I think I need more red lipstick in my life

Or “some” red lipstick, I should say. Have you noticed the red lipstick trend? When it comes to trends, I’m either totally ahead or way behind. It’s probably because I’m way too practical when I shop (needs to match everything in my closet). Except for maybe buying way too many black boots. I almost bought another pair the other day at Target, until I was reminded that I have three pairs almost just like it. Uh…no I don’t. These have three buckles. Three. My other three pairs of black ankle boots just have one. Then both my sisters made fun of me, so I guess I really don’t need black boots?

Oh right…lipstick. Okay so, how awesome is the red lipstick trend? I’ve never really been into it, but for some reason I totally dig it right now. Check out how great these look:

red lips
red lipsred lips

I tried some on at Clinique and there was a chubby stick that I did like, called Chili something. But then this girl walked up that had GREAT red lips on, and she showed me her MAC tube, which was Viva Glam. Duh, of course. So I decided, that’s what I need! Poor Clinique girl (aka my sister) who witnessed me not wanting her chubby stick. (She’ll get over it) So then, I look online to find a picture of Viva Glam and turns out they have about 10 different shades! What?! So that’s no help. THEN (are you bored yet?) I see an instagram of one of my favorite bloggers who can do no wrong, and everyone’s trying to guess what color her lipstick is. And she revealed her two favorites: MAC Ruby Woo & Nars Heat Wave.

After I tried on the Clinique Chili-something (I really need to write this stuff down) I went to lunch with the above-mentioned Clinique girl who may or may not still be upset I decided in front of her that I wanted MAC instead of her high quality product, and I felt so great! Really, wearing that red lipstick just made me sit up straighter, walk more confidently, and smile more. It totally elevated my mood (please see Rule #3 in this post. This red lipstick thing has power! I even took a selfie by myself whilst sitting there waiting for her to show up for lunch. Okay fine, I took a few.

So what I’m saying is…I have some shopping to do. Immediately. Do you guys (I mean girls) have any go-to red lipsticks I need to try? I’m seriously looking drab here, I need red lipstick!

// all photos via Pinterest

Shiny Toy Guns at Belly Up

belly up tavern

Remember how much I adore Shiny Toy Guns? It’s possible it’s at the point of obsession. Only I don’t follow them to their homes or anything creepy like that, just follow them on Instagram and Twitter and stuff. Oh, and make Carah Faye awesome robot necklaces and stuff. And travel far and wide to see them play live. But nothing creepy!

They haven’t been to San Diego in quiet awhile. I’ve had to drive to LA the past few years to see them. Not a bad drive, and oh so worth it. Folks, we’re lucky to live in San Diego and be able to drive to LA when bands don’t come here (says the girl that’s gone to WAY too many concerts this year. Just kidding, it’s been an amazingly fun year). So, STG decided to do a little farewell to summer tour here in the southwest, and San Diego was the last stop of the tour. At Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach. Have you guys been there? It’s a great venue, small and intimate so you can really get up there and see your favorite band up close. It’s only the second time I’ve been there, if you can believe it. But I’m a fan! Anyway! Shiny. My older sister and I went together. Turns out we’ve never gone to a concert together. How weird is that? So basically she saw me at my worst. Slithering up to the front when my band came on, and just totally geeking out. I was dancing so freaking hard that I was sore the next three days, wondering why I was sore if I didn’t work out? Ohhh right. The concert. How fun is it to go to a concert when you know every single song?

Wanna see some pics? Sure ya do.

shiny toy guns
shiny toy guns
shiny toy guns

The show started out with this amazing fog. Oh, I forgot to tell you…Yahoo! was filming the whole thing. I don’t know why yet, I’m dying to see what they do with it and what it was for. Shiny Toy Guns are amazing live, in general. But this show…was freaking amazing. The lights, fog, performance. It was over the top. And so dang hot in there! It’s amazing they did as great as they did, I would’ve been slumped on the stage singing, the heat was totally unbearable. For the first, I don’t know, 8 songs or something? They just ran into the next song, no stopping. It was unbelievable. They were completely unbelievable. I was in heaven. Okay, more pictures!

shiny toy guns
shiny toy guns
shiny toy guns

Oh, Chad. His voice makes me quite happy. I don’t quite know what it is about their music, but it resonates with me so deep. Music has always been such an important part of me. But their words, stories, voices, performances…they just do it for me. You know?

And I have a complete friend(??) crush on this chick. Carah Faye Charnow.

shiny toy guns
shiny toy gunsshiny toy guns

Her voice! It does unbelievable things. And she dresses rad. So there’s that.

Can we please talk about how Mikey Martin cannot sit still? I love that! He instagrammed the next day a picture of a black eye he gave himself. Ha! Love it! What a drummer, am I right? You can’t see it great here, but he had awesome makeup on that night.

shiny toy guns
shiny toy guns
shiny toy guns

I love me some Jeremy Dawson, too. Him and Carah seem to have a very close friendship. She left the band a number of years ago, moved out of the country. He’s the one that flew out there, spent tons of time with her and convinced her to come back. I remember the day they released the video to announce her coming home. Such a good day for me! Their latest album, |||, is a love story about them and the heartache they experienced as a band and them coming back together. Especially the song, Carrie. My sister, who doesn’t know any of their music, told me later that Carrie was her favorite song they played. If that song evokes emotion in people that don’t know the story, how do you think the band feels when the perform it? They lived that heartache. I love that they let us into their world so we can feel what they felt.

shiny toy guns

Nice hat buddy. Now get out of my way.

shiny toy gunsshiny toy guns
shiny toy guns

And then they were gone. They of course did an encore of Major Tom and a couple other epic songs. You think we’d let them go away without an encore?? You don’t know their fans very well.

Okay, so…check them out! ok?

website
twitter
instagram
spotify

Now, if you’ll excuse me, there’s a Bon Jovi & Guns n’ Roses cover band show going on at Belly Up tonight that I need to attend.

Don’t judge me.

Fall!

I am just giddy with Fall lately, and it’s not even here yet. It’s still hot in San Diego. But the wee hours of the morning are starting to feel like fall. (Do you call it Fall or Autumn? Autumn sounds so much prettier, but I’ve never said it seriously. Only when I’m pretending to be from Connecticut or something.) With fall comes crisp air, scarves, boots(!!), fuzzy robes and slippers whilst drinking coffee on the deck, excuse to stay home on the weekends and watch movies on the couch. In fact, I already bought a pair of new slippers in my excitement (aka Target frenzy).

My fall is already proving to be not as amazing as my summer was. But I’ll do my best. I have plans, goals, lists. And guess what? I hear the trend for fall is to have unkempt eyebrows! That’s just fabulous for us lazy people out there who have never really cared what their eyebrows look like but always thought they should. Don’t do anything with them? Great! Thank you, trend-setters.

Also, my blog is an entire year old next month. It’s been a year?! Crazy. So, thanks for sticking around. Reading my crazy ramblings. Looking at my weird pictures. I appreciate you. Should we throw a party or something?

And now, since we need a picture in this here post otherwise it’s REALLY boring…

distraught girl

Bam. There you are. Peace out.

The Peril of Pig Ears

I have a story for you. One steeped in peril and anguish.

The last stop on the Los Angeles trip was Tripel.

tripel los angeles

I had just finished binge watching Top Chef, and my favorite chef, Brooke, owns this joint. I just had to try it! On a map it didn’t seem too far away, but it really was the complete opposite direction of home from Downtown LA. Tripel is located on the coast in Playa del Rey. It’s not even really a restaurant, but a bar that has two shared tables. I hate shared tables. They make my OCD freak out. Unless someone seats me, that makes it easier. It’s possible the only reason I don’t go to Pizza Port in Carlsbad Village is because of the looong community tables. Freaks me out!

TANGENT! Sorry.

I had sort of been eating all day (isn’t that what LA is for?) so I wasn’t hungry yet. I decided a walk to the beach would be in order, it was only a few blocks away.

playa del rey

It was overcast, a little humid, the sun was getting ready to set. It so felt like the beach town I grew up in in San Diego, Ocean Beach. I walked everywhere there, and it always had that same sticky sea air that made your hair frizz up, and the same beat up cars, trucks and other vessels parked in neighborhoods, that had been worn down by the salt air. I will always have a love for those kind of towns. You know the ones…they’re not ritzy at all, but kind of dirty, full of local color and dirty bare feet from walking in the sand back to your apartment. People tell you you shouldn’t walk around alone at night, but this is your town. You know it like the back of your hand, and aren’t afraid of what happens there at night.

playa del rey

(Remember the time Bear Grylls commented on one of my Instagram pictures? Yep, this be the one. Hi Bear!)

