Remember Two Things


 If you could impress just one lesson, ideal or moral on your kids, what would it be?

That is the question. A loaded one too…..damn. But the answer is easy. Personally, there are two very important ones, and I’m not picking a favorite. They are equal.  I try my dead level best to make sure The Beans always remember that helping others is their greatest mission. Expanding on that, our Family Tribe has adopted the mantra of

“It’s always better to give to others when you don’t have enough for yourself.” 

Why…you ask? Because it reminds us to give with our whole heart, put aside our own wants or needs, and really focus on helping whomever happens to call upon us. So far, so good. There have been a few times when this lesson has rung true and been exemplified for The Beans in our home. You see, on two separate occasions, we had the opportunity to help out dear friends who found themselves without a place to live, and short on funds. One had been unemployed for a stretch, and didn’t even have a car (wtf? no car in LA…impossible). But he did have a need, which was a stable place to stay so he could have visitation with his precious daughter, as he and her mama had decided it best to part ways. At the time, we had a very large home with more than enough room, but we were pretty short on funds ourselves after a series of unfortunate events and suffering the hidden agendas of backstabbers people we no longer associate with (post for another day). In reality, we were behind on our mortgage and in the process of losing the house. More people would mean larger grocery, utility and water bills. We considered all this for as long as it took for him to answer his phone and learn that he had a home….as long as we did. We did the same thing a few months later, for another friend, and suddenly the house was full, and bubbling with energy. As a home should be.

Shortly thereafter, we all had to move.

But the lesson had been taught, and most importantly….we created a FRIENDAMILY. People whom we consider family and will always jump through hoops for. People who don’t share our common blood, but would be there in the blink of an eye if called upon to help. After all, you just never know when you may find yourself with a need, and it’s nice to ‘have people’. What you put out into the universe comes back tenfold, so I try to put out positive light and energy as opposed to venom, because Karma….well, she’s a bitch sometimes. Okay, most of the time, so I prefer to keep on her good side.


The other lesson is to BE RESOURCEFUL.

Just like the photo says,

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”  

The Beans see this one all the time, but never more clearly than when I am at the computer writing. You see, I started this blog back in January, at a time when our family was in dire straits,  and I was terribly depressed. The days were not good for me. I wrote about it here. I needed an outlet for bitching creativity and I have never been great at journaling in the tangible sense. So here I am. A few months into this blog, my ability to use what I had (English degree) from where I was (home) to do what I could (write) landed me a real writing gig, that I thoroughly enjoy. You can read a little about that here. And thus, I proved myself rather resourceful in the eyes of The Beans. Of course I do that in other ways too….like figuring out how to fashion a forgotten art project due the next day at school out of food on hand, paper goods, duct tape and ribbon….because we had to….at midnight when every store was closed. That’s just how we roll… MacGyver and shit.

Anyway, I could probably go on forever about things I want The Beans to know. There are so many. Impression by example will just have to do in order to get the points across. Sort of ‘real life training’ and ‘flying by the seat of our pants’ without throwing our manners out the door of course. Because manners will take you a long freaking way in this world. Oh hell…here I go again…

That is all. Really.

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Damn you…catalogues and showrooms!

I wouldn't care about my furniture if I just had THAT VIEW through the windows!

I wouldn’t care about my furniture if I just had THAT VIEW through the windows!


While tidying up in the living room yesterday, it occurred to me that when couples decide to have children, they should be given this valuable piece of advice, in an emphatic tone of voice:

First, take a photo of every pristinely styled room in your home. File the photos under ‘The Good Ole Days’.  Next, sign a reasonably long lease (think 18 years) on a storage unit large enough to put all the nice things you own into. Once the ink is dry on the paperwork, scurry on over to the local thrift store,  and pick out replacement furnishings. The shabbier the better. Don’t spend a lot of money, as you will likely be beggingperhaps even paying someone from this very establishment to pick these items up again in a few years looking much worse for their wear. Under no circumstances should they be considered “investment pieces”. Next, haul everything back to your house, arrange it in the space and get used to the way it looks, feels and smells. Close your eyes and envision it more tattered and broken in. Imagine it if  you allowed a bunch of chimpanzees to express their artistic creativity on it using food as their medium. Oh, and black Sharpies and glitter glue too….for flair. Do you have a visual? Good. Dump a load of Pop-Tart wrappers, popsicle sticks, Capri Sun straws and Cheerios all over it. Now open your eyes and welcome yourselves to the furnishings and decor you will have during your life with small children and preteens. Don’t worry, eventually you will be able to get your real stuff out of storage and have your dream home again. Probably just in time for your grandchildren to enjoy 🙂  

If we’d known then, what we know now. So very cliché’, but oh so true.

My point is, I always thought when I married and had children my home would, at any given moment, look as if it had been staged by the decorators at Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware and smell like Yankee Candles threw up in it. I should also add that my delusion included a perfectly organized home office, a kitchen worthy of a Crate & Barrel Hall of Fame Award, and a playroom resembling the offspring if a LakeShore Learning Store and a Toys R Us had an affair. However, as I gazed upon my house today, in all its lived-in, messy glory, I realized if anyone ever asks, I’ll need to tell them I drew my inspiration from John Belushi and hired the set dresser from Animal House to be my right hand man on this project just to save face. Really.

I’m convinced my delusion stems from the fact that I grew up in a 100 plus year-old house with a mama who didn’t seem to believe that “cleanliness is next to Godliness” and welcomed clutter with arms as open as the Statue of Liberty beckoning for the “tired, hungry and poor” of the world, bless her heart. As you can imagine, I was terribly embarrassed by my house, always opting to go to a friend’s instead of hosting a gathering at home. In my estimation, all of my friends had cleaner, nicer homes, in better parts of town, filled with newer, shinier things. When I was in high school, my middle sister had a perfectly clean, new home in a gorgeous country club neighborhood and I yearned to go and live with her and my brother-in-law. Now in my adulthood, I understand it had nothing to do with the house at all, and everything to do with the plethora of other reasons I avoided playdates at home at all costs. But that is a post for

a different day. Anyway, as my story goes, I grew to hate clutter and filth, secretly vowing to have a home one day that was the absolute antithesis of the one where I grew up. A girl can dream, right? If you read the first paragraph, you know my house clearly does not live up to my delusion. Turns out, I’m a crappy housekeeper, and I enjoy building Jenga-like sculptures with laundry baskets full of clean, yet unfolded clothes on my bedroom floor. Right now, there are 9 baskets in all. It’s quite a spectacle. I just can’t seem to find the time to fold and put the clothes away once they have been washed. (Another one of those tidbits people should be told before having children: YOU WILL HAVE NO TIME TO ACCOMPLISH MUNDANE TASKS IN A TIMELY MANNER)

What I didn’t realize while growing up, is that Mama was hoarding memories. Thinking back, my childhood home read like the scrapbook of our lives. Especially the lives of my older siblings. They left their marks throughout the castle. And amongst all that clutter were family treasures: the little, stainless steel cup by the bathroom sink, the blue ceramic vase thingy that held pencils and pens by the telephone, the napkin holder that said “no matter where I serve my guests, it seems they like my kitchen best”. Everything I just listed has its own little spot in my home, along with our own family “treasures” that have been dragged from house to house over the course of 13 years. I’m mostly okay with it all. But it’s taken some time.

Occasionally, I become possessed by the gods of OCD, and spend a couple of days on a cleaning jag, frantically trying to organize things, scrubbing toilets, dusting trinkets and folding laundry. During these times, I try to guilt, and/or bribe the girls into helping instead of playing because I have decided their rooms should be certified as “disaster areas”.  After lots of protesting (from them) and threats (from me) they usually oblige. Notice I said occasionally, which is code for “almost never”. Admittedly, a good thing for all. Otherwise, no fun would ever be had by anyone. Everyday I have to remind myself that the people who care about me, will come visit anyway and feel right at home, and I should never be embarrassed. Those who examine the props instead of the talent will not be invited back to the show. Or perhaps never invited in the first place if I suspect they might turn out to be a jerk about it. This unfairly weeds a lot of people out I’m afraid, and often hinders my girls’ ability to have friends over. My girls aren’t the least bit embarrassed by their home. Because there is nothing wrong with it, and I know this. In fact, it’s quite beautiful, located in a safe, clean neighborhood with fantastic public schools (a major plus in Los Angeles). The stupid insecurities are mine.  (A FINAL TIDBIT I WISH I’D BEEN TOLD: If you actually knew how often people think of you, you’d realize how seldom they do. Give it up….enjoy life’s party and the children who provide the confetti.) 

I’m working on that. Promise.


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They asked. So I answered.



All my new kindred bloggy souls asked, so I allowed my ‘loose at both ends and tied in the middle” tongue to take the wheel for this post. Might be a train wreck. Hard to watch, but impossible to look away from 🙂 Anyway, here are the results. So grab a cocktail, and get comfy. This train has many cars…..

1) What’s your worst drunken episode of adult life? If I could remember, I probably wasn’t that drunk now was I?

2) What’s something you’re obsessed with? Going to DMB concerts. I’ve been to an obscene number of shows, and don’t plan on stopping. Until I die, or he stops playing.

3) What hidden/odd talent do you have? I can say my ABC’s backwards faster than most people can say theirs forwards. I also have an uncanny ability for finding 4-leafed clovers. True story. I have 100’s of them.

4) Do you have any irrational fears and what are they? Yes. I am horrified of water that I can’t see through. This includes oceans, lakes, etc. The fear of what is down there is a complete pain in the ass, because I would love to learn how to surf and to sail.

5) Why do you blog? I use it as therapy. I’ve always kept a journal, but I think my writing is entertaining sometimes, and I’m a sharer 🙂

6) If you could have a super power (x-ray vision, invisibility, etc) what would it be and why? It’s a toss-up between Teleportation and Invisibility. Because I like to travel, but I also enjoy walking around naked.


8) Which TV/movie character best resembles your personality? a combination of Penny Lane (Kate Hudson) in “Almost Famous”, Melanie Carmichael (Reese Witherspoon) in Sweet Home Alabama, and Leanne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock) inThe Blind Side“.

9) What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? Pumping gas at my daddy’s filling station when I was in junior high school.

10) If your readers met you in person, what would surprise them most about you? How tiny I am. I’m only 5’1″. But my personality is really tall…lol.

11) What is your most embarrassing parenting fail? My Oldest figured out how to unbuckle her car seat when she was 2, and would randomly unstrap herself while we were driving. So I took her to get a different one that had been rated as the hardest one to get out of. In the parking lot of Babies R Us, I installed the new seat, not noticing my keys had dropped out of my pocket onto the seat of the car. Apparently, I put my knee on the remote and locked the car, without realizing it. Once she was strapped in, I closed the door and went to get in the driver’s door only to find it locked. Of course she couldn’t open it, because she didn’t know how to unbuckle herself. THANK GOD I had my cellphone in my pocket, because I had to call AAA to come and open the door. It started raining while I was standing outside the car, so by the time the guy arrived, I was soaking wet, panicked and crying…..all the while my Sugar Bean was waving at me, giggling and giving me a thumbs up for her new seat. Brilliant.

12) What’s the worst date you’ve ever had? There was a guy in high school who kept asking me out, and I finally agreed. He picked me up and took me to a pizza place where they screwed up our order, he realized he forgot his wallet, and then we got in the car to leave and it wouldn’t start. He had to call his mom to come and get us. Worst. Date. Ever. 

13) How I lost my virginity? To the high school sweetheart, but not exactly in a scenario I envisioned. It DID NOT involve the backseat of a car, I assure you of that, but inexperience does make for good comedy, and excellent blog fodder, right? (Oh, and it was not the guy mentioned in #12. He never even got a second date) 

14) What is your weirdest phobia?  Poisonous sea snakes.

15) Is there someone you wish you could apologize to? Yes, as a matter of fact there is.

16) What’s your guilty pleasure? Watching “Married to Jonas”.

17) If you could commit a crime, and absolutely get away with it, what would you commit and why? Rigging the lottery. Do I really need to answer the ‘why’?

18) What historical figure would you most like to spend the day getting pedicures, day-drinking and talking about boys with? Marilyn Monroe

19) Is there anyone you are secretly jealous of? Yes, but it comes and goes.

20) Do you and your mate have a “Hall Pass” list? Yes, we do.

21) If you could be a contestant on a game show, which one would it be? I have been on Pyramid, That’s The Question and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? I would like to be on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, The Amazing Race, or Survivor. 

22) Have you ever been caught ‘doing the deed’? If so, by whom? Almost…by one of my daughters.

23) What’s one accomplishment in life you are the most proud of? Besides becoming a mother, helping organize this.

24) Have you ever met a celebrity? I live in Los Angeles, and The Man works in the Industry. So, yes. Many of them. But they are all people like you and me with bigger paychecks and a job they love 🙂

25) Which skeeves you out the most: vomit, poop, snot or pubic hair? None of the above. Not squeamish at all.

26) What’s the grossest thing you’ve found in your food? not a strand of hair….but a WAD of it. 

27) Most embarrassing thing you’ve done while meeting someone famous. Spilled a tray of champagne on them.

28) What do you want on your tombstone? (The actual stone, not the pizza) She was a force of nature with an old soul, who loved with her whole heart.

Okay, y’all know enough. Go do something productive with the information, will ya?


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Here I go…dreaming again.

Found this image on Isn’t it cool?

Welcome to Episode 2 of “Theme Thursday” where talented ladies (and a guy too!) join forces to bombard you with more entertaining, random thoughts.  This week we are pondering a ‘what if’ scenario of sorts, discussing the topic of…

                                              MY DREAM JOB

This post may come as a complete shock to some, because my dream job is vastly different from the 20 or so I juggle on a daily basis within the realm of the hardest one I’ve ever held…motherhood.  What? You thought my career aspirations evaporated the moment The Oldest Girl came squirming out of my hoo-ha? Uhh….no. While it’s true that I do love it, and I wouldn’t trade anything for my precious girls, motherhood was not my idea of the perfect career path when it happened all of a sudden. Yes. I said it….all of a sudden. Celebrity style. Cart before the horse. You get the point, right?


Now you are probably wondering what in the holy hell it is that I would rather be doing. First you should know that I am a performer at heart, have a passion for entertaining, and believe there simply is no better high than getting up on stage and delivering a flawless work of cinematic or theatrical genius that leaves the audience feeling as though you changed their lives. I scholar-shipped my way through college, and graduated with degrees in Dance and English (shocker, right?). Then moved to Los Angeles, promptly after graduation….following a dream boy. All this being said…there are a couple of jobs I covet. To be fair though, I’m going to break them into two categories: Pre-children and Post-children. Because of course, not all jobs are conducive to family life.

The job I would love to bring home the bacon with if I didn’t have The Girls is forensic investigator/medical examiner. Yep. Working with crime and dead people. I’ve always been fascinated with medicine, and anyone that knows me agrees…if you need dirt on someone, I’m better than the freaking FBI and CIA combined at finding it. And I won’t elaborate the diabolic mind I possess when coming up with ingenious ways to use it against them. Funny…my tweenager probably thinks she’ll be able to get away with shit someday. This makes me smile. Because not only is she wrong, she no doubt is grossly underestimating how creative punishment will be for trying 🙂 But I’m getting off track here. I genuinely LOVE solving problems. My brain is creative and logical, but I think outside the box too. However, I don’t have much tolerance for bullshit and defiance, which would make working with live patients quite difficult….because they talk back, and often don’t follow orders. Kind of like children. So there. Oh, and you should know….when The Middle Girl was 5 months old, I decided to take a CSI course at one of the UC campuses. Aced it.

As for the job I would like to have need now that I have reproduced…that would be:


Because let’s face it….it takes a village and a bulging wallet to raise kids these days, and this mama needs a full-on staff of professionals to take care of everything else so she can blog, Facebook and Tweet attend to the young ‘uns properly. Not to mention the joy it would bring me to be able to grab the family and take to the road following the Dave Matthews Band, camping out along the way like a tribe of hippies. You may be laughing, but you secretly agree. Maybe your DMB is some other band, but come on, you know it would be crazy fun. Admit it. I’ll keep it between us….Promise.

All kidding aside though, I have a pretty good gig and wouldn’t trade it for the world. I’m a wife, a mommy, a sister, a friend, a voice-over actress, an artist and a volunteer. Oh, and literally at the end of the day.….I write, and it entertains people. When I opened the time capsule I put together my senior year in high school at my 10 year reunion…um ten years ago….I hadn’t said anything about my future self being a writer. But sometimes the best things in life are its surprises 🙂

Now, if I can just figure out how to monetize all that in a big way…..

Okay, now you know my dream jobs. Go find out what my bloggy family has to say about theirs:

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