Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Fresh Summer Start

Oh, man. Please forgive the slow season for stories, it's just that I've been a crazed person lately, super busy and no time to settle for a second ... and then I lost my phone. It's a long, dumb story (involving Uber, scotch tasting, family reunions and a "Good Samaritan" deleting all my contacts. All my messages. All my photos. All my nostalgic reasons (plus the keyboard) that I'd held on to my o.g. Blackberry forever for. Gone. Not backed up. Not able to synch to any new phone. It was a sucker punch to join the rest of you in the future and no longer be a complete Luddite. Even if I was completely forced. And I was strolling along today, overwhelmed with all sorts of new information and data and blah ... the streets of Venice again let you know it's all cool. Love it.

So now I'm in the Cloud, and I'm totally freaked out. It's too much for me right now, I don't even want to look at the thing (and enter a lifetime of contacts fresh). It feels all freaky and weird and too much ... as does the sick fact that I'm not at Lollapalooza right now. Another long story ...

But it's SUMMER in VENICE and there's so many stories to tell and things to learn and fun to be had that I can't trip out for very long. So I just jumped in to link us all up on Instagram (there's been a campaign of my friends for a while ... so, y'all.

We'll see. I have no idea what I'm doing or if I want to be doing it yet, but I'm never mad at more nice things to look at. And they're everywhere. Especially in Summer ... especially with fresh starts.

How are you doing, having fun so far this Summer? I'm glad. Hope to see you in real life soon ... it's still way better than that Cloud. Blue skies ahead ...

*And please send me a text or email if your number was ever in my phone. You can join me in the future!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Brow Studio - When In Minneapolis ...

My good friend, Brook Schlosser, is the proprietress of The Brow Studio in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This was great news for me when I could not get an appointment for my shaggy brows here in Venice at Kelley Baker Brows before I was to leave for a trip to my hometown, and it had to be dealt with.

Luckily, Brook also trained with Damone Roberts of Beverly Hills (and a bunch of other brow gurus), and was out here in Venice recently to take a master class with Kelley Baker, so I was in great- and very similar - hands.

Brook went to school at the Aveda Institute, which also always wins big points with me. There she decided to focus on the esthetician area of things, which led to her interest in eyebrows. As the old Russian woman who waxed my brows the very first time said, "Eyebrows are really the picture frame of your face." So Brook began framing the faces of Minneapolis when she opened The Brow Studio on West 54th Street in 2010, and people back there have never looked better.

Including me on my visit, when Brook not only took great care of my brows, but also gave me the most gorgeous set of eyelashes anyone has ever seen. This is a long story that I'll try to make brief ... In my family, the boys got the hair with curls and the thick, luxurious eyelashes. I did not. But being a girl, I've tried to improve these slights ever since. I tried some eyelash serum stuff that made them all fall out. I looked like an Albino. Brook came to the rescue with some new serum that not only brought back my thought-to-be-dead lash follicles, but made them flourish.

Already madly in love with her for this miracle, I'm now a total zealot about her because she gave me eyelash extensions that drag queens in West Hollywood are probably going to want to fight me for. Instead, I shall just refer them to The Brow Studio. Wow. WOW! I love them.

I just laid back on the comfy bed and shot the breeze with Brook while she painstakingly applied each individual lash. When she was done, we had done some quality catching up and my lashes were banging into my sunglasses. Perfecto.

"Our mission is to highlight the beauty in each of us," reads The Brow Studio bio, and when I left there, I felt there mission was accomplished. I've never had so many (well, any really ...) compliments on my eyelashes before, and it honestly seems kind of vain and all that, but it really did add a spring to my step as I went out batting my eyelashes all around town.

Now I'm back in Venice and already lamenting the fact that Brook isn't here to touch up my lashes in a few weeks when they'll need it. Another great excuse to visit home (not that I've ever needed one)!

Those of you fortunate enough to have The Brow Studio as your local face framer are stoked. Those of you like me in Venice may be able to get a house call for these spectaculashes when Brook comes out for her next training session in September, beauty convention or just to visit me. Stay tuned. And look out for my eyelashes swatting you the next time you see me.

The Brow Studio
616 W. 54th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55419
(612) 823.2769

Friday, July 18, 2014

See The Beauty

I don't really have to tell you this, and it's not at all hard to do ...

... but it sure makes it easier to return from a magical Summer trip, to a place that is so extra full of beauty everywhere you look. Take it all in, wherever you are, and have a beauty FULL weekend!

It's hard not to.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summer In Minnesota - Salt Of The Earth

"Greeted by thousands of lakes reflecting the sunrise up to me ... I'm back home." That was my Facebook status the morning I landed back home for a quick little Summer vacation at home to touch the roots and re-charge the spirit. It was so beautiful, I choked up (as usual) and even though it was 6:00 a.m., I hit the ground running. First stop ... Wood Lake. It's almost surreal to see it all so green and gorgeous after the desperately long Winter everyone in Minnesota endured. As a friend's boat is called, "Worth The Winter".

The first night back was a Richfield Happy Hour that was a festival of non-stop laughter. At one point I looked around the tables and realized that a good portion of the friends there were ones I've had since Kindergarten. KINDERGARTEN! That's special. SPECIAL! They're some of the best people on this Earth, and each time I'm back home, I realize the love and support I have and get to carry with me through the adventure of this life. I couldn't be more blessed.

I got to have my first Danny Hendrickson Shed experience, the grown-up version of being invited into the Tree House. It did not disappoint. It had rained all day - poured - and this photo below was taken of Danny and I the exact instant the sun came out ... Divine Intervention for the Basilica Block Party we were pre-partying for.

Flocks of Minnesotans filled the streets around the Basilica, all of them ecstatic to have an evening that now actually felt like Summer. The surroundings and the majesty of that sun emerging gave it all a rather Holy feeling ...

Which was only elevated by the performance of the Main Men, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite. They were there to entertain the crowd with the tunes from their Grammy-winning album, Get Up. And the parishioners indeed rose for them.

Ben and Charlie BROUGHT the Blues, and the full moon rose up behind them, perfecting the Heavenly experience. You could hear many in the crowd adding their own personal witness, as the guys gave it everything they had. Chills.

As the music ended, performers and congregation alike bowed their heads, raised their arms and gave thanks. Amen.

Then, BEHOLD! The next day dawned (and we saw it happen) to be the most gorgeous, blue sky with puffy clouds day that Minnesota is famous for in Summer (usually). As is my absolute priority, I had my swim in a natural body of water, this time the beautiful St. Croix River. Best friends from one generation sharing the day, stories, love and appreciation with the next ...

Time always flies too fast (and I'm skipping a lot even so), but I got to see so many wonderful, old friends that I was just beaming the entire time. I have a songwriting project with my dear friend, Matt Jennings, and when we went into a parking lot for him to play me one of our new ones, we turned it into a sunset tailgate jam for friends and passersby alike.

Please enjoy "Mermaid Triathlon" by Carol Gronner (lyrics) and Matt Jennings (music). And then stay tuned for the whole shebang that we'll unleash on everyone one day soon. Great times!

My darling Mother had spent the day leading her choir in festivities for Norway Day at Minnehaha Park, and was still in costume when she met up with us for the evening fun. I love this woman so much I could burst. Clearly. Skål!

It was pouring rain my last day, but we had to go visit the Falls, because Mom had told me how much it was gushing from all the recent rain. It did not disappoint, and I ended the visit home the way it began, surrounded by the green and glory of nature and home in the North.

When I've told some of these home stories in the past, a friend commented, "That's the real salt of the earth stuff right there." And he was right. Wonderful people, stunningly beautiful scenery, wholesome (and crazy) fun ... that's what it's all about.

As I come up on spending almost half of my life in both Minnesota and California, I realize how firmly I have a foot in each, and always will. How lucky am I to have two such truly special and spectacular places to call home?!

This was Minnesota Nicest. Salt of the earth never seemed so sweet. Bless each and every one of you that completely fills my heart, home and away.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Weekend Beach House

ALL weekend spent on the beach means you need provisions ... and sometimes shelter.

My beach friends created this awesome set-up to wile away the hours ... they even added decor, like sea shell mobiles a sand castle shovel arrow.

It was one of the most beautiful weekends ever, and a long one at that, so the beach was home the whole time. The water is so warm right now, it was the perfect stay-cation. As hard as it is to be back inside right now ... the absolute glory and appreciation of this Venice beach weekend will carry me through, I know it.

If you by chance got today off too ... you should only be swimming. This only lasts so long. Enjoy!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Fourth - Freedom!

Happy Fourth of July, USA! Happy 109th Birthday, Venice!

Celebrate our freedom today ...

Protect it EVERY day.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

It's Your Day

Sometimes you just need a little reminder ...

... And oftentimes the world gives it to you. If you're paying attention. Today IS your day. Get it.

Happy Holiday weekend, Everybody!