Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Real mom

Once again I realize why this woman is a "real mom".

The teaser photo on http://bricksandstonesgossip.com/ was this:



Right away I figured out that this woman had to be a "mom". "Moms" are constantly in the back seat, with the door open, either getting out the kids, putting in the kids, finding some crap that the kids left behind or cleaning out the mess that the kids made! And "moms" don't have time (usually) during the week, during the day, for cute new, frilly, underwear! Especially in the mornings when we are trying to get our kids off to school!



I am so in love with this Hollywood mom who is showing people that you can be an actress, in LALA Land, and a normal person at the same time.

Great job Jennifer Garner!!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

San Diego

We're going to San Diego for a couple of days during Spring Break.

Anyone have tips and deals on where to stay? We're going to the normal amusement parks and would like to stay close by.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

They're gone

I LOVE my parent and am happy when they are coming to visit, until they are actually here :) Then when they leave, I miss them again.

I am a whole mess of contradictions :)

This weekend actually flew by. Friday we went to the spa, Saturday they went and visited their friends during the day and then we went to the in-laws birthday on Saturday night. This morning we all made breakfast together (they were all blown away by my home-made waffles, if I do say so myself) and a couple of hours later, they left to drive back to San Francisco.

The monkeys ABSOLUTELY love my parents and really miss them when they are gone. It's very sweet to see them together. They love my parents in different ways - my dad is very strict but you can see the love pouring out of him for them and my mom is super lenient and just let's them do whatever they want.

Lucky for all of us they can still make these trips. My 69 year old parents will be back in May for the little monkey's 5th Birthday party!

G-d Bless them both (just please let my mom keep her opinions to herself).

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The problems of a 1st grader

I actually think I am more traumatized by this than the oldest monkey is...

Driving to school on Friday morning I hear "There's William. I thought he was suspended" My ears perk up. I wonder who this boy is and why he would be suspended.

It turns out that on Thursday, my monkey was with her friends and came up to this boy and said "Hi". He said, "Shut up stupid!" and then he SLAPPED my lovely, accepting eldest monkey.

She ran to the office and told someone that she was slapped and "swore" at (when you are 6, "shut up" and "stupid" are VERY BAD WORDS). The boy's father was called and he was picked up early. The next day he was back at school!

Upon speaking to the Vice Principal I found out that this 2nd grade boy is in special education. He is "streamlined" with the other kids but has an aide that goes around with him. Except the aide had turned around for a couple of minutes (supposedly). This boy "swears" at everyone and the vice-principal said that there was not much he could do, aside from talking to the boy and his parents. The school doesn't even suspend for this behavior.

I proceeded to let the vice-principal know that if this happens again I will authorize the monkey to fight back and defend herself. He told me that then SHE would get in trouble. I replied that I was willing to risk her getting sent home an hour early (roll eyes) in order to defend her self (actually, I told him that I would authorize her to kick the little boys ass). I also demanded that the school make the boy apologize to my monkey (which they should have done right away).

When I spoke to my monkey I let her know that she should keep away from this boy. More importantly though, she's about about to be a blue belt in Taekwondo. She should have been able to block his slap or at least hit back.

I am proud of her though - even after all this, she is a sweet heart to everyone (except maybe her sister) and still tries to say "hi" to William (and doesn't care that he is different).

Friday, March 27, 2009

Day 1 - still alive

I only wanted to scream a couple of times today. Either my parents and I are getting better or I kept my parents QUITE busy...too busy to tell me what to do.

I took them to the spa for a couple of hours. My mom got a great package with mini-massage, mini-facial, mini-scrub and leafy sauna treatment. I got an hour long strong from a french man with an amazing ass ;)

Maybe we were too relaxed to argue. Is that the secret to the whole thing? Get enough treatments and my mom will forget to needle me????

Tomorrow I will post about a little boy who slapped my 6 year old (and how the husband was ready to go "talk" to the day and how I am authorizing the monkey to use her Taekwondo training to kick his ass if her tries it again).

Thursday, March 26, 2009

My Parents

My parents, who I LOVE DEARLY, are here for the weekend. Within the first hour of arriving (via car - my 68 year old mother is now driving on the freeway - GO MOM!), my mother managed to piss me off no fewer than 4 times:

1) She brought apples with her...non-organic apples...why?....my apples don't taste good...um, I go to the farmers market for fresh, organic fruit EVERY Saturday.

2) My mom wanted to look at me to see if I lost or gained weight (roll eyes)...thankfully she approved.

3) My mom brought me an enamel pot to cook in...all my cookware is Calphalon, all-clad or Le Creuset...I don't need her pot!

4) The older monkey was a bit red when me mom saw her...after almost an hour of intense Taekwondo..."whats wrong with her, is she sick?" my mom says!

I'm VERY sure there were more instances but these are just the first ones I though of!

