Crafts, Uncategorized

Easy Knit Shawl

I love knitting.  I learned fairly young and I’m glad my daughter is also picking up the hobby.  The rhythm of each stitch relaxes and calms me. And nothing better than having a finished product made by your own hands.

I bought this yarn by Fierce Fibers on our trip to Portland, Oregon last summer. It works so beautifully and I hope to make another trip to this year to spend more time in the city. It is a hand dyed yarn with a blend of Merino, Cashmere and Sterling.  Check out their bright and colorful yarns Here

I told Vanessa to pick the yarn and I would make her a shawl. The pattern I used was Simple Shawl by Jane at Hedgerow Yarns on Ravelry. I love Ravelry. Always so many fun patterns. CLICK HERE  for the free pattern.

She loves everything I make her and loves to tell her friends when I make her something. She is the hugest blessing in my life and things I make her is a large expression for my love for her.

Here is how the shawl ended up.


Running, Uncategorized, What Makes Me Smile

Sacramento Zoo Zoom

My daughter is such a huge inspiration to me. She really enjoys running and is always asking me to sign her up for a 5k.  She’s pretty good too!!

So it was a joy to read our local zoo was doing a fun 5k run. We love our Sacramento Zoo. We gladly have yearly memberships there. It is small and quaint, but clean and full of lush trees and majestical animals.

The Zoo Zoom has you running through beautiful Land Park, where streets are lined with classic homes from the 30s and 40s and canopy trees that shaded us throughout.

The “little” pushed and pushed. She never wanted to quit, and our run ended right at the zoo, where we were granted free access for the day.  We quickly replenished with water and snacks and enjoyed the rest of the day watching the monkeys swing and the lions sunbath.

It’s such an honor to share this hobby with her and see her grow into the sport.


Crafts, Uncategorized, What Makes Me Smile

Dress for a Princess

It’s my cousin’s little girl’s 4th birthday. She is fierce with a heart of gold – the true makings of a princess. I knew exactly what I wanted to make her. A dress she can wear for when we go to Disneyland or to prance around at home.

I had Disney princess fabric that was waiting to be used for the right occasion. The pattern called for buttons (which I finally know how to do) and a placket (which was easy once I understood how to do one properly). Youtube is wonderful – I was able to watch the proper way to make a placket and buttonholes without screwing up the whole dress.  I love buttonholes now, btw!!!

Here is a glimpse of how it turned out.



Uncategorized, What Makes Me Smile

Girl Scout Cookie Time


You may have seen a flurry of Girl Scouts out in your neighborhood selling those delicious cookies from the classic Thin Mints to the newer, campfire friendly S’MORES. There is a cookie to delight any palette. But that’s not all the Girl Scouts do. I should know. I’m a troop leader for my daughters Brownie troop.


Since our troop first formed, we have gone to museums, marched in parades, worked on outdoor skills, prepared ourselves for camping, and spent time doing community service projects.

If you asked a Girl Scout what their favorite thing about being a Girl Scout is you will get a myriad of answers. These were the answers from our-then Daisy girls last year:

“I loved making the dog toys for the animal shelter and visiting the animal shelter” 

“I enjoyed our PJ party and being with my friends” 

“I like all the cookies and singing Christmas carols to the seniors” 

Our troop is headed for some exciting times this summer. We will execute our first outdoor camping trip. Try a ropes course. Spend the night in the Monterey Bay aquarium. Take hikes and explore more of Northern California.


Our local Girl Scout council also provides monthly activities that troops can participate in. Things like Self Defense, Babysitting 101, Night at the River Cats (Sacramento’s       Triple-A team) come to mind.

We are very proud to be part of the scouting community and many families with or without children can find ways to be part of it. There is always a need for strong leaders, people with special skills that can be taught to kids, and troop support.


If you are interested in more information about Girl Scouts in the Sacramento area, please visit Girl Scouts Central Heart of California.

If you are interested in more information about Boy Scouts in the Sacramento area, please visit Boy Scouts of American Golden Empire Council.

