Last week at the Santa Monica Third Street Promenade, I came across this huge Victoria Secret Mobile, promoting their new line of make-up, surprisingly called "Very Sexy Makeup". Apparently, the sexiest makeup on earth is available only in Los Angeles at the moment and what better a city to launch a makeup line, than the city of Angels?
The Huge Very Sexy Mobile Makeup Lounge wasn't attracting much attention other than a handful of adolescent boys who thought they had hit the mother lode and this was the prelude to a Victoria Secret fashion show. They were visibly disappointed when they discovered the models on the front were not inside and all they were giving away was a free makeover.
I was surprised that there wasn't a line of girls dying to be the first to try out the new makeup. In a city where looks are everything, and it is almost mandatory to have a boob job if you are less than a "C" cup, makeup is right up there with things you must have.
As far back as I can remember, the ocean has always been a part of my summer life. Nothing in the world evokes my emotions, instills calmness and serenity in my soul as the sea does.
Because of certain circumstances in my life right now, I need some self-nurturing and reflection, so I turn to the two things that make me feel close to my mother, the ocean and the book, A Gift from the Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh.
Even though this book was written fifty years ago and I have read it ten times, it never ceases to amaze me how right on she is in her quest for inner peace. I like to think of her as the forerunner for women's blogging.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh was a national figure married to Charles Lindberg,whose son was kidnapped and murdered. She was dearly loved and worshiped by the women of my mother and grandmother's generation. They lived through the pain of her personal life, and this book was an encouragement and source of strength to women. This book is timeless and multi-generational.
The whole premise is her taking a two week retreat in solitude at the ocean, culminating in a book that is better than any self-help book I have ever read (and as someone who needs a lot of help, I have read many).
It is her reflection of a women's personal needs in contrast to the obligations of being a wife, mother, and doing life's work. She puts into perspective the need for love, family, solitude, peace, contentment, simplicity, grace, and self-fulfillment. Just as my mother gave me a copy of this book many years ago, I will do the same for my daughters. I recommend this book to woman of all ages. I know if she were alive today, she would have one hell of an insightful blog!
The challenge for this week's Inspire Me Thursday is open form and since I have been wanting to try my hand at ATC's I decided to go for it. I've created a monster. I love doing these miniature cards. I may have found a new way to spend my down time.
One of the advantages of working on my own is that I get to meet with clients all over the city. Today I had a meeting in West Los Angeles and just happened to drive by Beard Papa's Cream Puffs. This is the popular Japanese chain that has recently started to infiltrate California, destined to become the Far East Krispy Kreme overkill. Everyone raves about them and I had to try one out of curiosity to see if people were exaggerating.
Unfortunately, they are delicious. What makes them unique is the fact that they are a light choux pastry shell, filled when you order, with an out-of-this-world, whipped cream custard. I immediately inhaled one and realized, as it permeated my stomach, that I would live to regret it. Within my body, I could immediately feel the eggs, cream, and butter high-five my pre-existing fat cells and then take up permanent residence in my ass. I don't know if I will ever be able to evict them. These cream puffs are so calorie ridden, I will have to limit my intake to a special occasion (when I am sugar and fat deprived) and not just the fact that I am in the neighborhood.
I spent hours as a little girl playing with my Russian nesting dolls. I had a great time constantly opening them and putting them away. My grandmother gave them to me, and since her parents were from Russia, I imagine it was a generational thing. My daughters also had a set, but weren't as intrigued as I was.
How frustrating is it that the decent movies are rationed to us at the rate of one-a-month, starting in March, while 90% of the the ones worth wasting ten dollars and two hours of your life, all hit the theaters in December? There is a relatively low bar set for summer movies since teenagers will watch anything as long as someone gets blown up, good looking guys and gals are included and it is loud enough to annoy adults. I was hoping that Little Miss Sunshine was as good as the buzz on the street, and much to my surprise, it was that and more. A big hit at Sundance is usually a good sign that a movie has a well thought-out script and caters to those with a triple digit IQ. I love the Indie movies as opposed to the over-hyped, horribly written, brutally acted movies coming out of Hollywood lately. I know puberty is hard, but they're not the only ones who buy movie tickets.
The only film I have remotely liked this year has been The Devil Wears Prada and only because of Meryl Streep, who single handedly made it better than it should have been. To the contrary, the whole cast of Little Miss Sunshine (Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette, Steve Carell, Alan Arkin, Abigail Breslin) were able to feed on the performances of each other and make this an impressive film. This movie will genuinely make you laugh and it is way more than another family road trip trilogy. The demographics for this movie are those whose families are not a model of perfect mental health, are indoctrinated with the fear of failure, are dysfunctional, but somehow have collective hope. The actress who plays Olive, Abigail Breslin, is talented beyond her years. You will fall in love with her innocence and enthusiasm, which to her credit, is played without being obnoxious. The love and support the eccentric family members have for her, is the main theme and ties all the characters together. It is the only thing they all have in common and is the purpose of the journey.
