It was a blur. A big orange and pink blur of happiness. I turned fifty, invited all my friends and family and I had a fabulous bash! All that preparation and it finally happened.


First I should start off with the balloons and the party prep at my apartment before the party because how can I not share these adorable photos of my great niece? It’s like having toddler Bug around to photograph all over again. She does not take a bad picture.


Then let’s talk about the elephant in the room: my haircut. I went big. Yes, I did. I walked into my hairstylist’s salon with a printout of several hairstyles I liked and we picked. One choice was particularly risky. I hemmed and hawed and she got all bubbly and excited and I thought, If I can’t go big at fifty will I ever? So I took a huge risk and hacked all my hair off into a “wolfie” style AKA a mullet. It got kinda scary in the chair, my natural curl kicked in, and the next thing I knew I had a David Bowie wig on my head. My stylist added more product and more product and straightened it with a straightening iron and it just got worse and worse.

I wasn’t devastated. I’ve had a similar haircut before (when I got married in 1999 and almost left Toby right before we got married… it’s a theme). I know it’s not the end of the world. I just need to remember not to cut layers above my ears because my hair likes to fluff upwards and be free like Marge Simpson’s blue do.

I left the salon to my stylist’s dismay (poor girl even called me after all worried) and decided I’d sort it out at home. As I was rushing around my house getting all sweaty from running up and down the stairs and carrying various party things in and out, I felt grosser and grosser. The product and sweat were combining into a sticky mess and it was not pretty. Bug said, Just take a shower and style it like you normally would. It’ll be fine.

Normally I’d love to keep that fresh out-of-the-salon look. That’s why I scheduled a haircut on the day of a party but you know, I live on the edge and I picked a freakishly new and fresh style that is a little too new and fresh for my vibe. So I took another risk and washed all the product out. It was a little better.

Then I put on tons of retro eye make-up with a bold blue eyeshadow and BAM! All better! Crisis averted!

I really had no other choice. No time for tears now!


It’s time to pump it up…. with bubbles!


And photos! The vector wall is back! I gave it to a friend because it doesn’t fit in my small apartment but she lives close by and I can borrow it whenever I like.


See what I mean about this girl? Have you ever seen anything cuter? Her mom put some semi-permanent pink dye on her hair and she was so happy. She got to have pink hair just like her grandma. It melted my heart.


My mom was in charge of making sure everyone was fabulous enough. We packed two vintage suitcases with various scarves and hats and costumes for any guests that might show up looking too ordinary. Nobody did. They got the memo.


Then we hammed it up like the Instagram stars we are. I jest.


Do you like this three-person mumu? I found it at a vintage store? It’s so amazing. I’m going to have to take it on a shoot in the desert sometime. It has way too much potential.


I wanted a fabulous party to take pictures at. When I sat and thought about what I really wanted I waffled between sending myself on a spa trip or hanging with my friends, being fabulous and taking pictures. You know me. I love to art direct beautiful images but of course, I was the hostess with the mostess and I didn’t hire a photographer so I didn’t get the shots I wanted because I was partyzilla with her head cut off.  But I tried!

Next time: hire a photographer!!


We did take a lot of pictures. And we definitely had a lot of fun posing for a lot of bad pictures (Not the above…I’m just talking about the 50 or so shots I am not sharing because my double chin decided to steal the show.) A lot of old friends showed up and met my local friends. It was a reunion of All my favorite people together. Of course, a lot of people couldn’t make it but that’s to be expected these days.  Nobody wants to go to a rager super spreader. Not even me.


We had brendaritas and champagne and nostalgic potluck food from our childhoods. There was jello salad and hotdogs and rice and my favorite three-layer-casserole that my mom makes that instantly takes me back to 1980. It was so fun to have a smorgas board of all our comfort foods and family recipes. Eat and share the memories!


Posing posing posing… more fun pictures… Look at that vintage crock pot!  I love a theme party and so do my friends.


The kids even got in on it.


