Wednesday, October 30, 2013


My inspiration of the day. Found this bonsai at a local nursery, it's gotten me thinking of making one for myself, can't be too difficult, can it?

Monday, October 28, 2013



It was raining lightly today, the first time I really felt like fall had finally arrived.  In a pleasant mood, I decided to whip up a fancy meal by myself.



It took me almost three hours to make Coq au Vin and French apple tart from scratch, but the result was so worth it. I was able to find free range chicken, cipollini onions and French fingerlin potatoes at the market, and even some Burgundy wine for cooking. It was a fantastic experience, so much so that when dinner was on the table, neither my husband nor I exchanged much conversation because we were so concentrated on the flavor of dinner.  I can tell you that doesn't happen often around here, even more strange since we live in a country where food is offered in such endless abondance.   It took me right back to days of this past summer when I was traveling in France and discussing Mozart daily with my taxi driver.  I'm thinking now that at least a couple of days a week I should make some effort to cook a decent meal.  After all, what is life about if not for fine dining?

Sunday, October 27, 2013


I spent most part of my Sunday doing yard work. We pay $30 a week for a gardener to come in, but still rake all the dead leaves and do all the trimming ourselves. One day of yard work and two trash can filled with leaves and branches later, my garden is looking somewhat refreshed.  I dug out all the leaves hidden in every corner and under every bush, pulled out spent plants, trimmed off some overgrown bushes, cut off suckers from trees, and spread several bags of compost over cleaned up areas. Gardening really isn't difficult, it just takes some patience. I have to say, I do enjoy doing the work by myself. It's very satisfying being in the outdoors and working with plants.


Friday, October 25, 2013


I have been doing painting of all sorts for the past couple of days. After most of the tiles are up on my fireplace, we discovered that we are short of one row of "good" tiles, so I painted some more today. Notice the yellow tile in the middle has a heart in it?


I also spray painted the urns. I wanted to get a bit more creative with it, so I painted them two tones, one white and one celery. Maybe a couple more coats will go on tomorrow, and they are ready for the front yard!


My shoes are stained with paint, but I think it gives them more character:)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Recently found this old copy of Essays on Music by Romain Rolland. I read it in Chinese while studying music in Beijing around the time I was 15 or 16. I remember those days tucked away in the school practice room with all my music and books and hiding in there for hours on end. It brought back memories!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013



A possible new light for our bedroom. I ordered this orb light from Ballard Designs, however, after seeing it in person I had to stop myself because I decided that it's too "cold" in my house! There's something I learned from internet shopping, is that what's right for A LOT of people doesn't necessarily mean it's right for me. On a second thought, an old house like mine, an antique light such as this one might just go well with it?

I have been doing some serious back breaking work on our fireplace tiles. Our contractors are no where in sight, just me and the masonry guys toughing it out. I can't wait to see the finished product, at this point I just want it to finish!



Monday, October 21, 2013



I found these gorgeous antique cast iron urns over the weekend. They look so pretty in person! Next step is to spray paint them!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I've been thinking for a while to cook for the construction workers that are working at my house for the past month and half. I see them buying fast food everyday for lunch, so I decided that it would be a good idea if I bring some home cooked meal once for a change. I started preparing some of the dishes last night and finished the cold dishes in the morning, and even brought a cake too. It was a success, even my husband drove back from work for his share of lunch!


  

After lunch I spent the afternoon freshening up my fairy gardens, it's been looking pretty sad since I've been too busy to take care of them!





This year I made another one of those Halloween themed fairy gardens, complete with happy ghosts, pumpkin patch, and doggies begging for candies! See the one I made last year here and here.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


What have I been up to? Well, for a good start, I finally got my piano tuned and started practicing for a little bit. I found this no frill tuner who was a HUGE improvement from the last one I had. He showed up, for $100 got the job done in an hour and my piano sounded just beautiful!


My hubby and I never made it to the beach once this summer, so he had the great idea to take me to Seal Beach for a walk last night. It was some much needed ocean breeze as I've been kind of in a funk because of all the stress from our home construction. It really is important to stop worrying about things when you haven't much control over them and just be zen.




After a refreshing walk, we dined at a restaurant nearby famous for their oysters. The two of us ordered a bunch of entrees instead of main course, and it was absolutely delicious. It reminded me of my vacation days in Paris. Once I had to call my husband who was working in his office in California because I got lost finding my old oyster bar in the streets of St. Germain. It was an expensive navigation service of course!


Some updates on the Chihuahua babies. They are doing fine! The foster mom took them to get fixed and micro chipped last week. I heard that they did great, but still looking forward to visit them when I get a chance. They seem a little fatter than before in the picture, which is a good thing. The foster mom is egging one of her friend on to adopt those two together. Fingers crossed that this will happen, we all want to get them adopted into the same family! 

That's all the updates for now, hopefully I will have some home decor post up soon that I've been working on. Stay tuned!

Monday, October 7, 2013


Tarp all over my windows, things looked unreal for a moment. Home construction is like getting a divorce, it's a long, stressful and droned out process that make you realize life has very little to do with what you want.



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