Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Best Beach is the Beach you go to Without Your Kids. Hashtag REAL TALK.

The water in California is cold.  Cold, cold. 

I've been to the beach at Santa Monica and Newport and Corona del Mar.  I've dipped my toes in the San Francisco Bay.  I've been in swimming pools in Anaheim and Santa Ana.  All cold.


We went to Corona del Mar when I was in Cali a couple weeks ago.  It was easily the most beautiful California beach I've ever been to.  The fog rolled in before I really took very many pictures so the ones I have aren't all that clear and don't really show the beauty of this beach.  But it was just . . . blue water and cliffs with waves hitting them.  Gorgeous houses.  I could move there.  Like, tomorrow.  Right now.

Surely I'd adjust to the cold, right?

Seriously, could our faces BE anymore "this water is effing FRIGID?"  Doubt it.


My number one thing when it came to going to California was that I wanted to be able to spend a day on the beach with girlfriends, possibly some Mimosas, and NO KIDS. 

We totally accomplished it.  I'm (hopefully) headed to an east coast beach in a little over a week (fall break for the kids).  Brandi in a couple of weeks is already jealous of September 14th Brandi.  September 14th Brandi got kid-free beach time!  And a lot of girlfriend beach time!


Oh!  And Mimosas!

Lemme tell y'all what we did. 

I wanted some kind of vodka.  The store we stopped at didn't have the mango passionfruit sorbet I'd been wanting.  Instead, I picked up some Skyy Infusions dragonfruit flavor.  We poured a shot of that into our mimosas and HOLY VODKA, Y'ALL.  That was some good shizz!  Seriously.  Try it the next time you make a mimosa.  You can go ahead and thank me now.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Hollywood!


We decided to go to Hollywood the Friday of my California trip.  Dana, our hostess with the mostest, asked us what we wanted to do and I could only think of one thing.  THE HOLLYWOOD SIGN.  I've been to LA a handful of times and had yet to see the sign.  Wasn't going to southern Cali this time around without seeing that dang sign!  And guess what?  It was one of the first things we saw.  The route we took to get into Hollywood meant we could see the sign right from the highway.  We could've turned around and headed back to the OC right then.  But I'm glad we didn't.

Because Hollywood?

It's pretty awesome.

I was there about five years ago.  I remember walking outside and being told "look down."  I did and realized I wasn't standing on any ordinary sidewalk.  It was the WALK OF FAME.  Guess what?  It was just as neat seeing it the second time around.



Being in Hollywood is a lot like being in Vegas.  In Vegas, you're accosted with "we got the best shows!" and "you ladies want to get into a club?  Pool party?"  In Hollywood it's "you want to see where the stars live?" and "we take you right up to the Hollywood sign!"  We were doing our best to dodge the vultures when one guy lured us in.  "We take you to the Fresh Prince house.  We show you where Tom Cruise lives.  You want to go to the Hollywood sign?"  It wasn't the houses that lured us in (okay, except maybe the Fresh Prince house.  Iiiiiin West Philadelphia born and raised . . . ) but the price.  $15 each.  Fifteen dollars for a Hollywood tour!  How could we refuse?

We paid our money and then loaded up into a . . . van.  With a sawed off top.  I wish I'd taken a picture because I'm not even kidding.  It was so hilariously us because if there's any group of tourists who are going to end up doing a Hollywood tour not in an air conditioned bus but an old Chevy Astro van with the top sawed off, it's me and my girlfriends.  REAL TALK.

Our tour guide/ driver was Australian - heavily accented and quite awesome.  He was funny without trying too hard and we literally laughed the entire time.  We started our tour in the Hollywood Hills where he showed us various homes of the stars.  I took tons of pictures like this:


I do not, however, remember who any of the houses belong to.  So I have a ton of pictures of crooked houses.  Don't know which star goes with which house.  Awesome.

I do know that we saw the homes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Betty White and Sylvester Stallone and Lisa Kudrow.  We saw where Marilyn Monroe once lived and Brad Pitt's first Hollywood home.  We did not, however, see the Fresh Prince mansion and I'm still a little Bitter Beer Faced about that one.



