Monday, January 31

Design: Buttercups and Birds Nursery Feature

Wallpaper adds special character to any room. But using it on the ceiling makes it more interesting. Here's a great example from Rhoney Design that uses wallpaper on a ceiling of a nursery. Don't you just love the yellow sky design? Now their baby won't be bored while lying down on her crib.

Oh by the way, did you see a glimpse of the Jonathan Adler giraffe sconces that they used? Here's a closer view.

And a much closer one...

It's like what I have on the very first nursery mood board I made here.

I also loved how they used tiny birdhouses as decor...

...and grey walls. Lovely.

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Sunday, January 30

Love: Baby Shoes and Accessories from Joy Folie

Joy Folie makes really cute ballet flats and lovely accessories for infant and little girls. Here are a few of my favorites, but go and check out their website. You're going to want to get all of their stuff for your little girl as well.

See? I wasn't kidding.

Images from Joy Folie.

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Saturday, January 29

Food: Easy Meatball Sauce with a Twist

Here's a meatball sauce recipe that's perfect for parties. It has an asian twist to it. Try it and enjoy!


  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed, chopped cilantro

  1. Heat sesame oil on a skillet. Stir fry ginger for about 2-3 minutes.
  2. In a different bowl, mix together rice vinegar, soy sauce and honey. Add to skillet.
  3. Add in red pepper. Turn off heat and add cilantro.
  4. Toss in cooked meatballs, and serve.


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Friday, January 28

Food: The Crab Shack

A couple of months back, a good friend of mine visited from California. My husband and I took her to The Crab Shack in Tybee Island, near Savannah, to get our hands on this sumptuous seafood feast. Savannah is around 4 hours away from our place, and Tybee Island is another 20 minutes coming from Savannah.

My friend and I shared the Capt'n Crab Sampler for two (pictured). The sampler was a platter with stone crabs, dungeness crabs, mussels, crawfish, shrimps, sausage slices, corn and butter dipping. Oooh, it was so yummy! I want to go back.

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Thursday, January 27

Love: Felt Play Food

Last year, as I was browsing through baby stuff at Pottery Barn Kids, I saw the cutest make-believe toy set for kids. I wanted it so badly for Baby A. But I eventually decided to not buy it. I figured that (1) she'll probably enjoy them when she's older, (2) the price was a bit too much for a toy set, and (3) I can easily make them on my own.

Pottery Barn Kids
Cake Set $34
Cupcake Set $24

I looked for other felt play food sets, and Ikea has them, too, and they're so much cheaper.

Ikea Duktig
1. Dessert set $7.99
2. Vegetable set $7.99
3. Breakfast set $4.99
4. Fruit basket set $7.99

Etsy is another source of felt play food, all of which are handcrafted by amazingly talented individuals. I think they are way more stylish and more creative than those from PBK and Ikea.

1. Bug Bites Play Food, Breakfast $17.00
2. Nicola Luke, Lovely felt food cake $9.00
3. Royal Rugrats, Kitchen utensils set $22.00
4. Tomomo Handmade, Sushi set $34.00

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Wednesday, January 26

Freebie: Font Love #2

Here's a real cute dingbat set that you can download here from Fonts for Peas. Have fun!

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Tuesday, January 25

Shopping: Bringing Color to the Table

Glassware, that is. My personal pick? The cobalt tumblers and glassware.

  1. Pier 1, V-Shaped etched tumblers. $4.48 each.
  2. Macy's, Mikasa Clear Cheers Ruby. $39.99 / set of 4.
  3. Macy's, Villeroy and Boch Boston Green. $14.99 each.
  4. Pier 1, Cobalt tumblers and glassware. $3.00 - $3.50 each.
  5. World Market, Plum Fleur de Lys. $11.96 / set of 4.
  6. Target, Room Essentials Yellow Stripes tumbler. $19.99 / set of 8.
  7. Target, Bormioli Rocco Tulip. $69.99 / set of 12.
  8. Crate&Barrel, Frida glasse. $9.95 each.
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Monday, January 24

Food: Lemon Custard Cakes

This lemon dessert is another must-try from Martha Stewart.

  • Unsalted butter, room temperature, for custard cups
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Grated lemon zest of 1 lemon
  • Lemon juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Boil a kettle of water. Butter six 6-ounce custard cups and place in a dish towel-lined baking dish or roasting pan. The towel will prevent the cups from slipping around.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until light; whisk in flour. Gradually whisk in lemon juice, then add the milk and zest.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Add the mixture to the lemon batter and fold in gently with a whisk. The batter will be quite liquid.
  4. Divide the batter among the buttered custard cups. Fill the baking dish with boiling water until halfway, then place in the oven. Bake until puffed and lightly browned on top. The pudding should still be visible in bottom, around 20-25 minutes. 
  5. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners' sugar.


