My Gratitude Journal

These Three Things in July, 2020

Start each day with a grateful heart. List at least three things that you are grateful for every morning before you get out of bed. Try to make it three different things every day. If you struggle with that, it’s ok. Think of three things you are grateful for and when you struggle, list those same three things on your list every morning.

I have the same three things that I list on the days when I struggle to think of anything new. For me, my children are always the first on that list. After I list my same three things, I usually realize that there other things and my gratitude list starts growing. I think of the simple things that I am grateful for such as birds chirping, waking up on a sunny day, the smell and taste of coffee…

Then I think of the basic things to be grateful for such as being able to drink clean water, having a comfortable bed to sleep on, a roof over my head, food on the table, a reliable car to take me where I need to go, a job so I can make money, good health…

Before I know it, I have recited a long list of gratitude.

I am grateful for…

Here are my three things that I am grateful for in this month of July:

Celebrating my parent’s anniversary. July is the month of my parent’s anniversary, This year, they celebrate their 51st wedding anniversary. Last year for their 50th wedding anniversary, my parents came to visit to celebrate with their children and grandchildren. They stayed at my house. We had a lot of fun. My favorite memory from that time is watching fireworks outside with my mom on the 4th of July. I enjoyed spending time with my whole family, eating lots of food and taking a lot of pictures together.

My little sewing space and my 1960 Kenmore sewing machine- the best gift I ever received

More time for my hobbies. This quarantine has allowed many of us to learn new things or expand on our current hobbies. I am grateful that I have more time to cook and bake. We have not eaten out or taken any food out since March. That’s a lot of home cooked meals. I’ve learned to cook new dishes and bake different types of desserts. I am also grateful that I have more time to sew. Actually, I think that it’s the sewing that has kept me sane, distracted and busy especially during this time. It’s fun to create something new, practice better sewing and learn new skills. There’s no rush to finish any products since there is nowhere to go right now. My sewing these days is definitely about the process and not only the product. It’s very relaxing and that’s a good feeling.

Opportunity to work from home: Due to the quarantine, I have worked from home every single day since March 16th. Before that, I did have one telecommute day a week (every Thursday) that I was always grateful for. I get more done when I work from home. Of course, I miss socializing with my friends and eating lunch together. But I am grateful that I have the opportunity to stay safer at home and perform my job duties from home. I coordinate services for school aged children with special needs. I am grateful that I have an opportunity to help the children on my caseload and their parents (especially mommies) during this difficult time.

Start each day with a grateful heart.

My Gratitude Journal

The Breakfast Club

Before the lockdown, my friends and I formed a breakfast club. Every month, on the second Sunday of the month, we had breakfast or brunch together. We took turns choosing the restaurant and we were encouraged to be as creative as possible. If you couldn’t make it, no big deal, you can make it to the next month’s brunch. Also, anyone is invited to join. There were usually about 10 of us in attendance every month. Although, sometimes there were more and sometimes there were less.

We started with the letter A. My friend, Alicia, chose Humble Bee in Lake Balboa. A really delicious breakfast spot. It was February 2019 and it was our first brunch get-together. It was raining that Sunday. I remember it being very loud in the restaurant. I ordered the waffles and they were very good. There were about 9 of us that day. We had two birthdays to celebrate that month so I made lemon cupcakes with a Valentine’s day theme. I sprinkled red sprinkles on top and put a heart on top of each one. Valentine’s Day Conversation Heart Cupcakes

My friend Adriana handed out little bottles with messages inside. My message said “Let go of the need to control, Trust…”

For our March brunch, my friend, Adriana, picked out the Tam O’Shanter Pub in Los Angeles. It was the perfect spot for a St. Patrick’s day celebration. She handed out little 4 leaf clover charms. Most of us ordered the corn beef hash.

April’s brunch was at the 1919 Cafe at the Huntington Library in San Marino. We ate outside. It was a beautiful sunny day. Afterwards, we took our customary picture together at the gardens and some of us walked around the grounds.

