It goes without saying, our new house. Still getting all settled in & nesting, but everyday it feels more like home & we love it!
Our new pup! I meant to do a post about this, but I haven’t had the time. So everyone, meet Frank, our 4 month old black Lab mix. He’s a rescue, both he and his brother were abandoned roadside before they were weened, meaning they were both bottle babies when rescued by Kitten Rescue. He’s now happily adjusted in our home, completely devoted to Julian, and very curious about our cats (who aren’t completely warmed up to him just yet, but getting there). He’s extremely loving, very playful, and sleeps on his back with all four legs in the air. We LOVE him!
Also, getting to spend a week with my littlest brother & sister. They are such smart, funny kids – I hate not getting to see them but a few times a year, so this week of non-stop hanging out was much, much needed! We galavanted all over town, went to Disneyland, the beach, Hollywood, Warner Bros studios, but spent a whooole lot of time swimming in the pool and doing this:
Even with so many big, awesome things to be thankful for, you can’t ignore the little things. Like:
having a dishwasher (omg) • late night painting of my husband’s office with said husband while watching Dumb and Dumber (we painted a wall chalkboard paint and it looks so neat) • successfully completing my first morning run in the hills… NOT as easy as I thought it’d be – I have clearly been taking the easy way out with my prior flat routes – but I’m getting used to it • our new neighbors, so friendly • Julian teaching Frank how to speak within 3 days of having him – he is so smart! He also mostly knows how to ‘stay’ • hanging a bird feeder outside • getting a box of housewarming goodies from my in-laws • buying all new towels (believe it or not – these are the first towels I ever bought for myself as an adult… I’ve been using the same ones my Mom bought me years & years ago!) • listening to sprinklers through open windows/doors • parking lots and (mostly) traffic-free streets • our vintage oven – it is so amazing. Things were made better in the old days, I’m tellin’ ya. • having a guest house for Julian to retreat to and do his work/man things • seeing all the new ‘spots’ the girls pick for their naps – I love this about cats • making orange juice from oranges growing in the backyard • going to see Cirque du Soleil IRIS tonight!
And finally… tomorrow will be exactly one month until my first day of school. Commence excitement/anxiety/panic… ah!!
It’s a little late in the day to be posting this, but I spent the better part of the day trying to recover from a head-splitting jaw ache (thank you, TMJ). I try not to nap often because it throws off my sleep schedule, but sometimes there is just no better cure, and might I add, thank God for earplugs? We moved in next door to a temporary construction zone because of a remodel, and thanks to the earplugs, I was able to sleep through what sounded like a circular saw cutting through wood every 7 seconds. But now I’m all better! So onto the links.
I so want to watch this new documentary I May Be Frank. About a 54 yr old man in terrible shape who lets a bunch of raw vegan hipsters in SF take him through a nutritional and spiritual journey to a better life. Sounds terrible right? But it’s actually got really great reviews!
Well, I survived. But just barely. The two week double-header known as packing-moving-unpacking-get a new dog-week-turned-drive to AZ-turn around, drive back to LA-host little siblings-go to Disneyland, Warner Bros, etc-week has officially come to an end…. BREATHE.
The week with my little brother & sister was beyond amazing, but I can’t ever remember being this tired or out of sorts! Remind me to never schedule this many things in one short timeframe ever again. On the plus side, the new house is kind of starting to feel like home, I’m tanner than usual thanks to having a pool in the backyard, and the new puppy sleeps a lot, which is way better than barking/peeing on the floor a lot. As a matter of fact, he’s sprawled out in his bed with all four legs in the air as I type this. And the house is silent… which it hasn’t been since we moved in. I can’t stop taking deep breaths, because I kind of feel like I haven’t breathed since we began this process!
This ought to explain the lack of posting here. I’m sure I’ll be back to normal soon, though I plan on doing an awful lot of this for the rest of the weekend:
Someone recently told me that moving is the second most stressful thing a person can go through, and that the only thing more stressful is losing a loved one. I think that’s bologna. Moving isn’t so bad – obnoxious, expensive, yes, but it’s not THAT bad. But maybe that’s because I’ve moved a grand total of 12 times since graduating high school & moving into my college dorm (this will make lucky number 13). I’m hoping this is the end of that. I’m nearly 29 years old after all – it’s time to stay in one place longer than 2 years.
Honestly, the packing so far hasn’t been too bad. Believe it or not we are actually ahead of schedule. We rented these green boxes again and once again, I have to highly recommend them to anyone moving in SoCal. They are so genius, and the customer service is A+. Our entire house is filled with these stackable green boxes, and we’ve been on a roll getting everything squared away. One of the reasons I love moving is because it gives you a chance to clear out any clutter/junk you’ve accumulated. Thank goodness we have an Out of the Closet donation center right around the corner from us!
