jumbalaya

There have been some serious cobwebs around here. I know. It isn’t without good reason. I guess I am still in recovery land from all the things that went down last month. It’s hard not to get sucked into the vortex of doom when you get hit from every angle. That sounds so overdramatic, lol. All things considering, things are on the upswing. A slow climb but a climb nonetheless.

The past few weeks have been my trying to get my health back to normal. It’s a process and it’s not even done. Nothing like having an endoscopy and colonoscopy to look forward to in January. Happy New Year Ivonne! Here’s a hose up your ass. But hey, this is what us old people do.

Josh and I selfied with Santa earlier this month. It went a little like this… “Santa? Can we selfie?” “SURE” and then we all made those faces.

Don’t let the Christmas cheer in that photo fool you. I have been a tap on the Grinchy side this year. This is the first year in forever that I didn’t send cards. I feel like a total schmuck for it but I just don’t have it in me because as you can imagine, I like to go all out and the list is huge. It is way more than I want to chew at the moment. So if you wonder why you didn’t get a card from us, well, it’s cause I didn’t do it. It’s not you.

Christmas is around the corner though and this month seems to have flown by in record time. It will be SUPER low key this year, at least for us adults. Got to put the cheddar toward more important things and travel to see family is out of the question.. Reza on the other hand, wrote out the most ambitious xmas list to date cause you know, “Santa”. She still very much believes and we are not going to crush her dreams as long as she wants to continue. But girl has lofty ambitions and an expensive Lego addiction. She cannot get it in her head that a motorcycle is not something 8 year olds get. We did make our pilgrimage to find the wonkiest tree possible… sadly no crooked ones like last year but we did come home with this tall, slender gent that the cats seem to believe was put there just for them.

I think I may have shared that I teamed up with Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab to do some art for one of their limited edition collections, Ligeia. They went live last month and won’t be up forever. I was pleasantly surprised to receive a whole box of it and I couldn’t be more happy with the outcome. So so pretty.

Being creative has been a tap of a challenge with all of the peronsal things that have been going on as of late. It’s an interesting yet frustrating process when you hit the slump. In any event, I have been clawing my way back out of the hole in hopes I stay out of it for a while. I did manage to make a xmas/birthday gift for my friend Caitlin. Contrary to popular belief, there is such thing as too much BPAL, at least for me… so I gave one to her and it was very well received. 3D objects are a learning curve but they sure are fun. I hope to make more of these coffins as I have a bunch of blank goodies just waiting for the brush.

It has been raining here for weeks now. We even got hit with that Pineapple Express storm that flooded a bunch of places and closed school for a couple days. There have been some minor breaks but for the most part, grey and wet. Wet, wet, grey. I guess this is what Sonoma County Winter is usually like? It wasn’t like that last year. I like rain, don’t get me wrong but weeks of it is just… ugh. People cannot drive in this shit and girl needs some vitamin D. Over it.

It is no news that I can be a bit of a procrastinator, especially when it comes to creative endeavors. I get it in me and the follow through can be a little on delay. Remember my “Mystery Box” giveaway? Well, I finally got around to sending it, partially because I wanted to make a small custom piece for it and with all the health shit/drama that arrived in November, it was a total buzzkill. In any event, this is what was in the box…

A card, tokidoki cell phone charm, 2 BPAL imps, a scissor charm, a protection card, Addams Family trading card pack, stickers, Burt’s Bees – you can never have enough and a mini framed watercolor elephant. Hopefully worth the wait.

I have a bunch of other thoughts floating around in my head but they’re better suited for my “end of year” post which will be here sooner than we think.

And hey, if you’re reading this, have a wonderful holiday. Live, love, hug long and laugh… loudly.

xo –

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jumbalaya

Excuse my MIA-ness. Things have been kind of crazy around these parts. The most random of thoughts and goings on will follow…

Josh’s mom was here a couple weeks ago. It had been quite some time since we had seen her. It was a quick but full trip. She got to reconnect with Reza which was nice to see, we went to SF (her first time). It was unbelievably hot that day, way too hot for SF that’s for sure but the sights make up for it. We also took Reza to see Lorde. Lorde was amazing… hard to believe a teenager can be that put together. Reza had a blast.

