Calico Ghost Town

Hello there! I celebrated my thirty-ninth birthday last Sunday, YAY! And also boo, I am not ready to hit my forties. Do I start wearing Mom jeans and drive a minivan? I’m old and lame, haha.

DSC_0399My BFF ordered this yummy ice cream cake for me before she left for Paris. Merci Aimee!

I spent the weekend with my Mom in Apple Valley. We found the sweetest little bunny (actually it was a baby Jackrabbit) outside in my Mom’s yard.

It was hard to not keep him as a pet for Olivia but we knew the little guy wasn’t suitable to bring home. We did put him in a box so it wouldn’t be cold during the night. He was gone in the morning so we hope he was reunited with his Mom. We didn’t touch him so his Mom wouldn’t smell us.

We took Monday off from school and work so we could check out Calico Ghost Town which is halfway on the drive to Las Vegas. Olivia loves all things Wild West. She was excited to find ghosts and gold in Calico. The town has a impressive history dating back to the late 1800s. Silver was mined from the mountains for years until the process of extracting the silver became more expensive than the value of the silver. The population of Calico went from 50 to a peak of 1,200 and currently has nine residents. We found it picturesque and lovely because the weather was nice and there weren’t too many folks there.

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Doesn’t every little girl wants a creepy, demon-eyed doll?

DSC_0465I was lucky to find an awesome fox tail Davey Crockett hat for Liv (that fits over her big hair!)

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I love train rides, so relaxing and we learned about the history and folklore about the town.

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Liv and Antz were adventurous enough to go mine hunting in the mountains.

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DSC_0664Doesn’t this schoolhouse remind you of the one from The Birds?!

I discovered that I would not last five minutes one hundred years ago. I think I would be better suited for the 18th century in France. I am sure I was royalty in my past life!

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This pesky lil varmint was jailed for not eating all her vegetables!

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DSC_0722DSC_0727I was excited at the idea that this was a Pet Cemetery !

Calico Ghost Town
36600 Ghost Town Road
Yermo, CA 92398

Open Mon – Sun
9am – 5pm

Yee-haw y’all!

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Antz Birthday Weekend Wrap Up

We have been on a sabbatical for the past four days. My lovely husband turned 38 and we celebrated and hiked the desert hills.

Don’t worry folks, he doesn’t have a mohawk, this photo was taken years ago

His old fridge in his office at work needed replacing so we bought him a bigger version for keeping his favorite drinks *Diet peach Snapple* cold.

I love his butt birthday card *I’m butt #3*

We had a delish home cooked birthday feast.

Thank God for air conditioning since it was super hot. My Mom, Liv and I got in the hot tub which even though it was 80 degrees, felt great. Liv is learning how to blow bubbles in the water now. So that’s as close to a pool as I got.

All my outdoor fun plans *beach, picnic at the Silverlake meadow* went out the window when it was close to 100 degrees. Antz was stationed under the air conditioning vents. We managed to take Liv to the movies. I had to snap this photo of the adorable little Mike Wazowski *don’t worry, I was sitting in the last row and turned my brightness all the way down, nothing irritates me more than when someone is on their bright phone during a movie*

I noticed by the thousands of photos of this exact same image on Instagram, I’m not the only one who had this idea. Monsters University was really good, I highly recommend it. I also bought The Great & Powerful Oz on DVD for Liv. We took her to see it at the movies and even though I was concerned it would be too scary for her, she LOVED it. Antz even made her a paper version of Glinda’s crown and wand *after she begged us to buy her one everyday*

*I’m not even joking, she wears her Cinderella dress and glass slippers all day, every day!*

Antz and I saw World War Z last week and it was entertaining. There are parts, particularly the ending that will disappoint, but anything with Brad Pitt keeps my attention *I like his greybeard stoner face*

I was hoping to have a BBQ for the 4th of July but now we don’t think it’s gonna happen. We took our cat Lola to the vet and she had an unexplainable accident that ended up with her getting stitches on her leg. Now she is on two medications that we have to give her 4 times a day. If you have ever given meds to a cat orally, you’ll know how miserable we all are. Seeing her limp around the house is sadders but we have to keep her inside until she heals so she cries to go out all the time. It sucks, my poor Lola in her cone of shame.

