Some fun links around the web including a photo video of an aerial tour of LA in a Cherokee, a glass tumbler every French family owns and a progressive education model wildly popular in Europe (and possibly America in the near future).Read More
Kevin and I are headed for Spain and France next week! I am besides myself with excitement and joy. I love to travel. It feeds my soul and inspires me. Having lived in California the past 5 years without traveling out of United States much (except for going to Singapore and Shanghai 2 years ago), I am so looking forward to going back to Europe. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love California and what it has to offer. But exploring new cities, cultures and revisiting old places, plus I get to do it with Kevin! 3 weeks of city-trotting on our own, in my most-loved part of the world. Can you tell I'm really REALLY excited?
Having said that, I need to pack! Even though I'm still in Sedona transitioning Kyan into his new routine with preschool and grandparents, I'm starting to plan in my head what I need to bring. Now that I have birthed a child out of my pelvis and nearing thirty-six, my body is starting to ache in places that's never given me problems before, namely my lower back, and more recently my heels. I find myself looking for shoes with more support and cushion. Living in California, driving everywhere I go from door-to-door, I can afford to wear flip-flops with next to no cushion and no support. But I have a feeling for this trip, I am going to need something more functional than my rainbows.
I have a few pairs of Birkenstocks that I love that is cute, comfortable and cushioned. I can wear them all day, around the house and not feel like my back or heel is killing me. But that's about it for long walking. For shorter walking, I have my go-to Bensimons that I practically lived in when I was living in Paris. They are cute, easy and comfortable. I call them The French Converse - every French girl wears them. I also recently bought a pair of Soludos and they are super comfy too, especially for hot weather, but unfortunately lack cushion for my heel for all day walking. And my favorite Repetto ballerina flats which I love, goes everywhere with me, because it is super light, but they absolutely kill my back so I reserve only for short (fancier) outings.
So, you see, I keep wondering about better options out there and I'm stuck. Everything I've looked at, that are more functional, are either too clunky or too touristy. What do you wear when you know you have to walk a lot and definitely need cushion, comfort and cute? What are your favorites to bring on a vacation that won't blister or kill your backs and heels? I would love to know!
Featuring food magazine editor Josephine Soh and sharing her beauty-insider tips on her favorite undereye concealer, her work/life balance, the inspiration that effected a change in the way she cooks and a special ritual to reveal natural beauty from within.Read More
The weekend is here again. What are you going to be doing? We are hosting friends coming from out-of-town and looking forward to having some adult conversations, fine foods and laughs. Getting the house in order, working on my blog and caring for Kyan has been a challenge for me - some days I just feel like I'm not cutting it. But I made it through this week and am really excited about a few posts I'm working on for next week so I tell myself all the challenges in finding my balance is worth it.
Here's a few links I found around the internet that stirred my wonder and made my smile.
Looking at these treehouses around the world made me want one for Kyan and one for me!
I've been hunting around for kitchen linens that are simple and made with natural fibres and finally discovered these, which are also the most reasonably priced, good-looking ones around (finally!). And they are having a summer sale!
Really digging this cute trend.
Here's even more reasons to wear sunscreen.
The alternative to a camp trailer - A fabulous school bus home!
Now that i'm starting to take more pictures of the food we make around here, I find myself looking for ways to compose a better picture. Here's a great blog article on food photography.
This is such a meaningful project I want to be a part of - The School of Life.
A fablulous read for mamas looking for Waldorf-inspired learning for young children.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
Some interesting links around the web including tips on being mindful, a sweet deal on one of our staple food and something I really want.Read More
Pamelyn Chee is a prolific asian actress working in Hollywood, with lead roles on 2 HBO Asia Series: Grace and Serangoon Road. She recently completed the Sci-Fi feature Beyond Skyline, starring alongside Frank Grillo and The Raid's Iko Uwais.
Pamelyn is also a photographer for Getty Images and is based in Los Angeles.
She happens to be my friend and one of the greatest force behind the inspiration for my blog. I have always admired her style and spirit and couldn't be more thrilled when she agreed to do our very first Beauty Wardrobe. I always wonder about what beauty products work for my friends and what their secrets are staying beautiful, inside and out.
Here, I share with you Pamelyn's insider tips, including her favorite natural make-up remover, an indispensable tool and a beauty ritual she swears by.
What's your daily skincare routine?
I use olive oil to remove makeup and use an organic cream cleanser from NOW to remove the oil. I then follow up with a drop of avocado oil if the weather is dry. If not, a simple fragrance free Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer from Hada Labo is pretty decent and works wonders!
What do you wear on your face?
If I'm not working, there is nothing on my face, not even sunscreen. The skin needs to breathe. When I do wear makeup, I reach for my Andalou Natural Sunscreen, or Dior Sunscreen for higher protection. I like 100% Pure Foundation and Pressed Powder and the YSL 'Youth Liberator' Serum Foundation SPF 20 for a glowly look. I love my Dior eyeliner pencil because it's the blackest pencil I can find. My Chacott concealer and loose powder are also basics in my make-up pouch.
Do you have a favorite tool you take everywhere with you?
