Posts in Lifestyle
The Great Pacific Airshow - 7 Tips for Spectating with a Toddler

Drew and I both grew up going to airshows as kids. Drew has always been into aviation, his major was originally aerospace engineering. He flew RC planes, took flight simulator classes, and even flew in a glider once. I grew up next to Edwards Air Force Base and we constantly got previews of the latest and greatest secret projects from the military. For years we’ve talked about going to an airshow together but we just haven’t been able to make it to one.

Finally, a free weekend allowed us to finally check out the Great Pacific Airshow in Huntington Beach. Drew was so excited to take Evelyn to her first show and let her experience one of his favorite things. It was pretty special. Evelyn had the best time enjoying the beach while catching an airshow. Unlike seeing an airshow at a military base, where there may have not been a ton of things to keep her busy and occupied, the beach is her all time favorite place. She was definitely interested in the planes, the bigger ones specifically. However, I think her favorite thing was just sharing some time with her Daddy.

Since my tips from my apple picking blog were so well received, I figured I’d share some of my top tips to taking your kids to the Great Pacific Air Show as well.

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1. Go on a Friday! Friday is technically a rehearsal for the Saturday and Sunday performances however the crowds are significantly smaller. Parking was an absolute breeze and NOT inflated for the event, we parked directly across the street in a parking structure. The beach was busy, but we still had about 100 feet around us from the next set of people making it perfect for our toddler to have the room to run and play where she wanted. Our favorite burger place in the area (TK Burger) wasn’t inundated with crowds at lunch time, this kid loves “burger-fries”. I think going on a Friday significantly improved our time at the show.

2. Find a good spot! We had a great spot for the show. They have tickets for sale in the grand stands that range from basic general admission to VIP private booth status but watching it from the beach is free! We wanted to be somewhat close to the bathrooms for Evelyn so we found a spot about half way between the pier and the hotels. It was a perfect spot. All of the tricks seemed to be right in front of us. We couldn’t imagine paying for better seats. Depending on your situation, you can get as close to the water as you want. We stayed farther back so that we wouldn’t be chasing Evelyn in the waves constantly while we tried to watch the show and to get a little more room between us and the pretty loud jets.

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3. Bring ear protection for everyone. The first part of the show are biplanes, refueling demos, and quieter planes but by the end of the show it can get fairly loud. The jets are the main attraction basically so they usually come at the end of the show and Drew was taking a cute picture of Evelyn holding onto her shovel when the jets happened to show up. I felt so bad for not catching it before it scared her, but these fighter jets are known for sneaking up on you. That’s their whole purpose! However, as soon as we put those headphones on her, she was fine! I was so proud of her! We also brought ear plugs for Drew and I just in case. We didn’t need them, however I’m glad I had them in case it got too loud for us. Besides the loud noises, the jets were definitely the favorite of ours.

4. Be flexible. Evelyn did great with the loud jets once she had her headphones. I even figured maybe she’d sit on my lap during that part of the show however she was content to dig her sand castles and watch the show on her own. Occasionally running back to me . However, we saw many kids about Evelyn’s age freaking out and having to leave. Some even had the headphones on. These jets are intense and they are incredibly close to you. These fighter pilots are the best of the best and I was never worried about safety but to a toddler, it might be too intense and too difficult to understand. So be prepared to have to leave if your toddler isn’t feeling it.

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5. Bring shade. This is one thing I wish we had done better. Thank goodness we had the Keenz with us, which by the way, it is the absolute best stroller wagon ever! It didn’t hit us that we would be sitting on a beach from 11-4:30 PM in the sun. Being in the direct sun during those hours for that long, we really could’ve used an EZ-UP or umbrellas. I was really good on the sunscreen for Evelyn (not for myself though, ouch!) and she had a blast sitting and playing inside of her Keenz when she didn’t feel like being in the sun luckily. Lesson learned though, bring shade or shelter next time. If it was cloudy and rainy, you’ll want the protection and if it’s hot and sunny, you’ll want the shade.

6. That being said, pack for the beach too! Bring the sunscreen, the sand toys, the beach chairs, snacks, water, wet wipes, swim suits, etc. There is a break between performances and that was the best time to play in the water or help build a sand castle.

