Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Tale of Gratitude

It's nearing the end of October, which means Thanksgiving is just around the corner.  Although if you go shopping, it looks more like Christmas is tomorrow.

I love November.  The cool air, crisp leaves and smell of fall...everywhere but here.  Los Angeles gets seasons, not as intense as other places, but we flirt with these things.

Next month I will be doing the NaBloPoMo.  It's a monthly blogging event with Blogher that will give me the opportunity to meet other bloggers and I can spend a month writing per their prompts and focus on building my website some more.  I will also be producing weekly family videos which, beginning October 31, 2014, you can find here on YouTube.  It's a brand new channel which is why I have no subscribers or views yet.  So yeah... feel free to subscribe!

But, in the spirit of the upcoming Holiday of Thanks, I'm going to tell you a story of gratitude.

Once upon a time I was a promo model.  What's that?  Well, it's a person who represents a product and basically acts as a brand ambassador for the event.  I worked for a bunch of different companies, but this story is about when I worked with Jameson Irish Whiskey.

Taken in San Luis Obispo

At the time I was working with another model named Jeridan.  I called her a robot.  She never seemed to run out of energy, always looked perfect and had about 10 projects going on at once.  

We had an event in Mammoth, CA at a ski resort, but first we were going to San Francisco to meet with someone she was working with.  At the time I was reading the book The Secret.  It was really all the rage at that moment.  I had come to the part about gratitude and saying thank you for everything.  I began in the car while waiting for her to wrap up her meeting.  Well, the meeting went on longer than expected so they invited me inside their luxury boot warehouse.  I had been sitting in the car thinking of everything I was thankful for, and said, sure, thanks, and followed her inside.  After awhile, without my asking, I was given a pair of high dollar boots.  I still have them, this was over six year ago.  I said thank you.  I couldn't believe they would gift me such a beautiful pair of boots, just my style.  Here's a very old photo of me in them.

I'm pointing at her because she passed gas.

We finally finished up in San Francisco and it was time to head to Mammoth.  It was winter and my friend had mapped the directions and I didn't think to question her judgement.  Apparently there is a path that closes in the national forest that stood between us and Mammoth.  It was late, we were cold and scared and we were slowly discovering it was going to take a total of 8 hours to get where we were going.  I looked over at my friend's frail little arms and realized...shit, we are in trouble.  I realized in that moment that I could panic, or practice gratitude.  I began finding things to be thankful for that spanned a lifetime.  I did this all the way to our destination.

Upon arriving at the hotel in the ski resort, we found our room had been cancelled since we were a no show.  I still kept my gratitude and thanked God I was safe in that moment.  The guy at the front desk said the honeymoon suite was available and would that be ok?  Of course it would!  He had us shower in a vacant room whose guests would be checking in later and she and I went to our first event with no sleep.  I still kept giving thanks.  We made it back to our room after happily telling people about Jameson and crashed on the giant bed in front of the lit fireplace.  As I was drifting off to sleep I heard a knock on the door.  My first thought, are you kidding me?  My second thought, thank you for the ability to hear that knock.  Jeridan the robot got out of bed and answered the door.  It was room service.  They had seared ahi, strawberries and champagne for us, complimentary, because of our harrowing experience the night before.  

I kind of forgot about that night until recently.  Now don't get me wrong...I'm still on a new mom high, but sometimes I find myself wishing I had more.  I want to be near family, more comfort in our daily lives financially and room for my little one to run.  So, I have started finding reasons to be thankful again.  Even as little things go wrong, I give thanks.  Even when a coworker really angers me, I find something in that moment to be thankful for.  Sometimes it takes a few seconds or minutes, but something always springs to mind.  

This is my last post of October.  I can't wait to touch base in November!  Until then, Happy Halloween my friends!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Oklahoma's Favorite Son

Brian, Cora and I toured Will Roger's Ranch house this past weekend.  It's in the Pacific Palisades and it is beautiful.  It was inspiring to listen to the docent talk about all his Rogers knowledge, and when he found out Brian grew up in Oologah, he just about fell over himself with excitement because Will Rogers was born a couple of miles outside Oologah.

