Posted in Good Things

Worth It

Last weekend the first Milk Bar in Los Angeles opened. But no matter how much I begged and pleaded, I couldn’t convince hubby to brave the traffic and participate in the opening day activities. If you are a fan of the Netflix series’ Chef’s Table, you know what Milk Bar is. Founding chef Christina Tosi has a bit of a sweet tooth and likes to go to the fair to test out desserts to get inspiration for new creations. She is famous for her “Crack-pie.” This led me to making a list of my favorite places to eat in Southern California for breakfast/lunch/dinner/dessert:

Breakfast

Sidecar Doughnuts in Costa Mesa: Their Butter and Salt yummy goodness took me back to the Arizona State fair where I tried the love of my life, deep fried butter. It was soft, warm, and the perfect blend of its two ingredients.

Remember when Oprah and Gayle went to the Texas State fair on their road trip?  That was the gateway to my love affair with fair food (and introduced me to the aforementioned deep fried butter)

Lunch

Fat Sal’s in Hollywood: This restaurant is famous for their gigantic sandwiches.  You can either be ambitious enough to eat it on your own or share it with someone you love. My favorite is the Fat Buffalo with chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, blue cheese, etc. My mouth waters just thinking about it.

Dinner

Braise and Crumble: Hubby and I discovered this restaurant in Pasadena on a date night. Their Fried Chicken Po’Boy was delicious but the Gorgonzola potato salad is what we fought over and took home to let the kids try. If I could buy a gallon of it and figure out how to freeze it without it going bad, I would.

Dessert

Magnolia Bakery: It’s amazing the lengths I will go to try a dessert I see on Instagram. Such is the case with Magnolia Bakery’s banana pudding. I drove 12 miles of LA streets to try this pudding and it was worth every inch we moved in the Saturday traffic.

Burger Parlor: Burger Parlor is a burger and fries restaurant we love to go to in downtown Fullerton. Their burgers give Shake Shack a run for their money as far as my hubby is concerned while I love their turkey one. But their Cap’n Crunch milkshake is quite possibly the best shake I have ever had. You would think it might be too sweet but every time I have it I think:

Now if you don’t mind I am going to go eat my feelings after my workout as this week’s news has been hot garbage.

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in Good Things

Saturday morning cartoons

I miss waking up Saturday mornings with a bowl of Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch and orange juice in my McDonald’s Hamburglar glass to watch cartoons.  Smurfs was my favorite but I also loved Tom and Jerry, The Jetsons, The Flintstones, Scooby Doo, and the Snorks.  Curls and Red will never know the delayed gratification of waiting all week to watch these 15 minute long shows before being pushed out the door by their parents to play until the street lights came on.  Now it’s Musical.ly, YouTube, and at least a tablet or videogame console to occupy their time.

I for one would still like something to look forward to at the end of a long week of working, running my kids all around town, and just handling STUFF.  We all need a little happy so I compiled a list of clips that either made me laugh, cry, or both.  Enjoy and have that extra donut with your coffee or tea.  I won’t tell anyone.

Celeste Barber: I just recently discovered this unabashedly funny Australian comedian who spoofs celebrities.  She has a following of 4.7 million on Instagram for a reason and her recent collaboration with Tom Ford had me dying:

You can find her here on Instagram along with more footage of her with Tom.

John and Hank Green: I will love the Vlogbrothers until the end of time.  And what John did for Hank’s book release had me in tears:

Billy on the Street: Billy Eichner started the new season of his loud and energetic show on Youtube.  Him running down the streets of New York with celebrities while screaming at passerbys always makes me cringe and laugh.  The first episode is with Emma Stone but I have also attached one with Paul Rudd (who wouldn’t want to sleep with him??) and Keegan-Michael Key:

Mary Halsey and Missy Elliott: If you haven’t seen the clip of Mary Halsey covering Missy Elliott’s “Work It”, you can find it here.  Then you can watch this clip of Missy surprising her on Ellen.  The anticipation of watching Mary performing knowing that Missy is about to come out on stage made me feel like a kid waiting for her presents on Christmas morning.

Posted in Good Things, Wellness

Bringing the 60s back

Y’ALL. I checked my beloved weather app this week and it could get as low as 61 degrees at night. I am savoring that chill. I am imagining the fireplaces being used all around town because any weather below 65 degrees makes us Californians bust out the scarves and hats. I need my denim jacket at night and it is GLORIOUS. It makes me dream about my fall wardrobe which led me to scouring my go to websites Target and Gap and even checking out others (Eshakti). Hubby and I have three scheduled dates for fall and I need new outfits, right?

