Buddies,  instagram



I thought I’d show you my instagram photos. Like you were over for tea and cookies and you asked what I was up to lately. Remember those days when we actually had albums put together with real photos? I used to be the queen of that. Back in like 1993 or something.

So anyway, here is my cat Fiesta looking a little taken aback. How dare you surprise me like this 2013!? We are not ready for a new year already. Just kidding. We are totally ready for a new year.

Feeling some New Years resolutions coming on...

Bring on the fresh and new!

I’m hoping to get back to planning weekly meals again. I really fell off that bandwagon in 2010 when I started cooking for just Bug and me. Bug never likes anything I cook so I sort of fell into the habit of making her boring favorites over and over (snore) and spicing things up with an out-to-eat restaurant meal once a week, specifically Souplantation, which is also her favorite. I hate the cafeteria atmosphere of Souplantation but the endless vegetables seemed to cure all evils. So cheers to making a plan!

I also purchased Smitten’s cookbook (because I love her, who doesn’t!?). I’m hoping when it gets here that Bug and I can look at all the pictures and maybe she’ll pick out some new things to try. They say picky-eater kids usually enjoy food more when they are in on the process. Does anybody have any good kid-friendly cookbooks with lots of pictures that they recommend?

And yes, I need to get the SAJ calendar done. I know, I know, I know. I’m at Bethany’s right now but as soon as I get home, I’m on it.

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Mmmmm…a coffee and hot chocolate date with my friend Deb at Zinc.


And a walk along the ocean to see the sunset…


My companion and her babysitter, the iPad. We seriously have to get out and have some fun after work today.

Bug has been on winter break which is fabulous except when I have to get some work done and she’s forced to be babysat by Netflix and the iPad. I am so thankful we have them though. Many a deadline have they seen me through.

Watching traffic.

Ikea is also a great place to find an hour’s worth of free childcare. Not that I was desperate or anything, I wasn’t. We actually went there because Bug LOVES to play at Småland and I needed to pick up a few things. They still have a ball pit which is a huge fascination for Bug, not to mention all the other kids to play with and the staff is actually really sweet and friendly. It’s a total perk that I can sneak a coffee to myself upstairs in their cafe.

Party favors for cats. She approves.

They’re selling little stuffed rats/mice right now which would be perfect for a certain cat-themed seventh birthday party I’m planning.

Kinda creepy! But cool. I'm loving this cat-theme for Bug's 7th birthday party. Mouse appetizer anyone?

Mouse appetizer anyone? I’m thinking I’ll put them on the food table next to the canister of kibble and the bowl of Swedish fish. The kids will love it. I’m not sure about their parents.

Moving along…

Deb feeling right at home with a cat on her butt.

My friend Deb came over to hang out Friday night. The cats and I enjoyed that visit as you can see. I’m trying to fill my kidless nights with more fun. I need to start a Friday night movie club or something. Anybody local interested?


The next day I made a currant cake. Well, from a cake box mix so it wasn’t really that special but it was yummy because of the currants. I’d never even tried a currant before but they were on sale at our local Persian market and they were so pretty and red.

I know! How cool is it that I have a Persian* market in my neighborhood? It’s really cool. They have the best produce and about a thousand varieties of everything you can think of. They have pretty much every kind of yogurt you could ever dream up in every possible shape and size. Drinkable garlic flavored yogurt? Passion fruit-walnut yogurt spread? Seriously, they have it. That and all kinds of exotic teas too. And teapots and hookah pipes. It’s a wonderland of the senses. AND they have a food court with the best Indian curries. I go there every Friday night. It’s my hot-date-with-myself special. *I guess it’s not really Persian market.

Currant cake! Making it up as I go.

So yeah, currant cake. It was pretty good. I’ve also been making scones every morning in every possible flavor (golden raisin, chocolate, strawberry, pumpkin). Not because I love scones so much (which I do) but because the oven heats my freezing cold apartment up in the most efficient manner. I’d take photos of all the scones I’ve been making but they haven’t been very photogenic. They’ve pretty much been looking like splats of manure. Thankfully they taste delicious and nothing like manure. Phew x 1000.

And the next book coming out soonish... Untitled

Some new books I’ve worked on as an illustrator instead of as a writer. I need to blog them properly but we’re waiting for them to be moved from one Amazon account to another so don’t buy them yet. But they are pretty cool and I am proud of them. So stay tuned on that.

Our favorite page.

I had a good time working on them.

Crafty drill girl.

