Sunday, September 11, 2016

Golden Goose Distressed Sneakers

I'm just going to file this under "Absurd."  High end retailers are selling these Golden Goose distressed sneakers for approximately $600 and I'm trying so hard to understand the appeal.  Is irony that on trend?  I'm so confused.  Would you buy these?

Saturday, September 3, 2016

All By Myself...

When I was a teenager read in some astrology book something to the effect of Scorpios tending to end up living alone as they got older.  I can't remember exactly what it said but I remember feeling profoundly saddened by the thought.  I mean, I couldn't comprehend the notion of going to a movie or eating in a diner alone let alone living alone. I'd see people having coffee by themselves and automatically assume they had no one to be with and I felt pity for their loneliness. It never occurred to me that they may have actually chosen to enjoy a quiet moment to themselves.

As I got older and became a mother I've experienced times when alone time was a precious commodity and on more than one occasion I've literally hidden out in my bathroom for reprieve, however brief.  My children got older and pursued me less and less (avoided me in some cases) and the novelty of being alone just became a reality for me. Especially whenever my husband deployed. What could I do?  Not see a movie, eat out or travel?  Then it all made sense.  Not feeling pressured to make conversation. To be alone with my thoughts.  I've learned to cherish my time with myself.  More and more I'm venturing out on my own and enjoying my solitude. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Shirodhara at Burke Williams

The other night I had a dream that I was riding a bike down a hill and wanted to stop or slow down but my brakes weren't working so I had to use my feet to slow down the momentum.  Maybe it's just me (although I suspect it's not), but it seems like these days we lead such busy lives that it's hard to know how to slow down.  Aside from working fully time, my youngest son has auditions, rehearsals, dance classes and improv classes that keep me going nonstop.  As if that's not enough, I'm starting a new job on Tuesday and I thought it might be fun to throw a class in at the local community college (a math class at that!).  Oh and did I mention my husband is still deployed?

One of several sitting rooms, featuring a cozy little faux fireplace. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Mac x Teraji Collection

The internet is abuzz with news of Teraji P. Henson's collaboration with Mac Cosmetics in a collection hitting stores in less than two weeks.  The Empire star took to her Instagram page this morning to announce the news of the release on September 6th and share a sneak peek with her followers.   

The collection will include Strip Me Down (a deep beige matte lipstick) and two skin finishes each selling for $33: Highlight the Truth (soft bronze with gold shimmer) and the appropriately named Teraji Glow (reddish-brown).  See below.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Lululemon Summer Workout Festival

You ever feel like you need a new workout plan?  It could be that your plan to get your body beach body ready by summer fell through or perhaps you've gotten bored with your regular workout.  Whatever the case may be, it's good to try something new every now and then which is how I found myself at the Americana at Brand once again...

Friday, August 19, 2016

BINGO Under the Stars

Last night was a cool, clear summer night in Los Angeles.  The perfect setting for BINGO Under the Stars with Bingo Boy and Deven Green at the Americana at Brand in Glendale.  The event happens about three times per year and it's a pretty hot ticket that always sells out.  Why shouldn't it?  A mere $15 buys your a delicious prix fix menu selection from one of the Americana's finest restaurants along with your bingo cards which you play in a beautiful, posh setting with some the best and most fun bingo callers in the business. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


It happens in lunchrooms with classmates or co-workers.  While watching athletic competitions on television in mixed company.  Amongst family.  Countless times I've personally observed men and women commenting on the physical appearance of female athletes.  "She looks like a man."  "Look at her ass."  As if she's her abilities are secondary to her aesthetics. 

I remember being in high school I developed way too early and began wearing heavy coats to cover my body because I didn't want the attention or commentary my womanly form might bring.  I can only imagine how much that feeling must be magnified for a female athlete has to get out on the field or court in front of onlookers who are judging her body or picking her apart when she just wants to play the game. 

