Real Friends. Real Life.

Sheesh, I haven’t blogged in ages. Not because I haven’t had anything to share, mostly because I haven’t had the time. Life has me pulled in so many directions these days. As 2016 comes to a close, I think it’s the perfect time to gather my thoughts and reflect. Even though I couldn’t have picked a more busy time of the year to do so.

This year has been weird. I have attended less social media events, and hung out with less “social media” people. By choice? I think so. Because I’ve been so busy driving Marissa to auditions all over Los Angeles, making sure Jessie gets to attend her karate classes twice a week, having fun with family and managing all of the other things I do like carpool duties and volunteering at school… I have blogged less and was invited to less events because of it. So instead of hanging out at events, mingling with people who I’m not that close to… I have reached out to a handful of my dearest most genuine friends and have spent time in smaller gatherings or one-on-one time with them. You know what? It really is all about quality, not quantity. Eventually, time becomes such a precious commodity, you value it more, and become more picky about how you spend your time and with who. Even though this past year has been spent with less people, I find myself happier and free. Free to focus on what really matters.

2017 is going to be all about quality! No more bullshit. No more fake people in my life. Just real friends. They know who they are. And I’m grateful for them in my life. I can grab a boba with them, go for a hike, or have a drink (or two) with just 1-3 girlfriends and have a wonderful time. So if you want to spend time with me, just reach out! But don’t say it and not do it. There’s nothing more annoying than that. Let’s hang out for real. And be real. I love everyone close to me in my life. And I hope to grow old with all of them. Even though it’s less than 2 handfuls of people. That’s enough for me. Real friends. Real life.

If I don’t jump back on my blog before the holidays, Merry Christmas!!! See you in 2017.


MaryAnne’s 10 Favorite Summer Things

MaryAnne’s 10 Favorite Summer Things

We’re well into Summer now, as we approach the end of June. I just wanted to share some of my personal favorite items that I must have with me, on me, or in my beach/pool bag.

1. Nexcare Waterproof Bandages – the little ones are bound to scrape their knee at some point, most likely while running to the pool with excitement. Yes, I’m that mom with the waterproof bandages. These things save the day. Treat the boo-boo and carry on with water fun!

Nexcare waterproof bandages

2. In addition to SPF 30 (or more) sunscreen for your body, you’ll need to protect your face. I discovered this Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Face Oil Free Lotion Sunscreen. It feels great, hydrates and moisturizes – while protecting you from the sun’s damaging rays. I wear it even though I’m not going to the pool or beach. Protect your face!IMG_0011_23. Everyone who knows me knows I have OCD. I wash my hands quite a bit. Oh, my gosh this is the BEST summer hand soap! Bath & Body Works Island White Pineapple. MMMMM. It takes me back to Hawaii every time!


4. Another wonderful Summer scent – Bath & Body Works Waikiki Beach Coconut Body Lotion. So yummy!


5. I don’t drink soda, but when I do… I drink Coke. Not Diet Coke, just Coke. Vanilla Coke is delicious, especially with a splash of Malibu Coconut Rum. My perfect poolside adult beverage.


6. Smell good for date night – This is my go-to fragrance, year round. I just wanted to share this pretty photo of my most favorite perfume that I never get tired of. Chanel Chance. I’ve been wearing it for years. I try other fragrances, then go back to Chanel every time.


7. Pretty jewelry –  I’m not good at accessorizing. AT ALL. Jim bought me this set and I wear it with everything, mostly because of the purple haha! It’s just so pretty and goes with a lot of my casual and dressy clothes. Chloe + Isabel is available through my beautiful girlfriend, Phoebe. Here’s her link:

IMG_0009_28. Garnier Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream for Dry Skin – After a day in the sun, this is perfect for hydrating the skin. I love the gel-cream, it’s refreshing and not oily.

IMG_0012_29. Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream – We keep the large 16 oz. of this stuff handy year-round. It’s great for the kids after a shower, and I use it at night on my dry heels. All Summer in flip-flops is hard on the feet. Moisturize!

IMG_0006_210. Quarters – lots of them! Keep quarters in a zip-lock baggy in your car. Not all parking meters take debit/credit cards, especially at the beach. One of my favorite #RandomActsOfKindness is dropping a quarter in an expired meter near my car.

IMG_0005_2A few safety reminders:

  • Watch those kiddos in the pool or ocean. Even if there’s a lifeguard.
  • Never leave pets or kids unattended in the car, for any reason, for any length of time.
  • Sunscreen! Always!
  • Hydrate! Lots of water to drink.
  • Check on your parents, grandparents, any elderly loved ones if they live by themselves. It’s good to stay in contact with loved ones anyway! 🙂
  • Be safe with and around fireworks.

Have a great Summer! 










Summer is here!

