Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve & Fifth Night of Hanukkah

Although I am Christian, I’ve always felt a connection to Judaism. My nursery school was at a JCC (Jewish Community Center) and, naturally, what we celebrated at school were Jewish holidays and traditions. I have preschoolers and because of my frame of reference, I feel the need to make sure they get exposure to Jewish traditions. Two years ago I made latkes with Chip’s class and this year I did the same thing in Lulu’s class. A couple of days ago we attended a menorah lighting and the kid’s choir from a local temple performed “Candlelight” by the Maccabeats. It’s a really fun song. So, herewith on Christmas eve as we prepare for Santa at our house (just put out his snack and something for the reindeer to munch on) I share a song that makes me smile.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Invisalign Straight Talk

I had heard of Invisalign. Having worn braces in 7th grade and still having the results "hold" plus, having kids who are too young for braces didn't cause me to pay much attention to Invisalign. Actually, I was fairly skeptical and figured they were some sort of fad that would soon be proven "not to work." I blissfully led my parallel life to Invisalign. I was invited to an event in 2009 but was unable to attend. Finally, I was able to attend an event last month in Laguna Beach and was told to invite my friends. Yay! So, I rounded up 4 of my good buddies and we went for girls night. Some great food and drinks and an amazing presentation later...I am a believer.

Invisalign is totally legitimate. It works for teens (some pre-teens are even able to use the aligners) and adults. Even people in retirement have benefited from Invisalign. I learned that the treatment typically takes a year. That you are given your treatment plan at the beginning and switch out your "aligners" (invisible trays that are molded to your teeth) every two weeks or so. You take the trays out to eat and brush your teeth. For those moms who remembers themselves or others fishing out retainers from the trash can at school...Invisalign Teen comes with 6 free replacements! If you think you would like to learn more about Invisalign, visit Invisalign and you can also search for a local provider. If you would like to see some of the photos from the Straight Talk event, visit my Facebook page: and click on the photos. For moms who want to get more info on teeth straightening from other moms, I'd like to recommend

Here is an overview on the product: Invisalign takes a modern approach to straightening teeth,using a custom-made series of aligners created for you and only you. These aligners are made of smooth, comfortable and virtually invisible plastic that you simply wear over your teeth. Wearing the aligners will gradually and gently shift your teeth into place, based on the exact movements your dentist or orthodontist plans out for you. There are no metal brackets to attach and no wires to tighten. You simply pop in a new set of aligners approximately every two weeks, until your treatment is complete and you achieve the confident smile that you’ve always wanted. The best part about the whole process is that most people won’t even know you’re straightening your teeth.

Disclosure: I attended at Straight Talk event hosted by Invisalign and received a gift bag and prizes. The thoughts and opinions expressed about the product in this post are my own. Invisalign Disclosure Statement

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011 - Recipe

I’ve never cooked a Thanksgiving meal. I’ve reheated meals I’ve bought from gourmet markets and I’ve helped by making a side dish and bringing it to a dinner someone ELSE cooked. I’m on track to avoid cooking again this year…But we’ll see. I was recently inspired to get a grip on Thanksgiving early by attending an interesting cooking class that taught us some great tips on cooking the big meal as well, allowed us to eat it and sent us off with leftovers and recipes! One of my best blogging buddies, Debbie of Manhattan Beach Momma arranged for a bunch of us LA area bloggers to attend a Thanksgiving Cooking Class at Simple Gourmet.

I learned some useful tips: 1) Get a fresh turkey. Frozen birds tend to dry out quicker during cooking. 2) Don’t cook a turkey over 18 lbs because it takes too long. If you need more turkey buy additional breasts and you can even cook them the day before and refrigerate them. On Thanksgiving, carve the breast and put in a pan with some turkey stock and cover with foil. Reheat at 350 degrees for 30 min.

I like stuffing. I never understood why it was sometimes, by some people, called “dressing”. I learned that night that stuffing is what is INSIDE the bird and dressing is cooked outside the bird. What remains a puzzle to me is…What if you have the exact same thing inside the bird and you have more of the same on the side in a dish baking in the oven? See? Thus, I prefer to use the word “stuffing” and to use “dressing” when I eat salads. That said, I will share with you a particularly intriguing side dish that was my favorite. It is a stuffing (dressing if you must) that has NO bread. Shake things up with your in-laws this Turkey Day and this out. Score extra points if someone needs to eat gluten-free.

Caramelized Parsnip and Farro Dressing with Sage Browned ButterPhoto courtesy of
Serves 10

3 tbl butter
1 white onion, finely diced
4 cups finely diced parsnips
1 cup finely diced celery
1 tbl fresh chopped thyme
salt and pepper
6 cups cooked farro (to cook: add 3 cups to rapidly boiling water or stock. Cook until tender and drain)
2 tbl poultry seasoning (I recommend Bell’s Seasoning if you can find it)
1 egg
1/3 cup turkey or chicken stock
1/2 cup grated parmesan
6 tbl butter
2 tbl chopped fresh sage
Heat a large skillet and add the 3 tbl of butter. Add the onions, parsnips, celery and thyme. Cook for 10-15 minutes over medium-high heat until veggies are soft and beginning to caramelize. Remove and season with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, toss together the farro, vegetable mixture and poultry (Bell’s) seasoning. Taste and adjust salt and pepper.
In another small bowl, whisk together the egg, stock and parmesan. Pour this mixture and the parsley into the farro and toss to combine.
Place a small pan with the 6 tbl of butter and sage over medium-high heat and cook until golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
Butter a 9×13 casserole dish and fill with the farro mixture and drizzle with the browned butter. Cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 15 more minutes until golden on top. Serve warm with extra gravy from the turkey.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Our America with Lisa Ling on OWN

I recently had the opportunity to visit the OWN headquarters here in LA and have lunch with Lisa Ling along with a small group of bloggers. The opportunity to meet Lisa was something I definitely did not want to pass up. I have been a fan of Lisa’s since she was on The View and have watched her career as she moved on to The National Geographic Channel, making many appearances on Oprah and then to her new show on OWN. OWN is Oprah Winfrey’s network and it launched New Year’s Day 2011. I had the opportunity to attend the Television Critic’s Association events this past January where I was able to see Lisa speak about her forthcoming series, “Our America”. But, until you actually see the show, it’s difficult to really “know”. The first season was intriguing and successful. As I learned, the first season enabled Lisa and her team to secure even more fascinating people willing to be subjects in the second season. In “Our America”, Lisa goes deep inside the worlds of people who truly are “one of us” save that their lives have taken a different path.

This season Lisa covers the worlds of Amateur Porn, Polygamy, Sex Trafficking of American Girls, Veterans suffering from Invisible Wounds, The Lives of Twins, The cycle of Incarceration, and Extreme Parenting. Each topic, may on the surface, seem extremely foreign to you. But, as you watch each episode unfold, you will find yourself relating—as a human and as an American. You might even find yourself thinking, “I could be friends with that person” or “But for the grace of god….”