I LOVE my parents, and am very happy they are here, but prey for me that we can all survive these next 3 days without bloodshed!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Sisterhood Award



Lucy, from Lucys Life in Suburb World, gave me a great award. The Sisterhood Award is all about being sassy (I just love saying that word!). Bold, honest, colorful, beautiful and a compassionate person with a true heart for her fellow human being. With an upbeat attitude and always showing her gratitude for life.

I am not always upbeat or beautiful, but I am honest (sometimes to my detriment).

Lucy is so much fun to read. She always has interesting commentary on people at her work and about the her daughters' basketball team. She's really trying to raise her family right!

I find that all the blogs I follow are amazing and embody ALL of these traits.

Since I don't have a number of people I must tag with this award, I won't tag any. I will tag all ;) So please, take this award. You deserve it!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Grocery Shopping

On Sunday night I did my grocery shopping at Ralphs (So Cal Kroger). Armed with my trusty http://www.grocerygame.com/ list I went and stocked up on snacks, TP, Tylenol and gum.



I really killed it, if I do say so myself :)

I spent $62.92 and saved $111.86 (I bought one more item than necessary so I returned it and got the money back so there are 2 receipts).





I am submitting this to The New Frugal Mom Let's Go Krogering post up for this week. I also linked up at The Grocery Cart Challenge. That mom is insane with how much she is able to do for very little money.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Why you should always listen to your boss

OK - Now I want to try this (in the role of the boss).


video

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My monkey's are smart asses

Kid say the darnedest things.

This being LA, the monkey's wanted to go to sushi for lunch. Luckily, there is a chain of sushi places in Southern California called Kabuki Sushi. It's the kind of place that has crayons and activity books for kids. It's the kind of place where I don't mind making a mess on the table tops or the kids being noisy (within reason of course).

The little monkey was clowning around and the husband says to her, "Stop playing".

Her response - "I'm not playing. I'm fooling around".

She is DEFINITELY his daughter ;)

We ordered the kids chicken teriyaki specials. They ended up eating most of our California roll with baked scallop on top, part of our spicy scallop hand roll and 2 orders of unagi (eel).

They are DEFINITELY my daughters ;)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday

Not sure why, but this has been a long week!

I've been walking around the office this week and this is what I've heard to describe me last week (the week I had the flu but had to come in to the office EVERY DAY anyways):

You looked gross
You looked like hell
You looked like death warmed over
You sounded horrible
I didn't even recognize you

Um, thanks guys? Last week was the one week of EVERY year that I HAD to be in the office. So, of course, it was the week I was SICK!

I was in such a daze that I didn't realize how bad I actually looked. Based on the above comments, I looked pretty effing bad!!

I'm finally over the worst of it. I have a bit of a lingering cough and a bit of light-headedness remaining. Hopefully I will be 100% fine by the end of the weekend.

Tomorrow, hopefully, a new recipe.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

More Insanity

WTF has happened to our world where young women are so FUCKED UP!!!

I'm not saying that there aren't women who stay with abusers for reasons that only they know. And NO ONE knows what another person is thinking, or going through, but really??? Seriously??

The girls in this article, from the New York Times, just need to be smacked upside the head!!!


Teenage Girls Stand by Their Man
By JAN HOFFMAN
IN the hallway of Hostos-Lincoln Academy in the Bronx this week, two ninth-grade girls discussed the pop singer Chris Brown, 19, who faces two felony charges for allegedly beating his girlfriend, the pop singer Rihanna, 21. At first, neither girl had believed Mr. Brown, an endearing crooner, could have done such a thing.

“I thought she was lying, or that the tabloids were making it up,” one girl said.

Even after they saw a photo of Rihanna’s bloodied, bruised face, which had raced across the Internet, they still defended Mr. Brown. “She probably made him mad for him to react like that,” the other ninth grader said. “You know, like, bring it on?”

The girls agreed that Mr. Brown overreacted. According to court documents, the fight last month erupted after Rihanna read a text message to Mr. Brown from another woman. Mr. Brown, the affidavit said, then punched, bit and choked her.

Should he be punished? No, said the girls, whose names were withheld at the request of the school. After all, they said, Rihanna seemed to have reconciled with Mr. Brown.

“So he shouldn’t get into trouble if she doesn’t feel that way,” one girl said. “She probably feels bad that it was her fault, so she took him back.”

Her friend nodded. “I don’t think he’ll hit her like that again,” she said.

On blogs and social networking sites, teenagers are having an e-shouting match about this highly publicized episode — perhaps the first time their generation has been compelled to think aloud about dating violence.

And what may be surprising is the level of support for Mr. Brown. While thousands of teenagers have certainly turned on Mr. Brown, many others — regardless of race or gender — defend him, often at Rihanna’s expense.

In a recent survey of 200 teenagers by the Boston Public Health Commission, 46 percent said Rihanna was responsible for what happened; 52 percent said both bore responsibility, despite knowing that Rihanna’s injuries required hospital treatment. On a Facebook discussion, one girl wrote, “she probly ran into a door and was too embarrassed so blamed it on chris.”