I took a few photos and learned the history of the place and lots of information on Los Angeles.  I'm so glad a man like Will existed or else I suppose we wouldn't have had the chance to enjoy the beautiful land his wife donated after his death.

 California Ranch home of Will Rogers

Brian and I took the tour.  We were the only two on the tour, and being from Oklahoma, I think we got the VIP, platinum edition.  Our guide was awesome.  The inside of this home had an icebox.  Actually, it had a fridge with an icemaker, that may not seem like much to you and I, but this was during the depression and the fact an Okie had this in a state where we weren't necessarily welcomed or admired, well, I thought it was extremely impressive.  He also had some great taxidermy that would make my dad's head spin, beautifully carved beams throughout the house, and his dining room chair still had his gum stuck underneath.

The thing that stuck with me the most was the story about how he was almost fired from the follies and his wife told him to talk. He said, everything he ever learned he learned from the papers, and I think that's a great way to live life.  Here are some other photos from our day.  Sorry, no photos from inside the house, but I recommend you take the tour if you want to be inspired.

Some of the photos above look like random pics of a lot of space.  My point in taking them is to show you how much land is still left there and how priceless this is.  This is the Palisades folks, that land ain't cheap...said in my best Okie accent.

And finally,

I'm looking forward to it.  Brian will know sooner than me.  ;)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Los Angeles, I am over you.  I truly am.  I am tired of your impersonal attitude, your city full of too many people, the fact I don't have any family here and your traffic.  I'm over your traffic.

Now, if I know you, I know what you plan on doing.  After your abusive behavior today regarding the postal service and how they don't have to deliver mail to my door if they don't want to, that they have the right to leave a pick up notice in my mailbox....I know what you will do tomorrow.  You will try to woo me back into your good graces like the terrible boyfriend of a city you have always been to me.  Maybe you will deliver a breathtaking sunset, waves in Malibu dripping with mermaids and dolphins or send a childhood movie star crush in to sit and my bar and tell me I'm pretty.  Well, I will have you know, none of it will work on me anymore!  None of it!  I'm totally over you.  You are the relationship that I can't quit because we don't have opportunities elsewhere, but when they come or this lease runs out...I will bid you goodbye and remember you like a bad memory from college.  We are officially dunzo. 

I have developed a superstitious belief about NetFlix.  I firmly believe that what I watch on there, I bring into my life.  I'm serious.  Before you tell me I'm nuts, just understand, I am onto something here.  It's like men, when they have to go to the bathroom at the top of an inning or in the third quarter when their team has the ball on the second play...Did I say that right?  Anyways, it's like that.  Let me give you the history of my NetFlix experience.  First, Breaking Bad, when I was marathon watching that years ago, I shortly began working at a bar after I had finished the first couple of seasons.  Aaron Paul was a regular.  He had his engagement party there and his friend was a promoter.  I didn't think anything of it.  I was watching Scandal and they all came in their too.  It was a hot spot, just a coincidence I thought.

Next show, Friday Night Lights.  I marathon watched that like nobody's business.  Shortly after that ended I went to the set of Hart of Dixie, having never seen the show.  I was working as a pregnant lady in the background.  I saw Jason Street, only he wasn't in a wheelchair.  I was starting to see a pattern. 

After I gave birth to Cora I watched the entire series of 90210, the new ones.  Don't judge me, that was a great looking cast and I needed mindless entertainment.  Well, they end up spending a lot of time at a bar on the beach in Malibu.  In the plot, one guy owns it and some of them work there or throw parties there.  I ended up working on the beach in Malibu after I finished watching the entire 5 seasons. 

