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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 227: We Have A Winner!

Congratulations Ms. Harris!

Whew, wow... finally we have a declared winner! Can you believe California had an election on November 2 and only today the winner of the Attorney Generals race made her acceptance speech. Crazy!

I supported Kamala Harris in her run for California's top Law Enforcement position and I'm thrilled she has won. Not just because she is the first woman and first minority to hold the office, but because she stands for making change to our very screwed up criminal justice system.

Did you know that California has the HIGHEST recidivism rate in the entire Country? That's not a statistic any of us should be proud of. We should be embarrassed about it. And embarrassed that we build more prisons than schools.

I don't know if Kamala Harris is able to fix all our state's criminal woes, but if she can implement policy to move this state forward on crime prevention then I'm all about her. I can't stand that we have so many inmates and so many prisons. I can't stand that my tax dollars fund the construction of prisons over new schools. I also can't stand that babies, children grow up in gang invested communities and have no shot at a decent life and then end up in the criminal justice system. So if we can get a hold of kids when they are young -- and cutting school and doing drugs -- and have an impact on their lives, then I will happily support those programs.

Prevention is key. Parenting is key. Community is key. And having an Attorney General who will implement progressive, alternative and radical change to these issues is key.

Congratulations again Ms. Harris. Make us proud please!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 226: My Aching Feet

You know you've reached a certain age when you have to start seeing a podiatrist. I mean really now. With all the increased miles I've been logging, I have been experiencing EXTREME foot pain. Debilitating pain. No other way to describe it.

When I hit about 6 miles the burning sensation on the bottom of my feet is so bad that I literally need to stop, sit down, and rub my feet before I can resume running. When I hit the 6 mile mark during the Disneyland half marathon that I ran back in September I had to sit down on the ground and remove my running shoe insoles. I ran the remaining distance with no support or insoles in my shoes just to relieve and or change the dynamics of the pressure on my feet.

On Wednesday when I run my long distance run it's been unbearable. And it's now hurting even when I'm walking, whether I have shoes on or are barefoot. So finally I surrendered to the fact that I need to address this pain if I am going to continue running.

Today I saw Dr. Noreen Oswell who runs The Foot Center at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. She's FABULOUS! I left her office with a pain remedy plan and finally felt like I was going to see some relief in my future. After a thorough exam which included xrays she recommended a host of remedies including orthotics (very typical for runners) as well as patches to wear on my feet.

Turns out that the sexy arched feet I have, which are great for high heels, are not so great for walking & running long distances. The very high arch places undue pressure on the front of my foot and then with the bunion squeezing my foot inward the two are colliding and creating way too much pressure on the nerves. Who knew?

What I want to know is what kind of person chooses podiatry for a medical field? Who would want to touch feet all day? Don't know what prompted Dr. Oswell, but I'm sure glad she did!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 225: Happy Anniversay

Well we made it home safe and sound from our whirlwind New York trip. The four of us - Brian, Harrison, Spencer and me are back safe to Los Angeles and college boy Brandon made it safely back to his dorm room at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. Whew!

I was very surprised this morning when hubby of 23 years woke me with a brewing cup of my favorite coffee - an Americana, a cinnamon roll and a beautiful cut rose from our rose garden on the side of the house. What a beautiful way to wake up on your Anniversary, especially after a very long day of travel.

Today has been spent regrouping ... unpacking, going through piles of mail, doing loads of laundry, marketing, filling the car with gas, refilling prescriptions, and updating my Blog! Whew...

Hubby went to the market so I could record our trip via blog entries ... when he returned we popped a bottle of champagne to congratulate one another on still being married after all these years. We didn't need a fancy dinner (had too many of those in New York), or a night out on the town (also had too many of those in NY), or a big to do celebration... sometimes it's just the small things like the coffee and rose in bed, or the yummy champagne which we drank out of the two remaining champagne flutes from our wedding gifts, to make it a special memory.

We have much to be thankful for and mostly it's for each other...
Happy Anniversary Mr. Simon from your Bride ...

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day 224: SEVENTH DAY: Time To Go Home

Today was a long day of good-byes and travel. But wouldn't you know it, the morning we are leaving it begins to snow! Real beautiful snowflakes... I thought can this trip get any better! It was a real treat to see beautiful white snow fall before we headed home.

