Get in my belly!

Around this time of year, everything starts to look like turkey to me...

Happy Thanksgiving y'all!

(Image Source)


The Tea Party: The Young and the Fussless

Tea Ceremony
Getting Ready
Right before the ceremony began, the wedding party were lined up and prepped for launch. The ring bearer (RB) and flower girl (FG) were being overseen at the end of the line by their mom and the MOH, who reported the following conversation:

FG asked in her big girl voice: Are you nervous?

RB put on a thoughtful face, then responded in a casual but equally grown up manner: No

FG said with confidence: Yeah, me neither

RB, as assured as can be: Don't worry, (pointing to the rings being held in Optimus Prime's hand) the light will guide us

(Photo by me)

RB's eyes lit up like a Christmas Tree when he saw Optimus Prime upon his arrival for the rehearsal. His parents did not allow him to open the box, let alone transform him, in fear that the 'ring pillow' will be ruined before the big day. I insisted that he be allowed to play with the toy and he promised me he would be very good with it. On the day of the wedding, RB happily reported that he fully transformed Optimus into a truck and then back to the robot for the ceremony. I couldn't have been more proud.

I tell ya, if my brother got an Optimus Prime and I was stuck with a stupid Barbie, I would be pissed. I was worried that FG's dreams would be broken also with a flower girl dress far from what she probably envisioned, but this little princess loved and reveled in it all! She was delighted by all the attention and endless 'Oh look at how cute she is!'-like comments that made her feel quite special.
She was free to carry the bouquet, the doll, or both down the aisle - whatever pleased her the most. She chose the bouquet, as if she knows just how it's properly done. You'll see how perfectly elegant she was strutting her stuff in an upcoming recap post.

She came to me throughout the day reporting on all the happenings - how she was taking care of her bouquet by giving it water, how much she loved the cake, how it was past her bedtime but that she was glad to still be here... etc. She absolutely adored Zelda, and part of me wants to keep it for her turn one day even if just for dress up fun.

(photo by my friend Rob)

We had fans scattered among the ceremony seating, and she took it upon herself to check every single one making sure they 'worked' prior to the ceremony. She went from fan to fan, opening each of them, test it by fanning herself a couple times, closed it up and put it back, then moved on to the next. Here she is with one of those products she inspected, the precious bouquet I made for her, and her own escort teabag personalized with the nickname "princess" in her hand.

(photo by my friend Rob)

Us Asians, we looove pictures (though "we" sadly excludes me). I'm surprised that the hand peace signs were left out of this one below. That dear child was like Mickey at Disneyland that day as everyone wanted to pose with her in pictures, and they were mostly strangers! No matter though, she loves attention, and the camera.

(photo by my friend Rob)

That's right people, we matched, I ain't ashamed!The only other underage participant was the RB and FG's beautiful baby sister. She was perfect as always, though I barely got to hold her that day (usually I'm the baby hog but I was kinda busy!). I left her out of the whole matching gig even after serious contemplation. She was so cute in her little red dress that mommie picked out for her, and I was glad to see her comfy and happy. Here is that little angel with grams, aka MIL GT.

Even though I have seen some outrageous kids-at-wedding antics, it never even crossed my mind to worry about these three. In fact they were behaving better than an increasing number of adults as the night went on! I wonder if and how brides deal when expecting young guests with extra spunk. Or, is it just all part of the fun?

Images by Travis Hoehne except as otherwise indicated


Helloooo day-when-i-am-too-old-to-still-be-sporting-my-college-sweatshirt! Finally we meet, and I'm dressed for the occasion. Shall we dance?

Image by Shelby Nycole


The Tea Party: Into the Poof

Tea Ceremony

After the tea ceremony it was our cancer fighting warrior princess' moment to shine in all her sparkly poofy glory.

Zelda's closeup:

Midna's Turn:
I felt pretty useless not being able to dress myself (though I'm proud to announce that I managed to pee while in the dress without assistance!)...
fortunately I had sexy helpers...and real love for real buttons!
I downgraded to only ONE padded bra with Zelda, and reminded myself not to forget putting on the Optimus Prime tattoo (aka my something blue):"Now pose for the picture like you are gazing dreamily out the window, GT"
"ehh... OK"
"Wait! There are people out there! Hey I know that guy!""Wow that fool really did show up in a shirt with orange and blue flowers! I knew I shouldn't dare people to do stupid things on my wedding day!"

Quick rewind:
I have one of those faces that apparently screams 'AHH MY WORLD IS IN SHAMBLES!' whenever I am thinking. I know because I always get asked what's wrong with me. So when the mister and I went to check on the set up after our tea ceremony and found things that needed changing, I had to quickly put on my thinking cap (and with it, the damn thinking face) trying to figure out how to fix things. Since our wedding party consisted of mostly the mister's peeps who don't know me super well, I basically scared them all off when my 'solution mode' turned on. Everyone kept asking me what I was upset about and what they can do, but all I wanted was a moment to process it all in my mind! Oh all those poor souls who were only trying to help...Lesson learned - Have someone else oversee the details!
There I was on 3-4 hours of sleep after being beaten up, I just got yelled at by my parents, my cousin was missing and we were pressed for time on the portrait taking...etc. and the guests hadn't even arrived yet! Switching myself to work gear at this point was probably a bad move, but we were lucky to be surrounded by great people and everything worked out wonderfully in the end.

