Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sign of Spring...

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We experienced an extra warm weather this past weekend. It was a good time to chill out and explore our backyard for some sign of life. Back in January (on random warm day), we decided to do fall gardening. Kind of late but we took a chance to scatter wild flower seeds and fall bulbs (double late tulips and dutch crocus). This should have been planted in early fall to guarantee success. However, mother nature made my dream come true because this year has been unusually cold for our region. These bulbs require long period of cold temperature to get them going. Perfect timing! They show up now (yay!). It is the matter of time before they grow big and start flowering, can't wait!

I was also in a mood for some pie and blackberries pie was something I had never made before. It turned out quite yummy.

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

An Afternoon with Alligators...

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 {Good boy, you sit and wait patiently like a good doggie waiting for a yummy treat} 

This post is especially dedicated to reptiles lovers out there. not snakes, bigger than that., not Iguanas or Dragons. How about Alligators? Yikes! Last summer on one boring hot weekend we discovered this Gator Country in Beaumont, Texas via LivingSocial deal. I wouldn't say we love alligators dearly but it's worth exploring. So we went. 

 It turned out to be more educating and entertaining than I initially thought. We got there just in time for feeding, show and demonstration. Obviously this place is not a zoo where they bought alligators and keep them locked up for profit. They rescue these giant gators from places. The place has been on a few TV Shows including Bravo and Animal Planet. They mainly rescue alligators from owners (yes some people have these giant reptiles as pet) and from locations they are not supposed to be. I dreamt of having a tiger as pet when young but alligator?  Hell no! Al is the biggest alligator captivated in the state of Texas. He sure is huge and scary (5th photo). 

Back at my country of Thailand, we have crocodiles and crocodile farms where they do similar shows but much more adventurous. How daring and adventurous? The guy stick their arms, legs or even heads inside crocodiles's mouth. YES!! I remember taking my husband once to this show while in Thailand, I didn't think hr enjoyed it too much...haha. He thought it was too crazy. 

 The kids' s favorite part came when the little guys and girls got to swim and chase baby alligators in a pool (poor baby alligators). Those little kids (and parents) were so eager to touch and hold these (adorable, maybe??) baby gators while baby reptiles swam away for life (they probably hate humans because of this torturing experience). I got to touch one and it was quite interesting.  This was definitely an experience for all of us. 

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Sewing away...

Sewing is my least favorite thing to do in this world. Okay let's just say I hate sewing and I will only do so if only I have to. Back in the days I was in school and sewing was one of my elective classes (heck, why did I even choose it?!), I just knew I was not going to love it. I have always admired those who have ability and talent to design and make their own clothes. That's one area I never really wanted to venture into. Fast forward to now, I have my very own sewing machine. As contradicting as it can be, here is a little story behind the latest ownership of this Brother sewing machine.
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Last year my little one had to be in a Little Mermaid play at her daycare. So as a great mom that I am, I totally forgot to buy a costume. That evening before her rehearsal, I frantically searched my closet for pieces of clothing, scarf or whatever materials I could possibly use. Cut, patched, sewed with basic stiches (by hands) and voila! Then came the day of an actual play, we invited grandma and grandpa as well. My mother in law was impressed at my DIY costume and thought I had a potential.
At Christmas, you could imagine my surprise when I unwrapped a box just to see what's inside..haha. I wouldn't say I have been super duper excited or eager to use it but this thing comes in handy for future use. A sewing machine comes with a 6 week course that teaches basic sewing lesson. An instructor suggested that I picked either a skirt or a top as my project so I felt motivated to learn (she must have sensed I totally lacked of motivation...haha...I would rather go ride a horse). Last week was my first one (which I dreaded going in case you didn't know). It was quite interesting and at least now I knew how to thread a machine. Perhaps, my love for sewing may grow as I sew more?? That is still doubtful.
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Thursday, February 13, 2014

May the love warm your heart (& soul)...

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{Left: when we said "I do" | Right: our wedding cake topper}

I never knew such a day could come....
I never knew such a love could be inside of one...
I never knew what  my life was for but now that you're here I know for sure...

I never knew until I looked in your eyes...
I was incomplete 'til the day you walked into my life...
I never knew that my heart feel love so real...

Can I just see you every morning when I open my eyes...
Can I just feel your heart beating beside me every night..
Can we just feel this way together for the rest of all time..
Can I just spend my life with you...

