Thursday, December 31, 2009

good-bye 2009

the morning meest on the front yard plants. crazy weather yesterday and today. storm watch 2009!

some of us went to the beach today on this new year's eve, 'kayla style.' which just means we decided two days ago that we would go. after yesterday's weather i wasn't sure we'd make it but what beautiful weather it turned out to be.

we actually saw a bunch of things in the tide pools. anemones, star fish, urchins, fish, crabs, hermit crabs, and even octopi! the ocean is a wonderful and scary place.

it's the last day of 2009 and while it was a great year in many ways i'm very happy to see it go. i think this year was full of a lot of great memories and lessons to learn from. i'm looking forward to 2010 and all it's glory but if it disappoints it better go in a hurry! haha

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

recession ideas

i meant to post this project before christmas but whatever. presents are given all year round, c'mon.

everyone is feeling the pinch even though the 'experts' say that the recession is over. here's a freebee idea to make cool gift tags, embellishments, or journaling spots for card-making or scrapbooking.

if you go to the paint department of home depot or lowe's you'll find a wall stocked with paint swatches. you can grab as many as you'd like -- all for free. choose brands that have larger swatches if you need to make a lot, such as glidden. ralph lauren paint also has swatches of metallic paint, cool!

i used white ink (staz-on brand) but you could use any color. be careful using the staz-on brand, it's quite sticky and will imprint on your clothes. be sure to wipe your acrylic stamps immediately because the ink will dry opaque on your stamps which kind of defeats the purpose of having clear stamps. even though it says 'opaque' it'll work best on darker shades.
let the ink dry completely. next grab some paper punches, glitter, rhinestones, whatever you have to make your gift tag, embellishment, or journaling spot.
one thing to consider is that the back side of the swatch will not be blank. if you're making a gift tag one option is to xyron or glue two back to back to cover this. if you're making an embellishment for a card or scrapbooking page the back side probably won't show.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

celebrity lullaby, brought to you by the letter "N"

i wonder if ricky gervais does house calls...

behind the scenes. the truth behind the video..."it's called acting mr. gervais."

Friday, December 25, 2009

merry christmas

merry christmas everyone. i hope your day is merry and bright. my family and i took pictures by the fireplace with santa and elf hats (including sesame).

in the spirit of american christmas and in the same vein of thanksgiving's turkducken, i share with you the cherpumple pie cake. that's a cherry pie inside a white cake on top of a pumpkin pie inside a yellow cake on top of an apple pie inside a spice cake. that's right folks, three pies inside three different cakes all stacked on top of each other. amazing.

watch this video to learn how.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

mambi holiday project

check on a project that i posted on my boss' blog. a really fun project for kids to do if i do say so myself.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Massi 2010 Calendar

my friend alisa who is a younglife missionary in tanzania sent me an email this morning about friends of hers who are a husband and wife photography team. they have put together a 2010 portrait calendar of church members from the kikuletwa area in tanzania. the calendars are $20 + shipping and will go to help Ekklesia International Tanzania who is partnering with missionaries in the kikuletwa area (also called, massi). check it out here.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


check out my boss' blog and leave a comment to win a free giveaway! a create-your-own calendar and rhinestones from mambi (me and my big ideas, my work). you have until monday morning! last time i checked only 5 people had commented so your chances of winning are really good!

Monday, December 7, 2009

weekend project + update

brr...mark would slap me silly for thinking it's cold in california but i must confess...i'm cold! to make matters worse my office is like a refrigerator.

wishing for warmer conditions i thought about making a diy heating pad. i remembered a friend way-back-when having a homemade heating pad filled with red bean ('patt' in korean). the monday crew was at arirang korean market for other reasons but i grabbed a bag of red bean to motivate me to action.

sunday i got to it. i made a template out of paper and traced it on to cute ikea fabric that i had already. LOVE ikea fabric. couple hours later i had a homemade microwavable heating pad filled with red bean. it's made to wrap around the waist like a belt. it has a velcro closure so it'll stay up heating the back or tummy. i gave it a whirl in the microwave and sure enough it came out toasty and warm!

"sniff...sniff...what's that smell?"
"oohhh, it smell like patt here!", says my mom.
"ohhhh no."

while i do love a toasty warm red bean pastry the smell of heated red bean can be a bit much for the office. so the while the heating pad is like a dream to have in my icebox for an office the sure-thing filling has become the problem. what could be a suitable replacement with little to no smell??

after many brainstorm sessions with the monday crew and with people at work the only viable solution is rock salt. i'm going to buy some tonight and test it out. will it retain enough heat? will be painful to wear? we shall find out.

