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Sleep? What’s that?

Posted on Jan 1, 2014 in My Life | 0 comments

Last night, we were finally able to get a sleep span of more than 1 hour each time, we had 2 hour span of sleep.  Wow!  Now, I remember what sleep feels like.  I actually feel more rested that I can sit here to write a post and look at the million photos I took of our little baby in the last….well 2 weeks.  I feel so lucky to have my hubby here during this time.  I probably would not have survived without him.  I am dreading when he will be going back to work in a few weeks.  Luckily, grandma and grandpa are also here.  They are learning to watch the baby too.

As I was looking at the hospital photo, I remember a conversation with the nurse there that made me smile.  We were cooing and playing with our new baby, when the nurse walked into the room.  She commented on how cute the baby is and said “Now, you understand how parents thinks their baby are the cutest.”   I looked confused at her then my husband.  I totally did not get what she was talking about at that moment, because in my mind I thought to myself “What do you mean?  He IS the cutest baby in the world.”

Haha… Yes, welcome to parenthood, Kat.

Our Wedding

Posted on Dec 18, 2013 in About Me | 0 comments

Happy 3 year anniversary to my hubby.  This year is extra special for us because we just brought home with us our little bundle of joy.   I wrote the following post awhile back and planned on posting it on our anniversary.  Here it is.  Meanwhile, we are going to be busy learning to be new parents to our little one. 🙂




Our wedding took place in the winter of 2010.   In Northern California, we don’t have snow in the winter.  We have occasional rain.  Water is good luck, that’s what I kept hearing as I saw the rain pouring down on our wedding day.  Yet, I couldn’t help but to think everything was perfect except for it.  As time pass, I began to see it more as a blessing.  When I look back at it, I know that is what made our wedding so warm and special.  The fireplace inside the cabin was so cozy and welcoming. The memories of everyone checking weather forecast along with us was so memorable.  Not to mention it allow for such magical backdrop for the photos.

















 Originally, we planned to have an outdoor wedding ceremony in the redwood forest.  It wasn’t until an hour before the wedding that we moved it indoors!  We had even bought nearly a hundred umbrellas as a precaution.  Alas, we couldn’t really ask our guest to stand outside in the rain.  So, we moved indoors where it was just as beautiful.









~ ~ ~

In addition to our ceremony and reception in the forest, we also incorporated some Chinese wedding traditions to start off the day.   Red is the color for joy, luck, and celebration in Chinese traditions.  Traditionally, the day starts off with the groom and his friends passing obstacles set up by the bridesmaids before he meets his bride.   Afterward, we had the traditional tea ceremony where we offered tea to our parents as a form of gratitude.  (Plus, it allowed me to wear a tradition Chinese wedding outfit!)











I was definitely a very hands-on bride (with a helpful planner guiding me in the right direction when I consider changing the colors again for the 90th time.)   I used Excel to keep track of every little detail.  My inspiration for my wedding was Alice in Wonderland.   It was filled with teacups, teapots, playing cards, lanterns  and hydrangeas.   The final colors were dark blue with hints of purple and fuchsia.  I wanted our wedding to be whimsical and cozy.  After designing details and we tried to create everything ourselves.  It was so much fun!   I had the excuse to get my hubby to do crafts with me!  And I was so lucky he actually entertained me in many of these projects.  He actually drew his own wedding topper (so I didn’t ruin his “look.”  Ha!)   I have to say he did a pretty good job.  🙂




Location: Nestldown / Planning: Simply Perfect Weddings / Photography: Jean-Philippe Dobrin Photography / Flowers: Chic Designs & Floral / Makeup + Hair: Tiffany Chiang / Hair Accessory:  Etsy / Thumbprint Tree: Etsy / Catering: Le’s Kitchen / Cake: Jen’s Cake /  Harpist: Krista Strader




Here are a few of our many umbrellas!

Got Expired Groupon Deals?

Posted on Dec 11, 2013 in Shopping Fun | 0 comments

I haven’t used Groupon in a long time…probably since 2012 because of so many frustrating experiences with businesses using the deals.

Recently, I logged in to see if I have any Groupon photobook deals that I haven’t used.  I noticed I had some deals that were unused and expired.  Mainly ones that left me with frustrating experiences or I just forgot to use.   I noticed under one expired deal there’s a note that states I can request a refund from Groupon in forms of Groupon Bucks.  Not cash, but better than nothing!

Most of the other ones do not have this offer, so I decided to give it a try and email them to request the same form of refund.  One came back to me automatically, another asked me to explain my experience.   (Which I did.)  I was able to get a refund from both purchases made more than 2 years ago from Groupon!   Their customer service has earned me back as a customer.   However, I would still prefer not to buy anymore service related Groupons deals (such as food, spa, nail services, etc).   I will try again to purchase goods deal (mainly photobooks) from them.  🙂  Nice job, Groupon!

DIY Character Canvas Painting

Posted on Dec 10, 2013 in DIY, Studio | 0 comments


Canvases are a great way to spruce up the home.  We actually have quite a few photo canvases hanging around our house.   They are durable and the style is very clean.  Recently, I decided to add a few canvases in our bedroom.   I am obsessed with a few cute characters, namely my favorites are Miffy, Lotso, and Monokuro Boo.  I actually have quite a few stuffed animals of them.   So, I decided to create a set of canvas of them.   Aside from Lotso, the other 3 canvases were actually very simple line drawings.

