Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cabinet Rejuvenated with Annie Sloan's Chalk Paint

Leanne from Apple Box Boutique has totally got me hooked on painting furniture to give it a second life and now I see old wood furniture in a whole new light. I took a class from her earlier this year and was able to transform Jamie's old night stand into something that I absolutely love. 
The picture really doesn't do it justice because the gold gilding wax is amazing in person. We have a matching dresser for this night stand that's in line waiting to be transformed into a baby dresser/change station. Hopefully that'll get done before baby's arrival! 
Leanne had a massive furniture garage sale a couple months ago and I managed to pick up this beautiful, made in Canada dresser. It fits perfectly in our foyer and I knew I wanted wanted to test out the oh so loved Emperor's Silk paint color. It took 2 coats of paint, 2 coats of clear wax and some spray paint for the hardware to almost complete the look. I picked up some dark wax to give it more character but haven't gotten around to truly finishing this dresser yet. In the meantime though, it stands loud and proud in our foyer, strutting its new sharp look. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Productive Sunday - 46 Days Remaining

I haven't had one of those, "Wow I've been so productive today!" kind of days in a long time. Yesterday fixed that dry spell and it wasn't because I woke up early or because I didn't take a 2 afternoon cat nap, but because I finished what I had set out to do! I was up at 7:30 but wasn't feeling great so I snoozed and rolled around in bed for another 2 hours. 9:30 finally comes by and I thought to myself that I better get out of bed so Jamie doesn't have to wait any longer for breakfast. We had leftover buttermilk from last week's Canada Day breakfast and I had exactly enough to make 1/3 of the recipe. This is the recipe I used and it's been very kind to my growing belly. Keep in mind that I was able to make 5 pancakes to feed 2 adults with only 1/3 of the recipe!

I knew I wanted to make some granola because we have 2 huge bags of oats to use up from way before our kitchen renovations started and they were starting to get the "sitting in the pantry" odor so I knew I wanted to use it up but a preggo can only eat so much mushy oatmeal. We shopped for a bunch of ingredients on Saturday and while the pancakes were cooking, I set out to make our granola. The recipe I sorta of followed is this one. I made a few changes: 
- only used wheat bran
- added 1 cup of raw sunflower seeds
- 1 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut
- omitted the brown sugar
- used 1/2 c. coconut butter and 1/2 c. of butter instead of veggie oil because I don't have veggie oil laying around
- toasted the mixture at 200 degrees F for 30 minutes before cranking it up to 325. Be sure to check it every few minutes because it gets brown fast! 

While I was doing all of this, Jamie whipped up our first official green smoothie using this recipe. We added a bit of kale to the mixture and our first sip was... less than stellar. We tweaked it by adding a bit of agave syrup and 2 more bananas (we used frozen) and that made it palatable. The cilantro limeade smoothie did not make the cut for another debut. 

After breakfast, we got started on prepping our ham, potato gratin and Asian kale slaw salad dinner. The dressing tastes very similar to a dressing Jamie makes using miso paste except this version had many more ingredients.

Jamie also felt like he had a very productive day. He managed to build some shelves and maneuver our "linen" closet shelving so that we could actually use it for linen! In the process, I managed to de-junk a bag of clothes. Some of the items needed to be pried out of Jamie's hands while I just lost the battle for some other beloved items and they made their way back into the closet for storage. Today is another promising day as I was up at 5:00 and after trying to fall back asleep for an hour with no luck, I managed to cook some breakfast, do a load of laundry, get some ironing done and do a blog post! I know I'm going to crash in a couple hours since I only got 4 hours of sleep. Happy Monday :) 

Monday, June 30, 2014

53 days to go

I know anyone who's ever been pregnant tells me that towards the end, the baby can't seem to vacate the womb fast enough but right now I'm mighty happy that the little peanut is content its ever shrinking temporary room. We've been kept busy trying to get the house ready and the biggest job was definitely our kitchen renovations. We've been "working" on the kitchen for the last 5 or so years and it wasn't until baby's imminent arrival that really pushed us into action. 
We lived with exposed 2x4 walls, our newly purchased appliances sat in our living room for 4 years, engineer drawings sat in a filing cabinet, it just wasn't a pretty sight. Fast forward 4 years, a baby on the way and a hired contractor later, we finally have a fully renovated fully functioning kitchen. There's still a lot of settling in that we have to do for the kitchen but it's so great having that big burden off our back. Now we are just left with the 100 other little odd jobs to finish off. We have accumulated a massive amount of clutter and we're slowly working our way through the mounds of stuff. While the de-cluttering is happening, Jamie is working on the laundry room with my dad. In his spare time (ha!), he's working on framing and drywalling the baby room closet. I've been on a sewing frenzy. 

Jamie and I decided to embark on a cloth diapering adventure, mostly because the idea of throwing hundreds and hundreds of diapers into the landfill doesn't sit well with me. We aren't the greenest people and nothing against the mommas that use disposables. Since we were going down the cloth diaper path, it only made sense to go down the route of reusable baby wipes as well. I had loads of old flannel that I've accumulated over the years so I set out to sew some cheap wipes. 71 of them to be exact. I would've loved to use a serger but I don't own one so google told me I could just stitch close to the edge with a regular machine and it'll be just fine. I ended up leaving way too much leftover border fabric so when I washed them last night, I had threads everywhere. 
I thought about trimming the fabric closer to the stitch line, but they just looked so cute with the little border. Bad decision. I ended up with fluff, string and lint over all our cloth diapers and everything in that load of laundry. I also wasted time plucking all the loose bits of thread that had started coming off. Lesson learned. Lesson learned indeed... 

