Revealing the gender of your baby is such a HUGE ordeal now, and I don’t blame anyone. It is a big moment during a pregnancy.
MG and I didn’t want to be surprised, but we wanted to surprise others. I’m actually not good with surprises anyway, but I enjoy it so much to give other people that satisfaction. We found out the gender around 13 weeks (typically it’s confirmed around 20 weeks), and from there, we were already starting to plan on how we would tell our parents.
After doing some research on where I could purchase items, I decided to make my own because it’s wayyy cheaper, and you can pick out your own fun designs. We picked out some fun wrapper covers (gender neutral of course), and the inside was filled with the gender color (blue for boy or pink for girl).
Since my parents live in Texas, we mailed the poppers to them. My soon-to-be brother in law helped us ensure there was no peeking, and also initiated Facetime so that MG and I could watch. It was epic (see last post for the video).
This year we’re going to be… Can you guess from the items below?!?!
Do these colors remind you of any Pixar movies? Perhaps Monster’s Inc. MG will be Mike Wazowski, and I will be his companion, Sulley.
This year, my costume will be a double-duty outfit. If you’ve been following along, then you know what these costumes were used for (my Disney half marathon!).
In this post, I’m going to show you how I created these looks.
First let’s start out with Mike Wazowski. What you’ll need is a bright green shirt and 3 different colors of fabric (white, black, and dark green). Cut out a circular eyeball on the white fabric, a smaller dark green circle for the cornea, a smaller circle for the pupil, and then a small white circle to use as the reflection of the eyeball.
Find circular items around the house as your guides – I used a variety of bowls.
Iron the eyeball flat:
And simply sew each piece onto the t-shirt. I kept the sewing simple, so the edges are raw and a bit frayed (I chose this since MG will only be wearing the shirt twice). If you want the costume to last longer, definitely sew with a zig-zag hem. Another option is to use Fray Check by dotting along the edges and letting the liquid dry (it works like clear nail polish).
Now for the Sulley costume! I wanted to keep it girly and cute still (ideally, I don’t want to look like a huge fluffy monster). What I came up with is a tutu with a cute set of horns.
If you’re looking to make a tutu – this is the perfect tutorial for you!
What you’ll need for the tutu is: 10 feet of tulle, an elastic band (or ribbon), scissors.
Cut the tulle into strips of 4-5 inches. Measure our your elastic band/ribbon around your waist, and tie the tutu around the elastic band or ribbon (tutorial on how to tie below). Keep going around the band/ribbon until you’re out of tulle.
Tying the tulle:
Keep the band around your waist to tie the tulle on easily.
For the Sulley costume, I needed to add spots of purple. I purchased purple tulle pom poms and simply hand-sewed them onto the tutu.
Now for the horns. I purchased a blue headband and cut out horns from felt. I stuffed the felt with some extra fabric and sewed the horns together and slipped them through the headband.
I’m the type of person that decorates the house when it comes to Halloween. My husband, on the other hand, thinks that’s crazy. But that’s how it’s always been in my family. Our lawn was littered with Halloween decor for those trick or treaters. It’s so fun to get into the holiday.
Now that I have my own place, it’s no different. I love to decorate. But I don’t love those high-demand prices. Pro-tip, wait until the day after Halloween to get some of your decor. I always score some great items for 50% off, though I have to wait until the following year to use it. Nonetheless, it’s such a great deal and decor doesn’t have an expiration date. It’ll last.
But my favorite thing to do? Get creative and come up with some of your own decor ideas. For my Halloween ideas, cardboard is my primary tool. MG and I buy a lot of things online so we usually save the boxes. Simply use any cardboard box laying around for a project like this. Most importantly, use your imagination!
Can you guess what I’m going to make from the outline below?
Another hint for you:
Final product – cutlery and a zombie barricade, all made from cardboard. I want to add some blood to the knives, but I was recently home alone while MG was on a work trip. I didn’t want to freak myself out!
Close up of the zombie barricade – simply draw some lines onto pieces of cardboard and tape them over a window. For the hands, I cut outlines on white poster board and then spray painted them black with the use of the best airless paint sprayer.
I also added some arms reaching through the banister of our stairs. They still creep me out a bit when I walk up the stairs. However, when I walk down, I feel like everyone is trying to give me high-fives!
Paper and using your creativity, that’s all it took. What do you think? What are some other fun ideas you can come up with using cardboard and/or poster?
