Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Music: Thanksgiving Road Trip Mix Tape

My friend's brother asked everyone on facebook to suggest a song to him, to put on a mixed tape for his Thanksgiving car drive down to San Diego to visit relatives. 

What a great idea, I am always so curious what other people are currently listening to. Not what's on the radio, but what their go to songs are. Like I just started listeing to Vampire Weekend, even though they've been around for quite awhile.

Anywho, I decided to make my own mix tape of what I would listen to on a car ride. If you would like to, please share your playlists with me! I sure would apreesh.

Attitude of Gratitude

The other night I was at the grocery store at the self checkout and I found $20 in the cash output. I looked around, and pocketed the cash, debating whether I should hand it over to customer service and thinking that would be the right thing to do, unless the person never came back, then keeping it would be the right thing, no? Well, right as I was finishing up I heard someone at customer service with disappointment in their voice, what did you say? I asked. Huh? Oh, I left my money in the thing. Sad face. I have it. Happy face! Oh wow, thank you so much! 

As I was leaving the store I saw a mother of a newborn and her small toddler getting situated in the cart. Do you need any diapers? I asked her. I have a ton of diapers in my car, and I don't need them so I wanted to give them to someone who could use them. I totally overstocked on diapers and Flynn just grows so fast! I was going to give them to my friend but we never ended up meeting up and they had been sitting in there for a month. I have newborn, size one, size two, and size three. Do you want them? I literally had a trunk full of diapers. Oh yes, yes please! This woman was with her mother and they both looked so surprised, the woman almost started crying. Can you believe this? The mother asked. No, it's like a dream, I can't even believe it. Turns out this woman's husband had recently died, and they were really struggling. You don't even know the blessing you are bestowing right now, God bless you, she told me.

I drove home that night with the most incredible lightness and happy feelings. I had truly never felt this way. I didn't go out of my way or anything, but it just felt so good to help someone out that really needed it. C laughed that night when I told him how amazing it would be to be Santa Claus. It really would!

Over ten years ago I was a nanny for this kind of awful family, the kid was great, the parents not so much. I wasn't allowed to stay at home with him ever, I had to take this boy of 8 out every day to the park, to the zoo, to the museum, to the movies. If he napped, it was in the car. The best part is that they never reimbursed me for gas, or offered any extra money for it. (He was special needs so I was paid through the state.) The real clincher here is that I didn't get my first paycheck for over a month and I was totally broke. 

Looking back now I see that I should have spoken up and asked for money, but I didn't know how things worked then. I was having a really hard time, I was almost out of gas, I had borrowed a ton of money from parents and friends, and I was just down. Out of nowhere this man approached me, he recognized me from years before when I worked at the grocery store. How are you? You were my favorite cashier! and he hands me $20. A couple of days later I was at church with the kid and an older, sweet lady tucks $20 in my hand. You're such a good mommy to him, you go get yourselves a treat. I told her I was his nanny, but she said to keep it anyways. 

I will never forget those kindnesses bestowed on me at that time, their generosity really helped me to adjust my attitude to one of gratitude. This season is supposed to be about GIVING, and I hope that I encounter more opportunities to offer something to someone in need, that feeling man, nothing else like it.

I also just remembered that my good friend had lent me over $300 at the time, and when I finally got paid, she said I didn't have to pay her back! Hah! Thanks Ann! 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Brussels Sprout Fiasco

Last night I was preparing one of my favorite dishes, roasted brussels sprouts with lemon & anchovies. I took my perfectly roasted brussels sprouts out of the oven, and as I have done a million times before, I placed the hot baking dish right on the ceramic counter. 

And it exploded.


I had glass powder in my shirt. I found a chunk of glass later in my bra. A chunk lodged itself into my hand when I was digging out the glass shards that somehow made their way into the garbage disposal.

I should have taken a pic, but I was sad and in shock.

The worst part of all of this was that I couldn't eat my brussels sprouts.

Turns out, it exploded because the counter was wet. I have put hot glass on the counter millions of times, I guess it was always dry before...huh.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Meanwhile on the internet...

This is Lauren Conrad from the OC. 
Gosh do you remember that show? So awful. 
Pretty sure it's ruined our future :| 
but this haircut? Not awful at all. 
I think I might be getting it done on me tomorrow night. 
So thank you for that Lauren. You were always my favorite.

