Apr 3, 2014

A Different Kind of Family Planning

Heard some very sad news today about an aquaintence and it made me just want to drop everything, go home and hug my family all night. It's said again and again, life is simply too short.

I am a planner by nature. I plan our meals, our outings, and even birthdays a year in advance. What I have not planned for is what we all think will never happen to us. Mortality. It's got the husband thinking about our wills and estate planning -- just really not fun but absolutely neccessary subjects.

It's tough thinking about the what ifs, but it's a package deal when you'e a parent. For now, I'll be hugging my kid a little tighter, kissing my husband a little longer, and laughing much much more -- because life is too short.





Apr 1, 2014

Sam & Donna's Wedding

Our dear friends got hitched this past wknd (about damn time, ya'll!). It was our first outdoor/barn wedding so there was some definite confusion over the dress attire - wedges or heels? are we going to be in the grass? why don't I own a pair of cowboy boots? what the heck do we wear to a country asian wedding?? And of course, the two dresses I rush ordered online looked terrible on so I had to make an emergency run to the mall on Friday during lunch.  The dress gods must've taken pity on me because I found a barn-yardy appropriate dress at my very last stop, H&M. 

I wish I had taken more pictures of the cute details the bride put into the wedding - the pie bar and Paciugo girl was a big hit w/ C and my hips - but it was either keep the kiddo entertained or sneak off for a drink. Priorities, people. We were the only couple who brought a 2 year old, so there were plenty of aunties and uncles around to love on him all night. I think that will be my new strategy for events from now on. Be the only mama who brings their kid. :)

It was a great night to see everyone under one roof -- most of these friends the hubby has known since middle school. I love that we are all still friends, picking up where we left off since the last time we saw each other, all a little rounder, sharing pics of our children in between shots. One of my hopes is that Caden is able to cultivate the same kind of friendships that we are so blessed to have and cherish so much. 

Congratulations Sam & Donna!! Now go make babies!









Mar 3, 2014

Back from the Dead

Damn February was a rough month! I can't believe almost a whole month has passed without a post, but we were strugglin' here at the Ngu house. We all got an awful strain of the flu and then baby boy got an ear infection and strep!  I think I've lost part of my left lung with all the coughing,  but we're finally on the mend, thank you baby Jesus!


We managed a few things before we all got the plague:
  • I took the plunge and chopped off 5 inches and it's been so nice not having to run a straightener through my hair every morning. I think it makes me look younger too, so that's alway a plus!
  • Pinterest strikes again and I made some cute little treats for little man's class. Apparently, goldfish was a popular pin because he got almost a week's supply of them from all the other kids! Valentine's Day is also the hubby's bday so grandma graciously watched C for us while we had a nice date night at one of MY favorite spots in Dallas,Victor Tangos. (it's only fair that I get to choose on Vday right?). 

  • It was also Lunar New Year this month so we took C to his first hoi cho or Tet festival at church. It usually involves lots of foods, music, gambling, and games for the kiddos. Look at how proud he looks after winning two fishies! 

  • This. Thank you Netflix for making a bed bound wknd bearable.

  • And last but not least, my BFF had her beautiful baby boy! Welcome to the club mama! Can't wait for our boys to be BFFs too!

The weather should be nice again this wknd barring any random snow/ice/sleet storm that we've been experiencing here in Texas and I'm ready to finally enjoy some QT w/ family and friends and join the rest of civilization again. This guy surely is!





Feb 6, 2014

Perks

Perk cards. I have about a million.

Starbucks, the local smoothie place, CVS, the kiddo's haircut salon, frozen yogurt...you name it, I probably have it.

The best perk of all is probably having a friend that can make me clothes. Maybe you have heard of her - Khanh of Nha Khanh -- oh you know, only a few ppl like Giuliana Ranic, the Kardashians, and Brooklyn Decker, to name a few, have worn her stuff, no big deal. :) You can find her line at Neiman MarcusRent the Runway , and Saks too.



She invited the girls over for a fun night of dress up at her studio recently. Let me tell you, it is always a chore trying to round a group of  women up with all of our crazy schedules, but this was definitely the quickest that we've all gotten together without any rescheduling or cancellations in the history of our 15+years of friendship. Pretty clothes and food, who can turn that combination down?




It's so inspiring to see someone truly love what they do and live for their craft. I've so enjoyed watching her build her growing empire over the past few years. For me, it all started with these four special dresses - custom bridesmaids gowns she made for our wedding.



Fast forward a few years -- here we all are wearing Nha Khanh at dinner recently. I can't wait to see the newest collections and perhaps add a few more amazing NK pieces to my closet. ;)


Feb 3, 2014

C's Big Boy Room

We are planning on doing some updates & renovations to our house the latter part of the year, but one project I'm especially excited for and have already started planning is transitioning Caden's nursery into a big boy room. I had so much fun planning his nursery and am pretty smitten with the outcome. Most everything was handmade with love by either my mom or myself from the curtains/valence, the mobile, artwork, bedding, I mean everything!

