Happy Birthday, Hello Kitty

"...I love the design of Hello Kitty. Her face is nothing but a few lines and dots, yet it's instantly recognizable and utterly iconic. The creators have broken down the essence of a character to the barest minimum and that's what's made her one of the best known characters in the world."- James Turner

Hello Kitty is 40 today! I had such a fun time at Hello Kitty Con, I can't wait to go back next year. It made me appreciate what the characters symbolizes and a great community that believes in happiness through a cartoon. I had a chance to be interviewed on BBC, according to them, I'm a "super fan" ha! You can listen here. I'll be sorting out through the hundreds of photos I took, I can't believe I didn't go overboard on Instagram. I have no idea how I'm going to be cutting back on such cuteness overload, not a bad problem to have. This is artist Sean Knibb for The LINE Hotel (the "official" Hello Kitty hotel for the convention). These plushes were dip-dyed in a lavender and hand sewn to the comforter. Amazing! 

Halloween at Home

It was only last year we began decorating for Halloween. I never thought I had the "right" home for Halloween- pink just isn't spooky and ghoulish, unless you are absolutely terrified of the color. I didn't want color to determine whether or not I should celebrate, so why not! Let's make it a kawaii (cute!) Halloween! 

Halloween details- Pink Jack-o-lantern’s from Daiso, Hello Kitty inflatable (alternative here), bat vinyl sticker from walltowalldecals, Jack-o-lantern vinyl sticker from supervinyldecal, pink faux pumpkins from a craft store, pink candle from Candelles, mantel banner from Angela BianchiCuts, fresh fall flowers flowers from The Bouqs (thanks, Aline!)

I'm looking forward to what else I'll be adding this month. 

The Simpsons for LEGO

I was so excited when I heard The Simpsons family teamed up with LEGO for Simpsons 25th anniversary. LEGO and Simpsons are two of our favorite household items and of course, we bounced on the chance to add to our LEGO collection. The box comes with the house, and all the details pictured (not including Krusty the Clown), even the car! 

You can buy the house here and the rest of the characters here

Get Spooky With Plasticland

Ok, so “Plasticland” sounds like their mountains are full of silicone and trees are pumped with fillers but Plasticland is a very cute online shop. I love what they carry and they have the perfect  accessories for Halloween. 

1. Cat Backpack- This has black kitty silhouettes wearing colorful bowties. Cute/kawaii Halloween at it's finest. 

2. Creepy Zombie Gnome- This is the perfect accessory to greet people at the doorstep. 

3. Zombie Dress- I don't dress up for Halloween (I know, I know, terrible) but I do love this to get in the Halloween spirit. I can't wait to wear one of their dresses to answer to trick or treaters. It's currently available only in the XS, but they update their shop often.

4. Skull Sneakers- These are the cherry on top. They're cheap and can be slipped on after those naughty nurse heels start hurting. 

5. Poison Cardigan- I love this cardigan, it's feminine but will keep you warm and still keep the spooky festivities. 

6. Skull Tights- Ok, so I may wear these all year long. 

7. Spider Hook- It's all in the details. I may add a spray of black glitter to this. 

8. Bat Dress- This is a new take on "batgirl". 

I love Plasticland, and these items would be perfect not just for Halloween but for the spook in you. 

Hello Kitty x Minnetonka

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I've seen Minnetonka's on friends for years. They not only love the brand, but they are borderline crazy when it comes their loyalty for the brand. When Sanrio and Minnetonka designed a shoe together, I thought it was time to see what the big deal was. When they arrived, I knew how much I would wear these out but the quality is awesome, and I doubt these will wear out anytime soon. What I love best about the collaboration is how subtle Hello Kitty is on the shoe. The design isn't as loud like other Sanrio collaborations. It still keeps Minnetonka's signature style but it still has the famous Sanrio look. 

YSL Babydoll vs Miss Manga

I'm not a beauty blogger but L'oreal's new mascara, Miss Manga, caught my attention. It reminded me of YSL Babydoll, a mascara I've been using for about 8 months and I'm on my second tube. One is high end while the other is a cheaper drugstore brand, but both mascaras advertise the full-fringe-wide-eyed-cute effect unlike a traditional mascara. I don't have big lashes, or any visible lashes, really and if I could save money on my daily beauty routine, I thought readers would, too. Read on to see how both worked!

YSL Babydoll $30 This is the mascara I would keep buying over and over. It does work on my short lashes and make me look less tired. It's not a miracle product but it works, and for me, it's been worth paying the higher end price for it. I also love the packaging. Just like the brand, the packaging is just as luxurious as the name. It's easy to come off, it has survived light teary nights, but failed during the tougher nights, so if you're going swimming in it, it's not going to hold. The brush is clean, clump free but the more I apply, it becomes thicker without clumping. 