Speaking of relating, I felt very strongly that I could relate to Lisa and her quest to cover these stories. I’ve always been intrigued by people and who they are and what they do. I think it figures into my having made a point of living all over the world and learning several foreign languages. I want to know more people and understand them. I may not agree, but at least I can try to understand. Try to find the truth. Listening to Lisa talk about her series, I could tell how genuine her passion is for storytelling. To watch the episodes shows Lisa truly respecting her subjects. Regardless of how much she may disagree or not share their views, she is doing her job with grace. The shows are really works of art themselves with a cinematic feel. Even if you think you wouldn’t watch this show, I assure you, you would.

The episode that aired tonight is particularly important to me. The heroes of our overseas conflicts who are returning home with invisible wounds—PTSD. Lisa goes inside families to show us the raw humanity of these soldiers and those who love them. With Veteran’s Day coming up this Friday 11/11/11, be sure to watch the encore of Invisible Wounds of War at 5pm ET/PT. You can catch Our America at its regular time, Sundays, 10pm ET/PT. I highly recommend you pay a visit OWN’s website and the Our America pages where you can learn much more about the show and the topics as well as view deleted scenes from the shows.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Orange County, California – So much to see and do!

I live in Los Angeles County, but can hop in my minivan and be in Orange County in 20 minutes (traffic gods willing). I love Orange County, there is so much to do there. Most visitors to Los Angeles seem to make Orange County a “day trip” for Disneyland or Knott’s Berry Farm. When I was a kid and my family vacationed in California, I remember that exact scenario. Here’s the thing…There are lots of OTHER reasons to go to Orange County and lots of other things to do. The Anaheim/Orange County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, in conjunction with my gals of MomsLA, recently held The OC Blogger Bash and hosted 175 So Cal Bloggers at a really fun event with a Mad Men Theme. While at The Bash, I got the chance to learn so much more about what OC has to offer.

One really great attraction that I’m dying to check out myself is The Battle of The Dance in Anaheim. It’s funny, because I had heard of the show but I didn’t understand what it was. I met people from the show and learned more about it.
  It is a dinner theater show that combines the disciplines of Irish, Flamenco, Pop and Bollywood dance into one spectacular event. Check out the video to get a glimpse.  There were lots of giveaways through the night and I won a gift bag full of Aveda Products and a Gift Card from Lux Salon/Spa/Store in Fullerton. I just gotta find the time to get there….Maybe I can send Surfer Guy to Knott’s Berry Farm with the kid’s while I spa! Knott’s was generous to give each attendee 2 tickets to their amusement park. I love Knott’s. I love Mrs. Knott’s Restaurant and her chicken dinners. Maybe I can meet them for dinner after I spa? I was also super lucky to have my number selected to receive 2 tickets to Disneyland. Geez, maybe I should just move to the OC?

Photo Booth Pro was there with some really fun props for us to use while we posed in front of backgrounds of well known Orange County locations. Here I am posing with two of my best online influencer buddies, Caryn Bailey of and Linda Perry of We also learned about the 100,000 sq.ft. expansion of the Anaheim Convention Center with an amazing Grand Plaza that will be completed next year.

It was fun to have Snoopy on hand representing Knott’s. It’s funny, actually, now that I’m, ahem, well into my adult years…I get to meet so many characters that I would have been crazy ecstatic to meet when I was a kid. I’m actually still really excited to meet them…I just try to remain cool, for my image. As well as Lux, Knott’s and Disneyland, the other event sponsors were: McDonald’s® of Southern California, 300 Anaheim, Anaheim Marriott, Angels Baseball, Aquarium of the Pacific, Casa Resorts, Costa Mesa CVB, Hilton Anaheim, Honda Center, Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach CVB, Pacific Edge Hotel, Photo Booth Pro, Pretend City® Children’s Museum, Queen of Heartz Vintage Inspired Apparel, R.W.B. Party Props, Inc., Sheraton Park Anaheim, Sunset Flying, The Outlets at Orange, Anaheim White House, House of Blues® Anaheim, Huntington Beach Marketing and Convention Bureau, Irvine Barclay Theatre, Medieval Times® Dinner &Tournament, Montanya Spa, OC Wildlife and Travel, Universal Studios® Hollywood, Discovery Science Center, Hilton Anaheim Health Club, Lux Aveda Salon and Spa, RA Sushi, and Roy’s Anaheim. For sure I will be covering more of the fabulous offerings in my neighboring county. Love the OC!

Update: I'm totally blown away that The Anaheim/OC Convention & Visitors Bureau chose my post as the Grand Prize Winning post for their blogger contest. The OC Blogger Bash Team wrote, "Your creative post, inclusion of sponsors and links to the destination did an excellent job of featuring the destination of Anaheim/Orange County as well as the OC Blogger Bash!" What did I win? Two round-trip tickets on American Airlines!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Halloween Fun in So Cal

Photo credit: Angry Julie Monday
Have you missed me? I've spent the month scouring the best Halloween fun to be had in Southern California's amusement parks for CBS Los Angeles. I'm wiped out, on a sugar high and fresh out of costume ideas. And it's not even Halloween yet....

 Disneyland-Mickey's Trick or Treat Party

Knott's Berry Farm - Knott's Scary Farm Haunt

Universal Studios - Halloween Horror Nights

LEGOLAND-California for Brick or Treat and SeaWorld Spooktacular

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11, 2011

RanchoLPpool On the 10th anniversary of September 11, this is my view as I write this. I'm sitting poolside at Rancho las Palmas Resort in Rancho Mirage, CA. Lucky me. The glare is kind of uncomfortable on my laptop screen. I have to type through a reflection of myself, wearing a bathing suit and a sun hat. Contrast that with the dress code requirements of many Muslim women. The only reason I'm wearing a head covering is to keep the sun's harmful rays at bay. Not because I am "required" to do so. On September 11, 2001, we were attacked, in an act of war, by those who do not like us and our way of life. They seek to destroy it and continue to do so.

This is the first time I've written about "where I was on Sept. 11, 2001": My first recollection of that morning was being woken up by the phone ringing. I was asleep in my apartment in West Hollywood, CA. I answered the phone next to my bed. It must have been sometime between 7:00-8:00am PST. My mother, who lives outside of Boston (where I grew up) was on the phone. As best as I can recall from a dead sleep, she said something like, "They've flown planes into The World Trade Center and I can't get in touch with your sister." My sister had just graduated from college the previous May and lived and worked in Manhattan. There must have been some discussion about where she lived and worked because I recall stumbling out of bed to my bookshelf where I pulled out my "Fast Map-Manhattan" and began looking at points on the map as I discussed it with my mother. I must have also put the TV on. She also said she couldn't reach my brother, but that was kind of irrelevant, in my opinion, since he lived in Colorado. I started giving my mother the names and addresses of my friends in Manhattan in case my sister needed to go somewhere. I hung up, watched the news of the attacks and got dressed. I walked outside with my dog, Stella, to escape the solitary existence in my apartment. It was like any other day on my street. All hell was breaking loose on the other side of the country and in my neighborhood, everything was normal. Odd.

