Thursday, June 30, 2011

a baby to a toddler

Our little roo is changing a lot these days... my little girl.
Oh how much I love her... in a every way she is.

As she becomes more and more confident with walking, I can definitely see that she is  becoming more on her own... She has her (very strong) opinions, her own thoughts and her likes/dislikes. When she gets inpatient, I see myself in her. Actually I see a lot of myself in her. Maybe not the way she looks but her gestures, attitudes and everything in between.

She is one active toddler who is moving every second of her wakening moments. She is here then there... and back here again. Our day evolves around many visits to the kitchen for meals/snacks, playing in the living room, visiting playground, getting muddy in the backyard then a nice splash in the tub. I love checking on her when she is sound sleep at night. I sometimes spend good 15 minutes there before I go to bed just standing by her crib and looking into her calm face.

Yeah. Life will never be the same and there are things I can and can not do these days... but I'm just as complete as I used to be (just in a different way)... and this whole parenthood is truly priceless.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011



Sometimes it takes a good excuse to see our daily routine from a different point of view. My (awesome and need to happen more frequently) excuse was my friend's visit on weeknight!

I've been slacking off on making our everyday dinner nice. I mean... we eat enough (sort of) but dinner just happens to fall between my precious working hours after little roo's bedtime and "I am so exhausted from the day that I need to just lay down on the couch and watch some show on my laptop" moment. So I have been either too busy to take time to cook something lovely (and enjoy the process)... or I was away too pooped to stand in the kitchen.

Though it was a reality, it was starting to make me feel little less fulfilled... At the end of the day (literally), if I can't find time to simply enjoy the dinner with FB, what's the point of working so hard?

On Monday night after our usual long day, I had just about 1 hour to prep something nice for three of us to eat. A few family style appetizers. Nothing fancy but something colorful, flavorful and healthy to eat in our backyard with a few glasses of wine...

It was so nice to sit outside and just chill... feeling the evening breeze, watching the day to slowly end and doing some owl viewing. (2 baby owls who have been living on our palm tree are flying now!)

Now summer is truly here in Southern California, I need to make these excuses more often to just enjoy the time of day. Maybe not everyday... but enough days to keep us grounded to what makes us happy.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Very special 1st birthday!

Finally!! I have photos to share with you from little roo's birthday party! My little sister Naru was the official photographer of the event and she took over 400 photos! Thank you so much Naru! It was so much fun to see the party from a different perspective. I had no idea little roo was totally socializing with everyone.  (no wonder she was never with me during the party:) I took a good 2 hours to sort through all the photos and have picked some of my favorites to capture the moments and vignette/details from the party.

So here they are!

Inspired by my mother-in-law, it's kind of our tradition to create a little shrine for a birthday boy/girl.  So I created a (giant) shrine for little roo to celebrate her very first 12 months. Remember me sewing away these canvas printed photos? So I was able to line up very special thirteen photos from each month of her 1st year against our thick hedge along with a very beautiful birthday banner our friend Susan made for little roo. Then I set up a little table to display artifacts from her year including a special frame with her very first clothes and an album I made for the first year via blurb.


Beautifully packaged banner we got from Susan. Thank you Susan for sending this all the way from Detroit.

Then totally in a last minute... we decided to put together a small potting area that goes with a theme of party flavors for kids. A garden table, a tin water can and a bucket full of soil accompanied with small pots filled with a flag with a name of little roo's friend, a shovel, magic beans(!) and a treasure stone! Seriously you can't go wrong with the dirt/pot for kids and I thought it was a cute way to provide a fun activity for little ones:) Even the older kids were into planting their seeds so I think it was a success.

To frame the area, I made a mini garland with alphabets. (and you thought I made enough garlands:)

This super mom of twins are always prepared:) Thank you Jane for bringing out the magic (and edible) bubbles! 

Inspired by this super cute book, I made another activity area where kids can do a mini blueberry picking! A way to utilize all the assets from our backyard, right?

Food was amazing. We prepared a crape buffet with all kinds of toppings and asked my dad to be a crape master! He was totally a pro by the end of party. My mom (aka grandma mimi) brought special Japanese dishes and we tried some amazing dishes cooked by Alex! Naru baked three kinds of cakes (including little roo's birthday cake:) and our lovely friend Penelope put together her famous lemon raspberry cupcakes all fancied up in an individual box as favors for guests to take home. Thanks to all out friends/family's help, we were able to feed 40+ guests with delicious foods:)  Thank you mom, dad , Naru, Alex and Penelope! You guys are the best!

We had so much fun at her party and are so proud of being her parents.

Happy birthday our little roo. We can't wait to celebrate another birthday with you!

-little roo's mama

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Awesome resources for {Traveler's Notebook}

I think there is a huge cult around Traveler's Notebook! The idea of journal(ing) and travel is so universal... it's simply inspiring to feel like we can be a part of big creative community. Here are some great links that might inspire your Traveler's Notebook adventures!

Traveler's Notebook Flickr group has over 1000 photos submitted by the TN fans all over the world! I just added some of my photos there! If you want to get inspired by how others are customizing/using their Traveler's Notebook, this is a great place to check out.

MIDORI download: Midori's Traveler's Notebook official site has some very useful resources and this is one of them. You can click an image and it will automatically download a pdf version of the insert. Here is a list of what might be useful for you!
2011 calender (2nd section under the Japanese subway maps), World map/time (3rd section),  Size conversion (5th section), Travel information page (6th section), Travel plan (7th section).