It's not ok.  Especially when the media is perpetuating the negative commentary which seems to desensitize the masses and make it feel okay to talk about women in this way.  I stand with Dove in their #mybeautymysay campaign to change the way female athletes are depicted and discussed in the media.  Hopefully it will impact the way the rest of the world views female athletes so we can focus on their abilities.  Not their appearance. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Mauve/Dusty Rose/Soft Begonia

Victoria's Secret Pink calls it Soft Begonia
I've always loved pink but I could never get away with wearing it- it just doesn't seem to compliment my skin tone or whatever.  However, sometime last year Victoria's Secret released several items from their Pink line in a color they called "Soft Begonia."  I tried on a high neck tank in this hue and to my delight it looked great on me!  So I bought a racer back and then a tee in that color.  Whatever I could find!  

Monday, August 15, 2016

Back to School

Some moms do a happy dance on the first day of school.  Not me.  No, I'm a big punk.  I didn't cry but I came pretty close.  Sending my youngest off to middle school was harder than I imagined it would be.  It was confirmation that there are no more babies in my house and a reminder that time does, indeed, fly by way too fast.  I take solace in the fact that I know we made the most of summer, creating the kind of memories that will spark nostalgia whenever he smells ocean air or tastes kettle corn...  

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Staples FTW

It's that time again!  Summer is over, school is starting and your kids need new school supplies!  Is it just me or does that list longer and longer every year?  Not to worry!  Staples has you covered with everything you need.  The best part though?  They offer 110% price matching which means you don't have to drive to seven different stores to find the best deals (you can even do it in person or online).  Check out their Less List for great prices on everything from notebook paper to Kleenex (teachers can't get enough of that stuff- it's always on my classroom wish list).

I apologize if I sound like an ad.  I promise I wasn't paid or compensated to say any of this- I'm just really excited about all the ways Staples is helping me save money. Oh, and time too!  You can order online and pick up in store in an hour.  Boom.  You're welcome!

Friday, August 12, 2016

A Toast 2 Artistry

It's Friday night and you need to let your hair down after a hectic work week.  You want to hang out with the girls but you've outgrown the club scene and dinner's been done.  What do you do?  If you're me you seek out something a bit outside the box which is how I ended up at A Toast 2 Artistry in Los Angeles tonight for some wine and painting with a great group of ladies. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Suicide Squad

Let me start by saying, like most of you, I heard all the negative reviews by critics prior to seeing Suicide Squad and for a brief moment I nearly let it deter me from seeing it opening weekend.  Nearly.  I'm glad I didn't though because, while I did find it to be a little all over the place, I enjoyed it for the DC comic book movie that it was. 

The action scenes were decent.  Visually it was pretty cool- I felt like I was reading a comic book while watching the movie, if that makes sense.  And I enjoyed the characters (especially Harley Quinn) a lot.  This is coming from someone who hasn't read the comic books or know their backstories.  I think the movie did a good job of presenting them to us enough to tell their story- who they were, what they did and why they're on the Suicide Squad.  So I wasn't lost in that respect.  It was more so the story line that didn't seem to be rooted in a solid plot that threw me off here and there but that was minimal.

The bottom line here is its a fun ride and if that's what you're looking for, I wouldn't let the critics pans sway you. 

McDonald's New Menu Changes

If you're anything like me you grew up on McDonald's food.  Nothing made me happier than opening a Happy Meal box to find a six piece box of Chicken McNuggets and crispy, golden fries waiting for me inside.  Of course, this was the 80's, prior to nutrition labels on everything we eat and before we became incessantly curious about how are food is grown, sourced and prepared.  These are all fair questions and I'm glad that McDonald's has taken note of the fact that consumers are more savvy when it comes to the food we eat.  I spent my Friday afternoon at Blogher 16 in Los Angeles learning a pretty good deal about their existing and newer practices. 

