‘Inside Out’ Inspired Memory Balls

This Memory Ball Ornament is inspired by the movie 'Inside Out' A simple and easy craft to make for your kids with their favorite photo memories!

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After a long week of work, I so look forward to the weekends & spending much-needed time together as a family. Last weekend, we went candlepin bowling with our little girl, our friends and their daughter. We let our little ladies have their own lane & they bowled their little hearts out.


The kids had a ton of fun. The girls were pretending that the small balls were memory balls from their mutual favorite movie, ‘Inside Out’. They were so cute looking at their bowling balls & pretending they could see their core memories. If you have not yet seen the movie, it is a wonderful film that will definitely pull at your heartstrings and give some laughs as well.

All of the pretend memory ball play inspired me to make my little one some memory balls of her own.

This Memory Ball Ornament is inspired by the movie 'Inside Out' A simple and easy craft to make for your kids with their favorite photo memories.

What you will need:

Fillable clear ornaments

Yellow plastic sheets

Favorite photos

Glue Gun


These were pretty quick and easy to make.

First open the ornament & separate both halves, Use one side as a template & cut 2 photographs. Snip a little additional off of each photo so that the picture circles are just a bit smaller than the ornament. Glue the 2 photo backs to one another.


Cut 2 pieces of yellow plastic in the same size.


Crumple up, fold and bend the yellow plastic.


Use a glue gun to outline the outside of your crumpled circle. Place it inside of one halve. Line it up as close to the outside connecting edge as you can. Do this to both sides.


Add a bead of glue around the edge of the photo circles as well & glue as centered & close to edge as you can without blocking where the two ball edges meet.

This Memory Ball Ornament is inspired by the movie Disney Pixar 'Inside Out' A simple and easy craft to make for your kids with their favorite photo memories.

Click your 2 sides together & add a ribbon or yarn as needed.  My sweet girl adored her new memory balls. She even asked if we could make more memories. My answer, we will always make new memories.

This Memory Ball Ornament is inspired by the movie 'Inside Out' A simple and easy craft to make for your kids with their favorite photo memories.

This Memory Ball Ornament is inspired by the movie 'Inside Out' A simple and easy craft to make for your kids with their favorite photo memories

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Popsicle Stick Frame Magnet

Popsicle Stick Frame Magnet

It has been really wonderful watching our daughter’s creativity and artistic ability grow. Whether it is doing a craft together or watching her draw or paint on her own, I love to watch her create.. She loves to draw.

On the left she drew a butterfly & the picture on the right I originally thought was her, but I was mistaken.

“Mai is that you?”

“No, that is the lady at McDonald’s that gives me delicious food.”

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We have piles of drawings everywhere. As much as I would like to keep all of her drawings, it would just be impossible. There are some though that warrant a special place. Mai drew this family portrait the other day. She made sure that she even included Dukey. She was so proud & immediately brought it to the refrigerator.


I loved her family portrait. I was proud too. I wanted to make sure that it stood out among all the other art on our fridge. We decided to make a refrigerator magnet frame for our special picture.

I cut around her drawing. We grabbed a handful of jumbo craft sticks and laid them out on the counter to see how many we would need. I wanted Mai to decorate the frame. She chose to color the sticks with markers.



After she colored all of the sticks, I glued the sticks together side by side with a glue gun.


I glued the drawing in the center of the sticks.


I glued 4 more craft sticks over the top of the drawing, two on top & two on the bottom.


For added stability we added one more stick to the top center and the bottom & then labeled Mai’s drawing.


For the finishing touch, I glued a strip of plain magnet to the back of the frame.


Our family drawing now has a place up front for all to see.


Popsicle Stick Refrigerator Magnet Frame


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An Ode To Our 2014


On this final day of 2014, I find myself looking back at all that has happened during the year. This year was filled with some milestones, great moments of joy & many memories that will stay with me for a lifetime. Here is a recap of a wonderful year…

In January, we celebrated as our daughter turned 2. ..

We took our first vacation setting sail on the ocean blue…

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In February, for Valentine’s Day we made some hearts for baking…

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While March showed us that we had a little diva in the making…

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In April for opening day, we cheered on our favorite team…


In May we realized that clowns aren’t as funny as they seem…


June welcomed our bathing beauty with the summer sun…

While I trained & participated in my first 5k run…

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In July, I entered my 40’s & celebrated into the night…

And thanked God for my greatest gift wrapped in my arms so tight…

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August brought more summer fun & many bubbles blown…  


In September, our big girl got dressed for the first time on her own…


October brought us Halloween & a pumpkin sweet as pie…

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In November, it was time to give thanks  & list all the reasons why…


December brought a memorable Christmas filled with magic & cheer…


Today brings happy memories of a fantastic year. 


