Five For Friday: 2014 Christmas Edition

Hello Wonderlanders!

Today’s Friday Fives will be about “Things I Want to Do For Christmas In the Future.”

  1. Have everyone who is present on Christmas morning drinking hot chocolate with candy cane and marshmallows melted into the chocolate.  This just sounds so yummy and even though I’ve yet to try it, I’m sure it tastes awesome.  If you’ve tried this, let me know what you think of it below!
  2. Open one gift on Christmas Eve, and the rest on Christmas Day.  This doesn’t happen in my parents house because my 35 year old brother’s birthday is on the Eve and he’ll throw a fit if his day has to be shared with Christmas. I get that December birthdays suck for many people because their family and friends tend to clump everything into one gift given on Christmas, but there are ways to point this out politely without fit-throwing.  We also have started to open gifts later on Christmas Day for some reason.  When do you open gifts?
  3. Stick to one color theme, ornament size, and type of lights on the tree.  The definition behind the terminology of Obsessive-compulsive disorder does not apply here, it’s more an aesthetics thing for me – I like things to be coordinated and matching.  Things can also be coordinated and not matching, but it really depends on how well coordinated the mis-matching items are.  We don’t use a normal fluffy evergreen.  We have a tree in out background (it’s an evergreen, I’ll update the name later as I don’t remember it right now) and it has branches spread out and spaced out.  Which means there are distinct 6-12 inch gaps between each layer of branches.  We had mini ornaments on them, but then my mom bought large glass ornaments and put them up.  It just looked so darn odd.  We had to purchase some new lights as well but the type of light (white versus warm yellow) was mismatched so our tree was lit up at different lumens.  Plus, coiling the light up just didn’t look as nice and clean as on a full, fluffy pine, which brings me to point 4:
  4. Stick to fluffy pines in the future if putting up a tree.  I don’t care if it’ll be a real tree or a a fake tree at this point, but it needs to not have huge blatant gaps that drive me crazy.
  5. Either go all out for Christmas (house lights, decorations all around & other traditions), or do nothing at all.  I don’t celebrate Christmas for religious reasons.  I do it for cultural reasons, and the culture I live in is based on Christianity, but it doesn’t mean I am celebrating for the same reasons the founders of this country are.  So if I choose to not celebrate Christmas, it can be easily done.  For the past 8 years my parents have been half-assing Christmas with just the tree.  No more lights, no more full house decoration.  Nothing else gets put up or done so it really looks out of place to have that Christmas tree.  I love you mom and dad, but all this yo-yoing has got to stop.  Pick a side and stick with it.

What are some of your family traditions?  What are some, if any, traditions you’d like to incorporate with your family?  I’d love to hear back from you!

Season’s Greetings,


Tuesday Review – W. K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center

Hello Wonderlanders!

Today’s review is going to be about a place that is near and dear to my heart.

I entered university/college a very sheltered child and was actually bullied by my roommate and some floor mates my first year in the dorms.  I was lucky to find a club and an organization which promoted an interest of mine and from there, I developed lots of friendships and a support system which stands to this day.

I’ve loved horses since before I really knew what they were.  I was the kid screaming bloody murder at the San Deigo Zoo because Mommy wouldn’t let me take the Shetland Pony home.  (I was 5, I get a free pass on that.)  And anytime after that pony, I just wanted to pet the horse or ride it and I was given chances for it with my Dad’s colleague’s daughters whom owned their own horses.  It was from the five siblings that I first got a glimpse of what a relationship between a horse and a person could be like and I was intrigued.  But then for many years, I didn’t get a chance to visit the horses or the family and I pushed it to the back of my head until college.

My school has a wonderful history tied to the Arabian horse breed in the United States.  The land that Cal Poly Pomona was built on was originally owned by W. K. Kellogg, the cereal magnate.  That ranch and its land was later donated to the University of California, but was used as a remount depot during World War II.  After acquiring the land, in 1949 the W. K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Michigan then deeded the land to the state of California, stipulating that the land had to be used for education purposes and the Arabian breeding program had to be continued along with the traditional Sunday Shows.  Eventually, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona was established and an equine sciences program was created as well.  To this day, students are a big part of the Arabian Horse Center, through participation in clubs, volunteering, and work, or any combination of the three.

The Arabian Horse Center not only serves as a place for students to participate and learn but also to educate the public as to the versatility, grace, beauty, and endurance of the Arabian breed.  The W. K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center is open all week from 8am-5pm for non-guided tours of the stables.  If you’re ever in the area, especially around the first Sunday of the month from October through May, you should stop by to tour the stables.  If you’re in the area on the first Sunday of the month, stop by for the Sunday Horse Show which was established back in W. K. Kellogg’s time.  The Show starts at 2pm and lasts for about an hour or more and there is much to be learned and seen.  Admission is between $4-$5 and the show is often a family favorite, but fun for all ages.

I joined the Equestrian Drill Team at the Arabian Horse Center my freshman year without any horse experience.  Through the club and volunteering at the Horse Center, I learned a lot about horses from equitation to breeding to showing to what it takes to run a horse farm.  I was promoted to treasurer my sophomore year, then president of the club for both junior and senior year.  I’ve worked at the Horse Center part-time since junior year.  I’ve even ridden in some Sunday Horse Shows and I also announce for the Show some Sundays.  I’ve seen three live foalings through my participation with Foal Watch at the Horse Center, and watched my first foal enter training.  These were things I never thought I would be able to do.

CP Magnitude (My first foal, born in 2012, photo circa 2012.)  Photo Credit: W. K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center

CP Magnitude (My first foal, born in 2012, photo circa 2012.) Photo Credit: W. K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center

Through the opportunities the amazing staff at the Arabian Horse Center provided me with, I’ve grown as a person.  Through the people I’ve met at the Horse Center, I’ve grown as a friend.  There are so many opportunities for leadership, responsibility and friendship there.  If you’re looking for a school with an opportunity to work with horses, consider Cal Poly Pomona.  If you want to gain experience for working in the equine industry, the Horse Center has ample opportunities as well. To learn more about the W. K. Kellogg Arabian Horse Center, please visit their site at

If you ever stop by for a Sunday Show, feel free to drop me a note – I’d love to meet you!

Until Next Time,


*All opinions shared are solely my own, and I am not paid or rewarded for endorsing this program.  If you liked the content you read here, please check out my other posts and subscribe!*