Lucas' 7th Birthday Party

I can't believe Lucas turned 7 on April 26th. Last year he wanted a Pokemon party but we ended up with a magic themed party instead. He's even more into Pokemon now so we did it up with a Pokemon themed party with my own modern spin on it. Remember his 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th birthday parties?

I designed the invitations with a simple and modern take on Pikachu's face. I initially wanted to mail each invitation with a balloon that had a hand drawing of Pikachu's face but it didn't quite work out the way I wanted. Instead, each invitation came with a yellow balloon taped to the yellow backing of the invitation. The custom envelope liner had a photo of Lucas looking at a Pokemon book written in Japanese from our date to the Kinokuniya bookstore. The invitations were mailed in sunny yellow envelopes and sealed with wraparound address labels.

For the party favors, I made Poke Surprise Balls (tutorial here) using crepe paper streamers, a Sharpie and red acrylic paint. Each Poke Ball included a few Pokemon figurines, some Japanese candy, and a colorful whistle.

As usual, we order all the donut holes and make custom paper cones. :)

I made a super easy red velvet cake and cupcakes and just added the Pokemon figurines on top.

We hired a face painter who specializes in Pokemon drawings. Some kids had their full face painted and others, like Lucas, just had a character drawn on their face or arm.

Initially I was going to get Mexican food, but then I realized that Japanese food would be perfect for the theme! The sushi platters from Kyoto actually turned out to be less expensive. I just added Japanese rice crackers, fresh fruit, and some gyoza from Costco which I heated the morning of.

Okay, so the whistles. ;) I thought the whistles in the favors were so cute! I mean, for emergencies or to hook onto backpacks, right? But when all the whistles are going off at the same time and parents are kidding but not kidding about getting me back at their next party... Haha!!!

The cutest Pikachu that ever lived!

Every year, Nick and I tag team on making the pinata. This year I made a Poke Ball using the paper mache method and filled it with Japanese candies and Annie's Bunny Fruit Snacks. Nick stayed up until 1 a.m. painting it.

Last year's pinata was a giant playing card that we made out of cardboard. It was unbreakable and hilarious because Nick had to stab it all over just to make it easier to break. This year was the opposite--it busted open just after a few strikes. We had to find ways to make it harder to open and sadly not everyone got a turn.

The look on Lucas' face when it was cake time is everything.

+ Find me on Instagram (@good_on_paper), Twitter (@good_on_paper),
Pinterest (@goodonpaperdes) and Tumblr (hellogoodonpaper)
+ Subscribe to receive the latest posts and Good on Paper updates delivered to your inbox.
+ You could also use Blog Lovin' or Feedly to follow along.

East Bay Mother's Day Pop Up

Please join us on May 7, 2017 from 11-3 pm for an afternoon of shopping for/with moms, moms-to-be, grandmoms, new moms or pet moms. Enjoy delicious food, drinks, and goodies by these amazing designers/companies.

AYLA GROOM
Handcrafted jewelry, bags and stationery
etsy.com/shop/aylaisadora

CAN CAN CLEANSE
Organic juices, nut milks and cleanses
cancancleanse.com

CARRIE SAXL
Modern, organic jewelry made in CA
carriesaxl.com

GOOD EGGS
Organic grocery delivery and dinner kits
goodeggs.com

HYGGE
Modern denim kimono jackets made in CA
hyggedesign.xyz

JENNY PENNYWOOD
Hand printed textiles ethically made in CA
jennypennywood.com

MELANIE ABRANTES
Handcrafted objects of solid wood and cork
melanieabrantes.com

ZIRAFFE
Minimalist, chic and fun kids clothing
ziraffe.com

New addition:
Berkeley Cellar
Rainbow superfood powder
 

Snacks and sweet treats GOOD EGGS
Savory bites and bread CHASE AGEE of PAIN BAKERY
Korean bites and mocktail SELINA S. LEE of BANCHAN WORKSHOP
Mini ancient botanical favors MOONDELI (limited quantity available)

Best of 2016

So this year's 2016 Best Nine on Instagram consisted of a mix of family, our home, me, food, and a of course Lucas and Theo. For this year's holiday card (family photos by Sarah Hebenstreit) I decided to highlight our best six.

This year was a crazy mix of highs and lows, sideways and zig zags, especially toward the end of the year with the insane political climate and sudden celebrity deaths. I'm so grateful for all the love and support this year from family and friends. Happy new year!

