The weather is finally feeling like fall around here. Spent Thanksgiving with my huge family, and I ended up staying behind on Friday instead of going to New Orleans with BJ for our friends wedding. It gave me time to hang out with my siblings (sleepover like old times) and cook with my mom. I also made this delicious chili, watched a marathon of football games and Millionaire Matchmaker with Jeff, and got some more rugs for the house. All my work  got pushed to Sunday, but it was worth it to lounge around and decompress all week. I’m already looking forward to Christmas break. I’m feeling inspired to make work …


get organized

This is what I did all day long, with a mini break to grab bento boxes with BJ and Jeff. All of the kitchen boxes have been unpacked and things are starting to get organized. It’s not completely done yet. We plan on adding another sideboard table, put up a magnetic knife strip, and hang some more art to fill the gaps, but it’s pretty much functional now. I tend to like kitchen spaces where everything is hidden and counters are clear, but we gotta work with what we have and our place is growing on me more and more.

For the kitchen, we got  a lot of organizational things from Ikea, and it has made a huge difference. The sideboard table is sturdy, solid wood and gives us much-needed prep space. The bulletin board holds recipes, keys, and artwork (I found a Chris Ware Thanksgiving print just in time). Above the table, I put up this rail and container. Our move happened pretty quickly, so a lot of the nails were still left on the walls by the previous tenants. It’s actually worked out well, because I can easily hang what we have. I saw a nail on the cabinet near the kitchen sink and the Asker container mounts perfectly. I might get a few more to hold herbs for cooking since there’s a drainage hole at the bottom.

Other small victories: hanging lots of curtains, finally figuring out the weird rack on the pantry door is for lids, getting our first window open (ah! they’re all painted shut), and making a temporary headboard with two chairs. I’ve never used tools as much as I have in the last month and I’ve already learned so much about fixing things up. And it’s actually been fun.* Who would have thought?

Next step: saving up for a dining table, chairs, and fixing the old vent near the stove.

* I did watch a ton of This Old House, Holmes on Homes, and HGTV growing up.


One of the benefits of having 4 sisters is the ease of sharing/swapping clothes. Thuy came home last Friday from Atlanta and she gave me this sweater she thrifted. I love the grey & yellow combo as well as the pattern, but I’m waiting for the 80 degrees+ weather to drop (come on, cold front!).

In a similar style, I picked up a rug from the Guild Shop this morning. This is my first time living with some much wall to wall carpet in awhile, so I’ve been looking for some affordable rugs to cover up the not so pretty spots. Things go quickly at the Guild I’ve learned- the one I had my eye on was gone.



favorite things

My demo pieces for my class last week. They learned how to use basic shapes to create illustrations and then had to pick a theme to create a piece on afterwards. I did my favorite tools and things to eat.


time flies

Time flies! I can’t believe I took these before Thuy went back to school and she’ll already be back from SCAD next week. I’m excited to see what she’s been working on. One of my most worst faults is I am awful at keeping in touch with my siblings, friends, and family. I hate using phones and have never even skyped. But enough is enough: I do want to save up to visit you guys, and in the mean time I’m going to make a more concerted effort to catch up and stay in contact.

settling in

Hi. Taking  break from grading. We’re sleeping in the middle of boxes and plastic carpet covers. I can’t wait for the day when we are settled in our own place. It probably will be several years from now, but man, moving is so stressful. I sent BJ a link from Apartment Therapy this week about decluttering books (We had 30+ boxes), but he wasn’t convinced, haha.

Here are some shots of our place right now. It’s going to be a lot of work getting it to where we want, but I’m having fun learning how to fix things up.

The pros:

  • it has a lot of character and orginal fixtures
  • the park, gardens, zoos, and museums are within walking distance
  • we have a designated office space
  • BJ could walk to work = we can still share a car
  • some of the gaudy fixtures are so bad, they’re awesome
  • natural lighting everywhere
  • our friends live right below!
  • New Orleans style balconies

The cons (many that are fixable):

  • lots and lots of painting and spackling
  • bad carpet
  • longer commute for me
  • windows are painted shut
  • fluorescent lighting in a few rooms
  • smaller kitchen & no hood