Cheers! My Birthday Celebration with the Napa Valley Wine Country Tours

After losing my grandmother a few weeks before my birthday, I really needed to celebrate life. I know she would want me to do that. This year, I decided to ring in a new year of life in wine country. My soror traveled up from So Cal to visit. This would be her first time in Napa. I didn’t want to drive so instead, we bought bus tickets for the Napa Valley Wine Country Tours.

Let me tell you something, going on this bus tour was one of the BEST decisions I made. The Napa Valley Wine Country Tours bus isn’t just any bus. It’s a limo bus that looks like a VIP club lounge on wheels. We paid $119 for an 8-hour trip, visit to 4 wineries in Sonoma and Napa counties, continental breakfast and lunch. It was worth every penny. The tastings aren't covered in the bus fare, but they ran about $10-$25. Wineries won't charge you for tastings if you buy a bottle. I recommend this for tourists and any Bay Area locals who have folks visiting from out of town and want a short excursion to Nap…

Plus-Size, Extra Sexy Pinups and More from the Femme Cartel Art Party

Cheeky 2012 Miss March

The media tells us sexy comes in one size, skinny. But the media has it all wrong. Sexy comes in all shapes and sizes. Which is why I adore the "Cheeky" 2012 pinup calendar by artist Jen Oaks.   Her pictures are vintage pinup style, meets modern day cartoons meets endless curves. I met Jen Oaks at the Femme Cartel: Girly/Urban Art Party in Oakland. She was almost completely sold out of the 275 calendars she first printed this past fall.   Not bad for a first timer right?

Oaks told me she got the idea for "Cheeky" from a friend who wanted a centerfold of plus-sized women. Jen got to the drawing board. She comes up with the images by photographing people in sexy poses.  Then Jen creates the pinups based on the gestures of the models. 

Cheeky 2012 Miss November
Women like to feel sexy and be sexy.  Sometimes we're hard on ourselves because our bodies don't look how they’re “supposed to.”  I respect a woman who lives by her own rules.  I give Jen Oaks props for creating her vision of sexy, one that many men and women share.  If you're in Oakland, check out her art show at 1-2-3-4 Go! Records on Friday, Feb. 3rd . Order the 2012 "Cheeky" calendar from Etsy.

 Laura Gonzalez

This young woman's art packs serious emotion. I can feel whatever the subject is  going through. Her work looks so real I couldn't tell if I was looking at painting or a photo.  Support Lauren Gonzalez at or

"Secreto" by Lauren Gonzalez

Michelle Carnes

Oh my goodness, I am loving the energy from Carnes' use of color.  I sense the woman in the painting's  strength and mellowness. Isn't that an interesting blend? Support this artist at

Strong Color by Michelle Carnes

I can barely draw a stick figure.  And I won't torture you with my tree drawings that look more  like broccoli. The ladies I highlighted are amazing. What do you think of the art? Ping me if you bought any of the work from these talented women.



  1. I'm an artist (so to speak; I paint) and I completely respect the game.

    I am going to buy that calendar; us plus-size divas are not nearly represented enough in the media. Thanks for the links.

  2. Thanks Amaya. Don't play down your talent with the brush. You're an artist. :)


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