There are pieces that stick out in my mind from that day. I was clearly upset…Not crying, but worried. I had several good friends who lived within a shortAmFlagBelt walk from the World Trade Center. One who I stayed with frequently and had just stayed with a month before. On that visit, I had bought an American Flag belt at Century 21, the discount designer department store with its flagship right across the street from the World Trade Center. I remembered debating over the belt because it was $70 and was a lot to spend on a belt. But I loved it and knew I’d wear it a lot, so I got it. Within days of 9/11, I looked at the receipt and saw that I had bought it on 8/11/01. I wondered if I had been directed to buy it by some sort of foreshadowing force? I still think I spent a lot on that belt, but I still wear it. I worried about my sister. I thought about American Airlines Flight 11 from Boston to Los Angeles. That was my most traveled route and on that airline. People who knew called me or e-mailed. I had a friend from Kentucky e-mail me one sentence, “I want to make sure you weren’t on that plane.” Having known her for years, I wasn’t taken aback, she didn’t mince words. I suppose the lack of a return e-mail would have answered her question? I answered everyone with the same response, “No, I wasn’t on the planes, I never took the first flight in the morning.” Which was true. Those first flights to LA from Boston, on United and American, which at the time were the only non-stop airlines flying the route, left at around 7:45am. That was way too early for me to have to get up and get to the airport. I always took the 5:45pm-ish flight. Especially because I was flying “backward in time”, I’d get in at 9pm or so and then just go home and climb into bed. I guess I hung onto that a bit. When some people were saying “I could have been on that plane,” I knew I wouldn’t have. Okay. So what? What was my point? I recognized a lot of the flight attendants on that route. I knew it was a desirable route because there were usually celebrities on the plane for one. I remembered meeting a young flight attendant who told me she didn’t usually get to fly that route because it was a “senior route”. I was oddly familiar in a sort of, “American Airlines LA-Boston-LA frequently flier” way. I got into an argument with my personal trainer that day. I was on edge and although I can’t recall the exact circumstances, it had something to do with me trying to reschedule and assuming the gym would be closed anyway because this was the LA outpost of a chain of gyms founded in Manhattan. He was being a jerk, I thought, and denied the gym would be closed. I told him off, as I recall, about the circumstances and to have some sympathy. Turns out the gym was closed down that day. I switched trainers. My acting class was held as usual. I remembered asking my acting teacher why. He said that that’s what he does. He can’t do anything else to help the situation, so would be holding class as usual. It made sense. Probably made more sense than I can convey here. A guy I was doing some part-time work for was trapped in Atlanta at a conference. He was able to jump into a rental car with strangers and drive to Boston where his son lived to ride things out.

There are other things that stick out in my memory, although they most likely weren’t on September 11, but that week for sure. I found out that people from my hometown in MA had died on the United flight and the American flight. The brother of one of the officials in West Hollywood had been the pilot on one of the Boston-LA flights. I was studying at The Second City in LA and every one of my classmates had the same start to their story, “My mother called me and woke me up.” Even mothers who had no thought their kid was on one of those planes or in New York City called their kids. I remember telling my mother that and she said, “of course”. I wasn’t yet a mother. My sister talked to my mother at some point that day. She went and hung out with her boyfriend’s uncle in mid-town and then made her way to her apartment which wasn’t affected by the disaster. My mother was unhappy she couldn’t reach my brother in COLORADO?! So I logged a call into his voicemail. He called me from the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, in COLORADO, and told me he had blown off our mother’s initial calls because he had just talk to her the day before, which was his birthday. He now couldn’t get through so called me. (Yeah, I left him a voicemail for his birthday yesterday, along with Chip and Lulu chortling “Unc” in the background).

In December of that year, my whole family gathered in New York and stayed with my sister who had moved to Brooklyn with her boyfriend. We went down to Ground Zero to pay our respects and to support the local businesses. I remember peering through the fence a block away from where the WTC towers had stood and seeing that Century 21 was intact, closed for business, but entirely standing. So close to the devastation, I was surprised. We went to a Dunkin Donuts almost directly behind Century 21. It was so cold in NYC. Of course I had thinned blood from living in LA, but it was COLD! We huddled around a table drinking my beloved Dunkin Donuts coffee and some munchkins (donut holes for those uninitiated, poor you). The place was fairly empty and the sun was fading as NYC headed into a Winter night. I looked over and in the corner I noticed a man in a uniform, presumably on break. I looked closer at his patch on his jacket. It was an emblem and it said “New York City Morgue”. I think I was the only one in the group who noticed. It was as if I was sucked away from my family and didn’t hear anything or see anything. A complete sensory paralysis as I took in that man and his job. The streets were so quiet and empty. Of course I knew why he was there. My breath feels erratic now and tears are welling up in my eyes as I recall that moment as clearly as if I were still sitting on that hard plastic stool in that Dunkin Donuts in downtown Manhattan just after Christmas, 2001.

Here I am, ten years later. Much more is known. The heroes of that day. Of course the firefighters and policemen, so many of whom died that day. 324 NYFD lost. Unimaginable. But real. Especially after 10 years. The stories of the ordinary people who stepped up heroically to help people they didn’t even know. Encourage, save, carry and even give their own lives to help. It’s a true American who steps up when the need is the greatest. That echoes so much to me now and is the subtext of one of my favorite quotes: “We are our own first responders.” In a time of disaster, those around you are your best bet for help. Know thy neighbor. Make a plan. Be prepared. But, don’t let it consume your pursuit of the American dream. Realize there is true evil in the world. People who don’t like us simply for who we are. I will not be complacent. We have lost so much. The enemy is still there. God bless America.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Cars 2 Storybook Deluxe App – Guest Review

I’m pleased to present a guest review of the new Cars 2 Storybook Deluxe App for iPad. Katherine and I met in Mommy & Me when her son Flash and my son Chip were newborns. Flash and Chip have gone on to be pals and even just graduated from preschool together! Flash is a HUGE Cars fan. When the offer for this app review came in, I knew to turn to the expert. Plus, sadly, I do not have an iPad (Christmas is coming tho….). I now present to you the Katherine & Flash review:

I recently had the opportunity to review the latest Cars 2 Storybook app for the iPad thanks to my son Flash's preschool connections.  Mind you, we are ridiculous Cars fans.  Bedding, furniture, books, wall stickers, you name it and we've probably looked at it if not purchased it.  So when we found out Cars 2 was coming out, we bought advanced tickets and saw it on opening day, etc.  Ever since all the crazy marketing has begun for Cars 2, Flash has been telling me about one toy or another, pointing out cereal boxes and fruit snacks with some sort of connection hoping for a prize when I heard there was an app for the iPad, I was all over it.  On top of that, this app was supposed to be an educational storybook.  How perfect is that?  Flash was thrilled when I surprised him with the new app.  He navigated through the story with ease and was very interested in the "read to me" mode.  The storyline is the same as the Cars 2 movie so if you've seen the movie it's easy to follow. I couldn't get the volume loud enough on the "record your own voice" mode, but that was probably user error. 

