ornament snow globe


To get into the spirit of things, a few mommies and I got together for a Christmas playdate, where we had a small secret santa gift exchange and a craft for the kids. The craft was a quick and easy snow globe that the kiddies can give to their daddies. Not only did they all have a fun time creating these gifts, the toddlers were pretty damn proud of themselves afterward.

toilet paper roll christmas wreath


Everyone is in full Christmas mode by now, which includes me. This time of year just makes me want to bake and craft all day long. This season we are sticking around for a very obvious reason... expecting twin babies. So we put up a modest little tree and some decorations. I wanted to put a wreath on the front door but quickly realized that the HOA here has some strict rules, so instead I decided to put a little one the inside around the peephole. 

I've been collecting toilet paper rolls for a project with my toddler and now have one too many. That's when I came up with this idea of making my wreath with them. Here's directions on how to make your own.

an update on the house


If you've been following my previous blog posts about our house (here, here, here, and here), you may be curious to what's happened in the past few months. I'm sorry to disappoint you all, but not much has happened. After the approval of our design in August, our neighbors (yes, plural) filed an appeal (in which they have the right to in this particular city) against the Design Review Board's decision. What happens then? The appeal is presented to the Planning Commission (basically the next level above DRB) for review. This process took two months and to our relief, the Commission denied the appeal and we are finally able to move forward with our project. For me, the meeting started off nerve-racking and ended in joy, relief, (and humor?) All the appellants walked out of the meeting before a decision was made and only after the first of the four members spoke.

Overall, the Planning Commission concluded that we have made a real effort to listen to the Design Review Board, as well as the community's concerns. Above are two renderings, one of an ultra-modern design that we presented at our first DRB meeting and the other is the mid-century modern inspired redesign after considering the major issues that were brought up. The redesign was a difficult process and there were a lot of items we had to compromise. I've learned that even though we had to give up a few things off our "wishlist," our family will still love and live in this house the same. I'm just looking forward to breaking ground.

These were the changes we made from the original design:
  • Roof line changed from flat to sloped
  • The first floor was setback was an extra 5 feet from the required
  • The second floor was setback an extra 20 feet from the required
  • A bedroom on the second floor was eliminated
  • Large fenestrations from the front elevation were eliminated
I am happy to say that we finally submitted our plans for plan check with the building department, which sadly will take 4 to 6 weeks. The twins will be here in T minus 3 weeks. The challenge now is how will I handle two newborns while a building a house.

Stay tuned and send me a prayer.

miso glazed eggplant


Eggplant is one of those vegetables that you either love or hate. As for me, I LOVE eggplant. It's just something that I've grown up eating all my life, so it's really comfort food for me. I still can't quite make it the way my mom does, so I've started exploring different recipes. One of the most recent successful ones I've tried is with a miso glaze.

Christmas giftcard jars


With the twins arriving just weeks away, I wanted to have as much Christmas preparation done as possible. One of my items on my to-do list are holiday gifts for Austin's preschool teachers. They really do so much for all the kids. Our little boy has really thrived and shined ever since he's been there. I can tell he loves his teachers and the school. Sometimes, I can't get him to leave at pick up. As a thank you, I wanted to give the teachers something that will be useful and what's more useful than a Target giftcard? To add a personal touch to it, I placed them in glass jars filled with chocolates, a couple of Christmas ornaments, and tied it with a handmade tag.

Everything was purchased at Target for approximately $15 not including the giftcards. Here's how to make your own.

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