DIY Succulent Arrangement


January 27, 2017 by Sarah


One of my favorite places in the world is my Uncle’s home in southern California. These days, we get to travel down to visit a few times a year, and when I’m there, I’m always inspired. I have so many memories at my Uncle’s house, I still remember going to see it when it was on the market almost 20 years ago, and since then I’ve loved seeing how my Uncle has created it into a warm, inviting, space. It feels like home to me, a space where I can retreat.

These days since visits are more rare, I especially savor my time there. My favorite is spending time in his garden, my Uncle has created the most beautiful, lush landscape out of native plants, including many succulents. I am a succulent lover, and it all came from him.

My last time there this last month, he showed me something new he started doing, bringing succulent cuttings indoors by arranging them in vases or different sizes. He stuffs newspaper as a medium to hold the cuttings into whatever vessel he’s using to arrange, and then places the cuttings into it.


And that’s it. No watering, succulents last for a month or two just like that. When they start to get droopy, just toss them out and redo if you’d like.

I was so excited to try it, I love bringing green indoors whenever I can. But I also don’t like things that are too fussy, even if it’s just a weekly watering! No watering at all, such a win, and it only took me about 5 minutes to put it together.



Just find a vase, stuff it with a sheet of newspaper, cut any succulents you want to use, and arrange them in the vase. Then bring it inside and put it anywhere where you want a little splash of green. Mine is currently sitting on our fireplace mantel.



Friday Quick Takes (vol. 27)


January 20, 2017 by Sarah

one. Bookmarking this Taiwanese beef noodle soup recipe, it looks so good and perfect for Chinese New Year.

two. I’m currently reading The Color of Water: A Black Man’s tribute to his White Mother. It’s opening my mind to different cultures and experiences, I haven’t finished but I’ve been listening to it on Audible or picking up my library copy any chance I get.

three. I’m on the hunt for a new daytime moisturizer! Eying this one after reading this skin care post.

four. After getting Pat a Stitch Fix box (yes, they now have mens!) for Christmas. This is Pat’s new favorite brand. I’m really into it too.

Glad for all the rain we are getting but not glad for not getting to be outside with the kids as much these days. Cue the indoor activities! My favorite is collage making. I filled up an empty egg carton with things I found in the pantry, armed the kids with glue and paper, and they got to work. #momlife #collage #artsandcrafts

five. I’ve been going a little crazy these days trying to entertain the kids indoors. Yesterday I pulled together some collage supplies and remembered how much they love it. I wrote more about art with kids here a little while back. Any ideas out there for rainy day activities?

Warm-You-Up Tea


November 18, 2016 by Sarah


It’s getting chilly over here in the bay area, 63 degrees daytime highs! I’ve become such a cold weather wimp since my days growing up in Washington. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been making up a lot of batches of this homemade tea. My aunt introduced it to me last year. She had a slow-cooker of it that she kept on “warm,” and throughout the day she would ladle out mugs for herself and anyone else who wanted a warm drink. I loved it immediately. There’s sweetness from dried dates and spiciness from a cinnamon stick and fresh ginger. It reminds me a lot of Good Earth tea, except homemade.

I tend to run cold and the tea helps so much to warm up my body. Also as I’ve been sick, I’ve been adding generous spoonfuls of honey to my mug, and there’s been nothing else that’s been so comforting and soothing. The kids love it too! I also add honey to theirs as well as some milk, and an ice cube to cool it down for quite drinking.

Warm-You-Up Tea

3-4 dried red-dates (found in Asian-markets)
1 cinnamon stick
1-2 inch piece ginger, cut into pieces

Add the dates, cinnamon stick, and ginger to a medium pot. Fill up halfway with water, bring to boil and then lower to a simmer for as long as you’d like to drink it. You can continue to reuse it for a few more dates, just continue to add water and bring to a boil at the beginning of the day.


What We Ate


November 4, 2016 by Sarah

I’m really enjoying the fall and the beginning of the holiday season. Persimmons, pears, and winter squash are all over our counter. The downside of the change of weather? Sick season, it’s upon us in full force. I’ll be making lots and lots of chicken soup in the upcoming days, I’m sure. Here are some recipes to share, happy weekend!


Oatmeal, simmered in the morning with a pinch of salt and cinnamon, and a small handful of raisins. Frozen blueberries added in the bowl help cool it down quickly for the kids, and sliced bananas and sliced almonds go on top.

French toast on a weekend morning.

Persimmon bread, thanks Seish!


Red lentil soup over rice.


Chicken soup.


Linguine with Shrimp Scampi: This was surprisingly super quick, a last minute dinner. I used spaghetti noodles, didn’t have parsley or lemon zest or slices, but it was fine! So tasty. For the kids, I added parmesan cheese and frozen peas to the hot pasta.