Foster the People concert

Since we like to do stuff as opposed to buying stuff, this concert is to celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary. Hubby would probably think something is wrong if I wore a dress and heels so jeans and a tank it is:

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Universal Thread Tank 

Gap Grey Girlfriend Jeans 

Silver Metallic Hi Top Chucks 

Pacifica Firebird Lipstick 

Baublebar Silver hoops 

Horror Made Here

This year we are braving the studio lot at Warner Bros for their horror event. I will be counted on to do lots of screaming and running so again comfort is key:

 

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Nightmare before Christmas T

Gap Cords (my top fall go to) 

I am dying over these penny loafers 

There is no more back to school for me (can I get an AMEN?) but I still need this backpack

Dear Evan Hansen

In November we will be going to see the musical Dear Evan Hansen in Los Angeles. As I type this I am trying to contain my excitement because it is SO FAR AWAY. While I wait I will have the cast recording on repeat and purchasing my theater (say that in a snotty tone to get the real effect) wardrobe:

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Have you heard of Eshakti? I was clued into this website by a brilliant group of women and all I can say is dresses with pockets (It also gives me that Marvelous Mrs. Maisel feel, which is my new favorite show if only for the droolworthy costumes but also because it is hilarious)

T Straps 

Baublebar Crawler earrings to make feel a little punk rock 

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And just because I have a thing for overalls and stripes:

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Universal Thread Charcoal overalls 

Gap long sleeve stripe crewneck 

Gap grey ankle boots 

Are you excited for sweaters, jeans, and boots? Is it cold where you live yet? Tell me so I can live vicariously through you!

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', 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 Good Things, Wellness

Adult Daycare

Can I ask you for your honest opinion?”, I asked the lady with the black hair, cool Buddy Holly glasses, and denim shirt. “Of course,” she said as she stopped and gave me her full attention. I held up the silky grape colored shirt with the muted flowers on it. “Is this too old lady?” Without missing a beat she answered with confidence, “Yes. Go with stripes.” She patted the striped shirt pile of A New Day tops. I laughed out loud and nodded my head. “Oh girl. I have yet to meet a stripe I didn’t like. Thank you so much! Have a good day.” She smiled at me and said, “You too!” We both continued to browse the t-stands, tables, and displays of women’s clothing.

img_8840Golden Girls or Palm Springs Chic-YOU DECIDE

Self care is a hot topic right now, especially for women. Taking time for ourselves. Getting a massage, a manicure and pedicure, or getting your hair done. Doing yoga or going for a run. As I have gotten older I have been better about taking care of myself. Exercise helped my anxiety (even if if I didn’t know it) before I took medication. Massages and mani/pedis are nice but I get them for special occasions. But every Thursday morning at approximately 915 am, I pull into the covered parking garage for my self care appointment: Grocery shopping at Target.

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UNDER HIS EYE

The white bullseye and red background greets me as I enter through the automatic sliding glass doors. I take the stairs to the main floor and marvel at the cart escalator, no matter how many times I have seen it. I go to the Starbucks counter and order my iced almond milk cinnamon macchiato. While I wait for my order I peruse the Dollar Spot where if I am lucky I can get out of that section for less than $10 (Curse you seasonal items! Why yes, I do need an inflatable cactus ring toss, a pineapple tic tac toe, and the cutest little greeter you ever did see)

With my drink in hand I get my cart and give it a bath with the provided blue wipes. I hook my environmentally friendly shopping bags on one side and my Amazon purchased cup holder on the other. I select an album on Apple music on my phone and put my earbuds in so I can not only hear the music but also so I can block out the noisy cart that I always pick.

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I am methodical with shopping. I go straight to the grocery section and get what is needed and leave a little time after to check out the beauty section, women’s clearance, and kids’ clothes.

Target has always been there for me in my time of need. Need new clothes for Curls and Red? Cat and Jack has adorable apparel with empowering messages. They also have a one year warranty for when your 8 year old boy comes home with rips in his knees. Art Class has unique designs that appeal to my aspiring artist tween.

If you read my Mother’s Day post, you know I love Target’s women’s fashion. They always have new collections that I am excited to check out. I am currently in love with their Universal Thread line and have bought a pair of jeans (so stretchy and soft!), a romper, and a baseball hat. The jewelry line BaubleBar did a line for Target called Sugarfix and the colors and designs are bright and fun.

Target has continued to expand their beauty section and a lot of their locations just finished a remodel. They now look like the floor of a Sephora (and a hell of a lot cheaper!). Everything is lit up, clean, and simple to make products easy to find. They even have a beauty specialist on hand at certain times throughout the week to answer any questions you might have.

I could probably go on for another 1000+ words but I am pretty you sure get the idea. I have loved Target since my mom took me to pick up my Cabbage Patch Kid off of layaway when I was Curls’ age. My local stores has employees like Anita and Clifton who stop whatever they’re doing to help me find an item. And all the others greet me with a smile as I go from aisle to aisle, scanning my cartwheel app and placing my goods in the squeaky red cart.

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I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in Good Things, Wellness

Fashion Queen

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An outfit for Christmas. A dress and shoes for Easter. Whatever I want for the first day of school. An outfit for a concert, a play, or a football game. My mom taught me there was always an occasion, no matter how big or small, that called for a new outfit. This ensured we always had an excuse to go shopping on the weekend as we headed out the door to the swap meet or mall.