We went to Beverly Hills and meandered down Rodeo Drive.  We gawked at the stores and the cars and the overly plastic people.  Our guide took us past an elementary school and told us "each of these children has more money than any of you."  Apparently, it was the school Tori Spelling sends her kids to.  Not that I care about Tori Spelling but interesting tidbit.  We went past several restaurants and, at one of them, saw Mel Brooks dining.

I managed to get a picture that shows less than half his face.  SCORE!

So a few interesting things about our Hollywood tour:

1) Mel Brooks was not the only celebrity we saw.

Bradly Cooper, y'all.

Bradley F-WORD Cooper.

BradleyCooper.

2) When we drove past Courteney Cox's house the gate was opening.  We peered in and saw someone dressed as Cinderella greeting guests at the door.  This was a random Friday afternoon, middle of the day.  I want to be Courteney Cox's daughter.  I wonder if she'll adopt me?

3) Our tour guide told us that his son is a bit of an actor.  He played in the RAV-4 commercial with Kaley Cuoco.  Non-speaking part, okay?  Since the commercial went international, the kid has banked over $100K.  How jealous am I?  I need to get a non-speaking part in a RAV-4 commercial.  Kaley Cuoco optional.  Wouldn't mind Johnny Galecki though.  I love that nerd.

The tour wasn't exactly how it was described to us.  We didn't see the Fresh Prince house or where Tom Cruise lays his head.  The tour guide couldn't take us up to the Hollywood sign for fear of getting ticketed.  BUT.  The tour was so worth what we paid for it.  We had a great time, we laughed the entire time we were in that van, and we located the Hollywood location of Crumbs in the first two minutes of the tour.  Wouldn't have paid the $44 per person advertised price but we were more than got our 15 bucks worth.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

There were Cupcakes. And Fish Tacos. And, Ohhhh, There were Enchiladas.

So I do this thing before I go on any trip.  I hit the gym super hard and I eat really healthy.  And it's not so I can be all hot and stuff when I go on a trip.  (Lezzbehonest, when people pick words to describe me "hot and stuff" is very close to the bottom.)  The reason is actually two-fold.  There's the whole "preventative maintenance" aspect.  Meaning, if I lose a few pounds before I go on a trip, then I can eat what I want and come back and be at my happy weight (or, just above it -- and when that happens I'm all "WATER WEIGHT!!!11!!.)  Then there's the fact that you know what happens when you live off vegetables and super healthy food for a while?  The first time you eat bad - and by bad I obviously mean delicious food - again it is AMAZING.  A mouthgasm.  You're all "Oh Em Gee, this McDonald's hamburger is the most ahhhhmazing thing evahhhh."  It works for me. Let's just go with that.

And now, let's talk about the eatin' I done in California!

Two words: fish.tacos.
 
Really, y'all, is there anything in the world more amazing than fish tacos?  These (~sorry for the absence of picture!~) came from Rubio's and my friend Dana was quick to tell us "it's a chain!" and "it's not authentic!"  But HOLY NOT AUTHENTIC, BATMAN.  These things were so delish.  I had the tilapia - one grilled and one blackened - and sometimes, sometimes, I can still taste them in my sleep.  They may not have been authentic but they were pretty damn awesome by Tennessee standards.

Porto's is a Cuban bakery and it is a must - A GOTDANG MUST - if you're ever in southern California.  This food was just . . . it was amazing.  We knew enough to try the potato balls and cheese pastries and also picked up the empanadas and I had the chorizo omelet as well.  Yeah, I was just a *teensy* bit hungry.  Anyway.  To give you a run-down, the potato balls are a MUST.  I'm not kidding.  These are deep fried balls of potato and seasoned ground beef and - nope, stop it, don't even bother telling me you don't like ground beef - just order them.  They are so, so, so good.  We tried all three varieties of empanadas (chicken, chorizo, and one that was like the beef stuffed in the potato ball).  Full disclosure; I've yet to meet an empanada I didn't want to run away with, marry, and pick out curtains with.  And these were right on up there.  So.Freaking.Good.  The highlight, though?  The guava and cheese strudel.  There really are no words.  That thing was just . . . it was freaking amazing.  It was.  I'll be honest -- I wasn't all that crazy about my omelet, it was served on french loaf which was a little weeeird to me -- and wished I'd just stuck with the pastries and empanadas.  But I'm guarantee - guarandamnteeing - that you will not be disappointed with the bakery.  Not even a little.  Not even at all.

