Saturday, January 29, 2011

Homemade Valentine

My daughter's latest project is to make homemade Valentines for her class.  She chose the most adorable craft online (you can find it here) - check it out!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Aqualillies! Check It Out!!

Handlebar moustaches, burlesque, mini skirts - suddenly everything retro is cool again.  But I've found the most retro, cool thing EVER....... SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING LESSONS!!!  Isn't it the MOST to say the least??!!  I'll be honest, I'm in no condition right now to don a bathing suit and do ballet in the water but I'm keeping this in mind for future fun!  The class is taught at my favorite beach house (The Annenburg) by a group of lovely ladies from Aqualillies.  This session has already started but I'm sure you'll be able to put your silver suit to good use in the future!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Circus Incognitus

photo by Amanda Russell

Anyone know a kid that would not want to see this in action??  Jamie Adkins is betting that you don't!  He began his career right here in California as a street performer in San Diego at the tender age of 13!  Since then he has performed with Montreal's Cirque Eloize and Cirque du Soleil.  Impressive!  My kids can't wait to see his new show titled Circus Incognitus - it's a one- man circus comedy showing tomorrow at The Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City.  Interested in joining us?  Get your tickets here.  We'll Ooooh and Aaaaah together!

Sick Day = Craft Day!

Some days we just don't feel 100% and need to stay home with mom.... my daughter had a couple of those days this week so we had to come up with something to pass the time because it's just not fun being sick.  So, after a short trip to JoAnn Fabrics, we decided to make a new shirt.  With an old white T-shirt of her brothers, a few iron-ons, a stud placer, some scraps from old clothes and some sewing from mom, she was able to design a beautiful new shirt!  Take a look:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Apple Pan

There is something incredibly warm about an old school diner.  Takes me back to being a little girl and sharing a meal with my dad.  I love to take my kids to Apple Pan - it's an adorable, small diner on Pico - opened in 1947 and has been frozen in time ever since.  My favorites?  Tuna sandwich, Hickory burger and Banana Cream Pie!  Yummmmmm!  It's a must try if you haven't already!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Food Truck Craze!

I know, I know, the food truck craze is getting out of control - they are everywhere!!  But I gotta say....I LOVE them - they are convenient and fast and if you can find a place where there is a congregation of them, you're in luck, because there is nothing like choices in life!  This is why Tuesday evenings, in my household, are so popular.  I load the kids in the car and off we go to Main Street to the Heritage Museum/Victorian where a mess of food trucks are hanging out waiting to take our dinner orders!  My daughter may go for a hot dog at Let's Be Frank, while my son finds his way to the Slammin' Sliders truck and I dig in to Dosa.  Mmmmmmm - everyone is happy and mom is not a short-order cook that night!  Seating is available and there is entertainment sometimes as well! Good times... good times.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Right On!

My son has been skateboarding since he was 4 (he's now 7).  He LOVES it.  He quit for a year when we made the mistake of introducing video games to him, but the curtain has lifted and he is back in the bowls!  His favorite place to ride right now is The Cove in Santa Monica.  The kids there are awesome - they encourage one another, help each other and inspire everyone!  There is no better day for him than skating with his dad, then heading across the street to Tacos Por Favor.  Livin' the dream baby, livin' the dream.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Los Olivos

Wine pairing with cupcakes? - BAM!
Need I say more??  I love Los Olivos - it's a fun, romantic, quaint little town nestled among Santa Barbaras's 50 wineries and horse ranches in the San Ynez Valley.   Perfect for a get-a-way with someone you love or night on the town with girlfriends.  I did the latter.  My girlfriend and I took for the hills to check out the annual Olde Fashioned Christmas that Los Olivos puts on every year.  It was adorable and would have been perfect for the kids, but this trip wasn't just about Santa Clause (though he was there) or hot cocoa - it was about relaxation, good food and LOTS of wine tasting - so, the kids weren't invited!
We checked in at the fabulous Fess Parker Wine Country Inn & Spa and were on our way within minutes.  The first stop?  A tasting room of course, and then another and another and another and another and.... well, you get the idea.  My favorite was Saarloos & Sons.  The wine was AMAZING (my favorite being 194Six:Moon) and the place is a knockout - beautiful fireplace, amazing pourers, great decor and as I mentioned above..... CUPCAKES AND WINE PAIRING!!!  Love it!
After tasting just about every wine in the town, we decided to walk it off a bit!  The town looked so festive!!  There were luminaries lining the streets, shops stayed open late to welcome stray shoppers, there was snow and music in the park and a beautiful tree lighting in the center of it all.
As we made our way back to our hotel we came across Los Olivos Wine Merchant Cafe - it was so warm and inviting that we couldn't resist!
 The fireplace was warm, the wine was pouring and the food was scrumptious.  After some serious girl time filled with loads of laughter we headed out in the crisp night air to find our way back to the hotel - can you believe there were a group of men gathered together playing sensational blues music?
 They were stationed right next to another tasting room that was STILL open!  Awwww.... what the hell, one more glass won't kill us!  

Friday, January 7, 2011

It's a Mash-Up!

My son, no thanks to my husband, is crazy about Heavy Metal music.  We try to round it out a bit but when we put on Jazz, Classical or Blues he looks at us like we're crazy.  So, it's time to get off this Crazy Train and look elsewhere for some help.  The Broad Stage in Santa Monica is mixing it up this year by offering a Saturday morning children's concert called the Mash Up.  Here's what they do:  they mix and blend different sounds, genres, beats and eras and create a new way of experiencing music.  For at least one morning, my son and husband will not Rage Against The Machine but instead Take The A Train to The Broad Stage for some fresh new beats.  Ahhhh.... puts me In A Sentimental Mood.... interested in joining us?  Purchase your tickets here.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Rock On!

OK, seriously, is there anything better than a guitar playing T-shirt??!!  It has an amp attached and it works!!!!  LOVE THIS!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Winter Solstice!

This year, to celebrate the Winter Solstice we decided it would be lovely to celebrate by making sure all the animals in the woods had a touch of the Christmas spirit!  So, my daughter, mother and I set out to decorate a tree for our fury friends.  We cut up ruby red apples, bright orange oranges, covered pine cones we collected in peanut butter and birdseed and strung popcorn.  It was so wonderful to have 3 generations of ladies working together!
 Once the decorations were complete, we bundled up and headed to the woods to find a tree.  It turned out fabulous!  And as you can see, we had animals feasting right away!!

Lucian, our family dog enjoying the fruits of our labor!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

White Christmas!

I love Los Angeles, but I'll never get used to a sun shiny Christmas - I need to see snow!  This year we made the trek to Detroit to see friends and family.  One of my oldest and dearest girlfriends bought a farmhouse and invited us out to see the place - it's a dream come true.  She has a wonderful blog about the property that you can read about here.  The house itself is lovely but the real treat is out back!
you can read more about my beautiful friend and her farm here
 Just past their gorgeous vintage Airstream is a barn that houses their chickens (my favorite), dirt bikes and her husbands vintage snowmobile collection.  The kids had a BLAST racing around the property!

After a few trail rides, it was time to thaw out at the famous White Horse Inn.  Established in 1850, the White Horse Inn is the oldest restaurant in Michigan.  Lorenzo, the resident ghost is known to make appearances quite often, however we weren't lucky enough to receive a visit.  We were lucky enough to see Santa Clause though!!!  He was such a jolly man - gave the kids magical candy canes to put under their tree!
On our way out the door we grabbed some hot cocoa, gave Big Jack (our HUGE, majestic horse) a pat and hopped on the sleigh for a ride into the night.  This was truly a magical evening and one I'm sure none of us will ever forget!