A Perfect Day Out

laguna-wall

Even though we haven’t been in strict quarantine for months, it still feels like we’ve been cooped up since forever. We do get out these days to enjoy the alfresco dining that is popping up everywhere but we haven’t really been out out for a long time. So yesterday, when we spent the day in Laguna Beach, it felt like we were on vacation. Like really on vacation! If I squinted really hard and forgot that we were only a half hour away from home, I could almost feel like I’d flown thirteen hours and I was back in Italy. Laguna Beach feels like Italy sometimes. It’s just such a quaint touristy sort of town like that. I love it.

artime-barro-studio-laguna-beach

Yesterday we took a pottery class at Artime Barro studio in Laguna Beach.   I booked it a few weeks ago and carted the whole family off whether they wanted to go or not. At first the girls protested. They usually like to meet up with a few friends at our local shopping center in our neighborhood. It’s a habit Payam and I are not that fond of, given the risks of covid AND the fact that they are both starting to think that hanging out with a passel of boys is the cool thing to do. We fight them on it but give in regularly. Parenting, it is not for the weak.

After a few eye-rolls and sullen sulks with headphones in the back seat, they gave in and started to get excited too. It felt so good to be back as a crew having an adventure again. I LOVE love love when all four of us do something fun together. I guess, that’s the meaning of family after all. Now all those adventures my mom used to drag my brother and I off to make sense. These are the things that makes moms happy! Like really really happy! I should plan these sorts of adventures every week.

Of course everything comes with a price and a pottery class was $40 per person BUT you get to make two things each, you learn a new skill and it’s really really fun.

Bug-at-the-pottery-wheel

Bug is taking ceramics in highschool already so she’s a pro. I took a sculpture class at the local community class years ago but throwing pottery on a wheel is completely new to me. It is so relaxing. I found staring at the spinning clay almost hypnotizing. I could have stayed there for hours.

making-pinch-pots

We took turns. Two of us making pinch pots and two of us learning how to use the pottery wheel.

busy-pinching-pots

Pinch, pinch, pinch.

Payam-at-the-pottery-wheel

Spin, spin, spin.

my-pinch-fox-pot

I defied the instructions and made a fox instead of a pot. I thought I’d get in trouble but the instructor said it was perfectly fine. As long as I had a hole for the air to escape I could totally make a fox head instead of a pot. And that is why I like Laguna Beach and artists in general: It’s okay to break the rules and be creative! If Laguna Beach didn’t have such traffic problems I would seriously consider moving there. It is definitely my kind of town. Maybe someday…

artime-barro-studio

The studio is so nice and open, you almost feel like you are out doors. There are several doors and all of them are open with the gentle ocean breeze wafting through. In the back is the classroom area and off of that there is another outdoor seating area. In the front where you check in and out there is a little shop where you can buy locally made pottery. Lots of really cool gift items.

beautiful-studio-1

Of course it’s decorated crazily.

lots-of-fresh-air-in-the-studio

My favorite part is the interactive wall map where you can write on a broken shard of pottery and glue it to the wall with stucco.

interactive-wall-map-1

I really hope this studio lasts forever. Firstly because I want to go back and make more pottery and secondly because I put SAJ up own the wall and I want her to live there forever.

interactive-wall-map-2

Just fun all around. I think I should get a job here. Too bad I am a newbie at ceramics.

dog-in-the-studio

In true laid back Laguna Beach fashion, dogs are, of course, allowed. I would not bring Cody here though. His sweeping giant tail would costs me hundreds of dollars.

funny-plant-pot

There is a cute little pot on the check out counter. I want to make one of these one of these days.

I-miss-the-ocean

After our pottery class we walked down to the beach. When in Rome… You can’t really visit a beach community without at least putting your feet in the water. I miss living by the ocean. I’m only 15 minutes away now but you’d be surprised at how rarely I leave my little sunny town to go find it.

my-crew

Covid or no covid, I’m so glad to be out and about with my crew.

and-then-we-got-gelato

Then to top off the day we got gelato. Because that’s what you do when you go to Laguna Beach!

also-i-cut-bangs

I even had some, which if you know me is a pretty big deal. It was such a perfect day.

Let’s Catch Up

I took a minute off blogging. Not on purpose. At this point it’s the monthly illustrating-a-new-banner habit and boy did I work hard on this one. Why? I don’t know! It’s just a thing I have to do. Have you guys watched The Social Dilemma on Netflix? I’m sure you have. It’s pretty good. It gave me a lot to think about so maybe blogging is my small way of sending good content out into the world to fight the evil monster algorithm. It’s pretty scary when you think about it. But it has helped me to put social media and the internet in perspective.

halloween-in-full-session

Nobody is happier that it is Halloween Season than Bug. Just when I thought I figured out her last aesthetic (dreamy white walls with delicate botanical drawings, plants everywhere, natural textures and boho hippie vibes…) she goes and changes it! Now she’s really into dark gothic designs and loving anything Victorian. If it’s complicated and patterned and dark then she loves it! But she’s always been this way. When she’s into something she’s passionate about it!