The best food of the entire trip was prepared by my friend Dana.  She's beautiful, she's gorgeous, she's an amazing hostess, and girlfriend can THROW DOWN when it comes to the kitchen!  We were telling her all weekend that she needs to open her own restaurant.  And if she doesn't think she could do it in California, then homegirl should come to Tennessee because this heffer could make millions with the way she cooks. 



So she didn't just stop with enchiladas, either.  The next morning, Dana whipped us up some huevos rancheros.  And, not only that, but she just sort of casually MADE HER OWN SALSA that morning as well.  Are you kidding me?  For real?  I need her to come live in my house and be my sister wife or something.  I'm pretty sure I'd weigh somewhere in the  neighborhood of 600 pounds if that were the case.  But you know what?  Pretty sure it would be worth it.  Pretty sure.

We went to the beach on Saturday.  Our original plan had been to get all dressed up and go out to eat that night.  We ended up at The Boiling Crab on our way home.  Dressed in our bathing suits and with sand in our hair.  Considering that this really cute Hawaiian guy cracked all Dahlia's crabs for her: WORTH IT.  We had oysters and crab legs and sometimes I'm a creature of habit who just.can't.step.away. from the fried shrimp and fries so, yeah, there was some of that too.  Sometimes some seafood delivered in a bag and by the pound just hits the spot.  Believe me, we did not leave The Boiling Crab hungry. 


BRUNCH!

We had Sunday brunch at El Torito.

Get this, people.  A buffet with UNLIMITED MIMOSAS for $16.99.  $16.99!!  Again: !!!!!!  I had carnitas (I looooove carnitas) and enchiladas and this amazing corn stuff and mimosas out the whazoo and I PAID LESS THAN TWENTY DOLLARS. 

I want to move to California.  Like, yesterday.


I've tried In-n-Out (totally not going to link it cause, well, it's IN-N-OUT) a handful of times and had never been impressed.  Want to know why?  Because no one ever whispered those sweet little words.  Amimal Style.  Animal style is where it's AT, yizzzaall!  I wish I'd known this five years ago when I had my first In-n-Out experience because it would have made all those subsequent trips, like, worth it.  Here's the deal: Five Guys is the best fast food burger you're going to get.  Hands down.  No question.  Don't even argue with me!.  But In-n-Out?  Yeah.  Totally second place.  Daps to you In-n-Out.  Daps.to.you.

And, finally, it's just not a Whore Trip without . . .
Crumbs!

We were on a Hollywood tour (which I'll hopefully talk about tomorrow) Friday afternoon.  We'd been in that super klassy van with the sawed off top for approximately two minutes when I looked to my left and "CRUMBS!  OMG!  CRUMBS!  WE HAVE TO GO THERE!"  Were they good?  Delicious?  Out of this world?  Well.  Someone (no names!) fell asleep before they were divvied up and dived into Friday night.  But she had a couple for pre-breakfast Saturday.  And the verdict?  Well, they're Crumbs.  'Nuff said.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

You Can't Take Peanut Butter on an Airplane. Unless You Also Want a TSA Agent to go Through Your Bag in Front of Everyone. And Then You STILL Can't Take Your Peanut Butter on an Airplane.

Okay, so I usually write a few posts about a trip and I'm all "this day we did this and then this day we did that" or "we ate this and this and this."  Then after all those posts I over with, I do a "wrap up" of all the things that just wouldn't fit anywhere else.

I'm doing things backward this time.