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7. Lastly, bring the camera! Much like anything new with toddler, I didn’t know how Evelyn was going to do with an airshow. The loud planes during the middle of her nap time could’ve easily backfired but we ended up having an amazing time together on the beach doing something special with her Daddy. Drew was in heaven capturing the moments of introducing his daughter to one of his most favorite things, he had a big goofy grin on his face most of the day.

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I know this will not be the last time we do this as a family together, it was so special for Drew and I know he secretly hopes it will always be special to Evelyn. Besides lunch, all we had to pay for was parking so there really isn’t an excuse not to do our best to make this a tradition.

Location: The Great Pacific Airshow

Evelyn’s Swimsuit: Minnow Swim

Evelyn’s Headphones: Baby Banz

Stroller Wagon: Keenz Stroller Wagon

Because Oceans Tote: Unblushing Co.

A Fresh and Clean Friendsgiving

The holidays are upon us friends. They are right around the corner and they aren’t stopping for coffee! Even if it feels like we’ve got plenty of time, we all know that come November, we are going to be sitting here wondering how is it already Thanksgiving again.

Every single year, I tell myself I am going to get my butt in gear early so that I can actually enjoy the holiday and use my time efficiently.

Last year, Kacee from Life with Lipstick On hosted a gorgeous luncheon for Friendsgiving and we got to help by providing her some lovely details.

We designed some custom name cards in the shape of maple leaves. I love this new font we’ve been using so much lately. Our maple leaf escort cards are perfect for any fall type gathering and the personal touch makes your guests feel appreciated.

We also did these thanksgiving themed stir sticks for their cocktails or champagne. These have been very popular for a few years now and the wooden stir sticks along with this gorgeous coastal palette just tie everything together perfectly.

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Kacee’s clean and crisp styles make this light and fresh friendsgiving palette just so inviting. The food fare was simple family style dishes with a thanksgiving flavor and the company was just as lovely! It’s so important to take a little time to appreciate your closest friends during such a busy and stressful time of year.

The food was light and easy so that she could spend more time with her guests. A variety of salads and flatbreads all with fall flavors served family style sounds so refreshing and so delicious.

Do you have friendsgiving traditions with your friends? Is it casual or traditional? There are plenty of ways you can celebrate the season of thanksgiving, maybe try something new this year!

Maple leaf place cards: Delovely Details

Thanksgiving stir sticks: Delovely Details

Production & styling: Kacee from Life with Lipstick On

The Apple of my Eye - 7 Tips for Apple Picking with a Toddler

We recently found a random morning where we had nothing planned and the weather was looking reasonable to spend a day outdoors. Lately it’s been in the high eighties and so the idea of some cooler weather had us itching to spend some time enjoying some fresh air.
Drew and I both have been apple picking as kids, and it must’ve had an impact on us because we were both so eager to take Evelyn apple picking. Everything fell into place perfectly. We had a free morning, on a cool day, in the fall, for some pickin’.

It was really hard to find out which apple farm to visit. There are a ton of farms, all with different amenities in addition to apple picking. There was also some drama surrounding some of the apple farms last year and after we double checked to make sure we weren’t going to any farms involved, we decided on Los Rios Rancho and are so grateful we did! They had several different types of apples to pick, handy guides located throughout their huge orchards, you could pick other types of fruits and even pumpkins. Across the street they had a grocery store, bakery, restaurant, petting zoo, horse rides, and a big park. Easily could fill up an entire day.

Having now been apple picking with a toddler, here are a few of my top tips if you are visiting an apple orchard.

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1. Try and go on a cool day. We were able to spend hours in the orchards because the weather was so perfect. It was crisp and cool like a real fall day which is very hard to come by in Southern California. I am so grateful we waited for this weather, a week prior it had almost reached 100 degrees and I can’t imagine that being fun at all. Hiking through the orchards, picking apples, and chasing a toddler was exhausting and it was nice to at least have the cooler temperatures to balance it all out a bit. These apple trees don’t offer shade, so if it is sunny, be prepared. Lots of sunscreen, hats, and water!

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2. Don’t wear your good shoes. I was super naive in thinking how “farm” like things were going to be. It was a real functioning apple orchard and my Tieks (albeit comfy) and Evelyn’s favorite Old Soles shoes took a massive beating. Wear your crummy shoes, jeans you aren’t attached too, and if you have a toddler, a lot of wet wipes. Evelyn tripped a lot on weeds, apples that had fallen, and hoses. She got filthy. Sap from the trees made her sticky. When I would pick her up, her muddy shoes would rub on my jeans and jacket and so I ended up filthy as well. So wear the grubby clothes.

