Monthly Archives

February 2013

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There’s a spring in my step.

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Mint and me. We’re like peas and carrots. Peanut butter and jelly. Peanut butter and chocolate. Peanut butter and banana. Peanut butter* and milk. You get the point. Witness: Exhibit A and Exhibit B.

Tonight I turned off all the lights and put on my headphones. I listened to Buckingham Nicks on repeat and mindlessly browsed spring arrivals. I might’ve even been envisioning a vacation spot. (OK, so I obviously was. The clothes I was drawn toward are like Myrtle Beach meets Greek Isles meets Cape Cod meets Santa Barbara.)

I have major grabby hands for all the shoes. The sandals are gorgeous and may actually be versatile (having such a hard time finding cute and functional sandals the past few seasons). The yellow flats are necessary because I am currently sans yellow flats, which is a travesty to the nth degree. The perforated seafoam flats would be the perfect weekend shoes. If we stop by the beach, and we almost always do, I will not have the sand-trapped-in-my-shoe situation that is a constant source of frustration.

Damn it. Now I have a hankering for peanut butter.

*Peanut butter doesn’t get as much love as bacon. Why is that? In many ways it is far superior.

Wanderlusting

I want to go on an exotic vacation so badly. But first I’d have to get a passport. Can you believe I have never traveled outside the States? I have travel fever. I’ve spent the past hour imagining a tropical paradise with white-sand beaches and turquoise water.

Where was your favorite vacation? Have you traveled internationally?

Things I did today instead of going outside.

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We go out every Saturday; it’s our family time, and we like to go for walks, hang out at the beach or simply grab a coffee somewhere. Today we did not leave the house. We didn’t even open the front door. Instead, I:

  • Slept in till 8 o’clock, then lounged around in bed a little longer with Miss Lexa climbing all over us.
  • Prepared breakfast for my family and watched with pride as every morsel (eggs, toast, strawberries) was eaten.
  • Watched (in no particular order) Beasts of the Southern Wild, Yo Gabba Gabba, Saturday morning cartoons, The Spy Who Shagged Me, Dragnet and Days of Thunder.
  • Took a nap on the couch while H played a YouTube video of waves crashing on the shore in the Caribbean. Calming.
  • Made paninis and tomato soup for lunch and homemade pizza for dinner.
  • Read the following books to Alexa: Sally Cat’s 1-2-3, Animal Alphabet, Mister Seahorse.
  • Finished reading a half-baked book on my Kindle.
  • Played spa day with Alexa. We took turns brushing each other’s hair. We put on lotions. I painted our nails.
  • Snuggled a lot.
  • Helped H and Alexa build the tallest stack of blocks.
  • Took very few photos.
  • Took a day to relax with my family with no outside distractions.

A Week in the Life: 8/52

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» First things first, a T-shirt run after an unfortunate coffee incident in the hotel room. We took an early-morning drive along Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, where I spotted a man wearing camouflage with binoculars being completely conspicuous, peering at a house from the cliff side. I hope he wasn’t really spying on someone because game’s over if I, the master of inobservation, saw him.

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» It’s 82 degrees outside. Let’s go to Mission Beach!

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» A little lunch with our toes in the sand, no big deal.

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» If we had a babysitter, this is the kind of place H and I could sit all day long, drinking cervezas and listening to reggae.

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» Speaking of reggae, we got up for a mama-daughter dance at the end of our meal. Lots of spinning, lots of laughing.

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» She loves to curl her toes into the sand. She’s definitely mine.

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» H “checking in” on Facebook. His entire feed is check-ins at various beaches.

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» Back at the hotel after a day of fun and sun. We fill the bed with sand and order a pizza.

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» Oh boy. Rough night of sleep means double order of coffee in my frappuccino. It didn’t help. On the plus side, the barista spelled my name correctly, and with the neatest handwriting!

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» We decided to check out the inlets around Mission Bay. We stopped at Bonita Cove so Alexa could check out the playground.

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» Making a direct beeline for the swings.

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» This is just one of the many coves in the area, and they’re all gorgeous.

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» More black sand.

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» Coronado Island, one of our favorite places in San Diego. We go for the skyline view.

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» And also the surrey rides. Kitties for Alexa’s helmet, of course!

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» Later, we drive up to La Jolla just as the clouds are rolling in. It is chilly, blustery and amazing …

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» … at least I think so. Alexa, not so much. She burrowed her head into my cardigan.

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» But H and I couldn’t get enough of the seagreen surf and the sun shining like a beacon through the clouds.

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» Imagine harps playing and cherubs descending from the heavens, if you will.

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» The next morning, on our way home, we stop by La Jolla again, this time to look at the seals. This mama seal kept having to retrieve her pup from the surf when it carried him back out to sea.

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» Back at home, Alexa practices being a rock star.