We packed up and hit the road for about a 3 hour drive from Austerlitz to JFK Airport to head back home to Los Angeles. One of the small towns (tiny, tiny town!) in the countryside was named none other then ... SPENCERTOWN! Can you believe it ... so of course we had to stop and have our Spencer pose for a photo!

The ride to the airport was gorgeous. Beautiful open country to marvel out. It's always sad to end a great time and to leave the people you love, but we will cherish the memories created this past week for a lifetime.

It was also a good-bye for me to the college boy Brandon who boarded a plane back to Oregon while us four Simon's headed back home to Los Angeles.

As I watched my handsome son's face turn to walk down the airport corridor, I had a very teary-eyed moment ... not out of sadness, but out of pure happiness. Happiness that hubby Brian and I had made this trip happen, that we were welcomed so graciously by family on the East Coast, that the earth didn't cave in because we didn't stick to tradition and host Thanksgiving Dinner, happiness for my family's health, laughter, and love... a very blessed Thanksgiving it was!

So from the Ritter Simon family ....

to the Yousem Wolf Family, we say thank you for a beautiful Holiday week ... the boys loved New York so much, who knows we might all be back next year!

Friday, November 26, 2010

DAY 223: SIXTH DAY: The Day After

I think we were all a little hung over this morning and not just from the wine, but the food too! We had a delicious feast, but Thanksgiving is a long day and the affects are felt the day after.

We had a leisurely morning and then rallied later in the day to go on an adventure to see some of the country. We loaded up the two cars and made the beautiful drive back to Great Barrington, Massachusetts to walk the quaint town and hit some of the gourmet food stores. Always an adventure with this crew.

Pictured here is the gang (minus hubby Brian who was always taking the photos!) on the charming streets in Great Barrington.

Earlier in the day Kevin, Zachary, Harrison and Brian had visited a local working farm that produces fresh cheeses .... you open a refrigerator and select your item and leave payment on the honor system! Can you imagine that in Los Angeles! Nothing like delicious, fresh and all natural yummy cheese!

Pictured here is chef Harrison examining his cheese selection.

It was a cold, cold day as we walked the streets of this beautiful city. But that didn't stop the tourists and locals from being out and about. The streets had a Holiday buzz about them as folks wandered into the gourmet cheese stores, the fabulous candy store (called ROBIN'S), the coffeehouses and all the hip restaurants. It was a great way to spend the day after Thanksgiving.... walking off some of our turkey.

Today is our last full day on the East Coast. Always sad to have a fabulous trip come to an end, but you know you had a wonderful time when you leave still wanting more!

We celebrated our last night once again with an amazing meal. We made the ride over to Hudson, another small pocket town in this beautiful countryside for a fresh-from-the-farm-to-table-meal. Local 111 is a charming little restaurant where the young woman chef has created quite a name for herself in the region. I ate one of the best beet salads I've ever had... everything fresh & yummy. We dined and laughed some more ... this our last meal together of the trip.

Once again I want to say how thankful the Simon's are for kid sis Jennifer & beau Kevin's hospitality. We are a lot with 5 of us and three large teenage sons... but they were gracious and inviting and really showered us with love & fun.

It was a wonderful day to end our week long vacation.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day 222: FIFTH DAY: I Am Grateful

Happy Thanksgiving to my gracious Blog followers. May your day be filled with abundance and may you be surrounded by the people you love and cherish. While many of us will celebrate this day with way too much food & cheers, millions go hungry today. What a shame in this country, isn't it?

Pictured here is our beautiful Thanksgiving table decorated by Aunt Jennifer! It was gorgeous!

We have spent many of Thanksgiving donating time and food to shelters and to those less fortunate. And I'm happy we have created these experiences for our boys. We've been blessed to host a long standing tradition of sharing this holiday with family and friends. Over the years the group has grown and has topped out at some 40 guests for our feast. Always beautiful, warm and wonderful. But this year I wanted and needed to change it up.

I wrote about the many reasons that this was the year to make the change. From the boys school schedule changing to the boys getting older, to family on the East Coast that wanted to host a holiday.... this was the year and I'm so grateful that we could make it happen. Not an easy task, change is a challenge, but here we are in Austerlitz, New York and I couldn't be happier.

It's another crisp, cool and glorious day in the country and the house was full of energy all day as we cooked and prepared for our feast. One of the most magical moments for me was watching our boys play football... it was a real East Coast day, you really felt you were in New England with it blistery cold outside and the boys running around with a football.

