Sunday, September 2, 2012

Kawaii Birthday Travel Gift Set

My Friend is going to spend one whole month in Japan so I decided that for her birthday, I would make her a little travel gift set.  In the gift set, I included a hand decorated journal for her to keep notes of what she plans to do and organize tickets/receipts etc.  I also purchased a zine from My Life as a Magazine.  I will post about that later, but in the zine, it has tips of where to go for stationary, toys, kawaii things, etc.  I also threw in a nice little pack of lupicia cookie tea to be brewed in soy milk.  Something for her to relax with as she plans her trip!

 First, the handmade card and envelope!  

 One thing about my friend's taste that I noticed is she likes the bold colors.  Her favorite san-x character is san-pio (sentimental circus) - so when i think of that, I think of pinks and blacks.

Travel Journal!  Purchased the notebook from Typo and decorated w/ tapes, papers, and doilies!

Compartment for tickets and receipts.

Hope you all have a nice start of the week bunnies!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Renegade Craft Fair Part III

It's been too long since my last post! I'm happy to say that it's actually because I luckily got a teaching job for the upcoming school year! It all happened w/in the last two weeks and I've been setting up my classroom, getting ready for the year.  Today was the first day with the kids, and I am really loving it!

Anyhow, I thought I'd finish off my renegade craft fair post with a final entry.  So this isn't necessarily of the fair, but I thought I'd share a little bit more of what we did afterward.
 A stop at the macaroon shop

 Was drawn to the packaging of these chocolates!

 So pretty and dainty.

I flipped when I saw this.  So when I went to Japan w/ the husband, we spent so much money trying to win me the rilakkuma toys.  What a waste! haha, and I should've known this, but I couldn't help but be gravitated toward the cuteness!  Luckily, I have learned my lesson, and did not get suckered into trying the game.  Besides, I could've gone next door and bought one of these myself for $7.

Monday, August 13, 2012


These are the rules: 

1) Post the award logo on your blog and link back to the person who nominated you.
2) Tell seven things about yourself.
3) Nominate up to 15 additional bloggers whom you think deserve the award.
4) Post a comment on the blog of each nominee to tell them they have been nominated!

I was tagged by Miki for this blog award!  Thanks Miki - I enjoyed reading your 7 random facts.  Thought I would do this since it is indeed fun to think about and to also learn about from other bloggers.

1.  I am huge fan of quite a few makeup gurus on youtube even though I am not one to really try their tutorials.  my favorite is bubzbeauty

2.  I hate when I spend too much time on Facebook - especially in low points in my life.  I get envious of others and then become irrationally ungrateful. Facebook is not healthy - it brings out a bad side of me!

3.  Before I became a teacher, I was actually an accountant.

4.  I named my bunny, Gogi

5. I nicknamed my husband "boogie" because when I first started dating him, he had too many boogers in his nose.  I know that probably sounds so weird and gross, but I'm a lot shorter than him, so looking up, you can see that stuff!

6.  I come up with the best names, don't I?  poor future kids of mine ~_<

7.  The next place I want to go on vacation to is Seoul - i am obsessed w/ korean music, dramas, and food.

As for who to tag - I tag you! if you are reading this and do this tag, I'd love to see it :D

Friday, August 10, 2012

Airmail Vintage vs. Pop of Color Kawaii

I know that title sounds a bit strange, but I've been thinking about "style" and "taste" lately, because I feel like I have two very opposite "tastes."  I wonder if there is a fusion of the two, and what it would look like.  

But anyway, what I'm talking about is the difference between a more vintage, neutral color palette vs. a more bright color palette that follows a more Japanese aesthetic.  I have a long list of favorite blogs and they vary across style and taste, but what I notice most, is that a lot of blogs tend to stick to one style and taste.  Think the difference between "Hello Sandwich" vs. "Oh Hello Friend."   I absolutely LOVE both blogs, as I am sure many of you are also fans of both (and what a coincidence that two of my favorite blogs have the word 'hello' in the blog title... must be something about that word).  But which style I gravitate towards more, I don't know.  So whenever I package a gift or make a card, I tend to think about the personal style of my friend and which one she would gravitate towards more.  However, it tends to make blogging a bit harder since I can't seem to focus the style of this blog.  Perhaps it's just a matter of creating a third way.   Maybe something I should consider experimenting with.

