Daily Design – Week 17

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Hello hello, New Week*. Let’s get started.

Very exhausting day. The kids kinda drove me into the ground, which I guess I deserved as they both took long naps this afternoon. I loved that as it gave me time to work on a project. I looked up to see that I had a few minutes to spare and threw my camera in video mode to see what I could cook up. This is what I came up with:

Side note: the menu is from Graham Elliot’s restaurant back in 2008 or 2009 (a restaurant that is now closed). He wasn’t in that night, but whoever the head chef was that night (er, I don’t remember his name) was nice enough to sign my menu. I think this is the most brilliant food quote ever.

Another side note: The GIF file was too large, so had to save it as a video file. Wah.

Day started off kinda rough with The Kid saying, “I don’t want be here” as soon as I pulled into his daycare parking lot. That was followed up with tears. Lots of it. (Wah.) I tried to shake it off at work, and eventually managed to do so. Had a great day there. Came home to find The Kid crying upstairs. (“He just started the tantrum,” The Hubs said.) Calmed him (The Kid, not The Hubs) down. I asked how school was. “Good.” That was followed up with, “I want to stay home with you, Mama.” Wah.

I had a little side project to work on today, so I didn’t get a chance to sit down and do anything graphic designer-y. However, I did get a minute to doodle, which is what I’ve been doing a lot lately as I think there is something magical about doing things on paper. It’s therapeutic. And I think this is a fun way to document little snippets of life that are not monumental but still things I would love to revisit a decade or two from now. I admit that with kids, I have a hard time remembering these things I want to remember (did that make sense?) so I feel like this might be a fun way to journal it. This is 100% a personal project that I like sharing with The Hubs because he gets a kick out of them. I’m not sure how often I’ll share my doodles because while the stories are stellar (Mom bias, I know), I pretty much suck at doodling. 😛
Here are a few people that are awesome at doodling:

I was pretty certain that I wasn’t going to drink when I got home tonight, but that fancy bottle of Two Buck Chuck just spoke to me:
It happens. 🙂

Sorry – I totally missed today but to be fair, I did design all day at work!



*Although maybe I should say “Good-bye, this week since this won’t get posted until Friday.

Daily Design – Week 16

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Design, Food, Stop Motion

I went to the library on Sunday to grab one book. Ended up with 14. I’m thankful the library has baskets I could check out. Whew!

I should mention that the day before, The Girl grabbed my camera and let it hit the ground hard. The camera was acting all funny with a lot of the functions not working. I was pretty bummed knowing that it’d have to get sent in, but pulled out the battery, detached the lens and let it sit on the counter. The next morning, I didn’t have much hope but decided to turn the camera on. It worked! It’s a miracle. This was the first picture I took:
Barilla pasta
(And I kinda wanted pasta.)

And decided to go down Memory Lane with our visit to London back in 2013. This is an image of Greenwich Farmers Market:
Greenwich Market

On Thursday, I had a super fun/productive day at work, but man, I was so tired…and came home to chaos. The Girl, legit, wouldn’t stop crying for 30 minutes because she wanted to sit in her brother’s chair. It was insane. After I put her down for bed (with her cries still ringing in my head – parents know what I’m talking about), I decompressed in front of my computer but kept things simple by playing around with AfterEffects. AE is a program I hope to navigate my way around well one of these days:


Really, I just wanted to give The Girl a pizza of my mind. Hardy har har. #momjoke

I saw this book at the library last weekend and laughed out loud. It didn’t go home with me (I didn’t even pick it up), but how is anyone ever going to forget this title? (I am totally down with saving the world by throwing dinner parties though!)
Brunch is hell
Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Easter Sunday in black & white

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Life, photography

I had this post written out two weeks ago, but never got around to editing the photos. Better late than never, right? (The things we tell ourselves….)

I’ll admit that the title is misleading since 1) we didn’t go to church and 2) we didn’t do an Easter egg hunt. Well, technically the kids did one at their daycare the week before, and my neighbor had one in her backyard while the kids were napping – she would have waited (since it’s something we’ve been doing for the last few years) but I told her to go ahead and not to feel guilty about it, especially since it was kinda cold out this year. When I say “kinda” I mean, it was cold. (We are having a chilly April in Chicago this year…) Anyway, the following is a photo diary of our Easter Sunday.

Let’s begin.

