Thursday, December 31, 2009

New years resolutions

I never make resolutions because I don't like people bossing me around, even if that person is a very drunk or hopped up on a good day version of myself. No one tells this lady what to do, not even me. Mostly I careen through life with those little angel and devil versions of me sitting on my shoulder whispering in my ear. Most of the time, the good one wins, but sometimes not so much.

I often serve myself a little bigger serving of something yummy we are having for dinner ("you cooked it for crying out loud", my little devil shouts.) And sometimes when Jack is shouting for us to get up in the morning, I pretend I didn't hear him (duh). I'm embarrassed to admit (but only because Nipper, or as I should now call him "my conscience"), that I have hung up on people when the call got too boring and then pretended we got cut off. (doesn't everyone do that?)

It was only just recently that I realized that when people said "We should get together soon" they actually meant it, and it wasn't just a way of wrapping a conversation. I'm working on it...

So in 2010, I resolve to try to do what Nipper Knapp would do. He's got issues (hello OCD) but on the whole, he's a better man than me, and Jack and I are lucky to have him.

Happy New Year everybody! Hope we can all be better people in 2010. Because frankly we kind of cocked up 2009.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I'm a really good mom

Yesterday, Jack and I are in the car. We pull out of the driveway, drive down the hill, stop at the stop sign. Jack points to the left and says "THAT way is Starbucks" and pointing to the rights says "and THAT way is the cheeseburger place" (in&out burger). That's right baby. That's all you need to know. My work here is done. 

the gift that just kept on giving

I'm not sure if I wrote about our spite tree or not. The day we went to get a Christmas tree, Nipper and I were having what I'll call here a "disagreement", because there are ladies in the audience. As Jack and I left the house, he said something about getting a smallish or at least regular sized tree. When I got to the lot, I breezed past the small, regular and even large trees and went straight for the JUMBO sized trees in the back. I'll show him to tell me what to do. I'm the boss of me! Clean your own damn dishes! (In fairness, Nipper does 95% of the dishes, I don't recall what we were arguing about)

SO I bring Rockefeller center tree back on top of the car, and Nipper tries not to murder me on the spot. He has to cut the bottom to get it in the tree stand, and then we have to cut the top to get it in the house. Our living room is not small, but this thing took up most of it. It was like having a forest in our house. I loved it. Nipper hated it. He told me so, almost every day in December. He also apologized to everyone who came into the house, as if the sheer size of our tree was a personal affront to all who's eyes had the misfortune to gaze upon it. "Do you think our tree is big enough?" dirty look, snide comment mumbled under his breath, eye roll...

The tree died about 3 weeks ago. I mean, I know it was dead already, but it stopped drinking water, and got sad and dry looking weeks before Christmas. By the time the day rolled around, the tree looked like it was carrying a heavy burden just standing up. The ornaments were mostly buried in it's sagging branches, or barely holding on to their tips.

When I went to take the ornaments off yesterday the tree was actually crumbling into dust. Little chalky poufs of petrified pine needles were exploding into the air with each tug. I told Nipper that we'd better take the lights off outside. This was made more fun, by the fact that the tree stand was FILLED with dirty tree water. The tree was ten feet tall, which meant, we couldn't just pull it out of the stand. There was no way to get the tree out without spilling it all over the floor. Which was fine by me, this is what mops are for right? Nipper was ready to rid of the tree, but didn't really want to participate in the messy undressing process.

We dragged it outside, leaving a billion needles mixed with what looked like bong water all over the floor. Not that I'd know what bong water looks like. Jack and I vacuumed and mopped while Nipper took the lights off. I could hear him out there swearing and cursing the day I was born.

We usually take our tree to the recycling center to get a free tree, but this year they aren't giving a tree away, because apparently they are broke too. So we just put it out with the recycling for the truck to pick up. Nipper and Jack were down in the yard when the truck pulled up. I happened to be standing by the front door. I looked out, saw the truck, and picked up the phone to call Nip to tell him to bring Jack up to see the side loader truck pick up our tree, but as the phone rang, disaster struck. The tree, having been hauled all the way up to the top of the truck, was at the wrong angle, or simply too large to fit in smasher. The driver tried to lower it down to reset it, but it was stuck on something. The mechanism was making this loud whirring sound, rrmmm, rmmmm, rrrrrrrmmmmm. The driver must have thought it was just stuck under the low hanging tree at our neighbors across the street, because he pulled the truck forward. There was a loud TWANG sound, and the tree, still on top of the truck, shook, and then it's desiccated needles exploded onto the street covering everything. The tree had gotten tangled in phone line and now the phone line was broken and laying across the street.

The driver got out, shook his head, and went to get his rake. I ducked behind the door. Did he see me? Was he going to come up on the porch and shout "YOUR TREE IS TOO DAMN BIG YOU OLD GOAT!" But no, he just set to raking some of the needles off the street. He coiled up the wire and put it on the sidewalk, and drove away. I'd probably have done the same thing. Clean up the evidence and flee.

As I ducked behind the door Nipper answered. "Yes, what. What's going on up there?" I told him to hide. I told him the garbage man might be mad at us. He came inside, and confirmed that the phone was down, which meant the internet was down. He then cursed the tree, christmas and me, all in one breath. "Next year, I'M picking out our tree!" he bellowed. (Not really, Nipper doesn't bellow, unless he's really mad. Which only happens once a year, because he just stuffs it all down, until he explodes, and even then the only thing he says is "GOD DAMN IT MARIJA!!!")

You'd think that was it. But no. Last night around midnight, as we're getting ready for bed, we hear fire trucks outside. We live on a hill, and have very narrow curvy hill streets. Not a lot of fire truck action on our street unless they need to be right here. Sure enough, we look out the window and this giant ladder truck is trying to navigate around the curve, without hitting my car or taking down the tree across the street. Then they stop. Ladder truck, and a hose truck. They stop. Right in front of our house. Uhm. We look around. You on fire? Nope. The neighbors on fire? Nope. Oh shit. It's the tree!

Someone must have called and said there was a down wire in the street, even though it was just a phone line. So out comes the fire department. I went out and took some pictures from the driveway. There certainly were a lot of them. "Hi fireman Bob, don't mind me hiding in my driveway in my pajamas, giggling and taking pictures of you. Nothing to see here. WE'RE NOT INVOLVED!" When I came back in, Nipper was shaking his head saying "There you have it, our wasted tax dollars for your giant tree".

Ok Deputy Dawg, ok...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Just a few days left!

Don't forget to order you're L'uvalla skin care products and get 15% off using the promotion code: MARIJA15. Only until the end of December. If you miss the dates, you can also get it at your local Whole Foods. Their eye/lip cream is kind of to die for y'all.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

I made this

I got the bright idea this summer that I would embroider re-usable grocery bags for my sister-in-laws. 6 months later, I have finished one of them. I rule! Ok, so the other one is on it's way, I just ran out of the fabric I was going to use to line it. Oh, and hours in the day. I used Sublime Stitching's Sexy Librarian pattern for the embroidery, and some vintage buttons that I got from my neighbor when we lived in Hollywood. He had a GIANT jar of them, and now I'm mad that I didn't pick out more of them. Here are some pics of the bag I did finish.

My secret button stash


You know whose body I want? I want Jennifer Grey's body in that scene in dirty dancing where she's dancing by herself across the bridge from the workers cottages in that pink tank top and those jean cut-off shorts and keds. I mean has anyone ever had a cuter little body than she did in that scene? I just want to wear a form fitting tshirt again without obsessing about my muffin top. Have you also noticed lately that young girls are SHAMELESS about their muffintops? I swear if I see one more 18 year old with her whole bowl full of jelly hanging out over her pants, I'm going to scream!

Jennifer Grey was prolly 22 when she shot that scene, and I'll never be that again, and there's the flotilla of fat that Jack deposited around my waist when he was born. But still...A girl can dream...

Off to have another handful of dark chocolate m&m's washed down with some cabernet. No pain, no gain...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Francis Francis... almost.

My good friend Allie embroidered this tea towel for me Christmas. She knew I wanted the Francis Francis espresso machine and I'm prolly never going to find it. It's perfect and I love it! Also, when we were talking to Jack about the cookie party the day after, and asking him which of his friends he liked playing with the most, he said "Josh and Allie". They are 26. Perfect.

Oh and our friend Kathy, mother of the adorable Bea, brought me the flowers in the picture. If I was a bouquet that might be me. And all those clementines are from the Smacksy lady, who turns out to be a neighbor of mine (sort of, in an LA kind of way).

Feeling kind of loved this Christmas. Just sayin...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Pretty woman... minus the me being a hooker part

The night before Christmas eve Nipper surprised me with a new dress, and a babysitter, and reservations at a fancy pants restaurant downtown. That afternoon I wasn't feeling well, and poor Nipper who had planned and planned was in disbelief that I was laying on the couch claiming the room was spinning and maybe it was food poisoning. He and my mother kept exchanging tight mouthed looks at each other, which I took to mean that I was supposed to get up and get everyone some coffee or cookies or something, but really what they were thinking was "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME???"

I laid down for about an hour and felt much better. I chalk it up to day before Christmas, year long fatigue and panic. Doesn't everyone get that? Nipper came in with the dress, and told me his plans. I told him I was feeling fine, and I wanted to go out even if it meant I had to guzzle pepto-bismol  in between courses. Turned out I didn't need it, just needed a glass of pinot noir and a steak. Oh, and they had cinnamon ice-cream! My favorite!

After dinner, Nipper asked if I wanted to go get a drink at the bar at the Langham in Pasadena. He said he had read that it had a cool old hotel bar. I was game, so off we went. Dress, dinner, drinks?! This was like doing stuff that people do. We don't do stuff that people do. We don't really do much of anything at all.

We got to the Langham and Nipper got some scotch which he never drinks at home. I actually had the thought "That's funny, he never has that at home." I got a glass of Krug champagne. Yum! When the bill came, Nipper started to sign a room number. My first thought was "He's going to drink and dash! He's lost his mind." Then I thought "That's funny, he never does that at home." Then we had some little exchange that neither of us can really remember because there was a lot of alcohol involved. But basically he revealed that we did in fact have a room for the night and my mother was staying with Jack. What the what? My husband is SO romantic! "That's funny because he never..." Never mind. I love surprises and this was the best!

We went up to the room and the hotel had made a pink rose petal heart on the bed. Nipper laughed and said he thought that was a little much, and I was all "Are you kidding me??? I'm a GIRL! I love this stuff!" He had checked us in that afternoon while I thought he was at the library doing nerd stuff. He got a good bottle of champagne and put it on ice, and he brought me a cute outfit for the morning after, so that I didn't have to do the walk of shame. Which would have been especially humiliating in my glitter heels and navy chiffon. Nobody wears glitter heels at 9am unless they're looking for a trick, not even Carrie Bradshaw.

