Hot Air Balloon!

After a loong day of Seattle, I came home, passed out… then I had to get right up again at 5 AM!

This time, I didn’t really have to go, but I wanted to. There’s only a few things that would motivate me to get up that early for fun but this was one of them: HOT AIR BALLOONS!!

Definitely one of the best thing about having a husband that’s a news reporter- you get to know the cool things going on without even trying.

I had no idea, but apparently there are hot air balloon rallies around the world where a bunch of them come and do their balloon business. Check out the event schedules and locations here.

I also had no idea what they really are and how much work they put into fly the thing. It was an interesting experience to watch from set up to clean up.

They come in these trailers,

Set up tarps before laying the balloons,

Checking the fire

Lay out the balloons

Putting the “hot” in the hot air balloon

And they start leaving one after another when they’re ready.

There were so many varieties of colors and designs- a lot were the stereotypical colorful  cute hot air balloons, some were advertisements from coca-cola, or.. radio stations etc..  but the one Josh got to ride on was the Freedom Flight POW-MIA Hot air balloon.

They are an non-profit organization that seeks to honor and increase the awareness of the still missing Prisoners of War. I think doing that with hot air balloons is just perfect!

POW MIA Balloon. Josh is in the red:)

If you want to see Josh’s story, check it out  here.

While they were up in the air, I got in my car, and followed the balloons in the air to where the wind is taking them. It was so weird to do that. I’ve never done anything like it. It’s almost like finding the end of the rainbow or something-though it was much easier than I thought because they are so big.  I was still much faster than them so I had time to stop in the middle, take some pictures from a different angle, and catch up to where they landed.

The whole event was like an photographer’s heaven. It was so fun to shoot! Check out  some pictures…

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Lastly, I like to take the moment to celebrate my 100th blog post! WOOT!

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Trip to Seattle

Over 5 months after our wedding, I FINALLY went to Seattle to get my marriage paperwork&Passport done.

Seattle is about 4 hours drive from here, and I’ve been dreading it so much.

After weeks of gathering papers, and trying to find the perfect day where Josh can get work off/ get someone to come up here to visit etc, money, long distance, all kinds of excuses, I finally decided that it’s been way too long and I need to go even if I it meant driving there alone.

I was hating life when I got up at 4:30 AM, but really,  it ended up being a huge blessing in disguise.

I had to wait about 5 hours to get my passport, so I went out to scout out Seattle.

I’ve been to Seattle twice, but going there alone was a whole new experience! I got to really see the culture and the environment and go into all the tiny places my guts told me to check out.

Of course, the market place is so colorful and fun– It’s a good thing I walked there-otherwise I would have bought out the whole place…

All the small alley ways are so neat just the way they are structured,

or arts etc on the walls,

or even gum! It smelled fruity when I passed by!

I found a cute shop, which I fell in love with called Ted Kennedy Watson– They sell everything… from stationary, food, gifts, art, kitchen stuff, lotion- weird! but they’re all things I would want.  They were nice enough to let me take pics..

Apparently they have a bigger store which I couldn’t go but next time I’m definitely going..

Anyway the small stores, culture, people, street musicians, dogs, food, coffee, all these things really really gave me an inspiration overload!

Then on the drive back, I got to listen to my favorite music by hiromi, and my inspirations got to marinate and process in my brain for four hours. What a blessing.

Being in a creative world, these opportunities are a super valuable investment.. I need to relax and let myself feed my brain like this more often…:)

All that accomplishment and I’m officially married in Japan! Successful day 🙂

water lily

Had a sudden urge to create water lilies and experiment with water color. I like how it turned out!
I really wish I can paint. The best I could do for now is paint the whole page with one color- and I didn’t even do a good job of that. lol

But I kind of like the inconsistent color streaks though. It kind of adds a dimension to it and I can pretend to know what I’m doing. Kinda.

What are they for? I don’t know. But they’re really cute when you scatter them around! They can make good photo props, centerpiece,  place cards… shelf/wall  decorations. etc.. trying it out on etsy.

Can’t believe it’s Autumn already!

Going to Seattle Alone on Thursday to go to the consulate. Anyone wanna meet me there??

Birthday Weekend Fun

Thanks everyone that wished me a Happy Birthday! It was low-keyed, but definitely suited for a last birthday in my 20s.

I received a few surprise deliveries and phone calls that made me appreciate all the people that have been my support over the years, and Josh took me out to one of our favorite restaurants here.
Then our friend Sarah and the kids took me to pick some apples, peaches, nectarines and grapes- Now our house is FULL of fruits!

The grape vineyard is run by an honor system. SO cool! you pick, you weigh, and you put money in the box. I LOVE IT!!

I guess it’s kind of a secret place that only locals know..

I was looking at these pictures, and I was thinking.. they look kind of vintage.

Then it occurred to me, the word vintage comes from vineyard and grapes. whoa…. so this is the real vintage…boom!

Wanted to post pics of the deliveries but my computer is not behaving so will do that later..

