Saturday, January 21, 2017

Hong Kong Travels - Day 1

It's been over 12 years since I've last traveled to Asia so it felt like a good time to fix that by taking a few weeks off and jumping on the next available flight to Hong Kong. An incredibly long 14 hour flight...I did see a few movies to help with the time pass quickly.

Prior to coming here I searched through numerous blogs to find the best places to visit and any good tips for traveling through Hong Kong. Everyone has great tips and photos but hey, what's wrong with adding some more things to the blogosphere? I'm going to avoid putting obvious tips that much better bloggers have already offered, ie. getting an Octopus card for ease of payment or the vast 7-Elevens/Circle K's to look out for. Instead, I'll try to share a few things I hadn't thought about prior to arrival.

Tip one: Bring your own packets of tissues or buy some upon arrival. Restaurants and public toilets do not provide napkins or toilet paper.

I'm not really what most consider a "foodie" though I do enjoy good meals and unique foreign delectables. Though I am on vacation so I am conveniently trying good meals and unique foreign delectables so I decided to take advantage of my downtime and share some yummy meals.

As soon as we landed and dropped off our luggage, we headed towards a little dim sum place called Gut Gut Dim Sum in Kwun Tong. It's a little restaurant in one of those steep side streets where the dim sum is ordered on a sheet and delivered fairly quickly - hot and fresh too!

Tip two: Upon receiving the table settings of plates, bowls, cups, spoons, and chopsticks restaurants provide a little bowl and a teapot of hot water for you to use to clean your utensils. People will pour the tea into the teacup and rise the rest of the tableware into the separate bowl.

Tip three: Coming from USA makes eating in foreign countries quite challenging as we are so accustomed to large portions. This restaurant had portions of two per plate so if you're ordering for the first time make sure you double check!

Restaurant review time - we ordered the usuals: phong jau, shu mai, chasu baos, and rice cake. All were tasty and had a slightly different flair from our usual Los Angeles dim sums. The shu mai was actually much bigger than expected and had a chewier texture. The phong jau (probably spelled that terribly...I'm trying to say chicken feet :D) had a nice flavor and very soft yet chewy texture. My overall assessment was that the meal was great and my parents are ready to come back for round two.

Ok, that's it from me for now...more later!

Monday, June 13, 2016


We are nearly there! Just a couple of finishing touches and I'll be ready to show all the little details that make our house our special little home :) Here's a sneak peak!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Finding our design identity

This is one of the most difficult testament to one's profession. For those who don't know, I come from the interior design/architecture industry therefore selecting furniture and finishes is a part of the job. However, when that baton is passed onto my own home...eep!

Honestly all procedural reasoning goes out the window. The typical space planning exercise goes out the window, inspirational images  prior to design development are not even part of the thought process, I didn't even consciously decide on an accent color.

So the reasoning for sharing this experience on my blog is because I think most people follow the same train of thought as I do. As much as I wanted to choose the best designer furniture with the most trendy accents - I ended up making decisions based on financial practicality as the main concern.

Act 1. 
Decide on where you want to spend your money.

Through many discussion, Jimmy and I decided we wanted to start fresh with mostly new furniture in our new home. First big ticket item we could think of was a comfortable while stylish couch.

The couch was where we would spend a lot of time hanging out - watching TV or playing video games or just chatting. I wanted something that could be fairly versatile with good quality and a neutral color. But at the same time, not overly trendy to become dated in little time. 

West Elm Lorimer Sofa

After long hours scourging through the internet and walking through endless shops, I decided to choose this low profile beauty that promised comfortable sleeping and napping. The low yet wide arms on each side provide a perfect tray for my phone, laptop, and even plate of food at times. It also seemed to come in very handy when I am in need of a little nap, perfect to also double as a seat when we have more company.

Here's a few photos of how the sofa worked out in our very narrow space:

I think it ended up looking very cute :) Bear in mind, this is still a work in progress.

*Tips for finding an appropriate couch for your space. 
  • Measure the length and width of the room prior to shopping
  • Best to find a neutral color so that it can stand the test of time and match your other furniture pieces (we chose a grayish blue "Licorice")
  • Think of how you will utilize the space. TV lounging? Hosting parties? You may find a need to shop for a set or contemplate complimentary armchairs.

Good luck!

Monday, April 11, 2016


There were many aspects of growing up that I looked forward to as a child. Owning a home was not something I even considered but now at age 30, here we are!

To put aside the financial responsibilities, mortgages, bills, and other varieties of adulting, the best part is making your home your home.

Jimmy and I are currently developing solutions to the unique layout of our 1924 house, shopping for quality furniture that is affordable and aesthetically pleasing. It's a lot of pressure! Especially since I come from the design and architecture world, it is difficult to buckle down and decide on a style that defines who we are.

What we've realized through this process is that there does not need to be one defining style that we must live with for the rest of our lives. It's design, it's our home, it's meant to change and morph as we change and morph ourselves. The fun about designing our home is customizing it to what we need at the time.

I'll share bits and pieces throughout this process, but for now, I was just throwing some super basic sketches together to see my layout. Hope you enjoy coming along on our journey!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Ernest E. Debs Regional Park

In case anyone else is trying to find a nice place for a family hike, we recently trekked over to the Ernest E. Debs Regional Park in Los Angeles (off the 110 fwy)

The scenery was lovely and the weather was beautiful, I think this is a wonderful place for an easy hike with a few steep inclines sprinkled around here and there. Overall we walked through the trails within two hours and left with some gorgeous photos. Onto exploring other terrains next week!

Friday, October 17, 2014

An Ode to Kahoko Handmade Rugs

I can't seem to stop checking their instagram and looking at their website, maybe it's an odd addiction or maybe an unhealthy obsession but ...

Their rugs are so amazing!

I cannot remember how I stumbled upon this site but I am glad I did. Ka-hoko, beautiful company that funds natives to create handmade organic rugs in Africa, not only do they look unique and original, but they return some of the profits back to the community to support their artisans in continuing their craft.

I believe the society's focus on pushing digital and technological advancements has driven the art trend to lean towards a slick, futuristic, sleek, chic design. Finding companies that are dedicated to bringing some cultural essence and modern traditionalism back to our generation is a greatly appreciated and valued. 

I hope to some day have enough of the funds to buy one of these gorgeous creations but until then all I can do is share them on my little itsy bitsy blog. =) 

Monday, March 31, 2014