Happy Pi Day!

Happy (2013) Pi Day!

Happy (2013) Pi Day!

Our Daughter Malia is 1 month old today. I can’t believe how quickly time flies by.

I lost my password to the blog or it got hacked. Either way, I had to hack my database to get access back, so that’s why it’s been so quiet for the last 3 months. I apologize for that and will be writing again more frequently! Pinky promise. 🙂

Baby Shower Preview #2 + DIY Staining Clothespins Tutorial


I can’t believe that my baby shower is just around the corner (3 days from now!). In addition to that I finally began my maternity leave today which will allow me to be able to completely focus what little energy I have to spare nowadays to the actual preparation of the shower.

There are little details that I’ve been able to work on such as putting together all of the little centerpiece items that I will be using the day of. The only thing I need are the fresh flowers, which will have to wait until the day of to assemble.

This is the second in my series of preview posts for my baby shower, and with each post, I feel even more anxious about pulling off the event. It’s like I’m putting all this unnecessary pressure to impress especially because I am a little bit of a perfectionist. I’ve reserved myself to not be too disappointed if I can’t put every last little thing together with my main excuse of having to take care my health being the foremost worry.

Moving on, as seen in the preview photo above, I’ve been doing a lot of little DIY projects which include:

  • Coloring Mason Jars
  • Making origami boxes for favors
  • Staining Clothespins for… Continue reading

Pregnancy #2 – Baby Shower Decorations

I’ve been putting together decorations for my shabby chic-inspired baby shower. Here is a quick preview of what I’ve done so far. I plan on putting together tutorials as well as photos of my baby shower later.

Paper Lanterns

I loved the idea of having cute paper lanterns for my baby shower but wanted to add a little bit of my own style to them. I saw that instead of getting the paper and wire lanterns, I could just use origami papers over each little light.


After folding about 105 little paper lanterns, I’m finally done! I put them on each light and plugged them in and they are ready to go. I might need to do one more rope of 100 lights, but for now, one rope is good enough.

Flower Pinwheels

Chairs can be rather boring looking and so I wanted to go ahead and add a little bit of texture to each chair. The go-to thing that most people will do is just tie a big fabric bow and be done with it. I wanted something a little more colorful and went ahead and started creating paper flower pinwheels.


Glue gunning a couple of these together and adding a thick piece of ribbon to attach them to the backs of chairs will add some great color to plain white chairs.

Year in Reflection – 2012

It’s the end of the year and as such is a time of reflection for many. This year proved to have many highs and lows. Many more highs, which were great.

In the beginning of the year, we contemplated moving into our first house and embarked on that crazy journey. Everything seemed to easy. We got pre-qualified for a loan by a friend’s previous loan officer, picked out a real estate agent based off of recommendations, and started our 3-month adventure of viewing homes. I still have my folder that has over hundreds of printed out RedFin properties. I would estimate that we saw close to or over 300 homes in that time (averaging about 3 homes an hour, for 5 hours a day, 2 days a week, for 3 months). Suffice to say, even after putting in a serious offer, going through the inspections, and doing our due diligence, what ended up being a really quick process upfront then turned into a spiraling disaster of a 2-month long legal battle (having to hire two different attorneys) to get our earnest money back.

I wouldn’t say that our experience with house-buying has been tainted, in fact, we are much smarter and more aware now because of it, but almost every step of the way, someone failed us–except our loan officer. I don’t know when we will be ready to jump back in. Maybe never. :\ Maybe next year…
And despite all of that hardship, I got to then turn around and plan our first big production family vacation to Hawaii! Months after I bought the plane tickets I found out I was pregnant and started out as a family trip turned into a Baby Moon (a vacation before the arrival of a new baby).

Hawaii couldn’t have been any more perfect, and I am so glad we were able to spend a couple of weeks there to really get away from everything and just be a little family unit.

So, with all of the events of last year, what am I hoping for 2013? I am not one to make resolutions as I believe that any self-improvement is a continuous endeavor that you cannot pinpoint a final outcome of a product since life transforms.

Instead, here are some things that I would like help myself to keep aware, to bring to the forefront of my thoughts.

To physically, mentally, spiritually, grow…
I always end up putting this on every year’s reflection because I feel that life is too short to be stagnant. With the addition of a new little one, I know that I will be stretched to my limits and I hope that I can be able to continue to grow more patient, more wise, more loving… and however more.

To Learn
Never to be content with what I know…
Life is about learning. I remember one of my teachers in high school had said that learning is not just about the knowledge you receive from books. I continue to hold this truth close to my heart. You can learn from your family and your peers. However, the most important thing is to recognize and not miss the opportunity to learn from something or someone.

As I write this, I am creating life inside of me. To bear this life would be a great honor. I wonder what other things I will also create, whether it’s continued work on my writing, drawings, crafts… I yearn to continue on with my journey.

And above all else… to Love.

Sketches in Thought


One of the greatest things about having a little one is that as they get older, they start to become more interested in what you are doing. My daughter is 3.5 years old now and likes to mimic the different activities we do.

We recently started pulling out our little wooden box that has different drawers for different art supplies. She was curious with each item–crayons (a comfortable favorite), charcoals, pastels, acrylic paints and water colors. Continue reading

Pregnancy #2 – Auspicious Dreams

The air is crisp and a thin fog is misting all around me. The foliage is heavy and sunbeams burst through small slits in between the leaves.

I’m in the middle of a forested trail, my legs carrying me and my burgeoning belly swiftly past mossy trees and nimbly skipping impacted roots. Continue reading

Endless Trail to Freedom

As most everyone gathers into the living room after the New Year’s meal, the clanking of dishes being washed by aunts drowns out the buzzing of the heater. On the back porch, the older uncles huff into semi-long PVC pipes and puff circles into the cold air. A circle of metal chairs are arranged and the married and widowed relatives sit side-by-side conversing in the sing-song language of Hmong. Continue reading

Culture – Hmong Pregnancy Superstitions

Renee Ya wearing a traditional White Hmong outfit
I am planning on doing a couple of culture pieces as reflections of my heritage, Hmong. You can read a extremely light-version of my ancestry by going to the Hmong Wikipedia entry.

Hmong Superstitions

  1. Hmong Superstitions – Pregnancy
  2. Hmong Superstitions – Postpartum

In this feature, I will talk about Hmong pregnancy superstitions.
Continue reading

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Crochet Project – Puff Stitch Hat


It’s been awhile since I last knitted or crocheted anything and I’m not entirely sure why I had stopped.

I have several half finished sweaters and afghans (as they call it, or throws) in my yarn stash. About twenty or so double-pointed needles and half a dozen circular needles, drop stitch holders, crochet hooks, and single-pointed needles. Yarns in nearly every shade, various weights, synthetic and wool.

And yet, with an arsenal of crafting tools and material, I hadn’t even looked at a pattern for over 2 years.

That changed when I decided that I wanted to do something creative for my daughters. My oldest is in love with hats right now, and has a huge head, so I decided to knit her a nice little puff stitch slouch hat. It fits my head a little loosely but it seems to sit on her head nicely. (Pictured above)

The pattern was something I found on YouTube and only took me about two hours to complete. Since it turned out good enough, I decided to make one for my friend’s newborn (smaller yarn wight and smaller needle used) and it looks great!

I can’t wait to give it to her, mostly to see if my second daughter that is on the way (28-weeks pregnant, currently) will be able to wear it when she arrives. I don’t currently have a photo of it, but hopefully I’ll post a photo of it on my friend’s daughter.

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