Monthly Archives

May 2012

ps_menu_class_0
ps_menu_class_1
ps_menu_class_2
ps_menu_class_3

A Day in Huntington Beach

Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled

I’ve been really lazy about going through the hundreds, yes, hundreds of photos I took while my mother-in-law was visiting. These are a few of my favorites from my favorite day we shared. We waited till about 1:30 before packing up and heading down the 405 to Huntington Beach.

Now, Alexa has been to the beach before, but she was just a wee baby. This was the first time she played in the sand, ran around by the shore and in general explored outside our beach tent. She was so excited at first that we took her down to the surf and dipped her feet in. Big mistake! Her face shriveled up with displeasure and nothing would make her happy except hanging out in the tent with me and Mima. And eating blueberries. Blueberries make everything better.

Eventually H and I walked her back toward the surf, but we stayed a few feet away and threw the frisbee around. Alexa ran back and forth between us, enjoying our little game, sometimes helping to pick up a wayward frisbee. Then she went too far and the tide dared touch her feet. Plop! She sat down right into the water, getting wet up to her waist. Cue the tears.

This time it wasn’t so bad. She came back to the tent with me and we snuggled under a few beach towels to stay warm while H played frisbee with his mom. We packed up as the sun was setting.

Beach days aren’t as carefree as they used to be back when I would boogie board till I was exhausted and then blast good tunes through my iPod as I let the sun dry me off. A few times I caught myself mourning the fact that I was stuck in a tent with a toddler. But then she would take my hand and we would walk around in the sand. She would babble excitedly. She would pick up shells (and try to eat them). Seeing the beach through her eyes makes up for all the lost hours of boogie boarding. It really does.

That being said, how long before Alexa and I can boogie board together? Two years? Three?

Let’s Talk About Sweat, Baby

I hate it. I absolutely hate to sweat. And yet there’s some kind of flaw in my DNA that makes me perspire at the slightest hint of exercise. Now that I’ve been working out at the gym regularly it’s getting worse. Is this some kind of sick joke? It’s like a punishment for getting in shape. Now all I have to do is vigorously wipe down the kitchen counter and a bead of sweat will appear on my brow. Damn you, glands!

Part of the reason I was happy to move to Los Angeles was because the humidity is nonexistent and summers are bearable, unlike in the Midwest and the South. I thought that surely I would have no sultry evenings in which my hair stuck to my forehead. Surely L.A. would be the escape from feeling sticky only hours after bathing, but no.

Friends assure me they cannot see me sweating. Sometimes I get really self-conscious about it and I whisper, and by whisper I mean yell loudly so everyone can hear, “Can you tell I’m sweating?” And people say, “No, only you can tell you’re sweating.”

To these people, may I present Exhibit A:

Photobucket

In the current season of my obsessive “Prison Break” watching (shh, don’t tell me anything), they are in Panama and sweating. All. The. Time. Excessively sweating. And you can totally tell! Sometimes they’re in supposed air-conditioned environments and still the beads rain from their foreheads. I get it. They’re in Panama. It’s hot. But I’m sitting in my chair and feeling the urge to apply more deodorant to my armpits. I am imagining a pool of sweat forming behind my knees. Let the madness stop!

It’s 2012. Can’t we figure out a way to keep ourselves cool without all the waterworks? Maybe some kind of nanobots that wick the sweat away before it even thinks about forming on your skin?

Unfortunately Alexa has inherited my sweating gene. Now that the temperatures are rising outside she has a few little heat rashes that are being stubborn. And if she throws a tantrum the top of her head goes from 98.6 degrees to approximately 1,000 degrees in 5.1 seconds. Thankfully she’s a child and hasn’t yet developed a hatred for sweating. It’s only a matter of time, though, so can we get on the nanobots before these escaped convicts in “Prison Break” give me a virtual heatstroke?

Neon Golden

There are neon colors splattered all over the place right now. My knee-jerk reaction was to write them off, probably because I have childhood memories of a wearing a crazy neon-blue short and tee set … and scrunchie socks (and the unfortunate photos to prove it). As with any wild trend, I figured these things were better left in the past.

But then I started to see that it looked good if one wore neon sparingly. Imagine that. No need to plaster yourself in head-to-toe nuclear orange. How about a light coral or lime green pair of shoes? Or yellow cropped pants?

