Tuesday, January 28, 2014






My hubby stayed at home and worked two solid days for the past weekend, so today he took off half day of work and we went out and had a nice and relaxing time at the beach. We saw a pod of dolphins out in the ocean, that tiny dot in the middle is one of them popping out:)


For dinner we had champagne and oyster at Newport. One of my piano teacher taught me that oyster and caviar should be eaten with month that include an "R," so right now is the time. It felt so nice to be out and about!


I also finally dragged out my repetto shoes that I bought a few years ago and started wearing them. They are oldies but goodies! Overall this was a very good day!

Sunday, January 26, 2014


There's one dog in my house who occasionally watches tv, and that's Fie Fie. He loves shows with birds, dogs, or animations. 

On the home front, we won't be staying at this house for much longer. The construction is wrapping up. What seems to be an impossibly difficult period is coming to an end. 
I have a few projects to finish up around the house. The bedroom ceiling fixture that I purchased from a salvaged yard was checked by an electrician and ready to go. I spent three solid evenings cleaning up about 90 years worth of accumulated gunk off of this fixture, it was well worth the effort though. I will have a few more projects posted in the coming week or so as I wrap things up! 


The product I used to clean the fixture is simichrome metal polish and cosmetic cotton pads, and cotton swabs for the intricate area.


Can you see the before and after difference?



This is a fixture made around 1920s. There is a switch to turn on every single light socket, and the area where the switches are is full of finger oil marks.  The details on the fixture really is quite amazing! I'd like to think of my own home as something very special as everyone like to think of their homes, and so it's only fitting that I put things in it that took time and effort to collect.




Happy Sunday!



Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Fie Fie just chillin... and he was "photoshop" onto the bed.  As no dogs are allowed on the bed in my house, NEVER! NEVER!


On recommendation, I started reading Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong.  I only just started it but I already know that I like it! It is nice to carve out even just 30 minutes a day to read a good book, it's amazing how far it takes my imagination away from the everyday life!

Sunday, January 19, 2014



(Balboa Island)
 (Laguna Beach)

For two days in a row we went to the beach, that's more than we do in a year sometimes. It is so beautiful right now here in Southern California, especially by the ocean. Winter time really is why we live in the golden state!  I don't know why I never thought much about the beach, but recently I am beginning to appreciate the ocean so much more!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

New Year Resolution No.1


I'm always game for finding good sushi restaurants, or any good restaurants for that matter. For most of days we eat at home or dine out at affordable places, it makes fine cuisine an extra special experience.  I especially love a hole on the wall type of places that serve amazing quality food that leaves you dreaming about the next meal. Since we are in January, I'm still allowed to talk about my new year resolutions, and this year I am resolved to explore more interesting restaurants!

Friday, January 17, 2014





(Santorini)

These days my daily life is filled covering in dust and paint, running between hardware stores, and having screaming matches with contractors. Although it has not been so long ago but it seems that I have entirely forgotten how to play the piano, or read a good book, or listen to good music, or even just plain enjoy the sun shine.

This year I wish to make more time reading books, attend concerts, and practice the piano!  And perhaps I will take a photography class for real for a change!

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Bedroom ideas



Living Room Ideas


Our home construction is coming close to finish. After months of no hope in sight, we are actually seeing a bit of light at the end of tunnel. I'm also perked up some interest redecorating the house again. Now that almost all the rooms have been freshly painted, I have really been fancying about redoing certain parts of the house.  It's my way of to avoid thinking about "THE BIG MOVE" again.  I'm spending hours scheming about wall flowers instead of organizing moving boxes!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


It's been terribly windy for the past two days, living up on a hill makes the wind much more severe. Outside the house sound like a tornado except it lasts for days. I find it quite odd that in the middle of January we are looking at 85 degrees and crazy wind! My dogs have been barking at the giant planters that got blown over every time they go into the backyard. Otherwise, I'm snuggling up to my snuggling artist pictured above and um, trying to stay out of the wind?

Monday, January 13, 2014


Weekends really are a divine intervention much needed to restore mankind's sanity.  First time in a long time I finally wind down much and had good food and good fun, and bothered with no stress.  My hubby and I took the boys to a nearby park for some fresh air and a long walk, and saw a movie in a real theatre for a change. 


I received this beautiful package in the mail over the weekend. Some people simply have such extraordinary talent to make beautiful things. I could never make beautiful wrappings like this in a million years, it makes me appreciate so much more the wonderful creativity of people around me.


