February 26, 2014

San Luis Obispo

This past weekend we celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary. I guess it's become a tradition of ours to go on mini road trips to celebrate such event :p; this year San Luis Obispo was the chosen destination. Catalina Island and Palm Springs were the other two places we visited in past years, in case you're wondering. 

So, Saturday morning we got into the car and drove almost 4 hours up north; we stopped halfway through in Santa Barbara and then continued our journey to lovely SLO. The first spot we visited was Bubblegum Alley; its name is pretty self-explanatory, right?

Yep, pretty gross, but I had to see it. And leave my piece of gum, too, naturally. Why I'm interested in seeing silly stuff like this is beyond me, but I'm lucky to have a husband who understands and is willing to make my wishes come true even when they gross him out, haha.

10 minutes and a bunch of hand sanitizer later, we arrived at Morro Bay and Morro Rock. Unfortunately, we didn't get to see the squirrels, otters and seals that usually hang out there, but we got to enjoy a beautiful sunset and well, we actually did see a few seals but not a whole lot as I had expected. We'll have to come back in spring or summer, I'm fine with that :).


Next stop, the Madonna Inn, but that deserves a post of its own :p. Now let's fast forward to the next morning and the piece of free cake we got at a restaurant when the waitress found out we were celebrating our anniversary. Funny cake toppers, no? Geez, I almost forget that the piece of cheesecake was accompanied by a very awkward sorta poem recited by the waitress herself. Hahaha, that was hilarious! I should've recorded it. I'll have the camera handy when we eat out on our next anniversary.

Also,  it was really neat to drive through the fog. 

Have a wonderful day, everybody!

February 18, 2014

10 tips to DIY envelopes

Hello, everybody! How have you been? I'm still humming the song in the commercial I shared 2 posts ago, temperatures in Southern California have remained pretty high (in the 80s) and oh, yes, I've enjoyed the heck out of this long weekend :p. Ok, my kind of fun might be different from the one in your dictionary, I shall warm you. All I did was eat, watch movies on Netflix and craft a whole lotta DIY envelopes; there's something so therapeutic about going through old magazines, cutting, folding and gluing, isn't there? Hey, I'm not kidding! There is :). 

All right, so my envelopes may not be as good as the ones you see in other blogs, but I thought I could share some tips of things I've learned along the way. So, here are my 10 tips to DIYing envelopes. You'll see very little washi tape, I promise!

1.- Use magazines and why not maps, too, to make your basic envelope. Iron pages and/or maps if they're not perfectly flat (as long as there's no plastic material in them!).

2.- Embellish your envelopes with scraps from magazines, doilies, origami paper, gift tags, washi tape, label makers.

3.- Use craft punches or even a hole-punch to create your own stickers. I always keep the sticker pages that come in some magazines (these are all from Lucky and Domino).

4.- Stencils come in handy if you want to add some color.

5.- You can also use paper bags and pop corn bags if you don't feel like folding your own envelopes. I'm even re-purposing an old mate bag.

6.- Write the recipient's information on name tags, any kind of sticky paper or paint swatches.

7.- When gluing, make sure you spread the adhesive evenly and in small amounts to prevent bubbles; I always use a cotton swab. When glue won't do (i.e. when you use glossy paper), choose double-sided tape instead. If I send an envelope overseas, I typically "laminate" it with thick tape, the heavy duty one from Scotch has turned out the best for me.

If your envelope is not going too far, some regular tape on the sides should do.

8.- I sometimes don't use an envelope at all! I write my letters in cardboard or paper that's not flimsy and put the pages in cellophane bags (these are meant to protect magazines). Zip Lock bags work wonderfully, too.

9.-  If the stationery is not cute enough, you can make embellish it by adding die cuts and confetti. Stick the address label on the bag and not the stationery so that no information is accidentally covered with confetti/die cuts.

10.- Use bubble wrap to make envelopes (smooth surface outwards). 

There are so many options out there! You don't need to buy yards of washi tape or boring manila envelopes.

If you print your own mailing labels at home, make sure you read your mailing company's rules to meet their requirements in terms of size and what-not. Fortunately, USPS lets you ship pretty much anything :p.

And the most important tip: go check your local library to see if they have a book sale area, guys! Libraries (at least in America) want to get rid of old, obsolete stuff as soon as possible, so they usually let go of material for really cheap and even for free; I'm telling you because I work at a library and I'm in charge of the book sale :p. There's tons of material that is donated to us and we put up for sale - books (naturally), DVDs, CDs, journals, vinyls ... We let people take magazines for free (ever wonder why I have such a huge collection? haha). I've taken so many things out of the recycling bin! The white sticky lines on some of the envelopes and set of maps, just to name a couple. A bunch of stuff gets trashed because they don't think there's a market for them, but you and I know that we can re-purpose pretty much anything ;), so go ahead, don't be shy and talk to the librarian in your closest library to see if he/she gives you access to their "trash" and find out if there's a book sale ;). In my library, we have a buck-a-bag sale quarterly; so if you're ever in Ontario, California, come by, hehe.

