Safe & Warm


Los Angeles has gone into a Deep Freeze.

Okay, I say that probably too dramatically, but seriously, it’s 40 degrees tonight and this Singaporean-California girl is freezing. I’m so, so cold. It’s also mysteriously cold in our house as well, so i’m constantly running the heat, drinking hot tea, and bundled up.

Black Friday sales had me internet shopping a little more than I’m proud of, but I stumbled upon these beauties that I need tout suite. Cyber Monday is tomorrow, so these might just be on sale!

Eberjey Cozy Rib Stretch Modal Sweater and Pants | Chinti & Parker Star-intarsia Cashmere Robe | J Crew Marled Cotton Socks | Splendid Corsica Hoodie

Stay Warm you guys!



MBOJ Workshops at The Showroom Pasadena

I recently got pictures back of my Modern Calligraphy Workshop at The Showroom Pasadena by the lovely Suz at Noodoso. I know I say this about each one of my workshops, but I truly had such a blast teaching this group of women. They came ready to learn, and full of smiles and great senses of humor (a seriously funny bunch!). It was a great way to end my 2015 workshops.MBOJ Workshop TSP-32 We were so lucky to partner with Home Brewed Bar and The Pie Hole Los Angeles, who provided us with the most amazing food and drink, ever. Check out this menu – you guys, teaching was difficult when I was smelling all this great stuff! And aren’t those florals from Emblem Flowers so, so cool? MBOJ Workshop TSP-17 MBOJ Workshop TSP-8 MBOJ Workshop TSP-6 MBOJ Workshop TSP-10 MBOJ Workshop TSP-21 MBOJ Workshop TSP-28 I’m really so grateful for the opportunity to teach, you guys. Watching people pick up this new skill (and loving it!) is really thrilling to witness.MBOJ Workshop TSP-27 MBOJ Workshop TSP-30 MBOJ Workshop TSP-12 MBOJ Workshop TSP-3

Look out for my 2016 calendar of classes that will be coming out soon!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Ask The Professional: The Pediatrician Part 2


A couple weeks ago I posted Part One of my pediatrician’s guide to Cold & Flu Season:  here is part two! I hope everyone is staying healthy you guys! It’s going to be a cold winter!




When your child gets the stomach flu, or viral gastroenteritis, they usually will have vomiting for the first 12-24 hours, followed by diarrhea that can last anywhere from 3-10 days.  During this illness, it is most important to keep your child hydrated.  The best way to do this is to give them clear liquids, and give small amounts frequently, like 15-30 mL every 10-15 minutes.  This will allow the child to keep the liquids down and hopefully prevent the need for IV fluids.  Pedialyte, watered down apple juice and water are all good choices.  Many kids won’t take pedialyte because it tastes bad, but you can try to mix it with some Gatorade or juice to see if that will make it more palatable.  If your child is only drinking water, you can give some him/her saltines or Goldfish crackers to nibble on as well.  Popsicles or ice works well as slow liquid intake as well.

When your child is dehydrated, if they will keep vomiting everything they take in, even small amounts of liquid, and they also are lethargic, the child should be seen or evaluated by their doctor or in the urgent care or ER for possible IV fluids.  No medications should be given at home for vomiting or diarrhea.  We would not recommend giving Immodium or Pepto Bismol for children.  The virus needs to literally work itself out of the system.  Definitely, there is no need for antibiotics as that can cause more stomach upset.

With the diarrhea only, which can be up to 3-8 plus times per day, you can feed them through this illness and start to drink liquids as much as they would like.  I do recommend limiting dairy intake if the diarrhea is voluminous, i.e. more than 5 times daily and quite watery.  Typically we also go heavier on the carbohydrates to help with the stools to be firmer and less diarrhea.  Bananas are good to give as well.  Babies that are taking breast milk or formula only, feed through the illness. If after 1 week the child has not improved, call your pediatrician.  Also, if there is blood in the diarrhea, the child needs to be seen.

You need to see your doctor if you are worried about dehydration, if there is a concern for appendicitis or if the diarrhea is continuing to be more than 5 times daily and quite watery and voluminous after 1 week.  Signs of appendicitis include severe and constant abdominal pain, more localized in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen.  In addition, the child will keep on vomiting and not keep anything down, and this would be beyond the first 24 hours of the illness.


Many viruses are associated with rashes like Roseola, Hand Foot Mouth and Parvo Virus (slapped cheek).  In general, younger children tend to get a rash on their bodies after the fever breaks.  These viral rashes will go away on their own in about 3-4 days without any treatment.  They are not itchy or painful.  If the rash is very itchy or painful, you should bring the child in to be seen.  Otherwise, wait it out for a few days, apply a little extra lotion and most often, the rash will resolve on its own.