The hotel was beautiful and the view was incredible, and all of their little hotel extras are PINK. A pretty pink too. When I opened up the box of bath products, I'm pretty sure I gasped. They printed up a business card with our key that said our name and the phrase "in residence" below it. I have never felt more like Eloise in my entire life! Can I live here?

We slept in, we had breakfast, we wandered back to the house around noon. Merry Christmas Nipper Knapp I heart you... Oh also good luck topping this next year. I hear Virgin Galactic is offering trips into space...

the view from our room in the morning

le walk du shame avec Nipper Knapp

Share The Wealth Part 4 - Assuage your guilt... It's Christmas!

So if you're Christmas is going anything like mine, you've spent more than is reasonable on gifts, and eaten WAY too much bacon. It's been a crazy couple of weeks, so I didn't have a chance to make up a real share the wealth post, but lucky me Nicholas Kristof did if for me.

Here is his op-ed from yesterday, where he highlights a whole bunch of really worthwhile organizations that are doing great work, but are mostly unsung. So check it out, pick one, and donate. You've done enough this year, let someone else do the heavy lifting.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

one more thing

I have more to report about my date last night, but I have to clean the kitchen and wrap some presents, and prepare this family for the arrival of Santa right now. So... I thought I'd tell you guys one more thing about me.

When the mailman pushes the mail through the slot I go running like I'm trying to save a falling baby. My ears are tuned to the sound of his roll up door going down like a dog waiting for his master. We get paid through residual checks that come in the mail. Every day is like the lottery. Sometimes we come up with nothing, and somedays it's life altering.

I can be mid-sob, or listening to someone pour their hearts out, and when I hear the squeak of the mail slot, I'm off like a rocket.

On the days when there are no checks I feel like I've been robbed of a little piece of happiness. My shoulders slump, and I grumble, "what a gyp".

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Icing on the cake

SO after what I would call kind of a shit day, Nipper Knapp surprised me a Christmas present. My mom arrived this afternoon to spend the holiday with us. He has been conspiring with her, and his mom, and Sadie and our agent for weeks to have the perfect dress up date night!

They sent his to Anthropolgie for the dress I wanted but complained I had no occasion that I could wear it to (Thanks Meema). They sent him to Cicada where I've always wanted to eat (Thanks Sadie). And my mom is going to put Jack to bed (Thanks Mom).

To surprise me, even MORE, my mom gave me my Christmas present early. It's a necklace with three diamonds, one for me, Nipper, and Jack, and a beautiful pearl to signify whatever else is to come. Maybe a girl named Pearl?:)

Ladies, can I pick em, or can I pick em. I love that Nipper Knapp! And I love all the ladies in my life for steering him right...

Ok, I have to go wash my armpits before we go out, because I don't think they smell very romantic right now.


Hello dumb dumb

I got up this morning and went straight to the Toyota dealership in Hollywood. I have been talking to the salesman over there since last week. We were going to get a new prius just in time for the holidays. I know. Two prius family. Can we get any more morally superior? Nope, not possible. Barf.

So I go over there. The guy already has the car pulled out for me. We go look at all the bells and whistles. Eco mode? Fancy! USB port? I'm delirious! Moon roof? No thanks...

We fill out the paper work and get credit scores and copy licenses, and oh... uhm... "Ma'am, your license is expired." and I'm all "It IS?" But I know damn well that it is. It expired on my birthday in August, but I forgot to renew it, and then when I made an appointment to get it renewed, I had a bad hair day, and so I skipped it, and then 4 months went by, and here I am trying to buy a car with no drivers license. No big deal. I'm a girl, I can get away with stuff like this.

I tell him, Nipper will come pick the car up, and he says, even better, he will drive it to our house, and we'll just swap cars there. Hello customer service, I love you!

So great, we're waiting for computers to crunch numbers or  managers to approve something or other and he says "Ma'am how many lease payments do you have left on your car?" One, I say triumphantly. My car, is a cream beetle convertible that is the worst financial decision we've ever made. It was my dream car when we got married, and we were very inexperienced in the whole car buying deal. We got a lease term that was FOREVER, and a payment that was too high, and oh did I mention that the car was a piece of crap? It flooded TWICE in the first year after a light rain. As in the car was filled with water. The dealership tried to tell me it was because maybe I had too many leaves inside my dashboard. I told them that if that many leaves could get in my dash within a month of buying the car, and cause it to be FILLED with water, that sounded like a design flaw to me. They fixed it. Twice.

The convertible top sometimes won't go all the way down or all the way back up. When I took it to the dealership, the guy in service said to me they couldn't "replicate the problem". Sure. Yes, you know what? I made it up. I have a newborn baby, and a job, and you know a life, but what I want to do it come in here and hang out in the service department making up problems with my car that don't exist. I told him to try it again because it was nearly every time, so maybe they hadn't tried hard enough. Then he said in what I'm sure was his most charming voice "well we're not just going to give you a new roof you know." Uhm, ok. That's great, how about just fix the one I've got, and thanks for the great customer service.

