Posted in California Livin'

Cinespia

On Saturday August 25th, the family and I headed up to Los Angeles for a day of fun. My long suffering husband rode shotgun as I drove us to the Skirball Cultural Center, Sparrow Mart, and finally, Cinespia. We covered a lot of the freeway system and would you believe that my hands still hurt from gripping the steering wheel (road rage side effect)? We had some struggles throughout the day with the traffic, missing Sparrow Mart, and just becoming hangry. But we also experienced Jim Henson’s world and checked off an essential LA event, Cinespia. It almost felt like a last hurrah for summer before we gear up for Fall.

Skirball:

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Stood in line for about 20 minutes just to buy tickets and then another 45 minutes to get into the exhibit

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A reminder for anyone who needs it

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Kermie welcoming us in

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Fun fact: I dated a guy in high school who looked just like Beaker. I will always love Beaker.

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The Dark Crystal: creeping me out while also making me love them since 1982

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 Forever in my heart

If you aren’t aware of Kehinde Wiley, you should be

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Reality Check at Skirball: Red threw a fit, rolled his eyes, and kept saying “I’m bored.” Red and Curls wouldn’t stop fighting and irritated me so much that I snapped at one of the employees when she wanted to only give us one program (which I apologized for after I calmed down).

After Skirball we drove back down the 405 to Sparrow Mart, an art installation at The Standard Hotel in Downtown LA. The artist created the inside of a grocery store from the 1980s and everything was made from felt.

We got there before they closed but were told after standing in line for 10 minutes that the last person to get in would be the woman who was in front of us. I wasn’t surprised and understood since it was the last day but it was handled poorly by the employee. Curls was crushed as all she wanted was a baby brussel sprout but alas it wasn’t meant to be.

We picked up Shake Shack before heading over to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery to watch the Tom Hanks’ film Big. I have wanted to attend Cinespia for years. When I got the email for the 30th anniversary screening of Big I jumped at the chance. And it did not disappoint:

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The rainbow and palm trees just fill my heart up

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Finding his best light

Now bring on the pumpkins, the Nightmare before Christmas soundtrack, and all the scary movies!

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in California Livin', Good Things, Not Today Anxiety, The Happy, The OC, Word Therapy

Summer Recap

On Monday, August 13, 2018, I will have a fourth and sixth grader. Summer will continue to make us sweat buckets, visit Soak City, and eat all the ice cream. But our Summer Bucket List has been completed and there were many lessons learned during #WilsonSummer2018. Curls and Red started summer camp for the first time this year and it is the GREATEST. A side lesson from that is I now know that it is practically impossible to write when the kids are home (for me at least-props to writers that can do that!). And I will never ever regret doing anything and everything with my kids (and be incredibly grateful that I can):

Father of the Bride (1950) in the park

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Red went on his first plane ride this summer and he was a PRO

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His name is Filson and he is just another example of why dogs are the greatest and we will never be good enough for them.  We exchanged addresses in Seattle and will become life long paw pals. 

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Little Lending Libraries remind me of the good in the world

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My crowning achievement as a mother will be that I raised readers (even on vacation)

This was the first summer my anxiety didn’t take over any time Curls and Red were near water.   Two thumbs up.   

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in California Livin'

This One is for All the Parents Out There, Part Two

STUFF WE SAW

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ANGIE THOMAS, AUTHOR OF THE HATE YOU GIVE

 

MUSIC TELEVISION TRYING TO STAY RELEVANT

“I AM ONE WITH THE NOODLE”

YOUTUBE CONCERT WITH MARSHMELLO (IT’S 2018 Y’ALL)

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MY GIRL MET LD SHADOW LADY AND SHE WAS OVER THE MOON

PRACTICING OUR FACEBOOK REACTIONS IRL

SNEAK PREVIEW OF TEEN TITANS GO TO THE MOVIES 

You know that part in Pinocchio where he goes to Pleasure Island and sees the boys having the time of their lives and then they start turning into donkeys? That’s what VidCon reminded me of (minus the donkey tails). My Curls got to meet and listen to her favorite Youtubers. Red went crazy for all the obstacle courses. It was a Winter Wonderland, Carnival, and Disneyland all brought to you by sponsors looking to catch this generation’s attention.

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in California Livin'

This One is for All the Parents Out There

It has been a jam packed summer at the Wilson house. We did Seattle at the end of June, followed by Fourth of July smack in the middle of the week, and then cousins from the East Coast came to visit last week. It didn’t leave much time for writing which left me grumpy but grateful for vacations, holidays, and family.

You know how when you walk into Target/the mall/the grocery store and you have that talk with your kids? The “we are only here for ___________ and that’s it?” And they nod like they are actually listening and understand what you are saying?

But five minutes later you are a fire breathing dragon screaming, “No, you cannot have that!”

