Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Whole Foods flowers rock

Sung brought home my favorite flowers for Mother's Day...from Whole Foods!

Aren't they just gorgeous? All of these for just $30!

(I'm impressed because peonies are not cheap at all. :^)

Also, a quick tip on the best way to keep flowers fresh as long as possible. It's a total surprise, actually.

Friday, May 22, 2015

How to introduce your older child to a new sibling

In addition to the expert tips by the folks who know what to expect when people are expecting here is my personal tip:

When Aaron was born and then 29-month-old Collin was to visit us at the hospital to meet Aaron for the first time, I actually asked for Aaron to be taken back to the nursery so that I would be alone in the hospital room when Collin walked through the door. So that Collin wasn't going to walk in on "mommy with her new baby," feeling left out.

After showering Collin with hugs+kisses and telling him how helpful he's been by waiting patiently for mommy to bring the new baby into the world, I also tried to acquaint him with the hospital room, just chatting up a storm so he doesn't worry that I'm "sick" and also so that he lets his guard down. After that, when Collin was more relaxed, I asked him whether he was ready/excited to meet Aaron, and only then had Aaron brought back into the room.

This worked out for us wonderfully, mainly because Collin was not all that psyched about getting a sibling at that time and the last thing I wanted for him was to feel sidelined.

(Just a picture of the Aaron Man when he was a month old, back in summer of 2011.)

Again, I feel so blessed to be able to face the challenges of having more than one child, for God has truly been gracious with His love for all of us!

PS) The boys the other day, just chillin' with their robots while waiting for food at a nearby restaurant:

Monday, May 18, 2015

How to iron a dress shirt

In her genius Secrets to Living Well series, Design Mom Gabrielle graciously shared these 6 tips to properly iron a shirt. (Anyone who owns even one dress shirt must read this post right now.)

My personal tip is to always use Niagara, the spray starch that gives a sharp finish and keeps the shirt stay crisp all day long.

(Niagara such a game changer and this is tested and proven because I had first heard about it from our very first housekeeper who couldn't live without it :-) and then several others over the years all agreed!)

There is also a heavy duty version but the regular kind works just fine.

And don't forget, at Costco, they come out to be like $3 per bottle! :^)

(Image from Design Mom, the amazing personal blog of design genius Gabrielle Blair (who is one cool mom of 6 children!))

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Better than workout videos!

How cool are these absolutely clever workout GIFs over at The Coveteur?

The series features such genius body-sculpting moves that you can watch in literally a split second (instead of Youtube videos that can be quite lengthy and at times, tedious to watch) and do at home.

The GIFs are intuitive if you're a workout veteran, but even if you're a novice, you're good to go as long as you read the quick, 2-liner how-to's.

What can I say, this GIF series has got to be the best thing I've discovered in months! :^)

Thank you, Coveteur!!!

(All GIFs courtesy of The Coveteur, the uber inspirational lifestyle website on fashion, travel, and culture)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Gap is fantastic

This was my loot the other day...

All of these super soft boys' cotton t-shirts for just $2 to $4 each.
(Yup. You read that right. :^)

There are days I truly wonder whether Gap is making any money selling these goodies...

I mean, summer clothes on clearance sale at the end of spring?!

And I've tried all sorts of (100%) cotton t-shirts out there over the years but Gap is the true winner. Hanna Andersson is awesome, too, but nothing beats these insane prices (+amazing quality!) from Gap. Gap is really our playtime favorites.

(Another one of our favorites has been Petit Bateau but they're pricey as well.)

Thursday, May 7, 2015

A bag crush

I've been eyeing these two bags from the brilliant Australian designer Annabel Ingall:
Georgia Drawstring Bucket Bag, $390

Large Isabella Item Tote, $450

(Ahem. I wonder whether Sung's looking... :^)

Well, Just a few more images for your viewing pleasure:

Just like Mansur Gavriel, I love a good price point for no-frills, great leather bags!

(All images from the official website of Annabel Ingall)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

This always happens when I'm trying to text anyone

I usually don't look at my phone whenever I'm home with my kids.

I'm sure that's how most moms are. We physically cannot be looking at our phones until the kids are at school or in bed.

But the very few times during the week that my boys do catch me texting (preferably lying on the couch), this is what always happens:

(No more texting is what happens! :^)

On this particular day, this is what we did after we took these pictures. Riding the scooter around the neighborhood playground always makes them super happy and content. It's like magic:

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

What makes kiddos smarter

Would you like to know the secret to raising your children the best way you can?

Here is a yet another good read by Eric Barker on what makes children -- from babies up through the teen years -- smarter, all backed by science.

Summing up the 10 steps, Barker notes "intelligence isn’t everything; without ethics and empathy really smart people can be scary." Which is so so so true in this world.

Then he also cites how P.J. O’Rourke once said:

"Smart people don’t start many bar fights. But stupid people don’t build many hydrogen bombs."


In the meantime, here are the boys that Sung and I are really praying and hoping to raise as God-loving, compassionate, and diligent young men:

I can't tell whether they're brilliant yet but they sure are two very happy little guys. (And that is truly enough.)

Monday, April 27, 2015

World's best tomato ketchup

Surprisingly, this 365 brand organic ketchup from Whole Foods is a total winner in our house.

Curious to know what the ingredients are? :^) Here you go:

Organic tomato puree, organic evaporated cane juice, organic white vinegar, salt, organic onion powder, organic spices.

Nothing else.

(I mean, with the number of double dipping the little hands can do with a single stick of french fry, no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives is always a great thing, right? It's almost as though these guys eat french fries so they could eat ketchup with wild abandon!)

