My hubby had a great idea. Hire a chef to show us and two other sporting couples how to cook a fabulous meal. Now of course you can cook and learn, or you can bring your wine and watch everyone cook and learn! We did both!
Chef Tim Ross (pictured above), has a company called Be Gourmet...he does catering and classes. He really is a blast. We went to his house and he cooked the most amazing meal!
Romaine salad with garlic dressing and oven roasted tomatoes served over a Parmesan waffle!
Horseradish-herb crusted tri tip with mushrooms and red wine sauce over mashed potatoes
He showed us some knife tricks and had some amazing cooking tips. My favorite was using kosher salt with chopped garlic to make it into a paste. We had a blast being with our friends and chatting with the chef. It was such a fun and interesting evening and a nice break after this day:
8 am Car Servicing (hour and a half) drive over canyon to meeting (40 min) 11 am meeting with agent (hour) back over canyon (40 min) Pick up Landon and nanny Back over canyon again (40 minutes) Pediatrician appt with SHOTS (hour) drive to Landons other doctor 2:30 Dr's appt (2 hours) back over canyon (hour) Drive Nanny home Home with Landon
After all that I needed a Parmesan waffle and some wine! You better believe it! Sanity break for sure!
I swear I can remember before I had a baby, being at a friends house as the kid music played on and on and on....I thought I would just kill myself. It can really grate your nerves! That's why for me I've had to do a lot of research before finding the right stuff.
Landon's Mommy and Me class has played this CD and I just love it. Okay, not as much as he does but still, it's cute.
10 Carrot Diamond is great. Our favorite songs are: Octopus and I am a Pizza. We sing them everyday!
This CD by Mary Haskell, is called My Songs. It was a gift from my best friend Natalia for Landon. It is brilliant! She puts your childs name in a bunch of cute and catchy original songs. I cannot believe how much Landon has loved it and when he hears his name he is so happy!!! You can order one at My songs.
Do Your Ears Hang Low is another one of Landon's favorites. I like "Alice the Camel" personally...
If you're not into kid music at ALL, you can now get CD's of current songs sung by kids! We heard these at the indoor play gym we go to...it's pretty good actually. Kind of a meet in the middle approach. This Kidz Bop even has a cover of Riannas "Umbrella!"
Of course if your nostalgic like me you can buy Free To be You and Me! Remember this!? Just bought it. Havent tried it on Landon yet but I will!!!!
I can just hear it now...."There's a land that I see, where the children are free...and I say it ain't far to this land from where we are..."
Landon and I head to a Gymnastics class once a week at Junior Gym. Not to be confused with My Gym or Gymboree, this is the real gymnastics deal. At first I thought gymnastics for a kid who's 18 months (now 19) was ridiculous. Boy was I WRONG! To see the look on his face when he first did (with my assistance) a forward roll was priceless. So proud and so happy, he literally wears himself out after an hour and then naps! LOVE IT!
Junior Gym has two locations, one in Van Nuys and a new one opening in Westlake Village. Now this is a real gym people. Were talking balance beams, a huge floor mat, rings etc. They don't focus on competitive stuff, just a mommy and me class, and other classes for all different ages and skill levels, where the kids have some structure but a lot of fun!
The Mommy and Me class( 15 months-3 years old) goes like this: First we have a warm up with Coach J. Coach J is an adorable college student who the kids die for. She makes the stretching fun by using cute analogies like..."who can be a dog and then put their leg out to make a tail?", or "Who can swim like a fish on their bellies?" She is genius.
After that we do a little running around "Who can hop like a bunny to the red line?", this gets them really warmed up. It also teaches them to listen. Helooooooo!
Then we go around the room doing forward rolls, low balance beam, climbing etc. Then we head to the trampoline for some jumping. After that a lesson from Coach J on the big beam, dive forward rolls, high bar etc.
The kids are good and wait their turn!
Then more activity and a goodbye cheer. Fabulous! Can't recommend it enough. If you have a good Gymnastics place in your area let me know!
** Attention readers! Coach Al (pictured above) always let's you try a class for free before you sign up, but he said if you mention One Fabulous Mom you get another free class! Two free classes! Cheers!