Inside the package is this little gem, a art deco style necklace made of brass and peking glass. Up close the green glass has the most interesting marbling pattern. A very old and amazing piece!  Now off it goes to my small vintage necklace collection!

Friday, January 10, 2014

The dining room dilemma...

For the past couple of weeks, I have been on the hunt for a good dining table. I had no experience in buying furniture at all when we purchased our first dining table.


You can see in this picture that it is enormous. While it is a fantastic table in quality and design, it is just too big for this room, and the style doesn't quite fit my 1920s vintage home.

Another rather big issue is the benches not being very comfortable for sitting long hours. I often do work or read at this table, and two years of living in the house, I've developed very bad back pain due to these uncomfortable benches.

Since most houses in my neighborhood were pretty old, I often see antique furniture being proudly displayed at our neighbor's homes. I started to realize that there's something very beautiful about a good piece of antique furniture and what it could do to enhance the beauty of a house.

Many of my neighbors have the 1910 period American Arts and Crafts furniture or Tudor style furniture.

Craftsman Dining Room by Seattle Architects & Designers Tim Andersen Architect




On the other hand, there are these beautiful images I found floating the internet. Don't you just love the French flaire? The mixed matched chairs and slip covers?

Now the question is, given the chance, would you buy this?

Or this?



Thursday, January 9, 2014



Something old... something new! As I am discovering my own style, I realize that I always love clothes that have beautiful prints and vivid colors. Color is almost a type of food for me as I completely feed off of them. Within the limit of looking completely out of place, I try to wear clothes or jewelry that tell a story or evoke a certain feeling. I find it difficult to accept a more modern reality where absolutely everything is streamlined and cut and dry. 

Monday, January 6, 2014




One of my new year resolution was to get on a more rigid schedule to walk my dog, unfortunately several days passed, the dog walking regiment didn't start. Today I was determined to walk all my dogs and I decided to do it bright and early! 

We live right next to this beautiful hiking trail for the past four months and haven't been there once, shame on us!



It's winter time, what makes my winter very cozy is sipping on a glass of red wine while plucking  away on my piano. For piano students, I'm only setting you an example of what not to do...

Sunday, January 5, 2014




After watching Agatha Christie's The Moving Finger, I developed a mild obsession with art deco bakelite jewelry. If you haven't seen Miss Marple produced in the 2000s, especially the first two season with Geraldin McEwan, I highly recommend them.

Along with a newly founded interest for Agatha Christie's murder mysteries, I've also started a modest collection of bakelite jewelry. They are just one of those things that I did not know existed, and then suddenly one day I could not live without them!

Today I want to share my modest bakelite collection and a bit of stories behind them. Hopefully, my collection will continue to grow in the new year!


These are a set of three bakelite bracelets. Mostly estate finds, the yellow ones for instance, was buried inside a box with other jewelry for years and years until someone discovered it. When I got these, the stretchy chord that hold the bracelets together have lost elasticity. This is a very easy fix, a trip to fabric store and a roll of colorful stretch chord later, I now have a brand new bracelet.


This is actually a set than belonged to a lady who was selling her great aunt's jewelry. I cannot understand people that sell family heirlooms, but it is such a wonderful set!



Cherry bakelite brooches are apparently very popular as they tend to sell for a high price, but not this one. It just doesn't belong to the typical collector's item list. It has a C clasp in the back, so I believe it is quite old, it's old, it's bakelite, and it's pretty, so that's all that matters to me!


Another family heirloom that belonged to a man's mother. I suppose if your mother wants to sell it and you have no female relative in the family to give it to, then off it goes for sale.  This is quite a statement piece, since my style is rather casual, I am still waiting for the day to take it out! Perhaps for a art show or a concert?



I wear these two necklaces the most often. The green necklace is the only one that took quite some internet search power to track down. I believe it's the same style of necklace that's worn by Emilia Fox in the Moving Finger. I was of course obsessed with it!

Finally, a couple of tips from the not so experienced bakelite buyer. Be thrifty! I have seen these necklaces costing from different dealers for ten times as much, while another dealer could sell for way less. It seems that bakelite prices are set much to the discretion of the seller.  While some pieces are rare, it really is worth the wait for a bargain instead of paying top notch price. The second tip is to always have a tube of simichrone on hand. It's a quick easy way to test bakelite. There are lots of how tos out there, but basically, you take a small amount of simichrone and rub it with a cotton swab on your bakelite piece. If the pink color of the metal polish turn to yellow, then it's bakelite!

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