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Sunday, January 23

Design: Mustard and Navy Blue Nursery

Inspired by the color palette navy blue and mustard, here again is another gender-neutral nursery mood board. It's also an ode to the year of the rabbit (2011). I hope you like it!

  1. Wall decal. Little Lion Studio, Follow the Little Rabbit Tree.
  2. Pendant lamp. Nova, Kimura Pendant.
  3. Crib. Ooba, Nest crib in Walnut.
  4. Crib Sheet Set. Oilo Studio, Wheels crib set in Cobalt.
  5. Seating and pillow. Room & Board, Shay Glider. Willa Skye Home, Lattice Work Designer Pillow
  6. Area Rug. Capel, Tweed Square Deep Blue braided rug.
  7. Window Panel. Crate&Barrel, Bella Porte Citrine curtain panel.
  8. Dresser. Room & Board, Hudson Steel Base dresser.
  9. Lamp. Pottery Barn Kids, Jared Star shade and Mason base.
  10. Mirror. Target, Oversized Gold Sunburst.
  11. Art Print. Nicole Fitz Gibbon, Yellow Bunny.
  12. Storage. Room Essentials, Medium Storage Bin.

Here are some other nursery mood boards that might interest you:
Modern Filipino
Bright and bold
Calm and refreshingly neutral

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Saturday, January 22

Crafts/DIY: Hearts Letter-folding


Sending out letters to your loved ones this Valentine's Day? Here are some letter-folds... and the links to their how-to's.

Heart #1: The Sweetheart fold

Heart #2: The Nabi heart fold

Heart #3: The Pepi-Love envelope

Heart #4: The Japanese heart fold


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Friday, January 21

Shopping: Baby Bath Time

  1. A Real Cool World, Flexibath infant foldable bath tub. It's not available in all states, but you can get it at Amazon. It's made of hard plastic, and can be folded after bath time for easy storage. Isn't that real cool?
  2. Boon, Frog Pod. It's a bath toy scoop that gathers, cleans and stores bath toys at the same time.
  3. Pottery Barn Kids, Nursery Critter bath wrap. Its thick terry cloth makes it super soft. You can personalize it too.
  4. Sassy, Bathtime Pals squirt and float toys. Perfect for little hands.
  5. Johnson's Natural head-to-toe baby wash. Gentle, "no more tears" formula made of plant- and fruit-derived ingredients. It's dye-free, essential oil-free, allergy tested and pediatrician tested too.
  6. Skip Hop, Moby bath spout cover. It protects the baby's head from bumps in the tub. The cute whale design is too cute to ignore.
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Freebie: Font Love #1

Who doesn't love free fonts? Here's a free font from fontspace you can download. Enjoy!

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Wednesday, January 19

Capture: Maternity Series

Even before I got pregnant, I already looked into maternity shots posted by professional photographers. One post from Ohdeedoh had me at hello.

I was so amazed by this one dude's creativity that I wanted a maternity series of my own too. Here's another one of his maternity series.

We only had so little time to spare and a minuscule budget; so my husband and I decided to just do it ourselves. Armed with our Canon S90 and few editing techniques, we were ready to go. I would have used my bigger camera here but since my husband is the one taking pictures, I said okay to the point-and-shoot.

Granted I do not have the photogenic quality of the photographer's wife, nor does my husband the photographer's skills, I think we've done the best we could have to capture each week of my pregnancy and highlight a major event that happened that week.

We still have around 9 photos and around 9 more pounds to go; but here are some of the pictures I like most.

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Food: Fried Rice Salad with Radicchio and Raisins

If you want a twist to your fried rice, here's a recipe that's yummy, even for kids.

  • 3 cups cooked brown (or white) rice
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced diagonally
  • 1 small head of radicchio (or cabbage), thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (juice of about 1/2 lime)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Melt butter in the pan. Add the cooked rice and stir fry for about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add lime juice, sesame seeds and raisins. Stir fry for 3 minutes more.
  3. Mix in scallions and radicchio. Turn off heat. 
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Monday, January 17

Shopping: Maternity Clothes

As much as possible, I did not want to buy any maternity clothes. I was just supposed to get dresses that I can also wear post pregnancy. But being pregnant during winter made it impossible. So I had to shop for some. Haha, that didn't sound like me. Okay, it was more like "yay, I can shop for new clothes!"