Happy Halloweek! Come back for a fun costume idea!
It’s Friday before Labor Day. That means one thing for me – the Disneyland Half Marathon is this weekend.
That’s 13.1 miles. Whew! When I first started running, I ran a block and was totally winded. I kid you not. MG convinced me to sign up for this half (why did I say yes?!?), and since then we have been training to run. I’m nervous but exhilarated. It’s going to be a great first half marathon with Disney characters cheering for you. Yup, that happens!
At first, I had decided to concentrate on my run and wear normal gear. It’s my first one, and it’ll be hard. But then, it’s Disney! How could I not dress up? I literally decided to make a costume this week, one week prior to the half. We basically have most of our gear (remember my Lululemon post?). But I wanted to make this half more fun by dressing up. One week left? Definitely do-able. I made a trip to JoAnn’s and Michael’s and Viola! I created something but won’t reveal it quite yet until after the half.
Here are some sneak peeks of my materials. Can you guess what characters we’re dressing up as? Keep in mind it’s at Disneyland!
C’mon! Take a guess.
Come back next week to see pictures from the half marathon. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see pictures before they are posted on my blog so add me (username: jayscup).
It’s been one year since my very first post. I can’t believe I kept up with posting on this blog for a full year, posting 3 times a week, scheduling posts to go live at midnight. I first started this blog when I was still a housewife, beginning to find new hobbies. This was one of them, and this one actually stuck. Sometimes posting was a pain. I would remember that I needed to write a new post around 11:45pm with only 25 minutes to go live. Those were some of the nights I had to stay up late in order have posts for readers the following day. It was more about my own self-discipline and trying to keep myself on a tight schedule. I knew if I was too lenient, I would continue to let myself slip. But I stuck with it! I’m really proud.
Today deserves a celebration. Happy one year to my little blog!
In lieu of today, I’m featuring some of my proudest posts. I love to look back and see what kinds of projects I’ve completed, recipes I’ve created, and reminisce at trips that I took. I hope you enjoy this walk down memory lane!
And then there’s the many, many different trips I took this past year. Each and every one of them were so memorable. If you’re going to any of these places, check out my posts for ideas of what to do and eat!
When I moved to the Bay Area from Texas, I still had my Texas registration sticker stuck on my windshield, probably for at least a year after I moved. I had my California registration already, but the Texas sticker was still there, very expired, and it was just forgotten about. I had asked MG to help me remove it, but the weekends would get so busy, he would forget. I would drive it for another week, then ask him again, and yet it wasn’t done. I had to ask him to help me because I just didn’t know how to remove the damn thing!
Along the way, I’ve learned some clever tricks. I’m here to share one with you! It’s really easy to remove any kind of sticker from glass. So easy that I’m embarrassed that I waited for so long to remove my Texas registration.
While I was doing this interior decorating project, this new trick I learned was really helpful. Basically, another doctor’s name was still on the office window. We needed to get that off.
All you need to remove stickers: Goo-gone, paper towel, and a credit card. Three things!
Directions: Pour goo-gone onto your paper towel and wipe it on the sticker. Soak the sticker with goo-gone and let it sit for 30 seconds to a minute. Use a credit card to start scraping the sticker away, and it should easily peel off. It doesn’t damage your card, don’t worry! That’s all! No fuss.
Nope! Dr. Pan don’t work here no more! Let’s take that out. Hello to Dr. John Rong!
It’s so clean, no sticky residue! Now get that Windex to shine up the glass.
Look how perfectly the stickers peel off!
Did you know how to do this prior to this blog post? Do you have other ways to remove sticky thing from glass? Do share! What else do you use goo-gone for?
I’m so happy with the turnout of the dental office! I’m especially pleased with the stenciled wall to give it that extra somethin’ somethin’.
Just a fun fact, I actually stenciled my wall at home the exact same trellis pattern but in yellow. The wall took me half a week to complete at home because it’s a 10 ft x 20 ft. The office only took me 1 day to finish since it’s a smaller surface area.
For the dental office, I wanted a surprise element when patients walked through the front door. This stencil was perfect. Plus, I got to reuse it from my house so I saved money there!
If you’re interested in stenciling, here’s an easy DIY step-by-step. Honestly, it’s super easy, but be warned, it does take patience!
