A sassy, crafty mama bird from Los Angeles
raising a very sweet little girl with Autism
and a new baby boy in the Midwest... and other stuff, too.

Friday, December 30, 2011

*This Moment*



{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. -SouleMama

Saturday, December 24, 2011

2011: Year in Music Review

It's time, people. I will list for you my top 10 albums of the year like I did last year. But this year, I'm turning it up to 11. That's right, I'm listing 11 albums. These are not necessarily albums that came out in the year 2011. These are albums that I obsessed over- listened to over and over and over this year. Still, some actually were released in the year 2011. Ready? Here we go:






Adele 21
Do you breathe? Yes? Well then there was no way to escape this album this year. It's a great album with some great tracks. Perfect album to become the soundtrack of a breakup. The only problem was that the tracks released to radio got so much AirPlay that it almost seemed weird if you turned on the radio and didn't hear Adele. Still, great album and my pick for album of the year at the Grammys. Did she get a song of the year nomination (songwriters award) for Someone Like You? She should and she deserves to take that Grammy home. 


Alexi Murdoch Time Without Consequence
Yeah, you've probably never heard of this guy, but I'd be willing to bet that you've heard his tunes on your favorite tv shows (the ones with awesome music supervision). If you need to chill out at night, throw this one on. 


Blind Pilot We are the Tide
Last year I got really into their "Three Rounds and a Sound" record. Little Bird knows most of the words! This years album was their sophomore release and they did not disappoint. Received this album as a birthday gift along with tickets to see them live. Great album, great show. 





Cat Power The Greatest

Remember how I was all "put on Alexi Murdoch to chill late at night"?? Well, toss this puppy on the record player (or playa, if you will) on a Sunday morning while you read the paper or play your turns in Words With Friends. Just make sure you've got a hot, fresh, delicious cup of coffee in your hands. So good!!






The Head and the Heart The Head and the Heart
Gotta tell you, I was first introduced to this band by my good friend Jillsmo. She knows I dig good tunes and sent me an email with a link to a couple of their songs. I enjoy listening to this while I'm cooking or just doing things around the house. It's a good solid listen all the way through. I'm gonna check them out when they make their way through Detroit in March.

Halfway stretch. Need to get up to pee or pour yourself a tall one? Have you noticed I'm going in alphabetic order? I am. Did you just look back to confirm this? Okay, back to the list. 






Iron & Wine Our Endless Numbered Days
Here's an example of an album that didn't come out this year, but I totally fell in love with over the summer. Actually, I listened to it a lot when I was in Colorado. Great album. Sad, but great. I've been enjoying it a lot more than this years release by I&W. 





Joe Purdy Paris in the Morning
Can't help it. I love Joe Purdy. Saw him live in Los Angeles in April. Great show, though he didn't play any tracks off this record. I feel like so many of these songs are almost continuing the story he told on one of last year's favorites You Can Tell Georgia.

Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan (sometimes known as The Milk Carton Kids") Retrospect
These guys opened up for Joe Purdy and I dug them right away. I'd heard some of Joey Ryan's solo stuff before but when he teams up with KP, it's really awesome. They've got a song called "California" that's the most beautiful tribute to my home state ever. 






Ryan Adams Ashes & Fire
It's hard to imagine Ryan Adams making a record that could even coming close to the awesomeness of his "Heartbreaker" album. But this album is pretty freakin' great. Wasn't really into his last album. Maybe Mandy Moore is good for him?


Tallest Man on Earth Sometimes the Blues is Just a Passing Bird
Another record that isn't new, but was new to me this year. Also, another Sunday morning album. Great tunes all around. This guy is good. 

And here we are, at my #1 album of the year. As far as I'm concerned, there's no contest. The best album of 2011 is 




Bon Iver Bon Iver
The production is amazing. Try not to analyze what he's talking about because you'll make yourself nuts. Instead, listen to the layers of instrumentation, the harmonies, and the ethereal sounds that can take you away from the carpool line, office space, or wherever else you're listening.

If you've never heard of any of these, please check them out. Let me know what you think. 

What was your favorite music to listen to this year?




Friday, December 23, 2011

*This Moment*


{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. -SouleMama

But that's not all...
For the first time ever, I have a video to accompany my moment. 
Enjoy.

video

Friday, December 16, 2011

*This Moment*


{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. -SouleMama


Thursday, December 15, 2011

If I had to marry a celebrity...


I don't have to, but if I had to marry a celebrity (or five), my list would look something like this 
(in order):

1) Tom Brokaw
Yes, he is my #1 celebrity crush. I've had a thing for him for a long, long time. I've read his autobiography and I've TiVo'd his interview with Piers Morgan from last night- don't tell me how it ends!


2) William Jefferson Clinton

Love love love me some Bill Clinton. Had the hots for him since I was a teenager and he was running for office. Did you know he's a vegan now, too?? Healthy is hot!!


