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

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Design

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

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Design

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!

Lunch with The Hubs: Blue Ridge Korean BBQ

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Food, food photography, photography

At the beginning of March, I went back to work and had a few day to myself (aka we put the kids into daycare). I used a few hours during those days to meet The Hubs for lunch. I mentioned in a previous post that we haven’t really done a date night since The Kid was born (he’s 3 now). Hopefully, we’ll change that as The Girl gets older (and is starting to trust other adults other than Mama and Papa – YAY!). But as another mom in The Kid’s preschool said, “It’s fun hanging out with other adults and we don’t do it too often, so it’s nice when we get the chance to….but we really like doing things with our kids.” I admit that I often express mixed opinions on how much time I like to spend with The Kid and The Girl (“Do you want them? They’re yours!”), but I really do dig them and the time I get to spend with them. They’re fun. They make me laugh. The Hubs and I are lucky to have them. (But yes, they’re super tiring. Ha ha.) Anyway, once I started working, The Hubs and I figured out that our jobs are only about 20 minutes from each other, so we could find lunch spots to meet in the middle to continue these lunch dates without the kids. So far, it’s working. I even told him on our last lunch date that if he wanted to eat in silence, I’d be okay with that because it was such a relaxing experience. I mean, we didn’t have to keep bending over to the floor to pick up a utensil that one of kids kept chucking to the ground. Imagine that! So last Friday, we went with Blue Ridge Korean BBQ in Park Ridge for another one of these peaceful lunches.

Good choice!

Blue Ridge Korean BBQ
That’s The Hubs digging in while pretending that I don’t have a camera in his face

I was kinda hopped up on (3 cups of) coffee, so I wasn’t terribly hungry. The Hubs didn’t object to splitting something, so we ordered a Beef Bibimbap bowl and Korean pancakes:

Blue Ridge Korean BBQ
Blue Ridge Korean BBQ

Did I mention that without the kid distraction, I managed to finish a story I was trying to tell The Hubs three days prior? Ha ha , sad but true. Anyway, regarding the food: SO GOOD. (“The Kid would love these pancakes,” The Hubs said. “Should I tell him about our lunch today?” I replied. The Hubs gave me a fearful look.) I went back to the office and told my coworkers to check it out if they had a chance. And I’m pretty sure you’ll see this place pop up a few more times in this blog. 🙂 Great place. Because my writing/review is limited, feel free to check out the Yelp reviews.

After we get the hang of doing these lunch dates on a regular basis, I’d like to attempt a Date Night In – an idea shared by chef/blogger Ashley Rodriguez where once a week, she and her husband would have an in-home date night by cooking and eating together after the kids went to bed. Love that, and it’s something that would probably fit in well with life these days. You can read more about Ashley’s Date Nights In here. ❤

Daily Design – Week 12

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Design, Food

Hello hello!

So on Sunday night, I was about to close my computer down and decided to jot down my design goals for the week. I figured that’d be a starting point to create this daily assignment. I decided that I wanted to try to explore type on photos. So here are my daily attempts:


hot pot typography graphic design

wine time typography graphic design
corny af

steak dinner
I worked on this at 6:30AM and had steak on the mind all morning…
papaya salad

nom nom at naf naf

Had a salad bowl at Naf Naf yesterday. This is the only & only picture I took of it (such a pretty presentation for a fast food place, isn’t it?).

That’s all for now! Have a great weekend.

Saturday Night Dinner

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Food, food photography, photography

We had a date set with our friends N & A for Saturday night. It happened to fall on St. Patrick’s Day, which we didn’t plan. And I only mention this because our meal was very much not Irish, lol. (My husband was the only one wearing green. He said it was intentional but I don’t know if he was joking or not.) Also, since we’re throwing out random pieces of information, can I also say that I always appreciate a good meal? Especially when the host/hostess puts effort into the meal and it turns out fabulously. I’m not a picky eater and I’m also a home cook, so I want to throw around 10000 fist bumps when the host pulls together a meal. It takes a lot of work to have people over for dinner (at least for me), so I’m happy to give credit where it’s due.

A few snapshots from Saturday night –

The appetizer. I really liked these dumplings and said so. A. replied with, “You can get these at Costco.” LOL, now I know!
The spread. In the middle is cod cooked with soy and ginger. The plates surrounding it included bok choy and sauteed greens.
Mongolian beef
Mongolian beef – this was the star of the night.

Everything was awesome. I ended up bringing crack pie (which may have been too sweet for all of us) and brownies:

I am still crashing from the sugar. 🙂

As far as the meal goes, I’ll be happy to let N & A cook for me anytime. So good!