Recipe | Sweet & Sour dessert: Balsamic Strawberries with Vanilla Ice Cream


When I first heard about balsamic strawberries with ice cream, I was really curious about this combination and I thought it’s so weird that it’s got to be good. Surprisingly, once you put that syrupy balsamic vinegar into the vanilla ice cream it almost tastes like chocolate sauce. It’s like an elevated sundae!

Because I’m not rolling in money, I don’t have a pricey aged bottle of balsamic vinegar sitting in my pantry and I have to make one MacGyver style. Good quality balsamic vinegar is already thick and syrupy on its own but you can achieve this consistency by reducing the inexpensive ones you get from the grocery store. It’s easy to do and you will feel super cool when you say you’ve made a balsamic reduction. Continue reading

Fading Peonies


Did you know peonies change color as they get older? The bright pink one on the right just bloomed today, the top one yesterday, and the pale pink on the left has been open for a couple of days now. I bought them when they were buds and I thought they would never open up but here they are blooming to the size of my hand. They really fill up a vase and it’s a much better deal than roses which are kind of overrated.

Hotdogless Memorial Day


We celebrated the long weekend with a bbq over my parents’ house and I can always count on the fact that they will go all out. I don’t think burgers and hot dogs even exist in my mom’s mental rolodex of foods to bbq. It would probably be under “afternoon snack” or “children’s party”. For my family, any holiday is an excuse to bring out the good stuff and indulge in it together. This time the main dishes were oysters and hunks of pork belly dipped in my mom’s special vinegar sauce. We sit, talk, and eat without worrying about the oyster juice splattering everywhere or that our fingers are covered in food. I love a group of people who know how to eat! Hope you enjoy your extra day off and treat yourself to something good. Whatever it is!

Why I love Target


I was leisurely roaming around Target this morning with an urge to shop. This could have been potentially dangerous because it is just like going food shopping when you’re starving. I was just about to leave after a whole internal struggle with myself on buying things I don’t really need when I passed by this Orla Kiely tablecloth all by its lonesome. And what? Is that a red clearance tag I see? Yes! To the check-out counter!

I saw this tablecloth months ago and decided to pass on it at the time. Of course, much of Orla Kiely’s Target line disappeared in a flash and I was just thinking the other day about how I should have bought it. Well like they say, good things come to those who wait – or maybe I’m the only one who likes it or needs to cover their hand-me-down dining table that looks a bit country.

I know all the design blogs have been obsessing over these for some time and I’m sure all of them have at least one Orla Kiely Target product by now. Now I completely understand the hype because the colors and the pattern have really brightened up the room. Yep, this tablecloth totally made my day.

Kit Kat Asia


When my parents asked what I wanted from their trip to Hong Kong, I only had one request: green tea Kit Kats. I knew my chances were slim since they really come from Japan but I was hopeful. They’re close enough, right? My mom couldn’t find them but being the mom that she is, she didn’t disappoint and came back instead with three different kinds of Kit Kats. Continue reading

Cute overload

Here are a couple of goodies that I picked up from the Unique LA event…



I bought the scarf and hoodie combo pictured on the left or you can call it “scoodie” to add on some extra cuteness. I had only seen this idea floating around the internet but this was the first time I saw one in person. So of course I couldn’t miss out on an opportunity to have my very own scoodie and Eon had a great selection with many different colors and patterns. The best part is that it’s reversible!

It was obvious at the Unique event that the bf/gf duo that comprises of the Eon team were both so excited and passionate about their creations. What’s even better is that they were so cool and helpful. And who wouldn’t love someone who comes up with sushi pillows?


fomato cards

Is it weird that I like to entertain myself by reading the cards on fomato’s website? Their greeting cards have adorable characters combined with clever humor and are loaded with cute. I got the card above for my music-obsessed cousin who wears lots of graphic shirts. Yes, this card and my cousin were meant to be and I can’t wait to hear him laugh when he reads it. Plus fomato cards are perfect for your hip, modern friends. Where else can you get a card for that very special Facebook friend?

Etsy finds at Unique LA

There were so many vendors at the Unique LA event and it was great to see that a lot of them have Etsy shops. I loved the idea that I could meet the artist in person and be able to physically look at the items they’re selling. Plus, I don’t have to pay shipping and I get to take it home right then!

These were two of my favorites:



The name is very fitting because there was an explosion of bold graphic prints on aprons, oven mitts, potholders, wallets, passports holders, etc. My eyes will always automatically veer towards bright pretty patterns and I saw her booth from a mile away. What was more impressive was the quality and craftsmanship of each item. It is definitely worth your money! I coveted an apron to replace my old Hello Kitty one that I got for free at Sanrio (remember those gift stamps?). Unfortunately, Collisionware’s etsy shop doesn’t have all the selections they offered at Unique but I am crossing my fingers that she will update her store soon.



Somehow the texture and layers on hitree’s products makes it so adorable. It seems to be calling out to you, “Touch me. I’m cute.” I imagine it wouldn’t feel so nice during the summer time because of it’s very thick material (felt? wool?) but it will you make you happy just looking at it.

So now all we need is to get Etsy to start holding events like Unique LA. They should invite members to participate in their local area and it would be a live Etsy shop. Wouldn’t that be great?

Next up are my purchases from non-Etsy, but just as special, sellers.