A Wanderlust Journey

Just got back from our annual trip with my favorite traveling companion, my cousin and bestest friend, Cindy Ca Pham! This will be our fourth year and this time its…..Utah! Why Utah, you asked? Why not? It’s in the middle of California and Illinois. She said it’s her favorite trip thus far. And I can’t help but agree. 🙂 We went to Midway, Utah the first day and stayed at Homestead Resort which is nice “hotel/home” in a quaint little town. It has a crater hot springs next to the property which we didn’t get a chance to go. We did, however, turned on the shower for 20 mins to create our own little steam room in our hotel bathroom. 🙂 There was a cute little bakery in town where we had avocado turkey bacon sandwich. Too bad it’s closed the next day because we were looking forward to breakfast there.

This is us at Wasatch National Park which was near our hotel. I really like the tall white birch trees and yes there is snow on the ground!

Next morning, headed to Arches National Forest in Moab!!! This has been on my bucket list for many years and  many missed opportunities to go, but, I like to think there’s a reason I went to to it now. It’s because it wouldn’t have been this amazing with anyone else but Ca. We share the same passion for design aesthetic, outdoor hikes, and natural beauty.

 

This place is so beautiful and serene with it’s arches; gateway into dreams and natural wonder. We stayed til nightfall to see the stars. 🌟 ✨  So we got to see the arches in daylight and sunset. Pictures cannot do it justice.

We didn’t realize the “Delicate Arch” is the the arch that was in every postcard, guidebook, etc. so we didn’t hike it…we only saw it at the viewpoint access. I’m a little bit bummed about that but that just means we have to go back there one day.

Sandstone Arch with its soft red sand! Surreal!

Broken Window Arch. I think this my favorite arch!

 

We stayed at Under Canvas Moab for the night. Let me tell you it sure was dark trying to find this place! Lol, it was smoky inside our tent because it was cold out and we had the wood fireplace burning most of the night. First time, “glamping” with an actual bed inside the tent. I can get used to that! They also have it in a lot of national parks as well!

This is Young Living, lavender fields. As you can see, in the winter, it’s not purple fields. LOL.

Next day we went to Provo for our Aveda Spa Services and then onwards to Antelope Island State Park to stargaze. I just really love the colors of the sun setting over the Salt Lake here at Antelope Island. Reminds me of this watercolor painting I had in my old workplace.

A memorable trip etched into my being, that no matter where I go, what I do, I will always strive to find that enchantment in my life. Life can be hard, crazy, and fragile but if we can hold on to these special memories/moments, it will sustain us. Til next time, Ca! I’m so glad we have this tradition. Can’t wait to see where we go next. xoxo.

 

Woodland Forest – Gender Neutral Mobile

I custom created this mobile for a little boy’s nursery who has a forest theme. I probably only ever created maybe 3 gender neutral (boy) mobiles in my shop! Lol. It’s because my shop is so flower center. 🙂 Mini pinecones adorn this little mobile.

   

Pink & Peach Beauties

This is by far the most items I created for a single client to go into her baby girl’s nursery. I cannot wait to see them all in her completed space! It’s such a dream to create these items, knowing that little baby Brooke is already so lucky to have a mom who gives her the world.

The Hiking Crew at Phoenix Lake

Our hiking crew for this day, doubled in size! We went from 4 to 8! We stopped by the nearby town of Ross afterwards for gelato and bubble tea! Cute little town and there was a book sale for $1 each book! Score! We all came away with a bundle of books! Anyways, I realized I went on this hike already many years ago with my sisters. This time there seem to be more water? I can’t be certain…but it’s a nice cool day, that got hotter at the end of the hike. I think we hiked 3+ miles. For the first time, I didn’t need a break walking uphill. Hmmm…strange. lol.

Little brother with somewhat aggressive “Ta-Da”.  Angry Vanna White. 😀

Ahhhh..such a cute action shot of lil bro and Leslie! Good job, Leslie, blocking Chink’s invisible ammo!