1. Lucas turned 6 and had a magic themed party.

2. Theo turned 4 and had a "waffle" themed party.

3. Lisa and Nick celebrated their 11th anniversary (photo by Sarah Hebenstreit).

4. Lucas started first grade and LOVES it.

5. Theo is in his last year of preschool and wants to stay.

6. Lisa quit her day job after nearly 20 years.

Yep, so this one was probably the biggest thing that happened for our family this year. Many people didn't realize I had another job aside from Good on Paper. I was a senior designer for a large engineering/environmental/architecture firm in Oakland. And many people at that job had no idea I had my own company. The decision to leave was not easy, but it was the right move for me. Earlier this year, I got shingles and it was bad. LIke, really bad. My body was telling me I was spreading myself too thin with two jobs, two kids, a house, a husband and all the crazy schedules and things to think about in between.

In late October, I was asked by Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge (one of the most inspiring, influential women I know) to speak on a panel on her book tour for In the Company of Women. I was incredibly honored yet scared shitless to talk in front of so many people all wanting to know about my life and business. The whole night was a huge success--so much so that I was inspired by my own words and took to the big leap to go freelance full time and spend more time with my family. So far so good and I'm feeling way less stressed out about having to rush to work and leave work on time to pick up the kids, etc. It's a huge adjustment but things will fall into place soon enough. Feeling grateful for the most awesome boss and co-workers/friends.

Despite all the bad that happened this year, so many good things also happened:
A trip to Yosemite with friends
Lucas survived summer camp and getting dirty at Trackers
Lucas loved playing soccer on a team with all his friends
Theo started swim lessons
One of Lisa's photos was selected to be in the Tiny Atlas Quarterly Solas Photo Show
Lucas and Theo modeled kids clothing for brands like Tea Collection, Ziraffe and Keen Kids
Nick played an awesome CD release show with Your Song My Song
Lisa went to LA for an awesome baby shower
Lucas was a ring bearer for my cousin's wedding
Went to another amazing wedding for Eric and Jaime
Lucas lost his first tooth!
Lisa hosted an awesome East Bay Holiday Pop Up (maybe I'll do a spring one too?)
Took the kids to their first peaceful protest at Hands Around Lake Merritt
Helped with a logo design for Women Watching Washington

+ Find me on Instagram (@good_on_paper), Twitter (@good_on_paper),
Pinterest (@goodonpaperdes) and Tumblr (hellogoodonpaper)
+ Subscribe to receive the latest posts and Good on Paper updates delivered to your inbox.
+ You could also use Blog Lovin' or Feedly to follow along.

 

Jackson Family Photo Shoot: December 2016

I can't believe it's the end of the year! I managed to stay on top of our holiday photos this year, booking our super talented friend Sarah of Modern Kids to shoot our family's photos--she's been taking our photos since Lucas was a year old (remember last year's shoot and the year before that?). I'm always so amazed at the final photos. My boys are so crazy--I mean, this year Sarah was lucky enough to see Lucas' frank AND beans! OMG!

I bribed the boys with donuts and the promise of more treats and a movie after the shoot. Still, the frank and beans came out. Ha!

We went to Codornices Park in Berkeley for the second half of our shoot. I also decided to an outfit change would be fun. Ha! SO unlike me, but this only happens once a year. We set up a picnic under this amazing tree.

+ Find me on Instagram (@good_on_paper), Twitter (@good_on_paper),
Pinterest (@goodonpaperdes) and Tumblr (hellogoodonpaper)
+ Subscribe to receive the latest posts and Good on Paper updates delivered to your inbox.
+ You could also use Blog Lovin' or Feedly to follow along.

Lucas' 6th Birthday Party

A couple of weekends ago we celebrated Lucas' 6th birthday party. Time sure flies--I just can't believe he is now 6! Remember his 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th birthday parties? As usual, I ask Lucas what kind of party he wants each year and then I put my own modern spin on theme. This year Lucas initially asked for a Pokemon party but later decided on a magic theme after having seen a magician called Magical Nathaniel at Playland-Not-At-The-Beach.

I designed the invitations with a clean but slightly vintage feel, complete with custom photo envelope liners and a custom rubber stamp that would be used on favor bags and food packaging. The double thick invitations were mailed in kraft envelopes and sealed with wraparound address labels.

The party took place at the Padre Picnic Area in Tilden Park in Berkeley and the we couldn't have lucked out with better weather--you never know in April! Guests set out blankets and flew kites, played soccer, baseball and tag. We hired Magical Nathaniel to perform a magic show for 45 minutes. He was amazing and kids and adults alike were in awe by his tricks. Funny how every 6-year old seems to think they know how he does his tricks.