We were joined by Senior Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer, Marion Gross, and Director of Culinary Innovation, Chef Jessica Foust, RD.  Something I always wondered was why can't fast food companies just use whole foods and prepare them fresh every day?  It's something they touched on and essentially it comes down to the availability of products, cost to keep prices relatively low, and whether consumers will actually buy the products.  Look, fast food is fast food and it will never be nearly as good for you as fresh, whole foods prepared at home.  The general sense I got is that they're striving to meet consumers half way by making a concerted effort to improve practices for the benefit of their consumers.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Blogher 16

Hello friends!  I just got home from my first Blogher conference and I am both incredibly exhausted and extremely pumped. What a great first day!  I wasn't quite sure what to expect but everyone is so nice and there is really so much to learn.  I look forward to sharing a more in depth account of my experience with you all (and why you shouldn't miss the next one) soon but for now head over to Instagram @anlamamablog and follow me as I continue to explore all that the conference has to offer! 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Cabinet of Curiosities

Starting this weekend, on August 6th, Downtown L.A.'s historic Union Station will unveil a new art exhibit,"Cabinet of Curiosities" in its Grand Waiting Room.  The original installation will feature the works of local artists Tanya Brodsky, David DiMichele, Ashley Hagen, Noel Korten, Keith Lord, Cecilia Minucchi, and Andre Yi viewed through peepholes, giving patrons a unique vantage point into the artist's vision. 

Cabinet of Curiosities, part of Union Stations 1st annual Summer Entertainment Series, will be on display through August 31st and will include an artist's reception on Sunday, August 7th.  For more information, visit

Monday, July 25, 2016

New Shoes!

There are days when I go through my closet in search of something to wear and, despite the fact that I've taken over both sides of the closet since my husband deployed and it's chock full of dresses, blouses, and jeans, I come up empty handed.  The clothes that I once loved and likely obsessed over no longer move me.  It's not their fault.  They haven't changed.  It's me.  Been there, done that and quite frankly I'm bored.  I figured the best way to revive my wardrobe was new accessories and, really, nothing beats a great pair of shoes. 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Let Us Not Be Divided in this Difficult Time

This photo of Devonte Hart taken at a Ferguson rally in Portland in 2014 still gives me hope. (Photo Credit: Johhny Nguyen)

Terrorist attacks...  Gang violence...  Police shootings...  Racism...  Indifference about our social issues...

In the case of recent police shootings, I've been going back and forth in my mind trying to make sense of everything. Which actions were justified? What could've been done differently to yield alternate and more favorable outcomes?  Alton, Philando and Dylan were all completely different people yet all are gone.  These cases are prominent in the media right now when I'm sure far more occur daily that are never on our radar.  Why now?  Distraction?  Social experimentation?  Let's see if they riot in the streets over this?  Destroy each other and their own communities?  Divide or unite?  Rush to judgment or wait for facts?  

I'm truly sick of seeing the darkest side of humanity play out over and over and over again.  No one story is worse than another. Each loss of life is tragic.  As much as I am hurt over witnessing the death of someone's child, it's never made sense to me how making generalizations about police officers is any better than the kind of generalizations we're concerned about people making about us?  I'm not condoning anyone's bad behavior.  However, if you're talking about harming police officers as retaliation then you too are part of the problem.  Yes, we're upset and angry but what is going to effect real change?  Threats of violence?  How?  "Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that."  You can't fight fear, hate and ignorance with ignorance, hate, and fear and expect anything other than a vicious cycle.  We cannot afford to get caught up in your feelings right now.  Nor can we afford to ignore a very real problem.  We need to focus on the issue and come up with a real solution.

Now is not the time for frivolous pursuits or filling our minds with useless information to distract us from the corruption unfolding around us.  It is time to wake up. To educate ourselves. To think for ourselves. To unlearn ideas that do little to move us forward.  It is time to gain or regain financial independence and carefully consider whose pockets we're lining when we invest our hard earned dollar.  To mentor our youth and teach them the way that they must go to ensure that we and they leave the world better than when they found it. To be the change we want to see in the world.  To conduct ourselves with dignity and integrity.  To practice what we preach and not remain silent when we witness injustices against any man, woman or child regardless of whether they think like us, look like us, or worship like us.  Let's be not divided but unite against fear and hate.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July!

Hello from fabulous Las Vegas!  The kids (minus one - oldest had to work) and I made the trek to Vegas to visit with loved ones for the holiday.  We spent most of the day in the water at both my aunt's house and my best friend's.  Bonus?  My brother, Taj, flew in from his military training to join us before heading back to his post. 

