The mark I leave behind for my child isn’t going to be based on the fancy shoes and clothes he puts on or the material things we purchase for him but in the simplicity and quality of the moments we spend together as mother and child while enjoying the beauty of nature and of each other’s company. Where: Lake Nokomis 50th Street Beach Parking: Street Parking (around the lake) Season: Spring, sunset (May 2017) What about you? How do you show your love for your child / children? What are the things they love to do with you? Enjoy the weekend. It’s going to be glorious! Much love, Joyce

Instagramming Siargao

Beautiful photos of Siargao

Instagramming Kauai

I mentioned in a Facebook post that I will unplug for the rest of October and do a social media cleanse on both FB and Twitter. I didn’t mention as to why because I wasn’t feeling too verbose at that time. The timing was just right as my feeds, while I had participated in discussions at times, were very toxic, filled with enmity, hate and judgments and not healthy anymore. Well, nothing is absolutely wrong from our end. 🙂 We are, as a matter of fact in Kauai, mostly unplugged to the world but have been updating those who are following me just through Instagram. I now feel refreshed and calm as we are immersing ourselves in the tremendous beauty of this island and see it from a different perspective the second time around. I also have the best company in the world while enjoying this. Check out some of the photos I have shared (to those who aren’t in IG). 🙂 I may go back to social media I mentioned above by mid-November or from time to time as I do want to remain updated with what’s happening with my parents, sisters, niece and some very close friends. Aloha […]

Best Places in Twin Cities to Take Fall Portraits

Best non-crowded places to take Fall / Autumn portraits

Hiking Westwood Nature Center

I mentioned Westwood Nature Center in one of my posts that it’s one of our favorite places to hike in the Twin Cities and with that, I don’t want it to be popular. This is such a beautiful, tranquil place and my hope is for it to remain that way. You know how some crowds can trash and ruin things? Anyway, we got the chance to hike it one glorious, summer afternoon and here are some of the photos from it. What about you? What are your favorite places to hike? How do you help in keeping your parks clean and orderly? Much love, Joyce

Paddling the Chain of Lakes

(All photos were taken using Google Nexus 6P) We have been itching to canoe for weeks now but my husband’s truck was out of service. The minute we got his new vehicle, we told ourselves that we will paddle. One of our friends suggested the Chain of Lakes right in the heart of Minneapolis and about 5 miles from our home and while I have ran around those lakes so many times, our little family have never been on those waters. 😉 😉 How to Get There: If you aren’t familiar with the area, you can always start at Calhoun Beach House located in the northeast corner of Lake Calhoun (rentals are available there, too). However, we started on the south side where the views of the skyline are spectacular. 🙂 (Photo and map of our starting point) Our Wonderful Experience – What to Expect The lake was so calm and almost like glass that day that I initially felt very disoriented but once we got our bearing and started moving it was very smooth paddling from that point on. Lake Calhoun wasn’t very busy until we reached the boat house and the waterway between the lakes. There we encountered […]

A Paw Patrol Birthday Celebration

Our not-so-little one and our family would like to thank each and everyone of you who made his 4th birthday celebration so memorable for us. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much! Here are some of the photos from the celebration! Oh yeah, he loves hockey, so we ordered a cake that’s a combination of hockey and paw patrol, too (that was his pick). 😀 We hope you had fun. Until next year! 🙂 Much love, The Z family * Disclaimer: Please note that our website contains ads and sometimes affiliate links wherein I earn a tiny commission. It's our way of recouping the cost of keeping the website alive. Thanks for the support. 

Happy 4th Birthday!

I don’t have a fancy narrative to share. I am just like most mothers who is learning the ropes of raising a child as I go. Oftentimes, the discoveries were even about myself and the realizations that I still have a lot to work on. While awfully fast, we savored and cherished each and every moment with our wonderful child. He is now 4 years old — neither a baby nor a toddler anymore but a little boy who is capable of articulating what’s on his mind and heart. Strong, smart, kind, a little cautious, active, very expressive, creative and carries his heart on his sleeve… qualities that are very unique to him that we so dearly love. My mother told me once that we are still on the easiest part of raising you and I believe her. We just hope and pray that we will be able to continue raising him in such a way that he will be a blessing to others. We are grateful with multitude of people who are helping us do this because we couldn’t have done this without them (we hope you know who you all are). Thank you so much. Happy 4th birthday […]

5 Things I Learned from Hiking by Myself

Prior to our little boy being born, my husband had a 2-day work conference in Tucson, Arizona. I haven’t been to that state so I went with him and his business partner with the knowledge that I will be by myself for most of the time while they were at the said conference. I figured I could shop, drive around and hike… The last one terrified me. While I have hiked countless times by myself in MN, I still don’t like to do it by myself in a very unfamiliar location. However, I didn’t want to just stay in the hotel room or by the pool so I did manage to get the courage to hike the Northwest side of Saguaro National Park area. 😀 And yes, I did learn something and here are some of them: 1. It’s not that scary It’s not just once that I have mentioned that I don’t like getting lost. I did have to look at the map, study it and made sure I get familiar with where I was going. I also dealt with the fear of snakes and the thought of being snatched up by a stranger by being aware of my […]

Eight, Eight, We Celebrate

The conversation I had with my sister is still very clear in my head despite the fact that it occurred 10 years ago. I remember telling her something about the guy I was dating and how I thought that we may not be compatible at all. My exact words to her at that time was, “He’s so down to earth, almost a “granola” while I was too superficial and materialistic to a fault.” She told me not to make harsh judgment, give it a chance and pray for guidance, and so I did… Thank God! We are now together for 10 years but just celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary!   I am sharing this because one of the things that I struggled with when I first started dating him were those differences (I often complained about) as we used to have very different perspectives in life. I tend to dwell on the negatives while he always sees the positives. He likes to fix things while I used to just pay someone to do the same. He loves the small, precious moments while I get more excited with the grandeur of things. He’s very simple, I was not. He was thrifty […]