Wednesday, November 30, 2011

esther's favorite things

I am always excited to have a guest post from someone fabulous! Introducing Esther Kim, owner of Blu Button Boutique in Long Beach, California. Blu Button is a vintage-inspired women's boutique featuring new clothing, shoes and accessories with a retro flair. You should read the Yelp reviews, so many praises.

So, without further ado, please enjoy these favorites on Esther's Top Ten list!

I literally CANNOT live without this...

The perfect shade to mix with any other hue as well as to quickly add a hint of color to bare lips.

Vintage inspired women's clothing that doesn't break the bank. Perfect for those who love fun, feminine dresses and coats with whimsical details. Available at Blu Button boutique (I was a fan before I ordered the line for my store but would only find their clothing elsewhere such as New York and Chicago).

Shoes for the girl who likes a vintage flair with contemporary elements. They're unique, comfortable and evoke the romantic styles of the past. Available at Blu Button boutique (also, purchased a few pairs in years past for my personal wardrobe before carrying the brand at my store).

5. Vintage jewelry 
I prefer old antique jewelry because, first of all, no one will have the same thing, secondly, the craftsmanship back in the day is usually better than it is now, and third, the pieces look as though they have a story to tell. I'm always on the hunt, whether it's at a flea market or vintage store. I've also received family heirlooms as well as costume jewelry from friend's grandmothers that I mean so much to me.

It can be slight challenge at first because of the uncertainty on how to manuever it. But once you see the way your hair looks and notice how long the curls hold, you'll surely forget about the minor hassles! This was gifted to me and anytime a friend inquires about it I let them borrow it so they can try it out!

This refreshing red wine has the perfect amount of sweetness and bubbles. Served chilled, it is a hit with all the women at any gathering.

I constantly crave the fresh food from this restaurant and it doesn't help that I work a few doors down. A hip version of the standard Vietnamese place, Number Nine has many vegetarian options as well as unique bottled beers and mixed beverages. When it's cold I go straight for the vegetarian pho (rice noodle soup) and if it's warm outside I order the bun (cold vermicelli rice noodles) with five spice chicken with eggroll.

I'm in love with my sink. Handmade in England, this heavy duty beauty is worth the pretty penny. In a kitchen that's been a pathetic work in progress for two years, my sink makes it all better.

It never ceases to amaze me how many clever little tips I get from this magazine...not including the endless decor inspiration, DIY ideas and how-to instructions. Lots of tear sheets came out of here.

Esther Kim

Blu Button
2112 E. 4th St.
Long Beach, CA 90814
(562) 433-8782

* Read about Blu Button on Yelp

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Look what I got in the mail! Jamie at Sophie Grace Maui sent me this gorgeous necklace. My business logo is a nest with three eggs and so she incorporated that into this design. Jamie makes the most beautiful jewelry. Seriously. You need to follow her on Facebook so you can see all her creations, and sometimes she posts special deals.

Monday, November 28, 2011

last night's books

weekend craft

One of my main goals is to use materials we have lying around the house to decorate for the holidays and birthdays instead of going out to buy new things. We had a tough year financially and I learned that you can make beautiful things out of left over crafts and things you have lying around. For Christmas I found a bag of felt balls and strung them with a needle and thread and made fun garland for the Christmas tree. I absolutely love it and I especially love having different colors on my traditional tree. It feels very Anthropologie to me. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

books we have been reading

(note: in attempt to read every book in our beautiful library and to stray away from reading the same books all of the time, I am posting the books we read every night).

Thursday, November 24, 2011


We have been busy making beaded necklaces for everyone to wear at Thanksgiving dinner. I love having my kids contribute to our day in some way. Speaking of thankful, I am so thankful for my beautiful children, amazing husband and for the ability to share my life with others. God is good and Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love reflecting on my life and all of the blessings I have.

Happy Thanksgiving to you.