This reaction has alarmed parents and professionals who work with teenagers, and Oprah Winfrey was prompted to address violence in teenage relationships on her show. Boys who condone Mr. Brown’s behavior disappoint, but don’t shock Marcyliena Morgan, executive director of Harvard’s hip-hop archive. “But it’s the girls!” she said. “Where have we gone wrong here?”

Underneath harsh, judgmental bravado, teenage girls themselves seem perplexed by the unfolding story, whipsawed by allegiance to their celebrities, fantasies about romantic relationships, and the terrifying mysteries of intimate violence — the savagery of the beating as well as the speed with which Rihanna apparently agreed to see him again.

Mimi Valdés Ryan, former editor in chief of Vibe magazine and the one who put Chris Brown on the cover in 2006, said the defense of him by so many young girls can be understood in part because they are adoring fans.

Even before this incident, Mr. Brown’s core fans didn’t like Rihanna, said Ms. Valdés Ryan, now editor in chief of Latina, a magazine for young women. “His posters are on the bedroom wall, the last face they see before they sleep,” she said. “They’re feeling, ‘Why is he with her, not with me?’ ”

As word of the incident spread, girls could not believe he could wreak such violence, she said. After all, sweet Chris Breezy — his nickname — even appeared in a music video with Elmo of “Sesame Street.” Acknowledging his attack would make them feel vulnerable: How could they have a crush on someone who could do that? It was less terrifying to blame Rihanna.

Many girls interpreted every new detail through a lens of forgiveness, Ms. Valdés Ryan said. When video emerged of Mr. Brown describing abuse suffered by his mother, many commented that Mr. Brown, of all people, should have restrained himself. But his fans, Ms. Valdés Ryan said, turned the information around: “They feel bad for him,” she said. “It’s not his fault, he doesn’t know better. We need not judge him.”

Many observers familiar with adolescent impulsivity say the rush-to-judgment also reflects a developmental stage. “What they feel in the morning can be different from what they feel in the evening,” said Esta Soler of the Family Violence Prevention Fund in San Francisco. “It’s very fluid.”

The girls’ willingness to minimize Mr. Brown’s alleged behavior also reflects a learned social signal, said Professor Morgan, who teaches African-American studies at Harvard. They’ve been taught, she said, “What really matters is that we don’t destroy boys.” Teenage girls think that if they speak out against an abuser, the boy’s future will be shattered, she said. “We have to appreciate that this is not simple for them.”

Certainly from the outset, thousands of girls and boys howled online at Chris Brown, expressing sympathy for their pop princess, RiRi. But when the young singer apparently reunited with Mr. Brown, her supporters turned on her.

“SHAME ON YOU RIHANNA!!!” one girl wrote.

Brian O’Connor, of the Family Violence Prevention Fund, said because adolescents see absolutes, they struggle to understand the complexities of why a woman would return to her abuser. “There’s love and loyalty there,” he said. “It’s not that she wants the relationship to end. She wants the violence to stop.”

Even getting this generation of teenage girls to see violence as abuse has its own challenges. Tricia Rose, who teaches African-American culture at Brown, said that the singers and their young fans are a generation steeped in commercial hip-hop, which has influenced the smack-down tone of so many recent comments. The qualified support of Mr. Brown by a few male artists also gave cover to his fans’ fidelity.

“This is the air that hip-hop breathes,” said Ms. Rose, author of “The Hip Hop Wars.” “The celebration of a stereotype of an aggressive, physical, often misogynistic masculinity that often justifies resolving conflict through violence. It can’t be held responsible for this, but it can’t be ignored.”

Moreover, teenage girls can’t be expected to support Rihanna just because of her gender, youth culture experts say. They see themselves as sharing equal responsibility with boys. Parity, not sisterhood, is the name of the game.

During a presentation about dating violence to ninth graders at Hostos-Lincoln Academy this week, one girl said, “If they hit you, smack them back. Both my parents say that to me.”

When Danielle Shores, 17, a high school junior in Austin, Tex., heard about the fight, she thought: “Yeah, men hit women, and women hit men. It was blown out of proportion because they’re celebrities.”

She sounded miffed. “My best friend got hit by her boyfriend, and I don’t see people making a big deal about it,” Ms. Shores said.

There is a lot of violence among young partners. Although the study of abuse in adolescent relationships is scarcely a decade old, the incidence is startling. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 10 percent of teenagers report being hit or slapped by a boyfriend of girlfriend.

Some studies suggest that girls are more likely than boys to report being aggressive within a dating relationship.

But Dr. Elizabeth Miller, an adolescent pediatrician at the School of Medicine at the University of California, Davis, pointed out: “The numbers of girls who sustain serious injuries, and the sexual violence sustained against girls, is much higher than boys.”

In the last few years, efforts to educate teenagers about abusive relationships have begun. Ms. Shores recently interviewed peers about abuse through Austin’s SafePlace, one of 11 programs nationwide, to receive funding for Start Strong, a teenage intervention initiative.

