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.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Washi Tape Shop Recommendations

A few weeks ago, I asked where everyone purchased their washi tape.  I love washi tape and I do believe it's worth the price a lot of times depending on the retailer... However, as a teacher, I don't make a whole lot of extra discretionary income. So good deals are always more than welcomed.  After doing research and in my own experiences, I've found that washi tapes generally cost between $3-5 per roll, unless you find a good deal.  Here is a compilation of things that you all have recommended as well as places I have found:

Good Deals on Washi Tapes:

One of the best deals was recommended by my favorite blogger of the month, Miki from Miki's Scrapbook (hehe, another reason why my favorite blog of the month!).  She recommended Yardsellr. She posted about Yardsellr here along with some other good things to know.  Yardsellr is pretty much like an online yard sale where anyone can post things that they want to sell and us customers can pretty much go in and purchase these items.  After getting this recommendation, I immediately went on to Yardsellr and got a $5 off deal for registering. SO, I purchased this set of washi tape for a total of $4.51 (had free shipping!).  Apologies for the bad quality of picture, I couldn't seem to get a regular sized pic of it.


I saw on pinterest that people were getting washi tape for super cheap from Target.  It led me to City in  Jar's blog post about washi tape here.  Supposedly these target washi tapes were 4 rolls for $4!  This is winner for best deals!

I'm not sure if it's at all Targets since I stopped by one today and couldn't find any tape, but once I do find this, I will be purchasing a ton of them!

Poodles and Noodles

This was recommended by Kat from 'the craft bureau.' I post this under good deals for now because they are having a sale on their website right now until July 11.  They have a lovely selection.  Go to

Wishy Washi Tape

They have a pretty good sale selection with tapes under $3.  With shipping, it will be $4-5, which is the standard price of washi tapes, but the more you buy, the more it becomes worth it!  Also, if you are a domestic buyer, you can get free shipping of orders $50 or more.  I'm tempted to one day just order $50 worth of washi tapes!!

I'm really liking this one that's on their site for $3

The Plaid Barn
If you've ever heard of groupon, living social deals, or amazon local, the plaid barn is basically the crafty version of it!  They have daily deals that you can purchase for a fraction of the original cost.  One time, I saw this lovely airmail washi tape being sold for $1.97 per roll!!  Shipping was also not bad if I remember correctly (unless you are international, unfortunately.. perhaps it wouldn't be worth it)

Right now, they're actually hosting a deal for a goodie box filled with over $50 worth of crafty supplies for only $13.97.  It's a surprise box full of what sounds like really nice things!  Hurry though, the sale ends soon.  If you are interested in buying it, click it through my pin so that I can get 1 point :D  I am so tempted to buy it because I love surprises and especially crafty goodies!


And of course, Typo is a great retailer that occasionally has them on sale.  I've gotten washi tapes from them for $1-2 in the past.

Other recommendations:

So these sites are pretty standard with their washi tape prices, but they do have great selections. 

Crafty Japan  - Recommended by Kat as well from
Omiyage & Cute Tape - Recommended by Laura from Please deliver to...

Thanks to all who gave me these recommendations! I had so much fun shopping.  I will make sure to update my blog whenever I find good deals and good shops!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

June Favorites

My beauty vloggers usually do monthly favorites with their beauty products, so I thought I'd do one on my random favorites for each month.  This can be a way that I will incorporate my etsy finds too!  I invite all of you to do the same.  I always find out new things from these vlogs.  So if you are interested in blogging about your monthly favorites, here are some ideas:

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

So here is my compilation of June Favorites:

1.  Favorite Washi Tape:
Currently, I am loving this pastel pink tape that I got from a giveaway that I won from memtree.

2.  Favorite Etsy Store

I've seen Sora Designs at local craft fairs a few times and have always purchased something from her table.  She has such pretty jewelry.

3.  Favorite Blog

My favorite blog this month is miki's scrapbook.  She has such fresh ideas and a way of putting smiles on your face! I really enjoy her blog - everything from her compendium posts to her package and mail posts to her every day life posts.  I appreciate too how she keeps it real and shares herself with all her readers in a way that you can connect and relate.  She asks questions that strike up great blogging conversation. I get lots of inspiration from her blog and laughs & smiles as well :D

4.  Favorite Beauty Product

I got this lip and cheek stain as a sample in my birchbox and really loved it.  It's the stainiac from 'the balm.'  I love stuff that has multipurpose use.  It gives a nice subtle blush color and natural lip tint.

5.  Favorite Foodie Find
Hands down, this ice cream.  I posted about Smitten in my blog a few weeks ago here.  So unforgettable!

 6.  Favorite package and/or letter sent or received

I participated in a package swap this month as I discussed in a few posts before, and I just received my package from my swap partner the other day.  I was SO extremely ecstatic when I opened it and saw all the goodies inside.  It was all my favorite stuff!! snacks, cute things, stationaries, pencils/pens, boxes, notepads. What's not to love!?!  Thanks to my lovely swap partner Beth from Life, Penpaling, and other things.  Opening each wrapped item was so much fun and a nice surprise! thanks again Beth for this AMAZING package :D

7.  Favorite DIY

This is so cute and a very simple idea.  Looks like the washi tapes are actually part of the wrapping paper! Love it and will be doing this to my packages too.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

50 Challenge Update

A few posts ago, I mentioned that I am doing the 50 challenge that I saw from Lolalina's blog. You throw away 50 different items in order to de-clutter.  I've been having so much fun with my journal challenge, package & letter swaps, and picture projects that this one has been slow-going.  It's hard to be motivated to organize and clean out things when you have all these other fun things going on.  But, I am happy to say that I have de-cluttered 4 out of the 8 total areas that I plan to attack.  I think taking one area at a time is the most effective part of the challenge because you don't get too tired that you do half-ass jobs on other parts of the house.

Anyway, here's a before and after of our hallway shelves:

Just looking at the picture above makes me feel icky.  

Whew, much better (not necessarily exactly like those 'real simple' complete transformations, but a lot neater looking than previous photo!).  And now I can walk down our hallway without feeling anxious.

Hope everyone has been off to a great start of the week.  Lately, I've been feeling a bit all over the place because we are in the process of buying a house.  Buying a house has been so stressful, as I'm sure many of you have experienced and/or heard from other people.  We live in the Bay Area nonetheless, where house prices are crazy high and tons of cash buyers/investors to compete with.  I'm not looking forward to this process at all, and am just hoping we can get something.