Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Our Christmas Cards

This year for Christmas, I sent out two different cards.  I could not settle on just one, so I went with these two. Merry Christmas!

Pictures by Katrina Takahashi

The Lau Family

Hands down, one of my favorite families in the whole wide world. I was so glad to be able to help out with their Christmas cards this year. 

The Gillespie Family

I had so much fun helping the Gillespie's with their christmas cards this year!  They wanted their cards to all say, "Simple Joy" on them.  I thought it was fantastic because that's what Christmas should always be: simple and joyful!

Picture by Katrina Takahashi

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Christmas Cards!

It's Christmas card season!!!  We just got our family pictures taken (by the fabulous Katrina Takahashi) and I can't wait to get our Christmas cards all ready to go!  

If you'd like your own custom Christmas card done by yours truly, I am charging only $20 for your very own design! Here's a few examples I've done in the past. Contact me at if you'd like to get some designed!  :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

baby catherine

oh baby. 
i love these sweet moments.
i don't think anything can beat watching your little baby sleep.

welcome to the world beautiful catherine!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!

The winner of the Babiators (using is... LAURA!

I'll be sending you an email today!

Thank you to all of those who entered!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pretty Things

Image via The Beauty Department
So, what should I be doing?  I should probably use this time to paint my nails.  They totally need it!  It's one of those things that always falls to the side when I'm busy.  Instead, I am going to blog about doing my nails.  Ha ha!  I love this tutorial for mixed metal nail polish!  It's totally simple to do and I've really been wanting to do this. See the tutorial here. There's also another great one here.

Image via AZ Central

Aren't these pumpkins absolutely fabulous???  It's inspired by the Missoni for Target line.  This woman used paper and mod podge to apply the chevron print but I think painting it would be so much easier.  Must try for Halloween.

Image via Ampersandity

I have always had a soft spot for calligraphy.  I wish I was more skilled at it! Well, maybe I can just borrow someone else's skills with this super cool custom rubber stamp! Someday when I get my house, I am totally going to get one of these!

Last Chance!

Last chance to enter yourself in the super cool Babiators giveaway!

These would be a great gift for a friend or for your own kids!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Babiators + Giveaway!

My son rocking his Babiators!
A few months ago, I came across a little blurb on another website about Babiators.  I was immediately interested in the glasses and was dying to get a pair for my son to try out. Luckily, Babiators was kind enough to send over two pairs of their fabulous Babiators in "Black Ops Black".  

Here's why I love these glasses:

  • They look FABULOUS! Really, I love their design! I love how modern and fresh it looks! Tama seriously loves wearing them! The glasses also come in Blue Angels Blue, Rockstar Red, and Princess Pink!
  • They claim to be super durable and as a result, they offer a one-year wear and tear guarantee on their sunglasses!  So, if my kid breaks them through his regular usage of the glasses, I just ship them back to them and they'll send me a brand-new one at no charge! Tama has had these for about three weeks now and they have survived Tama twisting them, sitting on them, and throwing them on the ground... they still look brand new! 
  • They are super safe for your kids.  I'm super impressed that the glasses are made from materials free from BPA, phthalates and lead-based paint! I'd be hard pressed to find anything else in the market that can say that!  I'm also impressed that the sunglasses protect your kid's eyes from 100% of UVA and UVB rays!  Our skin is not the only thing our kids needs to be protected from the sun, their eyes do too!
  • The price is great! At $19.99, it's a great deal!  Think about it... if you bought one of those flimsy character sunglasses that you'll end up paying a little less for, you'll also get less protection from UV rays, and will probably end up having to buy another pair a couple weeks down the road (or days if we're talking about my kid!) since they broke at your kid's first attempt to use them as rocket launchers!  
So... Babiators was super generous to send over an extra pair of their Babiators in black for one lucky reader! This pair comes in Black Ops Black and is sized for kids 3 years and older.  However, I must say that they fit my 2 year old too.  If you'd like to win a pair for your little future Babiator, you have two ways to win!

  1. Leave a comment on this post with your name and email address for me to contact you if you win.
  2. Add my blog to your blog reader and come back leave me a comment letting me know.
Contest ends next Wednesday, September 28th!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I love Target... or not.

Target is one of my favorite stores... great designs at reasonable prices.  What more could you ask for?  Well, better customer service for one!

I purchased a super cute Missoni for Target baby shirt for my girlfriend who is having a baby shower next month, but I got two emails from Target saying that the order was delayed and that it wouldn't be arriving until after the baby shower.  So I went online to cancel it so that I can get her something else in time for the shower.  