The graphics are amazing!! Most pages have something interactive like pressing the sparkle and the car zooms off!  Other pages have a coloring option where the scene turns to black and white and you can re-color it as you choose.  There are also a few games included.  Flash liked the games the best.  Tire toss is his favorite where you slingshot a tire into a pile and try to pinball it off of other tires as many times as possible before it falls to the ground. 
Overall, I would recommend the Cars 2 Storybook app to a) children who are totally into Cars, b) children up to age 4 who don't need things to keep changing to keep their interest, and c) older children who have not yet learned how to navigate the iPad as a gaming device and can't find on their own that there is actually a Cars 2 gaming app.  It's an enjoyable storybook and a sure hit for any Cars enthusiast. Katherine

Katherine, thanks for giving the app a test drive along with Flash! Speaking of the movie, if you happen to be in Hollywood, definitely stop by The El Capitan Theater to see Cars 2 because along with the movie, you also get access to the Cars 2 World Grand Prix Experience afterwards! My super blogger spy camera was in action and I’ve got a pic here to entice you:CarsMovie

Now here is the official info from Disney:

Experience the action-packed story of Disney/Pixar’s Cars 2 in this supercharged children’s book app filled with vibrant art, professional narration, exciting music and sound effects, plus A-list celebrity voices from the film.

In the app, Cars star Lightning McQueen zooms back into action with his best friend Mater by his side as they head to the World Grand Prix races.  Readers of the Storybook Deluxe app will get to:

  • Choose between two reading modes that allow you to follow along as the story is read aloud, or to explore each page at your own pace.       
  • Play exciting games inspired from the movie—test your memory in Tokyo Lights and try your hand at Mater’s Tire Toss.       
  • Record your voice reading the story and hear it played back as narration.
  • Tap characters and objects for animated surprises.       
  • Also includes 5 coloring pages and 5 interactive jigsaw puzzles for extra fun!

· Jump to your favorite page with a Visual Page Index.

The Cars 2 Storybook Deluxe App, originally $8.99, is available for $5.99 (for a limited time) from the App Store on the iPad or at:

You can also see a demo video here:

You can learn about all of Disney Publishing’s apps here:

Friday, August 12, 2011

Save Tara – Victory!


For seven long years I have been a member of “Save Tara”, fighting West Hollywood City Hall to preserve a small piece of history and greenery for future generations. Team members have passed away, I had two babies and the fight went on. Today we won! Read about it here in The WeHo News. I knew we would win. Good vs. Evil. Evil destroys itself in the end. Grateful, yet sad for those who did not live to see this. Victory!!!!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Do You “Like” Me? Facebook Style?

LikeButton It is better to be liked than disliked, I do believe. In general, I don’t really care what others think about me. That’s the cut of my jib. Doing the right thing, honesty, loyalty, helping others in need and morality are important to me and I constantly try to follow that path. Hopefully I’m setting some examples for Chip and Lulu along the way. From that, I do find that although some people may disagree with me, I do have their respect and in return they have mine. But getting back to “Like” it’s like, y’know, how you, like use like in a sentence, like all the time….Heh. Well, if you are on Facebook and would like to “Like” me. Here is the link to my new likeable page: Even if you aren’t on Facebook, you can still check out my page, you just can’t say anything. Sadly. I’d love it if you’d “Like” me. At some point I’ll get a button on this here blog for easy access to my Facebook page. It’s on the list.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Family Getaway to Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite – CBS LA

IMG00516-20110529-1942 To get away, enjoy nature, yet be able to swing into the spa after a hard day of hiking….Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite is where it’s at. I’m on CBS Los Angeles with Family Getaway to Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite. Just wish I’d spotted Sasquatch…


Monday, July 18, 2011

The Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident for the Wii

Malgrave Incident It’s always a bummer when you get invited to a really cool event….But you realize you are going to be out of town that day. Oh, and let’s add that your reason for being out of town is NOT very cool. I was recently invited to a party to try out the new game The Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident for the Wii. Luckily, my buddy Heather from That’s’ IT Mommy was “game” to attend and cover it. I followed the tweets from The East Coast and it sounded like everyone was having way too much fun playing. I love my games and this one looks like it will be high on my list to try. Thanks, Heather, great review!!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Havaianas Pop Up Shop

The past couple of years have given rise, literally, to the fashion marketing concept known as a “pop-up shop”: A temporary retail outlet for a known brand or designer. I had the opportunity to attend a party at the West Coast’s first Havaianas (the famous flip flops from Brazil)  pop-up shop located in the uber-conceptually-cool Space 15Twenty  in Hollywood. Space 15Twenty is a mix of permanent retailers and restaurants along with spaces that allow for different brands and artists to step in and out of the mix. Havaianas Mercado is located in the Urban Outfitters rotating designer concept boutique with the storefront facing Cahuenga Blvd.

Once inside, it was an amazing and colorful space, like being in a tropical produce shop. Also in attendance were Lucy Marshall of “Pretty Little Liars” and musician Alex Marshall. I was really looking forward to stepping up to the fruit stand where you can “Make Your Own Havaianas”, with customizable soles, straps and embellishments. I picked black soles, silver straps and diamond and blue jewels along with tiny elephants as embellishments. It was really too much fun to choose EXACTLY what you wanted, right down the placement of your bling! For people who don’t live near a Havaianas that has a MYOH (Make Your Own Havaianas) you can make your own online.

Next it was on to the party which was hosted in one of the interior courtyards at Space 15Twenty. Much to everyone’s delight, right next door is an Umami Burger location and that’s who supplied the food and drink. The most amazing burgers, known as “The Fifth Taste” and fries were being served up straight off the outdoor grill. The barmaster mixed the most addicting coconut mojitos…What a perfect tropical evening. Get yourself over to Space 15Twenty, check out all there is, treat yourself to your very own Havaianas and then kick it Hollywood hipster style at Umami Burger. You so can. If you want to feel like you really were there, here is a link to Space 15Twenty’s site with coverage of the event including a video where you can catch a few glimpses of moi . Havaianas Mercado Pop Up, 1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd., LA 90028. Store Hours: Open daily from July 1st through July 24th; Monday-Friday, 11 AM-8 PM, and Saturday-Sunday 11 AM-9 PM. PS. Space 15Twenty has a parking lot, the entrance is on Selma between Cahuenga and Ivar.

