• artsy fartsy,  Bug,  domesticity,  house stuff!,  painting

    Bug Gets a Chalkboard in her Room.


    From time to time I like to rearrange things in my house and purge out all the unnecessary flotsam and jetsam that gets piled up without anyone really noticing it. This past weekend Bug got her turn. I’ve been nagging her to clean up her room but it always seemed to be impossible for her because she never has enough room to put everything.

    You know what that means! Add on another room? Nope! It’s time to purge because there must be a place for everything and everything must be in it’s place. I am so much fun that way.

    So we decided to rearrange! She’s really into gaming and she does her homework in her room now with her computer so she needed more desk space. We needed to make a little office in her room so we did what we always do: we flipped the expedit bookcase! It was vertical (see below).


    Now it’s horizontal! And since space is tight we put her desk on top of the expedit bookcase, creating a tiny little nook with some slide-around work space to the side of her. It’s tight but super functional. Especially since we moved the rug over that was seriously hindering her chair-sliding mobility.


    Then, since we were fixing things, we decided to take the old frame that used to be Bug’s faux headboard (That thing has nine lives.) and make it into a chalkboard, which is something she’s wanted since day one. It was really cool as a headboard but unfortunately it was never bolted in correctly and every time the bed got pushed up against it too hard, it would wedge out dangerously. It was just kind of a pain in the head.

    We had bought the chalkboard paint way back when we first painted Bug’s room but we ended up not using it because we were worried about chalk dust and it just looked weird painting a square randomly on the wall. Now, however, we had this big picture frame just sitting around waiting for a new use so we decided to use it to frame in the chalkboard. We’re still worried about chalk dust but using this frame kind of keeps the dust contained a little. Bug can just wipe the bottom of the frame with a damp cloth instead of her floor and bed which is much easier.


    Payam bolted the frame into studs in the wall so it really won’t budge and then Bug and Payam got busy with the black chalkboard paint. We waited a day for the paint to cure properly and then Bug primed it with a layer of chalk. It wasn’t as much work as I was worried it would be.


    Now her room is much tidier (we got rid of a ton of out-grown clothes and books that she doesn’t read) and it looks a tiny bit better. She still has a ton of stuff but what can you do with a ten-year-old pack rat? Actually, she has gotten so much better at throwing stuff out. She used to be super attached to anything that had a face, no matter what it was. Now she at least can pass things on to people she knows will appreciate them as much as she did.bugs-chalkboard-1

    That’s that!  Bug is happy as a clam with her new chalkboard! Now it’s time to make one for Joon.

  • easy on the words,  out out out of the house!,  travel

    Impromptu Catalina Weekend


    Payam surprised me with a quick trip to Catalina this last weekend. Yes, he’s that kind of guy. You can see why I’m so crazy about him. A weekend in Catalina for no reason at all!

    My travel agent friend hooked us up with a sweet hotel. It was up a bit out of town and tucked away in a canyon. Very private and quiet.  Of course we hoofed it up the half mile up the hill to get there, sweating all the way before we figured out they offered a free shuttle from downtown. But that was good (for me) because I have stopped going to yoga and I need all the exercise I can get.


    I loved our little hilltop hotel. There was a dirt path up to a lookout point and the next morning I got up really early and sat in a chair and watched the sun rise. It was magical. The fact that there was hotel chair just sitting on the top of a dusty hill all by itself was magical all on it’s own. I wonder who carted it up there.


    Catalina can sometimes be a bit boring if you don’t like to sit around and drink. It only takes a few hours to completely explore the entire town and just a few hours more to explore the hills surrounding the town. So if you have more than a day you can sometimes find yourself sitting on the beach wondering what else to do. Not a bad thing of course but if you’re looking for high adventure let me recommend ziplining!

    I was so scared when I first got to the Eco-tour Zipline location. I have a pretty healthy fear of heights and the thought of stepping off a platform into mid air scared the crap out of me! Eventually, I convinced myself that it was just like buckling yourself into a rollercoaster. You just have to trust the many belts and buckles holding you in and enjoy the thrill. And after that first zip boy did I enjoy the thrill! It totally made my trip! It was amazing to fly through the trees and down the canyon, taking in the amazing views as you zipped. catalina-weekend-4

    Of course the drinks on the beach didn’t hinder either. Catalina is magical. There is an eddy that keeps all the marine layer (and cold/foggy weather) away from the town of Avalon so they have beautiful weather all year around. Even more beautiful than the rest of Southern California, which is saying a lot because we have pretty perfect weather most of the year! Unfortunately that also keeps rain and moisture away from them too so they are suffering the drought even worse than we are.


    We toured around town in a trusty little rent-by-the-hour golf cart and saw the sites.


    It was beautiful. We can’t wait to go back and take the kids too!