Imagine my surprise when I logged online to realize that Target does not allow you to cancel an order online!!! So I was stuck calling their phone number and waiting on the looooooong wait to talk to a person since their automated system doesn't allow you to cancel either.  When I finally got to talk to someone, they told me they could not cancel the order yet because I only had 30 minutes from the time I ordered to cancel.   Never mind that their email very clearly states that I can cancel the item if they haven't shipped and as you can clearly see below, my item has not shipped yet.

I of course asked to speak to a supervisor. Gratefully, it was an American this time and I thought, surely, they will be more reasonable.  No such luck.  The person claimed that the item was already in the "shipping queue" and therefore I was unable to cancel the order.  I responded by saying that the company's policy is not, "if the item is not in the shipping queue, you can cancel your order", but rather, "if the item has not shipped, you can cancel your order"!  I told him, there is no gray area here, either the item has shipped and is currently on its way to my house or it is still in the warehouse.  He then tried to say that the item had been shipped for all intents and purposes of canceling the order.  I immediately refuted that by saying that he was completely contradicting himself... first he told me it hasn't physically left the warehouse but was in the "shipping queue" but then told me that it had shipped. It was absolute bull. So I asked to speak to his supervisor... he tried to tell me that I was the end of the road for this matter.  I responded by saying, "So are you telling me that you are the CEO of Target because clearly, you have a supervisor and I want to talk to him!" He said that for this purpose, he was.  After some more back and forth, he agreed to put me through to his supervisor. 

Enter second supervisor.  Same response.  Although he did add that the email was worded improperly. He said all he could do was"attempt" to call the warehouse and see if he could cancel the order.  But, I wouldn't be able to find out the result for another five days (not business days).  I was appalled.  I told him, this is one of the most basic things I should be able to do and instead I have to spend an inordinate amount of time on the phone in order to still not get this resolved?????  Yes.

ONE HOUR AND SEVEN MINUTES LATER.... I'm stuck waiting for five days for an answer that I'm sure will saying something like... "Sorry, but we just want to stick it to you so... no, we can't cancel your order." To say I'm disappointed in Target is an understatement.  I expect greater customer service from a huge company like Target.  They failed to uphold their end of the deal (e.g. deliver their product as promised) and failed to uphold their claim in their email that said I could cancel if the item had not been shipped.  And really, isn't EVERYTHING purchased online in a "shipping queue" was it is first purchased? It's just a way for them to screw people over. 

So lesson of the day: Don't purchase anything from Target online unless you're ABSOLUTELY SURE you won't need to cancel the order for any reason, even if they are unable to actually deliver the product to you in time for whatever event you purchased it for!

Update: Minutes after posting this I got my email from Target. I'm so shocked by their response. Not. 

Friday, September 16, 2011


As I'm sitting here in my living room, I have all the windows open and the crisp air is blowing through the window... I love it!  Although I love the warm weather here in California, I also really love the fall. Most notably because of all the great celebrations that happen in the fall... our anniversary, my husband's birthday, my son's birthday, my birthday, and HALLOWEEN!  

I've always loved halloween, maybe because growing up my family never really celebrated halloween (my parents are from outside the country and halloween was never a big deal), but since I have my own kid, I love halloween even more!  I can't wait for my son to enjoy halloween this year... last year he was still a little too young to really understand what was going on.

I'd love to make him a little halloween meal like this.  It's so cute and so simple!
Image via Another Lunch

I also think we'll make this banner for our fireplace together.  I think he'd really enjoy it.

Image via Organize Your Stuff Now

I have no idea what to dress my son up for halloween this year!  I just can't bring myself to buy one of those store bought costumes at this point!

I saw this the other day and just died with laughter imaging my little Tama in a costume like this. My husband totally vetoed it.  I don't blame him entirely.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Branching Out...

For quite some time, I have used this blog to just post samples of design work that I had done.  However, I am thinking it would be fun to branch out this blog to include some of my favorite things which are design and/or kid related.  Hopefully, you guys will find something fun and worthwhile for yourselves too!

For those of you who might not know, piano has always been a huge part of my life.  I've been playing since I was three years old and have had opportunities to play in several symphonies along with other fun experiences.  The piano is an intimate part of who I am.  I can't quite put into words how therapeutic it is for me to sit at my piano and pound away at the keys.  Currently, my piano still lives with my mother in another state since I am currently renting our house but eventually, when we buy a house, we'll finally be able to move the piano into my own house.  I literally cannot wait for this day!  I think about my "piano room" all the time, and here are some of the things I'd love to incorporate for my piano's room!