But until I figure it out, I have made a stack of birthday cards to have on hand that reflect varying styles.  It's always nice to have something on hand and ready to give out.  Saves on time, and you are ready if anything comes up.

This is what I mean when I say "airmail vintage"

Perhaps this is slightly a fusion of the two.  Although it looks to lean towards airmail vintage (w/ the pastel and neutral colors).

 Pop of color Kawaii - I love the colorful neon and cute kawaii touch

Which style do you gravitate more towards?  Or do you find yourself torn in the middle like me? Or maybe somewhere in the middle? 

Friday, August 3, 2012

July Favorites

July has come to an end.  I can't believe how quickly it went!  I will miss the summer, but am looking forward to the upcoming school year.  It's going to go so fast though, and all I want is for time to slow down. 2012 is more than half way over!!

Anyhow, every month, I share my favorites of the following:

1.  Favorite Washi Tape
2.  Favorite Etsy Store and/or "etsy-ish" store
3.  Favorite Blog
4.  Favorite beauty and/or health product
5.  Favorite foodie find
6.  Favorite DIY tutorial
7.  Favorite package/mail/letter that you either sent or received

As always, I invite you all to do the same! I enjoy seeing what other people enjoy for the month since it gives me ideas.

1.  Favorite Washi Tape:

I've really been loving this pastel, colorful washi tape.  It is so pretty!  This pair was the one I used for a baby shower gift I gave to my cousin.  These two go really well by themselves or with other striped/dotted patterned washi tapes.  I love them so much!

2.  Favorite Etsy Store: Comme Les Loupes

This shop has such pretty packaging supplies from washi tapes, to paper bags, to twine, etc.  What I really loved most at this shop though was their sticker collection.  I haven't really seen these around, but I would love to have a set of these masking sticker sets.  They have pretty patterns and I can imagine all the fun things you can do with them to letters, packages, and gifts.

3.  Favorite Blog: Papered Thoughts
I just found this blog in the last few weeks and I absolutely LOVE it.  Letters, packages, washi tapes, stationaries, etc.  Everything I love and captured beautifully through her photos. I admire her blog very much.

4.  Favorite Beauty and/or healthy product: Nude 'Tude Eye Shadow Palette

It would have to be my Nude'Tude palette that I won from a youtube giveaway.  One of my beauty guru's did this giveaway and I have been really loving this eyeshadow palette.  Many youtube beauty gurus claim this is comparable to the highly coveted naked palette.  I can't really compare since I don't have the naked palette, but I do really love this one.  There are a variety of neutral colors that can be used for simple, every day looks.

5.  Favorite foodie find: Sapporo Ya in Japantown SF
photo via yelp

Tried this place a week ago and really enjoyed it.  It's not my most favorite ramen place in San Francisco, but they handmake their noodles.  I'm more of a broth person when it comes to ramen - broth will be what will win me over.  This place was delicious because of it's noodles.  They look delicious right?

6.  Favorite DIY tutorial: Pom Pom Cushion from The Craft Bureau

via the Craft Bureau

When I saw this, I thought it was so pretty.  It totally looks like something I would buy for my house to spruce it up.  Kat from the Craft Bureau made this based on a tutorial she saw from here.  I really love love love the pattern she chose too - which she said was inexpensive.  I hope to try making one at some point in time because it's just so cute!

7.  Favorite package/mail/letter that you either sent or received

My favorite would have to be what I sent out for elevated envelope.  As you may have already been able to tell, I love kawaii faces.

Hope you all had a fabulous July! Cheers to the new month!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Elevated Envelope

Who has ever participated in this project?  If you haven't, you should try it! Go to and click on their blog. I had a lot of fun doing this.  I'm not much of an artist, but I enjoy doodling in my notebooks during lectures.  My notebooks are full of cute little random drawings like this.

Anyhow, the theme this summer was "sweet" and I took it literally and just drew a bunch of sweet foods w/ kawaii faces.  I included a pack of fruity tea to go in with each envelope for a sweet surprise!

 hehe, I kinda made a mistake and wrote her name as "tara ephemera," when that is not her last name! oops, sorry Tara if you are reading this! I hope you liked it regardless :)

Konnichiwa!  My poor penmanship probably shows, but it still looks cute! I made the envelopes out of kinokuniya book covers because I really liked the thin paper.