Scavenging for maternity clothing in a non-maternity store was getting tougher and tougher as I got bigger.

I didn't show until I was on my fifth month, and I have been wearing non-maternity dresses all the time. I picked out empire-cut styles and flowing skirts. I could even still wear my old jeans, albeit with a maternity band because of bloating.

I am now on my seventh, and although I can still fit into the dresses I have, I can't wear them anymore because of the cold weather. When the weather is nice and warm, as it sometimes is during the winter in the south, I try to wear them and pair them with leggings and flats.

Here are some of my favorite maternity clothing that I found online.

Long Dresses
For casual and formal wear.

Left: Asos Maternity Bandeau Maxi Dress
Right: ABS Collection Sleeveless Rosette

Short Dresses
Perfect with leggings or boots.

Left: Moody Mamas Sleeveless Flounce Neck Dress
Right: A Pea in the Pod Convertible Sleeve Button Dress

Neutrals are the best colors for coats and sweaters.

Left: Bailey 44 Button Front Ponte Maternity Coat
Right: Gap Dolman-sleeve Sweater

Great for office wear and casual wear.

Left: Asos Maternity Jersey Pencil Skirt
Right: Lavish by Heidi Klum Pull On Style Slim Leg

Pick long pieces that has a "waist". Tunics are best.

Top left: Liz Lange for Target Short-Sleeve Fashion Top
Top right: Old Navy Maternity Silver-Beaded Tunic
Bottom left: A Pea in the Pod Convertible Sleeve Button Tunic
Bottom right: mama-licious Dip Dye Woven Top

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Sunday, January 16

Food: Bread Pudding for Breakfast

I've been eating minimal white carbs due to pregnancy. We now use whole wheat bread instead of white bread and brown rice for white rice.

Here's a whole wheat bread pudding recipe that's good for breakfast. It's not too sweet and you can top it with any fruit you like, and add honey or condensed milk for extra sweetness.


  • 10 slices whole wheat bread, cubed
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla essence
  • 1/4 teaspooon salt
  • 3 cups milk
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9"x3" baking pan.
  2. Combine bread cubes, butter, cinnamon and raisins in the baking pan. Mix well.
  3. In another bowl, beat the eggs, then add sugar, vanilla and salt.
  4. Mix in the milk, and pour over the bread mixture.
  5. Sprinkle with nutmeg and bake for 25 minutes.
  6. Top with fresh fruits, and honey or condensed milk.

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Saturday, January 15

Food: Carrot Ginger Cake with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

So far, Martha hasn't let me down with her recipes yet. Here is another one of hers that I tried. I was hesitant at first to put ginger in the cake because who puts ginger in their cake? Okay, maybe a lot of people, but I have not tried it then. But it made all the difference. I tried it with ginger and I tried it without. 

The verdict? Add ginger for the win!

Carrot Ginger Cake
(makes 1 four-layer cake, serves 10 to 12)

  • Unsalted butter, for greasing the pans
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pans
  • 1 cup pecan halves (or pieces. You'll crush them later so it's okay to use pieces)
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (originally 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Orange cream cheese frosting (see following recipe)

  1. Pre-heat the oven at 375 degrees F. Butter two 8"x2" round cake pans. Dust with flour and tap excess. Toast the pecans in a single layer in the oven until lightly golden, about 7 minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside to cool. Reduce temperature to 300 degrees. Finely chop pecans.
  2. Grate the carrots using a food processor or a grater to yield 2-1/2 cups. Whisk carrots, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, sugar, oil and ginger in a large bowl until well-combined.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Fold the flour mixture into the carrot mixture using a rubber spatula. Fold in the toasted pecans.
  4. Divide the batter between the two cake pans, and bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the middles comes out clean. Remove pans from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool, about 15 minutes. Turn the cakes out onto the rack; let stand until completely cool.
  5. Now here's the fun part - layering the cake:
    • Level the tops of the cake by trimming it using a serrated knife.
    • Slice each layer in half horizontally.
    • Assemble the cake on a cake stand or a big plate (3/4 cups frosting in between the layers, and then the rest of the frosting on top and the sides)
    • Chill in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours.

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
(makes about 5 cups - enough for the carrot cake recipe above)

  • 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 (8-ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar (originally 3 cups, but I find it too sweet)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • pinch of salt
  1. Beat the butter in an electric mixer on medium-high using the paddle attachment, about 2 minutes, until fluffy.
  2. Add cream cheese, and beat until well-combined and fluffy, about 2 minutes more.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, and beat 5 minutes more.
  4. Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two days.

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