***update: the rock salt seems to be the winner. it doesn't retain heat nearly as long as the beans but they're not stinky so i guess it's give and take on this one***

Friday, December 4, 2009

a faceless friend

by frank chimero (the state of illinois from his illustrative series called 'the states')

do you email a lot? have you ever taken an online class? do you regularly email people for work related things but have never actually met them?

i have a few such cases...people i need to regularly contact for supplies we always get from the same place or a regular service we require from the same person. i talk to these people a lot more often than some of my own family members and it's all done through email. it's kind of a strange thought to imagine that i could walk down the street...not even a busy street...and i could walk right by them without knowing it was them. i mean i talk to them all the time. i inquire about their holidays and they invite me to join them for dinner should i ever visit their area but i've never even seen them. true story, i was invited to dinner should i ever find my way to northern illinois. it's a strange thought.

what's worse: to have a relationship with someone via the internet but you'd never recognize face-to-face OR to never really 'see' someone but be in the same physical space?

we live in a very interesting moment in history, don't you think? for the first time we're able to connect with people all the time at any time but i wonder about the quality of that connection. take me for example...why do i even do this silly blog? and you, why do you read it? i'm not trying to vilify the internet and its impact to society but i just wonder if we think about it. definitely not a "why so serious?" kind of moment but do we take the time to consider what it's done for us and to us. like most things in life the best and the worst of something is divided by a knife's edge. but what is also true is that the worst part of being in a scam is not knowing you're in one.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

chicago : the update

***it has been kindly requested that i not plagiarize but give credit to the other photographers of this post (ok, mark i will)***

5:55am is when i arrived in chicago. an unreal hour for mark to pick me up AND an unreal hour for me to be awake considering it was 3:55am california time.

but we weren't about to waste a minute so we headed straight to the city to grab some breakfast at the tempo café. the chicago skyline was just beautiful as we drove in. the buildings were still hiding in the morning haze so all you could see was the silhouette of downtown. the tempo café had been recommended and it was pretty yummy even though we were both half asleep still...omelet and eggs can you go wrong? can i just pause to say how much i love eggs benedict? so delicious...

this really set the tone for the trip which could only be summed up by the words: eating and other stuff.

first the eating in no particular order:
best coffee award goes to INTELLIGENTSIA COFFEE, even though we had to drive to two because the first one was closed at a ridiculously early time.

best pizza award goes to, LOU MALNATI'S, for having the first chicago-style pizza that i've liked in chicago.

biggest grill award goes to, WEBER GRILL RESTAURANT, really good pork chops and damn good pretzel bread.

photo taken by random guy

best deep-fried turkey prepared in a bathroom award goes to DAN KIM, yes it was prepped in the bathtub of mark's apt and yes it was delicious!

best lukewarm milk tea goes to JOY YEE'S NOODLES, for having milk tea available but for some strange reason not being able to make it hot but could only offer iced milk tea with no ice.

photo taken by mark

best hot dog place (two years in a row!) goes to HOT DOUG'S. however, this time i learned my's best to get the regular dogs because the specialty dogs are just a novelty. mark you were so right. one brat and one corn dog for both of us next time.

best fish sandwich and moreover best french fries (two years in a row!) goes to JIM'S ORIGINAL. fries to DIE FOR!

the other stuff in no particular order:
witness to bakery fail at meijer (market)...what a sweet cornucopia? i'm sure nadia is laughing her head off at this picture.

witness to parking fail in the parking lot of meijer, way to go meijer! (yes that is how the car was parked. mark and i were walking behind the people who got out of the guessed it - old people.)

photo taken by mark

we also went to shedd aquarium with our friend genuine and had a really great time. we didn't get to see the sea otters but we got to see a lot of other cool stuff. bodies of water house scary creatures of unusual size. i have second thoughts about swimming in the ocean.

oh, and i got accused of taking flash photography by a white lady when i told her 3 times that i wasn't using my flash. way to go white lady, you win the award for the person i'd most like to punch in the face.

photo taken by mark

we also enjoyed the city lights under a clear sky. really beautiful stuff. genuine told us about the history of the rebuilding of chicago and the stories behind some of the buildings themselves. really interesting stuff.

photo taken by mark

honorable mention:
thank you LAX for not being a complete migraine like you usually are. no, in fact you rose to the occasion and were rather pleasant indeed.

random guy and mark for providing some of the photos in this post. sheeshamunga.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


sigrid and hans lammle. calendar illustrations published in 1957. (this isn't an illustration of chicago)

ever feel the need to be elsewhere? it's not that you don't love it 'here' but you just need to be 'there.'

i'm leaving for chicago tomorrow night. i'm going for a 9 day trip to visit my honey. i'm looking forward to having a pint with mark, laughing with friends, and experience fall in the midwest. i want to be there in the city and see beautiful chicago.

i'm hoping to recharge and be inspired. but i'm ready for the brisk air to hit my face and wake me up.

Monday, November 16, 2009


i've been working on projects for my boss' blog and here's a preview of something i've cooked up, scheduled to post on black friday.

