Tag Archives: Ideas

Little Big Links: Party

9 Apr

Custom Thank You Notes: The featured idea is for baby shower items, but it works with any party. I’m sending out standard thank yous, but including a picture of Isobel and a picture of themselves or their kid, too.

Mini Fondue Kit: This favor idea is for adults only.

Collage Favor Kits: Although meant for children, I’d be stoked to get one of these.

Fabric Party Streamers Tutorial: Make them once, use them for years to come.

Make Fringy Streamers: So simple I could have done this for Isobel’s party.

LPC Party Planning Spreadsheet: the party organization chart of my dreams.

DIY Hello Kitty paper lantern tutorial: Anybody out there love Hello Kitty?

Spray Paint Thrifted Glassware: this looks so lovely. Perfect for a baby or bridal shower.

See also Little Big Links: Cake.

6 DIY Costumes: Halloween Roundup

1 Nov


Here’s a recap of this year’s costumes! Most of these photos were taken at my friend Zack’s birthday party. We celebrated his continual survival by dressing up in Halloween costumes and meeting at a Bay Area go cart race track. Which is a whole post in itself really and was a blast.

This year Laurel was a zombie jogger. If you notice she was bit on the ankle. My theory is that she was bit by a zombie dog who was following her on her run. Her husband John had a joke about why she was caught and it involved her saying, “traaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiins” but I don’t remember it now.

Laurel went to great lengths (specifically, Walmart) to purchase that fanny pack. She was pretty disappointed they didn’t have any day-glow options. I told her because day-glow fanny packs are now vintage, which is awesome, which defeats the purpose of a fanny pack. So they don’t exist any more. QED.

Isobel was terrified of Laurel with the green make up on. At one point Isobel looked from Laurel to me and then said, “Help!” After Laurel removed the make up, however, they were BFF once again.


Some of our friends decided to dress up as super heroes. Anthony suggested I join in the theme since what I originally wanted to be didn’t work out. After going through a list of super hero ladies he suggested I be Rogue. I had a brown leather jacket like her anyway, so it could be done cheaply. Perfect!

Every year at Halloween, I learn something new about myself. Two years ago I learned that I can’t abide the taste of fang adhesive. Last year I learned that I wanted nothing to do with Anthony when he was covered in zombie make up. This year I learned that spray-dye for your hair smells like ass and I’m probably never going to use it again.

I do best with costumes that just involve clothes, really. For the photos I show off Rogue’s signature gloves and bitchy look.


K is totally photo-bombing this shot. I love it.

My husband was Nightwing for Halloween. He found a (fake) leather jacket while thrifting and after considering several options for adding a blue stripe we realized that the simplest would be the easiest one of all: blue electrical tape. For the most part the tape adhered very well on it’s own, but since he never planned on using the jacket for anything else we glued the tape down in the areas where the adhesive needed help.

He reused his leather pants and the boots are actually galoshes that he found at the Army surplus store. Black gloves and a mask complete the look.


This is Laurel’s husband John. He is posing in character here and you probably have no idea who he’s supposed to be. That’s because he’s a private joke. People of Voltaire, I present to you everyone’s favorite dog groomer, Mike. S. Yes, the legendary Mike S.

I’d say he nailed it.


Jake dressed as that guy from The Notebook a private detective. It’s a very good look for him, I think. Here’s what he’d look like if this photo was taken in the 1930s:

Very dapper, Jake.


Our friends Justin and Melynda were out of town and so we didn’t get to see them on the big night but their costumes were adorable: they dressed in black and added handmade masks and went as two crows. Melynda purchased her mask on etsy while they made Justin’s themselves. Very creative, very cute. Also I’d recommend you spend the whole night talking about things that are shiny.

The Friends of Isobel Book

1 Jun

While Isobel was still quite young we decided to create a Friends of Isobel book. Something that had photos of all of our friends so we could show her the names and faces and she could be familiar with everybody, including our good friends who live really far away. This worked out so well I immediately started work on a Family of Isobel book. That’s taking a little longer, though, because I want to be sure to involve family we rarely see who live far away. It’s been a struggle to track down all their photos but I’m almost done.

Isobel has really loved her Friends of Isobel book. From a young age she’s been absolutely fascinated by photographs and  much prefers photographs to any cartoon image. We point to the faces in the book and say their names and she watches attentively.

We used an online photo service to create this book (I think it was Shutterfly) but a lot of  companies do this so shop around. We went with softback because it was cheaper and money’s tight, but I sometimes think we should have gone with hardback because a toddler dishes out some heavy wear and tear. All of the pages are wrinkled on yesterday she even managed to rip one page out. The cover is bent and worn with love.

This kind of loving abuse would have happened to a hardcover book as well. Really the only way to have prevented it would have been the careful monitoring of her every time she was around it. That really went against the spirit of what we were trying to accomplish but I certainly understand any parent’s decision to do so. We’ve had so many wonderful moments of catching her with the book when she didn’t know we were looking, flipping through it, pointing to our friends’ faces, and talking to them. I’ve seen her sit in front of the book and say, over and over in her pitch-perfect baby voice, “Hi. Hi. Hi.”

Sometimes she just babbles softly to the pages of the book and sometimes she’ll talk to them excitedly. For us it has been worth the abuse this book has suffered to see her make her own memories with the photos of her and our friends.

The small softcover book that we purchased was about twenty bucks I think but this could easily be done for less. In fact, a book is not necessary at all. You could easily just get a small photo album and fill it with photos of people, animals, or places to familiarize your baby with. We added  a small amount of text next to each photo that includes our friend’s name and a sentence about them. This way we could read the book to her at bedtime. A photo album with pictures could work just as well as you could tell whatever stories pop into your mind. And it would be cheap enough and easy enough to change the photos around if you got bored. The possibilities are endless and really the point is to share photos of people you love with your kid in a way that entertains and educates them.

Currently this book is pretty ratty and worn-looking but it reminds me of the story of the Velveteen Rabbit: this is what one looks like when one is loved.