Tuesday, February 26, 2013

because i need time to digest the words "meal plan"

It's just turning out to be another one of those weeks where my head is getting foggy, my messages are piling up, the paperwork is overtaking the coffee table, and my daily reading is collecting dust.  Also, I kind of miss my kids.  I'm not sure what you see on the surface here, but I've been working hard at this site and at my Etsy shop over the past couple of weeks, mostly getting nowhere with what I'm trying to do, and I feel like I need to take a step back and regroup.  Try to remember what I was shooting for in the first place.  Breathe some outdoor air.

And I'm supposed to start cooking next week.  Ugh.  UGH.  Yeah.  I need to step away, squash my panic attack reflex, and make some plans for that.  Ugh.

I think this means I'm taking the rest of the week off from writing.  Maybe y'all won't even notice, but I needed to put it out there for myself all the same.  I'm taking the rest of the week off.  I'll be here again next week.  With a meal plan.  Oof.

You know you can find me on Instagram in the meantime.  Or on Twitter, which is basically just an Instagram tweetfest for me.  Love you all.  Be good to yourselves.


Monday, February 25, 2013

becoming sisters

I spend a lot of time on Instagram, and as much as I adore it (it's my favorite social networking tool by far) it can sometimes be to parenting what Pinterest can be to housekeeping.  By that I mean that my Instagram feed is often packed full with gorgeous photos of docile children who are playing together happily or cuddling gently in muted, digitally-softened sunlight, older siblings always gazing wisely and lovingly at their younger, innocent siblings.

Yeah, so, I don't know about you, but that picture hasn't exactly aligned with our daily lives.  My girls have spent most of their nearly three years as sisters on a pendulum ride between sibling rivalry and staunch independence.  Any photo of them playing together happily was usually a heavily bribed, slightly staged, and desperately cajoled single shot out of a thousand.  Just be glad you can't hear whining through the photos I post.  Please.  BE GLAD.

what used to be a typical, non-Instagrammed photo of my girls.  yeah.

But recently, over the past few weeks or maybe months, we've noticed a gradual improvement.  Slowly they seem to play together more, and the usually constant round robin of tears and yelling and SHE TOOK MY and SHE WON'T and SHE SAID has been tapering off ever so subtly.  Instead, they're beginning to learn how to work together, how to have some fun together.  Somehow, out of the blue, they are becoming friends.  And their new favorite treat?  Having blankets hung around the bottom bunk to make a cave for weekend sleepovers.  Now, I know those girls need sleep - they need sleep and WE need sleep - but listening to them giggle and chat and tell stories and belly laugh for HOURS on end is basically the best perk of parenting.  Ever.

I hope they keep this up.  I don't have any hallucinations about the fighting or rivalry disappearing altogether, but I do hope now that they might actually be friends in twenty years.  Maybe even very good friends.  And honestly, I'm not sure if there is anything I want more for them.

Yesterday, Lena was telling me a silly, giggly story about what it would be like if she had had a twin, someone just like her who went with her everywhere and played with her all the time, and I asked her if maybe Evie would have been her twin in that scenario?  She just laughed at me.  "Well, yeah, Evie would be my twin!  She's my sister!"

Saturday, February 23, 2013

favorite thing of the week

I've been meaning to start this up for a while, my Favorite Thing of the Week.  I can't guarantee that I'll be consistent with it, or that everything I post as a favorite thing of the week will be so new that you've never heard of it before, but it will be something I like, when I like it.  So here you go, my first favorite thing of the week is...

the Rookie Mag Friday Playlists!  Every week the uber-rad and inspiring made-by-real-girls-FOR-real-girls Rookie Mag posts a Friday playlist that is guaranteed to include a song or two I love but haven't heard in years, a slew of brand-spankin-new (to me) artists, and often something oddball to keep me on my toes. I love it because it keeps me from drowning in that music rut that I'm so apt to wallow in since becoming a resident in the land of toddlers, Katy Perry, and oddly-categorized Pandora stations.

