Big Bear manure, I mean manor

Pre-baby Kyla, Lawrence and I used to take day trips up to Big Bear mountain to snowboard. Early in our dating times on our way up the mountain, I would read random signs like “City Market” or “Alpine Slide”. Then we passed by this place called “Big Bear Manor” and I yelled out “Big Bear Man-oooooor”. Lawrence looked at me and said, “you mean Big Bear Manor, not manure right”? Uh yes, new boyfriend of less than a year, I did mean man-or. (insert embarassed face here)

7 years later, and here we are, driving up the same mountain again, this time with baby Kyla and my gargantuan extended family for my nephew Lucas’ 5th birthday party and 4th of July celebration.

We’ve never been up the mountain during the summer, but after being here, I can’t imagine why we haven’t been here more often. The lake was awesome with a beach side, kayaking, and boats on the lake. Instead of skiiers and snowboarders heading down the mountain, we now have bikers zipping their way down the slopes. This was also the first time in a long time that my parents and siblings and all their kids got together and took a trip. It was nice.

We somehow fit in 12 adults, 5 kids, and 2 dogs into a 3 bedroom cabin. That’s how we roll. 🙂 Our trip met some thunder, a 4.8 magnitude earthquake, and rain showers, but luckily, we continued to enjoy a short hike and a pretty awesome fireworks show by the lakes.


The clan:


Our personal family photo. Kyla and Chewy were like “what the heck Molly!”

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Our bad boy Chewy:


Our contemplating Kyla:

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It rained during our hike, but I think Kyla left with a few drops to the nose.

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Kyla enjoying the fireworks show:


In the end it was a wonderful trip to all be together. As we left our beloved cabin, we passed by Big Bear Manor again, and I proudly said to myself “Big Bear Manooooor”.


A few minutes at the beach

Day off today for Kyla’s allergy appointment. After a morning of waiting at the doctor’s office, being skin pricked for allergy testing, and poked by needles for blood draws, I decided to take her to the beach for some fun and a quick photo op.

The only parking I could find was a 20 minute limit parking spot by the post office. I was wasn’t sure how much Kyla would like the beach any way, so I thought maybe 20 minutes was a nice “trial” amount of time. So I quickly lugged Kyla, my DSLR, and my chunky purse down a couple blocks to the sandy beach. Plopped her in the sand, and…SHE LOVE IT! These pictures tell it all:






(Kyla is wearing Gymboree polka dot ruffle romper and Children’s place sunglasses)

Vegan blueberry muffins

Kyla is allergic to eggs, dairy and nuts and it’s been a challenge to find things for her to eat sometimes. But challenge accepted! Kyla LOVES her blueberries. Since it’s blueberry season, we have a surplus of blueberries in our house (hello $3 for 18 oz sale!). I decided to make blueberry muffins and tweaked this recipe ( to make it egg-free and dairy-free. This recipe is simple, uses common pantry ingredients (except the chia seeds), and doesn’t take too much prep. I found using mini-muffin pans yielded the perfect hand-sized muffins for a little toddler.


Vegan Blueberry Muffins:

(makes about 24 mini muffins)


Preheat oven to 400F. Spray mini-muffin pan with vegetable cooking spray (you may also use cupcake liners).

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, together in one bowl. In a separate bowl, mix oil, chia seed mix, milk, and vanilla extract. Combine the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Make sure to not overmix. Then add blueberries and fold to evenly distrubute. Spoon into each muffin pan and sprinkle sugar on top of each muffin (optional) and bake for 15-20 minutes at 400F.  The tops of the muffin should be lightly brown when done.