sorry i was gone so long…


i had a date with netflix.

well kind of.

i was helping our daughter find, and move into a new place in santa monica.  a friend of ours graciously offered her son’s condo to us for a week or two.  had no idea it would take 3 weeks.  and i don’t think they did either.  i owe a debt of gratitude to this family.  one, for making it affordable for us to stay.  and, two, for giving my daughter and i three weeks out of our lives we will never forget.  thank you from the bottom of my heart.  and hers too.


three weeks.   well, let me tell you… a lot can happen in 3 weeks….

our son started driving in driver’s ed…


…no bills were paid while i was gone because i am the one who pays them (insert heavy sign and “uh oh, gotta make some calls today”).  we met some pretty colorful characters while in CA house hunting (a sweetheart neamed “kitten”… a landlord that had police visit during the move in and back up police called to assist (yes, she got her deposit back)… a dj that works nights in clubs but would teach her to surf during the day… two girls that wanted to make triple sure she was 420 friendly… yep, that’s pot, marijuana, and i think i got the numbers correct, they were worried she might be too young for them…  a place that lets their dogs poop inside their house and you walk around it or pick it up yourself…  a person that hadn’t cleaned in months and made my house at home look spotless…  a grandma who was lonely…  a mom who missed her daughters and was renting their rooms out (i wonder if they know)…  a single mom with two kids who might have really just wanted a babysitter…. oh, i could go on.  los angeles.  hollywood.  venice beach.  santa monica.  looked everywhere.

 and every night we came home to our cute little condo… two blocks from the beach… with netflix and wine as my entertainment while she did homework.  loads of homework.

and i landed on the show FIXER UPPER.

chip and Joanna gaines.  quite possible the cutest couple from texas.  with 4 of the cutest kids.  and a decorating style that seems to be a bit of country, modern, hip, sweet and based one each individual client.  i fell in love.  watched every episode.  wanted her wardrobe.  wanted my kids to be young again.  wanted their goats (i had goats as a kid and for some reason i’m missing them now…haha).  just truly enjoyed their story.

a few of the things i wanted are available on their website

jan25magnoliamarket sign

love love love Joanna’s personal style…

jan25magnolia bracelet

leather bracelet.  Joanna wears on the show.  love it. want it. need it.   $66

jan25magnolia beloved necklace

“beloved” necklace.  so sweet and simple.  unfortunately “out of stock”.  made by a local waco, tx artist so i put my name on the “to be notified when it comes back in stock” list.

jan25magnolia destressed leather tote

distressed leather tote.  it comes in a few shapes and sizes.  i’m not picky!  $175 – $350

jan25magnolia tube earrings

metal tube earrings.  i have got to own these. birthday is less than 2 months away.  hint.  $34


love love love the gaines family home style…

jan25magnolia family rules sign

everyone needs a “family rules” sign.  and these seem to be very important rules for our family also. $155

jan25magnolia format pot

it’s apparent i love black and white with pops of color.  these pots are so darn cute.  from $6 ea.

jan25magnolia metal magazine rack

metal wall pockets.  for files.  for magazines.  for whatever.  i like.  i want.  $68

jan25magnolia home sign

and I’ve fallen completely in love with this one. the shiplap sign.  they design a lot of their homes with “shiplap”.  i didn’t even know what that word was until i watched this show.  now i know what many of my waterfront home friends have in their home.  so, if i can’t have a waterfront home right now, i can have some shiplap.  HOME.  the perfect word.  $96

jan25magnolia kids

how cute are their kids?

jan25magnolia chip and joanna

and how cute are they?

i suggest you go to the store now.  get some snacks.  some wine (or if you don’t drink, some milkshake makings).  and settle in for hours of binge watching this show.

you will be glad you did.

happy monday.


food porn. you are welcome…


food porn. that’s what they call it. food through media that makes you wish you had that delectable item in your hands. right now!

and trust me… hermosa beach has it.


i only wish i had a fancy camera to capture it all. until then, this is my version of food porn in southern CA.