So we’re basically done packing, though the movers don’t come until tomorrow morning. And that’s when the fun begins… because in the span of a week, we move, unpack, coddle the cats as they adjust, get a new puppy, figure that out, coddle the cats some more and assure them that they’re still my babies, then on Friday I leave Julian alone in a new house with two cats and one dog and drive to Tucson to pick up my little brother & sister, drive all the way back to LA with tiny siblings in tow on Sunday, and then we have them for a week. And I think that’s around the time I’ll let out a massive sigh and jump into this:
Ha. We are soooo excited to be moving into an actual house, in an actual neighborhood, close enough to the action but away from the madness I’ve been living in for the last 5 years. Bring it on!
One of the advantages of being the first born (especially in the booming 80s) is that your parents dress you in the coolest clothes, before they realize how overpriced baby clothes are & how fast you outgrow them. Not that this outfit is a true indicator of my Mom’s splurging habits, but I do love it. I also love that Mom (or Dad?) wasn’t afraid to dress her baby daughter in jeans & a red flannel (but throwing the feminine barrette in for good measure). I am gonna have to bring this look back.
Oh boy – so, I never posted the original video (though it is funny, I’m pretty sure its faker than Travolta’s hair), but I have to post the remix because it is about 1000x better and everything these guys do is just pure hilarity. This is for all you cat ladies!
With the Fourth of July behind me and an enormous stack of moving boxes in front of me, I haven’t had all the time I’d like to be finding neat articles online. But I did manage to find a few worth sharing. So have at it! In the meantime, I’ll be over here, eating fruit roll-ups while procrastinating and crying about how much I hate packing.
Bionic cat walks on prosthetic legs. This is a year old story, but things like this never really get old! Watch the video – it is so amazing. That kitty now has a second chance at life!
In my experience, the 4th of July is one of those holidays that is generally better when you aren’t living in a big city thousands of miles away from your family. Because I grew up celebrating the Fourth on a remote beach on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, being a 20-something in an apartment just hasn’t proved effective for having a fantastic summer bash centered around lighting food & explosives on fire. Especially in LA, where the beaches and parks are crazy busy, you aren’t allowed to grill most places, and the fireworks shows are busy (and sometimes pretty cheesy), so unless you happen to have a friend or family member with a backyard and a pool (or you go out of town), your options for celebrating Independence Day are limited.
Mostly, I haven’t even attempted to celebrate since I moved to LA five years ago. It just doesn’t feel right to me unless we are shucking corn with dogs running around, kids with sparklers on the roof of the beach house, Dads breaking out illegal fireworks, and fireflies buzzing all around us. (J’s family also has a enormous annual bash at a local park – complete with REAL fireworks – it’s kinda his Grandpa’s thing.) This 4th of July, however, I was determined. As of 10am on the 4th of July, that is (as I mentioned before, J and I didn’t make a single plan beforehand. But I woke up determined.) For starters, we’ve been a little busy with preparing to move, preparing for family visits, and preparing for a new dog (more on that soon). We couldn’t go out of town because of our busy-ness (though we had an invitation to go tubing in Palm Springs – would’ve been amaaaaazing), so an LA 4th of July was as good as it was gonna get. Usually, that involves watching movies all day and driving around at dusk hoping to see some sort of a firework. But seeing as we’re about to move into a house that would remedy the no-pool-no-backyard syndrome, we decided to make it count as our last non-house, lazy LA 4th of July. Kinda bittersweet in a way, it feels like I’m becoming a ‘real adult,’ whatever that is. This was the 4th of July we wouldn’t have a cocoon to nestle into and pretend we don’t live in Los Angeles.
So we looked for plans. As luck would have it, Hall & Oates was pulling a double header 4th of July Spectacular at the Hollywood Bowl, and tickets just happened to still be available for not outrageous prices. So we bought a couple. But that didn’t start til 7:30pm, and we had the entire day to kill. And it was hot. And we don’t have AC (yet). We must have been feeling a little insane, because we decided to hop in the car and drive all the way to the luxurious Paradise Cove in Malibu (for non-LA readers, this is not a close beach – nor a cheap one.)
