Excuse the absence, things got hella crazy right after my birthday and just like every year, Thanksgiving creeps up fast and hard! This year we decided to road trip to Portland to spend it with our long time friends, Stephen & Carolin and their nugget, Mila.
We took off Wednesday afternoon and the drive up was relatively uneventful save for Reza deciding to puke her guts out in the middle of the mountains. JOY! Luckily I was prepared with bags, wipes and extra clothes. We still had to stop, clean up and strip the girl in 30 degree weather. Never a dull moment! I still feel bad about leaving the bag on the side of the road but there was no way we were driving for another 5 hours with a bag of vomit in the car. Limits yo, we have them.
Thanksgiving Day was very chill. The girls got along famously despite the 3 year age difference. It always makes gatherings easier when you’re not having to play referee to bickering children.
Carolin and I spent most of the time in the kitchen, my presence more on an assistant level. Save for the turkey that Stephen buttered up, everything else was non-traditional. My favorite being this bacon & brussel sprout slaw which was hella good. A small view of Carolin’s kitchen…
I did pick up a pie cause it isn’t Thanksgiving without some PIE. None of that gross marshmallow sauce malarkey.
I spent most of my time away from posting save for some photo sharing on Instagram. I know a handful of rad people in Portland and as much as I would have loved to see/meet everyone, this trip was very limited in time and was about these particular friends. With that in mind my phone was hidden most of the day other than to call some family. We only had one day where we were all together so I wanted to make the most of it.
Of course there is no going to Portland without bringing back some kind of goodness in the form of socks and coffee.
Like many of us that are addicted to awesome foot coverings, we paid a small (cough) visit to the Sock Dreams store. I know they have an online shop but trust me, it is not the same. The store has much more and you get to touch.
It is next to impossible to go there without dropping some cash, no, really. And now I got a husband and kid that are on my funky sock tip, some damage was done. But hey, like I always say, “it all starts with the feet”. I picked up more of these word socks cause the ones I got 2+ years ago are warm, still stay up and are hella comfy. Besides, how can you pass up 666 socks? I can’t.
One thing that Portland does and does really well is coffee. I have no idea how people there even go to Starbucks when there is so much independent awesome to caffeinate with. Well other than the fact a lot of them probably have a drive thru. In any event Carolin took me to her favorite joint called Heart and bestowed me with a bag of one of their roasts. I also brought home another bag from Oblique Roasters since Whole Foods had a section of all the local offerings. Good stuff. For the record, I don’t watch Portlandia and the only reason I got this one was cause it was sent to me by my friend Tanner and I liked it a lot.
Carolin and I took our respective nuggets out on Black Friday for some lunch and movies. As much as we didn’t plan on it, we had time to kill and ended up at the mall. It was across the street from the theater. We took the girls to see Frozen which was cute but something lacked and I can’t quite peg it. No, it was the music. It felt more like a Broadway Musical than a Disney movie… which is funny cause I said that not knowing one of the princesses was voiced by Idina Menzel, most known for her portrayal of Elphaba in Wicked. Still worth seeing though and the nuggets loved it.
As usual I didn’t take nearly as many photos as I should have. Caught in the moment! I did get ONE photo with my german beech though, even if it just a phone photo.
Yesterday was the big drive home. We made a short pit stop in Eugene (hippies!!) to see Josh’s brother, Jake. We squeezed in a game of Apples to Apples over coffee and then we were on our way home. The drive home was a little longer cause not only were there a lot of piss stops but Oregnonians do not know how to use a two lane highway to save their lives. A lot of clusterfuckers in the fast lane to say the very least… and most of them were driving Subarus. HA! Stay cliche!
The cool part about the drive home is we got to see what we missed on the way up due to the time of day. The drive through Oregon is absolutely gorgeous. Green, lush, enchanted. As we made way into CA, we managed to stop for more peeing and photo taking of Mount Shasta, at the peak of dusk when the skies are gorgeous shades of pink, purple and blue.
Road tripping with Josh and Reza was awesome. She did really well, he drove the entire time and there were many juvenile jokes at the expense of road signs like “long load”, “hooker” and the town “Weed”. Always a good time with my triangle.
