Thursday, August 27, 2015

Dreaming of California

Kids are back to school and we are trying to get back to our regular routine, but I am not ready to let go of Summer yet.

During Summer we took two trips and I realized that I haven't shared the pictures with you. The first trip was just Mr. TRH and I for our 20th Anniversary.

I love to travel. If I had no physical limitations and an unlimited budget, I would be all over the place. Mr. TRH on the other hand, is a homebody. He is totally happy and content to stay home.

I love big cities and lots of activities. He doesn't like big cities and wants to relax.

It was not easy to pick the destination that would accommodate both of our needs. Some people recommended Monterey and when I did some reserch of my own I was more and more excited about the idea. What we decided to do was to visit Monterey, San Jose and San Francisco. I have never been to all those cities and we thought we could have a great time at laid back Monterey and big city San Francisco.

Did I enjoy the trip you might ask?... Oh, yes. VERY MUCH!

We love spending time with each other but it is so hard to find quality time in the regular day to day schedule. During the drive to Monterey we were talking (without getting interrupted!), laughing, and listening to books on CDs. The whole trip was fun, but I adore the time we spent in the car as well. Not to mention that we love making stops here and there to try new restaurants and food along the way. We had all you can eat Crab for lunch and we were in heaven!

I planned this trip on a budget, but I wanted to stay at a nice hotel. When we got married we didn't have a fancy honeymoon trip, so this was a chance for us to do that.

Growing up near the ocean, I really miss this view. What a pretty sight... waking up to an ocean view put me in such a happy mood every morning while we were there.

We did visit an antique mall(although it wasn't Mr. TRH's choice of activity he was such a good sport about it), we did a 17 mile scenic drive, and ate at some of the really good restaurants. We definitely want to go back to Monterey. There are so many water sports and other activities that our kids will love, it will be a perfect place for the family to vacation too.

We have a friend in San Jose, he and his friend gave us a tour one day. Again, we ate at amazing Mexican and Thai restaurants, and visited the beautiful Japanese garden. It was beautiful and relaxing, I felt like I was transported to Japan.

One of the highlights was when they took me to a big fabric store! It was not the garment district, but hey, I was so giddy going through their selection.

Another place they took us was the Winchester Mystery House. At first I didn't realized where we were then it hit me, "OH!" I remembered watching about this place on the History channel before. The mansion is beautiful, yet very bizarre....

Driving around the town to see Victorian style homes was so much fun too, I enjoy looking at architecture and many different flowers I normally don't see here in Utah.

Then, The last place was San Francisco. To be precise I have been to San Francisco years ago, just at the airport. Mr. TRH wasn't too thrilled about this idea because we were driving and didn't know the roads. I was suppose to be the navigator, but it was so hard to focus!! I was in one of the cities I always wanted to visit. looking at tall buildings, pretty architecture along the rolling hills; how can I focus? I was ohh-ing and Ahh-ing a lot. I wish we had several days to walk around to take more pictures and sketch some of the homes.

One of the places we went was Japan town. There we visited their dollar store (seriously, you will love some of the stuff you can find at the Japanese dollar store) ate at a Sushi restaurant, spent a good amount of time at Kinokuni-ya which is a book store; I was drooling over at so many books... oh how I wished I could have bought the whole store.

I haven't been to Kaiten-sushi (sushi-go-around) for years, it took me a couple rounds to finally grab the plate of sushi I wanted. It was going faster than I remembered!

Then of course, the Golden Gate Bridge... I don't think I am the only one who had the theme song of "Full House" playing in my head while visiting San Francisco. Rachel has been watching reruns of Full House. When she found out that we are going to San Fransisco, she asked me to get an autograph from the actors of the show. "Sweetie", I said, "Do you know how long ago that show was aired?" It is so cute how kids think. :)

I know it was a long post with tons of pictures, but it was only a small part of our trip. I am naturally a very curious person, but when I am on a trip my curiosity level is 120%! I want to see, hear, taste, experience; take everything in! I fell in love with all the places we visited, but what made me happy was that I was with my most favorite person the whole world the entire time. I know we will talk about our trip for years to come and every now and then we will dream of California.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Crafternoon Tea Towel Apron Giveaway Winners!

