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!

Posted in California Livin', Good Things, Word Therapy

Can You Tell I Don’t Know the Words?

I hurried up to the line to get in, feeling the vibration of the music playing.  I got behind two boys who looked a couple of years older than me and hoped they wouldn’t turn around to look at my family.  Dad came up a moment later and gruffly said, “Stay here.”  I nodded and focused on my kelly green Doc Martens.  Even though the front of the concert line was about 100 feet away, I could still hear my dad talking to the guy manning the door.  “But when does the show end?”  “Well if you can’t tell me that can you give me an approximate time?”  “When does Siousxie and the Banshees go on?”  I stopped listening and bent down to retie my shoes.  I was checking for wrinkles on my Depeche Mode shirt when my dad came back from his interrogation.  “We will be out here at 11.  Stay together, don’t leave each other alone.  Go to the bathroom together, not separate.  Here is some money, make sure you eat something.”  He handed me $40 since I was the oldest, to my delight and despite my sister’s whining.  He hugged us both and walked towards the movie theater down the City Walk, mom following not far behind.

In December of 1991 I went to my first KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas.  On December 10th 2017 I went to my second.  I am now the age my parents were that fateful night they dropped my sibling and I off at the Universal Amphitheater in Universal City.  I was 16 and trying to identify as a KROQ alternative music listener, while deep down I was probably still a KISS pop music listener.  The lineup that night in addition to Siouxsie and her posse was Ian McCulloch, Alison Moyet, School of Fish, The Smithereens (who I still love), The Picture, and The Wonder Stuff.  I wish I could say I still had all these bands in my Apple Music but I am not and have never been that cool.  On this recent Sunday I attended one of the most fun concerts I have ever been to.  I’m still not cool but damn if I am finally a bona fide KROQ listener.

Vance Joy opened the show at 5 pm.  His infectious smile lit up that stage during his entire performance with songs “Riptide”, “Fire and the Flood”, and “Mess is Mine”.  He reminds me of Jack Johnson and you can’t help but be happy listening to his music.

 

X Ambassadors followed Vance Joy.  As soon as the stage rotated and they were front and center, lead singer Sam Harris brought all the energy and vibe of Freddie Mercury.  They sang their hits “Unsteady” and “Renegades” along with others.  Sam spoke passionately of inclusion, which brought this cry baby to tears.

 

Franz Ferdinand had my favorite backdrop of the night:

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Anybody want to do a mock up of this with “The Wilsons” so I can put it in my house?  Anyways…

The band’s act was stylized like an 80s’ Duran Duran music video with singer Alex Kapranos definitely channeling Simon Le Bon with his on point wardrobe and hair.

Indie band Phoenix mellowed out the show with “Lisztomania” and I wanted Thomas Mars’ shirt (this became a recurring theme for me as the night progressed).

 

I was able to see Foster the People a couple of years back and knew they would put on a good show:

 

Walk the Moon is a Cincinnati based band that came onto the scene with “Shut Up and Dance.”  They rocked out while sporting their white eyeliner makeup and wearing some apparel I might also want for my wardrobe (Nicholas Petricca wore a cream poncho with an eyeball print).

 

Next up was one of my favorites, The Lumineers.  They are not a band that comes out with the excitement of others but are true musicians with cellist Neyla Pekarek in full concentration mode that gave me chills.  Singer Wesley Schultz talked of getting Tom Petty’s blessing to cover Walls before they did him proud and sang it for us lucky audience members (didn’t think I would need Kleenex for this concert but there it is).

 

Weezer had all of us on our feet from the first chord and I couldn’t sit down during their set even if I had wanted to.  They are my generation’s Beach Boys with their California inspired songs.  They gave us an early Christmas present by showing videos of dogs running up and down the beach and diving into pools during “Undone-The Sweater Song”.

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Morrissey was scheduled to headline the show but bailed the day before (which I came to find out is typical for him).  But he was not missed as The Killers closed out the show with an explosion of Brandon Flowers flying onto stage and confetti bursting onto those standing in the pit.  They covered “The Charming Man” by The Smiths and “Every Day is Like Sunday” by Morrissey, which more than made up for his absence (if his not being there meant we got more of The Killers I feel like we got the better end of the deal).  The stage was adorned with a Mars symbol (their current single is “The Man”) and Venus symbols (lady backup singers).

 

The more I run towards being happy, the more music I listen to.  KROQ’s 2017 annual Almost Acoustic Christmas had a crowd where everybody was happy to be there, the smell of garlic fries, bathroom lines that moved quickly (a Christmas miracle), and glowing blue sticks that lit up the Forum.  And instead of worrying about if people were watching my lame dance moves (which I probably did back in ’91), I danced my ass off.

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Posted in Good Things, Pop Culture

Friday Favorites: A tv show, a song, and a movie walk into a bar

Christmas is just around the corner, my kids will be out of school for 19 DAYS for the break, and the country is still going to hell in a hand basket.  So I need some happy things.  Next week I will be posting about one of my favorite concerts ever and my top movies, books, and tv shows for the year.  Here is what has gotten me through the past few weeks:

Future Man on Hulu: Josh Hutcherson plays a janitor for a medical lab that is working towards curing herpes.  He is a gamer at night.  When he beats the video game he is obsessed with, two of the characters recruit him to save the world.  In order to do so he has to stop his boss Dr. Elias Kronish (Keith David) from curing herpes.  That is a simplistic summary of the story.  But it is also a clever, crude, and hilarious take on the good guy versus bad guy trope and blurs the lines of right and wrong (and there is so much wrong here that makes you giggle while being embarrassed).  Josh Hutcherson as Josh Futturman is adorable, Eliza Coupe as Tiger is a clueless badass, and Derek Wilson as Wolf is what a wild animal would be like if it were human.  Ed Begley Jr. and Glenne Headly (RIP Tess Trueheart) as Josh’s well meaning parents are the sweetest.  The show is executive produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.  It is off the wall and not for those that are squeamish but it might be my new favorite show of the year.

Bastille “World Gone Mad ”: Thank you to Dan and the guys of Bastille for putting all the sorrow of this year into a song with sincerity.  It is my anthem for 2017.

Star Wars The Last Jedi: You didn’t think I would end the year without talking about Star Wars, did you?  You know when you are so excited for something that you are terrified it’s not going to live up to the hype?  That’s not me and The Last Jedi.  This post will be published the day after the family and I see the film and I can safely say it will be AWESOME/RAD/TUBULAR and any other surfer dude lingo you can think of.  Brave it this weekend to enjoy with enthusiastic and excited Star Wars fans.

Update: Spoiler alert-it’s everything I wanted it to be and more.

 

I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend.  Thanks for reading!

 

Posted in Good Things, Pop Culture

Friday Favorite (aka Where I blabber about what I love): Summer Playlist

Unless I love a song, more likely than not I don’t know the lyrics. If you are in the car with me and you listen, you can tell when I don’t know the words. I will either start to hum or get vwery, vwery quiet. And then the chorus will come and I will be singing at the top of my lungs. My poor daughter knows this and has to suffer while her brother and I sing in our miniscule electric car every day, to and from school. With school out a week from today, she can at least leave the room when we play music videos on YouTube. These videos will be on our big screen during dinner and for random dance parties throughout the summer:

  • Bleachers “Don’t Take the Money”
  • Portugal the Man “Feel it Still” (my hubby’s pick for song of the summer)
  • Weezer “Feels like Summer”
  • Foster the People “Doing it for the Money”
  • Sir Sly “High”
  • Kaiser Chiefs “Never Miss a Beat”
  • M.I.A. “Bad Girls”

I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend. Thanks for reading!