LA Craft Experience, see you there!

This Saturday, I am really excited to go to the Chinese New Year Festival and LA Craft Experience! We opted not to go home to our families in the Bay Area this year for the holiday, but hope to still celebrate the year of the rabbit with other Southern Californians by eating a lot of dim sum, checking out the parade, and supporting local crafters.

Also, your friend and mine, honey my heart will be there selling her feminine and joyful jewelry, so if you go, please stop by her booth! We share a love of color and Hello Kitty. :)

For event information click here
The LA Craft Experience/Chinese New Year Festival
February 5th, 10 AM to 8 PM
February 6th, 10 AM to 6 PM
Chinatown’s Central and West Plazas (North Broadway between College Street and Bamboo Lane)
947 N. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Is anyone else in SoCal planning to go?


Be Mine, just not on Valentine's Day

[I'm not sure how anyone could hate a holiday that puts puppies on chocolate boxes. These are 99 cents at Target!]

Dontcha just love Valentine's Day? I used to relish every V-Day in school, in which I would make my own cards and pepper the paper with a lot of vomit-inducing cuteness, like bears hugging or sparkly hearts. (LOVE Valentine's Day.) The other great part about Valentine's Day was looking at all the cards and candies at the end of the day, the same glee and joy felt once you empty out your pillow case full (yes, I was a hardcore trick or treater with a pillow case,) of candy at Halloween. And when I got older (and by older I mean after my awkward stage,) it was a great excuse to get pretty, go on a date, and have boys perform chivalrous acts that I never really fully admit to liking as a feminist...well okay I guess now I'm admitting it. I like having the door opened for me even though I am fully capable of opening my own door. But don't tell anyone.

The boy on the other hand did not grow up cutting up doilies and adding glitter and perfume to envelopes for that extra special something, nor did he like to send his friends candy grams with cute messages attached. In fact he likes to remind me that "Valentine's Day is another way for corporate America to make you spend more than you actually need to" and then he likes to add that "he's not buying flowers or going out that day" in protest of this "unnecessary" holiday that "puts pressure on males everywhere". 

So, since I am so obviously not getting a dozen red roses on Valentine's Day, please share your romance with me. What are your plans for Valentine's Day?? Will you be my valentine?

Or, is anyone in agreement with the boy and think Valentine's Day is Stoopid with a capital S?


Pink Argyle iPhone Case

[Pink Argyle case by Uncommon]

[Jill Bliss case from Uncommon]

My iPhone case broke, forcing me to go to Uncommon and look at the Jill Bliss case I have been wanting. But because of a site error, I had to re-navigate to the homepage and then I found this! It's my blog in iPhone case form! Well, now I'm torn. One is made by one of my favorite artists, the other is, well, pink argyle!

Which one should I get? 


Girl Meets Dress

First, thank you so much to everyone for your input about Hawaii! I really liked reading everyone's comments. Judging by the excited feedback, I'd say Hawaii is going to be a great destination. We're leaning toward the Big Island, and hope to make plans for vacation in September...which seems forever away, so I hope it gets here FAST.

In other self-obsessed news, I was blessed with some Anthro gift card love over the holidays, and today I used it to purchase the Take Action Dress.

I like it, can you tell? (The cat likes it too.)

Happy Friday everyone! Hope it's the start to a great weekend.


Help Us Choose an Island

[Reproduction of a vintage map of Hawaii from Etsy seller StoriesDivination]

We never did get to take that weekend getaway.

I actually don't think we need a weekend getaway, I think we need a month getaway. Since that isn't in the cards, I'll settle for the 4-5 days I can afford.  It's funny how a vacation, the kind where you don't just sit at home on the couch, was not something I felt like I needed before. But there's just something about the way people laugh every time you inform them how long your husband has in school that just makes the need for a vacation so much more...urgent. That, and the rapidly increasing countdown to The Year We Try To Have Kids. I feel like whenever someone asks "so, are you going to try to have kids soon?" and I reply, "no, not for a while" that person calmly nods but is holding back something else, almost as if he/she wants to tell me, good, because your life is going to be OVER.

So *ahem* where was I? Oh yeah, vacations!