Go ahead, press play. And happy weekending!

Friday, February 22, 2013

i promised you more sanity, but you know, i'm not sure there's any real weight behind that promise

This is what an unproductive Friday looks like:  towels on the sofa, towels on the floor, trashcans emptied and placed at convenient locations around the house, Lysol and hand sanitizer (or hanitzer, as Lena calls it) placed within reach, Gatorade in a princess sippy, laundry piled sky high, and one glassy-eyed baby girl watching hours of My Little Pony on Netflix.  On the bright side, I think she's on the upswing, keeping down some water and banana this morning, just super tired.  Also on the bright side, so far FINGERS CROSSED KNOCK ON WOOD SOMEBODY SACRIFICE A CHICKEN nobody else in our house has gotten sick.  YET.


Nope.  Still nothing.  (And still crossing fingers.)

Something fun for today, though, is that one of my photos was featured on Instagram by the fabulous Mommyshorts for the Mommyshorts and Belle & Beanzer #instashorts_love contest.  Yay and thank you!  It was nice to have something fun to wake up to that wasn't just the realization that there was no fresh puke to clean up this morning.  Oh, umm....  I'm sure Ilana will be happy to know that I found her more exciting than a lack of puke this morning, huh?  Well, shoot.  It was nice being featured while it lasted, I guess.

No, honestly, this was super cool.  THANK YOU.

As my favorite pony Pinkie Pie would say:

(I am an Instagram addict, by the way, and you are welcome to follow me here.  I promise I've never posted any pony cartoons there.)

So that's what this Friday has brought to the Hill household.  My dream is that tomorrow would be spent lounging on the sofa and watching the pile of Oscar screeners we've had for so long while the girls, um, play in their room quietly with the door shut?  We have actually managed to catch Argo, Silver Linings Playbook, and Amour so far, which is a much better record than any of the previous five years.  (By the way, in my pre-baby life when I had hoooooooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurs of free time for seeing movies, I would have been a fan of Amour, but I just can't recommend it if kid-free time is at a premium, or as an enjoyable way of spending the evening ON YOUR BIRTHDAY, THANKS HONEY.  Let's just say that it makes the baby-delivery and season finale episodes of Downton Abbey look like they were written by Tina Fey and Louis C.K.)  I would love to get through Les Miserables and Zero Dark Thirty at the very least, and before Oscar night, but in reality I will probably spend tomorrow doing more laundry while watching the girls reenact the latest drama from Ponyville and the Crystal Kingdom.

Have you seen any of the Oscar contenders this year?

Do you have a favorite?

Or, perhaps, a favorite pony?

More sanity on Monday, I promise.  Have a lovely weekend, dear readers.


**edit**  I just remembered that we also saw Lincoln, which I loved despite the multiple endings, so, maybe, to be fair, we've done okay this year.  Also, I thought you'd like this:

(leaving you on a sweeter note this time.)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

two things this blog wasn't about

It's just part of my nature:  to question, to search, to wonder, to seek out all the possibilities.  On the plus side, it makes me a dreamer.  It keeps me open to change.  It keeps me looking for new ideas and experiences.  It helps me understand where other people are coming from.  On the other side, well, isn't it obvious?  I am an expert at wanting more, wanting other, at changing my mind, at second-guessing myself, at feeling lost in it all.

Writing here is so good for me.  I know, I say that all the time, but it is so very true.  Writing here helps me get it all out - all that second-guessing and wondering - and somehow it helps me find my way.  In the year or year-and-a-half since I've really been devoting my time to showing up here, I feel like I've learned so much about myself, about you, and that I've changed in good ways.  I feel like a better version of myself, and the path forward does slowly become clearer.

In practical terms, though, life hasn't changed all that much.  Honestly, outside of that one small thing of, you know, having children, our lives have altered very little in the eight years since we got married. Eight years.  For someone who spent the previous three years moving every year, and the five years before that moving every three months, settling into what was intended to be a temporary situation for now nearly a decade gives me cabin fever in the very worst way.  It's been especially bad since Lena was born.  Five, six years of cabin fever. And we just keep adding inmates!