I love this Ostrich satchel for tablet, I can't tell 
though if it's just something you slide the tablet into, 
or if it folds so you can prop it up? 
Either way, ostrich leather is so gorgeous. 
I never realized that's what this is...
Polaroids are old school cool but timeless don't you think? 
There are so many options out there now for printing your instagrams. 
We have a bunch of magnets on the fridge of my favorites, 
but printing them as a Polaroid? I need this.
These agate bookends are awesome.
 Earthy. Heavy. Quality. 
And a good weapon if you have a burglar.

Just bought our plane tickets to spend Christmas in Minnesota.
This Jacket is perfect.
I don't care if she's everyone's favorite, 
she's my favorite too. Love her fresh face. 
I know what I'm getting everyone for Christmas.
A burned copy of Seth MacFarlane Holiday for Swing.
Sorry, not sorry.

Music: Song on Repeat

I've been listening to Chad Valley ALL weekend. Maybe it's the roses but doesn't he seem kind of sweet and adorable? 
I have been a fan of his for quite a while now, I like a lot of his songs, but this song does something to me, something special. 

I'm really digging this tune as well. 

And this remake of 'My Girl'.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Spider Surprise

Last Sunday was a gorgeous day, it rained on Saturday and overnight so everything was crispy clear and clean! You could see the mountains! You could see the city! And it wasn't brown!
Going up into LA is so much easier now with the fastrak, i'm so glad they put those lanes in. "Ya but you have to pay." someone said recently. Your point? I'd pay double to not sit in LA traffic. Are you crazy? Have you been here? I hope no one else ever figures out how to get fastrak, it seems so intimidating, but it's really like the easiest thing ever. The museums at Exposition Park are perfect, there is an exit from the fastrak and one leading right back onto it when you're heading home.
This day we went to the Natural History Museum. We had to bribe the admissions gal to let us into the Spider Pavilion by purchasing a membership, apparently it was booked solid. I'm not sure where my aversion to spiders suddenly ran off to... 

My favorite thing about this museum is the dinosaurs right in the main hall, and the dinosaurs just in general. I love this stuff. The dioramas are nice and all but no, i'm here for the dinos. I also like looking at the gem and mineral room. I get a trip seeing the exquisite, amazing things that pressure and heat form in the earth. All of this stuff really is cool. Plus, you kind of feel like you're in a movie since so many scenes have been filmed in here.
The building itself is gorgeous, there is a beautiful rotunda graced with the enchanting sculpture below of sirens holding up a glowing orb. It is very nice to just sit in there and enjoy the space, and also maybe eat astronaut ice cream, and also maybe find a nice off to the side bench to nurse the babe.

So now the Spider Pavilion. It's usually the Butterfly Pavilion, but for specials it's sometimes for SPIDERS. These are HUGE spiders, like 2 inches long, on HUGE webs and there is nothing separating them from you. They are above you, behind you, right in front of your face, right next to your face. I actually only mini hyperventilated once. It is a very intimate encounter. 
This guy was five inches long :|
A lady was holding her baby and getting all up close and personal with one of the spiders, "oh wow, that's amazing." and her freaking baby reached out and grabbed the web mere inches from the spider and started shaking it. My heart stopped for a few moments. I got that sensation where you want to burst into tears super fast? You know that feeling? Awful, let me tell you...
But so it was actually really cool. None of the spiders were venomous obvs, and they weren't the hunter type, more the hang out looking cool until something gets snared in their web type. I did keep imaging the loud crunch you would hear if you stomped on one of them though.

There is TONS to see there that we didn't get to, like the rose garden and the whole upstairs...and I guess there is a downstairs too...we will be going back again soon.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

What's the Best Escape?

Oh I just love this!
I have different escapes, sometimes it's just getting out of the house and reaching a destination other than errands, sometimes it's scuba diving, sometimes it's getting up early on a Saturday and washing the floors in my pajamas while everyone is still asleep. Really though, it's books. I can get lost in a story like no other. 

