2/25/15

Audacious



I've decided it's time to get audacious.

The thing is, I've been wanting to get my writing mojo back since my baby was born.

My baby (if you don't know) is close to three years old now. This mama gig has not been so easy as I thought it would be and my writing dreams have been hard to fit in.

I could sit here and flagellate myself for letting writing fall by the wayside for 3 years, 3 whole years, but, you know? But I'm going to take the opposite path - I'm going to give myself grace. I've been the doing the best I can, and that's okay.

But I'm ready for a new chapter.


I've been trying the gradual way "write for 15 minutes a day" or write for an hour a few times a week. It just isn't cutting it.

I need to light a fire under my butt.

I need an audacious goal.

I thought about setting a goal to write a first draft of a new novel. And believe me, it has appeal. I love the magic of unfurling a new story.

The thing is, I have a novel, a finished novel, that's been shoved in a drawer for 3 years. I worked hard on that. It's my baby. And I love it. And it feels like unfinished business. It's so close, this close to feeling done. Before I move on to something else, I want to close this chapter.

So here goes, my audacious goal is to self-publish my novel by June 1. 

This feels crazy to me. Maybe it's not. But it definitely feels audacious.


2/4/15

A little dose of quirky romance

Because it's February. The month of love. Valentine's Day. And all that. And you're in need of a dose of romance, courtesy of Netflix.

Wait, you're not? Oh yeah, that's me.

Well in case you are too, thought I'd share two of my favorite little quirky romances I stumbled across on Netflix.


First up is In Your Eyes. Can I just say I sort of love Zoe Kazan? She's so pretty in such an atypical way.  I need to see more of her movies. Also, can I say this movie in no way makes sense, but if you just go with it you'll enjoy the ride?

I won't describe the plot here or the setup because that would ruin it. I'll just say: telepathic connection, star-crossed lovers, worlds collide. It doesn't make sense, but it's the sort of movie that takes you back to that deep connection two people have when they fall in love - talking and baring their souls. It's not a romantic comedy, but a drama, more serious in tone.



Second is Not Another Happy Ending. I suppose you could call this one more of a romantic comedy. It's actually a Scottish movie. How often do you see one of those? And I can't help but love a movie featuring a redheaded writer girl. Hahaha.

The love story is quite fun - a sensitive morose writer and a prickly French publisher take a good long while to finally figure out they can't live without each other. She has this fun colorful vintage style and apartment. Like many romcoms, it's hard to take seriously, but I just loved the setting, the visual style, the clothes, and the quirky characters. Now - when am I going to Scotland? Seriously.

Both of these are available for instant streaming on Netflix!

Happy Valentine's, love me.

12/30/14

Putting on my Minnie Mouse ears



We took a last minute trip to Disneyworld in December, a chance for family bonding and fun. This was my first trip to Disneyworld and I didn’t know what to expect. It was like an initiation. I knew nothing about parades, fireworks, character dining, fast passes and all these little ins and outs that make up the Disney experience. But I learned fast.

Going to Disneyworld isn’t just your normal theme park experience, it’s a celebration. I love people watching and seeing the groups of people there - families, wearing matching t-shirts and  kids dressed up in costume - little girls in their princess dresses, and tiaras and hairpieces - boys in goofy hats or star wars t-shirts, carrying their stuffed ewoks. 

I was surprised to see adults joining in too. Women wearing Minnie Mouse ears stood out to me. There were all sorts of designs and colors - simple black ears with red bows, stripes, polka dots, animal prints, sequins, feathers, roses,  - the Minnie Mouse ears were practically an art form. 

The women who were wearing the Minnie Mouse ears seemed to be having the most fun - whether they really were or not - wearing those ears was a message that screamed “I’m happy to be here! I’m here to have fun! I’m not afraid to let my inner child out and let everyone else see it!” 

I was envious of these women and their bold declaration. I wasn’t wearing Minnie Mouse ears, but I easily could if I wanted to. They were around the corner in every gift shop, only $20 away. But the thought of wearing them was daunting. It didn’t feel like “me” - to put myself out there, to be exuberantly childish and playful, to invite attention or perhaps judgment, to outwardly wear celebration and joy, to go big.

So the next morning before we set out, I bought a pair that felt most appealing - silver sequined Minnie Mouse ears. My husband was surprised to see me put them on - as surprised as I was - and my son was delighted and wanted to wear them himself. 

I felt silly, but those ears changed me. Yes, that headband was uncomfortable, but when I was wearing the ears I had a better time, a better day. Those ears were a declaration that I was here to have fun, a reminder to myself. 

Because you see, I’m not really a theme park person - the noise, the crowds, the overstimulation, the long lines, the endless gift shops, the overpriced fast food - that can turn me into a serious grouch, fast. I’d much rather be sitting in a cafe sipping a latte and writing in my journal in peace and quiet. It’s easy to be cynical in a theme park, to be judgmental, to be above it all.

But I was here. We decided to go to Disneyworld - to have fun as a family. And I wanted to have fun - not just for myself, but also for my husband and my son. 

Putting on those ears was an outward declaration of the woman I wanted to be -  lighthearted, playful, flexible, optimistic - even if I didn’t feel like her yet. Putting on those ears, for me, wasn't totally natural, it was a deliberate choice.

It’s made me think about how I move through my life when I’m not at Disneyworld. Who am I? Who do I want to be? Do I want to sit on the sidelines? Do I want to avoid attention? Am I afraid of being myself out loud? Am I afraid to be too exuberant, to be too happy, too playful? 

How can I go through life wearing my Minnie Mouse ears? How can I be the woman I want to be, how can I choose her, even if I don’t always feel like her yet? 

