happy new year!

I'm going to take a few days off from the blog world and enjoy few remaining days of the year but wanted to wish you all a very happy new year! What can I say? 2010 is practically over and with that comes two things: a huge wave of relief and nervous butterflies in my stomach about what 2011 will bring. The coming year will be my final year in my 20s and while I am already welcoming 30 with open arms, my 29th year seems a little bittersweet.

2010 was a difficult year. Scratch that--it was more annoying than difficult. I was laid off, I got a new job, and we almost bought a house but backed out at the last minute due to unforeseen issues that would not be resolved. Yet, there were also two monumental events that we had experienced: 1) our trip to Japan--where Ryan finally met my father for the first time and spend time with that side of my family on that side of the world. It was nothing short of amazing. And of course, 2) the birth of my very first niece Olivia Ruth Cote--the most perfect little package in the form of a teeny tiny baby. (Congrats again to my sister and brother-in-law!)

So what will next year be like? I'm really crap with resolutions so instead, I've decided to make goals. Seeing as this is my last year before 30, I've decided to make a "30 Things To Do Before 30" list. Here goes (in no particular order).

1. Make our escape out of Florida plan a reality.
2. Do the L'Eroica antiquated bicycle ride in Tuscany.
3. Cook more meals at home.
4. Open up my ETSY shop.
5. Take time each day to let out a huge breath and let all of the
stresses disappear with it.
6. Have more romantic date nights with Ryan.
7. Send out more hand-written letters.
8. Find something to feel passionate about.
9. Read more books.
10. Grow out my hair (without acting on impulse to chop it all off).
11. Practice patience.
12. Learn how to sail.
13. Pay off my debt.
14. Set pretty pennies aside for more savings.
15. Perfect one authentically French meal.
16. Pare down my closet to only the essential classics.
17. Take more mini-breaks on long weekends to visit out-of-state
friends and family.
18. Ride my bicycle more often.
19. Have a night-time beauty regimen.
20. Stop beating myself up over the very very small stuff.
21. Eat more fruit!
22. Do more arts & crafts.
23. Be {more} comfortable in my own skin.
24. Visit family in Canada.
25. Exercise on the reg.
26. Go to the farmers' market for local produce more often.
27. Go on a camping trip.
28. Buy more art.
29. Get the new Haruki Murakami novel 1Q84 as soon as it
hits the shelves.
30. Learn something new. Anything!
Hopefully this list will prove challenging, enriching, and life-changing. I've never had such a long list of goals to accomplish, but that in and of itself should be interesting. I've got a whole year to complete these and it all starts January 1st. Wish me luck!

Happy New Year to everyone!



happy monday!...and a roaring new year's eve.

Now that Christmas has passed, another big holiday party is about to commence: New Year's Eve! Two years ago, I had a fabulous time with friends. Last year, not so much. I am determined to start 2011 with a bang. And what better way to do so than by attending a Roaring 1920's themed New Year's Eve fête? These dresses from ASOS would be perfect for the occasion, don't you think? (click on photos for more info!) What are you doing for NYE?



merry christmas!

From my home to yours, have a wonderful holiday this year.




the illusionist.

One of the things I love most about the holiday season is the plethora of movies that come out in theatres. It's so exciting! Ryan and I have already gone to see the new Harry Potter flick and just the other night, we saw Black Swan. One movie I'm really looking forward to seeing is The Illusionist, which comes out on Christmas Day. For as long as I can remember, the cousins in my family would all meet up on Christmas Day and go to the movies. Hopefully this year, we'll be able to see this one!



Shopping done. Presents wrapped. Christmas time is here! This week will be a hard one for me at work as I am so ready for the weekend to come.

Traditionally, growing up, my family always partook in Nochebuena, the Spanish "Good Night" which is celebrated on Christmas Eve. Although the Japanese side of my family doesn't really do Christmas, my Catholic Filipina mom always made sure that we had a Christmas like the ones she grew up with and that there was lots of food on the table that night. We would typically dine at around 9 pm followed by desserts and coffee afterwards. Then, when the clock struck midnight, we would open presents! The best part was, not only did you get to open your gifts at midnight, if you were good that year, you would still get gifts the next morning from Santa! Everyone wins!

This year, Ryan and I are putting together our own Nochebuena feast and having my mom, step-dad, brother, and one of my sisters over. What will the menu be? I'm not sure yet, but we've got a few ideas up our sleeves. I cannot wait!


happy friday!...and wrapping presents and baking cookies!

