Fall Haul: Once Upon a Child

Back in Texas, my cousin who knew that I enjoyed dressing up Cassie asked if I’ve been to a Once Upon a Child branch,  I told her that I’ve heard some ads on the radio but I’ve never been to one since we weren’t fortunate enough to live close to any of the branches. For those who haven’t heard of Once Upon a Child, it’s a chain that buys and sells second hand children’s items from clothes to shoes to toys; think of it as a Plato’s Closet for kids.

When we moved here to Indiana, guess what just happened to be 8 minutes away from our new home—yep, a Once Upon a Child. I love planning Cassie’s outfits especially when we’re about to change seasons but it doesn’t mean that I have to burn holes in my pockets. So, I’ve started getting her things for autumn; floral falls, nudes, camels, tangerine, mustards.

Here are some of my Once Upon a Child finds, mostly name brands for a fraction of the price.

fullsizerender2035_zpsuvxf154k

fullsizerender2036_zps3xtgsvko

Old Navy Bunny/Floral Dress with Old Navy Denim Jeans (under the dress)- $6.50 for both

fullsizerender2033_zpso1ojoygv

Old Navy Cream Button Top- $3.50

fullsizerender2034_zpsmsgrlcfu

Zara Autumn Floral Dress- $10.00

fullsizerender2040_zpsmis43tep

Baby Gap Sweater- $7.50

Garanimals cream white jeggings- $2.50

fullsizerender2041_zpsq6342v8u

Osh Kosh Genuine Kids vest- $3.50

fullsizerender2039_zps6sg6h6a4

3/4 sleeves checkered button up blouse- $2.50

fullsizerender2037_zpssjc3o6evfullsizerender2042_zpsgyrs4oea

Cream Old Navy Rubber soles Moccasins-$4.50

fullsizerender2032_zpszrszdhtl

Wool Felt Tangerine Toddler Bowler Hat- $2.50

 

Advertisements

Rodeo Houston 2017

For an unplanned trip to the rodeo, I think we did pretty okay. We really didn’t have a specific day to go nor were we picky with the performing artist, I just wanted Marco and Cassie to experience the rodeo as it was their first time to go. We picked Wednesday because it had the cheapest tickets for the concert and the artist performing that day was Thomas Rhett, a well known country singer. Of course this was the first time we were hearing about him but that’s because Marco and I don’t usually listen to country music.

We started the day with a bunch of rodeo fails :

#1 We didn’t leave early enough. We could have made it an entire day affair but we didn’t take that into consideration. So for future references think of it as a day at Disney or Six Flags, there literally is a lot to do over there.

#2 And again, since we didn’t leave early enough we caught the rodeo traffic and it took us a good hour to look for parking

#3 We forgot to withdraw money, we only figured that out when we were trying to park and they had signs saying they only take cash. FYI, parking is hard during rodeo season if you’re not there early. Parking costs range from $20-$50, maybe even $60. We were lucky enough to find more in the yellow lot for $20.

#4 We forgot to bring our umbrella stroller and we ended up lugging our big jogger stroller around.

fullsizerender2025_zpsce9cno3x

fullsizerender2026_zpspshydkxd

fullsizerender2010_zpsotnjpuyn

fullsizerender2024_zpsnzqdmetk

We knew it was going to be impossible for us to take a decent family picture once we get rolling with the rodeo activities so we opted to do it as soon as we entered the vicinity

fullsizerender207_zpsdqt8m9li

The biggest boot in town

img_0347_zpsteaasvqi

img_0343_zpstibyb3i4

img_0342_zpstyoyqeej

img_0350_zpsg7pyysny

fullsizerender2017_zps2plrjlda

fullsizerender205_zpscswnkuz9

fullsizerender2023_zpszscq7srs

She’s at this stage where she completely recognizes the animals and masters the sounds they make so you can only imagine how delighted she was to be surrounded by them. We probably would have spent more time at the petting area if only she wasn’t recovering from the flu and if we had more time before the concert.

img_0352_zpsh0zfn51e

It was pure chaos buying food at the rodeo, with a child and a handful of food it was impossible for us to take photos of  what we ate. (Volcano Nachos, Giant Pizza–one slice was actually 2 regular ones, Cheeseburger and Funnel Cake)

img_9789_zpswzrcyecf

One out of the two photos I took from the Rodeo festivities. Marco and I were so into it that we forgot to take pictures. Our favorite was the Kids Mutton Bustin’ event where the kid who could stay on the back of the mutton, the longest wins.

img_0354_zpsbaxvywva

img_9791_zpssublwup2

img_9792_zpshhnli8l7

img_0361_zps1h9jxdlv

….We finally got introduced to Thomas Rhett and we enjoyed his songs more than we expected. I think I like country music as long as its not too hard core. Haha. This photo right here was when he asked everyone to take out their phones and wave it in the air, it was a pretty cool sight, this photo does not do justice.

