om mani padme hum.

A lot of people tend to stop me and ask me what the tattoo on my upper left arm is. Some even think it says something in english alphabets, just written in a fancy way. 
I always find it difficult to explain because I'd like to go into detail about it's meaning and where it comes from (to share) but I can't find any easy way of doing so; so, I usually just say "it's a buddhist prayer written in sanskrit" & most respond with "oh...ok, it looks cool".

Anyway, thought i'd give a little background on it for anyone who cares to learn.

It is pronounced: Om mani padme hum though there are various ways of saying it, depending on where you are from, etc. It is a mantra that is particularly associated with Avalokiteshvara (aka: Chenrezig, Kuan Yin, Guanyin.)
The mantra is especially revered by the devotees of the Dalai Lama, as he is said to be an incarnation of Chenrezig. 

I've learned that it is quite difficult to really translate it into English and there are various ways of interpretation as the effect of the mantra lies beyond strict meaning.

SyllableSix PāramitāsPurifies

OmGenerosityPride / Ego

MaEthicsJealousy / Lust for entertainment

NiPatiencePassion / desire

PadDiligenceIgnorance / prejudice

MeRenunciationPoverty / possessiveness

HumWisdomAggression / hatred

Definition by H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama:

"It is very good to recite the mantra Om mani padme hum, but while you are doing it, you should be thinking on its meaning, for the meaning of the six syllables is great and vast... The first, Om [...] symbolizes the practitioner's impure body, speech, and mind; it also symbolizes the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha[...]"
"The path is indicated by the next four syllables. Mani, meaning jewel, symbolizes the factors of method: (the) altruistic intention to become enlightened, compassion, and love.[...]"
"The two syllables, padme, meaning lotus, symbolize wisdom[...]"
"Purity must be achieved by an indivisible unity of method and wisdom, symbolized by the final syllable hum, which indicates indivisibility[...]"
"Thus the six syllables, om mani padme hum, mean that in dependence on the practice of a path which is an indivisible union of method and wisdom, you can transform your impure body, speech, and mind into the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha[...]"

'Dark Ash' & 'Almost Pink'.

I painted the accent wall in the master & the accent wall in Zolie's room yesterday -- along with majority of the white in Zolie's room and most of the ceiling in the master. (experiencing body aches since last night!
Quite pleased with the way the colors came out; just a few touch-ups left to do and the rooms will be done! --As far as the painting goes anyway...


Zolie's 1st birthday centerpieces.

M&M ladybug centerpieces. 

Semi-last minute centerpieces! 
As the date neared (the night before), I realized that I didn't spend enough time on the centerpieces! It was okay though because I didn't plan on making anything extravagant/big because we had a candy bar as well which also took a lot of time & planning! 
Anyway, I  planned on making about 12 ribbon topiaries but, MY GOSH they are time consuming! Especially if it's your first time trying to do them but, they are so pretty! ( I don't think I even got close to 12)

& so, for the jars that didn't have topiaries, I put some daisies with little ladybugs! (:
& little Emma peeking!

Depending on the size styrofoam balls you use, I think it's a good idea to use dowels instead of puny skewers! 
It will probably stand a lot better. 

Here are more ribbon topiary photos made by others:

I think this one is made with strips of scrapbooking paper. Super cute!

Paint colors! by Behr.

Behr: Silver Leaf.

We chose Behr's 'Silver Leaf' for the living room area; it's hard to tell from the color sample & the terrible photo but, it actually has a very subtle blue tone to it which we love! It looks really crisp & light.
We went with the ultra premium plus paint (paint & primer in one) since it gives better coverage & also got it in semi-gloss for easier cleaning which Zolie already decided to test by coloring on the walls with her washable crayons! & yes, it came right off with a damp paper towel! 

Originally,  we tested out Behr's 'Shimmer' (pictured below) & i loved the color but, it was a bit too light in comparison to the adjacent wall so, we decided to try a shade darker & went with 'April Mist' (above) which we really, really love!
They both look a lot more blue when applied to the wall.

Below is 'April Mist' on our kitchen walls.
(with flash)

(no flash)
The lighting affects the way the color looks so, always test the paint in the actual space before settling on a color. 

For an accent wall in the master bedroom, we chose 'Dark Ash'. We were going to do a straight black color but somehow ended up getting this dark grey color.

I had picked out a sunny yellow color for Zolie's room & really liked the way it looked on the wall, but, after looking through many, many photos of rooms, color schemes & such, we ended up getting 'Almost Pink'.  It's a really light pink color with a hint of salmon. 

