Holiday Lights!

One of my favorite things to do during the Christmas holiday is to drive around town with my family and look at all of the awesome Christmas lights and decorations. A friend back in Houston recently asked where the best places are to go in Houston to see some awesome holiday lights and decorations. Are you kidding me? You live in Houston and you don’t know where to go to see holiday lights? Well, I guess I need to tell you a couple of my favorite places. As for Kansas City, we have yet to check out the holiday lights around here, and hopefully we will be able to this week, and below are the places we had in mind to visit.

PS: Houston sites are recommended based on my personal previous experience. If you have other suggestions, feel free to share them! 🙂

PSS: Nadine, I hope this helps!

Houston Holiday Lights

1. The Heights

Houston Heights

2. River Oaks/Galleria/Uptown


3. Houston Zoo Lights


*There are also a handful of neighborhood with awesome Christmas lights display, but I thought I would stay within city limits*

Below are the places we want to visit here in KC, if you have other suggestions, please share! 🙂

Kansas City Holiday Lights

1. The Plaza Lights


2. Union Station


3. Crown Center


*images are all from and are not my own*

That Instagram!


I am fairly sure that 99% of you have heard of Instagram. Yes, you have.

That annoying photo app version of Facebook. Anyways, unlike many, I don’t think it’s annoying, in fact, I happen to like Instagram. I don’t care how, “ancient”, my kids think I am, or how, “Im too old for IG”, as my siblings and other folks think, I like to waste countless amount of my already short, precious time, thumbing through my IG timeline. Cause it’s pretty great!

It’s even more awesome when paired with the VSCO photo editing app, it CAN make you look like you know what you are doing with photos. No, really!

I do not own a huge, fancy camera or even a point and shoot. The only thing I use for this blog is my iPhone, so naturally, because iPhone photos don’t turn our well sometimes, IG and VSCO will remedy a majority of my fugly and poor quality photos. Most of the time. Sometimes you can’t remedy ugly.

Anyways, I have a point. Here are 3 Reasons why I like/love Instagram:

1. Creativity: I am fairly sure that a lot of the awesome photography on IG are photoshoped and what not. But, I marvel at the creativity of Instragrammers. I am also talking about the challenges that they come up with, and how they can make a piece of towel on a dingy table look like art. Now that’s creative/talent.

2. Inspirations: Believe it or not some of the post by some talented, creative people on IG has inspired me to branch out from mainstream stuff and try “other” brands/products. For example, I loves coffee, and I am happy to say that I no longer (just)drink Starbucks coffee, but have ventured out to the local coffee shops/roasters for my caffeine needs. In fact, I have not been to a Starbucks here in KC. Thanks to Instagram (and google), I discovered my (new)favorite coffee spots here, which made it a little easier to transition. Also, you know how I found out I liked pastry? Yup, Instagram.

3. Promotions/Networking: You can sell water to a well on Instagram. You can take a photo of Beyonce digging in her nose and people will, “Like” and visit whatever it is promoting. The reach and opportunities that IG offers small and local businesses is vast. You never know who will be interested in Beyonce’s boogers. You just don’t. Sure, Facebook, Pinterest, and others do the same. But with IG, I tap on the app and BAM! Photo of latte art, and that’s it, I go get/make coffee. It is quick and painless. And of course, who doesn’t like to show off their cute kid(s) to the whole world? I DO.

Extra: Throwback Thursdays: No explanations needed. Who doesn’t like to see cute and funny baby pics your friends, family members, and your favorite celebrities?

I have only been on Instagram for a little over a year and a half, and I am sure I am late to this, but nonetheless, it deserves a post 🙂

I thought about posting some of my favorite Instagram photos, but it might become a headache later, so I decided to show you a little of my IG. Not necessarily favorites.

Follow us on Instagram: @janzgabe

Progressive Analysis: Cartoons


A couple of weeks ago, over some Chinese/Hibachi dinner, my family and I were having an intense debate regarding the content of today’s cartoons/animated series’. Xavier and I think they are dumb AND stupid, and the girls think they are “funny AND entertaining”. Although, what constitute as entertaining now a days is probably the reason why the shows are dumb AND stupid.

So, by no means is this an actual progressive analysis of animated series’, but rather a content descriptive examination(not really) of how cartoons/animated series’ substance has deteriorated over the years, through a look at Xavier and I’s favorites and my daughters’ preferences, cause, apparently they can’t have a favorite, cause they are ALL that, “funny AND entertaining”. RIGHT. (FYI: these are cartoons that are not superhero themed, that’s another post). I think the twenty year gap is a decent time lapse to evaluate things from 🙂

Janis’s Favorite:

1. Inspector Gadget: Need I say more? There was action, awesome technology(the Magicbook, now known as the iPhone/iPad), a faceless bad guy, a grouchy cat, comic relief, a smart dog, and a heroine(Penny).

Close Runner-Up: Duck Tales, Darkwing Duck, Tale Spin, Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers, and Captain Planet. What you know about Uncle Scrooge, Baloo, and the planeteers? I was environmentally conscious way before it got hip, plus Baloo had a favorite bar.

Xavier’s Favorite:

1. TIE: Looney Toon Adventures/Tiny Toon Adventures and the Simpsons: Self explanatory: Classic entertainment. Bart and Homer, Bugs Bunny, Wile E. Coyote, and The Roadrunner.

Close Runner-Up: Animaniacs: Pinky and the Brain. The End.

Jaelan and Xavi’s Favorite(s):

1. Total Drama Island: No explanations needed. A cartoon version of Survivor, but with airheaded teenagers.

2. Spongebob Squarepants: It is the most pointless time frame in television history. Jaelan said that aside from the annoying laugh, it is very entertaining and FUNNY.

3. Chowder(Discontinued): The only decent choice here. Who doesn’t love a cartoon based on food and ingredients?

4. The Amazing World of Gumball: It’s about a stupid cat, named Gumball, and his misadventures. Literally, the cat is of very,very limited intelligence. Dumb AND Stupid.

5. Dexter’s Laboratory: It’s about science and the science of being stupid.

PS: I am considering banning some of these from my household, which is why, Billy and Mandy , did not make the list. It was banned long ago.

(Pokemon is not included because these are non-superhero related cartoons, and Pikachu is clearly a “superhero”).

Aspen’s Favorite:

1. Bubble Guppies: The only one with a sensible choice. It has catchy tunes and is educational.

There you go. While my analysis is very limited, I’m sure you agree with me when I say that cartoons of today are pretty mediocre at best compared to the selections that were available in the 1980s and 1990s.

Enjoy this video of 1980s/1990s cartoon intros: