Brave Birthday Party, the Big FIVE

Nov. 2013

I feel like I wrote Vayda's birth story just days ago, I can't believe she's 5 now! To catch you all up, she turned five back on Nov. 2nd....yes, I've got a lot of blogging updates to do. But what better way to jump back in than with a birthday party post?!

We went through months of watching Brave on repeat. Vayda was obsessed! Naturally, my mind was running wild with a million ways to incorporate the movie into the party. I tend to have a million ideas and be disappointed with the little I am able to do, but I have to tell you, this one was a fun one. Even if I didn't get to do everything I wanted to do.

For the invite we had a mini photo shoot at a park nearby. Took her bow and arrow and outfit of course. I then used these great arrows from irocksowhat blog to complete the look of the invite.

adorable teddy graham snack bags made by Tia Mini

party bags with the DunBroch Clan colors

Originally I made these whisps for the front yard, they ended up in the centerpieces. If it did it again, I would make 3-4 smaller whisps for the centerpieces and keep the larger ones outside. 

Amazing cake, inspired by pinterest. Made my Sweet Sisters Bakery in Chula Vista, CA

dessert table 

I love my mom, she added those branches to complete the look :)

before the ping pong table was loaded down with food.
side note: throw a table skirt on that thing and it was perfect! 

And we cannot forget the ponies! That's right, my MIL said about 2 years prior that she was going to get ponies for Vayda's 5th birthday...she sure followed through. They were a hit! I told the girls to enjoy it because this will most likely never happen again ahaha. 

After a little while my birthday girl slowed down. She got a bit cranky and wasn't her normal party self...you know, the last one in the jumpy, running a muck with all the kids. I didn't realize till that night after all the madness she was coming down with a cold! She has such a high fever that night :(. All in all it was a good party despite that cold. She bounced back a few days later to play with her presents :).

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Despicable Me (three) Party: Part 3

I'm still breathing! After a long blog break, I think I'm ready to get back on the wagon...what got me back? A blog feature!!! :)

My party bags were featured over at Moms &Munchkins. Cheryl posted a great round-up of Despicable Me party ideas, make sure you check that post out! Thank you for the shout out Cheryl!

Below I have a bit more details about those fun party bags...enjoy!

Materials Needed: 

goggles printed on card stock click for printable file (You can edit this doc. through Word as well to adjust the size if needed)
glue stick
thick black sharpie
blue construction paper
blue marker

Optional: black construction paper

Because you can find party bags in so many different sizes, I don't have measurements for the overalls. I simply placed the blue construction paper under a bag, traced the width and cut out a template. I used that one and cut the "arm holes" out. Make sure you save that first overall as a template to use and trace the rest out before gluing them to the bags with your glue sticks. 

Once you have the overalls on, cut out the goggles you printed. Place them on your bag to measure where you want them and cut off the excess ends of the goggles to fit the bag. 

Use the glue stick and glue to the top of the bags, leaving enough paper on the top for kids to hold/fold over. 

Next, grab your sharpies and draw on those cute sideways smiles, circles for buttons on the overalls and the pocket on the front...if you have time (which you probably do because you're not doing this the night before...like myself) make a pocket shape out of blue/black paper and glue it to the front of the overalls. 


Please comment if you have questions...I know I'm not the best at tutorials, but I will answer all of your questions!
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it's a BOY!

Our family grew by 4 paws!

That’s right, as if we didn't have enough going on already, we adopted a puppy dog :)! Our neighbor volunteers at many different shelters and when she found out that we were interested in adopting in the future she began sending emails with potential bff’s galore.

She told us about a really special pup she had her eye on and for some reason she thought he’d be perfect for us. We saw a picture and fell in love. Well when the day came around that he was available to adopt, another family came in and swooped him up. I was bummed but was glad there was already a family who wanted to love him too. A week later she stopped by and told us that they took him back because they were unaware they couldn't have pets where they lived. We said we’d take him and two days later she was on our doorstep with him. He’s so precious I can’t stand it!

His stats:

Mastiff/pitbull mix…that we know of
About 2 months old
HUGE paws ;)
And weighed 25lbs when he got his first set of shots

He’s gonna be a big boy :D

So here he is, Gus (Augustus) Arreguin 

Looking for a new BFF? Adopt a pet! We're strong believers in saving lives...go check out what's available near you at adoptapet.com or visit your local humane society :)

Happy Friday!
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can't stop, won't stop.

