Bang Bang – A Photo Adventure

Greetings everyone! I hope you are well!

Dominique in Palmdale - Film - Yashica 124

My friend Dominique and I have been planning and scheming to shoot together from what seems like FOREVER.

If you don’t already know and follow @tikidominiki then you are a damn fool and missing  out on this incredible sassy pants. Check out her music HERE!

Her shows are so fun and I have the BIGGEST girl crush on her ever – good thing her husband is the coolest!

Our plans are always grand and ambitious – I think partly because we both can be perfectionists and also know the other is going to KICK ASS at anything we do together. The only problem with that is we never seem to just DO IT. We are trying to find a perfect location, or lining up some hair and makeup friends to collaborate with us. In theory this is awesome, because we both want to put our best work out there but I think it also prevents us from shooting some spontaneous places full of happy accidents.

We somehow lined up our schedules and drive out to butt fuck nowhere in the desert to shoot some rogue rolls of film.

There were walmart runs, wrong turns, wild fires, traffic, and some totally sketch neighborhood that had us prepped to JUMP BACK IN THE CAR in a flash.

The results are rad and I cannot believe I waited this long to post them for you to oogle.

Of course – I shot it on film. I used a twin reflex camera from the 60s & shot both black and white and some expired slide film – which I started to develop myself. I never did that before and it has been a learning curve for me. It is way more sensitive than black and white film. Scanning and color correcting is always a challenge and I certainly have a hate/hate relationship with being enslaved in front of a screen for any length of time. Blah!

Check them out:


It was incredibly WINDY – hence all the HOLD ON TO YOU HAT poses. She was braver than I was for most of the day, until we got to the scariest liquor store EVER – then I was for some reason FINE. I guess I rationalize that if they have Doritos there than it cannot be that bad.

The best part was the road trip conversations  – day trips are perfect for that. WE HAD SO MUCH to say and no time to get sick of each other & are already scheming for more shoots and maybe some more road trips JUST BECAUSE!

Thanks for checking them out friends!


Summer School HOMEWORK

• What are your favorite road trip snacks?

• Any Road trip hacks/survival tips?

• Where is your favorite day trip to adventure to?



Tiki Time!

Tiki Oasis is a mere days away! I KNOW – I am not ready! All my Muumuus are in various states of disrepair. I need to get my ass in gear.

Tiki Oasis - Beat Tiki - 2014Tiki Oasis - Beat Tiki - 2014Tiki Oasis - Beat Tiki - 2014

If we missed each other last year, or it is your first time, head over to my photo post about it. Maybe you will see someone you know!

Here are some playlists I made for you – to lessen that painful drive down to paradise.

Hawaii Playlist 1

Hawaii Playlist 2

 Tiki Oasis - Beat Tiki - 2014

I also have two posts from Hawaii last year to really get you into that tiki tropical mood!

Come On I Wanna Lei Ya!

Aloha ‘Oe

Let’s Dance On

I can’t wait to see all my friends from last year, make new friends, and Go-Go dance myself into a frenzy!!! Weeeeee!

Please make sure to say HI if you see me around! Fair warning: I’m a hugger!

Viva! I Hardly Knew Ya! VLV18

Bittersweet Susie | Viva Las Vegas 18 - 2015

Howdy! Another Viva is done! Another notch in our belts, another pile of dry cleaning and suitcases I bet have yet to be unpacked. The prep work (especially for the vintage wearing friends) is SO MUCH! All the outfits and shoes and it seems to be over in a flash. I brought more clothes than I could possibly need only to hardly touch most of the outfits and CURSE the one perfect dress I left at home.

This year was a success. I danced and laughed with friends, made new friends, saw some amazing music (THE SONICS!!!!!) and snapped some photos. It was great but it also felt different from the few I had attended.

It felt like I kept MISSING people I wanted to see, some friends I only ran into once! I didn’t take NEARLY as many photos as last year either. The plus side is that it actually felt like a real vacation and the most relaxing weekend in Vegas that I have ever had. And I am OLD so that is a lot of weekends to compare to.

Things I did manage to do at Viva:

  • Bowl – I brought my own ball because I am hardcore like that. This was a welcome break because we bowled after everyone else left.
  • Lay by the pool – made possible because I was staying at a hotel DOWN the block. It was a sand bottom pool and it ruled.
  • Instafriends – met people from Instagram that I have followed (stalked) for a while. Missed some of my favorites but I will hunt them down, I mean meet them next time.
  • Barfed – from food poisoning and dehydration. Kids, don’t eat at the Orleans and CHUG that water. Learn from my mistakes.
  • Danced – until I could barely stand!