At least they're cute.

Because we would like to move forward with our lives in several ways - housing, career, finances, travel - frustration at the lack of change creeps in too often, and I think this frustration is the worst.  I keep fighting it off with daily, even moment-by-moment reminders of how good we have it.  If you read here much at all, you know this.  Maybe you're tired of it.  But reminding myself to stay in the right now and love what we DO have is the best way that I battle my frustrations and fears about our future.

The other way I battle is by looking for opportunities to fix it.  But I'm not having as much success as I'd like with this.  Jimmy and I both want me to be able to stay home for the girls, so I am trying to build businesses I can run from home while they're at school, but it is slow going getting things off the ground.  Plus, freelance work has been spotty at best over the last couple of years, and lately my facebook business page and sundry other little business-type web extensions are giving me so many headaches that I'm almost ready to go back to school to brush up on graphic design and coding and business business business and WAIT A MINUTE.  Did I just say "go back to school"?  The???  No, wait, I can fix this:  homework.  pop quizzes.  term papers.  finals.  REGISTRAR.

Hellllls no.

Anyway.  I do have a point.  Jimmy has suggested I try a new approach for earning money, namely by saving money by managing it better, and after some sobering looks at our budget we both know that this needs to be done.  And while "budgeting" almost makes a visit to the registrar's office sound like a fabulous vacation plan, the key word is "almost."  So, budgeting wins by a punch in the nose!  Who wants to celebrate with me?  Papercuts all around!

Oh, and it gets better.  After writing about how much I dislike cooking and food, it is also clear that I need to tackle that with the great recipes you've all sent to me, and meal plans!  Hooray!  This post just gets better and better!  WHO WANTS KALE CHIPS AND A SOCK IN THE EYE?

(Note to self!  New business idea:  teach classes on how to market a blog series.  CHA-.  CHING.)

I'm so jazzed, I know you can tell.  But it all seems inevitably necessary.  Linked with Showing Up, even, and part of 36 before 36.  So.  More to come.  I'm thinking March will be start-cooking-and-tackle-the-budget month around here.  It might also magically be hide-M&Ms-and-bourbon-under-the-couch-cushions month.  If you have advice - for the budgeting and cooking, I mean (I know perfectly well how to take care of the M&Ms and bourbon, thank you) - throw it at me, please.  I am less than thrilled, but anxious for change and some semblance of control over my family's future.  I promise there will still be photos of the girls and plenty of ramblings from the inner workings of my ever-entertaining neurosis.  Because the writing here, it's still so good for me.  I haven't gone THAT far off the deep end.

Not yet, anyway.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Central Coast wrap-up - stargazing

President's Day, where have you been all my life?  Somehow the stars aligned for us this year and what is usually just another Monday postal holiday became a last-minute four-day vacation to visit family in our favorite sleepy sea-side towns.  We wandered shops and played on the beach and shared oh so much good food with family.  Our girls had the best time playing with Auntie Barbara and her doggies, rifling through Grampa's art supplies, and giggling themselves to sleep in zipped-together sleeping bags.  Jimmy and I even had some stolen hours to ourselves, and a date night which was supposed to be convened at the old Tavern wound up wrapped in an old blanket and drinking hot coffee on the beach because the stars were SO bright, Milky Way bright, that we couldn't pass them up.  I learned at least three new constellations - Taurus, Gemini, and Leo - and could see all of the Seven Sisters without squinting or straining.  Usually I spot a satellite or two, even sometimes in Los Angeles, but nothing of the sort this time, just one huge, bright falling star right over the hills to the north that curve out into the Pacific to form the bay. One of our dreams is to be able to buy a vacation home in this town one day, but when we can't even afford a first home, and can't see much possibility for that in any near future, a vacation home sounds completely, scandalously ridiculous.  And sometimes, while we are in the middle of such a good, gorgeous weekend, that is exactly the anxiety that sneaks into our conversation to bring us down.  But we try to keep the anxiety pushed aside, because we have a bird in hand right now.  Two, really - two very precious birds in hand.  And they make our right now worth more than any dreams.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

too much love

Happy Valentine's Day, dear readers!  The girls went off to school today covered in pink and hearts and sparkly smiles, carrying bags of valentines that all read "You're the best!" which still makes me laugh:

(No YOU'RE the best!!)

