Saturday, June 27, 2015

Song for today


I can't believe that June is almost over... Just how time flies.

Just to share... Here is one of my most favorite songs ever, a song I first heard at a friend's wedding and fell in love with.

It's such a beautiful song that makes me get teary eyed every. single. time I listen to it.




.....15 there's still time for you
Time to buy and time to lose
15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got a hundred years to live.....









Wednesday, June 24, 2015

How to arrange flowers at home




If you love to pick up flowers from your neighborhood grocery store but never know how to arrange them yourself...

Well, Ms. Gwyneth Paltrow has graciously shared some really great tips here, complete with a step-by-step guide with pictures. :^)

(Image from Goop)





Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Amazing posters for children's room decor


How cute are these $8 nursery prints from this amazing Etsy shop By Samantha?

An 11 x 14 poster for $8?

It's just unheard of! :^)











Oh, what would we do without Etsy.

(All images from Etsy's By Samantha)




How to roast vegetables




According to Bon Appetit, I've been roasting my veggies wrong.

Click here to find out the 6 commonly made mistakes.

My personal tips, if you would like:

I prefer not to coat the veggies with a whole lot of herbs and spices (simplicity almost always wins! :^), so I use only salt and pepper when tossing the veggies in olive oil. Well, I do like to add a splash of balsamic vinegar, because it makes a world of difference...

If you have some fresh lemons on hand, sprinkle the roasted veggies with lemon juice and also toss in some grated parmesan, as in this recipe by Jamie Oliver.

By the way, for a crispy finish, don't forget to remove the pan of veggies out of the oven as they start to look slightly charred.

(Image from Bon Appetit's roasted and charred broccoli with peanuts recipe -- it's totally amazing!)




Monday, June 22, 2015

Brothers


Back in the day, Aaron would nap for 2-3 hours straight and when Collin was home, he would be bored waiting around for Aaron to wake up...

So when Aaron woke up from his nap one afternoon, Collin was so happy and relieved to see his little bro come down the stairs that he decided to take some pictures:

The Aaron Man with his bed hair...
...And equally happy to see his big bro!





Sunday, June 21, 2015

When kiddos wake up at 5 am


This is what Sung and I used to do back in the day when the boys would wake up at 5 in the morning every day: Go to Whole Foods for a second round of breakfast, because we would get hungry again by 10 am -- a.k.a. the time when most people woke up on the weekends -- especially because our first breakfast was at like, 6 am.

And here is Sung passively playing with Collin while enjoying his much needed dose of caffeine...

Please look closer and note his enthusiasm:


Collin didn't notice and didn't care how tired daddy was. (Aaron was also watching happily -- letting out shrieks and all -- from across the table. They didn't care.)


Hahaha.


Oh, how we love you, Sung!

You are the best.

Happy Father's Day!!!

(In case anyone is wondering...: The boys now wake up at 6:30-7 am and believe it or not, they almost always quietly leave the room if I'm still not up yet because they want to go downstairs and play or read by themselves. (Insert "Praise the Lord!!!" here. :^) Yes, things definitely do begin to look up by the third year or so!)














Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Day-old newborns


If you should look at one more website today, you've got to read up on the absolutely precious portrait project entitled One Day Young by a London-based photographer Jenny Lewis.

I'm so touched by how intensely beautiful and empowering these portraits are -- just how precious are these pictures of moms in their homes with their newborns, each less than a day old?













The photos really do perfectly capture the joy and wonder of new motherhood, just 24 hours in. I remember going through so many different yet all powerful emotions in just one day...and then feeling like everything's a total blur just a few days after.

And if I may (for anyone who might be wondering right now)... The belly does not magically disappear after the baby is born. A mom's body is forever altered by pregnancy and childbirth no matter how big or small she carried her baby. This is a fact, no matter what some magazine covers like to flaunt. This applies to everyone -- I mean, it has happened to even princesses, right?

I realize this might be TMI but my personal experience has been that when I checked into the hospital, I was 215 lbs. (yes, I'm THAT lady who gained a whopping 75 lbs. of "baby weight") and when I came home with my newborn (who was 7+ lbs. no less!), I weighed 209 lbs. You can say I had NO idea what had just happened.

(All images from the One Day Young series by Jenny Lewis; click here for the entire gallery)



Friday, June 12, 2015

Why don't boys pose anymore...


This is what always happens now whenever I ask my boys to look at the camera:


Aaron, especially, would always make a funny face/funny noise, pretend to be one of his toys, do an awkward pose, or not look at all.

Anywhere we go, any and every attempt to capture a "worthy" moment on cue always ends with my exasperation+grumbling, basically.

Long gone are the days when he used to be such a happy little man who loved the camera...




But for some reason, just like Collin, Aaron refuses to pose anymore, so these are pretty much all the "nice" pics (where he's looking at the camera at all) I could get lately:



Why, oh, why.