First off, prep your station. If you’re a messy one, lay out some tarp to protect your floors. Use painter’s tape to mask surfaces that will not be painted. Pour some paint into your tray.
Now spray the back of your wall stencil with spray adhesive. This acts like the sticky part of a sticky note. It will help keep your stencil in place while painting. The stencil should be sticky to the touch but not wet.
Okay, now really think about where you want your stencil to be on the wall. Perhaps you want to start in the middle of your wall. Maybe you want to the stencil centered above your doorway. Eyeball the perfect position and then stick your stencil onto the wall (this is where that adhesive spray comes in handy). If your stencil is a bit heavy (or like mine was used before), use painter’s tape to keep it from falling off the wall.
Let’s get to painting! Dip your foam roller into the paint evenly. Roll it out on the tray as much as possible. Then roll the foam roller on a paper towel to get out all the excess paint. When I say less is more here, I mean it 100%. If the roller is too thick with paint, there will be seepage on your stencil. If paint does seep, here’s where that cup of water comes in handy. Dip a paper towel into the cup of water and simply clean the paint up. Since the paint is wet, it’s quite easy to wipe away the extra paint.
Now that all the excess paint is out, roll your paint onto the stencil. It should be a light layer.
Then take your stencil brush and fill in edges and gaps of the stencil where the roller couldn’t reach. Use circular motions.
Once you’re done painting the first set, let it dry a little before moving on. My specific stencil overlays the next set of patterns. You simply have to line up the pattern. Depending on your stencil, you may need to do this too.
Keep at those steps and remember roll out the excess paint!
For the edge of the wall, the stencil company should have sent little pieces of the pattern. These are useful for those hard to reach nooks and crannies.
When you’re done, stand in awe because you’ve completed a huge project!
It’s also important to note that the paint can warp the pattern as it becomes so thick and caked on. If the pattern starts to warp, it’s time to peel the paint off your stencil and clean it. Keep that in mind while painting.
^^^ Stick it onto the wall! There’s yellow from my previous project but the stencil still works fine
^^^ I can’t emphasize enough how important this step is! Roll… Roll… Roll…
Finally onto the wall!
Get the edges of the stencil…
^^^ I know you see them!
Whoaaaa! So glad we got rid of that green carpet!
I’m honestly in my element when there’s paint on my hands and I have dirty feet!
What’s great is that this stencil can be used over and over again. When you’re done painting, the paint can be easily peeled off the stencil. Afterwards, I typically soak it in my tub for a bit to clean the rest of the paint off.
Have you ever used a wall stencil? How was your experience? Do you think this is something you can try? Have I inspired you?
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you begin wedding planning? THE DRESS!
You’ve got the ring, now it’s time to start the dress search. It’s every girl’s dream to find the most beautiful, gorgeous-est, amazing dress for the big day. There are shows upon shows of girls looking for their dresses. It’s such a big deal! YAY!
But nope. Not for me. I hate, nay despise, dress shopping. I love normal shopping. I can spend hours. Ask any of my friends, I can shop for 10+ hours and still go on; it’s a talent. But I cannot do dress shopping. The only other time I had to find a fancy dress was prom and that was dreadful. I don’t know what it is, I suppose just having this set expectation but never finding what you really want.
Don’t let me get you down though. That’s only me! Maybe you’ve got some great girlfriends to take you out. My sister and mom lived in a different state, so that took a bunch of excitement out.
Let’s start with the design of the dress. Don’t exclude any ideas! You’d be surprised at what might be a glamorous fit for you.
Take a look at the styles below. I’m a firm believer in wearing whatever makes you happy. Don’t listen to those apple figures means this dress. Full-bodied means this. To me, that’s trash. Try each style on and find out on your own which one makes you feel beautiful.
Secondly, decide on fabric. I’m no expert at all, but in the end it comes down to, do you want something crisp, satiny, lacy, or with tulle? Having a fabric in mind will help with the search. Obviously there are a bunch of other type of fabrics, but if you wanted something satiny, there are materials like Charmeuse and Organza. This helps narrow down the choice of dresses. Within each category of fabric, there are many other different styles and fabrics.
For me, I looked at styles/designs online. I was drawn to A-Line dresses, and I knew I wanted lace. I also wanted to lace pink flower girl dresses and that is why I went dress shopping with my sister and mom at 3 stores, all in one day during my Christmas holiday. I tried on everything from recycled dresses to boutique ($10k+ for designer). Worst experience… I’m just really picky and have high expectations of myself. Plus, I was looking for something original, which I couldn’t find in stores.
