Fun with paper fish

I recently finished a paper koi pond at work (looks pretty cool right ?)


The message in the “pond” spells 福 or the chinese charector for blessings. The fact that I made this charactor using fish is important for cultural reasons; the chinese word for fish “鱼” is a homonym for the surplus “馀”.
All in all, this particular pond represents my wishes for a surplus of blessing in the coming new year.

I found the template for the fish over at this blog. There are also a lot of other fun 红包 or red envelope craft ideas and tutorials on the page too!

The instructions use fun colored “ang pow” these are the red envelopes children receive during Chinese New Year. I didn’t have a huge stack of these envelopes laying around when “inspiration struck” so I used some left over wrapping paper. I recommend using a heavy weight wrapping paper but anything will work – even left over coloring pages.
If you have a design in mind, you can make more fish at once by stacking pages on top of each other and cutting 3-4 fish at once. More the merrier, definitely applies!


Once the fish are made apply tape to the bottom of the fins and tail to atrach them any surf you like.

One or two fish look really cool, too! I taped these two to the middle of our conference  table. The table looks much cooler now 😉


I would love to see your fish ponds, too. Happy fishing !!


Royals Win the World Series

The Royals just won the World Series!!!! I am so excited and proud and buzzing with the need to celebrate.


I’m sharing a Free Printable with the internet so everyone can celebrate with me!!!  Link to the file is below:

Royals 2015 Pennants

(FYI – I don’t really get baseball, but the excitement in KC is totally contagious!)

How are you celebrating “the win” ?

Traveling like a Pro

I finally have enough miles behind me to contribute my own “travel like a pro” article!  Proceed with caution…….

I’m heading to China for a 2 week business trip tomorrow morning and I still haven’t packed yet.  Here’s why I’m not freaking out:

Packing only takes 45 mins.    Seriously.

I’ve learned to pick my favorites and haul them with everywhere and anywhere. Here’s how I do it.

Plan ahead:  Sometimes international travel gets sprung on me ( thanks, bossman! ) but usually I have enough time to lookup the weather and schedule for the trip.  This is important to know for what goes into the suitcase.

Know  baggage limits: Most airlines have an option to  “calculate baggage allowance” if you click on their baggage policy.   My standard set is 1 CarryOn Suitcase (a purple fauxcroc roller that’s 22″x14″x10″ ) and 1 large Duffle/Weekender ( Coach has great, affordable, and Large leather totes in the Mens store. I totally Approve!).

Pick Appropriate Favorites:  I love sheath dresses for work – the shape is work appropriate and it works for dinners too. The best thing is, designers produce this shape in all sorts of fabrics, colors, and lengths!

China is still in the height of its summer so I’m sticking to Black dresses ( I KNOW I’m going to sweat. Let’s make sure no one can tell where I am sweating, yes? ) I prefer to pack dresses made of cotton jersey because they can be rolled, wrinkles release overnight, and they stretch! (Bloating happens – don’t be caught with clothes that won’t fit )  The best part?  Jersey dresses are easy to wash and usually dry over night. Yay, for recycling 1 article outfits!

I don’t usually pack any chic clothes for the weekends on these trips; a couple of tees and a pair of jeans pretty much does the trick. Sometimes I’ll pack a dress I just bought( or overalls- they’re super comfy and fun) , but never one of my fav weekend outfits. It’s probably out of fear that I might lose them, but it could be that I just know I’ll be too tired to dress nicely on my days off.  I also pack 2 empire waist jersey/cotton dress to sleep in; they are comfy and double as weekend clothes if need be.

Packing Tip: I fold my dress in half width wise, then in half length wise, and roll.  I wear one set of “weekend” clothes for the plane ride ( so I’m not packing the jeans into the suit case ) and reserve on set of “sleep” clothes for my duffle ( just in case of extended delays or lost luggage ).

Shoes: There’s no way to beat it, just pack cute flats.  I used to strut around in heels for appearances sake, but I have found that no one cares.  In fact, wearing heals kinda scares some peoples out in the field.  my go to set is 1 pair black flats, 1 pair white/neutral flats, 1 pair showering shoes(plastic or rubber slippers), 1 pair sandles/heels.

Packing Tip: I place my shoes clear zippered bags ( sheets and bed linens are usually sold in these – so keep them! ) I usually wear one pair of flats and carry my showering shoes in my duffle ( I’ll switch to my showering shoes on the plane )

Personal Hygiene: I’m a subscription box addict, so I’ve got travel sizes of everything! (except toothpaste, no one ever sends tooth paste…….)  I usually just through my latest birchbox or PopSugar Must Have “winning” into my doppe kit ( also from a sub box ) and call it a day.  I do have a few favorites that always go with me, though:

Lait, Creme Concentre, Embryolisse:  If I could take only one “liquids, gels, or aerosols” it would be this!  A wonderful moisturizer that can be applied as a mask on the plane, night creme, primer, and lotion.  This is probably the reason why I look so stellar in my travel pics ;D

Stainiac, The Balm: this is a light weight thin rosy tint for lips, cheeks, and even as an eye color ( it works really well as an all in one )

Packing Tip: all of my “liquids, gels and aerosols” goes into my personal item ( this makes TSA inspection much easier )  Medications and Sheet masks should also come out in a bag.

