Posted in The Happy

Cousins Rule Part Two

After a week apart, the cousins and their mom came down to California to spend some more time with us:

Swimming at Grandma and Papas

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Our favorite water park, Soak City

Downtown Disney (there is a lot of construction going on due to Star Wars land so it was wonderfully quiet. And if you haven’t been to Wonderground Gallery, make sure you check it out the next time you are there)

Anaheim Packing District

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Selfies at the mall

Huntington Beach

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Churros and ice cream at Churroholic

Do you go on vacation with family? Do you like to have a set schedule or do you just like to relax? I am definitely ready to relax on a beach next summer!

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in Calming the Voices, Word Therapy

Action Hero Mad

I am in a partial building where I am blow drying my hair. I am talking to Pete Davidson and Tracey Morgan at one point. I told Pete I was concerned about his Ariana engagement but that I wished him well. I am yelling at my kids to get ready as we are already late for school. We are ready to leave and then all of a sudden we are at the school. Some guys who have tactical gear on come into the room because they are looking for somebody. They take that person into custody and then the shooting starts. I watch teenagers sitting down cross legged get shot and killed, their mouths open in shock. I grab my children’s hands and am able to call my husband to tell him we are okay as gunfire is all around us. Then I wake up.

I would definitely say my anxiety has had its hands on the wheel lately. I want to focus on the good but also scream till I am hoarse about the injustices going on in the world (this has been a constant for me since November 2016):

There are so many terrible things in the news that it is practically impossible to have enough energy for all the outrage. I know my California senators are doing what they need to. I voted in the primaries. I have donated to help with the children being separated from their parents at the border. I want to crawl under my bed and never come out when I see the President salute a North Korean general. And I have so much anger and frustration built up that if somebody tries to defend any of this shit I’m ready to go full action hero settling a score on their ass.

My anxiety likes to tell me that there is so much to do, it is too overwhelming, and I should just sit and be angry, sad, and hopeless. My anxiety loves a good pity party. So I sit and write. I make a to do list to make me feel more in control of my emotions. This to do list will make me feel like I am helping. And I sure as hell am not going to stop talking about it on social media (in fact I am probably going to get worse). This to do list is not just applicable to me. You can do it also. Won’t you please join me??

TO DO LIST

I am sorry if you come to my blog (again, thank you so much for reading) for fun SoCal stuff. Just when I think what is going on is too much, it gets worse. I hope that you are all doing well and taking it one step at a time.

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 Not Today Anxiety, Word Therapy

7.8 Miles

While her brother and dad were up in the mountains snowboarding, Curls and I kicked off weekend one of our back to back girls’ weekends. We had planned a day in LA so when we found out that the March for Our Lives was going to be the same day, we knew we had to be there.

With our posters made and snacks in a backpack, we rode the train from Fullerton to Union Station. We met fellow marchers and even had other train passengers tell us good luck and thank you. The other marchers we met were high school students and a teacher. My anxiety did try to take over (I was almost hysterical and my voice hit window breaking pitch) when I realized I had bought Metro Link tickets and I tried to ask an Amtrak employee what to do. In a not very nice tone she told me to just get on the train and somebody would help me. They did but I was still beating myself up over the mistake the next day (but seriously, am I the only person who gets confused when it comes to Amtrak/Metro link?).

When we got to the March and we were surrounded by everyone who believed in the cause, it was inspiring, powerful, and emotional. Curls didn’t really understand the significance of the March while we were waiting for it to begin and I could feel myself getting frustrated. I then took a deep breath, reminded myself that she is a kid, and tried to clear out the negative to focus on the positive. Seeing all the March volunteers in their “We Can End Gun Violence” t-shirts and florescent netted vests, an abundance of police officers, and helicopters hovering overhead, I was reminded once again why I love California. From the “Hollywood Liberal Elite”, to sanctuary cities, to organized marches where 99% of the people are on their best behavior, there is a feeling of everyone looking out for each other as opposed to every man for himself. I left the March believing there is good in the world and it will survive all the hate that is thrown at it.

After the March Curls and I walked to one of our favorite spots, The Last Bookstore. The intoxicating smell of books, the kind employees, the second floor where small businesses sell art, and the young adult and comic book section are all parts of the sum of why we love this fantastic seller of books.

Our next stop was Little Tokyo. When Curls was much smaller we were able to attend Hello Kitty Con and we were both in heaven. So our main stop was the Sanrio store. She squealed over Gudetama the Lazy Egg and all of Hello Kitty’s friends. And since she won’t go anywhere near the Easter Bunny in the mall (I can’t blame her-have you seen them these days??), I was thrilled that she wanted to take a picture with My Little Melody:

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Way cuter than the Easter Bunny, don’t you think?

We left with a bag of stuff we didn’t need but Curls and my inner 8 year old were giddy.

Our last stop of the day was The Broad. We admired the artwork of Takashi Murakami and others before we finally realized we were starving and tired (the smell of the street corner carts cooking sausages followed us throughout the day).

After Google Maps led us on a wild goose chase back to Union Station (my sense of direction is for crap), Curls not believing me that all the tents on the streets were homeless camps (still working on her acknowledging her privilege), and we almost missed our train, we breathed a sigh of relief when the train started moving back home.

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I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in California Livin'

Rainy Days

I am obsessed with weather. Weather reports (sorry Fritz Coleman, super tan Dallas Raines for life) are my favorite part of the news, even before the Trump administration. Since most of California’s days are filled with sunshine, when we get rain it’s like a holiday. I propose rain days for us West Coasters like the East gets snow days. Traffic is already the worst out here and then you have water falling from the sky which makes for a sea of chaos. This past weekend we received a decent amount of rain. That brings us one step closer to the end of the drought and early signs of Spring peeking their head out.