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Oh yeah! So after many years of online friendship I finally had the opportunity to hang out with my boo Dinah The Cupkozy Queen. Dude. It was hella cool cause it was like we had always hung out. She and a friend came up for this wine tasting event and it was hilarious cause I have never seen that many white people clad in embellished maxi dresses and hawaiian shirts under one roof. I didn’t partake in the sips but got to try some of the local cheese, chocolatier whatnot. Sonoma County brings it when it comes to all that awesome snobbery. Let’s face it, some of it is hella snobby. All in all it was an awesome evening that got capped off with a goodie bag of Smashbox cosmetics that will take me forever to go through (she works for them so gets mad hook up)

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Then of course our Friday the 13th, not so baby anymore, celebrated birthday #8. It seems like only yesterday I was giving birth and now this. We took her to Six Flags on Sunday and were met up by Griselda which was a nice surprise. It was in the high 90’s and we were all pretty miserable but made the best of it. Shit, I even got on some crazy coasters which I rarely ever do. Good lord, way too old for that shit.

We did get met with a little sass on her end because she doesn’t understand the concept of expectations and not always getting what you want. It was a bit of a bummer really because I really worked my ass off behinds the scenes to make her day special and when you get the “well we did that last year, I thought we were doing something new”, well, it stings a little. I know it’s typical growing up whatnot but I don’t like the idea of her being an ungrateful person, even more when she has NO CLUE how good she has it.

On her actual birthday I decorated up her room for her so when she got home from school there were gifts, a small cake, you know… the drill. She of course is milking the birthday train for all that it’s worth. Eight. Good lord. Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 11.35.10 AM

Of course, being the grossness that is, I seem to have brought home The Theme Park Plague so I have been sick all week. Not fun. That and all the birthday planning stress, paired with a commission with a looming deadline… it got the best of me. I have this tendency of waiting for the last minute to get shit done which I know is ass backwards but the pressure makes me work better. Ridiculous, I know.

We canceled cable a couple weeks ago. I’m sorry but paying that much money for 5 channels we actually watch just isn’t worth it anymore. Especially when we are trying to get our finances in order so we can hopefully buy a house next year. Yeah, we have decided it is time. We dig Sonoma County and the Bay Area, Reza is in a fabulous school, Josh likes his job. We are so over this wall sharing malarkey it isn’t even funny. All in due time…

Still dealing with some health stuff but I am doing what I can to make it better. Iced my cake by developing a shoulder impingement which I seem to be subconsciously aggravating by sleeping in weird positions. I have been tossing around a lot these days and the super weird dreams are not helping my cause. Dreaming of broken teeth is the worst.

Otherwise I have really been focusing on how I shift my place in e-land. That means talking to friends more, removal of the toxic, note writing, package swapping (not that kind of package, cochinos), being more conscious and present with the people in my life.

Lots of stuff in the pipe though which is nice…. got some art stuff I need to finish, wrapping up Reza’s Halloween costume, a weekend jaunt up to the PeeDeeEx to see some friends and get out of town, my big 4-0 next month, Thanksgiving… the end of the year just goes downhill from here.

 

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Lets kick this pot of stew off with the big one for the week…

Reza started 2nd grade yesterday! Where does the time go, right? Josh and I had a little bit of an anxiety attack when a concerned friend called me, the evening before the first day of school no less, to ask why Reza wasn’t on the lists for 2nd grade. Insert panic, we call the school, “We made a clerical error and enrolled her into another school in the district”. Oh boy. Thankfully it was all straightened out before we got there and she got put in a 2nd/3rd combo class. Not sure how that is going to work out but I was told that her grades reflect that she can handle it.

Her first day was so much easier than last year. Such are the joys of breathing in the air of familiarity. No anxiety, peace out Mom & Dad! She loves school and was so happy to see her friends and happy to be in a class with kids she knows well. She is going to do so well and we couldn’t be more proud to see her take another step in her academic path. Here is her 2nd grade interview which surprisingly didn’t have too many changes from last year. Go forth and conquer my Nugget!

Did you know that you can change Siri on your iPhone to be a guy/lady with a British or Aussie accent? Oh yes you can. Want to know how? Go to Settings > General > Siri >  and then you choose the language and gender.