Photo by Jim Wendt

Photo by Jim Wendt

Summer is here! It’s starting to warm up here in Orange County, California. This is where we start planning fun things to do! I love weekends with my family. We are mostly at the pool or any of the beautiful beaches which are just a short car ride away. I have been super busy as the chauffeur to both Marissa (13) and Jessie (7). Marissa has carpool to OCSA, voice lessons and commercial auditions in Los Angeles. Jessie has karate classes twice a week.

As we settle into our new home (we just moved last month, in the same neighborhood), I’m starting to think of fun things to do this summer.

Aside from the pool or beach, how will you spend your time with your family in the next couple of months? Let me know in the comments, below. I would love to hear from you! It’s been a while since my last blog post!

Fall is here!

halloween-2011Fall is here! The weather is finally cooling down. Pumpkin Latte’s at Starbucks. Pumpkin patches are getting set up all over town. Halloween costumes and decorations are in all the stores. Candy! Knott’s Scary Farm! Trick or Treating with the kids! I love all the Fall traditions. Marissa (12) is working on her costume. Jessie (6) is going to be a Princess! With each year, the kids get a little taller, a little wiser, and more beautiful than ever. I’m so proud to be their mom. I’m so thankful we have our health, our family, and another holiday to celebrate together.

Enjoy Fall with your family!




What kinds of things do you enjoy in the Fall?

Feel free to comment below!


In memory of Tyler Kirkland

The unthinkable happened. On the night of Tuesday, September 2, 2014… Tyler Kirkland texted his parents & friends, then took his own life. He left this world way too soon. A 10th grader at Irvine High School. Son to Dean and Kristi. Big brother to Ashley. Friend to many at his school. He played baseball, made films, played video games, did all the things most boys his age do. He had the biggest and sweetest smile. I never had the opportunity to meet Tyler. We are friends with Dean and our daughter Marissa is friends with his sister Ashely. I just recently became friends with his mom, Kristi. This tragic event has hit our community very hard. It doesn’t even seem real. You don’t think this sort of thing could happen to you or anyone you know. I learned more from his mom, that it was a combination of things he was going through. Tyler internalized his feelings and was having a hard time for years. But the bullying didn’t help. I can’t even imagine what he must have been feeling inside. And the heartbreak that his parents are feeling during this difficult time. I am so sorry for their loss. I pray for them. We aren’t supposed to outlive our children. We are supposed to go first. Not the children. They should never feel such a pain that they don’t want to live any longer. Bullying. It’s just a thing we read about, we tell our children if this happens to them, tell someone. It’s not easy to tell someone. The fear of making things worse by telling. All those fears. This bullying has got. To. Stop. Hug your children tight. Tell them they are beautiful. Tell them it’s okay.

The Memorial Service for Tyler is on Saturday in Lake Forest at Saddleback Church at 10am.
If anyone is interested in attending, the event details are on Facebook:

Here are some photos that I came across, shared by Dean and Kristi:

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I thought about Marissa’s Talent Show performance when she was 10. She dedicated this song to anyone who has been a victim of bullying. Rest in peace, Tyler Kirkland. xoxo

Never Forget. 9/11

Today is a somber day. As we reflect on this sad anniversary of 9/11/2001, I pulled some clips from our NYC trip that we took 4 months ago to share our visit to the Freedom Tower. It’s now called One World Trade Center. This magnificent structure soars into the clouds, standing at 1,776 feet tall.

One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center

Here’s the video:

What have we been up to lately?

As you can see, I haven’t been on PurpleWays lately. It has been a crazy past few months. What have we been up to lately?

Why This Ride – my other website where I get to have fun with my friend James reviewing cars. We have articles and videos and all kinds of fun stuff in the works. You can check us out there.

2014 Dodge Charger SRT burnout

2014 Dodge Charger SRT burnout

Reviewing cars with James and Roxy

Reviewing cars with James and Roxy

I know, I'm not handsfree. I was only using my phone to hit record on my GoPro app.

I know, I’m not handsfree. I was only using my phone to hit record on my GoPro app. At a stoplight! (2014 Cadillac ELR)

Our family has a new addition! My sister Adrianne and brother in law Adam just had their 2nd child, Maya in July. She’s beautiful! Their first child, Gunnar is in the 2nd grade now. Our big crazy family just got bigger.

Baby Maya at 2 months old.

Baby Maya at 2 months old.

OCSA – Marissa’s in the 7th grade at OCSA for Integrated Arts! So exciting. Thanks to our 6-family carpool and 8-seater SUV, I don’t have morning drives to OCSA. I pick up Marissa and her schoolmates in the afternoon. She is loving school, always keeping up with her homework and thinking of creative approaches to her assignments. In addition to her academic classes, her conservatory includes Acting and Creative Writing classes. For P.E. she takes Jazz Dance. Outside of school, she still takes vocals and guitar classes. Busy girl!