Okay so, back to Tripel…I’m sitting with a few other people at the big table, but in the window! That didn’t make it so bad, I could look at the crazy people walking by. Seriously, this girl was wearing the weirdest pink, short, skin tight dress with leopard cowboy boots and I swear she was wearing a wig. Sad part is…she would’ve been cute if she wore a normal outfit.

One of the dishes Brooke made on the finale was the Crispy Pig Ear Salad. I know what you’re thinking…and you are correct. But you guys, the judges just raved about how good it was! RAVED! I ask the waitress about it, she assured me that it was delicious, I must get it. When I tell her of my fear of pig ears (doesn’t everyone have a fear of pig ears?) she claimed that it’s just like bacon, it’s sliced thinly into a crispy delicacy. Fine. Bring it on.

I’m never being adventurous again. Ever.

tripel pig ears

What’s that you see there? Cartilage, that’s what! I looked at it and grimaced. In fact, I’m grimacing right now, just telling you about it. Be adventurous! Take a bite! They raved about it! So I take a bite.

Crunch.

Ugh, you guys. That’s cartilage! What else do you see? THAT’S PIG HAIR. FROM A PIG. Let’s take a closer look…

tripel pig ears

I only lasted a few bites. I tried to surround it with the poached egg, but lets face it, poached eggs on salad is kind of gross too, right? Turns out there’s no way to slice cartilage in a way to make it like bacon. It is NOTHING like bacon, because it’s cartilage! It’s the hard thing you pierced when you were 13 by shoving a dull earring through whilst blasting Guns n’ Roses!

Okay, we need to change the subject from hairy, cartilage pig ears to something nicer. How about beer?

tripel

Ahhh that’s better, right? You can create your own flight, that was pretty fun. I actually liked a couple. I’m not too much of a beer fan, sorry folks. Here’s some shots from the rest of the joint…

tripel los angeles
tripel los angeles
tripel los angeles
tripel los angeles

That Turkey Pastrami Melt turned out to be amazing, so that was good I could wash down the you-know-what.

We shall never talk of you-know-what again.

Natural History Museum

To continue my Los Angeles tour of trying-not-to-sink-in-the-mire (starting here), I checked out the Natural History Museum and the adjacent gardens. Guess which was my favorite? GARDENS! But first…dinosaurs & cows.

natural history museum
natural history museum

That picture of the cow totally creeps me out. He looks so real. He did in real life, too. Probably because he’s a stuffed cow. I mean a real stuffed cow. I think that would make a good profile picture or something. You have my permission to take my high quality iPhone picture and use it as your profile picture. Or corporate headshot, even. Why not?

I have a love/hate relationship with museums. Did I talk about that when I went to the Getty? I dunno. Anyway, I want to be the kind of person that just loves walking around museums. That can stand in front of an exhibit for an hour reading everything on it, staring at it from all angles, discussing it with an old man that happens to be standing next to me, wearing wire-rimmed glasses with his pants pulled up too high and white eyebrows hanging out all over the place.

But I’m not that girl. I like to breeze through, see what looks pretty, maybe read the plaque, maybe not (is that teeth-plaque? or label-on-a-painting-plaque? Whatever). So that is what I did. For the most part. I don’t have a whole lot to say about the inside of the joint. They had the usual stuff Natural History museums have…dinosaurs, giant dioramas of the Serengeti, Robin Williams sitting on a horse, mini villages of mini people saying “for crying out loud!” Oh wait…that’s a movie. Anyway, the gardens are way more fun for me. So let’s take a stroll, shall we?

natural history museum
natural history museum
natural history museum
natural history museum
natural history museum

They had veggie gardens and herb gardens, and quaint little seating areas all around. That was an eggplant up there. Eggplant in the wild! Sort of.

