February 24, 2014

5 Things I Learned in February

Coffee Lego Block

You know you drink way too much coffee when your toddler son brings you a Lego block with a picture of coffee on it and says, "This is for you, Mama!" I was, of course, sipping my morning cup of coffee when this happened. 

The way I enjoy coffee has changed over time. When I was in my early 20s, I used to have my coffee black, then I started adding some milk like cafe au lait right around when I moved to NY. After my first pregnancy though, I couldn't have my coffee without both cream and sugar anymore.

But this has all changed yesterday when I was invited to a brunch at my brother- and sister-in-laws. My brother-in-law made amazing espresso using this. And I'm telling you, this freshly brewed espresso was the BEST thing ever!

Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Espresso Maker

The flavor of the coffee was so rich that I didn't want to add any cream or sugar to it to conceal the bitterness. 

Today, I'm sharing the five things I have learned in February (can you believe it's almost March?), and my newly found love for espresso is the first one. 

1. My new favorite way to drink coffee is freshly brewed espresso without cream or sugar.

2. Cut flowers can grow in a vase, even without much sunlight. 
I brought home a fresh bouquet of tulips last Friday, and somehow they kept growing in a vase over the weekend. When I first arranged the flowers, only less than an inch of green stems were showing, and this is what you see today. 

They grew at least a few inches since I put them in a vase. How is it possible for something to be growing and dying at the same time? Or is this something not that uncommon I just didn't know about? 

3. I'm so bad at writing comments on blogs.  
This is probably the main reason why I rarely left comments on blogs when I was just a reader. I wish I could leave witty and hilarious comments like Stephen Andrew does. At least something witty... or hilarious.

4. I've been working on refining my decorating style and this is what I found out this weekend (and I'm pretty excited about it): I enjoy various patterns and textures as in fabrics, rugs, and tiles, and I like layers of them. I also prefer warm tone over cool. 

I asked Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home her process of refining her decorating style and this is what she said:
I'm always trying to analyze spaces I love to figure out why. Each time I have a little "aha" moment, I just sort of bank it for later.
I'm a big fan of Lauren's design work, so I was excited to get her advice. Thank you, Lauren, for kindly answering my question! 

I used the images from my Pinterest boards and went on analyzing what speaks to me.  

Mary Evelyn McKee

Lauren Liess

Tom Scheerer

image via My Paradissi

These rooms are full of patterns and textures and the soft green hues from natural elements make the rooms feel relaxed. 

Look at this beautiful kitchen Loi Thai of Tone on Tone designed. I can't get enough of the Moroccan tiles he used for the backsplash. This kitchen is a work of art!

Loi Thai, Tone on Tone

I also enjoy simple, minimalistic interiors like this. I'll save this one for my future dream house.

Alexandra and Michael Misczynski, image via Veranda

Do you like the images you see here? If you do, you can follow me on Pinterest for more inspiration.

5. Art is part of who I am, and it's impossible to separate myself from it. 
I seem to sleep and breathe art and design. That's pretty much all I think about throughout the day. I have visions of different shapes and colors with my eyelids still closed when I'm waking up in the morning.

I don't think I can work on oil painting right now just because I don't have a studio to paint (oil paints are stinky), but I'm going to explore other mediums like watercolor and acrylic. 

In the meantime, if I come across any art projects that are easy to do, I would like to share them here. I think it's best when you can make your own artwork to decorate your home. 

I think that's about it for today.

What did you learn in the month of February? I'd love to know! 

* * *
Today I'm linking up with Emily at chatting at the sky for her What We Learned in February.


  1. Haha thank you!
    There is some word for flowers that continue to grow and reach for the light after they are cut...but I can't remember it. We can add that to the list of my failures as a so-called Master Gardener! Regardless the pink tulips look gorgeous in the blue and white!
    I love your style and am excited to see it keep evolving.

    1. Oh I had no idea there is a name for it. So you are a master gardener as well as a master commenter! How did you learn to be good at those things? Because I have no talent whatsoever either in gardening or commenting. Oh wait, my skill is to kill indoor plants quicker than anyone that I know. Thus, cut flowers are my best friend :)

    2. Haha I am definitely not actually a master of gardening but I did the class and do the volunteer hours to call myself one :) but I have always loved gardening. I started when I was six years old! You have enough on your plate as it is with children to take care of...you don't need to add plants to the workload!

    3. My grandma is a master gardener and I would love to be like her some day. I grew up with lots of beautiful plants and flowers around me. When I think of art and design, I usually draw my inspiration from natural elements. The only things I haven't killed (yet) is the lavender garden (love lavenders!) outside of our kitchen (fingers crossed!)

  2. 1. i learned that valentine's day candy bought at 50% off by your spouse, along with half off RED tulips, make me just as happy as they would've if they'd been purchased ON valentine's day.

    2. i learned that keeping a list of things i'm thankful for each day helps me truly see.

    3. i learned that sitting with a long-term project like writing a book is a challenging thing. still, i'm convinced i'm supposed to be about this work, so sitting with it is good.

    4. i learned that i still enjoy being a daughter. spent 6 days with my parents after some surgery my dad had, and it was great to be with them all by myself.

    5. time is going by too fast! how in the ever lovin' world can it be MARCH already?

    1. I love your Five Jenn - Thanks for sharing! I'll be praying for a quick and full recovery for your father. I can't wait to read your book when it's done and published! You have to tell me more about it! ox

  3. coffee & Lauren? Two of my favorite things!

    1. I know! Lauren is awesome! (and so is coffee!) ox

  4. Love your style and beauty and art are part of my DNA too. I'm a big blue and white china fan, love that photo of the tulips. Nice to connect through Emily's link up. A fun way to end a week . . .and month.

    1. Thanks Shelly! And I agree - it sure is a fun way to end a month, and it's also a great way to get to know each other. I really liked your list about Jimmy Fallon :)

  5. Great list. My parents are originally from Cuba, so that exact style coffee maker basically lived on our stove top when I was growing up.

    1. Thank you! I heard the coffee maker is easy to clean up, so I'm contemplating on getting one. It's so delicious that I need to be careful not to over drink it though ;-)

  6. Those tulips are gorgeous and it was so precious that your son brought you a coffee Lego. That put a big smile on my face.

    1. Thank you, Bonita! My little guy brings so much joy in my every day.

  7. I love that quote from Lauren Liess! I've been trying to analyze my Pinterest boards to find out more about what I love in spaces. It's so helpful! Enjoy your tulips - they're gorgeous!

    1. Thank you Helen! Lauren shares many useful decorating tips and philosophies on her blog, if you haven't checked out her website. Pinterest is such a great tool for a visual person (like me) :)

  8. Thanks for joining in, Yuko. And I think you write great comments!

    1. It was so much fun! Will join again :)


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