This morning I woke up telling myself I wanted to lose 10 more pounds. I mean, of course I want lose that and more, but I decided I'm going to do it. There's a difference. I've now added my fitness pal tracker to the blog to keep me in check...let's do this!

By lunch I was pumped and ready to go, yes lunch. I liked the idea but wasn't ready to wake up in the AM haha. I felt like going and not stopping. Today I wanted to run. I was ready to run with Banana at lunch but needy co-workers got in the way :P. I easily could have kept working but I decided to just do it. I took a screenshot of the pic below and took off.

I LOVED it! I've never done cross fit  so I don't know if that's what its really like, but it was intense and changed up my gym routine forever. I'm going to try to do this at least 3 times a week. Anyone else up for the challenge?

Now on to Turbo Fire when I get home :).

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Back & Feeling Better Than Ever!

I'm back, I haven't had any desire to blog and have felt too busy to sit down and write. Well maybe there was too much to write about and I didn't know where to start. I'm going to try and catch up with home updates and family updates but first thing is first. You can't have a happy healthy home and family with out being healthy and happy yourself, right? Right. 

“Arriving at one goal is the starting point of another.”

Every year I have the same resolution, I’m going to get fit and be healthy this year, this is my year. And of course, I always slipped back into my bad habits.

I finally woke up. I was tired of wondering how I would look and feel had I stuck to eating right and exercising. I decided enough was enough and I was going to do it. No more wondering where I’d be at now had I just stuck to the plan. It takes time to transform physically and mentally (man it’s been a HUGE mental battle for me personally).

down 11 lbs and bloat I'm sure

I've stuck to it. I made no more excuses, packed my gym bag every day, looked at it and knew I’d have to go since it was already there. I got used to changing at lunch (which was an excuse before, I wouldn’t want to change in the middle of the day haha) and enjoying that warm uninterrupted shower after a good sweat. After a while it became a habit.

I think about this everyday, and it's true!
I'm now getting comments from strangers on the weight loss they see!

I started C25K (Couch to 5K) and that kept me going. It was kind of a personal game for me just trying to get to the next level. I’ve NEVER been a runner. Ask one of my best friends Val, she had me tryout for cross country in high school and I think I only made it a week, if that. Hah! I’ve now completed c25k and I’m continuing the program for a 10k. My first 5k is in August for my birthday…unless I get a bug to sign up for another one sooner. But I’m hoping by then I will be able to do the 5k painlessly.

I also challenged myself to a 30 day squat challenge (pic below), I made it to day 27. I pulled my hamstring and decided to stop there so I wouldn't ruin my running...I do see a big difference though since day one, sorry, not posting pics of my butt lol. I would admit I am kind of addicted to squats now. 


I have 6 days left to my 30 day liver detox….details on that to follow. And I'm restarting Turbo Fire. I’m on a roll and I don’t plan on stopping now. I’m not too tired to play with the girls and I feel the side effects after eating unhealthy. Let's kick it into high gear! 

Please join me on my journey, cause it’s a journey, nothing is overnight. Well unless you have the big bucks for lipo ;). 

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poppin' bottles; keys; their new room; first things first, privacy! :)

We took the plunge and signed our lives away. Well for the next 30 years that is. To say that the last few weeks have been a little chaotic in our parts is an understatement. Buying a home is an emotional roller coaster I tell you!

Really quick, TWO things people don’t tell you when buying a home:

1.       Forget the time frame you’re told from day one in escrow
-          There are so many different people working on your folder (so to say) getting paper work back and forth, just one person can keep things from moving forward so it’s best not to get your hopes up…it’s a bonus if you close on your projected closing date.
2.       Once you sign the final loan docs you do not receive the keys seconds after
-          We were told that so many times we had our hopes up, come to find out the forms had to go back to the escrow office and then taken to the recording office so we could receive our keys (this is where that ONE person, of course, took their sweet time =|)

But once you do get the call to pick up your keys to your brand new home…it’s worth all the stress, sweat, getting your credit score up and tears. ;)

Family, friends and blogger-buddies, I introduce you to our new home…

Isn't she pretty?! :)

And so it begins...let's put those pins on my pinterest boards to work!

I'd also like to make a shout out to the amazing Melissa @ Melissa Rose Designs. Not only did she create my rad blog layout, she offered *free* signature lines to all of her Facebook fans as a thank you (see mine below)! She really is the best!! She's now extended the offer all of you as well! Click on the link above, like her on FB and you will be able to snag a rad signature line as well...the offer is only good till 1/15/13 so go now!