I usually make waffles without fail on Sundays, but in the last month or two, I’ve throwing Eggo waffles into the grocery cart. It’s easy. It’s convenient, and the kids love them. (I suspect it’ll only be a few years until I hear “Leggo my eggo.”) My husband hates them. I purposely didn’t buy any this week, so I forced myself to take this Sunday to make them. (I use In Jennie’s Kitchen’s recipe. The only revision to her recipe that I make is that I don’t add sugar, but I’ll add in a ripe banana or two.) The Kid swooped in to help.
Making waffles
While the waffles were cooking away in the irons (yeah, we have two – well, one is a Mickey Mouse one which was a gift from Jessica. I think she gifted it to me, but she probably had a little hunch that the kids were going to be all over it…and they are), The Girl raced to her cabinet to grab a plate (food is her priority). The Kid came to help her too. I don’t know if she appreciated the help, ha ha.


After breakfast, the kids played. I called Barnes & Noble to see if they were open because hey, I like books. (Plus, I was antsy to get a new cookbook.) The Kid loves this place because of the escalator and the train track set in the kids’ area.

train set at Barnes and Noble

The Girl seemed to like it too. The Kid, however, had a bit of a meltdown as we left, so we told him we weren’t having sushi for lunch like he wanted. “I WANT SUUUUUUUUUUSHHHHHHHHHHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!” he screamed the whole way back until went through a Portillo’s drive thru. That calmed him down (and made The Hubs and I all calm and happy inside because ahem, who doesn’t love Portillo’s?). I made the mistaken of giving each kid a fry as we left the drive-thru with a “Just one fry!” disclaimer. The Kid accepted this. His sister kept asking for more and then it was her turn to cry. Oops. Mama Fail. After a million years of listening to her wail, we arrived home. Everyone sat down and happily stuffed their faces with fries ate.

eating portillo fries



After lunch, The Girl played by the window in the kitchen.
The Hubs and The Kid read together before everyone went down for a nap.
I think I put my camera down for the rest of the day, but nothing out of the ordinary happened except that my neighbor came over to drop off Easter baskets for the kids. SO NICE! [And I don’t have a picture of that, wah!] I’m sad to say that I didn’t think to get her kids a basket in return. I’ll have to figure out a way to thank her later…

Anway, hope everyone had a great Easter.

This last picture wasn’t taken on Easter, but hey, it fits with the rest of the group so I’ll include it along in this post. 🙂

Daily Design – Week 15

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Design, Food, Stop Motion

Stop motion & food. That’s where my head has been lately. So let’s start with this (thrown together Monday morning):
silverware stop motion

Rise and Grind GIF
The funny thing about this is that I threw this together on Tuesday night before bedtime. I figured it’d be nice to look at the following morning. 😛 Also quite appropriate as this is a picture of my brother inhaling a cold brew in NYC – and Tuesday happened to be National Siblings Day. Ha!

Bangkok cookbook
Seriously, what a beautiful cookbook.

coffee mug gif
Morning at my desk. My coworker (who sits on the other side) was also in and probably heard all the clicking from the camera. He’s too nice to ask what the heck I was doing at my desk, lol.

I made a couple of stop motion attempts on Friday, but nothing stuck. So I’m sharing my home menu for the upcoming week. (Typing this as I listen to the Bon Appetit podcast. I’m kinda drooling at the moment.)


Posted Leave a commentPosted in Food, photography


Thought I’d throw in a little creative piece with this weekend’s Instagram Weekend Hashtag Project #WHPimbored. And yes, I think these are all awesome and worthy books. Listing them below in case any of them might be interesting to you.

Bangkok by Leela Punyaratabandhu – A beautiful Thai cookook. Seeing that Leela is from Chicago, I’m hoping that I have a chance meeting with her (so that I can convince her to give me Thai cooking lessons!).
Amazing Malaysian by Norman Musa – This was a random book I picked up while in the cookbook section of the library. But flipping through it, I have to say that I’m glad I picked it up because 1) I am digging the design of the book. (If I were to design a cookbook, I’d want it to look like this.) and 2) I know nada about Malaysian cuisine. I think Normal will help me navigate that course. (I’m pretty sure I’ll have my own copy to add into my collection soon enough.)
Date Night In by Ashley Rodriguez – I’m a fan of Ashley’s Not Without Salt blog and her whole idea of dating your spouse at home & at night after the kids have gone to bed. I mean, I have yet to actually attempt this but I have checked this book out at the library about three times now. Probably time to buy my own copy of this cookbook. 🙂
The Pho Cookbook by Andrea Nguyen (no relation, ha ha) – Andrea is my Vietnamese Cooking Guru. Basically, if she publishes a book, I’m probably going to buy it…and use it all 1000 times over. (That has been the case with this, Into the Vietnamese Kitchen – the cookbook I probably use the most – and Asian Dumplings.)
Downtime by Nadine Levy Rezepi – I admit I only heard about Nadine after seeing her in an episode of Ugly Delicious, but I love that home cooking is her passion. So I bought this book for myself for Easter. No regrets.

