Sanity Break- Down On The Farm!

We took the kids to Underwood Farms last weekend, and an amazing thing happened. It was relaxing! Something about the wide open spaces, gorgeous fruits and vegetables, and fabulous weather just made it all so nice! We took a ride on the cow train, fed llamas, goats, sheep and pigs, and showed Landon that food can actually grow in the ground! There was strawberry picking and blackberry picking, it was a magical place.

I think Coco had fun. What do you think? Have you been to a working farm before? Or do you live on one? Do tell!

The Ten Best Movies You've Never Heard Of

Some of us, and by us I mean ME, are cutting back and needing some fun things to do over the summer. After a day at the beach or by the pool, nothing beats a movie! I thought I'd give you my list of the ten best movies you've never heard of. These are rentals darlings! To be Netflixed!

1) Lace- If you haven't seen this movie, you have not lived! It's a TV movie with the famous line "Which one of you bitches is my Mother?". It stars Phoebe Cates, Bess Armstrong, Brooke Adams, and Arielle Dombasie. Phoebe plays a very successful porn star type, who is trying to find her Mother. Taking place mostly in flashback, we learn the story of three boarding school girls who are hiding a pregnancy and not telling who it is. Years later, and now out of touch, they are brought together to solve this mystery among others. It's so fun to see what they were like as teens and now as Mothers. Even better to see Phoebe Cates play a bitch!

2) The Four Seasons- You know I love Carol Burnett, but I love her more in this movie where she is funny and real. The movie follows three middle aged couples who vacation together. One of them goes through a divorce, thus sending everyone into a tail spin when a young and adorable Bess Armstrong (what am I her agent?) comes along. You can live vicariously through them going on a sailboat, skiing, and having fun together. Alan Alda, Jack Weston, and Rita Moreno round out the amazing cast.

3. Shirley Valentine- Ever wonder what it would be like to give up your sucky life and move away to Greece? Shirley's living the worst life ever in Liverpool as housewife to a jerky husband. She wins a trip to Greece and finds herself in a big way. Not only does she find love, she learns how to get her sassy self back. So fun to see her life in Greece, my favorite place on earth!

4. Auntie Mame- I realize some people have still not experienced the wonder and fabulousness of Rosalind Russel playing Mame Dennis. The fabulous outfits,  the often decorated apartment on Park Ave, and crazy antics are worth the price of admission. It has my favorite line in it: "Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!". Even in financial ruin you have to love her and the way she bounces back. Note to self, watch movie again.

5. Protocol- Goldie Hawn is adorable as a cocktail waitress who is thrown into a government protocol job. She is sweet and unassuming but is no match for the Washington types. That is, until she saves everyone's asses. Fun! I love her gay roommate, who I only wish had more air time!

6. House Sitter- Goldie Hawn again plays a waitress but this time she is way more devious. She worms her way into Steve Martin's house and heart with her lies. Some of the funniest scenes are of them "fake fighting" and getting confused by their own BS! Dana Delaney adeptly plays Steves very prim and propper old flame. Hysterical. You have to see Goldie in African Dance class!

7. Flamingo Kid- Matt Dillon plays a cute boy from the inner city who is charmed by a rich business man when he gets a summer job a the Flamingo Beach Club. Janet Jones plays the sexy rich girl he falls for. Such great music and summer fun!

8. Mystic Pizza- Want to see Julia Roberts before she was reeeeaaaly famous!? This is a cute movie about three girls working at the Mystic Pizza place in Mystic Connecticut. They are working class girls with big dreams and a lot of drama!

9.  Max Dugan Returns- This is such a cute family movie and Mathew Broderick is practically a baby in it! Living with this single mother, a teacher, they don't have much but they have laughs. Along comes a mystery man who turns out to be his mothers long lost jail bird father. Suddenly presents and a fantasy rich life begins for the very happy Mathew and his reluctant mother! Funny and great for the whole family!

10. Six Pack- Kenny Rogers race car is attacked by a band of petty criminals who happen to be kids! Diane Lane is the oldest one of the brothers and sisters who have been orphaned and are just trying to survive. Watch them play on the emotions of a guy who is used to the single life! He can't help but make them his pit crew.

What are your favorite movies no ones heard of?

Recipe Thursday! Penne A La Vodka!

The Mr is an incredible chef. Most of the week I meal plan and he executes, with flair I might add! This week he made Cilantro Ginger Flank Steak, Herb Mushroom Chicken (thanks to Adventures Of A southern Newlywed who I copied the meal planning from!!) and last Penne (or in this case Ravioli) A La Vodka. Such a yummy recipe.

Notice the sprig of basil to make it look more restaurant style.
He served it with a Ceasar salad! Divine! We had extra sauce for left overs!
 Ingredients: (make this in half if you don't want extra sauce!)

 2 Tbsoons butter
2 Tbspoons olive oil
1 onion chopped
1-2 bunches of basil cleaned and de-stemmed (use organic so much better!!)
4 garlic cloves minced
2 doz sliced mushrooms
2 large cans whole peeled tomatoes or 20 plum tomatoes (peeled and seeded)
1/4 cup vodka (can leave it out)
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
16 oz penne or other pasta

In skillet melt butter and oil. Add onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms. Add basil, tomatoes, and vodka. Simmer 15-20 minutes. The set aside.
Cook pasta.
Puree entire mixture adding in heavy cream. Pour over pasta and serve!

In other news I am loving the Real Housewives of New Jersey! I want to try some recipes from Theresas Book, Skinny Italian! Do you have it? Is it any good?

LA Story #322- The (Hippie?) Family Compound

Last weekend an old high school friend was in town and invited us to a compound in Topanga Canyon. Saying there was a pool, soccer field, outdoor kitchen, I imagined teepee's, dirt floors and lots of hippies. It's Topanga Canyon after all. I should have known better. Tracy, my friends, is no hippie!

We arrived to a 15 acre family compound with a main house and 6 other guest houses. The pool is in front of the main house, with billowing drapes and shaded tables.

Don't forget the outdoor kitchen. Hi Marta! How about the his and her locker rooms that were stocked
with every bathing suit, robe and product you can imagine? The place was gorgeous!
 But the "I die" moment came in one of the guest houses: Hello lover! Can I move right in?

Soccer field, petting zoo, huge state of the art playground, art studio, orchard, and grass sleds for the hills? Should I go on? Thanks Tracy! It was amazing!

Next Blog- Surfing The Blog World And Finding Yourself

I did something interesting this weekend. A little experiment. With one writing project finished WOOT! And another starting today, I took a break this weekend to enjoy some blogging. I was leaving a comment on someones blog when I looked up at the top of the page and saw "next blog". I have seen this before, maybe clicked on it once, but there it was again and I just thought...what is the next blog?

I clicked it and discovered a sweet mom in Texas with three boys. I felt like we had a lot in common, I loved seeing her cute family. I decided I would become a follower and leave her a comment. Then I did it again, I clicked next blog. The next one was a young girl into fashion. She was funny! Again I became a follower and left her a comment. Next blog. The next one was a mom dealing with the loss of a child and her marriage ending. I left her a comment, what could I really say, told her to just hang in there. Losing a child is a nightmare. I don't know how people survive it. I went along, blog after blog seeing everyone's lives. It was amazing. Sure there were a few freaky ones, but not too bad. I was just fascinated by the whole blog world out there. All going on simultaneously. We are all dealing with new babies, love, loss, kids, summer plans, houses, husbands and pets. Everyone has a story, a spiritual journey that they are sharing. It warmed my heart to be a part of this vast community of people sharing their lives.