Cassie on the other hand didn’t really act up considering that this was her first ever concert. She tried to out-scream the music during the concert and couldn’t figure out why people couldn’t hear her, it was the funniest thing ever. She was scared a few times when they would dim the lights but generally she was a sport and would clap her hands with everyone else after every song.

fullsizerender2014_zpsvhzdg6ev

Me and my sister after the concert. They kinda allowed us to crash their monthsary date to the point where we sat next to them during the concert.

img_9822_zpsvlmzieaz

fullsizerender2011_zpsqtzlsc3r

img_9824_zpshfj7kmjc

img_9830_zpsmhl0y2gr

img_9833_zpso471kuwl

img_9834_zpsg3y0ynmm

Our last photos of the night.

It is exhausting to go to the rodeo with a baby but I’m glad that Cassie had a great time. It was challenging for me and Marco but the day turned out great and most importantly we were safe. To those who didn’t hear, there was a shooting scare that day so after the concert we were asked to stay in the stadium premises until they cleared things out in the grounds. They didn’t really mention anything about “shooting or gunning” but it was on the news so people were texting us, asking if we were okay and that’s how we knew. After that, Marco and I decided to call it a day and we headed home.

~Rhea

Destination: Austin, Texas

This has got to be one of the most random, most unplanned road trips I’ve ever taken in my entire life. But sometimes its those random adventures that make the journey worth while especially when its with your family, now if you don’t enjoy being around your family then what I just said doesn’t count. Oh, and tell me why my brother Paulo finally gets to take off from work only to find out that our plans were up in the air, talk about bad timing. For years now we’ve been nagging him to come with us coz he never makes it to our family outings and the one time he decides to come, we didn’t have anything planned, well we did but the weather kinda messed that up.

So here was our original plan (the one we picked out of a million) —Barton Springs and Hamilton Pool in Austin and then camping in one of the State Parks. And just like the weather forecast stated, it rained like crazy washing away our one and only feasible plan and so we had to google what to do on the spot as we were already in Austin.

First stop, Kerlin BBQ.

So originally we weren’t supposed to eat in Kerlin but that other Bbq place we were planning to go to ran out of meat. I’m glad we ended up eating here though, yes it may be a food truck and it wasn’t really an ideal set up to be eating outdoors especially with the rain and the mud puddles but their BBQ was so tasty and their prices were decent, not to mention they had good service. That lady who helped us (possibly the owner) made sure we got our bang for the buck and we did.

fullsizerender2092_zpswkil7b58

fullsizerender20105_zpsba2zlbmz

M.E.A.T

fullsizerender_zpsuzsv3cew

Loved loved loved the cream corn

fullsizerender2095_zpsan5c5ty8

Did someone say local beer?

fullsizerender20106_zpsuklamrbc1

The outdoor set up

Next stop, Cathedral of Junk.

Address to Google: 4422 Lareina Drive, Austin, TX

After years of working on this piece, Vince, the artist and the owner was finally given a permit for Cathedral of Junk to stay for good as an Austin landmark. This place is free of admission but like any struggling artist donations are greatly appreciated to fund the maintenance of this Art Museum and other art pieces in the works. For groups a suggested amount of $10 is good enough but if you want to donate more then all the better. Make sure to call 512-299-7413 before heading there since the place is by appointment only.

fullsizerender2088_zpspp6tgmo7

Cathedral of Junk

17202932_10210844515603503_6622303972153491906_n_zps8r9acy4r

Ramas- Mendezonas outside the Cathedral of Junk.

fullsizerender2096_zps6ig42rgv

fullsizerender2093_zpsnk3wvxhm

Bits and bobs everywhere, its hard not to stare at the walls

fullsizerender2097_zpsx2zv0mze

Okayyyy, random Barbie parts are kinda creepy

fullsizerender2089_zpsrz5phi3b

How creepy…trolls randomly strapped in the ceiling

fullsizerender2020_zpslkommvsw

fullsizerender2091_zpsuvewg5c8

fullsizerender20102_zpsyjalofgb

fullsizerender2018_zpsvikbe5ng

img_0124_zpsfrqctoad

fullsizerender2060_zpscul9cjar

fullsizerender2094_zps1zaq7txr

fullsizerender209_zps62af7rsb

fullsizerender2047_zpscs1i4ii9

fullsizerender203_zps0lvmj3sz

The view of the cathedral from the back

fullsizerender2036_zpsy13lxszh

fullsizerender2063_zpsd6ox2rhg

Vince, the artist.