Then we headed down to Bethany‘s (where we still are) and Troy presented me with a drill for Christmas. How cool is that!!? I had casually asked for his advice on what kind of drill to buy because I seem to need one now and then for the craft projects (and because having a drill would make me officially badass). Well, Troy took my curiosity as a personal mission to get me the BEST drill ever! I’m sure he researched high and low, he’s like that. I’m super happy with it. And also, I now have a rad new avatar. You can call me Drill Girl and then you better stand back because I’m armed and dangerous.

A present from @troygronberg !

Bethany and I didn’t bother exchanging gifts because I’m the worst at gifts (I hate shopping) and we just give things to each other all year around. Actually, I just do favors for her like unpack her house, empty the dishwasher now and then and maybe watch the kids when she would like to sleep in and she showers me with gifts all the time (free pottery painting, tickets to the other side of the country, a stand mixer, possibly their old TV…you know just spoiled-rotten friend gifts).


We painted some pottery as you can see. Bug asked for a black cat in an alley for her birthday plate. I thought it was kind of a funny request but then I fell in love with the idea and made it this month’s banner and possibly a new book.


Who am I kidding, it’s totally a new book. I’m already up to page six.

They're first album cover.

Bug and Annalie formed a band with their new tiny guitars they both got for Christmas. I think their band name is the Troubledores, coined by OMSH.


Elliora is their groupie.



Really she is her own star. I love this kid. She cracks me up all the time.

I'm at @bethanyactually 's obviously.

Oh yeah! Bethany made cinnamon rolls. That’s kinda par for the course when you’re visiting the Gronbergs. She’s always baking something delicious. Except these ones I think she stayed up until four am to make or woke up at four am to make or some other whackiness. She’s a crazy baking fool.


I just sit around and work while she bakes. This is the start of a Little Hoo Valentine’s book. I kind of dig the chevron afghan skirt trees. But this book is sadly getting neglected because I’m all afire about the new black kitty book. Somehow I’ll finish them all.




Sunrises… and now I think you are officially caught up!


  • Jen

    I have TWO Fridays in California when I visit. We must do a Friday night of fun! It’s nice to read and see what you have been up to. :)

  • Amy

    We have a pile of those little mice, too. The nearest IKEA is 5 hours away, but my husband is near it sometimes during business trips, so he stocks up. He came home with PILES of stuffed animals (and vegetables). They are so much more funky and snuggly than your standard stuffed animal!

  • Laura

    My favorite cookbooks for kids are the ones written by Mollie Katzen — “Pretend Soup”, “Salad People” and “Honest Pretzels”. They don’t have photographs like the admittedly wonderful Smitten Kitchen cookbook, but they do have completely illustrated step-by-step instructions for the recipes and funny quotes by kids who have made them. Another more recent favorite is the magazine Chop Chop, which has lots of kid-friendly recipes demonstrated by kids.

  • bethany actually

    1. I didn’t stay up till 4am. I got up at 4am to roll out the dough and add the filling and stuff, then stick the pan in the fridge. It took me all of 10 minutes, and I was up anyway thanks to Elliora. :-)

    2. I think you mistyped in that paragraph about how we don’t really buy each other Christmas presents because we just exchange favors and stuff all the time…you should have typed, “I UNPACK HER ENTIRE HOUSE WHEN THEY MOVE!!!” because the enormity of that task deserves at least all caps and some extraneous exclamation marks. Unpacking our house gets you free birthday cakes and TVs and plane tickets across the country FOR LIFE.

    And I second the recommendation for the magazine Chop Chop. We had a subscription for a while and it was awesome! I need to renew our subscription, come to think of it.

  • Susan:)

    Ha, I just bought myself one of those Ikea mice! And a hedgehog, owl and basket of vegetables. They were just so cute! I love the little stuffed mushrooms!

    Okay, so. I totally need to get together with you and Bethany and the girls. My nieces would love playing together. And I need adult friends! We have a house right on Mission Bay, if you guys ever want to come hang out and the kids can play in the sand. I would also be up for fri movie night!

    Love the black kitty book! I just love cats in general! Can’t wait to see what you come up with for Bug’s birthday! My niece turns five in early Feb, and she wants a Barbie fashion party. I gotta start working on that! Your parties always inspire me!

    Good grief, I sure do use a lot of exclamation points. I’m really very calm.

  • OMSH

    Bwahahaha! I love it! The Troubledors indeed! MAKE THEM SHIRTS!

    I love the Instagram review – even though I’ve seen all the photos, the extra blogging touch rocked it!

    You sound well. Rested. At peace. I’m glad.

  • BeachMama

    How fun! Looks like you keep so busy and are still able to blog it all… if I made New Year resolutions it would be to get properly back to blogging ;)