Monday, June 8, 2015

How to tell if you can pull off short hair


Although I like to keep my hair long now (so that I can quickly tie it up into a pony tail when life calls), I actually always, always had short hair.

I didn't know why at the time, but it was just the most flattering style for me. (At least I thought so.)


Pictures of me from 2004. Can't believe it's been so long... 
I still feel like the 90's were like, 8 years ago!


Well, now I know the reason why.

According to a Cosmopolitan UK article, hairstyle guru John Frieda came up with this magic formula that helps determine if a short pixie will flatter your shape or not: The 2.25-inch (5.5 cm) rule.

John studied faces and saw that the angle of the jaw bone determined whether or not someone would look best with short hair or long hair. The result is a trusted, easy but exact, measurement that indicates whether a face (any face) is suited to short or long hair.


So this is what you do: Position a pencil or pen under your chin horizontally, then place a ruler under your ear, vertically. Take the measurement of the height of where the pencil and the ruler meet. Less than 2.25 inches? You will definitely pull off short hair. Longer than 2.25 inches? Longer hair will be the more flattering choice for you.

(Image from the Cosmopolitan UK website)





Friday, June 5, 2015

How to sleep better


If you're like me and suffer from one or more of these pains when you wake up in the morning:

Neck pain
Shoulder pain
Lower back pain
Jaw pain (I have yet to suffer from this... Don't want to know...)
Headaches
Hip pain

...or just would like to sleep better, do check out these sleep position recommendations from the Cleveland Clinic, via SheKnows.


As for my tip for avoiding chronic pains...

Believe it or not, the remedy for my mild yet chronic back pain (2 childbirths are no joke!) has been this memory foam pillow from IKEA.

Yes, you read that right.

The pillow has two heights, for when you would like to sleep on your back or on your side. (I don't know where things went wrong, but although I was fine using down feather pillows most of my life, they are no longer good for sleeping/give me so much back pain in the morning... Sigh.)

By the way, it's on sale for $9.99 right now! Through June 30!

Need I say more. :^)


(Infographic from SheKnows; please head over for an enlarged view)


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Unisex tote


How handsome are these all-American-made tote bags from Topo Designs?





It's no secret among the backpacking folks that Topo Designs offers amazingly durable quality at cool prices...

Don't you love their outdoorsy style yet pared-down, no non-sense, sensible designs!









By the way, what else to love about this tote bag? It's super affordable at $59!



Maybe I should get myself one for Father's Day? :^) Hahaha.
(No, I'm not kidding.)



(Images from the official website of Topo Designs)




Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Maximizing a small living space


I think this fun GIF of the transforming studio apartment 5:1 will make your day...


Please read up on it here and here.

(Brilliant GIF from the official website of architect Michael Chen's firm MKCA)




Monday, June 1, 2015

How to avoid the word "very"


Apparently, the word "very" is one of the most useless words in the English language.



It is also a lazy word, according to Dead Poets Society.

So try these 45 ways to avoid using the word "very."

That's all for today.









Sunday, May 31, 2015

Mother of all scooters


If you have tried to teach your young child how to ride his/her scooter but failed miserably each and every time...

Grieve no more.

A mini or maxi from Micro Kickboard is all you need.





Do not listen to anyone who has never fallen off a scooter/raves about a Razor or a Radio Flyer (yes, I own one of each but my kids could never go far on either)... They're good looking scooters, but please trust me on this. If you want a smooth and safe ride that even your 2-year-old can enjoy, a Micro mini or maxi is your absolute best bet.



PS. I looked just now and there are some seriously good bargains in their sale section!

(Scooter images from the official website of Micro Kickboard)





Friday, May 29, 2015

Favorite verse 1


Kate of the amazing mom blog House Mix (who is also a phenomenal graphic designer) uploaded this gorgeous poster for all to download for free! How generous is she!


Joshua 24:15. One of my most favorite verses in the Bible.


(Please do check out House Mix for a ton of other free printables such as posters and checklists that Kate has graciously shared with all. Thank you, Kate!)




Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Best travel pillow ever


If you're like me and the only travel pillow you've ever used is the u-shaped memory foam pillow...

Please do yourself a favor and take a look at this NapScarf right now.


This is truly the travel pillow reinvented. Period.

According to the item's description, it is:

- Scientifically proven to hold the neck/support the head in a better ergonomic position than u-shaped pillows;
- Machine washable, super soft, and hypoallergenic;
- Less than half of the conventional travel pillow and packs small (or easily attaches to luggage)

How phenomenal is this idea? All for just $29.99!

I was sold just by reading the unanimous(!) 5-star reviews on Amazon, especially when some mentioned how many hours of uninterrupted sleep they were able to get on it.

I mean, pain-free napping during a 14-hour flight to Asia? Sitting in an aisle seat? Bring it on! :^)


I think I deserve a pat on my back for this discovery...

You're very welcome. :o) :o) :o)

(Images from Amazon)





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.