January 31, 2012


CONFESSION: You know all your darling holiday cards or those fancy family photos you post on Facebook? Yah? Well, they kind of make me want to jump off a bridge.

Okay, fine. That's sort of an exaggeration. Truly, all of you in your matching chambray work shirts, in front of that oak tree look lovely. Really. But I'm a little jealous. I want to look polished. I want to look together. I want to look (and feel) complete.

I'm certainly not trying to sound all woe is me, (as I so often like to do), because I realize there's been nothing stopping me from putting Jonah and I in matching get ups and taking photos... But I just haven't done it. So it goes without saying that when I was contacted by Michelle from Monarch Lane Photography, I was THRILLED.

She and her sister were a delight to work with and I loved the way the photos turned out. In fact, I'm thinkin' one of these puppies could very well be a holiday photo this year. (Act surprised when it comes in the mail).

Looking to take a family photo? Here are Michelle's tips for what makes a good family photo shoot:

1. Find a photographer you connect with and feel comfortable with. There are many great photographers out there, but if you don't feel a good rapport with them, it will be hard to feel comfortable in front of the camera, and your pictures may show that. Also, you want to make sure that what you have in mind for your photos is a style that that photographer does. For example, if you want natural lit pictures, make sure that you don't choose a photographer who only shoots in a studio.

2. I find that the best family pictures are the ones that are the least posed. I try to capture my clients candidly, because those always make for the most genuine pictures. It's hard to feel totally natural when you're having your picture taken, but play around with your kids, laugh and most importantly have fun, and that energy will be apparent in your photos.

3. Depending on the setting of your shoot, what you wear can really give your photos different vibes. I shoot outdoors, which is great for all kinds of different attire. You can never go wrong with black, and I find lots of bright colors, work well outdoors too, because they really "pop" against the colors in nature. For little girls, I always think some fun, textured tights can look really cute, and for boys, a collard shirt or little blazer looks cool out in the beautiful scenery and provide a neat contrast. I always tell my clients it's best to avoid white, since it can end up looking blown out, but sometimes my client will have a particular look that they are going for that will involve wearing like a white, flowy dress or something, and then, that's OK. If it's not your "vision" though, it's best to stick with other colors. Another thing I recommend staying away from is big logos. They can be distracting in a photo.

4. Make it fun for the kids.The more pressure the kids have on them, the harder it is to get a good picture. If a child is relaxed, or even acting silly, it gives us the opportunity to get some great expressions and lots of smiles. Bringing water and a few small snacks can keep their energy levels up, and a snack break can break up the session, which can feel particularly long for kid.

To see more pics from our shoot, (click HERE) or head to Facebook!

January 26, 2012


As I've mentioned before, I just started working with a great site called Citrus Lane. Every month new or expecting parents can receive care packages based on their child's age (newborn to 3 years). These boxes have curated, top of the line products that have been hand picked by moms themselves. This month, I'm excited to tell you about their new Fresh Start Box. Produced in partnership with Healthy Child, Healthy World, the Fresh Start Box ($30) is packed with eco-friendly products to get your New Year off to a healthy start!

January 25, 2012


Hey, anything is possible in La La land....

January 23, 2012


"Mommy, we are out of toilet paper," my 4 year old son says as he opens the cabinet to get another roll. "Time for me to fix it," he says as he takes the old cardboard out. (This is probably his second most favorite thing in the world to do other than opening hotel rooms with "magic cards.")

"Before you put a new roll in, would you please pull up your pants, and close the toilet lid?"



"Ok, fine."

"Thank you," I say finishing my makeup. As I watch him carefully insert the new roll of toilet paper, I silently congratulate myself for having (raising) a son who is happy to help with small tasks like this. It occurs to me, however, that though my son voluntarily wipes down the toilet after he's peed (another fantastic habit I'll chalk up to an anal retentive gene I've so graciously bestowed upon him), we've actually never had the "put the toilet seat down when you're done" convo- as I am almost always the one to do it.

"You know, Jonah, when you're done going pee pee, you need to put the toilet seat down."


"Um, because. You need to."

"Why don't YOU put it down?"

And there it was. DNA at it's finest. All this time.... 35 years spent questioning (criticizing) the opposite sex about the way they think, and there it was. They aren't born with it. They don't think about the toilet lid because they don't know about the toilet lid. Their brain is missing the toilet lid logic lobe.

Armed with this lightening bolt, revelation of a moment, I took a deep breath and put my training helmet on: "Jonah, putting down the toilet seat is like using please and thank you. It's a part of manners. It's not nice for a person to walk in and have to put down the toilet seat after you."

"But, mommy, how come YOU don't lift it up for ME? You go pee pee, and when YOU are done, lift it up. So it's ready for ME."

