Z is for Spy. I may need some help with my alphabet.

21 12 2011

I’ve known Brenda online for awhile now. And then there was that day when I met her in person for the first time in a public bathroom. What? That’s normal. And we’ve since graduated to outside-of-bathroom social gatherings, too.

Brenda’s an incredible artist and has recently written some children’s books. Secret Agent Josephine’s ABC’s, Numbers and Colors. When she asked me this summer (outside of a bathroom) if I’d like to join her book tour, I jumped at the chance. Her books are, as can be expected, super cute. The colors are crisp and bright on the Nook. The books are full of humor. My kids already know their numbers, letters and colors, but we all (me, too!) enjoyed the books. My personal favorite is Numbers because it is FULL of awesome spy gadgets I need to have. Margie loves Colors, particularly for the page about the polar bear. Elliott just loves ABC books. Seriously, he’s six and a half and he’s known his alphabet since he was 2 and he still checks out ABC books from the library every week.

Since today is the beginning of 7 Days (it starts on a Wednesday this time! My brain is broken) and that coincided with my turn on the book tour, the kids and I decided to dress up as spies. I am considering wearing this mustache everywhere I go today. Guys, I know kung fu.

7 Days: Day 1 (Z is for Spy. I may need some help with my alphabet.)


Here are the links to where you can buy the books on any format (we loved it on the Nook!).
Amazon: Colors, Numbers, ABC’s
iBooks: Colors, Numbers, ABC’s
Barnes and Noble: Colors, Numbers, ABC’s

And guess what? One lucky reader will get to win a print! This print:

Just leave a comment below and I’ll choose a winner a week from today.

UPDATE: Contest is over and the winner is announced here!


Small Business Saturday

26 11 2011

Like Black Friday, but more ethical.

In honor of SBS, here are my current favorite Etsy shops:

BethanyActually – Even if I didn’t play favorites with my friends, Bethany’s shop would be on here. Her dottery(TM) is not only pretty to look at, but often adorned with geeky quotes. Geekery aside, I’m currently drooling over this autumn tree mug (although it’s not for you. Unless you are Sarah).

The Realist Mermaid – Full disclosure: I haven’t tried any of Mariah’s food (yet!), but again with the playing favorites with friends. But, aside from the fact that she is a friend of mine, I’m sharing this because Mariah and I tend to share the same ideas about what constitutes healthy food, and she makes a lot of gluten-, dairy-, and other allergen-free foods. It’s hard to find whole foods sweets, especially allergy-friendly ones.

Pretty Little Charms – I recently found this shop and I wanted to share it not only because her stuff is so incredibly gorgeous (something like elegant nerd), but because she was awesome to work with. Extremely long story extremely short, there was an issue on my end with the order and she was so easy going and pleasant and understanding about it. I know I’ll buy from her again someday.

Phoebe’s Treasure – I’ve ordered from here several times over the years. In fact those two rings I wear daily (the green bead and the lapis one) were originally from here along with some of my favorite earrings. She’s always great to work with and her jewelry is simple but unique.

Lazy Cat Cut Coins – I love coins. I love jewelry. That pretty much sums that up.

Secret Agent Josephine – In addition to being a published author (more on that soon), Brenda’s got a shop full of VERY CUTE STUFF.

So go forth and support capitalism without corporatism! Happy shopping!

Dancing with Matt

3 07 2011

About a year ago Summer and I went to a Cake Wrecks books signing and met Jen and John. Yesterday we went to the beach and danced with Matt. We’ve decided that our new goal is to meet every internet celebrity, one by one. Which, now that I type it out, sounds really unlikely. But fun!

