Please Pass the Salt

An open letter to restaurant owners who purposefully do not have salt and pepper on the table:

Just stop.

And by stop, I mean stop not putting salt and pepper on the table. Or to be more clear. Start putting salt and pepper on the table, right there next to the mood-light candle or trendy succulent as if it belonged there. Because it does. Belong there. (The salt and pepper, I mean. I couldn’t give a shit about the succulent.)

And look. I know. You take your food seriously. Your chef is a genius. An arteest. A culinary god. The food that comes out of his or her kitchen is a masterpiece. It is seasoned to perfection and does not require any enhancements. It’s meant to be enjoyed as is.

But here’s the thing. I like salt. Pepper too, but mostly salt. 

I even like salt on my chocolate.

And hey, maybe you’re right. Maybe I don’t need salt. I do try my food before salting it. But nine times out of ten (or more like ninety-nine times out of one hundred), I taste my food and think, Yum. That’s delicious. But you know what would make it even more delicious? A little salt.

And I don’t salt everything. I’m not a monster. I don’t salt my hamburger, but I do salt my fries. Even if they’re pre-salted. And if you serve fries at your restaurant and there is no salt on the table, why? WHY??? WTF is wrong with you? You’re the monster!

And if you don’t serve fries at your restaurant and there is no salt on your table, I still ask WTF is wrong with you?

Because here’s what’s going to happen: I get served my food. I take a bite. I realize it could use a little salt. Now I have to flag down my server. And that could take five minutes. So, I continue to eat my food, but just a little. I just pick at it really, because every bite I take I think about how much better it would taste with salt. And I start to become bitter. And by the time the server comes to the table to ask how everything is my mouth is not full because I am not eating. And when the server finally brings me my precious, my food has gone cold. Now my food is salty and delicious, but also a little bit congealed. And you don’t want that do you?

I’m willing to admit it’s not you, it’s me. I’m the one with the defect. But it’s not your job to fix me. Or my taste buds. Your job is to cook me dinner. My job is to eat it any way I damn well please. So let’s just agree to disagree on the whole “seasoned to perfection” thing. Except that I am the customer. Which makes me fucking right. So please, just go ahead and put the salt on the table already.

Random Thoughts from 20,000 Feet (or However High Planes Fly)

It is 10:42 Mountain Time on Tuesday and I am on a plane from Burbank to Denver. Soon I will land and I will get an hour of my life back. Funny how time works like that.

The woman sitting next to me has been typing away at her laptop for most of the flight. Maybe she’s a writer. A real writer who actually writes. I don’t know because she’s at the window and I’m on the aisle, an empty seat between us. We smiled politely at each other, said some pleasantries, but it seems nobody talks on planes anymore.

Except for my trip out to Denver. There were two women across from me talking excitedly the whole time, as if they were lifelong friends, and yet somehow I knew they had just met. They talked and laughed and I heard one of them say the F word when she told a story. They were comfortable with each other. After we deplaned I used the bathroom (as I always do) and saw one of them alone – my intuition confirmed. Fast friends for two and a half hours, likely never to speak again. How nice for them to have passed the time of the flight in such a lovely way.

I finally finished East of Eden on this flight. My friend Laurel calls it The Great American Novel. It took me two months to read because it’s six hundred and two dense pages and I’m a slow reader who never takes the time to read. She loves Samuel Hamilton so much. Adores him. The greatest character every written, she said. She might not have said that. My memory is shit these days. I loved Lee. I found him the most wonderful. I liked the book, but I didn’t love it like she did. It’s too soon to say if it will stay with me or not, but I think maybe not. I wasn’t sad that it was over like I was with Pride or Prejudice (if we’re talking about books that are dense) and it was lovely but I didn’t find it heartbreakingly beautiful (like The Goldfinch if we’re talking long-ass books that take two months to read). Maybe my original assessment of John Steinbeck was right – he’s fine, but I don’t love him.

And so that brings me back to this flight. I should have paid for the internet and worked. That would have been the best use of my time. And since it’s a work day and I’m on a work trip, probably appreciated by my company and my boss. But I worked all day Saturday and was away from home on Sunday (though I did not work and had an awesome day that was both relaxing and fun-filled), so we’ll call it comp time.

I’m writing because I made a writing goal at my last writing group – to write two blog posts. The meeting is Saturday and I’ve not written one yet. I don’t know what to write about anymore. I said at my writing group recently that I no longer have anything to say that anyone wants to hear. Kim says that she doesn’t think that’s true, but I think she might be wrong. Because I’m just writing down my random thoughts on a plane and not one of them was funny and who would ever want to read that?

What’s Your Aha Moment?

Unedited ten minute writing prompt from my last writers’ group meeting. The prompt: Describe “that moment”. 

Oprah says you’ll have an “Aha moment.”

“What was your Aha Moment?” she asks. As if I’m supposed to know. But the truth is, I haven’t had one yet. It seems Oprah’s had a ton of Aha Moments, so who knows – maybe she stole mine.

“I made cauliflower mashed potatoes,” she says on TV. “Get them at your local supermarket.”

Oprah-Oh-that's-good-garlic-mashed-potatoes

But I searched my Vons high and low and I could not find those fucking cauliflower mashed potatoes anywhere. Maybe it’s because I’m a Trader Joe’s shopper.

So it seems not only can I not find my Aha Moment, I can’t even find Oprah’s Aha Moment even though it’s advertised on national television. During prime time.

There have been times I thought I’ve had an Aha Moment. AHA! That’s what I’m going to do. This or that or fill in the blank, but I’ve never done any of those things. I don’t even remember what any of them were because I didn’t do them. Aha meet blazy.* Blazy is the winner.

So that moment? I’m still waiting for it. Maybe I’ll find it one day in Vons next to Oprah’s cauliflower mashed potatoes.

 

*Blazy is a term my writing group came up with that means being blasé about your laziness.

The Year is Half Over, What Have You Done?

On Saturday I woke up to the realization that the year is half over. And what have I done?

Well, I’ve had a lot of fun.