Happy New year to all. May 2015 be filled with love & family.

Why Isn’t Mommy In Any Pictures? (A Letter To My Husband)


My dearest husband,

Do you notice how I am conspicuously missing from the montage of beautiful photos above? The reason that I am missing is of course that I am always the one behind the camera.

It is no secret that I love pictures. Not to be stereotypical, but maybe it is because I am Asian, maybe it is the artist in me that sees the beauty in all art forms or maybe just maybe it is because I love the feeling that I get when I look at a photograph. It takes me back to a different time and place. It brings me back to a moment that has passed and allows me to relive that memory and emotion.

Whatever the reason, I love photographs. I adore the candid joy and laughter on the faces of my loved ones, the look of wonder and excitement when experiencing something new and the sheer love that is seen in the eyes of you & our daughter when you look at each other. The problem is there are seldom any photos like this with mommy. Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of posed photos of our daughter trying to escape from me while I shove the camera in your hands and then force out a smile while saying “Baby, say cheese.”

I realize that I will always have my own memories carefully tucked away in my mind and in my heart, but once I get older and my mind starts betraying me, it would be nice to have a token to help jog my memory. With one look I am holding my new baby again in my arms, teaching her how to ride a bike & seeing her in her wedding gown for the first time. So my darling, the next time you see a precious moment, please free to pick up the camera because us mommy’s want to be in the pictures too. Tell your friends.

Countdown to 40 – Bucket List For The Second Half Of My Life

befunky_artwork.jpgI talk often about how quickly time has flown by since the birth of my daughter. In 1 1/2 weeks she will be turning 2 1/2. It seems almost impossible. Almost stranger than that is on that very same day, I will be kissing my 30’s goodbye & turning 40. Ouch! This has been a hard realization for me. For me entering my 40’s finally signifies to me the end of my youth.
I look in the mirror & the face looking back is different than the one I remember. There are more lines. The grays from my head seemed to have spread & set up new residency in my eyebrows. My skin is now much looser and things that once were higher… well are not quite so high or perky anymore. It makes me sad, but is reality.

We all grow older. Our faces & bodies age, our looks fade, things begin to ache for no reason & you wake up in the morning feeling hung over even when you don’t drink. You become more forgetful. You become more forgetful. Oh & you tend to repeat yourself. I am certain I have told the same stories to my husband about 101 times. Sex symbols from your youth begin to grace the covers of AARP & even worse than that people now call you ma’am.

My first 40 years on this planet have had their ups & downs. In my life I have made a lot of mistakes. I have been good and been bad. I have had my heart broken and also broken a few hearts. I learned that soul mates are real & married mine. I have seen people I love die & I have brought life into this world. I have laughed, cried & felt utter joy.

I’ve been lucky enough to have seen many places & have done many things…

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But there is still so much left I want to do. What things do I still want to accomplish, see or learn? It seems as if there is so much. My bucket list is a long one. Here are a few highlights of an otherwise long list…

1. Be there for my daughter’s wedding

2. Go to Cambodia

3. Learn another language

4. Hike Macchu Picchu

5.Write a children’s book

6. Hold my grandchild

7. Learn how to fence

8. Visit all the U.S states

9. Grow old with my husband

10. Go to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan

11. Run a marathon with my husband

12. Go to a masquerade ball

13. Learn to belly dance

14. Pay off our home

15. Get a tattoo that represents my mother

I have not lived a perfect life, but I have lived a pretty good one. I can’t wait to see what the next half will bring.

What’s on your bucket list? I would love to hear.

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A First For A Father & Daughter

0171There are many memorable events over the course of one’s life. From the time that you are born you are creating memories. As an infant the memories you create are more for your parents then for yourself; the first time you roll over, your first laugh, those first steps & your first word. As you get older those firsts continue to be important; the first time you ride a bike, your first crush, your first kiss & even the difficult firsts like the first time you get your heart broken. Today was a first for my daughter and my husband. It was the first time that either of them went to the circus. Alright, alright, I realize that this is not a major milestone, but it was certainly a most memorable day for our whole family. We arrived to the circus early. We were greeted by clowns and a music played by a glockenspiel before walking into the building.

Mai gives attitude to the sad clown hobo.