Look at dresses online! Don’t be scared to purchase a dress online. Wedding dress seamstresses can work miracles. If you come across something, like evening dresses you can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably it! Just buy it.
I was looking at wedding dresses on Etsy around 2am, even though I had work the next day. I came across one dress, called MG, showed him the pics, and told him I really loved it. Immediately then and there, I purchased it. It was $200 and even if it didn’t work out, there wasn’t much money invested. I had gotten my dress! When I showed other people, all I got was confused looks. They didn’t see it then, but I saw the potential. Like I said, I wanted something original.
Look for a highly-recommended wedding dress seamstress! I want to emphasize again, highly-recommended and wedding dress seamstress. Wedding dresses are delicate and detailed. The seamstresses that have expertise with these kinds of materials will be your best friend.
I learned the hard way… I dislike telling this story. It brings bad memories. I found a designer in Los Angeles who would help me alter the dress to a design I had a mind. I thought she would be awesome (take note, this is in past-tense)! One, she was in LA, a city known for fashion, and for another reason, she was on Project Runway! You have to be great if you’re on Project Runway right? Wrong again. I travelled three times for dress fittings (which all added to the cost of the wedding dress), and when she finally mailed me the dress 1.5 months before my wedding, nothing fit correctly. Everything was lopsided. It was horrible. It was obvious she had never worked with wedding dresses before.
^^^ I looked like a behemoth. My right boob is larger than my left. One cap sleep is longer than the other. My designer had the audacity to say that it was ready for wedding day…
I cried daily trying to figure out what to do before the big day. My parents scolded me for being so confident on one dress and also proposed the idea of purchasing a new dress. But my pride told me that it would come together. I still had hope for this dreaded dress. Then I found a wedding dress seamstress in the Bay Area. And my life changed.
She worked wonders. She created miracles. She made the dress of my dreams come to life. Like I said, a seamstress that has experience with wedding gowns is what you want. Wedding dress fabrics are a whole different beast. Go with someone that has experience. Go with someone that has been referred to by a friend or highly recommended on Yelp. You’ve already paid so much for your dress, another $300-500 for alterations so that your dress fits like a glove is totally worth it.
Found a dress where the style and fit is perfect? But maybe you wanted a different neckline. Perhaps you wanted straps for the dress. Or there’s a layer of fabric that doesn’t tickle your fancy. Guess what? A good wedding seamstress can change it. If you have an idea on how to alter, more than likely they can do it. All options are open when it comes to the dress.
In the end, after 6 design drawings, 3 Los Angeles trips, lots of tears, and fighting for a vision, my dress became the perfect gown. No one has it. No design matches it. And it was exactly what I wanted.
My favorite part about the dress how the tiers of lace flow. When the bustle was put in, the back was still flowing beautifully. I love that there are cap sleeves. I love that there’s a criss-cross braided back to keep it modern. Everything was perfect. Even my veil had a pieces of the lace from the dress.
Girls, get the veil. It puts the entire dress together!
I agree that the dress is important but…What matters the most is how you feel when wearing your gown. If you’re concerned/stressing about one part of your dress, it’ll show. People can see through your smile. It’ll be visible in pictures too. Make sure the dress makes you feel like you’re invincible. That’s how you know it’s the right one.
Mrs’ do you have any other advice? What was your dress shopping experience like?
For you Bay Area soon-to-be Mrs’, check out Novella Bridal. They have affordable dresses, and I found my miracle seamstress there.
Fun fact: MG and I exchanged gifts prior to our ceremony at the first look. I made him a scrapbook of our history, including tickets to movies, plays, and shows, poems we made up for each other, and various other trinkets. He gave me a board of all my dress designs, including the one I chose and a final picture of me in the dress. Looking back at my dress story, it’s a good story to tell isn’t it? I just hope no one has to experience it, ever…
Welcome to the first of many posts, in my new wedding series! I aspire to give you key takeaways with every post so that you have some next steps if you’re planning a wedding.
Let’s start with the dreaded wedding invitation process… blegh. It’s a necessary evil step. It’s also the very first step of your wedding planning.