It is time to announce the lucky winners for the Tea Towel Apron Kit! There are a couple things...

I will do my best to reach you if you are the winner. Please contact me with your name and shipping info so I can send the kit right away. If I don't hear from you within 72 hours, I am going to pick a new winner to give others a chance.

So, are you all ready???

The winners are...

Katy Marriott

Selina Clare

Congratulations you two!!

Those of you who entered for the giveaway thank you so much for participating!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Tea Towel Apron Review @Lolly Jane!!

Meet Kelli and Kristi...

They are the geniuses behind the amazingly popular blog Lolly Jane. You will understand right away why people are drawn to their blog when you visit them. Their eye for craft, home decorating and fun recipes are captured by the beautiful photographs and shows through in their posts. They are not only talented, they have the biggest hearts and are down to earth. I love them both!

Let me show you some of my favorites.

They have created this nicely organized Numbered Cubby System. Right now we don't really have an organized space like this in our mudroom, I am drooling over this look.

Christmas is around the corner, it is always nice to have different decorating ideas. I really love this mix of color and texture!

Then their craft room ... Isn't it so pretty and picture perfect? I am dreaming of visiting them and crafting with them.

They have agreed to do a review of my Tea Towel Apron Kit from Crafternoon. Please head over to Lolly Jane and read their experience with the kit today!

Also, if you haven't enter for a chance to win the Tea Towel Apron Kit, you still have time. The giveaway closes on the night of the 15th!

Monday, August 10, 2015

20 ~ Happy 20th, Honey!

20 years - that is 7,305 days or 240 month or 175,320 hours. That is a LOT of time to spend time with someone.

Today Mr. TRH and I have been married for 20 years. When we first got married we were dirt poor. When he proposed to me, he just started college and had a part-time job. When we got married, my only possessions were the things I could pack in one tiny suitcase when I moved to America from Japan (I had to leave my sewing machine behind because it was too expensive to ship!).

The first few years were very difficult for me because I only spoke little to no English. I had no family or friends here. I missed my mother, sister and my friends so much. Because I had a very dysfunctional family life growing up, I thought I wouldn't be homesick, but I was. Away from those people I loved and living in a different country and culture was much tougher than I thought.

Mr. TRH always made sure that I knew he loved me by calling me several times a day, taking me out on a night drive for our small dates even though he was tired from going to work and school full time. He was very patient with my language too. He always told me that "If you have bad grammar, but your pronunciation is good, people would understand you. If you have perfect grammar but speak with bad pronunciation, people would have a hard time understanding you." --- We don't have the "R" sound in Japanese, so it was difficult for me to pronounce the "R". For example, words like "girl", "guitar", "really"; anything with an r or a words had both r's and l's were very tricky for me. There were times that I thought it was so annoying he made me say the same words over and over again but I am so thankful he did that for me. He was never mean, or made fun of me. I knew he did that for my own good so I could be confident and independent in this new country.

I wrote about my medical conditions in my past post: you can read some of them here or here if you are new to my blog. Throughout our 20 years of marriage, I had countless doctors visits, procedures and hospitalizations. When there is a medical issue, there was also stress about money, care-giving, and the care-givers. Since my condition is not curable, medical issues will always be a part of our lives.

Mr. TRH never made me feel like he drew the short end of the stick or that I am less desirable as a wife. When I was bedridden for several months, almost every day he came home for lunch to make sure I was ok and ate lunch with me. If I was in the hospital, he came to see me as much as he could. Whenever I am coming out of a procedure and if the first person I see is him, I immediately felt comforted and secure.

Over the years, we were blessed with three beautiful children, but raising them wasn't an easy task for me when they were little. Our children are very healthy and active. Especially my older two boys... They were WAY TOO ACTIVE with my physical limitations sometimes. I had to be creative; I survived those years, but looking back, there was no way I could have done it without Mr. TRH's help.

Mr. TRH isn't an absent father. He is always there for our children and involved with their lives. We are so fortunate that he has a somewhat flexible job, and is able to attend Parent teacher conference, field trips, school plays, etc. He plays with them, sits down and watches their favorite shows on TV, and talks with them a lot.