in-n-out burgers!!! need i say more?

this time we ordered single patties and didn’t have “animal style” fries… and we drank water.  that’s healthy. right?!  haha.


no. not technically food porn. sorry. i know you were hoping this would be an oowey gooey char broiled burger, dripping with melted cheese and topped with ripe fresh avocados…..but the best thing we bought for the condo we are staying in (we decided no cooking so we don’t have to clean the kitchen)… is this… the best yogurt and granola from trader joes.  we added frozen organic blueberries and sliced bananas on top. after eating this i almost felt like i could run the path along the beach. i said almost.


this is more like it. california breakfast. egg and bacon homemade burrito with the hottest coffee ever. love it that way. oh, and served with a salsa that is to die for!!

thanks JAVA MAN for welcoming us every morning.


oh ya, they also have homemade cinnamon rolls and hearty oatmeal with locally made granola, raisins and brown sugar. this one’s for the carb lover!



project taco. little hole in the wall. on the pier. only 1 little window with 2 guys inside. always packed so we had to try the grilled fish taco and pot roast taco (never heard of pot roast taco). this photo makes them look huge. they are not. they are street tacos. little. 2-3 bites.

yummmm. the sauces. one of them burned our lips. it was so hot. but we kept laughing and eating because they were addicting. good news is we drank lots of water.


please don’t judge. yes, this is nestle toll house raw cookie dough. and chocolate milk with coffee in it. reminded me of the old school cafeteria milk.  and the cookie dough? it’s a family thing. about  50 of us in our family eat it. and like it. and truthfully don’t care what others think about our quirky behavior. we just eat it and that’s that.





the Rockefeller. OMG.

ate there a few times. one night we split a lobster pot pie. i’m salivating just talking about it. and i’m bummed i didn’t take a photo. we were so hungry that we just dove in!!

we always split meals. then i don’t feel so guilty. and by the way, these photos are making the tacos all look really big. not! i could have eaten more.but on a budget and my jeans were not that loose to begin with.


do you love old school bars? the kind that are so dark inside you can’t read the menu so you just order cocktails?



reminded me of my grandpa and grandma and their manhattans. they would have loved this joint.

i sat at the bar. met a few locals. and ordered my usual “crown and diet”… then the sweet bartender introduced me to these cherries. steeped in liquor. sour cherries. i have to get some of these when i get home for my manhattan/whiskey drinking friends… Yes, edward i’ll get you a jar too!

then there is paisanos pizza.

hey, we were here almost 3 weeks and just decided to have pizza.



order your slice and they heat it in the oven while you stare in awe of celebrity photos.

yes, I’m like that. i got it from my mom. we love celebrity spotting… not that we’d know one if we saw one.



this is what i ordered yesterday at the American Junkie. while watching the seahawks play.  yes, sad day for seattle fans…sat outside. with sunglasses on. and saw this on the menu. steak teriyaki on rice with veggies, fresh avocado a fried egg and sprinkled black sesame seeds on top. that was it. “i’ll take it… oh, and a glass of pinot grigio please”.


brookie and jay joined me. but they got pop!


she got chicken and waffles with jalapeño syrup.


he he got the breakfast burrito and fruit. he is on a college baseball team and he is in training. but i did see him steal a bite of her waffle. oh wait, maybe that was me!


i’m going to end with this photo.

every day i walk down to the beach. 2 blocks. and reflect on the day. and every few days brooke joins me and we go to paradise bowls and get this!!

the bottom layer is some frozen smoothly concoction with seeds and stuff that are supposed to be good for me. then topped with homemade granola, fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey.

a feel good splurge.

ive gotta say, i’ve loved the people iI’ve met here and appreciated the fresh air and the sound of the waves crashing on the beach.  most of all the time i’ve spent with my daughter. i will always remember this moment for as long i live.

born in Laguna Beach almost 52 years ago has made me need this in my soul.

see you later hermosa!

happy tuesday.


