Get your kicks …


I think my 6 year old finally realizes how is she has it after this museum.

How we survived 3 states in one day


Our longest road trip has always been 4 hours in the car, anything beyond that terrifies me. Emery use to be horrible in the car up into a year ago, she would flip out about her back itching & when she was younger she would cry because it was dark. Her first major car trip was when she was 9 months old, we traveled 3 hours to Los Angeles and it was traumatizing. I screamed inconsolably for hours, no wait, I’m getting what I wanted to do with what actually happened confused. Emery, was the one who lost it nothing worked to calm her, I tried feeding her while she was strapped in her car seat as I hovered over, I tried showing her light from my phone and having it vibrate. Of course the last 5 minutes of the trip she fell a sleep. All of this is just to set you up on how terrified I am of road trips. It’s completely justified and avoidable if I have anything to say about it.

Two weeks ago my husband & I through ideas of where or what to do for our son’s 13th birthday. Idea’s bounced back and forth and finally The Grand Canyon came to mind. It was totally epic and a great way to end our summer vacation.

We would spend 6 hours in the car just to get into Nevada, our first stop The Hoover Dam. We wanted to get up at 4 a.m. so the kids would sleep most of the way and get to the Dam before the heat came. The day of we left at 6, much later than expected, but hitting that snooze button felt so good. When we did leave the children stayed up for most of the trip.

After naps and packed crustable peanut butter and jelly snacks I decided it was a good time to hand out some fun they didn’t know they had. A few days before I bought some clip boards, stickers, goodies & printed out lots of road trip activities.


Grabbed some twistable crayons & case for each kid, some emoji & alphabet stickers, chap stick & glow in the dark lights at the local dollar store


You can find all the travel kids pages I used here at my Pinterest. Having a printer really saved me on this trip, each day the kids had something to finish or complete a mini report on what they learned. Since Carlos is three, I added more coloring pages he would be interested in (Carlos is really into tigers, so he had a tiger page to color & Diego) along with coloring pages of where we were going such as The Hoover Dam & The Grand Canyon. A simple google search of your next major destination under coloring pages should pop up some fun for the kids. Along with this we also brought their tablets, chargers & head phones (so I didn’t have to hear so much noise).

Speaking of sound, it was a lucky thing I brought my ipod because we used it all three days. The desert didn’t offer much and the mountains have no reception.


Emery filling out her form for the day on what she learned at The Grand Canyon in the hotel room


Because I have awesome friends that send me post cards when they traveled, I thought of them & bought some to send back! I really wanted this to be a writing exercise for Emery but the postcards were too small for her large print; so I ended up using them for myself





Carlos LOVED the coloring pages and crayons! He spent hours quietly working with them


TIP: I hot glued twine (yarn would also work) to the top of a pen and tied a knot to the metal part of the clip board. This way the kids had a pen to play their car sheet games with out it getting lost.


I remember what was happening here but I love the expression on Carlos’ face

Now that you have a behind the scene peek into our road trip the rest you can watch starting with, The Hoover Dam! Please don’t forget to like and subscribe to our YouTube channel, Taking California  & our Facebook page Taking California.




To Emery, Happy 6th Birthday

To Emery, Happy 6th Birthday

So much has happened since your last birthday! It was a year of friendships, independence, growth and learning. Before I start your year in review I want you to know how very proud Mommy & Daddy are of you! Daily you exceed our expectations.
I know you have only completed Kindergarten so far, but we hope you continue your education for many years and live a long healthy life that brings you joy. You have a drive in you like I have never seen in anyone else. We only see a bright future for you and while I don’t want you to grow up anymore than you already have, Everyone can’t wait to see who you will become. Happy Birthday Emery, we love you so much! 

Emery’s year in review

You started Kindergarten


I have never seen someone end the first day of Kindergarten with so much sass.

& completely nailed it!


You worked hard & earned all your awards! Everyone is so proud of you!


