Our summer days have been filled with all sorts of events and activity. It just keeps going. Not complaining about it in any way but shouldn’t summer be about slowing down and taking it all in?

2015 has been a year of recovery for me. I had to recover from everything in 2014 and on some days, it really feels like things are getting better. But you know what they say about putting one foot in front of the other. That’s my plan.

I’ve been listening to more podcasts. 99% Invisible to learn about all the ways that design touches our lives and Lore, if you are into scary stories like me. I enjoy them but am also a big coward. I can’t listen to this at night, the sun has to be out.


For those of you waiting patiently for my AFTER picture of the dining/kitchen space, I am almost there. Thank you for waiting, it’s almost there. I just have to get that corner and the wall re-imagined. The pic above is just a teaser of our new dining pendant. If you are follow my Pinterest boards, you’ll know which one I picked.

For the wall, I decided to go with what I have, in terms of art. Since the wall is right behind the back door of the house, crowded shelves are  not a good idea. I had a shelf there before but it seemed too crowded. The kitchen cart and oven are going away and I will need to find a new spot for my rubber plant. I’m looking forward to the final reveal, just as much as you are.

In the kitchen, I’ve been making up different meat marinades. This weekend, I modified this marinade for some galbi/short ribs. Instead of sugar, I used kecap manis. It gave a good flavor and nice caramel color. Instead of pear, I used apple sauce. The sweetness of this marinade probably doesn’t make it paleo or primal. Still, it is so very tasty.

I also made some char siew/Chinese BBQ pork. Bee has a wonderful recipe that smells just like char siew should smell. I know that is an odd comment to make but you know how sometimes you try to recreate a flavor and you never quite know that secret ingredient/s? Bee shared a recipe that brings me home.

Project Renew Scarlett: Dining/Kitchen (Before)

Remember that fun design camp with AB Chao? Yes, she inspired a wealth of ideas and even though my one big project that I brought to her and the group was my master bedroom, I saw “low hanging fruit” in my dining and kitchen.

This is how things look like now – the BEFORE. I have notated the changes that I am going to make but just in case it is too small to read, here is the list:

  • change pendant lighting over the island in the kitchen
  • change dining room rug (bye bye, FLOR, you were great for the time we needed you for.)
  • move the ceiling fan to a different spot in the family room and replace with giant pendant light (with a dimmer! You’ll be proud, AB!)
  • redefine problem wall/corner near the back door – new art for the walls, probably a collage of favorite food-related prints or cookbooks.

I have received and gathered the items that will be going into these changes but I have not made any changes yet. I promise an AFTER picture and believe me, I am so very excited!

Mid August

Space Needle

Looking forward to Kim O’Donnel’s book The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook. I am such a meat lover myself so these recipes will help me enjoy delicious meals and eat less meat.

Last month, I made a really delicious butter mochi from Reid’s recipe. Now I’m craving it again. I might try this matcha version. I just have to make sure to make it matcha-y enough. I always don’t use enough matcha powder in my baked goods.

I love parties. Here’s a great idea for one – a Favorite Things party. (via A Chow Life) I can’t wait to have one with my girlfriends.

I love Mad Men. Look what folks behind Helvetica documentary remade – a 1960s poster promoting Helvetica.

This double sconce from Roll and Hill has caught my eye and I have just the spot for it.

Wondering what to do with all the zucchini showing up this time of the season? Here is some inspiration.

Monday after

My summer string lights over the patio

How was your weekend? I had a good one. We had our hands full on Saturday with Scarlett’s very first garage sale, we had quite a few customers and enjoyed hanging out in the sun. I have a farmer’s tan but the new color on my skin is healthy. I know it will return to its pale glory in a few months. Sunday was a minimal chore day, we only took the cars out for a bath and vacuum. We don’t do that very often but it really does feel good to have a clean vehicle.

July is coming to an end and soon it will be birthday month. I love August. When I was younger and growing up in Singapore, it meant that we could look forward to a day off from school – National Day, and in that same week, 3 of us cousins will celebrate our birthdays together (we were born in the same week of the same year). Now, August means the height of summer – grilling out, popsicles, a bountiful garden, orange sunsets and balmy evenings. Can you tell that I am so looking forward to August?

Today’s bits:

I have been wanting mojitos this summer – I think these Danish Modern muddlers will look stylin’ and work well. Of course in a pinch, we can always use one of these wooden rolling pins.

My other half will cringe at this but don’t you think this Hello Kitty wallet is absolutely adorable?

I haven’t had the chance to visit the Georgetown Farmers/Flea market that is held every Saturday. Maybe this week.

The noise of the fan blades from our columnar fan sent me on a quest for a less noisy fan. May I present the Dyson Air Multiplier. It looks sleek and are blade-less so they won’t be a cleaning nightmare. I am not sure about how much I am willing to fork out to be without the extra noise and to have better air flow. But I would be interested in checking these out at a store.

I am always on the lookout for letterpress prints – this Urban Gardening one by Starshaped Press is delightful. Very summer-y colors and a great use of type.


I told you that I can’t live without rice. Here’s my brunch one morning – Omurice – a Japanese omelette filled with fried rice. My rice had peas, Chinese sausage (臘腸)and some bacon, and a sprinkling of fried ikan bilis/dried anchovies. For those who know SE Asian food, it was a cross between Chinese fried rice and Indonesian Nasi Goreng.

Seattle was teased with some good sunshine for most of today but we are headed for more rain this weekend. I’m looking forward to cooking a Thai dinner tomorrow for some dear friends and on Sunday, we are going out to lunch with dad.

Today’s bits

I want to make these cocoa oatmeal cookies, I personally know a cookie monster.

One day, when I can afford it, I would love to commission Lubna Chowdhary to design a tile installation like this.

I am not sure if I will make it to Whidbey Island this summer but look at this lovely organic potager garden – The Raven and The Spade. [via Willi at DigginFood]

Enjoy your weekend!

Good Morning

Good Morning

It’s another June Seattle day when the sun is playing hide and seek with us once more. I would like the sun to join us until about October, is that too much to ask? I am sure that I’m not the only Seattleite feeling this way. Still, we love our Emerald city because without all this rain, how can we be touted as emerald?

Yesterday, I went to the local garden store to get some annuals, herbs and a couple of veggie starts. I am not sure how they will do if the weather continues to behave this way. But a gardener is always hopeful that Mother Nature would be kind. As I am writing this, the rain has tapered off and the sky seems a little brighter.

Today’s bits:

I found some portulaca or Moss Rose and will be planting them in the front borders since the sun beats down quite hard there when it actually does.

I have a weakness for anything related to, named after and resembling Spain – this Sevilla Chair looks awfully comfortable to me. If only I had a porch…

This bamboo iPhone cover with a laser engraving of Leandro Castelao’s art is quite lovely.

Nigel Slater talks about growing his own vegetables in these videos. (Thanks, curiousmint, for telling me about his new book, Tender.)

Beautiful Thoughtful Gift


Thank you A & S, this was just the perfect ending to a slightly crappy day. It made me smile endlessly. It moves me when my loved ones see me and know exactly what I love.

I cannot wait to use this adorable set of measuring cups. I am afraid it might be relegated to be displayed because they are so cute.

Thanks a million!

Wall Hanging

This week, we moved into different offices and mine has a bunch of huge holes in the wall. I could really use this pretty wall-hanging by Marimekko.  It is the right width and length for the number of holes I need to hide.

marimekko wall hanging