Christmas/NY 2012/13

There is SO much that has happened over this Christmas/New Year break. So much that I've been too overwhelmed to put it in writing. And frankly I haven't had the urge to post. Call it a rut, writing block, whatever you will. I'm going to call it living in the moment. I write when I have spare time, usually at work when I need a teeny break (hope the boss man never sees this lol). So I'm not in that routine to take time out at home and write a blog post. When I'm home, I'm home and living in the moment. Enjoying my family and me time. *kudos* to those who post regularly, I wish I did, but I don't. And I am OK with that. :) So here are a few lot of scenes from my vaycay...and a little news at the bottom. Please do expect a post on that soon ;). Sorry in advance for the picture overload.
Our tree; her favorite color; her cheesin'
J&V annual Christmas shindig; the new crew

Christmas Eve at Oma & Poppi's; babies everywhere! :)

Christmas morning
packing & our new stoop (ahhhhh!!)
More to come on that last one, you better believe it!!!



Dancing Queen & Merry Wishes!

 For having her Folkorico recital on a weekday, everything was moving all too well. When we got to the auditorium we did have a few hiccups (i.e. thought I dropped her shoe at home and was going to send her on the stage in her dress and tennis) but nope, everything went as planned.

Their first dance was great...well they fumbled on the floor but they "danced" so cute! I had to stay in the front of the room to keep my photo op spot so I asked the hubbs and Nana Tula to run back and help with the costume change for the next dance. 

That's when the fun began. A few songs later, performed by the older girls, Tula said Vayda needed to go potty. I jumped up and went to the back of the auditorium to help her out. As I was walking back there the girls in her class were all in a line holding hands going to the front of the room, their dance was next. I couldn't see which was Vay because they all had HUGE sombreros on their head lol. I frantically looked at the hubbs asking where she was and he said the front of the line. Without thinking I went back to my spot and prayed that she wouldn't have an accident in the middle of the dance floor. The Cucaracha song came on...yes I said Cucaracha lol, and she wasn't there. We all shot looks at each other screaming with our eyes, WHERE IS VAYDA?!? I ran back to the back of the room and at that very second the teacher was running out of the bathroom asking if they found her mom. OMG she was in the potty lol! I ran in and could not help but laugh a little...I was waiting for something to happen. Thank God it wasn't on the dance floor in the middle of the auditorium!!
The moment I had her skirt back on and ready to go, the teach swooped in, picked her up and got her to the dance floor the moment their next song came on. It was classic. After little things like that it makes me breath more, enjoy every second and reminds me not to feel like everything has to be perfect. It's the little imperfections that make everything worth while. I began taking pictures and even face-timed my parents and Oma so they could see her last dance. Made my heart smile.

So from our home to yours:

I know she's going to kill me for this later, but how adorable does it get?! This is def going in the wedding slide show ;)



There are no words for the devastation and harm done in CT. No words. Every time I think about that massacre I wish I could hug each and every one of the family members effected by it and sob with them. I cry every time I hear a new detail or see a picture of an innocent face that was lost. And then I think about the children that witnessed things their eyes should never have had to see and the innocence lost. The amount of heartache this has caused is too much too great. There is no way I can even begin to feel and imagine how those parents feel right now and forever more. All we can do is pray for them and appreciate what we do have every moment of our lives because you really never know what can happen. 

Thanking God everyday for my family and praying for those in pain. 



VnL House Hunt: Letter to the Underwriter


Even though I share a lot on my blog, I’m actually a pretty private person, I never want to share too much. Especially house hunting I feel like if I share too much and things fall through I don’t want to look like a failure. But I’m writing this series to share our journey and possibly give insight to people who are beginning the journey/want to start their own journey and to look back one day on our own journey. I've also come to realize that it’s not us failing if things fall through, it’s just not the right one (I need to nail that in my head), the right one will come.