At Hostos-Lincoln Academy last week, Yalitza Garcia, who works with Day One, an education and counseling group for New York adolescents, led a peppery talk with ninth graders.

“Everyone blames Rihanna for this, right?” she said. “She deserves it for being so jealous?” Some students nodded.

After Ms. Garcia’s session, the students’ English teacher gave them homework. They were studying “Othello,” Shakespeare’s tragedy about jealousy, in which Othello smothers his wife, Desdemona.

Their assignment?

“Rewrite the ending of ‘Othello,’ ” they were told, “where there’s an intervention before Othello comes in with the pillow.”

WTF???

Why??? Why do all verbal fights between women end up with jabs at our weight/looks? Are we too intellectually stunted to think of anything else to say?

EFFF!!!

This article is from the Times Online.

Kiss my fat ass: Meghan McCain weighs in on pundits

Meghan McCain
Tom Baldwin in Washington
Comment Central: why Meghan McCain is right

Defeated Republicans have turned on each other with a debate on the party's future descending into a protracted bout of name-calling and poisonous remarks about the girth of John McCain's daughter.

Mocked as a “plus-sized model” and a “valley girl gone awry”, Meghan McCain has responded to what she said were “heartless, substance-less attacks about my weight” by declaring that her right-wing critics can “kiss my fat ass”.

The opening shots in what excitable cable TV channels are - perhaps inevitably - calling “the Battle of the Bulge” were fired by Ms McCain. Having already generated controversy this month by saying that the presidential campaign ruined her love life, she has now decided to take on the ultra-conservative (and very thin) commentator Ann Coulter.

The 24-year-old daughter of the Republican presidential nominee in the last election said that Ms Coulter was a “train wreck” and the “poster woman” for extreme elements who would bring further disaster to the party.

Ms Coulter is no shrinking violet, having once described Democratic convention delegates as “corn-fed, no make-up, natural fibre, no-bra needing, sandal-wearing hirsute, somewhat fragrant hippie chick pie wagons”.

On this occasion, however, she deferred to another siren of the right. Laura Ingraham used her syndicated radio show to ask: “Do you think that anyone would be talking to you if you weren't kind of cute and you weren't the daughter of John McCain?” Imitating Ms McCain's voice and intonation, she added: “Okay, I was really hoping that I was going to get that role in the Real World, but then I realised that, well, they don't like plus-sized models. They only like the women who look a certain way. On this 50th anniversary of Barbie, I really have something to say.”

Ms McCain's first response came on the Twitter social networking website: “To all the curvy girls out there, don't let anyone make you feel bad about your body. I love my curves and you should love yours too.” Then she took her fight-back to a daytime TV show and to her blog with the Daily Beast where, amid making pointed references to Ms Ingraham being “20 years older than I”, she cited examples ranging from Hillary Clinton to Jessica Simpson of women in public life being bullied over their appearance.

“Instead of intellectually debating our ideological differences about the future of the Republican Party, Ingraham resorted to making fun of my age and weight, in the fashion of the mean girls in high school,” wrote Ms McCain, adding that she had nothing to hide about her waistline - with her dress size stretching to 10 during the election.

“My weight was consistently criticised throughout the campaign. Once someone even suggested I go to a plastic surgeon for liposuction. On the other side, my mother was constantly slammed for being too skinny, so the weight obsession of the media and our culture goes both ways.

“Why, after all this time and all the progress feminists have made, is weight still such an issue? And in Laura's case, why in the world would a woman raise it? Today, taking shots at a woman's weight has become one of the last frontiers in socially accepted prejudice.”

Ms Ingraham, who like many conservatives was never really reconciled to Mr McCain representing the party in the last election, believes that his daughter is following a family tradition of attacking fellow Republicans.

“Memo to Meghan McCain: Enjoy the media coverage while it lasts, but know you're being used,” she wrote in a blog post entitled, “Useful Idiot Watch”, adding: “You are the flavour of the month in left-wing media land because you are a Republican bashing the GOP. Likewise, your dad is most popular among the same people when he is slamming his Republican brethren in full-blown ‘maverick' fashion. At least he backs up his views with a lifetime of sacrifice and public service.”

Ms Ingraham pointed out that a book had been written about Rush Limbaugh, the right-wing talk show host, describing him as a “Big Fat Idiot” while she and Ms Coulter had been ridiculed publicly as “peroxide blondes”. She said: “If you can't stand the heat, get out of the punditry business. Next time, just for fun, Meghan should pretend that she's had a change of heart and is now a pro-life conservative. Then she'll really see how the Mean Girls treatment feels.”

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

3rd Day of Girls Trip

We woke up on Sunday and were dragging our feet just a bit. A whirlwind of a weekend so far...

One of the girls wanted to go to an Israeli grocery store to get some Kosher for Passover groceries for Passover (the holiday is in April).

I realize now how LUCKY I am to live in Los Angeles. The grocery store around the corner from me has a HUGE display during Passover, as do most of the other grocery stores in the area. In fact, a couple of years ago, a rabbi conducted a tour around my Ralphs (a Kroger store) to show us what was and what wasn't Kosher for Passover!

