All posts in: Home Life

27 Jan 2018

When Your Home Is Everything

Whenever I visit my best friend back home, she is constantly home improving her house. I see her roughly every six months and each visit more and more projects have been completed and there is always at least one project in process. Even though we are in different stages of ours lives – her with owning a house and me still renting, we’re not that much different! Since I moved to San Francisco, I’ve been noticing that I’ve loved spending time at home more than anywhere else I’ve lived. Decorating was the first part of the process after moving in. These days, I’m spending more time on maintaining – “swiffering,” looking at different plants, purchasing candles, and discovering new ways to bring more of my own personality into my home with decor.

My friends make fun of me because I’m always telling them how much I LOVE my home. It’s my sanctuary. It gives me a place to escape when I want to get away from work. It sparks my creativity when I want to focus on my blog or side project. It brings me peace when I need a quiet moment. I don’t think there will ever be a time when I’m not continuously working on my home and making it better, but I don’t mind that it’s my personal ongoing project.

What are your favorite things about your home and how do you make it your own?

14 Oct 2017

A Tiny Home

I remember when I first looked at my place in San Francisco, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to bring all of my belongings with me. I was downsizing, sure, but I wondered if my furniture would feel out of place or if rooms would be too crammed. I wondered if I would feel comfortable in my own home. What I’ve come to realize in the last few months is actually the downsizing was actually a positive thing for me. In my old place, I maybe had too much space that it never truly felt like a home because there were so many corners and areas not even being used at all. I love the idea of living with less and utilizing donations to pass on things that I don’t need anymore to those that do or to make room for other new items. I’ve been interested in the idea of tiny homes lately and here’s one that I thought I would share with you all!

What do y’all think? It’s actually not so bad, right?!


30 Sep 2017

What I Wish I Would Have Known About Moving

Can you believe that I’ve been living in my current place now for over two months?! Just in case you’re wondering, the above photo is not my home. My home isn’t quite Pinterest ready just yet, but we’ll get there in maybe six months or so. Recently, Manan expressed that he’d like to find a new place in the city and since I did the whole apartment hunting thing just a couple of months ago, I volunteered to accompany him on some visits. We have a different set of criteria, but my role is basically just throwing the questions out that we both may have never thought of before going into this and preparing for the actual move. When I look back on my recent experience, Kevin and I – who was with me for BOTH moves by the way, decided that moving from Seattle to the Bay Area was MUCH easier than moving from South Bay to San Francisco. You would think it would be the other way around, but honestly, after living here for a few years now, I’ve acquired way too many things that made the move more challenging.

Looking back on it, here’s a) what I wish I would’ve done differently or b) what I wish I had known:

Plan where everything goes

When I looked at my current apartment, it didn’t cross my mind whether or not I would have enough cabinet space for all of my dishes. I may not be using all of them on a regular basis, but I also didn’t want to part ways with them so we definitely got a little bit more creative, It’s important to consider when moving where everything is going to go and not just your furniture. Additionally, equip yourself with some measuring tape for those tricky questions of whether or not your bed will fit exactly in the bedroom and how much space you’ll have afterwards or where everything is places in the living room so that you’re not figuring it out as the move is in process.

Start packing early

Even a couple of weeks leading up to my move, I was in denial. There was a part of me that thought I wouldn’t do it and because of that I prolonged packing. I convinced myself in my last week that I didn’t need to pack all of my winter coats and sweaters right away because somehow there was going to be a use for them. I made plans for almost every day that week and when I came home, the thought of packing was so daunting that I just wouldn’t. Finally, I had to suck it up and that meant staying up very late the night before my move to get most of it done and waking up early to do more packing before the movers got there. If you know you’re not going to use it in your last week, just pack it. There’s also no reason to leave decorations and wall hangings up in the last week. You’ll be glad you did it all sooner instead of waiting until the last minute.

More boxes are better

There are plenty of places where you can purchase boxes for your move, but with moving already being so expensive, this is one of those costs that you don’t need. The first place I looked was at work. We were always receiving packages so anytime I saw boxes going straight to the recycling, I would just transport them to my car instead. Secondly, ask your co-workers if they have any spare boxes. The week that I was packing, two people in my office had just moved and still had their boxes that they could pass to me. Another popular box that people like to purchase is that fancy one with the bars inside that acts like a clothing rack. Save yourself the trip and ask if your moving company provides these as part of the move and use their instead!

