Poor me

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My conference ended today. I have a few more hours of work and then I’m on the red-eye home. But I did get to sleep in and enjoy my room for the first time all week. And I ordered room service. Look at the size of this French toast. And the size of the butter on top. Toasted coconut and a caramelized banana? Check. Although I miss my family a ton – this isn’t all that bad. Just sayin’ (the newspaper came with the breakfast. Bless their hearts)

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One more pic. Just to show off.

 

It takes a village to raise a blog

We don’t live in a small town. It’s not a city by any means, but it’s big. 5 Starbucks in a 3 mile radius big. But yesterday, as I ran some errands, I realized I’ve carved out a pretty unusual niche for myself. I’ve got people. I’ve got towns folk. I’ve got peeps that I know.  And by “know” I mean I speak to them on a semi-daily basis.

Nice lady at The Bagel Train – she and I go way back. Any woman who can supply me with that much warm bread is a keeper. But our conversations don’t stop there. Last year I got into a Zumba class frenzy (I’ve been cured since) and I’d see her at some of the classes in the local community center. This is what warm bread love gets you. We’d always wave hello from across the way and then I’d hide behind some moms in the back. These past few weeks I’ve been chatting her up about a new restaurant that opened up on Main Street. Even though neither one of us has tried it we’ve decided it sucks. She’s so great. And she smells like an everything bagel.

Family that owns the dry cleaners – now this is good. The Mae’s immigrated here from Korea in 1974. They lived in Queens, NY for the majority of the 80′s. The father and mother both got jobs at a local dry cleaner in their neighborhood and saved enough money to buy a store of their own. Then they bought another. And another. In between, they had a son and a daughter. The son (like his father) is an amazing golfer – he went to school in Florida on scholarship and now lives in Augusta,Ga with his family. How do I know all this? Because every time I drop off the laundry, I’d notice that the dad was watching the golf channel. Although I don’t play – I’ve run enough tournaments to talk the talk. We connected. We were one. Kinda. Anyway, they moved to our town because their daughter was accepted to Princeton. So they sold all the other stores, bought one here and decided to stay. She’s since graduated and moved to California. They also have a lovely Ecuadorian family that works there. A husband and wife (she just had their 4th boy!) I love the Mae’s.

Susan and Reese at CVS – Susan is the morning manager. She gets to the store at 6am and stays until 2pm. We bonded over all the photos I get printed there. She always gives me the pictures at the discounted coupon price even though I don’t have the actual coupons. Don’t tell anyone.  Reese is a 19-year-old cashier that works there. He looks like a frat boy whose gonna give you a bad attitude – but in reality, he’s the nicest dude ever. I’ve never seen someone with a bigger smile while they haul cases of water around. I got to know him because Susan is his mom. There are two of these stores that bookend my neighborhood. One of them is much closer than the other – but I go the longer distance for the both of them. I’m a weirdo stalker like that.

I love people.

There’s also the quirky gal at Wines and Spirits and Raj at Dunkin Donuts, but you get the point.

Fog Rise

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It’s 5:15am. I’m still on East Coast time. I’ve been walking the streets of San Francisco for an hour. Who says work travel isn’t exciting.

La Jolla, CA and other things I love

October has always been a busy month. Busy and fun and my absolute favorite. The weather changes, there’s plenty of birthdays and reasons to get together.  And it’s the opening act for November – my next absolute favorite time of year.

I say all this as a massive excuse to why my last post was so long ago.  What happened to daily posts you ask? Same thing that happened to my diet – it went off a cliff. Actually, I may have pushed it off a cliff. I’m tired!

Let me catch you up. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

  • Went to La Jolla, CA and fell madly, deeply in love with San Diego.  I think I’m really a surfer dude inside (without all the physical activity)
  • Although I was there for work – I had a life changing make-up/product experience. More below. Thank you Kathy the make-up artist!
  • I’ve decided that living next to the ocean needs to be in my future.  I’ll have to clue my husband in on this plan.
  • Came home and swiftly over decorated for Halloween.  I need help.

This should be everyone’s view from work…

 

 

Or this…

 

When not staring at the ocean, I was staring at all the goodies our make-up artist brought. Her name was Kathy. She set me straight.

For the majority of my life I’ve been searching for the perfect lip color. In high school I wore a bright red lipstick every day – cause I was cool like that. Then I moved to a more bronzy brown for most of my 20′s. My 30′s were obsessed with finding the perfect nude lipstick (damn you Jennifer Lopez).  In my 40′s I’ve given up and gone with chapstick. And then Kathy walked into my life. Or I ran into her make-up bag – whatever.

In one quick minute she told me,”you can’t wear a nude shade on your lips. It doesn’t look good. You need a plum. Let me help you.” What followed is tears, joy, and triumph. Too much?

Here’s my perfect color.  I would never ever have guessed it.

 

Although these pictures are blurry – I told you I was excited – it was important to show you.  This lip liner went on like butter and stayed on all day. I’ve already bought some. Thank you Sephora and Lisa Watier.

 

Here’s some other random stuff in her bag that was genius. Yes, I went through her bag.

 

To the left, antiperspirant for your face.  Even in full on humidity and heat – your face stays completely matte and dry. To the right, the reason everyone on TV looks like they have perfect hair. Sigh.

So that’s it. That’s what I’ve been up to, in to, at. That and you know, work, motherhood, wifedom, etc.

And here’s a look at our front door. Christmas sweaters here I come!

NWK to SSO to LAX to NWK

I’m home.  I know I’m home because I’ve already made breakfast, yelled at someone and forgotten to water my orchid.  Back to normal.  I always feel like my kids grew while I was away.  They seem taller, wiser, more unshowered than usual.

Here’s some non sequitur pictures from the trip.  If I wasn’t so sleep deprived I’d write individual posts about them and delight you with witty commentary but I’m too tired.

We had a quick lunch before the event yesterday, the waiter asked us if we’d like to share some hummus.  We said yes – you should always say yes to hummus.   Here’s what he brought us….

There’s also a pile of warm pita bread that wouldn’t fit in the photo.  Are you thinking I live the life of Riley when I’m traveling?  Trust me, not true.  I didn’t take pictures of the sad Subway sandwich I had for breakfast that morning at the airport.

The hotel (sanctuary, resort, hideaway, heaven are better words to describe this place) where the event was held was covered with beautiful gardens. Look at these flowers!!

And here’s one last picture – mini pork dumplings from the reception.  So pretty and so porky (I’m told).

Are you all wondering what I’m talking about? Me too. Sorry. Tomorrow’s post will make sense.  Maybe.

The good, the bad, and the opposite of ugly

First the good. San Francisco, how I love you. Your weather, your laid back attitude, and your ridiculously nice people make me wanna pack up my tribe and move West.

Adios for now. By the way, you are much prettier than this airplane shot.

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The ugly. Me….bringing up the rear on the flight

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But look what was waiting for me when I got to L.A. …even if it is for just a few hours.

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Views from a hotel room

I made it to San Francisco – part one of the California trek is underway. We have an event tonight and then it’s an early flight to L.A. on Thursday – then another event that night – followed by a redeye that gets me home by Friday morning!

With all the delays I didn’t check into the hotel last night until 11:30pm PST. But because I like to keep on EST when traveling… I was wide awake by 3:15am PST (my usual). I ordered some breakfast to kill time. Here’s how the room service convo went:

Me: hi there – can I order some room service please?

Dude: Ofcourse, unfortunately we are only serving from the late night menu I’m afraid – the dinner service is over.

Me: no problem at all, because I’d like breakfast! Coffee and rye toast.

Dude: (……long pause…..)oh yes, not a problem.

Bless his heart and mine.

Anyway- in the tradition of things I won’t be able to enjoy while I’m here see picture below…

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Hotel Room Views aka My Travel Album

I’ve been an event planner for a long time.  For the majority of that time I’ve worked for large mothership corporations that have sent me traveling all over the country (and beyond).   Now that my kids are older, they always ask if I’ve seen the sites of whatever state (mental/physical, take your pick) I just got back from.

Kids:  “*Mommy, did you go to the Hollywood Sign?”

Me: “nope”

Kids: “Mommy, did you go to the Alamo? Ride a trolley?”

Me: “umm no and no”

So I started taking pictures of the parts of the city I do get to see – from my room

Crack-O-Dawn, Santa Monica, CA

(this is as close as I got to the beach)

Crack-O-Dawn, Chicago, IL

(this is as close as I got to Lake Michigan)

You get the point.

*PLEAE NOTE: My kids want you to know that they don’t call me Mommy anymore…but since it’s my blog…Mommy Mommy Mommy!!

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