I remember when I started this blog, I was nervous, not sure what to write about. Now years later, and now my 838th post (yowsa!), I still love to get comments as much as I did then! I get excited to find new bloggy friends, tell you about something I love, or ask a question and see how you answer.

How about today, after reading this post, hit next blog. Maybe you'll meet a new friend. Or maybe, you'll meet yourself.

Sanity Break- The Mini Vacation

Balboa Island in California is a mini vacation for the Mr. and I. We love the pretty houses, quaint little main street and shops. This would be the perfect place to rent for the summer. You have to take a ferry to get on the island, Landon thought it was his first time (he can't remember the first!), and he loved it.

We strolled along, and Landon even took Coco's hand to walk with her. They are too cute!

The houses there are just the cutest things. I dream of owning one!

We had a lovely day and even put our feet in the sand and ocean. Everyone needs a mini vacation now and again. Where's your mini vacation spot? Something close by or even in your back yard! I'd love to hear!

Will Smith Is My New Guru?

Will Smith was on Oprah promoting The Karate Kid remake, which he produced and cast his son Jaden in. He was talking about what he wanted to teach his son. They were in China four months shooting the film and Jaden was a different kid when they returned, due to the fact he overcame a huge challenge in the training and acting for this film. I was fascinated by how Will wanted to teach his son the business, pass on what he learned. Jada of course said she felt protective of him, especially since he is eleven!

Then, when Will tried to explain why he was happy his son had hard times and then triumphed, he said these life changing words:

"I feel that greatness lives on the edge of destruction. The reason that someone is great, is because they survived death. That's what made you great. You were almost OVER. That was it. Then, like a phoenix you rose from the ashes. In the face of destruction, you pounded on your chest and said I'm still here, so bring it. You have to learn you're not breakable."

Wow. With husband out of work, and money dwindling it has been hard to keep a good attitude, but somehow I have. Husband is now starting his own business, something I was scared for him to do before but now, I feel sky's the limit. I have to believe husband and I were meant for more, destined for greatness, and that we will survive and learn we aren't breakable. So yeah, I'm still here (pounds chest) so bring it.

Landon's 4th Olympiad! Kids Olympics Party!

Landon's birthday party was this weekend, his 4th Olympiad. He had the time of his life and I have to say, so did his friends!! Having an Olympics theme was so cute and fun. We even dressed in red, white and blue!

The jumpy took up so much of our yard it was a kids dream come true! It had tunnels, a rock wall, a slide, and a jumpy house at the end! We joked that it was the "catchers mit" after they go through the obstacle course.

I even climbed up on top with neighbor Sheila!!

The cake was made by bestie Katie. I swear she is the most amazing and creative person ever!! She also made Olympic cake torches!!

We had a water balloon toss, a relay race with jellybeans on a plate, and of course as many hot dogs as you could eat!

The menu was:
Hot dogs
Potato chips and onion dip
Caprese salad
Frosted cookies
Flag cookies
Cake and ice cream

The goodie bags had a gold medal, a mini trophy, flag tatoos, stickers and red vines!
I can't believe I have an almost four year old person. He's my baby and I love him so!

No Arms, No Legs, No Worries

Dealing with inevitable job loss, husband and I have been stressed but we are coming together and trying to make the best of things. We've even been inspired! These are the times to try new things and stretch in new directions. When I am having my normal "worried moments" about our future, I just think of this guy. He is truly inspiring. I will never say can't again!

Anniversary Dinner At Home- Stay-versary!

You know the "stay-cation", well because the Mr. and I are tightening our belts financially, we decided to do our anniversary dinner at home. You know what? It was DIVINE!

I set the table outside by the pool in a beachy theme. I used a white linen table cloth, glass stemware and wine bucket. The menu was lobster, asparagus, and new potatoes. Godmother Anne taught me that Savingnon Blanc goes with lobster way better than my beloved Pinot Grigio, so we had that. We also had a bottle of champagne given to us by friends at our decadence dinner, a gorgeous bottle of Perrier Jouet. We dined, talked about what we have learned over the past seven years, and what we want for the next seven!

I had this quote written in his card:

"Marriage partners are to serve each other. Elevate, help, teach, strengthen each other, but above all, serve. Raise their children honorably, lovingly and with detachment. A child is a guest in the house, to be loved and respected - never possessed, since he belongs to God. How wonderful, how sane, how beautifully difficult, and therefore true."

JD Sallinger

Happy Anniversary!

7th Year Anniversary! Lucky 7!

I have a thing for 7's. My lacrosse number was 17. I grew up in tow houses one on 17 Claremont and the other at 34 (3+4=7) Walworth. Our first house was at 1006 Queen Anne (1+6!). I am always looking for 7's. Well look no further because The Mr. and I are celebrating 7 years of marriage.

Hubby and I met at a 2 year olds birthday party. Neither of us should have been there. We didn't really know "Jake", I knew his parents a little. I had even just told my friends that I would probably never marry, and that that was okay (right). I met hubby, wearing an Lacoste shirt and khaki shorts, basically my fathers weekend uniform. I was drawn to him. He was funny. I was still not thinking he was my husband, just that he was so funny! He got all my jokes!

He asked me out, I said no. Then, a double date. I only said yes because I wanted a free meal! HA! Then when I showed up, I saw him at the bar waiting for me. He was so happy to see me. So genuinely happy to see me! I said, under my breath, I'm gonna marry this guy. Guess what? I did.

Three weeks later he moved in, six months later we were engaged and a year later we were married in Malibu. Lucky? I think yes.

I love you babe. We made it to seven years and we'll make it to twenty-seven. It' s you and me against the world. You and me and the most gorgeous kids in the world. We have the most beautiful family and we are blessed. We are resting in God's perfect love.

Kids Olympic Birthday Party! Landon's 4th Olympiad!

Can you believe my baby is turning 4?!! We are doing his July birthday in June so he can have all his classmates come. Landon absolutely loved the Olympics when they were on, and he's so athletic and sporty! Just had to have an Olympic Birthday Party!

First I made the Olympic torch birthday invitations! Aunt ReRe had to help me because my version looked terrible! We cut it out of colored card stock! We put each child's name on them and then on the back wrote the party details.

Go For The Gold!
Landon's 4th Olympiad!
Opening Ceremonies: June
3-6 pm RSVP- Mrs!
 Don't they look cute!?
I have bought a bunch of red, white and blue decorations, American flags etc. This is the perfect summer birthday party because the 4th of July is around the corner! I ordered an obstacle course jumpy with a bounce house at the end.

I will fill you in on the rest of the details as things move closer!


Fabulous Movie! Sex and The City 2!

Okay so the first one was better but I would pay $10 to see these girls sit and eat grapefruit. I just want to spend time with them! I miss them when they aren't around! You too? Since I know many of you haven't seen it yet (hello, some of us Mom's won't see it until it comes out on DVD because we cannot get there!!), I won't spoil all the surprises. Instead I'll just give a few little statements.

The outfits are fabulous. My favorites are Samantha's bathing suit by the pool, and Mirandas at the wedding!
Miranda looked amazing the whole movie, the best she's ever looked.
One spoiler: Liza Minelli gives a performance in the movie. I DIED. I love her. LOVE. There she was doing a performance of a very modern song. I will be buying the DVD for this ALONE. PS Liza is in a very short black sequined shirt and she's still got it. Go Liza!
He's in the trailer so this isn't a giveaway, Aidan is hot. Good to see him!
And last, my favorite scene in the movie is with Charlotte and Miranda admitting how hard motherhood is! Fantastic! A must see!

The Winner!

The winner, and proud owner of her own personalized copy of Social Climbers is:

Drum roll...

 Magnolias Marriage and Manhattan!!! 

Email me please with the name for the inscription and your address!

Congratulations Darling!