the holidays

Finally developed film from the holidays, which already seems like a distant memory.

I had my first student teacher for a week now. I was a little nervous to have someone else in my classroom, but she has been a blessing! I remember those days like it was yesterday. Time really is flying by …

new year

Happy Lunar New Year!

We celebrated with our family and lots of food and well wishes for the year. I brought bunches of tulips for the my relatives, but saved a few for our place. It may even be the first time we’ve ever had flowers in the house! A small luxury but def. something I want to do more often.


Mom’s pho. So good on a cold morning. My and BJ’s goal is to learn how to make this and our own bun bo hue.


I hope everyone had a good holiday! It’s been crammed with family gatherings for us. We’ve been traveling back and forth between our place and my parent’s almost everyday. The drive across the city takes a little while, but it’s been worth it to see all my siblings in one place and I get to indulge in some of my mom’s cooking. This Christmas has also been special with BJ’s mom down here for over a week (I’m looking forward to her adobo chicken!), she’s been a good sport with our huge and boisterous group of cousins, uncles, aunts + their visiting family.

This break, I’ve been able to pick up the camera more. The place where I usually develop my photos called to tell me they going all digital, so I had to pick up my film and find another lab. Makes me a little sad. My dad is letting me borrow his old canon slr, but I’m becoming more convinced to save up for one of my own.

Getting back into work mode is going to be hard after waking up around 11am for the past few days…


I really do love this time of year, although it always comes sooner than I realize and sometimes I don’t soak it all in before it’s gone. Looking forward to some baking, crafting, picture-taking, and hanging out with friends and family.

On Sunday, my siblings and cousins came over for the day. We packed ourselves into 3 cars and headed to Discovery Green to ice skate—for most of them, their first time on the ice. Lots of other Houstonians had the same idea (you should see how excited our city gets when it actually snows) so the rink was roughly as crowded and chaotic as a livestock pen, but it was fun nonetheless. Afterward we all went back to our place, ate shepherd’s pie and candy, rediscovered the charms of Home Alone, before ending the night in a quest for frozen yogurt. I hope these all form part of a new family tradition. The thing about having multiple sides of your giant extended family in one area is that traditions don’t always have a chance to emerge and stick; one year, you go to one aunt’s, the next year maybe you’re at your uncle’s on the other side.

I have an endless supply of kraft paper at work and, since I gave away all my wrapping paper during the Great Moving Purge of 2011, I thought I would try making my own with the help of these stamps from Yellow Owl Workshop. BJ was let down a bit that our freakishly odorless fraser fir didn’t fill the air with those signature evergreen smells that mark the arrival of the holidays. His words. I grew up with the plastic trees, so I really didn’t get what I was missing out on. But it made sense after he band-aided the problem with a “Christmas wreath” candle that has our place smelling recognizably Christmas-y. In winterless Houston, these measures are necessary. For decorations, I’ve been working on Confetti System-inspired ornaments after seeing it on esb’s pinterest. I have a soft spot for soothingly repetitive crafts (beading, papercutting, the like) and this falls right into that category. Plus, I think they’ll work well as year-round decor, right?



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 …


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.

beautiful garden

During our trip to Portland, a lot of my relatives were staying over at my uncle’s place, so he kindly put us up in a cozy little room he built in the backyard. It was awkwardly dubbed the honeymoon suite (we get it, y’all want kids), but we could see everyone through the windows and vice versa – not so romantic. But it was surrounded by his beautiful garden and there was no doubt he put care and love into that space.

after the ceremony

Rest of the wedding photos. After the ceremony, ice cream at Salt & Straw, dinner inside the Portland Art Museum, and flowers and favors by my aunt. Good times…