Daily Design – Week 14

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Last weekend, I was filling out a form for the kids and noticed that one of the boxes asked for race/ethnicity. I wrote Asian/Caucasian on The Kid’s form and didn’t think much of it. I left the forms on the table – including the incomplete one for The Girl – and The Hubs walked past it later and glanced at it. “Oh wow, I didn’t realize the kids would have to write that when they start filling these forms out themselves.” I realized it was a little lengthy, so since I like abbreviated things I – very much on the spot – wrote down Cauc(asian) on The Girl’s form. I think I’m going with it from now on…and using it as my design inspiration for the week.

Ethnicity form Cauc(asian)
I created this form in Illustrator – and as I was writing out the words with my mouse, I realized that it might be time to get a new Wacom tablet. I have one from many moons ago, but the pen broke (blame one of the kids – I’m just not sure which one) and the company doesn’t make the model anymore, so time for an upgrade.



In case the Cauc(asian)s are looking for a bumper sticker. 😛


I spent my free time working on a client project and also on the Bon Appetit gif, which has been wanting to be done in the last few weeks (when the issue arrived in the mail).


And because I’m on a bit of a GIF kick, I just rolled with it.

And on a completely different note because 1) I am Cauc(asian)’d out (don’t tell my kids) and 2) it’s Friday:

Happy Friday gif

Have a great weekend!

Daily Design – Week 13

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I am working on a travel photo album for a client, who was in Russia in 1983. A handful of pictures called out to me. And that is how I came to decide that this is Stop Motion Week here on the blog. 🙂

stop motion of pepsi label

Novoslobodskaya station 1983
Novoslobodskaya station in Moscow.



And because it’s GOOD FRIDAY –
Russian church gif

Happy Friday. Happy Easter. Hope you have a great holiday weekend. 🙂

Sunday, March 25 [a photo diary]

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Family Life, Life

Do you know that I carry a camera on me 80% of the time? I mean, not literally but I always (well, 80% of the time) have one within reach. When I’m home, there are two cameras I reach for – Walter and Daphne. And Daphne goes into my purse when I leave the house. Doesn’t matter if I’m going to work, the grocery store, to pick up the kids….she’s most likely with me. So surprise surprise, she accompanied me on Sunday when I headed up to the north shore to meet up with a client. When I was driving back home, I pulled over to take a shot of my favorite temple in the Chicago area –

bahai temple

Then, I took a random picture of Lake Street on my way home –

There was no good reason for taking this picture, but the night before we had my high school friend over with her family. We were talking about where we’d like to ideally live in the Chicago area. I mentioned downtown Arlington Heights or a lakefront property in the north shore (like Wilmette). “Do you think you’re a north shore person?” my (alleged) friend asked. (LOL.) I was like, “For a lake front property, I totally am a north shore person!” The Husband chimed in with, “We’d be like The Beverly Hillbillies!” Ha ha, that isn’t far from the truth. As I was driving home Sunday morning, I soaked in all the beautiful homes along this tree lined street (and if you know this area, you know my picture isn’t doing this area one ounce of justice) and for sure – lakefront property or not – I think I could easily be a north shore person. 🙂

And this is for all the Ramblers fans –
Go Loyola
Spotted at the Glenview Dairy Queen.

When I got home, it was almost lunchtime. So I asked the family if everyone wanted to go “to church” (aka Mitsuwa for Sunday lunch). “YES. UDON!!!!!!!! And tempuuuuuuuuurrrrrrraaaaaaa.” The Kid replied.
This is The Kid & me in the car.

We went a little later than we normally do, so finding a table took longer than usual. But we got one and had our Sunday udon, tempura & sushi meal.
baby eating udon
She likes what she likes!

We came home and put the kids down for a nap. The Hubs went to watch TV and get some work done while I took Giada on a much needed walk.

I was cold. She was sniffing around.
I was cold. She was sniffing around.

When we arrived home, I finished Ugly Delicious (best food documentary I’ve watched all year and I totally respect David Chang for creating this dialog about food and it makes us understand each other a little better….or does it? He’s still making me think about that one…). The kids woke up and I don’t even remember the rest of the day, but I guess I did capture one last shot of The Girl playing around on our kitchen floor.


This was fun. Who else feels like doing a photo diary blog post? I’ll totally read it!