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I changed mine to a British guy and his English is so much nicer to hear. Now, if Apple could get on Siri’s voice being supplied by Tom Hiddleston. Wouldn’t that be magical? Now that I think about it maybe it isn’t a good idea. The other day I thanked Siri for some directions and it actually responded, “I LIVE TO SERVE”. If that sounded like Tom Hiddleston I would never leave the house.

Been venturing into sculpting for a project I am working on. It’s rough sauce but either way it has been fun to try new mediums even if the outcome is mediocre. Whee!
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It is still kitten season at the shelter and the other day there were 3 black kittens. I can barely handle the cute and lucky for Josh we have a lease agreement that doesn’t allow more than two cause I could easily become crazy cat lady. All the black cats to me. Case in point? This guy…

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Since I got back it has been a whole lot of getting things together. Writing an endless list of Thank You cards to all the right people back in SoCal, uniform acquisitions for the child who grew out of EVERYTHING she owned for school, some art stuff that isn’t completed just yet. To say I am all over the place is an understatement. Have some things to wrap up then it’s on to new ideas.

How do you know you live in the Bay Area? Well, other than the tapped out bank account, this is how you know you live in the Bay Area…

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But then again there is always this, which I will never tire of looking at or photographing. I need to walk and ride my bike across it soon. Definitely after Summer though, way too many tourists. Before you get all phone police, I was a passenger while taking this. You would be shocked at how many people I have seen trying to selfie and take photos of this bridge while driving across it. It’s hella scary.

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I recently surprised my friend and CupKozy diva Dinah with a paper cutting of her likeness as a belated birthday present. I was pretty happy with the outcome. It isn’t a continuous piece but I could not omit her perfectly shaped eyebrow. No way.

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I recently started a Facebook group called The Skeleton Crew (thanks for the name Michelley!) . It was originally intended to be a page just for me and my friends to gossip about all the up and coming Halloween loot/festivities but I kept getting requests to join so I made it public. Yes, I start looking for Halloween goodies in August and it is the only holiday I don’t mind seeing in stores this early on. So happy to see that so many share my Hallow-enthusiasm.

Also, for you caffeine enthusiasts, Josh discovered that the chicory coffee from Cafe Du Monde makes THE BEST iced coffee. I gave it a shot today and boy was he right! Woot! We get ours at World Market.

So on to the meat…

Now that Reza is back in school I can get myself on a more consistent routine. Case in point: the gym. Between kid and my myriad of injuries, I kept away for far more than I should have. I went yesterday for the first time in months and the ouch. It’s a good ouch mind you. Either way I hope to make a dent to some of The Summer Fluff paired with getting back on my anti-inflammatory regimen. I need me time, lots of it.

I guess that is where I say I am happy that Reza is back in school. I love her and being around her, but I also know that without zero downtime, I get edgy really damn quick. I know other Moms judge people like me, for celebrating back to school with enthusiasm. Good on them if they want to be that kind of parent. I just know it isn’t for me. I suffocate if I am constantly running with no time to stop and breathe. I like who I am for the most part and feeling like a square of butter on a loaf isn’t part of my m.o. – if anything, it makes me a horrible, stressed person and in turn a bad wife and mother. Those are two paths I have zero desire to go down. So fuck yes to back to school. Amen.

Otherwise, things at Compound Carley are really good. We have lots more outings in the pipe, seeing friends, potential travel plans – like trying to go to Japan in the Summer, lots of balance. People have been asking me how he has been doing, how I am doing and I cannot be more appreciative of those who have. I figured I would put it out there, give you an update of sorts. Josh has been amazing in the past couple of months and really is working on himself. July was a tough month for us and I am sure it still has its challenges for him but he continues on a good path and I am on the sidelines, cheering him on. His having 2 weeks to himself really gave him the time to soul search and I came back to someone newer. I honestly feel relieved because I was so worried for him and us… but he is taking all of this with 95% seriousness and 5% humor, cause lets face it, it wouldn’t be Josh otherwise. I am hopeful and confident that things will continue to get better and that is really the best I can do other than lead by example. I am happy to see him writing in his blog with more frequency, making music, getting out, reading, being Josh again.

So there you have it.

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Every Sunday morning I find myself in a ritual. After the girl and cats are fed, I like to sit down with my cup of coffee, listen to music and catch up on my blog feed on Bloglovin. On the music front I have been revisiting the Deftones catalog and listening to lots of Palms. If you haven’t heard the album by Palms (former members of Isis with Chino Moreno on vocals), you really should.