I’ve been to a bunch of Happy Hours with my girlfriends. (I almost never go out to dinner, but I am the queen of Happy Hour.)

I’ve done some cool hikes with my husband.

Sunday we went here.

Malibu hike Charmlee Wilderness Park
A beautiful hike through Charmlee Wilderness Park in Malibu

I’ve been to a bunch of concerts and country music festivals.

Brandy Clark. Coastal Country Jam featuring Jake Owen. Jay Nash, Tony Lucca & Matt Duke. (OMG – if you have a chance to see these guys – just one or all three together DO IT. They are amazing.) Stagecoach. U2. Oakheart Festival. Boots and Brews.

U2 Joshua Tree Tour Stage
U2 Joshua Tree Tour. I’ve seen U2 at least 10 times. I’d gladly see them 1,000 more.

Four festivals and three concerts are more shows that some people will see in a lifetime I realize, but those are not my people. God that sounded super assholey, didn’t it? That was not my intent. I’m super grateful to have gone to these shows. And I’ve got more on the way this year.

Hall & Oates with Tears for Fears (OMG!) Adam Ant (OMFG!) Green Day (Finally!) Thomas Rhett with Old Dominion & Walker Hayes (Cannot effing wait). And something called Retro Futura with Howard Jones, the English Beat and a bunch of other 80’s throwbacks. (Bought for a steal on Groupon – going with Dave and the kids. Should be a blast.)

So yes, it has been and will be a good year for music. Because live music more than anything is what makes me feel so alive. And young. (Seriously, so fucking young.)

And fun is great. Important, even. But I have goals this year that I have not achieved. I wanted to interview more artists like I did last year with Matthew Ramsey of Old Dominion and Matthew Nelson of Nelson. But I haven’t. Because that takes effort and I’ve been busy with a new(ish) job and life and just trying to keep all my balls in the air.

You know. Like everyone else.

I’ve only written seven blog posts all year. And maybe two newsletters (which you should totally sign up for because I obviously won’t overwhelm your inbox and you get a free book. Or rather bookette).

I did write this piece for my friend Jessica’s blog that I’m quite proud of, but only because she asked. And really. It was just a reworking of a piece I’d already written.

And my WIP – the sequel to Frosted Cowboy. LOFuckingL. I have an outline (ish). It’s actually a great story (at least that’s what everyone I’ve told the plot to says), even better than the first. And I’ve written some of it, obviously. But. But. What?

I’m just busy.

And lazy.

And so damn scared.

Because writing is so hard. And what if it’s terrible? (And like any first draft, it is so terrible.)

So, sure. I’ve had some goals. But I haven’t really had a plan. And  A goal without a plan is just a wish. I read that on Pinterest. Or maybe it was Twitter. One of those very philosophical websites.

A goal without a plan is just a wish

Saturday as I was cleaning that pile off my dining room table I came across an article I ripped out of Sunset Magazine by Anne Lamott called Time lost and found. And even though I was “so busy” and I’ve read it at least a dozen times before, I knew that this article about finding time to write was exactly what I needed and I sat down and read it again and it made me cry.

Because Anne Lamott knows the truth.

It’s so easy to make excuses. To be too busy to write. Busy job. Busy social life. Keeping all those balls in the air.

I’m not going to stop going to concerts or hiking with my husband or (god forbid) Happy Hour.

But what if I didn’t work through lunch every day. Or let one of those balls drop? (Or two? Or three? Or four?)

What if when I get up at 5AM (and I do, every single day) I actually write a blog post? Or contact a musician’s publicist? Or stopped being so scared to tackle my WIP?

Maybe in six month’s time – when the year is completely over, I’ll have done more than just have fun. More than just work. I’ll have created.

And my year will be one that was not half-lived.

 

*The quote “A goal without a dream is just a wish” is attributed to Antoine de Saint-Exupery (but you can find it on Pinterest). 

 

 

My 2016 Snarky Emmy Awards Red Carpet Comments Because I’m So Qualified to Give Them

You’re all so lucky. Today we have a guest commentator, my very own daughter, Marley Ross. Marley is even more qualified than I am to make snarky fashion comments, because even though she didn’t wear the same dress as seven other girls at her prom (but she’s only a junior and hasn’t gone to prom yet) she’s only sixteen, so she doesn’t mind being mean like I’m finding it more and more difficult to do.

And while it seems over the last few years there haven’t been that many fashion disasters, that was certainly not the case last night. In fact, IMHO (and Marley’s as well), much of last night’s red carpet was a complete and total shit show. (Except for Marley doesn’t say “shit” – at least not when her mother is around!)

So grab a cup of coffee (just be sure not to spit it at the screen when you read Marley’s comments), sit back, relax and enjoy this year’s Snarky Red Carpet Comments. (And forgive me for once again posting without editing. I hate bloggers who don’t edit, but I’ve got a day job people!)

Giuliana Ransic often makes my best dressed list, but not last night. As she hosts the red carpet show on E!, hers was the first dress I saw and all I could think was, WTF is she wearing? Her dress is pretty (though I don’t like the color), but it is ruined by that stupid cape. And her hair is in a messy ponytail that looks more appropriate for running errands than working the red carpet at an awards show.

Marley’s comments: She looks like skelator. The dress is pretty, but that cape. Why?

Our verdict: Lose the cape, fix your hair and eat one of those PBJs that Jimmy Kimmel’s mom made!

giuliana-rancic-emmy-awards-arrivals
Do yourself a huge favor and lose the cape, Giuliana!

Claire Danes looked pretty (I love her hair), but did she use Donald Trump’s spray tanner? Her skin almost matches her dress. I actually like her dress, but what is that weird gold necklace-y thing that seems to be attached?

Marley’s comments: She looks like an Emmy, an Oscar, a Golden Globe. (Well, I guess she was dressing the part.)

claire-danes-emmy-awards-arrivals-2016
Time to find a new spray tanner, Claire.

Anna Chlumsky – WTF? Where do I begin with this mess of a dress? I almost forgive her because she had a baby three weeks ago, and God knows that three weeks after I had a baby I was no where near awards show ready (hell, it’s been 16 years since I had a baby and I’m nowhere near awards show ready), but this dress looks like a brocade potato sack.

Marley’s comments: Combo of a baby blanket and a grandma sweater.

anna-chlumsky-emmy-awards-2016
Um… nope.

I love Connie Britton, but I do not love this dress. It’s just weird.

Marley’s comments: Um, what? She looks a poster girl for my geometry class.

co-nnie-brittonemmy-awards-arrivals-2016
A geometry major designed this dress.

Amanda Peet was trending on Twitter last night because of all the shout outs she got from her husband, Game of Thrones co-creator, David Benioff, but I think she’ll be trending today because of this terrible dress.

Marley’s comments: Where did she get that? Charlie Brown’s closet.

amanda-peet-emmy-awards-2016

It looks like Carly Chaikin is wearing what her character Darlene would wear if she were going to the Emmy’s. She looks beautiful (oh to be that young and be able to pull off that much eye make-up) and I actually love the top of her dress, but there is too much going on with the bottom. If the bottom had been solid or maybe solid with those silver stripes it would have been gorgeous, but the sheer netting and the polka dots just turns this dress into a big ol’ mess.

Marley’s comments: That dress! I can’t put it into words. And I love her too. She’s so great and so pretty and and I hate that dress. When they asked her who she’s wearing she should say, “A mess.”

 

carly-chaikin-emmy-awards-red-carpet-2016

I was forever rooting for Lady Edith on Downton Abbey, but I cannot root for this godawful disaster of a dress that Laura Carmichael wore last night. It looks like she paired her favorite summer top with some leftover tulle. Did Lady Mary play a mean trick and switch out her real dress for this monstrosity?

Marley’s comments: Why? What happened? It looks like an Easter basket. It looks like spring nail polish you’d put on a little kid.

laura-carmichael-emmy-awards-arrivals-2016
Easter barfed on this dress.

Gabby Hoffman looks like she’s wearing pajamas. The end.

Marley’s comments: She looks like she just woke up from a nap and is like, “Okay, Emmy’s time.”

gabby-hoffman-emmy-awards-arrivals-2016
Nite Nite!

 

Supermodel & Project Runway star, Heidi Klum makes my worst dresses list every year (oh, the irony), and this year is no exception. If this dress was either long sleeves on both sides or spaghetti straps on both sides, it would be like Heidi: a 10. But why the asymmetrical mess? It does not make the dress interesting. It makes the dress stupid!

Marley’s comments: That dress is stupid and I think she was next in line for Donald Trump’s spray tanner.

heidi-klum-emmy-awards-2016
Heidi Klum will always and forever be a 10, but this dress is more like a 3!

 

Alright, enough of the negativity and snark (at least from me anyway) – let’s get to the dress I thought were fabulous. First let’s get to the color yellow. (I almost felt like at any moment I would hear Jimmy Kimmel say, “The 2016 Emmy Awards, brought to you by the color yellow.”) I did not used to be a yellow fan, but lately I am loving it. Maybe because my current favorite top is yellow (you can see it here) or maybe because the current yellows are more bright and less chartreuse-y (which is a little to pukey green for my taste), but whatever it is, I’m digging it.

I have loved Minnie Driver since Circle of Friends and find her red carpet looks to always be beautiful and classic. I’m not sure about this dress. I want to love it more than I do. But she looks fabulous so I think I’ll give it the thumbs up. What do you think?

Marley’s comments: Nope. (I told you the snark was over only for me.)

minnie-driver-emmy-awards-2016

 

Taraji P. Henson looks gorgeous and this dress is FAB! For some reason she changed during the awards to present and even put on a wig (and I think she looked fabulous in that outfit too), but I think this red carpet look is stunning. Simplicity at its finest.

Marley’s comments: I love it! (See, she can be nice!)

taraji-p-henson-emmy-awards-red-carpet

Angela Bassett’s dress is leaning a little bit towards the chartreuse, but I still think it’s stunning. And so is she – her hair, her make-up, those earrings: love, Love, LOVE!

angela-bassett-emmy-awards-2016

 

The ladies in red also looked fabulous…

Kate McKinnon looks GORGEOUS! You can’t see them because of her hair, but there are little cutouts at the V of her dress that gives this simple red dress a little extra detail. That lipstick + that hair + that dress = Va Va Voom!

Marley’s comments: She is my favorite and she looks beautiful.

kate-mckinnon-emmy-awards-2016
Gorgeous!

 

Tatiana Maslany: Marley and I agree – this was our favorite dress of the night! Sheer perfection. And as a side note, I am beyond thrilled that she won the Emmy for Orphan Black. If you haven’t seen it, you must. She plays eight or more characters and she is amazing!

tatiana-maslany-emmy-awards-2016
Tatiana wins the Emmy for acting and the Red Carpet Award for fashion!

Tina Fey looked absolutely stunning in green. I loved everything about her dress and her look.

Marley’s comments: She looks pretty.

tina-fey-emmy-awards-red-carpet-2016
Beautiful dress, gorgeous color and I love her hair!

 

The ladies dressed in neutral shades of nude, silver and white also looked beautiful.

Emilia Clarke looks stunning. I would be inclined to have her wear her hair down and would have added a necklace (because I like flowy hair and think everyone should wear a necklace always), but I think I would have been wrong. This look is the pure definition of “Less is More” and it is spectacular.

Marley’s comments: Mom, I like her hair up. She looks perfect.

emilia-clarke-emmy-awards-arrivals-2016
This dress was a very close second.

While Julie Bowen is my current hair idol, she often misses the mark when it comes to the red carpet. But not last night. Last night she looked amazing and her dress was gorgeous.

Marley’s comments: The back of that dress is stupid. (Marley is wrong. The back of her dress was gorgeous.)

julie-bowen-emmy-awards-arrivals-2016
Love the hair! Love the dress! Julie gets it right!

Giuliana Rancic and Heidi Klum take note: This is how you wear a ponytail to an awards show and this is how you wear asymmetrical. Sofia Vergara looks amazing (as always), plus she did eat one of the PBJs made by Jimmy Kimmel’s mom, so she gets an A+ in my book!

