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i believe…

dec15 soccer ball and flip flops

girls CAN change the world.

i painted this little piece years ago.  when brooke was younger.  i liked the words by Audrey Hepburn.  who doesn’t love her quotes?  little did i know that this photo would be used for a blog post years later as a reminder of how amazing our daughter is.  she will be graduating from high school in a few months and she is now looking at life in a whole new  way.  lots of decisions to make.  lots of choices.  lots of people giving her advice (whether she wants it or not… haha).

we have spent hours and hours trying to find the perfect college fit for brooke.  it is exhausting… but in the end worth it… or so they say.

i hear stories of how people have paid thousands of dollars to get the best SAT and ACT training… months in advance of the tests.  parents are paying for others to help their students write their essays.  their kids have somehow lettered in sports just by being on the team.  they even have letters for volunteer work if you prove it to the school (i believe our kids should be volunteering through life regardless… i wish i’d known about this sooner as brooke spends many hours of volunteer work… oh well, lesson learned… i do know it is a good thing she does volunteer.  it’s good for the soul… letter or not).  how can these universities base it on only test scores, essays and sports their parents have helped them get.  don’t these colleges want to meet the students?  aren’t they curious how this next generation wants to improve our world?  trust me, it is a whole new process.  and brooke being our first born, we are learning a lot!

now, these kids are having to prove they are better than the rest.  they are very anxious and have anxiety about getting into the best of the best.  i think that’s why the parents have stepped in.  what ever happened to students proving they are worthy of these school?

when i went to college, i remember taking my tests on a Saturday at our actual high school.  nobody prepared me.  they wanted to see what i actually knew.  i applied by getting a reference, filling out an application (in ball point pen). or maybe i typed it on my real typewriter; then asking my mom for a stamp to mail it.  and i mailed it from our non-locked mailbox at the top of our road.  i had decent grades.  there weren’t things like 4.2 gpa’s.  i hadn’t actually heard that was even possible until our kids went to school.  funny.  it was pretty easy to get into college back then (in the early 80’s).  it was the next step in life.  socially fun.  it’s what we did.  and they made it easy for us to get there.  life was so much simpler then… or was it?  maybe i should ask my mom.

brooke did not get into her one college of choice.  she only applied to one college.  even though we begged her to apply to others.  she said she knew “the one” and would have to research others.  the requirements were so high at her one choice of school.  but she tried.  she wrote an essay she thought they’d like to read.  she took her tests twice to get her scores to their standards.. and she increased them quite a bit.  she even visited the school twice. she finally applied.  then waited.  the email came.  yes, email.  they actually emailed her.  boy have times changed.  she waiting for the mail for days.  and it came via email.

the beauty of the process was this… she realized she was looking at colleges for reasons that she thought were important at the time.  and maybe we were all pushing her to what we liked and what we knew.  all we really knew was one person that went there and loved it… so, after picking herself up, and doing a lot of research online to see what other colleges in the So Cal area offered what she was looking for, she sat down for hours and rewrote her essay.  she cried when she read it to us.  it was perfect.  it was her.  it was very touching.  it was about a personal moment in her life.  then she applied to more.  fingers crossed this time.  i’m glad she got a chance to look at things from a different perspective.  she has now applied to a few colleges that have everything she is looking for.  and she didn’t even know it until having to change course.  i am so proud of this girl.

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did i mention she is also meeting with her model management team next week?  who knows where her path will go after high school.  i do know this… she will change the world along the way.  and that i know for sure.

happy tuesday.


back to school. back to reality…


i am not a morning person.

i am a late night person.  i wait for everyone to go to bed, then i get out my paint and i turn on reality tv.  then i pay for it in the morning. i am a big coffee drinker because of this ritual.  i know i must stop the madness.  but, it’s so peaceful at night.  my time.  okay, i will try harder in 2015 to make mornings count.

today the kids went back to school.

lucky for me, greg had the day off.  and he was home.  and we just sat around all morning.  drinking coffee.  watching the news and sports and some super funny show with a judge and three young guys trying to sue their friend.  then we put the Christmas tree away.  and had jersey mike’s sub sandwiches (had to try for my first time… they were ok).  it was nice.  i wish i didn’t feel guilty about these kind of days.

the kids will be home soon so we are pretending we have been up, accomplishing important things, all day.  haha.

i vow to be a better morning person starting tomorrow.

i promise.

happy monday.


resolution time again…



that’s just funny.

my resolution you ask?

should be eat healthier, work out, become organized, etc. etc. etc.

but it’s a simple one this year.

only 2 things…

laugh more.  and write personal letters/thank you notes.

that’s it.

i think i can do it.

wait, it’s only 2 things… I KNOW I CAN DO IT.