I wasn't sure about Israeli stores in the Hollywood area so we went down to the one place I was SURE would have some. We headed to the Fairfax area, which is an EXTREMELY Jewish part of town. Breakfast was at Canter's Deli. This is a historic restaurant that has been in LA for more than 78 years. The waitresses there are great. You truly get a meal and a show :)

Breakfast was pretty much omelette's all around and sides of potato pancakes. I'm sure this comes close to blasphemy, but I like my potato pancakes better.

Afterwords we walked around the Jewish stores and the Israeli markets. My friend bought what she needed.

We headed to the airport and our trip was over.

The last couple of days I've been looking at the pictures everyone has been posting to Facebook.

Despise a couple of hiccup's, we all had a great time.

There are rumblings of next time in Vegas...

Here are some final pictures.

My friend and I sitting in a bubble:


The swing in the "Purple Haze" lounge:

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

2nd Night of Girls Trip



Surprisingly, the balcony in our room held 6 girls :)

One of the girls remarked that getting all dressed up is sometimes the best part of going out. There are many times I agree. We had a great time out, but getting dressed with friends, with the music blaring, sharing jewelry, shoes, clothes was a GREAT start to the evening.

When we came downstairs to get the car, we asked a nice gentleman to take a picture of the 7 of us.


The gentleman then got in to a beautiful Rolls Royce that his driver pulled up in. He even offered us a ride ;) We politely declined :)

Dinner was at Geisha House. This is one of those places that is VERY trendy. It is also remarkably VERY good. Some interesting items were Miso Soup with Crab Legs and Matzo Miso Soup. The sushi rolls were wonderful and EXTREMELY filling and the sashimi was beautifully arranged and very fresh. We didn't even finish the sushi - and trust me, I've never met a piece of sushi I didn't want to finish. However, the mixed drinks were on the weak side. The waiter was wonderful. He brought us a round of sake shots on the house.

We all gathered around and asked the waiter to take a picture. This gentleman in a suit came up to us and asked to take a picture with us for his myspace page. We all looked at each other and said "SURE".


It turns out that the guy is the Geisha House Somellier! He brought us a round of Geisha's Kiss shots - man were they YUMMY!!

After dinner, we decided to go to Les Deux. The same group owns both the restaurant and the club so we were able to arrange for bottle service and a table through our waiter. Our waiter was also nice enough to walk us across the street to the club.

This is a TYPICAL Hollywood "scene" nightclub. The girls (and I do mean girls) were skinny and blond and MAYBE in their WAY early 20's (if not late teens). The guys only had eyes for the pre-pubescent girls and thought they were G-d's gift to women. My friend dubbed this club "Les Douche". The music, however, was GREAT! The DJ was wonderful and all of the songs made me want to dance.

Since I was sick ALL LAST WEEK I did get tired. So, I took a nap! Yes, at the club! For about 20 minutes! On the couch! At 12:45am! Then I woke up and went to dance again! I guess my streak/ability to fall asleep at any time, any where, has not been broken :)

It took forever to get the car after the club. While we waited we got to see the "interesting" people walking around Hollywood at 2am-3am. Wow, some women have no problem letting EVERYTHING hang out when they bend over. These same women don't wear underwear either! Also, there are these cool hot dog vendors who sell bacon-wrapped hot dogs, served with grilled onions and peppers. I vacillated between being grossed out and having my mouth water :)
We got back to the hotel at about 3am and fell asleep almost immediately.

Tomorrow - day 3 (our last day together).

I hope you're all enjoying my recap. I know I am definitely smiling remembering this weekend in detail!

Monday, March 16, 2009

2nd Day of Girls Trip

On Saturday we woke up and the girls in my room drove to Coffee Bean to grab coffee for all of us. Coffee Bean is like Starbucks, but SOOO much better. There are a couple of Coffee Bean's in San Francisco, but not many.

We headed down to Robertson Blvd. for some breakfast and shopping. Breakfast was at The Newsroom. Its' biggest claim to fame - being right across the street from THE IVY (the famous celebrity restaurant with so-so food). The Newsroom has REALLY good food, regardless of whether you go there for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

I had:
Monja's Scramble eggs scrambled with spinach, bits of broken vegan sausage, caramelized onions & Parmesan - roman w/ciabatta toast.

Amazon Power Smoothie Acai...natural brazilian rainforest energy fruit with antioxidants, amino acids and essential omegas. guarana...increases stamina. vitality, heightened awareness. sambazon acai blended w/apples, strawberry, banana

The omelet was wonderful. The "vegan" sausage tasted just like REAL sausage. Very tasty. The smoothie was SO YUMMY!!!

