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Where in the World is Pasadena?

The view of Downtown Los Angeles from the north end of Pasadena on a hazy day

This post started with the idea of being an introduction into my town, but as I started thinking about all of the opportunities I've had to share my town with people, a pet peeve reared its ugly head.  My post then turned into a rant, but half way through writing it, I adjusted my thoughts, so now you are left with the remnants.

The hub and a friend in Old Town in front of Il Fornaio at Christmas

I really like living in Pasadena.  As I started writing, I realized that I've really liked living most of the places where I've lived.  I was not one of those kids who couldn't wait to grow up and move away from wherever they had spent their lives.  We had moved a few times while I was growing up, and I was more focused as an adult on finding my home and staying there.  I've lived in this area for the last 15 years, and it's where I was actually born.  It's a city but a small city, which doesn't feel incredibly urban.  It's close to downtown, the beach, the mountains, and the desert.  There are schools, museums, restaurants, and recreation.  There are very few things that I need that make me travel to another area.

Having the Rose Parade and Bowl in our city is always a way to relate to people about our home.  If they don't know where Pasadena is on the map, they at least have a point of reference having watched the parade or the game at some point.  Our backyard literally backs up to the float viewing area, which is kept open for a day or two after the parade.  My least favorite part of the spectacle is that someone from the committee came up with the great idea to play music over loud speakers for the visitors.  At least there is calm and quiet every evening after dark.

 The view over my backyard fence on New Year's Day 2013

 We aren't allowed to park in front of our houses from Dec. 31 to Jan. 2 to make sure there is room for emergency vehicles

 Our corner

We get the noise, but our neighbors on this side of the barricades have to deal with all the crowds parking in front of their houses and blocking their driveways.  We might have it easier; at least our street has zero traffic for a few days.  This nice young man has to stand here and move the barriers all day for people like me who have a pass into the area.  

We are planning on moving again in the next few years (probably as soon as I finally get the last box emptied from our last move), and we'll definitely do a better job of moving away from the parade route.  We may have to go away for New Year's this year to avoid the music.


Diaper Cake

My niece just had a baby boy, Aidan, and his nursery has a nautical theme, so it was so much fun for me to shop for her shower.  The call had gone out for diapers, when I remembered the diaper cake a co-worker had made when her daughter was expecting her first baby.  I went to Pinterest for inspiration and decided to try making a small one myself.

A lot of the online directions call for hot gluing the diapers together.  Since I was starting small, I used this large rubber band to hold my tightly rolled diapers together.

Double-sided tape worked really well, and I never even turned the glue gun on.

I picked the bow to go with the nursery color scheme, but if I do this again, I would go with something smaller or even consider putting a blanket over the top to give the appearance of a smooth surface instead.


Jewel Mint Sale

JewelMint and all the Mint companies are having a huge sale this holiday weekend.  Take advantage of the savings on the already great prices and have a great weekend.


Las Brisas

When the hub and I started dating, he was living in southern Orange County, and I was living in the Pasadena area.  As we started talking about getting married, we were each trying to convince the other of moving.  One of the ways that he tried to convince me was by taking me to Las Brisas.

I will go out any night of the week for Mexican food.  I simply love it.  The lure of Las Brisas lies not only in the food but the location.  Situated on a the top of a bluff in Laguna Beach, I never been there on a bad day.  Or maybe it's just that Las Brisas makes the day better.

Hub eventually realized that moving to Pasadena was the better move, but we try to make it down to Las Brisas a few times a year.  We had never done brunch until recently, and we are such nice parents, we took the kids with us.  What is it about brunch that makes eating a huge steak before noon seem so reasonable?


Lipgloss Holder DIY

Before A was born and when she was tiny, I used to be quite crafty.  Not to blow my own horn, but at that point in my life, I could have given Martha Stewart a run for her money.  Having a Halloween party, okay, let's make pumpkin stew and serve it in individual mini pumpkins set on chargers that I personalized for every guest.  I had theme parties, spent more time wrapping presents than I did shopping for them, made an ornament for everyone on my Christmas list, and was always working on a needlepoint or cross-stitch project.  Then the child and the career got busy, and the crafts were the first thing to go.  It was either that or the already minimal sleep.  Coffee can only do so much.

Now that I'm starting to craft again, it's amazing how much has changed.  New techniques and materials, not to mention technology overwhelm me every time I go to Michael's or the fabric store.  Feeling like I didn't know where to start, I decided on this simple felt project.

Felt is so inexpensive, so when I went to the store by myself, I bought several colors for potential versions because the teenager can be a bit fickle on color choices from day-to-day. For some reason, I hate to use a sewing machine, so I liked that the stitching was so minimal I could do it by hand.

A now wants one in every color.  Pass the coffee.