Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Down-right genius IKEA hacks

Click here for a roundup of 17 budget-friendly yet genius IKEA hacks featured on the cool and hip Supercompressor!

(Image of Unalibreria by Elia Maurizi and Francesco Pepa, the geniuses behind Teste di Legno. If you would like to read up on their creations, the amazing design and architecture magazine Tyylit has a nice feature here.)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

A great Bobbi Brown sale

I feel silly writing a post about this but this has got to be quite an exciting sale:

Bobbi Brown is having a Friends & Family sale right now and you can totally take advantage because no code is necessary!

It's a whopping 20% discount on everything, so now is the time to load up on your favorites and staples! (All-time bestsellers here.)

My personal favorite has been this cult-classic, easy-to-tote rollerball of the best-selling Beach fragrance. I love it because it captures the clean, fresh, and lightly intoxicating notes of sand jasmine, sea spray, and mandarin, and is totally wearable everywhere. I like rollerballs more than sprays because I really like to dab on just a weeny bit every time, for just a hint of fragrance.

(Image from the real nifty Polyvore, where it's been sold out for a while now; dash over to Bobbi Brown to get it for $20 instead of $25. :^)

The sale is on now through April 3, so stock up while you can!

The boys make me laugh

Collin and Aaron are funny.

Their personalities couldn't be farther apart, and yet they thoroughly, whole-heartedly enjoy each other's company and make each other laugh all the time.

Sung and I couldn't be more glad that we have two boys.

They are the best.

A foolproof way to put on a duvet cover

Oh, how I love the Real Simple magazine!

(I've been a collector reader since 2002, all the way from Seoul, Korea. Going through a local magazine agency to subscribe internationally and all. Need I say more. :^)

This has got to be the best duvet cover trick you will find out there.

It saves SO much time, it's unbelievable.

Happy weekend, everyone!

How to make grilled cheese at home

OK, this may not be such a secret but here is my tip for anyone who wants to make crisp but moist (not dry!) grilled cheese:

Cover that pan and use very very low heat!

Low and slow is all you need to remember...

That's all.

(I usually make the boys' less golden brown, like above. Sung and I love an almost burnt, deep brown grilled cheese -- crispy on the outside and super chewy and gooey inside is how we like them!)

Oh, and I like to use a dollop of mayonnaise (per sandwich, in addition to the melted butter to griddle in) to make the outside real crisp and surprisingly buttery.

Apparently, griddling both sides of each of the bread slice makes quite a difference, but I never have the time or patience so I just wing it this mayo trick instead. :o)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Awesome cupcake toppers

Oh wow. Have you ever seen these amazing cupcake toppers?!

I found them by chance while browsing through Etsy -- this uber creative seller, Thick and Thin Designs, totally rocks!

You can even customize the toppers with any color you like, and all the toppers are completely reusable.

What an absolutely brilliant idea!

I'm especially glad I found them because I have never seen any construction-themed cake/cupcake toppers before. The boys will love these!

(All images from the shop Thick and Thin Designs)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Look at what I bought today

Isn't this picture of Drew Barrymore stunning?

And isn't the shirt she's wearing simply amazing???

I bought this sweat shirt (in black) just minutes ago, over at www.fosterla.spreadshirt.com because according to Drew Barrymore, "all proceeds go to help employment opportunity for foster kids in LA," which I think is such an awesome way to raise awareness (and funds, of course). I'm also very happy that I found such a handsome graphic shirt! :-)

Don't you just love this fabulous woman?!

(Image from Drew Barrymore's Instagram)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Favorite: Warby Parker

So again, after I had my second child, my eyesight started getting real bad real fast.

I actually started wearing eyeglasses after college but only whenever I was at the movies or driving at night. Naturally, because I wore my eyeglasses so seldomly, most people did not know that I wore them.

And then one day, not too long after the Aaron Man came into the world, I realized I really couldn't see very well, like, even in daytime! So I started to wear prescription eyeglasses everyday, which was no biggie, but I also started to notice that whenever I put on my sunglasses... I felt like I was legally blind.

(In the meantime, this is me, bespectacled.)

As in, I had racked up a good number of designer shades over the years (because they were so in) but could no longer wear any of them because I could not see anything.
(Me when I would try to look groovy but could not see anything much.)

And then to my rescue, Warby Parker launched prescription shades! :^)

The price range they offered was so sweet ($150 for prescription sunglasses, anyone?), I just had to try their shades! (If you're not familiar, Warby Parker is known for their Home Try-On Program, which is a real smart way to choose frames -- you select five from their website, Warby Parker send them over to you for free, you get to try the different frames over a span of five days till you decide; if you don't like any of them, you're not obliged to buy a pair and best of all, return shipping is free as well! Yup, some have called them the Neflix of eyewear. How befitting! :o)

So, long story short -- OK, this is not short, but -- this is how my life has improved since:
I'm wearing my prescription shades everywhere!