Well parents, I have the convention for you. From June 20th til June 23rd, VidCon enthralled kids of all ages at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. VidCon was created by Vlogbrothers John and Hank Green as a conference for online video creators. Tickets are not cheap (we did the early bird special and they were $100/each but Red was free because he is under 9) but what we got in return made for a magical experience. And my favorite part was that all I had to pay for was parking and food. Everything we saw, everything we did, and everyone we met were included in the cost of our tickets:

STUFF WE DID

DOUBLE DARE OBSTACLE COURSE (MY EXCITEMENT MAY HAVE EXCEEDED THE KIDS)

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MR. JAZZ HANDS, ALWAYS READY FOR THE SHOT
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HASBRO BOOTH

CURLS LIVING HER BEST LIFE PLAYING PIE FACE

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CHOW CROWN

 

 NERF TENT

INVISALIGN HAD A TRAMPOLINE WITH GLITTER AND IT WASN’T WEIRD AT ALL

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UGLY DOLL BALL PIT = SIBLING FUN

 

LARGEST INDOOR INFLATABLE COURSE (ONLY A YOUNG MAN’S GAME, FYI)

Check back on Friday for Part Two and have a great Hump Day!

Posted in California Livin'

Summer Vacation

Operation make the kids so tired they can’t fight (aka, summer break) hit the ground running this past weekend. Saturday we saw Solo (don’t listen to the haters, it was great) and Sunday we spent the day in LA with friends.

First stop was Mr. Holmes Bakehouse for breakfast:

Goodies for daaaaayyzzz

Yes, I took pictures of the bathroom-I live for subway and honeycomb tiles and pink lighting

 

Next was the Japanese American National Museum:

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Hapa Exhibit-Eye Opening and Beautiful

Hello Kitty apples tall

 

Across the street from the museum is Little Tokyo:

Sanrio Store

Retsuko is a red panda who is an accountant in Japan during the day. At night he turns into Aggretsuko where he sings death metal at a karaoke bar. He is not happy with life but comes alive at night when he can vent his frustrations.

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The boys’ album cover

 

LA and its Art:

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My ever patient husband didn’t complain when I dragged him and the kids to the Paley Center for Media all the way in Beverly Hills before we went home:

The Crown exhibit where this fashion and royalty lovin’ nerd cried

I Love Lucy

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Curls loves the Muppets (and honestly, who doesn’t?)

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Lastly because I love this pic my hubby took at the Paley Center and it reminds me of this:

You have been weighed. You have been measured. And you have absolutely…Been found wanting. Welcome to New World. God save you, if it is right that He should do so.”-A Knight’s Tale

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in California Livin', Good Things

The OC, Part Deux

The country is moving one step closer every day to becoming Gilead. My rage is leaving me exhausted and sad. I feel like I have been shouting from a cliff since November 2016 and only my echo is answering me. But we only have 7 days until the last day of school. The holiday weekend is coming up. And this past weekend my family and I enjoyed OC Market Night and the Cuban restaurant Habana. It was fun, relaxing, and delicious. I don’t see our country turning back in the right direction any time soon so I hope we all have little things that can keep us moving forward.

Friday at OC Market Night

When you know it’s going to be a good night

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Taste the Rainbow 

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Ferris Wheel was a Hoot (As in a hoot where it goes for too long and you want to vomit)

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Free candy and props so we would advertise for them (It worked)

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Sunday Brunch at Habana:

Next door to our favorite macarons (anybody else want an Airstream because of I Love Lucy??)

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Wilson boys (and lady)

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You best believe I went back for seconds (and thirds)

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Civilized conversation 

Family

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After brunch conversations and snuggles with Totoro 

Obligatory Doggo Pic: Met her Highness Astro while walking around The Lab

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My bunny 

Always

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And one more from my soapbox:

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PLEASE VOTE!!

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in California Livin', Not Today Anxiety

Summer Bucket List 2018: A Survival Guide

Raise your hand if you are a parent who misses the lazy days of summer *all hands and one foot up in the air* I love summer. I love wearing flip flops, outdoor activities become even more fun, and hello, WATERPARKS. But over the years as my kids have gotten older, the fighting and attitude is nonstop and exhausting. Red said something the other day (that I will not repeat for fear of looking like a terrible parent) that prompted me to tell him, “You are phasing out of the stage where saying something like that is cute and is venturing into getting your ass kicked territory.” I love my kids with all my heart. But it is possible to love your kids and still be terrified of being at home with them over the summer. So to try and keep my anxiety to a minimum, I am stockpiling my arsenal.  This includes a preparedness kit for myself, a summer bucket list for the kids, and sticking to a schedule that will benefit us all.

I have three hearts tattooed on the inside of my right wrist. The hearts represent my family as a reminder of why I get up in the morning and to have patience with all that I do. Reminding myself this summer to have patience and to take deep breaths will be a daily occurrence. It is easy to forget this when you have one child who won’t clean up their room even though you have asked 1,542,639,587 times and the other one other repeats everything you say. And when that doesn’t work, dark chocolate Ghiradelli squares hidden throughout the house for emergencies. I also pledge to get up one hour before the kids each weekday to enjoy peace, quiet, and get some writing done. I will go out one night a week by myself to see a movie, walk around Target with a Chai tea, or browse my favorite bookstore. While at Target I will pick up a journal to write down all the curse words I will need to write down when both kids either say, “I didn’t do it!” or “So and so just did this to me!” and also a whistle to get their attention (sorry my dear neighbors). And my last saving grace will be an “I’m Bored” jar filled with tasks (the thought of making a list of these tasks fills me with such glee).