Marley’s comments: I don’t like it. It’s weird. Those things look like yogurt swirls. And not good yogurt swirls, like old fruit gone bad yogurt swirls.

sofia-vergara-2016-emmy-awards-red-carpet
Asymmetrical done right!

Felicity Huffman’s look was one of my favorites of the night. That hair! Those earrings! That dress! She just reeked of fabulousness!

Marley’s comments: I like it!

felicity-huffman-emmy-awards-red-carpet-eonline
One of the best looks of the night.

I loved Judith Light’s dress. Both classic and original. She looked fabulous.

Marley’s comments: Her dress looks like a striped disco ball. (Sixteen-year-old snarky fashion critiquers sometimes just don’t get it.)

judith-light-emmy-awards-2016
I want to look like this when I’m 67!

I thought Anika Noni Rose’s dress was pretty and an original take on a Grecian style dress. And OMG – I remember when my waist used to be that tiny.

Marley’s comments: The top of her dress looks like a dream catcher.

anika-noni-rose-emmy-award-red-carpet

 

I had to google Annet Mahendru and Lucian Gibson to see who they were, but I just loved the beautiful simplicity of her dress. Gorgeous! But Lucian needs to google “how do dress at an awards show.”

Marley’s comments: Her dress looks unfinished (wrong, Marley – her dress is perfect!) and what is with that bag. It looks like it has a horse tail! (She might be right about that.)

annet-mahendru-lucian-gibson-emmy-awards-red-carpet

 

Kristen Bell’s look was one of my favorites of the night. Here hair and make-up look stunning (with just the perfect amount of spray tan – a lovely bronze with not one bit of orange) and I think her dress is amazing. Seriously, I want it!

Marley’s comments: That dress looks like a cornucopia!

kristen-bell-emmy-awards-arrivals-2016
Love this dress! And Kristen said on the red carpet that it was really comfortable.

Allison Janey always looks gorgeous and last night was no exception. Damn I have to win the Lotto so I can hire her trainer. I loved her classic bun (a little to the side) and those earrings are spectacular.

Marley’s comments: Eh, it’s fine. (Sigh…)

allison-janney-emmy-awards-2016

 

There is only one word for Kerry Washington’s red carpet look: WOW! She looks a-maz-ing!

Marley’s comments: I love her dress except for the cape. Why is she wearing a cape? Who does she think she is? A super hero? She’s a mom! (Exactly, Marley. That makes her a super hero.)

kerry-washington-emmy-awards-arrivals-2016
This is exactly what I looked like when I was pregnant. (Not!)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus is another gorgeous lady that always seems to make my best-dressed list. This is how to wear a sheer dress.

Marley’s comments: I don’t like the polka dots. (Marley is not a polka dot fan.)

julia-louis-dreyfus-emmy-awards-arrivals-2016

 

And because I always like to end my list with a little bit of eye candy for the ladies, here you go:

kit-harington-emmy-awards-arrivals-2016
Jon Snow cleans up pretty nicely!

Kit Harrington is my free pass too!

Marley’s comments: He’s pretty.

So what do you think? Did Marley and I get it right? Agree? Disagree? Anyone I missed? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo credits: E! Online, except for Felicity Huffman from nymag.com/thecut

This is Where I Meet Hot Country Rockstars, Go To #BlogHer16 & Say Awesome A Lot

The Definition of awesome

“Just so you know, I’m not going to be available for anything remotely domestic or marital related for at least a week,” I said to Dave on the first day of August.

“And that makes this week different than any other week, how?” he snarked.

Yeah, and you thought I was the funny one. (I am.)

It was actually a lie, because I had no plans on Tuesday, so I did fulfill the domestic/marital duty of making dinner and was even nice enough to do the dishes, but that’s where I drew the line. His sassy comment meant he wasn’t getting lucky. (Plus it was Tuesday. What kind of married people get busy on a Tuesday after 22 years of sharing the same last name?)

But, I digress.

The first day of August, marked my first week of having anything at all to do this summer. Yes, that’s right, all summer long I’ve been a Facebook voyeur, watching my friends travel to marvelous places like Cancun, Barbados, Costa Rica, shit even “just” Oregon while I’ve been working all day, only to go home and lose brain cells watching the Bachelorette. (Don’t judge – and if you subscribed to my newsletter you’d know why.)

And as JoJo and Jordan start their new life together (or the next six months, which is about as long as I give them), I too have finally started my new life. Or, at least (less dramatically and more truthfully) I’ve finally started to have some fun this summer.

It’s gone a little something like this:

Monday, August 1st: Cards Against Humanity

My writing group got together and played the ever awesome Cards Against Humanity where tough choices like this had to be made.

Cards Against Humanity White People Like
The answer is obvious.

There was a lot of laughing. And drinking. And even some crying (because we love each other that much). I got home at 1AM. (Yeah, this suburban mom’s has gone rockstar.)

Tuesday, August 2nd: Got My Ass Up After Five Hours of Sleep & Went to Work Like a Boss

Reverted to my boring suburban ways as noted above (i.e. watched season finale of The Bachelorette.)

Wednesday, August 3rd: Cetaphil Party at Cool Celebrity-Owned Restaurant

I was lucky enough to get invited to a party for awesome and influential bloggers thrown by Cetphil. And by invited I mean I was the awesome and influential Kim Tracy Prince’s plus one. The party was at Jessica Biel’s Aw Fudge on Melrose where everyone who works there looks like (and probably is) a model. (Seriously people, the servers are HOT!) The party was top notch. I learned all about Cetaphil (which, BTW, my kids’ pediatrician has always recommended for them), met some fantastic people including Whit Honea (he’s awesome – read his stuff) and Fab Mom Jill Simonian, and got a bitchen swag bag from Cetaphil that included these that literally saved my life (or at least my face) this week full of late nights.

#Cetaphil #MyCetaphilFamily
This is how you throw a product party – with plenty of swag and sangria! #MyCetaphilFamily

Thursday, August 4th: #BlogHer16 Expo

I hooked up again with the awesome (and influential) Kim Tracy Prince where we met our friend Rina Baraz Nehdar at the #BlogHer16 Expo.

#BlogHer16 Expo
Hanging with Rina and Kim at the #BlogHer16 Expo

For those of you who don’t know, BlogHer a website that hosts the world’s largest conference for women bloggers and content creators. (And yes, men can go too. If they want.) This is serious business people. Some of the sponsors were Go DaddyHerbalife, Staples, Go Rving and Best Buy; and this year’s keynote speakers included Sheryl Crow and Kim Kardashian West (I know, but seriously, if I had been able to shove a copy of Frosted Cowboy in her hand so I could snap a picture and post it on Instagram do not think for one second that I wouldn’t have done it) among many, many others. Thursday night, attendees were invited to a huge expo hall where companies wooed bloggers with their wares. We were given huge (and heavy) swag bags upon entry that included everything from Vagisil to vitamins to VELCRO to vibrators. (Okay, I might or might not have stood in line at a booth to get the vibrator.)

BlogHer16 Swag Bag Tweet

 

I got to meet many women IRL (including the Awesome Angela Amman pictured in the pink blouse in the top of this post) that I’d only known online and the complimentary wine was surprisingly tasty. My favorite item in my swag bag was this beautiful necklace from Saressa Designs  supplied by a company called The Artisan Group who bring small craft items to celebrities. (So I guess that means I’m a celebrity now!)

baby bezel pendant from saressa designs
My new favorite necklace. (I’m wearing it in the top photo and the photo below.)

Friday, August 5th: Old Dominion at The Ventura County Fair

I had to skip BlogHer (and Kim Kardashian) so I could see Old Dominion play at the Ventura County Fair with my friend Simmah. And if you are not familiar with them, do yourself a huge favor and listen to their album, Meat and Candy NOW. It’s so good! I entered to win a Meet and Greet pass on their website and the music gods were smiling on me because I won!

Old Dominion Meet And Greet
Hot country rockstars & happy me!

And even though this is by no means my first backstage rodeo, I was nervous and giddy and forgot to tell them how awesome they were at Stagecoach in my allotted 60 seconds with them, but I did tell them how much I loved their songwriting and in particular how the song Nowhere Fast gives me all the feels. (Like, seriously, it’s so good!) And then I told them they really suck at Twitter. (I told you, I was nervous. Plus, they really are very bad at Twitter.) They were awesome though, so nice. I’m pretty sure they all want me. (Don’t all hot country rockstars secretly pine away for 50-year-old suburban women who babble on non-stop for 60 seconds at a meet and greet?)

Old Dominion Matthew Ramsey Meet and Greet
Matthew Ramsey totally checking me out. Or defending the band’s lameness on Twitter. In my perfect world both these statements are true.

Saturday, August 6th: #BlogHer16 Convention

I got my tired ass out of bed much earlier than I wanted to attend the final day of the BlogHer convention with Rina and Kim. I’m talking a marathon thirteen hour day.

There was delicious food, engaging keynote speakers, informative workshops, and tons of schmoozing. The convention has such a fantastic energy. Highlights for me were the “The Pitch,” where five innovative women pitched their businesses in hopes of earning a $50,000 prize, hearing Lucy McBath of Mothers of the Movement tell her heartbreaking story, listening to Mayim Bialik talk about her website GrokNation and watching the pilot episode of the Amazon Prime show One Mississippi  and the Q&A with the show’s star and creator Tig Notaro afterwards.

And then there was dancing. From 6-9 we took over the Conga Room at La Live and partied like rockstars. Or, like suburban moms in a club before it was even dark outside who were happy to be on a dance floor letting loose after a long weekend instead of at home cooking dinner for our families. (Which is kind of like being a rockstar, right?)

Sunday, August 7th: Warped Tour

Speaking of rockstars, I did not sleep all day Sunday like most people would after a week like I had. No, I got up like the baller that I am and took Marley to the Warped Tour in Pomona which 65 miles from my house and was about two degrees cooler than the surface of the sun. If you are unfamiliar with the Warped Tour you must not have a teenager who likes to listen to music where the word “singing” should be replaced with “screaming.” (Lucky you!)

So, yes, I am freaking Mother of the Year. And I looked like it too. After a week of looking totally cute for country rockstars and parties I put on the most suburban “Suburban Mom Running Errands” outfit I could find – a brightly colored tank top, baggy shorts, this cute baseball hat, and tennis shoes and stuck out like a sore thumb in a sea of black. (And no, you do not get a photo of that!)

The good news is, I have friends in high places and after a little bit of confusion (and maybe some begging) was able to score a wristband that gave me all access backstage where I was able to find a lovely couch under a tree at the commissary patio and sat there all afternoon reading my book. (Yes, I brought a book!)

Okay, maybe I’m not such a rockstar after all. But I don’t care. I ‘d earned the rest.

 

P.S. If you have read this entire post the real rockstar is YOU! It’s so freaking long. Thanks for sticking with me. You’re awesome!

 

Celebrate National Tequila Day with a Frosted Cowboy

Hip Hip Hooray! July 24th is National Tequila Day!

Frosted Cowboy cocktail
Is it just me or does that Frosted Cowboy look a little blurry?

What, you didn’t know that was a thing? What’s wrong with you? How can you not have July 24th circled on your calendar every year?

Well, now that you know, you should definitely celebrate. (Like you really needed a reason to drink tequila on a hot summer afternoon!)

And since it’s a national holiday, I’m feeling very generous and thought I would give you a present.

For #NationalTequilaDay I’m going to give you the recipe for a Frosted Cowboy. That’s right, the drink made famous by the book. (Okay, famous may be a stretch.)

book-signing-photo-booth
Kim Tracy Prince has excellent taste!

When I wrote my book and had my heroine, Laney Delaney, order a drink called a Frosted Cowboy I had no idea what was in it. But when I signed my book deal I knew I wanted to come up with a recipe for the drink to include in the book. I wanted the drink to match Laney’s personality, so it had to be something spicy, tart, and sweet (but not too sweet). And I definitely wanted it to have a kick!