All in all, I've owned two pairs of Warby Parker frames thus far (this from their original series and this) and they are simply awesome.

For those of you who would like to know... I was first sold on their idea back when they first launched in 2010, solely because of this part of their mission statement:

"Almost one billion people worldwide lack access to glasses, which means that 15% of the world’s population cannot effectively learn or work. To help address this problem, Warby Parker partners with non-profits like VisionSpring to ensure that for every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need."

(And of course, because they also said that they "will not design anything that we will be embarrassed wearing in 20 years"... More on their history here.)

(Top image of Griffin and others from the Warby Parker website; nope, this is not a sponsored post or anything, none of the product links I feature are affiliate links or simply put, offer no monetary gain for me :o)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Amazing logo designs

While I don't have a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account, I've been doing my share of web surfing lately.

The other day, I just couldn't take my eyes off these amazing logo designs... I think I can stare at clever logo designs or just gorgeous designs in general for hours on end, perhaps because I had wanted to be a graphic designer at one point in my life/still secretly want to take up art classes.

And then I stumbled upon this interesting post over at Digital Synopsis, which is one of my top 10 favorite design websites because they always have something uber cool or totally insightful (or both)!

Friday, March 20, 2015

What we eat for breakfast I

Whenever there is absolutely nothing to be had for breakfast...

We just grab some Julian's Recipe Belgian Waffles from the freezer and warm them up in the toaster oven real fast and eat them with fresh fruit!

Even though it's really just frozen food, the boys love to pretend that it's a real meal...
Well, I do have to add that these waffles are pretty amazing. They actually taste very homemade and very fresh! I haven't seen them anywhere else but Whole Foods though. Oh well.


If we are not running late for school, we all gather in the kitchen to make these together:

For pancakes, I usually use this quick yet totally awesome recipe but minus the sugar because we love maple syrup way too much.

Or this one over at my other favorite mommy+lifestyle blog (by founding editors of the Cookie magazine!) Momfilter is also a delicious recipe.

And yes, it does take 17 more minutes to make anything whenever the boys join me in the kitchen, but you know, no biggie. :^P

Already a year in preschool

Speaking of adult preschools (yup, you read that right)...

The beginning of spring this year is especially special because it also marks Aaron's very first year in preschool.

In mid-March last year, Aaron started attending Rainbow School, an amazing faith-based Korean-American private school (we opted for private because Fort Lee does not offer public preschool ed) that Collin had been attending since the summer of 2011 -- soon after Aaron was born ;o) -- and boy, have we come a long way!

These were taken in March 2014 when Aaron started going to "Collin's school":
See how totally, absolutely giddy Aaron was to be going to school, holding his big bro's hand and all! ;^)

And here are the boys now, after school.
(I usually pick up Collin from the neighborhood kindergarten and Aaron from his preschool and sometimes make a quick stop at Rt. 4 Starbucks for my venti iced latte (for the days that I need to work through the night till 1 or 2 am)... On this day, we were given free cake pops just because that is the best Starbucks around and all the baristas are totally awesome and they are our friends and they always give us extra iced water whenever I stop by with my kids! :o) It is our favorite because it also has a drive-thru!:

Or we just grab some yummy yogurt if we end up going grocery shopping together:

Happy spring, everyone! We cannot be more glad that spring is finally here!

We're usually off to the neighborhood parks and playgrounds and don't really come home till Halloween. How about you?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Mansur Gavriel bag crush

As many of you probably know, the Mansur Gavriel bags that were finally restocked earlier today have come and gone...

Every time I went to their website, I kept seeing an announcement page that was basically a blank page... For most of the day...

...and then when I did finally get through, the entire site had already sold out! Apparently, everything sold out within 15 minutes!

What an incredible frenzy it was.

I've had a crush on their large bucket bags ever since they launched in June last year but sadly, who knows when I'll be able to get one. Ho hum.

(But really, what a total, massive success the brand is! Congrats to them! :^)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A real good movie

Have you all seen this film???

(Image from IMDb)

Can I please say this: I could not believe it when I found out Miles Teller is a full decade(!!!) younger than I am.

Am I really that old?!?!

I never imagined the day would come so soon when I'm like, 10 years older than an adult male, you know what I mean?

