Crazed in the Kitchen

An elementary school teacher in Los Angeles adjusts to life as a stay-at-home-mom--and blogs about it.

Molly is a winner of Top 25 SoCal Moms - 2012

In what ways is SoCal unique from other places you've lived or traveled?

As a native Midwesterner, I just can't get used to Southern California's winters--in a good way! The sight of roses blooming next to Christmas decorations always makes me smile. And I always have to laugh at myself when I hear myself calling a 65-degree day "cold." In Chicago, 65 degrees was shorts weather!

What's the biggest misconception about living in Southern California?

Before I moved to Southern California, I thought it was the land of celebrities, beautiful people, and kooks. And, sure, I've run into the occasional familiar face from TV or movies, and the waiters and waitresses here are ALL gorgeous (and aspiring actors, usually), and we have our share of "interesting" people around. But through all my experiences here as both a teacher and a mom, I have met so many wonderful, caring, "regular" people like myself. I miss my midwestern home, but living here has truly been a great experience.

What's your favorite affordable outdoor activity to do with your kids?

We are fortunate to live in an area with many, MANY wonderful parks. And, unless it's raining, we can--and do--visit them year-round. My kids have made up names for all of the parks we go to, like, "The Blue Slide Park," "The Library Park," and "The Park on the Mountain." In addition, our city has an amazing huge park with hiking trails, a zoo, and a Railroad Museum (best part, other than the full-size trains to explore--it's free!) And, on those few days a year that it is raining, we break out the umbrellas and rain boots and go for a walk around the neighborhood.