Electronics and Accessories: I don’t carry a laptop, just a tablet – for fun, my phone – for work and a trip specific notebook. (most of my work on these trips is making sure my boss sticks to his schedule and keep a record of any changes as we go – so the written word is my friend) so I have it pretty easy on this front but I would like to mention the “chord taco” – these guys keep all of my wire neat enough to slide into my tablet case.

Packing Tip: electronics and their accessories should be in your carryon/personal item.  Many countries prohibit any electronic devices ( including power cords and batteries ) inside checked baggage. China, specifically, requires all electronic devices and accessories be scanned by airport security, separate of other items.

**Update:  On this trip to China, I found out that Mobile Batteries or Phone Chargers MUST have the volts, charging amps and storage capacity printed on the device. ( if it’s not there, you are asked to surrender the device – goodbye adorable blue mobile battery)

That’s it!

Happy travels, everyone!

I’m off to pack ^^

I’m a Birchblogger! – Chapstick Review

Ooooo!  So, I guess I’m a birchblogger……( accidents happen all the time ^^)

So,  last week i received some of Chapstick’s newest products to test out! These are the duel end “hydration lock” chapsticks that have been floating about the interweb.

They were overnighted in a fedex envelop! ( Sniff…I kinda miss getting official looking mail …. sniffle)

First Impressions: These guys look really cool, The size is one “cap” longer than a normal stick of chapstick.  The night and day Chapstick was the one I was most interested in trying out so I started there.  I was totally thinking ” Oo, now I won’t missplace my chapstick anymore, because I’ll always have it on me!” um….oops?

Product Impression:  I haven’t noticed any big differences in the formulas both of these feel a lot like the 8hr Hydration lock chapstick that Birchbox sent out last winter.  The “night time” formula smells better though, It might have some lavender in it.   Extra Point, the hydration lock formula absorbs into the lips by morning so there’s none of that awkward scrubbing before brushing my teeth.  The “day time” formula boasts some SPF but it’s so little, that there’s practical protection. I would look into coola or supergoop for a lipbalm with more spf power.

My issues:  So Now that I have a night and day chapstick, I want to use it – night and day, but the design ( which was the coolest concept ever! ) became the limiting factor.  When I carry the chapstick in my purse I used it during the day, but at night I would forget about the chapstick since it was in my purse.  Or If I used it at night, I wouldn’t think to grab it in the morning when I headed out for work.  Sigh…..I would need 2 sticks of Night and Day chapstick to use it both at night and during day – which defeats the point( and leads me to the same problem I have now….so much chapstick, but never one when I want it. )

Final Verdict: The hydration lock formula is awesome – I would buy it from the store if my boxes magically stopped sending out sample of lipbalm.  I totally used up the chapstick samples from Birchbox last winter ( I started with 4…and I’m down to the last 2 ) – but this duel end stuff is just too gimicky for me. When I start traveling again for work, these will be a god-send – I can just tell.  For everyday use – I’ll pass.



Moon Cakes!

Once a year my house turns into a bakery – for moon cakes!  Yomyomyomyomyom ^^

What ARE moon cakes?  Well, moon cakes are a seasonal ( ready extra starchy ) pastry that typically contains a yummy center wrapped in a cake or pastry crust.  See below for pics of awesomeness – my mom really outdid herself this year!

My family prefers the flaky crust so most of our moon cakes are the pastry variety instead of the cake – but that means  even the “N/G” moon cakes look really cool!.

The red marks  you see on the pastries are part of a  growing bakery tradition.  Long ago, the choices for fillings were kinda slim, but people still had preferences for Red bean vs Mung Bean vs Lutus paste and etc.  So there’s a system for marking these traditional pasteries ( ie. if it’s mung bean filling then 1 dot, if it’s read bean filling than 3 dots) But as bakeries and households started to come up with new flavors or mixes of flavors they started adding new stamps into the mix. But here’s the catch; once you have a new pastry and you mimic the flavor you still use the same shape!  ” how bazaro is that !?!”

There’s some mythical and Practical history behind the continued emphasis on moon cakes during the mid Autumn season, but it’s kind of boring. ( Watch Moon Fairy ( 2003 ) starring Fann Wong and her husband Chris Fong )


Happy Mid-Autumn Moon !

Woot! it’s Mid-Autumn Moon!  Happy roundest moon of the year everyone!

Laundry list of what this day means to me:

1. Moon Cakes! ( pics in separate post )

2. Binge-ing on really bad ” 嫦娥奔月 ” TV shows and Movies

3.Mom’s Birthday ( but I always forget….hm….)

4.  Grandma’s Birthday ( but I  always forget….um…..)

Eep! ::: Runs away to * Make* Phone* Calls* ; D :::::