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3. Bring a change of shoes! On top of bringing wet wipes to wipe hands and faces, bring a pair of shoes for the car home. Regardless of the weather, there is a lot of dirt. For us, with the fog and rain, it was muddy. But even on a sunny day, your are going to end up dusty. To avoid tracking too much into the car, I wish I would have brought everyone an extra pair of shoes.

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4. Get there early! Especially if the weather is cooler. I didn’t know what to expect so we got there very early since Evelyn still really needs her midday nap. So we got there around 9:15 AM when the orchard opened up at 9 AM. When we got there, we might have been the 15th family to arrive. We left around 11 AM and by then there were probably over 80 families. It was packed and parking was insane. So if you go during summer, get there early when weather is cooler and sun is lower. And if it is a cool day, go early because everyone and their mother is going to be there.

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5. Make bathroom arrangements for littles! So we are still sort of potty training. She’s doing great but I’m not ready to trust her in an portable toilet. These are functional farms so most of them don’t have regular bathrooms to use. I brought Evelyn her portable potty and home girl just used it in the back of my hatchback. It’s not ideal but I felt much better about it and we made it through the whole day with no accidents.

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6. Bring snacks! You are not allowed to eat apples while in the orchard, although Evelyn broke that rule when I wasn’t looking for .2 seconds. She had a blast and it wore her out and she got a really big appetite. We had some snacks luckily but if we didn’t have those, she would’ve gotten hangry. A tired and hangry toddler is the worst combo.

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7. Bring your camera! I had no idea what to expect from this adventure. In my head, I kinda thought Evelyn would get tired of the whole thing rather quickly which is why we went to someplace that had other offerings than just picking apples. However, she loved picking apples and running through the orchards. I thought we may get 20 minutes from her and we did almost 2 hours! She was having such fun, and she was so obliging with all the pictures I was taking of her. We all had the best time being outside and enjoying each other’s company.

I love doing things like this as a family. At the end of the day, it’s just the three of us. We are our whole world and I love that we can do these adventures together and I pray that they bring us all closer.

Location: Los Rios Rancho - Oak Glen, California

Evelyn’s Jacket: Old Navy

Evelyn’s Bow: Little Poppy Co.

Evelyn’s Jeans: Cat and Jack

Evelyn’s Shoes: Old Sole Shoes

How Are We Doing?

How are we doing?

That was a question that we’ve dodged for a long time, basically for four years. If you aren’t aware, our house burned down almost four years ago this September. It was one of the most important events of our lives because it changed everything in an hour. Our life was completely turned upside down and we were frankly terrified.

Drew and I are, to a fault, overly optimistic people. We live to help others and we were never comfortable with letting others help us. The physical and mental toll was bigger than we ever wanted to let on to our friends and family. We held a lot of our struggles in and kept to ourselves. People would ask us “how are you guys doing?” and we used our stock “We’re doing fine, just so grateful no one got hurt” answer. Part of that was true too. We are so grateful that no one got physically hurt, but we were hurt. We were dealing with the pain of loosing 90% of our belongings, our home, our lives, and we were also dealing with PTSD.

Last pictures we took inside of our home before it was demoed and rebuilt.

Last pictures we took inside of our home before it was demoed and rebuilt.

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Right after the fire, we did go to therapy to handle all of the stress, anxiety, and depression that came along with loosing most of what we owned during an very scary experience. It definitely helped and I’m grateful we made that decision to go, but the biggest healer was always going to be time.

We have made progress, we are healing and we are taking our time doing it. There are some things we are not ready to talk about, they are just triggers for us. We are grateful to everyone who is understanding of that and respects that. However, we kept everything bottled up for so long, that I haven’t felt like “myself” for awhile and after some soul searching, I’ve realized it was because I’ve locked off this huge aspect of my life and therefore a huge part of myself. So in an effort to move forward, feel more comfortable with myself, and show you the real side of the pretty Instagram feeds…I’m talking about this not so pretty aspect of my life.

I’m so grateful to the few family members and close friends who were aware of our struggles and regularly checked in on us. Even the small inquiries meant so much to Drew and I, they definitely helped us knowing that someone was thinking of us.