So now, I'm watching Hart of Dixie in the hope that it will lead me to a small town where I came from.  I want to live in a small town in Oklahoma where my mail gets delivered and no one gives me a bullshit answer as to why it's not their responsibility to deliver it.  Where the town gossip is whether or not Bernice's daughter will sing something from Wicked or Phantom for the local beauty pageant and whether or not church is going to have blueberry or chocolate chip pancakes for the social.  I want to be in a more innocent place where cheerleading is a goal, not a job at Disney which will lead to certain drug use and fall from idol places.  I want to smell cut grass and watch my daughter run through a water sprinkler.  I want to feel the chill of winter and embrace that crazy heat of summer.  I want to watch the grass turn green when spring comes about and watch the flowers peek through the snow.  I want to meet a mailman with socks up to his knees, a little blue hat and a sparkle in his eye and stories about who lived there before and what they may have been up to. 

Mostly, I just want to be closer to family.  To my roots, to home.  I tried to run away from Oklahoma because I needed to experience what other places have to offer.  Now, I want to come back.  My family has been there since statehood and it just doesn't make sense for me to settle in a state where Okies were once hated.  So, I'm going to marathon watch Hart of Dixie in the hope that I will end up back where I came from, back to my roots and I will watch the entire series because I know, after it's over, we may just be at the point to start packing.  Gosh I hope so!

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Best of Me

Has anyone seen the preview for the newest Nicholas Sparks movie? 

The Best of Me

I look at this and think Sparks stared at a Thomas Kinkade painting, listened to a song about unrequited love and thought..."yes, I will write a cheesy love ballad of a movie again."

I will admit, the first time I saw The Notebook all those years ago, I was smitten.  I mean, two Oklahoma men and a sweeping love story about lost love.  At the time I remember thinking it was glorious and I was so glad she chose the guy from her childhood.  Then, I experienced some life, watched it 10 years later and thought...Ew, seriously?  Why would you get back together with the jerk, who honestly, you were in a dysfunctional relationship with and leave a nice, stable guy who has his shit together?  Her decision still baffles me.  

Call me an unromantic jerk, or just hear me out.  Not to underestimate romance at all, but I honestly feel like the love you had a 14 or 17 is fleeting if it didn't last.  I have seen true love at 14.  My brother married his wife he met in 9th grade, but that is rare, it happens, but it's rare and very special, no doubt about that.  

I haven't read the book and I will probably watch the movie.  When I'm on my period.  With a bottle of almond flavored sparkling wine.  When it comes on Netflix.  And I will probably throw popcorn at the screen and laugh inappropriately at all the wrong times.  But the movie looks beautiful, like a Kinkade painting and those make me think of my mom and I miss her.

Friday, October 17, 2014

So, I made a Video

I made a photo collage of the past 12 months to commemorate my year as a blogger, a new wife and a new mom.  Just loading photos to iMovie then loading it all on YouTube was a monumental task, but I did my first one. If you would like to look at some photos from this past year, you can find them here!

This isn't supposed to be the thumbnail but I'm too sleepy to figure it out.

Please know the videos are a work in progress.  I hope to learn a little about editing and this is all just for fun.  I haven't taken any classes and I'm throwing my experiments out into the world, but, like with anything else, the more you do the better it gets.  This time I just learned to load photos then add music.  My next project will include both filmed footage and music and I will learn how to edit that together.  I'm really having fun with this and glad I have found a creative outlet.  The little nugget, aka Cora, has stolen my heart and I don't feel like creating outside of the home right now.  I want to be with her as much as I can and this is something I enjoy because it includes her.  I suppose it's a tech way of scrapbooking. 

Also, Cora started crawling yesterday.  We are mostly childproofed but I see everything as a potential danger.  Coins, shoestrings, purse handles and all other things I never considered a threat are now all scaring the crap out of me and I am like a hawk with my little one.  I may be over protective. I wonder if my parents worried as much as I do.  I was the 3rd so I'm assuming they were over worrying by the time I popped out. 

I'm looking forward to my day tomorrow.  Brian has to work late and there is a mega consignment event for babies and kids within walking distance so I think I'm going to see what I can find!  Perhaps I have a consignment haul video...perhaps.  Or I just walk over, see the crowd of foraging moms and scurry back home to safety.  Check back tomorrow and I will let you know.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

One Year Blog Anniversary

So, I started a project and I kept it going for a solid year.  I'm glad to see the additions of both Cora and Brian in my life have made me an actual responsible person who follows through on most things. 

