Weekend Warriors 2: Easter Sunday in LA

Having a kid reintroduces you to all the wonder and excitement that comes with holidays, such as Easter.

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Save for the first bunny scare (she warmed up fast to all subsequent bunnies) we had a blast re-exploring our childhood and Easter customs in Los Angeles. On Saturday we braved the crowds and visited The Grove, where we waited over an hour to see the Easter Bunny (not the one pictured above). On Sunday we decided to do something on a smaller scale and visited our local Motor Avenue Farmer’s Market that goes on every Sunday. It turned out to be a neighborhood kid’s Easter wonderland without the intensely long lines equipped with a puppet show, egg hunt, and bouncy house. She caught on quickly to the whole concept of finding a glossy egg and shoveling it in your basket (taking things other kids want, an already inherent desire). We kept sneaking eggs out of her basket and putting them back down for other munchkins to find. Shhh, don’t tell her we told you that.

Jo and Dad egg hunting copy

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Jo in Jump House copy

Celebrating Easter kind of made me miss the good old days when my mom used to adorn me in the foofiest dress on the market topped with a gargantuan bow and drag me to church at the crack of dawn. Dresses, scary bunnies, nice bunnies, bows, egg hunts, farmer’s markets — it’s fun to forge new and old traditions together.

Weekend Warriors 1: J. Paul Getty Museum

Thanks to Chris’s recent stint on The Price Is Right, we acquired a brand new Canon 60D to toy with. I’m by no means a great photographer, but now that I have the tools at my disposal, I let my index finger go snap happy at our weekend trip to the J. Paul Getty Museum here in Los Angeles.

This is one of our favorite places to visit in Los Angeles because, sure there’s artwork and a stellar view from the ocean to downtown, but beyond that the architecture of the pavilions, with their stunning lines and curves, are UH-MAY-ZING. They cast a perfect shadow over the garden lawn in the afternoon, which prompts you to relax in the grass after perusing the artwork. Josephine was running around like a maniac, rolling in down the grassy hills and sneaking up on strangers, extending her fingers ready to tickle their bare toes until I gave her the “NO” look. STRANGERS, BEWARE!

These shots aren’t perfect, and frankly my Photoshop editing has plenty of room for improvement. But if you bear with me through these weekend shooting sessions I’m bound to get some good shots. Hope you enjoy!

Loree In Front of Sign copyChris and Jo copy Jo running 1 copy Jo Running w Girl copy

4 New Establishments That Make Vallejo Cool

Ask me in high school what I thought about my dear hometown, Vallejo, and I would have told you it’s a barren suburbia with little promise other than an impending bankruptcy. Harsh, I know, but I was a little pretentious teenager who and knew very little.

But there’s something about leaving a place and returning to it that opens up a dormant romance. I’ve left V-town over and over and over again, and frankly have no plans to reside there again, but with the family and friendship ties I’ve maintained, Vallejo and the Bay Area will I always be my home. Lately, it hasn’t just been the friends that keep me coming back. I’ve been doing a little exploring every time I visit my old stomping grounds and have been quite impressed by a number of new businesses that have graced the downtown Vallejo area. Upon recent visits, I’ve gathered multiple reasons why Vallejo is charming without being pretentious, entertaining without being overtly flashy, and just a downright lovely place to call home. Here are 4 amazing establishments for the downtown dwellers to check out:

Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset1. Mare Island Brewing Company The laid-back, diverse and welcoming vibe of this taproom is spot on. Located in the ferry building and overlooking the waterfront, there’s an open airiness of the location that lures folks from all over the Bay Area in to imbibe in the richness that is their Farmhouse Ale. The owners seem to knew their devoted customers by name, and will even remember what they like to drink. I still haven’t tried all their beers, but I look forward to returning and tasting what new, seasonal brews they concoct. More Info: http://www.mareislandbrewingco.com/

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2. Little Four Clothing One word: ADORABLE. If you have a little kid, or if you’re a woman who enjoys beautifully handmade garments and curated jewelry, then this shop is a must. The owner has impeccable taste in quality fabrics with playful prints, and will even customize a piece of clothing for you with the size, style and fabric of your choice. If you need a great gift for a little kid (or their mommy, ahem) this is a one stop shop. More Info: http://littlefourclothing.com/

3. The Little Imaginarium Take your babies here, right now. Heck, take a kid that you’ve temporarily stolen just to play in this magnificent, magical, and educational play zone. I stumbled in here with my toddler thinking it was a store, but was pleasantly surprised to find A CASTLE WITH CUTE CHILD-SIZED FURNITURE. They have toys galore, and not just any old legos and play doh, but toys that unleash the inner child of the most jaded adult. For a small fee of $6, your kids from baby to preschool age can come in and play for as long as their little energetic hearts desire (until closing). Yes, that means caretakers too! You can call for info on classes and party bookings. More Info: http://littleimagineplay.com/

4. Nathan’s Conscious Cup If you’re all tuckered out from playing in The Little Imaginarium, you’re in luck because right across the street is this delicious coffee roaster and kombucha crafter. This is a great place to hang out, too, because they have the large beautiful wooden table. I know, tables have no direct correlation with the quality of coffee, but it’s a really nice table and you should check it out. Plus, their coffee is, in fact, as good as that table. If you’re into kombucha, you can customize it to your liking too! More Info: https://www.facebook.com/nathansconsciouscup/info?tab=overview

Are there other new establishments in Vallejo that are cool? Comment below!