Prepping for the Half

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!



^^^ Smile!

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).

Readers – any advice on how to get through?!?

Wish me luck,

Sophie’s Cake Smash

I had the pleasure of working with a little girl named Sophie, who just turned one!

A friend of mine asked me to take some family shots and birthday pictures for their little girl. How could I say no to one of the most adorable little humans? Mom wanted some cake smash pictures to celebrate her big birthday. We set a date, a location, and you get the rest.

Enough reading. Let’s get onto these pictures!


We actually found out she doesn’t like cake. She didn’t like the stickiness; she didn’t like the taste too much. We couldn’t get too many cake smash pictures. But I did get some of her being a little bit curious! We basically stuck her hands into the cake… We thought it wouldn’t be very nice to stick her face into it. Haha! Instead we dabbed her with some icing, which she didn’t seem to mind.




^^^ Oh gosh! I loveeee this pic





^^^ I love these three action shots. Sophie is showered with so much love from her parents.

And this is my all time favorite shot. Mommy & Baby!

Kate & Sophie

It was my first photo session ever. So honored to have Kate and Eric ask me to photograph and trust me for this huge moment in their little one’s life. I thought that the cake smash part would be the best, but my favorite part of the session was photographing the intimate settings between mom and baby/dad and baby.

It’s definitely not easy being a photographer. Much respect! I’ve been trying to figure out my photography “style.” Any suggestions? It’s my biggest struggle right now. Do I like the pop of colors? A bit desaturated for the vintage feel? Brightness to wash out some of the background? Photographers, please give me some advice. How did you find your style?

Go eat cake!

Lululemon Superpowers

On Friday night, MG and I decided to go get some Lululemon gear for our half marathon. We thought it might get me hyped up for the run, so I wanted to get a moisture-wicking long sleeve. That’s what we set out to do!

Except we spent an hour at Lululemon, getting talked up by the sales people, and ended up dropping $250. Oh goodness… The tops were so expensive that I decided “Nope, not getting that!” If I was going to spend money, let’s get a sports bra. Something that wouldn’t squash my girls, keeps all the jiggle in, and something comfortable (isn’t that what every girl wants? Why is that so hard to find). OH MY GOD. I’m a LULU believer! The Energy Bra does all that, and it keeps my figure. When I wear a shirt over it, I have boobs! It’s not flatness, which is amazing. Seriously, if you need a good sports bra, I think it’s totally worth the spend (and no, I’m not getting paid to tell you this… I wish).

Aren’t the straps so cute?

Then the sales lady sold me on a pair of capris because they were on sale. I’ve wanted a pair for a while now, so why not? I added a headband because I sweat like a beast monkey, and the band is suppose to wick sweat too.

At this point, MG is jealous that I have stuff and he doesn’t. He picked up some socks and found a pair of compression shorts (Surge shorts) to run in. These shorts have a built in pair of compression briefs, and he loves the comfort! No chafing means a happy man.

I love the camo print ^^^

Finally, we went to check out and spent too much. We were there until closing time. Yikes!


On Saturday we tested out all our gear on a 10 mile run. 2 weeks ago, MG and I ran 5 miles outside, the most we’ve ever run. We made it to 10 miles this past weekend! Now we’re definitely ready for our half marathon. We joke that our Lululemon gear gave us superpowers!


At the 2 mile mark, we made a pit stop at Lucky’s in order for me to pee. MG also purchase a granola bar because he was hungry…

This is the funniest part – Before we went to sleep, MG looks over at me and tells me, “I’ve decided. I’m a Lululemon snob, and I don’t care. They make the best gear, and everything is well-thought out… the zipper even snaps back down. I don’t work out, but I want all Lulu gear. When can we go back?”

Probably once every 3 years because we simply can’t spend too much money on work out gear, especially if we don’t work out! Tehehe…

What did you do this weekend?

My New Faves

Perhaps you’ve been to my house. So then perhaps you know I love snacks. That perhaps leads to you knowing what I do on my free time, hoard snacks. I’ve done this for as long as I can remember. There’s sooooo many snacks lying around my house, but I promise you I don’t snack often. I have more of a mentality of trying a snack, maybe eating a few pieces, and then it just sits in my house until visitors eat them.

In college I did the same thing. I even had an intervention. Once a roommate ask me why I don’t finish my snacks before purchasing more. What a strange habit right? I had to promise my husband that I wouldn’t hoard snacks when we got married. I was doing so well up until recently. I discovered the chip aisle again (muahaha!).

To add to my hoarding woes, I stumbled upon this brilliant Indian site for snacks. There is everything I could ever ask for, right here on 24chakra. My snack hoarding habit has not known more joy!

I’m sharing two of my most recent finds with you. Snacks that I like so much, I’m actually eating the entire thing!

First thing’s first. Lay’s is hosting their “Do Us A Flavor” campaign again. Users submit flavors and the top voted ones get put into the stores. Then you vote on which one will stay.

OMG the wasabi ginger chips are amazing!!! Honestly, it’s sushi on a chip. Once you get over the texture, basically it’s a crispy piece of sushi in your mouth, the flavor is fricken awesome. Obviously you need to like sushi in order to enjoy this flavor. It’s a good combination of wasabi and ginger, not one overpowering the other. I literally have to put my chips on a plate in order to control my portions!