Knowing who you are in life is paramount if you want to know where you're headed. For instance if you know your Mom is a pack rat, you can sometimes (rare it's true) avoid it by staying aware. (Not you Mom I swear! Okay yes it is her...) Nevertheless I am proud of my southern roots. Born in Raleigh, North Carolina, I still feel like a Southerner even know I grew up mostly outside of NYC. My grandma, and Aunt and Uncle still live in Raleigh and when I visit I feel like I'm home.
Growing up, I used to love to watch Designing Women, even though it took place in Atlanta. I loved the southern accents and sassy attitudes of the southern ladies. One of my favorite lines from the show is by Mrs. Julia Sugarbaker: "I'm saying this is the South. And we're proud of our crazy people. We don't hide them up in the attic. We bring 'em right down to the living room and show 'em off. See, Phyllis, no one in the South ever asks if you have crazy people in your family. They just ask what side they're on".
I just love that.
I love that we called my Great Grandmother Maamaa, that my father used to force feed us rutabaga, and that my mom makes the best fried chicken and gravy of all time. Sometimes, living in LA, I forget my roots. I need a reminder.
I keep this over my desk to help me remember who I really am.
"It must have been a Northerner who invented the questionnaire. A Southerner would have been more likely to think up an essay response. Suppose a man is walking across a field. To the question "Who is that?" a southerner would reply: "Wasn't his grandaddy the one whose dog and him got struck by lightning on the steel bridge? Mama's third cousin -dead before my time- found his railroad watch in that eight-pound catfish's stomach the next summer just above the dam. The way he married for that new blue Cadillac automobile, reckon how come he's walking like he has on Sunday shoes, if that's who it is, and for sure it is". A Northerner would reply to the same question, "That's Joe Smith". To which the Southerner might think (but be much too polite to say aloud), "They didn't ask his name! They asked who he is!" -Harpers Magazine
The Oscars were boring over all, but what was amazing was the number of pregnant actresses there. Nicole Kidman, Jessica Alba, Cate Blachett...it makes me so excited. There was a time that if you were pregnant you sat the Oscars out. You wouldn't dare hit the red carpet. Now we have these gorgeous moms strutting their stuff in designer gowns custom made for their ever expanding bumps.
It makes me want to shout: "SEE! We can do everything! Look gorgeous, be talented and make a baby! Beat that guys!!!"
It scares me that there may be no end to this. I am just wacky!!! Heehaaw!
1. I ate sushi for the first time in Second Grade and have loved it ever since. I could seriously eat it for every meal. My Dad introduced me to it (Thanks Dad!) which was a pretty cool thing to do in the 70's when sushi was not as popular as it is now.
2. I do not know my left from my right. I am serious. I have tried to remember and can't! I have to look at the hand that spells L with my thumb and forefinger to be sure. Boy am i good at giving directions..."turn near the flower store and go towards staples"....
3. I get emotional at concerts. It usually has to be someone I love, but I just cry like a baby when I see a talented singer singing their hearts out. It just makes me so grateful to be alive. I just bawled when we went to see George Benson as he sang my favorite song: Masquerade.
4. I don't think white people can sing. I seriously only like black singers. I will give a pass to U2, Phil Collins and Billy Joel. Everyone else sucks. I seriously hate American Idol this year. Too many whiteys. I can say this cause I am one! No nasty comments please!!!
5. I could eat mayonnaise out of the jar. I seriously love it. My girlfriends from college would make fun of me because I would always order extra mayo on EVERYTHING. They would say I loved mayonnaise sandwiches. And I do. I really do.
I love it when my cute friend Missy comes to town. She used to live in LA but moved back to her home town of Kansas City. She still comes to LA a lot because of her hubby's business, so we end up seeing each other four or five times a year.
Whenever we get together it's eat, shop and nails...in that order! I know I have mentioned the Banana Republic jewelry in passing, in another post. I feel I must highlight the fabulousness of it. I had so much fun introducing Missy the Banana Republic jewelry. Once I had heard she really had never seen it, I said: "let's go experience the love of the Banana Republic jewelry together"! And so we DID!
