I am having a few kids and adults over for a little pre-trick or treating dinner and I am getting my menu together. Love all this inspiration! I could do these Mummie Dogs with mustard dot eyes for the kids... Or these witchy grilled cheese sandwiches maybe served with tomato soup! I could even do different grilled cheeses cheddar, mozzarella, on different breads. Or cut out bread like these witches and look at that tomato soup in test tubes! That way adults and kids would love them...
Or I could do chicken "fingers" for the kids with a romesco sauce for dipping...
It's supposed to be 70 degrees that day and lower at night so I could make Beef Bourguignon for the adults and call it goulash!
Either way I thought this dip (blue cheese) in a gourd is fabulous. What do you think? Do you have a Halloween menu?
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills had a lot of hype but did not disappoint. I must admit that even though I live in Los Angeles, and am in Beverly Hills quite a bit, this is NOT the crowd I run in so I find it FASCINATING. The first episode was an introduction to the wives of Beverly Hills.
Lisa, Joan Collins looking British bomb shell has more money than God and lives in what looks like Caesar's Palace. They have spared no expense, I personally love the king bed by the pool. She's been married to Ken since she was 21. She says" My husband calls me a sex object, my husband asks for sex and I object". Hilarious. They have grown kids and are empty nesters unless you count their stupid little dog and fabulous gay houseboy. I loved Lisa right away.
Adrienne Maloof, is the sister of the Maloof brothers that own the Palms in Las Vegas, a basketball team, a music label, and whatever else they feel like. She's married to Paul, but they already seem divorced. She is little and fiesty, and likes things her way. She also thinks Paul's an idiot. I personally think he is pretty sweet and she needs to be nicer! Adrienne is a big fan of a colorful silk blouse and rhinestone belt.
Camille Grammar, wants us all to know she is a dancer and she danced on club MTV and she is her own person. They even show her dancing and it is NOT GOOD. I want to tell her to thank her lucky stars she married Kelsey Grammar (yes they are already divorced). I think Camille missed the Bravo in house publicity meeting where they tell you what not to say on camera, and how to make people actually like you. For instance, admitting you have four nannies for two kids is retarded. Their house is amazing, pool, pond, tennis court, 17 acre wonderland. Kelsey says it's time for Camille to get a little attention. Oh, so that's what this is about. PS I am glad you really are Fraisure Crane, cause you are him in real life! Camille always says something inappropriate which makes her kinda fun.
Taylor Armstrong is the duck lipped wife of some big shot. She looks like a She-nene so it's hard to really listen to anything she says. She heads right over to Adriennes husband Paul to put some filler into her temples. She literally looked like the elephant man with the mumps. She is doing all of this because she thinks her husband will leave her for a twenty year old. She is constantly preparing to be left by him. She says her relationship is 80% business and 20% romance. Good God that is depressing. Can't wait to see what happens.
Kim Richards is the sister of Kathy Hilton. More than that she is the girl from Escape From Witch Mountain. I freaked out when she said this because I loved her! Despite this, she quickly became my least favorite on the show. A bad attitude, mixed with her obsession with her kids, and her clinging to her long gone career made me sick. She loved to tell how her niece Paris Hilton was amazed at how famous she is. Barf.
Kyle Richards is the sister of Kim, and seems to be the only normal one. Yes, she buts into her sisters life but at least she tells her the truth. They are co-dependent as hell so it's like watching to cats fight in a bag. She was a child actress as well. I remember her from Little House On The Prairie! Too funny. She seems like a good mother and wife and her husband Mauricio, seems like a sweetheart. I think I would really like to get into her closet and borrow her clothes. By far she has some of the best one liners.
The girls head to Sacramento to watch a Kings game (courtesy of Adrienne) and Kyle freaks out on the plane. She hates to fly. She apparently is a hypochondriac. She actually said one time "I thought I had a stroke but it was my fake eyelashes making my eye look smaller." Hysterical. Camille on the other hand loves to stop the conversation with phrases like "cover your rat". Pretty. She even danced these sexy dances with the basketball team mascot. KLASSY. Kim just dials out and puts up a wall when she's with he girls. Kind of a party pooper.
What's next for these ladies? Cat fights, betrayals, sex, divorce and a lot of botox. That's how they do it in Beverly Hills.