Shaking things up a bit.

Rebelling.  Against my own blogging style.

Also, I'm still really tired and if I tried to make a post about our tour of the stars homes (yeah!  We did one of those!) or all the absolutely f-word delicious food we ate, it probably wouldn't make much sense.

So.  Here are a few things about my trip:

1) We do not have Trader Joe's in Memphis, Tennessee.  In fact, the closest is three hours to our north in Nashville and it happens to have a parking lot that's roughly the size of my living room.  And my living room ain't big.  They have TJ's all over the place in southern California, though, and I was so so so so so excited to go.  We went on Sunday and I got a few yummy things.  One of those was a jar of cookie butter that I figured my peanut butter loving children would thank me for.  I then made the mistake of trying to take it in my carry-on bag.  Turns out, peanut butter has the same consistency (according to the TSA) as lotion and cannot be taken on board in quantities larger than three ounces.  The very nice TSA agent let me know this as he rifled through bathing suits and underwear in front of everyone else going through security at the John Wayne International Airport.  It's a good thing I have birthed three children and no longer embarrass easily.

Anyway.  I was basically given the choice of checking my bag ($25 for a $4 jar of cookie butter) or tossing said cookie butter.  It was tossed.  I has a sad.

2) As previously mentioned, we did a tour of the stars homes.  We were given such an incredible deal on the tour that we couldn't pass it up.  While on it, we saw Mel Brooks (Badges? We don't need no stinking badges!).  And.  AND.  Bradley Cooper!  Our tour guide was also pretty sure we saw Kyra Sedgewick but considering he thought Bradley Cooper was Simon Cowell, I'm not convinced.

3) I'll talk all about food in another post.  But I want to go ahead and mention that I tried In-n-Out again and this time went for animal style.  All the difference in the world.  I still don't think they're "OMG BEST BURGERS EVERRRR!" but I will give In-n-Out two thumbs up.  But only animal style.

4) New phrases in our vocabulary: "she even looked like a whore," "sexcellent," "all of the sluten," "Arkansassy," "we're all reasonably attractive females."  Man I love these girls, my friends.

5) Husband always talks about moving to California.  I'm always adamantly "NO."  Couldn't do it.  I'm a southern girl and I belong in the south where I have close proximity to SEC football and fried okra and people who say "interstate" instead of "freeway."  Then every time I go to California I'm all "maybe I could live here."  Unless, of course, I'm actually on the interstate.  Then I realize I'd probably die within six months of moving to the west coast.  But, y'all.  I love California.  I do. 

6) Our trip was really chill - super chill.  A few years ago, any time we got together, it meant we were hitting up at least one club.  Then we all quickly descended into our 30's and beyond it was all "forget THAT."  The club days are behind us but they've been replaced by hot tubs and laughing until our sides hurt and splitting cupcakes and bottles of wine.  And I wouldn't trade it for any club, ever.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Go Home Pinterest. YOU ARE DRUNK.

My girl Jenn introduced me to the greatest Pinterest board in the history of Pinterest the other day.  It's called Mother F*cking Homemaking and it.is.awesome.  This chick who came up with it?  She wins the internet.  SHE WINS THE INTERNET.

Like most people, I have a love/ hate relationship with Pinterest.  On the one hand, there are things like the above mentioned board.  And it's how I found my recipe for twice baked cauliflower, the one I make twice a week.  And I discovered quinoa "mac and cheese" that way.  And it taught me to do things like clean my fans with a pillowcase.

But it's also a treasure trove of WTF. 

A couple weeks ago I started screen shotting some WTF-ness.  Taking screen shots so that I could share with you all and we could laugh together.  But also taking screen shots because no way was I pinning that shit and having it attributed to ME.  Like I was pinning it for any reason other than to make fun of it.