Quick digression: As we were walking all the damn way across Coronado (because the Fourth of July weekend + a hot day + the beach = no parking anywhere anywhere) and trying to corral two kids and also me across busy streets we naturally got to talking about Paris. It is a little scary to try to cross Parisian streets, and Summer recently accomplished this feat with 20 8th graders and survived (and so did the 8th graders). This conversation naturally led me to comment (again) on one of the things I was most struck by while watching Sherlock – I mean besides the fact that Sherlock Holmes and I totally have the same pillow. There is a scene (more than one, actually) in which someone hops in a cab that’s parked on the right side of the road and the cab darts between traffic all crazy-like onto the left side where it belongs and drives off like nothing unusual happened at all. I remember Douglas Adams writing about this once, and how he was shocked to get a ticket in the US for parking on the wrong side of the road. So I was relaying this to Summer with exaggerated emoting for humorous effect when a lady next to us piped up in an English accent and asked, “And what’s wrong with that?” My feet? Are DELICIOUS. She went on to accuse us Americans of crazy shit like making right turns on red lights so I guess we’re even, but note to self: never mock other cultures in public again. I mean, except for this paragraph. And a quick note to my English readers, I do not actually judge your culture for your parking habits. In truth, I merely poke affectionate fun at you. Feel free to return the gesture if that floats your boat.

So! Matt. We trudged across the sand to a giant crowd of people who’d gathered in the designated spot and who were murmuring things like “Matt” and “dance” and who were also wearing random strange headgear (presumably to spot themselves in the video easier). Matt was not there. But! He had kindly shared some notes with us regarding this gathering:

When you get to the spot, look for the guy who looks like the guy in the dancing video. Just come on over, say hello, and ask if I am Matt. If I’m not Matt, I will let you know.

Wearing distinctive clothing will make it easier to spot yourself in the video, but please do not dress as a licensed character (Mario, Spider-Man, Sarah Palin) or I will have to blur you and that will make everyone think you showed up naked or something. Also, please do not show up naked.

I did not notice anyone there naked, so this was clearly a group who followed directions very well. After a short wait, a dark-haired guy in sunglasses ran up to the crowd to a large round of applause. Speaking of mob mentality (because Summer was, actually), all it takes is for a few people to assume that every dark-haired guy in sunglasses is Matt for the rest of us to assume the first people know what they are talking about. They didn’t. But, true to his word, Matt informed us that he was not Matt. Only a moment later, another dark-haired guy in sunglasses, struggling with a large cooler, walked up to the crowd to very little applause. I guess we were jaded and suspicious by that point. Poor Matt.

And so we gathered into a big mob. There was a girl there with the most awesome bright orange hair I’d ever seen, two guys who Matt dubbed “Shirtless Guys”, and a bunch of goofy kids who bossed Matt around a lot. Well, and a bunch of other people, too. Matt set up the shot, made us give thumbs-up to the disclaimer, squeezed in to join us and we danced.

First we did Matt’s dance, and then we did a bunch of others. Turns out I fail at dancing. I mean, this really shouldn’t be a surprise to me, but it turns out even simple dances like The Swim are beyond me when you are supposed to do it in some kind of rhythm. I predict being fully embarrassed when this video is finished. Or possibly that the entire San Diego sequence will be cut because of me and I will become Hated.

The kids in the front row all took turns making up dances for us to do. Matt was seriously so awesome with all the kids. At one point a tiny two year old ran up and grabbed onto his leg and just held there – that’s pretty much how all the kids felt, I think. Elliott showed Matt how do do a “dance contest” which ended, unexpectedly, with falling down rather than a prize. But then most things Elliott does end with falling down. He is a big fan of the physical comedy.

Happy Thing: My Son Teaching Matt From the Internets How to Dance Contest

It was such an awesome afternoon, as are most when you meet internet-famous people. But the sun was shiny and we were within view of the Hotel Del and we were dancing and we were with a group of people who were just awesome (as you’d have to be to show up to dance for the internet). And the traffic off the “island” (because Coronado likes to call themselves an island but it is clearly a peninsula) wasn’t nearly as scary as it looked. Win!

So. Who should we meet next?

UPDATE! We didn’t make it into the actual video because we were upstaged by a stupid sea lion (and maybe because I danced so terribly that we got upstaged by a stupid sea lion), but you can catch bits and pieces of us in the outtakes.

Important stabby so hard.

19 04 2011

My new favorite website: http://yes.thatcan.be/my/next/tweet/ (It gets extra points for making the URL be a sentence.) According to this site, these are things I will probably Tweet at some point.

LOVE. Grudgingly. I ASSUME.

