Cake the Cat Costume!


You know what happens when your mom makes costumes regularly for her blogging job? You think store-bought costumes are the best thing ever. It happened to me too.  My mom sewed a pumpkin costume for me and my brother when we were little. We wore cute little green hats and green tights and we were the cutest round chubby pumpkins you ever did see. I would give a zillion dollars to see a photo of us back then but guess what? I HATED THAT COSTUME! I wanted to be like the other kids who got to wear make up and dress up as gypsies and black cats. There were no princess costumes back then or I’m sure I would have wanted to be that too.

Bug humored me with the Galaxy Costume and she really did genuinely love it but you know what she really really really wanted deep down? A store-bought Fionna from Adventure Time costume. This is where I have to look sheepish and admit I have never even watched Adventure Time and I don’t really know what my kid watches when she is with her dad so it might be highly inappropriate but I figured if Bethany’s kids watched that show and they loved it then it must not be too terrible. Annalie actually has great taste. So I ordered it from one of those costume sites while we drove down the road on the way to Payam’s mom’s house. (Don’t worry, I wasn’t driving.) It was a total impulse buy to appease my kid for some other unfairness that I have completely forgotten about. Then later (of course) I did a little research and fretted about the shortness of the skirt and the hoochiness of the knee socks. That’s how I parent.

Bug was on the moon. She couldn’t wait for that costume to arrive. She talked about it constantly. She even talked Joon into being Cake the Cat as her companion. Only problem was that there weren’t any Cake the Cat costumes that we could order online. cake-the-cat-costume-2

You know what that means!!! I had to make Joon a Cake the Cat costume. Poor me! Hahahahahhahaha!

That was the best thing ever for me. Joon and I headed off to Target to find a big fluffy white sweatshirt. Then we waited in line at the fabric store for our 1/8 yard of off-white felt and 1 yard of yellowish-orange felt. Or maybe it’s blanket felting. It’s nice durable fabric, not the kind that falls apart in the wash.

Joon loves helping me with projects. She is my number one assistant. Unlike Bug who has been there, done that and is so over it already. Joon loves to tag along with me everywhere. She even told the cutting lady what we needed while I took a quick bathroom break. When we got home I got to work. I sewed up a tail (trying not to make it look like a penis, which is totally hard!), some ears and cut out some big orange-yellow spots. Then I attached everything to the sweatshirt. It took a while and the felting kinda moved as I sewed, making everything ever-so-slightly off center but Joon LOVED IT!!

She wanted to wear it the day I made it which was days before the Halloween parade at school and Halloween itself. She wanted to wear it as a sweatshirt to school the next day and pajamas that night. Joon’s appreciation for my homemade costume swelled my heart up so big.

Unfortunately, it also brought out the green-eyed monster in Fionna. Nothing went right with her store-bought costume. The skirt was age-appropriately knee-length and not butt-hugging like the character in the cartoon. The shirt didn’t fall off her shoulder. Her hair was the wrong color and everything WAS ALL WRONG! It was a disaster. So I gave in and altered the store-bought costume. Not too terribly hoochie-mama but just a little bit. It was a compromise. Then I let her wear some really light pink blush and lip gloss and all was well again. The things I do, man. Parenting winner over here.


Anyway, Cake the Cat was awesome and Fionna was too. They actually even hung out together at the school dance/parade which is huge for Bug because she’s the cool kid and little half sisters are so uncool. I know. We are working on that. They actually get along famously but you know how it goes.

Camping 2016: with kids AND dogs!


Summer is here and we are packing in the activities! Well, at least the few weeks have been packed so far. The kids started tennis camp today (on the hottest day ever–91 degrees in the shade and it’s only June!) and we went camping (with puppies!) the week before last. I feel like I can take the rest of the summer off we’ve accomplished so much already.


We were super excited to take the puppies with us camping but also dreading it because we really had no idea what we were in for. We can hardly handle them at home under controlled situations!  But of course they loved it and it was a big, fat, dusty blast. When we came home our dogs were a completely different color than when we left. They got sooooo dirty.

