Friday, February 25, 2011

* Happy 100 *

Happy 100th Birthday Grandpa

Based on the Chinese calendar my grandpa would have been 100 today.
Of all people, I wish I would have gotten to meet him... know him. He sounded like a great man.  A man of true compassion, patience, integrity and love. He put many lives before his own and loved his family immensely.

One of my favorite past times with my dad is hearing all of his memories of my grandpa. When we went to visit Taiwan a couple months ago, I remember standing in front of the store that used to be my grandpa's clinic and just closing my eyes. I wanted to envision scenes from the stories I've collected throughout the years from family members: where my grandpa would see his patients... how he would call his kids after a long day's worth of work to go down the block for some chua bing (shaved ice)... where my dad and uncle would play on the streets with the neighborhood children and my grandma would come out by the doorway to call them in for dinner.

That's a world that I'll never know but yet it's apart of me. It's in my blood. It's who I am. And for that alone, I'm truly grateful.

Thank you Grandpa. 
Happy Birthday. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

* Happy Love Day *


Ami Octo sending its valentine to

because 8 legged sea creatures are allowed to have crushes too!


Valentine's Day Out of the Box Gift Ideas: #7

You've Got Mail

On a scale of 1 - 10 (10 being the highest)
Time: 2
Difficulty: 1
$$: 1-5
Effectiveness: 10
Aww: 10

So here we are. The last day of this week's Out of the Box Gift Ideas for your someone special. And of course I've saved the most simple yet still smile worthy video for last. When it doubt, take it back to the basics and hand pick from nature. Pick her some flowers. Not buy. Pick. And create a homemade bouquet with a tiny bow to tie it all together. 

Another idea: go out to the beach and fill a glass container with some sand & hand pick sea shells.

Or you can take the hand drawn card idea and deliver it with a smile and hug

Background info: None. Just enjoy :]

- I love daises
- You told me

Happy. Love. Day.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

* When You Know *

Valentine's Day Out of the Box Gift Ideas: #6


On a scale of 1 - 10 (10 being the highest)
Time: 4
Difficulty: 3  
$$: 1-5
Effectiveness: 10
Aww: 10

I apologize for yesterday's jam packed entry. I had so much to share and felt like if I didn't squeeze it all in there last night, it might be cutting it a little too close to Monday. Therefore I'll keep today's idea semi-short and sweet. 

There are gifts that people know they want and some that they never even knew existed but would love to have. Then there are those gifts that fall right in the middle. Something that they've secretly been wanting but for some reason just haven't found the "right" one/type. For example, I've been searching for a simple messenger bag. Yet I still haven't been able to find the one that fits me and my style. But once I see it, I'll know.

Background info: Jonathan Trager met Sara Thomas by chance. They didn't know anything about each other (other than their first names) but they knew instantly that things just clicked between the two of them. However the timing wasn't right so they decided to test fate. They each wrote their contact info on random objects ($5 dollar bill and a book that would be sold to an unnamed bookstore) and sent them off into the universe. If Jonathan and Sara were truly meant to be, these objects would find their way to the other person and their love story would continue. But after much time had passed and much effort had been put in to find Sara's book, Jonathan had given up hope and was prepared to marry his fiance. That is until fate stepped in...

Serendipity is one of my most favorite romance movies and I've must have watched it a bajillion times. And I promise you, this scene gets me every single time ...even till this day. The moment he tears open the wrapping to reveal the book, my heart stops. Then as he very slowly flips to the page to see if it's THAT book he's been searching and wanting with all his being and it turns out to be the exact one... seriously.. GOOLDEN! And of course they bring it all home with Shawn Colvin's - When You Know. I mean, how can you not be teary-eyed at the end of that scene?

When you feel in your skin in your bones and the hollow
Of your heart, there's no way you can wait till tomorrow.
When there isn't any doubt about it once you come this close
Cause you know and you know that you know. 

i believe.

* The Spin *

Valentine's Day Out of the Box Gift Ideas: #5

Stranger Than Fiction

On a scale of 1 - 10 (10 being the highest)
Time: 5
Difficulty: 5
  $$: 1-5
Effectiveness: 8
Aww: 9

Taking yesterday's gift idea & tip one step further, put an unexpected spin or surprise to the gift and/or delivery of the it. If she loves photography, try taking her to a place where there's a beautiful setting and spend the entire day taking photos & creating memories together. Hello Kitty lover? Bake her a cake/cupcakes in the shape of HK then double it up by giving her the pan as a gift. Cake pans/molds available on Amazon. Is she a huge nature lover? Try growing some flowers in mini pots and plant her a garden of her own. You can even go a step further and pretty it up by painting the pots (perhaps to spell out her name).