We had it all mapped out – 4 hours at the beach, just enough time to come home, shower, and get ready for the Hollywood Bowl. But then we got to Malibu and noticed we weren’t the only ones who made plans to go to the beach today. Whowouldathunkit? After driving up & down the PCH for longer than I would like to admit, we finally finagled our way into a parking spot at Paradise Cove – which we only paid $3 for, thanks to validation after eating a meal of questionable quality. The beach was packed of course – the worst kind of packed, too – frat boy packed. Plus, we had all the double nipple piercings, Swarovski crystal-embossed bikinis, and full back tattoos we could handle. Instead of searching for a spot to lay on the hot sand, we splurged & rented a couple chairs & an umbrella thinking it’d allow us some degree of relaxation. And it was nice – that beach is gorgeous, after all – and had it not been for the constant grunts & howling from our rowdy neighbors screaming “Party fouuuuuul!” over spilled buckets of calamari, I think it would have been quite perfect. After 2 hours of driving, 1 hour of eating, and 2 hours of reading & sleeping (& me applying layer after layer of SPF50), we decided we’d had enough holiday beach time, and headed back to civilization. It wasn’t quite the beach excursion we had in mind, but hey, we tried.
The second half of our 4th of July plans were even better. Despite horrendous traffic (partially due to the police arresting Paris Hilton’s stalker/intruder outside her Malibu house on the way home – ahhh, life in LA), we made it back & began the trek up to the Hollywood Bowl with time to spare. The show was packed, but even our cheap seats were good seats (one of the reasons the Bowl is amazing), and it was so much fun. I’ve never had a desire to see Hall & Oates live, but I can say this – I’ve had “You Make My Dreams Come True” stuck in my head ever since we left. I also finally got to hear that song that older folks sing when they meet me (imagine going through life having people sing you a mysterious song whenever you say your name… it’s kinda weird!) Additionally, both of our mothers were extremely jealous and went all squealy on us when they heard our plans (apparently Daryl Hall was quite the dreamboat in his day?)
Best of all were the fireworks, which were truly spectacular when backed up by the LA Philharmonic Orchestra… somehow they timed it all perfectly and the fireworks went off on the right beats of the Star Spangled Banner & other patriotic tunes. They were probably the best fireworks I’ve seen in my whole life and I’m not ashamed to say I teared up a little bit when they lit up the cheesy backdrop that said “America” and had a picture of an eagle, the Statue of Liberty, and some other patriotic icon that I can’t quite remember at this moment. To top off the night, we even made it home in time to watch an episode of House Hunters. We are a couple of party animals.
All in all, a perfect little last non-house Fourth of July. And I normally don’t do recap posts on here with play-by-plays of our daily life (who wants to read that anyway?) but I felt compelled to document this for some reason. It would have been easy to do the usual lazy LA 4th of July, and I’m proud of us for making some kind of effort to celebrate a holiday just the two of us. Perhaps it’s just a reminder to myself that just because you live an entire country away from your family, it doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate holidays the way you would have celebrated them back home. Sometimes you just have to put in a little effort!
Except next year. When we’ll be sitting by the pool eating grilled corn & (turkey) burgers. With a dog.
Oops… I completely forgot to post this on Wednesday. That’s what happens when you leave a post in draft format and forget to schedule posts. Anywho, happy July, happy Friday, and happy 4th of July weekend to all. It kind of snuck up on us this year, trying to plan our move & all, so we really have no idea what we’re doing. Hopefully some kind of celebration will appear out of nowhere! Enjoy these links. xo
The best & worst foods for weight loss. The worst? Potato chips, sugar-sweetened beverages, red meat, and processed red meat. The best? Yogurt. The study also says the quality of your food is strongly linked to weight gain – i.e., eat organic!
Nat Geo graphic about our dwindling food variety. Warning: quite depressing. If you happened to see my post about Heritage Seed Co, this is what they are trying to fix, working to preserve heritage seeds and prevent the extinction of all these wonderful foods. (P.S. Thanks to my sister in law, Jes, for finding & sharing this one!)
Most Americans couldn’t come up with $2,000 if they had to. This frightens me. So many people making a good living yet still living paycheck to paycheck. I understand life deals us hands that we can’t choose… but for the sad majority of us, we choose to spend above our means and push saving to the bottom of our priorities list. My honest opinion? Not budgeting & saving is just plain stupid.
How not to get hit by cars (while on a bike). Important safety tips… literally nearly everyday here in in So Cal a cyclist gets rammed by a careless/distracted driver. You have to be up on your game if you’re going to ride alongside the automobiles.
And one last shameless plug asking you to all give a vote for Trey so he can land the cover of Parents Magazine. I’ve seen this baby in person, and trust me – he’s way cuter than the rest. No signup needed, just click & vote! Thaaaank you friends!