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 Not Today Anxiety

Breathe, Smile, Repeat

Focusing on the positive and what lays ahead is an exercise I use to keep out the negativity and dark voices. In the Spring my daughter Curls and I are taking a jet plane to New York City. Back in October I scored two tickets to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway at the Lyric Theater. This will be both of ours first trip to the Big Apple. I am feeling grateful, happy, and terrified. Because with all things in my life, anxiety looks for a loophole into my psyche to trash the place. It imagines worst case scenarios:

What if you lose Curls in the crowds?

What if you get lost together?

What if we get mugged (A big thank you to the Different Strokes episode that has lingered in my brain since childhood)

What if you get to will call and your show tickets aren’t there?

What if you miss your flight home?

This is where my Type A personality kicks in. I start to plan, plan, plan (translation=control, control, control). My best friend Google and I start searching for what we shouldn’t miss, what is overrated, budget friendly food, accommodations, and what’s fun and free (Central Park and New York Public Library are already at the top of the list). I checked out City Pass to see if it is worth it (Not for this three day trip). But researching even for a short amount of time leaves me feeling overwhelmed. Am I planning too much? Is the show going to be good? Will Curls get grumpy when she gets tired (most definitely)?

Eventually the Prozac brings his Dr. Feelgood vibes and I start to take deep breaths. I tell myself prepping three months before the trip is the first step to making it great (Thank you Type A). I remind myself that I am skilled at finding deals on ANYTHING ($130 round trip total for Curls and I with the help of credit card points and travel savvy friend livyourlifeyourway). Social media is a great tool at finding places for us to go and eat (Instagram has introduced my family and I to a number of delish restaurants). And I am leaving time for us to explore and find things to do that we normally wouldn’t think of (like ice skating at Rockefeller Center in April).

Come this summer my family of four will be flying up to the Pacific Northwest. We plan on enjoying Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver. I will employ the same tactics I am using for NYC but I have an ace in the whole: my husband. No matter what happens with our trip, he is the human version of Prozac for me. He keeps me calm and ready to face anything.

Do you have any exciting trips planned for 2018? How do you plan your vacations? What do you look for in a new place? I love finding restaurants where people rave so much about it online that I just HAVE to go there-like Gourdough’s in Austin, Texas. For New York that place will be Serendipity (frozen hot chocolate, anyone?).

And because Curls and I are going to a city that is revered as much as New York, friends and family have been generous with tips and recommendations. How could this mini vacation be anything but a blast?

Knickerbocker Hotel

Posted in Pop Culture

Friday Favorites

This week I have a longer list than normal of things that make me happy. Nothing to complain about here:

Alex Inc.: A dramedy starring Zach Braff as a man coming upon his 40s who decides to start his own podcast company, putting his family and their stability at risk. Braff is all charisma, the glimpses into his new office are laugh out loud funny, his kids are adorable, and Michael Imperioli as Braff’s boss is the extra credit we didn’t know we needed. Premieres on NBC at the end of March and I can’t wait.

Call Me By Your Name: I leaned back in my comfortable reclining chair in a dark theater on a rainy day. It was the kids’ first day back at school after almost three weeks of Christmas break. This beautiful and sensual film is about the relationship between 17 year old Elio (Timothee Chalamet) and his dad’s research assistant for the summer Oliver (Armie Hammer) over the summer of 1983. They are in Northern Italy, making for beautiful fruit trees, stone houses, lots of outdoor dining, and swimming at the lake. It sweeps you up in the romance and will leave you wanting more of their love.

The Shape of Water score: The Shape of Water was one of my favorites of 2017. And when certain movies stay with me, I want to relive the moments. Golden Globe winner Alexandre Desplat has created a score that takes right you back to the blue green soaked scenes, the haunting eyes of Sally Hawkins, and even the terror that Michael Shannon inflicts whenever he is on screen. To my children’s horror I have to get up and dance whenever “Chica Chica Boom Chic” by Carmen Miranda plays. It brings me such joy that I ended up finding this gem:

The colors, the costumes, her lipstick, and the dancing, how can you not love it?

Will and Grace: It had been 11 years since Will & Graced ended before NBC brought it back for the fall 2017 season. And its like they never left. They haven’t missed a beat with the jokes, Jack and Karen are even funnier if that is possible, and nobody looks like they have aged. I feel that it is the new Three’s Company with its sexual innuendo and mishaps. There aren’t many shows that I will make sure I am sitting down when it is on but Will & Grace is definitely one of them.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child starts rehearsals on Broadway: My daughter and I are flying to New York at the end of March to catch Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway and I am beyond excited. This video was released last week to show that rehearsals have begun and I shook with anticipation watching it. Can I get a WOOHOO?!

Michael Stuhlbarg: You probably haven’t heard of Michael Stuhlbarg. He is what you would call a “character” actor. He is meant to blend into a story and support the leads. You maybe astounded by his performance in FX’s Fargo (as the bumbling Sy Feltz with the bushiest of mustaches) but don’t realize he is also the sympathetic Dr. Robert Hoffstetler in The Shape of Water. Then you see Call Me By Your Name and want to be adopted by the loving and supportive father to Timothee Chalamet’s Elio (and cry your heart out with his finale speech). And then you see his name pop up during the trailer for Hulu’s upcoming Mini-Series The Looming Tower. Sure, Jeff Daniels, Peter Sarsgaard, and Alec Baldwin are in the cast. But now you can’t wait to see what character Stuhlbarg will create next. And with that you have a new favorite actor.

And last but not least…..

85 Degrees Celsius Milk Tea: Coffee in my 40s is not happening. Whether it’s my stomach staging a ban or the headache that comes once I have some, my body has told me in no uncertain terms my ties with it have been severed. And then I found milk tea (minus boba). What a glorious combination of sweet milk to balance out the bitterness of tea. Add extra ice to 85 Degrees version, a chocolate chip cookie, and a book, and my afternoon is set.

I hope you find passion, something you can nerd out over, and happiness this weekend!