So Toyota guy and I are all rainbows and unicorns making plans for me and prius to spend christmas eve together when he gives me some bad news. When he ran my credit it showed that I had 6 more payments to be made on my beetle. Uuuuuuuuhhhhhhhmmmmmm. WHAT? I say it's not possible and I call the bank. Oh that's right did I mention that for whatever reason, our lease was through Bank of the West and not Volkswagen. Every month I had to send a check, because they didn't have an autopay system. Yes! Just one more reason for me to hate them. SO I call and they confirm that yes, my lease is up in JUNE, not January. I almost collapsed on the spot from A) my devastation at having to drive this p.o.s. for 6 more months. B) My irritation at the thought of telling Nipper that he was going to have to drive my fairy princess car sometimes in the next 6 months. And C) my mortification at having just spent an hour and a week of phone calls with a car salesman who now knows without a shadow of a doubt that I am the dumbest human being he has ever encountered and that I have just ruined his day.

Merry Christmas everybody!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Retraction- READ ALL ABOUT IT!!!

The staff here at My Mom's Nerd would like to make a correction in a story run earlier this week regarding a certain poopy diaper being left behind at our cookie party. The accused, a one Mr. Nipper Knapp has been fully exonerated in the case, and we would like to both apologize and clear the good name of Mr. Knapp. We went forward with the story without properly questioning our sources. It is regrettable that Mr. Knapp's good standing in the community is being colored by our poor reporting and we would like to extend a full apology to him and his family during this difficult time.

A full investigation will go forward into the case of the cookie crapper as TMZ is now calling the case. Any witnesses with information are encouraged to come forward. There is no reward, but we'd like to note that going into the Santa season with this kind of thing on your conscience is not recommended.

tramp stamp

Many of you don't know this about me, but I have two tattoos. I KNOW!!! I got both of them within a span of a year when I was 18. Both mistakes. Duh. The first one I got while still in Ann Arbor at a little cinder box place on the side of the road leading out of town. The guy who did was named painless John and he had no legs. When I told him I wanted Koi fish wrapped around my ankle he said "I can't do that, but I can do what's in that book over there." Did I back slowly out the door? Did I go research a better tattoo parlor with more options, or even say, the option that I wanted? Nope. I cracked open the book, chose a chain of flowers, lit a newport and prepared for pain. What a dumb dumb.

The next one I got in San Francisco my my freshman or sophomore year. The tattoo parlor was much nicer, but the tattoo was even worse than the first. It's a sun burst with a moon face in it. It's about early 1990's as you can get. Most of you probably owned the throw blanket version of my tattoo, and I hate it more and more every single day.

Whenever I see girls with tattoos I think "what a hussy". And then I gasp. Wait, I'm a hussy too! Geez. Sometimes I see girls with tattoos that they clearly thought long and hard about, and had someone with genuine talent apply to their bodies, where they will remain FOREVER, and I curse them for being level headed while I was on an adolescent hormone bender.

So this year all I want for Christmas is world peace, and end to hunger, and painless, scar free tattoo removal. Thanks Santa.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

cookie monster

Some of the kid's masterpieces!

So I don't think I'm bragging when I say that the cookie party was a huge success! Fun was had by all. Mayhem was endured by many. Not too many tears. Tons of sugar. Good stuff.

As I was cleaning up I'm sorry to say I kept smelling something terrible. The thing I was smelling was definitely poop. Since I had just had a house filled with diaper clad people, I thought, "uh-oh, did someone leave me a finger full of poo? I looked under the table. I looked at every toy as I put it back in the toy box. WHERE IS THAT POOP???!!! I cleaned the entire downstairs and then I found the culprit. Someone (and I'm pretty sure I mean Nipper) left a poopy diaper on the mantle above the fireplace.

In all my years of having parties this is a first. I've had some wild ones, but no one has ever left their poop in the living room. Animal house!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas cookies

Tomorrow we are having a holiday cookie decorating party. All week, Nipper Knapp has been barely able to tamp down his anxiety, nor mask his horror that I have invited 35 people, including 12 kids under the age of 4 to our house to FROST things. Maybe it's not the wisest decision. But I love this time of year. I love the smells and the music, and the way every day is filled with anticipation.

When I was a kid my dad was the principal of the local elementary school. There was a lady named Lucy Lachance who made christmas cookies every year, and we would get a giant tray with dozens of different cookies. Lucy was also the only person I ever knew who had a swimming pool, and she let us swim in it whenever we wanted. The thing is, I can't remember what Lucy looked like, or how our family new her. She didn't live in our neighborhood. What I do remember is my parents telling me that Lucy had diabetes and couldn't eat those cookies that she made us. But every year she did it. It was her thing. It must have taken her weeks to prepare them all. Did her husband think she was crazy? Did she even have a husband? Did she just love to bake? I'll never know.

But for as much craziness as baking 200 cookies has brought to my kitchen this week, and who knows what will happen tomorrow, this is a memory that I will enjoy for a long time. And who knows, maybe it will become our family tradition... The 10th Annual Knapp Family Cookie Party! (Sorry Nipper)

I just read this sweet sweet article in the LA Times and wanted to share it with you. It made me weepy, because Christmas turns me into a sappy puddle. Don't fret, by next week, I'll be back to cursing Santa Monica moms and shaving dirty words into my hair line...

