AAUW, Math Science Conference, & U of R

I recently had lunch with a friend that asked me, “What do you do to keep occupied?”. Well, I seem to be asking myself that very question more and more these days.  My youngest, dear daughter will be graduating HS soon and moving off to college in the fall.  I chose to stay home with all three of my children, and am now at that fork in my life… not sure which way to go and/or what to do. For now, I keep busy enjoying DD’s last year home, lunching with friends, being creative, and joining organizations with a cause.  So, I spent the day with my local chapter of the AAUW getting ready for the Middle School Girls Math And Science Conference.  We had a walk through of the venue, The University of Redlands.  Yes, our little town boasts a University.  It’s a quaint private school, and I took my camera with me and got some pics.  I even played with my manual mode, aperture setting, and tried being a bit creative by taking some angle shots:

Some artsy things on campus:


Winter in California:


Do you see the water droplets?


Very Southern California: Palm trees


The Admin Bldg:


Memorial Chapel: Snow capped mountains in the distance:


Trying to be creative here:



Unfortunately, the U of R is not on DD’s list of schools – It’s apparently too close to home…

Glitterfest 2012!

My daughter and I finally made it to this years Glitterfest held in Santa Ana CA.  As art/craft shows go, I found it to be very unique.  There were a lot of amazing and creative artists represented.  It was sooo crowded, but I managed to take some photos:

My daughter fell in love with these crowns, tiaras, and headbands; I will have to have a go at making one sometime soon…

These vintage button rings were so cute!

And even better, Maria Grimes of Garden Path Beads was there.  When I started making lampwork beads, I came across many talented bead makers.  There are only a handful of bead artists that I admire, and Maria is one of them.  She is a skilled lampworker, and comes up with the most wonderful and unique ideas to incorporate into her designs.  Here is an adorable pig pendant I bought – “When Pigs Fly”:

An Outing to LA & LMU

We decided to go to LA and visit our older son in his new apartment.  Before that, we took a walk through his campus at Loyola Marymount University.  I think LMU has one of the prettiest campuses around.  Since it’s situated near the Marina, the air was cool and fresh:

Afterwards, we went to his apartment.  We met his very nice girlfriend :-), and went for lunch at a local Japanese restaurant.  A very nice day!

Oak Glen Hike

I joined my friend Maria on a hike organized by the Redlands Area Walking/Hiking Meetup Group.  We hiked a three mile trail in Oak Glen.  The weather was wonderful, and the hike was exhausting exhilarating! – ok, I’m still coming back from my ankle injury 🙂

Oak Glen is about 30 minutes from where I live.  I have gone there numerous times on school field trips with all my children, as well as apple picking in the fall.  But I never realized that there were such wonderful hiking trails there.

Train Ride To The Beach

I took my very first train ride in the States yesterday.  My daughter’s Assisteens group had a field trip down to San Clemente Beach:

Fifteen girls and five moms went.  The train ride took about 1 1/2 hours with frequent stops.  It turned out to be a beautiful day.  We had lunch at a wonderful Mexican restaurant and  managed to do some shopping.  I even came across this cute frilly store overflowing in pink –  a girl can never have enough pink :-):

Since we drive around here so much, and rarely use public transportation, I felt a bit insecure without my car at first, but the train ride ended up being a lot of fun and we didn’t have to worry about parking once we got to the beach :-).

Iris Festival And Rock Show

You do not need to go very far to find interesting events and activities to do within driving distance.  Yesterday, I met with my friend Aki and visited the annual Yucaipa Iris Festival.  We managed to see the rock show and vendors, but for some reason, we missed the iris part:

The Yucaipa Valley Jem and Mineral Society was represented.  I have yet to go polish rocks this year.  It seems other things in life get priority for now.  But, I do miss it, and before the year is out, I will make a consious effort to do so.

We have also had a colleague of DH’s from when he taught at the university in Sydney visiting.  It’s always nice to see old friends that we haven’t seen in years.   It brought back good memories of our life in Australia.  Now if we could only manage the time and finances to make a visit down there…

A Visit To The Huntington Library

The other day, my friend Lorin and I met at The Huntington Library in San Marino.  It was a nice day, and they had an exhibition, “Revisiting The Regency” going on:

It was not a very large exhibit, but well worth seeing.

I visited The Huntington Library for the first time as a child, and remember fondly the two paintings, Pinkie by Thomas Lawrence, and The Blue Boy by Thomas Gainsborough.  Seeing them again was like seeing old friends.  I just love these paintings:

The Huntington is also known for their lovely gardens.  Unfortunately, the Japanese Garden was closed, but there were many other areas to enjoy:

They also have many wonderful sculptures gracing their grounds:

There is a lot to see and enjoy.  Although I was a bit pressed for time, it turned out to be a nice afternoon outing.

Outing In Downtown Claremont

I met my friend Lorin in downtown Claremont today. We had a very nice outing going in and out of shops; the weather was great! Here is Lorin hamming it up for the camera – yes, I have a newfound appreciation/obsession for taking photos now:

There were a couple of shops that piqued my interest.  Village Treasures was closed, but they had the prettiest window display. Barbara Cheatley Antiques & Fine Things was just wonderful! The shop is full of cute & whimsical treasures. I just love the stars they had encircling their pendant lamps:

A Very Busy Day

Yesterday, my daughter and I had a fun-filled day of activities. We started off by visiting our local Y Alliance Annual Holiday Crafts Boutique and Pantry. I do, do my own baking for the holidays, but couldn’t resist buying a plate of yummy cookies from the pantry. I also visited two booths that I particularly like; “Isabel’s Creations”, and “SewDaisy”. Isabel does wonderful needlework/sewing (I got several x-mas gifts), and the ladies of SewDaisy make the cutest things out of fabric. I picked this apron up – I love love aprons!



Then it was off to my daughter’s guitar lesson. Her instructor is Jaime Valdovino of Valdovino Guitar Studios:

After that, we headed down to the beach cities. On our way, we stopped by the Winterfest show at the home of artist Joanna Mersereau where her beautiful art was featured. My friend Liz Coviello of Bizzi Lizzi Creations was also there with her wonderful button jewelry and quilts:


We finally made it to the beach cities. First, we met my sister and had lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant. I don’t recall ever having Vietnamese food, but it was delicious! We had a noodle salad called Bun:

Then we were off to the Piecemakers Christmas Fair. There were many booths, but one in particular caught my attention; Kyoto Studios Lampwork Glass Beads. Six years ago, when I first discovered lampwork beads, I came across Chiharu Richardson of Kyoto Studios. Before I learned to make my own beads, I was busy amassing a small collection of beads that I took a fancy to. My husband would ask me if the hobby was collecting or creating? – it was both :-). Chiharu still makes beautiful beads:


We also stopped by the Holy Honey Company. We all left with a purchase of a Dreamsicle All Natural Lotion Bar – really dreamy! And finished the fair off with funnel cake – yummy! (by the way, calories don’t count in December :-))


We did a couple more errands, and picked up my beverage of choice to fortify me for the drive home:

On our way home, we stopped by to pick up the newly released “Eclipse”

Ummm… If I had to choose, I guess I am Team Jacob – my daughter is definitely Team Edward 🙂

The Old Alma Mater

We visited my old alma mater this weekend to see the Bruins/Trojans women’s volleyball game. It felt strange being there since I graduated nearly three decades ago – yikes! There were a lot of new buildings driving into campus through Westwood Village. I hardly recognized the engineering area since there were so many new buildings. But, there were of course the areas unchanged by time. I took some pics of Royce Hall and Powell Library:

Oh, UCLA lost in the 5th.

Harry Potter Anyone?

Wow, I am just getting too old for this:  A friend and I accompanied our daughters to the premiere showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at midnight. It was loud, crowded, hectic, and full of young energetic people with vocals to match. The movie was ok considering I hadn’t seen the last one or read the book.  I was waxing nostalgic of the days when we would take the boys to watch Mighty Morphin Power Rangers – at least then, it was during the day, and I could usually sleep through a good part of it 🙂