Monthly Archives: July 2012

101 in 1001 update: Enjoy some outdoor/indoor music

I’ve got several items on my 101 in 1001 challenge list to provide an update on, but I’ll start with this one today: “Enjoy some outdoor/indoor music”.

My town organizes a “Concerts in the Park” series every summer for all to enjoy for free. A new band plays a different style of music every week and on a weekday evening, people get to sit on the lawn and listen to the band.

I’ve been wanting to take the kids to several of these concerts but somehow I’ve forgotten every single time this summer. That’s until a group of friends mentioned they’d be going to an upcoming blues concert, with two bands playing that night. So I put it on the calendar and last week I joined my friends and a couple thousand people for a fun concert.

I don’t think we stayed there longer than an hour because the kids were getting tired and their patience was wearing out, but we did enjoy the blues music during the time we were there.

Here’s a photo of the second band I managed to take when the kids asked to get closer to listen to the music.

101 in 1001 challenge: enjoy outdoor music

101 in 1001 challenge: enjoy outdoor music

Of course the boys then complained the music was too loud, so we made our way back to our blanket by going behind the stage. Somehow the music was still very loud over there, not just in front of the stage!

101 in 1001 challenge: listening to a blues band

101 in 1001 challenge: listening to a blues band

Enjoying outdoor music is a treat for me in the summer. I also got to enjoy live music on the 4th of July when I took my oldest to the town’s festivities. So technically, this is my second time listening to live music in a single month, not that bad. I can now cross this challenge off my list, although I hope to have more opportunities to listen to indoor or outdoor music before this challenge is over.

Do you get to enjoy outdoor music once in a while? Or do you prefer indoor concerts?

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Purple

How did the WordPress people know my favorite color is purple? OK, technically it’s not purple but lilac, or lavender. And pink. And blue. Many shades of blue.

But I’ve found out over the years that most Americans are not very discriminative when it comes to colors. Growing up in the land of Renoir and Monet, I learned early on the colors of my paint tubes in the school’s art class: ochre, vermillion, fuchsia, azure, café au lait… And “bordeaux” for maroon, because “marron” means chestnut in French, since chestnuts are indeed brown. And that was just one hour of art class every week. But let me get back on track before I start ranting about the disappearance of art from our school system, or our kids’ preference for video games over art history.

I love purple and its various shades. It’s a bold, proud color that screams, look at me! And I love taking pictures of purple things because they stand out so much from their background.

Take a look at the photos below and tell me what you think. I’d also love to hear what your favorite color is and why.

Here’s a photo of my favorite tree in San Diego, called the jaracanda. It only blooms for a couple of months a year (May and June) and it’s a delight to see the purple bursts throughout the landscape. I still have to find a tree with a nice setting around it to take a great picture, but I wanted to share this sight because it’s quite a treat.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Purple - Jacaranda tree in San Diego

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Purple – Jacaranda tree in San Diego

Here’s a photo of a local lilac tree called the Ramona lilac. Unfortunately it doesn’t smell anything like the common lilac but it still features beautiful blooms in the spring.

Purple lilac - Ramona lilac photo in San Diego

Purple lilac – Ramona lilac photo in San Diego

During our vacation in Idyllwild, I spotted a few wildflowers and these really stood out. I have no idea what they are called (if you know, please share), but I love their shape and color.

California purple wildflowers photo

California purple wildflowers photo

Finally, I know I used this photo of a lupine in a previous WordPress weekly photo challenge, but it’s very purple and fits right into this post too.

Photo of purple lupine in San Diego

Photo of purple lupine in San Diego

WWW Wednesdays – July 25, 2012

WWW Wednesdays

My bookshelf

The hunger games by Suzanne Collins

The hunger games by Suzanne Collins

– What I’m currently reading
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Oh my gosh, I can’t stop turning the pages. This is the worst book to read before going to bed!

– What I recently finished reading
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. This is a very interesting book entirely dedicated to introverts so introverts and extraverts alike can understand them better. I like the real life examples and strategies to help introverts at home, at school and at work to be themselves and develop their full potential. The U.S. has put a lot of emphasis on extraverts in the past few decades, often picturing introverts as the “anti-social” individuals rather than the thinkers they really are. This is a sad trend, especially when you realize how little independent  thinking and creativity is going on in schools and in the corporate world today. My favorite part in the book? The fact that introverts don’t like small talk. Haha, this is so true!
– What I think I’ll read next
I wish I’d known how excellent and addictive The Hunger Games would be so I’d ordered the next two books from the library before I even received the first one. Now, I’m left without the sequels after I finish it, so I’ll grab a book that’s been waiting for me for a few weeks on my bookshelf: Ignore Everybody: and 39 Other Keys to Creativity by Hugh MacLeod.
My kids’ bookshelf

Cork & Fuzz by Dori ChaconasWhat they’re currently reading
Cork & Fuzz by Dori Chaconas. Fuzz the possum and Cork the muskrat become best friends despite their many differences, including their habitat, eating habits and everyday activities. This is actually a whole series of books and my kids like them all. The stories and illustrations are cute and very engaging. Other books in this series we’ve been reading and we like are:
Cork & Fuzz – The Swimming Lesson (perfect for my kids learning to swim)
Cork & Fuzz – The Baby Sitters
Cork & Fuzz – Short & Tall (very, very funny)

The top job by Elizabeth Cody KimmelWhat they recently finished reading
The Top Job by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel. On Career Day, a young girl tells her class about her father’s exciting job as light bulb changer at the top of the Empire State Building. Believe it or not, it’s a real job and it’s quite a challenge to get all the way up there!
How To Make An Apple Pie And See The World by Marjorie Priceman. Since the market is closed, a girl travels around the world to gather the ingredients for making an apple pie. A chicken for the egg in France, a cow for the butter in England, a few more stops, and all the way back to Vermont for the apples. Who knew making an apple pie could be such an adventure?

– What I think they’ll read next
I’m not sure. What about you? Any books you or your kids are reading you’d like to share?

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WordPress weekly photo challenge: Inside

My little big man turned six a few days ago and at his request, I made cupcakes to put his candles on. Can you believe I never baked cupcakes before? I usually make birthday cakes and I didn’t even have a cupcake pan. I do now and it means I can also make muffins too, yum!

The birthday boy was very impatient to open his birthday presents the whole week. The first time he saw them is when they were coming to our house inside boxes from Amazon and Target. Then I wrapped them up inside wrapping paper. Oh, I wonder what’s inside, he kept saying.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Inside

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Inside

It took the whole day for the birthday boy to unwrap his birthday presents one by one, playing with them a bit, then moving on to the next wrapped present. He got a mix of toys, books and games and I think they all were a hit. Happy 6th birthday, my boy!

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Inside the birthday wrapping paper

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Inside the birthday wrapping paper