor color while I add in other colors that won't necessarily be the same color. As you can already tell, the socks are similar but not matching.

Staccato socks:in progress

Nice, bright and cheery colors. After this pair is done, I think I can start on using up my sock yarn club stuff to add to the leftover pile. :)

Friday, December 07, 2012

Big Me

Boy this week flew by! We are getting ready for Christmas so the knitting has taken a quick break for now although I am still working on my Moody socks.

We've been invited to several Christmas parties and looking forward to it. Hector scored an invite to the department party after several people asked if he could cover for them a certain Saturday night. He's worked hard enough all year to take that day off party or not. :)

I procrastinated on our annual calendar so I'm scrambling on that to have it done in time. Not as many photos to choose from so that will be a goal for next year. :)

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Hat Duo

I got temporarily sidetracked last week by some super bulky yarn and whipped up a couple more hats. I found a very cute yet simple (easy) pattern called The Vermonter on Ravelry.

I don't mess around with gauge but I know I'm a loose knitter so I usually go down a needle size or so to get gauge. The first hat came out child size so that was a lesson learned but the pattern knits up quickly and the second one was sized for an adult.

The hat is really cute and I think they both will be nice gifts too.

Vermonter: child hat
Top view of child size.

Vermonter child hat2
Side view of child size.

The Vermonter hat: adult size
Adult size on Josh.

The Vermonter adult hat
On an adult sized head. :)

The Vermonter adult hat2
Adult hat:front
I suppose the hat can be unisex if the pom pom is left off. I didn't ask if my boys would wear the hat or not. ;)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Skull Hat

I wasn't planning on knitting specific items for family/friends this year because it's too much stress but that urge does always strike and I have to push that feeling down. This year I specifically knitted gifts for Josh's teachers and as I knit throughout the year I put some items into the grab bag for Christmas. It is a pretty small pile and I'm still not trying to panic because some people will not get something.

Our friend Matt has been the recipient of several hats over the years and I guess he hasn't got one in a couple of years because he texted me thanking me for all the hats I've knitted him. A gentle reminder. :)

So I knit him this hat yesterday. Yes, it only took me one day but that's a day of doing absolutely nothing but knit. It turned out fabulous and I think he'll love it whe he receives it for Christmas. Part of knitting is having the recipient love the item as much as I do. He/she will wear it and appreciate it.

I put a lot of time/effort into everything I knit and I want to think that it comes through. It's made to be worn/used and I know Matt will appreciate it. So here I present the Skull hat.

Skull Hat

Skull hat2

Matt will look really cool in his skull hat driving his Cobra around. :)

In Dulci Jubilo

Getting in the mood for Christmas and here is something slightly different than our typical Christmas songs.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Over the weekend, we headed out for an outing to Mt. Wilson in the Angeles National Forest. It had been a while for me since the last time which I think was defnitely before kids. :)

There is an observatory up there with lots of hiking trails to explore. The kids had a great time walking around looking for sticks and lizards.

Here are the photos...

Downtown LA

Greater LA

Mt. Wilson

Josh on a stump

Solar telescpoe



Tejeda men/boys

All the photos were taken by Hector except the last one. I was trying to practice with the rangefinder so hope to get those developed soon. :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

8-Square socks

I said it before and I'll say it again...Ravelry is a wonderful site. My creativity is challenged and the possibilities are endless!!

I remember those knitted slipper socks with the pom pom at the toes that elderly friends of my mom knit for us and I don't particularly care for that style. With the sudden cold spell my feet want to have something toasty and while I have lots of knitted socks, I don't want to wear them around on the tile etc and wear them out. Duh! I could really use some slippers.

So off I went to search Ravelry and I found this pattern. 8-sqare socks. I can use up various worsted weight yarn I've collected over the years too.

8 squares socks layout

This pattern is adjustable to fit the wearer and the trickiest part is seaming it together correctly. I made a mistake and had to undo the seam which is a PITA so I suggest pinning it all together then seam. It's trippy how this strip of knitted squares will transform into a slipper but it does!!

8-square socks

8-square socks

Aren't these cute?? Joshua saw them and immediately wanted some...I think I can use sock yarn doubled up to get worsted weight so I will try that for Josh's pair.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Ready for Thanksgiving weekend and looking forward to spending it with our family. I'm sure it will be emotional but therapeutic just to be with one another. We really do have so much to be thankful for and the timing couldn't be better.

The kids are so excited to have their aunt, uncle and cousins with us tomorrow and connect. :)


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

November catching up

Getting through another hectic and emotional week just in time for the holidays so hold on to your hats.

Tyler made honor roll again and last year because of scheduling I was never able to see him receive his award but for 7th grade the time slot would work out perfectly. Well, that's what I get for assuming because the school changed the times again and I would have to do some quick driving back in forth to make it. I had to drop off Tyler first so he would there for the ceremony, drive Josh to school at 8:30am then drive back to catch what I could of the ceremony.
Honor Roll ceremony

I walked into the cafeteria to see him already standing on stage so I was able to take a few photos. Also in addition to this hectic morning, we had to bring in Tyler's science project and his potluck dessert of mini pumpkin cupcakes. He thought he would be able to drop them off in the classroom but the teachers are in their in-service meetings Tuesday mornings. Ugh. Luckily, he found his friend G to watch over it during this time. :) Phew.

Apple Core blanket
I have been knitting but not as much as I like but here is the latest. I finished the Apple Core blanket which can be used for a small lap throw (believe me, I used it for this purpose while stitching it all together) or a baby carrier blanket that can convert to a security blanket. I only took one photo so I definitely need to have another photo shoot with it. It took me about 1.5 days to get the I-cord edge on there and I really like it. I can't imagine how long it would take if this was a bigger blanket.

My November MOCK (mystery sock) with the challenge as Texture. A side story with this particular yarn because it's one of the earlier sock yarns I purchased way back when so the ball band is long lost so it is really a mystery yarn.

Next this yarn is fickle...I really like to find the perfect pattern for the yarn (for the most part) and this yarn has been started, frogged and restarted numerous times.  It's very thin and when knitted up, it doesn't feel very good. Very rough and scratchy.

So this yarn has been without a purpose until this month I noticed the mystery socks were named Moody stockings ( more after Mad Eye Moody vs. being moody like me) but I thought it was perfect because this yarn is definitely moody like me and I will finish these socks with this yarn. I guess I will keep them for myself just because I went through so much trouble to even find the right pattern but they'll be a reminder of their moodiness.

Mystery yarn

Look, even the color conveys moodiness but dang it, I don't like knitting with it.

MOCK: Novemeber mystery socks = Moody stockings.

Here are the socks somewhere around Clue 1 (Clue 3 was just released) so I have some knitting to do.
The texture made with the knits and purls are hard to see but like I said before...these WILL be knitted.

Watch, when I complete them they'll turn out to be my absolute favorite pair of handknit socks. Some hair conditioner should soften them up...