san simeon, slo, my birthday

we got a wild hair and planned a trip at 11pm the night before we hit the road. it was my birthday weekend and john wanted us to all go to the coast – both for my birthday and to get out of the 100°+ temps! so off i went on the interwebs to find a place to stay in san luis obispo or san simeon. much to my dismay, i wasn’t finding anywhere to stay…everything booked?! what was going on? ah ha! renaissance faire…now i get it. well, we decided to roll with it and go there too (i mean how many other times in my life will i get to see a jousting match?) after finding a place and booking around midnight, it was time to get some shut-eye for our big 5 hour drive in the morning.

i love san simeon. it’s one of the first places john and i went on a road trip when we first started dating. it has great memories. we headed to jade beach which is filled with tons of rocks. i love sitting and just watching the ocean and helping the kids find “treasures” on the beach.

after the beach, we went back to the motel and decided to take the girls to the pool. (i have no photos because i didn’t feel like risking my camera around the pool.)

the pool made us all hungry so we made plans to have dinner with our niece natasha in slo. i’m so glad we got to spend a little time with her!

the next morning (my birthday!) we got up early and decided to pass on the continental breakfast at our motel – how do they get pastries to be that color? i swear they had turmeric in them – they were yellow! anyway…natasha also works at a great cafe, sally loo’s. so, off we went and had breakfast there with jessie! our other lovely niece – so great to see her too! i’m so glad those girls are doing well and enjoying their college life. we miss you though!!

now, the “ren faire”. wow, such great people watching. this is a total lifestyle choice for some. again, i didn’t get a ton of photos (too busy watching the kids.)

we had a great time – i think the kids really enjoyed it. they each got to ride on a horse (we were informed numerous times that the horse stella was on was NOT a pony but a miniature horse – well maybe you should take down your “pony rides” sign!)

anyway we also watched belly dancing and a jousting match. stella fell asleep in the stroller, so i didn’t get up close to see the jousting, but john took anya up close and she loved it!

it was a fun weekend (except the driving part) and i’m glad we are so spur of the moment sometimes!

chalk paint

the girls begged and begged to make chalk paint again.

so, off we went to the dollar store for our supplies:

corn starch
plastic cups
foam brushes
food coloring (which i already had)

to make chalk paint, just use equal parts corn starch and water (i used 1/4 cup of each) and mix them in a plastic cup. then add as much food coloring (the cheap drops work just fine) to make the colors you want. i made basic rainbow colors.


i love the way the blue turned out.

i just put the kids in their swim suits and let them go to town. it seriously occupies them for over an hour. and don’t worry, it totally washes off – everything. i have the pool nearby for them to wash off in (and to cool off in this 100° heat!)

we sat outside and had snacks and painted. what a relaxing afternoon…

ah yes…so relaxing. i won’t mention the part about me walking in the house to bring my camera and iphone inside and my girls decided to get out the hose and spray the entire table (where my camera would have been sitting) and spray the back door – which is a screen – which means the water went all over the kitchen and i slipped and fell on my knee on my way outside.

oops…did i say that outloud?


well, i really did it! i had my first photography show and i made it through the evening without breaking out into hives.

(please don’t say i look like kate gosselin. that wasn’t my intention.)

it was a very successful night all around. i even sold one piece! yay!

courtney featured locally grown food for the reception – which was awesome!

BFD did great and sold lots of things during the opening reception. i’m so happy for them!

congrats tim and courtney. i think this is going to be your year!

(photos courtesy courtney clark)

BFD…my photography on show

my first ever attempt at showing and selling my photography (and john’s photography too!) will happen this saturday.

our friends courtney and tim are having their official opening reception of their new shop brew ferment distill (BFD) on second saturday, so our photography will be hanging on their wall. i’m nervous and excited all at once. i have to drop off the work this week to hang on the walls and make gallery tags and hopefully my business cards come in time as well!

best of luck to my wonderful friends on their new store and here’s to seeing if i can do this for more than just a hobby!