Then the big cake moment came. I specifically asked Bug to be in charge of the cake. I had an image in my mind of her carrying it all lit with candles and glowing pink. I didn’t count on the kids going in the pool and her showing up dripping wet but you know, we can adapt. I can slide that art director hat off and live in the moment. She was so sweet to lead the singing in a room full of people. I know she was a little shy but she pulled it off with her perfect pitch.

Then I blew germs all over the cake and we ate it! I’m joking but I do regret blowing on the cake.  We need to come up with a better tradition. Maybe germs are good for us?. The pandemic has me all paranoid. Anyway, it’s been a few days and nobody has come down sick as far as I know so I think we’ll be okay.


By the time we finished eating cake it was time to clean up and get out. Everybody helped me clean and we locked up without any security guards kicking us out or charging me for the minutes we went past the curfew. Nobody was even there to tell us we were late! I wonder if we could have kept the party going. But you know me, I’m not really a night owl anyway.


All is well. Hello Fifty.

cheers to your health


Life was careening along at such a hopping pace and then Ka-bammo! I got covid. It’s sort of funny that the day I took the above photo was the day I started to feel sick. It was just a sore throat in the morning which is really common for me because I like to sleep with the window open and I often wake up with a slight sore throat. I usually don’t worry about it and it wears off by noon. Not that day. It wasn’t bad but by the afternoon I started to feel achy and tired. I probably infected a bunch of people and didn’t even know it. (I’m sorry!)


That was the day we went to Long Beach and shopped a bunch of vintage stores looking for “fabulous” costumery to wear to my party. Actually, I already have a fabulous outfit for myself (of course!) but I thought I’d stuff one of my vintage suitcases with some whacky clothes for party guests to wear if they needed to zhuzh up their outfits. You know, just in case they aren’t fabulous enough already. Just me being me going over the top as usual.

We found a bunch of treasures and had so much fun until I started to feel sick. I actually didn’t buy any of the above except the light blue tuxedo shirt on the bottom and then when I started to feel feverish on the drive home I wore it and it was super soft and comfortable.

When I got home I went straight to bed. I was worried.

The next day I took a test and yep. Covid. I guess all the cool kids are getting it now. (Yes, that’s a joke.) I felt pretty crappy for about two days and slept as much as I could. Then on the third day, I started to feel better. Not too shabby! Is that because covid isn’t very strong anymore or is it because I’m vaccinated? We’ll never know.

I think the hardest part was forcing myself to stay in quarantine when I felt fine. Nothing new here. People have been doing this for two years straight! I did get a lot of desk work done which was nice… but I missed going outside. We have a community laundromat so that meant no laundry was getting done for a while.

Then on day seven (this morning!) I tested negative!! Yay!


Feeling all chipper and excited to get out, I walked my masked self down to our apartment complex clubhouse to check out the party site to make final arrangements. Nothing is going as planned.  What did I expect? The woman I reserved the room with wasn’t there and her boss was instead and guess what? There are a lot of rules I wasn’t informed about when I made the first reservation.

The first new rule: closing time. I have to make sure we are out of the room by 10 pm sharp, and that means out and cleaned up by 10 with a security guard locking up. That’s gonna be challenging. Sorry folks! Time to get out and take a plate with you on your way out. After party in my tiny apartment with white carpet? Eeek! I guess we’ll see how that goes. The invitations are already out and sent so I can’t really change the location now.

The second new rule: no alcohol outside of the clubhouse. This does not really work well with my margarita truck idea or that open-air covid-free patio meandering I was hoping for. I mean how are you going to get your drink from the truck to the clubhouse? Drive the truck into the clubhouse??  I spoke to the margarita truck guy (my client) and apparently, this happens all the time so they will serve drinks inside the clubhouse. But what’s the fun in that?? The truck is just for looks?


Anyway, I’m sure it will be fine. I’m just slightly annoyed. I guess there are bigger things to worry about, like women’s rights going backwards in time. Sigh.

Cheers to your health!