My Barbie Dreamhouse

A newly hatched working mama, not afraid to tell all the grisly details. Nearing thirty-five and forever a pollyanna, she's trying to find the silver lining in the middle of a hurricane, with grace and humor. Not an easy task.

Michelle is a winner of Top 25 SoCal Moms - 2012

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

I'm a little biased with this question. Born and raised in California, there is no other place I'd want to raise my children. Watching my kids build sand castles on the same beaches where I once built castles myself makes me all gooey inside. We've got Mickey and the beach, mountains and our family. I don't see myself ever leaving.

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

I'd have to say that the biggest misconception about living in Southern California is everything you see on "reality" television. We don't all live in Beverly Hills, and we're not surrounded by movie stars. I've seen three in my thirty something years here.

We also don't all surf or speak in Valley girl, although I will admit to using "like" a little too much. But I'm going to contribute that last one to like, growing up in the eighties, like, okay?

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

The AMAZING thing about living in Southern California is the climate. I lovelovelove that we can be outside year round. We lived in Ariziona for a few years, and although I adored the s-p-a-c-e and gorgeous scenery, the summers just made life inhospitable for me.

In a nutshell, my absolute favorite thing to do with my kids is anything outdoors. Camping, hiking, running around the beach, it's all amazing. But if I was forced to single out a favorite activity, it would be riding our bikes on the strand...even if it does cause me a little anxiety. In a perfect world, I would wrap caution tape around us and outfit the kids in head to toe blinking lights and body armour, but since I can't, you'll find me there, obnoxiously yelling, "on your left" to every person my kiddos pass.