Across a walkway area was a giant rose garden. I had no idea this thing existed. You have to walk out of the museum through a very inconvenient door, walk around the perimeter of the property, and finally make it to the rose garden. There wasn’t access to it from right here, even though it looks like there should’ve been.

natural history museum rose garden

Let’s go in, shall we?

natural history museum rose garden
natural history museum rose garden
natural history museum rose garden

I spy a rainbow!

natural history museum rose garden

This rosebush was breathtaking. I wish the sun was at a better angle so the picture turned out better. It reminds me of a magical Monet painting that I used to own, of a woman sitting underneath a rose tree.

monet -lilacs, grey weather

I guess I lied. It’s called “Lilacs, Grey Weather” so I guess those are lilacs, not roses. In any case, that rose bush up there reminded me of this painting that I just adore. It evokes such a calmness. Hey look, now I’m being that person, analyzing paintings! I have transcended! (Have you seen that Johnny Depp movie, Transcendence? I just watched it last night)

Okay, back to pictures.

natural history museum rose gardennatural history museum rose garden

The rose garden is free, every day. I would love to grab a sandwich somewhere and eat it in the rose garden. It reminded me of Paris. And who doesn’t love to be reminded of Paris?

So, that was my adventure of the Natural History Museum. Next up…perils. Oh, things got perilous.

lululemon Grand Opening in Fashion Valley

One chilly December day I was strolling around Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek, and I happened upon a woman wearing an amazing puffy (but not too puffy) down jacket. It was perfectly fitted, not bulky, very stylish and looked oh so warm. I had just completely obsessed over not having the perfect jacket to take on my Texas roadtrip with my sister. So what did I do? I tapped that girl on the shoulder and said “Hey, I love your jacket. Would you mind telling me where you got it?” She looked at me a bit strange (probably at my sub-par jacket) and said “Sure, I got it at lululemon down the street.” Down the street?! Then I raced over there to no avail, because they were out of all their jackets. Of course they were, because it was December and they had just stocked their summer items like normal people.

My point of this story is…lululemon is opening up a new store in Fashion Valley and have fun festivities planned for you! (I’m hoping they’ll also have that awesome non-puffy puffy jacket, since it’s summer so winter stuff should be there now, clearly.) Here’s what’s in store (literally. HA!)

Friday they’re having a dance party by DJ Jay and treats from Better Buzz Coffee and the Cravory. The party starts at 10am. Now, who doesn’t like a dance party on a Friday morning?

On Saturday, get sweaty with lululemon Ambassadors Theresa Larson and Ray Fernandez at 8:30am in Center Court. Don’t forget to refuel with Suja Juice and the Perfect Bar.

Sunday they’re having yoga in Center Court starting at 9:30am, followed by live music in-store by Jonny Tarr. The store is located on the second level between J. Crew and Sur La Table.

So…what do you say? Will I see you there?

FV lululemon Opening

It’s getting real up in here, folks

cat puppet

Not too long ago, a friend gave me a plaque that had a quote on it from Abraham Lincoln, “A person will be just about as happy as they make up their mind to be”. It’s true. But what happens when you personally can’t get over some thing(s) in your life and you’re sabotaging your own happiness because you feel you don’t deserve it? Then what? I keep thinking time will help. And sometimes it does. I guess overall it has. I’m constantly looking to myself, trying to see what my good qualities are that I want to build on, and what mistakes I’ve made in the past, or what qualities in me I never really saw but do now, and definitely want to change. I’m in constant reflection. I analyze every thought I have, every move I make, every small or large decision I need to make. That gets very tiring sometimes, and I feel beat down. By myself. So then I try to take a few days, a week, to just try to re-freaking-lax. To stop worrying so much, stop evaluating myself and just let myself be.

We all have a constant battle, and a constant responsibility, to look inward and try to become better people. I think even the best people on the planet do that, that’s how they got that way. That’s how they stay that way.

I’ve learned so much about myself the past couple of years. Some good things, some bad things, some were huge revelations, others were things I already knew. I can see things more clearly now. I can look at situations, like I’m hovering in the space above them looking down, and see them for how they really are. Not all the time, no. And it took this long to realize that vantage point was even there.

I’m trying to be calm. Take my time. Simplify my life. Make good decisions. Take care of myself. Be kind to people. Find this elusive happiness. I know where it starts. It’s feeling okay to move forward and allow it is the tough part.

There’s no real point to this post. Just my stream of consciousness today. Thanks for listening.