Sweet memories of Mom's Christmas cookies --

Posted using ShareThis

Ronna and Beverly

Jamie Denbo and Jessica Chaffin have been doing their Ronna and Beverly show on stage at UCB for years. They're show is one of the hottest comedy tickets in town. In the show they play two Jewish divorcees with LOTS of opinions. They've given a bit of their wit and wisdom to almost everyone in Hollywood. Here's a pic of Beverly (played by Denbo) with Jon Hamm of Mad Men. Yum!

Daily Variety said the pilot script made them laugh out loud. They describe the pilot as: "Ronna, played by Chaffin, and Beverly, played by Denbo, are many-times-divorced, longtime friends who write a dating guide for Jewish singles, "You'll Do a Little Better Next Time," and are relentless about finding ways to promote their tome. (Think a Jewish "Ab Fab," set in Boston.)"

If you have Showtime you must watch this show THIS Monday at 9:05 ET or 12:05 PT and again on December 29th on Showtime 2 at the same time. Or set your dvr if you're going to be out for some holiday wingding. You don't want to miss these funny ladies. Denbo and Chaffin developed the show with Jenji Kohan the creator of Weeds. Showtime is showing the pilot, but has not yet ordered a season. Check them out, and then write your congressman or tell your city council person (or SHOWTIME) you DEMAND more Ronna and Beverly.

SUPPORT WOMEN IN COMEDY!!! Women in Hollywood. Women in the world. Because frankly these are some smart funny bitches and they deserve loads of success.

You can also check out some of their stuff on Funny or Die and their Ronna and Beverly website.

santa baby

This is about as close to santa as Jack ever got. I asked him if he wanted to sit on Santa's lap. He said no. then "Santa" said "you don't ask them, you just put them up here."

Ok cretan, the other 364 days a year, you are just some fat strange man I don't know. Wearing a rented red velvet suit and bringing a camera isn't really helping your case in my book. My kid's no dummy...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

ain't no thing but a chicken wing

I have an audition tomorrow where I'm supposed to wear an evening gown. I don't know about you, but I don't have a lot of those laying around. I was digging through my closet when I found a dress that I bought for a photo shoot years ago. It's a floor length Monique Lhullier oxblood leather, satin lined, and it's backless. It's gorgeous, but only if worn by someone with you know "a body". A few years ago I wore it to a halloween party as Jessica Rabbit. 

I put it on, because I don't know what the hell else I'm going to wear. I'm looking at my sad post baby nursey boobies in this thing. Just flats as pancakes, and I have a lightning bolt idea. I'll stuff it! So I go to my drawer and find some hot pink fleece slipper socks from target and I try to roll them up and put them UNDER my boobs. But you can totally see the socks out the sides of the dress. You know the place where my side cleavage is supposed to be. Sigh...

I wonder what I can get for this thing on ebay...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

lady in waiting

Last summer I saw this shower curtain at Anthropologie. I knew it was the perfect thing to tie our ugly bathroom together. I also knew I wasn't going to pay $118 for a shower curtain. SO I waited...and waited...and waited. It never went on sale of course and then one day it was gone. It wasn't on the website,  and it was no longer on display in the store.

I'm not a very good shopper. If I buy something full price I have debilitating buyers remorse. It actually makes me question my entire existence. What kind of person just walks into a store and buys what they want? A person without enough conflict in their life is who! But lately it seems like company's aren't making large runs of things. A lot of things sell out before they ever go on sale, and then I have to tell myself it wasn't meant to be. But a lot of the time I end up kicking myself for being so cheap.

The shower curtain stuck in my craw for some reason. I mean, the full price was crazy, but it was PERFECT!!! Damn damn damn. Then lo and behold, in the midst of a full blown self loathing session, I'm digging through sale room at Anthropologie last week and what do I see sitting on the shelf but two perfect little shower curtains 50% off. Yahoooooooo! I was triumphant! And SO virtuous.

the cow says Moooooooo

I need to share one the the coolest web sites ever, Awesome. They make among other things the cutest mini business cards ever. They are 100% customizable, or you can choose from some of their design styles, which are so cool I can't believe they are giving them away.

You can upload as many images as cards you make, which works out great for photographers. I made 50 different cards. But you could do 100 or 1. They print full color both sides. Oh and did I mention is was $21.99? Yup. Seriously there is not a better deal around. The mini cards are $19.99 for 100. For that price you could have make gift tags, or calling cards, or name place cards or custom place mats for your Barbie. The possibilities are endless!

I made the mini one's for my photography business years ago, and I just had new ones printed with the wedding images. But this time I decided to go with the traditional size cards, because... you know...brides...

Here is a little sample of what they look like. PERFECTO!!!

My sous chef

Nipper's mom came for a visit last Thursday which also happened to be her birthday. Jack and I made her a four layer lemon cake with lemon curd and fresh whipping cream in between the layers and topped with more fresh whipping cream. We've got this little wooden stool with sides called the kitchen helper that puts him right up at counter level, so he can crack eggs and stir. He's pretty helpful for a two year old...

Once it was finished I sent him out of the kitchen and carefully placed the Happy Birthday candles. But the shelf in the fridge was too low, and the cake wouldn't fit with the candles on it. SO... I took the candles off and had Nipper move the dag gumb shelf. We were able to just squeak it in, and keep it cool until she arrived later that night. When we took it out, I let Jack arrange the candles. Here's what it looked like when I did it:

Here's what it looked like when Jack did his clearly superior decorating job:

And here's what it looked like when we were all eating it for breakfast the next morning:

Monday, December 14, 2009


I have a treat for all of you today. I am OBSESSED with this line of skin care products. It's called L'uvalla. As you all know I live in the land of botox and eternal youth. I guess we all do now. I believe in growing old gracefully. But I don't think that means I have to give up on healthy looking skin. I also don't think you need to pay an arm and a leg for it. I've tried it all, from Creme de la mer to Oil of Olay. Creme de la mer made my eyes burn, and while I love my grocery store olay, it's not really a miracle worker. This stuff is. 

