Dear Autumn – Where Are You?

Most of my readers know I’ve been trying to bait and coax the weather gods into delivering us a beautiful Fall here in Southern California. We had a rather nice summer, up until these last couple weeks, which were completely horrid. Right now, the temperatures are “average” according to the local weathermen, and I’m not looking forward to the temperatures rising back into the 90’s again tomorrow. This is heartbreaking!

Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 8.46.26 AM

I’m a huge fan of all things Autumn. I love crisp Fall air, red and orange leaves, every drink possible being flavored with pumpkin, and I’m very much looking forward to Halloween and Thanksgiving. I haven’t yet picked out my son’s Halloween costume, but I’ve already figured out exactly what I’m fixing for Thanksgiving, which in turn dictates, to an extent, what I’ll fix for Christmas.

I’ve already started into what I call the “pumpkin craze.” These past two weekends, I’ve made pumpkin spice lattes for Saturday breakfasts. These are so delicious and easy to make, I sometimes wonder why I didn’t try this sooner! I’ll probably post the recipe soon.

Something else I like to make as soon as eggnog is available is “eggnog lattes.” I love these! They’re basically a plain latte, only instead of using steamed milk for them, you steam eggnog instead. It’s so amazing, and once you’ve had one, you’ll wish eggnog was available year-round. The one important thing to remember when shopping for the eggnog for these lattes is that you MUST buy the extra-rich type, such as Borden’s Extra-Rich or Southern Comfort in the black carton. Regular or canned eggnog is too runny.

Now, I’m wishing eggnog was in stock at my grocery store!…

Dear weather gods – can you please quit fucking with us, here? All of us are tired of the heat. It’s time for temperatures to be dropping, not rising, so could you kindly get on with that? We’d appreciate it very much if you did!

This post is in response to the Daily Prompt.

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Things That Bring me Happiness

Everyone has a thing or things that bring a smile to their face, that can turn even the shittiest day better. For me, it’s a nice latte, sitting on the beach with the wind in my face, listening to my favorite music, watching Looney Tunes, sparkling pink moscato,  or adding to my Hello Kitty collection. I love all of these things, and if I’m in a slump or my day started out on the wrong foot, I know how to make it better.

Yes. I’m a Hello Kitty addict.

“Hi, everyone. I’m Anna, and I’m addicted to the Hello Kitty franchise.”

“Hi, Anna!”

I can’t say exactly when I first discovered Hello Kitty, but I know I was already an adult by that time. I dove in head first. Hello Kitty stuffies bring me a certain childish pleasure that I can’t really explain. I think I may be drawn to them because I didn’t have a particularly awesome childhood, and it’s my small way of going back and being a child again, now that I’m an adult. It’s innocent, and just hugging up to my huge TY stuffed Hello Kitty Beanie makes me feel all warm and secure.

When I’m just feeling really “BLAH!” I pull out our espresso machine and make myself a nice tall caramel latte. I haven’t mastered the art that is a macchiatto, but I can make the meanest latte you’ve ever had! My husband prefers a dark chocolate latte, but I’m a caramel girl. Lattes make me feel warm and secure inside. I don’t know what it is about them that does this. You’d think the high caffeine content would give me a serious case of the jitters, but for some reason it calms me. I was so proud of the lattes I created a few months ago, I took a picture of mine. I think it’s beautiful!

Latte

I’m also a wine snob. I dislike a lot of wines, and even within the flavors I do like, there are brands I refuse to drink. One particular wine I’m crazy about is sparkling pink moscato. But, not just any brand will do. There are brands, like Amusant, Korbel, and Andre that I think taste like crap. I do like Beringer and Zibibbo, which is a little-known Aussie brand that I can only seem to find around Thanksgiving at Trader Joe’s. Zibibbo gives me a grin. If you pop open a bottle of that around me, I’ll be your best friend.

Zibibbo

I’m a huge music aficionado. I like to think I have eclectic tastes, but one genre I refuse to listen to is country. I hate country. If you want to ruin my day, force me to listen to country. If you want to make my day, put on just about anything else. Well, anything but Led Zeppelin. Led Zeppelin is about as bad as country. But seriously! I’m crazy about music. I’ve already shown you what I’ve got going on my iPod in the car right now, but what about a small taste of what else I like? My favorite band is Green Day. This song, Jesus of Suburbia is probably my favorite song by them.

My favorite place to go to get away from everything is the beach. It’s a long drive, but it’s worth it to just sit in the sand, watching the waves and feeling the wind blowing in my face. When we moved here, my husband showed me a sweet spot in Orange County that’s never too crowded, and I like going there if I have a chance. It doesn’t even matter if I can’t get in the water. Just being able to sit down and feel like I’m just a speck on the sand feels cleansing.

Watching Looney Tunes is a small guilty pleasure I like to indulge in from time to time, and my son is more than happy to oblige me. I think I’m developing another Looney Toons addict in him. Looney Toons makes me feel like I can just forget about everything and watch the coyote fail at trying to catch the Roadrunner time and time again. It always puts a smile on my face. When I get sick, all I want to do is lay out on my couch and flip on Looney Toons. For some reason, old cartoons are comforting.

What makes you smile? Are there any guilty pleasures you indulge in to bring happiness?