I don't know why, but I'm just so blown away right now. I can't believe I'm turning 38 this year.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Just don't

Don't take young babies (such as this 17-month-old pictured here) on a train ride through a sugar cane plantation in Maui, Hawaii, because this is what it's going to be like for you for all of the 45 minutes of it:

Don't say I didn't warn you. ;o)

(As you can see, this is a flashback picture from October 2012 when we traveled all the way to Maui with two young ones because we didn't know any better....... It took us approximately 26 hours door to door from our home here in New Jersey to the Westin Maui (which by the way was a really beautiful resort), complete with a 3-hour layover in LA...)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Research-backed ways to raise kids right

If you are in search of some good parenting tips, here is a real nifty list entitled "7 Research-Backed Ways to Raise Kids Right."

And on an unrelated note... Here is a picture of us from the summer of 2011 when Sung and I took Collin on an afternoon date to a nearby Outback Steakhouse, back when he was feeling a little confused by Aaron's arrival in the world.

I don't know about other children but Collin was basically ready but not ready for Aaron just yet.

That poor boy truly needed some alone time with us every now and then because he kept waking up every morning with a look on his face that said, "Is Aaron's mommy here yet???" (You know, to pick him up from us/take him home?)

Collin would probably deny/protest if I told him now but yes, that initial phase was not easy.

Thank God those days are behind us now!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Life-changing laundry tip

(Image from Domaine)

Did you know that if you want to dry your clothes faster, all you need to do is throw in a dry fluffy towel into the dryer along with your wet clothes?! (Am I the last one to hear about this life-changing trick?)

According to Lifehacker, the dry towel supposedly absorbs the moisture, reducing the drying time and using less energy.

Isn't that good to know?

You must remember to take the towel out of the dryer after 15-20 minutes though, otherwise, that towel would be contributing to the moisture in the dryer and even extending the drying time...

Well, I'm all for setting a timer/making another trip if it's going to shorten the dryer time for all the down comforters in the house (that take up to 90 minutes to dry completely and I always feel bad because it feels like I'm wasting electricity). No problem!

Other amazing laundry hacks here, here, and here. And this one is a good read for moms!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Where to go in New Jersey on Sundays I

Not everyone knows this but New Jersey has blue laws banning almost all retail stores selling non-food items from opening on Sundays. What this means is that even though there are some very nice huge malls and even a gigantic IKEA all within our 10-mile radius, nothing is open on Sundays.

Nope, not even the Target (which does sell grocery now).

So we were really bummed for a long time, especially during the wintertime, just driving into the city to eat or shop or just driving mindlessly all over NYC and NJ and sometimes even PA (because their Reading Terminal Market is awesome and the Please Touch Museum is the best thing in the world for young children) until the kids felt like they did something outdoors.........

And then we found out that Barnes & Noble opens on Sundays, thankfully.

Seriously? A Barnes & Noble?! How awesome is that?!

We love the Barnes & Noble at Riverside Mall (the proper name is The Shops at Riverside) because this location not only has their nice cafe that serves Starbucks coffee (which, by the way, a lot of people think is a Starbucks store inside a Barnes & Noble but is really their own cafe) AND the Thomas table, which can be a total lifesaver (for at least half an hour!) if you have a boy/multiple boys.

Isn't it good to know? :o) :o) :o)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Lazy mom's guide to baked goods for teachers

(OK, let me correct that and say "busy mom" because I think "lazy mom" is an oxymoron. No mom can be lazy, even if she wanted to be. No matter how desperately she might want to take it easy, life is just constantly happening like a nonstop roller coaster, and I heard that you're not really done for like, the first 17 years of your newborn's life..?)

So here is what happened to me during the Valentine's Day week, when I wanted to send along 50+ goodies for my little guys (who go to two different schools) as well as baked goodies for their teachers...somehow.

Here is what I did, if you would like to know --

I ran over to Whole Foods that morning for their ever-reliable, freshly made (store-baked!) goodies that we love here in this house:
(Pictured top right: If you haven't tried Whole Foods' cranberry pistachio biscottis yet... Please do! I never even liked biscotti because they tend to be harder than I like my cookies to be, but oh boy, these are really pretty amazing. They are not that cheap but one tub comes with 22-24 giant pieces!)

Which all add up to be about $42 total (which is what I might have ended up spending anyway if I baked everything myself but needed 12 venti iced lattes to remain alive afterwards):

And carefully divide them into however many boxes of treats needed...

And I'm done!!!

The most amazing part? Even after putting together TWO boxes of goodies (each containing some 30 goodies total), I had close to half of my purchase still left over.

Of course, I wish I had planned for the week better and carved out time to bake the goodies myself but life for this work-from-home mom was not easy that week, of all weeks!

And to be really honest, these turned out to be such a great hit at both school offices that I'm thinking I might do this again. They're probably much yummier than I could ever make them! :o)