Yes, their jewelry is fantastic, and well priced, but it is that little fish bowl on the cashiers counter that has the goods. Find their sale stuff and you will be blown away. Case and point:
Head Band : $2.97 (original price $22) Earrings : $28.00 (original price $38) Bracelet: $3.97 (original price $38)
Feeling you get when you think you have stolen these things the prices are so low: PRICELESS.
In case you don't believe me on the enamel bracelet:
And remember the bracelet I wanted in an earlier post? I was devastated that when I went to go get it they had sold out. Well low and behold....
I found it yesterday on my own at the mall with Landon. This was the deal of the century. They only had one, it was on sale, and I got it!!!
Since the response (I am sad to say) was so overwhelming, I thought I'd offer a few tips to those new mothers and permanently preggers moms like me.
I can say it in two words: COMPRESSION GARMENT. I know what you're thinking...a girdle? Spanx? Oh yes, and so much more!!!
Design Veronique- has compression garments that are made to be worn after plastic surgery so that you heal firmly and in place. Well, after giving birth this may be the quickest way to slim down. It's a bit uncomfortable at first but them it feels and fits like a glove. This is waaaaay tighter than any other spanxish product. They also have one in all shapes, sizes (be sure to follow the measuring charts) and colors. This is especially good when your stomach bulge is too high for spanx. Here's the one I got. It even comes with an open pee pee hole in case you want to wear it all day. (I know TMI!)
Of course with any of these consult your doctor first!!!!
Fit Sugar also features something called "Lipo in a Box", the same basic idea. You can see from the pictures above this works! It's either a permanent or temporary solution to the pregnant stomach nightmare. My mom found this product (thanks mom!)
Thanks for all the support about my new job. I got my first paycheck today and I have to say it feels pretty damn good!!!!
I did something insane last week. I got a part time job. It happened so fast I can't really believe it yet. I had been thinking about what to do...with the writers strike lasting so long and Landons medical bills piling up (more on this in another post), I thought I had to do something.
I put out the word that I needed a job with some church friends and in three minutes I had a phone call. It scared me to death because I started panicking about leaving Landon. Nevertheless, I went on the interview, told the absolute truth about my situation ("Hi, I haven't worked in an office for years, have no resume, and am scared to leave my kid!") and he hired me on the spot! He is an accountant (clearly a crazy one for hiring me!) who needs help in his office during tax time (have I mentioned I can't add?). He is so nice and flexible as to my hours, I had to take the job. It's close to the house so if anything happens with Landon I'm right near by.
Okay, so now I have a job. I'm proud of myself. I even made it through leaving Landon. I am trying not to feel like a part time mother, and trust my nanny who is amazing. She loves him to death. He seems to be okay with it so far, although he's way more active now and I need to come up with some other things for him to do now that he's around the house and nanny doesn't have a car. I'm thinking of arranging some play dates for him around the neighborhood, and I just ordered him this:
I have never been in the working woman camp, or the SAHM camp, I've always been somewhere in between. I guess that's where I still am. Any advice? What's been your experience working outside the home, inside the home, or both?
We took our "baby boy guy" to a petting zoo called The Farm, this past weekend. I have to say it was so fun. This particular one had Pony Rides and roaming roosters, chickens and goats. At first Landon ran all round but then he realized he could pet and then HUG a goat and he was in heaven.
He also rode a pony and was a natural. He was so cute! He rode it around the ring three times with a handler leading the way. I was a proud mama.
I got the idea from this great book I have called "Baby's day Out", Southern California. They have things to do for kids organized by season, thing, and place. It really is fantastic. I reccommend it for my So Cal readers!
Hubby and I hate the whole Valentines Day, price fix, crowded nightmare of February 14th. We avoid it at all costs because it makes us feel like hamsters on the Hallmark wheel of fake love. So instead we went out last night for Valentines day, so the night could be about us! I had gotten us tickets six months ago for the greatest guy ever, GEORGE BENSON.