Third stop, Hope Outdoor Gallery.

Address to Google: 1101 Baylor Street, Austin, TX

Austin’s community or gallery for graffiti art. If you want artsy photos with cool backgrounds like those you see on IG (rolls eyeballs, haha) then you’re definitely in the right place, only problem during the time we visited Hope Outdoor Gallery was it was raining and the place was clearly muddy and slippery. I didn’t risk taking Cassie further up for the fear of slipping, the rest of my siblings climbed all the way up though. Marco and I will definitely be back to explore this place some more when Mr. Sun is out.

fullsizerender2071_zpsjbn5d7d8

fullsizerender2032_zpswiobo2me

fullsizerender2049_zpsbmhutqmh

fullsizerender2010_zpsb7dxo6dg

fullsizerender2052_zps8ksemvn3

Last stop, Texas State Capitol.

Address to Google: 1100 Congress Ave, Austin, TX

Located in Downtown Austin, this was the only place we could think of to cap our random Austin trip on a rainy day. At that point we weren’t too keen nor were we interested in reading or learning about anything that involved Texas’ political history. We did enjoy touring the capitol and spotting Sam Houston’s portrait (since both my sisters go to Sam Houston State University). Btw, admission is free although parking wasn’t, I think we paid $10 for parking.

fullsizerender2067_zps5kamtnue

fullsizerender2058_zps6bhcxl00

fullsizerender2040_zpsukdy8t1m

fullsizerender2034_zpsolcnhpr0

fullsizerender2041_zpsxo0aiohw

fullsizerender2015_zps94krozjk

fullsizerender2057_zpsh3mllyka

fullsizerender2084_zpsewpjgxae

fullsizerender2078_zpshlejxivp

And there you have it, a recap of our random day trip to Austin.

~Rhea

Destination: Little Rock, Arkansas

The search for a possible residency program for Marco continues and I honestly shouldn’t call it search since we don’t really have the final say where he ends up in but he ended up getting an interview in Little Rock, Arkansas and since it’s a city and state that I’ve never been to and the drive from Houston wasn’t too long of a drive, Cassie and I tagged along.

When I was single and younger, I made a bucket list to visit all 50 states before I turned 30 and needless to say I failed doing that. I’m not saying that I’ve given up on that list, I guess my priorities just changed throughout the years and it wasn’t like I wasn’t in a long distance relationship for 7 years ( up to this day, I still don’t know how Marco and I did that) so our savings went to our wedding sinking fund, travel costs and what not so I’ve only managed to go to a bunch of them (not even half).

Ever since Cassie was born, we’ve been blessed to have traveled to a few more places for family visits, reunions and Marco’s interviews and so far she’s been to 7 states (including this) and 1 international destination. Not bad for a year old who won’t even remember half the places we’ve been to (but I guess thats why mommy takes a billion and one photos all the time, right). The only wonderful thing about not having ticked of that particular thing on my bucket list is that I have the rest of my lifetime to do that but I won’t be alone this time, I’ll have my little family with me and we’ll have our own adventures together.

To whoever is reading this, this isn’t a “travel blog”. Yes, it may just give you ideas on where to go, food places to go to, things to try out but it won’t consistently give you a breakdown or a rough estimate of how much to spend or a detailed review of a hotel or B&B ( well, it might, maybe when I’m ranting or raving about things) but so much of my posts are personal thoughts that I’ve allowed people to have access to. This is somewhat a personal online journal of mine, I’m sure I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again, my entries are mostly there to keep track of memories. For a person who wanted to be on stage and memorize lines for a living, I suck in remembering details, dates and people. I’ve explained this to my husband before, I only remember things when they strike some kind of emotion within me, I remember little details based on what I felt at that particular situation and that’s how its always been. Okay….enough ranting, without further ado here are photos from our recent travel to Little Rock.

Old State House

Address to Google: 300 W Markham St, Little Rock, AR 72201

Anyone who’s read a few of my past entries know that I have a thing for historical landmarks and buildings so you would understand how delighted I was that we found this in the heart of the city. The weather seems perfect in the photos but it was actually quite chilly when we went to visit. That one I didn’t quite anticipate so its a good thing I wore leggings under my skirt or else I would’ve been sporting Marilyn Monroe the entire time.