Lastly, I have to thank Drew. The night of the fire, our lives changed drastically. I feel like most marriages either crumble under all of the stress and devastation or they become stronger and more resilient. I’m blessed that we held on to each other, we prayed together, and through that our love grew. Though I never wanted to be in this position, I’m beyond grateful that I had Drew standing by my side through it all.

So, how are we doing?

We are doing okay! Four years is a long time, and we have been blessed in so many ways. Including our daughter who came into our lives 2 years ago. It’s a process and there are some days where it’s just heavier than other days. Luckily, they are fewer and farther in between. But there is always a bit of a gut wrench when we see photos of our old house, pictures of us in some of our favorite clothes or some of our favorite possessions that we lost, or when we go to reach for a tool that we’ve forgotten we no longer have. They are things, and replaceable. Absolutely! We realize how blessed we are that we are all okay and no one was hurt! Thank God! Please do not misunderstand that! However, the reality of the situation is occasionally we miss our old life and we struggle with all the emotions with that.

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It’s all a process and we are doing our best to move forward. I plan to talk more about what the process looked like, the lessons we’ve learned, and the positives of the whole situation. This was a beginning, putting it out there and updating everyone with “how we are doing”.

But thanks for asking!

How Our Business Impacts Our Marriage
 
Photography by  Savan Photography

Photography by Savan Photography

When I first started Delovely Details, it was my business. It started out as a hobby but quickly grew. As it grew, it no longer was my business, but also Drew’s. Drew is 100% my partner in this. I would not be able to do any of this without him. While he also has a regular day job, he spends a lot of his nights and weekends helping me manage everything. The impact our business has had on our marriage has been a surprise in many ways.


1. Communication

Drew and I have always been great at communicating with each other. I’m sure sometimes he’d agree that maybe I communicate “too well”. However, I find that it’s been a big strength in not just our marriage, but also in working together professionally. Most business owners will say, “time is money” and so we try not to spend a lot of time beating around the bush. We can be very direct with each other. It can be hard to hear, and even harder to leave it at the door when we are home sometimes. Whether it be a problem with a design, how to handle a customer, accounting; we both are always more interested in solving the problem than exacerbating it with complicated dialogue.

2. Compromise

We both are big idea, creative, and passionate people; which can make compromising extremely hard if I am being honest. This is something we both regularly have to check ourselves with and something we both can probably get a little better at. One thing that has helped us is to have our main goals (for business and home life) clear and sometimes even visible. That way, when we are struggling to make compromises, we can look at our main goal and revert back to it to see if our compromise will help direct us to that main goal. If we have goals for our family, goals for the business, and goals for our marriage, it can help us make the RIGHT choices (most of the time anyways). The more we’ve compromised with the business side of things, the easier I find compromise is on the family side.

3. Partnership

I’ve been with Drew since 2001. We’ve known each other since we were basically kids. We’ve been each other’s support systems, cheerleaders, and back up for quite a bit of time now. When I started this business, it was mine. However, because Drew is my biggest support, it wasn’t long before he jumped in to help me. It was just his nature to do so. With that, I have a trusted partner in my business. I trust that he will do what is in the best interest for my company and therefore our family. I also respect him and he respects me. This makes delegating work very easy. It’s also great for our marriage in that the business only helps us further trust in each other.

4. Work-Life Balance

We struggle with this big time. It’s one of the biggest downsides that our business has been for our marriage. Even though we regularly make goals of changing it, somehow it never seems to happen. We both work 24/7. When we take date nights, we usually end up talking about the business. It’s really hard to completely turn off work when your spouse and you are both working for the same company. I can’t remember the last time we didn’t look at our emails for an entire weekend. We’ve never shut down our shop for a holiday or vacation. This is not ideal or healthy and we are constantly fighting off burnout mode. Having weekends be work-free is a dream of ours though, and while it sometimes seems impossible, we are both constantly working towards that goal. I am grateful however, that if I am going to be working on a Saturday, at least it is with my husband and my daughter can be with us both still.

5.  Disagreements

We are far from the perfect couple or business partners. We disagree, we argue, we can even hold grudges. However, sometimes if we have a fight about family life, it doesn’t mean that the business doesn’t have a deadline the next day. Or sometimes, we will disagree over a business matter, and then we have to go to dinner with each other’s families. So while we may want space from each other, it’s usually impossible and that can be frustrating. We’ve learned to compartmentalize a lot of our issues to get through commitments and then we find time to discuss them and work through them. I think at the end of the day, most times, we both understand that our disagreements are usually a small pebble in our journey and not worth more energy than necessary. We both also respect each other’s feelings if we just can’t get past things and might need to just be frustrated for a little bit.