L'oreal Miss Manga $7  I used this mascara on both my lashes and bottom lashes. I don't use mascara on my lower lashes because they smear easily and this mascara doesn't smear, even YSL. It is clumpy if you have too many strokes, it gets that "spider" lash look but I don't mind it because it can be fixed with a good lash brush. Unlike YSL, if you apply it a few times, you just make them thicker. With L'oreal's mascara, it appears to make the lashes look longer with each stroke. The brush bends for flexibility but I didn't see the point of that for my own application. Another bonus? It made my lashes so long, they hit my glasses. 

I like Miss Manga better not just for the price, but it does the job. It's cheap so you can buy one once a month. I try to make YSL last for 3 months. I like YSL but I realized I love the packaging and the name of it more than the actual formula. When I order it from Sephora, I love getting the box, opening it up and savoring the moment of retail therapy. L'oreal is just one quick trip to Target. It has cute packaging but it feels cheap. The packaging is a lighter plastic and the wand is clumpy, it just requires smudging it off a bit on the tube before you apply. The brush is cheap but it works better than YSL, so I'm still wrapping my head around this. Like I said, I'm not a beauty blogger and the only mascara I've used mostly was higher end. I'm happy with L'oreal's Miss Manga over YSL's Babydoll, and I'm open to other drugstore products. 

Custom Nike ID Low Blazers

I don't need another pair of sneakers, but I found myself on the Nike ID page and a few minutes later I got a confirmation saying my shoes were ordered. When they arrived, they were so beautiful, I had to take a million angles of a pair of shoes. As for the size, they are a tad bigger than the Nike Free's I normally wear for working out. I'm not sure if that's the style of the Blazer or just weird in sizing. I'm a 7.5 and that's what I ordered, but there is a little bit of room to wiggle my toes. I'm sure that extra space will come in handy when my feet are swollen from the summer heat. If you just want to purchase the Blazers but not make your own, I love these, these and these (and this pair if you're feeling brave).

Locals Only; Amazing Cakes

I was surprised with a birthday cake from my family. I came home from Disneyland and when I walked in, Scott asked me to get him a glass of water. Before giving him the sideye (I can't remember him asking him for a glass of water the 6 years I've been married to him), I opened the fridge and there it was, in all it's glory. It's so beautiful in real life, these photos don't do the details the merit it deserves. Also, please note I've never used "merit" for a cake. 

The flavor was chocolate and it was delicious. Our family uses Amazing Cakes whenever we need to celebrate something. I mean, you can't have the word "amazing" in your store name unless you meet expectations and beyond and they do! They were also voted Best Wedding Cake for 2012 Bride's Choice Award. You can check out the gallery here. UPDATE! I should point out this cake is large enough for 8-10 people and cost a little under $50. 

Amazing Cakes

524 N. Magnolia Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92801

Phone: 714-995-3399

Locals Only is a series on our.city.lights blog highlighting Anaheim and surrounding areas in the OC. If you're a small business and would like exposure on this blog, I love supporting local business'. Contact me here.

Pink Projecteo

I've had sunglasses, a bracelet and now a Instagram projector designed for me. I feel so honored with the relationships i've made with the most creative folks. I've mentioned Projecteo many times and all the projects involved with them (ICYMI, they're here, here, here, here, and here. Can you tell I love them?) The look on my face would have been picture worthy when I opened up the package I received from them- a custom PINK Projecteo! I feel so so honored. The current wheel I have for my projector is memories of Max and I will always treasure it, they hold a special place on my shelf. Projecteo is a great team I love working with and they were so so encouraging and patient when Max died. Most sponsors bailed (yes, as in see ya later!) and didn't wait, but they were so sweet. I can't praise them enough! Thank you, Projecteo!! 

It fits perfectly with my pink camera collection, too! 

Instagram Photos on Marshmallows; BOOMF

I know I always say 'I'm so excited' in every intro to my blog posts, but really, I am! The same folks that brought you Sticky Gram and Projecteo, bring you Boomf. They cooked up a funny idea to put Instagram photos on marshmallows. It sounds like a novelty, but again, just like they blew me away with Projecteo, I was surprised at how much I love Boomf. 

The marshmallows (marshmellows?) come in a secure box, in foil and individually wrapped and separated to preserve the photos printed on the candy. 

They are surprisingly resilient to touch and especially being shipped from the UK, they came in perfect condition. 

I chose 9 of my images from Instagram, and about a week and a half later, they were at my house. I have a friend getting married this year and I can imagine these would be great for her bridal shower, or a topping on cupcakes, stacked at a baby shower, and I can go on and on! 

And yes, they were tasty! The printed photo doesn't take away from the marshmallow taste! (Also, why in the world aren't marshmallows spelled as marshmallows?? I can't write this post without mentioning it). Get your Boomf 'mallows here! 

D.I.M- Do It Myself; Valentine's Wreath

I'm so excited for my first (somewhat successful) DIY in years. I used to embroider a few years ago but I wasn't into it after a few months. I've written about my fails with DIY fails before but I saw this DIY from The Alison Show on Pinterest and decided to try it. And you know what? I had so much fun doing it. Yes, I had a few accidents and burns with the hot glue gun but besides that, it was so relaxing, I'd do it again. 