You were in a winter performance & end of the school year talent show (Ariel’s Under The Sea song and dance)


You made new friendships


Leelah, Emma B., Emma V. Kashia & Emery hanging out


& miss Makayla

You had your first field trip to the Fresno Chaffee Zoo


& mommy got to come along

We went to Disneyland for Halloween!


Captain Hook (or Hoot as you say), Peter Pan & a lost boy.


As a 5 year old you were a Kinder Kid in gymnastics. You finally learned how to do the monkey bars! Your forward and backward rolls are great! Your cartwheels are getting better (just remember to go fast and straight legs!) and Your jumps and finishes are amazing! Miss Kaitlyn says, “Shes been ready for level 1 for a long time.”

As a family we started Vlogging on YouTube. Whenever we go some where, Mom is forced to capture the moments! (I say forced because I always kick myself for never bringing the camera. Vlogging makes sure I do it!).


We went on a few snow trips to the Sequoia National Forest


We took a trip to San Jose & went to The Children’s Discovery Museum! It was mommy’s favorite museum as a kid & I was so excited to take you two!


You painted your own face & gave yourself a mustache. Mustaches are still an obsession with you.

We went to Zoo Lights with Aunty Brandi & had a blast!



& we found Santa!


Your favorite days were spirit days at school.
[Halloween, Crazy hair & favorite decade]


Mommy got to dress up with you and help paint nails on Carnival day at school


We made a gingerbread house for the first time (& possibly last time)


Because you did so well in school & were Student Of The Month, you got to go on an extra special field trip to the movies to see Angry Birds.


You said good-bye to Mrs. Jasso’s Kinder class


& you took one last school photo with some friends



& some school friends came over a week later to wish you a happy 6th birthday!



& here are all the memorable things you did & said while you were 5:

  1. Driving by, The Island car-wash and Emery said, “The Island” [ME: “Very good Emery!”] Emery: “What did you think I was going to say? Is land?” [ME: :|]
  2. Favorite color: Yellow
  3. Favorite Cartoon: Hotel Transylvania 2
  4. Favorite Holiday: “Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Family Day & also that green Day … leprechaun Day”
  5. You did most cartwheels in your gymnastic’s class (25!) for Cartwheel-a-thon
  6. You want to be a Scientist when you grow up


    Dad bought you a lab coat & goggle’s so you could be a scientist for career day.

  7. Whats cooking homie
  8. Clownin
  9. You love family movie night
  10. Favorite Disneyland ride: Star Tours & Storyland (the boat ride that starts off by going in Monstro’s mouth)
  11. You love tea, especially on a cold night Dad will make you chamomile with honey
  12. You love chili
  13. Instead of “la cucaracha” you sing it, “Sriracha, sriracha!”
  14. Carlos I need some space to myself real quick, then we’ll be cool
  15. Mc Donald’s #2 is your favorite
  16. You love to put on your pink lipstick on. Sometimes a dark pink and a light pink mixture.
  17. What’s that whale’s name in Pinocchio? Nostrol?
  18. You love to watch make-up tutorials & cosplay tutorials.
  19. Every night you sleep with a stuffed animal. (mommy & daddy love it)
  20. You know where Grandma’s peanut stash is and either ask her for some when you visit or let her know she needs to buy some more
  21. You love Tim Burton’s work. Your newest find – Beetlejuice
  22. You learned how to ride your bike in Dec. inside the house with no training wheels!
  23. you love to make “potion” with your shampoo
  24. You cut the top of your hair right before school started
  25. What kind of animal is this” – something I don’t want to think about every night at dinner
  26. Chocolate chips are the most important part of cookies” – Emery

Beer wreath beer mantel

Beer wreath beer mantel

What better way to bring in St. Patrick’s Day than with a DIY beer wreath!

& don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel and like our video!

For the love of crafting


This NEVER happens!!


A lost utopia

A lost utopia

Before you enter California’s beautiful Sequoia National Park, there is a lost historic town that has little left of it. In the beautiful Kaweah Mountains, lays the remains to a lost utopia.