Traveler's Notebook Pro User: This is also a part of Midori's official site. Click an image and you can see how artists, designers and other selected users are using their Traveler's Notebook.  You can also read little bit about their stories (it's in Japanese)

Everyone's customization: Midori's official site with TN fans submitting their Traveler's Notebook customization photos! There are some really clever ideas here. I can probably spend hours just going through these pages.

Please feel free to comment or shoot me an email if you know any other TN websites/links!  Happy traveling:)
Traveler's Notebook

Welcomign new Traveler's Notebook refills/accessories

Traveler's Notebook has been receiving very positive feedback from everyone so I am thrilled to share that we now carry additional refills and accessories for the collection!

Honestly... I can't wait to use some of these new refills and accessories myself!

p.s. Just in case you are wondering... we also carry Traveler's Notebook passport size as well as 5th year anniversary edition in Camel.

Purchase Information:
Price: $6+ (Traveler's Notebook refills and accessories)
Availability: shop

Pen holder (S): Just in case you need to jot down some thoughts on the go... you will need a little leather companion for your Traveler's Notebook. This small pen holder clips onto the TN leather cover and can hold the "clip" part of the pen (see the second photo). A handy tool! Available in black and brown.
TN Pen clip (s)TN Pen clip (s)

Heavy weight sketch notebook refill: Do you remember my little water color experiment in Hawaii? Well I used this sketch notebook refill as my travel journal. Papers in this refill are a lot thicker than any other refill notebooks so it can take quite bit of wear. (perfect when you're traveling:) I also used a few pages as my destination postcards since pages on this notebook can be easily teared off with pre-perforated edges. Perfect, right?
Hawaii memory on Traveler's Notebook

KRAFT notebook refill: I can't wait to use this KRAFT notebook when I finish my current refill!  I love the nostalgic feeling of these papers. Isn't this simply beautiful?TN KRAFT refill

Free weekly diary: This refill will be perfect if you need to keep track of your schedule! I think the cover for this refill is one of my favorite - French gray with a touch of textures. I also think the last page with travel information is going to be really handy when we're on the road (or in the air)!
TN Weekly diaryTN Weekly diaryWT_110621-066.jpg

Free monthly diary: My friend Jane told me that she is looking forward to using this refill as her agenda/task list. I am dying to give up digital calendar just so that I can use this... There is something beautiful and tactile about leaving imprints of the day in analogue way. Don't you think?
TN Monthly diary - montly open pageTN Monthly diary - 6 month agenda pageTN Monthly diary - world map

Pocket Sticker (L) : This is a very handy accessory! I am using it as a way to hold second refill notebook in my leather case but I have also used it to keep all things small/loose in one place! It's self-adhesive so you can also place this directly on the refill notebook!
TN Pocket Sticker

Card holders:This smart insert holds 12 business card size goodies! Credit card, small tickets, little memo... you name it!
TN business card holderWT_110623-011-Edit.jpg

Friday, June 24, 2011

creativity? productivity? sure...

Happy Friday everyone:) 

I am so glad that it's Friday... and really happy that we got a lot of stuff done this week. All new shop updates are finished for now (although I still need to do a blog post about new Traveler's Notebook refills and accessories), I think I did all right for my photography class assignment... and I am working away for the up-coming wedding reception.

Well... let me share my new productivity strategy. My pretty work space and chalk board coffee cup!

I've always sort of worked in our sun room which we dedicated it as a dining room when we bought this house. We have one big table but the space was never fully utilized so it sort of became a landing spot for all things clutter... I think we ate dinner in this room 3-4 times in past year? Plus having a bulky table in the middle of room with walking toddler is just not a good idea. So while FB and roo run their Sunday errands, I shuffle the space and called it my own! So now I have a fully decked digital station with my laptop hooked up to a big monitor and tablet and enough space for all the other creative tasks to happen. I LOVE IT! I didn't realize how much I missed having my own station until I actually got it back. I feel so much more zen working here now...

Then we got this cute little coffee cup with a chalkboard surface and I have been writing down one thing I need to get done for the day. Earlier this year I was writing 3 things/day on my list but I am little more realistic now... and surprisingly it has been working so far. Maybe I should take a picture of the daily chalkboard note with the background of what I have accomplished. Wouldn't that be fun?


Thursday, June 23, 2011

tiny place {Wood Spoon}

Yesterday I was in jury duty...

Oh great.. all day in the waiting room in the middle of LA downtown, right?? But my lovely girlfriend Penelope who lives only a few blocks away from the court building spontaneously agreed to head out for a lunch with me. She brought such a fresh breath of air to my long day...

She is my foodie friend so I always know that I am in good hands when we eat together. The moment court assistant announced the lunch break, I rushed out of the building and we headed out to this tiny little Brazilian restaurant called Wood Spoon.

This place was cute! Rustic yet vibrant. I loved that they had pillows on all the benches adding colors and textures to go with all these beautiful sunflowers. Their cinnamon infused water was so unexpectedly refreshing. I would have to try making a batch at home!

I tried Brazilian chicken pot pie and I have to tell you... there was nothing left on my plate when we were leaving. I never knew that there can be so much flavor in the pot pie. This lunch totally fueled my afternoon.

Well... we also talked about their up-coming 5th year wedding anniversary party! Yes. After Moroccan wedding reception in July, I will be styling another very ethnic (and fun) themed party for them. AND let's not forget my friend Alex who is totally rocking on Master Chef will be helping them out with the food component! Oh I know this is going to be a good one!!! More details to come but you know I am giggling:)



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