I fully endorse this watered-down neon trend. Just keep the rest of the outfit simple, and you will look like 2012, not 1990.

Photobucket

///one///two///three///

Photobucket

///one///two///three///

Photobucket

///one///two///three///four///

Photobucket

///one///two///three///four///five///

Four Years Later

Alexa has been calling for her Daddy all the time. It’s giving me a complex how she won’t say “Mommy” or “Mama” or “Hey You.” Tonight when I walked through the door after a long day at work, she was cuddling with Daddy and wanted nothing to do with me. And I mean nothing. She screamed and thrashed her head when I tried to hug her.

It’s times like these when I really want my Mommy.

Me and Mom 2005

Me and Mom, 2005

I want to tell her I’m sorry if I ever did the same thing to her when I was a baby, if she ever felt sad when I didn’t return her unconditional hugs and love. That all of those threats of “just you wait” have come to fruition, even though I know they’re just starting and oh my god I can’t even imagine what the teenage years will bring because if what goes around comes around I’m in for an awful treat. Or trick.

I want to tell her how I understand now exactly how much she loved me. How I couldn’t fully fathom the extent of her feelings for me until I was a mom myself. I want to call her and complain or gush about Alexa or just hear her voice, for crying out loud.

Four years later and I want my Mommy every single day.

Summer Breeze Makes Me Feel Fine …

Thanks to Walgreens for underwriting this post. I was paid as a member of the Clever Girls Collective, but the content is all mine. Visit http://www.discoverbeautywithin.com/.

In junior high, my friends and I would line up by the sink in the girls room and share our blushes and eyeshadows and lipsticks, spending an inordinate amount of time primping and preening. For what purpose I’m not sure. It’s not like junior high boys, most of them towering a few inches beneath us, were worth impressing. I guess we were impressing one another with whoever had the most makeup savvy or beauty tools. By the way, 12-year-old self? Sharing lipstick and eye makeup tools is totes unsanitary, kid.

Fast-forward a few decades and I can’t be bothered to primp and preen. I like the way I look au naturel (with the exception of my raccoon eyes), so I often go for the bare-faced look that most seem to save for summertime at the beach. Care to look like this?

Untitled

They call me Mellow Yellow.

Ha. Just imagine me sipping pina coladas while surrounded by the warm glow of sunset instead of in this really crappy bathroom lighting, OK? Here’s how it’s done. First, moisturize. Now, this is a step I’m not really familiar with because I skip it more than I should, but my mom swore by Oil of Olay, and she was a gorgeous lady. She also glistened instead of sweating like a hog, so this is what I actually do: apply lotion at night, powder with SPF during the day. Powder helps soak up the perspiration. But before I put on the powder I cover up my raccoon eyes with some under-eye concealer.

Now, my favorite part. BRONZER. Bronzify, friends. Don’t forget your decollage, lest you look like you sunned yourself wearing a nun’s habit.

Untitled

To finish up, add some nude or coral lip gloss and a little bit of shimmery gold eyeshadow, and you’re golden. Literally. You will shine and shimmer in the summer breeze, and the song “Summer Breeze” will actually start playing in your presence! Summer breeze, makes me feel fine.

Ahem.

Best part is, this simple and light look only takes five minutes. Ten minutes if you have a little helper who is getting into everything atop your sink.

Untitled
Untitled

I highly recommend everyone get their own little makeup helper, if only for the cuteness factor..

The minimalist look is timeless and trendy, but there is one very trendy idea I’d like to play with this summer: bright lips. This coral shade looks practically neon to me, but I am willing to give it a try (even if I did have the same color of bike shorts in 1990). I also like the idea of a lipstick called Fuschia Fusion, maybe because I love alliteration. What do you think? Do you have any go-to looks you’d like to share? Maybe you’d like to pass me your lipstick in our virtual girls room?

Would you ever go to space?

Would You Ever Go to Space? • Littlegoldpixel.com

I’ve been thinking about the final frontier lately. And I’m thinking I wouldn’t want to go.

Like, say, someone from NASA called you on a secure line and said, “Long-term space travel is possible! Want to take a pleasure cruise to the Saturn rings?” I would be the opposite of Lance Bass and just. say. no. Even if the pleasure cruise was a 30-day trip orbiting Earth I would just. say. no.