  

  

M + K initials carved in wood! Someone before them carved it. 🙂

K being his cute goofy self!

We ended the day at Vietiane in West Sacramento and I finally got my stuffed chicken wings! Delish. It certainly does not disappoint, even after many years! It was a great day. 🙂 Til next time.

Ravaged Wild and Free Baby Mobile

Didn’t I warned you that I was on a wild and ravaged mobile creating frenzy?!? If I had to pick a mobile for a baby girl’s nursery, this would be it!!! Yep, I said it…I declare a winner! LOL. Many hours were put in to create this beauty and I cannot be more happy with the end result. Using white crochet lace ribbon add that beautiful endearing touch. I love the crazy, wild, and textural element of this mobile. The asymmetrical over the symmetrical has always been my design of choice. Less uniformity. I can’t wait to see where this mobile ends up. 🙂

Everyday Elevated | Floral Pieces

Can’t decide what I love more…the floral piece itself, or taking pictures of floral pieces. BOTH. 🙂 I’m loving the different textural element of the floral arrangement done by my sister for her friend’s wedding last Saturday. This was her first project! Some learning curves, for sure, as all new endeavors, like time limit, budget, transport, etc….but a successful first go around! Here’s to many more floral projects, sissy! I can’t wait to see what else you come up with!

       

Memories of Vietnam

My favorite beach in all of Vietnam! This one is behind my grandpa’s house in Thuan An. Hai Tien Beach. The water is so clear, refreshing, salty and warm at times. I prefer it to be a tad cooler cause it’s sweltering hot when we went. The sand is nice and soft. I have to warned you though, there is a bit (more than a bit :)) of trash littered in the surrounding sand area. The locals, government hasn’t really figured out the trash collection pickup situation yet, because the residents still burn some of their trash! That’s probably what I missed most of my trip to Vietnam…daily swim in the ocean, steps from where we reside. 🙂

Those are my extended family from Chicago!

Japanese Garden of Hanoi. Peaceful oasis right in the middle of the busy city!

Highlight of my trip is definitely going to Ha Long Bay! This place has been on my bucket list for some time and it does not disappoint. There was a major setback in the beginning, when the NIGHT before, the cruise emailed me telling me that our original cruise boat is being repaired and they have to change the arrival port to Cat Bay, instead of Ha Long Bay! Grrrr…we were in Hanoi already, so we had to go with the change regardless, but that was soo frustrating!!!!! Typical Vietnamese! I know I’m hating on my peeps now…but it seems that’s how they do it over there. What probably happened is that they overbooked! I booked through Agoda, instead of buying directly from Pelican Cruise, to save a few bucks so learning lesson for me.

All in all, we had an amazing one night stay through Azalea Cruise! I would definitely recommend going on a cruise to see Ha Long Bay. A one night stay per person is only ~$125-150 depending where you book. But it includes meals and activities, like kayaking, cave exploring, swimming, squid fishing, tai chi, etc.

View from our balcony! You just can’t beat the swaying of the water as you sleep and seeing this view as you drink your morning coffee/tea! If I had one more day to take it all in…but we all wish for that don’t we?! Soo much to seeeeee and to doooooo.

This is actually in Korea, on our one night layover! The Palace of Prospering Virtue, Changdeokgung Palace. This couple rented those traditional Korean outfits and was kind enough to take pictures with us! They are actually from Los Angeles!

Yes, something exciting happened on this trip!!! My little brother is engaged!!! This is actually his third proposal picture. LOL…the first and real one happened in Cat Bay Island when we were leaving the cave. I recorded a video. His answer was soo funny and hilarious…he thought it was a joke. The second proposal shot was right before the one below, different doorway…but due to bad lighting, I retook the picture from this angle/doorway. Awwww…this makes me sooo happy! Kasey, his fiance, the one proposing, actually told me months ago that he was going to propose in Vietnam….I/him just didn’t know when so it was a surprise to me as well. :))))))))

Dried seafood market.