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

just for kids by netflix

I am SO happy that Netflix now has Just For Kids (included with your membership). I hate that my little ones had to scroll in between kids shows and adult shows to find what they wanted to watch. Now they have their own separate place on the Wii that only has shows for kids 12 and under. Fantastic! We got rid of cable, except for the very basic channels, and we only use Netflix now. Anything Mark and I want to watch we can watch online. It saves us a bundle of money and the kids have access to so many great programs.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

books from tonight

my favorite letters

Writing letters to Santa is one of my favorite parts of the holidays. This year I wanted to make sure they got done in case we ended up at the mall during Brody's week off of school. We like to put them in the Santa mailbox at Macy's. And yes, I keep the real letters and put blank ones in the sealed envelope. I would never let them go. They are so precious to me.

Monday, November 21, 2011


I am obsessed.

toys and books

This weekend we did our bi-yearly toy dump and extreme clean. We do it every summer and always right before Christmas. We go through every single toy in our home and either put it aside to donate or organize it properly in its place. The kids have gotten used to letting go of the toys that they no longer play with and understand that someone else will love the toys more. We only had one teary-eyed fit this time. It feels so good to clean out the clutter and put things back in their appropriate bins. I have also been working on their clothes, dress up clothes, closets and drawers for about a week now. We are ready for Christmas and someone's second birthday and any new toys that those days may bring.

While organizing I realized how much I love our red Ikea bookshelf. It matches nothing but it is perfect for a child's playroom and it brightens everything up. I think it's my favorite piece of furniture in our home (which makes me laugh since it was so cheap). I love that it holds vintage toys and lots of books. You can't see them in this picture, but the red bookshelf also holds a few of my old Cabbage Patch Kids. So fun.

Speaking of books. While I was cleaning I realized we have so many lovely books that I purposefully built our library on and somehow we manage to only read the same few over and over again. So I am going to post pictures of the books we read every night as reminder of how lovely books really are and to help motivate us to get out the books in the back of the bookshelf and read them to our little ones.

i love books



Sunday, November 20, 2011

you must

You must go over to Cakies ... this blog post made me laugh.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


The big question on my mind right now ... what are the kids and I going to do next week with no school? This momma better get creative and think ahead! I do best with our normal routine. Hmmmmmm.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

happy thursday

Found this on my computer last night when I came home. Best find ever.
I love my family so much.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


This week started off a little rough for me. Then today, totally out of the blue, a friend whom I rarely get to see dropped by a little bit of sunshine because she was thinking of me. This picture does not do this beautiful bag justice... it is every girls candy dream and in person it is the prettiest pink you can imagine. I feel loved and it was just the pickup I needed to remind myself that I am a strong, beautiful, and worthy woman and if I have sweet friends like that and a beautiful family, I must be doing something right.

I admire people like my friend Jane. She had no idea I was upset and just decided she would bless me with a little gift, just because. She has inspired me for a long time. Let's put some sparkle in our friends' lives! Something so simple can move someone else's heart.

And just remember, do not let other people try to define you or bully you. Ever. If you are living your life trying to better the world and put a lot of love into it, don't let anyone tear you down. Even a little bit.



Monday, November 14, 2011

on the kids

Here are some of the Mini Harajuku items we brought home yesterday. Momma had to guess on sizes so we may not be keeping them all but I love the way they look. The last one was a gift for a sweet baby boy (and his momma) and there is still another dress, pair of pants and a skirt I would love to try on my kids but they were not at our Target. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

new new new

Today was the premiere of the Harajuku Mini for Target collection. And, yes I was up at midnight waiting to see if I could buy it online. Really cute stuff, quality is what you expect for the price. They are only selling it in stores, so I was one of the first ones there today to snag some cute stuff. Not everything online was in the store I went to, but they had a bunch of styles to pick from. If you want some you should go ASAP. I am sure the cutest stuff will go quick! They have baby, toddler and big girl sizes. I will post pictures tomorrow of my little models with their new duds.