Watching my mom get ready for work every morning is a memory I will always hold onto. Her drawer of Avon makeup added to her lightly freckled skin and hazel eyes. Her bathroom counter’s gold flecked Lazy Susan was filled with perfume bottles of Obsession by Calvin Klein and Opium by YSL that she would spritz before heading out the door. I would joke that she looked like Don King when she teased her permed hair, her southern roots showing.

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My love of fashion is embedded in her getting dressed for her case management job Monday through Friday at the hospital. Pantyhose, tea length skirts, fancy blouses with shoulder pads, and conservative heels made her the most put together woman I knew.

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I have a degree in Apparel Merchandising that I am proud of. I’m not as sophisticated as my mom is but I love putting an outfit together for any event. So I did some “research” this week for summer fashion. Add that to the bucket list and we are ready for 90 degree weather with an ocean breeze (thanks OC), long days, and vacation:

VidCon:

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Beach/Waterpark:

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Pacific Northwest:

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LA:

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Fair/Knotts:

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Happy Mother’s Day Mom. I love you.

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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 Good Things, Mama Adventures

61 Hours

As Curls and I drove home early Monday morning from LAX, we talked about our weekend trip to New York City. Our carry ons in the trunk were stuffed with gifts for her brother and dad and souvenirs for ourselves. Her Harry Potter and my Hello Kitty backpack had leftover Takis, chocolate, books, one navy blue knitted beanie (mine), and one Jughead beanie (hers). Curls applied her new chocolate M&M chapstick, permeating the air with its smell (if there was lip gloss in a candy store she didn’t leave without some). I didn’t have to ask her what her favorite moment of the weekend was. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was our main reason for going and it exceeded our expectations and then some. As we made our way on the 105, we discussed why we loved the show as opposed to the book (show was magical,book doesn’t feel like the Harry Potter world we love). She vented about some of her beloved characters and their deaths in the series (I reminded Curls that J.K. Rowling still beats herself up over that one death). We bonded over these characters, our excitement over getting to meet some of the cast, all the places we got to see, and the food we ate. My girl is so much like me: sensitive, book lover, and hot tempered. We butt heads often. Everyone has told me that our New York adventure will be a memory she will hold onto. I definitely will and hope there are more of these mother/daughter weekends in the future.

Day One:

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New York Public Library

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Winnie the Pooh

 

Revolution Exhibit

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Rockefeller Center 

 

Love this beautiful church

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Spongebob Squarepants the Musical 

 

After show dessert: S’mores at the Hershey’s Store (So much YUM)

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Back at our hotel, The Knickerbocker

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Day Two:

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

 

 

Ron Weasley (!!!) and Scorpius Malfoy(!!!)

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Day Three:

American Museum of Natural History

 

Best Waffle in the history of Waffles

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Central Park and all the dogs I stalked

 

Macy’s

 

Garment District

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Remember when I talked about the anxiety I was having before the trip? It all disappeared as soon as we touched down. Now I just can’t wait to take hubby and Red there.

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I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in California Livin', Good Things

Luzia: I Really Need to Do Yoga More

If Mecum Auto Auction in Pomona was my Valentine’s Day present to hubby, Cirque du Soleil’s show Luzia was mine. I love chocolate, flowers, and jewelry but having new experiences with my family is my favorite thing of all. Luzia wowed us all.

Luzia’s stage was a circle of marigolds, a prominent flower of Mexico. When the stage wasn’t bare for each act, it was encircled with an orange papel pescado that had detailed cutouts of the ocean, the sun, a cenote, a cantina, a horse, and a jaguar. The show opened with a butterfly, a horse, and the clown, a man who dropped in from the ceiling. It was a dream of oranges, yellows, reds, purples, and golds, reaching every audience member with its vibrancy.

Luzia showcases the culture of Mexico. Footballs (soccer balls for us Americans), luchadores, and a mariachi band are incorporated into the performances. The cast is otherworldly. I was afraid to blink throughout each act. There were jugglers, a balancing strong man, a Cyr wheel and trapeze dancing, poles, a contortionist, and swings. Each man and woman are sinewy, every muscle defined as they performed.

The props and costumes were outstanding. In addition to the horse there is an armadillo, a beetle, and birds. Each costume is vivid and bright. The detail in the mariachi band’s light green pants, the mirror outfits for both men and women, and the raspberry pink flowered swim cap that I wish they sold with the souvenirs. And the WATER. It was used in ways that it was as magical as a patronus.

I went into Luzia knowing I was going to love it. I had seen some clips of other show’s performances on television. But nothing prepared me for what I witnessed. My mouth was open so much I am pretty sure I digested a few bugs (may they rest in peace). I felt like a child enjoying her first Christmas. It was the best dream I have ever experienced and made me love the country of Mexico that much more.

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I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!