There was a lot of sharing on Facebook and otherwise over the things one was thankful for. I remind the ones I love who they are, what they mean to me, I pick up when you’re down, I compliment and not just when you need it, I value what I have and try to be humble. Humility, gratitude and honesty: those are three qualities I try to embody. I would like to think that I am a person that lives their life with gratitude and not just on one day but every day.
I hope your holiday was awesome, I know mine was.
Good morning 39, today is the first day of my last year with a three in front of it.
I started my day off by cleaning up a gift in vomit form courtesy of Gomez, Josh had to go to work, the maintenance light came on in the car and I got a much needed 90 minute massage. As up and down as that all seems, this is the happiest birthdays I have had in a long time. The past two I was sick. Last year I was rendered useless and bedridden, on my damn birthday. What the hell Universe? Not cool.
Look, I can’t blame the Universe for that shit. Truth be told is that I was a reflection of everything that was inside me. I hated New Jersey and as much as I tried my best to like it, I was a miserable grinch. I look back at my posts and photos from that time and I was not a happy person. You could see it. It was like living in the Swamps Of Sadness. Between my diet and an overall distaste for my surroundings, that is why I was sick and pissy all the time. I don’t know how many times it has been pointed out to me that since we moved back to CA you can see the sparkle in my eyes again, that the general undertone in the way I represent myself is much more pleasant and agreeable. You would never believe just how much location plays a part in your overall happiness. It does and I am living proof.
The other day I was at Whole Foods getting some coffee and this barista type hipster boy with anchor tattoos was “ma’am-ing” the hell out of me. I get that it is courteous and respectful, blah, blah, blah. I wanted to slap him upside the head, shit son!
Look, I am normally not the kind of woman to get all head trippy about getting old. I realize it is a fact of inevitability and all things considering I don’t feel or look like a haggard broad. Sure, things crackle and I have a few more white hairs in places I don’t even care to see. It is hard to wrap yourself around that mentality that you are no longer in Spring Chicken territory. Can you blame me? We live in a society where women are valued for their image before anything else. We go from being desirable and fresh and then one day you turn the corner into Ma’am Land with a Fast Pass to Cougar Island. F that noise.
Last night Josh surprised me with VIP tickets to see Chvrches in Oakland. The Fox Theater is a kick ass venue and the small perks from the VIP upgrade were well worth the extra cash. I hate general admission with an undying passion. Find the tallest guy in the venue and he always is in front of my midget ass. I can’t see, I get shoved and then I just want to clock someone. No point in paying to just end up all kinds of pissy. Chvrches sounded spectacular and was a great show. The Bay Area crowd is just so different from the Philly crowd, night and day.
I only took a few photos cause I wasn’t going to be like the couple next to us who were both on their phones THE ENTIRE TIME. texting, selfies, face timing people, taping the whole damn show. Who does that? Why spend the cash to go out if you’re gonna be glued to the electronic leash. It’s kinda sad. But eft those hippies. I had a great time, even walking away with the set list I snagged from one of the sound board guys. Woot!
Last year I said I was going to accomplish some things and did I?
Bike more? A little, weather and health wasn’t the best.
Write more letters? Yes! Considering I have probably sent about 60-70 cards this far, I would say I am all right there.
Make and sell more art? I would say I broke even here.
Get out of NJ? HELL FUCKING YES.
See new places? Check.
Stay true? Always.
Between two massive cross country moves, two completely new areas and lots of isolation, you can see how it would be easy to feel a little disoriented. Those moves really served a purpose though because it brought on a lot of internal growth. Sure, a lot of that was at the expense of heart ache and the true colors of others revealing themselves but still.
I guess this is where things get kooky. When you spend a good year and a half wanting something so bad, you finally get it, then you’re left with “now what?”. That is where I currently find myself. Having goals is a wonderful thing but getting to the finish line is only the means to another beginning, another race, another prize. I haven’t quite figured what that one is yet.
Now that we are back in CA I can focus on myself a little more instead of wasting my energy pissing on my surroundings so much. Yeah!
So yes, the last year of my 30′s. Let’s see what it brings. I have no plan but to roll with it and see where it goes.
Our little sibling bastards turn two today! I call them bastards from the most loving spot in my black heart cause they both are pretty damn awesome. We were lucky enough to be at the right place and time cause I couldn’t imagine not having them around. I guess you can say I have been converted to a “cat lady” thanks to these two terrors.