The amazing food for the party was generously provided by Whole Foods Market. In case you didn't know, Whole Foods Market cater kids parties too and can customize a menu for you. To go along with our magic theme, the catering team made Popcorn Chicken, Grilled Corn on the Cob, Mini Chicken Corn Dogs (a kid favorite), "Magic Wand" Fruit Skewers, Classic Mac 'N' Cheese, their signature Cabbage Crunch Salad (my fave!), and Potato Salad (several people told me this was the best they have had). They also provided Organic Juice Boxes, Mochi Ice Cream by Bubbies, and Annie's Homegrown Fruit Snacks for the pinata. Thank you Whole Foods Market (specifically the Berkeley and Gilman locations)!

Per Lucas' request, I made him a chocolate cake with vanilla frosting and edible gold stars and a gazillion cupcakes for his friends.

A Jackson birthday party tradition, we had donut holes with custom designed cones--always a huge hit with everyone!

Nick and I made this awesome playing card pinata and giant magic wand for busting it open. It was actually really easy and full DIY instructions can be found on Oh Happy Day blog.

I used the custom rubber stamp for the cotton favor bags that each held Pocky Sticks (they look like magic wands!), a coin trick, fortune teller fish, and mini word game books.

Lucas had the brilliant idea of having a Make-Your-Own-Wand station. Using a wooden dowel with eye hooks, kids could use Japanese washi tape and choose colorful ribbons to make a fun magic ribbon wand.

My baby is 6!! Whaaaaat?!?

Theo ate fruit skewers for lunch.

Classic Mac 'N' Cheese and awesome Popcorn Chicken with two kinds of housemade dipping sauces--BBQ and ranch.

Grilled Corn on the Cob was a crowd favorite.

Okay, how cute is my friend Jeanne's daughter Hayden sipping her organic lemonade? And my niece Tallia waving her wand and my friends Aaron and Corrine's daughter Josephine who LOVED the corn on the cob.

Mini Chicken Corn Dogs were a kid favorite.

Whole Foods Market Gilman provided delicious Mochi Ice Cream from Bubbies. I packaged and labeled them individually in glassine bags and stamped them with Lucas' birthday logo. I chose four flavors--Mango, Green Tea, Strawberry and Vanilla.

If you don't know about this Cabbage Crunch Salad at Whole Foods, you're missing out. Not sure if every location has it, but damn, it's good.

I usually prefer the vinegar-based kind of potato salad, but this was the Best Classic Potato Salad ever!

Magical Nathaniel was awesome! He's a Cal student and does magic on the side but plans to make it his full time gig. If you need a magician for your party, you need to hire him. Nearly every kid sat still for the 45-minute performance. He was entertaining and engaging with the kids, often asking for volunteers to help him with his tricks. The kids loved it!

OMG, Magical Nathaniel solved this Rubik's Cube in a minute and 30 seconds--blindfolded!

This is the look of a 3.5-year old who missed his nap and ate nothing but fruit and donut holes for lunch. Poor Theo.

This pinata was awesome because no one could bust it open which meant every kid got a chance to hit it. Ha!

Eventually, Nick had to discreetly stab a few holes into it.

*This post is in partnership with Whole Foods Market. All words and ideas are my own.

+ Find me on Instagram (@good_on_paper), Twitter (@good_on_paper), Pinterest (@goodonpaperdes) and Tumblr (hellogoodonpaper)
+ Subscribe to receive the latest posts and Good on Paper updates delivered to your inbox.  You could also use Blog Lovin' or Feedly to follow along.

 

Family Trip to Lake Tahoe

A few weeks ago we were fortunate enough to take a family trip to my friend Lisa's cabin in Lake Tahoe. It was SO beautiful and the perfect little spring break weekend getaway with good friends Brad and Nancy and their son Ben. Remember our last trip to Lake Tahoe two summers ago (Theo was still using a pacifier!) and our family vacation to Maui last year? Another reason we wanted to go to Tahoe was because Theo had never seen snow before--of course he LOVED it. How could you not love this place?

All photos taken with my iPhone6.

Before...

And after...

And then the clothes came off!

We can't wait to go back! :)

+ Find me on Instagram (@good_on_paper), Twitter (@good_on_paper), Pinterest (@goodonpaperdes) and Tumblr (hellogoodonpaper)
+ Subscribe to receive the latest posts and Good on Paper updates delivered to your inbox.  You could also use Blog Lovin' or Feedly to follow along.

PlanetBox Rover Lunch Box

PlanetBox Rover Lunch Box  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog/2016/1/24/planetbox-rover-lunch-box  /  @good_on_paper

When I was little, I had a Strawberry Shortcake lunch box. That was it. Just one lunch box with a giant thermos sitting next to my sandwich. When I got older, my mom would pack my lunch in a brown paper bag with my name written on the outside. That was it. So simple. Those were the days.