Marissa at registration day at OCSA

Marissa's OCSA ID!

Marissa’s OCSA ID!

Jessie is in the 1st grade now! How time flies. Our little Jessie is now a first grader and is loving school. She has good friends that she sees on the playground at recess and in our neighborhood.  Jessie’s first karate tournament is coming up 9/14. Wish her luck! Jessie also wants to learn how to play golf. We may be signing her up for lessons soon.

Crazy princesses! Jessie and her friend Tessa.

Crazy princesses! Jessie and her friend Tessa.

Jessie's an orange belt! Her and her Sensei at Tajik Karate.

Jessie’s an orange belt! Her and her Sensei at Tajik Karate.

Jim’s sister (in Colorado) is a published author! Laurie just launched her first children’s book, called “The Crabsderbill & The Pot of Gold.” We were so surprised to see the character’s names in the book, Marissa and Jessie! Thanks, Laurie for including the kids in there! The book is available on Amazon.


The Crabsderbill & The Pot of Gold by L.A. Bisel

Marissa’s latest recordings – Marissa was in the recording studio this summer at 17th Street Recording in Costa Mesa with the legendary musical genius Lewis Richards. She recorded a cover song called “Trouble Sleeping” by Corinne Bailey Rae. It was her first time to sing with a live band. She was so at home in the studio. We’re very proud of her. The musicians are from Lew’s band called The Outriders. They are amazing! Her track is available on iTunes, GooglePlay and CD Baby. She also shot a music video during the recording. It’s on YouTube.  She also worked at another studio doing background vocals for Sesame Street Live. 🙂

"Trouble Sleeping" cover by Corinne Bailey Rae

“Trouble Sleeping” cover by Corinne Bailey Rae


Marissa’s first paid gig as a filmmaker – Marissa also makes movies. Jim’s company gave Marissa a small budget to hire actors and produce a video for the company to pitch their products. She took on the task like a pro. Wrote, directed and edited the whole thing, complete with green screen effects and music with custom lyrics. What a story teller, this kid. I hope one day I’ll be allowed to share her final project publicly, but for now it’s still in stealth mode. (I can share offline… if you are interested in seeing an unlisted link let me know!) All I can say is the video was shown to the potential customer and it was one of the pieces of the presentation that helped land the business! Wow! So cool.

Marissa and her actors.

Marissa and her actors.

Marissa’s commercial – Her Milk Life commercial hasn’t aired on Hispanic cable in a while. We are keeping our fingers crossed that they will make an English version of it. They keep sending Marissa holding fees, so that must mean something good right? Meanwhile she still has auditions in Los Angeles every so often. It’s a drive, but worth the opportunities!

Milk Life commercial in Spanish

Milk Life commercial in Spanish

Me – I volunteer in Jessie’s classroom twice a week and I’m also the PTA’s Financial Secretary. We recently had our Ice Cream Social and it was a lot of fun! Our PTA President Phoebe is awesome.

With PTA moms, President Phoebe and Parlimentarian Jennifer

With PTA moms, President Phoebe and Parlimentarian Jennifer

Jim – He’s been working hard at the same company, doing Internet marketing, E-commerce, social media and SEO. He works hard. His friend Dana just came for a visit from Texas and they enjoyed a day on the golf course with their friend Ed. Jim also enjoys cooking and photography. He just shot some big wave photos in the recent swell that hit Orange County.

Jim, Ed and Dana

Jim, Ed and Dana

Big waves at the Wedge in Newport 9/8/14

Big waves at the Wedge in Newport 9/8/14


Jim and I are very proud of both our children. We are here to support them and help them go after their dreams. If you work hard and stick to your goals, anything can happen.



If anyone is interested in more information about auditioning to OCSA next year, how to find an agent and go out for commercial auditions, etc. Anything at all, I would love to share any experiences with you! Just sent me a message in the contact form. Or just drop me a line and say hello!

Love, MaryAnne. xoxo

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Wine Tasting in Temecula

Wine Tasting in Temecula

Hello friends! Just wanted to send out a message here and say “Happy Valentine’s Day!” I hope you do something fun with your special someone today. And if you are single, do something special for yourself or with a friend! 🙂

A lot has been happening these days. I have not taken the time to blog here and I need to spend some time here, I miss it! Like working out, I gotta get a blogging routine in. Working out and blogging on here are 2 things that I would love to do more of. So I will try my best not to be such a slacker.

I just created a FB page called Purple Ways. Please “like” it if you are interested in cars, purple things and other cool things or events that I come across. That is all for now. Have an amazing day!




Random Acts of Kindness.

random acts of kindnessRandom Act of Kindness – That moment when you help a total stranger with no expectation in return. For decades we have been taught, “Never talk to strangers.” Especially in this day and age, we are too afraid to connect with someone on the street that we do not know.

