Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Uesugi Farms Pumpkin Park | San Martin, CA

*** Mega Post - Heavy PICS ***

It's been a month since my last post. Between homeschooling my son and travelling back and forth to San Jose for the past six months, I haven't had much time to blog. Also, I haven't really been doing anything to blog about.

However, now that it's Fall the pumpkin patches are popping up everywhere and we love pumpkins. For the past 11 years we would take my son to Pumpkin City's Pumpkin Farm in Laguna Hills, CA but we have not been home since the pumpkin patch opened.

I did some research on Yelp and found the best pumpkin patch ever...Uesugi Farms Pumpkin Park in San Martin, CA.
My son the Pumpkin King :)
The Pumpkin Pyramid!
My son loved Pumpkin Blasters! He shot targets with mini pumpkins at 90mph out of a hugh gun.
After my son finished the Pumpkin Blasters, we went through Kayla's Korn Maze. We used interactive trivia cards to find our way out of this 2 acre corn maze. We did get lost a few times but we had a lot of fun!
My son led us through the maze :)
Walking through the corn maze we found Butterfly Valley. A field of beautiful flowers with metal butterflies scattered throughout.
I highly recommend Uesugi Farms Pumpkin Park. I will miss this pumpkin patch next year when we are back home. It was by far the best experience we ever had at a pumpkin patch :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Paleo Diet | Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes

We arrived home on Friday after 5 weeks at the Residence Inn in South San Jose. It's great to be home and to cook in my own kitchen.

When we woke up this morning, my son and I wanted pancakes for breakfast. I wanted to make a different pancake recipe from the Grain-Free Banana Pancakes I made a few weeks ago. So, I searched Google and I found this recipe for Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes on Ultimate CrossFit Forums.

My son and I really enjoyed them, they were so good. I made a second batch and put them in the refrigerator for tomorrow :)
Dry Ingredients:
  • pinch of baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
Wet Ingredients:
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 eggs
Combine the dry ingredients together in one bowl, then in another bowl combine the wet ingredients. Then toss the wet ingredients into the dry and mix thoroughly. Let mixture sit for 2 or 3 minutes.

Cook in a pan on medium-high like a normal pancake.

Recipe from Ultimate CrossFit Forums.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Paleo Diet | Grain-Free Banana Pancakes

My family has been following the Paleo Diet for a couple of weeks and eating eggs for breakfast almost every morning is really boring. It is a bit of a challenge to prepare food in a hotel but we manage.

So yesterday morning I decided to try Grain-Free Banana Pancakes from I think for my first attempt at Paleo pancakes...they came out pretty good.

I used a little Nature's Agave RAW Agave Nectar for some syrup. It was definitely a nice change to having eggs for breakfast.
Ingredients (makes 8-10 small pancakes)
  • 3 medium eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup non dairy milk (I used Trader Joe's Coconut Milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup blanched almond flour (Honeyville or Digestive Wellness works best) (I used Bob's Red Mill)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 overly ripe banana (brown spots are the best!)
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips (homemade or Enjoy Life – omit for SCD)
  • Butter or coconut oil for the pan
Mix together the wet ingredients, beating well until the eggs are beaten and slightly foamy.

Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then incorporate them into the wet. Whisk well until combined, then let sit for 3-5 minutes to let the coconut flour soak up some of the moisture.

Heat a cast iron (or non-stick) pan over medium-high heat. You can also use a griddle to make more pancakes at once. Mix the batter again, then begin making your pancakes.

Oil the pan with coconut oil or butter, then pour about a 1/4 cup of batter per pancake. The pancakes are easier to flip if you keep them small, about 4 inches in diameter.

Once the pancake begins to bubble, place a couple of slices of banana and a pinch of chocolate chips on top.

Carefully flip the pancake over, and cook for another minute until the pancake has fluffed up an feels slightly firm.

Keep hot in a warm oven until you are done making the remainder of the pancakes.

These are best eaten immediately, but if you have leftovers you can warm them in a toaster the next day.

Recipe from

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Big Sur California

On Saturday we drove to Big Sur located in the Central Coast of California. It took about 1 hour and 45 minutes from South San Jose. Big Sur is always worth the drive. It is breathtaking beautiful!
We stopped at the Big Sur River Inn and Restaurant. We enjoyed hanging out together as a family and had a relaxing afternoon. The weather was a little on the chilly side but we didn't mind.
My son loves this location and says he can remember visiting here when he was only 3 1/2 years old.
Testing the water with one finger only...the water was pretty cold :)
My happy family!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Paleo Diet | Grain-Free Almond Butter Cookies

On Tuesday, August 14th we started the Paleo Diet. We have not eaten any grains, dairy, soy/legumes and sugar for 11 days. We make all of our meals in the hotel room, however, we haven't tried baking desserts until now.
Last night I made Grain-Free Almond Butter Cookies for dessert with all organic ingredients. I found the recipe on and I decided to cut the ingredients in half since we were running low on almond butter, honey and coconut oil. I was a little short on honey but the cookies still tasted good.