And I knew it had to be made with tequila. Because I looooove tequila!

In fact, I’ve written three books – a novel (Frosted Cowboy), a novella (Love on the Rocks (with Salt)), and a short story (Tequila Slammer), that all have tequila drinks as sort of a theme. (Recipes included, of course!)

Frosted Cowboy Series
All tequila, all the time!

So if there’s anyone who can tell you how to celebrate national tequila day in style, it’s me!

So without further adieu, here is the recipe for a Frosted Cowboy:

3 ounces silver (blanco) tequila (I like Casamigos)
4 ounces pomegranate lime juice*
2 slices fresh jalapeño (though jarred jalapeño will do in a pinch)
1 lime wedge
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 tablespoons sugar

*If you cannot find pomegranate lime juice you can use 3 ounces pomegranate juice and 1 ounce lime juice (or the juice of 1 lime).

Mix the sea salt and sugar together on a plate. Run the lime wedge around the rim of the glass and then press the rim of the glass on the plate until it is heavily coated with the sugar-salt mixture heavily. (This is the most important part of the drink, well, after the tequila of course, so do not skip this step!)

Pour the tequila and juice into a cocktail shaker with ice and the jalapeño slices. Squeeze the juice from the lime wedge in the shaker and throw that in there too. Shake for about 30 seconds (if you can wait that long) and pour into salty-sugary glass.

frosted-cowboy-tequila-drink
It’s a book! It’s a cocktail! It’s BOTH! #FrostedCowboy

Delish!

Let me know if you end up trying the recipe. I’d love to know what you think.

Oh, and if you’re curious about the book that inspired the drink you can get that here. (And while you’re at it, why not get Love on the Rocks (with Salt) here, and get Tequila Slammer for FREE by signing up for my monthly newsletter here.

Happy National Tequila Day!

Frosted Cowboy: The Movie

My friend Julie told me recently that a friend of hers heard from someone in their book club that Frosted Cowboy was going to be made into a movie and the rights sold for a million dollars. Yes, you heard that right – my book being made into a movie for $1,000,000! (Look at all those zeros!)

Only… it was news to me.

How do rumors like this get started? Although please, if you happen to be good friends with a big time Hollywood producer and think that by telling them my book was offered one million dollars for rights to the screenplay and it might intrigue them so much that they offer me $1,100,000 and start a bidding war (against no one), then by all means feel free to spread this rumor. But otherwise, nope, (sadly) 100% not true.

But what if it was?

Daydreaming
My book, a movie!

 

Like most authors (probably), I’ve always pictured my book as a movie. In fact there is so much dialog in my book I’ve often said that it would probably make a better movie than it does a book. (Plus, there’s some serious hilarious physical comedy in there – if I do say so myself.)

But who would play Laney, Tom, Jake, Angel and Natalie?

When I first started writing Frosted Cowboy I pictured Sandra Bullock as Laney. At 36 Sandra Bullock was just four years older than Laney (who is 32).

sandra-bullock-red-hair
The original Laney Delaney

The problem is life kept getting in the way and it took me a wee bit longer to write the book than I first imagined and while Laney remained 32, Sandra did not have that luxury, so she became too old. (Don’t feel bad Sandy, it happened to me too.)

As time went on I began to picture Drew Barrymore as Laney Delaney, because, like Laney (and Sandra Bullock), she is super adorable.

Drew Barrymore
Drew would make an adorable Laney!

In fact, I had originally pictured Cameron Diaz as Natalie, so what if the Charlie’s Angels ladies reunited and Drew Barrymore played Laney, Cameron Diaz played Natalie and Lucy Liu played Kim? I am a casting genius!

cameron-diaz-lucy-liu-drew-barrymore-charlie's-angels
Fabulous!

Can’t picture it? Then how about this…

cameron-diaz-lucy-liu-drew-barrymore-charlie's-angels
Seriously, how cute would they be as Kim, Natalie and Laney?

But the same thing that happened to poor Sandra Bullock happened to these lovely ladies. They continued to age, while Laney did not.

I also pictured Tom being played by Tom Cruise. At the time he was about 10 years older than Laney’s Tom, but he looked like this so who cares.

Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise when he was hot. Okay, he’s still pretty hot. How about, Tom Cruise before we knew he was crazy.

And also, he had not yet done this:

Tom Cruise Couch Jumping
No one can ever un-see this moment.

But now, like the ladies, he is too old. (And also, just crazy.)

Jake was originally Brad Pitt in my head.

Young Brad Pitt
The perfect bad boy

But Brad got old like the rest of them so he became Bradley Cooper. (Yes, I realize that Bradley Cooper is also too old, but I don’t care. Because Bradley Cooper!)

Bradley-Cooper-shirtless
Yeah, I chose a picture of Bradley Cooper shirtless (and made it bigger than all the other pictures). You’re welcome.

And of course, Angel would be played by Angelina Jolie. (Who else?)

angelina-jolie
Angel looks like a devil, indeed.

But that was the original cast of Frosted Cowboy. Should we meet the 2016 cast?

I love Anne Hathaway. She’s got the lips, is super funny and even looks great with red hair.

Anne Hathaway
My new perfect Laney Delaney!

Sure, she’s too skinny, but maybe she could fatten up ala Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones’s Diary. (BTW, it is my goal in life to be as “fat” as Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones.)

Renee-Zellweger
I love Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones so much that I almost forgive her for once being Bradley Cooper’s girlfriend.

A few people have told me they see Zooey Dechenel in the lead role. I have to admit she fits the adorable/funny/awesome requirement that is Laney Delaney.

zooey-deschanel
Zooey Deschanel – adorable, just like Laney Delaney

In the book Tom looks like Chris Pine, and I do find him super dreamy,

chris-pine
Could he be the man who steals Laney’s heart? (He can certainly have mine!)

but lately I’ve been picturing him as more of a Liam Hemsworth.

liam-hemsworth
Hmmm… Chris Pine might have to move over!

And okay, okay, maybe my boyfriend Bradley Cooper is too old to play Jake. Maybe we could get Liam’s brother Chris to join the cast.

chris-hemsworth
Um… Bradley who?

Of course the Hemsworth brothers, being brothers and all, perhaps do look too much alike to believably play two men who are un-related. But look at them:

Liam-Hemsworth-Chris-Hemsworth
Tom & Jake? What do you think?

Does it really matter?!

I think Margot Robbie would make a spectacular Natalie.

margot-robbie
Blonde: check. Gorgeous: check. Skinny: check. The perfect Natalie.

And for the impossibly beautiful, sexy siren Angel? How about Megan Fox?

megan-fox
Move over Angelina, there’s a new Angel in town!

 

Of course there are so many other characters to cast (in fact I’ve been told more than once, too many) -Kim, Amanda, Alison, Kyle, Abbie & George- but I’m running out of time (and quite possibly your attention), so I’ll stop now.

But I’d love to know, who would you cast in the movie version of Frosted Cowboy? (And if you haven’t read it yet, what are you waiting for? Buy it here. Now!)

frosted cowboy cover

 

Internet scoured, photos found here: Sandra Bullock, Drew Barrymore, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Bradley CooperRenee Zellweger, Anne Hathaway, Zooey Deschanel, Chris Pine, Liam Hemsworth, Chris HemsworthHemsworth brothers, Margot Robbie, Megan Fox

How to Achieve Your Goals (Even When It’s Hard)

I set a goal last Monday night at my writing group: to go back to writing a Monday Blog Post every week until we meet again. Every. Single. Week. Except for this week because Monday was a holiday and no one reads blogs on holidays, so this week I am supposed to post my piece on Tuesday. Or so I promised my group (and more importantly, myself).

The problem? I have nothing to write about. Well, nothing worth writing about anyway.

I tried writing a clever post about what I did and did not do over the holiday weekend, but when I wrote…

Things I Did NOT Do Over the Three Day 4th of July Holiday Weekend

  • Do something fabulous or go somewhere fabulous and post the pictures on Facebook like (seemingly) everyone else I know.

…it sounded whiny and bitter instead of self-deprecating and funny as I’d intended.

 

And when I wrote…

Things I DID Do Over the Three Day 4th of July Holiday Weekend

  • Exactly one load of laundry – the cloth napkins and kitchen towels, which I folded while watching one of many, many hours of Property Brothers. (So, it looks like I’ll be wearing the ratty underwear this week.)
  • Got into a deep discussion with Marley about which Scott brother is hotter.
    Discussion went like this:
    Me: Jonathan’s the cuter one, right?
    Marley: Totally, Mom.
    Me: Are you sure, because sometimes I think it’s Drew.
    Marley: It’s not.
    Me: Okay.

 

  • Took two naps. (I’m getting over a cold. I’m a little disappointed in myself for not taking four.)

 

  • Took Marley to the gym and walked on the treadmill at a ridiculously slow speed while catching up on John Oliver and called it a “workout.” (See above – I was sick.)

Last-Night-This-Week
Please take note of how the reflection of the florescent lights makes it look like John Oliver is holding a light saber, not the sad, sad time of my “workout.”

 

  • Played cards with Dave and Marley Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night. (Yeah, the three of us – we’re like a party machine!)

 

 

  • Watched fireworks (through some very thick trees) at my mother’s house Monday night with Dave and Marley (Chandler was working) and then played more cards.

 

… I felt like everyone would die from the boredom of my pathetic life.

Seriously, you’re not still reading this are you? And if so, why? Is it because you feel sorry for me? Are you one of those weird Type-A-OCD people who has to finish whatever you start no matter what, even if you’ve figured out there will be no reward at the end? (Trust me, this post is not going to all of a sudden get better.)

But here is the good news: this blog post will be over soon.

And I can pat myself on the back for doing what I said I would do (at least this week) to achieve my goal. (To steal from and paraphrase the awesome Elizabeth Gilbert, I said I would write a blog post every week, not a good blog post every week.)

And you can be happy because you, too, have achieved your goal by finishing what you started. And because your life is way more exciting than mine. (Hey, I meant that in a funny/self-deprecating, not bitter/whiny way.) 🙂

My 2016 Snarky Oscar Red Carpet Comments Because I’m so Qualified to Give Them

Yes it’s that time of year again. Awards season has come to an end with its biggest night of the year – the 2016 Academy Awards – and I’m here to give my ever-so-valued opinion on the best and worst red carpet looks. That’s right, I watch and take notes about the good, the bad and the ugly as I sit eating stuffed crust pizza in my Costco workout clothes about Hollywood’s biggest night of the year.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking I could have at least worn my Lululemon. I mean, it’s the Oscars, dress up a little, right? But I only have one Lululemon and it was in the wash.

And why am I qualified to do this you ask (again)? I’ve already told you, I wore the same dress as seven other girls at my high school prom. This obviously means I have excellent taste. So read on about my red carpet takes and if you’re lucky I’ll add my prom picture at the end. (If you’re lucky.)

I’ve mentioned before that as I get older (and damn am I getting older) I really don’t like to be as snarky. I don’t like make fun of people. So I would like you all to know that I’m not making fun of the people. Just their clothes. (Well, mostly.)

Plus it’s hard not to be snarky when Heidi Klum shows up in this:

heidi-klum-2016-academy-awrds-red-carpet
This dress = hideous

 

Seriously, WTF is she wearing. Heidi Klum has become the Cher of the  new millenium. (Old people like me will understand that reference.) She seems to be on my worst-dressed list for every red carpet event. If I was a contestant on Project Runway and got booted off, I might not feel so bad.

This makes me sad because Kate Winslett always makes my best-dressed list, but I gotta call ’em as I see ’em and I see this dress as a disaster. What exactly is it made of? Rubber or something shiny or both? I think her hair and make-up look beautiful, but that dress? No! (BTW, my friend Laurel said she thought her hair looked stringy, and I admit it kind of did at the end of the night, but as someone who never leaves an event looking quite as fresh as when I arrived there, I’ll forgive her for that.)