Donate Donate Donate

The more you can get rid of, the less you’ll need to bring with you. Also it’s such a relief to let go of your belongings. If you need another reason, the third is that when you donate the old, you can upgrade to something newer and better! On that note, make sure that when you’re getting ready to move that you give your movers clear instructions because they will wrap anything and everything in sight. They ended up packing a frame I had in a corner that I had been meaning to throw out and now it’s still on the side of my couch and I haven’t done anything with it.

Care For Your Fragile Items

You can write “Fragile” on all of your boxes, but it won’t actually mean that much if you aren’t taking extra care of the items inside. When I first started packing my dishware, I had no idea what I was doing. Elisa came over and saw the job I had done and basically re-did it for me because she said all of my plates were going to break. Buy the extra wrapping paper, the bubble wrap, and anything else you think you’ll need. Strategically put them into your boxes – you can’t just put those things anywhere.

When considering movers…

Not only is moving a crazy time suck and a hassle in general, but it’s incredibly expensive. In California, we have something called Double Drive Time, which means that they charge you per hour in the transporting and then double it just because! On top of that, there’s always gratuity. It’s tough to find the best moving company because there are so many so don’t make the same mistake I did which is continue researching and then make a decision too late that they already booked up for the time and date that you need it. When this happened to me, I was completely stressed and scrambling for an alternative moving company. Luckily, I was able to snag one, but was now paying more than what I had intended. Make sure you ask your movers what everything entails in the price and then do your part to see where you can cut on costs and time. ie) the easiest part is DOING that packing yourself and letting them box it up.

Is your home move-in ready?

When I moved in, I was disappointed to find that my place wasn’t what I considered “move-in” ready. The counter tops and the drawers were not the cleanest and my shower wasn’t working and needed to be seen by someone. I didn’t even think to ask about these things when I was first moving, but if I could go back, I would’ve asked my landlord or property manager to make sure that the place was fully cleaned out professionally before I moved in and would have tested every thing in the home.

A lot of these things may or may not be within your control, but it never hurts to ask! If I’m missing any other things that you thought might be key – let me know!

04 Sep 2017

Five Favorite Pins: Outdoor Pools

1. The option that is barely a pool

We were gifted with quite the heat wave over this holiday weekend and you know what? I didn’t hate it that much! It was so nice to feel a little bit of the South Bay heat that I’m used to up in the city and it was fun. Sure, you’re sticky and your clothes stick to your body more than the usual, but you get to eat outside, you can walk around the neighborhood later at night, and you don’t need a light sweater or jacket. What I wanted more than anything this weekend was an outdoor pool! We haven’t done a Five Favorite Pins post since last December, but as I was daydreaming about all of the pools I wanted to have in my life, I figured it was a good time for a roundup.

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11 Jun 2016

A Collection Part 45

Interestingly enough, we don’t have a lot of thoughts to share about this A Collection Part post. The last 3 months have been a blur, but a good one. I think we’ll have some thoughts that we can share tomorrow that we’re building up, but for now let’s just enjoy these.

Read more “A Collection Part 45”

26 May 2016

Our Obsession w/ Glassybaby

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If you’ve been following us on Instagram lately, then you may have noticed a series of photos featuring handblown glass candle votives. One friend of mine even asked me if I had become Glassybaby’s latest spokesperson because they have made so many appearances on my feed. Nope! I just think they are extremely gorgeous and pretty. Every time I see a collection of them, I feel inclined to take a photo. Earlier this year, I mentioned that I had become obsessed with having candles in my home so it’s not totally surprising that they were the gateway to Glassybaby. I’ve actually known about the brand for a few years as they are originally from my hometown of Seattle and I had had a few girlfriends (Jennie – in particular!) who has been collecting and decorating her condo with them for years.

I kept visiting their Stanford Shopping Center location this year and each time I would pick out my favorites and of course, snap a photo while I was there. It didn’t take long though until Glassybaby started noticing some of my photos on Instagram and I was contacted by Alyssa (an employee of the company) who invited me to Berkeley to meet with her and visit their studio and hot shop. #goals.