Our latest fantasy is taking a trip to Hawaii in late summer or early fall. Aside from a couple days I spent in Kauai, I have not spent any time there, and the boy has never been.  We have limited Hawaii knowledge. We do know

1. we need a place with a lot of activities because the boy does not know how to relax. I'm not joking.
2. we like food, animals, nature hikes, and learning about the local culture.

Does anyone have recommendations? Do you feel like you need more vacations?




[pink tulips from the boy]

I get flowers from the boy when

1. It is a special occasion, like my birthday or an anniversary or Valentine's Day.

2. I am mad at him.


3. All of the above

These tulips fall into category #2, and while my 'I'm mad at you' glare could strike fear in the hearts of puppies everywhere, a bouquet of flowers (or a really cute stuffed animal) generally give me back an unwrinkled forehead and revert my evil eyes. Y'know, the flowers and the words "I'm REALLY sorry. What can I do?"

Apparently flowers do not hold the same magic for the boy. Early in our relationship, I tried to give the boy a flower once. He just told me it was nice, and then gave it back to me and told me that women don't give men flowers. (Although secretly I think he liked receiving it!)

Do you ever give your partner flowers?


Mail Art #1

[My first piece of mail art, with a brown paper package tied up with string]

[I used a combination of washi paper and Japanese packaging tape.]

[The whale card was the inspiration behind the packaging.]

As promised for 2011, here is my first piece of mail art. It's really girly and kiddy (I mean, would you expect anything else from me?) but I want my pieces to be more diverse in the future.

This is going to a friend who treated us to a fantastically delicious meal at the Tsukiji Fish Market during our honeymoon. I was too lazy to fill out delivery confirmation, but I did check postage, so I hope it gets there safely!

Hold me to it, February is going to be more punk rock, y'know, as punk rock as I can be.
...But knowing me I'll probably paste pink flowers on top of it in the end.


Blogs Bring Us Together

[Photos from Joyce and Ryan's registry wedding. You can check out Joyce's blog about her wedding and travels here.]

Joyce (of blushingjoy) and I have been following each other on the blogosphere for close to two years now, and I had the pleasure of meeting her and her husband Ryan this holiday season while they were honeymooning in California. After reading about their wedding planning and life in Sydney, it was absolutely wonderful meeting them in person!

We ate American-sized breakfasts at Old Vine Cafe in Costa Mesa, where Joyce met her first cinnamon roll, and we ended the meal with a big surprise. Earlier in the meal we had given up the chance to eat at a bigger table so that a family could eat there instead. The family ended up paying for our entire meal as a thank you for giving up the table, it was quite generous!  

 [My banana crepe at Old Vine Cafe]
Meeting Joyce and Ryan was like meeting up with old friends, which probably just sounds ridiculous to anyone who doesn't blog. Sometimes I have people ask how I can be so open on the Internet, but I'm reminded of why whenever I make a real connection with someone across the globe. So, um, Joyce and Ryan, meet you in Sydney, 2012??

 [Like us, Joyce and Ryan had a wedding banquet and tea ceremony]

Have you made many friends through your blog? Do people think you're nuts?


Chinese Mothers

[Video from The Wall Street Journal about Asian Americans and their thoughts on parenting]

My sister sent me this article from The Wall Street Journal, titled 'Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior'. It's an excerpt from the book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, written by Yale law school professor, Amy Chua. As someone who was raised by a Chinese mother and will eventually *I hope* become a mother, I was intrigued.

Amy Chua discusses what I'm sure some of you out in Internet land can relate to--super strict parents that push their kids to their limits. She talks about calling her kids "garbage" to motivate them, and screaming for hours on end as her youngest daughter fails to play a violin piece because she claims her daughter did not believe in herself. The basic gist of the essay is that "Chinese" (she uses the terms loosely) mothers produce high-achievers, and Amy Chua tells you how.

Last May I wrote this post about things not changing when we got married. For the most part, everything has stayed the same. What has changed is that we talk a lot about hypothetical children and how we will raise them. This is what prompted operation hippo, because I'd rather not yell to my hypothetical children. Since we're waiting a while for kids, I'm sure more discussions between the boy and I will surface about the kinds of parents we will be. We have a long way to go.

