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So. Much. Going. On.

Be Happy

So here’s a quick flick through my camera stream lately. First a photo taken by Rapunzel of her own hand. She’s not afraid to grab the camera and get in there with the interesting shots. I love that.


Another one of my old saguaro. She can’t believe that I never took this shot myself. Nope, I didn’t. Too prickly!

R & M

We had a little tiff at dinner so I’m feeling a bit sentimental as I post these photos. Teenagers are so complicated!

tagger in another life

I spray-painted an old wooden chair my mom had laying around. I wanted to give the chair its own post but it’s not like I’m really a DIY home-decorator blog or anything so I’m just going to smash it in here instead.

spray on

Spray, spray, spray. Don’t you love it when you forget to change the ISO setting on your camera and the last thing you shot was a product shot inside at 3200 and then you go outside and over-expose everything so bad that your backyard looks like heaven from the 70’s?

nicely done

Maybe that’s just my version of heaven from the 70’s.

at home in it's habitat

Anyway, the chair looks fantastic! It went from country bumpkin to eclectic mess which is sort of good except I hate eclectic mess. I love the chair though. I just need to de-clutter my house a little so it can shine on its own.


It’s already a favorite for family meetings.

me and my new/old chair

And vain self-portraits.

what's this?

Speaking of, I need some better self-portraits because I’m A PUBLISHED AUTHOR NOW!!!! And I had to put some dumb hand-held frumpy mom shot in the back of my book. I know I could pay someone to take a real portrait but I like to keep it real (or cheap). I am self-published after all, it’s not like I have a big book-contract deal. But I do have an awesome agent/publisher friend who is hooking it all up. I’m so excited. This is really a dream come true for me.

It dropped on Amazon yesterday for my birthday! This is just a soft launch. I have two more books to illustrate and then we’re going to launch a blog tour with giveaways and prints and a book party (squee!) and I’ll probably talk about it so much you will all get sick of me. But until then check it out! $2.99 yo! It’s only on the Kindle right now I think but you can get a free kindle ap for your mac or ipad. I’ll share more when I get the hang of it. I’m new at this still. (Also available in the UK and Germany)

In the meantime I have two books still to illustrate! (And many more after that I hope) I’m so behind. If you see me goofing off, feel free to kick me in the butt. I’ve got work to do!!! It’s always feast or famine around here.

what's left of my birthday cake wearing her cake and eating it too

Yes, my birthday was fantabulous. Thank you for asking. We kept it low-key with a night out with my best beach gal pal DMA and a new friend on Friday and then a family dinner with the niece-com-poops and my Aunt Keren and Grandma on the day itself. My grandma made me my favorite birthday dinner (peanut encrusted Thai chicken—soooooooooo yummy you could die) and Rapunzel made my cake. How can I be mad at her when she’s so sweet like that. Teenagers! She kills me.

birthday cake under wraps! R dishes it out

Anyway, it was super sweet and fun and the kids had a blastola swimming in Grandma’s community pool.

learning to swim


I love summer.

peach pie

Why yes, I did make a peach pie. I know! All this fun going on when I have work to do!!! This is what I’m talking about. I should be shackled to my laptop but no, I’m in the kitchen pretending to be Martha Stewart or something. It’s just that it’s summer and the fruit is going bananas (or more correctly, peaches) and it’s such a wonderful new thing to me that I just can’t bear to let it rot! It’s me and the fruit flies and I’m not about to let them win.

Farmer Bug

Peaches, zucchinis, apricots, plums, sugar snap peas and soon tomatoes. I can’t even keep up with my camera. Life does not stop for the weary!


  • Momsy

    Congratulations on the book! How awesome.

    I hope that one of the books you are illustrating will be SAJ in Paris. Those are still one of my favorites.

  • Rachel W.

    Happy Birthday! Your last picture of Bug with the veggies is wonderful! It absolutely captures summer!

  • OMSH

    I seriously cannot wait to be able to purchase your books. When you come in October I’ll put your nose to the grind and not release it ’til you push another one out! Love, love and more love to you on your birthday. Glad you liked the surprise!!!

  • Melissa K. in Nebraska

    I think Rapuzel is just giving you some dealing-with-teenager training. Because as all us moms of teenaged-daughter’s know… it can be a GIANT cross to bear.

    I so miss your illos. Can’t wait for the print books. And I second the SAJ in Paris idea. Too fun.

    Farmer Bug in a tu-tu. She makes me smile.

    Happy belated birthday!

  • Melissa K. in Nebraska

    Of course, if my own mom saw my comment about teenaged-daughters and crosses to bear, she would TOTALLY roll her eyes at me!

  • Sam

    So excited about your book! And the upcoming ones, too. Your life seems full and busy and fruitful (ha!) right now – that’s so great.

  • bethany actually

    You made a peach pie!?!? I’m so proud! :-) Also, that’s awesome about the book! Now when is it going to be released in book form so those of us living in the 20th century without Kindles or smartphones will be able to buy it?

  • Stephanie M

    I had a great time with you two…so much fun. I hope I get the chance to hang out again soon. It looks like you had a great actual birthday too.

  • Kari

    Yay – congrats about your book!!! I LOVE the red chair! I think if you painted all of your wooden chairs red, it would bring it all together and look amazing! :-)

  • kelly

    Happy Birthday! Have been reading your blog for a long time and I don’t think I’ve ever commented. Bug is awfully cute and I love all of your creativeness! I too have recently separated and had to start over with a mix match of handed down furniture and I love reading and seeing you embrace the situation. Reminds me to stop and enjoy the things and experiences I have now even if they weren’t my first choice. Anyway, just wanted to drop a line and say, “hi!” and that I love your blog.

  • Melina from Reading Vacation


    I like to visit your blog and see all your fun crafts and photos. Bug is cute!

    I am a tween book blogger. I review middle grade and young adult books. Reading is my thing!

    Anyhow, your book isn’t something that really fits in with my blog, but I have a few friends who blog about children’s books. Send me an email and I can introduce them to you so you can send them a review request. Us book bloggers also do giveaways and author interviews.


  • Kuky

    Seeing your name on Amazon…AWESOME! How did you go about doing that? My sister tried getting a children’s book published long time ago and I believe she actually sent it out. Maybe she should go the self publishing route. Oh…I’ll just tell her about it and she can go google it.

  • gingermog

    Wow I am so proud and impressed that you have got a book published, you have accomplished something so many of us want to do and say we will do but don’t make it happy.

    I hope it sells really well for you.

    I don’t have an ipad or kindle to check it out so if you do many to find a link to something we can download it I would be really happy. I;m still not up to speed yet with such new-fangled gizmos, but I really do need to learn and keep up with the kids.

    Well done Brenda, you are fantastic. Huge hug xx

  • gingermog

    P.s. The peach pie you made looks delicious too. Just like you I have a house full of girls at the moment as my 15 year old niece and her friend are staying with me while they are on work experience (one of them is shadowing me at my studio and teaching job the other working in a Vintage shop). The house is full of laughter and music and I’m baking lots as there are people to eat my blueberry muffins. Julian is strange and doesn’t like muffins so I don’t normally bake much. Have a great day xx

  • BeachMama

    Happy Belated Bday SAJ!! Can I gift you a headshot when I see you at BlogHer?? Would make my year do so some shots for you :) … now off to pick up your book for my Kindle Ipad App :)