Williams-Sonoma does not have me on the pay roll but as my good friend Ouiser posted, I die for the Williams-Sonoma catalog. I die. The recipes, the gorgeous products and cooking utensils. Food porn. I die. Finally Los Angeles is getting a dose of fall weather, it's been rainy and cold and I kinda like it! It made me remember my ALL TIME favorite Williams-Sonoma recipe. I tried this over Thanksgiving one year. I served it as our early lunch meal before Thanksgiving dinner at 4pm. It really hit the spot!!!! You have to try this! It's amazing!!
I am starting a new series within my blog called: Ask The Mrs. I get questions all the time from Mom's and I usually answer them privately. I started thinking that maybe it would help others to share my answers and open the floor up for discussion. We can all learn from each other!
Question: My daughter was invited to a birthday party last year and when we arrived the Mother announced that the birthday girl had the flu. After this awkward announcement the party continued with everyone trying to avoid going near the birthday girl. Then she threw up. They never stopped the party. It was awful. This year, her daughters party is here yet again. Then my daughter comes home and says the little girl has been out sick from school for three days. I called the school and they confirmed she was out sick. Then I get an email from her Mother saying, "Can't wait for the party! See you there!" I am not sending my daughter to the party, but I have to let them know don't I? I want to tell them how rude this is. Can I? What should I say?
If I had a dollar for every person I would love to tell how RUDE they are, I would have $1,233,476.00. There is no point in trying to "teach" someone a lesson, instead focus on what is right for your family. You do need to let them know you are not going to be there, but depending how close a friend the child or mother is, sending an email would be fine. If you feel a call would be better, then just remember to focus on yourself. Tell the mother that you are going to sit this party out. If pressed for a reason, you can say that you don't want your daughter to get sick. Now at this point you know that she will launch into some BS excuse of how her daughter is not sick, and she just kept her home from school as a precaution, but her track record on being truthful is not good. Just be calm and repeat you won't be there and apologize. You don't want to hurt your child's relationship with her friend. Try to keep it cool.
Now it's your turn to weigh in? What are your thoughts?
I am posting this today because my Mom is currently on a plane headed back to CT after her visit here. I am thinking she will miss this post! If not, tough cookies for me!!! Or should I say tough dog cookies....
Before I had children I had my first baby, my dog Shelby. I was obsessed about not leaving her alone for too long, making sure she was fed right, exercised, and happy. I would give dog sitters a two page set of instructions if I was gone for one night. I thought she was my baby.
Then I had a human baby. Then I realized my dog, was a dog.
The level of care, concern and love you have for a child is beyond belief. I finally understood what parents go through. How intense it is to raise a wonderful, caring and happy person.
When I was pregnant with Coco, my mother decided to have a baby of her own. A dog baby. This new baby dog Gracie became her entire world. She was in love. There was no phone call without interruptions from Gracie. When I tell would tell a story about Landon, she would pipe in with one about Gracie. This would be fine, except it was a DOG.
I have heard from a few girlfriends namely T, and K, that their Mother in Law and Mother's do the same. In fact I heard one story where Ruby the dog bit one of her kids and of course it was the kids fault. I thought this was ludicrous until Gracie bit Landon and again Landon was blamed. WHOA!
This visit I found myself trying to one up the dog. I said listen, Coco said "Twinkle!", she said "Wow"! And my Mom would reply "Gracie knows squirrel and walk!" Then I would say, Coco gives the best hugs, and she would talk about how Gracie wakes her up with a kiss. I give up. I can only hope she doesn't get a horse, or llama or something when the kids are in college.
How about you? Does your Mom or Grandma have a dog baby? Do you find yourself competing?
Last Sunday preacher made mention of his son Jas. Jas was born with something called Fragile X, a form of autism and he also has mental retardation. He said that Jas tears every cover off of every paperback book they have in the house. It's like an interior designer came in and said: "you know what would be cool? Let's tear off all the covers of your books!"
The irony was not lost on his preacher father. Here's is a kid who can't help but be himself, who doesn't care what people think, reminding us all to tear off your cover. This is the meaning of the old adage "Don't judge a book by it's cover", but let's go further. The cover doesn't matter, what you are hiding behind, or trying to put on, is not real.
This Sunday be like Jas and tear your cover off. Come on. Be yourself! Besides, putting on a personality for other people is exhausting!
I recently bought Teresa Giudices cook book "Skinny Italian". I have been wanting to get it and try some of the recipes. Then I had a really brilliant idea. Why not chronicle my experience cooking like Teresa, just like Amy Adams did in Julie & Julia?
Brilliant right? Guess who agreed? Teresa! She contacted me and said she would like to follow along. So here goes!