Chips portion

I haven’t tried the other flavors yet (Mango Salsa, Cappuccino, and Bacon Mac n Cheese). Have you? If so, which ones do you recommend? I’m kinda interesting in trying cappuccino!

And now drumroll please! I’ve discovered Cookie Butter Ice Cream from Trader Joe’s. Have you ever had cookie butter before? It’s a brand of speculoos, which is basically a creamy spread of gingerbread cookies. Think peanut butter but with gingerbread. OMG – I die! So good to the point I can’t even describe it. I typically buy speculoos for crepes or just eating a spoonful for dessert. But Cookie Butter ice cream? That’s beyond me! Who’s the genius that came up with this… I want to shake his/her hand.

Cookie Butter

Ice Cream

Look at those amazing specks of cookie butter!


Seriously, these snacks are probably not helping with my training for my half marathon. But that’s okay! Running means I’m losing calories, which means I can have a higher calorie intake now. That’s my motivation for running… tehehe!

What are some of your favorite snacks? This is a bad question because I’ll probably try your recos and then I’m back at snack hoarding!

Munch away,

Relaxation Saturday

It’s been a full week since my last blog post! I was committed to blogging three times a week for a year when I first started my blog, posting about recipes, decor, DIY, and a bunch of random things I do on the weekends.

Now I’m just going to enjoy my time blogging, and write about some of the stuff that I’ve been up to. Instead of giving myself a time constraint, it will be more about personal content now. We’ll see how this new year goes!

Finally, this weekend MG and I took it slow. After two weekend of camping trips, we got to sleep in, catch up on some reading (btw, I’m reading the Divergent series now), and shopped at the local Farmer’s Market in Hayward.



Japanese eggplant and Chinese bitter melon. Got both, now I need to figure out how to cook them!

Locally squeezed juices!


And of course, the pretty flowers!



Closing time…

^^^ This image reminds me of how blessed I truly am ^^^

After an afternoon nap, we even trained for our half marathon happening at the end of this month. First time running 7 miles outdoors! I can’t even believe it. I went from barely running a block (I kid you not…) to walk/running 7 miles! Whoohoo! Proud, indeed.

MG and I then treated ourselves to a nice little meal.

A nice heirloom tomato, spinach, mozzarella salad and…

Steak and potatos!!! Nom nom nom (our legendary recipe here)

And we went out to watch Guardians of the Galaxy. Fantastic movie!

As we got home, we found this little booger waiting for us to come back. This melts my heart.


As you think about this past weekend, what kinds of things are you thankful for?

Have a great week,

Camping in Big Sur!

I went camping again this weekend! Last weekend it was at Henry Coe, inland camping. This time I went to Big Sur, coastal camping. Wow does that make a difference!

Inland is hot. Coastal has moderate temperatures but perfect sleeping weather. Inland, lots of bugs. Coastal, just moths at night. Inland, dry, dust, and dirt. Coastal means lots of greenery. I think I know which I like better! You can do a lot more like hiking, get the best outdoor pants for hiking in the Bootbomb store.


This is the view we woke up to!

Even the fog in the morning is so beautiful

Set up

Anyway, Big Sur is a hard place to make camping reservations. Typically, you need to make a reservation a year in advance because it’s extremely popular. When my friend asked if I wanted to go to Big Sur, it was an immediate yes, even though I went camping the weekend before. He lucked out by getting a reservation to a site that recently opened, so yes! yes! yes!

We got into the camp site Friday evening and set up our tents for bedtime. On Saturday, we got up early, ate breakfast, and then headed to the beach for the day. I finally got a day on the beach with LOTS OF SUN! It’s rare that that happens to me. For some reason, every time I set out to go to the beach, it’s cloudy. NOT this time; I got my vitamin D in! Afterwards, we headed back to the campsite and I fell asleep while reading under the shade of a tree. It’s the perfect way to spend any weekend… We got up for dinner, played games and chatted around the campfire and went to sleep. For Sunday morning, we ate breakfast, packed up, and left the campsite.

If grooming is of deep importance to you even while on trips like this, it’s advisable for you to learn things like shaving while camping.


Hiking to the beach ^^^

Beach sitting
Silly Asians, hiding from the sun!


I LOVE these sandals. Salt Water are highly recommended in my book!


Steak, garlic shrimp, and quinoa – Oh my!

In the morning, we found evidence that someone was digging through our stuff!

Of course on our way home, we stopped at Marianne’s Ice Cream in Santa Cruz. You can’t pass this shop and not stop in!


Another fantastic camping trip! A perfect little weekend getaway.

What did you do this weekend?

Happy One Year!

Tassel garland DIY here

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!

My favorite DIY projects:

1. The $10 Dresser Revamp (By far my favorite project so far)


2. The Ultimate Wire Holder (so useful)


3. The Reupholstered Bench (seriously, talk about drab to fab!)


Here are my favorite recipes. These are staples at home!

1. The Legendary Steak (people rave about MG’s famous steak. I kid you not!)


2. Yummy Fruit Tart Recipe (This recipe has been pinned over 500+ times!)


3. Light & Creamy Pasta Recipe (I just made this dish the other day; it never gets old)

Light and Creamy Pasta

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!

After our trip to Europe, the travel bug bit me! MG and I just booked a trip to Japan and Hong Kong in October. We can’t wait to travel abroad again!

Thank you to all of you who read my blog. The support and love you’ve given me continues to spur my creativity. Keep coming back for more!!!

With all my heart,