Anyway.  Just a few "Go Home Pinterest.  YOU ARE DRUNK" examples:

OH MY GAHHHHH.  Why didn't I think of this?  Giving my daughter's dolls lingerie so she won't have to see their molded plastic underwear and boobs that don't even have nipples?  THIS IS SO GENIUS, GUYS!  I LOVE the idea of setting my daughter for body issues by promoting the fact that she shouldn't be able to see a "naked" Barbie doll.  (And if I'm thinking about this too much and it's just a way to cover up the dolls after the clothes have been lost -- dude, get over it.  Either go buy new clothes or, I dunno, just accept that naked Barbies are a part of childhood and have been since 1959.)
 
Wait, whuuut?  We WANT to make burgers that taste EXACTLY like McDonald's? 
 
Did you know you can buy night lights at Dollar Tree?  As in night lights that only cost a buck?  Seriously, people, you don't need to violate a perfectly good wine bottle by hot gluing glass gems to it and then stuffing Christmas lights into it.  Also -- those Christmas lights?  They're going to have to be PLUGGED IN somewhere.  That's an awesome idea for the bathroom at night!  Trip over a Christmas light cord and break a wine bottle and seventy glass jewels!
 
 
This genius idea.  Use an old truck as a bed for a little boy.  Instead of, you know, spending less money and buying an ACTUAL BED that's not a rusted piece of metal.  I don't even want to think of the logistics of getting a truck into a house.  I'm just going to head off to my happy place and assume this was something done on Trading Spaces ten years ago that some poor dumbass pinned and then a bunch of other poor dumbasses repinned because OMGORIGINAL!

I can admit to going a little overboard when it comes to Christmas stuff for my kids.  But this one deserves a WTF and an AYFKM followed with a CTFD.  I mean, mini pancakes for your (generic) Elf on the Shelf?  No.
(If you are going to use this idea as inspiration for your own Elf on the Shelf - generic or not - this Christmas season then please do me a favor and never, ever visit my blog again.)

Not only does this reside on the corner of "butt ugly" and "ain't nobody got time for that," it also proves that the ombre trend needs to just die already.

And, finally, wedding photography always provides a gold mine of drunk Pinterest:
No.  Just no. 
 

Why?  Why, God, why?  Why would you DO this? 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

She's Got My Life. She Took It.

Do you remember when you were 14 and in love with that guy you thought was way out of your league and were doodling your name plus his name equals luv 4ever on all your notebooks and were dreaming of babies named things like Laynie Jayyde and Madysyn Mykayla?  Then one day, you know, you woke up at age 35 with gray hair and crow's feet and looking like your mom. Laynie and Madysyn have sworn to hate you forever because you saddled them with names they'll never be able to find on wooden keychains at tacky tourist stops. And no one ever listens to you until you completely lose your shit and then they tell you that maybe you should "relax, dude" and "totes look into some Xanax." And Mr. Equals Luv Forever is paunchy and bald and he snores and he farts and he leaves his underwear laying all over the bathroom floor and makes fun of your taste in music and one time he even told his best friend that his mom's spaghetti recipe was way better than yours.   Reality is being a grown up sucks hardcore half the time.  Maybe if we knew that at age 14 we'd have spent more time marveling over our absence of cellulite and less time doodling the name of Mr. Bald and Paunchy.


Y'all.

I'm pretty sure somebody . . . some bitch . . . stole my life.  While I'm living the dream here in Tennessee - godforsaken MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - raising three children, this bitch is living my real life.  In New York City.  The Village, to be exact, in a cute apartment shared with Phil, her fabulously gay roommate.  She has a writing job that she gets paid handsomely for --  in paycheck, experience, and swag that various companies send her (she was comped a Louis Vuitton bag last week) and the parties she gets invited to. And don't even get me started on the fabulous business trips she gets sent on (next week?  Italy!).  She goes to art gallery openings and Phil gets her tickets to all the best shows.  She eats what she wants without getting fat but still does yoga every Saturday morning and one time she saw Robert Downey Jr. at the farmer's market.  The only time she's ever jealous of me - the chick living her ACTUAL life -  is when I'm complaining about traffic on 240 because she - she - knows what traffic REALLY is.  I hate that bitch.  She better hope I never run into her.