To see my coverage on CBS Los Angeles click: Flip Flop Pop Up - Havaianas

Monday, July 11, 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

Random Review-Tween Bling

I was at the pre-Oscar gifting suite, well, back just before the Oscars. There was a lot of stuff to look at, lots of people to meet and samples kindly offered to me. One sample that I’ve been meaning to review, just because it catches my fancy, is Tween Bling. I’m not a tween, nor do I have a tween. But let’s put that aside. The company, Smart Mom Jewelry, started out with baby teething products. Particularly pendants made of food-safe, phthalate-free, federally-approved silicone. So mom can wear a cute pendant and baby can grab it and teeth on it. Brilliant! One of my key rules for reviews: Must do more than one thing. I don’t have any teething people in the house at the moment, nor tweens, but there are really no rules. I like camo so I selected the camo heart Tween Bling. It’s soft, flexible, you can fiddle around with it, twirl it, whatever a tween (or adult blogger) MIGHT do with Tween Bling. Even stick it in your mouth…Not that I’m there on that, but if I were a tween girl…Maybe. The major feature of all the Smart Mom Jewelry is the safety of the “breakaway clasp”. If the necklace gets yanked, it pops open and off. Tween Bling is dishwasher safe and federally approved. It’s fun for tweens and yes, I do believe this mom can get away with wearing it too.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Verizon FiOS Makes My Life Easier

I’ve often wondered what I would do if I didn’t have Verizon FiOS. I’m a mom of two toddlers, blogger and social media consultant among a multitude of other things. Having Verizon FiOS has made my life easier in so many ways. Firstly, let’s get something totally straight here: it’s TV. I love TV. I am a pop culture fanatic, information junkie and news addict. My home office is set up so I can turn my head ever so slightly from my desktop PC and see the TV. I keep the remote “holstered” near my mouse. While I’m running my FiOS 15/5 Mbps Internet on my desktop, I’ve got the modem with wireless router under my desk enabling me to have my laptop going simultaneously. (See picture) And if I need to move around the house (or yard) with my laptop, or iPod Touch, the WiFi has me covered


But, back to the TV. The multi-room DVR is the most brilliant piece of technology. We have three TVs. I’m a straight shooter: with my “previous provider” I was annoyed that I had to watch all my DVR’d programs on the TV with the DVR. It was a hiccup in my entertainment schemata. With Verizon FiOS and the multi-room DVR, you can watch recorded shows on any TV and watch different recorded shows simultaneously on different TVs. Are you with me? So, when it’s “witching hour” and the kids are going nuts about who is going to watch what, I suppress the urge to yell: “When I was a kid we didn’t have cable and we only had one TV and your uncle Dave and I watched the same thing!” and calmly direct Chip to a room of his choice to watch, his usual go to, “Phineas & Ferb” on Disney XD of which I have at least 5 episodes recorded at all times. Lulu is obsessed with “Little Bill” on Nick Jr. and I have that set on “series record”. Ah, peace. They can each watch exactly what they want. Lately, though, Chip has been throwing me a curve ball and requesting SpongeBob SquarePants which I don’t have set to record on the DVR. But, again FiOS saves me with their “On Demand” button! I press it and up pops hundreds (thousands?) of tv shows that each channel has made available on demand for free. Um, yay! There is no price tag that can be put on 15 minutes of time with the kids settled so I can DO SOMETHING I have to do. Then there is the “pause” feature. This is key. If Lulu needs to make a potty run, she chortles the demand “pause it!” and trusts I hear as she runs for the bathroom. Pause the show, for the princess’s convenience…Do I sound like a really old lady from the stone age when I mumble under my breath…”Back when I was a kid, the concept of pausing a show so I could grab a soda was as likely as going to the moon”? Then I also have to laugh about my parents talking about when TV first came out and realize it’s just technology and they will learn to appreciate it. I’ll make sure, with my fun stories from “when I was a kid”.

What else makes my life easier? I’ve covered TV and internet. What about the phone? I love my flat rate calling plan. I have friends and family in other countries and have an amazing international calling plan that keeps my bill at the same price every month. Voicemail, caller ID, caller ID with call waiting which is another amazingly awesome piece of technology. I recently had to tell someone I was talking to that I had to go because the Embassy of Qatar was on the other line. No joke, Washington, DC area code. Turns out they had the wrong number.EmbassyQatar Had to take a picture of that.

So, in closing, here are some of my favorite features: That I can log into my customer account from any computer and manage my DVR. Like when you smack yourself on the head because you forgot the Stanley Cup Finals were on tonight? Yeah, you can go for the save. Then there’s Flex View, you can buy, rent and watch on-demand video titles on your FiOS TV, on your computer or on your mobile phone. Find yourself stuck somewhere? Pick up that movie where you left off--on your phone. I must say, I have had VERY few technical issues. Just a few times I’ve had to reboot my DVR, which is easy to do. But, when I haven’t been sure what the problem is, I love that I can call customer service and “talk” to a virtual rep who can diagnose my problem, instruct me on what to do, fix it remotely OR pass me on to a live rep. I think I’ve only had to speak to a rep once. It’s much faster to interact with the virtual rep and I swear, they, er, it? Are super efficient and give you step by step instructions. Better than waiting on hold. If you don’t have Verizon FiOS in your area, I’m sad for you. If you do and you don’t have it…I don’t understand why? It really is life changing for busy, techy moms like me AND for anyone else who has a TV, computer or phone.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Verizon FiOS sponsored blogging program. Any views, opinions or experiences expressed are my own.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

National CPR Week June 1-7

Heart attacks. I know too many people who have died from a heart attack. My father the physician would say “myocardial infarction” and sometimes I say that too, because I am smart and might want to make sure you know I’m smart. I’m from Boston and NO, I don’t have the accent, but if you say “myocardial infarction” with a Boston accent—it adds to the awfulness in a twisted humor way. I also know too many people who know too many people who have died from a HEART ATTACK. Heart Disease is still the #1 killer in the US.

We are at the tail end of National CPR Week. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t learn Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation AKA CPR. It could save a life. My mother the nurse was skiing in Vermont last year and saw a skier down and as she was going past she sensed something was wrong. She stopped below and yelled to another skier above to check on the downed skier. He needed CPR, the guy started on him, my mother fought her way up the hill, calling the ski patrol and joined in the chest compressions. Sadly, my mother later found out the man died, but both my mother and that other random skier KNEW CPR. Do you?

Did you know that nearly 300,000 out-of-hospital sudden cardiac arrests occur annually, and four out of five cardiac arrests happen at home? That means the life you save with CPR is most likely to be someone you know and really care about. which is part of The American Heart Association is asking women (and men) everywhere to watch the Official Hands-Only CPR instructional video to learn how to save a life. I have also inserted the video here:

In closing I would like to encourage everyone, men and women, to familiarize yourself with the signs of a heart attack. The symptoms for women can vary from those of men. It is therefore extremely important to know what you can do to keep yourself healthy, reduce your risk and of course recognize if you are having a cardiac episode. As you look through the site you will realize that you are never too young to have a heart attack. Go learn your hands only CPR! Much love and much health to all my readers, I heart you!!!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Disney, Disney & Disneyland!