4 weeks and haul

Today is BluefinWorks‘ 4 week anniversary.

I set 2 goals 2 weeks ago for a.number of items and b. a certain sales revenue, and I hit one of them- Sales revenue!
Honestly, I could have done better in hitting the number of items, but at times I was a little busy with the orders that I didn’t really have time to make new items. I think it’ll get better as I get more used to the shipping process, creating process, and customer service. It’s a lot to handle! I’m pretty happy though because I feel that hitting a sales revenue is harder than uploading more items. I gotta be doing something right.

Today was super slow though. So I went to Michael’s since they’re having an awesome sale.

You know those YouTube videos that are titled ” ____ haul~!!@#$@” or something and the girl just shows the viewers what they bought and how much they love it? I always think, “what a stupid waste of time.” and then go on and watch it for a few hours.

Anyway, I think I’m going to do one of those except for my michael’s purchases like a nerd. haha.

My place is getting overloaded with paper, but I couldn’t resist some of the selections.

I’m getting more into patterns. It adds another dimension and another element of challenge in the designing process. Like, it’s so easy to make it toooo much.

I dedicate the mushroom one to Pai Hua. She loves toe fungus.

And then I bought these. I’ve always wondered why these pens cost 8 dollars each (so expensive!!!) so I gave it a try when I had a 40% off coupon… I really like them!! It kinda makes me feel like an artist even if the only drawing I do is scribbling and doodling. I still didn’t think it’s worth that much money, so I stayed away from it, but I decided to buy some because I need a good marker for upcoming projects, and by telling myself it’s ok, my birthday is coming up….

The rest of what I bought is kinda boring so that’s all.

Beef Tataki Recipe

My Brother in Law moved away to college in Arizona and had requested easy and good Japanese recipes, so I decided to post some here if I’m typing it up anyway.

The first one is: Beef Tataki.

This one is a favorite of Josh and I. It’s SOO easy, but SOO good. It’s good the second day too if you can manage to not finish it the first day.
I originally got it off a recipe on a Japanese Cooking site, but I made it even easier for easier cleaning etc.

*Beef steak about 1 lb. ( I’ve used cheaper steak meat and more pricey meat but it’s never turned out bad..)
*1/4 cup vinegar (I used Japanese Rice vinegar but I think normal would work fine)
*1/4 cup Soy sauce
pinch of dashi powder (if you don’t have it, no big deal)
1 Tsp Lemon juice
*1 or 2 Garlic clove
1/2 Sliced onion soaked in water and drained
Some lettuce/ G. onion

If I don’t have all the ingredients that the recipe calls for when cooking, I try to decide if it’s absolutely necessary or if I can substitute it before I go out and buy it. Maybe I’m too forgiving at times (haha) , but it’s ok! I’m not rich yet! So I put a star next to the ingredients that are absolutely necessary for the flavor.


  1. Mix soy sauce, vinegar, dashi powder (if you have it), chopped garlic in a bowl and microwave for about 1 min and cool. (I usually put/measure it all in the pyrex measuring cup so I can wash the least dishes:P)
  2. Sprinkle the steak with salt and pepper, and sear in a frying pan the way you like it. (I cook it for about 4-45 min total in med-high heat for the inside to be red still.)
  3. Pat dry with paper towel, and put it in a large ziplock bag, and quickly dump the bag in a bowl filled with iced water to lock in the flavor.
  4. Once the steak is iced, take the bag out of the iced water, then add the sauce mixture in the ziplock bag. Squeeze in some lemon juice, and toss in some sliced onion.
  5. Shake the bag a little to let the mixture circulate, squeeze out the air, and put inside fridge for about an hour. Turn over the bag every 15 minutes so it marinates evenly.
  6. Take it out of the fridge, take the steak out of the bag, and slice it very thinly. Line them up on a bed of lettuce, pour the sauce/onion mixture on top, and garnish with cut up green onions and lemon slices if you like.
  7. Devour! I like to wrap the meat with the vegetables and garnishes. It adds a nice crunch to every bite:) Goes well with steamed rice!

There ya go. Hope you like it!

Joining the Wedding Industry

Shipped out all the pending orders, and for the first time in a week or so have ZERO orders to worry about. Whew! What a relief!  Yesterday I got a little glimpse of what it would be like when my shop picks up. I got 5 orders, and a bunch of inquiries, and I even talked to a client on the phone for the first time!

It was really nice to actually “hear” the voice of my potential customers- messages are great too but it’s just a little more personal.
I’ve been thinking about this but even more than ever it made me realize I’m in the wedding industry. My clients are mostly people that are living a very important part of their life, and one of the happiest. And it’s very humbling to know that I’m able to be a part of creating their biggest day of their life,  even if it was making a tiny card for it. It also motivates me to offer a top notch customer service, and offer a great quality product whether or not the product is for a wedding. I think it definitely helps that 5 months ago, in my own wedding, I received nothing but the best quality service from my vendors:)


Slowly building my business identity…. 🙂