Bug’s 9th Birthday Party : Skatery Funness!


I have to say that this 9th-Birthday Skating Party had the least fails (aka failures) of all the parties I have ever thrown. Maybe I’m learning a thing or two after all these years.  Most of this could be chalked up to the venue being awesome. The skating rink we picked is so laid back. All they really cared about was kids having fun. Which is how it should be!  There were no rules about much at all.

The other skating rink I checked out had rules about everything! A guest limit, adults couldn’t sit, you couldn’t bring in your own food, a short time limit etc etc… Whereas this rink was open to just about everything. We could walk on the rink and take photos (usually cameras and phones are not allowed, let alone people with shoes on instead of skates…), people could come and go, putting on skates, taking them off. There was no hard and fast rule about who was skating. In fact, I don’t even think they charged me for everyone who skated.  Parents skated, kids skated. It was great!

It was super laid back and cool. And that’s what I really need when it comes to party planning.


I’ve never wanted to have parties at venues like this before because I really love to decorate and get involved in every bit of the party process and they usually don’t let you. Usually you have to put up with their grocery store decorations and fresh-from-the-freezer pizza… You know me, I like to graphic-designer-it-up at every chance I get.

I still couldn’t decorate much, no disco ball, no glow-in-the-dark bracelets (it’s a well-lit outdoor rink), no crazy color-coded snacks or serve-yourself candy bar, I didn’t get to make a special birthday playlist of music… you know, all the things I normally do that are OVER-THE-TOP and RIDICULOUS.

It was good for me to not be ridiculous for a change.

I think that is where I go wrong on a lot of parties. I try to do too much and I lose sight of what’s important: that kids have fun.

That didn’t go wrong on this party. Everyone had fun. A LOT of fun. So much fun that they’ll be talking about it for days…I think this party has spawned a whole new crop of skaters and that is just all sorts of awesome. Not a bad business move on the part of the skating rink either.


There were some mean, lean, skating machines out there. I was so proud of Bug. I’m glad we put the time in ahead of time because she really knew what she was doing and taught all her friends how to skate too. There were a few kids who struggled and one girl actually cried and said skating was boring and she wanted to go home but her mom made her stick it out (great mom) and by the end of the party she was probably one of the most enthusiastic skaters out there. It just goes to show you that that you love what you suffer for. And maybe that is why skating is so fun!


It’s not easy when you start out. There was a lot of falling. So many kids just threw themselves down at the floor like they were made of rubber.

bugturns9-4Our neighbor, Lubna, was the queen of the floor.  She took big risks (skating on one foot, acting fancy…) and ate it regularly. It was great.


I even skated!


Then we had cupcakes. Bug’s special cupcakes that she orchestrated the color on.


Here are some pictures of the cupcakes from Saturday when we made them so you can appreciate her coloring skillz. That girl, she is such a fanatic about color.

So that’s that! What a great happy birthday party for a nine-year-old girl. I’d recommend this theme/venue/color scheme any day! It was a lot of fun!


sketchbook catch-up vol: 12



I can’t believe it’s been since 2012 since I last posted a sketchbook diary illo. I think I took two years off sketching too because my sketching is SO rusty. I can’t even believe so many of you think I’m so artistic. I follow a few REAL illustrators on instagram and their daily diary sketches are so amazing. Really that’s what’s prompted me to start doing this again. It’s a great way for me to blog when I’m stuck places away from my laptop and also it helps me to remember the little things I do all day because in hindsight, I can’t remember much at all about the day to day.

The top sketch is from 2014. I randomly pick up journals and draw in them and then leave them for months at a time and start a different journal and then go back to that one when I’m in need of a new one.  I’ll often have two journals going at a time, one for private one for public…but then I mix those up too.  I’m sure if anybody finds my journals after I’m dead and if they are trying to put together a chronological picture of what my life was like, they’ll find it endlessly confusing. Anyway, who cares it’s more about the process than the end result, right?

I just thought I’d include that top sketch because the face was funny. I may not be the best illustrator but I do crack myself up from time to time.

So new year’s resolutions! Hah! Yeah. Whatever. I don’t believe in them anyway. But it was an interesting exercise to think about the predicaments I continually get myself into over and over and think about WHY I always find myself making the same mistakes. What are my motives after all? Why do I like to spread myself so thin? Do I need to be needed? Was I not needed when I was growing up and now I like to insert myself into other people’s problems so that I can make a difference and be loved? Hmmmmm… that’s a thinker. And if I can’t stop myself from doing these things, how can I change so that I am happy instead of unhappy? You know, my favorite motto: if you keep stubbing your toe on the same chair, move the chair don’t try to get a new toe. Maybe this need to be needed is just ME!


Ah. My second favorite time-spreader-thinner: Party planning!  Man, I thought I was creative. I put this skating problem (Bug not actually liking to skate but wanting a skating party) out on facebook and asked for suggestions and you guys came with some crazy-ass ideas! Fashion shows, make your own t-shirts out of vinyl? Sock derby in my one-bedroom apartment… What?!!  Just kidding. It was a fun little foray into crowd-sourced creativity and it honestly kind of humbled me. I thought I was the QUEEN of over-doing. Maybe not so much. This party is only going to be two hours and I’m not doing much outside of making a cool invite, packing some goodies to give away as thank you’s and just plain, showing up! I think that’s what moms of nine-year-olds do. We show up. That’s a lot.

About my idea of holding court at the roller rink like the Godfather of graphic design. Not a bad idea, eh? I should make my customers come to me. Maybe I’ll let them kiss my mouse.




Oooh a big accomplishment illustration! AKA how to make a boring ho-hum day seem like a smashing success! I think I should get a trophy for all eight of these accomplishments. Why? Because they don’t all happen everyday. Most days turn into clusters, if you know what I mean.


Like this day. I had two slow days at work so I put my feelers out for more work. Now I have a bazillion jobs just floating in the air and if they all become active at once I will be knocked dead. This is the life of a freelancer. No rest for the wicked. We always gotta have something in the pipeline or the bills don’t get paid.

Also, winter is awesome. We are having our first winter here in Southern California in what seems like years. Days and days of cold weather, one after the other. I actually have a section in my closet for coats instead of the usual three-yard-long sweater section.  What is this funny thing, the coat?! It’s amazing!



bla bla bla. This sketch is boring. Although I will say I am loving CSA boxes. We’ve only gotten two so far and we have eaten everything. It’s actually a pretty good deal for top notch produce. Now if I could just figure out how to eat all the vegetables without all the gastrointestinal issues that go along with vegetables. Seriously? Is it just me and my lack of a gallbladder? You can’t tell me that all vegetarians fart this much. It’s just wrong. What is the secret? Less olive oil? I know, TMI but surely someone has addressed this issue before. Being healthy should make me feel better, not worse!