Tonight I decided to try my hand at video.  I composed a photo album of my past year of blogging.  I will post it tomorrow.  Apparently I have to wait an hour for it to load and then I need to mess around with youtube and load it up there. 

But I would like to thank you, those of you who have joined me on my journey.  My life has turned upside down, but in a good way and I love having the ability to observe it out loud and I appreciate your taking this journey with me.

I am thankful to have found a place to focus my creativity.  I'm also earning a little money, so bear with me as you sit through the ads on my youtube channel and any pop ups that may find their way onto this page.  I'm learning.  Blogging for me is a work in progress but it's a job I have found that I truly enjoy. 

In the beginning, I started to tell my story in the hopes that other women my age, women who have been burned by love and given up hope of a fairytale, that we could all realize that maybe the fairytale isn't what we imagined but we can still have love, a family and anything else we've been told not to desire or that we don't deserve.

I want every person who reads this blog to take away some hope.  It wasn't that long ago I spent time wondering when my life was going to start.  I had lived a full one but I was packed with stories and loneliness, craving substance and a bond with someone who could share this life with me.  I found him, and with that, came our daughter. 

In year two, I don't know what to expect.  Will we move back to Oklahoma?  Will we stay in the suburbs of Los Angeles?  I love this city but I can honestly say it sucks having no family nearby.  I miss my parents, my brothers and their families and Nana.  I really hope we get back to see more of Nana.  The only thing I know is that we are here, now.  I still have my weird job on the Malibu Pier.  I thought I would be tending bar for a different crowd, but that goes to show, you just don't ever know what you're going to get and things aren't always as they seem.  If you are wondering what the heck I'm talking about, don't worry, I will divulge the secrets of the pier after I know I don't work there anymore. 

I love my little corner of the internet.  I'm happy here and excited to see what next year will bring.  I have high hopes that I will be a daily blogger, a weekly vlogger and a social media expert who actually contributes on a daily basis, but I do have my family and they come first.  Well, family then sleep, which I must get to because Cora has become an early bird and I just know she doesn't get that from me!

Hello from the pumpkin patch!  Apparently, there is something extremely interesting on the ground.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Tea Tree Oil Face Wash

For awhile now I have been hooked on coconut oil.  I have found that I use it for just about everything.  Because of the positive results I have had from using it, I want to branch out and try a new oil.  I have decided the next step in my essential oil experimentation is Tea Tree Oil.

I am tired of not knowing what's in the products I use on my face and body.  I'm tired of looking up things and finding out I'm rubbing paint thinner and petroleum on my face.  No offense to the companies that produce these things, but I want to use oil in my car and paint thinner on my future home if need be.  There are also some companies using plastic in their exfoliating washes and this can be done with sea salt and is better for the environment.   

So, how do you go about finding the right tea tree oil?  First you look for a pure oil that is of pharmaceutical grade.  Find a product that is in an airtight dark colored bottle so as to keep the air and light out, those two things degrade your product.  After you have chosen your oil, do a patch test on your skin.  If you have an allergic reaction then the oil may need to be mixed with a carrier oil...which brings us back to coconut oil!

For my first experiment, I did a cleansing wash for my face.  Here are my ingredients.

You probably have most of these ingredients at your home.  You will need plain Greek yogurt, a lemon and Tea Tree Oil.  I'm using Apothecary Tea Tree Oil because they are the best in quality and they have the paperwork to prove it. 

Here is the recipe I used:

1/4 Cup Greek Yogurt
2 shakes Tea Tree Oil (their book calls for 4 shakes but I wanted to test first)
2 drops fresh lemon juice

My face feels so soft and I love the way the cleanser smells.  Instead of wondering what I just put on my face, I know, without a doubt, what was in the wash I just used.

Another great thing about this recipe guide is that it comes with a book of 53 recipes.  I won't use all of them but I will post the ones I use.

And last but not least, this post is sponsored by Apothecary Tea Tree Oil.  If you would like to know more about this product please find their information here:

Or find them on Amazon here: