Sunday, February 28, 2010

Curious Grant Turns One!

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Although it was raining this Saturday, Jami & James' wedding went without a hitch and can't wait to reveal the pictures with you soon.

Now with Grant's 1st birthday party.. planned in two weeks.
The concept for the party was to create a fun and casual party atmosphere for our guests. We decided to have it at a photo studio where kids and their parents had the opportunity to take family pictures while celebrating Grant’s first year in life. Having a photobooth at parties is HUGE these days and when I visited Olive Studio the idea of hosting Grant’s birthday here came to life. It was the perfect space for 30-40 of my closest friends. Now as parents, we realize we don’t get too many opportunities to take family pictures with our kids. With a majority of my friends being moms I wanted to seize this opportunity and wanted to have them enjoy an afternoon taking tons of pictures with their kids. Olive Studio offers a lot of different backdrops and props, it is a very neat and CLEAN place. I know that a lot Korean moms are planning extravagant and traditional “dohl” parties but I wanted to stay away from the tradition of having a guest list of 100-200 people. Basically I didn’t want to plan another wedding reception!
When my husband and I started planning the party we decided that we wanted to give all of the gifts and proceeds to “Giving Children Hope.” With this is mind we wanted to keep things simple (well, this was my intention at first, but things got a little out of control with all the DIY projects I decided to do last minute) and BUDGET FRIENDLY. It really wasn’t until 2 weeks before the party that I started renting items and picking things up from here and there. I found a lot of great things on the clearance racks and at Michaels. The studio already had a lot of cute props and furniture so we just re-arranged it a bit and created a casual outdoor party atmosphere under the tree with picnic blankets & throw pillows. We also brought in some of our own furniture as well.
Things I borrowed:
-The lanterns that were hung from the tree were borrowed from my sister.
-Party trays & plates for the dessert bar and the red wagon where we placed our drinks were borrowed from Kristine.
-Kayla, kindly provided the cookie lollipops with mini cupcakes.
-All floral arrangements & wheat grass box were also kindly provided by Jina from T.H.E flower.

The DIY projects which I pulled off at the last minute! I swear, I don't think I'll ever do them again.
- Pinwheels on the grass to welcome the guests
- 'Curious Grant Turns One' flag banner
- Cookie Stands (borrowed Styrofoam from Kayla) and hot glued the paper
- Dessert Bar circle garlands (inspired by this project here)
- Birthday party hats
- Small flag banner


Gosh..I know he's my son, but he's so adorable! :)
now onto some details...
Shopping Details & Resources:
-Cocktail napkins were purchased at For Your Party
-All adorable signs, cupcake toppers, favor tags were purchased from Heather from Chickabug (I love love her work and I was so thrilled when I found her on Etsy! but I somehow misplaced some of the dessert tags & customized dol ja bi tags she made and couldn't find it anywhere!!! I usually double and triple check my set up items and I still have no idea where they went!)
-Red & White stripe straws were purchased from Etsy and just printed out "Happy Birthday" sign and taped it on the straws
-Dessert bar plates, the popcorn bags and sparkling sodas were purchased at Cost Plus- World Market (I LOVE this store).
-Red blankets were purchased at Ikea for under 5 dollars each and the yellow throw pillows were purchased at Cost Plus for 10 dollars each.
- Curious grant books & lunch box were purchased at a local bookstore in Irvine.
6 ft table for the dessert bar & the blue runner were rented from KiKi Events
Color coordinated jelly beans were purchased at Sweet Factory & other filler candies were purchased from Smart & Final
The garlands were pulled together the night before the party & Angela helped me finish it on the day of. :) I actually made a garland mobile and hung it next to Grant's crib because I didn't want to throw them away after the party.
Milk shooters with chocolate cookies on top
I'm hooked with the sparkling sodas from Cost Plus! They're so good!
Party hats I also pulled together at the very last minute.
pop quiz made by my hubby & the tacos were from Adolfo Tacos. We also had Costco pizzas for the grown ups, cut fruits (mango, strawberries & green grapes) were skewered and small cut sandwiches were prepared for the kids.


Pinwheels were also pulled together at the very last minute. I don't know why I keep doing this to myself.. haha
Almost $900 sent along to Giving Children Hope's We've Got Your Back program.
Thank you everybody for helping out~!


Grant's playmates!

dol-jabi time! You place array of objects and whatever my son picks speaks into what he could be. When he was doing this, he got freaked out because of all the attention he was getting!
it looks like he grabbed the book, but he passed these items and came to me instead. -__-
my better half.. cannot be where I am today without his wisdom & guidance. Although we annoy the heck out of each other and argue over the same things, I can't imagine my life without him. Our love is a work in progress but at the end of the day, we both know we're perfect for one another. :) Love you honey!

