oceanfront surprise

My husband has been on my case (in a good way) for the past three weeks trying to get me to share our Easter weekend photos on the blog so he can finally file them away (not to mention I also have photos from our day at the Library of Congress sitting pretty waiting to be uploaded, haha). I mean, he means well but at the same time, he also knows that most days (especially on weekdays), I’m just a busy working mommy bee and there’s just no way to get me to sit down and work on the laptop. And that really is something I have to work on, I know. To think about it, sending friends and family photos of Alex by text or email does take time anyway, so might as well use that time to get all photos uploaded on the blog and share them that way – that was the reason for setting up a blog in the first place. 🙂

So initially, Jof and I planned an Easter weekend in New York City to see good friends and get a little shopping done, but we thought about the still-cold weather at the time and all the walking around… It just won’t work for us. And as we went back and forth deciding between New York and Virginia Beach (we really couldn’t decide), we finally asked our Alex to take his pick. He chose to go to the beach and that’s where we went. As usual, we didn’t have a plan. We got an oceanfront hotel room per Alex’s request. When we went out to the boardwalk on our way for a nice walk in the sand, we saw people riding horses on the beach!!! WHAAAAT?? And it was right in front of our hotel! What a great surprise! We had no idea there was such a thing! I’ve always wanted to ride a horse (and believe me I’ve tried to before but I would always chicken out). There was just something about horseback riding on the beach that was pretty special. So there were no second thoughts here! And oh my! We had SO MUCH FUN! That was such a great family activity and the nicest guys from Virginia Beach Horseback were very helpful with getting me comfortable with our horse, and even took the time to take our family photos! So we did that for half an hour and then couldn’t stop talking about it afterwards! Haha! Before it got dark, we headed to Captain George’s – there is no trip to VAB without dining at Captain George’s. That’s a given. After dinner (yes, Jof and I inhaled all the seafood our bodies could take in, and Alex his pasta), we went back to the hotel and watched movies until our eyes closed. Well that was Saturday. On Sunday, it rained all day in Virginia Beach but that didn’t stop us. We went to church, had lunch and we went back to the oceanfront. Luckily, we keep our Hunters in the car, so we were not worried at all about the rain – plus, I’m always thankful whenever I get to wear boots vs. heels! We took some family photos, then had Alex run around the boardwalk. He loves jumping in puddles so in THAT moment, Jof and I were “the best parents ever!” according to him! Haha! I love him so much!!! So even though Virginia Beach turned out to be gloomy the whole time we were there, we still had the family fun we always crave for. Here are some of my faves:


Photos by my Joffoto



blizzard ’16

So this post is waaay overdue. I really wanted to get this published that weekend and share photos already but then Jof and I got busy with redecorating our walls and then Alex had a lineup of activities, and finally, the last minute trip to the Philippines. Life just happened. Anyway, back to our snowy weekend – I can definitely say that that was one of the best weekends we’ve had. The snowfall was just so beautiful to watch! And yes, we were stuck at home but we did a lot of fun stuff AND we played in the snow a number of times (my Alex has been asking for a snow day since the summer!). We even tried to build a snowman but that was a fail! Haha! We knew it was time to get back inside every time Alex would start talking about how “a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows would sound so good right now.” So cute! When we were not watching Ant-Man (and we watched that movie six times that weekend, good grief), we read books, we studied math, we played with Legos, Hungry Hungry Hippos, even hide and go seek! We also kept our little kitchen pretty busy. I swear I cooked each meal that weekend and that never happens! I’m not usually the cook in the house but all that grocery shopping before the blizzard got me all excited, hah! And naturally, my cooking wasn’t perfect but I know I got an A for effort! Right babes? (He said yes!)

When the blizzard passed, reality came back knocking on the door when we knew it was time to get those snow shovels out. We did some digging but we had a lot of help from our neighbors. Honestly, I think we spent more time playing with Alex in the snow than digging out our cars. And I’m so not complaining! The plow trucks came a day late in our neighborhood – which got us a little upset but looking back at it now, I guess we were lucky because other communities didn’t get any plowers until later in the week! I can only imagine the frustration. Clearing out the roads is a lot of work, so I am thankful to all the bobcats who were out day and night making sure morning commute wouldn’t be so bad.


One of Alex’s activities that he really wanted pictures taken of was recycling his broken crayons to fun-shaped creations. We’ve had these dinosaur silicone molds for a while but just haven’t figured out what to use them for. I got the idea from a friend and when I told Alex about it he was so excited! He was so good hunting all of his broken crayons. We cut them into little pieces so they fit the mold. Then Alex decided he wanted his dinosaur crayons in crazy colors so he mixed different colors in each dinosaur mold. When he was done with that part, we put them in the oven for 20 minutes at 250. Piece of cake! Cooling them wasn’t a problem either… since it was still freezing outside, Jof set them out on the patio for a couple hours. Super easy and super fun!



I love him so, so much!

Photos by my Joffoto



vintage bliss

Last weekend, we found ourselves driving out to the small town of Buckeystown, MD in search for a coffee table. It was such a beautiful drive and such a nice old town. As we were driving into town, we saw quite a few local restaurants, which of course got me and Jof all excited! Although that wasn’t the reason for our little trip, that definitely got us talking about driving back there soon to try one of those restaurants! Anyway, when we reached our destination: Chartreuse & Co., we just fell in love. An antique store inside an old barn? It seriously can’t get any better than that! Jof and I have been to quite a few antique stores in the area and this place is one of the bigger ones, and has easily become one of our favorites. There’s really nothing else to say. We walked around, found a couple things we needed AND found two choices for a coffee table! At the end of the day, we ended up with a vintage light teal coffee table in tow! It wasn’t the one we planned on getting, but we love it! My husband always has his camera with him so naturally, we have a few photos I can share.


Photos by my Joffoto


oh, Christmas tree

It is Christmas day and I wasn’t planning on blogging tonight but my boys have gone to bed, chores are done and I’ve seen the Hallmark movie that’s on right now (haha!), so I have a little me-time before I crash. So, our Christmas tree this year is pretty special. It’s the first time we cut our tree and we had so much fun doing it – from having breakfast with Santa, to making the spontaneous decision, driving out to the beautiful countryside, sipping on fresh cider, running around the tree farm, picking out the perfect tree, to cutting it down and having the husband haul it back to our car. I believe we just started a new family tradition. New experiences are a big deal to me and Jof. We always look for new things to do that eventually become hobbies and traditions. We want Alex to have childhood memories he’ll love sharing when he grows up. And so far, I think we’ve been pretty successful in filling the memory box. We definitely enjoy the perks of living in a small town. But back to our Christmas tree! My husband has blogged some photos already and I don’t mean to start a blog war with him but I still have a lot of Christmas spirit left in me that needs to come out! Sorry, babe! Haha! Okay, so at the end of the day, we ended up with a 7 foot blue spruce and it is perfect. We really didn’t check out other kinds of trees, we were just drawn to the blue spruce’s pretty grey green colors. They are indeed beautiful but their needles are brutal! They are sharp and they hurt, but obviously that didn’t stop us. There’s nothing tough gloves couldn’t handle! We most certainly enjoyed hanging lights and ornaments, but that’s a whole different blog post. I thought of sharing photos from our Christmas morning with this one, but then that would mean lots and lots of pictures! So I’ll give it a couple days!