I don’t like my free hand drawings, because I actually want the canvases to look good.  Ha.  So, I printed out pictures of each one to replicate.   Lotso was the hardest and I could not find anything of him online that I liked.  So, I ended up printing out a photo of my own Lotso instead.   See how I got this done and my failed attempts/lessons at the end!  🙂


 Items Needed: 

  • Charcoal Pencil  (or a regular pencil)
  • Translucent Marker Paper (or any paper)
  • Print outs of the subject
  • Canvas
  • Something pointy (I used the end of my thinnest paint brush)
  • Masking tape






PS-CharacterCanvas-005Step 1:  First, print out copies of what you would like to replicate on the canvas.   Since my canva size was quite small, I printed it out the exact same size as the canvas. (The bottom b&w photo that’s half cutout is the actual photo that I used for this project.)

PS-CharacterCanvas-008Step 2:  Make the Graphite transfer paper.   Fill up your transfer paper with charcoal to approximately the size of your canvas.  I smudged the charcoal with my finger to smooth out the charcoal.   Using the transfer paper was great because it was a little bit transparent and very easy to smudge.   (I *think* you can use pencil and paper to accomplish the same effect.  Just be sure to apply more pressure when filling with pencil since it’s not as easily transferable as charcoal.  Let me know if it works!)   The good thing about the this is you only have to make it once because this piece of paper is reusable!

PS-CharacterCanvas-009Step 3 (optional):  Test trial before making the permanent mark!  Ok, let’s give this a try on paper first!   Lay the charcoal-transfer paper face down on top of your notepad, so the charcoal is touching the surface you would like to draw on.  Lay your print out/picture on top

PS-CharacterCanvas-011Step 4:  Use masking tape to secure everything in place.  You do not want any of the papers to shift around when you are tracing.

PS-CharacterCanvas-012Step 5:  Get your pointy tool of choice ready!

PS-CharacterCanvas-013Step 6:  Trace along the lines.

PS-CharacterCanvas-014Step 7:  Let’s take a peak.

PS-CharacterCanvas-015Step 8:  Lotso’s nose looks good!  Trace over the rest of the lines.

PS-CharacterCanvas-016Step 9:  First trial, success!    Transfer paper has my stamp of approval!   Let’s get started!

PS-CharacterCanvas-018Step 10:  I basically replicated the same steps on my canvas.   So, I won’t bore you and show you the steps again…..   After this part, it was on to painting fun!



PS-CharacterCanvas-021Mission accomplished!    Family canvas set all done! 🙂



And of course, being the super star, he insisted on posing with his portrait here….


 ~ ~ ~

Trial & Error (The failures):   Before actually using the charcoal technique, I tried a few different ways to copy the pictures to the canvas.  Below are a few of the attempts… 😉


PS-CharacterCanvas-004It might look silly that I try to exactly match my Miffy canvas to the print out.  Especially when it’s literally just two dots and an X.   But, it was my practice before the Lotso canvas which I still did not know how I will replicate at the time.    So, my first try was grid lines.  I thought it would be a GREAT idea.  Since the grid lines will let me know where to draw each part.  Great-Idea-Failed when I realized erasing pencil lines (even lightly touched lines) from white canvas is not easy.   Especially when most of your canvas will be left untouched in such case as Miffy’s canvas.  I solved this issue with extreme erasing until my arm hurts (Haven’t done that since 3rd grade!)  At the end,  a thick layer of white paint solved the problem.


PS-CharacterCanvas-003Next, I practiced drawing Monokuro Boo by cutting up holes into the actual print out.   That worked… but seriously, how am I supposed to replicate that with Lotso?   No idea.

Our Little Nursery

Posted on Dec 5, 2013 in My Life, Pregnancy | 0 comments

It’s been awhile since my last post.  The last hurdle of this pregnancy has been energy draining due to so many changes happening.   But, just a few more weeks!!  I keep on reminding myself it will all be worth it when the little one arrives!

Also, looking at our nursery makes me incredibly happy.  🙂  I use it often as it will serve as a nursery + also my studio.  🙂

Here are some photos of our completed nursery.   I wanted to keep the style very simple and clean even though there are already tons of stuff in there.  My way of trying to accomplish this is using mostly white color.  I know once the baby arrives, we will be adding more splashes of color.  So, I am trying to have as clear of a “canvas” as possible.












An Early Holiday

Posted on Nov 12, 2013 in General, My Life | 0 comments

Christmas is my favorite time of year.  It gives me this warm and fussy feeling that no other time of the year gives me.  Apparently, every time we drive around our neighborhood, I couldn’t take my eyes off the few Christmas lights that’s already up.  I did not realize that until my hubby pulled out all of our Christmas decoration from the garage a few days ago.  So, we just put up our Christmas tree and lights this year.  It is a little early, but it will give me extra time to enjoy the holiday. 🙂  Oh, and that’s Mr. Penguin.  He has been with us for a few years now and never miss a holiday!  We like to put him up indoors so he can share the holiday spirit with us.  He’s practically family!