thanks for the message Steve Jobs…


we’ve been in CA two weeks. the first week it poured down rain. worse than WA state. the second week we found a roommate for brooke and i met a really cool surfer who appears to be famous (in the surfing world) that inspired me to paint. thanks DJ for the inspiration. your story is sooo cool.


long story short (not going into details) her place was not what we wanted for her.  yep, we are now looking for a different place to live. please do not text, email or call us to ask the details. only reach out if you know of a place.  thank you.

yes, insert heavy sigh.

we have two days to find the perfect place.

so, i’m going to assume God sent me a message this morning with this Steve Jobs quote.

now off we go….

happy monday.



celebrate good times. come on…


yes, we are celebrating!

started out today waking up to remembering it’s my cousin’s birthday.  ok, technically she’s my cousin’s wife. but we all call each other cousins. so many of us.

our “family thing” is eating raw cookie dough. no feedback on the “raw egg” thing please. we’ve eaten it for years and not one person has ever felt any weird consequences.  seriously.  just good tasting fun!

we’ve celebrated a birthday with a raw cookie dough cake with 40 spoons placed into it.  we’ve served raw cookie dough balls on silver platters at the beach house during the summer.  we call it “appetizers”.  awesome!  we just really like raw cookie dough.

so, we celebrate you, cousin shelli with “no raw egg” chocolate chip cookie dough.  we are in CA now so no cooking for us.  just college classes during day for brookie and searching for a roommate all day via my computer while texting her info.


guess what?

she found a roomie today!

and we are celebrating tonight with fish tacos under the heat lamp outside… and a hot homemade chocolate chip cookie with ice cream, whip cream and a fancy little green mint piece on top.

for tonight we will have sweet dreams!

happy friday.


let your light/life shine – just like glittery pink…


we met this girl the other day.  Kay Sera.  she calls herself “kitten”.

actually brooke met her while looking for a place to live.  seriously.  when they talked on the phone she asked if she’d mind a pink room.  didn’t say how much pink.  she came out to the gate in her pink hair and cute pink dress.  the only thing that wasn’t pink was her bright white smile.  she was so sweet.  she gives back to the community.  she cares.  she has lots of friends.  she’s a good person.  and has branded herself as the pink lady of hollywood.  she’s the real deal.  we only wished she lived closer to brookes college.  the drive was just too far.  and for those naysayers… It’s fun to meet new people and hear their stories.  pink rocks!  it’s a happy color that makes others happy!


pink dog.  pink walls.  pink carpet.  pink refrigerator. pink cupcakes. pink tv. pink guitar.  even pink vacuum.  yay, she vacuums!

and the sweetest, bubbly pink personality.


so, i say to you sweet daughter of mine…

dream big.  shine baby shine!

(oh, mason… don’t worry, we will find you a blue house when it’s your turn to move out.  after all, your mom is an artist and i think it’s just fine to live in color!)

happy thursday.


note: these photos came from google images.

laundry. it never ends. not even on vacation…


don’t hate.

this really isn’t a typical vacation at all.

this is the cutest laundry place i’ve ever seen.  $2.50 a load.  $1.75 to dry.  And i can sit in the front window and people watch.  this is actually very therapeutic. i’d love to find one of these back home… but what’s the point… we have a washer and dreyer… and it’s rainy back home… and of course there is no other place i can think of with a cute pink sign and a view of palm trees anywhere in washington state.

notes to self:  1. it would be okay to move here.. even if it’s just for the laundry place!  2.  buy new panties… hers  are so cute. i must treat myself more often!!


laundry tip… these fresh linen dreyer sheets are from target. they smell yummy!!  thought you might want to know that for your next trip to target.


brookie is in class.  Spending the day in santa monica on roomie interviews.  i dare you to find the right roommate for the right price in this big city!

i met a lady last night at a bar.  she was waiting for her husband to join her.  so we chatted.  i was picking up takeout.  what a sweet thing… she gave me her sons number, who apparently has 50 or more friends in that area… thanks angel lady.  then got a late night text from a friend… she’s got the feelers out.  and connections!!  thank you angel friend…  i’m making you an angel painting when i get home… the angel  will have a “pink Hollywood” heart on her (inside joke only you would understand).