With that said, I’m going to let you in on a secret, we put an offer in on a house we LOVE. If this one is rejected the hubbs and I will be pretty bummed (to say the least). We are now waiting to hear if they accepted our offer. This stage of the game is not good for the heart. My heart won’t stop pounding, all I can think about is the house, what the seller is thinking, how we would decorate, when would escrow close, what if they say no and the list goes on and on. I feel like an elephant is sitting on top of my chest, but when I sit back and think about everything we’ve been doing to get to this point I smile, because you know what? I’m proud of the hubbs and I. We’re doing big kid things to set up a great thing for our little girls. Make sense? Am I rambling? I sure feel like it.

letter to the loan underwriter:
Along the way we were already approved for the loan amount we decided on day 1. The underwriting process was completed and that was that. After learning our way around the market, seeing house flippers come in left and right paying cash for homes on the spot and finding out that on every house we put an offer on so did at least 6 other families we went back to the drawing board. The hubbs and I reviewed our budget and decided we were good to go over what we originally planned to insure we get the house of our dreams and at least are able to offer enough to be on the top of the 6(ish) other offers. Since we had a loan approved already our lender advised that we write a letter to the underwriter explaining why we’re now asking for a higher loan. She said to make the letter personal and to the point. I didn’t know where to start so I went to Google of course lol. I really didn’t find too much. What I did find got the ball rolling and I went from there. I then sent it to my mom (thanks again Mama!) who proof read it, made a few tweaks, the hubbs and I signed it and off it went. We then got this response back from our lender a few hours later:

“Your letter is AWESOME!!!!  I already sent it to my manager and was advised you are qualified to purchase a home with a Sales Price up to [….].  WOW!!!!
So you are GOOD to go!!!!”

Ok I took out the amount number…remember me saying I like to keep some things private? They offered more than we even requested and more than we even want to spend, but that’s got to mean our letter worked :).

Below is a copy of our letter in case you or someone you know is looking for an example to write one of your own. I did take out our personal information but you get the gist. I hope this helps!

To: Underwriting Dept.
From: [your name]
Re: Request to Increase Home Loan Amount

Dear Underwriting Team [if you know the underwriter’s name throw it in and make it personal!],

We are writing to request an increase on our home loan from [first amount approved for here] to [new amount you’re requesting]. Since becoming more familiar with the house market and reviewing our budget, we now see that we can afford a higher mortgage and the home of our dreams.We have both been very diligent at maintaining our good credit together [add personal examples with how you’re doing good with your credit].

Here I added a paragraph about our income and showed examples of the length of our jobs and pay increases. The more examples the better. 

We are in a position financially to finally become homeowners rather than renters. With our monthly expenses and our budget of [enter your new requested amount here] we are a responsible family and will undeniably make the monthly mortgage payments with ease. We are looking forward to living the American Dream of becoming homeowners [make it cheesy and pull on their heart strings!] and truly hope that you can see we are capable of living that dream. My family and I look forward to working together with you as our Mortgage Lender and would be pleased if you allowed this lifetime opportunity for us. If you would like a reference letters from our employer we would be happy to provide those as well.

Thank you for considering and replying to our request.

Mr and Mrs. [your name] and Family

I hope this will help someone somewhere! 


Christmas Cheer!

'tis the season. Everything gets whip! 

This was my first ornament swap, but I think it was the best ever!! Like I've said before, I’m obsessed with Christmas and everything to do with Christmas! When I found out Erin at Living in Yellow and Jessah atDreaming of Dimples were holding a Christmas ornament swap I didn't have to think twice (go to their blogs to snoop on other ppls ornaments, I sure am).

A few weeks went by and I received an email from Jenn atBeyond the Stoop asking for my address to send me an ornament. I had completely forgot to check the list to see who I was assigned to and who received my name so when I got her email I was ecstatic and thankful she reminded me =P.

I was thrilled when I got the box in the mail, nothing is sweeter than getting snail mail. Check out the awesome ornaments she sent! I love these little guys, especially the little one’s top hat :). Thanks a ton Jenn! They will add some fun cheer to our tree (once we have the time to get one…hint hint hubbs) and I know the girls will love them! For now, they are chillen’ on the garland above the fireplace.

I was assigned to Tricia over at B’more Girly. Just reading her blog I could feel the positive and fun energy she gives off and I knew I wanted to send some fun and girly (of course J) ornaments. Snoop around her blog to get to know her and see what yours truly sent.

Right now she and her husband are going through a tough time, they lost their adorable dog Cayman. So sorry for your loss!

I’ll leave you with a little Christmas Cheer from our casa to yours.
awaiting more Christmas cards to hang...
My latest fave find from Cost Plus World Market (obsessed with that store), festive birdie clips! 
I moved the table for a minuet and our little monkey used it to her advantage....being a great mama I offered her coffee lol. 



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