As for the kids, I know the key to keeping the attitude and fighting level low is to keep them busy. There will be bike rides, park play time, (outdoor) arts and crafts, running in the sprinklers, the local pool, and library trips. There will be lots of reading (my goal is for the three of us to read Artemis Fowl together and to introduce Red to Roald Dahl), prep work for the upcoming grade, and writing exercises.

We are continuing our summer bucket list tradition for the sixth year in a row (this will definitely be one of my crowning achievements as a mother). Our plans for the summer include:

  • Vacation to Seattle, WA and Portland, OR with family
  • VidCon
  • Knotts Berry Farm (DUH)
  • Cousin visit
  • LA days
    • LACMA
    • California Science Center
  • OC Fair
  • Wish List: Disneyland’s California Adventure 

The biggest challenge I will face this summer will be limiting screen time, be it video games and YouTube. I know I will fail some days. I hope to show the kids that I will also be holding myself accountable for screen time and not just them. I always feel so much better when I walk away from my phone for an extended period of time (and I get so much done!).

Are you counting down the days until summer? What do you have planned?

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in California Livin'

LA Times of Festival of Books

Tamale. Salsa. Music. Books. Festivals are abound. California provides an excess of outdoor events to enjoy the year round summer like conditions that we are lucky enough to have. Farmers Markets, Art Walks, and outdoor malls like LA’s The Grove or Newport Beach’s Fashion Island are all destinations that attract tourists and residents. This past weekend my family and I attended the LA Times Festival of Books at USC.

Curls couldn’t run fast enough to the bookstore on campus. When I complained to my husband his response was, “If our daughter wants to explore a college bookstore, we are damn well going to let her.” WELL PLAYED SIR:

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Right outside the bookstore was a Sprinkles cupcake ATM:

Find somebody that humors you the way my man does:

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Trees are Awesome:

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Around campus:

After the book festival we tried to walk to the California Science Center (which is across the street from USC) but when it’s 90 degrees and you’ve been walking around for two hours, you get halfway, take a few pictures, and save it for another day:

Magnolia Bakery was our next stop once we got back to the car. Curls and I discovered Magnolia in New York and we were stoked when we found one in LA. It was fantastic:

Yes I am eating a cupcake:

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No you can’t have a bite:

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My next kitchen aesthetic:

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I mean, COME ON:

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Global Angel Wings by Colette Miller:

Mom, take our picture on this really high ledge we are going to climb up on and give you a heart attack:

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Hold tight to your loves:

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I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in California Livin', Good Things, Word Therapy

Birthday Weekend Snaps

As much as I love going to places like New York City and LA, I have learned to appreciate hanging out around home even more. So for my birthday that is what we did:

We started Saturday with a trip to our favorite park:

Could this pic be any more California?

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I know I am biased but this kid is the coolest

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Then we had my birthday cake:

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The only person I would share this with

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Same buddy, same

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And to end the day I got the top of my ear pierced (just in case you were wondering how my mid life crisis was going):

 

On Sunday we headed over to the Fullerton Loop

 

Nature, my favorite

 

My new friend Chloe who saw my dog lovin’ self, flopped on her back, and demanded belly rubs:

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My boys humored my need to take an Instagram worthy pic because it was my birthday damnit:

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Mission Accomplished

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in California Livin', The OC

Art is a Sport, Right?

What sport do you play?”, the receptionist asks Red while his sister and I make her a follow up appointment at the dentist. He looks up from his homework, gives her a big smile, and answers, “I don’t play sports, but I do something. What do I do Mom?” I look at the lady and say politely, “He is a theater kid. Right now he is doing comedy improv.”

My kids have done sports. Curls played soccer and basketball and pretty much hated it. Red has done basketball and baseball. Learning how to be a team player and being active are awesome results of playing sports. And if either of my kids asks in the future to play soccer, baseball, volleyball, etc., I will be more than happy to sign them up. But I really hate when somebody assumes that because I have a boy, he automatically plays sports. My crazy ass mind is screaming, “CAN WE PLEASE NOT GIVE INTO GENDER STEREOTYPES?!” On the outside I play nice and just smile.

Our family of four likes to go on weekend bike rides. The kids like to play at the park. We go to the movies, the swap meet, and to see musicals . Last week the kids and I went to see Lisa Congdon’s exhibit as the 2018 artist in residence at Fullerton College.

First we took in all of the whimsical collection (The colors! The messages of empowerment! The nostalgia!)

Curl’s favorites

Red’s favorites

My favorite and who can blame me?

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Pictures and clothes

Silly goofballs

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I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!