Ahhh… these photos are so special to me! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! xo


magic kingdom

Exactly one month ago, we spent a whole day at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. This visit was our third. Our first time in Disney World was about four years ago, Alex was only 10 months old. Jof and I celebrated our birthdays there, as well as our goddaughter’s 1st birthday. We had so much fun that time that we went back only three months later. Alex was already a year old at the time and we knew he wasn’t going to remember that family vacation, but still, we figured it would be a really nice family road trip down to Florida that winter and a very special way of welcoming 2012. Anyway, Jof and I have been showing Alex photos from those times we went when he was still a baby, so he’s asked us a number of times to take him back. This was the perfect timing. Initially, we planned for a lazy beach vacation in the gulf coast, but since we were heading down to Florida anyway, we thought why not spend a couple days in Orlando? And so we did. I seriously have no idea how I was able to pick only the following photos from hundreds that we took, but I just love these. I love all hundreds of them! They’re a mix of digital and film photos of my Joffoto.


Hubby doing what he does best. A few people actually thought he was one of the official photographers since we took our time taking pictures. Hah!


Alex was still very excited about his white belt at the time, so he was showing off his kicks in front of everyone! I love him!


This one. This happens to be my favorite from our Disney film rolls. We were just super happy!

JFT_3922Parade time!JFT_4059JFT_4085JFT_4124JFT_4164

My heart! He was overjoyed when he saw Mickey and Minnie!


Prince Charming’s carousel – definitely one of our favorites.


We love to picnic, so we carry our picnic blanket everywhere. Yes, even in Florida. After a lot of standing in line and a few rides, we needed a little break. So we found this cool spot by the water, had a shade, had a nice breeze and a wonderful view; perfect place for a power nap.

JFT_4246My love.JFT_4293

My boys. We played with lights and bubbles while waiting for the fireworks – which was magical, as always.


We waited in line for an hour to meet Mickey Mouse and it was well worth it. Alex was so excited he got to have a conversation with him! They talked about pirates and ‘The Enchanted Tiki Room!’ #CHILDHOODMEMORY


What a wonderful experience that was for our little man! It made me and Jof really happy having seen Alex’s facial expressions of joy and excitement that day. Jof and I made it a point to have him choose which rides he wanted to go on and what he wanted to see. And we just really took our time walking around. I’ve said it a lot of times already – I think it’s safe to say that our most recent Florida trip was the best family vacation we’ve had so far. And I’m not even done blogging photos. Next up: beach pics!


dc in film

I believe I have quite a bit of catching up to do here. Our weekends have been hectic to say the least, as we try to do as much before winter comes. Jof and I have a lot of albums lined up we can’t wait to share, which is a problem because I seriously do not know where to start. But before I go crazy with our vacation photos from Florida, I think I’ll start with the local stuff. Below are my faves from my husband’s rolls of film. He’s been playing around with his film cameras, so naturally, me and Alex are his main subjects at the moment. No edits!


Georgetown always makes for a lovely family walk (and shopping, hah).


Baby love and macarons. He is always so sweet! I love him!


Now this… this is a great action shot! Good job, baby. We love stopping for DC street music and dancing. So much talent around!

99550008Walking around Chinatown before dinner.9955001499550018

So, while we were enjoying dinner out on patio seating, flock of birds were flying to this one tree across the street from the restaurant, literally in the middle of the city. This went on for about 15 minutes and of course, everyone had their phones and cameras out. We couldn’t miss it, either.

99550023Ugh! I love that smile so, so much.9955002899550031

Ending this post welcoming mine and Jof’s favorite season, autumn.

Photos by Joffoto


jof + riza

“I feel so grateful to discover that each new day brings me the opportunity to watch the sunrise and fall in love with you again.”

JFT_1195 JFT_1213 JFT_1301 JFT_1302 JFT_1151 JFT_1316 JFT_1500 JFT_1415 JFT_1468-ME

Jof has posted some similar photos in his blog but he had different favorites. These are mine. We rarely get to have ‘couple photos’ so I wasn’t going to pass the opportunity when my husband told me we were doing romantic sunrise shots (even if it meant waking up at 5:30 am while on vacation)! So yes, we woke up like this! Hah! We were rushing and we didn’t even plan matching outfits! But everything worked out – we were in the right place in the perfect time for sunrise. I love him so much.