Here’s Gomez and the velvet beast he has decided to claw into oblivion. He is lucky the couch is ancient as all hell.
Judas, aka Lady J, who I was lucky enough to catch on a white blanket so I could get a decent picture.
I would have loved to get a photo of both of them together…. yeah right!
So happy two years you clumsy, playful, hilarious fur balls!
It is no news that Josh has been gone a lot in the past month. He hasn’t had a day off since mid October, paired with 12+ hour days, we find ourselves feeling the void. It has been a pretty difficult time for us because we all operate at our best when we are together. I am sure people would call this codependency but honestly, I can’t help it if I actually adore the person I married. He’s my person and that’s just the way it is and when your puzzle is missing a piece, it just isn’t the same picture.
We did this two years ago when we lived in NJ and it sucked. Even the most solid of structures can weaken when the foundation is going out. But, just like last time, I have been holding down the home front as best as I can. But I am being met with some lashing out on behalf of the girl, high stress and not handling things in the best way.
I had a bad day this week. It started with a sick child, a shitty excuse for a Drs. office who wouldn’t take us because we were out of pocket patients, coupled with sitting in some gnarly traffic, getting yelled at by an asshole parking assistant and ending in Josh having to stay at work till 2 a.m.. It just all came to a head and when I had to say goodbye to Josh yet again, I lost my cool and erupted into tears.
I don’t know how people do it. I don’t know how families part ways for extended periods of time and manage. I couldn’t do it. I like my coffee with sugar and cream and when one of those is missing, it just doesn’t taste the same.
And then this happened….
After Josh drove away, Reza and I came upstairs. I sat in my desk chair to peel off my boots, tears drying on my swollen face. Reza walks over to me, puts her arm around me, hand on my back and rubs up and down….
“It’s ok Mama, I miss him too. But remember, he is always here and here” – and she pointed to my head and heart.
Then was the moment I got slayed by a 7 year old.
I would like to think I am a fortress and hold up like rock and stone. Like Helms Deep…. but even Helms Deep has its weakness and at that moment I was a pile of rubble.
I couldn’t believe I was getting talked down by my littles, reassuring me that things would get better. I don’t see that side of her very often. But I saw her at that moment. Many is the day where I question whether I am doing a good job at this parenting business and then she goes and says something like that and it makes me feel like even though I could always be a better Mom, somewhere in there is a reflection of us and I couldn’t be more proud.
It’s time for another list… aka more jumbalaya stew.
The new M.I.A. is interesting. If you care to listen to it, it’s up on Spotify and streaming on NPR. One of the best lines… “YOLO? If you only live once then why do we keep doing the same shit?”. For real. Although I REALLY hate the term “YOLO”. I dig her style and hello? Gorgeous.
Dropped Josh off at his work at 6:30 a.m. for grand opening day. There were people parked in their cars on surrounding streets, lined up, waiting to get into the parking lot. Doors didn’t open till 9! People love their gambling, holy hell. But hey, the beast is unleashed. Maybe now the guy can get a fucking day off, some sleep, time to do the things that make him happy, you know, a social life? That’d be kinda cool. This dude? I miss him.
Want to know one of my weird habits? I have a horrible habit of leaving cabinet doors and drawers open. It drives Josh INSANE but he hides it well. Other than that time he walked into my underwear drawer in the middle of the night, cursing up a storm. I am not the kinda person to be with if you have OCD.
I am sad that October is over. It just went by too fast. But hey, November is here and my birthday is right around the corner. One more year in my 30′s. In any event, October had a lot of goodness. Here are some pix!
Speaking of October, Halloween… dude. So Reza decided to be Elphaba and insisted on being green. I agree with her there. The make-up ended up working out pretty well but it took a while to get there. I won’t lie, she looked bad ass and she knew it too. I had to curb her a little from showing off. I decided to be a last minute nun and it worked out. I think I started something at home though *snicker*
All the xmas goodies are starting to make their way into stores. Lord, please spare my waistline and give me the willpower to make it through the holidays. PLEASE.
Reza was sick and I called to try and get her in somewhere. I was met with some poorly veiled “you can’t afford it” attitude when I mentioned I was an out of pocket patient. It is pretty grotesque that your cash isn’t good enough, or it is implied you’re some dirty leper cause you don’t have insurance. They’re pissed they can’t bill someone $300 for a damn q-tip. Needless to say the mama rage was in full effect yesterday. But I got her seen, medicated and on the mend.