Jennifer was really an amazing host and chef. She prepared most of the dinner as I served as sous chef and on KP. Hubby Brian had made a wine store run back in Manhattan and so we had delicious wine to share with our yummy food.

Pictured here is Jen on a step stool to be able to mix those potatoes... check out Kevin's eyes as he walks by ... hmm he's saying ... can't wait to eat those spuds!

Watching Jennifer make our Mom's yummy mashed potatoes with pounds of butter and whipped cream was a real treat.

And watching Harrison and Brian prepare our turkey for the feast just warmed my heart. And isn't that what the day is about. Being wrapped in memories and by the people you share your life with... creating new memories and traditions, keeping some old ones, and being grateful that you even have a place at a table to share the holiday.

Pictured below is the family feasting at our beautifully decorated table!

One of the funniest and most memorable images I will take away from tonight's feast is what happened to the Simon boys after dinner... they all passed out on the couch from eating so much food... check these brothers out on the couch! Hysterical!

Brian and I congratulated one another for making today's Holiday happen... we broke from tradition, but created a new one with Jen's family and in New York. The boys LOVED being in the country, playing football with Zachary, eating yummy food and being together. What more could you ask for?

We were all very grateful tonight!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 221: FOURTH DAY: Turkey Shopping

Ahh, waking up in the country in upstate New York ...we are in a small (tiny!) country area called Austerlitz. Kid sister Jennifer and beau Kevin have a house up here and this is where we are spending our Thanksgiving Holiday.

Pictured here are Jennifer and I taking a walk on a blistery cold day in the country on the road outside her house. Isn't it gorgeous!?

So today Jennifer and I headed out to shop for the fixings for our special holiday meal. Brian stayed in Manhattan to greet the college boy Brandon who arrived early this morning from Oregon. Brandon took a red eye flight from Portland and arrived in New York at 6 a.m. this morning. I was of course worried all night while he was flying since a snow storm hit Portland the day he was leaving. Can you believe Oregon received snow before New York? Crazy.

There were a lot of logistics that went into making this trip happen... and getting Brandon here was one of them. I'm grateful he arrived safely. Brian and he headed to Carneige's for a real New York Deli experience first thing when he arrived. Then off they went to do some sightseeing before heading up to meet us at the house.

Pictured here is Brandon in Times Square the morning he arrived in the City.

Jennifer and I headed to Great Barrington, Massachusetts, just about 25 minutes from her home. What a beautiful quaint town! I loved it! We did a major grocery shop getting all the ingredients for our feast. Then off to Guido's market - picture Bristol Farms and Whole Foods combined, a beautiful specialty food market where Jen had ordered the turkey for us to pick up.

After all our shopping we stopped at a charming French bistro in Great Barrington for a delicious little nosh before heading back to prepare. Why is everyone so friendly when you are out of Los Angeles?

While we got things in order for Thanksgiving dinner, Kevin and his adorable 6 year old son Zachary and Brian and Brandon made their way up to meet us. What a joyous love fest it was when we all finally were together on the eve of Thanksgiving.

Are these the most gorgeous men or what? Pictured here are Harrison, Brian, Kevin and Spencer. Love these boys!!

After another yummy meal in a neighboring town called Chatham, we headed back to the house to chill. I breathed a sigh of relief that we had all made it. As I said above there were a lot of logistics... everyone with a different schedule, 8 bodies to move, two cars to load, lots of meals to prepare and flights to schedule so when we were finally all together on the eve of Thanksgiving in this beautiful, cozy and warm home it just all felt right. I knew we had made the best and right decision to change it up for our family this year.

Off to bed now to be fresh for the big feast tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 220: THIRD DAY: Central Park and the Country

Another glorious day in the city! Brian and I explored the neighborhood while the teenagers snoozed .... our days have been full and our evenings very late.

We walked to the East River just blocks from Kevin and Jennifer's new apartment. Magnificent is all I can say. Beautiful parks where children were playing and folks were walking their dogs on a cool crisp morning. I mean breathtakingly beautiful.

We took a brisk walk and soaked in the way of life for New Yorkers. Very different then our Southern California lifestyle, but equally as magical. The city is intoxicating and invigorating, that is for sure. But you gotta have a lot of strength, chutzpa and dough to play and live in this town.