Jimmy and I don't usually do much on Valentine's Day anymore.  The holiday began badly in our early dating years (girls, NEVER tell your boyfriend that you "don't really care much about Valentine's Day" because you think the teddy bear and long-stemmed roses package is cheesy but you DO like a little romance in general - it will NOT be interpreted that way), and then one year when we tried to redeem the holiday with fancy dinner plans and all that, we wound up being blocked from our destination by the police who had cordoned off a half-mile radius around Wilshire/La Cienega for HOURS due to a bank robbery, derailing the whole evening.  I know I took that as a sign to laugh the holiday off, for, like, EVER.  Not to mention the fact that traffic in Los Angeles on Valentine's Day is honestly comparable to traffic the night before Thanksgiving, reservations need to be made weeks or months in advance, and all the restaurant menus are prix fixe.  So, we pretty much just stay in, nowadays.

Today, though, I was surprised by lunch out with Jimmy, a pair of lovely Anthropologie champagne flutes, and best of all, he picked up around the house, took out the trash, and did a load of laundry while I was out this morning.  Best.  Husband.  Ever.

But, okay, I know that half of you love Valentine's Day, and half of you hate it.  For those of you who hate it, here's something unromantic, but still totally sweet:

here he is, as I am writing this now, pretending to be a kitten

Pagoda Cat turned ten years old today.  Happy birthday, Pagoda!  Now you can continue to act like the reincarnation of a cranky old man, but nobody will mind it because, dude, you are TEN.  How did you get to be ten??  Uh oh, now I need to dig up that crappy old photo of the minute I first met you:

(YOU chose ME, remember,  Mr. Pagoda?)

Oh no, that did it.  Full on kitten photo explosion on its way in 3....2....1...

("This is the Pagoda.")

You're a good boy, Pagoda.  If we could make the next ten years a little less barfy, a little less yowly-at-3am-y, and a little less hissing-at-your-brother-y, I promise to increase your yogurt breaks.  Okay, fine, I promise to provide more yogurt, anyway.  Love you.  Really.  Cranky old man personality and all.

So, happy Valentine's Day, friends, and Happy Pagoda's Tenth Birthday!  And if you hate Valentine's Day AND cats, well, hmm.  I don't know how to help.  Happy Thursday?  Also, you don't like cats and you are on the internet?  WHY TORTURE YOURSELF?

Love to you all.  I'll be out this weekend, so, have a great weekend, too.  xoxo.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

and I can hear the distant tears of her future hairbrush...

As a reward for sticking with me through a couple of rough posts in a row (well, they were rough for ME, anyway), I thought you might enjoy some nice Evie pics.

Specifically, Bed Head Evie pics.

She grows this hair herself.  I do NOTHING to aid such a spectacular defiance of gravity.  I would actually kill for just a fraction of volume in my own hair, so clearly, I have no idea how to achieve something on this level.

I know.  Spectacular.

Enjoy your day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

the care and feeding of girls

photo by Jimmy

I have never been skinny.  And although I was not overweight as a child or teenager, I always knew that I was not skinny, and I always wished I was.  Who knows when or where or how that message came across?  I have a few ideas, but no real answers.  I do remember, though, weighing myself just before beginning the fourth grade, and noticing that I had gained ten pounds over the summer, and feeling terribly ashamed of that fact.  Why?  Obviously, at that age, I could have also grown six inches over the summer.  But I don't remember gaining inches.  I remember gaining pounds.  I don't even know why I stood on the scale at all, at what, nine years old?  Until that day, the scale had been a novelty:  a rickety metal box that heaved and coiled and rattled when you stood on it, sending a circle of numbers spinning, swinging back and forth under a little red arrow.  It reminded me of the roulette wheels I had seen in movies.  (And maybe that was more appropriate a comparison than I had ever imagined it could be.)

