Mae is 1! Peter Rabbit themed birthday party

SOEK2266I cannot believe how fast one year went by!

First year of parenthood was full of many new discoveries, and lots of fun.
It’s a weird feeling-It’s so sad to see my little baby grow but I’m happy and thankful at the same time. She is walking, starting to understand words, and showing all kinds of personality (lots of dancing and babbling) !

Though I do lots of 1st birthdays for my clients, I think I finally understand why 1st birthdays are so special.

This is the first time we get to get together and celebrate the baby’s birth.
When the baby is born, it’s super busy, let alone we are constantly exhausted, so it’s really no time to put together a party. 1st birthdays are a great time as we are starting to get a hang of it.

…And it’s a great excuse to go overboard, haha.

So last Saturday, with the help of amazing and talented friends and family, we had a joint Peter Rabbit themed birthday party for Mae and friend, Luca who is only 6 days older than Mae.

Joint birthdays are great.. we can share the work, and double the fun! I really enjoyed working with Luca’s parents along with other close friends (named below under credits), and the party was a huge success!


Happy Birthday Mae & Luca!


Credits and details:



Flower decor: Marie, Noriko, Rie  (Marie made majority of it.. I have to ask her how she made it!) Made of tissue paper

Cabbage: Shinya  made of dyed coffee filter and round paper mache balls (idea credit here)

Garlands, small signs :Bluefin Works (me)


Cake: Rie (she used 14 eggs!) It was sooo perfect!

Cake toppers/ cupcakes: me (fondant) idea credit from this pin

carrot pretzels: Noriko

White chocolate carrots, punch: Josh’s Mom

Marshmallow pops, popcorn: I Love Candy by Luci




Birthday creations…

Oh my, where has the time gone? It’s already November?!
As always, it’s been super busy here, but thankfully marching band season is over, and the shop is slowing down as the wedding/event season comes to an end. But now, I get to plan two trips coming up! EEK!

In a month, we will be in JAPAN!!! But as of right now, we don’t have any hotels booked… and honestly it’s starting to freak me out. Until now, thinking about the trip made me excited, but now, it makes my heart beat faster (in a bad way). Oh boy. We gotta get to work. More details to come:)

For today, I want to share some pictures from Josh’s birthday which happens to be on Halloween:)
I found the quilted wrapping paper at albertson’s (who would’a thought?) and have been waiting to use it for some occasion… SO cute!
Gift Wrapping
I didn’t have anytime to make a cake so I went and purchased a tiramisu (yumm) and dressed up with some berries:) I thought of writing happy birthday on the plate with some chocolate, but I didn’t trust my handwriting and skills in chocolate decorating, so I decided to decorate it with what I excel at. Craft vinyl! I’ve found that these work fine on plates, and don’t even come off in the dishwasher! AND they peel off really easily.

The banner I made last year, and re-used. I wanted to do a little more this year, and thought of easy ways to make the wall festive. So I cut two colors of wall vinyl into simple circles and made polka dots. It turned out pretty well 🙂

Hope you had a good halloween!

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..

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!

One thing…

There are many things that I miss about San jose that Tri-cities doesn’t have like Japanese/asian supermarkets, good restaurants etc. But I may have found one thing I’ll miss about here when I leave.

Dutch Bros coffee!  I’ve only had their iced flavored coffee but I love it!

It’s not anything like starbucks, or peet’s, which I like for when I feel like normal coffee. (speaking of which, I miss having peet’s around too.) I feel like whenever I order say.. iced macchiato at starbucks, theres not enough coffee in it- like I’m drinking milk with a hint of coffee.

I like Dutch Bros. ratio of their flavoring and milk and coffee… it’s so yum. This one is the annihilator (don’t know how to spell)- with macademia nut flavoring…

It’s a small drive-up stand which is cute, with tiny menu that you can only see when it’s your turn to order. So you get there and you have to awkwardly and quickly make your decision what to order. I guess it must only be a newbie problem.

Anyway, you gotta try this place if you’re ever in the NorthWest!

Good food, enjoy the water, and donuts

I think I can finally say I’m getting to know the area better! This weekend was definitely one of the most eventful weekends since i moved here.

A new family friend had her birthday so we were invited to a dinner at a beautiful local winery (Apparently this area is huge on wineries) where they served food from one of our favorite restaurants on friday. Local winery, check.

 Then the next day they invited us to join them on their boat to go waterskiing!

It was our second time on the columbia river (first time we went jet skiing with my bro Kohei). It was my first time trying, and it was soo much harder than it looks! Josh was able to get up on the water and enjoy a long ride on the skis, but I couldn’t. It was so close! but I’m super satisfied. I want to post my video of me making an epic fall. waiting for josh to send the video… ahem.

Waterskiing, check.

Sunday, we felt like donuts (and didn’t feel a bit guilty about it), so Josh took me to a local donut shop that caught me by surprise.. It was sooo good! totally unexpected. Light, and crispy on the outside.

Finding a favorite dessert place (?) , CHECK!

weekend of waffles and violence

This weekend, I made liege waffles for the first time since I moved. It was also the first time to make Josh eat my waffles, so I tried this recipe .  It calls for 4 hours rising, 30 min refrigerating, and resting over night, then rising some more for an hour and a half— It was by far the most time-consuming recipe. The result…? It was good. Josh liked it.

Me, I thought it wasn’t much different for a recipe I’ve used that called for a much less time to cook. O well..

We also started watching the TV show “Breaking Bad”. Where a highschool chemistry teacher that finds out he has cancer decides to make chrystal meth to make money and gets into some troubles… It’s a really good show, but I think I’m getting old or something! I have much less tolerance for stress/ suspense/ violence in shows/movies. I just sometimes have to walk away.

Then that night I have nightmares.

Same thing happened when I watched the new Batman movie on Thursday. Perhaps more because of the horrible shooting that happened in Colorado too… My thoughts and prayers goes out to the victims’ family/friends…