Don't worry, there are plenty of more ideas below. But first, the inspirational video for your enjoyment :]

Background info: Harold Crick had the unpleasant job of auditing Ana's bakery shop. Their relationship started off awkward and a bit hostile. But of course, feelings start to develop on Harold's side. He takes what would have been a "typical" gift to express his interest and gives it an unconventional yet super sweet spin. Love love love the utilization of multi color tape on each of the "flowers"<3

"Because I want you"

The Spin:
It's actually not that difficult. Just follow these 3 steps and you're on your way to writing your own stories of "aww" that will be forever talked about.

1.) Think of all her hobbies/likes/needs
2.) List out all possible gift options based on those categories. It's ok if the gifts seem typical. You just need a jumping off point for step 3
3.) Take the best ideas and think of unexpected ways to present them or an interesting twist you can do with your typical gift ideas

Yes step 3 can seem daunting which is why I've included real life examples of past gifts/delivery of gifts that I've personally done and that my friends have received:

- Bought tickets to football game. Took wooden cubes from Michael's Craft Store, arranged them in different shapes and painted clues of the present on all 6 sides


- Bought tickets to a concert. Encased the tickets in a food saver vacuum sealer and taped it inside of the box of my friend's favorite popsicle. When she opened it, she thought she had won a prize which was actually the tickets. Surrrpriise!
- Arranged a scavenger hunt of clues to a birthday weekend extravaganza. One gift included tickets to the Blue Man Group show and here was the clue:

Wooden men from Michael's
with a bit of black/blue paint

-  A girlfriend of mine was obsessed with a particular indie singer. So her bf reached out to the singer and asked him to record a personalized song just for her
- Another girlfriend loves loves loves Disney Princess movies. On one of her dates, the guy rented out a small theater and had them play Sleeping Beauty (her favorite princess movie) exclusively for them

Enough examples. It's your turn.
Go forth and spin away. You have 2 more days!

Friday, February 11, 2011

* Leave Her Speechless *

Valentine's Day Out of the Box Gift Ideas: #4

While You Were Sleeping

On a scale of 1 - 10 (10 being the highest)
Time: 6
Difficulty: 5
  $$: 1-5
Effectiveness: 8
Aww: 9

Some guys underestimate the effectiveness of listening or paying attention to what's really important to the girl. A lot of times, a simple token is all it takes to make her speechless. So dig deep into that chest of mental notes you've secretly taken and put them to good use. 

Background info: Lucy started with a fantasy crush on Mr. Perfect Peter who was a stranger she observed from her work everyday. One day she saved him from being crushed on the train tracks but he fell into a deep coma. From there Lucy struck up a close relationship with Peter's family, especially his brother Jack. She soon realized that she was falling in love with Jack for his genuine and down to earth nature. It's hard not to when he surprises her with a snow globe of Florence, Italy... a place where she quietly mentioned to Jack that she dreams to visit one day.

Skip to 5:41

[Note]: When a woman looks at you with those eyes and that expression, you know you've done something incredibly right ^^

Thursday, February 10, 2011

* Locket of Awesomeness *

Valentine's Day Out of the Box Gift Ideas: #3

The Illusionist

On a scale of 1 - 10 (10 being the highest)
Time: 10
Difficulty: 10
  $$: 5
Effectiveness: 10
Aww: 9

All she wanted was a picture of him. So he used his distinctive talents to make her something only he could give her. Tip: The gifts you give don't have to be super fancy or out of this world beautiful. To us, what really matters is that whatever is given is exclusive and personal. Exclusive and personal for us and only us and from you and only you.

Background info: Young Eisenheim is a learning illusionist from a poor background. He falls in love with Sophie who is from a well to do family and their love is forbidden but true. To symbolize this, Eisenheim crafts the most awesome locket of all time which she keeps and wears every day until that fateful time when their paths cross again.

Edward Norton <3 <3 <3
sans the facial mullet :/

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

* How to Turn a No into a Yes! *

Valentine's Day Out of the Box Gift Ideas: #2

How I Met Your Mother

On a scale of 1 - 10 (10 being the highest)
Time: 10
Difficulty: 7
  $$: 1 - 4
Effectiveness: 10
Aww: 10

This bit from HIMYM made me smile and giggle like a silly little schoolgirl after I watched the episode for the first time. I think I rewatched it like 50 times. That's how much I was touched by the originality and true thoughtfulness of Ted's gesture. He did utilize the "dinner and a movie" package HOWEVER he took and customized it especially for Stella and her busy schedule. 