They probably look like something an elementary school kid would make/draw, BUT hey, that's why I am an elementary school teacher :P  I'm very in touch w/ that part of me.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tea Kit Gift

As many of you know already, I am in love with tea.  A cup of hot tea is imperative to the start of my day.  So, I decided to share the gift of tea by putting together a little "tea kit" for a friend's birthday.  Tea kit has a pack of loose leaf tea, some tea bags to go, and a strainer to use with a mug or pot.

Whipped out the new washi tape from Renegade.  Had loads of fun decorating!

They were giving out free samples of "cassis & blueberry" at Lupicia, and i found it to be quite delicious.  My friend likes blueberry tea, so thought this flavor would be fitting.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

SF Renegade Part II - The Haul

While I was sad that there weren't more packaging tables, I was pretty happy that I only spent a total of $20.  Came way under budget!  Don't you love the feeling of always looking on the brighter side?

So here are the goodies I came away with, all purchased from Oh Hello Friend.

Demonstrated lots of self control and only purchased 3 rolls of washi tape!  It was hard because she had so much variety.  I decided to go with some neutral colors because they fit a certain style that I think many of my friends tend to like.  I will be blogging about style/aesthetics soon because I don't know about you, but I am torn between two different styles... which makes it hard for me to focus this blog sometimes.  But I figured there is something for everyone and depending on who I am sending a package or letter or card to, I will be able to create something that will put a nice smile on their face. 

 Such a cute memo pad of airmail designed envelopes that you could tear out and assemble.  Love it!  Will be a cute addition to any letter or package :)

Ok, so I know I'm not the only person who does this and collects a bunch of random pretty papers and cards to add to a paper stash.  I know y'all are crazy paper fiends like me :P

Anyway, a part of all the renegade fun is coming away with so many pretty papers.  So after adding all their etsy/blogs/websites to my readers and favorites,  I will be using them for various embellishments and treats for letters and packages!  

Friday, July 27, 2012

SF Renegade Part 1

Hello Bunnies!

Last weekend, I got to go to Renegade Craft Fair and it was a whole lot of fun!  I enjoyed strolling through and seeing all the nice displays and beautiful handmade items.  My only wish is that there were more packaging/washi tape shops!  But luckily, one of my absolute favorite bloggers was there and we raided her table.   Bought a few items from her table in which I will write about in my next haul post.  For now, I will just share some pictures from the day:

Entering Fort Mason for the craft fair! 
 The tea lover in me was instantly gravitated towards this shop's stand.

 I am a sucker for smiley and cute looking animals.  Although, I'm not sure what they are.  Is that a unicorn or a whale?  The horn is confusing me.  And the one I'm holding, I'm guessing is a dinosaur, right? or an alligator? 

 Here's the green dinosaur again!

 It was a madhouse.  Some tables had so many people surrounding it.  Was fun, but crazy.  I think if I had my husband with me, he would've had a headache just looking at all the people who were there.

 I really liked the cupcake looking plate with the face on it.  Is that a cupcake or maybe it's a poop? not sure, but it's cute.

Oh Hello Friend.  One of my favorite bloggers!! Of course, I was too nervous to actually tell her I am an avid reader.  But look at her table.  It was filled with such pretty goodies.  My friend and I hovered over the washi tape box sitting right there in the middle for a good 30 minutes.  There was a huge crowd behind us - sorry people, but we're obsessed! hope you understood :P

  Glad I didn't drag the husband along for this one.  Shopping w/ my fellow friends who share my same washi tape obsession made this trip so much more fun!

Monday, July 23, 2012

American Cupcake

This was quite a random find for my husband and I.  Some of my best and most favorite foodie finds actually come from just walking down a street.  Somehow, these shops just make its way into my peripheral taste bud vision.  This establishment seems to be purely a dessert place, but when you sit down, you find that there's actually a deliciously adventurous drink menu as well as modernized american classics like PB & J or mac n cheese.  Now I know that sounds so unenthused.  Why would you ever spend money for such things that you can make at home!?? BUT, no... they have their own twists on these classics that are hard to replicate on your own.  The website mentions that it's a Bakery, Restaurant, and Carnival lounge.  So random, right?  It works though, and my husband and I had a nice little surprising treat for trying it.

When I went, I ordered "the Pixie."  Which is a sparkling wine cocktail garnished and flavored with pixie stix.  It was delicious.  

