Pink Masquerade Themed Wedding Inspiration

Friday, August 30, 2013

Photo by Juneberry Photo.  
 Yippee! Masquerade season is finally approaching!  I get a lot of orders for bridal masquerade masks, and it makes me wish I were invited to these fabulous affairs.  What might a masquerade wedding look like? Definitely glamorous and mysterious, with lots of moody candlelight, bubbly champagne, and guests donning sparkly masks of their own. Of course, the bride's mask must be the most spectacular of all. I think a gilded pink color palette would pair perfectly with our delicate watercolor masquerade mask.  

Placesetting via icing designs.
Earrings via.
Stationary via one to wed.
Dress with pink sash via style me pretty.
Wedding shoes via.
Floral cake via emmaline bride.
Masquerade mask via petal and thorn.

Note:  I feel like a masquerade wedding could definitely go the "wrong way."  Avoid Party City's masquerade section and you should be go to go!  Was that snobby?  Hope not ;)


Pre-pregnancy Contract

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sisi is 2 1/2 now, and we finally have that urge to start trying for another baby.  If any of you remember, I had a really hard time adjusting to motherhood.  I may have had undiagnosed Postpartum Depression (or else a really intense and long-lasting case of the baby blues).  In planning for another child, it's not necessarily the childbirth part that freaks me out (it was brutal but also exhilarating, and I am confident in my birthing abilities!)  I'm more freaked out by the thought of those anxiety-ridden newborn months.  I also worry I will feel major guilt for bringing a baby into Sisi's world.  I know a sibling will be good for her, but I do fear the growing pains that come along with it.

Knowing full well that I may refuse help and take on too much in those fragile first months, I've made a contract with myself to accept help.  I drew this contract up now while I'm clear-headed.  I asked Joe to sign it as well, just so he is on the same page :)

My terms:
1.  I get to see an in-home lactation consultant pretty much immediately.  Last time, my doula and midwife thought Sisi was nursing well, but I was in horrible pain and had cracked, bleeding nipples. Turns out, she was sucking me like a bent straw and barely getting anything.  So next time, I'm going straight to the expert to check and make sure things are good in the milk department.

2. Housekeeper will deep clean the house every 2 weeks.  This is a must!  I like a clean, serene environment, especially when my life is chaos.

3.  Babysitter (could just be a family member, friend, or teenager from the neighborhood) will play with Sisi whenever I need a break, or just want one-on-one baby time.  Likewise, I want to be able to spend one-on-one time with Sisi, too, so a loving grandma to watch the baby regularly would be swell!

4.  This time, I won't quit therapy just because my schedule is crazy and unpredictable.  Squeezing in a 50 minute skype or phone session every few weeks is non-negotiable.

5.  Last time, I lived on eggo waffles and frozen yogurt, hardly paleo fare (and hardly conducive to healthy breast milk!) I wonder now if my poor eating contributed to my mood and anxiety issues?  Next time, I'll hire a paleo meal service to bring meals if I'm too worn out to cook.

I realize that these conditions might make me look spoiled or weak, especially to older generations of moms who were able to handle handfuls of kids without much help.  But, I know myself and my limits.  I regret not being able to enjoy Sisi as a sweet newborn because I was so miserable.  If there is anything I can do to help prevent that, I sure will.

But seriously, I look at pictures like these of my precious baby girl, and how could I not want another one??? Such a blessing!


Year 3 without my Dad

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I'm coming up on the third anniversary of my dad's death.  As grief tends to come in waves, I'm feeling the tide rise as we approach his death anniversary.   This year, the grief is manifesting itself a little differently.

I have started to show Sisi a box of pictures of my dad, and told her that is her OG (Other Grandpa). She studies the pictures carfeull, and when she is done looking at them, she says, "Bye bye, Other Grandpa!"  She will never know this man who took his life while she was still in my belly, and that makes me sad.  I know for a fact he would have adored Sisi.  He would also be thrilled that she has a bit of Asian look to her (I remember him being bummed that our kids probably wouldn't look at all Korean.)  She looks so much like him in this picture on the left...