Would You Ever Go to Space? • Littlegoldpixel.com
Would You Ever Go to Space? • Littlegoldpixel.com

There are a lot of reasons space travel freaks me out. Granted, a lot of them have to do with movies and books I’ve read. The most recent book I read, “A Million Suns,” takes place on a spaceship that is set to travel 300 years to colonize a new Earthlike planet. The ship has a crew of people who are keeping things going, living their lives, procreating, growing crops, “losing” history and also losing their minds because the landing date has been set back several hundred years past the original landing date. Count me out.

And what about “Space Camp”? Being accidentally shot into space was not the best thing ever for those kids, who repeatedly almost died in a series of precarious situations. (This movie also reinforces my fear of robots but that’s a topic for a different day.)

Don’t even get me started on the “Alien” movies.

Would You Ever Go to Space? • Littlegoldpixel.com
Would You Ever Go to Space? • Littlegoldpixel.com

Then there’s the more primal fear I get when I think about space. It’s difficult to describe, but I’ll try. The closest thing I can compare with is the feeling I got when I went snorkeling in Hawaii in 30-foot waters. After getting into the water, I looked down and nearly lost it. All the air exited my lungs, I screamed but no sound came out, I was paralyzed with fear. I felt like I was going to fall down, but instead I hovered. I hovered and I kicked, and I barely moved, yet I was drifting ever further from the boat without trying. I imagine floating around in space would feel a lot like that. No control. No real power.

H and I watched a 3D Imax movie a few years ago about space. There is a scene in which Leo DiCaprio describes the star nursery, and how there are unknown amounts of them. Groups of stars comprising galaxies. Clusters of galaxies forming the entire universe. And as we’re drifting through this (remember, it’s 3D!) I started to feel sick, just like I felt floating in Hawaii.

It’s a too-big universe out there, and just how insignificant we are can be overwhelming.

Would You Ever Go to Space? • Littlegoldpixel.com

So there you have it. I would not go to space on a pleasure cruise. The only way I’m leaving Earth is if I’m forced out because the planet is about to explode. And even then only if my entire family drags me kicking and screaming. I would eventually stop screaming. I hope.

What about you? Would you go to space?

All images taken from the Hubble.

The Past Few Days

Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled

Life is good. In no particular order: palm trees, sunshine, H’s mom, ocean, mischievous toddler, couscous, Cinco de Mayo, flowers, springtime, long walks on short piers, sailboats everywhere, coral shirts, tall hills with lighthouses at the top, teething toddler (maybe this isn’t so good), authentic Moroccan food, translation conversations that include lots of hysterical laughter from all parties … really, having a blast this weekend.

10 Dollar Bill

Photobucket

You have a $10 bill in your pocket. Why don’t you …

Slap this decal of The Beatles on your laptop. What? You say you’re a big shot and don’t need any Help! Well, perhaps you’d rather take a stroll across Abbey Road instead.

Being Mothered

Untitled

H followed me upstairs when I arrived home from work tonight. He said little as I stripped off my work clothes and reached for something more comfortable among the meticulously stacked clothes in my closet. Wait. Did I say stacked? Did I say meticulous?

“Um,” I said.

“Yep,” he said, opening his side of the closet to compare the tidy rows of clothes. “She did. And she even folded my dirty clothes.”

Say what!?

My mother-in-law, left to her own devices for a few hours today, took the opportunity to clean, reorganize and rearrange whatever wasn’t bolted down in our townhouse. This sweet woman — who upon entering our home showered me with hugs and kisses and called me her daughter and gestured with enthusiasm so we could communicate despite our language barrier — she is totally OCD. And I love it.

This is the first time we’ve met, and H and I were married 14 years ago this June. Tickets to Morocco are not cheap, and the timing was always wrong. When we had the money we didn’t have the time. When we had the time we didn’t have the money. Life. Sigh.

So 14 years later, she’s here, folding my yoga pants and realigning my pantry items to make more space. She’s here, doting on her granddaughter and telling me I’m tired and should go to bed and tsking at us for washing the dishes because she wants to do that.

I love it. I have forgotten what it’s like to have a benevolent mother figure around, someone who willingly does the little things for you without thought. I have become that mother figure to Alexa, obviously, but since my mom’s death I have been without one of my own.

And even if I’m not exactly thrilled about the new location of the candlesticks … well, so what. They can stay put for now. Ignoring our differences in housekeeping and home decor is a small price to pay for some motherly love.