• giveaway,  Tis the Season

    The 2020 SAJ Calendar (rough draft) is HERE!

    I know some of you still wait around for these. You are amazingly patient people and I love you. I hope you love this calendar!

    Click here to download. (uploading to dropbox this year, crossing fingers it works)

    If you know the drill, you know what to do. If you don’t here is a recap: This is the first draft so there might be errors as I hand-typeset this whole thing myself and I am NOT a perfectionist. Please let me know what you find (Get your red pens out, my editor perfectionist friends!) and I will fix and re-upload a new revised draft as soon as this vacationing body can muster.

    Happy New Year Everybody! 2020 is going to roar!

  • place holder posts,  Tis the Season

    Whoosh! It’s Christmas already.

    Whoosh! It's Christmas

    This happens every year. I close my eyes in August and I wake up in December, buried under a pile of holiday stress. But I love the holidays so I’m blindly swimming through it with a big fat smile plastered on my harried face. Bring on the fussy decorations and cheery music. I love it all.


    Especially everything pink. I think pink is my official color of Christmas this year. Remember when I thought buying a pink tree was a risky decision? Eight years later it is still my favorite thing to set up. And speaking of setting up, our usual faux Christmas tree bit the dust this year and we made the scandalous decision to buy a fresh one. Oh, it smells so good.

    Us with Norman, the tree

    Meanwhile I am desperately researching the pros and cons of fake vs. real so I can debate my eco-friendly friends. It’s a lively discussion.

    In other news right before Thanksgiving Bug and I went out to the sticks to hang out with my family AND go to Oak Glen to get apples.

    Apples in the sticks

    Of course we stopped at Snowline to get mini apple cider doughnuts piping hot off the conveyer belt. We discovered them last year and now it’s tradition. They are sooooo good!

    I am so sadly off my healthy-eating journey right now. I have lofty plans of working out every day and eating kale regularly but at every turn I find some meaningful treat that I cannot pass up. And have I been getting up early to work out or walk the dogs in the rain? Nope. It is a losing battle. I’m hoping come spring I somehow shed this habit.


    And speaking of eating, I cooked a perfect turkey again! I brag because I used to be such mediocre cook. Yes, I’m getting better as the years go by but every time I don’t ruin Thanksgiving I feel like I should get a trophy or something.  I think next year I will stop bragging. It was nice to have family over and Payam finished the great piano bench! I will have to do a whole post on it with proper pictures that I do not have right now.woosh-its-christmas-6

    You know what time it is? The annual Christmas photo time. We are so basic. But now that I’ve started this tradition it’s not like I can stop. This year my friend Clio took the pictures and they turned out great against all odds. She’s a great photographer but we had so much going against us this year.

    We drove all the way to LA to take them (she lives there) and somehow took opposite directions than the ones she gave us. Neither of us knew that the park had two separate entrances so we spent about an hour trying to find each other with spotty cell coverage. It was horrible. We ran out of daylight AND we almost ran out of gas. It was highly stressful.

    But Clio is a professional and she went ahead and shot us in the fuzzy after-golden-hour light and guess what? They turned out pretty good! I’m not sharing our favorite shots yet because I’m saving them for the Christmas card.


    In other news November is our official anniversary month so Payam took me on this crazy adventure to Neotropolis, a Blade Runner-themed experience. It was silly but also super cool because I love surprise adventures AND I love historical buildings. The bar was located down a dark alley in the back of a pizza restaurant that used to be an old bank building. It was like walking into the future and back in time. We explored the boiler room and some secret passageways that were used as vaults for the bank and for smuggling alcohol during the prohibition. There were even bullet holes in the wall from when the police busted a speak-easy that was set up down there.


    Can you see the hastily-done victory rolls in my hair? I was trying. It wasn’t properly done but I think it’s sort of is reminiscent of Rachel. Anyway, I had a great time. I love to dress up!

    I shall try to get back here and write more holiday snippet stories but who am I kidding, I’ll probably see you after New Years. Which, by the way, we are NOT having a NYE party this year. I know?!! So unlike me. But I’m taking a year off to save money. I had dreams of renting a cabin instead but it looks like that isn’t going to happen either. It’s okay. Not spending money is sometimes almost as exciting as spending money.

    Hope your holidays are going well!

Secret Agent Josephine
Creative Agency
© Brenda Ponnay