Being Teresa is not going to be easy. First of all I'm not Italian and not skinny. I digress. As I thumbed through the book I decided I would start with a swordfish recipe. Actually the recipe is for "Sexy Swordfish With Capers and Lemon". I chose this first because it's early in the book, look fairly easy, and I am sexy. Have I mentioned I'm not the greatest cook? I told you being Teresa was going to be hard!
Off to the market for swordfish, capers, lemon and garlic. Sounds good already. The good news was someone cut me off on the way to the store, I flipped them off. I think Juicy Joe would approve!
Back at home I follow directions, and start cooking. The wafting smell of lemon, capers, and olive oil make me think about how I could dress Coco in head to toe leopard. Maybe this book is working!
The meal was amazing. Sexy Swordfish will now be in regular rotation. I served it with red skinned potatoes and peas. Delicious!!! Want the recipe? Buy the book you crazy #$%^&*!!! LOL. Right Teresa!?
I have heard a lot of people get married or have parties on these types of repetitive dates but this was my first event! My girlfriend Laine had a 10/10/10 birthday party!
She decided to have a fabulous lunch and private tour for her girlfriends at the LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art!). Such a lovely idea and it was great seeing a bunch of women looking gorgeous, and enjoying such a cultured experience! Without kids I might add!
First we had a private tour of the new Resnick pavilion. Lynda and Stewart Resnick donated $45 million to do the project and then $10 million worth of art to fill it!
The building is a single story 45,000 sq foot structure, the largest open plan, naturally lit museum space in the world. There were three exhibitions going on but the one I had to take pictures of was "Fashioning Fashion-European Dress in Detail 1700-1915".
Everything was so inspiring!! Look at that! A preppy back in the 1800's!
Cooking Underwriter and I are neighbors and besties so when she asked me to join in with her on a tailgate post I said SURE! My contribution? The Mr. has a family brat recipe so we brought those and a caprese pasta salad.
A friend told me once that one of the most beautiful things you can do is be selflessly giving. A secret act of kindness with no want of recognition is a rare thing these days.
He told the story of a place he worked where everyone was unhappy. One night he wrote a note to each person about what a wonderful job they were doing and what a blessing they were. He put these notes in their mail boxes and left them unsigned.
That day the office was all a buzz. In the morning meeting there were various reactions to this secret act of kindness. One person demanded to know who it was that wrote the letter! Another person cried and said they had never received a thank you in all their years of working. Yet another person was inspired to do the same act at his sons school. You never know how much you can touch someones life until you reach out.
I have my thinking cap on, trying to figure out just what I will do. There is no small amount of kindness too little. Even bringing up someones trash cans from the street to the house for them can be life changing for another person! Imagine them calling someone "Someone moved my trash cans up to the house! It's going to be a great day!" Imagine how they will pass this kindness on!
Think of a secret kindness you could bestow upon someone. Make sure they never know it's you and that you take no credit. Just be happy in the knowledge that you did this act. Report back here to inspire other people to do the same!Blog about the challenge! Let's see how many people are willing to commit a secret act of kindness!
Landon is a little excited for Halloween. He was so happy to see the decorations up! (He is not however excited to dress up).
These guys below came from Marshall's a millions years ago and I still love them!!
And this spray painted pumpkin and fabric are from Godmother years ago. I am putting together a little trick or treat party and I have to be ready! The kids are coming over for pizza and cupcakes before we go trick or treating. Fun!
I am reading the most fascinating book. Marcus Buckingham's Find Your Strongest Life. I am literally only on the first chapter, but the introduction already blew my mind.
He said he has been studying women and he found that we are no happier than we were twenty years ago. That in order to be successful today as a woman you must be a "virtuoso juggler", moving fast to keep all aspects of life going. "To keep every object in the air, you have to get rid of each one as quickly as possible, barely allowing it to register on your fingertips before you toss it away..."
Wow. How can you connect? How can you feel your life is meaningful while you are juggling?
I have prided myself in being juggler, but somehow I still felt unfulfilled and unhappy. I started realizing the key was to be selective and intentional. Some days are busy and there's nothing you can do but hold on. Even on those days I try to connect with my kids in key moments. Give them my full attention whether it's on a car ride, a playground, or at the dinner table. I am also taking things off the calendar now and being more choosy. This is making all the difference.
This book is amazing. Really making me think. I can't wait to get past the first chapter! What about you? Are you juggling? Feeling disconnected?
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!