Archive for Beauty is everywhere

You Are Beautiful





On a recent trip somewhere, I saw this when I sat down on the throne in an airport bathroom somewhere.

How sweet, huh?! MySurreaLife You Are Beautiful

Absolutely Loved Seeing This at Outback

My significant other, my soon to be mother in law and I all went out to eat at Outback awhile back.

Halfway through dinner, a table in front of us was seated.  In the party of 7 was a younger boy in the most shiny Liza Minelli shawl of a jacket I had ever seen.  I stared at the boy, and at the people eating with them, in awe of their love and support for all things “him.”  This boy, at such a young age, was being taught that, regardless of what he loved or what he wanted to wear, the people around him supported him.  He is going to grow to be so successful. He already thinks, “hey, I can do that and won’t be scrutinized for it.”

MySurreaLife at Outback and a Liza Minelli shawl jacket

It Takes Courage to Make Peace

I saw this sign awhile ago at a health foods store and just recently came across this photo I took of the sign with such incredible insights.

In my quest to be a promoter of all things peaceful and happy, I realize how much more difficult it is to be peaceful when trying to resolve conflict.  It’s so much easier to fly off the handle and let emotions overrule sensibility and logic.

MySurreaLife LOVE these phrases

Parenting this person I’ve only known a few months, I’ve seen first hand how beneficial it is to remain calm at all times, and try like crazy not to let circumstances turn me into something resembling Godzilla.  Over time, I’ve seen how the little one reacts to my freaking out vs my staying calm.  I can tell she thinks more when I am calm.  She, in turn, is also less emotional.  Working to understand one another is a win win WIN.

Family, the Beach, Josh Groban Live & the Hollywood Bowl. These are a few of my favorite things

The past few weeks have been so incredible and have taught me so much.  My significant other and I have been inundated with toys, books and clothes for our new addition who has grown into such a smart, happy, outgoing, secure little lady in the short time we’ve known her.

MySurreaLife and this incredible little lady

This past week specifically, we were fortunate enough to have had my aunt and her two, nearly-adult children come stay with us for the week.  When my aunt arrived, I was talking to her about interviewing a potential babysitter a week later,  My aunt replied, “oh!  Maybe we’ll get to meet her!”  I looked at her confused and she said, “oh yeah, we’ll still be here then!  I wanted to make you happy with us at least twice this trip; once when we came and then when we leave!”  I cracked up when she said that.

Every moment of every day they were in our home and making new memories with us was wonderful.

MySurreaLife at Gladstones

We went to the beach 3 full days, one of which little lady learned to jump in the waves with her Auntie Schmoopie.  We built sand castles by day and celebrated my cousin’s 20th birthday at the Redondo Pier.  We ate at Gladstones in Malibu one evening and then went to ride the ferris wheel at the Santa Monica Pier the same night.

MySurreaLife on the Santa Monica Pier

We went to see Josh Groban perform a 4th of July spectacular at the Hollywood Bowl on July 3rd.  It was a very serendipitious night for me.  I am fairly certain that it was our little lady’s first ever concert experience and the Hollywood Bowl is most certainly my most favorite music venue of all time.  I will never forget the way her eyes beamed when we walked into the Bowl arena and she saw the glowing green of the Bowl.  It was also wonderful that it was Josh that she saw sing at her first ever concert.  Josh and my sister went to music camp together many, many years ago and he has been a family friend ever since.

It was an especially odd sort of night for me when Josh spoke about how he thought the 4th of July was such a romantic holiday and how he hoped everyone who was there on a date was having a nice time.

MySurreaLife 3rd of July at the Bowl 2013

14 years ago, to the date, I was saying vows to someone who ended up being not good to me at all.  I divorced that person 4 long years after we promised to be together forever.  Sitting at the Bowl fourteen years later, with our little foster child on my lap, and to my right my significant other of five years, the person who supported me in my dreams of becoming a foster parent by going through the entire process alongside me, I felt complete euphoria.  I thought about how unrecognizably different my life is from then to now and how happy I am with my life, and how good it feels knowing how hard I’ve worked to make my life what it is today.

MySurreaLife Watching our Little Lady Watching the Show at the Bowl 2013


About 3/4 of the way through Josh’s set, little lady was getting restless.  She kept asking me where they were and when they were going to start.  The night before I had shown her video footage of fireworks at the Bowl and told her we were going there to see the fun and beautiful fireworks.  I was trying to prepare her for the bright lights, and mostly for the loudness of it all.  By this time in the show, my significant other had also gotten up to stretch his legs. Little lady got up to go see him, then came back to the seat to see me, then went back to him.