In the summer while at Newport Beach with the family, I remember walking by a parking meter that was flashing in red: “EXPIRED.” I looked in purse to see if I had any extra change. I did, so I dropped a few coins in the meter and continued down to sidewalk to our car. As we drove away I noticed the meter maid issuing tickets to some cars. I felt happy, knowing that I bought someone some time to get to their car. Hopefully, I made a difference that day.

It’s those little things that you can do, that can brighten someones day or even make their lives a little easier. I love looking for these moments.

This story is a little risky, but I followed my gut and did it anyway…

A few months ago I was at a stop light in my SUV. I had just dropped off Marissa (10) at her piano lesson. My normal routine is I drop Marissa off and head over to Target across the street for a few groceries. Usually Jessie (4) is with me but on that day she decided to stay with her Lola (grandma). I have 30 minutes to park, power shop, get back in my car and drive to the piano teacher’s home. So I was sitting at the stop light off Irvine Blvd. near my church and my windows happened to be rolled down. I heard a man yell, “Hi there. Can you help us?” The light was still red so I had time to respond. I looked over and the man was holding a 2 year old and had 2 older kids with him maybe 6 and 8 years old. “Our mini van broke down on the toll road and we walked really far to get here. Our home is several blocks away in Tustin Ranch. Can you please give us a ride?”

My instincts told me never let a stranger in your car. But he had 3 small children. Was this the profile of a serial killer? I didn’t think so. His plea was genuine and his kids looked hot and tired. “Sure, I said. Let me pull around and come to you by the sidewalk.” I drove through the light towards Target and made a U-turn to the father and his kids. “Come on in,” I told them. They all piled into my SUV and I had just enough room for everyone. The toddler used Jessie’s car seat, two bigger kids in the back with the toddler, and the man got into the front passenger seat. “Thank you so much. You don’t know how much this means to us. It’s very hot out. My wife is on her way home from work to help with the car.” (What’s weird is Jessie is with me almost all the time. I wouldn’t have the room for all of them if she was in her car seat. Was this meant to be?)

It was a quick drive down Jamboree to Tustin Ranch and they requested to be dropped off at the gate. The kids thanked me several times on their ride home. They were a very sweet family. I don’t even remember any of their names. All I know is they were happy to be home.

That few minutes of helping them really made a difference.

It’s great to look for opportunities to help someone, especially during the holidays with the spirit of giving. But what would be even more meaningful, is if we could live out that purpose 365 days a year. So even after the holidays are over and we get back into the hum drum of our normal routine, keep an eye out for someone in need. A few minutes of your time can make a huge difference to someone. My hope is that by helping others  this will cause a “pay it forward” phenomenon. That person will help someone else.

Random acts of kindness are awesome.

Steinmart Fall Fashion Show (recap)

I was a little nervous about being in the Steinmart Fall Fashion Show. My insecurities were getting the best of me. Thoughts of what my body should look like kept running through my head. I have not been consistent about exercise. I gained a few pounds over the past couple of years. Some of my clothes are tight. These are the thoughts that kept creeping up on me as the date of the show grew closer. Then I realized something. I’m not an insecure person. I’m a happy confident person, no matter what my dress size is. What was I doing? I shouldn’t let those thoughts get to me. I’m happy, healthy and awesome. LOL! I pushed those crazy thoughts aside and focused on more positive things in my life. Before I knew it, the Steinmart Fall Fashion Show was here! And you know what? It turned out to be so much fun!

Some ladies started showing up in the dressing room with me: All ages, all shapes, all heights, all different, unique and vibrant! I felt so happy to be a part of this group. We giggled as we put our outfits together in our dressing rooms. We got to know each other a little bit. We ate our sandwiches with our lips curling over the bread, as to avoid ruining our lipstick. (This was not a pretty sight!) We ate potato chips. Real women. Eating. At a fashion show! Yay!

The DJ set up his booth at the top of the runway and people began to take their seats. Steinmart GM, Diana Edwards was our hostess for the show. She announced each of us and talked us up as we walked up and down the runway. It was all very casual and FUN! There were 8 or maybe 9 models and we had 3 outfit changes each. We had a fun casual look, a dressier look and then another fun look. Most of my wardrobe was purple! I loved it! Diana even told the audience that purple was my favorite color, and that I’m known as the “Purple Loving Techie Mom” — how awesome is that?? The whole show lasted for about an hour. They had swag bags for the first 100 guests and raffle prizes, too. Everyone took advantage of the 20% off coupon that was good for that day! Thanks Diana for a wonderful experience!

Vendors at Steinmart Irvine’s Fall Fashion Show:


Twitter: @Steinmart

Address: 13742 Jamboree Road (Off Bryan) in Irvine
Phone: (714) 832-0012

Monday though Saturday 10:00am to 9:00pm
Sunday 11:00am to 6:00pm