{Song by Eric Benet ft. Tamia}
Check out the post "How did you know he was the one" at Jane's {Always with Yoo} blog

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone who has love in their hearts...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Smile, it's Wednesday....

Took these random pictures while at different stores this past weekend. They sure make me smile and laugh, two more days to go until the weekend. Hip..hip..hooray.

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{Attempt to cut down on sugar but these cupcake are too adorable to not to snap photos of them. I won over the temptation to taste them though..hooray!}

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{Dinner on Sunday night at Zoe Kitchen: Quinoa salad. I think I will try to make this at home.}

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{No breakfast in bed for you, baby! Who do you think you are?}

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{Didn't we all once want to be that "wise" girl}

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{I totally want this sign for my parking space!}

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{Who said that?!?!?}

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{Yeah...who need it??!?}

Monday, February 10, 2014

Memoirs: the (morning) Dress

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We, girls, can't deny that the most exciting part of wedding planning is picking your wedding dress. In Thailand (and in other Asian countries), the brides usually flaunt in two wedding gowns (one traditional gown for a morning ceremony and one white western gown for an evening reception.

That was fun but it also means double stress and expense. However most ladies don't mind since it is once in a lifetime opportunity. For my morning ceremony, I decided to have a gown tailored for a perfect fit. My mother happened to know a high skilled tailor so I counted on her to create my dream gown. . After flipping through a couple of magazines, I decided to go with luxurious gold tone (silk is  used to make traditional Thai costume in a combination of chiffon/lace and etc.). She sure didn't fail to exceed my expectation. It came out exactly the way I pictured it. For my husband, we had to buy a ready made one since we were short on time. We went shopping for him just a few days before our wedding day.

Upon moving to the U.S., I decided to bring this gown with me as a keepsake. Little did I knew, I got to wear it again when we had a wedding and reception here in the U.S.. Ten years later, I can't believe it is in a pristine condition (color fades with time but not significantly). This gown brings back so many memories of that day in my life.
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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Memoirs: Wedding Accessories

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Ten years ago, I wore these accessories with my Thai wedding costume (which will be posted tomorrow). This weekend, the husband and I celebrated our ten years together in a very simple way. Appreciate and be grateful for everything we have shared and much more...
*~Thanks for accepting who I am and for having me in your life~*

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Love Me, Love My Mom....

Everyone has a very special woman in their lives - "mother" that is.  Mother is the very first person in this world who loves you wholeheartedly even before she sees your face. Mother loves you unconditionally, regardless of your flaws and imperfections. For this Valentine's series, I asked Kim, a sweet blog friend of mine to be a part of this as Kim and her mom are very close and share such special mother-daughter bond. Reading what she put together only proves how well she knows her mom. Let's begin.....

Hi Maysa and Sunshine readers! This is Kim from A Very Sweet Blog. Nelah asked me to talk about the close bond I share with my mom for her Valentine's Week Love Series. For me, it's simple. Spend time with your parents. Spend time with your family. Spend time with the ones you love. You're only given so much time each day. Make each moment count. A hug. A kiss. A kind word. These things mean so much. Don't take LIFE for granted. Create beautiful memories, each and EVERYday! That way, you won't have any regrets. CHERISH each & every day! Remember, Valentine's Day is simply an EXTRA day to show your love to someone :) I put together a Valentine's gift guide for your mom below.

A Valentine Gift Guide For Mothers

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{Image source:}

1. The Empress' New Clothes - Who doesn't like new things to wear? Purchase a new outfit for your mom, including shoes & accessories. Place them in a cute tote (get fancy & personalize it) and she will be tickled pink.

2. Gift Basket Of Sweet Treats - Who doesn't like to snack? Go to your favorite hobby store, purchase a large wicker basket and fill it with everything your mom loves. It could be fruit, candy, tea, coffee, cookies and/or healthy snacks. It's her personal treat & munch stash. Throw in a book and/or magazine for her to read.

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3. A Lovely Spa Day - Who doesn't like to get pampered? Have your mom gleaming from head to toe by purchasing an all day spa day gift card. Most high end day spa's offer a half a day or all day treatment option that include manicure, pedicure, massage, lunch, hair etc. Sometimes they have a 2 for 1 special, where you and your mom can spend the day together.