I especially love when I fall in love with a series. When I was in my older teen, young twenties years I read all of Anne Rice's books and I loved the immortal world she painted. The movie 'Interview with the Vampire' is one of my favorites.
I also really loved reading the 'Twilight' series. Vampires of a different nature. I got so sad when I finished the last book, I just picked up the first one and read them all over again!
Obviously Harry Potter is high up on the list. Nothing can even compare. I have read the series twice now, and am thinking I will do so again this winter.
Jane Austen's books, of course.
Michael Crichton's novels always blow my mind. I get sucked in so fast and finish the books within a day or two. Don't even try speaking to me.
'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'. These books are adult, intense, rich, fulfilling. I thought the movie was done so well. The American version, I couldn't really get hooked into the Swedish version. I really do hope they do movies for books 2 and 3. Pleeeaaase.
'The Mysterious Island' and '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' by Jules Verne. LOVE. I wish I had read these when I was 12. 
'The Secret Garden' and 'A Little Princess' by Francis Hodgson Burnett. Again, I wish I had read these when I was 12.
I just finished reading 'In the Woods' and I really liked it, but it left a huge gaping hole at the end and I didn't particularly like that. Right before that I read 'Shadow of the Wind' which was very good. Now I'm reading 'The Goldfinch', and up next is 'Gone Girl'.
What is your escape? What are your favorite books? What are you reading right now?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Song on Repeat

I am so in love with this cover of 'Riptide' by MisterWives. I love the original by Vance Joy too, but the song sung in her sweet little voice is just so...sweet. I especially love how she sings the little story in the song about the guy moving to New York. 

I don't know how to embed just the audio file so you get this weird picture that is not theirs...

I was scared of dentists and the dark
I was scared of pretty girls and starting conversations
Oh, all my friends are turning green
You're the magician's assistant in their dream

Oh, and they come unstuck

Lady, running down to the riptide

Taken away to the dark side
I wanna be your left hand man
I love you when you're singing that song
And I got a lump in my throat
'Cause you're gonna sing the words wrong

There's this movie that I think you'll like

This guy decides to quit his job and heads to New York City
This cowboy's running from himself
And she's been living on the highest shelf

Oh, and they come unstuck

Lady, running down to the riptide

Taken away to the dark side
I wanna be your left hand man
I love you when you're singing that song
And I got a lump in my throat
'Cause you're gonna sing the words wrong

I just wanna, I just wanna know

If you're gonna, if you're gonna stay
I just gotta, I just gotta know
I can't have it, I can't have it any other way
I swear she's destined for the screen
Closest thing to Michelle Pfeiffer that you've ever seen, oh

Lady, running down to the riptide

Taken away to the dark side
I wanna be your left hand man
I love you when you're singing that song
And I got a lump in my throat
'Cause you're gonna sing the words wrong

All Hallows' Eve

This past Friday was Halloween, our first with the little babe. We played it very low key, no dressing up, no candy, not even any wine. We did however carve a pumpkin. Tip: If you leave a carved pumpkin in your house for 5 days, it might get reeeaaally spooky (moldy).
We ate greasy pepperoni pizza and watched The Conjuring and Poltergeist. I have seen The Conjuring before, but oh my goodness it is so scary! We mostly just think the Poltergeist is funny. Is it supposed to be funny?
Saturday morning it was all of a sudden very cold outside, it was literally like winter had just arrived overnight. It was also pouring rain! I love rain, I miss rain, we do not get enough rain in Los Angeles! So we just had a cozy morning in drinking coffee and roasting pumpkin seeds. They are so yummy warm out of the oven with just a little olive oil and sea salt.
I'm really excited for Halloween next year, Flynn will be older and we can probably take him out for a bit of trick or treating!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Baby Goes to LACMA

Last week Flynn and I decided to spend the day at the LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art). I desperately want him to experience the culture that only art and music can provide, I don't want to force it on him, I just want it to be a part of his life. 
Don't be deceived, he made me carry him 
almost the whole time we were there. 
Upon arrival we discovered that the LACMA offers under 18-ers free membership as part of their #NexGen program! Not only is my baby now a member at the coolest museum in LA (so hip) but every time he goes, an adult gets free admission as well. 
texture texture texture
I've always loved learning about art and taking art classes and drawing so I was especially excited to learn that LACMA has a kids gallery. Adults and kids can go in there anytime they like (between 10 and 5) and paint! The walls were lined with all sorts of cool art that patrons have made, I can't wait till next time we go!
Not meant to look like a crotch grab :/
Mostly I just love the peace that surrounds you in places like libraries, museums and sometimes bookstores and coffee shops. I also love watching other people look at art, it's so interesting to see how others respond to art.