I've become obsessed with North Korea after watching all the NK documentaries I could find on Netflix.   For several weeks, I could barely function as I mourned over North Korean concentration camps and widespread starvation.   What does this have to do with my dad?  Well, my dad was actually born in North Korea.  He escaped by foot to South Korea in 1951 when he was just 4 years old.  Piggyback on his older brother, with his mouth taped shut so he would not cry out.  Not all of his family survived this crossing. The first of many tragedies to befall his family.

My dad was so lucky to escape when he did. He got to come to America, and met my mom, and had 3 kids.  It begs the question, why didn't he make the most of his freedom?  Why could he not wake up everyday and say, "At least I'm not in North Korea anymore!"  But I'm realizing,  just because he physically left that situation doesn't mean he didn't bear the scars.  To a depressed person, anywhere and any situation can feel like Hell.

In grieving over North Korea, my therapist believes I'm grieving over my Dad.  Also, supposedly when you turn 30, it's pretty common to go in search of your heritage.  I guess the 20's are a little bit of a self-centered decade (understandably), but the 30's is one of looking back and seeing your own life in it's bigger context.  So I guess my North Korea obsession isn't that crazy.

Lastly, I've been decluttering to the max.  In one week, I sold or gave away about 40% of my possessions.  I'm also downgrading to a "dumb" phone, and completely getting rid of our home office and everything in it to make way for one more baby (not yet!  but hopefully soon!)  At first I didn't see the connection between decluttering and my Dad, but now it's quite clear. He had delusions of striking it rich, and living that materialistic American dream, but that never happened for him.  He was always comparing himself to his more successful friends.  It seemed like material things could make him happy, but just for a short time.  He was always whispering in my ear that I should become something prestigious like a doctor or lawyer. He even hinted how disappointed he was that I squandered my Berkeley degree to become a florist.  Fortunately, I never let his pressures direct my life. In fact, I hope I'm taking the opposite route.  So anyway, in regards to the decluttering, I'm asking myself, "What will my legacy be? Will Sisi inherit mountains of clutter and shoes and knick knacks, or just the things I really cherish?" With that thought in mind, I've purged anything that I don't use often, and have a renewed sense of appreciation for what we have left. Hopefully I can raise Sisi to be much more than a consumer.  

On the anniversary of my Dad's death, you'll find me eating at this super good Korean BBQ in Irvine. I am so sad that my dad will never know the joy of 20.00 all you can eat Korean BBQ where you have exactly 2 hours to eat all the meat you can devour.  In obedience to him, who always instructed us to go buck wild at buffets, I always eat so much that the waiters start giving me annoyed looks when I exclaim, "I'm just not full yet! Keep it coming!"

Hopefully this post isn't too ranty or random.  Just me trying to process his life and death, which will probably remain somewhat of a mystery to me for as long as I live.


Sisi the Flower Girl

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sisi was a flower girl TWICE this year!  Here is my little princess at my sister-in-law Teresa's wedding. Sisi is a tractor-loving tomboy, but she does like to dress up a lot!  Teresa wanted Sisi to look like a mini-bride, with a veil and everything.  And I think all ring bearers should be required to wear dove-tails and top hat for the comedic value alone.

Her dapper cousin Ronan was the ring bearer.  She was happy to follow him down the aisle.

And then she kissed him!  Not her first kiss, actually.

 And this was his reaction!!!

I'm really proud to be a part of this beautiful family!

 I also did the flowers for this wedding, hopefully I'll have some pictures to share soon.  Have a lovely weekend!


Petal and Thorn Giveaway!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Inspired by This is giving away 100.00 to Petal and Thorn!!!

100.00!! Just for example, that could get you 7 of these hydrangea bobbies...

One of our handcrafted bow veils... 

 A masquerade mask for the ball... 

 A fascinator with golden details... 

BOTH of these feathery combs (one for the ceremony, one for the reception??)...

Or 3 of these mesmerizing peony flowers...

If you are wise, you will enter the giveaway now!!! 

*All photos by the incredible Juneberry Photo, except the last, from Rue Magazine.


Thoughts on Being a Housewife

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A special rose and scabiosa bouquet I made for a friend.
I retired from the floral business almost 3 years ago for many reasons.  I'm still asked often if I regret my decision or if I miss it at all.