This building with Greek Revival Architecture contains a hodge podge of Arkansas history.

img_9646_zpsrhvmihxs

img_9650_zpsvyp4adfv

Cassie and Daddy being silly at the museum

img_9652_zpsmsrmqhnv

img_9672_zpsfy3wsuvf

img_9675_zpszis7dsn7

img_9655_zpsx9v5ommn

Reading up on some Arkansas history on the spot

img_9664_zps5xd2gjgu

img_9665_zpsev5up7bm

img_9681_zpslxog52qf

Old school Clinton Memorabilia

img_9686_zpsijrsx3y5

We’re not big on politics so it was intriguing for us to have found out that the Clintons were originally from there. Of course they had an entire section dedicated to their rise to power and the role they played starting with local politics.

img_9691_zpssennziox

img_9696_zpsxbpmk4ol

We found out that they had a play place for kids after we toured the museum so Cassie got to spend a few minutes playing before closing time.

Star of India Restaurant

Address to Google: 301 N Shackleford Rd, Little Rock, AR 72211

As cheesy as their name sounds and as plain and boring as the outside of their restaurant looks, I swear to you they are, if not the best, one of the best Indian restaurants we’ve been to. I’m no foodie but I’d like to think my husband is because he does love to eat all sorts of food and Indian cuisine is one of his favorites and he was extremely impressed. The ambiance was pretty legit and as we were dining you could see a lot of customers were coming in and we were actually lucky to have walked in early because by the time we ended our meal the place was packed. What I’ve noticed is that these customers were regulars, locals who just kept coming back and you could tell because the owner or the host rather addressed almost every single one of them by their first names and he somewhat knew their life story.

I was impressed with their customer service and did I mention that the first thing they did when they saw us walk in with a baby was put us in an area convenient for us and Cassie, they placed a large manila paper under her high chair discreetly saying “babies are babies, let them make a mess—we are ready”, unlike those snooty restaurants who claim they’re open to families but they give you a disgruntled look when your baby starts making a mess while eating. Oh and before I forget, they’re only one $ sign…super duper affordable, besides with the kind of food that they served us and their impeccable customer service I was willing to pay more. We will definitely be back if we happen to be in town.

fullsizerender206_zpstewvp2nr

fullsizerender205_zpsku4qlft1

fullsizerender204_zpsyfiz96q3

Choctaw Route Station

Address to Google: 1010 E. Third St.reet Little Rock, AR 72201

Upon picking up Marco after his interview, this little brick red building caught my eye. I wish we had more time to explore it but since I was so intrigued and we couldn’t go in to check it out I had to look into it.

This old building used to be a railroad passenger depot of a train route that no longer exists. They restored the building and converted it to a library under the Clinton School of Public Service.

img_9704_zpsakgffo5v

Leo’s Greek Castle

Address to Google: 2925 Kavanaugh Blvd, Little Rock, AR 72205

Now this is what I’d call a hole in the wall, the place seemed shady or maybe it seemed that way since it was night time and we weren’t familiar with the territory. The building structure was old, others might even consider it run down but inside it was quaint and clean, food was cheap and the gyros were to die for. Yep, the ratings don’t lie…so far every food hub we’ve tried here in Little Rock was a success.

fullsizerender2010_zps0v5dokyw

img_9405_zpssqwrf9fg

img_9409_zpsqy96xvyw

img_9408_zpsfot80vsr

fullsizerender203_zps4jsxkk4z

The Old Mill

Address to Google: 3800 Lakeshore Dr, North Little Rock, AR 72116

If you like classic movies then you shouldn’t have a hard time recognizing this place in the opening credits of Gone with the Wind. This picturesque mill really looks like it popped out of a fairy tale story book. I would have loved to explore the vast area surrounding the mill but we were on a tight schedule, I still can’t believe theres no admission cost to this landmark, it stands plainly in the middle of T.R Pugh Memorial Park. You won’t miss it.

img_9741_zpsjblmnnsv

img_9740_zpsk8vskkvo

img_9709_zpsa20thyh5

img_9729_zps6eawzk0x

img_9726_zpsoo4vgj2z

img_9723_zpsnwwh1yuo

img_9711_zpsioyojmcy

Our little bunny dozed off, she missed the whole thing.