My MIL- She stayed with us for almost 5 months and left to Korea last week. Although we had some rough spots here and there, I am still very grateful that she came to watch the baby. One important lesson I learned: It's always better to keep a safe distance. :)


Lastly, what is a birthday without a cake? He was so happy when we sang the birthday song all together. To my birthday have brought us so much joy than we could ever begin to tell you. You are our little teacher and our inspiration. We will always love you more than we have years to count...
LOVE, mommy & daddy

-Don from Don& David photography. He contacted me a few weeks before the party and he generously offered to take the pictures for us. These photos truly far exceeded my expectations and I cannot thank you enough. You captured them so beautifully and I'm sure my in laws will be talking about these photos for a very LONG time. :)

-Jina from T.H.E flower for generously providing all the small centerpieces & the wheat grass.
- Kayla & Kristine for their mental & emotional support throughout my first year as a mom.
-Katie Lee of Bella Destinee, my dear Elisa & Angela for coming early to set up all the props. Angela took some of these detail shots too!
- My dear hubby who stayed up all night to put together a video of Grant's milestone.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A peak into a working mom's life

Hello to all the loyal readers out there!
I know a lot of you may be wondering what I’ve been up to lately, I’m truly sorry for the lack of blog posts. It’s been so hectic and crazy with the back to back weddings that we have lined up from this week to the end of March and my in-laws have also been here from Korea to celebrate Grant’s 1st birthday party. I’ll put a blog post up this week dedicated to Grant’s birthday- I can’t wait to share the pictures with you all because everything turned out so cute!
To make up for my lack of blog posts lately, I thought it would be fun to share with you and give you a peek at what goes on in a planner’s daily life. I also want to write this post to let all the readers know that being a business owner, mom, wife, and everything in between is do-able. First, a major shout out to all the hard working moms out there!! Honestly I still don’t have it all figured out yet but I think that I’m getting better at it. Things I learned over this year: Motherhood requires a lot of structure and scheduling. No messing around or wasting time.

Here’s my weekly schedule. During the weekdays, I send Grant to daycare on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8am-5pm. So I usually take 2 days out of the week for appoints I meet with clients, vendors, visit venues, attend prototype meetings and food tasting. I literally try to jam all my appointments, so when I’m out I make sure to try to book 3-4 appointments in one day. It sounds crazy, but this is the part I enjoy the most, meeting with people- well, minus the driving.

Other days, I respond/check e-mails, take care of logistical matters, create timelines, floor plans, make phone calls, update my blog and etc. It’s not the best part of the job but I get about 70% of the ‘real’ work done. Grant is up by 6am so I make sure to give him plenty of attention by playing with him in the morning until he takes his 1st nap. (Thanks Courtney for the advice! It's going great!) Oh how I wish my son can sleep until 9am… I’ve tried everything but I think his internal clock is 6am. My husband comes home from work around 5:30pm so I get dinner ready in between, but we do go out occasionally.
:) Grant is in bed by 8pm which leaves the rest of the evening for me and my hubby.
I could use my evening times effectively like read a book (sure), spend quality time with my hubby, go out for a jugging or SLEEP EARLY but I end up browsing through twitter, facebook and other wedding blogs. It's so hard to shut down the computer! I definitely need help in this area. To think that I'm constantly busy for an exercise is a total excuse.

On the weekends, I either have weddings or have family time on Sundays. I purposely don’t take wedding on Sundays because I promised my husband to make Sundays family day. Occasionally I’ll meet with clients (2 hours max) who aren’t available during the weekdays. On weekends, I try to clean up the house, do laundry, cook some home cooked meals and hang out with friends/families OR recharge by taking naps while my hubby watches the baby! :)
As a mom working from home, I realized I need more discipline, training, and need to make sure that I make the most of the time that I have. Trust me, I'm not as disciplined as you think I may sound. In college, I couldn't wake up on time for my 11am class and I could definitely sleep in for 12 hours straight without feeling guilty! My friends who are reading this post will crack up because you know it's true!!!
Balancing family & career isn't easy but I always tell myself that life won't get any easier with baby #2 or #3! Better get used to it or else I'm gonna be one complaining mother who whines all the time.
Anyways, here are some photos to show you what I’ve been up to for the past month.

Here are some venues I visited during the last month or two. I swear, I feel like a site inspector.

Adamson House in Malibu, this is one of my FAVORITE locations!! It's a pain in the butt following all their policies and restrictions, but it's definitely worth the work.


The Langham Pasadena, a beautiful venue and I am so lucky that I have two weddings there this year.

St. Mark Presbyterian Church in Lomita. This place is a hidden gem. The sanctuary has the prettiest stone aisle with stain glass art work.

Greystone Mansion- LOVE LOVE this venue too! Greystone is definitely a hidden treasure in Beverly Hills a quite place with great views of the city
. Again, a lot of work because they don't provide anything but space but so worth the pain!
Rancho Del Cielo in Malibu has
a spectacular ocean view, an acre of gardens, oak trees, rustic trails and an old California cottage. LOVE! LOVE this place too! I'm SO SO excited to be working here this August!
Last but not least, the Montage at Laguna Beach. Just simply breathtaking!
I've been also attending LOTS mock up meetings too. IMG_5268 by you.
IMG_5269 by you.
Mille Fiore's prototype session back in January.

Flower Allie, love collaborating ideas with Allison! She's such a sweetheart!

I went to downtown LA with one of my clients to do some fabric shopping. I normally rent linens but for this wedding coming up in March, we had to custom made our runners.
Design meeting with Kristine for upcoming weddings. She works HARD to find these fab
ulous items that we can't reveal just yet but my crafty assistant, Christine made these paper ornaments and dyed each page to give it the vintage look. Isn't this awesome?! I give her a project and she gets it on TIME to me. Thank you Christine!

My favorite part- meeting with clients and hearing the stories of how they met! It's like a breath of fresh air.

Hope this post will make up for my absence because it took me a while to write it all up. I honestly don't know how I make it through the each day but seeing Grant's smile definitely brightens up any bad days.
Announcements: I am completely booked until July 2010 but feel free to send me inquires about your weddings. I would love to refer you to some fabulous coordinators and associates that will best suite your wedding. I do have openings from August to December, so hurry and reserve your date! Grant's birthday photos come up real soon. So stay tuned!