Here's a little break down of why it's so unfair, her stealing my life and all.

When I was woke up at 5:00 in the morning, either because I'm getting old and turning into my dad or have some weird form of backwards insomnia that won't allow me to sleep in, Bitch Living My Life (we'll call her BLML for purposes of my grandmother not getting mad at me for using the word "bitch" too many times in a post) was just stumbling home.  She attended an art gallery opening where she met a fabulous guy who was both good looking and had a last name that just screamed "I COME FROM MONEY."  He works on Wall Street and, after the Opening ended, they found a 24-hour diner where they sat and talked until the sun came up.

While I was in the kitchen preparing lunches, one of my boy children - a boy child who has become obsessed with his hair and wanting spikes or a mohawk like the other boys in his class - was in the bathroom applying half a bottle of hair grease to his head.  Hair grease that was not made for his hair texture and succeeded in only making him look like something out of a 50's movie, prompting another shower.  Oh, and BONUS!  He also got said grease all over his only (formerly) clean uniform shirt

MEANWHILE.  BLML?  She was getting dressed for work in some fabulous and expensive outfit, complete with her new Vuitton bag and those Feragamo heels that she couldn't pass up even though they cost more than rent (her share and Phil's put together). 

I was taking the boys to school, complete with incessant whining:  "Why can't I walk by myself?  I'm old enough! It's not fair.  You always treat me like a baby."  I looked over at one of the boys and realized he had magic marker tattoos on his legs.

MEANWHILE.  BLML spent her coffee break scarfing down a donut (okay, two) that won't make her fat and sexting with Art Gallery Opening Guy (his name is Andrew).

I realized, while pulling clothes from the washer to the dryer, that someone left a piece of paper in their pocket. There is now paper lint all over every single thing that was in the washer. Not as bad as a marker or lip gloss or 99 other things but still enough to annoy.

MEANWHILE. BLML learned the piece she recently wrote has been nominated for an award. Oh and in January she's being sent on a business trip. To BORA BORA.

I begged, cajoled, and eventually bribed my three-year-old to eat her lunch while I scarfed down a Lean Pocket and tried not to think of the sodium count.

MEANWHILE. BLML met Phil for lunch and Cosmos and that fabulous new place a couple blocks from her job. They finalized plans for their weekend in the Hamptons.

Was finally able to jump in the shower - with a three-year-old in tow, naturally because I can't even remember the last time I showered alone.

MEANWHILE. BLML saw Derek Jeter while walking back to work. AND HE WINKED AT HER. She spent her first 20 minutes post-lunch updating all her Twitter followers that she and Jetes were totes BFF'd up.

I made it to my little job. Both babies were fussy and clingy. The two-year-old was getting into everything. OMG, how'd he get the baby powder? Is that ... Chapstick? Oh lord.

MEANWHILE. BLML interviewed Johnny Depp for an article. JOHNNY DEPP.

I arrived back home for the grueling hour known as *cue horror music* homework. There was whining, pouting, teeth nashing, tears. And those were just from me.

MEANWHILE. BLML headed out to Happy Hour with a group of coworkers. The cute guy who works in Features paid for all her drinks. 

I cooked dinner for people who did not appreciate it and complained the whole time.  BLML met friends at the newest NYC hot spot for the young, single, and fabulous.  I separated laundry while BLML's assistant dropped off her dry cleaning.  I straightened the kitchen while BLML and Phil haggled over whose turn it was to pay the cleaning lady.  She comes twice a week.  I put three children to bed with "just one more drink" and "I needa go to da bafroom!" and only lost my shit 'OHHHHMAHHHHGAHHHH, GO TO BED RIGHT NOW.  RIGHT THIS INSTANT. NOW. NOW. NOW. I'M NOT JOKING. GET YOUR BUTT IN YOUR BED RIIIIIIIGHT NOW" once.  Okay twice.  BLML had a glass of wine and didn't have to fight with anyone over control of the remote.

You see why I hate that bitch so much?

Just let me run into her ONE time.