Disneyworld is a rare experience, a world of staged fantasy, but now that I'm back in the "real world" I want to hang on to what I learned and choose happiness everyday, even when it doesn't come naturally to me.


12/16/14

Adrift in daydreams of frosting

Today I am struck by the urge to bake.



It started with something simple enough. Sugar cookies. Decorating Christmas cookies with my 2 year old is on my must-do holiday list this year.

But then I started thinking about chocolate chip cookies, and sandwiching them together with pink buttercream frosting. I started thinking about icing bags and decorator tips and sprinkles and food coloring.



I started thinking about making hot chocolate mix and homemade vanilla marshmallows (something I've never done).

I started thinking I should whip up a batch of pumpkin chocolate chip muffins for the freezer.



And maybe I should make some cupcakes too - vanilla bean, swathed in swirls of lavender frosting.

Help! Help me! I'm lost in daydreams of Martha Stewart and the Back in the Day Bakery.

Sometimes I think I missed my calling as a pastry chef.

All of this will not happen today. There is laundry to do. And exercise besides, lest my bottom catch up with my baking.

Happy baking holidays to you!

p.s. We did end up baking sugar cut out cookies. Yay! The rest will have to wait.

12/3/14

Lately I've been craving... Glamour



Lately I've been craving a little more glamour in my life.

Which wouldn't be hard, since I don't have much. Funny thing, becoming a mom, I've seemed to settle so easily into practicality. I eschew clothes that require dry cleaning and ironing - anything that would billow in the wind or snag on small fingernails or stain. I favor easy tees, wash and wear, practical footwear, mix and match.

But I miss it. Being impractical. And pretty. Feminine. And over the top.


 I'm craving lavender ruffles, silk pleats, ivory lace, tailored dresses, and shoes that ooze ooh la la.



I'm craving Paris at midnight. Coffee with kahlua and cream. Chocolate mousse.



Jungle red fingernails. Washed silk blouses with high-waisted palazzo pants.


White roses. Orchids. Peonies. Gardenias. Anything lush with a heady fragrance.



Afternoon teas. Patisseries. Macarons. Eclairs. Frosting piped in frills and flaky layers.




Sheepskin rugs. Linen napkins. Shimmering candles. Mirrored trays set with crystal perfume bottles and italian orange blossom hand cream and unopened coffee table books.



Fancy handbags, the sort that elevate an outfit to divine. French poodles. Long walks, window shopping and people watching.



Sequins. Feathers. Velvet. Sparkly lights.



Maybe it's the holiday season, but I find myself daydreaming about dressing up, way up, and going to a fancy schmancy party. 

Here's to daydreams...

If you're craving glamour too, here's a few things you might enjoy: 





12/1/14

Dear Blog


Dear Blog,

I’m back. Yes it’s me, back at your doorstep. 

It’s a cold, rainy day, the shivering sort, and I’m soaked to the skin, hoping you’ll let me in, hoping you’ll forgive my long absence, and offer tea and comfort. 

I’m hoping you’ll sit me by the fire and offer me dry clothes, and only after the pink is back in my cheeks again, you’ll gently ask, “So my dear, where have you been, all this time? And are you here to stay?”

And I will tell you of my wanderings here and there, the times I’ve been lost, the times I was afraid to come back to you, for fear you would not recognize me or even refuse to open the door.

I will tell you how I’ve forgotten who I am or how who I am has changed, and I don’t really know which. 

And how I’m hoping to find myself again, that colorful slip of a girl with big dreams and wild ideas and romantic words - I’m hoping to find her and bring her back to life. 

She might be different now, but she is still mine to uncover, and dare, perhaps to share with you.

Dear blog, will you have me back again? 




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2/20/14

Will at 23 months


  • He's discovered how to pick his nose. Sometimes he picks it with two fingers at once. Sometimes he tries to pick my nose. When I catch him picking his nose, his facial expression indicates that he is very impressed with himself. 
  • He giggles when he puts his finger in his belly button (or mine). He thinks it's hilarious.
  • He answers "no" to every question, even when I am not sure he really MEANS no. It's just what he says. Until he learns to say "yes". Hopefully soon.
  • He's still light on words. His latest words are eye, uh-oh, blue, bath and bye-bye.
  • He likes to shake his head and nod his head over and over, with emphasis. I am not convinced he's trying to communicate anything, he just enjoys doing it, especially when we do it back to him.
  • He still loves the vacuum. He likes to play with the actual vacuum or pretend he's vacuuming with an object.

  • He loves to give high fives. This is something I taught him in an attempt at social skills, since I decided it was weird when he was going up to strange kids trying to hug them.
  • He likes to hug his stuffed animals. And give them milk from his cup. It is soooo cute.
  • He still hasn't had his first hair cut yet, but he needs one now!
  • He likes to spend a lot of time outside. So it's been rough on winter days or sick days when that was impossible.
  • He likes to go exploring down the streets in our neighborhood (while I follow) often pushing a little wheelbarrow or red wagon, or even a plastic chair! Cute. Except when we need to go back home and he doesn't want to go and I have to carry him the rest of the way, sometimes kicking and screaming. (He does do tantrums these days, oh yes.)
  • He likes to swing in the back yard. And swing. And swing. And swing some more. And then do a tantrum when mommy decides we can't possibly swing anymore.

  • He now has much more of a "taste" for kid's tv. I try not to let him watch it too long or too often. I don't want him to be too hooked on it at an early age, but there are days when an episode of Thomas the Train comes in mighty handy for mama, I hate to say.
  • He's pretty independent sometimes, but those random moments when he gives me a sweet hug or comes running to me with a huge smile just make my day.


I can't believe he's almost two! I understand the nostalgia of mamas now as I see little babies in carriers or just learning to walk. All of that now seems so far distant as he tears through the playground like a big boy.