(Pictures of 'Dark Ash' & 'Almost Pink' coming soon!) (:


Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische.

I stumbled upon Jessica's blog where she graciously offers one drop cap each day (for use on your site or blog. She even adds instructions in each post on how to add each drop cap to your site/blog. (:

Jessica is a typographer & illustrator with a very impressive list of clientele. She definitely knows how to use color & her creativity with letter-work/ illustration is amazing! 
Check out her site here. (: you will love it!


Sweet Jessie's Fabric Garland.

I love this! It's so simple & cute. 

Sweet Jessie Handmade is a line of lovely little things made from a gorgeous selection of vintage linens. Using repurposed materials makes each item not only beautiful and unique, but also just a bit more environmentally friendly.



so, I have no idea what happened to that photo.
I definitely did not edit it to look that way.

1) spent time after work with Zolie; we went shopping for house stuff & she got a juice from sbux.
2) went over to the new place to test out some colors & gave Zolie a crayon...
3) Zolie coloring at outlet.
4) Zolie drew on the floor. Which I did not mind since we are tearing them out. 
(she also drew on the newly painted door; luckly, i buy her washable crayons which are amazing because they wipe right off!)


Inspiration. (on a budget!)

We got our keys for our new place yesterday! & finally get to remodel/decorate freely!
& also realized we have only about one month to try and remodel. (the owners of our current rental want to move back in by August 31. which I also just found out a couple days ago!) With such a short time period and a tiny budget, we need to figure out where to allocate costs & time. 

We've picked out our flooring & the color should look similar to the above photo. I hope! 

We all know that cabinetry & countertops can be quite costly & unfortunately, we're in no position to gut the kitchen and get a brand new one. bummer! It's really not that depressing though because paint and accessorizing can do A LOT.
We're still trying to decide on whether to change out the countertops to just a temporary laminate, and whether to paint the cabinet doors.  Right now, both the cabinets and c-tops are white; although I do appreciate that- they are a bit beat-up. 

I think we will be painting an accent wall along the dining area into the kitchen area & adding a glass tile backsplash (still unsure on color) behind the range. Which can be done yourself for a really affordable cost!

In the master bedroom, we will be painting an accent wall (probably the shorter one) with black! I've been in love with black walls for so long & have been waiting for the opportunity to paint my own! 

This room is so great. Black wall & The Beatles! with the low profile bed! <3

Chevron wall... I'd love to do this with paint but, this is a great option as well! - Contact paper! We'll see...
DIY info: here.

Kiddie art corner! I absolutely love this idea!
Since we are planning on turning the 2nd. bedroom into an office rather than a bedroom, I was thinking of also adding this space in there for Zolie! It'd be perfect! 
{fyi: that little table/chairs in the photo are decorated with Japanese mt tape! which I love!}

Especially since I will be putting my desk in the closet!
Like this! Probably won't look as pretty but, the concept is there...
Hopefully my big desk will fit in our closet.

This project will get started on asap as well! DIY tufted headboard!
DIY info: here.

I will be taking photos of the space as is & sharing our step by step phases! 


My little mushroom, Zolie.

She has no idea just how much she's made my life.

My little munchkin. She's grown so quickly. It's only been 14 months and two weeks  but, she's been able to bring so much love into my world. 

More on Zolie later! 

Ip Man & Ip Man 2.

Ip Man can punch you in the face 50 times before you even realize someone is hitting you.

Usually, I don't care much for kung-fu movies, but, once in a while I come across one that I love. In this case, it's Ip Man & Ip Man 2. At first, it's a light-hearted action movie... until the Japanese Imperial Army decide to step in & invade China then, the ass kicking really begins. 

The film was made as a biopic to focus on the famous Bruce Lee's Master, Ip (or Yip) Man. The two films are based on the real history of Ip Man in the 1930's through the 1950's , keeping some actual historical truth, while skimming past many (for the sake of entertaining, of course...).

Ip Man (2008)

Ip Man 2 (2010)

Anyway, i'm no film critic. I just have an opinion and feel that these two films are good enough to share and recommend to the lovers & non-lovers of kung-fu films. Trust me, they are more than just ass-kicking action. (:

A bit of info of Master Yip Man:

Yip Man (葉問) November 6, 1893-December 2, 1972
Yip Man is considered the first martial arts master to teach Wing Chun openly.
He has many notable students, the most famous probably being Bruce Lee.

PARC 55.

oh, hi. i can hardly wait to meet you.

best of all, i hope our view is similar to this spectacularness!
or... this is just a pretty photo. 
(& yes, i've made up a word)