I’m still there, but not like that

Almost three years ago I started on a fantastic voyage with internet friends. Sid, who had broadened my horizons and helped me find a new community to explore and was a great conversation starter with her hoarding blog topic. Carolyn, who I met doing a flash mob dance and jumped on board with no hesitation to help add people flooding in.

After BlogHer ’11 I impulsively typed up a group name, fortuitously named by Sid who wasn’t a mama, and we started a group dedicated bringing together women bloggers in southern California.

I just checked and the group was 664 members strong.

I remember how excited we were when we hit 50! 100! 500!

Blogging has come a long way the last few years. Our group had changed a lot in those same years.

I’ve had a lot of changes in the last year. I am having a heck of a time right now. I’m trying to squeeze in extra time with my adoring little boys, trying to keep my head above water and wanting to make the blog a better jumping off point for freelance work while trying to find employment to make up the difference we need.

I can’t give the group the attention it needs with over 600 members and women requesting in by the dozen.

I went to a moderator position last year when it was time for it to take the next step that had been discussed – but wasn’t something I personally aspired for, not could give the time to.

I am a cheerleader.

I am a supporter.

I am not an entrepreneur nor a great leader.

This is my last week as a moderator for the SoCal Lady Bloggers Facebook group. (Because I still have a couple of messages I’m waiting to have answered – we research every addition to make sure they are a local blogger!)

Carolyn, who has always had a greater vision for SCLB, and Melissa, who is the superwoman I am not, are awesome. and Melissa Reyes is stepping in to help moderate the second board- and she will be perfect for it.

I’ll still be a member, steering newbies toward the right answers and being surprised at the amount of knowledge I have acquired myself after these year… I was  pretty new to the game when I started the group. in August 2011. Just not there as often.

You may miss me. You may not notice my absence as much. And that’s OK. I’m still there.

The sharks are flying

The Easter bunny brought a kite.

DSCN2172

A couple of weeks ago on a fairly windy day I had bummed a kite off of a neighbor. We hadn’t gotten one yet because there were never windy days enough and there was one at the beach house. We haven’t been able to go there much this winter so that one day when everyone else was out flying kites… poor Wonder Boy felt left out.

So, after several minutes painfully untangling kite string, we too flew a borrowed kite just long enough for Wonder Boy to feel satisfied.

But the smart Easter bunny, along with the Hot Wheels and candy, brought a new kite so next time we were prepared.

And of course the day after Easter was just windy enough to go kite flying.

DSCN2138

The wind picked up and died down, and we took turns helping lift off and watching the shark cut through the sky, diving up and down like he was hunting, the Jaws theme song hummed in an appropriate response to the darting kite as it took a bite out of the sun and plunged down.

Spring has sprung and the sharks are flying.

The secret is now mine

I used to have better time to do creative things. I wrote random pieces of short story. I crocheted. I tried to sew big projects, but ended up with little projects.

Now I am trying to use making food as a creative outlet- but it’s hard to do all the things I want to do while feeding a family and cleaning up after two little boys all day long.

Last year I had given myself a challenge of finding the best local cinnamon roll. The winner of my informal taste testing was Sugarbird Desserts.

I grabbed a couple on occasion at my favorite Saturday farmers market, and got my family hooked on the cupcake- like treats right before she stopped selling them at the market. That last half-dozen I got were like gold. And yum.

So when the owner started offering classes, I was sent by the family to learn the secret of the roll.

It had been a while since I had created something other than a quick dinner or a box of brownies as comfort food, so i was eager to take the time and try something new without dirtying up my already-messy kitchen.

photo 2

I’d never worked with yeast before, but had a couple packets in my kitchen with a winter goal of learning how to make bread.

Since it is now April I obviously never achieved that goal, but smelling the fermenting yeast and hearing the conversations of the bakers around me made me realize I was going to learn a lot that night.

We went over each step, with me scribbling notes on my recipe handout and smearing butter on it. My apron was quickly covered in flour and sticky dough, but I was having fun.

The class was small enough everyone got some attention but had just enough people to make you feel you weren’t on display all of the time.

And the result, after mixing and rolling and a just a little more flour?

sugarbird_breakfast

 

Breakfast the next morning.

 

photo 5

The joy on his face is hidden because he was scarfing it down that fast.