My desk is in the shambles at the moment right now, discarded blades, paper scraps from my most recent paper cut, papers everywhere. One of the felines is usually perched on my printer… today it was Judas.

I have been conceptualizing for a piece I am contributing to a show in July. Not sure if I am overthinking it or I am just too self critical but it is not going the direction I want it to. So frustrated with it really. Needless to say I decided to step away from it for a few days and hope I can come back to it with a refreshed perspective. They say your space is a reflection of your headspace and if that holds any water, well, it says a lot.

I did however make this cut out. I have a series of loteria/Halloween cards I want to do and this was the first of many ideas I have in my head. They’re very time (and blade) consuming.

Yesterday we drove out to Bodega Bay to take in the coast a little. It was cold for a beach day but it certainly didn’t stop Reza from sticking her feet in the water. You have no idea how nice it is to be near the Pacific Ocean again. I managed to rescue a couple of ladybugs, collected some shore treasures and aggravate the hell out of my already angry ankle and knee.

I came back feeling all kinds of defeated. I know that sounds awful but I just get so frustrated when my judas of a body won’t allow me to do the things I want to do. Simple shit like cardio, hiking… all on hold. Up until a couple of weeks ago I was on a routine and I was feeling much happier when I was more active. But then the pain kicks in and renders me limited since I have to lay low to prevent further injury. It fucking blows. Needless to say I am probably going to end up at the dr. again to reevaluate my ankle, I may need to go back to physical therapy or who knows what else.

On the good front, I acquired plane tickets to go to San Diego with Reza in late July. My parents are flying up from Mexico and my sister is coming in from Japan. I haven’t seen any of them since our brother died in February 2013. Reza hasn’t seen them since Summer 2012. It is long overdue… my parents are going to shit a brick when they see how tall Reza has gotten.

Speaking of Reza, this happened last week…

She has been badgering us for the head shaving for months and since Summer is here, we decided it was time to let it happen. She is starting to mature in places and we have to let her make decisions for herself…. corners turning left and right, we just have to let her drive while Josh and I guard rail for her.

It has been interesting experiment cause she loves it, but she has her insecurities and some kids have told her they don’t like it. I have really been working on her self esteem, teaching her that it doesn’t matter what other people think and she just needs to own it and own who she is.

“Besides baby, did the kids who told you it was bad have cool hair themselves?”
“No”
“Then why does it matter what they have to say?”
She nods with a smile.

The grandparents are going to *hate* her hair and no fucks are given.

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Lots going on in Wine Country! I have no inclination to put this in any form of chronological order but here is the awesome that has been served up this way in the past couple of weeks.

First off, our homies Dave, Kelley and their wonderful nuggets were road trippin’ across the state and we were able to meet up with them for not only wonderful company but the most amazing sushi dinner we had had in ages. I love friend you don’t see for a while and when you get together, you are able to pick up exactly where you left off. LOVE. THEM.

This is the beauty about being so close to SF: we get to see a lot of friends cause people actually want to come here! We have seen more loved ones in the past year than we did in the 2 years we were on the East Coast. It has been wonderful.

Speaking of wonderful, we are about to get hit with a week in the 70-90’s. Delicious.

With Coachella spanning two weeks of April, it brought A LOT of talent to the state and this month was a parade of shows. More shows than we could afford or had time for, really. On April 15th there were THREE shows we could have gone to! That night we took Reza to see The Knife and it was a complete blast cause not only did she hang like a trooper, but it was rad to hang out with our kid on that level. Jason & Eryc came up from San Diego and we all took The Fox by storm with our bunny ears.

Josh and I got to see The National a couple nights ago, again, another brilliant show. They sounded absolutely amazing. Sadly we were unprepared for the clusterfuck that was trying to find parking at UC Berkeley. It was a hot mess and Josh got all kinds of mangro over it. We missed most of the opener and by the time we rolled in there was nowhere to sit. Needless to say now we know a little better. We’ve been in the Bay Area almost a year (can you believe it!!? I CAN’T) and there are still things we are learning about. Flow of traffic and lack of parking for starters.

