ONE: A/C You know those in-window a/c units? The ones that are designed to be used with windows that open / close vertically? I've always thought they were so unattractive and bulky; definitely not something I had any intention of using in my home. Well, the recent Texas-style weather we've been experiencing in SoCal has me singing a different tune. Our hot and humid master bedroom was the coolest place in the house so the hubby and I shared it with our furnace of a dog and our human torch son. Nobody got any sleep. So, when we stumbled into ownership of one of these ugly window a/c units I nearly hugged the beast. For the next few days, we moved it from the living room in the morning to the bedroom in the afternoon basking in the cool relief it provided. Talk about a fantastic night's sleep. It doesn't fit pefectly in our windows though, so a little jimmy-rigging on the part of the hubby led to this super classy get up. It may be ugly, but this is one happy mama (just don't show me the electric bill for the month!). TWO: ALMA MATER & A FANTASTIC SPEAKER On Tuesday, the hubby watched the little man in the evening so I could see Nolan Bushnell speak at my alma mater (Loyola Marymount University) as part of the Hilton Distinguished Entrepreneur Lecture Series. Nolan immediately connected to the audience with his humor, honesty, and story-telling. The father of the video game industry, founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese, and tech inventor, he had no shortage of interesting and inspiring stories of success and failure. The target audience of undergraduate entrepreneurship majors responded to his lecture with cheers and applause more akin to a sporting event; they were obviously impressed - and so was I. THREE: RAIN Self-explanatory. Of course, it would rain on the day the hubby and I had scheduled for moving a bunch of stuff to our new place, but I'll take it. We have one more big day of moving planned hoping for rain on all days except that one. Did anyone else notice how clear and fresh the air has been since the rain blew through? FOUR: TASTE OF FALL The cool down of the last couple evenings gave us L.A. residents a taste of the fall to come. I couldn't be more excited! I love summer - the heat, the sun, the long days, the early rising of the sun - but, I am ready for butternut squash, chili, boots, scarves, sweaters, hot cocoa, and evenings curled up by the fire with a great book and a cup of hot tea. FIVE: THE POOL The heat has brought a whole host of problems to the residents of SoCal and beyond, but looking at the positive side, a huge benefit of it has been the ability to jump in the pool and not be freezing despite less than ideal water temperatures. The little man has finally overcome the "pool phobia" he developed over the last year and is now happily jumping into the pool, climbing out, and repeating the process until I am blue covered in goose pimples. But his laugh and the way he holds on tight to my neck after jumping in to me, make every single freezing moment worth it.
You know those weeks where nothing super exciting happens and you don’t have plans every night? No? Me neither. That’s probably why this past weekend’s lack of planned engagements and requirements was so special – the perfect way to spend Mother’s Day. The hubby and our little man just hung out at the house, cooked, played at the park, walked the dog, and drank some great wine (the little man stuck with his milk – but tells me it was great). The combination of a relaxing weekend, gorgeous sunny skies, and some much needed rain, reminded me that opposites attract and one isn’t necessarily better than the other.
- All the rain coming down in Austin, TX makes my heart happy. With the drought keeping the city parched – the lakes were at 34% full at the start of the year – it is great to see it finally getting some much-needed moisture. Hopefully the lakes will be full by the time we get back! Craving lake time and wakeboarding.
- Staying on the rain theme, the rainfall in Cali has been a blessing. The gloomy weather doesn’t exactly represent spring, but I’ll take whatever moisture Mother Nature is willing to share (even if it means a couple days of fall clothes mid-spring.)
- I went to a much-needed and really awesome networking event for entrepreneurs in Santa Monica. It’s amazing how talking to people about their ideas is just as inspiring and invigorating as chatting about yours. Plus, the extrovert in me needed the conversation!
- We busted out a bottle of wine that had been driven from CA to VA to TX back to CA (2002 J. Lohr Carol’s Vineyard Cab Sav). With that much travel – all in unconditioned space in the back of a Uhaul – we didn’t have high hopes. Much to my surprise, it was really smooth and delicious. That’s a pretty good testament to the quality of the grapes and final product of the wineries in Paso Robles.
- My aunt is graduating from her MBA program this weekend! So freakin’ proud of her and cannot wait to celebrate with her on Saturday. I’m so grateful we get to be a part of these family events and milestones. It wasn’t possible until our move back to SoCal.
This week was gloomy and cold and very not spring-like. So I did everything I could to bring sun, light, and laughter into the days. Lunch with best friends, a new hairstyle, and a beautiful singing voice were just a few of the highlights. Here are my 5 Things for the past week:...
All weeks are filled with positives and negatives, but the traditional news outlet often overlooks the positive angles. I noticed that same tendency in myself this week, so I forced myself to focus on the little things that made me smile. As always, my little man is where I started. After I jotted down a few things about him, I moved on to other topics. The more I wrote, the easier positive images and events came to me. At the end, I had far too many and editing the list down to 5 was hard....
We used to sit down to dinner every night as a family and chat. This was before the time of smart phones and tablets (Blackberries were the cool tech of the moment). Every evening each of us would take turns saying what our favorite 5 Things of the day were. It could be anything from playing outside at recess to science class to an awesome team meeting at work. There were only three rules 1) all 5 things had to be positive, 2) you couldn’t copy what someone else said unless you elaborated and made it personal, and 3) no repeats from the previous night. It was really fun and usually resulted in some great conversation and ideas for things to do during the upcoming weekend. Somehow over the last ten years or so we let this tradition go and I miss it. So, in honor of this tradition and in hopes of bringing it back, every Friday I will share my 5 Things from the previous seven days. Please feel free to share yours with me – or just with those closest to you. Enjoy!
- I reconnected and had an awesome lunch (Cow's End) and conversation with an old friend / colleague who I haven’t seen or talked to in nearly 10 years. Bonus: I walked away from lunch with a whole bunch of awesome knowledge I didn’t know I didn’t know.
- Impromptu alfresco spaghetti and meatball dinner with friends. There is no better way to cap off hump day than with a delicious home cooked meal, a glass of wine, catching up with a good friend, and watching our little men get into all kinds of mischief.
- My little man’s first official soccer practice! There was way too much cuteness in one place – and my sister came to partake in the fun. If you live in LA and want to get in on the fun, check out Learn to Kick by Tiny Pros.
- Fresh, homemade rosemary olive French loaf. Seriously, the way my home smelled all day was fantastic. This will definitely be appearing on the blog soon!
- The long held belief that I was looked over when my parents were handing out the artistic gene has been confirmed. My attempt at an Elmo cupcake says it all (image at the end). But, the important part is that they taste like slices of heaven and the kids at his daycare all agreed. Now I just need to whip up a batch to take to his family b-day party tomorrow. Phew!