After the cookies were baked, my son sprinkled cinnamon on top of his cookie and it was great. I would definitely add cinnamon to the dough next time.

1 cup almond butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup raw honey
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups almond meal
2 tablespoons chia seeds (optional)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Cooking Steps
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir together almond butter, coconut oil, and honey. Beat in egg and vanilla.

In a small bowl, combine almond meal, chia seeds, and baking soda. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix well.

Scoop the dough 1 tablespoon at a time and roll into balls. Set the balls on the baking sheet and flatten them with a fork.

Bake for 10 minutes, until the edges just start browning. Do not over-bake or they will be dry!

This recipe originally came from The Foodie and The Family.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Residence Inn Marriott | South San Jose

It's been a while since my last post, we have been travelling with my husband to San Jose for business and I just haven't felt like blogging.

We will be in San Jose for another few weeks before we drive home again; hopefully we will be home for more then a week this time. We have been up here for almost 4 months with only a few trips back home (a week here & there). I miss Orange County and can't wait until we are home permanently.
We have been staying at the Residence Inn in South San Jose for the past 2 1/2 months. This hotel was not my first choice but we needed a place with a full kitchen and relatively close to my husband's work. The staff here is very friendly but the hotel needs a makeover.

I had hoped that we would be back home before I started to homeschool my son for 6th grade but unfortunately we will not be back until a week after school starts. I brought his U.S. History and Math books with us but I had to order new books for Spelling, English/Grammar, Vocabulary, Science, Geography, Writing, and Reading Comprehension. I ordered 11 books and had them delivered to the hotel so he can start on Wednesday, September 5th.

I can't believe it's time for school and summer is over.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Fun at Dover Shores | Newport Beach

My son had so much fun at Dover Shores in Newport Beach yesterday afternoon. It was a beautiful day, no clouds with a light cool breeze. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

PruneYard Plaza Hotel | Campbell

Sunday afternoon we drove up north again for my husband's job. We decided to stay for a week at the PruneYard Plaza Hotel in Campbell. It's less than 8 miles from eBay in San Jose where my husband is a consultant.

The hotel is a Tuscan-inspired retreat in the heart of Silicon Valley. I chose this hotel for it's location, it is next door to The Pruneyard Shopping Center and there is a Whole Foods Market across the street. I always try to pick a hotel near a Whole Foods Market.
Hotel Entrance
Hotel Lobby
Our Room 358
We are enjoying our stay at the PruneYard Plaza Hotel and we hope to stay here again.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Disney's Cars Land

Today is the opening of Cars Land at Disney's California Adventure Park. It will be insanely crowed today, so we will wait to go when summer is over and school has started in September.

However, I do have some pictures of Cars Land provided by my Dad and his iPhone. On Sunday, June 10th, Grandpa and Grandma got sneak peek tickets to Cars Land.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Road Trip: Redwoods | Santa Cruz

On Sunday, June 3rd, we drove to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park near Felton on Highway 9 in the Santa Cruz Mountains. We wanted to see giant redwoods and the ocean. Unfortunately, my husband did not get to enjoy the beauty of the giant redwoods with my son and I. The walking trails don't allow dogs, so he stayed in the car with Lily while my son and I walked one trail for 20 or 30 minutes. It really was breathtaking.

After visiting the redwoods park, we drove to Santa Cruz to eat lunch and charge our Prius Plug-In at a charging station. I asked a local girl with a cute dog if she could recommend a restaurant that was dog friendly. She suggested the Pono Hawaiian Grill. It was only a few blocks from the charging station, so we walked to Pono and had great lunch on their back patio.
When we finished with our lunch, we drove to Santa Cruz Harbor before we headed back to San Jose.

It was a beautiful day!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Lily Loves Zack & Zoey

We have been in San Jose for almost 4 weeks and Lily does not like staying in the hotel room by herself. She has figured out how to escape from her playpen and I do not feel comfortable with her running around the room with us not there. 

The carrying bag I brought from home goes over the shoulder and is awkward for me to carry. Usually my husband carries Lily but since he is at work during the day now...I NEEDED something that was hands-free and goes across my body so my back and shoulder aren't being strained. I searched Amazon and found the perfect bag.

I purchased the Zack & Zoey Polyester with Polyurethane Snow Leopard Pet Carrier, Small, Black from AmazonPrime. I ordered it on Tuesday and it arrived Thursday afternoon at my hotel. It's light weight but sturdy and Lily really loves the center opening. She enjoys being part of the action :) This is a great pet carrier. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

LEGO Store Master Builder Event!

This afternoon my son and I met Grandma and Grandpa at Downtown Disney in Anaheim. We ate lunch with them at Tortilla Jo's and after we went to the Lego Store.
In celebration of the grand re-opening, there was a Master Builder Event this weekend at the LEGO Store. My son met a real LEGO Master Builder and helped construct an 8 foot tall model of the LEGO Store mascot, Brickley. 
For participating in the construction of Brickley, my son received a Certificate of Achievement :)