I love me some George, but he did a tribute to Nat King Cole and sounded exactly like him. It was amazing! The LA philharmonic even played behind him. Later he went on to "Masquerade", "Gimme the Night", and of course "On Broadway". The Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown LA (pictured above) is amazing. It is so worth paying to see something there. The acoustics are the best I have ever experienced and the design is mesmerizing. It looked like the inside of a ships hull.
Anyhoo, George had us up dancing and the whole place was boggeying down. Don't you just love that?
To top off the great night Hubby made "Daddy Pasta"( chicken and asparagus penne in a cream sauce) YUM and gave me this!
Remember how I wanted it as part of my Yellow for Spring look? Thanks Hubby!!!!
Prices: start at $350 for a 12x12 and go up from there. She usually works in square format for these, from a photograph. They are oil or acrylic on canvas. She likes to capture elements of the dog's personality in the pose, makes for a much more powerful portrait--especially of a dog!
They are truly adorable. I think Shelby may have to do a sitting? (Who am I kidding a photo will do) Even if you don't have a dog how about getting one that doesn't need a walk?! It just hangs on the wall and looks cute! Now that's a fabulous dog!
You have seen that Reese Witherspoon is on my short list of Fabulous Moms. I see her time to time, with her kids and alone. She is even prettier and sweeter in person. I saw her On Good Morning America the other day, and she said some things that really struck me.
On being teased as a child:
“Those are sort of formative experiences. I wouldn’t want my children to miss out on any of that teasing and bullying. Don’t you think it kind of makes you who you are — when you don’t make the soccer team ... I was always really short and really underdeveloped and had big Coke bottle glasses. I think that’s where I got a personality from, man. I wouldn’t give any of it back, not a day."
"That's the thing that drives me crazy about today: Everybody wins the award, everybody's the MVP? No! They're not, OK? I distinctly recall the two weeks of crying because I didn't make the volleyball team. But it made me interesting, you know?"
Although it is going to be tough when Landon is teased or loses out in something, and I may want to cry my eyes out for him, deep down I know Reese is right. A bit of teasing makes you stand up for yourself and find out who you are. I was teased for being too tall, too skinny, too anything. It really made my sense of humor go through the roof. I started being able to give hysterical come backs that made everyone laugh, thus shutting the bully's down. This sense of humor is now the basis of my writing career and the way I look at life.
The same can be said for winning and losing. I remember that one of the most devastating moments of my life was not making the Varsity Lacrosse team. (Yes that's me in the picture above in the maroon...trying to get past that amazon girl). Here I was, a Junior in High school, with two years of Junior Varsity Lacrosse under my belt. In try outs I could not catch a thing. Turns out my lacrosse stick was cracked. Even when I tried to explain, Coach Sallinger (oh yes I remember her name), said it was too late. I was on JV.
The humiliation nearly killed me. All of my friends had made JV and I was stuck with the freshman and sophomores. I almost quit. I was so angry at my coach I wanted to teach her a lesson. Who knew she was teaching me one.
I had become a little too "Big for my britches" and needed to stop being a ball hog. I was no longer a team player. Being put on JV, made me realize I had to appreciate my team. I pulled the JV team together, acted as a leader, and we were victorious. Half way through the season, coach moved me up to Varsity.
When she moved me she was very complimentary about how hard I had worked and my perseverance. I was honestly sad to leave the JV girls! We had bonded. This was when I learned to never quit, that winning isn't everything, and that I needed to be a team player, themes that still come up even today.
Maybe Landon does need to lose sometimes to find out who he is. Maybe a little teasing would do him some good. Of course I will curse out, under my breath, any little bastard who is mean to him, but first I'll see how he handles it. Maybe it will be a defining moment in his life too.
I could post about How Landon has gone from fever to PUKING, but since I have been a little complainy lately, I am instead going to post something about all the great things in my life.
I live in California and it's 80 degrees this week. I have a house with a pool. I have a lemon tree, an avocado tree, and an orange tree that bear the most delicious fruit. I live in a town where celebrity sightings are the rule rather than the exception, helping to curb my habit of buying US weekly.