Under that blanket is a man and his dog taking the world’s best nap

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Our backyard just gets prettier with the rain

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Curls crafting

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Having a kitchen window makes my heart happy

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No better excuse to go to the movies than rain

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We made a new friend and his name is Newt Salamander

Day After:

Being ignored is fun

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I can’t get enough of her smile

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We love to bike ride around CSUF

85 Degrees on the way home because COOKIES:

Dinner with Grandma and Papa to finish the day:

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day from my pot of gold 🌈

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I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in California Livin'

Mecum Auto Auction

On a Saturday afternoon in February, my family and I attended the 2018 Los Angeles Mecum Auto Auction. Winter had finally arrived in California and walking around the Pomona Fairplex outside meant us clutching our jackets and wishing we had brought beanies. It was a beautiful day. Bright and shiny cars lined up to be led into the halls to be auctioned off. My husband checked out some of the cars before we went in while I fawned over the colors of the automobiles.

Once we were inside we could hear the auctioneer doing his best for the sellers while entertaining the crowds. It was $200 to have priority seating and the ability to bid.

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We walked around the television cameras that were broadcasting on several channels, checked out the merchandise with the Mecum logo on it, ate Pink’s hot dogs for lunch, and had Old Thyme ice creams for dessert.

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We went back outside to check out the drifting rides Dodge was giving to the willing. Curls opted out while hubby, Red, and I laughed throughout the all too brief skid around the track.

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There were many cars that we admired and debated, even if we didn’t bid:

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I never cared much about cars before I met my love but now watching and attending auto auctions feels like home. Don’t ask me what the make and model of a car is as I will just tell you how I want the colors to be made into a nail polish collection. The future holds an old retired married couple riding down the strip of Palm Springs in a fully restored car of hubby’s choosing. I will be sure to have my hair wrapped in a chiffon scarf (Marilyn Monroe style of course) and my eyes adorned with cat eye glasses while hubby will be rocking his golfer polo and hat.

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in California Livin', The OC, Word Therapy

Sunday

There were many a Saturday morning during my childhood where I would wake to the sweet smell of Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls with frosting (if I was lucky I would get the packet with the leftover goodness). Then my mom would take my sister and I to the nearby town of Colton to visit the auction, aka the swap meet. We would get treats to eat and I would always leave with something Betty Boop or Gumby and Pokey.

This past Sunday Hubby and I took Curls and Red to the Orange County swap meet. It is located near the beach and this particular winter day it was in the mid 80s. We walked around for maybe 30 minutes before the fairground food smells lured us to their dungeon. And as always it was to the Mexican food:

Is there any better reason to live in California than tacos?

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Red eating a jalapeno in 5 parts

 

Makes the smart choice and switches to nachos

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I love this person the most

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Fun with mirrors

Getting the lay of the land

My kids asking for everything at the Swap Meet

Novelty cards from the 80s (no kids were harmed by eating the 30 year old gum)

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Kona Ice and Brain Freeze

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Swap Meet Offerings

 

Smiles and parkour

 

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

Posted in California Livin'

Summer Days

The kids are finishing up their fourth week of school already and I am tired of the triple digits hell that is our California weather. I am ready for fall weather, pumpkin candies and lattes, and the smell of a fire going in my fireplace. And even though we STILL haven’t gotten on a plane with the kids (fingers crossed for next year!) I know that we had a good summer this year and have the pictures to remind me.

That afternoon the kids spent shooting dollar spot sticky frogs at the ceiling…

 

When I made my son pose in front of a movie billboard without realizing how hella inappropriate it was

Inappropriate movie

Trips to Knotts that never disappoint

 

One more picture from the OC Fair because it was that much fun

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Celebrated Hubby’s 40th at Raging Waters

 

Pool Action

 

I hope you are enjoying the last remaining days of summer. Tell me something fun you did. Thank you for reading!

Posted in California

California is My Happy Place

My blog is having an identity crisis. I like to write about movies, music, and what is going on in my life. That doesn’t make me much different from a lot of bloggers. So for awhile now I have been thinking about why I love the bloggers that I do. Kelle Hampton is a mom in Florida who has three children. One of them is beautiful Nella who has Down’s Syndrome. Kelle is hilarious, throws Pinterest worthy parties, and loves in a way that I envy. Kristen Howerton is an OC mom of four. Two of them are adopted, Jafta and Kembe. She doesn’t shy away from hard subjects like racial profiling and politics. And then there is Glennon Doyle Melton. Glennon resorts to kindness in her hardest moments. As somebody with social anxiety and an inherent mistrust of people, she has taught me that love always wins.

They say to write what you know and love. I love my family. I love being a California girl, even if my pale skin, freckles, and dark hair screams Midwest. My husband, kids, and I are a single income family so we are always watching our expenses. But we also like to go out and do things. We want to get on a plane in the future to places like Tokyo, New York, and somewhere tropical. Until then we paint California red every chance we get. We are about an hour outside of the OC and LA, and even closer to Palm Springs. We like to go to museums, concerts, amusement parks, plays, etc.  I will be taking you as my readers on our adventures while showing you what is worth visiting, what food is worth eating, and what events you shouldn’t miss. Look for my first post on Knott’s Berry Farm’s Soak City next week. Happy Hump Day!

Sweet Vibes