Lots of heavy whatnot going on around… pet loss grief, major health issues, life and death situations. It puts so much in perspective. I’m listening and taking notes. Last week I made a couple silhouettes for some departed critters.
I am currently in process of backing up all my data and will soon wipe my iMac which just has way too much business on it. It’s going to be a royal pain in my ass. Sometimes it’s just better to start with a clean slate.
I really need to work on some shop goodies, not to mention rebranding my blog and shop stuff. My “look” needs a face lift.
Speaking of new look, I think I am ready to get back into Yoga. It has been far too long.
Thanks to everyone for participating in my Hallowgoodies Giveaway, for sharing and your overall enthusiasm for free shit!
First place: Regina LaDuke (pumpkin)
Second Place: Leidalis Cardona Staton (silhouette)
Third Place: Amy Roquet (office goodies)
I posted a video of the drawing on my fb page should you be inclined to call shenanigans
Random thoughts that have been floating around….
First off, I was seriously lamenting how West Coast Antiquing was gonna blow in comparison to East Coast. Yes, it’s different and prices can be higher but it is all a matter on where you look. Check out some of the gems I have found since being here. I can’t wait till I have a place where I can properly display my oddities.
I have come to the realization that I cannot say the word “doing” without sounding like a total chola.
The other day Josh got tickets to preview the new steak house at his employer. It was “work” but we managed to make a date out of it. I ate an obscenely thick, rare steak and chased it with chocolate cake and a glass of milk. I had not had something like *that* in ages and got dayum. The fact it is PMS week certainly was an enthusiastic plus. Sometimes you just need to GO THERE.
I have a lot of scars on my body. Curiosity got the best of me… If you put them all together in a continuous line it would measure 47″ long. That’s a lot. Clearly I have nothing better to do than measure my scars.
I am totally in the weirdo minority here but I don’t get the salivation over The Arcade Fire. I just can’t get into it… but then again, some people would say that about a lot of the weirdo stuff I listen to.
Enough with the giraffes and lemming posts on FB. Fuck. Clicking like on Facebook doesn’t make Jesus love you. Sorry.
The other day I saw my critter silhouettes on pinterest. Stoked that people like them but when they’re put on an “attempt to recreate” board, it kinda takes the wind out of your sails. Such are the woes of putting things out for the world to see. I am not saying I am Captain Original here… we all have our sources, reference and inspiration but damn. Time to grow some thicker skin Ivonne.
I really want to know… At what point do we stop getting zits? I will be 39 in less than a month and I have all of these hormone related behemoths in my hairline. I think I have paid my dues!
I miss my sisters. Come to think of it, I miss a lot of people.
The other day I was lamenting that all of the Halloween is getting weeded out and the Christmas invasion is in full effect. Between that and those nauseating cinnamon brooms, I am all craft store uninspired. Time to bust out the lino blocks again, me thinks.
I sent a little over 50 Halloween cards this month. That was not the original plan but it just kinda happened? Next thing you know I have stacks. Oops. Either way they have all been well received and it always makes me happy to hear.
Reza has been all about watching these talking animal movies lately. They’re awful! I guess I should count my blessings she quit Dora The Explorer and Max & Ruby. Holy crap were those grating.
Speaking of Reza, she managed to bring home yet another present in the form of illness. Considering she is always putting something in her mouth, I am not surprised. Now I am all paranoid I am getting it, which will inevitably get me sick just from the stress alone. I was never such a germophobe until I had a kid that touches *everything*.
Earlier today we went to K-Mart cause I needed a humidifier for the girl. Reza and I walked through the women’s underwear section. I observed about how hideous and itchy it all looked (read: trampy) and Reza pipes up right next to a slutty Santa number, in a total snotty tone, “and it’s all see through Mom!”. Little does she know it’s meant to be that way.
Reza also has a loose tooth that really needs to be pulled but since she has been scarred from previous dental experiences we are gonna wait it out a tap to see if it falls out on its own. I explained to her that she needs to wiggle the F out of it in order to avoid going through extraction/anesthesia. Today she told me that she “really doesn’t want to get amnesia”. Bless her.