There have been some interesting things going on in the wonderful world of Disney lately. Wanna come along for my ride? First up, I was invited to the launch event of “It’s a Small World” Kid’s Fashion Apparel and Accessories Collection at Nordstrom. Disney and Nordstrom have teamed up to celebrate the 45th Anniversary of the famous “It’s a Small World” attraction at Disneyland with this collection that includes items for newborns, infants and toddlers. There will be four seasonal collections throughout 2011 available exclusively at Nordstrom stores and Each collection has items priced from $18-$169 from well know collaborators such as Petunia Pickle Bottom, TOMS Shoes and Feed.

I learned something new at this event: At the 1964 New York World’s Fair, Walt Disney introduced a 9 minute boat ride – It’s a Small World – a Salute to UNICEF—dedicated to children around the world. In 1966, the attraction opened at Disneyland. To keep with Walt Disney’s original theme, Nordstrom and Disney are teaming up with TOMS Shoes and FEED Projects to offer philanthropic pieces in the collection. TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. FEED Projects items will benefit UNICEF. Proceeds from the sales of the FEED collection will provide vitamin supplements to children in need. The really cool thing is that each FEED item says on the hang tag exactly what the purchase of the garment will provide. Chip got a “FEED our small world” t-shirt that says it will provide 150 children Vitamin A for a year. I was really excited to meet FEED Projects Co-Founder and CEO Lauren Bush at the launch. It was awesome to be able to say, “Huge fan of your uncle and your grandfather!” as we took a couple of pictures together. The ‘Indian Summer’ collection is currently in stores as of this week and has some super cute stuff. Lulu got a really sweet sundress from the ‘Japanese Spring’ collection“Disney, It’s a Small World Apron Dress” with Japanese children and motifs and a big butterfly detail.  She is a huge fan of butterflies right now, so it was perfect. The ‘Japanese Spring"’ collection still has many items available online at Nordstrom.

Next up, the New Disney Stores. Lulu and I got a special pre-opening, sneak peek at one of the latest stores totally re-done with a brand new award-winning concept. It’s not a store…And I’m not just saying that….It’s an interactive shopping destination offering magical experiences for Disney fans of all ages. Lulu was told to rub her hands together and Tinkerbell appeared flying across the walls! Disney Store’s new design aims to deliver “the best 30 minutes of a child’s day” through immersive experiences including a Disney Princess Castle with Magic Mirror, Translucent Magical Trees, Disney●Pixar CARS-branded Ridemakerz custom car building experience and the Disney Store Theatre featuring the latest in Disney entertainment. They will also be offering arts and crafts projects throughout the day. The outside of the store has an electronic schedule of events so you can see what’s coming up in-store. One really awesome effect that it took me a bit to realize is that it actually smells like Disneyland. It’s subtle, but there. It’s like going on a mini-trip to The Magic Kingdom with the trees, the lighting, the twisting path and all the interactive features. Lulu is still too young to realize she had this whole, new concept store to herself. She loved the Princess Castle with the Magic Mirror and kept going back to try different characters. I like the Ridemakerz (build your own car) because it allows you to start with a toy that you design and you can bring it back to change it up and further customize it. How could you possibly get bored with that option? Disney Stores will continue to convert to this new format. has lots of info for you and make sure you visit the interactive Disney Store page to find out about the latest store openings.

Lulu’s favorite Disney character is probably Ariel. The issue with that is she also seems to be the favorite character for all her friends, too. So, when Lulu has a playdate, there have been, ahem, skirmishes over who gets to be Ariel. Who cares that almost every other female Disney character is represented in costume in her closet?…It’s all about Ariel. I had the brilliant idea to buy ANOTHER Ariel costume at The Disney Store, and a cute reversible swim suit, and sunglasses…But all really, really cute and to make my life easier. And because they didn’t have cool stuff like this when I was a kid.

Just as Ariel is hitting her peak in popularity in Casa Minivan, I have some big news for COMING ATTRACTIONS over at Disneyland Resort:

Grand opening June 3: At Disney California Adventure park, get ready for an all-new voyage with Ariel. The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure takes guests on a  journey under the sea to experience all the fun and adventures in Ariel’s world. From the great songs to state-of-the-art animatronics and special effects, guests will become a part of her world in a way that’s never happened before. Check out the video for a sneak peek:

May 27 Premiere: Over at Disneyland Park, “Mickey’s Soundsational Parade” officially steps off for Memorial Day weekend, with an explosive musical score, thrilling rhythms and bold percussion that will have people dancing to many of their favorite Disney tunes. Look for whimsical floats, live musicians and some of your favorite characters. There will be more than 90 performers in the parade. Mickey Mouse (drumming away live on an acoustic drum set) and his pals will be jamming like never before and creating an atmosphere that will be…soundsational! I’m particularly looking forward to this. The parades are among my favorite things to do see and do at Disneyland.

StarTours Grand opening June 3: Star Tours – The Adventures Continue officially re-launches in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park, taking guests on interstellar adventures to Coruscant, Tatooine, and other destinations in the “Star Wars” galaxy. With the return of favorite Star Wars characters and the addition of more familiar faces and destinations, guests are going to experience Starspeeder travel in an all-new way…in 3D!

And in closing, to give you something to look forward to: the 12-acre Cars Land is well underway and scheduled for opening next year!

Disclosure: I received a gift bag from Disney with a T-shirt and dress for my kids at the Nordstrom-Small World Event. I received a gift bag with a Mickey Mouse plush toy and mouse ears at the interactive Disney Store sneak peek visit. No compensation was received for this post.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Best Stores for New Moms

BestStoresforNewMoms As Mother’s Day rapidly approaches, the suits at CBS Los Angeles have decided the time is ripe for my Best Stores for New Moms post to go up. Seriously, I don’t know what I would have done if it weren’t for Bright Beginnings & Beyond and The Pump Station in those pre, and immediately post, giving birth days. With many moms in LA far from family, it really can be a relief to find a store that is JUST for you staffed with people who KNOW exactly what you need and who provide you a comfy place to sit while you figure it all out.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter as a Competitive Event



This is a post I originally wrote for the now closed Los Angeles Moms blog. I feel that rookie moms and dads preparing excitedly for their baby’s first Easter Egg Hunt can only benefit in advance from the hard, cold reality that I am about to share with you. I’m not saying don’t go. Information is power.

Easter as a Competitive Event was originally posted on The Los Angeles Moms Blog on April 10, 2009

I am a member of a very popular message group catering largely to mothers living in Los Angeles.  In the days after Easter last year, numerous posts appeared describing the horrors of various Easter Egg Hunts held around the city.  One common thread ran through all the posts: parents behaving like lunatics. 

One mom wrote: "It was like a stampede with clouds of dust and parents running around picking up eggs for their kids, taking the eggs so the other kids could not get them.  My 3 year old got one egg and the 2 year old got nothing."   And another: "I am posting this to save anyone who may be considering going to the Easter Egg Hunt at _______ Park next year."  And this: "....many parents were SCREAMING at both their kids and other kids to get more, get away from my son, etc."  This one: "The parents jumped the fence before the whistle or shoved their kids in before the whistle."  How about: "They should not allow parents to participate. It's awful, one woman grabbed an egg right out from under my 2 year old's hand, literally."  Also: "They announced no fewer than three times that parents were not allowed inside the egg hunting area, but that didn't stop about a dozen parents from going in there and scooping up loads of eggs for their kids. My daughter got one egg." 