The space was absolutely beautiful! Having done some event planning prior to recruiting, event spaces are something that I have managed to develop crushes on and this was one of those spaces. There was so much natural lighting and open space not to mention you can watch the Glassybabys being made right in front of you. It was a pretty cool experience to witness and we’re so glad that Alyssa gave us the opportunity!

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Every day the hot shop focuses on 6 different Glassybaby’s to make. Spoiler Alert! They let me take home Bay Lights that day and I’ve been keeping it lit ever since.

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21 Feb 2016

A Collection Part 44

I think I’ve always loved putting these posts together because these are the types of photos I’ve always wanted to take. They’re so simple and minimalistic, but yet they say so much and they say something different to everyone. I’ve asked Veronica a couple of times now why she enjoys these posts and now that I think about it – I’m not sure if I’ve ever gotten a real answer. Veronica, can you let us know so I can include it in the next post? All I know is that in college she would hound me to get these done and out. And then after she had spent some time scanning over the photos (a few minutes) she’d ask for another one. (DJ Khaled) I think I would always just laugh and say, “Veronica, these take time.” And they do! This one post took about three months to put together.

I’ve done 44 of these now. That’s an incredible number to me. And it’s interesting to me that each one of these tells a different story though I’m not sure what that story is. I look through some of the older “A Collection” posts and sometimes I wonder why I chose a certain photo. I’ll look at it and scrunch up my face and be like, “Why? What did this mean to me?” But I guess what it just means is that it was all about timing. In that exact moment that I saw that photo as I was scanning over lots of photos, that one spoke out enough to me that I had to include it. Maybe I was feeling sassy, meek, contemplative, curious…I’m not able to put my finger on it for every photo and I like that I don’t have to.

Sometimes I write posts on Yow Yow! that are very personal and I look at the words and I question if that’s what I actually wanted to convey or if people will interpret it in a different way than I attended. With these posts, I don’t have to worry as much, but these are just as personal because I’m really saying how I feel, but in the most visual way.

Read more “A Collection Part 44”

07 Feb 2016

Proud Owner:

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When looking ahead to 2016, I mentioned in a previous post that I wanted to start buying candles. I had always felt a little bit behind knowing that all the guys I ever dated had candles on their desk or bedside table whereas buying a candle for my home had never even crossed my mind. Candles are sold everywhere, Rite Aid, Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, Safeway – but if I was going to get serious about this, I wanted to do my research. I wanted the best of the best and Mandi let me know that the only place to buy them was Anthropologie.

The same day that I landed back in California after spending the holidays in Seattle, I came home, dropped off my luggage and drove straight to Anthropologie. Since this was going to be a new hobby/collection, I thought I would start off small and purchase 1, but after sniffing almost every candle in the store, limiting myself just didn’t seem like a good idea. Instead, I bought the three pictured above. Three different sizes – all different scents and in three different tins so that they could be re-used. More on that in a future post though!

I realized though that when it came to candles, I was kind of a n00b. I had a lot of questions – all of which Mandi answered for me:

  • Should you light more than one at a time?
  • How do you know which two to light together?
  • What am I supposed to feel when I light candles?
  • Will they set off my smoke detector after I blow them out?
  • Do you put the lid on top of the candle afterwards? What purpose do those lids serve?
  • Do people light candles during the day?

Also, this is embarrassing to admit, but continues to prove how much of an amateur I am with candles – the first night that I lit them I got really close to smell it and a piece of my hair just breezed right on through into the flame.

I purchased these candles at the beginning of January – happy to announce that I have since returned to Anthro to buy two more candles! We’ve got a problem here. I think it’s going to be an expensive collection to keep, but at the same time it’s so nice and relaxing to light them at the end of a work day while I’m writing late night emails or blogging. They also make my apartment smell 110% better!


  • OK these first two days at home have been lovely, but where should I escape to out of the city for a day?
  • 〰️〰️〰️
  • I’m appreciating Kevin’s rooftop more than he is
  • Last night’s ramen gifted us with the thickest slice of pork ever and a side of butter corn 🤤
  • Weekend hangs at the shopping plazas
  • Had a craving for the sush last night 🍣
  • Dessert, always
  • Spread of my dreams ✨
  • Never have I ever done anything like this for the 4th of July

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