Tag Archives: family

The Latest From LEGOLAND®: Dominic’s Birthday at The LEGO® Batman™ Movie Days!

IMG_6604 - Copy

As you know, The LEGO® Batman Movie did extremely well at the theaters this year.  In conjunction with its release, LEGOLAND® California celebrated with The LEGO® Batman™ Movie Days during the last two weeks in February.  LEGOLAND® bloggers were invited to attend one of the weekends, so we decided to turn it into a birthday celebration for Dominic, who turned 8 on February 27th!  Being the amazing photographer that she is, my sister skillfully captured all of the festivities at LEGOLAND®.  The next day, we took Dominic out for breakfast at his favorite place, followed by The LEGO® Batman™ Movie.

The LEGO® Batman™ Movie Days at LEGOLAND® California

IMG_6486 - Copy

My sister, Rholnna, in action!

IMG_6639 - Copy

IMG_6610 - Copy

Mei-Lin & Dominic were ready to take on the Miniland Scavenger Hunt!

Lego Batman Days 2017 collage 1

IMG_6673 - Copy

Lego Batman Days 2017 collage 2

Batman™ Mini-figures were hidden with letters throughout Miniland, which spelled out a word.  Once the word was unscrambled, participants could enter to win one of two LEGO® prize packs!

IMG_6617 - Copy

IMG_6614 - Copy

IMG_6473 - Copy

Batman was present EVERYWHERE in places like The Big Shop.  Even yours truly got in on the fun!

IMG_6641 - Copy

IMG_6665 - Copy

Mei-Lin & Dominic always have fun, and can find new things to do each time we go to LEGOLAND®.  This time, they tried their hands at panning for gold!

IMG_6481 - Copy

IMG_6669 - Copy

Another big part of why we love LEGOLAND® is the amazing food.  I always go for the Bao Bun at the Ninja Kitchen in Ninjago® World.  The rest of the family feasted on desserts, like goodies from Castle Ice Cream and the Churro Stand at Castle Hill.  Here’s a tip: Get the churros with chocolate sauce, you won’t regret it!

IMG_6636 - Copy

Dominic got an awesome XBOX gift card from Auntie Rholnna, Uncle Jeremy and Mei-Lin!

IMG_6622 - Copy

Thanks again LEGOLAND®, Dominic said he had an awesome time!

Dominic’s Birthday


My mom couldn’t make it to LEGOLAND®, so she opted to have breakfast with us at Breakfast Republic Dominic’s actual birthday.  I’ve been to the North Park location, and Dominic and I have eaten at the Liberty Station location.  Since we live near Downtown, we all ate at the East Village location for his birthday.


Dominic’s favorite meal at Breakfast Republic are the Churro Pancakes!


For his birthday, Dominic was also treated to coffee cake with his favorite fruit: strawberries!

IMG_6512 - Copy

Dominic loved The LEGO® Batman™ Movie so much, this was actually round two for him!

The Latest From LEGOLAND®: The 14th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony!


At the end of November, I took my sister, my niece and my son to celebrate the kick off of Holidays at LEGOLAND® California Resort with their 14th annual Tree Lighting Ceremony!   Along with General Manager of LEGOLAND® California, Peter Ronchetti, Santa Claus and Lego Brick Santa, Stana Katic from the hit TV series Castle and her niece, Sophia, joined in the festivities and pulled the switch to set off the amazing fireworks display right before lighting of the amazing Lego Brick tree.  To the delight of all of the children present, the ceremony concluded with snow falling over the crowd!

Holidays at LEGOLAND® California run from November 25, 2016 to January 1, 2017 and include events such as a holiday show at Heartlake City, special holiday treats (churros con chocolate, holiday cookies, peppermint milkshakes, apple cider and hot chocolate) and the opportunity to take your holiday photos with Lego Brick Santa and his reindeer.  Click here to get your tickets!

