Monthly Archives: April 2011

#22: 5 New Attractions – Skirball Cultural Center

I have to admit, it was bittersweet sorting and editing these photos because I don’t get to see these amazing women every day anymore and we had so many fun memories together!

This particular adventure was a trip to the Skirball Cultural Center (it’s just up the freeway a few miles from the Getty). I had driven past it many times but had never actually been there.  When Kristy told us all about this really neat, new, permanent exhibit featuring Noah’s Art, we decided to make a day trip of it to check it out.

Since admission is free on Thursdays (can’t beat that price!), we headed up in the early afternoon and walked through the rest of the Center, which features a museum about Jewish culture and traditions (very interesting, though probably not if you’re taking your little ones). When it was time for our journey to Noah’s Ark, we were seated in a room surrounded by all sorts of animals that were created completely out of household items, from keys to pasta to gloves to blinds to purses to mini disco balls…you name it! If nothing else, seeing these creations (which you’re encouraged to touch!) is worth the trip!

This particular image shows how the neck of one of the animals (I zebra, I think) was created with a whole lot of keys!

After entering the exhibit and seeing the animals, you walk down a ramp into a large room and this is the view that greets you.

The entire exhibit is interactive and each stage has something for the kids (or adults) to do! This area featured a crank conveyor belt that you could load the animals on to the Ark two-by-two and once they reached the top, they’d fall down a chute to be retrieved for the next person.

There’s also a large giraffe that you can control using the arm handles that Michelle is demonstrating so well in this photo. Sidenote: I love the expression on her face – it’s just like that of a child in total wonderment that they are actually moving the giraffe!

There are also several stations along the wall opposite the ark that are related to weather, including making rain, lightning and thunder.

Once you enter the Ark, there are two rooms. The first room we came to had a number of animal puppets, animal cages/crates that you can climb into (much better sized for people not taller than 5-feet!), and several other hands-on activities related to life on the Ark.


The second room of the Ark is where I would guess most of the kids spend their time. It’s two-stories, complete with fast-food playground-esque rope climbing areas and different ways of transporting items from the floor up to the second floor (bucket pulley system, chute, etc.).

There’s also several activities in this area on the ground level, including the dining room, complete with food and dishes, a place to “feed” the animals, and even brooms and other cleaning gear to clean up after the animals (seriously!).

The final room in the exhibit is the OTHER side of the Ark, where the story ends with the dove coming back with the olive branch and the flood waters receding. You can see the images below the dove’s wings and tail are made of white guitar picks!  I’m not sure of the original plan for the rest of this room, but when we were there, there were several activities for the kids to raise awareness for Habitat for Humanity (not sure if this part of the exhibit is permanent or not).So, if you’re in the Southern California area and are looking for a half day adventure, especially with your kids, head on up to the Skirball Cultural Center. Remember, if you go on Thursday, admission is free (and I believe parking is free every day). We went in the afternoon and there were only a handful of families there! Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

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Who invented “popcorn” ceilings?

Whoever it was…I’m not a fan.

After spending three days spraying, scraping, spraying, scraping…move drop cloth…spraying, scraping…you get the idea, our house ceiling is FINALLY popcorn-less!

That’s the good news. We still have a long way to go to finish the ceilings before we move in. We’ll start by going from popcorn to orange peel texture for the ceiling (we would leave them smooth, but we’re not that good and there are parts of the ceilings we can’t really remove that have a slight texture to them). The plan is to do all of the texture coating with my dad on Sunday, which means we’ll be taping the entire house in plastic (again) to protect the walls and floors since we like them the way they are.

After texture coat, it’s primer, and then paint…hopefully not too many coats! Yeah, that’s kind of squeezing it close with our goal to move by next Friday! Oh, and we’re thinking of painting the walls in most of the rooms too…that may be happening after the move though.

So, I realize I haven’t given you an official “tour” before we scraped the ceilings (I have pictures, just haven’t blogged about it yet), but here’s our house sans popcorn (and of course, we have to include photos of us actually doing the work)!

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Since I haven’t officially made a list yet of all I want to do with the house during the first year we live there, this was the number 1 thing that would have been on my list, so I guess I can say that #46 is now in progress!

And sorry, we are not for hire. I’ve had my lifetime’s allowance of popcorn ceiling scraping, though I’d be more than willing to share tips if you are wanting to tackle this project in your home!

New Beginnings

I know, I know, I’ve been MIA for almost a month now. Life’s been crazy (when isn’t it?) and blogging just wasn’t something that was a major priority for me in the midst of all that was happening.

But, I should be back for good now (at least once a week!), so for starters, I thought I’d let you all know what I’ve been up to!

Many of you know that my husband and I were house hunting most of February and early March. We had an offer accepted and opened escrow on the home on March 9. Just 21 days later, March 29, we became the owners of THIS home in Ontario (about 40 minutes from where we currently live) and I was able to check off #45 on my 101 in 1001 list!

I’m sure you’ll be reading more about all of our fun adventures of being homeowners, especially in the coming weeks as we do some work to the house (we’re currently in the process of removing the AWFUL popcorn “acoustic” ceilings throughout the ENTIRE house that I’m sure were a great selling point back when the house was built!).

Some rather shocking and sad new arrived just as we closed on the house – I was being laid off. I had a little bit of notice and began the job search right away, but still haven’t found what God has for me next. Prayers for guidance, trust and peace are much appreciated, if you’re a praying type of person.

The lay off has, however, given me some time to work on a project I’ve been wanting to launch for a few months now…my own photography business!

It’s been a lot of fun building a buzz around the new business and I actually have my very first shoot TOMORROW morning! I’ve always toyed with the idea of owning my own business, especially in photography, but felt like I just didn’t have the time or good enough equipment or enough talent to be successful. But, here I am! I know it will be a lot of work, especially the first couple years, but I know it’s something I will love doing and I AM good at! (If you want to check out the site and my work, just click on the logo above or find me on Facebook.)

So, that’s what’s kept me so busy the past few weeks – and all the new things that are ahead for me and my hubby (who has been super supportive, especially of the business endeavor – he’s sort of my advertising manager)! I’ve got lots more to catch you up on, so stay tuned! You’ll be seeing a lot more of me!