Bittersweet Susie | Viva Las Vegas 18 - 2015

Enough with the talking, you only came for the photos. Jerks. If you see your friends below send them over here to me! I promise to be REAL NICE.

If your photo is below – you can totally post it on your Instagram as long as you credit and tag me. If you crop out my watermark I will be forced to punch you RIGHT IN THE NOSE. So don’t!

Bittersweet Susie | Viva Las Vegas 18 - 2015

Thanks Russ for the photo!

Thanks for stopping by! Please follow me by adding me to your blog reader or signing up over here to the right! I would hate to miss each other AGAIN.

No homework – I still have some unpacking to do!

The Most Wonderful Time of the YEAR – VIVA

Holy crap friends!  Viva is here! And it really snuck up on me. I was on the fence about going but decided why the fuck not.


Bittersweet Susie | VLV17

I know for a lot of people getting all your special vintage outfits ready is a HUGE part of this event. Last year I was super lucky and my friends let me borrow some gems from their wardrobe! It was fun to play dress up but let’s be real – I am not that put together. My huge game plan is to wear whatever vintage that isn’t completely falling apart. I have been doing a big PURGE with my clothing so I actually can see the floor in my bedroom (almost) and the options have been narrowed down. My dream for next year is to only wear items I have made myself. I will be lucky if I complete one thing by then but here at Bittersweet Susie we like to DREAM BIG.

 Bittersweet Susie | VLV17

Today I am doing a little greatest hits/ montage of some other posts I have done for Viva – starting with one of my favorite posts! Sonia at Yay for Firsts has some GREAT tips for surviving Viva. They all still hold water with me. I think I would add this piece of advice when stressing about the perfect outfit or needing to see EVERY band, or getting into the pool side to watch the swimsuit competition…..


Say it loud and proud friends, remember not to get stressed over silly things.

You are pretty and I love you.

Go on, read the tips, and comment below with a few of your own!

5 Quick Tips to an Extremely Enjoyable Viva Las Vegas 2014

What I am looking forward to is taking portraits of old friends and new ones. Last year I got to photograph some of my FAVORITE people on the planet! I hope to repeat that this year!  Are you going? Can I photograph you? Awe thanks pal! You are the coolest!

Have a look at my shots from last year!

photo 3-1

Viva17 – I LIVED

VLV17 – Photos Round 2

And finally – let’s be real here – THE DRIVE SUPER SUCKS. My butt hates me by the end of that trek. WORST. Per usual, I have something for you!

A road trip playlist to help with the drive – I feel your pain and I am here for you.

Summer 2014 Playlist – ROADTRIP

I will be thinking of all of you friends as I head out to Vegas. I missed your faces and can’t wait to see you!


• If you see me say Hi!

• Can I take your picture!?!

• What’s your favorite/least favorite part of Viva

• Give me your pro tips!

• Favorite road trip songs – lay them on me!


Adventures in Apples

I just had the best day EVER. No, seriously, I really did have the best day.

I haven’t had a day this good in a really long time. My face still hurts from smiling so much.

I know, weird.

Apple Picking

Want to know what I did??  I WENT APPLE PICKING! I know that doesn’t sound right, me having a great day in nature picking my own food. I don’t even like fall or even like apples that much but it was magical like a disco roller skating unicorn. I know this is a quintessential fall activity but I have gone my entire life without experiencing it. I totally would have gone before if it was called candy picking, or ice cream sundae picking. But APPLES? That sounds too healthy.

Bittersweet Susie | Fall Adventures | Apple Picking

 We went to Rileys at Los Rios Rancho.

This amazing spot seems like another planet especially to a kid from the valley.

I embarked on this adventure with my friends Perrin and Brian.

I am one lucky girl to have pals that are up for such adventures.

Apple Picking

None of us had been to this spot before. There was a Jamboree that evening that we had bought tickets for but made it up to the farm early enough to go apple picking. I don’t know what that is but I think I am going to like it after hearing there would be snacks and banjos involved. SIGN ME UP.

Things about apple picking: While I am super excited about the apple pie I am going to make with my loot, the picking part was work. We had to walk up a hill, I am not great at uphill at all. THEN we went to this area we probably shouldn’t have but we quickly realized our mistake and Brian showed off this map reading skills. Perrin is the pro apple hunter and had a knack for finding the best tree. She also wore the best apple picking outfit which I think should be a required uniform for all farm work. It is both stylish AND practical.