I haven’t been so happy happy either, I have been working on Liv’s 3rd scrapbook on Shutterfly. Her first 2 books were a breeze to make but for some weird reason when I used the editing tools on Firefox *which is my preferred browser* it kept crashing. So I open it in Safari, it works but I can’t upload photos from my Instagram account, d’oh! So let’s just say, I am having a hard time finishing it. Then I have 550 photos to edit and of course I want to use every single one of them but the book has only 45 pages and I’m trying to condense. You guys know how I’m all about quantity and not so consistent with quality!

Well, since I’m on nurse duty this week, I may not be able to blog often. Just know I’m here, thinking of completing my Summer Bucket List.

  1. As always, Beach days!!
  2. Last year we didn’t make it to a concert at the Hollywood bowl, so I’m super stoked to see Björk at the Bowl June 11th!! *Björk was AMAZING!!*
  3. Attend Liv’s school Summer Masquerade Serenade *We had a wonderful time*
  4. Grill this!!     
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Rosemary and beef kebabs

    5.  Have a family BBQ *Possibly Maybe soon?*
    6.  Braid my hair *Done.

Before


After, Very Fancy!

        7. Go to Disneyland *for Liv’s 3rd Birthday*

         8.  Have dinner at Knotts Berry Farm.  *I love their biscuits with Knott’s jam*
         9.  Attend Tom & Jess’s beach wedding in July.

        10. Attend the Renegade Craft Fair *one of my favorite summer events*
        11. Have a friends BBQ *and make a signature cocktail*
        12. Cook at least 5 recipes from my Pinterest board *and use my new crock pot*
        13. Take Olivia to see Monster’s University
        14. Stage an intervention for Amanduh Bynes *we’re all concerned*
        15. Buy this adorable sun hat for me, a Mexican dress for Olivia and Antz could use
              new sunglasses too!

Kate Spade Hello Sunshine raffia sun hat *it’s sold out at Nordstrom 🙁
      16.  Go bike riding on the Strand

      Bonus: Swim/tan as often as possible!!

Solitude in Pomme du Desert

We are in Apple Valley visiting my Mom for a few days. I wasn’t going to blog tonight simply because I haven’t done anything interesting besides eat pizza and sit in front of my Mom’s fireplace wishing how much I would like a “functioning” wood burning fireplace of my own *that won’t burn my house down*. Dream the impossible dream, right?

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The fire smells fantastic, I can sit here all day

Seriously, something about being here turns me into a ball of lazy mush *so what’s different from when you’re a ball of lazy mush at home?*. It’s so peaceful here. Eerily quiet. Oddly, as tired as I am, I can never fall asleep at night here. At home we have a lullebye of my asshole neighbors drunkenly fighting one another, random Rancho music played at illegal decibels late into the night and police sirens and helicopters that sound like we live in downtown Syria. LA is crazy noisy, so when I’m up here in mountain country, the only sounds I hear is a fucking owl in a bush hooting. I’m really mad that I’ve never seen the owl because it’s pitch dark out here and I’m positive it would be the cutest owl ever. There’s shit out here that you would never see in the city, like alpacas, they are everywhere and stars! Did you know there is more than 5 stars in the sky?! If I went outside right now I could see our entire galaxy with my bare eyes! When you drive *on the dirt roads* folks actually smile and wave at you passing by. The first time this happened to me I was too afraid to wave back and I quickly rolled up my window because I was sure it was one of those gang initiation things. Another phenomenon that only happens in the valley of apples is the food service workers are not only friendly and  competent, but they actually act like they give a shit about the food they serve you. At first I thought it was a fluke since we were at In & out and we all know they only hire happy, smiley, Christian-virgins there, but every time we’ve gone to a drive thru the experience has been pleasant and I don’t have to return because they’ve messed up my order. They also ride horses in the drive thru. No, for real! Anyway, all these things combined plus Happy Hour – half price on all drinks and they have the most wonderful blue coconut slushies, at a legendary place called Sonic *which weirdly we see commercials for all the time in Los Angeles but there are none within city limits* makes for a splendid time in the desert. It’s cold and windy but the air is clean and crisp in a good kind of way. There is never an agenda or a need to rush out here. I don’t wear make up, spend all day in my pajamas and we spend our evenings playing Yahtzee!