Background info: Ted had been trying to ask out Stella for a while but she just kept coming out with those typical excuses as to why she should say no. But when Ted realized just how much he really wanted this date with her, he decided not to take no for an answer.

"And that is how you turn a no into a yes."

Coming from a girl, I definitely wouldn't be able to say no to a real date after
such an amazing preview :]

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

* Challenge Accepted: Vday Gift Ideas Extended Ver. *

After reading yesterday's post, my friend blatantly informed me that more examples are needed. I guess my tips just didn't suffice. 
Ok. No worries.
Challenge: accepted.

Here we go. Each day this week, I'll post up one of my top favorite movie/tv  "awwww" moments that you can use to mold and shape for your own valentine. I was going to do a backwards countdown of my top 7 moments but I figured I should probably start with the more difficult/time consuming ones. That way you'll have more time to emulate. And for you procrastinators, I'll end the week with TRULY simple yet sweet acts of affection that might just save you from meeting your <3 empty handed.

Valentine's Day Out of the Box Gift Ideas: #1


On a scale of 1 - 10 (10 being the highest)
Time: 10
Difficulty: 8
 $$: 1
Effectiveness: 10
Aww: 10

This movie moment cleverly covers all 4 tips in the most unique fashion. And of course, it's thought of and executed beautifully by... a lady. Definitely one of my top favorite movies. Witty storytelling. Every scene/every line is pure magic. Watch it.

Background info: Amelie retrieves Nino's album full of discarded photobooth pictures of random strangers he collects and tapes together. She is intrigued by his peculiar hobby and falls for him. Amelie comes up with a carefully planned maze to return the album to Nino and leaves him wondering in amazement who this mystery woman is.

-I don't even know her
-You do
-Since when?
-Since always. In your dreams...

And because I can't resist, here's another favorite scene from the movie that doesn't really relate to the topic at hand but it's worth watching.

continued on at 1:50...

"Amelie has a strange feeling of absolute harmony. It's a perfect moment. Soft light, a scent in the air, the quiet murmur of the city. She breathes deeply. Life is simple and clear. A surge of love, an urge to help mankind comes over her."

See you tomorrow xoxo

Monday, February 7, 2011

* I Choo-Choo Choose You *

Being that Valentine's day will be upon us soon, I wanted to post something that might encourage you this year to embrace the beauty of simplicity instead of racking your brains out on what grand gesture to show your significant other.

Out of all the vdays I've actually celebrated with someone, this self made card tops them all.

click for larger view

As you can plainly see, it's as simple as you can get. Pencil drawing on regular computer paper complimented with a standard all purpose envelope with my name on it. BAM. That's all he wrote.

So here's the million dollar question. What is the big dealio about this particular card that has stuck with me throughout all these years? Perhaps the following gift giving tips can answer that question.

1.) Select an inside joke, special memory or something unique that is shared only between the two of you and expand on it. And yes, it's always super wonderful when the guy remembers that one tiny detail you mentioned in passing and does something lovely with it.

2.) Not everything has to be sticky icky sweet. Adding some charming wit can produce a genuine smile vs a genuine gag reflex.

3.) Don't do the standard. Unless your gf really loves the chocolates, roses and teddy bears use that brain of yours and try something different. Thinking outside the box is usually what the ladies will remember for a long time. Throwing $$ at the occasion is def not the answer.

4.) The way you present/deliver your creative gift will make a world of difference. Sometimes that itself speaks more than the gift.

At the end of the day, it's really about taking the time to remind someone how much you love and appreciate him/her being in your life. So do just that. Take your time and do something genuinely nice. You never know. She might just take the time to blog about it several years later.

* p.s. That memory box was not included with the card. Just so you know that I'm purely speaking of 'just the card.' See how much I love you all? I actually dug through my keepsake memory boxes (that I haven't opened in years) to find this one card so you can go out and do vday the right way :] *

You have one week.
Impress her socks off

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

* RAWR *

Yay! My new lovely love finally arrived :D
Yessir the Sony Nex 5. And ohh weeee it's sexy!

Took him for a spin today. Being that we're still getting to know each other, it was a liiiittle awkward. It's ok though. With some time, patience and love, I'm confident this relationship will be my most successful yet <3.

Get off me pa pa papa-razzi

I'm taking him on a real date this weekend.
We'll sure to be "clicking" soon (eh eh) ;]
Keep you guys posted of our memories together

p.s. * Happy Lunar NYE *  
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