4. Concert Or Theatre - Notice I said Theatre and not Theater (the movies). When was the last time your mom attended a Broadway show or listened to an orchestra? Many Broadway plays tour and local orchestras are always looking for people to attend one of their concerts. Check your local listings to see what is playing in your area.

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{Image source:}

5. Take Her To High Tea - Do tea houses or hotels offer high tea in your area? Make reservations for the two of you to attend one afternoon. She will feel regal! Delicate tea sandwiches, scones and cute desserts. Yum! Yum! Yum! Usually there's a harpist, piano player and/or violinist there. It's very relaxing.

6. Her Favorite Stores All In ONE Box - Does your mom have her favorite stores? My mom loves Walgreens! She will give Walgreens hell! So one year, I filled a heart shaped box with gift cards from ALL of her favorite stores. Ask yourself... Where does your mom grocery shop? Buy a gift card. Does your mom go to the movies a lot? Buy a gift card. What about your mom's favorite ice cream place? Buy a gift card. This gift is really neat, because she receives a pile of gift cards to her favorite places. You decide on the amount. Put them all in ONE box. You can heighten the suspense by gift wrapping each gift card (or putting them in envelopes) and then putting them in ONE decorated box.

7. Take A Trip - This will put a dent in your budget, but it's oh so fun. Take a week long or weekend trip with your mom. One year, I took my mom to Vegas for some week long fun. If you plan ahead of time, you can get some really good deals on hotels & entertainment.

I hope you enjoyed these gift ideas! I've given each to my mom and she loved them. My best advice is to spend time with the one's you love. It matters not what you do or how much you spend. ALL will cherish these moments and memories.

Have a great Valentine's Day everybody!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

What a wonderful feeling it is to be loved {by a cocker spaniel}

Today I have two special guests, Jane and Piri of "Always with Yoo" blog and I couldn't be more excited. I stumbled upon Jane's blog last year during my random blog hopping tour and was immediately attracted to this adorable, doe-eyed Cocker Spaniel! Jane's blog is the kind of blog I that gives you the warm and fuzzy feeling. Jane and Piri have one of a kind love story and that bond is simply beautiful. When I read her story I really felt like it's a letter from a long time friend to a friend, not a pet owner to her pet at all. Thanks again Jane for sharing :) Let's begin.....

I've had multiple love at first sights in my life. I know, that sounds weird, but I'm a big animal person. My mama was an animal lover and so we always had pets growing up. They were all my first loves. Of course my husband as well. He holds a special special place in my heart. And just as I thought there wouldn't be room for one more "love at first sight", he stared at me with those big curious eyes and that did me in. It was love at first sight for me. Again. For like the 10th time.
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Piri wasn't our family's first dog or our first cocker spaniel. We had one growing up. I named him Bobby after a boy in my second grade class. He lived to be 7 and died after an unfortunate car accident. It broke my heart to pieces and our family never spoke of having another dog again. That was until when I was in college. I received a call from my brother telling me that he saw the cutest cocker spaniel and brought him home. That his name was Piri {pronounced "Petey"}, which our mama named after a famous Korean song from her days. My heart sank but was also joyous at the same time. Is this little bugger going to steal and break my heart, too?
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{Our first meeting. We were like Batman and Robin. Of course he was Batman and I was his sidekick.}

I saw him for the first time in November, 1999, during Thanksgiving break. I was 20 and he was 8 months. So curious. So animated. So full of play.

He followed me around everywhere and wanted to play tug of war with my sock the entire time. He slept next to me. Even shared my pillow. We stayed in bed late, but one morning he was up and got impatient when I wouldn't wake up to play with him. He pounced on my stomach and when I woke up with a "ugh" I saw big brown eyes and a playful smile looking down at me. I'm telling you. This was love.

Piri came to live with me in New York in 2006 when my sister in law became pregnant. My parents drove him up from Georgia and I thought this is going to be easy peasy. He was such a fun and mellow dog the last time I saw him that I didn't think I would have any trouble.
Boy was I wrong.

The minute my parents left, he cried. He cried for three days. He woke me up at 5 am to go out for walks. He showed aggression to the neighborhood cats and dogs. And he had severe separation anxiety. I couldn't leave the house without him barking the second I locked the door.
Oh, what did I get myself into?