Onto a bit more of a successful project now. I've been doing weekly quilt nights with a couple friends. A while back I purchased a large amount of fat quarters when it was buy 1 get 1, with no project in mind of course. I finally found this lovely pattern called, Yellow Brick Road. At first I wanted to make a twin quilt because my first quilt really isn't big enough to snuggle with. That twin soon turned into a, "Well I might as well make a queen so it'll fit on my bed!" queen-sized quilt. It wouldn't have been so bad if I wasn't pregnant, which is what I'm blaming all my screw ups on. I'm still not done yet because I need to border, quilt and bind it but no big deal. I still have 53 days...

Monday, May 26, 2014

Less Than 3 Months To Go

According to my little preggo app, I have 88 days left to go in this pregnancy. It's been such a great experience so far and we managed to fit in the trendy "babymoon" to Hawaii with my brother and his family. It was such a lovely trip because Jamie and I got to spend time alone as a couple (our last couples vacation for a long time) and as a family as well. This lovely photo was taken at the North Shore where we got to enjoy a beautiful sunset on one of our last few nights in Oahu, Hawaii. 

Now we're madly trying to get our house in order and there's many many things on the list. The kitchen is the biggest of course and that's wrapping up hopefully in the next 2 weeks. Then it's onto all the other rooms in the house: master bedroom, baby room, bathroom and laundry room. We tried prioritizing all the things to get done in the next 2 months (in case baby decides to come early) and the list is so long that prioritizing is even more important now! 2 procrastinators put together with an impending deadline is not a good combination. Once things are moving along, hopefully I'll find some time to share some photos. 

Yesterday we spent 3 hours doing yard work. Just like last year, we had to pick a rainy weekend to do it so we got rained on, but we worked through and got a large portion done. Dandelions this year are so ridiculously brutal that I'm sure we pulled over 200 plants yesterday and there's probably another 100 left on one side of our backyard. It wasn't too bad during the weeding since I was squatting and trying to get my ligaments to stretch out. But a few hours later, both of our backs were on fire, Jamie's palm had a popped blister the size of a nickel, my wrists and ankles were very achy and overall, we concluded that we are individuals that aren't meant to garden. I kept asking Jamie, "How do older people do this?!" and his response was the same every time, "It's because we're weak." 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Old Photo to Share

Back in November I had the amazing opportunity to work with JUST RAW Studios shooting Kenneth and Rae's wedding. They are one of the sweetest and most gorgeous couples I've met. I felt right at home since it was an Asian wedding and I understood the language! It was like I was attending my own family member's wedding so it was extra special. Working alongside a great friend, +Justin Mah , was the icing on the cake. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Big 3-0 = A Big Year

No, I didn't just turn the big 3-0. As a matter of fact I'm closer to 31 than I am to 30 now! I didn't do a year in review on January 1st like I did last year but I'm going to do a "30 years old" recap instead. I rung in the big three decade birthday surrounded by friends. It was a fabulous day full of food, laughter and great people. It rained all morning and cleared up so that we could have a nice BBQ and fire pit. This picture makes me smile and it's only one in a series of 5. Cracks me up that whenever someone says "let's do a funny shot!", all the Asians will automatically bust out of the peace fingers. Can't wait to look back at this when I'm 40, 50, 60 etc. 
July also marked a year since starting a new management job. I survived a year in my not-so-new job and that in itself is a big reason to celebrate! 

Fast forward to November and I did the unthinkable! I bought a new car and sold my 1991 Honda Accord. That Honda served my parents, then my brother and lastly, me oh so well. If definitely cost us over the years but I had the joy of having my own car at the age of 16! The freedom was priceless! I drove that car for 14 years! To think that it only sold for $500 makes me almost feel like I just threw it to the curb. As +Van Tran and I drove away, I couldn't help but cry tears of sadness as we left behind my baby. Hopefully it serves the buyer as well as it has served me. Almost forgot to tell you what I replaced the Honda with! I got myself a 2014 red Subaru Forester. It's been lovely to have heated seats. 
Mid November +Jamie Khau and I went on our 2nd "honeymoon" to Hong Kong, Thailand and Korea. It was fabulous to get away for 2 weeks to explore 2 countries we have never visited before. The awesome part was that we were able to meet up with +Marilyn Song and +Carmen Mah in Seoul! How cool is that?!? 

December creeps up as usual and we got an early Christmas present: a baby Khau! It's been such an amazing pregnancy so far and I have nothing to complain about. Minimal nausea, fatigue that's no different than my normal laziness fatigue, no weird cravings and almost no food aversions. I get nauseous all. the. time. So imagine my surprise when I discovered that I was pregnant and one of the lucky ones that could eat whatever and not hug the toilet after! Hopefully the rest of the pregnancy goes just as smoothly. I'm due August 22, 2014. Only 186 more days left to go!  

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sweetness is...

being an aunt. I can't believe my lil niece is not so little anymore! The last time I posted a picture of her, we were welcoming autumn. Now she's 6 months old, sitting, eating solids and still the giggliest, happy, easygoing baby that she's always been. I'm so grateful that I can snuggle her every week (as long as I can pry her away from her grandparents' hands). This picture on the left was taken when she was about 4 1/2 months. The ones below are closer to 5 1/2 months. From tummy time to sitting up all on her own. She did have a few "timber" types of falls but I decided against posting those since +Cynthia Chau probably wouldn't approve.