Inspired by Lanna Culture and Design in Thailand

In the my last post of Chiang Mai, I briefly mentioned how I was loving the style of our hotel, the Shewe Wana.  I started noticing more examples of this colonial Chinese design all over the city and was completely captured by the details and history of it all.  To understand it, I needed to understand the history and the location. Chiang Mai is one of the oldest cities of Thailand, and was actually part of the Lanna Kingdom back in the late 1200s.  The Lanna Kingdom had influences from all over because of the historic Silk Road trade route.  A blend of Indian and Chinese cultures really infused the Kingdom that was already rich in its own natural wealth.  Northern Thailand has an abundance of nature to enjoy with a picturesque atmosphere of rivers, forests, mountains, animals, and more. I started noticing all the use of old and reclaimed woods, […]

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Finding Some Goodies at the Alameda Antique Fair

As I’m mostly packed and ready to embark on my trip to Thailand tomorrow, I wanted to write a post now about things I did today and schedule it for the day that I return.  I may have jet lag and be too tired to write, or I may just be wanting to spend the day hugging and kissing my Evie, but better to be prepared, right? Today was my attempt to have a “lazy Sunday” and relax with the family before the trip.  After a night of working a personal history project, I called it a night and went to bed around 4 am. My daughter was already there with my husband and I got to snuggle with her to fall asleep.  Early in the morning, she woke me up to talk about something, I engaged for a bit, but fell back asleep and woke up a couple hours […]

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Being an Entrepreneurial Designer, Creative Director, and Blogger, While Also Having a Family: Interview of My Husband, Peabe

Until now, I haven’t said too much about my other half.  Instead of writing about him, I thought I would take the opportunity to interview him.  This designer and illustrator has been blogging for years on the side of regular creative positions within companies, as well as his own project enterprises.  On top of all of that, he makes time to be an amazing partner in life and an equally amazing father. 1. Why don’t we start with telling the readers what you are currently doing in the world as a designer and illustrator. That was a nice intro =). On top of my 9-5 as an Associate Art Director at Pandora, I’ve been really enjoying doing a lot of illustration work as of late. I’ve translated a lot of my current work into pins, prints, patches, & stickers.  The illustration has been a nice and fun escape from the […]

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How NOT to Keep Kids Engaged, My Spring Break Fail

Yeah, life gets busy and as much as you want to do with your child, sometimes you just can’t get to it.  I just want to take this time to mom-shame myself.  I feel a little horrible about my daughter’s really uneventful spring break with mom. Last year, we had this amazing RV trip down into southern California, I wrote about it all HERE.  This year came around, and I’ve been so busy with so many projects, I just couldn’t get myself to let go of my own agenda. I had really high hopes too.  We were going to take our monthly camp weekend, just the two of us for some good old one-on-one time in the forest.  I wanted to make it into her first fishing trip for 2016.  She caught her first fist last year, and has been so excited to do it again.  I wanted to take […]

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Celebrating Evie’s 4th Birthday Without Breaking the Bank

How can I incorporate my family’s love for the outdoors and a preschooler’s active and inquisitive nature into a birthday celebration without spending too much? As a kid, my parents really didn’t throw any of us birthday parties.  I mean, there were 5 of us kids, and birthday parties get expensive.  Most times, our birthdays were just celebrated at home where my mom cooked up some Filipino noodles, called pancit, and we had a homemade birthday cake.  She believed in most Filipino superstition, and eating long noodles were a sign of long life.  Unfortunately, I never learned how to cook pancit as well as mom does, so I haven’t really continued that tradition. Last year, when Evie turned 3, we decided to throw her first co-ed friends and family birthday party.  It was her first year in preschool and she was pretty close to all of her buddies, so we […]

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Where to Getaway for Camping, Aquarium Time, and a Sunset on the Beach

For the month of February, things were getting a little busy with Evie’s birthday preparations and the family that was coming in town to celebrate with us.  We thought about possibly postponing our usual camp weekend, but we also felt the need to get away and relax after all the events were over.  One of the greatest opportunities we have living here in California is the various options for getaway weekends.  In any direction, and in as little as an hour, we can find ourselves having an adventure. Coming from Chicago, I got used to the only getaway options being the Wisconsin Dells or Indiana Beach.  Don’t get me wrong, Illinois has its share of nature to fish and hike, but sometimes these places start looking identical.  The drawback to living in the Midwest, I guess.  California has options because of the ecological diversity here.  From mountain ranges, to deserts, to […]

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St. Patty’s Day Post – Featuring a Study on the Color Green

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day, world! Coming from Chicago, I have a deep appreciation for this holiday.  From the Chicago River being dyed green every year, to my grade school friends all knowing how to step dance, to me being part of the Irish club in high school, to drinking green beers down in Wrigleyville in my 20’s… I have lots of memories for the occasion.  As we speak, I have the corned beef cooking in the crock pot for later.  Mmmmm…. I can’t wait. With all the fondness of the holiday, I can’t say that I am a fan of the color green.  My mind automatically goes to a Kelly green, which I think is such an obnoxious color.  (Sorry, if I offend those who really like the color, but it really is a terrible color for design)  Maybe it’s because of my ties to St. Patty’s Day and Chicago, […]

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Thoughts of Having a Daughter During International Women’s Month

Personally, I think my own mother was the hardest working between both my parents.  She would work 12-16 hour nursing shifts, then end up going out to home care visits on the side just to make a better life for her family.  Of course this meant that she wasn’t around regularly.  From not spending Christmas together to not going to school conferences, I was used to not having her around, a typical immigrant parent’s story.  I think this was just the beginning of seeing first hand how hard a woman’s job really is. As you grow, there are so many instances that you start to question your strength as a female in this world.  Living up to society’s unrealistic physical standards and having to deal with sexism and misogyny on a regular basis.  There are too many instances to name, but i’m trying to stay on topic.  We live in a world where […]

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#eviebearadventures

I’ve gotten a lot of response from the hashtag I created for my daughter, #eviebearadventures.  Both on Instagram and Facebook, people love following this girl on all her trips and activities.  I must admit, she does a lot.  I know it’s not the conventional life for a little one, but my husband and I are not really conventional types.  She really has been so great at being adaptable and flexible to all the different things we do, another testament to how awesome my daughter is.  She has inspired more activities, more traveling, and more sharing. Because of this response, #eviebearadventures has influenced the creation of this blog.  Wanting to share in more detail and document it all for her when she is older.  Some parents write their kids emails, some take a lot of photos, and this is my own way to really share with her.  My own mother used […]

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Starting With Some Positive Thoughts Into The Universe

Taking the first step in moving toward a life that I don’t quite have yet, but hope to.  Maybe it’s a bit premature, but there are lots of reasons why I’ve held back.  I’m not a strong writer, I don’t really know anything about blogging and will be learning on the way.  I am always too critical to show my own work and my nature is to observe and restrained at times.  Why blog then?  This is completely the opposite of how I see myself, so why do it? On my last birthday was a rough one.  As a married mother, I struggled with the idea of another birthday.  Not because I would be another year older, but rather because of where I was in life.  I had a sort of a career, a first child, a memorable wedding… the thought of having more life experiences after that was daunting. […]

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