L'uvalla's eye/lip cream contains ylang ylang and I have been sneaking into the bathroom to put it on in the middle of the day. It smells so good and it makes my skin so soft and the best part, it's vegan, cruelty free, fair trade, certified organic. Plus it's going to keep my upper lip area from looking like the crypt keeper. GOOD STUFF! All of their products contain aromatherapy benefits that I think are pretty unisex in their scents. So it's good for your ma or your pa! I have pretty sensitive skin and eyes and I've found their stuff is also very gentle. 

The company donates 10% of their proceeds to their foundation which supports awesome organizations like the Make a Wish Foundation, FINCA, Doctors Without Borders, NRDC, the Susan G Komen foundation, One Campaign, and the Wildlife Trust. Good peeps!

Well lucky lucky ducks, if you order it this month from their website and include the code: MARIJA15  when you check out you'll get 15% off!!! If you miss the promotion you can also get their stuff at Whole Foods throughout the country, as well as on their site

I'm telling you, your face will look and feel like my baby's butt (for those of you who don't know, that's a really good thing) Run, don't walk...

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Things you should know about me

Can you identify the location of this picture?

I always sneeze 4 times

I love A Prairie Home Companion and don't think that makes me and old lady, Nipper

My favorite color is jadite green not pink as some people would imagine

I love almost anything that is pale pale pale peachy pink. NOT baby pink

I lost my virginity way too young, but not in a woe is me kind of way, just more of a huh, that was dumb kind of way

I hate hypocrisy, but I think late night televangelists are super entertaining

Cinnamon is my favorite ice cream flavor

Ira Glass is hot

I was wild when I was younger but it was mostly an act, except when it wasn't

I love clementines but don't really care for oranges

I think it's funny that Nipper Knapp HATES Rilke. It's like what did Rilke ever do to you?

If I had a superpower it would be getting stupid people to stop talking to me, or around me, or just period, also I would ban things that smell bad, but that's more of a supreme being power than  superpower

I'm in desperate need of new underwear, but can't find anything I like

In 1995 I went to Mexico by myself and didn't tell anyone but my drinking buddy, a priest named Alberto

I asked for an epidural when I got to 6

I've worn Chanel No. 5 for the last 15 years

I love sushi, but hate cooked fish

I'm pretty sure that the giant ficus trees that line the streets in California are my favorite tree

I think the California pepper could give the ficus a run for it's money

I'm the most sentimental person I know

My hair color is Nice and Easy 103 in case you were wondering

I have a supersonic sense of smell

All of my names are aliases

Friday, December 11, 2009

why hello stranger

I saw this today while walking through the Americana. I love this man. I think he's adorable and funny, and talented and in this picture...meow. (sorry Nipper) So glad he's no longer wandering into neighbors houses taking meth naps. Although, he's welcome here anytime...(sorry Nipper)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

move over Ina Garten...

No seriously move over, we both can't fit in this kitchen. Jack slept in until 6:45 this morning which a very nice thing to do, except it allowed me to go into a deeper sleep than I've been since I was 15 and avoiding school on a winter morning. I was in the middle of a dream that I was a christmas ornament and there was a spider crawling on me but I couldn't get it off because HELLO I was a glass ornament, when Jack came running into the room shouting "Mommy get UP! I'm ready to go downstairs and get some cocooooooooo!" Then he got the maglite Nipper keeps next to the bed and started shining it in my face repeating "get up, get up, Mommy, get up!" How did I give birth to a tiny drill sergeant?

Once I had picked up the 32,000 pieces I had shattered into, I took the kid downstairs and made his dang blast cocoa. I left him playing with one of his garbage trucks and went back into the kitchen to make my coffee. I'm on the decaf, but can't break the habit of the morning latte. I opened the fridge, and pulled out what I could tell was a carton with about three drops of soy milk left in it. Damn you me! What kind of craven person puts an empty carton of milk back?

Hiding behind my mostly empty soy milk was a small carton of organic egg nog my mom bought at thanksgiving. Maybe... Nah. Ok, let's do this thing. Egg nog latte!!! It was unbelievably good, and I'm trying to forget that the little number 40, as in 40 grams of fat per tiny little serving.

I have a print audition for a "average woman who has lost her sexual feelings" It's for a pharmaceutical of some sort. And this is what I feel like after my latte, so I should be good...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I want someone nice to get all my shoes

I think I'm having a heart attack. It's probably just heartburn. But you never know with these things. Nipper and I drew up a will, but we never got it notarized, because we are not the kind of people who get things like that done in a timely manner. I'll be falling into an active volcano someday shouting to Nipper "DID WE PROPERLY FILE THOSE OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS?"

I went to an audition this morning and took Jack with me, because he was having one of those "mommy don't leave me" moments, and I figured there would be someone there to watch him for the 4 minutes I was auditioning. I was wrong, there was no one but floozies and hobos, but he managed to entertain himself somehow between the iphone, buzz lightyear, a gargbage truck, and cheddar bunnies, that I brought with us.