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» Back at work after my long weekend, I find a sad little rose on my desk from Cupid. Aw, thanks.

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» Rainy drive home.

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» Park time. Alexa slid from the tall slide today.

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» We stopped by Sara’s for a visit after practicing some Spanish in the car. “Ocho! Nueve!”

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» Real conversation. Me: “So, there’s not a Lakers game tonight, is there?” H: “Actually, there is! How did you know?”

*This is a weekly project inspired by Shutterbean’s My Everyday Life. Shot on iPhone and Olympus Evolt E-500 this week. See past weeks here.

Dude, I’ve been reading.

Book Reviews • 10/50 • Little Gold Pixel

I’ve really kicked off my quest to read 50 books this year with a bang. I’m already a good chunk of the way in, so I thought I’d share with you the highs and lows. The links lead to the coherent full reviews I wrote.

Now, I know reading book reviews can be a little dry, so I’m gonna try to bring the sexy back à la Justin Timberlake style (although I am underwhelmed by his new stuff so far, but I digress).

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn » Love. This thriller is stripped down to a full frontal with bad lighting, letting it all hang out, unapologetic and a little scary but you just. can’t. look. away.

Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead » Meh. This character study is all bikinis, fake smiles, lobsters and clumsy groping in the dark. Just stop already.

The Gospel According to Sydney Welles by Susi Rajah » Meh. This rom-com is all, “Oh, I found the perfect pair of underwear! Wait … they’re giving me a wedgie. Oops, I was wrong. They were perfect the whole time!” Sigh.

Beta by Rachel Cohn » Infatuated. This futuristic sci-fi comes to the party, does a pretty enjoyable strip tease, then opens the door and invites in two more strippers. Should you let them in? Sure, why not, let’s see what will happen.

This Little Piggy Went to the Liquor Store by AK Turner » Love. This funny little memoir is the best kind of sloppy drunk kiss: the kind you don’t regret later.

When She Woke by Hillary Jordan » Love. This dystopian novel is demure and puritan at first, then breaks out the spiked heels and the whip. You raise your eyebrows, but you are happy to keep reading.

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn » Love. See Dark Places, above.

Shades of Earth by Beth Revis » Love. How to best end a dystopian trilogy in space? Like an intergalactic burlesque show, that’s how, with one sexy reveal after another. Sometimes you can’t believe what you’re seeing, but that doesn’t make it any less exciting.

Room by Emma Donoghue » Love. There is nothing sexy (even silly sexy) about this book. But trust me, it’s a really, really good book.

Mick Jagger by Philip Norman » Hate. This bio. It’s like crawling into bed full of anticipation, only to find out your lover is snoozing under the covers. And I’m being generous here.

There you have it. I’ve read 10 out of 50 books so far this year. Nine of them were by written by women, and the one that was written by a man I absolutely loathed. I certainly wasn’t paying attention to that, and didn’t even realize it till I typed this out just now. Weird how these things happen, and now I’m eager to prove that I’m not a warped man-hater. I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it for now.

What have you been reading? I’m always on the lookout for a good read.

A Week in the Life: 7/52

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» A kind elderly man asked us if he could give this doggie keychain to Alexa during our Saturday morning breakfast. She was enchanted.

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» “Is pine cone?”

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» Point Vicente is so gorgeous in the mid-morning light.

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» I’m just not sure what I want to do with my hair. This is the longest it’s been in a decade, but I’m not in love with it.

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» H takes a break from pushing Alexa so he can get some of his own kid-at-heart time.

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» Exploring our city. This time: Playa del Rey.

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» I’ve been seeing a lot of dark sand at the beach lately.

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» See that shelf of sand? Alexa was very keen on climbing it.

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» Thai iced tea/coffee to finish the day the right way.

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» She wasn’t satisfied until all the crayons stood on end in their respective holes.

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» Obligatory sunset photo from work. This particular one was on my birthday.

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» “Who’s dat?” Some mornings she is curious, some mornings she points and names names (usually Daddy, who is doing his flying kick in the photo on the left).

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» “Bewwies!”

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» Alexa’s valentine: a heart-shaped balloon. Mama’s valentine: a bouquet of daisies (my favorite flower). They are still holding up nearly a week later, by the way.

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» She loves washing her hands and brushing her teeth.

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» I stayed up late finishing my cross-stitch butterfly for my 33 Projects! Yes, I’m still going to finish the rest, even though the deadline has passed.

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» For my birthday, H suggested we take a weekend trip to San Diego. On the way there, we stopped in Oceanside for lunch on the pier. I put together a car for Alexa and ate a delicious veggie burger and garlic fries.

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» And we decided to stay in Oceanside for a few hours.

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» I mean, right? We can’t deny a good beach when we see one.

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» This is Alexa’s last burst of energy before succumbing to lack-of-nap syndrome. Also? Longest pier ever! It took forever to get to the end.