If you or someone you know is moving to Sacramento or the surrounding area, I would love to show them what this great city has to offer.  Please email for a Realtor in the Sacramento area or visit 

Running, Uncategorized, What Makes Me Smile

RunDisney – My First Experience

It’s been over a month since I left for my first runDisney trip at Walt Disney World to take on the Dopey Challenge. The name was a complete understatement. It was more like the What-Kinda- Get-Up-At-3am-24degrees-run 48.6miles-Idiot-Are-You Challenge. It was insane. I did wake up every day at 3 am Eastern Time (12 am in California). It was freezing in Orlando. It was the one year Florida actually had snow. I did run nearly 50 miles. But you know what? It was awesome! So, I thought I would share some highlights of this crazy race located in the most Magical Place on Earth.

Vanessa and I set out for Orlando on January 2nd. We landed the next day in Orlando, and the unexpected wind and cold hit me hard. The days before we left, I was sure the weather report for Orlando was wrong. Florida doesn’t get cold. I don’t need a coat. I certainly don’t need a scarf, gloves or hat. Luckily, as we were about to get in the car to drive to the airport, I ran back in the house, grabbed my coat, scarf, gloves and hat, and carelessly tossed them in my suitcase. My brother and cousin, who flew out the next day, didn’t heed my warning: ‘Pack your warm stuff. It is cold”. Nope. They didn’t.

We chose the All-Star-Movie Resort to stay, a perfect dream for a 7-year old, with favorite characters towering three stories high. After checking in to our room, we hurried on a bus taking us to the ESPN Center for the runDisney Expo. We picked up our race bibs and all our race shirts. I, myself, collected a handsome 6 shirts commemorating each race and challenge: 5k, 10k, half-marathon, full-marathon, Goofy Challenge (people who are running the half and full marathons), and the Dopey Challenge (racers running all 4 races (that was me. Im a huge dope)).  The race expo was very crowded, and I had no idea there would be so many runners, rumored to be over 80,000 registered racers.

Exhausted from a long travel, we went back to the room and clicked on the Disney Channel (of course),  and into dreamland ZZZZzzzzz….. And then 3:30 am came and by a miracle I sorta woke up. I slept through my alarm that was set for 2:50 am. The good Lord somehow woke me up naturally.  I shook Vanessa out of her slumber and without thinking, threw on our clothes and hurried out the door and ran towards the bus. They recommend all racers be on the bus from their resort no later than 4 am to make it to the race. Droves of busses were headed to the same place, Epcot, where each of the four races would begin and end.


After walking through a heavily secured area, we were welcomed with cheerful volunteers and entertainment to warm us up.  Not too many people can say they danced the YMCA with thousand of other people before 5 am.  This did help keep our minds off the frigid temps. I along with the other people in my corral, shivered with crinkly, silver nylon blankets (this space blanket did little to keep me warm) all the while telling myself ‘what the hell was I thinking’. Once we were all situated, we all waited anxiously for the fireworks to signal each corrals release. My heart burst with excitement each time the fireworks went off prompted by cheers of a crazy crowd.

Boom!! Me and Vanessa were off. I held her cold little hand as we ran through World Showcase in Epcot. Every building was lit up, beloved characters were out to take pictures with, and our favorite Disney music was blazing through the park. Runners were dressed in costumes and people were cracking jokes. It couldn’t have been a more cheerful race. We were laid beautiful medals after crossing the finish line.


My 10k, half and full marathon were no less exciting with even more fireworks, characters and people cheering. The half-marathon leads runners from Epcot and through the Magic Kingdom. I did start to cry as I ran through the castle, despite furiously telling myself not to shed a tear. Characters were on the trains welcoming us in and cheer teams lined the sidewalks motivating us to carry on.

The next day I took on the full marathon. That was hard. Despite sleep deprivation, the excitement of running through all 4 Disney parks kept you going. Coming up to the end of my 26.2 miles, I looked over to see my cousin and my brother propping Vanessa up over the crowd watching me cross over the big word FINSIH!!!  I did it!!!

I knew I always wanted to do the Dopey Challenge, and when I signed up the year before I said I’m doing this no matter what. It was worth all the freezing cold 3 ams. I would do it again in a heart beat. We will see what next year brings, but I hope to be back again for Dopey Challenge 2019.