Bootleg HiFi

bootleg hifi

A couple of weekends ago was a real tough weekend for me, emotionally. To avoid falling deep into the pits of despair, I did what any quasi-sane person would do…take the day off of work and spend some time in LA!

I braved the Thursday evening traffic after work all the way from San Diego, through Camp Pendleton, Orange County, then Downtown LA to Bootleg HiFi, where a band I really like was playing that night.

la sunset

Have you listened to any Air Traffic Controller? Guys…they’re real good. A small band, which is why they were playing at this TINY venue. I knew it wasn’t going to be a large venue, but thought it would be sort of like Soma or Belly Up in San Diego. Nope…smaller. You walk in after this bouncer acts like he’s the best thing since…I don’t know, since the bouncer at a hot club in the 90’s? He was acting like he was so cool and important. Which totally made me laugh the second I looked in the door to see how tiny and insignificant this place was. Yeah…cool job you have there, bro. Good thing you scrutinized my license since I’m fifteen years older than you.

Anyway, you walk in, give the lady your ticket, turn around and there’s the merchandise table. Take three steps to your left and you’re at the main stage. I mean only stage. And there’s a bar ten steps ahead. Three belly tables and the rest of the standing area is roughly 50′ x 70′. I head to the back room to try to find the bathroom. I walk through an open door, run into a photo booth in a tiny room with two bathrooms. I hear singing coming from the women’s room. Male singing. Clearly a singer is warming up his voice. He finally comes out and I say “you sound great” and smile at him like “caught you!” He was totally embarrassed I could hear him, and rushed over to the backstage area which was just four steps away. I thought about heading in there to hang out with the bands since the entire thing was open, but thought better of it.

This post is getting boring. How about looking at some pictures of the place?

bootleg hifi

I got me some booze here.

bootleg hifi

And this is where I got salvation.

Okay so, Narwahls get up and play. And by gosh, guess who one of the lead singers was? Jack’s kid, from LOST! We’re totally in LA, right? I was surprised, but they were actually pretty darn good! Especially for an opening band at a tiny local venue. And for a little Hollywood kid who has small parts in stuff. I really liked their sound and energy, they were totally entertaining.

Narwhals

He’s the guy on the right. Good voice, but the other singer (center) I thought was better. In case you care.

So then…Air Traffic Controller! Again…tiny venue, so I was practically sitting on the stage. I doubt anyone would’ve said anything if I did, actually.

air traffic controller
air traffic controller
air traffic controller

Here’s what I love about Air Traffic Controller. They have heart. You can hear it when you just listen to their music. You can feel their emotions, their pain, their happiness, good memories, their love or heartbreak. You feel it. You know when you really dig a band, then you hear them live and you’re totally underwhelmed? This was NOT the case. They were so engaging, sounded amazing, true to their own music, and their heart showed through even more, if that’s even possible (it was possible). They’re also just crazy talented, great to look at (what?! That helps!) and I am always down for a band that has a man and woman singer. I don’t know what it is, maybe I like the back and forth. He kind of sounds like They Might Be Giants, and that’s fun, too.

Some of my favorite songs by them are: You Know Me (he wrote that about his wife), Pick Me Up, Ready or Not, Magic, Blame. The House is their latest single. You know the house where everyone hung out at when you were a kid? It’s about that. He had that house. You can listen to some of their stuff on their website, or just hit Spotify. It’s all on there.

I met lead singer, Dave, at the merch table after the show, along with his wife and the awesome chick that has a killer voice and plays a ton of different instruments, Casey.  Wow, super great people, seriously. So glad I got the opportunity to see them live! And to meet them! Did you see how cute he was in that hat up there??

bootleg hifi

Dreaming of Brooklyn

Yesterday, it was raining. Full on summer storm with thunder, lightening, and even a bit of rain. Some people reported hail, even though it was 70 degrees out. Storms make me want Fall to be here so bad. To wear boots again. Stay in bed a bit longer each morning, under the warm covers (even with my crappy mattress). To curl up on the couch with a blanket and watch the weather outside with a hot cup of coffee in my paws. Keep the sliding glass door open just a little bit so I can hear and smell the rain outside.