Yes. My Koji extra wide eyelash curler is a must have for flat asian eyes. I also love my microfiber washcloth - the non fancy, non-irritating washcloth to give your skin a good exfoliation without chemicals or products - just warm water!
Are there any foods or drinks that help you feel your best?
A wheatgrass smoothie in the morning, or fresh vegetable juice can work wonders. Throw in an apple if you aren't used to the taste of pure green juice.
Do you have any rituals that help you feel good?
I am a firm believer of cupping therapy - I do it every couple of weeks. It gets your circulation going and relieves all the knots and tension in your body.
What scents are you into right now?
Bvlgari Green Tea.
What do you feel makes a woman beautiful?
Don't cry before you sleep or you'll wake up with puffy eyes. Don't fight before you sleep or you'll have a sleepless night and wake up with dark eye rings. And be kind to yourself!
What advice would you give your younger self?
Keep it simple! Don't put so much stuff on your face.
Fun links around the web to feed your body, soul and dreams.Read More
Some lip favorites and my holy-grail red lipstick.Read More
Wonderlinks for your weekend musings.Read More
That's us celebrating getting the keys to our new home. I found our house by trolling Redfin.com. I was on my computer and saw the listing the second it was listed. It was a short sale. Less than 48 hours later, the house was taken off the market and they stop showing. We had been searching for more than six months and had not seen anything that checked most of our boxes (and we have MANY boxes), until we saw this one. Our offer was accepted quickly by the owners, but the whole escrow process with the bank was one nervous breakdown after another (first we had to beat out 10 other offers, then we had to watch our future home get put on an online auction because the bank wanted to make sure they are getting the best possible price they could). We eventually pulled through with the help of our extremely competent and professional realtor, Kelly Laule from Better Living Socal and closed the deal. Without our realtor, we would have never gotten this house. From putting in an offer to getting our keys - 4 months.
The 1st order of things for us was to paint the house. I asked Kevin what colors he liked and he said "beige". I gave him a second chance and he said "earth tones" - much better.
I love colors and I love playing with colors. I started pouring through paint color inspirations for a clean, modern but warm feel. I wanted colors that called out to us, nature tones that felt soothing but not boring. I didn't want any strong colors because I knew I would tire of quickly. For weeks, I wake up and go to bed thinking of colors. My Architect friend, Ker How from A Solid Plan who's helped me over the years with design challenges, patiently nurtured my obsession and gave great ideas on how to create the feel I wanted for our home.
I studied the different types and brands of paints available to us - the low / no VOCs (Volatile Organic Compound), the gloss, satin, eggshell, flat, the clay, acrylics, high and low pigment paints. During my research, I stumbled upon Farrow & Ball paints. Farrow & Ball paints are eco-friendly, low VOCs, highly pigmented and gives a luscious flat, clay finish that cleans up beautifully with just a damp cloth. Their colors worked seamlessly together into the spaces I was trying to create. I ended up picking all the colors for our house from the Farrow & Ball fan deck, loaned to me generously by Cindy from Farrow & Ball at their Costa Mesa Location.
I took a long time deciding on a few of the remaining colors. By the time I had decided on the rest of the house, there was no time to place an online order and wait for delivery. I took the fan deck to my local Orange Paint Store and met with the very talented and patient Junior. They use Benjamin Moore paints at their store. I went with the low VOC BM Aura line, which was also a high pigment paint and he helped match the colors from Farrow & Ball as close as he could under my meticulous scrutiny. I love how the colors came out. I really enjoyed using Benjamin Moore paints. But there's an unmistakable, glorious, flat yet chameleon-y softness and depth about Farrow & Ball paints that put them a class above other paints.
The F&B Blue Gray is a slightly cool mix of blue, green and black pigments. It has this magical quality of changing between blue and grey depending on the light conditions and time of day resulting in a very relaxed feel that belongs.
I drew inspirations for our kitchen from these:
And decided on this:
The bathroom was a difficult one for me because it was right by the entry and you can see the wall colors from the front door when you enter. The counter area also has natural skylight coming through and the shower tub area was completely dark. I found my colors for our bathroom when I saw this:
I kept asking Kyan what color he wanted for his bedroom and he kept picking colors like the really bright St Giles Blue or the super moody Cook's Blue.
And we finally ended up with this:
I knew I wanted a blue/orange theme for the living area, keeping in mind "earth tones". The whole living area is open and tricky. I pulled the same warm neutral dark gray from the entry into the living area to create interest and to tie in the colors I wanted. I kept trying to add some lavenders and purple tones, which I thought I would really love, but they just feel so melancholic to me. After all the furnishings and accents pieces went in and we finally put up the centerpiece artwork Kevin found at a garage sale years ago, I noticed the uncanny coincidence of how nicely the colors on the artwork complimented the colors I had chosen for our main living area. That really put a smile on my face.
With a child in the house, painting with low/no VOCs is the only way to go. Read here if you want to know why VOCs are harmful. I did not get any headaches and never found myself having to go out for air during the whole painting project. We love the Benjamin Moore Paints we used and will not hesitate to use them again. Farrow & Ball Paints are simply a dream to use, touch and admire. I absolutely love the flat, clay-like finish and the dreamy softness it offers at different times of the day and highly recommend it.