I didn't know a change in scenery would impact him so much. I felt so helpless and spent countless of hours trying to figure out how to cure his separation anxiety. I needed to be the pack leader. I needed to stay calm and let him know I was calm. None of these solutions felt tangible. I needed something asap to not get us kicked out of the apartment. I needed a social life!

For me though, the thing about having a pet is that they're for life. I know certain situations don't always allow for that. But Piri having separation anxiety wasn't a good enough reason to give him up. Instead, I came up with alternative solutions. I gave up going out with my friends, but invited them over to hang out at my place from time to time. I had really great and supportive friends who were so understanding and loved Piri. This made our situation a bit more easier. Yangkyu was always there and drove us to places so Piri can play in the park, at a dog run and be more social, and so that I can go out on an ice cream run and enjoy it outdoors.

I also patiently practiced training with him to let him know that I was coming back home. I left the house for five minutes the first week, increased to 10 minutes the following, and so on.
I don't know what did the trick, but about after a year of big improvements {but oh and many drop to your knees, fancy cry my eyes out, kind of fails} his separation anxiety slowly began to disappear.
And he became the friendliest dog in the neighborhood.
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Piri is now 14 years old. He will be 15 next month. His playful brown eyes have now become so wise and so soulful. He has since lost his hearing, has arthritis and other signs of aging, but that playful wag is still there. I don't think it will ever go away. He has opened my eyes to so many things - how to be happy, how to forgive, how to not let the little things worry me, how to cuddle, how to really enjoy a mouth watering apple and how to just love and be.

I read somewhere that a dog is the only thing that will love you more than him/herself. That's Piri in a nutshell. There were times when I was so frustrated at him and the situation I was in. I'm sure I let him down too but he's never let me know. Instead, he always came over to sniff and tickle my hands with his cocker whiskers and nudge me with his head. I think it was his way of saying that everything will be ok {or maybe it was to demand neck scratches because he always ended up with one after those head nudges}.

I can't explain this incredible feeling I have for Piri. My husband and I were talking about it the other night and it both left us stumped. We looked over to a sleeping Piri, his nose smelling something in his dream {probably chicken or apples, his favorites} and we just laughed. It's these little moments that make our hearts tug. And being loved by a cocker is one of the greatest feelings in the world.
Thank you Nelah for giving me this opportunity to share the bond I have with Piri.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Love is a blessing

When we talk about a subject of love, most of us automatically think about romantic relationship between lovers..boyfriend/girlfriend (in modern days, male/male and female/female as well).
In reality,  love comes in many different forms and covers more than just romance between the two. The most important kind of love we all come into contact with happen very early in our lives but probably is the last thing on our list or even forgotten - Family, that is.

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Family is an important foundation in everyone's life. It helps shape who we are, the way we see and think of everything. During my teen years, friends appeared to play such a huge part (I am sure for majority of us went through the same phase, friends forever and ever). Spending time with friends or bf or gf was more fun the way we saw it. They almost seemed like our world, what would we do without them?!?

I loved my friends but never let them rise above my parents.  Not that I won the best daughter award..not that I never screwed up as a teen..not that I totally agreed to everything my parents said, but respect was important.  There were times my parents said no to me without explaining or not allowed me to do things with my friends, my feelings were hurt and I couldn't understand the reasoning behind their decisions. All I thought was it didn't make sense..they didn't want me to have fun..they sheltered me too much and so on. I never understood their intentions until I became much more mature.

At the point where I am at right now, I realize how fortunate to have parents and family that is there to lend a support, a great guidance and a shoulder to cry on. The people who accept my imperfections. Some families are broken and become very distant as time passes. It is a sad thing that a bond that was once so strong turns sour. That is not something I want to happen with me and my daughter when she grows up. Being loved is a true blessing. We often put those who love us last but try to seek and impress others who could care less. At the end, those who really stay with us through bad times often are those people who you think about last. Life is more fragile than we think. You dont want to spend all that time regretting by someone's grave stone because it is too late. Cherish what you have now...appreciate them more now and count every blessing this Valentine's.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Sleeping Beauty

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Sleep is something I miss most these days. In the past few days, my sleep has not been very good. That must be due to the fact that as people get older their quality of sleep is getting worse (damn, that just confirms me I am old). Looking at these pictures make me jealous. Silly but I would trade for a day just to be a cat and sleep all day.

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