Father’s Day, Pan Party 2 and the Bathroom Redeaux!


I am all over the place today. First off I need to apologize for missing my Thursdays posting. Who cares, you ask? I care! I am the meanest boss ever and I have failed myself. I set up this complicated blog strategy schedule and set a goal for myself to post every Tuesday and Thursday and I missed my Thursday!  Sigh.  Good thing I’m not going to fire myself. I just told myself that I’m not perfect and I can get back on it again next week and in the meantime here’s a bonus super bonanza Friday post! Woo Hoo!

So this Sunday is Father’s Day in case you didn’t know. (Get on that homemade card if you forgot.) In the theme of Father’s Day Payam and I worked really hard on this cool vintage clock radio planter craft for alphamom. It was so fun, probably my favorite craft ever, next to the tiny toolbox and snow globe soaps.


I have a new hobby now: collecting vintage clock radios. It’s great for my hoarding problem. But I mean, how could I not?!! They are the coolest ever. That red one had my name on it the minute I walked into an antique store and it was staring at me from a way up high dusty shelf. Vintage clocks can set you back a bit. Some on eBay can run from $20-$80. So keep your eyes out at garage sales and estate sales. These babies are hot.

And speaking of hot…


Pan Party Two happened last night! It’s a THING now you guys! I’m so happy.

It wasn’t hot, it was actually a bit chilly when the sun went down but we had such a nice time. Picnicking at the park during golden hour is something that I am a huge fan of. I will be preaching about it until the cows come home or it turns into a community of hundreds which honestly is my vision. I think it can happen too. I’m passionate about building friendships and getting outside enjoying the weather and each other’s company. That’s what we have to do to fight our addiction to technology. That’s really the happy part of life, right?

We’re only doing it once a month which is good because it takes some effort. Preparing a pan dish, lugging a tin of drinks and ice to the trunk and then the park, remembering table clothes, cups, silverware, paper plates, napkins… you know the drill. It can steal away half your day if you are not careful. Then add kids who want to swim to the mix and you’ll be busy from 2pm to midnight. BUT IT’S SO GOOD for everyone.


Look at this photo Bug took? Isn’t it pretty? I’ve been pushing Bug to be more artistic in her photos (She is the product of two photographer parents after all) and she usually rolls her eyes at me and takes a picture of her foot or the leather of the car seat all blown up blurry and then types some words on top. But this photo really stopped me in my tracks. I love the angle. I love the colors, I love the lone dad sitting on the lawn chair waiting for his kid to get out of the pool already. This is exactly what I wanted Pan Party to be. Everyone getting outside, away from their devices to see how pretty this time of day really is.

Of course I’m kind of a hypocrite because I’m all about documenting this beauty and sharing it on social media but what can I say? I’m not a purist. I think we can have it all.


More photos by Bug.

As you can see the beanie baby collectible fluff ball dog showed up. The kids had boba right before the pan party (big mistake) and couldn’t care less about eating. They ran around wild all over the park while we parents sat around stuffing our faces with enchiladas, lasagna, mashed potatoes… (no diets here) and those crack grocery store cookies with the neon frosting on top of them, you know the ones. It was great.

Then the puppy showed up and the kids squealed like Taylor Swift fan girls and went rushing off to fight over who could carry the puppy around for the rest of the night. That poor dog never gets to walk on it’s own. It doesn’t seem to mind though. It doesn’t even look like a dog. I think it’s a long-legged fluffy mouse. Except at one point it was walking on the table and it totally went after our food like a regular dog. Maybe that’s how you tell it’s a dog.


I’m gonna say Pan Party Two was a big success and all of you who wimped out and didn’t come for whatever reason (I’m looking at you, Maria and One Little Happy) you guys missed out. You better make it to Pan Party Three which is scheduled for July 19th, 2018 at 7pm. Make a note!

In other news, I thought I’d just smash on my Bathroom Redeux post right here at the end of this post. It totally flows. Heh.

I was thinking it’s not really enough substance to be it’s own post. And the pictures are not that great. It’s kind of impossible to get flattering photos of a bathroom that has no natural light and it’s so small you can’t really get a photo of it all at one time. I haven’t splurged on a wide angle lens that will work in such tight quarters yet.