Legoland Holiday Tree lighting ceremony on Monday, November 28, 2016 in Calsbad, CA.(Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Legoland)

Official Legoland Picture (Legoland Holiday Tree lighting ceremony on Monday, November 28, 2016 in Calsbad, CA. Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Legoland)

Prior to the tree lighting, LEGOLAND® California Resort donated $10,000 on Stana Katic’s behalf to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.  





“The LEGO Christmas tree stands 30-foot tall, is created out of more than 245,000 green DUPLO® bricks, features more than 400 LEGO ornaments and sparkles with more than 11,000 LED lights. In honor of the new Castle Hotel breaking ground in January, Master Model Builders created 15 new LEGO castle ornaments that hung from the enormous LEGO Christmas tree.”  – from the LEGOLAND® California Press Release


Stana Katic with her niece Sophia


Me with my sister, Rholnna, her daughter Mei-Lin and my son Dominic (taken by Suzanne Bartole).

(All photos by Rholnna Jiao except where otherwise noted)

Merry Christmas 2014!

Santa Picture 2014

Merry Christmas to all!  I’m so glad Deon and I have been having Dominic take these Santa pictures each year because it helps us see just how much he has grown over the years.  The slide show below includes a picture I have note posted yet, which was his very first Christmas picture back in 2009.

Hope you all had a wonderful & blessed holiday with your loved ones.  Cheers!

From Dominic's Holiday Reading List: "My Twins' First Christmas"

DSC05429 (3) (960x1280)

This is quite a fun year for Dominic because he’s really starting to enjoy books.  We read a book every night, and this is his newest addition to his reading list.  My Twins’ First Christmas is from the “My Friend Paris” book series by Jackie Singer.  In this holiday tale, Paris has new twin sisters, Liberty and Victoria, and she shares their adventures learning about the different ways people can celebrate Christmas.  Dominic said he really enjoyed this book and loved the colorful pictures.  His favorite parts of the book were when Paris and her family donated their extra cookies to charity and when their mommy read them a bedtime story because it’s like when we read him stories at bedtime.  Dominic said that although he loves it when I read books to him, he’s excited to learn to read about Paris and her Christmas adventures on his own next year!

DSC05432 (2) (1280x960)

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

See Santa by Appointment at The Simon Photo Experience at Fashion Valley!

DSC05392 (2) (962x1280)

DSC05397 (2) (1280x1280)

Over the weekend, my hubby and I took Dominic to the Fashion Valley Mall to have lunch, make a stop at the Lego store (we always go there first), and to take in the sites of the season.  It’s that time of year when places like Fashion Valley Mall are completely decked out in their holiday finest and seeing such gorgeous seasonal décor makes for a lovely shopping experience.  There’s so much to look at and I know Dominic loves it as much as we do.

IMG_4386 (2) (960x1280)

As we made our way to have Dominic’s traditional Christmas photo taken with Santa, we found the line had grown!  I guess we took a little too long enjoying the walk around the mall.  Thank goodness there is a new feature at the Simon® Santa Photo Experience where you can now make an appointment and avoid the line.  Click on http://simon.noerrsanta.com, and you can reserve your magical moment with St. Nick (I set our new appointment for Dominic for this coming Saturday)!  I’ll be sure to post our boy’s picture with Santa later this month.

Check out another fun feature through Noerr Programs:

The Noerr Programs, providers of the Simon Santa Photo Experience, will be sharing the heart of Santa online this holiday season through  “BeMerrySanta®”, where families can keep up with Santa’s daily musings on his Facebook page at facebook.com/BeMerrySanta, on Twitter @BeMerrySanta or Instagram at BeMerrySanta. Parents can also share their child’s good deed with Santa by going to his Magical Badge Generator at simon.bemerrysanta.com. After their child creates their badge, they can show Santa on a mobile device or print out their child’s customized badge. He will merrily reward each child for their kind act with a very special chocolate treat from Lindt, while supplies last.