the laughter burns calories (that checks off the eating healthier and going to the gym… right?) and i believe in “the hand written note”.  i quit sending them years ago.  laziness i suppose.  i would write a note in a card, then go to the grocery store and spend $100 on groceries but forget the stamps. then bring the card home.  in the meantime it would fall between the seats in my car only to be found months later when i decided to actually clean my car in those spots where you just don’t clean (you know it, don’t pretend you clean by your seatbelts on the floor every week).  then i would find the card and it would be bent and months after the fact of why i wrote the card and i still didn’t have a stamp…. oh, it goes on an on.  anyway, i’m getting stamps and stationery this month.  and guess what?  you might actually get a letter or card from me.  wow.

happy wednesday… and happy new year!


i am me. simple as that.


you know when you find those words, phrases and quotes that speak to you instantly?

well, i do that every day.  read words.  share them.  pin them.  write them down.  invent them.  say them.  hear them.  paint them.  it’s what just part of my day being a word artist.

then I came across these 12 words.

and they shouted out to me.

not everyone has to fight to become who/what they want to be.  some settle.  some are born into extreme privilege.  some just don’t care.  but, i find the best of the best are those that had a little “fight” in them and made it to the top.  those are the stories i love to hear.



happy monday.


i’m all about the app, ’bout the app…


the “app”etizer, that is!

here’s a great one for Christmas.

i make it every year.  it gets devoured real quick.  it’s that good.

i’m hoping to get my cookbooks attached to this site in the next two months.  it’s called APPETIZERS & DESSERTS… WHO NEEDS DINNER?  my kind of cooking.  this recipe is on page. 20 for those of you that have one.  until then, here’s the recipe.



1 whole wheel of brie (Trader Joe’s or Costco has the creamiest, smoothest, delicious… and best priced)

1 c. Kahlua

1 c. brown sugar, packed

1 c. chopped pecans

preheat oven to 350.  slice top off brie and place in a super cute, oven safe dish..  bake for 10-15 minutes.  while baking, bring Kahlua and brown sugar to a boil in a pan.  reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  add the pecans.  remove from heat.  take brie out of oven and pour Kahlua mixture over top.  sprinkle additional pecans over top just for fun.  serve with crackers.  it’s great hot or at room temperature.  enjoy!

happy wednesday.


i want a cool, hip home for the holidays…


why can’t my home look this cute during the holidays?

1. i am finishing up art that is being delivered tomorrow.  I paint like a crazy person the entire month of December and swear I will not do it again the following year.  and I do.  I just do.

2. everything we own seems to be a hand-me-down from my childhood.  funny thing is, my mom brings over her old Christmas things every year.  do I want them?  sure.  why not?  they have total memories.  so, each year we just add more and more old stuff.  funny.

3.  my house is not white inside.  once I decided I needed a dark red wall.  now it’s too hard to cover.  so, the rest of the walls are a great taupe color by restoration hardware.  and the one wall, yes the one you see when you enter our home, is red.  bright red.  ok, sure, that’s really no excuse now that i think of it…. one red wall would be perfect for the photo above!

4. we are trying to move.  yes, we want to put our home on the market in the next few months.  and I ask myself, “why put all that effort into decorating so beautifully… save it for our new place”… of course i probably won’t do it there either.

5. we have 4 Christmases every year.  yep, just like the movie with vince Vaughn and reece witherspoon.  just like that.  no lie.  and it used to bother me spending hours upon hours riding in the car.  and i would wrap the gifts to the person we were visiting 10 minutes before leaving.  and i would be all hot and sweaty by the time we left.  that’s another reason why our own home gets a bit neglected.  that reminds me… must watch 4 Christmases this week!

i think you get it.

i want to be ultra cool and hip.

but this year, once again, my home is just filled with a lot of my childhood history…. and love.  and that is good enough for me.

happy tuesday.


photo pinned from





i’m obsessed with baseball tee’s…



i wish i had this for tonight.

because i am at home.

yes, on a friday night.

home alone.  greg at work until tomorrow night.  kids at friends homes.  and i am painting away.  but it would be so much for fun to paint in this tee.  I am going to order it in the new year.  available at


i do have wine though.

and i do have this tee.

i ordered it a few months back from  love love love it.  wear it all of the time.  people ask where i got it.  i tell them i saw it on facebook and for the first time in my life got out my wallet and said “that is mine!”.




then there is this favorite.

i am a california girl.  born in laguna beach.  i had to have it.  once i found out brooke would be moving to california next fall, i ordered it for her.  and of course i said to myself, “why not… get one for yourself.”  and i did.  from  my favorite part is the story of the girls who own this company.  i’m jealous.  i wish i had done that when i was younger.  dream big… reach for the stars!



and last but not least, my fav that i do not own yet.

i am waiting for baseball season to start.  the actual games.  so i can wear it with my converse sneakers and rolled up jeans.  i will be pulling up in a month or two and will wait patiently for my favorite UPS man.  yay.

happy friday.