This post is not about my weight, though.

This post is about food.

Recently I've come to realize that I hate food.  I eat food, I buy food, and I prepare food, so discovering that I hate food was a bit of a surprise.  When I was living on my own, I really did not spend much time thinking about food, and when Jimmy and I were first married I still didn't have to think about it, because he loves to cook and so he managed our kitchen, for the most part.

With children, our lives are different.  They want to eat all. the. time.  Every day, they expect at least three meals and about six thousand snacks.  And when Jimmy comes home from work he is more tired, more strained, and more interested in spending time with the girls than cooking.

And my health has been begging me to change my diet.  Fighting with my weight is nothing new to me, but over the past five years I've developed a random batch of issues such as mild asthma, itchy skin, and even a small bout of psoriasis, and after some experimentation with my diet and lots of chats with my doctor, it looks like wheat is not my friend.  And probably dairy and sugar, as well, but I've decided to focus on just the wheat for now.

So.  I have to think about food, now.  My girls need to be fed, and they should be fed properly and thoughtfully, and my own food needs to be thought out in advance.  My preference for snacking over eating meals is fine, but I can't just go into the kitchen, grab a pop tart and leave, anymore.  And Jimmy? Jimmy enjoys healthy, well-prepared meals.  It's a concept my brain wants to reject immediately on sight.

My job now includes dealing with food.  What I've discovered in this new role is that I have plenty of good intentions, but when I walk into the kitchen with the idea to prepare a meal my mind actually goes blank.  The oven becomes a torture device designed by NASA.  All I can see on the full refrigerator shelves are water, cheese, milk, and yogurt.  The overstuffed pantry contains cereal, snack bars, pop tarts, Pirate Booty, and cookies.  The packed-tight freezer contains chicken nuggets and fish sticks.  Fish sticks it is.  I can manage fish sticks, ketchup, and fruit for the girls' dinner.  For Jimmy and I?  Well....maybe Jimmy will come home late tonight, having already eaten, or bearing leftovers from his catered lunch...

It is nonsensical for me to feel this way about preparing meals, and for a very long time I've been trying to drive myself to overcome it, but getting nowhere.  Just recently, though, I realized what I said before:  I hate food. The reason for this might be obvious to you, but it took me a solid twenty-five years to figure it out.  The reason I hate food is because I make myself feel guilty over every bite.  Every. single. bite.  Did I just eat something sweet?  You're too fat to eat that.  Did I just eat something delicious?  You should be eating healthier.  Did I just eat something healthy?  You have to eat that because you're too fat and you eat too much junk.  Did I just eat something sweet and delicious AND healthy, like those awesome gluten-free protein berry pancakes at the cool restaurant in WeHo last month?  You shouldn't have spent so much money on food.

It sounds so awful, I know.  Keep in mind that I wasn't even aware I was doing this until very recently. The problem is, I'm not sure how to stop.  How do I turn that off?  I HAVE to turn that off.  I MUST fix this, and fix it NOW.  Yes, it would be easier and healthier (both mentally and physically healthier) for me.  It would be good for my relationship with Jimmy, too.  But I don't even think I need to outline the fact that I am raising two girls.  Two gorgeous, smart, funny girls, who are already very concerned - in very little girl ways - with being pretty.

For their sake, I have to fix this, and fix it now.  I can't let them grow into the same problems I have.

Awareness, I think, is very good.  Exercise - or at least, activity - I assume will be most helpful in improving self-esteem.  Food still needs to be dealt with, though.