All this concert going has been interesting cause it just boggles my mind how people pay good money to go to these shows and spend it on their phones the entire time. For some reason I am a magnet to these assholes too… usually in the form of the dumb, drunk chick who thinks everyone wants to listen to her sing off key while she plays with her phone and talks to her friends. I had a rad video clip of the whole place singing to The National and the whore next to me and her twangy country singing and wooing ruined it. Ladies, for the love of god, shut your holes or stay home.

Record Store Day came and went… man, what a debacle. I got lucky enough to get one of the three ††† EPs that were sold that day. I asked some guy who had it if I could see it, he didn’t even know who they were and he just picked it up like a lot of people do, just to list the shit on eBay. Maybe he felt sorry for me but he told me I could keep it. Yellow had to be procured on ebay and a friend was nice enough to procure the blue one for me in Seattle. I know, I’m a total Chino Moreno STAN. And then there was the lady giving me the laser eyes of death cause I got the last Muppet Movie soundtrack. She followed me around the store! What a nut job.

The other day Josh asked me what I had going on for the day. I said there were no plans and he pushed me to go do something fun like antique hunting. Well twist my arm! I managed to be extra lucky on my hunt that day. That scalpel print was meant to be mine.

Here are many of the awesome goodies I spied… and only spied.

I started going to the gym again. I couldn’t pass up a $10 a month deal. Honestly I wish it was a pilates studio but that shit is way too rich for my blood. The frequency and duration of my visits depends on how my joints are feeling but I am doing my best to maintain a routine of some sort and get the blood pumping. I haven’t really talked about it much cause it’s not my m.o. to go on a preachy spree. Accountability is great but the most accountability I need is toward myself. I am just trying to focus on the doing and not so much on the numbers or setting myself up with unrealistic goals, it isn’t good for my headspace. I will say this though, my moods have improved greatly since I started exercising more regularly. I have a follow up appointment with my Dr in August and I would like to see an improvement in my lab work results. But hey, if my clothes fit better and the boobs shrink, I won’t complain 🙂

Art Show! Flyers came in the mail! For more info on art show you can go to the Gallery 999 website. I am counting down the days I can share my pieces with you.

Speaking of doing things again, I am back to posting on Twitter. I just find myself having all these one liners that aren’t fb material. If you are so inclined to see my banter, you can follow me there.

We have been trying to get out and see the sights while hiking. A couple weeks ago we went to Taylor Mtn. and got our green/oxygen on. It’s nice having all these places close by and it gets us out of the house.

Yet another year has gone by that my dude has suffered Hockey Playoff Heartbreak at the expense of the St. Louis Blues. While I am glad the playoff beard is gone, it’s a bummer to see him let down. I’d deal with the beard if it made him happy. Oh well, there is always next year.

I should be drawing more but haven’t. I did manage to squeeze out a couple nuggets though so the creek hasn’t dried up just yet. I have some ideas brewing.

Larger versions can be viewed over on my flickr set

So yeah, save for some dental malarkey I have been dealing with, April has been awesome sauce!

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Greetings! Long time no hear yo! What can I say? Things here are afoot…

For starters, I picked up my glasses yesterday. I really needed them too cause the past week was a lot of strain, headaches and overall pissy factor cause seeing clearly was a little frustrating. It’s hard to feel inspired when you’re feeling that way. It’s and odd feeling and will take some time getting used to but all things considering at least I got some nice frames. Excuse the grainy phone photo…

I took them for my first drawing test drive today and drew this just to give it a go. As much as I hate to admit it, it really was an improvement on my eyeballs.

I started my volunteer work at the animal shelter a couple weeks ago. Basically, I go in on one day a week to help clean the kennels, feed, and play with the cats that are ready to be adopted. I was pleased to come in yesterday to find a couple got adopted. I hope that will be the case for all of them. Poor little guys, some are so scared too but most eventually open up to you. I has been pretty rewarding to have a quiet morning a week, where I hang out with some furry critters in need of love and attention. When time permits and they allow me to, I take photos of them in hopes a good picture will network them a little better. This is Zin.

