and this will be a sign

i love christmas. everything about it. i love the songs. i love the laughter. i love the food. i love the celebration. and usually i've always looked forward to the giving and receiving of presents.  i mean, come on, who doesn't? i make mental lists in my head at least a month before of what i want (ahem...post below..) and what i plan on getting friends/family. and once the 26th hits, it's all over.  food is put away, stockings taken down, and gift wrapping tossed in the trash.  but tonight, i was reminded that in no way is christmas over.  christmas has just begun on the eve of the 24th.  as cliche as all those reminders of "what christmas is really about" make you wince with guilt, and "how commercialized holidays have become" makes you roll your eyes, you know it's true.  the night before christmas i like to think about all the true gifts i have received over the year--the gifts of generosity, forgiveness, health, friendship, warmth, and love---all which were given to me through the sacrifice of jesus christ. it makes me so so happy to know that this is why i'm celebrating christmas.

i hope all of you get what you want this year. i know i've received more than i need.  but i know i am loved and undeserving of this love. i wish you all the happiest christmas days ahead!

2 Corinthians 9:15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

santa dog doesn't want anything to do with me


wishiest wish list

1. wrap coat
2. studio easel or A-frame easel
3. sheer/cream heart or dot tights
4. white frames of all kinds
5. ear warmers
6. lace up black booties
7. cream colored circle scarf
8. fair isle leggings

9. pleather skinnies
10. new apartment accessories

*note this is like the christmas list of my dreams.


this is a happy house

this day, this week, this month.
- it's weird to switch showers, also it's weird to switch up morning routines
- i officially don't like carpet. it grosses me out.
- red gogi...isn't really anything. what is that flavor exactly?
- all my dreams are short term memories, when am i going to go on adventures again..
- i cannot wait for christmas. can not wait.
- i don't really need anything for christmas, i have everything i want/need snuggling in my bed right now.
- can someone suggest a new drink for me? vodka gingers are getting old.
- if the world was going to end. i don't know.
- these pictures below have nothing to do with this post. they're just nice to look at.
- and
- be curious. not judgemental.

source: ffffound.com | tumblr | pintrest


life goes easy on me

in blogging tradition i am going to do another T-day post. here it goes:

i am thankful for...
- the most wonderful mom and dad, both have been so generous in the past years, i can't thank them enough.
- my brother who has honorably joined the navy, so proud!
- my chartreuse flannel sheets (that soak up adam's nasy bed sweat)
- all things potatoes: tater tots, french fries, baked potatoes, chips etc
- the benefit of the doubt
- couture and ankle boots
- my job (yay stability)
- huxley bear (the sweetest cutest animal friend)
- adam my soulmate and kindred spirit
- his family and how good they've been to us (and me!)
- law & order svu and house...because watching them makes me feel like i'm an authority on the subjects of law and medicine
- grace
- the hunger games series (katniss is one of my new favorite role models)
- listening to records while cleaning (secrets adam doesn't know about)
- alone time
- pbs sunday morning
- the pen tool in adobe
- ryan adams, bon iver, and the format and lyrics that speak to me
- my friends, old and new
- second, third, and fourth chances
- used paint brushes and a blank canvas
- fart jokes
- and cottonelle wipes
- giggles, snickers, and guffaws
- dark chocolate covered marshmallow you can only get during holidays
- and love.


shoes are my boyfriend.

all from topshop.tumblr.com

i have the last ones in black. omg those were so hard to come by fer real.




we wrote about how this was different
and how much sense this all made
the corners of my mouth went up every time
i read my "we."
if i could capture the individual moments
and string them together, i would tie the ends so tight
double knot it and all
hang them from every beam and corner of my mind
so they could chase away the shadows
that hide until i lose that shine.


it's hot ya'll

so after living three of the hottest summers consecutively, san antonio -- brooklyn -- norfolk, i say, hands down, norfolk is the worst when it comes to hair. 

so. i have THREE (just three things, crazy! i know!) that will help. 

1) this shit. it's amazing. and it runs you about $4 at a drugstore. it's light-weight and is the "defense against the dark arts" worthy when it comes to frizz-poofy-humidified-hair-dark-arts. tresemme smooth shine spray. (someone once told me i had commercial shiny hair, i attribute it to this bottled liquid gem.)

2) this bad boy right here. most amazing hair dyer in the world. And I swear it is worth your investment. It will weather-proof your hair for summers and winters to come. it has like 5,323,491 different settings. humidity and dryness beware. they also carry an assortment of crazy hair fighting products--check it here.
3) hair pick. i know. "but helen, you have such tangle-free asian hair!" yeah, well i haven't "brushed" my hair since 5th grade.  i get out of the shower and i comb out my long-ass mane. (p.s. thanks britt for giving me your extra one..i still have it..it's been 6 years!)

so there you have it. my hair secrets. you're welcome ya'll.


i am obsesses with..




scallops | lace | open toes | metallic


the "anti-hot-mess" wardrobe

some summer essentials to avoid
the sweatiest season without looking like a hot mess.

let's be honest. i've worn that crop top at least once a week the past month. 
and i love the idea of mixing bright shades of green. yes?
H M top (see more crop tops)


summer 101

these are the classes i will be taking:

- summer sandwich making
- thunderstorms: conversations on a porch
- beach: avoiding sand in the bed
- sundresses & shorts
- beach ball throwing
- how to pack a cooler
- colors: an in-depth look into summer shades
- the etiquette of hand-holding
- the best bikini for your body
- music 201: summer hit + sound of waves