It also makes me want to go to New York. Did you know I used to live in New York? I did. A long time ago I had an amazing chance to move to Brooklyn. So I did. Uprooted my entire life to start a new one. I loved every minute of it. It was a really great time of my life. So many good memories there. I moved back to Southern California almost 15 years ago. It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? Every couple of years I get the hankering to go visit. It’s been about two years since I was there last, so yeah…I guess it’s time to go back.

I want to stay at this hotel:

nu hotel brooklyn-hammock

Explore the surrounding neighborhood on one of these:

nu hotel brooklyn-bikes

Buy flowers and baguettes at a local farmers market and put it in the basket. Where is this amazing place, you ask? NU Hotel, Brooklyn. I discovered it on my hotel search when I was going there a few years ago, but got a great offer to say with a friend, so I did that instead. I have not forgotten about this boutique hotel, though. I want to stay here so bad! In the room with a hammock, of course.

brooklyn flea

How weird would it be to go by myself? It could be a writing retreat. Only, I’m not writing a book or anything. You know how writers need to go places all by themselves to write? Without any distraction, but inspiration all around them. I could pretend I’m one of those. Carry around a leather bound notebook and sharpened pencils, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and sketch the spokes (aka suspension cables) from the inside. Walk through the Brooklyn Botanical Garden to clear my head and take in the scent of flowers. Close my eyes on the subway ride from Manhattan and know exactly which stop is High Street without opening them. Evening walks along the Promenade, pretending I live in one of the brownstones right on the water. Explore Park Slope and stop for a drink just because the place looks like an adventure. Buy ridiculous souvenirs and take a thousand pictures.

brooklyn bridge

There is so much inspiration in New York City & Brooklyn. So much of my heart is there. And right now, it’s aching for it.

Sunrise Highway

Couple things…

sunrise highway

1. I adore my iphone. I spent a buttload (is that one word? butt-load. butt load. buttload.) of money on it because my other phone got ripped out of my smashed car window and I needed a phone immediately and finally decided to get into the real world where iphones lived. And have never. looked. back. If I paid $1,500 for it, I’d still say it was worth it. (I didn’t pay that much. For the record.)

2. I took a day trip to Sunrise Highway this weekend and took a butt-load of cloud pictures on my awesome not-new-anymore-but-haven’t-dropped-it-yet iphone!

See why it was important to tell you how much I love my iphone? I never edit pictures for you, folks. I don’t even use a real camera. I just whip out my trusty, gorgeous iphone and snap, snap away. Mainly because I’m lazy. But awesome that the iphone takes some rad pictures.

I just said awesome and rad in the same sentence. Yikes. Sorry about that (no I’m not).

Sunrise Highway is just past Julian off Hwy 79, for those of you who don’t live in San Diego. It goes up into Mount Laguna, and the views are so unbelievable. You can see Arizona from these lookout points. ARIZONA. You gaze across the Salton Sea into Arizona. Crazy! And the clouds on Saturday were just epic. You’ll see in a minute, calm down. But first…this shirt.

pink shirt

I went into one of the funky stores in little Julian. The girl behind the counter was about eighteen, had a country accent (you know the kind of accent Reese Witherspoon got back in Sweet Home Alabama after she was back in her hometown for all of one day? That kind), and showed me this shirt. “Isn’t it great? I wanted to buy it for my boyfriend for so long but then finally his mom bought it for him and every day after work I dress him up in it and we take old-timey pictures of him in it!” Um…what? First of all, you’re from Julian? Where in the world did you pick up an accent? Second…did you see that shirt? Thirdly: Old-timey pictures?! Poor boyfriend. Yikes.

I was totally digging the rest of the stuff in the store, though. Especially these pig heads. I wanted to buy one so bad.

pig head
pig head
julian

Okay, now onto the clouds.

sunrise highway
lake cuyamaca
sunrise highway
sunrise highway
sunrise highway
sunrise highway
sunrise highway
sunrise highway
sunrise highwayHa! Great place to go when your wife’s mad at you, I guess.

So there ya go. Lots of cloud pictures. I have about 80 of them I didn’t put in here, so consider yourself lucky. I hear the camping up there is epic, too. Next time I have a hankering for wearing pink plaid shirts with snaps whilst camping (and taking old-timey pictures, apparently), I’m heading here!

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