Squished a fork. WTF sore throat?

Sadly not wearing pants.

Dear Internets: What is emo. Oh wait, never mind.

Important stabby update: Being on blues clues

Oh balls.

Reavers are great! I get an immersion blender.

Coffee. Oops.

I’m really weird. Dear Internets: What is watching Home Made Simple for me. Every color is pissed off.

Laughing quietly to it evil evil. They suck today. It’s way better than poo.

The cervix-punching was wise. Oh no!

Duuuude. Just scored 123 points on the San Onofre nuclear power plant.

The world wildlife fed sued them like a fucking room.

Elliott’s review of Firefly: WTF sore.

Dear dude I’m really sucks. In every way. Except the Ides. oh sad.

OMG THAT’S WHAT I think. At any rate he is dead as Mickey Mouse, but I’m really weird. … space donuts?

You know this morning. is more fact than fiction.

And triple check. Just made squash soup.

Tonight’s popcorn: lemon pepper. Yes. Wanna know that Wonderfalls is seriously scary to me. Every time.

And now on your daughter sings the flaky.

My kitchen was running.

Evil. You are safe. The whole point of it. Important stabby so hard.

It’s normal to spell vulva before they are stuck together.

Sad dalek is my life. just surprised.

It’s here! ♥?

And why yes, I am AWESOME. Bow to the Bieber-scented bracelet. Srsly.

PS. I’m just being woken up cause I’m using the real phone in my gparent’s old house.

Sadly not scared of the flaky.

Squished a teen.

Saw a sticker that indicated the bottom of the bottom of me. Every time.

It’s more fun with a miracle. yup. After being an immersion blender.

Temple of the shirtless Indy bits. That part doesn’t suck it.

Sad dalek ain’t appropriate.. Hells yeah. Contact paper can suck it.

Squished a miracle. yup.

True story. it’s time to get lost eight times.

Dude. I just surprised.

Found something resembling a bitchin’ rockstar from Mars. Srsly, Hilton?

Today is better when we started using the Force.

PS. I’m laughing.

Cake Wrecks World Tour, Final Stop

27 06 2010

As soon as I heard that Jen & John from CakeWrecks.com were coming here for a book signing, I decided I would go. Actually, last time they went on a book tour, I decided I’d go anytime they were within a couple hours of me and I got lucky and only had to travel to La Jolla. So I picked up my Frister, we stopped for gourmet chocolate, which required entirely more mall-walking that was necessary so we called it a hike just to make it sound prettier, and then we went hunting for this signing.

It wasn’t your average signing. I mean, I heard Cake Wrecks signings aren’t, but this was epecially wasn’t since it wasn’t, you know, in a book store. It was in the middle of an art festival for some reason and cost $10 to enter. So we found the spot, followed a strange maze of signs leading us to parking and hopped on a strategically-placed free shuttle which was extremely air-conditioned (not that I am ARGUING). The shuttle population consisted of my Frister and I, and one other girl who looked to be under 60 years old. The rest of the people were clearly not there for Cake Wrecks, as evidenced by the fact that when Summer shouted, “Look! Cakes!!” because she had spotted the baker bringing the cake into the festival, the nice grandmotherly woman in front of us turned around and asked if we’d missed our lunch.

So we paid our admission and wandered over to the Warwick’s Pavillion about an hour ahead of schedule where some authors of a cook book were giving a demonstration of, I don’t actually know, but I am pretty sure it was edible. We bought copies of the book and stood in the shade and snarked over foodie authors who just happened to be talking about cuitlacoche which, of course, I read about on The Sneeze! it’s been a couple of years, but one does not easily forget about infected corn. These authors even went so far as to say there is a place in MY TOWN which serves this. Or maybe they were talking about lamb. Either way, I should have asked which place so I can know to avoid it.