+ Valentine's Wreath project from The Alison Show

+ $40 supplies (with coupons) from Michael's. I didn't have any of the supplies, but if you're a regular crafter, you should have some of these already. 

+ about 3 hours total. Cutting out the hearts was the most time consuming.

I'll see what else I can find to make and I'll be sure to share it here! 

Cutie-fy Your Lens

One of my goals for 2014 is to take more photos. I've even cleaned out digital space to prepare for the photos I'll be uploading, and since I've been using my pancake lens more than most, I wanted to cutie-fy it. I bought this Photojojo Donut Lens (they also offer the burger lens but since I don't eat beef and I'm not cool enough to be ironic, I didn't get it). 

Here's to a more photo-worthy 2014! And more donuts. Lots of donuts! 

Foldable Me

We all know I'm adorable (ha) and I just raised the bar with a Foldable Me. They began through Kickstarter and is now one of the popular projects of Mint Digital, who work with StickyGram and Projecteo, and both wonderful people to work with. It was easy to make, sturdy, and takes less than five minutes if you follow the instructions, and they are so cute! 

They even have a Christmas themed Foldable Me! 


They are normally $11.99 each, but they are offering $8 each with the code HOHOHO. You can buy them here

Liberty Asics

One of my favorite things about blogging is taking photos of beautiful things. I like to catch every silly detail, even a shoe. When my Liberty Asics pair arrived, I had to pull out my 40mm for these babies. They are so beautiful in real life, I just want to display them next to my real flowers. 


I can't wait to pop this baby out so I can bend over to tie my shoes. I can't find the high tops anymore but I did find another beautiful low top pair at UO.  


We finally finished the R2D2 from last year. It's not a baby toy, but we want to display it in Max's room and when he's old enough to reach it, back it goes to mom and dad. 


I do make some money off affiliates but I feel silly referring you to the Amazon price that's $50 more than the non-affiliate LEGO store price, just buy it here. Coincidentally, I was listening to Ultimate Fakebook's Far, Far Away as I was uploading these, a song about George Lucas. Serendipity! 


New 40mm Lens

I got a new lens for my birthday, a 40mm Canon "Pancake" lens and it's become one of my favorite lenses already. After reading about it in Elsie favorite camera gear, I added it to my wish list and so happy I got it. I took some Easter inspired photos from a popular franchised donut shop (sadly, the donuts didn't taste anything as good as they looked- this is why I always do local!). The lens is so light, it has replaced my Canon S95 and 50mm lens. The lens is sharp, great in low light, and unlike a 50mm, you can do wider shots with bokeh and focus. It's inspired me to take photos of what I love- the mundane. Yes it sounds boring, but I get to discover beauty in the everyday things. 

Birthday Wish List

My birthday is tomorrow, and I'm sharing my birthday wish list from one of my favorite shops, Emerging Thoughts. 

The Polka Dot socks from Basel are adorable. I'm suffering from morning sickness (ugh, still) and the best view I'll have is of my feet. Why not make them cute while I'm lounging? They would look really cute peeking out of my Doc's, too. 

Polka Dot vinyl wall for a nursery!! This photo is actually from Ashley's bedroom but I fell in love with the idea.

Photo credit to Ashley 

Photo credit to Ashley 

Cat Tattoos are a great way to look like a bad ass with a kitty on my hands or face. I've always wanted a face or hand tattoo since I'll never work in a library again, or ever get a job as a bank teller. 



If you love how Lauren curates her shop, you'll love her tweets even more. Follow her here and shop here. 

Until Next Year

I've been putting away my Christmas decor s l o w l y.  My home is a little empty, it's like my kid went away to college or something way too dramatic. Instead, I'll just stare at these beauties. They're so ridiculous, I can take Christmas with me all year long. Charlotte Olympia can do no wrong in my closet. 

Hello Kitty Vegan Dinner

Hello Kitty Pasta1

Yes, I love Hello Kitty and the vegan diet. Combine the two and I'll blog about it.

Hello Kitty Pasta

I found Hello Kitty Organic Pasta. I cooked it with Upton's Beef Flavored vegan meat. Just a disclaimer, I don't normally like anything packaged that's vegan. It usually contains a lot of sodium, fillers and chemicals I don't like because I've never heard of them or could barely pronounce them. Upton's had the most natural ingredients, the shortest expiration date to confirm freshness, and the lowest sodium.

Upton's Vegan Beef
Final HK Pasta

The result didn't look pretty (especially taken with low light and a cellphone), but it was delicious! It didn't taste like cardboard, but it wasn't overdone in flavor. It hasn't been that long since I've been vegan, but I can remember eating beef as a kid and the texture is very close to it. Pick up Upton's at these locations and Hello Kitty Organic Pasta on Amazon.