I wasn’t able to make it to June or July’s brunch. August’s brunch was at The Malibu Cafe in Malibu. It was a hot day but we were all dressed in our pretty sundresses. We ate outside. I ordered the most delicious drink with my waffles. It was called The Lazy River and it was a lavender rosemary gin with lemon.

Afterwards, we walked around, took lots of pictures and found the perfect candles:

In August, we met at a restaurant in Pasadena. I missed September’s get together which wasn’t a brunch but was actually a cruise to Mexico. October’s brunch was at the Village in Woodland Hills. After brunch, we walked around Costco. In November, we met at The Public School 818 in Sherman Oaks. It’s a school themed restaurant. I ordered the waffles. I don’t know if you notice a theme here, but I seem to always order waffles at these brunches.

Finally, it was December and it was my turn. I decided to be creative and although I didn’t pick a fun, new restaurant to try out (I picked Mimi’s Cafe in Northridge), I collaborated with my friend, Adriana and after breakfast, we went to her home which was fully decorated for Christmas to play games, drink wine and have dessert. We were too full from breakfast to have dessert but we did drink a lot of wine. We had two teams and we played Pictionary. My team won. I brought little prizes for the winners. Later, we exchanged our White Elephant gifts. The theme for the White Elephant gifts was that they had to be re-gifted items. I ended up with the coolest Christmas decoration. It was a little Christmas house that lit up.

January’s brunch was actually the most fun out of all the brunches and also the longest. Or at least it seemed like the longest. Everyone had a chance to pick and it was Alicia’s turn for the second time around. Round 2. She picked IKEA in Burbank. I’ve never had breakfast there and it was really fun (and cheap). Afterwards, we all broke off into groups and shopped. The group I was in, who were my closest friends, stayed the longest. I have never in my whole entire life, spent 6 1/2 hours in IKEA. I’m not much of a shopper anymore. I almost had a panic attack (I might be exaggerating) and I guess I could’ve left at anytime since I did drive there separately, but part of me didn’t want to abandon my friends. I think I was feeling claustrophobic. At one point (the point when I almost had a quote-unquote “panic attack”), I though we were almost out of there, but it turned out that there was a whole other section we had to go through. Finally we made it to the lines. After we paid, we ate for a second time, since we got there at 10:00 a.m. to eat breakfast and it was now 4:00 p.m. Good times…

I missed February’s brunch. And in March, I suggested that we postpone due to concerns regarding the coronavirus and not long after that, we were in lockdown.

I really enjoyed all of our brunches together and I look forward to doing it again sometime in the future. Maybe 2021…

So today I am grateful for breakfast, brunch, waffles, messages in little bottles, lucky charms, lemon cupcakes, sun, rain, pretty sundresses, group pictures, trying new things, Costco and 6 1/2 hours at IKEA.

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

My Gratitude Journal

October Blessings and Halloween Fun

It’s October. I haven’t been in a writing mood lately but I need to remember to always have gratitude for the little things in life (which often times, end up being the big things). So here is my gratitude list for October:

My family and I did our yearly visit to the Pumpkin Patch.  We fed and pet the farm animals, looked at all the pumpkins and Halloween decorations, and bought a big bag of freshly popped kettle corn. We bought a pumpkin and we carved it.

Pretty baskets

We attended a Halloween party at my friend’s house. I was the big red riding hood and my son was the little bad wolf:


I went to Clifton’s Republic with my friend from Arizona who I haven’t seen in a long time. Clifton’s Republic is a cafeteria and bar in Downtown L.A. It was my friend’s first time there and she really enjoyed it. It was my first time eating breakfast there and it was a lot of fun picking out my breakfast items at the cafeteria. We enjoyed viewing the decorations and  Halloween themed sweets and desserts. I enjoyed it so much that I ended up going back there the following weekend for my birthday.

A patch of pumpkins

At work, we had our annual Harvest Festival. My friends and I dressed up as characters in the animation “Inside Out”. I dressed up as Disgust. We also entered the pumpkin decorating contest and won 3rd place. It was a really fun day.

Today I am grateful for pumpkin patch traditions, Halloween celebrations with friends, trips to DTLA, eating breakfast for the first time at Clifton’s and Halloween themed desserts. Most of all, I am grateful for family and friends.