I ate three cheddar bunnies while waiting.

When I got home Sadie was here to pick me up and we went out for a rare girls afternoon of shopping. Our first stop was Starbucks where I had my second half caff soy gingerbread latte of the day. I know that adds up to one whole caff, so just back off. I also know that means that I spent $9.40 on fake coffee today which fills me with all kinds of self loathing. I ate 1/4 of Sadie's frosted gingerbread, and then we shopped until we fell down, taking elevators whenever possible to maintain our strength.

When I got home Jack and I got back in the car and went to In&Out burger where, starving at 4:30 in the afternoon, I consumed a double double and fries. Pretty. I topped it off with a handful of dark chocolate m&ms when I got home.

Nipper got home from his run, and we opened a bottle of wine.

After we got Jack to bed, Nipper made himself some scrambled eggs and toast which smelled SO good, probably in large part due to the wine, so I made some too, and then another glass of wine followed up by another handful of dark chocolate m&ms.

You see where this is going. Please see related post about spanx below. I'm having serious chest pains and I'm sure it's because I starved myself all day minus sugar and caffeine, and then ate breakfast and dinner in the span of 3 hours followed by booze and chocolate. If somebody were to interrogate me right now, I would totally break. I shot JFK, it was me and some Cubans! I can not tell a lie!

Going to go lay in bed now and hope for the best.

Friday, December 4, 2009

je suis desolé...

Years ago, before I met Nipper I saw this Francis Francis espresso machine at sur la table. It was jadite green and it matched the rest of my kitchen appliances. But it was $450, way out of my price range, and so I would just visit it whenever I was at the store. They discontinued the color, and over the years I've thought about it. Those same machines now sell for $900 and they don't have the pretty green one anymore. 

My old krups machine croaked earlier this year, and I've been doing a sort of make-shift latte with my french press. I've switched to decaf so I told myself that it didn't really have to taste good or anything. Every morning the same sad watery cup of coffee. So on a whim, I started looking around for a jadite green Francis Francis machine. I thought maybe I could fine a used one. I couldn't even find a picture of it. It's like it never existed.

I've been looking on ebay, and googling it. Nothing. Then last night I went on craigslist and typed in Francis Francis espresso. Guess what came up? YES! I couldn't believe it. After all these years of looking, and there it was. Someone in Thousand Oaks was selling theirs and it was only $150!!!!! It was also sold. Probably the minute it went online. Damn damn damn! Why hadn't I checked craigslist sooner? I am filled with self loathing. 

If anyone sees one of these laying around in a resale shop, or I don't know, a friends kitchen, buy it, steal it, do what you have to do. You will be rewarded generously. Not really. But now that I've come this close to having it, I'm obsessed. Sorry Nipper. 

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Oh my darling Clementine

When we were looking for a house, I kept saying that all I wanted was a yard with an orange tree in it. We found our house, and it had zero orange trees in it. For a housewarming gift we received two kumquat trees, one that we have in a large pot, and one in the ground. I also received a blood orange tree from Kelly when she moved back to Nashville. I added a lemon, and a lime, and last but not least a clementine. Clementines are really the only citrus we eat on a regular basis, besides lemons and limes which we cook with. So of course the Clementines took their sweet time to fruit. Everything else had tons of fruit the last few years, especially the kumquat, which I don't really like to eat, but think are so pretty to look at.

Finally this year, I got 6 precious Clementines, and they are delicious. I was sad to find out they're not seedless, but I'll live. I'm so ungrateful...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Seasons Gratings!

December is upon us, and while this is my favorite time of year, it goes fast, and it's often stressful or sometimes sad too. Here's a little story about how things go down around here this time of year.

A few years ago, Nipper Knapp and I lived in a live/work loft in downtown Los Angeles. It was great. I had studio space for my photography, we had a rooftop pool. Faaaaaaaancy. It did have some downsides though. Like the truck wash that was 4 stories below our window. Hello diesel fumes. And when business was slow, the workers would play soccer in the parking lot, and for some reason this involved A LOT of howling and cat calling. One time a truck driver hit Nipper in his car while he was parked outside the loft. Hit our car with his giant truck. When Nipper got out to get insurance info the guy went CRAZY, said he didn't hit our car, threatened Nipper Knapp and then drove away. Nipper got his license plate, which it turned out was FAKE. Yup. great neighborhood.

We got pregnant in the fall of that year we lived in the loft, so when Christmas rolled around, I was in prime end of first trimester barf bag raging hormone you'd better think twice before you speak to me land. We had 14' ceilings, so I was determined to buy the biggest tree we could find. We did. When we got it home, and standing up in the stand, which I seem to recall involved Nipper getting out his circular saw, I was too cranky to decorate it.

My mom was visiting for the holiday, and we were going to make Christmas cookies. I had found a new recipe that supposedly made gingerbread cookies that didn't suck. Does anyone else have memories of breaking a tooth on a christmas cookie that tasted vaguely of sawdust? The way that they made them delicious and not suck was that there were 7300 steps and ingredients, including rolling them out and then chilling them for 30 minutes before you cut them out. They were sticky and generally a pain in the ass.