First thing’s first. Write out all the guests that you plan on inviting; family, friends, communities, colleagues. MG and I had a guest list of 250. His dad is one of 10 siblings, and his mom is one of 4. Both my parents have 6 siblings each. Yup, large families!
Once you’ve figured all that out, the 80/20 rule will apply here. An estimated 80% of your invited guests will attend, 20% will not. This will help you give you idea of how many guests will be present and will help you with planning for budget and venue. For us, that meant we would have 200 guest, which narrowed down many venues. Most venues have a max capacity.
Don’t overlook the importance of your save-the-dates and wedding invites! Remember that this is the first item for your guests to receive. Get them excited for the wedding!
We sent save-the-dates via email. Many of our family members are out of the country so we wanted to send them out to give them ample time to book airlines tickets. If possible, send your save-the-date 5-6 months prior to the wedding date.
I designed our save-the-dates with my color scheme (blush and grey tones).
Once that was sent, it was time to get the invites ready!
MG and I have a fun story. We met while I was doing a National Pageant in 2007. When we first started dating, we did long-distance for 3.5 years (who says that doesn’t work?!?). After college, I moved to San Francisco to start my career in advertising. Then we dated for another 1.5 years before he popped the question! We wanted to let people know about our history, so I put together a storytelling scroll as our invite (you can view our story in detail on our website).
For family members, I also put together a day-of schedule because we also had a traditional Chinese tea ceremony and family photos before the wedding. To get people excited for the wedding, I mailed the scrolls in tubes. We wanted something different than just a regular envelope. It wasn’t the most cost-effective way of sending invites, but this was a fun way to surprise our guests! If you didn’t notice, we also included a QR code for easy RSVPs. My husband is a techie, so it was the perfect way to show his personality.
We used twine throughout our wedding too!
Send your invites 2-3 months prior to the wedding (traditionally invites are sent 1.5-2 months prior to the wedding). Don’t forget that it takes extra time for those, who live overseas, to receive your invites! Plan for this. Give yourself enough time to follow up to those who haven’t responded and also to put together the seating arrangements. Get that done and out of the way!
To further go along with the scroll, I designed our website in a scrolling manner. To take a look you can click (www.jamieandmg.com). Fortunately for me, my husband is a web developer. My dream wedding website took fruition.
In order to make a website run smoothly, preventing lags and crashes, IT services such as dedicated server hosting can be utilized.
Believe it or not, MG also built an invitation process website while we were planning for our wedding. On this site, you can send mass emails to collect physical addresses, remind people to respond, and guests can RSVP and revise their RSVP (incase names are spelled incorrectly, change a meal plan, or add a guest’s name). This invitation site allows you to see a quick view of who’s attending, who’s not, and who hasn’t responded. Once you’ve received all your responses, you can even arrange your guests into tables with a widget within the website. There’s a product summary in the image below. In the end, this site was a lifesaver!
Are you interested in using it? We’re in Beta testing right now, so we can allow a few people to try it out. First come, first serve. We’ve had friends use it and have heard good things! Let me know if you want an account!
Ultimately, your save-the-date and invites should bring excitement and show your personality. Make sure it also gives your invitees a taste of what’s to come, some sneak peaks of what will be part of the big day!
Here are a few things that I’ve found helpful for those working on invitations.
Check out this iPad app, called Makr. It can help you generate some creative invites
I know I’m currently not working right now so you might be thinking what’s Friday to you? It’s a time to finally have a moment to spend with MG. It’s a time where things slow down a bit because I’m not working on projects. The best thing? It’s a time where people come over to my place and all we do is watch TV, snack, and relax. Even though I watch TV during the weekday, it doesn’t have the same “weekend” feel.
It’ll be another eventful Saturday this weekend. I’m going to a boat party again! I’m also going dancing again; I think the club bug bit me. Tehehe
Anyway, whoohoo it’s Friday! Let’s party!
What you’ll need:
Tissue paper in various colors
Twine (or string or ribbon)
1. Fold the tissue paper hamburger style in half, fold in half again, and in half again. Cut fringe while leaving 1-2 inches intact at the fold line. Don’t forget to cut fringe at the folded creases too!
2. Unfold paper and start rolling down the middle until completed and twist in half to create a loop.
3. Place the tassel over the twine, and wrap twine around to secure tassel. Continue until desired length.
So easy right? And so beautiful!
What do you think of these garlands? Is this something you can do?