The lighting from the lounge casted a nice, funky glow over the drink.  

My husband ordered a PB&J sandwich that was garnished with bananas, organic honey, and bacon.  It came in house made bread.  He took one bite and I swear he sounded like he was having a taste bud orgasm.  It was delicious!  We also ordered the fries as an appetizer which were also quite good.

I'm glad that we randomly found this restaurant.  What about you?  Are you the type who does research on a place before trying? Or do you try things on a whim?  Or are you like me and have what I call the "cute peripheral vision" - the kind that gravitates you towards cute-looking establishments?  Maybe something else?  

Write Before your eyes giveaway

Shannah from "Write Before Your Eyes" is doing a giveaway of some lovely handmade and store-bought goodies.  

Check it out here: GIVEAWAY
Visit her etsy craft shop here: Shannahs Craft Corner

If anything, stop by her blog! She was the facilitator of the package pals project that I had a lot of fun doing.  She blogs lovely things about mail (which we all enjoy) and crafting!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Package Pal Reveal!

I signed up to do this package pals project set up by Shannah from Write before your eyes, a while back, as I've mentioned on my blog.  It was a lot of fun to do, and I was very pleasantly surprised by the package I received from Beth at Life, Penpalling, and other things.  I blogged about what I received in my June favorites, but it primarily featured the packaging.  Here I will show a picture of what was actually inside. 

 yeahh, I know y'all are jealous ~_<
Shout out to Beth - many thanks again! lovely package... My husband kept hovering over the snacks. haha

And here is what I sent out to Courtney from Chase All Your Dreams.  I completely and stupidly forgot to take a picture of what I put inside.  But, I put in a collection of random things I found that she liked from her blog: nail polish, teas, notebooks, and something for her letter writing.  I really hope she liked the package!

In other news, I am really excited about tomorrow because it is the summer renegade craft fair in San Francisco!!  A bunch of crafters are going to be selling their goods at this huge fair at Fort Mason in SF, and I am sooo excited.  My wallet might not be too happy after it's all said and done, but I cannot wait.  Hoping to get lots of good inspiration and package supplies!  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

More Babies

I don't know if it's just me, but there are new borns popping up everywhere this year.  Perhaps everyone wanted to time it for the year of the dragon.  A few weeks ago (I'm way behind on this post), I went to LA for my cousin's baby shower.  I am honored to be the ninang (godmother in tagalog) of her baby.  So, because I am her ninang, I made it extra special by preparing a special card and package:

With these past two baby showers, I've realized that I really enjoy making cards for babies. haha.  I enjoy doodling kiddy/kawaii designs, so I guess it makes sense that baby cards would be something I can have fun with.  

Decorated the package very simply, using one of my favorite washi tapes of this month.  It's so simple, yet so pretty.  Inside is a children's book - bunny themed of course.  As a teacher, I am crazy about reading to kids.  Kids should be read to often in order to develop a love of reading.  It's never too early to start reading to your kids!  And when they are able to read independently, they should be reading often.  

Sorry kid, your crazy auntie over here is going to be showering you with plenty of books as you grow up!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Nisol Days 3 - Dreams

Being married to a writer is an adventure.  The husband always keeps life interesting.  Being married to him has taught me to dream big and just believe that it will happen.  He has to have that belief in order for him to be a writer - but for me... it's still something really hard to do.   And if you read my previous post, you would know that I tend to have reservations and fears when it comes to making and believing that things will happen.  I try though, and in the times when I do truly pursue my dreams, goals, visions, whatever it is, I find that it is truly worth all the struggle, hardship, and pain.

His book teaches me to be fearless.  For those of you who have not seen my Nisol Day posts, please go to this post for explanation of what Nisol is: Happy Nisol Day.  

Today, I will be featuring another aspect of Nisol: Crepes and Sushi.  My husband is very skilled at writing food scenes, so many of these Nisol posts will probably revolve around food.