After lunch we went to Kitson Kids (an off-shoot of the infamous Kitson boutique/store that celebrities seem to flock to for no real good reason). We all got the kids some really cute gifts (come on, we're a group of moms, we have to get the kids gifts). Some of my friends stayed on Robertson to continue shopping and some went to the Beverly Center to continue their shopping. Sadly, I had to take out a couple of hours to get my taxes done in the middle of the day.

I came back to my friends and drove some of them to The Grove. Stars come here too, but so does EVERYONE. There are cute boutiques, regular stores, an amazing American Girl multi-story store, restaurants and a farmers market. Also, there are fountains and constant concerts and other events here. If you are in LA, especially with kids, I would HIGHLY recommend coming to The Grove.

I left 45 minutes later and drove to meet 2 of the girls at a spa on Santa Monica. Voda Spa is a clean, spacious, relaxing, wonderful Spa right in the heart of the Russian part of West Hollywood, on Santa Monica Blvd.

I got the Voda Platza:
Platza master massages the warmed and relaxed skin with the venik branches, using a series of rhythmic taps and strokes. This motion both generates heat over the body and releases the essential oils from the leaves. The platza is said to draw out impurities, improve circulation, prevent premature aging of the skin, improve metabolism and refresh the spirit.

Truthfully, during the treatment, this felt like Chinese Water Torture. The heat is almost unbearable when the "master" is "beating" you with leaves and branches. Once the treatment is done, he makes you stand under a freezing "shower", then FULLY dunk in a "freezing" pool, then jump in a regular pool, then stand under a very cool different shower twice!

Somehow though, the complete treatment is WONDERFUL (I know - I can't believe it myself :) ).

I will definitely come back to Voda. It's like a little oasis in the middle of Santa Monica Blvd.

We got back to the rooms at 7pm and started getting ready for the evening.

Saturday night deserves its' own blog post...tomorrow.

Here are some pictures to tide you over until then.

This is us chilling by the pool on Friday night:


Here are 4 of us posing at The Grove:

Sunday, March 15, 2009

1st Day of Girls Trip

After YEARS and YEARS of bitching and guilt-tripping my girl friends to come visit me in LA, they DID :)

We had a great time - doing 100% typical LA activities.

This post is about the first night. More to the point, it's about where we stayed - The Standard Hotel in Hollywood.

Pulling up, it looked pretty swanky. Walking up to the registration desk, there was a woman in the wall behind the desk! She was encased in glass and laying on some pillows, on a computer! We joked that she was on facebook and IM'ing friends. It turns out that she gets paid $100 for 8 hours - and she can do WHATEVER she wants behind the glass. I joked that I would definitely take that job - from 12am to 8am every night :)

The room that 4 of us stayed in was TINY. It had two double beds and was the height of IKEA chic. The blanket on the bed was grey, utilitarian and scratchy. The 32 inch LCD screen had horrible reception. However, we did have a balcony. One that all 7 of us could fit on to take a picture. The other room that had a king sized bed and a "non-pull-out" sofa bed was huge - but still IKEA chic.

The hotel is 3 floors, with a pool in the middle. At night it is pretty cool to hang out around the pool - but truthfully, during the day, in the summer, the pool would be NOTHING special.

Right inside the hotel, there is a "yellow-laminate" diner, and through the diner, a "Purple Haze" bar/lounge. We ate "dinner" at 12am at the diner on Friday night. The food is actually quite good, but I couldn't really get past the decor. The lounge/bar is kind of nice inside (especially the purple, fuzzy, swinging benches) but the music kind of sucked.

All in all, aside from the cool chick behind the glass, and the comfy couches and plastic swinging bubble in the lobby, my first impression of The Standard was pretty "sub-Standard".

Once I get permission from my friends, I will post pictures.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Excitement

6 of my girl friends are flying down to see me this weekend.

I am picking them up at the airport tonight and we are all staying in a famous hotel in Hollywood :)

Tomorrow night we're eating dinner in an LA hot spot.

Pictures and stories will start on Sunday!

I will try to post tomorrow if I get a chance.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Parents Worst Nightmare

My friend called me today. Her twins are in 1st grade with my older monkey. My monkey's are still home sick.

She called 2 hours after the early pick-up today (normally pick up is 2:45, today 12:40). She asked if by any chance my husband had picked up her kids with my own.

I explained that my monkey was home sick today.

The twins grandma was supposed to pick up her girls and forgot about early dismissal today.

SHE DIDN'T KNOW WHERE HER KIDS WERE!!

The words a parent never wants to utter, EVER!!!

Over the next 5 minutes I started thinking about what I could do. I called one friend to see if she had seen the girls when she picked up her daughter. I was about to start calling other parents when I called the twins' mom to offer those services.

It turns out, the twins had walked the 7 blocks home and were OK!!! Luckily, it is a safe neighborhood and they didn't need to cross any major streets. We're not sure why they didn't go to the office and wait there, and have the office call the parents, but that is neither her nor there.

What a sigh of relief! I don't even want to think about what I would do if it were me. Realistically, this could have happen to any parent, at any time.

I've got to say, I'm pretty happy now that my husband got the 6 year old a cell phone in case of emergency!

