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Entries in trees (2)


A Few of My Favorite Things: The New House Call App 



I'm not going to lie. Life has been challenging of late. The full-time working single mom thing is a delicate balance of schedules and sanity. One little thing can disrupt the entire balance... throw in a bunch of things like Halloween/Birthdays/School Breaks/Thanksgiving/Christmas and you are in full on "trying to not drop too many balls" mode. 

That has been me over the past few weeks. Trying not to drop the important things. 

Being a single mom means that sometimes things don't get done. Light bulbs that require a ladder to change often stay out longer than they should. Dishes don't get done right after dinner... and sometimes not until after dinner the next night. While I was proud of myself for getting out all the boxes of Holiday decorations, there was one thing I just wasn't sure how I was going to do - get a tree. 

I'm a sucker for a real tree. And despite the allure of it being pre-lit and no mess, I've yet to go the route of the fake one. We always got a real tree, and to me, a fake one wasn't going to cut it. Since we're not going to even be here on Christmas, I planted the seed with the kids that maybe a tree wasn't going to happen this year. 

Then I got a pitch from a local PR agency for a new locally-based app called House Call. An app that makes it easy to schedule things around your house - from mobile car detailing, maid service, computer-tech support to Christmas tree delivery. 

Yes. They will go to the lot, pick out a tree based on what you want, deliver it and bring it into your house. While I will admit that at first I was a little sad about not going to the lot and picking out a tree, I looked at my calendar and custody schedule and realized that if I wanted to do that, I should have done it 2 weeks ago. Done and Done. Yesterday I scheduled my tree delivery and today the tree was delivered... by Buddy the Elf. 

I had just gotten home from work, the nanny just left, and there was a knock at the door. I told the kids it was probably the tree... I expected, well, a tree delivery man... but when Lucas and Zoe opened the door and started laughing, smiling and screaming I was a little surprised. 

In walks Roland, one of the co-founders of the app in all his 6ft something glory rocking a full on Buddy the Elf costume. It was... well... just fabulous. I seriously teared up at how amazing it was that there are still people out there with such passion and drive that they would take launching their business and making a kid's Christmas, that much to heart. 


The kids thought it was the coolest thing ever.. hey, I thought it was the coolest thing ever! I know I'm not alone out there, there are millions of single moms trying to do all they can for their kids. I also know that my kids are not alone, there are many kids out there going through thier first holidays with altered family environments. But things like this make the whole process just a little easier on all of us. It was like our very own dose of Christmas magic. 

While I'm not sure you will always get Buddy the Elf delivering your tree, the service alone is a god-send for any busy person. And the special attention to detail put into my experience shows me just how much this new company cares about what they are doing. 

Thank you to the House Call Christmas elves! I will be using your service for years to come!

HipMamaB Readers: Use code HipMamaB10 for $10 off!

For more information on the HouseCall app, visit and/or check out this video:


DISCLOSURE: HouseCall provided me with a $100 credit to try their service. Opinions and mad gushing over this amazing service are my own. 


January Oranges

It's amazing what winter rain does for us in Southern Cali. First it almost wrecks our never properly prepared infrastructure with power outages and floods, leaving us the laughing stock of the rest of the country who has been snowed under now for 3 months. But when the storm moves east to terrorize the mid-west some more, it leaves us with the most amazing, crisp, bright colors... and a renewed appreciation of why we live in one of the most overvalued housing markets in the country


Yes, this is our backyard. We have our little "orange tree orchard and more birds of paradise than we know what to do with. With just one week of rain, the yard has come alive with color. The plants were so desperate for a good soak, that they all immediately perked up.

Even the weeds on the side of the house and the old brick incinerator/black widow breeding pit/baby death trap in the back looks like almost quaint...


And in very strange way, even the tree bark seemed happy to be out in the sun.


And even stranger... I found a plant that looked oddly familiar growing happily...almost smiling?

I guess everyone was happy to feel the bright sun on their "face".