The protagonist, Eri (which will also be the name of our future daughter if we are so lucky enough to have one!), loves food.  The smell of crepe is enough to get her hypnotized.  Her signature order is simple: strawberries, whipped creme, and chocolate sauce.  I have crazy dreams of one day having a ramen shop themed around the book, serving this as its dessert.  Followers of the book would make sure to eat at this ramen shop whenever they visit the city it end up being in.

 haha, but of course, just one of those crazy dreams I have that will probably never come true.  This, and also one day having my own stationary store -- now that would be so awesome! I'm allowed to dream, right? :)

Nisol is a hedonistic society where you can have whatever you want with "no cost" to you.  This restaurant reminded me of what a restaurant would look like in Nisol, except in Nisol, you wouldn't need menus.  Restaurants are technologically advanced enough to "know" exactly what you want, without you having to even order.  A touch of your finger is all it takes to know exactly what it is that you want.  Sounds so cool huh??  But of course, things are never as they seem.. and I will leave it at that for now :)

So through these posts, I feel like I'm somewhat building up the book... slowly revealing more and more about it until the day it's finally ready enough to be shared w/ everyone.  I can't wait for that day.  And that is one dream that I know will indeed come true.  

Monday, July 16, 2012

The need for smiles

Cute foods make me smile:

via milkyglow

And smiles are so necessary for me right now since there are a lot of uncertainties happening in my life right now.  The primary one being finding a full-time teaching position.  I've been a teacher for three years, but all in temporary and/or part time capacities - as in being a sub, an after school teacher, and a teacher for a community-based organization.  I long so dearly for my own classroom.  

Mameshibas make me smile:

I finally finished my last requirement for my teaching credential - which was passing that dreaded test I talked about earlier in the summer. YAY - that makes me smile just as big as this mameshiba video. So now that means it's time to look for a job.  I'm so close, yet so far away.  And with cuts to education, the job outlook is glum, cut throat, and competitive.  I'm trying my best to figure out how to just even get an interview!  Other teachers advise to just continue prodding -- even just going into a principals office and handing your application to them.  The idea of that frightens me to death!! But with so many other people applying, how else am I going to stand out?  When I submit these online applications, it feels like no one will even read the thing.  The hardest part of this process is that I have no doubt in my ability to teach... What I do doubt is my ability to get a job!  And what I mean by that is that it's so hard for me to network, or to understand the social protocols necessary to get what you want in the professional realm of things.  I shut down and get so scared, nervous, and shy when it comes to networking/rising the ladder or however you want to phrase it.  

Inspirational Quotes make me smile:

So, one thing I need to do is just to remind myself of the above.  I just need to do what it takes and believe that it will happen.  In a scene of my absolute most favorite movie, a grandpa tells an aspiring young artist to just "march right in there and show it to them."  She responds with pessimism, saying, that's not how it works.  Although, in reality, that truly is how it works sometimes (the movie ends with pretty much making the point that that's how it does indeed work).  While that scares the crap out of me, it's time for me to seriously just "march right in there and show it to them."

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Bij Gebrek Aan Beter Giveaway!

Wanted to refer all of you to one of my favorite blogs - Bij Gebrek Aan Beter for a lovely giveaway.  She is giving away two super cute hand made key rings (see below!).  Please check out her blog for more details on how to join the giveaway!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Lupicia Tea

Tea is my drink of choice.  I am obsessed with tea the same way I am obsessed with washi tape.  Tea has its caffeine, but yet calms and soothes me in a way.  Hence, it brings me great joy to share with you all my absolute favorite tea retailer, Lupicia:

The nearest Lupicia to me is the one located at the Westfield shopping center in downtown San Francisco.  This shop is SO pretty.  They sell an assortment of tea supplies and premium teas.  And they wrap and package them so nicely - you may not want to actually drink the tea because you will be so enamored with the pretty packaging. haha.

Lupicia has a very wide selection of teas.  They have an assortment whites, oolongs, blacks, and greens with different flavors that matches that particular type of tea -- mango, peaches, and fruitier oolongs & whites.. Nuttier and sweeter Black and Green teas.  You also have the lovely classics - English breakfasts, earl grays, morning teas, etc.  My favorite that I've tried so far is actually a cookie flavored black tea.  It tastes so good brewed in soy milk.

What's your favorite tea?  Any interesting or daring flavors you have tried as of late?  Other tea shop recommendations?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

San Francisco Days Post 3

I love driving through this city.  The scenery is captivating to me and I find myself in the car scrambling for my camera to capture them.  I enjoy the small moments, the local corner stores, and the laundry mats.  So simple, I know, but taking the time to appreciate these simple things in a city is always soothing.