Small patio inspiration

Sources: Accent table / ChairsOutdoor rug / String lights

First posted on July 15, 2020. Updated on September 23, 2020.

My husband and I have lived in our current apartment for almost two years. It’s our second home together and the first one with an outdoor patio. I like the idea of having an outdoor space, but truth is we hardly ever spend time out there. The main thing we’re getting out of is the valuable storage space of having a shed that came with the apartment. That is pretty helpful!

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3 tips for small kitchen living


I’ve lived in my apartment for almost two years now and spend a lot of my time in the kitchen, so I thought it was about time to share my top 3 tips for working with a small kitchen space.

If you’re moving out on your own for the first time, moving into a new space, or organizing your existing space don’t feel like you have to organize and buy all the kitchen tools at once. That’s certainly not what I did. You can add on naturally according to your needs and lifestyle.

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5 simple tips for getting dishes done


I love cooking and baking and pretty much everything related to that, EXCEPT doing the dishes. Does anyone love washing dishes? Sometimes it can be relaxing. But more than anything it’s a chore that can’t be ignored.

When I was a kid (and even teenager and young adult), I wasn’t always the best about doing the dishes. My mom was not happy about that. She had to remind me to clear my plate from the table. I would sometimes rather do homework that wasn’t due soon instead of do the dishes. And that was back when I lived in a home with a dishwasher.

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Feels like home to me

Myself in May 2015

One time when I was about seven years old, I thought I would be silly and pretend I could read fortunes for my older sister and her friends. I don’t remember what I said to her friends, but I remember that I did my teenage sister’s fortune last and what I said made her upset.

I told her that when she grew up she would live in a trailer in a parking lot right on the beach and she would own a seashell shop. She felt hurt that I told her she would live in a trailer because that wouldn’t be successful. But I thought it sounded cool and fun. She would get to go to the beach every morning.

Now that I’m 24 years old and a grown up (I guess), I live in an apartment only a mile from the beach. It feels like a dream come true, even though I don’t actually go to the beach every morning and I still haven’t learned to surf.

My boyfriend and I have an ongoing joke that I’m a “beach babe” because I love the beach so much. I can’t say it without laughing because it’s just weird to call myself a babe. More than just living by the beach and living with my boyfriend, it feels so good to actually feel at home in my new home. It’s no longer just my boyfriend’s apartment that was only his for a year before I moved in, it’s mine now too.

Moving, transitions and change are a pain, at least for me. Moving involves not just moving stuff and where you live. As an adult, it includes changing your mailing address, your billing address and your address with the Department of Motor Vehicles. It involves some redecorating. It could involve starting a new job, or two in my case.

Santa Monica really feels like home now and it’s a good feeling. I recently had the chance to show my mom and older sister some of my favorite places around the city. I asked my sister what she wanted to see and she said something like “I don’t know, it’s your city.” It’s still funny to me that I’m living in a city that’s unfamiliar to them, although it’s still in Southern California. By the way, that’s a photo of Mom on the Santa Monica pier below.

Feels like home

The real moment I knew I felt at home was when I was talking to a close friend on the phone a few weeks ago and she asked me “When was the last time you went home.” I had to think about it for a few seconds because I was standing in the bedroom of my apartment at the time. I was home. But she meant when was the last time I was at my old (or other) home with my family. It had actually only been a few days. Just a few months before I had been thinking of my family’s home in Covina as my home and Santa Monica as my second home. It took some time after moving for the two to switch in my head.

I’m so excited to be a resident of the city of Santa Monica, explore what it has to offer and take part in it. I’ve been absent from this blog for too long, but i’ve got photos and videos coming just waiting to be uploaded. So, I’ll be back here again soon. Happy living.

My cookbook collection

corner of the kitchen

Growing up, I always wondered why mom had so many cookbooks, yet another one would always show up on her Christmas and birthday wishlists. She’s such a good cook and she doesn’t always use a cookbook when she’s making dishes. Sometimes what she’s making is so simple or she’s made it so many times, that no recipe at all is required. Or, a lot of times she will pull out one of her recipe binders with tattered papers of various sizes — cut outs from magazines and newspapers, notebook paper with handwritten recipes from close friends and printouts of emails from family members.

Now I get the obsession, if you will. It’s not about wanting to cook every single thing in a cookbook, but rather getting inspiration from a variety of talented people with different interests and specialties.

I guess what it comes down to is that when you’re into cooking like my mom is, and I have become, you want to use every available resource to get good food on the table for your family.

Here are the cookbooks in my current collection:
Fast & Simple
Cookshelf Chinese
The Cookbook of the United Nations
The Portlandia Cookbook
The Everything College Cookbook

Shoutout to my friend Mina who got me the first two on this list. :) The cookbooks “Meatless Dishes in Twenty Minutes” and “Cheap. Fast. Good!” shown in the photo are actually my mom’s and I’m just borrowing. Also, as you can probably tell from the title, The 12 Bottle Bar is a cocktail book and that doesn’t count as a cookbook.

And here’s what’s on my cookbook wishlist:
Huckleberry: Stories, Secrets, and Recipes From Our Kitchen
The Kitchn Cookbook: Recipes and Kitchens from Apartment Therapy

Do you have cookbooks and use them regularly or do you find yourself more often searching the internet for recipes? A bit of both? Are there any cookbooks on your wishlist? I’d love to hear!

My new home

Santa Monica palm trees

Santa Monica pier

Santa Monica ferris wheel

Santa Monica pier 2

Hello, hello! It’s past midnight on a work night, but I just wanted to check in and share some photos from my new home.

I still find it hard to believe that I live within walking distance of the beach. This is seriously a childhood dream come true! Considering that, though, I should really go there more often. I should make it a goal to go to the pier, shore and/or walk along the sand at least once a week.

Santa Monica sure is pretty! It’s very inspiring.

P.S. Speaking of goals, I’m going to get a post up soon about how I did with my 24 before 24 list. As of Groundhogs Day, I’m 24 years old and getting older all the time. As Ferris Bueller said, “Life goes pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Back up again after a busy week

After about a week of no posts, I’m back to blogging. The past seven days have been fairly busy, but fun. I just wrote a post about what I did each day and I accidentally closed the tab right as I was coming to the end, but before I had saved it. Does that ever happen to any of you?

Well, here is just a little of what I have been up to since my first post last week when I promised a post every day. That goal should be more realistic now that I am done moving from my apartment to my mom’s house.


On Friday, the day after I started this blog, I moved from the apartment I had been living at all school year (that’s nine months!) to the house my mom, aunt and older sister have been living in. My sister and I are sharing a room since the first time since I was 9 years old and she was 12 or about that. On Monday, my mom got me a new dresser from a coworker to help give me more space. She is so sweet!


This is my boyfriend Paul and me at El Torito Mexican restaurant on Saturday for our school newspaper’s end of the year banquet. Thanks to the copy editor, Charlina Allen, for the photo. He was the multimedia editor for The Poly Post, Cal Poly Pomona’s independent student newspaper, and I was the news editor. On Sunday, he graduated from Cal Poly Pomona  and I sat with his family as we cheered him on. It was a good weekend!


This is an amazing dessert creation by my aunt Georgia. She brought a pan of these delicious things over last night when she and my uncle Paul (one of the many Pauls in my life) came over for dinner.