This week I have made two silhouettes for dearly departed pets. I have been contemplating making a small altar for Nena for Day Of The Dead. I went to the pet store and bought a couple dog biscuits to put as an offering and that mere act upset me. It had been so long I had acquired anything for a dog and it just kind of triggered all these feelings. It doesn’t help that Reza keeps talking about wanting a dog. Even if we had the space to put another pet, I am just not ready for that business and won’t be for a while.
You know what is nice? Getting good sleep. Y’all can have your budding night life. I got a date with my oversized jammers and tempurpedic mattress. Proof that I am an OLD LADY. HA!
You people sure love giveaways! As it stands there are about 50 entries…. keep em coming!
I had planned on doing this a couple of weeks ago but since I am one of those “procrastinating artist types”, well, I forgot. Slacker Supreme is my combo name, hold the fries.
Since Halloween is my favorite time of year I decided to put together a bonanza of spooky prizes for those of you who read my dribble.
I realize October is pretty much OVER (*crais*) but this spooky business is a year round endeavor for people like me.
So this is what is up for grabs…
first place: a white crafting pumpkin, hand decorated by me. (side note: my hands look manormous in this photo!)
second place: a hand cut kitty/pumpkin silhouette (unmounted but shown on paper for contrast)
third place: a slew of Hallowgoodies: post its, washi tape and tissues, cause you know you need to blow your snot in Hallowstyle.
This was going to be a tumblr giveaway but it’s a pain in the ass to track entries. What do you have to do?
-Comment to this post (on my blog, Facebook, Instagram) and say you would like to be entered.
- Likes and thumbs up DO NOT COUNT.
- One entry per person. Now, if you share this post (and tag me so I know you did), you get an extra entry.
Drawing results will be posted sometime this weekend. I get it’s technically November, SO?
Good luck kiddies!
WINNERS ANNOUNCED HERE
It has been a while since I shared my latest discoveries! I haven’t written one of these posts in ages. I figured it was about time to share some things that have wormed their way onto my awesome list.
1. Coco-Roons: I stumbled across these this weekend while visiting my friend Michelle in SF. They looked good and I am a fiend for macaroons. I normally pass on macaroons cause they have way too much sugar. But these? It didn’t matter what was in them but as it turns out they’re raw, gf and low in added sugar… like, omg namaste. Instantly sold. Vanilla maple is awesome. ($7.50 at Whole Paycheck)
2. Merona Cowl Neck Long Sleeve: Come up! They’re available in 5 different colors, soft, flattering and cheap! For ladies like me with cans, you can stretch around the boobies and it gives you a wrapped look. Take my word for it, Josh looks at me like I am candy when I wear them. ($12.99 at The Red Dot Boutique aka Target)
3. Rosebud Strawberry Lip Balm: I take no credit for finding this… I posted on fb about needing a better balm and my friends pointed me down the road to awesome. ($7 at Sephora)
4. Cozy Cross Scarf: I normally am not a Forever21 kinda girl but walking through the store to get to the car I spotted this out of the corner of my eye. I cannot wait for crispier weather to wrap this around my neck. ($14.80 at Forever21)
5. Davines Love Shampoo: I hate the fact my hair loved this damn shampoo. One sample and I was sold! Unfortunately all the Davines products are not cheap but the couple of things I have tried are awesome. If you can get past the $25 price tag, get it. Or find a salon that sells it and ask for a sample. They may hook you up and then you will find yourself hooked like me.
I also couldn’t be happier with the results of my recent creative endeavors…
I recently uploaded one of my ouija designs onto Society6 and a few people bought the t-shirt or tank. Thank you for your support! My friend Diana posted this photo of hers and it was perfectly paired with Ouija Board leggings from Black Milk. FOX. (and she’s single! Vikings encouraged to apply)
You can also own one by purchasing on my Society6 page
My recent collaborations with Cupkozy went live earlier this month and it appears orders are finally making way to their happy recipients. Here is pumpkin and skull damask print in action, courtesy of Tia.
This print and the bat print are available on The Cupkozy Etsy shop. Both prints are limited edition (about 50-60% gone) so don’t snooze and lose!
You make it this far? Cool. Cause if you did you will know that a comment to this post will enter you to win a Kozy as shown above, just say you’re in. If the post is shared and I am made aware of it, gets your name in more than once. Winner drawn on Monday.
Comments on Facebook and LJ do not count!
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