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» Our afternoon of traveling over, a tired Alexa finally passed out in the pack’n’play. The rest of the trip will be continued in Week 8.

*This is a weekly project inspired by Shutterbean’s My Everyday Life. Shot on iPhone and Olympus Evolt E-500 this week. See past weeks here.

An extrovert by nature

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Holly Golightly’s parties, full of random people, would bore me so fast.

Have you ever taken the Meyers-Briggs personality test? I’ve taken it a few times in recent memory, and I’ve always gotten the same result, which points toward me being an extrovert. Generally I find that to be true. I enjoy spending time with people, I love to talk. Probably too much (my colleagues might say).

But now that I’m a mom, I’ve been craving some “me” time, time to just sit by myself and enjoy the silence. I took the day off to do just that, but I couldn’t help but squeeze in a lunch with a friend, whose personality test always leans toward the “introvert” side.

We got to talking about our preferences, and we both agreed that being at loud, raucous parties isn’t really our style. She went on to say that she prefers company in small groups, one-on-one or three-four people tops. I enjoy tete-a-tetes as well, but my perfect party would be a group of about 6-8 people, all gathered in a circle talking about common interests and with background music and glasses clinking and laughter swelling.

I make exceptions for family reunions and gatherings because the dynamic is different. I can be with 50 people I care about; 50-100 people I do not know? I’d rather be at home with a book!

Anyway, I did enjoy a few hours of alone time today. I browsed at Target (and bought nothing for once). I watched “Pitch Perfect” (eh, I don’t get the fuss, and I like these kinds of movies). I caught up on “Pretty Little Liars” (!!). I worked on my butterfly cross-stitch (almost done). I mopped the kitchen floor (so much easier without Alexa nipping at my heels). I made Valentine’s dinner for my family (chicken braised with vegetables in peanut sauce). I relaxed.

But, I gotta be honest, I was thrilled to see my valentines walk through that door. I do love being with my people!

What’s your personality type? I’m an ENFJ.

Over the line, Smokey!

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Sometimes I have these moments.

It happens when thinking about an indecipherable bill that warrants a customer service call that will inevitably end unsatisfactorily. Or when I keep peeling bananas only to find out they’re all rotten in the middle in the exact same spot, like how is this even possible? Or when I pick out a treat for H at the store, only to find out from the confusion on his face that the item never made it into the bag (but I definitely paid for it!). Or when I try to stream an episode of my favorite TV show online, only for the feed to pause and buffer every 10 seconds.

UGHHHHHHHH!

I feel like these little moments of irritation are worse than the big, vague problems. The big problems are, well, BIG and difficult and seemingly impossible to tackle, and these small things … well, I would just like the small things to be easy. Is that too much to ask? For companies to print bills in concise ways, for fresh bananas to not be ruined, for clerks to competently pack six items into a bag, for the Internets to work by jove!!!

Yes, there is that phrase, “don’t sweat the small stuff,” and I know it exists for a reason, but you know what? I end up sweating the small stuff because it’s the foam that overflows the top of my stress beer. It’s the block at the top of the stack that causes the entire tower to crumble. It’s the knock-out punch to a helluva beating. (Enough metaphors?)

I can’t be alone in this. Surely you’ve been John Goodman in “The Big Lebowski” before, too? Maybe not with the gun and all, but that’s beside the point.

Would you ever time travel?

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If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour … you’re gonna see some serious shit. 

Let’s imagine for a second that Doc Brown asked you to don a radiation suit and get into a souped-up DeLorean to time travel. Would you hop in? Or would you say thanks but no thanks and go home to sleep awkwardly in your jeans some more?

So far when I’ve asked “Would You” questions, I have answered mostly nay. But this time I will answer emphatically yay.

Yes, I would get in. I would try to ignore the fact that Doc Brown used stolen nuclear reactors to power the car, but I ultimately would be too curious to pass it up. I would make sure I had time-appropriate attire because the last thing I want to do is wear an impractical puffy vest in the 1950s. I would avoid interacting with people at all costs in an attempt to passively observe as much as possible.

I have heard the theory that UFOs and aliens are actually us, time travelers from the future. It would make sense, right? A lot of observation, little interaction. That way there will be very little breaking of the space-time continuum.

I could talk about this all day, but I’m curious whether I’d be alone. Would you be up for time travel?

Thoughts on my birthday.

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“Yesterday I was 19,” I told H as we watched the waves roll in. “And tomorrow I’ll be 34. It’s crazy.”

“Yesterday you were 33,” he said, instantly irritated that I would say something wistful and regretful, that I would write off the past decade+ as being of little consequence, that I didn’t have great times and new beginnings and lots of love, that I would lament getting older or that I didn’t live every minute of my life.

“I don’t have any regrets,” I said. “That’s just it. It’s going by so fast because I’m having fun.”