I do miss it. I am and will always be *obsessed* with flowers. Fortunately, I am able to fiddle with flowers on a regular basis, whether it's putting together a few arrangements for a friends' wedding or the many baby showers I've hosted since retiring.  Also, we just had a brand new landscape put in, which includes some gorgeous passion flower vines and wildflowers that Sisi and I can pick and leave in bud vases all over the house.  It's divine!  So I still get my flower fix, just in much smaller doses.  I think the act of picking and savoring flowers, and getting to enjoy their entire life cycle, makes me appreciate them even more than I did when they were my business. My commodity. There is nothing more disillusioning than cramming a 500 rose arch into a hefty bag at the end of the wedding just because it's served it's purpose for the 20 minute ceremony.  That part of the business always rubbed me the wrong way.  

Now for the other question: do I regret my decision? Not at all.  Quite frankly, I'm living my dream.  How is that?

  •  I've always been domestically inclined. While my siblings were out cruising the neighborhood with friends, I was in my room drawing, rearranging my room, or baking cornbread from a box, my specialty :)  I can't say that I love every moment of cooking, errand-running, cleaning, and childrearing, but I see the incredible value of those tasks and the way my actions are directly contributing to our well-run, happy home.  I am constantly growing in my housewifey abilities, and becoming more and more passionate about them. 
  • I love setting the pace of my day.  As an introvert, this is important to my sanity.  Too much rushing around and back-to-back commitments (even fun social visits) stresses the heck out of me.  I have come to accept that my own ideal pace of life is a little slower, more deliberate, more planned out than most people need.  As a florist, I was constantly running from the flower mart to appointment to consultation to industry networking event to the studio and if I was lucky, to bed at the end of the night.  On wedding days, I was usually a shaky mess because I was on such a tight schedule and so many things (traffic, weather, if the flowers were holding up) were out of my hands.  Every business has it's stressors, but I think floristry has particular stressors that really did not compliment my introverted, conscientious, over-thinking personality.  In the 4 years I was a florist, I was totally stressed out for all 4 of them.  I did hide it well though.  
  • In ending one business, I was able to start another.  Petal and Thorn is my dream business. I will never tire of making beautiful wearable art.  I can take my time with each stitch.  When I'm making a cocktail hat, the rest of the world disappears.  I also love the process of photographing each piece, telling it's story on the website, and shipping it out to each excited bride. Working with non-perishables and selling via my website is infinitely less stressful than working with perishable flowers on a time limit.  Best of all, I can usually manage to complete my work during Sisi's naptime, leaving the rest of the day for family time. 
  • I have time to think. When I was a florist, I didn't have a moment to reflect.  I look back now and realize there were so many ways I could have run a better, tighter, more profitable business. But in the thick of running a business, I didn't have time to strategize.  It was always tyranny of the urgent.  I'd do one wedding, and then dive into the next without 5 seconds to reflect on what went right or wrong.  Now, I have sooooo much time to think.  As an introvert, thinking is totally my strong suit :)  I think about all sorts of things- business, health, marriage, parenting, God, my ancestors, my childhood... all the most important stuff that usually gets shoved to the back of our jam-packed brains.  
Some people say they are SAHMs because there is no other way to raise good kids in this corruptible world.  I totally do not agree with that! I do adore being with my child all day and every day, and I do think it's been good for her.  But this blog post is about how it's been good for ME!  I have found a job that suits me and my talents, and provides that perfect level of stimulation for me to be energized but not stressed.

I remember telling a coworker in Berkeley that I hoped to be a stay-at-home-mom one day, and he literally said, "I feel really sorry for you.  That's all you want to do with your life and your education?"  Ouch. Would he have the audicity to tell a housekeeper, nanny, chef, or teacher that they are wasting their lives?  Probably not, but he felt he could bash me for wanting to be all of the above, and then some.  Not everyone can be a stay at home mom.  Not everyone even wants to be a stay at home mom.  But I'm blessed to be one, and am loving it thoroughly.  No regrets!  No shame!
Simple centerpieces for a friend's wedding, boxed up and ready to go.