Nowadays there are so many options for lunch boxes--each one with a promise to be the best one. But I've come to realize that, just like a stroller, there's no one perfect lunch box. So when PlanetBox sent me their Rover to try out, I put it to the 3-year old preschooler test with Theo. And so far it has passed with flying colors.

PlanetBox Rover Lunch Box  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog/2016/1/24/planetbox-rover-lunch-box  /  @good_on_paper
PlanetBox Rover Lunch Box  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog/2016/1/24/planetbox-rover-lunch-box  /  @good_on_paper

Measuring 10 x 7 x 1.5 inches, the Rover resembles an old school lunch tray with compartments (love!) and it's made of high quality stainless steel (also love). It comes with two smaller air-tight/waterproof containers (Little Dippers) that are great for yogurt, applesauce and hummus. Holding nearly 4.5 cups of food, the Rover is a great way to sample a wide variety of foods. And if you know Theo, that kid loves to eat.

Another thing I love about the Rover is that it's all one piece. I really can't stand a lot of lids and extra parts so the one piece Rover is great and easy to wash. Ooh, bonus: it could go in the bottom rack of the dishwasher! I'm guessing this is probably a bonus for Theo's teachers too who would rather open one piece than a bunch of individual bowls.

PlanetBox Rover Lunch Box  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog/2016/1/24/planetbox-rover-lunch-box  /  @good_on_paper
PlanetBox Rover Lunch Box  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog/2016/1/24/planetbox-rover-lunch-box  /  @good_on_paper

One thing I've noticed is that the Little Dippers are a bit difficult for Theo to open. I don't use them every day though so it's not a huge deal--and of course he could just ask his teachers for help. And I figure he'll eventually be able to open them more easily on his own as he gets older.

PlanetBox Rover Lunch Box  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog/2016/1/24/planetbox-rover-lunch-box  /  @good_on_paper

PlanetBox also sent me their Jetpack backpack that is specifically designed to transport their lunch boxes along with everything else. Unfortunately, the Jetpack is way too big for Theo and turns out it's recommended for kids 6 years or older as it's really big. I'll have to save it until he's in 1st grade :) But I do love its features which include a cool docking station that fits the Rover perfectly flat.

They are also on the expensive side ($49.95 for just the lunch box without any accessories), but I honestly think it's worth the price. It's super durable and will last through Theo's school years.

PlanetBox Rover Lunch Box  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog/2016/1/24/planetbox-rover-lunch-box  /  @good_on_paper

The bottom line: Considering quality over quantity, I think of it as a great investment. Plus, it perfectly suits our needs and Theo loves it. In fact, I actually think his lunch box is coming home emptier than before. Yay!

+ Find me on Instagram (@good_on_paper), Twitter (@good_on_paper), Pinterest (@goodonpaperdes) and Tumblr (hellogoodonpaper)
+ Subscribe to receive the latest posts and Good on Paper updates delivered to your inbox.  You could also use Blog Lovin' or Feedly to follow along.

My Real Life 2015 Best Nine and Happy 2016

According to 2015bestnine.com, my best nine Instagrams were the ones shown above. My real life best nines are the ones shown here on our holiday card (photos by Sarah Hebenstreit) and below.

Thanks for all the love and support this year. I'm so grateful to my family/friends and to all the friends I've made both online and offline this year. Happy new year!

1. Lucas turned 5 and had an epic Wild Kratts party

2. Theo turned 3 and jammed with his buddies

3. Lisa turned 40 and holy shit she's 40 (I went to Tulum, Mexico with my girlfriends from college on our annual trip)

4. Lucas started kindergarten and LOVES it

5. Family trip to Maui and Theo's first plane ride

6. Lisa and Nick celebrated their 10-year anniversary (photo by Sarah Hebenstreit)

7. Lucas had his first surgery (1/2" piece of wood in his foot)--also, not really a "best" nine but he did so well throughout the whole ordeal.

8. Nick ran a full marathon (3.49) and hasn't run since (but plans to get back into it in 2016), photo by Sarah Hebenstreit

9. Lisa went to Tulum and got a tan--Nick hiked the Trinity Alps and got pneumonia / I also conquered a very big fear of mine!

+ Find me on Instagram (@good_on_paper), Twitter (@good_on_paper) and Pinterest (@goodonpaperdes)
+ Subscribe to receive the latest posts and Good on Paper updates delivered to your inbox.  You could also use Blog Lovin' or Feedly to follow along.