For more posts about stationery and mail-related topics, you can click the following links:

Thanks for reading! ;D

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

February 11, 2014

Colon Theater

One of my favorite outings while I was in Buenos Aires was my visit to the Colon Theater, one of the best theaters in the world because of its acoustics and artistic value. It's over 100 years old now and and it a must-go if you're ever a tourist in Buenos Aires.

Back in the day when I was in university, I used to go see musicians play for only 2 pesos to kill time between classes. I'd been there a handful of times to see opera as well, but this was my first time seeing professional ballet. It was such a wonderful experience! So moving. I have to thank my best friend Val for having purchased the tickets to Swan Lake months in advanced.

This theater is very strict when it comes to starting shows on schedule. We got off the elevator 20 seconds after the band started playing (20 seconds!), so we weren't allowed to take our seats until the first interval. The usher kindly offered to take side seats till then or stand on the back where the view was quite good; naturally, we chose the latter. It's such a formal event, yet accessible to random people like us.


Once the first act was over, we rushed to take our seats, but there were people sitting there very comfortably. They tried to pull a fast one and insisted that those were their seats, but after much arguing, my friend got them to show her their tickets and of course, it turned out their seats were actually farther away. As this was going on, they started dimming the lights and a few seconds later, the second act started.

It was so much nicer to see the show sitting comfortably on the first line. There were padded edges for people to lay on. You can see what I mean on the picture below.

I couldn't help taking an occasional glimpse at the musicians below the stage; watching them do their thing was just as interesting.

I was so moved by the music and the ballet itself that I have to admit that I shed a tear or two during the final act. The main ballerina this day was Japanese :p and she played both the white and the black swan.

If you ever have the chance to visit Buenos Aires, don't miss this place. Even if you don't want to see ballet or opera, there are guided tours both in English and Spanish which I've heard are totally worth it. And maybe before or after you do, you can get something to munch on at a nearby restaurant called Petit Colon, too ;p.


Before I wrap up this post, I'd like to say RIP Leonard Knight. He was the creator of Salvation Mountain, which we had the pleasure to visit in 2012. He died at age 82 this past Monday. If you want to learn more about him and his work, check out this link.

Have a wonderful week, everybody! ;D

February 04, 2014

Find me on Instagram

Today I called in sick; it was my first time doing it in this year and 3 months that I've been working at the library. I feel exhausted even though I have done nothing at all. I've been fighting what feels like a cold ever since I came back from Argentina and it hasn't even been cold in California! I can't help to wonder what my health would be like if I lived on the East Coast.

Enough whining. I am in the comfort of my own home, heater on, kitties warming up my feet, bottle of water on my nightstand, I see a cup of hot cocoa in the near future; I can't really complain.

Anyway, this post is about Instagram or what I like to call my latest distraction. To be honest with you, I fought it; I didn't want to succumb to it because I was already involved in enough social media and at that point, I was getting really sick of facebook. Plus, the fact that it was linked to Iphone users only in the beginning make me not like it even more. Naturally, I got hooked on it in no time, haha. It's more drama-free than facebook, there's not so much tagging or spam, and most importantly, not as many people on it. It lets me share just enough of my life with my workmates (who have no idea I have this blog, by the way).

It's a time-killing activity I do while waiting for my bus to and from work, or when I'm sleepless in bed or whenever I feel like it; it lets me keep up with my favorite bloggers when I have no time to turn on my computer and read their latest posts, it's a simple way to check in with people and (guilty pleasure) to keep up with some celebrities I like (especially since twitter never grew on me). 

I follow Cara and Jamie Oliver and I have fun taking a glimpse at what they do behind the scenes or on the scene.



I follow non-humans as well; Hello_Oskar and Katetsai being my favorite :p. The English captions in the latter are hilarious.


I admire Akimoto Kozue's make-up and cuteness ...

I learned that not only does Jamie Oliver have the cutest kids ever, he also has the dreamiest house that I ever did see. Useless information, I know, but entertaining (I guess?).

However, I did discover a thing or two; things I might actually put into practice, places I now want to make a point to visit and such. I find crafts to do on Pinterest, I check reviews before eating out on Yelp and I save screenshots on Instagram of places I want to go to, mostly restaurants, stores and interesting locations. * Pic below taken from Meiko's IG.

I found out, for instance, that there's a company called Bon Puf (founded by a teenager!)  which provides for gourmet cotton candy for parties.

I accidentally discovered interesting accounts like Ugly Belgian Houses, to name one. 

I've used discount coupons published there and even got stuff for free.

It's more than photos of shoes, food and Kinfolk issues; although I enjoy those, too. 

I'm amused by the fact that some people create their own personal hash tags and that others "steal" them to gain popularity (try #theblondesaladneverstops, haha). 

So, yes, you can find me on Instagram, too. And my cats :p.

What IG accounts do you follow?

One more thing - have you seen this VelBeeta Breakfast Biscuits commercial? I saw it today for the first time and it made me smile :).