Sunday, January 29, 2012

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A visit to the Russian submarine...

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and the Queen Mary.

It was a trip back in time.

Friday, January 27, 2012

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Here I am still talking about my Christmas present. Among the many many gifts I received from my parents-in-laws this year, there was a gigantic box that sat out in my living room for several weeks all the way up til Christmas morning. Finally I got the chance to open it, and it turned out to be a incomplete miniature farm, modeled after his real farm house, crafted from scratch by my father-in-law.

Not only it was exquisitely crafted, it came with a tiny water pump that could turn into a small fountain at the back of the garden. There were farm animals, a bench with fishing rot by the lake, a little house, and a backyard to the little house with wooden fence, and of course a dog named Rudy and a oil lantern on the front porch.

It's one thing to go out and buy a gift, another to spend hours making one! I spent a long time deciding whether I should make it into a shade garden or a sun garden, finally yesterday I decided that since I could see it more often in the backyard than the front yard, I would make it a shade garden. The part I had to fill in was very easy, I added a gazebo, a gate, and plants. I might go back and change a few plants and add some patio furniture, but the over all layout is set. Fairy gardening is so much fun, have you ever been tempted to make one yourself?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

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The weather is fantastic today! I got up in the morning and went to the beach to have breakfast with Kelly and Alfie. I ordered Belgian waffles for myself and a hamburger patty for the kids. In two months I'd been living in my new house, in a new neighborhood with my new husband for a year now, time goes by fast, and don't I say that a lot!

I've been thinking of working and going to school again lately. I suddenly have the idea of opening my own shop of some sort. The idea of sitting 8 hours a day talking til my throat burns out giving piano lessons to little kids doesn't appeal to me anymore. It seems like a lot of fun to have, say, a clothing boutique of my own? When the weather is nice I tend to dream, but I can still dream right?

Sunday, January 22, 2012



Ok, things are serious if someone like me has come up with a plan. So here it is, a plan, for the living room, with the piano and a seating area peacefully co-exist without being on each other's throat.


For now the desk and chairs are all out. My new plan includes a sofa and arm chair from pottery barn, a new coffee table, and some other small stuff. Decorating the house is fun, when the work is all over and done with...

Friday, January 20, 2012

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Here comes the sad truth, after paying a pretty penny for a set of French antique settee and chairs, waiting patiently for weeks for it to be imported into the US, arranging it, rearranging it for day after day after week after week, my house has finally told me that it is not going to work.

I truly believe that when it comes to purchasing a home, the house select its owners too. It also select it's style and furnishings, and when something doesn't work, it simply just doesn't work! The slightly perfectionist tendency in me has caused me to constantly obsessing over rearranging the chairs so that it would be "perfect," and since I have not been able to find a good way to place the chairs "perfectly", it caused discomfort that's hard to describe in words except a sensation of constant headache. Ok, everybody's got their corks, right?

I bought this Mobler chair on ebay last year, it has been to every room of the house except the piano room, today I hauled out all the French chairs and place this little chair in the room, and viola! It is just perfect! It's simple and clean, and what... I don't feel a headache coming on? That means it's good, it's all good! That means we are going to try for a Danish modern look, let's hope better luck the second time around!
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There are a few childhood favorite dishes that I love til this day. Shredded potato served cold is one of them. I'm so grateful about living far away from my home town yet Chinese food is so readily available. What are some of your childhood favorite dishes?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

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I haven't made any new fairy garden lately because the real garden requires some attention. I've been working very little lately and doing a lot of gardening instead and I am happier than ever. Somehow gardening fills me like nothing else. There's something about breaking a good sweat, getting my hands dirty in the soil, and being in the open fresh air that fills me like nothing else.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

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Ever since my walnut tree collapsed, the side corner of my house had been looking like a jungle. I finally got a few plants planted at the old spot today. It feels nice to get things done around the house!

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A camellia tree, two carnations, a french lavender, and something I don't know the names of... it still looks kind of shabby, but no worries, the important thing is to put the plants at the right spot with the right sun requirements, and leave them enough space to grow. I think we are well on our way to having a beautiful front yard again!

Here's my to do list:

1. pave brick pathway in concrete.
2. fix side walk.
3. plant cherry blossom tree.
4. scoop up old gravel, replace with new ones.
5. put in pathway lights.
6. replace iceberg roses under the window.
7. add cement urn planters on the brick posts.

That's about all I can think of for now, and it seems like an awful lot of work. Hopefully I will check off this list soon!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

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I wonder why I never dreamed about him at all even though I think about him everyday.


Two miniature roses on my plant list: Cafe ole and Pinstripe. Image from heirloom roses.
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I think this is called appleblossom rose bud, it's a type of geraniums not commonly seen in nurseries. I wish there are more of them in my garden this year!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

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It's always fun to check out exciting new places when they are not overly packed with people. My husband and I walked around a little shopping district near the beach, visited a new nursery, rearranged our living room, and had sushi at a new restaurant. With blink of an eye, it's middle of January already, life goes by fast!

Friday, January 13, 2012


I love this potting bench plan. Maybe if I can find a local carpenter... 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

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This is the first larger plant I got for the front yard. After visiting several different nurseries, I pulled this one out from behind a bunch of camellias. It didn't have a label so I don't know the exact name of this camellia, but maybe it's Linda Brothers? It looked different from all the other camellia that I've seen at nurseries so far. It sort of looked like a small peony and has a very pale shade of pink. Unusual? I think so!

Monday, January 9, 2012

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The great thing about living in a relatively new neighborhood is that you have lots to discover. I've found another great breakfast restaurant near me today that has good food minus the pretentiousness and long wait time  that trendy restaurants have.  Weekend seems to fly by all too quickly. I planted two bare root Peace rose trees in containers for my front porch,  moved a few mini roses from containers to the ground, clipped off leaves with black spots, pulled weeds, applied some organic fertilizer... work in the garden is never done, but it was all great fun!

Over the last week I got a new pink bleeding heart, a gardenia, and a waxy bush type of plant called coprosma. Since our walnut tree collapsed, I bought walnuts from the supermarket to feed the squirrels that used to frequent our tree. I just left them in the bird feeder and they disappear after a few hours! So, it's pretty much looking like a abandoned land where the tree used to be, I'm redesigning the corner, and since I completely have no idea what I'm doing, I've been collecting ideas and frequenting local nurseries. Gardening has been the most satisfying hobby I've ever done!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

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Roses from last year. Things are so bare in my garden right now, January is kind of depressing in the gardening front!

Friday, January 6, 2012

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No no, don't worry, I'm not addicted, NOT ADDICTED AT ALL!
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Baked my very first cake EVER last night! I had no idea that baking takes so much time, since I started nearly at 8pm, I had a cake right around midnight. Learning how to bake isn't on my new year resolution, but it's something I wanted to learn but never got to before. I think it's well worth the effort. As with everything, the more I practice, it will become a lot easier. I've got some grand baking plans brewing, now, who will eat the cake? I don't really eat desserts!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

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I snapped a few pictures before the sun went down. More coming tomorrow:)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

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I made Agedashi tofu last night, it was very delicious and my husband loved it as well. I cooked more this year than my entire life combined, it's a lot of work but I like the idea of becoming American's next top chef!

Monday, January 2, 2012

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I can't help feeling nostalgic about the end of 2011 and the coming of a new year. This had been a incredibly big year for me in so many ways with all the sadness and joy that it brought. Life doesn't always prepare you for what is about to happen, that I am learning.

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