I guess we are two of a kind that way. The other day we found a new taco stand and they had these wild blue turquoise painted stucco walls. So we posed in front of them of course.

go-go-bucket-hat

I recently purchased a turquoise bucket hat so it was kismet.

new-taco-stand

This is the taco joint we found. I recently hired an accountant to help me figure out my mess of finances now that I’m a big fat corporation (not) and I have a feeling that the accountant is going to put the kibosh on all these out-to-lunch adventures Bug and I often go on. I think it’s going to be time to get back to basics with peanut butter and jelly soon.

first-day-of-school-covid-style-hybrid-model

The girls are back to school two days a week on the hybrid model. They love it. I’m so so. But I do feel a lot better knowing they are back at school only half the time with half the amount of students. It’s a numbers game I guess and at this point I’m weighing their mental health against their chances to catch covid. I guess we’ll just wait and see and take all precautions.

Back to school for my girls means dressing like you are in the nineties. And by nineties I mean the Kirk Cobain era, not the fact that it has been over ninety degrees outside. I don’t know how they can wear long sleeves and docs when it’s sweltering but they do. Sweat in the name of vanity I guess.

And speaking of vanity,

brick-wall-meeting

Guess who likes her picture taken again! I am so happy to accommodate with the fashion photography. Work it girl! I do love her fashionable choices. She’s getting more and more inventive every day and I love it.

october-skirt

The other day we popped into a thrift store and she found this vintage Parisian skirt. I would have never picked it up myself but now that’s she’s been wearing it regularly, I am loving it too! It’s really well made with one tiny button at the waist. I think it’s super cute on her.

payam-climbs-lassen

In other news, Payam made it back from hiking Mt. Lassen!  We are so proud of him. He set out to do something that seemed impossible and he did it! Now I just want to go back and do it with him!

amazing-cactus

Meanwhile back home my favorite cactus has been putting on a show.

spreckles-in-a-lampshade

Oh! I’m babysitting my mom’s dog, Spreckles. This dog. She is going to be the death of me. She’s wearing a cone because she scratched her eyelid and wouldn’t stop itching it until it was raw and hairless. I took her to the vet and they gave her some meds and she’s pretty much better now.

And she bit my friend Lubna.

Yes, I said that right. Lubna is fine but it was a scare and a half.  Spreckles has a biting problem and we forget about it because she is a super sweet dog when she’s not a rabid crazy biting dog. It causes us a LOT of stress. She’s a Kingsland Healer so she has instinct to herd animals (or people) by nipping at them. When she gets scared (like if someone unintentionally gets in her space) and will lunge at them. Usually, we can avert this problem by giving her her beloved tennis ball (she’s psycho about the ball) but if we don’t have a ball when she encounters someone new it can get really dicey. She probably feeds off my fear and gets even more defensive and protective of me. Anyway it’s been a super nightmare because I am scared to death she’ll bite someone and really hurt them and then they will sue me and my life will be over.

I’m being dramatic but it was really scary. She bit our cleaning lady once when she went outside to throw out some trash AND she tried to bite the gardener through our screen door and knocked the screen door out of it’s track. Thankfully I had her muzzle on and nobody was hurt but still. Scary dog!!!!

Except that she is super sweet to me and nuzzles her little nose into my lap while I’m typing this. How can you put down a dog like that? It is a real conundrum.

spreckles-muzzle-maria-walking-partner

I found a muzzle for her that is super cool. She doesn’t mind it either. In fact, she is really happy to put it on usually because I always put it on when we take walks and she’s associated it with getting to go out on a walk. You can see how red her eye was. It’s better now. The muzzle is soft and mesh and she can easily breath with it on. It also doesn’t look too scary like a dungeon dog or something

Taking walks with all three dogs is the regular three-ring circus it has always been. Except I think it’s worse now that I am afraid of her biting someone. I’m also worried my dogs are picking up on her habits because now Whiskey growls and lunges too but he hasn’t bitten yet. SO enter one of my favorite friends, Maria!! I love Maria for so many reasons but recently she has started walking the dogs early in the morning with me and it helps a ton to have some extra hands.

3-ring-dog-circus

So yeah. A real dog circus. Have I mentioned that Spreckles is obsessed with her ball? She was trying to get it from under the couch (where it always seems to go) and she pawed at the cord of our lamp and knocked it over and busted the lampshade. Dogs, man.

I think that about catches you up. See you next month! Unless I get back here sooner.