DSC05393 (2) (1280x1280)

DSC05387 (2) (1280x853)

DSC05388 (2) (960x1280)

Want to make a date with Santa for your little one?  Here are the remaining dates and times for Santa’s appearances at Fashion Valley.  Keep in mind, Santa does take occasional breaks throughout his stay:

12/10/2014, 10:00am – 8:30pm

12/11/2014, 10:00am – 8:30pm

12/12/2014, 10:00am – 9:00pm

12/13/2014, 10:00am – 9:00pm

12/14/2014, 11:00am – 8:00pm

12/15/2014, 10:00am – 9:00pm

12/16/2014, 10:00am – 9:00pm

12/17/2014, 10:00am – 9:00pm

12/18/2014, 10:00am – 9:00pm

12/19/2014, 9:00am – 9:00pm

12/20/2014, 9:00am – 9:00pm

12/21/2014, 9:00 – 8:00pm

12/22/2014, 9:00am – 9:00pm

12/23/2014, 9:00am – 9:00pm

12/24/2014, 8:00am – 6:00pm

DSC05378 (2) (1280x1143)

For your shopping convenience, here are the special holiday hours for Fashion Valley:

12/08 – 12/13/2014:  10am – 10pm (Holiday Hours)

12/14/2014:  11am – 8pm (Holiday Hours)

12/15 – 12/23/2014:  8am – 10pm (Holiday Hours)

12/24/2014:  8am – 6pm (Christmas Eve)

12/25/2014:  Closed (Christmas Day)

12/26/2014:  8am – 9pm (Holiday Hours)

12/31/2014:  10am – 6pm (New Year’s Eve)

FTC Disclosure:  I received a gift card as a courtesy to enjoy the Simon® Santa Photo Experience, but not as compensation for this post.  Although I did receive a gift card, the opinions in this post are strictly my own.

Weekend in Pictures: Easter 2014

IMG_1906 (2)

I’m putting together a post about our Record Store Day adventures from this past Saturday, which will be posted later this week (I’m so very excited to share my vinyl treasures with all of you).  In the meantime, here are some Easter pictures, both from our family get together on Easter, and a few of my niece’s Easter outfit.  Honorable mention goes to one of my cousins who made those “Peep Pops” in that top picture (don’t know who made them).  Hope you all had a wonderful and blessed Easter weekend!

DSC03763 (2) (1280x959)

IMG_1902 (2)

Getting ready for the egg hunt!

Easter 2014 Collage 1

Mei-Lin used The Beatles bag I got for her from Record Store Day to collect her egg hunting treasures.

DSC03765 (2) (963x1280)

Dominic paused for just a bit before grabbing more eggs (wearing H&M shirt & sneakers, Zara hat).

IMG_1905 (2)

Quite the haul!

Mei Easter Outfit 2014 Picture 1 - Copy

Mei Easter Outfit CollageMei-Lin’s Easter outfit for her picture with the Easter Bunny.  I’m telling you, she’s a natural for a future blogger!

(All pictures of Mei-Lin were taken or provided by Rholnna Jiao.)

Give Thanks, With a Grateful Heart

Christmas Card 2013

The holiday season is always a wonderful time to give thanks for all the blessings you have.  I’m thankful every waking moment for a wonderful and loving family, from my immediate nuclear family to my extended family of friends and relatives, and also to my blogging and social media friends.  I’m blessed to be gainfully employed, which I wasn’t last year at this time.  I’m also blessed for myself and my family to be relatively healthy (although we do have history of diabetes and asthma).

Heather Thankful Blog Post 2013

Heather Von St. James is a mesothelioma cancer survivor, who was originally given only 15 months to live prior to her treatment.  She is now an 8 year survivor and has asked me and other bloggers to think about what we are thankful for, and to share her story to spread hope and awareness for others who are going through the same thing.  You can read her amazing story here.  Thank you Heather for reaching out to me, and I would like to wish you, your family, and everyone a wonderful Christmas!