The rest of our petty problems do not compare to this.

Thank G0d this ended well and the twins were home, playing safely in the back yard!

We should all count our lucky stars tonight!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A quick note

I've been fighting the flu since Sunday (I guess that's what started me feeling bad on Saturday nigh).

I've been going to work every morning, only to be home by 2pm every day.

This is the longest I have been MIA from my blog.

I hope I'm STARTING to get back to normal.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Quick, simple dinner with friends

After working today, I invited two of my friends over for a light dinner. One brought these really YUMMY shrimp pinwheel appetizers from Costco, and another brought some amazing desserts from Porto's.

I bought some cheese 's from Trader Joe's and opened some Sprats (similar to smoked anchovies).



I found this AMAZING recipe for marinade and dressing from The Pioneer Woman. Her recipe was for Ginger Steak Salad. I made mine with Salmon instead.

Ginger Salmon Salad
Marinade:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sherry
2 minced garlic cloves
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 lb Salmon
2 tablespoons olive oil

Salad Dressing:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 generous tablespoon fresh ginger, minced I used 1 tsp. powdered ginger because it was what I had
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced I OMITTED

8 ounces salad greens: baby lettuces, endive, radicchio, etc.
I added: Raw Mushrooms, Cherry Tomatoes, Garbanzo Beans

Combine steak marinade ingredients in a Ziploc bag. Mix and place steak into bag. Marinate for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Combine salad dressing ingredients. Slice green onion.

When salmon is finished marinating, add 2 tablespoons olive oil to a hot skillet. Cook salmon about 1 1/2 minutes per side, or until medium rare. Remove from skillet and keep on a plate, allowing to cool slightly. Toss salad greens in 3/4 of the salad dressing. Place salmon on cutting board and slice thinly, then pour juices from the plate over the top. Mound tossed salad on a platter, then place sliced salmon on top of salad. Pour remaining salad dressing over the top. Sprinkle green onions over the salad, and add cherry tomatoes if that makes your skirt fly up. I also added raw mushrooms and garbanzo beans.




Sorry for the crappy quality of the picture. I used my cell phone.
Dinner was wonderful and so was the company. Sadly, at about 10:30pm I started feeling horribly sick and it has lasted through today (upon re-reading this I thought I would add that it is a cold not food poisoning;)). Hopefully tomorrow I'll be better.

Friday, March 6, 2009

A calm night watching TV?

I was watching TV tonight, catching up on my trash TV. It's been a long week, and I have to work the weekend, so I decided to watch the 3 episodes of The Millionaire Matchmaker I had on my TIVO.

I vacillate between thinking that the woman is a COMPLETE psycho who gives real matchmakers and/or Jewish women a BAD NAME, and thinking she is actually telling the guys exactly how it is (go on girl!).

But tonight...she is clearly CLUELESS about at LEAST one thing. To quote Scandy, "she don't know nuthin' bout birthin' no babies!"!!

She was coaching a Female Millionaire who has a baby. Before she went on her date with a guy, Patty (the "Matchmaker") told this mom to put the baby (I think under 2 years old) to sleep at 7pm, the normal time kids go to sleep, and then relax and go to sleep early herself.

Hello??? 7pm??? I don't know about you all, but even if I "START" putting the monkeys down at 7pm, they will not fall asleep AT LEAST until 8pm or 9pm (we normally don't even START our routine until 8pm). And those hours between starting the bedtime routine and the monkey's falling sleep - anything but relaxing and restful!

This "Matchmaker" apparently thinks that raising children is just like doing it on TV - you hug them, kiss them and then wish them a good night and close the door. She does not realize that there is a constant barrage of "Mom, one more thing....I'm hungry...I'm thirsty...I need to go pee...I need to go pee again, and this time I really mean it...Mommy, I love you...and on and on and on"!

OK - rant over. Man, that felt good to get it off my chest. I tried finding a clip of this on YouTube but couldn't. If anyone finds it, please email me and I will revise this post :)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Photograph Meme

Someone tagged me for the "pick your folder and pick the "X" picture" meme and I don't remember who did it, or how to do it?!?!?!

Please comment or email me if it was you and tell me again how to do it.

I will edit this post with the real rules and picture.

I was really looking forward to it too!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
OK - Amy told me it was her :) I absolutely love her stories. Her husband is really funny too!

The rules: open the 6th picture folder on your computer, open the 6th photo and blog it. Write something about it. Then tag 6 more people to do the same.



This picture is from June 2007 and is of my older monkey. She was almost 5 at the time. She looks like a younger version of herself but even more than that, she looks like the younger monkey!! There are so many differences between them that I don't usually get it when people mistake one for the other. But here...wow!

This was at a birthday party for the little monkey's best friend (the brother of the big monkey's best friend).

I should really look at older pictures more often - thanks Amy for tagging me.