I wish we all lived closer so we could spend more time like this but I'm grateful for the moments we do get to spend together.  I hope you all had a happy and safe 4th of July!

Friday, May 20, 2016

X Men

Marvel is just everything!  I'm not a comic book reader (so my only reference is the previous X-Men movies which I've also loved) but you don't have to be to appreciate just how damned good the movies are in this franchise.  The cast is amazing from James McAvoy as Professor Charles Xavier to Evan Peters as Quicksilver. 

In this film our villain, Apocolypse (played by Oscar Isaac), thinks himself a deity and goes about enhancing the abilities of mutants in efforts to rise up against humans.  If you know Professor X you know he's not having that and so begins yet another epic battle. 

This movie is a prequel so we get to see some pretty interesting backstories of some of our favorite characters like Storm and Rogue.  And on a personal note, I love seeing a more badass side of Sophie Turner who plays Jean Grey.  It's a nice departure from Sansa Stark.

Without adding any spoilers, there's a big reveal surrounding Quicksilver that I hope we get to explore further in future films.  If you haven't checked it out yet, I recommend seeing the movie in theaters to get the full effect. It's a great ride!

Saturday, May 14, 2016


So, two thing happened today:  My oldest son went off to prom and it just so happened to fall on his 18th birthday!  It's hard to believe that I'm now the parent of an adult child (technically).  I thought it would make me feel old or maybe feel sad that he's not a little boy anymore, but I feel nothing but pride and gratitude that I've been blessed to see this little person who grew in my belly now stand over me and prepare to set off on this journey into manhood. 

It was a really amazing day.  Looking back at these pictures I'm just filled with happiness that I get to be mom to these kids.  Yes, they drive me crazy and I'm sure I do them.  Yes, we've been through some extremely difficult times which, hopefully, we've all grown from.  At the end of the day nothing can change the fact that I brought these amazing people into this world. 

I'm also tremendously thankful for our village of grandparents, cousins, aunts and friends who are more like family who were able to join us.  Happy birthday, Savion! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Fantasea Magic Festival at The Queen Mary in Long Beach

Prepare to be mystified and mesmerized as magic takes hold over of the majestic and mysterious Queen Mary.  Fantasea is an all new magic festival coming to Long Beach, California April 8th through 10th. 

Enjoy magical activities all weekend long!  Learn a few tricks of your own in the Secret Circle Study, enjoy an act or two on the Wizarding Platform or peruse Wizard Alley for oddities and trinkets to take some of the magic home with you.  Later, as it gets dark (And if you're feeling brave) go on a paranormal adventure with the Conjuring After Dark Tour.

With so much to do you're sure to work up an appetite, so if you plan to visit on Saturday you're in for a treat!  Kick off the day with an Abracadabra Brunch Buffet featuring live jazz, bottomless mimosas and tableside magic.  Later in the day you don't want to miss the Mysteries of Magic Dinner Show featuring a four-course feast and magic feats.  

Ticket prices start at $25 and some attractions and experiences cost an additional fee.  The Wizard's Boarding Pass is the best value at $159.  See website for details and to buy tickets. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Harlem Globetrotters Are Back in So Cal!

Get excited, folks!  The Harlem Globetrotters are coming back to Southern California for their 90th Anniversary World Tour!  That's right, 90 years of basketball hijinks and revelry on the court and goodwill throughout the communities they visit all across North America.

Here's a quick rundown of where you can catch them later this month:
  • February 13th and 14th at Honda Center in Anaheim (tickets start at $17)
  • February 17th at UCSB Center in Santa Barbara (tickets start at $21)
  • February 20th at Citizens Bank Arena in Ontario (tickets start at $16)
  • February 21st at Staples Center in Los Angeles (tickets start at $25)
Don't miss a moment of the action and excitement as the Globetrotters captivate families with trick shots, slam dunks, comedy and exceptional displays of athleticism.  Get your tickets now at

And I'll be selecting one lucky family to win a family 4-pack of tickets from the below: