Finding meaning in the mundane.

The Oldies

I suppose if I had known my grandparents when they were in their 30s, 40s, and 50s, I would have seen striking similarities between them and my parents at every age. Just as, if I could superimpose myself now next to my mother when she was 36, I am sure I would move, speak, gesture, blink, just like her. Take her shape. I certainly hear her words coming out of my mouth, all the time. Her tone. Her tendencies. I am her, in many ways.

But of course, I didn’t know my grandparents until they were in their 60s and 70s, when my parents were in their 30s and 40s, and they did not seem so very alike. These days, though, when I see my parents (they just came for a long weekend), I am seeing my grandparents, in every way. Their expressions, the way they move, their shapes when they sit. It’s haunting, and also comforting, somehow. The continuity through generations. I think about how it must seem like yesterday that my sister and I were the same size as my girls, and how strange that one day my girls will be grown like me, and (hopefully) feel a growing urge to protect me and Sash, though from what I can’t exactly say, the way we long to protect them now.

Don’t get me wrong (Mum and Dad - I know your hackles are up if you’re reading this) - my parents are fantastic. They are healthy, fit, sharp. They travel, they read, they try new things. They are not your average retirees. And yet, they are getting older. We all are. It creeps up on us, and seems less obvious when you’re in the middle, but there it is. We are all getting older, every damn day. 

I’m not dwelling on it. Just sitting with it for a moment. Then I’ll get up and keep flapping. 

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Odds and Ends

I keep finding good things and forgetting to share them. Here are a few…

• Can’t wait for these clever little things to come out:

Turn any cup into a sippy cup with SipSnap. They are taking pre-orders now, shipping in September.

Genius!

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• This great post by Catherine Newman (of Ben and Birdy) really made me think:

Give your kids all your attention, half the time, instead of half your attention, all the time.

I am so guilty of this, even though I am completely judgemental of other people (including my husband) when I see them doing it: looking at something on my phone - Instagram, email, Flipboard, whatever - when my kids are trying to talk to me. Why? It’s such a bad habit, this e-diction, and a hard one to break. I’m not there yet, but I am trying real hard…

• I want to make these delicious looking watermelon and mint popsicles, maybe even this weekend. Mmm, does it get more summery?

Recipe (and pic) by A Sweet Pea Chef here.

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Happy Fourth of July weekend!

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Drug Store Beauty

Venturing into new territory here.

I am no beauty expert (ha! understatement), but I think I may have discovered the perfect drug-store skin care routine. 

Apart from a very brief period in high school when my mum bought me the Clinque kit to combat teenage pimples, I have been using drug-store products my entire life. I’ve tried expensive stuff (very) occasionally, and I just don’t see a difference. 

I think I have discovered the best of the best, so I thought I’d share.

Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Face Cleanser - I have been on the search for the perfect cleanser for years, and I have finally found it. It’s light, gentle, doesn’t leave any kind of film on your skin, takes off makeup, and only costs $7.49. Done.

Thayer’s Original Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera - My doula got this for me when I had Mila (for other purposes, obviously). I just recently started using it at night as a toner. It makes my skin feel extra fresh and clean, like I got the day’s dirt out of my pores. It’s $8.60 for 12 ounces, and you can get it on Amazon if you can’t find it at the drug store. They make lots of different kinds; I might try the cucumber or rose water one next.

Trader Joe's Nourish Antioxidant Facial Serum - Oh my god ladies, maybe I am just drinking TJ's kool-aid, but I am obsessed with this stuff. I bought it on a whim one day and now I use it every morning and every night. It makes my skin feel smooth and wonderful. It's only $10 at TJ's. Try it, I swear you will love it.

Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15 - Ok I’ll be honest, I tried this because I read about it on Bleubird. (That bitch can make me covet anything she touches.) But I really love it. It’s a great light moisturizer for every day, with SPF of course, and it’s only $12.49.

Night of Olay - At night I use good old fashioned Oil of Olay. I know they make a lot of fancier products these days, but I like the tub,  I like  that it’s pink, and I love that the smell reminds me of my mother. And it’s under $10. You can’t beat that.

I am in between eye creams at the moment, but I really like Garnier and Aveeno. They are both around $15, and I usually grab whichever one is on sale. 

Lastly, if you don’t know about Lucas’ Paw Paw Ointment, um, well, you just should. I use this on my lips all the time, as well as on every scrape, cut, rash, bite, and boo-boo my girls get. It is magic. I always bring a bunch back from Australia as I haven’t seen it in stores here, but  you can order it online from Amazon or beautylish.com. Once you try it, you won’t leave home without this little red tube.

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Two.

This one turns two today. With her mop of Croodish hair, her sweet baby language in which verbs and objects end in “-aninny,” as in, “I want walk-aninny,” and also, “Mama, look - apple-ninny!”, her (still) purple stained bum (blueberries are back in season), her penchant for singing and dancing, her giggle, and her general ridiculousness, she lights up every day. She is a good argument for having babies.

Happy birthday, Billie Valentine. 

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Preschool grad. It’s official.

Preschool grad. It’s official.

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I Heart LA

Recently, I’ve been working LA. (Ha! Like I ever “worked” anything in my life.) Ok well, I have made it out of my house on several occasions, sans children, which is very exciting, as you will understand if you have young ones yourself.

(Speaking of Young Ones, Rik! So sad. Why isn’t The Young Ones on Netflix? Can someone get on that, stat?)

In getting out and meeting and talking to new people, I have rekindled my love affair with LA.

I fell in love when I moved here, June 30th 2000. I was enamored with the sun, the palm trees, the decadent coffees, the California burritos at La Salsa, the pool parties, the music. Even the odd celebrity sightings. (Seriously, spotting a Beach Boy at Aaron Brothers, and that guy from LA Law at the grocery store - does it get any better than that?)

After a few months of debauchery, reality set in my love hate struggle began.

I love the weather, I hate the traffic.

I love the energy, I hate the absurd cost of housing.

I love the beach, desert, and mountains, I hate the smog.

Etc etc etc.

But recently, I remembered what I love most about LA, and why I still love it, despite her faults. (And we all have faults, don’t we?)

The people.

I LOVE that ours is a town brimming with ideas, creativity, art, music, passion, everyone you meet is chasing a dream, trying to make something. We are the creators and I love being a part of it. 

Thank you, LA.  You rule.

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Speed Reading

Through a series of disjointed web searches, I wandered onto Tim Ferris’s blog recently (you have probably heard of his book, The 4 Hour Work Week) and specifically landed on this article about speed reading.

I decided to give it a go because I have book-marked and downloaded SO MUCH STUFF in the last few months that it could take me until next year to actually read it all, at the pace I read. 

Check this out, and try it. The closing one eye thing. It’s really weird.

"You do not read in a straight line, but rather in a sequence of saccadic movements (jumps). Each of these saccades ends with a fixation, or a temporary snapshot of the text within you focus area (approx. the size of a quarter at 8 inches from reading surface). Each fixation will last ¼ to ½ seconds in the untrained subject. To demonstrate this, close one eye, place a fingertip on top of that eyelid, and then slowly scan a straight horizontal line with your other eye-you will feel distinct and separate movements and periods of fixation."

I guess my dad was right. Not that I will ever apply this to say, Hemingway, but to the thousand or so articles and ebooks that I have saved to read, yes. Skip away, eyeballs. 

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Sweet Sweet Quiet

I have been escaping to the cool quiet of the Glendale Central Library to work of late. I love the smell of the books, the tall windows, the endless rows of shelves. Also, the quiet. Library quiet has a feel to it that is like no other quiet; hallowed, hushed, head-bowed. Meditative. Serene.

Holy. 

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#Topanga #chillin @rockbonham

#Topanga #chillin @rockbonham

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Business cards! …Also, mudpies. #kids #tcb #workingmum #livingthedream #summer #copykatla

Business cards! …Also, mudpies. #kids #tcb #workingmum #livingthedream #summer #copykatla

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