Monday, November 9, 2009


here are some more birthday cards that i've done for people at my work. we have a ton of november birthdays it's getting ridiculous.

it's always a good idea to take two different fields or seemingly different fields and see how they can mesh together. for example, taking a blanket-stitch found in sewing and applying it to a paper craft.

or taking the same embroidery thread and using it as a detail for a paper craft like the center of a paper flower.

this is always a fun experiment in other fields too and the possibilities are endless. what would happen if we were to combine music with painting, culinary and graphics, landscaping and architecture? some of the best examples of design and art has been the result of the mashing of two different fields. what interesting results could come out of combing whatever your field is with something else? this is where innovation and creativity comes alive.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

in focus

october has certainly proven to be a memorable month. work was crazy, i turned 29 years old, had my wisdom teeth pulled, my uncle passed away, my mom left for a 3-week trip to korea leaving me home with my dad.

there are times in life when things come in to focus and suddenly you feel really stupid for wishing you could buy that new jacket when you already have 30,000 jackets and life seems to become so real and certain things just have no significance anymore. but the moment passes and life becomes out of focus and you mind wanders again to that dumb jacket.

lately i keep having those moments of clarity and blurriness.

the other day i discovered my first official adult wrinkle. i know, i know, such is life. and it's not a first wrinkle but in the moment it was significant for some reason. like the physical manifestation of my bodily decay had suddenly become a reality. i'm getting older. my body will one day betray me and rebel against my wishes and in fact it has already begun to do so.

every time i listen to the radio i am reminded that our nation and our state is held together by a thread. government is so completely fallible and it's a wonder that we make any kind of progress at all. and when someone says an off-handed remark that sends another in to a spiral of defensive comebacks and darting looks i think to myself, "man, people are held together by a thread." and when my aunt sits quietly until a single picture of her wedding flashes on the projection screen at her husband's funeral i know that she was held together by a thread.

and life continues and i still have careless desires for things that don't matter and through it all something continues to hold us together.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


they're danish (i love a good danish) and they're a band that i've just discovered. i like them. now, not all their songs are good but albums rarely have nothing but good songs. they're kind of like a bubblegum 80's style band. it's the kind of music that's really good for a summer road trip that are just starting out (not at the end when you're ready to come home and you hate everyone else in the car with you), or cleaning your room, or working on an art project that you know is going to take all night, or when you're home by yourself and you just want to dance in your chonies.

music on the radio nowadays is so lame in my opinion. it's nice to hear something different and upbeat.

i miss food

i've been hungry for the past four days. i mean, ravenous. i had two wisdom teeth pulled and one cavity filled on wednesday and i haven't been able to eat anything but smoothies, jello, and pudding. normally i enjoy a tasty smoothie, the occasional jello, and rarely pudding but having it day-in and day-out is just plain maddening.

makes me reflect on last weekend's tour de food. i knew my dentist visit was coming so i wanted to spend my birthday weekend eating all the foods i love.

first i had islands on the tuesday before my bday with my old co-workers. did you know that they have endless fries/onion rings just like red robin?? fantastic! it was a toss up between their china coast salad and their hula burger. not wanting to be offensively racist i went with the hula. mm, i love me a good burger. no pictures unfortunately.

on saturday i had lunch with my parents at my most favorite chinese food place called peking restaurant in westminster on westminster ave. and newland. we go here every year for my birthday. we had dumplings, beef noodle soup with homemade noodles, and some chinese veggie i have no idea what it's called. delish. no pictures again.

dinner was with one of my closest friends randy, whom i've known since 7th grade. we went to my favorite shabu shabu place called california shabu shabu in fountain valley (woot!) on brookhurst and garfield. great customer service and the best shabu i've had in OC. see above.

sunday was the U2 concert which was food for the soul. 'nuff said.

top it off with chili's on monday night with the monday crew and their two 3-course dinners for $20. whoa! blow-you-mind kind of a deal and of course i had CFS (chicken fried steak) which is killer at chili's. remembered we should've taken a picture while walking out.

sigh, so i'm starved and i'm realizing that i'm terrible at remembering to take pictures.

Monday, October 26, 2009

as chuck would say, "life-changing"

yesterday i had the awesome chance to see U2 live in concert at the rose bowl stadium. streaming live on youtube, black eye peas opening, dvd filming, and their last concert for 2009.

vertigo tour was amazing and that was in 2005-2006. no line on the horizon was the longest they had taken to release another album and i felt nervous coming into this concert.

how would it hold up to past U2 concerts? would it just seem like deja vu and nothing new from the vertigo tour? would it be worth all the physical pain of standing for nearly 12 hours? yes it was.

the staging was simply amazing. the stage itself had so many moving parts and just when you thought you had seen all it could do it would do this:

the 360 degree screen webbed down and into this beautiful light show

my point-and-shoot seemed to have a hard time with taking shots because of the moving targets, stage lights, and frequent moving hands in front of the lens. haha, i was a little sad because all for members of U2 were so close to us but i did get a few good shots.

thanks chuck for having a ticket for me! life-changing!

Friday, October 23, 2009

he's a keeper!

at work i get a lot of boxes and packages in the mail. none of them are for me because i order a lot of things online for my boss.

today i got a box and this time it was really for me. when i opened it up i saw these lovelies. i couldn't help but keep saying, "aww!!"

mark surprised me with flowers at work and it was the sweetest thing. thanks for making my day - you're the best, sweetie!
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