Apple Picking

Perrin wore a dress with never-ending pockets. I highly recommend this garment for smuggling fruit in all possible scenarios (She paid for those, I promise).

We made our way back with our haul and had a little spare time before dinner started. Perrin taught us dominos, and I was totally winning.

Apple Picking

(I totally was NOT in fact winning)

Apple Picking

 The Jamboree was THE MOST FUN. The food was excellent, one of us may have gone back for seconds and thirds. We made some lovely friends with the family we sat with. We also got to sit with Sharon, this is her family and farm. Perrin and I made moves and asked if she would adopt us. I am pretty sure we are IN because she introduced us to one of her sons as YOUR NEW SISTERS.

Bittersweet Susie | Fall Adventures | Apple Picking

How could she say no, we dressed alike without ANY planning.

All during dinner there was music. SO MUCH GREAT MUSIC. We were treated to bluegrass, gospel, classic cowboy numbers and even a little opera.

They DID NOT sing Naughty By Nature’s Jamboree – but I am going to see if they take requests next time.

Bittersweet Susie | Fall Adventures | Apple Picking

My new friend Marc with a C looks like Bill Murray in Life Aquatic.


I am sure he won’t mind if I call him BILL from here on out.

As usual I am much better at SHOWING you than with my words so CHECK IT OUT!

Apple Picking

THAT is the face of the best day ever.

We have already made plans to go back and see our new friends. You can come too!

Please check them out, tell them I sent you!

Rileys at Los Rios Rancho

Riley’s Apple Farm

Homework (leave a comment or you are totally getting benched at recess)

• What are some fall favorite activities?

• Any California ones you think I should see?

• What the heck should I make with those apples? Link me some recipes!

Find me on Instagram @susieq & don’t miss a post by subscribing at the right. See you next time!

Adventuring – Tiki Oasis 2014

Hello Friends! I actually left the HOUSE! It’s an amazing feat and you should totally pat me on the back. I am not kidding.

 *This post has a ton of photos – I will NOT be mad if you skip to the bottom to see them*

I went on a little adventure to San Diego which is delightful this time a year. I highly recommend it.

The event is Tiki Oasis – a Tiki themed concert, dance party, fashion show, art installment, adult summer camp. Those are my words, not theirs. Please don’t be mad at me if you disagree. My description is crap so I just thought I would SHOW YOU with ALL THE PHOTOS. You are welcome.

I don’t think that I could describe it perfectly or even accurately because this was my very first year. My first impression and the most common answer I gave was that it was OVERWHELMING. There were so many things going on at once so if I was at one end something spectacular going on at the other end of the event.

Tiki Oasis - Beat Tiki - 2014

Go Go dancing babies! NO BIG DEAL!

There were CRAFTS!

There were CRAFTS!

There were book clubs, craft classes, beauty school, live music, burlesque, car show, lectures, DJS and somewhere in the middle my brain just stopped and exploded. Done.

Tiki Oasis - Beat Tiki - 2014

This kid is disappointed in me for missing book club.

I saw a lecture by Rolly Crump – and he gets sweeter and funnier every time I see him speak. He even let me take his photo (I’m sure he think’s I’m a lunatic but I LOVE HIM SO)

Tiki Oasis - Beat Tiki - 2014 - Rolly Crump - Bittersweet Susie

Rolly Crump is a BABE.

Tiki Oasis - Beat Tiki - 2014 - Rolly Crump - Bittersweet Susie

Once upon a long ago I worked at a sleepover summer camp on Catalina Island and over and over I couldn’t shake this feeling that I was back there with our campers. We woke up the camp with music at 9:30 AM too!

My FAVORITE part though was spending time with my friends. The ones far away, the ones close to home and all the new ones in-between. Oh, and I got to wear ALL MY MUUMUUS, that was my second favorite.

KIT – See you next summer!

Tiki Oasis - Beat Tiki - 2014

Everyone makes friends at Tiki Oasis!

 Fest300 did a feature of my photos THE 15 BEST LOOKS FROM TIKI OASIS  – click there to check it out!

* If you see yourself, first let me say THANK YOU for letting me take your photo! You are swell and also really good looking! Feel free to use it on your fb or show it to your mom! (Just please credit me if possible and add me as a friend!)*


• Send me your grandma’s muumuus!

• What is your favorite tropical cocktail?

• If you were a tiki god what would your name be? What would you be the god of?