happy friday

I have some family in town so it is definitely an extra happy Friday. Here are my ūüôā for this week.

1. Little stick hut on the beach in Santa Cruz

2. Cutest succulent pick up from my weekly Trader Joe’s run

3. It’s been raining non-stop but still beautiful

deep breaths

And the highlight reels just keep on coming.

When you’re in a rut, it’s hard impossible not to compare your life to everyone else’s, and unfortunately at those times, the internet make it so very easy to. Social media is tricky like that, isn’t it? When I’m happy, I love to read about all of my long lost friends’ promotions/ engagements/ baby announcements/ [insert other exciting life milestone here]. When I’m feeling not-so-great about my life though, well, that’s a different story. I’m still happy for them, but the joy quickly becomes overshadowed by questions in the tune of “what have I done with my life lately?”

And so, here’s a list of things I am grateful for. Because this is what matters and will always matter.

  1. My husband, who is endlessly supportive and eternally optimistic.
  2. My family, who will never change and is always there, no matter how far away I am.

This is a short list because those are really the only reminders I need of how wonderful my life is. Just those and my faith.

I may be in a rut right now, but I am thankful.

happy new year

Okay, I’m a little late. At least it’s still January.

Since I am on a constant journey to find myself and become the best version of me (aren’t we all?), I’m all about goals. Naturally, I made some for this year. Here are some of mine:

  1. Always be: creating, reading, learning. Ask me at any time what I am currently creating/reading/learning and I should have an answer for you. It’s not really a resolution, but more of a forever goal.
  2. Find something I really love to do. Looking for that one thing that’s worth waking up early and staying up late for.
  3. Challenge myself every day. I started a list of challenges for the year with the intent of randomly choosing one each day. I don’t think I have enough to make it 365 days, but I like the thought of giving myself something to focus on each day that is different from my regular routine.
  4. Answer texts/calls/emails right away. It’s a work in progress, but I’ll get there. The hard part for me is that I let things sit until I come up with the perfect response. Slowly starting to learn that there never is a perfect response.
  5. Send more gifts and letters. I love snail mail. I love giving gifts. So many people I love are so very far away. This is a no-brainer.

I’ll admit, 2017 is off to a rocky start, but my resolutions still give me hope. There is always so much to look forward to.

happy friday

Since I do most of my blog reading on the weekends, I’m a big fan of Friday posts. They’re typically so lighthearted and fun — as they should be since Friday is obviously the best day of the week. It got me thinking about what I wanted to share on Fridays, and I decided I want to use it as a time to reflect on my “yay”s of the week. I’m definitely one of those people who lives for the weekend, but I’d like to remember to enjoy all of the good things that happen Monday through Thursday too.

So, here are my “yay”s for this week:

1. Made my first recipe from Chrissy Teigen’s Cravings cookbok

2. The beginnings of my current project

3. Gallery wall building in progress

Have a wonderful, long weekend!

View from my hike: Muir Woods


This post is written with the following caveat: pictures could not possibly do this place justice.

You hear about the redwoods and look at pictures, but it is nothing compared to being there, standing among them.

And feeling so very, very tiny.

We woke up early on a Saturday, drove over¬†the roller coaster-esque hills that make up the city of San Francisco, and continued across the surprisingly visible Golden Gate Bridge. National Parks were celebrating 100 years (woo-hoo!), so the park was free and of course, we weren’t the only ones who got the memo. After parking a million miles away, we made our way into Muir Woods.


The path is a boardwalk and feels more like you’re walking through an outdoor museum, with signs commanding you to stay in between the fenced off areas. And just like a museum, I felt like everything on the other side, the things I was told not to touch, were priceless and historic and beautiful.


We stayed on the path then strayed off into Mt. Tamalpais Park to feel some dirt beneath our feet. And then we went back to stand under the canopy of redwoods. Even with people everywhere, there was something incredible when you looked up and suddenly felt very, very tiny.




Finding my green thumb

gardenI convinced myself that I didn’t have enough hobbies and decided I needed a garden. Ha. I know nothing about growing anything, and this couldn’t be more clear as I was standing in the garden section at Home Depot, basically having a panic attack. I almost yelled “ABORT!” until my much more level-headed husband calmly spoke to an employee and eased my nerves enough for us to go home with some cute flowers and a sensible window box.

