birthday party ideas

My daughter’s birthday is in June and I am already planning her class party/parties. I was brainstorming on paper but I had to make a visual layout with links to where to find products because it helped me plan better. This will be her first class party and for the past few months she’s been attending school (only 3.5 months), I feel as though she’s been coming home with a goody bag every other week because of a classmate’s birthday party. Ah, the good ol’ days: when your class celebrated your birthday with you. I suppose it stops after kindergarten due to public school policies regarding equity or such. Anyway, after creating my collages, one thing was for certain–her goody bags will be awesome!

Idea #1: Purple (her favorite color and also this year’s “Color of the Year” by Pantone)


1.  candles // 2. metallic rhye plates (small) // 3. ube leche flan cupcake // 4. lilac cake stand // 5. purple flatware // 6. galactic napkin // 7. galactic cup // 8. “For You” favor bags // 9. glitter crayons // 10. star glasses // 11. grape flavored gummy bears // 12. honeycomb mini-balls garland // 13-14. balloons: quartz purple, purple chrome

Idea #2: Flowers


1. flower bouquet garland // 2. sugar cookies shaped like flowers // 3. flower grow kit // 4. burlap favor bag // 5. felt stickers // 6. Liberty of London cupcake kit // 7. gold tall candles // 8. spring flower assorted plates // 9. Magnolia Bakery’s vanilla buttercream cake or 10. Magnolia Bakery’s cupcakes

*note to self: make sugar cookies myself, other candle color might be better, check out Target’s dollar section for mini-plant kits (I bought a poppy in a flowerpot kit for $1 in the past)

Idea #3: Fruitfruit

1. pompom party hats // 2. neon citrus plates // 3. red cutlery // 4. confetti balloons // 5. Porto’s Strawberry Bavarian Mousse cake // 6. windowpane favor bag // 7. fruit party picks // 8. pineapple straws  // 9. Japanese fruit gummy candy from Kasugai // 10. fruit erasers

*note to self: need to prepare fruit platter, check out Daiso for gummies and erasers

Idea #4: Stars


1. vanilla cupcakes // 2. cupcake kit // 3. Mylar star balloons // 4. silver star party plates (small) // 5. star party cups (silver) // 6. silver napkins // 7. silver cutlery // 8. heart-star glassine bags // 9. Hershey’s Kisses // 10. cosmic temporary tattoos // 11. silver star magnets

Now to decide which theme to go for…

little story #002: treasures in the wild

There is a piece of land in the middle of nowhere that my father calls home. The land is covered with shrubs and weeds, so much so you that cannot see the dirt underneath. Trees that bear various fruits line a narrow path that weaves through the terrain into a forest. The land has been left alone for more than twenty years, resting, flourishing, and the trees that have grown tall and wild sway with the wind trickling sunlight onto the ground below. Sunbeams play games and reveal only what they want you to see, and you wonder what are hidden in its shadows.

Wilderness is not the kind of beauty that a modern eye appreciates. It is chaos. Disorder. Nature. But the fruit that grows within the chaos becomes a fruit that bears the most nutrients: a super-fruit. It has withstood all its enemies, i.e., harsh weather, weeds, insects, birds, etc., and was still able to blossom and grow. Those are the kinds of fruits that my father’s land hides. They are hidden between the weeds and shrubs, under the ground, behind the rocks, and up on the trees. Treasure is everywhere if one is willing to search. The Lord provides the best and He provides in abundance.

dream scene

Last night I had a dream.

The road was unpaved, rocky, leading up a hill. I was walking through a small village with houses made of brick and stone. I don’t remember encountering people. There was a barn–an open animal shed. A picketed fence led into the property but the fence was only a small section of a stone wall that surrounded the area. It was nothing grand of a wall and somewhat haphazardly built.  I walked through the fence, into the animal shed, and found a young donkey (a foal? colt?). It wasn’t so much like a donkey because it was not as hairy and the ears weren’t as long. The foal/colt was light grey in color, uniform throughout, and its coat was more like that of a horse, short and smooth. It did not have a long mane and it wasn’t as tall as a full-grown horse. I approached the animal and somehow knew that it was to be used for Jesus’s ride into Jerusalem. I sat next to the foal/colt and began stroking its head. I began crying, telling the animal, “You are so lucky, you get to meet Jesus. You get to carry Him. You’re going to meet Jesus. I wish I could meet Him. I wish I could meet Jesus…”

(And then my dream changed into another dream, something I can’t remember).

This morning, due to it being Palm Sunday, the scripture reading was from Luke 19, recounting the day of Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem riding on a colt. It was as if my mind did a reboot and all systems were turning back on as I remembered last night’s dream about the colt. I’m sorry/embarrassed to say, I have not been thinking about Palm Sunday and certainly nothing about donkeys, colts, remote villages, etc. The scripture reading caught me by surprise and I wondered,


His presence is overwhelming and I fall to my knees. The Lord is with me in Spirit, all the time. How amazing is that.

February Favorites

  • The Greek Gods’ Greek Yogurt–Maple flavor: Tastes like cheesecake! More tart than sweet. So good. I like it better than Chobani because it’s not as thick.
  • Hand-washing my sweaters. Weird, I know, but I love the feeling of checking something off my to-do list, and the pile of sweaters in my closet was one of them. I also like scraping off lint balls off the sweaters with a razor, a trick I’ve learned that helps a little. A little is better than nothing. :o)
  • Compartés chocolate: Campfire S’mores: 70% dark chocolate with toasty marshmallows and graham cracker bits. A little indulgence since it was Valentines Day. ;) Their shop is 20s/30s snazzy and can we talk about their chocolate bar packaging? Puppies. Poppies. Brilliant.Photo Feb 25, 9 18 02 PMPhoto Feb 25, 9 17 46 PM
  • Eataly L.A.: A bit of Italy in L.A. I know it’s also in NYC and it’s nothing new, but it’s finally in L.A. Good pizza and pasta, a variety of take-away counters, and the market with all kinds of oils, cheese, crackers, and sweets. I could browse for hours.
  • Colder weather. By cold, I mean 50s-60s. hehe. It’s finally winter in California and I can wrap myself in a blanket to read my books. There is no better feeling.
  • Snowdrift Snow Tubing: My daughter has frequently shared her frustration and confusion about it not snowing where we live; she’s been wanting to build a snowman forever. As you can tell, she has yet to understand the concept of meteorology and geography. This past Saturday, we finally drove up to Lake Arrowhead to go snow tubing. But first thing’s first: Elaine had to build a snowman.DSC03943csmall

Much to look forward to in March! ;)

Valentine’s Day: for the Husband

My husband is a man of no needs, wants, or complaints. He doesn’t want anything for special occasions/holidays and I can’t remember a time when he stated what he wanted for any of his birthdays. The good thing is, if I don’t get him anything, he can’t blame me, (haha!). The bad thing is, I do feel bad and I have to guess what he would appreciate.

So here are my guesses, and maybe it would help you think of gifts for your husbands too.

  • Tickets to a basketball game: He would have enjoyed going to a Warriors vs. Lakers/Clippers game, but too bad the Warriors are done playing at the Staples Center this season. ehehe. Next time I’ll try to remember to buy tickets at the beginning of the season.
  • PS4: Oh, I’ve known he would like this very much, but I’ve been disinclined because he is such a game addict! He has grown up playing video games and once he starts playing, he has to play nonstop until he beats it. My sister bought him one of those old Nintendo consoles for Christmas and he beat the Mario game in a week’s time. I don’t know; I’m still reluctant to let him get a PS4. This is last on my list, but I know it would be one of his first choices, if he had a choice.
  • Guitar stands: His guitars lay scattered on the floor or stand tilted along the wall gathering dust. This is definitely not on his wish list, but it would be me giving him a chance to do something about it. :P
  • Tickets to a concert: He loves concerts. He bought Mute Math and John Mayer tickets last year but we couldn’t go because I was really sick those days. This tends to happen more often than not–canceling events due to me getting sick last minute. I have to figure out what bands he likes listening to and if they have concerts in SoCal in the coming weeks/months, and hope and pray that I don’t get sick that day.
  • A new laptop/computer: Way too pricey, therefore very unlikely. And I need a new computer too. We need to save up for these.
  • Weekend getaway: He would appreciate lounging around doing nothing, enjoying good food, and maybe even a spa day with a professional massage session.
  • A smart watch: He loves his tech gadgets. Since he wants to switch to a Samsung 9 phone (goodbye, Apple) for his upgrade this year, I have to research which watches would be compatible.
  • Amazon Echo 2nd Generation: Although Alexa often fails many commands, she is still somewhat useful for certain tasks. I think he would appreciate one in his new office.

I’m out of ideas, and I still don’t know which one to go for, but I’m leaning towards the watch.

If you have other ideas, please let me know!