Pork Carnitas with Cabbage Slaw: This carnitas recipe is amazing, especially because it’s for the slow cooker. I don’t cook a lot of pork, but this is one of the exceptions. We ate it in burritos and also as tacos; black beans, sour cream, and salsa as other toppings.

Bean with Bacon Soup with Cheesy Bread: Did I say I don’t cook a lot of pork? Bacon is my other, much bigger exception. This is also easy to reheat for lunch.


Red velvet cupcakes, that aren't red because I can't handle how much red food coloring the recipe called for! So, brown "red" velvet they are. #inthekitchen #cupcakes #cupcake #dessert

Red velvet cupcakes for Pat’s birthday: This recipe was “eh,” anyone have a better one?

What I Bookmarked 

Tis the season for pumpkin.

Something to add to my easy, weekday dinner arsenal?

A warm, fall meal.

More pasta.

Roasted potatoes, some great tips in this one.

Persimmon jam!

Friday Quick Takes (vol. 26)


October 28, 2016 by Sarah

It’s been a while since I’ve done a quick takes post.


one. It’s persimmon season over here! We have lots of neighbors with trees heavily laden with plump persimmons. I grabbed a bag from outside a neighbor’s house, shared some, and my friend made this bread with it. So good, I’m waiting for some magical free time to appear so I can make it again.

two. I recently heard about this design blog from my favorite podcast, love it so much.

three. I want to host crappy dinners all the time now.

four. For all you Fixer Upper fans.


five. I was recently inspired by a mom who takes time each week to vision for her kids. She goes away for an hour every Wednesday, and thinks about where each of her 3 boys are at and comes up with ideas for how to nurture their interests and practically makes plans for how to address problem or growth areas. I started doing this for my kids. Recently, I’ve felt the need to bond more with Gianna, my oldest. I’ve noticed that she loves drawing and she especially enjoys when we do it together. While my other 2 kids are napping in the afternoon, I’ve been more intentional about drawing with Gianna. What surprised me was how much I love it. There’s something about the crayons and paper that slows me down, relaxes me, and brings me a lot of joy.

six. The cooler weather always makes me want to turn on the stove and make soup. Goop has several recipe ideas, here and here, that make me feel all warm and cozy.

seven. Later today, I’m taking a duckling, fireman, and princess up to San Francisco for a Halloween party. I love any chance I get to head up to the city. Happy weekend everyone!

Linking up with This Ain’t the Lyceum.

My Skincare Routine


October 14, 2016 by Sarah

If you follow along here at all, it’s pretty clear that I’m really into gardening and cooking. What I haven’t shared as much yet is my interest in skin care. I think I get it from my mom, growing up I always tagged along as she got her creams and other skin products from various make-up counters. Starting in my 20’s I started using a daily moisturizer with SPF and an eye cream, but then I really got into it after our family’s visit to South Korea 2 years ago. I picked up a number of products during that trip, and since then I started following a few blogs and different sites to learn more. It’s a little bit of a rabbit-hole and more recently, I haven’t been following or reading much of anything. But, I have my little routine going. Curious? Here’s what my routine looks like.



In the mornings, I keep it really simple. I splash my face just with water, and after it’s dry, I use Misscha Essence Sun Milk. It’s SPF 50 and very light. If I remember, I put a little dab of eye creme under my eyes and a little dusting of bareMinerals foundation.



Things get a little more involved at the end of the day. I use the double cleanse method which has worked really well for me in getting my face very clean. I start with an oil based cleanser, I have this one and this one that I alternate between. I follow with this foaming cleanser, and if I need it, remove any lingering eye make up with makeup remover.

Ideally a few times a week, I exfoliate. After my face is clean, I use this as a sort of toner and follow with a moisturizer and eye cream.

Not all of the night routine happens every night! Sometimes I just use the foaming cleanser and call it good and maybe I’ll remember to moisturize.

If you’re interested, a couple helpful places to read more about skin care are Soko Glam, Goop, and Gal Meets Glam.



  • Im forever wishing that we grew more snap peas! Thehellip
  • This to me right now is comfort in a bowlhellip
  • I have so many favorite little nooks in our gardenhellip
  • A new thing I tried this year was giving myhellip
  • The best part of the roast chicken the carrots andhellip
  • Somehow I managed to not kill the rhubarb that Ihellip
  • We harvested out first batch of shelling peas yesterday Thehellip
  • Our grapevines are really taking off this year These arehellip
  • My favorite local farmers market opened up this month andhellip
  • Spotted a little friend at the farmers market These beetshellip
  • Radishes plucked out of the ground about 20 minutes agohellip
  • One of my projects on my to do list hashellip

At a Glance

  • DSC_8242
    3 Easy Korean Sides
  • DSC_6022
    My Meeting with a Stylist
  • DSC_4938
    Capellini with Tomatoes + Basil
  • IMG_0751
    Cloth Diapering 101