Just in case I’m not the only one who decides to dive into gardening without a clue, I thought I’d share some things I’ve learned so far:

  1. Window boxes don’t come with hooks. At least, most of them don’t. I wandered aimlessly through the store looking for one that would fit snugly on my railing with no luck. Instead, we opted for a box that’s currently just resting on our balcony railing. Good idea? I guess we’ll wait and see.
  2. You know those little containers that flowers come in? You don’t need a whole bunch of those to fill a window box. I grabbed a few, thinking I’d have a full blooming box, but apparently flowers need room to go — just one container with 6 marigolds was enough to fill it.
  3. According to Home Depot and my expert-gardener mother, marigolds are easy to grow and maintain. I’ll be the judge of that.
  4. Flowers have different schedules. I had planned to have a box of marigolds and dahlias, but when the marigolds die, the dahlias will live on, so growing them next to each other isn’t ideal.
  5. Basic flower window box starter kit: window box + window box liner + soil + plant food + flowers.
  6. You need to cut the container that the flowers come in and very carefully separate each one, making sure not to tear the roots. They are each then planted separately.
  7. Per the friendly Home Depot lady, we mixed the soil and plant food in a separate bag then filled the window box liner about 1/3 of the way. Then we added the flowers in a staggered pattern and filled the rest with soil mixture.
  8. You’re supposed to water the plants more frequently in the beginning. I’m starting with once a day and crossing my fingers.
  9. Even though I don’t have a full-grown garden yet, I’m making it work on my little balcony. I like the feeling of growing something and I love waking up to flowers outside my window. Knowing me, I’m sure I’ll have a jungle in no time.

I’ll be posting updates on my tiny garden. More to come!

Explore: Seattle, Washington

June is here and I’m trying to convince myself that it’s as magical as it was when it meant the end of another school year and the beginning of beautiful, endless summer days and bonfire-filled summer nights. Unfortunately, it’s not quite the same as an adult, but I can pretend, right?

We spent the long Memorial Day weekend with a very short trip to Seattle — six in the evening on Saturday to six in the morning on Monday, to be specific — and staying true to our efficient selves, we jampacked our time with all of the Instagram-worthy views, touristy fun, and delicious food, food, and more food that we could possibly fit. So here’s what we did with 36 hours in the Emerald City.

Ate everything and drank coffee.
No surprise here. If I had to sum up our time, this would be it. And that alone was worth the trip. Our new Seattlelite cousin showed us all the good eats, and we basically spent Sunday on a four-person food tour along with one of our friends from college. Here’s the list.

  1. Musashi’s¬†– You really can’t go wrong with fresh, cheap sushi. Get the Chirashi bowl and you won’t be disappointed.
  2. Molly Moon’s¬†– Walk down the street from Musashi’s because ice cream is necessary wherever you go. I could’ve married the balsamic strawberry.
  3. Starbucks Reserve¬†– Starbucks but fancy and with a different menu. Cool place to just hang out and not feel like you’re at Starbucks.
  4. The Crumpet Shop – I think this was my first crumpet and I’ll admit I’m now a crumpet fan. The pesto on that fluffy goodness was amazing.
  5. Storyville¬†Coffee¬†– Walk upstairs from The Crumpet Shop and you’ll find this wood-paneled, sunlit cafe. Perfect stop before squeezing through crowds at the market.
  6. Pike Place Chowder РThere was a long line here, which was to be expected on MDW. Luckily, the guy singing outside made the wait not so bad, and the chowder is worth it. Get the sampler to try a few ($1 off with Yelp check in).
  7. Oriental Mart (not pictured) – We somehow managed to track down this little Filipino food stand tucked away at Pike Place. Longanisa cravings satisfied, good Filipino hospitality, and funny signs to pass the time.
  8. Piroshky, Piroshky¬†(not pictured) – Buttery, flaky goodness. You’ll probably have to wait, but that’s with all good things, right?
  9. Beecher’s (not pictured)¬†– Our cousin picked up some mac and cheese from here while we waited for chowder. YUM.
  10. Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot (not pictured) РOur last food. All-you-can-eat after a day of all eating may not have been the best call. Food comas may have commenced at the table.

Did tourist things and took in the views.
When we weren’t eating, we were doing stuff. Pretty typical Seattle stuff, I must say, but hey, we were short on time. Luckily Seattle is ¬†small city so we were able to take a lot of it in. We’ll definitely be back for more adventures in the future, but here are the highlights:

Hi, we’re tourists posing in front of the Pike Place Market sign. It was Tom’s first time here so this was a must.¬†We were “lucky” to catch some authentic Seattle rain while we were there.

This shot is 100% unposed. I am actually smiling at the fruit, and he is really telling me not to touch it. I wish I was lying, but this is our real life.

I was beyond disgusted by the gum wall, so I stayed behind the camera, a safe distance away.

Kerry Park

Got a great view of the Space Needle from Kerry Park.

This was my second time at Gasworks Park and it was just as cool as I remember.

Lake Washington

Found the most peaceful dock on Lake Washington. Such a beautiful place.