Wednesday, July 29, 2015

One Year!

One Year Today!

Wow, I can't believe that a year ago, we received the keys to this house, closed escrow and were delighted and scared to jump into this humongous project.

This was us a year ago !! How quickly time flies and here we are in the same spot, and not much has changed in our house (lol).  Maybe got some curtains up in the windows, we have a grassy lawn, the kitchen, powder room, master bathroom, master bedroom are done (ish). Everything is semi, and needs touch up. The pantry, brown room and the yellow room are in works right now.....along with everything else, like the foundation and the rest of the house. Not to mention a mess of a backyard we have......

It's a long road ahead of us....

(My cutie, little P is just the same. He's slow down quite a bit and his growth
has gotten bigger these few months, but he's still his chipper self)

Wondering when renovations will end,
The Lady

Monday, July 20, 2015

Surprise Me LA

LA surprise me all the time. 

And that's a good thing. Beautiful little pockets of culture, history, architecture. This is what makes LA so beautiful and one of my favorite cities.

A long long time ago, my dad took our family to the Lotus Festival in Echo Park. Years ago. Echo Park shut down for over 2 years, I believe, for a beautiful make-over. And here we are. Emerged once again, is this gorgeous park with a huge fountain and lake. They've put nice benches along the perimeter of the lake, made a nice walking pathway, cleaned up. Yes, there are still homeless. But I guess that's the charm of this park (not really). Who knew that you can get a gorgeous view of the Downtown skyline from here?! 

Another beautiful piece of architecture, sitting smack dab in the middle of Downtown. Who knew!? I mean I knew, but I never thought it was this amazing. I need to get around more. We attended a lecture by Ron Finley (the "Gangsta Gardener") at the LA Public Library on Flower & 5th. The lecture was a tad boring and not what I had imagined, so we skipped out a little early to explore the area. Boy, were we glad to! What an amazing area!! We live near DTLA, visited a ton of times and have never come to this library!! What the heck!

(Gorgeous tower of the Library. Dead ends at Hope St)

(Inside atrium of the library. High ceilings and interesting chandeliers)

(Bunker Hill. These steps are so pretty!! Right next to the US Bank building)
I think the Man and I are going to make it a thing to discover and explore LA a bit more this summer. We love discovering all of its nooks and crannies. Maybe we'll explore Grand St next. Who knew that The Standard was also right behind the Library?!

Learn something new everyday,
The Lady

Friday, July 17, 2015

Family Fun & Some Clean Up

Late post - Family's in town.

Early July, my aunt came to LA to take my grandma home to Japan. I am deeply sad to see my grandma go back home, and of course, it's always depressing. But I know I will see her again soon and I hope she stays well. I'm glad I was able to bring her to LA during my trip to Japan in April. She's a strong lady, funny as anything with the best sense of humor an 84 year old can have. She's the best grandma ever. 

(Wine tasting at San Antonio Winery. I was the chauffeur)

(Every time my family comes from Japan, we have to have lobster. It's like a tradition.
This time it was BBQ lobster and it was delicious! My mom and aunt look funny, it
was so dang hot!)

(Fourth of July, watching fireworks at a nearby school)

(This kid never let's me down. He's so funny, sleeping sideways. My little baby P)

(Look at all these red tomatoes!)

(This was a big, but SO satisfying job!! Finally got tired of the dirty hallway, so decided
to mop up and clean the floor and lay out the runners! Boy does it make a difference! I
LOVE the huge mirror from Ikea too!! Makes a world of a difference in this dingy

(Can't wait to get the walls and the ceiling done in the hallway too. Love the runners!
Now I can walk barefoot upstairs!)

(Another HUGE undertaking of mine. Cleaned up the yellow room!! Wow, it was nasty
and dirty, and dusty and messy!! Took all of the Man's tools downstairs and emptied
out this room. I must've mop this floor at least a good 10 times because it was filthy!)

(But now we have a whole other room which will be my study! The vanity should've been
demo'd, but maybe later. The make-shift curtain is temporary as well. We've gotten
blinds from Ikea, just haven't put them up! Can't wait to get my projects started in
this room!)

(This love)

Missing my family,
The Lady

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Pantry Progress & Succulent Fever

I have been late on my post lately!! WOW! Sorry for the delay folks, life's been crazy. Work's been nuts, family coming in and out of town, barely got time for myself or to eat!! I started this a while back and never finished this post. Here's the latest on the pantry.

(Oh boy was the paint hard to get off these frame faces)

(Literally years and years of paint caked onto these cabinets)

(The Man has big plans for that large opening! Hopefully it turns out like he imagined
because it's taking a long time!)

(So the Man has gotten me into yet another thing, succulents. Succulents, I thought, were
boring cactus like plants who don't need water. Turns out, they are quite exquisite,
strong and very hip!)

(Went on a West Side Home tour and saw succulents being displayed in every house. Popular thing.....)

(So here's my design! Succulents!!)

(The pretty bowls are from Target)

(Our tomatoes have been flourishing! Can't keep up with them!)

(Who's this little creeper!! It's Stalker Puna!! This photo makes me laugh so hard)

(I think the Man wants a dog.....and we would love one!)

Summer's passing me by,
The Lady

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Photo Dump

Lately, lots of things have been going on and it's hard to have the time to blog! Nonetheless keep up with daily activities, work, work on the house and still have time to sleep. How do my friends with children do this?!

Being lazy, here's a photo dump of photos from our lives lately. Not a particular topic but lots of topics in one blog entry!