Kate-Winslet-2016-oscar-red-carpet
Kate Winslet making her first time appearance on my worst dressed list. (I still love you Kate!)

I don’t know who Lily Cole is (an IMDB search shows that she’s been in a bunch of stuff I haven’t seen), her dress, from the pointy triangles at the top to the awful fabric and overall poufiness has got to go. (Plus her shoes are gold and her dress is silver – NO!)

lily-cole-2016-academy-awards-red-carpet
This looks like a couture space suit disaster.

 

Rooney Mara looks kind of pissed off in this picture. Maybe her head hurts because her hair’s pulled back too tight. Or maybe she realized what she was wearing is heinous. Seriously, what is she wearing?

The only word I have for this dress is no!
The only word I have for this dress is no!

As I mentioned above, I’m getting older. We all are. And as hard as it is for everyone, it’s even harder for the women of Hollywood. I get that. So I will forgive Kate Capshaw for the work she has obviously had on her face. Hey, I’m not a rich woman. Plastic surgery will never be an option for me, so who am I to judge. But Kate has always been one of my hair idols. That’s right, I’ve always idolized her fabulous hair. But this stupid too-short-buster-brown-bangs and stripey-blond do? No! That I will not forgive. Plus she wore a tux. Why, Kate, why?

Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg academy awards red carpet
Sorry Kate, you’re better than that!

Need a closer look. (You don’t but I’m going to give it to you anyway.)

Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg academy awards
Sorry. Didn’t mean to scare you.

 

As for dresses I’m on the fence about. First, Jennifer Lawrence. I don’t hate it, but I certainly don’t love it. What’s your opinon? I just don’t know.

Yay or nay?
Yay or nay?

 

And I really love the top 9/10s of Alicia Vikander’s dress. But that balloony bottom has got to go.

9/10 yay + 1/10 nay = ???
9/10 yay + 1/10 nay = ???

It has occured to me that I rarely talk about men’s walk down the red carpet. That’s probably because for the most part there’s not much to eff up and the men look great (assholes). Well, this year was a little different…

Jared Leto. No! We already know you’re a rockstar and kind of a weird dude, but still. This is a no! I mean you are incredibly hot (and forever Jordan Catalano in my heart) and I wouldn’t kick you out of bed for eating crackers, but I might kick you out for wearing this. Who am I kidding? Of course I wouldn’t. (I would, however, make you take it off first.)

jared-leto-2016-academy-awards-red-carpet
Jared, I love you, but take that off! (Please!)

Look at Dave Grohl, he’s a rockstar and he looks great!

Dave Grohl and Jordyn Blum 2016 academy awards red carpet
Dave Grohl and his wife Jordyn Blum look fabulous!

 

Dev Patel forgot to wash his hair. And shave. Clean it up Dev, you’re at the Oscars for godsake!

Dev patel 2016 oscars red carpet
Dev Patel in his best, “I woke up looking like this” look. Uh, yeah. We can tell.

 

And what was with all the velvet last night? Too many men were wearing velvet. I have to tell you, I’m not a fan.

Eddie Redmayne 2016 oscars red carpet
Love Eddie Redmayne, do not love the velvet.

Alright already, enough with the negativity and snark. (Even though I know that’s what you’re all here for.) Let me tell you what I did like, because most of the dresses were just breathtaking.

I would have prefered to have seen Jennifer Garner’s hair down, but I still think she looked stunning. I think the inspiration for her dress was “take that Ben Affleck.”

Jennifer Garner 2016 academy awards red carpet
Take that Ben Affleck!

 

I thought Julianne Moore looked classy and gorgeous, as always.

 

Beautiful!
Beautiful!

 

A lot of the fashion blogs said that Cate Blanchett looked like a mermaid, but I’m not a fashion blogger. I’m an Old Navy-wearing suburbanite. I think her dress is beautiful.

So pretty!
So pretty!

 

Best Actress nominee Saoirse Ronan is the vision of beauty in this Calvin Klein dress. I love the pattern and the shimmer and her hair and makeup are sublime.

saoirse-ronan

 

Best Actress winner Brie Larson looks amazing. I especially love the top of this dress. Her hair and makeup are simple, yet gorgeous.

Brie Larson

 

Naomi Watts has made my worst dressed list in the past, but this year? OMG, OMG, OMG! Her dress is amazing. I think it’s my favorite. Everything about it (I absolutely love the color gradation) is absolutely 100% gorgeous! Oh, and that necklace? I want it!

Naomi Watts wins Best Dressed
Naomi Watts wins Best Dressed

But I do have to say as far as the WOW factor goes. As in wowzee-wow-wow-wow, Charlize Theron stole the show. (And I want that necklace too!)

One word: WOW!
One word: WOW!

My sister told me I had to post a photo of the most beautiful man in the world, but I told her Bradley Cooper wasn’t there. She said that she meant Tom Hardy. I could only find a photo of him with his wife, Charlotte Riley, who unfortunately for my sister, looks absolutely stunning. (Sorry sis!)

This one's for you, Sis!
This one’s for you, Sis!

I’d love to talk about what went on inside the awards, but my word count is ridiculously high, so I will just mention Lady Gaga’s performance which left me with tears streaming down my face. It was so powerful and so moving. If you have not seen The Hunting Ground, I suggest you do. It’s an important film that everyone needs to see. Especially if you have a child in college or that one day will be going to college. Click here to find out how to watch the film and click here to bawl your eyes out watching Lady Gaga sing the Oscar nominated song Til It Happens to You.

Wow, that got serious all of a sudden, didn’t it? Sorry, that was just something too important to breeze by, but I’ll end this post on an up note (at my expense) with that prom picture I promised you. I couldn’t find the one with me and my date, but here is one of me and my friend Kellie.

 

This is how it was done in 1983!
This is how it was done in 1983!

 

OMG – that hair! That taffeta! Go ahead and snark away. I totally deserve it!

Photo credits: Most of my photos were taken from here, some were from here, and the close-up of Kate Capshaw and Steven Speilberg is from here.