What the heck?

These hunts all were held in fairly affluent areas where large numbers of attorneys, Hollywood executives and various and sundry captains of industry reside.  All pulling up in their Range Rovers and Volvo SUVs to get cutthroat over some cheap plastic eggs at a city park. 

I'm sure I saw many of them the next day at brunch at the Bel Air Country Club.  I've thought about what was really going on.  Helicopter parenting?  Parents who want to help their kids succeed?  A loss of perspective?  Making sure your kid isn't "cheated"?  Parents who forgot to take their meds that morning?  Behavior that seems to be as far from Christian as I can imagine on one of the most Holy Days. 

Here is my concern: The economy is in worse shape this Easter.  People are on edge and losing things like money, portfolio value, jobs and homes.  Wouldn't that lead one to presume this weekend's Easter egg hunts will take on the air of an Olympic event?  Baskets tightly clenched.  Parents squatting down with toddlers discussing game time strategy.  "Aidan, you go deep and wide grabbing what you can.  I’ll circle by the bounce house with Isabella and then pass the basket off to your mother. Then we'll see what we can fit into our pockets and arms." 

I'm all for competition.  I first and foremost consider myself a capitalist.  Most of all, I do not believe everyone deserves a trophy at the end of the season.  However, I draw the line on Easter Egg Hunts for the under-7 crowd.  If everyone has a quota, say 20 eggs, then you just go around counting the eggs you pick up CALMLY and you are done.  It's a family holiday for crying out loud!  I hope that this Easter we can all set some good examples for our kids regardless of the activity or location.  But, especially at the Easter Egg Hunt at ________ Park.

An original post for the Los Angeles Moms Blog.

When Elizabeth Peterson is not analyzing the ghosts of holidays past, she can be found over at her personal blog Traded my BMW for a Minivan.

Comments (Original comments from the LA Moms Blog post)

April McCaffery said...

We're skipping Easter altogether this year. Holidays are less fun and more drama every year. I'm over it.

Reply April 10, 2009 at 12:35 PM

Lexi said...

We aren't big on the commercial aspects of holidays. But we just today talked about going to a local Easter egg event that has a time slot for the under age 2 crowd. Now I wonder if I need to be worried? My kids can't even walk yet. Is it worth going?

Reply April 10, 2009 at 06:15 PM

kristen said...

my 4 year old twin boys were in a hunt today, both of whom are quite independent, and one son got one egg, the other got none (though the organizers were nice enough to give my son that didn't get any one). And, one of our friend's daughters who is quite aggressive also did not get any. Needless to say, there were tons of kids with 6-8 eggs in their baskets. But, we followed the rules, and we watched repeatedly as the parents did exactly what you describe. And, there were a lot of kids that were much older older than the 3-4 they were supposed to be.. Before I had coached the boys -- I told them that once they got two eggs, they were to stop. But, once I realized what was happening, I tried to give them a hint about where to go, but oh well.

Reply April 11, 2009 at 06:47 PM

The Stiletto Mom said...

I wish I could tell you I was shocked to read this but I'm not. We have a lot of competitive parents like that in my neighborhood and I also often wonder if they've lost their minds. One of these days, I'm going to be smart and remember to bring my Flip video to some of the events where the seem to go the craziest just for fun...and possibly blog fodder.

Reply April 12, 2009 at 07:59 AM

Lucia Davies said...

Stiletto Mom - I wish you would make a video. If these scheming, entitlement-issued "parents" could only see how obnoxious they are - and how they're teaching their kids to push, shove, step on and otherwise back stab others in their "in it to win it" attitude, maybe they'd chill out and behave like decent people. Sadly, though, I doubt it. I hate to paint with the generalization brush - but part of the reason I left L.A. is because I came across this kind of behavior again and again. There are plenty of great people in L.A., but it seems more and more that the asshats are taking over...

Reply April 12, 2009 at 11:12 AM

cynematic said...

Elizabeth, I totally agree with you on the egg hunt nuttiness. Where's the perspective? Last year we spent Easter in Palm Springs, and lucked into one of those over-the-top gala resort Easters with bunny parachuting from plane (I kid you not), egg hunt (and grabby kids/adults), a little animal pen, etc. We just wanted a getaway and didn't realize some hotel chains set up these extravaganzas. Kid had a blast but it was shocking how **grownups** were grabbing cheap plastic eggs away from other people's children. We decided not to go back this year.

Instead, we did something much more low-key, spending it with grandparents at their place, and kid hasn't even mentioned his Easter basket yet. (He'll get a chocolate bunny, no worries.)

I'm not Christian but even I can see this holiday isn't supposed to be like the tv show "Survivor" to see who's most ruthless and acquisitive.

Reply April 12, 2009 at 05:05 PM

Amber said...

Yikes. I agree with the poster above, a video of this would be hilarious! We tend to avoid the mass egg hunts and stick to small family/friend gatherings so I've never seen this sort of behavior here, though I can certainly imagine.

Reply April 12, 2009 at 08:37 PM

jesscio said...

I couldn't agree more having just experienced a similar egg hunt at a Florida resort. Shocking to me the toddlers with baskets full of eggs while scads of "big" kids found just one or two. I've never understood why people see raising kids as a competitive sport.

Reply April 13, 2009 at 05:45 AM

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Best Public Golf Courses in Los Angeles

trump I’m over on CBS Los Angeles with my picks for the Best Public Golf Courses in Los Angeles. Golf really is a sport for a lifetime, you can drive a cart to your next play or pay someone to lug your clubs and then there is always The 19th Hole to look forward to. You can fantasize about actually being at Augusta and actually looking good in a green blazer. Tiger Woods has more, ahem, depth when you know something about golf. Finally, the sport fits in with one of my best pieces of advice: always go down swinging!

Pictured: Trump National in Rancho Palos Verdes

Friday, April 15, 2011

Last Minute Tax Tips

irs One of my all time favorite quotes is: “Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the democrats believe every day is April 15.” Ronald Reagan. Like it or not, Uncle Sam AND your state (unless you happen to live in one of the states without an income tax) expect you to pony up by Tax Day, which this year is actually April 18th. If you want to find out why the change of date and get some of my best info for procrastinators, head on over to CBS Los Angeles and check out my Last Minute Tax Tips Post. As I send you off to be patriotic (insert sarcasm), please find comfort in the words of Benjamin Franklin: “The only two guarantees in life are death and taxes.”

Monday, March 14, 2011

Peter Pan Mom

This is one of my earliest posts for the soon to be closed Los Angeles Moms Blog. I also performed a version of it in Expressing Motherhood in January 2009. Now that Lulu is obsessed with Tinkerbell, it’s even more perfect that I dust this one off. (And, no, I still haven’t grown up)

I present to you: Peter Pan Mom, originally posted on The Los Angeles Moms Blog, October 27, 2008.

