Riva Bella

Riva BellaI discovered a wonderful new restaurant this week called [Riva Bella]. The ambiance is so beautiful that you literally feel at peace as soon as you walk in. The menu is diverse enough to satisfy a large party of varying tastes and their ciabatta bread is amazing. If you’re on the lookout for a nice place to take a date or just in the mood for a fancy lunch I’d highly recommend it.

Riva BellaRiva Bella

 

The Walking Dead

Walking DeadI came down with a pretty nasty cold last week that reached its pinnacle on Friday with a full blown fever.  I felt like the Walking Dead, but while I was laid up on the couch Luke and his friend were busy creating their own real life Walking Dead episode (not that any of us have ever seen the show).  They summoned me out to see them and this is what I found. They managed to dig a life-size hole in our backyard and bury each other in it up to their waists.  Gotta love boys!

Digging holes

Proud Diggers

Family Night

Family NightAbout a month ago Jeff and I decided that we needed to be more intentional about teaching Luke how to have a faith in God that can stand on its own.  We instituted what we have been calling “Family Night” where basically every Friday night we order pizza and read a passage of scripture together and then talk about it.  We have a little prayer time and pull up a song on YouTube and always end our time with something fun like impromptu dance parties where Luke is the DJ.   Last week, I decided to share what we had been doing with parents in our church as a means of equipping them with some ideas on how they can be more intentional about teaching their kids faith lessons in their homes. Jeff and I created a newsletter with four weeks worth of lesson examples for families to use.  If you’re interested, you can download the newsletter here: [Family Night Newsletter Oct 2014] I pray that Family Night blesses your family the way it has mine.

Walk For Life 2014

Open Arms Walk For LifeOn Saturday we participated in the annual Walk for Life to benefit the [Open Arms] Pregnancy Center in Northridge. They are a non-profit organization committed to supporting women in crisis pregnancies and they offer everything from free ultrasounds to counseling to free diapers and baby clothing to those Moms struggling to transition into motherhood. It is such a privilege to support an organization that is doing so much good in the community.

Walk For Life

Face Painting

{The walk wasn’t complete until Luke got his face painted}

In N Out

{Luke had the winning raffle ticket for a Family 4 Pack to In N Out}

Hollywood Scavenger Hunt

Roosevelt Hotel HollywoodMy office hosted the coolest team building event last week at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. It was a scavenger hunt, courtesy of [City Hunt]. They split us all up into teams, handed us an envelope filled with instructions and a digital camera, and gave us two hours to accomplish as many tasks on the list as we could.  The hunt was filled with Hollywood landmarks and famous people that we had to take pictures of ourselves in front of.  My team took 3rd place.  It was the most fun I’ve had at a team building event ever! If you’re looking for something fun to do in Hollywood, check out City Hunt.

Roosevelt Pool

{We were so hot and tired after the hunt that I’d wished I had brought my suit to take a dip in the pool}

Team

Go Team!

Trick or Treat After Party

Trick or Treat After PartyI am very excited about Halloween! This year we are hosting our first Halloween party ever. We’re calling it a Trick or Treat After Party and are inviting all of our neighbors so we can actually get to know one another. It dawned on me a while back that Halloween is the only day of the year when people in LA actually open their doors to one another, so I figured in the spirit of that openness, our neighbors might be willing to hang out when they might otherwise prefer to keep to themselves. I created [these invitations] on Vistaprint and Jeff and Luke handed them out on Sunday. We already have several RSVPs so I am super excited to forge some new friendships and nurture those we’ve already begun with our neighbors.

Nerf Wars

Nerf WarsSaturday I took Luke to a birthday party for one of his classmates and the instruction was to “bring your nerf guns”. The party was at a park so there were a lot of wide open spaces for the boys to play and it was so interesting to watch them. They split themselves up into two teams, they made strategies around which areas of the playset would give them the best vantage point. They chased each other around in the open field. Playing Nerf is nothing like playing Barbies so relating to the game was a challenge for me. The closest I could get was playing cops and robbers with the kids in my neighborhood growing up, but we had to imagine our guns and handcuffs back then. Regardless, it was a joy to watch them play.

Nerf

Nerf Party

Wonder Women

What little girl didn’t want to be Wonder Woman when she grew up?  Actually, for me it was probably a tie between Wonder Woman and Daisy Duke, since Lynda Carter and Catherine Bach were both such beautiful women who were also smart and strong.   I had the privilege of growing up in a generation where anything was possible for women.  I never felt like I was at a disadvantage because I was a girl (I was second in my class throughout high school), I could play sports (our softball team went to the NH State Championships semi finals), I could work the same job as the boys in my class, cleaning up the Town Beach, then on to lifeguarding, I could compete in Speech Contests and star in school plays (Maid Marion in Robin Hood) and because the sky was the limit for me, I took to the skies.  I think because everything was possible, I believed there was nothing I could not do and that served me well.  I’ve been very blessed. Now I am a Mom. I am a Pastor’s Wife.  I am an Advertising Salesgirl.  I am a Children’s Ministry Director.  I am a Wife.  In all of these areas I feel such an overwhelming sense of responsibility to do them all well, but so many times I fall short.  I could relate to Barna’s research that 95% of Moms feel like there is something they can be doing better. This video was a good reminder that I am not meant to do it all by myself.  I have limitations. But I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and it is when I am weak that He is strong.  I hope it encourages you too.

Identity in Christ

identity in Christ Display windowFor the past few weeks I have been waking up in the night thinking about the concept of Identity, specifically what it means for us to have our identity in Christ. I put together this window display at our church as a reminder of the power of our identity. Identity is of the utmost importance because who you believe you are influences everything else about your life. Sadly, so many things can shape a false identity for us, bad experiences, unkind words, unmet expectations. Luckily God did not leave us to wonder about who we are. He defines us in so many ways but most directly through the scriptures. For those of you who have forgotten and for those of you who may have never heard, this is who God says you are.

Identity Display Window

You are Created in God’s Image (Genesis 1:27)
“And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them”

You are a Child of God (John 1:12)
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name”

Identity Church Window Display

You are Loved by God (Romans 5:8)
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”

You are God’s Workmanship (Ephesians 2:10)
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them”

Identity Display

You are Saved by Grace (Ephesians 2:8)
“For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works that no one should boast.”

You are Sons and Daughters of God (Galatians 3:26-29)
“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise”

Identity in Christ

Identity Window Display

AOL Originals Event

AOL ORIGINALSMany people ask me what AOL is up to these days and I always tell them we are leading the charge in content, especially video content, with our [AOL Originals] franchise of short format online shows. Two of our shows this year were nominated for Emmys, [Park Bench], with Steve Buscemi and [The Future Starts Here], with Tiffany Shlain.  Last night we hosted an event at the Palihouse in West Hollywood to celebrate four of our shows which are launching this Fall. It was a great turnout and all of the stars of the shows attended. It was a lot of fun to be a part of.  [Candidly Nicole], with Nicole Richie, launched yesterday.  You can view the first new episode [here].

Nicole Richie

[Nicole Richie on the red carpet}

Palihouse

IMG_4475{AOL Originals Fall stars, Kevin Nealon, Laura Jane Grace, Nicole Richie, Tiffany Shlain}

Drinks

{The drinks were themed with the names of the shows.  I had a virgin version of the "My Hero" which was fresh ginger, honey, bitters and lemon. So refreshing I think I'll try to make it at home!}

Photo Booth

{There was a cotton candy machine and a photo booth so my clients and I took full advantage of the fun]

Red Carpet

{We played on the red carpet after the show]

Red Carpet

Red Carpet