Now, to tag 6 people. Most are moms, who like me, have picture of their kids that they haven't looked at in years (in fact, most pictures will probably be of their kids if they are like me - but if not, that's OK too).

http://thenorwindians.blogspot.com/

http://shesjustanothermanicmommy.blogspot.com/

http://mangotomato.blogspot.com/ - not a mom but AMAZING pictures of food porn

http://lamomparis.blogspot.com/

http://ileftmyheartatpreschool.blogspot.com/

http://agirlsguidetoblank.blogspot.com/ - not a mom but I LOVE her dating stories

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Chain Letter Gone Blog

Lucy from Lucy's Life in Suburb World posted a couple of forwards on her blog. All were funny, but one spoke to me today :) So, I have stolen her forward and put it on my blog.

That is all the brain power I have left for today :)

AS I MATURE
I've learned that you cannot make someone love you. All you can do is stalk them and hope they panic and give in.
I've learned that no matter how much you or I care, some people are just assholes.
I've learned that it takes years to build up trust, and it only takes suspicion, not proof, to destroy it.
I've learned that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes. After that, you'd better have a big willy or huge boobs.
I've learned that you shouldn't compare yourself to others- they are more screwed up than you think.
I've learned that you can keep vomiting long after you think you're finished.
I've learned that we are responsible for what we do, unless we are celebrities.
I've learned that regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades, and there had better be a lot of money to take its place!
I've learned that 99% of the time when something isn't working in your house, one of your kids did it.
I've learned that the people you care most about in life are taken from you too soon and all the less important ones just never go away.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Roast Chicken

After my day from hell yesterday (and by the way, THANKS for commiserating with me), I realized I had a chicken in the refrigerator.

I bought a FRESH, organic, straight from the farm chicken on Saturday at the farmers market. Yesterday being Monday I really felt like I needed to use it. So, at 9pm, I put my chicken in the oven.

This is my GO-TO, ABSOLUTELY FAVORITE, roast chicken. It is SUPER easy, adaptable and just plan TASTY. I ALWAYS add lots of different vegetables for an easy one pot meal.


Perfect Roast Chicken

Recipe By : Barefoot Contessa
Serving Size : 4 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories :

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 roasting chicken -- (5 to 6 pound)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme -- plus 20 sprigs (used dried)
1 lemon -- halved
1 head garlic -- cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons butter -- (1/4 stick) melted (used olive oil)
1 large yellow onion -- thickly sliced
4 carrots -- cut into 2-inch chunks (I used a bunch of baby carrots)
1 bulb fennel -- tops removed, and cut into wedges (used zucchini, squash, potatoes, etc...)
Olive oil


(I didn't take a picture of the raw chicken because pictures of raw chicken skeeve me out)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 20 sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.

Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.

Source:
"Barefoot Contessa Cookbook page 130"


After this came out of the oven, I stood over the roasting pan and ate some piping hot. Man this was good!

I submitted this recipe for The Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Day from hell

I have had the day from HELL

I am QUITE computer savvy. I never open attachments that look sketchy.

But I was swamped today, having a bad day already and got an email:

"You have received A Hallmark E-Card. Hello!You have received a Hallmark E-Card from your friend.To see it, check the attachment."

I tried to open the attachment! I'm an idiot!

I lost 4 hours of my day, on my busiest week of the entire year! At the end of it we just moved all my data to a new computer and shut down my old computer. IT still can't figure out how to get rid of it.

I want to catch these ASSHOLE, MOTHER FUCKER, BASTARDS who let out this virus or spyware or malware or what ever the eff it is and string them up by their toe nails!!!

So, if any one gets a great greeting on a bad day from Hallmark, DO NOT OPEN IT!!!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Sometimes

I'm stealing this meme from Lana at The Kids Did What?, who found it over at found over at Sunday Stealing.

The "Sometimes" Meme: All you have to do is finish the sentence...

Sometimes I just need: To be alone
Sometimes I want: Chocolate
Sometimes I like to: Watch a movie with my two monkeys on my bed all snuggly like
Sometimes all it takes: is a "Please"
Sometimes I picture: My kids as teenagers (ACK!)
Sometimes I wish: My life was perfect (not sure exactly what that means)
Sometimes I find: Pimples (at 33 - WTF??)
Sometimes I take: Emergen-C to stave off getting sick (and it works)
Sometimes I look: Like I'm 18 (or so I'm told but old women with bad eye sight)
Sometimes I hate: When my monkeys while (actually always I hate that)
Sometimes it’s nice: To be home when no one else is around
Sometimes it hurts: When the little monkey tries to "do my hair"
Sometimes it makes me happy: When my kids are sleeping and look like angels
Sometimes it’s sad: When not everything has turned out like I thought it would
Sometimes I listen: To my mother (shhh, don't tell her)
Sometimes I sleep: Until 9am!
Sometimes I like to watch: Crap TV (more like always)
Sometimes I feel: Like SCREAMING!
Sometimes I rant: At the monkeys when they only act their age
Sometimes I never: Think I'm a grown up
Sometimes I really: Wish that I could have a do-over