Inside Mai’s face lit up with delight at the sight of balloons, glow sticks and elephant rides. I was nervous that with all of these distractions that we would never keep her in her seat, but we settled into our seats and she happily snacked on popcorn and waited for the show to begin.   0291   0401 Over the course of the next 2 1/2 hours, we were entertained and awed by acrobats, jugglers, wild animals, plate spinners and daring stunts. Nobody was more awed than I. With my daughter’s short attention span, I went to the circus just being hopeful that she would make it through a half hour of the show. I had visions of running out of the big top with a screaming toddler. This was not the case. She loved every aspect of the show. She laughed at the clowns and oohed and awed over the sparkling ladies on the trapeze. She yelled & cheered at the motorcyclists and clapped for the animals. I spent more time watching the fun she was having and the smiles on her and my husband’s faces than watching the show. 0611 0701 0911 0981 0991 1031 Mai stayed cuddled up on her daddy’s lap. They shared a popcorn and created a first memory of the circus for both of them. But it was not only a first for them, it was one for me as well. It was the first time I went to the circus with my family & I will never forget it. 1131

3 Hands, 1 Heart Valentines Craft

Three Hands One Heart Handprint Craft - a sweet gift for the family - mom, dad & child

*This post has been updated since the original post*

One of my favorite kinds of kid’s crafts are any that have to do with there little hands or feet. I love hand prints & tracings. My daughter and I have been dabbling with tracing a lot lately. She loves trying to trace her hand. It is adorable,really. She will trace hers & then say “Mama, trace hand toooo?” Absolutely, baby!
Their sweet little hands make such wonderful keepsake art. It will be such an “awwwwww” inducing memory to look back on in the future. Here is a Valentines inspired craft featuring the whole family’s hands.

What you will need:

Construction or scrapbook paper

Glue stick



Letter stencils

Tracings of your hands


Place your hands (mommy, daddy, baby) on a piece of construction paper.


Outline each hand.


Cut around the outlines of each of your hands.


Place hands in an overlapping pattern to form a heart in the middle.


Using a glue stick, glue them into position over a contrasting color.


Flip over & cut any excess to the contrast paper so that only the heart shape shows.


Glue the hands & heart to another piece of contrasting paper.


Use a stencil to trace out your saying.


Let the marker dry & glue dry.

Place your new creation in a frame.


We have since made a new family heart using our family hand prints instead of the cut-outs.

Three Hands One Heart Handprint Craft - a sweet gift for the family - mom, dad & child

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Remembering My Mother


Do you believe in angels? I do!

I have been thinking about my mother a lot this week. Nothing makes you love & appreciate your mother more, than becoming a mother yourself. It is a crazy thing. I can remember every smart comment & every eye roll that I ever directed toward my mother. Now looking back, I wish I could take all of those back, because I finally get it. I know why you wanted me to put that puffy coat over my princess costume when we were trick or treating. I understand why you wouldn’t let me eat Lucky Charms. I get all these things now because I have become you.

I wish I could tell you those things. I wish I could ask for your advice. I wish that you had gotten a chance to meet your beautiful grand daughter, but you are gone.

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My mother battled breast cancer, not once but twice.  When my mother was diagnosed the second time, it was shocking. Even more shocking was when we found out that she was already in stage 4. Six weeks after her diagnosis she was admitted in the ICU. I didn’t leave her bed side for a week. I slept at the hospital in the waiting rooms & had the nurses page me when she woke, so that she was never by herself.

My grandfather died of cancer when I was just a little girl. I never met him, but heard my mother speak of him often. I wanted my mother to know that she was not alone. I didn’t want her to be afraid. I tried to ease her fears by telling her that grandpa was watching over her & that he would protect her. I drew this picture one morning while I was sitting by her bed. Later that day, my grandfather & her were reunited. She became the angel that she always was.


Fast forward six years to the birth of my daughter. From the moment I found out I was having a little girl, there was only one name that she could ever possibly be. Mai, of course was named after her grandmother.

When she was born, we surrounded Mai with pictures of my mother & my father-in-law, who we also lost a year before her birth. We wanted their presences to be with her always. In her nursery a picture of both her grandmother & grandfather are proudly mounted on the wall, looking over her as she sleeps.


One day when she was only 7 months old, something happened. I was in the bedroom & my husband was in the living room with the baby. He called out to me. “You need to get in here”, he said. What I saw brought a tear to my eye. This is what I saw…

Just because I can’t see you, it doesn’t mean that you’re not there.
You come to me when I’m asleep. I hear you in a prayer.
I can not touch the soft of your skin or the warmth of your embrace.
But no one can take away from me the memory of your face.

My husband was holding our daughter & she was laughing,squealing & kicking her little feet. Mai was reaching past my husband and grabbing at my mother’s picture. It was as if she knew. 

She has had such a recognition of her since she was an infant. Grandma must come to visit often.

Now when she sees her, she will point and say “Gam Ma”. “Yes baby, that is your grandma & Oh my god, she would have loved you.”

“Correction, she does love you.”

Up next… Toddler Emotions

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Halloween Scrapbooking

I don’t know about the rest of you but Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays, even more so since the birth of our daughter.
This was her second Halloween. Last year she was too young to enjoy the whole concept behind it, so we were super excited for this year.

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