Photography by  Savan Photography

Photography by Savan Photography

 This is how Delovely Details has impacted our marriage, it isn’t all good and it isn’t all bad. For better or for worse though, I think we would still choose this road. It has been far more fulfilling than not and we both feel that the business has overall strengthened our marriage. Is owning a business within a marriage for everyone? No. I’m actually quite surprised how well our marriage has adapted to it. Like most things that impact a marriage, if you’ve built your marriage on a strong foundation, it’s usually capable of weathering any storm. Our marriage is built of faith, love, trust, and empathy. So far, we’ve gotten through every storm we’ve had come our way. And believe me when I say, we’ve had our share!

 
Halloween Activities with Evelyn
 

I have been so excited about holidays now that Evelyn is a little older. To be honest, I am not a fan of the typical holiday season (Halloween - Christmas). Plus, my dad passed around Christmas. I do love all the holidays other holidays (New Years Eve - Fourth of July). They are just less stressful. No months of prep and making huge plans, no excess travel among the masses, etc. However, this year, the idea of seeing these holidays through Evelyn’s eyes has me more excited for them than I usually am.

I think most moms want traditions for their children. I remember the same reindeer bean bag dolls coming out every year at Christmas time, the same Frankenstein paper decor at Halloween, and of course, the fan turkey centerpiece at Thanksgiving. I don’t remember when I stopped caring about those decorations, but I do remember them every year and I want that for Evelyn.

This is a great “test run” year for us. She’s much more aware of things but if we try some things that don’t work out, she won’t remember next year.

One tradition I’d love to start with her is a visit to the Irvine Regional Park Pumpkin Patch. I actually have taken her a few times since it’s free and it keeps her entertained. While I love this pumpkin patch, I don’t love the crowds it creates as we get closer to Halloween. I highly recommend checking this place out in early October. You can go to the pumpkin patch, ride the train and visit the OC Zoo for a few more dollars. It’s a full day and its inexpensive, unless you buy all your pumpkins there. We hit up Trader Joe’s on the way home. Next year Evelyn will be able to play more of the games and enjoy the animals a little more.

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The next event we did, that will for sure become a Halloween tradition for us, was visit the City of Orange’s Treats in the Street event. We don’t live in Orange, but this event made me want to move there. First, it was free which is crazy to me. Irvine had an event at the Great Park that we paid $5 for and it was such a waste of time that I won’t even bother writing about it and we took a few awful photos and that was it. This event in Orange was just awesome. We got there right at 4PM and parking was already getting busy. After about an hour of Trick or Treating at the local stores, Evelyn had the whole concept figured out. She had a good stash and so we grabbed some dinner. When we got out of the restaurant, it was packed and almost every store had a line to get some candy. So we decided to just check out some of the booths and watch some of the shows and let Evelyn do what Evelyn does best, draw a crowd.

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I love how quickly this kid caught onto, “go to a stranger and take some candy.” We did practice at the house beforehand and I told her she had to knock on the door. So regardless of where the person who was actually handing out candy was sitting/standing…Evelyn would walk up to the door and knock and then go grab candy. We let her try to eat a few pieces of candy but she wanted no part of it. No clue where she gets that self control.

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I can’t say enough of the Treats in the Streets though. It was a great experience for us, who are unfamiliar with the area. I definitely see us heading back there to shop those stores, grab a bite to eat and celebrate other community events there.

If you can’t tell, she is a Witch this Halloween. However, so far she has given the hat a hard “NO”.

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Watching Evelyn learn how to Trick or Treat, watching her reaction to seeing other people in costumes (ask me about what she did when she saw another little girl dressed as Elmo), seeing her face explore the decorations on some local haunted houses, and her and her daddy carving her own pumpkin has been way more special than I anticipated. I am very wary but I’m starting to have some hope for the rest of the holidays.

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I can’t wait to see how she does on the actual Halloween night. We are going to let her stay up a little late and answer the door for a few trick-or-treaters. My guess is that will be her favorite part.

Evelyn’s Pajamas are from Carters available at Amazon.

Her Halloween tote is from Little Partridge on Etsy. (She’s currently closed but maybe email her and ask pretty please!)


This post contains some affiliated links, however I wouldn’t recommend anything I don’t feel I don’t already love!