3) Ryan Reynolds
He just looks like a really nice guy, doesn't he? (side note: this post would've been finished earlier, but I got a little caught up looking at for pictures of this guy on the interwebz)



4) Barack Obama

He's the freaking leader of the free world, people. Come on!

5) Charles Osgood (from CBS' Sunday Morning)
He's just so cute in those little bow ties



One of these things is not like the others, huh? Weird. Wait. You weren't expecting this list to be all George Clooney and Brad Pitt-ish, were you?


This week's prompt:  
If you HAD to marry a celebrity...who would make your top five list and why?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

At my mom's suggestion

So, I have this blog. Yes, this one. And I used to write in it a lot. In fact, according to the little numbers over there (yeah, over there <---------), in 2009 I wrote 189 posts, and in 2010 I wrote 284. But, in 2011 so far I've only written 150; this is post number 151- which got me thinking....

mmmmmmm
My mom, Little Bird's grandma, came to visit us this week. She heard me talk about my super awesome friend Laura S, whom I got to see during a recent road trip I took to Ohio. I got to tell her the story of how Laura's friend (I think her name is Jennifer, so hi Jennifer!!) told her she's just gotta check out this blog by some crazy awesome lady (me) who curses talks just like they do and have so much of the same experiences. She did, then she contacted me and once I discovered she wasn't a stalker was super cool, we became fast friends. She's come to visit me, and I've traveled down to see her, too! Here we are with our girls:

(Laura would probably want me to tell you that this photo was shot at a weird angle and I'm very short.
She is not a giant)
Then my mom got to meet my gorgeous friend Alisa, whom I also met through this little blog. About a year and a half ago I got an email from her saying, "hi you don't know me, but...." and we became friends immediately! 

So, it wasn't long before my mom said, "you know, Danielle..." (many conversations start off this way) "You really should start writing your blog again."  Aw, man! Don't my Friday *This Moment* posts count?  Apparently, they do not. "It connects you to so many people and you've made some really nice friendships with people going through similar experiences; it brings you so much support while offering so much to others." I'm sure she said other stuff, but we were driving and I think we passed the Dairy Queen by then and I got distracted. My point is... I guess I'll start writing again. Sound good? Are you ready? Can you handle it? At this point, I imagine you are standing up and applauding, so please sit down, you're embarrassing me.



Friday, December 9, 2011

*This Moment*

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. -SouleMama

Little Bird's backpack. Represent!


Sunday, December 4, 2011

It gets better. Right?

Dear anyone out there who has gone through a divorce,

It gets better, right? (say yes. say yes. say yes.)

This process sucks.

Will it ever end?

Let me know.

Kthanxbai

-Dani G

Friday, December 2, 2011

*This Moment*

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. -SouleMama

Friday, November 25, 2011

*This Moment*

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. -SouleMama


Friday, November 18, 2011

*This Moment*

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. -SouleMama


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Skool Pikture Blog Hop

So I had this great idea... let's link up some of our kids' best and/or worst school pictures. Of course the first person I thought of was the overzealous take my kid to sears photo center for every holiday including but not limited to Columbus Day and St. Patrick's Day my bloggy BFF Lynn, the Autism Army Mom. She thought it was a great idea, too. Then she put the idea out among our blogging buddies via twitter and sure enough, Lynn and I were the only ones who thought it was a good idea. Would we let a little detail like that deter us? Oh, hell no! So, here it is, kids... our little (very little) school pic blog hop.


So, this was the first school pic I got. So freaking cute, right?! I just figured that every single photo after this would be as gorgeous, but obviously I was spoiled because here's what I got the next year....

"You talkin' to me?"
Then I got this...

Yep, that's me
And now, ladies and gentlemen, I bring you Little Dani G

This is me, too, with a few stars coming out of my head


"do you think anyone's gonna join our little blog hop?"- Dani
"no."- Lynn

Oh, come on. Link up with us!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

22 things I've never done

I am 34 years old and I have never:

1. Completed a year of school without at least a warning of expulsion (sorry mom)
2. Piloted an aircraft
3. Voted for a republican
4. Crossed a picket line
5. Shaved my head
6. Touched raw chicken
7. Been to Paris
8. Danced on stage at Radio City Music Hall with the Rockettes
9. Grown taller than 5'1"
10. Run a marathon
11. Learned to play the banjo
12. Lasted longer than 5 months on a refined sugar free diet
13. Learned to surf, despite growing up in California
14. Taken LSD (I swear, mom)
15. Eaten Indian or Ethiopian Food
16. Lived alone
17. Had a Bat Mitzvah
18. Really figured out "who" vs. "whom"
19. Ridden a mechanical bull
20. Jumped out of an airplane
21. Not cringed when someone mistakenly calls soda "pop"
22. Lived in a treehouse

I'll probably follow up with a list of 22 things I have done, unless it turns out to be too NSFW.

Friday, November 4, 2011

*This Moment*

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. -SouleMama

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Just two things....

There are a couple of things blowing my mind today. 

1) That it's acceptable for a person like Kim Kardashian to be celebrated at all to waste millions of dollars that could have gone to a good cause like, oh, anything else be married for two months (was it even that long), making such a public mockery of marriage, but two consenting, responsible, tax paying adults cannot just because the happen to have the same parts??

So, that, and 2) that there are still 21 states here in the good ol' U. S. of A. that continue to discriminate against individuals (mostly children) with Autism, denying them insurance coverage. Yesterday, New York became the 29th state to stand up and end that discrimination.
What's it like where YOU live?



Saturday, October 29, 2011

Boo! in the blogosphere

I'm linking up today with the girls from Four Plus an Angel and Sellabitmum to post pics of my baby bird all dressed up for Halloween.
So, here we go....

For her first Halloween, I couldn't decide what to dress Little Bird as, so I had a fashion show!








Friday, October 28, 2011

*This Moment*

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. -SouleMama

Monday, October 24, 2011

Her weekend away

I packed her bag: clothes, socks, underwear, a sweater just in case; supplements (anything not liquid and not refrigerated); books, toothbrush, GF/CF snacks for the plane, etc. We drove to the airport with time to spare. And then I did something I'd never done before. I kissed my baby goodbye. Even though I'd told her she was going on a trip to Noni's house with Daddy and that Mommy would be here when she came home, she looked a little confused when she really realized I wasn't going with her. She'd never been on an airplane without me. She'd never been anywhere without me. It'd been almost six months since I'd spent a night away from her. I'd never spent a night in my house without her there. We're both tough girls and I knew we'd make it.

And we did.

Little Bird had a great visit to "tawifornia" (California) with her Dad. She got to spend some nice quality time with her Noni, Papa, Auntie Em, and her cousins. I mean, look at this:


Oh, me? Yep, I made it, too. I missed her. A lot. How'd I celebrate my "freedom" that so many people said I'd love? I napped!! I was sick, so I actually camped out on the couch. Knitting, drinking hot cider, and napping. I was unfamiliar with this napping phenomenon that I'd heard so much about. And I liked it. A lot.

Now she's back home with me and life returns to normal. Well, our normal, anyway. A great lesson for us both in understanding that she's just fine without me for a weekend; and I guess I was just fine, too.

Friday, October 21, 2011

*This Moment*

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. -SouleMama


Best Scoop of the Week (it's me!)

So, there's this blog The Scoop on Poop. Much to my chagrin, it's not all about poop. I know, right? But, it's pretty great just the same. Today, Drama Mama has me listed as the "Best Scoop of the Week". Pretty sure that "scoop" isn't about ice cream. Still, it's pretty cool.

The only requirement she gave me was that I had to tell her which fictional character I'd like to be and why. So, are you gonna go check it out? Yes, you are!!!

The Scoop on Poop

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Profile Pic



What a great weekend. 
I took a trip to Chicago with some friends to watch some other friends get married. We took the train, drank, ate, made a speech, drank, wore fancy clothes, danced the hora, and celebrated all weekend. 
The morning after the wedding, I met a friend for one more visit to Intelligentsia coffee shop. On the way to the train station, we stopped at the Corner Bakery (which really isn't a bakery) for a bite to eat. We sat outside. It was a beautiful morning. I sipped my Intelligentsia. My phone rang. I answered it and spoke with a girlfriend for a minute. He snapped this picture of me. I didn't even notice it happening. I think that's why I like this photo so much. 
It's just.... me.

This week's prompt: 
tell the story behind your facebook profile picture.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Friday, October 14, 2011

Twist and Pull

You might have seen last week's moment and you might have guessed we spent the day at the apple orchard, but you'd never have guessed just how beautiful the day truly was. We go on this field trip every year with Little Bird's school and it's usually cold and a little drizzly, but this was a gorgeous, sunny and 65 kind of day. 



We had a great time, picked (and ate) a ton of apples, drank some fresh cider, ate a glutenous donut (or two). My favorite part of the day was definitely getting to see Little Bird with her two best friends at school. These girls love and accept my girl as is, treating her no differently than any other kid, but still understanding that she is a little different. 


Apple cider donuts!! (please do not tell the Gluten Free police!)

The obligatory "twist and pull" photo


The Loot

I found a few bites taken from this one and then neatly placed back in the fruit bowl
I baked two apple crisps and this amazing apple coffee cake, which might be the best thing I've ever made. A big thank you and a shout out to everyone who gave me ideas and recipes for the 50 apples I brought home, and a big F you to Emeril Legasse who's delicious Apple Coffee Cake Recipe was listed as "easy" (it was hard work, yo!).

mmmmmmmmmmmmmm
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See, it's not just my mom! (since Jan 1, 2010)