As parents, you are a very good judge as to when you feel your child is really sick and needs to be seen.  If you are really worried, bring them to your pediatrician to be evaluated because as I said in the beginning, a big part of my job is reassuring parents and making sure that there is nothing more serious going on.  Hopefully this short post helps you worry less this winter when your child gets a cold, because it likely will happen!  Remember that these viruses are not bad to catch because with each cold, the child builds up their immune system, making it stronger to fight colds in the future.




How To Fold A Fitted Sheet

This is a skill I totally learned way too late in the game.

I mean, for a long time I was just balling my fitted sheet up, and shoving it into a drawer. I’m not going to lie, I was doing this way into my 30s. So, when I found this pretty little video, of course I just had to share:



You are welcome.

Video via Parachute – whose store I am not obsessively shopping from.






Favorite Pins This Week


Totally obsessed with these spaces right now – I am loving how they have completely blank and white walls, and they depend on accessories to bring in fun and color. I love that concept because that means decor and thus the mood of your room is totally changeable, without having to go through some crazy mini-home renovation with wall painting. I am totally considering doing this in our new home, as long as I’m able to keep the colors somewhat not-too-feminine (because lets be honest, I’m not sure if Patrick is going to be willing to spend too much time in a room decked out in pinks, oranges and purples.)

Have a lovely weekend!


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Home Reno: Progress Report


It’s been about a month and a half since my last home renovation progress report and what I’ve noticed is how time can simultaneously go SO QUICKLY and yet SO SLOWLY. I can’t believe how much can be built in a little more than a month. I cannot believe how quickly homes just….are built from the ground up. I know that must sound completely silly to say, doesn’t it? And in the same breath, I’m frustrated at how long it’s taking for us to get back into our home. It seems like there is a never ending stream of little problems that crop up here and there that keep delaying full completion of the project. More on that later….

Our Master Bath is finally getting put together – the cabinets still need to be squared and put in, but we finally have a counter as well as our bath/shower situation handled. We wanted an entire wet area to be enclosed so we decided on a walk in bath/shower glass enclosure – which gave the space a feeling of being larger, since you could see right through it.

Master-Bath-Reno-Blog2 Master-Bath-Reno-Blog

The 2nd bathroom is the one that Olive uses (and any overnight guests). A bathtub that was easy for me to bath kids in was a key factor here – and somewhere Olive could sit down and wash her feet, as well. We found this beautiful aqua tile and used it to build out the bathroom wall.


I have to say though, my favorite room in this house has to be the kitchen. This room has also given us the biggest headache – between the cabinet install and the counter install, this was the toughest room to get right. Not design wise; we were pretty clear about that from the start. But just the execution of the work on site was really difficult – dealing with an old house (with crooked walls) has it’s challenges.

Kitchen-Reno-Blog Kitchen-Reno-Blog2

I’m not sure how much longer it’s going to take for it to be livable, but we have planned to move in no later than this month. So wish us luck….we’re going to need it.




Ask The Professional: The Pediatrician


Last year during the cold and flu season, Olive got sick – really, really sick.

I would say that out of the winter months, Olive was sick for about 90% of the time. She had gotten a cold first, then before she had fully recovered, she caught the flu. She had a 8 day fever at one time, and it spiked to 105F. It was difficult. We took a long flight to Singapore, and she caught the stomach flu there – and returned and caught another cold. It was miserable – she was losing weight and so uncomfortable, and I was beside myself with worry because she had been sick for so long that I was convinced she had some autoimmune disease that we had not discovered yet.

She was fine….it was just a really, really awful cold season.

As a parent, one of the hardest things about your child being sick is that you don’t have a clear idea on what’s “acceptable”, and what is considered an urgent symptom. I know that I spent many nights worrying about whether I should be taking Olive into urgent care, or just letting her sleep it off. To make things a little better for me this season, I reached out to Olive’s pediatrician, Dr Marinda Tu. I wanted her to put together a little guide for me to read, to make sure I knew what was normal, and what needed further attention. I wanted to share this with you today (and since it’s so in depth, i’ll be splitting it up into two installments) . I hope everyone is prepared for this cold and flu season, and if you’re in doubt, please contact your own pediatrician, like I did.



As a pediatrician, one of my main jobs is to reassure parents that their child is going to be OK and that they are doing no harm to their children.  In California, the cold and flu season sets in around January and usually runs through the end of March (although for many, it may seem like there are colds going around all year long).  As a result, I find myself discussing with parents how to get their child to feel more comfortable during this time of illness, and when to watch out for something more serious.  Of course not everything will work for every child, but in general, the average healthy child will recover and get better in time.  It just really seems like forever before they get better because of the poor sleep, grumpiness, decreased appetite and the high likelihood that you, as a parent, will also get sick.


Fever is the first issue to address.  This usually causes the most stress for parents.  In general, fever can last up to about 72 hours for a typical viral illness.  And yes, even a viral illness can cause high fever up to 104!  I really march out the full 72 hours before I start to worry (it may be a span of over 4 days, say if fever started on Sunday at 2 am).  Sometimes after the 72-96 hours of fever, it may still be there, but much lower grade (under 101) as it is defervescing.  If any child has fever over 102, for over the 96 hour point, he or she should be evaluated.

When children have fevers, especially a high one, most look quite ill and are lethargic.  They have no appetite.  It is important to treat with Ibuprofen of Acetaminophen and with the correct dose for their weight.  Once the fever comes down, the kids feel much better and may even smile and eat a little bit.  It is always important to encourage the liquid intake during these colds and not worry too much about the food intake.  Their appetites will improve once they are feeling better.  Other cooling measures include a tepid bath, thin layers and cool compress to the head.

For infants who are not vaccinated and have a fever (over 100.4 is technically defined as fever) they need to be seen, especially those that are under 30 days old.  As a pediatrician, when the infants are receiving their vaccines, we are less worried about the more serious bacterial infections like meningitis, bacterial sepsis and pneumonias when they have a high fever.

If you can wait to see your pediatrician for high fevers, that is most ideal, as we tend to be more comfortable with fevers and don’t do blood testing or urine tests for all fevers, as opposed to an Urgent Care Clinic.  Make sure your child is comfortable and see your pediatrician the next day.  Of course if it is the weekend and you are really worried, you may have to go to an urgent care of ER, but if you can avoid it at all possible, try to wait it out that 72 hours, especially if your child perks up after the fever reducing medications.

One last note about a rebound fever, which is when the fever comes back again after it has been gone for a few days.  You should take the child to be checked when this occurs for fear of a secondary bacterial infection like an ear infection or pneumonia.  When kids are getting better, we should not see worsening during this recovery time.  If we do, it’s ideal to check the child.


Most common colds come with coughing and congestion; not all have fever.  These symptoms can linger for up to 2 weeks!  What we are looking for is that there is improvement in these symptoms as they fade away.  Usually, the cold start with a watery clear runny nose and then the cough sets in.  There may be a sore throat as well, but this sore throat is worse in the morning when they wake up, and improves later in the day.  For the first 3 days, the symptoms will worsen and peak on the 3rd or 4th day.  That is usually when the kids feel the worst.  They also cannot sleep as well because of the coughing and congestion.  After this point, there should be an improvement of symptoms.  The last cough to go is the one before bed and the one when they wake up.  The nasal mucous will thicken and be more yellow or green.  That does not necessarily mean that they have a bacterial infection.

When your child is over 4 years old, you can give over the counter (OTC) medications like Mucinex, Robitussin, Delsym or other cough and cold preparations.  Dosages are usually on the box.  For younger children, I usually just use Benadryl and your pediatrician can let you know the appropriate dosage for Benadryl for your child.  Humidifiers will help at nighttime as well and of course, if the child cannot blow their nose yet, try the nasal saline drops with the bulb suctioning (Note: when over 15-18 months, can’t do this anymore, they are too strong and won’t let you usually so they just have to suffer through.)  There are also homeopathic remedies you can try in infants that are over 12 months because most of them have honey in them (ie: Zarbees).

If we’ve had the cough and cold symptoms for a week and the cough is not improving, (especially if the child is still hacking a lot all day and night), they should be seen.  We also will watch for wheezers or asthmatics who may need breathing treatments.  When the child cannot breathe well or seems to be panting, this definitely warrants a visit to the doctor office.  Babies who are breathing a breath a second and showing their ribs when they breathe need to be seen as well.  Also, during the recovery time (2nd week of cough and congestion), symptoms should be improving and not getting worse.  If you feel your child is worsening, take them in to be evaluated as well.

Lastly, there is a virus called Croup that has a characteristic seal-barky cough that occurs mostly in the nighttime. Usually, cool mist humidifier will help with this type of cough.  There are times though that the child is really bad at night and warrants a trip to the urgent care or ER for oral steroids or breathing treatments as well.

Thanks Dr. Tu!

I’ll be sharing the 2nd installment next week, where she discusses other illnesses and symptoms that we should be watching out for this cold and flu season!

Stay healthy, you guys!



Pattern Play


Snooping around the internet is one of my favorite things to do – particularly because I come across stuff like this, and have to buy them (or covet from afar, let’s be real – because I really don’t have room for more stuff right now).

Look at these patterns, you guys. Just staring at them puts me in a good mood. Finding them in the most unexpected places too (soap? what!) really puts a little extra specialness in some of these pieces.

You can find them here: One | Two | Three | Four | Five



Hallo Deutschland!

Hey Guys,

I’m off to Germany today for a short, tiny trip. Patrick has finally graduated from his 2.5 year old EMBA program, and we are going to a town called Wurtzburg to watch his graduation ceremony! Olive won’t be coming with us (thank you, in laws!) because it’s such a long flight for such a short time away. This will be the longest I’ve ever been apart from her, and to be honest, I’m freaking out a little inside, but on the flip side, I’m happy to have a little alone time with my husband.

I’ll catch up with you when I get back next week!



PS – That above says “Good Morning, I Love You!” in German!