So, I am going to attempt to make food a priority.  Will that help?  I am hoping it will help, and not make matters worse.  I think, if I prioritize food, with an awareness of how I have been approaching it, with a goal of respecting it, of respecting my body, and teaching my girls about health and activity and self-confidence, I think that this will help.  But I have to tell you, it almost feels as though I'm committing to building a working rocketship in my backyard.  This is alien territory for me.  How do I begin?

How do you do it?

Monday, February 11, 2013


I work hard at Showing Up, but I make progress in frustrating fits and starts.  The mornings always seem to devolve into irritated chaos, but this morning I wake early and crawl out from under the heavy blankets and comforter, prying myself away from the warm five-year-old tucked between myself and my husband, and brave the chilled darkness of our pre-dawn and badly insulated house, (out of bed early - check).  I pour a cup of hot black coffee already brewed and waiting for me, having been prepared the night before, (cultivating stress-free mornings - check), and sit down to read in the drowsy quiet:  devotion, inspiration, quick thoughts scrawled into a notebook, peace and preparation (check, check, check, and check).

Lena interrupts my moment of digestion after reading so many words I needed to read - I am in the middle of writing out the last question, still wanting time to read it over again, maybe time to think about the answer.  She is awake a little earlier than I anticipated, complaining of a sore throat.  I close my books and fix her a mug of hot water with honey and lemon, letting it cool to a kid-safe temperature while I spread honey into the peanut butter on a slice of toast, hiding the honey because she is convinced she doesn't like it, though she hasn't tried it in two years.  (Branching out the girls' limited menu - check.)  She complains.  Whines about the cold house.  Demands television.  Cringes in disgust at the honey in her mug.  Jerks away from a sip from a spoon, assuming it is hot enough to burn.  Picks at her toast, although she never notices the honey in the peanut butter.  I try to be patient and cajole her into trying her drink.  I do not blame her for being cold and sleepy and I am sure her throat really is sore from the chilly house and the sniffles her sister has had for three days which were surely brought on by licking - licking! - our shopping cart at Target last week.  But by the end of it all she is still unconvinced and I am out of ideas, resorting to cutting words Fine, then.  To just treat the contents of your mug like medicine, then.  It is something she must take to soothe her throat.  She is mad, now,  and I am irritated, and I try to regroup in the kitchen, struggling to focus on the simple directions on the back of the bag of quinoa in my hands.  Saucepan, water, quinoa, stir, boil, cover, simmer, wait.  (Learn to make breakfast quinoa - a favorite item on the menu at the the florist shop/cafe on La Brea where we used to eat breakfast before they inexplicably changed to a Vietnamese menu before, surprise, closing altogether - check.)  Evie fumbles her way out of bed and into the living room carrying an armful of blankie and stuffed animals, grumps that Lena got to choose the morning cartoon, then looks blankly at her own toast and honey lemon water mug.  I bring a cup of coffee to Jimmy, whom I find a few moments later adding the dried apricots and pine nuts to the quinoa before I was ready, even though he was probably right to do it then, but I wanted to follow the directions on the bag thoroughly just once, and now I am more irritated.  And so the morning slowly devolves into the usual prodding and whining and frustrated routine of trying to get the girls ready and out the door until we are running late again, and though Lena's drop off goes smoothly somehow, Evie decides as we are hustling out the grade school gate that she needs a drink from the water fountain now, and my dismissive "Not today, honey," propels her into a full-on throw-down sobbing meltdown.  I have to carry her, kicking, to the car, buckle her in against her will, and listen to her sob and scream until we reach the preschool.  I try to remember myself, try to command a calm to take over me, to patiently talk her down, to distract her with music on the radio, but she is having none of it.  When we arrive, she somehow walks to her preschool willingly, and the instant we hit the door she is happy again.  Playful.  Like nothing ever happened.  And by the time I walk through the door of our own now quiet house, I am ready to crawl back under the thick blankets and comforter and hide until the kids are adults, in, like, eight million years.