Friday, November 11, 2011

thank you mr. clean

I bought some Mr. Clean Magic Erasers awhile back to help with some scuffs on our walls. It helped a little but it wasn't very good on the paint. But today one of these sponges saved my day! My little guy used a random non-washable green marker and literally wrote all over one of my white dining chairs. I used cleaners, wipes, water, and a sponge and the marker would not budge. Then I remembered I had one of these and it erased that marker right off. And then I took it over to the crayon marks on the floor that would not come off and it cleared them too. I am one grateful mommy!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

on my other blog

If you haven't seen it yet, I did a post last week on my OC Family blog, Family and Frills, that was all about fall inspiration. Enjoy!

i made these

(picture and recipe found here)

Last night I made two different recipes that I had found on Pinterest. One did not turn out very well and the other was delicious! These bite sized apple pies were teeny, yummy and so easy. Everyone, including my baby gobbled two of them up. They are the perfect little dessert to whip up real quick and share with others. I know they would be even more perfect with vanilla ice cream. 

1/2 cup sugar 
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
1 package (14.1 ounces) refrigerated pie pastry 
3 tablespoons butter, melted, divided 
2 medium tart apples, each cut into 8 wedges (16 total wedges)

In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon; set aside 1 tablespoon. 

On a lightly floured surface, unroll pastry. Brush with 2 tablespoons butter; sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture. 

Cut each sheet into eight 1-in. strips, about 8 inches long. Wrap one strip around each apple wedge, placing sugared side of pastry against the apple. 

Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush tops with remaining butter; sprinkle with reserved sugar mixture. Bake at 425° for 13-15 minutes or until pastry is golden brown. Serve warm. Yield: 16 servings.

When I made this recipe I used granny smith apples and I chose to cut the skin off, many reviewers kept it on, so up to you. I also noticed that people were not using the whole sugar/cinnamon mixture on the pie pastry. I used all of it (minus the 1 tablespoon they tell you to set aside) and even though it seems like a lot, it tastes so good. My pie pastry was around 15 ounces and came in two circular pieces, I just used both of them and they worked great.

I love how easy this was and I plan on always having two apples and some pie pastry on hand!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

we went to the movies

We went to see Puss in Boots yesterday and got to meet Puss while we were there! Two of those cuties are mine and the other two are the giveaway winners. Adorable right? I have to tell you that I really liked the Anaheim UltraLuxe movie theaters. They were so CLEAN, hip, comfy and were priced the same as other theaters. I wish they were closer to my house. Perfect date night movie venue! We will definitely go there again. If you live near Anaheim I definitely recommend them.



Friday, November 4, 2011

my bag lady

Besides all the toys in the background, this picture makes me laugh. My three year old has turned in to a bag lady. In this picture she is carrying at least 5 bags and a backpack. I caught her playing like this (she wasn't very happy). She stuffs all those bags with tons of little things and plays all day with them. She just started this last week and although it drives me nuts because none of the toys are in their place, I love how grown up she is.

I have a winner for the Puss in Boots Giveaway, I am just waiting to hear back. Don't forget that if you are in the area the Puss in Boots character will be at the Anaheim UltraLuxe Cinemas between 1pm-4pm on Sunday 11/6 and your kiddos can meet him. It's free to the public.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend.



Wednesday, November 2, 2011



Not too long ago I was the recipient of a generous gift card and I literally ran out as fast as I could and bought a new pair of jeans. I needed them badly. I have been practicing sewing for a little while now and I have this strong desire to be proficient at it so I practice from time to time. I'm not very good, but I want to be. Last night I hemmed my jeans all by myself. It took more than one try and they are far from perfect or even, but I did it myself! I think sometimes as moms we put our desires on the back burner, but I truly believe that if you do not mind being patient, you can find time to learn and try all of the things your heart desires. It is so worth it.



Don't forget to enter my Puss in Boots GIVEAWAY here!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

happy halloween - a little late

I scheduled this to post on Halloween but it got stuck in my drafts folder. 
A little late but here it is anyways!

Lego Man

An original member of the Jabbawockeez
(winning crew of America's Best Dance Crew)

Strawberry Shortcake


Don't forget to enter my Puss in Boots GIVEAWAY here!

fall fall fall

[you can find this wreath here]

Even though we love Halloween, and we did have the best time last night, I am ready to take down our Halloween decorations and put up our fall decor. I don't know what it is about the Fall, but I love it. Hopefully I will have some great meals and decorations to share soon.