"Sorry, sweetheart, no. That's not how it works," I said before I instructed him on a step that I also think is boys/men genetically lack: "Now, wash your hands."

To my son's future wife, you can thank me later.

January 12, 2012


As I've mentioned many times before, once a month I attend "mommy school" with a bunch of my friends. We head to the Westside to seek the advice and guidance of the renowned Betsy Brown Braun. Each month we focus on various issues that have arisen for our 4 year olds (everyone in the class has children within a few months apart- so we're all on the same "fucking fours," page, as Betsy calls it). Anyway, a month or two ago, I expressed to Betsy that I was having a tough time containing Jonah's energy-- that more often than not, he is wild. She suggested that we set up "wild" or "loud-free" zones throughout the house. She said we needed to leave a few rooms or areas open, but since I live in an apartment, that basically means he can only go ca-razy in his room and the living room. FINE. So, per Betsy's advice, I put up the "wild free" signs (exactly as she suggested) and here's what happened.

One day, I'll be in charge and rule the roost. I will.

January 10, 2012


Who cares about New Year's Resolutions or getting caught Facebook Stalking when you can finally book a vacation to Turks & Caicos? Well, okay, I may be getting ahead of myself here... But based on what I'm about to tell you, I'm feeling pretty confident that some sort of luxurious escape, replete with cabana boys and cocktails is in my near future....

Why? Because I'm working with eBay! I'm very excited to announce that I have been asked to serve as an ambassador on the eBay Parent Panel!

Now, here's the deal. I'm not a master eBay seller at all. In fact, I have to be honest, I've never even sold anything on eBay before. I've bought a couple things here and there, but sell? No. Here's why I'm thrilled about this new relationship and program:

Everyone could use a little extra income right now, especially me. Selling on eBay could not only put a little extra cash in my pocket, but it can help me get organized and part ways with dozens of things that are in perfectly fine condition, but will never be used again... My son's scooter, he used once, a blender that's never been open, etc... eBay is making their entire program relatable and easy for parents. Selling may seem like such a hassle, but truly, they've streamlined their entire selling process making it a no-brainer for even the most disheveled mommies like me. From their fashion selling guide (PDF), to seller information guide, to a simple 3 step selling process, I/you/ WE have no excuse for why the garage is cluttered with what could transform itself into a pair of Louboutins. (Hey, when I dream, I dream big.)

Anyway, next month, I'll embark on my first selling endeavor and will report back to you. (Since these days, I seem to be sharing just about everything!)

You know how to find eBay (eBay.com, hello), but also check out their blog, which I'll be contributing to, as well as their twitter and facebook pages...

Let's get rich, people. Or at least tan on a beach with fabulous shoes....

January 5, 2012


Is it safe to assume, that only in Los Angeles, a 4 year old comes home from (private) preschool and says that we need to build a meditation garden? Or does this kind of thing happen everywhere???

Yesterday afternoon, I asked my son what his favorite part of his school day was:

"Meditation. We med-dit-tationed."
"You meditated???"
"Yes, in the med-dit-tation garden. All of the kids in the class. We all med-dit-tated."
"That's nice. Why?"
"Because it calms you down. If you get angry. You can go to med-dit-tation."
"Ah, I see."

First of all, how lovely that his school has a meditation garden. Second of all, his school has a meditation garden. Hilarious! (If he told me there was a juice bar and an acupuncturist there, I swear I might believe him.)

Anyway, today, he marched in the door and told me WE needed to have a meditation garden. "That's a great idea, Jonah. We can both use it."
"Yes, mommy. When you get angry and need to calm down, you should go there... My teacher said it's good for mommy's too." Yes, darling meditating IS good for moms too. In fact, if we want to really calm mommy down, let's put a wine trough smack down in the center of it.
"Well, let's find a place in the house to make our meditation 'zone,'" I said.

I pulled old pillows and from the closet and moved his art easel out of his "art studio" (aka, the corner) and designated it our meditation area. Jonah ran to the area and plopped down.
"Do you feel relaxed?"
"Yep. Do you?"
"Yes. I do."

We took a deep breath together and then decided to read a book together (though I insisted I thought meditation gardens were for being quiet. He corrected me and said meditation gardens are for "doing something quiet." Excuse me, my little Yogi.)

In other news, remember my New Year resolutions? I've already broken most of course. Check out my first post for Lifetime Moms. I'll be contributing about 2 written posts and 2 video posts weekly. (My latest one is about getting busted, Facebook style). Visit my homepage there to see the newest additions. This is one of several exciting things brewing but I'm seriously thrilled to be a part of the Lifetime Moms team. (Can I shout that from the meditation garden/corner? I'll do it quietly. Maybe).