The satire of the children's beauty contest was priceless and brought back memories of Jon Benet Ramsy. Was it an exaggeration? Unfortunately, probably not. I highly recommend this movie and I hardly ever suggest anything that causes someone to give up ninety minutes of their life while paying ten dollars and digesting three-quarters of the saturated fat limit for an entire day over a tub of ten dollar popcorn. Enjoy.
I just got back from a trip to San Francisco and I can't tell you how much I love that City. The weather was exceptional for August. Clear, sunny, warm, but with a cool breeze and chilly in the evening. Compared to Los Angeles, San Francisco seems like the sophisticated relative who knows exactly how to dress, serves the trendy foods and reeks of class. As soon as I arrive, I feel the creative vibrations coming from all directions, and the natural beauty of the city inspires you to want to duplicate it in some form or another.
I mainly went to attend the Gift Show and while there were some good vendors there, most of the stuff was future Garage Sale material. I can't believe the range of things that are out there waiting to fill a void in someone's soul.
There were not very many buyers at the show, and I felt really sorry for most of the vendors who just sat there looking bored out of their mind. It's probably due to the fact that there is always the same merchandise and most retailers are looking for something new. I imagine the Internet is taking the place of the gift show because it is so much easier. I think in a few more years, the gift show will be a passing memory.
It was a wonderful trip, with good friends, great meals in new and exciting restaurants and a chance to visit the Ferry Market Place Building. What a great place to go for a sample of all the local culinary delights. They have a great selection of bread, cheese, wine and chocolates. Luckily we were driving home, so I was able to load up the car. After eating our way back to Los Angeles, I can't wait to go back.
When I was a little girl I used to play the game of catching a ladybug and singing the nursery rhyme Ladybug, Ladybug fly away home, your house is on fire and your children may burn (my interpretation), then watching in awe as she flew away to save her children. For some reason that made me feel as if I had done a good deed.
I have been a fan of ladybugs my whole life. I love their color combination, shape, the fact that they don't bite and they are easy to draw. Today I came across one sitting on a leaf. I got together a few props, and voila, a picture. But when I set her free, I realized something was wrong with her wings and she couldn't fly. Given the fragility of my spirit lately, it broke my heart that she was injured and there was nothing I could do about it. I put her in the bushes and hopefully she will go to Ladybug heaven without suffering too much. Anyway, I got a great picture.
On a recent trip to the other side of town, I made a quick detour to check out Surfas, a wonderful restaurant supply store that sells everything a cook could ever dream of. A friend of mine, who is a struggling chef, works there part time so he can take advantage of the thirty percent discount to stockpile cooking supplies. I had never been before and was I ever impressed. For someone who loves to cook, it was like a kitchen Disneyland. They have everything: wines, a zillion olive oils, chocolates, bulk spices, pots, pans, and anything you would possibly need to cook, eat or bake.
Since I was in a hurry, I didn't really have time to check out the whole place, (it is huge) but what I saw I really loved. They also have the cutest cafe and I've heard the lemon lavendar bars are fabulous. I only got a few items, one of them being Valrhona Cocoa Powder, which was twice the price of Hersheys, but I am sure it is worth the extra money. The most unusual thing I saw were the maraschino cherries that were blue, green or yellow.
My friend said I could use his discount so I am surely going back to get a few items that I can't live without. They also have mail order for those who don't live in the Los Angeles area. I can't wait to go back and the next time I will definitely eat at the cafe. Surfas is located on the Corner of W. Washington and National Blvd. in Culver City.
Last Thursday I was in Santa Monica again and decided to go the park that runs along the ocean to watch the sun set and gather my thoughts for the day. It was buzzing with people walking their dogs, jogging, doing yoga and just sitting there taking in the beauty of the ocean. The weather was unusually hot for the beach and the evening breeze was non-existent. The ocean has such a calming effect on me, all I could do was relax and soak in the surroundings.
This particular evening brought back many memories as it was the exact spot I used to come to many years ago when I was newly married and lived a few blocks away. I used to sit here and contemplate where my life was going and if I was ever going to be a mother. I was heavily involved in my career and I adored my job and the people I worked with. I have gone through many changes since then but I am proud to say that I was able to be a mother and have a career simultaneously. It wasn't easy, but I did it. Now that all that is behind me, I have to figure out once
again where my life is heading. I am overwhelmed right now with the choices I have to make, and the things I long to do, so I end up running in circles and accomplishing nothing. I equate myself to the hamster we used to have that spent hours running on the wheel in his cage, going nowhere fast. I often wondered if he was smart enough to realize how frustrating his life really was. I seem to be pre-occupied with so many of the small things in my life and never get to the important, life changing ones.
I know what I have to do to move away from the things that drain me and move towards the things that empower and fulfill me, but knowing and taking action are two different things. I must let go of the perception that I have to do everything perfect, or it will destroy me. I must not let my mind go to that cold, dark, damp place that feels like home. But most of all, I must spend time, quietly and alone, meditating as I understand it, to get to the place I need to be.