While hindsight is 20/20 and I should have known better about... well, lots of things... topping those should have been to give myself much more leeway for unexpected stress and delays. I hope the sharing of my experience will help some of you out there take a little off your own plate on the day of. After all, you've worked so hard to get this far. If there's a time to just kick back and let it happen, that's the time!

That and, don't forget to pee before getting in the dress.

*Last 2 images by my friend Rob, the rest by Travis Hoehne


Bitter Sweets

Bought my last bag of Mother's Cookies yesterday. They will be missed.

Image by Ephemeron


Free Photo Book from Snapfish

I missed the Oprah episode, but I'm not gonna miss the deal! You can get the credit through Friday and must redeem it by Sunday. Go HERE for details on the offer.


The Tea Party: Tea with a side of discipline and faux boobs


We scheduled the Chinese tea ceremony at the venue in the afternoon, prior to guest arrival. I was yapping away with the fam when the mister saw me for the first time that day. It took me awhile before I realized it was a significant moment, as he was grinning at me like this:

Seeing him happy always makes me happy, plus I was really glad I was no longer the ONLY person everyone stared at.
Generally, a special tea set is used for the tea ceremony. Fortunately our centerpieces consisted of tea sets so we didn't have to buy another, and those given tea didn't have to share the same teacups (gross otherwise, right? but that's how it's usually done).

Right before the ceremony started my parents scolded me in front of evvverybody for not having prepared a tray for serving the tea. Someone, I think my brother, rounded up the extra red charger from the escort card set up and saved my life. And hey, it even looks pretty good in the pictures!

Side note: DUDE! Check out my boobs! It is more noticable in some pictures (like this one below) than others (3 pics above) that I was wearing TWO padded bras in an attempt to fill out that tailored-not-so-fit qipao I ordered online.

Normally the groom's parents would be given tea first but since I knew they were nervous about the participation in the ceremony, I requested for them to go last. I had explained to them the simple steps, and even shown them a YouTube video of it. I'm not sure if it helped though because there was still plenty of whispering like "Do I say something now?" "Do I give you the envelope now?" They were trying so hard not to 'mess it up'... it was cute, and pretty funny.
After the tea ceremony we took some required family portraits that I won't bore you with. Next, I will illustrate how not to scare off the hubs' side of the wedding party...

* Images by Travis Hoehne


The Tea Party (Prelude): Got beaten up, got to work, and got ready

MOH and I left the after rehearsal party early for our appointments at Massage Envy. She has recommended it for awhile and I thought it would help me get a good night sleep before the wedding. It was my very first time getting a professional massage (I have a slight phobia of being touched by strangers), and I'm sad to say it probably was my last. MOH enjoyed hers thoroughly as usual, but I never got myself to really relax at any point during the massage. Rather, it left me more tense and feeling like I got beaten the crap out of. That feeling lasted all night (resulting in sleeplessness) and into the entire morning.

But as usual, the mister came to my rescue. He was staying at the hotel that night, but went out to pick up my favorite breakfast pastry items in the morning and dragged his brother along (to not risk seeing me) to drop them off. No one quite fully comprehend how the way to my heart is through my stomach quite like he does.

MOH approves (of breakfast, not of photo of her just waking up and still in jammies):
My yummy cheese pastry & chocolate croissant:
After breakfast I got right to work prepping flowers:
Before finishing the flowers it was time to head to the salon for the hair and makeup appointment:
Then back to the house to finish up the floral arrangements. My college buddies also came over to 'help me out':
Actually soon after this picture was taken the boys' SOs made them put the game away and help me process the flowers. But I love that I will forever have this picture to hold over their heads.

*Images of me at the salon taken by my friend Rob (gamer in white shirt)


$0.99 Typewriter Key Magnets

How cute are these? Set of 8 for $5.99 at Staples, OR...

you can use this coupon to get it for less than a buck!
Coupon good towards anything here, but you gotta get it at a store. Also be sure to check (link in respective product page) if the store near you carry the item. They have stationary too for those DIY-ing your wedding paper stuff!

Happy Shopping!


DIY Alternative Pomander

Digging these Japanese Kusudama balls, and they'd make fabulous pomander alternatives! Easily incorporate your theme/colors into this project. **picturing them made of alternating solid and damask print paper** Or better yet, make them out of recycled pamphlets, brochures, books, or maps!

Check out the 2 part tutorial here:
Part 1
Part 2

Happy crafting!

Image from Folding Trees via Whip Up



I stay out of political discussions for a lot of reasons. But I vote, because it is my duty as a citizen and it's a privilege that my family was once deprived of. In the past I've always voted because of these reasons. This time, for the first time, I feel like I'm not just voting for the lesser of two evils. I was scared to really believe in someone, a politician no less. I hate putting stock in things I have little control over, but I am so glad that someone finally makes me want to care.

My country, make me proud. Show me that you not only have come a long way, but also that you've only just begun.