After our wonderful morning we headed back to the apartment to get ready for once again another yummy meal. We headed over to Seriphina, another spot I wanted the boys to eat at. Truffle pizza again with delicious pasta. What could be better? It was a late lunch but the place was packed and the people just kept comin' in. Talk about a lunch crowd ... any of our joints in LA would die for the action this Italian place was getting. Great food & great energy.

From there we walked to Central Park. I could spend hours in this park. It is beautiful and full of life. Babies in strollers, joggers, walkers, Zoo visitors, lovers, old, young, it's all happening at this jewel smack in the middle of an island separating the Eastside from the Westside in Manhattan. Just amazing!

Then the boys and I hooked up with Aunt Jennifer to head up to the Country to prepare for Thanksgiving. Kevin and Jen have a home in a small country town called Austerlitz, about two hours out of the city.

The afternoon was all about logistics!
The four of us -- Jen, Harrison, Spencer and I - headed out of town while Brian stayed back to have a "boy's night dinner" in the city with Kevin and also to greet college boy Brandon who was flying in from Portland on a red eye flight. He wasn't able to join us the entire week because he had school so he arrives at 6 a.m. tomorrow morning and will hook up with Brian then.

Jennifer is quite the New York driver ... she maneuvered the insane traffic getting us out of the City up through the Bronx and Harlem to the highway. Whew, you know me I was a wreck with how those New Yorkers drive ... but there was Jennifer, cursing and nudging her way into the lane she needed. Thank goodness it was her driving and not me.

She was so sweet to offer to take the boys to Mo'Griters... one of the eateries profiled on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives located in the Bronx in a car repair shop. Well, oh my gosh is all I can say about this little adventure.

Here we were in her shiny new Lexus driving in an area we ought not to be to find this dive. Harrison spotted the sign and we made our way in only to learn that City officials had shut down the joint a few months before. What a disappointment. The boys were really looking forward to grubbing on good BBQ, but heck we gave it a try and it was a fun excursion.
We made it to the house in Austerlitz, New York and just melted at how beautiful it is. Nestled on 3 acres of land with endless trees and no neighbors on top of you. What us Angeleno's wouldn't give for a little land like this!

Pictured here is the house and their very own backyard pond!

It has been a long day and so tonight we just snuggled in front of a fire and chilled. Tomorrow it's off to prepare for Turkey Day!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 219: SECOND DAY: Lady Liberty in New York City

Oh my gosh another fabulous day here in Manhattan. Gorgeous weather for walking and exploring and that's exactly what we did all day! After sleeping in to recover from Sunday's whirlwind we made our way to one of my favorite little restaurants that Jen had turned me on to when I visited her back in April. I knew I wanted to take hubby Brian and the boys there when we returned in November.

Pictured here are kid sis Jen and I looking stuffed from a scrumptious lunch. I look a little sleepy from the delicious glasses of wine I drank at lunch ! That's what I love about a vacation ... you get to drink wine at lunch!

LUPA, is one of the original Mario Battali establishments. It's a small Italian restaurant in SOHO and it is worth the headache of trying to score a reservation to get into. It's that good. I mean let's face it, us Simon's are extreme foodies. The best quote of the day was coined by Spencer who turned to us and said after eating tongue and brain cheese (I'm not kidding ... he really did eat these items and I had to look away every time he took a bite) ...

"This is the best day time meal I've ever had."

Brian and I thought we'd die from laughter. Gotta love a 15 year old kid who will be that adventuresome with his food and say something like that!

From there we hit the city for sightseeing. We walked to Washington Park where New York University is located and all around the cool neighborhoods and shops in this pocket of the city.

Pictured here in Washington Park are Harrison, Dani Grossman, and Spencer. The sophisticated teenage travellers!

Then we headed to Battery Park on the Hudson River where the magnificent Statue of Liberty is viewed brilliantly. What a sight ... it always gives me goose bumps to see our lady Liberty in her greatness and know that every one's ancestry's at one time travelled these waters to enter our great country. An added treat is that our dear friends Howard Grossman and his daughter Dani were in town too and we hooked up with them for our afternoon sightseeing.

Pictured to the left are the Simon boys with good friend Dani Grossman and Aunt Jennifer and me.

Then it was off to see Ground Zero. A somber but significant visit for all Americans. The boys asked a million questions about that harrowing day in 2001 and how it changed us for ever. A very poignant visit to make if you ever get to New York with your children.

Pictured here are Harrison & Spencer viewing the devastation and now construction taking place at Ground Zero in Manhattan.

And what would a night in the city be without another fabulous dinner! When I was in New York visiting Jen in April another favorite restaurant of mine was The Harrison, in the Tribeca neighborhood.

Given its name and its delicious menu, I knew I wanted to go back with the family. So off we went for another meal.

We had a beautiful round table and Kevin, Jen, Brian and I and the boys devoured another tasty meal. Laughing, talking and just enjoying each other's company.

Jennifer and Kevin have been such gracious hosts, putting us up in their apartment, making reservations at all my favorite places, and making so many logistical maneuvers to shepard this group through the city. We could not be more appreciative of their welcoming arms and hospitality. It's been amazing to be in the city with them at this very beautiful time of the year and my favorite time of the year.

Pictured here is the restaurants' namesake, my Happy Harrison and his proud mama.

I am deeply grateful that my wonderful husband agreed with me to take this adventure and break from our tradition of hosting Thanksgiving. While I am sad to not share the holiday with all my family, I am grateful to be with Jennifer and her family and to be with my boys. To just enjoy them away from our home and all the craziness that life offers. We were able to spend hours talking, enjoying, and laughing and that is a gift I will always treasure.

You can not go back in time. You have to make the memories now, capture what you can especially when you are raising teenagers. Time is so very precious and I feel as if the time we had today and the past few days here in New York with my family has warmed my heart and soul.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 218: FIRST DAY: Sunday Football JETS Style

WOW, that's all I can say about our first day in the City! We rose early today after a great flight to New York last night and an amazing welcome dinner at a fabulous Italian restaurant! Kid sister Jennifer & her beau Kevin took us to one of their favorite spots in their neighborhood on the upper Eastside. Nothing like a truffle pizza to welcome you to the Big Apple! YUMMY!

Today we had a scrumptious breakfast at another one of their favorite neighborhood joints, Gracie Mews, before we headed off to the brand new Meadowland Stadium in New Jersey for a JETS football game. Harrison had researched the football schedule and discovered that we'd be in New York for a Sunday day game at the brand spanking new 1 billion dollar football arena. It did not disappoint that is for sure. Makes our Los Angeles Staples Center seem like an antique.

So we headed to Penn Station bundled up with jackets, gloves and hoodies. We took a train from Penn Station in Manhattan to Secaucus, New Jersey where we then transferred to a smaller train earmarked for the Meadowland Stadium. There we were us four Californians with a train full of green jersey wearing insane hardcore JETS FOOTBALL fans. That in itself was an experience!

All of us were in awe of the new stadium ... its grandness and newness and of course its prices. Brian and I drank 18 dollar Bloody Mary's! What a way to kick start your Sunday football action.

Our seats were awesome, of course thanks to the hubby Brian Simon. The boys were in awe. They have never been to a professional football game before (only college games) because of course LA doesn't have a professional team. So this was a real treat. And New York fans don't disappoint. For those of you who remember Raider football fans, you get my drift-- hardcore and committed to their team.

Well I gotta tell you the JETS team did not disappoint. I mean the last 49 seconds of the game was some of the best and most exciting sports action I have ever witnessed. I mean jaw dropping excitement as local Southern California boy Mark Sanchez throws a pass to score a touchdown and win the game with seconds remaining. The stadium erupted and we were all hoarse from cheering! The win made the schelp back on the trains bearable!

Pictured here are the boys Spencer & Harrison mowing on prime rib sandwiches! The food & bar area in the new stadium is the bomb! Absolutely a spectacular sports arena.

And as if the daytime adventure wasn't enough we headed back to kid sister Jen's apartment to change for a delicious dinner out on the town.

We hit a place called Peasant in the Chelsea area of New York on the lower Westside. It's a Funky, cool, hip area of the city. The meal did not disappoint. There are no gas ovens -- everything is cooked and prepared in a wood burning oven -- delicious!! And a magnificent wine list too.

Pictured here to the right are kid sister Jennifer and me at yummy Peasant Restaurant. Pictured below is the gang enjoying our beautiful dinner to candlelight!

It was a truly full, fun, and adventuresome day with the family in a great city!

What a way to kick start our New York vacation! WOW!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Day 217: We're Outta Here

We are off ... car arrives momentarily to take us to LAX where we'll board our flight to New York! I will be posting daily about all our activities so you can keep updated on the crazy Simon adventures.

Honestly a part of me is a little nervous about us four - Brian, Harrison, Spencer and me -- flying together while college boy Brandon flies solo out of Portland on Tuesday. As a parent you can't help but have your mind do a number on your emotions... what if our plane goes down? What will happen to my first born son Brandon? What if his plane goes down and he doesn't reach us in New York? I have a pit in my stomach and will until we are all landed safely in the Big Apple.

I love my family to The Moon & Stars & Back Again and can't imagine life without any of them ... just my anxiety kicking in ... I love you all too!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Day 216: Leaving Town Madness

Why is it so difficult to get your family out of town? Why I ask, why? There's the endless washing & packing, and before that there's the shopping for the right clothes --- boys don't have winter coats so again it was off to the Macy's men sale to get them warm attire so they don't spend the week freezing in New York!

Then there's making sure that the house/dog sitter has all the proper information and instructions for handling your home while you are gone, then there's paying the bills in advance so you don't get hit with late fees for not sending in a payment on time.... then there's endless phone calls to make and return, emails to respond to, work commitments to attend to, yikes... getting prepared to split town is exhausting!

So we are outta here tomorrow morning early ... we will arrive in Manhattan by dinner time and will meet up with kid sister Jennifer & beau Kevin for a yummy Italian dinner at one of their favorite spots in their upper Eastside neighborhood.

On Sunday we have tickets to the New York Jets football game at the brand new Meadowland Stadium. We'll be taking the subway to the game with all the enthusiastic fans ... should be an experience. The boys have never been to a professional football game since our hometown Los Angeles doesn't have a pro team. They've been to plenty of college games but this will be their first professional game. Should be a great way to kick-off our week long adventure in New York.

So I finally made the packing decisions and have filled to the brim my huge suitcase. Don't know if I have the right items, but don't care at this point. I'm exhausted getting everything ready to leave home and just want to get there, get settled and get a Manhattan Martini already!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 215: Packing Anxiety

Okay, everyone has something that they do not do well ... cooking, dancing, gardening, driving, writing, the list goes on and on with how many tasks we manage daily and the degree in which we perform these chores or activities. Some we shy away from. Others we just never engage in. For me the task that causes me the most anxiety is packing for a trip! Sounds odd doesn't it... I mean you'd think one would be so excited about getting the heck out of town (which I am) that they'd happily throw some items in the bag and hit the road.

For me it's a bit more complicated then that. What if I bring too many clothes? Or not enough? Or not the right clothes... will it be very cold, mildly cold or will an unseasonal heat wave hit the city when I've packed all winter sweaters and scarfs? Such a dilemma I tell you.

The Simon gang departs on Saturday for New York City, yeah! We are going to spend the week and the Thanksgiving Holiday with kid sis Jennifer, her beau Kevin and his 6 year old son Zachary. We are all super excited to be on the East Coast with the cold wintry weather and to spend time with Jennifer & Kevin in their Country home in Hudson, New York.

As you know if you follow my Blog, we usually host Turkey Day and it is always fun & festive.... but this year due to numerous reasons we elected to change it up and try something new. So off we go on Saturday morning. College boy Brandon will fly out of Portland, Oregon on Tuesday and hook up with us then in Manhattan.

We have all kinds of fun activities planned, but that will be another post, today I need to vent about my anxiety surrounding packing the right items ... not just for myself but for the boys too! Can't have them showing up in the city not dressed properly!

So here's the deal for me... as you know I'm a huge accessory queen ... I change my handbag daily to match my outfit. Same with my jewelry... I know it's weird but that's who I am. So when I set out to pack I have to carefully imagine every accessory that goes with each outfit, I sound crazy don't I, again that's me! And I like to have options... do I want to wear slacks, leggings, a skirt out to dinner or walking around .... I don't know what mood I'll be in so I end up bringing all three choices.

It's similar to going to the grocery store and trying to plan dinner for the next 5 nights ... how the hell do I know what I'll want to eat on Thursday if I'm food shopping on a Monday? I need variety and options and don't want to be boxed in ... that's how it is for my clothes!

So tonight begins the process of laying everything out that I believe I will wear and then going crazy because it's all way too much and then I feel overwhelmed and just throw everything in the damn bag... oh such problems!