Breathe, move on, calm, breathe, relax, breathe.  Where was I?  So many things.  So many things I am trying to change, all at once.  And the progress comes in fits and starts.  More than that, the instant I make a little bit of progress, I am greeted in return with more thoughts, revelations, inspirations, than I know how to process.  I don't even know where to begin.  Last week I wrote about being worried about our finances, and how I have been trying desperately to figure out how to earn more money for our family, wondering seriously if I should go back to work.  Then just over the weekend my little daily devotional book reminded me that worries get us nowhere, that God cares for us and makes our way ahead, and we are better off to trust Him.  Then the book I'm reading for inspiration encouraged me to acknowledge my own potential and dare myself to move forward into the life I want, not the life I think I need.  On Saturday, my mom emailed me with a great idea for expanding my Etsy shop.  Last night Jimmy turned to me with several ideas for this blog and saving money and tying the two together.  And in church yesterday I was reminded to look around for other people who need help instead of drowning in my own self-obsessed fretting, getting nowhere, helping nobody.

I could write an entire post about every one of those ideas, as well as all the other ideas I am discovering right now:  ideas about myself and creativity, myself and food, myself and success, myself and what I want.  It's as though I've been seeking answers and help for so many years, and suddenly I have found it all in a great pool, all jumbled together and each idea excited to be received and acted upon at once.  I need time to sort it all out.  But I don't feel I have the time.  Or maybe I just don't want to take the time.  I want to do everything and make all of the changes NOW.  I want to discover mistakes later, after they've been made, so long as I've moved ahead and done something.  Anything.  Because maybe I won't really make so many mistakes as I'm afraid I will.  Maybe only good things lie ahead.

This morning was rough, but Jimmy was right when he pointed out that it was not a disaster.  Improvements were made.  More improvements can be made tomorrow.  And I have good things to write about tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that.  Progress is being made in fits and starts, yes.  But it is progress all the same.

Friday, February 8, 2013

because I TRIED gluten-free cookies this week, I really really tried.

Happy Friday, everyone!  Do you have big weekend plans?  We have almost nothing planned this weekend, and I have to tell you, I could not be any happier about that fact.  I am tired.  I was so focused  this week on dusting off my graphics skills and trying to perfect an art print that now I'm feeling a little bit like I've just crawled out of a rabbit hole.  Also, I've been flirting with giving up gluten - it started off rough and exhausting, leveled off to a great place, and then I more or less fell off the wagon yesterday and now I'm exhausted again.  This is not a nice way to treat my body.  Time to work on that some more.

I have a lot of things I want to share with you soon, so I hope you'll forgive me an erratic week like this one and show back up next week.  Meanwhile, have a lovely weekend.  East-coasters, stay safe.  We are thinking of you.

Much love-


Thursday, February 7, 2013


Seasons in Los Angeles are just so odd.  Sure it's February, and the weather is chilly again today, but the flowering trees are already beginning to....well....flower, and it's almost impossible not to feel like we are enjoying the early days of spring.

(Don't be jealous, please.  This lovely feeling will all come crashing down in exactly eight weeks, when we'll get to enjoy May Gray followed by the traditional June Gloom.  Welcome to sunny LA.)

Regardless, today it feels like spring.  Which makes me look ahead to summer, which reminds me again that we need to be ever-so-careful with our cash around here.  Jimmy has a fabulous job, and with it every summer he gets a hiatus during which we get to enjoy having him around the house for a couple of months.  Sometimes we even get to go visit some family.  But hiatus also means no paychecks.  Urg.

In short, I am feeling very broke at the moment.  Broke, and slightly panicked.  And so, I've been very busy this week working on a print for my Etsy shop.  I hope to have it finished tomorrow evening, and after that I hope to begin another one.  Unfortunately, it's been cutting into my writing time.  I hate that. But I hope you'll bear with me as I figure out this balance.  I need to write here.  And I need to earn some money for my family.  I don't know if I'm headed in the right direction with this, but I'm enjoying myself, and I think I have to at least try.

If you don't mind, wish me luck.  I could absolutely use it.

More soon.