As I mentioned in the beginning, when I moved to America, I had to part with most of my possessions. They are just things, but it was hard for me to say good-bye to my sewing items, and fabrics I collected over the years.

In our second year of marriage, he surprised me with a sewing machine. When I saw the machine on our dining table it literally (this is another difficult word to say!) took my breath away! I didn't think we could afford a sewing machine for a long time because there were so many other things we needed.

Mr. TRH has been always very supportive of my interests and hobbies. As a young girl, I realized that I wanted to be a designer when I grew up. Life took an interesting turn and I became a wife and a mother, which I am so thankful for, but my desire to design and to create has always been there. Even though I am not a big time designer or anything; it has been so much fun to share what I have created on my blog. Over the years I have been given many opportunities to work with magazines and companies and I gained a new appreciation and respect for the people who are in the industry. Every time when I have an opportunity to be creative, Mr. TRH is so happy for me and encourages me to try it. Eventhough half the time I feel like I am not qualified for the task.

"I don't have much right now, but I will make you smile for the rest of your life and eternity if you marry me."

Amazingly, he has kept these words he said twenty one years ago. At the time my decision to marry him didn't make sense to many people around me, but in my heart I knew I was doing the right thing. Against all the odds we are still together and very happy. Sure we have ups and downs like many other couples do, but I can't stay mad at him too long. We laugh a lot, finish each other's sentence, and I can't wait to see him at night.

He and I had our special anniversary trip in June. These are our pictures goofing around as always. He dislike taking pictures, but I asked him because this was a special occasion. I pushed his sunglasses up so I could see his eyes.

and it was too bright for him...

I know I am so blessed to have a husband like him and this great relationship, but that didn't come automatically when we got married. Love is an action verb: we are always presented with decisions to show love with our actions --- It took us 7305 days of going through thick and thin. Being there for each other.

20 years, 7305 days, 240 month, or 175,320 hours is a long time, but I feel like the past amazing 20 years has gone by in a flash. I can't think of anyone else but him to spend the rest of forever with. Thank you so much Mr. TRH for being there for me, always.

Happy 20th, Honey!



Friday, August 7, 2015

Tea Towel Apron Kit Review @Diary of a Quilter / Giveaway!!

Hi all! Amy of Diary of a Quilter has agreed to do a review of my Tea Towel Apron kit! She is a talented quilter, pattern designer, author, and above all such a sweet person and dear friend of mine, I am so blessed to know her.

One of her latest quilts she finished...

Head over to her blog to read her review and discover loads of gorgeous projects by Amy!

Wait! Don't forget to enter the giveaway for my Tea Towel Apron Kit. I will announce two lucky winners on the morning of the 17th. As you can see below, there are three ways to enter. I am really curious to see what kind of craft kits would be of interest. Happy playing!

Crafternoon ~ Tea Towel Apron Kit Giveaway!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Hazel & Ruby ~ Crafternoon Kit Update!

Oh, how excited I am to finally be able to write this post! I was given a chance to collaborate with Hazel & Ruby to create my Tea Towel Apron as a kit for Crafternoon.

What is Crafternoon you might ask? Here is the promo video they have created:

Isn't thus such a great concept? I see something pretty on Pinterest and pin them with the intention of making them someday, but how often do I really do so? Crafternoon kits are made for someone like you and I... busy people who still love crafting and being creative.

It has been a long time since the day we started working on this project but I am happy to say that my kit; along with other fabulous craft kits are available at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, on their web site and other craft stores near you! They are projects that are simple enough to make in an afternoon. You don't have to worry about finding materials, matching the colors and patterns and so on. Everything you need to make the project is in the package (except the basic tools), all you need to do it is to have a blast!

Oh, then get this... I created a video for my kit. When you use the special QR code, you will be able to watch the tutorial. Are you up to sew along with me?

Tada! This can be yours (or who ever you want to make it for) in an afternoon!

Since this is a blog hop, let me introduce you to Virginia of Fynes Designs. She shares many home decor, recipes, party ideas and tutorials for everyday beautiful living. She created a fun embroidery hoop art for Crafternoon, make sure to hop over to see her! :)

I asked special blogger friends to review my Tea Towel Apron beginning this month, also I am hosting a giveaway soon. Lots of exciting things are happening, so stay tuned! :)

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