(A particularly well taken picture of my grandma and I. We have similar eyes)

(It's been a month today since we've discovered his "growth" and he is healthy as a horse!! Thank goodness!!
I love this little guy to pieces, my sweet pea)

(Well, the second round of lettuce has sure been doing better than the first round)

(Same with the basil, looking good and healthy! Can't wait for caprese salad all summer)

(Speaking of caprese salad, our tomatoes have finally started turning red and ripening!)

(We've enjoyed our peas in many dishes already. Really sweet)

(Our baby niece Aly, she's so darling. We had a chance to babysit her for a few hours
and boy was she lots of fun!! And so adorable too! Full of energy this one)

(She loved looking at the colorful fish at the pet store, the Man holding onto this cutie.
She's actually quite heavy, I got tired of holding her after 10-15 minutes! What a

(Of course we had to take her to see the Punas or Robo hamsters!! It's the Puna's uncles!
They were so cute and she was fascinated with them!)

(We took a little time out from the house work and checked out a music festival in Pasadena. We stopped on the
Suicide Bridge/Colorado Street Bridge for a photo op and to enjoy the view)

(Google's fun. It put together this gif of us taking selfies at Vista Hermosa park in DTLA.
We took a Sustainable Landscape tour this past weekend and checked out this gorgeous
park! It was amazing to find such a gem in the middle of busy DT!

June Gloom Go Away,
The Lady

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Hope for LA

There are times when I become cynical and lose hope in our city, Los Angeles. There's homelessness, grim, dirt, filth, crime, traffic and so much blah wrapped into this city, it's sometimes hard to see the diamond in the rough. But once in a while this city will surprise you. It's like a real eye opener. It's an awakening.

The cynical me is tucked away and I can once again see the beauty this city offers. It's amazing how many hidden treasures and gems there are. If you don't look closely, it will surely pass you by. You really have to open your eyes, look closely and evaluate the unexpectedness this city has to offer. 

This weekend, after weeks of cynicism (probably due to our house and our neighborhood) I feel like I am once again awaken and more so, excited about the city. There's so much it has to offer that I haven't even begun to discover. Isn't that just exciting?! There's so many 'pockets' within a neighborhood. It's really astounding. Over the weekend, the Man and I discovered pockets of greenery along the LA river and small parks along Elysian valley that we once were looking for homes. Areas where we thought were  shabby and kind of shady have now transformed into a beautiful, semi gentrified, clean space. How can we not know of these spaces?! I've been a Los Angelenos all my life. How have I missed this?!

(Clean, paved bike path along the LA River - which is to the right, and Marsh Park - which is to the left. Who knew
hidden parks and gems such as these existed here!

(Gorgeous grassy knolls at Vista Hermosa Park off 1st Street and Toluca Street in DTLA. Definitely want to check
it out again, it has so much to offer and amazing views!)

(Entrance of Grand Park looking towards City Hall. I love the complete balance and symmetry of this park. If you
turn around, it's completely centered with the LADWP building as well. Another well done urban park)

(The Suicide Bridge in Pasadena, also called the Colorado Street Bridge. We love taking a stroll on this bridge, it's
historical and the views are outstanding. I am a bit scared of heights so it makes me slightly nervous, but we sat at
a little pocket niche and enjoyed the view and beautiful weather)

I really love LA. Though I may forget sometimes, we are so lucky to live in a culture filled, rich of history, eclectic and fun city like Los Angeles.

The Lady

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Crawling Back From the Ledge

Another Great Read from NY Times - Modern Love

This one put a tear to my eye, it was so beautiful and so touching. This story was particularly powerful. Definitely take time to read it if you have ever dealt with depression. I am so lucky to have the Man in my life as sometimes (as everyone does) experiences these ups and downs. He has shown me unconditional love through many bad and ugly times as well as beautiful and bright times. Thank you, for being my Rock.

Crawling Back From the Ledge

The Lady

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Mother's Day 2015 - Blueberry Picking at Underwood Farm

Late post for Mother's Day.

We went blueberry picking in Somis for Mother's day taking along my grandma as well. She loved it so much!! Fruit is so expensive in Japan, it was a treat for her to be able to pick and eat blueberries. It was lots of fun and they were really big and sweet too. The strawberries were fun picking too, a little harder since you had to search for them. The blueberries were so abundant, you could just stay at one bush or one row and be done. There were lots and lots of blueberry bushes. The day started off cloudy but eventually the sun came out and it turned out to be a humid day. My heart was not into this wholeheartedly because of Little P. This same day, we took him to the vet after blueberry picking so I was worried the whole morning. Nonetheless, we had a fun time picking and everyone got their share of blueberries (and I felt a bit more humble towards farmers and pickers who pick and harvest fruit, it's tough work!).

(The Man picking blueberries)

(Beautiful bushes of berries)

(Aisles and rows of blueberry bushes)

(My sweet grandma fooling around with her hat as she picks berries)

(The Lady and her grandma)

(Grandma and my mom)

(I love this photo of these two)

(My grandma was full of energy that day, she kept picking and picking!)

(Super sweet strawberries!)

(I love my grandma's happy smile)

(Selfie with grandma!)

(Strawberry picking! Was a bit harder since it was low to the ground)

(Bento lunch time!! Courtesy of my mom and grandma: onigiri, tempura, tamagoyaki)

(We went to the Flower Mart in DTLA together and bought some beautiful orchids)

(Three generations!)

The Lady