So, I'm curious about what you all think. Are you going to raise your kids the same way you were raised? What do you think of Amy Chua's parenting approach?


Hi-res photos make me squeel

[That's my wow I'm so excited right now face. Charming, right? I felt it fit with the mood of this post. Hi-res pictures! Huzzah!]

Our disc of hi-res images arrived today. I've been waiting for them to tackle my next and possibly last wedding project--our album. I decided to design the album myself, but now I'm torn as to what to use. Should I be adventurous and use a good old laserjet printer, my InDesign skills, and a cloth cover I make myself? Or do I go with convenience and use a book making site like Blurb? (You can check out the engagement photo book I made two years ago here.)

What is your favorite book-making site? What would you do if you had a thousand photos on your hands and the energy of a little schoolgirl that just got a brand new box of crayons?

[Images by Jessamyn Harris and Sheri Tennison Berg for Jessamyn Harris Photography]


Mo's 2011 Resolutions

2010 was full of excitement. It was wedding wedding wedding and then more wedding. At some point we slipped in the honeymoon, but 2010 was definitely the Year We Got Married.

Now that it's all over, I'm refocusing on building a better home for us before we grow our family, and also carving out a more fulfilling life for myself. Here are my 6 resolutions to better myself and my marriage.

1. Find ways to be creative on my own terms. What was really fantastic about the wedding was that I had the opportunity to work on so many art projects that my friends and family would eventually be able to see or use. I didn't have to abide by many rules the way you would working for a client, and so my wedding became a way for me to be creative on my own terms.

I've been thinking about a lot of different ways I can make my own art projects in my spare time to get my creativity flowing again. One project I thought of was a mail art project, in which I would send a care package, all dolled up by the hands of yours truly, to one of my friends or family members every month. I love getting pretty mail, surely my friends and family would appreciate something from me? In any case, it would give me an excuse to do something creative and have someone I love reap the benefits.

I was gifted a Barnes and Noble gift card, and I'm going to use it on this:

 [Good Mail Day, by Jennie Hinchcliff and Carolee Gilligan Wheeler. View their blog here]

It will be hard to pick what to make or who will be the recipient, but I think it will be fun and give me back my spark! And of course, it'd all be documented here.

2. Be more assertive. Telling people 'no' is not my forte. It's something I've struggled with my whole life, and at times I surprise myself by really asserting what I believe and what I want, but for the most part I'm a huge wimp and side-step saying 'no' or having much of a voice for fear of hurting others. If I'm not aware of it, I can go through life just keeping my opinions to myself and not 'rocking the boat', but I'm going to approach 2011 with more awareness, more ferocity, more boldness. You better watch out, because I'm going to learn how to say 'no' and you're going to like it! Grrr! Are you convinced yet??

3. Cook. Ah yes. Cooking. We're really bad at it. It's horrible how much we eat out. We've vowed to do this many, many times over the course of our relationship, and we always fail after about a month. Somehow watching Man v. Food does not help.

4. Do yoga and run on the beach more. I love how I feel after yoga and running out in the sun. It just makes me so much happier. My time is limited because I'm stuck at a desk doing a variety of tasks that would bore you just by explaining them, but I need to be aware of setting aside time for myself to get my heart racing.

5. Take a Cantonese language course. This one might be tough since I do grad school on the side, so maybe 2012 would be more appropriate. One day, I'll find the time to learn so I can better communicate with my family and any Cantonese-speaking patrons of the library.

6. Do not yell at the boy. You'd think someone who listed "be more assertive" as a resolution wouldn't be a yeller, but in my case I shamefully yell when I'm upset. I mainly only yell when it's just the two of us, and I really want to quit the habit. The boy has started using the safe word "hippo". Every time I start yelling, he says "hippo" (I really like hippos, and the word is just kinda funny) and then it's silence for 5 seconds until I can continue talking. 

I mean, who could continue yelling if this pops into your head?
What are some of your resolutions for the new year?


Happy 2011!

[Our diy self-portraits]

Happy 2011 to all my fellow bloggers and friends. May the new year bring happiness, love, and cupcakes. 


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