Then the foodies were done and their audience began to make to leave, Summer and I stalked the front row, prepared to shove people out of our way if need be, and we were rewarded with PERFECT SEATING. Yay! We settled ourselves in and were flipping through our new books when a guy wearing a fancy badge and a Threadless t-shirt sat down next to us and said hello. And he turned out to be John himself! Apparently, when he introduced himself Summer offered up her name, but all I could get out was some sort of squeaky intake of breath that cannot be spelled in our language (maybe in mermaid, though). I think he said some other stuff that was probably words, and I know in the end he invited us to go over and say hello to Jen who was hanging out with the big, fancy cake nearby. So then we had to decide: save our seats or go meet an internet celebrity?? We decided to go with: leave our stuff on our seats as territorial markers and be prepared to beat up anyone who didn’t take the hint. Luckily, there was no need for violence. We went over to say hello, and Jen sort of offended my Frister by assuming she wasn’t wanted in the photo Summer was taking of the cake. And then everyone stopped talking to us and it was Kind of Awkward so we went back to our seats, pretty sure we’d made an excellent impression and that Jen and John wanted to be our new BFFs. (John even ASKED US WHEN HE SHOULD BEGIN. True story. They totally relied on us for ADVICE n shit.)

The presentation was funny as hell, and then we voted by clapping for the best Wreckplica (which is very hard to say out loud – don’t try it at home) and then we stood in some sort of chaotic and weird line for book signings and cake and JEN TOOK A PHOTO WITH US.

By that point, I think the festivities were pretty much over (I hope?) so we decided to wander away. On the way to look for some very cool sidewalk chalk art, we saw, um, this.

Me: I’m pretty sure I need this in my living room.
Summer: I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure I need a picture of it!
Me: You want me to pose with it?
Summer: Yes!

(FTR, I did not buy it to put in my living room. That was snark.)

Anyway, it was a great day. From the grandmas to the celebrities to the butt-art. Best book-signing EVAH.

PS. I totally stole those photos from Summer’s Flickr stream.

For Your Online Shopping Convienence

6 12 2009

I hope it’s not too late for a post of this sort – I’ve been thinking about it for some time now but it was always too early and, of course, as soon as it became the right moment, my life stole me from my blog. Even if it’s too late for holiday shopping, you can keep these places in mind for other shopping of course, too. While I have personal experience shopping at (most of) these places, I can’t share photos because if I tried to complicate this, you wouldn’t get to read it until February!

In no particular order…

Soulful Hues is my good friend Shellee’s shop. Shellee’s an awesome lady who can (and probably has) done every sort of craft you can think of. Her current obsession is recycled jewelry made from old silverware, and she also has some knitting patterns up. She’s dedicated to recycling and reusing and making this Earth a better place for her three girls (and, you know, everyone else, too).

Another mama I know and love through my AP message board is Corey, of Corey’s Totes. I have a lovely yellow dragonfly-print tote of hers and not only is it beautiful, it’s sturdy as Hell. I use it to hold our Nature Study supplies when we go to the park – a jar, a notebook and pencils and a book larger than the largest Harry Potter, believe it or not. And the tote doesn’t even flinch when I load it up.

This third one, I have not done myself (yet). A third mama I know from my AP board has started a cat rescue called C.R.O.W. and you can support them by shopping at many big online stores through this link. If you aren’t shopping online, you can still support them by searching the internet through this link.

That’s all I have time to share today, but it’s not to say that I don’t love many other little shops run by friends (Bethany and Sarah come to mind, among others) or some slightly bigger places to shop like The Hunger Site.

I hope you take a moment to check out all these places and maybe even buy something. And hopefully in time for the holidays. And if not, Groundhog Day is totally a holiday.

Do you miss me as much as I miss you?

10 06 2009

Blogging has not come easily to me. But I suppose that is life – ups and downs in every aspect. While my blogging levels are down, I will leave you with a list of my most giggle-inducing webthings these days. Enjoy!

Literal Videos (in which they change the lyrics to songs to reflect the random shit that goes down in your average music video):
Total Eclipse of the Heart – Bonnie Tyler
Head Over Heels – Tears for Fears

Zack Morris (of Saved by the Bell… I really should not have to tell you that) visited Jimmy Fallon this week.

At home SwineFlu test. Ask yourself, “Do I have swine flu?”

Important advice about what not to buy.

This oldie is not so much giggle-inducing as it is just ultra awesome in every way. Especially the bit about the whale.