Monday, January 30, 2012

A Magical Time

Once you become a mother, there are very few times when you can actually step outside your role and be a kid yourself. Kendra brought her beautiful shining smile to my neck of the woods last week for some one on one mommy time. Usually when we hang out we are surrounded by three little kidos, and while I adore both Laylas and Easton (who reminds me so much of Landon at that age I want to cry), it was so fun to have 1.5 days of non-kid fun.
On Friday we embraced our inner child and headed to Disneyland. Disneyland without kids? I say, yes please! I have not been to Disneyland without a child since I was 15 years old and got in trouble for flipping off my youth pastors camera (in my defense, I had no idea it was his, and yes I agree, a 15 yr old should not be flipping the middle finger, but it seemed cool at the time….fyi, I still have the picture J) Anyway, we acted like kids all day. We ate weird things like turkey legs and corn dogs (Disneyland corndogs are seriously amazing!) for meals, and rode thunder mountain three times, space mountain twice, and even splash mountain once when it was cold and dark…just realized how many times I typed the word ‘mountain’….huh, weird. I did not once have to think of naptime or inevitable fits, or the bathroom requirements of another person. We talked and ate, then ate and talked some more….by the way, food and tower of terror do not mix well. Appropriately, the day ended with fireworks.  In case you were wondering, Jason was such a trooper. He didn't complain once, despite being a little sad to be left out of all the fun.

I have this weird tradition to pose with the Indian on Main Street....
Small World still had Christmas decorations up. Yay! 
Getting in line for our first space mountain experience.
Thunder mountain x 3! 
This is a pic of our second ride on space mountain...we agreed to make funny faces, and while Kendra succeeded, I just managed to look a little crazy. 
This is what happens when you take pictures of pictures. What the heck am I doing?! Super surprised at the  very anticipated drop? Whatever. It looks like I'm getting ready to claw Kendra. 
This is the exact spot where Layla threw her epic fit on Christmas last year. Ahh, memories. :) 

The next day we woke up early and Kendra got to experience my version of a typical Saturday morning. We drove to Santa Monica and hit a few estate sales. Digging through boxes of old dusty books is definitely my version of a good time! Seriously, it is. The neighborhoods in Santa Monica were phenomenal. Every million or multi million dollar house looked like t.v.’s version of upper middle class surburbia. What the heck do these people do for a living?! The first house we explored was built in 1927, and I don’t think it had been updated since then…yeah, I checked it out online and despite the fact it will need to be practically gutted, its still worth 2.7 million dollars!

BOOKS! This was one corner of a room that was full of boxes of books...and the kitchen was full of boxes of books....and the garage was full of boxes of books. I would have been there all day if I didn't have Kendra there to keep me focused and on track. 
Found a framed pic of Marilyn Monroe reading. Love it! 
Anyway, check out Kendra and my dream houses (her's on top, mine below). They are conveniently located on the same street….and though I didn’t get a pic, Gretchen gets the huge house right next to mine. ;)

We snagged cupcakes at Vanilla Bake Shop in Santa Monica, then headed to lunch in Malibu. A very windy day, but the food was delish and the scenery was gorgeous!

 Sadly, it was cold and windy so we didn’t see Matthew McConaughey running shirtless on the beach. Bummer. 
How cute are we? :) 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Birthday and Flat Screens

Jason, in my opinion, is the hardest person to buy a present for. He likes clothes (yes, weird for a guy, and it can be annoying how he looks like he stepped out of a department store catalogue, but whatever), and electronics, which I just cannot buy for him. The last time I tried to buy him an actual present I bought him some really nice headphones, of course he took them back and exchanged them, but the annoying part was he told me the exact kind he wanted, so I was sure I had bought the right ones. Bottom line, I go into mini panic mode on any holiday where I am required to get him a gift. This year however, I lucked out. All he wanted for his birthday and Christmas was a new T.V. Sounds easy enough. He picks out his own present, buys it, and sets it up himself…..all I have to do is dust it every once in a while. Oh how wrong I was. The T.V. arrived and was sent back because it had some minor issue with the screen (I couldn’t see it, but it wasn’t my present). We did this 5 times! Jason would find something wrong with the new tv, and amazon would come pick it up. This would have been fine, but it was the same delivery and pick up guys every time. Of course Jay was at work, so I was the one here to sign for it.
Jason and his Christmas/Birthday present 

In celebration of his actual birthday, I surprised him with chocolate peanut butter cupcakes (so rich its hard to eat a whole cupcake, but so delicious that you eat the whole thing anyway) on Thursday and then made Mexican food a few days later, per his request. See, we went to this amazing restaurant in Sedona this summer and were so impressed we bought the chef’s cookbook. I have made a few things, and sadly they never looked like they did at the restaurant, but they were just as good. J
 Carne Asada with Arbol Salsa. Made with pork, orange juice, soda, milk, and garlic....sounds weird, but sooo good! 
 Sadly, we didn't have this view as we dined, but i live less than a mile from the ocean, so I am in no position to complain. 
Pumpkin Flan

If you are ever in Sedona, I highly recommend Elote for great mexican food. If anyone is interested in recipes, just let me know and I will forward them to you. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hollywood Friday

On Friday we took Landon out of school a little early (a happy surprise to be sure), and drove to Hollywood for a few hours. Jason has been dying to go to The Grove in Hollywood since we moved to SoCal, so we finally did it. I was convinced it was going to be an unnecessary monstrosity of a  shopping center that took over a cute Cali neighborhood and sucked the life out of any remaining quaint mom and pop stores….much like Tempe Marketplace did to Mill Avenue. Don’t get me wrong The Grove is nice. It reminded me of Main street at Disneyland, only with an Anthropologie, apple store, a cheesecake factory and bathroom attendants in their public restrooms. However, much to my surprise they kept the nearby Original Farmers Market that has been there since 1934. What a cool place! Not cheap (nothing is in la), but fun, delicious and a great place to sit and people watch…unless your us. We spent a lot of the time trying to keep Layla from running away or shoplifting.

 Champagne Truffles???? Sadly, I did not get to try one of these. 

Jason bought the kids those nasty little wax candies that are filled with a colorful and sugary mystery liquid. Gross. But as you can see, the kids devoured them. 

Earlier in the day, after I took Landon to school I headed to Palos Verdes for an estate sale. I wouldn’t say I’m an expert at these sales yet, but I have learned that you have to throw away any set of expectations you may have, every single time. This time, I waited in line for 40 minutes before I was allowed to in the house. However, the view from the front yard was spectacular, and since it was quiet because I didn’t have my lovely mini shopper with me, I didn’t mind the wait so much. Didn’t score much on this one…just a book of poems by Emily Dickinson that I will not be selling.
A million dollar view....L.A. smog included ;)