Because mom had to decorate gigantor the christmas tree single handedly while I sat on the couch and complained, we didn't start the cookies until about 7pm. (I was a real peach, I know) Around midnight, we had batches and batches of undecorated cookies laid out on the table along with the squeeze bottles of fancy royal icing, and pastel dragees. I wanted magazine cookies, not some stupid homemade cookies. I had BIG DREAMS for these cookies! Things were tense and no one dared comment on our folly, lest the pregnant lady blow again. Finally, my mom said "Well, Merry Fucking Christmas!" I have never laughed so hard in my whole entire life.

Merry Fucking ChristmaHanaKwanzaSolstice everybody! I hope everyone has a great Holiday season with lots of laughs and love, and family close by.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Share the wealth episode 3

This ADORABLE scarf does have something to do with today's post, but you'll have to read to the bottom to find out how to get this little treat. oh also it's from Kate Spade. Wait, did I give it all away? Whoopsy Tootsie. Read on please...

Today I want to talk about something that is near and dear to my heart. Women. You know, girls, moms, daughters, and grannies. I love men. But I can love men, because I was fortunate enough to be born to a place that values me as a woman. I'm so fortunate to have a father and a husband who support me in the most positive ways possible. (and of course a son who ADORES me) I'm so fortunate to have been born in a place that never questioned if I should be educated, or vaccinated or fed, because I'm a woman. If you are reading this, so are you.

I've been thinking I wanted to talk about one specific organization for the last few weeks now, but I haven't been able to narrow it down. Then today Oprah, who I swear I don't watch, (SWEAR!)  had Nicholas Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn on talking about their book and organization "Half The Sky", and I wanted to mention that. You can also read a portion of the book in the NYTimes. They have a list of great organizations that you can look into on their site as well. Oprah, wise woman that she is put a handy little registry up on her site where you can help all kinds of women in all kinds of ways. Many of the donations are so small but can make such big difference in a woman or girl's life. So I'm going to mention a few organizations. Hopefully they will get you all thinking about these numbers, and urge you to do something, however small to help women and girls, who, as you and I know, make all the good shit happen. 

The first one I want to mention is the Fistula Foundation. I'm not going to go into the nitty gritty of what a obstetric fistula is here, because some of you maybe reading this over breakfast, but you can read about it here on their site. Basically it is a hole. It is a common complication with obstructed labor. It is a very common, and very curable problem that effects so many women all over the world. With surgery and antibiotics these women can go on to have very normal lives. But in many parts of the world, they have no access to the health care they need. They end up being shunned due to the embarrassing nature of the injury and many women die unnecessarily because of it. You can learn more about fistula on the Fistula Foundation website. You can also donate to their cause here

The next one, I know a lot of you already know about, because it's so family friendly. They do a great job, of making their donations giftable, which is great this time of year. It's Heifer International. For those of you who don't know, Heifer gives the gift of something like a goat, or a cow, or a flock of geese, or honeybees, even bunny rabbits. These animals can take a family and eventually a whole community from terribly impoverished conditions to having a dependable source of food and income. This year my mother is buying all the grandkids a goat or a small flock of something as a christmas gift. It's a great way to teach kids about something that is very hard to understand in our world where food comes from the grocery store. 

The last one I'm going to include is Women For Women. This organization helps women in war torn areas get back on their feet and become empowered through education and work skills. You can simply donate, or you can sponsor a woman, in one of many war torn countries. I think this org is pretty incredible. I probably should have put this one first, because I'm going to use some of the statistics from their site. Here are some facts that should move you to action:

Why Women?

Around the world, women face some of the greatest obstacles yet also represent tremendous opportunity for lasting social and economic development. Globally, women face the following challenges:
  • They bear a disproportionate burden of the world’s poverty (They represent 70 percent of the world’s poor)
  • Their ability to have a decent life is limited (they perform 66 percent of the world’s work and produce 50 percent of the food but they only earn 10 percent of the income and own 1 percent of the property)
  • Investment in women is inadequate (recent data shows that only 3.6% of overseas development assistance was earmarked for gender equality (UNIFEM). And for every dollar of development assistance, two cents goes to girls (Girl Effect).
  • During and after conflict, women are particularly vulnerable to violence and exploitation (About 70% of casualties in recent conflicts are women and children (UNIFEM) and the forms of violence they experience include torture, rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution and mutilation (UN)
An average Women for Women International participant faces the following challenges:
  • She has limited access to electricity and water (99% of participants in Sudan)
  • She is not educated (96% of participants in Afghanistan)
  • She is not engaged in productive work (90% of participants in Iraq)
  • She is not able to pay for medical care (66% of participants in Afghanistan)
  • She is not able to change customs and traditions that are not fair to her
  • (94% of participants in the DRC)

And for you fashion mavens out there who want to buy something cute, cute, cute, Kate Spade has been partnered with Women For Women since 2005. This year they are selling the most adorable hats, and mittens, dog sweaters, (attention Auntie Swing, Lola needs a Kate Spade sweater) and scarves for the holidays. The knits were all made by women in Bosnia and Herzegovina who are graduates of the program. Dudes... cute, AND good for women! You know you want some. How virtuous would you feel giving your mother in law * something that you could lord over her all year long. "Remember that hat we gave you for christmas? Yeah, I single handedly helped a woman in a war torn country with the purchase of that hat. What did you get me last year? Oh that's right Prell."

If you still need inspiration check out this little video:

"It's no big deal, just the future of humanity..."

*the above statements in no way reflect the relationship I have with MY mother in law, who loves me and always know exactly the perfect thing that will make me squeal with delight on birthdays and Christmas. Meems, you are THE BEST and I love you!