I really wanted to share with your this small Ikea shelving unit that we installed over the toilet. It is a little tight and I wish it was just a smidge more narrow so it doesn’t hang over the toilet so much but it has seriously changed our lives when it comes to organization.

This is the girls bathroom so imagine bottles of shampoo everywhere, most of them empty and dripping all over because they have this theory that they need to keep their shampoo upside down with the lids not all the way closed. No matter how much I harped on the fact that the lids need to be popped closed until you hear a click they did not hear me. It was gooey sticky drippy mess everywhere all the time. Then add about a zillion bobby pins and rubber bands to the counter area that you see around the sink, smear some toothpaste here and there, add a few hairs and you pretty much get the idea of the bathroom. I had had ENOUGH. Those drawers? Full of girl crap to the point that they can’t even open and close easily. I don’t even want to know what’s in there.

So I got the girls each a caddy and laid down some RULES. Shampoo and conditioner bottles go in the caddy and they must be dry. I got them individual rubber band and bobby pin jars and told them that from now on NOTHING goes on the sink counter except toothbrushes and soap. They each have a cubby and they have to keep it neat because it’s on full view.

GUESS WHAT? It worked. It’s been weeks and the bathroom is tidy and orderly. I am sooo happy.


It’s almost like a spa in there! The caddies work really well for the girls too because they often have to take turns showering in our bathroom. This way they can carry everything they need in one trip instead of yelling for one of us to bring them things they forgot mid-shower. It’s just an all around win. If you have tween/teen kids or just someone who struggles with keeping things neat, I can’t recommend it enough.


The kids? They don’t care one way or another.

And with that I am OUT. See you back here again on Tuesday!

Lubna, Lubna, Lubna…


I love photography. I often fantasize about opening a modeling agency and scouting for beautiful people. But not the clichéd version of beautiful people that you see photoshopped in magazines. I would find people that photograph well in all shapes and sizes. I love the challenge of it. Everyone has a story. Everyone is beautiful. It’s just up to me to find that angle and tell their story. That is fun to me.

It happens to me all the time. I’ll be out at a coffee shop and the woman next to me will have the most interesting eyes with wizened smile crinkles at the corners. She’ll be wearing a bright gold coat and her blouse underneath is vibrant purple. I can’t help but stare and think about what a cool photo she would make. I just want to stop her and say, Can I take your picture for my collection? But that’s tacky. Of course, I rarely ever do ask people because that’s just weird and they’ll want to know what I’m going to do with the pictures and they might not have time for such a conversation, etc etc…  Some people do like their pictures taken though. I love those people.


One of those people is my drop-dead gorgeous neighbor, Lubna.  She always wants me to take her picture.  She wants to be a model so that helps of course. I don’t know how I feel about that though. It’s such a harsh industry to be in. But if I can help her put together a portfolio I’m happy to do that. She’s a lot of fun to shoot.

Her face could sell a million products. But what makes her interesting is that she’s Muslim and she can’t show off her body. She has to be covered from head to toe. (Though sometimes she sneaks in some shoulder and when her shirt accidentally falls when she’s doing a cartwheel she really doesn’t want me to throw out those pictures.) She wants to be American and wear tank tops and bathing suits but she’s only 16 and she has to respect her parents rules. So it’s an interesting push and pull between her desire for attention and her good heart that just wants to be a good kid

lubna-4We had fun splashing around in the waves. The water was surprisingly warm.  And dangerous! Well, not really. But the waves have a way of sneaking up on you and getting everything wet. Thankfully, the camera did not get wet.

Since they only have one car in Lubna’s family and they have strict rules about always going places chaperoned, Lubna never gets to go to the beach. She’s a California girl at heart and she loves the water but she doesn’t get to see it much. I always want to throw her in my car and take her places but it’s tricky getting around the entourage that has to go with her. (Believe me, they take forever and it totally cramps my style. I’ve tried.)

Her mom came with us and watched from the shore. I did manage to get one photo of them together but her mom is really camera shy. But I think this photo is my favorite one.


You can see where Lubna gets her beauty. I’m sure Raffa will not like this photo and she’d rather be made up with a lot of make-up but I think it shows so much more of who she really is. That patient worried mother who comes along on her daughter’s crazy whims to be photographed. There’s a lot going on here…

That’s the story I want to tell.