My husband is adorable, funny and loves our son to death. He believes in me when I don't. He plays the drums, cooks gourmet meals, and can fix anything. He's a genius.
My son is a miracle who spent 52 days in the hospital and still smiles every day. He is sweet and snuggly and loves his Mama.
I am a writer and I get to be creative every day whether blogging or screen writing. I have sold a script and have a new one that (now that the writers strike is over) will sell.
Last, I feel balanced. I work out, read, watch TV, teach Sunday school, write, cook, do mommy and me gymnastics with Landon, have lunch with friends, and scrap book the heck out of everything. I have a great family, fun and understanding friends, an amazing church, and fabulous neighbors. A full life!
Landon freaked us out yesterday morning as we left Mammoth. He was bright red and crying at about 5am. We took his temperature and sure enough 102.6. It's easy to freak out when you see this number. You immediately think you need to head to the hospital! After all don't they die when they hit 103? The answer is NO.
My pediatrician has a website and here's a few goodies from the How To Handle a Fever page:
1) Fever is a natural way your body fights an infection so it's a good thing! 2) Fever will not cause brain damage or hurt your child whether it's 101 or 104 degrees. 3) Tylenol and Ibuprophen take about 30 minutes to work, so give it a chance. 4) A fever is very serious for babies 2 months an under. 5) Call the doctor if fever lasts more than 72 hours, if fever does not respond to medicine, or if it goes higher than 105.
We gave Landon liquid motrin and his fever came down in 30 minutes. He's acting like he's fine, which is making us feel a lot better.
Here I am getting the mother of the year award up on Mammoth Mountain. No I do not ski. Yes I hate the snow and cold. Yes I am couped up in a condo with a now 19 month old! Truth is hubby loves to ski and we are on a trip with our small group. Since I knew I'd be in the condo (Grand Havens) A LOT, I researched and got us the best possible place. It's very sunny and blue skies so I am feeling pretty good. I am headed out to lunch with Landon and to the polo outlet(mama didn't raise no fool), to see what I can buy for under $50! HA!
I don't mean to complain, but I have been pregnant since 2005. This is not a picture of me, but it almost could be! Yes I have been pregnant for 18 months. I gained weight during my pregnancy with Landon, but I have lost it all and more (Thank you weight watchers), and still have a pregnant stomach. I am not talking about a little flab (a muffin top as my friend Alyssa calls it), it looks like I am 5 months pregnant.
I have been to every doctor that I can go to. I have had ultrasounds, scans, blood tests, nothing is wrong. Finally after a consultation with a plastic surgeon (I AM DESPERATE), he told me the scary truth. My muscles never came back together. He said that nothing NOTHING will bring the tummy down but surgery. This is because everything is pushing up through this big opening of muscles!
I feel a little too shy to post my own stomach but here are a few women featured on the Dr. Phil show who have my problem.
Obviously I am not happy. Snappy Casual Gifts wrote a great post about her friends tummy tuck. This is something I will consider doing after I am done having kids. We are gearing up for baby #2, but are not pregnant yet. The surgery idea gives me serious hope, but it's a long way off! In the meantime, this is annoying! If another person asks if I am pregnant I will run them down with my Pacifica.
One of my favorite moms and friends Gina (I feel an interview coming on), mentioned this book at our Ash Wednesday service at church last night. It's called The Three Questions, by Jon J. Muth. Based on the writings of Tolstoy, this book has a philosophy I just love.
What is the best time to do things? Who is the most important ones? What is the right thing to do? These are all answered in the story of a boy named Nicolai who gets some pretty wise advice from a turtle.
Beautifully illustrated, this book will open your little ones eyes to what's really important in life.
Landon is almost 19 months and is becoming more active every day. We do gymnastics class, a mommy and me class and go to an indoor play place once a week. While we're at home we have a swing in the yard to play on, we take walks, kick a ball around...all great stuff. His latest obsession however is the Step 2 Lifestyle Custom Kitchen!
I love that it's not too girly looking for him, his Dad is an amazing cook. Nothing wrong with guys being in the kitchen!
He has also discovered he's a safari cowboy and loves hopping around on this: Bounce and Spin Zebra!