I love the idea of somehow incorporating my favorite piano sheet music to create something like this!

Image via Pinterest

Of course, one must always think about the acoustics of the room in which the piano is placed.  When I was growing up, we had my piano in the living room which was also surrounded by window on the sides and on the ceiling... I LOVED it and I hope that someday when I get into the house of my dreams that I can have a similar room that I could put my piano into.  This room below is gorgeous and those floors???  Be still my beating heart!  I love this!

Image via House of Turquoise

One thing I've amassed over the years are lots and lots of music!  And since my piano is ivory and not the traditional black, I think having one wall like this for my music would not only be convenient but help set apart my piano apart from everything else.

Image via Pinterest

Unlike most rooms, I would ideally like to keep the room totally free from other furniture.  I play for me, not for anyone else really so I would want it minimally furnished like this.

Image via Pinterest
Now, if only I can manage to get my piano to where I live! I'd really like to start teaching my son how to play starting next year so hopefully I'll be able to get it sooner rather than later!

Alyssa + Michio

A recent wedding invitation I did for my friend's brother. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tama's Airplane Party!

Tama's airplane party was this past weekend and it was a BLAST!  I knew that I wanted to keep it very small and was limited to the amount of chairs I had at home!  Plus, since his 1st birthday was super huge with lots of guests, I wanted to keep it intimate and make it really all about Tama this year.  I made airplane themed invitations and hand delivered them to just a handful of Tama's friends.  Luckily, Tama has a bunch of little friends that were all born really close together and he has become really close to a lot of them. 

I had gotten these cute little foam airplanes at Target off of their $1 bins and thought they would be the perfect addition to the table.  I wrote each kid's name on the airplane and tied it to a balloon floating over their plate. 

I also made some simple wraps for the water bottles for the kiddies.  Since I couldn't find the mini- water bottles with the sports lids, I had to buy another pack of larger bottle waters and swapped the tops on them.  It was so much easier for the kiddies to drink out of without having to worry about straws etc.  

I used scrapbook paper from Michael's as the place mats for the kids.

The menu was super simple!  Just some home made pizza and yummy cupcakes.  I was a little concerned how the kids would do with sitting at a table all by themselves, but honestly, they were so amazing!  They all sat there in COMPLETE SILENCE as they gobbled up their pizza!  It definitely was a hit! In all the excitement, I forgot to get a picture of the pizza!

These yummy red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting was made using this recipe.  It was super yummy!  The cupcake toppers was made using the same atlas used for the pennant banners.

The birthday boy waiting for his friends to show up!

My husband found this great airplane at Wal-Mart of all places!  I loved it!  It was the perfect size for the room that I was having the party in and added just the right touch to the whole party! Plus, for less than $10, it was the perfect addition to the decor and the right price!  It came with some really atrocious stickers (as if I would really want a plane that says AIR HOG on it!) so I used some acrylic paint I had at home and painted it in my party's colors.  

The banners were made by my friend who had an old atlas that she used to make the pennant. Inspired by this site.

The map was something I had purchased a while back from this website and went great with the rest of the decor.

For party favors, I made airplane sugar cookies using this cookie cutter. I used a great recipe of my friends and managed to decorate it all on my own!  It was my first time really making sugar cookies and decorating cookies. Signage inspired by this website.

I put the cookies in these little plastic bags and used the same scrapbook paper I used for the place mats and folded it over on the top and added the "thank you" sticker I made.

Each kid also got a mini-suitcase of goodies.  I made these little luggage tags using the printables here and got them laminated at the local Office Max. I got the boxes from Michael's and each box had a little race car, ball, silly putty, crayons, and a slinky.

We only played one quick game called, "Pin the Propellor" (the r got cut off on this picture).  I got the idea from this website. I used brown craft paper and painted the little plane.  I made the propellors and had them printed in color on card stock.  Each propellor had each kid's name and in the center said, "Tama is Two".  It was a great little game.  Since all the kids were 2 also, it was just the right game: short, easy, and fun.

 The birthday boy, mama, and Elmo!

My best attempt at getting all the kids to stop running around long enough to snap a picture of them!
They had a blast and Tama was the happiest little kid all day!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


My son's two-year birthday party is coming up on Saturday and I am working to get all the final touches together. Here's the great banner that my friend made out of old atlas pages!  I love this and will definitely be exploring more applications like comic book pages and old books.

My husband also found this great styrofoam airplane that I was able to paint in my color scheme and hung it from the ceiling.  There's still lots to finish but I'm really excited to get everything done and in place for his party!