img_9735_zpsphrhf5lj

img_9715_zpsix16xvb6

img_9737_zpsb9lq6jtt

Big Dam Bridge

Address to Google: 7600 Rebsamen Park Rd, Little Rock, AR 72207

The first time I heard about this bridge I thought the name was a pun, I don’t know but I find it hilarious that they named it the BIG DAM BRIDGE. I’d have to say though the bridge was entirely true to its name. This bridge is said to be the longest bicycle and pedestrian in the entire US and no, we didn’t try to cross the bridge, we just took pictures. Haha.

img_9743_zpsbkfmzyfu

img_9744_zpsiyn79oxn

img_9754_zpsou3lw7nd

img_9463_zpsuagkh811

img_9758_zps6lmi1zwq

Junction Bridge at Little Rock River Market District

Address to Google: 200 Ottenheimer Plaza Little Rock, AR 72201

It’s not just another pedestrian bridge, this old railroad bridge is said to be 150 years old and it’s another convenient stop for tourists to take pictures since its located in between the River Market District and North Little Rock (must see areas in Little Rock from my understanding). Let’s not forget that there are also unique art installations/ pieces that are hard to miss.

img_9763_zpsjx0pltss

img_9764_zpsznldk1im

img_9471_zpswxeoi19o

img_9778_zpsefswhdhr

img_9781_zpswqkwwtqz

img_9784_zpsgqm0sjle

img_9785_zpsoyp4w9gf

David’s Burgers

Address to Google: 200 Ottenheimer Plaza Little Rock, AR 72201

Who doesn’t love traditional American burgers? We went to the one within the River Market District coz it was the closest one at that time and we knew we had to try it out before heading home to Houston because consumer ratings varied from 4 stars to 4.5 online and true enough it didn’t disappoint, best part is the menu is $10 and under.

img_9786_zpsway2blyv

img_9481_zpsifm5b5mb

img_9486_zpsdwrnkahg

img_9484_zpsibxlj4ue

And that wraps up our Little Rock trip. 😀

~Rhea

Photo Diary: A Day with the Lujans

Filipinos by nature are very much family-oriented, if they could live with all their aunts and uncles and cousins they would, and in one way or the other that was how my childhood was. There was never a dull moment because I grew up being close to both sides of my family, I got taunted, teased and semi-bullied (a lot by my kuyas). Yes, it was one of those “Ugh-I-hate-you-but-I know-you’re-pestering-me-coz-you-actually-care” type of relationships and it was true, they teased me a lot but I knew they had my back and that they loved me. But of course everyone grows up and life takes us to our own paths sometimes away from those you grew up with.

Today, I  got to spend time with my kuya Giancarlo, his wife ate Dulce and their 2 wonderful kids Isaiah and Jude. I’m glad that amidst the hectic Christmas season our families found the time to meet up. From a very-filling barbecue lunch at Lucille’s to a stroll in Laguna Beach to a Gingerbread display at the Ritz and a dinner at a local Korean soup place we found ourselves catching up and talking about random things in our current lives, a day was definitely not enough but it is what it is, I’m just happy that we were able to push through with this meet up. Lujans, thank you so much for spending time with us and taking us around AND for spoiling Cassie with her new toys, we don’t know when the next time will be but we will definitely be looking forward to that.

Here are some photos from today:

(Wish we had at least one photo with all of us together)

img_9369_zps9bt33spm

img_9360_zpsklcgi4gf

img_9361_zpspiehntjf

Cassie and her kuyas, Isaiah and Jude

img_9366_zps6khmmwvs

They gave Cassie her favorite, Minnie Mouse in her Christmas-themed outfit

img_9368_zpsl6ylcoz7

img_9381_zps5fkj61bb

The Lujans

img_9373_zpsr6vex5sx

img_9375_zps987wcrc3

img_9378_zpss4effql6

Beach art work

img_9389_zpsfwccxiop

img_9399_zpsunbwjz6t

img_9401_zpsv1nqewlf

img_9404_zps6iuty7ut

img_9409_zpshjczcycf

img_9394_zps9mpyqr9g

img_9413_zpsuq0ba18b

img_9419_zpsbxc2daew

img_9424_zpssx0uokuw

img_9426_zps0clogcmx

img_9432_zpsjwoidyvr

img_9433_zpshjty6nc5

img_9434_zpsoeg6qbjt

img_9435_zpsfkleluxu

img_9437_zpscnp1zm9z

The whole display was edible. How yummy is that!

img_9439_zpsd1kpxjce

img_9438_zpsbc79xgkg

img_9441_zpsjntrx6hh1

img_9445_zpsgnkakhw71

~Rhea