We were sitting in the first row of a section, so there were a few people behind us that I’m sure didn’t appreciate the ups and downs caused by the toddler being a toddler.  When I went down to tell little lady that she couldn’t keep coming up and down the stairs, a blonde woman, who I recognized, tapped me on the shoulder while we were down the stairs.  This familiar face asked me if our little lady wanted to get closer to the stage because if she did, she had an All Access pass and would be happy to give it to me if little lady wanted to go closer. I was shocked at the kindness of her offer.  I kindly replied that the little lady didn’t actually know what she wanted, and I thanked her for being so thoughtful.

We enjoyed the rest of Josh’s show and then the patriotic music that accomplanied the fireworks show after.  The little lady only got frightened twice by the extremely thunderous booms of two of the fireworks.  I made sure to explain to her that the noise wasn’t going to do anything to her.  I pointed out to all the other people in the venue and explained to her that none of those people were scared so she didn’t need to be either.  I held her tight and assured her we were okay.

It had been bugging me ever since the show, who the lady was who was so nice to us.  I knew she was an actress, a comedian.  Last night my girlfriend came by our home who used to work for Josh; yet another way the world is so small and so surreal to me.  Anywho, I was trying to explain to her what the comedian lady looked like who was so nice.  It was driving me crazy trying to figure out how I was going to figure out who that lady was. As I was drifting off to sleep last night, there she was in one of my favorite tv shows, guest starring on the The New Adventures of Old Christine: Rachel Harris.  Rachel Harris, thank-you for being so sweet.

Universe, thank-you for yet again being so awesomely surreal.


City Life, Country Life

What a surreal morning it has been!


Ive been in Colorado 2 days to spend some time with my father whose health has been declining steadily the past couple years.  We’ve also spent some time with my mother & brother.

Today my mother, my toddler & I are driving up to Aspen to visit my sister for the day. I have seen so very many beautiful sights that were so refreshing to my eyes.

Being accustomed to the city sights of Los Angeles, it was slightly funny for me to look out the car window on this gorgeous Colorado drive and see, to the right, a tractor pulling a huge rolled bail of green hay, the Colorado river in the background and to the left, a train pulling cars & cars of coal.


As we crept closer to Aspen, we drove through another small town, Glenwood Springs, which was gearing up for their annual “Strawberry Days” festival, which occurs the first day of summer.



City life and country life are very, very different!  It’s all so crazy to me!

More from Asssspen later!

Motherhood, One Month In

My significant other and I have been a full time parent to a toddler for nearly one month now.  I am incredibly thankful for this little person who has been introduced into our lives.  I am also exhausted.  Over the years, I have come to realize that life must always have balance.  This toddler rocks; she has an awesome personality, is very funny and has learned to listen, very well, to what we ask of her.  This balance in our lives now comes in how amazing this little person is vs how tired I am.  She is potty trained, which is AWESOME, but if she gets up in the middle of the night she, for some reason, must let me know she has to go to the bathroom, even though she can do it on her own.  So, my sleep has been broken up every night for the past month, but I am amazed at how little it bothers me…and I am one of those people who LOVES my sleep.

I am also amazed at how different my thoughts are now.  My mind used to be consumed with thoughts of things like making plans to go to as many shows at the Hollywood Bowl as possible, going to go to dinners with friends multiple times a week, making sure our home looked like a model home at all times.  Now, it seems like I haven’t thought of any of these things.  I reminisce about how little clutter our home used to have compared to the toys and books that are scattered about now.  I’ve had thoughts about going to a concert, or to dinners with a friend, but then I think about how my being gone would affect this little life that has already gone through so much.  I remind myself that concerts will always happen, and restaurants will always be there for meals with friends, but this time in our lives, being consistent with her, is about right here and now.  I would not change our lives now for anything.

I love when she asks me questions about the whys and hows of life.  I love seeing her little mind work, and how she says, “look at the mountain” when she’s pointing to a fountain.  I keep reminding her that it’s “fountain, with an ‘F’,” but secretly I wish she does this for a little while longer because it’s just so dang cute.  She is so mature and so good for her age that I sometimes forget how young she is.  The “mountain” comments remind me that she’s still learning so very much.

I love being reminded of how much we learn as we grow.  Every time she gets dressed, I say, “left arm, right arm” for the corresponding arm when we’re putting on her shirts. I love thinking she’s “getting it,” when she happens to put out the correct arm or leg out when I say “right” or “left,” even though I’m pretty sure it’s just that she had a 50/50 chance of her getting it right & she did.

It’s very weird to me when I ask her about what she has & has not experienced already.  The other day, the three of us went to eat at a restaurant that was on the beach. Before we got there I asked her if she had ever been to the beach. She said yes but judging by the expression on her face & the twinkle in her eyes when she saw the waves crashing, I’m pretty sure we got to experience her first ever encounter seeing the ocean.

Many times throughout the day I look at my significant other and I look at  her and am in awe, thanking my lucky stars for such incredible gifts.

MySurreaLife close up Oscars

MySurreal Photos of the Oscars Venue

Wow!  An empty theater where, just hours earlier, the world’s most famous faces sat to be a part of the 85th Annual Academy Awards. So surreal!  There are two photos of the gorgeous stage set up, with all the tiny Oscar figures in an arc over the stage and in a honeycomb structure behind the arc.  I loved when they were playing with the lighting. I think I snapped a shot at just the right time.  The arc was purple, the Oscars’ gold tint shining through and the honeycomb a sea green/blue.

My team and I were seated in the wings for the Live with Kelly & Michael show this year.  We watched essentially from the side of the stage.  Awesome vantage point rarely seen.

The photo I took of Kelly & Michael on stage was taken during a commercial break.  Carson Kressley & Maria Menounos were reading the cue cards for the next segment and Kelly Ripa was telling a funny story about how much she hates posing for still photos.  She said when she was posing on the red carpet that the photographers asked her to look over her shoulder for a back shot of her and she said when she turned to do that pose, she felt more like she probably looked like the hobbit Gollum from Lord of the Rings.  She was a funny lady telling that story.

The other photos are of the Hollywood & Highland center, a locale I visit often on shopping excursions.  It struck me how different it looked with a lot of pipe & red draping.  Everything is so transformed for these events.  It constantly amazes me.  And finally, the photo of the beautiful white roses.  I couldn’t resist.  They were so pretty.  And of course, I stopped to smell them.


MySurreaLife Experiencing the Independent Spirit Awards First Hand

Waiting at talent arrivals, taking in the scene, LOVING the sun, the breeze & the beautiful ocean view, I took some photos of Jack Black and Paula Patton as they came through security, at two seperate times.  Looking through some online photos from yesterday’s red carpet arrivals, I must say I felt everyone looked much better in person than what I’m seeing “on film” aka online. Laura Dern was about as striking as I’ve ever seen anyone that thin and the photos I’ve seen of her online sadly don’t seem to do her justice.

Yesterday was about as beautiful of a day as a Southern California day can be. Very cliche LA too…celebrities, sun & sand.  Some photos I took yesterday are at the bottom of the post.  I felt it might be pertinent to include the information about nominees and winners from the show as well…

The Independent Spirit Awards gala, hosted by Andy Samberg, was held as a luncheon in a tent on Santa Monica beach on Saturday, Feb 23. The awards were broadcast on IFC at 10 pm EST.

Below is a list of the nominees, with the winners marked with an asterisk:


Beasts of the Southern Wild — Producers: Michael Gottwald, Dan Janvey and Josh Penn

Bernie — Producers: Liz Glotzer, Richard Linklater, David McFadzean, Dete Meserve, Judd Payne, Celine Rattray, Martin Shafer, Ginger Sledge, Matt Williams

Keep the Lights On — Producers: Marie Therese Guirgis, Lucas Joaquin, Ira Sachs

Moonrise Kingdom — Producers: Wes Anderson, Jeremy Dawson, Steven Rales, Scott Rudin

*WINNER: Silver Linings Playbook — Producers: Bruce Cohen, Donna Gigliotti, Jonathan Gordon


Wes Anderson — Moonrise Kingdom 

*WINNER: David O. Russell — Silver Linings Playbook

Julia Loktev — The Loneliest Planet

Ira Sachs — Keep the Lights On

Benh Zeitlin — Beasts of the Southern Wild


Wes Anderson — Moonrise Kingdom  

*WINNER: David O. Russell — Silver Linings Playbook

Ira Sachs — Keep the Lights On

Zoe Kazan — Ruby Sparks

Martin McDonagh — Seven Psychopaths


Fill the Void — Director: Rama Burshtein; Producer: Assaf Amir

Gimme the Loot — Director: Adam Leon; Producers: Dominic Buchanan, Natalie Difford, Jamund Washington

Safety Not Guaranteed — Director: Colin Trevorrow; Producer: Derek Connolly, Stephanie Langhoff, Peter Saraf, Colin Trevorrow,MarcTurtletaub

Sound of My Voice — Director: Zal Batmanglij; Producers: Brit Marling, Hans Ritter, Shelley Surpin

*WINNER: The Perks of Being a Wallfower — Director: Stephen Chbosky; Producers: Lianne Halfon, John Malkovich, Russell Smith


*WINNER:  Derek Connolly — Safety Not Guaranteed

Rama Burshstein — Fill the Void

Christopher Ford — Robot & Frank

Rashida Jones and Will McCormack — Celeste and Jesse Forever

Jonathan Lisecki — Gayby


Breakfast with Curtis — Writer/Director/Producer: Laura Colella

*WINNER:  Middle of Nowhere — Writer/Director/Producer: Ava DuVernay; Producers: Howard Barish, Paul Garnes

Mosquita y Mari — Writer/Director:  Aurora Guerrero; Producer: Chad Burris

Starlet — Writer/Director: Sean Baker; Producers: Blake Ashman-Kipervaser, Kevin Chinoy, Patrick Cunningham, Chris Maybach,FrancescaSilvestri

The Color Wheel — Writer/Director/Producer: Alex Ross Perry; Writer: Carlen Altman Lianne Halfon, John Malkovich, Russell Smith


Linda Cardinelli — Return

Emayatzy Corinealdi — Middle of Nowhere

*WINNER: Jennifer Lawrence — Silver Linings Playbook

Quvenzhane Wallis — Beasts of the Southern Wild

Mary Elizabeth Winstead — Smashed


Jack Black — Bernie

Bradley Cooper — Silver Linings Playbook

*WINNER: John Hawkes — The Sessions

Matthew McConaughey — Killer Joe

Wendell Pierce — Four

Thure Lindhardt — Keep the Lights On


Rosemarie DeWitt — Your Sister’s Sister

Ann Dowd — Compliance  

*WINNER: Helen Hunt — The Sessions

Brit Marling — Sound of My Voice

Lorraine Toussaint — Middle of Nowhere


*WINNER: Matthew McConaughey — Magic Mike

David Oyelowo — Middle of Nowhere

Michael Pena — End of Watch

Sam Rockwell — Seven Psychopaths

Bruce Willis — Moonrise Kingdom


Yoni Brook — Valley of Saints

Lol Crawley — Here  

*WINNER: Ben Richardson — Beasts of the Southern Wild

Roman Vasyanov — End of Watch

Robert Yeoman — Moonrise Kingdom


How to Survive a Plague — Director: David France; Producers: David France, Howard Gertler

Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present — Director: Matthew Akers; Producers: Maro Chermayeff, Jeff Dupre

The Central Park Five — Directors/Producers: Ken Burns, Sarah Burns, David McMahon

*WINNER: The Invisible War — Director: Kirby Dick; Producers: Tanner King Barklow, Amy Ziering

The Waiting Room — Director/Producer: Peter Nicks; Producers: Linda Davis, William B. Hirsch


*WINNER: Amour — Director: Michael Haneke

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia — Director:  Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Rust and Bone — Director: Jacques Audiard

Sister — Director: Ursula Meier

War Witch — Director: Kim Nguyen


Nobody Walks –– Producer: Alicia Van Couvering

Prince Avalanche — Producer: Derrick Tseng

*WINNER: Stones in the Sun — Producer: Mynette Louie


Pincus –– Director: David Fenster

 *WINNER: Gimme the Loot — Director: Adam Leon

Electrick Children — Director: Rebecca Thomas


Leviathan –– Directors: Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel

 *WINNER:  The Waiting Room — Director: Peter Nicks

Only the Young — Directors: Jason Tippet & Elizabeth Mims


*WINNER:   Starlet — Director: Sean Baker; Casting Director: Julia Kim; Ensemble Cast: Dree Hemingway, Besedka Johnson, Karren Karagulian, Stella Maeve, James Ransone




MySurreaLife of Love

While driving to lunch at a restaurant in Malibu just now with my significant other & my 84 year old mother in law, I used my lovely Spotify app to play some Billie Holiday songs. My mother in law loves Billie. She has a framed poster of her in her foyer and everything. It is so fun to see her get so excited and sing along to the tunes of her youth. She cracks up every once in awhile and makes remarks like, “there’s some truth in that song!” What has been the absolute best, however, is hearing her say, “Boom” after every song. Ohhhh I love life!


MySurreaLife Watching Kevin Frazier Interview Kerry Washington

MySurreaLife watching Kerry Washington Being Interview by Kevin Frazier

That’s Kevin Frazier’s backside, and Kerry Washington’s right side