My mom and dad came too and brought their dog, Speckles. It was a very dog-friendly affair.

The girls got their own tent and did really well. I thought they might get cold or lonely during the night and crash our tent but they faired just fine. Probably because they were so dead tired from having so much fun.

Camp cooking is always my favorite part. I know hiking and enjoying nature is the basic premise of camping but I’m perfectly content to stay at camp and play pioneer all day. I like to cook, eat and drink beverages while watching sunsets and admiring the trees. I have to say I’m so thankful to live in California where there are relatively no bugs. I probably wouldn’t love camping half as much if we got eaten alive like they do on Naked and Afraid.  I love nature but dang, the bugs would get to me every time.camping-with-dogs-6

Bug and I did get a chance to take a little hike behind our camp while Payam and Joon went horseback riding. We had a really nice time following a rugged path through the trees searching for pinecones and just kicking the dirt while we discussed mother daughter things.  At one point we thought we heard rushing water and we were so excited to see a waterfall or a stream. So you can imagine our disappointment when we rounded the bend and found a chain link fence protecting a water treatment plant. Denied! It didn’t even stink though. You’d think it would smell like sewage or something. But no, just green water being sprayed up in the air in a green pond.


Payam and Joon had a nice time on their horses. You might be wondering about now where we were camping. Where would they have such amenities as water treatment plants and horseback riding? We weren’t roughing it by far. We were staying at an RV resort park called Thousand Trails. We have some friends who live there who we were visiting. It was a good first camping trip for us with dogs since we didn’t really know what we could handle.

My mom and dad came too with their trailer. They’re old pros at RV camping.

Apparently RV camping comes naturally to dogs.

Dogs + Dirt = No problem! Just keep them cool and it’s all good.

Back to not roughing it. There were so many activities scheduled at this resort. There was an ice cream social, swimming, pine cone races, some kind of craft that we didn’t make it to and an organized campfire s’more making night. Actually, the organized s’more-making fire was because of fire danger. You’re not allowed to make fires in your camp (which was a huge bummer when night temperatures drop) because everything is really dry up there and the smallest little stray spark could cause a huge forest fire.

We listened to Cowboy Jack play some tunes and we had our designated one s’more apiece. It wasn’t so bad. In fact it was really cool because Idyllwild is very dog-friendly and they even had a designated dog sitting area in the campfire amphitheater. I’m sure a fire in our camp would have been nice but we probably would have gotten bored eventually and ended up either going to bed super early or playing on our phones.camping-with-dogs-13

The next day we went into town. Which is also very dog-friendly. Who knew! Need something fun to do this summer but you can’t leave your dog at home while you go on vacation? Take them with and go camping! There’s plenty to do in the great outdoors.

Not to completely mislead you… there was plenty of phone activity going on too.

The kids were missing minecraft pretty bad and took up Instagram to hold them over.

And then we went home! The end.

Actually, after we got home and shipped the kids off to their respective other parents, we took our dogs to the day spa and they came back a completely different color.  Whiskey was a rusty brown orange and now he’s white!


The groomer cut off all his puppy fur! Or most of it. He’ll probably lose the black on his ears someday too. Good thing he looks super cute this way too.  It’s so funny, we knew nothing about Soft-haired Wheaten Terriers when we got him. Joon just fell in love with this scruffy, teddy bear of a dog. I would have never picked him out, personally. I’m more of a big-dog-loving kind of person. I usually turn up my nose at small aka yappy dogs. But Whiskey is not that small and he has wiggled his way into my heart. He has sooooo much personality. He is smart and very playful. He makes Cody (who was my first choice in dogs) look like a big, lazy, stubborn oaf of a dog. Don’t get me wrong, I love them both equally for such different reasons. They are perfect and all-consuming and now I am one of those crazy dog people who can only talk about her dogs.

Sorry, not sorry.