Jackson Family Photo Shoot: December 2015

Jackson Family Photo Shoot: December 2015 / goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper  /  photo by Sarah Hebenstreit of Modern Kids

As always, the year flew by way too quickly and before I knew it, it was time to design our holiday card and take our annual family photos. Of course, we asked our friend Sarah to shoot our family's photos--she's been taking our photos since Lucas was a year old (remember last year's shoot?). Incredibly talented, sweet, patient and a genius with my boys, Sarah somehow magically captures the best little moments--all while the boys are running around like crazy.

Jackson Family Photo Shoot: December 2015 / goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper  /  photo by Sarah Hebenstreit of Modern Kids
Jackson Family Photo Shoot: December 2015 / goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper  /  photo by Sarah Hebenstreit of Modern Kids
Jackson Family Photo Shoot: December 2015 / goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper  /  photo by Sarah Hebenstreit of Modern Kids
Jackson Family Photo Shoot: December 2015 / goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper  /  photo by Sarah Hebenstreit of Modern Kids
Jackson Family Photo Shoot: December 2015 / goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper  /  photo by Sarah Hebenstreit of Modern Kids
Jackson Family Photo Shoot: December 2015 / goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper  /  photo by Sarah Hebenstreit of Modern Kids
Jackson Family Photo Shoot: December 2015 / goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper  /  photo by Sarah Hebenstreit of Modern Kids
Jackson Family Photo Shoot: December 2015 / goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper  /  photo by Sarah Hebenstreit of Modern Kids
Jackson Family Photo Shoot: December 2015 / goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper  /  photo by Sarah Hebenstreit of Modern Kids
Jackson Family Photo Shoot: December 2015 / goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper  /  photo by Sarah Hebenstreit of Modern Kids
Jackson Family Photo Shoot: December 2015 / goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper  /  photo by Sarah Hebenstreit of Modern Kids
Jackson Family Photo Shoot: December 2015 / goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper  /  photo by Sarah Hebenstreit of Modern Kids

+ All photos by Sarah Hebenstreit
+ Find me on Instagram (@good_on_paper), Twitter (@good_on_paper) and Pinterest (@goodonpaperdes)
+ Subscribe to receive the latest posts and Good on Paper updates delivered to your inbox.  You could also use Blog Lovin' or Feedly to follow along.

Happy Weekend: Pumpkin Patching in Petaluma

Happy Weekend: Pumpkin Patching in Petaluma  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper

We recently went with friends to the Great Peter Pumpkin Patch at the Petaluma Creamery - Home of Spring Hill Jersey Cheese. It was such a beautiful breezy day for some pumpkin picking, maze running and corn kernel diving. They're open until October 31st.

I really want to go apple picking again but not sure we will have time before the season ends. I really want to be better about planning these outings--I miss cherry picking season every single year and cherries are one of my favorite fruits!

Happy Weekend: Pumpkin Patching in Petaluma  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper
Happy Weekend: Pumpkin Patching in Petaluma  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper
HappyWeekend_10-17-15_PumpkinPatch_1.jpg
Happy Weekend: Pumpkin Patching in Petaluma  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper
Happy Weekend: Pumpkin Patching in Petaluma  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper
Happy Weekend: Pumpkin Patching in Petaluma  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper
Happy Weekend: Pumpkin Patching in Petaluma  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper

Leave it to Lucas to find a huge ass pumpkin, carry it up to the top of a huge haystack tower, and get his friends excited about rolling it down the haystack tower. Woohoo! Boys will be boys!

Happy Weekend: Pumpkin Patching in Petaluma  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper
Happy Weekend: Pumpkin Patching in Petaluma  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper

The kids loved the hay maze and would run back in every time they found their way out--everyone except Theo who would find a dead end and hang out there playing with hay. Haha!

Happy Weekend: Pumpkin Patching in Petaluma  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper
Happy Weekend: Pumpkin Patching in Petaluma  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper
Happy Weekend: Pumpkin Patching in Petaluma  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper
Happy Weekend: Pumpkin Patching in Petaluma  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper
Happy Weekend: Pumpkin Patching in Petaluma  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper

Here's the stash of gourds Lucas put in our "shopping cart"--we left with about half of it.

Happy Weekend: Pumpkin Patching in Petaluma  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper
DSC09031.jpg
Happy Weekend: Pumpkin Patching in Petaluma  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper

The kids absolutely loved the corn kernel pool.

Happy Weekend: Pumpkin Patching in Petaluma  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper
Happy Weekend: Pumpkin Patching in Petaluma  /  www.goodonpaperdesign.com/blog  /  @good_on_paper

+ Find me on Instagram (@good_on_paper)
+ Subscribe to receive the latest posts and Good on Paper updates delivered to your inbox.  You could also use Blog Lovin' or Feedly to follow along.