1_2 I've pretty much always had a vague understanding that I was sliding along on a type of extended adolescence.  Having fun, not really responsible for much and somewhat incompetent with a lot of practical stuff.  I'm not saying I'm a slacker, I finished college in 4 years and had real jobs.  I just never had much responsibility and not much interest in learning the skills that would help me be a more well-rounded mom/domestic goddess.  More to the point, I found I could pay other people to do stuff I couldn't--like hem my pants.  I even ducked getting married for a while because I thought it was too grown up.  I have Peter Pan Syndrome.  That's fine, and I've been able to accept this fact.  Here's the problem: I now have kids and it's starting to affect them.

First of all, sometimes I forget that I have kids.  NO, I've never forgotten them someplace, or left them in the car.  I mean, that I forget, that I'm not single and childless and can do whatever I want, when I want.  There was an episode of Sex and the City where Miranda begrudgingly goes to Brooklyn to look at a house and while there looks out at Steve and Brady playing outside and has a revelation that she is married and has a kid.  That's me!  I'm still wistful for my life in West Hollywood I left behind three weeks before I gave birth to Chip, to move to the suburbs.  Intellectually, I know that living in my swell apartment would be hell with a baby and a toddler.  But I can still be wistful, can't I?  The turning point of recognizing my Peter Pan Syndrome came when I traded my BMW for a minivan this past spring.

The experience was so transforming that it sent me to the world of Mommy Blogging and was the inspiration for the title of my blog Traded My BMW for a Minivan.  I held onto that BMW with two car seats jammed in back as long as I humanly could.  When I had to start deciding between having strollers in the trunk or buying groceries, I knew it was time to let go.

Then there is the practical stuff.  The stuff that people who are real moms can do: like fold a fitted sheet.  My mother came out from Boston a couple of weeks ago and I asked her to help me fold the laundry.  I actually need another person to fold the sheets with me, like we were folding the American flag or something.  But, I swear unless someone else is holding the other side, I get all tangled up.  She told me she would do it.  I returned and realized she actually folded them up all by herself.  I didn't even bother to ask her to teach me how she did it.  Then she moved on to the task of taking in the waist and hemming Chip's Halloween costume.  Thanks to her Chip will not be tripping through the neighborhood trick or treating this year.  The holidays are coming up.  I have no clue how to cook a turkey or do anything else related to a holiday dinner.  Pies?  Gravy?  Impossible.  This  year my mother-in-law will be in my kitchen cooking Thanksgiving and then my mother comes out for Christmas.  I'm saved for this year!  I'm pretty sure I could never learn to cook a turkey and do it right anyway.  So I'll just watch the sports on TV and eat chips and onion dip, like I have every family holiday since I was five.

Now here is where the whole thing gets scary: the competence appears to diminish with each generation.  My maternal grandmother gardened an acre by herself well into her 70's, canned enough fruits and veggies to feed her entire town (if needed), was a Navy mechanic during WWII and let's just say she knew what she was doing under the hood of a car.  What else?  She ran her own restaurant and her cooking?  Amazing.  My Paternal grandmother was a garment worker and could sew and knit like the wind.  My mother is slightly less competent than the previous generation.  I'm way less competent than my mother.  My daughter's kids are going to be in big trouble.  My poor future grandchildren.

I have friends who actually scrapbook.  They lovingly record every moment of their children's development all with whimsical fonts and cutesy paper.  I once checked out some scrapbooking supplies and started to glaze over.  I was at a mom's night out dinner last night and the mom sitting next to me was talking about her son's baby book and putting his second birthday photos in.  Needless to say, Chip and Lulu have no baby books and the outlook for getting them is bleak.  My neighbor popped over last week and showed me how to remove the burnt food that has been stuck (I thought permanently) to my stove top.  She is younger than I am.  She also brought me a casserole when Lulu was born.  I've never made a casserole.  For anyone.

I remain optimistic that there is hope for me.  That I can get some better life skills on board before the kids are much older.  Let's hope, for their sake.

This is an original post for the Los Angeles Moms Blog.

When she isn't running from family responsibility, Elizabeth Peterson can be found blogging over at Traded My BMW for a Minivan

Comments (original comments from The LA Moms Blog post)

Jessica Gottlieb said...

I liked you before this post, but now I think I love you. I can fold a fitted sheet but I'm still wondering what to do with the photos and where the time comes from.

Reply October 27, 2008 at 08:54 AM

April said...

I can SO relate to this post! Last week, I was jumping up and down because the girls got to carve pumpkins on a field trip. Otherwise, that job would've gone to their granddad (as usual). It's become my personal goal for right now to feel more confident about the domestic life.

Reply October 27, 2008 at 09:19 AM

Karen S. said...

Scrapbooking--that especially resonates. I don't get it (boring!), and my photos will probably never be neatly placed in albums or even categorized in bunches.

Basically, I suck at being a housewife, although I'm okay at being a SAHM. So just concentrate on the stuff you do well, and don't beat yourself up about it. You love and take care of your kids--the rest'll sort itself out.

Reply October 27, 2008 at 10:35 PM

Julie said...

That is the best thing I have read in a long time! Wow, can I ever relate! I can't fold a fitted sheet to save my life. I traded in my car for a minivan and my license plate is WhoNew. Trust me, I know what you are talking about!

Reply October 28, 2008 at 10:43 AM

Travelingmom said...

At least you are still in CA! I am wistful about Hermosa Beach as I put on another sweatshirt to keep warm (it is full-blown Fall in CT). I just talked to a guy tonight who moved to FLA from TX and says he is tired of all the New Englanders who moved in and are trying to boss him around. I mean, didn't they notice his HAT?

Reply October 28, 2008 at 05:17 PM

erin m said...

i just roll the sheets into a ball and shove them into the cupboard.
i OWN a sewing machine, yet still bring my son's cub scout patches to the dry cleaner to have them sewn on.
glad i'm not the only one....

Reply October 29, 2008 at 09:13 AM

Amanda said...

I can't even fold a fitted sheet with two people, not even three. I love this post because it is so relatable. I will never be able to do the things my mom can do but you know what, she has never blogged in her life and thinks this site is so cool. She doesn't use an ATM and would you believe, she doesn't pump her own gas. So... realize you are simply a different kind of mom who can teach your children different life skills. You can always hire someone to cook or clean but no one can be the kind of mom you are to your kids. Those are the things they will remember.

Reply October 29, 2008 at 12:03 PM

AKAmomma said...

Glaze over, that is exactly what happened to me. But I still went ahead and wasted the money on the scrapbooking supplies because I thought that was what a good mom was supposed to do. I guess I am not a good mom, because I only did one page over a year ago. I do take the pics at least, but they are still in the deep freeze on my computer. Maybe when the kids graduate from college I will have them printed up.

Reply November 12, 2008 at 04:35 PM