Month: June 2016

put a bow on it.

Or was it a bird? All the bridesladies received a handmade something so we wanted the groomspeeps to have a handmade something, too. We decided on bow ties. I found a step by step tutorial on Tie a Tie which I mostly followed. The template was most useful, but it did require a few adjustments. I ended up adding half an inch to each bow tie for a better fit. Also, the suggested interfacing was too firm and thick for bow tie purposes; I purchased a much thinner interfacing after one tough attempt at inverting the first bow tie. After a few hours of cutting, ironing, and sewing, we had a set of bows for the entire groomsbunch. The groomspeeps each wore a blush pink bow and my groom wore a dark blue with white dot bow, chosen because “it looks like sparkles.” Now I can make custom bow ties for Hubs to match all the outfits! Have you tried your hand at creating your own accessories? Share below!

minimoon adventures: sunset.

What’s just as lovely as sunrise? Sunset! Pick a spot on the east-ish part of Lake Tahoe for beautiful sunset views, and always pack a blanket and mat for instant warmth and seating.😊 For Sunset #1 we headed to Lakeside Beach. The view was cloudy but the lighting was amazing. For Sunset #2 we caught the tail end of light at El Dorado Beach. Again, loving all the silhouettes and sky colors. Good night!


Saturday morning plan: Roll out of bed and head straight to a coffee class! ☕️ I recently took Handbrew 101 at Allegro Coffee Roasters in Berkeley. Our instructor Nat was the coolest. Self-proclaimed coffee nerd, she walked us through four handbrewing methods, sharing her techniques and coffee insight along the way.  Coffee coffee coffee! It all starts with a good roast. Nat selected the Ethiopia Watona roast. She also prepared worksheets for us to take notes and start our “coffee diary” (bt-dubs: important if you want to keep tabs on how you like to make your perfect cup). I took all the notes. So much to learn!  Nat walked us through four coffee brewing contraptions plus all the accompanying equipment – scale, gooseneck kettle, coffee grinder, cupping cups…. We sampled the same beans via French press, Chemex, Hario V60, and Aeropress. I can’t say I have a favorite but they all produced different flavor profiles. What I thought was most interesting was how the flavor changed as the coffee cooled. Science!  At the end of …


My one requirement for our wedding: it needed to be outdoors! We decided on a park wedding and we were in the market to rent some benches for the ceremony. Unfortunately, all the seating we saw was not so good looking or expensive (or both!). So, the now Hubs decided we should build our own benches. And build he did! We found a tutorial on Homemade by Carmona and used it as a guide for our benches. He sawed, sand papered, wood burned, stained, painted, sealed, nailed… I ate hot dogs. Oh, and this was the perfect reason to start building our power tool collection. (Insert tool drool here.) Talk about middle school woodshop skills put to good use. (Thanks Bonita Vista Middle School!) Hubs made six benches to accommodate 24 guests. Some of our guests loved them so much they even asked if they could have them as their wedding souvenir. Photo by Ngoc M. Nguyen I love me some power tools. What should our next project be? Matching farm table? Share your woodworking stories below!

minimoon adventures: nevada bike loop.

Get ready, get set…bike! On our minimoon list of adventures was a bike ride in and around Genoa, Nevada. I had wanted to do the 72 miler around Lake Tahoe, but I definitely would need to train for it forever and get used to sitting on a bike saddle for more than a couple of hours. 😁  Instead, the Hubs picked a manageable 19-mile route along the Jack’s Valley Loop. The ride was relatively flat and there were minimal cars – my kind of ride! We saw a legit barn, lots of open landscapes, farm life, and blue skies. We stopped for many a picture.  We also saw a few places we’d like to visit if we ever made it back to the area. Our future day trip: hot springs for relaxation, the pink house for tea, and Main Street for shopping. And at the end of our loop we spotted the best street sign/name. Where are some of your favorite road bike routes? Share below!

cooking with daddy: episode 003

My love for food, cooking, and a good joke- I’ll blame my Dad! 😉  In this special Father’s Day post I’m cooking tilapia two ways with Daddy! Fresh is best so Daddy bought four live medium sized tilapia and had them scaled and gutted. We finished the prep by trimming off the sharp fins and cutting three shallow slits on each side of each fish. First up: fish escabeche! This recipe is good for two medium fish. Whisk together the sauce: 1 tablespoon sugar 1 tablespoon flour 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1/2 cup water For the veggie topping: 2 tablespoons oil 1 tablespoon garlic, minced 1 onion, sliced 1 carrot, julienned 10 ounces crushed pineapple + juice 1 red bell pepper, julienned Above sauce Heat oil. Sauté garlic for one minute. Add onion and sauté for two minutes. Add the carrot and pineapple plus juice. Simmer for 6-8 minutes, stirring halfway. Add the red bell pepper and sauce. Sauté for one minute and done! Set aside. For fish dish number two we used …

camp mcd.

The Museum of Craft and Design hosted a camp themed craft night and I was all over it. I never went to summer camp as a kid but I imagine it’s full of crafts! Lots and lots of crafts! Also, s’mores and campfires…all that good camp stuff. The entry fee for Craft Night grants you museum admission, materials & instruction for all crafts, plus drinks and snacks. It was my first time at the museum so I spent a good amount of time perusing the current exhibit and the museum store. Then it was off to make fun things! There were four stations: wood-burned postcards, shrinky dink charms, marker ‘tie dye,’ and paracord bracelets with instructors Charlotte, the Education and Programs Manager at the Museum; Carrie of Re-Tree; and Micha from TrackersEarth. It was great to make and mingle with fellow crafties. Tahdah! All the craftings! All we needed was a fun camp song. Did you head to camp as a kid? Share your best camp memories below!

say my name.

You may have spotted another heat embossing craft in my last wedding post but in case you missed it here it is in all its glory: our wedding place setting name cards! I found the stamp during our Seattle trip. I didn’t know what I was going to use it for when I purchased it, but I knew I would think of a way to incorporate it into our wedding crafts. It worked out perfectly for our name cards. To match our wedding invitations I mixed gold and copper embossing powder and stamped on the same blush paper. I used my handy brush pen to write our guests’ names. I am particularly fond of how these two cards came out: Easy peasy and fancy shmancy at the same time! All together now! And in the wilds! A snap of our name card on our wedding tablescape. Photo by Ngoc M. Nguyen I’m pretty sure I need to make more of these soon. Can someone please throw a sit down meal party so I can volunteer my name card …

minimoon adventures: eagle falls hike. 

The Hubs and I love exploring the outdoors and Lake Tahoe was the perfect place to wander natures. One of our adventures: Eagle Falls! There’s a short loop and a long trail that leads you to desolation wilderness. We stuck with the short loop. In the off season, there is plenty of parking. There’s also no parking fee! We hiked to the Vista shortly after sunrise and the views were breathtaking. What a serene place to relax, meditate, and clear your mind while getting some fresh air in your lungs. Ahhh… Where do you like to unwind? Share below! 

glenview gallivants. 

The East Bay is the best place for exploring neighborhoods and discovering all the flowers. There’s always something in bloom! The Hubs and I have put “walk new neighborhoods” on our list of fun things to do together. 🤗 First up: the Glenview neighborhood of Oakland. See Glenview through my eyes…   Where should we explore next? Share your neighborhood stroll ideas below!