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My Mom pretty much lives on Tatooine

Tonight we spent the evening watching slideshows of all 19 thousand of my photos on my computer and after everyone went to bed at 7:30, I watched Liv’s birth videos. Oye! Can I be the first to say that seeing a human slide out of your body reminds me of Aliens *don’t click this*. It’s creepy for everyone involved but since its the magical moment your child is born, you brush it off like when you sneeze and fart at the same time. Disclaimer; Olivia is the most gorgeous child on the face of this planet *sorry all other kids* but during her first seconds she was terribly slimy and gray. It took about 4 minutes for her to become cute. I had 2% baby experience prior to Liv’s birth and that was seeing my nephew’s birth *in which I cried tears of joy like someone punched me in the boob but I was also mortified by the grossness of birth* I have a video of my placenta coming out, did I just ruin food for you? Although I am so happy I have a document of our daughter’s birth. One, I can show it to her anytime she sasses me as a teenager and two, I fucking did that shit! Me!! I pushed that 8.59 pound child out of my body like a BOSS! The night before my water broke, I was terrified of her birth. I couldn’t stop thinking of the sheer physics of it. I was sure I would break in half or pass out from my wimpyness of pain. On paper, I planned a “natural” drug-free birth and I practiced my breathing while bouncing on my birthball every day but the second that Pitocin kicked in, I was like “Oh, Mr. Anesthesiologist!” I salute the women who can not only do it drug-free but more than once! I only had about an hour and a half of active pushing with 3 doses of my epidural so when I gave birth, I was ready for the President to come in the room and hand me my Medal of Honor. The photos I have are just hilarious. If my laptop were ever stolen the thieves would bust a gut at the faces I am making while I’m barfing into a hospital vomit bag.

This was taken Pre-meds!

Oh man, I’m cracking myself up at midnight in a big, quiet house and I’m the only one up waiting for my owl buddy to start hooting. #Insomniasucks

Pre-Thanksgiving in Apple Valley

We have an annual tradition of spending the weekend before Thanksgiving at my Mom’s house in the desert. We cook up a non-traditional feast of crab legs, shrimp, lobster tails, filet mignon and spinach & feta cheese stuffed salmon. Sadly, I didn’t get any shots of the fantastic food but let me assure you, it was yummers. It was such a laid back weekend. We just hung out by the fire, took a nature walk with Liv and the dogs and played around in my Mom’s music room *Antz on the bass, my Mom on drums and me and Liv on the piano*. I spent hours trying to set up my Mom’s new streaming player so she can watch instant Netflix and turns out all I had to do was enter her wi-fi password in caps. DUH!! Now she can access Youtube and Netflix on her TV but I had to make her a cheat sheet so she remembers how to do it.

It was stormy and cold in LA but we had pretty nice weather

This is just a fraction of my Mom’s gold & platinum albums
Sunsets are the best

I have a busy week ahead doing two of my favorite things, eating & shopping! We’re going to family and friend’s houses. I’ve got my Black Friday shopping list started but I’m disappointed that Anthropologie hasn’t launched the kid’s clothes yet, Boo!

My Game Plan
Target – Vacuum cleaner, sheets, a dress, socks and a Wii game for Liv
Bed, Bath & Beyond – Heated mattress pad, new pillows, a crock pot, and a comforter

Detailed View
I want all the Confetti system holiday ornaments so bad!!

West Elm – Duvet and sheet set, a Smeg Refrigerator *sike, don’t I wish*
Home Depot – Propane Grill *our 7 year old grill died* we’ll take a look at patio furniture too
Anthropologie – Clothes for Liv, maybe this tablecloth
Gap/BabyGap – Pajamas, clothes for this year’s Holiday card
Etsy – Christmas gifts and maybe this fabulous scarf for Mommy *hint, hint Santa Antz*

I’m doing all my shopping online in my jammies. Anyone brave enough to tackle the stores? I hear people are already in line at Best Buy *insane!*

Career Day

Remember those? I loved bringing my Mom to my school to show off her percussion skills to my class. Yesterday she went to her friend’s school for career day and blew some high school kid’s minds. The school is a performing arts charter *like FAME* so having my Mom playing for them was a pretty big deal. I couldn’t help but feel proud of my kick ass Mommy, she rocks!! Liv and I drove to Apple Valley for a few hours and headed back home just missing rush hour traffic.

Playing with the Jazz ensemble

Talking to the class about how she started with Motown and kept ahead of her game as a woman drummer.
This kid flipped out and asked for her autograph while I played paparazzi

New drummer in training

Playing “I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5, these guitar students were incredible

GOOD NEWS!!! I found a short clip of the performance on the Flip *which has been wonky but I hope is fixed now*

Love you Mom, you are an inspiration!!

Hither & Thither

I love visiting my Mommy in the dessert *I know that’s a typo but we just had blueberry crumb cake for dessert, so I’m leaving it*. The weather is perfect, we are blissfully full from the amazing meal I cooked and Liv and her Grammy are having a late night jam session. We ended the evening with a sunset stroll and caught a meteor shower, which was amazing since we can’t see anything in the sky at our house. Oh yeah, my camera had a seizure.

Hanging in the jacuzzi
Food, glorious food!
For some reason my culinary skills intensify when I’m at my Mom’s
My Mom rocking her Mrs. Roper muu-muu. I think I need to get one!
Pretty stellar landscape, her land just goes for miles

Hi Blue!
Liv kept calling for my Mom’s doggies, “Come ‘ere Kody, and bwue!”
Epic sunset on the desert

Liv’s first didgeridoo lesson
My Mom can play for like 45 minutes straight, she uses a technique called circular breathing.
Olivia is in music heaven here, she has played didgeridoo, piano, congas, xylophone and guitar
The solar lights in my Mom’s backyard look pretty sci-fi, don’t they?
I stood perfectly still and held my breath when I took this shot. I was using the night setting and I turned the ISO way down, sigh. My camera has done a lot of hard drugs since the infamous fall. Our Nikon is the new Lindsay Lohan *please don’t sue me*
City Lights dancing

Snow Day!!

Yesterday we drove to my Mom’s house and then made an impromptu trip to the mountains to show Olivia SNOW!! I was worried it would be all melted and icy but the patch we found was perfect. We had a snowball fight and Liv LOVED playing in the snow. It was super fun. I narrowed down my faves out of the thousands *1,023 to be exact* of photos we took. I’m going to need a bigger memory card when we go to Paris.

Smokey says: Think Before you STROKE!!

Serious Side-eye

Future Snowboarder

Snowball Wars!
She rocked out in the snow

Random grave marker right where we parked the car, RIP

Jumping with Mommy *yikes, my shirt!*

Visiting free-range, happy happy cows on the drive home

Please, don’t eat us!!!

We have to go sledding next time.

Legoland

Schmegoland…

Legoland March 1999

Sadly we had to postpone our trip to Carlsbad due to Antz extreme migraine. My poor hubby has been in pain since Tuesday night. He hardly ever complains so I know he is hurting. I couldn’t bear to drag him on a 1 1/2 hour drive and walk around all day in the sun with his throbbing head. We tried Advil, Extra strength Motrin and a cold compress to no avail. He did manage to take a nap for 2 hours but we had to take him to see a doctor. The good news, it is a migraine and nothing more serious *Thank God* However, the bad news is there is no cure for migraines and we have no idea what the cause could be. He’s taking a prescription and trying to relax more often. Tomorrow we are going to Bed, Bath & Beyond to get him a contour memory foam pillow as the doc recommended.

Well, at least he has the next 3 days to feel better, poor guy. I’m working on a new feature that I want to post soon but I have to teach myself this new software I bought. Anyone have any suggestions on working with Photoshop Elements? Oh and guess what? I ended up exchanging my Mac Air 128GB for a 256 GB. I should have just bought the bigger one to begin with yet I was trying to stay on budget. I also bought some new software *which you’ll hear about soon*

Doesn’t it suck when you get sick during a vacay? This has been the quickest week of my life, yet I’ve been driving for hours everyday *we’re at my Mom’s in Apple Valley* long story.

Later Skaters!

First Thanksgiving dinner down, 2 to go!

Every year my Mom has an early Thanksgiving dinner at her house a week before the chaos of the holidays. This year the menu was seafood. Oh boy!!

King crab and crawfish!! Lemons courtesy of our backyard

I was in charge of desserts. My Mom requested a fruit tart

I finally made these red velvet brownies. I thought I took a photo of them but I guess I forgot but they were deee-lish. It was so cold in Apple Valley, it almost snowed. We went to Target since we wanted new frames for this amazing photo of Liv

photo by Grammy

I checked out the mini Harajuku for Target kids line and I was not impressed at all. The clothes look cheap and the style is totally Hot Topic. I also wasn’t pleased that most of the stuff was for older kids, nothing in Liv’s size. Not very innovative, Gwen. Her son dresses really cute though, he’s the best dressed celeb kid for sure.

Kingston *super cutie*

Soooo, Thursday I went shopping with *super skinny* Aimee

 Our little Zsa Zsa!!

 Get comfy Liv. This bedding was heavenly

and look what followed us home!!

Dutch Wax Ottoman

I didn’t necessarily plan to buy this lovely ottoman/stool but it was marked down from $198 to $99! I have been wanting a nice chair to put in the bedroom but nothing fits in this incredibly tiny space. Just perfect for putting on our shoes and I’ll finally have somewhere to sit when I put on my makeup!! I also bought this pretty frame from Paper Source because that store rocks my socks and I need something for new artwork.

Antz thinks it too Indian-ish looking

I found the Pavo bedding but the shams were sold out. *sads* I called a bunch of Anthros and found one standard sham and one euro sham. I picked them up today and they ordered a set of standard shams to be shipped to our house. *yay* Then I saw this guy…

Josef Wingback Chair, Blue Zigzag

One day you shall be mine!!
Again, this lamp is tempting me

One Lump or Two Lamp Base
Liv’s newest addition to her Yo Gabba Gabba! menagerie

Yep, that’s her pink Blackberry

So I am happy with my purchases for the bedroom yet we are still trying to find the perfect rug and I’m waiting for Black Friday to finish shopping. Antz is still searching for the perfect side table but I have a feeling we may end up getting this guy from Urban

Lola Side Table

I am apprehensive about it since it has a 8 – 10 week shipping schedule and it didn’t get the highest reviews. I am in love with the color and it meets our measurements.

I totally forgot to post these photos from Nic’s bowling birthday party. I haven’t bowled for a few years so I started off pretty sucky but the food was yum and I had a blast hanging with my peeps. We are a wild bunch.

NERDS! *red eye much?*

I can’t believe it myself but I threw the ball backwards between my legs and I totally got a strike!!

 RADNESS!

I hope I can get everything remaining on my list on sale. I’m also buying Liv’s Christmas presents on Cyber Monday *mostly from Amazon* and maybe I’ll get my long-awaited Mac Air.

I need to get to work. I sold my very first pair of wings and I want to make another set for Liv *since she’s outgrown her old ones*

Can I please ask Santa to bring me these amazing Dude/Chick vases??

Zipping right along my Summer Fun List

This weekend was super busy. Friday night we drove out to Apple Valley to my Mom’s *for her birthday weekend* and Saturday we went to the Hesperia Zoo. What zoo you say? Believe it or not there is a quasi-zoo in the desert *all the animals looked fucking hot* I swear I saw a camel fanning himself. So Liv was able to pet a deer, sheep and llamas so petting zoo is done. We were pretty impressed that the lion *Aslan* was the actual one that starred in The Chronicles of Narnia.

 

 

 

 

They should have named it the Random Animals Zoo, why wouldn’t you see a reindeer in 100 degree weather?

Okay, this tiger was awesome but some asshole kid kept taking photos and smiling at him when the tour guide was like leave him alone, he isn’t liking it. Dude thought she wasn’t talking to him and he made the tiger growl and lunge at the fence. My heart was in my froat. It was scary, I instantly knew what the guys in the Hangover felt like because that tiger was enormous!! That fence no longer looked strong enough to “hold rhinos” as the tour guide told us.

 

She was not inside, she was outside feeding him raw chicken

YIKES!

 

The baboon was hilarious

 

Lemurs!

 

I’m sure you can’t see him but the Hollywood lion was laying on his back. The tour guide said most of the animals laid around all day conserving their energy from the heat. She said the lion roars every morning and every night because he’s a muthafucking gangsta!

 

 

That night we all made delicious gumbo for my Mommy’s birthday dinner.