Of course, mine are NOT the same as Heather’s, but they were amazingly delicious. She also gave an orange roll variation I am dying to make to the attendees.

Lean closer ad I’ll let you in on the secret behind the amazing rolls.

Ready?

Click on over to the Mom, Can I Have a Bite? blog and sign up for one of her classes. Because you need to learn from the master herself.

She also has private classes and pie-making class – something else I’d like to learn how to do.

And if you’re not sure yours came out right? I’d love to taste one for you.

 

Note: I paid for the class and was in no way compensated for this post. Full disclosure just in case, y’all.

Count Me In

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of the album to review. No other compensation was given. All opinions are my own.

“One more time from the top!” he said, as we held our whistles at the ready. He held a little white stick which had come with the box of holiday crackers at Christmas, each person opening their cracker to find a whistle and starting a tradition of musical torture for my family.

Conducting a mini concert with three members may not be a hard job, but for Wonder Boy he adores being the leader and the center of attention and didn’t mind Nana and I were playing completely different songs, as long as he was waving and telling us to start and stop.

It’s no wonder then that he loved The Little Rockers Band’s newest album counting in the band as “Count Me In!”  begun to entertain us on a road trip to Anaheim.

Countmein

“One, two, three, four… Mommy, I like this CD,” he told me before the first song had ended.

The Little Rockers bring a variety of familiar songs and new tunes to rock out with in the back seat of the car. For “Count Me In!” the band was inspired by everything from Motown to The Cars to my favorite, 90′s rock.

Wonder Boy loves to sing along to “Old Mick Jagger” who, as a different take than that McDonald fellow had a band. Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah! That song makes me giggle thinking of Jagger steppin’ his way around a farmyard with little groupies in tow.

My favorite song on the album is the acoustic take on Paul Simon’s “Me and Julio” and rivals the Me First and the Gimme Gimme’s take on it as songs to jam to on the freeway.

Want a taste? Check out the wildly funny music video from the album’s “Wild, Wild West”.

The band was formed in 2009 by the husband and wife team to go with their music classes, which are held in New Jersey. Check their website for more information about classes and upcoming tour dates for the band. They also do birthday parties!

LittleROckers

Count Me In! Will be available tomorrow, April 15, 2014 on Amazon.com, iTunes and LittleRockersMusic.com

Follow them on Facebook, Tweet them on Twitter and check out more videos on Youtube.

 

 

Tips for an egg-cellent egg hunt at Disneyland

Spoiler Alert: This post has two photos of locations for the Eggstravaganza hunt at Disneyland.

 

As we stood on the far side of it's a small world, the corner reserved for service dogs taking a break and a wide expanse of running room, Wonder Boy and I spied a familiar rabbit-faced egg peeking from a sea dragon topiary.


Turns out the Egg-stravaganza had just started yesterday, and we decided to play along as part of our first time attempting the parks as a three-some. (Let's say on that note I learned everything NOT to do the hard way.)

Instead of standing in lines for any ride we as a three could possibly pull off, yesterday Wonder Boy, Lil' Wonder and I instead grabbed a $5 map for each boy and spent the day winding around Disneyland looking for Easter Eggs.

But with a full park for spring break, it was a lot of work for myself and my four year old. Castmembers aren't supposed to give you hints, though they helped verify things like, yes, that shop is on Main Street.

Start early and try to keep a lookout for stuff in you area – but we did it with just going from place to place for eggs and a couple extra adventures in three hours.

At the end you don't get to pick which egg you want- part of the fun!


So, if you decide to do your own Easter egg search, here's some tips and tricks to get you going.

 

  1. Stuck? Look for other people holding their maps. They're probably standing right in front of it.
  2. Look up. There were several eggs hiding up high in trees or on signs.
  3. The locations are pretty literal.

…and some location-specific advice for the harder ones for us…

 

 

  1. The Fortuosity Shop is where they make the custom watches – and this egg likes to be able to see the action.
  2. The locker area on Main Street have some lovely flowers in boxes above it.
  3. One egg has a bird's eye view of a tea party.
  4. One egg is watching people in line to go on a trip around the world.


And one last photo for the HARDEST one for us- it took three laps around the area to finally find someone at just the right angle.

Let me know if you too go on an egg hunt!