HOMEDECOR

My Dark, Dated Backyard Got A Light, Bright Makeover

I think I bought our house because of the pool (okaaaaay, and the school system). Not because our pool is especially pretty - it's not. And was extra-not when we moved in thanks to a semi-terrifying algae issue that alerted us to the fact that the water hadn't been changed in eight to ten years (uggggggg). No no: the exciting thing about our pool was the fact that it existed. And was part of a property that we could actually afford. (Such a fortuitous combination is, shall we say, "uncommon" in the Silicon Valley area.)

The reason I wanted a pool so much is because I hate entertaining. (Stay with me, because I'm aware that this doesn't make sense.)

See, here's the thing: entertaining makes me fall asleep, like those narcoleptic goats on YouTube. I've mentioned this before, and it's true: all I have to do to get in a really good nap is know that I am about to be forced to interact with large numbers of human beings.

DIARY

72 Life Lessons For My 36th Birthday

I had this idea that today, on the day I turn 36, I'd do some reflecting, with the goal of coming up with 36 bits of wisdom I've accumulated over the years. I thought it'd be a good exercise, you know? And then I came up with an idea for how to make it even better.

So I reached out to my best girlfriends - my closest, most incredible circle of humans, who just so happen to also be some of the wisest people I know - and asked them to tell me what they've learned now that they're in their 30s, so I can spend the next 36 years learning from them.

Here are 72 life lessons - the first 36 from me, and the rest from the brilliant, extraordinary women in my life, who make me smarter and stronger and better every single day.

DIARY

I Lied

On set in St. Louis, Spring 2016

My life, when I was an actor, was not a happy place to be. I'm sure (or I think) there are plenty of happy, well-adjusted actors out there...but for me? My acting career and my unhappiness were tied up together in a big, aching knot.

Because life as an actor is a neverending emotional rollercoaster: you go way, way, way up, putting in enormous amounts of time and energy and hope and faith, grabbing at whatever tiny sparks of positive reinforcement enter your orbit...and then all of a sudden - in an instant - it ends with “no" (no, you’re not good enough; no, you’re not pretty enough; no, you're not connected enough; you’re just not enough). So you come down fast, and hard.

DIY

What To Do With All Those Mismatched Teacups

My mom - like many, many moms out there, apparently - has always collected teacups, and over the years she's passed off a handful to me as "gifts" (a.k.a. "things she has too many of and no room for"). Which means I, too, now have a lot of teacups. Some of them are family heirlooms and belong safely tucked away in my china cabinet, but others are just...teacups. I have no special attachment to them, but they're not the kind of thing you toss in the garbage, you know?

Enter Mollie's grandmother, Shotzy (which, if you're wondering, means "Darling" in German, because of course it does). Shotzy loved having a perfectly matched table, so whenever one of her teacups broke, she passed on the rest of the set to one of her granddaughters.

(Is all of this not the most charming thing you've ever heard?)

Lifestyle

What You Need To Know About charity: water (And An Invite)

If you don't know about charity: water already, let me introduce you. The organization builds wells in developing countries - over 22,000 so far - thereby providing millions of people with access to life-saving water. Because their operational costs are completely paid for by private donors, every single dollar they raise goes directly towards funding water projects, and they pride themselves on total transparency and accountability, even providing donors with GPS coordinates so they can see where in the world each of their dollars went. Rather than offering a one-size-fits-all solution, they work with local experts to build wells that are tailored to the specific needs of the community they serve, and that are sustainable over the long-term.

All this sounds great, right?

I can spout talking points at you about exactly why this charity is so important all day long. Instead, though, I'd like to show you something.

DIY

DIY Reconstructed Denim Midi (Or Maxi, Or Mini) Skirt

My son's expression here kills me. ("What. Is my mother. Doing.")

Remember the post I put up the other day about Kendall Jenner? The one where I talked about how she made me want to own confusing things? Well, one of these things was a $430 denim midi skirt. Which is clearly a ridiculous thing to purchase, when - as I said in the post - you can DIY this so easily.

And then I realized...I mean, I don't really know if you can DIY it so easily. Because I've never actually done this. It just looks easy.

Lifestyle

Life Updates (And Presents)

The Mom Bod now comes in a lightweight, perfect-fitting (and super soft) t-shirt, hooray!

Time for a few Life Updates, because I've been feeling kind of distant from the site these past few weeks, and if I feel this way it's probably something you've noticed, too. Or maybe I'm just projecting. Regardless: I feel all weird and writer's block-y, which is not something I'm used to feeling, and I'm trying to put a finger on why. (And don't worry, we'll get to the "present" part of this post soon enough; if you're impatient just hop on down to the bottom ;).

Here's the problem: the things that are occupying my mind at the moment are either things that I can't really talk about in detail because of contracts and such, or things that have to do with the boring side of running a business - which isn't boring to me, but also doesn't make a ton of sense to write about - or things that just don't really make for compelling content (anyone interested in hearing about this morning's trip to Target in search of battery-operated solar lights...? ...Anyone?). I'm spending massive amounts of time working on business development, and the time that I'm not spending on that I'm spending with my kids and husband, and with my friends. More often than not, I'm forgetting to take photographs or mental notes while I'm doing this...and to me that feels like something I'd like to roll with, at least for a minute. You know?