Reza had her oral surgery this week to extract her tooth. The poor girl was nervous but did really well all things considering. I did not like to see her absolutely high and disoriented from the meds but the end goal was a tooth removal and her remembering/feeling as little as possible. She did get really nauseated after the fact and threw up several times. There was much spoiling that day and a little bit of milking on her end which resulted in one popsicle too many. The following day it was back to school like nothing happened. We are really glad to see that gross hillbilly tooth out of her mouth. Of course Penny Wickett, her tooth fairy, hooked her up fat *wink*

We are still on “the quest” for the right car. Test driving, calling, haggling, smarmy car salesmen. Nothing has panned out. We had a real contender and were on our way to test drive it (it was 90 min away) and as we were headed there the dealer decides it is time to disclose the previous owner was a smoker. AKA HELL NO. I can’t fathom the concept of buying an overpriced ashtray. Gross as all hell… so we said no and back to square one. We still have a few prospects and I only hope one of them works because I am ready for this process to be over.

The biggest thing going on is that all of the Drs. appointments are coming back with results and not all of it was good. It’s interesting how shit just turns the corner when you’re getting older. Much to my dismay, not all of it is going in a good direction. My cholesterol came back a tap higher than what is deemed optimal and my iron is a little low, so I have had to make some more cut backs/modifications to my already modified diet. Thankfully I am not all alone on this one and Josh and I both have been making a much more concerted and conscious effort when it comes to our lifestyle choices. I am a little out of my comfort zone here cause you get used to cooking a certain way and all of a sudden you are having to make different choices. What makes it tough is accepting that these choices are no longer a want… it is a necessity… that is, unless I am perfectly ok with being a pill popper the rest of my life. I would rather avoid that part if I can.

I won’t lie, this unexpected shift has thrown me off a little bit and it has made me a little introverted, stressed and worried. I feel a little vulnerable but hey, it’s my truth and reality. Either I accept it and handle it properly or turn the blind eye. Obviously you know what route I am choosing. Lots of reading up, research and proceeding accordingly. Knowledge is power after all.

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And in typical disjointed fashion….

Yesterday I escaped for a couple of hours and headed north to Healdsburg to do some antique hunting. The downtown area is really cute… lots of shops, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants and it doesn’t hurt Bear Republic Brewery is up there which of course turned into a growler fill for Josh. Not sure what it is about craft beer guys and women but you roll into a beer section area and all of a sudden everyone is SO HELPFUL. The best part is I don’t even drink beer. Yes, I am one of those girls.

Antique hunting is therapeutic and most of the time I don’t buy much but you never know if that ONE thing I have been looking for will pop up…. like the turquoise pyrex bowls I need to replace because Gomez broke 2 of them. In any event my headphones and music are the best company. I do take lots of photos, most of which end up on my Instagram. One of my favorite photos to take are the stacks and covers of vintage books, or texting Josh photos of the utterly bizarre – like this ridiculous acrylic toilet seat.

While sitting in an intersection yesterday, some guy was trying to get my attention by gawking and honking his car horn at me. It was quite comedic really. Picture yourself walking into an elevator where someone who just had eggs for breakfast, farted. Imagine the face you would make. That is the face I dished at this dude. I’m still cracking up just thinking about it. I never understood guys, the whole cat calling and being crude as a means to get your attention. That “hey baby” shit doesn’t work yo! I mean, maybe it works for some girls (the wrong kind) but I’m just not that easily swayed.


1. Cupcakes from Moustache in Healdsburg. That empty spot was supposed to be a red velvet and I get home… NOTHING. Travesty.
2. Reza and the giant Santa Rosa Hand
3. Still plugging away in my Q&A journal. Pick one up, you won’t regret it.

I was going through Pinterest today and I saw something that made me shudder. Confession time! I cannot stand the sight of french manicured toenails. Totally skeeves me out! I don’t know why but they really do.

After we took down the xmas tree, I decided to set up our extra desk in its place. Josh and I have been sharing one desk and for an artist/musician in one house, one desk just wasn’t cutting it. It was a nice surprise for him to come home to. Here’s something a lot of people don’t understand: It isn’t just being creative, if you don’t have a space that is even semi-conducive, the output will never come out. It’s a total case of dry vagina. Funny enough, since this change in set up, he has been working more on music/writing and I have been drawing more.

It’s almost the middle of January and realized that I haven’t send out one piece of snail mail. I guess Halloween and Xmas burned me out just a tap. Anyway, I need to break the seal with this and decided I am going to do so with a small MYSTERY PACKAGE GIVEAWAY. What is in it? Well, I guess you will have to enter and find out what it is. How do you get in on it? Comment to this post with “MPG”. Drawing at the end of the week and I will gather together some goodies from my personal stash, art, goodies, treats, my favorite things… it depends. You have until Friday. Yes, this is a DL giveaway cause it’s for people who actually pay attention and yes, I will share the contents once it has been sent out.