i hadn’t mentioned this was a stressful process because my friends and family wouldn’t understand.  it’s harder than they know.  i’m her mom and want the best for her.  i’m supposed to protect her.  i’m supposed to be her cheerleader.

so, i’ve turned my scared, lonely, anxious attitude into…. Come on girl!! Don’t quit!! Just pretend you are on vacation!!

so i am,

on vacation.

in a pink door laundromat.

with David Bowie music blaring.

now doesn’t that sound better?

happy Wednesday!


yes, i’m in CA. thank you for asking…


she is why.  our brooke camille.

got her into her new college.  now just searching for the “appropriate” place to live.

it’s unlike like all of our friends’ stories… get kid in college. kid goes straight to dorm on campus that is secure and safe and full of kids their same age.  then join greek system.  just pay bill every month and they graduate in 4 years and everyone is happy.

um, not our path.  not even close.   i wish.

but we’ve got a kid who has already traveled to South Korea at 16, and has now left her safety net of her previous college and lacrosse and friends to get her dental hygienist requirements and to find an agent.  not the easy way.  but the kind of way that we’ve told her will make a great story one day!!

the boys are bacheloring it at home with frozen salisbury steaks, pizza and the occasional salad.  i want to personally thank all of our friends who are pampering them… i owe you!!!  oh, and I forgot… drivers ed started last week.  gotta get a photo of that!! oh boy…

us girls are flying by the seat of our pants with yogurt, fruit, cheese, crackers and lots of starbucks coffee to keep us going.


thanks NOVOGRATZ family for the advice.  David Bowie definitely had some great words to tell.

we are truly on an adventure we will never forget.

right, brookie?

i can’t wait to post some photos that will make you smile.  and laugh.  give me a few days to get her settled.  trust me.  we’ve met some amazingly unique people along the way.

happy tuesday.


January 1, 2016…



i slept in.  got my husband to go to mcdonalds and get us all breakfast.  made coffee.  watched tv.  stayed in my pajamas most of the day. eventually went to target for useless items.  had a bloody mary with a friend.  went out to dinner with my husband, kids and two tag a longs.  got all four of us to coordinate our calendars for the next two weeks since i will be with brooke soaking up some sun (while she goes to college, looks for a roommate and finds an agent in los angeles).  resuscitated our fish back to life.  punished the cat.  paid some bills.  and now i intend to pour a hot bubble bath with my new jo malone bath oil (thanks mom) and pour myself a glass of wine.  then put on my big fluffy white seahawks robe and turn on the boob tube (as my dad used to call it).

i think i’ve had a terrific day… according to my standards.

happy friday.

and happy new year.


you go girl. you can do it. or just take a nap. it’s up to you…



clean house.  call cleaning lady to really clean the house.  drink coffee.  lots of coffee.  put away holiday stuff (good thing i didn’t put much up).  go to grocery store to get food.  real food as my kids call it.  search for an apartment for brooke.  pray one comes easily.  an affordable one.  book tickets to CA to get her moved in.  find people to help me with mason.  drink more coffee.  don’t forget to drink water too.  buy new comforter for mason’s room so brooke’s boyfriend is comfortable when he visits (um, shouldn’t i have done that for mason in the first place).  get ingredients for a cake.  yep, kids requested a white cake with thick fudge frosting and topped with gummy bears.  ok.  pay bills.  write some thank you notes.  buy stamps.  convince family we are all going out to dinner tonight.  get some epsom salts for sore leg (i’m sure it will be really sore by the time i’m done with this day).  pour a hot bath.  sip a glass of wine.  settle in with some tv or a movie and write down a list of what i need to do tomorrow.

happy monday.


ps.. i promise to show you photos of the holidays… after i download them to my computer.  as you can tell, i’m too busy for that today.  heck, maybe i should just take a nap!!!