It's Friday! And it's just over a week before Christmas (Iabsolutelycannotwait!!!) so tonight, my younger brother, one of my sisters, and I are going to spend some quality time together. On the agenda: cooking skillet bacon mac & cheese for dinner (yum), wrapping more presents (huzzah!), and doing some holiday baking (linzer cookies and fig and chocolate biscotti, anyone?)




You guys! It's only 10 more days until Christmas! I seriously cannot remember the last time I was this giddy with excitement. I am thisclose to finishing all my gift-wrapping endeavors and putting them under the tree. And you? Are you all through with your shopping? Have you reached panic mode yet?



green with envy.

I know my birthday is about five months away (who's really counting, though, right?) but I already have my eye on this beautifully simple ring. My birthstone is the emerald and I've always wanted something completely un-gawdy. I think I may have just found my answer!



happy monday! and...french for: i ♥ you.

Wouldn't this sweet print be so lovely to wake up to every morning? Everyone should have that kind of a reminder that he/she is loved by someone!



have a wonderful weekend!

Any plans? I plan on staying warm, drinking lots of hot chocolate, and enjoying some homemade cookies with a book. I am thisclose to being done with all of my Christmas gift shopping / making so I am taking this weekend to sit back and relax.

{Also, I think Ryan and I are going finish up our Harry Potter marathon and go out to see the latest Harry Potter movie at the IMAX! Huzzah!}

Have a wonderful weekend!



holiday gift guide: your debonaire papa.

He is the guy you hold a lot (if not all) of the guys you know up to, the only one who still uses an old-fashioned shaving kit (not because he's old-fashioned, but because he "likes it better"), and never leaves the house without a suit on. These gifts are sure to turn that classic man to mush.


holiday gift guide: your lovely mama.

To the woman who your doctor, personal chef, teacher, best friend, and psychiatrist. She's always been a classy lady. Show her you know just how elegant she really is!


holiday gift guide: your world-traveler bestie.

You met her in college while you were both dating guys in the same band. Now, you're both seasoned travelers, confidants, and above all else, the best of the bestest friends. Jet-setting between Germany, Bangladesh, Egypt, and everywhere in between, these are sure to make any airplane trip worth it.


holiday gift guide: your newborn niece or nephew.

There's a new bundle of joy in the family: your niece or nephew! These toys are sure to bring a smile to those chubby cheeks of theirs no matter how old they are.


holiday gift guide: your hipster brother.

You know who he is. He's the kid in your family who's just too-cool-for-school. So why not humor him some more with these gifts! They're sure to make him that much cooler.


holiday gift guide: your artsy + crafty sister(s).

They're the ones who listened to you lament over boys that sucked, the ones who would knit pretty scarves or socks for friends and family for Christmas, and have an endless pot of tea any time you came to visit. To sisters near and far, these are for you!


holiday gift guide: the man you fell in love with.

This goes out to the man in your life who is obsessed with industrial design and has a knack for just fixing things up. Oh, and he happens to look really good while doing that, too. {Swoon!}


happy monday!...and t spoon of sunshine's {1st ever} holiday gift guide.

So...I'm a couple years late in jumping on the holiday gift guide bandwagon. It's just that I'm always so nervous about showcasing what I think would be cool gifts for those you love. That said, I decided to give it a go anyway since Christmas is in exactly 19 days. {Yowza!} Besides, who wouldn't want any of these things? Keep your eyes peeled for the first one!




Ok. It's not every day that I say that I need a new pair of shoes. So let me tell you: I need these shoes. Need. Don't they just make you want to tap your feet and dance?



blue + white.

When my darling Amaly showed me these porcelain pieces, I gasped. They are stunningly simple, elegant, and simply perfect. Spanish designer Jaime Hayón collaborated with a 130+ year old Japanese porcelain company called Marukawaya for Kutani Choemon. What a gorgeous marriage of East meets West. Love love love.



happy wednesday!...and it's december! {eeps!}

Good morning, lovelies. I woke up this morning and the sky was grey. A storm rolled through and brought with it some "wintery" weather (for Florida, at least) which excited me because today, I got to wear a sweater. That's right. Long-sleeves, tights, etc. And it actually feels like December.

Even weirder, I got a little teeny tiny hankering for coffee. Coffee! If you remember, I {temporarily?} parted ways with coffee a few months back. But this morning, I just felt like having one. So I got one. Guess what. It's still not as great as I remember it being and it's definitely not as great as I so wish it would be. But hey, it's December and I'm celebrating this cold(ish) weather! How is your morning so far?