Less Plastic, more experiences!

This post is a good follow up to Liv’s bedroom makeover since that was a result of my new mind-set after having an epiphany from reading the (seriously) Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I love to shop; from finding the perfect item, to getting best online bargain and that high from discovering packages on my porch. Olivia definitely has gotten the shopaholic bug from me now. She asks me, “Is that a package for me?” almost daily. However when I hear her asking for toys she sees on commercials or from youtube videos, I feel gross. Half the things are pure junk or she doesn’t even know what it is, she just knows she has to have it. Last summer I was feeling overwhelmed during our house tidying weekend, I was forced to think about what was really important to me. I was finding things I never even used once or I bought on an impulse. I was angry at myself for allowing so much clutter to accumulate in our house but my reasoning was always, we really need this stuff, our house is just too small.

My closet is all the evidence I needed that I’ve been overdoing it. I could hardly close the door and I never wore half the stuff crammed in the back. The Before & After shot.

Then I realized, our house is actually fine. When I think of what matters most to me it’s our memories from the fun times we’ve had. If my house was on fire and I could save only a few things, I would grab our photo books. Those books contain the priceless experiences we have shared as a family. Everything else are just replaceable things. So in that moment I decided to let go of the things. We totally have enough things.

Our precious “things” headed off to be donated or trashed!

I have proposed 2016 will be spent doing more and shopping less. I would much rather save our money for a lovely vacation than buy more Barbies or cute kick-knacks for the house. Now that Liv’s room is finished, I am all set to stop acquiring more stuff. I am making an exception for clothes, books and a few Christmas (not going overboard like last year) and birthday gifts but I’m ready to crack down. I can’t remember one trip to Target that we haven’t come home with things we don’t really need (I’m raising my hand here. Totally my lack of cuteness willpower!). Who isn’t guilty of shopping just because something was on sale but then later realized did I really need that? I did buy a few Christmas gifts on Black Friday (eye rolling at myself here but I couldn’t resist, they were on sale!) that I’ve been wanting all year, but I honestly purchased them out of necessity for next year’s travel plans.

Last weekend we took a field trip with her class to see the symphony at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. It was such an inspiring performance that I would love to subscribe for next year’s season.


She brought Backpack Bear from school as her date. I love this photo of her sweet BFF I snapped after the show.


I am also joining her school’s book club so every month she will get new books in French! Instead of writing her usual list of toys for Santa, I’ve asked Liv what things would she like to accomplish next year. We are joining LACMA and the Broad for sure. More concerts are on our to-do list. I would like her to take a skateboarding lesson with a friend of ours. I think a trip to Glaze Fire would be fun. My Mom mentioned a family camping trip would be fun. We definitely have to make to trip to the Safari Park in San Diego.

During the summer we finally made a trip to the LA Public Library in downtown. However, we didn’t plan for the parking to be cash only so we ended up parking at a meter for only 20 minutes. It was the fastest visit you could ever imagine.



The interior was magnificent!



The murals and painted wood ceilings are so dreamy!

IMG_7184IMG_7187It was very reminiscent of a Wes Anderson movie set. I forget we are so lucky to have fun things to do all the time. Next time we’ll be sure to have parking cash handy.

Liv has made her travel wishlist

blue lagoon

Iceland – sleep in an igloo to see the Northern Lights, swim in the Blue Lagoon and see puffins!

China  – she wants to see the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and buy a dragon kite.

Japan – to see the Mizayaki museum, sing karaoke and take the Hello Kitty airplane.

Sweden – visit the Pippi Longstocking museum/Junibacken park, go on a Viking ship and see Vasamuseum

Belgium – to eat chocolate and waffles and see Mannekin Pis

Mom’s travel wishlist (the short version)

copenhagen door

Copenhagen, Denmark – Tivoli Gardens (one of the oldest theme parks in the world), Louisana Museum and canal boat tour to photograph Nyhavn.
(since I’m already in Scandinavia, I have to visit my friends in…)

Helsinki, Finland – see the textiles at the Marimekko store, visit the Design museum and take a sauna in the country.

Amalfi Coast, Italy – soak up the sun and lounge on the beaches of Naples, Capri, Positano, Sorrento, I’m dying to see the Azure Window in Malta!

Strasbourg, France – an adorable city that looks like the village from Beauty & the Beast.

Vienna/Salzburg, Austria – my dream Christmas vacation. I need to go on the Sound of Music tour, see the Halstatt Salt Mines and eat apple strudel.

Sydney/Melbourne, Australia – it seems that all my favorite Instagram feeds are from down under. The beaches look awesome and the fun things to do there blows my mind (would I dare to try this?!)

I’m with Liv, we must go to Iceland for obvious reasons!!

Antz travel wishlist


Anywhere I don’t have to carry tons of luggage, with good food and has air conditioning!

Best husband response ever.

So as this year comes to an end, we are excited with the unlimited possibilities for 2016. We have been studying our Maps book together as a family to research future travel ideas.

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