Bear’s All Week Long Birthday Celebration!

So, when a child turns 5, it’s a big deal. One, you can actually use your entire hand for your age and probably the only time you can do it. Second, you’re at that age where you’re considered to be a little big kid. Not a big kid like the 7 year olds and up, but you’re no longer considered a toddler. 

And plus, five is the cool age. You can actually fully remember things. You’re old enough (and sometimes tall enough) to go to places now, though Bear has always been pretty tall enough thanks to tall genes in both of our families. 

But enough babbling, let’s talk about how we celebrated this boy’s five-year-age milestone. 

First things first, we celebrated his actual birthday at the California Science Center, one of Bear’s favorite places to go. We explored that entire museum from top to bottom and he really enjoyed himself. 


The next day, Bear had school, so I surprised him and his classmates with cupcakes: 


Then, finally, after weeks of planning on Etsy, hitting up Party City, redoing the menu no less than 10 times (we ended up going to Costco and Smart and Final, which is what we should’ve done from the jump), and getting the cake just right, it was time for his weekend birthday party: 

First, he needed a custom-made shirt, courtesy of Etsy


And he needed a custom candle


And custom invites: 


If you’re in the Northeast Los Angeles area, I highly recommend the Awesome Playground. We’ve been coming here for about a year now and it was the first time we’ve had a party there. 

Photo courtesy of Robyn Cherry


The staff is so professional and they handled just about everything from cake-cutting to the clean-up and set-up.


They also even set up the food as we brought it in. Our package included an outdoor slide and a custom-made piñata. 


Finally, after the piñata was broken (and it was hard to break; even Maks struggled with it), it was time for more sugar!!!!


This cake is courtesy of Takes the Cake bakery located in Pasadena, CA. I highly, highly recommend them! 


With the goody bags and treats. These, I purchased from Party City. 

And finally with Bear and his friends: 

IMG_5165 2

Courtesy of Robyn Cherry

So, what was in the goody bags? Well, we did have the standard toys but we also had some puzzles in there: 


I just went online and did a search for a Minecraft party. Also, Pinterest helped big time! 

The birthday party was more expensive than we’d originally planned, but we didn’t go too far over budget. Everyone had a great time and most importantly, so did Bear and his friends.

I do have some recommendations if you’re about to plan your child’s birthday party: 

  1. Location, location, location. While we do live in a nice-sized duplex, it was not big enough to hold 10 preschoolers, and roughly 20 adults. Having the party at a park was a consideration, but this is L.A., so there wasn’t a guarantee we would get a good spot without renting out tables and chairs. We also wanted a place where it would be easy for everyone to get to. 
  2. Consider the set-up and clean-up factor. While some people won’t mind it, Maks and I gladly outsourced that part and it was worth the money. 
  3. Ask your child what he/she likes and plan accordingly. Bear really wanted a cake, so that’s what he had. He really wanted a piñata, and we got one for him. We asked him what toys he likes and made sure to request those. The last thing the child and parent needs is to be grumpy on his birthday party.
  4. Etsy and Pinterest will become your best friends, forever. Etsy has a lot of local and small vendors who will gladly do whatever you requested (as long as enough time is given) and Pinterest is full of FREE IDEAS. Use them! Get to know them! Love them. 
  5. Children probably won’t eat any food and that’s okay. We had the adults in mind when we did the menu – sandwiches from Costco, chips, fruit and veggie trays from Smart and Final. Kids will be more interested in playing with their friends. We did have juice boxes and water for them. 
  6. Goody bags are not necessary, but they are nice. Not only will a kid go to a birthday party, but he’ll get a bag of treats to take home. Pretty cool, huh? 

The next party we’ll have for Bear is when he’ll graduate from preschool in a few months. And the fun begins yet again…

Maks and Bear, courtesy of Robyn Cherry

Happy Birthday Eve

Tomorrow is my birthday and every year, the day before it I take a moment to reflect on what I’ve achieved the year before.

While most people celebrate the new year on January 1st, I always celebrate the new year on my birthday. I feel birthdays are a better measurement of progress (and sometimes, recession) than January 1st.

Where were you the year before? What have you achieved in the year since? What do you hope to do by the time your next birthday rolls around?

Some people don’t like birthdays because it’s a sign they’re getting older. They’re not as young as they used to be and they long for the ‘good ol’ days.’ And I totally get it. When I was growing up, the hip-hop I listened to consisted of LL Cool J, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, and Biggie. I can’t name a single mumble rapper right now nor can I understand them.

I seriously have no idea who the hell this is.

I personally like getting older because it means I get to have more life experiences. It means there’s still time to travel, explore things I’ve never done before, and get better at the things I’m currently doing. I also have a child who I love very much, and love to see him carry the family legacy. I have a husband who’s my world, my number one, and I can’t wait to have our golden years together.

So yeah, I have a lot to look forward in getting older!


I’ve achieved a lot within the past year – moved into a new home, build up my credit, saved quite a bit of money, and explored more of LA and beyond with my family. My writing has taken off after a slow start and I became a Shea Moisture ambassador.


Not too shabby, huh?

While I didn’t achieve everything I wanted, I achieved most things and I’m happy with that. I’m also super excited what the upcoming year will bring. I already have a list of goals I want to achieve by my next birthday so I’m really hyped up to get those done!

I tend to celebrate my birthday all month long so I’m still in the thick of celebrating it. I am so unbelievably blessed and my cup is so full. I can honestly say I love my life (and that’s a first for me saying that since I used to have major depression) and I can’t wait to explore more!

God bless!

Today I have a four-year old


It’s crazy to think four years ago, I gave birth to one of the most amazing persons ever. Like ever.

Motherhood has been a challenge, no doubt. A lot of ups and quite a few downs. But I can’t imagine my life without him.

He brings a smile to my face when I’m down. He makes me see the bright side of things. He’s my inspiration when I don’t have any. He’s the reason I keep going and want to do better.

To My Beautiful Bear, Happy Birthday. I love you always.