He is hysterical swinging his leg over it, climbing on and bouncing up and down. He has so much fun!
He also Loves this Kiddieland Pirate Ship Godmother gave him for Christmas:
Godmother/BFF is in town by the way...we headed to Marshalls hours after she was off the plane! More on that later!!!
I am always trying to connect people, find the best deals and share or convince someone to do something! Makes me think of one of my favorite books: The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.
He says there are three basic types of people involved in affecting change. These people can cause a phenomenon if you get enough of them together!
Highly social types who have a compulsive need to bring people together. These are people who know everyone. As the author points out. These people don't see the same world we do. You have met these individuals in your daily activities. Women who are always arranges dates between other people they know is an example.
These are people who like to pass knowledge to the rest of us. They are compelled to do it. They are not persuaders however, according to the book. Think about the guy who starts a blog, doesn't get paid a dime for it and has 50,000 people reading his every word. He wants his information shared.
These are the people who educate the naïve among us. Politicians are salesmen by definition. They are attempting to motivate the rest of us to believe their message whatever it might be.
Some people are a combination or all three! I remember reading this and just thinking everyone was all three like this. How wrong! I hate it when people don't pass on great information or help. Makes me mad! I literally feel offended!
I think as mothers, or women really, we should all help each other. I guess that's why I always want to share everything I learn. I can't help myself! Looking above it's easy to see why I started a blog! Too funny.
I know you've heard this term before. I use it to refer to people who aren't ready for a baby just yet, so instead they get a dog to practice their parenting on! Such is the case for our best friends. They came to dinner last night and brought their new dog Wolfie. Excuse me, Fu Shih Wolfie. That's his full name, the handsome guy. He really is so sweet.
They got him from this amazing group on line called Second Chance Animal Aid in Shanghai China, who rescues dogs in China and finds Americans to bring them over to their new parents! They looked at dogs here but this kind of fell into their laps and was obviously meant to be. They are in love with this dog for sure!
Through this organization you can foster a pet until it gets a permanent home, adopt, or donate. A really wonderful idea. Go there and check it out!
I had a special Asian themed dinner in honor of Wolfies arrival in the states. Notice the sushi candles in the center and chinese lanterns above!!! We had Orange Chicken, sesame rice, and broccolini. I served Sake and Japanese beer too!
Hubby and I made this last night and it was soooooooooooooooo good! I just went through my recipe book and FINALLY (hello writers strike boredom) went through everything and threw out half of the stuff. This however was something from 2005! I always wanted to try it and we did YUM!!! I am full of recipes this week!
It was from Coastal Living magazine. I love this magazine so much. The covers make me excited to live in California!
Penne with shrimp in a peanut sauce. We prepped while Landon had a baba and baby Einstein. Then after his bath and bedtime we had our dinner and WINE thank you very much. We even watched the first half of The Last King of Scotland. Good so far...not too violent yet!
8 ounces uncooked penne 1 pound peeled and deveined shrimp 1 cup julienne-cut carrots 2 garlic cloves 1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter 1/3 cup soy sauce 1/4 cup water 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil 1 teaspoon chili oil 1 large cucumber, halved, seeded, and sliced 1/2 (10-ounce) package edamame (about 1 cup) Preparation Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions. Two minutes before pasta is al dente, add shrimp and carrot. Cook 2 minutes or until shrimp are done. Drain.
Process garlic in a blender or food processor until finely chopped. Add cilantro and next 5 ingredients; process until smooth.
Toss cooked pasta, cucumber, edamame and dressing in a large bowl. Cover and chill at least 2 hours before serving.
We watched No Country for Old Men last week. Too scary for me. I had nightmares all night long. Ever since I had Landon scary movies have no place in my life. I seriously don't want this stuff in my head! Am I alone in this?
If your kids are dying to have a "sleep over" but are too young, try having a pretend one. Invite the friend over and leave the kids with a baby sitter while you and the parents go out for dinner. Let the kids have their sleeping bags and PJ's and go to sleep. When they wake up in the morning asking where their friend is, say they just left!