December 31, 2012

What I Learned in 2012

2012 has been a year full of life lessons, some more obvious than others. Since graduating back in May, I've learned a lot of things that I wished I had learned years ago. But some of these things are things I learned years ago, but never listened.

Here's a list of the things I learned (in no particular order):

Invest in good clothes – How many times have you spent $20 on something from H&M or Forever 21 and you've maybe only worn/washed it like two times before it started falling apart? Or maybe you just wore it once and you were over it and you realize you never really needed it in the first place. Or (if you're like me) some of that stuff is still sitting in your closet with the tags still on. There's a reason why it's called "fast fashion"…it's not meant to last. That's essentially 90% of my wardrobe from my college years. And most of that stuff has been donated or sold on eBay. It's ok to spend $300 on a good quality (in my case, Hetterson) sweater if you plan on wearing it to death. There's no point in treating expensive clothes like they're precious because then they will never be worth what you spent on them. Good clothes are meant to be worn over and over again. If it's made well from high quality materials, then it should last you for years to come and over time it will be worth all the money you spent on it.

It's OK to change your mind – What you want to do at 26 might not be the same thing you wanted to do at 21…and that's OK! Sometimes what you want to do at 26 happens to be the same thing you've always wanted to do at 17…and that's OK too! Invest time in the things you want to do instead of trying to force yourself to do something you feel obligated to because you feel like you've already invested a lot of time in it. You grow up and life is constantly changing. It's OK for your mind to change with it.

Don't do the kind of work you don't want to get hired to do – This is an obvious one, but it's very easy to be tempted by money and do work you really hate for it. And at the end of it all, you'll have some money to pay the bills for the month but absolutely nothing for your portfolio. People hire you based on the kind of work they see in your portfolio. So if you don't want to do a certain kind of work for a living, don't have it in your portfolio.

Say "No." to clients more often – When you're hired by a client to be the graphic designer on a project, it's not an open invitation for them to ask you to figure out their entire business for them. If they can't tell you in their own words what their business is about, it's a red flag to walk away from the project.

Be Yourself – Totally cliché, but true. You're not doing yourself any favors by trying to be someone you're not. And being yourself is more fun anyways…trying to be someone else is way too stressful.

Support the people who support you – It's a great way to say thank you to the people who gave you a chance when no one else would. And it's a great way to build close-knit communities.

Bake more often – It's fun & delicious!

December 29, 2012

What I Bought Today: 12.29.12

For Christmas, my lovely boyfriend got me a gift certificate to one of my favorite stores: Myrtle. I stopped by today, after Whitney (the owner) had just returned from visiting her family in the midwest. She was having a 20% Off New Year's Sale which made me want to shop my heart out! After trying on several tops and dresses, this is what I left with.

Eve Gravel dress and a Scout & Catalogue Constellation Clutch (which I've been wanting for a very long time).

If you're in the LA area, you should definitely stop by Myrtle. It's one of the best women's boutiques around.

December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas, from Sebastian & Me

Sebastian's been loving the Christmas tree. It's his new favorite place to hang out, and he's been drinking the tree water when we're not looking. Luckily, the Chans don't pour any tree treatment chemicals in the water. We're wishing everyone a warm holiday!

December 23, 2012

For the Sake of Content

I guess I never addressed this because I almost didn't feel the need to, but in case you haven't noticed this blog has migrated back to Blogger (again). For those following along, this blog has moved several times between Blogger, Tumblr, and Wordpress…mostly because I was overthinking everything instead of doing whatever felt the most natural. In the end, I decided to come back to Blogger for many reasons. I wanted to go back to the earlier years when my blog was really about the content. I always felt that with Wordpress I got too obsessed with the way things looked and the way things were structured. I spent more time messing with the CSS than actually writing posts. And with Tumblr, I never could post much original content simply because I knew it would get buried under all the random things on the internet I would be reblogging. I know a bunch of designers who would probably say "Why are you still using Blogger?!" but I don't care. There's nothing really wrong with Blogger anymore. I think people just remember what Blogger was like in the old days and believe that not much has changed since then.



The one thing I will always love about IKEA soft serve is how cheap and simple it is. It's like instant gratification that reminds me of childhood. And how no matter how horrible things get, everything's going to be ok.

I've been sorta taking some time off since returning from San Francisco. It's like recovering from a storm. Renegade Craft San Francisco was a fantastic show…in fact, it was the best show I have ever done! Starting next month, I'm going to start phasing out the knitwear. It was an extremely difficult decision to make, but I decided it wasn't worth all the time I had invested in it. I hardly sell any online through Etsy, but almost always nearly sell out when I do a show like Unique LA or Renegade Craft. I need to move on to something that sells more consistently and something that I also enjoy making. Over the years, I've grown to dread making knitwear. What once was a hobby I loved is now a chore that I loathe. Also, just keeping a yarn stash around so I can fill orders when needed takes up a HUGE amount of space which I don't have. Yarn currently takes up about 50% of the real estate of my room.

I've also been thinking about my job situation, but also enjoying this time away from a day job. But the time is drawing near when I will need to make a decision and just stick with it for a bit…just long enough to afford to move out and get going in a direction.

I have a few things I'm working on right now which I'll talk about soon. But until then, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

December 22, 2012

Bread Pudding Time!

Tonight we're heading over to our friend's place for a Friendsmas Party. It's been a long time since I've made anything for a potluck dinner, so I decided to make Nutella Bread Pudding using King's Hawaiian rolls. The last time I made this delicious dessert was about 3 or 4 years ago for the Nucleus Christmas Party. As you can see below, my iPad mini is my new favorite companion EVERYWHERE. It makes looking at recipes while baking super easy. Target was all out of the classic King's Hawaiian rolls so I just got the mini sub sandwich buns and split them in half.

Baking Day

This bread pudding is actually really easy to make. Just lightly toast some King's Hawaiian rolls, slather some nutella on them, layer a baking dish with them, pour on a custard mixture, then pop them in the oven.

Soaking Up the Custard

Then it comes out of the oven looking mighty delicious.

Deliciously Done

You can find the recipe here on CHOW. I just substituted their bread of choice with King's Hawaiian.

December 19, 2012

Every Day Feels Like Sunday

I just got back from San Francisco yesterday morning at 3am. I've been a bit sluggish since getting back  even though I have quite a few orders to finish and ship. I've been in vacation mode since getting back since it's so close to Christmas, but I know once the holidays are over I have to start looking for a job again. As much as I would like to keep doing the online store full-time, I need a stable income. I also have some pieces I need to work on for the upcoming Bedtime Stories show at Leanna Lin's Wonderland in January.