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:

img_2034

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

img_2036

A reminder for anyone who needs it

img_2043

Kermie welcoming us in

img_2064

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

img_2067

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

img_2080

 Forever in my heart

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

img_2092

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:

img_2095

img_2099

The rainbow and palm trees just fill my heart up

img_2102

img_2105

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'

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:

img_9588

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.

img_9611

The boys’ album cover

 

LA and its Art:

img_9574

img_9631

img_9650

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

img_9709

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

img_4024

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', 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', 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?

img_8067

I know I am biased but this kid is the coolest

img_8069

Then we had my birthday cake:

img_8070

The only person I would share this with

img_8076

Same buddy, same

img_8078

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:

img_8263

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

img_8250

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:

March pics 19

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.

March pics 13

I hope you find passion and happiness this weekend!

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