Speaking of holidays! Valentine’s Day is on the horizon and I want to send out custom valentines to make up for my xmas card debacle. I know people hate on VDAY and love to spew all kinds of “hallmark holiday” haterade. Whatevs. Haters to the left, I love it and it has nothing to do with “having someone”.

Last night Josh and I were laying in bed when I brought up the fact that this May will be our 10 year wedding anniversary. It’s a trip cause I never imagined this is where my life would be. We’ve been together almost 13 years and it hasn’t felt that long. This is what it is like when you’re perfectly happy with who you chose to spend your life with. Woot!

And just like that, time to head out to pick up the man from work. May I not almost get in a car accident like I did earlier today when I almost got swiped by some oblivious woman. Some chicks really need to not have licenses. Lord.

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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.

Namaste, bitches.

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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!

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September is here and Summer is slowly on its way out, unless you live in SoCal where everyone is so sad about swamp ass and melty temperatures. Sorry SoCal! Either way we find ourselves on the cusp of another season and with it comes all the goodness that makes me (and countless others) squee for joy.

I had my first pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks this morning. I know everyone is all “damn the man” when it comes to the evil, overpriced Siren. I get it but the PSL is where it is AT.

Here are a couple of the Fall goodies I have seen come to the consumerist surface AKA “things I got suckered into buying”

Washi Tape: Found in the $1 section at Joanne’s (yes, worth a repost cause I am a washi addict)

Pumpkin Greek Yogurt from Trader Joes: I am trying to find a love relationship with this thickness and all it took was the sample station at the store for me to be a convert. This stuff is delicious! Add some nuts and whoa! The best part is this comes with a lid you can re-seal in case you can’t finish the whole thing.

Method Dulce De Leche hand soap: I am a lover of the Method line and their limited edition scents are usually bust. Anyone smell the “tomato vine” scent? SO GROSS. Normally I don’t like fake caramel type scents cause they’re so flipping nauseating but this is actually quite nice. ($2.99 @ Target)

I am sure there will be lots more of this business in the months to come 🙂

What else…

I have been working on a beefy silhouette order for the past few weeks and now that it is wrapped up I have time to dedicate to my thing. For one, I have registered www.ivonnecarley.com and I am going to work on building a portfolio site for my art. For the time being it links to my blog but ultimately I want to have my work online as well as hustle out on finally making things like prints, cards, etc. for purchase. Baby steps but the ball is rolling.

Speaking of cut outs…. I made these the other day on a whim.

This past weekend we ventured out to check out the Farmers Market in Sebastopol, which is about a 10 minute drive from our house. Sebastopol is a cute neighboring town, super hippie whatnot… reminds me of Ocean Beach (san diego) without the beach part. I look forward to exploring it a little more. Anyway, I have never seen so much beautiful food in my life. Nature makes the best colors.

We had thought about going to Bodega Bay but it was too warm and later I come to find out they were having a Hitchcock event celebrating the anniversary of The Birds. Would have been nuts not to mention Reza was in full on motor mouth mode and we were over it.

I finally got around to hanging up a lot of my wall friends. I will be honest, these beige walls are driving me nuts but our lease will not let us paint. FINE. I will put a bunch of holes in the walls instead. I have so much art I love and not enough wall space.

This post isn’t all about stuff and pretty pictures. The truth is I haven’t been feeling well physically. Lots of joint issues, heat, stiffness… scary shit and I am not ignoring it by any means. Fuck this getting old crap. I may get carded, be totally immature at times and told I look young but the truth is I am not a spring chicken. I will be 39 in November and I have never felt “age” as much as I have in the past few months. I am doing my best to put on a happy face, stay positive and all that malarkey. Truth is I am terrified of what is going on and it is really hard not to beat myself up for not being as proactive about being healthier. Take notes youngins’, you won’t be as resilient later on.

Other than things here are well… we have some visitors in the pipe, Reza is loving her new school, Josh got a lap dance from the muse and he is back at the music which makes me really happy to see/hear. Right now I am all about getting back to my art, working on the health thing, trying to reconnect with friends. You know, life.