Best of all, it's all the goodness for just $2.19!

(An avid breakfast-eater and his hands)

That's all for today.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

How to cut onions without crying

I'm always a weeping mess whenever I'm chopping or dicing onions, so you can say that I have tried all the onion-cutting tricks known to mankind. (I mean, I even own these onion goggles! Need I say more...)

Nothing really worked for me though and because I would tear up so much very single time, it was becoming quite frightening for my children. (Those poor little guys... "No, seriously, mommy is not crying right now! Mommy is OK! I know this doesn't make any sense to you right now but... It's the onions!")

And then I stumbled upon this craziest, easiest trick.

Are you ready???

Turn on your gas stove when you're handling onions.

Yup, that's all.

I actually have no clue where this idea is found on the World Wide Web so I don't know how this works exactly, but I'm pretty sure the gas somewhat diffuses the onion enzymes in the air... (OK, that is solely my own theory so do not quote me, please. ;^)

(Image from The State House File.com)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

How to cut watermelon for little folks

Am I the last one to find out about cutting watermelons this way?!

It totally makes sense.

I wish I knew sooner but better late than never, right?! :^)

(Image from U Try It)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Self-sufficient people

Collin and Aaron on a lazy Sunday afternoon a couple of months ago when it was too freezing to play outside...

...just watching TV and helping themselves to some fresh strawberries (washed, of course) straight from the fridge.

(Aaron usually is the fridge bandit, despite his young age. No big deal.)

Disclaimer (haha): Sung and I always, always handpick what they can watch on TV. We don't like the ads so we usually just turn on Netflix or Amazon Prime for them. It's been perfect because if you use Chromecast, you can stream most things on your computer onto your TV. It's life-changing! ;-)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mumford & Sons

I don't think I've had a favorite, favorite band since U2, really.

Well, I've known these guys since "The Cave" days back circa 2010, but when Sung and I saw them perform live on SNL the other weekend (isn't SNL the best), I don't know about Sung, but boy, I couldn't have been more excited for their new album to come out on May 4th!

(Yes, I've watched this video like, 17 times in a row just now.)

I also just found out that they're coming to Coney Island on June 2-3 (I'm going on the 3rd), so I shall see whether Sung might want to come along! :^)

Also, has your perception of a celeb changed dramatically depending on whom that celeb marries?

Well. Marcus Mumford married Carrey Mulligan in 2012...

...and they are the sweetest couple ever. They are so young... Aren't they so handsome together?!

I've always thought Carey Mulligan is a great actress. If you haven't seen her in "An Education," please do so right away!

(Photo from The Daily Mail)

That's all for today.

Friday, April 17, 2015

A very cute store+some really great deals!

Have you heard of this lovely shop called Smallable?

Well, there are some real cute designer toys on sale right now!

Some of my finds, all under $20:

Palomar crumpled city map for New York City (100% waterproof!), $9.09 (They also have Paris, Berlin, and London :o)

Modello cardboard fire truck, $12.86

And a patrol car, $5.06

Djeco mobile, $9.74

Paperpod cardboard castle, $22.73

Locomotive train track, $12.12

Norev racing car set, $12.88

Makie polar bear rattle, $14.62

DwellStudio stamp set, $18.94

I supposed I'll be stocking up for a certain someone's birthday...

Happy shopping, everyone!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

How to find work-at-home jobs

Have you heard of these two phenomenal women (who are also working moms!) who created a nifty website to help other moms find work-at-home jobs???

Yes. You read it correctly.

When PowerToFly, a job-matching platform exclusively for moms at home launched in August last year, it was targeted primarily toward women in tech. Since then, "it’s had tens of thousands of women across multiple industries register for the site and apply for jobs with nearly 700 big-name employers like Buzzfeed and Hearst" and now, there is a myriad of jobs to be had, it's quite amazing!

(The company also launched its own app, PowerToFly Connect, last week: it "serves as a sort of social network and news site for this new community of remote workers.")

I am a work-at-home mom myself so their mission -- to give the women "the flexibility they need to raise a family and pursue their careers at the same time" -- really truly struck a chord with me.

Kudos to the ladies for their awe-inspiring initiative!

(Logo of PowerToFly)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A beautiful print shop

How lovely is this print shop by a Ralph Lauren art director Sarah Tolzmann?

All images below are from the print shop; please also check out Sarah's fabulous blog Note to Self:

Have a gorgeous Monday!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The most compelling Kickstarter campaign ever

"A guitar is designed to be strummed; piano keys are pressed; drum pads are tapped; violins are bowed. But what if a single instrument could be played with any of these techniques?"


If you have ever wanted to learn to play a guitar, violin, bass, banjo, ukulele, piano, or the drums (and the list goes on) but just don't know where to start or how...well, the ever-phenomenal Kickstarter has just the wildly amazing musical invention for you (that now has only 3 more days to go on its funding campaign! Go back the project before it's too late!).

Some tremendously genius folks at Artiphon have come up with a single instrument device called the Artiphon Instrument 1 that lets you "play any instrument, style, and sound" and "adapts to the way you want to play," no matter your style and skill level.

You can basically "strum a guitar, bow a violin, tap a piano, loop a beat – on a single instrument" with just your fingertips, and even "assign a different instrument to each string; for example, play a bass on the bottom and a guitar on the top."

Isn't this such a mind-blowingly awesome concept?!

And of course, the compact, sleek, and portable design really deserves a design award. I mean, look at how totally handsome it is...! :^)

(All images from Artiphon's Kickstarter campaign)