Too bad he never slept in his crib and it was merely decoration for the room :( Yes, we cosleep, but that's a whole 'nother blog post!



I found this image online on BHG and think it's perfection. Crisp, clean, and yellow is so cheerful. C is a neat freak like his mama so I'm not worried about so much white in the room. We have a lot of yellow pieces already that I can recycle and the addition of the navy makes it a great transistional big boy color from the teal he has already. I can easily add/rotate in another accent color.


I'm also loving the pops of orange and the awesome sputnik light fixture in this inspiration picture. Either way, the dark blues are really speaking to me. I can't wait to start shopping for C's room soon!





Jan 17, 2014

High Five for Friday!

Finally!

I've been totally slammed at work and soo looking forward to taking a breather this weekend. The weather is finally warming up again and dare I say it? I kinda want to do something outdoorsy. And by outdoors, I don't even mean drinks on the patio either! Like maybe exercise? Yeah, we'll see.

Despite a hectic week, my highlights include:

one. I found a new mascara that actually holds my stubborn straight as a stick Asian lashes in a curl! Thank you Urban Decay! Now if i I can only find something to help me grow some more lashes in general...

two. Received a card from a dear friend who moved to Cali. I love getting mail when it's not bills! Handwritten notes are the best!

three. Hubs is getting a bonus from work and taking me out to a fancy dinner and maybe some shopping. Recurring theme here and I love it Thank you boo. :)

four. Scored some goodies online shopping...3 sweaters for $30! I'm supposed to be saving money, but technically I am because that is dirt cheap for THREE sweaters, right?

five. I've been eating salad for a week and less rice for dinner and have dropped 2 lbs. Take that lovehandles!


Jan 12, 2014

Weekend Recap

We made a quick overnight trip to Houston to visit one of the BFFs. The last time we were there was 1.5 years ago and her little one was only a couple of months old and C was due to see his cousin Caroline! How sweet are they?


We are planning on taking a group roadtrip with some of our friends to Destin this summer and the 10+hr drive is literally making me break out into nervous pit sweats. C does ok on longer car rides, but anything over an hour is risky business. We thought this trip would be a good prelimnary test run. 4 hours is not too bad.

important: sometimes you just have to bring out the big guns -- dum dums
[ iPad, & Hot Wheels - check. ]  [coffee - check. ]  [ Alien that C INSISTED must stay on the headrest- check.]

Things we've learned from this mini road trip:

  • internet connection is precious - we tethered our phones so C could access videos on his iPad but of course, that connection is spotty and often slow. We had a few meltdowns and I totally sympathized. It's equivalent to toddler dial-up connection during his Barbie: Life in a Dreamhouse video marathon (uhh, he is totally into Barbie videos lately, but that's another post one day). I'm thinking we need to spring for the data plan during the trip.
  • bring lots and lots of snacks - and not just pork rinds and gummi worms. Kids eat when they get bored too (except they don't gain 10 lbs like we do), and plying them with sugar while strapped in a car seat probably isn't the best idea. Lots of fruit, cheese, crackers are mandatory to survive. And of course, a handful of dum dums never hurt nobody. Pick and chose your battles people!

  • a little comfort goes a long way - i know sometimes it's not always possible, but if you are getting a rental for a road trip, get something w/ some leg room. It makes for more efficiency in packing things in and out of the car, easier for emergency diaper changes on the road, less crampage of limbs. I mean, you're on vacation! Make it comfortable!
  • sunshades are a must - I love, love, love Aden & Anais muslin swaddle blankets. I got these before C was born (before Prince George was rocking it) and use these babies for everything. Swaddling, nursing cover, car seat cover, blanket, you name it. It's one of C's loveys now, so he has to have it with him at bed time. But you can see in that picture how easy it is to just put one up to block out the sun. 
  • Be prepared to sing your heart out - because sometimes your kid just wants to hear Mommy and Daddy sing Old MacDonald 10x in a row
  • New toys/distractions - When we took C on his first flight, one of the best tips I received was to wrap up lots of new toys for him to open every hour. Hit up the dollar store for this. Half the fun for the kids is just tearing up the paper. We didn't do it on this trip, but will definitely be doing this for Destin. However, on the way back, one of our friends gave him a new set of Hot Wheel cars so it definitely made the last hour of the trip a smooth ride. Thank you Uncle James! :)
  • Load up on cleaning supplies - With all the snacking and toy unwrapping, you'll need to stock the car with plenty of wipes and a large trashbag to keep everything clean and organized. Keeping the clutter and grubby hands to a minimum will help you keep your sanity!
What are some tips you have for a successful aka tear-free road trip?